Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 26977

1 Tuesday, 11 July 2006

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.41 p.m.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.

6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number

8 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much, Mr. Registrar.

10 Mr. Stewart, the Chamber understood that you would like to address

11 the Chamber.

12 MR. STEWART: I would, yes. I've got two or three points,

13 Your Honour. The first one --

14 THE INTERPRETER: Please speak into the microphone. Thank you.

15 MR. STEWART: Sorry. I've got two or three points, Your Honour.

16 The first one, and I should say straight away that unusually it's a matter

17 on which I've not consulted anyone on my team. It's this, Your Honour,

18 over the long weekend that we have had, I thought about Friday, the

19 content of Friday's court hearing and I thought about a number of aspects

20 of Friday's court hearing. Your Honour, the sometimes the temperature

21 between you with respect, Judge Orie, and me, is not a happy one and,

22 Your Honour, I apologise for my contribution to that, whether my

23 contribution has been the magic 60 per cent, 70 per cent, 100 per cent or

24 105 per cent, Your Honour has two things, my apology for my contribution

25 to that in the past, because it's an undoubted fact, Your Honour, I

Page 26978

1 acknowledge that, and secondly my assurance and my resolve to try to stop

2 it immediately as far as I possibly can. And that's all I have to say on

3 that, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour.

4 The second point is this, Your Honour, that we have an application

5 for leave --

6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, just to make sure that the record is

7 complete, I had my microphone not switched on and when I said it's

8 accepted, therefore, it did not appear and I find it important that it

9 appears that I have accepted what you just said.

10 MR. STEWART: I'm grateful for that, Your Honour. I heard it and

11 registered it, Your Honour. I'm glad for it to be seen more widely.

12 Thank you, Your Honour.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.

14 MR. STEWART: I have an application or we have an application, the

15 Defence, Your Honour, for leave to reply to the response filed yesterday

16 by the Prosecution to the Defence motion for time to call further

17 witnesses and, Your Honour, because we appreciate that this is a matter

18 which clearly needs to be dealt with, with dispatch, and I'm sure

19 Your Honours will want to do that, Your Honour, we are asking for leave in

20 circumstances where we are ready immediately to file that. It is

21 prepared, it is signed, it is done and dusted, and so we don't hold

22 Your Honours up it will be filed straight away.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted.

24 MR. STEWART: That's very helpful, Your Honour. Much obliged for

25 that. Your Honour, the third matter is this, and it does as it happens

Page 26979

1 arise from Friday. Your Honour, Mr. Krajisnik, we saw him at the UNDU

2 yesterday, Mr. Krajisnik has asked me, Your Honour, and we regard that as

3 constructive, that he's asked me to do it, he's asked me to express his

4 extreme concern and unhappiness about the reaction and about the way that

5 his proposed questioning of Mrs. Plavsic was dealt with on Friday.

6 Mr. Krajisnik does feel, and Your Honour, without wishing to stir up the

7 temperature, Your Honour, I will say that the Defence counsel do endorse

8 this with our submission, Your Honour, do feel that Mr. Krajisnik was

9 rather peremptorily cut off, that the initial introductory remark that he

10 made to his questioning was really no different from remarks which are

11 very commonly made by counsel or even, dare I say, by judges as a brief

12 introduction to questions, and Your Honour we simply invite Your Honour --

13 it's all a bit done and dusted again so far as that aspect of the matter

14 is concerned, Mrs. Plavsic has gone back, but we would wish Your Honour to

15 understand at the very beginning of that exchange does appear to have

16 involved a rather sharp cutting off of Mr. Krajisnik in the circumstances.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Without giving a full response to that matter

18 at this moment, Mr. Stewart, I just at least draw your attention to two

19 facts. First of all, that because of the personal relationship between --

20 in the past between Mr. Krajisnik and Mrs. Plavsic, that the Chamber

21 indicated that it would be very strict on the matter. And just to point

22 at another example is that I've never heard a witness being addressed by

23 his or her first name rather than by witness so and so or by their family

24 name which is one of the things that was right at the beginning of the

25 introduction of the first questions.

Page 26980

1 MR. STEWART: I hear that and Mr. Krajisnik hears that, Your

2 Honour. I'm going to say nothing whatever. Thank you.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then having dealt with that, I'd like to turn

4 into closed session.

5 [Closed session]

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted).

Page 26981

1 (redacted)

2 [Open session]

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

4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

5 Mr. Puric, now I'd like to ask you to stand up for a second.

6 Before you give evidence before this Tribunal, the Rules of Procedure and

7 Evidence require to you make a solemn declaration that you'll speak the

8 truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The text is now handed

9 out to you by the usher. May I invite to you make that solemn

10 declaration.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

12 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.


14 [Witness answered through interpreter]

15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Puric. Please be seated.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 Questioned by the Court:

18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Puric, would you be -- please be so kind to give

19 us your -- to state your full name?

20 A. My name is Emin Puric.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Puric your date of birth is?

22 A. The 8th of June 1942.

23 JUDGE ORIE: And the place where you reside at present is?

24 A. Bosanski Novi.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Puric. I would like to show you a

Page 26982

1 photograph. Could D116A be put on the ELMO?

2 Mr. Puric, do you recognise the situation we see on this

3 photograph?

4 A. Yes. I recognise some people.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us perhaps starting at the left, the

6 first person with a -- with glasses, that is --

7 A. I think that is Amir Delic.

8 JUDGE ORIE: And the person standing next to him?

9 A. Next to him, I cannot tell because it's so dark. I simply cannot.

10 I cannot see the face clearly. I cannot say who it is. The next person

11 is Radomir Pasic.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and when you say the next person you mean the

13 next person in that same row and not the persons behind, is that correctly

14 understood?

15 A. No, not behind that person, but in the same line, the third person

16 on the right.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. These understood. And then next to him also a

18 person wearing glasses.

19 A. Yes. I think the name was Mr. Jens. He was a representative of

20 the international community. He talked to us about the problem of staying

21 in or leaving Bosanski Novi.

22 JUDGE ORIE: And the person next to him with his hand near to his

23 face?

24 A. Hand on his face, the commander of the police in Dvor. Right now,

25 I cannot recall the name. I knew him -- I knew the name before I walked

Page 26983

1 into this courtroom and now I cannot remember for the life of me. But I

2 know that he was the chief of police in Dvor.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then Mr. Usher, could you please have the full

4 photograph visible on the screen by zooming out a bit?

5 And the last person in that same line, with a clearly visible

6 watch on his left wrist, Mr. Puric, could you tell us who that is?

7 A. It's me.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you perhaps briefly describe the

9 situation, what happened when this photograph was taken?

10 A. When this photograph was taken, we were on a bridge, the bridge on

11 the Una River, that separates Bosnia-Herzegovina from Croatia. We were

12 talking about the possibility of a convoy leaving Bosanski Novi and going

13 to Croatia. Before that, we had a discussion at my home, a few days

14 before this. I can't remember the exact date.

15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me stop you there. When you say "we had a

16 discussion at my home," who is "we"?

17 A. Well, I've given you the names and surnames, but together with

18 some other people, I tried to establish contact with the international

19 force of the UN that was in Dvor so that they would help us leave this

20 hell in Bosanski Novi where we were under siege. In actual fact, a few

21 people met up who lived in houses close to my own. It's not that we could

22 have had a bigger gathering because there was a general blockade. Amir

23 Delic, Ceric Azemir and I raised the issue of the entire population

24 leaving Bosanski Novi. In a way, I was the person who coordinated that

25 team and who established contact with the authorities in Bosanski Novi

Page 26984

1 regarding that particular idea. May I proceed along these lines?

2 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so. We might have a few additional

3 questions at a later stage but please continue to briefly explain what

4 happened.

5 A. In order to make it clear as to how necessary it was to leave or,

6 rather, how necessary it was for the entire Bosnian population to leave, I

7 would have to tell the Honourable Trial Chamber what was going on at the

8 time with the Bosniak population in Bosanski Novi and in the surrounding

9 area. With your permission, I would like to start with the month of April

10 roughly.

11 JUDGE ORIE: I first would like to put some additional questions

12 to you in relation to what you just said.

13 A. Please go ahead.

14 JUDGE ORIE: You were meeting on that bridge. Was that the only

15 meeting on the bridge or have there been more meetings on that bridge?

16 A. There was another meeting at the bridge too. There were certainly

17 more meetings. And there was this meeting in my house.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the meeting in your house --

19 A. Yes.

20 JUDGE ORIE: Was there one meeting or have there been more

21 meetings in your house?

22 A. There were two meetings in my house.

23 JUDGE ORIE: And you just --

24 A. I cannot hear.

25 JUDGE ORIE: No. I have not said anything yet. You said you

Page 26985

1 tried to establish contact with the international force of the UN that was

2 in Dvor so that they would help to you leave Bosanski Novi. Did the --

3 did any representative of the international force or the international

4 community ever come to your house?

5 A. Precisely. I think Mr. Jens, who is in the photograph, was there.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You also told us that you were coordinating the

7 team and that you established contact with the authorities in Bosanski

8 Novi about the Bosniak population to leave Bosanski Novi. Were you in any

9 way formally representing the -- representing the -- who gave you the

10 authority to act on behalf of the Bosniak population?

11 A. No. There was no formal representation. This was simply because

12 I knew the people from the municipality better, and I called a former

13 colleague of mine from work. He worked together with me for a long time

14 in the same company where I worked. At that time he was president of the

15 Executive Board. I asked him to receive us. I phoned him at his home. I

16 had his home telephone number because we had been in touch before that

17 too, as we knew each other personally and we were great friends, as a

18 matter of fact. I asked him to receive us, I said that we wanted to talk

19 about something that was very important for us. He said that there was no

20 problem and that --

21 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us who that person was?

22 A. That person is Dragomir Drazic.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember when exactly you got the idea to

24 approach him?

25 A. It is very hard to say when I got that idea to approach him. For

Page 26986

1 a long time we were in isolation in our yards, in our homes. When we

2 looked at the possibility of leaving, the three people I mentioned talked

3 about this, Delic, Amir, I, and another man called Ceric Asmir. We are

4 next-door neighbours. We wanted to leave, but we wanted to help other

5 people too, those people who wanted to save their lives. It wasn't that

6 we made any announcements to that effect that we were calling upon people

7 to leave. We kept this secret.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember when you got in touch with

9 Mr. Drazic?

10 A. I don't know the date exactly but it was the beginning of June,

11 around that time. That's when it was.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Until that moment, would people be allowed to leave

13 Bosanski Novi if they wanted to?

14 A. You know, some people were leaving, but they left by paying a Serb

15 who was in uniform for that, more or less everybody had uniforms. They

16 paid in order to be allowed to leave. At first it was 1.000 Deutschmarks

17 per person and then they would take either that person's vehicle or their

18 own vehicle and they would be taken out together with their entire

19 families from Bosanski Novi via Dvor, Glina, Vojnic, towards Karlovac.

20 People were leaving that way. There were several such cases. We heard

21 about these departures. However, most people could not pay that kind of

22 money.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Now, how did Mr. Drazic respond to your -- to you

24 approaching him?

25 A. Well, first of all he received us very nicely. He said that quite

Page 26987

1 simply he did not want to take part in any such thing but that he was not

2 opposed at all to us leaving if we wanted to leave. I asked that no

3 problems be made for us if we wanted to leave town and to go to Dvor. He

4 said that he cannot do much about that but that he cannot help us go to

5 Dvor either, that we should resort to our own ways and means, and indeed

6 we did. May I continue?

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please tell us with whom you further had any

8 contact in this matter. Yes, and perhaps Judge Hanoteau has one question

9 in between.

10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, I would like to know what

11 was Mr. Drazic exactly? Who was he? What was his profession? Did he

12 play a political role in some way?

13 A. Mr. Drazic had a degree in law. At the time when I worked at the

14 knitwear factory, he also had a responsible job and that's when we got to

15 know each other and we were on such good terms. At that time, he was

16 president of the executive board of the municipality of Bosanski Novi, I

17 think he was president of the executive board, because for a while when

18 this war started, we were not exactly in touch, and I don't know about

19 this month or two when we re-established contact, I don't think there were

20 any changes in the meantime. I think he was still president of the

21 executive board. His political role --

22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please continue and answer the question I

24 did put to you that, apart from Mr. Drazic, who you addressed in this

25 matter?

Page 26988

1 A. As for this particular question, we did not discuss it with anyone

2 else in the municipality. Our only contacts with other people were on the

3 bridge. That was the president of the municipality, Predrag Pasic or,

4 rather, Radomir Pasic, this gentleman who is in the photograph. We had a

5 contact with him only during these negotiations at the bridge. That was

6 the only case. Also we did not communicate with Drazic any more. As a

7 matter of fact, we did not talk to Drazic at all at the bridge. He was

8 quite reticent. He did not really take part in the negotiations at the

9 bridge. Only when they came to my home before that, Mr. Drazic brought

10 them, brought Mr. Jens and the journalists who were accompanying Mr. Jens,

11 together with an interpreter. Actually that was the first time they came

12 to my house.

13 JUDGE ORIE: When Mr. Drazic said that he did not oppose your

14 suggestion, did he do so spontaneously, immediately? Did he get in touch

15 with anyone before doing so? Could you tell us whether you got his

16 response right away?

17 A. Well, we talked for about an hour, perhaps a bit more, about these

18 problems and so on and so forth. He said, as far as I'm concerned I don't

19 mind at all. But we insisted that he confirm that with his people at the

20 municipality, that they give their approval. I knew that he was not the

21 one who could approve that for us only on his own. That is why I asked

22 him to establish contact with other people too and to familiarise the then

23 Crisis Staff with that. There was a Crisis Staff at the time, and the

24 Crisis Staff was the body that knew of all these moves and that made all

25 the decisions at the time. That is why I asked him to confirm this for us

Page 26989

1 later and indeed he did.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you told us that -- let me just find it --

3 that Mr. Jens was involved and that he visited you at your place.

4 A. Yes.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Was that the first time you met him or was the first

6 time that you had contact with a representative of the international

7 community?

8 A. I think that Mr. Jens first came to my house that time, but my

9 first contact with the representatives of the international community took

10 place in Dvor. I cannot recall the face of that man. I don't think it

11 was Jens. I think it was a younger gentleman. You know, those were very

12 stressful times. We were afraid at the time. We were afraid when we were

13 there, when we passed by those guards and we had to, near Bosanski Novi,

14 so if I were to be shown a photograph of the representative of the

15 international community in Dvor, I could not recognise him but I know full

16 well that Mr. Jens came to my house and that he was present during the

17 talks at the bridge.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you go to Dvor once? Did you go there more

19 than once?

20 A. I went there twice. We went there twice. As a matter of fact,

21 after we went there for the first time -- perhaps I could say a few words

22 about what we discussed there?

23 JUDGE ORIE: Please -- [Microphone not activated]

24 A. I beg your pardon?

25 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so, I said. Yes.

Page 26990

1 A. In order to get to Dvor, we had to do it illegally because we

2 could not get any kind of pass. So we asked a man, a friend of ours, a

3 Serb, and he took a little car and drove us there. That is the smallest

4 possible car. And Amir Delic and I sat there so he sat in this car called

5 Peglica and at the bridge we were stopped by the guards of the Republic of

6 the Srpska Krajina. He spoke a few words to them and he sort of made a

7 joke and they didn't ask any further questions as to who it was that was

8 travelling with him and they let us go. Knowing where the UNPROFOR was at

9 the time, we went to the hotel. When we came to the hotel, we asked for

10 the people who were in charge so that we could talk to them. The

11 interpreter said that they were not there at the moment and that we could

12 come the following day. I said that on the following day we probably

13 would not be able to come so could we please just stay there and wait.

14 And they said, fine, if you want to wait here. We waited for a few hours.

15 I don't know exactly how long it was. When they got back, then we

16 started talking to them. They asked why -- I mean they asked what we

17 wanted and then I first described the situation in Bosanski Novi that

18 every day or every other day people were being taken away for some kind of

19 interviews at the hotel or the fire brigade building or the police, that

20 many people never came back, that we hear that they were beaten, beaten

21 very badly, and so on and so forth, that there were murders in town and in

22 the surrounding area. Also that there is a camp at the sports stadium of

23 the Sloboda football club and so on and so forth. We described the entire

24 situation as it was. And we said that we wanted to leave in a collective

25 way. That is to say that all citizens who wished to leave would leave and

Page 26991

1 we wanted them to help us leave Bosanski Novi. That would be the first

2 discussion we had briefly.

3 They took some kind of notes. I think that even a record was

4 compiled. They asked us whether we were willing to sign that and I said,

5 why not? Everything I said is true. We signed it, Amir Delic and I signed

6 it. They took pictures of us, I don't know why, and they said,"You can go

7 home and we'll come. We'll come and we'll see what can be done. We'll

8 talk to the authorities." However, a week went by, for sure, perhaps even

9 eight days or 10 days, I can't say exactly and they never came. Again,

10 the same people, Amir Delic, Azemir Ceric, and my other next door

11 neighbours, we were wondering what to do then. No one was coming. We

12 felt lost. People were coming and asking questions already because people

13 found out that it was possible to leave collectively and then they were

14 phoning and asking. Every day, it became more and more difficult to

15 leave. That is to say, people who took others out raised their prices

16 from 1.000 Deutschmark, the price went up to 2, 3 or 4.000 Deutschmark.

17 So it turned out to be virtually impossible or very few people could

18 afford to leave.

19 Then Amir Delic and I agreed once again to go yet again. We asked

20 the gentleman who took us there for the first time to drive us there

21 again. He took us there the same way he did the first time and then we

22 came to the hotel once again. However, they were very brief, they said

23 that they could not do anything for us, that they did not have that kind

24 of mandate, or, rather, a mandate that would include that part of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that therefore we should go to -- well, to the

Page 26992

1 international police force in Dvor that was at a different locality, that

2 we should go and talk to them. To see whether they could do anything by

3 way of helping us. Because we were asking the presence of the United

4 Nations, we wanted them to be with us, we wanted to know what would happen

5 on the way out, we wanted them to protect us from possible attacks which

6 might occur on the road. When we arrived there was a gentleman, I think

7 that he was a captain, he very briefly told us that he could do nothing

8 for us, that that was not his mandate and that we could leave. We didn't

9 even enter the compound where he was. He greeted us at the entrance. We

10 were disappointed. We returned to Bosanski Novi. And when the neighbours

11 came to see what's new, we told them that probably something would happen

12 but we really couldn't say what. We felt that nothing much would come of

13 that particular situation. However, after only a couple of days, a

14 vehicle with UNPROFOR markings stopped in front of my house and Mr. Jens

15 and then this gentleman, Mr. Drazic, whom I mentioned, they were probably

16 there, I am not sure but I think they probably went to the municipality

17 and asked somebody to bring them to my house and they came to my house.

18 They asked if they could come in so that we could talk, and I said yes, of

19 course, that's what I want as well. Of course, they could come in. But I

20 also invited Amir Delic and Azemir Ceric to take part in the conversation.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Was that a conversation only with those persons

22 you mentioned or were there already -- or were there any persons involved

23 from the Crisis Staff?

24 A. We didn't have any contact with people from the Crisis Staff other

25 than the people on the bridge. And there is a tape. This actually --

Page 26993

1 this shot is from that tape. The people who were on that cassette, there

2 are some others who are not shown on this photograph, also talked about

3 that. As for other conversations, I'm sorry but it can easily be that I

4 have forgotten some details after so much time has passed, or some events.

5 What I said, though, I remember well, and all that I have said is true.

6 Maybe some details have now faded from memory.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us when you talked on the bridge with

8 the people we see at the photograph, what was the position taken by

9 Mr. Pasic, who was in the Crisis Staff, I take it?

10 A. What was their position? We knew each other very well. I knew

11 Mr. Pasic. We worked together. I knew -- I know his character. At the

12 time, he seemed to be a changed person. He talked in a very authoritarian

13 manner, and I remember well that when we talked about -- I'm going to go

14 back a little bit. Mr. Jens said that he wanted the people to stay in

15 Bosanski Novi. He wanted to avoid people from moving out and that the

16 international community would help with food. And that people should stay

17 there. And he said, I remember that very well, "No, they cannot stay

18 here." And you could sense that the whole atmosphere was that they wanted

19 us to go, to leave, which suited us as well, I must admit, because had it

20 not been for that will, it would have been difficult for us to get

21 organised and to leave that chaos behind. I also wanted to add that the

22 same will was there on the behalf of the police and Mr. Nikola, the

23 commander from Dvor. I forgot his last name. Nikola is his first name.

24 He also indicated that he would do everything he could so that the convoy,

25 and we are already talking about the convoy now, would leave Bosanski Novi

Page 26994

1 and cross the territories of the Republic of Srpska Krajina.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Was it during the conversation on the bridge, one of

3 these conversations, that Mr. Jens said that he wanted you to say, people

4 to stay in Bosanski Novi? Did he directly say that to those present?

5 A. He said that also the first time at my house. And then again he

6 said it on the bridge, and each time we spoke, he would mention this

7 question and he wanted some compromise to be found so that people could

8 stay. And I think that we took this as a negative thing on his part

9 because in that way he was preventing us from leaving.

10 JUDGE ORIE: Did he explain why he preferred you to stay?

11 A. He said this, as far as I can remember. "We are here to prevent

12 ethnic cleansing and not to aid it." These are the words that I recall.

13 And we want these people to stay in their homes and on their hearths.

14 This was something that was a feature of practically every

15 conversation.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You told us that you wanted to leave due to the

17 circumstances you found yourselves in. Could I first ask you, you're

18 talking about I think you said people detained in the stadium, or at least

19 you said something about the stadium. Could you tell us what stadium or

20 which stadium?

21 A. That's the stadium of the Sloboda football club, which is some 500

22 to 600 metres out of town in the direction of Bosanska Krupa, near the Una

23 River.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We have heard a name Mlakve stadium. Is that

25 the same stadium?

Page 26995

1 A. Yes, yes. That's the same stadium, because earlier, before the

2 stadium was built, that area was called Mlakve. Then when the stadium was

3 built, because the old one was actually located in town, but it was called

4 the Sloboda stadium.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Now, were you detained there at any time?

6 A. No, no, I wasn't.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Did you ever see people being detained in the Mlakve

8 stadium yourself? Did you observe them?

9 A. Well, I really didn't dare go there. I didn't dare venture out of

10 my house. When the camp was set up, none of the men dared to go towards

11 the stadium because it could easily have happened that they would get

12 caught, those who were not arrested already and at the stadium were very

13 careful not to move around on the streets in case they ended up at the

14 stadium. But I know that food was being sent, some women, some young

15 women were brave enough, and they took food, cigarettes, socks. We were

16 sending clothes also. Those women would take those things to the stadium

17 and then they would ask the guards to hand the items over to the people

18 that the items were actually sent to.

19 JUDGE ORIE: May I take you back in a more general way to the

20 events in Bosanski Novi at the time? Do you remember, when the first --

21 when you first experience any violence in your municipality, violence of a

22 more -- so I'm not single shot but how did the conflict start in the

23 municipality but, first of all, when did it start?

24 A. The beginning could be traced back to maybe early April. The HOS

25 until its perhaps began to be noticed after the referendum on the

Page 26996

1 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Already at that time you could sense

2 in the enterprises, factories, that there were divisions amongst workers,

3 but this was not of a major scale. However, every day these

4 confrontations would become more pronounced. The enterprises where the

5 managers were Serbs and they were mostly Serbs, began to illegally dismiss

6 people from work.

7 JUDGE ORIE: May I stop you there? My question, but perhaps I was

8 not clear enough to you, my question was mainly aiming at any violence by

9 the use of arms. Could you tell us when the conflict in that respect

10 started?

11 A. Well, I could say that this was no conflict. As far as a conflict

12 is concerned, to have a conflict you need to have two parties, two sides,

13 and both had weapons. The Muslims, however, didn't have weapons. I'll

14 tell you that when the whole neighbourhood of Urije was searched and it's

15 a mostly Muslim inhabited neighbourhood, that day they ordered that every

16 one there should move out of their houses and they were brought to one

17 place in Urije so that about 500 people who had been expelled from their

18 homes were escorted by soldiers and military vehicles, the soldiers wore

19 JNA uniforms, so with this escort they were taken to the school. And they

20 also bore a white sheet on a long pole. I don't know why they had to use

21 this white sheet as a sign of surrender because nobody ever took part in

22 any fighting. When they did the search -- yes, actually, let me go back

23 to something. When we informed the population --

24 JUDGE ORIE: May I stop you first? Do you remember when that

25 happened? You were talking about events in Urije? Could you locate that

Page 26997

1 in time? If you can, please do so. If you can't, please tell us as well.

2 A. This was maybe on the 10th or the 11th of May, approximately at

3 that time. And everyone was told to bring their weapons, if they had one,

4 they were to bring it with them. If they had a licence for the weapon or

5 if it was an illegal weapon, they were to bring it any way. So all those

6 who had a weapon brought it with them. There were some pistols, hunting

7 rifles, and all of that was placed on a piece of tarpaulin where they were

8 all gathering, and a certain man called Dejanovic was taking these

9 weapons.

10 JUDGE ORIE: May I stop you there? Did you see that by yourself?

11 A. No, no. I didn't see that myself. All these people were brought

12 to the school which is next to my house.

13 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us which school that is?

14 A. This is the high school centre, the gymnasium and also vocational

15 training school because there is another school centre in individual ora.

16 Next to that school sent they are is a handball court. It has its own

17 courtyard. So that's where the people were brought on that day. All of

18 them were brought there. Nobody was allowed to remain in their homes, not

19 even the youngest children, babies, newborns, women, the elderly, the

20 infirm, all were brought there.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Once they were brought into the school what then

22 happened to them? Did they have to stay there? Could they leave the

23 school again? Could you tell us what happened?

24 A. They stayed there for two days and two nights. But may I expand

25 on this? On that same day, I think it was the same day, a group from a

Page 26998

1 different neighbourhood, which is called Prekosanje -- I'm not sure, I do

2 apologise. The first neighbourhood I referred to as Urije. And the

3 neighbourhood of Prekosanje had the same fate. It's on the other side of

4 the railroad. They were given the same kind of orders, that they should

5 all gather at the railway station, that she should all come to the railway

6 station, no exceptions, and then all together there they set out in a

7 column, again with these white sheets on long poles. They had a military

8 escort and these people were actually keeping them at gunpoint, these

9 military escorts were. My -- and then they were taken to the school. My

10 house is right next door to the school and of course I was present when

11 they were brought in. We actually established contact with them then. We

12 gave them food, we took milk for the children. We gave them whatever we

13 could. They stayed there for two days and two nights, I think. They were

14 told that they were not allowed to leave unless specifically given

15 permission for that. In the meantime, all the houses were searched, in

16 detail. After that, they were told that they could go back home.

17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You used rather strong words when you said that

18 you all wanted to leave. Could you tell us because until now I see that

19 people were, houses were searched, they were taken to a school, they had

20 to stay there for two days and were allowed to return home. Could you

21 perhaps first indicate briefly what the kinds of events were that made you

22 decide that the situation was too bad to stay?

23 A. Well, you know what? When 10.000 people believe that it is their

24 lucky day when they are leaving their homes and everything, then I had to

25 consider myself to be lucky too, to leave that hell.

Page 26999

1 Now I'm going to tell you about it in greater detail. Many of my

2 friends, intellectuals and those who were not intellectuals, were taken

3 away for no reason whatsoever to a hotel. Some people were taken to the

4 fire brigade building. Others to the police station. They were beaten up

5 there, interrogated. People who were sick, even people who were disabled

6 were treated the same way. Some managed to get out by paying money for

7 it. Dzafer Kapetanovic, a good friend of mine, Resad Berberovic, another

8 good friend of mine, were all taken away. A good friend of mine, Imo,

9 right this moment I cannot recall his last name, they were all taken away

10 and I never saw them again. They were just members of the SDA party. If

11 I were to tell you that during a single night in Prekosanje this

12 neighbourhood I mentioned that's next to the railway station, on one

13 particular morning, 12 or 11 Muslims, Bosniaks, were killed and one Serb,

14 and that Serb was killed because he tried to protect his neighbours. He

15 said, "Stop, people. These are nice people. They are good people. Don't

16 do anything to them. They are not to be blamed for anything." That's why

17 they killed him too. So they were killed randomly there. I can tell you

18 that there were lists of people who were supposed to be taken away.

19 And now that you asked me about my personal view, as to whether I

20 personally felt this, in terms of why I wanted to leave, one evening, at

21 dusk, we heard the door of my house. When you open the door, rather the

22 gate, you hear the iron gate opening. I had a little dog, a Pekingese dog

23 and he reacted immediately. He started barking and I said to my wife, go

24 and see who is at the door. She went to the door and she saw three

25 soldiers and she said, "Run. They are coming to get you." I jumped out

Page 27000

1 of the window then, and I fled through some gardens, hid behind some

2 houses. They asked that I report to them so that they would take me to

3 this hotel for an interview. However, I didn't want to show up. They

4 said that I should come and that they would be back within half an hour.

5 In the meantime, my wife got in touch with a gentleman I already

6 mentioned, Mr. Drazic. She said they've come to get my husband. Do you

7 know anything about it? He said that he had no idea what was going on and

8 that it would be better for me not to show up and not to report to them.

9 They waited for a while, my wife was talking to them and women from the

10 neighbourhood gathered there as well. As a matter of fact, these people

11 had other people who were issuing orders to them. They were bringing

12 certain people in and then they would ask either for money or for some

13 other reasons they were dealing with people, and for those other reasons

14 people lost their lives.

15 JUDGE ORIE: You said -- a few short questions. You said they

16 asked that I report to them. To whom did they ask for you to report?

17 A. I was supposed to go to the hotel. That's where the military

18 police was.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. My question was not clear, I think. To whom

20 did they say that you would have to report?

21 A. That's what they said to my wife.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's clear. You said, as a matter of fact,

23 these people had other people who were issuing orders to them. What makes

24 you say this?

25 A. Well, these men who came to get me were very young men. They

Page 27001

1 didn't know me. I didn't know them. They didn't know who I was and they

2 didn't know what benefit it would be to them if they were to take me away.

3 They received these instructions from somebody who knew that I was a

4 businessman and they probably thought that I had some valuables and they

5 wanted to get their hands on that. That's what they did to other people

6 too. I know for sure that these men did not know me because when they

7 came, they same is this Emin Puric's house? And when my wife said, "yes,"

8 then they said that I was supposed to come with them. So these people

9 themselves did not know me. They were sent by someone else who knew me

10 very well.

11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for those answers.

12 Was any -- were any arms used by Muslims against Serbs in this

13 period of time?

14 A. I can say with certainty that there was no organised resistance

15 and not even unorganised resistance. Not a single shot was fired by the

16 Muslims from the very beginning. Or, rather, from the moment when the

17 tensions started, if I can put it that way. On the radio, they would say

18 that all of a sudden the Green Berets appeared, and that they were warning

19 the population that the Green Berets are somewhere out there and that they

20 should be reported. Green Berets, that meant that those were the Muslim

21 forces. However, no Green Berets were ever caught, dead or alive. No one

22 ever fired a gun at all. Even if there was some shooting, all of that had

23 been staged. There were people who saw Serbs shooting -- I mean people we

24 knew, our acquaintances. They would shoot at the neighbourhood of

25 Prekosanje, and over the radio they would say that it was the green berets

Page 27002

1 that were shooting from Kula and so on and so forth. So it was

2 insinuations of that kind. And deceptions of that kind so it was quite

3 clear to us what this was all about. Also, no weapons were found during

4 all the house searches, apart from hunting weapons or trophy weapons or

5 small pistols and things like that. Practically all houses were searched

6 in detail.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have any personal knowledge of events which

8 took place in the Japra Valley, in the Bosanski Novi municipality?

9 A. Yes. I did not know about things at the actual moment when they

10 were happening. I heard about things only when we joined the convoy, when

11 I was leaving Bosanski Novi for Karlovac with these people who had

12 suffered. I talked to many of these people because I knew of their

13 suffering.

14 JUDGE ORIE: May I stop you there? Do I correctly understand that

15 when you talk about the convoy, that the convoy included people who came

16 from the Japra Valley?

17 A. Yes.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us when that convoy left for Karlovac?

19 A. This was on the 23rd of July 1992.

20 JUDGE ORIE: And were the people from what you heard from the

21 Japra Valley escorted or transported right away from the Japra Valley to

22 the convoy which left for Karlovac?

23 A. No.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Then when -- perhaps you first tell us what you heard

25 from them about what had happened in the Japra Valley.

Page 27003

1 A. There was an even larger exodus than the one of the population

2 from the town. Their tragedy began already in April when it was

3 relatively quiet in the town. They were the -- first, actually, all the

4 villages in the Japra Valley, which is about 18 kilometres long, there are

5 seven to eight Muslim villages there, and in mid-April, approximately, the

6 soldiers came and they expelled all the people from the houses, village by

7 village. After that they searched the homes and the farms, looking for

8 weapons. Once the entire village was searched, then they would bring them

9 back. This happened with all the villages. And these are the villages of

10 Gornji Agici, Dedici, Hozici, Maslovare, Crna Rijeka, and finally Blagaj,

11 which is at the entrance of the Japra Valley and it's the largest village.

12 And this village of Blagaj and all the other villages, were emptied by

13 the -- and persecuted by the soldiers. So that was the first violent act

14 undertaken by the authorities. The next violent act took place on the

15 20th of May.

16 JUDGE ORIE: And that violence consisted of what?

17 A. The next act was that on that date. I can't remember the exact

18 date. It was actually between the 15th and the 20th of May sometime, all

19 the villages that I mentioned in the Japra Valley, starting from Gornji

20 Agici, Dedici, and so on and so forth, I already mentioned them, the

21 people of those villages were ordered that they had to leave their homes.

22 People who had tractors or horse carts loaded their belongings on those

23 and those who didn't have any vehicles went on foot, and they came to the

24 first village next to the Sana river, the village of Blagaj. That was the

25 largest village. All of the population was assembled in that village.

Page 27004

1 And they were there for about 15 or 20 days, until about the 10th of June.

2 I can't remember the precise dates but it's approximately around that

3 time. So they were all forced into that one village and they never

4 returned to their homes after that. After they moved out, for several

5 days, looting went on, the livestock, the property from those villages was

6 looted, and then after that, every single house in the villages was

7 burned, maybe two or three houses remained intact. I know that after the

8 war, I went there and I saw that everything had been burned to the ground.

9 People said that about some 9.000 heads of livestock stayed behind and all

10 of them were gathered together, there was robbing and looting for a few

11 days and then after that everything was set on fire. In one of the

12 villages, the village of Maslovare some families, Ekic and Alic families,

13 numbering some 27 people, stayed behind, and with their Serb neighbour who

14 said that he would protect them because he was on good terms with them,

15 and so they thought that he would be able to protect them and they decided

16 to stay. However, after a few days, I can't say exactly how many days,

17 all the families were killed, down to the last member. If I can just

18 finish --

19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would you -- since this is not a -- your -- the

20 knowledge obtained by yourself, but since it's hearsay, please finish.

21 The Chamber would not be greatly assisted to hear many details of matters

22 which you have not experienced yourself and on which the Chamber received

23 already some evidence from other sources. But please finish. Yes.

24 A. Very well. Let me just say that this information that I got from

25 people who were with me there, after the war, when the grave was found,

Page 27005

1 and only five and a half bodies were found in that grave instead of 27.

2 So the question is what happened to that mass grave?

3 I want to finish with this part about what happened to these

4 people after they came to Blagaj. They were there until approximately the

5 9th of June and then on the 9th of June -- I'm not sure whether it was the

6 9th or the 10th of June; anyway, they were ordered, all, to leave Blagaj

7 by crossing the bridge over the Sana river. All the tractors and the

8 other vehicles that they had brought with them remained in the village of

9 Blagaj and they started to walk across the bridge in a column. Soldiers

10 were waiting on the bridge. There was a piece of tent canvass placed on

11 the bridge. I wasn't there but when I was in Karlovac with some of these

12 people they told me about these events. They -- not one person but

13 several people told me about this. So there was a piece of tent canvass

14 or placed or stretched across the bridge. They were told to place all of

15 their valuables and their identity cards and papers on this piece of

16 canvass. They were also told that they would not be needing their

17 identification documents any more. This upset people because they could

18 guess what that meant. On that day, on the bridge, and around the bridge,

19 it was said that 17 people were killed on that day. Some names were

20 mentioned. I know some of the people that were mentioned and I know that

21 they were killed.

22 When they all crossed the bridge, they were all forced to go to

23 the compound of the Japra mine. There is a fenced-in plateau that belongs

24 to the mine and that's where they were all assembled. It didn't matter

25 what their age was. The youngest child and the oldest man or woman, the

Page 27006

1 sick, were all taken there. After that, sometime in the evening, a train

2 came comprising of cattle cars and they were ordered to get into those

3 cars.

4 I was told that a paralysed woman was brought in a wheelbarrow and

5 put into one of those cars. I don't know how true that is but I do trust

6 that man. So children starting from one year old and all the other people

7 were placed in these train cars. When the railcars were filled, the

8 car -- the train set off towards Banja Luka and Doboj. It was stopped at

9 the Stanari railway station. They arrived there sometime in the morning

10 and they waited there until about noon. Then they were told to leave the

11 rail cars and that militarily-fit men would -- should go to one side and

12 all the other people should go to the other. When this division was made,

13 the men were returned to the railcars and the others, women and children,

14 were sent to the line of division or line of separation, towards

15 Gracanica; the line of separation with the Bosnian army.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Would you tell us what happened to the men? Where

17 did they end up?

18 A. They boarded the train, and I was told that the cars were so full

19 that they didn't have enough air. They said that there were as many as

20 180 people. I mean people knew this. And with their bear hands, they

21 managed to pull away a few slats of the rail wall to get some air. They

22 did this with their bare hands. They wouldn't let them go to the toilet

23 or anything like that and it was suffocating. So throughout that whole

24 time, from the time when they left Blagaj -- may I continue.

25 JUDGE ORIE: As I said before, this Chamber has received evidence

Page 27007

1 from other sources and would like to hear from you what -- approximately

2 was what you heard from the people you spoke with at a later stage. So my

3 question was where did -- what happened to the men? Where did they

4 finally end up, the men?

5 A. I was just getting to that part when their fate was being decided.

6 When they returned, they went to Blagaj, that's what they told me and they

7 were kept there for a while until the evening. Then in the evening that

8 same train took them to the stadium because the railway tracks passed

9 towards Krupa and Bihac and they passed by the stadium. So that was when

10 they were taken off the train and taken straight to the stadium, escorted

11 by soldiers. So practically they left the rail cars and entered the

12 stadium which is very close to the railway tracks. Then, this is what I

13 was told, that was the first time that they received food. This was on

14 the 9th of June or the 10th of June.

15 JUDGE ORIE: I now take you back briefly again to the

16 negotiations. When you had these meetings, as you said, two meetings on

17 the bridge, first of all, were you aware of any people staying at that

18 moment, if it was at that moment, in the Mlakve stadium?

19 A. Yes. I knew that, and I said something about that the first time

20 I went to Dvor, to the UNPROFOR staff. They said they knew about the

21 existence of that, that they were monitoring and observing that location.

22 We knew about that the whole time. And if I may add, when we were talking

23 with these representatives, I mean with Mr. Pasic, we asked -- I did and

24 the people that you see here, we said that we would not leave unless the

25 people from the stadium were released as well. We didn't want to leave

Page 27008

1 unless all the people were released from the stadium as well. And they

2 said that they would be released. However, when we set off the first

3 time -- I have to inform this Trial Chamber that the first time we

4 attempted to leave was not successful. We had two tries.

5 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber heard evidence about that so you don't

6 have to go into -- you don't have to go into further details as far as the

7 Chamber is concerned.

8 So you said the first time -- you said they said that they would

9 be released and then you continued, however, when we set off the first

10 time, and then you started explaining about the first time and the second

11 time. What did you experience at the first time in relation to the people

12 of which you said that you would not leave unless they would be released?

13 A. I don't know where exactly I was unclear. The people who were at

14 the stadium, we would send food to them and some other items that we were

15 able to send them. Mainly the women would take these things to them.

16 Many were up there, not only from the Japra Valley but also from the town

17 of Bosanski Novi. We were in touch with them. They knew that there was a

18 convoy being prepared. We knew that and they knew that the town was about

19 to be evacuated so they were afraid that the convoy might leave without

20 them.

21 Everything was known, although we only talked about this on the

22 bridge. And when we did talk about this on the bridge, there were several

23 options suggested for our direction of movement. We wanted us first of

24 all to leave towards Bihac or we wanted to go in the direction of Croatia.

25 They, the authorities of Bosanski Novi, said that it was out of the

Page 27009

1 question for us to go in the direction of Bihac, but that there was an

2 option that we could go towards Travnik or towards Zagreb. Knowing that

3 it would be very dangerous for us to go in the direction of Travnik we

4 said that we didn't wish to go in the direction of Travnik but that we

5 categorically requested to go in the direction of Croatia, to Croatia. I

6 also insisted, as well as my colleagues who were there with me, that if we

7 were to leave and if the people from the camp did not go with us, we

8 simply would not continue with the journey.

9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for those answers. Even when I'm not

10 asking you in some respects about details, that's also due to time

11 constraints and again, as I said before, this Chamber has received

12 evidence from some other sources as well.

13 Could you tell us, the activity, both from what you heard in the

14 city and around and from what you observed yourself, you said young men

15 asked your wife that you should report, this Chamber received evidence

16 that these were uncontrolled paramilitaries who were active in the area.

17 Is that something you could understand from your own observations at the

18 time or would you like to comment on paramilitaries out of control being

19 blamed for what happened?

20 A. Yes. That was quite important for us. And during the initial

21 contacts with Mr. Jens, when Mr. Drazic from the municipality came to my

22 house, this was discussed. When Mr. Jens asked that the authorities

23 impose order and improve the security situation and prevent those who were

24 committing these murders and so on, Mr. Drazic said that this was not done

25 by the regulars or the Territorial Defence, as he said, but that this was

Page 27010

1 done by groups who had -- who were no longer under anyone's control. I

2 said that this was not true, and that this could very easily be resolved

3 if there was goodwill to do that. Then Mr. Jens said, "How could this be

4 done?" I said we could deal with this very simply if we were to set up

5 mixed or joint guards because at the time you had different guards duties

6 at the entrances to the villages, junctures and so on but they were

7 exclusively Serb people in those guards. And I just said, well, let's

8 make mixed or joint guards and then they would receive weapons and then

9 each side could deal with their own people if she should come up and this

10 could be done very easily. However, Mr. Drazic said that this could not

11 be done, that this cannot be prevented, these groups were out of control

12 and it wasn't possible to do anything about it but I think that that

13 wasn't true. The Crisis Staff knew who was doing what. They knew

14 everything by name. They knew about people being taken away, people

15 getting killed and so on and so forth.

16 JUDGE ORIE: You say I think that that wasn't true and then you

17 give your impression. You said the Crisis Staff knew. How do you -- on

18 the basis of what do you conclude that the Crisis Staff knew?

19 A. I wasn't in contact with them. So I really couldn't get that on

20 the basis of a conversation. I didn't even want to be in contact with

21 them. But if I may digress briefly before I say more, there was an offer

22 by the Crisis Staff made over the radio for Muslim intellectuals to get

23 organised and to form a negotiation group so that weapons could be handed

24 over and so that the Green Berets would be prevented from operating. I

25 and none of the others either wished to even consider something like that,

Page 27011

1 to form a negotiating team for something that didn't even exist, to settle

2 the matter of resistance that didn't even exist, because the Muslims were

3 not putting up any resistance, with or without weapons, so that it would

4 have been a pointless game for us to be looking for some Green Berets that

5 were not there at all and to be negotiating, but there were no Green

6 Berets at all and we said we didn't even want to negotiate about that. If

7 you think that we had weapons, then you conducted searches so you worked

8 out if we have weapons or not. So all the moves, not only theirs but our

9 moves as well, were something that was widely known, what we were trying

10 to do in order to leave and so on. It was all known to everybody.

11 JUDGE ORIE: One more question about the negotiations on the

12 bridge. You asked permission to leave, and I do understand that it was

13 more than fully supported, that it was even required that you should

14 leave. Did you ever raise the issue of returning to your own places, the

15 places where you lived? Was that ever a subject discussed during these

16 negotiations?

17 A. You mean negotiations before we left in the convoy?

18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's what I meant.

19 A. No. It was pointless to even mention this to them. It was a

20 question that had no sense at all at that point. We wanted to leave, to

21 save our lives, but now I'm going to tell you what we felt as we were

22 leaving. When the convoy was leaving, journalists came and they put

23 questions to certain people about that. What they felt at that moment and

24 so on. And that was on the tape. A journalist came and he asked the same

25 question of me, and I was very careful of what I was going to say, and I

Page 27012

1 said what I felt at that moment, and that was that I was happy that I can

2 leave at this time but that I hoped that after a while, we would be able

3 to live together again in this area. This is what I thought and this is

4 what everyone else thought. But at that moment, there was even no

5 possibility of us being able to come back at some time in the future. I

6 have some documents and if you don't have those documents, I can show them

7 to you. They were documents saying that we were voluntarily and

8 permanently moving out. We needed to fill in all of these things, these

9 forms, because they said in order for you to leave you have to get some

10 documents, and that is the certificate of no previous criminal record,

11 that you had served your regular military duty, that you were giving up

12 your property, and that you are voluntarily and permanently leaving your

13 homes. These were the documents.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Did you give up your property or did you exchange or

15 sell your property? Could you -- just a brief answer.

16 A. Yes. Very briefly. I gave away my property to my brother-in-law

17 who stayed in my house. His house was actually burned. He didn't leave

18 because his wife happened to be a Serb, so his son came with me, his older

19 son, and the younger son stayed with him, with his parents, so he gave my

20 house away to my brother-in-law. And if I may add something, those

21 prisoners, when they were leaving the stadium, that day or the day before,

22 they all had to sign a piece of paper saying that they were leaving their

23 property either to somebody or to the municipality; every single one had

24 to sign such a paper. I wasn't there but this is what they told me, "We

25 all had to sign a paper saying that we were giving up or giving our

Page 27013

1 property away."

2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.

3 [Trial Chamber confers]

4 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau has a question for you.

5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, you saw these men on the

6 streets, these guards, these soldiers. You've talked about. And you also

7 said that you saw them very close to your house. You saw them also while

8 you were having your negotiations, but also you said that these men

9 intervened in the Japra Valley. Who were they, according to you? Who

10 were these men? Who were these armed men? Where were they coming from?

11 A. You know how these armies functioned in our part of the world?

12 Usually we were taken away by unknown soldiers. We now say that they came

13 from Croatia from Dvor, then they came from a different town in Bosnia

14 itself, from Kostajnica, from villages. The local Serbs distanced

15 themselves from that. Well, not always. Sometimes some of them did not

16 hesitate to join in. But for the most part, they were some kind of

17 military that came from another area. The same went for the Japra Valley.

18 It's not that -- I mean, you didn't know those people so you could not

19 really make any requests to them. Even if you knew them personally, they

20 were so disciplined -- well, sometimes they would give someone in the

21 stadium a cigarette or somebody would bring food in to the stadium, but as

22 for some closeness with these people, the kind of closeness we had before,

23 it was no longer there. I cannot understand the kind of discipline that

24 existed then, that these people whom I had known could change to such an

25 extent.

Page 27014

1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Now, regarding these men that you

2 knew, that you knew up until that time, did they also become soldiers?

3 Did they also become soldiers and were they also against you in a way?

4 Soldiers fighting you or did they remain civilians?

5 A. No. All joined in, very gladly, if I can put it that way. My

6 colleagues from work took part in this, in this military activity. A

7 young man, whose name is Mladen Krnjajic, I was his superior at work. As

8 a matter of fact, I took him in for that job, and then when I came for

9 those negotiations on that day, when Drazic was supposed to receive us,

10 he, as commander of town, happened to be there. I was flabbergasted. He

11 had the rank of major or something like that. We said hello to each other

12 but he was very official in the way he spoke to me. In all fairness he

13 said, no problem, go ahead. But I didn't notice any embarrassment or

14 anything when we came across each other. I know of a lot of other cases

15 of people I worked with who put uniforms on and carried out the

16 assignments they had.

17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Puric, the Chamber has no further questions but

19 after the break, which we'll have now, the parties will have an

20 opportunity to put further questions to you.

21 Mr. Tieger, could you give us an indication as to how much time

22 you would need.

23 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I would think 15 to 20 minutes at the

24 most. I'm going to discuss that during the break but it may be that there

25 is even less time required. Thank you.

Page 27015

1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would then the -- Mr. Stewart or Mr. Josse, the

2 remainder of that session, the president was a bit longer but let's just

3 assume that the second session would then be approximately one hour and 20

4 minutes instead of the usual one hour and 30 minutes. Would the remaining

5 hour do for you?

6 MR. JOSSE: I will make sure that it does.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then of course it was announced that there

8 would be another filing for which a courtesy copy is to be sent to the

9 Chamber --

10 MR. JOSSE: It's been filed because during this session it's come

11 through on to my system as an official filing.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps it's not a bad idea that we start reading

13 already. We adjourn until five minutes to 5.00.

14 --- Recess taken at 4.29 p.m.

15 --- On resuming at 5.00 p.m.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Puric, you'll first be examined by Mr. Harmon?

17 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Your Honour. Yes, I wish to inform

18 the Chamber and Mr. Puric that I have no questions.

19 JUDGE ORIE: No questions for Mr. Puric. That's very brief.

20 Counsel for the Prosecution has no questions for you, Mr. Puric.

21 Mr. Josse, that means that I give an opportunity to you now to put

22 questions to Mr. Puric.

23 Mr. Puric, Mr. Josse is counsel for the Defence. Please proceed.

24 Examination by Mr. Josse:

25 Q. Towards the end of the questions asked by the learned Presiding

Page 27016

1 Judge, you were asked whether you can recall any discussion in the

2 negotiations about the possibility of your return to Bosanski Novi when

3 things became safer, quieter, the war ended, or whatever. Do you remember

4 that question, Mr. Puric?

5 A. Yes. I remember the question.

6 Q. And as I understood your answer, it was that at no point in the

7 negotiations was the issue of the return of any Bosniaks to the

8 municipality discussed. Is that your evidence?

9 A. Yes. That's what I said.

10 Q. And are you sure about that?

11 A. Yes. I'm sure about that. During the course of the negotiations,

12 we never mentioned that we intended to return. As a matter of fact, we

13 did not even dare discuss it.

14 Q. Did anyone else mention it, be it any Serb or international

15 negotiator or anyone else? Was this subject ever discussed or mentioned

16 in the negotiations?

17 A. The Serbs never mentioned that. I think the members of the

18 international community who took part in the negotiations also did not

19 discuss that, or rather they did not mention any return to that area. I

20 mean, directly, that somebody was saying, all right, you'll return within

21 a certain period of time. No. That was not mentioned. At that moment,

22 we did not insist on talking about any return at all, although we knew and

23 hoped for a time when we would come back because I knew that what was

24 going on then had to be brought to an end and that ultimately we would go

25 back home.

Page 27017

1 Q. I'll return, if I may, Mr. Puric, to that subject in a few

2 minutes' time.

3 You have made some reference to a film that was made at the time

4 of some of the events that you have described. That's right, isn't it?

5 Such a film is in existence?

6 A. Yes. Yes. There is a cassette that was recorded by journalists.

7 I was aware of the fact that these negotiations were being recorded at the

8 time, but I got that cassette much later, after the war.

9 Q. And I don't want to mislead you in any way at all. Mr. Delic,

10 when he came to this Chamber, provided the parties with copies of that

11 video. Did you know that?

12 A. Well, it's the same cassette that I have and that he has. We both

13 have that cassette. I have that cassette at home too.

14 Q. My question is, did you know that Mr. Delic had provided a copy to

15 the Chamber for it to consider? Were you aware of that?

16 A. Yes, yes, I was aware of that.

17 Q. And digressing if I may nor a moment, were you able to follow

18 Mr. Delic's evidence? Did you watch it on the internet or any such

19 medium?

20 A. No. I did not follow it.

21 Q. So how do you know that Mr. Delic provided the video to the

22 Chamber?

23 A. Well I knew Mr. Delic was invited and he's my neighbour. My house

24 and his father's house are right next door. We saw each other. I knew

25 that he was going to The Hague.

Page 27018

1 Q. That doesn't entirely answer my question. How precisely did you

2 know that he had provided the video to the Chamber?

3 A. He told me. He told me that he handed over his cassette. I

4 wanted to bring that same cassette along and I asked him whether it was

5 necessary for me to bring it here but then I said, if you brought your

6 cassette there, then there is no need for me to take mine. And he said

7 that he had shown his cassette.

8 Q. What else did he tell you about his evidence or his experiences in

9 The Hague in general?

10 A. He didn't exactly talk to me about his evidence, what he

11 concretely spoke of. After he arrived, we talked a bit, I was interested

12 in what this looked like, what the procedure was, and so on and so forth.

13 At the time, when this cassette was being created and when our trips were

14 being organised, we were together all the time. We were always in touch.

15 We talked about this together, with people from the international

16 community and people from the municipality. During the course of these

17 conversations, we were together every day so we knew what was going on.

18 He didn't particularly tell me about his evidence, what he stated, nothing

19 special. I was sort of interested in the procedure, things like that.

20 Q. Returning if I may to the video, when was the last time you

21 watched it?

22 A. I watched it often. The last time I watched it was only a few

23 days ago.

24 Q. In preparation for your testimony?

25 A. Yes.

Page 27019

1 Q. It's right, isn't it, that it shows between 15 and 30 minutes,

2 you, Mr. Pasic, Mr. Delic, the two officers from the Krajina, and Mr. Jens

3 above all else, negotiating?

4 A. Yes, yes. That can be seen.

5 Q. Was that the first or the second meeting?

6 A. I think this was the first meeting, what you can see on the

7 cassette.

8 Q. And isn't it right that among the things that Mr. Jens asks

9 Mr. Pasic is whether there was -- whether the Bosnian Serb authorities in

10 the municipality were prepared to guarantee the return of the Bosniak

11 community in the event of the situation in the area improving?

12 A. I don't remember that.

13 Q. Let me ask you a little bit more about the video. We can see on

14 the video quite a number of people milling around in the background. Who

15 were these people?

16 A. I identified some of the people that were there. A lot of people

17 who were there -- or rather some people came from Republika Srpska

18 Krajina, they stopped. It wasn't that there were some people who started

19 the negotiations and who stayed on there. Many Muslims or rather some

20 Muslims who were there joined in later, because they knew me, Delic and

21 some other people, they joined in because they knew that negotiations were

22 under way and they wanted to take part in these negotiations in order to

23 contribute to having this problem resolved. So there were some people who

24 just happened to come and then they joined in. Delic and I were

25 practically in all the negotiations. We were there together.

Page 27020

1 Q. Do you know the nationality and the ethnicity of the cameraman?

2 A. I think that he's an ethnic Serb. He was filming for TV Novi Sad.

3 I don't know if that is the origin but I don't think that there was anyone

4 else there but him and he's from Novi. He's from Bosanski Novi.

5 Q. That's very helpful because that leads to my next question which

6 was or which is whose idea was it to create this historical

7 contemporaneous record of these rather important negotiations?

8 A. Well, I'm the last person you should ask that question, because at

9 that time we could not have any influence over anyone, in terms of filming

10 or not filming. We could not forbid it, we could not ask someone to do

11 it. It was of their own volition. They wanted to film this and that TV

12 was watched in the area of Bosanski Novi, or rather it was TV Belgrade

13 that was watched the most at that time. So it was Novi Sad and Belgrade.

14 He was the correspondent of TV Novi Sad.

15 Q. So it was very much a Serb production, this film, is that what

16 you're saying?

17 A. Yes, for sure.

18 Q. And do you know - and only say if you can help - when and where

19 the film was broadcast?

20 A. I never saw that on TV. At that time, when we were negotiating

21 and so on and so forth, it would have been ridiculous for us to watch it

22 and to follow the news. We were in basements most of the time. After we

23 got out, we could not watch that programme.

24 Q. How did you get your copy of the programme?

25 A. I got this copy from a person from Bihac. Now, how that person

Page 27021

1 happened to get that copy, I have no idea. But that person originally

2 comes from Bosanski Novi and this person called me and then this person

3 said that this was filmed on that cassette when we left and I asked if I

4 could get a copy. They made a copy and that's how I got it.

5 Q. Do you know whether the film has ever been broadcast on

6 terrestrial television, either in Bosnia, Serbia, or indeed anywhere

7 else?

8 A. I know. And I'll tell you now how come. When I came to Zagreb

9 after the convoy left, a month or two later I met a lady I knew before the

10 war. We happened to see each other on the tram and she told me that she

11 had seen me on television, making a statement when the convoy was about to

12 leave. I did not watch that TV programme but she told me about this and I

13 know, therefore, that it had been broadcast. Now, when that took place, I

14 don't know, and I told you that I could not have watched it anyway.

15 Q. Now, bearing in mind you saw it recently, you may be able to help

16 in a number of regards. It starts, does it not, with an interview with

17 Mr. Pasic which lasts for about five minutes, do you recall that?

18 A. Yes. I recall that. I recall that. I mean, the footage that you

19 saw are excerpts from the overall conversation. The beginning of this

20 cassette is not the actual beginning of the discussion, I think. These

21 discussions went on a lot longer than what you can see on the cassette.

22 So these are excerpts and there are interruptions too. So these

23 discussions went on much longer.

24 Q. Yes. Perhaps you misunderstood me. What I'm suggesting to you is

25 certainly on the film that we have been provided with, it begins with an

Page 27022

1 interview, not part of the negotiation, an interview with Mr. Pasic,

2 presumably by a journalist. Does that jog your memory?

3 A. If that's the part at the bridge, if that interview took place on

4 the bridge, the one with Mr. Pasic, then I was there. If it was not on

5 the bridge, then I wasn't there. I know very well that I was not present

6 during any interview.

7 Q. Mr. Puric, I'm not suggesting for one moment you were there. I'm

8 just simply asking whether you had seen this interview with Pasic on the

9 film. If you can't remember, say so. It doesn't matter.

10 A. Your question is not very clear. That interview --

11 Q. I'm going to move on.

12 After the 20- to 30-minute extract of the negotiation on the

13 bridge, there is an interview -- I beg your pardon. You're seen on the

14 video, I suggest, talking to a soldier from the United Nations. Does that

15 ring a bell?

16 A. Yes, yes. Of course. I remember that full well.

17 Q. What was that about, please?

18 A. That took place when the convoy had already been put in place, and

19 was ready to leave. There was a bus in the first place in the convoy, and

20 then there were these other buses and behind all the buses there were

21 passenger vehicles. The convoy was not leaving at all, so I left my own

22 personal vehicle there and I came to the head of the column and I asked

23 the representatives of the international community to let us go. These

24 talks actually took place because the representative of the international

25 community did not allow the convoy to leave, to reach the territory of the

Page 27023

1 Republic of Srpska Krajina, as he called it. You heard what the reason

2 was, why they were not allowing us to go. That was stated very clearly

3 during that conversation. You could have heard that very clearly.

4 Q. Unfortunately, and I'm not here to give evidence, but I've clearly

5 viewed it and the questions I'm asking -- as I see the situation, though

6 you were talking to that soldier through an interpreter, the soldier was

7 not speaking English. The soldier came from a non-English speaking

8 country and the translator was translating through the soldier's language

9 so I'm afraid I didn't understand that passage at all. Just for your

10 information. You understand, I only understand English and that

11 conversation was not conducted in English at all. Perhaps you can tell

12 us, do you know which country that soldier came from?

13 A. I'm not going to speak with any high degree of certainty but I

14 think it was the Danish battalion and the representative was from Denmark.

15 I have with me a note that this gentleman who I negotiated with gave me so

16 that I could use it as a pass in a way so that we go from Kostajnica,

17 Dubica, Draksevic, Jasenovac so that we move along the Bosnian side and

18 that's ultimately what we had to do.

19 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, whilst the witness is finding that, this

20 isn't meant to be some secret tour -- one moment, please -- which we are

21 trying to deprive the Chamber from being part of. In fact the Defence

22 would very much encourage the Chamber to have an opportunity to view the

23 whole of this video. It's about an hour long. The Chamber has expressed

24 an interest, understandably, in these negotiations as you've heard from

25 the witness. I don't need to give evidence about this. The video depicts

Page 27024

1 20 to 30 minutes of negotiation on the bridge. There are practical

2 problems in producing this video for the Chamber. There is absolutely no

3 prospect in the Defence providing a transcript. None whatsoever, frankly,

4 Your Honour. It would take far too long but there are -- the whole of the

5 video, Chamber, I would venture to suggest, would find interesting.

6 Perhaps it's something we could address when the witness is finished but I

7 just want the Chamber to be aware that this examination is not designed as

8 some sort of a device to put the video in without the Court having an

9 opportunity to see it. Quite the reverse. We would welcome the Chamber

10 to view it.

11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand but I also do understand I take

12 it then that it's subtitled or translated voiceover but where the witness

13 says --

14 MR. JOSSE: No, no, no. May I just deal with that.


16 MR. JOSSE: The negotiations on the bridge, Mr. Jens speaks

17 English.

18 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just talking about the passage you just referred

19 to where this witness is speaking to a soldier who seems to speak another

20 language.

21 MR. JOSSE: Yes.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Where this witness says you could have heard what he

23 said. So I take it in one way or the other either by subtitling or by

24 voice over at least it's translated into B/C/S.

25 MR. JOSSE: There is a translator translating it for the benefit

Page 27025

1 of Mr. Puric at the time in the B/C/S.

2 JUDGE ORIE: Fine, that's not translated into English. But if

3 Mr. Puric says you could have heard what his position was why he opposed,

4 why not ask him at this moment because Mr. Puric seems to know.

5 MR. JOSSE: I'm not against that at all.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Puric, as you may have understood from

7 Mr. Josse, the words spoken by the soldier, you thought, was Danish but

8 that's not most important, that he could not follow it because it's not

9 translated into English. Could you tell us what the words of this Danish

10 soldier were as it was translated to you at the time? What did he say?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Our conversation was basically that

12 they were trying to persuade us or rather to persuade me that it was

13 impossible for the convoy to go in the direction that we wanted to go in

14 and that they did not have clearance for letting us go that way. I said

15 something then, I said that we as refugees have certain rights, and that

16 they cannot deny us those rights. I believed then that our rights were

17 the following: That we had the right to seek protection by entering the

18 territory of another state. I'm an economist, I knew just a bit of law so

19 I availed myself of that opportunity to say that particular thing. We,

20 however, were being persuaded that there was no possibility for us to set

21 foot on the territory of the Republic of Croatia or the then Republic of

22 Serb Krajina and that they were there to prevent us from entering that

23 area. He gave me a piece of paper that I've kept since. It's a sort of

24 pass. He wrote here that we should take a different route, Bosanska

25 Kostajnica, Bosanska Dubica, Draksevic, Jasenovac. That's the piece of

Page 27026

1 paper. See? And it is --

2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Usually, Mr. Puric, you're not allowed to

3 consult any piece of paper but you did it so openly, perhaps it could be

4 put on the ELMO so that we could have a look at it and see whether there

5 is any --

6 MR. JOSSE: It's clearly an original document, Your Honour. It's

7 not quite like a note.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Let's have a look at it --

9 MR. JOSSE: I'm all for that.

10 JUDGE ORIE: -- and see whether -- yes. At least it gives the

11 names of -- I leave it to the parties whether there is any need to have

12 this as a supporting document of the evidence of the witness.

13 I think you now told us what this soldier told you at the time.

14 Mr. Josse, please proceed.


16 Q. And what's that? Is that the soldier's signature at the bottom

17 there?

18 A. Yes, that's the soldier's signature.

19 MR. JOSSE: Though I'm basically neutral Your Honour it would make

20 more sense on the transcript if the piece of paper was copied and

21 exhibited, I would venture to suggest.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Puric, would you mind to give it for just a

23 short while, because I take it that you'd like to keep the original. The

24 original is now at least available for the parties to inspect if they want

25 to. Then a copy will be made, the original will be returned to you, and

Page 27027

1 would you agree with that?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I agree.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then it's given to the representative of the

4 Registry for copying.

5 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.

6 MR. JOSSE: Could it have a number, then, Your Honour?

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Registrar, the number would be?

8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

9 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber's number might not be a bad idea.

10 Chamber's number would be?

11 THE REGISTRAR: C9, Your Honours.

12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar. Please proceed, Mr. Josse.


14 Q. After the extract of your speaking to the Danish soldier, I'm

15 sorry, I want to ask you a little bit more about that. It's obvious that

16 the cameraman was following you and was filming your discussion with the

17 Danish soldier. How comes the cameraman was following you?

18 A. If you can believe me, at that point in time, I wasn't even aware

19 that it was being filmed. I didn't even know it was being filmed.

20 Everything was focused on the conversation with that gentleman and on the

21 problem that we were discussing. You could see that I was excited. I

22 didn't even notice the cameraman.

23 Q. Mr. Puric, at what point, if at all, did it strike you that this

24 whole process showed a certain amount of openness by the Serbs in allowing

25 this process to be filmed? If you don't agree with that proposition, say

Page 27028

1 so. I don't want to put words into your mouth.

2 A. Could you please reformulate your question, put it differently?

3 Q. Do you think that by allowing the negotiation on the bridge, your

4 discussion with the Danish soldier, to be filmed, that this showed a

5 certain openness on the part of the Serb authorities?

6 A. Openness or goodwill, I don't really see any openness or goodwill

7 in relation to us. It's just a gesture indicating that they were not

8 ashamed of that fact that people were leaving. They behaved as if it was

9 some kind of sports event, that it was a normal event. For us, it was a

10 matter of life and death. For them, it was a television programme.

11 Q. Let's go on, bearing in mind the answer you've just given and look

12 at -- examine what's on the rest of the video. After your conversation

13 with the Danish soldier, there is an extract from a meeting in a room, a

14 meeting that takes place round some sort of table. Do you know what I'm

15 referring to?

16 A. I was not at that meeting, and you don't see me on that tape. I

17 didn't participate at the meeting and I don't know anything about it.

18 It's a part of the tape that was recorded after it was broadcast on some

19 Serbian programme. That segment of the tape was filmed after the

20 attempt -- the events on the bridge. So it happened after that, and I

21 wasn't present at that meeting so I don't know what was discussed.

22 Q. That's helpful, but you have seen the extract, haven't you?

23 A. I just went over that as if it had nothing to do with me. So many

24 things there were so superficially edited in order to create the

25 impression that this was some law and order there. It was a charade of

Page 27029

1 legality, the return or restoration of robbed property. You can guess how

2 much of the property was looted. Suddenly they showed one corner of

3 one -- of the place where I was working, as that having been returned in

4 order to try to create the impression that the rule of law was being

5 enforced again.

6 Q. I'm going to suggest to you, Mr. Puric, that your remark that this

7 film was superficially edited is an unfair one in the extreme because, in

8 particular, if one looks at the extract of this round-table meeting, which

9 I haven't yet described to the Chamber, there is no question that the

10 international negotiator is being extremely condemnatory of the behaviour

11 of the Serbs. Do you accept that?

12 A. If you're asking me about that part that was in the offices or

13 something like that, if you're asking me about that, then I really don't

14 want to comment, that event or that discussion or that speech. Other than

15 what was said on the bridge, that's the only thing that I can talk about.

16 As far as all the rest, it's really something that I am not informed

17 about. I didn't know what happened.

18 Q. Let me repeat the question I asked a minute or two ago. Have you

19 watched that extract of the film, the extract that depicts the round-table

20 discussion inside a room?

21 A. I can say that when I looked at the tape again, I simply skipped

22 those parts. I skipped that part of the video because I wasn't interested

23 in that. Those talks that were conducted, I am informed about it, I know

24 that there is that part of the tape as well but I'm not interested in

25 that. At that time and now I was interested in other things, and that's

Page 27030

1 the problem that we were discussing on the bridge. That was the only

2 thing that I was interested in. As for the rest, there were such talks.

3 I know that probably there was more than even what was taped and what is

4 on that cassette.

5 Q. I'm not going to labour this point, Mr. Puric, but are you

6 seriously suggesting that you did not watch the extract that I am just

7 asking you about, the negotiation in the room round the table? You didn't

8 watch that at all?

9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please specify now, ever, because the

10 witness told us that it was only a couple of days before he came to The

11 Hague that -- I'd like to make sure that there is no misunderstanding

12 about that.

13 So if you're answering that question, Mr. Puric, whether you saw

14 the whole of the tape, were you referring or would you please make clear

15 to the Chamber whether you ever saw the whole of the tape or when

16 reviewing the tape recently whether you then watched the whole of it or

17 just portions?

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The last time I watched, I watched

19 those -- actually those parts that had nothing to do with the part on the

20 bridge, I just skipped over. I watched carefully only the part where I

21 was, the event in which I participated. The other parts I didn't really

22 watch or analyse in any particular way. I wasn't even paying attention to

23 what was being said. All I saw was an image of some talks in some room so

24 I just skipped over that. I wasn't interested in that. And I believe

25 that that has nothing to do with my testimony. I didn't take part in

Page 27031

1 those talks. And I couldn't contribute in any way and I didn't hear

2 anything directly about that.

3 MR. JOSSE: I'll move on.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Josse, if a witness says that he doesn't

5 appear in a certain portion of a film it's very difference of course for

6 him to say so if he hasn't seen it.

7 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I'm effectively, as we would say in

8 England, bound by the answer the witness has given and I'm going to move

9 on, save for this.

10 Q. In a spirit of genuine inquiry, do you have any idea who the

11 person in that room is who does all the talking? Mr. Jens is in there but

12 he doesn't do the speaking. Another member of the international community

13 gives a long and rather impassioned speech in English. Do you have any

14 idea who that person is?

15 A. No.

16 Q. The next extract, part of the video, is the interview with

17 yourself that you mentioned when you were being questioned by the learned

18 judges; that's right, isn't it?

19 A. When the Judges were asking me, I'm not sure what exactly you're

20 asking me, which part are you asking me about?

21 Q. When the Judges were asking you questions, you volunteered to them

22 that on the video there is an interview with you, and that's the next

23 extract, isn't it?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And you told the Judges before the break, a little bit about that

Page 27032

1 interview. Is there anything else that you would like to add as to what

2 you said and why you said it in the course of that interview?

3 A. On the bridge?

4 Q. No, sir.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Let's try to cut that short. I think, Mr. Puric,

6 that Mr. Josse is referring to -- for example, the part of your testimony

7 in which you said that in the interview you said that you -- I have to

8 look it up -- that although you did not discuss return during the

9 negotiations, that you did express yourself on it on wishing to once

10 return during this interview. I think that's the interview Mr. Josse is

11 drawing your attention to at this moment. Yes.

12 MR. JOSSE: Precisely, could I just say Mr. Wijermars has this

13 video on a CD. It's perhaps possible that he can forward to this extract.

14 I appreciate I'm asking a lot of him. He and I had a brief discussion

15 about this at the break so that the witness knows the point that I am

16 referring to. It's about two-thirds of the way through the film, I would

17 say.

18 JUDGE ORIE: If he only looks at it might refresh his memory?

19 MR. JOSSE: I'm not going to ask for it to be played. It would be

20 too much of a task I suspect for the interpreters, frankly.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Wijermars were you able to find -- I take

22 it a still of that portion of the --

23 MR. JOSSE: Yes, ideally or 30 seconds of it. It doesn't need to

24 be translated.


Page 27033

1 MR. JOSSE: If it's not possible, Your Honour.

2 JUDGE ORIE: If you look at your screen, we see at this moment

3 a -- I think Mr. Josse is referring to this portion of the film,

4 Mr. Puric, where it seems that you're interviewed.


6 Q. That's what I'm referring to, Mr. Puric. Let's break it down.

7 Who is interviewing you?

8 A. This is a journalist. His name is Bera.

9 Q. What ethnicity?

10 A. Serb.

11 Q. And he was interviewing you because you were one of the Muslim

12 negotiators presumably; is that correct?

13 A. Because of that, but also it was an opportunity -- actually it was

14 the time when we had already gathered in the convoy and we were waiting

15 for the sign to move, and he asked me if I would like to say a few words.

16 I tried to avoid doing this. However, he insisted that I should say

17 something. Then I agreed to say something. And it's taped. You can go

18 ahead and look at it. I have nothing against you seeing the tape and

19 listening to what I said there.

20 Q. Did you listen to this extract of the tape a few days ago?

21 A. Unfortunately, I must say that this part on the tape that I

22 listened to actually is missing from there. I don't have that. But I do

23 remember that interview. There is no need for me to go over it. I know

24 that this conversation took place and I know more or less what I said.

25 Q. And can you help us at all? Giving us any more detail?

Page 27034

1 A. I already said that the main thrust of the conversation was that

2 unfortunately we had to leave our homes and that I hoped that when these

3 hard times were over, we would be able to return to our homes and that we

4 would live together again. That was more or less the sense of my speech.

5 He didn't say anything. He just said thank you and then he moved on and

6 he interviewed other people who were in the column.

7 Q. Last question about the film, if I may. It ends, does it not,

8 with the cameraman showing the long queue of motorcars, obviously owned by

9 Bosniaks, that formed part of a column, several kilometres long, that

10 eventually left the municipality? Do you remember that part of the film?

11 A. Of course. I remember the column, the buses, the private cars.

12 It was all taped. The column was several kilometres long, as it was

13 passing. It was all on the tape.

14 Q. And my question to you is this, Mr. Puric: The depiction of that

15 brings home to a viewer the humanitarian difficulties that you and your

16 people faced at that time cannot be described as a bit of superficial

17 editing.

18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I'd like you, you are referring to this

19 passage now not nor the first time, to quote it then very precisely. I

20 think the witness said in some respects. He didn't say that the whole of

21 the film was poorly edited. It's certainly not what he said.

22 MR. JOSSE: I'll move on.

23 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.


25 Q. When you used the word "superficially edited," what did you mean?

Page 27035

1 A. I didn't say that it was edited in the sense of some kind of film

2 editing. What I said was that those excerpts were just parts of the

3 conversation, that they were taken and put together; the actual talks

4 lasted for much longer. There was mutual persuasion and so on. So if

5 you're thinking about the part that I said where there was an attempt to

6 create an image of a lawful state, when they were showing the restoration

7 or the return of looted property, what I meant was that this was a

8 propaganda kind of material because it's ridiculous to just show a few

9 things that had been returned while scores of railcars figuratively were

10 not restored, they were robbed and looted. So that symbol that was shown

11 on the television was just ridiculous, but it was taped and I think that

12 that was a kind of wish there to create the impression that the law was

13 functioning and that this was not a state of lawlessness, whereas in

14 actual fact that's exactly what it was.

15 Q. It was a state of lawlessness is what you're saying; is that

16 right?

17 A. Yes.

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 Q. Could we go into private session, please, Your Honour?

25 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into private session.

Page 27036

1 [Private session]

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 [Open session]

Page 27037

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

2 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse.


4 Q. The last issue relates to the talks in your house, Mr. Puric. You

5 told us that Mr. Jens was there. Were any Serbs present?

6 A. Yes. I said that a representative of the municipal assembly was

7 there, Drazen Dragomir.

8 Q. Do you have any knowledge of visits that members of the

9 international community played to the homes of Muslims in Bosanski Novi at

10 about this time, where Serbs were not present, the purpose of those visits

11 being to ascertain how anxious Muslims were to leave?

12 A. I really would not be able to answer that question because I

13 really don't know. I did hear that they went to see some people, they

14 wanted to hear their opinions, but I don't know that for sure because I

15 simply wasn't leaving the house.

16 Q. And who did you hear from that they went to see some people?

17 A. If I were to give you a name I could make a mistake. At that

18 time, all the information about events that reached us were something that

19 we shared with each other, from that circle. Those from other streets who

20 would manage to come and this was dangerous, they would bring news, for

21 example, you would need to leave this particular neighbourhood because

22 there would be shelling that evening. I don't know who told me that, but

23 you could hear, people were there, they were talking about something, so

24 it's not really a question that is very important to me when we are

25 talking about this attempt to leave.

Page 27038

1 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I don't intend to ask any further

2 questions. In the presence of the witness and before he leaves could I

3 make it clear on behalf of Mr. Krajisnik and indeed the Defence in general

4 that we would have been anxious to put parts of this video directly to the

5 witness. Logistically I take the view that would be near enough

6 impossible, apart from having to find the right passage, it's untranslated

7 save for the fact that parts of the negotiation are translated actually on

8 the video. There is no transcript and, logistically, to specifically ask

9 the witness about it in the way that I would like to, in the way I would

10 envisage, is near enough impossible. However, we are going to invite the

11 Chamber to in some way admit the video into evidence.

12 JUDGE ORIE: We'll consider your request, then, perhaps -- the

13 Prosecution might having an idea of how appropriate that would be under

14 the present circumstances.

15 MR. JOSSE: And I'll perhaps briefly in due course develop the

16 submission as to why we say it should be admitted. I don't need to do

17 that in the presence of Mr. Puric. I've just made my position --

18 JUDGE ORIE: Doesn't change the present situation, you would say.

19 That's no questions to put to him.

20 MR. JOSSE: I just don't think there is any way around it,

21 realistically.

22 MR. HARMON: It seems to the Prosecution, Your Honour, that if

23 Mr. Josse wants to play parts of the video to the witness, he can do that.

24 There is nothing to preclude that.


Page 27039

1 MR. JOSSE: I'm delighted if I can sort it out. My client agrees

2 with my learned friend. He's very anxious that I do that.

3 [Trial Chamber confers]

4 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber is not convinced yet that it makes -- I

5 mean from what the Chamber heard, but perhaps -- Mr. Puric, do you

6 understand any English?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please be so kind to take your earphones

9 off for a second? The Chamber doesn't know what to expect and what

10 purpose it would serve. I mean, there seems to be, among whether we look

11 at the testimony of Mr. Pasic or of the other witnesses, there seems to be

12 not a lot of contradiction that the Muslims during the negotiations very

13 much insisted on having an opportunity or at least to leave the

14 municipality. I think the main issue for the Chamber might be, and

15 whether the circumstances were such that the words "voluntary" would need

16 further interpretation on what exactly means "voluntary" under those

17 circumstances. I don't know to what extent the video would assist us in

18 interpreting that.

19 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, with respect, we are slightly surprised

20 by that, for this reason. The Chamber expressed a real interest in this

21 aspect of the [indiscernible] and the negotiations and lo and behold,

22 unbeknownst certainly to the Defence and I dare say the Prosecution, the

23 first Chamber witness comes along, mentions a video, the Chamber

24 understands and distributes that to the parties and we discover that 20 to

25 30 minutes of the very negotiation --.

Page 27040


2 MR. JOSSE: -- that these two witnesses have been brought here to

3 describe is shown in full in colour. So to speak. And in those

4 circumstances, how the Chamber takes the view that it's of no real

5 interest.

6 JUDGE ORIE: No real interest. Of course what the Chamber wanted

7 to do is to, where some of the witnesses said that it was because of the

8 horrible situation that they wanted to leave, and where other witnesses

9 said that it was totally different, to hear the testimony of those who

10 were involved in those negotiations, and from what I understand, there is

11 not a lot of disagreement on what positions were taken during these

12 negotiations whereas until now we had only the information from some

13 participants in these negotiations.

14 MR. JOSSE: But Your Honour, I remain on behalf of the Defence

15 slightly puzzled because it's never been in dispute, so I thought, that

16 the situation that the Bosniak community faced in the municipality was

17 intolerable. The reasons for its intolerability is a matter that's in

18 dispute. We were also under the impression that there was some dispute as

19 to the view the international community took of these matters. Whilst I

20 accept that Mr. Kirudja wasn't present at the bridge, Mr. Jens was

21 negotiating on his behalf, and we would say that some of the things that

22 Mr. Jens says supports the Defence interpretation of frankly the United

23 Nations' stance at the time. In addition to that, Your Honour

24 specifically asked the question of the witness as to what, if anything,

25 was said about return. Mr. Jens asks Pasic about that. Now, in truth,

Page 27041

1 that part was slightly inaudible and I can't say, and I'm not here to give

2 evidence, exactly what Pasic said at that juncture in time but in our

3 submission, that's highly relevant, there is no question that Jens brings

4 up the issue and there is no question that Pasic responds and in our

5 submission, the Chamber surely wants to view the video and see exactly

6 what was said and by the participants.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Now if you would play the video now, what would be

8 the questions for the witness?

9 MR. JOSSE: The questions for the witness would then flow from the

10 video and, for example, that extract I would be very anxious to play and

11 ask him whether that refreshes his memory, what he has to say about that,

12 what he has to say about Pasic's response, why he didn't say anything at

13 the time. I might ask him why it was he couldn't remember that extract

14 earlier. Things of that sort. But, Your Honour, Your Honour, let me make

15 it plain, it's not showing it to the witness that's the be all and the end

16 all. I've taken the witness through it because I was concerned that if I

17 sought to introduce the video, I and the Defence might be criticised for

18 not having given the witness an opportunity to deal with it in some way.

19 But frankly, our primary concern is that the Chamber views it --

20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well --

21 MR. JOSSE: -- warts and all.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. We'll consider that. So you say although you

23 would have preferred and you would like to avoid any criticism of not

24 having put portions of the video to the witness, that at least you think

25 it important for the Chamber to have the transcript available and to view

Page 27042

1 the video at any rate.

2 MR. JOSSE: Yes, the provision of a transcript is a difficult and

3 thorny issue.

4 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that we have some practical problems

5 there but we'll -- yes, Mr. Harmon?

6 MR. HARMON: The video is quite long, Your Honour. It depends on

7 what portion of the video Mr. Josse is talking about. If we're talking

8 about the section on the bridge, and that's the portion he wants the Court

9 to view because that's the portion Mr. Puric has personal knowledge of,

10 then that's one issue. If Mr. Josse is trying to get into evidence the

11 remaining part of the video that Mr. Puric has -- for which he has no

12 knowledge, that's a separate issue. I'd like some clarification from

13 Mr. Josse as to what portion of the video he's referring to that he wants

14 the Chamber to see.

15 MR. JOSSE: We would invite the Chamber to view, clearly it would

16 require a translation, the interview with Mr. Pasic the video commences

17 with, the 20- to 30-minute extract on the bridge, most certainly, the

18 conversation -- the third passage in my note is the conversation between

19 this witness and the Danish soldier. The fourth passage is the

20 round-table meeting that I have described. I am bound to say that I'm not

21 particularly anxious for the Chamber to view that. It doesn't help the

22 Defence case very much at all but I would have thought my learned friend

23 might wish the Chamber to view it. The fifth passage is the coaches

24 leaving, that's silent, and the sixth passage is the other interview with

25 Mr. Puric the Chamber has seen a still photograph from. And then the last

Page 27043

1 part of it, according to my note, is the convoy that I have described. So

2 that's it. The only part in fact that the witness can't help with is the

3 interview with Mr. Pasic, which I would submit would be admissible for

4 obvious reasons, and the round-table meeting. I don't mind if the Chamber

5 doesn't view the round-table meeting.


7 [Trial Chamber confers]

8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, the Chamber has decided that it will not

9 at this moment seek to look at this video, which does not mean that the

10 Chamber has decided that it would not seek further access, also in

11 technical terms, to the video and the language spoken on this video.

12 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.


14 Mr. Puric, the Chamber has no further questions to you. The

15 Prosecution had no questions for you. So where I usually say that we

16 thank you for coming to The Hague and answering questions from Bench and

17 parties, in this situation I have to thank you for having answered the

18 questions of the Bench and one of the parties.

19 Mr. Puric, it is a long way. We would like to thank you for

20 having come to The Hague and I wish you a safe trip home again.

21 Unfortunately you could not testify yesterday for practical reasons but we

22 hope you'll be soon home again.

23 And the original of your little note you will receive that through

24 VWS, the victims and witness section, when you have left this courtroom,

25 but we have not forgotten about it. You'll get the original back.

Page 27044

1 Mr. Puric, I thank you very much for coming and -- yes.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm glad that I could

3 have made this statement because I felt it necessary to convey part of the

4 atmosphere and also to convey our suffering and I wanted this Court to

5 hear it.

6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Puric, you came to answer our questions in full

7 accordance with the truth and that's important for this Chamber.

8 Then we will adjourn for -- we will resume at 25 minutes to 7.00.

9 We have 25 minutes left. And then of course the Chamber will have to give

10 a decision, if -- at least an oral decision on the second part of the

11 motion which has been filed which was not to call a witness. We'll

12 consider the matter. And we resume in 20 minutes from now.

13 --- Recess taken at 6.17 p.m.

14 --- On resuming at 6.40 p.m.

15 JUDGE ORIE: We have only 20 minutes left for today. I take it

16 that the next witness has become a public witness, whereas he -- we

17 prepared his testimony, still considering the possibility of him applying

18 for protective measures. That is a development we can't change any more.

19 But of course the first thing we'll have to do is to give a decision on

20 the motion that was filed only today. We considered the motion but not in

21 full. We only considered that part of the motion where the Defence

22 requests this Chamber not to call Mr. Djeric as a witness; whether or not

23 the motion in relation to the evidence given by Ms. Plavsic should be

24 granted or not is not part of our decision. The motion to the extent that

25 it requests the Chamber and I'll then read it literally, that

Page 27045

1 Mr. Branko Djeric not be called as a Chamber witness to give evidence in

2 this trial, that motion is denied by the Chamber.

3 The Defence might not be surprised, due to the late filing of this

4 motion, that the reasons will be given in a written decision one of these

5 days. But we had to -- we had to decide. Therefore, I'd like to have

6 Mr. Djeric be escorted into the courtroom.

7 [The witness entered court]

8 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Djeric. I --

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon to you, too.

10 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please at this moment state your full name

11 and date of birth?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Branko Djeric, the 20th of November,

13 1948.

14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Djeric.

15 Mr. Djeric, you are perhaps aware that this Tribunal has issued an

16 indictment against you for contempt of court, and we have as well issued a

17 warrant for your arrest which we then subsequently suspended. The reason

18 for these contempt proceedings against you was your apparent refusal to

19 comply with the terms of a subpoena issued to you on the 8th of June 2006.

20 Let me first ask you are you aware of all these facts I just mentioned?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Our registrar has copies of the subpoena, a copy of

23 the indictment brought against you, and the arrest warrant in B/C/S. So

24 since you say that you're not aware of it, that you now at least have

25 copies in your own language of these documents.

Page 27046

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon. I mean, you

2 first said that an indictment was issued against me and that got me

3 confused, you see. As for the latter part, I have to tell you that I had

4 certain health problems that have been going on since the month of

5 January. The problems are related to my jaw, and therefore, I have these

6 permanent headaches. The doctors decided, since I have these implanted

7 teeth, that a mistake must have been made at the time when the lower jaw

8 was being worked on, and there was a mistake made. There is a discrepancy

9 of five to six millimetres and, due to that, I do not really have a

10 balance between my upper and lower jaw, which causes constant headaches.

11 The pain is particularly severe around the ears and so on and so forth.

12 So I was dealing with that all the time. And I have proof of that, you

13 see. So that is one thing.

14 Also, until now you communicated with me through the office of the

15 Tribunal in Sarajevo. And then there was a certain change, I don't know

16 why. Sometime in May, I came to the university where I work and an

17 envelope had been left for me, a certain envelope and I asked who sent

18 this to me said they did not know, somebody had come without any

19 registration plates, and so on and so forth. Quite simply, I was taken

20 aback, especially because there were provocations against me that had been

21 going on for ten years in relation to you. I mean in relation to the

22 Tribunal. Either by telephone or by leaving some materials for me. So

23 you will understand that I thought that this was a provocation too.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, whether that's self-evident or not is not

25 something I think we should explore in full detail at this moment.

Page 27047

1 Mr. Djeric, I just want to give you copies or at least to provide

2 you with copies of the documents I just mentioned. The first one was an

3 order that you should appear before this Court which you finally never got

4 into your own hands, let me say it this way. Then the Chamber decided

5 that it would indict and prosecute you for contempt of the Tribunal. That

6 is, that on the 8th of June, you refused to receive a subpoena and you

7 refused to sign a memorandum of service presented to you by an agent of

8 Republika Srpska. At least now you've got a copy of that and on the basis

9 of that we issued an arrest warrant and as I said before that has been

10 suspended since then. But given that you have since decided to come to

11 The Hague to testify in this trial of Mr. Krajisnik, the Chamber has, in

12 its discretion, decided that it is not in the interests of justice to

13 proceed with the contempt proceedings against you. Therefore, the

14 indictment, of which you have just received a copy, the indictment against

15 you is hereby dismissed. At least the Chamber decides not to pursue the

16 indictment against you any more, and as a consequence the warrant of

17 arrest which was already suspended is hereby lifted as well. So

18 therefore, at this moment, even though in this limited -- on these limited

19 charges, you are no longer an accused, an accused of contempt of court

20 before this Tribunal. And therefore, in a moment, I'll invite to you make

21 a solemn declaration that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth and

22 nothing but the truth. But before we proceed to that stage -- you've

23 given already some of the reasons why you thought that -- why you thought

24 that you were provoked and that you were focusing mainly on the health

25 problems you are facing. So the Chamber -- I think it's not of major

Page 27048

1 importance to further elaborate on this any more in view of the decision

2 already taken by the Chamber.

3 The circumstances, however, leading to your testimony in this case

4 mean that there is no point at this stage any more to ask you in private

5 session whether you have any reasons to apply for protective measures as a

6 witness in the Krajisnik case. We started this whole of the procedure

7 without making public your name and that the Chamber intended to call you

8 as a Chamber witness, but in the contempt matter, everything became public

9 so therefore it's no reason to ask you in private session whether you

10 would apply for protective measures as a witness, as such, in this case.

11 Your testimony is already a public event by now but if, in the

12 course of your testimony, you would wish to refer to matters that might

13 call for confidential treatment, then please let me know and we can decide

14 such questions then on a case-by-case basis. We always have an

15 opportunity to go into private session and to not publicly deal with

16 certain matters. Is this all clear to you, Mr. Djeric?

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Thank you. I do

18 apologise for having to use up a few minutes to thank you, because I see

19 that you first acted as a human being and then as a lawyer. You see,

20 nobody showed me these documents. The gentleman who came from the MUP was

21 the person I told ultimately that I would call you. Now, was this

22 conveyed to you? Was this conveyed to the Court? I mean, I said that I

23 would call you as soon as I resolved my health problems. Please bear that

24 in mind.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As I said before, it might not be of great

Page 27049

1 assistance to revisit the details of what happened at this moment and the

2 Chamber has decided that it's not in the interests of justice at this

3 moment to proceed with these contempt proceedings against you. Then this

4 is the moment when I would like to invite you to make a solemn declaration

5 that you will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

6 The text is handed out to you by Madam Usher. May I ask to you stand up

7 and to make that solemn declaration.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


11 [Witness answered through interpreter]

12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Djeric.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you, too.

14 Questioned by the Court:

15 JUDGE ORIE: You have given already your name and date of birth.

16 That was before you made your solemn declaration. I take it that your

17 full name and date of birth is still the same as you told us a couple of

18 minutes ago.

19 A. Yes, I mean, yes.

20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please state your current address and

21 other contact details, Mr. Djeric?

22 A. Pale, Pale, the street is called Ulica Srpski Ratnika, G 3.


24 A. My mobile telephone number, if necessary?

25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, perhaps we should not ask you at this moment for

Page 27050

1 that because people might start calling you at this moment. Perhaps at

2 some moment, perhaps in private session and also to protect your

3 privacy --

4 A. Please. All right.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. So perhaps if the parties or if the staff

6 of the Chamber would need to verify these telephone numbers we will do

7 that at a later stage but then perhaps in private session and not in

8 public.

9 I take it at least that the Defence would understand the reasons

10 for that as well.

11 Could I then ask you briefly about your educational background and

12 may I also invite you to give concise answers? Many of the questions that

13 will be put to you will deal with matters on which the Chamber heard

14 already quite some evidence. Of course, the Chamber would like to hear

15 your testimony, but sometimes there are a lot of details which are not

16 disputed between the parties and of which the Chamber has already some

17 knowledge.

18 But first of all, your educational background, could you briefly

19 state your education?

20 A. I'm economist by training. I have a doctorate and I'm a

21 university professor at the school of economics. So I'm an economist.

22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's clear to us. Then some information

23 about your professional become. You have -- we come later to that but on

24 the basis of the evidence the Chamber already received we have to -- it's

25 very likely that you'll tell us at a later stage that you were involved in

Page 27051

1 politics. Could you tell us what happened before that? What was your

2 professional background prior to entering politics or what did you do

3 then?

4 A. I started out as a young economist in a company called

5 Energoinvest in Sarajevo. I worked there for two years. Then I became an

6 assistant Professor at the University of Sarajevo so from then, that is to

7 say since 1973 or rather 1974 when I became an assistant Professor to this

8 day, I have been teaching at university. So there is a couldn't knew knit

9 my university career.

10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. When did you -- whether did you enter politics

11 for the first time?

12 A. I was involved in politics when I was a student, for a while, as a

13 student. And then I mean there was this void. Just before the war -- I

14 mean, from 1974 onwards, when I came to the university and all the way up

15 to 1991 I was not in politics.

16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In 1991, how did you enter politics? I mean,

17 what position did you then hold?

18 A. Politics. Well, I mean, I did that on behalf of the Serb

19 political factor in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I became a member of the

20 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as minister for development, that is.

21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that is -- was the position you kept until

22 the conflict broke out, is that --

23 A. Yes.

24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then once the Bosnia-Herzegovina, when you

25 were not minister for development any more in the Bosnia-Herzegovina

Page 27052

1 government, did you then enter politics in the Bosnian Serb republic?

2 A. Yes, yes. As Prime Minister-designate.

3 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us when that happened?

4 A. Well, sometime round mid-March.

5 JUDGE ORIE: Mid-March, may I take it that it's 1992?

6 A. No, no, no, no, no, no. 1992, mid-March 1992.

7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's what I said. It may have been

8 mistranslated but that is what I understood.

9 Could you tell us where you were -- I think you already told us

10 that later on, you went back to the university. Did you go immediately

11 back teaching at university once you had given up your political position?

12 A. You mean in 1992?


14 A. When I left my political position, for a while I was employed in

15 the office of one of the Energoinvest companies in Moscow. For a while,

16 for about four or five months.


18 A. 1993. This was 1993. And then I went back to university.

19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I was not very consequent in my questions. You

20 said that you entered politics in the Bosnian Serb republic as a designate

21 Prime Minister in mid-March 1992. What happened -- what was your next

22 position? Prime Minister perhaps or --

23 A. Well, Prime Minister-designate. That's what I mean. Prime

24 Minister-designate and Prime Minister.

25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then my next question would be, did you -- did

Page 27053

1 you -- were you a member of any political party at that time? I'm talking

2 about 1991, 1992.

3 A. No.

4 JUDGE ORIE: Were you ever involved in activities of any political

5 party? Even without perhaps being a member?

6 A. Well, before the war, I was in the League of Communists. In the

7 League of Communists, and after that, I did not join any party.

8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.

9 Mr. Djeric, I'm looking at the clock and I'm aware that you were

10 only in this courtroom for a couple of minutes, 25 minutes until now.

11 Nevertheless we have to stop for the day and I'd like to continue

12 tomorrow. We would like to see you back at quarter past 2.00 in the

13 afternoon in this same courtroom, and I instruct you that you should not

14 speak with anyone about the testimony you have given until now, and the

15 testimony still to be given in the days -- in the coming days.

16 So you understood that instruction, I take it. Then we will

17 adjourn until tomorrow morning, quarter past 2.00, same courtroom.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.,

20 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 12th day of July,

21 2006, at 2.15 p.m.