1 Friday, 15 November 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Excellencies.
9 Good morning, everyone.
10 WITNESS: VOJISLAV KUPRESANIN [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Kupresanin.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. If we can just make slightly longer breaks, please. You were
16 asked and you answered about the influence, that is to say, the autonomy
17 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, so I will ask you to have a look at
18 one document which you sent. It's 1D9862.
19 A. There's nothing on the screen here.
20 Q. Please have a look at this. It's 1992. I can't see the exact
21 date but it's somewhere here. The 10th of July it seems.
22 THE INTERPRETER: The 10th of August, interpreter's correction.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Or perhaps it's earlier. I can't
24 see it but we'll see. Perhaps the 1st of August. Yes.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Please look at what your proposal was with regard to these people
2 and can you please tell the Chamber how much of this proposal was
3 adopted. You proposed --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please scroll down or turn
5 into the following page in the Serbian version. And in English also,
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. You proposed Nedeljko Lajic, Colonel Subotic, and Petar Markovic.
9 Were all three of them in the government?
10 A. Can you repeat, please. Petar Markovic, yes. Subotic, yes. And
11 who else did you say, Lajic?
12 Q. Yes, the minister of transportation.
13 A. Yes, yes, they were in the government.
14 Q. Thank you. And up on the page we can see that you proposed
15 Bijelic Slobodan, Jovo Todorovic, Vukasin Basic, Nenad Balaban, and up
16 there Radoslav Brdjanin for construction works. Somebody else as well,
17 Nikola Herceg for the government. Were all these people in the
18 government and were these wishes of the Autonomous Region of Krajina
19 taken into account?
20 A. I think that our agreement on the founding of the
21 Republika Srpska and constituting of the Assembly was that regions would
22 be equally represented in the top organs, that is to say, the government
23 and the ministries of Republika Srpska, and that was honoured. We had no
24 objections. All the people we proposed were appointed to the relevant
25 ministries and relevant posts.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted?
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D4026, Your Honours.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. In cross-examination it was suggested to you that the goal of
7 regionalisation was to break up Bosnia and Herzegovina. Can you tell us,
8 first of all, until when did Bosnia-Herzegovina de facto and de jure
9 continue to be an integral part of Yugoslavia?
10 A. I think until April or May it was a part of Yugoslavia. Perhaps
11 it was May, the 5th of May, I'm not sure.
12 Q. You mean when did it stop being in Yugoslavia when it was
13 admitted to the UN?
14 A. We could put it that way. I think it was admitted on the
15 6th of April, wasn't it?
16 Q. On the 6th of May it was acknowledged and in late May it was
17 admitted to the UN.
18 A. And I did not understand your question. Up until was Bosnia --
19 Q. De facto and de jure a part of Yugoslavia?
20 A. Correct, until it became independent and until it was recognised
21 by the UN.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: Let's bear in mind this is not a dialogue between
24 Mr. Karadzic and the witness, where the witness can put questions to
25 Mr. Karadzic, who can then answer them and they can continue. So
1 Dr. Karadzic needs to refrain from providing the witness with helpful
2 information that advances the answers he's looking for.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Let's continue.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. But the dates themselves are undisputed. This is why I wanted to
7 touch on this.
8 Mr. Kupresanin, when did the talks and activities about
9 regionalisation begin in 1991? That is to say, when that happened, was
10 Bosnia then still an integral part of Yugoslavia and its constitutional
11 and legal system?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. In such a Yugoslavia, were the Muslims, the Croats,
14 and the Serbs all in one state?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did the Muslims and the Croats want to continue living together
17 with the Serbs in Yugoslavia?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Thank you. As for the Muslim and Croat political parties which
20 were pushing Bosnia towards secession, did they violate the constitution
21 of the SFRY and Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. Correct, they did.
23 Q. And as for the ARK, the Autonomous Region of Krajina, was it
24 formed as an exclusively Serbian region and was that the first attempt at
25 regionalisation or have there been other attempts before Krajina?
1 A. The very title of the Autonomous Region of Krajina does not
2 include the adjective Serbian, such as the Serbian autonomous districts
3 in some other areas. We intentionally avoided this title and this
4 adjective so that everyone would feel more comfortable and better and
5 more at ease, as if they were at their own home.
6 Q. Thank you. In your interview from 2001, which is 65 ter 25608 --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 25608, English page 8, Serbian
8 page 12. It's line 43 here and Serbian pages number 12, English
9 page 8 --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, what number?
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Line 43 in English. Let me just check where it is here.
13 "That idea of the region is to regionalise Bosnia" --
14 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
16 MR. TIEGER: I'm not quite sure where we're headed, but here's
17 what it appears to me. The -- our use of this interview in
18 cross-examination does not give the accused carte blanche to lay out
19 portions of the interview in a leading way to this witness that don't
20 bear on those portions that were used in the cross-examination. So I
21 don't think this was --
22 JUDGE KWON: But the passage seems to be related to
23 regionalisation --
24 MR. TIEGER: That's correct --
25 JUDGE KWON: -- about which he put already some questions. So --
1 MR. TIEGER: But this is not a document. This is what the
2 witness said before, Mr. President, and this is just an attempt to lead
3 the witness to something he said -- he can elicit information from this
4 witness. If he needs a document, for example, to refresh a specific
5 recollection of the witness, that would be fair, but all it is now is
6 trawling through portions of this thing in a leading manner to get the
7 witness to affirm. That's fine in cross-examination, as you know, but
8 that's not a proper method of direct or re-direct and we've already
9 crossed that bridge on many occasions.
10 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to add anything, Mr. Robinson?
11 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I don't agree with
12 Mr. Tieger. The Prosecution used this interview selectively to try to
13 show that statements that were made at that time were inconsistent with
14 his position today, and I think Dr. Karadzic is now fully entitled to put
15 portions of those interviews so the witness can explain his position on
16 those same issues.
17 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, I -- it --
18 JUDGE KWON: I will just --
19 MR. TIEGER: Sorry --
20 JUDGE KWON: Just wait. I'm waiting for the interpretation.
21 When you stand, I will give you the floor.
22 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: And sorry for jumping the gun.
24 I acknowledged that essentially when I spoke earlier, and that is
25 where there are portions that are -- may be properly contextualised, that
1 is, portions of the interview that were raised before that can require a
2 proper contextualisation or the accused considers need to be
3 contextualised by other parts of the interview related to that specific
4 portion that was raised, that's appropriate and I said that. But that
5 doesn't mean that the accused can go to any part of the interview with
6 respect to any issue that was raised in cross-examination, and that's, I
7 think, what Mr. Robinson may have inadvertently suggested; that would not
8 be appropriate, that would be leading. So with that caveat, my objection
9 stands, and I think that's what's happening in this particular instance.
10 I don't believe that there's anything about what I see on this page that
11 implicates a portion of the interview that I raised in cross-examination.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. -- could we collapse the document for the
14 Mr. Kupresanin, could you kindly take off your headphones for the
16 Mr. Karadzic put some questions about regionalisation, for
17 example, whether at that time the -- Bosnia was still part of Yugoslavia
18 and he dealt with some constitutional issues. And here it says the
19 regionalisation was already an old idea at the time. Why do you think
20 this is leading, Mr. Tieger?
21 MR. TIEGER: Well, first of all, because, Mr. President, the --
22 it's leading because he's saying: Let me tell you what you said before,
23 that's what you said or that's right, isn't it? So the only reason this
24 would be relevant is if it -- if the specific issue was raised in a
25 manner to suggest that the witness had never taken that position before
1 or if another portion of the interview had been cited where the witness
2 contradicted this point and now they want to show: Well, in another
3 portion of the interview he said something more consistent with the
4 information in his statement.
5 But simply to use this document, to put it in front of the
6 witness, to say: Now I'm asking you some questions about a general topic
7 that wasn't raised in cross-examination, which is where we are right now,
8 Mr. Karadzic is focusing on information that was already in the statement
9 and he's returning back to the statement to try to make an advocacy
10 point. And he now uses the interview to take the witness to things he
11 wants the witness to say. And if the witness -- he can just ask the
12 witness the question here. If the witness affirms that proposition, he
13 has the information; if the witness doesn't affirm that proposition, then
14 the Court knows what the witness remembers today. And then if the
15 accused wants to take him back to refresh his recollection, he can, but
16 then you have a much better idea of what this witness knows now rather
17 than what Dr. Karadzic wants him to simply affirm.
18 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I think this is really --
19 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
20 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
21 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, when the Prosecution used this
22 interview during the course of its cross-examination to show that the
23 witness was giving answers different than what he said before and was
24 therefore not credible, that opened the door for Dr. Karadzic to use any
25 portion of that interview to show that he was consistent -- what he says
1 now is consistent with what he said then on any topic covered by the
2 cross-examination, not whether -- it's not restricted to any portions --
3 and he can do that by putting what the witness -- showing the witness
4 what he said before and asking him how that relates to what actually is
5 the fact and the witness can give his testimony as to what he believes
6 the case.
7 So this is a very hyper-technical approach that Mr. Tieger is
8 taking and we don't act in that spirit during his cross-examination
9 because he asked a lot of questions that could have been objected to
10 which were convoluted and complex and we let it go for the purpose of --
11 just a free flow of information and exchange. But in this instance, I
12 think Mr. Tieger is being hyper-technical and unduly restricting the
13 examination -- the re-direct examination.
14 THE ACCUSED: If I may add --
15 JUDGE KWON: Mr. --
16 MR. TIEGER: Yeah --
17 JUDGE KWON: -- Tieger first.
18 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Last point from me then. I take very seriously Mr. Robinson's
20 suggestion that I somehow may be running afoul of the spirit of the
21 courtroom which has developed because I appreciate the -- what I think
22 has been an exemplary attitude in the courtroom on the side of everyone
23 in the courtroom, and I don't want to do anything to impede that.
24 Let me just say that it's not the cross -- it's not the
25 Prosecution's point that this witness was incapable ever of saying
1 anything consistent with what he said before; that wasn't the nature of
2 the impeachment. So he's not really rehabilitated if he finds some
3 points he's consistent on. The point was he was being inconsistent on
4 particular points of particular interest. So to go back and identify all
5 the points on which he was consistent doesn't really advance the ball in
6 that way --
7 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, Mr. Tieger.
8 Let's consider in this way, one option the Chamber could have
9 taken when you tendered the part of the interview was to admit it in its
10 entirety --
11 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, Mr. President, this may help. I don't
12 mean to interrupt. I'm withdrawing the objection in light of
13 Mr. Robinson's comments. That's what I was going to say. I just didn't
14 want to be misunderstood what the impeachment was about. Sorry to
15 interrupt, but I thought that might help the Court.
16 I accept that we are in a position where we're trying to be as
17 accommodating as possible and not have unnecessary obstacles. I think
18 this is helpful in the sense that the cross-examination -- the nature of
19 the cross-examination is not misunderstood and the nature of the attempt
20 at rehabilitation is not misunderstood, but let me not be in the way any
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE KWON: Gospodine Kupresanin, you may use your headphones
25 Yes, we'll admit it.
1 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
2 JUDGE KWON: Yeah, we'll add that page to the P6510, I don't
3 remember the number -- yes, P6510.
4 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I asked all this because of page 22 of yesterday's transcript and
8 the minutes of our meeting dated the 14th of February --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Karadzic please repeat the year.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, on the 14th of February, 1992, were we all still
12 in Yugoslavia and was Bosnia in Yugoslavia?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. You confirmed again that you wanted the Muslims and
15 the Croats -- or did you want the Muslims and the Croats to feel
16 comfortable within the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
17 A. Certainly. We wanted to expand the region so as to include the
18 Jajce municipality, the Cazin Krajina, and a number of municipalities
19 where the Muslims were the dominant population, mostly Muslims. The goal
20 was to begin functioning economically in the first place. Kladusa, where
21 Fikret Abdic was the main man, where he had one of the most powerful
22 processing industries in the former Yugoslavia, I asked him several times
23 by fax to begin co-operating with the area where I lived, which is called
24 Lijevce Polje. It's a huge valley where food is produced in large
25 quantities, meat, grain, and mostly vegetables, that we should serve as
1 the material basis and they would develop further their processing
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see page 9 of this
5 document in English and page 13 in Serbian.
6 [Microphone not activated].
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. From here 37, it's line 10 here in Serbian, where you say:
10 "Well, the tendency was to create regions in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina ... from the beginning of 1991 ..."
12 And then you say later:
13 "... the Serbian Autonomous Regions, in order to avoid the
14 Serbian prefix, we used Autonomous Region because there were Muslims and
15 Croats who lived here, and all of us together, in order not to irritate
16 them, eventually we called it the Autonomous Region."
17 Does that correspond to the state of minds as it existed at the
19 A. It was supposed to correspond and I believe that at first it did.
20 Last time when answering a Prosecutor's question I said that I have my
21 personal view of who we are in this area. I believe that 100 per cent we
22 are one and the same people and that everything that went on later is
23 pure horror. I don't think it was the will and the decision of the
24 people. International intelligence services drew us into something
25 that's called war. I believe that people on all sides had the goodwill
1 to live in peace because we are normal peoples.
2 Q. Thank you. This position of yours not to irritate the Muslims
3 and the Croats, did it result in their participation in the work?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please show the following
7 page as well in English and in Serbian too.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. This, Mr. Kupresanin, where you say that the question was of the
10 168 deputies in the Assembly, were there any Croats and Muslims? And you
11 say that the percentage reflected -- [In English] A percentage of
12 different ethnicities in different municipalities that number was
13 represented [Interpretation] And so on and so forth. And a bit lower
14 down the question is:
15 [In English] "So I come back to the question: How many Muslims
16 were in the ARK Assembly?"
17 And your response was:
18 "Well, I don't know exactly. At the beginning" --
19 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Just a second. Just a second.
20 Probably we need the next page in English.
21 THE ACCUSED: Yes. Thank you. Sorry. From the line 28.
22 MR. KARADZIC:
23 Q. And your response was from 31 and then 46.
24 [Interpretation] Does this correspond to the situation which
25 existed at the time and why, in your view, did the Muslim and Croatian
1 participation in the Krajina Assembly begin to dwindle?
2 A. The presence of the Muslims and the Croatians in the Assembly was
3 adequate to their participation at the municipal level. Why did they
4 become less and less active? Because the parties that were in power and
5 the political turmoil in all Bosnia-Herzegovina, but primarily in
6 Sarajevo, primarily influenced them so that they began to withdraw from
7 the political life in the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Whatever was
8 going on in Sarajevo was reflected in a way in the outlying areas.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please add these two
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Another question with regard to this subject matter. You were
16 asked about what happened in Kotor Varos. What was your role and what
17 was my role in these events, to the best of your knowledge then?
18 A. Well, I informed you and you told me: Mr. Kupresanin, I trust
19 you, you will do that best. Actually, I told you what was going on in
20 Kotor Varos, there were killings going on all the time, more and more
21 from one day to the other. Also an incredible crime was committed; that
22 is to say, people were impaled and then roasted like pigs. Then also,
23 they used saws to saw off people's limbs. I did not investigate. I
24 thought that we who figured prominently in those areas should be involved
25 in resolving the problems in that area. I, Mr. Komarica, two other
1 priests, a hodza, Nikola Gabelic, the president of the HDZ -- the
2 president of the HDZ did not want to take part. His policy was: The
3 worse the better. I asked him so many times to come along with me, to do
4 something about it. However, Emir Busatlic, a doctor, a dentist, he
5 appeared fortunately and we as a team tried to find a peaceful solution.
6 If necessary, I can go on talking about this; if not, I will stop.
7 Q. Thank you. What was my position with regard to care for
8 civilians and the fate of civilians in Kotor Varos, do you remember? Did
9 you have insight?
10 A. As usual, you said that maximum care should be taken of
11 civilians. When I say "civilians," I am not speaking about adults to a
12 very high degree; I'm talking about women, children, and old people. And
13 that was being done.
14 Q. Thank you. You were asked about dismissals of directors,
15 managers. Was it directors of private companies or equity companies that
16 were being replaced?
17 A. No, just public enterprises, state-owned enterprises.
18 Q. Thank you. Which political party is accountable for the
19 successful performance of state-owned enterprises in the municipality?
20 A. Certainly the party that won the elections.
21 JUDGE KWON: Just a second, Mr. Karadzic.
22 Mr. Kupresanin, if you clarify this. A minute ago you talked
23 about civilians. You said, I quote:
24 "I'm talking about women, children, and old people. And that was
25 being done."
1 And before that you said you are not talking about adults to a
2 very high degree. Could you clarify what you meant by that? You're not
3 speaking about adults to a very high degree.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The accent were the women and
5 children, that's what was accentuated, because physically they are under
6 threat, they are sensitive being outdoors when there is a terrible storm
7 outside, and there was a storm at that time.
8 JUDGE KWON: Then how about the male civilians?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I was with the men, the
10 civilians. Of course we talked about the different subjects. While I
11 was there talking to them, there were some European media that were
12 present. Everything was filmed. They brought me weapons. There weren't
13 even our soldiers there. There were two or three soldiers who took these
14 weapons and put them into trucks, and then they went into buses. Then I
15 noticed that people were asking civilians for money and then I protested,
16 and then I said: What's going to happen if they don't have any money?
17 And then they weren't being asked for money anymore because many of them
18 did not have any money in the first place.
19 JUDGE KWON: Very well --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 50 marks, that's what they were
21 asked to give.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I will leave it at that.
23 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. For what purpose were those 50 marks asked for?
2 A. The explanation was for the bus, for that service.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 Brisevo was mentioned. Was Brisevo an undefended village with
5 civilians that some armed formation of the Serbs attacked? Was there any
6 combat there or was this an unarmed village?
7 A. I think it was unarmed. There was no combat there. I don't know
8 which military formations attacked the village. I could not receive any
9 more detailed information. These women that I saw did not want to
10 discuss any subject. They just said: We want to leave. There is no
11 going back for us. We don't want to be reminded, and so on and so forth.
12 I said yesterday that these figures constantly varied, 80, 60, the
13 numbers of persons killed. So I really don't know how many victims there
14 were there.
15 I could not enter Brisevo. The army brought us there and that's
16 where we stayed, and then Catholic mass was celebrated in a church and
17 that's it. At any rate, we promised that that would happen and that did
19 Q. Thank you. You were also asked about a telegram that was shown
20 to you -- or actually, a telegram was shown to you -- actually, let me
21 ask you this first: Was military rule imposed in any municipality in the
23 A. This is the first time I hear of that.
24 Q. There was no military rule?
25 A. This is the first time I hear of that from you.
1 Q. Thank you. You were shown an intercept from the 23rd of July,
2 1991, as a reaction to your assertion that you did not talk to me about
3 the establishment of the Krajina. On the 30th of July, 1991, was this
4 intercept about the establishment of the Krajina or was it about a
5 referendum that somebody had proposed and that I had refused --
6 A. [No interpretation]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We do not hear the
9 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's call up the document.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
12 MR. TIEGER: I believe the Court can see readily what a leading
13 question this was. And we can call up the document, but now the witness
14 has been informed about what the accused's position is and what kind of
15 answer he wants.
16 JUDGE KWON: Do you follow, Mr. Karadzic?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Excellency, but I think that
18 the entire telegram was not shown to the witness. He was only asked
19 about a single sentence.
20 JUDGE KWON: So you do not follow. Read your question again and
21 the way it was formatted, it's very much leading.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I understand now, but could the
23 telegram be shown now, or rather, that intercept.
24 JUDGE KWON: Exhibit number? Or 65 ter?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm looking for it.
1 All right. It's hard to find and I don't want to waste any
2 time --
3 JUDGE KWON: Is it D1084?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Possibly. If it's the 23rd of
5 July, 1991.
6 MR. TIEGER: I think it's P1084.
7 JUDGE KWON: It's referred to in paragraph 13.
8 MR. TIEGER: It's one of the associated exhibits, correct.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, P1084.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do cast a glance at the first page and then let's take a look at
12 this second page.
13 THE ACCUSED: Next page in Serbian, please.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Please take a look at this. The fourth part where you are
16 speaking, that they reached some kind of agreement concerning a
17 referendum. I heard about that today, and then four paragraphs down I'm
18 speaking about that referendum, saying that things should not be done,
19 anything that would violate the constitution.
20 Do you remember that?
21 A. I remember that, but that did not happen.
22 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Kupresanin. I have no further
23 questions. Thank you for having made this effort to come here and
24 testify, and thank you for having taken care of all the citizens of the
25 Krajina as I had hoped.
1 A. Thank you. Thank you to the Judges, the Prosecutors, and Defence
2 counsel. I enjoyed this. This was pleasant. I didn't have any
4 JUDGE KWON: Well, unless my colleagues have a question for you,
5 that concludes your evidence. On behalf of the Chamber, I would like to
6 thank you for your coming to The Hague to give it. You're free to go.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ah, thank you too.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE KWON: And your next witness is Poplasen?
10 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE KWON: Even if we can conclude this witness's evidence
12 today, I don't think we can hear part of Mr. Krajisnik's
13 cross-examination today.
14 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: NIKOLA POPLASEN
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Poplasen. Please be seated and make
22 yourself comfortable.
23 Good morning to you, Mr. Poplasen.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Good
25 morning, honourable Judges. Good morning to all the participants in
1 these proceedings.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
3 Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Poplasen, I must draw your
4 attention to a certain rule that we have here at the international
5 Tribunal, that is, Rule 90(E) of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
6 Under this rule, you may object to answering any question from
7 Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecutor, or even from the Judges if you believe that
8 your answer might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In this
9 context, "incriminate" means saying something that might amount to an
10 admission of guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that might
11 provide evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence.
12 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you and as a
13 consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that
14 the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the question. But in
15 that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony compelled
16 under such circumstances would not be used in any case that might be laid
17 against you for any offence, save and except the offence of giving false
19 Do you understand that, sir?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
22 Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
1 A. Good morning to you once again.
2 Q. Thank you for having already felt that pauses should be made
3 between questions and answers because we are speaking the same language.
4 Did you give a statement to my Defence team?
5 A. Yes, I gave a statement in writing.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have 1D9193 in
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you see that statement before you on the screen?
11 A. Yes, that is the statement that I provided.
12 Q. Thank you. Did you read and sign the statement?
13 A. Yes, I read it in its entirety and I signed it.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
16 the last page so that he could identify his signature.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is my signature.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you said
20 to the Defence team?
21 A. Yes, entirely.
22 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today in
23 this courtroom live, would your answers basically be the same?
24 A. Basically they would be the same, but I did not learn this text
25 by heart so it's not that I can remember all of it that way. Basically
1 they would be the same.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
4 statement according to Rule 92 ter.
5 JUDGE KWON: I take it that you're tendering some associated
6 exhibits as well?
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
9 MR. ROBINSON: There are six associated exhibits that we're
10 tendering, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE KWON: Were they on the 65 ter list?
12 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Edgerton?
14 MS. EDGERTON: No.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll assign -- we'll admit them and assign the
16 numbers. Shall we do that now?
17 THE REGISTRAR: 92 ter statement will be Exhibit D4027,
18 65 ter number 1566 will be Exhibit D4028 --
19 JUDGE KWON: They will be given numbers from D4028 to --
20 THE REGISTRAR: D4033 --
21 JUDGE KWON: In the order of their numbers.
22 Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Now I'm going to read out the summary of Professor Nikola
25 Poplasen's statement in English.
1 [In English] Nikola Poplasen was appointed a member of the
2 Political Council of the SDS in late 1990. In April 1992 he became
3 adviser to the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of BH, and in June 1992
4 he was appointed commissioner of the Republika Srpska Presidency for
5 Vogosca municipality.
6 The situation in Sarajevo and Vogosca was chaotic. The SDA acted
7 without heed to the wishes of the Serbs and appointed company directors
8 and municipal leaders. The majority of the directors were Muslims.
9 The barricades in Vogosca started springing up throughout the
10 town at about the same time. The breakdown in security, lack of trust,
11 and fear forced all sides to erect barricades and establish check-points
12 in areas where they were the majority. Initially people thought that the
13 problems would be resolved by agreement, but when the barricades and
14 clashes started, most people began to relocate of their own accord to
15 areas where they were in majority and where they thought they would be
16 safer. Population relocation took place on all sides throughout the war,
17 but this was merely and solely a result of the security problems arising
18 from the chaos.
19 The Crisis Staffs existed in Serbian municipalities. They were
20 created because of the serious situation in the municipalities and
21 throughout Republika Srpska. The Crisis Staff united the most important
22 departments, politics, the army, and the police. Similarly, the
23 War Presidencies were a form of organising government in the emerging
24 situation and they had no specific role, particularly not in regard to
25 planning the persecution of non-Serbs.
1 At some point in June 1992, the Crisis Staff was disbanded in
2 Vogosca and other Serbian municipalities. The War Commission was formed
3 and civilian organs of government were established. The commission was
4 formed in response to exceptionally difficult communication. Radio
5 communication was difficult to establish. Between the first armed
6 clashes in mid-1993 -- clashes 1992 until 1993, Vogosca had no telephone
7 communications or electricity. The commission was a point of contact
8 between the Republika Srpska Presidency and the government of the local
10 Parts of Vogosca were constantly under fire from Muslim snipers.
11 Several people were killed and wounded. The surrounding Muslim positions
12 were dominant and overlooked most of Vogosca. Muslim forces largely
13 benefitted from this advantage. No one in the Serbian side conducted a
14 systematic campaign of shelling or sniping intended to inflict
15 indiscriminate suffering of the civilian population. It would have been
16 difficult for the Serbian forces in its territory to do this because of
17 the position.
18 As soon as Mr. Nikola Poplasen discovered the existence of places
19 of detention, he wrote a letter to the minister of justice for these
20 facilities to be inspected and integrated into the Republika Srpska
21 judicial system. The RS leadership agreed that these issues should be
22 dealt with in the manner prescribed by law and that this could not be a
23 question dealt with by anyone in their own way. The Serbian leadership
24 advocated that war was conducted while adhering to the international
25 standards regulating this area, including the Geneva Protocols.
1 There were volunteers operating in Vogosca. The procedure for
2 receiving volunteers is regulated by law. They were all under the
3 command of the VRS. The Serbian leadership and President Karadzic argued
4 for all Serbian forces to be placed under a single command. Individual
5 incidents did occur, but this was not the result of systematic or
6 organised activity, nor was it with approval or knowledge of Serbian
8 There was a law on abandoned property in Republika Srpska and the
9 Serbian municipality authorities worked in accordance with it. This law
10 was in force and was applied throughout the war. The intention was for
11 the property to be preserved. There was a desire to prevent it being at
12 the disposal of individuals and groups, and thus endeavours were made to
13 regulate this issue by law. All the practical actions that were
14 implemented, whether with deprivation or limitation of rights, related to
15 and were equally applied to everyone, regardless of their ethnic or other
17 Dr. Karadzic advocated the fight for truth and justice and for
18 the rights of other -- that others had. In mid-1992, Mr. Nikola Poplasen
19 insisted on full reunification with the RSK. Since actual unification
20 did not take place, he spoke with Dr. Karadzic, who explained that not
21 one great power stood behind the Serbs and that Nikola Poplasen's
22 radicalism was misguided, which further deepened the differences in their
23 views. Dr. Karadzic's democratic approach and patience, even when an
24 interlocutor's arguments were weak and unconvincing, led Nikola Poplasen
25 to conclude that he was a non-authoritative -- that he was not a leader
1 that could entrench his authority at the required level.
2 Nikola Poplasen was an adviser in the Presidency of
3 Republika Srpska, and no one ever conceived, organised or issued tasks
4 for anyone to be persecuted based on their ethnicity.
5 And that is a short summary. At that moment I do not have
6 questions for President Poplasen.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, in his statement Mr. Poplasen stated
8 that he was appointed as commissioner of the Republika Srpska Presidency
9 for Vogosca municipality. If you could clarify with the witness whether
10 it's related to the War Commission he referred to and where he worked.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. President, shall I repeat this question or you were paying
14 A. I understood the question. It was addressed to you but I can
15 answer to be of assistance.
16 The commission was formed as a link between the War Presidency of
17 Republika Srpska and they government of Republika Srpska, and it had no
18 other role than to co-ordinate the work of civilian authorities in local
19 communities, in municipalities, perhaps to interpret some decisions of
20 the government and the Presidency, to point out shortcomings on the
21 ground, and suggest solutions. And in addition to the commissions,
22 therefore, there existed civilian authorities that did their job. The
23 War Commission did not have the powers to replace them, except in those
24 cases when those organs did not exist, were unable to meet or to operate;
25 and in those cases, the War Commission had the power to take decisions
1 that were in their competence. Such cases happened, but as far as I know
2 not in Vogosca. In Vogosca, throughout the war, there was a municipal
3 government that did its job. I believe this would be the short answer.
4 Q. Can you explain where you physically sat, where you worked, in
5 which period?
6 A. In June I would go to Vogosca in the morning and return to Pale
7 in the evening. After Vidovdan I stayed in the Park Hotel in Vogosca and
8 I usually worked in an office in the Municipal Assembly, next to the
9 office of the president of the Executive Board.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you ever visit an institution in the Serbian
11 municipality of Rajlovac, in particular any detention facility?
12 A. Never, not one. In Rajlovac, I went only to the central
13 warehouse of the Red Cross to pick up some packages that I left to some
14 starving people on my way back from Rajlovac to Pale. A friend of mine
15 worked there, and I also met with a commissioner in Rajlovac, but not
16 even in an office. We met as friends outside. I didn't visit any other
17 institutions and I was not in contact with any military or other bodies
18 in Rajlovac.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If this is satisfactory, I have no
20 further questions.
21 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
22 I noted that Mr. Karadzic addressed you as "President." Is it
23 related to your position in law faculty now?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the title of the president of
25 the republic is for -- means for life that you can be addressed as
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Perhaps I owe you an explanation.
3 Since it goes beyond the period of the indictment, I did not insist on
4 it, but Mr. Nikola Poplasen was the elected president of Republika Srpska
5 in 1998, I believe, and on.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 Yes. Yes, Mr. Poplasen, as you have noted, your evidence in
8 chief in this case has been admitted in writing, i.e., via your written
9 statement instead of -- in lieu of your oral testimony. Now you'll be
10 cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor. Do
11 you understand that, sir?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
14 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Edgerton:
16 Q. Good morning, Professor Poplasen.
17 A. Good morning, Madam.
18 Q. I'd like to start out by asking you just a few simple questions
19 that perhaps you can confirm very briefly. You've never been a member of
20 the SDS party; correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct, I was never a member.
22 Q. And in 1994 you were proclaimed a Chetnik Vojvoda; correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And after a period of time in office as president of the
25 Republika Srpska, you were removed from that office by the
1 High Representative; correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, just to turn to your written statement, in
4 paragraph 21 - and Dr. Karadzic alluded to it in the summary of your
5 evidence - you described Karadzic as not being an authoritative leader
6 and someone who couldn't entrench his authority at the required level.
7 But, Professor, seven years ago when you came to testify in defence of
8 Mr. Krajisnik, I noted that during your evidence in chief you described
9 Dr. Karadzic's influence as "important" and "decisive." And that's at
10 transcript page 20994, lines 11 and 12 of your evidence in the Krajisnik
12 That's how you described him seven years ago; right?
13 A. I suppose so, but I would have to refresh my memory, if that's
14 how you read my evidence in the Krajisnik case. Is that it?
15 Q. It is. And I could show you the transcript page, Professor, but
16 it's in English. I don't know if you're able to read English and I could
17 read you the passage where you said that --
18 JUDGE KWON: Why don't we upload it.
19 MS. EDGERTON: That would be fine. That's 65 ter number --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You don't have to. You don't have
21 to. I take your word for it. You don't have to read it.
22 MS. EDGERTON:
23 Q. And also in 2006, you answered a question from one of the Judges
24 in the proceedings against Mr. Krajisnik and it was from His Honour
25 Judge Hanoteau, and the question related to the relationship between
1 Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik. And you said, in contrast to what you
2 said in your statement, that Mr. Karadzic was not only president of the
3 republic, but also president of the SDS, the ruling party, which had
4 absolute power.
5 So that's what you said at the time; correct?
6 A. All that is true, but I haven't yet heard a question. I suppose
7 a question will follow.
8 Q. Now, in addition to this, rather than being a patient man, as you
9 said of Dr. Karadzic in your statement at paragraph 21, in 2006 you said
10 the following:
11 "Mr. Karadzic hailed from the Dinara area which has this typical
12 mind-set which is quite violent. So this is not just typical of him,
13 it's rather typical of the area, and there's general agreement about
15 So that's what you said at that time; correct?
16 A. No. I certainly didn't use the term "nasilan," but "violentan" I
17 suppose it's translated the same way.
18 Q. Perhaps we could have a look at the page.
19 MS. EDGERTON: If we could call it up, please. As I had
20 indicated previously, 65 ter number 25650. And this is at transcript
21 page 20993, and that might help any translation issues if we see the
22 context within which the remark was made. Thank you.
23 Q. Now if we can go down to line 14, I'll read you what that passage
24 says --
25 JUDGE KWON: Let's read the question first.
1 MS. EDGERTON: Absolutely.
2 Q. The question you were given from Mr. Krajisnik's Defence counsel
4 "Before we move away, so to speak, from Pale, you have described
5 how you were in what I will call, using a colloquial English expression,
6 the corridors of power for the short time in 1992. I would like you,
7 please, to make an assessment of some of the people you rubbed shoulders
8 with there and their influence, as far as you were concerned, with events
9 and how they controlled events.
10 "Firstly, Radovan Karadzic ..."
11 And your answer was:
12 "Generally speaking, numerous social and psychological studies of
13 the populations of the Balkans indicate something that should be noted
14 here. Mr. Karadzic hailed from the Dinara area which has this typical
15 mind-set which is quite violent. So this is not just typical of him, it
16 is rather typical of the area, and there is general agreement about this.
17 I mention this because I wish to say that Mr. Karadzic was a typical
18 representative of this mind-set characterised by large ideas and
19 ambitions, more interested in visions than in practical problems."
20 That was your characterisation of Dr. Karadzic in 2006?
21 A. May I say something about this?
22 JUDGE KWON: By all means, yes.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, the whole thing revolves
24 around the fact that I remember every word I said seven years later, and
25 you see in this line it says "violent," whereas the interpreters here
1 still say "nasilan." And "violentan," according to our Jovan Cvijic, our
2 author, corresponds to a term which has nothing to do with violence.
3 This is about a type of temperament that can express itself as I
4 explained before, when Mr. Karadzic was prone to thunder when something
5 was done wrong. It was not about violence as a feature, as a character
6 trait, as a violent personality.
7 And if I can add, I see the comment of the Prosecutor in the same
8 light. Where she finds contradictions, I don't see any whatsoever. This
9 was about my harmonious view. I was being asked here how I saw things,
10 and I answered that Mr. Karadzic was too soft and too liberal. It is
11 understood that it's from the point of view of my radical tastes.
12 I'll try to be as brief as I can and finish.
13 For example, I would never chair the meetings of the Main Board
14 as he had. Those were endless discussions. All the members - and there
15 were about a hundred - sometimes took the floor two or three times. No
16 offence to any of the members, but even those who did not have any
17 opinion took the floor and had something to say; and President Karadzic
18 allowed it. He should have had more authority in a war-time situation
19 on -- in my opinion.
20 Authority is not used in the same sense in the Serbian language,
21 in the sense of power. It is more used in the sense of good reputation,
22 renown, somebody who commands authority and respect. In a war-time
23 situation, decisions should have been taken more firmly, more quickly,
24 without entering into any co-operation with the enemies of the Serbian
25 people, without restoring your trust into somebody who had already
1 tricked you many times before.
2 That is the context. That is a comment that describes my
3 characterisation of him as too democratic. I believe that a number of
4 people would not find it too democratic, but it's not these people who
5 are answering your questions now, it's me.
6 Q. But what I still don't understand, Professor, is that in 2006,
7 seven years closer to the events we're talking about, you still described
8 Dr. Karadzic's influence as being important and decisive and described
9 the SDS as being the party in absolute power, in complete contrast to the
10 characterisation you made in paragraph 21 of your statement. You spoke
11 of Dr. Karadzic as a man in authority.
12 A. May I? After all is said is done, all I believe is that you
13 don't understand. Everything else is clear. Absolute power means that
14 they had the absolute majority. I believe that needs no further proof.
15 The SDS had all the important posts under its control. It had influence.
16 I just explained to you. If he convinces the entire Main Board after
17 that exhausting discussions, then the positions expressed by Dr. Karadzic
18 are implemented. There are no other parties. There are no other
19 influences. All the members of the Main Board, including the majority of
20 the Assembly and all the officials, after all the arguments and
21 exhausting debates, he succeeded in convincing them all of his ideas, in
22 getting them to accept them. So I don't see why my statement that he was
23 authoritative is in dispute. He had influence. The SDS had won the
24 elections in a perfectly democratic way by winning the overwhelming
25 majority, and it was therefore democratic. Why I minded these things I
1 already said, and I told you what my objections to his style were.
2 It was a constant weakness of the Serbian Democratic Party, this
3 endless procrastination in the democratic process, although they believed
4 that everything has to be perfectly clear, that all the arguments have to
5 be put on the table, and that before implementation begins everyone has
6 to agree. My own party worked a bit differently, and from that point of
7 view I emphasised that my own practice was to allow people to take the
8 floor if they really have something to say, not just to speak for the
9 sake of speaking, of having fun. As for repetitions of things that have
10 been said already, repeating common places from John Locke to our day,
11 that can be left for later, talks over coffee. That was my point.
12 But I didn't mean in my objection that he was a violent man.
13 This was an interpretation of a term I used, and I can see that it's even
14 written in English here "violent."
15 Q. Professor --
16 A. "Violent" is something that denotes violence in the streets,
17 something that is obvious, not something of theoretic relevance. My
18 objection was not meant like that; it was meant entirely differently.
19 Q. Thank you for the clarification. I want to ask you -- actually,
20 after this clarification, I want to put to you a remark that
21 Jovan Tintor, who was the SDS president and the head of the Crisis Staff,
22 you know, for the Serbian municipality of Vogosca, a remark that he made
23 at a session of the Assembly of the Serbian People in April 1995. And he
24 was talking about the period before the war. He said, and I'll quote:
25 "I was ordered to create military formations. Perhaps you do not
1 know it, General," because he was addressing General Mladic, "but I want
2 you to know this: I went from municipality to municipality and created
3 military formations on order from my president, and this is true. Here
4 are people who know this to be the truth and have papers to prove it. We
5 created brigade commanders down to platoon commanders, all this was done
6 by the SDS."
7 MS. EDGERTON: And that's at P970, English page 298 and B/C/S
8 page 261.
9 Q. Now, you knew Mr. Tintor at the time. Professor, this is an
10 example, what I've just read you, of Dr. Karadzic making his authority
11 felt at the local level, isn't it?
12 A. I don't know what this has to do with my evidence. A statement
13 made by some Tintor somewhere about something, and I hear it for the
14 first time, by the way --
15 Q. Well --
16 A. I'm not saying that he had not said that. It's just that I hear
17 it for the first time and I can't comment.
18 Q. Well, you specifically said in paragraph 21 that Dr. Karadzic was
19 unable to entrench his authority at the required level, and I've just
20 read to you the words of a Vogosca municipal official who said that at
21 the time it counted, Dr. Karadzic effectively made that authority felt.
22 He went from municipality to municipality and created military formations
23 on order from his president, that's Dr. Karadzic.
24 A. I can comment if you accept that I'm hearing this for the first
25 time. I can comment but it doesn't mean that I witnessed it --
1 Q. Well --
2 A. -- I suppose that Jovan --
3 Q. -- Professor, my question was: These words are an example of
4 Dr. Karadzic making his authority felt at the local level, aren't they?
5 A. No. If I may tell you why, I will.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes --
7 MS. EDGERTON:
8 Q. Please.
9 JUDGE KWON: -- please proceed, Mr. Poplasen.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This statement by Jovan Tintor, I
11 didn't see him around at that time or during the war either. When I came
12 to Vogosca, he had left. I knew him before the war. Jovan Tintor was a
13 house painter, the one who paints houses. He felt a need to build some
14 sort of authority for himself rather than for Dr. Karadzic. I'm telling
15 you what my comment about this is. He probably used the opportunity of
16 attention or confrontation with General Mladic in order to prove himself
17 more important than his officers. He didn't have any opportunity to
18 command brigades or battalions; that can only happen in cartoons. And it
19 sounds like a construction which should now be taken as a fact in order
20 to explain what was going on. I know what was going on on the ground.
21 Mladic and his generals were so authoritative -- authoritarian, actually,
22 in the military sense, in the sense of army subordination. Any
23 opposition was eliminated.
24 Tintor was no officer; he's a house painter. The civilian
25 authorities did not have any military competence and Tintor's statement
1 could only serve for him to show off, like a peacock when it spreads its
2 tail, at this meeting, so that somebody would like him, so that he would
3 expand his ego and perhaps build his authority among the civilian
4 authorities. I can't view that in any different way.
5 MS. EDGERTON:
6 Q. So --
7 JUDGE KWON: Shall we have a break?
8 MS. EDGERTON: Um --
9 JUDGE KWON: You have -- yes, a follow-up question. Yes, please.
10 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, but given the length of time the answer might
11 take, perhaps it's better to pause now, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 We'll have a break for half an hour and resume at 11.05.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.
16 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Ms. Edgerton.
17 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
18 Q. Before we move on, Professor, I just wanted to stay with the
19 statement by Mr. Tintor we were talking about before the break, where you
20 said he didn't have the opportunity to command brigades and battalions
21 because that only happens in cartoons and that the civilians had no
22 military competence.
23 Professor, shortly after Mr. Tintor made that statement in the
24 Bosnian Serb Assembly session, the 50th Session in April 1995,
25 Dr. Karadzic actually responded. And I'll tell you -- I'll quote to you
1 what Dr. Karadzic said. On pages 323 and 324 of the English translation
2 of P970, Dr. Karadzic said:
3 "It was the SDS which organised the people and created the army.
4 It was an army. Together with the police, those who were the armed
5 forces of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they created
6 the space, liberated, and created the space."
7 And he goes on to say:
8 "We decided to set up the TO, the Serbian brigades, which were
9 indeed led by the SDS but not as a party army, but as a people's army,
10 for not everyone dared to put himself at the head of an illegal brigade
11 and oppose the Green Berets, like Jovan Tintor, who impoverished himself
12 in this war and we're quick to label Jovan Tintor who gave everything for
13 this party, for this people. We're quick to call him a profiteer or
14 something like that."
15 So, Professor, Dr. Karadzic himself confirmed what Mr. Tintor
16 said, so it seems that you're not only wrong in your assertion that the
17 civilian authorities had no military competence, you were also -- your
18 assertion that Mr. Tintor had no military command was speculation; isn't
19 that the case?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Would you like to explain?
22 A. Of course. If I had been in the situation which Dr. Karadzic
23 was, when did you say, 1995, I would have had the same thing, only I
24 would have put a little bit more of edge into it because he referred to
25 the laws that were then in force. In the indictment you have a
1 combination of provisions about Territorial Defence with a newly formed
2 army. The obligation of the civilian authorities in every crisis
3 situation is to mobilise the so-called Territorial Defence. It was a
4 part of the constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Yugoslavia;
5 there's nothing problematic about that --
6 Q. I'm sorry, Professor --
7 A. You placed the emphasis on the first several sentences, claiming
8 that the last sentence in Dr. Karadzic's speech is marginal, whereas it's
9 crucial. This has to do with the Territorial Defence, which was set up
10 in accordance with regulations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the regulations
11 of the Republic of Yugoslavia, which was then still in existence. This
12 Territorial Defence has certain obligations and tasks which were defined
13 by the law, inter alia, it is organised for various purposes --
14 Q. Professor, are you saying that when Dr. Karadzic confirmed that
15 the Serbian brigades were led by the SDS and that Jovan Tintor put
16 himself at the head of a brigade to oppose the Green Berets, are you
17 saying that when Dr. Karadzic confirmed that he was lying?
18 A. No. The Serbian Democratic Party was part of the authorities;
19 that's what he had in mind, part of the state authorities, not as the
20 Serbian Democratic Party. He's here so let him explain what he was doing
21 at the time. I'm not his Defence counsel.
22 As a part of the authorities, it was their duty to organise the
23 Territorial Defence, not as the Serbian Democratic Party. And as for the
24 fact that he shortened the discussion in his speeches, you don't think
25 that he could read all the provisions of the law to the deputies and
1 teach them the ABC of law --
2 Q. Professor --
3 A. -- as someone who was participating in power -- yes, please.
4 Q. I'm very --
5 JUDGE KWON: I can't find your passage in the -- pages referred
7 MS. EDGERTON: I'm sorry, Your Honour, that I've given the wrong
8 page numbers.
9 JUDGE KWON: Please check. I don't know.
10 MS. EDGERTON: I will absolutely do that. I miss my colleague
11 beside me, but I will get back to you with that as soon as possible.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
13 MS. EDGERTON:
14 Q. Professor, if I could move on because I think -- with respect,
15 Professor, I think we're getting far and away outside of the question
16 that I've asked you. And I'd like to go into another area of your
17 statement and that's at paragraphs 5 and 6, where you were asked about
18 the role, if any, of the municipal Crisis Staffs and War Presidencies in
19 Serb-sought and Serb-controlled areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the
20 persecution of non-Serbs. And also related to the area I'm going to deal
21 with now is paragraph 15, where you said that any restrictions imposed
22 were implemented equally to everyone. And before I ask you some -- show
23 you some documents in that regard, I'd like to go back to your Krajisnik
24 testimony in front of this Tribunal in 2006.
25 MS. EDGERTON: And I'll actually ask for the page to be pulled
1 up, that's 65 ter number 25650, page 21097.
2 Q. There, during your testimony as a Defence witness in the
3 Krajisnik trial, His Honour Judge Orie asked you:
4 "Did ethnic cleansing," and that's at line 6.
5 "Did ethnic cleansing occur in the territory in -- under the
6 control of the Bosnian Serb forces in 1992?"
7 And your answer was "no."
8 So your position in 2006 in front of this Tribunal was that no
9 ethnic cleansing occurred in territory controlled by Bosnian Serb forces
10 in 1992; right? We see it on the page there in front of us.
11 A. Well, you see, but my answer is not as you said. It says here
12 "in my opinion." Not just "no" and nothing but.
13 Q. That's fine. That's correct, that reflected your position in
14 2006; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. We'll move on to some documents now. I'd like to
17 show you, Professor, P2638. It's a decision dated 23 July 1992 by the
18 Celinac War Presidency and it's distributed to the local SJB and the
19 military command, which we see later in the document, as well as all
20 households. And this decision, Professor, gives the non-Serb population
21 on the territory of the municipality special status.
22 If we could have a look at Article 5 on page 2 of this document
23 in both languages, I think, we see in Article 5 that non-Serbs are under
24 a curfew between 4.00 and 6.00 p.m. [sic]. They can't linger in public
25 places. They can't bathe in the rivers, hunt, they can't fish. They
1 can't gather in groups of more than three men. They can't sell real
2 estate or exchange flats without permission from the competent organ.
3 But, you see, Article 4, immediately above that, says they can leave so
4 long as they all go, the entire household goes.
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Did it apply to all non-Serb
6 population, Ms. Edgerton?
7 MS. EDGERTON: If we could go over to the Article 1, Your Honour,
8 because you see clause 5 refers to the citizens from Article 1.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 MS. EDGERTON: The decision refers specifically to the status of
11 the non-Serbian population of Celinac municipality, and Article 1
12 specifically refers as well to non-Serb population of Celinac
14 JUDGE KWON: Not limited to only the individuals referred to in
15 Article 2?
16 MS. EDGERTON: If we go back over to Article 5, we see that
17 that's not the case. And an examination of the document in full,
18 Your Honour, actually shows specific references to the particular
19 citizens identified in Article 2 in any number of other clauses, apart
20 from the references that we're dealing with here which refer to
21 Article 1.
22 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
23 Please continue.
24 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
25 Q. So, Professor, so first of all this decision - and it's not from
1 the military, it's from the War Presidency - specifically applies to
2 non-Serbs who are restricted in any number of ways that have nothing to
3 do with military operations. So, Professor, your evidence that any
4 restrictions were implemented equally to everyone is actually completely
5 incorrect and this document shows that.
6 A. What is the question?
7 Q. This is a discriminatory decision and it discriminates against
8 non-Serbs; correct?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Would you like to explain why you feel that?
11 A. You can see that it says in Article 4 that the competent organs
12 shall provide the necessary documentation and ensure safe passage. The
13 necessary documentation probably implies the state-issued documents
14 issued by the municipalities. I suppose, because I wasn't in Celinac at
15 the time, the safe passage probably implies the route which would not be
16 threatened by anyone and which would enable them to pass along a route of
17 their choice.
18 And as for Article 5, I don't know, perhaps it all has to do with
19 some situations in Celinac where the idea was to protect these people.
20 Maybe there were groups which were attacking non-Serbian populations so
21 it was necessary to save the people's lives. I don't know --
22 Q. So, Professor --
23 A. -- I'm just speculating. You presented this document to me and
24 offered just one possible interpretation; however, there are many more
25 possible interpretations.
1 Q. Professor, I'm not going to ask you to speculate; I didn't ask
2 you to speculate and I don't want a speculative answer, with respect.
3 So what we're going to do is we're going to move on to another
4 document. I'd like to take us, actually, to 65 ter number 05119. It's a
5 document dated 14 July 1992, and it's an extract from the minutes of the
6 War Staff for Sanski Most municipality. Item 1 of this document records
7 the decision of the War Staff that public sector employees of Serbian
8 nationality whose war time assignment takes them away from their
9 work-place are on paid leave, while Croats and Muslims are on unpaid
11 So, Professor, this is not a decision affecting everyone equally,
12 is it? Croats and Muslims are treated differently, aren't they?
13 A. Judging by this document, it is so.
14 Q. That's a discriminatory decision, isn't it?
15 A. Judging by this document -- I'm speculating. You keep asking
16 me -- first you presented to me Celinac, then Sanski Most, where I've
17 never been in my life, and you insist that I should speculate. I don't
18 know what other answer is possible. Neither was I there, nor do I know
19 these people, nor am I familiar with this. How could I testify about
20 this on the basis of my experience?
21 You can write whatever you like and ask me whether this deserves
22 to be condemned. If it was like this on the ground, then it does deserve
23 to be condemned, but I don't know what this has to do -- at least I don't
24 understand what this has to do with my testimony.
25 Q. Well, your testimony, your testimony -- in paragraph 15 of your
1 statement you were specifically asked whether Serb authorities in the RS
2 imposed or maintained discriminatory measures against the non-Serb
3 population. And your response was that -- was no, was that any
4 restrictions that were implemented applied equally to everyone. This
5 document shows your assertion is incorrect, you're wrong?
6 A. No, you're coming back to it again. You asked me, judging by my
7 experience and in my view -- well, you want to refute my experience by a
8 document which is completely independent from this experience and which
9 was created several hundred kilometres away. So other witnesses will
10 have to confirm this.
11 Q. You gave evidence in the Krajisnik case, Professor, that through
12 1992, you travelled across the breadth of Bosnian Serb-held territory
13 establishing the Republika Srpska.
14 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, just -- I have to intervene.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Of course.
16 JUDGE KWON: Why don't we upload his statement, and in the
17 meantime I would like his statement, hard copy, to be provided to him.
18 Paragraph 15.
19 Do you see your statement, paragraph 15?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Yes.
21 JUDGE KWON: If you could have a quick look.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is.
23 JUDGE KWON: It is in general to the effect that there was no
24 discrimination, in particular the last sentence reads like this:
25 "The only decisions that do perhaps exist are those relating to
1 curfews, issued by the military organs, but these were valid for
3 But the document you saw in relation to Celinac was a bit
4 different. If that was true, then your statement is not correct; do you
5 agree with it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This statement of mine has to do
7 with my experience in Vogosca, and I can't assess and evaluate events
8 which took place far away from where I was and far away from my
10 JUDGE KWON: But the question was formulated as regards the whole
11 municipalities or Republika Srpska as a whole.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. This primarily has to do
13 with Vogosca and my experience there. These generalisations follow from
14 my experience in Vogosca.
15 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
16 Let's continue.
17 MS. EDGERTON:
18 Q. So, Professor, now that you've limited your evidence in regard
19 to -- in paragraph 15 in regard to the situation in Vogosca, perhaps we
20 could go over to paragraphs 5 and 6 of your statement --
21 JUDGE KWON: I take it you have your statement with you now?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 MS. EDGERTON:
24 Q. The question you were asked in paragraph 5 was whether
25 Crisis Staffs existed and operated at any point in the Serbian
1 municipalities, and, as far as you know, whether they served as the means
2 for the permanent removal of non-Serbs from areas of Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 which the Bosnian Serbs claimed as theirs through various means.
4 Is your answer also in relation to question 5 limited to the
5 situation in Vogosca?
6 A. Yes, it is generalised, as I said a little while ago, on the
7 basis of my experience in Vogosca, to the extent that the listener wants
8 to hear that it's generalised, but it originates from this particular
9 experience. And in several places you can see "according to my
10 knowledge," "according to my experience," that can be found in my answer.
11 "As far as I know."
12 Q. Well, in paragraph 6 of your statement, you were similarly asked
13 whether you had any information on the reasons for establishing
14 War Presidencies in the municipalities and how they functioned. And you
15 didn't qualify your answer in that paragraph in any regard whatsoever.
16 You said:
17 "As with the Crisis Staffs, the War Presidencies were a form of
18 organising government in the emerging situation and they had no specific
19 role, particularly not in regard to planning the persecution of the
20 non-Serb population."
21 Are you now here limiting your answer to this question to the
22 situation in Vogosca municipality during the period of time in which you
23 served as war commissioner?
24 A. Yes, that is my experience. Of course, it is my rational
25 supposition that the Crisis Staff and then the War Presidency -- or,
1 rather, the war commissioner's office in Vogosca was the outcome of a
2 document which served as the basis for establishing Crisis Staffs and war
3 commissions in other municipalities as well. In accordance with the
4 principle of analogy, the events should have been similar in other
5 municipalities, but I cannot confirm that on the basis of my own
6 experience but only on the basis of the assumption that others honoured
7 the documents issued by the Presidency and the government and that they
8 worked accordingly.
9 MS. EDGERTON: Your indulgence for just a moment, Your Honours.
10 Q. So when you in your statement in paragraph 5 said:
11 "Population relocation took place on all sides throughout the
12 war, but this was merely and solely a result of the security problems
13 arising from the chaos," do you similarly now limit that generalisation
14 to refer solely to the situation in Vogosca municipality?
15 A. No. I know for certain that this was taking place in most of the
16 territory of the republic, that people chose a place of residence where,
17 justifiably or not, they felt more secure, more safe, where they had
18 different prospects where they could find jobs and various other things.
19 I was one of them. I suppose I know why I left Sarajevo.
20 Q. Well, since this generalisation is -- well, since you've not
21 limited this to Vogosca municipality, perhaps I could ask you a question
22 about that. Your written evidence actually says you went up to
23 Banja Luka in 1993, and maybe we can talk for a minute about what was
24 going on while you were there in the city.
25 Professor, this Chamber has received evidence that throughout
1 1994, Bosnian Serb authorities were taking part in a campaign of
2 continuing human rights abuses of minorities in Banja Luka from February
3 right through to September.
4 MS. EDGERTON: And that's -- that evidence is found in
5 Exhibits D3492 at page 4, paragraph 14; P5423; and P2087.
6 Q. And, Professor, in September, over 2.500 Muslim civilians, we've
7 heard, were forcefully expelled from Bijeljina and Janja and almost
8 1.000 similar departures took place from Banja Luka to Croatia. So the
9 evidence is that this was a practice that had been underway for at least
10 eight months and it was at a level that attracted international
11 attention, and despite repeated protests -- the policy and the expulsions
12 actually accelerated. So, Professor, over two years into the war, when
13 the RS institutions were functioning, these forced transfers aren't a
14 reflection of chaos, are they?
15 A. Yes, I can confirm that with the example of Sarajevo. There, in
16 this way, as you describe, more than 100.000 people left the city.
17 That's closer to my experience. As for Banja Luka, I was in opposition
18 at the time and I worked at the university so I didn't follow what was
19 going on. But I did experience this, so it's a bit of a problem where
20 you choose to focus your attention. We can investigate why more than
21 100.000 Serbs were forced to leave Sarajevo.
22 Q. My -- my question --
23 A. Or perhaps they --
24 Q. My question was specifically related to the expulsion of over
25 1.000 people in Banja Luka in September 1994, Professor. My question --
1 because you were there at that time. My question has nothing to do with
3 A. Well, I was sitting in my office in Banja Luka at the faculty of
4 law, but I had images of Sarajevo. That was my experience too.
5 Q. Well --
6 A. My answer is a direct answer to your question, not in terms of
7 your expectations, no, but it is responsive to your question.
8 Q. And now, having touched on that, I'm going to move on to
9 something you discussed at paragraphs 10 and 11 of your statement. And
10 there you talked about detention facilities in Vogosca, and you discuss
11 those in the Krajisnik case as well, during your testimony there, and
12 that was in the Krajisnik case in specific reference to the facility you
13 visited, Sonja's.
14 So, Professor, in the Krajisnik case you confirmed that the
15 people you saw being detained there were civilians; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And in your evidence in the Krajisnik case, you agreed that the
18 detention of civilians was a crime; correct?
19 A. I don't know how you use this notion of captivity. I just said
20 that I remember my testimony. I said that they had not been locked up.
21 I haven't got that paper here with me, my testimony in Krajisnik, but I
22 remember that I described the situation as people walking about freely in
23 front of the building and that my impression was that they were waiting
24 for transportation or something like that. There was no key, that people
25 stopped to have breakfast or tea or something like that, whereas you keep
1 referring to captivity. This was a facility where people came from
2 different directions, and then they were probably -- well, that was not
3 my affair. I just stopped by to have breakfast and then I went on. It
4 wasn't my job to record that, to process that or to make any decisions;
5 however, what I saw is along those lines. I don't think that
6 "imprisonment" or "captivity" would be the right word; that means that
7 somebody had been had been arrested and locked up, and that was not the
8 case there.
9 MS. EDGERTON: Could we have a look again at the transcript of
10 the Professor's evidence in the Krajisnik case, please; 65 ter 25650 at
11 page 21138.
12 Q. Professor, at lines 11 to 15 of this document, His Honour
13 Judge Hanoteau asked you whether -- and in specific reference to Sonja's
15 "For you, was the fact of being deprived freedom of your
16 citizens, if it wasn't legal, was this for you a particularly important
18 And your answer was:
19 "Yes, it is a crime."
20 Those were your words; right?
21 A. I don't see my entire statement here. You see, in part it had to
22 do with the suggestion that there were other places of detention in
23 Vogosca, not the Sonja facility that you're referring to. I assume that
24 this refers to these other places, this question, and then I stand by
25 that answer that I gave.
1 My reaction was that I did not visit these facilities and I did
2 not know where they were. My reaction was to the fact that I may have
3 heard that this existed, I informed the Ministry of Justice, and I asked
4 for that to be integrated into the legal system, because if that were not
5 done, then that would be a crime indeed.
6 Q. And you reported that, as you've indicated in your statement, not
7 only to the Ministry of Justice, you reported that to the Presidency,
8 didn't you? You reported the detention of civilians at the location you
9 saw to the Presidency; right?
10 A. No, I did not report detention. I said that this existed. As
11 far as I knew, the facility that was supposed to be a prison, although it
12 was not part of legal system, the Presidency should find a solution so
13 that the Ministry of Justice could integrate it into the legal system. I
14 never said that I went to that facility that constituted a prison,
15 because I was duty-bound to trust my co-workers. If they told me that
16 that exists, then it existed, and then I reacted in this way.
17 MS. EDGERTON: Could we see P2371, please.
18 Q. Professor, do you recognise your letter to the war-time
19 Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina about the prison
20 in Vogosca? Paragraph 3.
21 A. Yes, I recognise that. This just confirms what I said a moment
23 Q. You reported the existence of this facility to the Presidency,
24 that's what this letter says, and you recommended the Ministry of Justice
25 be assigned with the task of integrating it; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So, Professor, this Chamber has received evidence that after the
3 date of this letter, civilians who were detained at Sonja's were
4 transferred to another facility in the village of Svrake, Planjo's house,
5 and they were detained there for months. And during those months, they
6 were repeatedly taken by Serb forces for work and that work included
7 doing labour on the front line and being used as human shields on the
8 front line. And as a result of that work in dangerous situations, people
9 were killed and wounded.
10 MS. EDGERTON: And that evidence, Your Honours, is found in P44,
11 P2361, P42, and those are statements, Your Honours; and documents
12 recording the use of prisoners in various situations are - and I won't
13 name all of them - P45, P1144, P2387 --
14 JUDGE KWON: Please concentrate on asking the question.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
16 Q. Professor, the use of civilians at dangerous front line positions
17 where they would be killed or wounded is a crime, isn't it?
18 A. It's that way all over the world, isn't it, including Libya,
19 Iraq, Afghanistan, and so on?
20 Q. So you agree, your answer is yes; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Professor, I just want to have a look at one of the
23 documents that was associated to your witness statement that you
24 commented on, which is 1D09197, please.
25 Now, Professor, you never saw this document until you were shown
1 it in preparation for your testimony here today; correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Professor, this Chamber's received evidence that these 150 people
4 that the document refers to who were captured were captured in the attack
5 on Svrake on 2nd of May. They were being held in Naka's garage, which
6 was near the Vogosca overpass, and after this order was issued, the
7 prisoners weren't released, they were moved to Planjo's house.
8 Professor, you commented on the document not knowing a single
9 thing about the matters discussed on the paper in front of you; isn't
10 that the case?
11 A. It is correct -- well, I don't know. How come I don't know? Of
12 course, I didn't sign this but a member of the commission, I guess I was
13 absent. What is being insisted upon here is lawful procedure. Now your
14 question is focused on unlawful transfer from Podvoznja [phoen] to some
15 prison. I really don't know anything about that. I didn't see that, I
16 don't have any knowledge about that.
17 Q. So you can confirm that you commented on the document, not
18 knowing a single thing about it?
19 A. I commented upon the document, not the actual events. The
20 document was signed by a member of the commission and I was his superior,
21 and I was probably absent from Vogosca. I was probably away.
22 Q. Professor, the document's a cover-up. These people were never
23 released, and you said in your statement that they were. You said, and
24 I'll quote you, paragraph 25:
25 "It can be seen from the document that about 10 per cent of the
1 people were kept for further investigation, whereas the others were
2 brought back to their homes accompanied by security."
3 The evidence is, Professor, that's not true. This document's a
4 cover-up, isn't it?
5 A. No, this document is supposed to be a contribution to the
6 creation of a state based on rule of law. Now, the fact that you are
7 linking this to something that has nothing to do with it is something
8 that I really have to react to. How can this be a cover-up when the
9 signatories of the document do not have any knowledge about certain
10 events that you are linking this to? Things that happened even after the
11 document was created. So you're even linking this up subsequently. The
12 document was written up. People were supposed to behave in a lawful way,
13 and then months later something happens and then you subsequently link
14 this to that.
15 JUDGE KWON: Do you have your statement, Mr. Poplasen,
16 paragraph 25?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE KWON: Could you read the last sentence. Could you read it
19 aloud, the last sentence.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 25 you said?
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was shown document 1D9197, from
23 which it can be seen that before my arrival the municipal authorities had
24 already began regulating legal status of the detainees and POWs. It can
25 be seen from the document that about 10 per cent of the people were kept
1 for further criminal investigation, whereas the others were brought back
2 to their homes accompanied by security.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now we should take a look at --
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue.
6 Yes, my question was whether the information in the last
7 sentence, i.e., 10 per cent being kept for further criminal investigation
8 while remaining were brought back being accompanied by security, where
9 did you get this information from this document? How could it be seen
10 from this document?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it's written there. It can
12 be seen from the document. I'd have to look at the document. I'd have
13 to look at these numbers. Probably in this improvised agreement --
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please read the document and let us know.
15 We can collapse it in English and blow up the B/C/S version.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
17 The prison warden is ordered to release from the prison in Svrake
18 541 persons. The warden is duty-bound to safely transport them to their
19 destination. 20 persons remain. As for their status, the warden will
20 take care. The warden is duty-bound to take some written statements in
21 view of their status that they had during their stay in prison. The
22 persons are -- well, what is written here is -- well, it says 20 persons
23 remain in prison; isn't that right? Or if it hasn't been typed up
24 properly, there's a smudge here, maybe the number is bigger, I concluded
25 obviously that that was about 10 per cent of 1.451. It's not that I
1 calculated it specifically, that's why it says "approximately," not
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I ask for this to be spelled
4 out precisely. Let's have a look at the translation. How is that
5 written, 154?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It must be 154 because this is the
7 letter L over here.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I'll leave it at that.
9 Please continue, Ms. Edgerton.
10 MS. EDGERTON: Yes, just one small area.
11 Q. If we could have a look, please, at another one of your
12 associated documents. It's 65 ter number 1566. It's an extract of an
13 interview with Rajko Koprivica, who was the head of the Executive Board
14 in Vogosca, dated 13 June 1992. Your statement actually says July, but I
15 think we'll find that it's June.
16 MS. EDGERTON: And if we could go over to page 6 of the English
17 translation of this document and page 2 of the B/C/S version, and on
18 page 2 we should magnify the bottom right area, if I have this correctly.
19 Q. Now, Mr. Poplasen, in paragraph 7 of your statement, you said
20 that between the first armed clashes and the middle of 1993, Vogosca had
21 no electricity. And in this interview, Mr. Koprivica in June of 1992 was
22 asked whether he read the daily newspaper "Nas glas" or he listened to
23 Serbian radio and watched Serbian TV. And he said:
24 "Whenever possible I also listened to the radio," and that he
25 rarely watches TV - if we can go up to the top of the right-hand column
1 on the English page - because Serbian television in -- he rarely watches
2 Serbian TV as the reception in Vogosca is rather poor.
3 So this is a document that you -- actually you embraced and you
4 commented on extensively in your statement.
5 Now, having looked at that, I want to go to one more about
6 electricity and it's 65 ter number 25633. It's an excerpt -- another
7 excerpt from "Nas glas" daily newspaper in Vogosca, and it's dated
8 9 November 1992. And the square on the bottom right-hand side of the
9 page in your language contains a notice from the electrical distribution
10 company asking Serbian -- citizens of the Serbian municipality of Vogosca
11 to limit their consumption of electricity as much as possible or they're
12 going to be forced to introduce power cuts reducing consumption in
13 certain areas.
14 So two documents we've just seen, one of them being a document
15 you specifically commented on, actually contradict your statement as
16 regards the lack of electricity in Vogosca completely, Mr. Poplasen.
17 A. Well, these are not exactly documents of major importance. I was
18 there all the time and I know with certainty that there was no
19 electricity and no hot water.
20 As for this statement made by Mr. Koprivica, there were
21 generators and they could generate electricity someplace for a certain
22 amount of time, especially if there was fuel. Then also there were
23 batteries and there were some kind of supply systems apart from the
24 distribution network.
25 As for November and this information that you referred to,
1 perhaps that was a result of my intervention to the Presidency. You see,
2 the Presidency wasn't supposed to report to me; I was supposed to report
3 to them. I wanted them to deal with the problems of Hadzici, Rajlovac,
4 Vogosca, Ilidza, the distribution of electricity, supplies, organising
5 economic life and so on. I assume that this was one of the first
6 attempts made by Elektrodistribucija for the network to start
7 functioning. And already in November perhaps there was power for about
8 an hour or two. Citizens were able to have electricity at least a little
9 bit and still there were reductions. Also, all the time when I went to
10 Vogosca, I know for sure that there wasn't electricity anywhere. There
11 wasn't any hot water anywhere. And during the night we had to make do,
12 but there was no electricity from the system.
13 As for these documents that deviate from my own experience, well,
14 good luck to them.
15 MS. EDGERTON: Could I have this last excerpt admitted as a
16 Prosecution exhibit, please, Your Honours?
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6511, Your Honours.
19 MS. EDGERTON: And if I could just have a moment to find
20 something in the transcript of previous testimony, Your Honours, I'll be
21 very brief.
22 Q. And just to clear up the record, in fact, Mr. Poplasen, you
23 indicated that -- during your testimony in the Krajisnik case, you
24 indicated that you only visited Vogosca from time to time because of your
25 work, among other things, travelling around the country to institute or
1 to establish the Serbian Radical Party; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In fact, in the Krajisnik case you said one "could say that I was
4 there quite rarely, not really often." And that's at transcript
5 page 20959, line 15. Those were your words; correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MS. EDGERTON: I don't have any other questions, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Edgerton.
10 Mr. Karadzic, do you have any further examination?
11 THE ACCUSED: Very few, Excellency, very few.
12 JUDGE KWON: Please proceed.
13 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. President, when you said that with regard to
15 the competences of the Crisis Staff and the exercise of authority that
16 you inferred on the basis of analogy, tell us this: In some municipality
17 if things were not done as they were done in Vogosca, as prescribed by
18 the central organs, did this aberration come from the system or from
20 A. The way I see things and on the basis of my experience, if you
21 are referring to infractions and violations of the law, they were
22 primarily due to lack of knowledge, stubbornness, and also some criminal
23 aspirations every now and then by individuals at local level.
24 Q. Thank you. In the document, or rather, in your testimony, 25650,
25 on page 21138, Judge Hanoteau put a question to you, whether depriving
1 civilians of their liberty was a crime unless that was lawful and your
2 answer was "yes."
3 Were you informed at the time that somebody had been detained on
4 an illegal basis?
5 A. I did not know of illegal detention. As far as Vogosca is
6 concerned, if that's what you mean, when I was informed that there was
7 some detention, in a split second or even during the course of a single
8 day, I cannot establish whether it's lawful or unlawful, that has to be
9 done by the investigation organs, whether there are legal grounds for
10 detention; however, it's not local activists or the local police service
11 or the local army that can determine that. That has to be determined
12 through appropriate judicial proceedings, and that is why I insisted that
13 this be integrated into the legal system, into the justice system. So
14 it's very hard for me now, I mean some specific name, when I am not aware
15 of these specific names in these specific cases. Had I known, I would
16 have reacted individually.
17 Q. Thank you. This answer of yours then, was it a principled answer
18 to a principled question or was it a response to this specific situation?
19 A. It was an answer in principle, in general. It covers all the
20 rest and I hoped when saying it that the same was being done in all the
21 local communities in other municipalities.
22 Q. In pages 53 and 54, esteemed Mrs. Edgerton asked you a very
23 complex question and then concluded with a generalised question: Would
24 taking civilians to do work on front lines constitute a crime? At the
25 time were you informed that somebody was taking civilians to front lines?
1 A. If I may put it this way, it's a malicious formulation, taking
2 civilians to the front line. Speaking of what I know, it was about a law
3 on mobilise -- of mobilisation of military conscripts. There was a legal
4 framework and they went to work, if they did, and returned home and
5 received appropriate remuneration and were given appropriate safety.
6 Now, the fact that those people who went to work did not have rifles or
7 uniforms is used in this question to interpret that they were civilians.
8 They were Muslims and -- but they still had a military obligation. As
9 far as I know, those who were engaged as part of the work obligation
10 still had that military obligation and they were given proper security,
11 they were given proper remuneration, and they returned home after work.
12 Q. You said that Serbs had a military obligation which was harder
13 than the work obligation?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Did you know what my position was concerning ethnic
16 cleansing? Did I favour the expulsion of Croats and Muslims from Serbian
18 A. No, I don't know about that.
19 Q. You don't know my position or ...?
20 A. What I know is that I did not hear myself that you insisted on
21 any ethnic-based persecution or expulsion. On the contrary you insisted
22 that a large number of members of other ethnic communities, including
23 Muslims and Croats, who were in the Territorial Defence, in the VRS,
24 enjoy the same treatment and that they must not be in a less privileged
1 Q. In what position were the citizens who did not have to fulfil
2 their military obligation but still had a work obligation, were they
3 discriminated against?
4 A. I think it was actually positive discrimination. Army service
5 was much more dangerous. People got killed, people got wounded, which is
6 not the case with the work obligation. In the work obligation we even
7 tried to secure proper nutrition, to supply food, which was not always
8 possible with the front lines. So it was a privilege to be in the work
9 obligation. I spent most of the war in work obligation duties, so I know
10 the difference.
11 Q. Can you tell us if you had managed to establish what my view was
12 of violent, unlawful acts against Muslims and Croats?
13 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand. Against Serbs who committed such
14 violent acts or ...?
15 Q. In general, violent acts, criminal acts against Muslims and
17 A. I know that you insisted on the legal procedure, that
18 perpetrators be prosecuted, but I'm not sure that the justice system had
19 the capability to respond quickly enough, to make decisions in an
20 efficient, expedient way that would be satisfactory to everyone. I don't
21 have the records with me, but I know that we had many prosecutions
22 against Serb criminals and thugs even during the war to prosecute them
23 for acts against members of other ethnic communities.
24 Q. Thank you. In view of your role and the fact that you were sent
25 to the local level by the representatives of the republic, what did you
1 expect from the local authorities vis-à-vis perpetrators of crimes
2 against Croats and Muslims? Did you expect --
3 MS. EDGERTON: Your Honour --
4 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. I'm not sure if this was originating
5 or arising from the cross-examination.
6 Was that your point?
7 MS. EDGERTON: Exactly my point.
8 MR. ROBINSON: Well, Mr. President, I think this does arise from
9 the implication about Dr. Karadzic having this violent proclivity. I
10 think that this goes to the idea of whether Dr. Karadzic in his
11 instructions and his assignment of this individual to do a job in
12 Vogosca, whether he was in favour of or against violent crimes against
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll allow it.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Let me repeat, Mr. President. In view of the role that the
18 Presidency asked you to discharge on the ground, can you tell us what did
19 central authorities expect from local authorities regarding crimes
20 against Croats and Muslims?
21 A. The central authorities - and of course I spoke directly to you
22 and Mr. Koljevic, who was in charge - had a rather idealistic view and
23 they wanted full affirmation of the rule of law, but that was not
24 feasible at the time. It arose probably from an ambition to regulate
25 things in such a way that laws can operate without hindrance. And this
1 interview we had seen with Mr. Koprivica, as far as I remember, is to a
2 great extent the result of my lecturing and explanations to the
3 leadership of the municipalities. I tried to explain to them what the
4 legal system for local authorities should be, what equal treatment of
5 everyone means, and these ideas can be found here. That's the same way I
6 intervened with the local authorities and the same way I wrote my reports
7 to the government regarding what arrangements and solutions should be put
8 in place for the future.
9 Q. My last question: You mentioned Jovan Cvijic. Could you tell
10 the Chamber briefly who was Jovan Cvijic and what --
11 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
12 Yes, Ms. Edgerton.
13 MS. EDGERTON: Where did that happen? Where was Jovan Cvijic
14 mentioned during the course of today at all?
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. When you were asked, Mr. President, about the short-tempered
17 mentality of people from the Dinara mountains, you mentioned Jovan Cvijic
18 and it was --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can tell you, it's on page 30 or
21 MS. EDGERTON: Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I remember.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Let me just finish the question. The interpreters, trying to
25 find a better term in Serbian, used the word "silovit" instead of
1 "nasilan." Could you find a synonym for the word you actually used?
2 A. I reacted because of this bad interpretation, and it's not the
3 first time. The interpreters and the Prosecutor could have found a
4 different term. I didn't say "oppressive" or "repressive," but I said
5 "violentan." That is a part of the characterology of the Balkan peoples
6 described by a great scientist and the first president of the Serb
7 academy of arts and sciences, Jovan Cvijic in his famous tome that is
8 still used in schools that study this subject. When one says "violentan"
9 it means not unjust, not unfair, it doesn't mean destructive, it means
10 short-fused. A person who reacts quickly but fairly. And after this
11 quick, initial reaction, that person usually calms down and apologises.
12 And these reactions are usually to the violation of legal and -- norms
13 and norms of fairness, requiring a proper procedure that would lead to
14 proper sanctions and punishment. It doesn't mean a violent reaction. It
15 is the opposite of "sang froid," unemotional people who are able to
16 observe an unfair, an unjust situation for a long time and take a longer
17 time to react.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. President, for your efforts, despite your health
19 problems. Thank you for coming here to testify.
20 JUDGE KWON: Well, that concludes your evidence, Mr. Poplasen.
21 On behalf of the Chamber, I would like to thank you for your coming to
22 The Hague to give it. You are free to go. Please have a safe journey
23 back home.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MS. EDGERTON: And --
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 MS. EDGERTON: -- Your Honours, with regard to the incorrect
3 citation I gave you for P970, my apologies, I was working off a
4 version -- a translation that was not filed in evidence. The filed -- or
5 admitted into evidence. The admitted translation has that citation at
6 pages 316 and 317 in English.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 MS. EDGERTON: I'm told.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 I take it we do not have further witnesses for today?
11 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE KWON: There's one matter I'd like to raise with you,
13 Mr. Robinson.
14 As you have seen, the Appeals Chamber has issued its decision on
15 the Tolimir appeal. Before we going back to dealing with the Mladic and
16 Stanisic subpoena motions, we wanted to check if you perhaps had another
17 discussion with the counsel for Mr. Mladic and Mr. Stanisic, and whether
18 in light of the Tolimir decision Mr. Mladic and Mr. Stanisic were now
19 willing to come and give evidence voluntarily?
20 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. I have had those discussions,
21 and at this stage neither of them are willing to testify voluntarily.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
23 Unless there are further matters to be discussed, raised, today,
24 until Monday morning the hearing is adjourned.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.26 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Monday, the 18th day of
2 November, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.