Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 21

1 Thursday, 20 February 2003

2 [Open session]

3 [Provisional release hearing]

4 [The accused Knezevic entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 3.00 p.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the Registrar call the case.

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

8 IT-02-65-PT, the Prosecutor versus Zeljko Meakic, Momcilo Gruban, Dusan

9 Fustar, Predrag Banovic and Dusko Knezevic.

10 JUDGE MAY: Appearances, please.

11 MS. CHANA: May it please Your Honours, Sureta Chana appearing for

12 the Prosecution. I'm assisted by Katharina Margetts and David Leese is

13 the case manager.

14 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. And for the Defence?

15 MS. NEDIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good afternoon, Your

16 Honours. Counsel Slobodanka Nedic from Belgrade with my learned

17 co-counsel Thomas Moran representing Dusko Knezevic.

18 JUDGE MAY: This being the oral hearing on a Defence motion for

19 provisional release filed on behalf of this accused, the parties can take

20 it that we have read the motion and the response. Accordingly there is no

21 need for repetition of those. But we will hear any submissions that

22 anybody wishes to make. Ms. Nedic, I think it's for you to begin on

23 behalf of the applicant, the motion. Just one moment. Judge Kwon kindly

24 reminds me that we have here the representative of the Republika Srpska;

25 is that right? Perhaps he would like to introduce himself.

Page 22

1 MR. JOVICIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours, my

2 name is Trivun Jovicic, I am minister, counsel and liaison officer of

3 Republika Srpska. Thank you.

4 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Ms. Nedic?

6 MS. NEDIC: Thank you very much, Your Honours. On behalf of the

7 Defence team of Dusko Knezevic my colleague Thomas Moran will address you.


9 Your Honour, first we have some documents which are copies of

10 official documents. They have been provided to the Prosecution and we

11 would move to introduce those. They are Mr. Knezevic's marriage

12 certificate, his birth certificate, and a statement from the police that

13 he is not a criminal -- that he has no criminal record and finally we have

14 a copy of a wanted poster produced by the Tribunal and it's the only copy

15 we have. It's a bad copy, and it was provided for us, I believe, by the

16 OTP. We do not have the original, have never had access to the original.

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Yes Ms. Chana?

18 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour we were just provided these documents

19 about three minutes ago. We do object to Defence counsel admitting them

20 into evidence at this stage. We do not have such a problem with the

21 marriage certificate and the birth certificate, Your Honour, but in

22 respect of this what Defence counsel calls his criminal record, Your

23 Honour, the Prosecution would have liked to have sometime to investigate

24 this. The Defence counsel had ample time, Your Honour, to produce this

25 document. It is their motion and they had filed their response sometime

Page 23

1 ago and they produce it as of now. We would like an adjournment to --

2 JUDGE MAY: Let us deal first of all with the matters which are

3 not subject to dispute. The marriage certificate, if you produce that,

4 the birth certificate, and presumably there is no dispute as far as the

5 wanted poster is concerned. Mr. Moran you've heard what the Prosecution

6 say about the record. Is there any reason why it wasn't produced before?

7 MR. MORAN: Your Honour I think Ms. Nedic may have more

8 information as to that. I don't know how long we've had it. I have not

9 had it before yesterday. But Ms. Nedic may have had it a little before

10 then. I believe that --

11 [Trial Chamber confers]

12 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Chana, how long do you want to investigate this

13 document?

14 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, if you look at the document I've just had

15 an opportunity to do so, it's about three lines and it says that it's not

16 registered in criminal evidence at this station. It gives no date, it

17 gives no duration for his not registered. It's absolutely got no

18 particulars whatsoever. I suggest Your Honours, that it's -- that the

19 document in itself, because it lacks the particulars, should not be

20 admitted into evidence at all, otherwise it would be a waste of the

21 Court's time to grant an adjournment for us to investigate this document.

22 JUDGE MAY: What we'll do is we will enter it, we will mark it for

23 identification, we will give the Prosecution two weeks from today to

24 investigate it, and to make any submissions about it. So we won't render

25 our decision on this matter until they've had an opportunity which they

Page 24

1 should have, obviously, to investigate it.

2 MR. MORAN: Yes, Your Honour, also since it's a document under

3 seal we have a representative from Republika Srpska who is qualified to

4 testify this is the seal of the Republika Srpska.

5 JUDGE MAY: Whatever. We will give them time to investigate it

6 but we will introduce it for the purposes of marking it for

7 identification.

8 Yes. We'll continue with the hearing.

9 MR. MORAN: Oh, yes, Your Honour. Okay. Your Honour at this time

10 we would like to call Mr. Knezevic as a witness for the purposes of this

11 hearing only.

12 JUDGE MAY: Well, time is limited but we'll consider that.

13 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, it shouldn't take more than ten minutes.

14 [Trial Chamber confers]

15 JUDGE MAY: We will, Mr. Moran, we were asking ourselves whether

16 this had ever been done before, certainly not before our Trial Chamber has

17 an accused given evidence at this stage but provided it's limited to about

18 ten minutes, we can see no reason why he shouldn't give evidence.

19 MS. CHANA: Your Honour if I may, in respect of this, the

20 Prosecution would object to this.

21 JUDGE MAY: You would object? Yes.

22 MS. CHANA: Absolutely, Your Honour, if Mr. Knezevic is going to

23 give evidence we should have a statement upon which we can test his

24 veracity and investigate it and prepare our cross-examination of the

25 witness.

Page 25

1 JUDGE MAY: Why don't we see what he says, and see whether there

2 is any need for you to have an adjournment to examine what he says. This

3 is only an interlocutory hearing.

4 MS. CHANA: Yes, we stand guided by you.

5 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, Ms. Nedic will question Mr. Knezevic.

6 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

7 MR. MORAN: Do you want him to testify from there or would you

8 like him go witness --

9 JUDGE MAY: He better go into the witness box, the usual way.

10 Yes, let the witness take the 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 MAY: Yes, would you like to take a seat?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Nedic you will of course be limiting your

18 examination to matters relevant purely to this hearing on provisional

19 release nothing more than that. Very well.

20 MS. NEDIC: Certainly, Your Honour.

21 Examined by Ms. Nedic:

22 Q. [Interpretation] Could the witness give us his full name for the

23 record and his date of birth?

24 A. My name is Dusko Knezevic, I was born on the 17th of June, 1967,

25 in Prijedor.

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1 JUDGE KWON: You may sit down, please.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, sit down by all means.

3 Ms. Nedic:

4 Q. Could you please tell us a bit more about where you were born,

5 where you attended school and what did you do upon completion of your

6 schooling?

7 A. I completed my primary school in Prijedor, as well as my secondary

8 school for catering.

9 Q. Are you married?

10 A. I am. I have a wife and a five year old son who was born in 1997.

11 Q. Where was your son born and where were you married and when?

12 A. My son was born in Prijedor on the 1st of December, 1997, whereas

13 I got married in 1993. My official wedding date was the 14th of January,

14 1995.

15 Q. Mr. Knezevic, I would like to ask you this: After the birth of

16 your son, did you continue living in Prijedor?

17 A. I lived in Prijedor until the 11th of April, 1998.

18 Q. Where did you live following that?

19 A. Since there was no work for me, in Prijedor, I used to sell fruits

20 and vegetables at the marketplace in Prijedor, and since that wasn't

21 sufficient, as a source of income, my wife and I decided to go to Belgrade

22 and to see whether we could have a better existence there. I went to

23 Belgrade on the 11th of April, 1998. I started looking for work there.

24 The situation in Serbia was quite difficult as well. I was unable to find

25 work in my own profession, and I started working at the flea market in

Page 29

1 Belgrade in Pancevo, I was selling clothing and that provided a modest

2 source of income for me.

3 In the beginning of 2002, I saw my photograph among other accused.

4 That was in 2002. I was shocked to see my photograph. I couldn't believe

5 that it was me. As I didn't know what to do, what to do with my family

6 and where to look for assistance, I turned to my friend. I called him in

7 Prijedor and that was Miodrag Deretic an attorney there. I called him on

8 the telephone, telling him I would like to talk to him about something.

9 Mr. Deretic told me that he was busy with his own work and that I should

10 call him in several days. He said that he might come to Belgrade about

11 some business of his. So after several days, I called him again, and we

12 agreed to meet in downtown Belgrade. We met in Belgrade, we went to have

13 a drink, we talked about every day problems, and finally I told him that I

14 called him for one reason. I told him that I had seen my photograph on

15 the wanted poster of The Hague Tribunal. Mr. Deretic replied to me that

16 he was aware of that and that my indictment was not of a light nature, and

17 that if proven, I could be sentenced to a long sentence. I told Mr.

18 Deretic, regardless of any possible sentence or any charges, I've decided

19 to surrender. Mr. Deretic told me that I should think about it carefully

20 first, to see whether it was a good idea and that I shouldn't make a

21 decision too quickly, to which I responded that I have firmly decided to

22 surrender to The Hague Tribunal and to come before it regardless of the

23 nature of the charges. I will go to The Hague and try to defend myself.

24 Therefore, I asked Mr. Deretic to represent me before The Hague

25 Tribunal to arrange with the Tribunal and the authorities of Republika

Page 30

1 Srpska my voluntary surrender. He told me he was unable to do that

2 immediately and that he needed sometime for that. We agreed that I should

3 call him on the telephone again in Prijedor. I did that. And I asked him

4 whether there was anything new, how were things going? And he told me,

5 call me back in two or three days, I will know how things are. I did

6 that. I called him in two or three days, and he said that my surrender

7 had been scheduled for the 18th of May, 2002. I wish to point out that

8 nobody exerted any pressure to make me surrender. That was purely my own

9 decision, my own and nobody else's. Following everything that was done by

10 Mr. Deretic with the Tribunal, and authorities of Republika Srpska, I told

11 him to also inform my family of my decision. I think that I did not make

12 a mistake in coming here. Thank you.

13 Q. Mr. Knezevic, I would like you to go back to the early 2002. Tell

14 us, please, where did you see your photograph on the wanted poster? How

15 did you learn that you were on the wanted poster?

16 A. I happened to see my picture by chance on television. I was

17 sitting watching television and then there were photographs of The Hague

18 indictees shown, and there I saw my photograph. That was in early 2002.

19 Q. Can you tell us, please, while you lived in Serbia, in Belgrade,

20 did you live there under your own name? Did you have documents issued in

21 your own name then? Where did you live at the time? Did your neighbours

22 know you under your real name or not?

23 A. Yes. I lived in Belgrade, in Divcibarska Street number 8, I used

24 my own last name and all the neighbours knew me there as Dusko Knezevic as

25 well as my wife and my son. I never had any false documents.

Page 31

1 Q. Should the Trial Chamber decide to grant your request for

2 provisional release, do you have a plan as to where you're going to live

3 and what are you going to do for a living if the provisional release

4 request is granted?

5 A. Yes, I do. I would like to live with my family, to work, to find

6 an employment, to provide subsistence for my family, and should The Hague

7 Tribunal call me at any time of day or night, I am prepared to come here.

8 Q. Are you also prepared to abide by any rulings or requests, should

9 there be such, if the Court grants your request?

10 A. Certainly. I'm ready to abide by any kind of rulings.

11 Q. And that means what?

12 A. That means that I will come any time the Tribunal calls me to come

13 here, regardless of the time of the day, I will come here.

14 Q. Are you prepared to abide by Tribunal's ruling to report regularly

15 to police authorities?

16 A. Yes, certainly. Any kind of request contained in the Tribunal's

17 ruling, I will abide by it.

18 Q. Do you know that there is a guarantee for your employment should

19 you be granted provisional release, as well as a guarantee for your

20 temporary housing until you're able to find permanent housing for you and

21 your family?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You have a written guarantee for employment in Bijeljina and

24 temporary housing in the Drina hotel should you find regular housing, are

25 you prepared to inform both the Tribunal and the authorities in Republika

Page 32

1 Srpska about your permanent place of residence?

2 A. Yes, I am.

3 Q. As far as the witnesses are concerned, are you prepared to give a

4 promise here before this Chamber that you will refrain from establishing

5 any kind of contact with witnesses and that you will not try to intimidate

6 the witness?

7 A. I will not establish any contact with witnesses, nor will I

8 attempt to intimidate them, as I was able to see from the material

9 provided to me, I don't know these witnesses, nor do I know where they

10 live or what they do for a living.

11 Q. I would just like to ask you the following: Before the indictment

12 was issued against you by The Hague Tribunal, were you ever convicted for

13 a crime prior to that? Were there any proceedings instigated against you?

14 Were there any charges against you for any crime?

15 A. No, I was never ever convicted of any crime.

16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Knezevic.

17 A. Thank you.

18 [Trial Chamber confers]

19 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Chana, we have been considering the position and

20 the fact that you have had no notice of this intention to cross-examine.

21 We think if at all possible, you should deal with the matter today because

22 we don't want to waste any further time on it but what we will do, since

23 you've got two weeks to consider the other matter, if there are any

24 matters which you come across during that time, which you wish to put

25 before us, which contradict what the accused has said in his evidence,

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Page 34

1 then you'll have leave to do so.

2 MS. CHANA: Thank you very much, Your Honour I will proceed.

3 MR. MORAN: Judge May, just one thing for the record. We

4 discussed it and we are going to withdraw the exhibit they objected to.

5 They can still have their two weeks but we are going to withdraw that

6 exhibit.

7 JUDGE MAY: Very well. They can still have their two weeks it

8 having been put in and they can also have two weeks to find anything which

9 they wish to put before the Tribunal if they can to contradict the

10 evidence the witness has given. But if you want to ask any questions now

11 about -- purely about that evidence, you can, Ms. Chana.

12 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours.

13 Cross-examined by Ms. Chana.

14 Q. Mr. Knezevic you said you lived in Prijedor most of your life; is

15 that correct?

16 A. Yes, most of my life. I've been in Prijedor since 1986. In 1987

17 I went to the army. I got a job, I worked there.

18 Q. You said you went to catering school. Which catering school was

19 this?

20 A. The catering school that trains waiters.

21 Q. Does it have a name?

22 A. Yes, it does have a name but I don't know the name.

23 Q. How long were you at this catering school, Mr. Knezevic?

24 A. Three years.

25 Q. And what year was this?

Page 35

1 A. I cannot remember exactly.

2 Q. Was it ten years ago, five years ago, any idea?

3 A. I don't know. I don't know exactly how many years that was.

4 Q. Mr. Knezevic, do you know a man called Zoran Zigic?

5 MR. MORAN: Objection, Your Honour, that's outside the scope of

6 the direct.

7 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure. Let's see what the purpose of the

8 question is.


10 Q. Do you know Zoran Zigic, Mr. Knezevic?

11 A. I know him from the class band. He played in a band called class.

12 That is the only way that I know him.

13 Q. And are you aware that in 1995, you were first indicted with him?

14 MR. MORAN: Objection, again, Your Honour this is outside the

15 scope of direct.

16 JUDGE MAY: It may affect it because one of the lines which -- one

17 of the points he's making is that he first became aware of this -- these

18 matters when he saw this poster. So if Zigic was indicted in 1995 it may

19 be relevant.

20 MS. CHANA: Thank you, Your Honours.

21 Q. Are you aware, then, Mr. Knezevic, that you were indicted with

22 Zoran Zigic in 1995, which was the first time this poster --

23 A. I didn't know.

24 Q. Did you see this poster that your Defence counsel has submitted

25 into evidence?

Page 36

1 A. I saw the poster on television, in early 2002.

2 Q. I think you stated earlier on in your evidence, Your Honour, we

3 can have a look at it, that in 2000, you realised that this -- you did see

4 the poster but it was the wrong birth date. That is also what has been

5 alleged by your counsel in his written motion.

6 A. It's possible that it's a mistake but I know what I saw in 2002,

7 in early 2002 and I saw it personally on television where I was

8 flabbergasted to see my photograph on television and to see the wanted

9 poster. I couldn't believe my eyes at what I saw.

10 Q. But you were aware that Zoran Zigic was indicted in 1995?

11 A. How could I know that Mr. Zigic was indicted in 1995 when I never

12 socialised with Mr. Zoran Zigic? I didn't have any contacts with him.

13 First of all I have my own family. I'm taking care of my family. Not

14 about any individuals in the town of Prijedor.

15 Q. Is it your position then Mr. Knezevic that in March, 1996, this

16 poster, that your counsel has submitted into evidence, is a photograph of

17 Zoran Zigic and yourself in the same poster?

18 A. As I said before, I never saw any photographs until 2002, never.

19 I simply didn't. I wasn't interested in that, and why would I see

20 anything like that? And even this one that I saw, I only happened to see

21 that by chance.

22 Q. And you said you -- the reason that you surrendered is in 2002 is

23 because you saw the poster and you were shocked, to put it in your words?

24 A. I was absolutely out of my mind when I saw that. I was very

25 surprised.

Page 37

1 Q. Is it not also true, Mr. Knezevic, that you surrendered because in

2 2002, the Belgrade authorities were beginning to cooperate with the

3 Tribunal?

4 A. No, that is not true.

5 Q. You're aware that a warrant of arrest had been issued for you as

6 far back as 1995?

7 A. If you know, that's okay, but I don't know, and I said when I

8 first became aware of it, and that was in early 2002.

9 Q. And there was another correct version of that -- of the warrant in

10 1999. Did you ever see that?

11 A. I didn't see that either.

12 Q. Were you aware that Zigic, Zoran Zigic, transferred around 1998 to

13 the seat of this Tribunal?

14 A. I absolutely did not follow that.

15 Q. Were you aware that there was a trial, proceeding, for in respect

16 of the Omarska camp where Zoran Zigic was one of the accused and it was on

17 TV and got much publicity in the media?

18 A. I didn't see that either. I didn't have time to follow television

19 or to read newspapers. I had to make a living for myself and my family.

20 So I wasn't interested in some things.

21 Q. What were you doing while you were making this living? Where were

22 you working all this time where you do not have time?

23 A. I said that first of all I worked in Prijedor at the green market

24 selling fruit and vegetables and in 1998, I went to Serbia and I worked at

25 the flea market in Belgrade and the flea market in Pancevo from early

Page 38

1 morning until evening. I didn't have time even to rest properly.

2 Q. So it means that were you not employed anywhere in all this time?

3 You were just at flea markets? Is that correct?

4 A. I worked. I bought goods and sold them.

5 Q. You were not employed? You were self-employed?

6 A. It wasn't my own. I don't know if I need to explain to you how it

7 works.

8 Q. Were you employed or were you self-employed? It's quite simple,

9 Mr. Knezevic.

10 A. I worked for myself. I was self-employed.

11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Chana, can I just ask to you clarify

12 something? Did you put to the accused that in his motion, it is said that

13 he first saw the poster in 2000? Did you put that to him, that that is in

14 his motion?

15 MS. CHANA: That's in the written motion, Your Honour.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: If that is so, then perhaps you could have your

17 assistant try to find the page and at the end of your cross-examination,

18 you can bring that to our attention.

19 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour. Your Honour, just to --

20 Q. Mr. Knezevic to go back when you said that you had absolutely no

21 idea that you -- that your name had appeared in any poster, in -- while

22 were you in Prijedor because you were busy in your flea markets, is it

23 true that no one in Prijedor told you that your name is on this poster and

24 that in fact you're wanted by the Tribunal?

25 A. Nobody told me, absolutely nobody.

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Page 40

1 Q. Is it also true, Mr. Knezevic, that nobody told you that your

2 friend Zoran Zigic and you had been accused of being together while you

3 committed these crimes at the camp?

4 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, I object to that, that, one, goes well

5 beyond the scope of this hearing, and two, this hearing is not on the

6 merits of guilt or innocence. It's irrelevant.

7 JUDGE MAY: The question is not of guilt or innocence but whether

8 he heard anybody told him that he was accused, simply accused, of being

9 with Zigic committing crimes. That's the question. It doesn't go to

10 guilt or innocence.

11 Yes, Mr. Knezevic, what's the answer to that?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am replying that no one told me, I

13 didn't know that Zoran Zigic was on the wanted list of The Hague

14 Tribunal. I was taking care of my family, and I wasn't bothering about

15 Zoran Zigic or any other person.


17 Q. And you said you have a wife, Mr. Knezevic. Did she never come

18 and tell you that people in the Prijedor region are talking about a wanted

19 poster with your face on it with Zoran Zigic, your friend?

20 A. No, I never heard that.

21 Q. Your counsel has asked you a question to which you responded in

22 the positive, that you have an offer of employment by a Mr. -- one Lanko

23 [phoen]. Who is this person?

24 A. I didn't understand. Could you please repeat the question?

25 Q. There is an offer of employment in Bijeljina, do you know who this

Page 41

1 offer of employment is by?

2 A. Do I know?

3 Q. You don't know that you have -- you don't know that you have an

4 offer of employment in Bijeljina; is that correct?

5 A. To get a job, to work, yes, that is my wish, to start to work so

6 that I can support my family. I don't want to end up on the street.

7 JUDGE MAY: The question is whether you know who it is who has

8 offered you employment.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Slajian [phoen] Lanko.


11 Q. Who is he?

12 A. He's in the catering business.

13 Q. Yes, I know, Mr. Knezevic. What is his relationship to you?

14 A. The man would like to make it possible for me to work so that my

15 family and I could live and we could -- I could make a living by working

16 on his premises.

17 Q. Why, Mr. Knezevic? Why is he offering you this employment?

18 A. Well, he's offering it to me. I am not supposed to end up on the

19 street, am I?

20 Q. Yes. I know what -- that he is offering it to you but do you have

21 any connection? How long have you known him and why is he offering you

22 this employment?

23 A. I don't know why I would need to have a connection in order to be

24 offered a job. I have a desire to work. I am prepared to work, and after

25 all, my family needs funds in order to live. It's better for me to work

Page 42

1 honestly than to steal.

2 Q. So can I take it from that that you really do not know Mr. Lanko?

3 JUDGE MAY: I think we've probably taken this as far as we can go.

4 MS. CHANA: Thank you.

5 JUDGE MAY: Unless you have any further questions.

6 MS. CHANA: It would be just one last one on the point of --

7 Q. When the Omarska trial was taking place, Mr. Knezevic, it was

8 broadcasted on TV in Bosnia. Did you ever see that?

9 A. I don't remember, and I've already said that I didn't watch

10 television or read the newspapers. I really didn't have time. I had a

11 lot of work to do in Prijedor and in Belgrade as well, from morning to

12 night.

13 Q. And you are aware, Mr. Knezevic, that the witnesses who testified

14 in this trial actually took your name as one of the people who were at the

15 camps beating up the prisoners?

16 JUDGE MAY: Well, he says he's heard nothing about it.


18 Q. So nobody ever told you that.

19 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, I think that will be all, thank you.

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, unless you have any further questions, thank you

21 Mr. Knezevic, if you'd like to go back.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE MAY: We have about half an hour left before we have to

24 adjourn this matter. Quarter of an hour each if you want it. As I say

25 we've already read the motion so there is no need to repeat what's been

Page 43

1 said. Mr. Moran.

2 MR. MORAN: I believe the representative of the Republika Srpska

3 if the Court wants to hear it will personally tell the Court that

4 Republika Srpska will guarantee his appearance --

5 JUDGE MAY: Would you like to do that before you address us?

6 MR. MORAN: Yes, Your Honour if he wants to take a few minutes and

7 give the personal guarantee?

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Jovicic is there anything you would like to

9 say? You've come here. I expect that Mr. Moran would wish you to -- and

10 Ms. Nedic would wish to you repeat at least orally what it is you put in

11 writing.

12 MR. JOVICIC: Thank you, Your Honours, for making it possible for

13 me to reiterate the guarantees of Republika Srpska, which it has provided

14 in this case. As you already know in several earlier cases, where the

15 Trial Chamber has granted the provisional release, the government of

16 Republika Srpska has wholly respected its obligations, which it has

17 undertaken before the Tribunal. There wasn't one single remark made about

18 the way the guarantees were implemented. All persons who have been

19 provisionally released so far have wholly adhered to the rulings by the

20 Trial Chambers. As well as the government of Republika Srpska, where

21 these persons were returned at the request of the court, at the time and

22 place requested by the Court. I think that there is no need to repeat

23 that the government is willing to provide additional guarantees if so

24 required. Also, I would like to emphasise that this is the first case of

25 voluntary surrender with the cooperation of the government of Republika

Page 44

1 Srpska.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, thank you.

3 MR. MORAN: May it --

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Chana, were you able to find the page?

6 MS. CHANA: [Microphone not activated] Yes, Your Honour, it would

7 appear that --

8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

9 MS. CHANA: Oh, sorry. Your Honour, it would appear that on page

10 3, where he says, well, the original indictments were -- years before

11 Knezevic surrendered to the Tribunal. He did not know he was of

12 indictment.


14 MS. CHANA: Yes, no, it was in the spring of 2002, Your Honour, it

15 would appear I was mistaken. It was in the spring of 2002 that the

16 Tribunal's corrected wanted poster appeared and there after he surrendered

17 so Your Honour it would appear that I had not -- it was not exactly

18 2002 -- 2000. Thank you.

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. That's what I thought, thank you.

20 MR. MORAN: May it please the Court.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Moran.

22 MR. MORAN: Thank you, Your Honour. Just quick arguments, Rule

23 65(B) sets a pretty straightforward legal standard. We have to convince

24 you, present evidence to you that's believable that to prove to a

25 preponderance that our client will appear when you tell him to be here,

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Page 46

1 and that while he's released, he will not pose a danger to himself or

2 others. This Trial Chamber and other Trial Chambers have pretty well held

3 that voluntary surrender is very good evidence of a person's willingness

4 to appear. I think Mr. Knezevic may be the only person only defendant in

5 this Tribunal or at least the only one that I know of who has been

6 congratulated by the official spokesman for the United States government

7 for voluntary surrender.

8 He'll execute any kind of bond, any kind of promise to appear that

9 this Trial Chamber sets out.

10 We have the guarantee of the Republika Srpska. We have his

11 testimony that he's never been convicted of a crime. He's been promised a

12 job and a place to live. Ms. Nedic went out and found him a place to live

13 and found him a job so that we could present to this Tribunal a release

14 plan to show that we just didn't want to leave him out on the streets.

15 He's not some kind of a top level official. He's not some kind of person

16 that a state is likely to protect. And the residents that we are asking

17 the Tribunal to order is some distance from Prijedor and there is a reason

18 for that, Your Honours. The reason for that is to help show a guarantee

19 of protection of victims, witnesses and other persons. We don't know

20 where any of these witnesses live. None -- nobody on the Defence side

21 does. But it's pretty unlikely that they would be living in some little

22 village 300 kilometres away from Prijedor.

23 You can set conditions for provisional release to guarantee both

24 the public safety and his appearance and I've just come up with a few that

25 I've seen here or in other courts, regularly visiting the police station,

Page 47

1 you can have him sign in at the local police station on his way to work,

2 on his way home. You can restrict him to a specific geographical area, if

3 it's feasible, we would welcome electronic monitoring. To have him have

4 an ankle bracelet on so that it shows where he is. If that's not feasible

5 the Trial Chamber can set a curfew, require him to be at his home during

6 non-working hours, and the Registry or the local police can randomly call

7 him. If he doesn't answer the phone or if he's not called to the phone

8 he's broken your curfew and you can deal with it then.

9 Prosecutor argues that he's facing a substantial sentence. Well,

10 so is everybody else in front of this Tribunal. The punishment for every

11 offence in this Tribunal, the statutory punishment is the same, up to the

12 rest of your life in the penitentiary. Prosecution has also laid out a

13 few other arguments I believe are specious arguments, the first one is

14 where they said that he doesn't undertake to tell you that he has no

15 intention not to ask for -- no intention to ask for a change of residence.

16 First thing, I'll tell you we don't have any intention of doing that.

17 Second thing is, even if he did have an intention of doing that, this

18 Trial Chamber would be in control of allowing him to have a change of

19 residence. And the Prosecution's argument on that seems to presume that

20 you won't do your job, that you'll just rubber stamp what we ask for and I

21 don't believe that that's correct.

22 They said we presented no evidence of an incorrect wanted poster

23 and no signed undertakings or affidavits that's why we asked for an oral

24 hearing, to present evidence. He got on that witness stand and he told

25 you exactly what his undertaking would be. You tell him to be here, he'll

Page 48

1 be here.

2 Again, just to close, on the protection of the witnesses and

3 victims and other parties, Judge, my crystal ball is a little hazy, I

4 can't tell the future very well and that's essentially what we are

5 having -- what everybody has to do is predict whether or not -- not Mr.

6 Knezevic but anybody else asking for provisional release what their

7 actions will be in the future. I submit to you that his past actions,

8 including voluntary surrender, show that he is unlikely to commit acts of

9 violence or other acts against any of the victims or witnesses in this

10 proceeding. He's told you he wouldn't, he doesn't know where they live,

11 and secondly, we've asked him to be placed in an area some distance from

12 the scene of the offences. And one of the reasons for that is to help

13 protect witnesses. This Trial Chamber is quite capable of setting

14 conditions of release that would meet both prongs of the Rule 65(B)

15 standard and we ask you to release him on provisional release.

16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes, Ms. Chana?

17 MS. CHANA: Yes, thank you, Your Honours. Yes, Your Honour, the

18 two preconditions of 65 have to be satisfied by the accused in this Court

19 and they have to be satisfied to a burden of beyond -- to a balance of

20 probabilities. That first he will not interfere with witnesses and he'll

21 not pose any danger to victims and witnesses, sorry, and that he will

22 appear for trial. Your Honours, the removal of exceptional circumstances

23 does not make release -- there should not be a presumption of release in

24 favour of the accused because exceptional circumstances is no longer in

25 our rule.

Page 49

1 All factors which are usually taken into account when determining

2 provisional release in national jurisdictions must still be taken into

3 account, i.e. the gravity of the offences and the likely sentence, the

4 crime -- it will attract if convicted. Your Honours, in national

5 jurisdictions the Court seldom grants provisional release if the crimes

6 are very grave and will attract a very onerous sentence upon conviction.

7 Even if one was to adopt the same approach taken in national

8 jurisdictions, it is inevitable that a Tribunal would grant provisional

9 release less frequently than in other legal systems. Even if provisional

10 release is granted slightly more often today than it was some years ago,

11 Your Honour, it could never be suggested that it's easier to get

12 provisional release from the Tribunal than it is in a national

13 jurisdiction. The simple fact is that it is inconceivable that a national

14 court would grant provisional release to a person charged with 31 counts

15 of murder and 21 counts of personal violence. I suspect, Your Honours,

16 that no court in a national jurisdiction has ever entertained such an

17 application. I suspect that the accused is seeking to make legal history

18 in doing so today.

19 The burden of proof which is on the accused, Your Honours, is not

20 a light one and the Tribunal's jurisprudence confirms that the accused has

21 a substantial burden in persuading the Trial Chamber that he will appear

22 for trial. And when it comes to the second of the preconditions in Rule

23 65(B) the jurisprudence of this Tribunal recognises an almost absolute

24 burden on the accused to show an absence of danger to others. In the

25 Blaskic case Your Honour the Trial Chamber found it could not be certain

Page 50

1 that if released the accused not pose a danger to any victims, witnesses

2 or other person.

3 In light of that fact that the knowledge which as an accused

4 person he has of the evidence produced by the Prosecutor would place him

5 in a situation permitting him to exert pressures on victims and witnesses

6 and the investigation of the case would be seriously flawed. The Defence

7 basically has produced two arguments, Your Honour, the voluntary surrender

8 of the accused and the fact that there are guarantees from the Republika

9 Srpska, and they also offered this employment that he's going to get in

10 Bijeljina if he's to be provisionally released. We have just heard from

11 counsel that the job was given to him and found for him by his counsel,

12 and therefore he has no connection and in his cross-examination, he

13 conceded the fact that he does not know this man at all. So I don't know

14 what guarantee there is that the accused will continue in that employment.

15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Ms. Chana, did he make that concession?

16 MS. CHANA: Well he says he just knows him but he has no

17 connection with him. He didn't say that but what he did say was when I

18 asked him what is your connection. And he said, well he just wants to

19 give me a job and counsel did say from the bar that the counsel said that

20 he was not -- this was the job that the counsel found for him.

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Do you know how the 31 counts of murder

22 break down under 7(1) and 7(3)?

23 MS. CHANA: Yes, Your Honour, we have in our schedule --

24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Just remind me of that.

25 MS. CHANA: It's schedule E, Your Honour, and schedule F, and

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Page 52

1 under schedule annex A and it's also in the pre-trial brief under annex A.

2 Out of which, Your Honour, there are five murders which he personally

3 committed and 13 beatings which he personally perpetrated.

4 JUDGE ROBINSON: All right. Thank you.

5 MS. CHANA: Your Honour, the accused has said that his voluntary

6 surrender shows a willingness to cooperate with the International Tribunal

7 as well as an indicator that he will appear for trial. And they offer

8 that as the best proof that he will appear for trial as ordered by the

9 Tribunal. We are as we have outlined in our motion, not entirely

10 satisfied with the voluntary nature of the surrender and we suggest that

11 the reason he surrendered at the time was because there was cooperation

12 between the Republika Srpska and the Tribunal at that time, but he did

13 remain at large, Your Honours, for seven years.

14 He denies that he knows Zoran Zigic, and he denies that at no time

15 in the Prijedor region that he was aware that he had been indicted by this

16 Tribunal. The evidence, it is clear from the charge sheet, Your Honour,

17 that he committed a lot of the crimes in the company of Zoran Zigic. So I

18 feel that he's just taking the most pragmatic approach to his predicament

19 and he's telling less than the truth. And the fact that he did voluntary

20 surrender cannot in itself, Your Honours, be taken to satisfy this Court

21 that the accused will appear for trial or interfere with witnesses. It

22 would undermine the public confidence, not to say anything about the

23 victims and the witnesses if he's released into the community only 270

24 kilometres from the crimes where they were committed and now we've heard

25 that his connection to Bijeljina is very tenuous, and there is no reason

Page 53

1 to think that he will stay there or he will continue with his employment

2 there.

3 The counsel suggests he's a man with a stable background and he

4 has good work record and yet the accused has just come before Your Honours

5 and said to you that he has no -- he has never been employed in the past.

6 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow down for the

7 interpretation?

8 MS. CHANA: Sorry. Your Honour, no proof whatsoever has been

9 provided to this Chamber as to where -- what the accused has been doing in

10 all this time. He has now come before us on evidence given not under

11 oath, Your Honour, that he has been in flea markets and he has never been

12 employed. He does not remember the catering school that he went to. He

13 doesn't remember whether that was ten years ago or five years ago. He has

14 absolutely no clue. He's a waiter, he says, and he went to catering

15 school to become a waiter. Your Honour, there is simply not enough

16 information and evidence produced before this Court before -- with which

17 you can make a judicial assessment. In national jurisdictions, courts

18 will inquire into the criminal record of an accused, is there a social

19 workers' report, his ties to the Bijeljina community, his ties --

20 continued ties with the Prijedor region, what connections he still has

21 with the people in Prijedor, there is no information available to this

22 Trial Chamber on any of this matters. His economic status, while in --

23 and counsel's motion he says his family has had regular income since his

24 surrender in 2002. From where does this income, come from? What other

25 ties does he have?

Page 54

1 He goes on to assert that he will not interfere with witnesses and

2 victims. He also says that he learned of the indictment in April 2002,

3 and he had a chance to intimidate or harm the victims or potential witness

4 and that he still not do so. Perhaps he did not do so, Your Honour,

5 because he didn't know who they were. Now, Your Honours, he has, with

6 full disclosure made by the Prosecution, got sufficient names and

7 information as to who these witnesses are and where they are. Therefore,

8 Your Honours, the Prosecution respectfully submits that this Court is

9 unable to make a proper evaluation. We still, despite the fact that the

10 accused has come to this Court and given his testimony here, we still are

11 in the dark as to what he's been doing and his future conduct must be

12 predicated on his past.

13 The crimes committed by the accused, Your Honour, are crimes of

14 exceptional violence and human depravity. Your Honours it's important to

15 note that the accused was not in a position of authority or in the

16 military or any police hierarchy. He was not a man who can claim he was

17 swept along with the tide and became morally anaesthetised and performed

18 certain official tasks to excess. This man, Your Honours, went to the

19 camps with the sole and particular purpose of beating and killing

20 civilians who had already been incarcerated by violence and force. He

21 took a sadistic and perverse pleasure and the repeated and premeditated

22 nature of the abuses are all additional factors which no doubt will be

23 considered to be aggravating factors if convicted by this Court.

24 Zoran Zigic, Your Honour, who he committed similar crimes with,

25 was in fact convicted and sentenced to 25 years, although this particular

Page 55

1 judgement is under appeal. There is nothing before this Chamber that

2 ought to convince any court in a national or indeed an international

3 jurisdiction that a man capable of such moral depravity to the point of

4 amorality can be considered safe for this Court to provisionally release.

5 Your Honour, the fact that he says he did not know he was a wanted

6 man, there has been no credible explanation forthcoming from the accused,

7 so we cannot presume it is genuine. That indeed that was the case. It

8 is stretching the credulity of this Court to ask you to believe that

9 living in Prijedor as he did, with this -- the Omarska case on television,

10 with his name being mentioned, that no -- absolutely no one mentioned to

11 him that his friend, Zoran Zigic is at The Hague facing the charges before

12 him. There is nothing to say that he had no knowledge whatsoever that he

13 knew that he was wanted by this Tribunal. It is an opportunistic argument

14 at best, Your Honour, seeing that this was -- he was publicly indicted and

15 there were -- was also the indictment was also published in the bulletins

16 of the Tribunal.

17 Your Honour, it is our -- Prosecution's respectful submission that

18 there is nothing before this honour upon which this court can make a

19 judicial evaluation, and if it does so, it will be an error in law.

20 Unless there is something else I could assist Your Honours on --

21 JUDGE MAY: No, thank you.

22 MR. MORAN: Your Honour, short reply. First, it's time for a

23 little truth. I made out a typo, I left out the word no source of

24 income. I apologise to the Prosecution. I apologise to the Court.

25 Couple of other things rather quickly, she says no national jurisdiction

Page 56

1 would allow pre-trial release for persons charged with serious offences

2 looking at serious sentences. That's not a direct quote. Those

3 are my words. The jurisdiction with which I'm most familiar provides --

4 THE INTERPRETER: Please so down for the sake of the

5 interpreters. Thank you.

6 MR. MORAN: Provides a right to bond in all cases with, like I

7 think there are two exceptions. One exception is a case where the

8 Prosecution is seeking the death penalty and provides evidence to the

9 Court that, one, the defendant did it and, two, there is proof evident

10 that he will get the death penalty. That's jurisdiction I'm the most

11 familiar with. So.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: How does it work in practice, never mind the

13 right? How does it work in practice?

14 MR. MORAN: Your Honour my firm has had more than one client who

15 has been charged with -- or lawyers who office in my firm's offices,

16 because it was a lawyer that leased space from us and had clients who were

17 charged with the death -- with capital murder where the Prosecution was

18 seeking the death penalty, they were granted bond, they made bond, and

19 they showed up in court. And I might add that the one I'm thinking of was

20 acquitted. But setting that aside, line 23 or page 23, line 24, of the

21 transcript, the Prosecutor said that Mr. Knezevic was charged with 31

22 counts of murder and then later I believe Judge Robinson she referred you

23 to schedules E and F; is that correct? You asked the question, E and F,

24 of the indictment? I just went through E and F rather quickly and I may

25 be a little off but I counted five murders, not 31, on those two

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Page 58

1 schedules. I counted other charges but only five murders and I may be one

2 or two off. I did it quickly and they are sometimes hard to read.

3 Judge, the Prosecution has presented an indictment. An indictment

4 is a charge. Just because a person is indicted for an offence doesn't

5 mean as the Prosecutor would have one believe that he is guilty, that he

6 is a depraved person, that he has committed these crimes, when the

7 Prosecution has presented nothing but its pleadings to this Trial Chamber

8 as to Mr. Knezevic's guilt.

9 We have met the burden, we have done everything we can to show you

10 that we can -- that there are conditions of release which would guarantee

11 both his appearance in court and we presented a plan to you that would do

12 as much as possible to guarantee the safety of the public, victims and

13 witnesses. Your Honour, we can't do any more. The Prosecution would

14 have -- would make provisional release an impossible burden. They would

15 make it a dream that no one could ever have. No matter what a defendant

16 does, the Prosecutor would raise the bar. One could never jump over the

17 bar they keep setting -- they keep raising. Thank you very much, Judge.

18 [Trial Chamber confers]

19 JUDGE MAY: We shall give the Prosecution two weeks to respond, if

20 at all, to investigate and respond to the matters of which they had no

21 notice today. We will then render our judgement. This matter is now

22 adjourned.

23 --- Whereupon the Provisional Release Hearing

24 adjourned at 4.12 p.m.