1 Thursday, 29 October 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.10 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning
6 everyone in and around the courtroom. This is case IT-08-91-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
8 JUDGE HALL: Good morning. May we begin in the usual manner by
9 having the appearances, please.
10 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honours. For the Prosecution I'm
11 Thomas Hannis joined by Matthew Olmsted and our case manager Crispian
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Appearing for Stanisic
14 Defence Slobodan Zecevic, Slobodan Cvijetic, and Mr. Eugene O'Sullivan.
15 Thank you very much.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Dragan Krgovic for
17 Stojan Zupljanin.
18 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
19 JUDGE HALL: Yes, Mr. Hannis.
20 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honours. There was one procedural matter
21 I wanted to raise first thing this morning. It concerns Witness ST-110
22 Mr. Trbojevic. He's here pursuant to a subpoena issued by the Trial
23 Chamber, but in light of the pace at which we have been proceeding we had
24 anticipated he would start to testify today or tomorrow, but now it looks
25 like he wouldn't begin before next week. He is a practising lawyer, he
1 has some cases which he is counsel for and scheduled to appear in state
2 court in Bosnia
3 allow him to return home today or tomorrow as scheduled by victim witness
4 and return at a later date. We are suggesting perhaps the week of
5 November 23rd. But because he's here under subpoena issued by you, we
6 felt it necessary to bring him here to court. If you're willing to go
7 along with our suggestion then we would ask to have him brought in and be
8 advised by the Court that he remains under the subpoena and that he will
9 have to return the week of November 23rd.
10 I think -- I've had some discussion with Mr. Zecevic, and I
11 believe the Defence does not oppose this request.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: We have no objection. We understand the situation.
13 Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Hannis, for how long time was Mr. ST-110
15 supposed to testify?
16 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I'm not sure what we put in our
17 notification last week, but he is a 92 ter. I'd estimated perhaps three
18 hours with direct, and the Defence, I think Mr. Zecevic had said five --
19 oh, I see he's giving me the signal of eight hours now on
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: And Mr. Krgovic?
22 MR. KRGOVIC: One hour, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: One hour. So this seems to me that ST-110 would
24 have to stay here for several days.
25 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: And the reason we can't hear him, I understand,
2 is that we have another subpoenaed witness.
3 MR. HANNIS: Mr. Djeric.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Right. ST-111. Now, for how long was he
5 scheduled to testify. Do you recall?
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, I'm not -- my case manager's checking
7 for me. Three hours, and I believe the original estimate I'd seen from
8 the Defence I think was six hours for Mr. Zecevic and one hour for the
9 Zupljanin Defence.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: So again we have subpoenaed a witness who is
11 required to testify over several days.
12 Now, if I am not mistaken, you asked the Court to issue subpoena
13 orders on two consecutive days.
14 MR. HANNIS: I believe there were -- they were scheduled two days
15 apart. One was scheduled to appear on Tuesday and one on Thursday. I'm
16 not sure, but that's my recollection.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well.
18 MR. HANNIS: And part of that is done, Your Honour in case the
19 first witness is not served and doesn't respond to the subpoena. We
20 didn't want to have too big a gap in between.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Right. Thank you. Do you suggest you bring him
22 into the courtroom, or what was your plan?
23 MR. HANNIS: I believe victim witness had him brought over today.
24 I'm not sure which waiting-room he's in.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: But, Mr. Hannis, can I just inquire whether you
1 wanted to bring him to the courtroom and have the Court admonish him that
2 now he goes home but he has to promise us that he will return upon a new
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. I did that just based on practice
5 in my domestic jurisdiction. I didn't feel I had the authority to tell
6 him that the Court says you can go home but you have to come back on this
7 date. Our practice where I came from was to have the witness brought in
8 and be admonished by the Court that you are still under the subpoena, you
9 are going to be allowed to go home now but you have to return on such and
10 such a date. If you don't, the penalties that you were warned about
11 remain in effect and could be imposed against you in the event that you
12 do not return.
13 JUDGE HALL: That, too, is my practice, my experience,
14 Mr. Hannis.
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: Okay. So let's bring him in.
16 Mr. Hannis, if we can't find him, I suggest we just start with
17 the other witness and then take Mr. ST-110 at the beginning of the
18 next --
19 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, the victim witness was advised
20 yesterday, the witness was advised yesterday to be here this morning. I
21 assumed that the usual transport was arranged, and I assume he's in one
22 of the victim waiting rooms, but I don't know which one.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE HALL: No, he doesn't have to make the declaration.
25 Good morning, sir. Please have a seat.
1 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning.
2 JUDGE HALL: What is your name, please?
3 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Milan Trbojevic.
4 JUDGE HALL: You would have been brought here today, or you --
5 the reason why you're here today is because the Tribunal would have
6 issued a subpoena requiring your attendance. For reasons that --
7 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] That's correct.
8 JUDGE HALL: For reasons that you may or may not be aware of --
9 as you would be, I'm sure, be familiar with the process of trials whereby
10 it isn't always possible to predict the progress of a particular trial
11 and therefore from time to time delays, unfortunately, occur to the
12 inconvenience of, in this case, witnesses and those who are -- would
13 prefer to be elsewhere.
14 The -- we're advised by the Prosecution, at whose instance you
15 were subpoenaed, that the schedule is such that they are unable to lead
16 your evidence today. You, nevertheless, are still under the requirement
17 to attend before the Tribunal according to the subpoena, and it is
18 proposed -- well, we intend to release you today, and it is proposed that
19 you return here on the 23rd of November when the Prosecution would be
20 ready for you.
21 Do you understand what I've said so far?
22 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I do. Yes.
23 JUDGE HALL: Yes. So we regret the inconvenience caused and the
24 disruption to your personal schedule, but you're now free to return and
25 continue -- to return to your home and continue your ordinary domestic
1 and personal dealings, but you are directed to return to this Chamber on
2 the 23rd of November. Arrangements -- the usual arrangements will be
3 made to facilitate your attendance on that date.
4 Thank you, sir.
5 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I understand.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, just one correction. I made a
8 misstatement. We announced five hours for cross of Mr. Trbojevic. I
9 said eight, and I saw that His Honour Judge Delvoie was looking at me
10 with -- with a look of unbelief.
11 Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE HALL: Mr. Hannis.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honours. I appreciate that.
14 Mr. Olmsted will be calling the next witness.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, Your Honours. The Prosecution is ready to
16 call the next witness. The next witness has been granted protective
17 measures, both a pseudonym as well as image distortion.
18 Perhaps while --
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 MR. OLMSTED: Perhaps while we're waiting for the witness to come
21 in I could give a brief summary of his prior testimony just to put his
22 testimony here today into context.
23 In his Rule 92 ter statement, ST-79 describes events surrounding
24 the armed attack on Visegrad by the JNA Uzice Corps in April 1992. He
25 tells how Muslim houses were targeted for looting and destruction by Serb
1 paramilitary groups, and that the JNA and local Serbs established
2 check-points around the municipality at which Muslims were stopped to
3 determine whether they were on lists.
4 The witness further describes how Serb forces took Muslims from
5 their homes and places of employment and describes his own arrest on 7
6 June 1992 by Milan Lukic who was wearing a police uniform that day, and
7 three other armed Serbs. They took the witness and six other Muslim men
8 to the Drina River
9 opened fire on them, killing five of the Muslim men.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, it appears that the witness has
12 protective measures. I rely on the list the Prosecution sent to us with
13 the daily witnesses and so on, and there it is mentioned that there are
14 no protective measures. So I would be glad if that list would be --
15 could be accurate in the future.
16 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, Your Honour. We'll make sure that it is
17 accurate in the future.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 WITNESS: WITNESS ST-79
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: Good morning, to you, sir.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: And thank you for coming to the Tribunal. You
24 are called here as a witness in the case against Mico Stanisic and Stojan
25 Zupljanin, and the first thing we would like you to do is to read the
1 solemn declaration to us.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
3 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir, you may sit down.
5 Sir, as I told you, you have been called by the Prosecution to
6 testify in this case, and the first thing that is going to happen is that
7 the Prosecution will put some questions to you, and you will then be
8 asked questions by the Defence, but first of all, let us start by going
9 into private session.
10 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you. As I just said, you have been
20 accorded protective measures, a pseudonym and face distortion, which
21 means that people from outside this courtroom cannot see your face and
22 cannot hear your name because the name that we will use for you will be
23 ST-79. So from this moment on, we will address you, Mr. Witness, ST-79.
24 As I said, you have been called to testify under an expediated
25 procedure meaning that the Prosecution will put a few questions to you
1 lasting no more than 30 minutes, I understand.
2 MR. OLMSTED: I'll do my best, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
4 And the Defence for Mr. Stanisic will then put questions to you
5 lasting altogether approximately -- how long time was it, Mr. Zecevic?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I was advised that Mr. O'Sullivan
7 will conduct the cross-examination, that it would last around half an
9 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. And for Mr. Krgovic?
10 MR. KRGOVIC: We don't have question for this witness, Your
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. So this is the schedule for today.
13 The Prosecution will take you through your testimony in about half an
14 hour, and we will then give the floor to Mr. O'Sullivan who is
15 representing Mico Stanisic, and he, too, will use about 30 minutes, and
16 that will be the end of your testimony.
17 So thank you very much, Mr. Witness. I give the floor to the
19 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Examination by Mr. Olmsted:
21 Q. And good morning, ST-79.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. ST-79, did you provide --
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Olmsted, I'm sorry, I forgot to have the
25 witness sign his name sheet, so could you please arrange that.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, Your Honour. May the usher provide him the
2 pseudonym sheet.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. ST-79, can you confirm that this is the name
4 that appears on the sheet before you?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Would you then please just sign it and give it
7 back to the usher. Thank you very much, sir.
8 MR. OLMSTED:
9 Q. Mr. ST-79, did you provide your testimony in the Lukic case on 10
10 and 11 July, 2008?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And since arriving here in The Hague to testify here, have you
13 had the opportunity to listen to that testimony from the Lukic case?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were the tapes that you listened to an accurate reflection of
16 your testimony in that case?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And if you were asked the same questions here today, would you
19 give the same answers?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this witness's Rule 92 ter
22 statement, which is 65 ter exhibit numbers 10046.1 and 10046.2 and
23 associated exhibits 65 ter numbers 3449, 3450 and 3451 be admitted into
24 evidence under seal.
25 JUDGE HALL: [Microphone not activated]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the pseudonym sheet of the witness
2 will become Exhibit P174 under seal, and the documents which form the
3 part of the 92 ter package will become Exhibit P175.1 through P175.5.
4 MR. OLMSTED:
5 Q. Now, Mr. ST-79, I would like to ask you some questions that
6 clarify and expand upon the issues that you addressed during your prior
7 testimony, and first of all, during your prior testimony you describe how
8 upon returning to Visegrad at the end of April 1992, after the Uzice
9 Corps had taken control of the town, you encountered a number of
10 check-points around Visegrad. You also state that the check-points were
11 manned by a mix of JNA soldiers and local Serbs and that some of these
12 local Serbs were wearing police uniforms. Could you describe for us the
13 police uniforms that you saw these local Serbs wearing at these
15 A. Well, you see, these were standard issue police uniforms. I
16 can't at this moment tell you exactly -- see any colours that are
17 similar, but they were -- the shirt was light blue and the pants were
18 darker but also blue.
19 Q. And would they wear any insignias or patches on their uniforms?
20 A. Yes. On the sleeve there had to be insignia, the police and what
21 town it belonged to or what municipality. The same way that insignia is
22 worn nowadays on uniforms.
23 Q. Now, you mentioned during your prior testimony that the persons
24 manning these check-points had lists of names that they checked against
25 the people they stopped. From what you could observe, what were the
1 ethnicities of the persons on these lists?
2 A. They were Muslim by nationality.
3 Q. Did you ever see any Serbs arrested or harassed at these
5 A. No.
6 Q. In addition to these check-points, what other movement
7 restrictions were imposed upon the Bosniaks in Visegrad?
8 A. Well, you see, it was hard to move around because of the White
9 Eagles operation at the time. It was difficult to move around and to
10 even stay there, because they took people of Muslim nationality out of
11 companies, or they took them away from their homes, and that's how it
13 Q. Were some Muslims required to report at certain locations on a
14 regular basis?
15 A. Yes, there were such instances. I know of a case. This was very
16 soon after my return from Gorazde. Some neighbours of mine who had
17 probably been arrested earlier when the Uzice Corps entered the town, I
18 don't know exactly who actually arrested people at the time, but in any
19 case, this was after my return from Gorazde. There was this circle of
20 people that I played cards with, and they said that they had to report to
21 the SUP at the time every hour or every other hour, but who this was who
22 issued that order and to whom they had to report, I really don't know.
23 Q. When these neighbours of yours would return from the police
24 station, would there be any change in their physical appearance?
25 A. Well, you see, I didn't notice that they had been beaten or
1 anything of that sort, but they just had to report there to make sure
2 that they were still in that town lest they move out, maybe join a
3 paramilitary formation or just escape to a wood. But in any case, I know
4 they hadn't been beaten then, but I know that one or two of them, as far
5 as I know, had been liquidated, had been killed. They had gone to SUP to
6 report, and they never returned, and to this day they are missing.
7 Q. You also state during your prior testimony, and I think you've
8 just mentioned a little while ago that Muslims were taken from their
9 places of work during this April to May 1992 time period, and I think you
10 also mentioned that it was the White Eagles who were doing this. Were
11 the police aware that the White Eagles were going around and arresting
12 people at their places of employment?
13 A. Well, you see, Visegrad is a small town, so they would have had
14 to be aware of it. They knew what was going on in the town.
15 And if Your Honours allow me, I could give a few examples of how
16 the police operated.
17 Q. Well, perhaps the Trial Chamber will have some questions
18 regarding that, or maybe it will come out as I ask further questions.
19 The families of the Muslims who were taken away by the White
20 Eagles, did they complain to the police or someone else regarding these
22 A. Yes. The wives and the mothers went to the then SUP to complain
23 that their men had been taken away, or their brothers or husbands, and to
24 this they received the reply that the police did not have any control
25 over those men.
1 Q. Besides these arrests of Muslims from their places of employment,
2 what other activities were the White Eagles engaging in throughout
3 Visegrad during this time period?
4 A. Well, you see, to me, I can't find the right word. There was
5 general chaos. They would steal cars from people. They would take
6 people away. They would sometimes play the screams of people who had
7 been tortured, riding around town in these cars. So they would tour the
8 town and play these horrible screams through the loudspeakers. I think
9 probably to terrorise people. I don't know. To instill fear.
10 Q. From what you could see, what were the police doing to prevent
11 the White Eagles from engaging in these kind of activities?
12 A. Well, as far as I know, they did not interfere in any way. They
13 never tried to punish anyone or to prevent any of this.
14 Q. What level of trust did you have and your family have and other
15 Bosniaks in the community in which you live have in the police in
16 ensuring the security of your families and homes?
17 A. Well, you see, there was no trust whatsoever either in the police
18 or the army. To me it all seemed that these White Eagles who were doing
19 this throughout the town, and even while the Uzice Corps was there, it
20 appeared to me that they were under their protection, actually.
21 Q. I would like to show you a couple of photographs. The first one
22 is 65 ter Exhibit number 10140.
23 Now, sir, do you recognise either man in this photograph?
24 A. Yes. The man on the right, as I see it, is Milan Lukic. He's in
25 a camouflage uniform. And we can also see this Passat vehicle. That's
1 the vehicle that I was driven away in.
2 Q. Is this how Milan Lukic looked back in 1992?
3 A. No. He did have a uniform but not this one. This is a green
4 camouflage uniform, whereas he had a blue camouflage uniform.
5 Q. With -- take a look at the other man in the photograph, the man
6 on the left. And perhaps we can zoom in a little bit further on him.
7 I'm just curious. You can see on his left arm he has a patch or
8 an insignia. Have you ever seen that insignia before?
9 A. Yes. I think that insignia was on the uniform that Lukic wore at
10 the time. Now, I can't see here whether it says "Police" on the patch or
11 something else, but this is what it looked like approximately.
12 Q. And just to clarify, back during this time period, other than
13 police would the insignia also say something to the effect of "Milicija"?
14 A. Yes. When Lukic came to take me out of my house, I think he had
15 a patch on his left shoulder. I can't really recall precisely, but I
16 think it says "Police."
17 Q. Do you -- you say you recognise the vehicle as the vehicle that
18 you were taken away from your home on 7 June 1992. Who was the original
19 owner of that vehicle that you see in this picture?
20 A. The owner of this vehicle was Behija Zukic.
21 Q. And what was her ethnicity?
22 A. She was a Muslim.
23 Q. And if you know, what happened to this woman?
24 A. Lukic killed her in her own apartment and stole her car.
25 Q. Do you recognise the place where this photograph was taken?
1 A. I couldn't really -- I'm not certain. I think it's a part of the
2 town, but I'm not sure which part.
3 Q. That's fine.
4 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, this photograph is not on our 65 ter
5 exhibit list yet. I'm not sure if the Defence opposes its admission at
6 this stage.
7 Does the Defence oppose us seeking to admit this photograph?
8 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No objection.
9 MR. OLMSTED: Can we admit it then, Your Honours?
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P176, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted, just to be clear, we're talking
12 here -- the witness is talking about police and about White Eagles, and
13 then he's telling us about Lukic in a blue police uniform. Does he mean
14 White Eagle or police?
15 MR. OLMSTED: If I understand your question, you're wondering
16 whether Milan Lukic was with the White Eagles or the police?
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes.
18 MR. OLMSTED: You can put the question to the witness if you
19 like. Okay.
20 Q. ST-79, do you know whether Milan Lukic was with the White Eagles
21 or with the police? Were you aware of his employment?
22 A. Well, you see, when he came to take me away, he had a blue
23 camouflage uniform on, and on the patch it said on his sleeve, it said
24 "Police." Now, as far as I knew, he was in the White Eagles.
25 Q. Let's take a look at another photograph. It's Rule 65 ter
1 Exhibit number 10139.
2 MR. OLMSTED: And if we can look at the photograph on the bottom,
3 in fact.
4 Q. And, sir, do you recognise anyone in this photograph?
5 A. Yes. The upper row on the left is Milan Lukic.
6 Q. Now, if you can take a look at the man squatting down in the
7 front row to the right with the sunglasses. He also has a patch or an
8 insignia on his left arm. Perhaps we can zoom in on that a little bit.
9 I'm just wondering if you'd ever see that kind of patch or insignia
10 around Visegrad during this time period?
11 A. Well, I think that's the patch that we discussed a little
12 earlier. They were both not very visible, so I can't really state with
13 certainty, and I can't claim that they are the same, but ...
14 Q. Yes, but would you say that that -- I know you can't see it
15 perfectly clear, but does that at least resemble the patch of a police
17 A. Yes.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Again this document isn't on our 65 ter exhibit
19 list, but because it's a photograph perhaps the Defence doesn't oppose us
20 admitting it into evidence.
21 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No objection.
22 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P177, Your Honours.
24 MR. OLMSTED:
25 Q. Sir, during your prior testimony you state that you were -- while
1 you were on your way to the Vilina Vlas Hotel in a car driven by Milan
2 Lukic, you were stopped at a check-point. Could you tell us who was
3 manning that check-point at which you were stopped in?
4 A. Yes. This was a check-point in Sase, close to Vilina Vlas.
5 There was an intersection there, a fork in the road, and the -- he
6 stopped the car there. There was a check-point there. A police man was
7 standing there, and Lukic said to him and I quote, "I've caught myself
8 some Balijas."
9 Q. How did the police officer manning the check-point react to this
10 statement by Mr. Lukic?
11 A. Well, you see, as far as I could hear, there was no mention of
12 why he had done that, but as far as I could observe, this policeman was
13 also proud of this act.
14 Q. Sir, I would like to show you a map and have you mark certain
15 locations on it.
16 MR. OLMSTED: May we look at 65 ter Exhibit 10141.
17 Q. All right. I think Mr. Usher is going to show you how to use the
18 digital pen.
19 First -- first, can you identify where this police check-point we
20 were just describing at Sase was on your way to the Vilina Vlas Hotel.
21 If you can mark it with a number 1.
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. You marked it. Could you put a big number 1 next to it just so
24 we can reference it.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Very good. And next could you mark with a number 2 the rough
2 location of the Vilina Vlas Hotel.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Very good. Now, if you could mark with a number 3 the place
5 along the River Drina that you and the other Bosniak men were taken by
6 Milan Lukic and his men.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Approximately how far is this location from that check-point in
10 A. Well, I think I stated that in my statement. About 200 to 500
12 Q. And on this day where this crime incident which you describe in
13 your statement occurred, in your line along the River Drina, obviously
14 there might have been noises coming from the group that you were with,
15 but beyond that did you hear any other sounds in the area surrounding you
16 that day?
17 A. Yes, because there were the -- the weapons were being fired
18 intermittently in bursts, and then individual shots were fired.
19 Q. And that was within the group that you were with along the River
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. My question to you is: Beyond the group that you were with,
23 maybe in the distance or near the houses nearby or anywhere around you,
24 did you hear any other sounds while you were standing there on the bank
25 of the River Drina
1 A. Well, yes. You could hear gunfire, and you could see -- you
2 could hear cars passing and the like.
3 Q. Now, I think we have to --
4 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I apologise, but it looks like there
5 was a technical problem and he has to go back and mark the two prior
6 locations on this map.
7 Q. Sir, could you, once again, mark with a number 1 the location of
8 the Sase check-point and with a number 2 the location of the Vilina Vlas
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Thank you. Now, finally, in your statement you mentioned that
12 after you escaped the execution at the Drina, you crossed the river and
13 then later you observed the corpses from a hill. Can you mark with a
14 number 4 where that location on the hill was that you observed the
15 corpses from.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. And when you observed these corpses from the hill, was that on
18 the same day of the crime incident or was it subsequent to it?
19 A. Well, you see, this was on the next day, the day after. I spent
20 that night in a house in that village, and then I took my neighbours and
21 these people to -- to the place where I was supposed to be shot, and then
22 I saw these bodies, these corpses that were in the water, and they were
23 there for the next couple of days.
24 Q. And from this hill across the River Drina that you observed these
25 corpses from, how clearly could you see the corpses from that position?
1 A. Well, you see, you couldn't tell who they were. You couldn't
2 recognise their faces, but it was clearly visible that these were bodies
3 of people.
4 Q. And if you can take a look at the map. Along the right side --
5 sorry, the left side of the River Drina, just below the hill that you
6 observed the corpses from there is a road that appears. Could you see
7 the corpses from that road as well?
8 A. Yes. This was the road leading to Barimo.
9 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter did hear the next place.
10 MR. OLMSTED:
11 Q. I'm sorry, could you tell us -- the interpreter didn't hear your
12 full statement. Could you tell us where that road led to?
13 A. This road led to Barimo, Milosevici, Brstanica, and so on, these
14 various hamlets that were down the Drina River.
15 Q. Now, you mentioned that the bodies were -- remained along the
16 River Drina bank for a couple of days. Can you tell us how you know
18 A. Well, I crossed the river -- well, actually, I went from this
19 hill every single day to observe this, because everyone was interested to
20 see where it was that I had been taken and how many people had been shot,
22 Q. Do you know what happened eventually to those corpses?
23 A. Well, probably when the river withdrew -- the level of the river
24 could change because they had control over this because there was a dam
25 in Bajina Basta, so once there were a lot of bodies there they would
1 close the lake, the accumulation lake, and then the water would come and
2 take these bodies down the river.
3 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours may this map be admitted into evidence
4 as marked by this witness.
5 JUDGE HALL: Admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P178, Your Honours.
7 MR. OLMSTED:
8 Q. Finally, my final topic with you, ST-79. Could you tell us who
9 Sredoje Lukic was?
10 A. Sredoje Lukic was a police officer in Visegrad. That's how I
11 know him.
12 MR. OLMSTED: No further questions, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE HALL: Cross-examination.
14 MR. O'SULLIVAN: We definitely need Courtroom I, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. O'Sullivan:
16 Q. Good morning, sir.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. I'd like to ask you about, first of all, the uniforms that the
19 White Eagles wore. I believe you have described them as camouflage
20 uniforms on which there were double-headed Eagles on the front pocket.
21 Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And when you saw Milan Lukic for the first time in June 1992, he
24 was wearing a uniform that had the double-headed eagle on the uniform,
25 didn't he?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you also noticed on that uniform that there was a police
3 insignia, but you don't know which police insignia; correct?
4 A. Yes. It was written "Policija," but I don't know what sort of
5 marking was there. Was it the one of the former Yugoslavia or these
6 other ones, I don't know. All I know is that the marking was "Policija,"
8 Q. And you knew that Mr. Lukic was originally from Visegrad, and you
9 believed that he worked in the police in Obrenovac, Serbia
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the police in Serbia
12 A. Probably.
13 Q. Well, sir, you -- you travelled in Serbia, didn't you, prior to
14 the war? The police wore blue uniforms, didn't they?
15 A. No, I didn't. I didn't travel in Serbia, and I don't know. They
16 probably did wear them. I didn't have the opportunity to see how a
17 policeman in Serbia
18 Q. Didn't you know that the police in all of the former Yugoslavia
19 wore blue uniforms?
20 A. Yes. They wore blue uniforms. I don't know whether it was at
21 the federal level. I guess if it was one state, then it probably had a
22 uniform -- regulation uniform for the police.
23 Q. And is it correct that the White Eagles were made up of Serbs
24 from Serbia
25 A. I think that's what I said in the statement, that there were
2 Q. And that's correct, is it -- isn't it? I'm asking you to confirm
3 your statement.
4 A. Yes. It's correct for the locals. I don't know for the other
5 ones that I didn't know, but, yeah, it's correct. Yes.
6 Q. And the White Eagles were made up mostly of younger men, and the
7 local -- the locals were mostly older men; is that right?
8 A. That's not what I said in the statement. It says that the White
9 Eagles comprised mainly younger men.
10 Q. Well, I may have misspoken. That's what I intended to say. The
11 White Eagles were mostly younger men, and the locals were mostly older
12 men. Correct?
13 A. No. White Eagles would indicate younger men. The local men who
14 were in the White Eagles were also younger men. For example, one of them
15 who might recognise in front of the new hotel in Visegrad in the centre
16 of town, I think that I refer to him as Oliver Krsmanovic. He was the
17 only one whom I recognised there. At the time he was perhaps some 25 to
18 30 years old. I don't know exactly.
19 Q. And I think you've described the White Eagles as a very dangerous
20 group that was out of control. Would that be a fair description of them?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And they were rather undisciplined; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And would it also be correct to say that they would abuse
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So they were basically doing what they wanted, and they were not
3 under anyone's control. Would that be a fair way to put it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is it correct that at the time - I'm thinking about April, May,
6 June 1992 - that there was a shortage of uniforms to go around for the
7 people who were engaged in the conflict? Would that be correct?
8 A. I don't know if there were enough uniforms. Most of the people
9 were uniformed. I don't know whether there were enough uniforms or not,
10 but there should have been enough, because everybody was wearing a
11 uniform, even from the reserve forces. Even I had one from the reserve
12 forces from before the war. So it probably was the case that they did
13 have enough uniforms.
14 Q. But not everyone would necessarily be wearing his uniform. Isn't
15 it a fact that your former JNA uniform was taken away from you and
16 probably given to someone else to wear?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And we see from your evidence that Milan Lukic wore at least two
19 types of uniforms, according to your testimony, two different uniforms.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And didn't you also notice during that period that there were
22 people who would have partial uniforms because they didn't have full
24 A. I don't recall saying that anywhere, that they had partial
1 Q. No. I'm asking you if you ever saw that. I'm not asking you
2 whether you said it before, but didn't you see that in the early days
3 during the war?
4 A. Perhaps there were such cases. I really didn't pay attention to
6 Q. Earlier today you were asked about people who were taken away
7 from work. You remember you had the question from the Prosecutor a few
8 minutes ago about that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Isn't it correct that you don't know who the people were that
11 were taking people away from work? You don't know who was doing that, do
13 A. I don't know them by name, but I know by the stories of the
14 people from the companies who were eyewitnesses of such things and that
15 these things were done by the White Eagles.
16 Q. Well, let me remind you of what you said when you were a witness
17 in the Lukic case.
18 MR. O'SULLIVAN: And that's the -- for the record that's Lukic
19 transcript pages 380, 381, which I believe is P175.2.
20 Q. I'll read to you, sir, what you said in the Lukic case. You were
21 asked this question:
22 "Who was taking them away from your work?"
23 And your answer:
24 "I don't know. Probably those White Eagles or the paramilitary
25 units that were there, that were there in Visegrad at the time."
1 Next question is this:
2 "Would it be fair to say instead of saying 'probably,' that you
3 just don't know?"
4 And you answered: -- and you answered yes, you didn't know.
5 Now it's the true, isn't it, that you didn't know. You adopted
6 this Lukic statement when you began your testimony here today.
7 A. Yes, that was it, but I'm testifying here on the basis of my best
8 recollection. You have these statements in front of you, and I am
9 sitting here and telling you what I remember. I'm remembering things
10 that happened 17 years ago, so perhaps there are some little things that
11 are not quite the same.
12 Q. Right. And what you said in the Lukic trial in 2001 -- or,
13 sorry, 2008, was your best recollection. You told the truth when you
14 said you didn't know.
15 A. I probably did say that.
16 Q. You went to the police station in Visegrad once in 1992, in the
17 month of May; correct?
18 A. I don't recall the month, but I did go to the police station
19 because my brother was arrested and beaten up at the police station, and
20 I went to see if they would release him and when. However, he told me to
21 just get away from there and that's what I did.
22 Q. And you know that he was arrested and beaten up by the military
23 police; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And when you went to the police station that day, you only saw
1 military personnel at the police station; correct?
2 A. I didn't even enter the police station. I was in front of the
3 police station and my brother was at the window, and he indicated to me
4 from the window to get away, that it wasn't safe, and I think that I said
5 that perhaps there was a soldier there or something like that, but I
6 don't think that I saw any police.
7 Q. Correct. You only saw military personnel; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. O'SULLIVAN: No further questions, Your Honour.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I just have very limited
12 Re-examination by Mr. Olmsted:
13 Q. Sir, during your cross-examination you were asked questions about
14 this double-headed eagle. Had you ever seen this double-headed eagle
15 symbol before?
16 A. Well, I don't know how I can explain that to you. It's probably
17 a symbol of Serbdom, the two-headed eagle. This is what I can conclude.
18 I had the opportunity to see that. In World War II, similar insignia was
19 worn, so it wasn't the first time that I was seeing it.
20 Q. So was this a symbol only of the White Eagles or did it represent
21 something beyond that, and would you see it in other places around other
22 people's uniforms?
23 A. I really couldn't tell you whether it was just the White Eagles
24 that used it as the insignia. The Chetniks also wore that in World
25 War II on their caps. It's probably some sort of insignia of a
1 particular unit or indicating heroes. I don't know. I mean, I wasn't
2 really interested, whether that was some kind of important symbol or not.
3 Q. Now, when you're talking about the men who had been arrested and
4 taken away from their places of employment, during your examination you
5 were talking about how family members would go to the police station and
6 inquire with the police what happened to their family members who were
7 taken away.
8 Do you recall what the police -- whether the police told the
9 family members who was taking these people away, who was making these
11 MR. O'SULLIVAN: I object to that question. How would he know?
12 How would he recall what the police said? He wasn't there.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Rephrase.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Let me rephrase.
15 Q. You had testified earlier that family members went to the police
16 station to inquire on Muslims who had been taken away from their
17 employment. Did you ever learn from what they had found out at the
18 police station as to who -- whether the police identified who was taking
19 away these people from their places of employment?
20 A. I just said that based on what I knew, that mothers and wives
21 were leaving -- going to the MUP and saying that the White Eagles had
22 taken their men away, and the police, according to what I know, would say
23 that they had no control over those people, and I think this is the same
24 thing that I said in my previous testimony.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Your Honour. No more questions.
1 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, sir, for attending. You are now
2 released. You may return to your home. We wish you a safe journey.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for the
4 confidence you have shown in me.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 MR. HANNIS: Your Honours, perhaps this would be an appropriate
7 time for the break. Ms. Korner will be leading the next witness.
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes. I agree, but could we just raise one little
9 matter before we go to the break, and that relates to the mode of
10 admission into evidence of the whole batch of documents, I think it was
11 108 documents, relating to the next witness.
12 As I recall, the Chamber ruled that in order for the Prosecution
13 to have these documents admitted into evidence without having to go
14 through each and every one of them with the witness, our proposal was to
15 suggest that the Prosecution could perhaps divide the documents into
16 groups and then present the witness with one or maybe two documents from
17 each group so as to have the witness's comments to these documents as his
18 oral evidence, but then if the Chamber was assured that the rest of the
19 documents belonging to that group would -- had the same character as the
20 document that was put to the witness, then we could admit that whole
21 group and then move on to the next group.
22 Now, I see that the Prosecution has offered such a grouping, a
23 regrouping, of the documents, but the regrouping that you have done is a
24 grouping according to the source, and I'm not sure if that is really
25 useful, and I would ask if the Prosecution could perhaps regroup and do
1 the same thing as Mr. Zecevic did when he was grouping his documents
2 yesterday, namely to group them either according to municipality or to
3 crimes, because that would enable us to -- to assess the -- the coherence
4 between the documents in each of the groups.
5 MR. HANNIS: I'll certainly convey that to Mrs. Korner. I know
6 that she had done some grouping of the documents, and I do recall at
7 least some of them were grouped by source. For example, I think one
8 category was government sessions, meetings of the government, and the
9 witness Mr. Djeric was the prime minister. That seemed to be a logical
10 way for us to do it, because that dealt with the authenticity and such
11 matters relating to that group all come from the same source, and so that
12 seemed to make sense. And those meetings of the government sessions
13 discuss a whole panoply of topics that cover several municipalities and
14 different kinds of events. So it's hard for me standing here right now,
15 Your Honour, to think of how we could break those down according to
16 separate crimes or parts of the indictment. But I'll convey what you've
17 just said to her, and we'll take a look at it.
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, please do, because you realise that the
19 difficulty that the Chamber will have in the end when we assess the
20 evidence, is it will be difficult for us to -- to ascertain what the
21 evidentiary value of the documents that we admit into evidence without
22 having seen them really is. This is why it would be helpful if you would
23 introduce one group of documents, say, relating to crimes committed in a
24 particular municipality, or that you could perhaps group the documents
25 according to one of the crimes or the crimes that are listed in your
1 indictment, because that would enable us then to immediately assess the
2 evidence for the purpose of -- of the deliberations after the end of the
4 MR. HANNIS: Okay. I understand that. Some groups of documents
5 are being offered for purposes other than the crimes, to show the
6 interrelationship between the parties, the hierarchies and structures,
7 and other matters as well that are important, and certainly when we are
8 filing our final brief we would be pointing you to specific documents and
9 things where we want to make arguments based on those documents.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE HALL: Twenty minutes.
12 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Just one matter, Your Honours. I was notified that
16 the document I used yesterday, which was exhibited as 1D52, MFI'd because
17 pending translations, we just received the translation this morning, and
18 it has been uploaded, and therefore I kindly move the Trial Chamber to
19 admit it as -- as a proper exhibit. Thank you very much. The
20 translation has been uploaded in the e-court, and the court officer has
21 been notified of the number. Thank you.
22 JUDGE HALL: It's now admitted, yes.
23 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. I was watching the
24 proceedings, so I heard the remarks of Judge Harhoff at the end of the
25 first session.
1 Your Honours, can I explain that this witness, Mr. Djeric, was a
2 member of the government of the Republika Srpska, or the Serbian republic
3 in Bosnia
4 end of November when he resigned.
5 The documents which he can speak to of us own knowledge are not
6 divisible into the sort of categories that one can do with a witness who
7 is giving evidence about actual crimes that were committed as to a
8 certain extent was Mr. Krulj yesterday and the day before.
9 The government, either in the Assembly or in its own meetings did
10 not tend to discuss the specifics of crimes that were committed. The
11 reason for calling this witness is twofold. We say that the documents
12 which relate to the running of the Republika Srpska in 1992 are relevant
13 largely to the joint criminal enterprise which the Prosecution allege,
14 much to Mr. Pantelic's fury, took place in the course of 1992. All of
15 those documents add, in little bits and pieces when put together to what
16 we say is evidence of that joint criminal enterprise and which the
17 Defence say, to the contrary, does not say any such thing and that's the
18 issue between the two parties on this.
19 Additionally, this witness will give evidence directly in respect
20 of his dealings with Mico Stanisic, who was the minister of the interior.
21 Accordingly the most sensible division that we could come up with in
22 respect of these documents to comply with the way that Your Honours wish
23 the documents to be dealt with was to divide them into categories of the
24 Assembly minutes, the Presidency minutes, and I will ask Mr. Djeric to
25 explain so that Your Honours fully understand the difference between the
1 functions of the government, the NSC, the National Security Council and
2 Presidency minutes there is one minute we're putting in through the
3 National Security Council on its own. Then there was the Council of
4 Ministers and the government minutes. Then there are documents which
5 don't specifically fall into any of these categories but which he himself
6 directly issued or received, a few miscellaneous - if I can put it that
7 way - documents about which he can speak but wasn't personally concerned,
8 and finally intercepts of which there are in fact five altogether. Only
9 four when he listened to them were legible in which he was able to make
10 identification of voices. The fifth we're trying to get enhanced at the
11 moment and, if necessary, play it to him in court tomorrow when it's been
13 And so that is the division that we have done with those
14 documents and on which -- the basis on which I have worked.
15 It is my proposal to deal with something like 20-odd -- I
16 actually added them up -- in a little detail, and then in accordance with
17 Your Honours' ruling to submit the rest of the documents within these
18 categories to be marked for identification subject to cross-examination
19 by Mr. Zecevic then once that cross-examination is completed hopefully to
20 have them all admitted into evidence. That, as I understood, was Your
21 Honours' rulings.
22 So unless I am told that this is not the way I am to do it, that
23 is the way I propose to do it.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: That's fine. The documents are yours still, so
25 we are not in a position to tell you just how to organise them, but the
1 suggestion we made was made in order to try and see if it was possible to
2 somehow regroup the documents according to their substance, to their
3 contents, because as Mr. Zecevic correctly pointed out the other day when
4 we discussed this, the documents, if and when admitted into evidence,
5 will ultimately be used for their contents, and that is why we thought
6 that if it was possible to somehow group the documents together in
7 batches according to their contents and the substance that they raise,
8 then that would be preferable because that would enable us to deal with
9 the contents rather than the source. But if you tell us now that this is
10 not possible because the Assembly, of course, discussed all sorts of
11 things and so did the government, then we will -- we will have to accept
12 that. And I understand what you're saying, that this is the best way in
13 which you can think about how to organise the documents.
14 However, if we do that, we -- we immediately recognise that the
15 Defence is facing a serious problem in that they would have to go through
16 each and every one of the documents in order to have the witness's
17 comments on the substance, the contents of the documents, and for that
18 they would then need a lot more time. And I think if we can't do it any
19 other way, then the Chamber's preference is then to allow the Defence
20 more time. That's the least painful way in which we can get through
22 If any of the parties can suggest any better way, then let us
23 hear, but --
24 MS. KORNER: Can I say this, that Mr. Zecevic and I, it's not
25 that we failed to have discussions, it's just at the moment we haven't
1 really had the opportunity to reach an agreement, but our view is that
2 the simplest way of dealing with these types of documents is to simply
3 agree that they go in. There's no challenge, as I understand it, leaving
4 aside intercepts, but to the records of the -- no challenge to the
5 authenticity of the records of the Assembly minutes, the government
6 minutes, and the like, and we could, therefore, simply agree between us
7 and present the Trial Chamber with a package of all of these documents,
8 and then each of us in turn would address, when the time came, Your
9 Honours on what we said were the relevant matters in favour of either
10 side's submissions on these matters, and that is a way of dealing with
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: Isn't that exactly what we are suggesting?
13 MS. KORNER: No, because we don't mean just these. We mean all
14 of them. There are -- this is only a selection, I'm sorry to have to
15 tell you, of some of the Assembly minutes that are on our list. Others
16 are allocated to be dealt with by Mr. Trbojevic and other witnesses. But
17 we can simply avoid all that, put them all in a package. But as I say,
18 Mr. Zecevic and I haven't worked this out fully yet.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mrs. Korner, it seems to me that what you're
20 suggesting is to have them admitted merely by their authenticity --
21 MS. KORNER: Yes.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: -- by their reliability. But admission into
23 evidence for the Chamber involves two tests, namely not only reliability
24 but also relevance.
25 MS. KORNER: Yes. May I say straight away, I mean, that says it
1 itself. They are relevant. Even -- Your Honours --
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, but --
3 MS. KORNER: Can I just finish this. I have the feeling you
4 think the Prosecution is just trying to throw in documents, if I can put
5 in the vernacular, for the hell of it. We're not. We're as anxious as
6 the Trial Chamber to limit it.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: No. Mrs. Korner, let me be sure that we
8 understand each other correctly. We're not afraid of evidence. That's
9 the way you make it sound. But what we are keen to try and do throughout
10 this trial is to ensure that whenever we admit a piece of evidence that,
11 we have had the chance to understand the evidentiary value it has in
12 relation to your indictment, and rather than just admitting a huge load
13 of documents into evidence and then only after the trial having to start
14 reading these documents during our deliberations, rather than doing that,
15 we really would prefer if in the process of admitting the evidence, that
16 we can be shown by the party who brings the evidence, and this is not
17 only the Prosecution, it also goes for the Defence, what the evidentiary
18 value is of this particular piece of evidence so as to be able to assess
19 right there and then, and particularly when we have witnesses who can
20 testify and who can provide comments to the evidence, to have this
21 possibility as we admit the evidence. So this is why we are trying to
22 find or device a way in which we can have these huge loads of documents
23 admitted into evidence without necessarily having to go into each one of
24 them but still having an understanding of what these documents really
25 tend to show in relation to the crimes and to the charges raised against
1 the two accused.
2 MS. KORNER: May I say, Your Honour, we do understand that. The
3 difficulty is this: Your Honours -- or you as the Pre-Trial Judge, took
4 the view that a short trial was what was required. If you want a short
5 trial, then -- and I don't mean you, I mean you the Trial Chamber, then
6 what has to be dispensed with sometimes is the minute examination, if you
7 like, or even indeed a certain level of examination of each individual
8 piece of evidence, because that takes time. There is no -- there's no
9 other way of dealing with it than other -- as has happened in previous
10 trials where, for example, witnesses -- this particular witness who was
11 called by the Court in Krajisnik testified over a period roughly of four
12 days, although it doesn't appear to have been full days. One of the
13 witnesses coming testified for nine days in chief and cross-examination
14 because he was taken through every document so that the Trial Chamber
15 could see why it was relevant.
16 Now, because of the time constraints, one of the ways I think
17 that Your Honours would have to sacrifice is knowing exactly the
18 relevance of every piece -- every document you admit and leaving it to
19 counsel when they address Your Honours at the relevant time to pull
20 together, and that is our duty, to pull together the parts of the
21 documents that we say are relevant to a particular issue that you're
22 going to have to rule on.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: In our understanding, that is exactly what we are
24 now suggesting, that you go ahead as we have ruled. Namely, that you
25 introduce these eight different batches of documents, and you show the
1 witness and you show the Chamber a couple of samples from each batch.
2 And then we leave it to the Defence to, during their cross-examination,
3 raise the points that they take issue with. But since, of course, the
4 Defence has to be concerned more about the substance and the contents of
5 the documents, we shall have to allow them extra time for that. And as I
6 said, I think this is the least painful way of getting through it. It
7 will inevitably incur some delay in the sense of some extra time is
8 required for this, but I think that is the price that we will then have
9 to pay at this moment. So this may cause in the end a slight extension
10 of the trial time, but hoping that there are not too many witnesses of
11 this kind, I think we can -- we can live with it, and this is the least
12 troublesome option.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, just a brief comment. I hope this --
14 this doesn't suggest that -- that the burden is reversed, burden of
15 proof, because it is my understanding that it is for our colleagues from
16 the other side to show that the documents are relevant and in fact show
17 and support their thesis in -- or their theory of the case.
18 Thank you.
19 JUDGE HARHOFF: There is no reversal of the burden of proof. The
20 burden of proof clearly lies with the Prosecution, and -- and no question
21 can be raised about that.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you. I just wanted to clarify this.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: In fact, we discussed this very point as we were
24 coming in, and our understanding is that the Prosecution will highlight
25 the relevant parts of the documents, and it is then for the Defence to
1 select those documents that you take issue with and have them -- and
2 challenge their contents while the witness is here. But as I said, we
3 will give you extra time for this.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE HARHOFF: So let's go ahead.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 WITNESS: BRANKO DJERIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE HALL: Yes. Please make your solemn declaration.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE HALL: Thank you, sir. You may be seated.
14 Good morning to you again. First of all, thank you very much for
15 coming to attend, assist the Tribunal as a witness, and on behalf the
16 Chamber and counsel on both sides, I assure you that we will not detain
17 you for one minute longer than is necessary.
18 Could you give us your name, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am Branko Djeric.
20 JUDGE HALL: And your date of birth, sir?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 20th of November, 1948
22 JUDGE HALL: Your profession is what?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a university professor.
24 JUDGE HALL: Have you testified previously before this Tribunal?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE HALL: So you are familiar with the procedure whereby the
2 side calling you would, first of all, have questions for you, in which
3 case it's the Prosecution, followed by the cross-examination, and then
4 the Chamber may have some questions.
5 What is your ethnicity, sir?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A Serb in the sense of ethnicity,
7 but I am from Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
9 If we may have a moment, please, Ms. Korner.
10 Yes, Ms. Korner. Please proceed.
11 Examination by Ms. Korner:
12 Q. Mr. Djeric, first of all, can I deal with your previous testimony
13 at this court. I think in 2006, over a period of some four days
14 altogether, you testified in the trial against Momcilo Krajisnik. I'm
15 sorry, you've got to say yes.
16 And just so that we have the record correct, I think it was the
17 Judges who ordered you to appear, and they were the first persons to ask
18 you questions; is that right?
19 A. That's right. I was a court witness then.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please approach the
22 MS. KORNER:
23 Q. If you would pull your chair up. Thank you very much,
24 Mr. Djeric.
25 And during the course of your testimony you were shown and asked
1 to comment upon a number of documents; is that right?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. All right.
4 MS. KORNER: In that case, Your Honour, may I ask that his
5 previous testimony and the associated exhibits be admitted. They've
6 already been, I understand, pre-marked.
7 JUDGE HALL: Yes. Tendered, admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P179.1 through P179.24, Your Honours.
9 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
10 Q. Now, Mr. Djeric, just to give a lit bit more background, I think
11 you started out as an economist working for a company called Energoinvest
12 in Sarajevo
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Then did you become an assistant professor at the university of
16 A. First an assistant professor and then a professor.
17 Q. Did you enter politics, in fact, in 1991?
18 A. Well, you see, while I was still a student, I was already
19 involved in some kind of youth policies or politics, young student
20 politics. So my first contact with politics was while I was still a
21 student, but then for a while I was not involved in politics up until
23 Q. And in 1991 did you become a member of the government of the
24 Socialist Republic
25 A. Yes. With the initial democratic changes in this government in
1 1991, I was appointed minister without a portfolio.
2 Q. Right. And did you eventually become minister for development?
3 A. This was actually -- I was -- I had this function as a minister
4 without a portfolio. There was no Ministry of Development, but I as a
5 person, my -- the ambit of my work was development, the preparation of
6 development documents.
7 Q. Were you at any stage a member of the SDS?
8 A. No.
9 Q. After the government, the Bosnian Serb government, was formed,
10 did you join that government in mid-March of 1992?
11 A. When the government was being put together, in one of the
12 Assembly sessions of Bosnian Serbs, as you said, I was appointed as prime
13 minister designate. This was in March, and now I realise that it was on
14 the 24th of March, 1992, in fact.
15 Q. Right. And did you take up that position as prime minister
16 from -- at the end of March of 1992?
17 A. Well, you see, I was appointed prime minister designate. Your
18 question is rather complex, so I will have to explain it a bit.
19 Q. All right. I'll tell you what, Mr. Djeric, we have limited time,
20 so don't worry. I appreciate there were a number of steps, but you
21 became the prime minister proper in the end, did you?
22 A. Well, first I was prime minister designate, and then I was the
23 president of government, or the prime minister, but there are many formal
24 and practical aspects that we would have to really explain.
25 Q. Yes. Well, I'm going to ask you to explain in a moment or two
1 about the various aspects of the government in its largest form, but can
2 I just move to the end now.
3 Did you in fact tender your resignation at the end of October
5 A. Yes. This was at the Prijedor session, if I am not mistaken.
6 This session was, as I learnt later, on the 29th of October.
7 Q. Right. However --
8 A. But this is something that you would have to check, because I'm
9 not really good with dates, and I really could not check that myself.
10 Q. All right. And -- well, we're going to -- one of the documents
11 I'm going to show you is the session that was at the end of November of
12 1992. Was it then that your -- you actually resigned, or your
13 resignation was accepted?
14 A. No. I submitted my resignation at the end of October, on the
15 29th of September, but please don't take this date literally. This
16 happened at the session of the Assembly of the Serbian people in
17 Prijedor. At the end of October I signed it and submitted it. I don't
18 know the reasons why this was not discussed at that session of the
19 Assembly and why my resignation was not accepted then. It was actually
20 postponed for another -- to be discussed at another session in November,
21 as you said, and that's when it was accepted. But I officially and in
22 writing submitted my resignation on the 29th of October.
23 Q. All right. Actually, I don't know whether it was a mistake in
24 the translation but it says 29th of September at page 45, line 7, but it
25 was October. All right.
1 A. May I?
2 Q. All right, Mr. Djeric. If you feel you must, go ahead.
3 A. Well, I'm not sure about the dates. I was just telling you. It
4 was at the Prijedor session of the Assembly where I submitted my written
5 resignation, but it was actually accepted at the session in Zvornik, but
6 I'm not sure of the dates. All of this happened in 1992.
7 Q. All right. Thank you very much. Well, that's -- that's the
8 preliminaries. Now, I want you to have a look, please, at a chart that's
9 been prepared of the -- the Republic of Serbia
10 just confirm for us, would you. It's 10138.3.
11 A. Excuse me. This was the Government of Republika Srpska of Bosnia
12 and Herzegovina
13 Q. Right.
14 A. Because you said of Serbia
15 Q. Thank you very much. Yes. It's going to come up on the screen
16 in front of you.
17 Right. And I want you to, as we go through it, can you explain
18 perhaps briefly, Mr. Djeric, the set-up, as it were, of the government.
19 We see at the top there was the Republika Srpska Presidency,
20 Dr. Koljevic, Dr. Karadzic, and Dr. Plavsic.
21 How -- what was the function of the Presidency?
22 A. Well, you see, it is unclear about the Presidency. Maybe that's
23 how it was described in some laws in peacetime there, but while we were
24 there, this was really a sort of coordinating body of a number of
25 officials of the Serbian people. That's how it was.
1 Q. All right.
2 A. And these are the most prominent officials of the Serbian people,
3 and I would refer to it really as a coordinating body, because in the
4 event of war, and it was stated clearly in the law, it would say that
5 there would be a Presidency in wartime. However, a state of war was
6 never declared, so that the legal status of this body is really unclear
7 and I can't shed any right on that. I'm not a professional lawyer, so I
8 don't really know. I can only confirm that these were the most prominent
9 officials of the Serbian people at the time.
10 Q. Right. And was Dr. Karadzic the president of the Presidency, as
11 it were?
12 A. Excuse me? Well, that was his role. He was a party man, and he
13 was at the head of this.
14 Q. All right.
15 A. But in fact, in keeping with the law that the head of this there
16 should have been Mr. Koljevic and Ms. Plavsic, because they were elected
17 by popular vote in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Q. And how was Dr. Karadzic elected then?
19 A. Dr. Karadzic was the president of the party and the president of
20 the council for national security.
21 Q. Right. Now, we'll come on to that in a moment when we start to
22 look on the -- then we see what is called the expanded Presidency, which
23 includes the president of the Bosnian Serb Assembly, Momcilo Krajisnik,
24 and then yourself as president of the government. How did the expanded
25 Presidency work?
1 A. Well, we came -- I came when invited, so at first this body
2 functioned as a National Security Council. So there was some actually
3 unclear -- unclear distinctions between what the bodies were. Often they
4 didn't meet. You would get called, and then the conversations would take
5 a different course. You would just stay there waiting for --
6 Q. Sorry, Mr. -- I don't want to stop you, Dr. Djeric, but all I'm
7 concerned about at the moment is if the Presidency was expanded to
8 include you and Mr. Krajisnik, did that mean that you would attend
10 A. That meant that I was obliged to attend whenever issues that
11 would be something that was within my competence were discussed.
12 Q. All right. Now that's the next question I was going to ask you.
13 What was within your competence as prime minister or president of the
15 A. For the most part we dealt with economic issues, social issues,
16 information, cultural problems, social and so on. Other than these
17 matters -- so all those matters that did not deal and had nothing to do
18 with the war sector. That was not something that was within my
19 competence, the command functions and everything that had to do with
21 Q. And how did the government interact with the Assembly? In other
22 words, would the government carry out the wishes of the Assembly, or --
23 however it voted, or would the government bring forward matters to the
24 Assembly or both?
25 A. Well, you see, we prepared materials and documents, laws,
1 regulations, and so on, for the Assembly. In other words, we prepared
2 for the Assembly sessions, and at times we would also handle -- if there
3 were any objections to the documents or proposals, we would have to work
4 on that. So basically it was the legislative aspect that was something
5 that I had to deal with and my ministers.
6 Q. Right.
7 MS. KORNER: Could we move the chart up a little, please.
8 Q. We see then the first deputy president or deputy prime minister
9 of the government was a gentleman named Momcilo Pejic. Is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Who was then replaced in around June of 1992 by Milan Trbojevic.
12 A. No.
13 Q. No? When do you say -- all right. Did Mr. Trbojevic become the
14 deputy president?
15 A. Well, you see, Trbojevic was the deputy president. So in other
16 words, they were both vice-presidents, but they were -- they had
17 different competencies. Pejic was in charge of the economics and
18 finances, where Trbojevic -- whereas Trbojevic was in charge of the
19 internal policies. So he coordinated the work of the Ministry of Justice
20 and the Ministry of the Interior and similar ministries. So that was
21 Trbojevic's job.
22 Q. All right. And then we see that the minister of internal affairs
23 was Mico Stanisic. The minister of the defence was Colonel Subotic, and
24 the minister of foreign affairs was Buha.
25 Now, around these gentlemen, and we'll have a look in a moment at
1 the National Security Council minute, but they are shown as part of the
2 National Security Council. Was that right?
3 A. To be honest, I can't really figure this out. There are a lot of
4 different charts here. I mean, the government was separate, and here we
5 have it all in one, so I'm not really clear. But I can tell you that
6 within the framework of the government Buha was minister of foreign
7 affairs, Subotic was the minister of defence, Mico Stanisic -- Stanisic
8 is the minister of internal affairs, and these were the two deputy
10 As for the Security Council and that aspect, I'm really not in a
11 position to explain that very well, simply because this is not something
12 that was within my competence, so I really don't know. It was a bit
13 farther removed from me. So I don't know what they did at the Security
14 Council, because this is something that Karadzic was really at the head
15 of, so I can't really discuss this. And I don't know what division of
16 functions was within the security council.
17 Q. All right. Can we just move down to the rest of the chart. And
18 we see there listed the other ministers in the government during this
19 period. The only one at the moment I want to mention is Momcilo Mandic
20 as minister of justice. Is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now --
23 A. I apologise, but this is an exhaustive list of ministers, but
24 they actually came at different times. I don't know exactly when Momcilo
25 Mandic was appointed. Maybe that was in June.
1 Q. Yes. We'll see the appointment of Momcilo Mandic at some other
3 All right, I just want to -- finally on this, before I deal with
4 the various, as it were, committees or governments, to whom should Mico
5 Stanisic as minister of internal affairs, to whom should he have
7 A. He had a twofold role, in fact. For the military issues he
8 was -- he reported to the supreme commander, or in other words, to
9 Karadzic who was at the head of this. As for the other tasks that fell
10 in the scope of the Ministry of the Interior, then this he would have
11 reported to the president of the government for this.
12 I don't know if I was clear enough.
13 Q. So -- yes. If the police were going to be used for military
14 matters, he would report to Karadzic. Is that what you're saying?
15 A. And everything that had to do with that.
16 Q. Right.
17 A. Because I did not have the authority to order the employment of
18 the police or the milicija, in any sense.
19 Q. And for other matters, that is to do with straight, as it were,
20 policing matters, he would report to you, is that right, or should have
21 reported to you?
22 A. Well, he should have for all those questions that have to do with
23 the legislative aspects, financing, the budget, and so forth. These
24 issues, he was supposed to coordinate the work in these aspects with the
25 president of the government.
1 Q. All right. Well, let's start, then, looking at some of these
3 MS. KORNER: Unless Your Honours have any questions at this stage
4 on the functioning of the government and ...
5 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I believe part of the
6 answer by witness has not been recorded in the transcript. I wouldn't
7 like to --
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: No, of course not.
9 MS. KORNER: I don't know, I'm sorry, I was looking at something
10 else. Part of which answer?
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Part of the answer on -- the last answer, page 51,
12 12 to 15.
13 MS. KORNER:
14 Q. Okay. Mr. Djeric, we'll go back over this for a moment. I asked
15 you whether for straight policing matters he reported to you, or should
16 have reported to you, and the answer as recorded was:
17 "Well, he should have for all those questions that have to do
18 with the legislative aspects, financing, the budget, and so forth. These
19 issues he was supposed to coordinate the work in these aspects with the
20 president of the government."
21 Did you add anything else?
22 A. Well, I said first of all he would coordinate them with the
23 deputy president of government for internal affairs, and that was
24 Trbojevic because he was in charge of this ministry, and then the next
25 step would be with me.
1 Q. Right. All right. Can we look, then, please, at the Assembly
2 meeting which dealt with your appointments and that of Mr. Stanisic.
3 It's 65 ter 921, please.
4 MS. KORNER: If we could have the first page up in each case just
5 so that we can -- in the English and B/C/S.
6 Q. Does that show that this was the Bosnian Serb Assembly meeting on
7 the -- I'm -- just a -- oh, yes.
8 MS. KORNER: You need to -- sorry, the B/C/S needs to go -- the
9 page needs to go further up, please. I want to go down the page on the
10 B/C/S. Thank you.
11 Q. Shows it was a meeting that was held on the 24th of March in
12 Pale. Is that right?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone was not activated.
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. Your microphone's not on, Mr. Djeric. Yes, it's on now. I'm
16 afraid you'll have to repeat your answer. You've had the opportunity of
17 looking through this, haven't you, Mr. Djeric?
18 Have you -- Mr. Djeric, can you see on the screen you've got some
19 documents -- a document, I hope. Can you just confirm you've had the
20 opportunity to --
21 A. Yes, yes, I have it in front of me.
22 MS. KORNER: If we go to the third page in B/C/S and in
23 English -- actually, second page first of all. I'm so sorry. The second
24 page. Third page in B/C/S, second page in English. Sorry. Yes.
25 Q. Dr. Milan Milanovic says that the Council of Ministers of the
1 Assembly -- or, rather, the decision to relieve from duty --
2 "The Council of Ministers of the Assembly of the Serbian people
3 which was established on the 21st of December, 1991, is hereby relieved
4 from duty."
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours --
6 MS. KORNER: Yes, mine won't turn off.
7 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I just noted that -- that
8 the witness has not been asked by Ms. Korner whether he would give the
9 same answers if he was asked. So now I would -- I need to raise that as
10 an objection now, because the situation is developing in that -- in that
11 aspect. I mean, because the -- because the documents have been tendered
12 and his statement before, and he wasn't asked if he would give the same
13 answers to the questions as before.
14 Thank you.
15 MS. KORNER: Yes. Mr. Zecevic is quite right. I did -- I did
16 omit to ask that.
17 Q. Dr. Djeric, I'm sorry to -- Mr. Djeric, I'm sorry to stop you
18 dealing with this document for the moment.
19 Was your testimony that you gave in the Krajisnik case read back
20 to you a few days ago now?
21 A. I actually leafed through it. Yes, I did have occasion to review
23 Q. Right. In the event that you were to be asked those questions
24 again, was what was in those -- what was in the record of that an
25 accurate record of what you said at the time?
1 A. I'm not sure I understood you.
2 Q. Such was your previous testimony as you reviewed, were you able
3 to, I suppose, remember that that was an accurate record of what you told
4 the Trial Chamber and the various people who asked you questions at that
6 A. I think so. I told the truth then, and I am still telling the
7 truth. Maybe there's something that needs to be clarified.
8 Q. No. As you heard, Mr. Zecevic wanted that question asked.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: That is exactly why I wanted to stand up. I think
10 the proper -- the proper question to the witness is whether he will give
11 the very same answers to the questions posed to him at that time today.
12 That is the question that the witness has to confirm.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if we have to discuss it, which I think
14 we may have, then I think the witness needs to leave court.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: I think, Your Honours, this is a procedure
16 concerning 92 ter and the jurisprudence.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mrs. Korner, it would seem to us that the
19 suggestions made by Mr. Zecevic would be just straightforward according
20 to Rule 92 ter.
21 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honours, in that event, I think I do need
22 to discuss. There's a good reason why I haven't asked the question in
23 that form.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: In that case, we would kindly ask you,
25 Dr. Djeric, to leave us for a short period of time. The usher will take
1 you out, and we'll bring you back shortly.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: And I think we should go into private session.
4 [Private session] Confidentiality lifted by oral order of the Chamber
5 THE REGISTRAR: We're in private session, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I know what the rule says. The
8 difficulty with this witness is the following, and Your Honours may have
9 seen it when you read through it: He gives completely contradictory
10 answers from questions in some respects that he's asked on the same
11 topic, firstly, when the Judges asked him questions, and secondly, when
12 Mr. Tieger for the Prosecution was cross-examining him, and it is
13 directly the contrary. For example, at one stage he's shown the
14 signature on the document, says it's a forgery, and then another stage
15 when he's shown the document again he says, no, it isn't a forgery, I
16 agree it's my signature. So to ask him the question as it's phrased
17 under the rules, would you give the same answers is to ask him, would you
18 give directly contradictory answers in some cases, and that seems to me
19 it doesn't make much sense.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, Your Honours, if that is the case which
21 Ms. Korner is explaining right now, then it's not admissible. They --
22 the Prosecution choose to lead this witness as a 92 ter witness with the
23 92 ter package. The rules are very explicit. The witness has to answer
24 whether today he will give the same answers to the same questions. That
25 has to be done. Otherwise, all this package which was admitted as an
1 exhibit will not -- is not admissible according to the rule. They could
2 have called him as a viva voce witness. That was the option. Or don't
3 call him at all.
4 Thank you very much.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, of course I can ask him the question
6 in those terms. That's what the rules mean, but it -- it's going to look
7 pretty silly is all I can say. I can certainly ask him that question.
8 It seems to me that the real gravamen of all of this was that the answers
9 he gave then are those as are recorded in the transcript.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: We did not become aware of some of the
11 inconsistencies until we started reading a couple of days ago, but that
12 was when you had introduced him as a 92 ter witness, and I must say that
13 now that the full story is being disclosed, it is -- I think maybe he
14 should have been called as a viva voce witness, because the -- the
15 conditions under which you can bring 92 ter witnesses are those that
16 follow from the rule. But let us just consult.
17 MS. KORNER: Certainly.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE HALL: The Chamber, having heard the explanation of counsel
20 for the Prosecution and being alive to the concerns raised by
21 Mr. Zecevic, considers that where we're at now with this witness, we
22 just -- we will continue, and the -- it will be for the -- when the turn
23 of the Defence comes, no doubt that they would do what they think best to
24 do in terms of what of the material -- the whole body of material they
25 have available before them, both the exhibit of the -- being the
1 witness's prior testimony, and what he says here today. We see no other
2 practical way out of the problem.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: And could I just add, Mrs. Korner, that since he
4 was introduced as a 92 ter witness and we have admitted the testimony,
5 then, you know, that's the track that you have set us on, and this means
6 that you have to put the questions to him that are required under 92 ter.
7 There's no way around it.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it was a matter of practical reality,
9 of course, but can I say that I completely forgot to ask the question,
10 but I was going to ask it in the way I suggested, but I will ask him the
11 question as required by the rule.
12 JUDGE HARHOFF: But can I just -- either you bring him as a viva
13 voce or you bring him as a 92 ter, but there's no way in between that.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: That is exactly what I -- I mean, the Rule
15 92 ter(A)(3)is very clear, I think, and what we're -- in this situation,
16 what has been done by the Prosecution is noncompliance with the Rule
17 92 ter.
18 JUDGE HALL: So could we have the witness back in, please. And
19 we're back if public session, open session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 MS. KORNER:
24 Q. Mr. Djeric, I just want to ask you one further question in
25 respect of your previous testimony. I've already asked you whether it
1 accurately reflects what you said. Secondly, if you were asked the same
2 questions again today, would you give the same answers?
3 A. I am speaking the truth, and in that sense I would give the same
4 answer. I don't know if I would use exactly the same words, but I would
5 give the same answer. I have come here to speak the truth, but there is
6 a problem here if I can indicate it, about the end of duty of the
7 ministerial council, because these people who were dismissed from duty
8 were no longer working in that particular way, but I was told that if I
9 wish to pick any of them for ministerial posts, I could do that.
10 Q. Yes. Don't worry about that. I just want to ask you -- the
11 reason I've shown you that is what was the Council of Ministers of the
12 Assembly of the Serbian People, which was, as it were, abolished in this
13 Assembly session? What was its role?
14 A. This was an executive organ of the Assembly or of the parliament
15 of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 Q. And did it operate as its -- if I can put it that way, its
17 unofficial government before the declaration of the Serbian Republic
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
19 A. No. The Serbian Republic
20 at the Assembly in January 1992. It was proclaimed then. The Serbian
21 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that was the name. And it exists in
22 the documents. It already adopted its constitution as of January, and it
23 had its executive body just like states today have a council of
24 ministers. That would be the equivalent.
25 Q. So what was the reason for its abolition in March?
1 A. Well, this would require a longer answer, but I will try to be as
2 brief as possible.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE HALL: Ms. Korner, since the witness is about to go into
5 what may not be a brief explanation, we notice it's 12.05 so this may be
6 a convenient point.
7 MS. KORNER: I thought it was 12.20.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can give a short answer as well.
9 MS. KORNER:
10 Q. A short answer?
11 A. Yes, I can provide a short answer. Simply, there were some
12 political changes that occurred. You know that at the time negotiations
13 were under way and that the international community had offered the
14 Cutileiro Plan based on the offer by the diplomat Cutileiro. So then the
15 leadership of the Serbian people or the leadership of the Serbian
16 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina decided in order to complete the
17 process of democratisation and to monitor the plan, they decided to
18 reinforce their organs and to transform the Council of Ministers into a
19 government. So for those political goals, the Assembly of the Serbian
20 people of Bosnia and Herzegovina required a government and not a council
21 of ministers. So this was done for the reason of democratisation, for
22 reasons of decentralisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in order to
23 coordinate with the international community regarding the implementation
24 of the Cutileiro Plan.
25 Q. Yes. All right. Thank you very much.
1 A. I apologise. So the government was formed exclusively with
2 peacetime intentions. This is something that needs to be kept in mind,
3 for peacetime purposes.
4 Q. Yes. Thank you, Mr. Djeric.
5 [The witness stood down]
6 --- Recess taken at 12.08 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
8 JUDGE HALL: Ms. Korner, while the witness is on his way back in,
9 could you at a convenient point, let's say about two minutes before the
10 time of adjournment, break your examination there? We'll alert you as to
11 the dies non juridicus for the record, whatever the plural is in Latin
12 for the rest of the year.
13 MS. KORNER: Oh, they abolished Latin in English some time ago,
14 so I've forgotten all the Latin I've learned.
15 [The witness takes the stand]
16 MS. KORNER:
17 Q. Mr. Djeric, still on the -- this Assembly meeting.
18 MS. KORNER: Could we go, please, to the second page in B/C/S and
19 the third page in English. Actually, no, back to the last page in B/C/S.
20 I don't know why that -- I see, because the numbering at the top is not
21 the same. Can we go back, I'm sorry, to the last -- that's it, but we
22 need page 2 in English. Okay. Well, that's not -- page 3 then, please.
23 Different page numbers. Page 3. Sorry. Yes. Thank you.
24 Q. Does that show that the Council of Ministers included yourself at
25 number 7. Number 3 just to note, Dr. Zepinic, and at number 19 Mico
2 MS. KORNER: And then can we go, please, in the B/C/S to page 4
3 and in the English to page 5. To the bottom of page 4 in B/C/S, please.
4 Thank you.
5 Q. You there -- you spoke, Mr. Djeric, and you started by saying
6 that you had completed your consultations, consulting with the presidents
7 of the Serb autonomous districts. What were you consulting with the
8 presidents of the Serb autonomous districts about?
9 A. What is being discussed here is the forming of the government,
10 candidates and so on. So I spoke. I assume, I don't see it here, but I
11 spoke in the sense that I wanted to point to a certain procedure, that it
12 was necessary to carry out certain consultations. And if I don't -- if I
13 remember correctly, at that time I put forward the names of two
15 Q. Yes, you did, and we'll go to the next page, but I just want for
16 a moment to stick with the -- in the next page in B/C/S, please, which is
17 page 4.
18 So you were consulting with the presidents of the SAOs about
19 candidates for government ministers. Is that what you're saying?
20 A. These were people who were deputies in any event at the Assembly
21 of the Serbian People there. I didn't go and travel around the areas to
22 do the consultations. This was all done in the break between the -- of
23 the Assembly sessions.
24 Q. Yes, but you specifically mentioned them. Does that mean that
25 they had some kind of say in who became a government minister?
1 A. You're thinking of the deputies, are you?
2 Q. The presidents of the SAOs who, as you say, were also deputies to
3 the Bosnian Serb Assembly, did they have some kind of influence in
4 respect of whom should be appointed a government minister?
5 A. I am not talking about the presidents of the SAOs. I'm talking
6 about the deputies in the Assembly of the Serbian People from different
8 Q. Does it -- it says in the English, and tell me if this is
10 "I have completed my consultation in the meantime, consulting
11 also with the presidents of the Serbian Autonomous Districts ..."
12 And then you go on to propose the two candidates.
13 Now, do you agree you said, according to this record you had been
14 consulting with the presidents of the SAOs?
15 A. To tell you the truth, I don't recall that, but on the basis of
16 this it's possible that we are talking about these two representatives
18 Q. Can we go -- I'm sorry, because in the B/C/S, unfortunately it's
19 still on the previous page. We need to go back to page 3.
20 Right. Does the second paragraph say that you've been consulting
21 with the presidents of the SAOs, in your language, in the Serbian
23 A. [No interpretation]
24 Q. Right.
25 A. I also -- after this consultation I noted that they were the
1 presidents of the SAOs. I guess this is where the two candidates came
2 from, from Herzegovina
3 talking about Buha and Mico Stanisic. Of course, at the time the
4 consultations were -- well, first of all, they had to do with the party,
5 with its work and so on and so forth, because the party was the one that
6 was offering the candidates.
7 I apologise. I wasn't able to pick any candidates other than the
8 ones that were put forward by the party. I could perhaps talk about --
9 Q. Don't -- pause.
10 A. -- it more to get a little bit better acquainted with the
11 candidate --
12 Q. Right. First of all, you said you had to put forward the
13 candidates that those were the party -- which party?
14 A. Well, it was the only and the ruling party, the SDS, the Serbian
15 Democratic Party.
16 Q. Right. And my question was: Did the presidents of the SAOs of
17 which there were five, have a say in who would get nominated for a
19 A. I assume so, yes, but it was proceeding through the party
20 mechanism. As part of the party certain people were filtered, and
21 specifically I was given these two names: Buha and Stanisic.
22 Q. Right.
23 A. So I was provided the names, and it's possible that I and the
24 deputies from Herzegovina
25 and kind of asked them about these candidates, because I didn't know
2 Q. All right.
3 A. I think -- well, I didn't know much, because it was just a brief
4 period of time while these political events were going on there.
5 Q. Yes, but you say -- as you say, you corrected yourself. You did
6 know them, didn't you, because they both served with you, for example, on
7 the National Security Council and the Council of Ministers.
8 A. Well, when I say knew here, it's not that I -- well, I don't know
9 somebody much, if I didn't know somebody for a longer period of time,
10 you know. It's superficial acquaintance. And even as part of these
11 consultations it was sort of kind of in passing.
12 Q. All right. Did you --
13 MR. ZECEVIC: I have an intervention in the transcript. I
14 believe the -- 64 -- page 64, 2 to 5, is the answer of Mr. Djeric is
15 recorded and not the question. This can be corrected, please. It is his
16 answer, it is not the question by Ms. Korner. Thank you.
17 MS. KORNER: I agree. I agree.
18 Q. Are you saying that you would have proposed other people for
19 these posts than Stanisic and Buha if you'd been given a free-hand?
20 A. For sure. Potentially there could have been other people, but
21 here you were being given people. It was exclusively the offer of the
22 party. So you could, thus, put that forward or not put it forward.
23 Q. All right.
24 A. The candidates' names were put forward by the party. That's how
25 it was. There was no other mechanism. I didn't have full freedom in
1 that regard.
2 Q. All right. And who from the party told you that you had to
3 propose these two men for these two posts?
4 A. I think that it was speaking with Karadzic. I was speaking with
5 Karadzic. I don't know if anyone else was there, but as the president of
6 the party, he asked that it be these people, the Minister of the
7 Interior, Mico Stanisic, and Buha for reasons of a political nature.
8 They needed somebody who was going to affirm Republika Srpska in the
9 international framework as a region, and that is why the ministry for
10 foreign affairs was formed. There was another key ministry, the Ministry
11 of Defence, but they didn't find adequate candidates, so only these two
12 were confirmed.
13 Q. Right. Was the -- how important a ministry was the Ministry of
14 Internal Affairs?
15 A. Well -- well, it should be important, you know, like in any other
16 country, the Ministry of the Interior or internal affairs, but you have
17 to bear in mind that this government and this ministry were just in the
18 process of being established, and there were certain objectives they had.
19 One of those was to promote and affirm the role of Republika Srpska. And
20 just allow me to say one other thing. We have to bear in mind that the
21 government had peacetime objectives, and that is very important. And the
22 minister who was appointed here, that was -- those were his only
24 And I would like to note it now, because maybe I won't give -- be
25 given an opportunity to do it later, but this government which was
1 being -- in the process of being formed in April and May, they would have
2 remained unless two events happened. This was one -- was the Cutileiro
3 commission and the other there was an attack on a Yugoslav People's Army
4 column in Sarajevo
5 whole situation, and had they not happened, I am -- I can claim with full
6 certainty here that this government would -- that this government would
7 have kept within those frames. What else would have happened, I don't
8 know, because it wasn't -- it was out of our hands, but this minister was
9 not appointed to wage war but, rather, to carry out his duties within the
10 government in Republika Srpska. And you have to bear in mind that we
11 always called it and it was always stressed that this was the Serbian
12 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So no one was talking about any
13 Serbian state. It was just a question of democratisation within Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina
15 Q. All right. Well, I think you've made your point, Mr. Djeric, on
16 this. Can we move through the rest of this Assembly, please.
17 Mico Stanisic, as we've seen, was proposed by you as was
18 Mr. Buha, and was then the Assembly elected them, and Mico Stanisic made
19 a speech. I want to look, however, at -- at something that was said by
20 another member of the Assembly, Mr. Vjestica.
21 MS. KORNER: Could we look at page 12 in the English, please, and
22 in the B/C/S it is page 9. Page -- yes. Sorry, we need to go -- page 12
23 in the English needs to come up. I'm sorry. Further down the page,
24 please. Thank you. And I hope we've got it up in the B/C/S now. I'm
25 sorry. Wait a minute. No, page 9 on the -- no, it's one page further.
1 Page 10, sorry -- it's one page further than -- yes.
2 Q. Mr. Vjestica, is it right that he was president of what was
3 called the Serbian municipality of -- or the Assembly man from Bosanska
5 A. He attended the Assembly session, but as for the formal aspects,
6 I'm really not privy to that. I assume that that's what he was.
7 Q. But he came from Bosanska Krupa. That's all I want you to
8 establish. Do you accept that? Would you agree to that?
9 A. Yes. Yes, he was from Krupa.
10 Q. Right.
11 A. That I know.
12 Q. He said here that:
13 "... the Assembly should adopt a conclusion instructing the
14 president of the government of the Serbian Republic
16 prepare by Friday an operational plan for assuming power, that is, for
17 establishing power in the Serbian Republic
18 particularly in the field of internal affairs," et cetera.
19 Now, first of all, you were the president of the government,
20 weren't you?
21 A. Yes, I was designate, prime minister designate.
22 Q. Exactly. And he was saying that there should be a plan, an
23 operational plan, for assuming power. Now, what was he referring to when
24 he said "an operational plan for assuming power," particularly in the
25 light of what you've just said, this was meant to be a peaceful Assembly?
1 A. I don't know what he was referring to, but I can tell you that in
2 January, I think in January of 1992, the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
4 well, possibly then the constitution of the Serbian Republic
5 and Herzegovina
6 strengthen the Serbian Republic
8 Q. Yes, but the territory that was being claimed was not only that
9 of Serbs, was it, Mr. Djeric?
10 A. Well, clearly no one ever had any issue with that. What we're
11 talking about here is the Serbian Republic
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina. So you have a unitary state which cannot move
13 forward until some political issues are resolved.
14 Q. Okay. Mr. Djeric, is your answer to --
15 A. As to what this gentleman was referring to specifically, I really
16 wouldn't know.
17 Q. Yes, but he was referring to you specifically. So did you ask
18 him at any stage what he wanted you to do?
19 A. Well, no. He clearly states here that this is what needs to be
20 done. This is his proposal at the Assembly session. This is his
21 contribution to the discussion. He is saying here what the president of
22 the government and the ministers are to do, and this is what he's
24 Q. Yes. Right. Well, let's have a look at what your response to
25 this was, shall we?
1 MS. KORNER: Can we move in the English to page 13, and in the
2 B/C/S to page 11.
3 Q. What you said Dr. -- Mr. Djeric, was:
4 "The government will have a duty to draw up an operational plan
5 and submit it for adoption. We shall do our best to speed things up, to
6 gain time wherever possible. There is no reason to think we are running
7 late in assuming power, because a lot has been accomplished by now.
8 Please do not take things into your own hands. You will receive your
9 instructions and you will proceed as instructed."
10 Now, what did you mean, first of all, by the fact that you were
11 going to speed things up to gain time wherever possible?
12 A. What I had in mind was the peace plan of the international
13 community, the Cutileiro Plan. This was the proposal that was offered to
14 us. The constitution and the structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 offered, certain functions were offered so that in fact this plan was in
16 a certain sense the implementation of the Cutileiro Plan which would be
17 favourable to us.
18 Q. Well --
19 A. So the basis for this was this international document.
20 Q. I see. What about the words "Please do not take things into your
21 own hands. You will receive your instructions"? What was concerning
23 A. Well, what was concerning me was that there was a certain
24 disorderly conduct of some people who were trying to do things on their
25 own to actually take political action without coordination, and this was
1 something that gave rise to my concern, and that is why I said that
2 people shouldn't do that, because they were to know how everything was
3 envisaged with this -- within this Cutileiro Plan.
4 Q. What disorderly conduct are you describing?
5 A. Well, most of these people were ordinary people who saw politics
6 as certain practices. How should I put this? There was even a certain
7 degree -- there was a certain degree of tension, because -- I have to
8 remind you of what time we're talking about here. This was from the 1st
9 of March, 1992, and onwards when the Serbian people was voted over by the
10 other two ethnic groups, and this was against the constitutional
11 provisions. In other words, the Serbian people, the rights of the
12 Serbian people, were put in jeopardy, and there was a certain revolt
13 among -- there was a certain dynamics in some parts of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this is why I was saying here that no one should
15 take things into their own hands or make -- take measures on their own,
16 because they should not actually give priority to the local government
17 but, rather, they should keep within the framework of the higher
18 authorities. So there was the Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities, and
19 then there were also the authorities on the ground. So what is important
20 here is the referendum of March 1st.
21 Q. Yes. All that I'm asking you is about the disorderly practices.
22 Are you talking about people seizing power by force?
23 A. Well, you see, to be honest there was some functioning
24 authorities, some functioning local government there. As of March, there
25 was still the army. Troops were still there. So it's not as if there
1 was no government at all. But there was a certain fear. People felt
2 afraid, existentially afraid, and this could have led to some of the
3 parts of Bosnia
4 priority to that of the authorities of the Serbian Republic
6 Q. Right. Was it clear to you and only -- I'm only asking about
7 you, Mr. Djeric, that if the Cutileiro Plan failed, there was likely to
8 be violence?
9 A. Well, no. I was just thinking that if this plan failed, then
10 there would come other plans. Well, you know, politics is a process.
11 Q. Because did you know that in the territory of the planned Serbian
12 state in Bosnia
13 like the idea of being ruled by Serbs?
14 A. Well, that is true. There are always people like that. But
15 there's also the fact that the unitary Bosnia and Herzegovina was
16 untenable because it did not provide sufficiently for the Serbian people
17 for their advancement. So this was a question that was to be resolved
18 through political process where these different approaches were to be
19 brought together. So it was natural to express these various interests
20 and also to try and coordinate them through various procedures.
21 Q. Well. All right. Let's leave that document, shall we?
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I take it that none of the documents
23 are admitted until all of this is finished. Right.
24 Q. Can we look at another document, please, where you did give some
25 instructions, and we'll look at the one that was attached to --
1 MS. KORNER: Can we have -- I think it's already been marked.
2 P -- well, the 65 ter number was 10036, and the exhibit is now P170.20, I
4 Can we look at -- can we look at the last page, please, in the
5 B/C/S and in the English first of all. All right. Can we go down to the
6 bottom. Yes.
7 Q. Is that your signature, Mr. Djeric? You saw this document in the
8 Krajisnik case, I think.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Right.
11 A. It looks like my signature.
12 Q. All right. Well, let's go to the first page then. In English
13 and in B/C/S. Can we see the title.
14 It's called excepts from the instructions on the functioning of
15 Crisis Staffs of the Serbian people in municipalities.
16 First of all, was there a longer document from which this was
18 A. I can't recall. I think it was standard practice to send them
19 out like this. I can't remember. I can't really claim with certainty.
20 Q. Right. Did you personally draft these instructions?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Who did?
23 A. I think it was someone who -- can you tell me when exactly this
24 was? Let me see. The 21st of May --
25 Q. No, 26th of April.
1 A. I think this was from the Ministry of Defence.
2 Q. The 26th of April these ones are dated.
3 A. Well, whether this is from the Ministry of Defence or some other,
4 I really can't recall exactly who was in charge of working on this.
5 Q. And who told you that these were to go to the municipal Crisis
7 A. Well, it was my assessment that this should be sent to all the
8 participants and all those individuals who were crucial for further
9 developments. I felt responsible, I felt personally responsible to send
10 this because I wanted them to have certain things in mind, to bear in
11 mind that are certain rights, certain laws, certain provisions,
12 conventions, documents that were binding. And that was my only purpose
13 as one of the actors on this political scene.
14 And these Crisis Staffs in municipalities which were unable to
15 convene a meeting, that was also a fact of life.
16 Q. Sorry, which Crisis Staffs were unable to convene a meeting? Do
17 you mean the Municipal Assembly or the Crisis Staff?
18 A. Well, you see, where the municipal Assembly was in operation,
19 that was the organ. However, where they could not operate, where
20 Municipal Assemblies could not operate, in those cases the Crisis Staffs
21 were the body that was to be informed of what to take care of.
22 Q. All right. Now the only part of this I want you to have another
23 look at is paragraph 4. So we need to move -- it's all right on B/C/S,
24 but in the English.
25 You -- or, rather, the Ministry of Defence who drafted it but you
1 signed off on it:
2 "The command of the TO and police forces is completely under the
3 competence of professional staff, and therefore any interference
4 regarding the command of the TO and the use of the police forces must be
6 What was the purpose in putting this paragraph in?
7 A. Well, the situation was such there were weapons. There was also
8 the Territorial Defence in some areas. Bosnia and Herzegovina was set up
9 in such a way that there was the Yugoslav Army on its territory, but
10 there was also the Territorial Defence that was -- that operated within
11 the framework of the army. So there was a problem here. There was the
12 issue of these various actors interfering and taking over the functions
13 of commanding these territorial forces, police reserves -- reservists,
14 and police and so on. So they were to be clearly told that they were the
15 one who were -- who had the authority to do that, because there was no
16 better way for me to proceed about this but to write this down and send
18 Q. All right. Thank you. Well, now that's all I want to ask you
19 about that document. Can we move now, please, to 65 ter --
20 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. 74, line 18. I think -- I think the
21 witness said in negation to this, not --
22 MS. KORNER: Sorry?
23 MR. ZECEVIC: He said they were to be told that they had no
25 MS. KORNER: Sorry, yeah.
1 MR. ZECEVIC: Not that they had the authority.
2 MS. KORNER:
3 Q. Mr. Djeric, just to clarify this, you were saying to the Crisis
4 Staffs that they did not have the authority to take over commanding
5 police and territorial forces?
6 A. Yes, this was --
7 Q. Thank you, sir.
8 A. Nor any party militias or anything of that sort. You understand.
9 Q. Can we look then, please, at the next document, 105.
10 Now, on the 30th of April, so some four days after the last
11 document is -- was dated, you sent an order to the Crisis Staffs saying
12 that those instructions weren't valid. This is because "an unfinished
13 text of instructions had been delivered to you by a mistake."
14 Was that what happened, that there should have been a different
15 set of instructions sent to them?
16 A. I don't remember this document. And secondly, it wasn't
17 something -- I didn't have the habit of annulling something or destroying
18 something. I don't recall this.
19 Q. Yeah, but that's your signature and stamp, is it?
20 A. Well, the signature, it does resemble my own, but the content of
21 this, I don't recall this. It wasn't -- I wasn't in the habit -- I don't
22 know what might have happened here, but I knew what the reasons were for
23 seconding those instructions. But as for this one here, I am not clear
24 on what this document is about, what it was doing here and -- so I didn't
25 have the habit of annulling something. I could add something, but
1 annulling something, that I --
2 Q. Right. You may not have been in the habit of it. All I'm asking
3 you at the moment is whether that is your signature and the stamp.
4 A. Well, the stamp and the signature, yes.
5 Q. Right. Thank you. That's all I want to ask about that document.
6 Now, I jumped forward because I wanted to link up your instructions about
7 what was said in the Assembly in March, but I want you to go to another
8 document, the 31st of March of 1992, 65 ter number 61. Unless there's
9 something else you want to say about this document.
10 A. Well, about the signature, the first part resembles mine, but the
11 rest -- I mean, I think we should really have a handwriting expert here
12 to compare this. I can't really claim this. All I'm claiming is that
13 this was not -- I wasn't in the habit of doing things like this, so ...
14 Q. Mr. Djeric, are you suggesting that this document was not sent
15 out by you? Is that what you want to say?
16 A. This one. Well, this wasn't something that I normally did within
17 the framework of my job, but I can't really recall what this would have
18 been caused by, what would have -- what could have been the reason for
20 Q. Well, I'm --
21 A. I simply can't remember.
22 Q. All right. Well, Mr. Djeric, I don't propose to take this any
23 further on this document, so can we look at another document, please,
24 which is -- I'm sorry, the number was changed. It's not -- it's not --
25 it was -- it's 10135.
1 Right. This is an extract from "Glas" newspaper, 31st of March,
2 1992. Were you familiar with "Glas"?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And it's headed "Zepinic called off from BH MUP." And it says:
5 "Today we learned from confidential sources that the
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina SDS called off - I think it means fired - Dr. Vitomir
7 Zepinic from the position of deputy minister of the interior. We acquire
8 this information after -- this English translation beggars belief -- the
9 new mandate of the government of the Serbian Republic
10 talked to Dr. Zepinic.
11 All I want to know is, was this newspaper report accurate? Had
12 in fact Dr. Zepinic been, as it were, removed after he'd spoken to you?
13 A. No, because I never spoke with him. He was being recalled by the
14 party for some reason. I don't know which reasons. I don't know if it
15 was a question of confidence or -- because he was an old cadre who was no
16 longer suitable for new changes, democratic changes, and so on and so
18 I don't know, but I didn't speak with him at all, so all this is
19 just journalist's interpretation.
20 Q. All right. Well, then I won't take that any further. Thank you.
21 Then I omitted -- I just want you to confirm, could you look,
22 please, very quickly at 65 ter 28. I jumped ahead a bit.
23 That was in the gazette, and it's 21st of December decision
24 showing you as number 6 on the Ministerial Council, Mico Stanisic at
25 number 18, and Dr. Zepinic as number 2.
1 Now, next can we look, please, at the constitution as it was
2 published that you already mentioned, which is 65 ter -- 65 ter 49. If
3 we look at the first page in the B/C/S and the English to begin with.
4 Published in the gazette on the 16th of March of 1992. And could
5 we go, please, to Article 12 onwards, which is the second page in the
6 B/C/S and the third page in the English.
7 Article 12: "No one can be deprived of or limited in freedom
8 except in cases and compliance with the procedures provided for by law."
9 Article 14: "No one may be subjected to torture, cruel inhuman
10 or humiliating treatment ..."
11 Article 15: "Unlawful deprivation of freedom is punishable.
12 "No one may be deprived of freedom without a court decision ..."
13 And "A person suspected of having a criminal offence ..." et
15 Now, Mr. Djeric, as events went on in 1992 were those articles of
16 the constitution adhered to?
17 A. No. I think we're all aware that simply many things were going
18 on there. That is, you know, the way that the constitution requires.
19 Q. Right. And just on one other article, 80 -- sorry, well, two
20 other articles. Article 81, please.
21 A. But with the following remark: I was finding that out on the
22 basis of certain information that was addressed to the government, and we
23 reacted pursuant to those -- the information. I wasn't able to find out
24 what the situation was in reference to the constitution.
25 Q. All right. Can we look at -- I'm sorry, I should have given you
1 the page number. Article 81 is on the B/C/S at page -- I don't know.
2 0040-8011 at the top, and in the English at page 13. Yes, you've got it.
3 That says that:
4 "In the event of a state of war or immediate threat of war, the
5 president of the republic shall at his own initiative or on a proposal
6 from the government pass enactments on questions falling within the
7 jurisdiction of the Assembly which enactments he shall give to the
8 National Assembly for confirmation as soon as it's able to convene."
9 Was -- what was your understanding of what that meant, of what
10 powers were given to the president by the constitution in the event of an
11 imminent threat of war?
12 A. He was at the head of the council for national security, and the
13 task of that council was to take care of the security of the people and
14 so on and so forth, and in that sense, you know, to take certain actions
15 and to propose certain documents, regulations, and so on.
16 Q. All right. Did that give him power -- sorry.
17 A. And thus when the Assembly was unable to convene, he was
18 performing this function while it, you know, would be able to convene.
19 He was the -- he was the executive organ, and at the same time carrying
20 out the function of the Assembly. And many regulations were sent to him
21 for signature. What was not possible -- what the Assembly could not
22 verify, he would sign and proclaim those regulations to be in effect.
23 Q. What I'm trying to get at, understand from you, is your
24 understanding of this, that in a time of immediate threat of war the
25 president had the power to make laws without consulting the Assembly or
1 to make decisions without consulting the Assembly?
2 A. Not that -- it was not a question of consulting, but just when
3 the Assembly was unable to convene, then he could.
4 Q. Right.
5 A. The Assembly was unable to convene because for different reasons
6 you didn't have the communications required throughout the whole
7 territory. You were not absolutely sure that you would be able to reach
8 the venue and so on and so forth. It was this kind of thing.
9 Q. All right. And finally, please, on the constitution, Article
10 100, which is page 17 of the English, and the page in the B/C/S is --
11 it's got -- it's 0040-8012.
12 It says:
13 "Regions shall be organised in the republic as political and
14 territorial units and cities and municipalities as local units of
16 And then under Article 104, the regional Assembly.
17 At this stage and we're talking about March of 1992, was
18 regionalisation a part of the constitution?
19 A. This was an issue -- well, if you speak about regions here, then
20 thus it is a question of the constitutional capacity, local
21 administration and so on and so forth. Thus this simply existed as a --
22 as a possibility in the constitution. That is what it says.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. It's a -- it's an Assembly matter adopted the way it was adopted.
25 Q. All I'm asking you is at this stage in March 1992, was
1 regionalisation envisioned as part of the political structure, if you
2 like, of the Serbian Republic
3 A. It existed as an idea, as an idea. Of course, based on the
4 principles of some kind of regional and world peace. What we were trying
5 constantly to do here is to implement a certain regionalisation that
6 suited the Serbian people but with agreements, you know, through certain
7 political procedures and compromises. And I said earlier that we hoped
8 that this all would pass nicely, but some events happened which could not
9 be controlled and which threw the government and all of us right into a
10 different track. We did have the intention to work on a serious effort
11 at regionalisation in accordance with the European experience.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I was just waiting until you'd
14 finished. I wondered whether you had something to say.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 MS. KORNER: All right.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Ms. Korner.
18 MS. KORNER: Yes.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: I was wondering in Article 80 it is said -- it is
20 said that the president of the republic, and so you know, you were just
21 discussing this with the witness. Who was the president of the republic?
22 MS. KORNER: Very good -- actually I'm just taking -- I was just
23 assuming that --
24 Q. Mr. Djeric, could you tell the Court who was the president of the
25 republic. I don't know that we ever mentioned his name.
1 A. Well, this is a document that we're talking about here. First
2 the constitution was adopted, and then work -- further work proceeds
3 pursuant to the constitution.
4 Q. No, stop, stop, stop, Mr. Djeric.
5 A. We -- we --
6 Q. Just wait. All you're being asked is who was the president of
7 the republic? Give us the name.
8 A. I am telling you the president of the republic at this point in
9 time did not even exist. What did exist were two members of the
10 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina from Republika Srpska, and we
11 continued to consider them as -- as the presidents. You understand. So
12 one thing is the document, but the sources were never extrapolated
13 according to the constitution for the president of the republic. There
14 was just the constitutional capacity, thus the potential. Biljana
15 Plavsic and Professor Koljevic were members of the Presidency of Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina
17 Q. Right, but the --
18 A. -- part of the collective Presidency that belongs to the Serbian
19 Republic so you're asking me something on the topic of the constitution
20 and I'm not really well-versed in the constitution topics. I could
21 present my opinion here but these are legal and constitutional
22 procedures. All I am doing is recalling that at that time we did not
23 have --
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'm just trying to know, Mr. Djeric, nothing
25 more. But there was Karadzic -- Mr. Karadzic as well in the Presidency,
1 but he was only, if I may say, president of the party. So that means
2 more or less that this was functioning like a one-party state.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was a party state that was
4 functioning in which the president of the party was carrying out all the
5 functions practically. We're going to speak about that. You will see.
6 Practically he was the government too.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MS. KORNER: All right.
9 Q. The constitution that we've looked at, however, it's clear,
10 envisaged one person as president of the republic; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. Okay. That's all that I needed to ask you about the
14 Can we move on now, please, to one of the other -- oh, well
15 perhaps we'll just -- we'll just note in passing, because it refers to
16 the state, immediate threat of war, and can we look, please, briefly at
17 65 ter number 84, please.
18 This is a -- the Official Gazette actually for the 12th to the
19 17th of May, but it published at 1 -- at item 142 the decision to declare
20 an immediate threat of war, and that was on the 15th of April. And as we
21 can see, in fact going back to Judge Delvoie's question, it's actually
22 signed "Presidency," Dr. Biljana Plavsic and Dr. Koljevic.
23 A. Yes. This is what I was telling you earlier. The constitution
24 provides for certain solutions. Those solutions need to be reached. And
25 this is already a time, you know, when there were no elections for the
1 president, but we had these two persons there who were carrying out the
2 role of members of the Presidency.
3 Q. All right. Yes. Thank you. Did you attend the 12th of May
4 Assembly which was held in Banja Luka?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Right. We've already looked at it with another witness, so I
7 just want to ask you about a document that came out of it. 65 ter 118,
9 This appears to be something -- a draft for the gazette, the
10 Official Gazette, setting out the six strategic goals that were
11 enunciated at the 12th of May Assembly.
12 Do you remember hearing about the six strategic goals?
13 A. I did hear of that, but I wasn't really involved in that. At
14 that Assembly there was talk or discussion about that. I think for the
15 first time was -- that was, I think, the first time that I heard about
16 that. These are more party, SDS party goals and so on and so forth.
17 Q. All right. All I want to ask you about this is apparently it was
18 drafted -- it wasn't actually sent to -- it wasn't published in the
19 gazette for some considerable time. Do you know why that was?
20 A. I don't know, because it's not in my jurisdiction. I wasn't
21 really dealing with that, and I don't know, and I wouldn't have then, nor
22 would I today have agreed with much that is said here.
23 Q. So you didn't agree with those goals.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. [Overlapping speakers]. Okay.
1 A. I don't know where this figured, you know, but what I'm saying,
2 you know, simply there is much here that is -- you know, has nothing to
3 do with anything. It's not in the spirit of the times and so on.
4 Q. Well, I think you're going to have to explain that a little bit
5 more, Mr. Djeric. What -- just a moment. Wait for the question.
6 Did you or did you not agree with those goals?
7 A. I did not express my opinion on these matters. This was not
8 submitted to the government. This was not in my purview. I'm speaking
9 about it generally. And as for my agreement and disagreement then had I
10 been in the position, and now I would not have agreed with that. Well,
11 look at this division of the town of Sarajevo
12 there can be no division of cities. I knew that then and I knew this
13 now. This is more of a rural option by some rural politicians who were
14 imagining Sarajevo
15 that town and the division of cities. Anybody who is barely literate
16 would know that this is something that is unfitting.
17 Q. Well, what did you understand was supposed to happen with
19 A. I beg your pardon?
20 Q. What did you understand when you heard this was meant to happen
21 in Sarajevo
22 A. Any politician worth his salt, any serious political factor would
23 not think in a way like this, you understand. You need to take care
24 that -- at that time we have the Serbian Republic
1 matter the organisation of the state and so on, but division of Sarajevo
2 simply is something that does not have much sense, much logic, and so on
3 and so forth.
4 Q. Division of Sarajevo
5 A. Well, you see, I am -- it says here. I'm giving you my opinion.
6 I didn't sign this. I didn't agree with this. I didn't work on the
7 implementation of this and so on and so forth. You understand. So I
8 don't know. You would need to ask those who were putting this forward.
9 I am unable to interpret the policy of the SDS or the SDS president, this
10 one or that one.
11 Q. Just a moment, Mr. Djeric. You've just said the division of the
12 city of Sarajevo
14 A. Any kind of division. A town is a town. A city is a city. It's
15 an entity. I'm thinking of any kind of division. How are you going to
16 divide a town? Another thing is, you know, policies regarding these or
17 those interests, but something that had to do with division of a town.
18 It's something that really wouldn't be able to go through, and I assure
19 you that the people in Sarajevo of Serb ethnicity or thereabouts, that
20 was something that was out of the question. People were surprised. They
21 were flabbergasted with some of these solutions that were accepted in
22 relation to Sarajevo
23 Q. Yes. Right. Well, if we look at the actual number 5, it says:
24 "Division of the city of Sarajevo into -- on Serbian and Muslim
25 part and creation."
1 Are you saying that it was impossible the way that Sarajevo was
2 inhabited to separate them into Serbian and Muslim parts?
3 A. It wasn't possible. It simply wasn't possible, and it could not
4 have figured, you know, as a goal. This is what I'm talking about. I
5 don't know who thought of what and whose idea it was to initiate these
7 Q. All right.
8 A. These were not goals of a --
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. Of a general -- but there were -- all right.
11 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Djeric.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I think in view of the time you asked
13 for that's probably an appropriate moment before I move to another
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE HALL: The -- your testimony has -- has a way to go yet, so
17 you are excused but not released. Because you are sworn as a witness,
18 you cannot discuss your testimony with the lawyers from either side, and
19 in your conversations with anyone outside the Chamber, you can talk about
20 anything else but not your testimony here. Do you understand what I've
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you. Yes, I
24 JUDGE HALL: Thank you. So you're excused to return to this
25 Chamber at 9.00 tomorrow morning. Thank you.
1 [The witness stands down]
2 JUDGE HALL: Yes. For the benefit of counsel and to give advance
3 notice to the parties, the dates that have been decided on, and this is
4 picking up where we left off yesterday, would be Monday the 9th of
5 November, Monday the 30th of November, and I would remind the parties
6 that that follows upon the Friday the 27th, which is a UN holiday, and
7 then Friday the 18th of December.
8 So the lawyers can, in terms of their witnesses, arrange their --
9 make the arrangements accordingly.
10 MS. KORNER: Well, thank you, Your Honour, for that indication.
11 We'll -- we'll -- that's -- so I'm assuming that means that all the
12 outstanding motions will be completed by Christmas.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Hopefully before.
14 JUDGE HALL: Thank you.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.
16 to be reconvened on Friday, the 30th day
17 of October, 2009, at 9.00 a.m.