1 Wednesday, 1 April 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, and good morning, Your Honours. This
9 is case IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 No preliminaries were announced. Is the Defence ready to call
12 its next witness?
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes, we are. Good morning, Your Honours. We would
14 call Mr. Nikola Erceg.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the witness be escorted in the
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Erceg.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
22 make a solemn declaration, the text of which is now handed out to you.
23 Would you please make that solemn declaration.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: NIKOLA ERCEG
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Erceg.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Erceg, you'll first be examined by Mr. Lukic.
6 You'll find Mr. Lukic to your left. In a minute he will be standing.
7 Mr. Lukic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
8 Mr. Lukic, please proceed.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Erceg.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. Would you please slowly say your full name for the record.
14 A. My name is Nikola Erceg.
15 Q. Mr. Erceg, did you give a statement to members of the Defence
16 team of Mr. Karadzic at one point?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. LUKIC: Can we have on our screens 1D02360a.
19 I would kindly ask the usher to provide Mr. Erceg with his
20 written statement in hard copy. The Prosecution has already checked the
22 We would need first page 6 from this statement since we have to
23 make some slight corrections.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Erceg, would you please open page 6,
25 paragraph 20.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Please don't write anything on the statement.
3 A. All right.
4 Q. In this statement, it says:
5 "The decisions were verified either by the secretary or the
6 person who took the minutes."
7 A. It should be said "and" rather than "either" because there were
8 two persons doing that.
9 Q. Let me read the sentence. It should then read as follows in
10 paragraph 20:
11 [In English] "The decisions were verified by the secretary and
12 the person who took the minutes."
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now please the following page.
14 Let us look at paragraph 25.
15 Q. I can see that a sentence has already been redacted and it is the
16 one that we intended to expunge because the document which is referred to
17 does not correspond. We could not find it in the Karadzic case because
18 the number is wrong.
19 A. I agree.
20 Q. And now we need paragraph 36. Three pages forward in the
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the English version, it's the
23 following page.
24 Q. The statement reads:
25 "Around 70 municipalities in our region were completely lost."
1 And it should read:
2 [In English] "Around 20 municipalities in our region were
3 completely lost."
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please repeat the sentence. The critical word is
5 missing on the transcript because your microphone wasn't activated.
6 MR. LUKIC: Sorry. I quote -- the sentence should read:
7 "Around 20 municipalities in our region were completely lost."
8 Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Erceg, now that these corrections have been
10 made, is everything that is recorded in the statement correct when
11 compared to what you told to members of the Defence team of Mr. Karadzic?
12 A. Yes, everything else is fine.
13 Q. Is everything that is recorded in the statement truthful and
14 accurate to the best of your knowledge and recollection?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. If I were to ask you the same questions today, would you provide
17 the same answers?
18 A. Perhaps I would partly change some things because there are
19 things that I have learned in the meantime, especially when preparing for
20 this trial. Perhaps I might provide more details or more explanations,
21 but on the whole, the substance would remain the same.
22 Q. So is there anything else that needs to be corrected in the
23 statement itself?
24 A. No, not in that sense.
25 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, we would tender this statement into
2 MR. TRALDI: No objections, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit D982, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: D982 is admitted into evidence.
6 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour instructed us yesterday to try to cut
7 down the number of associated exhibits, and I was carefully reading the
8 statement and our opinion is that it would be not possible to understand
9 the statement since this witness actually explained the documents that
10 were mentioned in his statement. The only two documents I found that
11 could be replaced by the already admitted document is 1D02358 which is
12 part of D827, and 1D02826, which is part of the same, D827.
13 So at this moment -- yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
15 MR. TRALDI: Sorry, I hadn't meant to interrupt, and if Mr. Lukic
16 had any additional submissions, I'll sit back down.
17 MR. LUKIC: There is no additional submissions at this moment.
18 MR. TRALDI: Just to put our position on the record. We don't
19 have an objection to the associated exhibits. We did -- we do think we
20 identified one additional duplicate. 65 ter 1D02837, we believe is in
21 evidence as P2413. And we invite the Defence to check that before it's
23 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please verify that, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: Yes. Yes, Your Honour, and thank --
25 JUDGE ORIE: And I think we gave you the option either to reduce
1 the number of associated exhibits or doing that by tendering the
2 documents during the examination-in-chief of the witness so to introduce
3 them through the witness. Now I do understand with these huge numbers
4 that that would not be easy, but that's of course your choice that you
5 uses the statement taken in the Karadzic Defence and, I mean, that's all
6 yours. We'll consider it. But we are not a bit but we are far beyond
7 what is the guidance of the Chamber which you were aware of for a long
9 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, but you know that my last probably
10 ten witnesses had one or none associated exhibits --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
12 MR. LUKIC: -- but it happens that with some of our witnesses it
13 is not possible to avoid, especially when the statement is taken by
14 another team.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it might be a reason to take -- have a
16 statement taken by your own team. We'll leave it for the time being.
17 We'll consider it and we'll let you know as soon as possible.
18 MR. LUKIC: And although my learned friend already expressed
19 their position, we would tender all associated exhibits into -- offer,
20 actually, all associated exhibits, except those three. So two identified
21 by us and one by the Prosecution.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll ask Mr. Registrar to prepare a list so
23 that we'll then decide on the basis of what remains on that list. And
24 could the parties carefully look at whether all the duplicates and
25 whether the documents already in evidence do not appear on that list.
1 Mr. Registrar, I take it that you have sufficient information to
2 prepare such a list.
3 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
4 JUDGE ORIE: And we provisionally reserve the 45 numbers needed.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And that would be?
7 THE REGISTRAR: That would be Exhibits 983 through to Exhibits
8 D1027, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And these numbers are reserved for associated
10 exhibits related to the statement by Mr. Erceg.
11 Please proceed.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To have the complete record, the Registrar should
13 put the numbers again on the record.
14 THE REGISTRAR: The reserved numbers will be Exhibits D983
15 through to Exhibits D1027.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's now on the record.
17 Mr. Lukic, you may proceed.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I would, with your leave,
19 first read statement summary of this witness and then I will just have a
20 couple of questions as a clarification.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, as you suggest.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 At the municipal and regional level, Mr. Nikola Erceg held
24 numerous positions. He was a member of the Municipal Board of the
25 Serbian Democratic Party; a deputy in the Municipal Assembly of
1 Banja Luka; in March 1992, president of the Executive Committee of the
2 Autonomous Region of Krajina; in May 1992, member of the Crisis Staff of
3 the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
4 Furthermore, on the republican and federal level, Nikola Erceg
5 performed the duties of a deputy in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
6 Sarajevo and in the Assembly of the Socialist Federal Republic of
7 Yugoslavia in Belgrade after the first multi-party elections in 1990,
8 then a deputy in the Assembly of the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina
9 after its establishment in October 1991.
10 In the second half of 1992, Mr. Erceg was a minister for industry
11 and energy in the government of Republika Srpska; in September 1992,
12 deputy chairman of the legislative commission of the Assembly of the
13 Republika Srpska; in April 1993, a member of the legislative committee of
14 the Assembly of Republika Srpska again; in May 1993, a member of the
15 board of the National Bank of Republika Srpska. Nikola Erceg worked also
16 as a director of the electricity supply company of Republika Srpska.
17 Before the war, the Serbs' main intention was to remain in a
18 joint state of Yugoslavia with everybody else and all other nations.
19 The ARK Assembly adopted a decision to form an ARK Crisis Staff
20 headed by Brdjanin, and the Crisis Staff became the main body of ARK.
21 After the ARK Crisis Staff was established, the Executive
22 Committee continued with its regular sessions but no longer on a daily
23 basis. Some municipalities demonstrated a high degree of independence
24 from ARK because they were economically strong. The ARK policy was not
25 aimed at a violent or any other form of expulsion or persecution of the
1 non-Serb population, and so the ARK Crisis Staff adopted few decisions
2 and conclusions in that respect.
3 The Banja Luka municipality Assembly, which had Muslims and
4 Croatian representatives, paid attention to the ownership of property,
5 and so properties belonging to those who had left Banja Luka were given
6 for temporary use to Serb refugees.
7 While working as a director of the electricity supply company of
8 Republika Srpska, Nikola Erceg witnessed problems concerning power cuts
9 on a daily basis in households in Banja Luka. He himself did not have
10 electricity in the centre of Banja Luka for 40 days at a time.
11 And that would be the statement summary of Mr. Erceg, and I would
12 just have a couple of questions for him.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Erceg, would you please now open your
16 statement and look at paragraph 12. It is on page 4 in the B/C/S
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Just a second until we can see it on our screens.
20 You say here that the ARK Assembly adopted a decision to form the
21 ARK Crisis Staff. In connection with that, I would show you another
22 document, and it is 1D02309.
23 A. May I do anything?
24 Q. Just a second. Now you can see it on the screen in front of you.
25 That is, the decision on forming the war staff of the Autonomous Region
1 of Krajina. We can see that the decision was adopted by the Executive
2 Council and that it is signed at the bottom of the page by Nikola Erceg.
3 Is this your signature?
4 A. Yes, it is my signature. But I know see that in paragraph 12 it
5 should be corrected and instead of "the Assembly," it should be stated
6 "the Executive Council." I have not noticed this until now. And it was
7 the Executive Council that adopted the decision to form the Crisis Staff
8 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
9 Q. And before that, did the Assembly also adopt such a decision?
10 A. I can't remember, but most probably this was a topic that was
11 discussed. I'm not certain but judging by the obligation to adopt
12 certain decisions, this was something that the Executive Council was
13 obliged to do.
14 Q. The names listed here, did you decide that they would be the
15 members of the war staff as it's formulated here or was it somebody else?
16 A. It wasn't me. Mr. Brdjanin brought the list to me. I suppose
17 that it was agreed that he would be the president of the Crisis Staff,
18 and he was also the operative in the sense that he listed the names of
19 people who were to be included in the Crisis Staff. And I was present
20 here in my capacity as the president of the Executive Council which was
21 supposed to verify it all.
22 Q. It reads here: "Decision on the formation of the war staff," and
23 we are talking about the Crisis Staff. Is that actually one and the same
25 A. No, no. It's not the same body. Perhaps it's a typo. There was
1 no talk of a war staff but it was specifically the Crisis Staff.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you, a typo is when you make a mistake
4 when typing something, but the word appears more than once, which doesn't
5 look very much as a typo.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think that it was an
7 intention to continue with the error, but I guess that when it was
8 photocopied or reprinted, people who were in charge of that did not pay
9 sufficient attention, and that the sense was changed because there was no
10 discussion of war staffs at the time, nor were they formed anywhere.
11 There were only Crisis Staffs.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And do I understand that you decided that the
13 staff - let me call it "the staff" - would consist of the following
14 people because of it dictated by those who were members of that staff.
15 So Mr. Brdjanin came to you with a list and said, "These are the
16 persons," including himself, and then you say, "Okay, then we'll decide
17 that that's how it is"? Is that how I have to understand your testimony?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This list was made on Brdjanin's
19 instructions, but according to the documentation, the staff is made up of
20 people who occupy certain positions, and the very fact that somebody
21 occupies a certain position puts him on the Crisis Staff. I was on the
22 staff because I was president on -- of an Executive Council, and it is
23 written somewhere that presidents of Executive Councils automatically
24 become members of the Crisis Staff.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Is that true for all 17 members of the Crisis Staff,
1 that they are there because of their positions they held, automatically
2 becoming members?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it is not. For instance, some
4 of the members I didn't know until that moment because they didn't occupy
5 any positions. Nenad Stevandic, Mr. Dubocanin.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But I do understand that because Mr. Brdjanin
7 had told you that they should be members and, even not knowing them, that
8 that's the decision you took.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. And we just need
12 paragraph 46 from the statement, which is now D982.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lukic, did you tender the document we had
14 just looked at?
15 MR. LUKIC: This -- this one is, I think, on the list. Give me
16 one second.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the reserve number for 1D2309 is
18 MFI D993.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. Yeah, maybe I could tender it
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
22 MR. LUKIC: Under the reserve number maybe.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Under the reserve number. D993, in the absence of
24 any objections, is admitted into evidence.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Erceg, paragraph 46. We see in the sentence before last, two
2 entities are mentioned. When you say there was no communication between
3 two entities, what did you mean by "two entities"?
4 A. What should be written is "between two parts of
5 Republika Srpska." Because it was physically divided into the west and
6 the eastern part.
7 Q. Mr. Erceg, thank you. That would be all we had for you for the
8 moment. Thank you.
9 A. Welcome.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, let me try to understand in view
11 of paragraph 46. The ... when reading paragraph 46, it appears to me
12 that the lack of communication was especially between Pale and
13 Banja Luka, which is -- I have some difficulties in -- is that well
14 understood or did you mean something else when you referred to the west
15 and the eastern part?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer now?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A general feature of the first part
19 of 1992 was that because physical communications were broken down between
20 two areas on different sides of the Sava river, there was a division and
21 lack of communication between the western and the eastern part. There
22 was no traffic or communication between the two parts. So in the western
23 part of Republika Srpska, we made do the best we could. That's why the
24 area of Krajina was established and the Crisis Staff, et cetera.
25 So at that time when all communications had broken down, we just
1 made do with our own means and that lasted approximately until the end of
2 June when, as a result of combat operations --
3 JUDGE ORIE: You're telling me a long story and my question was
4 far more simple. When you said the communications between the east and
5 the west had broken down and when I say -- if I read paragraph 46, it
6 seems that you are there specifically giving an example of the
7 communications between Pale and Banja Luka. Is Pale west or east? Is
8 Banja Luka east or west? Is that included in paragraph 46?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Pale is in the eastern part of
10 Republika Srpska. Banja Luka is in the western part.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's -- so when you are now talking about
12 eastern and western part that would divide Pale from Banja Luka.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you.
15 Mr. Traldi, you may proceed but I'll first introduce you to the
17 Mr. Erceg, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Traldi. You find
18 Mr. Traldi to your right. Mr. Traldi is counsel for the Prosecution.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi:
22 Q. Good morning, sir.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. Sir, you testified in the Karadzic case; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you were interviewed by the Office of the Prosecutor in 2001
2 and 2002, as you mention in your statement. Is it your position that you
3 were telling the truth on all those occasions?
4 A. I suppose I was. What I saw as the truth at that time, I said to
5 the Prosecutors. Now whether something will change in my testimony now,
6 I don't know, because I forgot certain things. And some things I will
7 probably put differently, not because I'm changing the facts, but that's
8 the way I see them now.
9 Q. Now, you explained similarly in the Karadzic case that you'd
10 forgotten a number of things over the years since you'd been interviewed,
11 as, of course, we all have over the last decade or so, and you testified
12 that as a result what I said -- what you said in the interviews was
13 obviously more accurate. Do you stand by that evidence today?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, you also mentioned during your 92 ter attestation this
16 morning that there might be things that you said differently today than
17 you had in your statement that was tendered because you had learned
18 things in the course of preparing for your testimony in this trial. And
19 I'd just ask if you will agree to, if you are giving an answer based on
20 something that you've only learned in the last year or so or in the
21 course of preparing for your testimony here, specifically tell us that
22 the information you're providing is information you acquired recently.
23 Can we agree to proceed that way?
24 A. We can. I suppose there will be no change in the substance but I
25 may express myself differently on a particular subject.
1 Q. And the statement that you attested to this morning, that's the
2 same statement you gave to the Karadzic Defence and which was admitted
3 into evidence in that trial, except that the Defence has redacted some
4 references to adjudicated facts and that you made one correction; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now before I move to the substance of your evidence, in your
7 interviews with the Office of the Prosecutor you claimed variously that
8 you didn't know anything about the army, didn't have anything to do with
9 the army, and didn't know how the army organised its affairs. Do you
10 stand by that evidence today?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Sir, then I want to turn to your evidence about the political
13 authorities in the ARK with which you are familiar.
14 Now, your statement repeats assertions that all the communication
15 lines between Pale and the ARK had been severed, and you stated in
16 paragraph 34 that the ARK institutions were formed because of the lack of
17 communications with Pale. In fact, the ARK Crisis Staff was formed
18 pursuant to instructions from Pale; right?
19 A. I suppose that there were some instructions according to which
20 they were established, but I don't know which instructions. I didn't
21 have the opportunity to see that documentation. During the last few
22 days, the lawyers showed me one document according to which the
23 Crisis Staff in our municipality might have been formed, but according to
24 the instructions, there was supposed to be no Crisis Staff of the
1 Q. Well, sir --
2 A. I'm sorry, I was in a position to read Djeric's letter addressing
3 this subject.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Erceg, you're moving away from the question
5 so -- the question was focused on the interruption of communications.
6 What Mr. Traldi put to you is that if you say it was formed because there
7 was no communication, Mr. Traldi puts it to you that the very
8 establishment of the Crisis Staff was based on an instruction from Pale
9 which then - and that's implicit in his question - would then have been
10 communicated to you. That's the issue Mr. Traldi is focusing on.
11 Could you please respond to that.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say this. At the moment the
13 Crisis Staff was formed, I, in that year, 1992, did not see any document
14 saying that a Crisis Staff should be formed. And it was nevertheless
15 formed. Now I can only assume that Brdjanin had that document and on its
16 basis formed the Crisis Staff. At that time, whenever you talked to
17 people, whatever anybody from any institution said, you believed them,
18 and so I believed Mr. Brdjanin when he said there was a need to form the
19 Crisis Staff. I never asked him if there was any document on the basis
20 of which to do it because I didn't need to, and now only I saw during
21 proofing that such a document exists. I saw material documentary
22 evidence instructing the formation of the Crisis Staff, and I also saw in
23 that document that there was supposed to be no Crisis Staff of the
24 Krajina, only of the municipalities. However, a Crisis Staff of the
25 Krajina was formed at the initiative of Mr. Brdjanin.
1 MR. TRALDI:
2 Q. Sir, a document explicitly saying that there was not supposed to
3 be any Crisis Staff of the Krajina, no such document is mentioned in your
4 statement. Can you explain to us what document this purportedly is?
5 A. When I was writing my statement, I was not in a position to
6 ascertain whether such a document exists or what it says. However,
7 during the past few days, I saw that there were perhaps even two
8 documents allowing the formation of the Crisis Staff. One is the
9 instruction of the prime minister, Mr. Djeric; and one document issued by
10 the Main Board of the SDS party I believe in 1991. It's called:
11 Instruction on the organisation and action in emergency situations. This
12 document specifies that Crisis Staffs may be formed in municipalities.
13 Q. In fact, they direct that Crisis Staffs are to be formed in
14 municipalities; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, regarding the formation of the ARK Crisis Staff, if we could
17 have 65 ter 32351, page 41, and this will be part of one of your
18 interviews with the Office of the Prosecutor.
19 Now, we see -- and the transcript is in English so I'll read it
20 slowly. We see at the top of the page that the attorney interviewing you
22 "In the gazette it was published that you as president of the
23 Executive Council adopted a decision on the formation of the Crisis Staff
24 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina."
25 Below your initials we see that the interpreter says:
2 And below that, that you say:
3 "And that is a verification actually of that which we had
4 received from the central authorities in Pale."
5 And if we scroll down to the bottom of the page, just to be
6 pellucidly clear, the attorney interviewing you says:
7 "So if what you are saying is you received orders from Pale to
8 establish the Crisis Staff in the Autonomous Region of Krajina?"
9 And the interpreter, of course, relays your answer, which is:
11 Now do you stand by the truthfulness and accuracy of the portion
12 of your interview with the Office of the Prosecutor that I've just read
13 to you?
14 A. I do stand by the truthfulness of this part of the interview, but
15 I have to repeat. At that time I didn't know whether documents according
16 to which Crisis Staffs may be formed exist or not, but I allowed for the
17 possibility that some people who wanted to avert a danger were acting on
18 their own in the best faith. In this case, I trusted Mr. Brdjanin when
19 he said that a Crisis Staff should be formed. I didn't ask him to
20 produce a document to show me. If I had held such a document in my
21 hands, telling us that we don't have the right to form a Crisis Staff, I
22 would not have continued. I would not have done that as president of the
23 Executive Council.
24 Q. Sir, I'm going to stop you --
25 A. We had to act quickly in that situation.
1 Q. Is it right that as of the time you were interviewed in 2002, you
2 understood that what had happened on the 5th of May, 1992, was that you
3 issued a decision forming the ARK Crisis Staff pursuant to instructions
4 from Pale which had been relaid to you by Mr. Brdjanin; yes or no?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And the instructions from Mr. Djeric, which you mention in
7 paragraph 33 of your statement and mentioned this morning, you believe
8 they were received in Banja Luka within two or three of days of when they
9 were issued in late April 1992; right?
10 A. I didn't understand this.
11 Q. Well, the Djeric instructions that you refer to in your statement
12 and that you referred to this morning, they were issued on the 26th of
13 April, 1992, and your belief is they were received in Banja Luka within
14 two or three days of when they were issued; right?
15 A. I don't know that. I don't know whether that instruction had
16 reached Banja Luka. I saw it for the first time two or three days ago,
17 so I don't know what the situation was in that beginning of April, but I
18 will repeat, I believed that Brdjanin was acting in good faith when he
19 said we have instructions to form a Crisis Staff. I trusted him.
20 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32349, page 2.
21 Q. As it comes up, this will be part of your sworn testimony in the
22 Karadzic case.
23 JUDGE ORIE: D407 is what exactly? Is that the Djeric letter?
24 MR. TRALDI: Sorry, I believe I may have had an exhibit number
25 from the wrong case. I should have said D840, and that's the Djeric
1 instructions according to the list we got from the Defence.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Witness, you -- because I'm a bit puzzled by
3 the following. Witness, you said you saw that document only three days
4 ago, the document which is referred to as the Djeric letter. Is
5 that ... is that the case? I'm speaking to you. That's difficult for
6 you to know who is speaking to you because the interpreters will
7 translate my words. But the Presiding Judge is addressing you. Is it --
8 that document, the Djeric letter, did you see it only three days ago?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And was that the document that you was shown to you
11 by the Karadzic Defence as well?
12 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
13 JUDGE ORIE: What then exactly is the document paragraph 33 is
14 referring to? Could -- perhaps, Mr. Lukic, could you assist? I'm
15 talking about paragraph 33. I have been shown document D407. And that
16 would be -- let me just check whether we can -- I find it in the tables.
17 If someone would find it easily on the ... could someone assist me in --
18 I'm trying to do my utmost best but ...
19 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, our records indicate that D407 in the
20 Karadzic case, the case for which the statement was taken, is the Djeric
21 instructions to Crisis Staffs dated the 26th of April, the document I'd
22 asked about.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, Witness, apparently in your statement
24 given to the Karadzic Defence, you already commented on that document and
25 you explained certain matters in relation to what is dealt with in that
1 document as well. And that's more than three days ago, isn't it, that
2 you were interviewed in preparation for your Karadzic statement.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could have talked about that
4 document only because I knew it existed, but considering the whole
5 situation that we knew each other --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Witness -- witness, let me stop you there.
7 Your statement reads and you attested to your statement as the
8 statement given to the Karadzic Defence, "I have been shown document
9 D407," that means that already far more than three days ago you have seen
10 that document. So I'm puzzled by your evidence where you say, "I only
11 saw it three days ago"?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To tell you honestly, I'm not sure
13 about this. I don't know whether I'd seen it in my contacts with the
14 Karadzic Defence. Maybe I saw it somewhere on the screen. But
15 physically, the hard copy, I saw it only when the lawyer, Lukic, showed
16 it to me. Maybe of assistance could be the fact that if there is a
17 connection --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, would you be more cautious when you give
19 answers to questions. If you say, "I only saw it three days ago," where
20 in the Karadzic statement it says already that you have been shown -- of
21 course, I couldn't exclude that it was on the screen or something like
22 that. But that's -- you should be more cautious and more precise in your
23 answers because it's not the first time this morning that we notice that
24 imprecisions are there.
25 Mr. Traldi, you may proceed, but in two minutes we'll take a
2 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32349, page 2.
3 Q. It's the portion of your sworn testimony in the Karadzic case.
4 Now, here, you're asked:
5 "With respect to this total breakdown of communication that you
6 allege, you also acknowledge in paragraph 4 that in some mysterious way
7 the instructions on establishing Crisis Staff, that is, the Djeric
8 instructions of approximately April 26, somehow made it through this
9 impenetrable barrier, right? You acknowledge that the Djeric
10 instructions were received?"
11 And you answer:
12 "Yes, as far as I can remember I had them, but I'm not sure when.
13 I don't know if it was those first few days when it arrived in
14 Banja Luka. I imagine it was within two or three days."
15 So, first, is your testimony this morning that you never saw the
16 document in any way until your preparation for your Karadzic testimony
17 correct; or is your sworn Karadzic testimony that "as far as I can
18 remember, I had the Djeric instructions" correct?
19 A. I cannot answer this question with any degree of certainty. I
20 have now total confusion in my head about this. What I had or didn't
21 have when I was preparing for my Karadzic testimony. I know only that
22 what's in my head now is that I only read this document two or three days
24 Q. Let me ask the question very precisely. Do you or do you not
25 stand behind your sworn Karadzic testimony that, as far as you can
1 remember, you had those instructions in 1992?
2 A. I can take that position. Let it be that way. I stand by it.
3 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I see we are at the time for the break
5 JUDGE ORIE: We are. The witness may follow the usher.
6 We'd like to see you back in 20 minutes after the break,
7 Mr. Erceg.
8 [The witness stands down]
9 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at five minutes to 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
12 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be escorted
13 in the courtroom, just briefly one of the remaining issues from the
14 testimony of Vojo Kupresanin.
15 On the 13th of February of this year, the Prosecution e-mailed
16 the Chamber advising that it had uploaded into e-court the document
17 bearing 65 ter number 31772a, being two pages of Kupresanin's testimony
18 from the Karadzic case, and requesting that, subject to the Defence's
19 agreement, these pages be admitted into evidence as Exhibit P7010.
20 On the same day, the Chamber e-mailed the Defence to see whether
21 it objects to the admission of the document.
22 On the 26th of March, the Chamber instructed the Defence to
23 respond by the end of that day. The Defence responded via e-mail
24 advising that it does not object to the document being admitted as
25 Exhibit P7010, and the Court Officer is hereby instructed to replace
1 P7010 [Realtime transcript read in error "P0710"] with 65 ter number
2 31772a. And P7010 is hereby admitted into evidence.
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Erceg, not very polite to continue with
5 administrative matters when you enter the courtroom, apologies for that.
6 Mr. Traldi will now continue his cross-examination.
7 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P4337, please.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: While this comes up, the number should be
9 corrected it's not P0710 but P7010, line 17 of page 24.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Judge Fluegge.
11 Mr. Traldi, proceed.
12 MR. TRALDI:
13 Q. Now this is the version of the decision on the formation of the
14 Crisis Staff of the ARK that was published in the Official Gazette;
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. Now I have three areas of questioning for you about it. The
18 first two are quite brief.
19 First, under the word "decision," in this version it refers to it
20 as a Crisis Staff rather than a war staff; right?
21 A. [Microphone not activated]
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the witness, please.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Witness -- could the usher assist the witness in
24 adjusting the microphone so that the interpreters can hear him.
25 Could you please repeat your answer, Witness, because the
1 interpreters couldn't hear you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It reads up here: The decision on
3 forming the war staff and then the Crisis Staff.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And then above that it says "war
6 staff." So it's obviously an error. If I have read this correctly.
7 Essentially this is a Crisis Staff. It's no war staff at all.
8 MR. TRALDI: We've lost the B/C/S it appears. We have it back
10 Q. Second question: In the header it says this decision is being
11 taken pursuant to Article 12 of the Law on National Defence. That's the
12 Law on National Defence of the Republika Srpska which by the beginning of
13 May had also been received and was being implemented in the ARK; right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And, in fact, it cites the Official Gazette, those were being
16 received in the ARK; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, you testified earlier that the people who were on the
19 Crisis Staff, the documentation said they had to serve on the Crisis
20 Staff as a result of their positions. What documentation were you
21 referring to?
22 A. I do not understand the question. What documents do you mean?
23 Q. Sure. Today you testified that as president of the
24 Executive Council, the documents said that you had to be a member of the
25 Crisis Staff. Let me put it clearly: The documents you were referring
1 to is the Variant A and B instructions; right?
2 A. No.
3 Q. What document were you referring to?
4 A. This list of the members of the Crisis Staff is based on the fact
5 that many of the members were -- by the nature of the work that they had
6 to do would automatically be involved in the Crisis Staff. I was the
7 president of the Executive Council, and in that capacity I was co-opted
8 into the Crisis Staff. Just an example. Then Deputy President --
9 Vice-President Sajic also, then Predrag Radic who was the president of
10 the municipality of Banja Luka, and then Radisav Vukic who was the
11 president of the SDS also by his -- by virtue of his capacity and so on.
12 There is no documentation but judging by the positions these people were
13 on at the moment at which the Crisis Staff was formed, and if
14 documentation is needed, specifically for myself, for example, it could
15 be the Assembly's decision appointing me as the president of the
16 Executive Council. And if you need to find the document, it could be a
17 decision. But in this case, simply, it was by default, automatic.
18 Q. Sir --
19 A. People who --
20 Q. I'm going to go through all of these people's positions with you
21 in a moment, but before I do, today at temporary transcript page 11,
22 lines 18 through 24, you testified as follows:
23 "This list was made on Brdjanin's instructions, but according to
24 the documentation, the staff is made up of people who occupy certain
25 positions and the very fact that somebody occupies a certain position
1 puts him on the Crisis Staff. I was on the staff because I was president
2 on -- of an Executive Council, and it is written somewhere that
3 presidents of Executive Councils automatically became members of the
4 Crisis Staff."
5 What I'm putting to you now is what you testified then at
6 temporary transcript page 11 was accurate and the place where that is
7 written is in the Variant A and B instructions. That's the truth; right?
8 A. It could be like that as well. You could interpret it like that.
9 If we need to explain it, it can be interpreted in that way. But it's
10 known --
11 Q. Sir -- sir, I'm not at the moment interested in how it could be.
12 Earlier this morning, you testified that you became a member of the
13 Crisis Staff because it was written somewhere that due to your position
14 as president of the Executive Council, you automatically became a member
15 of the Crisis Staff. Just now, you testified there was no such
16 documentation or -- I mean, "it could be the Assembly's decision
17 appointing me as the president of the Executive Council," but that there
18 was no specific documentation saying presidents of Executive Councils
19 became members of Crisis Staffs.
20 What I'm putting to you is: The truth, not how it could be, is
21 what you said the first time, that it was written that the president of
22 the Executive Council automatically became a member of the Crisis Staff.
23 It was written in the Variant A and B instructions, and it was in
24 application of them that you became a member. That's the truth; right?
25 A. It may be interpreted like that. Let us say that that's the
2 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, well, we'll not just: "Let's say that it's
3 the truth."
4 You said "it's written somewhere." Mr. Traldi puts to you that
5 it is found in the A and B instructions. Do you agree with that? If
6 not, tell us where it is written.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will repeat again. Specifically
8 for me and my name, I was co-opted in the Crisis Staff for the reason
9 that I was the president of the Executive Council and in some
10 documents --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you have told us that five times. Now, Mr.
12 Traldi --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's nothing new for me to say.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Where you said "it's written somewhere," where is it
15 written, in your opinion?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, our lawyers would know that.
17 We received instructions from lawyers how to form a commission.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, if you say "it's written somewhere," and if
19 you say "the lawyers told me," then you should have testified: Lawyers
20 told me that it is written somewhere. If you say "it's written
21 somewhere," we expect you to have knowledge of that it is written
23 Now, could you tell us where it is written or can't you tell us?
24 Can you or can you not?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say where it's written.
1 But I know that --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Witness, that's an answer to my question.
3 Please, Mr. Traldi.
4 MR. TRALDI:
5 Q. Earlier this morning you testified that you issued this decision
6 because Brdjanin told you there were instructions to do it and you just
7 took his word for it. A moment ago, you testified that there was a
8 consultation with lawyers about who should be on the Crisis Staff. Was
9 there, in fact, such a consultation, or did you just take Mr. Brdjanin's
10 word for it and issue this instruction?
11 A. I did not consult lawyers, but I took Brdjanin's word for it,
12 supposing that he had consulted lawyers, how and in what manner this
13 decision was to be implemented.
14 Q. So when you testified just now at temporary transcript page 29,
15 line 6: "We received instructions from lawyers how to form a
16 commission," is it your evidence now that that's just an assumption and
17 you don't know whether that's true either?
18 A. An assumption.
19 Q. As I said, I'm going to go now through the names of the people on
20 this list and their positions with you. If you don't recall or are
21 simply assuming what their position is, I'd ask you to state that
22 clearly. And what I'm interested in is their position before they became
23 members of the Crisis Staff.
24 Now, Mr. Brdjanin, before he became -- before the Crisis Staff
25 was formed, was the vice-president of the ARK Assembly; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Sajic was the secretary of the Secretariat for National Defence
3 in the ARK; right?
4 A. I'm not sure about that, but I know that he was in the military
5 structures. I don't know specifically what position he had.
6 Q. Kupresanin was president of the ARK Assembly?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. You were president of the Executive Council and you mentioned
9 that Radic was president of Banja Luka municipality. Vukic, president of
10 the party. Milanovic --
11 A. Yes. Dr. Milanovic was the deputy president of the Assembly of
12 the Serbian People of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Q. And General Talic was the commander of the then-5th Corps of the
14 JNA; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Major Jokic was in the JNA air force?
17 A. I don't know what he did.
18 Q. Stojan Zupljanin, head of CSB Banja Luka; right?
19 A. Yes, security services Banja Luka.
20 Q. Dr. Kuzmanovic, rector of Banja Luka university?
21 A. Yes. But, look, it reads here: "Dragoljub Mirjanic." There is
22 no Kuzmanovic in what I see on the screen in B/C/S. Dr. Dragoljub
24 Q. What was Mirjanic's position?
25 A. He was a university professor as far as I know. He certainly was
1 that. Whether he also had some other position, I wouldn't know.
2 Q. Milan Puvacic was the district prosecutor; right?
3 A. A judge, yes.
4 Q. Jovo Rosic, president of the court?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Slobodan Dubocanin and Nenad Stevandic, they were both with the
7 Serbian Defence Forces or the SOS; right?
8 A. I know that Slobodan Dubocanin was a reserve officer and
9 Nenad Stevandic was a medical student, a student at the faculty of
10 medicine at the time.
11 Q. First question: What organisation was Dubocanin a reserve
12 officer in? What structure?
13 A. I don't know that. I met him around that time.
14 Q. And you hadn't answered directly the question I asked. Aside
15 from the positions that you mention, both of those men were also involved
16 with the Serbian Defence Forces or the SOS; right?
17 A. I don't know this. I -- I cannot answer with either a yes or a
19 Q. And Djuro Bulic and Nedjelko Kesic, who we see at the bottom,
20 they were both employed by the RS MUP; right?
21 A. Djuro Bulic was in the RS and Nedjelko Kesic in -- what's it
22 called? Security ...I don't know how it was called, but probably
23 attached to the Security Services Centre.
24 Q. Head of the -- head of the National Security Service at the CSB;
1 A. I think so, but I'm not certain.
2 Q. So this list includes the leaders of the key institutions in the
3 ARK; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the Crisis Staff provides a forum for them to co-ordinate
6 their organisation's efforts; right?
7 A. Yes, it could be assumed that that was the point, to calm the
8 situation as much as possible and to monitor what was going on.
9 Q. And because of their roles and their expertise coming in, for
10 instance, if something that came up that was a judicial issue, it would
11 be Rosic or Puvacic that took the lead, right, because of their previous
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. And there were always plenty of people from the various
15 municipalities attending meetings of the ARK Crisis Staff; right?
16 A. Mostly. Especially after the few meetings which were held with a
17 smaller number of people, then later on sometimes there would be as many
18 as 40 or 50 people attending.
19 MR. TRALDI: I'm done with this document. And I'd ask for P2413.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And this document was ...?
21 MR. TRALDI: P4337.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But it needs to be revised as far as
23 translation is concerned, Mr. Traldi --
24 MR. TRALDI: We will have it --
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- because it seems that the entry under number 11
1 is -- the English is not consistent with what we find in the B/C/S.
2 MR. TRALDI: We'll have it checked, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And could you please inform us immediately
4 once you have uploaded a new version.
5 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
7 MR. TRALDI:
8 Q. Now, sir, in paragraphs 72 through 94 of your statement, you
9 discusses relations between the ARK and the municipalities which
10 comprised it, and I'll have several questions about this topic.
11 First, Brdjanin expected that when the ARK Crisis Staff
12 formulated a conclusion, that conclusion would be implemented at the
13 municipal level, didn't he?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, this is a document you discuss in your statement.
16 MR. TRALDI: If we can turn to page 2 so just so we've got the
17 text, 2 in both languages.
18 Q. You say in paragraph 85 that this was a completely autonomous
19 decision of the Sanski Most Crisis Staff.
20 MR. TRALDI: Sorry, one more page in the B/C/S.
21 Q. Now, we see that this decision relates to the disarmament of what
22 are referred to as paramilitary formations. The reality is that this
23 very order was issued to implement a series of decisions about
24 disarmament made by the Republika Srpska authorities passed down the
25 chain, leading to decisions made by the ARK Crisis Staff, and then passed
1 down the chain to the municipality; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now you testified to that same fact in the Karadzic case. So my
4 question is: Why have you not removed the claim that this order was
5 issued "completely autonomously" from your statement, when you know that
6 this, in fact, was an implementation of decisions taken by the higher
7 Bosnian Serb authorities and your assertion about it in your statement is
8 not true?
9 A. Can you please repeat the question from the beginning.
10 Paragraph 82.
11 Q. Paragraph 85, sir. In paragraph 85 you say this is a completely
12 autonomous decision of the Sanski Most Crisis Staff.
13 My question for you is: Considering that you know that not to be
14 true and you testified in the Karadzic case that this was not completely
15 autonomous but issued pursuant to the decisions by the higher Bosnian
16 Serb authorities, why have you not removed that claim from your
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
19 MR. LUKIC: I just want to -- the witness is not looking at the
20 screen, not following the decision. You have the -- that he has the --
21 this order on the screen. So I'm not sure if he understood the question.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I haven't. I haven't
23 understood the question.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps you give it another try, Mr. Traldi. And
25 perhaps remove from the screen what the witness has not to look at or
1 even if only temporarily --
2 MR. TRALDI: I --
3 JUDGE ORIE: And I take it that he should first look at his own
4 statement and if you direct him to the right paragraph that would
5 certainly assist. 85.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. Sir, I'm directing your attention your to paragraph 85 of your
8 statement. And you mention that -- the document we just saw in the first
9 sentence. You describe it in the second. In the third sentence you
10 assert this is a completely autonomous decision.
11 My question for you is: The fact is you've left those things in
12 your statement when you know they are not true, and you testified in the
13 Karadzic case, just like you did just now, that the decision we just saw
14 was, in fact, entered into by the Sanski Most Crisis Staff pursuant to
15 decisions by the republic level and regional level Bosnian Serb
16 authorities. That's the truth; right?
17 A. Once again, I do not your question.
18 MR. LUKIC: He has to see the document if somebody -- if
19 something is asked about the document. He cannot know by heart.
20 MR. TRALDI: Mr. Lukic --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Let's -- let's -- Mr. Lukic doesn't have to
23 The issue is the following. In paragraph 85 of your statement,
24 you are telling us about the document, which is, at this moment, on our
25 screen --
1 MR. LUKIC: It is not.
2 JUDGE ORIE: It's not on the screen. Let's have a look. Could
3 we now have it on the screen. Yes, but then a B/C/S version as well.
4 Yes. In paragraph 85, you are saying something about an order
5 from the Sanski Most Crisis Staff to the Territorial Defence Staff.
6 That's what you see on your screen now.
7 You see that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Now, in your statement, you are telling us that
10 it -- this decision was a completely autonomous decision of the
11 Sanski Most Crisis Staff.
12 Now, a few minutes ago, you agreed with Mr. Traldi that this
13 decision was taken pursuant to other decisions taken at a higher level,
14 and, therefore, Mr. Traldi thinks that it's incorrect to say that it was
15 autonomously taken. And he wonders why in your statement you still say
16 that it is a autonomous decision; whereas you agreed a few minutes ago
17 that this decision was taken on the instruction or at least pursuant to
18 decisions taken at a higher level, which would make it not autonomous any
20 Do you have any explanation for that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was in discipline of the lower
22 level which took decisions. It was the Crisis Staff of Sanski Most which
23 took this decision on its own. At this moment, that's how I understand
25 JUDGE ORIE: But was it taken pursuant to instructions or orders
1 from higher organs?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Who the Crisis Staff of Sanski Most
3 communicated with, I don't know. I don't think they communicated with
4 anyone at the time when they adopted such a decision.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, please proceed.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. Sir, you testified a moment ago -- I'm just pulling up the
8 specific language. I showed you this decision. I said:
9 "We see that this decision relates to the disarmament of what are
10 referred to as paramilitary formations. The reality is that this very
11 order was issued to implement a series of decisions about disarmament
12 made by the Republika Srpska authorities passed down the chain, leading
13 to decisions made by the ARK Crisis Staff, and then passed down the chain
14 to the municipality; right?"
15 And you said: "Yes."
16 Do you agree with me that are you now changing your evidence?
17 MR. LUKIC: Objection.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
19 MR. LUKIC: At that moment, the witness --
20 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours --
21 MR. LUKIC: -- was not aware [overlapping speakers] --
22 MR. TRALDI: -- the witness should --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Should you make -- you can make an objection. You
24 should not interpret the -- what's the objection, Mr. Lukic?
25 MR. LUKIC: First he did not show him the other -- the other
1 documents. He claimed that there were some.
2 Second, the witness did not pay attention to the document in
3 front of him. It was obvious he was watching his statement all the time.
4 We all saw it.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You're giving evidence on what happened in court --
6 MR. LUKIC: I saw it. I can give evidence about it.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and that's --
8 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers] --
9 JUDGE ORIE: And, Mr. Lukic --
10 MR. LUKIC: I could follow [overlapping speakers] --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic -- Mr. Lukic, stop now immediately. You
12 say you could give testimony about it. That's exactly what you're not
13 supposed to do in this court.
14 MR. LUKIC: I was observing the witness, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, everyone observed it. It is not here --
16 MR. LUKIC: He was not looking at the screen at all.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you apparently have a very bad
18 understanding of what the rules of procedure requests -- require from you
19 at this moment.
20 MR. LUKIC: At that --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I'm not in a discussion with you. I'm
22 telling you something --
23 MR. LUKIC: I think I do understand the proceedings, Your Honour.
24 I cannot accept that I do not understand the proceedings.
25 JUDGE ORIE: We'll consider that with my colleagues. I do it
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE ORIE: It's unanimous in this Bench that you did not
4 procedurally properly act, Mr. Lukic. We leave it to that for the time
6 MR. LUKIC: Are you telling me that Mr. Mladic has --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. -- I'm not --
8 MR. LUKIC: -- incompetent Defence?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic --
10 MR. LUKIC: I want an answer to that [overlapping speakers] -- so
11 you should replace me then.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, now first -- first of all, I'm not in a
13 position that I have to answer your questions. That's one. And second,
14 if you continue to behave like this, we have to consider what to do. I
15 leave to that. And I've now said it five times "I leave it to that," and
16 that implies that you should leave it at this moment as well.
17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: That's it.
19 Mr. Traldi, at least your question, the question also you put
20 earlier to the witness, was a pretty composite one and that may create
21 some of the problems which have arisen now. So even if you would try to
22 find out whether the witness changed his testimony, your previous
23 question should be split up and you should seek confirmation on all
24 elements contained in it.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. LUKIC: One more thing, Your Honours, if I may. I was just
2 warned because I was following the English channel, my colleague
3 Stojanovic told me. The translation this witness was --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Translation issues can always be discussed. Is
5 there any translation issue, Mr. Lukic?
6 MR. LUKIC: Yes. He was receiving the translation that on our
7 screens we have decision and here it says "order." I don't know, I
8 wasn't following that channel.
9 JUDGE ORIE: What line, what word exactly is -- and if you want
10 to consult with Mr. Stojanovic, of course, you can do that. But I'm
11 afraid that these words have been used so many times, that in order to
12 detect any translation error, any interpretation error, we would have to
13 know exactly which line, which page. And the Chamber is, as always,
14 Mr. Lukic, open to a careful review to be very precise ...
15 MR. LUKIC: In English it was said "order." So you have "order"
16 in the transcript.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, what, under those circumstances, we would
18 do, we would use the WordWheel and that reveals that the word "order" was
19 used, two, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine times today so choose
20 whatever "order "you would like to have verified and we'll do it.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But the problem, Mr. Lukic, is that in the
22 statement, the witness is using the term "decision."
23 MR. LUKIC: Exactly, but on the screen we have the word "order."
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, let's --
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, you said that already. I just wanted to
1 draw your attention --
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- and you see in the WordWheel, we have, I
4 think, 20 or 30 times "decision."
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I only dealt with "order" in the singular,
6 not in the plural, because that adds another two.
7 MR. LUKIC: In --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
9 MR. LUKIC: -- in B/C/S it says "order."
10 JUDGE ORIE: Where, Mr. Lukic?
11 MR. LUKIC: In paragraph 85.
12 JUDGE ORIE: 85 of the statement of the witness?
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes. It says it is an order of Crisis Staff of
14 Sanski Most.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let's have a look.
16 MR. LUKIC: I don't know about the English --
17 JUDGE ORIE: What we see at least in the document itself, the
18 English version, and it's still on our screen, says "order," and is there
19 any problem in relation to the original B/C/S whether "order" could
20 possibly be an incorrect translation?
21 MR. LUKIC: In both B/C/S and English versions of the statement
22 it says "order."
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. Now, I don't know whether this explains
24 all of the confusion because whether decision or order, the issue was not
25 the name of it but the issue was whether this was autonomously taken, yes
1 or no.
2 And, Mr. Traldi, you may resume from there. And, again, one of
3 the previous questions where you asked the witness to confirm, yes or no,
4 was a pretty composite question, so if you would please keep that in mind
5 if you continue.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. Sir, you're aware that the ARK Crisis Staff was taking decisions
8 on the disarmament of what it referred to as paramilitary formations
9 shortly before this decision, the 20th of May, 1992; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You're aware that the Bosnian Serb leadership was taking similar
12 decisions at the same time that were being relayed to the ARK, aren't
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you're, in fact, aware that this order -- this order was
16 issued in the implementation of those decisions which had been passed
17 down the chain of command from the republic level to the ARK level to
18 Sanski Most; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So last question on this topic. When you say Sanski Most took
21 this decision completely autonomously, what you mean is they were
22 implementing decisions from the ARK which was itself implementing
23 decisions from the leadership; right?
24 A. After a certain time, after five or six meetings of the Crisis
25 Staff, indiscipline began in the execution of the decisions of the Crisis
1 Staff. It is possibly under that impression that I formulated it this
2 way; that there was a lack of discipline. That's why I said it was a
3 completely autonomous decision. Of course, it wasn't because it follows
4 from the instructions of higher instances.
5 Q. I want to look at a couple of other examples of the relations
6 between the ARK and the municipalities.
7 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 06929.
8 Q. Now, this is a set of conclusions from the ARK Crisis Staff
9 meeting held on the 10th of June, 1992.
10 First, point 1 notes regarding the election of Professor
11 Dragoljub Mirjanic as rector of the University of Banja Luka, the Crisis
12 Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina only endorsed the
13 recommendation of the outgoing rector, Rajko Kuzmanovic, that the new
14 incumbent be Professor Dragoljub Mirjanic.
15 Now, when we were looking at the list of members of the Crisis
16 Staff, you said you didn't remember if Professor Mirjanic held any
17 position other than that of a professor. Does this document refresh your
18 recollection in that regard?
19 A. To some extent, yes. I should have to compare dates. I don't
20 know which is older, his appointment as rector or his joining the Crisis
21 Staff. This was on the 10th of June so it was after the Crisis Staff was
23 Q. Now, directing your attention to point 4, we read:
24 "Only children, women and the elderly may move out voluntarily,
25 that is to say, at their own free will, from the Autonomous Region of
2 Now, in paragraph 80 of your statement, you say that the Crisis
3 Staff's position was that if Muslims and Croats wanted to leave the area,
4 they should be allowed to go.
5 This conclusion restricts the Muslims and Croats who are allowed
6 to go to women, children and elderly people. That's because thousands
7 and thousands of non-Serb men were, by this date, 10 June 1992, already
8 been held in camps throughout the ARK; right?
9 A. I didn't understand the question. Would you please repeat it.
10 Q. Sure. You say --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Once again, Mr. Traldi, it's composite to the extent
12 that there two portions in it; the first, who are excluded, and the
13 second, why they were excluded. Those are two separate matters.
14 MR. TRALDI: I intended to move as efficiently as possible but
15 I'll split it up.
16 Q. First, you agree that point 4 here says only children, women and
17 the elderly, meaning, for instance, that Muslim and Croat men who willed
18 to leave the ARK were not being permitted to do so, according to this
19 conclusion by the ARK Crisis Staff; right?
20 A. Well, this conclusion is related to the more sensitive group,
21 that's to say, women, children, and the elderly; but otherwise, anyone
22 who wanted to leave could leave. We are just placing the emphasis -- the
23 emphasis is being placed here on the higher risk groups, if we're talking
24 about paragraph 4.
25 Q. Now, you're aware as you sit there today that, in fact, as of the
1 10th of June, 1992, there were thousands and thousands -- in fact, more
2 than 10.000 Muslims, mostly men, being held as prisoners in the ARK;
4 A. I'm not sure. I don't know that.
5 Q. Let's break that up. You're aware, of course, that by this point
6 there were camps in the ARK; right?
7 A. Yes, military camps.
8 Q. You're aware that those military camps held Muslims and Croats;
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You're aware they held large numbers of Muslims and Croats;
13 A. I don't know how many there were.
14 Q. And you're aware that the people detained there were mostly men,
15 though not exclusively; right?
16 A. I suppose so.
17 Q. And so what I'm putting to you is that those numbers of men,
18 mostly, who you were aware were being detained in camps, that they aren't
19 able to move out what's referred to as voluntarily because they're being
20 detained in camps; right?
21 A. Well, not all Muslims were held in camps. Many Muslims were
22 walking about the streets of towns normally. In Banja Luka included.
23 It's not true that all of them were locked up. There were in the
24 municipal assembly members who were Muslims and Croats, and they
25 continued working normally and participating in the work of the assembly
1 refresh your recollection Assembly of Banja Luka. I'm talking again
2 about Banja Luka because that's what I know best.
3 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender this document.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P7283, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I have one additional question to you, Witness. You
7 say children, women, and the elderly were mentioned because they were the
8 most vulnerable group. If that is the case, you would have expected it
9 to read: At least children, women, and the elderly may move out, or
10 certainly children, women, and the elderly may move out. However, the
11 text reads: "Only children, women and the elderly may move out," which
12 is language which you would use if would you exclude other groups.
13 Do you have any comment on the textual interpretation I gave
14 compared to the textual interpretation you gave. Not say that it is mine
15 but I pointed to a certain use of language.
16 So, therefore, the uses of the word "only" which -- how to
17 reconcile that with your interpretation of this paragraph 4.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it fits in the sense that
19 this is firmly regulated, and the assumption was that it would be only
20 women, children, and the elderly wanting to leave, but, in practice, it
21 was different. Others could leave too. Perhaps with a certain delay,
22 pending a process of verification or vetting, who the person was and why
23 they wanted to leave. The very fact that this group was given more
24 liberal treatment in moving out was caused by the fact that there was a
25 lot of -- lot of migration and a great influx of Serbian refugees from
1 other areas. There were cases when Croats organised themselves and
2 wanted to leave and go across the Sava river. There were all sorts of
3 situations that do not fit into any paragraphs. Of course, there were
4 deviations from what we wanted, and there were many things that could not
5 be fitted into any frame or any decision. It was war time. Obviously, a
6 very complex situation.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a follow-up question.
9 Mr. Erceg, that was a long explanation. Now I'm talking to you.
10 But you -- earlier you said:
11 "But otherwise anyone who wanted to leave could leave." "Anyone
12 who wanted to leave could leave."
13 This is not in accordance with what you explained now.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, look, it all depends on the
15 period. In the beginning, it was perhaps more difficult to leave --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I stop you. We are talking about June 1992
17 and especially about this document, where it says:
18 "Only children, women, and the elderly may move out voluntarily,"
19 and then you said, "but otherwise anyone who wanted to leave could
21 Why did you say that?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because I cannot focus my
23 observations only on one date, between 1 and 30th June, for instance.
24 I'm talking about the times we lived in. How do I know now what happened
25 on the 8th or on the 10th of June? I'm talking about a longer period of
1 one or two years, and I'm trying to present to you what happened in those
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But that was not the question. Thank you.
4 Mr. Traldi.
5 MR. TRALDI:
6 Q. Now, sir, the Chamber has received evidence that on 26 May 1992,
7 the ARK Crisis Staff determined that its decisions were binding for
8 municipal Crisis Staffs. Now, in your view, when you were interviewed by
9 the Office of the Prosecutor and your recollection was fresher, that was
10 a consequence of the Djeric instructions we discussed earlier; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. TRALDI: And can we have P3758, page 2 in both languages.
13 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for that. The previous
14 document, the Chamber has not yet decided on it. P7283 is admitted into
16 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Now, this is the book of minutes of the Kljuc Crisis Staff. We
18 see on the 27th of May, one day after the ARK Crisis Staff decision we
19 just discussed, that at point 1, the Kljuc Crisis Staff is concluding
20 that it will give legitimacy to all the decisions of the Crisis Staff of
21 the Autonomous Region. That reflects that it is the very next day
22 implementing the ARK Crisis Staff's decision that municipal Crisis Staffs
23 are essentially obligated to follow its decisions; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, turning next to Prijedor. It's correct that you can't point
1 to a single document or a single instance where the Prijedor Crisis Staff
2 refused to follow or implement ARK Crisis Staff decisions about, for
3 example, dismissing people from work; right?
4 A. Right.
5 Q. And this Chamber has received evidence from a member of the
6 Prijedor Crisis Staff named Bosko Mandic who testified that the Prijedor
7 Crisis Staff implemented decisions by the ARK Crisis Staff. That's the
8 truth; right?
9 A. In part, yes, they probably carried out the bulk of the decisions
10 but not all.
11 Q. And in paragraph 82 of your statement, you refer to a decision by
12 the Prijedor Crisis Staff dated the 23rd of June, 1992. Now, the Chamber
13 has received evidence that before this decision was issued, the Prijedor
14 Crisis Staff was implementing ARK decisions by, for instance, introducing
15 a permanent duty rotation. That's P6949. You're aware of that; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the Chamber has received evidence that on the same day that
18 the decision you referred to was issued, the Prijedor Crisis Staff
19 forwarded for implementation an ARK Crisis Staff conclusion about
20 dismissing non-Serbs and Serbs who hadn't accepted the SDS as the only
21 representative of the Serb people from important jobs. You're aware of
22 that too; right?
23 A. I don't know these details. I don't know that these things
24 happened. There were individual cases -- I mean, I don't know about any
25 individual cases.
1 Q. So is your evidence now that you simply don't know, as you sit
2 there, whether the Prijedor Crisis Staff implemented ARK Crisis Staff
3 decisions or not?
4 A. No, I don't know.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, I'm -- I have a slight concern about
6 possible confusion.
7 Witness, I read to you one of the answers you just gave. When
8 asked about the implementation of Crisis Staff conclusions about
9 dismissing non-Serbs and Serbs who hadn't accepted the SDS, you said:
10 "I don't know these details. I don't know that these things
11 happened. There were individual cases -- I mean, I don't know about any
12 individual cases."
13 Were you, when you gave this answer, talking about individual
14 cases of persons who should be dismissed; or were you talking about cases
15 where the Prijedor Crisis Staff implemented or did not implement ARK
16 Crisis Staff conclusions? Are you talking about individual cases of
17 persons or cases of implementation of decisions?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About individual cases.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Individual cases of persons being dismissed? Is
22 that what you ...
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Cases of individual persons. I feared that there
25 might have been some confusion there.
1 We'll take a break first, Mr. Traldi.
2 Witness, you may follow the usher. We'll resume in 20 minutes
3 from now.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at quarter past 12.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 11.56 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.17 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Meanwhile, I use the time to deal with one
9 associated exhibit to the statement of Vidoje Blagojevic.
10 On the 23rd and the 24th of March of this year,
11 Witness Blagojevic testified before this Chamber. The witness statement
12 was admitted as D965. In its Rule 92 ter motion for this witness, the
13 Defence had also tendered one associated exhibit bearing Rule 65 ter
14 number 14584. In court, the Defence did not further address this
15 document, and the question of the Chamber is whether this means that the
16 Defence withdraws the tendering of this document.
17 If we could receive an answer, well, let's say, either today or
18 at the latest on Monday -- or tomorrow. Tomorrow.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
21 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President. Could we have
22 65 ter 02585.
23 Q. And I'm turning to another ARK municipality, Kotor Varos, now.
24 This is a declaration or a decision to join the Autonomous District of
25 Krajina. And it says it's proclaimed that the Serbian municipality of
1 Kotor Varos shall be part of the Autonomous District of Krajina. It's
2 dated the 7th of February, 1992. It's correct that from that point, the
3 municipality of Kotor Varos was part of the ARK; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And like the other municipalities in the ARK, it implemented the
6 conclusions of the ARK Crisis Staff and the ARK government; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 02774.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can you say that again? Okay. It's fine.
10 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Now, this is a decision by the Executive Committee of Kotor Varos
12 dated the 6th of May, 1992. And we see that it's decided, inter alia, to
13 limit movement of all people except those employed in the regular and
14 reserve police forces between 2200 and 0500 hours the following day. It
15 refers to limit the working hours for catering establishments and
16 businesses, enterprises and other organisations that work in shifts,
17 adjusting their working hours to the regulations of this decision.
18 Now, this was done pursuant to a decision by the ARK; right?
19 A. I'm not sure about that. I don't know if there was an ARK
20 decision. But in any case, all the Crisis Staffs of municipalities had
21 both the possibility and the right and the lack of discipline to act in a
22 given moment in an appropriate way according to their own rules. This
23 decision may be relevant only to Kotor Varos, and even if there was an
24 instruction, it could have ignored it and made its own decision
25 regardless of the ARK Krajina.
1 Q. Well, sir, I think you've gone well beyond my question. I'm
2 going to ask you to focus for the moment on just the provision that
3 movement will be limited between 2200 and 0500 hours and the date of this
4 decision, the 6th of May, 1992.
5 MR. TRALDI: And I'm going to ask for P3415.
6 Q. Now, this is a decision by the regional Secretariat for National
7 Defence of the ARK dated the 4th of May, 1992. It says it's pursuant to
8 a decision of the Ministry of National Defence of the Serbian Republic of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina from the 16th of April, 1992. So, first, we see yet
10 another decision from the republic-level authorities being implemented by
11 the ARK authorities; right?
12 A. If you had shown me this decision before the Kotor Varos one, I
13 would have told you that it was under this decision that a curfew was
14 imposed in Kotor Varos.
15 Q. Then I won't have more questions about this document.
16 MR. TRALDI: I'd tender 65 ter 02585 and 02774.
17 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
18 Mr. Registrar, the numbers would be?
19 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 02585 will be Exhibit P7284. And
20 65 ter number 02774 will be Exhibit P7285.
21 JUDGE ORIE: P7284 and 7285 are admitted.
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. And I apologise, I do have one more question -- or one more
24 reference from the last document. I'll just tell you the Chamber has
25 received evidence in P3415 that as of the 4th of May, public institutions
1 and business enterprises in the ARK - this is at point 3 now that we have
2 it back - should start working according to a war-time regime.
3 MR. TRALDI: And with that in mind, I'm going to ask for
4 65 ter 17401.
5 Now, this is a decision by the Kalinovik Municipal Assembly in
6 the SAO Herzegovina dated the 11th of May, a few days later. And I see
7 we only have the B/C/S on our screens. I know it's been released, so
8 hopefully we will have it in a moment.
9 Q. And looking at point 1 in this decision, just a few days later,
10 pursuant to the decision of what's referred to as the SAO Herzegovina
11 War Staff, the Executive Committee of the Kalinovik Municipal Assembly is
12 directing that commercial entities and social service providers in
13 Kalinovik municipal area are required to switch immediately to operation
14 in war-time conditions.
15 Now what I'm suggesting to you, sir, what I'm putting to you, is
16 that we see these very similar decisions by the regional authorities in
17 the ARK, the regional authorities in the SAO Herzegovina, issued at very
18 similar times because they're both implementing republic-level
19 instructions. That's the truth; right?
20 A. I suppose that it is so. However, I don't have any written
21 record. I don't have a communication and I don't have the insight that a
22 meeting was held at any point on the basis of which this was all made to
23 be the same.
24 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender this document.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7286, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: P7286 is admitted.
3 MR. TRALDI:
4 Q. Now I want to turn to your evidence in your statement about what
5 you describe as conflict between the ARK leadership and the authorities
6 in Pale. Now, you're aware that Karadzic, President Karadzic, went to
7 the ARK Assembly in late February 1992, gave a report, and that assembly
8 voted unanimously, 148 to nothing, to adopt the RS constitution and
9 accept Karadzic's report on the political situation. You're aware of
10 that; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So your evidence about separatists in the ARK and the Banja Luka
13 option, that really refers to a series of events that were over by the
14 end of February 1992; right?
15 A. There were separatist inclinations throughout the war, that is to
16 say, throughout these three and four years. They are always present,
17 even now in peace time. At any time there are always different opinions
18 and different logic, so, yes, they were present at the time as well.
19 Q. Well, in terms of the views of the ARK leadership, let's look
20 first at 65 ter 19104. This will be a page from a publication called
21 "Glas" dated 5th of March, 1992, a few days after Karadzic's visit.
22 Now we see top of the page in the B/C/S and on page 1 in the
23 English an article called: "Krajina government in the offing," and with
24 the subject: "Assembly of the Autonomous Region in Banja Luka." It's
25 dated Banja Luka, 4th of March. The article starts:
1 "From today on, it can be stated with total certainty that in the
2 area of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, the implementation of the
3 constitution and laws of the Republic of the Serbian people in Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina has begun. This was stated to journalists at a press
5 conference held after the session of the assembly at which there were ten
6 items on the agenda, by the president of the Assembly of AR Krajina,
7 Vojo Kupresanin."
8 Now what Kupresanin said, what he is being referred to as saying
9 there is the truth, that by this point, the 5th of March, it was totally
10 certain that it was the constitution and the laws of the RS that were
11 going to be applied in the ARK; right?
12 A. The Assembly of the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina did not
13 imply any division. This was a time when we were blocked, so this is
14 just an observation of Mr. Vojo Kupresanin. It's given there or perhaps
15 it's a remark of the journalist who understood it in that way. But this
16 reminds me that we -- it seems to suggest that we are working in
17 accordance with the constitution of the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
18 But, no, there was no constitution of the ARK. The constitution was at
19 the level of the republic and this was a period when we were isolated in
20 terms of communications, so we couldn't work together with everyone else.
21 Q. Well, this was just a few days after Karadzic had visited and the
22 ARK Assembly had voted unanimously to, among other things, accept the RS
23 constitution which is what Kupresanin is talking about there; right?
24 A. Here he talks in his capacity as the president of the Assembly of
25 the ARK, and I repeat, the ARK has no constitution.
1 Q. Can you read slowly -- sir --
2 A. I'm sorry, but there's--
3 Q. Can you read to yourself slowly the first bolded sentence on the
4 left in that main article. And tell me when you've read it.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we zoom in on that paragraph.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And, Mr. Traldi, do we have -- the bold beginning of
7 the article, is that in the translation as well? I'm -- because I see
8 that it starts with "Banja Luka, the 4th of March," and the last thing I
9 read in that further -- the paragraph further down is the word "Vojo
10 Kupresanin." But is the -- is the heading immediately below the -- is
11 that translated as well?
12 MR. TRALDI: That I'm not sure, and it may not be. I see that
13 this portion is translated.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But, of course, if we translate 25, 30 lines
15 and not the five first lines that, of course, could distort our
16 understanding of -- Mr. Lukic, could you assist, whether the first seven
17 lines in bold in the original, whether they appear in the declaration?
18 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'm trying to follow all the
19 documents, and I'm on three at the same time right now, so I --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, take your time.
21 MR. LUKIC: -- didn't hear your question. I'm sorry.
22 JUDGE ORIE: What I'd like to know is whether what we see in the
23 B/C/S first seven lines, directly under the title, whether that appears
24 in the translation or whether it only starts further down with the left
25 column: "Banja Luka, 4th of March."
1 MR. LUKIC: You are right. I don't see this entry part.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. Perhaps we proceed for the time
3 building, Mr. Traldi, but I think to leave out, even without indicating
4 that it was done, is not what we expect you to do. And I have no idea
5 whether it helps in understanding the article, but I think those seven
6 lines in addition would be a relatively small effort.
7 MR. TRALDI: We'll certainly make a request, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To which paragraph did you refer the witness?
10 MR. TRALDI: The very first paragraph, the first bolded sentence
11 appears to start: "Od danas," "From today."
12 Q. And, sir, I'm just putting to that you it's clear that it's the
13 republican constitution being discussed in that language; right?
14 A. Just a moment, please.
15 I will tell you again what I have told you already. In the
16 constitution of Republika Srpska, there are no autonomous regions, and
17 there is talk here about the autonomous regions but it was of temporary
18 character. One could probably reason now that what is written here is in
19 the spirit of the constitution of Republika Srpska, but the Autonomous
20 Region of Krajina itself was of temporary character. It was to last as
21 long as the uncertain circumstances lasted. So, in that sense, it's not
22 clear to me what exactly you're asking me.
23 Let me repeat again: In the constitution of Republika Srpska, it
24 is never mentioned that Republika Srpska consists of autonomous regions.
25 At least as far as I remember.
1 Q. Well, let me ask you two very specific questions.
2 First, at this point in its existence, the 5th of March, 1992, it
3 was, in fact, correct that the Autonomous Region of Krajina was acting
4 and making decisions in the spirit of carrying out the RS constitution
5 and other systemic laws; right?
6 A. Laws, but not the constitution.
7 Q. And, second, you suggested that the constitution of
8 Republika Srpska doesn't mention autonomous regions. There are rights
9 and obligations of regions --
10 A. I think not.
11 Q. -- included in, for instance, the RS Law on National Defence from
12 the end of February 1992; right?
13 A. Can you please repeat the question.
14 Q. Sure. Setting the constitution aside for a moment, you're aware
15 that, for instance, the Law on National Defence, passed just days
16 earlier, does include a decision of the rights and obligations of
17 regionals -- of regions; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now turning to page 2 in the English and the far right of the
20 page in the B/C/S, we see a discussion about the press conference of the
21 chief of the CSB in Banja Luka, Stojan Zupljanin. Now, you discuss the
22 creation of this CSB in paragraph 59 of your statement. About two-thirds
23 of the way down that column in the B/C/S, Zupljanin is referred to as
24 informing journalists that at the last Assembly of the Serbian People in
25 Sarajevo, a decision was adopted to found an Interior Ministry of the
1 Serbian Republic of BH, and in connection with this, he made it clear
2 that there was a plan to found five centres of the National Security
3 Services, including in Banja Luka.
4 Now, as a deputy in the assembly, as a member of the ARK Assembly
5 who took the decision that you mentioned in your statement about creating
6 the CSB, you yourself were personally aware that it was being created
7 pursuant to RS republic-level direction; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 06395.
10 This is a different document or a different exhibit. I'm going
11 to move on while we try and clarify. But I'd tender first 65 ter 19104.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7287, Your Honours.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, if we have -- do not have the complete
16 translation it should be MFI'd.
17 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Mr. President. I apologise, I should have made
18 that clearer.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P7287 is marked for identification pending a
20 complete translation of the "Glas" article.
21 MR. TRALDI: We now have the right document. These are
22 conclusions from the enlarged centre council session held on 6th of
23 April. If we could have page 3 in the English and page 2 in the B/C/S.
24 Sorry, page 3 in the B/C/S as well.
25 Q. We see at point 2 that:
1 "In accordance with Article 127 of the Law on Internal Affairs,
2 all Banja Luka Security Services Centre employees found at work on
3 1 April 1992 shall be placed under the Serbian Republic of BH Ministry of
5 I've two questions for you about this provision.
6 The first is: We see again the ARK authorities are implementing
7 the laws passed by the republic-level authorities during the period where
8 you suggested there was no communication between the two; right?
9 A. I don't know when the republican laws were adopted. Probably
10 earlier, before the war operations. Before there was a need to establish
11 the ARK.
12 Q. Second point: It's correct, isn't it, that we see here that the
13 effect of the decision to create the Banja Luka CSB has been to take the
14 authority that had been in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina MUP over
15 Ministry of Interior employees in the ARK and transfer that authority to
16 the MUP of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender 65 ter 06395.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7288, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
22 MR. TRALDI: Now turning to a very specific communications point,
23 if we can have 65 ter 18494.
24 Q. Now this is a report by the RS MUP dated the 22nd and 23rd of
25 April, 1992. We see it begins with information coming from Banja Luka
1 and, in the third paragraph, refers to information about events in
2 Sanski Most. This is a reflection that as of the 22nd and 23rd of April,
3 1992, the CSB Banja Luka was passing information to the RS Ministry of
4 Interior; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 02780.
7 Q. Now this is a daily combat report by the 5th Corps to the
8 2nd Military District. Now the 5th Corps was based in Banja Luka; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the 2nd Military District, as of the 1st of May, 1992, not
11 based in the ARK; right?
12 A. I don't know that, where they were stationed.
13 Q. As president of the Executive Council, if the 2nd Military
14 District had been based in the ARK, you would have been aware of that,
15 wouldn't you.
16 A. Can you please repeat?
17 Q. Sure. The ARK was an area where you were president of the
18 Executive Council. You had authority. You had to be aware of what was
19 happening. If the 2nd Military District had been based in the area over
20 which you served as president of the Executive Council, you would have
21 known where it was based; right?
22 A. Well, probably, I would probably know. But the location of the
23 army, I really have no idea where they were, what they were. I knew that
24 they were there, but where their command or office was, I didn't know
25 that at all and I wasn't interested in it at all.
1 Q. What I'm putting to you is, what we see here is through the
2 military communications system now information going from the ARK to the
3 headquarters of what was then the JNA organ with responsibility for the
4 area of Bosnia. That's right, isn't it?
5 A. I don't know anything about the army.
6 MR. LUKIC: Can -- can I --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's my general answer, so what
8 went through the army, how the army did it, I don't know. I can just
9 assume that they -- that some information arrived through their
10 communication systems for the needs of the civilians.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic wanted to intervene.
12 MR. LUKIC: I just wanted to ask my learned friend, last two
13 documents, whether they are on the list or not. Because we could not
14 find last two documents.
15 MR. TRALDI: I'll check at the break. I know we've worked with a
16 couple of different drafts and it may that be one or two were omitted and
17 I apologise, of course, that's the case.
18 MR. LUKIC: It goes without saying that we don't have the
19 documents at all so we cannot follow.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then would you -- I take it that you have some
21 questions after the break as well, Mr. Traldi. If it wouldn't disturb
22 too much your line of questioning, then I would suggest that you move to
23 another subject first. Then during the break inform Mr. Lukic about
24 these documents and check whether they're on your list or not and then
25 perhaps revisit the matter to the extent needed.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. TRALDI: Certainly.
3 Q. Now, sir, you just said that your general answer was that you
4 didn't know anything about the army. In fact, in the Karadzic case, you
5 confirmed that you believed your -- well, first, you were aware of the
6 military communications system and you believed that guide-lines from
7 Pale were forwarded using that military communications system. Do you
8 stand by that evidence today?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. TRALDI: And can we have 65 ter 31667.
11 Q. As it comes up, sir -- as it comes up, sir, in the context of our
12 earlier discussion of Serb autonomous regions and whether they were
13 referred to in the constitution, would it refresh your recollection if I
14 suggested to you that Article 2 of the constitution directly refers to
15 Serb autonomous regions?
16 A. Probably so. I don't remember that, this formulation.
17 Q. Now, this, what we see here, is a document sent from the ARK
18 Executive Council in Banja Luka to the president of the Municipal
19 Assembly enclosing an order of the commander of the Ministry of National
20 Defence - Territorial Defence Staff - Sarajevo. Now while the signature
21 is, to put it mildly, difficult to read, it's correct that this is a
22 document you reviewed in preparation for your testimony in the Karadzic
23 case and discussed in one of the draft versions of your statement in that
24 case; right?
25 A. This is something I don't understand at all. There is no
1 signature of mine, my signature is not there. But it seems that it says
2 down there "Nik," I suppose it is Nikola, and probably typed. However,
3 this is not my signature.
4 Q. You're quite sure that you never -- that this isn't your
5 decision, this isn't your enactment, and you never forwarded it to the
6 Banja Luka Municipal Assembly?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, you should be clear. Earlier it was who
8 signed it and now are you using different language. So I can imagine
9 that you would start a question by irrespective of, or --
10 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, actually, I'd referred to the
11 difficulty reading the signature but hadn't directly asked about it
12 before. And so I think --
13 JUDGE ORIE: We have noticed a couple of times that the witness,
14 in taking the next step in the line of questioning, sometimes has some
15 problems. He has told us that this is not his signature. He said that
16 he may have been able to read a few letters. Now, if you ask the rest,
17 make that very clear to the witness that you are not talking about the
18 signature anymore, not about -- specifically about the document but about
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Sir --
22 JUDGE ORIE: This decision.
23 MR. TRALDI:
24 Q. -- at the moment, I'm specifically suggesting to you that this is
25 an enactment of yours dated the 29th of April, 1992, which relied on an
1 order by the republic-level Ministry of Defence which you had received in
2 Banja Luka. That's the truth; right?
3 A. Now that I have read this, I could sign it right now, so yes.
4 But there are two things here: It's a document which passed through the
5 Executive Council, most probably. It is not my signature, but I now
6 confirm that this is a document from ARK Krajina and that it was
7 forwarded from the ARK, regardless of the fact that the signature is
9 Q. So what I'm suggesting to you in the context of the last three
10 documents is that we've seen in the police, military, and political
11 authorities by the end of April information flowing between Banja Luka
12 and the -- and the central Bosnian Serb authorities. That's the truth;
14 A. Yes. But to a lesser extent.
15 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender 65 ter 31667.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P7289, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: P7289 is admitted.
19 MR. TRALDI:
20 Q. Now once communications between Banja Luka and Pale were open,
21 there were officials going to Pale from Banja Luka or coming to
22 Banja Luka from Pale on a daily basis; right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And by late May 1992, for instance, the RS government was
25 receiving requests from the ARK and conducting official visits to the
1 ARK; right?
2 A. Whether it was towards the end of May or not, I don't think so.
3 Because it was in end of June that this so-called corridor was liberated
4 so we could have communication and we could travel again.
5 MR. TRALDI: Let's have 65 ter 02491.
6 Q. Now we only have the B/C/S on the screen so far, but you can see
7 these are the minutes of the meeting of the RS government on the 30th of
8 May, 1992. At point 13, you see on the agenda a request of the
9 Autonomous Region of Krajina concerning investments in PTT. So by
10 30 May 1992, the ARK was able to relay requests to the government that
11 were being discussed at government sessions; right?
12 A. I can see that.
13 MR. TRALDI: And if we can have 65 ter 02495.
14 Q. These are the minutes of a government meeting on the 3rd of June.
15 Directing your attention to point 12 on page 2 in the B/C/S, we see a
16 reference to a report from the official visit to Foca, SAO Semberija,
17 Majevica, and AP Krajina. Now the reference to AP Krajina is to a visit
18 General Mladic, President Karadzic, and others had with leaders in the
19 ARK in Banja Luka a day earlier on the 2nd of June, 1992; right?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender 65 ter 02491 and 02495.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
23 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibits P7290 and P7291,
24 respectively, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: P7290 and P7291 are admitted into evidence.
1 MR. TRALDI:
2 Q. Now in paragraph 46 of your statement, you refer to a visit by a
3 delegation from Pale to the ARK in mid-July 1992. That delegation
4 attended -- or at least members of that delegation attended a meeting of
5 the ARK Assembly; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. General Talic attended the same session?
8 A. I'm not sure about that. I don't know.
9 Q. Well, at that session on the 17th of July, the ARK Assembly
10 verified the conclusions of the ARK Crisis Staff and War Presidency in
11 their entirety; right?
12 A. I don't know that either. Do you have the document?
13 MR. TRALDI: Let's have P3955.
14 Q. We see an extract from the minutes of the session of the
15 ARK Assembly on the 17th of July, 1992. We see it's attended by
16 General Talic, Goran Hadzic, Milan Martic, Minister Subotic,
17 Minister Ostojic, Minister Kalinic, and a General Ninkovic. We see at
18 point 4: Verification of the decisions and conclusions adopted by the
19 Crisis Staff and War Presidency of the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
20 Now, first, does that refresh your recollection as to whether
21 verification was discussed at that session of the assembly?
22 A. I don't know. I can't remember the details now. But -- that
23 this verification was needed, it was. It indicates that verification was
24 done three or four months later. The Crisis Staff acted in May, June,
25 and July. It indicates also that there was no normal political work at
1 that time. So you have verification three months later. I cannot
2 remember the details, but if this session was held, if all these people
3 were present, then, of course, the agenda is also true, as we see it, and
4 I believe that all these people listed here did attend.
5 Q. Now you -- you --
6 A. I am not sure about myself. I don't remember the details.
7 Q. Certainly in the normal course of business would you have
8 attended such a session; right?
9 A. I suppose so, yes.
10 MR. TRALDI: If we could have page 3 in the B/C/S and the bottom
11 of page 2 in the English.
12 Q. We see that item 4 reflects that following a debate, all
13 decisions and conclusions adopted by the Crisis Staff and War Presidency
14 of the ARK were verified.
15 Now, in paragraph 45 of your statement, you say the ARK
16 Crisis Staff never passed its decisions to anyone for verification except
17 to the ARK Assembly if it was able to convene. What I'm putting to you
18 is: The truth is the decisions of the ARK Crisis Staff and War
19 Presidency were verified by the assembly in their entirety; right?
20 A. Just a moment. What I wrote here in paragraph 45 was from my
21 recollection, and this here is the official position. Now I see that
22 this verification, indeed, was the rule.
23 Q. Now, before I leave the topic of relations between the ARK and
24 the central authorities, I want to discuss Mr. Brdjanin for a moment.
25 Now, first, you're aware that Mr. Brdjanin said Muslims and Croats had to
1 leave the ARK; right?
2 A. He said that a hundred times, but I have never seen an official
3 document saying that. That he -- that he talked about that, yes, he did.
4 He did not put it in an official document, though, of any institution
5 that he every belonged to.
6 Q. Now --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, the question was whether you are aware that
8 Mr. Brdjanin said that. Whether there's an official document is a
9 totally different question. Are you aware that he said that?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
12 MR. TRALDI:
13 Q. You say in paragraph 26 of your statement that Brdjanin's
14 relations with the SDS were good for a time, but then he left the SDS and
15 formed his own party.
16 Now, your view in 2001, when your recollection was fresher, was
17 that Brdjanin had very good co-operation with the SDS president and the
18 assembly members and that the common goal which they shared brought them
19 together. Do you stand by that evidence today as truthful and accurate?
20 A. Mr. Brdjanin is a very impulsive person. He's very quick in
21 making decisions. And there were a lot of different situations you could
22 run into with him, both in his interactions with individuals and with
24 MR. TRALDI: Let's have 65 ter 32352, page 25.
25 Q. And this will be part of your 2001 interview with the Office of
1 the Prosecutor.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Now, Mr. Traldi, inform me if my question
3 anticipates one of your next questions, then I'll refrain from insisting
4 to have it answered.
5 Witness, could you tell us when did Mr. Brdjanin establish his
6 own party?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't tell you that. I can't
8 even tell you which year. Could have been 1994, I'm not sure. But I
9 know that he did establish his own party, and for a while, for perhaps
10 six months, it was active. I believe it was called the Popular Party.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please proceed.
12 MR. TRALDI: If we could scroll down to the bottom of the page.
13 Q. And Ms. Sutherland asks you:
14 "Sorry. I can just -- maybe my question was not clear, but a
15 moment ago you said that Brdjanin had a good relationship with
16 politicians at the republic level."
17 You say:
18 "Yes, there's no question about that. He did have a good
20 And she asks you:
21 "With whom in particular?"
22 You answer:
23 "It's a personal question. How can he now say. His co-operation
24 with SDS president, with the assembly members, it was a very good
25 relationship. How close they were, he cannot tell you anything about
1 that, but it was obvious, he could feel it, that there was the common
2 goal that they all shared which brought them all together."
3 Do you stand by that portion of your interview today as truthful
4 and accurate?
5 A. You mean the last thing?
6 Q. What I -- what I just read to you.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And when you referred to the SDS president, of course, you meant
9 Mr. Karadzic; right?
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, I'm still puzzled by some of the
11 language in which -- how to understand that, "but it was obvious, he
12 could feel it ..." Is that a bad recorded -- that you could feel it
13 or -- I'm puzzled by the language, especially the person who would have
14 felt something or could have told something.
15 MR. TRALDI: Let me try and clarify, if I may.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you could do, please.
17 MR. TRALDI:
18 Q. What this answer reflects is that you personally were able to
19 perceive that Brdjanin and Karadzic and assembly members had good
20 relationships and that the common goal that they all shared brought them
21 all together; right?
22 A. Inside four years, anything can happen in communication.
23 Quarrel, love, affection, disaffection. It's such a broad question that
24 I can't give you a direct answer.
25 Q. Sir, what I'm asking is what your answer in your interview that
1 you just said was truthful and you stood by reflects. What I'm putting
2 to you is that it reflects that you yourself were able to perceive that
3 Brdjanin, Karadzic, the assembly members had good relations and that
4 there was a common goal they shared which brought them together. That's
5 the truth; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I know it's a couple of minutes early
8 but I think that, for continuity, it may be a good time for the break.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And could you tell us where you are in terms
10 of time?
11 MR. TRALDI: I think I will be much of the remainder of today,
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think you have some 45 minutes left, if
14 I'm --
15 MR. TRALDI: I expect to use most of that but hopefully not all
16 of it.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Witness, you may follow the usher.
18 We'll take a break.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at 25 minutes to 2.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 1.12 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 1.37 p.m.
23 JUDGE ORIE: While waiting for the witness, I have one item left,
24 small one, in relation to P6727.
25 On the 8th of September of last year, the Chamber admitted P6727
1 into evidence but invited the parties to consider whether admission of a
2 smaller portion of this document would be acceptable. This can be found
3 at transcript page 25408.
4 On the 16th of March of this year, the Prosecution informed the
5 Chamber that the parties had agreed that they were going to rely on the
6 full text of P6727, and that it therefore should remain in evidence as
7 such. And the Chamber accepts the agreement between the parties.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
10 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Sir, you were aware of the strategic objectives of the Bosnian
12 Serbs; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you learned of them in May 1992 on -- at or around the time
15 of the 16th Assembly; right?
16 A. Could you confirm for me what happened in May? On what grounds
17 could I assert that this was it or not?
18 Q. Well, one of the things that happened in May was that you
19 yourself attended the 16th Session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly on the
20 12th of May, 1992, in Banja Luka; right?
21 A. Yes, but now I should see the materials discussed at that
23 Q. We're going to go step by step. First, it was your understanding
24 that it was the military's job to implement those strategic objectives;
1 A. I can't tell you anything about this until I see what written
2 material you are relying on.
3 Q. Sir, you confirmed you were aware of the strategic objectives of
4 the Bosnian Serbs less than a page ago. What I'm putting to you now is:
5 You understood that it was the military's job to implement those
6 objectives that you just confirmed you were aware of. That's the truth;
8 A. The first and the principle strategic objective in my opinion was
9 that we remain in the common state of Yugoslavia. We tried everything to
10 achieve that. It couldn't be achieved so we moved on.
11 Q. You're well aware when I refer to the strategic objectives I'm
12 referring to six objectives set out by Radovan Karadzic at the 16th
13 Assembly, none of which was explicitly a reference to remaining in
14 Yugoslavia; right?
15 A. Will you tell me what these six objectives are?
16 Q. Would it refresh your recollection if I suggested that the
17 objectives set out at the 16th Assembly included ethnic separation,
18 included the establishment of a corridor in the Posavina area, included
19 the Drina not being a border between Serb area -- or between different
20 areas, included control of the -- or included the establishment of
21 borders on the Una and Neretva rivers, included the division of Sarajevo,
22 and included access to the sea? Would that refresh your recollection?
23 A. Yes, you can say that.
24 Q. Now those are the strategic objectives were aware of; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now the ones most relevant to the ARK were the first, the second,
2 and the fourth; right?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Are you referring to -- perhaps you should summarise
4 those again.
5 MR. TRALDI:
6 Q. The ones most relevant to the ARK were ethnic separation, the
7 Posavina corridor, and the establishment of a border on the Una river;
9 A. For me personally, the main objective was to achieve
10 communication, for the corridor to be established. The less -- the
11 others are less important, if you're asking me personally.
12 Q. And your understanding was that it was the military's job to
13 implement these various objectives; right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And in practice, beginning shortly after the 16th Assembly
16 Session, that meant the VRS, didn't it?
17 A. It meant what?
18 Q. When you agree that it was the military's job to implement these
19 objectives, that means it was the job of the Army of Republika Srpska;
21 A. If political means fail, yes.
22 Q. By the time the objectives were set forth, conflict had already
23 started, take-overs had already started; right?
24 A. Conflict began even earlier.
25 Q. So these were objectives not conditionally to be implemented,
1 objectives to be implemented; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you were aware at the time they were announced that assembly
4 members -- at least one assembly member from your ARK area understood the
5 strategic objectives to mean that Muslims who'd left areas claimed by the
6 Serbs wouldn't be able to return; right?
7 A. No, that's not correct. I don't think so. Everybody was
8 supposed to go back to their home.
9 MR. TRALDI: Well, let's have P431 --
10 JUDGE ORIE: It may be confusion here again.
11 Mr. Traldi was not asking you whether that was your opinion, but
12 he asked you whether at least one assembly member from your ARK area
13 understood the strategic objectives to mean that Muslims who'd left areas
14 claimed by the Serbs wouldn't be able to return. So not whether it was
15 your opinion but whether you were aware that at least one of the members
16 from your ARK area did have that opinion.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
19 MR. TRALDI:
20 Q. Are you confirming that you were, in fact, aware that at least
21 one of the members from the ARK understood the strategic objectives to
22 mean Muslims who had left couldn't come back?
23 A. We insisted on reciprocity as far as possible. Failing that,
24 then it should be the other way.
25 MR. TRALDI: Let's have page 20 in the English and 16 in the
2 Starting at the top of the page in the English and towards the
3 bottom in the B/C/S, Miroslav Vjestica is speaking about Bosanska Krupa.
4 And if we could turn to the next page in the B/C/S. Just a few lines up
5 from the end of the long paragraph, he says:
6 "In pertinent part, on the right bank of the Una river, there are
7 no more Muslims in the Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa. All the
8 enclaves that were there, Rapusa, Veliki Vrbovik, Ostroznica, Babic,
9 Muslim Jasenica and Zavir, we have evacuated them so that there will be
10 none there for the duration of war operations. Will they have a place to
11 return to? I think it is unlikely after our president told us the happy
12 news that the right bank of the Una is the border."
13 Q. Now, what Mr. Vjestica is saying here is that because of the
14 territorial objective, the fourth objective set out by
15 President Karadzic, the Muslims who have left that area won't be able to
16 come back; right?
17 A. Yes, but it is based on the fact that in the materials in
18 possession of the Muslim and Croat sides is also written that the Serbs
19 who had left areas that they control have no right to come back either.
20 Q. So is it right, then, that you agree that the policy was that
21 Muslims and Croats who left couldn't come back but you assert that
22 Muslims and Croats, their authorities had similar policies about Serbs
23 who had left. Is that your evidence?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. Now, in paragraph 74 of your statement, you say in pertinent part
1 about people who left that it's clear that everyone had the right to
2 their property even after moving out. Now, you don't really know whether
3 people who left maintained any right to their property, do you?
4 A. I think that they had documentation which was sufficient at the
5 time stipulating that they can come back and keep their property,
6 especially since it was all recorded in land registers that had not been
7 tampered with during the war.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Paragraph 74 you referred to, Mr. Traldi?
9 MR. TRALDI: Yes. Though I grant that my notes appear to have
10 been in error on that as -- and I appreciate the correction, Your Honour.
11 I will look for a correct reference, but in the meantime, I do want to
12 call up one page of the witness's Karadzic testimony. And that's
13 65 ter 32348, page 9.
14 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for that, I'd like to briefly
15 deal with a procedural matter.
16 The Chamber received information from the Victims and Witness
17 Section that the witness very much would like to travel back tomorrow and
18 therefore would prefer to continue today so as to conclude his testimony.
19 We know that you would need most of this session, Mr. Traldi. I
20 don't know how much time Mr. Lukic would need. What I do know is that
21 due to commitments elsewhere, that I'm unable to continue any longer than
23 Therefore, Mr. Lukic, it's to some extent also in your hands,
24 depending on how much time you would need. Could you give us any
25 indication so that we could inform the witness about what he could
2 MR. LUKIC: As I can see, I have at least one session.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 Witness, we are aware that you asked whether we could conclude
5 today. It's almost for certain that we will not be able to do that.
6 Therefore, unfortunately, but inevitable, we would continue to hear your
7 evidence tomorrow morning, and we regret that we can't meet your request.
8 But at the same time, you'll under that it would be unfair to the Defence
9 not to give them time for re-examination, and they need more time than we
10 could deal with today.
11 Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
12 MR. TRALDI: Can we have, please, page 9.
13 MR. LUKIC: If I may, before we continue, I'm sorry. This is
14 nothing related to the question of Mr. Traldi not posed yet.
15 I think that there is a flight tomorrow evening so maybe the
16 witness could inquire, since I cannot communicate with him, with the
17 Victims and Witness Unit. So maybe that flight to be organised for
18 tomorrow evening, if he has to leave tomorrow.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I take it that VWU will carefully listen in to
22 our conversations and that they are therefore alerted to it already.
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And I think that both VWS and the witness would
25 appreciate your intervention.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. TRALDI:
3 Q. Sir, regarding what you just testified about, your suggestion
4 that people kept the right to their property, in your Karadzic testimony,
5 beginning at line 13, you were asked:
6 "Now, in fact, Mr. Erceg, you don't really know much about this
7 at all and you don't know, really, whether people had the right to their
8 property or not. And you even acknowledged that in your own statement at
9 a later portion. That's the case, isn't it? You don't know much about
10 this issue and you admitted it in your statement at paragraph 85?"
11 Now --
12 A. I don't know much, that's true, but I know that the land register
13 is -- has greater legal force in all matters of property. So anyone who
14 came back should not have any problems retaking their property.
15 Q. So when you agreed in the Karadzic case that you didn't know very
16 much about this issue, your position now is that you do know things about
17 this issue; is that right?
18 A. I don't know enough. I know that there are land registers. I
19 know that there are records issued by municipalities and various organs.
20 Who received what kind of paper, I cannot tell you with any degree of
21 certainty what the real truth is. My answer can be both what I said in
22 Karadzic and the one I gave you here. We are talking about nuances of
23 meaning, and I'm not a lawyer. You should not lend greater importance to
24 the form that I answer in. I have no legal expertise, and I cannot find
25 my way around those details in which the date sometimes means to me more
1 than the substance.
2 Q. Sir --
3 A. That's why it's difficult for me to communicate with you.
4 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you now a couple of fairly simple questions
5 and I'd encourage you to start the form of your answer with a yes or a
7 The first is: Of these people who were leave, the majority
8 were -- the overwhelming majority were Muslims or Croats; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you were aware that there were forced expulsions of Muslims
11 and Croats from the ARK; right?
12 A. Yes. But please, not forced, judging by the records provided by
13 any institution, but one neighbour would expel another for God knows
14 which reasons. I'm just stating that as an example.
15 Q. Now, going back to the 16th Assembly Session we were discussing a
16 moment ago, the president of your Crisis Staff, Mr. Brdjanin, endorsed
17 liquidating key Muslims at that session; right?
18 A. I don't know. I don't remember that.
19 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P431 back, please. I'll be looking for
20 page 17 in the English and 14 in the B/C/S. Now -- and we have 17 only
21 in the B/C/S, it appears. We're looking for 17 in the English; 14 in the
23 JUDGE ORIE: We still haven't gotten 14 in the B/C/S. Now we
24 have again two times 17 in the B/C/S.
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. Sir, let me put to you the evidence the Chamber has received.
2 The Chamber has received evidence that at this session, Dragan Kalinic
3 said in pertinent part:
4 "Among all the issues this assembly should decide on, the most
5 important one is this: Have we chosen the option of war or the option of
7 You can see it now in the second paragraph of his remarks.
8 He says:
9 "I say this with a reason. I must instantly add that knowing who
10 our enemy is, how perfidious they are, how they cannot be trusted until
11 they are physically, militarily destroyed and crushed, which, of course,
12 implies eliminating and liquidating their key people, I do not hesitate
13 in selecting the first option, the option of war."
14 MR. TRALDI: Now if we could turn to page 24 in the English and
15 20 in the B/C/S.
16 Q. And you can see in the middle of your screen Mr. Brdjanin speak,
17 and in the beginning of his remarks he says:
18 "I would like to say a heart-felt bravo to Mr. Kalinic" --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm not sure if we have the right page in English
20 on the screen.
21 MR. TRALDI: We don't. Again, for efficiency, I'll just put the
22 evidence to the witness.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
24 MR. TRALDI:
25 Q. The Chamber has received evidence that at this same session,
1 Mr. Brdjanin said:
2 "I'd like to say a heart-felt bravo to Mr. Kalinic. In all my
3 appearances in this joint assembly, it has never crossed my mind that,
4 although he seems quiet while I seem hawkish, his opinions are the
5 closest to mine."
6 So Brdjanin is endorsing Kalinic's remarks; right?
7 A. That's why there is a written record, yes.
8 Q. And at the time he is speaking as the president of the
9 Crisis Staff, the highest authority in the ARK; right?
10 A. Yes, if it was the relevant period. I haven't seen the dates up
11 on the top but probably it is so.
12 Q. Now, sir, in paragraph 91 of your statement, you state you were
13 present at ARK Crisis Staff meetings when Omarska and Keraterm were
14 mentioned. Now, as a result, when you say in paragraph 89, that:
15 "Remand prisons and camps were never discussed at the Crisis Staff
16 meetings," that's not the truth, is it?
17 A. Well, I think that there were few discussions of -- about these
18 issues. I attended a few meetings of the Crisis Staffs because I had
19 obligations in the Federal Assembly in Belgrade, too, and I was often
20 absent. Whether it was discussed or not, I don't know, but I didn't hear
22 Q. In that same paragraph, 89, you discuss your visit to Trnopolje.
23 That visit was at the end of August 1992; right?
24 A. Yes, I think it was in late August. I don't know exactly, but I
25 think so.
1 Q. And as far as you remember, Trnopolje was run by the army; right?
2 A. I think so.
3 Q. That means the VRS?
4 A. Excuse me?
5 Q. The VRS, the Army of Republika Srpska; yes?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, on your visit you didn't speak to any detainees at all;
9 A. I didn't. I wanted to play a role. I wanted to claim that I did
10 not speak Serbian, that I was a foreigner, and that I wanted to hear what
11 went on there. And I was surprised that the situation was relaxed, at
12 least on the day when we were there. I could see that there was a
13 makeshift hospital and first aid and so on and so forth. So I could see
14 that the situation was not tense in any way. And to be honest, I was
15 surprised by this. I heard some issues which are not for this Court
16 which confirmed that it was not a drastic and difficult situation.
17 Whether it was like that only on that specific day or otherwise too, no,
18 I wouldn't really go into that.
19 Q. Now the Chamber has received evidence that international monitors
20 who visited around the same time found detainees living in terror, found
21 food deficiencies, and suggested they should all be released. Did you
22 not notice when you visited that the inmates were living in terror and
23 that there were food shortages?
24 A. There's no doubt about that, if it's a prison behind a wire, that
25 there was terror, yes. But they convinced me that in terms of food and
1 other necessities, that everything was available in adequate supplies.
2 Because I could see that there was an ambulance there, and so on.
3 Q. Now, you refer in paragraph 48 to a meeting that you attended,
4 and you refer to it by its Karadzic exhibit number. But that meeting was
5 shortly after your visit to Trnopolje; right?
6 A. Paragraph 48 deals with the visit of Finance Minister
7 Petra Markovic, who came to visit me.
8 Q. Let's have --
9 A. Or at least in the version that I have.
10 MR. TRALDI: Let's have P3880.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could I seek clarification of one of your
12 previous answers. You said:
13 "Whether it was like that only on that specific day or otherwise
14 too, no, I wouldn't really go into that."
15 Is it your evidence that you don't know whether it was on the
16 other days the same, or is it that you do know but you think it better
17 not to address it?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what the situation was
19 like. I only visited Trnopolje once, and also only visited Manjaca once.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, the witness saying that he doesn't know
21 in more general terms, of course, you could -- you could consider that
22 the Chamber would rely on other evidence where the witness cannot provide
23 any additional information about the other days.
24 MR. TRALDI: Yes, and I would, Mr. President, but I do want to
25 take the witness to this meeting --
1 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not keeping you from that, but please proceed.
2 MR. TRALDI:
3 Q. Now this is a document from the 1st Krajina Corps command,
4 2nd of September, 1992. This is the document that, though under a
5 different number, is described in that paragraph of your statement.
6 Now, in the first paragraph we see a reference to the attendees.
7 It includes an ICRC representative. It includes, on our side,
8 Dragan Kalinic, Mr. Nikola Erceg, Mr. Predrag Radic, Stojan Zupljanin,
9 and Colonel Milutin Vukelic on behalf of the 1st Krajina Corps command.
10 So it's correct that very shortly after the meeting that -- or after your
11 visit to Trnopolje, you had a meeting with the Red Cross. And it says
12 here the meeting addressed all the general issues linked with the London
13 Conference documents that refer to the unconditional closure of all
14 prisoner of war camps.
15 So you had a meeting with the Red Cross about the camps just
16 after your visit to Trnopolje; right?
17 A. Yes, well, I suppose so. I cannot really judge that now because
18 I don't see the dates. This is the 2nd of September. Yes, I think it
19 was soon thereafter.
20 Q. And by this time, the terrible criminal conditions in the Bosnian
21 Serb-run detention facilities were widely and publicly known; right?
22 A. It was known thanks to the media, which described many things
23 from a different angle.
24 Q. Well, the Red Cross who you met with had also been publicly
25 decrying the conditions in those camps for a month or more at the time
1 you met with them. You must have become aware of that either during the
2 meeting or during your preparations for it, mustn't you?
3 A. It is quite logical that every camp has to be criticised and that
4 there are many objections to any sort of camp. As long as it's a camp,
5 it's out of bounds of everything that is normal and humane, so I am aware
6 that there was a need to criticise this in every possible way.
7 Q. I just want to look at some of the ICRC's public criticisms
8 briefly with you.
9 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 10866.
10 This is a statement by Cornelio Sommaruga, president of the ICRC,
11 dated the 29th of July. And if we turn to page 2 in both languages, in
12 the middle of the fourth paragraph we refer to allegations of the
13 terrible ravages of ethnic cleansing, in whose name whole populations are
14 being terrorised, minorities intimidated and harassed, civilians interned
15 on a massive scale.
16 Q. Now, you were aware -- you were made aware during your meeting
17 with the Red Cross that they understood civilians to be being interned in
18 the ARK on a massive scale by the Bosnian Serb authorities; right?
19 A. I don't know whether they were all civilians. I'm not so sure
20 about that. I suppose that there were civilians too.
21 Q. I'm not asking for the moment whether all the people in detention
22 were civilians. What I'm putting to you was: You were made aware,
23 during the meeting or before it, of the detention of massive numbers of
24 civilians in the ARK as reflected here; right?
25 A. I learned that at this meeting. I hadn't known it previously.
1 MR. TRALDI: Can we see 65 ter 10867.
2 Again, this is a press release from the Red Cross. In the first
3 paragraph it discusses visits its delegates have conducted to places of
4 detention in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It says it is evident to the ICRC that
5 innocent civilians are being arrested and subjected to inhumane
6 treatment. And that, moreover, the detention of such persons is part of
7 a policy of forced population transfers carried out on a massive scale
8 and marked by the systematic use of brutality.
9 Q. That's also information you learned at this meeting, if you
10 hadn't known it before; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender 65 ter 10866 and 10867
13 [Realtime transcript read in error "10876"].
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document 10866 receives number Exhibit P7292.
16 And document 10876 -- 10867 -- it's wrongly noted in the transcript. So
17 document -- I'll repeat from the beginning.
18 10866 receives number P7292. And document 10867 receives number
19 P7293, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: P7292 and P7293 are admitted into evidence.
23 Mr. Traldi.
24 MR. TRALDI: I see the time. I have, I would say, about
25 ten minutes of questions remaining and I'm in the Chamber's hands.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps -- Mr. Lukic, I received a message
2 from VWS that they would be willing to organise the return journey for
3 the witness, but then -- for tomorrow, but then he would have to leave by
4 11.30 at its latest.
5 Now if Mr. Traldi would take ten minutes tomorrow morning, if we
6 would start at 9.30 that would bring us -- you would then have some,
7 let's say, 45 minutes left in the first session, and then in the second
8 session, until that point in time you would have a little bit over half
9 an hour. That would make all together one hour and 15 minutes. Would
10 that be sufficient? Because I really need a commitment by the parties to
11 ask VWS to make those travel arrangements.
12 MR. LUKIC: We'll do our best to allow this witness to leave
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I understand this as a kind of a commitment
15 that every one does its utmost best.
16 We'll try hard, Witness, to conclude your evidence tomorrow in
17 such a way that you'll be able to travel back. We'll do our utmost best.
18 This is not a guarantee. Apart from that, I take it that, together with
19 VWS, that --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Together with VWS, that you will arrange everything
22 in such a way that you could immediately leave from here to the airport,
23 if need be.
24 Before I -- before we adjourn, I'd like to instruct you that you
25 should not speak with anyone or communicate in whatever way with whomever
1 about your testimony, whether that is testimony already given, or whether
2 that is testimony still to be given tomorrow.
3 If that is clear to you, you may follow the usher, and we'd like
4 to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.30.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day, and we resume tomorrow,
8 Thursday, the 2nd of April, 9.30 in the morning, in this same
9 courtroom, I.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.17 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 2nd day of April,
12 2015, at 9.30 a.m.