1 Monday, 19 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we start, Mr. Ackerman, you don't mind
6 Ms. Anneka behind?
7 MR. ACKERMAN: No, not at all.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So could you call the case, please,
9 Madam Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case Number
11 IT-99-36-T, The Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can you follow the proceedings
14 in a language that you can understand?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
16 can follow. Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Appearances, Prosecution.
18 MS. KORNER: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner,
19 Julian Nicholls, Ann Sutherland, assisted by Denise Gustin, case manager
20 on behalf of the Prosecution.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you all.
22 Again, the same question, you don't mind that you have a member of
23 my staff behind you?
24 MS. KORNER: We don't, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I just wanted to make sure of that.
1 Appearances for the Defence.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman.
3 I'm here with David Cunningham and Aleksandar Vujic.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman. Welcome back. I hope you
5 have had some spare time, too, in which you could relax following the good
6 work and the amount of work that you put in preparing the briefs for which
7 I thank you on behalf of myself and Judge Janu and Judge Taya. We have
8 gone through them, of course. We are also aware of the Defence motion to
9 strike the Prosecution final brief. Yes, I recognise Ms. Korner.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I should add it was filed
11 confidentially, I assume, because it refers to various confidential
12 aspects of this case.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I say, I find myself in a slightly
15 extraordinary position this morning, for two reasons: First of all, in
16 the middle of my closing address, if Your Honours are going to say I
17 should start this morning, there may well be a dramatic change in the law
18 given that the judgement in the case of Krstic is going to be given, I
19 understand at 11.00 this morning.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: This morning.
21 MS. KORNER: So that's the first aspect.
22 The second aspect is that Your Honours have received, as
23 Your Honour has just mentioned, a document that calls itself a motion
24 which, if granted, would mean that our brief is null and void, and
25 therefore the preparation for my speech, closing address, on which I have
1 obviously relied heavily on what has already been said may be completely
2 misguided and wrong. Your Honour, that is the unfortunate situation that
3 has arisen since quarter to 6.00 last Friday when we received that
5 Your Honour, we have with some reluctance in the light of its
6 content have crafted a written reply to it --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We haven't seen that.
8 MS. KORNER: We will file that today. However, as I say,
9 Your Honour, it is a slightly odd situation because if Your Honours were
10 minded to accede to this application, then my closing address would be
11 probably completely different, and certainly a lot longer and a lot
12 fuller. I don't know if there's anything that Your Honours want to say
13 about that at this stage.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll hear what Mr. Ackerman has to say first, and
15 then we'll tell you what our idea is. Yes, Mr. Ackerman. Thank you,
16 Ms. Korner.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think we said fairly clearly in our
18 written motion to strike the Prosecution's brief what it is we needed to
19 say to Your Honours about it. I do want you to know that it was not filed
20 lightly. It was something that received a great deal of consideration and
21 a great deal of thought before deciding to file that motion because it is
22 an unusual motion to file in a situation such as this.
23 But we finally made the decision to do it, Your Honour, for this
24 reason: This is not a justice of the peace court in some small town in
25 Arizona. This is the International Criminal Tribunal. This is an
1 international court that is trying to set itself up as a model for other
2 courts around this world. And for the Prosecution to file a brief such as
3 the one that was filed in this case, in my mind, is an insult to this
4 Tribunal and a total disgrace. That's why we took the position that we
5 took. It is absolutely riddled with factual errors. 11 people worked on
6 that brief, Your Honour. We had three. That points up, among other
7 things, the total disregard of equality of arms in this Tribunal. But
8 they had 11 people working on it. They had plenty of time to check the
9 footnotes, to see if they were accurate. And we pointed out some of the
10 inaccuracies. I don't think we caught them all. We showed you some of
11 them, and some of them are egregious to an extreme, and I can't imagine
12 that they were mistakes. And that's why we filed the motion, and that's
13 why we believe it should be taken seriously. And beyond that, what I have
14 said in the motion is what we need to say.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You are both aware that we do not take anything that
16 you say orally or in writing for granted, and that if there are footnotes,
17 we do check each and every one before we actually take stock of what the
18 submission really amounts to.
19 Yes, Ms. Korner.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's absolutely right, and that's, in
21 effect, one of the matters that we will be raising in our written reply.
22 Your Honour, I didn't want to dignify this motion with any oral response.
23 I raised it because, as I say, the situation that now arises, that's the
24 real problem in this case.
25 Your Honour, we utterly, utterly refute any suggestion that the
1 errors which occurred in the footnoting were done deliberately.
2 Your Honour will have seen in the brief that we have actually in an
3 attempt to assist as much as possible and to a far greater extent than
4 that in the Defence brief, we have cited 1.702 footnotes, and wherever
5 possible, we've actually given the page numbers, for the very reason that
6 although we try to do our best to make sure that all citations are
7 accurate, we know that errors can occur and we accept errors did occur.
8 But they're there so that any assertions of fact made can be checked to
9 see whether they are based in fact. And it is absolutely typical of the
10 whole of the conduct of the Defence throughout this case that instead of
11 simply accepting that errors can occur, it is immediately turned into an
12 allegation of misconduct by the Prosecution. And it is a depressing
13 thought that on the very last couple of days, that that pretense, because
14 that's all it is, should be continued.
15 Your Honours, as I say, the only difficulty is, and I leave it in
16 Your Honours' hands as to how it should be dealt with, I'm put in a
17 position where were Your Honours to accede to the motion, and I very much
18 hope that Your Honours will treat it with the contempt that we say it
19 deserves, my final address would be very different. And that's the real
20 problem in this case.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, -- yes, Mr. Ackerman, do you want to respond
22 to that before we proceed?
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, only to say this: Just as an
24 example, to repeat in this brief that Tadeusz Mazowiecki visited Manjaca
25 in the company of members of the ARK crisis staff has to be intentional.
1 I mean, you were involved in the cross-examination or in the examination
2 of the witness when that was exposed as completely untrue, yet it winds up
3 back in their brief. That can't happen with 11 people checking it, unless
4 it's intentional, I don't think. So that would be my response. Thank
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. The situation -- this is not the first
7 time that I have found myself faced with a similar situation. The only
8 difference in the other cases when this happened - not here, I'm not
9 referring to the Tribunal, I'm referring to my jurisdiction - was that
10 obviously there you have the luxury of time which we don't have here.
11 The situation as I see it is as follows: There are several points
12 that you raise in that motion that are undoubtedly valid, and I see
13 also -- I recognise from the Prosecution side they do recognise that some
14 mistakes have actually occurred. However, the sanction that you are
15 asking is practically the most serious sanction that one could
16 contemplate, and therefore one has to deal with the motion at that level
17 because what you're asking essentially is to declare the final brief null
18 and void for all intents and purposes of law, strike it out of the records
19 because of the mistakes that there are and references to Stakic, plus
20 other submissions that they have made.
21 At this point in time, our decision is as follows: We will be
22 going through the whole process in detail, in greater detail amongst
23 ourselves, Judge Janu, Judge Taya, and myself, but without prejudice to
24 the motion that you have filed and to any further submission that is we
25 might even call upon you to make in due course, we have decided that we
1 will proceed first with the closing arguments. That's without prejudice,
2 of course. And then we will allot -- we'll either come back to you to ask
3 you whether you want to make further submissions, in which case we'll hear
4 them, and then we will decide the motion. Or if there are no further
5 submissions on your part to be made on that motion, then obviously we will
6 decide it as we go along. In other words, it may well be that we could
7 come back with a final decision on that motion as we are proceeding with
8 the closing arguments, or we could leave it till the very end. But all
9 the closing arguments that we are going to hear are going to be heard
10 without prejudice to that motion and the decision that we might take.
11 If we come to the conclusion that your motion deserves to be
12 accepted, then obviously, I mean, we have to provide Ms. Korner,
13 Prosecution, the proper remedy, and that will be a laborious exercise, but
14 we will strike from our minds and from practically the records the closing
15 arguments that we will be proceeding with. But that stands to be seen
16 because it all depends on the decision we will be taking later on on the
18 In other words, Ms. Korner, you proceed with the closing
19 arguments, and Mr. Ackerman proceeds with the closing arguments as if the
20 motion did not exist for the time being. Then obviously, if we decide in
21 favour of Mr. Ackerman's motion, then obviously we are going to give you
22 the remedy because, of course, as you said, you will be basing your
23 closing arguments basically on what you have in the final brief. But
24 again, there is another matter because the final brief does not consist
25 entirely and exclusively of the mistakes that... So let's put it like
1 this. There are a lot of arguments that need to be addressed when it
2 comes to your motion, and we will address them in due course. But this is
3 the first time we are meeting today after you filed the motion. We have
4 not had time to go into any depth in it. We have, of course, read it. We
5 will wait for the Prosecution's response, and we will take it up from
6 there. But if you need time to make submissions on the time and on the
7 response, obviously we will give you all the opportunities. But first, we
8 proceed with the closing arguments even though legally speaking and
9 logically, we should have started with the motion. But forget it, because
10 we don't have the luxury of doing that first without wasting the precious
11 time that we have allocated for this case this week.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the only suggestion I was going to make
14 is that originally these arguments were scheduled to start on the Tuesday.
15 If they started on the Tuesday instead of today, that would give
16 Your Honours today because we can file our response within the next hour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You can file your response within the next hour just
18 the same. I mean, I suppose someone is -- it's not being drafted now. I
19 suppose --
20 MS. KORNER: It needs some corrections. Your Honour, I should
21 point out I'm not going to go into the detail because I think this sort of
22 low level tit-for-tat argument -- Your Honour, we can make the same points
23 about the Defence brief, and we have done a couple of examples.
24 Your Honour, we don't suggest that they did this deliberately.
25 Your Honour, in that case, if Your Honours are of the view that
1 the speeches should go ahead today --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's what I believe we should do. Again, I
3 mean, it's -- everything is open. But I suggest we don't waste a day,
4 even if using the word "waste" -- "waste" is maybe not the correct way of
5 describing it. I think we should still proceed and not lose time.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, there's one other matter before I can
7 give my closing address, and that relates to what will be part of my
8 closing address. Your Honour will recall that reasonably early on in this
9 case, the allegation was made and as we suggested throughout the case,
10 without any basis in any factual matters or any possible instructions that
11 come about this, that any documents which formed part of the Prosecution's
12 exhibits which had been provided by the agency then known as AID, now
13 known as FOS, were forged, that no reliance could be placed on them
14 altogether. Your Honour, that is now an argument that reappears in the
15 Defence final brief, but the argument is still maintained that
16 documents -- sorry, Your Honour, I'm just going to get the Defence final
17 brief. That Your Honours should disregard -- yes, "Documents for which
18 there is no evidence of authorship or authenticity are unreliable, and no
19 weight should be attached to them." Your Honour, that's at page 2 of the
20 Defence final brief.
21 Your Honour, we attempted to do an exercise which -- to deal with
22 that very point, and we decided to concentrate on the documents received
23 from AID because although there's no specific mention of that in the final
24 brief, nonetheless it's there. Your Honours have heard the countless
25 times that this was brought up and the discussions there were. To go
1 through the AID exhibits and identify where there was evidence from
2 witness testimony which in some way corroborated or authenticated those
3 documents, we couldn't obviously do the same exercise with every single,
4 as it were, document where you can't see a stamp or a signature.
5 Your Honour, I would be perfectly entitled to read through every
6 single document identifying the pages and the witnesses who in some way,
7 we would suggest, corroborated or authenticated a document as part of my
8 closing address. It would, however, be a very long and tedious process,
9 and it would certainly extend the length of my closing address by at least
10 two hours. And I have well in mind Your Honours admonition to me in this
11 case when I was attempting to read documents, and Mr. Ackerman's point
12 that everybody could read.
13 Your Honour, accordingly, we put it into a schedule. It runs to
14 243 pages because, and particularly in the light of the allegations that
15 are made, we actually didn't just give the cite. We actually set it out,
16 cut and paste from the transcripts the cites that we say supported the
17 authenticity of the documents. Your Honour, I sent that document to
18 Mr. Ackerman on Friday, and said that my application would be, rather than
19 reading it out to Your Honours, which I am perfectly entitled to do, I
20 would prefer to simply hand it in when I reach the appropriate point and
21 deal with it that way so that Your Honours can see it.
22 Your Honour, a reduced version of the schedule without actually
23 showing verbatim what the evidence is runs to 12 pages. Your Honour, the
24 objection, I understand it, is that this is a way to get round the page
25 limitation of the pre-trial brief. Your Honour, first of all, it wasn't
1 actually completed because the 11 people who in one form or another helped
2 out in this brief, even that wasn't sufficient to get this document ready
3 in time.
4 The second thing, I would have been, had I wanted to, had I
5 thought it was a proper document to put in with a pre-trial brief, I would
6 have been able to because the practice direction allows one to put in
7 annexes and schedules which run to -- Your Honour, I'm looking at the
8 practice direction dated the 5th of March 2002. An appendix that would be
9 a reasonably length, which is normally three times the page limit for that
10 class of motion or brief. Your Honour, the page limit we were given was
11 300 pages. We could have up to 900 pages of annexes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, you don't need to proceed on this much
13 further because the position I will explain it very clearly. This is not
14 a simple case that could be dealt with with a few pages. I'm being very
15 blunt. If you had asked, both of you or either of you, for more pages, we
16 would certainly not have found difficulty because this is a case that
17 needs examination. And it deserves...
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, as I say, there are two options. I
19 would be perfectly entitled, because it's an issue that has been raised in
20 this case and is maintained, although apparently not in respect of the AID
21 documents, that Your Honours having admitted these documents should give
22 them no reliance unless we can show corroborating evidence. Your Honour,
23 I say I could read this. I would prefer, as I've no doubt Your Honours
24 would, simply to hand in the document, which Mr. Ackerman has had the
25 opportunity to look at.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: What's your position on this, Mr. Ackerman?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, not only did you impose page limits,
3 but you also imposed time limits.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: This document was sent to me by email Friday
6 afternoon around 3.00, as I recall. 243 pages of material that I have had
7 absolutely no chance to even look at, let alone have a chance to fairly
8 respond to. I think it's extraordinarily unfair to, at the last minute,
9 produce that document when it has been clear from the pre-trial hearings
10 in this case that we were contesting any document that didn't have a
11 signature or a stamp, that didn't have some guarantees of trustworthiness
12 and authenticity, to say at the last minute, "We noticed in the brief that
13 we're still making that claim and therefore we have the right to file a
14 243-page addendum to our brief." This is not an addendum. This is
15 material that should have been in the original brief. That's where it
16 belongs. And that's what it is.
17 Now, I understand, Your Honour, that this is an extraordinarily
18 complex case, and it's a case that requires a great deal more than the
19 ordinary case. You understand that, and I understand that, and the
20 Prosecution understands that. But the Registry doesn't. The Registry
21 doesn't understand that. The Registry limited us to 30 hours each per
22 week for the time we could spend on this brief. We just recently got them
23 to add some hours, but that's after the fact. The Prosecution was able to
24 put 11 people to work on this brief. That's why they could do the full
25 300 pages plus all these annexes. We couldn't possibly do anything like
1 that. We did not have the people or the hours to do any work -- to give
2 this any justice at all. We could have easily filed a 300 page brief if
3 we'd had time. We wrote the best brief we could, the two of us working
4 unbelievable hours to get it done with the same time the Registry telling
5 us they would only pay us for 30 hours a week because this wasn't a
6 complex matter, this wasn't something that was unforeseen, and this wasn't
7 something that required this much effort. So that's the situation we
8 found ourselves in. We are now in a huge disadvantage to the Office of
9 the Prosecutor because they can do things like this 243-page document they
10 want to hand you today. They do have the staff to do those kinds of
11 things. Now, how can there possibly be a fair trial when one side has so
12 much greater resources to devote to the matter than the other side does.
13 If we had the kind of resources the Prosecutor has, and they were limited
14 like we were, they would be complaining bitterly that there's a total
15 unfairness here, and they should be. Because there is.
16 And so I think, not because this is a complex matter, not because
17 it might be nice to have, but because it's totally unfair, you should not
18 permit the Prosecutor to submit this document.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Roberts --
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I don't think Mr. Ackerman's grasped the
21 point. First of all, can I deal with the 11 people. As I have said
22 before over and over again, it is not the full-time application of
23 everyone who works on this case to this case alone. We borrowed people to
24 do various bits, and we thought it only right that they should get credit
25 for helping us. Having said all that, I accept entirely that we've had
1 more assistance than Mr. Ackerman has. But that's not the point.
2 The point that I'm making is not -- Mr. Ackerman can't stop me
3 doing this. It's a perfectly proper part comment that would form part of
4 my closing address. All that I am asking to do is rather than waste, and
5 it will take me some time to go through it, the time doing it,
6 Your Honours should be able to see it in document form.
7 May I put it this way: Mr. Ackerman, as I say, and I'm going to
8 say again, raised this issue without any, we say, foundation at all. And
9 so that is why we have to deal with it. And the issues are raised, as
10 Mr. Ackerman rightly says, and I'm going to deal with it straight away,
11 it's the Prosecution's duty to negate them. The burden remains throughout
12 on the Prosecution. So Your Honour, that's what I'm asking you to do.
13 Mr. Ackerman simply says it's unfair because he hasn't got as many people.
14 Your Honour, that's not a ground for objecting.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: He's saying two things actually. He's saying what
16 you just said, and also that, strictly speaking, you were under notice
17 that these documents were being contested not now but from months and
18 months, if not years ago.
19 MS. KORNER: I know that.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And you should have addressed it in your final
21 brief, and that document should have been part of the final brief and not
22 subsequent to it.
23 Again, I think we should not be -- point taken, Mr. Ackerman. But
24 the issue now, this is why I had addressed Mr. Roberts, because the last
25 time we met here before we adjourned, we did deal with the question of
1 which documents still remained challenged -- still remain challenged. I
2 wouldn't remember the date, Mr. Roberts, but perhaps two --
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm afraid I don't remember any
4 discussion about that at all. The last time we met, we went through
5 Mr. Ackerman's documents that he submitted and had -- heard submissions on
6 that. But I don't recall it ever being - I may, of course, be wrong,
7 probably am - that Mr. Ackerman identified any particular class of
8 documents that he --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: No, what happened was this, Ms. Korner: You both
10 tried to wind up on that issue by making sure that all the documents that
11 you wanted to be in were actually in. And the question arose, I had one
12 of my staff pointing out to me that there were still some documents that
13 had been challenged and we wanted to know whether they were still
14 challenged or not, and that there were still some documents which you
15 weren't quite sure whether they had been tendered or not. So went through
16 the matter very quickly, both with regard to some Prosecution documents
17 and with regard to some Defence documents. And there was a short list of
18 documents that remained definitely challenged. I want to -- these AID
19 were not discussed during that sitting, not that I can remember, not
20 that -- perhaps Mr. Roberts can dig up the sitting. I wouldn't remember
21 the date.
22 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But I don't remember more than that. But
24 Mr. Ackerman, Ms. Korner, in fact I do recollect now that there was a
25 formal objection by Mr. Ackerman with regard to the Bosanski Petrovac
1 Municipality which we dealt with very briefly during that sitting, I think
2 adjourning the decision basically, if I remember well. And another
3 document that was prepared -- what was the other document, Mr. Roberts?
4 That's ours, no? That's ours, with regard to the totality of the
5 documents that had been tendered by you, that means the Prosecution, and
6 also by Mr. Ackerman. And we asked questions on a few of them. But I
7 suppose we are wasting time. Let's find the records of that particular
8 sitting. I don't remember when it was, but it was either the last one or
9 if not the last one, the penultimate one. And we see what we discussed,
10 what we discussed then.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the issue is a fairly simple one.
12 Your Honours, as I say, I can do the exercise if I have to by reading out
13 effectively what's on the schedule we prepared. The application is only
14 that instead of having to do that, I can hand it to Your Honours. It's
15 not an exhibit. It's a guide.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah.
17 MS. KORNER: So that's all that I'm asking. Mr. Ackerman --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: No...
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: So the position is this: This document, we accept
21 to have this document handed to us. Then obviously, Mr. Ackerman, take
22 your time to go through it, and whatever submissions you may require to
23 make, you think you need to make on that document, you will have all the
24 opportunity later on. And we have of course taken notice of your
25 complaint that first this should have been handed as part of the
1 pre-trial -- not pre-trial, the final brief. And that secondly, and that
2 secondly there is this disparity of resources between the Prosecution and
3 the Defence. That's something that is not being submitted for the first
5 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, may I respond in writing, then? Would
7 that be an appropriate --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: If you prefer to respond in writing, then that's one
11 option. If you think it's less time-consuming or you prefer to respond
12 orally, you will be given the opportunity as well.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I don't think I'll have time to go
14 through it before we conclude our arguments here.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So, there is one other matter that I wanted to make
16 sure of before we proceed. Mr. Ackerman, following the Prosecution's
17 final brief, you also filed a motion to strike Appendix C. To that
18 motion, the Prosecution has filed a response. We've seen both. We are in
19 a position to decide that motion. But before we do so, we wanted to make
20 sure whether also in the light of what point been said today you have any
21 further submissions? Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, we have nothing other than the motion. We
23 stand on the motion.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: You, too, Ms. Korner?
25 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: That matter will be decided in due course. In the
2 meantime, we have the appendices, and we will decide what to do with them
3 along with the motion.
4 So Ms. Korner, are you ready to start with your closing arguments?
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I am. Or we are, rather.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 [Closing Statement Prosecution]
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, we want to start what we have to say to
9 you today by looking at what Your Honours may feel, having heard the
10 evidence, was one of the seminal meetings of this case. And that was the
11 so-called Assembly of the Serbian People in Bosnia and Herzegovina held in
12 Banja Luka on the 12th of May 1992.
13 It was by any standard a meeting of great importance, importance
14 in the history of the conflict which by then had already begun in Bosnia.
15 By the end of that meeting, the goals of the Bosnian Serbs had been
16 clearly set out by Karadzic. Further, the physical means by which those
17 goals were to be achieved had been put in place, in particular with the
18 establishment of the Bosnian Serb Army, the VRS. And really, for the
19 first time, what the Prosecution say was this criminal plan of the Bosnian
20 Serbs was exposed. All the major players, if I can use that expression,
21 in the Bosnian Serb leadership were present, with the one exception of
22 Biljana Plavsic who apparently sent her congratulations over the telephone
23 during the course of this assembly in respect of the establishment of the
25 There present were Karadzic, Krajisnik, Mladic, Talic, Ostojic,
1 Kupresanin, and of course this accused, Radoslav Brdjanin. Some of the
2 things that were said during the course of this assembly the Prosecution
3 suggest were really important for the consideration which Your Honours
4 will have to apply to the allegations made by the Prosecution. Karadzic,
5 when he was outlining what has come to be known as "the six strategic
6 goals of the Bosnian Serbs" said, and Your Honour all of these quotes are
7 taken from the Exhibit P50: "The first goal is separation from the other
8 two national communities, separation of states, separation from those who
9 are our enemies and who have used every opportunity, especially in this
10 century, to attack us and who would continue with such practices if we
11 were to continue to stay together in the same state." In other words, one
12 of the features, the Muslims, the Croats are our enemies, and they are the
13 people who are going to attack us unless we act pre-emptively. That's one
14 of the themes that was stressed throughout this period of time.
15 Dragan Kalinic: "Have we chosen the option of war or the option
16 of negotiation? I say this with a reason, and I must instantly add that
17 knowing who our enemies are, how perfidious they are, how they cannot be
18 trusted until they are physically, militarily destroyed and crushed, which
19 of course implies eliminating and liquidating their key people."
20 Your Honour, the Prosecution suggests that there in that single sentence
21 is summed up the whole concept of the genocide that the Prosecution
22 suggest occurred in Bosnia in the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Kalinic
23 ended that part by saying: "I do not hesitate in selecting the first
24 option, the option of war."
25 Miroslav Vijestica from Krupa, a deputy to the assembly: "No more
1 Muslims in the Serbian Municipality of Bosanska Krupa. Will they have a
2 place to return to? I think it is unlikely, after our president told us
3 the happy news that the right bank of the Una River was the border."
4 That's a reference to the one of the strategic goals. And he went on to
5 say: "As for Bosanski Novi, let me tell you that I was there yesterday."
6 The 11th of May that would be. "Bosanski Novi is sealed off. An
7 ultimatum has been issued, and a deadline set for the Muslims to surrender
8 their weapons. Some of them have; some have not. Yesterday, there was
9 shooting. What will happen today? I believe they will surrender. The
10 same is going on in Sanski Most. I think that the Muslims will be
11 disarmed there, too."
12 Your Honour, again, there encapsulated of the Prosecution will be
13 saying to you has been shown clearly from the evidence the disarmament
14 leading to the violence against the Muslims and Croats.
15 And finally, Radoslav Brdjanin: "I would like to say a heartfelt
16 bravo to Mr. Kalinic. In all my appearances in this joint assembly, it
17 has never crossed my mind that though he seems quiet, while I seem
18 hawkish, that his opinions are the closest to mine. I believe that this
19 is the formula, and we should adhere to this formula." The Defence
20 suggest that by those words Brdjanin was referring to Kalinic's suggestion
21 that the JNA weapons should be prevented from leaving Bosnia. Now,
22 Your Honours, we invite the Trial Chamber to read both speeches in full
23 and decide whether there is any merit in that suggestion. If so, then no
24 doubt the Trial Chamber will not for one moment rely on this speech as
25 evidence which is adverse to Mr. Brdjanin. But we suggest that common
1 sense, and looking at those speeches, it can refer to nothing else but
2 Kalinic's -- the part of Kalinic's speech which said that their enemies
3 should be physically, militarily destroyed and crushed.
4 Your Honours, so in effect, this assembly brought together the
5 major themes which have occupied so much time in this case. The overall
6 plan of the leadership, a description of how it was already being put into
7 effect in various areas, its military component, and most importantly, we
8 would say, a snapshot of the role and the intent that Mr. Brdjanin played
9 and held throughout this period.
10 Your Honours, it's a long time since we've looked at the video of
11 that assembly, and I'm going to ask that it is now -- Your Honours are
12 briefly reminded of the people who were there.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MS. KORNER: Thank you. Your Honour, I think that's all we needed
15 of that video.
16 Your Honour, can I make it absolutely clear in the light of the
17 beginning of the Defence final brief that this is a prosecution of an
18 individual, Radoslav Brdjanin, not a people, "the Serbs," the Bosnian
19 Serbs or the Serb Serbs, any more than the prosecution of Kordic and
20 Cerkez were a prosecution of the whole of the Bosnian Croats, or the
21 prosecution of Hadzihasanovic and Kubura are a prosecution of the Bosniaks
22 as a people. Radoslav Brdjanin has been prosecuted because we allege and
23 say now that there is clear and unambiguous evidence that he committed the
24 offences with which he has been charged. The Prosecution does not
25 challenge, which is the word used in the Defence final brief, this
1 Trial Chamber to decide this case upon the law and the facts; it is in no
2 doubt having been in front of Your Honours for the past two years plus
3 that this Trial Chamber will do just that, as it would do whatever the
4 nationality or ethnicity, whichever is the proper word, of the accused.
5 And the Prosecution equally has no doubt that the Trial Chamber
6 will only convict if it finds that it is satisfied so that it is sure on
7 all the evidence on both the Prosecution and the Defence that the accused
8 is guilty of all or any of those charges, satisfied, so sure being the
9 same thing as beyond a reasonable doubt. If it is not so satisfied, then
10 clearly it will acquit. And we have no doubt that in neither case will it
11 be swayed by sympathy, nor by the media, nor by the international
12 community who have not heard all the evidence on a daily basis in the same
13 way as Your Honours. Your Honours, we have no doubt, will bring a
14 professional, objective view to bear on the evidence in this case.
15 We accept, we embrace the fact that the burden and the standard of
16 proof remains throughout on the Prosecution to satisfy you so that you are
17 sure that Brdjanin is guilty of all or any of these offences. We
18 emphasise, as I already raised this morning, that no burden rests upon
19 Radoslav Brdjanin to prove his innocence. We have the burden to discharge
20 both in terms of the evidence that we bring and to nullify any evidence
21 which the defendant may have brought on his behalf in support of his case.
22 But, Your Honour, we do say this: If facts are introduced into evidence
23 through witness testimony or documents which are not disputed through
24 other evidence, and I emphasise "through other evidence," then the
25 Trial Chamber is entitled to say, "We find that fact proved." For
1 example, that Radoslav Brdjanin did make a speech saying that only 2 or 3
2 per cent of Muslims would be allowed to remain in Banja Luka. Or as
3 another example, more than 200 people were murdered by the police at
4 Mount Vlasic, about which I'll have more to say later on in my address.
5 And I say that, Your Honour, because there has been no evidence to
6 contradict either of those facts which we put before you by way of
8 Now, Your Honour, there have been lengthy, written submissions
9 from both sides detailing the evidence in support of the submissions of
10 law and of fact. And subject to the caveat that we dealt with earlier
11 this morning, this address that we are making to you today and tomorrow is
12 not going to rehearse everything that has already been said. Instead, we
13 propose to attempt to deal with what appear to be the major issues in this
14 case and to remind the Trial Chamber orally and visually of some of the
15 reality of the more cogent evidence.
16 Your Honours, I hope you will forgive me if I'm, to use the
17 English expression, teaching my grandmother to suck eggs, if I digress for
18 a moment or so on the question of what is evidence. What is evidence?
19 It's the testimony of witnesses and the contents of documents admitted as
20 exhibits, and of course any agreed facts. Your Honour, I think it's
21 important to emphasise that for the other extreme of what is not
22 evidence. Suggestions made by counsel to witnesses that things happened
23 or were said or vice versa, that things did not happen or were not said,
24 and those suggestions made to a witness are denied by the witness, and
25 I'll come to a couple of examples in a moment, well unless there is
1 evidence which supports those assertions, those suggestions, they remain
2 unsubstantiated suggestions, no more really than comment, putting it at
3 its highest. And Your Honour, we will suggest should not be taken into
5 Your Honour, can I give you some examples. The suggestion not
6 even really made to a witness, but that documents which came from AID were
7 forgeries; the suggestion made to witnesses that Mr. Brdjanin, because it
8 was alleged that his two brothers were in mixed marriages, would
9 never - and I think this is the way it was put - would never -- would
10 neither have thought or uttered such words dealing with what should happen
11 to children of mixed marriages, that was put to Witness BT-22. And the
12 reaction was, "No, he said that." And indeed, you may think as a
13 suggestion it has been completely nullified because even Mr. Radic agreed
14 that that was one of his, if I can put it that way, better speeches. And
15 I use that word sarcastically.
16 Your Honour, the speech about, and I've already dealt with, the
17 percentage of non-Serbs who would be allowed to remain in Banja Luka, the
18 suggestion was put to a number of witnesses that that speech was never
19 made by Mr. Brdjanin, again, Your Honour, no evidence to suggest to the
20 contrary, just a suggestion by counsel.
21 Your Honour, Mr. Ackerman in the course of dealing with the
22 Celinac documents got up and said that they did not agree that
23 Mr. Brdjanin became a member of the Celinac Crisis Staff. Well,
24 Your Honour, whether they agreed or not, the clear and we suggest
25 undisputed evidence on the face of the document that we produced is that
1 P, and I give the number of that document, P1993, shows that he was a
2 member of the Celinac Municipal Crisis Staff. Now, Your Honours, some of
3 the evidence which relates, for example, to the existence of an overall
4 plan or to the authority wielded by Radoslav Brdjanin is circumstantial.
5 It requires inferences to be drawn. And one of the reasons for that is
6 that there are vital records and documents missing, notwithstanding the
7 number of exhibits that exist in this case.
8 For example, the ARK Crisis Staff minutes of meetings, which is a
9 topic that I'm going to return to; the minutes of the Municipal Crisis
10 Staff in Celinac; in Teslic; in Prijedor; in Bosanski Novi; in
11 Bosanska Krupa, all of those records are mysteriously missing,
12 disappeared, flooded, whatever the various explanations were.
13 Your Honour, of course, the other aspect is, and this was very
14 clearly enunciated by Witness BT-94, that you couldn't hear anyone say,
15 "let's go and kill everyone in the village," "let's raze Srebrenica to
16 the ground," "let's destroy them," there was no such thing. In other
17 words, no one in the leadership, including Radoslav Brdjanin, said in
18 terms: "Our plan encompasses the persecution, the destruction, in whole
19 or in part, of the Muslim and Croat populations within the territory of
20 Republika Srpska," as it now is. And I'm going to refer to it, although
21 it had a slightly different name in that period. Although, as we have
22 submitted to you, they came very close to that, but there was never that
23 clear enunciation of that criminal intent. But the fact that evidence may
24 be circumstantial does not make it, we submit, any less compelling. It
25 has been said that circumstantial evidence is often the best evidence; it
1 is evidence of surrounding circumstances which by undesigned coincidence
2 is capable of proving a proposition with the accuracy of mathematics, and
3 it is no derogation of evidence to say that it is circumstantial, and I
4 see Your Honour nodding. And I imagine Your Honour is familiar with the
5 case from which it is taken.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I have quoted it in several of my judgements,
7 Ms. Korner.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we submit that if you look at the
9 evidence of the circumstances, the repetition of the same type of events
10 in the different municipalities which we will come to, the documents which
11 reveal what the Municipal Crisis Staffs were deciding upon and discussing,
12 then the inferences are, we submit, irresistible. And in particular, that
13 there was a plan which involved the commission of these offences, and that
14 the accused, Radoslav Brdjanin, played an active part in that plan and its
16 Your Honour, can I come to the question, and I'm just dealing very
17 generally with some matters at the moment, of witnesses. Your Honour, the
18 Prosecution called 120 live, that is to say, viva voce, in-this-court
19 witnesses, some were called in full, others who had already testified or
20 made statements were brought for cross-examination effectively. The
21 remaining witnesses, some 82, were tendered under the provisions of
22 Rule 92 bis. In other words, their evidence, it was accepted they were
23 not required to attend for cross-examination. Your Honour, there were
24 some seven witnesses who I will call very loosely international witnesses.
25 There were 13 witnesses of Serb nationality called by the Prosecution and
1 3 experts. The remaining witnesses were those who were victims of or
2 witnesses to crimes. Your Honour, in any trial, it is axiomatic that the
3 finders of fact have to make an assessment, not just of what was said by
4 the witness, but of the witness himself. The internal question I suppose
5 that one asks is was that witness honest, truthful, and accurate? Because
6 however long ago the events, they were clearly engraved on his memory, and
7 he or she will never forget them.
8 The second category, was the witness honest, but in this case
9 because of the length of time and the nature of the events that the
10 witness has to describe, possibly inaccurate on some matters, for example,
11 dates, the exact sequence of events, identification of persons
12 responsible. But nonetheless, still essentially reliable on the major
13 events described. And a third category, is the witness's evidence so
14 confused that it would be unfair to place any reliance on it? And it's
15 right to say that there have been probably been one of every category
17 At the other extreme, there are the witnesses who in some part or
18 other of their evidence have deliberately lied to the Court in order to
19 try and mislead. There are some witnesses who may have lied about
20 everything; other witnesses who told the truth on some matters but lied
21 about others.
22 Your Honour, this is, we would submit, particularly relevant when
23 looking at the Serb witnesses who were called both by the Prosecution and
24 by the Defence. The Defence in their final brief advised the
25 Trial Chamber to be careful because of partisan distortion. That was the
1 phrase used. And we agree. It has a possible application to all
2 witnesses who were involved in the events in the Autonomous Region of
3 Krajina in 1991 and 1992. But if it applies to all, we would say it
4 applies particularly to those who were associates to a greater or lesser
5 degree of Radoslav Brdjanin because they clearly wished to present those
6 events to which they were a party in a light the most favourable to them.
7 And they wished to present their own participation in those events in as
8 favourable a light as possible and in a way which takes them as far as
9 away from the centre of the action as it is possible to be. And
10 Your Honour, for such witnesses, the Trial Chamber may have to, probably
11 will, and indeed probably should look for evidence which supports or
12 contradicts aspects of their testimony which the Trial Chamber considers
13 to be important. For example, if they made previous statements in
14 interview or in the media or elsewhere; documents which came into
15 existence at the time; the evidence of other witnesses dealing with those
16 events and those documents.
17 But Your Honour, even if there is no such supporting evidence,
18 such corroborating evidence, you, the Judges, the professional Judges,
19 will no doubt and should make a judgement and decide which parts of the
20 evidence you accept and which parts you reject. Now, Your Honour, the
21 witnesses called by the Defence, and of course the Defence don't have to
22 call any witnesses at all. They are perfectly entitled to sit back and
23 say, "The Prosecution has the burden of proof. We're calling no
24 evidence." But in this case, they chose to call witnesses. Your Honour
25 may have thought in listening to those witnesses that you may have been
1 assisted perhaps from hearing more from other members of the crisis staff
2 in the Autonomous Region of Krajina; for example, Mr. Kupresanin, Mr.
3 Milanovic, those people who were not only members of the crisis staff, but
4 in Kupresanin's case, was the original president of the assembly of the
5 autonomous region, and there are some unanswered questions about some of
6 those meetings which I'm going to come to. Also, a delegate to the
7 Assembly of the Serbian People. Mr. Milanovic, who was not only a
8 member - we'll have a look at the members of the crisis staff in a
9 moment - of the crisis staff, but a vice-president of the government of
10 the Republika Srpska. Colonel Vojinovic, who attended the meetings on
11 behalf of General Talic, the commander for civilian affairs. Well,
12 Your Honour, you didn't hear from them, and that is a matter, of course,
13 that Your Honours may want to consider as to the reason why you didn't
14 hear from them.
15 Now, Your Honours, much of the compelling evidence in this case
16 does, in fact, come from the documents. Your Honours, the challenge to
17 the documents as I've already referred to provided by AID came fairly
18 early on in the trial, around the 15th of May when it was asserted by
19 Mr. Ackerman that, "Documents which come from the AID office in Bihac I
20 think is a very suspicious source of documents to start with. I think
21 there's at least the possibility that it's just a pure forgery." And then
22 with the arrest of the AID officials later on during the trial, then the
23 challenges were brought forward again, arrest which had nothing to do with
24 any of the period or the events that this trial is concerned with.
25 Your Honour, as we said, we can't carry out this exercise on every single,
1 unsigned, unstamped document. So we've taken a particular class of
2 documents. But Your Honours, I have no doubt, with the assistance of your
3 legal officers, will be able to look at the other unsigned documents and
4 carry out probably the same exercise. So Your Honour, what we have done,
5 we have reduced into schedule form, and can I ask that it be handed to
6 Your Honours now.
7 Your Honour, would you -- there are two -- there's one that
8 contains all the actual words, there's a shorter version which simply
9 gives the references.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: We have already discussed this, Ms. Korner. We
11 require both. Thank you.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, they will be handed up to you, then.
13 Your Honour will see, as I say, this is not meant to be an
14 exhibit. This is no more than a guide. Effectively, this is the comment
15 we make. We say there is evidence to show that these are documents. But
16 Your Honour, Your Honours will see it's confidential because it refers to
17 a number of closed session testimony and the like. So if it's going to go
18 to the Registry, it should be marked under seal, but it's not an exhibit.
19 Now, Your Honour, as we've dealt with this morning also, there's
20 no repetition of this allegation in the Defence final brief, and I would
21 like to take it from that. And I'm going to come to some other issues
22 that are not dealt with that this is not being pursued, but every time
23 I've taken that view I have been sadly deceived. I have been told, no,
24 that all issues are still live issues.
25 Now, Your Honour, we say that if they're saying that time and the
1 expense was -- if one carried out the exercise with the other unsigned
2 documents, one would probably be able...
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, lest there be some misunderstanding,
4 if I heard properly, I'm being asked to say whether I still object to the
5 documents that I have objected to on the record in this case, or am I
6 withdrawing those objections because I didn't say anything in my final
7 brief. I'm not withdrawing any objections to documents. They all stand.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
9 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, quite. It's what I sadly
10 anticipated would be the case.
11 But Your Honour, as I say, we would submit that if the exercise we
12 carried out with these particular class of documents were carried out with
13 others, there is existing in the record of this case ample evidence to
14 show that in particular the important documents are confirmed,
15 corroborated in some form or other by witness testimony, and indeed other
17 Your Honour, can I deal, for example, with another class of
18 documents, and those are what we have been calling the Milos documents.
19 The reports submitted to the DSB in Banja Luka, CSB, DSB, to Mr. Kesic.
20 Your Honours, they were strongly objected to in the beginning of the case
21 on the basis that nobody knew who Milos was, nobody knew what it was
22 about. Your Honour, I'm not going to quote the evidence because this is
23 the Defence evidence in closed session, but the evidence of BW-1 you may
24 have thought laid this to rest. May I give you the page reference, and I
25 hope it's the correct one. It's transcript 1836 to 45. No, I'm
1 sorry -- I'm sorry, Your Honour, no. Your Honour, I'm sorry. That is the
2 wrong reference because this is what was said on behalf, in fact, at the
3 time of General Talic about the Milos documents, that there is a whole
4 series of documents signed by a certain individual by the name of Milos
5 whose identity we do not know. This person is not identifiable, and we
6 consider these documents to be anonymous documents. This Chamber decided
7 on the 5th of February this year not to admit a document because it was an
8 anonymous document and because the Defence could not proceed with the
9 verification of the authenticity and the credibility of the documents. We
10 believe that the documents signed by this individual by the name of Milos
11 fall exactly in the same category.
12 Your Honour, that was said on the 18th of February at transcript
13 page 1836 to 45, and the evidence of BW-1, Your Honours, I haven't,
14 unfortunately I don't think got the transcript reference. But I can
15 provide that after the break.
16 Your Honour, any documents without a stamp or a signature were
17 objected to globally as well. Your Honours, Mr. Radojko, and I'm going to
18 have a little bit to say about him later on, when he was shown the exhibit
19 P1814, which was an unsigned, unstamped Petrovac document, said this:
20 "There is no signature. And I think not because it is a filed copy."
21 Your Honour, earlier witnesses said some of the filed copies didn't get
22 signed. "Because according to our administrative rules, it should have
23 been signed, too. That copy should have been signed, too, but I think
24 that this was done by the then-SDS secretary who had a law education, but
25 he wasn't very tidy, and presumably that is why the signature is lacking.
1 I now recall that at that time, that is late 1991, Stevo Radosevic was the
2 president of the SDS rather than Ivanic. Radosevic left that office I
3 think because he was a private businessman and this particular duty
4 interfered with his business. But I still think this is an authentic
6 Your Honour, I thought I had given references for everything, but
7 I'll have to check that one over the break as well, the page number.
8 Your Honour, the other aspect of this case that Your Honours may
9 find slightly extraordinary is that the Defence apparently adopted a
10 schizoid attitude towards these unsigned, unstamped, forged documents.
11 Some of them they were using themselves to make points. The real
12 explanation is not schizoid at all. Those that help them are okay, not
13 objected to, Your Honour should take them into account. Those that hurt
14 them are objectionable. Your Honours, again, we say using your own
15 knowledge and experience and looking at the other evidence you've heard,
16 you will decide what weight to attach, and we would suggest disregard the
17 blanket prohibition which is suggested in the Defence final brief that any
18 document unsigned and unstamped -- I'm sorry, that documents for which no
19 evidence of authorship, for which there is no evidence of authorship are
20 unreliable and no weight should be attached to them.
21 Your Honour, that, then, would be a convenient moment.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 25-minute break starting from now.
23 Thank you.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I, just before I --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because Mr. Brdjanin is not yet in his
4 MS. KORNER: -- continue my address, raise matters really
5 affecting the law. First of all, Your Honour, obviously at this moment
6 the judgement is being given in Krstic. If there's any major change in
7 the law, then I think it'll will have to be in writing because we'll need
8 to consider the judgement, as will both sides.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Same here.
10 MS. KORNER: But Your Honour, the other matter that occurs to me
11 is, Your Honour, we've answered all Your Honours' questions in writing.
12 However, if Your Honours tomorrow when I've completed my remarks on the
13 facts would wish me to address any further matters, it will be exceedingly
14 helpful if Your Honours could let me know by the end of today simply
15 because otherwise I'm going to be answering off the top of my head,
16 whereas if I have some advance notice then I can prepare any replies
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
19 MS. KORNER: I don't know if Your Honours will have --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know either. I will discuss it with
21 Judge Janu and Judge Taya and Mr. Roberts later on. But at the present
22 moment, I don't think so.
23 MS. KORNER: That's most helpful, Your Honour. Can I just give
24 Your Honours the reference --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: This is reference --
1 MS. KORNER: -- The reference first of all to evidence given by
2 BW-1 where he dealt with Milos, that's at transcript page number 23364 to
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's where he identified Milos.
5 MS. KORNER: That's where he identified him, yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
7 MS. KORNER: And the part of Radojko's evidence that I read to
8 Your Honours.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: The P1814?
10 MS. KORNER: P1814 is at transcript page number 20036 to 7.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
12 MS. KORNER: Now, Your Honours, can I now come to the topic of the
13 missing documents which I referred to a little earlier.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
15 MS. KORNER: The ARK Crisis Staff meetings, the minutes thereof,
16 according to Mr. Blagojevic, none were ever taken. He was asked at
17 transcript page 21727, this was in chief, "specifically, were you ever
18 tasked, were you ever asked to be responsible for the taking of minutes or
19 anything like that?" And he said: "No. I was never responsible for the
21 That was picked up in cross-examination -- no, I'm sorry, it was
22 still examination-in-chief, I'm sorry. And it was put to him, I believe
23 it was Mr. Cunningham, "I know you didn't take the minutes. You've told
24 us that. I'm wondering if you wrote down anything during these meetings.
25 If you did so, whether there's any of those documents still in existence
2 And he said: "No, no. Under the item `draft conclusion' which
3 would take up one page, we would write our suggestions." There were other
4 bits and pieces, but those were the major parts. And that was said at
5 T21729. It was then picked up in cross-examination. This was dealing
6 with the very early part where he had been seen back in 1996, I believe it
7 was, by investigators with the Office of the Prosecution, and he had had
8 that meeting.
9 And this was put to him: "I want to ask you this, Mr. Blagojevic.
10 Was what was in that folder" - you remember the folder that disappeared as
11 well - "which you refused to let the representatives see, did that contain
12 the minutes of the meetings of the crisis staff of the region?"
13 A. No, no.
14 Q. Are you sure?
15 A. I'm sure.
16 Q. And that's because according to you, no minutes
17 were ever taken. Is that right?
18 A. It's right.
19 That's at page 21808.
20 And then later on: "Who told you" - this is the question - "that
21 you need not take minutes?"
22 Answer: "Well, quite simply, it was impossible to take minutes."
23 And he gave a very long explanation about the nature of the meetings. And
24 that's at 21889.
25 Now, Your Honour, that was clearly a lie. It was demonstrated to
1 be a lie by the evidence of the very next witness, Mr. Radic.
2 Question, and this was in cross-examination: "Do you agree that
3 you told us in Banja Luka in July 2001 that not only was Mr. Blagojevic
4 taking minutes, but that you noticed one day he was making a mistake in
6 Answer: "Yes, that is what I stated here, that he did not reflect
7 what I said regarding the replacement of the Banja Luka University dean."
8 That's at page 22074.
9 And later: "Can we put it this way, Mr. Radic: It is
10 inconceivable to you, is it not, that a record of a body such as the
11 regional crisis staff or any crisis staff did not have somebody noting
12 down what was being discussed?"
13 Answer: "That's how it should be, that one had to know who was
14 the president, who was the secretary, and what the official minutes were."
15 And that was on the same page, 22074.
16 And finally, to show that the Defence --
17 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: My apologies to you, Ms. Korner. Thank you.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, finally, as I say, to show that the
20 Defence themselves didn't believe the witness they had called, was this.
21 This was again to Mr. Radic from whoever counsel was, and I can't now
22 recall. "I just want to ask you this: When you go back to Banja Luka, if
23 you have any ability whatsoever to find the minutes from the ARK Crisis
24 Staff, if you can find anyone who has them, if you can encourage anyone to
25 locate them, we would desperately like to have them. So can you please
1 try to do that. And with that, that's all I have. Thank you."
2 In fact, I can see from my own note it was Mr. Ackerman, because
3 Your Honours said "I thank you, Mr. Ackerman."
4 And the witness then said: "Was that a question, Mr. Ackerman?"
5 And a very good point that was, too. "Or the secretary who had already
6 testified here, Mr. Blagojevic, should have those minutes. I really don't
7 have them. I don't know where they were kept or whether there were any in
8 the first place." And then this remarkably: "I must tell you that I
9 really doubt whether these minutes ever existed. There were not that many
10 meetings in the first place, and I sincerely doubt that any written
11 documents were kept." And that is at T22343, transcript, I should say.
12 Now, Your Honour, it's not as I say just the ARK Crisis Staff
13 minutes and other documents which are missing, but the minutes from the
14 crisis staffs in other municipalities. Those in particular which remained
15 throughout as part of the Republika Srpska and were never entered by the
16 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1995, for example, as I said, Celinac,
17 Teslic, and Prijedor. All of these mysteriously vanished before the
18 searches were carried out in Prijedor, as Your Honours know, in 1997, and
19 in Banja Luka in 1998.
20 The Assembly documents by and large are available. Of course,
21 most of the assemblies were not meeting during the highly relevant period,
22 except on the odd occasion. Your Honours, we suggest that those documents
23 are missing because the people responsible for keeping them or still in
24 charge in these municipalities know full well that they would provide
25 clear evidence of the municipal crisis staff --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I object pretty strongly.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Objection upheld. Okay.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry. First of all --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I wouldn't like to interrupt you in the least,
6 Ms. Korner.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's the first thing I was going to
8 say. It's normal courtesy in my jurisdiction not to interrupt a final
9 speech and to save any objections that you may have to content until the
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the second matter is this: I'm --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, please try to stick -- I mean, I was
14 explaining to Judge Janu and Judge Taya how important it is that we don't
15 to interrupt you whatever it is.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I will accept what is standard in
17 Ms. Korner's jurisdiction and not interrupt any further. If I have
18 anything to say, I'll say it at the end. I think that's a sensible
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And I am also making points here, marks of what I
21 will refer back to you arising from Ms. Korner. So let's --
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I say this: I am entitled to make
23 suggestions to Your Honour which are inferences which can be drawn from
24 evidence which is in the case.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
1 MS. KORNER: We suggest those are proper inferences to draw
2 because if one looks at the minutes that we do have, those from
3 Kotor Varos, for example, from Sanski Most, and from Kljuc, they do, we
4 suggest, show clear involvement of the crisis staff in those crimes. And
5 therefore, the fact that with searches and requests we have never, ever
6 been able to recover the other crisis staff minutes, it is a proper
7 inference to Your Honours to draw.
8 Your Honour, it is as a result of those missing documents that the
9 schedule or the two schedules of the implementation of the crisis staff
10 decisions are necessarily constrained because we only have a limited
11 selection, some four or five municipalities out of the 13 that we have
12 called evidence where we have the relevant and appropriate documents.
13 Now, Your Honours, the next question I want to deal with is one
14 again that we have touched on earlier today, and that was some of the
15 issues raised in the case which I was going to say seemed to have been
16 abandoned in the sense that they're not mentioned at all in the Defence
17 final brief. But I have no doubt at all, and to save Mr. Ackerman getting
18 up to say it, that he will say all these issues are still maintained.
19 Your Honour, the first was an issue that was at some stage raised, that
20 there never was an overall plan by the Bosnian Serb leadership which
21 involved the commission of criminal offences. Your Honour, that is not in
22 any way maintained in the Defence final brief. What is said is that
23 Mr. Brdjanin was not a party to any such plan.
24 Secondly, Your Honour, the variant A and B document, one of the
25 major issues in the case was and certainly at an early stage, that it was
1 either never issued by the SDS or alternatively, if issued, never
2 distributed. And the importance of this document is clear. It's
3 demonstrated by the fact that in every case other than the first case,
4 that of Tadic, in every case that has involved the prosecution of a
5 Bosnian Serb, there was a dispute about this document. And Your Honours,
6 it led to the SDS in 2001 when they were asked for the original version of
7 this document by this Office issuing a denial that this document was ever
8 produced or issued by them. Your Honours, I think you now see it on the
9 screen. Your Honours, it is Exhibit DB46. Your Honours, it's dated you
10 will see the 5th of November 2001. Subject: Reply to your memo. And
11 that was the request for various documents, original documents, from the
12 SDS archives. And Your Honour, the relevant part of the letter is on the
13 second page of the document. "The main board as well as any other SDS
14 body never considered or instructed the organisation and activation of
15 Serb people in Bosnia and Herzegovina at its sessions. We were informed
16 that such instructions were given by a certain number of retired officers
17 of the former Yugoslav People's Army." And it's signed, "Head of the SDS
18 main office, Milovan Bjelica."
19 Now, Your Honour, it is, we would submit to Your Honours, clear
20 evidence of how important this document is considered to be that even in
21 2001, the SDS, flying in the face of all the evidence that not only
22 Your Honours but other Trial Chambers have heard about this document,
23 should persist in this denial that this document was issued by them. And
24 although a valiant rear-guard action has been put up by the Defence to
25 maintain this denial, even after one of their own witnesses said that he
1 had received it, we would submit it does seem as though that is now
2 abandoned. That's not surprising because in fact, I said their own
3 witness. There were two Defence witnesses who both testified that they
4 had received the document in their municipalities. The first was Radic in
5 Banja Luka, and that one can see at page 22167. And the second was
6 Kalabic, the assemblyman, the delegate, the deputy from Kljuc, and that
7 can be seen at T22576.
8 And it is submitted that the clear and unambiguous evidence that
9 this document was issued by the Main Board of the SDS and received by the
10 municipal boards includes, and we didn't include every example, all these
11 documents have been entered into evidence, the Kljuc Crisis Staff,
12 Zvornik, which is not in the area because it's discussed on the 23rd of
13 December; same date discussed by Bratunac, again, that's not in the area
14 but we put the exhibit in; 24th of December, Bosanska Krupa; 26th of
15 December, Bosanski Petrovac; 27th of December, discussed by Prijedor SDS
16 board; discussed the same day in a municipality outside the Autonomous
17 Region of Krajina, Trnovo; 3rd of January in another municipality, Ilidza,
18 the assembly there; and on the 15th of January, it was discussed by the
19 Sanski Most municipal board.
20 On the 26th of January 1992 at the session of the Assembly of the
21 Serbian People, the coordinator, as he was described or appointed, of the
22 governments of the autonomous regions, Mr. Cizmovic, called for the
23 implementation of the second phase of the 19th of December instructions.
24 On the 14th of February, 1992, it was discussed by the SDS Main Board, the
25 Executive Board, and deputies at a meeting held in the Holiday Inn
1 Sarajevo. There Karadzic stated that what was then called the second
2 degree of the variant A and B instructions documents should be
3 implemented. And later, the instructions were discussed by the following
4 municipalities, 15th of February Donji Vakuf crisis staff; 17th of
5 February Prijedor SDS municipal board, who were implementing the second
6 stage; 3rd of March in Tuzla. And according to witness testimony, the
7 instructions were received in Teslic and implemented. And finally,
8 Your Honours, should there be any doubt, it was published in full in March
9 1992 by the Slobodna Bosna newspaper. Your Honour, the increasingly
10 desperate attempts, not just in this Trial Chamber, as I say, but in
11 others, to deny the provenance of this document and its distribution, we
12 submit can only be because it is recognised for what it is, and that is a
13 basic - and I say, I emphasise basic - blueprint for the illegal actions
14 which were taken to seize control of the municipalities by force where
16 So Your Honour, I hope that we have laid to rest through evidence
17 any doubt that Your Honours may have ever entertained that the variant A
18 and B document existed and was distributed. And as we say, the only
19 reason that the various Bosnian Serbs persist in this denial is because
20 they recognise it for what it is.
21 Your Honour, other issues which were not mentioned in the final
22 brief by the Defence was the SOS. However, that was revived again in the
23 reply to our brief where what we suggest was an exceedingly lame attempt
24 in the light of the evidence, it was made to suggest that the SOS were,
25 and I quote, "Exactly what the SOS leaders say they were, disgruntled
1 soldiers." That's at page 2, footnote 3. Your Honour, I'm going to turn
2 to the topic of the SOS later.
3 Your Honour, I've already dealt with the AID forgers.
4 Your Honour, in the Defence final brief, there is nothing about Muslim
5 resistance. Again, Your Honours, we say that's not surprising when the
6 reality of such resistance as there was, what it actually amounted to is
7 clear from the evidence, and again I'm going to turn to that. No
8 suggestion is made in the Defence final brief that the crimes were
9 committed by "out of control paramilitaries." I quote that from various
10 suggestions made in the course of the evidence. That suggestion, of
11 course, runs counter to the evidence of who was, in fact, responsible for
12 the major crimes, which is the police and the military forces. And
13 finally, the suggestion that the order to disarm applied to Serb
14 paramilitaries as well as - and possibly even more so at one stage was the
15 suggestion and - not merely to non-Serbs who possessed weapons. That is
16 not repeated in the Defence final brief, and again that, we say, is a
17 suggestion that in the light of all the evidence Your Honours heard, not
18 only from the Muslim and Croats who gave evidence, but also from the
19 Serbs, that clearly whatever the order may not say, it was an order
20 directed entirely against the Muslim and Croat population.
21 Your Honour, these are just some of the issues which the Defence
22 raised during the trial which it has not raised or had not raised again in
23 its final brief, and Your Honour which we on behalf of the Prosecution
24 submit that we are clearly, in accordance with our burden, proved were
25 suggestions without any merit.
1 Your Honour, that concludes what I have to say in general terms
2 about some of the aspects of this case. I now want to move to the
3 criminal plan, the overarching or overall criminal plan as it's sometimes
4 described. Whilst as we've already stated there seems to be no further
5 challenge to the evidence that there was such a criminal plan, nonetheless
6 it's important we feel to emphasise some of that evidence. Your Honours,
7 the evidence is set out in full in Section 2A of our final brief. But
8 Your Honour, can I say and remind Your Honours that effectively Karadzic
9 made it clear in public and even more so in private what awaited the
10 Muslims and Croats of Bosnia if they pursued the path of seeking
11 independence. And can I invite Your Honours now to look, please, at
12 Exhibit 2383.8, which is one of the intercepts. It was a conversation
13 held on the 12th of October between someone called Rajko Djogo and
14 Karadzic. Your Honour, can I ask Your Honours first of all to look at
15 page 2 of the document. And if we can highlight about two-thirds of the
16 way down the page, this is talking about the assembly. It was attended,
17 Izetbegovic speaking. And then "gentlemen, we will not, and you can let
18 them do whatever you want. We let them, but they are preparing for war.
19 They will try to wage war here." And Mr. Djogo says "they will?" And
20 Mr. Karadzic says: "Probably as soon as next week." And again, we see
21 this theme: We are only reacting to what the Muslims are preparing for
23 Then at the bottom of the page, when Mr. Djogo sensibly says,
24 "Well, what's he thinking to start a war in Sarajevo, is he crazy?
25 Precisely." Answer by Mr. Karadzic: "He's, I think they -- exactly.
1 They would be thrashed if they start a war. They will -- they'll
2 disappear." That's the first time. And then if we go to the next page,
3 at the top -- Your Honour, it's now turned into a highlighted....
4 "There will be rivers of blood," says Mr. Djogo. Second time
5 within a matters of seconds: "They will disappear. That people will
6 disappear from the face of the earth if they start now. Our offer was
7 their only chance. Even that was too much, what we offered them."
8 Your Honour, three times in the space of a few seconds "disappear."
9 If we can go now, please, to the seventh page, and a very long
10 answer by Mr. Karadzic -- Court I Sanction is obviously better for the
11 Milosevic case. Your Honour will see there's a long answer by Karadzic
12 down there. "They have to know that there are some 20.000 armed Serbs
13 around Sarajevo. That's insane. They will disappear." Fourth time.
14 "Sarajevo will be a black cauldron where 300.000 Muslims will die. They
15 are not right in the head. I don't know. Now I will have to talk to them
16 openly. "People, don't screw around. There are three, four hundred
17 thousand armed Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina. What are you thinking of?
18 Plus there's the army and the hardware, and everything. Do you think you
19 can secede just like Croatia?"" Secede. Thank you, Your Honour.
20 And finally, Your Honour, on the next page, and the third section
21 there, Karadzic again. Perhaps I will take it from the top. "We are not
22 banning them from establishing," something or other. And Mr. Djogo says:
23 "And then in the end, they will enter Banja Luka." Karadzic: "Yes, to
24 Ozren, Doboj, anything he can rule, over half of Sarajevo. Zenica and
25 half of Tuzla. And that's it, it's finished. Gracanica and the -- They
1 don't understand that they will be up to their necks in blood, and that
2 the Muslim people would disappear. The poor Muslims would disappear who
3 don't know where he is taking them, where he is taking the Muslims."
4 Your Honour, there cannot, we suggest, be any doubt of what
5 Mr. Karadzic at that stage was threatening would happen because for the
6 very obvious and logical reason that the Serbs in Bosnia had overwhelming
7 firepower and military means.
8 Now, Your Honour, on the intercepts, and this is a slight
9 digression, but as I'm dealing for the first time with an intercept, the
10 Defence made the point in their final brief that there was no wiretap as
11 they call it on Brdjanin and say that indicates his lack of authority.
12 That's at page 141 of the Defence brief at footnote 394. I'm sorry, and
13 there is a footnote 394, and Your Honour, I said I wouldn't do it, but I
14 can't resist it. That footnote which refers to a transcript at 18876
15 provides no authority for the assertion that he wasn't wiretapped because
16 he wasn't important enough.
17 Your Honour, in fact, as is clear from the evidence, the wiretaps
18 were placed on telephones in Sarajevo. However, it does appear that
19 Mr. Brdjanin himself believed that he was being intercepted or wiretapped
20 because he told Mr. Karadzic in one of the conversations on the 13th of
21 September of 1991 that his telephone was tapped. And that's P2382.7.
22 That's the exhibit number.
23 Now, Your Honours, can I ask you next to have a look, please, at
24 Exhibit P2656.1. Well, I could ask Your Honours to have a look at it if
25 the equipment was working, but I'm told that it's not. Your Honour, I'm
1 just wondering if there's any chance we can move to Court I tomorrow where
2 we know it works. I think the best thing is, Your Honour, if -- I don't
3 know whether you have the exhibits there, if we can put it on the ELMO.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what we will do.
5 MS. KORNER: 2656.1.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, you can proceed so that we don't
7 lose time. It's a long document, Ms. Korner.
8 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, this is -- no, that's .2.
9 Your Honours I'll identify it, and then I'll put my own copy on
10 the ELMO. It's P2656.1, and it's Karadzic's speech of the 15th of
11 October. I'm not going to play the video for Your Honours; this is the
12 transcript. In fact, I think Your Honours have seen it very recently with
13 Professor Shoup.
14 Your Honours, this is part of the speech that Karadzic made. And
15 he's saying this in respect of the potential negotiations: "I am asking
16 you one more time. I am not threatening, but asking, to take seriously
17 the interpretation of the political will of the Serbian people which is
18 represented here by the Serbian Democratic Party and Serbian movement of
19 renewal and several Serbs from some other parties. Please take it
20 seriously. It is not good what you are doing. This is the road that you
21 want Bosnia and Herzegovina to take, the same highway of hell and
22 suffering that Slovenia and Croatia went through. Don't think you won't
23 take Bosnia and Herzegovina to hell and the Muslim people in possible
24 extinction because the Muslim people will not be able to defend itself if
25 it comes to war here."
1 Your Honour, so he was saying it in private and in public around
2 October of 1991. Thank you.
3 Now, interestingly enough, Your Honour, and clearly I'm going to
4 have to put this exhibit up, later, a lot later, some -- in June of 1992,
5 as recorded in, I think it's Glas almost certainly, although the
6 publication isn't clear, Mr. Brdjanin used words that were not dissimilar.
7 This is Exhibit P21. You can put that, please, on the ELMO, since we
8 can't get anywhere on Sanction.
9 I'm sorry, what did I say? I'm sorry, did I say 2-1? It's
11 Yes, I think if we can just put it down for a moment so we can see
12 the top of it, please, usher, right down so we can see the top. No.
13 Thank you. The headline is -- I still can't see it. It's dated the 16th
14 of June 1992. Headline: "Indications of a war for the roads. The
15 Autonomous Region of Krajina seeking a way out of the increasingly tighter
16 grip of the traffic and economic blockade."
17 And then if we could go back to the highlighted part, please, this
18 is what Radoslav Brdjanin says: "If we do not manage to resolve the issue
19 of annexing Krajina to Serbia peacefully, we shall literally have to
20 resort to war," says Brdjanin. "In that case, the Muslim and Croat people
21 will pay the price because they are precisely on the charted route of the
22 future road."
23 Your Honour, a lot later, and slightly odd in view of the already
24 armed conflict that was going on, that those terms we would suggest are
25 not dissimilar to those that were used by Karadzic. Your Honour, I say
1 each time "we suggest" or "we submit" because you are the final deciders
2 of fact, and we are merely put these proposals forward for your
4 Yes, thank you. Can I have that back.
5 Your Honour, this is all going to be rather boring, I'm afraid,
6 because this is a section I'm going to show a lot of exhibits. I'm told
7 it may be working again.
8 Now, Your Honour, on the same day that Karadzic made his speech to
9 the assembly that we just looked at, the 15th of October, the meeting of
10 the SDS party council showed that the preparations were well advanced even
11 at that early stage and that the means of putting into effect the creation
12 of a Serbian state had been well thought out and that regionalisation was
13 one of the top methods. Can I ask that Your Honours now have a look, and
14 that I think, yes, it's up on the screen now, it's P20. We just look
15 first of all at the minutes. It says, "Serbian Democratic Party, party
16 council, 15th of October, minutes." It's on the screen. Then,
17 Your Honours, if we go to the next page of that. And
18 Your Honour, if we could highlight, if it's possible to highlight. We
19 missed a page. Sorry. Yes, there it is. It's on the front page. I've a
20 different version.
21 Your Honour, if we highlight the words of Mr. Dutina, Your Honours
22 I'm sure can see it. This is continuing along the same theme. "This
23 evening, we must get rid of the illusion" --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: The print is too small. If we could enlarge it a
25 little bit, please. Thank you.
1 MS. KORNER: Blow it up.
2 "This evening, we must shed the illusion that a form of
3 coexistence with the Muslims and Croats can be found. Therefore, I
4 suggest the following." And then he makes the following suggestions.
5 Mr. Koljevic says, "Nothing can be done legally with the Party of
6 Democratic Action, the SDA, and the Croatian Democratic Union." And if we
7 go on to the next page, let's go on to the next page because I don't want
8 to spend too long on this. If we go, please, to Mr. Neskovic's speech,
9 and Your Honour, we suggest that this is absolutely the classic
10 formulation of what the Serbs were doing at this time, which was provoking
11 this crisis. "Since they will not revoke their decision" - and this, if
12 you look above, is to do with the president of the constitutional
13 court - "I suggest that a parliamentary crisis be provoked, demand new
14 elections because in this way we would gain time which suits us. As
15 regards outvoting, we were the first to use it at the local level and they
16 at the republican level." And finally: "Go for a change of policy with
17 the aim of creating a Greater Serbia."
18 And Your Honour will know that this again, the term Greater Serbia
19 is the subject of a lot of dispute, Your Honour. And then next, going to
20 Mr. Djukic, Rajko Djukic, which I think we will see on the next page, to
21 the top of that page, Djukic: "We should agree on who is to do what,
22 because the whole job cannot be done by just a few people," and that is a
23 matter of common sense. And as we say, this plan involved a large number
24 of people at various levels. "We cannot leave the assembly or any other
25 body. If the coalition does not withdraw its decision, activate parallel
1 government bodies, primarily the Serbian Assembly." Your Honour, that is
2 what happened as you've heard in the evidence in a number of
3 municipalities where there was either a Muslim majority or equality, these
4 Serbian assembly came into being. Your Honour, as I say, the variant A
5 and B wasn't the beginning, by any stretch of the imagination, and was
6 merely one of the steps in the course of the development of this plan.
7 "Coordinate the work of the Serbian regions," and then,
8 "Overwhelm the public with a wave of information." This point was made
9 of the section in our final brief that dealt with media control. Your
10 Honour, we're not saying this is unique to the Serbs. By no stretch of
11 the imagination. We have no doubt at all that the same was happening in
12 the Croatian parts and the Muslim parts and has always happened, but it's
13 a fact that the control of the supply of information is a vital adjunct to
14 any sort of control and putting into effect plans.
15 And then Mr. Miskin, and Your Honour, as I say, this is why we say
16 that the regions were so important, states first thing: "Continue
17 regionalisation more intensively." And then, "A group of experts on
18 constitutional law, inspire to defend legitimacy." And again, "Establish
19 parallel bodies immediately so that we will be ready." For what? Five,
20 and underlined by hand, "Organise militarily, especially in the towns, and
21 give instructions to this effect in the municipal boards and local
22 boards." And finally, back to the media: "We are not well organised in
23 the media war."
24 And Your Honour, I think that's all that I want to remind you of
25 in that document. Thank you.
1 Your Honour, as we say, the variant A and B document and the
2 Djeric instructions of the 26th of April are merely putting flesh, we
3 submit, on the bones, extending a little bit further. If one looks again
4 at variant A and B, Your Honour, this is really dealing with some of the
5 themes. I know Your Honours have looked at this a number of times. If
6 one looks first of all at para 8 of the first stage which is on, I hope,
7 the third page, just highlight paragraph 8, please. And I'm sorry, I'm
8 reminded I haven't given the number of the exhibit. P97.
9 "Information propaganda activities are to be intensified in order
10 to inform the Serb people promptly and completely about the political and
11 security situation in the municipality and further afield." If one looks
12 at the second stage of variant A, paragraph 8 again, this is variant A,
13 Your Honours, you will recall is the municipalities in which the Serbs are
14 a majority. And here, paragraph 8: "In taking all these measures,
15 attention should be paid to ensuring respect for the national and other
16 rights of members of all nationalities and engage them later on in the
17 government bodies which will be established by the Assembly of the Serb
18 people in the municipality."
19 Now, if we have a look, please, at the second stage for a variant
20 B municipality, in other words, where the Serbs were not in a majority,
21 Your Honour, there the paragraph -- there is no paragraph 8 for the -- the
22 ones where they weren't in a majority, and that is, we say, a significant
23 difference because in municipalities where the Muslims posed no threat,
24 and the Croats, it was all right, and that was the intention then
25 apparently, as I say, there was a clear change in the intention, that they
1 should be absorbed into a government, but not in the municipalities where
2 the Serbs were in a minority or not in the majority.
3 Your Honours, finally, P157 on this aspect of matters, just to
4 remind ourselves again of the instructions issued by Prime Minister Djeric
5 on the 26th of April. And Your Honours, can I remind you of paragraphs 3
6 and 4. 3: "The crisis staff coordinates the functions of the
7 authorities" - I emphasise - "coordinates the function of the authority in
8 order to ensure the defence of the territories, the safety of the
9 population and property, the establishment of government," and so on and
10 so forth.
11 4: "The command of the TO and the police forces is under the
12 exclusive authority of the professional staff. And therefore, any
13 interference regarding the command of the TO and/or the use of the police
14 forces must be prevented." Your Honours, as we say, as we can see from
15 the later documents, these were -- this was a developing series of
16 directions and orders because we say it's quite clear that if that was
17 meant as a directive, it was not followed, and there were changes.
18 And finally, Your Honour, on the next page, the much disputed
19 final paragraph 14, well, not disputed, but subject to much comment by
20 both sides: "The crisis staff shall convene and make decisions in the
21 presence of all its members" - I emphasise - "take official minutes, issue
22 written decisions, and submit weekly reports to the regional and state
23 organisations of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina." The
24 Defence take the point that this document does not talk about a regional
25 crisis staff, but the only regional authority in existence at the time of
1 this document being issued, the 26th of April, was the Autonomous Region
2 of Krajina Assembly. And we have seen that the earlier documents, in
3 October, all were talking about the importance of regionalisation.
4 And we suggest even if it doesn't specifically talk about the -- a
5 regional crisis staff, this is what it clearly meant. And as we shall see
6 later, what everybody else seemed to have accepted, whether or not it was
7 actually written down in that document.
8 Now, Your Honour, the six strategic goals which had been set out
9 by Karadzic on the 12th of May could realistically only be achieved by the
10 forceful displacement of the Muslims and Croats from the territory that
11 the Republika Srpska wished to claim as its own, for a variety of reasons;
12 geographical, historical, the need to link up with Serbia proper. And
13 that forceful displacement was not a by-product, we would submit, of a
14 desire to remain in the famous wish to remain in Yugoslavia, which by
15 early 1992 had been effectively reduced to Serbia and Montenegro, and of
16 course, Kosovo. But we say it wasn't a by-product, but an integral part
17 of the criminal plan and one which was given, we would submit, on the
18 evidence, the highest priority. Interestingly enough, Your Honours, in
19 one sense, that seems to be accepted by the Defence in the commentary that
20 they made in their final brief, and this is at page 129, to the document
21 produced on the 7th of June by the Sanski Unska group, that group of
22 municipalities, because they said that, and this is bottom of page 128:
23 "It is clear that these municipalities were upset by the belief that they
24 were being neglected on economic matters. But more importantly, they
25 believed that the ARK Crisis Staff was not acting on issues related to the
1 movement of population and the purging of non-Serbs from the military.
2 The leaders from these municipalities clearly believed that the strategic
3 goals of the Serbian People were not being implemented by the ARK Crisis
4 Staff." It goes on to say, and this the Prosecution dispute but I'll read
5 this: "A plain reading of the 7th of June 1992 conclusions" - and they
6 are in Exhibit P229 - "especially when considered against the backdrop of
7 the strong individual leaders of these municipalities shows that these
8 municipalities were rebelling against the ARK because Brdjanin was not
9 acting upon important issues in line with the SDS policies and the six
10 strategic objectives."
11 Your Honour, the Prosecution say on the evidence Brdjanin was
12 doing just that, but clearly from that document those leaders of those
13 municipalities wanted things to go even further, quicker. But it seems to
14 be accepted that the strategic objectives did require the displacement of
15 the population in whatever form it took.
16 Now, can I move to dealing with the Autonomous Region of Krajina,
17 and with regionalisation and its part in that. The association of Bosnian
18 Krajina municipalities, ZOBK, as it has become known because that's what
19 the B/C/S or the proper name for it comes down to in an acronym.
20 Your Honour, the goals of the Serbs needed a consolidation of Serb areas
21 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. And so the concept of regionalisation which we
22 have touched on briefly came about. And it was described by
23 Mr. Sejmenovic, the Bosniak deputy from Prijedor, and he said:
24 "Mr. Brdjanin, as one of the more prominent members of parliament, is a
25 person I noticed only in the second half of 1991 when the debate took
1 place on federal institutions, on the Yugoslav People's Army, and
2 particularly the need to regionalise Bosnia. As far as I can remember,
3 that's when Mr. Brdjanin spoke more often in the debate. As for the
4 proposals to start reorganising the country, or rather re-establishing
5 regions, he was one of the most prominent speakers. And as a matter of
6 fact, he insisted the most that such proposals be put through parliament."
7 Your Honour, I shall be dealing with Mr. Brdjanin's authority and the like
8 tomorrow in one group. But Your Honour, we would say straight away that
9 it is clear that even from 1991, Mr. Brdjanin was a person who had
11 Then he was asked, that is Mr. Sejmenovic, "Can you expand a
12 little on what you mean by regionalisation?"
13 "In that period of time, that is to say at the moment when the SDS
14 MPs, primarily through Mr. Brdjanin, presented their demand that
15 parliament approve the regionalisation of the country, in that stage, the
16 SDS called that economic regionalisation. And they explained the need to
17 do so due to economic necessity."
18 And he then went on to describe the debates, and it was pointed
19 out that there were already -- there was already regionalisation based on
20 economic principles. And they -- then he goes on to say this: "It all
21 boiled done to the following: That they wanted to create regions along
22 the lines of the already established Serb regions in Croatia. And of
23 course, it was noticed that they had started doing this in some parts of
24 Bosnia even before this had been discussed in parliament."
25 And then finally he was asked this, and I'll give the page
1 reference to the whole quote that I've read in a moment: "From the point
2 of view of your party or you in particular, what did the purpose of this
3 regionalisation appear to be if not economic?"
4 "The purpose was national, ethnic. And this was evident in the
5 policy of the SDS of Croatia, in the area of the neighbouring country
6 where there were Serb areas. They first called for economic
7 regionalisation, and then they closed off that area and turned it into a
8 Serb autonomous region. So we already had experience with the SDS
9 policies in the wider area, and we also had experience in the area of
11 And the whole quote is taken from transcript page 12097 to 8.
12 Your Honour, this is, Your Honour, we say, not only important
13 because it was clear to everyone what the purpose of this regionalisation
14 was, but also to make the point that it cannot be said that the Bosnian
15 Serbs could not foresee what was going to happen if they pursued these
16 policies because everyone could see by the end of 1991 what had happened
17 in Croatia and the violence that had taken place there.
18 Now, Your Honour, it is asserted by the Defence effectively as a
19 kind of mantra in the face of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary
20 that this was intended to be a voluntary, multiethnic, economic
21 association, and that is at page 23 of their final brief.
22 Mr. Dodik, whose evidence is relied on for quite a lot by the
23 Defence, again, one of the many witnesses that Your Honours will have to
24 consider the credibility, the accuracy, the reliability of him, himself
25 disapproved of that. And if Your Honours look, please, at the article
1 which is 2354 -- I'm sorry, it's -- yes, in fact, Your Honour, can I first
2 of all look at the statute, 2354. Your Honour, what's relied on by the
3 Defence are Articles 1, which says that the various municipalities listed
4 there have united together on the basis of voluntariness and for the
5 purpose of effecting long-term cooperation, coordination of development
6 plans, and realising of other common interests.
7 And Article 11, which states that "each member municipality may
8 leave the association of municipalities." And sets out the restrictions
9 on that. And that's relied on for evidence of voluntariness. And
10 Mr. Treanor agreed when he had Article 11 put to him that that did indeed
11 sound as if it was a voluntary organisation. He actually agreed it at
12 page 20907 to 8 and not, as put in the Defence trial brief, and this is
13 the last time I'm going to make this rather pathetic point, T21907.
14 Your Honour, it is possible for all people to make errors when dealing
15 with so many documents.
16 Your Honour, in addition to those articles, the Defence rely on
17 the evidence of Messrs. Vidic and Mr. Dejanovic that -- both of whom were
18 members of the association and its subsequent assembly. And
19 Mr. Vidic -- Mr. Dejanovic came after Mr. Vidic, and both of them said
20 almost identical things. "It's your opinion," it was put to
21 Mr. Dejanovic, "that the ARK Assembly as you described it was an unserious
22 organisation." He said: "Yes, all my opinion."
23 "And not as a result of any discussion that you had with
24 Mr. Vidic?"
25 "No, not at all. It's my expression from that time. And not only
2 "And this description that you gave us of Hyde Park, everyone
3 coming or going, and everyone voting, you never discussed that with
4 Mr. Vidic?"
5 And you may recall that, Your Honours.
6 Now, Your Honour, they denied or Mr. Dejanovic denied he had any
7 discussion before or after he gave evidence with Mr. Vidic about his
8 description of the assembly. But Your Honours will have to assess the
9 credibility of what they say in the light of some of the following
10 evidence. First of all, Article 16, Your Honour, "The association of
11 municipalities shall monitor the situation and coordinate activities for
12 the organisation and implementation of preparations for All Peoples'
13 Defence in accordance with the law, municipal defence plans, and the
14 republican defence plan." Your Honour, it begs the question if this
15 organisation was intended to be economic, then what on earth is it
16 concerning itself with about defence?
17 And now Mr. Dodik, who when this association was formed spoke to
18 the press, and that is P2457. 18th of April 1991, founding session, I
19 think was the 21st. "Hasty regionalisation." And then he explains, and
20 I'm not going to go through it all, that in view of him and his party, the
21 Alliance of Reform Forces, this -- the reformists have abstained from
22 voting because they haven't received sufficient information. And if you
23 look at the bottom of that page, Your Honour, "It is our opinion," he
24 stated, "that essentially from the point of view of economy, there are
25 elements that would justify thinking about regionalisation, but that the
1 current political situation in Yugoslavia rules it out and forces its
2 postponement. This means, we as parties were not engaged in all of this,
3 I can personally consider it politically highly illiterate and impudent
4 that certain municipal assemblies voted on the initiative, in spite of the
5 fact that none of the deputies received any of the materials," and so on
6 and so forth.
7 And Mr. Dodik, in fact, also testified about that at page
8 T -- transcript page 20458.
9 Your Honour, then if we briefly look at two other exhibits, this
10 is concerned with the voluntary nature of this association, P11 first of
11 all. Item 3, Mr. Brdjanin where he states: "I propose that the statute
12 be adopted today as it stands because we cannot have ZOBK on a voluntary
13 basis. We cannot wait for public debate in the municipal assemblies and
14 convene the community assembly every month." And that was the 14th of
15 May, second session of the Assembly, 14th of May 1991.
16 Your Honour, the agenda that was then pursued by this association
17 was, we submit, clearly nothing to do with economics at all, but a
18 political agenda. One looks at the 30th of May, P72, I hope to canter
19 through this lot, it's a conclusion signed by -- on behalf, I think,
20 actually of -- yes, it's "za," Mr. Kupresanin, "Bearing in mind the
21 complexity of the political and constitutional crisis in Yugoslavia," and
22 so on and so forth, conclusion: "The community of association of
23 municipalities, Bosnian Krajina, will not accept any agreement on
24 behalf -- on the part of the Bosnia and Herzegovina that Yugoslavia should
25 be organised as a confederation," so on and so forth. And 3, because
1 Mr. Brdjanin is a deputy, he is authorised to take those conclusions to
2 the assembly.
3 Your Honour, on the 6th of August 1991, there was the takeover of
4 the Kozara transmitter. And Your Honours, on the 6th of August -- and I'm
5 sorry, that isn't, I don't think, in -- no, it's not. Can I just ask that
6 be put on the ELMO very briefly. There was an announcement by the
7 assembly that there was an unofficial report that the BiH Ministry of the
8 Interior was considering sending operative units to take control of the TV
9 relay. And it says it's effectively, "We consider possible intervention
10 by BH MUP forces to be useful at this moment in areas of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina where the Serbian people are threatened" - that's the last
12 paragraph - "but that they weren't to intervene anywhere in that area."
13 In fact, what happened, as Your Honours know - thank you, that's
14 all; that was P14, I think, yes, P14 - was that - thank you - that was the
15 day that the transmitter was taken over by a group consisting of the
16 Wolves of Vucak led by Milankovic, in the main part, but also by other
17 people. Your Honours have already seen the video, and I'm not going to
18 play it again; it will take up too much time. The video is P1532, and
19 there's a transcript which is .1. And part of that they lengthy video was
20 an interview with Mladjenovic, the minister for information, then the
21 editor of Glas, and then the removed editor of Glas, and then
22 Mr. Grahovac, who in August of 1991 was in charge of the executive
23 council, and they give an interview on the year's anniversary of the
24 takeover. And the reporter there said to them: "The crucial role in this
25 action was played by the now legendary Wolves from Vucak and their
1 commander, Veljko Milankovic. Here are some of their memories." And then
2 there's a gentleman called Kesic. And in his description of the takeover,
3 he said this: "The preparations took two days. On Saturday, around 1600
4 hours, we had our cars, men, and uniforms ready. In civilian clothes, we
5 moved to Gradip, where they waited for me, their commander. From there,
6 we moved towards Europa. When we reached Europa, we were met by the
7 politicians of the then-Autonomous Region of Krajina, that is Bosnian
8 Krajina, who explained to us, in short, the political importance of the
9 relay takeover."
10 Now, Your Honour, this again deals were a number of different
11 things. First, the fiction that ZOBK was anything other than a political
12 organisation. Second, the importance of the control of the media, the
13 technical means by which the media operated. And third, Your Honour, the
14 close cooperation between the politicians and these gangs of so-called
15 paramilitaries such as the Wolves of Vucak. These weren't out of control;
16 these were executing the desires and the wishes of the leadership.
17 Your Honour, the founding or the declaration of the ARK Assembly
18 on the 16th of September 1991 was, we suggest, no more than the official
19 announcement of a situation which had existed since the founding of ZOBK
20 in April 1991. Your Honour, can I invite Your Honours to look at the
21 description given by - I'm sorry, Your Honour - BT-95, can I invite
22 Your Honours to look at the transcript 19500. Because Your Honour, he
23 explained about the autonomous regions and how they did or did not work.
24 Your Honour, finally on this, the so-called multiethnic nature of
25 this assembly, Mr. Blagojevic, at the transcript 21820, identified six
1 delegates who were not Serbs. He was looking at the list. I think it's
2 P60. It said "The delegates to the assembly," and he was asked about
4 He said, "I believe that this list, this is a list that belonged
5 to the association of municipalities, those were the delegates that
6 represented the association of municipalities."
7 Put to him: "This says list of representatives in the Krajina?"
8 And he said, "Yes."
9 Question: "But you mean that the representatives never changed
10 over the period?"
11 And he said, "No."
12 And that was at 21820.
13 Your Honour, as to the political content of the ARK assemblies,
14 that is really obvious, and I don't propose to take Your Honours through
15 any of that save for one document. And it looks like I may have to do
16 that after the break.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Ms. Korner.
18 The Krstic judgement is out. Perhaps you will have an opportunity
19 to see what the summary is. We will reconvene in 25 minutes' time. Is
20 that enough break for you, Ms. Korner in particular, because you are
21 standing for four hours? Would 25 minutes --
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm very anxious. I have got a lot to
23 say, as Your Honours realise. I'd be happy to have less than 25. 20.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, 20?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: 25.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: 25.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I want to go back to one document I
5 referred to and a couple of documents I missed out. Your Honour, can I
6 ask you this, it sounds a bit like Mr. Ackerman, who's always telling Your
7 Honours about the notes, but I've had a look at my notes, and I don't see
8 that I can realistically hope to finish what I wanted to finish today
9 today, and tomorrow. We lost roughly an hour this morning. Could I have
10 an extra hour on Wednesday morning, is that possible?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I have no objection at all, Your Honour.
13 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: If necessary, we will find an extra hour. If it's
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if it's possible tomorrow, if we can
17 have a break and then continue in the afternoon, then I will certainly
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It will be late in the afternoon because I have to
20 go to near Schiphol to pick up a parcel and then come back. So, I need to
21 do that before 4.00, that's the latest. So we can have an extra few -- I
22 don't know. I don't know how long Mr. Ackerman anticipates.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, that's not necessary. The hour on
24 Wednesday will be -- Wednesday's no problem. Our arguments are not going
25 to be two days long.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: It's not going to be.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
4 Yes, Ms. Korner.
5 MS. KORNER: Can I just go back for a moment, please, to P1532. I
6 read the part, Your Honours, to do with the man who was from the Wolves of
7 Vucak, but I left out a part that Kupresanin spoke. It's the same video,
9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the part --
10 MS. KORNER: The transcript's not numbered, unfortunately. But
11 Your Honour, we've got it up on the... It says clip 4. Your Honour, I
12 should say I said erroneously that this was the first anniversary of the
13 takeover. It looks as though it was, in fact, the third anniversary,
14 because it's April 1994.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: In your brief, you do deal with that, and also make
16 reference to Kupresanin's...
17 MS. KORNER: Right. Well, Your Honour, can I just remind
18 Your Honour of -- because basically, I'm now dealing with points that have
19 been made by the Defence where Kupresanin said, "We knew even back then
20 that a state cannot be a state without its radio, TV, and other media and
21 without its currency. We, in the assembly of the former
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, knew that nothing could be achieved with Muslims and
23 Croats, the anti-Serbian coalition, and we were happy to part ways with
24 them. We began the parting with the Autonomous Region of Krajina and
25 continued with the takeover of the relay."
1 And Your Honours, as I say, we make reference to it in our final
3 Your Honour, I also missed out two documents which I should have
4 referred Your Honours to which deal with the clearly political, not to say
5 military nature of the association of Bosnian Krajina municipalities.
6 Your Honour, the first is the document which was marked as P15 dated the
7 24th of August. And I'm not going to go through it, but it was a document
8 that was addressed to municipal staffs of volunteer units. "We hereby
9 enclose the essay submitted at the session of the representatives of the
10 municipalities of Bosnian Krajina on the occasion of the establishment of
11 the command of Bosanska Krajina volunteer units."
12 And in addition to that, Your Honour, on the 6th of September
13 there was a communication from the assembly of ZOBK signed by Kupresanin.
14 And I think this is actually signed by him as opposed to being on his
15 behalf, and stamped, which deals with those volunteer forces. All of that
16 before the assembly.
17 Now, Your Honour, can I finally deal with the evidence given by
18 Mr. Vidic and Dejanovic, that the assembly of the ARK wasn't a serious
19 document -- serious document, organisation. Mr. Blagojevic had this to
21 He was asked, again this is in cross-examination: "Did you tell
22 the representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor that the legal basis
23 for the existence of the Autonomous Region of Krajina was amendment 42 to
24 Article 276 of the Bosnia-Herzegovina constitution?"
25 And he said: "Yes."
1 "And that was your understanding as a lawyer?"
2 And he said: "Yes."
3 And this is at transcript 21804.
4 And then a little later, it was put to him: "There is no
5 question, is there, Mr. Blagojevic, that these regional governments were
6 important functioning parts of the Serbian authorities?"
7 And he said: "Yes. In view of their authorisations at all
8 events, yes."
9 "But as a matter of practical reality," question, "these
10 governments, these regional governments, whatever happened later, were
11 important for the functioning of the Serbian Republic."
12 "Well probably, yes. Probably."
13 That's at 21856.
14 Your Honour, can I move now to the crisis staffs. The Defence, in
15 their final brief at pages 30 to 31, state that the legality of the ARK
16 Crisis Staff was questionable. And I'm summarising. The Prosecution does
17 not dissent from this view in any way. The legality of the whole
18 creation, the strict legality of the whole creation of the
19 Republika Srpska, the parallel assemblies established in municipalities
20 like Prijedor, Krupa, Sanski Most, and their resulting crisis staff all
21 are open to question as a matter of strict legality. But this isn't a
22 case, Your Honour, about strict legality. This is a case about whether
23 these institutions, legal or not legal, by whatever standards were
24 applied, exercised authority and whether individual members, in this case,
25 Mr. Brdjanin, used that authority and the institution to promote the
1 commission of criminal acts.
2 In December of 1991, we had the variant A and B instructions. On
3 the 26th of January -- 22nd of January 1992, there is an intercept which I
4 would invite Your Honours just quickly to look at. It's P2367, and it's
5 page 7 of that intercept. The front page shows us it's the 22nd of
6 January, and it's a conversation between Cizmovic and Karadzic. And
7 there, Cizmovic is telling Karadzic, "Tonight, we also establish the
8 crisis staff which will act when nobody can get together, when they can
9 assemble more quickly."
10 And he says, "Excellent."
11 "So that's working. Because the objective must be carried out,
12 instructions must be carried out."
13 Now, Your Honour, the Defence say in response to that intercept
14 which they don't dispute, there is no evidence that it ever happened.
15 Well, in the sense of somebody coming along producing a document showing
16 "here are the members," no. Or somebody going to one of the meetings and
17 saying, "I attended those meetings," there is no evidence. But if we look
18 at the surrounding evidence, we can see that - and this is the period very
19 closely after the December instructions - the municipalities who could be
20 described as coming within the variant B area started to set up crisis
21 staffs. I use the word "covertly," because they weren't publicly
22 announced because, for example, in Sanski Most, P750, which is a sort of
23 running description of what happened with the SDS during the period,
24 states that the crisis staff was set up on the 15th of January of 1992.
25 Its formal declaration, its formal appearance into the public eye came on
1 the 21st of April 1992, and that can be seen from P619.
2 In Prijedor, the crisis staff actually started to be formed on the
3 27th of December 1991. That can be seen in Exhibit P1156. But it was
4 actually formally declared on the 20th of May 1992, P1268.
5 Now, Your Honour, the Defence make the point that that shows that
6 these municipalities were setting up crisis staffs independent of the
7 regional. Well, Your Honour, that's absolutely right. They were being
8 set up not as a result of instructions from the regional, but instructions
9 from the main board of the SDS. But equally, so was the regional crisis
10 staff coming into existence because if it wasn't in existence covertly,
11 then when on the 24th of February 1992, look, please at P116, what was the
12 executive board of the SDS, Mr. Djukic, again, doing appointing Mr. Vukic,
13 the coordinator of the SAO Krajina, and then setting out his duties, one
14 of which was to take part in the work of the SAO Krajina crisis staff.
15 Your Honour, that is why we say even though the April instructions
16 themselves specifically don't say "regional crisis staff," it is
17 absolutely clear on the evidence that the SDS intended and did establish a
18 regional crisis staff.
19 Your Honour, on the 14th of March 1992, at the SDS conference, and
20 if we can look, please, at -- press conference, I should say, P127, 14th
21 of March, there was a conference of the SDS Krajina -- Bosnian Krajina
22 party. There was an assembly. Talks about the army and so on and so
23 forth. And then: "The SDS crisis staff will be reinforced with a
24 military council." Your Honour, if it was nonexistent, this is the most
25 extraordinary series of documents and statements.
1 Now, Your Honour, on the 3rd of April 1992, there was the crisis
2 staff that apparently came into existence because of the SOS.
3 Your Honour, I've already dealt with the Defence assertion that really all
4 they were were a disaffected group of soldiers. The circumstances
5 surrounding this, the invasion of the SOS, Your Honours have heard a
6 number of times, and I'm going to just recap the major aspects of it.
7 Your Honours have seen the newspaper article which sets out in
8 full, P137, which has just come up on the screen for you, "The word of the
9 warrior." Your Honour, the only sensible inference to be drawn from all
10 the evidence is that this group was used as part of the SDS strategy to
11 create this climate of fear that would enable them to put their plan into
12 effect. Now, criticism is made by the Defence of that suggestion,
13 assertion, inference that we invite you to draw. Your Honour, can I just
14 recap those circumstances. Into Banja Luka come this group of armed men
15 who set up barricades. Banja Luka is the seat of then the 5th Krajina
16 Corps, the biggest corps in the JNA. It is seat of the CSB, not to
17 mention the various SJBs of the police. Nobody attempts to take down
18 those barricades or do anything. They present a list of demands which
19 bear a remarkable similarity to the policies of the SDS. The JNA
20 remaining in Yugoslavia. Dismissals. Everything.
21 Your Honours, if one looks, please, I would ask for that to come
22 up, P138, we see that Mr. Brdjanin, although Mr. Radic, I think, was the
23 president of this particular crisis staff, Radoslav Brdjanin,
24 vice-president of the autonomous region told journalists, in addition, he
25 stated: "The crisis committee is resolute in its implementation of all
1 the demands that have so far been decided upon. All the changes in
2 personnel will be decided by April 15th." Under what circumstances, as
3 Mr. Dodik explained, under what circumstances would any government give in
4 to demands by armed thugs unless it was because these armed thugs were
5 working hand in glove with the authorities. Hand in glove to force
6 onwards changes.
7 Your Honour, again, there is a remarkable similarity between this,
8 the SOS, at the almost identical period there's an SOS in Sanski Most. But
9 later, when Teslic is not moving quickly enough with disarmament, with
10 dismissals, what happens? This group, the Mice come in. They are as bad
11 as, if not worse, than the SOS. And what happens? In the end, they're
12 actually such a band of criminals that not only are they mistreating
13 Muslims which I would suggest would not have bothered anybody in the
14 slightest, but they are also mistreating Serbs. So the CSB is brought in
15 to help clear these men out of Teslic.
16 In Prnjavor, who goes in there? The Wolves of Vucak. Again,
17 Your Honour, to clear the area.
18 Your Honour, should there be any doubt of it, that is why we are
19 somewhat surprised to see that the Defence still maintain or attempt to
20 maintain this mantra that the SOS were a group of thugs, Mr. Radic himself
21 in interview, when he was interviewed in Banja Luka, and affirmed this
22 when he gave evidence before Your Honours - this is at transcript page
23 22247 - the interview was being put to him. "The way you put it, their
24 appearance must have been orchestrated from somewhere. And you were asked
25 who? And you said, yes, because the SOS couldn't appoint themselves."
1 And he went on to say: "Someone had to prepare the territory, and
2 the appearance of the SOS, there's a strange coincidence between that and
3 the decision we received from Pale to form the crisis staff." And he gave
4 an explanation of the decision.
5 And Mr. Dodik, who was a reserve police officer who had been
6 mobilised on duty at the airport, had expected an order to prevent them
7 taking over the airport, he received no such order. And when he was
8 pressed, he said had he been the authorities, he would have engaged the
9 lawful police units and prevented the movement of those forces.
10 Your Honour, the demand that the SOS made that there be -- "that
11 Mr. Radic as president of the municipality activate a crisis staff that we
12 would agree to and negotiate with." The persons appointed to the crisis
13 staff were published in the newspaper, 137. And Your Honour, many
14 familiar names appear on that crisis staff. Mr. Radic, Mr. Stevandic,
15 I'll just check before I get somebody... Mr. Sajic, Mr. Kovacevic,
16 Mr. Rosic, Mr. Vukic, and Radoslav Brdjanin, if one can put it that way,
17 the mainstay of the later crisis staff. Your Honour, which is why we say
18 this is a clear line from December of 1991 through until the 5th of May
19 1992. And Your Honour, on the 5th of April, the accused held another
20 press conference. And Your Honour, I think we should look at that
21 document. It's P139, because a complaint was made by the Defence that we
22 were deliberately misquoting it.
23 "On behalf of the crisis staff of the Banja Luka Municipality,
24 Radoslav Brdjanin and Dr. Vukic, members of this staff," again, it's
25 always Brdjanin and/or Vukic who were the spokespersons, "held a press
1 conference today. For the most part, there was talk about the
2 implementation of the already accepted requests of the Serbian Defence
3 forces. Their requests have proved to be justified, especially now, said
4 Brdjanin, because their objective is to protect the Serbian people from
5 possible repetitions of the scenario from Bijeljina and Bosanski Brod."
6 Your Honour, we copied the whole thing, lifted the whole thing and
7 put it into the brief. The complaint was that we suggested that Brdjanin
8 said everything. Well, Your Honour, this cannot be repeated in
9 Banja Luka. It was said to date, we accept that it doesn't make it clear
10 whether it's Brdjanin or Vukic, but it seems to be along the lines of the
11 reporting from this conference, and we did not suggest, we simply lifted
12 the quote in full.
13 "And then for certain staff leveling changes, this will have to
14 be done by the 15th of this month."
15 Your Honour, and finally, to finish off this particular aspect, if
16 we look at 2370, the day after the SOS come in, Karadzic in his role as
17 president of the National Security Council is ordering the activation of
18 crisis staffs in municipalities under specified conditions. And that's on
19 the next page, if we can just go to that. And then finally, on the 27th
20 of April 1992, Djeric issues his instructions, and we've already looked at
22 Now, Your Honour, the ARK Crisis Staff, as it were, fons et origo,
23 if one likes, of this case. The 5th of May decision is one by the
24 executive council announcing the establishment. Now, it may be that there
25 is another document because of the evidence Mr. Radic gave. This was at
1 transcript page 21976, and it was his examination-in-chief. Question:
2 "Just as a general proposition, from your perspective, observing the work
3 of that crisis staff, what role did that ARK Crisis Staff play in the
4 events in the Krajina between the 5th of May and the 17th of July 1992, if
6 "Well, before the war broke out, there was an association of
7 municipalities. Then the AR Krajina was established. The goal was to
8 exchange information on possible problems and help each other. That was
9 the original goal. The crisis staff of the AR Krajina is not something
10 that just turned up. It was not something that was created in Banja Luka
11 by an individual. There is a document which reached us signed by the
12 prime minister. And according to this document, the crisis staff was to
13 be set up with certain obligations. However, this crisis staff did not
14 carry out the tasks that had been set by that document. Let me even be so
15 bold to claim that this was just a transfer of authority."
16 Well, there were two things. Either there's another document
17 specifically relating to the ARK Crisis Staff, or what Mr. Radic has in
18 mind is the Djeric instructions, and he, like everyone else, look that to
19 refer not only to the municipal but to the region.
20 He was later asked, and this is at page 21983, again, still
21 examination-in-chief: "What kind of mechanism did the ARK Crisis Staff
22 have to enforce any of its decisions or conclusions? How could they
23 enforce the decisions or conclusions that were issued by them?"
24 Radic's reply: "I really don't know. As I said, they had
25 received some sort of de jure authority. But as to whether they had any
1 authority to force someone to implement something like that, I'm not aware
2 of this."
3 Now, Your Honour, the Defence make great play of the fact that it
4 was Mr. Erceg who apparently formally announced, made the decision that
5 this crisis staff was to set up, and the general consensus of those who
6 were in a position to know is that such a decision did not lie within the
7 competence of an executive council. Mr. Dzonlic was one of the witnesses
8 who said that, of the assembly. And that, of course, begs the real
9 question of the legality of any of this, as I've already dealt with.
10 There are a number of unanswered questions in this case, and ones which to
11 which we are never likely to get an answer. Why was the setting up the
12 regional crisis staff done in this way? Was it a device? Mr. Erceg, who
13 set up or signed the decision, is not someone that the Court's had the
14 privilege of hearing from. There's some other unanswered questions, one
15 I've already dealt with, where are the crisis staff minutes? Another
16 really unanswered question, Your Honours may think, is why and how exactly
17 did Mr. Brdjanin become the president of the ARK Crisis Staff? Most of
18 the witnesses who should have been in a position to know professed
19 ignorance or they speculated. Mr. Blagojevic said that his health, he
20 thought, didn't allow him to take this position, referred to some meeting
21 where Mr. Kupresanin had said that why should he get involved in all of
22 this if the municipalities are going to take the decisions about
23 dismissals? If it was his health, it didn't stop Mr. Kupresanin attending
24 the assemblies of the Republika Srpska or indeed trotting around the
25 various prison camps.
1 What does that expression in the 29th of February ARK Assembly,
2 and I think -- I hope that's on my list and we have got that in --
3 meeting. Just a moment. I think it's P -- yes, P35. Second page.
4 That's the 29th of February. Third page, sorry.
5 And Your Honour, we have been round the houses on that with some
6 witnesses. Item 3: "Establish immediately strict control of the
7 Autonomous Region of Krajina." Not one person who was there was able to
8 explain to this Court what was meant by that conclusion; unable or didn't
9 want to. And Your Honour, while we're on that topic there, we can see a
10 request from Television Banja Luka for money.
11 Your Honour, as I say, that's just one of a few questions that
12 Your Honours are never going to have a direct answer to from the evidence
13 and all that one can do from there is draw inferences from, really, the
14 surrounding circumstances. And the inference we would invite you to draw
15 from that conclusion is that it means exactly what it says, that there was
16 going to be an imposition of force in order to obtain strict control of
17 the territory.
18 Now, Your Honour, if we can go back to the crisis staff list,
19 P227, this is the official one published in the Gazette - thank you - now,
20 Your Honour, as we say, the strict legal position was, those who were
21 listed as members of the crisis staff held the highest position of
22 authority. The Defence attempted to say that because all of the members
23 were based in Banja Luka, this was throughout the trial, it's not
24 something they repeat in their final brief, it was a local institution.
25 So it had no authority outside Banja Luka. Well, Your Honour, I didn't
1 have to do the exercise that I did with so many witnesses all over again.
2 Mr. Brdjanin, member of the assembly of the Republika Srpska or whatever
3 it was called in those days and head of the crisis staff, commissioned for
4 whatever it was called, relocating -- no, dismissing people. I can't
5 remember the name of it now, but anyhow. Lieutenant Colonel Milorad
6 Sajic, the head of the TO; Mr. Kupresanin, assembly member, president of
7 the ARK; Mr. Erceg, president of the executive committee of the ARK
8 Assembly; Mr. Radic, let me say nothing else; Dr. Vukic, SDS president;
9 Dr. Milovan Milanovic, he was a member of the -- he was, I think, already
10 by then the deputy vice-president of the Republika Srpska; General Talic;
11 Major Jokic, the air force until General Ninkovic came on the scene;
12 Mr. Zupljanin, the CSB; Dr. Mirjanic, the only, if I can put it, odd one
13 out, and I'll come back to that in a minute; Mr. Puvacic, the public
14 prosecutor; Mr. Rosic, the judge.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge.
16 MS. KORNER: Thank you. Mr. Dubocanin, we venture to suggest on
17 the evidence nothing but a thug, a member of the intervention squad;
18 Mr. Stevandic, the SOKOL leader, again the leader, according to the Serbs'
19 own investigations, of the SOS; Mr. Bulic, the police; and Nedeljko Kesic,
20 head of the DSB, I think it was, but whatever it was, the intelligence
21 side of the CSB.
22 Your Honour, not one single person on that list with one
23 exception, and that's number 11 - I'm sorry, in fact, he was the
24 replacement, we had this before, he was the replacement for the one person
25 that I will come on to - refused to go to the inaugural meeting or any of
1 the later meetings even if they didn't attend on a regular basis. Not one
2 person with one possible exception, and that was Dr. Kuzmanovic, issued a
3 public denial that they were on this crisis staff or that they had
4 anything to do with this crisis staff. The only person who presumably had
5 some objection was Dr. Kuzmanovic who was replaced within a matter of two
6 days by Dr. Mirjanic. And Mr. Radic, you will recall, that that was one
7 of his complaints, that Mr. Blagojevic hadn't noted down his interventions
8 properly in respect of the replacement.
9 And Your Honour, what body could possible have more authority in
10 the eyes of the public in the Bosnian Krajina whether Serb, Muslim, or
11 Croat, than one composed of the highest representatives from every walk of
13 Mr. Blagojevic, when we went through that list with him, Talic and
14 Zupljanin, and two leading politicians said this, when it was put to him,
15 again there's going to be an objection to that, it was taken out of
16 context. "This crisis staff, therefore, had real authority, didn't it,
17 Mr. Blagojevic?"
18 "Well, by virtue of the office these people held, that would be
19 the conclusion."
20 And that, Your Honour, this is at transcript page 21881. And
21 Your Honour, that, in fact, is also what Mr. Radic said when he was
22 dealing with Mr. Brdjanin. Yes, he had authority. But it didn't come
23 from the membership of the crisis staff. It came from his other
24 positions. Your Honour, we don't dissent from that either.
25 General Talic's authority didn't come from his membership of the crisis
1 staff; it came because he was head of the hugest corps - the hugest,
2 that's bad English - the largest corps in the JNA and in the VRS. But
3 together, combined, all these men with their personal authorities from
4 their other positions made this an authoritative institution. And to the
5 people in Banja Luka, it was apparently had authority. Mr. Dzonlic said,
6 and this is transcript page 2409, "I was not surprised when I saw that the
7 police had to observe the decisions of the crisis staff because it is my
8 opinion and also on the basis of the documents which I had at the time and
9 which I was able to see," and I think he was then referring to the ones he
10 had been shown here, "at the top of the pyramid of power was the staff of
11 the autonomous region, and all bodies had to execute the decisions of the
12 crisis staff, and to report back on tasks carried out and conclusions
13 implemented further to instructions from the crisis staff. And I know
14 that they placed themselves above the official organs of authority."
15 Question: "And by the official organs of authority, what do you
17 "I am referring to the various secretariats within the
18 municipality such as the secretariat for national defence, for the
19 economy, the police, the assembly of the municipality, the executive
20 council of the municipality. I'm thinking of those bodies of authority."
21 "Mr. Smalagic," and this is at transcript page 1970, "why didn't
22 you complain to Mr. Brdjanin as president of the crisis staff, the ARK
23 crisis staff?"
24 "Well, we didn't have the courage in general terms. I'm not
25 referring to security. And after all the statements he had made about us,
1 to go and talk to him seemed to be quite futile."
2 Your Honour, just pausing there for a moment -- oh, sorry.
3 Pausing there for a moment, Your Honour -- I'm sorry, one of the issues
4 that comes across -- the Defence have raised is that people went to talk
5 to Mr. Radic rather than to Mr. Brdjanin. And Your Honour, we suggest
6 this witness encapsulated what a number of other witnesses said; namely,
7 he was making these statements about us. Why would we go and talk to him?
8 Mr. Radic at least seemed more reasonable.
9 Your Honour, the answer continued in this way after "talked to him
10 seemed to be quite futile." "And also, we didn't want to skip levels, the
11 municipal level, and go to him directly, because he could have helped us
12 quite a lot. But all this came to nothing, because this municipal level
13 was under the regional level after all, the regional crisis staff." Your
14 Honour, BW-1, again, it was in closed session so I'm not going to refer to
15 it, and I remembered that, which is at page T23402 [Realtime transcript
16 read in error "T23042"], if I can just ask you to look at one of the
17 questions and answers on that page.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you repeat the page.
19 MS. KORNER: Transcript page number 23402.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I asked you to repeat because I had heard
21 you 234 in sequence, and the transcript says 23042. So that stands to be
22 corrected. Thank you.
23 MS. KORNER: Exactly, Your Honour. Regrettably, this is what
24 happens sometimes. One transposes numbers. That's what happened both in
25 our brief and in the Defence brief.
1 Mr. Radic, finally - I'm afraid that's all I can do today, but I
2 want to move on to a different topic anyhow - again, he was confirming his
3 interview in Banja Luka. You were shown the document that -- yes. You
4 were shown the document that established the crisis staff, and you said it
5 was confirmed at the assembly. It was confirmed at the assembly and the
6 executive committee of the ARK. It was signed by Mr. Erceg. And then
7 this is just the whole interview being put to him, which is in fact an
8 exhibit, Your Honours, as well. "It was then put to you: 'Once the
9 crisis staff came into existence on the 5th of May 1992, it was the
10 highest authority as far as a governing body in the Autonomous Region of
11 Krajina. Correct?' And you said" - referring to what it said in
12 interview - "'Yes, because the Assembly of the Autonomous Region was then
13 disbanded so that the only thing that remained were the assemblies of the
15 And then going on with that part, Your Honour, all of this is at
16 page 22267 - perhaps that's the simplest way of dealing with it - and he
17 then was asked: "Was the highest body of government authority at the
18 time, once the assembly was established, it was the crisis staff of the
19 autonomous region was the highest body of government authority at the time
20 once the assembly was disbanded. Is that correct?"
21 Answer: Yes.
22 Question: "And the ARK crisis staff had direct control over the
23 municipalities within the ARK; is that correct?"
24 And his reply was: "Depending. It depended on the individual.
25 It depended on the people in the municipalities. It varied because there
1 are documents from which you can tell when exactly -- because the
2 municipal assembly still existed."
3 Now, Your Honour, it's that particular aspect that is seized upon
4 by the Defence, and that's what I want to deal with first thing tomorrow,
5 to suggest that the municipal crisis staff, and suggests in the face of
6 evidence showing to the contrary, went their own way because it depended
7 on the individual. And Your Honour, you will -- may think that the
8 evidence, all told, from the witnesses who were on or associated with the
9 crisis staff gave inherently contradictory evidence themselves about the
10 authority of the regional crisis staff.
11 Your Honour, that brings me nicely to the next part.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Korner.
13 Before we adjourn, is there anything you would like to...
14 Nothing. Okay.
15 All right. So we stand adjourned until tomorrow morning, same
16 time, 9.00, I think here in Courtroom III. Thank you.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of April,
19 2004, at 9.00 a.m.