Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 22397

1 Tuesday, 4 April 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number

7 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik. Thank you.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

9 Mr. Stewart, I did understand that you would like to raise an

10 issue in private session. May I take it that it's related to what we

11 discussed yesterday at the very end of our session, where we go into

12 private session?

13 MR. STEWART: Yes, it is, Your Honour. Mr. Tieger and I both

14 thought it would be better to briefly mention it this morning.

15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then it also gives me an opportunity to state

16 in public that we went into private session yesterday in relation with

17 protective measures and that for that same reason we'll now turn into

18 private session again.

19 [Private session]

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 22398











11 Pages 22398-22401 redacted. Private session.















Page 22402

1 [Open session]

2 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

4 Madam Usher, could I ask you to escort Mr. Kecmanovic.

5 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour, to add to the confusion, at line 9

6 the name there but so-and-so has written a book. It's the wrong name.

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 MR. STEWART: I knew that, Your Honour, but my pronunciation of

11 Serbian doesn't distinguish very well between the letters anyway.

12 [The witness entered court]

13 JUDGE ORIE: Just -- good morning, Mr. Kecmanovic.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

15 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to remind you that you're still bound by the

16 solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony, but

17 before I give an opportunity for Mr. Stewart to continue his

18 examination-in-chief, just for the parties, day 207 in my

19 not-number-through transcript on page 89, second line, the book I just

20 mentioned appears with an unclear name with it, but just for your

21 information about sources.

22 Perhaps I could -- perhaps I could ask the witness right away

23 about it.

24 Mr. Kecmanovic, did you write a book in which any -- in which the

25 meeting of Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Izetbegovic are described? Or at least

Page 22403

1 reference made to that meeting?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is possible. Not a book,

3 certainly not. Maybe an article. You know, I have written a lot about

4 those events. That is one of my permanent occupations, and I have

5 published a number of articles on that. I'm not sure about the book.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because we heard evidence that in one of your

7 publications, let's say so, that meeting was situated in time on the 12th

8 of April. We have not verified that, but -- on the basis of your

9 publication, but that's at least what we received as evidence.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think that I have mentioned

11 the date.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.

13 Mr. Stewart, please proceed.

14 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.


16 [Witness answered through interpreter]

17 Examination by Mr. Stewart: [Continued]

18 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, when you became a member of the Bosnia and

19 Herzegovina Presidency, how frequently over -- it was a period of about

20 five weeks that you were a member, how frequently did the Presidency meet?

21 A. The Presidency was in a state of permanent session, so to speak.

22 We would meet in the morning hours and worked until lunchtime. Then we

23 had a lunch break, and after that we would continue in the afternoon. We

24 were sitting for several hours in the morning and again several hours in

25 the afternoon.

Page 22404

1 Q. Did you receive information during those meetings about military

2 activities and operations in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

3 A. We did not receive any specific conversation on war operations. I

4 believe that the only person who received that information was

5 Izetbegovic, but not the Presidency as a whole. The Chief of General

6 Staff Halilovic would occasionally provide us with some general

7 information, but that information was, in general terms, on the successes

8 of the BiH army and the Muslim casualties at the hands of the Serb forces.

9 That was general information which sounded non-authentically, and at one

10 point Izetbegovic replied to the general: General, you keep on talking

11 about your successes and all the while we're losing territories.

12 Q. And was there any report or discussion at Presidency meetings

13 about crimes committed by Serbs against Muslims?

14 A. That information was not precise. It was more of a general

15 nature. And as a result of that permanent session, the work of the

16 Presidency was very extensive. We talked about cooperation with UNPROFOR,

17 our international position, support coming from abroad, the successes of

18 certain units of BiH army, the situation in town. As a matter of fact,

19 the Presidency had very little information as to what was going on outside

20 of Sarajevo. The entire activity and all of the topics were more or less

21 related to Sarajevo.

22 Q. Was there any report or discussion about any prison or detention

23 facilities of any sort within Sarajevo?

24 A. Pejanovic and myself informed the Presidency about that based on

25 information that we received from the citizens who spoke to us on a daily

Page 22405

1 basis. Other members of the Presidency never spoke about that.

2 Q. And what -- what information did you convey to the Presidency on

3 that topic?

4 A. Part of the time -- or rather, all the time outside the sessions

5 the two of us would receive citizens and it would be mostly the Serb

6 citizens who approached us, complaining of all sorts of ill treatment.

7 Q. Did the Presidency receive any report or was there any discussion

8 about activities of the JNA outside Sarajevo?

9 A. No, no, not about that. The general term used was "the

10 aggressor," and then members of the Presidency of Muslim and Serb

11 ethnicities understood that as the JNA, the Army of Republika Srpska, and

12 all the other formations that were not under the command of the government

13 in Sarajevo.

14 Q. When you --

15 A. There was some discrepancies there when it came to HVO units,

16 which on the one hand acted independently and on the other hand in

17 alliance with the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

18 Q. Was there any discussion or report at Presidency meetings about

19 detention camps, prisons, any type of detention facilities away from

20 Sarajevo?

21 A. I can't remember. It is possible. Pejanovic and I mostly

22 focussed on private and official prisons in Sarajevo because Serb citizens

23 complained that their closest relatives had been taken away and detained,

24 that they did not have any information, that they had experienced their

25 apartments being broken into, losing their jobs, ill treatment, beatings,

Page 22406

1 and so on and so forth. In a way, we acted as protectors of the Serbian

2 population that remained in the town, and in that sense we asked from the

3 Presidency to take adequate measures.

4 Q. When did you finally leave Sarajevo in 1992?

5 A. This happened at the beginning of July 1992. To be more precise,

6 I believe that this was on the 5th or the 6th of July.

7 Q. And where --

8 A. Actually, I think it was on the 6th.

9 Q. And where did you go?

10 A. With the consent of President Izetbegovic and having informed

11 Fikret Abdic of that, I went to this meeting in Lukavica with the

12 representatives of the Serb side. I didn't know who exactly would be

13 there. It was the late Professor Koljevic who met me in Lukavica.

14 According to the previously agreed procedure, the UNPROFOR vehicle came to

15 the Presidency and Izetbegovic's daughter informed me that they were

16 waiting for me. I left the session, and in the UNPROFOR vehicle I went to

17 the central base of UNPROFOR in Sarajevo. And from there Mr. McKenzie

18 escorted me to Lukavica where I was met by Mr. Koljevic. That same

19 evening I went to Pale, also escorted by --

20 Q. Sorry, I just wanted to get one thing clear to avoid any possible

21 confusion. When you referred to this meeting in Lukavica, this is an

22 entirely separate from the meeting you've described earlier in your

23 evidence in Lukavica. Is that right?

24 A. That's right.

25 Q. The -- you met -- you said then at this later meeting you've been

Page 22407

1 talking about you met Professor Koljevic. Were any other representatives

2 of the Bosnian Serb leadership present?

3 A. No, there was just Mr. Koljevic.

4 Q. Did you -- did you engage in a discussion with Mr. Koljevic there

5 in Lukavica?

6 A. Yes, yes.

7 Q. And can you say what was the topic and content of that discussion?

8 A. One could say that it was always one and the same topic. It was

9 always the same topic: How to stop the war.

10 Q. Were any specific proposals or possible solutions discussed?

11 A. No, not at that stage.

12 Q. How long was the discussion between you and Mr. Koljevic?

13 A. Between half an hour and an hour. Now, in order to make it clear

14 for you as to how it was possible for us to talk so long without any

15 specific results of the talk, I must say that every conversation involved

16 some private topics, because those people I had known before, some of them

17 were my university colleagues, and I know that one of the topics that we

18 discussed was the situation of the Serbian population in Sarajevo. In

19 more specific terms, the brother of the late Professor Koljevic remained

20 in town together with some members of his family, and he asked me if I

21 knew anything about -- about them.

22 Q. So what was the point of the meeting?

23 A. At a Presidency session which had taken place before, I pointed to

24 a stupid situation that the Presidency and the way it was functioning was

25 in. I said that this was all very empty, without any purpose, because the

Page 22408

1 Presidency was in some sort of isolation. Communication with other parts

2 of Bosnia-Herzegovina for all members of the Presidency save for

3 Izetbegovic had been cut off. And at one point I said that we reminded of

4 a ship of fools and that we should do something, that we should take a

5 step towards communication with our surroundings. And in more precise

6 terms, I said that this communication should be with the Serb side and the

7 Croatian side, but not only in Bosnia-Herzegovina but also broader, and

8 that it would be good if one of the Croatian members of the Presidency

9 should go to Western Herzegovina and Zagreb, that one of the Serb

10 representatives should go to Pale and Belgrade, and that we should be

11 informed as to how things were outside of Sarajevo and what the political

12 positions were on both sides. A special initiative for that were

13 political changes that were taking place in Belgrade where Dobrica Cosic

14 became president and Milan Panic became Prime Minister.

15 Q. Did you, after that meeting with Mr. Koljevic, did you report back

16 to the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

17 A. I was not in a position to report to him, because after my meeting

18 in Lukavica I went to Pale with Koljevic, and two days later I went to

19 Belgrade. And I stayed in Belgrade after that.

20 Q. Did you go to Pale on your own initiative or at anybody else's

21 request or suggestion?

22 A. As I've said, my initiative was more in general terms, but the

23 positions in the Presidency were different. Izetbegovic supported my

24 initiative, and as far as I can remember, the Croatian representatives

25 showed some reservations to any attempt at establishing connections

Page 22409

1 between the Muslim and the Serb sides. However, after that meeting I

2 spoke to Fikret Abdic, with whom I had rather good relations, and our

3 offices were adjacent to each other, and I told him that I did not need

4 the consent of the Presidency for such an activity because the Presidency

5 was a collective body and I was equal amongst the many. And that the

6 positions of the Croat representatives were not binding upon. In that

7 sense, we spoke to Izetbegovic, who supported my initiative. And as a

8 result of that, the communication with UNPROFOR and the organisation of my

9 departure was in -- carried out by Mr. Izetbegovic's office.

10 In addition to my contacts in Lukavica and Pale, I also had

11 contacts in Belgrade along the same line --

12 Q. Let's come to Belgrade in chronological sequence. So your trip to

13 Pale was with some support or approval or encouragement from Mr. Abdic.

14 Is that right?

15 A. Both Abdic and Izetbegovic, which is even more important.

16 Q. And how long did you spend in Pale?

17 A. I stayed in Pale for two days.

18 Q. And who did you talk to?

19 A. I talked to the entire top leadership of Republika Srpska; namely,

20 Karadzic, Plavsic, Koljevic, and Mr. Krajisnik. The Prime Minister wasn't

21 there -- or maybe -- maybe yes. And also there were no military or police

22 leaders.

23 Q. So did you -- those four people you've mentioned, Karadzic,

24 Koljevic, Plavsic, Krajisnik, did you talk to them together? Separately?

25 Both together and separately?

Page 22410

1 A. You know, the situation in Pale was not regulated so as to provide

2 for separate offices for those people, and there was no formal procedure

3 in place. When I arrived, everybody was there. They were all gathered

4 there in a small room where we had dinner together, and we held a

5 conversation which was both formal and informal. And during the next

6 couple of days, I had individual meetings with some of them. I spent most

7 of the time in that room, and then somebody would come to that room, keep

8 me company, leave; another person would come. It all depended on the work

9 that was to be done.

10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, just for better understanding the

11 testimony of the witness:

12 You said you went to Lukavica, you went then to Pale, you went to

13 Belgrade. Did you ever return to, well, let's say, Muslim-controlled

14 Sarajevo in those years?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, you said something about the initiative. I did

17 understand that you felt the need to communication with Pale/Belgrade,

18 just as there was a need to communicate with the Croatian -- Zagreb. Now,

19 to communicate doesn't mean that if you start talking with them, that you

20 do not return. I -- I would have understood an initiative to communicate,

21 that is, to speak with them, to talk with them, and then return back and

22 see what to do with that. So therefore, the question put to you by

23 Mr. Stewart: Was it -- was it your own -- yes. He asked you: Did you go

24 to Pale at your own initiative or at anybody else's request or suggestion?

25 Then you answered very much in terms of what was needed as far as

Page 22411

1 communication is concerned, but it doesn't answer the question as to who

2 took the initiative not to return. I mean, going to Pale, going to

3 Belgrade, and then not to return to Sarajevo. Could you tell us what made

4 you decide - was it decided before you went or during the trip? - that you

5 would stay in Serb-controlled area or in Serbia rather than to return to,

6 well, your own Presidency in Sarajevo?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I left, as I said. I went in

8 agreement with the leadership in Sarajevo, with Izetbegovic specifically.

9 He was the person -- or rather, his office organised my departure from

10 Sarajevo with UNPROFOR. Now, I decided to stay in Belgrade myself; I made

11 that personal decision. And I informed -- I sent a fax to the Presidency

12 or to Izetbegovic in person, actually, and I informed him of some of the

13 elements of discussions I had had in Belgrade and the talks I -- well, I

14 couldn't speak about the talks in Pale publicly. That would have been

15 indiscreet. I also gave news agencies statements official statements from

16 my talks with the president of Yugoslavia, who was Mr. Cosic, and Prime

17 Minister Panic, and my meeting with the patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox

18 church, Pavle. My decision to stay wasn't made straight away. I was

19 rather hurt in Sarajevo -- or rather, I was injured in Sarajevo and went

20 to Belgrade for treatment, and during that treatment I decided not to

21 return anymore, and then I informed Sarajevo of that decision of mine.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that answer.

23 Mr. Stewart, please proceed. It was unclear to me when the

24 witness decided not to return, whether it was in Lukavica or Pale or

25 Belgrade, but it's clear to me now. Please proceed.

Page 22412

1 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.

2 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, when you were in Pale, did you have any individual

3 meetings, which I mean just the two of you, with Mr. Krajisnik?

4 A. I don't remember exactly, but I think that at a certain point

5 Mr. Krajisnik did come in and we exchanged a few sentences but nothing

6 specific. And Koljevic and Mrs. Plavsic would come in in that same

7 fashion. There certainly weren't any important exchanges.

8 Q. When you say "come in," come in where or to whom?

9 A. They would come into the room that I was in, the premises. To

10 make things clearer, we conducted our talks that first evening when I

11 arrived. However, since I asked to continue to Belgrade from Pale, I

12 needed a certain amount of time to have my departure to Belgrade prepared.

13 Quite obviously they weren't able to see to that very quickly.

14 Q. What I was getting at, Mr. Kecmanovic, was when you said

15 Mr. Krajisnik came in, or Mr. Koljevic came in, Mrs. Plavsic came in, do

16 you mean come into a room where you were sitting, waiting, or come into a

17 room where you were already there with somebody else?

18 A. I wasn't sitting there, waiting. I wrote -- read all the

19 newspapers that I didn't have an opportunity of doing in Sarajevo. I had

20 taken some of my own papers and documents and notes, which I put into

21 order. So it wasn't just waiting. I was able to move around, and I would

22 leave the building from time to time, have a walk, got a bit of fresh air,

23 had breakfast, and things like that. But that room, that premises --

24 those premises, the room I was in, where I was in most frequently was

25 where they moved around. It's a relatively small area, small space. And

Page 22413

1 as far as I was able to see, there wasn't any special room that was

2 reserved for the president, the vice-president, the ministers, or anything

3 like that. It was all very improvised, the whole thing.

4 Q. Did you have any proposals or positive suggestions that you were

5 putting to the Bosnian Serb leadership in Pale during that time you were

6 there?

7 A. In this case, as opposed to my previous departures to the other

8 side and the contacts, if I can put it that way, that I had and that I

9 took part in, this time there was no specific agreement with the

10 Presidency or the presiding person, who was Mr. Izetbegovic; it was more

11 or less a mission not only to see the general mood and atmosphere on the

12 other side. We wanted to find a way out of the situation, to see whether

13 there were any political solutions, any ideas being put forward on those

14 lines. So that on this occasion my aim, my reason for going, was not

15 agreed upon by the members of the Presidency or Izetbegovic personally.

16 Q. But that doesn't quite go to the point of my question,

17 Mr. Kecmanovic. With all that, did you -- you, in fact, have any

18 proposals or positive suggestions that you were putting?

19 A. I told the -- told the Serbian leadership what the situation in

20 Sarajevo was. I said that there was a very difficult humanitarian problem

21 and that the Serb population was a group at risk in an otherwise very

22 difficult situation and that it was the Serb population, the Serb

23 inhabitants, that were hit hardest and that were under jeopardy most. And

24 in order to ask them to do something for, of course, all the town's

25 inhabitants but to make the situation easier particularly for the Serb

Page 22414

1 population because I considered them to be additional -- I considered them

2 to be the right people to see to problems of that kind since they had the

3 legitimacy of the Serb people and the Serbian Democratic Party was a party

4 that the Serbs voted for first and foremost. And for the party I

5 represented, I assume there was a mixed voting from all three ethnic

6 groups.

7 Q. How much of the overall discussions that you had in Pale on that

8 visit, as far as you can put some sort of percentage on it or give some

9 guidance, how much of the discussion related to Sarajevo?

10 A. Most of it. I would say 80 per cent of it. Or let me be more

11 specific: I presented the difficulties, I explained the difficult

12 situation in Sarajevo, and the other side gave me information about the

13 very difficult situation around Sarajevo. And they warned and cautioned

14 me that the artillery from Sarajevo was firing at Serb positions around

15 town all the time, and I spoke about what I felt to be the situation in

16 town, that the Serb artillery was targeting towards town. Then they

17 warned me and said that the BH army -- or rather, the Muslim army

18 artillery was within the city zones at the most sensitive points and that

19 they were very often in a situation where they had to respond to the fire

20 coming at them. Of course, the fire was concentrated in the locations

21 from which the other side was shooting.

22 Q. Was there -- was there any member of the Bosnian Serb leadership

23 with whom you particularly discussed those matters that you've just

24 mentioned; artillery placements in and around Sarajevo?

25 A. No, nobody particular. As I said, there weren't [Realtime

Page 22415

1 transcript read in error "were"] people there who dealt with military

2 matters. Karadzic was there, who of course had the main say. He was the

3 number one man of that leadership. Mrs. Plavsic would take part quite a

4 bit as well, and Mr. Koljevic. Of course Mr. Krajisnik took part in the

5 discussions as well.

6 Q. Was there any discussion during that visit of yours to Pale about

7 crimes committed in the course of the war?

8 A. Nothing specific. It referred to the casualties, the victims, in

9 a state of war, and that was a difficult situation generally. A component

10 part were the casualties on all sides.

11 Q. Was there any discussion about detention facilities anywhere in

12 Bosnia and Herzegovina?

13 A. I spoke about private prisons in Sarajevo where Serbs were

14 incarcerated and the opposite side did not tell me about the situation

15 outside of Sarajevo. It all must sound a little restricted and -- but it

16 must be borne in mind that I had those discussions some 10 or 15 years

17 ago.

18 Q. What was the point about the private prisons in Sarajevo?

19 A. In Sarajevo a chaotic situation prevailed. The city was divided

20 into zones controlled by some sort of paramilitary formations, and it was

21 very difficult to determine their links to the powers that be, the

22 authorities, and their relationship with the authorities. There were

23 formations which were completely independent and which were in conflict

24 with each other. Then there were other formations who had some formal

25 ties with the authorities, but it wasn't quite clear how much they were

Page 22416

1 under the authorities' control, whether they were or not. So these

2 paramilitary formations, which sometimes behaved as military formations,

3 sometimes as police formations and units, actually had power and authority

4 in the various districts. They held power in their own hands, basically.

5 They had their leader, or leaders. Those leaders were for the most part

6 people whom I knew by sight. Some I knew from Sarajevo -- life in

7 Sarajevo before the war, other people were along the fringes of society.

8 They were bouncers in clubs, bars, people dealing in shady business, they

9 were muscle men, things like that, and they were in power, they held power

10 in their hands. They had their own units, armed formations, and among

11 other things each of those districts and zones had their own prisons. The

12 locations of those prisons were not officially recognised and officially

13 known, but, quite simply, many people were taken to those places where

14 they were abused, held for several days. Some people were never seen

15 again; all traces of them was lost.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, could I ask for a clarification of one

17 of the previous answers of the witness.

18 May I take you back to one of your previous answers. You were

19 asked whether there were any members of the Bosnian Serb leadership. You

20 particularly discussed those matters, and these were artillery fire, et

21 cetera, with -- and then you said: "Nobody particular. As I said, there

22 were people there who dealt with military matters. Karadzic was there."

23 You mentioned Mrs. Plavsic --

24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter said not military matters, I

25 believe.

Page 22417

1 MR. STEWART: That's what I remember, Your Honour, I was going to

2 comment. It was "not" as the introduction to that answer.

3 JUDGE ORIE: It's not entirely clear at this moment where this

4 correction was made to line --

5 MR. STEWART: Well, it's -- it was that -- it was part of that

6 sentence. I understand the interpreter to be suggesting, Your Honour,

7 that we're talking about the second sentence of that answer as it appears

8 in the transcript.

9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter who interpreted believes she

10 said "not military matters," but she might be wrong.

11 JUDGE ORIE: That would be in the line: "There were no people

12 there who dealt not with military matters." Is that -- I'm looking at

13 this moment at page 18, line 18 and 19. Is that what you're referring to

14 at this moment?

15 THE INTERPRETER: Your Honour, all I can say is that when I did

16 the interpretation I seem to remember having said "not military matters,"

17 but whether I said "not," I can't be sure now.

18 JUDGE ORIE: You're referring to that line --

19 MR. STEWART: My recollection is there were no people -- I

20 certainly remember the negative sense of the sentence, Your Honour,

21 because it would have struck me if it had not been that.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. So there was no one that dealt with military

23 matters. Yes, that's my recollection as well. Then you mentioned Mr.

24 Karadzic, whom you said he had a main say. You mentioned Mrs. Plavsic,

25 who you said would take part quite a bit as well; and Mr. Koljevic. And

Page 22418

1 then finally you said of course Mr. Krajisnik took part in the discussions

2 as well. Would you mean that you would discuss with all of them in the

3 absence of any, well, say specialists in military matters, that with the

4 four persons mentioned you discussed these military matters? Is that how

5 I should understand your testimony?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To be quite precise, what I said is

7 this: I said there were not any military experts present, so we didn't

8 speak about military matters specifically. But during the discussion

9 there were those four people present, it was a conversation over dinner,

10 and they took part in that conversation. Karadzic always had the main say

11 as the most senior person by virtue of his position among them.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And when you say "the discussion," you're

13 referring to the discussion about the Serb artillery and the Muslim

14 artillery, which one had to respond or fired at, et cetera. That's that

15 portion of the discussion you're referring to?

16 THE WITNESS: [No verbal response]

17 JUDGE ORIE: I see you're nodding yes. For the transcript --

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart.


21 Q. By the time you arrived in Pale on this occasion, had you heard

22 news or suggestions that there was ill treatment of civilians in Bosnia

23 and Herzegovina in any form of detention facility?

24 A. There was mention of that in the reduced media and the

25 war-oriented propaganda, and in the Presidency as well. But there was

Page 22419

1 never any specific, precise information about it. There was general talk

2 about that, that there was suffering, that many civilians had lost their

3 lives because there was fighting going on on all sides, and that the

4 Muslim people were suffering first and foremost, that their houses had

5 been burnt, that many had been killed. But they were not detailed,

6 precise pieces of information. It was talked about as if the whole of the

7 surrounding parts of Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina was in the flames

8 of war in which everything was ablaze, in which people were losing their

9 lives, and things like that, but not any precise, specific information

10 coming in to us in the Presidency.

11 Q. When you first arrived in Pale on that occasion in July, based on

12 everything you'd heard and discussions in the Presidency, whatever news

13 you'd received, did you believe yourself at that point that there was a

14 problem about war crimes, ill treatment of civilians in any part of Bosnia

15 and Herzegovina?

16 A. Well, it was like this: I had direct access just in Sarajevo, but

17 everything else that I could have heard was second-hand information and

18 prejudice, just as the information that I listened to from Radio Pale were

19 biased. And I said in our talk yesterday that the perception by the

20 population was such that one side accepted just one set of information,

21 the other side accepted another set of information, and the two sides

22 didn't believe in these various sets of information being put out. As far

23 as I can see, I realised that the truth was not on any one side. It was

24 war and there were casualties on all sides because that's a component part

25 of war, suffering and destruction on all sides. And apart from that, it

Page 22420

1 was a civil war; therefore, it could only have been worse.

2 Q. Was your personal belief that things were happening which were

3 worse than inevitably to be expected in a civil war and things were

4 happening that were war crimes?

5 A. Would you be more specific, please.

6 Q. I'll take it in stages, Mr. Kecmanovic. What you said is correct,

7 is it, you had a clear personal conception of what inevitably would happen

8 in a civil war; that there would be terrible harm to people and property.

9 That was clear, wasn't it?

10 A. Precisely.

11 Q. And, Mr. Kecmanovic, at that time you -- can we take it you also

12 -- not necessarily with legal precision, but you also had yourself some

13 clear concept of things which were not permissible in war, particularly in

14 relation to treatment of civilians. You had a clear idea of that

15 distinction, didn't you?

16 A. At that point in time I didn't deal with the international legal

17 aspects of war crimes, nor any laws on war. But what I can tell you is

18 this, from my own experience in Sarajevo, which was my direct experience:

19 You know, people who some -- who a month before or one or two weeks before

20 behaved in the kind of way that I had been used to, they were my friends,

21 my neighbours, my colleagues at work, we had normal relationships and more

22 than that. Overnight, however, this mood changed, the general atmosphere

23 changed, and you could see changes in the course of the day, as the days

24 passed.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kecmanovic, until now it's not an answer to the

Page 22421

1 question. The question was whether at the time you had yourself some

2 clear concept of things that were permissible or not permissible. Then

3 you said you did not deal with the international legal aspects of crime.

4 I do understand that. But did you know what was forbidden even without

5 studying the international law aspects? Some people, without ever having

6 seen a law, know that it's not permitted to kill your neighbour, as where

7 -- so even such a knowledge, such an awareness, may exist even without

8 studying the law. Were you aware of that and specifically what was

9 permissible to civilians and non-civilians? Did you have any awareness of

10 that?

11 I think that was the question, Mr. Stewart?

12 MR. STEWART: Yes, that's entirely fair, Your Honour.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I can tell you is this:

14 Practically everything that happened around me in Sarajevo came into the

15 category of impermissible acts, fell into that category, impermissible

16 things. However, before that I said that that was a completely

17 deregulated state. I was a member of the state Presidency, for example;

18 however, I was not able to be fully informed or certainly not to control

19 or influence events in the district in which I lived, for instance.

20 Starting from that, and then everything else was abnormal and could have

21 been -- people were taken -- could have been considered reprehensible.

22 People were taken away, they were incarcerated. All traces were lost of

23 that. The divisions, ethnic decisions, were impermissible in a situation

24 like that, but it was a chronic state in Sarajevo during that time.

25 Of course, the fact hat it was chronic doesn't change anything in

Page 22422

1 evaluating the situation and sizing it up. When I said I didn't deal with

2 the legal aspects, I said that a little ironically, I was being ironic,

3 but of course everything that happened was not actually permissible.

4 JUDGE ORIE: You made a distinction before between I would say

5 private gangs and what you saw to be impermissible. Was that exclusively

6 behaviour of private gangs or did you also discern impermissible

7 behaviour, from whatever side, not committed by private gangs?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you're quite right. In

9 addition to those private gangs, there were those who had the insignia of

10 the official army or police, the BH army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they

11 too engaged in impermissible acts.

12 JUDGE ORIE: And I said before from both sides. Did you observe

13 any impermissible acts by the opposite armed forces?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All that I did do was hear about

15 this, and this referred to artillery fire that came into town from up on

16 the hill. That was something that somebody living in town was present in

17 a very direct manner; otherwise, I didn't have any other contacts with the

18 other side. I didn't have any immediate experience as to what was

19 happening outside town, but the situation in town is -- was as I have

20 described it to you. There was artillery fire from the surrounding hills,

21 which was held -- which were held by the Serbs. That was it.

22 JUDGE ORIE: From what you saw, and I now refer to what

23 Mr. Stewart earlier asked of you, from the level of awareness you had on

24 what was permissible and not permissible in war, the effects of artillery

25 from the hills, as you said, did that give you the impression that it was

Page 22423

1 all permissible or did you also gain the impression that some of this fire

2 was impermissible? Just to give you an example: If you see a -- let's

3 just assume a tank being hit by a missile, my first impression would be

4 that the missile attacked a clear military object, being a tank, whereas I

5 can imagine other situations where the effects of the artillery fire would

6 not be obviously permissible or perhaps give an impression of being

7 impermissible. From what you observed in town, did you gain any such

8 impression?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's not difficult for me to

10 answer that question of yours at all. I was down in the town myself, so I

11 was a potential victim of that artillery fire. So that is also something

12 that I experienced very directly, and I risked my life on a daily basis

13 being there. But I wasn't able to assess, nor am I an expert in the

14 field, of whether a projectile coming from the hill had missed a target,

15 missed a military target, for instance, and then hit something else or

16 not. All I can say and all I know is that that firing did exist, there

17 was shooting, and there were people who fell victim to that shooting, and

18 that I, myself, moving around town might have been hit by the same token.

19 And most of the citizens stuck to their own homes or didn't leave town

20 much. I moved around. So they were trying to protect themselves, but for

21 my job I had to move around town all the time, leave my home. And all

22 this was a risk. It was an adventure that you undertook that you could

23 have paid for with your life.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would one be safe if one would stay at home?

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely, because they were

Page 22424

1 projectiles which were not -- didn't have the explosive force and power to

2 destroy houses. So if you were indoors, in a house, especially if you

3 were in a more secure part of the building -- you see, mostly - and I did

4 this myself when I was at home, as did my family - we were in rooms that

5 were facing the front -- or rather, we weren't in the rooms facing the

6 front. We were in the back rooms that were not facing the outside world,

7 if I can put it that way. And the best places for rallying were the

8 landings between the apartments, between the flats. Everybody would

9 congregate there on these landings and they became a sort of joint sitting

10 room because that was considered to be the safest place, these landings

11 between the flats. And some of the inhabitants in the buildings who were

12 more afraid and who didn't have nerves that weren't that strong went to

13 cellars and basements and took refuge there. I myself was not able to

14 ensure that safety for myself because I just had to go to work every day

15 and come back home from work. I had a job to do.

16 JUDGE ORIE: So do I understand you well to say that if you'd stay

17 at home, that if you'd stayed at the side of your home that was not

18 exposed to -- to fire, that then you would be relatively safe but you

19 should take the precaution not to stay at the exposed side because you

20 were not safe there. At least there was a risk not to be ignored of

21 firing reaching the home or the apartment.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say that my apartment was

23 specifically targeted, but you know that in artillery activity you can't

24 -- when artillery fire was opened, we as civilians didn't know what their

25 targets were. In addition to that, there were artillery batteries in

Page 22425

1 defence of town that were deployed in different places, and there would

2 often be return fire. But that fire was not very precise and there was no

3 guarantee that a shrapnel wouldn't fall close or that a shell would miss

4 and that it wouldn't fall close to where we were. It did happen. It was

5 known to happen.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.

7 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.


9 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, in the course of your visit to Pale, did you ever

10 suggest to any of the Bosnian Serb leadership there that they or anybody

11 under their control had crossed the line from between legitimate conduct

12 of war and criminal conduct of war?

13 A. Could you please be more precise in your question.

14 Q. Professor Kecmanovic, let's lay some groundwork then. We can

15 agree -- let's say -- use His Honour's example that normally speaking if

16 you see a tank taken out, there's a very strong presumption that that's a

17 legitimate military activity; unfortunately, though, the entire

18 circumstances of the situation are it's part of conduct of a war. We can

19 understand that. Agreed? You have to say something into the microphone.

20 A. I agree.

21 Q. We can also agree, can't we, that take the most terrible things,

22 if you send millions to extermination camps and kill them, that's plainly,

23 utterly, illegal. Everybody knows that, don't they?

24 A. Of course.

25 Q. Somewhere between those extremes, there's a line, hard to define

Page 22426

1 with precision, but you understand -- we understand the concept of there

2 being a line, Mr. Kecmanovic. Correct? That's all I'm seeking your

3 agreement --

4 A. In theory, yes.

5 Q. Well, in theory and in reality, in practice, Mr. Kecmanovic, there

6 is such a line, isn't there?

7 A. If you will allow me. Ten or 15 years later, as I sit here in the

8 courtroom, it is very different to discuss those things, especially your

9 views are different. I remember the situation well, even after those 10

10 or 15 years. On both sides those were town neighbourhoods, and when there

11 is artillery on both sides targeting town neighbourhoods, everything is so

12 close to each other and it is very difficult to achieve such an ideal

13 situation so as to hit your exact target. Even if the hits were precise,

14 there was still collateral damage because those artillery nests were

15 between the buildings. And as far as I know, this is not only on this

16 side but on the other as well.

17 Q. I'm going to stop you. I'm not making myself clear here; that's

18 plain.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I think we could cut matters short.

20 Because lengthy discussion on whether lines are there in theory only and

21 how it worked out, I think the core of your question was, and I'll put it

22 to Mr. Kecmanovic --

23 MR. STEWART: May I just comment this, Your Honour: I'm informed

24 that the translation into B/C/S is not regarded as clear by the B/C/S

25 speakers, which I think I include Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Sladojevic. I

Page 22427

1 just raise that concern.

2 JUDGE ORIE: In general or a specific point?

3 MR. STEWART: Well, I haven't discussed with him what the specific

4 point is, but I can do, Your Honour. It clearly relates to this most

5 recent --

6 JUDGE ORIE: Could we do the following: I try again to put the

7 question as I understand it to the witness --

8 MR. STEWART: Certainly, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE ORIE: -- and see what the relevance still is of any

10 imprecision in earlier translation.

11 Mr. Kecmanovic, I think Mr. Stewart wanted to know whether you

12 ever said to your interlocutors in Pale: Be aware that what happens in

13 the war is not only horrible but even goes beyond what would be

14 permissible in a war? Did you ever say such a thing to your

15 interlocutors?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember having said that,

17 but I thought that this was implied, that it goes without saying, that

18 they were aware of that just as I was. We were in a territory that was

19 not large. They were in one part of the town; I was in another part of

20 the town. Sarajevo itself was divided into two parts; a smaller part of

21 the new part of town with the Serb forces, and the other side where the

22 Muslim forces were predominant. The distance was not that big.

23 JUDGE ORIE: If you say it goes without saying that they were

24 aware of that, just as I was, were you referring to a way of conducting

25 hostilities which was impermissible even in war?

Page 22428

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is absolutely inadmissible.

2 There is no doubt about that. But those things happened in both parts of

3 the town. Let me be more precise. There is a river flowing through town;

4 its name is Miljacka, and in some parts of town only Miljacka separated

5 the two sides and the artillery fire was opened on both sides and the

6 consequences of that artillery fire was the same on both sides.

7 Therefore, I could not tell them anything new. I could not inform them of

8 anything they didn't know already.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's still not entirely clear, Mr. Stewart. At

10 the same time, the witness said he never raised such an issue but he

11 thought they would be aware, just as he was aware. And then we get a few

12 lines which might not demonstrate precise and full awareness of where the

13 lines should be drawn in a combat situation. Of course if you want to

14 further explore the matter, fine, but it's certainly that the matter has

15 not been raised by the witness, that seems to be clear.

16 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour, I'm not going to carry the topic

17 further.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm looking at the clock and I'd like to -- ask

19 Madam Usher, first of all, to escort the witness out of the courtroom.

20 We'll have a break, Mr. Kecmanovic.

21 [The witness stands down]

22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, just for scheduling purposes, what could

23 we expect in today, perhaps even tomorrow? You indicated that next

24 witness would not -- you couldn't start the next witness until Thursday,

25 but what is our perspective?

Page 22429

1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, as far as this witness is concerned,

2 when we -- when we leave Pale, which we should do quite soon, we go very

3 briefly to Belgrade and then I'm going to tidy up as best I can, Your

4 Honour, those issues relating to the meetings that we discussed earlier.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The itinerary would take you how much time?

6 MR. STEWART: Yes, it's only those topics, Your Honour. Within

7 half an hour, I would suspect.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Then we know what to expect approximately. We will

9 adjourn and resume at five minutes to 11.00.

10 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.

11 [The witness entered court]

12 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.

14 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, I've handed in

15 to the Court through the Registry an extract from a book. Your Honours

16 may be familiar with it. I have a copy of the book in court for

17 reference. It's -- the author is Glenny --

18 JUDGE ORIE: Who is, from what I remember, a British journalist.

19 MR. STEWART: He is, Your Honour, correct. And it's called "The

20 Fall of Yugoslavia." I have the third edition with a new epilogue, third

21 edition, 1996. Your Honour, in accordance with the usual practice, I've

22 put a couple of pages around it for context, but the whole book is

23 available.

24 JUDGE ORIE: I take it you want to exhibit this?

25 MR. STEWART: Yes, please, Your Honour, and I'm going to -- of

Page 22430

1 course it's in English --

2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar -- I take it just the pages you

3 presented?

4 MR. STEWART: Just the extract is all I'm proposing and the book

5 is, of course, available.

6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be D157, Your Honours.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

8 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, there's one particular paragraph, it's

9 about 15 lines, it's at page 202 and it begins with the words: "Nenad

10 Kecmanovic." So that indicates why that paragraph is the paragraph --

11 JUDGE ORIE: It's a good start for the paragraph.

12 MR. STEWART: It's certainly a good start for this witness, Your

13 Honour.

14 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, forgive me if I don't hand it to you because it's

15 simply going to be translated for you from the English into your own

16 language.

17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I ask for that to be done. It is

18 only about 15 lines.



21 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic.

22 A. I wanted to ask for a short intervention, as I believe that before

23 the break I was not clear in what I said. May I please have the floor to

24 say that?


Page 22431

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. When I mentioned that

2 the Serbian leadership was in a position to know what the situation was

3 and that I didn't think it necessary for me to ask them or to tell them

4 anything. I gave you the example of the Miljacka river as a small stream

5 and I said hat it was a separation of the two parts of the city of

6 Sarajevo. Those two parts of Sarajevo are very close to each other.

7 They're only separated by bridges. On the one side there was the Serbian

8 population, and on the other side there was the Muslim population. The

9 Muslim artillery opened fire on the Serbian part of town and vice versa.

10 And the same sequelae that I felt in my part of town from the Serb

11 artillery, the same sequelae must have been on the other side as a result

12 of the Muslim artillery. In both cases the artillery fire was opened on

13 densely populated areas. And this is what I meant when I said that they

14 must have been aware of the consequences because they themselves suffered

15 the same consequences at the hands of the other party.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's perfectly clear.

17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour.

18 Q. Yes, perhaps I should say, Mr. Kecmanovic, that the passage I'm

19 inviting the interpreters to deal with, I am going to ask you whether you

20 agree with it, whether there's anything in it that you disagree with.

21 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I don't know whether it would be

22 helpful for Mr. Kecmanovic just to have a piece of paper and make any

23 notes while he listens.


25 MR. STEWART: I thought perhaps that might. That's completely --

Page 22432

1 JUDGE ORIE: If you're an author, you need a piece of paper.

2 MR. STEWART: Well, I think so. Do you -- thank you very much.

3 Is Your Honour then ready for --

4 JUDGE ORIE: I'm ready to. You'll read it yourself, I take it?


6 JUDGE ORIE: I mean somebody has to read it.

7 MR. STEWART: "Nenad Kecmanovic served for a short time after the

8 war had erupted on the Bosnian Presidency. In August of 1992, he

9 travelled to Belgrade with the approval of President Izetbegovic to hold

10 talks with Slobodan Milosevic although he never returned to Bosnia. En

11 route, he stopped off at the Serb headquarters in Pale when I spent a

12 boozy evening with him and Nikola Koljevic, Karadzic's deputy."

13 Q. May I just pause there. It says "August 1992," Mr. Kecmanovic,

14 whereas you have told us early July 1992. Does the date August in the

15 book there cause you to reconsider or do you wish to stick with what you

16 had told the Trial Chamber about the date?

17 A. I think -- actually, I'm sure that this information is wrong. I

18 am not disputing what he says here, but Mr. Glenny, whom I met and whom I

19 saw in Belgrade, never checked this with me. And it is also not true that

20 I went to talk to Milosevic. I didn't meet with Milosevic at the time. I

21 met with Cosic, Babic [as interpreted], and Patriarch Pavle. And a third

22 thing, if that is at all important, I was not the one who drank, and maybe

23 that is why I remember so well what happened. It is true that we dined

24 together and that this dinner lasted for a while - all the evening, as a

25 matter of fact - and that Professor Koljevic was with the two of us.

Page 22433

1 Q. Where would -- can you say how Mr. Glenny, the author, might have

2 got the idea that Koljevic was Mr. Karadzic's deputy?

3 A. I can't remember how it looked in particular stages, but I know

4 that at a certain stage there was the Presidency of Republika Srpska.

5 Karadzic was the president of that Presidency, and the others were members

6 of the Presidency. And then in the second stage he was president and they

7 were vice-presidents. And by being a vice-president, together with

8 Mrs. Koljevic [as interpreted], actually he was number two. He actually

9 shared place number two with Mrs. Plavsic, and I believe that in that

10 sense this was true, or was said like that.

11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, page 36, line 9, the second name there,

12 Babic, Your Honour, the witness said Panic.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's now corrected for the transcript.

14 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.

15 Q. Then continuing the text here.

16 "Kecmanovic was in a state of depression and anger as the Bosnian

17 Serb news agency, SRNA, had blown his cover and reported erroneously that

18 he had fled Sarajevo for his safety, having arrived in Pale 'in a very

19 poor physical condition' (which implied that he had been beaten up by

20 Muslims)."

21 Do you agree with or otherwise comment on that passage?

22 A. I don't agree.

23 Q. What specifically don't you agree with?

24 A. I don't agree with two of the three things. I don't agree with

25 the statement that I fled Sarajevo; to the contrary, I went very

Page 22434

1 officially, very openly. I also don't agree that I had been beaten up in

2 Sarajevo; that is absolutely not correct. And I can only agree with the

3 allegation that I was depressive, but this feeling was common to all the

4 citizens during the war and -- and political leaderships on the three

5 sides were not immune to that. But what might have created an -- a

6 stronger impression of that was the fact that I was not prepared to talk

7 to the journalists who were up there, although I knew all of them from

8 before the war. I simply believe that my stay there should have been as

9 discreet as possible. I was angry that the information had leaked because

10 that part of my journey should have become secret in agreement with

11 Izetbegovic. The contacts between the two sides, as a rule, were secret

12 because the grassroots did not look upon -- favourably upon such meetings

13 when I arrived in Belgrade. In Belgrade, people had a different opinion

14 about those things.

15 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, there may not be disagreement here, because you

16 don't have advantage of the text, but in fairness to the author he is

17 saying that it had been reported erroneously that you had fled Sarajevo

18 and that you had arrived in a very poor physical condition. You appear to

19 agree with the author that that report was wrong. Is that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And then it continues: "During the course of the evening --"

22 A. I agree. I simply did not hear this no or negative sentence in

23 the sentence.

24 Q. So it continues: "During the course of the evening, he --" and

25 that's you, Mr. Kecmanovic -- "he cheered up a little and said to

Page 22435

1 Koljevic: 'You know, you are all too personally involved with Sarajevo

2 and I think that is why you spend so much time on it.' 'Yes,' Koljevic

3 nodded his head sagely as is appropriate for the leading Serbo-Croat

4 translator of Shakespeare. He then added absent-mindedly as an

5 afterthought, 'Of course with everybody worrying about Sarajevo, it means

6 that they don't pay much attention to what's going on elsewhere.'"

7 That's a number of years ago, Mr. Kecmanovic, but does that ring

8 true, did some such exchange take place?

9 A. Of course when it comes to more subtle things, my memory doesn't

10 serve me that well. It's easier for me to either confirm or refute some

11 specific things. I don't think that this is very precisely put. I

12 believe that --

13 Q. Was it your view that the -- all the people in Pale were too

14 personally involved with Sarajevo?

15 A. One might say so, and I was no exception. I believe that I said

16 it in the first person plural. Like on so many occasions during my

17 testimony, you have often asked me about the situation in Bosnia and

18 Herzegovina and I have told you every time that I am familiar with the

19 situation in Sarajevo. We were all focussed on Sarajevo because we

20 resided there and Mr. Koljevic was not born in Sarajevo but in Bosnian

21 Krajina in Banja Luka. But he spent most of his time in Sarajevo; that's

22 why all of our conversations focussed on Sarajevo and things that were

23 happening there.

24 Q. Now, I finished with that passage.

25 MR. STEWART: And, Your Honours, I have nothing more on that.

Page 22436

1 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, you then -- you then went straight from Pale to

2 Belgrade by plane. Is that right?

3 A. No, not by plane but by helicopter. There was one offer on the

4 table -- actually, there was a discussion as to how we would go to

5 Belgrade and --

6 Q. Yes, Mr. Kecmanovic, I'm not --

7 A. And I believe it is important --

8 Q. Well, you said it's important. If it's important to explain how

9 you got to Belgrade, please do.

10 A. Maybe not, but I'll be brief: There was a proposal for me to go

11 with Mr. Karadzic by helicopter, which was supposed to leave immediately.

12 But that was a helicopter carrying wounded, and since I was no longer

13 popular amongst the Serbs because I was on the other side, I believed that

14 this might have been rather awkward, so I opted for the second variant,

15 which was for me to leave on the following day in a smaller helicopter

16 with Mr. Koljevic. And this is what transpired, and that's why I stayed a

17 day longer.

18 Q. Did the Bosnian Serb leadership in Pale regard you as being on the

19 other side?

20 A. This is a very complex question, and the answer is both yes and

21 no. I can't answer otherwise.

22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... can you answer it, in the

23 first place, in relatively simple terms, Mr. Kecmanovic?

24 A. Probably it will be more precise to try and describe the situation

25 from my point of view and how I view the leadership in Pale. On the one

Page 22437

1 hand this was the other side to the conflict, as I have already mentioned.

2 I was in the town of Sarajevo and I was at a risk from the Serb artillery.

3 However, at the same time those were my fellow nationals, people whom I

4 knew well before the war. And as I told you yesterday very explicitly, I

5 believed that the event in the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina when the

6 Serb side was over voted, which was a huge injustice, that that was an

7 immediate political introduction to the war. And this had -- this had

8 made my position very relative to a certain extent.

9 Q. But in -- in bare terms, were you regarded by Dr. Karadzic and the

10 other Bosnian Serb leaders in Pale as being on the other side in this

11 conflict?

12 A. I'd say that they considered me as a person who is on the other

13 side but is not their enemy.

14 Q. In Belgrade you said whom you met. Did anything of practical

15 usefulness emerge from the discussions you had in Belgrade?

16 A. It's hard to talk about any practical use. In any case, those

17 talks had more content than the talks in Pale. In my conversation with

18 Dobrica Cosic, Professor Koljevic attended one part of that conversation.

19 Then Dobrica Cosic, with whom I found common grounds, unlike with

20 Koljevic, then Cosic asked Koljevic to leave us alone. Cosic was very

21 concerned and worried when I told him some things. He was very depressed.

22 At some points I could even notice that he perceived the situation even

23 worse than I who had been there. He showed more desire to help me. He

24 noticed that I had pain in my back, and he made sure that I was given

25 medical attention. My back pain was the result of the time spent in

Page 22438

1 Sarajevo. I will go back to that if necessary.

2 As for my meeting with Panic, the situation was absolutely

3 different. Panic exuded optimism, great optimism. With regard to the

4 situation, he thought things could be resolved quickly. And on the one

5 hand he really changed me with his optimism, but on the other hand I

6 realised that he did not understand the situation. I tried to make his

7 optimism more realistic. He was talking about buying out weapons from all

8 the three sides, approaching the matter in a very business-like manner.

9 And I told him that people were buying more rather than selling weapons.

10 I told him that I would like to join in his optimism if there was good

11 reason for it.

12 As for my conversation with Patriarch Pavle, we spoke in general

13 terms. He is a very deeply religious person, and in our conversation he

14 made a lot of reference to the Holy books. As for my concrete proposal

15 that the episcopate of Bosnia who was in charge of the general area of

16 Sarajevo to come to Sarajevo, the -- his predecessor had died and he was

17 just appointed in Belgrade. I asked for this new episcopate to come to

18 Sarajevo because that would mean a lot, not only for the Serbs and the

19 followers of the Orthodox religion, but for all the citizens it would have

20 been a symbolic sign that the situation was calming down. However, the

21 patriarch told me that such a decision is beyond his power and that I

22 should talk to the episcopate himself. And then he organised a meeting

23 for -- between me and the episcopate in the church building. And in a

24 nutshell, that would be the long and the short of all the three

25 conversations that I had.

Page 22439

1 Q. You said that you felt -- you realised that Mr. Panic did not

2 understand the situation. That's page 41, lines 19 and 20. Apart from

3 what you indicated about buying and selling of weapons, can you say what

4 else you realised Mr. Panic did not understand about the situation?

5 A. I had the impression that he was looking at things in more simple

6 terms and that he was simplifying them, although they were not simple at

7 all. At one point he told me: The two of us, we'll go there together,

8 and then we will resolve the situation very quickly. The war had already

9 been under way, and in Sarajevo I had witnessed the growing hatred among

10 the people, and I was absolutely clear that things would not be that

11 simple to resolve.

12 Q. Did you report back to anyone in Sarajevo the outcome of your

13 discussions in Belgrade?

14 A. As I knew that I would be hospitalised in the next few days, I

15 sent faxes -- a fax to Izetbegovic, and then I gave the press my written

16 statement very briefly, without any elaboration, and that statement went

17 through Tanjug to other press agencies, as is customary.

18 Q. Did you report the outcome of your discussions in Belgrade to

19 anyone in Pale?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Were you involved in any further political activity in relation to

22 conflict from that point onwards?

23 A. If you'll allow me, I've just remembered that with Prime Minister

24 Panic, who was a very pragmatic person, I agreed to open another blue way.

25 In that time that meant communication on the eastern part of Bosnia and

Page 22440

1 Herzegovina for the delivery of humanitarian aid. And as to your

2 question, I can say that after that until this very day I have withdrawn

3 from any political activity. My hospital stay gave me ample time to

4 ponder upon things, and it was then that I decided that I would no longer

5 engage in politics, save for maybe only marginally.

6 Q. Do you have knowledge of circumstances in which Serbs left

7 Sarajevo in any significant numbers?

8 A. The situation was very specific when it came to the departure of

9 Serbs from Sarajevo. There was a kind of permanent ethnic violence. I've

10 already spoken about that. Serbs were not allowed to leave Sarajevo,

11 although a majority of them wanted to do that. But there were ways if you

12 had money, or if you ceded your apartment, to leave town with the help of

13 paramilitary or police forces. And people paid a lot of money in foreign

14 currency to save themselves and to leave town. Some tried to do that

15 without such help and they lost their lives on the separation line, or

16 when they tried to leave they were caught and punished because general

17 mobilisation was in place, and any attempt to leave the city of Sarajevo

18 was considered a crime.

19 Q. Did you at any time - and I mean at any time from 1992 onwards -

20 hear anything about Mr. Krajisnik advising or encouraging Serbs to leave

21 Sarajevo?

22 A. You mean during the war or after the war?

23 Q. Did you hear such a thing at any time; during or after the war?

24 A. No, no. During the war I believe that the Serb side, but not

25 Mr. Krajisnik personally, launched an initiative to allow the citizens of

Page 22441

1 Sarajevo of Serb ethnicity to leave town, not only Serbs but people of all

2 origin. The advantage was to be given to the elderly, to the sick, women,

3 and children. And it was said that they would guarantee safe passage

4 through the territory under their control.

5 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, I want to return to --

6 JUDGE ORIE: Before you do so, Mr. Stewart.

7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, yes.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps one clarifying question.

9 Your last answer says that you believed that the Serb side

10 launched an initiative to allow the citizens of Sarajevo of Serb ethnicity

11 to leave town.

12 Was that to allow citizens to leave or had it anything to do with

13 the Serbs having to allow Muslim citizens to leave Serb-controlled areas?

14 Well, I mean, was this just one-sided or was it an exchange, something

15 like an exchange, you are -- you heard about or what you said you believe?

16 I don't know on what your belief is based.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. This was information that

18 arrived through the media. I've already said that in Sarajevo on the

19 Muslim side we could follow the Serb media from the Serbian part of the

20 town of Sarajevo. There was an urban area on the Serb side, and we could

21 listen to the Serb radio. And through the media I believe that Karadzic

22 himself, live on radio, invited the town of Sarajevo to allow the citizens

23 of Sarajevo who wanted to leave town and that the Serb side would allow

24 them safe passage through the territory controlled by them. This applied

25 primarily to the elderly, to women with children. This was an invitation

Page 22442

1 to all of those who wished to leave town. And let me add to that: This

2 was not in terms of any exchange, although there -- there were such

3 arrangements as well, but in this particular instance, that was not the

4 issue.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were -- this was a call upon the Sarajevo town

6 authorities to let Serbs go who wanted to leave. Are you aware in any way

7 of freedom of Muslims to leave --

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And others.

9 JUDGE ORIE: And others, yes. Are you aware of the freedom of

10 Muslims and others to leave the Serb-controlled area and to move to the

11 city of Sarajevo or to move to any other Muslim-controlled territory?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember, and my knowledge on what

13 you've just asked me is rich but not immediate and not from that period of

14 time. I heard about that after the war when people told me about their

15 experiences throughout the war, but what I can tell you as an eye-witness

16 from the time when I was in town, that's in the early 1990s when the war

17 had just started, I can only say that during the first few months of the

18 war it was relatively easy for Muslims to cross from the Serb-controlled

19 area to the Muslim-controlled area and vice versa. For example, Grbavica

20 is one of the neighbourhoods in Sarajevo that was on the Serbian side, and

21 I know some people who moved with their family members on the Muslim side.

22 And I also know some Serbs who crossed over to the other side. But that

23 was just during the first few months when it was possible or not that

24 difficult.

25 Later on it became more and more difficult to the point when it

Page 22443

1 became absolutely impossible to do that.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Could you be more specific on that point in time when

3 it became more difficult. When you left - you said that was early July -

4 was it then still possible to move out freely?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, absolutely not, no.

6 JUDGE ORIE: So could you please then tell us when approximately

7 this became a problem.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say that already at the

9 beginning of May it was almost impossible. But in April it was still

10 doable.

11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.

12 Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.

13 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.

14 Q. Mr. Kecmanovic, I want to return to the meetings that you

15 described which involved Mr. Krajisnik, Mr. Pejanovic, and in different

16 combinations Dr. Karadzic. You described one meeting in Ilidza and then

17 another meeting some weeks later, apparently, in Lukavica. Was there ever

18 a meeting in 1992 involving you, Mr. Pejanovic, and either or both of

19 Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Karadzic at the Hotel Serbia in Ilidza?

20 A. No. I believe that you are relying on Pejanovic's book. He made

21 a mistake. I don't think it was intentional. There is no reason for him

22 to make an intentional mistake. As far as I can remember that book, he

23 describes it as two meetings, one of which was at the Terme Hotel in

24 Ilidza involving Karadzic and Krajisnik, and he combined that with a

25 meeting in Lukavica with Mr. Krajisnik. He gave me that book of his, and

Page 22444

1 I pointed the mistake to him. He wrote the book much later, and this was

2 a genuine mistake on his part. There was no meeting at the Serbia Hotel,

3 which is also in Ilidza. The meeting -- the only meeting was at the Terme

4 Hotel, and that meeting involved Karadzic, Krajisnik, Pejanovic, and

5 myself.

6 Q. Was that a single meeting or was it a meeting that was split over

7 more than one day?

8 A. It was a brief meeting. As I already said yesterday, it lasted

9 less than an hour; half an hour, maybe.

10 Q. And during the course of that meeting, did Mr. Krajisnik discuss

11 the question of ethnic division of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

12 A. No.

13 Q. What would you -- from your being there in 1992, what would be

14 your comment on any suggestion that Mr. Krajisnik had developed any sort

15 of obsession about ethnic division in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

16 A. Well, it's like this, you see: One could say that the division of

17 Bosnia-Herzegovina was -- well, I won't call it anybody's obsession, but

18 it was -- that it was the prevailing topic in all political talks, that is

19 a fact, and that was the concept of the European Union ultimately as well,

20 which Cutileiro, as a representative of Europe, proposed. It was a topic

21 I dealt with myself as one of the participants of one of the sessions

22 which was chaired by Cutileiro in Sarajevo, and it was a topic that I

23 dealt with in my party, as I mentioned yesterday, and I introduced

24 elements of that into our party platform. And that was something that was

25 just simply on the agenda, in the Assembly, in the government, in the

Page 22445

1 media, in the political parties, and so forth. I don't mean that

2 Mr. Krajisnik was somebody who especially dealt with the subject, but I

3 remember during that period of time also, for instance, that wherever you

4 would attend a meeting, the people there had before them the Swiss

5 constitution, the Belgian political system. So a quest was underway for

6 analogies and to apply parts of that in Bosnia.

7 Q. Was there --

8 A. I had in my party people who dealt with this specifically and

9 served as some sort of expert -- experts to provide us with reliable data

10 in the matter. Mr. Cutileiro, for instance, had an associate by the name

11 of Mr. Darwin, who was with him all the time, and as far as I remember he

12 was a specialist in cartography, for instance. And he was always in

13 charge of explaining the separation lines, demarcation lines, and what it

14 would look like on a geographic map.

15 Q. Was there -- and I don't need to distinguish between the two

16 meetings that you've referred to, one in Ilidza, one in Lukavica, so we

17 can -- this question can apply to either or both of those meetings. Was

18 there a difference of view between you and Mr. Pejanovic on the one hand

19 and Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Karadzic on the other hand on the question of

20 whether the Bosnian situation could or should be resolved by force as

21 opposed to by negotiations?

22 A. In that respect, absolutely not. Everybody, of course, not only

23 in declarative terms, but really did prefer favourised political

24 negotiations. I don't think any side opted for a war solution in actual

25 fact. And up to the very last moment, although war was in the air and you

Page 22446

1 could smell gunpowder, everybody harboured false hopes that this would be

2 avoided.

3 MR. STEWART: I have no further questions, Your Honour.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.

5 Perhaps I ask one or two questions before I give you an

6 opportunity, Mr. Tieger, to cross-examine the witness.

7 You also talked about a meeting between Mr. Krajisnik and

8 Mr. Izetbegovic. And I think you said you took the initiative for that

9 meeting. Could you give us a few more details. I think it was a meeting

10 that took place late at night, if I remember your evidence well. Yes,

11 could you please elaborate on where were you, who took the initiative, who

12 would go where to see, what was the planning? Was it planned well in

13 advance, a couple of days, or just at that very moment? Yes.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It implied a certain amount of

15 preparation but not complicated preparation because I talked to

16 Izetbegovic about it and he agreed, and then I asked Pejanovic to come

17 into contact via Krajisnik's brother, Mirko Krajisnik, with the opposite

18 side and for them to call me. And I put forward this proposal, which was

19 accepted, and it was decided, and this is a sort of interesting point,

20 that it be on Muslim side first and then in the cabinet or offices of the

21 president of parliament, in the Serb parliament offices or in the offices

22 of the Serb representative, that it should be held late at night for

23 security reasons and conspiracy reasons, because the people on both sides

24 experienced these contacts very negatively, contacts with the opposite

25 side, the enemy side, if I could put it that way. And I came to see

Page 22447

1 Izetbegovic at the time we agreed on, and it's not a long way from the

2 presidential building to the parliament building. When we arrived there's

3 an underground garage. We went down into the garage and met Mr. Krajisnik

4 there already, who, as he told us, had tried to enter the building, but

5 the door was closed. The security guards had been placed inside, so he

6 was waiting for us there. And then in the meantime, the people who

7 escorted Izetbegovic returned and they also said they were not able to

8 come into contact with them. So then we were faced with a dilemma,

9 whether to go back to the Presidency building or to hold the meeting in

10 the corridor and to hold our meeting as we were walking. But at that

11 point in time, the door did open, we were able to enter the building -- do

12 you want me to continue?

13 JUDGE ORIE: No. I have some very specific questions. I do

14 understand that you have described the situation. Do you know where

15 Mr. Krajisnik came from? I mean, did he come from Pale? Did he come from

16 Vogosca? Do you have any idea from where he came on that evening?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.

18 JUDGE ORIE: You said that part of the meeting would take place on

19 Muslim-controlled territory and another part on Serb-controlled territory.

20 Did finally that second part of the meeting take place, and where did it

21 take place?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that. To this day I

23 don't.

24 JUDGE ORIE: But you said it was agreed -- you proposed that part

25 of it would be here, part of it would be there. You --

Page 22448

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me be precise. I'll go back to

2 what I said yesterday and to what you are referring to. The day after

3 those talks, following an agreement between Izetbegovic and Krajisnik, I

4 put forward the four variants and sent them by fax to Pale. I took them

5 to Izetbegovic. And while I was sitting there with Izetbegovic, and he

6 chose the fourth option or fourth variant of the four that I put forward,

7 the same one that the Serb side had opted for, the telephone rang. And

8 while I was listening -- well, I wasn't actually listening to the

9 conversation, but Izetbegovic at one point handed the receiver over to me

10 and I said: Who is it? Who is on the line? And he said: Krajisnik was

11 on the line, on the phone. And he told me then that the previous evening,

12 when he was going back to the Serb side, his car was shot at and et

13 cetera.

14 JUDGE ORIE: We well understood the testimony of yesterday. Part

15 of the meeting to be held on -- in the city of Sarajevo, the other part to

16 be held on Serb-controlled territory. Do I understand you that that was

17 planned for -- well, let's say a couple of days after that and then

18 finally, through this telephone call, the second part of the meeting did

19 not take place, the follow-up meeting?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The second part of the meeting was

21 supposed to take place the next day at the same time, at midnight. And we

22 didn't say in advance where the location would be, but the question was

23 broached during the telephone conversation. Now, whether they met that

24 evening or later on or not at all, I really don't know, I can't say.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that is clear to me now. Just to be sure, that

Page 22449

1 meeting, that first meeting where you arrived in the garage, who -- did I

2 understand your testimony well that it was Mr. Izetbegovic, Mr. Krajisnik,

3 and you that were present, no one else, or were there any other persons?

4 Perhaps apart from guards, but ...

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you understood it well.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Kecmanovic.

7 Mr. Tieger, did I understand well that you'd prefer to have the

8 break now and that you start your cross-examination?

9 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.


11 Mr. Kecmanovic -- yes, Mr. -- Mr. Kecmanovic, we'll first have a

12 break and then Mr. Tieger will start his cross-examination, which will

13 take another one hour and 20 minutes, approximately. We'll have a break

14 until 25 minutes past 12.00.

15 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.

16 --- On resuming at 12.30 p.m.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kecmanovic, you'll now be cross-examined by

18 Mr. Tieger, who is counsel for the Prosecution.

19 Mr. Tieger, you may proceed.

20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

21 Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger:

22 Q. Good afternoon, Professor. Can I begin with one matter that you

23 raised briefly yesterday, and that was the issue of the selection or

24 election of the president of the Presidency of Bosnia. You indicated, if

25 I understood your testimony correctly, that according to rules that

Page 22450

1 pre-existed the election, the person who had garnered the most votes

2 automatically became the -- or was supposed to automatically become the

3 president of the Presidency. Was that a correct understanding of your

4 recollection of the situation at that time?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. I had an opportunity overnight to take at least a quick look at

7 what appeared to be the rules governing that procedure, and I wanted to

8 ask you a couple of questions about that. And I'll mention in advance

9 that I -- the rules to which -- I have the rules to which I'll be

10 referring here. If you'd like to take a look at them, please let me know,

11 if that will be helpful.

12 The first rule I looked at was Article 20 of the Rules of

13 Procedure of the Presidency of SRBiH, the Socialist Republic of BiH, which

14 said: "The president of the Presidency is elected by the Presidency from

15 among its members for one year and may be elected one more time

16 successively to this function."

17 And similar to that, I looked at amendment 51 to the Bosnian

18 constitution at point 4, paragraph 6 - that was adopted in 1989, as I

19 understand it - which said: "The president of the Presidency is elected

20 by the Presidency from among its members for a period of one year and may

21 be elected one more time successively to this function."

22 Now, there are a couple of other provisions that -- one enacted

23 1981, that's amendment 8; one enacted in 1990, amendment 73, roughly to

24 the same effect, but my question is: In light of those provisions --

25 well, essentially this: What would have been the purpose of such

Page 22451

1 provisions and wouldn't they have been the superfluous and in effect

2 nugatory if there was a contrary provision that negated the need for any

3 such election; that is, for the automatic ascendancy of the top

4 vote-getter to that position?

5 A. I'll try to explain. I'm absolutely certain that such a provision

6 did exist. I don't have any documents with me. I could deliver them

7 subsequently, but I am convinced that the first president should have been

8 the person -- the highest vote-getter. The provision applied to the first

9 member of the Presidency, and after that, what you spoke about would

10 apply. The next one would be selected from amongst the members of the

11 Presidency.

12 As for the articles of the law that you're talking about, I don't

13 know whether it says there that every subsequent president should be from

14 a different ethnic group. Since this is not provided for by the documents

15 that you are referring to, but I am certain that it has -- it was provided

16 that such a procedure was in place and should have been respected. Every

17 subsequent president had to be from a different people. They should have

18 taken turns. But as so many other things that the Honourable Chamber

19 found surprising, in this respect the rules were not strictly adhered to.

20 To illustrate that, I can tell you about the rule that you quoted, that

21 the president was elected for a term of one year plus possibly another

22 year. The situation in practice was not that. President Izetbegovic

23 remained in his position much longer than one year plus a possible --

24 another year.

25 Q. Well, first -- I understand that. Let me ask you a couple of

Page 22452

1 questions. First of all, is it possible that the understanding you had

2 that the top vote-getter was to become the president of the Presidency was

3 essentially some form of inter-party understanding arrived at before the

4 elections rather than a provision of law that abrogated these

5 constitutional provisions?

6 A. You may be right. In any case, this is a rule which was not an

7 informal agreement amongst the parties of the ruling coalition. That was

8 public knowledge that the general public counted on as a done deal.

9 As for the form of that agreement and the document that regulated

10 it, I can't remember, but I believe -- I'm certain that it was a law. One

11 has to bear in mind, however, one more thing: On the eve of the

12 elections, after the elections, the three national parties formed one

13 bloc. They were an informal coalition which appeared jointly against all

14 the other parties, including mine. That was before the elections. After

15 the elections, during the division of power, the situation will change

16 only later. When they formed a coalition, they could easily agree but

17 they could also easily bend any laws that they wanted to bend. Those of

18 us who were opposition, since we were a minority, we did not have any

19 political strength to oppose any of their arrangements.

20 Even when it came to that question that you put to me in a

21 different situation, I -- I could find the text in the press that provided

22 a very critical overview of the violation of the law. To start with, the

23 first president should have been the top vote-getter, and so on and so

24 forth. Thank you.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, we've now spent ten minutes on an issue

Page 22453

1 which is relatively marginal, although I realise that I was the one who

2 put questions on the matter yesterday.

3 I take it, Mr. Stewart, that --

4 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour.


6 MR. TIEGER: Sorry to interrupt, but I do intend to go on with

7 this matter.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but I would just like to address Mr. Stewart for

9 one second. In view of the position Mr. Krajisnik held at that time, if

10 there really was any legislation in existence which would give this rule a

11 rather than an informal agreement, I think it should not be too difficult

12 to find it. So if you find it important enough, provide it to the

13 Chamber. If you find it not of that relevance, then we'll just leave it

14 as it is.

15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we have already put that in motion on

16 the footing that it should not be too difficult and time-consuming.


18 Mr. Tieger, please proceed.

19 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.

20 Q. And Professor, the Court's gentle admonition is a reminder of our

21 limited time and the need for me to craft the questions as narrowly as

22 required and also for you to focus on those questions and just answer

23 that. So if I feel that your answers, however well-intended, may be

24 straining beyond that, I will interrupt you.

25 You testified about some meetings that you held with various

Page 22454

1 members of other parties. I would like to take a look at at least some of

2 those now.

3 MR. TIEGER: If I could have the binder of materials handed to the

4 witness and distributed as well.

5 Q. While those are being distributed, Professor, let me indicate that

6 you're going to receive a bundle of materials. They're going to be

7 identified and separated by tab numbers. I'll direct your attention to

8 particular tabs containing certain documents and we can discuss those

9 individually.

10 Now, Professor, during the course of your answer this afternoon to

11 the question I posed earlier, you mentioned some of the difficulties of

12 your position as a member of the Alliance Reformists. And I believe you

13 said yesterday at page 29 that your position was complicated. Is it

14 correct that one of the complications, particularly as time went on and

15 events moved closer to the conflict and then into the conflict, was that

16 members of the SDS, Serb National Party, did not consider you to be a

17 "real Serb" or to represent real Serb values?

18 A. Yes, there was such a position in the Serb Democratic Party. They

19 did not approve of my affiliation with the Reformists. The fact that I

20 mentioned that I was invited to become the head of the SDS, which I

21 refused and became the head of a different party, spoke a lot to that

22 effect. There was another element in which they were right, unlike the

23 first one, because one thing is to be a true Serb and a different thing is

24 to represent the Serbian people. I did not consider myself any less a

25 Serb than them, but there was one thing in which they were right, and that

Page 22455

1 was that they were the legitimate representatives of the Serbian people

2 because as a Serbian party they received a majority of the votes, and on

3 the other hand I, as a multi-ethnic party, I received a lot less votes.

4 Q. Let me trace that quickly through certain of the documents

5 contained here. First of all, tab 4, which I believe needs a number.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Registrar.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 4, Your Honours, would be P1145.


9 Q. Reflects a conversation of 4 June 1991 between Dr. Karadzic and

10 Mr. Krajisnik. Very quickly, after preliminaries between Dr. Karadzic and

11 Mr. Krajisnik, Mr. Krajisnik indicates that: "I have here two old

12 buddies, and I've promise that we'll talk to them, and we didn't have

13 time."

14 Dr. Karadzic asks: "Which buddies?"

15 Mr. Krajisnik says: "Professor Kecmanovic and Dr. Kalinic." And

16 then continues: "The driver will pick you up, so we can have a little

17 talk. You know, they're fine, they're not even real Serbs, but they are.

18 They're both from Krajina."

19 Dr. Karadzic says: "Do you think we could spice them up a little,

20 and make them better?"

21 Mr. Krajisnik says: "Spice them up?"

22 Dr. Karadzic says: "Yes."

23 Mr. Krajisnik says: "Sure, I guess we could spice them up a

24 little, not that much."

25 First of all, Professor, although I don't --

Page 22456

1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, perhaps you should explain to the witness

2 - I don't know whether he's aware - that he always finds the B/C/S

3 version just at the back of the English version.


5 Q. And that will be true for every tab. There will be an English

6 translation first and then you'll find the B/C/S version immediately

7 behind it in each tab.

8 Professor, did that reflect the kind of contact you had with

9 Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Karadzic in the middle part of 1991?

10 A. I don't know whether this is understandable for anybody reading it

11 who wasn't there, but this is a colourful comment to what was going on.

12 People in the SDS believed that we who had not opted for the Serbian Party

13 did not display the same degree of national consciousness that the

14 majority of Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina displayed, and this was

15 especially applicable to me. However, you can see by the wording and the

16 way this was spiced up that the tone is colourful and joking. That's how

17 we often spoke, Mr. Krajisnik and I and Mr. Kalinic, who later on became a

18 member of the SDS. After greeting each other, he would often express

19 regret, the fact that we as intellectuals, as educated people, as

20 well-known and popular figures, were not together with the rest of the

21 Serbs. But that was a running joke at every meeting, and neither on my

22 part nor on the part of Kalinic this was construed as something insulting

23 or bad. Koljevic shared the same view, Mrs. Plavsic as well, and so on

24 and so forth.

25 Again, you can see by the choice of words that this was more of a

Page 22457

1 joke than anything else. Otherwise, we very rarely spoke about that in

2 serious terms.

3 Q. Let's move on to a period of time after the establishment of the

4 Serbian Assembly, and that's found at tab 7.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Could I nevertheless ask one question.

6 Did you have a meeting then with Mr. Krajisnik, Mr. Karadzic,

7 together with Dr. Kalinic or did you not have such a meeting early June

8 1991?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember that, but there

10 were such informal meetings in any case.

11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes, we are talking early June. I do

12 understand that you are still in Sarajevo. Mr. Krajisnik was not in

13 Sarajevo at that time, so it would have taken quite some efforts, isn't

14 it, to get to him? It was not that you -- I mean, it needed quite a lot

15 of preparation --

16 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, it's 1991 --

17 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm in the wrong year. I'm really --

18 yes. You're perfectly right. I apologise, Mr. Tieger.


20 Q. Professor, I indicated I wanted to move to a period of time

21 following the establishment of the separate Serbian Assembly, and in that

22 connection if I could ask you to turn quickly to tab 7, a conversation

23 between Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Cosic. And if --

24 JUDGE ORIE: There's no year on it, Mr. Tieger.

25 MR. TIEGER: No, that's -- I don't know if -- if that prevents

Page 22458

1 problems or creates them, but ...

2 Q. And, Professor, I'm directing your attention to the English

3 translation at page 10, and in your B/C/S version the relevant portion can

4 be found at the page that's marked on the top 02066158, if you can see

5 those markings at the top. So it's the page ending 58.

6 That occurs at a portion of the conversation when Dr. Karadzic and

7 Mr. Cosic are speaking about the Serbian Assembly and Mr. Cosic asks:

8 "But tell me, did Kecmanovic remain with his own?"

9 Dr. Karadzic: "Yes. Yes, he is ..."

10 Mr. Cosic: "That's no longer ..."

11 Mr. Karadzic: "No, he's a small fish."

12 Cosic: "There is nothing to be expected from him anymore."

13 I'm sorry, the portion I'm reading probably appears at the

14 following page, which is 6159.

15 Continuing: "There's nothing to be expected from him anymore."

16 Karadzic: "He is not up to it."

17 Cosic: "Just so, formally."

18 Karadzic: "He sometimes helps if he can and if he really does not

19 dare to as it would be open betrayal, but basically he is not reliable."

20 Professor, was it your understanding that following the

21 establishment of the Bosnian Serb Assembly and the resignation of certain

22 members of the Reformists Party and their joining the Serb Assembly, that

23 you had become regarded as someone who could only be counted on if it

24 didn't appear to be open betrayal with the Reformists Party but were

25 generally seen as unreliable by the SDS? Does that accurately depict your

Page 22459

1 understanding of how you were viewed by the Bosnian Serb leadership?

2 A. First of all, let me draw your attention to the fact that after

3 the events, the decisive events in the Assembly when the Serb side was

4 out-voted, the situation became very difficult for my party. A lot of

5 people in the party, in the grassroots, and in the leadership were

6 dissatisfied with the situation and with my attempt to strike a balance in

7 that situation. But neither the Serbs nor Croats in most of the cases

8 could not support that balance. It was very difficult to create one. At

9 one point, in order to preserve the party, I gave the right to the members

10 of the leadership and the members to opt for their own option. When the

11 Serbs joined the SDS, the Croats joined the HDZ, and the Muslims joined

12 the SDA, the membership dwindled. As for the position of the SDS towards

13 me, I did not find that very important. I thought that I had my own

14 political route to follow and --

15 Q. Now I have to stop you. I think you largely answered the

16 question, although -- certainly I wasn't asking about your personal

17 reaction to it at this point. But if I understood you correctly, you had

18 a general understanding that you were regarded in such a fashion and

19 accordingly tried to walk a very narrow path at that time, to the extent

20 you could?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And just one more intercept, and it does have a date and that may

23 be helpful. That's found at tab 8.

24 MR. TIEGER: It needs a number, Your Honour.

25 THE REGISTRAR: That would be P1146, Your Honours.

Page 22460

1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.


3 Q. P1146 at tab 8, Professor, is a conversation between Dr. Karadzic

4 and Mr. Krajisnik on 13 December 1991. Again, following a brief

5 introductory conversation between Mr. Krajisnik and Dr. Karadzic, which

6 they discuss getting together after the session, Mr. Krajisnik indicates,

7 at about nine lines down from the top: "Well, we have to finish it, it

8 won't be for a while, I'm afraid, you know. But, now, I said Professor

9 Kecmanovic dropped by." And then he continues: "Because, he's not

10 exactly a good Serb, but he's intelligent; in that case we also have to be

11 ... But he was our head of university, wasn't he?"

12 Dr. Karadzic says: "Yes, indeed."

13 Mr. Krajisnik appears to laugh.

14 Mr. Karadzic says: "He's still our candidate for all things

15 except politics."

16 Mr. Krajisnik says: "He's our candidate; with all due respect to

17 you, but we'll have to examine you as well. It seems that you turned

18 Reformist."

19 Dr. Karadzik says: "All things that have to do with science,

20 tell him, yes, all of them, he'll be our candidate everywhere except ...

21 there where we don't have ..."

22 Mr. Krajisnik says: "Listen, then, I'll tell Nikola, then we'll

23 meet, the four of us. Is that okay? And Dragan Kalinic is the fifth."

24 Dr. Karadzik says: "Good, when can that be?"

25 Mr. Krajisnik says: "Well, listen, as soon as we're finished with

Page 22461

1 this, we can get together."

2 Again, Professor, does that reflect this balance that you were

3 attempting to strike, knowing that you weren't regarded as a -- exactly a

4 good Serb or real Serb, but maintaining contact with the SDS leadership?

5 A. Yes, I was aware of this. And as I've already told you, although

6 I knew of that position, this was not an obstacle to our communication,

7 which was always with -- with some joke. Here you see that they're

8 talking about themselves being Reformists amongst the SDS. This is the

9 joking tone that I'm talking about when somebody addresses the president

10 of the Serbian Democratic Party like that. Those are the jokes that could

11 be felt in all of our conversations. I was often in contact with the

12 leadership of the HDZ and the leadership of the SDA. Maybe from this

13 perspective it is very difficult to understand this, but these were all

14 people whom I knew well who knew me well -- very well. And my big

15 advantage in the politics was the fact that all these people knew me well,

16 and I tried to maintain good relations with all sides, meaning that this

17 was the way that I could best serve the Serbian interests but also the

18 interests of all the others in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And I was acting

19 in that way until finally I concluded that all was in vain and I withdrew

20 from the political life altogether.

21 Q. Now, the situation in which you were -- went from being viewed in

22 one way because you were a member of a multi-ethnic party and because you

23 declined to join the Bosnian Serb Assembly intensified considerably,

24 didn't it, when you became a member of the Bosnian Presidency following

25 the departure of Professor Koljevic and Professor Plavsic?

Page 22462

1 You were aware, for example, of -- this Court has seen evidence,

2 for example, of a document issued by Republika Srpska authorities - in

3 this particular case at P997 - referring to you and Mr. Pejanovic as

4 traitors and degenerates. You were aware at that time of the

5 intensification of the hostility toward you and Mr. Pejanovic for the

6 position you had assumed?

7 A. Well, it was like this: It was wartime and you had not objective

8 information but war propaganda. And as was mentioned at the beginning of

9 yesterday's testimony, I was accused by the authorities, the previous

10 authorities, communist authorities, of serious crimes. But that was in

11 peacetime, although we had a communist regime. It was a sort of Stalinist

12 mounted process as a spy, but it was peacetime. It was a time when I was

13 able to say something, to write something, whereas a wartime situation did

14 not allow that to take place. There were three conflicting parties, and

15 the fact that they referred to me as a traitor of the Serb people, that in

16 a situation of that kind was to be expected because I had entered the

17 Presidency that had been -- where two SDS presidents had left. It was the

18 other side in the war conflict. However, I knew that the people who were

19 leading the SDS intimately did not have this same opinion. They knew me

20 well. They knew that I wasn't a traitor or an enemy of the Serb people.

21 Had they thought that I was, they wouldn't have invited me to become their

22 first president before Karadzic, and Karadzic prevailed upon me to take up

23 the post himself -- or rather, that I should take up the post.

24 So I continued to communicate with them and I knew that that

25 wasn't their real opinion of me, but a war is a war and war propaganda was

Page 22463

1 what it was. There were tensions were rising high and it would be a risky

2 business had I appeared on the Serb territory among the Serb people. A

3 lot of time has passed since then. People don't think the same way now,

4 but that's what the situation was like then.

5 Q. Well, in fact, at the time -- right around the time in fact that

6 you explained to us that you left your position with the Bosnian

7 Presidency, the RS leadership was talking to you about -- or at least

8 making it known that you were invited to withdraw, along with other Serbs

9 who had joined the Bosnian government, and publicly renounce your role.

10 Isn't that right?

11 A. I do apologise, but you what invitation are you referring to

12 specifically?

13 Q. It may be easier if I simply direct your attention to tab 18.

14 MR. TIEGER: That's P64, P65, tab 172, Your Honours, reflecting

15 the minutes of the 14th session of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic

16 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

17 Q. Professor, if you'll turn to -- that's held, by the way, on 3 July

18 1992. And, Professor, if you turn to item number 12, which indicates

19 that: "It was concluded that Mr. Kecmanovic, Mr. Pejanovic, Mr. Simovic,

20 Mr. Nikolic and other Serbs shall be publicly invited to withdraw from

21 their positions in official bodies of the Republic of BH or to publicly

22 renounce their role as representatives of the Serbian people in these

23 organs."

24 And in connection with that, if you can turn immediately to page

25 -- to tab 19, the minutes of the 15th Session, held on 6th July. And if

Page 22464

1 you could turn in particular to item number 3, indicating that

2 Dr. Koljevic and Mr. Krajisnik were appointed to conduct talks with you,

3 Professor Nenad Kecmanovic. "The aim of the talks would be to determine

4 conditions for the resignation of Mr. Kecmanovic.

5 "In order to resign, he should present the following demands to

6 Mr. Izetbegovic:

7 "1. Annul the decision on the mobilisation and proclamation of a

8 state of war and all other decisions adopted in that connection;.

9 "2. Enable all Serbs detained on Muslim territories to move

10 freely to desired territories;.

11 "3. Unconditionally accept negotiations with representatives of

12 the Serbian Republic of BH --"

13 A. Excuse me.

14 [Interpretation] Could you help me find that portion, please.

15 JUDGE ORIE: It's found at the B/C/S middle of page 3, item 3, or

16 is it 4 --

17 MR. TIEGER: No, that's correct, Your Honour, page 3, item 3.

18 Q. And item 4, indicating that: "The Serbian Republic of BH shall

19 amnesty, protect and enable all those who resign from the Muslim Croatian

20 leadership to leave the Serbian Republic of BH."

21 Were you made to understand, Professor, that you would be

22 amnestied and protected if you resigned from the -- your leadership

23 position in the Bosnian government and presented the list of demands to

24 Mr. Izetbegovic?

25 A. I have to say that these documents are quite unknown to me. I see

Page 22465

1 them here for the first time. Nobody on the Serb side ever put any

2 conditions to me. And in connection with this I've just remembered that

3 -- well, the first point is this: I mentioned yesterday already that at

4 the meeting in Lukavica, Pejanovic and I myself informed Krajisnik about

5 our intention to enter the Presidency. He did not prevail upon us either

6 to join or not to join. At my suggestion that Plavsic and Koljevic should

7 be put back to the Presidency so that we should not take their places, as

8 I mentioned yesterday, to that Krajisnik said that it was their individual

9 decision, just as he had individually decided to remain in his post of

10 president of parliament.

11 And I'm reminding you of this and what I said yesterday. When you

12 read this out, I happened to remember, for example, that on the eve of my

13 entry into the Presidency, becoming a member of the Presidency, Nikola

14 Koljevic called up by phone but didn't find me at home, so he talked to my

15 wife. He told her that it wouldn't be a good idea; quite the contrary, it

16 would be a bad thing if I were to join the Presidency, that that would be

17 a great detriment to the Serb people. My wife recounted that conversation

18 and said she had told him that I certainly wouldn't do anything that would

19 be to the detriment of the Serb people, as I would not indeed do anything

20 to the detriment of any other people.

21 As far as I can see, this kind of conversation never took place

22 with me. Koljevic and Krajisnik never talked to me in this way, nor did

23 anybody discuss it with me, that I should tender my resignation and that

24 there were some conditions being set. That is something I see for the

25 first time.

Page 22466

1 There is another thing I happen to remember just now, and that is

2 that at the time of my work in the Presidency, sometime in June, Simovic,

3 who was the vice-premier, but he was a member of the SDS who stayed in

4 Sarajevo and retained that position of power and authority, at one point

5 in time told me orally that there were messages from Pale that we should

6 leave our posts in Sarajevo. And I said half jokingly, half in serious

7 terms, said to him that he had duties and obligations in that respect

8 because he came to the function as a member of the SDS; that I didn't have

9 the same obligation so that I was free to decide for myself, so that I

10 expected him to tender his resignation first and then we could discuss

11 what I was going to do after that. And that's all that I can remember in

12 respect of this question raised by you.

13 Q. Professor, there's no dispute, is there, that the Bosnian Serb

14 leadership would have regarded it as a preferable situation if there had

15 been no Serbs in the Bosnian government. Correct?

16 A. Well, I have to tell you that that is not -- I'm not quite clear

17 on that point. That is to say, certain names stipulated here, Simovic and

18 Nikolic, to be precise, they were ministers who were members of the

19 Serbian Democratic Party, and they were in the government before the

20 parting of ways and conflict came about. However, as opposed to certain

21 other functionaries of the Serbian Democratic Party, they stayed, they

22 remained in Sarajevo. So they were members of the SDS, and on that

23 party's list they came to occupy their posts, but they remained. They

24 stayed on. Now, what their motives were and what their relationship was

25 with the party headquarters, whether this was on the basis of agreement or

Page 22467

1 not, I don't know. I wasn't in the party, so I don't know about any of

2 their internal arrangements.

3 Q. Well, Professor, I don't want to split hairs about particular

4 people and the reasons they may have entered or remained for a particular

5 period of time, but in the political situation of that moment when the

6 Bosnian government wanted -- was presenting itself as a unitary

7 multi-ethnic government and the -- and Republika Srpska wanted to

8 repudiate or denounce that position, it was advantageous if the Serbs who

9 were in the government departed. Correct?

10 A. Yes, you're right. That is correct. But I think that the

11 situation is best explained if I recount an event briefly. May I? Thank

12 you. At a certain point in time during my work in the Presidency, Lord

13 Carrington came by, accompanied by Cutileiro, on a peace mission of some

14 kind. At the Presidency in Sarajevo it was decided that Izetbegovic and I

15 and Mariofil Ljubic, as representatives of the three ethnic sides in the

16 Presidency, should speak, and in the Presidency I said that I cannot

17 represent the Serb side because I didn't have the legitimacy to do so. I

18 was a Serb member of the Presidency, but I didn't represent the Serb side

19 as such. And that's what I said in talking to Carrington as well.

20 I said -- or actually, my colleagues, the Muslims and Croats,

21 didn't like this, didn't seem to like it, but there was a reaction from

22 Pale, as far as I was able to see on television, whereby this

23 representation of mine was favourable to them. So that could explain my

24 situation. It was a very delicate one. I tried to strike a balance

25 between my positions in the Presidency and my Serb identity.

Page 22468

1 Q. Professor, I want to move on to the discussion or to testimony of

2 yesterday concerning aspects of the Cutileiro negotiations. Now, you

3 indicated that it was a well-known fact that all three parties signed the

4 agreement, but it was Mr. Izetbegovic who backed out of that. Is that

5 your position?

6 A. I think that corresponds to the facts. It's not my opinion, I

7 think it's a fact.

8 Q. Well, it's -- it's actually true, isn't it, that the -- although

9 there was an agreement on certain principles that was reached, that the

10 document was not signed by any of the parties.

11 A. I apologise, but then I don't know what Izetbegovic retracted his

12 signature from if that was the case.

13 Q. Well, if you can look quickly at a couple of documents, please.

14 First, an article from Oslobodjenje of 19 March 1992, which will need a

15 number.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.

17 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1147, Your Honours.

18 JUDGE ORIE: And we find it under tab -- oh, it's new.

19 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I do not have an available translation

20 for distribution of the relevant portion. I will direct the witness's

21 attention to it, read the translation that's been provided to me, and ask

22 the witness if it corresponds, and then we will, with the Court's

23 permission, subsequently provide the translation to the Court.

24 Alternatively, I could have the interpreters read the relevant portions.

25 JUDGE ORIE: I think if the witness reads the original and if you

Page 22469

1 would read the translation, he could confirm that what you read is what he

2 reads.


4 Q. Well, first of all, if I can direct your attention, sir, to the

5 headline from page 1, which indicates: "Agreed but not signed." And then

6 if I could direct your attention to page 3, the first paragraph of the

7 article that appears at the left, entitled: "BiH: Sovereign, independent

8 and unified," which I understand says: "With satisfaction I can say that

9 Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the 5th session of talks in Sarajevo, is a

10 sovereign, independent, and unified state. The Sarajevo document which,

11 in truth, is not signed yet represents in fact that starting basis for the

12 continuation of talks in Brussels on the 31st of this month says that

13 Pejanovic, the spokesperson of the SDA at yesterday's regular press

14 conference for the media."

15 First of all, Professor, I need you to confirm whether or not the

16 translation that you heard corresponds to the -- that section of the

17 article.

18 A. Although it's difficult for me to follow the text, it is indeed in

19 my language, but the photocopy is such a bad one -- or rather, it's very

20 small print, extremely small print, so I can barely read it. But I do

21 think that the interpretation I'm getting over my headsets is correct and

22 that it follows what you have been saying.

23 Q. And then a related document.

24 MR. TIEGER: And if this could be provided to the witness in both

25 English and B/C/S. It's an excerpt from the 11th Session of the Bosnian

Page 22470

1 Serb Assembly.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, may I take it that this is found already

3 somewhere in the evidence?

4 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you could give us a -- oh, it's on the list,

6 yes.

7 MR. TIEGER: P65, tab 109.

8 Q. Now, Professor, this is Dr. Karadzic talking on 18 March to the

9 Bosnian Serb Assembly, and as you can see from the excerpt, he indicates:

10 "The document has been accepted as a basis, as a foundation, for further

11 negotiations. The document has not been signed. We would never sign

12 anything that we did not agree upon."

13 And as he notes further on: "The document therefore is not final.

14 Now I will read for you a few important segments in the back. It is

15 printed in block letters. This paper is a basis for further

16 negotiations."

17 Professor, can we agree, then, in light of these documents, that

18 the results of the -- of that segment of the negotiations did not produce

19 a signed document but an agreement on certain principles and serving as a

20 basis for further discussions and further negotiations?

21 A. I agree that that wasn't a definite agreement yet, final

22 agreement. But on the piece of paper that I have received from you here,

23 it does not say that, but you said that that is what Karadzic informed the

24 Serb Assembly about. I think that in these few quotations, that the basic

25 principles were established, as you said, of an agreement to re-organise

Page 22471

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I think that these were key points, key matters;

2 all the rest were technical considerations.

3 So that was the formula that we in Bosnia -- or rather, in

4 Sarajevo referred to as the whole of Bosnia in three parts. And this was

5 a happy balance that was struck, I believe, between the requirements made

6 by the Muslim side that Bosnia should remain centralised and unitary, a

7 unitary, centralised state; and the Serb and Croatian sides' requirements

8 that their parts be separated towards the original states. So this was a

9 happy medium between those two demands, that is to say that the state of

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina be accepted both by the Serbs and by the Croats, which

11 was a concession to the Muslim nation, and a counter-concession was that

12 three consecutive units be set up based on the ethnic principle, taking

13 into account the economic, geographic, and other criteria. And that

14 roughly was my party's approach as well to this same problem.

15 So a definite, officially signed document, not, but the succous of

16 the agreement was found here and everything else had to be deduced and

17 derived from those basic principles.

18 Q. Well, you understood at that time that the -- as you've just

19 explained, that the principle or at least most focussed on general

20 principle involved was the division of Bosnia into separate regions.

21 Correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. And did you understand that for the Bosnian Serbs, that was

24 considered to be essentially a triumph of and a validation of their claim

25 for the imposition of the ethnic principle in the division?

Page 22472

1 A. No. I don't think that could have been understood as the triumph

2 of Serb expectations and ambitions for the simple reason that -- and let

3 me remind you here of --

4 Q. Professor, I apologise for interrupting, but I think it would be

5 helpful for me to re-focus you on the question, and perhaps it was

6 inelegantly asked. I'm not asking for your overall assessment of the

7 agreement, but whether or not you were aware that for the Bosnian Serbs it

8 was regarded as a triumph because it demonstrated that, to them, that

9 Bosnia could be divided on the ethnic principle?

10 A. It could not have been understood as the triumph at this because

11 the Serb people, at a plebiscite that was held before the referendum,

12 opted in fact for remaining in Yugoslavia, with Serbia, Montenegro and

13 other republics and nations who wished to do so. So the first goal or

14 ambition or greatest desire of the Serb people in Bosnia was that they

15 should remain living in the same state with the Serbs, the Montenegrins,

16 and as I've already said, I was quoting the official formula when I said

17 what I did, but this was a deviation from that basic principle or ambition

18 or greatest desire; that is, to agree that a compromise should be struck

19 with the Muslim side and therefore to recognise the borders of Bosnia as a

20 state border. That was the Serb's compromise for the fact that

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina was supposed to become a state of three constituent

22 units based on - and I emphasise this - not only ethnic principles, but

23 economic, geographic, and other criteria as well. And let me add the

24 traditional, historical principles as well, linked to what I said

25 yesterday, and that is that ethnic regions existed that were inherited,

Page 22473

1 that existed in Bosnia-Herzegovina before any negotiations got underway

2 about some sort of regionalisation or cantonisation, and I mentioned the

3 example of Western Herzegovina, Cazinska Krajina, et cetera.

4 Q. Professor, let me ask you to turn to tab 9, please.

5 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, this needs a number.

6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1148, Your Honours.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.


9 Q. Tab 9 is a personal organiser miss -- that was recovered from

10 Dr. Karadzic's office that reflects notes of the discussions during the

11 course of the Cutileiro agreement.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger, I remember a discussion on authenticity

13 of a document seized in Mr. Karadzic's home. Was not a number then --

14 even if it would be provisionally assigned to this document, or is that

15 another --

16 MR. TIEGER: It's not related in any way to that document and it's

17 not recovered from the same place or the same time.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Then Mr. Registrar, I missed the actual number, and

19 since it doesn't appear in the transcript, could you repeat it.

20 THE REGISTRAR: P1148, Your Honours.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.


23 Q. Now, Professor, if you could turn quickly to page 7, which would

24 be -- and that's bearing the date of February 27th, 1992. The heading is:

25 "Conference on BiH 27 February, 1992, in Sarajevo third floor."

Page 22474

1 Mr. Cutileiro being the first to speak after that section.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Have you found it? It's -- in the handwriting, it's

3 last four digits 4096, I think.


5 Q. Now, there at the bottom of the page Mr. Izetbegovic makes

6 reference to the need for principles other than ethnic principles, and is

7 expressing the willingness to resume the talks on that basis. And that's

8 a reference to the various other criteria which were relevant to any

9 potential division of Bosnia and Herzegovina territory. Correct?

10 A. I can't read this, but I am getting a good interpretation so I'm

11 able to follow what you read out. And I can say in that connection that

12 in this previous document, when Karadzic provides information to the

13 Assembly of Republika Srpska, I assume, or the Serbian Assembly, that he

14 also says that it's not only national but also economic, geographic, and

15 other criteria. And I should like to repeat the historical principles,

16 traditional ones, and so on.

17 Q. Well, I suppose -- sorry, I'm not --

18 A. And there's no difference there between the position given by

19 Karadzic and what you quoted as having been said by the late

20 Mr. Izetbegovic.

21 Q. Well, one might understandably assume that, Professor, but in fact

22 what Dr. Karadzic said at page 8 of the same session is that: "The heart

23 of the matter is that the principle that BiH is not divisible along ethnic

24 lines has been undermined. That is not true. It is true that it is

25 divisible precisely along ethnic lines."

Page 22475

1 Sorry, and I apologise for that, I'm reading from something that

2 is not available in front of you, although this was a meeting you didn't

3 attend. But this is something the Court has in evidence and this is what

4 Dr. Karadzic said to the Bosnian Serb Assembly on March 18th.

5 So at a minimum, Professor, there is a difference between the

6 insistence that these negotiations represent -- represent proof that

7 Bosnia can be divided along ethnic lines and the insistence, on the other

8 hand, that the ethnic criteria has to be considered along with many other

9 criteria.

10 A. As you've said, I don't have it in front of me, I would like you

11 to read what Karadzic said. You said that you have another document. As

12 you were reading, I tried to locate that piece of paper but I couldn't.

13 Could you please then --

14 Q. Certainly.

15 "The heart of the matter is that the principle that BiH is not

16 divisible, this is not true, along ethnic lines has been undermined. That

17 is not true. It is true that it is divisible precisely along ethnic

18 lines."

19 A. I'm not Mr. Karadzic's lawyer. I cannot comment on what he

20 actually meant in this context. However, in my testimony yesterday I said

21 that in Bosnia there was a possibility to draw up such ethnic lines

22 without any intervention into the existing situation. I mentioned Western

23 Herzegovina as a predominantly Croatian region, the Cazinska valley as the

24 predominantly Muslim region. Karadzic probably did not have an insight

25 into ethnically pure regions, but those that were historically inhabited

Page 22476

1 by a majority number of a certain ethnic group. In historical terms,

2 there were regions where certain people dominated, establishing their

3 culture, their traditions, and all of this could have been taken into

4 account. In all that, I would support your doubts into the feasibility of

5 such a plan. In only some points there were the so-called zone of mixed

6 population where separation was not possible, and this primarily applied

7 to urban areas and those areas would have been proclaimed districts or

8 extraterritorial territories.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there, Mr. Kecmanovic. I got the

10 impression that Mr. Tieger wanted to know from you whether the outcome of

11 the talks that further talks would be held on the basis of ethnic division

12 was welcomed by the Serbs and met more hesitance with the Muslims, even to

13 the extent that the Muslims -- Mr. Izetbegovic did -- after that did not

14 want to continue on that basis.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Recently I have read a text written

16 by Mr. Cutileiro -- actually, his presentation at the Brussels Conference

17 at the 10th anniversary of the Dayton Accords. He said that Izetbegovic

18 didn't hesitate and that is why he signed the preliminary agreement on

19 principles, but that he withdrew his signature under the pressure of the

20 state department. It was the first time that Cutileiro ever said it, at

21 the conference that I just mentioned.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you would say it was not hesitation but it was

23 influence from elsewhere that made him change his mind.

24 Please proceed.

25 Could you try to very much concentrate on the core of the

Page 22477

1 question, just as I tried to do. Because we could spend here weeks and

2 weeks, I take it, to go through all the details of what happened at that

3 time. We are under time constraints.

4 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.


6 Q. Professor, were you aware that the international negotiators

7 themselves, Mr. Cutileiro, Mr. Darwin, were themselves aware of the

8 Bosnian Serb insistence on the primacy of the ethnic issue and questioned

9 that, questioned the feasibility of that?

10 A. It was obvious that a disagreement or a conflict existed among the

11 three ethnically based parties that were supported by 80 per cent of the

12 electoral body. They were seeking a sort of agreement on the

13 transformation of Bosnia-Herzegovina which could not remain the way it

14 was, and there was a quest for solution.

15 Q. And, Professor, that disagreement was that the Bosnian Serbs were

16 -- were unwilling to accept a unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina and insisted on

17 the ethnic division of Bosnia.

18 A. One could say that they were looking at some sort of a federal

19 transformation of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a most fortunate solution to the

20 problem of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that Muslims and Croats were in favour

21 of that and those three constituent peoples constituted over 80 per cent

22 of the population of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was a compromise by which

23 the state would have been preserved as a whole, which was the desire of

24 the Muslims, and at the same time, the other two sides would have been

25 satisfied It was a compromise, and I believe that the Dayton Accords were

Page 22478

1 formulated according to the same principles, weren't they?

2 Q. Well, again I'll ask you not to turn to an overall assessment of

3 -- your view of what the negotiations were attempting to accomplish or

4 might have accomplished but instead what the objectives of the parties

5 were. And before we break, I want to direct your attention to one more

6 portion in tab 9, and that's contained in the following page, and that's

7 the page after the one you're looking at, where Dr. Karadzic explains

8 that: "We've had a bad experience with Muslims. They go down in

9 everything we agree upon. He refers to the unwillingness to accept a

10 unitary most likely Bosnia and Herzegovina. Essentially, they are taking

11 us out of Yugoslavia forever and enclosing us in BiH. Freedom first

12 before money and bread. And on the heels of that, Dr. Koljevic says:

13 "Are Muslims going to accept ethnic principles? And Darwin says: I

14 cannot -- the cartographer you mentioned before. "I cannot accept that

15 they become ethnically clean entities because it is not feasible in the

16 field. On the -- if you look at the map, this is not feasible."

17 And then Mr. Cutileiro asks: "Why are you insisting on this

18 ethnic principle?"

19 And Dr. Karadzic refers to not believing the Muslims and

20 unwillingness to accept domination.

21 Now, Professor, that is an expression of the insistence of the

22 Bosnian Serb leaders and negotiators on the ethnic division of Bosnia in

23 lieu of a unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina and the concerns by the international

24 negotiators about its feasibility. Correct?

25 A. I believe that at the end of the quote that I don't have in front

Page 22479

1 of me but I have a very good interpretation of what you are reading, that

2 the last sentence is very important, and that is a fear of the Croat and

3 Serb relative minority that there would be a domination on the part of the

4 predominant people and that there would be a majority principle applied

5 rather than the consensus. And finally, that fear proved to be justified

6 in that voting in the parliament. And the goal of the Serbian side was to

7 absolutely protect its equal position in Bosnia and Herzegovina in that

8 way.

9 Q. So with that explanation, for the reasons or motives, the answer

10 to my question was yes, it's correct?

11 A. Kindly could you repeat that conclusion together with your

12 question so I can be absolutely sure of that.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Kecmanovic, unfortunately, there's no time for

14 that left yet at this very moment, but Mr. Tieger will consider your

15 request when he starts tomorrow.

16 May I ask the attention at this very moment, specifically the

17 attention of the Prosecution, but it's more general, to the following

18 observation: This case is not how bad it is to violate the constitution

19 when you want to become independent; this case is not primarily on how bad

20 it is after you had signed or after you had given the impression that you

21 would sign a certain agreement, how bad it is not to sign it or to

22 withdraw from further negotiations. Of course the Chamber is aware that

23 the circumstances are very relevant for understanding what happened later

24 on. At the same time, the Chamber is also a bit concerned that these

25 circumstances get more attention and become more important than what is at

Page 22480

1 the core of the case; that is, the crimes that were committed and the

2 responsibility of the accused for the allegedly committed crimes.

3 I'd like to, because we spent a lot of time on -- a lot of details

4 on matters. Again, I'm not saying that they're irrelevant, but at the

5 same time the balance between relevance and time spent on it seems almost

6 to be a continuation of what certainly will have been a very intense

7 political discussion at the time now approximately 14 years ago.

8 We'll adjourn until tomorrow, 9.00, in this same courtroom.

9 Mr. Kecmanovic, could I again instruct you not to speak with

10 anyone about the testimony you have given and you're still about to give

11 in this courtroom. We adjourn.

12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,

13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 5th day of

14 April, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.