Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 114






6 Friday, 28th June 1996

7 Before:



10 (The Presiding Judge)






16 -v-






22 of the Prosecution

23 (Open Session)

24 (9.45 a.m.)

25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE [In translation]: So we are going to resume our

Page 115

1 hearing. First, I would like to make sure that everything is working,

2 that you can hear the interpretation. Everyone can hear me? The

3 prosecuting counsel, the people in the visitors' gallery? I would

4 like to hope that the interpreters have recovered from all the strain

5 deployed yesterday, and we are going to try to catch up the time we

6 lost yesterday. The Judges will be doing everything they can to see

7 that we move ahead briskly. I suggest that we leave it like that and

8 move right on to the substance of the matter. We are going to hear,

9 prosecuting counsel, I am quite confident, our witness Professor Garde

10 this morning.

11 MR. BOWERS: That is correct, your Honour. We would like to resume with

12 Professor Garde.

13 PROFESSOR GARDE, recalled.

14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, Professor. You are in tip-top shape, I

15 trust? Great. So the prosecuting counsel is going to go on putting

16 questions to you. You have the floor, prosecuting counsel.

17 Examined by MR. BOWERS

18 MR. BOWERS: Good morning, Professor Garde.

19 THE WITNESS [In translation]: Good morning.

20 Q. Yesterday we ended with your description of the rise of nationalism

21 in the 1980s and a brief review of how the media reacted to that and

22 influenced that. We would like to continue the chronology today. If

23 you could pick up with where you left off and begin describing some of

24 the events in the late 1980s and early 1990s that led up to the actual

25 dissolution of the former Yugoslavia.

Page 116

1 A. Well, as far as the events in Serbia go, in the regions inhabited by

2 Serbs, at the same time, that is, the second half of the 1980s, there

3 was also the waning of communism in the north west Republics, and as

4 of '86 little by little there was the appearance, it was

5 anti-constitutional, but it was more or less tolerated, that there

6 were parties emerging in Slovenia and there was a certain amount of

7 democracy in that Republic.

8 There was, of course, opposition with what was happening in

9 Serbia because the Slovenes gave their backing to the Kosovo Albanians

10 who were subjected to attacks from the Serbs. So, the conflict

11 between these two Republics, Slovenia and Serbia, became quite acute,

12 and particularly when the Slovenes banned a Serb rally that was to

13 take place and the Serbians retaliated with an economic blockade

14 against Slovenia, and a bit later the same movement of diversification

15 on the political front, the fact that there were opposition parties

16 that were tolerated, that also occurred in Croatia. Consequently,

17 these two Republics were at odds with Serbia.

18 Now, at that point in time, in 1989, there was the fall of

19 communism in all the neighbouring countries, that is to say, the

20 Berlin Wall came down and communism collapsed in Hungary, Bulgaria,

21 etc, Rumania as well at one point or another, and the movement toward

22 pluralism becomes a lot stronger, and the Yugoslav Republics could not

23 disregard this general movement of liberalization.

24 At that point in time there are various events that occurred.

25 First, in early 1990 there is the break up of the communist party,

Page 117

1 the Yugoslav Communist League. The Slovenes and the Croats on the one

2 hand and the Serbs on the other had taken opposite stances. At the

3 party meeting in early 90, there was the dissolution and Slovenia

4 left the congress followed by the Croats. That was it. That as end

5 of the Yugoslav communist party.

6 Subsequently, in the course of 1990, there were elections that

7 took place first in the north west Republics, Slovenia Croatia, in the

8 spring, in March/April 1990; whereas in the other Republics they took

9 place in December.

10 Now, in March in Slovenia and in Croatia those elections

11 brought to power forces that were opposed to communism. In Croatia,

12 in addition to that, the elections were won by a party that was quite

13 nationalist, the HDZ of President Tudjman.

14 Immediately, this coming to power of the nationalists in

15 Croatia aggravated the tensions, because Croatia had a population of

16 12 per cent and they had already been affected by the campaigns,

17 demonstrations, the threats, etc.. So they had this feeling and to an

18 even greater extent was strengthened by propaganda. So, there was

19 matter to feed such a campaign on the Croat side. One of the slogans

20 was that the Serbs had too many important positions in the

21 administration; so there was a dismissal of certain civil servants who

22 were Serbian which, of course, reinforced their fears and their

23 conviction that they were threatened.

24 Similarly, there was a new constitution for Croatia that was

25 adopted and, unlike the previous constitution which stated that

Page 118

1 Croatia was the state of both the Croat people and the Serbian Croat

2 people, the new constitution said that Croatia was the state of the

3 Croatian people, and of the other nationalities who lived there such

4 as Serbs, Italians, Hungarians, etc.

5 In other words, the Serbs in this new arrangement were moved

6 out of the first category into the second category. So, they are

7 second class citizens, as it were, even though the constitution

8 granted to them all rights, at least in theory. But, in practice, they

9 did not always actually possess those rights.

10 Now, propaganda from Belgrade and the propaganda disseminated

11 there among the Serbs of Croatia at that time, in particular that

12 propaganda, as I already said yesterday, was constantly stressing the

13 genocide of 1941, and in people's minds the idea is conveyed that

14 genocide is going to happen again, and that this new Croatian

15 government is picking up where the Ustasha left off.

16 So, as of the summer of 1990, in the Serbian parts of Croatia

17 there is some uprising. It starts off with roadblocks, and Croatian

18 policemen were disarmed by Serbian insurgents. Then in the course of

19 the following winter and spring, almost outright rebellion, the first

20 deaths took place on 31st March 1991 at Plitvice. The first massacre

21 that takes place on 2nd May 1991, that is, of Croatian policemen by

22 Serbs, that is, on 2nd May 1991, Borovo Selo, 2nd May 1991, so two

23 months practically before Croatia declared independence.

24 The conflict was also deteriorating because Serbia had

25 embezzled funds that were meant for Croatia. Then Serbia refused the

Page 119

1 right of the Croatian representative to be elected President. That

2 was on 15th May 1991. There was the rotating Presidency. On 15th May

3 1991 the previous Serbian President's term came to an end. Normally,

4 it was the Croatian who was the party of the nationalist Croatian

5 party who was to succeed him. The representatives of the Serb block

6 hindered that election. So there was no longer a Federal President,

7 and the federal institutions were deadlocked.

8 During that period the Slovenes and the Croatians were

9 preparing their independence. There were referendums in December 1990

10 in Slovenia and then I believe it was in April or May '91, April or

11 May 91, in May, in Croatia and people were very much in favour of

12 independence. Those two countries on 25th June 1991 declared their

13 independence and that was at that point in time that the federal army

14 reacted, and that is when the military phase of the conflict begins,

15 that is to say, with the federal army's intervention in Slovenia.

16 That lasted just 10 days.

17 The federal army's intervention and the war in Croatia lasted

18 some six months, and later on in 1992 there would be the military

19 intervention in Bosnia which has lasted until quite recently.

20 Q. Thank you, Professor Garde. How did the declarations of independence

21 in Slovenia and Croatia affect the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

22 A. Bosnia and Herzegovina, as we saw, is at the heart of the former

23 Yugoslavia, and the people there, besides the Muslim Bosnians, you

24 have Serbs and Croats there. Now, as a result, the setup in

25 Yugoslavia suited the people in Bosnia, and survey showed that just

Page 120

1 before the war they were in favour of keeping their Yugoslav

2 federation but on the condition that the federation be balanced, that

3 is to say, that it included Serbia and Croatia as well. Bosnia was

4 right in the middle and there was this desire of seeing this balance

5 maintained, but once the federation no longer included Slovenia and

6 Croatia, Bosnia ended up face to face, as it were, with Serbia and was

7 on unequal terms because there was a lot more Serbs and they have a

8 lot more power.

9 So that solution whereby Bosnia would stay within the new

10 Yugoslav federation that was dominated by the Serbs, well, alone

11 amongst the people of Bosnia was the Serbs who were in favour of that

12 and the Croats. The Muslims of Bosnia were very much against that.

13 So, once the federation fell apart, the majority of the Bosnian

14 population, since Muslims and Croats in Bosnia account for two-thirds

15 of the population, so the majority of the population of Bosnia wanted

16 at that point in time independence to be declared.

17 In Bosnia at that time the elections in December 1990 had been

18 won by the three nationalist parties, the SDS, Radovan Karadzic, that

19 is, the Serbs; SDA of Alija Izetbegovic, that is the Muslim Bosnians

20 and then the HDZ, the Croat party. So the three nationalist parties

21 formed a coalition and ruled. They split up the authority, but that

22 coalition did not last very long precisely because the various members

23 of that coalition had conflicting interests.

24 Two of the parties in question were for the independence of

25 Bosnia; whereas as the third party, the SDS, the Serb party, was

Page 121

1 totally opposed to that. This is why the conflict came about in no

2 time at all during the second half of 1991, that is to say, while the

3 war was being waged in Croatia, the terrible war, in the course of

4 which the Serbs army, the federal army with the help of the Yugoslav

5 militia, occupied a third of Croatian territory, drove out the

6 Croatians living there and already at the time there was ethnic

7 cleansing going on.

8 So whilst those events were occurring, Bosnia and Herzegovina

9 remained outside of the conflict and, in principle, it was neutral,

10 but President Izetbegovic was careful about that, but the federal army

11 occupied the territory and it was used as a real base against Croatia.

12 The internal tension was quite considerable; everyone felt that the

13 conflict, a conflict was going to break out, and during that second

14 half of 1991 that the conflict was being prepared and that the

15 instruments were set up with a view to the conflict, with a view to

16 ethnic cleansing.

17 Q. Professor Garde, how did the Serbian nationalism manifest itself in

18 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?

19 A. Well, in respect of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so at the time the first

20 pluralist elections were getting underway, those of December 1990,

21 among other parties, there was a nationalist Serb party that was

22 established, the SDS, that is, the Serb Democratic Party. From the

23 outset its head was Radovan Karadzic. Now, this party, unlike the

24 party in power in Serbia, was not a communist party. It was

25 anti-communist, in fact, and it was supported by the Orthodox Church

Page 122

1 and the Orthodox Church played an important role in the establishment

2 of this party, the SDS.

3 So this nationalist party, the SDS, had as its official aims

4 to defend the interests of the Serbian people in Bosnia and it got

5 involved in the elections and participated in the coalition that won

6 the elections, but subsequently it participated in the government and

7 in the administration of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Presidency of

8 the Presidency went to the main Bosnian Muslim leader, Alija

9 Izetbegovic. The Presidency of the Council, that is to say, Prime

10 Ministership, went to a Croat and the President of the Assembly went

11 to a member of the SDS, a Serb.

12 Radovan Karadzic did not take on an official position, but

13 remained leader of the SDS party. He also acted as President of the

14 national Serb Council which is a non-official body, but which was

15 supposed to be representing the interests of the Serb people in

16 Bosnia.

17 At the same time, the Serb party, just like the other

18 nationalist parties, made sure that it had power in the opstina, in

19 the municipalities, where it had a majority.

20 MR. BOWERS: Your Honours, at this time we would like to start referring

21 to some of the exhibits that are in your binder. They have not been

22 scanned into the computer, but in your binder there will be the

23 Cyrillic version initially. Then there are French and English

24 translations that follow the Cyrillic versions of these exhibits so

25 you will be able to follow them in your binders.

Page 123

1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Bowers, now since you have done with a certain

2 area with Professor Garde, we might see if our fellow Judges have any

3 questions. I just have one question. I am not sure you addressed the

4 matter, but it might be useful: the declaration of independence, did

5 that give rise to any reaction on the part of the international

6 community, and what do you think the significance of those reactions

7 might have been subsequently?

8 A. Yes, the declarations of independence as such did not immediately

9 give rise to any reactions on the part of the international community,

10 but in Slovenia and in Croatia when the conflict broke out that gave

11 rise to some reactions, that is to say, there was a war that was being

12 waged. The international community and particularly the European

13 Union could not put an end to it. In Slovenia, it was easy enough

14 precisely because there was no Serb minority in Slovenia, so the Serbs

15 did not see much point in conquering Slovenia. After a few days they

16 had no trouble accepting to withdraw.

17 In Croatia, things were more difficult because the conflict

18 lasted six months. It was bloody. It was dreadful. The efforts of

19 the European Community to put an end to it were initially in vain, and

20 at that point in time some countries, in particular Germany, but other

21 countries as well, thought that the best solution would be to

22 recognise the independence of Slovenia and Croatia, so that the

23 conflict would be officially recognised as an international conflict,

24 and that would allow for outside intervention and intervention by the

25 United Nations that would be legitimate with the view to ending the

Page 124

1 conflict.

2 Other countries in contrast, for example, France and the UK,

3 thought that it would be best not to recognise the independence of

4 those Republics which would entail recognising the borders. They

5 thought it would be best to wait and to get concessions from those

6 Republics in return for recognising that independence. In particular,

7 what they had in mind was concessions from Croatia in respect of its

8 borders.

9 So there were two opposing ways of viewing the problem. On

10 account of this opposition of views, for six months no decision was

11 taken. During those six months all of the efforts deployed by the

12 international community to put an end to the conflict remained in

13 vain. After six months, finally, that is to say, in December of 1991

14 the decision was taken to recognise the independence of those

15 Republics.

16 Now, that decision of a condition of recognition was taken on

17 17th December. The recognition came into effect as of 15th January

18 and Germany jumped the gun -- I do not remember the exact date -- but

19 they went ahead with recognition on their part earlier. At all

20 events, once the recognition did take place it was immediately after

21 that that the fighting in Croatia stopped. They stopped it on 2nd

22 January 1992.

23 You asked me for my opinion, your Honour, it is often said

24 that recognition was premature, that it was one of the causes of the

25 conflict. I read somewhere that that recognition was the actual cause

Page 125

1 of the war. I think rather the opposite, that the recognition came

2 very late. It was also on account of that recognition that the

3 conflict ended in Croatia.

4 When you say that that is the cause of the war, what you have

5 to know is that that recognition, that decision in December 1991 was

6 taken after some six months of war, rather, there were tens of

7 thousands dead in Croatia. There had already been massacres around

8 Vukovar. There had been dreadful mass murders, mass graves. The war

9 had been lasting for some six months. So to say that it was the

10 recognition that caused the war, it is a bit much because the war had

11 already been going on for six months.

12 Now, recognition, no doubt, did entail recognition of the

13 borders. It crystallised, as it were, the fact that the federation

14 had broken up and, as I said earlier on, this put Bosnia in a very

15 difficult situation. But that is not due to recognition. It is a

16 fact that the federation broke up and I explained the reasons for the

17 breakup earlier on, so it is not by refusing to recognise that breakup

18 by going on and have the federation exist as a fiction when it did not

19 have any further basis in reality that one could have improved things.

20 That is my opinion at all events.

21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Let me ask fellow Judges whether they

22 have any questions.

23 JUDGE RIAD [In translation]: Professor, earlier on you said that the

24 Yugoslav Army when it attacked Croatia had the support of the militia.

25 Did the militia report to the army? What was their status?

Page 126

1 A. No, the militia was not under the orders of the army. There were two

2 things that were involved, in fact. There were the local militia,

3 that was made up of the local population of Croatia who played a role

4 in the initial events, the roadblocks, etc. and the initial clashes,

5 but there were also paramilitary groups that came from Serbia which

6 had been recruited by some Serbian extremists, extremists, the Arkan

7 Tigers, the White Eagles, and other groupings recruited in Serbia who

8 came and got involved in these operations in Croatia and played a very

9 active role indeed.

10 But, it can be said that even if officially the two types of

11 militia were not under the army's orders, in actual fact, they

12 operated in a co-ordinated fashion, that is to say, that initially the

13 militia, particularly the local militia, would provoke a conflict with

14 the Croats and then, in the second stage, the army would intervene,

15 that is to say, in actual fact it would occupy territory and see to it

16 that there was no possibility for the Croats to reoccupy that

17 territory.

18 Then later on when war really got going as of July/August

19 1991, then the army attacked such and such a position with shelling

20 and then would occupy the territory, drive out the Croats and then the

21 militia, in particular the militia from Serbia, would come afterwards

22 and proceed with the massacres, pillage etc.. So there were two

23 distinct forces, in fact, three distinction forces, but they acted

24 during this whole period in close co-operation.

25 Q. A question I have had on my mind since yesterday when you talked

Page 127

1 about ethnic cleansing: you said that ethnic cleansing existed since

2 the time of the Austrian Empire; also that it took place during the

3 Nazi period. Could you maybe tell us really when that policy

4 initiated in the former Yugoslavia and where it came from?

5 A. Well, what happened, for instance, in the 18th century under Austrian

6 rule and in the 19th century in Serbian and Montenegrin territory, the

7 Muslims were driven out. Subsequently, what happened then in Croatia

8 and Bosnia in 1941 for the first time it was ethnic cleansing that was

9 practised by representatives of a Christian people on another

10 Christian people, that is to say, by Croats on Serbs. So that was the

11 first time that ethnic cleansing was taking place without for once the

12 Muslims being the victims. That was also the first time where the

13 proportions were as vast, as systematic, as they were. Of course,

14 this was in tune with the fascist Nazi ideology at the time. It is

15 fair to say that ethnic cleansing, such as practised in Croatia during

16 the second half of 1991 and then in Bosnia from 1992 to 1995, that

17 that was also a follow-up to the same kind of operation. But this

18 time it was carried out in a more systematic fashion and a better

19 organised fashion than had ever seen before.

20 Q. Who practised in the ethnic cleansing by the Serbs this time?

21 A. The Serbs against the Croats and against the Croats in Croatia, and I

22 am talking about Croats and non-Serbs, that included the Hungarians

23 who were also victims and in Bosnia it was practised against Croats

24 and, essentially, against the Muslim Bosnians who were in terms of

25 number the main victims.

Page 128

1 This does not preclude the fact that in Bosnia you also had

2 ethnic cleansing practised by Croats against Bosnian Muslims and vice

3 versa in 1993. But in terms of numbers or statistics, if you like,

4 ethnic cleansing was practised, essentially, by the Serbs. In the

5 course of the 90s, the Serbs took that initiative. They practised

6 ethnic cleansing in a systematic manner. So, from a statistical point

7 of view, it was in very large, considerable numbers.

8 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Professor.

9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Prosecutor, if you please, I have just one question

10 in the wake of my fellow Judge's question. How do you define "ethnic

11 cleansing" in terms of its principle and in terms of its method? Then

12 I would have a question on the army, please, Professor.

13 A. Well, ethnic cleansing is a practice which means that you act in such

14 a way that in a given territory the members of a given ethnic group

15 are eliminated. It means a practice that aims at such and such a

16 territory be, as they meant, ethnically pure. So, in other words,

17 that that territory would no longer contain only members of the ethnic

18 group that took the initiative of cleansing the territory.

19 So, in other words, the members of the other groups are

20 eliminated by different ways, by different methods. You have

21 massacres. Everybody is not massacred, but I mean in terms of

22 numbers, you have massacres in order to scare these populations.

23 Sometimes these massacres are selective, and they aim at eliminating

24 the elite of a given population, but they are massacres. I mean, that

25 is the point. So whenever you have massacres, naturally the other

Page 129

1 people are driven away. They are afraid. They try to run away and

2 you find yourself with a high number of a given people that have been

3 massacred, persecuted and, of course, in the end these people simply

4 want to leave. They also submitted to such pressures that they go

5 away. They are driven away either on their own initiative or they are

6 deported. But the basic point is for them to be out of that territory

7 and some of them are sometimes locked up in camps. Some women are

8 raped and, furthermore, often times what you have is the destruction

9 of the monuments which marked the presence of a given population in a

10 given territory, for instance, religious places, Catholic churches or

11 mosques are destroyed.

12 So, basically, this is how ethnic cleansing is practised in

13 the course of this war.

14 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: In this connection of ethnic cleansing, Professor

15 Garde, when you speak of "Muslims" are you talking about a religious

16 or an ethnic group?

17 A. All right. When I talk about Muslims, when I told you about the 18th

18 and 19th century, of course, I was dealing with a religious group, but

19 now when we talk about the Muslims in the course of the 20th century

20 and, more specifically, in Bosnia, we no longer deal with a religious

21 group.

22 As I indicated yesterday, in these particular regions and,

23 more specifically, in Bosnia where the different populations all speak

24 the same language, the difference was based on a confessional

25 criteria, i.e. belonging to a given confessional group. Croats are

Page 130

1 those that by tradition were Catholics. The Serbs by tradition are

2 orthodox. The Muslim Bosnians are Muslims with a capital "M" belong

3 to the muslim tradition, Muslim this time time spelt with a low case

4 "m".

5 That does not mean that these people had a personal faith in

6 that religion, that they practised that religion. It simply means

7 that by tradition they came from families that are Muslim, that their

8 ancestors also belonged to the Muslim community, but it does not mean

9 at all that they themselves practised the Islam religion or that they

10 believed in what Muslims believe in. The same applies to the

11 Catholics or the orthodox.

12 It simply means that these people belong to that particular

13 community by tradition and they considered a sort of heritage in

14 belonging to that community, and by the other people they were

15 considered as belonging to that community too. But it did not imply

16 anything in terms of their personal creed or their religious practice.

17 Of course, even among the Serbs and even those that claimed

18 that they belonged to the orthodoxy, and though they defended the

19 Orthodox Church, still there are many Serbs that are agnostic or did

20 not believe or anything with no creed. The same applied to Croats and

21 to Muslims, spelt with a capital "M". So again it is not a question

22 of personal faith or creed. It is more a question of belonging to a

23 given group, to a given nation.

24 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you.

25 JUDGE RIAD: If you please, Professor, in your presentation about ethnic

Page 131

1 cleansing you have referred to deportation and massacre and you also

2 alluded to rape. Can rape be used as a weapon for ethnic cleansing

3 purposes? Has it been used as a weapon?

4 A. Yes, yes, it has. It was used for that purpose because, you know,

5 rape, rape is humiliation, humiliation felt by the woman who is raped

6 and by her whole family and the whole group to which she belongs.

7 Rape is something that makes it even more difficult, even more

8 intolerable, to live together amongst the different groups. Returning

9 in the region where rape takes place, it is even more difficult. So,

10 undoubtedly, that weapon has been used systematically. This being

11 said, in answer to your question, there are certainly better placed

12 experts than me, so I am only repeating here what has been written on

13 this subject.

14 Q. Thank you. You used the word "systematic" when referring to ethnic

15 cleansing. Who promoted this idea or this policy at the beginning in

16 the present conflict?

17 A. In the present conflict, I mean, this had already been promoted by

18 Serb theoricians before. I mean, there was a text dating back to '37

19 that clearly explained how we should do away with the Albanians from

20 Kosovo. There were orders given by General Mihajlovic in the Second

21 World War that indicated we need to proceed to ethnic cleansing,

22 probably apocryphal orders but that probably emanated anyway from

23 these Chetnik circles.

24 But the point is that the whole idea was floating in the air

25 and this practise had already existed. So in the present conflict, it

Page 132

1 is difficult to find or, at least, I for one do not know of any text

2 in which it was expressively said that such populations had to be

3 deported. But, however, it is said expressis verbis everywhere that

4 "we cannot live together any more, we must not live together any more.

5 We must not live with the Muslims under the same roofs". The same

6 idea was found, well, I do not have the text in mind, but anyway, I

7 mean, this whole idea had been expressed before and repeatedly and

8 quite frequently. So the practice was extremely systematic and so

9 clearly enough the idea was present.

10 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am not sure that we fully addressed the role of

12 the army at the beginning in the federal structure and then gradually

13 the role of the army that developed. Could you briefly give us some

14 clarification about the JNA?

15 A. All right. The army was basically the only federal institution that

16 survived. Gradually, at the time when authority was given to the

17 Republics and when the federal Presidency disappeared, all that was

18 left was one single federation institution, i.e. the army. The army

19 has several characteristics. On the one hand, the Serbs for

20 historical reasons, from the origin, the Serbs had always occupied

21 dominating positions. I think there were about 60 per cent of Serb

22 officers while the Serbs only represented 36 per cent of the

23 population in Yugoslavia. If you include the Montenegrins, it

24 increases the proportion.

25 So the Serbs had the dominating positions or posts in the

Page 133

1 army, and then the army was an institution, a federal institution, as

2 I indicated, but lived on the federation, on the communist regimes

3 since in any communist regime the military were privileged. So the

4 army, the army as a whole, wanted to maintain the federation and, as

5 far as most of the officers are concerned, they wanted to maintain the

6 federation which was directly connected with defending the Serb

7 people.

8 You have General Kadijevic who was the Commander-in-Chief of

9 the army during the crucial times all the way until January '92 who

10 wrote that, when you read him actually you realise that, as far as he

11 was concerned, both objectives were merging into one single objective,

12 i.e. defending the federal institutions and defending the Serbs or

13 defending the rights of the Serbs against all the other peoples.

14 So, when the federal authority disappeared, and it disappeared

15 when the federal Presidency no longer operated on 15th May '91, so at

16 that given point in time you find yourself in front of this rather

17 strange position where you have an army without any Commander, an army

18 that becomes fairly autonomous.

19 So, thanks to the European mediation in July '91, Europe

20 managed to impose the elections of Mesic who is a Croat as a President

21 of the federation. So, theoretically, he was the Commander-in-Chief

22 of the army, but the army never obeyed to him. Mesic, although

23 theoretically the Commander-in-Chief of the army was considered by

24 that army as its No. 1 enemy. So the army did not have any

25 Commander-in-Chief, no superior authority. So the army behaved as an

Page 134

1 autonomous body and that autonomous body sided with the Serbs and

2 acted in close co-operation with the Serb authorities, that of

3 Milosevic.

4 At that time a Party was created, a Party for Yugoslavia, a

5 Party whose leadership was by Milosevic's wife, Mrs. Markovic, and a

6 few of the commanders of the army. So you see that from that time on

7 the army operates in full autonomy but in close co-operation with the

8 Serb authority.

9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Prosecutor, now how do you want to

10 organise the rest of the day? I think that this morning we started

11 earlier on, we are going to work until 1 o'clock, we are going to take

12 a break, and you also have some exhibits to tender, so what do you

13 suggest, Prosecutor?

14 MR. BOWERS: Your Honour, I think going through these additional documents

15 should take half an hour to 45 minutes possibly. If it is

16 appropriate, we would like to just continue depending on the staff

17 and the court's wishes. We can take a break, your Honour, if this is

18 an appropriate point.

19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: All right. I hope everybody will be agreeable, but

20 we are going to continue with this witness until the end and then we

21 will take a break. Then we will hear the second testimony. So

22 Prosecutor, please continue.

23 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour. Professor Garde and your Honours, if

24 you could turn to Exhibit 4, please? Professor Garde, would you

25 explain to the court what Exhibit 4 is?

Page 135

1 A. Exhibit No. 4 is a letter sent by Radovan Karadzic to Slobodan

2 Milosevic to congratulate him on his election as a President of the

3 Republic of Serbia. There is no date on this exhibit but I probably

4 think that it dates back to December '90 because this is exactly when

5 the election took place, and which are the basis for these

6 congratulations.

7 The interesting thing in this letter is the signature; the

8 fact that Radovan Karadzic signs as the President of the SDS, and at

9 the same time as the President of the national Serb Council of

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina which is an informal, non-constitutional body which

11 was supposed to represent the interests of the Serb people in

12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, clearly, here it shows on this exhibit,

13 because of the signature and because of the fact that he congratulates

14 the President of Serbia, he appears as the leader of the Serbs in

15 Bosnia.

16 Q. Thank you. Now if we could move to Exhibit 5, please, if you could

17 explain that exhibit for the court?

18 A. Right, now, Exhibit No. 5 dates August '91. It is a circular sent by

19 Karadzic as the President of SDS and it is sent to all committees,

20 regional committees and municipal committees, of SDS in Bosnia. This

21 document indicates how the communications should be organised between

22 the different bodies of SDS, and how they would ensure the

23 confidentiality of such communications.

24 So you see here even at the time in August '91 and at the time

25 the war was raging in Croatia, but had not started in Bosnia yet, so

Page 136

1 these were the preparations for not a clandestine action but a secret

2 or military action and to protect and secure communications of the

3 party without being intercepted by the official authorities in Bosnia.

4 Q. Professor Garde, if you could move to Exhibit 6, please, and also

5 explain to the court what that Exhibit is?

6 A. OK, Exhibit No. 6 dates back to March '92. It is sent to the

7 President of the municipality and those that are Serb, since it dates

8 back to March 92, the Serb territories or territories considered as

9 being Serb, contrary to the previous period, had been split up into

10 separate territories. So here Radovan Karadzic signs as the President

11 of SDS. He no longer writes to the committees of the SDS, as in the

12 previous exhibit, he is sending this to the Presidents of the

13 municipalities, those municipalities that were placed under his

14 authority at the time when this country had already been split up. So

15 here again the point is to organise communications between the

16 different municipalities.

17 Q. Professor Garde, would you move to Exhibit 7, please, and explain

18 that Exhibit to the court?

19 A. Yes, Exhibit 7 is a decision, it is a decision in order to maintain

20 the Serb people of Bosnia-Herzegovina within the common state of

21 Yugoslavia. The interesting thing is, well, No. 1, this exhibit is

22 not signed by Karadzic but by Krajisnik, Krajisnik who -- in actual

23 fact, I think the interesting thing would be to look at the previous

24 exhibit which is on the same photocopy. It is a decision aiming at

25 creating an assembly of the Serb people of Bosnia-Herzegovina; a

Page 137

1 decision of the same date of 24th October '91.

2 So on 24th October '91 it was decided in a first stage, and

3 that is the first exhibit, the one before, the one about which you are

4 asking me questions. So in this previous exhibit, the decision is

5 made to create a National Assembly or, rather, an Assembly of the Serb

6 people of Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is a sort of higher degree as

7 opposed to the Council that previously existed. So now you have an

8 Assembly which is supposed to rule over the Serb people in

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So from now on, the Serb people or the Serbs from

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina no longer recognised the authority of the

11 government of Bosnia Herzegovina, the common government, but they set

12 themselves up as a separate entity.

13 That Assembly of the Serb people of Bosnia-Herzegovina is made

14 up of the deputies from SDS and SPO which is another Serb party which

15 were part of the Assembly. So it is a part of the Assembly of

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, a section of the Assembly, representing these two

17 Serb parties that set themselves up as a separate body. This is why

18 the President of that Assembly is the man, a member of SDS, who

19 previously was a President of the whole Assembly of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Momcilo Krajisnik, and this is why he signs that

21 particular exhibit.

22 So, in the first stage, that Assembly is created. This is the

23 first exhibit. Then the second exhibit, No. 7, means that the

24 Assembly which has just been created on that very day decides that the

25 Serb people of Bosnia-Herzegovina will stay in the common state of

Page 138

1 Yugoslavia.

2 The interesting point is that mention is made that the people

3 will stay part of the common state of Yugoslavia. So, they do not

4 state expressively that it is a member of the Federal Socialist

5 Republic of Yugoslavia that existed at the time and no mention is made

6 of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which will be created only a

7 couple of months later; they are simply using a word or wording that

8 does not have any constitutional meaning, the common state of

9 Yugoslavia. That means that whatever the form that the state of

10 Yugoslavia will take, the Serbs intend to stay within that state. So

11 it means, it is an act that means that they want to secede secession

12 as from the state of Bosnia.

13 Now, one could wonder why this act is dated 24th October '91.

14 Obviously, this had been prepared for a long time, since before that.

15 You had the autonomous regions, the Serb autonomous regions, so

16 everything had been planned for that particular secession, but what

17 triggered it is the vote that took place on 14th or, rather, 15th

18 October '91, a week before the vote in the parliament of

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina that voted for the sovereignty of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina; a vote that was won thanks to the votes of the

21 Croat and Muslim Bosnians' votes but which was rejected, violently

22 rejected, by the Serb representatives.

23 In the course of that particular hearing of 15th October '91

24 in the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is when Radovan Karadzic

25 voiced very threatening words concerning what could happen if that

Page 139

1 vote took place. If you please, I am going it read out what he said

2 at the time. I apologise, but I am going to read this out in English

3 because I do not have the Serb origin nor a French translation; what I

4 have here before me is an English translation published in the book of

5 Laura Silber, "The Death of Yugoslavia" on page 237. So Karadzic

6 said before the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina:

7 "You want to take Bosnia-Herzegovina down the same highway of

8 hell and suffering that Slovenia and Croatia are travelling. Do

9 nothing that you will not lead Bosnia into hell, and do nothing that

10 you will not, perhaps, lead the Muslim people into an annihilation

11 because the Muslims cannot defend themselves if there is war. How

12 will you prevent everyone from being killed in Bosnia?"

13 So that is what Karadzic said on 14th and 15th October 1991.

14 This exhibit, Exhibit 7, is, as it were, the implementation of that

15 policy. It is the first step of it, that is to say, the determination

16 on the part of the Serbs to secede from Bosnia.

17 Q. Professor Garde, both the creation of the Assembly and the

18 affirmation of the Serbian people remaining in whatever Yugoslavia

19 turns out to be, appears on this document known as a gazette. Would

20 you explain to the court what this publication is and its

21 significance, please?

22 A. Now, the publication, the organ in which that is published, this

23 text?

24 Q. Yes.

25 A. Well, this is published -- it is the official gazette, as it were, of

Page 140

1 the Serb people in Bosnia Herzegovina. So, the fact that the Serb

2 people publish an official gazette, that is one of the acts in the

3 course of this process of secession, that is to say, the Serb people

4 have set themselves up as a separate entity and they have their own

5 official gazette. But it is worth pointing out that it did not start

6 coming out officially until 15th January 1992, so a bit later.

7 What I was just referring to, 24th October 1991, they were

8 subsequently two or three months later brought together and then

9 published; because in the text itself, in the decision, it says that

10 this decision, this is Article 3, shall be published in the gazette of

11 the people, Serb people, Glasnik. This is a paper that still comes

12 out today. It is a weekly, I believe. It is a normal newspaper.

13 So, initially, once a decision is taken, it is decided that it

14 would be published in the press. Then, subsequently, later on they

15 thought that it would be appropriate to publish it as an official

16 gazette. So a couple of months later they came out with an official

17 gazette and they included all the previous decisions in it.

18 Q. Thank you, Professor Garde. Could we now move to Exhibit 8, please?

19 If you could explain what that document is?

20 A. Exhibit 8, this is a decision giving authority to represent and

21 defend the interests of the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, in

22 this exhibit there are five people who are given full powers, who are

23 empowered by the Assembly of the Serb people that has just been set

24 up, because all of this is happening on one and the same day, 24th

25 October, so the Assembly gives full agency to five people to represent

Page 141

1 it on such and such affairs.

2 So it is worth looking more closely at how the responsibility

3 is broken down, because there are two people who are in charge of

4 international affairs, Nikola Koljevic and another person, the two

5 representatives of the Serbs to the Bosnian Presidency. Then there

6 are three other people who are in charge of relations with the federal

7 authorities of Yugoslavia.

8 Now as the previous decision was based on the Serb aim of

9 staying in the common Yugoslav state, so the relations with the

10 federal Yugoslav authorities were what was most important, actually in

11 terms of the functions of the stay of the people that are going to be

12 working in that capacity; Najdanovic who is in charge of relations

13 with the Assembly, the legislative branch; Miodrag Simovic is in

14 charge of relations with the government, federal government: and

15 Radovan Karadzic is in charge of relations with the federal

16 Presidency. That is to say, he is in charge of relations with the

17 supreme authority of the federation.

18 So at this stage, where the aim of the Serbs in Bosnia is to

19 remain within the Yugoslav federation, Karadzic is in charge of the

20 functions which at that point in time are the most important, that is

21 to say, links with the federal Presidency. He cannot be made a member

22 of the federal Presidency officially, but he is in charge of the

23 relations with it, which is just about the same thing.

24 Q. If we could move to Exhibit 9, please? If you could explain what

25 that document is and its significance?

Page 142

1 A. Exhibit 9 is a decision on the territories of the municipalities of

2 the local communities and places in Bosnia and Herzegovina which

3 regard themselves as part of the federal state of Yugoslavia. So it

4 is still an ambiguous wording there, the federal state of Yugoslavia.

5 Now, secession on the part of the Serb entity was pronounced

6 in the previous decisions. Here, this is a month later, this is 21st

7 November we are talking about, so secession was proclaimed in

8 principle, but the territory has not been specified. So here it is a

9 matter of specifying what that territory is. It is specified as

10 being the territory in which, when the plebiscite was held a little

11 earlier in November -- one second here -- yes, in the course of the

12 plebiscites, more than 50 per cent of the citizens of Serb nationality

13 came out in favour of remaining within Yugoslavia.

14 So, all of these regions where there is more than 50 per cent

15 of the Serb citizens came out in favour of remaining in Yugoslavia are

16 regarded as part of Yugoslavia. So, quite clearly, that is a very

17 elastic definition, because that referendum had been organised

18 throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and throughout there the majority of

19 Serbs had come out in favour of staying within Yugoslavia. So, I said

20 this was a very elastic formulation that allowed for all kinds of

21 conclusions.

22 There is something else here worth mentioning. It says at the

23 end of Article 4 that the Serbs cannot oppose the decisions taken by

24 the Croats and the Muslims to set up their own entities, which is

25 something totally arbitrary because at that time the Croat and Muslim

Page 143

1 people had not indicated they wanted to set up their own entities.

2 There had simply been a decision taken by a majority of the Bosnia and

3 Herzegovina Assembly which was mean to represent all of the people of

4 Bosnia and Herzegovina. So there was no desire to secede that had

5 been expressed by the Croat or Muslim communities. In fact, at that

6 point in time, they did not and were not meant to have any separate

7 existence which was quite different from what the Serbs were doing at

8 the time.

9 Q. Could we move to Exhibit 10 now, please, if you could explain the

10 significance of that Exhibit?

11 A. Now, Exhibit 10, 21st November '91 still, this is a decision on

12 verifying the autonomous Serb territory proclaimed in Bosnia and

13 Herzegovina. This is a further step, another act, down the road to

14 secession of the Serb territory. It is again a matter of defining

15 that territory.

16 Before the acts we have mentioned here, there had been the

17 setup by the Serbs, by the SDS, of autonomous Serb regions and

18 autonomous Serb districts. That is to say, certain regions had set

19 themselves up as autonomous territories. In other words, they had

20 subtracted themselves from the authority of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

21 Here you have a list of the communities in question.

22 So, it is a matter of delineating the territory of the various

23 regions involved. So, there is one that is somewhat bigger, that is

24 the first one, Krajina, and that is quite widespread. That is why it

25 is called the region, the region of Krajina. Then you have the

Page 144

1 autonomous districts of eastern Herzegovina, Romanija, Semberija,

2 northern Bosnia.

3 So, this is a list here of the territories that had set

4 themselves up as autonomous Serb territories, and had thereby broken

5 away from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Here they are uniting, they are

6 declaring themselves part of Yugoslavia and part of the Serb entity

7 that was being established.

8 So there is this definition of the territory here. It is

9 worth note noting that this decision does not yet lay down any

10 specific borderlines, because the rights, well, since the -- there are

11 some regions, some municipalities where it is indicated that the

12 territory includes only part of it. So, the delineation is not yet as

13 specific as it might be. The previous decision made room for going

14 further, that other territories could be included.

15 Q. Professor Garde, does this creation of the autonomous regions and

16 districts fit into some broader Serbian strategy, in your opinion?

17 A. Yes, what is involved here is a longer term strategy, because the aim

18 is to have these territories, which in the first stage have set

19 themselves up as autonomous regions, to have them unite and then they

20 are supposed to unite with Yugoslavia. This is the same process that

21 had been followed in Croatia, because in Croatia as well the Serbs had

22 first set up two autonomous regions. Then those two autonomous

23 regions are joined, united, and the plan was for them to stay within

24 Yugoslavia.

25 Q. Thank you. Now if we could have Exhibit 11 which is also R12 shown

Page 145

1 on the computer screen, please?

2 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We do not hear the interpretation. There seems to

3 be a problem with the interpretation for the witness. We will

4 straighten that out.

5 THE WITNESS: Yes, now I hear fine. Thank you.

6 MR. BOWERS: Exhibit 11. Professor Garde, would you take a moment and

7 explain to the court what this map represents?

8 A. Yes, that is Exhibit 11, the map. This is the delineation that we

9 were touching on earlier on, that is to say, this was what was spelled

10 out in the previous act, that is to say, these are all the communities

11 which were supposed to be part of the Serb entity which were going to

12 stay in the common Yugoslav state. So you have the geographical

13 delineation that stems or flows from the previous acts.

14 MR. BOWERS: Your Honours, just for accuracy and clarification, I would

15 like to make two observations with regard to this map, one is the

16 municipalities of Bosanska Dubica, Bosanski Gradiska and Bosanski Novi

17 are actually not included in a decision that appears in the gazette.

18 We have included them on the map though because, based on our

19 research and investigation, we have the original minutes of the

20 decision actually made by the Assembly. In those minutes, there is an

21 indication that these three municipalities are to be included. So

22 they are included on the map, but I wanted to make that clear to the

23 court.

24 Additionally, the red line that goes through the

25 municipalities of Bosanska Krupa, Gornji Vakuf, Rogatica and Sarajevo

Page 146

1 are only approximate delineations because the text of the decision, as

2 Professor Garde says, is somewhat flexible and only gives limited

3 guidance on those areas where the territory is only described as

4 including part of that municipality. So those are two clarifications

5 for that particular map.

6 If we could move to Exhibit 12, please, which is R13?

7 Professor Garde, when that comes on the screen, if you could explain

8 that to the court, please?

9 A. The map now on the screen is a map showing the military situation on

10 10th November 1992, that is to say, about a year after the previous

11 map. You can see that it corresponds to a significant extent with the

12 previous map since, roughly speaking, you are talking about the same

13 territories. So, as I said, roughly speaking, it is one and the same

14 territory. So the Serbs occupied militarily something that was very

15 much in line with what they had planned a year earlier.

16 I would point out that there is a mistake here actually on

17 this map, because the Bihac region and these three regions in the

18 north west, in fact, were not occupied by the Serbs at that time.

19 They should not be in red. In fact, they were never taken by the

20 Serbs, so those three north western most regions. But the two maps, I

21 said, are quite close. They do not overlap to 100 per cent, because

22 in some cases the Serbs conquered more territory than they had

23 planned. You can see, for instance, that the whole valley of the

24 Drina to the north east, that is to say, the communities of Visegrad,

25 Srebrenica, Bratunac, Zvornik, Gorazde, all of those regions were

Page 147

1 conquered by the Serbs but they were not included in what we saw

2 previously.

3 These regions happened to be those where some of the most

4 horrible things took place in connection with ethnic cleansing. There

5 are other areas that were conquered that were not planned for, Jajce,

6 that region, or Brcko to the north, north east -- you can see Brcko

7 which was in white on the previous map and now it is in red, Brcko --

8 was also the theatre of absolutely dreadful fighting. That was one of

9 the places where ethnic cleansing was carried out in a horrible way.

10 So there are regions where the Serbs met with more resistance

11 than they expected. That is where you have Muslim Bosnian majority,

12 and they had included that in the northern Bosnian region on the

13 previous map, that is, in the north, as you can see here. On this No.

14 12 around Tuzla, the part going up, that was not planned for on the

15 previous map, that is to say, the Bosnian Muslims put up more

16 resistance than expected.

17 So, in military terms, the situation in November of 1992 was

18 based on what was scheduled a year earlier, but a little bit more

19 territory was taken in some parts and then, of course, there is a

20 little less territory elsewhere and it all very bloody, needless to

21 say.

22 MR. BOWERS: Additional clarification on this particular map, your

23 Honours: this line that was drawn was taken from the situation

24 frontline map as developed by the headquarters of the combined British

25 forces of UNPROFOR. In addition to the north western section that

Page 148

1 Professor Garde mentioned, you may notice that the map does not

2 include the enclaves of Gorazde, Srebrenica and Zepa. It was not

3 until February'93 that those areas started to show up on the situation

4 maps, so that is just a clarification with regard to this particular

5 map.

6 If we could have Exhibit 13, R1-4, just briefly shown? For

7 the court's benefit, this is just the two lines superimposed on each

8 other to show the similarity. I think Professor Garde has already

9 explained the significance of that, so we will move on to Exhibit 14,

10 please. (To the witness): Professor Garde, if you could explain the

11 significance of Exhibit 14 and what the document is.

12 A. Exhibit 14 is dated 11th November 1991 -- December 1991. This is an

13 appeal from the Assembly of the Serb people of Bosnia and Herzegovina

14 signed by Momcilo Krajisnik, the President. That was calling on the

15 National Yugoslav Army to defend the territories by whatever means,

16 the territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part and parcel of the

17 Yugoslav state, and places where there have been the referendum where

18 the Serbs in a majority had indicated that they wanted to stay in a

19 Serb state.

20 Things had not been spelt out very clearly, but it was now a

21 matter of turning to the Yugoslav Army to have them provide defence.

22 So it is a matter of reiterating the same process that had unfolded in

23 Croatia, that is to say, to have the Yugoslav Army involved in

24 defending the Serb territories as defined.

25 Q. Do you know how the JNA responded to this request?

Page 149

1 A. The JNA, of course, responded favourably to this request. What

2 happened subsequently went to show that it was the units of the

3 Yugoslav Army which were rebaptised, as it were, to become the Serb

4 Bosnian Army and it was they who were the spearhead of this war in

5 Bosnia.

6 Q. Professor Garde, when you use the term "rebaptised" are you referring

7 to the point in time when the JNA made an official proclamation that

8 it would be withdrawing from Bosnia-Herzegovina; if so, would you

9 explain that and perhaps contrast the so-called withdrawal in

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina with the withdrawals of the JNA in Slovenia and

11 Croatia before?

12 A. Well, in Slovenia the federal army had accepted to withdraw on the

13 basis of the agreements entered into with the European Community and

14 it did, in fact, withdraw with all its men, its weaponry, its

15 materiel. As far as Croatia goes, the federal army after the

16 cease-fire signed on 2nd January 1992 and the agreement signed

17 subsequently, the federal army withdrew from Croatia and left in the

18 territories of Croatia, they left the forces there but they were

19 rebaptised police forces, but these were the local forces. The

20 federal army did not have to stay there to defend these territories

21 since that task had been taken on by the United Nations.

22 So the federal army did, in fact, withdraw from Croatia, but

23 when it comes to Bosnia, the federal army did not withdraw because

24 what happened was in April and May 1992 the withdrawal was proclaimed

25 but, in fact, all of the units of the federal army, including all

Page 150

1 their materiel, stayed in Bosnia.

2 Simply what happened was there was a reorganisation of troops

3 so that these units would be made up exclusively, or practically

4 exclusively, of Serbian soldiers from Bosnia so that there was a

5 transfer of men. Soldiers from Bosnia were assigned to units in

6 Bosnia. Those who men who were not from Bosnia were assigned to units

7 in Serbia, Montenegro. Those troops were still called "federal"

8 troops.

9 The troops in Bosnia became the Bosnian-Serb army. So they

10 were meant to be an army of their own, but they kept all their

11 materiel, all their equipment, and they were, in fact, still paid from

12 the federal budget. So while the withdrawal from Slovenia and Croatia

13 did actually take place, when it comes to Bosnia, this was something

14 that was done only theoretically in paper terms. It was just the

15 change of names. That is all that happened and that is why I used the

16 term "rebaptised" earlier on.

17 Q. Thank you. Professor Garde, if we could move to Exhibit 15 now,

18 please, and explain that particular exhibit to the court.

19 A. All right, Exhibit 15, dated 21st December '91. This is a decision

20 with the aim to creating the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

21 Article 1 you have this strange wording, it says: "Preparation is

22 underway with a view to creating the Serb Republic of

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina". So, basically, what it means is that Republic is

24 not yet created and the text here provides for preparation with a view

25 to that creation and the Republic should be proclaimed before the new

Page 151

1 year, the Serb new year, which is 14th January '92.

2 So you see, the time span is rather short. It is about a

3 month or three weeks, rather, which means it is a further step in the

4 constitution of a Serb entity in Bosnia. In the previous text, it was

5 simply indicated that it was to remain part of Yugoslavia, whilst here

6 they decided they are going to make a separate Republic, that of the

7 Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

8 Now one could wonder why that decision was made at the time.

9 Well, that is the time when the European Community has just decided

10 to consider recognising the Republics that would ask for such

11 recognition, a certain time is given for these Republics -- I think it

12 was until 27th December -- to table their application for

13 independence.

14 So, in parallel, the Serbs from Bosnia decide that they could

15 set themselves up in a Republic. They allot themselves a certain time

16 to start this Republic. So again it is the same process of secession

17 and creation of separate entities, which is meant to proceed in

18 parallel with the decisions taken by the other party.

19 So, here it says that such a Republic should be created before

20 14th January.

21 Q. Thank you. If you could move to Exhibit 16, please, and explain that

22 Exhibit to the court.

23 A. Yes, Exhibit 16 is a decision with the aim of creating a Council of

24 Ministers of the Assembly of the Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina,

25 the same date, 21st December. So it means that that particular

Page 152

1 Assembly which had been created previously and which operates as a

2 state, which is going to publish its official journal and which is

3 going to be the basis for a Republic, so before it is actually created

4 we see that the Republic already has a government and that government

5 is described in this Exhibit.

6 Q. Professor Garde, one notices that the accused Radovan Karadzic does

7 not appear as one of the ministers in this particular document. Do

8 you have an opinion, could you explain as to why his name would not

9 appear in this formation and selection of the Council of Ministers?

10 A. Yes. Yes, it is easy to explain. Well, Karadzic is not part of that

11 government because he reserves himself for the function of the

12 President of the Republic. The constitution voted by these Yugoslav

13 Republics all provide for a sort of system based on the 5th Republic

14 of the French system with a clear distinction between the President of

15 the Republic having superior authority and the government, on the

16 other hand. We see that Karadzic is always kept away from the

17 government functions, and we have seen previously that he was in

18 charge of the relationship with the federal authorities, not at the

19 level of the government, but at the level of the Presidency. Here

20 again we see that he is leaving such government positions with other

21 people. He reserves himself for the supreme position which he will

22 occupy later on.

23 Q. Thank you. Now if we could move to move to Exhibit 17, please, and

24 if you could explain this Exhibit to the court, taking particular note

25 of Article 1 and Article 2, please?

Page 153

1 A. This text, we see the constitution given to the so-called Serb

2 Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina. This dates back to -- wait a second

3 -- I am sorry, I am sorry. I think I am a bit confused. This exhibit

4 is a declaration about the proclamation of the Serb Republic of the

5 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, in other words, this is the

6 implementation of the previous act. It was provided for to create a

7 Republic for the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina by 14th January. Now

8 this is 9th January and we see that this Republic is indeed

9 proclaimed.

10 One can see here that in the preamble mention is made of the

11 territorial delineation and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina which

12 existed so far. This is what they say. So it means here that for the

13 Bosnian Serbs, this is the act of death of the former Republic of

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina as it existed before. In the future, in Serb media

15 you always refer to the former Bosnia Herzegovina.

16 You have asked me to look at Article 1. Something is the

17 matter with my earphones.

18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Prosecutor, I think we have overrun the time

19 allotted and I am thinking of a break. I think that we may need to

20 take a short break. I wonder whether on the basis of our agreement we

21 could possibly take a break until quarter to 12 and then we will

22 resume with Professor Garde. His explanations have to be provided to

23 the Tribunal, we do not want to cut him short, but we also have to

24 keep in mind the staff working for this hearing. So, we will stand in

25 recess and we will resume at 11.50.

Page 154

1 (11.25 a.m.)

2 (The court adjourned for a short time)

3 (11.50 a.m.)

4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We will resume the hearing. Prosecutor, you have

5 the floor.

6 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour. Professor Garde, we were discussing

7 Exhibit 17, in particular Article 1, if you could describe that for

8 the court and explain its significance, please?

9 A. Something is the matter with the microphone.

10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes. We were having problems before the break, I am

11 afraid. I had hoped that the problem had been solved. Is this any

12 better? Can you hear me? Can you hear the Prosecutor? Can you hear

13 the interpreter? This sort of whistling sound has not disappeared, I

14 am afraid. Turning to the technicians, can they do something about

15 it?

16 THE WITNESS: OK. You were asking me about Article 1 where the

17 territories are defined, territories that are part of the Serb

18 Republic in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Mention is made, an interesting

19 mention is made, they talk about autonomous regions and autonomous

20 districts, and the other ethnic Serbian entities in Bosnia Herzegovina

21 which is something extremely vague. Other Serbian ethnic entities,

22 including the including the regions in which the Serbian people

23 remained in minority due to the genocide conducted against it in World

24 War II. So here mention is made of the genocide.

25 I think that that particular wording is extremely vague, so it

Page 155

1 could be interpreted in any way and could explain any extension of the

2 territory. It is purposeless, since however bloody the genocide might

3 have been against the Serbs in the course of World War II, demographic

4 studies that were carried out later on demonstrated that it did not

5 significantly change the ethnic makeup of the population. It is one

6 of the major Serb myth. According to it, Serbs might have lost the

7 majority in the Bosnia because of that genocide perpetrated between

8 '41 and '45, whilst in actual fact censuses have demonstrated the

9 majority changed not at the time but 30 years later with the first

10 census that shows that the Serbs no longer have the majority which is

11 that of '71.

12 Consequently, it is not true to say that the Serbs lost the

13 majority because of the genocide. I cannot state that in no region

14 there was no change. If you look at the different regions and the

15 different communes, I cannot state, of course, that there was not any

16 change in one particular region or district because of the genocide;

17 and if there were such cases, there were not that many. So this is a

18 wording that really is meaningless, and which will no longer be used

19 in subsequent text.

20 But, anyway, the purpose here is to make that definition as

21 vague as possible, lending itself to any possible extension and,

22 secondly, they refer to a myth which was extremely powerful in the

23 Serb opinion.

24 Q. Professor Garde, if you could now direct your attention to Article 2

25 and explain its significance?

Page 156

1 A. All right. Article 2 says that the Republic, the new Republic, shall

2 remain within the Yugoslav federal state as its federal unit. So once

3 again we talk here about the Yugoslav federal state. So here again

4 this is not an official term which could apply to any form of

5 Yugoslavia and this new Republic is no longer part of

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it claims to be part of one of the federal

7 units making up Yugoslavia, as was the case for Bosnia-Herzegovina

8 before.

9 Q. If we could move to Exhibit 18 which is a combined set of documents

10 involving the constitution? If you would explain to the court what

11 this Exhibit is and tell them if there is anything significant about

12 the date of the implementation of the constitution?

13 A. Right, the constitution referred to here is proclaimed on 28th

14 February '92. Why 28th February? Because the 29th, the following

15 day, the referendum was planned, referendum which meant that

16 Bosnia-Herzegovina was to proclaim its independence. So, in the eyes

17 of the Bosnian Serbs at the time when Bosnia-Herzegovina was to

18 proclaim its independence, at that particular time, the new, newly

19 formed Republic that seceded from Bosnia-Herzegovina should have its

20 own constitution.

21 Q. Would you direct your attention to Article 2 and explain its

22 significance to the court, please?

23 A. Yes, Article 2 is quoting part of the Article that we looked at

24 before as refers to the definition of the territory. So once again

25 reference is made to the territory of the autonomous regions, and the

Page 157

1 other Serb ethnic entities and then afterwards, it says, including the

2 regions in which genocide was committed against the Serb people in the

3 Second World War. Well, apparently, it repeats exactly the same as in

4 the former Article when in actual fact it is different.

5 Earlier on, we discussed about the regions in which the Serb

6 people found themselves as a minority because of the genocide, whilst

7 here they talk about regions where genocide was committed, which is

8 entirely different. One could think that the authors of that text

9 realised what I said earlier on, which is that the majority had not

10 changed. The demographic majority had not changed because of the

11 genocide.

12 Consequently, the previous text was meaningless. This is my

13 assumption, but the point is that the text here is even more general.

14 There are hardly any regions where the genocide changed the majority.

15 However, the genocide was committed practically everywhere. So when

16 you talk about regions in which genocide was committed, that applies

17 to practically any region in Bosnia-Herzegovina. So, as you can see

18 here, the definition of the territory remains extremely imprecise,

19 flexible, lending itself to all sorts of interpretations and

20 conquests.

21 Q. Professor Garde, again in the constitution in Article 3 we have

22 another expression of how this new entity views itself with regard to

23 the federal state or federal entity of Yugoslavia. Would you again

24 review that for the court, please?

25 A. Yes. Article 3 says that the Republic is a part of the federal state

Page 158

1 of Yugoslavia. It is again the same wording as before. This is again

2 the federal state of Yugoslavia, whatever it is.

3 Q. Professor Garde, if you could move towards the end of this

4 collective set of documents and look at the constitutional law for

5 implementing the constitution and, in particular, take a look at

6 Article 5 and explain to the court what that Article provides?

7 A. What number, please? What page, possibly? What exhibit? I cannot

8 find this reference.

9 Q. This is still Exhibit 18. It will be the last part of the gazette

10 for constitutional -----

11 A. Well, the constitutional law, that is what you are referring to? OK,

12 yes, I see now. Article 5, it says: "The first President of the

13 Republic shall be elected by the Assembly of the Serb people in

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina under a proposal submitted by at least 20

15 representatives", and then they talk about 18th November '90.

16 Until then the constitution which we refer to provides for

17 universal suffrage election for the President. Here they say that

18 until the election of the President of the Republic, the function of

19 the President shall be carried out by the members of the Presidency

20 elected previously. These members of the Presidency will be Nikola

21 Koljevic and Biljana Plavsic. These two people were to carry out the

22 collective Presidency for that particular time -- at that particular

23 time Radovan Karadzic was not on the forefront and was not the

24 President. His functions were, of course, being the President of the

25 SDS and representing the new Federal Republic within the federal

Page 159

1 institutions.

2 Q. Professor Garde, Article 5 provides for, in essence, a general

3 election. To your knowledge, has there ever been this sort of

4 general election for President in the territory that eventually became

5 known as Republika Srpska?

6 A. Wait a second, no, no, no. There was no general election. The

7 general election was provided for by the constitution, but I forgot --

8 yes, I refer to the second paragraph of Article 5, but I did not refer

9 to the first paragraph of Article 5 in which it says that the

10 President of the Republic shall be elected by the Assembly of the Serb

11 people.

12 Q. To your knowledge, no such election has ever occurred?

13 A. Can you hear me? Yes. The election, this general election, never

14 actually took place, but there was an election which is a general

15 election provided for by the constitution itself did not take place.

16 However, there was an election by the Assembly which is covered by the

17 first paragraph in Article 5 of the constitutional law which we are

18 looking at now. That particular election did take place several

19 months later and Radovan Karadzic was elected.

20 Q. Thank you, Professor Garde. Now if we could move to Exhibit 19,

21 please? Would you explain what this Exhibit is and its significance?

22 A. This Exhibit dates from 12th May 1992 and it proclaims the

23 mobilization of the Territorial Defence over the whole territory of

24 the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So, this is 12th May

25 1992. For a few weeks now the war has started, the siege of Sarajevo

Page 160

1 had started, the massacres had started and it is really a matter of

2 legalising the general mobilization of the Serb forces, the local Serb

3 forces, for these operations.

4 It is a matter of mobilizing the Territorial Defence, that is

5 to say, that in the former Yugoslavia you had the army, but you also

6 had this Territorial Defence. The army is already at work and the

7 Territorial Defence is being mobilized as well, which means that there

8 is general mobilization of the Serb people to participate in the war.

9 Q. Thank you. Now if we could move to Exhibit 20, and again if you

10 would explain its significance to the court, please?

11 A. Exhibit 20 is -- in fact, there are several amendments here to the

12 constitution of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the

13 document we were just looking at. This also dates from 12th May 1992,

14 that is to say, a few weeks after the war actually started and the

15 amendment -- well, the one that is worth mentioning amongst the

16 several amendments is Amendment 3, Article 1.11: "The President of

17 the Republic is henceforth the Commander-in-Chief of the armed

18 forces", and that was soon to be Radovan Karadzic.

19 Q. Thank you. Now let us move to Exhibit 21 and again explain what

20 Exhibit 21 is and its significance, please?

21 A. Exhibit 21 is a law, an act, supplementing the constitutional law for

22 implementing the constitution of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and

23 Herzegovina. In it you will find Article 1 there that provides for a

24 new way to appoint, a new way in which the Presidency of the Republic

25 is going to be working. This is the third text really that deals with

Page 161

1 this matter, because in the constitution of what was planned was

2 universal suffrage. Then in the constitutional law we saw, what was

3 planned was the election by the Assembly. Here there is a third, a

4 provisional way of going about this business on account of

5 circumstances, of course, and here what it says is that the Presidency

6 will be performed by a three-member Presidency elected by the

7 Assembly, and that that Presidency will from within itself choose a

8 President.

9 So, it is a formula similar to what existed in the former

10 Yugoslavia. The Assembly names a Presidency and then the Presidency

11 chooses the President, as it were. So, first, I said there had been

12 talk of universal suffrage, then via the Assembly, and now we have

13 moved up a level.

14 Q. For continuity sake, we will now move instead of to Exhibit 22 to

15 Exhibit 23. We will skip Exhibit 22 and come back to it. Professor

16 Garde, if you could have a look at Exhibit 23 and explain what that

17 particular exhibit does?

18 A. Yes, well this flows from the previous exhibit. There was to be a

19 Presidency that would be elected and then the President would be

20 elected from them. I said, you have three members in the Presidency,

21 that is, Biljana Plavsic, Nikola Koljevic, who already made up the

22 Presidency before that, who were the Serb representatives to the

23 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Then we have seen on a previous

24 document that they made up the Presidency of the Serb Republic, but

25 now we are adding Radovan Karadzic here as the third member, but he is

Page 162

1 mentioned first in the document. So this means that this is the

2 preparatory stage for Radovan Karadzic to become President of the

3 Republic.

4 Q. What, in fact, happens? What does the Presidency do?

5 A. Well, the Presidency, the three-member Presidency, has elected

6 Karadzic as its President.

7 Q. Thank you. Now we will move back to Exhibit 22. Professor Garde, if

8 you could explain the significance of Exhibit 22, please?

9 A. Exhibit 22 has the same date as the previous documents, 12th May

10 1992, a few weeks after the outbreak of the war. What it provides for

11 is the formation of the army of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina, that is to say, the Republic now has an army as of this.

13 What is it that we are talking about? It is made up, in fact, of the

14 units of the federal army which was stationed on the territory of

15 Bosnia and Herzegovina. In other words, it is a parcel of the federal

16 army that is given a new title on account of the circumstances. Also

17 this army, Article 3, appoints a Commander-in-Chief and that

18 Command-in-Chief is General Ratko Mladic.

19 Q. So then the official proclamation that makes Ratko Mladic the

20 Commander of the main staff of the army and the official proclamation

21 that makes Karadzic the President of the Presidency, the head of the

22 so-called State at that time, those proclamations are on the same

23 date, May 12th 1992; is that correct?

24 A. The same day, yes, with the difference, as it were, that in the case

25 of Ratko Mladic, it is a matter of him acceding to that position,

Page 163

1 whereas as far as Radovan Karadzic goes, even though he formally was

2 not the President of the Republic for quite some time, he had already

3 been the unchallenged leader.

4 Q. All right. Now if we could move to Exhibit 24, please? Professor

5 Garde, if you could explain what this document is and then again

6 explain the significance?

7 A. Exhibit 24 is also dated 12th May 1992, like the others. This is a

8 document that dismisses from their function the judiciary. These are

9 people who have been appointed in the former Republic of Bosnia and

10 Herzegovina, that is to say, that these magistrates will be

11 reappointed in the context of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina.

13 What is really worth mentioning here is that this is the first

14 document which is signed by Radovan Karadzic in his capacity as

15 President of the Presidency of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and

16 Herzegovina. So this is the first document that he signs in that

17 capacity as President.

18 Q. Thank you. Now if we could move to Exhibit 25? Again please explain

19 the significance of this particular exhibit.

20 A. Exhibit 25 is a decision signed also by Radovan Karadzic in his

21 capacity as President of the Presidency of the Republic. It dates

22 13th May 1992. This document provides for implementing the rules of

23 international law in the army of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and

24 Herzegovina. So, to a certain extent what is involved is the fact

25 that Radovan Karadzic has subscribed to the international norms here.

Page 164

1 Q. Thank you. Now Exhibit 26, please.

2 A. Exhibit 26 is significantly later, that is from 17th December 1992.

3 This is a decision. It is a proclamation of the election of the

4 President of the Serb Republic, Srpske. The Serb Republic has become

5 the Republika Srpska. This is the proclamation of the election of

6 Radovan Karadzic as President of the Republic. So far he had been the

7 President of the Presidency, that is the third tier I referred to

8 earlier on, and now he is just simply the President elected at a lower

9 level, that is to say, by the Assembly in accordance with one of the

10 documents we looked at earlier on.

11 Q. Your Honours, with regard to Exhibit 26 we will later provide you

12 with the French and English translations.

13 Professor Garde, we have reviewed these various proclamations

14 and decisions as they appear in the official gazette, but setting

15 aside these formal pronouncements, would you just provide your general

16 analysis of what was occurring here for the court's benefit, please?

17 A. These documents, despite the formal diversity of the decisions

18 taken, which on the face of it look inconsistent because in one

19 document the elections are going to take place, in another document a

20 different way, people in different offices, etc., but if you look at

21 this chronologically and you look at the logic behind it, these

22 documents would tend to show that Radovan Karadzic was always the key

23 player, the unchallenged leader of the Serbs in Bosnia.

24 Chronologically, you can distinguish three phases. Up until October

25 1991 officially you have the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina operating

Page 165

1 with three constituent peoples, and you have a coalition of the three

2 national parties in power. They distributed power amongst themselves,

3 as we have seen. The Muslims had the Presidency, a Croat was in

4 charge of the government and a Serb was in charge of the Presidency of

5 the Assembly. So the Serbs left the executive branch in the hands of

6 the two others, and satisfied themselves with the legislative

7 authority, that is to say, the Presidency of the legislative branch,

8 which is to say that they did not want to get too heavily involved in

9 the workings of that Republic because they are already thinking of

10 breaking away from it. The person they have appointed to act as

11 President of the Assembly, it is not the leader, their leader, the

12 leader of their party, Radovan Karadzic, it is a different character

13 who is not without importance or responsibility, but he was not the

14 boss, as it were, Krajisnik. But Radovan Karadzic holds the key

15 position as leader of the party, that is to say, the leader of one of

16 the three parties in the coalition. He is the leader of the dominant

17 Serb party and at the same time he is in charge of the Serb Council,

18 the National Serb Council, which is the formal body of the Serbs in

19 Bosnia.

20 So up until October 1991, that is to say, up until the

21 Bosnian parliament in that memorable session I referred to earlier on

22 when Karadzic said those threatening words I quoted for you, there is

23 the sovereignty of Bosnia that is adopted and then the plan for

24 succession, for the breaking away of the Serb entity that is already

25 getting under way. During this period the decision is taken by the

Page 166

1 Serbs that, despite the decision that has been taken by the

2 parliament, their territory, which they start delineating at that

3 point in time will stay part of Yugoslavia as an entity.

4 So what is the main position then? It is the relations with

5 the federal authority, and that is the position that Radovan Karadzic

6 takes on. We saw that in one of the documents we looked at. Later

7 when it comes to the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the

8 secession of the Serb territories to establish a Serb Republic of

9 Bosnia and Herzegovina, when that actually takes place, then Radovan

10 Karadzic has himself elected by various procedures to the office that

11 he set aside for himself from the outset, that is say, the office of

12 President of the Republic. So there is some continuity through these

13 events. They look inconsistent on the face of it, but there is this

14 continuity that is quite logical that runs throughout them and goes to

15 show that at no point in time Radovan Karadzic was not the boss.

16 I would also like to draw your attention to something else.

17 These decisions on the face of it would seem not to have any

18 implications when it comes to the conduct of military operations and

19 ethnic cleansing that start taking place as of March 1992, but what

20 you have to bear in mind is something of quite some significance, that

21 is the Croatian precedent, because the process unfolding here that you

22 can see through these documents is exactly the same process that had

23 been carried out by the Croatian Serbs a few months earlier, roughly

24 speaking a year earlier. That is to say, first the territories with

25 Serb majorities are claiming such, establishing themselves as a

Page 167

1 separate entity, as an autonomous region, then they unite to form a

2 Republic. It is the Krajina Republic that was set up in Croatia and

3 you have the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bosnia and

4 Herzegovina, later on Republika Srpska there. So they established

5 themselves on that basis. They planned to stay in Yugoslavia, and

6 then at the end they go ahead with cleansing their territory, with the

7 ethnic cleansing of their territory, in that very bloody fashion. So

8 the process unfolded in Croatia. It started in Croatia in mid-1990 and

9 the bloody period of ethnic cleansing in Croatia took place in the

10 second half of 1991.

11 So, at the time when the Bosnian Serbs go ahead with the first

12 stages of this process, that is to say in October 1991, it is already

13 known on the basis of the Croatian precedent where it is going to all

14 end up. It is going to end up in a lot of blood and ethnic cleansing.

15 It is exactly the same itinerary that was to be followed a little

16 later by the Bosnian Serbs under the leadership of Radovan Karadzic.

17 With regard to these documents we have pursued, on the face of

18 it they are quite innocent, even though they point to something very

19 serious, that is to say, the delineation of the territory, but they do

20 not say that the delineation of the territory must entail the

21 deportation of the non-Serbs living there. That is not on paper

22 anyway, but we know on the basis of the Croatian precedent that that

23 is how things happened.

24 I would add in regard to ethnic cleansing, that is not a

25 necessary logical consequence to the delineation of the territory.

Page 168

1 That is to say, you have to set up a Serb state, you have to set up a

2 state dominated by the Serbs, all the Serbs will be there, etc. In

3 logical terms that does not necessarily mean that there should only be

4 Serbs living in that territory. So, conceivably, there could be a

5 greater Serbia or a Serb state that would have been established but

6 which would have tolerated within it the presence of minorities. That

7 is what you have in other Balkan countries. I do not know, take

8 Romania, Bulgaria or even Serbia itself, there are people there who

9 are dominating, but there are also minorities which are tolerated. In

10 addition, in Serbia itself there are people who are in favour of a

11 greater Serbia but who are also in favour of co-existence within that

12 greater Serbia of various peoples. You can think of the Serb leader

13 Vuk Draskovic and his party, the Serb Renewal Movement, which as of

14 the 80s was one of the main exponents of having all the Serbs in one

15 state, in a greater Serbia, but at one and the same time always

16 affirmed that in that state the Serbs should live alongside with the

17 Muslims and the Croats. So, in other words, was always opposed to

18 ethnic cleansing, and little by little went into opposition, even

19 violent opposition, with the other victors of Serbian nationalism as

20 ethnic cleansing went ahead.

21 So a greater Serbia does not necessarily in logical terms mean

22 that there is going to be ethnic cleansing, but the Croatian example

23 went to show that, de facto, that is what it would mean. At the time

24 the Bosnian Serbs started up the process that we have just been

25 running through on the basis of the documents, they already knew that

Page 169

1 that process would lead to ethnic cleansing, and they also made use of

2 the same people who had been involved in ethnic cleansing in Croatia.

3 So, behind the strictly legal and apparently innocent documents,

4 there is this process that is very logical, that is very methodical

5 and which would lead to ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and which began a

6 few weeks before the last documents we have looked at, since it began,

7 roughly speaking, in March 1992 and the last documents we have

8 reviewed date from May 1992.

9 MR. BORROWS: Thank you, Professor Garde. That concludes the questions

10 from the Prosecutor. We would tender all of these exhibits to the

11 Court as evidence for the Rule 61 hearing.

12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, prosecuting counsel. Fellow judges,

13 Judge Odio Benito, do you have a question? You have the floor, madam.

14 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Professor, I would like to know if you could give us

15 your opinion about the administrative personnel or political links, if

16 any, between Radovan Karadzic and Slobodan Milosevic?

17 A. Well, I think that at the time we are talking about those links were

18 very close indeed. The whole process which we have surveyed, that is

19 to say, the process of secession on the part of the Serb territories

20 from Bosnia and Herzegovina, their desire to stay part and parcel of

21 Yugoslavia, that was done in close co-operation with the Serb

22 authority. That is proven best by the fact that this division, this

23 nominal division splitting of the army with the assent and the

24 participation of both parties, that is to say the Serb authority of

25 Milosevic and then of the Bosnian Serb authority on the other. So

Page 170

1 there was this friendly separating of the ways between these two

2 fragments which were in fact closely linked, the fact that the army

3 went on being paid by Belgrade. It is quite clear that at that time

4 there were extremely close links. Subordination was practically

5 entire between the Bosnian Serb authority and Serbian authority.

6 Later on, much later, there were some differences of view and a bit of

7 friction, but at the time we are talking about here, that is to say

8 when the war started, I think the subordination was entire.

9 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you. No further questions.

10 JUDGE RIAD: Professor, I understand there was a sort of inconsistency

11 between two documents, No. 20 and No. 22, regarding the

12 Commander-in-Chief of the army in Exhibit 20. According to your

13 translation it says that the President will soon become the chief of

14 the army. This is what you said I think. Then you said that that

15 particular President was Mr. Karadzic. Then later on in Exhibit 22 it

16 states that Mladic is the Commander-in-Chief of the army. So, I

17 wonder whether there is a commander and a chief of the army. The army

18 was under the authority of whom?

19 A. Well, I suppose that like in most countries in the world you have a

20 military commander of the army. However, the head of state in its

21 capacity is also the commander of the army. It is the same in France.

22 It is the same in many countries in the world. So in the Serb

23 Republic of Bosnia they applied exactly the same principle. You have

24 a military commander who has to report to the President of the

25 Republic.

Page 171

1 Q. In this case then, in practical terms, in concrete terms, where did

2 the orders come from in this particular instance and according to your

3 knowledge?

4 A. I believe, well, you know, I am not a military expert, but I suppose

5 that as in many similar cases the general orders come from the

6 Presidency of the Republic, and as far as implementing orders they

7 are taken by the military Commander.

8 Q. So there is a sort of hierarchy in the different orders?

9 A. Yes, indeed. Yes indeed. So the great strategy is designed by the

10 President.

11 Q. Now if you please, you have demonstrated that this was a logical

12 process in terms of ethnic cleansing and a plan that was implemented

13 in Croatia was also implemented in Bosnia in a systematic manner.

14 Since we are dealing with a strategy here, who was the master mind

15 behind this strategy?

16 A. I think that as regards Bosnia the main responsibilities were

17 incumbent upon Karadzic in general terms, but at the same time I

18 believe there was a very close tight team. There were people, well,

19 as far as we can judge of course, there was a unity of view between

20 the main leaders whose names are known and we have seen them before

21 like Radovan Karadzic, Biljana Plavsic, Nikola Koljevic, Momcilo

22 Krajisnik, and many others. All these people made up a very close

23 tie, General Mladic of course as well. In general terms, all the

24 operations, and I include here what took place in Bosnia but also what

25 had taken place before in Croatia, I think that one of the master

Page 172

1 minds, one of the main people, is Slobodan Milosevic.

2 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Professor.

3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Professor, we are not going to keep you much longer,

4 longer than is necessary, but before the end of your testimony we have

5 referred to the military role taken by Mr. Radovan Karadzic.

6 According to you, was there a political role played by General Mladic,

7 or was General Mladic only a military subordinate, at a very high

8 level of course, but did he have any political agenda? Was there a

9 political career as regards Mr. Mladic which could explain a certain

10 number of things. I would like to get your view on that?

11 A. In the case of General Mladic, I think that he had his own strong

12 political convictions. General Mladic for one before he was the

13 commander in Bosnia was a Commander in Croatia. He in '91 was

14 Commander in Knin in Croatia, in this region where Serbs inhabited

15 that part of Croatia. So General Mladic participated in the first

16 phase of the war and of ethnic cleansing that took place in Croatia in

17 '92, but also participated in the second stage in Bosnia from '92

18 through '95. So he fulfilled, if you like, the same functions,

19 probably at a lower level of authority in Croatia, still he was

20 commanding. So undoubtedly he -- well, honestly, I do not know whether

21 we can make any difference between a military responsibility and a

22 political responsibility. The two are closely tied.

23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Professor, I think the time has come to end your

24 testimony. I have just one last question, if you please. Have you

25 got the feeling that you were able to express your complete view

Page 173

1 before this Tribunal? I would have liked to ask you if there was

2 something you wanted to add beyond or outside the questions, or

3 something that was not covered by the Prosecutor's questions or our

4 questions?

5 A. No, your Honour, I have the feeling I was able to express myself

6 fully. Sometimes some of the questions I am afraid I was not able to

7 completely answer. I think I was in a position to answer some of the

8 questions expressing my own views, but I am afraid I am not sure if I

9 was able to sufficiently answer the questions, but sometimes I had the

10 sufficient documents to support my views.

11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you very much, Professor. We are very

12 grateful for your long testimony, probably very tiring for you. Now

13 that we have completed your testimony we would like to thank you very

14 much. Prosecutor, I think that we can usher out Professor Garde and

15 we could possibly introduce the following witness. Thank you.

16 (The witness withdrew).

17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Prosecutor, it is 10 to 1. We are going to try to

18 stick to our timetable. So we are now going to introduce the

19 following witness and, if you please, we are going to start only with

20 preliminary questions with the witness at this stage.

21 MR. HARMON: That will be fine your Honour. Your Honour, before we bring

22 in the next witness we have prepared three binders with exhibits for

23 the convenience of the court, so that it can follow the testimony of

24 Mr. Ralston who will be our next witness. Perhaps they can be sent up

25 to the court.

Page 174

1 Mr. John Ralston, called.

2 Examined by Mr. Harmon.

3 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I will introduce the next witness in just a

4 moment.

5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, Prosecutor. We were just receiving the binder.

6 I think we are ready to listen. We are going to turn to the witness.

7 Can he be given a head set, yes? Can you hear yes?


9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Very good. Mr. Ralston, I think you are now going

10 to take your oath, as is the case for any witness.

11 THE WITNESS: Thank you. I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth,

12 the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, please be seated.

14 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, before Mr. Ralston starts his testimony, as

15 you are aware the Office of the Prosecutor has been conducting a

16 wide-ranging criminal investigation into the events in Bosnia and

17 Herzegovina. In the course of these investigations we have collected

18 an enormous amount of evidence. Mr. Ralston has been called to

19 testify today to describe some ----


21 MR. HARMON: Mr. Ralston has been called as a summary witness to describe

22 some but not all of the findings of the Office of the Prosecutor.

23 Obviously, this is an immense task in the short amount of time that

24 Mr. Ralston has to testify before this Court. In order to provide the

25 Court with the most comprehensive answers on a wide-ranging

Page 175

1 examination of subjects, Mr. Ralston has prepared written answers to

2 many of my questions. He will be reading into the record some of his

3 answers to those questions. I would propose, your Honours, that I

4 start the examination of Mr. Ralston by asking him questions about his

5 background and then we break, because I am going to go straight on

6 from there into a fairly large examination of the Serbian Democratic

7 Party.

8 So, if I could start by asking you, Mr. Ralston, to state your

9 name please and spell your last name for the record?

10 A. My full name is John Hunter Ralston, R-A-L-S-T-O-N.

11 Q. Are you employed by the Office of the Prosecutor?

12 A. Yes, I am.

13 Q. Before being employed by the Office of the Prosecutor, where were you

14 employed and what did you do?

15 A. I commenced in employment in 1972 as a Police Officer in Australia.

16 I worked as a Detective with the New South Wales police with the

17 Homicide Squad. I then worked as a Senior Project Officer with the

18 New South Wales Department of Consumer Affairs. Later I worked for

19 the Commonwealth Attorney Generals Department as a senior investigator

20 in that Department's Nazi War Crimes Investigation Unit. Following

21 that I worked with the National Crime Authority in Australia which is

22 the body responsible for investigating organised crime. From that

23 position I came to the Office of the Prosecutor here in The Hague.

24 Q. How long have you been employed at the Office of the Prosecutor?

25 A. I have been employed with the Office of the Prosecutor since 16th

Page 176

1 June 1994.

2 Q. What are your duties and responsibilities at the Office of the

3 Prosecutor?

4 A. I am an Investigations Commander with the Office of the Prosecutor.

5 Initially my duties were to lead an investigation team within the

6 Office, and from November 1995 I have held the position of

7 Investigating Commander. My duties have involved the responsibility

8 for overall co-ordination of investigations in relation to Dr. Radovan

9 Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic.

10 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, if the court wishes me to continue with my

11 examination I am prepared to do so. Otherwise I will leave it to your

12 Honour's discretion.

13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, Prosecutor. I think we are going to

14 stand in recess now until 2.30.

15 (1.00 p.m.)

16 (LuncheonAdjournment)

17 (2.30 p.m.)

18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Prosecuting counsel?

19 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, your Honour. The first subject that Mr.

20 Ralston will be testifying about is the Serbian Democratic Party, its

21 structure and evolution. He will also describe for you Dr. Karadzic's

22 role in the party. In the course of my examining Mr. Ralston, I will

23 be referring to the Serbian Democratic Party as the SDS. So, Mr.

24 Ralston, let me turn to you and begin by asking you what is the SDS?

25 A. The SDS, a political party. As a result of the November 1990

Page 177

1 elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serbian Democratic Party of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina emerged as the dominant political force among the

3 Bosnian Serbs.

4 Of the 240 seats in the two chambers of the Bosnia-Herzegovina

5 Assembly, after the 1990 elections, the SDS won 72 or 30 per cent of

6 the seats, with the most of the rest of the seats going to the Muslim

7 SDA or the Croatian HDZ parties. Only about 15 per cent of the Serbian

8 members of the New Assembly were not members of the SDS (13 in total).

9 Q. Why is the SDS important in the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

10 A. The SDS is important because it became the political vehicle through

11 which Karadzic emerged as the paramount leader in the Bosnian Serb

12 administration. Before the conflict started, it was the political

13 entity through which the majority Bosnian Serb political will was

14 exercised, and it remains so today.

15 Q. When was it established, Mr. Ralston?

16 A. The SDS was established at a conference in Sarajevo in July 1990.

17 Q. Can you tell the court how it was established?

18 A. As I said, it was formed at a conference (attended by all prospective

19 members). The conference adopted a "democratically inspired"

20 approach, and Karadzic welcomed into the ranks of the SDS all those,

21 including "democratically" oriented members of the League of

22 Communists, who accepted it. The party was organised on the republic,

23 regional, sub-regional, municipal and local commune levels.

24 Committees at the regional level and below were to be autonomous in

25 regard to local political evaluations and personnel decisions.

Page 178

1 Q. Was the SDS active throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina?

2 A. Yes, it was. The party was established in eight regions, Bosanska

3 Krajina, Central Bosnia, Eastern Bosnia, Eastern Herzegovina, Northern

4 Bosnia, Western Bosnia, South-eastern Bosnia and Western Herzegovina.

5 The regions were divided into sub-regions, municipalities and local

6 areas.

7 Q. Could you please identify the leaders of the SDS before the conflict

8 started?

9 A. Leaders of the SDS included Dr. Radovan Karadzic, the President,

10 Aleksa Buha and Momcilo Krajisnik.

11 Q. Can you please explain if the SDS was well organised throughout

12 Bosnia and Herzegovina throughout -- I am sorry, before the war?

13 A. Our research indicates it was a well organised political body.

14 Q. Mr. Ralston, I think we lost you on the audio.

15 A. Our research indicates it was a well organised political party.

16 Q. Mr. Ralston, would you please refer to Exhibit No. 27 in your binder

17 as well as Exhibit No. 28? I would ask you to identify each of those

18 exhibits and explain the significance to the court.

19 A. Firstly, this document dated 15th August 1991 sets out operating

20 instructions.

21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Excuse me, prosecuting counsel, these documents have

22 not been translated into French, is that the case?

23 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, they have not been, apparently.

24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I would simply like to point out that the presiding

25 Judge happens to be French and I would just point out that French is

Page 179

1 an official language of our Tribunal. I understand, in so far as

2 possible, the difficulties and we do have a limited number of

3 interpreters and I know that a lot of work has been done on this

4 score. But, as far as the documents go that we received this morning,

5 along with Mr. Garde's documents this morning, they had been

6 translated, but I would just like to remind you that this is one of

7 the official languages of the Tribunal that we are talking about. So

8 I would like this to be recorded in the transcript. I would to ask

9 that, in so far as possible, we abide by this fundamental principle of

10 the Tribunal, that is to say, we have two official languages, English

11 and French. Please continue, sir.

12 MR. HARMON: We apologise to your Honour for any convenience in not having

13 this document in French, but due to the translators working on the

14 previous documents, we were unable to complete all of the

15 translations. (To the witness): Mr. Ralston, would you please

16 continue with your testimony, please?

17 A. Yes. As I was pointing out, this document dated 15th August 1991 to

18 all SDS municipal board sets out operating instructions for the

19 municipal boards.

20 Q. Mr. Ralston, could you also refer to Exhibit No. 28, please, and

21 explain to the court its significance?

22 A. I refer to this document again later in my testimony, but the

23 significance of the document, again it is addressed to all Presidents

24 of the municipalities. It is dated 23rd March 1992. The main effect

25 of this document is setting out how the communications system would

Page 180

1 operate, and setting out the organisation of communications systems

2 between the various municipalities, the SDS representatives there.

3 Q. Mr. Ralston, let me ask you, what were the goals of the SDS and what

4 was the position the SDS in the event of the SFRY disintegrated?

5 A. In his report to the founding conference, the party's new President,

6 Dr. Radovan Karadzic, decried what he saw as the unfavourable

7 economic, demographic and political position of the Serbian nation.

8 Recalling the genocide to which the Serbs had been subjected during

9 World War II, he claimed that they had continued genocide against

10 themselves when peace came, destroying their own national and cultural

11 identity by devoting themselves, especially in Bosnia-Herzegovina, to

12 a system which seemed to have been created specifically for the

13 purpose of their national destruction.

14 The important part: under these conditions Dr. Karadzic

15 stated the SDS was being created with its main goal as the complete

16 and unconditional civil, national, cultural, religious and economic

17 equality of the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Its most important

18 political goal was a federal Yugoslavia and within it a federal

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In case this should not be possible, Karadzic said

20 the goal of the SDS would be the enablement of democratic methods as

21 the response of the Serbian people to any new situation.

22 Q. Mr. Ralston, did Dr. Karadzic ever express what would happen if

23 Bosnia declared independence and withdraw from the SFRY?

24 A. Yes, he did in a public statement to the Assembly of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Around midnight on 14/15th October 1991, he made

Page 181

1 a speech from the podium during an address regarding moves towards

2 independence by the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

3 This address provided an insight into probable SDS reaction to

4 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

5 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, a portion of this was described this morning in

6 the testimony of Professor Garde. We have a film clip of that speech,

7 or a portion of that speech, which we would now like to present to the

8 court, so if we could please play Exhibit No. 29, clip 1?

9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Prosecuting counsel -- well, the technician has

10 answered the Judge's question about this matter.


12 (Exhibit 29 was played)

13 Mr. Ralston, were non-Serbs allowed to join the SDS?

14 A. In theory, yes. According to the party statutes, adopted on 12th

15 July 1990, membership in the party was open to all adult citizens of

16 Serbian nationality as well as members of other nationalities who

17 voluntarily accepted its programmes and statutes. However, it must be

18 noted that the main point of the programme of the SDS at this time was

19 to remain in the SFRY, at a time when it was becoming increasingly

20 unattractive for other nationalities to do so. This was at the time

21 Croatia and Slovenia were well on the road to independence.

22 Q. In the areas where the Bosnian Serbs did take control, were

23 non-Serbs required to pledge allegiance to the newly formed Bosnian

24 Serb state?

25 A. Yes. In the areas where Serbs took control, non-Serbs were asked to

Page 182

1 sign a pledge of allegiance to the Serbian authorities. Often this was

2 necessary to remain in their former positions. However, as our

3 investigations have shown, this pledge did not allow them to remain in

4 their positions for long. Our research has shown that after a few

5 months they would have been summarily dismissed.

6 Q. Mr. Ralston, at the time the conflict started in Bosnia and

7 Herzegovina, was there any significant participation of non-Serbs in

8 the SDS?

9 A. No, judging by the names of these people, all the leading members

10 were either Serbs or Montenegrins.

11 Q. I would like to turn to a series of questions related to how the SDS

12 was structured. Can you, please, inform the court how the SDS was

13 structured, Mr. Ralston?

14 A. The 1990 Statutes created the following central party organs: the

15 Party Assembly, the Party President, the Main Board, the Executive

16 Board, the Supervisory Board and the Court of Honour. In 1991, these

17 organs were all redesignated as the Assembly etc., of the SDS

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Court of Honour was eliminated and a Statutes

19 Council and other Councils of the SDS Bosnia-Herzegovina were

20 simultaneously added. Radovan Karadzic was the Party President.

21 Q. Could you please explain to the court the purpose and functions of

22 the Assembly?

23 A. The Assembly was the highest party organ. It was originally to

24 consist of all party members until their number exceeded a thousand,

25 after which the Main Board would devise a principle of

Page 183

1 representation. The 1991 Draft Statutes supplied such a principle by

2 providing that the assemblies of municipal and city organisations

3 would send representatives, the total number of which was not to

4 exceed 300.

5 Q. How often was this Assembly supposed to meet?

6 A. The Assembly was to meet once a year. Originally, only more frequent

7 meetings were to take place at the decision of the Main Board, but in

8 1991 it was stipulated that any decision on convening the Assembly was

9 to be made by the Main Board at the President's proposal. At the same

10 time, the President was obligated to convene the Assembly at the

11 request of at least one third of all the representatives or 15

12 municipal organisations. The Assembly had to be convened by the

13 President or someone authorised by him.

14 Q. What were the functions of the Assembly?

15 A. The Assembly was responsible for adopting and amending the party

16 Programme and Statutes. The other functions of the Assembly were of a

17 strictly organisational character. The most important of these were

18 the election and recall of the President and the members of the Main

19 Board, Supervisory Board and Statutes Council.

20 It also had the final say in financial matters, including

21 fixing the amount of dues and the manner of their distribution. The

22 Assembly thus only had an indirect influence on the party's policy and

23 day-to-day operations. It was even empowered to transfer part of its

24 business to the President or the Main Board.

25 The Assembly which convened in July 1991 was the second and

Page 184

1 last SDS Assembly before the outbreak of hostilities in

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

3 Q. Mr. Ralston, you mentioned earlier that the SDS created party

4 Presidency and that Dr. Karadzic was its President. What was his

5 role?

6 A. The President, Karadzic, represented the SDS. He could also

7 designate someone else to perform this function, although the 1991

8 Draft Statutes specified that this must be a member of the Main Board.

9 The President was in addition ex-officio chairman of the Main Board.

10 The term of office was originally set at two years but later extended

11 to four, with the right of re-election in either case.

12 Q. What were his responsibilities as the President of the SDS?

13 A. His responsibilities, or his most important responsibilities, were to

14 co-ordinate the work of the party organs, to see to the realisation of

15 the programmatic tasks and goals of the party and to represent the

16 party.

17 Q. Were his duties as President of the SDS ever expanded?

18 A. Yes. In 1991 this list of rights was expanded to include making

19 political and other decisions in the name of the SDS

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina in so far as they are not within the competence of

21 other organs and bodies of the SDS Bosnia-Herzegovina, and performing

22 other matters which the Assembly of the SDS or the Main Board of the

23 SDS places within his competence and having, in extraordinary

24 situations within society, extraordinary powers within the competence

25 of the Assembly and the Main Board.

Page 185

1 The President was responsible for his work to the membership,

2 to the Assembly and to the Main Board of the SDS.

3 His powers were accordingly considerable. They were

4 susceptible of such broad extension in "extraordinary situations" as

5 to be practically open-ended, and in normal times they were limited

6 only to the accession of authority in "other matters". The President

7 had more than enough scope for initiative and independent action to

8 make him far and away the leading figure in the party. His actual

9 power was thus likely to be a function of his only personality and

10 standing within the organisation.

11 Q. Mr. Ralston, did Dr. Karadzic insist on strong central control of the

12 SDS?

13 A. Yes, he did. The need for their actions to be well planned and

14 controlled is apparent from his address to the Presidents of the SDS

15 controlled municipalities in a speech in November 1991 during the

16 campaign for the "Plebiscite of the Serbian People".

17 Q. Do you have a transcript of that speech, Mr. Ralston?

18 A. Yes, I do.

19 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, I would like to refer you to Exhibit No. 30 in

20 the binders. Mr. Ralston, could you please read from that exhibit

21 relevant portions of the speech?

22 A. This is a lengthy document, but I will go to a paragraph towards the

23 end, part of the penultimate paragraph on page 10. In his speech,

24 among others things, Dr. Karadzic said: "I am asking you to be

25 energetic and strict; to get ready and establish your authority in

Page 186

1 your territories; in municipalities; regions, local communities, and

2 to prepare yourselves for restructuring and regionalising the

3 municipalities. But I am begging you here, that you should in no

4 situation think that someone else has to do the job and that you leave

5 a job unfinished, but to control it to the very last moment. To

6 control it to the very end, not to be sloppy and careless".

7 Q. Mr. Ralston, could you also please to refer to Exhibit No. 28? Can

8 you identify that document, please?

9 A. Yes, this is the Exhibit I spoke about previously. It is a document

10 addressed to the Presidents of the municipalities dated 23rd March

11 1992.

12 Q. Whose signature appears on that document?

13 A. Dr. Karadzic.

14 Q. Could you read to the court the relevant portions of that document?

15 A. Yes. I will start midway, I will start with the second paragraph of

16 the document: "Taking into consideration that one of the essential

17 conditions for the protection of Serbian people in the situation that

18 has been created requires rapid and timely transfer of data and

19 information relevant to defence and security, as well as transfer of

20 decisions, directions and instructions by the government bodies. We

21 have established a Republic operation centre and decided that, in

22 addition to the regional centre in Banja Luka, the municipal centres

23 take over the function of regional centres; Sekovici for the

24 autonomous region of Bihac; Trebinje for the autonomous region of East

25 Herzegovina; Sokolac for Autonomous Region Romanija; Bijeljina,

Page 187

1 Autonomous Region Semberija; also, a municipal centre ought to be

2 formed in the municipality of Petrovo which would take over the

3 function of the regional centre for the Autonomous Region North

4 Bosnia. Regional centres in Banja Luka, Trebinje, Sokolac and

5 Bijeljina are already connected with the Republic centre of TT", I am

6 advised that that means telegraph and telephone, "and radio

7 communications, while the regional centres of Sekovici and Petrovo

8 will be connected until March 26th 1992".

9 Taking that a bit further, the municipalities now face an

10 obligation to urgently connect their own information centres with the

11 regional centres, if it has not been done so far, and provide for the

12 personnel and other requirements in order to monitor the situation in

13 the field.

14 Keeping in mind the current situation of the Republic, it is

15 necessary to co-operate with the SJB, which is the Public Security

16 Service, by providing the centres with a duty shift and ability to

17 convey and receive information 24 hours a day non-stop Saturdays and

18 Sundays".

19 Later in the same document he says: "With regard to the

20 above, it would be useful if you personally inform yourself on the

21 state -- in the information centres in your municipality as well as on

22 their performance capability".

23 Q. What is the significance of that document, in your opinion, Mr.

24 Ralston?

25 A. The significance of that document, in my opinion, is it shows

Page 188

1 planning, it shows co-ordination and provision for information to flow

2 both up and down from the highest levels of the SDS to the lowest

3 levels.

4 Q. OK. Mr. Ralston, now let me turn to the Main Board. You have

5 testified earlier that the SDS also established a Main Board. Could

6 you please tell the court what that is?

7 A. The Main Board was the highest organ of the party between sessions of

8 the Assembly. It was originally to have 57 members, including at

9 least two from each of the regions and one from each sub-region and

10 members were to be elected for two years with the right of

11 re-election. However, in 1991 the size was reduced to 45 members,

12 elected from among the Assembly's representatives with account being

13 taken of territorial representation. The term was increased to four

14 years with one third of members being eligible for re-election.

15 Q. What were the functions of the Main Board?

16 A. According to the 1990 Statutes, the Main Board had numerous

17 functions, including the following: electing the members of the

18 Executive Board of the Party; preparing drafts of all acts and

19 decisions which the Assembly adopts; adopting decisions which the

20 Assembly gives its authorisation for; seeing to the correct execution

21 of the Assembly decisions; electing members of temporary or

22 provisional Party bodies and preparing the electoral programme of the

23 Party.

24 Q. Were those functions ever expanded?

25 A. Yes. In 1991 the Main Board was entrusted with "especially handling"

Page 189

1 several matters including electing the chairman and two thirds of the

2 members of the Executive Board of the SDS Bosnia-Herzegovina;

3 preparing drafts of all acts, documents and decisions which the

4 Assembly of the SDS adopted; deciding on the territorial organisation

5 of the SDS; electing temporary and permanent working bodies and

6 commissions and establishing their competence; executing decisions of

7 the Assembly of the SDS; examining and adopting reports on the work of

8 the municipal and city boards; setting out guidelines and adopting

9 decisions for the work of the municipality and, as necessary, the

10 local boards of the SDS; to examine, as necessary, reports on the work

11 of organs and bodies of the SDS Bosnia-Herzegovina.

12 Q. Mr. Ralston, now I would like to turn your attention to another

13 component of the SDS, that is, the SDS Crisis Staff. Can you please

14 explain to the court what they were and what was their significance?

15 A. The Crisis Staff was an organ which was supposed to be established on

16 all levels of society in the SFRY in times of war or other serious

17 emergency in order to coordinate the security activities on that level

18 of society. The SDS established Serbian-controlled crisis staffs

19 outside the jurisdiction of the legitimate republic, municipal and

20 local commune authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

21 This dramatically reduced the control of legitimate republic

22 authorities in Sarajevo, and significantly contributed to the

23 effective abolishment of legitimate government control altogether in a

24 high number of municipalities with a Serbian demographic and political

25 majority.

Page 190

1 Q. Did the SDS establish Crisis Staffs in the areas that were taken

2 over?

3 A. Yes, Crisis Staffs were more or less established openly several

4 months before the war started in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the

5 headquarters of the SDS and in municipalities with Bosnian-Serb

6 political majority and control. In Bosnian municipalities with a

7 non-Serbian majority, Crisis Staffs were normally established

8 underground by the SDS long before the armed conflict in

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina started, and when the Bosnian Serbs took power in

10 such municipalities the Crisis Staff surfaced as the supreme

11 co-ordinating organ of the municipality. This happened, for example,

12 in Prijedor on 30th April 1992 and Kotor Varos on 11th June 1992.

13 Q. Can you, please, provide to the court some examples of how the SDS

14 operated in practice?

15 A. Yes, I will provide examples from Foca and Prijedor. In Foca, when

16 the new national parties were formed, both the SDA, the predominantly

17 Muslim party, and the SDS held large rallies. The SDA rally was held

18 in August 1990 with the SDS rally coming two weeks later in September

19 1990. Several persons who would later become key personnel in the

20 Bosnian Serb leadership attended the SDS rally. Dr. Radovan Karadzic

21 and Biljana Plavsic both attended, along with Vojislav Maksimovic,

22 Velibor Ostojic, Miro Stanic and Peko Cancar.

23 Maksimovic had been a teacher in Foca, later he became a

24 professor of literature at the University of Sarajevo, before becoming

25 the first president of the SDS Club of Deputies in the

Page 191

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina Assembly. Velibor Ostojic, the current Minister of

2 Education and Information of "Republika Srpska" and the President of

3 the Executive Board of the SDS, was formerly Minister of Information

4 and an SDS Deputy from Foca. Before the war he worked at the Sarajevo

5 radio and television station. Peko Cancar, a local attorney, was also

6 in the Bosnia-Herzegovina Assembly.

7 Q. What was the local SDS's role in the Foca Municipal Assembly?

8 A. In the local Municipal Assembly in Foca, the SDS held about 30 seats

9 of a total of 70. Prior to the takeover, the Serb members of the

10 local Assembly started boycotting assembly meetings in order to delay

11 decisions that had to be made on the municipal level. Soon

12 thereafter, the SDS started to separate from all aspects of municipal

13 life and establish their own institutions. Simultaneously, the Serbs

14 started to arm themselves with the support of the JNA.

15 After the parties were formed in 1990, Ostojic and Maksimovic

16 moved to Sarajevo, while Cancar remained in Foca. As leading members

17 of the SDS, all three visited Foca several times to organise meetings

18 and make speeches. In the beginning of April 1992, the three men

19 reportedly established a Serbian Crisis Staff and a Serbian Police

20 Force. The head of the Crisis Staff, Miro Stanisic, was the President

21 of the SDS in Foca. Following the takeover, Karadzic was seen meeting

22 with representatives of the Serbian Crisis Staff.

23 On 6th April 1992, Ostojic and Maksimovic reportedly held a

24 meeting of the SDS staff in the Orthodox Church in Foca; a meeting

25 which was also attended by a group of JNA officers. After that

Page 192

1 meeting, an ultimatum was issued to the SDA district committee

2 representatives for the entire Muslim population of Foca to hand over

3 their weapons, gather under the escort of the Serbian army and police

4 and leave town.

5 After the takeover, Maksimovic and Ostojic were responsible

6 for arming the Serbian population in and around Foca, holding meetings

7 were local Serbian leaders and organising military training for

8 volunteers. Speeches by Maksimovic and Ostojic were broadcast on the

9 local radio station. Coincidentally, a weeks before the attack on

10 Foca, one witness read a letter by Ostojic addressed to the SDS,

11 entitled: "What to do in case of war". The letter stated that the

12 radio station and then the police station should be taken over.

13 Q. How did the SDS operate in Prijedor, Mr. Ralston?

14 A. In the 1990 elections in Prijedor, the Muslim SDA won a plurality of

15 seats in the Prijedor municipal assembly. Nevertheless, during the

16 succeeding months, Bosnian Serb officials who had previously dominated

17 key positions in the municipality, resisted a reallocation of power

18 consistent with the electoral results.

19 In the spring of 1991, Serbian politicians in Banja Luka, the

20 regional centre approximately 45 kilometres from Prijedor, proclaimed

21 a separate Serbian regional community of municipalities which was

22 transformed into the autonomous region of Krajina in September 1991.

23 The municipalities in north western Bosnia, with the exception of

24 Prijedor, Sanski Most and Kotor Varos, gradually decided to join the

25 community. Late in 1991, Serbs in Prijedor and elsewhere in Bosnia

Page 193

1 were directed by the central SDS leadership to assemble a shadow

2 government. Local Bosnian Serbs leaders were instructed to ensure

3 their ability to control all levels of municipal life, including

4 police, finance and communications and to ensure co-operation with the

5 JNA.

6 Q. When did the Bosnian Serbs seize power in Prijedor?

7 A. On 30th April 1992, the Serbs seized power in Prijedor and the Crisis

8 Staff of the municipality of Prijedor became the supreme power in the

9 municipality. The Crisis Staff was made up of persons from the

10 military, the police, as well as the civil administration. The most

11 powerful positions in the Crisis Staff were held by the SDS

12 leadership, the military and the police.

13 Q. Can you identify some of those members of the Prijedor SDS Crisis

14 Staff?

15 A. Yes. Simo Miskovic was President of the SDS and head of the Crisis

16 Staff in Prijedor. He was seen by a number of witnesses in the

17 detention camp, Omarska and Keraterm, during their operations.

18 Colonel (now General) Vladimir Arsic, a JNA officer before the

19 conflict in Prijedor, was appointed commander of the Prijedor

20 barracks.

21 Major Radmilo Zeljaja became the field commander for Colonel

22 Arsic and led many of the operations relating to ethnic cleansing in

23 the villages. Zeljaja directed the attack against Kozarac,

24 participating in negotiations leading up to the attack and played a

25 leading role in the surrender of civilians from that town. The name

Page 194

1 of the town of Kozarac was later changed to Radmilovo, in honour of

2 Zeljaja's conquest. Later, Zeljaja visited the Omarska came with a

3 delegation of Serbs from Banja Luka and Prijedor in July 1992.

4 Major Slobodan Kuruzovic, a former school teacher, was a

5 member of the Crisis Staff and the Commander of the Trnopolje camp.

6 He also took part in rounding up of civilians living in villages on

7 the left bank of the Sana River in July 1992.

8 Simo Drljaca, another significant figure, became the Chief of

9 Police of the Prijedor municipality after the takeover. Following the

10 takeover and arrest and detention of thousands of non-Serbs -- sorry,

11 became the Chief of Police following the takeover and arrest and

12 detention of thousands of non-Serb civilians.

13 Drljaca played a key role in the administration of the

14 detention camps and was repeatedly seen in all three detention camps

15 in the area, Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje. Since co-ordinating the

16 takeover of Prijedor, Drljaca was promoted to Deputy Minister of

17 Interior of the Bosnian Serb Republic.

18 Dr. Milomir Stakic unlawfully replaced Muhamed Cehajic as the

19 President of the municipality Prijedor after the take-over by Serbian

20 forces on 30th April 1992. In interviews with the media, Stakic

21 acknowledged the existence of the camps at Omarska, Keraterm and

22 Trnopolje. A number of persons saw Stakic visiting these camps during

23 their operations.

24 Srdo Srdic was an SDS Deputy in the Assembly of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and later in the "Republika Srpska" Assembly. He

Page 195

1 was also seen in the Omarska and Keraterm camps.

2 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, Mr. Ralston will now testify about the Bosnian

3 Serb administration and describe Dr. Karadzic's role and authority in

4 it. (To the witness): Mr. Ralston, when did the Bosnian Serb

5 administration come into existence?

6 A. The Bosnian Serb entity has gone through different phases in its

7 evolution, culminating with the establishment of Republika Srpska.

8 Already on 21st December 1991, the Assembly of the Serbian people in

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina decided conditionally to establish the Republic of

10 Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina before 14th January 1992.

11 On 9th January 1992, that Assembly adopted a declaration on

12 the proclamation of the Republic of the Serbian people of Bosnia and

13 Herzegovina. The 28th February 1992 constitution adopted by the same

14 Assembly referred to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

15 and stated in its Article 3 that the entity was "a part of the federal

16 state of Yugoslavia".

17 The constitution entered into force on day of its adoption

18 according to its own implementation legislation. Key legislation on

19 government, defence and internal affairs was also adopted on 28th

20 February 1992. So by that date the foundation of the Bosnian Serb

21 legal infrastructure was in place, and during the following two to

22 three months the central administration entity was set up.

23 Vice Presidents, Biljana Plavsic and Nikola Koljevic

24 functioned as President of the entity between 28th February and the

25 time Karadzic became President. On 12th August 1992 the entity change

Page 196

1 its name to "Republika Srpska" or "the Republic of Srpska" which it

2 has gradually become known as.

3 Q. Mr. Ralston, has the investigation shown any relationship between the

4 leadership of the SDS and the leadership of the Bosnian Serb

5 administration?

6 A. Yes, it has.

7 Q. Would you please refer to Exhibit No. 31 and explain the

8 significance of Exhibit 31 to the court?

9 A. If you look at this Exhibit, we have on one side the structure of the

10 SDS and on the other side the structure of the administration of

11 Republika Srpska. You will see in common, Radovan Karadzic is both

12 President of the SDS and also the President in the Presidency. The

13 Main Board, you will see Aleksa Buha, member of the Main Board. He

14 was also the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Assembly. There is a

15 list of names of members of the Assembly; 14 of the members of the

16 Assembly were members of the Main Board. I think from that you will

17 see it is a significant mirroring of power between the SDS leadership

18 and the leadership of the Bosnian Serb administration.

19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ralston. What was the role of Dr. Karadzic in the

20 newly formed Bosnian Serb administration?

21 A. Dr. Karadzic was the President.

22 Q. Did he retain his leadership role in the SDS after becoming the

23 President of the Bosnian Serb administration?

24 A. Yes, he did.

25 Q. When he became president of the Bosnian Serb administration, he was

Page 197

1 vested with a number of powers. Do you have some exhibits, Mr.

2 Ralston, that describe those powers? Specifically, let me refer you to

3 Exhibits No. 18 and 20, Exhibit 32 and Exhibit 33.

4 A. Yes. I do not have 18 and 20 but I am familiar with those documents.

5 I have Exhibit 32. I might add that Dr. Karadzic's position as the

6 leader gave him authority and control over both the civilian and

7 military administration. This, in effect, gave him supreme authority

8 over the police, the Territorial Defence and the Bosnian Serb army.

9 In Exhibit No. 32, which is the law on National Defence, if

10 you go to Article 6 of that Exhibit, it sets out, amongst other

11 things: "The President of the Republic shall ensure unity and

12 indivisibility of the national defence system in the republic;

13 supervise the Territorial Defence both in peace and wartime". It goes

14 on further to say: "He shall issue orders for the utilization of the

15 police in the case of war".

16 If we go later to Article 39, I think it is, Article 39 sets

17 out: "The President of the Republic shall order deployment of

18 Territorial Defence units for the maintenance of law and order in

19 cases of immediate peril of war and other emergency situations".

20 If I now go to Exhibit 33, which is the law on internal affairs,

21 if you go to Article 25, Article 25 sets out, amongst others things:

22 "The President of the Republic shall evaluate the execution of the

23 work programme of the national security service on the basis of a

24 report by the Minister and shall inform the National Assembly

25 thereof".

Page 198

1 Later in the same document, Article 33, it sets out that, "The

2 Ministry of Internal Affairs shall activate the reserve police in

3 emergency cases as ordered by the President of the Republic".

4 Q. Mr. Ralston, what was the effect of these legal documents that you

5 have just testified about?

6 A. The effect of these documents is that it gave Dr. Karadzic de jure

7 authority and control over all the official Serb forces in time of

8 war.

9 Q. In respect of those powers that you have described, can you provide

10 the court with some examples of his exercise of those powers?

11 A. Yes, I can. He exercised those powers throughout the conflict, an

12 example as late as July 1995, as reported in the media, Bosnian Serb

13 television prime news, set out: "The President of the Republika

14 Srpska and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Dr. Radovan

15 Karadzic, has extraordinarily promoted Major General Milenko

16 Zivanovic, who until recently was the commander of the Drina Corps,

17 into the rank of Lieutenant General. The Republika Srpska Bureau for

18 Press Contacts announced that General Zivanovic has been promoted due

19 to his retirement from active military service".

20 According to the announcement, President Karadzic has

21 appointed the recent Chief of Staff, Major General Radislav Krstic, as

22 the new commander of the Drina Corps who, together with General

23 Zivanovic, was a main architect of the Serbian victories in Srebrenica

24 and Zepa. President Karadzic congratulated the VRS General Staff, the

25 Drina Corps command and the police staff within the armed forces on

Page 199

1 their brilliant victories in Srebrenica and Zepa, as well as their

2 breaking down of the Muslim offensive on Serbian Sarajevo.

3 Q. Did Dr. Karadzic put the police and army under unified command?

4 A. Yes, he did. He stated publicly that the army and the police were

5 put under a unified command.

6 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I would like to show the court now a film that

7 has been prepared in respect of the answer that Mr. Ralston just

8 provided. If we could please play Exhibit No. 29, clip 2, please?

9 (Exhibit 29, clip 2, was played).

10 Mr. Ralston, as the Commander-in-Chief, had Dr. Karadzic

11 repeatedly backed the actions of his military commanders?

12 A. Yes, he had. I give you a June 1995 example: Dr. Karadzic was

13 interviewed by the BBC in relation to the taking of UN peace keepers

14 as hostages earlier that month. Dr. Karadzic said to the BBC that he

15 was wrong to approve the hostage taking of the UN peace keepers, but

16 he said it was a reasonable reaction to NATO air strikes. "We had to

17 do something very drastic to prevent further strikes and to show the

18 international community that we are cornered and ready to defend

19 ourselves by all means. We function as a state, and I am

20 Commander-in-Chief, supreme Commander, and everything my army do, I do

21 back".

22 Q. Throughout the war, Mr. Ralston, has Dr. Karadzic been dealt with as

23 the leader of the Republika Srpska?

24 A. Yes, he has. In the course of investigations conducted by the Office

25 of the Prosecutor, investigators and researchers have interviewed

Page 200

1 various officials who have dealt with Dr. Karadzic since the beginning

2 of the conflict. In addition, there has been extensive research of

3 documents and public statements made by Dr. Karadzic. From the outset

4 he has repeated asserted his position as President of the Serbian

5 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, or the leader of the

6 Bosnian Serb people.

7 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I would turn the court's attention to Exhibit

8 No. 34 which is an affidavit signed by Dr. Karadzic. It is an

9 affidavit that was filed in a civil law suit in the United States,

10 Federal District Court. In that particular exhibit you can see THAT

11 Dr. Karadzic asserts his position as President of the Republika

12 Srpska.

13 (To the witness): Mr. Ralston, let me ask you then -- were

14 you going to show that document?

15 A. I was going to show that document.

16 Q. Please do.

17 A. I will read the relevant portion to the court. "I, Radovan Karadzic,

18 state as follows: I am the President of the Republic of Srpska". It

19 goes on to describe when he was born. In the third, the last sentence

20 of the third paragraph: "I had not visited the United States for any

21 purpose since 1975 until after I became President of Republika Srpska

22 on May 13, 1992".

23 Q. Mr. Ralston, since the beginning of the conflict, Dr. Karadzic, as

24 the paramount leader of the Bosnian Serbs, has he been involved in

25 negotiations with the other parties to the conflict?

Page 201

1 A. Yes, he has. It must be recognised that many of these negotiations

2 were conducted by means of shuttle diplomacy, but I can provide some

3 examples of this. On 24th January 1992, he attended a debate on a

4 referendum of independence. The main people in the debate were Mr.

5 Izetbegovic for the SDA, Dr. Karadzic for the SDS and Mr. Kljuic for

6 the HDZ.

7 On 12th April 1992, he was involved in negotiations on a cease

8 fire in Sarajevo. He agreed to the cease fire. On 2nd June 1992,

9 Karadzic was involved in negotiations over the opening of Sarajevo

10 airport. During 1992 and 1993, Dr. Karadzic participated in

11 negotiations conducted under the auspices of the national conference

12 for former Yugoslavia.

13 On 18th November 1993, he signed a joint declaration on

14 humanitarian assistance along with Mr. H. Silajdzic and Mr. M. Boban.

15 On 6th March 1994, he had a meeting with UNPROFOR officials

16 concerning an overall cease fire. From 2nd to 6th June 1994, he was

17 involved in Geneva talks on the cessation of hostilities. An

18 agreement was reached in those talks.

19 In December 1994, he was involved in negotiations on cease

20 fire and cessation of hostilities with former US President, Jimmy

21 Carter. An agreement was reached.

22 Q. Mr. Ralston, I would like to refer you to Exhibits 35, 36, 37, 38 and

23 39. I will give you a moment just to get those exhibits. Let me ask

24 you if you can identify each of those exhibits and explain to the

25 court the significance of those exhibits.

Page 202

1 A. Exhibit 35 is a document signed by Mr. D. Kalinic, "Representative

2 of Dr. Karadzic, President of the Serbian Democratic Party". The

3 group of people mentioned in the document, a representative of the

4 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a representative -- a further

5 representative of the SDS, a representative of the SDA and a

6 representative of the HDZ met in Geneva on 22nd May 1992 on

7 application or dealing with the "application and implementation of

8 international humanitarian law within the context of the conflict in

9 Bosnia and Herzegovina". They reached an agreement in relation to

10 those topics.

11 Exhibit 36 is an agreement reached on 5th June 1992 on the

12 reopening of Sarajevo airport for humanitarian purposes. This exhibit

13 was signed by Dr. Karadzic.

14 Exhibit 37 is an instruction issued to Serbian forces around

15 the town of Gorazde to begin an immediate unilateral cease fire, again

16 signed by Dr. Karadzic on 16th July 1992.

17 Exhibit 38 is a joint declaration for humanitarian assistance

18 signed by Dr. Karadzic, Mr. Silajdzic, Mr. Boban.

19 Finally, Exhibit 39 is a cessation of hostilities agreement

20 which followed the negotiations with US President Carter -- US former

21 President Carter.

22 Q. You have described, Mr. Ralston, a broad range of agreements that

23 were signed by Dr. Karadzic as the leader of the Republika Srpska;

24 were these agreements implemented, in fact?

25 A. Yes. For example, the agreement on the reopening of Sarajevo airport

Page 203

1 and the cessation of hostility agreement following the Carter

2 negotiations and also the agreement for one month's suspension of

3 military offensives following the Geneva conference in June 1994.

4 Q. Mr. Ralston, thank you for your testimony in regards to Dr. Karadzic.

5 I would now like to turn for a few minutes to the other person named

6 in the two indictments, General Mladic. Could you please tell the

7 court who he is and give a description of his background?

8 A. Yes. General Mladic received his training at the military academy in

9 the former Yugoslavia and was a career JNA officer before he became

10 the commander of the Bosnian Serb army. His first assignment as an

11 officer in November 1965 was as a platoon commander in Skopje,

12 Macedonia.

13 Between 1989 and 1991, Mladic served as the head of the

14 Education Department of the Third Military District. From January

15 through June 1991, he was the Deputy Commander of the Pristina Corps

16 in Kosovo.

17 In June 1991, the JNA General Staff sent Mladic to Knin as

18 commander of the Knin Corps. At the time the JNA was fighting various

19 Croatian forces. Approximately two months after Mladic arrived in

20 Knin, the JNA promoted him to Brigadier General because of his combat

21 exploits.

22 Q. When did he leave the JNA and become the commander of the Bosnian

23 Serb army?

24 A. This occurred in the second half of April 1992. General Mladic and

25 others were formed of this decision by the SFRY Presidency. They were

Page 204

1 told that they were reassigned from their present posts to new posts

2 at the command of the Second Military District, the Second Military

3 District centred in Sarajevo.

4 The new posts were as follows: Major General Ratko Mladic was

5 appointed Chief of Staff of the Second Military District; Major

6 General Milan Gvero, assistant commander for morale and information;

7 Colonel Gruber, assistant commander for organisational and

8 mobilization and personnel issues, and the late General Djorde Dukic,

9 assistant commander for logistics. Shortly after these posts were

10 transferred to the Bosnian Serb army.

11 This information was confirmed by General Djorde Dukic in

12 interviews with representatives of the Ministry of Interior of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He stated to the authorities: "I know that the

14 SFRY Government made a decision in May or June 1992 for all federal

15 reserves on the territory of Republika Srpska to be transferred to the

16 jurisdiction of the Government of Republika Srpska which was then

17 called Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina.

18 "As regards the consolidation of units and the creation of the

19 Army of the Republika Srpska, I can state that almost all units of the

20 JNA had withdrawn from the territory of Republika Srpska by 19th May

21 1992, and by the end of June even the smallest groups had withdrawn.

22 These did not include individuals of Serbian nationality born on the

23 territory Bosnia and Herzegovina".

24 Q. That is a direct quote from General Dukic; is that correct?

25 A. That is correct. At the time Mladic became the Commander of the

Page 205

1 District, the commanding JNA Generals, Stankovic and Kukanjac, were

2 returned to Belgrade.

3 Q. What did General Mladic do when he received notice that the JNA was

4 officially going to withdraw from Bosnia-Herzegovina?

5 A. Mladic in interview with a Knin magazine in Belgrade indicated that

6 he had received advance warning that the JNA was going to withdraw

7 officially from Bosnia-Herzegovina. He immediately started to

8 establish his own command structure. In the Knin magazine Mladic

9 described his efforts as follows:

10 "As soon as I took over duty in the Second Military District,

11 I set my aim at gathering people and establishing the Command and the

12 Main Staff, some from people of the Second Military District and some

13 from the people who had come with me from Knin and other areas, who

14 were born in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

15 "As soon as the decision was made on 19th May 1992 for the JNA

16 to retreat from the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina, we met at the highest

17 military and political levels and decided to establish the Serb Army

18 and the Main Staff. The Army was founded at the Bosnian Serb Assembly

19 session in Banja Luka on 11th and 12th May. I went to Banja Luka and

20 met with President Dr. Radovan Karadzic and his representatives. They

21 told me that a decision was made for me to take over the duty of

22 Commander".

23 Q. Mr. Ralston, can you briefly describe to the court how the BSA was

24 structured and identify the relevant persons in it?

25 A. Yes. I refer to Exhibit 40. If you look at the structure, the

Page 206

1 highest position in the army is General Ratko Mladic; immediately down

2 to him is his Deputy, Major Gvero. Underneath General Mladic is his

3 main staff; Major General Milanovic is the Chief of Staff; Major

4 General Martic, the assistant commander for air defence; Lieutenant

5 General Dukic, assistant commander for logistics; Major General

6 Skrbic, assistant commander for mobilization and personnel and Major

7 General Zdravko Tolimir who is assistant commander for intelligence.

8 Immediately also directly under General Mladic were the Corps

9 commands First Krajina Corps led by General Talic; Second Krajina

10 Corps led initially by General Boric and later General Tomanic; the

11 Third Krajina Corps, Colonel Lisica; the East Bosnia Corps, General

12 Simic; the Drina Corps, initially, General Zivanovic and then General

13 Krstic; the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps was initially commanded by General

14 Sipcic, later General Galic and then General Milosevic and the

15 Herzegovina Corps commanded by General Grubac.

16 Q. Mr. Ralston, let me ask you in respect of these Corps that you have

17 described, did they operate in specific geographic regions in

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

19 A. Yes, I refer you to the second part of this Exhibit. You will see

20 here that the three Krajina Corps, the first, second and third,

21 operated in these districts; the East Bosnian Corps in this district,

22 the Drina Corps in this area here; the Herzegovina Corps here and

23 Sarajevo-Romanija Corps in this area here.

24 Q. Mr. Ralston, could you explain the relationship between Dr. Karadzic,

25 the President of the Bosnian Serb administration, and General Mladic

Page 207

1 who was the Commander of the Bosnian Serb army?

2 A. Dr. Karadzic was his supreme commander. From interviews with former

3 UNPROFOR officials who, at various stages of the conflict were based

4 in Sarajevo, it is clear that from the outset Dr. Karadzic was the

5 political leader of the Bosnian Serbs and had control over the

6 military. It is also clear that from as early as 14th May 1992,

7 General Ratko Mladic was in effective control of the military.

8 Although Mladic acted and thought independently and demonstrated

9 absolute control over his troops, he would defer to Karadzic as the

10 overall leader.

11 Q. In addition to being the military commander, did he also represent

12 the Bosnian Serb administration in the negotiations?

13 A. Yes, he did. He participated in negotiations and made agreements

14 principally in relation to military matters on issues such as

15 demilitarisation, cease fires and cessation of combat activities and

16 cessation of hostilities.

17 Q. Can you provide the court with some information about the types of

18 agreements he negotiated?

19 A. Yes, I can. On 2nd June 1992, with Dr. Karadzic, he was involved in

20 negotiations on the agreement to open Sarajevo airport. Bosnian Serb

21 forces under his control held the area around the airport. This

22 agreement was subsequently signed and implemented. On 5th June, Dr.

23 Karadzic and General Mladic were involved in negotiations with the

24 Bosnian Serb Presidency over the airport being placed under UN

25 control.

Page 208

1 On 30th July 1993, Mladic was involved in negotiations with

2 General Briquemont, Generals Delic and Petkovic and defined an

3 agreement -- signed an agreement to define safe areas. On 11th August

4 1993, Mladic signed an agreement with General -- sorry, on 14th

5 August, Mladic reached an agreement with General Briquemont concerning

6 Mount Igman and the withdrawal of Bosnian Serb forces.

7 On 8th February 1994, General Milovanovic, a representative of

8 General Mladic, met with General Sir Michael Rose in Lukavica to

9 discuss cease fire, withdrawal of heavy weapons and the subsequent

10 demilitarisation of Sarajevo. Milovanovic said that he had the full

11 authority from Karadzic and Mladic to agree to the principles of the

12 cease fire. The following day, General Sir Michael Rose met with

13 Milovanovic who agreed to a cease fire. There was no document signed

14 but the cease fire held.

15 On 15th April 1994, negotiations between Rose and General

16 Mladic were held regarding Gorazde. On 22nd April, General

17 Milovanovic signed an agreement on Gorazde. The agreement was a

18 general cease fire.

19 There were also numerous meetings where his representatives

20 met with others and reached agreement on various issues, including

21 humanitarian convoys and anti-sniping.

22 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, we have provided in your binders Exhibits 41,

23 42, 43, 44 and 39. I will not ask Mr. Ralston any questions about

24 these agreements, but these are examples of agreements that were

25 negotiated and signed by General Mladic.

Page 209

1 Lastly, Mr. Ralston, let me ask you if the agreements which

2 were negotiated and signed by General Mladic were, in fact,

3 implemented?

4 A. Yes, they were. The best example are the Sarajevo airport agreements

5 and the agreements following the Carter negotiations.

6 Q. Thank you for your description and your testimony about General

7 Mladic. I would like to turn to another subject now, Mr. Ralston. I

8 would like to turn your attention to the conflict in Bosnia and

9 Herzegovina starting in 1992.

10 Was the occupation and control of the territory of the

11 Republic of Bosnia by the Bosnian Serbs well planned and executed, in

12 your opinion?

13 A. Yes, it was. The occupation and control of territory of the Republic

14 of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the self-styled "Republika Srpska" was

15 well-planned and co-ordinated. The planning by the Bosnian Serb

16 political leaders of the SDS and others was executed in coordination

17 with the military and paramilitary forces, the police and local

18 Bosnian Serbs. The goal was to secure complete control over the

19 territory which they considered to be Serbian in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

20 Q. Mr. Ralston, has the investigation revealed any patterns of

21 pre-takeover and post-takeover conduct by the Bosnian Serb forces

22 under the direction and control of Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic?

23 A. Yes. In those portions of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

24 controlled by the Bosnian Serbs, a consistent pattern of pre- takeover

25 and post-takeover conduct emerged. This pattern reflect a high degree

Page 210

1 of central control and planning by those responsible for the

2 take-over.

3 In areas where the Bosnian Serbs represented a large majority

4 of the population, control was achieved quickly and with limited use

5 of force. In other areas, where Bosnian Serbs did not have such a

6 majority, it was achieved by the use of substantial force, including

7 heavy shelling of villages and towns follow by infantry attack.

8 In either case, what followed for the non-Serb population was

9 brutal and swift repression and persecution on discriminatory grounds.

10 Thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats were rounded up,

11 detained in internment facilities run by the Bosnian Serb military,

12 the police or both.

13 The conditions in these facilities were brutal -- detainees

14 were murdered, tortured, physically abused, raped and sexually

15 assaulted. Daily food rations and hygienic conditions were grossly

16 inadequate. For those non-Serbs who did not end up in the detention

17 facilities, life in their communities included systematic dismissal

18 from employment, restraint on freedom of movement, appropriation of

19 property, destruction of their homes and businesses, physical abuse,

20 including murder, rape, and torture, arbitrary arrest, deportation and

21 other conditions that made remaining in their homes precarious at

22 best. Muslim and catholic places of worship have been damaged or

23 destroyed in significant numbers throughout the occupied territories

24 as well.

25 These patterns I have described have been substantiated by

Page 211

1 in-depth investigations conducted by the Office of the Prosecutor in

2 regard to the Bosnian Serb takeovers that occurred in the

3 municipalities of Sarajevo, Foca, Bosanski Samac, Vlasenica, Brcko and

4 Prijedor. The patterns are further supported by information provided

5 to the OTP in relation to events that occurred in Kotor Varos,

6 Bijeljina, Zvornik and other areas.

7 Throughout the conflict, tactics used by the Bosnian Serb

8 military have included both indiscriminate and direct targeting of

9 civilians. The siege of Sarajevo typifies these tactics. Since the

10 beginning of the siege, civilians in that city were subjected to

11 indiscriminate fire by weapons such as mortars, rockets and artillery

12 as well as a systematic sniper campaign that has resulted in a high

13 number of casualities".

14 Q. Mr. Ralston, before the war started in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in

15 the territory that is now occupied by the Bosnian Serbs, were there

16 municipalities where the Bosnian Serbs represented a minority of the

17 population?

18 A. Yes, as is well known, the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina

19 before the conflict consisted largely of five national groups,

20 Serbians, Croatians, Muslims, Yugoslavs and others. Whilst over half

21 of the municipalities in the area claimed by the Bosnian Serbs had a

22 Serbian majority, many did not.

23 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, Exhibit No. 45 in your binders is a summary of

24 the 1991 census, and it will substantiate what Mr. Ralston has just

25 testified about.

Page 212

1 Mr. Ralston, I would like you to please turn to Exhibit No. 46

2 and ask you to identify and explain to the court what it represents?

3 A. This map shows you, firstly, confrontation line as at July 1995.

4 Behind that confrontation line is largely the area which was

5 controlled by the Bosnian Serbs. The areas in pink are the areas

6 which had -----

7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am very sorry. Maybe we could turn down the

8 lights just a little bit because it is hard really to see what is on

9 the map, so if that were possible? If we could just dim the light a

10 little bit? We all have the same problem indeed.

11 THE WITNESS: I will repeat what I have just said.

12 MR. HARMON: Wait just a minute until the lights are dimmed, Mr. Ralston.

13 All right. Mr. Ralston, please proceed with your explanation.

14 A. As I say, the green line roughly marks the confrontation line as of

15 July 1995. The areas in behind that line are the areas which are

16 controlled by the Bosnian Serbs. Now, the areas shaded in pink are

17 the areas that as in the 1991 census showed a non-Serb majority

18 population.

19 Q. Mr. Ralston, could you now turn to Exhibit No. 47, identify it and

20 explain its significance to the court?

21 A. Exhibit 47 is a document which is headed "Serbian Democratic Party

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Main Committee, strictly confidential". It is

23 instructions for the organisation and activities of the organs of the

24 Serb people in Bosnia-Herzegovina in a state of emergency.

25 The significance of this document is on 19th December 1991 a

Page 213

1 special Crisis Staff of the SDS issued these "strictly confidential"

2 instructions. Noting that certain forces were working to take

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina out of Yugoslavia by force, the Crisis Staff saw

4 the necessity for working out "unified tasks, measures and other

5 activities" for the purposes of carrying out the decision of the

6 Bosnian Serb plebiscite as well as in other circumstances which might

7 arise in the development of the political and security situation.

8 The instructions provided for the conduct of specified in all

9 municipalities in which Serbs lived. This was to occur in two

10 variants depending on whether Serbs formed majority (Variant A) or not

11 (Variant B). In both variants, the municipal committee of the SDS was

12 to admittedly form a Crisis Staff composed of all members of the

13 secretariat of the communal committee of the SDS, leading communal

14 officials or SDS candidates for those positions (chairman of the

15 Assembly or of the Executive Committee, chief of the public security

16 or militia station, Commander of the Territorial Defence staff,

17 secretary of the secretariat of National Defence), deputies to the

18 Assembly of the Serbian people and local members of the Main Committee

19 of the SDS.

20 The commander of the Crisis Staff was to be the chairman of

21 the communal assembly/executive committee (Variant A) or the chairman

22 of the communal committee of the SDS (Variant B). The Crisis Staffs

23 were responsible for monitoring the political situation in the

24 municipality and making preparations to take over all governmental

25 functions, including the gathering of supplies in secret depots and

Page 214

1 mobilisation of men into the police, Territorial Defence and the JNA.

2 Q. The significance of this document, Mr. Ralston?

3 A. This document contains a number of instructions on the organisation

4 and activities of Bosnian Serbs and the municipal and Local Commune

5 levels. The instructions were given by the Crisis Staff of the SDS.

6 The instructions would basically prepare the Bosnian Serbs for war on

7 the municipal and commune levels.

8 Q. Mr. Ralston, you mentioned earlier that the Office of the Prosecutor

9 has conducted in-depth investigations in certain municipalities. Can

10 you identify those municipalities?

11 A. Yes. Sarajevo, Foca, Bosanski Samac, Vlasenica, Brcko and Prijedor.

12 Q. Can you inform the court what the strategic significance of those

13 municipalities is?

14 A. Yes, I can.

15 MR. HARMON: Perhaps we need the lights dimmed once again, your Honour?

16 A. Firstly, the municipalities of Foca, Bosanski Samac, Vlasenica, Brcko

17 and Prijedor all had substantial non-Serb majority population. If you

18 look at the map of Bosnia-Herzegovina, firstly, you will notice that

19 the terrain is extremely rugged. Because of the ruggedness of this

20 terrain, the transport thoroughfares were particularly significant.

21 If you look at Foca, you will see that it stands at the

22 junction of the major highway which connects between Montenegro and

23 Belgrade, Herzegovina and the coast. If you go to Brcko, sorry, to

24 Vlasenica, you will see that Vlasenica is the main road and rail link

25 between Serbia and Sarajevo. The rail link comes to the border and

Page 215

1 then there is the road link through Vlasenica to Sarajevo.

2 Brcko stands in probably the most critical area for the

3 Bosnian Serbs. This area, as I said, was a non-Serb majority area,

4 but it was through this road network here that Serbs in Eastern Bosnia

5 and Serbia could connect with Serbs in Western Bosnia and the parts of

6 Croatian Krajina which at that stage were controlled by the Serbs. So

7 it is a complete -- it is a very significant military objective.

8 If you come across just a little bit further to Bosanski Samac

9 which is about here, it also stood on the edge of the Posavina

10 corridor, which is the area through Brcko, and the same road and rail

11 links. If you come across to Prijedor, you will notice that the rail

12 link between the east Serbia and the western areas go straight through

13 Prijedor, as does the major highway.

14 So, for each of these municipalities, in addition to being

15 predominantly non-Serbs surrounded by Serb controlled areas, they were

16 also particularly important because of the transport thoroughfares

17 that went through them.

18 Q. Mr. Ralston, could you turn to Exhibit No. 49 as well and put that on

19 the screen? Mr. Ralston, after the war started, can you tell me what

20 happened in the municipality that you have just described?

21 A. As I said, these were particularly significant municipalities, and

22 you can see that each of these municipalities was taken over by the

23 Serbs very early in the conflict, Foca on 6th April, Bosanski Samac on

24 17th April, Brcko -- sorry, then Vlasenica on 21st April and then,

25 finally, Prijedor on 25th May.

Page 216

1 Q. You have mentioned that the Office of the Prosecutor has conducted

2 in-depth investigations in many of those municipalities. Could you

3 please describe to the court what happened in Sarajevo?

4 A. Yes, I can. Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Before

5 the conflict, Sarajevo had developed as a flourishing multi-ethnic

6 city. On 5th April, following demonstrations and peace marches,

7 fighting broke out with gun fire and explosions heard throughout the

8 city. On 6th April, sniper fire was reported originating from the

9 Holiday Inn near the centre of the city. The Holiday Inn at that time

10 was the headquarters of the SDS party and was occupied -----

11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am sorry to interrupt you, but perhaps before

12 discussing Sarajevo, we could proceed to a recess, unless there is a

13 very short answer, but I have the feeling that we are being to be

14 talking about this for sometime so maybe we could have a recess first.

15 As it is 4 o'clock, it would be a good time. I am very sorry, Mr.

16 Ralston, to interrupt you. So the session is adjourned until 4.15.

17 (4.00 p.m.)

18 (The court adjourned for a short time)

19 (4.20 p.m.)

20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: First, I would like to turn to the Prosecutor and I

21 would like to inform him that the Chamber accepts the documents you

22 tendered so far as exhibits. We will make sure that we do the same

23 for the forthcoming exhibits.

24 Still dealing with some concrete or material problems, I was

25 told by the interpreters that they find it difficult hearing the

Page 217

1 Prosecutor because he stands up far away from the microphone. These

2 may be sound like a small problem, and yet they make the

3 interpreters' work more difficult. So when the presiding Judge makes

4 the interpreters' job difficult, he apologises, he does whatever he

5 can. Now it turns out that the Judges have nothing to do with that.

6 Apparently, these problems have been mentioned since the

7 opening of the Tadic case. It is probably a technical thing that can

8 probably easily be fixed, but it appears that if you have to bend over

9 it will be very difficult for you, Prosecutor. But, anyway, we simply

10 wanted to point out that we should make sure to have the appropriate

11 working conditions for everybody. As far as the Judges are concerned,

12 all conditions are very good, but that should apply to everybody.

13 So I will ask the representatives of the Registry to make sure

14 that if it does not involve too much work, could that be fixed as soon

15 as possible? I am speaking here on behalf of Mrs. MacDonald who is

16 the Presiding Judge for the Tadic case and on our behalf. So,

17 Prosecutor, I think we can resume now.

18 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, your Honour. (To the witness): When we

19 had left off, Mr. Ralston, I had asked you whether or not the Office

20 of the Prosecutor had conducted in-depth investigations in certain

21 municipalities and you answered that they had and you had identified

22 those municipalities. My next question was to ask you what had

23 happened in those municipalities. You started out with a description

24 and a brief summary of what occurred in Sarajevo. Could you please

25 continue your answer as to what occurred in Sarajevo?

Page 218

1 A. Yes, I will, I will repeat the last couple of sentences that I said.

2 Before the conflict, Sarajevo had developed as a flourishing

3 multi-ethnic city. On 6th April 1992, sniper fire was reported

4 originating from the Holiday Inn near the centre of the city. The

5 Holiday Inn at that time was the headquarters of the SDS party, and

6 was occupied by party officials and body guards, as well as a number

7 of international journalists and UNPROFOR members.

8 A number of people were killed and injured by this initial

9 fire. The following day, 7th April 1992, the Republic of Bosnia and

10 Herzegovina was recognised as an independent state by the European

11 Community and the United States. From May 1992 until the end of the

12 conflict, Sarajevo was subjected to a siege by the Bosnian Serb

13 forces.

14 During the siege, the civilian population suffered greatly

15 from the continued and systematic sniper attacks by Bosnian Serb

16 forces and from the indiscriminate and intensive use of mortar and

17 artillery fire. As a result, thousands of civilians, regardless of

18 age or gender, have been killed or injured. Shelling attacks have

19 directly targeted civilians engaged in clearly non-combat activities.

20 Hospitals, cemeteries and cultural buildings have regularly been

21 targeted, as have the personnel and property of humanitarian aid and

22 peacekeeping bodies.

23 Q. Mr. Ralston, could you please summarise what our investigations have

24 shown in relation to the municipality of Foca?

25 A. Yes, Foca municipality, as I indicated previously, was an area which

Page 219

1 had a majority non-Serb population. According to the 1991 census, of

2 the population of 40,513, 51.6 per cent were Muslim, 45.3 per cent

3 Serb and 3.1 per cent classified as "others".

4 The political and military takeover of Foca started in early

5 April. The first military actions in the town were reported on 6th

6 April 1992 when Serbian military units took over Foca section by

7 section. The occupation of the town of Foca was complete by 16th or

8 17th April. The surrounding villages were under siege until some time

9 in July 1992 before they were also overtaken.

10 During an after the takeover, a number of the non-Serb

11 population were detained, interrogated, beaten and held in inhumane

12 conditions in detention facilities run by the Serbian authorities.

13 Women were separated from the men and were held in different detention

14 centres where rapes were frequently committed by guards and other

15 Serbs. Later, many of the non-Serbs were taken from these facilities

16 and exchanged in so-called "prisoner exchanges" or deported, mainly to

17 Montenegro. Many non-Serbian residents were murdered.

18 During the months after the takeover, the living conditions,

19 including the fear of being killed, became so unbearable that many

20 non-Serbs, who had managed to avoid detention, decided to leave the

21 area. Those people who left were forced to sign papers saying they

22 were leaving Foca of their own volition and that they were voluntarily

23 handing over all their possessions to the Serb authorities. By

24 admission of the Serbian authorities, as of August 1993, there were

25 only nine Muslims left in Foca.

Page 220

1 Q. Mr. Ralston, would you please describe what the Office of the

2 Prosecutor's investigations have shown in Bosanski Samac?

3 A. Yes. Bosanski Samac, as you will recall, was at the edge of the

4 Posavina corridor. Before the war, the population of Bosanski Samac

5 was made up almost evenly divided between Croats and Serbs, with

6 Muslims making up a small minority. According to the 1991 census,

7 the municipality had a total population of 32,835 people, of whom 45

8 per cent were Croats, 41 per cent Serbs, 7 per cent Muslims and 7 per

9 cent "others".

10 Before the war, most of the Croatian residents lived in

11 several predominantly Croatian outlying villages. Muslims constituted

12 the majority in the town of Bosanski Samac, and there were some

13 villages with ethnically mixed populations.

14 Early on the morning of 17th April 1992, Serbian military

15 forces seized control of Bosanski Samac. Shortly after the attack

16 members of these units went from house to house with lists of

17 non-Serbian residents and ordered all non-Serbs to turn in their

18 weapons. Irregular forces swept through the town looting homes. Some

19 homes, community buildings and villages were destroyed. Many

20 non-Serbs were immediately arrested and detained in detention

21 facilities set up in several different locations around the town of

22 Bosanski Samac, including one in the local police station.

23 In those detention facilities, beatings and mistreatment were

24 a daily occurrence. Some of the detainees were killed, others were

25 subjected to humiliating sexual assaults.

Page 221

1 Overnight, Bosnian Serbs took control of all businesses and

2 government offices, and assumed all positions of authority. As it

3 occurred hundreds of kilometres away in Foca, the Serbian authorities

4 proceeded to reduce the civilian non-Serbian population by imposing

5 brutal conditions. Non-Serbs were arrested, detained, beaten,

6 tortured, murdered and humiliated. Those not arrested or detained

7 lived in fear, under such oppressive conditions, that many chose to

8 leave the area to escape the intolerable situation.

9 Many civilians were used in "prisoner exchanges". By March

10 1995 it was estimated that about 10 Croats and 250 Muslims remained in

11 the municipality. As of July 1995, 98 per cent of the non-Serb

12 population had either left or been deported.

13 Q. Mr. Ralston, could you summarise for the court what the Prosecutor's

14 investigations have shown in relation to the municipality of

15 Vlasenica?

16 A. Yes. With regard to Vlasenica, again non-Serbs were the majority

17 population. The municipality had approximately 33,817 citizens, of

18 whom approximately 55 per cent were Muslim, 43 per cent Serb and 2 per

19 cent described as "other". The town of Vlasenica is located in the

20 municipality of the same name. In 1991, the town of Vlasenica had

21 approximately 7,500 citizens, of whom approximately 4,800 or 64 per

22 cent were Muslim.

23 In the months leading up to the takeover of the municipality

24 of Vlasenica, there was considerable tension between Bosnian Serb and

25 non-Serbian officials. The tension related primarily to SDS demands

Page 222

1 for various forms of political control. Ultimately, the SDS demanded

2 that Vlasenica be divided into Serbian and non-Serbian areas.

3 Significantly, just before the takeover, Serbs had begun to set up a

4 separate administration and police force. Serbian paramilitary groups

5 moved into the area and the Muslim population was ordered to hand over

6 their weapons.

7 On 21st April 1992, the Bosnian Serb takeover of Vlasenica was

8 effected by members of the Novi Sad Corps of the JNA assisted by

9 paramilitary units. Following the takeover of the town of Vlasenica,

10 the remaining Muslim villages in the municipality were also captured

11 and civilians were arrested, mistreated, detained in camps or

12 deported. Many of the civilians' homes were destroyed.

13 After the takeover, detention warrants and criminal charges

14 were drawn up against the Muslim leaders and SDS members of the area

15 -- SDA members of the area, I am sorry , but by that time 95 per cent

16 of the Muslim officials had fled. On the day of the takeover of the

17 town of Vlasenica, Serbs in a police car forced a Muslim religious

18 leader to give an ultimatum to the non-Serb population in which they

19 were instructed to hand over all weapons.

20 During and after the takeover, non-Serbian villages were

21 attacked and the Muslim residents rounded up and detained. In

22 addition, the Serbian forces destroyed and looted much of the Muslim

23 property.

24 Once the civilians were detained, the men and women were

25 separated. The women were deported and the men were detained for

Page 223

1 extended periods of time in inhumane conditions. The men were

2 interrogated and beaten for no apparent reason. After being released

3 from detention, some of the men were used for "prisoners exchanges".

4 Many of the civilians detained were subsequently sent to the Batkovic

5 camp in north east Bosnia where they were detained for lengthy

6 periods.

7 Most of Muslim women, driven by fear, were compelled to sign

8 documents stating they were leaving the area of their own free will.

9 Prior to leaving, however, the people had to obtain permission to

10 leave from the Serbian run Crisis Staff and had to sign over all their

11 property to the Serbs.

12 Q. Mr. Ralston, did similar events occur in Brcko?

13 A. Yes, they did. In Brcko, the population was approximately 87,000

14 with 43,000 inhabitants residing in the town of Brcko itself. The

15 population of the municipality was 45 per cent Muslim; 20.7 per cent

16 Serb; 25.9 per cent Croat; 5.5 per cent Yugoslav and 3 per cent

17 "other". So it can be seen that the Serbian population was the

18 significant minority in this area. However, as I have previously

19 stated, control of this area was vital to the Bosnian Serb programme.

20 The war in Brcko began in the early morning of 30th April

21 1992, when powerful explosions destroyed the two bridges across the

22 Sava River. Immediately thereafter, the SDS Crisis Staff assumed

23 power in the municipality. On 1st May 1992, the post office, radio

24 and television stations and the police station were taken over by

25 soldiers wearing the uniform of the JNA. Residents who tried to leave

Page 224

1 the town were turned back at checkpoints manned by Serbian soldiers

2 and paramilitary soldiers known as Arkanovci or Seseljevci, which were

3 controlled by Zeljko Raznjatovic "Arkan" and Vojislav Seselj

4 respectively.

5 On 2nd May 1992, shooting began in the predominantly Muslim

6 neighbourhoods of Dizdarusa, Kolobara and Klanac as Muslim fighters

7 organised a resistance to the Serbian soldiers in the town. An

8 artillery bombardment began in the Muslim neighbourhoods and residents

9 sought shelter in the basements of their homes. Houses were damaged

10 severely as a result of the shelling.

11 On 3rd May 1992, Serbian soldiers began moving through the

12 city, forcing residents to leave their homes and to "evacuate to safe

13 areas". Muslim and Croat residents were separated from Serbs and

14 taken to collection centres. Women, children and the elderly were

15 separated from the men and bused out of Brcko to Brezevo Polje, a

16 village a few kilometres east of the town of Brcko. While at the

17 collection centres, Muslims and Croats were subjected to verbal

18 harassment, physical beatings and some were killed.

19 A large percentage of the non-Serbian male population was

20 detained at the Luka camp in the town of Brcko where beatings, torture

21 and murder were common place. The camp authorities executed detainees

22 on a systematic basis during the first weeks of Luka's operation. In

23 July, all male detainees were bused to the nearby Batkovic detention

24 camp. Other non-Serbian males, who had previously been detained and

25 released, were later re-arrested and also taken to Batkovic. As a

Page 225

1 result of the climate of fear and terror created by the Serbian

2 actions, the overwhelming majority of non-Serbian residents who were

3 not killed or detained left the area by any means possible.

4 Q. Mr. Ralston, could you describe what the Prosecutor's investigations

5 have shown in relation to Prijedor?

6 A. Yes. The Prosecutor's office has conducted extensive investigations

7 in relation to events in the Prijedor area. Prijedor, before May 1991,

8 was almost evenly divided between Muslims and Serbs. According to the

9 1991 census, the municipality had a total population of 112,470

10 people, of whom 44 per cent were Muslim, 42.5 per cent Serb, 5.6 per

11 cent Croats, 5.7 per cent Yugoslav and 2.2 per cent described as

12 "others". I am told the "others" are often made up of Ukrainians,

13 Russians and Italians.

14 On 30th April 1992, Bosnian Serb forces seized power in the

15 town of Prijedor. There was no meaningful resistance, as non-Serb

16 police surrendered their arms to their Serbian colleagues. The

17 following morning, Serbian flags flew from all official buildings and

18 Radio Prijedor broadcast that Serbs had taken over the municipality,

19 which was henceforth to be called "Serbian Municipality Prijedor".

20 Over the next three weeks, Radio Prijedor repeatedly broadcast

21 demands that non-Serbs surrender all remaining arms, even licensed

22 hunting weapons. Muslim officials met with Bosnian Serb authorities

23 to negotiate a peaceful co-existence. During this time, travel for

24 non-Serbs was increasingly curtailed and communication lines from

25 predominantly Muslim villages to the outside world were cut.

Page 226

1 Before and after the Bosnian Serbs seized power, they supplied

2 arms and weapons to the Serbian villages in the municipality. Heavy

3 weapons were also introduced into the area.

4 Military attacks in the Prijedor municipality began on 23rd

5 May 1992, after an incident at a checkpoint near the village of

6 Hambarine. Military attacks on Hambarine and Ljubija were followed by

7 attacks on Kozarac and Prijedor town. Beginning on 20th July 1992,

8 villages on the left bank of the Sana River were attacked by Serbian

9 forces. As in most of the other attacks, the left bank villages were

10 subjected to heavy shelling, followed by a mass round up and killings

11 of non-Serbian civilians. Many homes and villages were destroyed

12 during and after the attacks, making it impossible for people to

13 return to the villages.

14 Those who were arrested and detained endured long term

15 detention in facilities marked by the cruel and inhumane treatment of

16 inmates. Many thousands of non-Serbian civilians suffered in the

17 infamous detention camps of Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje. From

18 these centres the detainees were later either transferred to the

19 Manjaca camp and from there to either Batkovic camp or to other areas

20 outside Bosnia-Herzegovina.

21 Those who were not detained lived under such oppressive

22 conditions and in such a state of fear that most eventually left

23 Prijedor. By June 1993, 88 per cent of the Muslim population of

24 approximately 49,000 had been killed or forced to leave the area.

25 Today the majority of the previous non-Serbian population in the

Page 227

1 Prijedor municipality has been expelled.

2 Q. Mr. Ralston, you have testified that as a result of the events that

3 took place in those respective municipalities, the ethnic composition

4 of each of those municipalities changed. Would you please refer to

5 Exhibit No. 50? I would ask you, once it is put on the elmo, to

6 please identify and explain its relevance to the court.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Perhaps we could have the lights down at this point?

9 A. In the municipalities of Prijedor, Foca, Vlasenica, Brcko and

10 Bosanski Samac, of which I have just spoken, the population changed

11 from being a Serbian minority to being almost totally Serbian. A

12 research indicates that this occurred in other areas taken over as

13 well, for example, Kotor Varos, Sanski Most, Doboj, Visegrad and

14 several of the areas along here. I will also indicate that Bosnian

15 Serbs also took control of these areas in here.

16 Q. Mr. Ralston, you have described a number of the methods that were

17 used by the forces that took over these particular municipalities.

18 Could you please explain what common features you found, what patterns

19 you found, in terms of those methods?

20 A. The common features include initially ultimatums, to hand over

21 weapons, to swear allegiance to the Bosnian Serb administration and

22 the surrender of certain individuals. There were military attacks

23 followed by wholesale destruction of villages. It was indiscriminate

24 murder, separation of men from the women, children and the elderly,

25 incarceration in various forms of detention facilities. These

Page 228

1 detention facilities were either run by the police, military

2 authorities or both. At these facilities interrogations, beatings,

3 murder, sexual assault were commonplace, as was torture. Many of the

4 those incarcerated were later subjected to deportation, as were

5 civilians who were not detained.

6 Q. Those methods, Mr. Ralston, before we turn to them specifically,

7 occurred in municipalities that were located all throughout the

8 territory occupied by the Bosnian Serbs; is that correct?

9 A. That is correct.

10 Q. You mentioned one of the patterns that has emerged in the course of

11 the Prosecutor's investigations is that ultimatums were a common

12 feature in takeovers; could you please explain to the court what you

13 mean by that and give the court some examples?

14 A. Ultimatums were frequently issued by the SDS, the members of the

15 Bosnian Serb army, or the police, to representatives of the Muslim

16 villages to surrender their arms. To illustrate this, I will provide

17 you with an example from Prijedor: on 22nd May 1992, a car with five

18 men, four Serbs and a Croat, were stopped at a checkpoint in the

19 village of Hambarine near Prijedor. When the Serbs were asked to

20 surrender their weapons, one of the Serbs opened fire with his machine

21 gun. The commander at the checkpoint was wounded and later died of

22 his wounds. The other non-Serbs at the checkpoint returned fire and

23 killed two of the Serbs. The Serbs then asked the non-Serbs to

24 surrender themselves and the checkpoint.

25 After the shooting incident, the SDS Crisis Staff in Prijedor

Page 229

1 delivered an ultimatum over Radio Prijedor in which they demanded that

2 the men who they held responsible for the shooting at the checkpoint

3 be handed over to them, and that all weapons in Hambarine be

4 surrendered to the Serbs. If the ultimatum was not met by noon the

5 following day, the Serbs said they would attack Hambarine.

6 When the ultimatum was not met, the Serbs commenced an

7 artillery bombardment of Hambarine. When the artillery fire ceased,

8 the village was attacked by tanks and infantry and houses were set on

9 fire. When the attack on Hambarine started, large numbers of

10 villagers fled to other nearby Muslim or Croatian villages. Others

11 took to the woods and remained there until they thought the immediate

12 danger was over.

13 Q. After the ultimatum was issued by the Prijedor Crisis Staff, what

14 happened to the village of Hambarine and other nearby villages?

15 A. Well, as in the above example, ultimatums were delivered both by the

16 SDS run Crisis Staff, civil officials and members of the military

17 forces.

18 In relation to Hambarine, later that day negotiations between

19 Major Radmilo Zeljaja and Becir Medunjanin, a representative of the

20 Muslim community of Kozarac, were monitored on the police radio in

21 Kozarac. Zeljaja issued an ultimatum that the people of Kozarac

22 either sign a pledge of loyalty to the Bosnian Serb Republic and hand

23 over all weapons or Kozarac would be attacked. Zeljaja informed

24 Medunjanin that he had until noon for the ultimatum to be reached.

25 About noon on 24th May 1992, Becir Medunjanin asked for more

Page 230

1 time, but Zeljaja told him that time had run out. Shortly thereafter,

2 Kozarac was attacked by local Serbs from Lamovita and Omarska and

3 troops from the Banja Luka Corps under the command of Colonel Vladimir

4 Arsic and Major Zeljaja, the commander in the field. Kozarac town and

5 the villages of Kamicani, Jakupovici and Kozarusa were subjected to

6 heavy bombardment by artillery, and from tanks and smaller weapons.

7 On 27th May 1992, Bosnian-Serb army tanks and infantry moved

8 into Kozarac and, as the local population had not organised any real

9 resistance to the attack, the Serbs moved in virtually unimpeded.

10 Many of the inhabitants of the area fled to the nearby forests of the

11 Kozara Mountain.

12 Q. What happened to those individuals, Mr. Ralston, who fled into the

13 woods?

14 A. After the shelling stopped, the surrender of thousands of the

15 inhabitants of the Kozarac area was negotiated by a number of the

16 former Muslim police and Major Zeljaja. Many people, men women and

17 children, took advantage of this surrender, formed columns and moved

18 towards Prijedor town under the guard of the Serbian forces. As the

19 column was moving along the road many of the men were taken from the

20 column and killed on the spot. The Muslim commander of the police in

21 Kozarac and a number of his officers were killed after they were

22 surrendered. At a checkpoint along the road the column was met by

23 Bosnian Serb forces and the men were separated from the women and

24 children. The majority of the men were then placed on buses and taken

25 to the Omarska and Keraterm camps. The majority of the women and

Page 231

1 children were taken to Trnopolje camp.

2 Q. Mr. Ralston, you mentioned that one of the patterns that the

3 investigations have revealed is a pattern of murder of civilians by

4 the police and military personnel. Can you please expand on this?

5 A. In the municipalities mentioned, summary execution of civilians both

6 inside and outside of the detention facilities was commonplace.

7 Perhaps the best or most graphic examples of this occurred in Brcko

8 where a photographer happened to be on the scene and captured

9 photographs of the murder of two apparently civilian people. These

10 photographs were later published in international media.

11 Q. Could we have the lights dimmed. Your Honour, we are going to refer

12 now to Exhibits 51A, B and C. If they could be shown now. Could you

13 explain, Mr. Ralston, please what is shown in this Exhibit as soon as

14 we get a focus on it?

15 A. You see here two civilians being escorted by an armed man in what

16 appears to be a police uniform and another armed man in what appears

17 to be a military uniform. If we move to the next photograph ----

18 Q. Let me ask you, those photographs were taken in Brcko?

19 A. Those photographs were taken in Brcko.

20 Q. All right. Could you move to the next photograph, please.

21 A. You will see in this photograph that the gentleman in the apparently

22 police uniform has raised his weapon. What has occurred here is he

23 has fired into the back of the civilian in front of him.

24 Q. Will you please show the next exhibit.

25 A. This photo graphically depicts what happened to the civilian. I

Page 232

1 might also add that the other gentleman who is shown, the other

2 civilian shown in the first photograph was murdered at the same time.

3 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Ralston. If we could have the lights back

4 up.

5 A. I think there is the next.

6 Q. In that case we will not have them up. Let me now turn to the next

7 pattern that has been revealed, and that is the destruction of Muslim

8 villages. Is there another photograph?

9 A. Yes, there is another.

10 Q. I am sorry. Let me go back then to one more photograph in that

11 series.

12 A. On the same day that that last series of photographs were taken, this

13 photograph of a mass grave near Brcko was taken. You can see that

14 bodies in the grave are all wearing civilian clothes. It is Exhibit

15 No. 52.

16 Q. All right. Now we can have the lights up. Mr. Ralston, let me turn

17 your attention to another feature in the patterns that the

18 Prosecutor's investigations have revealed, and that is the destruction

19 of Muslim villages. Can you please explain to the court what you mean

20 by that and we will turn to some exhibits in just a minute?

21 A. Yes. In general as the Muslim population had been removed from

22 villages, Bosnian Serb forces would come through and destroy their

23 houses to prevent their return. In Vlasenica the attack started, as I

24 said, on 22nd April. Following the official departure of the JNA

25 troops and their replacement by Bosnian Serb troops, Bosnian Serb army

Page 233

1 troops, Muslim villages continue to be destroyed. The attacks on

2 these villages met with little or no resistance. In many cases people

3 had turned in their weapons. In the Prijedor municipality the

4 following villages suffered from bombardment or total or partial

5 destruction by Serbian military, paramilitary and police units:

6 Hambarine and Ljubija on 22nd May, Kozarac, Alici, Brdjani, Donji

7 Forici, Gornja Forici, Hrnici, Jakupovic, Kamicani, Kevljani,

8 Kenjari, Kozarusa and others, and Prijedor, Tukovi and Stari Grad on

9 30th May. In a further wave of attacks on 20th July the following

10 villages suffered widespread destruction: Biscani, Karakovo,

11 Rizvanovici, Sredice, Zidovi, Brisevo, Donji Ljubija, Gornji Ljubija,

12 Raljas and Lisina.

13 Q. Mr. Ralston, let me ask you to refer to Exhibits 53, 54 and 55, and

14 please expand on your testimony using those exhibits, if you would.

15 Before you start, Mr. Ralston, we need to get it on the video screen.

16 Perhaps the lights could be dimmed on this as well. No, they had

17 better stay as bright as they can. Go ahead.

18 A. I will refer you firstly to the colour coding on the map. The blue

19 indicates populated areas, the yellow destruction from shelling, and

20 the red destruction from fire or explosives. You will see here heavy

21 concentration of red. This red correlates with the Muslims villages

22 of Prijedor which I have just spoken about. You will see in this area

23 here there is also a heavy concentration of red showing large numbers

24 of homes have been destroyed. Our evidence shows that the majority of

25 these houses which have been destroyed from either fires or explosives

Page 234

1 are on areas which were previously predominantly Muslim.

2 If we move to the next exhibit, if I can show that more

3 graphically in relation to this area here and later this area here.

4 Now this map is a portion of eastern and central Bosnia. The areas in

5 green are the areas which are shown in the 1991 census has been a

6 predominantly Muslim population. You will see in those areas you have

7 indicated by red again where the houses have been destroyed from

8 either fires or explosives. You will see the concentration of

9 destruction of houses by fire and explosives is extremely high in the

10 predominantly Muslim areas. If we move to the next exhibit it will

11 show us something similar which occurred in the Prijedor area.

12 Q. For this we need the lights dimmed. If we could have them dimmed.

13 A. OK. This map here is the area in north western Bosnia and it

14 encompasses the Prijedor area which I have previously given evidence

15 about, part of Banja Luka and Sanski Most. What these concentrations

16 here show are what are called ethnically cleansed towns. The blue

17 occurred from mid-April to mid-May. You will see here, here and

18 Prijedor town. In May you see the concentration of villages outside

19 of Prijedor I spoke to. From late May to early June you will see that

20 these villages in this area here suffered from ethnic cleansing, and

21 from late July you will see the concentration in these areas here.

22 Q. Mr. Ralston, in many of these villages there were Serbian people who

23 lived, Bosnian Serbian people who lived next to Bosnian Muslim people.

24 Did it frequently occur that portions of the Muslim community were

25 essentially obliterated and portions of the community that were

Page 235

1 Bosnian-Serb remained intact?

2 A. That is correct.

3 Q. In that regard, Mr. Ralston, I would like to show you, please,

4 Exhibit 56A and B. I would ask you once it gets put on the elmo to

5 explain what this is an example of.

6 A. OK. This is an aerial photograph. What it shows you, and this is in

7 the city of the Foca which I have previously given testimony about,

8 this area here is described as the Serb section of Foca. A short

9 distance away you have a Muslim section. It is not quite so clear

10 from this photograph, but I will show you in a moment. There is no

11 destruction in this area whilst all the buildings in this area have

12 been destroyed. I have two further photographs which show, sorry, a

13 further photograph which shows a focus on these two areas. So in the

14 main this photograph shows their proximity. On this photograph you

15 can see that the Muslim homes are totally destroyed and the mosque has

16 been damaged. In the Serb section a short distance away you see the

17 Orthodox Church totally intact and all the buildings totally intact.

18 Q. Mr. Ralston, would you now refer to Exhibit 56C. Your Honours, we

19 will be asking the usher to pass to your Honours copies of these

20 photographs which you do not have in your collection. That, your

21 Honours, is 56C.

22 Mr. Ralston would you explain what 56C represents?

23 A. Yes. This is a photograph of a village near Crska. You will see in

24 this photograph the signs of houses which have been totally destroyed.

25 I am advised that these houses were Muslim houses. Nestled in the

Page 236

1 middle of them here and here are two Serbian style homes which have

2 suffered no damage at all.

3 Q. Mr. Ralston, I would now like to turn your attention to Exhibit No.

4 57, and ask you to identify what Exhibit 57 is?

5 A. Exhibit 57 depicts for us the fate of many of the Muslim mosques

6 throughout the Serb controlled areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Brcko

7 in this site in early July 1992 we see a mosque.

8 Q. That is a graphic depiction of the mosque, is that correct?

9 A. That is correct, of the mosque and the accompanying minaret. By May

10 1994 that area had been levelled completely. Not only had the mosque

11 been destroyed, but any of the remnants of the mosque had been totally

12 removed. I think the next exhibit will show that a little more

13 graphically. This is the same area as I was pointing to in the

14 previous exhibit, and this is the area where the mosque had stood.

15 All traces have been removed.

16 Q. Mr. Ralston, was there systematic destruction of religious sites in

17 some of the locations that you have testified about?

18 A. Yes, there was.

19 Q. Let me refer your Honours to Exhibit No. 58. We will display that on

20 the elmo in just a minute. I will ask you, Mr. Ralston, to identify

21 it and explain what it is once it comes up on the screen?

22 A. This exhibit is a graphic representation of the Banja Luka area. It

23 is significant in that Banja Luka was a Serbian majority population

24 and, as such, there was no armed conflict in the area. Despite the

25 fact there was no armed conflict in the area, many of the Muslim

Page 237

1 mosques were destroyed. This graphic plots the Muslim mosque

2 locations and showed the ones that had been destroyed by September

3 1993. There are 14 depicted here in total, and since that graphic was

4 prepared I am told that three further mosques have been destroyed and

5 I am also told that that means the sum total of mosques in the Banja

6 Luka area have been destroyed.

7 Q. Mr. Ralston, I would like now to turn to another feature of the

8 pattern that you have identified in the municipalities where the

9 Prosecutor's Office has conducted investigations, and that is the

10 separation of men from women. Can you please explain that feature?

11 A. Yes. I have mentioned before in my testimony that men were separated

12 from women. The men once they were separated were taken to detention

13 facilities where they were held for weeks, months and even years.

14 Some were then either deported to moved to other facilities or used in

15 prisoner exchanges. The women were also often placed in detention

16 facilities for various periods of time. In these facilities they were

17 often subjected to persistent rape and sexual assault by camp

18 officials and guards and soldiers, and on occasions civilians who came

19 into the facilities. On other occasions people came into the

20 facility, took women out, took them to various homes and locations

21 where they were raped also. Other women were allowed to return to

22 their homes. These women were often in an extremely vulnerable

23 position. They were alone or with small children and no other

24 support. They were at the peril of individuals and groups of soldiers

25 who would visit unannounced and subject them to rape and sexual

Page 238

1 assault. They were also subjected to other types of threats and

2 harassment which led many of them to take all the steps they could to

3 escape from the area and the constant harassment.

4 Q. Did this pattern or this method of separating men from women occur

5 only in 1992?

6 A. No, it did not, and this pattern repeated itself to certain extent as

7 late as July 1995 when the Bosnian Serbs captured the Srebrenica safe

8 area. After the fall of Srebrenica male refugees were separated from

9 women and children. The women were then transported towards Tuzla.

10 The males were taken to other locations and thousands of them were

11 murdered.

12 Q. Mr. Ralston, would you please refer to Exhibit No. 59, identify it

13 and explain its significance to the court?

14 A. OK. This exhibit depicts in yellow the municipalities I have given

15 testimony about. It shows the also the takeovers of the areas of

16 Srebrenica and Zepa which were as late as July 1995. These

17 municipalities, together with control of these municipalities which I

18 have not give testimony about, or control of these municipalities,

19 meant that the Bosnian Serbs controlled the area behind the

20 confrontation line, and not only did they control it, they had a

21 considerable ethnic majority in each of the municipalities.

22 Q. You testified, Mr. Ralston, that many of the men and the women who

23 were collected by the people who had taken over these communities were

24 placed in detention facilities. Is that correct?

25 A. Yes, that is correct.

Page 239

1 Q. Would you please refer to Exhibit No. 60 and I will ask you to

2 identify that and explain what it represents.

3 A. This exhibit shows the location of some of the detention facilities

4 that were set up in the areas controlled by the Bosnian Serbs. In the

5 Prijedor area we have the Keraterm, Trnopolje, Omarska camps. There

6 are also facilities in Sanski Most, Kljuc, Jajce, Kotor Varos. These

7 camps tended to run by the civilian authorities and the police,

8 although there was some involvement of the military. Manjaca was a

9 totally military run camp. In this area again you have camps run by

10 either the police or the military, and you have the Batkovic camp

11 which is run strictly by the military. The arrows depict the movement

12 of prisoners. Following the public outcry on the discovery of these

13 camps, individuals were moved to the Manjaca camp. In relation to

14 camps in this areas, as they closed down the detainees were moved to

15 the Batkovic camp.

16 Finally when Manjaca closed down in December 1992 some of the

17 prisoners, I think about 500, from Manjaca were transferred to

18 Batkovic. What this indicates is that the camps were not run in

19 isolation. They were interconnected and people moved between each

20 other. It also shows that detainees from the camps were moved from

21 different areas of military control, from the area of the Drina Corps

22 to the area of the Eastern Bosnia Corps, from the Krajina Corps to the

23 Eastern Bosnia Corps.

24 Q. Now are these camps still in existence, Mr. Ralston?

25 A. To my knowledge these camps have now been closed.

Page 240

1 Q. I would like you now to focus your attention on those camps and ask

2 you to describe the general conditions of the camps and what happened

3 to the detainees who were inside them?

4 A. The detainees in the camps, some were tortured, others were killed.

5 Some were beaten during the takeover and held as human shields against

6 possible resistance by armed Muslim groups. Women and men were

7 separated in the camps, as I have testified. In Foca many of the women

8 were being held around the partisan hall in various motels and

9 apartments where they were subjected to rape an sexual assault. Our

10 evidence shows that every evening the younger women and girls were

11 taken out of the partisan sports hall in Foca, in the Foca high

12 school, and were raped or ganged raped in rooms or apartments in

13 neighbouring buildings.

14 Q. You have just described, Mr. Ralston, camps that were in the Foca

15 municipality, is that correct?

16 A. That is correct.

17 Q. And that is what happened to the detainees in those camps?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. I would like to turn your attention, please, to the camps that were

20 located in the Vlasenica municipality and ask you the same question.

21 Please describe the conditions of those camps and what occurred to the

22 detainees in those camps?

23 A. Yes, in Vlasenica people started to be detained between 2nd and 13th

24 June. The main centre of detention was Susica camp. At Susica

25 detainees were tortured, interrogated and beaten at random. Some died

Page 241

1 as a result of their beatings. The camp was located at the site of a

2 former Territorial Defence storage centre. It ran from June 1992 to

3 September 1992. There were so-called specialists who came in the camp

4 and participated in the torturing of the detainees. When people

5 arrived at the camp they were beaten, some so severely they died.

6 Food was insufficient and most of the time inedible. As I have said

7 before, the detainees in this camp were later transferred to Batkovic.

8 I am told that in September 1992 when Susica camp closed about 200

9 detainees who remained there were killed.

10 Q. Mr. Ralston, could you please also describe to the Court what the

11 conditions were like in the Prijedor camps?

12 A. Detention of civilians in Prijedor commenced shortly after the

13 various military attacks. Civilians were rounded up the police, the

14 military and the paramilitary forces. Detention facilities were run

15 by the civil authorities staffed by police with some military guards.

16 As I have said before, there were three main detention facilities:

17 Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje. The conditions at the first two were

18 particularly brutal.

19 The Omarska camp opened at the end of May after the first

20 attacks. It is a site of an iron ore mine. The camp was extremely

21 crowded. Detainees were not permitted to move around freely. There

22 was little water and what water there was often contaminated. The

23 detention occurred in the summer. It was often very hot and the

24 cramped the conditions and the heat compounded the human misery.

25 There was no bedding provided for the inmates and there were few

Page 242

1 sanitary provisions. Those who ventured to use the sanitary

2 provisions were beaten in the course of the attempt. Hygiene

3 deteriorated and lice, diarrhoea and dysentery became prevalent. For

4 the first three or four days in the camp there was little or no food.

5 A small piece of bread and a small amount of a soup-like fluid are

6 described as the main fare. All the detainees in Omarska lost a great

7 deal of weight while at the camp.

8 On arriving at the camp there were they were normally

9 searched, their private possessions taken from them and not returned.

10 They would then have to run the gauntlet of a cordon of guards who

11 beat them with batons, clubs, rifle butts, kicking and punching them.

12 Periodically guards demanded money and other valuable items from the

13 prisoners. If they could not provide them beatings followed swiftly.

14 There were a small number of women incarcerated at Omarska.

15 With the exception of one, they were required to clean the

16 interrogation rooms after inspectors had left for the day. They report

17 that the rooms they were cleaning were often covered in blood and hair

18 and skin which would have to be cleaned from the floor and walls.

19 Weapons such as clubs electric cable, batons and similar instruments

20 were kicked in the rooms. On an almost nightly basis some of these

21 women were called from those rooms by the camp commanders, supervisors

22 or guards, mistreated and sexually assaulted.

23 I am told that the interrogations that were conducted in

24 Omarska would involved somebody asking questions and at various stages

25 through the interrogations other men coming into the room and

Page 243

1 inflicting brutal beatings on the person being interrogated. There

2 were incidents of special terror which occurred. For example, on the

3 eve the Petrovdan, a Serbian religious holiday in early July, to

4 celebrate this festival the guards built a huge bonfire and engaged

5 in a drinking spree. The detainees were dragged from their rooms, some

6 were thrown alive into the fire, others were beaten severely. The

7 screaming and crying of these victims created sheer terror for those

8 people who were detained but fortunate enough not to be called out.

9 In the latter part of July 1992 a large number of detainees

10 who had been captured in the area of the left bank of the Sana River

11 arrived in Omarska. This area was the last significant pocket of

12 non-Serbs in the Prijedor municipality. After arrival in the camp they

13 were subjected to brutal beatings and many of them were killed. As a

14 result of the investigation carried out in relation to the activities

15 of the guards in the Omarska camp two indictments have been issued by

16 this Tribunal.

17 Q. Mr. Ralston, can you describe the conditions in the Manjaca detention

18 facility?

19 A. Yes. The Manjaca detention camp which was located 25 kilometres

20 south of Banja Luka was run by the military. It was established in

21 the summer of 1991 as a prisoner of war camp for Croatian prisoners of

22 war of the war between Croatia and the FRY. From April to May 1992

23 the camp was used to detain non-Serbian Bosnia-Herzegovina citizens.

24 The camp was allegedly closed on 18th December 1992 when the last

25 prisoners were moved to Batkovic or released to Karlovac in Croatia.

Page 244

1 The military ran the camp. The commanders were high ranked officers:

2 a Lieutenant Colonel nicknamed Spaga and his successors, Lieutenant

3 Colonel Bozidar Popovic, Lieutenant Colonel Petrovic and Lieutenant

4 Colonel Bojic.

5 Between June and August 1992 at least 3,600 people were

6 detained at Manjaca camp. Almost all the detainees were men aged

7 from their mid-teens to over 60. In December 1992 when the camp was

8 closed approximately 2,500 people were released and 532 moved to other

9 camps. From May to July the prisoners came from Doboj, Gornja Sanica,

10 Sitnica, Stara Gradiska, Kljuc, Sanski Most, amongst others. After

11 Omarska was closed in August 1992 prisoners came from that camp to

12 Manjaca. After Jajce and Kotor Varos fell people were brought from

13 those places to Manjaca.

14 After August 1992 as a result of international media exposure

15 and agreements concerning treatment of prisoners, many detainees were

16 released or exchanged. On several occasions up to 1,000 people were

17 moved to or from Manjaca. To move these large numbers of detainees

18 across regional and municipal boundaries required significant

19 organisation and co-ordination between police and military

20 authorities. Many of the movements of detainees were as a direct

21 result of agreements made by Karadzic and show the extent of command

22 and control he exercised in relation to the detention facilities.

23 Q. Mr. Ralston, I have asked you to prepare selected film clips showing

24 the condition of detainees in Omarska and Trnopolje. Is that correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 245

1 Q. Then if we could, please -- actually before we slow the clip, Mr.

2 Ralston, would you please inform the Court what they will see on the

3 film before it is shown?

4 A. Yes. This film was taken at the beginning of August 1992 shortly

5 after the international community became aware of the existence of the

6 camps. You will see clips taken at Trnopolje and Omarska. The

7 footage taken at Omarska will depict emaciated detainees hungrily

8 attacking food which I have been told was in access of that normally

9 provided to them. You will observe them almost eat the enamel off the

10 plate they are eating from. In contrast you will see an armed and

11 apparently well-fed guard overseeing the detainees while they eat.

12 From that clip we move to a clip of the Trnopolje detention facility.

13 The detainees depicted in this clip had recently been transferred

14 from Omarska and Keraterm.

15 Q. Now if we could show, please, film clip No. 3 Exhibit No. 29. Can we

16 dim the lights as well. Thank you.

17 (Exhibit 29 clip No. 3 was shown).

18 Your Honour, I notice it is a little past 5.30. I have one

19 more question to ask Mr. Ralston and then I will conclude my

20 examination for the day.

21 Mr. Ralston, did Dr. Karadzic ever comment about the images

22 that have been shown on these films?

23 A. Yes. Dr. Karadzic has repeatedly been asked about these camps. An

24 example of his response to such questions was published in the

25 Independent Magazine in London. Karadzic said: "When they started

Page 246

1 talking about the concentration camps I happened to be in London. I

2 told them, 'I don't know what the condition are like in those camps.

3 We do keep prisoners. We do not kill them. We must keep them. It is

4 war. So, Penny Marshall, an ITN journalist, came to Ormaska and

5 picked out a few very skinny guys who will never look better. When I

6 was 30 I too looked like them. She presented that to the world."

7 MR. HARMON: We have no additional evidence for the day, your Honour. We

8 have concluded our presentation.

9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: All right. Thank you very much, Mr. Ralston. Thank

10 you Prosecutor. So we will stand in recess this Friday evening. We

11 will resume Monday at 10 o'clock.

12 (The court adjourned until Monday, 1st July 1996)