1 Wednesday, 13 February 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Excellency. Good
9 morning to everyone.
10 WITNESS: VIDOMIR BANDUKA [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Banduka.
14 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
15 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, if I may, my apologies for
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. McKenna.
18 MS. McKENNA: I spoke to -- or we spoke to Mr. Robinson and he
19 kindly agreed for me to make very brief submission in respect of
20 Mr. Banduka's testimony yesterday before Mr. Karadzic continues his
21 re-direct. It's simply that Mr. Banduka -- two propositions were put to
22 Mr. Banduka which he didn't confirm, and we would seek the admission of
23 three pages of his transcript from his Krajisnik testimony, and those are
24 pages are pages 89, 90, and page 157. So obviously that's subject to the
25 Defence being given an opportunity to review those pages and give its
2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
3 MR. ROBINSON: We don't have any objection, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE KWON: Did we admit part of the transcript yesterday or
6 MS. McKENNA: We didn't, Your Honour, because the -- because most
7 of the propositions that were put to Mr. Banduka he accepted that this
8 relates to two propositions that he did not.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Then we'll admit those three pages.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Should be assigned Exhibit P6110. Thank you.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Banduka, yesterday on page 84 of the transcript you were
16 asked about the attack on Hadzici of the 11th of May. Here the
17 Prosecution mentioned Witness Music who had claimed that they had been
18 attacked on the 10th and 11th in the Musici village, 10th and 11th of
19 May. What can you tell us about these two different pieces of
21 A. As I said earlier, on the 11th of May an attack took place in the
22 early morning hours on Hadzici from Tinovo Brdo and from Vrbanja. So
23 that was a Muslim attack which resulted in a number of fatalities on our
24 side and it was repelled on that same day, but I'm not aware of any
25 attack on Musici.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at 65 ter 25594 dated
3 11th of May, 1995 [as interpreted].
4 THE REGISTRAR: Could Mr. Karadzic please repeat the number.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 65 ter 24594.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Banduka, let's look at paragraph 1. Here the Ministry of the
8 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina reports on the 11th of May
9 that at around 25 minutes after midnight there was a renewed attack on
10 Serb positions. Do you see this first paragraph?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Is this consistent with what you know about this incident?
13 A. Yes.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between
15 questions and answers.
16 JUDGE KWON: Could you put a pause between the question and the
17 answer, please.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Probably my question was not
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. This speaks about a renewed attack on the 11th after midnight,
22 that the technical depot was targeted as well as the public security
23 station. Is that consistent with what you know about this attack?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What can you tell us about this renewed attack? When did the
1 attacks that preceded this one occur?
2 A. Well, there was an attack on the 10th of May. You saw in my
3 statement that on the 10th of May the Muslims seized the barracks in
4 Krupska Rijeka and also the Serbs' part were shelled, the Serb parts of
6 Q. Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted?
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Should be assigned Exhibit D2921, thank you.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. How often and what was the intensity of the shelling targeting
12 the centre part of Hadzici?
13 A. Well, the shelling of the central part of Hadzici and the
14 neighbouring villages were a daily occurrence. Let me tell you just that
15 on 25th of May, when there was a major attack by the Muslim forces, 10 or
16 11 of our troops were killed and eight of them were killed by shelling.
17 In other words, shelling was happening on a daily basis from Igman, from
18 village of Lokve, and Mount Igman.
19 Q. Thank you. How would this correspond to D2469, where you say
20 that on one day 27 shells landed and another day 117 shells, including
21 Weber rockets, and they hit the centre of Hadzici?
22 A. As far as I am able to remember and according to what was
23 recorded, I think that the fiercest shelling was on the 5th or 6th of
24 June when the Muslim forces took over the Pazarici barracks, albeit
25 through negotiations. There were about some 100 troops there and a large
1 amount of heavy weapons. And we estimated that on that very same day
2 over 1.000 shells fell on Hadzici.
3 Q. [No interpretation]
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Karadzic please repeat the number of
5 the document.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. This is relating to a telephone conversation between
8 Lieutenant-Colonel Milicevic and General Mladic which took place on the
9 21st. Who was --
10 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, could you repeat the number.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 65 ter 30789.
12 MS. McKENNA: Your Honours.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. McKenna.
14 MS. McKENNA: If I may, this line of questioning has continued
15 for some time and I fail to see how this flows from the
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, yesterday the
19 Prosecution refuted the development of events, whereas Mr. Banduka said
20 that we were being shelled on a daily basis. And whatever was happening
21 was happening during the shelling. This opened the door for this subject
22 in cross-examination as to whether they had weapons, who went there of
23 their own volition, who was detained in the sports centre and the
24 garages. All of this was raised as a result of the questions put by the
25 Prosecution and the things happening in Dupovac, Musici, et cetera, even
1 92 quater which is something that I am not in a position to put questions
3 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure what you meant by saying that
4 Prosecution refuted the development of events.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, Excellency, yesterday the
6 Prosecution said on page 84 of the transcript, they denied the claim that
7 it was the Muslims who attacked Hadzici and they referred to
8 Witness Music and the others, and they claim that this was, in fact, done
9 by the Serbs.
10 JUDGE KWON: [Previous translation continues] ...
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There was also mention of the
12 sports hall --
13 JUDGE KWON: Well, I'm not sure whether she made a claim denying
14 Muslim attacks at all, no?
15 MS. McKENNA: If we could be directed to a specific transcript
16 reference, that would be helpful because that claim wasn't made.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll wait until we
18 find this transcript page, but everything else that was contained in
19 Music's testimony was made reference to and I need to clarify that.
20 Mr. Banduka gave the same response as Music did. So the whole issue was
21 raised yesterday during cross-examination.
22 JUDGE KWON: She raised -- she put some questions with respect
23 to -- or in relation to Music's statement. As far as the item is related
24 to those parts, you may proceed. But by putting certain paragraph in the
25 Music's statement, it does not open the door for everything that is
1 contained in his statement. Let's proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 While we are waiting can we -- oh, yes, now we have the
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Banduka, can you see here what it says, I am the commander?
7 A. Yes, of the Pazarici unit.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we check -- yes, it says here
9 Hadzici municipality. But now we need to go to the penultimate page.
10 JUDGE KWON: Could you explain first how this relates to
11 Ms. McKenna's cross-examination of yesterday?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I cannot give the exact
13 reference but there was a dispute that they were well-armed. However,
14 they took over the barracks that was fully loaded with arms and
15 immediately thereafter they launched an attack on Hadzici.
16 JUDGE KWON: She did ask about the Serbs arming, but I'm not sure
17 she challenged or she disputed the Muslim -- the arming on the part of
18 the Muslim side at all.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] On page 87 the witness said that as
20 soon as the Muslims had left Hadzici of their own volition, it was
21 followed by an attack on the town.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, it's page 33477. Does that mean that somebody
23 was bringing them in or did they arrive of their own volition? Is it --
24 is this the part you are referring to? No.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I don't have
1 that number, or rather, these final numbers in LiveNote.
2 JUDGE KWON: No, could you read the passage.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I please have it on the screen,
4 that page, because I can't find it because I don't have numbers like
5 that. I'll try. I do apologise. I'll try to find it according to my
6 own numbers because I don't have those numbers. Sixteen, 17, and 18 are
7 the lines in yesterday's transcript. I'll read it out in English:
8 [In English] "Q. Mr. Banduka, I'm going to move on to the topic
9 of the Hadzici sports centre. At paragraph 54 of your statement you say
11 'The Crisis Staff set up a clothing centre in the sports hall,
12 seeing that the remaining Muslim inhabitants were complaining every day
13 that they were experiencing ...'"
14 And so on and so forth.
15 MR. HARVEY: Page 33510, page 33510.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now let us take a look at page 74.
17 According to my numbering, lines 22 through 25. In the question it says:
18 [In English] "Well, Mr. Dupovac who actually attended the
19 council, his evidence was that the SDS didn't refuse to participate in
20 the functions of the council until mid-April. And, in fact, they used
21 the Defence Council as platform to emphasise their desire for Muslims and
22 Serbs to have separate state. Mr. Banduka, did you -- were you aware of
23 the SDS making public statements about the desire for Muslims and Serbs
24 to have separate states?"
25 MS. McKENNA: For Your Honours' reference, that's page 33497.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 MS. McKENNA: But once again, it's --
3 JUDGE KWON: No.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 87 there's another reference to
5 Dupovac and I could not cross-examine. 33498 is the page number, lines 5
6 to 11.
7 JUDGE KWON: So again this was related to the arming on the part
8 of the Serbs.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Here on page 74 it says -- I'll
10 read it out. The question was:
11 [In English] "You said that they had already informed their
12 units. Now earlier today you removed a reference in your statement to
13 the Serbs making preparations in war ..." and so on.
14 "Is it your evidence that the Serbs in Hadzici began to arm
15 themselves and prepare for war only after the JNA pulled out ..." and so
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, there is total chaos
19 as far as page numbers are concerned.
20 JUDGE KWON: I found it. It's 33498. Yes, court deputy pointed
21 out already. It's all related to the arming on the part of the Serbs.
22 The Defence -- the Prosecution didn't challenge the arming on the part of
23 the Muslims if I remember correctly. Instead of using your precious
24 time, I would like you to move on.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I just wanted to draw
1 your attention to the answer on the next page, the first line, where
2 Mr. Banduka says that they were the ones who had been attacked on the
3 11th of May.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Banduka, now we're going to abandon that topic all together.
6 Tell me, please, what was the attitude of the authorities towards the
7 Muslim in Hadzici, in the Serb part of Hadzici?
8 A. Well, the attitude was the way it was towards all the inhabitants
9 of Hadzici. There was no difference, starting with ordinary things,
10 because we had enormous problems with water-supply, power-supply, food
11 supplies, so everybody was in the same position.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P2306, that's what I'd like to draw
13 the attention of the participants to and I'm going to read it out to you.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. A report on the work of the Serb municipality of Hadzici.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We do not have the text.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Members of other ethnic groups live in this municipality on the
19 condition that they accept the constitutional order of Republika Srpska.
20 The members of the Assembly said that this has to ensure the equality of
21 rights of Serbs and other citizens living in the area.
22 Are you familiar with this report?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Does this correspond to what you know regarding the attitude
25 towards the Muslims?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. That is a Prosecution document. Yesterday you asserted that the
3 Muslim civilians left and that attack ensued; is that right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Mr. Music who was mentioned here, mentioned by the Prosecution,
6 he also confirmed that buses arrived and that they drove civilians
7 towards Pazarici and that he was even in charge of the evacuation of
8 these civilians. Did you know Mr. Mehmed Music?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. That Prosecution report was for 1992, I mean 2306. Yesterday
11 when asked whether there were prisoners in the sports hall, you said that
12 that could have been the case only if they were released from custody
13 that was actually detention in the municipality building. Is that what
14 you say today as well?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And Music said on page 132 of his amalgamated statement:
17 [In English] "If a person was presumed to be guilty, the prisoner
18 would be held at the garage; otherwise, they would be taken to sports
20 [Interpretation] Do you say the same thing?
21 A. Yes, precisely. Yesterday the Prosecution asked me about this.
22 Yes, these persons who were in the garages had been brought into custody,
23 but there were Serbs among them as well, persons who had committed
24 crimes. People who were stealing the property of other people, people
25 who were shooting, firing weapons, they were brought into custody to the
1 garage and that's where they were interrogated as far as I know.
2 Q. Thank you. And in paragraph 152 of his amalgamated statement
3 Mr. Music says:
4 [In English] "The people who continued to be held at the
5 municipality building were involved in more serious cases."
6 [Interpretation] What can you tell us about that?
7 A. Well, that's exactly what I said. They were transferred to the
8 Kula prison as soon as that was possible so that they could be prosecuted
9 by the authorities that are in charge.
10 Q. Yesterday when questioned about civilians at the sports hall you
11 said that that could happen only if they were returned from unsuccessful
12 exchanges. Then as they waited for an exchange they would stay at the
13 sports hall. Can you tell us what that means, unsuccessful exchange, and
14 how could civilians actually get there?
15 A. Exchanges were organised predominantly through Croatian
16 territory. Actually, our neighbouring municipality was Kiseljak and
17 primarily through the mediation of Croats at the border crossing of
18 Kobiljaca, that's what we called it, that's where these agreed exchanges
19 would take place between the representatives of the Serbs and the
20 representatives of the Muslims. As far as I know there were even direct
21 contacts between certain families. So there were large-scale exchanges
22 that took place. People were transferred by bus to the point where the
23 exchanges were being organised, but for a variety of reasons these
24 exchanges would fail. There would be problems, technical problems, or
25 there would be strings attached, especially the Muslim side was always
1 putting forth condition. So we had no other way of dealing with this
2 situation but keeping them at the sports hall until a successful exchange
3 were to take place.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, you quoted two parts from Mr. Music's
6 amalgamated statement. You said one is from page 132 and the other from
7 paragraph 152, but I couldn't find those pages -- either in terms of page
8 number or in terms of para numbers. Could you give the reference again.
9 As I see it, the last paragraph number is 133.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll find it right now, Excellency.
11 I think that it was referred to in the transcript as well. Just a
12 moment, please.
13 JUDGE KWON: If Ms. McKenna can find the reference, if you could
14 let us know.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
16 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, please.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. The reference is 152.
18 That's what I have here, and the paragraph is 52 in the statement.
19 That's the first reference. I do apologise. I was reading my own
20 footnotes. I was reading them out as if they were paragraphs.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I see the quote, para 52.
22 Let's continue. Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Banduka, Mr. Music in his statement says that he tried seven
25 times to exchange his own family and that it failed six times and then
1 the seventh time the exchange succeeded. What do you say to that?
2 A. Well, I believe the statement because, as I said previously, that
3 kind of thing did happen. There were a great many obstructions from the
4 Muslim side. So everything was agreed upon until the exchange was
5 supposed to take place, and then they invented all sorts of problems. I
6 know about that. That made our work a lot more difficult. This was
7 terrible pressure that was exerted on the municipal organs, to exchange
8 these people who were at the Silo camp and other places.
9 Q. Thank you. Mr. Banduka, can you just explain another thing to
10 us: How were these lists created, lists of people who were supposed to
11 leave? Was that based on their own wishes? And how were they informed
12 that a bus was ready? If you were not involved in this, never mind, you
13 don't have to talk about it.
14 A. Well, I wasn't involved, but as I've already said I did know.
15 Usually through mediation. It was the Croats who were allowed access to
16 both the Serb and the Muslim sides, and they would bring information and
17 take information. I remember this one particular case, it had to do with
18 some close relatives of my late sister-in-law and I went to Kobiljaca,
19 and I was an eye-witness to the fact that this Muslim brought this Serb
20 family and he asked me to help bring his family there, that is to say his
21 wife and children. And of course we went out, brought his family, and
22 the exchange took place right there and then. So these exchanges were
23 agreed upon in the different ways, and later on it was the commission on
24 exchanges that primarily dealt with the matter. To tell you the truth, I
25 don't even know who established these commissions. Were they state
1 commissions? I don't know but the anyway, they compiled lists, they were
2 involved in communications, and so on.
3 Q. What about the municipality? The municipal authorities, did they
4 have mechanisms in place that would force civilians to leave Hadzici,
5 civilians to leave Hadzici?
6 A. No, absolutely not.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, you may answer now.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it didn't have any mechanisms
9 nor did they use them, and as a result many Muslims remained in Hadzici.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Banduka. I have no further questions.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] it wasn't recorded fully. The
13 witness said: Many Muslims remained in Hadzici throughout the war.
14 JUDGE KWON: Do you confirm that, Mr. Banduka?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 Well, that concludes your evidence, Mr. Banduka.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I add something?
19 JUDGE KWON: What is --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One sentence only.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, what is it about? Yes.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would just like to comment
23 yesterday's questioning. When the Prosecutor mentioned the sports hall,
24 she mentioned the date of 25th of May when allegedly forces burst into
25 that facility and tortured the prisoners. I would like to say that by
1 the 25th of May we had 26 dead men, ages between 20 and 70, including
2 civilians. So if somebody slapped somebody on the face, but I can
3 categorically say that every last man left the sports hall completely
4 unscathed. However, people who were incarcerated in the Silo, I'm
5 talking about the Serb people, were tortured and killed simply because of
6 the truth and for the sake of the truth.
7 JUDGE KWON: Ms. McKenna, would you like to ask further questions
8 with respect to this comment?
9 MS. McKENNA: No thank you, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Very well.
11 On behalf of the Chamber, I thank you for your coming to
12 The Hague to give it. Now you're free to go.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE KWON: While we are waiting for the next witness, the
16 Chamber will issue an oral ruling.
17 The Chamber will now issue an oral ruling on the Prosecution
18 notification and request relative to notice of disclosure of translation
19 of report of Stevo Pasalic, filed on the 14th of December, 2012, to which
20 I will refer here after as "request."
21 In the request, the Prosecution first submits that while it does
22 not challenge Stevo Pasalic's qualifications as an expert in
23 demographics, it does not accept the conclusions in the expert report
24 tendered pursuant to Rule 94 bis; second, in the Prosecution request the
25 opportunity to cross-examine him; and third, it requests that the Chamber
1 not admit annex A of the expert report.
2 The Prosecution contends that annex A of the report contains
3 Pasalic's findings relating to the suffering of Serbs and Serb villages
4 between 1992 and 1995 which are irrelevant to the crimes charged in the
5 indictment and the alleged criminal liability of the accused in this
7 The accused did not respond to the request.
8 The Chamber considers that the information contained in annex A
9 to the report relates to detailed statistics relating to the "suffering
10 of the Serbs and Serbian settlements" in municipalities of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina or BiH during the war, some of which have no
12 geographical relevance to this case, and as such, is no different from
13 the information which in the Chamber's practice has been excluded on the
14 ground that it is detailed tu quoque evidence and not relevant to the
15 charges in the indictment. The Chamber therefore grants the request and
16 shall exclude annex A, namely, pages 69 through 102 of Pasalic's expert
17 report. A redacted version of the report should be uploaded onto e-court
18 prior to the start of Mr. Pasalic's testimony.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE KWON: That said, would the witness make the solemn
21 declaration, please.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: SAVO CELIKOVIC
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Celikovic. Please make yourself
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Celikovic.
8 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
9 Q. Did you give a statement to the Defence team?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Please let us pause between questions and answers and let us
12 speak slowly so that everything can be recorded in the transcript.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I please have 1D7207 in
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Celikovic, do you see the statement before you? Is that the
17 statement that you gave to the Defence?
18 A. Yes, Mr. President.
19 Q. Thank you. Have you read the statement and signed it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can we please have the last page for you to identify your
23 A. Yes, I signed it on the 10th of February, 2013. This is my
25 Q. Did you read the statement and does it reflect exactly what you
2 A. Yes, in full.
3 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today as
4 posed by the Defence team, would you basically give the same answers?
5 A. Yes, I would completely give identical answers as I did in the
7 Q. Thank you. Now I'm going to read Mr. Savo Celikovic's summary
8 statement in English.
9 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, I take it the Defence is not tendering
10 any associated exhibits?
11 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE KWON: Any objection?
13 MR. ROBINSON: No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit the Rule 92 ter statement.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit D2922. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm going to read the summary in
18 [In English] Savo Celikovic was born on 9th February, 1952, in
19 Vlasenica. He completed the primary school in Vlasenica and he graduated
20 from the secondary school and then from the faculty of mechanical
21 engineering in Sarajevo. In 1976, he took up employment at the Boksit
22 mine in Vlasenica. In 1987 he was elected president of the Vlasenica
23 municipality Assembly for a one-year term of office. After the
24 multi-party elections were conducted in Vlasenica, he was elected to the
25 municipality Assembly as a member of SDP party, left party, leftist
2 On 21st of April, 1992, he was mobilised in the TO --
3 Territorial Defence as a logistical support officer, later in the
4 Sekovici Brigade and then in the Milici and Vlasenica Brigade. When
5 Mr. Savo Celikovic worked at the Alpro factory, the enterprise was
6 ethnically mixed, the production ran smoothly, and there were no
7 interethnic problems.
8 The situation in Vlasenica became more complicated after the
9 Muslims killed a Serbian employee of the Boksit mine as well as ambushing
10 and killing drivers from the mine. They also killed a Serb who was a
11 deputy of the National Assembly. The population of Vlasenica panicked
12 and both Serbs and Muslims left in droves, and after this many Muslims no
13 longer reported for work but were not fired.
14 After the multi-party elections, Savo Celikovic was elected to
15 the municipality on the list of SDP. As I said, the power in the
16 Assembly was shared by the SDA, the SDS, and the SDP, and Alliance for
17 the Reform Forces. From the beginning he found that the work of the
18 Assembly was difficult because of the frequent disagreements between the
19 Muslims and Serbs and there was not much progress.
20 In mid-1991 the rising ethnic tensions brought on fear among both
21 Serbs and Muslims and therefore night watches were organised in the
22 villages. These were initially mixed watches; however, due to the
23 growing distrust they became separate.
24 Savo Celikovic was called up in mid-1991 in Han Pijesak,
25 216th Brigade. He was aware that the reason for the call-up was to
1 prepare the troops for combat-readiness. Due to the conflicts in Croatia
2 their presence was to try to prevent war in Bosnia. After a few days of
3 training buses arrived of training close to the Banja -- in
4 [indiscernible] Banja Luka. Buses arrived carrying SDA leaders and the
5 president of the municipality, who was the Muslim from the SDA. The
6 leaders of SDA addressed the soldiers and called upon the Muslims in the
7 units to leave the JNA immediately and return home. The unit was also
8 addressed by a battalion commander and a reservist who asked the Muslims
9 not to listen to the SDA leaders. The reservist was of Muslim ethnicity.
10 However, many Muslims left the unit after this and soon after the unit
11 was sent home and Savo Celikovic returned to work. Further training was
12 carried out in 1991 and in 1992 -- and in 1992 the Territorial Defence
13 began to mobilise soldiers.
14 Towards the end of 1991 or early 1992 an idea was debated in the
15 Vlasenica Municipal Assembly for the municipality of Vlasenica to join
16 the SAO, Serbian Autonomous Region, Birac. The reason for this was the
17 fear of war as it was clear that the Muslims wanted to create a Muslim
18 sovereign state. After this decision was adopted an initiative was
19 launched in order to preserve the peace in Vlasenica. The idea was to
20 divide the territory into three municipalities which was adopted. No one
21 was threatened in the process of this decision being made and many agreed
22 this solution was better than war.
23 The Vlasenica Territorial Defence was mobilised on the
24 21st of April, 1992, and tasked with preventing any sabotage attack on
25 public institutions or enterprises of public interest. During the night
1 there were sporadic shooting incidents, mostly in mono-ethnic villages.
2 Many more residents began leaving Vlasenica and around this time Serbs
3 who had been expelled from surrounding villages began arriving in
4 Vlasenica demanding to be housed. The authorities had already formed
5 commissions that went around the town and sealed homes and flats of
6 Muslims who had left, so that their property would not be stolen. A
7 commission was formed to assign houses for the Serbian refugees'
8 temporary use.
9 To prevent the Muslim population from experiencing stress and
10 mistreatment, the municipal authority decided to turn to the -- the
11 Territorial Defence facilities into a reception -- in Susica into a
12 reception centre for Serbs, and later on Muslims in Vlasenica could be
13 housed in order to protect them from mistreatment or possible physical
14 attacks. Prior to this, the facilities had been used as a reception
15 centre for Serb -- for the Serb refugees. When the municipal authorities
16 offered the remaining Muslim population temporary accommodation, the
17 majority of the Muslims accepted it.
18 The formation of the paramilitary groups the Patriotic League was
19 an open secret because it was discussed every day in the town.
20 In the front lines in Vlasenica in the beginning of 1992 were
21 formed spontaneously when the Serbian and Muslim populations relocated on
22 their own initiative and settled the villages where they were the
23 majority. The lines remained pretty much unchanged until the end of war
24 demonstrating that the war was defensive. In early May 1992 the Muslims
25 started attacking the Serbian villages which they mainly torched and
1 destroyed, killing locals and looting their property. The Serb army did
2 not attack Muslim villages, it only defended its territory.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. This was the summary, Mr. Celikovic. Would you be so kind as to
5 tell me since we had a witness here who spoke about cash, can you tell us
6 which currency was in circulation in Vlasenica?
7 A. At the time the currency was the dinar.
8 Q. [No interpretation]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Karadzic please repeat. We did not
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Whose dinars?
13 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. The interpreters didn't hear you.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. What currency was in circulation in Vlasenica at the time?
16 A. At the time that was the dinar.
17 Q. Yugoslav dinar?
18 A. Yes, because the laws were still in force of the federal state of
20 Q. Thank you. How was your financial situation regarding cash and
21 how did you obtain cash, from where?
22 A. Well, mainly during that period the economy was still operating,
23 all the enterprises were working, and up until May when due to a
24 deterioration of the political security situation, a considerable portion
25 of both the Serb and Muslim populations left town. It was unavoidable to
1 suspend the operation because, quite simply, the majority of people who
2 were fit for work failed to show up at work and fulfil their obligations.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions at this
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 As you have noted, Mr. Celikovic, your evidence in chief in this
9 case has been admitted into evidence in most part in writing instead of
10 your oral testimony. Now you'll be cross-examined by the representative
11 of the Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. File.
12 MR. FILE: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. File:
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Celikovic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. We're going to start by discussing some items that are not in
17 your statement. There was a period of time after 1995 when you served as
18 president of the Executive Board of Vlasenica; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you were removed from that position on the
21 29th of November, 1999, by the Office of the High Representative; is that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that decision banned you from being a candidate in the next
25 municipal elections and banned you from holding any executive office at
1 any level; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And one of the findings of that decision was that you abused your
4 power by persistently and seriously obstructing the implementation of the
5 General Framework Agreement for Peace, that you pursued an extra-legal
6 agenda, and consistently refused to take ownership of the laws of
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?
8 A. That is not true. May I explain?
9 Q. Well, actually let's look at 65 ter number 24600, if we could,
11 MR. ROBINSON: But I think the witness should be given a chance
12 to explain.
13 JUDGE KWON: Of course. He can comment after having taken a look
14 at the document.
15 MR. FILE:
16 Q. You'll see that this is a copy of the decision we're discussing
17 from the 29th of November, 1999.
18 MR. FILE: If we could go to page 2.
19 Q. If you'll have a look at the first three lines under "reasons for
20 removal," it says:
21 "Mr. Savo Celikovic has abused his power by persistently and
22 seriously obstructing the implementation of the General Framework
23 Agreement for Peace. By pursuing an extra-legal agenda, he has
24 consistently refused to take ownership of the laws of
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina."
1 Do you see that?
2 A. How about a translation of this decision so that I would be
4 Q. Well, I don't have a translation for you, but I just read the
5 text for you.
6 A. Well, may I explain then?
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it is a fact that in that
9 period of time, 1998, I was president of the Executive Board and the
10 Executive Board consisted of either five or six members. Among them,
11 there was an equitable member of the Muslim people who did not live in
12 Vlasenica. From time to time he would come to attend sessions once he
13 received the documents for the session involved. It is a fact that in
14 that period of time of reconstruction and development, the
15 Executive Board worked in accordance with the statute of the municipality
16 of Vlasenica and the laws that were in force, the laws of
17 Republika Srpska, or rather, in accordance with the
18 Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 In its work during that period of time, when the economy was
20 supposed to get started again, when displaced persons and refugees were
21 supposed to be taken care of as well, also the gradual return of the
22 population that had fled was supposed to be organised too. There was
23 still a lack of trust and a lack of security as far as returns were
24 concerned. We resolved these matters together to everyone's
25 satisfaction. From time to time, when there was certain problems - the
1 international community held this against me, as a matter of fact -- and
2 one of these issues was the use of abandoned Bosniak property and freeing
3 this property of the persons who were using it.
4 I'm sorry. We, in the Executive Board, established a commission
5 for the return of property. And on behalf of the Executive Board a
6 person who had a degree in law was on this commission - this person had
7 worked in various judiciary institutions for many years and other
8 institutions in Sarajevo - he had fled to Vlasenica because he was a
9 local person and he was the member of this commission and then also the
10 head for town planning was also a member on behalf of the
11 Executive Board. He was a professional who was well-versed in these
12 matters --
13 MR. FILE:
14 Q. Mr. Celikovic, if I could ask you to pause for a moment. I would
15 like you to focus your attention on the four points that are listed in
16 the document which relate in part to what you've been discussing about
17 this establishment of a Property Commission. What the document says is
18 in the first point that you were extremely uncooperative and refusing to
19 meet to discussing the establishment of the Property Commission. The
20 second point says that you finally accepted the establishment of the
21 Property Commission under the condition that two members be appointed by
23 It goes on to say in the third point that these two members
24 repeatedly intervened with the work of the OMI on evictions and made a
25 number of covert threats, and that this was particularly ominous in view
1 of the subsequently violent attacks aimed at the OMI officer. And
2 finally, that the municipality has passed a number of discriminatory
3 administrative tax laws, that when you were confronted with that issue by
4 the international community, you admitted that those laws were designed
5 to penalise Bosniaks and in spite of your agreement to have those
6 repealed, that had yet to happened. Can I ask you, the OMI is the
7 ministry of refugees and displaced persons, which was tasked with
8 allowing people to move back into their property; is that right?
9 A. I just have to respond to the previous question. I need to
10 finish by saying what the reasons were for which I thought that I should
11 not be on that commission myself. Since this was a commission that
12 worked in an operative fashion and practically it was supposed to visit
13 abandoned properties every day and propose laws and different measures,
14 at the time when I talked to different representatives I said, quite
15 literally: Do you think that it is more urgent to be on that commission
16 or should certain members of the commission propose measures and should
17 the Executive Board headed by myself work out adequate solutions and take
18 measures? That is one of the questions involved.
19 The second one that has to do with certain taxes, it is a fact
20 that these taxes were somewhat different and that is something that I
21 inherited, if you will, that is to say when I came to the
22 Executive Board. But it is also a fact that in that immediate period
23 there were some wheelers and dealers, especially from the Muslim side and
24 they, in fact, took large commissions for themselves when mediating for
25 such exchanges and documents. For example, they would take commissions
1 of 100 to 200 marks per document. We launched this initiative at the
2 Executive Board at the proposal of the Bosniak member and we made a
3 proposal to the Assembly. For certain reasons, for a while the Assembly
4 could not meet. So the Assembly did not adopt these amendments, these
5 amended taxes, that is to say aimed at preventing discrimination. That
6 is to say that the Executive Board did make certain efforts, but it is
7 really within the scope of the authority of the Assembly to adopt all of
9 MR. FILE: Your Honour, I would tender this document into
10 evidence, and I would note that the ERN is still being obtained. So we
11 will substitute the document with an ERN'd one once it's available.
12 JUDGE KWON: I don't follow your ERN comment. What did you mean?
13 MR. FILE: We're waiting to give -- to have an ERN -- or ERNs put
14 on the pages of the document. So we'll tender the document into evidence
15 but we'll have to replace it with an ERN'd version once it's ready.
16 JUDGE KWON: Aha.
17 Mr. Robinson.
18 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Shall be assigned Exhibit P6111. Thank you.
21 MR. FILE:
22 Q. Mr. Celikovic, after this removal from office you later ran for
23 election and were elected as a member of the Municipal Board of the SDS
24 party in Vlasenica; is that correct?
25 A. No. I did not run for election. I was still a member of the
1 Serb Democratic Party and I remained one until I was replaced, but to
2 this day I don't know the true reasons for my dismissal.
3 Q. Well, you were a member of the Municipal Board of the party;
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 Q. And you were removed from that position as well on 30 June 2004,
7 again by the Office of the High Representative?
8 A. Yes, I think that I'm a unique case and having been dismissed
9 twice, and to this day I don't know the true reasons for my dismissal.
10 But in the interest of the party as well, I accepted that and I was no
11 longer active in the party.
12 Q. Well, in fact, this removal prevented you from being active in
13 the party; correct? It removed you from your position, it barred you
14 from holding official elective or appointed office, it banned you from
15 running in elections, and it banned you from holding office in any
16 political party; is that right?
17 A. Well, it is correct, but my constitutional rights had been
18 violated in terms of having the right to vote and to be elected.
19 However, very fortunately I have a degree in engineering and I worked as
20 an engineering, I worked as a professional, and that had nothing to do
21 with the Office of the High Representative.
22 Q. Well, you say that your rights had been violated, although you
23 were part of a lawsuit against the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
24 to try to reverse that decision and that went to the European Court of
25 Human Rights and you lost; is that correct?
1 A. Well, you never know. I think that sooner rather than later
2 justice will prevail and that evidence will become relevant. Perhaps at
3 that point in time there was no adequate evidence. It is a fact that a
4 few of us handed this case to the law team of Mr. Cavoski. He
5 represented us. But I do know that we lost our case, but we are going to
6 seek justice and this will yield results eventually.
7 Q. There's no -- in this case there's no need to seek justice
8 because that decision was repealed. The decision of the office of the
9 high representative was repealed with the arrest of Ratko Mladic in 2011;
11 A. Well, that's what was written in the decision, but the reasons
12 for dismissing me were untrue, what was stated then. As for the
13 president, I didn't even know him and least of all could I contribute in
14 any way to these allegations that were referred to in the decision on my
16 Q. I'd like to turn your attention to your witness statement. And
17 paragraph 18 you say, and I quote:
18 "Towards the end of 1991 or early in 1992, an idea was launched
19 in the Vlasenica Municipal Assembly for the municipality of Vlasenica to
20 join the region SAO Serbian Autonomous District, Birac District. By this
21 time Bratunac and Sekovici had already adopted a decision to join. The
22 reason for joining these municipalities was the fear of war, because it
23 was clear that the Muslims wanted a war in order to create a sovereign
24 Muslim state."
25 Now, was this a spontaneous decision or was this encouraged by
1 higher authorities with the goal of creating a Serbian Bosnia?
2 A. No. This has to do with that decision. Actually, before this
3 decision in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina a decision was passed, or
4 rather, a declaration was passed on the independence of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was passed by two peoples, or rather, the
6 representatives of the Croat and Muslim peoples at the expense of the
7 Serb people, and a decision was made to have a referendum held. The Serb
8 people in the area of Birac had bad experience from the past. They were
9 victims in the past. Quite simply, they were afraid of being out-voted.
10 Otherwise, in the previous period there were these economic, educational,
11 and cultural ties. So in addition to the fact that we used to belong to
12 Tuzla as some kind of administrative centre, it was Zvornik that was the
13 centre of the region. For that reason, we believed that such an
14 autonomous region would ensure certain guarantees and rights so that we
15 could protect ourselves.
16 Q. Well, wasn't --
17 A. I do apologise --
18 Q. [Overlapping speakers] pardon me. Wasn't one of the reasons for
19 joining that it was part of a Serb national goal to establish Serb
20 control over territory that was leading all the way to the Drina River?
21 A. No. We, especially the members of the Assembly, who were there
22 representing the alliance for a reformed Yugoslavia from the SDP, that is
23 to say there were three of us who were not of the same ethnicity, we were
24 nostalgic and we advocated the following: That we should remain within
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Yugoslavia. That is one of the reasons why
1 before the Assembly we launched this idea, namely --
2 Q. May I just -- may I just clarify one point of this which is you
3 are speaking as a member of the SDP at this point. You're not speaking
4 on behalf of the intentions of the SDS at that time; is that right?
5 A. Well, listen. At the time the representatives of the SDS --
6 well, it is a fact that there was this proposal to call it the SAO Birac,
7 the Serb Autonomous Region of Birac. And it was precisely for the reason
8 that I mentioned to you a moment ago what we advocated was that this
9 should not be a Serb autonomous region, but that it should simply be the
10 autonomous region of Birac. Afterwards, these political parties agreed
11 to that and the decision was passed for it to be called the autonomous
12 region of Birac. And there would be room there for all Serbs and Muslims
13 in Yugoslavia or in -- within the boundaries of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. Okay. My question was more simple than that. I was asking you
15 when you say what you believe was the reason for joining municipalities
16 into these autonomous districts, you're speaking on behalf of or from
17 your position in the SDP and not speaking on behalf of the intentions of
18 the SDS members?
19 A. I'm speaking -- well, the SDP and we -- we voted on behalf of the
20 Serb people, and we wanted this kind of decision to be passed. We did
21 not threaten the rights of the other people in any way by passing that
22 decision, but what we advocated was that as far as the declaration on
23 independence was concerned and also the referendum, we wanted to make
24 sure in that region that we would enjoy all our rights on an equal
25 footing with the other peoples.
1 Q. So your interests and plans were aligned with those of the SDP --
2 I'm sorry, the SDS?
3 A. Well, the decision that was made at the time was the decision
4 that other peoples were involved as well. The decision was not only
5 establishing an SAO, but only an autonomous region of Birac.
6 Unfortunately, due to the events that were happening at a certain pace it
7 was merely constituted but it never became operational due to the events
8 that followed and which prevented the implementation of this decision in
10 MR. FILE: Mr. President, I'm looking at the clock. I think this
11 would be a good time for a break.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, let us talk about more concrete issues after
13 the break.
14 We'll have a break for half an hour and resume at three past
16 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.04 a.m.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. File, please continue.
19 MR. FILE:
20 Q. Turning your attention to paragraph 27 of your statement, in that
21 paragraph you say:
22 "The front lines in Vlasenica in April of 1992 were formed
23 spontaneously when the Serbian and Muslim populations relocated on their
24 own initiative and settled in villages where they were the majority."
25 Now, there were military orders specifically related to moving
1 Muslims out of this area, setting up prison camps and exchanging
2 prisoners; correct?
3 A. I'm not aware of such orders. If we can have a look.
4 MR. FILE: Could we have P3240, please.
5 Q. As that's coming up, this is an order from the 31st of May, 1992,
6 from Major Svetozar Andric. And what you will see at the top of the
7 document is it says:
8 "Pursuant to the decision of the 'Birac' SAR, which regulates the
9 moving out of the Muslim population from the territory of 'Birac' SAR, I
10 hereby order ..."
11 And then you have a list of four instructions: First, to set up
12 a camp; second, not to arbitrarily liquidate the prisoners; third, to
13 conduct interviews; and, fourth, to establish contact urgently regarding
14 negotiations on the exchange of prisoners.
15 Now, that does not sound like a spontaneous population movement,
16 does it?
17 A. Well, I didn't have an opportunity to see this decision, but on
18 the basis of the very fact that the commander Major Svetozar Andric is
19 relying on is something that I'm not familiar with. I did not have an
20 occasion to find out whether this decision of his was responded by any
21 other organ in terms of adopting their own decisions. A while ago I said
22 that the motives for setting up autonomous regions was -- however, here
23 he speaks about SAR. I don't know what he meant by that and I don't know
24 if the Prosecution has this decision that he is invoking for the Muslim
25 population to be relocated. First of all, I know that this leadership
1 was a self-proclaimed one, that due to the events it was unable to work,
2 so unless I can see the original decision I cannot comment upon how this
3 idea of moving out was designed and conceived.
4 Q. Okay. Well, let's then move to something that you should be more
5 familiar with, which relates to the actions of the municipal authorities
6 where you say in statement paragraph 24 that the authorities had already
7 formed commissions that went around the town and sealed the houses and
8 flats of Muslims who had left Vlasenica so that their property would not
9 be stolen. Now, my question to you is: Even though Muslim houses were
10 sealed, they were later unsealed and assigned to Serbs by this
11 commission; correct?
12 A. Look, in that period --
13 Q. Pardon me for interrupting --
14 A. -- there was chaos --
15 Q. Pardon me for interrupting, Mr. Celikovic, but I think this is a
16 very simple question. Isn't it true that they were later unsealed and
17 assigned to Serbs by this commission?
18 A. The fact is that there was an invasion of Serbs who were expelled
19 from Tuzla, Kladanj, Zivinice, the Serbian Gorazde, and other places in
20 that period. There were nearly 2.500 refugees in Vlasenica at the time
21 and accommodation was provided initially in a TO facility pending some
22 permanent solution. There were no other possibilities to arrange that.
23 They even spent some time in a hall in a school and also in a hotel.
24 Later on the commission which was composed of members of the local
25 authorities drew up records based on which they allocated this property
1 for temporary use by the refugees.
2 Q. And in addition to allocating that property, there was some Serbs
3 who forcibly broke into Muslim houses that had been left empty and some
4 Serbs who forcibly evicted Muslim families from their houses; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now at paragraph --
7 A. Yes --
8 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
9 A. -- there were such cases not on a large scale but there were
10 families who had abandoned their property or their property was torched
11 and they even suffered casualties. So, quite simply, they were impatient
12 and they couldn't wait for a property to be allocated to them through
13 legal channels. So it did happen that they broke into houses, and very
14 rarely some of them even maltreated certain Muslim families, threw them
15 out, et cetera.
16 Q. Well, this happened [overlapping speakers]
17 A. After that the municipal authorities tried to put this situation
18 right in a way.
19 Q. This happened on a large enough scale that you say to prevent
20 such cases from taking place again, this is in paragraph 26 of your
21 statement, you say:
22 "To spare the Muslim population from experiencing stress and
23 mistreatment the municipal authority decided to turn the TO facilities
24 into a reception centre where the remaining Muslims who had not left the
25 municipality of Vlasenica could be housed in order to protect them from
1 mistreatment or possible physical attacks."
2 Now, just to make sure that I've understood you correctly, you're
3 saying that because the Serbs were breaking into Muslim homes and
4 evicting them from their own property, the municipal government's
5 response was to set up a place for Muslims to go so they could abandon
6 their property first; is that right?
7 A. Well, I just said that that was a situation bordering on chaos.
8 There was a large number of refugees and, quite simply, the incumbent
9 authorities or the public security station were able enough to provide
10 protection to the population. Since the leadership -- the Muslim
11 leadership had abandoned Vlasenica, individuals representing certain
12 groups demanded on account of fear for their safety to be given temporary
13 accommodation where they would enjoy better safety and security
14 guarantees. And for that reason the authorities decided to offer this
15 facility that had originally been used by the Serbs to the Muslims to be
16 used. They also asked to be provided means of transport so that they can
17 travel to Muslim-controlled areas until appropriate conditions were
18 created and they were hence temporarily accommodated in a TO facility in
20 Q. Now, you just said that the reason to send Muslims to Susica was
21 to give them better safety and security guarantees. Now, this
22 Trial Chamber has heard evidence that at that location approximately 500
23 to 550 people were held in a 15 by 30 metre concrete hangar, that they
24 had to share ten unwashed plates when they were fed once a day, that they
25 had to share a 10-litre pot to go to the bathroom in the evening hours
1 and that when it was full they had to relieve themselves in their own
2 clothes and that people were beaten to death among other things. For
3 that I would cite Prosecution Exhibit 3212, page 31 to 35. Now, you
4 would agree that does not sound like protecting people from mistreatment,
5 does it?
6 A. Well, certainly it doesn't sound like that, but I am not sure
7 that there is evidence that that was exactly the situation there. The
8 fact is that the conditions were not fully proper but it was a temporary
9 solution until such conditions were created for them to go to a desired
10 location of their own choice in the areas where they wanted to go, be it
11 Kladanj, Tuzla, Cerska, or wherever.
12 Q. Well, you say that you doubt that there is evidence that that was
13 exactly the situation there, but you never visited the Susica camp when
14 it was being used to hold Muslims, did you?
15 A. I was assistant commander for logistics and as far as I remember,
16 following a battalion commander's order I participated in making certain
17 assessments before this facility was converted for other purposes. In
18 that period, after the 4th Infantry Battalion was formed as part of the
19 Sekovici Brigade, the command post of the logistic base of the battalion
20 was relocated to Donja Zelkova [phoen], where I spent a certain period of
21 time between June and October. Therefore, occasionally for the purpose
22 of co-ordination, we had to go to Vlasenica, but I was not familiar with
23 any details relating to the conditions and events taking place in that
25 Q. You say in your statement:
1 "I do not know until when the Muslims remained in that building
2 and what went on there."
3 Is that true?
4 A. Yes, that is exactly what I just told you. The command post was
5 in Donja Zelkovi [phoen], it was some 10 kilometres from Vlasenica, and
6 due to that I was absent from the location. Also, according to
7 establishment, it was not my duty to handle any co-ordinating activities
8 regarding this facility. Although, I must say, that within that facility
9 or in one of the facilities, there was a quartermaster warehouse that was
10 used by the 4th Infantry Battalion and which was independent of the other
11 facilities. And this storehouse had its own guards.
12 MR. FILE: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. File.
14 Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
15 THE ACCUSED: Very few, Excellency.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Celikovic, did you take part in the
18 elections in 1996?
19 A. In 1996, yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Was any clearance needed to be provided by the OSCE
21 in the international community for every individual regarding their time
22 of war?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you receive that clearance?
25 A. Yes, I stood in the elections as a candidate on the
1 Serbian Democratic Party list and that period we shared power with the
2 Serbian Radical Party who had won the elections and who appointed the
3 president during that period, and I was the president of the
4 Executive Committee.
5 Q. Thank you. Are you trying to say that the voters did not believe
6 that the Serbian Democratic Party was not radical enough and that
7 therefore they voted for the Radical Party?
8 MR. FILE: Your Honour, I'm afraid I have to object.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm going to rephrase the question.
10 JUDGE KWON: [Overlapping speakers]
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I'll rephrase the question. How do you explain that the Radicals
13 had won the elections?
14 MR. FILE: Your Honour, I would object to this.
15 JUDGE KWON: How is it relevant?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, the Serbian party
17 is also accused here or branded as an extreme organisation.
18 JUDGE KWON: No, no, no -- just a second --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You see that ordinary people were
20 even more extreme.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. File.
22 MR. FILE: That wasn't the thrust of the questions that were put
23 on cross-examination.
24 JUDGE KWON: Agreed.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. You were asked with regard to P3240 document - and I kindly ask
3 this document to be shown - you were asked whether you were able to
4 distinguish between detainees and prisoners -- actually, I'm asking that
5 question of you, Mr. Celikovic.
6 A. Detainees were individuals who were in possession of illegal
7 weapons, but after certain checks had been made it was confirmed that
8 they, indeed, held illegal weapons, as a result of which the public
9 security station filed a large number of criminal reports. And they were
10 kept there until exchanges were conducted in the collection centre in
11 Batkovici where they were later moved.
12 Q. I wanted to ask you to explain to me the term "prisoner." How
13 does one become a prisoner?
14 A. Well, prisoners were individuals who, for example, let's be
15 specific -- there was a group of 150 or so prisoners deployed on the
16 combat line facing Memici and they were captured. Those were able-bodied
17 men and they were armed.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, can we please
20 ask for item 2 to be properly translated because it relates to prisoners.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Celikovic, Mr. File asked you - and it was implied in his
23 question - that these houses were given to the Serbs. Was there ever a
24 single instance when ownership was changed; i.e., that by an illegal
25 decision on the part of the authorities property was confiscated for
1 someone and given to someone else?
2 A. No. Those were merely temporary solutions for temporary use.
3 Later, when the conditions were ripe, all these properties were
4 reinstated to those who had originally used them.
5 Q. One more question. What was the attitude of the authorities
6 towards individuals who took the solution of their housing problems into
7 their own hands and harassed the Muslims?
8 A. Well, the authorities at the time, especially, for example, the
9 public security station where certain individuals took it into own hands
10 to file criminal reports and to solve those issues within the service.
11 Q. Thank you. And the last question. The international
12 representative in the period between 1997, 1998, or even up to 2000, how
13 many legally elected Serb representatives were removed from their office?
14 A. Well, I don't know of the exact number, but I do know that
15 certain officials were subject to sanctions. I told you that I myself in
16 1999 and in 2004 - and I know that in 2004 over 60 officials mainly from
17 the SDS were under sanctions. And I think that a total number is more
18 than 200. So six or seven years later they were rehabilitated, as it
19 were, although I don't understand this notion quite well because their
20 sanctions were removed. But these people were left jobless, their
21 families were broken, and, quite simply, their livelihood was
22 jeopardised. It was not only a matter of them not being able to
23 participate in elections, but their whole existence was destroyed.
24 Q. Thank you. Did any of them instituted lawsuits against the
1 A. Yes. I know that a small number of them, maybe just individual
2 cases, were of that nature. But I do believe and I want to hope that
3 once we have the rule of law these cases will be dealt with because every
4 government has a duty of care to protect its citizens.
5 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
6 A. Thank you, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That concludes your evidence,
8 Mr. Celikovic.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, on behalf of the Chamber I'd like to thank you.
11 Please have a safe journey back home.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, could we take a very short break
15 between witnesses just for relocation purposes.
16 JUDGE KWON: How long would you need?
17 MR. TIEGER: I'm sure five minutes is sufficient.
18 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll rise for five minutes.
19 --- Break taken at 11.31 a.m.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 --- On resuming at 11.39 a.m.
22 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
23 THE WITNESS: In English or this language?
24 [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth,
25 the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: VITOMIR ZEPINIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Zepinic.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
5 JUDGE KWON: Please make yourself comfortable. Before you start
6 giving evidence, I would like to draw your --
7 THE WITNESS: If you don't mind before starting your question,
8 I'm not Jepinic, I'm Zepinic, please.
9 JUDGE KWON: I apologise. Mr. Zepinic.
10 THE WITNESS: Okay.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes. I would like to draw your
12 attention to a particular rule here at the Tribunal. Under this Rule,
13 Rule 90(E) --
14 THE WITNESS: Okay. That's fine.
15 JUDGE KWON: -- you may object to answering a question from the
16 accused, the Prosecution, or the Judges if you believe that your answer
17 will incriminate you. When I say incriminate I mean that something you
18 say may amount to an admission of your guilt for a criminal offence or
19 could provide evidence that you have committed an offence. However, even
20 if you think your answer would incriminate you and you do not wish to
21 answer the question, the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer
22 the question. But in such a case, the Tribunal will make sure that your
23 testimony compelled in such a way shall not be used as evidence in other
24 case against you for any offence other than false testimony.
25 Do you understand what I have just told you, sir?
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour. I understand very well
2 what you said.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Zepinic.
4 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
5 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Dr. Zepinic.
7 A. Good day, Dr. Karadzic.
8 Q. Could you please bear the following in mind - I'd also like to
9 remind yourself as well - that we pause between my questions and your
10 answers and also let us speak at a slower pace because I really want the
11 transcript to reflect accurately everything we are saying. Do you agree?
12 A. I do.
13 Q. Did you give my Defence team a statement?
14 A. I gave a statement to Mr. Robinson when he visited me in London
15 last year.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have 1D05659 in
18 e-court. 1D05659.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Doctor, do you have the statement in front of you, do you see it
21 on your screen?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Is that the statement?
24 A. [In English] Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you read that statement and sign it?
1 A. [Interpretation] Yes, I received it by e-mail, a copy that I
2 checked, and then I signed it and returned it to Mr. Robinson.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the last page so that
5 we can identify the signature.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, I certify that this is my signature.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you, Dr. Zepinic. Does this statement faithfully reflect
9 what you said?
10 A. Dr. Karadzic, I reviewed this statement and it does generally
11 reflect what we discussed when Mr. Robinson came to visit me in London.
12 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today in
13 this courtroom, would your answers basically be the same as in this
15 A. Well, it is hard to envisage that I will be able to paraphrase
16 each and every word, but at any rate I shall respond to every one of your
17 questions and all the questions of the other party and I will say what I
18 said in this statement and what I confirmed by my signature.
19 Q. Thank you. I'm not going to put questions to you now, but if I
20 were to put the same questions that were put to you by my Defence team
21 would your answers to the same questions be basically the same as they
22 are in this statement?
23 A. Dr. Karadzic, the statement that I gave and signed is something
24 that I am not willing to change in any way so that I would say something
25 different, even if I were to be subjected to any kind of pressure.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I tender this document into
3 evidence, please?
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. In addition to this document
6 there are seven associated exhibits that we're seeking to tender, all of
7 which are actually on our 65 ter list this time.
8 JUDGE KWON: Among them with respect to 65 ter number 31878,
9 which is referred to in paragraph 44, I think the -- there's some mistake
10 in terms of 65 ter number because that intercept seems to be related to
11 27th of August, 1991, which is different from the date referred to in the
12 paragraph. So with the exception -- that exception, do you have any
13 objection, Mr. Tieger?
14 MR. TIEGER: No objection, Mr. President, other than to note that
15 65 ter 31878 is P02963.
16 JUDGE KWON: Oh. Which I just referred to; right?
17 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
19 MR. TIEGER: And 65 ter 30234 is P05869, at least that's what our
20 records show.
21 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, if I can --
22 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
23 THE WITNESS: [Overlapping speakers] some objection. I'm not
24 quite sure in the summary given to here on the page 2, last paragraph, I
25 don't think that was Ismet Delalic Celo, I think it was Ramiz Delalic,
1 Celo, if I remember well.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Mr. Karadzic should have noted it.
3 Yes, then we'll admit those six associated exhibits. Do you
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, you're exactly correct. Thank you.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 Shall we give the number?
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE KWON: So shall we give the number for the Rule 92 ter
11 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, that's Exhibit D2923.
12 JUDGE KWON: And the other six items in -- will be given numbers
13 in due course liaising amongst the court deputy and the parties.
14 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Now I would like to read out the summary of Dr. Zepinic's
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Doctor, the summary is not evidence. It is information. But
20 thank you for this correction.
21 THE ACCUSED: Vitomir Zepinic was deputy minister of interior for
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina from January the 30th, 1991, to
23 April the 4th, 1992.
24 After the 1990 elections, Dr. Zepinic was invited to attend a
25 meeting with the SDS leadership, including Dr. Radovan Karadzic,
1 Momcilo Krajisnik, and others. They told him that pursuant to an
2 agreement among the national parties which had won the elections, the SDS
3 was able to designate the deputy minister of interior.
4 During his meeting, Dr. Zepinic made his position quite clear.
5 He was not a member of the SDS or any other party and not voted -- had
6 not voted on the 1990 elections, and would not become an SDS party
7 member. He was committed to a professional and a non-political
8 Ministry of Interior with the most qualified people regardless -- with
9 the most qualified people regardless of their ethnicity. He was a
10 proponent of the continuation of a multi-cultural society in Bosnia.
11 Dr. Karadzic defended Dr. Zepinic against other members of the
12 SDS who argued that the post should go to a loyal SDS party member.
13 Dr. Karadzic stated that he wanted a competent professional in the job
14 and that it would make it more difficult for the other parties to
15 criticise SDS if the person they nominated was of high calibre,
16 professional, and known to be independent. During his time as a deputy
17 minister of interior, Dr. Zepinic was regularly confronted with problems
18 in allocating posts within the Ministry of Interior. Overall,
19 Dr. Zepinic had more problems with the President Izetbegovic and
20 Ejub Ganic than he did with Dr. Karadzic regarding these issues. They
21 were more extreme, were surrounded by a cadre of the extreme
22 nationalists, and more often tried to use their power to manipulate the
23 appointment of personnel within the Ministry of Interior. Dr. Zepinic
24 believes that President Izetbegovic is most responsible for the outbreak
25 of war in Bosnia, considering his role as president of BH -- of the BH
2 Like with other political leaders, Dr. Zepinic had quite frequent
3 conversations with Dr. Karadzic, at meetings and on the telephone. Most
4 of the conversations pertained to personnel discussions within the
5 Ministry of the Interior or events which threatened the peace in
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina. During his contacts with Dr. Karadzic while he
7 was deputy minister of interior, Dr. Zepinic never understood him to
8 desire the expulsion of Muslims or Croats. From his knowledge of
9 Dr. Karadzic's personality, he does not believe that Dr. Karadzic would
10 have favoured this and he knows that Dr. Karadzic had close friends in
11 Sarajevo who were Muslims and Croats.
12 As deputy minister of interior, Dr. Zepinic had access to a great
13 deal of information collected by ministry operatives on the policy of the
14 national parties, as expressed at Assembly meetings, Executive Committee
15 meetings, and the official party documents. He was not aware that it was
16 the SDS party policy to favour the expulsions of members of other ethnic
18 Dr. Karadzic often expressed the view that Serbs could not live
19 together with the Muslims. Dr. Zepinic understood this to mean that they
20 could not live together politically or culturally, not physically. He
21 never understood Dr. Karadzic to favour physical separation of the Serbs
22 and other ethnic groups through expulsions.
23 On 1st of March, 1992, a Serb was murdered by Ramiz Delalic,
24 Celo, a Muslim at wedding ceremony in a church in Sarajevo. The
25 Ministry of Interior arrested Delalic and Delalic told the crime
1 inspectors that the killing had been ordered by President Izetbegovic.
2 Based upon all of the information the Ministry of Interior had at the
3 time, Dr. Zepinic believed that Delalic was telling the truth. This was
4 confirmed when he was released with no charges -- when Ramiz Delalic,
5 Celo, was released with no charges against him were filed. Dr. Zepinic
6 believed that President Izetbegovic wanted to provoke a conflict with the
7 Serbs. The Serbs reacted by erecting the barricades in Sarajevo.
8 Dr. Zepinic worked hard to negotiate an end to this crisis, travelling to
9 the barricades during the night. He called upon President Izetbegovic
10 for help, but he declined, saying that this was a police matter.
11 Ejub Ganic who was in charge of the Crisis Staff of the Presidency was
12 also completely uninterested in helping to solve this problem.
13 Dr. Zepinic was very familiar with the events in Bijeljina on
14 1st and 2nd of April, 1992, and was involved in trying to end the
15 violence there. He was privy of reports and intelligence informations
16 about the events in Bijeljina on those days. Dr. Zepinic was convinced
17 that Dr. Radovan Karadzic had nothing to do with the killings in
18 Bijeljina on the 1st and 2nd of April, 1992. Those killings were
19 perpetrated by Arkan and his men, who came to Bijeljina to loot. Based
20 upon all the sources of information Dr. Zepinic had about the event, he
21 did not believe that Dr. Karadzic had anything to do with Arkan's coming
22 to Bijeljina or Arkan's criminal activities when he arrived there.
23 When the war broke out, Dr. Zepinic chose to remain at the
24 apartment -- at his apartment in Sarajevo. He was arrested on several
25 occasions by the Muslim paramilitary forces. He finally managed to leave
1 Sarajevo and arrived in Belgrade around July the 19th, 1992. In late
2 August 1992, he was arrested by Mico Stanisic and others in Belgrade and
3 taken to Republika Srpska. He was detained until the end of November,
4 when he was driven to Belgrade on the understanding that he would see his
5 family and return to Republika Srpska. Dr. Zepinic did not return, but
6 instead immigrated to Australia in February 1993.
7 And that would be the summary. For the moment I don't have other
8 questions for Dr. Zepinic.
9 JUDGE KWON: Well, Dr. Zepinic.
10 THE WITNESS: Yes.
11 JUDGE KWON: As you have noted, your evidence in chief in this
12 case has been admitted in writing in lieu of your oral testimony, and now
13 you'll be cross-examined by the representative of the
14 Office of the Prosecutor, Mr. Tieger.
15 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
16 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. And it's one minute past
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Tieger:
19 Q. Good afternoon, Dr. Zepinic.
20 A. [In English] Good afternoon, Mr. Tieger.
21 Q. You have just experienced an efficient form of bringing your
22 evidence before the Court, and I will attempt to be equally efficient and
23 not squander the information you have previously provided to this
24 Tribunal either in the form of testimony or statements in the past. And
25 just to remind you, as I'm sure you're aware, you have provided
1 information on numerous occasions, including a statement over the course
2 of four days in 2002, a statement to Canadian authorities in 2006, during
3 which you essentially confirmed the accuracy of your 2002 statement, a
4 statement in 2008, testimony before the Stanisic and
5 Zupljanin Trial Chamber in 2010. And I will be focusing on the
6 information that you provided on those previous occasions, trying to, as
7 much as possible, ask questions in a manner that can simply be answered
8 yes or no.
9 I notice that you made the observation that -- about paraphrasing
10 the previous statement you gave in the context of Dr. Karadzic's
11 questions about the statement that was just admitted into evidence. I
12 won't be asking you to paraphrase your previous evidence because when we
13 take time for that purpose it keeps us from moving on to the next bit of
14 information you've previously provided.
15 So with all that in mind - and I apologise for that lengthy
16 introduction - I'll move forward to ask the questions I have. First of
17 all, Dr. Zepinic, as you indicated in your 2002 statement and again in
18 your Stanisic/Zupljanin testimony, you were against the ethnic division
19 of the police. And as you said in 2002:
20 "If we were going to accept that police were established on a
21 national basis, then there was no safe place in Bosnia."
22 Is that correct? And that's found at English page 6 of the 2002
24 A. I understand your question. Do I need to answer you in English
25 or in Serbian?
1 Q. Doctor --
2 JUDGE KWON: In whichever you prefer.
3 MR. TIEGER:
4 Q. I was going to say the same thing.
5 A. [Interpretation] Before I answer your question, I have an
6 objection to this summary presented by Dr. Karadzic. On page 1 I always
7 claimed and I wish to reiterate it in the courtroom here, it wasn't that
8 the national parties were elected in the elections of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 They were set up as a coalition and this was supported by the
10 European Union, the elections that were held in November 1990 had a vote
11 of 41.4 of the entire electorate. So there wasn't even a simple majority
12 let alone a two-thirds majority, and that was compulsory on the basis of
13 the Constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to have a valid
14 outcome. 43.6 is the vote that was received by Fikret Abdic who had the
15 largest number of votes, followed by Izetbegovic. And that is to say
16 that not a single one of these members of the Presidency of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina had received the mandate of the people as an elected
18 member of parliament or the Presidency.
19 Mr. Tieger, in terms of your question, I remained committed to
20 the principle that this is a powder keg to have this division along
21 ethnic lines and I stand by that statement.
22 Q. And just to amplify that a bit, as you testified in the
23 Stanisic/Zupljanin case and I think the reference to powder keg makes
24 that sufficiently clear, you believed that the splitting of the MUP would
25 result in an armed conflict?
1 A. Absolutely. We had information about paramilitary formations of
2 all three parties and also armed elements of national parties as well as
3 certain paramilitary formations that had come either from Croatia or from
4 Serbia, and we regularly reported to the Presidency about that. If you
5 allow me, I am going to read the conclusions of the session of the
6 Presidency that was held --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the date.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And on the basis of the information
9 provided by the State Security Service, we had the exact number of
10 members of sabotage groups that were infiltrated from Croatia and the
11 number of paramilitary units that were formed by national parties in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If the ministry were to be split up, then this would
13 inevitably lead to an armed conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 MR. TIEGER:
15 Q. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Zepinic or Dr. Zepinic, excuse me. You --
16 A. [In English] It doesn't matter.
17 Q. I note -- first of all, I notice you have certain documents in
18 front of you. If you --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. -- have occasion to feel the need to refer to those documents, I
21 would simply ask that you ask for leave from the Court, indicate what you
22 want to look at so everyone in the courtroom is aware of what information
23 is being referred to.
24 Secondly, to the extent possible, I would ask you to wait for
25 some kind of invitation to elaborate on a question before you do so. I'm
1 well aware of the fact that you have a great deal of information about
2 events at that time. I'm attempting to get as much of the information
3 that I believe is relevant at this point to the Court, and I have a
4 limited time to do that. So every time you expand on a particular point,
5 it prevents me from -- it may prevent me from asking questions about
6 points later on. So I'm not trying to hamstring you unfairly, but to the
7 extent possible if you can be guided by the question and wait for an
8 invitation from either the Bench or myself or Dr. Karadzic to elaborate
9 more fully on a question that's asked. Thank you.
10 You referred in paragraph 13 of your statement to Boro and
11 Ramiz --
12 JUDGE KWON: Do you have your statement with you, Dr. Zepinic?
13 THE WITNESS: Yes.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Yes, please continue, Mr. Tieger.
16 MR. TIEGER:
17 Q. And you explain that Boro and Ramiz were a symbol of unity
18 between persons of different nationality. And is it correct that they
19 were a symbol generally of the concept of brotherhood and unity that in
20 former Yugoslavia was the fundamental principle for 50 years? And I
21 believe you said that in your 2008 statement, refer to the fact that
22 brotherhood and unity had been the fundamental principle in former
23 Yugoslavia for 50 years; is that correct?
24 A. [In English] Can I give my answer?
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. Thank you. [Interpretation] Well, you see Boro and Ramiz were
2 two symbols. These were indeed historical persons from the
3 Second World War. Their ethnic backgrounds were different. But how do I
4 put this? They represented the brotherhood and unity that was there when
5 opposing the occupiers during the Second World War. Now, why were
6 Delimustafic and I proclaimed Boro and Ramiz? Well, I don't know. You
7 know, journalist dealt with this very skillfully in the press and there
8 were pictures there as well. So there was in model of unity in the
9 functioning of the Ministry of the Interior, and this probably led to
10 this declaration of Boro and Ramiz by the president, by the public in
11 general. Now, whether I'm Boro or Ramiz, I cannot give you an answer to
12 that. And after all, it doesn't matter. But my initiative and my
13 leadership in the Ministry of the Interior advocated what had been a
14 principle for 50 years in the previous Yugoslavia; that is brotherhood
15 and unity and respect for all the differences, cultural, religious,
16 et cetera, in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well. This concept was carried
17 through to the extent possible within the Ministry of the Interior itself
18 to the best of my ability. However, Mr. Tieger, just as my unfortunate
19 former country felt, well, everybody loved it and appreciated it and yet
20 it went down the drain and then everybody loved and appreciated us and
21 this is what happened.
22 Q. You have previously stated - and you did so in your 2008
23 statement at page 7, paragraph 36 - that for Radovan Karadzic this
24 concept of brotherhood and unity that you explained did not exist;
1 A. The concept of how national parties operated, including the SDS,
2 the concept of brotherhood and unity was not known to have been promoted
3 throughout the whole mandate that they acquired. Let me remind you,
4 Mr. Tieger, in their election memorandum or platform - and I can quote
5 Dr. Karadzic, saying that the function and the role and the task of
6 national parties was to preserve brotherhood and unity in Yugoslavia was
7 a historical legacy of President Tito and that they should preserve it as
8 their best treasure. If possible, I can give you exactly the name of the
9 document where this statement can be found, but let me tell you that the
10 national parties went astray quite a lot and started dealing only with
11 national matters and they neglected the concept of unity of
13 Q. Well, I was only quoting from the 2008 statement, but let me be
14 somewhat more specific about the explanations you've provided about
15 Dr. Karadzic's view of this issue. You stated also in your 2008
16 statement, and that's found at page 4 of the English:
17 "It was the belief of Karadzic that different ethnicities in
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH, could not live together. He never gave a
19 reasonable explanation or provided any evidence of why he maintained
20 these views. This concept also became the or was the general policy of
21 the SDS."
22 And I said it's page 4 -- that's at page 7 of the B/C/S. That's
23 correct, that's what you -- that's the information you provided to the
24 OTP in 2008; correct?
25 A. Yes, I agree, not only as far as the party is concerned and its
1 programme. Any political party. But that was a reflection of how the
2 National Assembly operated. Only the interests, national interests, of
3 deputies came to the fore during sessions. There was never any room for
4 the principled views and attitudes of ordinary citizens of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that was something that was maintained and
6 consistently implemented both at their political rallies but also on the
7 sessions of the government and the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. Thank you. And in your testimony during the Stanisic/Zupljanin
9 case you explained further that you had many conversations with
10 Dr. Karadzic, and this is found at transcript page 5705 in e-court
11 page 27.
12 "Regarding his view that, you know, life together between two
13 nationalities in -- in former Yugoslavia or Bosnia, pardon me, is
15 And that's correct also, isn't it, Dr. Zepinic?
16 A. In view of the concept and the policies pursued by national
17 parties, it was obvious that two nationalist parties cannot live together
18 and they cannot attain a joint objective together in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 And that's nothing new. In my private talks with Dr. Karadzic we
20 discussed this matter and I was not convinced that he really thought
21 about physically elimination of non-Serbs from Bosnia-Herzegovina. But
22 the fact remains that the extremism of nationalist parties created a
23 climate in which it was impossible to achieve coexistence, as Dr. Tudjman
24 used to say, and to reconcile this concept with the policies pursued by
25 nationalist parties. If you allow me, that is why Dr. Tudjman proposed
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina to be divided between Serbia and Croatia and you know
2 that these meetings did happen and President Mesic spoke extensively
3 about them.
4 Q. And during those talks with Dr. Karadzic and -- he said that life
5 together between -- in Bosnia between two nationalities is impossible,
6 you responded to his comments about that issue by pointing out to him
7 that your sister was married to a Muslim and as you said in the
8 Stanisic/Zupljanin case:
9 "I asked him if Serbs and Muslims cannot live together can you
10 tell me on which was -- I will say to my sister that her husband is not a
11 good guy ..." and so on.
12 In short, when Dr. Karadzic explained his view of the
13 nationalities being unable to live together, you said: What happens to
14 my family? What happens to my brother-in-law; correct? That's found at
15 the Stanisic/Zupljanin case transcript page 5706.
16 A. Not only about what was going to happen with my family but what
17 will happen with about 65 per cent of mixed families in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. So it was not only the issue that I had a relative
19 in a mixed marriage because I originate from a place that was
20 proportionally speaking the most dominant Serb municipality in the former
21 Yugoslavia. But let me remind you that the SDS did not win the election
22 in Sekovici of which Dr. Karadzic accused me on many occasions and laid
23 blame on me for that. So as I said, it was not only my personal family
24 problem. The problem was the whole population of Bosnia-Herzegovina that
25 had an enormous percentage of ethnically mixed marriages. How can you
1 physically divide or separate a high-rise building or flats on the same
2 floor? How can one expect that such a division would be a guarantee of
3 peaceful life among neighbours. Such policy pursued by the nationalist
4 party was something that I was really not able to swallow, if you allow
5 me to say that, and I don't believe that Dr. Karadzic was able either. I
6 think that he faced problems among his own ranks from his own extremists,
7 and you heard here evidence that there were people who advocated the
8 expulsion of everyone who was against the Serb policy, including
9 Dr. Zepinic, not because I was on the front and because I fought SDS. I
10 was arrested because I disagreed with the concept of the SDA concept as
11 well as that of the SDS. That's a fact that, Mr. Tieger, I explain to
12 you that I share the destiny of my former country. Everybody used to
13 love and appreciate me, but nobody wanted me. That's it. What can one
14 do about it?
15 [In English] Does that satisfy your question, please?
16 Q. There will be more questions along this line, Dr. Zepinic. In
17 addition to the conversations --
18 A. Okay.
19 Q. -- that you had with Dr. Karadzic about this issue, you were also
20 aware that Mrs. Plavsic maintained that Serbs and other nationalities
21 could not live together, which prompted you to say to her that an attempt
22 to separate the ethnic communities would produce violence and thousands
23 of innocent civilians would be killed. And that's found at -- in your
24 2002 statement at page 5:
25 "I informed her that if you tried to separate the ethnic
1 communities, then there would be violence and thousands of innocent
2 civilians would be killed."
3 That's a correct reflection of what's in your statement and the
4 information you provided?
5 A. [Interpretation] I stand by that statement. Unfortunately, I was
6 overly optimistic because the events that happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 were much more tragic than I had anticipated. So that is my answer that
8 I gave often to Biljana Plavsic and Koljevic at our meetings. And I knew
9 that Dr. Karadzic personally had problems with those two because, quite
10 simply, they always said that the attitude that I subscribed to was an
11 unacceptable one and that the party should do something about it. As you
12 know, I offered my resignation twice to the president of the Presidency
13 and the prime minister. My resignation was rejected. On the
14 13th of May [as interpreted]I told the prime minister and the president
15 of the Assembly and the presiding member of the Presidency that I was not
16 going to resign, but that I expected them to have the guts to force my
17 resignation. They didn't have that power and that is how this thing was
19 So let me say that members of the Presidency, instead of being a
20 collective organ heading the state, were more nationalistic than
21 nationalist leaders themselves, including Mate Boban and Izetbegovic.
22 [No interpretation]
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last
25 JUDGE KWON: Dr. Zepinic.
1 THE WITNESS: Yeah, okay.
2 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your last sentence - the
3 interpreters didn't catch - you after "Izetbegovic."
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Members of the Presidency, instead
5 of taking a joint position as the head of state, they were more concerned
6 about nationalist interests, including the president of the Presidency,
7 Mr. Izetbegovic, who violated the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina by
8 holding at the same time the post of the president of the party and the
9 president of the Presidency. Quite often he acted at the Presidency
10 meetings as the leader of the SDA instead of as the president of the
12 MR. TIEGER:
13 Q. You mentioned Dr. Koljevic in an earlier -- well, first of all,
14 you said your -- let me clarify something quickly. You said your
15 resignation was rejected on the 13th of May. You told the prime minister
16 and the president of the Assembly and the presiding member of the
17 Presidency that you were not going to resign. Did you mean that date or
18 did you mean another date. It was translated as "May 13th."
19 A. No, I'm sorry. Sometime in early March 1991, when I realised how
20 the situation was progressing I decided that I cannot accept the concept
21 of these parties and I offered my resignation to the persons mentioned
22 before, who rejected it because they believed that that would be a risky
23 move for the further developments in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 I mentioned the 13th of May because the 13th of May was the date
25 of security forces, but nobody from the authorities found any decency to
1 send a celebratory card to the security services for their day.
2 I was the person who acted professionally in every respect and in
3 every situation and that is --
4 Q. Dr. --
5 A. -- the reason why I managed to survive. [In English] Please.
7 [Interpretation] I sent a telegram and I congratulated the
8 holiday to all members of the security forces, but I didn't include
9 members from the authorities because --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer.
11 JUDGE KWON: Could you slow down a bit. The interpreters --
12 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I'm sorry, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE KWON: If you look at the transcript.
14 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry.
15 JUDGE KWON: Could you start again from where you said you sent a
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With the exception of Mr. Krajisnik
18 and at my insistence, he was the only one who sent his congratulations.
19 I insisted that others should do the same. I didn't expect them to
20 organise any ceremonies to give them any medals, et cetera. But I said
21 that they cannot expect any congratulations coming from people in the
22 authorities who were criminals. I don't know who organised this rally.
23 I was invited to attend it. Mr. Krajisnik was there, Joran Livan [phoen]
24 was there, Nikola Koljevic was there. I said that I stood by the
25 telegram that I had sent, that I could simply -- could not comprehend why
1 they resent what I wrote in it. I would like them to request my
2 resignation and that I myself was not going to resign on my own.
3 MR. TIEGER:
4 Q. Dr. --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In line 10 Dr. Zepinic said that it
6 was not possible to expect congratulations from people that the service
7 used to deal beforehand including Mr. Izetbegovic was not in the
8 transcript as well as what he said that Mr. Izetbegovic was really rude
9 at that meeting. I would like to ask the witness to speak more slowly
10 because we are really dealing here with the shades of meetings.
11 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me, Dr. Karadzic.
12 Q. Dr. Zepinic, please, just one moment. We're about to adjourn
13 because of the time. I certainly am trying to respect your desire to get
14 as much information as you consider useful to the Court, before the
15 Court, as possible. And I ask for the same respect in return. I will be
16 moving on to various topics. I gave you an opportunity to clarify the
17 date. That was not meant to be an invitation for an elaboration of the
18 circumstances surrounding that resignation letter in March 1991. And
19 there will be many topics that are important to the Court that I won't be
20 able to cover if you don't allow me to guide you to the particular
21 subject areas. So I would appreciate that very much. Unfortunately
22 we're at the break now and we'll be able to resume after the lunch
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Would the Chamber like to hear
25 whether the witness confirmed my intervention and what was omitted
1 originally in the transcript?
2 JUDGE KWON: Dr. Zepinic, do you confirm what Mr. Karadzic said?
3 THE WITNESS: Well, Your Honour, I stated the same twice so it's
4 no problem.
5 JUDGE KWON: But it doesn't seem to have made its way to the
6 transcript, but do you confirm what Mr. Karadzic said?
7 THE WITNESS: Yes. [Interpretation] Yes, I agree. This was not
8 recorded because I spoke too fast and after that you warned me.
9 JUDGE KWON: So I would request to you to slow down when we
10 resume after 45-minutes' break. So we'll take a break and resume at 18
11 past 1.00.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
13 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.22 p.m.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger, please continue.
16 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Dr. Zepinic, when you were explaining to the Court what you said
18 in -- to Mrs. Plavsic in response to her comments that Serbs and other
19 nationalities could not live together, you also mentioned that that was
20 an answer you gave often to Biljana Plavsic and Koljevic. So just to
21 round that out it is correct, isn't it, as you stated in your 2002
22 statement at page 6 that Nikola Koljevic also said that the ethnic
23 communities could not live together and, in fact, stated that the Serbs
24 should just expel the Muslims; correct?
25 A. If you allow me to make a comment. I believe that of members of
1 the Presidency, particularly Mrs. Plavsic and Mr. Koljevic, I think that
2 Koljevic was really extreme in his nationalistic attitudes. His
3 statement that it was impossible for the Serbs to live with anyone else
4 was something that he repeatedly mentioned in various situations as a
5 slogan. And due to that, we were often at loggerheads on many occasions.
6 I even talked to the prime minister, seeking possible intervention from
7 their part to put a stop to this, although we were talking about a member
8 of the Presidency, but in his actions and in his views deviated from what
9 was decided in March, was that any party advocating the breakup of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina along ethnic lines cannot be registered. So I agree
11 with you, this is not something that he said once or twice. That is
12 something that he commonly said. He underlined that and these extreme
13 views of his became very evident at some of the most important meetings
14 and gatherings.
15 Q. Thank you. Let me move on to a somewhat different topic. As you
16 stated in your 2008 statement, the national parties wanted candidates for
17 the MUP who were loyal to or favoured the party that nominated them, so
18 interference was always present; is that correct?
19 A. Yes. All three parties tried in every possible way to create a
20 situation to have officials, particularly in executive positions, who
21 were loyal to their political party, regardless of their qualification or
22 competence, and that based on an inter parte agreement a parity was
23 established between ethnic communities and their representation in the
24 MUP, and therefore the parties were the ones who nominated the
25 candidates. Unfortunately in the majority of cases I rejected those
1 candidates because they had no idea whatsoever about what they were
2 supposed to do in the ministry, never mind if they were on excellent
3 terms from -- with another official in the MUP or with someone from their
4 party. Very often we in the ministry had arguments and rows with the
5 political parties over their nominations.
6 Q. Thank you, sir. And specifically, as you stated in your 2008
7 statement at page 4:
8 "Karadzic telephoned me on many occasions and discussed some
9 particular candidates. He always wanted to have some influence on the
10 appointments. Alija Izetbegovic as well as Stjepan Kljujic sometimes
11 tried to interfere but not as much as Karadzic."
12 Correct? That's what you stated in 2008 and that's correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct -- [In English] Sorry, I apologise to you.
14 [Interpretation] It is correct that Karadzic called me more often about
15 Serb candidates than Izetbegovic and Kljujic did that regarding their
16 candidates because they often bypassed me. In most cases they would
17 agree that with Delimustafic or Kvesic or somebody else who was my
18 assistant and after that I would have to examine who the candidates were
19 and then I had to go back to Kljujic and intervene, although I relied more
20 on Mate Boban because Kljujic was so incompetent that I didn't want to
21 have any dealings with him. So I contacted most often with Mate Boban
22 regarding Croatian candidates and it was Omer Behmeh with regards to
23 Muslim candidates, except when an intervention came from Mr. Izetbegovic.
24 So generally speaking, Dr. Karadzic called me more often than the other
25 two because, as I said, they tried to circumvent me because they were
1 aware that I would not accept their proposals.
2 Q. Now, you were, as you stated in 2008, opposed generally to SDS
3 policy; correct?
4 A. Yes, I was. I was against any nationalistic policy in the
5 country, not only the one pursued by the SDS.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In the previous answer Dr. Zepinic
7 said that if they -- if he saw who the candidates were, he would explode.
8 That means that he would be so enraged and none of that was recorded in
9 the transcript.
10 JUDGE KWON: I lost track -- what line did you refer to,
11 Mr. Karadzic?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 10 [In English] No, no, when
13 "Kljujic and intervene, although I relied more on Mate Boban because
14 Kljujic was incompetent ... so I contacted most often Mate Boban." And it
15 is here line 10 "Croatian candidates and it was Omer Behmeh with regards
16 to Muslim candidates" [Interpretation] And in this portion Dr. Zepinic
17 says: When I saw who the candidates were, I would explode and I would
18 then appeal to Mr. Izetbegovic to intervene.
19 JUDGE KWON: Dr. Zepinic.
20 THE WITNESS: Yes.
21 JUDGE KWON: Do you confirm that?
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE KWON: Let's continue, Mr. Tieger.
1 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. You've just confirmed a moment ago you were opposed generally to
3 SDS policy. It's correct that others in the MUP were not opposed to or
4 in conflict with SDS policy. For example, as you stated in your 2008
6 "Mico Stanisic," or Stanic I think it says there, "tried as much
7 as he could to please Karadzic instead of doing his job."
8 And that's correct, isn't it?
9 A. [Interpretation] That is correct and that's why he was replaced.
10 [In English] I dismissed him from his position because of him looking
11 more about policy proclaimed by Dr. Karadzic than Dr. Zepinic.
12 Q. Now at paragraphs 32 through 52 of your statement you discuss
13 some telephone conversations in which Dr. Karadzic referred to various
14 events and raised the prospect of the division of the MUP or the country.
15 It is correct that since the time of those discussions you have become
16 aware of various events or meetings which you did not attend at which the
17 division of the MUP was concretely discussed by Bosnian Serb officials.
18 For example, you testified in the Stanisic/Zupljanin case about the
19 11 February 1992 meeting in Banja Luka which you did not attend and did
20 not know about; is that right?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. For the benefit of the Court, that meeting is reflected in P1083
23 and contains various references to the decision to establish Serbian MUP.
24 And it is also correct, Dr. Zepinic, that you didn't attend
25 Assembly meetings -- an Assembly meeting in late March 1992 when
1 Dr. Karadzic talked about the establishment of the Republika Srpska MUP,
2 which he indicated could happen in two or three days; and noted that at
3 that moment Serbian municipalities would "literally assume control of the
4 entire territory of the municipality concerned."
5 That's correct, you -- is it correct you were not aware of that
6 or did not attend that meeting?
7 A. Yes, that's right. I attended only meetings of the Assemblies of
8 national parties when it was the Ministry of Interior that was discussed.
9 And when I was invited to come I did not attend most of them, or rather,
10 I did not attend most of the Assemblies so I do not remember this one.
11 Q. I understand from your 2008 statement that you were told about an
12 Assembly session in late March 1992 by Stojan Zupljanin and he mentioned
13 that and told you that there was an initiative to split the MUP. That's
14 a 2008 statement page 13; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct. Actually, I found out about this idea of
16 separating the MUP into the three ethnic communities. This proposal was
17 first presented at the meeting with Mr. Cutileiro in January 1992. I was
18 terribly surprised when I saw that members of the government attended
19 that meeting, Mr. Djeric and Mr. Mahmut Cehajic, and then at the next
20 government meeting I raised that question. I asked in which capacity
21 they attended that meeting and in which capacity was it for them to
22 tacitly approve of that proposal and on the other hand the minister and
23 the deputy minister of the interior had no idea about that. I put that
24 question to Mr. Izetbegovic and then I was accused of spying on members
25 of the Presidency and the delegation that had this meeting with
1 Mr. Cutileiro. So if I was spying them, then yes, I was, because it was
2 my duty to find out what it was they were doing.
3 Q. And, in fact, as I believe you made clear in your 2008 statement
4 at page 11, you felt sufficiently strongly about splitting the MUP along
5 ethnic lines that you would have arrested Dr. Karadzic and the other
6 members of the Bosnian Serb leadership when that happened and the reason
7 you didn't is that you would have been shot; correct?
8 A. [In English] I'm sorry for -- [Interpretation] Well, I don't know
9 whether they would have shot me. You have to ask them about that. At
10 any rate, I did not decide to arrest the national leaders, or rather, the
11 members of the Presidency. I wasn't really interested in power, to be
12 frank. Through my ministry and through the role that I played, I tried
13 to ensure that the state functioned. I didn't want to cause a crisis.
14 20 years later, my friend [In English] It's probably quite difficult to
15 understand what happened 20 years ago.
16 Q. Doctor, I was simply quoting from the 2008 statement where you
17 explained you wanted to clarify that you took no action on --
18 A. [Interpretation] I agree.
19 Q. And again, because -- at least you felt you would have been shot?
20 A. [In English] Yeah.
21 Q. Okay. I'd like to speak to you now about the meeting referred to
22 at paragraphs 67 through 70 of your statement at which you tendered your
23 resignation. And, first of all, that meeting was on the 4th of April,
24 which would have been just a few days after the dispatch sent by
25 Momcilo Mandic; correct? And you nodded your head?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. And, in fact, you met with Mandic and Stanisic after that
3 dispatch, as you explained in your 2002 statement at page 10, and told
4 them that you did not recognise the decisions of either Radovan Karadzic
5 or Momcilo Krajisnik and did not recognise the decisions of any
6 parliament constituted on one national basis; correct?
7 A. [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. All members of the
8 collegium attended the meeting. It wasn't only Mandic and Stanisic. And
9 the other details you referred to are quite correct.
10 Q. And then on the 4th of April you met with members of the SDS
11 leadership - that's how they're described in paragraph 68 of the
12 statement - and that included Dr. Karadzic, Mr. Krajisnik, Dr. Koljevic,
13 Professor Buha, Momcilo Mandic, and Mico Stanisic; correct? That's what
14 you said in your 2002 statement.
15 A. [In English] Yes.
16 Q. Now, Stanisic said at that meeting, again according to the 2002
17 statement as you've explained it, that you were destroying their concept.
18 And when you asked: What concept? They said the concept to divide the
19 MUP; correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And you told them that if they did something like this, that is,
22 split the MUP, then "they would be responsible for the forthcoming
23 conflict because it was impossible to do this peacefully." That's at
24 2002 statement, pages 12 to 13; is that correct?
25 A. [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. But may I just explain
1 this to you a bit. As a matter of fact, I expressed my admiration at the
2 fact that they were prepared to take over this role of waging war in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the entire catastrophe that would ensue.
4 Q. And Dr. Karadzic explained that the SDS had strong support from
5 Belgrade and that they had strong support from the JNA and the army would
6 be on their side; correct?
7 A. That was his explanation although I did not believe that because
8 my co-operation with the JNA was much better than that of the
9 Serb Democratic Party. You can take a look at the record of the meeting
10 of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the 15th of October with
11 General Kadijevic and his coworkers, where full support was expressed.
12 How do I put this? Also, they paid tribute to the co-operation that the
13 MUP and the JNA had in establishing check-points in Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina in order to prevent incursions by paramilitary groups and
15 criminal groups involved in money laundering, smuggling, et cetera.
16 Q. And with respect to that expression of strong support --
17 expression by Dr. Karadzic about strong support from the JNA and the army
18 being on his side, it's correct as you explained to the Canadian
19 authorities, isn't it, that you and Dr. Karadzic -- that your
20 understanding, as you discussed with Dr. Karadzic many times, was that he
21 always mentioned that the JNA will be on his side; right?
22 A. That's what he said, but my meetings with General Kadijevic and
23 General Vasiljevic, General Kukanjac, Uzelac, and other officers of the
24 JNA did not give me that feeling. That was not expressed to such an
25 extent as presented by Dr. Karadzic in terms of the support that he would
2 Q. Thank you. Now, Dr. Zepinic, back to the meeting at which your
3 resignation was offered on April 4th. As you explained in the
4 Stanisic/Zupljanin testimony, Dr. Karadzic and Dr. Koljevic were
5 "extremely aggressive" about your opposition to the concept of ethnically
6 based parties; correct?
7 A. I don't know whether I said that Dr. Karadzic was aggressive. If
8 I may confirm, Karadzic and Krajisnik, to a degree tried to pacify the
9 situation, but Koljevic was rather aggressive and then we squabbled and
10 then he turned to Dr. Karadzic and said, "Well, look at what he's doing
11 to me."
12 Q. The quote is -- and I'm certainly happy to have you see it if you
13 wish, but the parties can follow with me as I read it. That's on
14 transcript page 5828 and the quote I was referring to is at line 15:
15 "Dr. Karadzic and especially the late Dr. Koljevic were extremely
16 aggressive with regard to my opposition of the concept of ethnically
17 based parties."
18 A. [In English] Okay.
19 Q. And as you explained in your 2002 statement they began to accuse
20 and threaten you when you continued to refuse to join them and
21 Dr. Karadzic and Dr. Koljevic said you were an idiot and that "it was
22 impossible for the nationalities to live together." And that's found at
23 the 2002 statement at page 14.
24 A. [Interpretation] Well, I admit that I am an idiot because I
25 hadn't eliminated them before that meeting. That's the only reason.
1 Q. And, in fact, Mico Stanisic produced a gun to shoot you saying:
2 "We can't come to terms with this guy in other ways so let's kill
3 him to prevent him causing any further headache."
4 That's found in your Stanisic/Zupljanin testimony at transcript
5 page 5832.
6 A. That's correct. But you know what? I don't think that, frankly
7 speaking, Mico had the courage to shoot me.
8 Q. After about half an hour of threatening you, according to your
9 2002 statement, they let you leave and you went down to enter your car
10 with your chauffeur, Zoran; correct?
11 A. [In English] That's correct.
12 Q. And as you enter the car your driver burst out in tears and said
13 that he had been ordered by Mr. Mandic to kill you, otherwise they would
14 kill his family. And he, your driver, who had been your driver for a
15 long time said to you, "Minister, I cannot kill you."
16 Is that correct?
17 A. [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. And, as you can see, he
18 had not killed me.
19 Q. Doctor, earlier in your testimony you made some reference to your
20 arrest and imprisonment. That's found in particular at paragraphs 74
21 through 78 of your statement. And I want to ask you about the
22 imprisonment which began in late August 1992. That's following your
23 arrest by Mr. Stanisic in Belgrade. Now, you learned on the fifth or
24 sixth day of your imprisonment, as you explained in your 2002 statement,
25 that Dr. Karadzic was extremely aggressive toward you and had stated that
1 you should be killed, but insisted that the investigation and procedure
2 should be completed first because it had been publicly announced by
3 Stanisic that you'd been arrested but then you should be killed. That's
4 found at the 2002 statement, English pages 17; is that correct, sir?
5 A. Yes, that is correct. You know, there were different attempts
6 that were made to undermine me, to kill me physically. I have the
7 original of the decision on my arrest. If you allow me I'm going to read
8 it out now. Dr. Zepinic, doctor of medicine, residing in Sarajevo is
9 hereby arrested on the basis of Article 119 of the Criminal Code of the
10 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. And then I'm given the right
11 to appeal against that decision to the district court in Sarajevo and I'm
12 in prison in Pale. So I'm in prison and this is the signature of
13 Tomo Kovac on behalf of Mico Stanisic as minister of the interior. I was
14 arrested on the basis of the Criminal Code of the SFRY by members of the
15 Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska in the territory of another
16 state, Serbia, and as such I was taken to the prison in Pale.
17 What I wish to say by this is that as far as arrests were
18 concerned then there was a reference to federal laws and they abided by
19 all federal laws, principles, constitutionality, and so on. However,
20 when interests of the national party were at stake, then the federal laws
21 were against the national party. What you said is correct. Now, whether
22 there were agreements or not for me to be killed, I don't know, but I
23 just do know that Mr. Radmilo Bogdanovic, the minister of the interior of
24 Serbia, intervened with Mr. Slobodan Milosevic and Mr. Karadzic asking to
25 have me released from detention. I'm saying that because I had a
1 telephone conversation with Mr. Bogdanovic and he told me during this
2 conversation that the following was promised to him, that an
3 investigation had to be made for about a few days and then together with
4 my mentor, Professor Sternic, they were waiting for me. And then the
5 next day Minister Bogdanovic called me and asked me why I wasn't in
6 Belgrade, why I hadn't been released, and that they betrayed him, they
7 betrayed Mr. Milosevic, and Professor Sternic was the connection involved
8 because Mr. Milosevic's body-guard, personal body-guard, Senta was the
9 connection because his wife worked as a nurse for Dr. Sternic. And then
10 I was transferred to Kula near Lukavica, the prison there, and I spent
11 some time there. That is where I gave that famous interview at the
12 request of Dr. Karadzic, that was the explanation that was given to me.
13 He was not quite pleased with what I said. But, Dr. Karadzic, I still
14 stand by what I stated in that interview.
15 After that I was transferred to the military prison at the
16 Lukavica barracks, and then sometime late in November -- I really have to
17 point out that Colonel Lugonja was very fair at the time. I was unable
18 to go and visit my family and then in the meantime I was visited in the
19 military prison twice by Dr. Karadzic. The first time he gave me an
20 offer of having lunch at General Galic's office and I told him that I had
21 already had lunch. And I asked where my family was and he knew that full
22 well. And I -- or rather, he asked me whether I knew where my family was
23 and I said that they were in a safe place because I knew why he was
24 asking that. And then the second time we met just in passing. And since
25 I was allowed to go and visit my family after having spent a few months
1 in prison, I took advantage of the situation and I escaped. I do
2 apologise to Zoran Kos, who was warden of the prison at the time and he
3 acted as my driver and I said, "Just wait a minute. I want to see my
4 family." I haven't seen him since and we hid in different places in
5 Serbia until the end of January when we left Yugoslavia. I secured a
6 visa and I left my country, or rather, I arrived in Australia on the
7 16th of February, 1993.
8 Q. Doctor --
9 A. [In English] Sorry.
10 Q. Three relatively quick questions about that period of
11 incarceration. First of all, you mentioned you knew why Dr. Karadzic was
12 asking about your family. Why was that?
13 A. [Interpretation] My family was maltreated, especially my
14 family -- especially my parents. My mother was killed in this
15 maltreatment. Dr. Karadzic knows that full well. And I don't know why
16 they touched my mother. Dr. Karadzic, in Orthodoxy an attack against
17 one's mother is the greatest crime of all, and you know that very well.
18 You and I had many discussions on many occasions and we talked about the
19 love you had for your own mother and about your relationship with her.
20 I'm sorry that that happened. My parents, my mother, are not to be
21 blamed at all for my disagreement with national parties. My parents
22 didn't agree with national parties either and I'm sorry that they ended
23 the way they did because of me. I really would not like to go on on that
25 Q. I understand, Doctor, but just to finish it and be clear: Did
1 you understand the inquiry to be a form of pressure on you?
2 A. Yes, I had that pressure from those who were carrying out the
3 investigation. But I have to note that members of the Ministry of the
4 Interior of Republika Srpska also regularly informed me about everything
5 that was being agreed upon within the leadership of the Serb Democratic
6 Party that had to do with me. If I can put it this way, I still had
7 authority and a reputation among the members of the Ministry of the
8 Interior. Dr. Karadzic knows that full well. You know, it was very
9 important. Mr. Izetbegovic did the same thing too. I mean, let's be
10 clear on that. At the time when I was in -- under house arrest in
11 Sarajevo and when I was often brought in for different interviews. So I
12 was informed by my former members of the police of what they were
13 preparing for me while I was in prison in Pale and in Lukavica.
14 And - how do I put this? - I know that there was this pressure that was
15 brought to bear in terms of finding out where my wife and my children
16 were. However, my old parents did not move from the place where they had
17 been staying. So for nights and nights - I'm saying "nights" - because
18 usually two or three idiots would come in and maltreat my parents from
19 10.00 p.m. until 4.00 a.m. and that was being repeated time and again. I
20 didn't feel sorry about the fact that they could have killed me. Well,
21 that was their decision. They are in power, they have weapons, I don't.
22 I could understand that. To this day I can understand that because
23 either one side or the other side or the third side may make an attempt
24 to liquidate me physically, and there were such attempts because of
25 disagreement. However, I can never understand nor can I ever accept that
1 on account of that my mother had to be killed.
2 Q. Two more --
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript, please. Transcript,
4 please. In line 21 Dr. Zepinic said: Dr. Karadzic asked me to join him,
5 and that sentence is not included in the transcript. So line 21:
6 Dr. Karadzic knows that full well. Dr. Karadzic [In English] asks me to
7 join. [Interpretation] Is that what you said? Ask me to join. And then
8 it says, you know, it was very important, Izetbegovic, and so on and so
10 JUDGE KWON: Dr. Zepinic, do you confirm that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct.
12 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
13 Let's continue.
14 MR. TIEGER:
15 Q. Doctor, two more hopefully quick follow-up questions about Kula.
16 While you were interned in Kula in September and October, is it correct,
17 as you explained in your 2008 statement, that you saw about 200 civilians
18 there, men and women, almost all Muslims and were able to conclude that
19 they had been removed from their homes and interned there?
20 A. Yes, that is correct. Of the total number of people interned in
21 Kula prison, the only one who were not Muslims was Vladimir Srebrov and
23 Q. And Vladimir Srebrov is a former SDS official who had a power --
24 A. [In English] That's correct. That's correct.
25 Q. And finally, during the time that you were interrogated, is it
1 correct, as you also explained in your 2008 statement, that you were
2 subjected to physical violence by members of the RS MUP?
3 A. [Interpretation] Well, I would say that was the normal procedure
4 with the exception of Tomo Puhalac, an inspector, a former member of the
5 Ministry of the Interior who was extremely fair in his behaviour. As for
6 the others, they just took advantage of the opportunity.
7 Q. Thank you. Doctor, at paragraphs 62 through 66 of your statement
8 you refer to Bijeljina and the killings by Arkan and state that -- your
9 belief about whether Dr. Karadzic had anything to do with Arkan's coming
10 to Bijeljina. Now, I take it from the rest of your account of events and
11 your whereabouts that you don't know about any subsequent meetings or
12 contacts between Arkan and Dr. Karadzic or other members of the
13 Bosnian Serb leadership?
14 A. No, I don't know about that. I know that Fikret Abdic told him
15 that at the time when the barricades were in place that he and
16 Dr. Karadzic were gambling together at Yugoslavia Hotel after the meeting
17 with Mr. Milosevic attended by Dr. Krajisnik and Dr. Koljevic. The case
18 of Bijeljina was a simple case of robbery by a group. In accordance with
19 the information provided to me from the public and state services, the
20 aim was to rob the agricultural bank in Bijeljina that had enormous
21 foreign currency reserves. And a disagreement erupted there between two
22 criminal groups: Arkan and his men on the one hand and a local criminal
23 group on the other. The Presidency decided to send a delegation to
24 resolve the matter. Since they failed in that attempt, then the
25 Presidency instructed me and Delimustafic to go over there and settle it,
1 but that's a long story.
2 Q. Well, let me just follow-up on one part of what you just said and
3 that's the reference to what Fikret Abdic told you about Dr. Karadzic's
4 whereabouts at the time of the barricade, which would have been the
5 beginning of March 1992; correct?
6 A. Yes, the 1st of March. I tried to get in touch with him and
7 Koljevic when the barricades were erected, but that this was not exactly
8 properly organised was confirmed by Biljana Plavsic, with whom I spoke
9 about 1.00 in the morning, who had no clue about what was happening and
10 about the barricades. And as for Dr. Krajisnik and Koljevic and the
11 others, none of them was in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.
12 Q. Let's focus for the moment on the -- I just wanted to place the
13 information you were receiving in context by way of date. But as I
14 understand it from what you testified a moment ago and also what you
15 stated in 2002 at page 7, Mr. Abdic told you that when he met with Arkan
16 in Bijeljina at the beginning of April, that Arkan confirmed to him that
17 he, Arkan, had been gambling with Karadzic at the time of the barricades
18 in Sarajevo. That's correct, isn't it?
19 A. Yes, that is correct. And among other things he used some bad
20 language at the expense of Abdic and his decision to let Izetbegovic head
21 the Presidency instead of him.
22 Q. And in addition to the information you received from Mr. Abdic,
23 you also received information, as you explained further in your 2002
24 statement, from representatives of state security to the same effect.
25 That is, you learned from representatives of state security that
1 Dr. Karadzic was with Arkan gambling at the time of the barricades at the
2 beginning of March 1992?
3 A. This was the information that our State Security Service received
4 from their counterparts in Serbia.
5 Q. Thank you. I want to ask you about something you said at
6 paragraph 23 of your statement with respect to the mobilisation of large
7 numbers of reserve police officers and members of the BH TO in some
8 municipalities. And you go on to indicate that you took steps to annul
9 such mobilisation orders and recover any weapons. And I gather that was
10 successful because, as you testified in the Stanisic/Zupljanin case, the
11 strength of the reserves did not change from the time you -- during the
12 time of your term in office. And that's found at T -- transcript
13 page 5854 through 55. As you said there:
14 "As far as I know once we came to power we didn't change the
15 strength of the manoeuvre units or the reserve forces, but in agreement
16 with the chiefs of police stations in the field we launched some
17 operational activities concerning staff which -- to the effect that
18 manoeuvre units be better equipped with staff but we didn't change the
19 strength of the manoeuvre unit or the active police forces or, indeed,
20 the reserve forces."
21 And that's a correct recitation of what you stated in --
22 A. Yes, that is correct. We did not change it until the session of
23 the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina of 11th December 1991. If you wish,
24 I can show you the minutes of that meeting because I have it in my notes.
25 And we proposed that the process of equipping the Ministry of the
1 Interior and the so-called detachment for special operations was
2 something that I was criticised for having spent nearly 60 per cent of
3 the budget. We had information that the war in the former Yugoslavia was
4 supposed to begin in the summer of 1991 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that
5 corroborated some statements made by Mr. Mesic because there was an
6 agreement between Tudjman and Milosevic to split Bosnia between them. We
7 believed that the ministry had to be fully equipped, and for that purpose
8 we ordered American combat helicopters in order to set up this protection
9 detachment that could act as a Rapid Reaction Force and be able to
10 prevent any form of armed conflict and similar activities in the area of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In this report and the proposal that was accepted
12 unanimously by the Presidency -- and I purposefully avoided attending
13 that meeting. I sent Branko Kvesic instead because I knew that
14 Nikola Koljevic and all the other members of the Presidency would be
15 there, including Bogic Bogicevic represented the federal Presidency. It
16 seems that without paying much attention the Presidency accepted this and
17 approved our request. I would be the happiest man in the world had this
18 really been accepted and adopted. There would have been no war in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. For some reason somebody --
20 Q. I've got about -- I think about ten minutes left. I'm going to
21 try to cover -- that's fine. I'm going to try to cover three relatively
22 discrete and short topics. The first one is this: I understand from
23 your Stanisic/Zupljanin testimony that you were aware of a training --
24 police training programme in Croatia that was attended by persons from
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is that generally correct? And I'm going to ask
1 you a couple of specific things about that.
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. And --
4 A. That was common practice.
5 Q. And I believe you clarified in your testimony there that the
6 Bosnian MUP had information that people from Bosnia were applying at "an
7 open competition" at the MUP of Croatia for training slots in a newly
8 opened training centre. That's correct, isn't it?
9 A. Yes. Croatia increased the number of members of
10 Ministry of the Interior, and in my first conversation with the Croatian
11 minister of the interior I said that 400 members from Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 who were there he should compensate me in a way for them. So that was,
13 as I said, common practice to have people from Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 applying to be admitted into the SUP school in Kamenica, in Serbia, or in
15 Croatia. For example, in Bosnia-Herzegovina we had attendees from
16 Montenegro and other parts. Now, after they had increased the number,
17 some 400 members were admitted in -- as one lot and they mostly came from
19 Q. Next topic I wanted to ask you about, which is a couple questions
20 about Mr. Mandic, you stated in your 2002 statement at page 10 that
21 immediately after the dispatch, that is, the Mandic dispatch regarding
22 the MUP, that Mandic and Ostojic participated in an interview on TV and
23 stated that you had a weekend house built or bought by the SDA and it was
24 obvious you should resign. Is it correct that that happened and that was
25 an attempt to discredit you?
1 A. It is true that this is what Mandic said. You quoted him
2 correctly. But let me remind you that I had a weekend cottage in
3 Sarajevo in a completely different location. Momcilo Mandic and his
4 younger brother, they were honoured to come and excavate foundations for
5 my house. And then I said, "How come you excavated foundations for that
6 weekend cottage and you don't know where it is located?" And he said, "I
7 was asked to say that." And I thought that it would be inappropriate and
8 unnecessary for me to refute these allegation because we had enough
9 evidence to file criminal reports against Mandic for all that he did in
10 his position as assistant minister, but we didn't go through with that.
11 So in order to avoid any confusion, let me remind you that at the
12 36th Session of the Serbian republic -- Serbian Assembly in Pale, it was
13 confirmed that I wanted to arrest him and institute criminal proceedings.
14 But allegedly because he made it possible to make payments to policeman
15 of a police station whom I had suspended because of illegal operations.
16 And now, Mr. President, I have to correct you. Your minister of
17 the interior was a criminal and that was the reason why I filed a
18 criminal report against him and why I initiated a procedure to have him
19 removed from the office.
20 Q. Thank you, Dr. Zepinic. Just one moment.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. TIEGER: I don't want to risk not coming in under my time
23 when I have an opportunity to do that, so that concludes my examination,
24 Mr. President.
25 Q. Thank you, Dr. Zepinic.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Tieger.
2 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Excellencies. I have to do
4 that because the esteemed Mr. Tieger asked questions making references to
5 various statements, but that is his right.
6 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Let us start with the last things that were
8 discussed here. Dr. Zepinic, you said that in an open advertisement for
9 posts, some 400 young men from western Herzegovina applied. In addition
10 to that, did you know about the contingent of several thousand candidates
11 that the SDA had sent to be trained in Croatia?
12 MR. TIEGER: Excuse me, this is -- Dr. Zepinic has been called as
13 Dr. Karadzic's witness. I don't think it's never too early to remind
14 Dr. Karadzic to refrain from leading questions.
15 JUDGE KWON: Do you follow, Mr. Karadzic?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. I'll rephrased it.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Doctor, the 400 men mostly from western Herzegovina, were they
19 included in the contingent or, rather, do you know that the SDA was
20 sending their candidates to undergo training? Did the SDA send their
21 candidates to Croatia to be trained outside of regular MUP channels?
22 A. Dr. Karadzic, you misunderstood me. I did not say that 400
23 candidates applied. I said that they were admitted. I don't know how
24 many of them filed applications. You will have to ask the Ministry of
25 the Interior of Croatia about that. I said that they came from western
1 Herzegovina. But there was some Muslims from other parts of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina and they were entitled to file applications. There
3 was no law that could have prevented them from applying to be trained in
4 Skopje, et cetera. The information that you have that some 5.000 people
5 from the SDA were trained, I don't have that kind of information. So
6 please do not advertise the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia and
7 improve their image because they didn't have the capacity to admit so
8 many people. I don't know who gave you this information. I'm telling
9 you that my ministry didn't have it. We had information that among the
10 400 applicants there was a number of Muslims as well and that is not in
12 Q. Were those men sent by the SDA? By their papers and application
13 papers, et cetera?
14 A. That was an open advertisement and anyone was eligible to apply.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at D360, please, in
17 e-court. D360.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. With all due respect I didn't say 5.000. I said "a few
20 thousand." Now, Dr. Zepinic, could you please look at this instruction
21 for candidates signed by Hasan Cengic and it refers to the training of
22 his men at the MUP of Croatia. Did Hasan Cengic play any role?
23 A. Hasan Cengic was not an employee of the Ministry of the Interior
24 at all. Who gave him the right to refer to any agreements reached
25 between two Ministries of the Interior?
1 Q. Thank you. So you are not familiar with this?
2 A. No, and he didn't have the right on behalf of the Ministry of the
3 Interior to invoke any contacts and communications with the Ministry of
4 the Interior of the Republic of Croatia.
5 Q. Thank you. Dr. Zepinic, did you know where we were staying as
6 the delegation of Bosnian Serbs in Belgrade when we went there?
7 A. Dr. Karadzic, you seem to forget that I was at the head of a
8 service in the Ministry of the Interior. It was only natural,
9 Dr. Karadzic, my friend and colleague, to know every minute detail about
10 your life. I'm sorry for my language, but we had to know how many times
11 a day you visited the lavatory. The ministry had to know with whom you
12 maintained contacts, not only you but everybody else who was in the
13 authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. Thank you. Dr. Zepinic, this is because I cannot put leading
15 questions to you, can you tell me at which hotel we stayed in Belgrade?
16 A. You went to Belgrade so many times, you really expect me to
17 remember everything?
18 Q. Very well. I'm asking you about what you heard about Arkan and
19 the gambling. Do you know that in the Intercontinental Hotel there is a
20 casino as well?
21 A. I am not interested in that. I'm just conveying what I heard
22 from Fikret Abdic.
23 Q. Did anyone tell you what kind of gambling could involve only two
25 A. Dr. Karadzic, your question is unfair. I'm telling you again
1 this information was given me by Mr. Fikret Abdic and he heard it on the
2 barricades when he met with Arkan. Whether there was roulette, whether
3 you played poker, whether there were five or ten of you is beside the
4 point, and the ministry is not interested in that. It was interested in
5 knowing where members of the nationalist parties and Presidency were at
6 the time when the barricades were erected. And why was this hot potato
7 given to the ministry and Dr. Zepinic and the only one who offered some
8 assistance was Biljana Plavsic. Neither Izetbegovic, Ganic, Kljujic, you,
9 or anyone else who could influence the events related to the barricade
10 responded to my pleas. That is what we were interested in. Whether you
11 were really gambling and losing money, that was not our problem.
12 Q. You said today that I knew about your mother. Unfortunately, I
13 heard about that during the proofing session. Can you please tell us how
14 your mother died, was she killed or ...?
15 A. She had a heart attack.
16 Q. Did you ever hear from me that you should be arrested and killed?
17 A. No, I didn't hear it from you. All I'm saying is that there was
18 this information floating around, but you yourself never said that. I
19 must even admit that in certain situations you tried to protect me and
20 defend me from the extremists in your party and my principles of
21 neutrality. You said that it was difficult to remove Vito than Tito
22 simply because there were no arguments to initiate any proceedings
23 against me. You never said to me, at least not publicly that I should be
24 killed, but the service provided me with the information that there were
25 seven attempts on my life and there was no indication that the SDS was
1 behind them except in one instance involving Kerovic when we went to
3 Q. Thank you. Doctor, is it a fact -- what did you say about
4 Kerovic and Bijeljina? But you believed that I knew nothing about it?
5 A. I'm more than certain.
6 Q. Thank you. Your commitment to the brotherhood and unity, was it
7 something that was secret or did you publicly proclaim that?
8 A. Well, to be honest, in all my speeches and public appearances I
9 advocated the brotherhood of unity to remain in our country, and I didn't
10 see any reason for that not to happen. I cannot separate what I thought
11 in private or in public. That was my general commitment.
12 Q. Did I know what your political position was when we nominated you
13 to the MUP?
14 A. Yes, you were quite clear about my position and you can see from
15 my statement that I explained how it came about. And I also mentioned
16 that due to that you were exposed to pressure from the Assembly of the
17 SDS not to accept my nomination, but you opposed these kind of views
18 because you simply said that you want a person of authority and a
19 professional in that position, a person who will not side with any
20 political party. And I really must reiterate that you never insisted on
21 my becoming a member of the SDS because obviously you knew that I would
22 never agree to that.
23 Q. Thank you. And did you have an opportunity of seeing what my
24 attitude was towards others or, more specifically, let me ask you this
25 way. Did you and I take part in the selection of the head of the
1 regional MUP in Banja Luka?
2 A. Yes, we did. If you remember, we had this painstaking
3 conversation, six hours long, because people were pressuring you to take
4 another candidate, whereas I was in favour of keeping Stojan Zupljanin
5 who was the head of the CSB from before. I knew him personally from
6 sports. He had a degree in law. There was no reason to dismiss him. We
7 did discuss that specifically. And I know that Banja Luka never forgave
8 you for that because you agreed to have my candidate, if I can put it
9 that way, stay on rather than the candidate that was proposed by the SDS
10 for the Banja Luka region.
11 Q. Thank you. I'm so glad that you remember that. On pages 74 and
12 75 the learned Mr. Tieger asked you to confirm whether I was counting on
13 the support of the JNA. This is what I would like to ask you: On the
14 whole, what was the SDS in favour of in terms of the state as such?
15 A. Well, that requires a longer elaboration, Dr. Karadzic.
16 Q. Just in relation to Yugoslavia, if I may ask him.
17 A. Well, if I can put it this way, you kept changing your positions,
18 all three parties. In the beginning, before the elections, the national
19 parties clearly said that they would preserve the brotherhood and unity
20 that was there and that there would not be a conflict at all. I would
21 like to remind you of your statement, Dr. Karadzic, when you said if
22 Durakovic wins, there's going to be war. If Izetbegovic wins, we are
23 going to seek agreement; is that correct? I'm going to remind you of
24 your statement that you made when you were the president of the green
25 party, when you said communism is a bad thing but nationalism is even
1 worse. When speaking about Yugoslavia, we have to look at that from
2 another point of view. What does Yugoslavia mean? What does the
3 Rump Yugoslavia mean? Tito's Yugoslavia had to go through certain forms
4 of transformation because the overall world situation called for that.
5 Q. Thank you, Doctor. But let us be specific. Which programme of
6 mine would have been supported by the JNA? What did I think was the
7 case, the programme of preserving Yugoslavia or the programme of
8 secession and of splitting up Bosnia?
9 A. On the basis of the meetings that I personally have with
10 General Kadijevic and his leadership and the two meetings that he had at
11 the Presidency with his delegation, the JNA was Yugoslav and it did not
12 interfere in political decisions and agreements on the fate of the future
13 Yugoslavia. I have to remind you that US Secretary of State James Baker
14 when on the 21st of June, 1991, when he landed in Belgrade he expressed
15 his readiness to have Yugoslavia be preserved, but that certain
16 transformations had to be carried out. Then the JNA was given this
17 mandate to ensure this transformation by peaceful means as much as
18 possible. He talked to Kucan, Milosevic, and Tudjman as he presented
19 this concept of the preservation of Yugoslavia that would be a democratic
20 community, if I can put it that way, of states and peoples. And this
21 political pluralism had to be introduced in Yugoslavia after the League
22 of Communists of Yugoslavia fell apart in January 1991.
23 Q. Thank you, Doctor. I would like you to look at the following.
24 Could I have counted on the support of the JNA for anything else but the
25 preservation of Yugoslavia and did they count on our support in the
1 preservation of Yugoslavia, mobilisations, and so on, you did know
2 something about that, didn't you?
3 A. I don't know whether they counted on your support, I cannot say,
4 because none of them ever confirmed that to me, none of the members of
5 the leadership or of the staff of the JNA. Let me also say straight away
6 that in all the statements that were given and all the meetings, official
7 and unofficial, with the JNA generals, none of them ever said that they
8 would support the concept of the SDS or any national party, not even the
9 concept that was advocated by Mr. Milosevic, that is to say, bringing
10 tanks out into the streets of Belgrade on the 9th of March, 1991. So the
11 JNA tried as much as possible, at least the leadership that I had contact
12 with - now maybe you contacted some other generals or captains or others
13 authorities - but my talks with the General Staff and the generals were
14 only along the following lines of making a joint effort to ensure peace
15 and the peaceful political transformation of Yugoslavia.
16 Q. Thank you. On page 67 you were asked about the statements of
17 Biljana Plavsic and Professor Koljevic is there as well about the
18 functioning of this multi-ethnic society. Did Mrs. Plavsic have a
19 function in the Presidency that had to do with the
20 Ministry of the Interior?
21 A. She was president of the council for protecting the
22 constitutional order of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
23 Q. When meeting her officially or privately, did you see whether she
24 was pleased with how things were developing in terms of the protection of
25 the constitutional order?
1 A. Which constitutional order? Are you referring to
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina or Yugoslavia?
3 Q. In general terms, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Yugoslavia.
4 A. I don't know about whether she was pleased or not, but I do have
5 to remind you that it was precisely you, the national parties, that
6 violated the constitutional provisions of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And in
7 that way you violated all sorts of legal provisions. Mr. Karadzic, I
8 have to remind you of this. The parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
9 Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and you, you did not change a single
10 law, man. You did not change the constitution. You did not pass any
11 amendments to the constitution since you were given this mandate by the
12 European community to set up a government, it was your duty to base your
13 authority on the laws that existed before the elections because you
14 didn't have any new laws. You violated all sorts of constitutional
15 provisions. And therefore, if this is a question of responsibility then
16 there is the responsibility for the way in which you ignored this through
17 the Presidency, through the government, through the Assembly, all the
18 laws that were still in force, including the election of Mr. Izetbegovic
19 as president of the Presidency.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how even the most
21 ordinary decisions were reached in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. Yes, and I'll do so very gladly. At the first session of the
23 newly formed Assembly - and that was on the 22nd of December, 1990, and
24 that lasted for two days - and during those two days you did not manage
25 to reach agreement, not even on setting up an agenda. So you couldn't
1 even agree on the agenda. At the end of that second day, Mr. Krajisnik
2 suggested: People, let us at least elect this Presidency because nothing
3 else seems to be working. And that's how the Presidency was elected. At
4 the next session where I was elected, and that also lasted three days, no
5 agreement was reached. And I could not even take an oath because again
6 you were quarrelling about whether it was supposed to be in Cyrillic,
7 whether it was supposed to include Yugoslavia, whether it should include
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina as an integral part of Yugoslavia, and so on and so
9 forth. So these were futile discussions, a waste of public money. And
10 you could not agree on that at all. So this was a clear reflection of
11 how these organs operated. The national parties brought that to my
13 Q. Thank you, Dr. Zepinic. Do you know, do you remember, what the
14 oath was on the basis of the law and who asked for what kind of
15 changes -- actually, what did the Serbs ask for and what did the
16 secessionists ask for?
17 A. The Serbs asked for the formulation of Yugoslavia only and the
18 Croats wanted "Yugoslavia" to be deleted and the Muslims asked for sort
19 of half-half, if you understand what I'm saying. So these polemics
20 reflected all of this at various meetings until war broke out.
21 Q. At that point in time, did the oath include "Yugoslavia" as such?
22 A. Yes. According to the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that
23 was an integral part. So since you did not change the constitution, what
24 right did you have to discuss any kind of change to the wording of the
1 Q. Thank you. You mentioned today that I was more in favour of the
2 environmental movement than nationalism. Do you remember which was the
3 last national party to be established in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. Do you want me to dictate all the dates to you of all your
6 Q. No, no, no, just give me the order, the sequence.
7 A. The SDA, the H -- actually, it was the HDZ that was first
8 established. Then on the basis of the amendments to the Constitution of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croatian Community that was established by
10 Mate Boban on the 27th of March could not be registered because it
11 included part of the HDZ from Zagreb. So basically the HDZ, with its
12 first president, Perinovic, was the last party that was registered but it
13 was the first party to be established --
14 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, unless you could conclude very
15 shortly, we'll stop here for today.
16 THE ACCUSED: I need, Excellency, 15 to 20 minutes, at least, at
17 the minimum.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
19 Dr. Zepinic, we need to continue tomorrow morning at 9.00. But
20 before doing so I have a couple of matters. The Chamber received a
21 filing from the counsel for Mr. Naser Oric requesting for leave to
22 respond to the Defence's second motion for subpoena. I wonder whether
23 the parties have any observation to make about this?
24 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We would ask that you grant
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tieger.
2 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, I'm -- I don't have any position on
3 it at the moment, but I haven't really been seized of that directly. If
4 you could give us ten minutes to get back to -- I suspect there won't be
5 a problem with that, but I'd rather check with anybody who has looked
6 specifically at the request.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 And in terms of witness schedule, do we have a sufficient number
9 of witnesses for this week, Mr. Robinson?
10 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, we will be going into Friday, but
11 I'm not sure we will have enough witnesses to complete the whole of
13 JUDGE KWON: There's no witness to fill up?
14 MR. ROBINSON: There is a witness that's coming Thursday night
15 but he would have to testify without being proofed. Last time we did
16 that, it didn't work out very well, so we would prefer not to. But if
17 you insisted, we could probably try.
18 JUDGE KWON: Let's see how it evolves.
19 Please have a nice evening, Dr. Zepinic.
20 The hearing is adjourned.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.46 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 14th day of
23 February, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.