1 Wednesday, 26 June 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
8 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, good morning, Mr. President. Mr. President,
9 Colonel Beara is scheduled to testify tomorrow at 9.00 and I received an
10 e-mail from his lawyer yesterday asking that his appearance be postponed
11 until the Appeal Chamber determines the issue of whether a person whose
12 case is pending on appeal can be compelled to testify. That's an issue
13 that's now before the Appeals Chamber in the case of General Tolimir. So
14 we don't disagree that it's reasonable for Colonel Beara who is in the
15 same position, to have -- not be required to testify until that issue is
17 So we join in the request of Mr. Beara's lawyer that his
18 appearance be postponed until that issue is decided.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
20 Would you like to make any observations, Mr. Tieger, about this?
21 MR. TIEGER: No, Mr. President. We think that makes sense.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber will consider the issue but in the
24 meantime we will not hear Mr. Beara's evidence tomorrow.
25 MR. ROBINSON: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Excellencies. Good
3 morning to all.
4 WITNESS: BRANKO GRUJIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
7 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Grujic.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. The same goes for both me and you today as well, we should speak
10 slowly, clearly and pause. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we briefly move into private
12 session, please?
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: We are now in open session.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have 1D1417, please? I
10 don't think this is what I asked for. I believe that that's not that
12 JUDGE KWON: Number again?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] D1417. Maybe it's 14 --
14 JUDGE KWON: What we saw was 1D1417.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] D -- I see. Thank you. That has
16 already been admitted.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Could you tell us what this document is, just tell us that, who
19 issued it and what does it pertain to? Please enlarge the Serbian
21 A. This is the Ministry of the Interior, the service from Valjevo
22 sent this to the district public Prosecutor's office in Sabac. This is a
23 criminal report against Dusan Vuckovic and Vojin Vuckovic.
24 Q. Thank you. Could we go further down to see what this shorter
25 passage says? Do you see the three lines on the bottom?
1 A. Oh, at the bottom. Due to reasonable grounds to suspect that as
2 co-perpetrators they committed the crime of war crime against ...
3 Q. Against who?
4 A. The civilian population.
5 Q. Thank you. Could we have the next page now, please? The last
6 paragraph, please, where it says the Yellow Wasps, Zute Ose, and
7 Vuckovic, Dusan as a member of that unit, what was it that they
8 organised, torture, killing, do you see that?
9 A. Yes. Precisely, that's what I said yesterday, that when I talked
10 to a particular official I actually said that.
11 Q. Thank you. Could we have the next page now, please? Do you
12 remember what you said, how many persons had they killed?
13 A. I didn't know exactly how many.
14 Q. Thank you. In the last paragraph here, around the middle, it
15 says, 19 persons; is that right?
16 A. That was established at the trial in Belgrade.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you know that they had taken these steps?
18 A. I found out only later, from the newspapers, TV, et cetera, when
19 they were brought in for the trial.
20 Q. Thank you. D2269, could we please take a look at that now?
21 Could you tell us briefly what this is and what it pertains to?
22 A. This is an indictment against Dusko Vuckovic and Vojin Vuckovic,
23 two brothers.
24 Q. Thank you. Could we now have D482? Can you tell us what this
1 A. This is a judgement on the basis of which they were convicted for
2 the crimes they committed.
3 Q. The supreme court of Serbia actually increased the sentence on
4 appeal because the prosecutor appealed.
5 A. Yes, from eight to 12.
6 Q. Thank you. Not going into the expeditiousness of the judiciary
7 in the Balkans, are you on the whole satisfied with the solution that was
8 ultimately reached through judiciary channels?
9 A. I believe that this is based on the justice of God, as we say.
10 Q. Thank you. You were asked about volunteers. Can you tell us
11 whether you knew at the time how the law regulated the question of
13 A. I knew a little bit, as much as I could. I think the
14 Supreme Commander, the government, or someone from Yugoslavia or Serbia,
15 I cannot tell you exactly, reached a decision to the effect that
16 volunteers are considered to be the regular army and shall be part of the
17 regular army.
18 Q. Thank you. On page 50 it was suggested to you the learned
19 Prosecutor spoke about volunteers, and then in her question she changed
20 that and she said that you had probably welcomed the paramilitaries. Can
21 you tell us whether you did welcome paramilitaries or whether you
22 welcomed volunteers and what did they say when they came? Did they say
23 they were volunteers or paramilitaries?
24 A. For the most part they came as volunteers who came to help their
25 people, their people who were imperilled in Bosnia, in Zvornik, at the
1 time. We took them in as our very own and we sent them to the regular
2 command of the TO and then they were deployed in certain units where
3 there was a shortage of soldiers.
4 Q. Thank you. How did they become paramilitaries? Did all
5 volunteers become paramilitaries and through which act did that happen?
6 A. No. God forbid. There were many of them that fought honourably
7 and even laid down their lives in the defence of the Serb people. They
8 became paramilitaries when they got out of the chain of command that
9 existed there under the command of the Territorial Defence, when they no
10 longer obeyed the command of the Territorial Defence, when they would
11 just wander about and do whatever they pleased, then they were not the
12 military any longer, then they were paramilitaries.
13 Q. Thank you. On page 46, you were asked about mobilisation. You
14 explained that this was some kind of a test mobilisation that you had
15 declared on the 5th of April, 1992. Can you remind us when it was that
16 Alija Izetbegovic declared general mobilisation for all municipalities in
18 A. I think that was on the 4th of April. I'm not quite sure of the
19 date. Alija quite simply declared that as president and
20 Supreme Commander of Bosnia-Herzegovina. He declared this general
22 Q. Thank you. Could we briefly take a look at 1D43108?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Hasn't been released, Mr. Karadzic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just a minute of patience, please.
25 Thank you. New number, 1D44050. New number. It seems that there is no
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Can you read who it was that wrote this and can you read the
5 A. This was written by some Hasan Efendic on the
6 17th of November, 1999, and it says development and growth of defence
7 liberation forces from 1992 to 1995.
8 Q. Thank you. Can we have page 3 in e-court, maybe it's even
9 page 2, we'll see. Can we have -- first, could we have the second page,
10 or no, the third one. Yes. Now, please take a look at this long
11 paragraph, the third one, but please just tell us this: The Presidency
12 at the 94th session on the 3rd of April --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- considered several requests for mobilisation, units in their
15 area, and then a conclusion was reached at the session held on the
16 4th of April; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Last sentence?
19 A. Which one do you mean?
20 Q. "To carry out mobilisation ..."
21 A. I cannot find it:
22 "To carry out mobilisation of the entire reserve police force of
23 the SRBH in compliance with previous decisions of the Presidency of the
24 government of the SRBH."
25 In my opinion it is one of a very good but belated decisions
1 which means that this should have been done earlier.
2 Q. When they say all the municipalities, did that include Zvornik?
3 A. Yes. All the municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including
5 Q. Thank you. Can this be admitted for identification?
6 JUDGE KWON: Did the witness read out something at all from this
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, a few sentences.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
11 JUDGE KWON: I cannot find it, to carry out mobilisation of the
12 entire reserve police for the SRBH in compliance with previous decisions.
13 Is this part of this document or the witness's evidence?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I was reading.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was read out. It's part of the
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will mark it for identification.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: Just -- of course, it can be marked. I just want
19 to note that we may have objections based on a lack of foundation with
20 this document. We will wait to see the translation first and make our
21 submissions in due course.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will mark it for identification.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D3731.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. On page 38 of yesterday's transcript, it was suggested to you
1 with relation to what you had said that you were reporting that
2 Jovo Mijatovic as a deputy was submitting reports to the central office.
3 Can you tell us is there any written report and can you tell us during
4 which period was Mijatovic able to go to Pale?
5 A. I know that he was under blockade initially. I don't know for
6 how many months, but I don't remember when the road was unblocked.
7 Q. Were there any written reports?
8 A. Very rarely. It was him who mainly communicated with the central
10 Q. Thank you. On pages 35, you were asked about the document called
11 A and B, and you heard quotations from the trial in Belgrade and it was
12 put to you that you believe that the instructions had come directly from
13 Radovan Karadzic. Can you tell us who from Zvornik attended the meeting
14 on the 19th of December, 1992 [as interpreted], of the SDS, who attended
15 the meeting, who brought this?
16 A. It was Jovo Mijatovic who went there.
17 Q. You were not there?
18 A. Well, I really don't believe. I may have been there but I really
19 don't remember.
20 Q. Did Mr. Mijatovic explain how he received this paper and how it
21 was adopted and how the voting was done?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between
23 questions and answers.
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Grujic, could you repeat your answer?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Jovo Mijatovic said that the
1 document had been given to him by the secretariat to take it to Zvornik,
2 and he offered no explanation as to whether there was any voting on it or
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: The accused referred to a meeting on
7 19 December 1992, or at least that's how it came out in translation.
8 I think it was intended to be 1991.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe it's a matter of
11 translation. I did say "1991."
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1991.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. On page 25, line 18, there is an ambiguity. You said since this
15 unit was lined up, and then you spoke about what the Serbs undertook and
16 what was happening after the unit had been lined up. Which unit did you
17 have in mind, because it's not clear?
18 A. I was referring to the unit of the Patriotic League lined up on
19 this 17th of October, 1991, in the village of Godus under full combat
20 equipment and they were using nationalistic slogans that had a
21 threatening tone aimed at the Serbian people.
22 Q. Thank you. On page 24, there was mention of the way in which the
23 weapons were distributed to the local boards. However, there is no such
24 thing in the Serbian original. Was -- were the weapons distributed to
25 the party boards?
1 A. No. As far as I know, it was distributed to individuals in each
2 village, so that then they have a couple of weapons in order to defend
3 themselves in the event of an attack.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you speak English?
5 A. No, I don't. I speak a little German.
6 Q. During these interview, did you have your own interpreter who was
7 controlling their interpreter?
8 A. No, I didn't.
9 Q. Thank you. On page 23, you wanted to explain something about the
10 procurement of weapons in the Serbian version but you were interrupted
11 and then I had to do it. Could you kindly tell us what it was that you
12 wanted to say about the weapons obtained by the Serbian side?
13 A. I said yesterday that the Serbian side procured weapons
14 individually on the black market. You said that even I bought a rifle
15 for myself on the black market and I said that only one batch of weapons
16 arrived with the aid of Mr. Spasojevic and that it was distributed to the
17 villages a couple of pieces each, and this is as far as the arming go.
18 At the beginning of the war, when Arkan was there already, since the army
19 didn't want to return the weapons to the TO that were kept in their
20 custody --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Grujic, the interpreters again are unable to
23 follow you. Could you repeat from "... since the army didn't want to
24 return the weapons to the TO that were kept in their custody." That's --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm sorry,
1 Mr. President. Since the weapons of the TO staff was in custody of the
2 JNA and the JNA did not want to return the weapons, then Arkan called
3 General Savo Jankovic by phone and he nearly threatened him that if he
4 didn't send the weapons to Zvornik, he would come over himself to take it
5 over. Two or three hours later Savo Jankovic sent the weapons and they
6 arrived at the TO staff.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us this: It was suggested to you that
9 the Muslims of Kozluk had signed that they were leaving voluntarily but
10 these were false signatures. When they crossed the border, were they
11 able to tell the truth?
12 A. They were allowed to tell the truth any place, in Kozluk, in
13 Serbia, in Serbia, to the media, they thanked the authorities of Zvornik
14 for having been treated in a humane way. They were allowed to leave
15 without any problems, that they were provided with the means of
16 transportation, et cetera. However, later on, somebody saw an
17 opportunity of -- to qualify this voluntary departure as a forced
18 expulsion or forced relocation. This is totally untrue. There was no
19 forced relocation.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have now Prosecution
22 Exhibit P106? I believe we have an English translation.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Is it true that this is the Serbian commissioner for refugees and
25 they reviewed written statement of 1.822 persons from Kozluk who stated
1 that they wanted to leave Yugoslavia without any pressure whatsoever and
2 to go to West European countries, and in conclusion it says that the
3 above given statements were given on their own behalf. What could
4 possibly have forced them to lie to the authorities of Serbia since there
5 were now people from Zvornik?
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please start his answer from
7 the beginning.
8 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your question from the beginning?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is true. This is not a lie at
10 all. These people signed the statement that they were leaving
11 voluntarily and they indeed left voluntarily.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, did the Yellow Wasps ever return to
14 Zvornik? Were they allowed to return and were they welcomed after the
16 A. As far as I know, following the arrests, some of them did return,
17 but very soon thereafter they were chased out again.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at D1418?
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Can you tell us what this is?
22 A. This is a list of persons banned from entering the
23 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. Do you know whether this ban was complied with?
25 A. I cannot guarantee this because I was not in a position to
1 control what the police and the army were doing.
2 Q. Thank you. And the last question: You mentioned that people
3 were called to come back. Did this call refer to the Serbs and tell us
4 to whom did it refer?
5 A. It referred to all the citizens of Zvornik who had left the
6 territory, both the Muslims and the Serbs, to go back to their homes and
7 to their places of work.
8 Q. You said that a number of people from both communities did
9 return. What was the position of the Muslim leadership of Zvornik
10 municipality to those people?
11 A. The Muslim leadership of Zvornik had already fled. They were not
12 there on the spot in order to communicate with them. However, the people
13 returned, nobody bothered them, they were able to exercise all their
14 rights and they were treated fairly by all the organs of the municipality
15 of Zvornik, like the municipality organs and the police.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Karadzic please repeat the number of
18 the document?
19 JUDGE KWON: Please repeat the number of the document.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P01622 [as interpreted].
21 D, Defence; not P.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Take a look at this proclamation adopted on the 8th of May, 1992,
24 by the leadership of the Muslim municipality.
25 A. This is their leadership in exile and this is a letter addressed
1 to their people, calling upon them as it says in paragraph C, Muslims,
2 rise to the arms, go to the woods or a free territory, place yourselves
3 at the disposal of the Territorial Defence. They even called upon the
4 people who remained in Zvornik to go to the woods to join them and to
5 take arms.
6 Q. Please read the next sentence where you stopped after
7 "Territorial Defence of the municipality."
8 A. "Do not go back to the town," or, I think, "villages," but,
9 rather --
10 Q. No, no, it says "Do not go ..."
11 A. I cannot read it. Oh, yes:
12 "Do not go to work or get involved in any other business
13 activities that would give legitimacy to the occupation power."
14 That means that they are addressing all the workers and
15 administrative staff to refrain from going to work in order to deprive
16 the incumbent authorities of their authority and power.
17 Q. Thank you. Regarding refugees, you were asked a question and you
18 said that there were 20.000 refugee Serbs from the Federation. Where did
19 you accommodate those people?
20 A. Mr. President, that's a small figure. Somebody wrote the wrong
21 number. We had from 35.000 to 40.000 refugees pass through Zvornik from
22 the beginning until the end of the war. In the beginning, we would put
23 them in schools. Some families also took people in. They would take
24 them and place them in their homes and then when there was no more room,
25 then we formed a commission which used houses abandoned by Muslim
1 citizens. Then all the property was inventoried in the house, and then a
2 family would be allowed to use those housing facilities temporarily so
3 that when the family would leave that accommodation, they would have to
4 hand back everything that was originally listed as being in that flat or
6 Q. And did it happen, Mr. Grujic, that the local population
7 unlawfully occupied housing units, and in that case what did you do?
8 A. There were such cases and we reacted energetically. We would
9 return them back to their property or home immediately.
10 Q. And in our legal system, what is that procedure called when
11 somebody is denied the right to move in?
12 A. Well, it's not denied in any way. It's not your house so get
13 out. You have your own house. You don't need another one. We did not
14 have any proceedings and drag them through the courts. It was an
15 extraordinary situation, extraordinary times.
16 Q. Thank you. And do you see any difference between "iseliti" and
17 "proterati," "move out" and "expel"?
18 A. Move out and return someone to their own house is one category.
19 Expel is something else. It means to seize somebody's home and their
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at 1D--
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the number.
23 JUDGE KWON: To be clear, tell us how to spell those two words in
24 B/C/S, "move out" and "expel."
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You're asking me, right? "Iseliti"
1 is i-s-e-l-i-t-i; and "to expel," "proterati," is p-r-o-t-e-r-a-t-i.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Could you repeat the number, 65 ter number?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D3982.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Could you please tell us what this document is that you issued,
6 the document on the right-hand side?
7 A. This document is intended as instruction to free up a sports hall
8 or a sports centre, as we called it. We used it as a reception section.
9 This is where we received all the refugees. That was their first point
10 of contact. And then after that the commission would assign them
11 accommodation depending on the number of family members. They would be
12 placed in empty housing and they would get a temporary decision allowing
13 them to use somebody else's property.
14 Q. Thank you. And did there occur anywhere an unlawful change of
15 ownership in -- of property and was that property later restored to their
16 rightful owners?
17 A. No. Such cases did not take place, but the temporarily used
18 property, all of it, was eventually returned to their rightful owners.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation] Could we -- I would like to tender
20 this document, please.
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: No objection.
22 JUDGE KWON: We will receive it.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3732, Your Honours.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could I now have
25 P147A -- P1478, Mladic's diary, Serbian version, 252, English version,
1 254. Can we please look at the typed pages? Well, it's possible that
2 it's already typewritten. Serbian 252, English 254.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Could you please tell us, we are talking about the second
5 paragraph from the top, "We he had to evict some of the people also for
6 the sake of our 'heroes' who fled from Kovacevici." Could you please
7 explain what these quotation marks indicate and what does that mean, this
9 A. Could you please tell me again where? I cannot find the place.
10 Q. It's the left-hand side, top part of the page.
11 A. Thank you. Believe me, I really don't know what he meant here,
12 what he says here.
13 Q. And how do you understand this word "heroes" in quotation marks
14 who fled from Kovacevici?
15 A. That means deserters who fled from the front line.
16 Q. Did you evict Muslims or your locals who were not permitted to
17 illegally occupy somebody else's property?
18 A. Only those who had their own house.
19 JUDGE KWON: That's a leading question.
20 MS. GUSTAFSON: And, in fact, I think Dr. Karadzic has to move on
21 here. He said -- he asked him what this meant, and the witness said,
22 "... believe me, I really don't know what he meant here," and then he
23 asks a leading question looking for a particular answer. He's asked the
24 question, the witness in a non-leading way, the witness says he doesn't
25 know. I think he should move on.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Could we look at the
2 previous page, please?
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Can you please tell us how you understood the tone and the sense
5 of this last sentence, at the bottom, "We were the most active in
6 evicting Muslims"?
7 A. Well, this is in quotation marks; is that right?
8 Q. How did you understand it and do you recall him speaking about
10 A. Well, I don't recall him talking about it. Perhaps I had gone
11 out for that. I don't think that I can answer this honestly and
12 adequately, this question.
13 Q. And they translated it, and I'm going to read it to you now.
14 A. I believe that this is an error, erroneously written down.
15 I wasn't present. I really cannot answer this question.
16 Q. Does it say here, "iseljavanje," "moving out," or "proterivanje,"
17 "expel," "expulsion"?
18 A. No. It can be moving out at their request. Perhaps assistance
19 was given to those people at their request to go to the territory under
20 Muslim control or to a foreign country. If that is what he meant, then
21 it's all right. If he meant something else, then really I don't know.
22 I couldn't say anything about it.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
25 MS. GUSTAFSON: Perhaps this is over but Dr. Karadzic is now
1 providing his own interpretations of words.
2 JUDGE KWON: I find that his comments is fair. It's referring to
3 the difference between "iseliti" and "proterati."
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: Right, except that he translated them himself
5 into English.
6 JUDGE KWON: No, no. This passage was shown to the witness in
7 your cross-examination.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, Your Honour. My concern is that
9 Dr. Karadzic provided his own translations from B/C/S into English in the
10 question. If he has a concern with the translation as it's written here,
11 he should go through the appropriate channels to seek a revision. That's
12 my concern.
13 JUDGE KWON: I think the witness confirmed or agreed with
14 Mr. Karadzic's observation as to the meaning of "iseliti" and "proterati"
15 earlier on. So on that basis I will allow Mr. Karadzic to continue that
16 question, but let's continue. The Chamber is -- the issue is noted by
17 the Chamber. Please carry on.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellencies.
19 Mr. Grujic, thank you. The Defence rests.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Grujic, could you tell us the position you took
22 during the war? I take it you were the president of the SDS party but
23 I just a minute ago I saw the position as the president of the temporary
25 A. I have to give a broader explanation. I was the president of the
1 municipal board of the SDS, but just before the war broke out, when Arkan
2 arrived, we continued to negotiate with the Muslims about a peaceful
3 resolution in Zvornik. At no cost did we even consider that there would
4 be a conflict. That's why we continued with the negotiations. The
5 negotiations were conducted in the Mali Zvornik hotel. Arkan found out
6 about it, went to the hotel in Mali Zvornik and acted very cunningly. He
7 entered the room where the negotiations were underway and he beat up our
8 Serbian negotiators, the president of the Municipal Assembly,
9 Jovo Mijatovic, and the Executive Board president, Jovo Mijatovic
10 [as interpreted], in front of the Muslims, and he ordered them to place a
11 white flag the following morning at 7.00 a.m. on the municipal building
12 and if this does not happen, the --
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear everything that he
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And then when -- I'm just coming to
16 that, I'm just coming to that.
17 JUDGE KWON: Just tell us your position you took during the war.
18 A. Yes. That's precisely what I wanted to say. Now, since
19 Jovo Ivanovic [as interpreted] was beaten up, he submitted his
20 resignation as president of the Executive Board at that same moment and
21 went to the factory to work. Since then that post was empty, and it was
22 not possible to convene an assembly that would elect the Executive Board
23 president. Then the Crisis Staff chose me to be acting president of the
24 Executive Board, so that is why I was there temporarily until the
25 assembly had the opportunity to convene and elect a new president of the
1 executive -- of the municipal board and that's how I ended up carrying
2 out that duty for a couple of months or so, until the Yellow Wasps
3 attacked. So I was acting president of the Executive Board for that
4 period, and that's how that came about.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I take it that you continued to be the
6 president of the municipal board of the SDS in 1995?
7 A. I was later replaced as president of the municipality and
8 president of the municipal board.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. So you were the president of the
10 municipality of Zvornik in 1995?
11 A. Yes. No, no, no, no. I was actually replaced already in late
13 JUDGE KWON: So what were you in 1995?
14 A. I was the president of the municipal board for a couple of
15 months. I continued to be at the post of the party president. I didn't
16 have any other posts.
17 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Neither the Prosecution nor the Defence
18 asked you a question about 1995. So I'd like to ask you to tell us what
19 you know about the killing of prisoners who were taken to the Zvornik
20 area after the Srebrenica had been fallen.
21 A. In 1995, I went back to my private business. I was managing my
22 private bakery, bakery, pastry shop so I did not get involved in any kind
23 of government organ. What I heard from citizens, these stories, I think
24 there is no point in me repeating that. There were different stories
25 going around, none of them would really be relevant enough for me to tell
1 you about them here.
2 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Thank you. Then unless my colleagues
3 have a question for you, that concludes your evidence, Mr. Grujic. On
4 behalf of the Chamber, I'd like to thank you for your coming to The Hague
5 to give it. Now you're free to go.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Would you just permit me, please,
7 to greet my president?
8 JUDGE KWON: He must have accepted your will already so that will
9 not be allowed.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE KWON: While the next witness is being called in, the
13 Chamber is seized of the motion from the Prosecution to redact some
14 paragraphs of the next witness's statement. Considering that some parts
15 of the paragraphs referred to in the Prosecution motion contained
16 detailed evidence about events in Doboj which is not a municipality
17 charged in the indictment, the Chamber grants the Prosecution motion in
18 part in and order to redact the paragraphs 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 31 and 34,
19 and it denies the remainder of the motion; i.e. paragraphs 12, 18 and 19
20 will remain.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, sir. Good morning, sir.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
24 JUDGE KWON: Would you make the solemn declaration, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: MILAN NINKOVIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Ninkovic. Please be seated and make
5 yourself comfortable.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE KWON: Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Ninkovic,
8 I must draw your attention to a certain Rule of evidence that we have
9 here at the International Tribunal. That is Rule 90(E). Under this
10 Rule, you may object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic, the
11 Prosecution, or even from the Judges if you believe that your answer
12 might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In this context,
13 "incriminate" means saying something that might amount to an admission of
14 guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that might provide
15 evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence.
16 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you
17 and as a consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you
18 know that the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the
19 question. But in that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your
20 testimony, compelled in such circumstances, would not be used in any case
21 that might be laid against you for any offence, save and except the
22 offence of giving false testimony.
23 Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Ninkovic?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
3 Q. [Interpretation]Good day, Mr. Ninkovic.
4 A. Good day, Mr. President.
5 Q. I would like us both to bear in mind that we should speak slowly
6 and pause between questions and answers.
7 A. Fine.
8 Q. Mr. Ninkovic, did you give a statement to the Defence team?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could we please have 1D9230 in e-court. You see the statement
11 before you on the screen?
12 A. Yes, the beginning.
13 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Please just pause a bit more before you start answering.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 the last page so that he can identify his signature?
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Is that your signature?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you said
22 to the Defence team?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today,
25 would your answers basically be the same as those contained in this
2 A. They would be the same.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
5 statement, Your Excellencies, according to Rule 92 ter.
6 JUDGE KWON: We will deal with the associated exhibits
7 separately. Subject to that redaction on which the Chamber has just
8 ruled, do you have any objections?
9 MS. PACK: No objections, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE KWON: It will be admitted.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3733, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
13 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We have presented
14 18 associated exhibits, five of which are not on our 65 ter list which we
15 would add -- ask be added since we did not have all those documents at
16 the time we interviewed this witness. Two of those documents have now
17 been ruled out by virtue of the redaction so we are offering 16
18 associated exhibits.
19 JUDGE KWON: I will tell the numbers of the exhibit the Chamber
20 finds some issues with. 1D9231; 1D26075; 1D26097; 1D26103, referred to
21 in para 38; 65 ter 22049, referred to in para 43; 30012, referred to in
22 paragraph 32. The Chamber finds them either not forming a part -- an
23 indispensable and inseparable part of the statement or not relevant to
24 the case of the accused. So in order for the Defence to tender them, it
25 should lead live as well as showing the relevance of those documents.
1 Otherwise, do you have any objection to the remaining associated exhibit,
2 Ms. Pack?
3 MS. PACK: No objections to the remaining associated exhibits.
4 JUDGE KWON: They will be admitted and be assigned exhibit number
5 in due course by the Registrar. Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I'm going to read
7 out the summary of Mr. Milan Ninkovic's statement in the English
9 [In English] Milan Ninkovic is one of the founders of the SDS and
10 was the leader of the Serbs in Doboj. He served as a deputy of the
11 National Assembly president and was -- deputy in the National Assembly
12 and was appointed deputy president of the commission for national defence
13 and control of the work of the State Security Service. At the end of the
14 war, he became minister of defence. At the time of the appearance of the
15 SDA and the HDZ, Serbian people in BH had no intention of becoming
16 politically active or uniting on ethnic principles because it was assumed
17 at the time that the Serbian people could express their cultural and
18 national interests through the Prosvjeta educational and cultural
19 association. Before the founding of the SDS, there was not a single
20 political party or organisation among the Serbian people which could
21 represent its interests.
22 At the first multi-party elections in 1990, the SDS won majority
23 of the municipality -- in the municipality of Doboj, as well as the
24 region around it. As for the national level, the SDS was involved in a
25 special struggle against majority voting or outvoting of the coalition of
1 the two other peoples which was noticed as early as in 1991. The Serbian
2 people were waging a great and difficult fight to remain in Yugoslavia
3 because the secessionist intentions of the Muslims and Croats were
4 obvious. The referendum for the independence of BH was conducted without
5 including the Serbian population and BH was recognised on the same day as
6 the Muslim holiday of Bajram. In late 1991 and early 1992, the Serbian
7 people were fighting to remain a constituent people in BH and within
8 their ethnic entities. This is the reason why the Serbs accepted the
9 Cutileiro Plan which recognised them as one of the entities of BH. The
10 Muslims on the other side, after initial accepting, rejected the plan
11 because they intended BH to be fully under Muslim control and for the
12 Serbs to be a minority with no influence.
13 Muslims started organising in paramilitary units of the
14 Patriotic League and the Green Berets even though the JNA existed at that
15 time. Since Yugoslavia had its own armed force, the Serbs responded to
16 the mobilisation and served in that army. The leadership of
17 Republika Srpska and the leadership of Serbia and Yugoslavia had constant
18 quarrels in 1993 and earlier but specifically after 1994, August 1994,
19 when all relations were suspended including even communications. The
20 interruption of the relation proves in every way that the leadership of
21 the Republika Srpska was not an extended arm of the authorities in
22 Serbia. Already in April 1992, Muslims and Croats set up barricades on
23 numerous roads in the municipality of Doboj.
24 MS. PACK: My apologies for interrupting, Dr. Karadzic, but at
25 this point it may be that some of the summary relates to part of the
1 statement that had been removed on Your Honour's order. So just to
2 highlight that as an observation.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: Yes, but, Excellency, I didn't know that it's going
5 to be, and it is not evidence anyway. So why it couldn't be --
6 JUDGE KWON: While it is not evidence there is no need for you to
7 continue to read that part, but please pay attention to the redaction and
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I must admit it's hard for me now
10 to be able to tell just off the cuff. I heard a moment ago, and I didn't
11 have time to adjust things in the summary.
12 JUDGE KWON: Shall we take a break now for half an hour? Yes, we
13 will resume at 10 to 11.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.16 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.53 a.m.
16 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
17 MR. KARADZIC: I continue in English.
18 From the beginning of the conflict until late June, early July
19 1992, the Doboj Crisis Staff did not have any contact with or receive any
20 instructions from the republican authorities in Pale, since Doboj and
21 Teslic were the only municipalities in the entire Doboj region that
22 remained under the control of Serbian forces and were completely cut off
23 from the Serbian leadership. Established in May and June 1992, the
24 Crisis Staff was created by the municipal organs because of the imminent
25 threat of war. Its role was to supply and assist the population and
1 organise the efficient work of the municipal organs. The Crisis Staff
2 did not extend its powers to the police or the army and it stopped
3 working soon after the municipality got organised.
4 Before the signing of the Dayton Accord, Republika Srpska had a
5 very specific military organisation. Since the Supreme Commander had to
6 share his power with the commander of the general headquarters, since the
7 May 12 1992, this post was held by General Mladic because of this duality
8 of command, the relationship between Mladic and Karadzic were unbearable.
9 At that time, the Supreme Commander did not have any role or
10 responsibility in respect to the approving of military operations. Its
11 only role was to discuss and resolve the army's logistical problems due
12 to the grave material and financial situation in the army itself and
13 Republika Srpska. Dr. Karadzic was against the military operation in
14 Srebrenica and he expressed his concern during a Supreme Command meeting
15 which also attended by Milan Ninkovic, and in 1993 Karadzic strongly
16 opposed the advance of the army towards Srebrenica.
17 They also met in order to discuss the poor functioning of the
18 authorities in the municipality. Dr. Karadzic was concerned about the
19 difficulty to establish the rule of law and to protect the personal
20 safety and property of all civilians regardless of ethnicity.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ninkovic, since the Trial Chamber excluded a
22 few paragraphs from the statement that have to do with Doboj for the most
23 part, I'm going to put a few questions to you, live, in relation to that.
24 Could you tell us, first, when the war started or, rather, when the
25 fighting started in Doboj and who was fighting in Northern Bosnia and
2 A. If we look at the broader region in Posavina, Bosanski Brod,
3 Derventa the fighting started considerably earlier, a month or two before
4 the conflict broke out on the 3rd of May, 1992, in Doboj. The population
5 from these areas fled to Doboj. The roads were blockaded, the approaches
6 to Doboj, because Doboj is a big centre and roads lead in several
7 directions from there. The fighting started on the 3rd of May because of
8 the blockade of roads because the JNA had the deadline by which it was
9 supposed to withdraw from these territories. That was the
10 19th of May, 1992. Otherwise, in Doboj, there were four military
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, to clarify, the Chamber ordered
13 redaction of those paragraphs because it found those paragraphs not
14 relevant. It didn't mean to tell you to lead live about those
15 paragraphs. Mr. Robinson, I take it Mr. Karadzic understood that point.
16 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, I'm not asking
18 about those paragraphs now. I want to establish something about the
19 broader area of Northern Bosnia where some municipalities are. Actually,
20 Brcko and others are included in the indictment. I want to see when the
21 fighting started and who was involved in the fighting and what the
22 influence of the civilian authorities was. For example, I could do that
23 in this case of Doboj because out of 62 municipalities, only 20 are in
24 the indictment, and 42 municipalities are not included, although it is
25 claimed that there had been a system that it was the system that was
1 spurring crimes and was involved in war in the first place.
2 JUDGE KWON: Please continue. But your first statement was not
3 clear. That was the reason for my intervention. Please continue.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Ninkovic, so who was it who was involved in fighting in
7 Northern Bosnia, in all these municipalities around Doboj and in Doboj
8 itself after the 3rd of May?
9 A. All the fighting in Northern Bosnia, in the so-called region of
10 Posavina, was waged by the JNA led by Colonel Stublincevic for the most
11 part. As far as I can remember, he was withdrawing, and Ugljevik was his
12 ultimate destination in eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina. The fighting in
13 Bosanska Posavina took place in Bosanski Brod, Derventa, Odzak, Modrica,
14 Samac, and partly in Brcko.
15 Q. Thank you. What was the influence of the civilian authorities
16 over this fighting up until the 20th of May?
17 A. Well, you see, the position of the JNA was that civilian
18 authorities should by no means interfere in military matters. They just
19 asked us to take care of the wounded, also, to man the army because at
20 that time point in time, most of the members of the army came from the
21 Republic of Serbia, all its different parts, and this army was
22 withdrawing and part of the army were these young conscripts, the young
23 army as they are known. They had no experience, they were withdrawing
24 and they had no experience in terms of warfare and defence. The
25 objective of the army was to remove barricades. There were barricades on
1 all sides. The de-blockade of barricades, withdrawal and handing over
2 different towns one by one, Derventa, Brod, Odzak and others, Modrica
3 too. All of these refugees then went towards Doboj and found refuge in
5 Q. What were the plans of the civilian authorities, the Serb
6 authorities, in these municipalities? How were the problems supposed to
7 be resolved?
8 A. Our position, especially in Doboj, if I may say, headed by
9 myself, was that everything should be resolved by peaceful means, for
10 several reasons. We were a mixed community. In my town, in Doboj, the
11 structure was as follows: The president of the national defence counsel
12 was the president of the assembly and he was an ethnic Muslim,
13 Ahmed Alicic [phoen], also there were meetings that were often held
14 between the executive and the military and the Municipal Assembly. We
15 tried to resolve problems altogether, but they became increasingly
16 complicated because paramilitary units were formed like the Patriotic
17 League, the HVO and the Green Berets.
18 Q. Thank you. I'd like to show you an intercept, an interpretation
19 that the Croatian secret service provided, and the president of the SDS
20 of Doboj, Vinkovic, Milan is referred to. Is there a person by that
22 A. I don't think there are any Vinkovics in that area, in that part
23 of the republic. I think that that probably relates to me personally.
24 Q. Which positions did you hold in the municipality on the
25 4th of April, 1992?
1 A. The 4th of April, 1992? I did not hold a single important
2 position, if I can put it that way. I was a member of parliament, and it
3 is true that I was cut off from my superiors; in fact, by then, we were
4 cut off from Pale, the leadership, and so on. So, I mean, I wasn't the
5 commander of the Crisis Staff or the president of the War Presidency,
6 although ex officio as a member of parliament I was a member of the
7 Crisis Staff. However, I'm not sure, because some documents say that
8 I was and others that I wasn't a member of the War Presidency, too. May
9 I say something else? Doboj is an exception. If we bear in mind the
10 instructions often referred to here, instructions in critical situations,
11 in crises, Variant B was supposed to be applied in Doboj, that says that
12 the president of the municipal board, and that was I, should be commander
13 of the Crisis Staff. However, we in Doboj thought, and that is what
14 I claim to this day, that this document was not binding because this
15 document had undergone a procedure that had not actually been adopted,
16 signed or registered. I was not commander of the Crisis Staff, as I was
17 supposed to be on the basis of those instructions.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please show this on the
20 ELMO because I don't know the e-court number. The intercepts, I mean.
21 The intercept of the Croatian secret service.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Can you read this out to us.
24 A. Inter alia, Colonel Stublincevic when speaking to the president
25 of the SDS of Doboj.
1 Q. Do others see this? I cannot find it.
2 A. Vinkovic, Milan is asking this one to be more involved in
3 organising the medical service, taking in refugees and supplying food,
4 whereas he should be allowed to carry out this operation because now,
5 when combat starts he has to think of units, also he is asking the same
6 person not to send small groups of people to him but, rather, at least a
8 I did not mobilise people and, I mean, I did not have such
9 powers. Secondly once in Podnovlje I met this Colonel Stublincevic, and
10 he was speeding things up in order to withdraw from the Posavina theatre
11 of war. As I've already mentioned, I think that his ultimate destination
12 was Ugljevik. And then he clashed with part of the officers there, and
13 I happened to be there, I don't know why, so I saw this quarrel and this
14 meeting simply broke down. It almost turned into an incident. I never
15 saw Stublincevic again, and I never sent him, I mean, any kind of groups
16 or for me to send him a company. That makes no sense whatsoever because
17 he had the JNA with him, the army.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 A. Sorry, I also have to say that this Colonel Stublincevic was not
20 very well liked among the population because -- because of the withdrawal
21 of the JNA he was removing barricades, and when he would do that, and
22 when JNA units would pass there, then everything would remain the same.
23 The Muslim-Croat forces would take the roads again, as well as the
24 already-taken locations.
25 Q. Thank you. But what was the attitude of the SDS and the Doboj
1 municipal authorities regarding the response to mobilisation?
2 A. Well, our position had been known from before, and that is that
3 the Serbian Democratic Party and the Serbian people would not establish
4 any kind of paramilitary units or anything similar to it, but they would
5 rather abide by the then-law on the national defence and they responded
6 to the call-up of the JNA, and were recruited into its ranks. It is
7 well-known that the BH territorial staff issued an order to mobilise
8 conscripts into the Territorial Defence instead of the only legitimate
9 armed force of the Yugoslav People's Army because just like
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was still part of Yugoslavia.
11 Q. Now, with regard to this document, Minister, can you tell us how
12 does it fit with your experience relating to who was involved in the
13 fighting prior to the 20th of May and how much influence the civilian
14 structures had on the fighting?
15 A. Well, when the Yugoslav People's Army and the police force who
16 were of mixed composition solved the problem of Doboj, which was a way of
17 saving the Serbian people in Eastern Bosnia because 12 municipalities
18 around Doboj had fallen into the Croatian and Muslim hands, the
19 Yugoslav People's Army found itself under blockade in Doboj. When they
20 removed the blockade and the roadblocks, the Yugoslav People's Army and
21 the police -- actually they were not involved in any fighting. They
22 practically just took over Doboj. The Muslim and Croatian forces first
23 reached the ethnic borders and the army remained on these borders, thanks
24 to the policy that we pursued at the time. We insisted that the JNA
25 should not become involved and not to interfere in any regions where
1 Serbs were not living. Doboj was divided into four municipalities on the
2 4th of May, and they remained as such throughout the war. And to this
3 date, we have interethnic -- interethnicity lines and there are still
4 four municipalities that exist in that area.
5 Q. Thank you. Did I understand you well when you said that the
6 Muslims and the Croats reached the -- their own ethnic boundaries and
7 that the same boundaries remained until the end of the war; is that
9 A. Yes. That is correct. They withdrew on the 3rd of May. Some of
10 them remained but those who were armed and who were frightened because
11 the army was adamant and issued an ultimatum for the weapons and
12 equipment to be returned that were in the hands of the Patriotic League
13 and the Green Berets in the part of the town called Carsija, and after
14 that they withdrew, whereas the civilians who were unarmed remained
15 behind. They withdrew and there is a bridge a kilometre or two from
16 Doboj, this is where they erected a roadblock leading to Sarajevo, Teslic
17 and so on, and they took positions on the boundaries of their villages.
18 This was followed by provocations which prompted the Serbian forces to
19 draw up this line which remained throughout the war until the signing of
20 the Dayton Accords.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this intercept be admitted for
24 JUDGE KWON: We will mark it for identification.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D3744, Your Honours.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Can you tell us now after the departure of the JNA, when was the
4 Army of Republika Srpska established, and what was the influence of the
5 civilian authorities on the war?
6 A. As I already said, the army had a limited time to withdraw, and
7 I'm talking about the JNA, and the deadline was the 19th of May, 1992.
8 In the meantime, on the 12th of May, at the session of the
9 National Assembly in Banja Luka, the Army of Republika Srpska was
10 established and a number of officers and troops --
11 Q. Excuse me, Minister, if you please give me the briefest possible
12 answers in order to save time. So after the 12th of May and the
13 establishment of the army, tell me who was attacking and who was
14 defending in Doboj and what was the influence of the civilian
16 A. We in the civilian authorities kept insisting not to proceed
17 further on from the ethnic boundaries established in our municipality.
18 That was our position. And the army did not launch any attacks but,
19 rather, put up a defensive existence -- resistance because the army
20 wanted to defend the refugees and everything else that was situated in
21 that area.
22 Q. Thank you. A minute ago you said that civilians were against the
23 crossing over.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have 1D9231 in
25 e-court. Thank you.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Can you tell us what we see on this screen and who is the author
3 of this book?
4 A. What I see on the screen is a book written by Colonel Lisica who
5 later became a general, and the title is, "The Commander Without any
6 Need." He wrote several books and he was the commander of the Doboj
7 operations group. After the corridor was opened, he returned to Doboj.
8 This commander is well-known for his conflicts with the civilian
9 authorities, and other military structures as well. In our opinion, this
10 commander's intention by criticising the authorities was to have martial
11 law established there. We were against that, and we tried to rein in
12 this person and to prevent him from becoming involved in matters that
13 were governed by the law, which is to defend the territory of our
14 municipality and the general area.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at the next page?
17 Actually, page 2 of the document. Can we please zoom in.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. And would you be kind so as to read the first ten or so lines and
20 tell me whether this is consistent with what you have experienced?
21 A. In the area of responsibility of the Doboj operations group, it
22 says that the front was about 420 kilometres long, and it was stable.
23 I can't see clearly. He says that there were several attempts to
24 introduce radical changes on the front line in 1992 and early 1993, but
25 it did not yield any considerable military victories but only rendered
1 the tactical position slightly better by occupying the village Matuzici,
2 the destructive acting of the president of the SDS Doboj was prevented,
3 which he tried to pursue through the people who thought the same as he
4 did in the units of the Doboj operations group. The propaganda in the
5 units was --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down because we
7 are interpreting what is being read out.
8 JUDGE KWON: Could you read very slowly? We heard until, "The
9 propaganda in the units was --"
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Propaganda in the unit was, in
11 inverted commas, save your lives, politicians will take care of it.
12 Active duty officers are communists, people who are interested only in
13 careers, et cetera, unquote. The Colonel allegedly quoted my statement
14 because he failed in his initiative. I particularly was against this
15 operation because Matuzici village is situated in the southern part of
16 our municipality which was divided into the Muslim and Serbian part. By
17 occupying this municipality, we would practically encroach upon the
18 Muslim part of the territory of the municipality, which was ethnically
19 pure and we were opposed to that, and then he alleged that the army and
20 some people on the opposite side realised that this was a political goal
21 and as a result the Colonel blamed me for the failure of that offensive
22 against this populated area where about 12.000 Muslims used to live.
23 Q. Thank you. Can these two pages be marked for identification?
24 MS. PACK: Mr. President, just one thing to note. This document
25 has been notified to the Prosecution but the prior document wasn't.
1 I made no objection but just to observe that there wasn't any
2 notification in relation to the last one and obviously this one hasn't
3 been translated and is linked to one of the documents that you've
4 excluded in your order related to paragraph 34, I think, of the witness
6 JUDGE KWON: This was referred to in paragraph 53.
7 MS. PACK: That's absolutely right. Yes, yes, Mr. President.
8 I was just referring to the same individual who is the author of the
9 document at paragraph 34.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will mark it for identification.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D3745, Your Honours.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Can you describe for us, by citing your personal example, the
15 attitude towards minorities, Muslims and Croats, how many of them were in
16 Doboj after delineation took place, and what was the attitude towards
17 them? And I'm talking about official structures.
18 A. After the division of the municipal territory into four
19 municipalities, a large number of Muslims and Croats remained in Doboj.
20 Those who were armed withdrew and crossed over to the other side. The
21 problem was that their families, Muslim and Croat families, remained in
22 Doboj, whereas those fit for military service crossed over and joined
23 their units. In fact, at least that's what people were saying, that they
24 were shelling Doboj from the other side because it is well-known that
25 Doboj was the town that was hit by the largest number of shells. Even
1 after the Dayton Agreement, around 110 people were killed on the streets
2 of the town itself, and in the area more than 1500. So our position was
3 that everyone can remain and exercise and enjoy all their rights with
4 regard to health care, pensions, et cetera, and as far as I know, there
5 were no major incidents in Doboj. If there were any, this was done by
6 specific individuals and I think that they are being prosecuted for what
7 they did. I don't know if this answers your question.
8 Q. Can you tell me what was the attitude towards prisoners of war
9 captured by the JNA and later by the VRS? And from the point of view of
10 your office as a minister, what was the position of the official
11 authorities regarding prisoners of war throughout the war?
12 A. As I already said, there were four military barracks in Doboj.
13 One or two of them were converted into camps but those were not camps in
14 the standard meaning of the word. When 12 municipalities around Doboj
15 fell, we had an influx of some 40.000 to 60.000 refugees. There were
16 Croats who remained there were the subjects of maltreatment by the people
17 who came from elsewhere. So the authorities established kind of
18 reception centres to provide accommodation for those people and they used
19 the barracks for those purposes. We also asked the
20 International Red Cross to come over and register everyone who was there.
21 Initially, they had to undertake work obligation but later on these
22 camps, and as I said these were not camps in the classic sense of the
23 word, after they were disbanded they were exchanged and went elsewhere.
24 Q. Thank you. Minister, I have no further questions for you at this
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Mr. Ninkovic, your evidence-in-chief has
2 been admitted as you have noted in writing in lieu of your oral testimony
3 in its most part. Now you will be cross-examined by the representative
4 of the Office of the Prosecutor. Do you understand that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But I don't know what it was
6 that was omitted, but very well.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Pack.
8 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Cross-examination by Ms. Pack:
10 Q. Mr. Ninkovic, I'd like to go through your various appointments at
11 the outset. You were an SDS deputy in the Bosnian Serb Assembly; is that
13 A. That is correct. In the council of municipalities, the assembly
14 had the Chamber of peoples and the Chamber of municipalities.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat what he said.
16 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your answer, Mr. Ninkovic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I was elected as a
18 deputy in the Chamber of municipalities. At the time, the assembly of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina had two Chambers, the Chamber of peoples and the
20 Chamber of municipalities. Deputies for the Chamber of municipalities
21 were elected in the territory of only one municipality, and for me
22 specifically that was the territory of the municipality of Doboj.
23 MS. PACK:
24 Q. President of the SDS municipal board in Doboj; is that correct?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Member of the Crisis Staff in Doboj during and prior to the war,
3 A. Look, I think the Crisis Staff was formed -- I cannot remember
4 exactly when. It wasn't formed by the organs of the
5 Serbian Democratic Party but by organs of the Serbian municipality of
6 Doboj, when the municipality was divided. I was the member of the
7 Crisis Staff automatically because I was a deputy but I did not accept
8 the post of commander of the Crisis Staff.
9 Q. You were --
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just the translation, line 14,
11 perhaps it would be better to say "ex officio," not "automatically."
12 Ex officio.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Shall we continue?
14 MS. PACK:
15 Q. You were employed by the Crisis Staff, right?
16 A. How do you mean employed? No one was --
17 Q. You were a -- you were a member of the Crisis Staff. You accept
18 that, yes?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. You were one of the -- or you were the accused's recommended
21 candidate for the position of minister of defence in the government of
22 Dusan Kozic; is that correct?
23 A. Yes. This was in 1994.
24 Q. Yes. Can we have P01398 up on the screen? This is minutes of
25 the RS Assembly's 44th session held on 18th of August, 1994, which you'll
1 be familiar with; is that right? You'll be familiar with that?
2 A. Yes. That was the assembly session when I was elected as
3 minister of defence of Republika Srpska.
4 Q. That's right.
5 MS. PACK: Can we go to page 47 of the English --
6 JUDGE KWON: Shall we stay on -- the last line in English says
8 MS. PACK: Yes, I -- that has to be an error of transcription or
10 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
11 MS. PACK: Certainly the box further up says 18th August, 1994,
12 and if you turn over the page to page 2, again it's repeated, the date is
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue.
15 MS. PACK: Thank you. If we can go please to B/C/S page 31 and
16 to the English at page 47.
17 Q. Now I'd like to read out to you Dr. Karadzic's commendation of
18 you. This paragraph -- you find the paragraph that begins -- it's the
19 top of the page for you in B/C/S. In English it's the second paragraph.
20 "Of course the government should not look as I want it to look," that
21 paragraph. I was looking about ten lines down in English to where it
22 starts, "He resolutely requested," and that's talking about Dusan Kozic,
23 have you found that in the B/C/S?
24 A. No. At the topic see Mr. Radovan Karadzic and then at the bottom
25 I see Mr. Kozic.
1 MS. PACK: Have you got page -- you got page -- it's 31, please,
2 of the B/C/S. Is that the page that's up? My apologies, 30 --
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The previous page, the previous in
5 MS. PACK: It's page 32 of the B/C/S - I do apologise - in
6 e-court. So there we are. That's -- the paragraph begins, "Of course
7 the government should," and if you can go down about three or four
8 sentences to where it starts "He resolutely requested," got that?
9 A. I still don't have that page. I'm looking at page 31.
10 Q. It's the right page. At the top of the page it should say
11 something to the effect of course the government should not look as
12 I want it to look. Is that right? Is that what it says? Yes?
13 A. No, no. I don't see anything.
14 Q. Can you read from the top of the page, please?
15 A. It is page 31.
16 Q. Just that page, would you read it, please?
17 A. Well, it's very small, and it's a bit too far. Of course, the
18 government should not look as I -- it's very small, the letters are too
19 small. The way I want it to look, and it doesn't look as I want it. It
20 has to look the way Kozic wants it.
21 Q. Okay, that's the right paragraph. Thank you. Now I'm going to
22 take up further down a couple of sentences down where it starts - it goes
23 as follows:
24 "He resolutely requested that a member of the Main Staff should
25 be the Defence Minister and that is where I was persistent, with all due
1 respect, to the people from the Main Staff," and then it goes over to
2 page 48 in the English, same page B/C/S, "to the Main Staff who were
3 mentioned but the position of the Main Board is that it has to be a
4 civilian because the Main Staff has a very prominent and outstanding
5 person heading it, General Mladic. Anyone who would become minister
6 would have to salute General Mladic while the minister should be someone
7 who is the master in that field."
8 And it goes on:
9 "I'll take it up here. I must say that I've heard different
10 things about Ninkovic. I've heard that in Doboj he has things under his
11 control to such an extent that we have lost some people due to that.
12 They went over to the radicals. They say it is because Ninkovic has
13 everything under his control. It was an argument in his favour rather
14 than one against him, because if he can control a huge municipality while
15 he is not even its president, he can influence the events. It gave me
16 some hope that it is possible for him to introduce order in the army as
18 Now, here is the question. You've testified today that you
19 didn't hold a single important position in Doboj. That was your
20 testimony, wasn't it?
21 A. No. I did have a position, the position of party president,
22 until March 1992, when the premises of the Serbian Democratic Party were
23 bombed and because of many barricades at the approaches to Doboj and
24 because of the general political situation. We suspended the work of the
25 party until further notice, and because of that I did not have any more
1 positions other than the one of member of the Crisis Staff. I'm talking
2 about 1992. As for this here, as far as I can remember, the assembly
3 meeting at which I was elected minister was also attended by my
4 predecessors, ministers from the officer cadre, and their position was
5 that they had lower ranks than that of the commander of the Main Staff,
6 and --
7 Q. I'm not asking about the content of that meeting, the assembly
8 meeting. Please wait a moment. I'm asking you about your position in
9 Doboj. Now, you testified this morning that you didn't hold a single
10 important position in Doboj. And my question to you is: The fact of the
11 matter is you controlled the municipality, right, during the war?
12 A. That is not correct. How could I control the municipality? The
13 municipality was controlled by the Crisis Staff, headed by the commander
14 of the Crisis Staff. The municipality was controlled by the civilian
15 structures, by the name of War Presidency, and these two institutions
16 functioned for a very short period of time, as soon as there were
17 conditions created so that the assembly, Municipal Assembly, could meet
18 and the Executive Board could meet, the Crisis Staff stopped operating.
19 I said that I was a member of the Crisis Staff, but I was not the person
20 at its head.
21 Q. I'm not talking about who is head of the Crisis Staff. I'm
22 talking about what Radovan Karadzic says here which is appointments or
23 not he controlled the municipality. Is that a -- a statement that is not
24 accurate, so far as you're concerned?
25 A. I was the president of the winning party in Doboj, and, of
1 course, I dealt with the setting up of the government until the work of
2 the party was frozen in March 1992.
3 MS. PACK: I'd like to go to another exhibit, please. Can we
4 have 65 ter 12084.
5 Q. You had spoken earlier about the 1991 instructions which you
6 said, what, they weren't binding? You didn't follow them? What's your
7 position? Stop -- answer the question.
8 A. Yes. What -- what question? I didn't understand the question.
9 I apologise.
10 Q. My question is did you follow the 1991 instructions in Doboj.
11 Just answer the question. Answer the question.
12 A. We did not. We did not because the instruction said one thing
13 and we did another thing. If you have the instruction so that you can
14 look on the page towards the bottom of the page, the commander of the
15 Crisis Staff should be the president of the municipal board of the
16 Serbian Democratic Party and that was not the case in Doboj.
17 Q. Just look at the article at the bottom of the page, please. It's
18 an interview with you in "Novo Glas" dated 26th of March, 1993. Got it?
19 A. 1993?
20 Q. That is, isn't it, the anniversary of the setting up in Doboj of
21 the Serbian municipality, the various Serbian institutions that were set
22 up on the 26th of March, 1992; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Here you are in an article and you can see how that article is
25 headed, Milan Ninkovic, president of --
1 A. Took over.
2 Q. President of the SDS in Doboj and a member of parliament, we
3 assumed historical responsibility. And it says, on the eve of the
4 anniversary of the formation of the Serbian municipality in Doboj, the
5 place and role of the SDS both on the level of Republika Srpska and Doboj
6 municipality must be recognised. Mr. Milan Ninkovic, president of the
7 municipal board of the SDS Doboj and a member of parliament, is the most
8 competent person to present its evaluation. Now if we could just turn in
9 the English, please, to the second pain of page and I'd like you to look
10 in the B/C/S, please, at --
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness have the original
12 version considerably magnified, please?
13 MS. PACK: Yes, I'd agree. Let me just identify the paragraph
14 which needs to be magnified for the witness. It's the third paragraph.
15 So it's -- it's the middle paragraph -- it's a bit unfortunate actually
16 because it's -- it straddles all three columns.
17 Q. Can you -- can you see it now, Mr. Ninkovic?
18 A. I see it but I cannot read it. Somebody can read it. I don't
19 know if it's my glasses or something else.
20 Q. Okay. Well the first paragraph I'm not going to deal with. So
21 we are going to the third paragraph where it starts:
22 "It is a general opinion that the SDS has successfully ended the
23 first period of work in which we gathered all the Serbs?"
24 Can you see where that starts?
25 A. I see it, I see it.
1 Q. Perhaps you'd like to read the rest out. Could you read it out
2 loud, please?
3 A. Very well:
4 "Back in December 1991, according to precise and strict
5 instructions of the Main Board of the party, OOSDS Doboj formed a
6 secretariat of the party, formed a Crisis Staff and issued a decision on
7 the initiation of preparations for the formation of the Serbian
8 Municipality of Doboj, constitution of its assembly and relevant organs.
9 Through different forms of organising, the SDS tried to express the
10 political interests of the Serbian people because its representatives are
11 in the assembly, government and Presidency, and were literally pushed out
12 by outvoting and a coalition of the SDA and the HDZ representatives.
13 After the famous events in March and April 1992, the party assumed the
14 historical responsibility of organising the prevention of a new genocide.
15 Q. So there we are. You followed the precise and strict
16 instructions of the SDS Main Board, that is the December 1991
17 instructions, is that correct, looking at this now?
18 A. Yes. But there is a problem there. The formation of Serbian
19 municipalities was a response to a different question. If you permit me,
20 I can clarify that a little bit. Serbs always responded to a given
21 situation. What we would say an action -- a reaction in response to an
22 action, starting in October 1992 and then things went on from there. The
23 Croat-Muslim coalition would make one move and we would respond to that
24 move. That's how things proceeded. And then when this decision was made
25 to go to a referendum on the 28th of February and the 1st of March, 1991,
1 without the Serbs, our response was to form Serbian entities, autonomous
2 provinces, Serbian municipalities, from local communes up to the largest
3 entities, and that's how in Doboj the Serbian Municipality of Doboj was
4 formed, and then on the other side also the Muslim municipality of Doboj,
5 Doboj east, was formed. And what I'm saying is --
6 Q. I'm asking you a question about the 1991 instructions. Now, the
7 question is: Whether or not what you state here in this article in terms
8 back in December 1991, according to the precise and strict instructions
9 of the Main Board of the party, the OOSDS Doboj formed a secretariat,
10 formed a Crisis Staff and issued a decision on initiation of preparations
11 and so on. Did you follow in Doboj the precise and strict instructions,
12 as is said here, that were contained in the 1991 December instructions?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we be more specific, please?
14 Does the Prosecutor mean the paper known as A and B, or some other
16 JUDGE KWON: Your intervention is not appropriate. Her question
17 is based on this article.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But it is --
19 JUDGE KWON: No. Your objection is overruled. Please answer the
20 question, Mr. Ninkovic.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's true that in 1991 the
22 secretariat was formed, the secretariat was formed as the inner executive
23 body of the municipal board. That is correct. But now, the Crisis Staff
24 was not formed in 1991. I told you that the Crisis Staff was formed by
25 the Serbian municipality that was formed on the 26th of March, 1991.
1 Actually, 1992.
2 MS. PACK: Break it up. Let's break it up. Let's break my
3 question up. Back in December 1991, did you follow the precise and
4 strict instructions, the precise and strict instructions, of the SDS
5 Main Board as you state here in the article?
6 A. No, we did not. I would like to explain. The secretariat was
7 formed. I don't know if the instructions envisaged the formation of
8 secretariats. The municipality was formed after the 28th of February and
9 the 1st of March when independence was voted and when the referendum was
10 held among the other two peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the 26th of
11 March - on the 26th of March, I say again - the Serbian Municipality of
12 Doboj was formed because it was formed because of the inability to meet,
13 then the Crisis Staff was formed, and then, on the 26th of March, the
14 party suspended its work. Of course, we did take part in it. We just
15 said that we from the Serbian Democratic Party suspended our work. We
16 cannot form a Crisis Staff. This is something that would be done by the
17 municipalities. The practice for the Crisis Staff was that they had
18 plans but the implementation of those plans depended on the situation on
19 the ground.
20 Q. The instructions, we are talking about the 1991 instructions,
21 they call for a party secretariat, don't they?
22 A. That is correct. The secretariat is the operative body of the
23 municipal board because the municipal board had problems to meet, so that
24 everything could be regular, then the secretariat was formed, which is
25 actually a kind of executive body of the municipal board.
1 Q. The Crisis Staff in Doboj co-ordinated -- co-ordinated the
2 military and civilian authority, didn't it, in Doboj?
3 A. I don't know in what sense it was standing by its army and it
4 took care mostly of refugees. You need to view Doboj in a special
5 context. As I said, 12 municipalities around Doboj fell into enemy hands
6 and the refugees arrived, and they couldn't go anywhere from Doboj. The
7 entire region, which had eight or nine municipalities, only two
8 municipalities, that of Doboj and Teslic, stayed in Serbian hands, i.e.,
9 under Serbian rule. So the Crisis Staff was mostly dealing with these
10 problems, trying to calm the situation down.
11 Q. Let me just -- let me just focus -- focus your answer, I focus
12 the question. You in the Crisis Staff made the decision to attack and
13 take over Doboj, right, and the army acted on that decision?
14 A. That is not correct.
15 Q. [Overlapping speakers] I'm going to ask you to look at another
16 document, please. It's 65 ter 25274, please.
17 JUDGE KWON: We will admit the document, 12084.
18 MS. PACK: I would be grateful, yes. I -- I -- I would ask to
19 admit that document.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6418, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: But before we proceed further, when was it then you
22 were appointed as minister of defence, Mr. Ninkovic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 18th of August, 1994.
24 JUDGE KWON: But I remember Mr. Karadzic you in reading out the
25 summary, you introduced that he was appointed as minister of defence
1 after the war. Where is it -- where in the statement does it dealt it?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Towards the end.
3 MS. PACK: It is the case that he was reappointed to that
4 position after the war, Mr. President, if that assists.
5 JUDGE KWON: If you could clarify with the witness. So you were
6 appointed in 1994 and continued to be the minister of defence after the
7 war, or ...
8 MS. PACK:
9 Q. I can -- can help you with the dates, Mr. Ninkovic, if it would
10 help. You were appointed Mr. Dusan Kostic's [sic] government on
11 18th of August, 1994, then again to that position, to the position of
12 minister of defence in --
13 A. Kozic.
14 Q. Vojko Kazicic's [phoen] on the 17th of December, 1995, and then
15 again in 1996 to the following government in 1996.
16 A. And then one more time in the government after that, in four
18 JUDGE KWON: I --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The government of Dusan Kozic, the
20 government of Kasagic and twice the government of Klickovic. That's how
21 it should have been stated.
22 JUDGE KWON: Not knowing the names of the governments, I'm not
23 sure whether the witness continued to be the minister of defence or there
24 were intervals. Could you clarify with the witness?
25 MS. PACK:
1 Q. It's all the way through, isn't it? You were reappointed all the
2 way through from August 1994, then again in December 1995, then in
3 May 1996, and again in November 1996 and that was a continual in effect
4 reappointment over that period; is that right?
5 A. That's right. Governments changed, and Minister Ninkovic
6 remained in each and every one of the coming governments.
7 MS. PACK: Mr. President could we move on to the document?
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 MS. PACK: It's up now on the screen.
10 Q. Now, here is a broadcast and I'm going to take you to a very
11 limited number of lines in this broadcast. You can see there the title,
12 it's the record of the Serbian Radio Doboj programme broadcast on the
13 2nd of May, 1997, to mark the fifth anniversary of the forcible takeover
14 of government in the town of Doboj. And you are amongst the guests
15 during that broadcast; correct?
16 A. That's right. Where does it say forcible takeover of government?
17 I cannot see that. You must added that.
18 Q. I haven't added anything. If you look at the heading, please?
19 A. Very well. I apologise.
20 Q. That's an article that you have confirmed [overlapping speakers]
21 A. Yes, but I do apologise, I just don't know who wrote the heading.
22 It certainly wasn't the editor who was conducting the interview.
23 Q. Well let's move on from the heading. Let's go to page 2, please,
24 of the English, and in the B/C/S, please, page 2 as well. And I want to
25 take you to Joganovic's [phoen] question which you can just see at the
1 bottom towards the bottom in the B/C/S. It says, "The army was by
2 definition an extended hand of politics." "When was the political
3 decision made to take control of the town," Mr. Agoian [phoen] said
4 referring to an earlier answer. And then you take on the answer to this
5 question, you say, "This must be a question for me. It is true we were
6 organised in this way." I'm not going to read the whole paragraph. Let
7 me just take it up from about halfway -- about six lines down you said:
8 "Because according to the instruction we received from above
9 everyone had the right, in other words everyone had to do their job. I
10 was in charge of Doboj municipality but I was not allowed and our
11 organisation for instance to get involved and help Maglaj municipality,"
12 and then you go on.
13 There again you're stating that you were in charge of Doboj; is
14 that accurate? Does that accurately describe the position you held over
15 the municipality of Doboj?
16 A. Yes. I was in the organs of the party at republican level. Of
17 course, as member of parliament elected by that same people, I was
18 supposed to take care of the people from that point of view. We had
19 constant problems with the military in Doboj. We had problems with the
20 army in Doboj then as well. We wanted things to be resolved by peaceful
21 means but they said that they could not wait for that, that they had to
22 resolve that in a different way, in a military way. However, when the
23 telegram arrived from Sarajevo, from the Territorial Defence, to the
24 effect that Doboj should be taken by the Patriotic League and the rest,
25 and bearing in mind that all other municipalities in that part of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina had fallen, then the army decided that and we did not
2 oppose it.
3 Q. You're moving on from what I directly asked you on to other
4 matters. What I directly asked you is whether you were in charge of
5 Doboj and you now accept that, do you? You accept you were in charge and
6 in control of Doboj municipality; is that correct?
7 A. I don't know what sense you mean, that I was in charge. How
8 could I exercise control over the Crisis Staff when they have a
9 leadership of their own? How can I exercise control over the Serb
10 municipality when I do not head that Serb municipality and so on? The
11 party had frozen its work and we had political influence but we did not
12 decide on anything.
13 Q. Mr. Ninkovic, these are your words. These are your words.
14 A. Well, all right. But you have to bear in mind that this is some
15 kind of an anniversary, and then for political reasons, well, you know,
16 elections are getting closer, so I allow for that possibility that I did
17 say some of that, but I'm saying what the situation was. Do you
18 understand that? These political speeches and political statements
19 cannot always be taken at face value.
20 Q. Okay, let's look at a document that isn't an article.
21 MS. PACK: I'd like to admit in evidence just the portion upon
22 which I've relied, which is as described it's at page 2 of the English.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will admit it as Exhibit P6419.
24 MS. PACK: Grateful.
25 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, may we admit the entire
1 article? There is another aspect that would be useful.
2 JUDGE KWON: If necessary, Mr. Karadzic may lead that part.
3 MS. PACK: Thank you. Let's go to 65 ter 11270, please.
4 Q. You maintain in your evidence that the rights of the non-Serbian
5 population in Doboj were maintained and upheld, is that right, during the
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, I'm not going to go into this to show you this document.
9 Let's move, please, in the English to page 4 and in the B/C/S to page 3.
10 Now, these are two decisions I'm going to ask you to look at. The first
11 decision is a decision by the Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality of
12 Doboj - and I'll show you the end of the document in a moment - dated the
13 24th of June, 1992, and it's addressed to the Serbian Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina to the Ministry of Justice. You can see that. And if
15 we just turn to page 2 of the English, you can stay where we are in the
16 B/C/S -- I mean, sorry, page 5 of the English. Now we can see what this
17 decision is about. It is a decision which proposes to the
18 Ministry of Justice the removal -- you can see it on your page -- the
19 removal of non-Serbs from judicial positions citing a decision of the ARK
20 Crisis Staff that only Serbs can have leading positions in state
21 institutions. And you can see in the handwriting, you can see the names
22 of three non-Serbs identified, whose -- who are to be removed from their
23 positions and you can see handwritten relieved next to their names, can't
24 you? And I would say -- just point you to the top of the page, you can
25 see some handwriting at the top of the page in the B/C/S and it's
1 actually the preceding page 4 in the English. It says handwritten done,
2 yes? And there are some Serbian prosecutors identified to replace the
4 A. Are you asking me?
5 Q. Well, you can see that. Can you -- can you just confirm that you
6 can see the document, it's clearly there for you? Yes? You would have
7 been aware of decisions of this nature?
8 A. Well, you see, first of all I have to correct you. You said
9 Crisis Staff. The Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Serb
10 Municipality of Doboj, signed president. This has nothing to do with the
11 Crisis Staff. So this is the Serb municipality of Doboj, and if you go
12 further down, you will see it says president, and when you spoke, you
13 said that it was the Crisis Staff that had proposed this. This is --
14 Q. Are you trying to say you have nothing to do with this because
15 it's not the Crisis Staff, it's just the president; is that right?
16 A. Well, no. The Crisis Staff and the Serb municipality is not the
17 same thing. You said the Crisis Staff proposes judges. That's not true.
18 The organ in charge is called the Serb municipality of Doboj.
19 Q. Show the bottom of the page in B/C/S, please, and you can see,
20 please, in the English at page 6, you see the stamp?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, while we are still here,
22 please, take a look at the translation for "predlazimo," "we wish to
23 nominate," "recommend" is one thing, "nominate" is another thing.
24 [In English] "The area of judiciary and Prosecution, we wish to
25 nominate." [Interpretation] "To appoint," and the original says, "we
1 propose." And then of course, it is left to the minister to decide.
2 MS. PACK: Yes, can we -- can we -- can we please go to the last
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the end of
5 what Mr. Karadzic stamp.
6 JUDGE KWON: Please do not overlap -- [overlapping speakers]
7 MS. PACK: [Overlapping speakers]
8 JUDGE KWON: Could we zoom in to the stamp? Just the stamp, yes.
9 MS. PACK:
10 Q. You can see that, can't you, that that's a stamp which has I said
11 on it the assembly of Serbian municipality of Doboj Crisis Staff, at
12 least that's how it's translated. Can you confirm that?
13 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina, no. The assembly of the Serb municipality of
14 Doboj, and in very small letters, very fine print, it says
15 "Crisis Staff." You see here it says "the Serb Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina," then the "assembly of the Serb municipality of
17 Doboj," big letters, and then in the middle it says "Crisis Staff." And
18 you see in the heading of the document, it says it's the "Serb
19 municipality of Doboj." I don't know what the Crisis Staff had to do
20 with it because it wasn't functioning at the time.
21 Q. Okay. Well, let's -- let's leave that. This is a document then
22 with a proposal for the removal of three non-Serbs from this position, a
23 recommendation for the appointment of three Serbian prosecutors. And let
24 us, please, go to the second page in the English, and in the B/C/S,
25 please, let us go to similarly the second page. This is a decision --
1 can't see it in the English but in the B/C/S you can see it all. It's a
2 decision, isn't it, by which Radovan Karadzic appoints the Serbian
3 candidates to the positions that we've spoken about, isn't it? Do you
4 agree? In the English if we just look at page 3. You can see there the
5 signatory and the date.
6 A. Yes. That can be seen, but I cannot see here in the heading on
7 the basis of such and such article of the constitution of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I cannot clarify that, the decision is correct, and
9 then from the previous document you can see that the persons who were
10 proposed were accepted and they were appointed to these positions of
11 senior public attorney in Doboj, and so on and so forth, Stokic, Zoran, I
12 don't know, whatever all their names were. You cannot really see it
13 here. Panic Dusko, that is correct.
14 Q. We don't need to go -- we can see the document it -- it -- it
15 identifies these same persons.
16 A. But --
17 MS. PACK: I'd like to have that document admitted, please.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] However, I do not see on the basis
19 of which article the president made these appointments up here, on the
20 basis of which legal documents.
21 MS. PACK: Mr. President, may that document be admitted in
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will receive it.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6420, Your Honours.
25 MS. PACK:
1 Q. Let's move on to 1995. Now, you were in Western Bosnia during
2 the Srebrenica preparations; is that right?
3 A. That is right.
4 Q. When?
5 A. Well, I cannot say exactly, but from time to time I came to the
6 headquarters in Pale by helicopter and then I'd return and so on. As for
7 supplies, I was transferred to the western part of the front line to
8 bring together the operation of the 11 municipalities that were
9 undergoing a crisis, that were attacked from all sides. It was necessary
10 to organise civilian life. Also manning, material supplies as well. So
11 with General Milovanovic and the Minister of Justice, I was in the
12 western part of the front when Muslim and Croat forces attacked the
13 western part of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. I want to ask you about Srebrenica. Now you talk in your
15 statement about a meeting you had with Radovan Karadzic, the meeting on
16 the 18th of July and also 26th of July. Is that when you had returned
17 full time from Western Bosnia or did you just drop in for those meetings?
18 A. Well, I assume that it just so happened that I was there. I
19 cannot recall the subject that we discussed. However, there is the name
20 of a particular person there, Maksim Stanisic, who was president of the
21 Executive Board, the head of the executive government of Sarajevo, and
22 there were some problems in that part of Sarajevo so that's probably what
23 we discussed. I think that at that meeting there was no discussion
24 concerning Srebrenica. Had that happened, I certainly would have
25 remembered it.
1 Q. When were you debriefed then about the involvement of your
2 ministry in removing elderly men, women and children from the Srebrenica
3 area, from Potocari? When were you -- when were you debriefed about
5 A. I don't understand you. What do you mean, what ministry? It's
6 not the ministry that carried out the removal of civilians from
7 Srebrenica. The ministry played a completely different role in that
8 homeland war of ours.
9 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
10 A. What does the ministry have to do with Srebrenica, except for
11 certain things that at the request of the Main Staff, certain buses and
12 trucks, et cetera, were mobilised and placed at the disposal of the Main
13 Staff. That's the only role of the ministry in the operation that was in
15 Q. When were you --
16 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Pack, before you go further, let me put this
17 question to the witness: Mr. Karadzic was the Supreme Commander in his
18 capacity of the president; correct?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
20 JUDGE KWON: And General Mladic was the commander of the
21 Main Staff of the VRS?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct.
23 JUDGE KWON: And you were the member of the Supreme Command in
24 the capacity of minister of defence?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is correct too.
1 JUDGE KWON: Could you explain to us the relation amongst these
2 three individuals?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have said earlier on that I was
4 appointed in 1994 as the first civilian minister of defence because there
5 were major problems between the civilian authorities and the military
6 structures, because beforehand there were two ministers who were
7 lower-ranking officers in relation to the commander of the Main Staff.
8 When I arrived, my task was to normalise these relations between the
9 civilian structures and the military structures. The army was just
10 supposed to have command responsibility over the army and all the rest
11 should belong to the Ministry of Defence, in the following sense:
12 Product specific production, logistics, and many other things that we
13 often discussed, and even on an ideological and political basis, the
14 military interfered in that and we did not allow that. I don't know if
15 I've given a full answer, but --
16 JUDGE KWON: Put it in simple terms, would it be correct that you
17 could be regarded as superior to General Mladic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. In a command sense, no, but as
19 for the rest, logistics, supplies and the rest, yes, the ministry was
20 responsible for that. But the ministry in the situation of war, imminent
21 threat of war, it did not have anything to do with command, just like the
22 Supreme Command did not make decisions on any kind of operations,
23 et cetera. It was more of an advisory body.
24 JUDGE KWON: After the war, at some point in time, the Main Staff
25 of the VRS was transformed into a form of General Staff? Am I correct in
1 so understanding?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. In 1994, when I became
3 minister, I intervened immediately in certain ways because foreign
4 observers and some people from IFOR then had suggested to the minister of
5 defence that this duality of command had to be resolved. However, in
6 this constellation of relations because war operations were going on, we
7 did not change the Law on the Army or the Law on National Defence.
8 However, in 1996, when President Karadzic handed over his duties to
9 Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, then we decided together to make this cut in the
10 army and to change the Law on the Army and the Law on Defence. The
11 essence of this change of the law was inter alia that instead of a
12 Main Staff, the army should be headed by a General Staff, and the
13 General Staff would be headed by the chief of General Staff, not a
14 commander, because this is a well-known organisation of the military in
15 all countries. The Supreme Commander, along with the Supreme Command,
16 and then the chief of General Staff or perhaps it's called a different
17 name in other countries, but in Yugoslavia and in Serbia and to this day
18 in Bosnia-Herzegovina, too, there is this chief of General Staff. That's
19 where we clashed, especially I with General Mladic, because he disagreed
20 with that. However, we even joked a bit, that Tito in 1941 did not
21 recognise the king as the Supreme Commander and then he was commander
22 too, and the king was in exile in England.
23 JUDGE KWON: So at that time, when that transformation took
24 place, could the minister of defence be regarded as the -- as a superior
25 to the Chief of Staff of the VRS?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, no. Actually, the army was
2 in the ministry then but we had two completely separate functions. His
3 superior was the president of the republic as the Supreme Commander, that
4 is to the Chief of the General Staff. And most importantly then, we
5 managed to get the military industry out of the control of the army and
6 this was reflected on something different later, and then Biljana
7 returned it to the army and then these well-known dealings with Iraq and
8 then the replacement of the president of the republic, because Orao was
9 within the military, not the civilian structures, and they were the ones
10 that overhauled planes for Iraq that was under international sanctions.
11 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Given the time, shall we continue after
12 the break, Ms. Pack, if it is not inconvenient for you?
13 MS. PACK: It is, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: We will resume at quarter past 1.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.19 p.m.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Pack, please continue.
18 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. We touched briefly before the break on the role of the
20 Ministry of Defence in mobilising and placing at the disposal of the Main
21 Staff the buses, for the remove of the civilian population that had been
22 in Srebrenica. So when were you made aware of the Ministry of Defence's
23 contribution to this process?
24 A. Well, I cannot remember exactly, bearing in mind that I was in
25 the western part of Republika Srpska. Upon arrival at the ministry, I
1 had an assistant who was in charge of mobilisation, but he deferred this
2 at a lower level of the secretariat, and then further down to ministry
3 departments and then the departmental allocate this to various
4 municipalities pursuant to the request of the Main Staff. But as I said,
5 I cannot tell you the exact time when I learned about the mobilisation of
6 assets and this is actually standard procedure applied in the ministry.
7 When we requisition or mobilise vehicles or similar assets we do not
8 inquire to what purposes these assets are needed.
9 Q. This wasn't a standard operation, was it? It was a huge
10 operation. Now I'm asking you approximately, approximately when -- can
11 you recall what month, when -- when can you recall you were told about
12 this significant contribution that was made by your ministry?
13 A. Well, look, my assistant for mobilisation of assets was in charge
14 of that and he forwarded that to lower level so that's three steps
15 downwards, and even four steps downwards from me. Now, when was it that
16 I learned about this and when I returned, I don't know. I heard about
17 the operation of Srebrenica in -- on TV. We were in Drvar and that is
18 when I heard that the operation Srebrenica was successfully completed
19 military operation. And that was all that was broadcast and carried in
20 the media.
21 Q. Can you remember roughly when you came back, what time of year,
22 what time of year were you debriefed about your ministry's role?
23 A. Well, I cannot -- I cannot remember when I returned from the
24 western front. My assistant didn't need to inform me about this because
25 when they were doing other sorts of mobilisations, they had never
1 informed me about that. For example, when they were mobilising manpower,
2 conscripts, people for work obligation, they never informed me on that as
3 well, because as I said that was a standard procedure.
4 Q. Are you saying now that you weren't informed about this -- these
6 A. No. There was no need for that.
7 Q. At one point you became aware, did you, that there had been a
8 remove from the Srebrenica area, from Potocari, thousands of men,
9 children, elderly men, women and children, in buses, some of which had
10 been mobilised by the Ministry of Defence; right?
11 A. It was the Ministry of Defence that mobilised the buses, the
12 order signed by my assistants, I saw that for the first time during my
13 testimony before The Hague Tribunal, and it was only recently that I saw
14 these order because whenever I returned from some trip, I never wanted
15 and asked them to see every single order that were sent downwards to the
16 level of municipalities, and so on.
17 Q. It's your evidence that the first time you heard about your
18 ministry's involvement in the mobilisation of buses was before you
19 testified here in these proceedings? Is that your evidence?
20 A. That is correct. I saw these orders, four or five of them, for
21 the first time before I came to testify here because when I returned to
22 the ministry, I did not request my assistants to show me the orders that
23 they had issued. And for your information, there are ministry
24 departments, there are secretariats, which comprise several ministries,
25 there is an assistant minister for mobilisation, and finally on the top
1 of the pyramid there is the minister which means there are four levels.
2 Q. You learned of course that the civilian population were removed
3 from the Srebrenica area, you learned that many years ago, you're not
4 saying that this is something that was also newly learnt on your arrival
5 here in The Hague?
6 A. That is not what I said. I found out about this from the media
7 during and after the operation itself, because it was shown on TV that
8 buses and lorries were leaving for Tuzla and Kladanj and other places
9 where the populations were being relocated to.
10 MS. PACK: I realise my time is up. I have no further questions
11 for this witness, thank you.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Pack. Mr. Karadzic, do you have any
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellencies.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Minister, let us start from the last question
17 and your answer to it. It has been suggested to you, and interpreted to
18 you, that these civilians were removed, whereas you said that they were
19 relocated. Did you have any information about them having been removed
20 in terms of forcible relocation?
21 A. No, I didn't.
22 Q. Thank you. There was mention of some disagreements with the
23 army. As for the Army of Republika Srpska as a state organ, had they
24 committed any crime that you as a minister should have known about?
25 A. I think that the army did not commit any crimes. I am convinced
1 of that, being a member of the Supreme Command and knowing you, had we
2 found out that the army had committed any kind of crimes, and bearing in
3 mind the tensions that existed between the military, the Supreme Command
4 and the civilian authorities, I am convinced, and I am sure that you
5 would have dismissed immediately some people primarily General Mladic,
6 the Chief of the General Staff, because we could hardly wait for
7 something to pin on him because our option, and your option, was to try
8 and solve everything in a peaceful manner, and we kept insisting at all
9 meetings of the government and the assembly that the peace plan is the
10 priority and that they should only defend the reached separation lines.
11 You were always against any other kind of action and you always advocated
12 a peaceful end to the war, just like every war has to end with a peace
14 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Chamber if there -- or our crimes
15 were not the reason for the tensions with the army, what was the
16 underlying reason for these disagreements?
17 A. I said in my statement, I don't know if that was accepted, the
18 reasons were such as the supplies for the army. One part of the army
19 wanted to provide their own supplies. We place under the civilian
20 control and the government control some of the facilities of the
21 military-industrial complex, then there was the issue of promotion of
22 officers, and many other things such as the system of disseminating
23 information, et cetera, et cetera. All of these things existed until the
24 Dayton Accords, when the army became an integral part of the
25 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. On pages 58 and 59, you were shown document P6420, which relates
2 to the dismissal of three individuals from the judiciary. Those were
3 presumably three Muslims or three non-Serbs. Can you tell us what was
4 the most common reason for dismissals in our country before that time,
5 during that time, and afterwards?
6 A. I cannot remember exactly, but the people who used to work in
7 those institutions did not wish to continue working there because, for
8 example, in the judiciary, there were no trials of Muslims and Croats
9 because they had already left. Most of those who were tried were Serbs
10 and, of course, it is only natural that you have Serbs working in those
11 institutions. That was a general attitude. But later on, this slowly
12 became more balanced. For example, in the MUP, there were many people of
13 other ethnicities and there were mixed marriages. However, judiciary is
14 a rather sensitive area.
15 Q. As for the remaining three municipalities of Doboj, one Croatian
16 and two Muslim ones were there any police stations and who worked there?
17 A. Yes, there were. Before the creation of the Serbian municipality
18 of Doboj there had already been some ideas and plans in order how to
19 divide Doboj. When the clashes started, they divided the municipality
20 and their Crisis Staff existed before ours. These three municipalities,
21 because the municipality of Doboj Usora is a smaller one and part of it
22 belonged to us, although it was populated by Croats; in other words, they
23 established parallel institutions as we did, and at certain periods they
24 even conducted negotiations on how to proceed.
25 Q. In the two Muslim municipalities of Doboj were there any Serb
1 policemen just like there were Muslim policemen in the Serbian
3 A. That was out of the question, and the situation remains the same
4 to this date.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MS. PACK: Objection. Mr. President, I've not objected to the
7 prior two questions. I've let them go, but it may be that we are
8 straying on to an area which is going into the specifics and details in
9 matters in Doboj municipality which I didn't question the witness on.
10 I did -- I did question him about [overlapping speakers]
11 JUDGE KWON: I think he's a moving on. Let's continue.
12 MS. PACK: Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellencies, with a
14 question pertained to the reasons for dismissals, that's what I wanted to
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can you tell me for how many days could one be absent from work
18 without being dismissed, and after which period a dismissal was
20 A. Well, believe me, I really cannot remember. It is in the domain
21 of administrative procedures, and I am not versed in that area because
22 that was something done by the lawyers.
23 Q. Thank you. At the time, can you tell us, if you know, if
24 I appointed any Muslims and Croats in the judiciary?
25 A. Well, believe me, I really cannot remember. If somebody would
1 help me in order to remind me, I might be able to tell you.
2 Q. We have this in the evidence so I will drop it. On page 50, you
3 were asked about the instructions received from the party. Were there
4 any instructions issued by the party apart from the well known A and B
5 variants? Was that the only instruction, or did the party send any other
7 A. I don't remember, bearing in mind that the communications
8 channels were severed, I think that this was distributed, this
9 instruction was distributed at the Holiday Inn without any prior debate.
10 We all received it, it was handed out to each and every one of us, but it
11 was not the subject of any discussion and we just took it with us to our
12 respective grounds.
13 Q. Before the war, did the party issue any proclamations and send
14 them out to their municipal boards before the communications were
16 A. I don't know what you mean exactly. I cannot remember.
17 Q. Minister, in the question on page 50, it was not said precisely
18 that it was document A and B. So I'm asking you, apart from document A
19 and B, was there any other document -- communication with the Main Board?
20 A. Not that I can remember, on that basis.
21 Q. I didn't mean on that basis but we shall leave this subject.
22 You said that the situation in Doboj was such that it was moving
23 towards a peaceful solution.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please now have 1D9235 in
1 MS. PACK: Mr. President, this hasn't been notified. I don't
2 know why it's being produced in re-examination.
3 MR. ROBINSON: We are not obligated to notify documents in
5 JUDGE KWON: As long as it arises from the line of cross. But do
6 you not notify the Prosecution at the beginning of the re-examination? I
7 don't know the practice.
8 MR. ROBINSON: No, we don't.
9 JUDGE KWON: Okay. Shall we continue?
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. This is the 29th of April, which means two or three days before
12 the events in Doboj. Please read lines 6 and 7, which reads, "According
13 to his statement ...," can you find it? There is the mention of 300
14 fighters and then the mention of Doboj.
15 A. It says:
16 "According to his statement, the situation in Doboj is peaceful
17 and it is being pursued in order to achieve a peaceful option."
18 Look, we had a very specific situation. As I said before, all
19 the other municipalities were in their hands and there was fighting in
20 Posavina, then the operation in Posavina spilled over only 11 kilometres
21 from the centre of the town in the places of Kotorsko and Orahovac, and
22 it even involved regular Croatian forces. As a result, we held a series
23 of meetings with our adversaries at the village of Seslije in order to
24 agree not to launch any attacks on Doboj municipality because the
25 distance from the north or -- and from the south was about 50 kilometres
1 so Doboj was in a kind of sandwich. And we were pushing the JNA to go as
2 far away from Doboj as possible but it had already been blocked on those
3 major roads that led towards Yugoslavia?
4 Q. What is recorded in this intercept, is it consistent with what
5 you know, with your experience, and was it true that actually on the
6 29th of April, everybody was seeking a peaceful solution?
7 A. Yes. Because the council for National Defence, headed by a
8 Muslim, invited all the presidents of the municipalities, the chief of
9 SJBs and party leaders to reach an agreement and to undertake some other
10 actions. For example, to establish mixed military patrols, consisting of
11 the army, the Muslims and the Croats, in order to calm down the
12 situation. This council, led by a Muslim, insisted that the Muslims
13 remove the roadblocks in Doboj in order to not to cause what they had
14 already caused earlier by keeping these roadblocks in place. There is
15 even a written document which was actually the last warning that the
16 barricades should be removed in a peaceful way, and normal life restored.
17 Q. Thank you, Minister.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this intercept be marked for
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will do so.
21 THE REGISTRAR: MFI D3746, Your Honours.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now have
23 P6419? That was admitted into evidence a while ago.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Minister, who had power on the 1st of April, on the 1st of May,
1 and the 1st of June in Doboj?
2 A. The 1st of April and the 1st of May 1992? Yes. Three parties
3 had power. In 1990, the Serbian Democratic Party won the elections in
4 Doboj, and when it came to the division of power, we had a prerogative of
5 choosing between two places, either the president of the municipality or
6 the president of the Executive Committee. Since it was up to me to
7 decide, I reached an agreement with the Party of Democratic Action to
8 offer them the post of the president of Municipal Assembly and that the
9 Serbs should retain the post of the president of Executive Committee.
10 And that is what we did. We had good co-operation, we had made
11 concessions to one another, and we were friends.
12 Q. And who did you take that place of the president of the
13 Executive Board for? Was it for yourself?
14 A. No, I did not take it for myself. I took it for a well known
15 person named Borislav Paravac who would later be the head of the
16 Crisis Staff and who was also the president of the Presidency of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina after the Dayton peace accords. He was not a member
18 of the Serbian Democratic Party. Allegedly I heard that he actually
19 joined the party in 1993.
20 Q. Thank you. In the 7th line what was omitted was that he was a
21 non-party person. Could you now pay attention to this first page.
22 According to the heading, what do you think, who made the compilation of
23 this radio programme?
24 A. I have no idea. The Prosecution mentioned my statement.
25 However, there is also the statement here by -- of an officer of the
1 Yugoslav People's Army who explained what was going on in more detail
3 Q. Thank you. And did you take over power over the Muslim and the
4 Croat parts of the Doboj municipality?
5 A. No, not at all. In the decision of the Serbian Municipality of
6 Doboj, that is to say in the document, it says that the municipality
7 encompasses places where there is a majority Serbian population. No
8 village with a majority Muslim or Croat population became part of the
9 Serbian municipality. Pursuant to Dayton many villages and inhabited
10 places were assigned to the municipality of Doboj, which during the war
11 were not part of the Serbian Municipality of Doboj.
12 Q. Thank you. Paravac mentions this council that you referred to
13 comprising Alicic and some others. There is talk about barricades. Can
14 we look at page 2? And on the first page we can see -- can we see the
15 bottom, Jovanovic, who is Jovanovic?
16 A. Security officer of the Yugoslav People's Army.
17 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at page 2? And Jovanovic continues.
18 At the time, on the 29th of April, when the peaceful option was embarked
19 upon -- can you please tell us, look at "Najme" [phoen]. This is the
20 15th line from the bottom --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters need time to find the text.
22 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
23 JUDGE KWON: Just wait till the interpreters could find the
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. "Najme smo, smo" [phoen] is at the end. From what you can see,
2 it's the 10th line at the end of the row.
3 A. I don't see that either.
4 Q. Actually, we received information that in Doboj and that's where
5 that line is. 10th line from the top, barbecue barricades,
6 "rostilj barikade."
7 A. At one point we received information that they were preparing a
8 sort of barbecue barricade which was quite a jocular manner and game of
9 the Muslim political leadership specifically [indiscernible] we received
10 information that a barbecue barricade was to be organised in the town of
11 Doboj to which people would come by vehicles from Klokotnica, Brijesnica,
12 Gracanica, Grapska, Kotorsko, and these other villages, and then these
13 other places which at some point in time the people there would bring out
14 their weapons and begin to occupy the town.
15 Q. And did you hear when the JNA intelligence officer said that in
16 this radio programme?
17 A. I cannot remember, but he was an intelligence officer of the JNA
18 who knew all of that and more, and they concealed many things from us,
19 that is something that is known broadly, including this.
20 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at the end of this paragraph? I'm
21 going to read it. It says:
22 "And what Mr. Paravac said, the continuity of government was
23 established without violence."
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Karadzic please repeat his question?
25 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Just a second. Interpreters didn't
1 hear your question, Mr. Karadzic.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. My question is: Was there a takeover of power or was there a
4 continuity of power, as it is stated here?
5 A. The government remained the same, only the information was issued
6 that day that the berets were being disarmed and the Patriotic League,
7 first of all, and that everybody should remain calm and that everyone
8 should return to their work, and so on and so forth. Nobody drove
9 anybody out from work or anything like that. However, within a short
10 period of time, one by one of those officials of -- from the other ethnic
11 groups would be leaving their duties, there are some who did not leave,
12 who stayed, to continued to carry on their work until the end of the war.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you now please pay attention to the bottom? If
14 we can raise and magnify this, where you speak my name, "I am a man of
15 such a nature, I never went to sit with Radovan." Could you read a
16 little bit and just tell us whether this is true? Could you please read
17 it out loudly?
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters kindly ask for a reference.
19 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
20 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. I think it's second or third line
21 in, Ninkovic. Could you start reading again very slowly, Mr. Ninkovic?
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Well, you can read the second sentence, "I must say."
24 A. "I must say that our political leadership at the time was
25 constantly expressing some doubts. I mean, I am by nature the kind of
1 man, I would never go to sit with Radovan, our president, to tell him
2 stories, to lie to him, to make promises and so on. On the occasions
3 when I was present at these meetings, I just said everything would be
4 okay and all right in Doboj."
5 Q. Thank you. Is it correct what you said in this interview?
6 A. Well, yes. I'm not the sort of man who wails and moans and
7 cries, and so on and so forth. I even felt that we should resolve this
8 in a peaceful manner, but once we split up, I did not permit the conflict
9 to expand, as far as I was able to, but I must use this opportunity that
10 Doboj was the town who was the most heavily bombarded town in
11 Republika Srpska. This is why we did not move those lines. But there
12 were ambitions constantly by the other side to capture Doboj which was a
13 major problem in Dayton as well, when the decision was being made where
14 that will be and how that will look.
15 Q. Thank you. And because of that position of yours, were you
16 criticised by me or was that something that was to your credit; in other
17 words, you were a minister under how many presidents? Was it just under
19 A. No. When you handed over your duties to Madam Biljana Plavsic,
20 then a government, there was a change of government, and I wanted to
21 leave that government, the future government, and I did not wish to be
22 nominated because the president of the republic decided about the
23 minister of defence and minister of the interior, I think, so I asked
24 Mrs. Biljana not to nominate me to the prime minister-designate, and not
25 to suggest that I continue as minister at the Ministry of Defence;
1 however, she said that the problem with the army was still not resolved
2 and that it would be a good thing for me to stay on and that I was a
3 reliable associate as far as she was concerned and then later she changed
4 her mind and then presented a different story.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now see, it's in English,
7 can we look at the following page? In the Serbian it's 4, and I
8 believe -- and in English it should be one more.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Can you please tell us, here you're talking with
11 Jorganovic [phoen]?
12 A. Journalist.
13 Q. Yes. And now, can you -- this, yes, from a part of the Serbs,
14 can you retell what is there or can you read two of your answers and one
15 of his? This one and the next two small ones.
16 A. I think the decision was not uncovered in any elements. He asked
17 me earlier about a large number of Serbs, Muslims and Croats, in view of
18 the fact that there were the May-day holidays, had moved out from Doboj,
19 going out on picnics, and so on, and this happened on the 3rd of May
20 which was not a workday. Many of them did not return to Doboj, not the
21 Serbs, not the Muslims, not the Croats. Most probably in that sense
22 I wanted to -- so I don't know. I said they left in -- they stayed in
23 Usora, Tesanj, Maglaj, and other places which were still not caught by
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender these three
2 pages that we have just looked at. Can they be added either to that one
3 or a new number?
4 JUDGE KWON: Shall we add page 4 to the exhibit?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, please, and this first one,
6 the previous one that we presented.
7 JUDGE KWON: I think page 1 and 2 were admitted.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is so. Then it's just 4. We
9 can do more. Did not say [in English] "We can do more." The page 4 is
11 I'm waiting whether I can --
12 JUDGE KWON: Oh, yes, that has been added, yes.
13 THE ACCUSED: I'm waiting for you to direct me to go on.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please go on, Mr. Karadzic.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions. Thank
16 you, Mr. Minister, for your service as minister and thank you for your
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And thank you, everyone.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Mr. Ninkovic, that concludes your evidence.
20 On behalf of the Chamber, I would like to thank you for your coming to
21 The Hague to give it. Please have a safe journey back home.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, everyone.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE KWON: Please call your next witness, Mr. Karadzic.
25 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, the next witness is
1 Mirko Trivic.
2 JUDGE KWON: The associated exhibit for the next witness, his
3 statement seems to be his diary, part of his diary. I take it you are
4 tendering only the page, i.e. page 28, that was discussed in his
6 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Ms. Pack, would it be you that will deal
8 with this witness?
9 MS. PACK: Yes. It is, yes, and I have no objection to the
11 JUDGE KWON: Given that the date does not appear on this page,
12 would the parties agree that it is related to a certain date?
13 MS. PACK: Yes, and it would perhaps be sensible to take it from
14 an earlier page.
15 JUDGE KWON: Which is?
16 MR. ROBINSON: 12th of July, 1995.
17 JUDGE KWON: 12th of July, 1995. Thank you.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness -- oh, yes, take your time,
20 please. Would the witness make the solemn declaration, please?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: MIRKO TRIVIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Trivic. Please be seated and make
1 yourself comfortable. Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Colonel Trivic.
5 A. Good afternoon, Mr. President.
6 Q. May I ask you, and you can also warn me yourself, so that we both
7 remember to speak out our sentences slowly and that between your and my
8 replies, we break so that we have the interpretation, and when the
9 translation is going on, I ask you to stop and then continue when it's
10 finished so that we can continue.
11 A. Thank you. I will do my best to take proper part in the
13 Q. Thank you. Colonel, sir, did you give my Defence team one
15 A. Yes, I did. I did provide a statement to your Defence team.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at 1D9680 in e-court,
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Could you please look at the left side of the screen? Do you see
21 that statement there?
22 A. Let me just change my glasses. Yes, I see, on the left side of
23 the screen, in Serbian, the beginning of my statement.
24 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
25 A. Yes. I read it and signed it, in my own hand.
1 Q. Could the witness please see the last page so that he could
2 identify his signature? Is this your signature?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you said to the
5 Defence team?
6 A. It is fully in line with what I had said.
7 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today,
8 would your answers basically be the same as those contained in this
10 A. Yes. The answers would basically be the same.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I would like to
13 tender this statement in accordance with Rule 92 ter.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will admit the statement as well as the
15 associated exhibit.
16 THE REGISTRAR: The statement will be Exhibit D3747 and
17 65 ter 25028 will be Exhibit D3748.
18 JUDGE KWON: Please continue.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I'm going to read
20 out the summary of Colonel Mirko Trivic's statement in the English
22 [In English] Colonel Mirko Trivic served in the JNA and VRS from
23 1971 until 2002. In 1991, he served at the land army military academy in
24 Belgrade. He followed the war in Slovenia and Croatia through various
25 sources of information. Military sources from the war-torn areas were
1 direct participants of these areas and flooded into Belgrade garrison
2 buildings. Most of the sources of information about the real state of
3 affairs in BH arrived in May 1992. Mirko Trivic gained personal
4 experience being engaged in a team formed by the JNA Main Staff
5 operations administration. Following the withdrawal of the JNA units
6 from BH, and the return of JNA members, soldiers and officers born in BH
7 to their land of birth, Mirko Trivic was still serving in the land force
8 military academy of JNA in May.
9 Mirko Trivic started at the VRS personnel organ in Han Pijesak on
10 8th of January, 1993. The group of officers with him at the rear command
11 post received an order and task from the president of the
12 Serbian Republic of BH to form the Guards Motorised Brigade. Units were
13 manned extra territorially by soldiers from the entire VRS -- entire
14 Republika Srpska, from all VRS corps. The first official parade of the
15 1st Guards Motorised Brigade was on January the 19th, 1993. It was
16 responsible for offensive task of the VRS in all operations in 1993,
17 which were carried out successfully, contributing to the improvement of
18 the strategic position of the Republika Srpska.
19 On 8th of January, 1993, a large group of active servicemen
20 arrived from Belgrade to Zvornik to man a VRS units. Mirko Trivic and
21 his group were transferred under heavily armed escort. VRS units were
22 unsuccessful achieving an important strategic goal in -- in 1992, which
23 was to establish a corridor in Podrinje and connect with Herzegovina.
24 I suppose it was successful.
25 In January 1993, the process of formation and development of the
1 organisation and establishment of the commanding of the VRS was not yet
2 completed. Military units in Podrinje that were most fragmented were
3 placed under a single command and the operation -- at the operations
4 level. The Manoeuvre Brigade 1st Guard Brigade was subsequently formed,
5 except for -- except some units in the 1st Krajina Corps. No VRS units
6 were capable of carrying out offensive operations in an area outside
7 their own municipality. All other brigades were formed out of
8 municipality Territorial Defence into Light Infantry Brigades with
9 territorial character and were intended for the protection of their
10 municipality from well-organised Muslim military forces. In 1991, most
11 VRS units were classified according to their combat experience as
12 Territorial Defence sent units whose engagement evolved into the practice
13 of weekend war, so-called weekend war in shifts. All other units
14 remained fully manned after the withdrawal of JNA units from BH. This
15 was particularly pronounced in the manning of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps
16 which counted 2500 men after the withdrawal of Yugoslav citizens.
17 Mobilisation into JNA units was carried out based on an extra territorial
18 principle. Units mobilised as JNA units in BH up to that point were
19 suddenly under manned. The Serb Territorial Defence was the backbone of
20 the VRS units. The commitment of the political and military leadership
21 of Serbs in BH to the struggle for fair military and political goals and
22 the unity of Republika Srpska in BH is confirmed by the ethnic diversity
23 among officers, active officers, serving in the VRS in 1992 and their
24 motivation to participate in that struggle. Insufficient organisation,
25 combat ability, and experience in armed combat in 1992 resulted in a
1 large number of casualties among members of the Serbian army, and amongst
2 civilians at all ages and sexes in villages with Serbs situated next to
3 the area captured by the Muslim or Bosnian Croat forces. Victims were
4 killed in situations where they could not run away while working the
5 land, et cetera.
6 These incidents escalated in 1992 and 1993 in Bratunac and
7 Srebrenica. To stabilise the situation and prevents a pogrom and the
8 drawing of the Serbian population out, the VRS carried out its first
9 offensive operation in Konjevic Polje and Srebrenica. Future task of VRS
10 in 1993, which ensured that from the strategic goals on current political
11 goals in the war included preventing BH Army forces from committing
12 crimes in the Zepa and Gorazde sector, liberating the corridor on the
13 Dobro Polje route and road connecting Republika Srpska stabilising
14 defence lines and preventing incidents in -- and ambushes in Serbian
16 Regarding participation in military operations, in Podrinje 1993,
17 the VRS forces were never given the objective to force out the Muslim
18 population from Srebrenica. In addition to the significant military
19 success of the VRS, the superior command did not assign a task to the
20 units to force the Muslim population from Srebrenica. Regarding
21 preparation and participation in operation Krivaja, the brigade did not
22 hold contact lines with the Muslim forces. And the Serbian religious
23 holiday in Vidovdan, Radovan Karadzic asked Mirko Trivic what to do --
24 what do you think about establishing a special operative command and VRS
25 task force for the enclaves in Podrinje? Because this state of affairs
1 is not good and nobody is responsible for the state of affairs in this
2 area. Radovan Karadzic wanted to prevent more terrorist attacks by the
3 BH Army, even if the goal of operation Krivaja was achieved and to
4 consolidate the VRS defence around the enclaves. The Supreme Command did
5 not think that the Srebrenica enclave should disappear. As such, no plan
6 was ever adopted to eliminate the Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica.
7 And that would be the short summary. At that moment, I do not
8 have questions for Colonel Trivic.
9 JUDGE KWON: In the summary, Mr. Karadzic, you stated that
10 Radovan Karadzic wanted to prevent more terrorist attack by the BiH army
11 even if the goal of operation Krivaja was achieved and to consolidate the
12 VRS defence around the enclaves. Is it coming from what paragraph?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] To be quite honest, at this moment,
14 I don't know. I need to take a look, because I didn't actually refer to
15 paragraph numbers.
16 MS. PACK: Perhaps I can assist.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 MS. PACK: It's not directly from this paragraph but it's
19 paragraph 2.6.2 at page 15 of the English is a supposition by the --
20 JUDGE KWON: I don't think it's coming directly from that
21 paragraph --
22 MS. PACK: That's right [overlapping speakers]
23 JUDGE KWON: -- and it's related to your mens rea, so to speak.
24 I would like you to deal with the witness live only that part.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Colonel, sir, I would like to ask you what you knew about the
2 political objectives and positions of the Supreme Commander and the
3 Supreme Command in relation to the outcome, military outcome, of this
4 conflict. What was it that we had wished for, what was it that we had
6 A. Maybe I did not fully understand your question. Does it pertain
7 to my summary or my statement, or generally speaking to political
8 objectives? But if you allow me, I listened to the interpretation into
9 the Serbian language of the summary that you read out and there were
10 some --
11 JUDGE KWON: Forget about it. Forget about the summary.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not the text. It's just my
13 duties. It's not the text. It's not my statement. Did I not work at
14 the personnel organ. I reported to the personnel organ in Han Pijesak.
15 And secondly, in operation Krivaja, I was not serving in the guards
16 brigade. I was serving in the 2nd Romanija Brigade. In that summary of
17 yours, Mr. President, that was not pointed out. And now, back to your
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Can you tell us what it was that you knew about the positions
21 that I had in relation to the war and the resolution of the crisis?
22 A. Even before joining the Army of Republika Srpska, which came at
23 my personal request, but there was also an order transferring me to serve
24 in the Army of Republika Srpska, the positions of the Supreme Command and
25 the political and military leadership were something that I was fully
1 aware of. That is to say defence of the parts of the territory where the
2 Serb people live in Bosnia-Herzegovina. And in keeping with that, equal
3 participation in decision making as a constituent people in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina about the position and the functioning of that state,
5 or at the outset in 1992 before the declaration of independence, that is
6 to say before the recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina should remain functionally linked to some Yugoslavia,
8 so some Yugoslavia.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all other
10 microphones please be switched off. Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Where representatives of all
12 peoples would live in an equitable state. Since this did not happen in
13 1992, the objective of the Serb people was to participate in the
14 functioning of that state as a constituent people.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what your understanding was of my
17 position in relation to the enclaves, the eastern enclaves of Zepa and
18 Srebrenica, in view of what happened to them and around them?
19 A. Well, yes. It is quite clear, the situation was quite clear in
20 Podrinje in 1992, at the time, when there was a polarisation in the
21 achievement of the interests of individual peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Podrinje and other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the Serb people
23 lived or were a majority, were cut in several parts, and it was this
24 other side that advocated a unitary Bosnia-Herzegovina as internationally
25 recognised. Podrinje was cut in several parts. And at one point in time
1 quite simply the Serb people in the area of the municipality of Bratunac
2 was in such a position that they could not function or, rather, the state
3 could not function and communications could not function, roads,
4 electronic communications, so people lived there and -- actually, in part
5 of my statement I said that in -- that on the 8th of January, 1993, our
6 group tried to get to Han Pijesak and we had an armed escort and we
7 weren't even taking the main roads but we took various paths via
8 Vlasenica and that's how we arrived at Han Pijesak and some people who
9 were supposed to get to Herzegovina were sent via Zvornik to Serbia and
10 then they arrived via Trebinje into Herzegovina.
11 Q. Now, you mentioned that I wanted to prevent terrorist activities
12 from the enclave and consolidate the lines of the Army of
13 Republika Srpska around the enclaves. Can you explain this to the
14 Trial Chamber, what your understanding was of that and whether that was
15 in the context of our conversation when I asked you for advice?
16 A. Yes. It so happened because of my position and the location
17 where the meeting took place, when Saint Vitus' Day was being
18 commemorated at Mount Romanija where I was brigade commander. I was in
19 position to host the event in a way -- or, rather, to be the host of the
20 head of the Main Staff and you, as the Supreme Commander. However
21 metropolitan Nikolai and other church dignitaries later on after the
22 event and after the decorations ceremony and after reminiscing about
23 struggles before 1995, a memorial room was supposed to be opened
24 dedicated to the memory of the killed soldiers from the municipality of
25 Sokolac. As we walked towards that room I happened to be next to you,
1 and you asked me about my position about that. You asked me what
2 I thought about that, setting up a single operative command for the area
3 of the enclaves. In view of the activities of sabotage groups around the
4 villages that were around the enclaves, through the lines, check-points,
5 observation points of the United Nations, in April and June 1995, there
6 were several incursions of this nature, and that resulted in the decision
7 on the order for active efforts, and although this order was already in
8 existence, you were still thinking about how this should be done, whether
9 this command should be established as such.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now the Prosecution may continue.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Karadzic.
13 Mr. Trivic, as you have noted, your evidence-in-chief in this
14 case has been admitted in its most part in writing, that is through your
15 written statement in lieu of your oral testimony. And now you'll be
16 cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor. Do
17 you understand that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Pack.
20 MS. PACK: Mr. President.
21 Cross-examination by Ms. Pack:
22 Q. Colonel Trivic, let's start with 1995. This is when you were
23 brigade commander of the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade; correct?
24 A. Yes, you're right.
25 Q. Now, you've just been speaking about a meeting which you
1 apparently had with Dr. Karadzic in the last week of June 1995, is that
2 approximately when you say it was?
3 A. Yes. In my statement it is more precise than in the summary that
4 was presented by Mr. Karadzic. It was Sunday, not a week. It was the
5 Sunday after Saint Vitus' Day. I don't know exactly what the date was,
6 but Saint Vitus' Day is on the 28th of June, as is well known.
7 Q. So the 28th of June in 1995, if it fell on a Wednesday that would
8 have been the 2nd of July, the Sunday?
9 A. 2nd, 3rd, I don't know the exact date.
10 Q. And that's the date upon which was issued the preparatory order
11 to which you have referred in your -- in your statement, yes?
12 A. Yes. That is the date when the preparatory order was issued.
13 Q. Is the preparatory order which I'm not going to show you, you
14 have seen it on numerous occasions when you testified here. It's P04571,
15 Your Honours. This is the order that describes what was needed to be
16 done to prepare units for Krivaja 95; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, this preparatory order of course related -- was issued
19 pursuant to Directives 7, 7/1. You remember that from your prior
20 testimony, don't you? Yes?
21 A. Whether it has to do with Directive 7 or 7/1, I would like to see
22 the first page of the order, if you could please display it?
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Due to technical difficulties, we will pause
24 for two or three minutes.
25 Shall we test whether it's working now? Very well. We can
2 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. You wanted to see the order. It's up on the screen. Just please
4 look at -- in the B/C/S, fourth paragraph down, you can see, please, it's
5 paragraph 2, the command of the Drina Corps pursuant to operations
6 directive number 7, and 7/1 of the Main Staff of the
7 Army of Republika Srpska, and so on. So that's the preparatory order.
8 You'd accept it was issued pursuant to those two directives, yes?
9 A. First of all, I'd like to say that this preparatory order was
10 issued due to the reason stated under item 1. Item 2 represents and
11 makes reference to the authority on the basis of which the corps command
12 is going to implement these activities. Therefore, under item 1 the
13 corps command cites the reasons on the basis of which it is undertaking
14 certain activities, and then under item 2, it invokes the principle that
15 it is authorised to carry out that because the directive for that year
16 was something that pointed to active operations.
17 Q. Colonel Trivic was that a long way of saying yes, this
18 preparatory order was issued pursuant to operations directive number 7,
19 and 7/1 as it says there at paragraph 2?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can we go to Directive 7, it's P00838. I'd like to remind you of
22 a paragraph you've looked at numerous times before. It's page 10 in the
23 English, B/C/S page 15. You of course remember testifying previously in
24 the Popovic case that the Supreme Commander is responsible for this
25 document as the signatory; right?
1 A. I'd like to listen to and to know exactly what I said. The
2 responsibility for every document lies with those who signed it, but he
3 is also authorising and issuing guidelines to everybody who is involved
4 and who is nominated in the document itself, and as far as that goes,
5 I agree with you, I don't understand why you use the word "responsible."
6 It is beyond doubt that the person who signs the document stands behind
7 everything contained in that document.
8 Q. Thank you, could we look at page 10, please, the last -- the last
9 sentence, please, in the bottom paragraph of the -- of the English and of
10 course in the B/C/S the equivalent, at page 15. You're familiar with it
11 by now. The sentence which reads:
12 "By planned and well thought out combat operations create an
13 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival
14 or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and Zepa."
15 Now, I'd like to remind you of your prior testimony in the Mladic
16 case. You testified in the Mladic case a few weeks ago.
17 MS. PACK: It's 65 ter 25276, please, Mr. President, and I'd like
18 to look, please, at -- have on the screen and I'll read out page 120 of
19 e-court. 1.
20 Q. 120 just has questions from the judge and -- and your -- your
21 response is in fact at page 121 of e-court if we could just turn over.
22 Just to provide you the context, the questions were about this sentence.
23 And you responded at line 20 of page 121 in e-court, you responded as
24 follows, I'll read it slowly:
25 "This sentence, Mr. President, this sentence was uttered in a
1 somewhat different way as compared to the terminology that is used by
2 forces that are preparing to topple regimes in different parts of the
3 world. These are sanctions, just phrased differently."
4 And then the judge goes -- the judge says:
5 "But is that your interpretation of the document? Where does it
6 come from that you say this is what was meant despite the clear language
7 of the document?"
8 And then you respond:
9 "Well, I haven't received this document but I believe it is my
10 understanding of this that these different activities through combat
11 activities and through narrowing the area of the enclaves and
12 interrupting communication between the two enclaves the population should
13 have a growing awareness of them being, in a way, prisoners of their own
14 leaders and that therefore these leaders should be changed."
15 Remember that testimony in the Mladic case?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you stand by that evidence? You stand by that evidence, that
18 the aim of this -- this sentence here in Directive 7, "create an
19 unbearable situation of total insecurity with no hope of further survival
20 or life," that may be compared to the imposition by a state or states of
22 A. I stand by what I said, but the first part of the question,
23 although we don't have it in the Serbian which I would have preferred so
24 that I can prove to you, at the beginning of my answer, I received an
25 interpretation something like a sentence uttered, et cetera. This
1 sentence had not been uttered. This sentence defines or, rather,
2 provides guidelines to the activities in 1993, the activities that would
3 lead to such a situation in which the inhabitants of the enclave would
4 undertake certain measures to participate in a way in having the regime
5 who is doing wrongful things and therefore making the population suffer
6 be changed and that the enclaves --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last part
8 of his answer?
9 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Trivic, could you repeat your last answer, the
10 last part of your answer.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that in that sense, I stand
12 by my view that the activities in 1993, not in one month or in one day
13 alone, require the change of the political leadership, whose escapades
14 were putting them, themselves, in a hopeless situation.
15 Q. You're talking about 1995; right? This document is dated 1995?
16 A. Yes, I'm sorry, I said 1993. My mistake. It should be 1995.
17 Q. You'd accept that these are very grave words, wouldn't you, very
18 grave words?
19 A. I don't understand. What do you mean?
20 Q. These words, these words, this sentence, this aim that is
21 expressed there, it's very grave, isn't it?
22 A. There is no objective stipulated in the directive. The directive
23 is not a binding document. It is a document providing guidelines for
24 certain activities.
25 Q. Let me ask you, please, to look at your prior testimony in the
1 Mladic case again, at page 138 of e-court, just like to remind you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript, in line 21, the witness
3 said that the directive does not have any objective and then he said the
4 directive is not a binding document.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
6 MS. PACK: Apologies.
7 Q. You now have that on the screen. The bit I wanted to read out to
8 you was this, questions from Prosecution counsel in the Mladic case about
9 these words. He says:
10 "Q. But these are amazing words. I won't repeat them again,
11 'make life unbearable for the people.' Certainly you would have
12 remembered those words if they had been given to you from your superiors,
13 yes or no, do you remember or not?
14 "A. I assume I would remember. These are very grave words but
15 let's not go into any further explanations. I assume that if they had
16 been put that way I would have remembered, but here in this context of
17 this directive they do not have that meaning. I explained -- I tried to
18 explain --"
19 THE INTERPRETER: Would the counsel please slow down while
20 reading. Thank you.
21 MS. PACK:
22 Q. Let me -- let me just take it up because I've gone too fast.
23 I'll just repeat from:
24 "I assume that if they had been put that way I would have
25 remembered, but here in this context of this directive they do not have
1 that meaning. I explained -- I tried to explain, present, well, not
2 explain, sorry, I meant I tried to present my point of view."
3 So I've just read all of your answer. You have identified -- you
4 have stated there --
5 A. What is your question?
6 Q. My question is that you have stated there, haven't you, that
7 these words are very grave, yes? Very grave?
8 A. If you allow me, those were not words, that was a written
9 document. None of my superiors ever informed me verbally to act in that
10 way. After all, an order that I have to act upon as well as other
11 subordinate corps commands did not receive such a task.
12 MS. PACK: Mr. President, I note the time.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We will adjourn for today and continue
14 tomorrow morning at 9.00. As you are well aware, Mr. Trivic, please do
15 not discuss with anybody else about your testimony while you're giving
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. I understand.
18 JUDGE KWON: Hearing is adjourned.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.49 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 27th day of June,
21 2013, at 9.00 a.m.