1 Tuesday, 2 December 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Case Number IT-99-36-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow in a language that
10 you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Yes, I can.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you. Appearances, Prosecution.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Julian Nicholls with
14 Denise Gustin and Joanna Korner.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good afternoon. Appearances for the
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Defence?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Defence, yeah.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm John Ackerman --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't recognise you, Mr. Ackerman. That's the
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I have been to a mad dentist since I last saw you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I can see that.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm John Ackerman and I'm with David Cunningham and
25 Aleksandar Vujic, even though I know I don't look like him.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And good afternoon to you.
2 I don't want to impose on you, Mr. Ackerman. I see that you have
3 a really swollen face. Are you in a position to follow the proceedings or
4 not? I know that it's the cross-examination, but...
5 MR. ACKERMAN: I wouldn't be here if I couldn't be here. I'm
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm being courteous to you.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand that, and I appreciate it. I think
9 I'll be all right.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: If you have a problem, let me know.
11 Any preliminaries?
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, just two matters. Mr. Ackerman was good
13 enough to tell me today just before we sat that the documents that I asked
14 for the provenance of come -- came from a Mr. Glogovac who took over the
15 agency when Mr. Bojinovic left. Your Honour, I'm prepared to accept that,
16 and I withdraw my objection at the moment. I withdraw my objection to the
17 admission of those documents. Mr. Glogovac appears in the papers.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. Okay.
19 MS. KORNER: So I'm prepared to accept that.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness said that the organisation was replaced,
21 not taken over, but -- his place wasn't taken over. He said that it was
22 replaced by the refugee or --
23 MS. KORNER: Let me put it this way, I don't think at this stage
24 of the game anyhow we ought to start delving into that.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's what he said.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it may well be THAT at a later stage we
2 may have to revisit this topic, but at this moment I withdraw my
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I wasn't using precise language when I
6 said "taken over" after -- that was just --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Some kind of a successor who turned over the
9 documents. That's the best I can say.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the only other matter is if we have time
12 this afternoon I would like to address Your Honours very briefly on part
13 of the judgement that you gave, the written judgement on the Rule 98
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I was reminded today to remind you when to expect
16 the revised indictment.
17 MS. KORNER: I'm so sorry, Your Honour. Of course, we had it
18 ready to go -- Your Honour, we can have it filed by the end of the week.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So let's start with the witness, Madam Usher.
20 Yes, exactly. The way it is, I am not seeing Mr. Ackerman, I'm
21 not seeing the accused, I'm not seeing Mr. Cunningham. Mr. Billow now is
22 used to being hidden from the scene.
23 MR. CUNNINGHAM: He says it's easier to play video games that way.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I know.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good afternoon, Mr. Vidic.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to continue with your testimony on
4 cross-examination. Just reminding you for formality sake that you are
5 testifying under oath on the basis of your solemn declaration of
6 yesterday. So please, take a seat, a chair, and let's proceed.
7 Mr. Nicholls.
8 I have to repeat presumably. Were you receiving interpretation or
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I haven't received any
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We are going to proceed with your
13 cross-examination and reminding you that you are testifying on the basis
14 of your solemn declaration of yesterday which you are not going to repeat
15 today because you don't need to. All right?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. Could the ELMO be moved
19 somehow so that I can -- thank you.
20 WITNESS: DOBRIVOJE VIDIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Nicholls: [Continued]
23 Q. Sir, I'm going to try to cover several topics today. I'll try to
24 make them clear. If both of us can try to be as clear and concise as
25 possible, we can finish today.
1 A. Fine.
2 Q. I looked at what we have been talking about yesterday and have
3 just a couple follow-up questions to you. You talked about with
4 Mr. Ackerman how your interest in regionalisation, your interest in
5 forming a new multiethnic body and your discussions on this topic led
6 to - one way or another - to the formation of the associations of
7 communities, first the ZOBK, Z-O-B-K, and then the Autonomous Region of
8 Krajina. Correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you were -- at that time, I think you said that you were
11 getting pretty excited about these new political developments in the early
12 1990s and wanted to be a part of it. Correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You said you talked about it with several people. I think you
15 said Mr. Brdjanin was one of the people you discussed these new
16 associations with, this new regionalisation process.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. He was also a strong supporter of this regionalisation process, as
19 you were yourself. Correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, I just want to very quickly -- you don't need to tell me the
22 dates. I just want to be clear on all the different positions you held.
23 At one point you were president of the Prnjavor SDS. Correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You have been a member of the SDS main board?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You were -- and we saw this on P95 yesterday, the document where
3 you were addressing the ARK Assembly about the incident with
4 Veljko Milankovic. You were vice-chairman of the executive council of the
5 ARK. Correct?
6 A. Formally, yes, but not in any active sense of the word.
7 Q. You were a deputy in the association of municipalities of the
8 Bosnian Krajina?
9 A. No. I was a deputy to the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. All right. You were a deputy later on in the Assembly of the
11 Serbian People, or at some point?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you were also a deputy in the Republika Srpska Assembly?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. All right. Now, I want to go back to and finish talking about
16 Veljko Milankovic. We talked yesterday, you talked with Mr. Ackerman and
17 with myself about the 14th of December 1991 ARK Assembly decision not to
18 support -- in fact, to support the actions to arrest Veljko Milankovic.
19 Correct? Do you remember us talking about that yesterday?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I'd like to now play you a tape recording of a conversation
22 conducted on the 26th of November 1991.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, just out of an abundance of caution
25 based upon our objection to all of these intercepts, I want to make sure
1 that I make a formal objection to the use of this as evidence.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: This will be P2710. This is in Sanction. I've
4 never tried this before.
5 Q. I think, sir, you're going to hear yourself talking to
6 Radovan Karadzic.
7 [Audiotape played]
8 [Please refer to Exhibit 2710A for audio transcript]
9 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't know if the interpreters can follow this
10 this quickly. We've got the transcript. Maybe we can just have him
11 listen to the tape and go along. It should be coming up on Sanction as we
13 JUDGE AGIUS: It's all right for, I suppose, the three of us,
14 because we have the transcript. We don't need to hear the English
16 MR. NICHOLLS: The screen should be synchronised.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: We can also read it. It's easier on our eyes.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I was thinking it sounded impossible for --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: But I don't exclude that someone might prefer to
20 listen to it or to -- so that one can check. I don't know.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there's no problem with the
22 interpreter remaining silent. It's on the screen. It's going out --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I know it's on the screen. And probably the
24 interpreter is reading from the screen anyway.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: It would be nice to start over at the beginning, I
2 MR. NICHOLLS: That's what we're going to do.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Listen to this whole recording, sir.
5 [Audiotape played]
6 MR. NICHOLLS:
7 Q. Let me stop it now and ask you a couple questions. Do you
8 recognise your voice on that tape recording, sir?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you remember having this conversation with Radovan Karadzic?
11 A. Yes, I'd forgotten about it, but now I remember.
12 Q. All right. Let me just ask you where we've got to at this point.
13 You stated: "Well, I'm calling you. Well, we agreed, I, Vojo and Vukic,
14 you know."
15 What were you calling Dr. Karadzic about? This was on 26th of
16 November 1991.
17 A. I called him to justify myself for what I had not been able to
19 Q. Well, you said, and we've already heard this: "We have
20 everything, we accomplished everything, and today we're pursuing
21 something" and so on. So what had you accomplished and what had you not
22 been able to do?
23 A. There are no secrets involved. That much is clear. Mr. Rankic,
24 he and his wife, used to work for a company, a company that printed
25 propaganda material. They would agree on deals with the commercial
1 offices of the company concerning the calendars for the coming year, and
2 the rest of the propaganda material. They charged their fees, and this
3 was done by Mr. Veselinovic's [phoen] company. Let me see if I can
4 remember the name. They were, I believe, in charge of actually printing
5 the material. Probably though, some of the party activities were funded
6 from the same source. This had nothing to do with Krajina, therefore, and
7 my conversation with Mr. Karadzic was a private one. It was not on behalf
8 of Krajina that I talked to Mr. Karadzic.
9 Q. Let me stop you there. What was Mr. Rankic's first name?
10 A. Rankic -- truth to tell, I can't remember. I know that it was he
11 and his wife. They drove a car, and they sold books. Books and leaflets.
12 Q. The question was whether you remembered his first name. When you
13 say we agreed --
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Sorry, I cut you off.
16 When you say: "Well, we agreed, I, Vojo and Vukic," that's
17 Vojo Kupresanin, correct? And Dr. Vukic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What sort of propaganda was this? You used that word.
20 A. Yes. This was not propaganda on behalf of the party. This was a
21 commercial activity, a commercial printing activity. Certain companies
22 would order propaganda material for themselves. I made a private promise
23 to find commercial people in Prnjavor Municipality, because I was myself
24 involved in the economy, I had plenty of contacts, and I was myself owner
25 of a company. I promised to put him in touch with certain companies and
1 certain people.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. However --
4 Q. Go ahead.
5 A. Should I continue?
6 Q. I think you've cleared that up.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we play the tape.
8 We have no sound, Your Honour. Maybe if you start it from the
9 beginning again. It wasn't very far, if that works.
10 I apologise, Your Honours. I don't know why the sound has stopped
11 working on Sanction.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not playing, anyway. It's --
13 MR. NICHOLLS: She stopped it playing because there was no sound.
14 Ms. Gustin has stopped it because there was no sound.
15 [Audiotape played]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think this is it.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: It's not it, Your Honour.
18 I propose, Your Honours, to give a copy of the transcript to the
19 witness in his language and we will go ahead without playing the tape.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: What I suggest you do is, Ms. Gustin, cancel it.
21 Exit from this particular exhibit. And then go into it again. First
23 [Audiotape played]
24 MR. NICHOLLS:
25 Q. Do you remember that portion of the conversation?
1 A. Not so well, but...
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman. Sorry, I apologise --
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there's a problem. If you saw the
4 transcript as it was coming off the LiveNote, that last bit said it was
5 Karadzic that was speaking. If you look at the transcript, it says that
6 it was Vidic that was speaking, in both versions. And I think the
7 transcript is accurate, and what was on the LiveNote is inaccurate because
8 I think it was -- it was Mr. Vidic who said they should really be
9 disciplined. That's absolutely clear. And then he's the one that's
10 saying "hello, hello, hello, hello." I believe that's the reality as
11 opposed to what we saw on the LiveNote.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I was following on the proposed exhibit transcript,
13 and not on the screen. But I take your word for it that is what has
14 appeared on the monitor. If that is the case, I would like confirmation
15 from you, Mr. Nicholls, that what Mr. Ackerman is saying stating is
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I was looking at my paper version as
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I was following the paper version as well, so I'm
20 not in a position to say which one of this is right.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: I requested a draft translation of this. I
22 requested a translation of this. There may have been one from the day
23 before that was put on here. I think the only thing to do is to play the
24 tape and ask the witness. But we can hear it on the tape. It should be
25 apparent. They have distinct voices.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: The voices I was listening to because I still had
2 this, the earphones on. But I suppose you can play the last part and have
3 the witness confirm whether it's him or Mr. Karadzic.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: We can try.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: He might know right now, Your Honour. He was
6 listening to it as it was going forward. You might just ask the witness
7 righted now who the last speaker was.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Who was saying "hello, hello, hello, hello"? Was it
9 you or Mr. Karadzic?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was Mr. Karadzic. He spoke at
11 the end of the tape --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's listen to the last part because we have a
13 confusion here.
14 [Audiotape played]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, we have to go further up, further back.
16 [Audiotape played]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So I think, Mr. Ackerman, you were wrong, I am
18 wrong. The paper version is wrong. I think it's Mr. Karadzic who is
19 saying those words, the last four lines or five lines. Correct? Not you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: And Your Honour, while we're here, I'll admit the
23 tape, and that will be 2710A.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I lost my pen now.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry that took so long, Your Honours. The
1 next time we'll just bring in a tape recorder. I have several at home,
2 and it would have worked just as well.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So --
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, we're not finish with this because the
5 transcript can't be admitted because of its inaccuracy. It needs to be
6 fixed. The transcript is clearly wrong.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll submit a revised transcript. That's the only
8 thing I've noticed that's wrong, and we can fix that and put in a final
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. In the meantime, what's your question to
11 the witness?
12 MR. NICHOLLS:
13 Q. Now you've heard it twice. Clearly you were talking to Karadzic
14 about the arrest of Milankovic which had happened just a short time
15 earlier. Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. How well did you know Karadzic at this point?
18 A. Well, not sufficiently. Only from the political meetings. I saw
19 him for the first time a year or so before that. It was in July 1990.
20 That was the first time that I saw him.
21 Q. You had talked to him on the phone person to person before this
22 though, hadn't you? This wasn't the first time you had a telephone call
23 directly to Dr. Karadzic?
24 A. Yes. That was the second -- I think I spoke to him only three
25 times over the phone. It was on my initiative.
1 Q. All right. Now, he asked you about who's still being held, and
2 you tell him that Veljko Milankovic is being held and somebody with the
3 nickname Crni. Correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Why -- briefly, why were all the rest of those men released so
7 A. I called Karadzic to justify myself for what I had failed to do
8 for Mr. Rankic because I had promised to do so as a private citizen, not
9 in any official capacity. I didn't do it. I felt uncomfortable going
10 there and intervening on behalf of a company to get a job. And I was
11 opposed to the sale of these books because I personally did not like
13 Q. Sorry, sorry, you're not answering my question at all.
14 Why were all of these 30 or so men in this criminal group released
15 other than the two people we've talked about, Milankovic and Crni?
16 A. I don't know why they had been released.
17 Q. You tell Karadzic that you went and talked to the judge about this
18 incident, the civilian judge. Why did you do that?
19 A. Due to a coincidence, one of the judges was my wife. But she was
20 not in charge of the case. She only had information about it. I didn't
21 say anything else. I just told Mr. Karadzic what I had heard, and I had
22 zero influence at that time. He was asking about this group over the
23 phone. He was asking me --
24 Q. Okay, you've gone --
25 A. -- But I --
1 Q. He asked you what is being ascribed to them, what are they -- what
2 is being ascribed to these men? What is it said they have done "this
3 time"? And you say: "They have been released. They have been a little
4 humiliated, but that was done in a stupid way, you know. It could have
5 been done differently. This is, well, our opinion."
6 How should that release have been done differently and what's your
7 opinion about that? You said the humiliation was done in a stupid way.
8 A. That's what I still think. If somebody is beaten in the course of
9 an arrest and hit with a rifle and so on, there was an easier way to do
10 so, easier way to arrest them without bringing the lives of other citizens
11 in danger.
12 Q. And when these men were arrested, they had stolen property,
13 Karadzic calls it loot, with them. Correct?
14 A. I don't know exactly what it is that they had. I was just telling
15 Mr. Karadzic what I had heard. So I did not have any access to
16 investigative organs. I didn't have any access to the institutions in the
17 executive --
18 Q. I'm only asking you to tell us what you knew. You were discussing
19 this with Dr. Karadzic, and you said that this so-called loot was
20 collected from apartments. And then you said the question was what to do
21 with it, and that depended on, if I read this correctly, where it came
22 from. Now, are there you talking about matters whether this property was
23 taken from Serbs or non-Serbs? Is that the distinction you're making?
24 A. No, no. Definitely not. I always felt that criminal offences
25 committed against all citizens are the same, regardless of their ethnic
1 background. And those people who know me can vouch for that. Many people
2 would be able to confirm this.
3 Q. So tell me what did you mean when you said words to the effect of
4 "Where did it come from? That is the question."?
5 A. What I heard was that during the arrest, in their apartments,
6 there were certain items that were found there, furniture, TV sets, things
7 like that. But the police did not have any evidence indicating that these
8 items had been stolen. In the course of the investigation, they were
9 probably trying to ascertain what had been stolen and what hadn't been
10 stolen and where these items had come from.
11 Q. Now there's a conversation between you and Karadzic that shows the
12 tension we were talking about yesterday. Karadzic tells you that what he
13 heard from reporters, that the way Milankovic's unit fight is incredible,
14 and you say words to the effect of: "It's incredible. They are real
15 fighters. No doubt about that." Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And then you say: "And regarding this action and work, they were
18 really good with that in the last, well, two to three months." Now, tell
19 me what the action and work these men who we agreed yesterday were armed
20 paramilitary criminals were really good at and what they were doing so
21 well for the last two to three months that you praised them for?
22 A. It is strange. There's something strange about this speech. I
23 didn't mean actions. I wanted to say that they had been doing things
24 before, and then they were threatened. And after that, they were calm for
25 a while. They did not cause any trouble. But they were arrested all the
2 What I meant had more to do with this. The outrageous things that
3 they did before, they were really impossible when they came back from
4 Krajina in Croatia. And since at that time there was a cease-fire in
5 effect, it had been signed in Krajina at that time, probably somebody who
6 was their commander probably advised them to calm down a bit. And I was
7 not quite sure whether Karadzic himself was behind it, and that is why I
8 was really very careful in the conversation. I was letting him say
9 things, and then I would agree to what he said. You can see that from the
11 I was not in a position to influence anything. And I was also on
12 very, very bad terms with this group from day one.
13 Q. I'm not asking about your potential influence. Just try to answer
14 the question. You're the one who offered this comment, this is in
15 response to a question. After talking about how they were great fighters,
16 how everything was good in the last two to three months, are you sure you
17 weren't talking about the takeover of the Kozara transmitter and their
18 other paramilitary activities?
19 A. No. No. I was referring to newspaper articles and TV broadcasts
20 where there were reports about them as fighters, that they are well
21 trained and things like that. The newspapers were full of articles such
22 as this to that effect. And I could not oppose Mr. Karadzic because I was
23 not quite sure on what terms he was with these people.
24 Q. All right.
25 Now, again, yesterday with Mr. Ackerman and with myself, you
1 talked about the report you made to the assembly and the conclusion signed
2 by Mr. Kupresanin supporting the arrest of Veljko Milankovic's
3 paramilitary. I'd like you to look now at P2707.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: I have a highlighted copy, which may make it
6 Q. This is a Glas article from the 11th of April 1992 with the
7 headline "Anatomy of betrayal, walking on Serbian thorns." It concerns
8 the -- it celebrates the fact that Veljko Milankovic is not going to be
9 prosecuted for his crimes in Prnjavor. I'd like you to read the first
10 highlighted portion I've provided for you which should start: "The walk
11 on thorns by the fighters of Veljko Milankovic's unit began on the early
12 morning of 14 November..." Do you have that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. That's talking about -- we're talking about the same arrest of
15 Veljko Milankovic that you were talking about with Mr. Karadzic on the
16 telephone. Correct?
17 A. I don't know because there were -- Mr. Milankovic was arrested on
18 several occasions, so I don't know --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have no idea how this could be the
21 same one if the newspaper report is April of 1991 and the conversation is
22 November of 1991.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: It's April 1992.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: But still we're six months apart. I doubt it's the
25 same arrest.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we have heard of more than one
2 particular arrest of Milankovic.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: He was arrested at least twice, Your Honour, maybe
4 three times. But certainly twice.
5 MR. NICHOLLS:
6 Q. You were talking to Dr. Karadzic on the 26th of November. This is
7 talking about an arrest on the 14th of November. I understand that this
8 article was in the second -- another year. In any event, how many times
9 are you aware of that he was arrested with 33 members of his unit in
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm sorry. I was incorrect. It is
12 talking about the same. Obviously now that I pay attention to it.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you. I'll move on to my next question.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 MR. NICHOLLS:
16 Q. I'd like you to skip to the second highlighted portion. This is
17 Veljko Milankovic speaking. This is on page 4 of the English. "Although
18 this is not the time for disputes among Serbs, I must say something. We
19 were a unit of the Autonomous Region of the Bosnian Krajina. The
20 president of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina
21 Vojo Kupresanin and the Prime Minister Andjelko Grahovac, as well as the
22 members of the government and leadership of the Banja Luka SDS were fully
23 informed about all our operations. Actually, we took part in operations
24 at the order of the leadership of the Autonomous Region of Bosnian
25 Krajina. That was the case when we seized a repeater on Mount Kozara and
1 made it possible for Bosnian Krajina to watch Belgrade television
3 Is that what it says in your version?
4 A. No.
5 I'm sorry. Do you mean is it written here in this version?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. I don't know what you're referring to.
8 Q. That's what you've just read in your language. Correct?
9 A. I do not agree with what is written here.
10 Q. That's not the question. I'm just trying to make sure we're on
11 the same page that you just read.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry.
14 Q. I'm just trying to make sure that we're on the same page, we've
15 read the same paragraph. The paragraph that I've just read to you, that's
16 been translated to you, that's what it says in your version. Correct? You
17 need to answer verbally.
18 A. Yes, I've read it, and yes, I understood what it says.
19 Q. Let me move on to P2577. I will be asking you a question about
20 this document.
21 This is -- this will be another Glas article from 28th of April
22 1992, two weeks later. This article is talking about a 27th of April
23 extraordinary session of the Bosnian Krajina AR Assembly held in the
24 afternoon, 1992. Did you attend that session?
25 A. No, I don't know. I cannot state with any certainty.
1 Q. Well, you've heard about this session, haven't you? This was a
2 pretty important one. Take a look at the first two paragraphs of the
3 article and let me know when you've read them. This was a session with a
4 great deal of concern about the possible withdrawal of the JNA.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, now that you've read that, do you remember whether you
7 attended the session or not?
8 A. Yes, I know about this topic, but I cannot say whether I was
9 present or not because I skipped quite a few of those sessions, especially
10 the emergency or extraordinary ones.
11 Q. Well, were you ever at a session which was addressed by
12 Veljko Milankovic? If you look down at paragraph 5, you'll see that he
13 spoke at this session.
14 A. No. I know that I was not there when he spoke.
15 Q. Now, on page 2 of the English, "Veljko Milankovic's speech" - he's
16 called the commander of the volunteers from Prnjavor - "attracted
17 particular attention during the debate. He called for reason and asked
18 for actions not just decisions and constant meetings." And
19 Veljko Milankovic talks about the Banja Luka Corps and giving them some
21 Does that seem odd to you, this thug, criminal, paramilitary
22 leader who had been arrested and condemned by a resolution of the same
23 assembly is now addressing it?
24 A. Yes, but I don't know what date are we talking about. Was it in
1 Q. Look at the headline of the article.
3 A. Yes, at that time, I did not attend the sessions.
4 Q. That wasn't the question. If you don't want to answer that
5 question, I'll let you not answer it.
6 Dragan Djuric was --
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm not sure he's not -- he's refusing
8 to answer the question. He may not understand it. I don't think he
9 doesn't want to answer the question. So I ask that he be given an
10 opportunity to answer the question.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: That's fine with me.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's cut this. I mean, Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it's pretty obvious.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Just ask him again. I mean, it's...
15 MR. NICHOLLS:
16 Q. Don't you find it strange that this same assembly which heard
17 your report and condemned Veljko Milankovic, approved of his arrest, is
18 now having him there as a speaker?
19 A. Well, if it is true, then it really is strange.
20 Q. Dragan Djuric was the president of the SDS from Prnjavor April
21 1992. Correct?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think -- I think -- sorry. Dragan Djuric was the
23 one who replaced him. No?
24 MR. NICHOLLS: That's correct.
25 Q. Dragan Djuric stated that coordination between the Tuzla and
1 Banja Luka Corps in that area, speaking of Derventa, was nonexistent and
2 openly called for Veljko Milankovic to be named commander of the Defence
3 for the Serbian Municipality of Derventa. Does that not indicate full
4 support for Veljko Milankovic and his unit from the SDS in Derventa in
6 A. It's possible. If this statement is --
7 Q. It's more than possible?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. He's arrested, the charges are dropped, he's released, he's
10 invited to speak at the assembly and they proposed to make him a commander
11 of a Serbian municipality's defence. That's support, isn't it, from the
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: I just want to make sure the record is clear that
15 we have objected to these kinds of newspaper reports. There's no
16 indication that this is an accurate report of what went on at that
17 meeting. And so every question I think that's being asked should start
18 with the presumption that this report is accurate because it may not be.
19 We know that Milankovic and the editor of Glas were buddies. Okay.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: This is a totally improper objection. The Chamber
21 can judge the weight --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not an objection. It's putting on the record
23 his general objection with regard to newspaper articles.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Correct, but it was going into comment which is
25 what I object to.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah. The witness wasn't present at this
2 meeting in any case, according to what he said. But let's proceed. Your
3 questions are perfectly valid, Mr. Nicholls.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: You have every right to base yourself on what
6 appears to be a report in a newspaper, the authenticity of which --
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm going to intervene at this stage
8 because I'm really getting tired of these objections about newspapers.
9 Your Honours are aware that there's a witness who faithfully recorded in
10 his diary all the matters that these records refer to. So it's no good
11 Mr. Ackerman standing up each time he doesn't like what an article has
12 said. Newspaper articles are, per se, inaccurate. As Mr. Nicholls has
13 rightly said, it is for Your Honours to judge the weight, looking at all
14 the evidence. I do think that these objections particularly in front of
15 witnesses who hear them are --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand, Ms. Korner, you're perfectly right,
17 but I...
18 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: There's no witness who faithfully recorded
20 everything in his diary. I think he was a drunk who unfaithfully recorded
21 things and made up a lot of stuff. So there's no evidence that that man
22 is a reliable witness.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: No further --
24 MR. ACKERMAN: And I have attacked him in that regard and I will
25 continue to do so, to say that this is some special witness --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, no further comments like that in front
2 of a witness, please. You know what the Rules are.
3 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: May I make one more objection.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: It has been the rule that the person handling the
7 witness is the person who makes the objections. Ms. Korner is now
8 starting both with the last witness and now with this witness, making
9 objections while she is not responsible for the witness. We had a rule
10 that the person responsible for the witness --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you are right as well, yes.
12 Yes, he's right, Ms. Korner. So next time, you make the
13 objection, Mr. Nicholls.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: I will, Your Honour.
15 Q. Looking further down in this article --
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Just one moment, Your Honour.
17 Well, Mr. Ackerman almost succeeded in stopping you from answering
18 the question. He's arrested --
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I really object to that. That is an absolute,
20 unfair attack on me.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman. I'll protect you, Mr. Ackerman.
22 Yes, Mr. Nicholls, please.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: If you have a problem with repeating the question, I
25 will find it for you and --
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I have found it with Ms. Gustin's help. Thank you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Repeat the question and the witness will answer.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. Talking about Veljko Milankovic, the question was he's arrested,
5 the charges are dropped. He's released and he's proposed to be made
6 commander of a Serbian Defence of a Serbian municipality. That's support,
7 isn't it, support from the party? It's more than just possible that he
8 received the support?
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm going to have to object because
10 there's no factual basis for that question at all. One person, one
11 person, Dragan Djuric makes that request.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, please. Please.
13 Answer the question, please.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Let me just make my objection.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You made your objection and the objection is taken
16 and the witness will answer the question. Look at the head of this
17 document, and you know what this meeting was supposed to be about.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I do want to get my objection clear in the record,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: The article says that Dragan Djuric made that
22 recommendation, not that the party did.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
24 Mr. Vidic, please answer the question. And the question is for
25 the umpteenth time, it's being suggested to you to agree that the SDS was
1 supporting now Veljko Milankovic. Would you agree with that?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not entirely certain because not
3 everyone supported that. There were some people who liked him, in
4 particular. And one of these was also a man to whom a reference is being
5 made here. Now, as to whether he was going to become a commander or
6 anything, it was down to the military to make that decision because by
7 that time everything had been placed under their command.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: That's fine. I'll move on.
9 Q. But I think you'd agree with me that not just anybody off the
10 street of no importance came in and addressed the ARK Assembly at these
11 type of extraordinary, important meetings. Correct?
12 A. That's a bit ridiculous, but the Autonomous Region of Krajina
13 could be many things at once. I'll give you my own example --
14 Q. I don't think you understood my question. At an extraordinary
15 session of the Bosnian Krajina regional assembly, not just anybody was
16 going to come in and address the assembly on defence issues. Isn't that
17 right? It's a simple question.
18 A. No, it was perfectly possible for anyone to come in and address,
19 and that is the God honest truth. That really is the truth. It was
20 chaos, and it was precisely for that reason and for the way in which the
21 whole thing functioned that I refused to take any further part in that.
22 Q. All right.
23 When -- let's go to P1532.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Now, Your Honour, this is a videotape. I'm not
25 sure it it has been keyed up. It's in evidence. If possible, I think it
1 may be quicker for me just to put questions based on the transcript, which
2 is in evidence.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, do you agree to that, or do you
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I object to questions being put until the
6 witness has a chance to see what he is being questioned about, whether he
7 sees the video or reads the transcript.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: -- That also has its importance, I think.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: All right, we can play the video.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Problems.
11 [Videotape played]
12 [Please refer to Exhibit 1532A for video transcript]
13 MR. NICHOLLS: We can stop.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't like music, I take it, Mr. Nicholls.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, if we had more time.
16 Q. Now, you can see that this is an interview of Vojo Kupresanin on
17 the anniversary - we haven't played the beginning - discussing the
18 takeover of Kozara transmitter. Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And it speaks about how the historical decision was made three
21 years ago to take over the relay, and it asks how and when did you get the
22 idea to take over the relay. That's what the reporter has asked.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Mr. Kupresanin states: "We knew even back then that a state
1 cannot be a state without its radio, TV, and other media, and without its
2 currency. We, in the assembly of the former Bosnia and Herzegovina, knew
3 that nothing could be achieved with the Muslims and Croats, the
4 anti-Serbian coalition, and we were happy to part ways with them. We
5 began the parting with the Autonomous Region and continued with the
6 takeover of the relay." That's what Vojo Kupresanin said taking over the
7 relay was all about. Correct? That's what he said. That's the question.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Does this sounds like he's talking about some kind of voluntary,
10 economic chamber of commerce?
11 A. I must say that Mr. Vojo, he wasn't clear about many things. He
12 didn't know what power meant. He didn't know what association meant. He
13 was fond of making statements --
14 Q. Stop, stop.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Answer the question. Does that sound like the organisation, the
17 association he's describing, is some kind of benign, voluntary, economic
18 association? That's very simple. Yes or no.
19 A. Quite obviously he sees it as some form of government, power, but
20 in reality, it was nothing.
21 Q. So you agree that what he was speaking about sounds like an
22 association with power, a type of government. That's what you just said.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And he says: "We began the parting from the Muslims and the
1 Croats with the autonomous region." That's what regionalisation was
2 really all about, wasn't it, the forced separation of the ethnicities?
3 A. No, no. The view of Mr. Kupresanin after January and February of
4 1992, after the Assembly of the Serbian People had adopted certain
5 provisions, you can see from the statute of the Autonomous Region of
6 Krajina that it had been envisaged as an association of municipalities
7 using the provisions of the constitution of the former state. The
8 transmitter belonged to the association of municipalities. There was no
9 need to make any announcements about a violent takeover of the
10 transmitter. It was a futile exercise in power. Someone was flexing
11 their muscles.
12 Q. Someone was flexing their muscles. We can talk about the statute
13 later, and we will. I think you'd agree that there's nothing in the
14 statute which authorises the use of paramilitary forces; yet, that
16 You need to speak up. I heard him say yes.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I heard him say yes.
18 MS. KORNER: It's not on the shorthand.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, I know. I agree with you, Ms. Korner. That's
20 why I'm saying I heard him say yes. Because it's not -- doesn't show on
21 the transcript.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. He said yes to that last question, correct? I heard you -- Can
24 you repeat your answer, please, sir.
25 A. Can you please repeat the answer -- question, I mean.
1 Q. Someone was flexing their muscles. That's what you said. We can
2 talk about the statute later, and we will. I guarantee that. I think
3 you'd agree that there's nothing in the statute which authorises the use
4 of paramilitary forces; yet, that happened. Correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to play the tape a little bit more. I'm
7 just going to let it play, because I don't want to try skipping around at
8 this point.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MR. NICHOLLS: We can stop now.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Grahovac talks about meeting with Milankovic's men in
12 1991 at this restaurant to - he disagrees with you - to take over --
13 because of the necessity of taking over the transmitter by force.
15 A. I don't think I've understood your question. Who exactly does it
16 refer to? Can you please repeat the question.
17 Q. You heard Mr. Grahovac speaking on the tape in response to the
18 questions from the reporter about the significance of the Evropa
19 restaurant, that's where a meeting took place, a fateful meeting in 1991
20 with the Wolves of Vucak with Veljko Milankovic in order to plan the
21 military takeover of the transmitter. That's what he said. Right?
22 That's the question?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: If I read the witness well, there is a problem with
24 the interpretation.
25 Are you receiving interpretation?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It stopped for a brief moment.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm wondering if we might break a few
4 minutes earlier because there's something I want to bring to your
6 MR. NICHOLLS: No objection.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll stop here with the testimony. We'll go back
8 to your question in a minute, Mr. Nicholls.
9 We're going to have a break, and we'll continue in about 25
10 minutes' time. Usher, no, we are staying here.
11 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the first matter, we need to go to
13 private session.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
15 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I just want the record to show that
11 the direct examination of this witness started at 9.22 yesterday morning
12 and ended at 11.30, and there was an intervening 25-minute break. I took
13 an hour and 15 minutes. The Prosecution has now used three hours and 35
14 minutes of cross-examination. I want to read from a transcript of 21 July
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Baruch, how much time do you think
17 your require for your witness, your cross-examination?
18 MS. BARUCH: I can't tell you that, Your Honour, because
19 I had to listen to what he said before I could plan it out.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to know as well. I mean, it's...
21 MS. BARUCH: But I think it would be fair if Mr. Nicholls
22 had a day, that I had a day to do a cross-examination. Of course, I will
23 try, with the advantage of having heard what I heard, to --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but no cross-examination takes the
25 same length of time as the examination-in-chief. So let's start from
2 Now that was the rule that was imposed on us.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, it's the practice. In practice, the
4 cross-examination usually doesn't last as long as the
5 examination-in-chief. It depends. There are witnesses -- there are
6 witnesses that, for example, Madam Baruch took twice as long.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: But this has now taken three times as long.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, okay, but...
9 MR. ACKERMAN: And Your Honour, we -- unlike the Prosecution, you
10 have given us a deadline date, when we have to finish with our witnesses.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: If they keep taking three times as long as we're
13 taking, we're not going to get to put on the witnesses that we want to put
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman, but this witness will finish
16 today. I can assure you. There's no way I can extend the testimony of
17 this witness beyond today. That I am not prepared to do. But on the
18 other hand, I -- with the exception of may be some questions which were
19 less important than others, I don't think there's a case for us stopping
20 Mr. Nicholls in the series of questions that he has been putting.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, my request is this: That the Prosecution
22 know in advance that there is a limit to the amount of time they can take
23 on cross-examination because the entire cross-examination yesterday, Your
24 Honour, almost every question dealt with matters that I had not raised at
25 all on direct. I know that's not a rule. But it was things that you've
1 already heard over and over and over just being repeated to you again.
2 And it -- I mean, I really want to be able to put on the number of
3 witnesses for Mr. Brdjanin that I think are important to be able to put on
4 for him. But also, you've told me if I go past the end of January, I will
5 be penalised in terms of the time I get to write my brief.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I never said you would be penalised, Mr. Ackerman.
7 Don't put words in my mouth that I haven't said. In fact, yesterday, you
8 remember well I said it's not going to be a big problem or the end of the
9 world if we go beyond the end of January. You can find it --
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I just want to really wind up the testimony in this
11 case as early as possible because we do need, all of us, significant time
12 to do the rest of the work that's necessary in this case. And
13 cross-examinations that only keep showing you documents that you've seen
14 over and over and asking the witness to say isn't that what it says, we
15 had that today, just asked the witness isn't that what the document says,
16 and --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: He is an important witness. He is an important
18 witness for the Defence, and he is also an important witness for the
20 THE INTERPRETER: May all the speakers please slow down.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I apologise. And he is being questioned on
22 something which is fundamental to the case. He is one of those SDS
23 members, actually a president of the SDS in his own community who became
24 an outcast, who was ostracised, supposedly, by the SDS. And we are trying
25 to find out exactly why. Because even your client at a certain time
1 clashed with the SDS. So in our quest for the truth, Mr. Ackerman, we are
2 trying -- we are trying not to be difficult with anyone. On the other
3 hand, I do realise that you can't go on forever, Mr. Nicholls.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't intend to go on forever.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I took your word yesterday before we quit, you said
6 you will certainly finish today. And we are still here probably because
7 you finished early, Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: What he said yesterday was he thought he had a
9 couple of hours of cross-examination.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I understood, too. But in all honesty,
11 I can't criticise Mr. Nicholls for the questions that he put to the
12 witness today, starting with the intercept and also because these are two
13 fundamental things. I mean, the role of Milankovic in the affairs
14 happening in the region at the time, was he acting on his own or was he
15 the instrument of someone else? That's number one. And secondly, also
16 the Kozara. We started with the event, hearing testimony on the event a
17 year and a half ago, if not more than that.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: May I respond. I'll be very brief, Your Honour.
19 Your Honours are correct. There is no rule placed on them as to the
20 length of their cross-examination. The Defence can't just limit the
21 amount of information which the Court receives from a witness by ignoring
22 whole areas. That's why the Rule 98 allows on cross-examination for a
23 party to ask questions which are relevant to their case. Mr. Ackerman did
24 that, and went into areas which he thought were important that we hadn't
25 asked about.
1 He has raised all of the issues, nothing I'm asking is beyond the
2 scope, because he's tried to suggest that Veljko Milankovic was sanctioned
3 and just looked at one document. He has tried to show that the
4 association had a particular purpose and the evidence I suggest today
5 that's coming out shows that that is not the case. And finally, when his
6 witnesses are testifying, I don't stand up and object and comment and
7 argue about what I think the documents are, but that eats up a lot of
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Now you are -- Mr. Nicholls, at the very end of it
10 you try to spoil it and get Mr. Ackerman to stand up and object once
11 again. Let's leave it at that. There is no hard and fast rule because we
12 are all trained in these type of cases. We have to adjust ourselves to
13 the circumstances that arise from witness to witness and from day to day
14 and from minute to minute sometimes. So at the present moment the only
15 rule is that there is is that you have to finish today. That's all.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: But when he asked questions like, "Could the ARK
17 Crisis Staff command anybody?" "No." "Thank you." It's a little --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't have to preach that to any of us,
19 Mr. Nicholls. We know what the rules are and I think Mr. Ackerman knows
20 as well. And on that basis you can proceed. But please try to finish as
21 early as you can. 20-minute break so that we try and finish before 7.00.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, yes, although Your Honour I do want to
23 raise the matters because of the time limit. I'd be grateful if you
24 can --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You can raise the matter regarding the decision now
1 if you want --
2 MS. KORNER: I think we've had an hour and a half. The
3 interpreters need a break.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's fair enough.
5 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, you may proceed, Mr. Nicholls.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
9 Q. April 1992, Veljko Milankovic attends and addresses a special
10 session, extraordinary session, of the ARK Assembly. That same month, he
11 gives an interview in which he states that he is a unit for and under the
12 Autonomous Region of Krajina. Three years later on the anniversary of the
13 takeover of the Kozara transmitter, he's praised in a newsclip.
14 Kupresanin talks about how this was necessary, an armed takeover of the
15 Kozara tower as part of the autonomous region's plan to separate, and
16 there's a discussion about how they met with Milankovic at a restaurant in
17 1991 to plan the takeover of the transmitter.
18 You still maintain your position that Milankovic and his men were
19 not doing exactly as he said operating, as a unit for the
20 Autonomous Region of Krajina?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You can answer yes or no or I don't know.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. All right. No, you don't maintain your stance -- no he was not
25 operating and he was lying in that interview, or no, you now change your
1 mind and you concede that he was telling the truth when he said that he
2 was operating under the Autonomous Region of Krajina's instruction?
3 A. No, they did not function under the Krajina region. What they
4 were doing was illegal, and certain individuals who were with them, that
5 was also illegal.
6 Q. I have no argument with you that what they were doing was illegal.
7 Now, I want to move to another topic. It's something you talked
8 about with Mr. Ackerman. You're an architect. Correct? That's your
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You're not a lawyer? You've never been to law school?
12 A. No.
13 Q. You're no expert in constitutional law?
14 A. No.
15 Q. All right. Now, the -- you were asked a lot of questions about
16 the Autonomous Region of Krajina, the ARK Assembly. And that's -- I want
17 to just follow up on that. I can show you the document if you need it,
18 but let me just see if you agree. Out of 196 members of the Krajina
19 Autonomous Region Assembly, only about 6 were non-Serbs. If you don't
20 know, that's all right.
21 A. I don't know. I don't know exactly.
22 Q. But you did agree yesterday that it was a Serbian initiative to a
23 question put to you by His Honour, the Judge?
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: My question referred not to the Autonomous Region of
1 Krajina, but to the ZOBK.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I wasn't trying to
3 confuse. And that's fine.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I meant to ask the same question with regard to the
5 ARK, but later on.
6 MR. NICHOLLS:
7 Q. When the ZOBK became the ARK, in essence, all that changed was the
8 name. Correct, sir?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right. I'd like to show you P95. This shouldn't take long
11 because you've already looked at this document a couple times. These are
12 the minutes of the 14 December 1991 ARK Assembly meeting which you
13 attended and spoke at about Veljko Milankovic.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it's in the book that I prepared for
15 him yesterday which is right there. It might be easier than dragging out
16 all the documents.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman, for pointing that out.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I'd recommend that we keep the pages in the book
20 and let him just use the book rather than taking the pages out. He'll get
21 all mixed up, I'm afraid.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. Do you have those minutes in front of you, sir?
24 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
25 Q. If you look at the agenda for that meeting, number 2 is the
1 current political and security situation in the Autonomous Region of
2 Krajina. Right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And that includes a report from the Security Services Centre and
5 the security service of the 5th Corps of the JNA. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. There's not a single economic issue discussed at this session, is
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. By yes, you mean there is not a single economic issue discussed.
12 A. No, no, there is not.
13 Q. Also, I notice, because we have the minutes of your conversation
14 here, that you don't mention multiculturalism, pluralism, or creating a
15 multiethnic society here, do you?
16 It's okay. I'll withdraw the question so you don't have to read
17 the whole document. If you want to answer, because I think it's apparent
18 from the face of the document.
19 This session -- go ahead.
20 A. I want to answer the question. May I make a comment.
21 Q. If you're answering the question, go ahead.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls is aspiring to become one of the Judges
23 later on.
24 Yes, answer the question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Vojo Kupresanin, the president
1 of the assembly, called upon me to submit some kind of a report. That was
2 unexpected. And you can see that this is not a report of the government;
3 it is just an intervention on my part because I was not charged with
4 submitting a report on behalf of the government because I was not the
5 president of the government. I was, however, invited to the meeting, and
6 I was caught unprepared. And you can see from this text that this was
7 just a formal statement.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. NICHOLLS:
10 Q. So the answer to my question is yes, you did not talk about
11 creating a multiethnic society at this meeting, did you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And like many sessions, and it increased, this one concerned the
14 political and security situation in the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
15 Correct? We've already talked about what was on the agenda.
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. Do you remember -- you've read the statute of the Autonomous
18 Region of Krajina. Correct? I think you were shown it yesterday --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. -- P80.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you recall what Article 16 is about?
23 A. I don't recall.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this is also in his book. He could
25 refer to it if Mr. Nicholls would like him to.
1 MR. NICHOLLS:
2 Q. I'll read it out while you find it. Article 16: "The Autonomous
3 Region of Krajina shall monitor the situation and coordinate activities
4 for the organisation and implementation of preparations for All People's
5 Defence in accordance with the law, municipal defence plans, and the
6 republican defence plan." That was part of the role of the ARK. Correct?
7 Article 16.
8 A. Yes, I see it now. But...
9 Q. Now, I know you're not a legal expert, but do you know that
10 although there was a similar provision in the ZOBK Statute, that this was
11 new to the association of municipalities historically, to their statute,
12 this defence role?
13 A. I think that in the statute of the municipalities, there was
14 something similar. Perhaps it was adopted from the statutes of the
16 Q. That's okay. You're not completely answering the question, but
17 that's all right.
18 My point is you'd agree with me that this is not a purely economic
19 association; it has a defence role, a military role?
20 A. At the level of the municipalities, that was as far as it went.
21 They were not allowed to have more than that, even municipalities had
22 certain leeway or certain freedom to establish -- to set up their own
24 Q. We're talking about the statute of the Autonomous Region of
25 Krajina. Correct, of the region?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. This --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Article 16 states that the Autonomous Region of Krajina shall
5 monitor the situation and coordinate activities for the organisation and
6 implementation of preparation for All People's Defence. Monitor and
7 coordinate the activities.
8 The last time: Do you agree with me that under this provision --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. -- There was a military role at the regional level?
11 A. I cannot answer specifically because the military role was
12 something that belonged exclusively to the military, and the Territorial
13 Defence and civil protection belonged to the municipalities. And we only
14 took over those elements that belonged to the municipalities. And that is
15 why I find it quite hard to answer your question. I'm sorry for that.
16 Q. Do you understand what the Article Number 16 says?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you understand that this is the statute for the region?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you understand that it says that the role is to coordinate?
21 A. Yes, that's what it says here.
22 Q. And prepare for All People's Defence?
23 A. Yes, that's what it says.
24 Q. And you think that this is put in there just to -- for no reason
25 whatsoever and has no effect? I know you're not a lawyer, but it doesn't
1 seem like a very complicated provision to me.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Let me just ask you this, if you know - we don't need to go into
4 it - do you know that on the 21st of November 1991 at the second session
5 of the Assembly of the Serbian People, the decision was made to verify, to
6 approve of the Autonomous Regions of Krajina, to legalise them?
7 The autonomous regions, sorry. Not just of the Krajina, but just
8 the autonomous regions.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I'm going to show you P118. This is an extract from the minutes
11 of the 14th session of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina,
12 from the 29th of February 1992. This was about the time that you were
13 kicked out from your position in the Prnjavor SDS. Do you remember if you
14 went to the 14th session? Do you remember, yes or no, if you attended
15 that session?
16 A. I didn't -- I'm not sure that I was at this session. I know that
17 after the session of the assembly of the Serbian People in Sarajevo where
18 I had some conflicts and some problems with the leadership, that after
19 that I, in most cases, did not attend the sessions. I'm not sure,
21 Q. All right. You've answered the question. Thank you. You're not
23 You might have remembered this one if you were there because it
24 was pretty important. Radovan Karadzic was there, Krajisnik, Koljevic,
25 Ostojic, and some of the top Serb leadership. Correct?
1 A. Yes. I probably did attend these, if there were.
2 Q. Now, the agenda here, again, is the political and security
3 situation of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. That's the first item on the agenda.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, let's just go straight to the conclusions. It should be
8 towards the end. The deputies in the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of
9 Krajina accepted the constitution of the Republic of the Serbian People of
10 BH in full." Correct? That's conclusion number 1.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Conclusion number 2: "The status of the Autonomous Region of
13 Krajina will be incorporated into the constitution of the Republic of the
14 Serbian People of BH in accordance with its practical needs in order to
15 achieve its free economic development."
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Number 3 -- now, you understand what both those conclusions mean,
18 don't you? Those are pretty clear?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And number 3: "Establish immediately strict control of the
21 territory of the Autonomous Region of Krajina."
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that's pretty clear to you, too, isn't it, what that one
24 refers to?
25 A. Sessions like these, in practice, as far as I know how it looked
1 like, if I may describe it, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 Q. I'd rather you didn't because it sounds like you're not answering
3 the question. The question was: Do you understand what conclusion number
4 3 means, what its effect is, what that is about, as you understand the
5 previous two?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. What was that conclusion? What was going to take
8 place once that was passed? Let me start. That relates to the political
9 and security situation, doesn't it? It's talking about taking control of
10 the territory, doesn't it?
11 A. Yes, probably.
12 Q. And that fits in actually perfectly with what Vojo Kupresanin said
13 the purpose of the Autonomous Region of Krajina was in that videotape we
14 saw earlier, doesn't it? He was talking about forming a state, and at the
15 first step it was necessary to take this transmitter.
16 A. Yes, Kupresanin was saying that. But under this other item, that
17 the Assembly of the Serbian People would determine the position of the
18 Autonomous Region of Krajina, and it defines there how the government is
19 set up, including the police and any other branch of government, thereby
20 removing from the Krajina the right to have this kind of exercise, this
21 kind of control. So this decision would be in contravention or already
22 was in contravention of the decisions passed by the Assembly of the
23 Serbian People and constitution. I don't know -- as far as I remember in
24 February, the decisions and the constitution were already passed.
25 Q. The top Serb leadership came down to this meeting, and at this
1 meeting conclusion 3 was passed. Correct? At the ARK regional level, to
2 establish immediately strict control of the territory of the Autonomous
3 Region of Krajina. Correct?
4 A. Yes, that's what it says here.
5 Q. Let me take you to P159.
6 Just before we get to that, you've agreed with me that you
7 remember the decision verifying the autonomous regions. Correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And making them -- in this conclusion we have been looking at,
10 P118, the deputies of the ARK Krajina Assembly accept the constitution of
11 the Republic of the Serbian People in full. That was conclusion number 1.
12 A. Yes. But whether it was in full, we don't know because the
13 question is who was present at the session of the assembly. Anybody could
14 come to the assembly.
15 Q. This session -- this conclusion is signed by Vojo Kupresanin, the
16 president. Correct? It has got his name attesting to it.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And the secretary Boro Blagojevic.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. These regions were part of, integrated, and legalised into the
21 Serb Republic and the Serb constitution?
22 A. Yes.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Can we go to 159, please. P159.
24 Q. This is an ARK Assembly decision on the formation of the
25 special-purpose police detachment from 27th of April 1992. You have that
1 in front of you, sir?
2 A. Yes. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And in fact, the news article we looked at earlier - I don't want
4 to go back to it unless you need to be reminded - the article from April
5 1992 which spoke -- which talked about Veljko Milankovic speaking at the
6 assembly also talked about how at this session an order was made to
7 establish this special-purposes police detachment. Correct? That was
8 reported in the press. Right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in fact, this detachment came into being; this decision was
11 acted upon and took effect. Correct?
12 A. I'm not certain about this.
13 Q. You don't know whether there was a CSB, special detachment formed
14 in Banja Luka in April 1992? Do you remember the parade to commemorate
15 the event?
16 A. Yes. In that period of time, I did not take part in these
17 meetings and sessions. But please believe me --
18 Q. That's not the question. I'm not ask whether you took part. The
19 question is do you remember this being acted upon, the Banja Luka special
20 unit was formed. You know that happened, don't you?
21 A. I am not sure that it was formed pursuant to this decision only,
22 Mr. Prosecutor. I'm really not avoiding an answer.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But do I take it that at the same time you are
24 acknowledging and you are accepting that this unit was formed in April
25 1992, special detachment of the CSB?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The special detachment of the public
2 security station was not under the authority -- or rather, it was not
3 formed pursuant to this decision. It was established pursuant to the
4 constitution and the ministry that had been established within the
5 framework of the constitution and the existing laws as adopted by the
6 Assembly of the Serbian People. Or rather, at that time, the Republika
7 Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not seeing Mr. Ackerman or Mr. Cunningham.
9 MR. NICHOLLS:
10 Q. Again, you're not a lawyer. Right?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. NICHOLLS:
13 Q. You're not a lawyer. You haven't studied with law.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not argue. Leave it at that, Mr. Nicholls.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: I just want to know what his basis is for
16 thinking --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: His basis is that he's contesting you on the
18 authority under which this special detachment was created. So initially,
19 in the beginning, he was not even acknowledging that there was such a
20 thing. He said he didn't know or wasn't sure.
21 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll ask one more question, if I may, on this,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, but not the same question again.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: No.
25 Q. Do you agree that this special detachment was formed around this
1 period? You remember the parade in May, you said.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: No, no, he did not say he remembered the parade in
3 May. You didn't give him a chance to answer the question.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: You suggested it was in April, and he seemed to take
5 that, but he never mentioned May himself.
6 MR. NICHOLLS: That's true. Let's clear it up.
7 Q. Do you remember the parade to commemorate the special detachment?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What is your basis -- you tell me what your basis is for saying
10 that it was not pursuant to this order, your legal basis or your factual
12 A. I was convinced at the time. However, now I believe that all the
13 power as far as the setting up of the police forces was concerned was
14 within the hands of the Republika Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
15 relevant laws and regulations were passed. This document is illegal. All
16 it can do is express support on the one hand, but I really can't state
17 that anything was established pursuant to this document.
18 Q. You believe that the special detachment establishment -- the
19 establishment of the special detachment was legal. Correct? It wasn't an
20 illegal act?
21 A. What I believe is entirely a different matter. What my views were
22 on the laws that had been adopted by the Assembly of the Serbian People of
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina. That's one thing. But this assembly and this
24 government passed the laws that were imposed on Krajina and everyone else,
25 and it did have a police ministry. Krajina was in no position to set up
1 anything like that because it lacked the power to do so.
2 Q. And yet, this order is issued from the Krajina level, and the --
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour, it's not an order.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. This decision is issued at the Krajina level and the special
6 detachment is set up. Right?
7 A. The way I see it here, yes.
8 Q. Thank you. I'd like you to look at P153.
9 Now, this is a decision of the Serbian Republic Ministry of
10 National Defence on the establishment of the Territorial Defence, the TO,
11 as an army of the Serb Republic, 16th of April 1992. Right?
12 A. That's what it says here, yes.
13 Q. If you look down under where it says decision the second time --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. -- An administrative war is hereby declared. Correct? Sorry, a
16 state of imminent threat of war is hereby declared. Correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And the prior decision number 1 states: "The Territorial Defence
19 of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina shall be established an armed
20 force of SBiH. Command and control of the TO will be exercised by
21 municipal district and regional staffs and a republican staff." Correct?
22 A. Yes, that's what it says. But may I just be allowed to clarify a
23 point. Before there were the municipalities and the second instance,
24 regional level of authority within the police, but make no mistake about
25 this --
1 Q. I'm going to stop you here --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- Because that has nothing to do with my question.
4 This is an important document, an imminent threat of war,
5 mobilisation of the TO. We've just gone over those decisions.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think that was a question. "Is this
7 an important document?" I think was meant to be asked, or maybe there
8 isn't a question yet. I'm not sure.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I took it -- I'm still waiting for the question
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry.
12 Q. This is an important document relating to the defence, isn't it?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. This is addressed, among others, to the government of the
15 autonomous regions and districts. Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. This, again, is a political and defence-related issue being put
18 under their jurisdiction. Correct?
19 A. There are organs established by the ministry. They're referred to
20 here as regional, but they're under no jurisdiction whatsoever of the
21 Autonomous Region of Krajina. This may be a very big mistake indeed.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Forget whether it's a mistake or whether it's an act
23 of wisdom. I mean, let's proceed with answering the questions that are
24 put to you.
25 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
1 MR. NICHOLLS:
2 Q. That's what this document --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the word he used was not mistake. The
5 word he used was confusion. There was a big confusion. And I think in
6 all fairness, paragraph 1. Decision, Mr. Nicholls left out the last
7 phrase of that. "The municipal district and regional staffs and
8 republican staff of the SBiHTO," not like the autonomous region or the
9 municipality. But it was the TO staffs that's referring to.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
11 MR. NICHOLLS:
12 Q. You're not claiming this some kind of typo on this document, are
13 you? Just to make sure I'm clear on that with you, when you talk about
14 "confusion". You're not saying there's some kind of typing error on the
15 face of this document, are you?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: He has got problems with interpretation.
17 Mr. Vidic, can you hear me?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you can explain to us what you meant when
20 you said on the face of it, there seems to be some confusion here on this
21 document. What were you referring to?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant the following: The
23 government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted laws
24 governing the work of the ministry and defence. Within the framework of
25 those laws, they also regulated the work of regional staffs. But still,
1 it left within its own discretion for the ministers within the ministry
2 that the regional staff should be answerable to them, and not that the
3 Autonomous Region of Krajina should have any kind of command influence
4 over them. This is the error that I was talking about in order to avoid
5 confusion. It was not within the power of the Autonomous Region of
6 Krajina to make these decisions.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
8 MR. NICHOLLS:
9 Q. We've looked at a lot of documents here. The republic level
10 accepted and verified the autonomous regions as part of the republic.
11 Correct? You agreed to that.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. They were constitutional. You've agreed to that. Correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The government could act through these regions if it wished, which
16 is why they had their own secretaries of defence. Correct?
17 A. The ministry had its own lines of defence from top to bottom. But
18 the Krajina did not. The ministry and the government made all the
19 appointments from top to bottom.
20 Q. They may have made the appointments, if -- you can argue that.
21 However, the autonomous regions could be delegated the power to act and
22 could act in their own defence. We saw that in the statute, didn't we?
23 A. That's what the statute says, but this was never implemented. I
24 know that it was never done. For example, the regional minister of the
25 police was not answerable to Krajina, but rather to the ministry. The
1 president, Vojo Kupresanin, Mr. Brdjanin, everyone who was a member of the
2 government, they were merely puppets for the press. They made no
3 appointments. They had no influence, not as far as the direct chain of
4 command or military chain of command were concerned. That's as far as I
5 understood the situation.
6 If you study the documents more closely, maybe this could lead me
7 to change my mind. But I'm telling you what I know. I know how this was
8 done. It wasn't done in a serious manner. I know how decisions were
9 adopted. Anyone wrote whatever they wished to. Mr. Boro Blagojevic would
10 sometimes add things. You would never know at the next session what he
11 had added. It was a comedy. Even my driver once took a decision, and I
12 myself was chucked out of a session.
13 Q. You're saying all this and calling all these people and ARK
14 officials puppets simply because you know they were responsible for a
15 great deal of the crimes which occurred in the Autonomous Region of
16 Krajina. Correct?
17 A. Were they responsible or not? I don't know. They certainly were
18 naive. They had no influence over anything. They were merely expressing
19 their support for someone or other. They might as well have been just an
20 ordinary association. That's at least the way it looked.
21 Q. An ordinary association which could -- you've agreed that
22 Veljko Milankovic was a criminal and he took part in the ethnic cleansing
23 of Lisnje. Correct?
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. We've seen documents and first-hand statements from
1 Vojo Kupresanin, from Veljko Milankovic himself, and others that he was
2 working under the direction of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Correct?
3 A. They were merely boasting about doing something. They never
4 budged from their armchairs.
5 Q. These media puppets could call up, meet with, and control
6 paramilitaries like Veljko Milankovic's?
7 A. No. No. No. They had no power over that.
8 Q. They were legalised by the republic level in these regions; they
9 had their own statute; the statute called for defence; they sent out
10 documents as one we've just looked at mobilising the TO. That was the
11 legal chain which you do not accept. And on the other hand, they had
12 their other means of power and direct contacts with these paramilitaries.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, he has answered it maybe six times
15 now. And asking it over and over is not is going to change the answer.
16 Plus it's a very compound question. It has about six parts to it.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, let's play the game according to the
18 established rules that we have used so far. You should have never said
19 that the witness is not going to change his answer. That's what you
20 actually said in the presence of the witness.
21 Don't put the question again, Mr. Nicholls. Let's move to the
22 next question.
23 MR. NICHOLLS:
24 Q. Let me show you P166.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not quarrelling with you, Mr. Ackerman; I'm
1 quarrelling with your dentist.
2 MR. NICHOLLS:
3 Q. This is a dispatch to the chiefs of all public security stations
4 from the Banja Luka Security Services Centre, 4th of May 1992. That's
5 what you have in front of you. Right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. It states: "We have received a dispatch from the government of
8 the Autonomous Region of Bosanska Krajina in Banja Luka which we hereby
9 forward to you in full." And this dispatch is from the Serbian Republic
10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina Autonomous Region of Bosnian Krajina regional
11 secretariat for national defence, signed by the secretary for the regional
12 secretariat for national defence, Milorad Sajic. That's the order being
13 forwarded. This actual document is signed by chief of the Banja Luka
14 centre, Stojan Zupljanin. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The last line of Stojan Zupljanin's order states: "Chiefs of the
17 public security station are personally responsible for the implementation
18 of this decision. Correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. This is a mobilisation decision for the entire territory of the
21 Autonomous Region of Krajina ordered by Milorad Sajic. Correct? That's
22 item number 1 of the decision.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please read a bit slower.
24 A. Yes.
25 Yes. All these people, Stojan Zupljanin, Milorad Sajicic - I
1 think it reads Sajicic - they were employed by the different bodies of the
2 ministries. While I was there, I was not aware of Krajina or the Krajina
3 government having a ministry of police or anything like that.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. This order from Sajic is in his capacity as the secretary of the
6 regional secretariat for National Defence. Correct? That's where this
7 order is coming from?
8 A. The secretary of the regional secretariat, I very much doubt that
9 he was appointed by the Autonomous Region of Krajina. I would like to
10 have a clarification on this, please. I'm not sure myself. I don't think
11 he could have been appointed by the Autonomous Region of Krajina, but this
12 certainly needs checking.
13 Q. That wasn't the question. You don't need to answer questions
14 which haven't been put to you.
15 This is a real order with real effect at the Krajina level being
16 distributed throughout the Krajina. Correct?
17 A. I must ask this question: Who does this order come from? Who is
18 Sajic or Sajicic?
19 Q. You've never heard of Milorad Sajic?
20 A. No. No. No. Really, I never have.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, let's go to the next.
22 MR. NICHOLLS:
23 Q. You may not have been the best-informed person of what was going
24 on in the Krajina region in 1992. Is that fair?
25 A. As concerns this specific period of time, I may not be.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: But if you aren't, what makes you doubt your ability
2 to speak to us with authority on this period? Why are you so unsure? Why
3 do you not consider yourself as best informed or well informed?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the reason is that I
5 know that throughout this period, all official appointments to positions
6 of executive power were being made by the Republic of the Serbian People
7 in Sarajevo. This is what I knew.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
9 MR. NICHOLLS:
10 Q. How do you know that? What's your basis, please, for that
11 statement? You don't know who Milorad Sajic is. You don't know what
12 orders he made. How can you tell us who made all the decisions at the
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Can he be allowed to answer the first question
15 first, and then the second one.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman is right.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This date is the 4th of May 1992
18 when most of the laws were passed in connection with the functioning of
19 the defence ministry and police ministry. And this is where the authority
20 of Krajina ceases to exist. You can see this clearly, both in the
21 constitution and in the relevant laws of the Serbian Republic of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So the time when the ARK Crisis Staff comes into
24 being? So doesn't it look strange or sound strange or seem strange to you
25 that at the same time you're saying that the ARK practically disappeared,
1 for all intents and purposes, the same time one of the creations of the
2 ARK, namely the ARK Crisis Staff, comes into being at the same time? It
3 calls for an explanation from you.
4 The ARK was a puppet --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: The ARK and its components were puppets according to
7 you. I would assume that the ZOBK before, perhaps, was also puppets at
8 the higher degree. So now we move from the ARK to the crisis staff when
9 you say that the ARK practically became unimportant. So what's happening
10 in May of 1992?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As early as in January and February,
12 it in fact began in December with the adoption of the constitution which
13 was promulgated by the Assembly of the Serbian People in Sarajevo. For
14 all practical purposes, the jurisdictions were defined there, and Krajina
15 existed only pro forma. But in the laws on defence, which had been passed
16 by that time, it was determined how the crisis staffs should be
17 established in emergency situations. And I think that it also stipulated
18 how war presidency would be established. And that is how the
19 Autonomous Region of Krajina and its crisis staff, according to the
20 constitution and the laws, was an extraneous body as far as its
21 functioning was concerned. And the communication went from the ministry
22 down to the municipalities. Krajina was just a puppet. It was there just
23 for show. You can see that when you read the constitution and the laws
24 passed by the Assembly of the Serbian People or by the Serbian Republic of
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to these laws, everything was set up.
1 Any police authority would be illegal for the crisis staff and the
2 Autonomous Region of Krajina to assume would lead to conflict of
4 That is why Krajina and its crisis staff was used more in the
5 media. It was presented to a greater extent in the media. It was quite
6 clear to me that all the communications went up to Sarajevo, and the
7 municipalities had direct communications with Sarajevo. Sarajevo
8 established the regional levels of government according to its own laws,
9 but it had nothing to do with the Autonomous Region of Krajina, and the
10 crisis staff merely approved what had already -- or rubber-stamped what
11 had already been decided elsewhere.
12 Quite a few of the decisions passed by the crisis staff of the
13 Krajina and the Autonomous Region of Krajina itself that were passed by
14 them could not be implemented at the municipality level because the filter
15 was there, and this is where the government actually functioned, at that
16 level. I remember only one of the sessions of this kind. I was invited.
17 I went there with my driver --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Session of what?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
20 It was ridiculous. There was no protocol. There were no accreditations.
21 Nobody knew who was invited. And because I did not agree with this kind
22 of work, to work without the rules of procedure, and Mr. Brdjanin probably
23 remembers that. He said, "Well, why are you bothered with that?" I know
24 that I was quite literally thrown out of the session. It was held in a
25 hall which was twice as small as this one here. I was kicked out, and my
1 driver remained there, and he laughed later on saying that he, in fact,
2 passed some of the decisions.
3 It was quite ridiculous. I refused to go there any more because I
4 couldn't do anything.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never had an opportunity to get
9 things that had been adopted by the Krajina Assembly, by the regional
10 board, at those -- by those institutions. Mr. Blagojevic, he drafted
11 these documents later. We had quite a few disagreements about that, and I
12 always strenuously protested. And that is why the validity of these
13 documents was always in question because none of these documents was ever
14 adopted at the next session. If you have a normal session of a government
15 or any other kind of a session, item 1 on the agenda is always the
16 adoption of all the written documents that were made at the previous
17 session so that you can check what is it that had been adopted.
18 I also have my doubts about the quorum, the required number of
19 people. Many of such sessions, they were not there.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't need to know now.
21 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: All right.
23 Q. So thank you for telling us. You were thrown out of the Krajina
24 Assembly as well as your local SDS presidency.
25 Let me show you P285. This is the extract of the minutes of the
1 17 July 1992 Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
2 Agenda item 4: "Verification of the decisions and conclusions
3 adopted by the crisis staff and war presidency of the Autonomous Region of
5 If you look at item 4, you'll see the following debate. All
6 decisions and conclusions adopted by the crisis staff and war presidency
7 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina were verified by a vote of 98 to 1.
8 A. Yes, I see that. But -- well, I wasn't present there in this
10 Q. Look who was present. Momir Talic, Milan Martic,
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina Minister of Defence Subotic, Bogdan Subotic, that is.
12 Mr. Ostojic, members of the Republic government, members of the ARK,
13 Krajina government. High-level military and political leaders taking part
14 in this decision to verify all the decisions and conclusions of the ARK
15 Crisis Staff. That's what this is --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: This is dated when?
17 MR. NICHOLLS: 17th of July 1992, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: The other document which you showed the witness
19 earlier which decision number 1 is to incorporate the status of the ARK,
20 of the region, that is dated when?
21 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll have to find that.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it was 80 --
23 MR. NICHOLLS: 21st of November 1991, Your Honours.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have this document here.
25 MR. NICHOLLS:
1 Q. That's not the one we're talking about. Do you have --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Just look at this document. I wanted to tie up the
3 dates in order to understand better.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. Now, do you remember my question?
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters could not hear the witness.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vidic, you said something which the interpreters
8 couldn't catch. I heard you, but it didn't reach the interpreters' booth.
9 Could you repeat what you said to Mr. Nicholls, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not understand the question.
11 Could you please repeat it, Mr. Prosecutor.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 MR. NICHOLLS:
14 Q. Did this ARK Assembly session attended by the top political and
15 military leadership, attended by representatives at the ARK level, the
16 Republic level, all the decisions and conclusions of the ARK Crisis Staff
17 are verified by a vote of 98 to 1, that's a pretty strong endorsement.
18 Wouldn't you agree with me?
19 A. Yes, that's what it says here. But --
20 Q. Are these --
21 A. -- But I --
22 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... decision for the media?
23 A. But I have my doubts about the number of 99 councilmen.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't worry about it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have my doubts about that.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't worry about it. For the moment, that's what
2 we have anyway.
3 MR. NICHOLLS:
4 Q. Well --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Unless the witness has got first-hand information to
6 contest what is contained in that declaration. But he wasn't there in any
8 So Mr. Nicholls, I suggest you move to something different.
9 MR. NICHOLLS:
10 Q. Let me show you P182. Pretty early ARK Crisis Staff decision, 9th
11 of May 1992. The decision number 1 says that "all decisions and
12 conclusions of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina are
13 binding for all the municipalities." And we know that this decision was
14 verified by those top leaders on the 17th of July 1992. Correct?
15 A. I'm not sure, or perhaps this was illegal at the time. This was
16 an illegal act, according to the laws and the way that they stipulated how
17 government should be exercised.
18 Q. I think what you're starting to tell us is that in your view, the
19 entire Serb Republic government structure, all the way up from the top,
20 the presidency down, was illegal in your view in light of the
21 constitution. Is that what you're saying?
22 A. No, no. That's not what I wanted to say. I wanted to say that
23 this decision, first of all, is in violation of the statute of the
24 Autonomous Region of Krajina; and secondly, which is even more serious, it
25 is in violation of the constitution of the Serbian people of Serbian
1 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its appropriate laws which concern
2 jurisdiction, which were passed long time ago before the 9th of May.
3 Q. You may say it's illegal, but it was verified by the Autonomous
4 Region of Krajina.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I don't think there's any
6 factual basis for that. There's no list of what the decisions were that
7 they verified on the 17th. We have no idea what decisions were presented
8 to them on the 17th of July that they verified.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: It states that they verified them all.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Who knows what "all" is? Boro Blagojevic could
11 have put his own package in there.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: All is all. When you say all decisions, it means
13 all decisions, Mr. Ackerman.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: In any case, Mr. Nicholls --
15 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll move on.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: The thing is this, the witness is getting involved
17 in legal pronunciations some of which are very delicate constitution
18 nature which I am sure will be addressed at a higher level and not at this
20 MR. NICHOLLS: That's why I asked about his legal background,
21 Your Honour.
22 May I have P202, please.
23 Q. Now, first of all, before we get to this, you will agree with me
24 that the Muslim population, the Bosniak population, of Prnjavor was
25 disarmed during the summer of 1992? They were told to surrender their
1 weapons, right, to the police?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What you're looking at is a 20th of May 1992 Banja Luka Security
4 Services Centre document --
5 MS. KORNER: He has got something else. Look at what's on the
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner is correct.
8 MS. KORNER: He has been given the wrong document.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: It should be P202.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, it says here -- yes.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: You've got the wrong one, I think. I can give you
12 my copy.
13 Q. Sir, I don't want to spend a lot of time on this because the Court
14 has seen this document before. This has gone out to all chiefs, all
15 departments, all police departments in the region, in the autonomous
16 region, other than Jajce. It's signed or it's from Stojan Zupljanin.
17 Read 23 -- paragraphs 23 -- just paragraph 23 to yourself, and the
18 following paragraph which is not numbered.
19 A. I apologise. I have only three paragraphs here, so I don't
20 understand what you're referring to.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Usher, please. Show him this paragraph here.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I wasn't given
23 paragraph 23.
24 MR. NICHOLLS:
25 Q. I'll read it out. "In all our activities we are obliged to
1 observe all measures and apply all procedures ordered by the crisis staff
2 of the autonomous region. With regard to disarmament, when the deadline
3 for surrender expires on 11 May 1992, we should take no action until the
4 crisis staff makes the relevant decisions. It is very important that we
5 solve this problem comprehensively insisting on the disarmament of
6 extremist groups."
7 This is Stojan Zupljanin, head of the centre, making it clear to
8 every policeman in the ARK region that they are to obey -- "observe all
9 measures and apply all procedures ordered by the Crisis Staff of the
10 autonomous region." Correct?
11 A. I think that Mr. Stojan Zupljanin was merely hiding behind the
12 decisions taken by the Crisis Staff of the ARK. And he had
13 jurisdiction -- or in fact, he was obliged to work in accordance with the
14 laws and not in accordance with the political decisions in his police
16 Q. He is making an order based on ARK decisions saying ARK decisions
17 must be observed. Correct? It's an order. He's not hiding behind
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, I'm not going to go through a long chain of documents that
21 this Chamber has seen before, but will you agree with me that after May
22 11th, after the 14th of May deadline expired, that the police all
23 throughout the ARK with the military began disarming Bosniaks and Croats?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 I'd like to now have you take a look at P2608. I can give him my
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Here, here, here, here. I don't need this. That's
4 the English text? And this is the one in his own language. Because I see
5 that they are of equal...
6 MR. NICHOLLS:
7 Q. Have you ever seen this document before?
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. NICHOLLS:
10 Q. Have you ever seen this document before, the Official Gazette from
11 your municipality?
12 A. No. No, really, I haven't. I really haven't seen it.
13 Q. Well, that sort of explains a few things, I think.
14 If you look at item number 38, conclusion 38, okay? Go to there,
16 JUDGE AGIUS: It's the first page -- it's the first page.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: It's actually only the first page in English, Your
18 Honour, because the entire gazette has not been translated. It's page 7
19 in your B/C/S version, sir.
20 Q. Go to page 7, it has a number on the top that says 02949295.
21 Number 38. Have you found that?
22 A. Okay.
23 Q. That's a decision on the temporary confiscation of hunting weapons
24 dated the 15th of May by the president of the crisis staff, Nemanja Vasic.
25 Do you see that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. "This decision is being taken pursuant to item 5 of the decision
3 of the Government of the Autonomous Region of Krajina number 01-1/92 dated
4 the 4th of May 1992." Isn't it?
5 A. Yes. Yes, but they passed the decisions they wanted to. Not all.
6 The municipality implemented only those decisions that it liked. Not all
7 of them.
8 Q. Have you done a survey of every municipality and every decision?
9 Because before you were telling us you were telling us you weren't the
10 best-informed person in the Krajina?
11 A. I'm sorry. I have to apologise to the Prosecution. I did not.
12 Q. And you did not know that this decision was, in fact, implemented,
13 did you, before now?
14 A. I did know that this was implemented.
15 Q. This was one they did want to implement, disarming people.
16 Go to number 42, please. I'm sorry. That's an interesting one
17 about the expulsion of refugees. But because of the timing, let's go to
18 number 43, the next one. This states: "At its 14th session held on the
19 23rd of June 1992 and on the basis of the conclusions of the Crisis Staff
20 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina of 10 June 1992, the Crisis Staff of
21 Prnjavor Municipality adopted the following decision on residence searches
22 and confiscation of property."
23 Again, relying on the ARK Crisis Staff, their authority, to
24 implement this conclusion, correct, this decision?
25 A. I see that this is correct, but that was after I left, and I did
1 not know about all these drastic things they had.
2 Q. Let's go to number 44, the very next one.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, we need to have a break. How much
4 longer do you need to conclude?
5 MR. NICHOLLS: I think I'm going to fill up the session, Your
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I must have some time for
8 redirect. He can't take all the time.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: This is what I'm asking.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: How much time does he need for redirect?
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I think probably half an hour.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Does the Chamber have questions?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: At least I can forget my questions.
14 Can I ask the cooperation of the interpreters and everyone to have
15 just a 15-minute break? No, I can't. Mr. Ackerman will have all the time
16 he needs for his redirect. If the cross-examination has lasted so long, I
18 I need a feedback, because I can't see.
19 Okay, so we'll have a 15-minute break now, and then I will direct
20 both of you accordingly to make sure that we finish with the witness
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, see which questions you really need
24 to ask before you bring your cross to an end, Mr. Nicholls.
25 --- Recess taken at 5.48 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Can I know what my deadline is, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman needs half an hour.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the president, please.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: I think probably about half an hour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Half an hour.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Could be a little less, a little more. It's hard
8 to tell at this point.
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Can I have until 6.30, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no. Of course not. You need to conclude in
11 15 minutes.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: Fifteen minutes, okay.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think this chapter on the implementation by the
14 Prnjavor... I think you can skip it. Because it's documented anyway.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: There are some more, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: He isn't going to enlighten us much more anyway.
17 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll abandon that.
18 Q. You said yesterday speaking with Mr. Ackerman, that the time you
19 stopped -- I'll read exactly what you said.
20 Q. When did you officially end your membership in the
22 This is on page 16.
23 A. There were some periods in which I was strongly
24 opposed or when my views were very different from their views. It was in
25 February 1991, and then in December, January, or February 1992. And in
1 February or March of 1992, I did not attend the sessions of the main board
2 at all, and also the sessions of the assembly until the fall of 1992.
3 Is that right? So did you attend any assembly sessions in March
4 1992? That's my question.
5 A. No. No. Excuse me, if I may, Mr. Prosecutor, I said no too
6 quickly. I think I misunderstood.
7 Which assembly are you referring to?
8 Q. I meant all assembly, but instead of that, let's just go to the
9 Assembly of the Serbian People on the 11th session in March of 1992. You
10 were there. You spoke at length. This is P2474.
11 Now, I don't know if I have enough time to go through every word
12 of this, so I've highlighted some points for you to look at. You speak,
13 and I'd like you to go to the third section. Well, because of the timing,
14 let's go to number 4. Do you see where further on I've written the number
15 4 next to a highlighted section? It states: "The only road we can take
16 is to make a confederation out of the BH to reach no agreements, to keep
17 on buying time and negotiations, and to achieve something at the Belgrade
19 "If that does not happen, there will be no war, true. There will
20 be peace. The Serbs will lose everything. The worst possible scenario.
21 I am much more afraid of peace than of war."
22 That was your contribution to whether the problems should be
23 solved by agreement or by violence. There's nothing in there about
24 establishing a happy, pluralistic, multicultural society, is there?
25 A. Yes. I couldn't say what I really wanted to say within the
1 framework of every single item on the agenda.
2 Q. So you concentrated on the important points which was that you
3 were in favour of war. I understand that.
4 Look down at where I've highlighted number 6.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Was that last part a question? Starting with "so
6 you concentrated"? And if so, does he get to answer it?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: I'll withdraw it.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Question withdrawn.
10 MR. NICHOLLS:
11 Q. Go to number 6, sir. "The status quo on the ground" - and I'm on
12 page 39 of the English - "has to be taken in Banja Luka and in Serbian
13 towns. And the question is how? We can do it by following certain rules,
14 but not through chaos. That is why I propose that the local Krajina
15 Assemblies should act as more extreme elements."
16 Now, that kind of contradicts what you have been saying, doesn't
18 MR. NICHOLLS: If you give it to me, I can find the spot.
19 Q. You're suggesting that the Krajina Assemblies, the Krajina
20 Assemblies have an even more active role on the ground, in taking the
21 ground. Correct?
22 A. This expression here, "more extreme," it is not what it appears to
23 mean. My aim was for the association of municipalities to go officially
24 into the assembly where the representatives of all the ethnic groups from
25 a given area would take part, not only Serbs. Let me just check the
1 context of this, please.
2 Q. You can put this in context, too, that after your advocacy, that
3 the Krajina assemblies should act as more extreme elements. "There are
4 undoubtedly many concrete actions, concrete actions that can be taken. We
5 also have methods for financing this, and all it takes."
6 A. Listen, more extreme in terms of the way the authorities were
7 functioning because in this shape, they had no power whatsoever. My idea
8 was for this to evolve as some kind of autonomy, to go in that direction.
9 This is no secret. But a multiethnic autonomy which would have the power
10 of negotiating with the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the aim was
11 to develop its own diplomacy. But the aim was to have a war, the grey
12 eminences inside the government had paved the way for this. It was
13 obvious. There were invisible, hidden centres of power who governed the
14 entire thing. This expression "more extreme" did not mean that it had to
15 be a Serb-only government. I know what the colour of my personal politics
16 was at the time. I'm not saying that I felt no fear back then concerning
17 the risk to my own life, the hostile environment that I lived in, the
18 frustration that was felt among the people. Everyone felt this. The
19 question was how to survive, how to protect yourself in those times. I
20 felt this fear, too.
21 Q. I think you've explained that. Just last question on this
22 document. Go to where I have highlighted number 1. It's right after you
23 begin speaking. You start off by saying: "I would like to salute you
24 all..." And then you say for the first time that you would not be pleased
25 at least with any agreement, and you continue to state: "Why would I not
1 be pleased if any agreement would be made in the BH? Not because I'm a
2 hawk or because I want war. I'm trying to point out there are other Serbs
3 in other places with whom we have to work to arrange things jointly. The
4 problem with the remainder of this country is a problem with Serbs," and I
5 think you mean just of the Serbs of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
6 You kind of failed to mention there the problems facing non-Serbs
7 again, don't you?
8 A. Yes. I did fail to mention that at the time because this was a
9 different subject.
10 Q. All right.
11 Now, the last part I want to cover with you very briefly, you
12 stated yesterday to me that you were never involved in weapons smuggling.
13 You maintain that. Correct?
14 A. Yes. Smuggling, no, never.
15 Q. During the wartime, at any time during the war, were you involved
16 in any unlawful activity which could be considered profiteering from the
17 wartime conditions?
18 A. No. But I was on a number of different occasions accused. I was
19 being accused beyond belief whenever I failed to consent to agree with
20 everything that was being done within the SDS. I was facing difficulty
21 throughout the whole period of time, and then some of the accusations were
22 made public, that I was involved in the obtaining of weapons, that I was
23 working with the SDO, that everyone knew I had contacts in Belgrade, that
24 I was a personal acquaintance of Mr. Dzindzic, or Mr. Peric who was a
25 member of his board who is a friend of mine from my university days.
1 Everyone knew that I had attended meetings of that party in Belgrade.
2 However, there were certain circles who did not exactly like this and
3 described me as SPO.
4 Q. Okay, I understand you're saying you were attacked because you
5 weren't in line with the SDS by some people. My question is was one of
6 the accusations placed against you that you were involved in actually
7 running illegal, organised telephone communication with the people in the
8 Republic of Croatia in 1994?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Let me show you P0032946. This is an RS Ministry of the Interior
11 state security department centre, Banja Luka, strictly confidential
12 information on illegal organised telephone communication in the Republic
13 of Croatia, 16 November 1994.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, my only concern is relevance. He has
16 already indicated that yes he had been -- that there was an accusation
17 made against him in that regard. What's the purpose? There's nothing to
18 impeach here. He agreed that he had been accused and it's 1994.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, in all fairness, I think I should let him
20 read this document quickly. This is an act of dishonesty. He has only
21 said that he was accused. I haven't asked him whether or not in this
22 case -- whether in this case he did it, whether he's guilty of this crime
23 against state security for profit.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: It goes directly to his credibility.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: In addition, Mr. Nicholls is 5 minutes past the
2 time you allowed him.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I'm pushing Mr. Nicholls to conclude it
4 here, but the witness must answer this question.
5 You've read the accusation that is directed against you in that
6 document. Yes, your question now, Mr. Nicholls.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't know if we need a warning.
8 Q. Are you guilty of that offence? I don't know if that case is
9 still open or pending against you. Were you diverting calls for profit to
10 Croatia in violation of state security laws? And I've got one more
11 document you might want to see before you answer. P0012794.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: And that will be the last one.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do wish to comment on this,
14 if you want to know.
15 MR. NICHOLLS:
16 Q. All right. But I think I should let you read this other very
17 short document. This is the next day, 17 November 1994, stating, again,
18 RS MUP, official note, stating that you appeared. You were at that time a
19 deputy of the RS Assembly. And you came to the CRDB in Banja Luka and you
20 wanted to talk to the officials there, the officers, about the issue and
21 that you may have been imprudent when you joined the mobile phone business
22 and asked what could be done.
23 The only question I want you to answer is if it's true you were
24 involved in an unlawful activity for profit as stated in this first
25 document I showed you.
1 A. I did do that, but that was no profit. There was an agreement
2 between myself and other people in Croatia to set up a link and to make it
3 possible for those people to speak to their families whom they hadn't
4 heard of or from in years. This was not about mobile phones; this was
5 about telephones.
6 Q. So this was a crime committed out of charity, not because you were
7 charging 6 DM a minute, as it states in the document?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: It wasn't charging actually. They were being
9 charged 6 and were getting 4. That's the allegation.
10 MR. NICHOLLS: That's right. I'm sorry.
11 Q. You committed this crime out of the goodness of your heart, not
12 because you were getting 4 DM a minute.
13 A. Please allow me to tell you this: Mobile telephones and related
14 expenditures at the time, I'm not sure how much a mobile phone in Croatia
15 would have been charged, and the local telephone lines and so on and so
16 forth. This entire service, it was merely about covering the expenses,
17 and no one at all was obliged to pay. It was said at the beginning 4
18 Deutschemark. Whoever could pay simply paid up. But not too many people
19 could actually afford to pay. But as soon as we started doing this, the
20 police cracked down.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we close here, Mr. Nicholls.
22 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, I think the document speaks for itself.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, I need to just tender these as 2711 will be
25 P00 --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I need to mark them. The first
2 one which is dated 21st November.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, 16 November.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: 16th November, yes.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Is 2711.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: 2711. Yes.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: And the second one, 17 November is 2712.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: 2712. Are you tendering the one dated 21st
10 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour. That would be 2713.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
12 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You have all the time you require.
15 Re-examined by Mr. Ackerman:
16 Q. Mr. Vidic, in your testimony yesterday at page 82 of the LiveNote,
17 you were responding to one of Mr. Nicholls' questions, and you said this:
18 "Brdjanin had a run-in with Mladjenovic regarding Milankovic." Do you
19 remember that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What -- tell the Chamber what you know about Brdjanin's run-in
22 with Mladjenovic regarding Milankovic. What was that about?
23 A. Mr. Mladjenovic was a journalist, and he was a boastful person.
24 He took photographs of himself. He made comments in the papers. He would
25 bring Milankovic to Krajina, and everyone was sick of them coming there.
1 There was a great deal of tension and disorder at the time. I know that
2 Mr. Brdjanin complained, and as Mr. Brdjanin complained there was
3 disagreement between Mr. Brdjanin and Miro Mladjenovic. I know that
4 Mr. Brdjanin reacted vehemently, as he usually does, with a great deal of
5 energy. He wanted those people to stop loitering about, to stop
6 compromising Krajina's image and so on and so forth.
7 Q. When you say "he wanted those people to stop loitering about" are
8 you referring to Milankovic and his people?
9 A. Yes. Mostly I was referring to Milankovic and his people.
10 Q. And what was the dispute between Brdjanin and Mladjenovic as
11 regards Milankovic? Why did Mladjenovic and Brdjanin have a dispute about
13 A. To the extent that I understood this, Mr. Brdjanin refused to have
14 an informal unit doing something, or rather in Krajina, in Croatia, moving
15 about, throughout the area to start loitering about the assembly, to be in
16 the way. I know there was disagreement over this.
17 Secondly, I know that Mr. Boro Sendic, who is also in favour of
18 Milankovic's people in that group, they were seen together and at the same
19 time they were trying to hang about Krajina. This was impermissible. I
20 shared this view. But Mr. Brdjanin was very much of the view that those
21 two did not belong together. We were merely a municipality at that point.
22 We had no jurisdiction over everything -- over anything. No power. We
23 just had meetings that meant nothing at the time because there were no
24 instruments for us to use. There were attempts to set up an association
25 within the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a legal association.
1 At the very outset there were earnest attempts made to this effect.
2 Despite the extremism manifested by certain individuals, this was only
3 about the association.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm leaving him in your hands, Mr. Ackerman.
5 Whenever you want to stop him, stop.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. This issue that Brdjanin had with Mladjenovic as regards
8 Milankovic, do you have any memory of which side of that issue
9 Vojo Kupresanin was on? Was he supporting Mladjenovic or was he
10 supporting Brdjanin, or do you remember?
11 A. I believe he was supporting Brdjanin. Brdjanin, yes. Yeah, I
12 think so.
13 Q. I'd now like you to - it's in your book - look at the document
14 P0095. This is that meeting of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of
15 Krajina on 14 December 1991. If you look at the first paragraph, you'll
16 see that that meeting started at 10.00 in the morning.
17 I'm sorry, you haven't found it yet. P95. This is an extract
18 from the minutes. This is not the full minutes, it's just an extract.
19 You'll notice that the meeting started at 10.00 in the morning. And then
20 if you look at the very last page, it's only a three-page extract, I
21 believe, if you look at the very last page, you'll see that the session
22 ended at 7.00 that night. In other words, it lasted for nine hours, did
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And Mr. Nicholls, in his questions of you, said there was no
1 discussion of any economic items during that meeting, was there? Can you
2 be sure that in that nine-hour meeting, that you never discussed economic
3 items, like under item 4 "other business" perhaps?
4 A. I can't be sure. It was a long time ago. I can't remember. If
5 it took such a long time, probably there was something else being
7 Q. All right. Let me have you look now at -- it's in your book.
8 It's Exhibit P35. Mr. Nicholls talked about it as P118, but they're the
9 same document. And this is the 29 February 1992 meeting. And that's the
10 meeting that was attended by Karadzic, and you were asked about, under
11 conclusions, paragraph 3, which read "establish immediately strict control
12 of the territory of the Autonomous Region of Krajina." At the end of
13 February 1992, what was going on in the Krajina that would have caused
14 this group to want to exercise some control over the territory? Was there
15 some out-of-control activity going on?
16 A. Yes. There was widespread feeling that there was no control.
17 There were three ethnic groups and three groups within those three ethnic
18 groups. The Green Berets had been set up in the Muslim towns and cities,
19 in the Croatian ones, the Croatian Defence council. They had already
20 mobilised people and set up informal military forces. It was in the same
21 period that they had disarmed the legal police forces in Bosanski Brod.
22 There were grey centres of power at the time. Those were party armies.
23 There was a risk of chaos where, for example, the majority population of
24 one of the ethnic groups would get itself armed and start conflicts. The
25 whole thing could have easily got out of control and consequences would
1 have been unforeseeable. There were attempts to do something about it.
2 There were different activities that were underway. I know that there was
3 a good number of municipalities that wanted peace and this desire for
4 peace would override everything else.
5 People wanted safety. Everyone was happy when an armed group was
6 disarmed. And immediately, there was order back in place. There was
7 pressure from the public to bring back peace and order. You couldn't go
8 anywhere any longer. There were roadblocks manned by armed people who
9 were not particularly good at handling weapons. There was a danger that
10 they would kill you just out of fear by a knee-jerk reaction. So yes,
11 there had to be some form of authority. What sort of authority, that was
12 the question.
13 Q. Was this related in any way to the initiative to disarm the
14 various paramilitaries like Milankovic's group and other similar groups?
15 Was this paragraph related in any way to that?
16 A. This date here, 1992, I'm not quite sure whether this refers to
17 that particular thing. I can't really answer you. I believe that this
18 decision was just a formal decision to make certain things possible. I
19 can't really say.
20 Q. All right. Let me take you to another issue.
21 You spoke very briefly about a session of the Autonomous Region of
22 Krajina that you attended in the company of your driver. Was your driver
23 a deputy in the ARK Assembly?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Was he sitting in the meeting with you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you told the Chamber that you got thrown out of the meeting
3 because you wouldn't go along with something and that your driver remained
4 there. And I think you said your driver took part in a decision or
5 something. Can you explain that in a little more detail.
6 A. I was invited. I don't know exactly what date it was, which
7 session it was. I was invited to many such sessions, but I didn't go. I
8 decided to go for once. Mr. Njezic - I didn't want to go alone because
9 it was wartime - he was my driver. We went there. It was held in a small
10 hall of the Banja Luka Municipality building. There were so few people
11 there. The person I knew was the commander of the Banja Luka Corps, the
12 late Mr. --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you want to know, Mr. Ackerman, whether it's
14 true that his driver actually reported to him that he had voted.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Just confirm that yes or no.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Did your driver actually participate in something in the assembly?
19 Did he vote or anything like that?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Did he tell you that he had voted actually? Because
21 you were not present.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I entered the hall, the session
23 began. It was chaired by Mr. Brdjanin --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, please, answer the question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You already told us the story when you were being
2 asked questions by Mr. Nicholls. Mr. Ackerman only wants to know whether
3 it's true that your driver later on, when he came out of the assembly
4 after you had been chucked out, told you: "this is all a farce. I even
5 took part in the voting."
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: That's it.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He would tell me that story for
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right. That's all we needed to know.
11 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. Did that cause you to have any kind of an impression about that
14 body, cause you to arrive at any conclusions about that body, that
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. And what was that? What did you conclude from that incident?
18 A. That it did not have any real jurisdiction, that it was there just
19 pro forma, and that it served a certain purpose, that this was not a
20 serious institution, and that this was done on purpose.
21 Q. So Boro had reported the vote was 24 to 1 in favour of something.
22 One of those votes probably would have been your driver. Right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I want you to look now at another document, P227. And it's not in
25 that book. Yes.
1 You should be looking at the Official Gazette of the Autonomous
2 Region of Krajina. Is that only in English?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We certainly have it in B/C/S somewhere,
4 Mr. Ackerman.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: We certainly do. I can put it on the screen if the
6 technicians are up to doing that rather quickly. I don't know that they
8 Yes. We've got it on the screen now, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I just have to switch to the right one.
11 Q. You'll see there now in your language on the screen, it's decision
12 number 1 in the Official Gazette. And this is -- I'm just going
13 to -- because of the time, I'm going to tell you what this is. This is
14 the order of Milorad Sajic that Mr. Nicholls was showing you within that
15 document from the police where Milorad Sajic is ordering mobilisation
16 within the Autonomous Region of Krajina. And what I'm interested in
17 having you look at is the first paragraph right at the top. Do you see
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Ackerman, because you may have it on
20 your screen but we don't have it on your screen, and I want to make sure
21 that the witness has it on his screen.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I had it for a minute. What happened to it?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: It is on the screen now.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: There.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 MR. ACKERMAN:
2 Q. That's the language I'm interested in right there.
3 Now, my only question about that is does that indicate to you on
4 what authority that mobilisation issue was being promulgated? Was it on
5 the authority of the ARK -- Autonomous Region of Krajina or was it on the
6 authority of the Minister of Defence?
7 A. Pursuant to the Ministry of National Defence.
8 Q. All right. Mr. Vidic, I thank you very much for your time and
9 being here with us.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: That's all the questions I have of you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
12 Mr. Vidic, we've come to an end, to the conclusion of your
13 testimony. And before you are escorted out of this courtroom by
14 Madam Usher, on my own behalf, on behalf of Judge Janu and Judge Taya, on
15 behalf of the Tribunal in general, I should like to thank you for having
16 coming over to give testimony. You will be given all the assistance you
17 require to enable you to return to your home as early as possible. Madam
18 Usher will now escort you, and our last words to you we wish you a safe
19 journey back home
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, for your
21 patience and for having listened to me.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we wind up for the day, I think it is my duty
23 as Presiding Judge in this trial to officially thank the interpreters, the
24 technicians, the rest of the staff, and the counsel for Defence and
25 Prosecution for your cooperation without which this witness would still be
1 with us tomorrow. I really appreciate that, and particularly --
2 particularly we appreciate the cooperation of the interpreters, as I said,
3 and of the technical staff.
4 Yes, Ms. Korner.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, simply to say I'd ask for 15 minutes
6 tomorrow morning before the next witness to deal with the matter arising
7 from Rule 98.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, well, but I don't think it's...
9 MS. KORNER: No, no, no. Absolutely not, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Thank you, everyone. And we'll
11 meet again tomorrow in this courtroom at 9.00. Please be informed, I am
12 doing my best to try to shift to other courtrooms as much as I can.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.45 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 3rd day of
15 December, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.