1 Wednesday, 12 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
8 number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you. Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you.
10 Can you hear me in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I can
12 hear you.
13 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, we don't hear Mr. Brdjanin.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, yes, I
15 can hear you. Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You're hearing now, I suppose, Mr. Brdjanin because
18 THE INTERPRETER: It's the interpreter who didn't hear
19 Mr. Brdjanin.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So it's no longer a problem. Thank you, Mr.
21 Brdjanin. Good morning to you.
22 Appearances for the Prosecution?
23 MS. KORNER: It's going to be one of those days, Your Honour. I
24 was pressing the wrong button. Joanna Korner, Timothy Resch together with
25 Denise Gustin, case manager. Good morning, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you three. Appearances for Radoslav
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman,
4 together with Milan Trbojevic and Marela Jevtovic.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to the three of you. Let's start,
6 assuming that there are no preliminaries. Usher, could you please bring
7 the witness in, thank you. Do you think you'll finish with the witness
8 today Ms. Korner?
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I do. With always the caveat that I'm
10 so often wrong when it comes to the documents, but I do think I will.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you, Ms. Korner.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good morning to you, Mr. Kirudja.
14 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you kindly make the solemn declaration once
16 more, please?
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
18 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: CHARLES KIRUDJA [Resumed]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. Thank you.
21 Ms. Korner will be proceeding with her in chief. Yes, Ms. Korner.
22 Examination by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
23 Q. Mr. Kirudja, good morning.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Before we carry on looking at your reports, there is one question
1 I want to ask you in respect to the refugees. Apart from the Muslim
2 refugees that we have been looking at, were there also Serb refugees that
3 you were having to deal with, who were coming from the parts of Croatia?
4 A. This was a point that is a little salient, difficult to see.
5 There were indeed refugees crossing or displaced persons crossing the
6 Bosnian border into the sector where the UN was deployed but when it came
7 to Serbs, this was never really an issue because the Serbs would tell us
8 ex post facto that we have refugees here, you didn't even know it or you
9 didn't raise the international awareness that you do with non-Serbs, but
10 what happened was that they took care of it themselves, that -- without
11 the usual distress that is accompanied by refugees who were non-Serbs
12 crossing that border into hostile reception from the opposite side. With
13 the Serbs, there was no hostility when they crossed the border and because
14 there were a number of empty houses so to speak, there would be quietly
15 accommodated without us knowing exactly who is where. That's the -- why
16 the issue looks deceptively silent. That's how this point has been raised
17 elsewhere, why were we not so occupied with the Serbs? Not so. That's
18 because of the way it was happening.
19 Q. So to summarise that, the Serbs who were coming into your area
20 were being housed by other Serbs and were not facing, as you put it, a
21 hostile reception?
22 A. Right.
23 Q. And indeed, as I understand your evidence, quite often they would
24 be taken in without your even being aware of the fact that there were
1 A. Correct, correct.
2 Q. Thank you. All right could you now have a look, please, at a
3 whole bundle? It's P1669, because it's a whole collection of reports that
4 you forwarded to your superiors, I think. Dated the 29th of June.
5 We see on the top there, your covering letter. It's actually,
6 subject, Mr. Suad -- is that Adilovic?
7 A. It's somebody else's handwriting. I would have to look at the
8 printed --
9 Q. Okay, don't worry then. And then you say, "Please find the blank
10 page memo and annexes, I think it's one page memo and annexes total 18
11 pages on the above-mentioned subject."
12 Now, if we look at the typed copy which is the memorandum, dated
13 the 29th of June, subject, Mr. Suad Adilovic's letter?
14 A. Right.
15 Q. I refer to your message of the 26th of June, the story of Bosanski
16 Novi and other flash points on the Bosnia-Herzegovina border is a
17 heartbreaking tale of violence and unconfirmed atrocities in the making.
18 We have made a series of reports on this subject and enclose the following
19 which may give you a sense of our frustration with the situation. And
20 signed by you and the reports are listed. Addressed to Mr. Mick
21 Magnusson, UNPROFOR Zagreb. Mr. Magnusson being whom?
22 A. He was an assistant directly in the office next to Mr. Cedric
23 Thornberry and Mr. Cedric Thornberry had tasked him to pursue the matter
24 with me.
25 Q. Can we look, please, at the next document which is the 22nd of
1 June of 1992. Group of people held at football stadium, Bosanski Novi,
2 DanCon informs civil affairs of a fresh group of about 15 persons
3 apparently being held in the football stadium and being guarded by people
4 in camouflage uniforms. The people waved white flags and flashed SOS
5 signals to passing DanCon patrol. Then please find attached a letter
6 addressed to the mayor of Bosanski Novi by the UNHCR representative here
7 in Topusko. This letter particularly the 5th paragraph is designed to
8 reinforce a message that has repeatedly been orally conveyed to him and to
9 his colleagues in Dvor, best regards.
10 Now can we deal with the first paragraph? This is the Danish -- I
11 don't know what Con stands for, the Danish contingent, that's it,
12 reporting to you or to your office that there are more people in the
13 Bosanski Novi football stadium. This business of SOS signals, what
14 exactly was happening there?
15 A. First, to understand it a little bit of the relationship between
16 that football field and where the Danish contingent was. It's a direct
17 line of vision relationship. Their contingent, the Danish contingent
18 located in Dvor, from their observation tower, you can see directly across
19 the river into the football field in the direction of Bosanski Novi, and
20 that of course the reverse is true, if you're on the other side, you can
21 see the Danish observation point. Since this, as you noted in the earlier
22 memorandum you read, introducing this package, that we speak about talking
23 about this matter in previous report, and this is related to the
24 paragraph, this fresh number of people coming in here. There was a
25 constant flow of people into that football field. Military observers in
1 Dvor, with their binoculars could see what was going on there and on this
2 occasion, there was a formation of SOS from those people in that football
3 field and you can see, and you can draw the conclusion they intended to be
4 seen. The people making that SOS intended that they be seen across.
5 Q. So you said the formation of SOS. You mean they were standing so
6 that the letters SOS could be seen?
7 A. What the report said from the military observers themselves is
8 that we read a formation, how the military exactly read it, I couldn't
9 tell you exactly but they say we can see, we the soldiers, that formation
10 made up of human beings and flags spells SOS.
11 Q. I think just for a moment, can we have back the map, the big map
12 that we produced? I've forgotten -- it's the coloured one, I've forgotten
13 the exhibit number, P1645. Just so we can remind ourselves of where Dvor
14 and Bosanski Novi were. I think we can see fairly clearly, well Bosanski
15 Novi is marked heavily, it's just over the border and over the river, and
16 then Dvor is just there?
17 A. Right.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you. Yes, thank you very much. Usher, you can take
19 that away now.
20 If we go on please, then, to the next document, which is the
21 letter you referred to, a letter to the mayor of Bosanski Novi, and
22 which -- just check that. Yes. Thank you. It's there. You've just
23 gone --
24 A. It's not that one. That's not a letter to the mayor.
25 Q. Okay. Usher can you give it to me?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you put it on the ELMO, usher, please, one
2 moment, are we safe with -- Ms. Korner?
3 MS. KORNER: The first page can go on the ELMO.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: The first page, okay, I mean I have no problems with
5 that but the second page may be problematic because of the person who
6 signed it.
7 MS. KORNER: I don't know what --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, if we look at the second paragraph of
10 the first page, one might have some concern also. I don't know. It's up
11 to Ms. Korner of course.
12 MS. KORNER: No, there is no concern.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, there I wouldn't think so but I thank you for
14 pointing at that, Mr. Ackerman, but I wouldn't think so either. But the
15 second page, yes, but I leave it in the hands of Ms. Korner.
16 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much Your Honour, I was aware of that
17 but the first page is all right.
18 Q. This is addressed to the mayor of Bosanski Novi, Mr. Pasic?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And dated the 20th of June, from UNHCR, and you were obviously
21 provided with a copy. Dear Mr. Pasic, I would like to thank you for your
22 visit together with Mr. Rade to Topusko on the 28th of May, 1992, meeting
23 with civil affairs coordinator Mr. Charles Kirudja and myself. I wish to
24 assure you that since the meeting we have tried to follow the situation
25 closely and have strong concerns for the welfare of the large number of
1 Muslims in your community. On June the 13th, 1992, the special envoy of
2 the high commissioner for refugees, Mr. J.M. Mendiluce sent a
3 representative, Mr. Concolato and myself to the area. And on the
4 13th -- on June the 13th, 1992, we had an opportunity to review the
5 situation with Mayor Borojevic in Dvor. Unfortunately, it was not
6 possible for us to come across to meet with you and see the situation. As
7 you will recall at our meeting, you named Mr. Barjaktarevic and Mr.
8 Hamzagigic as spokespersons for the group and understood to arrange a
9 meeting to talk with them. By this letter, I would like to inquire into
10 what arrangements you have made for the meeting. If possible, we would
11 also be interested in meeting with Mr. Izet Muhamedagic and a
12 representative from local Red Cross/crescent or Merhamet. I would
13 appreciate if you could contact the two individuals on our behalf and
14 request them to suggest a meeting date. We suggest the venue of the
15 meeting be Dvor. I would also like to stress the importance that UNHCR as
16 an international humanitarian organisation places on the protection of
17 these people in their home region so that their fundamental human rights
18 are respected and to avoid the creation of a new flow of refugees. I am
19 sure you realise your responsibility as the head of local government in
20 that respect.
21 With respect to the proposed mass transfer of population, I am
22 sure that I do not need to remind you that since the Second World War, the
23 forced, mass transfer of population on purely ethnic or racial basis has
24 been declared a crime against humanity in international law. You are
25 probably also aware that on November the 26th to the 27th, 1991, the
1 parties to the conflict in the former Yugoslavia agreed at a conference
2 convened at the initiative of the International Committee of the Red Cross
3 to apply the provisions of international humanitarian law in the present
4 conflict. I trust that you will agree with me on the importance of your
5 responsibility in seeing to it that these international obligations are
6 respected within your jurisdiction. Please allow me to include with this
7 letter a copy of a folder on the work of UNHCR. At our meeting we also
8 discussed the possibilities for international assistance for displaced
9 persons in your municipality and I therefore also enclose a questionnaire
10 to assess the needs for assistance regarding displaced persons in your
11 municipality. And I look forward to hearing from you.
12 Now, this letter, did you see it before it was written or -- I
13 mean in other words, did you discuss it with the gentleman from UNHCR
14 before it was written or were you just supplied with a copy afterwards?
15 A. As the letter itself refers to in the very first paragraph, it
16 refers to my -- to the meetings with me. Recall the earlier letter that
17 this letter was intended to place beyond doubt with regard to the
18 representatives of Bosanski Novi that sought a meeting with me about our
19 position on the matter. So this letter was drafted at my request and my
20 participation with the UNHCR gentlemen to make sure that it comes out
21 clear. I didn't feel that my responsibility as the head civilian head of
22 the mission, this matter technically was really not under my
23 responsibility as a peacekeeping matter. Since the issue we are raising
24 fell squarely under the international obligations of which UNHCR is a
25 custodian. So we agreed, and that it will be drafted together but the
1 signed -- signatory of that letter would probably be the UNHCR person.
2 Q. The paragraph in respect of the mass transfer being a breach or
3 crime against humanity, was that something with which you agreed?
4 A. Again, going back to the responsibility, I had them research that
5 and have them phrase it the way UNHCR would -- will be consistent with
6 what they knew about the UNHCR and ICRC so I let them research that
8 Q. And again, you said they did the research. Whether or not it's --
9 you're right, it is a legal matter but?
10 A. Right.
11 Q. But as far as you were concerned, was this --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour this is a matter for the Court, not a
14 matter for this witness. It's up to you to decide whether that's a
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You are partly right but not completely.
17 MS. KORNER: I'm going to rephrase the question, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly. You're partly right, but not
19 completely. In fact, I was going to invite you to put the question in some
20 different manner because you were not getting there any way.
21 MS. KORNER: In fact I appreciated the point Mr. Ackerman has just
22 made which is why I changed the question.
23 Q. As far as you were concerned, from what you had seen and the
24 conversations you had had, was this, as it is stated, a mass transfer of
25 population on ethnic grounds? Leave aside whether it's a crime or not.
1 A. That's precisely the point I wanted clear because yesterday I made
2 allusion to despite repeated oral explanation that this is not a -- the
3 right thing for you to do, I mentioned yesterday that having heard me,
4 they wanted me to tell them who my boss was so they can take up this
5 matter higher. So I wanted this made clear to them that this is a mass
6 transfer, 5.000 is no small number of people, and it isn't right.
7 Q. And you and the gentleman who wrote the letter consulted over it.
8 The purpose of saying this in the letter was what?
9 A. The purpose was to make sure that he understood that this will not
10 go well with the international community.
11 Q. Right. Yes, thank you. If we move to the next document that's in
12 the bundle that you sent, this I think we see next the original message
13 that came from DanBat, the Danish Battalion. I really think we must try
14 and -- dated the 20th of June, directed for your attention, subject
15 refugees, 1, at whatever I think this must be on the 20th at 1020?
16 A. No it's time.
17 Q. Time.
18 A. At 2000 hours.
19 Q. 2000 hours, contacted nine refugees in Dubica?
20 A. B company in Dubica.
21 Q. In Dubica, they are of something Serbian-Croatian?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mixed.
23 MS. KORNER: Mixed, thank you very much, Your Honour.
24 Q. Origin and want either UN protection or help to get through to
25 Zagreb. Then there is a problem about the kidney patients in Dvor having
1 difficulty in getting their medicine, previously this has been transported
2 by air from Belgrade to Banja Luka and Dvor claims that the -- this air
3 space is now controlled by Croatian forces, DanBat doubts this, and then a
4 further time, and this is the message you referred to, scouts from E
5 company observed 15 people being gathered at the stadium in Bosanski Novi,
6 the 15 people were guarded by people in camouflage uniforms and people
7 surrounding the stadium waved white flags and flashed SOS in order to
8 attract the attention of the DanBat scouts. DanBat has informed, I think
9 this is, the city of Dvor that this matter will be reported and that
10 DanBat is concerned for the fate of the people in the stadium.
11 Then the next document should be, and perhaps the usher could give
12 it to me, just find it --
13 A. Covering page.
14 Q. Yeah.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour I think, Mr. Resch kindly suggests it's
16 easier if his copy goes because the copy for the exhibit has been copied
17 on both sides which makes it more difficult to find.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: That's okay with me, Ms. Korner. The only thing is
19 second page again, the very end is the name of the person to whom --
20 MS. KORNER: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It's the ICRC person that I'm concerned about.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's -- no the -- I think the only
23 concern we need have is for the people working for UNHCR.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.
25 MS. KORNER:
1 Q. Now, this, Mr. Kirudja, was written by Mr. Raffone, I think,
2 again, but released on your authority; is that correct, it's a letter of
3 the 20th of June?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Addressed -- well, we'll see it was in fact addressed to the ICRC
6 in Zagreb but copied to UNHCR and to the civil affairs headquarters in
7 Zagreb. This letter describes a meeting in Velika Kladusa with the
8 representative of the 850 displaced persons from Sanski Most. I think
9 this is the first reference we've seen to Sanski Most. Was this the first
10 time that you had any dealings with problems in Sanski Most?
11 A. It's not the first time we get a hint on that. This is the first
12 time the people themselves are -- if you recall the previous meeting of
13 27th May, when Mr. Pasic came to my office, we already had been
14 telegraphed the problems in Sanski Most, Prijedor and other places.
15 Q. Right. The secretary of the Red Cross of Velika Kladusa,
16 Mr. Muhamedagic, convened a meeting with the representative of the 850
17 displaced persons arrived from Sanski Most on the 12th of June, and the
18 meeting took place on the 19th of June, 1992, at the local Red Cross
19 headquarters. The civil affairs officer from Sector North and the chief
20 of the station of UN CIVPOL of Slunj were invited to attend -- assist.
21 The representative of the group of displaced persons from Sanski Most
22 asked to keep his name anonymous. The report which follows is solely
23 based on his statements. The witness of this forced evacuation was kept
24 arrested in the sports hall of Sanski Most during 16 days, together with
25 his son. Persons between 16 and 60 years were kept in this place. He
1 declared that every day the persons kept in this place counted themselves
2 to be sure that no one was missing. He counted some 250 persons missing
3 since he arrived. They were asked to go out, he said, and never came
4 back. The guards to this place were under the direction of a man who is
5 the commander of the Serbian crisis committee of Banja Luka, Mr.
6 Davidovic. In those days, the local radio reported that 230 extremist
7 Green Berets were imprisoned in the concentration camp in Banja Luka. He
8 added. The camp is called Manjaca and is some 30 kilometres out of Banja
9 Luka. In this camp there are only dangerous war prisoners, [in inverted
10 commas, extremists], some doctors and members of the SDA, he explained.
11 Pausing for a moment, Mr. Kirudja, had you heard of Manjaca before
12 this occasion?
13 A. No, this is the beginning of the shape of information that later
14 became subject of a very controversial memo that we put out. This is the
15 beginning of our getting to see in detail and it became even more so as we
16 interviewed all of these people one by one.
17 Q. On the 11th of June, 1992, some 1.000 persons arrived in the
18 sports hall. The same day, the authorities [Mr. Davidovic guards]
19 organised ten buses and under the threat of heavy guns forced some of the
20 people who were kept into the sports hall to go into the buses. He
21 counted some 800 persons. The buses travelled up to Bosanska Krupa. In
22 this place, again under the threat of heavy guns, all the persons were
23 forced to get out of the buses and stand in line. All of us had to pass a
24 bridge walking between the mines. On the other side, there were Green
25 Berets and some local authorities waiting for us. Some transportation was
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 arranged for us. On the 12th of June, the group arrived in Velika
2 Kladusa. The local Red Cross helped the group and the Red Cross counted
3 850 persons, women, children and men above 60 years. All of them are
4 Muslims. The man explained that all the group is presently hosted in
5 local families but there is no food for them because there is not even --
6 there is not food even for the local population. The representative of
7 the 850 persons from Sanski Most said that all of them would very much
8 like to have the possibility to go back to their houses. Alternatively,
9 he asked about the possibility of being evacuated from Velika Kladusa to
10 Croatia. He explained that a good number of them owned houses in Croatia
11 or have relatives there.
12 And the secretary of the Red Cross said that unconfirmed news
13 announced some three -- some new 3.000 displaced persons to arrive in
14 Velika Kladusa from Bihac.
15 By this stage, how were you and your fellow relief organisations
16 regarding this flow of refugees that appeared to be arriving?
17 A. I forgot to mention there was still another concern in trying to
18 get this information as in dire terms that appear here. Earlier
19 yesterday, I also mentioned that UNHCR and ICRC had taken a decision in
20 their headquarters to pull out completely out of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
21 following the killings of one of the ICRC delegations earlier, around
22 May. You may recall that point that I made earlier.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. And at this moment, as you can see, I am addressing ICRC in this
25 memo, that -- and especially a gentleman by the name shown there [as
1 said]. I had met him a couple of times and we had begun to make head way
2 in understanding that ICRC had to return into this area. We wanted them
3 to make a reversal of their decision to pull out, as well as UNHCR. So
4 there again in recognition of the fact that this is a matter far beyond
5 UNPROFOR mission but it is coming inside. Velika Kladusa is on the
6 border. It's not very far. It's about 20 minutes drive from Topusko so
7 we knew this was going to be a major problem for us if we don't get other
8 UN agencies involved in this matter.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, page 15, line 21, I think he said a
11 name but has come out with the word "shown there," instead of that name,
12 either that are I misunderstood.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no he did mention a name and it was, to me it
14 sounded something like that. 15?
15 MR. ACKERMAN: 21, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Line 21.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. Yes, just tell us the name, Mr. Kirudja, again, who you were
19 trying to address, Mr. Schomburg or something like that?
20 A. Who I was what?
21 Q. You said you were trying to get the attention of Mr. --
22 A. No, no, in this memo that it in front there is Philippe Noel, you
23 can see the Philippe Noel, whom I had met a couple of times on the ground
24 and he had shown us a good understanding and we were working with him,
25 together the ICRC to understand the extent of what was going on.
1 Q. All right. I think the rest of the correspondence which you
2 attached we have already been through because it goes back to the
3 beginning of June. The purpose of sending all of this correspondence to
4 headquarters was what?
5 A. First, I mentioned also yesterday, I had great difficulties with
6 my headquarters, understanding or even accepting that what we were doing
7 was not beyond the mandate or we were crossing the other border so first
8 we had to make sure that this was a daily occurrence, this is a situation
9 that we could not look the other way. These people coming from this areas
10 that we mentioned, the only place of refuge they could find was where the
11 UN flag was, and we were sitting below that UN flag. And secondly, being
12 known Muslims, the Bosnian enclave of Bihac, first also was a less hostile
13 area for them to gather first when they want to find refuge beyond, but
14 across the border from that enclave of Bihac pocket it was a
15 Serb-controlled area and that's where the UN was deployed, and they were
16 themselves, the Serbs in that area where the UN was involved, as my
17 meetings in Dvor show, they were also involved in this matter themselves.
18 Therefore, we were consequently involved. And therefore, we needed the
19 assistance of the two agencies, UNHCR and ICRC best suited to deal with
20 this matter.
21 Q. Can we then move on to as you describe it the report that you sent
22 on the 4th of July, which I think caused, as you say, something of a
23 furore, that is please Exhibit P1671. Dated the 3rd of July, a memorandum
24 headed "Humanitarian aid" and if we just turn over the page, it's
25 addressed to a Ms. Y. Auger.
1 A. Auger.
2 Q. Auger. DDCA Belgrade. And a Mr. -- and copied to Mr. Magnusson.
3 And Ms. Auger was what?
4 A. She was Mr. Cedric's immediate deputy in Zagreb.
5 Q. No, that's Mr. Magnusson?
6 A. No, Ms. Auger. Magnusson was another aide but he didn't have
7 the title. Ms. Auger outranked him.
8 Q. Right. Subject, humanitarian aid, I refer to your subject memo of
9 1st of July, 1992. The football field in Bosanski Novi is clearly visible
10 from the town of Dvor in the UNPA. Further to our many previous reports
11 on this, let me clarify that our sense of frustration is not, as stated in
12 Mr. Magnusson's subject memo to the FC?
13 A. Force commander.
14 Q. Force commander.
15 A. Mr. Nambiar.
16 Q. Our inability to investigate this matter. Can we pause there for
17 a moment? So Mr. Magnusson had sent a memo to General Nambiar, had he?
18 A. Let me be -- try again. At this moment, I'm almost seething with
19 anger about this matter. I have to say that. I'm seething with anger. I
20 have sent numerous messages to this headquarters in Zagreb, and now I'm
21 told that you are unable to investigate this matter. We were being
22 misread by Magnusson and I intended to put him on notice that it is not an
23 inability to investigate this matter. Had I been even more blunt, I would
24 have -- or daring I would have said it's because nobody is paying
25 attention to what we are sending to you.
1 Q. Right.
2 A. That is really what I meant.
3 Q. When you say you're seething with anger, that was then in July,
5 A. Yes, yes, yes, I still -- yes.
6 Q. Right. I believe you have received a stream of reports not only
7 of Bosanski Novi but also for other flash points along the border with
8 BH. Bihac, Cazin, Velika Kladusa and Bosanska Dubica. In these reports
9 we highlighted the following points: We believe the football field
10 detainees are only a tip of the iceberg involving the concerted action of
11 local Serbian authorities in BH trying to establish a Serbian Republic of
12 BH, free of Muslims.
13 In that process, the mayors, the militia and the TDF of Bosanski
14 Novi acting in unison with their counterparts not only in the UNPA, Dvor
15 and Kostajnica, but also with Bosanska Dubica, Banja Luka, Prijedor,
16 Sanski Most and Kljuc.
17 Now, in this part of the letter, you said acting not only with
18 Dvor but with Dubica, Banja Luka, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Kljuc. You've
19 already explained to us that you've been given reports from Prijedor and
20 Sanski Most and I think Kljuc. What about Banja Luka? How did that come
21 into it?
22 A. This -- you will recall there was a telephone call received by
23 Mr. Paolo Raffone where Mr. Kupresanin had also alluded to the same towns
24 and warning from his own count 15.000 people had left the area of Banja
25 Luka and warning that 15.000 more would follow, and then saying to us,
1 "Please, the international organisation, we need the assistance of the
2 humanitarian agencies in this crisis."
3 Q. All right. The Serbs appear to be engaged in a determined process
4 of forcefully disarming Muslims where they are clearly a small encircled
5 minority, such as in Bosanski Novi or besieging their city totally, such
6 as in Bihac. Apparently, the football field is their holding ground where
7 Muslim groups are detained while their houses are being, in inverted
8 commas searched, the men isolated and transported to concentration camps.
9 The UNHCR representative and civil affairs have pieced together reports
10 from Muslims who recently have taken refuge under UNPROFOR protection in
11 Dvor and Kostajnica. There are reported concentration camps at the
12 following locations: Keraterm located at a railroad station in Prijedor
13 en route to Banja Luka, 100 to 200 Muslims believed to be here under
14 extremely bad conditions. Trnopolje: Also located at a railroad station
15 in Prijedor, direction Banja Luka; a refugee camp for women, children and
16 old men. Omarska: Located in a purely Serbian village, reportedly a camp
17 for Muslim men and local Muslim authorities prior to Serbian takeover of
18 control, particularly in Prijedor. Manjaca: Outside Banja Luka, a large
19 camp reportedly including Croatian soldiers taken prisoner in the fighting
20 in Kostajnica. The treatment of Muslims and other minorities in the camps
21 is reportedly atrocious with regular beatings, deprivation of food and
22 water, poor shelter, et cetera. Today in a meeting with ICRC and UNHCR,
23 the above subject of humanitarian aid was discussed. The ICRC informed us
24 that they will be deployed in BH and took the information we had on the
25 subject. They also informed us that the ICRC will deploy a delegate or
1 two specifically in Sector North to be located either in Vojnic or Glina.
2 This in our view is a very positive step which we had recommended to the
3 ICRC as a matter of urgency.
4 Our frustration arises from our inability to do anything other
5 than write reports and stand by. Since UNPROFOR has no operational
6 responsibilities across the border. In recent days, the situation has
7 deteriorated and has now begun to spill over to the UNPA. We have seen a
8 mounting number of desperate people who have crossed over to seek refuge
9 and protection from UNPROFOR. Yesterday, one Mustafa Ogorinac swam across
10 the River Una at 5.00 in the morning from a camp in Bosanska Dubica. He
11 is now under UNPROFOR protection along with two other persons. He shows
12 signs of physical abuse and punishment.
13 In a separate communication dated the 30th of June, I appealed to
14 the special envoy of the UNHCR for one temporary measure to help to cope
15 with the situation while waiting for the ICRC and UNHCR to resume their
16 operations in BH. We have requested a minibus with driver to help in
17 transporting the escapees to safety, since UN vehicles are not to be used
18 for humanitarian purposes. Any assistance you can lend on the acquisition
19 of the 16 to 20 seat minibus and driver is most appreciated. Regards.
20 Now, the camps that you mentioned, these were camps that you had
21 heard about, had you, from the refugees, displaced persons? We will just
22 wait, I think, then, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour while we are waiting I just sort of
25 have a time concern that I want to -- Ms. Korner has now read in their
1 entirety two of these letters this morning. I know that Your Honours are
2 capable of reading. The questions seem to go to one small part of the
3 letters and we just seem to be using up a lot of time reading documents
4 that we can all read, and if that's okay with Your Honours, then it's okay
5 with me. It just seems to me from a time standpoint it's wasteful.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour I propose to go on in the way I have
8 because I think it's important first of all because people are watching
9 and it's no good just taking up parts like that and second because I think
10 it's important that we go through these. I've said I'll finish today and
11 I will. That gives Mr. Ackerman two clear days to cross-examine.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay. Go ahead for the time being and then we
13 see how it develops but try to restrict yourself because I'm pretty sure
14 that in every letter there may be paragraphs that are -- I know that you
15 have skipped some in other documents but -- any way, I leave it in your
17 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
18 Q. Now, I'm sorry, now that the banging has stopped, Mr. Kirudja, the
19 camps that you mention here, that's information you got from the refugees
20 or displaced persons, is it?
21 A. Yes. This again back in context, we have seen these number of
22 refugees, beginning with the one that had gathered in Velika Kladusa.
23 Those who had crossed, we had all of -- a lot of them in a hotel in
24 Vojnic. My colleagues spent sleepless nights with them one by one and
25 pieced together the information that they summarised in this memo, but it
1 was also something else. It's very condensed, as you can see, because I'm
2 talking about my headquarters, talking about not telling them, talking
3 about we are unable to investigate. So I wanted it concise and clear:
4 This is what we are facing. This is what the consequences are. And we
5 don't have a choice about it.
6 Q. Now, did anybody, when you sent this memorandum, to your
7 knowledge, do anything about this?
8 A. Absolutely not. It was never -- I wasn't even sure anybody else
9 cared about it, until General Nambiar called me later on, towards -- one
10 or two days later. And he called me because he was concerned about the
11 language "concentration camp." General Nambiar was a very careful man. I
12 respect him a lot and I worked with him very well. So he called me and
13 said, "Why are you sure it's a concentration camp?" And I said to him,
14 come to think of it, we just translated -- we just wrote down what the
15 interpreter said the people called them, the people talking to us, and the
16 interpreter talking to us said we have a concentration camp in these
18 Now, recall, these are people in the former Yugoslavia, expected
19 to know the meaning of the word "concentration camp." Second World War
20 was something that most of them were familiar with. So I said to the
21 general, okay, what would you call it, then, if I wouldn't -- if the term
22 is -- could they then be detention camps? That was the purpose for him
23 calling me just to be sure that our language was not necessarily alarmist.
24 The next thing I knew is that there is headquarters, about a month or so,
25 concerned when this memo became a major brouhaha, leaked out by some
1 places at headquarters in New York. It was on radio, it was on
2 television, and somebody at the head of the DPKO came to see me in Sector
3 North and they wanted to know who leaked the memo. That's all they were
4 concerned, who leaked the memo.
5 Q. Did you hear at any stage about the killings that had taken place
6 in a place called Room 3 in Keraterm at the end of July?
7 A. No. We were also careful not to go into greater detail about this
8 because we were in Sector North. This was in Bosnia, no mandate of the
9 UN. So we restricted the details that we were involved in, just to serve
10 notice that these people are here in Sector North or across the border
11 coming from these places.
12 Q. And in respect of Omarska, did you become aware, at the beginning
13 of August, of the news bulletins that were obtained by an English
14 television crew, Penny Marshall, at any stage?
15 A. At one moment, I had 30 -- 30 or plus, I stopped counting,
16 journalists in my office on Sector North when this memo was out and
17 television crews.
18 Q. All right. Just can you remember when it was leaked, when it came
19 out, roughly?
20 A. I don't know. I am in Sector North, where very rarely had I any
21 communication outside. As soon as I sent my memos under restricted thing
22 I wouldn't know what happened to them.
23 Q. All right. Thank you. Can we move then, please, to the next
24 memorandum that you wrote, or rather Mr. Raffone wrote, P1672? This is
25 dated the 8th of July, subject, arriving refugees from Bosanski Novi, on
1 the 7th of July, 1992, a group of 18 persons arrived in Sector North from
2 Bosanski Novi asking for protection and assistance to cross the CFL?
3 A. Confrontation line.
4 Q. Towards Zagreb or other foreign countries. The civil affairs
5 officer interviewed the group and arranged for the crossing on the 8th of
6 July. Was that you or Mr. Raffone there?
7 A. That is Mr. Raffone, yeah.
8 Q. The following information is based solely on the statements of
9 these persons who have asked for anonymity for security reasons. In
10 Bosanski Novi the Muslim ethnic group, 28 per cent, continue to suffer
11 persecution, deportation and intimidation from Serbian armed groups. The
12 beginning of this crisis is traced back to the end of April, 1992. The
13 persons interviewed reported that all Muslims living in the town and in
14 the neighbouring villages are ready to leave the area towards Croatia or
15 other destinations in Europe.
16 Previously, we reported that the stadium of Bosanski Novi is one
17 of the places where hundreds of persons have been held for screening
18 following which they are expelled from the area towards unknown
19 destinations. Reportedly, all Muslims are forced to sign papers asking
20 them to voluntarily leave under the following conditions: Leave behind
21 all personal property, including cars, personal effects, et cetera; swear
22 that they were permanently leaving the area and that they will never go
23 back to their houses. Following compliance with these conditions, they
24 are issued a declaration from the local TDF commander and the militia or
25 the mayor, allowing them to leave their opstina of residence. They are
1 generally forced to leave in the direction of Dvor. It is reported the
2 local authorities in Dvor do not seem surprised at the arrival of the
3 forcefully removed persons. They even show a cooperative effort to
4 facilitate their way towards Croatian-controlled territories.
5 A calculated strategy to cleanse the area of Muslims appears to
6 have intensified, beginning in May of 1992. House burnings, deportations,
7 summary executions, shooting in the houses, et cetera, are part of the
8 present situation in the towns and villages along the north side of the BH
9 border. Bosanski Novi, Kostajnica, Dubica. Reportedly the militia does
10 not seem to intervene. Some mayors and other Serbs working in the
11 opstinas have also been reported as trying to help the Muslims to leave
12 their house safely. In Bosanski Novi the military police has reported to
13 have its HQ in the Hotel Una. There are reports of brutal torture in the
14 hotel. The persons interviewed believe that the political leaders know
15 what is happening. Some of them attest allegations that some high level
16 politicians in the SDS party are known to have given orders for actions
17 against Muslims. Some of the refugees tell of a retaliatory policy of one
18 Serbian killed in the front line, one Muslim man will be killed. All the
19 men interviewed had been held for some days in the stadium of Bosanski
20 Novi before being expelled. They report that every day some 30 new
21 detainees arrived in the stadium. When the stadium is full, the guards
22 take some of them away to unknown destinations.
23 Some witnesses report that in the first 15 days of May, that some
24 200 persons taken out of the stadium were shot dead nearby.
25 Based on these interviews, the persons estimated that some 5.000
1 persons may try to cross the bridge between Novi and Dvor in the coming
3 This letter signed by him to the -- your headquarters but copied
4 to all the other organisations.
5 As far as you and your staff were concerned, from what you were
6 seeing, could all these matters that had happened in different
7 municipalities have been isolated, spontaneous incidents?
8 A. No. By this time, no. We had of course come to the conclusion
9 that this is, as you put it, not an isolated incident, the people are
10 coming from one end of the border with Bosnia, from Bosanska Dubica, which
11 was closest to the edge of our sector all the way down to Bihac and in
12 between, and there were different opstinas that this area comprised. It
13 was clear, to conclude, this could not have been an isolated matter.
14 Q. The persons, according to Mr. Raffone interviewed believe that the
15 political leaders know what is happening. Had you from your own
16 observations or conversations, any view on that matter?
17 A. I must also draw your attention that this letter comes at the wake
18 of -- after the meeting with Pasic himself. So as I -- as Mr. Raffone was
19 summarising what was hearing from his direct interviews with the people,
20 the part it was corroborating what Mr. Pasic and his colleagues were
21 asking me directly to do. So there was no new information to me in that
22 regard. What it did is serve notice that it is coming from different
23 angles that is the purpose for me releasing this memo it's coming from
24 different place but the same thing.
25 Q. So sorry, Mr. Kirudja, the question was: They were saying
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 political leaders knew what was happening. Was that your view as well?
2 A. It's my view that the mayors and the police chiefs, if that's what
3 you meant, in each opstina, knew about this.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. Could we then move, please, now, to the
5 following day -- sorry, it's Exhibit 1673, the 12th of July.
6 And I think we just put the front page up because this is another
7 UNHCR letter.
8 Again --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Ms. Korner, I see --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
11 MS. KORNER: Yes, can we take that off, Your Honour, thank you
12 very much. It's the same gentleman from UNHCR that we'd seen the earlier
13 correspondence from.
14 Q. Is that right, Mr. Kirudja?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Is this again something that before it was sent was discussed
17 with you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Dated the 12th of July. This -- I can summarise quite a lot of
20 this. He received a message on the 7th of July that there were 79
21 refugees outside the police station in Dvor. When he got there on the 8th
22 of July, and had briefings with DanCon, it turned out that the persons had
23 left the station before and returned to Bosanski Novi, and so then a
24 meeting was called with the deputy mayor, the chief of the militia, but in
25 fact they were unable to attend at shot notice. During the duration of
1 the three hour meeting new Muslims had arrived at the CIVPOL station and
2 he said he was able to interview two family representatives who then
3 returned to Bosanski Novi.
4 Then the situation, he deals with. The background can be found in
5 some acts of the public authorities in the days before. On the 6th of
6 July, 1992, the crisis committee of Bosanski Novi addressed a letter to
7 civil affairs, which was given to me by CIVPOL. According to the letter,
8 the crisis committee informed that 1233 persons had applied to authorities
9 for permission to leave and the community would help provide transport
10 for those Muslims who did not have their own means of transportation. And
11 a copy of the document with translation is appended and we will have a
12 look at that in a moment. 7th of July meeting between the mayor, advice
13 mayor and chairman of the assembly of Dvor and other representatives of
14 the humanitarian organisations, and again this refers to what's in your
15 memorandum about what people had to do before they could leave.
16 The Bosanski Novi informed that they processed applications from
17 1300 families who all fulfilled the criteria. They estimate that this
18 amounts to a total of some 3.000 to 5.000 persons different from the 5.000
19 Muslims in convoy reported on by the end of May, 1992, who by and large
20 had escaped, been sent away by other routes which are no longer open due
21 to the fighting. And then at the beginning of the meeting, on the 8th
22 of July, the Dvor representatives gave us a copy of the order from the
23 Crisis Staff of the Dvor municipality in regard to the Novi situation.
24 And effectively saying they weren't going to allow passage unless
25 it was by UNPROFOR. At the meeting the deputy mayor stressed that his
1 community did not want to do anything without UNPROFOR.
2 Paragraph 11. The chief of police said that the refugee cases
3 started some eight to ten days ago but after the large increase, it became
4 a problem, how many people have already exchanged their houses with Serbs
5 from Croatia. The deputy mayor did not want to second guess the reason
6 why people wanted to leave but later volunteered his own opinion. Some
7 had been disappointed in the politics of Izetbegovic, further after the
8 fighting in the Cazin and Kladusa region and with the return of wounded
9 and killed Serbs, Muslims in the area were getting afraid of revenge from
10 relatives. As the discussions got more frank, they did not contest that
11 it was very questionable whether the request to leave had been signed
12 voluntarily. When I asked them to confirm that the mayors of Bosanski
13 Novi and Banja Luka --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down when reading.
15 MS. KORNER:
16 Q. -- stating that Muslims and Serbs could no longer live together
17 they said it was not the mayor but the chief of the crisis committee in
18 Banja Luka, Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner, I'm asked to draw your attention
20 to --
21 MS. KORNER: I'm speeding up, trying to help Mr. Ackerman out.
22 Q. Then the paragraph -- the letter goes on that try to separate the
23 issues of humanitarian assistance, and then we see in paragraph 14 that on
24 the 8th of July, UNHCR, OSCE, as well as the Croatian authorities were
25 briefed in Zagreb on the matter by the civil affairs coordinator,
1 Mr. Kirudja. So Mr. Kirudja, at the time of this meeting, on the 8th of
2 July, you were actually in Zagreb, were you, briefing the authorities
4 A. On July?
5 Q. 8th of July, 1992, if you just check your --
6 A. Yes. I was in Zagreb.
7 Q. Right. I don't think we need trouble actually with the end of
8 this document but can I go back do that paragraph about which mentions
9 Mr. Brdjanin? Was that a name you had heard at all by July of 1992?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you ever hear about him other than in this document?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Now, thank you. Then if we could move through what happened next,
14 can we go please to document 1675? -- 4, I'm sorry, first, sorry.
15 A memo again from Mr. Raffone dated the 13th of July, 5.000 Muslim
16 refugees from Bosanski Novi, following our phone call earlier today,
17 please find attached a self-explanatory note from UNHCR concerning the
18 possible arrival of some 5.000 persons displaced refugees from Bosanski
19 Novi to UNPA north.
20 And if we look at the accompanying document, rather, not terribly
21 clear, but it talks about a meeting on the 11th of July between UNHCR and
22 the mayors and chiefs of police and Bosanski Novi. The main issue the
23 local authorities on both sides trying to get support and approval from
24 UNHCR and UNPROFOR to arrange the transit of 3500 to 5.000 Muslims from
1 Paragraph 2: UNHCR and UNPROFOR stated clearly that participating
2 in displacement or movement of population could never be expected, that no
3 guarantee of safety could be provided through transit, et cetera.
4 And then 3, after the meeting, UNHCR crossed into Bosanski Novi
5 and met representatives of the Muslim population wanting and preparing to
6 leave. Despite all explanations their attitude remained the same, i.e.
7 that their only possibility is to leave Bosnian Krajina for destinations
8 in Croatia, Slovenia and Western Europe.
9 And then it deals -- and then at the bottom, that apparently on
10 the 11th of July, reportedly a number of buses with Serbs from north and
11 north-eastern parts of Bihac entered the UNPA. Some of these arrivals had
12 been confirmed and concerns are that we are facing another population
13 movement where Croatian property and houses and UNPA north will be taken
14 into use by Serbian population and local informers even mentioned
15 volunteers from Belgrade in this context.
16 I think you told us earlier, Mr. Kirudja, but you yourself never
17 did cross the border into Bosanski Novi, did you?
18 A. I was very careful not to do that. I was already being accused of
19 extending UNPA concerns into Bosnia where we have no mandate so I was
20 very careful not to cross it but I sent somebody else to cross it.
21 Q. Right. Okay. Can we look, please, at P1675?
22 A short memorandum for the same date, talking about the 20
23 busloads of refugees from Bosanski Novi crossing the border. Today an
24 advance group of people from Bosanski Novi arrived at the gate of DanCon
25 and announced that on Wednesday, the 15th of July, at 12 noon, 20 bus
1 loads of refugees will arrive in Dvor. And they have been told that
2 UNPROFOR won't be able to assist, the government of Croatia has given
3 instructions to its border police.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please read that slower and
6 MS. KORNER:
7 Q. Then if we move, all of this being the buildup to what actually
8 happened, these two -- one Exhibit P1676.
9 Again, this is from Mr. Raffone, I think, and --
10 A. Not the one I have, 21 July?
11 Q. Can I just see what you've got there? Sorry, the -- oh, sorry.
12 Just a moment. Sorry, Your Honour, it's my fault. It's actually in a
13 different document.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it 1676 or not?
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, no the one I was looking at isn't, it
17 was document 31 of Mr. Kirudja's documents so it doesn't make much
18 difference I don't think.
19 Q. This is a document as you say signed by you on the 21st of July,
20 Mr. Kirudja?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And sorry, I just want to -- all right. Let's deal with that and
23 I'm going to ask for a break because my numbering seems to have gone
24 somewhat -- dated the 21st of July, subject refugees. We have received a
25 copy of Andreev's message of -- is that 1409, July 1992?
1 A. 14 of July, 9.00.
2 Q. All right. Before we go on, Mr. Andreev being whom?
3 A. Mr. Andreev was my counterpart based in Knin Sector South.
4 Q. Right. Then he says, and he'd sent a message, had he, about
5 refugees from Bihac clearly, judging by the first paragraph?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I would advise that this should be considered as different from
8 the 4.000 refugees expected to transit through Sector North in the next
9 two days from Bosanski Novi. The UNHCR has obtained the consent of the
10 Croatian government to allow passage of the 4.000, copy of a self
11 explanatory letter from Prime Minister Greguric is attached and then
12 it talks about the logistics of transit involving some 45 buses and 200
13 cars from Bosanski Novi to Karlovac and then the logistics and then
14 repeating, the 10.000 refugees mentioned by Andreev are over and above
15 the arrangements being made to transit through Sector North.
16 I'd be grateful if Andreev could apprise the authorities in Knin
17 of these developments. And then you enclosed the letter from the
18 government of the Republic of Croatia. In fact addressed to Mr.
19 Mendiluce, and appears as follows: Dear sir we received your letter
20 describing the present situation of ethnic cleansing in Novi, as reported
21 by your group of senior officers from UNHCR Zagreb.
22 And then it does say that as a last solution, they will allow
23 these people into the Republic of Croatia.
24 Mr. Kirudja, had that -- had it been difficult to persuade the
25 government of Croatia to take this?
1 A. At this moment, we regarded the letter as an anticlimax. We had,
2 as you read earlier, worked strenuously to be sure that this number of
3 people do not get moved, and we were at the same time in touch with the
4 Croatian side, who sustained our position that we wouldn't allow such a
5 movement to be undertaken. They held that line until somewhere within the
6 time period last few days of that letter, for other consideration for
7 which I wasn't privy they decided they will accept 4.000.
8 Q. Right. Yes, and really I think I can finish this off. Although I
9 have -- I thought my numbering system had gone wrong, so I need to back
10 here for a couple of things. But effectively, did this convoy pass
11 through on the 23rd of July?
12 A. It did but not in the numbers that were expected.
13 Q. More or less?
14 A. More. Instead of 4.000, over 9.000.
15 Q. Yes.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, could we just take the break
17 five minutes early while I redo my numbering system?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We will take a 25 minute break and
19 resume soon after.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we may as well get the witness but I
23 don't know where Mr. Ackerman is. Perhaps the usher can get the witness
24 and perhaps somebody could tell us where Mr. Ackerman is.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought we had lost you, Mr. Ackerman.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: The door was locked and I was standing in the hall
2 and couldn't get in. It's not unusual. I'm defence.
3 MS. KORNER: While we wait for Mr. Kirudja to come in, I have
4 missed out part of the document. That's what was worrying me. It's 1672,
5 so if the Registrar could find that one again.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's bring the witness in.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, I've had a complete telling off from
9 the interpreters so I think I better put the ear phones on.
10 Q. Mr. Kirudja, I'm going to ask you, please, to have back P1672,
11 because I did miss out some of the attachments.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, this document enclosed the letter
13 referred to from Mr. Pasic and a document and clearly, the authorities had
14 done their own English translation of the original letter and we had a
15 proper translation done which makes it slightly clearer. I hope Your
16 Honours have got it.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
18 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
19 Q. We went through the first of these documents from Mr. Raffone but
20 I think enclosed with it, Mr. Kirudja, were documents that had been sent
21 and translated or part of it translated, by Mr. Pasic; is that correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. If we then look, please, and I'd like you to be given --
24 A. Excuse me, it may be my own interpreters. I can't be sure whether
25 it is Pasic. Usually my own interpreters at Sector North were able to do
2 Q. All right. I don't want to insult them but I think we had a
3 slightly better interpretation done of it. I wonder if you could be given
4 just for a moment, please, the new translation?
5 A. Is it attached to here?
6 Q. I don't know.
7 A. Just a minute, please.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: How would I be able to tell the difference between
9 the new one and the old one? Or do I not have it?
10 MS. KORNER: Just a moment, please, Mr. Ackerman. You were sent
11 -- there is a translation done into English, it was with the original
12 documents done either by Mr. Kirudja's interpreters or by the authorities
13 in Bosanski Novi. We retranslated it and you've got that. You were given
14 that sometime ago.
15 A. What I have --
16 MS. KORNER: It's no good shrugging, you've got it. If you don't
17 have it, it's not our fault.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm not disagreeing, Ms. Korner. I'm just
19 suggesting that I don't have it here in front of me. I totally trust that
20 you gave it to me at one point.
21 MS. KORNER: All right. We've got one more copy, again.
22 Q. This was a letter dated the 6th of July, from apparently
23 Mr. Pasic. It was stamped and signed.
24 A. Excuse me, counsel, I have a copy of the translation of my own
25 memo in Serbian, and the one that you want to focus on isn't in this set.
1 It's not in the set you just gave me.
2 Q. All right.
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Kirudja, there is always this problem about --
6 A. No problem.
7 Q. All right. This is a translation of the stamped Serbian letter
8 which there was already a translation of.
9 A. Still not.
10 Q. Oh, for heaven's sake. No. It's no point giving Mr. Kirudja the
11 Serbian translation. It's the English.
12 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated]
13 MS. KORNER: No you didn't.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: The documents the usher brought to me just a moment
15 ago as the English translation were all in Serbian, so I support that.
16 MS. KORNER: All right. Your Honour there is a new translation
17 I'm not going to bother with this. Let's just look at the one they did.
18 Q. Okay, Mr. Kirudja, if we look very -- and I think we can summarise
19 it through your own translation, there was a letter dated the 6th of July?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. In which they said that they wanted 1233 persons had applied to
22 leave, given all the required statements, and then the statements --
23 statements of immovable property and asked for the meeting with the
24 representatives. And then safeguarding the convoy will be provided by
25 internal affairs. And then also attached, I think, was another document
1 which in fact you didn't apparently get translated but we have and when we
2 find them, Your Honour, I think you've got them, it was the municipal
3 Crisis Staff -- I think perhaps the best thing is if you haven't got it
4 there, Mr. Kirudja, can we put this on the ELMO and then we can all see.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Just going to see it myself. Dated the 8th of July, and
7 discussing -- it talks about how it discussed a memo from Bosanski Novi
8 municipal Crisis Staff concerning the voluntary departure, and then if we
9 look, if you can move the document up the ELMO slightly, please, the Dvor
10 public security station is instructed not to issue individual passes, only
11 for migrant convoys, UNPROFOR civilian police requested to contact the
12 government of the Republic of Croatia and after that, they would issue
13 passes for the convoy and finally, 3, instructed to step up controls at
14 the crossing point to prevent the passage of Muslim and other
15 ethnicities. I think you referred to that or it was referred to in one of
16 the documents we already read. Okay. And then I think the final document
17 was another which I missed out, 9th of July memorandum by yourself,
18 dealing with the position of the government of Croatia over these
19 refugees. So thank you, we can now get rid of that rather difficult
21 A. Thank you.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, did Your Honours have that translation?
23 You did, right so I don't know what's happened to everybody else's.
24 Q. Then, Mr. Kirudja, I'm sorry, there was one, as I said, my note
25 system fell at this point, I think on the 10th of July, you had a meeting
1 with the mayor of Dvor and the deputy mayor of Bosanski Novi, which is
2 recorded in your diary, if you could have a look at that.
3 A. Yes, I do have that meeting marked in my notes here.
4 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honours, this is page 26 of the
6 Q. This -- was this a meeting, can you recall that you had asked for
7 or that they asked for?
8 A. My notes don't clarify that, and -- but since it was in Dvor,
9 again this was within our mandate, my area of Sector North, routine
10 meetings there would have been -- it wouldn't have made a great difference
11 who asked for it because it is inside the sector.
12 Q. All right. Now, I think it was about the issue of refugees?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And were they claiming that they had to look after 7500 refugees
15 from Croatia?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did they say, however, something about the Muslim population?
18 A. The mayor at this time was repeating same things that we had heard
19 before by Mayor Borojevic. By then, I believe by this time, Borojevic had
20 resigned or been moved. Yet the language from the deputy mayor is
21 indistinguishable from the previous mayor.
22 Q. Did they talk about allowing the Muslim population to leave?
23 A. They -- they -- my notes here show that they still are talking
24 about voluntary people leaving through the sector. Again, notwithstanding
25 the prior meeting where in writing I made clear this is -- there is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 nothing voluntary about this, and they are also telling us, and I quote,
2 "UNPROFOR and UNHCR do not seem to believe that these people are leaving
3 voluntarily and are being forced to leave. When you understand the
4 problem will be solved." In short what the mayor is saying, "As soon as
5 you change your mind about it, the problem will be solved. It's not a
6 problem for Serbs in Bosanski Novi and need not ask for UNHCR assistance."
7 It's a bit of defiance going on here.
8 Q. How did you interpret what was being said in respect of what was
9 going to happen if UNHCR didn't assist or UNPROFOR?
10 A. We will solve the problem by ourselves, they said.
11 Q. And how did you think that -- what did you understand that they
12 were going to solve the problem by what means?
13 A. By now, I was clear that no matter what we said, there was a
14 determination to proceed this way. The number of the refugees that you
15 mentioned earlier, number of 7.500 Serb refugees who were expelled from
16 Bosanski Novi it was repeated again by the deputy mayor, the voluntary
17 situation is also repeated. It's like a broken record. They will repeat
18 that no matter what I did.
19 Q. Did he say something else, though? This is the mayor.
20 A. On this meeting?
21 Q. M'hm.
22 A. On this specific meeting, I'm not sure that --
23 Q. Perhaps I can lead because I think --
24 A. Unless you have something specific that you want me to recall.
25 Q. I think because I'm sure Mr. Ackerman would like me to bring it
1 out, but did he in fact at some stage say to you, I am the mayor of all
2 people and I will see to it that Muslims will not be expelled?
3 A. Yes, that I can see here but this is after I said that -- and he
4 said, "I am the mayor of all people in Bosanski Novi and we will extend
5 the protection to Muslims. They will not be expelled." That I have here
6 in my notes. I was talking about some other idea that, like football
7 field or anything. I don't know whether that's what you had in mind.
8 Q. No. First of all, did you accept that, that statement, that he
9 wasn't going to see -- that he would see that Muslims weren't expelled?
10 A. No. I wrote it down because I -- I knew these people I had worked
11 with them many, many times. There was always a back stepping whenever I
12 increased our resistance to the idea. So it was his way of saying to me
13 we are not trying to harm these people even if you don't believe they are
14 leaving voluntarily. That's all he was trying to tell me.
15 Q. Right.
16 A. Right.
17 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, let's go back to, because we had gone
18 ahead to the 23rd of July, and the actual convoy itself, but before that,
19 had you heard -- had you heard anything from Mr. Thornberry about your
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And what was Mr. Thornberry telling you?
23 A. This time it's a memo he sent to me clearly saying you should
24 not -- you should desist from this involvement you have with these
25 refugees coming from Bosanski Novi -- from across the border into Bosnia
1 because, according to Mr. Thornberry, the Security Council mandate does
2 not extend across the border, something of course I would think he was
3 right about.
4 Q. We can see from what happened that you nonetheless proceeded.
5 What was your view that you morally, whatever the mandate was, should be
7 A. I meant in this time, if you pardon my earlier comment that I had
8 been frustrated a couple of times by sending these reports and not having
9 anything happen, all -- but the misinterpretation and I considered it a
10 misinterpretation that we were being involved across Bosnia. The message
11 we were sending was, the UN location here is attracting the attention of
12 all these people in dire straits. These people are not looking at the
13 Security Council mandate. They are looking at the flag of the UN and they
14 can see it clear and they think of it as a place of refuge. And to
15 approach it in that narrow manner was to miss the point.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, let's move on, please, to the 22nd of July,
17 Exhibit P1677. And I think we can summarise this document that was sent
18 by you because that actually dealt with the transit UNHCR having dealt
19 with the logistics of that.
20 Next, please, could we look at -- all right. Yes, you've dealt
21 with the evacuation, I'm sorry, the evacuation -- the number of people
22 coming from Bosanski Novi well exceeding the figures that you had
24 I want now to move to, please, August, and could you have a look,
25 please, at a document that was numbered document 37?
1 Now, this is a slightly different, I think, report from the
2 earlier ones we have been looking at. Was this --
3 A. Excuse me, my copy is in Serbian.
4 Q. Mr. Kirudja, we can see that it's addressed to Mr. Thornberry from
5 you and it says attached is a civil affairs sit-rep dated the 22nd of
6 August, 1992. Was this a regular sort of weekly report?
7 A. One of -- yes. This complements specific reports you have put in
8 front of me which we would put up because of the subject on the day the
9 subject occurred.
10 Q. Right.
11 A. Also, at the end of the week, I was requested to put together a
12 situation report that kind of put together for that week what was
13 happening and giving it a better context of understanding, connecting
14 documents where need was. So it would be called a situation report for
15 that week.
16 Q. Right. I want you to go, please, in that report, to the third
17 page which is headed, "The border with Bosnia." In paragraph 9, the
18 border with BH continues to be a zone of conflict and a source of pressure
19 from refugees wishing to transit the UNPA to elsewhere in Croatia and
21 And then you set out the problems it's causing.
22 And then coming to paragraph 12, you talk about the delegation
23 that came on the 19th of August. Can I just ask you this, though? Before
24 that, had you had any meetings with Mr. Mendiluce about the expected
25 arrival of further displaced persons or refugees?
1 A. It's my recollection I had met a number of times with
2 Mr. Mendiluce, first in connection with the first batch of refugees that
3 crossed, the one I said were more like 9.000. And thereafter, because we
4 had warned if you do this, it only -- it's going to be only round 1, and
5 there will be more coming. So this paragraph, paragraph 12, is talking
6 about the attempt to cause round 2.
7 Q. Right.
8 A. Right.
9 Q. Then it reads on the 19th of August, UNHCR and civil affairs
10 received at Topusko a delegation of nine representatives, Serbs and
11 Muslims, of Sanski Most, Bosanska Krupa and Prijedor, all from BH. Their
12 intention was to convince the UN to change its policy and assist in the
13 organisation of a convoy through Sector North to evacuate up to 11.000
14 mostly Muslims from Sanski Most, 8.000 from Prijedor, and 600 from
15 Bosanska Krupa. A detailed list of 7.782 names of those ready to leave
16 voluntarily was delivered.
17 Were you given this list?
18 A. Yes. The date of this sit-rep is 26 August. The meeting took
19 place a day or two earlier, I believe the 19th of August, where again the
20 authorities from these towns on their own showed up in my office, from
21 these places, Sanski Most, Prijedor and others. Literally they showed up
22 in the office. They give me an indication of the numbers that they expect
23 to come out of Sanski Most, 11.000; Prijedor, 8.000; Bosanska Krupa, 600;
24 and so forth. At the same time, they give me a printed list,
25 computer-produced, in the old printer where one page is attached to the
1 next. It was a long, detailed list with the names and certain other
2 details that I forget because this list for some reason was lost
3 somewhere. I have never seen it since the last time I was looking at it
4 in my office. It was a detailed, typed list and then we counted the names
5 on it after they left, and that's why we came with the precise number of
6 7.782 names on that list.
7 Q. All right. Now, I think you made a note in your diary of the
8 persons or some of the persons who attended that meeting. Is that
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Could you have a look, please, then, at your note and tell us who
12 was there?
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, this is page 34 of the statement.
14 THE WITNESS: On that day, there was Mr. Vlado Vrkes, president of
15 the SDS, Sanski Most. There was Dragan Majkic, representatives of the
16 militia of Sanski Most. There was a Mr. Besim Islamcevic, the
17 representative of Muslims and Croatians willing to leave Sanski Most.
18 There was a Mr. Esad Hasanovic, representative of Muslim refugees from
19 Bosanska Krupa, now in Sanski Most -- at that time was in Sanski Most.
20 That is shown at the front of my meeting. I believe somewhere inside the
21 meeting there may be other people that were taken note of by my colleague,
22 the gentleman from UNHCR, because I may have stopped writing as soon as
23 they started speaking so I can take note of what they are saying.
24 Q. Right. I don't think you made a note, did you, of the names of
25 the persons from Prijedor?
1 A. No. That is my indication that I may have stopped taking their
2 names and started taking down their speech.
3 Q. All right. Now, can you tell us, from your notes, please, then,
4 what was said at this meeting? Flesh out what is in that short report?
5 A. Basically, it was a request for round 2, that we allow, in a
6 similar manner that was done in July, that these people pass through
7 Sector North in a similar manner. At this moment, they were not talking
8 to me about voluntarily. At that moment, that issue was not being
9 reprised again. I was given the precise estimated numbers that would come
10 from different places, and I have just given you those numbers.
11 Q. Yeah.
12 A. And they also listened to UNHCR reiterate the position that this
13 is not something we are going to allow.
14 Q. Now, can you -- I think you made a note first of all of what
15 Mr. Islamcevic said.
16 A. Yes. He started by saying, and I quote, "I'm authorised to say
17 that the convoy should be escorted by UNPROFOR." In short I took that as
18 a cue from him, I'm asked to say these things to you. And they were, "I
19 am authorised" and then he proceeds to say. We don't want to go from one
20 part of Bosnia to another and we do not want war. Have guarantees from
21 relatives where we want to go to and we want to say Serbian authorities
22 are treating us fairly. We want guarantees that none of the people will
23 be taken out of the convoy from start to Karlovac. Karlovac was the
24 destination where they would have crossed to the Croatian-controlled side
25 of the sector. All other routes are routes to the unknown so this is the
1 only route Mr. Islamcevic wanted his people to follow.
2 Q. And did Mr. Vrkes say something?
3 A. Yes. He started by saying there are 25.000 Muslims in Sanski
4 Most. We accepted their other numbers in Bosanska Krupa, he didn't name a
5 number. Sanski Most is the only opstina taking care of all the three
6 nationalities, as the language used to refer to Serbs, Croats and Muslims,
7 they were referred to them collectively as other nationalities. And he
8 went on to say there were 50 per cent Serbs, 50 per cent Muslims and
9 Croats in Sanski Most. Historically Muslims were not included in -- in
10 these regions. Basically that is the cryptic -- I mean summary of his
12 Q. Did he tell you anything about what people had to do who wanted to
13 leave the area?
14 A. Yes. I -- I underscore when I write these things and I'm in --
15 I'm the person they came to see in the meeting, and I don't always write
16 everything that is here so my notes should not be considered as complete
17 in that sense.
18 Q. Right.
19 A. The report I write following those notes should be.
20 Q. Right.
21 A. Right.
22 Q. So do you have anything in your notes about Mr. Vrkes telling you
23 what people had to do in order to leave?
24 A. No, not directly here on the notes.
25 Q. All right. Can you tell us whether anything was said by the
1 representative from Bosanska Krupa?
2 A. Yes. He started by expressing disappointment with the
3 relationship between us and UNHCR. For one month our application pending
4 and nothing done, in short our again typical that we had already signalled
5 our unwillingness to participate. So he was expressing displeasure with
6 that. And he went on to give credit to quote government help that he --
7 they were getting from Sanski Most. And -- but he went on to talk about
8 every day we were being forced to leave the houses we are in. He stressed
9 we have guaranteed accommodation and jobs, 80 per cent, in Slovenia and
10 other countries. And he give me a copy of a guarantees that he said they
11 were being given. He made reference to winter coming, and the conditions
12 worsening as winter set on. He was requesting assistance to get to the
13 places where they wanted to go and their vehicles were all ready for that.
14 Q. And he was a Muslim, was he, the gentleman from Bosanska Krupa?
15 A. The Bosanska Krupa representative, yes, he was billed as a
16 representative of Muslim and Croatian willing to leave Sanski Most, from
17 the name one would assume he would be Muslim.
18 Q. All right. What about Prijedor? Did the representatives from
19 Prijedor say anything?
20 A. He -- I only have one line note from him. We have 8.000 requests
21 for exits. Not all of these 8.000 are Muslims because some of them are
22 mixed marriages.
23 Q. Now, if we look, then, please, back to the report, at paragraph
24 12, I think we see that the UNHCR repeated its policy of non-participation
25 in such convoys from Bosnia, and that at the end of the meeting, the
1 delegation left feeling that the UN was an obstacle to what one of them
2 called a humanitarian gesture by the Serbs to Muslims reached through a
3 democratic process. Do you remember who said that?
4 A. As I mentioned, all of them were focused on that disappointment
5 since it wasn't vague, we said so. We intended to not to participate, and
6 we said so. So you could assume on one side both the Muslims
7 representatives felt that disappointment themselves because they wanted to
8 leave in these places that they expressed they wanted to go and we were
9 not helping in their own eyes. Of course, on the Serb side, they felt
10 disappointed because we told them, in the language we used this morning,
11 this is not something that the UN or UNHCR can participate in, because of
12 its enormity and because of its implications, you're taking people from
13 their homes and making refugees out of them.
14 Q. Right. Now, if we just finish that report, I'd like you to look
15 at some documents outside of the ones you've produced.
16 There was in paragraph 13, there was a report dated the 12th of
17 August, saying that 10.000 refugees were scheduled to cross, and that the
18 UN participation in the convoy could not be considered as supporting the
19 ethnic cleansing policy.
20 Pausing there for a moment, at this stage were you using the
21 terms, and we can see this report generally, that this was ethnic
23 A. No. We were -- ourselves -- not trying to characterise things at
24 this moment one way or the other, because we kept our eyes on the essence
25 of the issue, those refugees and making sure if we insist that they don't
1 cross, you also want to be sure that you're not condemning them into a
2 situation where there will be killings and all others. You wanted to
3 achieve two things. You wanted to serve notice hopefully that we were
4 hoping the Serbs who were clearly forcing this issue to rethink and
5 protect them, and you heard that statement from the mayor, we are not
6 harming them, because we wanted him to understand we are looking but we
7 are not going to move them any way.
8 Secondly, then we wanted their protection. So we wouldn't use
9 terms like that, other people outside the sector did.
10 Q. Right. Then finishing off this, she had no information on the
11 300.000 Muslims reported to be cut off in the city of Bihac. And
12 everything we have heard or know from UNHCR is contrary to that press
13 release. Most importantly, both the UNHCR and UNPROFOR representatives on
14 the ground could find ourselves confronting local officials should they
15 get a hold of that press release. And being told that we are acting
16 contrary to official New York policy. It is not too long ago when local
17 officials got hold of a story about a suppressed report of the
18 Secretary-General which they used to advantage. There was no such
19 suppressed report as we were later advised.
20 And then, the last paragraph deals with the medical evacuations
21 and the rest of the report, I think, with matters unconnected with this
23 A. Counsel, that report on -- is a reference to the document we saw
24 this morning about concentration camps and what I mentioned earlier today.
25 Q. Right.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honours that one -- this document hasn't been
2 exhibited yet so may it be made P1648?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: This is what was given to us as document 37?
4 MS. KORNER: Correct, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 MS. KORNER:
7 Q. Now, before we go on to your next situation report, I want to you
8 look, please, at some of the documents that were written by the Serbs
9 themselves in relation to this issue, see how this accords with what
10 you've been telling us. Could you have a look, please, first of all, at
11 P709? This is a document that comes from the Sanski Most municipality,
12 the executive committee, dated the 30th of July, and in item number 1, it
13 states this at the third paragraph: There are currently about question
14 mark 18.000 Muslims and Croats in the Sanski Most municipality area, and
15 in order to avoid danger to the Serbian people, it is necessary to
16 organise their voluntary resettlement.
17 Now, that talks about, in July of 1992, and your meeting was on
18 the 19th of August, some 18.000 Muslims and Croats. How does that figure
19 marry up with what you were being told, can you say?
20 A. It's recognisable in two aspects, that there were Muslims and
21 Croats and they were in Sanski Most, and that there is an organisation of
22 voluntary resettlement. That is what we were being told. And later on we
23 didn't of course agree that it was voluntary.
24 Q. Did any of these representatives that you were talking to,
25 particularly Mr. Vrkes or Mr. Vrunicic say to you that these people were a
1 potential danger to the Serbs, that is the Muslims and Croats?
2 A. The Muslims themselves were extremely cautious to -- when they
3 were in front of us to give credit to their Serb colleagues that they are
4 treating us well. But that's in our presence. It's not the same when we
5 were interviewing the refugees coming from there. The opposite is being
7 Q. All right.
8 A. Right.
9 Q. So but at that meeting, neither Mr. Vrunicic nor Mr. Vrkes, said
10 to you we want them out because they are a danger or a potential danger?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Yes, thank you. Now could you have a look please at another
13 document from Sanski Most, P716? Now this one is dated the 17th of August
14 so two days before the meeting, and it's addressed to the CSB in Banja
15 Luka, for the chief, and signed by this gentleman who attended your
16 meeting, Mr. Vrunicic, stating that at the beginning of August, the
17 civilian and military organs of Sanski Most municipality adopted a
18 decision and launched an initiative whereby citizens of Muslim or Croatian
19 ethnicity can submit to the administrative organ of the municipal assembly
20 a written request and a declaration of loyalty requesting that they be
21 allowed to stay in the territory. A special municipal committee deals
22 with these requests. And the SJB was given the task of issuing these
23 permits. Since this concerned a document that is not prescribed by the
24 law on the interior we ask to you give us instructions on how to proceed
25 further with the issue of these permits. We should point out that this
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 does not concern any new registration of residents and so on and so forth.
2 Now, was there any discussion at that meeting between you and the
3 representatives of Sanski Most about people who wanted to stay, giving a
4 declaration of loyalty?
5 A. No. This matter had -- didn't come up at that meeting. It was
6 only in the prior meetings.
7 Q. All right. Again, I think I've asked you this but was there
8 anything said by either of these gentlemen about the people who wanted to
9 leave voluntarily, what they had to do?
10 A. This was alluded to by the Muslim side of the representation that
11 they had already received the necessary permits from the local Serbs and
12 they said that with an air of gratefulness that we were -- we are ready to
13 leave and it's us who -- us meaning UNPROFOR -- who are standing in the
15 Q. Yes, thank you. You can put that document away. Now could you
16 have a look please at parts of a very lengthy document, Exhibit P717?
17 Now, this document was a lengthy report produced sometime after
18 the 14th of August, dealing with a number of municipalities, the first
19 being Prijedor, and I'd like you to find, please, it's on the 4th page,
20 resettlement of citizens from the municipality of Prijedor. This is in
21 fact was the commission who produced this report.
22 About -- according to this, to the SJB Prijedor, about 4.000 to
23 5.000 persons, mainly of Muslim ethnicity left the municipality before the
24 armed conflict. The armed conflict began at the end of May, Mr. Kirudja.
25 Were you receiving refugees from Prijedor before the end of May?
1 A. I can't be sure that we did or didn't. What I have reported to is
2 the constant stream of different refugees, so I can't answer directly to
4 Q. All right. Then the second paragraph, from the beginning of the
5 armed conflict, in the municipality of Prijedor, until the 16th of August,
6 1992, according to data that had been insufficiently checked out, about
7 20.000 citizens left the municipality, mainly of Muslim and Croatian but
8 also of Serbian ethnicity. Of all ages and groups. And then on the 16th
9 of August, Prijedor SJB received and made positive rulings on 13.180
10 applications to unregister the legal places of residence. Mainly from
11 citizens of Muslim nationality who expressed the desire to depart for the
12 Republic of Slovenia or other countries of Western Europe. This group has
13 not left the municipality but has just completed the unregistering of
14 residences and is now with the help of religious and humanitarian
15 organisations looking for a way of resettling in the desired direction.
16 Prijedor SJB has no data about what these people have done with their
17 immovable assets or what they have done or will do with their movable
19 Now, does that accord, this paragraph, three days before your
20 meeting, with what you were being told by the Prijedor representatives at
21 this meeting?
22 A. It does only indirectly in the sense that they informed us of
23 8.000, which is a subset of the number given in that paragraph. It would
24 be a problem if the number they told us was bigger than that number but
25 since it's less I assume it's a subset of that number.
1 Q. They however, this expression, desire to depart for the Republic
2 of Slovenia or other countries of Western Europe, I think that was
3 something that was mentioned in your record of the meeting, was it not?
4 A. Yes, yes, that is constant. It was in that meeting. It was in
5 the meeting before and it is a constant reference.
6 Q. Then we can go on in the report, we come to Sanski Most at page 7,
7 page 6 is the reception centres. The sports hall I think was what was
8 mentioned in that report that we saw as one of the so-called investigation
9 centres and then resettlement of citizens, according to the operative
10 findings of Sanski Most SJB, about 3.000 persons have moved away from the
11 municipality since the beginning of the armed conflicts. Mainly women,
12 children, old people. Up to the 16th of August, 1992, about 12.000
13 persons, mainly of Muslim, partially of Croatian ethnicity applied to
14 Sanski Most to unregister their place of residence. In the preliminary
15 procedure before the competent service, these persons declared they wished
16 to leave the municipality in order to resettle, gave statements that they
17 would either sell or give away their real estate, their movable and
18 immovable assets, and put their movable property down on a list for
20 Again, does this to some extent accord with the information you
21 were getting at this meeting three days afterwards?
22 A. Yes. Again, in terms of numbers, the one number they give me on
23 Sanski Most was 11.000. The number on this paragraph is 12.000. Again,
24 my reading of it would be the 11.000 was a subset of that 12.000.
25 Q. And then just very briefly, if you turn over to the next page, 8,
1 again the reception centres in the municipality of Bosanski Novi,
2 according to the second paragraph, on the 2nd of June, 1992, members of
3 the army brought in citizens of Muslim ethnicity to the Mlakve stadium for
4 their own protection. On this occasion, those brought in were not
5 recorded but according to the SJB, about 300 persons. 5th of June set
6 free, and then again on the 11th of June, members of the army from the
7 area of the municipality quartered and provided security for 652 men of
8 Muslim ethnicity fit for military service. So again, Mr. Kirudja, does
9 that accord with all these reports you'd been getting about the football
11 A. I seek clarification. I always refer to that as the football
12 field. It's the first time I see a local name for it. I assume Mlakve is
13 the name. I've never seen this document before. I assume it is the
14 football field, correct?
15 Q. I think I'm entitled to say you're right in that assumption?
16 A. Right. Since I've always referred to as the football field, the
17 numbers in that paragraph do tally in one respect. You see they are
18 talking about 300 persons there plus a few others. The Danish report that
19 you cited earlier counted through their binoculars and gave an estimate of
20 350 people in the field. So those numbers are roughly speaking in the
21 same ballpark figure.
22 Q. Right. And then again, resettlement of citizens, if you look,
23 please, at the top of page 9, 13th -- 12th and 13th of May, 500 moved out,
24 3.500 citizens of Muslim ethnicity left on the 9th of June in the
25 direction of Doboj. Now that would appear to accord with your 5.000 who
1 went but it's considerably more. And then we see pursuant to the decision
2 on the voluntary resettlement of citizens of the government of the
3 Autonomous Region of Krajina, and the order of the Crisis Staff of
4 Bosanski Novi on the criteria for voluntary resettlement, 5.680 persons
5 with proper documents left the municipality on the 23rd of July, 1992, and
6 emigrated with the assistance of UNPROFOR, and the UNHCR. Now, from what
7 you tell us, that's a considerable underestimate?
8 A. Yes, but with one understanding, even at the beginning, they too
9 talked about 5.000, and on these documents, 5.680 but when they actually
10 tried to effect this evacuation, you wouldn't be surprised that the convoy
11 was joined by various groups en route and swelled the numbers to 9.000.
12 It wouldn't be correct to read all of them from Bosanski Novi at that
14 Q. Right. Yes, thank you. And then finally, please, could you look
15 at one last document from Prijedor, Exhibit P1379?
16 A. What page?
17 Q. Yes. We just look, please, at page 2 of that document, which is
18 undated -- no, I'm sorry, it isn't. 23rd of October, 1992, where
19 according to estimates, this is about a third of the way down, after the
20 villages which have been destroyed, according to estimates, roughly 38.000
21 Muslim and Croat citizens have left the municipality of Prijedor so far.
22 Did the flow of refugees continue after these dates in August that
23 we'd been looking at?
24 A. You mean after the 9.000 left?
25 Q. I'm talking -- no. There is a meeting on the 19th of August where
1 you're being asked to give assistance?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And the UN is saying no, we won't, but did refugees continue to
4 pass through your sector?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then just this part, if you look at the top of page 3, as time
7 goes by, one can feel that both the official authorities and citizens
8 themselves are relaxing under the impression that with the departure of
9 the Muslims and Croats, everything has been accomplished.
10 From your discussions with the mayors that you were dealing with,
11 the Serb mayors, what impression did you get of their attitude towards
12 getting rid of the Muslims and Croats?
13 A. Now, in an overall impression.
14 Q. Yes?
15 A. I had developed the perception from them that the enormity of
16 their action was something they were either deliberately understating or
17 actually didn't see it that way. They did not really see the enormity of
18 it. And I have used elsewhere the word there seemed to be a measure of
19 "naivete" involved in it, but incongruously related to a meticulous
20 approach and a determination to accomplish it on the other hand. So no
21 matter what we said, they were going to achieve this. It was more like
22 somebody was -- an example Dvor, the first mayor says one thing, he is
23 removed by June, his deputy comes up and is almost like a repeating
24 verbatim what the previous mayor was saying. Then you go to Bosanski
25 Novi. You hear identical language, almost like they are all reading from
1 a script. It doesn't matter that they were meeting people like me and my
2 colleagues from outside the area and saying to them, this thing is -- I'm
3 looking for the good word. This thing has enormous implication for what
4 you are doing. They discounted that.
5 Q. Thank you. All right. Thank you. That document can go.
6 There was just one thing again I'm afraid I missed before the 19th
7 of August. For this I think you'll need to check your diary.
8 On the 12th of August, did you have yet another meeting with
9 the -- Mr. Pasic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And did he want you to take out more non-Serbs?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Was there also present somebody called Mr. Deganovic?
14 A. Yes, he was SDS representative from Bosanska Kostajnica.
15 Q. Was there another SDS representative from Kostajnica?
16 A. Bosanski side of Kostajnica.
17 Q. And also was there a representative of the Muslims?
18 A. Yes. There was Mr. Saflic, Murid Saflic, representative of the
19 Muslims wishing to leave.
20 Q. Did Mr. Deganovic, in fact, tell you, the SDS man, about the 5.000
22 A. My original text has an extra zero in error for the numbers with
23 regard to Bosanska Kostajnica. It's not 5.000, it's 500 so he did and
24 there were 164 families which translates to roughly to 500 persons.
25 Q. All right. And did he say anything else about that? About why
1 they wanted to leave?
2 A. Yes. The language again was typical, like the other two Muslims
3 on the other side, on the other meetings we alluded to, the majority want
4 to move to Western Europe, to join relatives. First afraid to move but
5 after the Bosanski Novi movement, they now came out wishing to move, in
6 short the news that the Muslims had left Bosanski Novi triggered the wish
7 of these other people to leave from Bosanska Kostajnica.
8 Q. Now, did Mr. Pasic also tell you something about Bosanska Krupa?
9 A. Who? Did who tell me what?
10 Q. Mr. Pasic. I tell you what, it may be an error. Can you tell us
11 if anything was said about Krupa?
12 A. Just a minute. Yeah. Mr. Pasic began his address to me,
13 referring to a delegation from Sanski Most, Bosanska Krupa, and Prijedor
14 to our civil police. That is the UN civil police. They had already
15 approached them. And he went on to make a number of points. Do you want
16 me to list them now? Because they are found in some meetings.
17 MS. KORNER: Yes, please.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime I need to leave the courtroom for a
20 --- Break taken at 12.03 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.05 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
23 MS. KORNER: Oh, we lost somebody.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to wait for Judge Taya because it seems that
25 I triggered -- the courtroom is -- they need to reinstall the heating or
1 reactivate it. It's out of order today.
2 MS. KORNER: I'm afraid that Ms. Gustin was also complaining about
3 it but I was saying it's okay. At least everybody stays awake.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes, sorry about that, Ms. Korner.
5 MS. KORNER:
6 Q. Mr. Kirudja, you were just about to tell us, you said Mr. Pasic
7 set out a number of things. Could you just tell us what he said?
8 A. Yes. There are four elements noted in a full page and I will
9 start with the first one. He began by summarising that before the war,
10 there lived Muslims and Serbs lived in Bosanska Krupa in the proportions
11 of 30 per cent Serbs, 70 per cent Muslims. Now Serbs moved to the left
12 bank of the Una and Muslims to the right.
13 2. In terms of bullets, the reasons for Muslims leaving Bosanska
14 Krupa, he gave them as, first, Serbs didn't want to conquer Muslim land
15 for the Serbian Republic of BH. He asked that the message be conveyed
16 that Serbs don't want to conquer Cazin region. This is the typical
17 language of what we call Bihac pocket, Cazin region. He appealed for
18 Muslims to find a peaceful solution by dividing the land. The world, he
19 claimed, does not understand why Muslims want to leave voluntarily. It is
20 because of economic and political reasons. Muslim position is
21 economically weaker than Serbs because their livelihood was based on
22 trade. Muslims also quote, "Are puppets of the SDA." And they have
23 realised they were cheated by their political leaders. They realised that
24 it is now impossible to live side by side with the Serbs. The political
25 defeat is also linked with their military defeat, meaning Muslims,
1 military defeat.
2 Due to these two factors, it is obvious that Muslims were not
3 secure. It's obvious that the Muslims did not accept their obligations.
4 The constitution of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina gives some
5 rights and obligations to all citizens. One obligation is to defend their
6 country, and Muslims would not fulfil this obligation and won't defend
7 their country.
8 If the Serbian side is not respected, there could be massive
9 deaths on both sides. If we are left to resolve this matter by ourselves,
10 we will resolve the matter very quickly.
11 For example, there are 7.000 Serb refugees from Croatia in
12 Bosanski Novi. The world did not condemn their plight.
13 Q. When he said to you, "If we are left to resolve the matter by
14 ourselves, we will resolve it very quickly," what did you understand him
15 to mean?
16 A. Actually, I didn't go or delve into the details on that. What I
17 understood and the reason I didn't delve in it, I explained this morning,
18 and it coupled with the last sentence I read, there are 7.000 Serbs
19 settled here. We can do did ourselves and we'll go about doing it the way
20 we have done it before. That's what I understood.
21 Q. All right. Now, I think there were discussions during the meeting
22 about the situation in Bosanska Kostajnica but I just want to deal with
23 this: Did the mayor of Dvor say something about the evacuation of the
24 persons from Bosanski Novi?
25 A. Yes. I note here -- just one paragraph, and it says, from the
1 mayor of Dvor, "We went through hell during the last evacuation. We are
2 not prepared to let refugees pass through Dvor again. Now we have to
3 decide what to do with the Muslims, Serbs, one alternative is to leave
4 them in their destiny. Repeat. I hope the refugees will not cross into
6 Q. You say he said now we have to decide what to do with the Muslims,
8 A. Well, it was a shortcut for me to say what we as Serbs are going
9 to do with the Muslims, the relationship, Muslim-Serb relationship.
10 Q. All right. And did the Muslim representatives say anything after
12 A. Yeah.
13 Q. What did he say?
14 A. He began to say that, to refer to the role of the international
16 Q. All right.
17 A. He referred to them being in a war situation, meaning the Muslims,
18 and that this is a war between the three nationalities in Bosnia, and
19 referring to fear of reprisals each time Serbs are killed in the
20 confrontation line. Serbs have helped prevent such reprisals. This is an
21 allusion to -- he was very careful to always give certain deference to the
22 Serbs to appear not to criticise, at least in our presence.
23 Q. Right.
24 A. Today's movement of population should not be considered as ethnic
25 cleansing. He actually did want to make us understand, oh, we are not
1 calling it ethnic cleansing but a few minutes before, he had called it a
2 conflict of ethnic people and that each time the Serbs are killed in the
3 confrontation line, we fear for our life. So there was this mixed
4 messages he was trying to send to us.
5 Q. All right. Thank you, now I don't think anything else on that
6 meeting but I'd like you just in respect of what you were told about
7 Krupa, to have a look again at a report that was prepared by the Serbs,
8 the municipal assembly.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, that's not yet been exhibited but it's
10 disclosure number 2.58. And it was on the list, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Do I take it that this will be 1649?
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour does, yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you.
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. Could you turn to page 5, please, Mr. Kirudja, in this document?
16 And if we look at the third paragraph on that page, "The War Presidency
17 made an assessment of the situation and took the only feasible and
18 appropriate decision at the time regarding the Muslim population that
19 remained in enclaves in the Serbian territory on the right bank of the
20 Una. First came the decision on the surrender of arms in all Muslim areas
21 in order to free some of the units of the Serbian Territorial Defence
22 which were maintaining a blockade of Muslim villages. This decision was
23 very poorly implemented. No agreement was reached in the Ostruznica and
24 Bodic area. The weak response or total disregard of Muslims to the call
25 for surrender of arms and Alija's threat that Krupa must become green
1 whatever the cost forced the War Presidency of the Serbian municipality to
2 offer the Muslims two options: They could organise themselves and with
3 our guarantees and full protection move out to the destination of their
4 transfer, or this would be done by military means. All Muslim villages in
5 the central regions accepted the temporary transfer provided they could
6 take along all their movable property. The Muslim areas of Ostruznica,
7 Bodic, and on the right bank of the Una the areas of Otoka and Crkvina
8 were an exception and had to be dealt with militarily. You are all well
9 aware of the outcome and manner in which this was carried out. The war
10 chronicle of Krupa will treat this topic in more detail.
11 The main reasons for adopting the decision on the temporary
12 transfer of the populations were the physical safety of the Muslim people
13 and the historically proven and confirmed nobility and kindness of Serbs
14 who do not have a propensity for crimes and genocide. Circumstances at
15 the time in which diplomacy still prevailed and there was still a flicker
16 of hope the problems with Muslims and Croats or more precisely with the
17 mujahedin and Ustashas could be resolved through negotiations and so on
18 and so forth. Now, was there any suggestion in what were you being told
19 by Mr. Pasic that this -- there had been a threat of military action if
20 the Muslims didn't move?
21 A. Mr. Pasic put it in a summary conclusion in our discussion. Both
22 in the last meeting I referred to and the first one I met when I was
23 probing him about the voluntary nature. He simply put it this way: The
24 Muslims are operating from a military weakness. The converse of that
25 statement is we are militarily stronger than they are.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Yes. Thank you. You can put that document away.
2 Now, can we look, please, at the next situation report you
3 produced in September, which is -- was document 38 -- is document 38.
4 It's already -- I'm told it's P1679 already in fact. So it's already been
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour I can say I will very definitely finish
7 today, probably a bit earlier than --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
9 MS. KORNER:
10 Q. Now, this was a special sit-rep that we can see, Mr. Kirudja,
11 which in fact the first paragraph says is an addendum to the presumably
12 the normal sit-rep and is entirely devoted to issues around the border
13 which remains a continuing source of pressure for the sector.
14 And apparently there had been a visit to that sector by General
15 Nambiar and Mr. Thornberry to Topusko, that's correct, isn't it?
16 A. Also Mr. Goulding.
17 Q. And Mr. Goulding.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Mr. Goulding being whom?
20 A. He was the head of the United Nations peacekeeping operations at
21 that time.
22 Q. And you divide the border, as you've explained to us on a number
23 of occasions, B, being the second segment separates the Bosnian opstinas
24 of Novi, Dubica from the Krajina opstinas of Dvor and Kostajnica. Both
25 sides of the border are controlled by Serbs of respectively the Republic
1 of Serbian BH and the Republic of Serbian Krajina, which is thus a nominal
2 international border segment. Just dealing briefly with that, did there
3 appear to be any real division between the RSK and the other side of the
4 border in Bosnia?
5 A. None. That was something we repeated over to try to underscore
6 there was none.
7 Q. Now, if we can, I think leave the first few paragraphs and go to
8 what you describe in paragraph 9 as the all-Serbian border segment? The
9 second border segment separates two territories controlled by Serbs within
10 the DanBat area of operation and then you list again the five Bosnian
11 opstinas of Novi, Sanski Most, Prijedor, Banja Luka and Bosanska Dubica
12 within which the phenomenon of ethnic cleansing has been noted. So by
13 this stage, September, you're using that expression, ethnic cleansing?
14 A. It became clear, loud and clear. There was no need to beat
15 around. This was a cleansing of the area.
16 Q. Then you deal with the crossings and at the bottom of that
17 paragraph 9, through the border also pass a traffic of commercial trucks
18 to from Belgrade through the Serbian corridor opened in July with the
19 support of the TDF troops, militia from Krajina, commanded by Milan
20 Martic, now General Martic. And then in paragraph 10, along this border
21 segment, refugees attempt en masse to cross to Sector North to Karlovac or
22 other destinations in Europe. A stream of individuals arrives daily at
23 Dvor via Novi from Prijedor and Sanski Most seeking refuge. UN CIVPOL
24 estimates that between 30 and 50 such persons per day cross the border
25 into Dvor. The trend during the last few weeks suggests an increase in
1 the number of individuals that enter the sector seeking protection and
2 assistance. And then you explain the problems this is causing to the
3 police, the DanBat forces, and the local authorities don't appear to want
4 to assume responsibility.
5 Paragraph 11, the continuing flow of refugees is a destabilising
6 factor in the area and you set out what the obvious reasons are.
7 The number of refugees and displaced persons, the number of
8 refugees and displaced persons passing through the sector continues to
9 increase, the last transit of 7.000 refugees organised by UNHCR was on
10 July the 22nd. Is that again the Novi or is it a different one?
11 A. This is a mistake. It should have been 9.000.
12 Q. Subsequently a policy decision was adopted to the effect that the
13 UN will not participate in any organised convoys rooted in the practice of
14 ethnic cleansing. Nevertheless it is estimated that there may be more
15 than 30.000 persons from flash points in the area within the second
16 segment of the border as described above. If that number were to be
17 transferred it is estimated that up to 200.000 persons are at risk and may
18 have to be similarly evacuated.
19 And then you talk about a coordination meeting discussing how to
20 prevent this but you state at the bottom of the paragraph, essentially
21 this was not a humanitarian but a political issue. And then talk about
22 contingency matters.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour I'm going to move to the last two
24 documents so perhaps it would be convenient to have the break now.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we'll have a 25 minute break and resume
1 soon after. Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
5 MS. KORNER: I do feel they've put the heating on at full blast,
6 Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. Mr. Kirudja, could you be shown now please what was your document
11 JUDGE AGIUS: This will become --
12 MS. KORNER: That's not it.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: This will become 1650, Ms. Korner.
14 MS. KORNER: Yes but he's been given the wrong document.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me see.
16 MS. KORNER: The front should look like this.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document 41?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: 41.
19 MS. KORNER: I'm told by Ms. Gustin it will be P1684.
20 Q. Mr. Kirudja, that is another one of your, as we can see, a
21 sit-rep, addressed to Mr. Thornberry, and did it go to Mr. Andreev again?
22 A. I beg your pardon.
23 Q. We can see it's addressed to Mr. Thornberry, but then under -- on
24 the front page does it say info?
25 A. Yes, it is for information purposes to Victor Andreev and Jenny
1 Pearson [phoen]. These were my counterparts in Sector South, Knin and in
2 Belgrade at that time.
3 Q. Right. If we go then to the first page, you refer to the sit-rep
4 immediate preceding it and then says this sit-rep continues the focus on
5 issues around the border previously reported in the addendum to the
6 sit-rep number 5 which we just looked at. Again you divide up the border
7 and then in paragraph 4, increasingly desperate and numerous refugees from
8 Serbian controlled Northern Bosnia have been left with no choice but to
9 flee northwards into the UNPA. In the last four and a half days, more
10 than 300 refugees were under DanBat protection in Dvor and 17 in
11 Kostajnica. Then you deal with the rest. The Muslim refugees in the UNPA
12 unfortunately find that they have moved from one hostile Serb controlled
13 territory to another. They have to remain in transit through the UNPA
14 even for a couple of days. Then you deal with the resistance of the
15 Croatian authorities and in paragraph 5, the Muslims in recent weeks
16 having resorted to bold and clandestine attempts to break out of the
17 complete blockade. I want to go, please, straight to the fourth page
18 where you deal with what's called the Serbian alliance in Krajina and
19 Bosnia on which aspect you touched just before the break.
20 Paragraph 11. As we have stated in the preceding sit-reps a
21 nominal international border divides the Serb controlled opstinas of Dvor
22 and Kostajnica in Krajina from the Serb controlled opstinas of Novi and
23 Dubica across the River Una. Beyond these two or three other opstinas,
24 Prijedor, Sanski Most and Banja Luka, in Northern Bosnia, which fall under
25 the so-called Republic of Serbian Bosnia-Herzegovina. The two Serbian
1 republics, economically depend on a corridor linking them with Serbia and
2 Montenegro. There is also a growing evidence of a common military
3 strategy or alliance in this regard. And observing the military structure
4 on the ground, there are signs that Banja Luka may be exercising a balance
5 of military power over Knin in a way analogous to the power exercised by
6 Belgrade prior to the proclamation of a new federal Yugoslavia. The
7 present supreme military commander in Knin is --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Reportedly.
9 MS. KORNER:
10 Q. Reportedly from Banja Luka while the previous one is said to be
11 shuttling between the two capitals. Further, we have noticed the tendency
12 of certain local authorities here to periodically retreat to Banja Luka or
13 Belgrade at critical times.
14 Now, can we deal -- split that. The military signs that there was
15 control being exercised or -- I'm sorry the balance of military power from
16 Banja Luka, where were you getting that information from?
17 A. This sentence following that actually contains the answer to your
18 question. We were tracing who was commanding, where they were going, and
19 that basically.
20 Q. All right. Now, as to the tendency of certain local authorities
21 here to periodically retreat to Banja Luka or Belgrade at critical times,
22 in your dealings with the political authorities, the local ones, did you
23 get any impression that they were -- as to what their powers were to take
25 A. I can speak directly with regard to the sector, because I was in
1 daily arms length relationship with them. Every opstina that was part of
2 that sector had two inter-weaved power structure, the military side and
3 the civil side. The military side we have spoken at length. On the civil
4 side, there were mayors, the so-called mayors of opstina A, B or C, who
5 also had the police, the chief of police for opstina A, B or C. This
6 group had the least influence in a way. They were on the other hand the
7 most heard about political issues like we won't live together with the
8 Serbs -- with the other non-Serbs. They were the most expressive when it
9 comes to what was going on, even militarily, explaining it out, the
10 military side normally didn't give -- were not given to giving speeches.
11 So much of the political drive, most of the explanation was coming from
12 the civil side of the structure. Most of the action on the other hand was
13 taking place on the military side.
14 Q. You say they had a tendency to retreat to Banja Luka. To do
15 what? Or Belgrade.
16 A. You have to think of -- again I was speaking about mayors and
17 other people located in the sector. They were surrounded on the
18 confrontation line by the Croats, in the direction of Karlovac, Sisak and
19 Zagreb. Another way of putting it too, they were also blockaded
20 themselves. We didn't mention that, the Serbs, were blockaded in that
21 sense, economically they can't go out and they couldn't get their fuel
22 for example. They couldn't get most normal things, because of the war
23 the electricity was not working, because things had been broken up --
24 broken down and without the political -- the grid, electrical grid, normal
25 things weren't working like water because they were all pumped. So in a
1 way, there was a situation of shortages even for the Serbs. So for them
2 to redress that they had to get out somehow and that's the corridor that
3 took them to Banja Luka or Belgrade for the purposes of redressing
4 shortages in normal, every day economic life.
5 Q. In dealing with the mayors of these local areas, such as Novi,
6 Kostajnica, Dvor, did they ever say to you or did you ever get the
7 impression that they had to take instructions from their superiors?
8 A. The fact that they all seemed to replicate each other in the same
9 language was a very good indication that, if you think of it like a choir,
10 they were all singing from a sheet that was passed around.
11 Q. Right. And, sorry? Can you just --
12 A. And there was very little situations where they would deviate from
13 that, from that -- whatever was politically correct, and we can go into
14 the details of that. You could find hardly anybody who would deviate from
16 Q. Right. And that led you to believe what? I'm sorry to have you
17 ask you this but we need to have it stated clearly for the terms of the
19 A. If there were the Serbs inside the sector, that script, that
20 choreography pointed at Knin as a centre of coordination of authority.
21 Q. Right.
22 A. If you are in the Bihac areas we mentioned, outside the Bihac
23 pocket, then I mentioned point us to Banja Luka but mostly Belgrade.
24 Q. Thank you. All right. Then in paragraph 12, as noted by Lord
25 Owen and Mr. Cyrus Vance during their recent visit to Banja Luka, the
1 practice of ethnic cleansing appears to continue unabated.
2 Had you actually spoken to Lord Owen and Mr. Vance?
3 A. Yes. I had the opportunity of spending almost a day and a half
4 with these two gentlemen, as we met in Maslenica and drove for the trip
5 seven or eight hours. They spent the evening with us in Topusko. We
6 debriefed them. We chatted and basically had enough time to speak to both
7 of them.
8 Q. All right. Then the remainder of this report lists the various
9 refugees who have arrived, and then if you go to the next page, the
10 humanitarian agencies, in paragraph 17, you state, given the present
11 situation, it seems entirely reasonable to establish at least one UNHCR
12 office in Dvor and another in Prijedor. This would make it possible to
13 coordinate the necessary preventive action in Bosnia, in the triangle
14 Prijedor-Bosanski Novi-Kostajnica-Dubica and assist or advise the refugees
15 who attempt daily to cross the border into the UNPA. And I don't think we
16 need trouble with the rest of this report. Thank you. I think we said
17 that was going to be 1684. Yeah.
18 And then the final document, please, that I would like to you look
19 at is document number 44.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And this will become?
21 MS. KORNER: 1685, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
23 MS. KORNER:
24 Q. I'm afraid it's not a particularly clear copy. I think is it
25 dated December, possibly the 2nd of December, 1992?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Yes, that's what it looks
2 like in my copy. 02.
3 THE WITNESS: Yes.
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. And it's from you, isn't it, Mr. Kirudja? We can just make that
6 out, from C. Kirudja, Sector North, to Mr. Thornberry. The subject a
7 group of 600 to 800 refugees from Trnopolje, message, our brief telephone
8 conversation on the above-mentioned subject, information was relayed to us
9 from UNHCR in Banja Luka to the effect that 600 to 800 refugees from
10 Trnopolje are headed for Bosanski Novi with the intention of crossing into
11 Sector North. They are?
12 A. Part of a group.
13 Q. Part of a group, about 3.000 allegedly detained in Trnopolje and
14 is it partially evacuated?
15 A. M'hm.
16 Q. By the ICRC to Croatia a couple of weeks ago. And heaven only
17 knows what the rest of this says, something about Dvor?
18 A. The situation in Dvor where the refugees intent.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: To enter.
20 MS. KORNER:
21 Q. Intend to come, remains, is that remains hostile to Muslim
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And then?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: UNPROFOR units get the idea?
1 A. Right.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour's copy must be much better.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: No it's not good, it's not at all. I mean -- I
4 would suggest that you let the witness himself try and decipher it.
5 Probably he's in a better condition than all of us put together. If you
6 can read it out, Mr. --
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, UNPROFOR units are not in a condition to
8 accommodate them in such numbers, nor guarantee them all the necessary
9 security measures.
10 MS. KORNER:
11 Q. Prolong the stay?
12 A. Yeah.
13 Q. I think this is really isn't it, I think we perhaps, this is the
14 nuts and bolts of how to deal with this?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Right?
17 A. And it is because of the reason why you can't read it, it was
18 typed on a teletype as opposed to the normal typewriter written reports
19 that you read.
20 Q. Right. Just this on this document, were you aware that or had
21 anybody informed you that they were closing this camp at Trnopolje and
22 this was the last of the --
23 A. This is one of the last ones named in the list of what I call
24 concentration camps, and they had come one night, one evening, in a very
25 stressful conditions and they were being shuttled between Dvor and -- Dvor
1 and Kostajnica areas where the Danish contingency were. So I was in touch
2 with the UNHCR all that evening trying to ensure that they were eventually
3 allowed to cross out, and it was very tense because as they were loaded in
4 trucks, Danish trucks, to try to contain the situation, there was also
5 Serbian authorities trying to collect them in their own holding places.
6 So we had an all night of cat and mouse games with -- wherein we didn't
7 want to release them. We wanted them out.
8 Q. Can you now recall whether this was a mixed group, in other words
9 men, women and children, or --
10 A. The circumstances were such that we were not in a position to deal
11 with them that way. Once they were put there, it was at night, it was
12 raining, I remember, and it was very difficult to deal with the situation
13 other than make sure that they crossed safely.
14 Q. Right.
15 MS. KORNER: Mr. Kirudja, thank you very much indeed. That's all
16 that I ask you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Kirudja, you are now going to face
18 Mr. Ackerman, who will be cross-examining you. Mr. Ackerman is the lead
19 counsel for Radoslav Brdjanin.
20 Mr. Ackerman, do you prefer to come forward or to stay where you
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I will come up there.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Do you need any help, Mr. Ackerman?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: No.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Ackerman:
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Kirudja.
2 A. Good afternoon, counsel.
3 Q. We've got about 25 minutes. We'll work through as much of this as
4 we can, and continue tomorrow.
5 You began your testimony on Monday with questions about the state
6 of mind that you had when you first were assigned to this mission in
7 former Yugoslavia and Croatia, specifically you were asked about whether
8 you went there with any preconceived notions, any biases anything of that
9 nature. Do you recall that?
10 A. I recall the question.
11 Q. And my recollection is that you basically said that absolutely
12 not, you went there with a completely open mind, that you didn't know
13 anything about what was going on, you basically didn't know the difference
14 between Serbs and Croats and Muslims and Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Croats
15 and all of those things?
16 A. Essentially I replied to that effect.
17 Q. There came a time rather quickly though, after you had arrived in
18 Sector North, that you did form a bias, didn't you?
19 A. Example?
20 Q. We'll have several. The question is: Did you?
21 A. I don't know what you're talking about.
22 Q. Did you become biased shortly after arriving at Sector North? Did
23 you become very pro-Muslim, anti-Serb?
24 A. No.
25 Q. All right. I have a little -- a couple of loose ends I want to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 clear up and one of them is this: On Monday, you mentioned that the
2 French and the Finnish battalions of UNPROFOR were initially located in
3 Banja Luka?
4 MS. KORNER: Can I ask Mr. Ackerman to provide the references on
5 the transcript when he's referring to what was said?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner is correct, Mr. Ackerman, but it's
7 not the first time that Mr. Ackerman comes forward and says I'm afraid I
8 don't have it here.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: I have it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: You have it?
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I have not referred to any particular part of the
12 transcript in his particular language yet but I'm about to.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. You said --
16 MS. KORNER: It I have the page, please?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: 17, line 25. I haven't got to the question yet.
18 If you just kind of be patient, Ms. Korner, I'll get there with you, I
20 MS. KORNER: I thought the words "you said" meant you were about
21 to repeat what he had said.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. Line 17, page 17, line 25, with regard to the French and Finnish
25 battalions of UNPROFOR, you said they soon found out it wasn't feasible
1 for them to be there, referring to Banja Luka.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know why it was that it was not feasible for them to be in
4 Banja Luka?
5 A. I believe this question was in context about the assumption we had
6 operated from, if you remember the question. And I mentioned as an
7 example we had intended to have a headquarters in Sarajevo for the mission
8 in its entirety and for the -- for the mission to be supplied by these
9 logistics battalion from that area, Banja Luka, and I added that
10 assumption came clearly wasn't going to be the way it was. It was
12 Q. And that was because logistics could not be supplied from the
13 Banja Luka area, it's just not practical? Is that what you're saying?
14 A. I only mentioned that for a number of considerations, that was not
15 to be the case and they were moved from there.
16 Q. Can you be more specific about what it was that made their
17 presence in Banja Luka?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Not feasible to the --
20 A. No, I can't be more specific about it.
21 Q. I'm changing subjects now. A different issue completely. You
22 talked during your testimony, and we are essentially Ms. Korner on page
23 27, you talked during your testimony about several refugees, Muslim
24 people, who were located at the football field in Karlovac and who wanted
25 to cross through Sector North and go to Bihac.
1 A. Yes, I recall that.
2 Q. Did these people ever tell you why it was they wanted to go to
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And what was that? What did they tell you why they wanted to go
7 A. Give me the date and I'll tell you what they told me. Please
8 remind me of the date again -- I believe I didn't give you that but I'll
9 give it again. If you give me the date.
10 Q. I'm going to try.
11 MS. KORNER: It's the 29th of --
12 A. 29th? Of April?
13 MS. KORNER: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, I gave you the response of General Ninkovic
15 about it, what he said. Now I'll tell you. These were people who wanted
16 to cross over from Karlovac, through Sector North, into Bihac pocket.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Yes?
19 A. They said that's where they come from, that is their origin and
20 they have families and relatives there and they want to go and look for
21 themselves what is going on.
22 Q. Did you ever learn that they -- from any source, that they had
23 been undergoing military training in Croatia and were trying to return to
24 Bihac to join the battle on the Muslim side of the conflict?
25 A. The first source to indicate that was General Ninkovic himself.
1 Q. Okay. Did you have any sense of where they were coming from?
2 A. They were coming -- a number of vehicles. They had been driving
3 that were gathered in there. Some had number plates that were Croats,
4 some were Austrian, I'm not sure another, but there were some licence
5 plates which were Austrian.
6 Q. Did you conclude from that that these were people who might have
7 been previously living and working in places like Austria and Croatia and
8 had then become part of a training programme to return to Bihac and join
9 the fighting?
10 A. Only partly to your question I could discern they were living and
11 working outside of Bosnia. That much I could discern because they also
12 said so. The second part of your question, whether or not somebody had
13 trained them militarily, there was nothing in the football field situation
14 that would make me conclude that.
15 Q. I think you did tell us on Monday that they were virtually all
16 military age males?
17 A. In fact that's what the counsel for the Prosecution asked me,
18 whether they looked like trained people and I responded the only thing you
19 can see is that they are mostly males and they are in good health.
20 Q. It's hard to tell how somebody looks if they have been militarily
21 trained, isn't it?
22 A. Sometimes you can but not always, sometimes if you got what we
23 call a military crew cut and the other things, there are some signs but I
24 didn't see any.
25 Q. Okay. You had a meeting on the 26th of May of 1992 with the mayor
1 of Dvor, and you might want to look at your diary on that date.
2 A. I beg your pardon, the date again?
3 Q. 26 May of 1992.
4 A. 26 May. Mayor of Dvor?
5 Q. Yeah, the mayor of Dvor?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the conversation was about 5.000 persons who wanted to leave
8 Bosanski Novi?
9 A. Right.
10 Q. And what the mayor was telling you was that they wanted safe
11 passage through Sector North for these 5.000 people who were transiting to
12 I believe he told you primarily Austria and Germany?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And were you told also, I believe, that these were people who had
15 relatives and friends in Austria and Germany who were prepared to
16 accommodate them there?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And you were told that they wanted to depart and that they were
19 leaving voluntarily?
20 A. On the 26th, there was -- yes, the element that they were leaving
21 voluntarily and they were going to those two places, that was communicated
22 to me, yes.
23 Q. The second request that was made at that time was that you provide
24 an international film crew to film the transit of these people across the
25 Serb-controlled area, specifically to document that they passed through
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. And did not remain in the Serb-controlled areas?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. And I think you told us you were uncomfortable with that
6 proposition and that in your mind something about this was not right, yes?
7 A. At that point, in summary, yes.
8 Q. If we contrast that with these -- this group of Muslims there in
9 that football stadium at Karlovac who seemed willing to leave there and go
10 to Bihac in the middle of an area that was under stress, fighting, were
11 you uncomfortable with this trying to assist them in any way to make the
12 journey in the other direction?
13 A. The comparison you assume is the same. You want me to compare
14 the two and I can't. For one thing in the case of the Muslims, in my
15 meeting, there were no Muslims. I'm talking to Serbs. In the case of the
16 football field in Karlovac, I'm not talking with an intermediary, I'm
17 talking to them.
18 Q. So were you talking directly with these people at the --
19 A. Football field.
20 Q. Karlovac football field?
21 A. Right. I was in the football field, among them.
22 Q. With regard to the group from Dvor, from Novi, when you were
23 talking to the mayor of Dvor, you asked the mayor, did you not, where this
24 group was coming from?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And you were told that they were coming from their homes
2 basically. Yes?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And I think you told us or maybe it's in that document, that you
5 were concerned because, as you said, how do people voluntarily leave the
6 comfort of their homes and go to far away places? That didn't seem to add
8 A. I was summarising the conclusion we reached, not how we got
9 there. He also told me a number of things that we discussed.
10 Q. But that was a concern of yours, how do people voluntarily leave
11 the comfort of their homes?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And go to far away places?
14 A. After hearing a number of things from a person purportedly
15 speaking, he -- reporting his counterpart about a group, they don't
17 Q. And what made you suspicious, though, was the proposition that
18 people were voluntarily leaving the comfort of their homes to go to far
19 away places?
20 A. It's something --
21 Q. Just didn't buy that, did you?
22 A. I didn't buy that but I also said why. I also prefaced that by
23 saying I asked the mayor to explain me, and I prefaced that with a
24 statement, the mayor you speak convincingly about matters, and I tend to
25 understand it when you speak for the Serbs. You are now switching that,
1 you are speaking for the Muslims in a manner that doesn't add up.
2 Q. These people from Bosanski Novi were people who were living in a
3 place, as you've already told us, which had no electricity for large parts
4 of the time. Did you know that?
5 A. I never said they were living in a place with no electricity in
6 Bosanski Novi.
7 Q. Do you know that Bosanski Novi had no electricity, significant
8 parts of the time?
9 A. You're telling me now they had no electricity?
10 Q. You were telling us just a moment ago about the shortages of
12 A. In Sector North.
13 Q. Throughout the whole area?
14 A. No, in Sector North.
15 Q. We'll come to that. Do you know that they were living where there
16 were severe food and medicine shortages?
17 A. Is that your statement to me?
18 Q. I'm asking you did you know?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you know that they were people who may have been liable for
21 conscription into military service?
22 A. I was already told that by the mayor of Dvor, that they tried --
23 they wouldn't and they wouldn't fight.
24 Q. Did you know that these were people living just across the border
25 from a war zone who may have had a reasonable belief that the war could
1 cross the border and reach --
2 A. I'll break that question. Across the border war zone, which side
3 of the border are you referring to as a war zone?
4 Q. Well, you were there, because the place you went had been a war
5 zone that secretary Vance had interceded in and managed to achieve --
6 A. Precisely I went in to tell you the war zone was on the side which
7 was Croatian territory occupied by the Serbs. Bosanski Novi on the other
8 side, when we arrived, it wasn't a war zone.
9 Q. But my question was this: They were living, the people in
10 Bosanski Novi, were living just across the border from a war zone?
11 A. Ah, that's different.
12 Q. Or a previous war zone?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And might have been, probably had, a reasonable belief and concern
15 that that war could expand across the border?
16 A. I don't know that.
17 Q. You do know that in a war zone, civilians always suffer, don't
19 A. We have seen a good example of that.
20 Q. Do you think it would be fair to say that these people in that
21 situation at that time in that place were very unlikely to have been
22 people finding much comfort in their homes during these times?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. You told us at the beginning of your testimony Monday, just as a
25 general proposition, we talked about it just a moment ago, that you knew
1 virtually nothing about the situation. The question, as you went there.
2 The question I want to ask you is: Were you briefed at all?
3 A. About what?
4 Q. I'm coming there, just give me a minute to finish the question.
5 Were you briefed at all before you took up that assignment about the
6 situation you why going into?
7 A. Yes. We get briefed as part of -- we are the UN, we are
8 representatives, we have a job to do. We do get briefed about it.
9 Q. And where did that briefing take place?
10 A. The first briefing would be in our own headquarters about what it
11 is -- what the mission is about.
12 Q. And how long did that briefing take?
13 A. I don't recall really exactly how long but first you get the
14 documents themselves, and I read them. Then I meet with Mr. Thornberry
15 who was then at headquarters and other people and we listen to their
16 mission but basically, most of the briefing would be in the form of
17 documentation. UN documentation.
18 Q. All right. I take it then there was a second briefing after you
19 arrived in?
20 A. Belgrade.
21 Q. In Belgrade?
22 A. Yes, on 6th of April.
23 Q. Do you remember how long that briefing was and the nature of it
24 and so forth?
25 A. Yes. You start in the morning what we call military briefing that
1 becomes part of the routine of the mission. And we sat and hear a sit-rep
2 for that day given by various assets of the UN. You hear military
3 briefing, you hear civil police briefing and you hear civilian briefing.
4 Q. So by the time you actually arrived in Sector North, you did have
5 quite a lot of information about the situation and what was going on,
6 didn't you?
7 A. I believe I testified to that. I even came via west Slavonia
8 where I was on the ground on the way to Sector North.
9 Q. Could you look, please, at a document DB134, please?
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour can I just say we haven't had a list of
11 documents from Mr. Ackerman, it would help I think if by tomorrow morning
12 we could be provided it so we can get them together.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: There is only these two today that I just handed
14 you a few minutes ago.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We have only been handed one, Mr. Ackerman.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: You should have two documents, I don't know why the
17 Prosecutor doesn't have them.
18 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
20 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
21 THE WITNESS: Yes, I see the document. It's an United Nations
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. You'll notice that this document is dated 25 October, 1991?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. This is a report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 3
2 of Security Council resolution 713, and this is a report that would
3 certainly have been available to you?
4 A. Right.
5 Q. To look at prior to undertaking your mission, correct?
6 A. Right.
7 Q. Can you tell me, just by looking at it today, and I understand
8 that the entire report is not here, I have selected pages, I can make the
9 entire report available tomorrow if you want to look at all of it, but do
10 you have any recollection as to whether you in fact read this as one of
11 the UN documents you read prior to undertaking your assignment?
12 A. Basically, I would say to you in the earlier answer, yes as part
13 of the briefing in terms of UN documents. I'm not sure this particular
14 one was one I studied or can refer to readily the way I refer to my own
16 Q. When we look at the second page, page 456, and under the heading
17 "situation on the ground," you'll see paragraph 8?
18 A. Right.
19 Q. The current situation in regard to Yugoslavia is not only very
20 serious but in addition it is in a constant state of flux and change, as
21 regards both the political discussions under way and the situation on the
23 You were aware of that, were you not?
24 A. You just read the statement, am I aware of the statement or what
25 the statement refers to?
1 Q. Were you aware of what that refers to?
2 A. No I'm just reading what this -- remember, I'm in New York. If I
3 read it at all, I will read it exactly the way you're reading it.
4 Q. But when you arrived in Yugoslavia?
5 A. M'hm?
6 Q. Were you aware of this situation that's described, serious,
7 constant state of flux and change, and so forth?
8 A. It was --
9 Q. Did you go there with that impression in mind?
10 A. We expected to see a war zone and we saw one, as I arrived.
11 Q. So what is the answer to my question? Yes or no?
12 A. That there was a serious situation on the ground, yes, we were
13 aware it was a situation on the ground. That it was going to stabilise as
14 a result of the UN deployment is what we were looking for, not for a
15 situation getting any other characteristic than what the report says,
16 serious and in a state of flux.
17 Q. The next sentence, earlier fighting in Slovenia having abated and
18 died out in July, heavy fighting has since then persisted in Croatia,
19 pitting on one side the Yugoslav national army, JNA and supplementary
20 military units as well as irregular Serb forces against on the other side
21 the territorial forcers of the Republic of Croatia as well as Croatian
23 Were you familiar with that proposition before you arrived or did
24 you learn about it after you arrived?
25 A. I learnt about it on the ground.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Civilian inhabited areas have persistently been subjected to
2 direct fire, including from artillery and rocket batteries and indeed from
3 armoured naval and air units. Were you aware of that at any point? And
4 if so, when?
5 A. Increasingly, the first awareness I had of the hostilities on the
6 ground was entry into Sector East through the confrontation line, where
7 there were still combatants facing each other in both sides.
8 Q. And this sentence that we just read, sir, speaks of fairly serious
9 combat situation, direct fire, artillery, rockets, armoured naval and air
10 units. In other words, full-blown war, right?
11 A. Counsellor you're asking me when I got aware of something, and I
12 told you I'm aware of it on the ground as I get exposed to the situation.
13 Q. I just asked you a different question?
14 A. I know you asked me a different question but I'm telling you the
15 difficulty answering your question. First I have to get where it is
16 before answering your question. I cannot speak to a general thing and
17 say, I am aware they were referring here or there because I answered you
18 in the first place I wasn't aware, until I get there. So you must ask me
19 where I was and what I was aware of.
20 Q. That's not what I'm asking you?
21 A. Okay, please ask me.
22 Q. The Secretary-General reported civilian inhabited areas have
23 persistently been subjected to direct fire including from artillery and
24 rocket batteries and indeed from armoured and naval air units?
25 A. Yes, the answer to your question, this report is dated October,
1 1991. He may be talking about things that happened prior to my arrival.
2 Q. That's exactly what I'm talking about. I don't care when it
3 happened, I don't care where it happened. Do you accept that the
4 Secretary-General is reporting that accurately?
5 A. I don't know beyond what he said.
6 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] Your Honour, how can he
7 answer that? He wasn't there, he's already said that.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel.
9 MS. KORNER: How can he answer that? He doesn't know whether it's
10 accurate or inaccurate. He wasn't there.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner is right, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. Did you ever learn that there had been this kind of serious armed
14 combat going on in the state of Croatia?
15 A. As I got to the ground, as I moved from place to place, I got to
16 learn of the details what happened, where, I arrived.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to stop here, Mr. Ackerman.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. We will continue tomorrow.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: We will continue tomorrow, Mr. Kirudja.
20 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: 9.00 here in the same courtroom. I thank you all.
22 See you tomorrow morning.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
24 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
25 the 13th day of February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.