1 Tuesday, 27 October 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused not present]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Would the Registrar please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours. This
7 is case number IT-95-5/18-T, the Prosecutor versus Radovan Karadzic.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
9 Good afternoon. I would like first to have appearance for the
11 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Alan Tieger,
12 Hildegard Uertz-Retzlaff, Iain Reid appearing for the Prosecution.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
14 I note that the accused, Mr. Karadzic, is once again not present
15 in spite of the Chamber's oral and written request and warnings. The
16 Chamber regrets the decision by the accused to absent himself once again
17 from the proceedings. He has chosen that course and must therefore
18 accept that consequences will inevitably flow from the choice. We repeat
19 our warning to him that there are circumstances where the Chamber may
20 proceed in the absence of an accused and may assign counsel to the case.
21 I note that although the right of an accused person to be present during
22 his trial is a fundamental one, it is well recognised that this right is
23 not absolute. Moreover, when the accused himself chooses not to exercise
24 his right to be present, a Chamber can consider such a choice as a waiver
25 of that right.
1 In this case, although the accused has duly been informed of the
2 commencement of the trial, he has chosen not to exercise his right to be
3 present. He was also informed yesterday that the Chamber would proceed
4 today to hear the opening statement of the Prosecution, which forms an
5 introduction to the Prosecution's case but does not constitute evidence.
6 In light of the accused voluntarily and unequivocally waiving his
7 right to be present at these proceedings, the Chamber is of the view that
8 this hearing can proceed in his absence. Once again, the Chamber
9 requests the Registry to convey a copy of the transcript and an audio
10 recording of today's hearing to the accused and his assigned legal
12 Should the accused persist in his refusal to attend the trial and
13 fail to appear for the conclusion of the Prosecution's opening statement
14 at the next hearing which is scheduled for next Monday afternoon, the
15 Chamber may decide to continue the trial in his absence. In addition,
16 counsel may, in the interest of justice, be assigned to represent the
17 interests of the accused for the remainder of the proceedings pursuant to
18 Rule 44 -- excuse me, 45 ter of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
19 The Chamber will make its determination on this matter following
20 the conclusion of the Prosecution's opening statement next week and after
21 hearing from the parties. I will discuss this further at the end of
22 today's proceedings.
23 Before I invite the Prosecution to proceed with its opening
24 statement, I should state for the record that we will have two breaks in
25 the hearing this afternoon for technical reasons. The first break will
1 be at 3.35 and will last for 25 minutes and the second break will be at
2 5.20 and will last for 25 minutes as well.
3 Mr. Tieger, you may now make your opening statement -- excuse me,
4 Madam Uertz-Retzlaff, it's for you.
5 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I'm not making the opening
6 statement; it's indeed Mr. Tieger. But please allow me to address one
7 legal issue that I have not addressed yesterday and that's the question
8 whether the opening statement can be made in the absence of the accused
9 and in the absence of an imposed counsel as we have requested yesterday.
10 And just on this small matter, I would like to convey the position that
11 the Prosecution has.
12 JUDGE KWON: Speaking for myself, is it not moot since the
13 Chamber has made its ruling that we can proceed with the opening
14 statement in his absence?
15 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, Your Honour --
16 JUDGE KWON: And in the absence of any counsel.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, we accept that you make the
18 decision on this. We just wanted to state on the record what we think
19 should at least be taken notice of.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, it's very briefly only. The opening
22 statement is regulated in Rule 84 and as it is positioned this rule -- as
23 it is positioned within the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, it's clear
24 that the opening statement is part of the trial. One can take the
25 position - and I see that the Trial Chamber took this position - that the
1 opening statement is not part of the evidence presentation and that the
2 accused's absence or the absence of counsel during the opening statement
3 does not cause any prejudice to the accused. However, I would like to
4 note that the Appeals Chamber in the decision on appeal against the
5 Trial Chamber's decision number two on assignment of counsel in the
6 Seselj case of 8th December, 2006, seems to take the opposite view. In
7 that case, the Prosecution also has made its opening statement in the
8 absence of the accused. And in paragraph 29 of the said decision, the
9 Appeals Chamber nullified the opening statement in the interest of
10 fairness to the accused. That seems to indicate that the Appeals Chamber
11 felt that the accused should have been present. And as a result of this
12 decision, the Prosecution's opening had to be repeated.
13 That is all I would like to say. Thank you, Your Honour, to
14 listen to this.
15 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber announced its ruling in this case and as
16 to the nature of the -- this case we will discuss at the hearing which is
17 announced earlier on, on Tuesday.
18 So now, Mr. Tieger, it's now for you to open your case. But I
19 would like to ask you to finish slightly before 7.00 p.m. as I would like
20 to say a few more words at the end of this hearing. Mr. Tieger.
21 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
22 Approximately three weeks after the largest mass killing on
23 European soil since World War II, the Supreme commander of the forces
24 involved explained in a closed session of his parliament who was
25 responsible for the operation, which saw more than 7.000 men and boys
1 killed and 25.000 women, children, and elderly expelled:
2 "The time had come," he said, and I'm quoting, "and I signed
3 Directive 7 to capture Teocak, Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde. The
4 directive was signed and we embarked on it. I was in favour of all the
5 decisions that we made and I support them. All the decisions are
6 recorded in the Supreme Command. I ordered in verbal and written form to
7 attack Zepa and Srebrenica. The time had come."
8 For years, the supreme commander had directed his forces in a
9 campaign to forcibly carve out a mono-ethnic state from a multi-ethnic
10 country. Although Zepa and Srebrenica had eluded his grasp, he had
11 ethnically cleansed vast portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and had
12 surrounded and besieged its capital. Even before that effort began, the
13 supreme commander explained in October 1991 what was coming for Sarajevo.
14 "They have to know that there are 20.000 armed Serbs around
15 Sarajevo. That's insane. They will -- they will disappear. Sarajevo
16 will be a 'karakazan,' a black caldron, where 300.000 Muslims will die."
17 And he described what he envisioned for the Bosnian Muslims in
18 the rest of the parts of Bosnia that he coveted.
19 "They will disappear. That people will disappear from the face
20 of the earth."
21 Your Honours, the events that would follow, the ethnic cleansing,
22 Sarajevo, Srebrenica, reflected the Supreme Commander's disregard for law
23 and humanity in pursuit of what he perceived to be Serbian interests.
24 Just a month before Srebrenica, he confirmed his contempt for the
25 constraints of law, explaining to his parliament that he had ordered the
1 taking of United Nations personnel as hostages to show that he was
2 prepared to use "drastic measures." And that the Serbs would "defend
3 ourselves by all means" irrespective of international condemnation. As
4 he had said in October 1991, in anticipation of the international
5 reaction to what he had planned:
6 "Europe will be told to go fuck itself, not to come back until
7 the job is finished."
8 This case, Your Honours, is about that supreme commander, a man
9 who harnessed the forces of nationalism, hatred, and fear to implement
10 his vision of an ethnically separated Bosnia: Radovan Karadzic.
11 In July 1990, Radovan Karadzic was simply a psychiatrist in
12 Sarajevo, a city renowned for its charm and diversity, the capital of a
13 multi-ethnic republic. That month, he was elected as president of a
14 newly formed political party, the SDS. Two years later, he was the
15 leader of the self-declared republic known as Republika Srpska, and he
16 controlled 70 per cent of Bosnia's territories.
17 In the course of conquering the territory that he claimed for the
18 Serbs, his forces killed thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Croats,
19 imprisoned thousands more in squalid and brutal camps and detention
20 facilities, and forced hundreds of thousands away from their homes.
21 Your Honours, this was not the tragic but inevitable consequence
22 of conflict. As noted by the UN Special Rapporteur in October in 1992
23 and as the evidence will prove:
24 "Ethnic cleansing does not appear to be the consequence of the
25 war but rather its goal. This goal, to a large extent, has already been
1 achieved through killings, beatings, rape, destruction of houses, and
2 threats ... hundreds of thousands of people," and, Your Honours, that
3 refers to Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, "are being forced to leave
4 their homes and to abandon their belongings in order to save their
6 That goal was reflected in a candid comment by a member of the
7 Republika Srpska parliament to Karadzic and to the other officials
8 assembled there in July of 1992, some very few months after the cleansing
10 "We must admit that the Muslims have been planted to us as a
11 people whose executioners we are to be."
12 Your Honours, I'd like to show you a slide. This will show
13 Momcilo Krajisnik, Radovan Karadzic's closest confidant and associate.
14 In this photo, which is taken from a video, you can see him pointing out
15 the territory held by Bosnian forces by late 1992, and that's the
16 horseshoe shaped area that comprises most of Bosnians' territory. And if
17 you look at the top portion and see the arrow, that depicts an area known
18 as Orasje. And Mr. Krajisnik was pointing out in the video that:
19 "Orasje is not yet under our forces -- I mean it's not liberated
21 Orasje was a municipality that was over 80 per cent non-Serb, a
22 demographic situation echoed in many of the other areas that were
23 conquered by the Bosnian Serb forces from which Bosnian Muslims and
24 Bosnian Croats were murdered and expelled.
25 And, Your Honours, when I use the word "conquered," I use a word
1 used over and over again by the Bosnian Serb army and the Bosnian Serb
2 political leadership to mean taken over by force and cleansed of its
3 non-Serb population.
4 The next photo I'd like you to see, the next video in fact, shows
5 a vantage point from the hills of Sarajevo. And we'll see that shortly,
6 a bit later. In the course of -- and following the conquest,
7 Radovan Karadzic's forces encircled, besieged, and terrorised Sarajevo
8 for years with sniping and shelling, using the city and its inhabitants
9 as pawns through which to retaliate, to exert leverage in negotiations,
10 and to pressure the Bosnian government to capitulate.
11 In July -- I'm sorry, Your Honours, if we could just quickly go
12 to that video, I wanted to show you that vantage point from the hills.
13 You could have a graphic depiction of the advantage of obtaining that
14 strategic location and how it was used later.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 MR. TIEGER: This is Karadzic and Mladic overlooking Sarajevo and
17 looking down on Sarajevo. And the military advantage it conveyed for
18 shelling and sniping is graphically evident.
19 In July 1995, Your Honours, Radovan Karadzic's forces took
20 Srebrenica in their effort to clean out one of the last significant
21 Muslim presences in the eastern part of Bosnia. And over the days that
22 followed, thousands of Muslim men and boys were systematically murdered.
23 The women, children, and elderly expelled, and the Muslims in Srebrenica
25 The accused, Your Honours, was both the architect of the policies
1 underlying these crimes and the leader of the forces that implemented
2 them. The indictment, as you know, charges Radovan Karadzic with
3 participation in four separate but related joint criminal enterprises.
4 The number one, the campaign to forcibly remove Bosnian Muslims
5 and Bosnian Croats from vast portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a
6 campaign which rose to genocidal levels in certain municipalities.
7 Number two, the protracted shelling and sniping of Sarajevo's
8 civilians to induce and maintain terror.
9 Number three, the taking of UN peacekeepers and military
10 observers as hostages and human shields.
11 And number four, the elimination of the Muslims in Srebrenica to
12 organise killings of the men and expulsion of the women and children, the
13 genocide of Srebrenica Muslims.
14 Your Honours, during the course of this trial you will hear about
15 many of those with whom Radovan Karadzic shared these objectives and who
16 lent their own contributions to the criminal campaign, including such
17 figures as: Slobodan Milosevic, who shared Karadzic's determination to
18 ensure that Serbs in Bosnia were not separated from their motherland
19 Serbia by an independent Bosnia and who provided Karadzic with the
20 military might to conquer Bosnian territory and eliminate their unwanted
21 populations; Ratko Mladic, Karadzic's military commander, who once said
22 that his only concern about Muslims was to make them vanish and who said
23 on the day he entered Srebrenica that now the time had come for Serbs to
24 avenge themselves on the Turks; Momcilo Krajisnik, president of the
25 Bosnian Serb parliament or Assembly - a term you'll hear more
1 often - Karadzic's old friend and closest confidant whose kinship with
2 Karadzic and pursuit of their shared objectives was reflected in this
3 description by an Assembly member:
4 "The highest RS leaders, the highest Republika Srpska leaders,"
5 and I'd like that on the screen, please, "first of all Mr. Karadzic and
6 Krajisnik could not sail the Serbian boat and the Serbian people in it in
7 a more successful manner than they did."
8 Biljana Plavsic and Nikola Koljevic, the two Serb representatives
9 on the Collective Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1990 and later
10 members of the Republika Srpska Collective Presidency with
11 Radovan Karadzic, whose deference to Karadzic as the leader of the Serbs
12 and whose commitment to the same objectives is reflected in
13 contemporaneous intercepted telephone calls and documents.
14 Plavsic, as the evidence will show, spoke proudly of inviting the
15 paramilitary leader Arkan into Republika Srpska and referred to Muslims
16 as "genetically tainted Serbian material which converted to Islam."
17 Koljevic would consistently echo Karadzic's position that it was
18 neither possible not desirable for people in Bosnia to live together, and
19 he underscored Karadzic's calls for separation and ethnic homogenisation.
20 Plavsic pled guilty to crimes against humanity for the ethnic cleansing
21 in Bosnia in 1992.
22 Mico Stanisic, another member, he was a former member of the
23 Bosnian Serb police or MUP, the term you will more commonly hear. MUP is
24 an acronym for the Ministry of the Interior in the Bosnian language. He
25 became the first minister of the interior for Republika Srpska. His
1 police forces oversaw many of the most brutal detention camps and
2 facilities and participated with the Bosnian Serb army in cleansing
4 Regional leaders like Radoslav Brdjanin. He was president of the
5 Crisis Staff for the autonomous regional of Krajina. He was convicted
6 for crimes against humanity in 2004. Brdjanin would describe Muslims as
7 the foul scum on Serb's shoes and praised the Omarska camp as a job "well
8 done." He was among the many municipal and regional leaders promoted or
9 praised by Karadzic following the cleansing of Muslims in their areas.
10 Municipal leaders such Miroslav Deronjic, who orchestrated the
11 cleansing of Bratunac in 1992 and was another of those whose
12 implementation of forcible ethnic separation, was recognised and rewarded
13 by Karadzic in Deronjic's case by his appointment as civilian
14 commissioner for the now Muslim-free area of Srebrenica in 1995.
15 Deronjic pled guilty to crimes against humanity for his role in the 1992
17 In short, Your Honours, the scale of this effort required the
18 participation of many persons, but standing astride the conquest of
19 Bosnian territory as the undisputed leader of the Bosnian Serbs
20 throughout was Radovan Karadzic. His leadership was reflected in his
21 many positions of authority, was acknowledged by his colleagues
22 consistently, and was attested to by Karadzic himself. He was president
23 of the SDS
24 inception throughout the whole course of the war; he was president of the
25 National Security Council, the emergency body which served as a de facto
1 Collective Presidency from just before the commencement of the take-overs
2 until approximately 15 May 1992. He was elected president of the
3 Presidency on the 12th of May, 1992, and in December 1992 became the sole
5 In these roles, Your Honours, as you will learn, Karadzic was
6 vested with significant de jure powers including supreme commander of the
7 army. But as you will also learn and as the evidence will also
8 demonstrate, Karadzic's extensive de jure powers only begin to capture
9 his overall authority. As a member of the Bosnian parliament said to a
10 JNA general in April 1992, and this is before Karadzic formally assumed
11 the position of president of the Presidency:
12 "Now we are waiting for Karadzic to return from Europe and tell
13 us what we are to do next. I personally think, General, that I won't do
14 anything until he returns. When he comes, whatever he tells us we will
15 do. He is for now the supreme commander and we have no other commander.
16 The Federal Yugoslavia on the one side and the Serb people in the
17 situation they are in on the other. We have our commander, it is that
18 man, we must obey him ..."
19 Or let's hear Radovan Karadzic describe it himself,
20 characterising virtually everyone in official structures as his
22 "As Commander-in-Chief and president of the state, I can say that
23 one can only wish to have assistants as I do: In the Presidency, the
24 Assembly, the government, the generals I have in the army, such as
25 Ratko Mladic, Manojlo Milovanovic, the members of the General Staff,
1 corps commanders, commanders of special units of the Ministry of
2 Internal Affairs ..." his assistants.
3 Your Honours, from this platform of leadership, Karadzic, in the
4 words we saw earlier, steered the Serbian boat toward the goals he set, a
5 Serbian state on what he considered to be historically Serbian territory,
6 which was finally free of those he saw as eternal enemies, in which Serbs
7 could no longer be threatened by enemies from within.
8 Let me turn briefly, if I may, to the nature of the evidence that
9 you will hear during this trial and the witnesses from whom you will
10 hear. I've already directed the Court's attention several times to
11 documents emanating from the accused himself or from the representatives
12 and organs of Republika Srpska. And, indeed, much of the evidence in
13 this case, Your Honours, will come from the contemporaneous words of the
14 participants themselves. They'll come from official documents such as
15 transcripts of the Bosnian Serb Assembly, Bosnian Serb Presidency,
16 government, Crisis Staffs, military and police reports and orders,
17 speeches and rallies, and other contemporaneous documents. These
18 documents reveal events and objectives in ways that are sometimes subtle
19 and sometimes shockingly explicit.
20 The Prosecution will present these documents to Your Honours,
21 thus in many instances placing you figuratively at key events or
22 meetings. And you will also have the benefit of many intercepted
23 telephone conversations, which will allow you to see or hear the
24 contemporaneous words of many participants, including the accused
25 himself, as they were spoken.
1 And, Your Honours, you will also hear from many witnesses, of
2 course, these are witnesses from various sources and areas, witnesses
3 including representatives of international organisations who warned
4 Karadzic repeatedly, but to no avail, that crimes must cease; witnesses
5 who are insiders, that is, persons who work directly with
6 Radovan Karadzic or other members of the JCE and whose testimony will
7 confirm - however reluctantly on their parts - the inescapable
8 conclusions that emerge from the documents themselves and which describes
9 Karadzic's control of events. And you will hear from some of the victims
11 Many of these crimes, of course, have been the subject of
12 previous litigation, and they are indeed reflected in the proven
13 judicially noticed facts as well as the written statements and
14 testimonies of those persons who previously testified. This will obviate
15 the need to ask these victims to once again revisit their sufferings and
16 tragedies. Nevertheless, their voices, still compelling and powerful,
17 are reflected in those documents.
18 For example, Your Honours, you will hear from witnesses, or you
19 will read the evidence of witnesses, who describe how they lived
20 peacefully with Serb neighbours for many years until nationalism became
21 prominent; who will describe how they saw their Serb neighbours being
22 armed and discussing war; how the police in their municipalities were
23 ethnically divided; how these victims were increasingly marginalised and
24 threatened; how their municipalities were forcibly taken over by Serb
25 forces; how their villages were shelled and destroyed; how they were
1 arrested or rounded up with other non-Serbs and sent to camps where
2 detainees lived like animals and were abused, raped, and killed; how they
3 were transferred from camp to camp in the network of detention facilities
4 and camps that spanned the municipalities; how they were eventually
5 exchanged, a euphemism for their expulsion from Bosnian Serb-controlled
6 territory after signing documents relinquishing their property to the
7 Bosnian Serb state; how their homes were burned and their religious sites
9 And, Your Honours, you will also hear from Sarajevo residents who
10 lived in constant terror, day after day for years, knowing that they or
11 their loved ones were targets. And you will hear them describe how,
12 during the course of that siege, they huddled in basements, burning
13 scraps for warmth, terrified about exposing themselves to shelling and
14 sniping, but forced to do so by hunger, thirst, and cold; of living in a
15 city where everyday activity was life-threatening and no place was safe.
16 And, Your Honours, you will hear from victims from Srebrenica,
17 victims who were driven by Serb forces from one area to the next in parts
18 of Eastern Bosnia, ultimately arriving in Srebrenica with others who had
19 been ethnically cleansed, where there were -- where they lived in
20 wretched conditions; from mothers who, after the fall of Srebrenica,
21 tried in vain to shield their boys from being taken from them to the
22 killing fields; from men who were forcibly taken from their families in
23 Srebrenica and were moved to mass execution sites but miraculously
24 survived by feigning death.
25 And over the course of the trial, you will also hear the evidence
1 that reveals how and why these crimes were inflicted on these victims,
2 people who had the misfortune of being the wrong ethnicity on land that
3 others wanted; evidence which demonstrates that Radovan Karadzic sought
4 to ethnically separate Bosnia, claiming large portions of its territory,
5 its ethnically mixed territory, for Bosnian Serb living space in which,
6 he believed, Serbs could no longer be threatened by their historical
7 enemies, land which, in the words of the accused, had to be "clean" and
8 which was made so by his forces.
9 Your Honours, I'd like now to turn to discuss that evidence in
10 greater, although necessarily abbreviated, detail. But before turning to
11 the implementation of the common purpose to forcibly remove
12 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from territory claimed by the
13 Bosnian Serbs, and then in turn I'd like to discuss Sarajevo and
15 I'd like first to direct your attention to the accused's
16 establishment of and control over the Bosnian Serb political bodies and
17 military forces which were necessary to do so. Because Radovan Karadzic
18 did not merely step into a position of power; he, along with like-minded
19 compatriots, created and then he led the bodies and forces necessary to
20 implement his objectives.
21 Now, first, Your Honour, if I may, some elementary but
22 nevertheless important background points. If I can have the map of
23 Yugoslavia on the screen, please.
24 Yugoslavia was a federal state, as I'm sure you're aware,
25 comprised of six republics and two autonomous provinces. Although the
1 vast majority of Serbs in Yugoslavia lived in Serbia proper, there were
2 also sizeable Serb -- ethnic Serb populations in Croatia and in Bosnia.
3 In Bosnia the Serbs comprised approximately 31 per cent of the population
4 in 1991. Muslims in Bosnia were the majority population, although not
5 the absolute majority, at 44 per cent. And ethnic Croats constituted
6 approximately 17 per cent of the population.
7 Now, Bosnia had a deserved reputation as an ink-spot or
8 leopard-skin republic, one in which the ethnicities were intermingled.
9 Even in municipalities where one nationality was an absolute majority,
10 there was often a sizeable percentage of other ethnic groups. And you
11 can see that in the two demographic maps I'll show. The first depicts --
12 is a municipality map, which depicts the majority population in each
13 municipality by colour. Green represents Muslims, red represents Serbs,
14 blue Croats. The bar -- the bar, as you see on this bar graph, emerging
15 from the municipalities represent the extent of the minority population
16 in those municipalities.
17 And Your Honours will have an opportunity during the course of
18 the trial to consider the demographics of Bosnia in greater detail with
19 that map and with the following one as well. And this simply depicts the
20 demographic distribution in Bosnia without the municipalities'
21 statistical breakdown, and, I think, graphically illustrates the ink-spot
22 or leopard-skin nature of Bosnia.
23 Your Honours, following the breakdown of the communist system in
24 Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, elections were held in Bosnia and
25 elsewhere in 1990. Three nationalist parties were established: The
1 Muslim SDA party, the Serb SDS
2 a percentage of votes largely corresponding to their demographic share of
3 the population. The SDS
4 President Karadzic at its helm. It took a large number of seats in
5 parliament or the Assembly, as it was called, and acquired many important
6 posts in the Bosnian political sure. Biljana Plavsic and Nikola Koljevic
7 were two of the seven members of the Collective Presidency of Bosnia.
8 Momcilo Krajisnik became president of the Assembly upon nomination by the
10 Bosnian Serb officials reported to and collaborated with Karadzic, as you
11 will hear from witnesses and as you will also see in documents and
13 The SDS
14 fact, boasted that the SDS
15 village in two hours due to its structure. With SDS members of local
16 communes within the municipalities responsible for 10 to 20 households
17 personally. It was also a hierarchical organisation, with Karadzic
18 clearly in command.
19 And let me direct your attention to Karadzic's own words at the
20 time reflecting that fact. This is an intercepted telephone conversation
21 in October of 1991, and this is Karadzic speaking:
22 "Tell them not to dare ever again and ... that they are never to
23 do anything independently from the centre because they will be suspended
24 and the people will be told about what they are doing."
25 Or another:
1 "Once the party has adopted a policy, anything else is treason.
2 Anything outside the adopted policy is treason ... I will signal to the
3 people, People, this man is a traitor."
4 And one more, this is Dr. Karadzic again speaking in
5 January of 1992:
6 "Let them go fuck themselves. Whoever makes a mistake, I will
7 suspend him and throw him out of the party. I don't give a fuck. Why
8 should I do that? People do understand me well. I will get there,
9 suspend the shit-heads, and choose, appoint other people ..." and goes
10 on, as you see, in that intercept.
11 As president of the SDS
12 who maintained direct contact with SDS and regional leaders in the field.
13 Their reliance on him as well as the command structure of the SDS is
14 illustrated by this intercept with Radoslav Brdjanin, the Western or
15 North-Western Bosnia leader who became, as I mentioned earlier, president
16 of the Crisis Staff for the Autonomous Region of Krajina. And this is
17 Dr. Karadzic again:
18 "Fuck it. You keep calling me about every trivial matter and I
19 have 5.000 things on my mind. If you are capable of governing Krajina,
20 then do it properly, damn it ... don't make me ... of everything ...
21 don't call me about every minor problem. I am not your nanny. You have
22 power in your hands and you have presidents of municipalities through
23 whom you can exercise power until we achieve autonomy. So you cannot --
24 you cannot call me about every detail. You should exercise power
25 vigorously and to the fullest ... call each and every municipality
1 president and keep checking if it has been implemented and accomplished."
2 Now, Your Honours, Radovan Karadzic knew that the disintegration
3 of Yugoslavia meant that republics might seek independence and that Serbs
4 in Croatia and Bosnia might become minorities in the new countries that
5 were then established. And from virtually the beginning of the SDS,
6 Karadzic made clear that such a possibility would be resisted by Serbs by
7 force if necessary. As he said in 1990, as early as 1990, should Serbs
8 be out-voted in the Bosnian Assembly on changing Bosnia's state
9 character, that is, independence from Yugoslavia:
10 "... all conditions for a civil war would be in place, because
11 the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina are no longer helpless but very
12 powerful and united."
13 And Milosevic, Karadzic's powerful ally, echoed those words
14 saying flatly in January of 1991:
15 "Any division into several states that would separate parts of
16 the Serbian people and put them into separate sovereign states cannot be
17 acceptable, more precisely, it is completely out of the question."
18 And Karadzic and Milosevic would work together to prevent this,
19 first insisting that Bosnia remain in Yugoslavia; but as that prospect
20 began to seem increasingly unlikely, Karadzic moved to the next step.
21 And I'm quoting him now from a session of the Deputies' Club in
22 February of 1992:
23 "That's why we started on another track: A Serbian Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina. Our sovereign right, our army."
25 This would mean that Bosnia could become independent, but not
1 with the territories that Karadzic considered to be Serb. Karadzic's
2 ultimate goal was unification with Serbia, that is, a single Serbian
3 state, and he assured his followers that he would not rest until they had
4 achieved such a goal, a single Serbian state as in ancient times. But he
5 reminded them that this might be achieved incrementally. And
6 Radovan Karadzic's unity with Milosevic on this issue meant that he could
7 count on Milosevic's support, both political support, logistical support,
8 and military support, they would work together to ensure this objective,
9 first in Croatia and then in Bosnia. Because before Bosnia, Croatia made
10 the first move toward independence, and the response by Croatian Serbs in
11 the summer and fall of 1991 to Croatian independence foreshadowed what
12 would later happen in Bosnia.
13 With the assistance of the Milosevic-controlled JNA, that is, the
14 Yugoslav national army, the most powerful military force in the area,
15 along with paramilitary forces from Serbia and volunteers from Bosnia,
16 Croatian Serbs seized and cleansed of its ethnic Croats approximately
17 one-third of Croatian territory. Many of the same incremental steps
18 toward ethnic separation and many of the same personalities such as
19 Milosevic, Jovica Stanisic, Arkan, Vojislav Seselj were relied upon by
20 the Croatian Serbs and would re-appear in Bosnia.
21 Karadzic worked with Milosevic to ensure that Croatian Serb
22 leaders Milan Babic and Milan Martic followed the strategic line, and
23 Karadzic mobilised his municipality chiefs to supply manpower to fight in
24 Croatia, as reflected in this intercept:
25 "I gave the order -- I gave the order to all the municipalities
1 there and all the presidents of the municipalities ... I gave the order
2 to provide 10.000 people there in one week."
3 Now, meanwhile, as this was happening, efforts by Karadzic and
4 Milosevic in Bosnia in 1991 to reach an agreement with Bosnian president
5 Alija Izetbegovic or other Bosnian leaders that Bosnia would not pursue
6 independence had proven unsuccessful. And as a result, the prospect of
7 Bosnian independence, this prospect so resisted by Karadzic and
8 Milosevic, loomed larger. By October 1991, the Bosnian Assembly, or
9 parliament, met to consider a memorandum of independence. Karadzic
10 appeared at the Assembly to tell the Bosnian Muslims and Croats what
11 would happen if they adopted the memorandum and moved toward
12 independence. I would like to play that now.
13 [Video-clip played]
14 MR. TIEGER: And by the disappearance of the Muslim people,
15 Karadzic meant that they would be physically annihilated. That same
16 week, he reminded his brother that 12 per cent of Serbs had made "a hell
17 in Croatia" and that in Bosnia this would mean "war until their
19 And in another intercepted telephone call that week, again the
20 same week that he made the speech we just heard, he forecast in detail
21 the bloodshed that he would unleash down to the attitude he would take
22 toward the expected international reaction.
23 "They should be thrashed if they start a war, they will ...
24 they ... they'll disappear ..."
25 And his interlocutor:
1 "There'll be rivers of blood, but ...
2 "Karadzic: They will disappear, that people will disappear from
3 the face of the earth if they -- if they start now. Our offer was their
4 only chance. Even that was too much, what we offered them ...
5 "They have to know that there are 20.000 armed Serbs around
6 Sarajevo. That's insane. They will -- they will disappear. Sarajevo
7 will be a 'karakazan' where 300 Muslims will die. They're not right in
8 the head."
9 And he went on:
10 "I don't know, now I will have to talk to them openly, People,
11 don't screw around, there are 3-, 400.000 armed Serbs in Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina. What are you thinking of? Plus there's the army and the
13 hardware and everything. Do you think you can just secede like Croatia?
14 And they are literally going ... yesterday they told us, at these
15 negotiations of ours between the Assembly sessions, that a sovereign
16 Bosnia means an independent Bosnia if Yugoslavia doesn't ..."
17 And then he would continue in the conversation:
18 "We will not force them to do anything, but they simply don't
19 have any way to carry out a secession. I think that this is a clear to
20 the army and clear to everyone it will be a real blood-bath ..."
21 And further, Karadzic said:
22 "He's talking about with Europe."
23 His interlocutor said:
24 "It'll be terrible."
25 And then Karadzic said:
1 "And Europe will be told to go fuck itself, not to come back
2 until the job is finished."
3 Despite that threat, as you'll learn, Your Honours, the
4 memorandum was adopted. And from that point forward, Radovan Karadzic
5 and the Bosnian Serb leadership moved forward to build the structures to
6 ethnically separate Bosnia. As Karadzic said to Slobodan Milosevic in a
7 telephone conversation on October 24th, 1991:
8 "We cannot allow this, we have to -- to prepare everything and we
9 have prepared everything to create a factual situation which cannot
10 be ... on which they will break their teeth ... there is no price under
11 which we will live with them in some state. There is no price, it's
13 And then he continued:
14 "These are calculated steps, and we have to establish authority
15 and control over our territories so that he will not be able," -- and by
16 "he" he is referring to Alija Izetbegovic, "he will not be able to get
17 sovereign Bosnia and Herzegovina. Croatia doesn't control 30 per cent of
18 the territory, Bosnia won't control 60 per cent of the territory!"
19 And over the next few months, Karadzic transformed the SDS into
20 the bodies where he would implement forcible ethnic separation.
21 The first structure, Your Honours, was the Bosnian Serb Assembly,
22 the club of the SDS
23 to the parliament were commonly called deputies. That club of SDS
24 deputies was transformed into the Bosnian Serb Assembly. That Assembly
25 was led by Momcilo Krajisnik, Karadzic's closest associate, and it was
1 established on October 24th, 1991, the same date as the telephone call
2 with Milosevic that you just saw. At the Assembly's inaugural session on
3 October 24th, Karadzic underscored the need for separation from Bosnian
4 Muslims and Bosnian Croats. The Serbs, he insisted, were faced with the
5 same destruction as in World War II, faced with "the same plans, the same
6 criminals, and the same victims."
7 He also emphasised to the deputies of the newly formed Assembly:
8 "This is a historic step. This is the step with which the
9 Serbian people are breaking the last illusions, recognising their enemies
10 and rounding up their being in such a way that they can never be attacked
11 again from inside."
12 The Bosnian Serb Assembly was a valuable instrument for
13 disseminating policy to the field and for receiving information about
14 events on the ground from the many officials who gathered at the
15 Bosnian Serb Assembly. Krajisnik, for example, explained why so many
16 municipal representatives were present at Assembly sessions saying:
17 "That is the best way to keep our people aware of what is going
18 on. We have seen that the people were leaving Assembly sessions with a
19 clear vision of what they were supposed to do."
20 And that clear vision came from Karadzic, although not technical
21 or formally a member of the Assembly, he was variably the key speaker,
22 advancing and explaining his policies. And his authority as leader of
23 the Bosnian Serbs was evident at virtually every session. Heres one
24 deputy and a quote that reflects that:
25 "I know that Karadzic, as the president of the SDS, is truly the
1 leading figure among the Serbian people. And five of his sentences are
2 enough to change the entire course of the session ..."
3 After the establishment of the Bosnian Serb Assembly in October,
4 a Council of Ministers was selected in December. This body consisted of
5 the leading Serb ministers in the existing Bosnian government and was
6 essentially a government in waiting. Now, the term "government,"
7 Your Honours, does not mean the entire political structure, but it refers
8 to the body comprised of the various ministries, that is, the
9 Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence, and
10 so on; and at the top of that government, a mandator or a president or
11 prime minister - you'll hear all three terms - who would coordinate the
12 work of the ministries in the government. This was one branch of the
13 Bosnian political structure and then one branch of the Bosnian Serb
14 political structure along with the other two most significant branches:
15 The Assembly and the Presidency.
16 The Council of Ministers, as I say, the precursor to the
17 government, was another vehicle for implementing Karadzic's policies and
18 calculated steps. As he told the Bosnian Serb regional leader on the
19 first day of the council's meeting, that is, their inaugural meeting:
20 "We have all of that in the plans, we have all the moves in the
21 envelopes, they must not do it before we do it in the whole of Bosnia ...
22 we will have a Council of Ministers today, there is -- we have done
23 everything today. We have plans for everything."
24 The Council of Ministers would give way in March of 1991 to the
25 government - and, again, that government consisted of the various
1 ministries and the same structure with a mandator or president of the
2 government at the top of that structure. And, Your Honours, you will
3 hear from members of the government who will tell you that
4 Radovan Karadzic considered himself to be the government. And you will
5 also have an opportunity to read contemporaneous remarks of other
6 officials such as this one at the Bosnian Serb Assembly in 1993:
7 "Mr. President, your responsibility is the biggest one, but you
8 cannot do everything. You have taken supreme, executive, and all other
9 power upon yourself ... the task of the government is defined. However,
10 you didn't give anything to government to do."
11 But again, Your Honours, let's hear it from Radovan Karadzic
13 "Believe me, the government is mine. I am responsible for its
15 As for the Presidency or chief executive position, Your Honours,
16 it was Karadzic again. As mentioned before, he was the president of the
18 president of the National Security Council from March of 1992 until
19 May of 1992, that functioned basically as a Collective Presidency or as
20 an equivalent. He was president of the Collective Presidency from
21 May of 1992 until December of 1992 and then sole president of the
22 RS thereafter until 1996. The only point at which anyone else was even
23 nominally president was when Plavsic and Koljevic were named acting
24 presidents from late February 1992 until the establishment of the
25 Collective Presidency in May of 1992. And when that happened, Koljevic
1 himself stated that Karadzic had been named as:
2 "The man who is the most obvious choice and has done more than
3 all the rest of us for both the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for
4 Serbdom in general. I need not mention his name. You all know I am
5 referring to Dr. Radovan Karadzic."
6 But it was Karadzic who advised that for appearance sake in the
7 eyes of the international community, because Plavsic and Koljevic had
8 been elected to the Bosnian Presidency in 1990, they should continue to
9 have that title. Thus, the republic-level bodies in the Bosnian Serb
10 political structure through which Karadzic's policies would be
11 implemented were established with Karadzic firmly in charge. And he also
12 moved forward during this period to ensure that local bodies were in
13 place for the upcoming seizure of power.
14 In late 1991, that is, in December of 1991, Radovan Karadzic
15 disseminated this document commonly known as Variant A and B. It's the
16 instructions for the organisation and activity of organs of the Serbian
17 people in Bosnia and Herzegovina in a state of emergency. The
18 instructions were divided into two options or variants: Variant A, for
19 municipalities where Serbs were a majority; and Variant B, where they
20 were not. You can see that in the middle part of the screen. And it was
21 also divided into two stages or levels of activation, the second a more
22 intensive level. And we see that at the bottom of the page.
23 The first level, Your Honours, emphasised monitoring and
24 preparations, including forming Crisis Staffs, Serbian municipalities,
25 and other municipal organs, establishing communications, making
1 preparations for taking over the police, and for activating the TO or
2 Territorial Defence. That was another part of the Yugoslav defence
3 system which was maintained by each republic in each municipality as a
4 kind of a locally localised militia, which you may already be somewhat
5 familiar with.
6 That was stage one of the instructions. Stage two was the
7 activation of those prepared measures. The Serbian municipal government
8 was to start functioning, Serbs to be mobilised into the police force,
9 and the police station to be taken over.
10 Now, after dissemination of this document, Karadzic tasked one of
11 the members of the Council of Ministers to ensure that he was -- to
12 ensure that it was being implemented and to report to Radovan Karadzic
13 about the status of preparations and the level of implementation in
14 preparation for take-overs. And on February 14th, 1992, as Bosnian
15 independence became even closer, Karadzic activated the second level of
16 Variant A and B.
17 "That is why we called you today, to intensify, to introduce the
18 'second level' and to intensify the functioning of the government at any
19 cost and on every single millimetre of our territory."
20 But again, perhaps it's best to let Karadzic himself explain the
21 significance of this document and the establishment of local authorities
22 to carry out the separation. And this is Radovan Karadzic talking to the
23 Assembly in 1995 and looking back on what had been accomplished:
24 "Please, remember how we used to work before the war. Everything
25 was as clear as day in the municipalities where we were majority and in
1 those where we were minority. Do you remember the Instruction A and
2 Instruction B? We had Crisis Staffs, and it was clear that they were the
3 authority. They could make mistakes, but they were still the authority.
4 The people were not left without the authority because there was a
5 Crisis Staff."
6 Karadzic also continued during this period of time to remain in
7 close contact with his local officials, including through direct personal
8 contacts such as the telephone calls we saw earlier or through personally
9 meetings; through emissaries to the municipalities; and through plenary
10 sessions attended by both republic-level officials and prominent local
11 officials. Nevertheless, political organs, whether at the republic,
12 regional, or local level, would be insufficient alone to effect the
13 separation, the forcible separation. Armed forces would be needed, and
14 they were established as well, a separate Bosnian Serb police, armed
15 units under SDS
17 First, Your Honours, let me briefly address the Bosnian Serb
18 police or MUP. Now, from the outset of his tenure as president of the
20 within the joint MUP, within the Bosnian MUP, receiving reports and
21 giving instructions to the top Serbian personnel within that joint MUP.
22 He worked particularly closely with Momcilo Krajisnik -- Momcilo Mandic,
23 excuse me, who was then a high-ranking Serb official in the joint MUP and
24 who later became the Republika Srpska's first minister of justice.
25 You will see intercepts with Mandic and other Serb officials then
1 serving in the joint MUP in which Karadzic dictates personnel
2 appointments and other issues. These intercepts, in which he is
3 alternately referred to as Mr. President or boss, again reflect his
4 pre-eminent status.
5 Now, as events moved closer toward the independence of Bosnia,
6 steps were taken to accelerate the creation of a separate Bosnian Serb
7 police force. And as Mandic said to Karadzic in a December 1991
8 telephone conversation during the course of which Karadzic complained
9 that they couldn't speak completely freely because their phones were
10 tapped, saying:
11 "... fuck the party leader if he's being tapped by his own
14 "That's right."
18 "It's not your police, you're going to get ours."
19 Now recall the Council of Ministers' meeting that I referred to
20 earlier. They were formed in December of 1991 and their first meeting
21 was in January, January 11th of 1992. They had that meeting with
22 Karadzic present, and the Council of Ministers decided that the
23 priorities were:
24 "Defining the ethnic territory and establishing government
25 organs ..."
1 And so in February of 1992, Mandic, Mico Stanisic, and other
2 leading Bosnian Serb members of the then-joint MUP met to begin
3 implementing "the need for Serbian power to be felt in Serbian
5 They established a board with Mandic responsible to:
6 "Carry out all the necessary preparations for the functioning of
7 the Serbian MUP after the adoption of the Constitution of the
8 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
9 And so by 18 March, Karadzic would be in a position to say to the
10 Assembly, that is, the Bosnian Serb Assembly:
11 "... it will be happening in a flash and the set-up of the
12 de facto situation based on our documents ... we shall announce our
13 withdrawal from MUP, not to mention that we have already obtained the
15 And on March 31st, 1992, Mandic sent a dispatch to all levels of
16 the police, declaring that the joint MUP, the Bosnian MUP, the ethnically
17 mixed MUP was abolished and a separate Bosnian Serb MUP had been
18 established. Despite pleas for unity from the Bosnian minister of
19 interior and from the police trade union, the RS MUP was formed and moved
21 And over the course of the following months and years, beginning
22 with the take-over of Bijeljina on the 31st of March, 1992, the police
23 took part in take-overs, disarmament, and ethnic cleansing of
24 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats in Serb-claimed areas. Immediately
25 following the establishment of the Bosnian Serb army, the VRS, on the
1 12th of May, 1992, Mico Stanisic formed war units from the
2 Ministry of the Interior which were subordinated to the army for
3 operations but remained as intact units under the leadership of a police
5 The police ran many of the camps in which Muslim and Croat
6 civilians were held such as Omarska and Prijedor, Susica camp in
7 Vlasenica, Kula in Sarajevo and committed some of the most significant
8 mass murders, such as the Vlasic mountain massacre in August of 1992 of
9 more than 200 recently released detainees.
10 Heading the MUP in 1992, as I mentioned, as its first minister of
11 interior was Mico Stanisic. As Stanisic assured the Assembly in
12 November of 1992, he implemented Karadzic's policies.
13 "I as a man have followed policies of the SDS Presidency and our
14 deputies in the former state, I have always followed these policies."
15 Your Honours, let me briefly mention the JNA, the powerful
16 military force that assisted and backed these take-overs. You've already
17 heard the October intercepts in which Karadzic expressed great confidence
18 in the army's crushing response to the prospect of Bosnian independence.
19 Karadzic would continue to count on Milosevic and the military might of
20 the JNA both directly and also to arm his SDS military formations. As
21 Karadzic said about the JNA in July of 1991:
22 "What is this if not a Serb army?"
23 And the JNA's shift from an all people's army toward a force
24 aligned with Bosnian Serb interests is captured in a couple of documents
25 that I'll show you now. The first document was issued by the Yugoslav
1 minister of defence in December of 1991. It leaves little doubt about
2 the ethnic group with which the army sided, declaring as the first
3 priority for accomplishing the ultimate objectives of the war:
4 "... the protection of the Serbian people ..."
5 Those are the ultimate aims. The second document was issued
6 approximately four months later by the JNA head of a military district in
7 Bosnia and reveals that the document we just saw from the minister of
8 defence was swiftly implemented. That document reflects that
9 approximately 70.000 Serb volunteers were armed by the JNA and SDS in the
10 municipalities all around Bosnia in anticipation of the take-overs. That
11 document quotes:
12 "JNA distributed 51.900 pieces of armament, and SDS 17.298."
13 And, Your Honours, as you'll see in that document, this
14 corresponds precisely to the number of volunteers, as also reflected.
15 Your Honours, that's the police and the JNA, already two powerful
16 military forces. But I want to talk briefly about the SDS military
17 units. And I'll allow Karadzic's close associate just to speak about
18 that to you. This is Jovan Tintor, leader of the Serbs in Vogosca, one
19 of the Sarajevo municipalities, and close associate of the accused.
20 "... I went from municipality to municipality and created
21 military formations on order from my president ... we created brigade
22 commanders down to platoon commanders. All this was done by SDS."
23 But again, Your Honours, let's hear it from Karadzic himself:
24 "We made various calculations and agreements with Yugoslavia. We
25 decided to set up the TO, the Serbian brigades, which were indeed led by
1 the SDS
2 of the army existed in every municipality. I would like to hear in which
3 municipality it did not exist."
4 And Karadzic also explained:
5 "Distribution of weapons was carried out thanks to the JNA. What
6 could be withdrawn was withdrawn and distributed to the people in the
7 Serbian areas. But it was the SDS
8 the army, it was an army. Together with the police, those were the armed
9 forces of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They created
10 the space, liberated and created the space."
11 And, Your Honours, when we return, I would like to talk to you
12 about what that space was and who it was liberated from.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
14 We will have a break for 25 minutes. We'll resume at 4.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 3.34 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
18 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Your Honours, in the previous session, I described the bodies and
20 forces established by Karadzic, which he later praised as having
21 liberated and created the space, and indicated to you I wanted him to
22 speak next about what that space was and who it was liberated from.
23 The territory claimed by Radovan Karadzic and the Bosnian Serb
24 leadership was, in his own words, "huge," encompassing approximately
25 two-thirds of Bosnia's territory. Recall, for instance, that Karadzic
1 told Milosevic in that telephone call you heard -- or that I -- that you
2 saw on the screen, that the Bosnian government would not be able to
3 assert control on 65 per cent of its territory.
4 Let me show you excerpts from a speech by Karadzic in
5 November of 1991 to a plenary session of his many officials at which many
6 of his municipal officials were gathered in which he underscored the
7 extent of the territory and its significance to the Bosnian Serbs.
8 "I am asking you to be energetic and strict, to get ready and
9 establish authority in your municipality -- in your territories, in
10 municipalities, regions, local communities, and to prepare yourselves and
11 regionalising the municipalities.
12 "... if you have a look at the map, we have a huge territory in
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina, a huge territory!"
14 You'll see that at the bottom of your screen.
15 And he also told the officials at that gathering:
16 "No Muslim foundation shall ever be laid in Serb areas and Serb
18 "The first foundations that are laid will be blown up and all
19 foundations that are laid will be blown up ... the world will understand
20 when we tell them that we will not allow the demographic picture to
21 change either naturally or artificially, no way, our territories are
23 "You must not sell land to Muslims. You must not! Because this
24 is a fight to the finish, a battle for living space."
25 Karadzic justified the claim that Bosnian Serbs were entitled to
1 two-thirds of Bosnia's territory in a number of ways, including the
2 genocide of World War II, land ownership, the places where a majority of
3 Serbs had voted in a plebiscite to remain in Yugoslavia, the autonomous
4 regions. But however numerous and varied the rationales offered, the
5 territory encompassed vast portions of Bosnia, territory on which
6 hundreds of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats lived, indeed
7 many municipalities in which they were the majority. As you will
8 observe, from another look at the demographic map, and see the extent of
9 the green areas involved.
10 And the Muslims and Croats who lived on these territories,
11 Your Honours, Karadzic repeatedly made clear were enemies with whom the
12 Serbs could not live. Serbs and Muslims, he said, were like dogs and
13 cats losing their natural characteristics after being in the "same box"
14 and after noting that Serbs had been forcefully held in
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina with what he called their "centuries' old foes."
16 He said:
17 "It all reminds me of the experiment in which a dog and a cat are
18 held in a box together against their will or a bad marriage maintained by
19 all sorts of forceful means. It transpired that a dog and a cat can
20 remain in the box together only under one condition, namely, that they
21 lose their natural characteristics and cease being a dog and a cat. We
22 will remember that we could not be Serbs and live in such a box."
23 Or, he said:
24 "Non-Serbs and Serbs were like incompatible plants that cannot
25 survive side by side.
1 "In the plant world," he said, "there are plants which cannot
2 grow side by side. They have to be separated to flourish.
3 "Or they were like oil and water."
4 Muslims were "Turks," historical and implacable enemies, as he
5 said in January 1994:
6 "This is the kind of war where you cannot lose the war now and
7 fight again in ten years. Nobody can stay under Turks' rule, nobody must
8 stay under Turks' rule."
9 Similarly, Croats were "Ustasha," reincarnations of the enemies
10 of World War II.
11 "Muslims," he said, "would demographically overwhelm the Serbs
12 through a birthrate that the Serbs could not match.
13 "We cannot control the Muslims in such a unitary state. We know
14 very well what the fundamentalism is and that we cannot live together.
15 There's no tolerance, they quadruple through the birth-rate, and we Serbs
16 are not up to that."
17 And he said:
18 "Muslims were Islamic fundamentalists intent on establishing an
19 Islamic state."
20 Explaining, for example, that their five-centuries' long
21 experience with Islam meant that Serbs:
22 "... knew how to recognise ancient danger posed by the toxic,
23 all-destructive Islamic octopus."
24 And perhaps the ugliest canard of all, since it projected onto
25 the victims the justification for their destruction, Muslims and Croats
1 threatened Bosnian Serbs with genocide, wanted to kill them and eradicate
2 them, this is Dr. Karadzic:
3 "The wars of 1914, 1941, and 1991 were and remain above all wars
4 for the extermination of the Orthodox population."
5 Karadzic's vilification of the Bosnian Muslims and Croats was
6 made to a receptive audience. The level of Serb nationalism and
7 anti-Muslim and Croat sentiment was extreme. You will see and hear many
8 anti-Muslim and anti-Croat sentiments expressed and slurs expressed from
9 the republic level down to the municipal level. And I'll just cite here
10 two examples.
11 This is Radoslav Brdjanin, again the president of the Crisis
12 Staff in the Autonomous Region of Krajina, the man who called Karadzic
13 and got the response "I'm not your nanny." That was an area that
14 encompassed most of North-Western Bosnia. This is Brdjanin talking at a
15 1994 rally with Karadzic, Krajisnik, Plavsic, and other Bosnian Serb
16 leaders present attended by thousands and thousands of people.
17 "Those leftist forces which are offering us co-existence again
18 must know that it is the obligation of Serbs over the next hundred years
19 to wipe their feet from the foul non-Christians who have befouled this
20 soil of ours."
21 And he continued:
22 "And I suggest that we put up a barbed wire and say that never
23 again will our enemies spread throughout Krajina and attack us for the
24 fourth or fifth time in this century."
25 And one more example from the local level - and you'll see many
1 such examples - but perhaps this from the Sanski Most SDS publication
2 will suffice:
3 "Do you know what our blood-thirsty enemies have been scheming
4 for us? What they had in mind was to gouge out our eyes and carve us up,
5 hack our bodies to pieces, rape women and girls in front of their
6 dearest, to circumcise, to destroy our religion, to crush us just because
7 we happened to be Serbs. Don't think that anybody's family would have
8 been spared. They had monsters ready and committed to raping Serbian
9 women, and they had developed a system of killing each and every Serb."
10 The bottom line, Your Honours, as Karadzic told the
11 Bosnian Serb Assembly deputies and others in 1992, shortly before the
12 take-overs commenced, was that Serbs couldn't live with Muslims and must
13 separate from them.
14 "Muslims cannot live with others. We must be clear on that.
15 They couldn't live with the Hindu, who are as peaceful as sheep. That's
16 the Indian religion. They are a peaceful people, and yet they couldn't
17 live with them. They couldn't live with the Greeks on Cyprus. They
18 couldn't live in Lebanon with the Arabs of the same blood, same language,
19 but of a different faith. There can be no discussion here. They will
20 overwhelm you with their birth-rate and their tricks. We cannot allow
21 that to happen."
22 And after the Muslims had been forcibly removed, Karadzic
23 continued to emphasise the importance of ethnically pure territory. This
24 is what he told the Assembly at the beginning of 1994 after the
25 possibility of having to give up some of the territory they conquered,
1 which by that time was 70 per cent of Bosnia.
2 "We can consider ourselves as winners after occupying this land,
3 since the land is 100 per cent Serbian now. Therefore, even if we come
4 down to 50 per cent, we should be more than happy and satisfied. It is
5 Dusan's empire."
6 In short, Your Honours, even if they retain only 50 per cent of
7 the territory, they should be pleased because that territory is
8 100 per cent Serbian, as it was in Tsar Dusan's time before the Muslims
9 ever arrived. And as he continued to explain, citing well-known examples
10 of ethnically pure territories like Foca and Doboj:
11 "Two years ago we were a group in Bosnia and Herzegovina that had
12 some rights, and now we are the state and what we hold is 100 per cent
14 As a deputy reminded the Bosnian Serb Assembly in 1993 after much
15 of the conquering and cleansing had taken place, they should be happy
16 with what had been accomplished and not overly concerned that Serbs would
17 have to leave areas that peace plans proposed allocating to the
18 Bosnian government.
19 "Gentlemen, there is no Serbian state in Bosnian pot without
20 gradual depopulation and relocating. If we want ethnically pure ...
21 state - and we do, don't we? - if we all know and emphasise that we
22 cannot live with them, then we have to realise that these draft maps are
23 offering exactly that and there has to be relocation."
24 Your Honours, I've discussed the structures and bodies that were
25 ready for forcible separation by the end of March 1992, but let me pause
1 a moment before discussing the take-overs to mention negotiations.
2 During the same period as the establishment of those structures
3 and bodies, Karadzic and his compatriots were also negotiating with
4 Bosnian Serb political leaders in an effort to get an agreement on what
5 the Bosnian Serbs wanted or at least something sufficiently close to
6 allow them over time to realise their ultimate goals and unify with the
7 Serbia and the Croatian Serbs.
8 Now, you're likely to hear a great deal from the accused during
9 the course of the trial about negotiations and particularly the Cutileiro
10 negotiations. He already testified in the Krajisnik appeal that the
11 European Community "promised" the Serbs a republic and has suggested as a
12 result that it was the Muslims who were responsible for the crimes that
13 took place because they backed out of the Cutileiro Agreement.
14 Now, that is false and misleading on a number of levels. No
15 promises were made by the European Community, which was acting only as a
16 mediator. The closest the negotiations came to a final agreement was an
17 agreement in principle to negotiate about constituent units based on
18 ethnicity as well as other factors, and even that limited agreement was
19 not signed. Indeed, it was Karadzic who assured the Assembly that
20 nothing had been signed and would not be signed until the Bosnian Serbs
21 got exactly what they wanted.
22 But beyond the twisting of the facts, even if an agreement had
23 been completed, this case is not about whether Karadzic could have been
24 deterred by a settlement before he implemented forcible separation; it's
25 no defence to complain that the victims failed to capitulate before force
1 was required to get what he wanted.
2 In any event, Karadzic always led the Serbs on a two-track
3 approach: Negotiations on the one hand; and on the other, the
4 willingness and ability to use force to get what he wanted if
5 negotiations didn't work. And what he couldn't get in negotiations, he
6 turned his military to conquer and they did.
7 This is Mladic in 1995 describing the basic objectives of all the
8 mentioned operations, which was to break and destroy the enemy forces and
9 "thus impose by the force of arms the final settlement of the war on the
10 enemy and place the international community in a position of having to
11 recognise the actual situation in the field and end the war ..."
12 And over the course of the conflict, Karadzic and the
13 Bosnian Serb leadership would emphasise and rely upon -- and rely in
14 negotiations upon the factual situation they had created through
15 cleansing. As Karadzic said:
16 "We have created new realities. Speaking in narrow terms,
17 Zvornik used to be 60:40 to the advantage of the Muslims, but the Serbs
18 from Zenica came, they occupied Kozluk, the Muslims left for Europe and I
19 do not know where else. And then those gentlemen told us," speaking
20 about the negotiators, "who gives you a right to ask for Zvornik?"
21 And then Karadzic continues as if answering the negotiators:
22 "We request Zvornik based on the right which comes out of a new
23 reality. This war had created the new reality."
24 And he would insist it would take a new war, another war, to undo
25 what he had accomplished by force.
1 Now, to recap, Your Honours, by late March 1992 the political
2 structures were ready, the police was ready, and the SDS armed units were
3 ready, again backed by the JNA, to liberate the space.
4 On March 24th, 1992, with Bosnian independence just two weeks
5 away, Karadzic explained to the Assembly that the numbers of police were
6 sufficient and very soon they could form what they wanted.
7 "... all the Serbian municipalities, both the old ones and the
8 newly established ones, would literally assume control of the entire
9 territory of the municipality concerned."
10 He explained that within days:
11 "... there will be a single method used, and you will be able to
12 apply it in the municipalities you represent, including both things that
13 must be done as well as how to do them, how to separate the police force,
14 take the resources that belong to the Serbian people, and take command."
15 And indeed they were ready. The gap in military capacity between
16 the Serbian-aided Bosnian Serbs and the Bosnian Muslims and
17 Bosnian Croats was reflected in take-over after take-over by Bosnian Serb
18 forces. You'll see repeated references in the evidence to the universal
19 awareness of the huge gap in weaponry and military capacity that existed
20 at the commencement of the take-overs and for a long time thereafter. As
21 one of the deputies said in January 1993 about the Muslims at the
22 beginning of the war:
23 "They weren't trained, they weren't accustomed to war, and they
24 didn't have any weapons ..."
25 Instead, it was the Serbs, he explained, who were the "absolute
1 masters in war."
2 And this was echoed by a 1993 analysis of combat-readiness and
3 activities of the Army of Republika Srpska, a strictly confidential and
4 military secret document prepared by the VRS which said:
5 "Since the Muslims did not have enough weapons or support
6 equipment, no significant support of infantry units in action was
7 necessary, especially not by longer-range or higher-calibre ordnance."
8 Your Honours, I referred a moment ago to Karadzic's explanation
9 on the 24th of March, 1992, to those gathered at the
10 Bosnian Serb Assembly that within days they could take command. Let me
11 now turn to the commencement of the take-overs of municipalities by
12 Bosnian Serb forces.
13 Back in January 1992, Karadzic, at that moment furious at
14 Izetbegovic for talking openly of a sovereign and independent Bosnia,
15 told Krajisnik in an intercepted telephone conversation:
16 "Fuck him. We will release our tigers and let them do their
18 And at the end of March 1992, with Bosnian independence imminent,
19 it was time. Within the few days Karadzic referred to, the takeovers
20 began. And one municipality after another fell under mono-ethnic control
21 with the same combined forces previously relied upon in Croatia. First
22 in Bijeljina under the supervision of the Serb Crisis Staff. As you can
23 see that:
24 "Start removing the barricades under the supervision of the" --
25 as it refers to there, Your Honours, it refers to the Serbian Volunteer
1 Guard, working under the supervision of the Bijeljina Crisis Staff, that
2 volunteer guard is Arkan, a notorious paramilitary leader who assisted in
3 Bijeljina and would then move on to other municipalities. Arkan was in
4 contact with the Bosnian Serb leadership, in particular with
5 Biljana Plavsic, who monitored his advance to Zvornik and invited him to
6 assist in Sarajevo. Elsewhere, Karadzic's forces took over
7 municipalities with the help of the JNA. In Vlasenica, for example:
8 "On 20 April 1992 the forces of the Yugoslav Army and the formed
9 unit coordinated by the SDS
11 In Sarajevo, Karadzic and his close associates directly and
12 personally oversaw the seizure of power and forcible ethnic separation.
13 Among others, he worked closely with local SDS and political leaders such
14 as Jovan Tintor who was mentioned previously and Nedeljko Prstojevic. As
15 Prstojevic later told the Assembly:
16 "When Karadzic visited us in Ilidza and encouraged us, the Serbs
17 from Sarajevo retained control over the territory and even extended their
18 territory in some areas, driving the Muslims out of the territories where
19 they had actually been majority."
20 You'll see a number of intercepted telephone calls involving
21 Prstojevic, including an intercept in which he directs that men are to be
22 taken to prison, women sent to the Muslim-held area and:
23 "Tell them those who convert to Orthodox religion on the spot,
24 they can stay, women and children."
25 Now, during this period, during the first six weeks following the
1 commencement of take-overs until the establishment of a formal Collective
2 Presidency, Karadzic headed the National Security Council. You saw that
3 in the chart before and that was the body that preceded the Collective
4 Presidency. That was composed of Karadzic's closest associates,
5 including Krajisnik, Koljevic, Plavsic, Stanisic, and minister of defence
6 Bogdan Subotic. As Karadzic said in 1993:
7 "While we still did not have a state, we had a council for
8 national security consisted of our most important people."
9 The National Security Council made decisions on many topics of
10 importance during that time which were subsequently formalised through
11 the de jure stamp of Koljevic and Plavsic's acting presidents at that
12 time or through the government and its ministries. For example, Karadzic
13 signed the decision to raise the Territorial Defence, and it was Karadzic
14 who was designated to coordinate the command of the TO forces as well as
15 political action.
16 As mentioned earlier, Karadzic would later praise the efforts of
17 the armed forces of the SDS
18 space in the first five or six weeks after the take-overs began. And
19 indeed, by May 12th, 1992, when the Assembly met for the first time since
20 the take-overs began, many municipalities had indeed been taken over.
21 But on May 12th, 1992, when the Assembly met in Banja Luka, the
22 Bosnian Serb forces would become even stronger. They established their
23 army. In the weeks preceding that Assembly session, Karadzic had
24 arranged with Milosevic and other Yugoslav officials to ensure the
25 establishment of the army through the transformation of the JNA, the
1 Yugoslav National Army, which formally withdrew from Bosnia but left
2 behind many tens of thousands of soldiers and officers over whom the
3 Bosnian Serb leadership took control, could take command, and also a
4 wealth of arms. And during the course of the conflict, Milosevic and the
5 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia would continue to support the
6 Bosnian Serbs with weaponry, logistical support, and personnel, creating
7 secret personnel centres through which to fund the officers and other
8 personnel with salaries and benefits.
9 Now, for commander of the Main Staff of the new Bosnian Serb
10 army, Karadzic selected Ratko Mladic, who had led cleansing efforts in
11 Croatia. As Karadzic reminisced to the Assembly in 1995:
12 "Gentlemen, we got the officers we asked for. I asked for
13 Mladic. General Ninkovic, then a colonel, and General Perisic had
14 visited me before that and I had noticed Mladic's blunt statements in the
15 newspapers. He was already in Knin then. I took an interest in him, and
16 together with Mr. Krajisnik I went to General Kukanjac's office and
17 listened to him issuing orders and commanding around Kupres and Knin. We
18 spent countless nights in the office of General Kukanjac at that time."
19 But what was it that the army was to do? And it was Karadzic who
20 explained that as well on the 12th of May, announcing and explaining the
21 Strategic Objectives as part of his political and military situation to
22 be adopted by the Assembly, goals which would define the tasks of the VRS
23 during the course of the war. These goals formalised objectives that
24 Karadzic's forces had already been pursuing. And as noted in the
25 combat-readiness report, that 1993 review of events in 1992 and
1 early 1993, these goals were put before the VRS as the guide-line upon
2 which they planned the actual operations.
3 "The Strategic Objectives of our war which were promptly defined
4 and set before the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, the
5 commands and units served as a general guide-line upon which we planned
6 the actual operations and concerted battles."
7 As Mladic himself said:
8 "The tasks of the army in this war stem from the known six
9 Strategic Objectives adopted by our Assembly."
10 Now, at that Assembly, the May 12th Assembly, Karadzic explained
11 that the first strategic goal was separation.
12 "The first such goal is separation from the other two national
13 communities - separation of states. Separation from those who are our
14 enemies and have used every opportunity, especially in this century, to
15 attack us and who would continue with such practices if we were to stay
16 together in the same state."
17 And that same state he's talking about, of course, is Bosnia and
18 the enemies he's talking about are the Bosnian Muslims and
19 Bosnian Croats; and the separation to which he refers would be achieved
20 by ethnic cleansing.
21 Now this strategic goal, the first strategic goal, was, as
22 Krajisnik said at that Assembly, the most important goal and he said that
23 the rest were subsets of that goal. In other words, they were directed
24 to where that separation would be focused.
25 The second strategic goal was the creation of a corridor in the
1 Posavina area that would link not only the Bosnian Serb claimed territory
2 within that area to each other but also to the Croatian Serbs to the west
3 and Serbia in the east.
4 The third strategic goal was a corridor in the Drina Valley to
5 eliminate the Drina as a border. And it's seen by that circle.
6 The fourth strategic goal was a border on the Una River and on
7 the Neretva River, the Una to the north-west, the Neretva to the
9 The fifth strategic goal was the division of Sarajevo, one part
10 to the Muslims, one part to the Serbs.
11 And the sixth strategic goal was access to the sea.
12 And by achieving these six strategic goals, Karadzic told the
13 Assembly on the 12th of May the Serbs will:
14 "... finally finish the job of the freedom struggle of the
15 Serbian people ..."
16 And finally shed the:
17 "... Serbian illusion of brotherhood and unity, especially one
18 which transcends the boundaries of religion ..."
19 Now, Mladic, who was named as commander of the Main Staff at that
20 session, was also present and he also spoke about the goals after
21 Karadzic had announced them. And he advised those gathered at the
22 Assembly not to be overambitious.
23 "Please, let us not set before ourselves goals that will bring us
24 down. Let us set before ourselves goals that we can achieve."
25 And that was in part, he said, because the international
1 community might not let them keep everything they conquered and also in
2 part because cleansing can be difficult.
3 "People and peoples are not pawns, nor are they keys in one's
4 pocket that can be shifted from here to there. It is something easily
5 said but difficult to achieve."
6 And he reminded the delegates there that the nature of the goals
7 required secrecy.
8 "And, please, let us not only put our minds into what we are
9 doing, but let us also think thoroughly about it, and let us be cautious
10 about when to keep mum. No, the thing that we are doing needs to be
11 guarded as our deepest secret."
12 Now, at that same session on May 12th, 1992, Karadzic was elected
13 to a three-person Presidency that was a perfunctory procedure that
14 required no debate or discussion. He was then selected as president of
15 the Presidency and designated as the member of the Presidency in charge
16 of military affairs. By December of the same year, he became sole
17 president and remained so for the duration of the conflict.
18 In either capacity, indeed in any of his capacities as you saw
19 from the earlier intercepts, whether as president of the Presidency in
20 charge of military affairs or as sole president, he was the de jure and
21 de facto military leader, the supreme commander. As a member of the
22 Main Staff of the recently formed -- the then recently formed
23 Bosnian Serb army explained in September 1992 at the
24 Bosnian Serb Assembly:
25 "... the basic elements are: There is the Supreme Command of the
1 army and there is the president of the republic as the supreme commander.
2 In our situation, this will be the President," which was the case at that
3 time. "All the elements of defence and the army are subordinated to this
4 institution. We in the army are following this and are trying to fully
5 observe it. There was no significant act that passed without this in
6 mind ... therefore, this chain of command follows this line: The supreme
7 commander, that is, the president of the republic; the General Staff in
8 the federal army, i.e., the Main Staff in our case."
9 And perhaps it's useful to also hear it from Mladic speaking in
10 1993 and speaking to Karadzic:
11 "No officer conducted a task without your approval in the
12 Army of Republika Srpska. Mr. President, you had a full support of both
13 the army and military intelligence service."
14 And as Mladic also said to Karadzic in 1993, referring both to
15 the strategic objectives and to Karadzic's commanding position:
16 "Mr. President, as far as I remember during the session held on
17 12 May last year, this Assembly has given us a task and you have
18 appointed me as the commander of the main headquarters. It is not
19 correct that I have not obeyed your every order."
20 But again, let's hear it from Karadzic himself, talking about the
21 period after he became the sole president and established a
22 Supreme Command to assist him which consisted of various political and
23 military leaders:
24 "I am in charge, in particular -- I am in charge, in particular,
25 of the army ... I report to you and to the people. Commanders report to
1 me, the commander of the Main Staff and commanders of corps and brigades.
2 The approval was given. I established a Supreme Command so that I do not
3 make decisions by myself; I did not establish it to use it as a cover. I
4 am the one who signs, who decides, and I will be responsible for each
6 Now, Karadzic was not a tactical commander and didn't have
7 military experience, and his relationship with Mladic and the VRS had its
8 frictions and tensions including confrontational episodes in 1993 and
9 particularly in 1995 when Karadzic sought to shift Mladic's position in
10 the wake of the loss of the Croatian Krajina in 1995. But throughout,
11 neither Karadzic's ultimate authority nor his joint commitment with
12 Mladic to the fundamental objectives of the criminal enterprises were
13 altered. And Karadzic himself emphasised these frictions did not alter
14 the chain of command and indeed were healthy and expected.
15 "As Commander-in-Chief, I am highly respected by all officers and
16 soldiers ... I like it when they argue with me about solutions because
17 this helps me reach good decisions. And after I have passed a decision,
18 they carry it out in a brilliant way."
19 And with Karadzic in command, the VRS, in combination with the
20 MUP war units, began to disseminate and implement the objectives. The
21 Strategic Objectives were communicated to officers, conscripts, and
22 various municipal leaders. For example, two days after Karadzic
23 announced the Strategic Objectives on the 12th of May, army leaders met
24 with municipality presidents in the ARK region, in North-Western Bosnia.
25 And at that meeting, the participants were informed of the conclusions of
1 the 12 May session which was held in Banja Luka:
2 "The strategic goals formulated at the meeting in Banja Luka were
5 "The conclusions of the meeting in Banja Luka are to be
6 implemented and will also be forwarded to the commands of units and
8 In a similar manner, General Momir Talic, who was then commander
9 of the 1st Krajina Corps, again in the ARK region, issued an
10 implementation order to all brigades and divisions to, among other
12 "Explain to conscripts, as they arrive, the goals of our
14 Now, these goals were described in a document prepared by Talic's
15 assistant commander, a document to be sent to all corps units. It
16 explained that the Serbian people were exposed to genocide and:
17 "Must struggle for complete separation from the Muslim and
18 Croatian peoples and form their own state."
19 Separation from the Bosnian Muslims and Croats, the first and
20 most important strategic goal from which all the other goals sprang and
21 which all the other goals were subsets of.
22 And the VRS began almost immediately to implement the objectives.
23 Now, as mentioned, Your Honours, the second strategic goal, enunciated by
24 Karadzic, was a corridor between Semberija and Krajina, and that's this
25 area you see depicted on this map, the Posavina corridor between the
1 western part of Bosnia and the eastern part, between where the Croatian
2 Serbs are in the west and Serbia in the east.
3 Karadzic said about the second strategic goal:
4 "... this is of the utmost strategic importance for the Serbian
5 people because it integrates the Serbian lands, not only of
6 Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina, but Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina with
7 Serbia, and the Serbian Krajina with Serbian Bosnia and Herzegovina and
8 Serbia. So that is a very important strategic goal which we have to
9 achieve because there will be no Krajina, Bosnian Krajina,
10 Serbian Krajina or an alliance of Serbian states if we do not secure that
12 Now, Talic, who was the head of the 1st Krajina Corps which
13 operated in that region and who was also along with Mladic, another
14 veteran of the Croatian cleansing campaign whose collaboration with
15 Karadzic you'll see in intercepts, Talic was called upon -- was tasked
16 with the responsibility of establishing the corridor, the Posavina
17 corridor, along with others, and he was successful in doing so. By the
18 24th of July, 1992, he was able to provide this directive to all tactical
19 groups of the 1st Krajina Corps:
20 "We have liberated the territories we consider our own and
21 created conditions for the political and military leadership of the
22 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to conduct all activities and
23 negotiations on the future constitutional system of
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina from the position of the stronger side in these
1 And he continued:
2 "We have established corridors in Eastern Bosnia and
3 Bosnian Posavina, thus fulfilling the centuries'-old aspirations to
4 connect the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the
5 Serbian Republic of Krajina with the parent country: Serbia."
6 Serbian Republic of Krajina was the Croatian Serb republic.
7 Indeed by the 1st of July, 1992, Mladic was able to send this
8 tribune to the 1st Krajina Corps and others for their successes -- he
9 indicates he would like to pay tribute and express his gratitude and then
10 he continues:
11 "... for successfully organised and implemented operation for
12 breakthrough, expansion and cleansing of corridor in Bosanska Posavina,
13 between Eastern and Western Bosnia, as well as excogitation and organised
14 joined action and coordinate coordination of combat units activities."
15 "The units of this corps in this territory also showed that only
16 unified combat against the enemy of Serbianhood in Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 will bring us to realisation of military and political goals."
18 The fulfilment of Strategic Objective 2 through
19 Operation Corridor as it was called and the concomitant pursuit of
20 Strategic Objective 1 - separation - was achieved in a lightning campaign
21 against an overwhelmed Muslim and Croat population in the targeted areas.
22 Those operations were characterised by initial shelling of villages
23 followed by attacks of infantry, generally with little or insignificant
24 resistance. Control over the area was generally established quickly,
25 followed by the rounding up of the Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats and
1 their removal to detention facilities and camps. The villages were laid
2 to waste during the shelling and afterwards.
3 And I'd like to direct your attention to just a few documents
4 which illustrate the nature of this campaign. The first is a weekly
5 update from the Security Services Centre, that is, the regional
6 headquarters of the police in Western Bosnia located in Banja Luka. And
7 it describes what happened following a confrontation at a check-point
8 during which two Serb soldiers in the car were stopped and were killed,
9 but the alleged perpetrators were not immediately handed over to the
10 military command.
11 "The army carried out an artillery attack on the village of
12 Hambarine and mopped up the area."
13 That same report goes on to discuss another alleged provocation
14 in another area, that's Kozarac:
15 "... the army engaged in a mopping-up operation. Several hundred
16 inhabitants of these villages were killed or wounded."
17 Now, two quick points about terminology. The translation
18 "mopping-up" is from the B/C/S word "ciscenje" or a variation of this
19 word. This word can be interpreted to mean, in English, either cleanse
20 or mop-up. A mop-up operation is conventionally an operation or a
21 reference to an effort after a battle to ferret out the last remaining
22 enemy forces, or it can refer to a cleansing operation directed against
23 civilians. And it will be up to the Court to decide on the basis of the
24 evidence in the context of any particular use of that term what it refers
25 to and what kind of actions it involves.
1 The passage -- the two passages I just referred the Court to,
2 referring to the "ciscenje" of Hambarine and Kozarac in the Prijedor
3 municipality, refer to two unmistakable and brutal acts of ethnic
4 cleansing against overwhelmed civilian populations as you'll be able to
5 see from the evidence.
6 Another document illustrating the nature of the operations to
7 fulfil Strategic Objective 2 and, of course, Strategic Objective 1, the
8 objective from which it sprang, is this one from General Talic to the
9 Main Staff of the army on the 14th of June, 1992:
10 "The most difficult situation concerns the Muslim and Croat
11 refugees in the area of Autonomous Region Krajina, their security and the
12 provision of food. The attempt to expel them to Central Bosnia failed
13 because of transportation difficulties and their resistance to leaving
14 the places."
15 Or this one, again from Talic to the Main Staff:
16 "In the area of Derventa, there continues to be occasional
17 artillery fire, while because Muslim extremists have failed to hand in
18 their weapons, the Muslim population of the area of Lisnja village has
19 been expelled."
20 Other documents that you'll see, Your Honours, refer to the
21 massive destruction -- literally, the massive destruction of Muslim
22 towns; refer to public statements by SDS leaders advocating expelling all
23 Bosnian Muslims and Croats; refer to Talic's view that municipal and
24 regional leaders should "work harder" at the departure of the Bosnian
25 Muslim and Bosnian Croat population.
1 And, of course, you have the benefit of the evidence from
2 eye-witnesses to those campaigns at that time.
3 Let me turn to Strategic Objective 3 and its implementation.
4 Again, this is Strategic Objective 3 and the area encompassed by it. And
5 that's the area in Eastern Bosnia. As Karadzic explained on the
6 12th of May:
7 "The third strategic goal is to establish a corridor in the
8 Drina Valley, that is, elimination of the Drina as a border between two
9 worlds. We are on both sides of the Drina, and our strategic interest
10 and our living space are there."
11 And he continued:
12 "As much as it is strategically useful for us in a positive way,
13 it helps us by damaging the interests of our enemy in establishing a
14 corridor which would connect them to the Muslim international and render
15 this area permanently unstable."
16 That connection to Muslim International he referred to is also
17 sometimes referred to by Karadzic and others as the "green transversal"
18 and what it refers to is the blocking of any access by Muslims from
19 Serbia into Bosnia and what was then the Bosnian Serb territory. And you
20 can see from the green area on the east part of Bosnia - and I'd ask you
21 to -- that circle indicates Strategic Objective 3 -- number 2, rather,
22 I'm referring to Strategic Objective 3, the elimination as the Drina as a
23 border on the east part of Bosnia. And you can see the green
24 representing Muslim municipalities. So the attempt was to make sure that
25 Bosnian Serb living space in that area was secured and that there was no
1 possibility of access by Muslims coming from Serbia.
2 Now, as noted in this combat-readiness report, the 1993 VRS
3 strictly confidential analysis of events in 1992, despite the successes
4 of the SDS
5 the war, since the take-overs began, they had:
6 "... failed to achieve the main Strategic Objectives of the armed
7 struggle of the Serbian people in former Bosnia and Herzegovina."
8 Including opening up and securing a corridor. That is:
9 "They failed to open up and secure corridors through the
10 Sava River Valley (Posavina) between the Krajina and the FRY or a
11 corridor which would link Herzegovina with the FRY via the Drina River
12 Valley ..."
13 Now, as I will discuss later, the attempt to fully realise
14 Strategic Objective 3 extended on past 1992 and in 1995 with the attack
15 of Srebrenica. But in 1992, with the Bosnian Serbs' overwhelming
16 military superiority, much of the objective was realised after
17 municipality after municipality in Bosnia was cleansed by Karadzic's
19 Now, Strategic Objective 3 and the corridor in Eastern Bosnia
20 began to be implemented quickly. Here's an order by Mladic on the
21 17th of June, 1992, referring to the importance of the operations:
22 "... in order to have full control over the area of Birac and to
23 secure the corridor between Romanija and Semberija and to maintain a link
24 with Serbia."
25 Romanija is the area just to the east of Sarajevo, Semberija is
1 up north, and the Birac region is in the area of Zvornik, Vlasenica,
2 Bratunac, and Srebrenica.
3 And again, Your Honours, just a couple of documents to illustrate
4 the nature of the campaign to implement Strategic Objective 3. Here's
5 one from the 28th of May, 1992, issued by the commander of the
6 Birac Brigade, as I said, in the area around Zvornik, Bratunac, and
7 Vlasenica in the north part of the Drina River area:
8 "The moving out of the Muslim population must be organised and
9 coordinated with the municipalities through which the moving out is
10 carried out. Only women and children can move out, while men fit for
11 military service are to be placed in camps for exchange."
12 On the -- similarly, on the 7th of June the commander of the
13 Eastern Bosnia Corps issued an order which was sent to all subordinated
14 units concerning coordinated operations in Northern and Eastern Bosnian,
15 between the Eastern Bosnian Corps and the 1st Krajina Corps, and that
16 order contains no fewer than nine references to "ciscenje" or "cistiti,"
17 cleansing or mopping up. It notes -- it prohibits the maltreatment of
18 the civilian population, but anticipates, consistent with that Andric
19 order, that is, the Birac Brigade order you just saw, the arrest of
20 civilians. And again, you will have the benefit of all the evidence to
21 determine the meaning of "ciscenje" in the context of the order to which
22 I just referred as you review the evidence of round-up in towns, towns
23 attacked and burned, up and down the length of the corridor. And you
24 will also consider, Your Honours, the contemporaneous evidence of
25 cleansing known to the Bosnian Serb leadership.
1 In late July 1992, for example, Rajko Dukic one of the most
2 powerful political leaders in the Birac region, and Karadzic's close
3 crony - and you can see that in the intercepts Dukic was the president of
4 the SDS
5 and others at the Assembly session:
6 "... there is Birac which is 100 to 108 kilometres away and has
7 120.000 Muslims that is how many there were, but I hope that has at least
8 been halved ..."
9 And this was the same Assembly session I should quickly add,
10 Your Honours, at which the point was made that Serbs were appointed to be
11 the Muslims' executioners.
12 Now, that desire for the reduction for the Muslim presence in
13 Eastern Bosnia was almost fully realised during 1992 with some
14 exceptions. The Muslim population was reduced to a negligible percentage
15 in Eastern Bosnia. And you saw from the maps how significant that
16 presence was before the cleansing began. And Serb officials took
17 undisguised satisfaction in the ethnic purification of those territories.
18 Let me just point the Court to some examples from Foca. The
19 first are two quotes from Petko Cancar, an important leader from Foca who
20 was close to Karadzic and Krajisnik and occupied a number of important
21 republic-level positions including advisor to the Presidency. And this
22 is Cancar speaking about Foca in 1993:
23 "There is only one people living on the territory of Foca, and
24 there is only one religion practiced there. That people is prepared to
25 fight and to defend and God knows that."
1 And as he noted on another occasion, again speaking about Foca:
2 "There currently is not a single Muslim in the biggest
3 municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina ..."
4 Not a single Muslim.
5 This ethnic purification of a previously Muslim majority
6 municipality was praised by the Bosnian Serb leadership. I want to
7 direct your attention to the words of Momcilo Krajisnik addressing a
8 crowd in the renamed Foca, now called Srbinje - the name adopted for a
9 Muslim-free Foca on the anniversary of its "liberation."
10 "Dear people of Srbinje, it is a great pleasure to be among you
11 after two and a half years. Today you are not as you were before. Now I
12 see a true Serbian town and you proudly bear your Serbian name."
13 Your Honours, this satisfaction in ethnically pure territory was
14 balanced against the pressures of the international community. And the
15 resulting interest in retaining some minimal Muslim or Croatian presence
16 for public relations purposes. In August 1992, for example, Karadzic
17 reminded Assembly delegates, the deputies, that some percentage of
18 non-Serbs was politically useful, asserting that the Bosnian government
19 used this as a ploy:
20 "As far as other nations are concerned, we have to have a
21 percentage, a proportion participating in the municipal authorities. We
22 have to be responsible, as we are creating a state ... I can't elaborate
23 on this longer, but I know what I'm saying. Believe me, Alija pays
24 fortune," and it refers to Alija Izetbegovic, "to any Serb willing to
25 stay and work on his territory."
1 But whether the targeted percentage of Muslims and Croats who
2 were allowed to remain would be 5 per cent, as publicly advocated by
3 Brdjanin, or the territory was to be completely pure, as Cancar took
4 pleasure in and is advocated by others, the territory had to be
5 sufficiently free of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats to render it
6 permanently and incontestably Serb.
7 As Karadzic would explain in a closed session of the Assembly
8 in 1995:
9 "The Drina should be clean ..."
10 And he candidly acknowledged at that moment how it happened.
11 "To tell the truth, there are towns that we've grabbed for
12 ourselves and there were only 30 per cent of us. I can name as many of
13 those as you want, but we cannot give up the towns where we made up
14 70 per cent. Don't let this get around, but remember how many of us
15 there were in Bratunac, how many in Srebrenica, how many in Visegrad, how
16 many in Rogatica, how many in Vlasenica, in Zvornik, et cetera. Due to
17 strategic importance, they had to become ours. And no one is practically
18 questioning it anymore."
19 And that strategic importance was Strategic Objective -- was
20 reflected in Strategic Objective 3.
21 Now, Your Honours, I'll address the focus and implementation of
22 one more Strategic Objective and that's number 4. Strategic Objective 4,
23 as mentioned, was the establishment of a border on the Una and
24 Neretva Rivers. And you can see that in this slide. Immediately after
25 Karadzic announced the objectives, at that same session, the delegate
1 from a municipality located on the Una, a point where that arrow was
2 shown, stood up and - that's the area there - stood up to express
3 satisfaction in what had been accomplished toward the realisation of
4 Strategic Objective 4 by that time. And this was a municipality where
5 Serbs represented 14.500 people and Muslims were 47.000. And he said:
6 "On the right bank of the Una River there are no more Muslims in
7 the Serbian municipality of Bosanska Krupa. All the enclaves that were
8 there," and he named them, "we have evacuated them so that there will be
9 none there for the duration of war operations. Will they have to place
10 to return to? I think it is unlikely after our president told us the
11 happy news that the right bank of the Una is the border."
12 And within two weeks of that "happy news," the War Presidency of
13 that municipality in Bosanska Krupa made this proposal to the army
14 brigade in that area:
15 "To carry out all military preparations concerning the cleansing
16 of the left bank of the Una River, including the right bank of the Una in
17 the action in the area above Bosanska Otoka.
18 "In course of preparations and cleansing of the left bank of the
19 Una, destroy and pull down as many residential and other buildings as
20 possible ..."
21 And the War Presidency also provided the reasons for that
22 proposal. And reason number 1:
23 "The political decision designating that the border of the
24 Serbian municipality, the Autonomous Region of Banja Luka, the Serbian
25 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Serbian state should be on
1 the Una River up to Bosanska Otoka."
2 That is Strategic Objective 4.
3 As the VRS and MUP units implemented those objectives, local
4 municipality leaders, those who were so lavishly praised by Karadzic for
5 their roles in liberating the space, also frequently continued to play
6 their role in the implementation of separation. The removal of non-Serbs
7 from the claimed territory did not result solely from the direct
8 application of military force, but also from the cumulative effects of
9 persecution, pressure, intimidation, and marginalisation of
10 Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats.
11 The voice of the victims that I referred to earlier revealed the
12 increasing hopelessness and terror of the Bosnian Muslims and Croats as
13 they realised that continuing life in the municipalities claimed and
14 taken over by the Bosnian Serb forces was impossible. And in addition to
15 witnesses, you'll see that situation reflected in documents.
16 I'd like you to look for a moment, if you will, at this
17 resolution adopted in Celinac which was the home municipality of
18 Radoslav Brdjanin. It's an extreme version of a process that existed in
19 some measure in all municipalities.
20 Until further notice, the citizens mentioned in Article 1 are:
21 Forbidden to be on the streets from 4.00 in the afternoon until
22 the morning hours.
23 Forbidden to remain on the streets or restaurants or public
25 Forbidden to swim in the rivers or to hunt or to fish.
1 Forbidden to travel without permission.
2 Forbidden to use an automobile.
3 Forbidden to gather in groups of more than three men ...
4 And so on.
5 Municipal leaders as well as regional leaders also assisted with
6 logistic support to the VRS, that is, the Bosnian Serb army; collaborated
7 with local police officials, many of whom were on Crisis Staffs in any
8 event; collaborated with them in expulsions by train or by bus. And as I
9 will discuss in a moment, worked closely with the MUP and sometimes the
10 VRS on the widespread camp system. And now I'd like to turn to those
11 camps, those camps and detention facilities.
12 Virtually every municipality had at least one significant camp or
13 detention facility and many had several, depending upon the size of the
14 Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population in that municipality. These
15 facilities were typically run by the police, as in the case of some of
16 the most notorious camps including Omarska and Keraterm in Prijedor, and
17 sometimes guarded on the outside by the VRS. Muslims and Croats were
18 sometimes brought in individually or in small groups and sometimes via
19 wholesale round-ups in villages.
20 Now, there were also camps established by the army. For example,
21 the Manjaca camp in Banja Luka or the Batkovic camp in Bijeljina. These
22 camps were fed very often with influxes of prisoners from the camps in
23 the surrounding municipalities and sometimes quite distant
25 They were degrading and typically brutal places situated in such
1 locations as old mines, abandoned factories, old concrete buildings, and
2 the like. In the best of circumstances, detainees existed in
3 dehumanising conditions, and I'd like to show you some of those
4 conditions with this video.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 "There is a shed which in better days might have housed animals
7 now home to more than 600 men. Here, the prisoners live, eat, and sleep
8 24 hours a day. Most of these men just arrived three days ago from a
9 camp at Omarska, their faces still haunted by memories they do not dare
10 relate in the presence of their guards. The conditions here they
11 [indiscernible] seem to be much better than the places they came from.
12 "But leadership is under tremendous pressure to allow outsiders
13 access to these camps. The proposed UN resolution would authorise any
14 means necessary to implement that access as well as guarantee the supply
15 of humanitarian aid. The prisoners here maintain they are civilians, not
16 soldiers. Those we saw are crammed into cattle sheds where they spend
17 all day and all night huddled together like animals."
18 MR. TIEGER: And one more, Your Honours.
19 All right, if we can call that up later I'll show that to you.
20 I said "in the best of conditions" because in the worst all too
21 frequently detainees were subjected to beatings, rape, terror, and death.
22 For example, in early June approximately 160 men were killed at the
23 Karakaj technical school in Zvornik. In July, in one night at Keraterm
24 in Prijedor, approximately 150 men were killed. In August, approximately
25 200 men were killed who were being taken from the Trnopolje camp in
1 Prijedor, many of them had come from Omarska and Keraterm, taken
2 supposedly to be exchanged. In September, approximately 140 men from the
3 Susica camp in Vlasenica were killed.
4 The Bosnian Serb leadership had been denying the existence of
5 camps since May. But by July, there was increasing media focus on camps
6 and increasing international attention. At the end of July or the
7 beginning of August, reporters confronted Radovan Karadzic with his
8 repeated assurances about the camps and extracted from him a promise that
9 they could visit the Omarska camp and the Trnopolje camp in Prijedor.
10 Now, when they got there they were kept from the worst parts of the camp
11 and officials tried to put their best foot forward by presenting
12 detainees with a meal they'd never seen before, but, nevertheless, the
13 resulting images obtained shocked the world.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 MR. TIEGER: Many of those you see, Your Honour, were people who
16 had just come from the Keraterm and Trnopolje camps, those detainees in
17 that -- in the Trnopolje facility in the worst conditions.
18 Now, following the outcry in the wake of such videos, many of
19 these prisoners from Omarska, Keraterm, camps in Sanski Most that were
20 sent to the VRS camp Manjaca in Banja Luka, they had been -- they had
21 been providing prisoners from those municipalities to Banja Luka
22 previously and many of those from Omarska and Keraterm were then sent to
23 Manjaca by the Bosnian Serb leadership.
24 I want to read you a list of the condition of some of the people
25 who were held in Manjaca on August 20th. You'll have a chance to see
1 this document. And just a few of the references, I think, make the
2 point. This describes the condition of some of these prisoners: Spinal
3 fracture, heart disease, that's one of the prisoners; disabled, one hand;
4 active pulmonary tuberculosis; diabetes, cannot stand up; operation of
5 large intestine, has no control of bowel movement; another, cannot walk
6 easy; another, does not hear well and without one kidney; another,
7 retarded, repeats himself; another, mentally ill, epilepsy; another,
8 deaf, has no control of bowel movement; and so on.
9 In addition, there were boys under the age of 18 and elderly men.
10 Now, these were the people that Karadzic in interviews repeatedly called
11 prisoners of war. Now, how did such people end up as prisoners and what
12 was supposed to happen to them? And I'd like to turn to that now because
13 the answer in significant part is reflected in the cleansing operations
14 that I told you about before and was also reflected in the document I'm
15 about to show you.
16 "The army Crisis Staffs and War Presidencies have requested that
17 the army round up or capture as many Muslim civilians as possible and
18 they leave such undefined camps to internal affairs organs. The
19 conditions in some of these camps are poor: There is no food,
20 individuals sometimes do not observe international norms, et cetera."
21 This is a report by the -- by the minister of interior addressed
22 personally, directly, to Karadzic on July 17th, 1992. And it's
23 noteworthy that it's not a report of alarm about a massive crime; it's
24 simply a matter-of-fact explanation about some of the competing
25 responsibilities that the MUP are required to engage in that keep them
1 from their more conventional tasks.
2 The wholesale round-up and confinement of Muslims, in fact, was
3 no secret nor could it be. As a deputy noted at the Assembly in July:
4 "We have a huge problem with captured people of other
5 nationalities. We have hundreds and thousands of these prisoners."
6 Karadzic was present at that Assembly session, Krajisnik was
7 present at that Assembly session, the Bosnian Serb leadership was there.
8 And the round-up of civilians is also reflected in documents from the
9 camps themselves.
10 Here's a report from Manjaca on the 23rd of July, 1992, noting
11 that they had processed almost a thousand prisoners from Sanski Most that
12 day and there is no evidence that "the great number of them" had anything
13 to do with war operations.
14 "... did not take part in combat activities, were not in
15 possession of weapons, and there are no other evidence based on which
16 they could be kept prisoners."
17 As a Manjaca official wrote on the 22nd of July, 1992:
18 "... this camp can be considered as a detention camp, that is, a
19 camp for segregation of Muslims and Croats which history will not forgive
21 Now, these civilians, Your Honours, as observed in a report from
22 the regional head of the police in Banja Luka of Stojan Zupljanin to the
23 minister of interior, Mico Stanisic, were "hostages" or could be treated
24 as such. Zupljanin described three categories of prisoners that he was
25 aware of. One category was members of Bosnian military formations, that
1 basically included anybody who was a member of the regular TO; persons
2 who organised preparation for "armed rebellion," and that typically
3 included anybody who was associated with the SDA. And three:
4 "The third category is composed of adult men about whom the
5 service does not have any information of security interest for us so far.
6 Therefore, they can be treated as hostages."
7 The ultimate solution, as Zupljanin went on to suggest in his
8 report, would be to exchange the prisoners, that is, send them to
9 Muslim-held areas in exchange for Serbs held by Muslims. And in that
10 way, the separation process which had begun with the forcible removal of
11 Bosnian Muslims and Croats with their wholesale round-up could be
12 completed as they were transported out of Republika Srpska. And,
13 Your Honours, given the time when we return, I'd like to discuss with you
14 that exchange system.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
16 We'll have a break of 25 minutes.
17 --- Recess taken at 5.19 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 5.49 p.m.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Your Honours, before the recess, we saw the evidence of the
22 awareness of the round-up and detention of Bosnian Muslim and
23 Bosnian Croat civilians, their characterisation of hostages, and I
24 referred to the establishment of the exchange system which completed and
25 perfected the process of removing them from the territories and ethnic
1 purification. Before we move into that, I would like to play for the
2 Court the one clip that wasn't depicted before, that again depicts the
3 conditions in which these civilians were held and the impact on them.
4 [Video-clip played]
5 "This bus to release all prisoners into the hands of the
6 Red Cross presents the civilised world with a sharp dilemma. If they're
7 left in the camps, the prisoners face the threat of continuing
8 humiliation, torture, and death. But taking the prisoners away would
9 help the Serbs in their war aim clearing Bosnia of Muslims and Croats.
10 "... exact terms of the offer to release prisoners are unclear.
11 "In one breath today, the Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic offered
12 to close all camps, but in another, he spoke of releasing only prisoners
13 of war too ill to go back into battle.
14 "We don't have people in prisons that have been removed from
15 their own homes, those people have been captured in the battle-field, and
16 they can go home if they are weak and they are not likely to be mobilised
17 from Muslim forces."
18 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I want to turn the Court's attention to
19 the system of exchange that was established to send these civilians
20 outside of Republika Srpska after their detentions had resulted in the
21 conditions you saw. As early as April, that is, on April 24th, 1992, the
22 National Security Council - and remember that Karadzic was president of
23 the National Security Council - adopted the decision that the
24 Ministry of Justice:
25 "Shall take-over the exchange of prisoners once the organs of the
1 interior have done their work."
2 And if we could have that slide shown.
3 And, Your Honours, from the outset, this system contemplated
4 civilian prisoners. As the president of the government ordered
5 Crisis Staffs on 28 April 1992, a record should be kept and regularly
6 updated with information on the status of health of "both military and
7 civilian prisoners."
8 Now, soon after the National Security Council decision on
9 April 24th, a central commission for the exchange of prisoners was
10 established. That was on the 8th of May, 1992, and that functioned at
11 all levels of the state: Republic, regional, and municipal, with
12 representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of the Interior, and
13 Ministry of Defence at the republic -- on the republic level commission
14 with the Ministry of Justice at the helm. And that exchange commission
15 formed on the 8th of May, 1992 - and it was titled to -- it was directed
16 at prisoners of war and arrested persons - it went into action
18 You'll hear evidence of the cleansing of many municipalities,
19 including Bratunac. On the 14th of May, 1992, a group of about
20 400 Bosnian Muslim civilians were expelled from Bratunac. The remaining
21 survivors of a group that had once totalled 600. And they were
22 transferred from Bratunac to Bosnian Serb -- Bosnian Muslim territory
23 through Pale. Pale was the tiny town which was the capital of
24 Republika Srpska and also the town where the Bosnian Serb leadership,
25 including Radovan Karadzic, were headquartered. You'll see a list during
1 the trial of the -- those particular men signed by the member of the
2 exchange commission from the Ministry of the Interior.
3 Now, the departure of those men from Bratunac through other
4 municipalities into Pale and then on into Muslim-held territory was
5 coordinated among those municipalities by none other than the president
6 of the government and the secretary of the government. And here's an
7 order from the president of the government, dated 15 May, ordering the
8 Crisis Staff of Sokolac to provide trucks for that purpose.
9 "The Sokolac Crisis Staff is obligated to provide three
10 trucks ... that are to be used for the transport of prisoners from Pale
11 to Visoko via Ilijas.
12 "This order is effective immediately."
13 And there's another order from the secretary of the government,
14 also facilitating that process:
15 "Please approve and provide the passage through your territory
16 for the group of prisoners who are presently at Pale," that's after they
17 came from Bratunac to Sokolac, "and travelling to Visoko."
18 And as you can see, Your Honour, at the bottom of the screen
19 here, the awareness of the illegality of what was being done is reflected
20 in the directive:
21 "Please destroy that approval the moment when the prisoners leave
22 Ilijas municipality."
23 And I'd like to show you those men who were transported through
24 Pale, remained in Pale for a period of time, and were sent on in the
25 exchange process to Muslim-held territory.
1 [Video-clip played]
2 MR. TIEGER: And as the conquest continued, Your Honours, more
3 and more camps were needed. For example, we previously saw the order of
4 Svetozar Andric from the Birac Brigade, the order to expel the women and
5 children and put the military-aged men in camps, that was the order of
6 May 28th. He expressed concern about the number of prisoners now
7 crowding the camp in Vlasenica. General Mladic issued an order to
8 establish a new camp which was formally established by him in Bijeljina,
9 that's the Batkovic camp, to accommodate the increasing number of
10 prisoners, Bosnian Muslims, Bosnian Croat civilians who were being
11 rounded up.
12 Radovan Karadzic and all those who surrounded him were aware of
13 this system and the exchange system that took those prisoners who had
14 been rounded up and sent them on to Bosnian Muslim territory. As
15 mentioned, the accused initiated it through the NSC on the
16 24th of April, 1992, and you'll also see evidence of his ongoing
17 awareness that it was functioning. For example, you'll see an intercept
18 with Mandic at the beginning of July, that's the -- he was -- Mandic was
19 the minister of justice at that time. The Ministry of Justice was --
20 headed the exchange commission. Mandic initiated that discussion by
21 informing Karadzic that they were at that moment working on an exchange
22 of 300 Muslims, including women and children who were held in Kula
23 prison, and they were to be sent from RS territory to Muslim territory.
24 And similarly, Mandic had spoken to Krajisnik a week or so earlier,
25 twice, about Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats being held who were to be
2 Karadzic's awareness of and ultimate power over that entire
3 system is also reflected in an intercepted phone call between Mandic and
4 a former Bosnian MUP colleague who was seeking to get Croats released
5 from Manjaca prison through Mandic. And Mandic assured his former
6 colleague that he would speak with Karadzic at the first opportunity in
7 an effort to do so.
8 In short, Your Honours, Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat
9 civilians were rounded up in great numbers, placed in wretched and
10 inhumane detention facilities and camps all over Republika Srpska. Their
11 release, departure, expulsion was overseen by the exchange commission
12 which was set up with civilians in mind and which functioned to ensure
13 that those people who had been detained, rounded up, were sent to Muslim
14 territory, thus completing the process by a governmental body with a
15 euphemistic title.
16 The widespread use of this sytem is reflected in two documents
17 I'll show you. The first is from 1994 reflecting, among other things,
18 that the exchange system and detention of civilians that fuelled it
19 continued long after 1992. It's an order from the Main Staff of the
20 Bosnian Serb army, and it discourages any obstacles that might delay
21 exchange because:
22 "It should be kept in mind that in the exchanges we receive
23 captured Serbian soldiers of the RS," captured soldiers of the
24 Republika Srpska, "while we mostly give them civilians."
25 And the second document is yet another reflecting the functioning
1 and awareness of the exchange level -- exchange system at the municipal
2 level. It's an excerpt from a contemporaneous diary from the president
3 of the Crisis Staff in Sanski Most and it reveals, one, that on Tuesday
4 at 6.00 to 7.00 the operation begins; the fighting will not stop until
5 they surrender; no prisoners, if armed. And finally, captured civilians
6 to be used for exchanges.
7 This process, Your Honours, complemented the other mechanisms
8 ranging from discrimination, persecution, constant fear of attack, to the
9 large-scale killings that forced or induced flights of non-Serbs and
10 would ensure their separation from Serbs on the territories Karadzic
12 Now, I spoke earlier of the lightning conquest that Karadzic's
13 forces, his very mightily armed forces achieved in 1992. Indeed, by late
14 July 1992 he was already telling the Assembly that the Bosnian Serbs were
15 in a position to consider giving back some of the territory they
16 conquered in exchange for concessions during negotiations. And indeed,
17 with certain exceptions which I'll be discussing in the context of the
18 Srebrenica portion of the case, Karadzic's forces would not take
19 significantly greater territory than they conquered during the spring and
20 summer months of 1992. As Karadzic once said, noting that there were
21 relatively few operations that expanded their territory beyond what they
22 conquered in 1992 after:
23 "... packing Muslims in small areas, thus achieving their
24 concentration, we couldn't do much more."
25 Now, in light of those accomplishments in pursuit of the ultimate
1 goal of a unified Serbian state, Karadzic's political allies from Serbia
2 advised him to pursue the goal of ethnic purification in a less
3 observable manner. The discovery of the camps, their exposure through
4 the international media to the world in late July and early August had
5 generated widespread awareness and condemnation of the cleansings. And
6 at a meeting in January of 1993 of the council for coordinating positions
7 of state policy, that's a meeting between Bosnian Serb leaders and
8 leaders of Yugoslavia, leaders of Serbia, involving Karadzic, Milosevic,
9 Krajisnik, Koljevic, other officials, other Yugoslav officials. The
10 Serbian foreign minister noted the importance of making the territory,
11 that is, of making RS ethnically homogenous, but, he noted, not by means
12 of ethnic cleansing, which he considered "palms off."
13 Instead, the Bosnian Serbs should use a more subtle process of
14 eliminating the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat populations.
15 "What is important is that ... everybody understands that life in
16 that future Bosnia is impossible ..."
17 And he went on to say:
18 "If, on the contrary, freedom of movement would bring freedom of
19 settlement and the mixing of the composition of the population to our
20 disadvantage, then this, what has been gained, would gradually erode, and
21 we would basically lose everything in the future."
22 Therefore, he urged Karadzic and the Bosnian Serb leadership to:
23 "... encourage the migration of our people in the direction of
24 our provinces and others toward theirs."
25 Karadzic then ensured Milosevic and the other Serbian leaders
1 gathered that much progress had already been made toward the goal of
2 national homogeneity. Citing in particular the example of Zvornik:
3 "There was 50:50 of us in Zvornik. The number of inhabitants in
4 Zvornik is now the same, approximately 50.000, and they are all Serbs."
5 And Karadzic would ensure, as they had discussed, that what they
6 had gained would not be eroded. In early 1994, when an international
7 proposal was under consideration, the president of the
8 Deputies' Club - remember, the Deputies' Club was a club of parliament
9 members, the SDS
10 they continued to exist as a Deputies' Club and would meet just before
11 Assembly sessions so this was still an important post - this was his
12 comment at the Assembly:
13 "What I would really like to see here is a firm attitude that the
14 Muslims and the Croats would not be allowed to return to the areas under
15 our rule. So we should take a firm position and ban any of their returns
16 to the territories we have gained through these international
17 combinations. I do not care if the Muslims will live at all, where they
18 will live, whether they will have a country or not. I am not interested
19 in that. The only thing I am interested in is my people and the
20 territory where my people live. Therefore, any thought about having 500
21 or more Muslims within our future country is out of the question."
22 And in response, Karadzic explained how he would handle that.
23 Because international law prohibits a bar on return, he would say that in
24 principle all refugees can return but he would add that it had to be a
25 two-way process. And the reason, if it was reciprocal, he explained,
1 that meant that Muslims couldn't return, for example, to Prijedor until
2 the Serbs in Zvornik returned to Zenica. But as he continued to explain,
3 the Serbs in Zenica -- Serbs in Zvornik would not leave Zvornik and
4 therefore no obligation would arise. And as he summed it up:
5 "We can act the Serbian Cyrillic way and tell it all to their
6 face, or we can be a bit cunning. We have to be a bit cunning."
7 As he emphasised at the same session:
8 "If they can live in Grbavica, if they can live in Doboj, they
9 can live anywhere, and we have to prevent it."
10 Now, despite the vast territory that had been conquered and
11 cleansed by late 1992, there was still pockets of Muslims remaining in
12 Eastern Bosnia, including Srebrenica. And I'll return to that subject
13 and the effort to drive those last remaining pockets of Muslims from
14 Eastern Bosnia later. But first, Your Honours, I'd like to turn the
15 Court's attention to the shelling and sniping campaign in Sarajevo.
16 Sarajevo was kept under siege for 44 months, exposed to a
17 relentless military campaign of shelling and sniping by a superior
18 military force from the heights of the city's surrounding hills, a
19 campaign directed at Sarajevo's civilian population from the heights of
20 the city's hills. Sarajevo's civilians, month after month, year after
21 year, lived in fear that the next mortar, the next bomb, the next
22 sniper's bullet would strike them or their loved ones. The accused,
23 Radovan Karadzic, controlled these besieging forces, and he modulated the
24 sniping and shelling to terrorise the city and its people.
25 Now, Sarajevo was initially besieged by the combined forces
1 talked about earlier, that is, the police and the Serbian armed units,
2 and then from May 1992 with the establishment of the Bosnian Serb army by
3 the -- by a corps of the Bosnian Serb army, the Sarajevo Romanija Corps,
4 known as the SRK
5 was a de jure and de facto commander of the Bosnian Serb forces.
6 If I may, let me say a few words about Sarajevo itself. Before
7 the war, Sarajevo had a population of approximately half a million
8 inhabitants, a rich cosmopolitan mixture of Serbs, Croats, and Muslims as
9 well as people who chose to identify themselves simply as Yugoslavs. Its
10 metropolitan area was largely residentially integrated in high-rise and
11 low-rise, densely populated apartment communities, and its people shared
12 a genuine sense of community which transcended ethnic lines and which was
13 reflected in their everyday lives. Citizens of different ethnicities
14 intermingled freely. They intermarried at an unusually high rate. They
15 visited on each other's holidays, regarded each other as simply
16 neighbours. In short, Sarajevo was the embodiment of a multi-ethnic
17 Bosnia and the embodiment of its ethnic diversity.
18 Now, it's also helpful to understand the topography of Sarajevo
19 in understanding the shelling and sniping campaign. Sarajevo essentially
20 lies in a valley running east and west, and on either side of that valley
21 are steep mountain slopes - I hope you can make them out in this
22 photograph - meaning that the high ground lies both to the north and
23 south point of the city. The most densely populated parts of Sarajevo
24 city actually straddle the river that runs through it, the narrow
25 Miljacka River, and that runs along an east-west valley - if you can see
1 it here. And that's the approximate axis of the river. The residential
2 and commercial old town lies in the east part of the city, that is to the
3 right of the photograph in that valley or just above the valley, and that
4 makes up the dense city centre and spreads up the hill-sides. And to the
5 west of the city, as you move from right to left on the photograph on the
6 more open ground were the new municipalities with commercial development
7 and residential accommodation.
8 Now, the advantage of seizing the heights around the city may
9 seem obvious, but it can also be seen visually from the perspective of
10 the hills themselves. We'll take a look at this now.
11 [Video-clip played]
12 MR. TIEGER: And in the context of the shelling and sniping
13 campaign, Your Honours, the advantage of these heights and the general
14 topography of Sarajevo will become abundantly clear.
15 Now, as described earlier, the -- Karadzic and the Bosnian Serb
16 leadership wanted to physically divide Sarajevo, that's the fifth of the
17 six Strategic Objectives. And indeed in explaining his plans for
18 Sarajevo, Karadzic sometimes referred to other famously divided cities
19 such as Beirut or Berlin. He also saw a related objective. Sarajevo
20 represented a soft spot through which to exert leverage in negotiations.
21 The blockade of Sarajevo and the complete inability of the Bosnian
22 government to control the conditions in which the civilian population
23 lived was a strong bargaining chip in Karadzic's negotiations with the
24 Bosnian government and with the international community.
25 As Karadzic told the Bosnian Serb Assembly on the 12th of May:
1 "Sarajevo is strategically in fifth place, but the battle in
2 Sarajevo and for Sarajevo is of decisive importance because it does not
3 allow the establishment of even the illusion of a state. Alija," again
4 referring to Alija Izetbegovic, "does not have a state while we have a
5 part of Sarajevo."
6 And as he said in December of 1993:
7 "Izetbegovic is talking because he cannot get out of Sarajevo
8 without our permission."
9 And as a result, forces under Karadzic's command encircled
10 Sarajevo, creating a siege of the city which would last 44 months. By
11 the 12th of May, indeed, Karadzic confirmed to the deputies at the
12 Assembly that Sarajevo was now encircled and the city had been isolated
13 for weeks. Now, recall that General Mladic was also at that session as
14 the newly appointed commander of the Bosnian Serb army, and he laid out
15 the crux of the Bosnian Serb plans for Sarajevo for the next three and a
16 half years.
17 "If we want to make the Muslims surrender, 300 guns must be
18 densely planted around Sarajevo, of calibre ranging from hand-held
19 rocket-launchers of 40 to 64 millimetres to Orkan," that's a
20 multi-rocket-launcher, "and P-65 rockets."
21 Now, Your Honours, I earlier mentioned a meeting that took place
22 two days after the May 12th session in the ARK region between members of
23 the army and municipality presidents to discuss and disseminate the
24 Strategic Objectives. General Galic, then Colonel Galic, was at that
25 meeting and indeed he proposed the agenda and the objectives were
1 presented in order. Here is what was said about the fifth
2 Strategic Objective:
3 "It was said that Sarajevo must be either divided or razed to the
5 Galic, as I'll describe in a moment, was the commander of the
7 September 1992 until August 1994. Now, at that 16th Assembly in
8 May of 1992, General Mladic also went on to explain that:
9 "We have to put a ring around the dragon's head of Sarajevo this
10 very moment and only those whom we let out should be allowed out."
11 And he went on to explain further:
12 "We are not going to say that we are going to destroy the
13 power-supply pylons or turn off the water-supply, no, because that would
14 get America out of its seat. But gentlemen, please, fine, well one day
15 there is no water at all in Sarajevo. What is it? We do not know.
16 Damage? We should fix it, no, we will fix it slowly. And the same with
17 the electrical supply."
18 Having successfully put a ring of heavy artillery around
19 Sarajevo, Karadzic and his forces used this control to terrorise
20 civilians. The shelling employed was time and again not aimed at
21 military targets but was simply scattered around the city or aimed at
22 civilian areas. You'll see, for example, an intercept in which Mladic
23 orders his forces to fire on Bascarsija, an old Muslim residential area
24 in the old town.
25 "Mladic: How soon can you fire?"
1 His interlocutor subordinate:
2 "Well, I could fire in five to ten minutes, no sooner than that.
3 "Mladic: Tell me, can you also shell Bascarsija?"
4 His subordinate:
5 "Yes, I can.
6 "Mladic: I beg your pardon?
7 "I can, I can.
8 "Mladic: Fire a salvo at Bascarsija as well."
9 And his subordinate:
10 "Yes, sir."
11 The chief of the United Nations military observers, a man who
12 previously fought in Vietnam and who served as an observer in Lebanon and
13 in Israel has testified that from mid-May 1992 onwards artillery was very
14 heavy and directed virtually at the whole city. It was widespread.
15 Despite his experiences in Israel and Lebanon, he had never seen such
16 weight of fire used and particularly not against civilian targets. In
17 many cases there seemed to be no military value in the targets that were
18 selected at that time. And his evidence, Your Honours, will be confirmed
19 by other military observers, by war correspondents, and by other
21 The terrorisation of the civilian population is perhaps best
22 exemplified by the SRK
23 arsenal in April of 1995. A modified air bomb is a weapon of enormous
24 destructive power. It's a weapon originally designed to be dropped from
25 an aircraft. The Bosnian Serbs modified it by fitting the bombs with
1 rocket motors and that was an order so that it could be launched from the
2 ground. And the result of that modification was a grossly inaccurate
3 weapon. A modified air bomb has an range of 1 to 2 kilometres, that is
4 600 metres on either side. The use of such a weapon in a densely
5 populated civilian area violates not only the principle of distinction
6 that underpins international humanitarian law, but every basic tenet of
7 humanitarian law. And the campaign of terror against civilians also
8 employed a more precise manner of terror, and that was sniping.
9 Now, the term "sniping" during the course of this trial refers
10 not only to its more technical application, that is, a person with a
11 rifle with an optical sight, but also to a person directly targeting
12 people at a distance from a concealed area or a partially concealed
13 position by using a small-calibre weapon such as a rifle or a
16 high-rise buildings in Grbavica, the peak of Sharp Stone Ridge, and in
17 the school of theology in Nedzarici. And in Grbavica, for example, SRK
18 forces could snipe into the very heart of the city which is just adjacent
19 to that from a height and more importantly could target pedestrians,
20 buses, and other vehicles traversing the city on that east-west axis.
21 Whole areas of town became high danger zones which civilians avoided to
22 the extent possible because of the great risk of being struck by a sniper
23 bullet. In fact, the main avenue running parallel to the river from the
24 old town, from the western part of town, became known as Sniper Alley.
25 One international military witness, a senior military official, a
1 general, recalls that in the area of Sniper Alley there were no military
2 positions, just civilians walking along the street, Sniper Alley.
3 Another senior military man observed that when civilians used covered
4 routes in order to avoid snipers, those cover routes would be shelled
5 signaling that whatever civilians did, whatever they tried to do to
6 escape, they would be targets.
7 The combined effect of the indiscriminate random shelling and the
8 sniping of civilians was terror, the ever-present fear of being the next
9 one hit or killed. Between April 1992 and November 1995, a citizen of
10 Sarajevo really couldn't be sure whether his or her last step would not
11 be their last. Daily life in this effective death lottery was
12 unpredictable. A civilian on a tram was just as much at risk of death or
13 injury as was a civilian from being killed or maimed by an air bomb in
14 another part of town. Small stretches of peace were suddenly interrupted
15 by another round of shelling - you'll see some of that in the videos we
16 will show you - and other times, the bombardment never seemed to end.
17 For 44 months, the civilian population lived under a pervasive sense of
18 terror; exactly what was intended.
19 Now, during the course of that 44 months, the SRK and other
20 Bosnian Serb forces did launch military attacks against legitimate
21 military objectives and did repel attacks of the Bosnian government
22 forces. These attacks and counter-attacks do not form part of the case
23 against the accused. The case against the accused is about his use of
24 deliberate infliction of terror against the civilian population through
25 endlessly repeated breaches of the cardinal principle of humanitarian
1 law: The principle of distinction.
2 This is no technical principle. It embodies the most fundamental
3 aspect of international humanitarian law, that every commander has a duty
4 to make a distinction between military targets and civilians or civilian
5 objects. This principle was violated and crimes committed endless times
6 during the 44-month siege. The principle was violated when Karadzic's
7 forces targeted a civilian object or civilian or when they fired
8 indiscriminately into an area where civilians or civilian objects were or
9 when they fired at a target with disproportional force, that is, force
10 that is disproportionate to the anticipated military advantage.
11 Now, the evidence will show that Karadzic's forces were
12 entrenched and their weapons were dug-in and this means that the SRK knew
13 the accuracy and range of each weapon. They weren't moving around and
14 recalculating that. As witnesses will describe, an artillery operator
15 very quickly learns the range of his weapon once secured in the same
16 place. Even mortars had their base plates dug in.
17 Now, the accused may suggest that his forces repeatedly were
18 inaccurate in their efforts to hit military targets day after day, month
19 after month, year after year. Such a defence not only fails on the
20 facts, but it is particularly incredible when it comes to using modified
21 air-bombs or anti-personnel weapons such as cluster bombs. Deploying a
22 modified air bomb at a military target is the proverbial "shot in the
23 dark." You don't know where it will land or who it will kill, and it's
24 not only senseless but patently illegal. The evidence show that using
25 modified air-bombs in urban Sarajevo reveals in its starkest form the
1 illegal intent against the civilian population of Sarajevo.
2 When one totals the conduct of Karadzic's forces, the random
3 shelling of civilian areas, the sniping of civilians, the targeting of
4 civilian objects while leading military targets alone, the use of
5 modified air-bombs, what is revealed is his primary purpose, for that
6 extended campaign was not the destruction, suppression, or neutralisation
7 of military targets. It was the terrorisation of an entire civilian
9 I want to pause for a moment and talk about the extent of the
10 success of that objective in the daily life of Sarajevans because that
11 bears some focus at this moment. Because his campaign succeeded in its
12 objective, terror was the only constant in the otherwise uncertain daily
13 life of these besieged Sarajevans. As a senior doctor from a hospital
14 said, summing up the daily fear of trying to survive Sarajevan life:
15 "Every day on your way to work you ran the risk of being killed
16 or injured. Every day's work meant exposing yourself to the risk of
17 being added to the long list of the killed and the wounded."
18 Simple daily acts like crossing the street terrified people.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 MR. TIEGER: Indeed, as the sniping became more lethal, novel
21 anti-sniping measures were employed by the United Nations to assist the
23 I'm sorry, I need to tell the booth it's a video.
24 Next please.
25 [Video-clip played]
1 MR. TIEGER: Civilians huddled in the -- on the other side of an
3 In the context of the siege, Your Honours, sometimes months
4 without water, gas, and electricity, residents were compelled to leave
5 their shelter - that was shelter from the sniping and shelling they
6 sought to avoid - and nevertheless venture outside to find water or
7 forage for firewood to keep warm. They were forced into exposing
8 themselves to sniping and shelling.
9 Video, please.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 "Serbian snipers are perhaps 100, 150 yards away in the Kosovo
12 district where people live, right against the front line. There's no
13 safe place and lying low in such shelters as there are isn't an option
14 either, for the water's cut off and the only supply is in a basement of a
15 block of flats; the cellar itself is a kind of a refuge. But every time
16 they make the journey, which for most of them has to be every day, the
17 water carriers coming and going are in the line of fire.
18 "This day, the snipers have claimed one casualty already.
19 "Before the war, this used to be a country [indiscernible] the
20 victims this time a man shot in the leg just turning the last corner when
21 the sniper got him. It happens at this place every day and usually more
22 than once. Nothing special, but an everyday hazard for people who've
23 been under fire since April."
24 MR. TIEGER: Despite their efforts to take precautions, despite
25 their efforts to avoid the shelling and sniping, many civilians were
1 nevertheless wounded or killed carrying out their everyday activities.
2 Mothers walking their children were shot. On the 18th of November, 1994,
3 a boy named Nermin Divovic, 7 years old, was walking beside his mother on
4 a street in the centre of Sarajevo, just another daily activity in most
5 days. His 8-year-old sister was walking ahead. As they crossed the
6 street, a Bosnian Serb sniper shot at them. The bullet passed through
7 his mother's stomach and killed Nermin instantly. And you'll see him
8 sprawling on the zebra crossing in this video.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 MR. TIEGER: School children playing with each other were shot.
11 People riding on trams were shot. Children playing in the snow were
12 shot. People collecting water were shot. Even when attending the
13 funeral of loved ones who had been killed, the civilians of Sarajevo were
14 targets and were shot.
15 Next video, please.
16 [Video-clip played]
17 "When they were arrived, they were told that Vedrana had already
18 been buried half an hour early because the graveyard was being shelled by
19 the Serbs. That was bad enough but it got much worse. More shells
20 started falling. One landed as the boys and girls from Vedrana's
21 children's home arrived with their flowers. As quickly as they could,
22 they dropped them on the graves of Vedrana; and the baby boy, the sniper
23 also murdered. It was time to go. As the family was leaving, the
24 gunners found their range."
25 MR. TIEGER: This terror attack, Your Honours, virtually killed a
1 living city. A UN civil affairs officer will explain to you that he
2 arrived in mid-1993, arrived to find eerily empty streets, burned out
3 cars littering the city, trams stopped in their tracks, anti-sniping
4 barricades lining the avenues. Only brief glimpses could be caught of
5 the city's citizens as they scurried around, in and out of safety,
6 looking for some food or water.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 MR. TIEGER: Two years after his arrival in Sarajevo, a UN civil
9 affairs officer wrote this report of July 8th, 1995:
10 "Despite the reduction in military activity around the city, the
11 harassment of the civilian population continues almost unabated. Sniping
12 and mortaring are still at a reasonably high level. This seems to have
13 no particular military value but contributes to a general atmosphere of
14 terror in the city. Almost no civilians now use the city's main
15 east-west thoroughfare, Sniper Alley, so much that the snipers who used
16 to work that area now seem to have relocated."
17 Your Honours, the evidence will show that Radovan Karadzic
18 commanded and directed the establishment and maintenance of the Siege of
19 Sarajevo, and he commanded and directed the forces that perpetrated the
20 campaign of shelling and sniping in the context of that siege and that he
21 deliberate inflicted and modulated terror among the civilian population
22 for his own political ends.
23 Now, by the time the VRS was formed on the 12th of May and then
24 the SRK
25 the territorial units, the SDS
1 separation effort up to that point, the -- Karadzic had already been in
2 command of those units for -- around Sarajevo for about a month and a
3 half. Indeed, by the 25th of April, less than three weeks into the
4 conflict, he was able to take journalists above Sarajevo and declare that
5 he could take the city whenever he liked.
6 Next video, please.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 "If we didn't have hope for political solutions, we would already
9 free Sarajevo. We would have taken it because we can take it.
10 "To make his point, and he did it vividly, Mr. Karadzic took us
11 on a tour of the Serbs' front-line positions overlooking Sarajevo. He
12 used an old Serbian greeting, 'may God help you.
13 "The purpose of this high-visibility exercise was to show that
14 the Serbs were observing the cease-fire here and, he said, intended to go
15 on doing so.
16 "We don't shoot. We -- we try to -- just to keep peace and not
17 to -- to control the surroundings of Sarajevo.
18 "You could take the city tomorrow, couldn't you?
19 "Any time.
20 "This is the strength of the Serbs' position, that Sarajevo lies
21 at their feet. They say they're willing to negotiate about anything.
22 But if the Muslims want war, they can have war, and the city is
24 "Martin Bell, BBC
25 MR. TIEGER: Now, as I mentioned, the establishment of the VRS
1 and the SRK
2 under a unified and formal chain of command with Karadzic at the top as
3 supreme commander. And this diagram depicts the chain of command of the
4 VRS with respect to the SRK
5 commander, president of the Presidency, at the beginning, and later the
6 president, Radovan Karadzic; down to the Main Staff, the commander of
7 which was Ratko Mladic; down to the Sarajevo Romanija Corps and its three
8 commanders during that period; and then down through the brigades.
9 Now, that command structure from 1992 to 1995 was both formal and
10 effective. The SRK
11 system, and very good command and control as you'll hear from the
12 evidence. And the campaign of sniping and shelling was executed by the
14 command of the Main Staff.
15 Karadzic would exercise control over the shelling forces time and
16 again as you'll see in the context of agreements which could be
17 implemented on the ground, agreements when it suited political purposes,
18 for example, when a cease-fire and total exclusion zone was agreed upon
19 in February of 1994, the cease-fire was immediately implemented and the
20 Serb forces surrounding Sarajevo held their fire, tight command and
21 control system. And Karadzic and the leaders of the VRS could also
22 direct shelling and sniping at will. In March 1994, the VRS demanded
23 that the trams in Sarajevo stop running or they would be targeted by SRK
24 forces. And when the trams kept running, SRK snipers carried out this
25 threat, killing and wounding civilian passengers on multiple occasions.
1 Now, SRK
2 UNPROFOR representatives, among others, that their subordinates were
3 shelling and sniping civilians. That shelling and sniping continued for
4 44 months and subordinates were not punished.
5 Orders and reports explicitly demonstrate not only the manner in
6 which the shelling and sniping of the SRK forces was controlled and
7 coordinated but also the manner in which information was channelled up
8 and down the chain of command. Now, the vast majority of orders were
9 issued and delivered orally, as you'll see from the evidence. And the
10 design, consistency, and pattern of the shelling and sniping confirms
11 their existence. But some VRS and SRK
12 and they confirm the effective command and control and coordination of
13 the shelling and sniping and the effective chain of communication and the
14 effective control within the SRK
15 air-bombs on the 13th of June, 1994, the Main Staff sent a letter to the
17 Sarajevo municipalities - a command request about the use of air-bombs.
18 And the Main Staff said:
19 "VRS Main Staff decides on the use of aerial bombs and possibly a
20 corps if the VRS Main Staff approves so and not a brigade according to
21 its own plan."
22 On the 6th of April, 1995, then SRK Corps Commander
23 Dragomir Milosevic issued the following order:
24 "The Ilidza Brigade will immediately prepare a launcher with an
25 aerial bomb and transport the bomb for launching. The most profitable
1 target must be selected in Hrasnica and Sokolovici colony where the
2 greatest casualties and material damage would be inflicted."
3 The following day, a report was sent to the Main Staff.
4 "In Ilidza Brigade, one 120-millimetre mine was fired and one
5 250 kilogramme aerial bomb was launched at the centre of Hrasnica."
6 This bomb destroyed civilian houses, killed one civilian, and
7 wounded three others. Ziba Custovic , a housewife, was drinking her
8 morning coffee when the bomb killed her.
9 Next video, please.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 "The cease-fire appears to be crumbling rapidly. Today there
12 were offensives on at least two fronts in Bosnia and south of Sarajevo.
13 The suburb of Hrasnica came under Serbian attack for the third successive
14 day. A rocket levelled five houses, killed one person, and injured
15 several more."
16 MR. TIEGER: Your Honours, another example of the centralised
17 military control of the campaign can be found in a 15 August 1994 SRK
18 intelligence officer memo on the anti-sniping agreement. This document
20 "Sniping is to be stopped only by orders and the inner
21 organisation and accordingly by taking of adequate measures."
22 And it specifically notes the final decision on any measures
23 related to sniping would be taken by the corps commander. And before I
24 move on, just to note that the -- a warning issued by Dragomir Milosevic,
25 then the commander of the SRK
1 the corps command that the SRK
2 comment on the problems in ammunition production and the lax behaviour of
3 spending ammunition as if it was held in abundance, trying to out-fire
4 the enemy, and on that subject Milosevic said:
5 "That is why we very often fire at inhabited settlements and
6 specific buildings when there are no combat actions whatsoever, spending
7 vast quantities of ammunition without paying attention to the fact that
8 we'll not have anything to stop the enemy when it comes to mounting a
9 decisive defence."
10 No combat actions whatsoever firing at the inhabited settlements
11 -- I'm sorry, and the last sentence was my recap of the warning.
12 The evidence, Your Honours, will show a concerted and coordinated
13 campaign which was implemented by the SRK under the military command of
14 the VRS for the purpose of terrorising civilian population of Sarajevo.
15 Karadzic commanded the VRS, this disciplined military organisation, and
16 in addition to that, commanded other forces around Sarajevo such as the
17 MUP. And he was not just the de jure supreme commander but the de facto
18 commander. And in those dual roles with that absolute authority, he
19 effectively planned, directed, controlled, and oversaw his military
20 subordinates and was in charge of the campaign of sniping and shelling
21 that terrorised Sarajevo civilians.
22 Now, as mentioned, as supreme commander, Karadzic was ultimately
23 responsible for setting the SRK
24 military objectives concerning Sarajevo. And a reflection of that, the
25 issuance of directives. Between 1992 and 1995, directives that were
1 reviewed or signed by Karadzic were issued outlining how the VRS was to
2 implement the Strategic Objectives. Each of these directives contained
3 instructions for the military activities of SRK and reflected his command
4 and control of the VRS and the SRK
5 in August of 1992. A section of that is devoted to the operational
6 objectives of the SRK
7 "Keep Sarajevo firmly under blockade and prevent its breaking."
8 Directive 6, issued and signed by Karadzic as supreme commander,
9 that was in November of 1993, similarly contains instructions for the SRK
10 including the instruction to:
11 "... use the main body of forces to prevent the deblockade of
13 Now, in addition to his control of the SRK forces, Karadzic also
14 controlled the other forces operating around Sarajevo. And you'll see an
15 order from Karadzic on 14th of November, 1993, which includes
16 instructions for the RS MUP forces, other VRS forces other than the SRK
17 operating around Sarajevo, the air force and anti-aircraft defence
18 forces, including rocket and helicopter units.
19 Now, beyond his position at the apex of this command and control
20 structure, his control of the shelling and sniping is reflected in the
21 agreements that he entered into involving cease-fires in Sarajevo.
22 Throughout the 44-month siege and throughout the 44-month terror
23 campaign, he controlled the level of terror when it politically suited
24 him. He could heighten or lower it to negotiate a deal on his terms.
25 One such example is July 1993. The political situation at that
1 time is reflected in the weekly UNPROFOR report. That report records
2 that Bosnians -- Muslim -- the Bosnian president, president of the
3 Bosnian government, Alija Izetbegovic, appeared at that point to be
4 coming around to the idea of partitioning Bosnia and Herzegovina, a
5 policy long pursued by Karadzic and the Bosnian Serb leadership.
6 Karadzic had, that same week, made clear to UNPROFOR that his first
7 priority was to get the Bosnian government in Sarajevo to come to the
8 negotiating table, start discussing the partition of Bosnia. And the
9 report also notes:
10 "Negotiations could only proceed if there is an effective
11 cease-fire in place."
12 And you'll see all that in the July 1993 report which we'll
13 submit to you in evidence.
14 In light of those circumstances, how did Karadzic proceed? He
15 ordered the SRK
16 First, dated July 15th, 1993, from Dragomir Milosevic:
17 "Pursuant to an order of president of RS, Dr. Radovan Karadzic,
18 based on the current political situation ... all units are forbidden to
19 fire on Sarajevo proper unless defending VRS positions. The unnecessary
20 and uncontrolled firing on Sarajevo is causing great harm to
21 Republika Srpska. Be in full control and render impossible the
22 unnecessary firing on Sarajevo ..."
23 And it also orders that now water and gas are to be provided to
24 the population as well as electricity.
25 And similarly, an order on 16th of July, 1993, from the acting
1 command of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps:
2 "We received from the command of the Main Staff of VRS a warning
3 not to act over proper Sarajevo. Act only the case of necessary
4 self-defence and endangering military defence lines. The warning is
5 issued with regard to the agreement between President Karadzic, UNPROFOR,
6 and our enemies."
7 Your Honour, I'll want to turn next to Karadzic's awareness that
8 his forces were targeting civilians, but I am aware that, Mr. President,
9 you asked for some time before we adjourned today.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
11 Before I raise this planning purpose, can I know how much longer
12 you need on Monday?
13 MR. TIEGER: It won't be the full session -- it won't be the full
14 day, Your Honour. If you give me a moment, I can calculate it. But it
15 will certainly be before the last session, but, as I say, I'm having a
16 bit of difficulty at the moment calculating precisely when we would
17 conclude. But I imagine the Court would have at least the last session
18 of the day.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
20 As I mentioned earlier, should the accused maintain his absence
21 from the proceedings on Monday, there will be a hearing on
22 Tuesday, 3rd of November, in the afternoon, at which time the Chamber
23 will hear oral submissions from the Prosecution and the accused on the
24 manner in which we might proceed thereafter. The Chamber will then
25 decide the matter.
1 In order to assist the parties in making helpful submissions, I
2 would like to mention the following issues which the Chamber is
3 particularly interested in hearing you on.
4 Number one: Proceeding with the trial in the absence of the
5 accused and in the absence of any counsel to represent him.
6 Number two: The assignment of counsel to the accused and the
7 various roles an assigned counsel may be given, both in the near future
8 and as the trial progresses.
9 Or number three: The appointment of an amicus curiae.
10 Number four: The possible adjournment of trial proceedings to
11 allow adequate time for an assigned counsel to prepare.
12 And number five: Other suggested ways of ensuring this trial can
13 proceed should the accused continue to voluntarily absent himself from
14 the courtroom.
15 The proceedings are now adjourned until Monday,
16 2nd of November, at 2.15 p.m.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.56 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 2nd day of
19 November, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.