1 Thursday, 9 March 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at commence 2.33 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon to everyone.
6 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honour. This is case number
8 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Mr. Josse, I think there are two items on the agenda before we
11 continue with the examination-in-chief of Mr. Poplasen. The first,
12 although I do not know any details, is that there was a translation
14 MR. JOSSE: If I could deal with that first, please, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
16 MR. JOSSE: I sent an e-mail to offices of the Chamber this
17 morning. I asked them not to send it to the Judges because --
18 JUDGE ORIE: No, we have not -- I do understand that you have
19 provided an alternative translation. I have been informed that there was
20 an issue of translation and that the Defence considered an alternative
21 translation better, but I haven't seen it.
22 MR. JOSSE: Simply because I wanted the agreement of my learned
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. JOSSE: I think we've agreed this much -- I can hand it up,
1 although they haven't as yet agreed or commented upon the translation I'm
2 about to hand up. It's short. It relates to Article 3 of the decision
3 that we spent a lot of time on yesterday, so I've got plenty of copies
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 Madam Usher, could you please assist Mr. Josse.
7 Mr. Harmon.
8 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I can tell you our position on this. We
9 have received communications from the Defence in respect to this proposed
10 re-translation. We have some issues with it. We will -- we have shown it
11 to our language assistants. We will be in touch with the Defence and we
12 will see if we can find a resolution as to an agreed-upon translation.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 Yes, I see that there are some differences. I notice that "war
15 commissioner" now reads "war delegation."
16 MR. JOSSE: It's nuance, Your Honour, rather than --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. JOSSE: -- markedly different.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I suggest that -- of course, if the parties
20 would agree on the translation, the Chamber, if it comes down to
21 translations, would not fully rely on an agreement between the parties,
22 because the Chamber would like to have this checked through the services
23 of the CLSS. But if the parties would agree on what would be the most
24 appropriate translation, we could send that for review to the CLSS and see
25 -- see what the final result will be. When do the parties think they
1 could agree on ... Because the witness is now here, I would rather not
2 wait for ages.
3 MR. HARMON: Perhaps we can submit this issue on Monday, Your
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but then I would -- I would first --
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: As I said, it's fine if the parties agree on this,
8 but that's not the most important matter. I will ask CLSS whether they
9 could compare the translation suggested by the Defence team with the
10 translation as has been provided and to give whatever comment they'd like
11 to give, if that would be possible. We're talking about six or seven
12 lines. I take it that there must be a possibility that someone reviews
13 these seven lines, because it's only Article 3, from what I understand,
14 Mr. Josse.
15 MR. JOSSE: It is.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I don't know -- Mr. Registrar, perhaps you
17 could assist us in making already contact because it's not a -- I don't
18 know exactly how you divide your work, the -- those who are translating
19 written text I think is a different group from those who are assisting us
20 during the -- during the hearings.
21 Mr. Registrar, may I take it that you give these three -- we are
22 talking about a B/C/S original, the translation provided by the
23 Prosecution, and the alternative translation suggested by the Defence,
24 that it will be in the hands of the CLSS and that we hear as soon as
1 MR. HARMON: Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. HARMON: I'm sorry, this -- this is a document that was used
4 yesterday, was it, with the witness?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. HARMON: Then I would not have suggested Monday because I was
7 not privy to the discussions with Mr. Josse about this. I thought this
8 was something that didn't have such an urgent nature. If I had known, I
9 would not have made that suggestion.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, of course you have the material there as
11 well. So if everyone works on it, these seven lines, we would know as
12 soon as possible what would be the most reliable translation, and it still
13 is language, and translation is a complex matter, as we are aware of.
14 Then the next issue was, Mr. Josse, you asked for five minutes to
15 orally argue the admissibility of the Savkic exhibits.
16 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, thank you. Could I, before my five
17 minutes begin, deal with the issue of provenance, because quite a lot has
18 happened about that since the last occasion the matter was aired in court.
19 As the Court is aware, Mr. Margetts sent an e-mail first to the
20 Defence and then to the Chamber, detailing the provenance of all these
21 documents. Having considered the matter, the Defence accept what is
22 contained within that e-mail; however, the issue so far as P1055 and P1056
23 is concerned remains slightly unresolved. And in the course of the last
24 24 hours - indeed it may actually only be today, to be fair - I have made
25 some further inquiries of Mr. Margetts because, Your Honour, the position
1 is that 1055, that was the first document that I objected to, that was the
2 one that the witness said was a forgery. It transpires that apparently it
3 was obtained from the archives of the Boksit company in Milici. Well,
4 unsurprisingly, that was of some real interest to the Defence, bearing in
5 mind what the witness was saying and bearing in mind how the witness --
6 the issue of forgery. So some further inquiries have been made and I
7 would invite Mr. Margetts to inform the Chamber about them and then
8 perhaps we could see how they can be entered effectively into the
9 evidence, because the Defence want these matters as part of the evidence.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand. There was the document where
11 the witness testified, I think, that it was in the interest of the Boksit
12 company to have something on paper --
13 MR. JOSSE: Precisely. And in re-examination I asked him who it
14 was who forged them and he basically said it was Serbs within that
15 organisation, that's who he guessed had been responsible for it.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. JOSSE: But perhaps Mr. Margetts could give the extra
18 information because, as I say, I'm very anxious that that be on the
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honours, first of all in regard to the
22 provenance and the e-mail we sent of 23 February, and it was subsequently
23 forwarded to the Trial Chamber, this is how we described the provenance of
24 that document: It was part of a group of documents delivered to the
25 Office of the Prosecutor on the 29th of October, 2002, by the liaison
1 officer of the Republika Srpska government, Mr. Trifun Jovicic, and he
2 informed the OTP that the documents were obtained from the archives of the
3 Boksit company in Milici.
4 My learned friend made some further inquiries and asked whether we
5 could provide some further information in relation to that. We did so
6 today, an e-mail to my learned friend, and this is the information we
7 provided: The provision of these documents and a number of other
8 documents to the OTP arose from an interview that was conducted with
9 Mr. Rajko Dukic in Belgrade on the 1st of September, 2002. I - referring
10 to myself, Stephen Margetts - participated in that interview. And during
11 the course of that interview, Rajko Dukic undertook to provide documents
12 related to paragraph 2 of Exhibit P52 to us. And Your Honours will recall
13 Exhibit P52; it's the facsimile dated 15th December, 1992, sent to
14 Mr. Krajisnik and addressed to Mr. Karadzic. And in paragraph 2, it
15 refers to approximately a little bit more than 3 million Deutschmarks aid
16 provided to Republika Srpska, and it refers to the characterisation of
17 that as a tax liability. So that's the further information that we've
19 MR. JOSSE: Could I just add this: I then asked Mr. Margetts this
20 question in writing: "Are you saying that Dukic provided these documents
21 to Jovicic?" And he provided with the answer: "Correct."
22 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour, I can confirm that that's
24 MR. JOSSE: And though I have said to Mr. Margetts that I invite
25 the Prosecution to make further inquiries, I think for the purpose of this
1 argument that isn't necessary. It's quite clear to the Chamber that the
2 Prosecution accept that it was Mr. Dukic himself who provided them to the
3 liaison officer, who then passed them on to the Office of the Prosecutor.
4 Your Honour, these are my submissions:
5 The issue of these documents raises, in our submission, a number
6 of interesting and important questions. Could I begin by endorsing, in
7 effect, what Your Honour put to Mr. Margetts in the course of argument on
8 the 23rd of February, when, at page 20816 of the transcript, Your Honour
9 in effect said insofar as a forgery is concerned, and this related to
10 P1055: "Does a forgery -- if it's true that it's a forgery, this document
11 could well be understood as corroborating the witness's evidence that the
12 Crisis Staff never existed because documents that are produced are
13 forgeries. If, however, it very much depends on whether it's a forgery,
14 yes or no. If it's a forgery, then it might support the witness's views.
15 If not, well, it's likely to corroborate the Prosecution's view."
16 And then a moment later Your Honour said: "But is it for the
17 witness to demonstrate that it's a forgery or is it for the Prosecution to
18 demonstrate that it's an authentic document?"
19 Well, Your Honour, the Defence say that it's for the Prosecution
20 to prove that it's not a forgery and to prove that beyond a reasonable
21 doubt. And it's important to do things in the correct order because
22 clearly that is of some relevance. So far as Mr. Margetts's submissions
23 that then followed on the 23rd of February are concerned, we contend that
24 they were ostensibly misconceived. He classically put the cart before the
25 horse. In effect, so far as virtually, if not every document, he invites
1 admission of the document on the basis that the Trial Chamber can conclude
2 that the witness is lying. This is not a helpful approach, in our
3 submission, because it can't be proper or helpful for a party objecting to
4 the admissibility of their document from the other party to make a long
5 speech commenting on why the witness is not telling the truth. In
6 passing, we contend, that it's slightly surprising that the Trial Chamber
7 didn't stop Mr. Margetts.
8 Having said that, what it does mean is that if Mr. Margetts's
9 approach is correct, the basis of admission would necessarily entail, in
10 relation to any document objected, the Trial Chamber making all sorts of
11 findings about the witness, firstly, before deciding if the document
12 should be admitted into evidence at all; and secondly, of course, before
13 the end of the case and before hearing all of the evidence.
14 So Mr. Margetts's approach is fundamentally flawed, in our
16 Your Honour, if the Defence have got this particular hare running,
17 if I can mix my metaphors, by raising the objection, then we apologise,
18 but we repeat submissions that have been made earlier in this case that
19 the parameters as to the use and admission of documents in this case is,
20 in our contention, far too inconsistent and occasions wooly. It's not in
21 the interests of justice, we contend, nor in the interests of proper time
22 management to approach the matter in this slightly haphazard fashion.
23 I can assist to this regard -- extent, Your Honour, having said
24 what I have just contended: Having looked at what Mr. Margetts has said,
25 I withdraw our objection so far as P1059 and P1060 are concerned, but
1 maintain the objection so far as the other documents.
2 So far as P1055 is concerned, the Chamber is now faced with, we
3 contend, a difficult exercise. The witness says the document's a forgery.
4 There isn't a jot of evidence to rebut what he says, we contend.
5 Supposing the Court says: Well, the Prosecution haven't proved it's not a
6 forgery. Double negative on my part because of course the burden is on
7 them. What should then happen? Should it be admitted? Well, if it's not
8 admitted, then what happens to that part of the transcript that deals with
9 the cross-examination and re-examination in relation to that document?
10 That part of the transcript would be meaningless if the document isn't
11 admitted, and it's also rather important in relation to the context of the
12 witness's evidence as a whole. If it is admitted, P1055, how can the
13 Court seriously justify, we submit, stopping the Defence, for example,
14 trying to adduce documents that come from a book or from any other source?
15 In short, if a forgery is admitted into evidence, or a document that might
16 be a forgery, then surely anything can be admitted in evidence.
17 We contend that the Court should have some proper, equally applied
18 filtration system so that the parties are able to deal with the matter on
19 a consistent basis.
20 Finally, if the Court says: Well, we'll wait -- we'll admit the
21 document and we'll wait and see until the end of the case what weight to
22 attach to it, the Chamber, we submit, will then be committing itself to
23 making specific findings in relation to each and every document that has
24 been put in evidence in the course of this trial.
25 Your Honour, I accept that the submissions I've just made raise
1 some important issues, but we submit they are the natural consequence of
2 what I say, with the greatest respect, is an ultra liberal approach to the
3 admission of evidence in this courtroom. Those are my submissions.
4 JUDGE ORIE: May I ask you a few questions, Mr. Josse. Would you
5 agree with me that whether or not it makes sense to admit forged documents
6 also depends on the issue which should be -- or the facts that should be
7 proved? For example, I can imagine that if you want to prosecute someone
8 for forging documents, a forged document could well be admitted into
9 evidence as proof of the forgery.
10 MR. JOSSE: Of course.
11 JUDGE ORIE: So you would agree with me that it does depend on
12 what you intend to prove. Let's just assume -- I'm putting it to you in
13 order that your answer could assist the Chamber to take the right
14 decisions. Let's just assume that the fact that Crisis Staff documents
15 would be forged to -- in the interest of private parties, would the
16 Defence support admission into evidence of such a forged document in order
17 to strengthen the Defence case that forged documents were produced at that
18 time for reasons such as promoting the interest of third parties?
19 MR. JOSSE: In those circumstances, quite possibly. I mean, I
20 concede, thinking aloud, that it's possible that, had we known of the
21 existence of the document, it's possible we might have put it to him for
22 him - Savkic, giving the specific example - to have said this is a forgery
23 and trying to have it admitted on that basis. I accept that that's a
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's of course one of the options --
1 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- because you say why -- if you would admit a forged
3 document, then of course every book should be admitted as well. I think
4 it's -- there are more nuances in the problem. Would you agree with me?
5 MR. JOSSE: Probably.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then -- now I invite both parties to comment on
7 it. Is it possible at all that one would admit a document for both
8 reasons; the Defence because it wants to demonstrate that forged documents
9 were produced at the time and then, since this witness says it is a forged
10 document, that this is material evidence of that, whereas the Prosecution
11 says this proves that the witness is not telling us the truth because it
12 -- he tries to -- he tries to hide -- or he tries to escape a problem he
13 is faced with, that is, that documents prove something which is not in
14 accordance with his testimony up till that moment.
15 I mean, I'm just -- I put it to you as an open question whether
16 it's imaginable that admission into evidence could finally result in
17 either a finding, if it is at all necessary to make a specific finding on
18 this aspect, which would -- could result in favouring the Defence case or
19 favouring the Prosecution's case. I mean, if we do not admit it,
20 Mr. Josse, you also exclude a favourable explanation of this document for
21 the Defence. I'm -- should that be clear on from the beginning, should we
22 admit it only for this and this purpose, as we have done sometimes, or
23 should we keep it open in this case? It's not entirely clear to me yet
24 what we should do. Of course, the Judges together will have to decide
25 that, but I'm just asking your opinion about that.
1 MR. JOSSE: Well, if I -- if I'm being invited to make a
2 submission on the point, the Defence contend that the proper approach
3 would be to exclude the document.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And then accept that we have no objective basis in
5 the document itself anymore on using it in support of the evidence given
6 by the witness?
7 MR. JOSSE: I have no answer to, for example, what one then does
8 with the lengthy passages in the transcript that deal with the document
9 and which, in many ways, act as a foundation for what then comes
10 afterwards. That is a real problem. That is the filtration process that
11 I was referring to. Your Honour, this is, with respect -- isn't a
12 criticism at all. I didn't have very long. This is a very big issue.
13 This trial has been going on for an extremely long period of time, and I
14 basically raised some thoughts and submissions that have crossed my mind.
15 That's how I would like to put it, if I may.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may do so.
17 I'll first give an opportunity to Mr. Margetts to respond to my
18 question and how happy he would be if finally the admission into evidence
19 of this document would result in a finding that it is a forgery and that
20 the witness, therefore, was not lying but was speaking the truth, to put
21 it just as sharp as I can.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. The answer to Your Honour's
23 question is a simple yes, we consider that this specific document and
24 documents of this category should be entered into evidence and then
25 ultimately the Court will go to weigh these documents and go to weigh the
1 evidence of the witness and come to a conclusion in relation to the
2 reliability of the document and possibly a related conclusion in relation
3 to the credibility and reliability of the evidence of the witness. And
4 this document, in effect, doesn't really fall into a different category
5 than any other document that's admitted before the Court. The Court may
6 make adverse or favourable findings in regard to any document, regardless
7 if whether it's a specific allegation of forgery or not. So there would
8 be our responses to Your Honour's question, that documents of this nature
9 should be admitted into evidence.
10 I did have one matter of clarification I wanted to make in regard
11 to Mr. Josse's submissions but I may leave that to an opportunity Your
12 Honour may or may not give me.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'll give you that opportunity, but I'd first
14 like to put another question to Mr. Josse.
15 Mr. Josse, if, for the better understanding of the transcript,
16 even if you would not admit the document into evidence, of course another
17 way is to mark it for identification so that at least it's there and if
18 ever an Appeals Chamber would have to look at it, they could at least see
19 what we discussed. Is that a solution which you would be in favour of?
20 Because you seem to be very much inclined to say it should not be
21 admitted, but this practical problem would be overcome by not admitting it
22 but by marking it for identification.
23 MR. JOSSE: That seems a sensible approach, with respect, bearing
24 in mind some of the practical difficulties that I mentioned.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I suggest the following to both parties:
1 Perhaps you were surprised by the questions put by the Bench. I'd like to
2 give you another 48 hours to consider whether there's any further need,
3 and then again it would be just as short as it was now, as brief, that you
4 have an opportunity to give any further, well, let's say not more than two
5 or three minutes, and, Mr. Margetts, would it be a suggestion that we
6 first wait and see whether Mr. Josse uses this opportunity and then you
7 add any further comment? Yes?
8 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour, that would be suitable. Thank
10 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, so two days from -- well, let's say two hearing
11 days, which means that if we would not sit -- 48 hours would end at the
12 weekend; that's not an appropriate moment. Let's say the -- at the first
13 hearing after this weekend.
14 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Mr. Josse, are you ready to --
16 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- continue the examination of Mr. Poplasen?
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 [The witness entered court]
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Poplasen. You had to wait for a
22 while. First of all we had a late start because the morning session ended
23 late; second we had to deal with a procedural matter. So our apologies
24 for the time you had to wait. May I remind you that you're still bound by
25 the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony
1 that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 Mr. Josse, you may proceed.
3 WITNESS: NIKOLA POPLASEN [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 Examination by Mr. Josse: [Continued]
6 Q. Mr. Poplasen, yesterday we concluded with your reminding the
7 Chamber that you had set up your own political party in 1993, but you
8 began putting it together in 1992. And you, in the course of your
9 evidence, had given quite a long explanation as to differences between how
10 your party, the Serb Radical Party, and the SDS saw various issues. I
11 don't want to go back over those matters. What I do want to ask you about
12 is when in 1992 you started driving around Bosnia, forming your political
13 party, what was it in terms of what you had seen in Pale that made you
14 decide that really another political party needed to run the Republika
16 A. There are many questions there. One of them has to do with
17 chronology, in a way, and the other deals with some general issues
18 relating to the political reasons for the formation of the party.
19 I just wish to make several preliminary observations. It is true
20 that the inaugural session of the Assembly of the Serb Radical Party was
21 held in March 1993 in Banja Luka and that this was formally the start of
22 the party as an organisation covering practically the entire Republika
23 Srpska. However, in practical terms, the work of the party had started
24 much earlier. According to our regulations - I don't remember at this
25 time what sort of regulations were in place, whether we needed 50 or 100
1 signatures by citizens in order for a party to be registered with a court
2 - but at any rate we did this as early as in 1992. The fact that the
3 party had been registered with a court in 1992 meant that it already had
4 several boards numbering 50-odd people. It was enough for the party to
5 have several boards for it to be registered. Sometime in the summer of
6 1992 we registered the party with the court in Ilidza. This is one of the
7 municipalities under Sarajevo. This was, in fact, confirmed in a court
8 decision and some other documents.
9 Next, we -- several of us; there was me, there was a commissioner
10 from Ilidza, and the commissioner from Ilijas -- embarked on this effort
11 of touring different municipalities and establishing boards. And in March
12 1993 -- or rather, by March 1993, we had established Municipal Boards of
13 the Radical Party. At the same time in Serbia, the Serbian Radical Party
14 had a very influential say and was becoming ever more popular. It was
15 from such a situation that our political reasons were derived. We
16 believed that we lived in an area where the Serbs ought to continue living
17 in one community. And when I say "community," I do not mean -- I did not
18 mean a single state. The ties could be cultural, economic, educational,
19 and so on and so forth, whereas the political organisation in a territory
20 always depends on some general conditions. For instance, the Serbs from
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state could be fully integrated into this
22 cultural, educational, informational, and so on and so forth structure
23 with the Serbs in Serbia without, in fact, living in the same state. The
24 -- as far as we were concerned, we knew that the issue of the
25 establishment of a state did not depend on us but on the events at large.
1 However, we continued insisting on this building-up of ties. If possible,
2 in terms of a state; if not, then any other ties.
3 Yesterday, in response to some of the questions, I stated that the
4 SDS had gave up the idea. And I have to reiterate here that when I say
5 that the SDS gave it up, I'm not referring to a specific session or any
6 meeting of the Serbian Democratic Party where this was decided, but rather
7 it was our inference that this was the position of the SDS on the basis of
8 some concrete steps taken by the leadership of the SDS.
9 Now I'm turning to your question as to which reasons compelled us
10 to establish the Serbian Radical Party. In our conviction, we wanted to
11 build up ties with the Serb majority population in those areas where the
12 Serb people's representatives were elected. These were the areas with the
13 majority Serb population in Bosnia-Herzegovina, including the territories
14 with the Serb majority in the Republic of Croatia and Montenegro. I have
15 to point out that following the inaugural session in March 1993, whenever
16 I had the chance to, I exerted strong pressure on the leadership of the
17 Republika Srpska, including Mr. Krajisnik -- or perhaps on Mr. Krajisnik
18 in particular, because under the state system it is the parliament where
19 different suggestions and opinions and positions are gathered and are then
20 discussed. It is true that we were not a parliamentary party, but in
21 politics there are other ways of dealing with this. There are opinion
22 polls which indicated clearly that we enjoyed popularity. The Serbian
23 Radical Party in Serbia was very successful; it won one-third of seats in
24 the elections in 1992 in the Republic of Serbia and was thus the second
25 strongest party. This is a matter or a question for some other people,
1 including Mr. Krajisnik. One of these initiatives of mine - perhaps the
2 motives were somewhat different, but I cannot say that, it was for those
3 who were deciding to say that - was to adopt -- to have a declaration
4 adopted by the parliament of the Republika Srpska to unite with the
5 Republic of the Serbian Krajina. I'm telling you what I remember about
6 it, and I stand corrected if I say something wrong. After I had suggested
7 to Mr. Krajisnik that this step be taken, he told me: Well, why don't you
8 draft the first version of it? I took one night to draft the entire text
9 of the declaration, and I sent it to Mr. Krajisnik, I handed it to Mr.
11 Several days later, I don't know how many, there was the session
12 of the Assembly of Republika Srpska in Prijedor, and later on, from some
13 documentation, I saw that this declaration was included into the textbook
14 on the constitutional right -- on the constitutional law. So this was one
15 of the matters on which made us indecisive. We didn't know whether to in
16 fact support the SDS or whether to attack it, because there was this
17 matter. Because the SDS policy was contrary to our policies, we did not
18 support it, but I gave you an illustration of why we, nevertheless,
19 continued supporting the SDS.
20 The other reason why we criticised and distanced ourselves from
21 the SDS was the emergence of crime and corruption in the Republika Srpska.
22 I do not wish to say that there was less crime or corruption to be found
23 in the other war-affected areas or, for that matter, that there was less
24 crime even in the countries that were not caught in the -- in a war. I
25 believe that there are countries that were not in a war but still suffer
1 from crime which -- and corruption. Of course there are different
2 definitions of crime, so that's why we can put it this way. What we
3 objected to, in fact --
4 Q. In fact, I would like you - perhaps you were about to do it - to
5 define what you mean by crime and corruption.
6 A. If you allow me, I'd first like to say why I was mentioning crime,
7 and what I wanted to say was that it can, in fact, be legalised crime, but
8 I will explain it in the following way. I'm just giving you an
9 illustration, of course. If highly developed Western countries, including
10 the USA, purchase large amounts of oil from Middle East and then pay in
11 dollars - I'm just giving you a general example, I'm not referring to any
12 dates or anything - and then the New York banks increase their interest
13 rates by several percentages, compared to the other banks in -- worldwide,
14 those who sold the fuel deposit their monies in the New York banks. In
15 this way the US of A has both fuel and the money. As a result, the profit
16 they gained would then be invested at interest rates that would be much
17 lower than the ones existing in their bank. Ultimately, raw materials in
18 general, fuel included, and the money end up in the Western countries and
19 the investments into the underdeveloped countries, including those that
20 have fuel resources, are used up to patch the whole matter up to make it
21 seem legal and to make it seem in keeping with the world trade relations
22 under a system which keeps a good part of the world in poverty. This is
23 what I meant to say when I was referring to this large system of
25 Now, moving away from this large system of injustice, which is not
1 a topic here, let's look at the properties that were damaged in the places
2 where there was no war. There were dead people there. There was
3 dissatisfaction among the people. Many people dodged mobilisation. There
4 were these minor instances of injustice that were dispersed which could be
5 called crime and corruption which we objected to because they had an
6 impact on the morale of the fighters, of the population, and so on and so
7 forth. We also raised these matters purely for propaganda reasons.
8 People were dissatisfied with the existence of the crime; we pointed our
9 finger to the SDS that was in power and that was responsible for that.
10 And of course the dissatisfaction is in -- is channeled to those who seem
11 to be exponents of the crime. So this was also part of our political
12 propaganda and of our anticipation that the elections were forthcoming.
13 The third reason why we distanced ourself from the SDS and set up
14 our own party was that we estimated that the SDS became more and more
15 obedient and lent its ear to some messages coming from the outside. And
16 I'm referring to a number of mediators, special representatives of the
17 United Nations, representatives of the European Community, and so on and
18 so forth, but I'm also referring to the pressure exerted from Belgrade. I
19 did not take part in these conversations. I met Mr. Milosevic in 1997. I
20 had never met him before. There were these persons who came to Bosnia and
21 placed an obstacle to the realisation of our policies. As a result, we
22 found ourselves in a position where occasionally we supported the Serbian
23 Democratic Party whenever we assessed it to be in keeping with our
24 policies, and occasionally we would criticise the party and its steps
25 quite harshly.
1 I don't know if I've been too extensive in my answer.
2 Q. Well, perhaps, but either way I don't have any follow-up questions
3 on this topic.
4 MR. JOSSE: I don't know whether Your Honour does.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It took quite some time to --
6 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- hear this course of political economics and then,
8 at the same time - because that's what I understand was the purpose of it
9 all - to emphasise the independent approach from this witness and his
11 MR. JOSSE: That's right. I mean, my question quite --
12 JUDGE ORIE: You have no follow-up questions?
13 MR. JOSSE: I don't.
14 JUDGE ORIE: If there's any need, I give you one hour to consider
15 whether it's really -- whether we really need further explanations.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. JOSSE:
18 Q. I'd like briefly, Mr. Poplasen, to return to what we were -- what
19 you were giving evidence about yesterday in relation to your job as a
20 commissioner. You described how you liaised with Mr. Koljevic in the
21 Presidency. Did you have any liaison with the government in the course of
22 your work as a commissioner?
23 A. The commissioners were both commissioners of the Presidency and
24 the government. I know that the then-Deputy Prime Minister Milan
25 Trbojevic was charged with following the work of the commissioners on
1 behalf of the government. I had one conversation with him which had to do
2 with our activity, and he promised that they would do whatever was within
3 their power to do. The government was relocated from Pale, and
4 subsequently I only addressed the government in writing, but I did not
5 have any direct contacts with Mr. Trbojevic anymore with regard to our
6 work. I had regular contacts with Professor Koljevic, though.
7 Q. Before we move away, so to speak, from Pale, you have described
8 how you were in what I will call, using a colloquial English expression,
9 the corridors of power for the short time in 1992. I would like you,
10 please, to make an assessment of some of the people you rubbed shoulders
11 with there and their influence, as far as you were concerned, with events
12 and how they controlled events.
13 Firstly, Radovan Karadzic, please.
14 A. Generally speaking, numerous social and psychological studies of
15 the populations of the Balkans indicate something that should be noted
16 here. Mr. Karadzic hailed from the Dinara area which has this typical
17 mind-set which is quite violent. So this is not just typical of him, it
18 is rather typical of the area, and there is general agreement about this.
19 I mention this because I wish to say that Mr. Karadzic was a typical
20 representative of this mind-set characterised by large ideas and
21 ambitions, more interested in visions than in practical problems. As far
22 as I could observe, he dealt with practical problems away quite quickly,
23 without much hesitation, which of course opens the possibility of error.
24 However, unlike other persons in critical situations in times of crisis --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Poplasen, you were asked about influence and
1 control of events. You're giving us a -- at least you started giving us a
2 general impression of the personality of Mr. Karadzic and how he dealt
3 with matters in more general terms, but would you please focus on the
4 question first. And Mr. Josse then would like to know what was his
5 influence; and second, how did he control, if he did, events?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Considering such characteristics, I
7 could not claim with any certainty that in the first months, the early
8 days, March, April, May, Mr. Karadzic had very firm control of the events.
9 I believe that this became more prominent at a later stage, both his
10 influence and his control. This is my assessment, however. I'm -- did
11 not have an opportunity or did not analyse it at the time. However, I
12 believe that his influence was important and -- and decisive. Since there
13 were other violent characters such as General Malic there as well,
14 inevitably conflicts emerged for persons -- between persons of similar
15 character, and I believe this had quite a bearing on the situation.
16 The other persons in the leadership of Republika Srpska were,
17 however, of a different character. They were -- their character was not
18 similar to that of Mr. Karadzic.
19 MR. JOSSE:
20 Q. I'd like to ask you about Mr. Koljevic. Now you've told us that
21 he was a person you knew by far and away best, that he was the person you
22 worked with. In particular, a specific question about him: Could you
23 assess his skills as a politician.
24 A. Mr. Koljevic was, first of all, a good man, a humanitarian, and an
25 idealist, who, however, did not have much talent for politics. I cannot
1 say that he had any political skills, but, at any rate, if he had any
2 potential skills for politics, they did not manifest themselves. What he
3 did in political terms was not much or was not even adequate for the
4 political role he held, if I can put it that way.
5 Q. What about Mrs. Plavsic? I'd like you to assess her power and her
6 skills as a politician, please, both.
7 A. As for Mrs. Plavsic, I had some sort of confrontation with her,
8 but I will put it in a nutshell. If I were to describe her as a person
9 and her character, I would have to use the terminology of clinical
10 psychology and perhaps psychiatry. I think I've said enough.
11 Q. Let's move on, then, to Mr. Krajisnik.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Do we know anything now about the influence of
13 Mrs. Plavsic and any control of events, or do we just know that you would
14 need clinical psychology to describe her personality -- which of course, I
15 mean, does not exclude that she had influence or power.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] She exerted pressure, as far as I
17 was able to observe, because she wanted to decide on matters that she had
18 neither the talent nor the ability nor the competency to decide upon.
19 There was a big formal problem in this respect. Mrs. Plavsic, together
20 with Mr. Koljevic, had been elected a member of the Presidency in the
21 general election. There was no possibility of anybody budging her from
22 that position unless she resigned. She had no talent whatsoever for any
23 kind of political work. I think the leadership of Republika Srpska
24 understood that, and I don't know whether she agreed to this or not, but
25 they moved her to a position where she would be dealing with humanitarian
1 organisations, women's organisations, and the kind of things that the
2 wives of presidents in large countries do, not members of the Presidency.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Let me try to keep it short. Are you telling us that
4 beyond that humanitarian area, that Mrs. Plavsic had no influence and did
5 not exercise any power? Is that what you want to say?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] She didn't have influence in the top
7 state leadership, but she sought other channels. She made statements, she
8 toured the country. And we're speaking of 1992 now. Her standpoints were
9 far more radical than mine as regards the methods of the struggle and the
10 results to be expected. But she stated her views in public. I don't
11 believe that could have been seen as the standpoint of the Presidency of
12 the republic, and I think it wasn't.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me ask a specific question. This Chamber has
14 heard evidence on Mrs. Plavsic saying something about the existence of
15 camps. Would that be something of a -- not something that she said on
16 behalf of the -- on the Presidency or leadership?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that. I cannot be sure
18 when and where she said that, that the camps existed. I would have to
19 know when she said that; however, I'm not able to give you a reliable
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If there's any misunderstanding, I didn't
22 intend to ask you -- to tell you that we heard evidence of Mrs. Plavsic
23 saying that camps existed, but about the existence; this could be denying
24 or confirming. But if you are not aware of any such statements, then,
25 Mr. Josse, please proceed.
1 I was a bit too early, Mr. Josse. Judge Hanoteau has a question.
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: Excuse me, Mr. Josse, just a question to the
4 MR. JOSSE: Of course, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You have spoken to characterise
6 -- or rather, you have said that in her case, this would have been a case
7 for a psychiatrist, there was a clinical situation, but this is not
8 sufficient because in a clinic, of course, there are so many possible
9 cases. So since you are asserting this, could you be a little more
10 precise. What sort of condition would she have had which would have
11 justified her being in a clinic? Could you be precise? Could you be more
12 precise, if you please?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, she was a very rigid
14 personality with a very peculiar biography. She was an elderly woman
15 without family or children. She had an artificial attitude towards the
16 new generations. She had a compulsive need to -- a compulsive need for
17 self-affirmation, even when she had no grounds for that, and this always
18 brought her into conflict with her surroundings. The rigidity of her
19 personality and this need for self-affirmation always made her take a
20 dogmatic approach to everything. As we are now speaking of 1992, I think
21 everyone can understand what I mean when I say that she was even more
22 radical than the members of the Serb Radical Party when it came to the
23 methods and the results of the struggle. And five, six, or seven years
24 later she had some personal misunderstandings, not political but personal
25 misunderstandings, with some people from the state leadership, including
1 President Karadzic and his wife, the speaker of the Assembly, and so on
2 and so forth, and this led her to change her political views completely.
3 But she still remained a dogmatic personality. This kind of dogmatic
4 personality structure, well, you can say -- one can say that about
5 everything, and that may be true, but when you have such a mind-set in a
6 plumber or a shoemaker, it doesn't have consequences for all of society.
7 If this is a characteristic of somebody who is in public view every day
8 and who has to make decisions relating to the entire state, the
9 consequences can be dramatic. So you have to view the personality in a
10 certain context.
11 Later on, she denied everything she had done. As for what she was
12 unable to deny, she said she was apologising for it. I cannot quote her
13 words because I haven't seen everything she said, but this was the way she
14 operated, as a dogmatic, inflexible, rigid personality in the state
15 leadership. And President Karadzic, in my view, when candidates were
16 sought for the elections, insisted that she become a candidate because he
17 felt that she would remain -- that she would keep her views, adhere to her
18 previous views, the ones she had had in 1992, that's why he wouldn't hear
19 of another candidate. We had an extensive discussion with the state
20 leadership of Republika Srpska, with Karadzic at its head. I don't know
21 who else was there, but for the most part everybody else kept silent and
22 only President Karadzic spoke. And when I and President Seselj insisted
23 that this would have disastrous consequences, he insisted that she remain
24 a candidate. He was astonished at what she did later on, but I was not
25 because such personality structures, which are always seeking after
1 self-affirmation and, if you insist on my using these terms, they are
2 immeasurably egocentric, everything serves their own personal
3 self-affirmation, even their political work, that's why these conflicts
4 and misunderstandings were bound to arise.
5 From the political aspect, of course this is interpreted quite
6 differently. I am speaking of my own convictions, not of Madeleine
7 Albright's personal convictions. She spoke in different terms than I did.
8 I had observed everything and followed it. Of course this lady made use
9 of all this in view of the policy of the American establishment in order
10 to have Mrs. Plavsic end up where she did.
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.
12 MR. JOSSE:
13 Q. I'd like to turn now to Mr. Krajisnik. And firstly, perhaps you
14 could assess his personality and work ethic as you saw it in 1992.
15 A. You see, you're always on slippery ground when you have to answer
16 a question like that. You might insult someone or misinterpret someone's
17 characters, but I will tell you what I feel certain of. I mentioned that
18 before the war I knew Mr. Krajisnik superficially. We'd had a few short
19 encounters. My perception was mostly through the media because he was the
20 president of the National Assembly. During the war I got to know him
21 somewhat better. I met him more than once, and I observed his work more
22 carefully and his standpoints. In any case, he is a highly moral man, of
23 a traditional type of character, a religious type, who is very dedicated
24 to the work he is doing. This is a man who can lay aside all other
25 considerations, including personal and family considerations, in order to
1 carry out the task that has been entrusted to him or a task that he feels
2 to be important.
3 In my evaluation, he is a man who knew other people very well, who
4 knew the mind-set of the various types of people living in Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, especially in Sarajevo. He was familiar with the Muslim
6 mind-set and way of life. This follows from many years of experience and
7 his need to observe and analyse. He spoke more sparingly than people like
8 me about problems. When I say "people like me," I mean people who do this
9 professionally, speak professionally. I think he had a great respect for
10 the law and legality, and I think that he had a great respect for
12 And I can illustrate this with examples. On one occasion I asked
13 to meet the state leadership to discuss a certain topic. President
14 Karadzic could not receive me and I was received by Mr. Krajisnik. We
15 spoke for about an hour or an hour and a half about pluralism in the
16 republic, the fight against crime, the prospects of the republic, the rule
17 of law and similar topics, about the relationships between the various
18 political parties. And he took copious notes. 24 hours later or some 30
19 hours later, a meeting was scheduled with Mr. Karadzic, and Mr. Krajisnik
20 repeated the essence of our conversation very correctly. He put forward
21 my suggestions and his reserved response, and then, with great discipline,
22 he waited for Mr. Karadzic, as the president of the republic, to take up a
23 standpoint concerning all this.
24 At that point, Mr. Karadzic's character was displayed. He spoke
25 in very abstract and idealistic terms, like a true psychotherapist, and
1 everything remained as it was. Nothing really changed. I have told you
2 this to show that Krajisnik's attitude to authority was not to do with
3 personalities so much as with the constitution, laws, moral principles,
4 respect for human life regardless of ethnicity or religious affiliation.
5 He was a well-rounded, consistent character, a man with personality, a
6 personality with no gaps or vacancies that can be filled by others, unlike
7 some other people we have mentioned.
8 Q. Could you next assess his skills as a politician.
9 A. I think that Krajisnik, as the president of the National Assembly,
10 complied with the constitution. I think he knew where limits or
11 boundaries were. He was very popular before the war for at least two
12 reasons. First of all, because of his persistence and consistency, and
13 also because on every occasion he always showed that he was not the
14 president of only the Serb MPs but of the Assembly as a whole, and there
15 were some who didn't like that.
16 In the situation which arose after April and the arrival in Pale,
17 Mr. Krajisnik found himself in a situation where he had to insist that the
18 National Assembly of Republika Srpska work in compliance with the
19 regulations and not just anyhow. I don't think an Assembly session was
20 ever called that Mr. Krajisnik did not preside over. I never saw that the
21 deputy president of the Assembly ever had an opportunity to chair an
22 Assembly session, although this would have been permitted by the rules. I
23 don't remember Mr. Krajisnik ever participating in any activities that
24 were not strictly prescribed by his term of office. I don't know whether
25 he ever attended cabinet sessions. He may have done, but I don't know of
2 There's also something else I can say. As a man of huge energy,
3 he had very many working meetings with representatives of local
4 authorities, Municipal Assemblies, Executive Boards, and various
5 delegations, and these meetings went on forever. So he worked for 15 or
6 20 hours a day. As far as I know, the topic of those talks - but there
7 are ways that can be established independently - were always something
8 that did not fall outside the competence of his office as president of the
9 Assembly. Other representatives of Republika Srpska authorities were
10 often away on trips, and Mr. Krajisnik was the one who was usually in his
11 office. Whenever I came to Pale and asked who was there, President
12 Krajisnik was always there and nobody else was. Very often you would not
13 be able to find a single minister in the government premises. I didn't
14 say that was always the case, but very often. So people went to see the
15 person who was available, I assume. And if people go to see somebody once
16 and achieve something, even if only a promise, then that prompts them to
17 come to the same person again. They knew that Mr. Krajisnik had the ear
18 of the others and could draw their attention to certain problems or issues
19 or speed things up. They would turn to him. He had huge energy for work,
20 and this is something that caused people to respect his authority. This
21 was a characteristic that had significance in the eyes of others, and it
22 was a by-product of his character.
23 Q. The next issue which follows from that, and to some extent you
24 have just dealt with, is his power in the time that you were in Pale in
25 1992. How did you or do you assess the power that he had at that time?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, would it be a good idea to expand the
2 question to influence and/or power?
3 MR. JOSSE: Absolutely, Your Honour.
4 Q. So influence and/or power, please, Mr. Poplasen.
5 A. Influence and power are two different terms. Power is an
6 abstract, diffuse concept with quite an imprecise meaning, whereas
7 influence means, as I understand it, to what extent Mr. Krajisnik was able
8 to suggest something to others, after which they would do it. I've
9 already said something about this. I think other people opened up to the
10 influence of Mr. Krajisnik on their own rather than him seeking to have
11 influence. His influence stemmed from his character, his personality, and
12 also from his formal post as president of the National Assembly. I don't
13 believe, or at least I didn't notice, that his influence went beyond what
14 was defined in the constitution as the office of the president of the
15 National Assembly.
16 As far as I was able to observe, his working day consisted of
17 numerous meetings and it's hard to say what he discussed and how
18 successfully, but attempting to be an objective observer, those would be
19 my conclusions.
20 Q. Were you aware of whether Mr. Krajisnik was a member of an
21 expanded Presidency in 1992?
22 A. I did observe this. This was an invented category. Such a thing
23 does not exist. It's as if you were having lunch and then you ask for a
24 second helping of dessert, and then they describe this as an expanded
25 lunch. An expanded Presidency is not a category that exists in the
1 constitution. The Presidency of the republic, like other state organs in
2 every country, can invite certain people to certain meetings, and then of
3 course, in physical terms, that's expanded; it's a little broader. But
4 had it acted as a kind of expanded Presidency, first of all, it would have
5 been counter-constitutional; secondly, the person convening such sessions
6 not based on law would bear the responsibility. Mr. Krajisnik was not
7 prone to such things, but he was prone to giving his contribution to any
8 situation where he could contribute. I assume he was invited to attend
9 sessions of the Presidency, but if a vote was taken, he would not have the
10 right to vote. I think that's understood.
11 You have put a question to me for which you had a prepared answer:
12 Was he a member of the expanded Presidency? But there was no such thing
13 as the expanded Presidency. According to the law, there was a Presidency,
14 and there was also a possibility of declaring a state of war, and if a
15 state of war was declared, apart from the members of the Presidency, the
16 president of the National Assembly and the Prime Minister would become
17 members of the Presidency, but this would then not be an expanded
18 Presidency but a War Presidency. So I cannot answer your question with a
19 yes or no. If there was an expanded Presidency, then that was contrary to
20 the constitution, and this is something that is completely foreign to my
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I'd rather keep it a bit more factual.
23 Are you aware of meetings of - whether you call it Presidency or
24 not - of meetings of those who would have composed a War Presidency if the
25 conditions for creating a War Presidency would have been met? That is,
1 meetings - not one meeting - regular meetings of Mr. Karadzic,
2 Mrs. Plavsic, Mr. Koljevic, and the speaker of the Assembly, president of
3 the Assembly, and the Prime Minister. Were those meetings held frequently
4 or at all?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can give you an answer, but not a
6 very decisive one. I know that they did sit together, but whether you can
7 call it a session or a meeting --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, this Chamber has seen minutes of what is called
9 sessions of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina held during imminent threat of war and, just to give you an
11 example, at one of these meetings you were appointed commissioner for
12 Vogosca. We have seen quite a lot of these documents. So my question
13 simply is - let's forget for a second about the constitution and what were
14 the formalities - but whether those five people, who would under the
15 constitution have formed what you call the War Presidency, whether they
16 met at a regular basis.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No. I know this for a fact
18 because I even had deliberate encounters with the Prime Minister because
19 he was a friend of mine from before the war and I knew that he was not
20 present there. I even exerted pressure through him, through the Prime
21 Minister, in order that part of the government might be relocated from
22 Pale to Banja Luka. My belief was that he, as a Prime Minister, could not
23 make sure that the professional services of the government did their role,
24 performed their role outside an urban centre. His answer to this was:
25 I'll see when I --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most often he answered by saying:
3 I'll see what I can do about it when I get to see the president. And then
4 some 20 days would pass. So evidently he wasn't present at this session
5 where the state of war was declared. Mr. Krajisnik was physically
6 located --
7 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not talking about one specific. I asked whether
8 these five persons would meet frequently, and I gave you as one example
9 the meeting where you were appointed commissioner for Vogosca. You come
10 with a long story. Are you aware or are you not aware of frequent
11 meetings of these five persons?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then I have given you my answer:
13 I'm not aware of that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You said you knew for a fact that they would not
15 frequently meet. What's the basis -- or did I misunderstand you? You
16 said: "I know this for a fact because ..." and then you gave a long
17 non-conclusive reasoning. Could you be certain about -- that they would
18 not frequently meet, apart from conclusions?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In answering your question, I
20 mentioned the Prime Minister himself who would have been -- had he been
21 there, I would have known. So I cannot give you any additional detail.
22 So if he wasn't there, there wasn't five of them but four of them. Then I
23 also continued saying that Mr. Krajisnik was located in the same --
24 located on the same premises. So I was -- I was trying to give you a
25 direct answer, but you cannot ask of me to be certain. I wasn't a member
1 of the Presidency and I wasn't there. I don't know what the possibilities
2 were. They might have even decided to have coffee together and then
3 somebody produced minutes, and this turned out to be a session. I cannot
4 say because I cannot describe events I did not take part in, and that's
5 why I cannot give any conclusive statements.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Would you expect Mr. Karadzic to sign such make-up
7 minutes, or was that part of just someone making minutes of coffee
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't say. I can only tell
10 you the following: Had they consulted me, I would have the minute-keeper
11 take the minutes first and then I would ask the president of the republic
12 to sign the minutes. That's what I would do. At least, that's how the
13 minutes were kept in my office. I would have insisted on that.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed -- Mr. Josse, I'm looking at the --
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Just a question before we break.
16 A while ago, talking about Mr. Krajisnik, you said: [In English] "I think
17 that he had a great respect for the law and legality, and I think that he
18 had a great respect for authority. And I can illustrate these with
19 examples. On one occasion I asked to meet the state leadership to discuss
20 a certain topic. President Karadzic could not receive me and I was
21 received by Mr. Krajisnik."
22 [Interpretation] I would like you to help us to understand this
23 sentence. Does this mean there was a sort of possible activity between
24 Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Karadzic? You seem to put them on the same footing,
25 while if I understand they had powers, or they were -- I suppose you have
1 very different powers. Mr. Karadzic is absent, so I'm received by
2 Mr. Krajisnik to discuss a matter and I should meet those of the
3 leadership. So what did you actually want to say when you said that? Do
4 you understand my question? I suppose you do.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I've understood you well, of
6 course both of them are members of the state -- were members of the state
7 leadership of Republika Srpska; that's why I put them on the same plane.
8 And my party and I recognised the legitimacy of the leadership.
9 Regardless of all the differences of opinion, they were members of the
10 leadership of Republika Srpska. Mr. Krajisnik was the president of the
11 parliament, and it is only understandable that he was in charge of the
12 matters of pluralism, legality, passage of legislation, election matters,
13 and so on and so forth. Mr. Karadzic was not only president of the
14 republic but also president of the SDS, the ruling party, which had
15 absolute power. Besides, this was the party that insisted that we support
16 them on various matters and positions. Sometimes we provided the support,
17 sometimes we did not, as I explained. Therefore, the persons one ought to
18 have spoken to were both of them; however, it is understandable that the
19 Serbian Democratic -- Radical Party -- the Serbian Democratic Party was to
20 formulate its positions through the president. Therefore, my conversation
21 with the vice-president of the SDS had to ultimately be verified by the
22 president. That's why, to cut the procedure short, I went to see the
23 president. When I arrived in Pale, he was busy, he had some obligations
24 to attend to - I don't remember which ones - I went to see Mr. Krajisnik
25 and seized the opportunity to talk to him about the details concerning our
1 views and positions because I knew that I was not going to be given much
2 time to elaborate on these with Mr. Karadzic. It was in this sense that I
3 had stated that. But of course he -- their positions were quite
4 different, and the situation wasn't that they -- whatever one could do,
5 the other could do as well.
6 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
7 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have a break until 25 minutes to 5.00
8 --- Recess taken at 4.11 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.43 p.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. To keep matters short, of course not giving a
11 final decision on the matter, but it was reported to one of the legal
12 officers of the Chamber, as requested by the court officer, the CLSS has
13 checked the disputed translation of the document referred to below and
14 confirmed the accuracy of the translation done by CLSS. So if you would
15 further like to dispute the matter, then it should be taken at a higher
16 level. At least you would need -- at least you would need to come up with
17 some experts, linguistical experts. I hope you understand this position.
18 I don't know whether there was any further disagreement.
19 I also note that of course it's not the core of the document. I
20 mean, these are nuances and I wonder whether it's worthwhile to ask
21 further expertise for these nuances.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
23 MR. JOSSE:
24 Q. Mr. Poplasen, you've been answering questions about an expanded
25 Presidency. Did Nikola Koljevic ever say anything to you which suggested
1 there was such an institution in being?
2 A. No, I don't remember him mentioning these -- this expression of an
3 expanded Presidency.
4 Q. Anyone else?
5 A. No. Apologies. Perhaps an additional remark should be made here
6 because there was a similar question put to me by Their Honours. It was
7 quite logical to me that in view of the fact that the Presidency was
8 passing a number of laws at the time, I was interested in knowing when, in
9 fact, the MPs could meet or could not. It was quite logical, in fact, for
10 the state leadership to have acted the way they have in the circumstances
11 when the parliament could not meet. Now, who came up with the term of an
12 expanded Presidency to simply satisfy this as a formality, I cannot
14 Q. I'd like to now ask you some specific questions. As far as you
15 were aware, was Mr. Krajisnik able to instruct or tell the government what
16 to do?
17 A. I can tell you for a fact that not only was he in the -- in the --
18 that -- it's not that he would -- he was not in a position to do that, and
19 besides, the Prime Minister would not have obeyed anyway because the Prime
20 Minister was quite different from Mr. Krajisnik as a personality and was
21 not really sympathetic with Mr. Krajisnik. I think it would be Mr. Djeric
22 who would object first to anything of the kind done by Mr. Krajisnik and
23 would say that it was anti-constitutional.
24 Q. A similar question in relation to the Presidency: Was
25 Mr. Krajisnik able to tell them what to do?
1 A. As far as I know the persons involved, I suppose that Mr. Karadzic
2 always heard out Mr. Krajisnik, but which of the matters he indeed agreed
3 to and accepted is unknown to me. Knowing Mr. Krajisnik, he on his part
4 must have showed persistence. Now, in which way these two personalities
5 interacted was -- would be in the realm of conjecture; it's difficult to
7 Q. Did Mr. Krajisnik have the power to punish individuals?
8 A. As far as I know, he punished his children on several occasions at
9 Pale because they had violated some of his instructions, but the rest I
10 can only imagine. And I can tell you that he was quite skillful at
11 disciplining his children because they were very well-behaved.
12 Q. I want to now turn, if I may, please, to the army. Did
13 Mr. Krajisnik have any power or control over the army, as far as you were
15 A. I know that the top civilian leader was the president of the
16 republic, and he was the commander-in-chief. The president of the
17 parliament had nothing to do with the army directly or indirectly. That
18 would constitute a direct violation of the law. Even had he tried to
19 exert this influence, he would have had to informally order the commander
20 to do something, and the commander in question would have had to know that
21 this was against the law. However, based on my knowledge of the man, who
22 I met several times - and I'm talking about General Mladic - I can tell
23 you that from the start he was trying to earn some powers for himself.
24 When Mladic was appointed, it was the first time that I heard of the term
25 "Commander of the Main Staff." Usually the term was the "Chief of the
1 Main Staff." Here there was a chief and a commander of the Main Staff,
2 and from the start I realised that he wanted to secure for himself --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Would we agree that the witness has answered your
5 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please, next question.
7 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
8 Q. The -- I've got three disparate but short topics I would like to
9 deal with in conclusion. The first goes back to the commissioners, one of
10 which you were. I want to ask about the other commissioners and to whom
11 they reported. First of all, are you aware who Mr. Djukanovic reported
13 A. You probably referring to Mr. Djokanovic, not Djukanovic.
14 Q. I am. My mispronunciation. Thank you for correcting me.
15 A. Formally speaking, all of us were responsible to Mr. Koljevic
16 because he was charged with the task by the Presidency. However, I had
17 known Mr. Djokanovic from before the war, and I knew that he had quite
18 close and even friendly relations with Mr. Karadzic. Perhaps this went
19 along their professions, both of them being physicians. Perhaps I was
20 friends with Mr. Koljevic because both of us dealt with humanities, and I
21 know that very often he contacted Mr. Karadzic. Admittedly,
22 Dr. Djokanovic was not a member of the SDS party, just as I wasn't. He
23 was the president of the Party of the Federalists, as his party was
24 called. But as far as I was able to see, he had regular contacts with
25 Mr. Karadzic, and I suppose that in these contacts they talked about his
1 work on the field and that he sought his advice in that respect. I never
2 came across Dr. Djokanovic and Professor Koljevic sitting together.
3 MR. JOSSE: Could I have one moment, please, Your Honour?
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. JOSSE:
6 Q. I'd next like to ask you about another one of your fellow
7 commissioners, Mr. Radovanovic, who I think was in your political party.
8 Is that correct?
9 A. That's correct. Mr. Radovanovic, you see, was in the Serb
10 Democratic Party for a while, up until the outbreak of the war; he was
11 even the spokesperson of the SDS in Sarajevo. I knew him from before the
12 war, and in early April, as he arrived in Pale, he liked me and my ideas
13 much more, and that's why he sided with me. I suppose he found me more
14 appealing than Mr. Karadzic.
15 Q. To whom did he report in connection with his work as a
17 A. Mr. Radovanovic was also responsible to Mr. Koljevic, there's no
18 doubt about that, although he was the commissioner of Ilidza municipality.
19 As far as I was able to glean, he was the sort of person who left most of
20 his duties and obligations to the president of the Ilidza Municipal
21 Assembly. In some of our conversations I criticised him for his
22 negligence in work, but I was not his superior in that respect; it was
23 Mr. Koljevic, and he dealt with him. At that time I contacted with
24 Mr. Radovanovic because I sent him out to some of the municipalities
25 because we were setting up boards of the Serbian Radical Party and we had
1 some party-related tasks to deal with.
2 Q. The next topic I want to ask you about is a document known in this
3 court as a Variant A and B document. Are you aware of the existence --
4 were you aware of the existence of that document, either in 1991 or 1992?
5 A. No. It was at a later stage in the recent years and months during
6 the trial against Mr. Krajisnik that I heard about this document and about
7 these Variants A and B. As I was saying yesterday, there were these
8 abstract stories about what the Serb people would do in case of conflict,
9 but there were no differentiating details in terms of 30, 40, 50, or 70
10 per cent of the Serbian people. I had seen or heard none of that. Had
11 these documents really existed, then they would have probably been
12 strictly party documents of the Serbian Democratic Party. I cannot say
13 that they were -- that they existed or did not because I simply did not
14 hear of them at the time.
15 Q. A similar question, Mr. Poplasen, in relation to what is known as
16 the six strategic goals. Was that something that you were made aware of
17 in any guise or form in 1992?
18 A. When it comes to the document itself, then the answer is no; when
19 it comes to its contents, then I can tell you the following: As I was
20 taking a walk with Professor Koljevic around the building at Pale, we
21 would discuss some matters from the history of the people there, and I had
22 this idea on my mind when I was discussing the relations between the
23 Serbian Radical Party and the Serbian Democratic Party. The strict
24 formulation of six strategic goals and their formulation on paper was
25 something I was not aware of, and had I been aware of that, I would have
1 been against that, I would have been opposed to that idea. My version
2 would have been more abstract.
3 This looks like tactics rather than strategy, but the truth is
4 that I did not hear of the document at the time, although I did discuss
5 such matters in one or several of my conversations with Professor
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Poplasen.
8 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, that concludes my examination.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Josse.
10 Mr. Harmon, are you ready to cross-examine Mr. Poplasen?
11 MR. HARMON: I am, Your Honour, I just need to set up.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 Mr. Poplasen, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Harmon, counsel
14 for the Prosecution.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Harmon:
16 Q. Mr. Poplasen, good afternoon.
17 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Prosecutor.
18 Q. I would like to begin by clarifying the testimony yesterday about
19 your military service. Yesterday in your testimony you said your military
20 service was as follows: That you joined a unit known as the Nisici
21 Brigade for 20 days, where you helped the commander Slavko Kojic with
22 advice in his command, and then you joined the army only in November of
23 1994, when you were mobilised into the student brigade.
24 MR. HARMON: That evidence, Your Honour, is found at pages 41 and
25 42 of LiveNote.
1 Q. How long did you stay in the student brigade, Mr. Poplasen?
2 A. I don't know whether you're referring to the Niksic Brigade or the
3 student brigade. You mentioned both.
4 Q. I'm referring to the student brigade.
5 A. The student brigade -- well, there are records on that, official
6 military records. I may be wrong by a few days because I haven't got the
7 documents with me, but it might have been about the 15th of November,
8 1994, I was mobilised, until about the 10th of January, 1995. The dates
9 are approximate. It's in my military booklet, but I cannot really
10 remember it precisely.
11 Q. What roles and what functions did you have in the student brigade?
12 A. In the student brigade I was assistant commander of the 1st
13 Battalion for morale and religious issues.
14 Q. And who was the commander of the student brigade?
15 A. During these three months, the battalion commanders changed. The
16 first one was Professor Ranko Zrilic; he was a university professor and
17 was not a reserve officer. He was followed by an active-duty officer,
18 whose name was - I hope I'm not wrong about the first name, I'm sure about
19 the last name - I think it was Nenad Radovic. I'm speaking of the 1st
20 Battalion. The brigade commander was somebody else.
21 Q. Let me ask you to look at an exhibit. If those -- the first
22 volume could be handed to the witness.
23 Mr. Poplasen, these are exhibits you'll see in front of you. They
24 have tab numbers. I will refer you to documents in various tabs, and if
25 you could turn to tab number 2, you will see, Mr. Poplasen, that this is
1 an excerpt from Who's Who in the Republika Srpska. And if we turn to the
2 text under your name, it says as follows, it says: "Dr. Poplasen --"
3 MR. HARMON: And I'm referring, Your Honours, to about
4 three-quarters of the way down in the English text.
5 Q. "Dr. Poplasen was present at all the front lines, always with a
6 rifle in his hands. He fought shoulder to shoulder with his great friend,
7 legendary Chetnik Major Boro Radic."
8 Do you see that in the text of Who's Who?
9 A. Is this on page 53?
10 Q. Yes. It should be on page 52 or 53 in the Cyrillic. I -- and it
11 should be in the -- it should be -- Mr. Poplasen, it should be in the
12 Cyrillic text on the right-hand column --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, is there a possibility that page 53 ends
14 approximately, in Cyrillic, where in English it would read: "And in June
15 1992 he was appointed as war commissioner"? Because I --
16 MR. HARMON: It could, Your Honour, yes --
17 JUDGE ORIE: -- I see "June of 1992" on the last line of page 53,
18 so therefore I think we would need page 54 to find the relevant passage.
19 MR. JOSSE: If there's another bundle, I can give it to
20 Mr. Karganovic to assist. The problem is --
21 MR. HARMON: It may well be that this is defective in terms of the
22 copy --
23 JUDGE ORIE: From what I read it's -- there's hardly -- the lower
24 part of page 2 does not appear on page 53 --
25 MR. JOSSE: Mr. Krajisnik is telling me he doesn't think it's
2 MR. HARMON: I don't either, Your Honour, so I will pass on this
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon is going to find page 54, if he still
5 thinks it important enough to present the witness with this.
6 MR. HARMON:
7 Q. Mr. Poplasen, while I sort out this issue, let me ask you: Did
8 you fight shoulder to shoulder with a Chetnik Major Boro Radic?
9 A. No.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, the way you put the question is
11 "shoulder to shoulder." Of course the "no" is multi-interpretable.
12 Did you fight together with the person just mentioned, Mr. Boro
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understood the Prosecutor. I was
15 not a soldier or a fighter in Vogosca at all, and I participated in no
16 battles at all. Boro Radic was not a major, that was just his nickname.
17 He was a civilian. He was a lad who for a long time had been in the
18 Foreign Legion. He returned home a year or two before the war broke
19 out --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes, yes. The question is, that's the main
21 issue, whether you ever were involved together with him in any armed
22 operation, wherever, whenever?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. No, never.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
25 MR. HARMON:
1 Q. Mr. Poplasen, I'd like you to turn to tab 39, if you would,
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, I have not invited for tab 2 to provide a
4 number. Perhaps it was clairvoyance because it was not complete anyhow.
5 But let's just look at 39, whether that would need a number.
6 MR. HARMON: It does, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 2, Your Honour, would be P1074; and tab 39
9 would be --
10 JUDGE ORIE: No, tab 2 not yet. Tab 2 should be completed first.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 39 would be P1074.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 MR. HARMON:
14 Q. Now, if you return to the document in Cyrillic, this is a --
15 appears to be a copy of a document from the Central Homeland Commission in
16 Belgrade, dated 20 March 1994. It is a document which, at the end, is
17 typed the name "President of the Central Homeland Administration and
18 Council of Vojvodas, Vojvoda Dr. Vojislav Seselj."
19 And if you turned in this document to, in the B/C/S version in
20 front of you, to the second page --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Page 190 in the original?
22 MR. HARMON: 190 in the original, and in the English it's page 2
23 of the English.
24 Q. You'll see your name is mentioned, and your name is mentioned as
25 being a vojvoda. First of all, is that correct?
1 A. Yes, this is, to the best of my recollection, a copy of the
2 original document and it is correct.
3 Q. Now, if you look at the text in the document, Mr. Poplasen, it
4 reads -- and I'm going to read a sentence. It says: "He actively
5 participated and commanded the Niksic Brigade from May 1992 to June of
6 1992 and then he moved to the intervention unit of the Vogosca Brigade."
7 I want you to focus your attention on the latter part of the
8 sentence. Did you, in fact, move to the intervention unit of the Vogosca
9 Brigade? Did you participate in that brigade, in that unit?
10 A. No, never.
11 Q. And did you ever assume command of the Niksic Brigade?
12 A. No, no, never. I was not among the commanders anywhere.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Poplasen, if we could turn next to a document that is
14 found at tab 59, and if you would -- first of all, Mr. Poplasen, there is
15 a -- in the B/C/S version, the first page -- first page of that document
16 should have a cover. It's from a book. If you take a look at that, it
17 bears the likeness of Mr. Seselj. It should be at the first page of B/C/S
18 in that, tab 59.
19 JUDGE ORIE: When we are still searching, we can invite the
20 registrar to assign a number to tab 59.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 59, Your Honours, would be P1079 -- 75.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
23 MR. HARMON: It may well be -- it may well be missing from the --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I --
25 MR. HARMON: No, it's been found; I can see it from here, Your
2 Q. First of all, this cover, which bears the ERN number 03461266 in
3 the right-hand side of the upper part of the page, bears a picture of
4 Mr. Seselj, does it not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Are you familiar with this book that was published by Mr. Seselj?
7 A. I don't remember. I have to look at it, and that might jog my
8 memory. He's published over a hundred books, so I can't remember every
9 single title.
10 Q. Well, let me take you to a part of the book, if I can,
11 Mr. Poplasen. If you could turn to page 183 of the Cyrillic text --
12 MR. JOSSE: Sorry to be pedantic, Your Honour: Can we know what
13 the book is called?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we have a problem as well.
15 Mr. Harmon, tab 59 I received only the first five pages out of 25,
16 but I see that my colleague Judge Hanoteau is in the possession, and Judge
17 Canivell as well, in possession of the front page of the book. I am
18 punished, says Judge Hanoteau.
19 MR. HARMON: If you are missing it, Your Honour, I will make sure
20 that you receive a copy of it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And do we have the title of the book, as Mr. --
22 MR. HARMON: It does not appear in my English translation.
23 Q. So perhaps you can assist us, Mr. Poplasen. Can you read into the
24 record the title of this book. You'll find that again with a picture of
25 Mr. Poplasen -- with a picture of ...
1 A. Yes, if you can hear me. The author is Dr. Vojislav Seselj. "In
2 Sinisa Aksentijevic's Focus." Then it says "Serb Radical Party," that's
3 evidently the publisher. The title is "The Philippics of the Chetnik
5 Q. Thank you very much for assisting us. Mr. Poplasen, what I want
6 to direct your attention to is, first off, if you turn to page 183 of the
7 Cyrillic text --
8 MR. HARMON: And, Your Honours, if I can direct Your Honours to
9 page 3 of 25.
10 Q. Have you found 183, Mr. Poplasen?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Now --
13 A. 183, I have found it.
14 Q. Now, this identifies the commanders and it gives a series of
15 ranks. You'll see that, starting with subpart A, lance corporals, and it
16 goes through a series of ranks, ending with subpart I, which says:
17 "Vojvodas, commanders of bigger units, compositions, or regions."
18 A few minutes ago, Mr. Poplasen, you told us that you were a
19 vojvoda. Tell us, if you will, what military responsibilities you had as
20 a vojvoda.
21 A. I had no military responsibilities. I was not a military person
22 at all, not a soldier, except for the period I've already mentioned when I
23 was in the student brigade.
24 Q. Then can you explain to the Trial Chamber what the title meant in
25 respect of you if it did not have military connotations.
1 A. Of course I can explain that, but it might be more interesting to
2 ask why you're showing this at all to Their Honours. This is a historical
3 representation --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Poplasen, it's not up to you to ask the
5 Prosecution why he puts a certain question to you.
6 Please proceed.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the historical tradition, the
8 Chetnik movement had a certain structure which was not as precise as the
9 one represented here by Mr. Seselj. The rank of vojvoda was awarded
10 within the Chetnik movement even to village headmen. These were not
11 large-scale military formations, and this was actually an honourary title.
12 The life of the Serbs in the 18th, 19th, and 20th century was
13 characterised by fighting, from the fighting in Macedonia before World War
14 I onwards.
15 Another point is there were no Chetnik units in the Army of
16 Republika Srpska at all. First of all, they were banned, they were
17 prohibited by the regulations of Republika Srpska; secondly, the Serb
18 Radical Party abolished the Chetnik movement as an independent formation
19 in its constitution; and thirdly, at the outset in June/July, when the war
20 broke out, I made several public speeches --
21 Q. Sir, let me interrupt you for just a minute. My question was:
22 Can you explain to the Trial Chamber what the title of vojvoda meant in
23 respect of you. Was it an honourary title? Was it bestowed upon you for
24 any particular service in the Serb radical movement? Can you enlighten us
25 as to why you had the title vojvoda.
1 A. Yes. I'm proud of my title. It is an expression of respect, of
2 paying tribute to certain moral qualities. It has no other connotations
3 or content.
4 Q. And why was it bestowed upon you, Mr. Poplasen?
5 A. It was bestowed on me because I was constantly present in
6 Republika Srpska from the very beginning of the war, because I advocated
7 the unification of the Serbian people and the traditional values of the
8 Serbian people living in that area.
9 Q. Now, if we turn to the photograph that is at the front, found in
10 tab 1, Mr. Poplasen, I have some questions to ask you about that
11 particular photograph. Can you tell us when that photograph was taken and
12 where it was taken?
13 A. This photograph was taken -- well, I can't remember the exact
14 date, but it would have to be in the summer of 1992, some hundred or so
15 metres away from Hotel Panorama at Pale.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, could you assign a number to that.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 1 would be P1076, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
19 MR. HARMON:
20 Q. And was this the type of a uniform that was issued by the VRS or
21 was this a typical Chetnik uniform?
22 A. This is not a uniform at all, either one or the other; it's
23 traditional national dress, Serbian traditional folk costume. This is the
24 kind of clothing that the Serbs wore in traditional times, up until World
25 War II. They wore it as their Sunday best, when they went to church, to
1 fairs, to weddings, and other ceremonial occasions.
2 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Poplasen. Let me focus, if I can, on
3 your views of representatives of the international community. If we could
4 turn, first of all, to tab 7.
5 MR. HARMON: If we could have an exhibit number for tab 7.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 7 would be P1077, Your Honours.
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. Now, this does not have a B/C/S translation, Mr. Poplasen. Do you
9 read English?
10 A. I would need the assistance of an interpreter. I have the text
11 before me, but I would like some assistance from the interpreters.
12 Q. Well, I will assist you, Mr. Poplasen. In August of 1993, as
13 chairman of the Serb Radical Party in the Republika Srpska, you publicly
14 supported retaliation against UNPROFOR members if air strikes were to take
15 place in the Republika Srpska. Isn't that correct? In this text from
16 Tanjug reads -- I'll read the first sentence: "Nikola Poplasen, chairman
17 of the Serb Radical Party, SRS, in the Republika Srpska said in Banja Luka
18 today that if air strikes against Serb positions were carried out, the SRS
19 would call for retaliation against UN Protection Forces, UNPROFOR
21 Is that accurate?
22 A. I don't know whether the term "retaliation" is the appropriate
23 word to use. I'm not sure that "retaliation" is the right word because it
24 implies some kind of physical activity. I was probably thinking of
25 non-obedience, expulsion, something like that, however, we couldn't expel
1 them because we were too weak for that. In my assessment we did not have
2 the strength to enter into a conflict with them.
3 Q. Let me --
4 A. I don't know how this term has been translated here, whether the
5 journalist used the right word. "Retaliation," does that mean resistance?
6 It could be resistance. In any case, my position was what I have just
8 Q. Well, let me give you another term. This is found in tab 6 of the
9 binder before you. This is a document -- a publication, it's from Serb
10 Glas Srpski. I will read this to you. You're familiar with the journal
11 Glas Srpski, Mr. Poplasen?
12 A. Yes, yes, yes. This is a daily paper published in Banja Luka.
13 JUDGE ORIE: It would have number 10 --
14 THE REGISTRAR: P1078, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- 78. Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
16 MR. HARMON:
17 Q. This is an article dated the 19th of August, 1993, entitled -- and
18 the subject says: "Serbian Radical Party threatens to kill UNPROFOR
19 members." I'll read the text. "Banja Luka, 18 August. 'If any part of
20 Republika Srpska is bombed, the Serbian Radical Party will call on all its
21 sympathisers in the Serbian people to physically liquidate members of
22 UNPROFOR and all the members of Croatian nationality and Muslim faith who
23 have not taken up arms to fight for the borders and sovereignty of
24 Republika Srpska, even though they live in its territory.' This was said,
25 among other things, at a press conference of the SRS in Banja Luka.
1 Nikola Poplasen, president of the SRS, also talked about the option on the
2 opinion of the Serb Radicals as regards the current process of the Geneva
4 So I put to you, Mr. Poplasen, that if the term "retaliation" is
5 not the correct term, did you, in fact, say at this particular press
6 conference that you would call upon the members of the Radical Party and
7 its sympathisers to liquidate members of UNPROFOR and all members of
8 Croatian nationality and Muslim faith who have not taken up arms to fight
9 for the borders and sovereignty of Republika Srpska? Did you say that?
10 A. No, no. This can only be a forgery. I don't know what sort of
11 mind could invite one people to liquidate the other. That's extreme --
12 that's an extreme position. As far as UNPROFOR members are concerned,
13 I've explained to you a moment ago: From the very start, my position was
14 that they should not be allowed entry in Bosnia and Herzegovina; however,
15 as they were stronger than we were and did not ask for our permission,
16 they were there. Perhaps someone else uttered these harsh formulations,
17 and -- although I suppose there was some sort of propaganda behind these
18 words in motivating them.
19 Q. Let me turn your attention, Mr. Poplasen, to 1995 when the United
20 Nations Protection Force members were taken hostage and, among other
21 things, handcuffed to the top of radio transmitters near Jahorina and
22 other locations in Bosnia and within the Republika Srpska. Do you
23 remember those events?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Let me turn your attention then to tab 3.
1 MR. HARMON: And if I could get a number for tab 3.
2 THE REGISTRAR: That would be P1079.
3 MR. HARMON:
4 Q. This is in English, so I will read this to you, Mr. Poplasen.
5 This is dated the 30th of May. It is attributed to SRNA, and it reads in
6 the top paragraph: "Nikola Poplasen, deputy chairman of the Serb Radical
7 Party of the Serb lands (SRS) today voiced full support for the Bosnian
8 Serb army, BSA, in connection with the capture of UNPROFOR members who
9 have openly sided with the NATO and UN terrorist actions. The SRS leader
10 for Bosnian Serb Republic told a news conference in Banja Luka that the
11 SRS recently advocated that the UNPROFOR forces be declared occupying
12 forces and that the BSA treat them as an army of occupation."
13 First off, did you say that?
14 A. I don't recall this at this time. This was the 30th of May, 1995,
15 but I can't say that the position expressed is not similar to mine; it is.
16 But how can I remember what happened on the 30th of May, 1995, when I made
17 statements every day?
18 Q. So if you can't remember specifically this statement,
19 Mr. Poplasen, this certainly represented the position that you took at the
20 time. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Now, let me turn to -- next turn to tab 8 in the materials before
23 you, Mr. Poplasen.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 8 would be P1080.
1 MR. HARMON: And there are two tabs, I'm told, in this exhibit;
2 there's 8A and 8B for Your Honours' and Mr. Poplasen's edification.
3 Q. This is, first of all, Mr. Poplasen, 8A, as you will see in the
4 Bosnian version. Turn to -- is -- 8A, Bosnian version, you will see this
5 is an interview.
6 MR. HARMON: Perhaps if Mr. Poplasen could have some assistance
7 from the usher in this regard. It's a little bit confusing.
8 Q. But what I'd like to direct your attention, first of all,
9 Mr. Poplasen, is to 8A, which is an interview that is found in a
10 newspaper. That newspaper Nezavisne Novine in Banja Luka, interview
11 attributed to February the 2nd, 2000. First of all, do you remember
12 giving that interview, Mr. Poplasen?
13 A. I remember talking to Radmilo Sipovac, and I gave several
14 interviews to this paper. There's no reason for me to doubt it.
15 Q. Okay. What I'd like to do, Mr. Poplasen, this reports in the
16 interview -- I'll direct your attention to the upper left-hand corner,
17 there's a number 6. If you turn the cover page you'll see in the upper
18 left-hand corner the number 6. What I'd like to ask you about,
19 Mr. Poplasen, is: In your capacity as the president of the Republika
20 Srpska, you presented medals to Mr. Karadzic, General Mladic, Mr. Martic,
21 General Galic, and Mr. Seselj, all of whom were indicted by this
22 institution. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, I did, to the ones you mentioned now, but not to all of those
24 who were indicted by this institution. But the ones you mentioned here
25 now, yes, that's right, I did.
1 Q. And you were asked the following questions, and I'll read from the
2 text, Mr. Poplasen. The text I'm reading from, for your benefit, is the
3 far left-hand column of the B/C/S version in front of you on page 6.
4 MR. HARMON: This is on page 2 of 19 in the English version, Your
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. HARMON: Starting at the top.
8 Q. "On the Republika Srpska national day in the capacity of RS
9 president, you presented medals to Karadzic, Martic, Mladic, Galic, and
10 Seselj. Were the medals delivered to them?"
11 Your answer: "The process of making the medals is a rather
12 lengthy one and the decision was made immediately prior to the Republika
13 Srpska national day. The medals are such that they can be made only by a
14 small number of people since the technology of production is extremely
16 Then the interviewer asks you: "Do you know where you will
17 deliver the medals to them, and will this be done publicly?"
18 Your answer: "I will hand them the medals personally and I will
19 do it on the Republika Srpska."
20 Interviewer: "To all of them?
21 "Poplasen: To all who have been awarded medals.
22 "NN: Among those who were awarded medals is General Galic who is
23 located in The Hague.
24 "Poplasen: I hope that General Galic will not be in The Hague
25 forever and The Hague farce will come to an end and that General Galic,
1 like a number of Serbs who are not as lucky, will return healthy to
2 Republika Srpska."
3 Were those your words in 2000, Mr. Poplasen?
4 A. That's all very well, Mr. Prosecutor, what you've mentioned now;
5 however, you state that you -- this is -- the year is 2000 and not the
6 year 1992, if you agree with me.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For some, at the time, I was
9 president of the republic, for others I wasn't.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Poplasen, will you please answer the question,
11 whether these were your words in 2000.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they were, in 2 -- in the year
14 MR. HARMON: Now, Your Honours, if I direct Your Honours'
15 attention to tab 8B, this is the identical interview that is reproduced
16 from what I -- a site known as the Serbian Unity Congress.
17 JUDGE ORIE: That has no number yet. Would that be 1081,
18 Mr. Registrar?
19 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours.
20 MR. HARMON: And it's the identical interview. I just direct Your
21 Honours' attention to the fact that it was re-published.
22 Q. Now, if I can direct your attention, Witness, to tab 4 of the
23 materials before you.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And that would be number --
25 THE REGISTRAR: P1082, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
2 MR. HARMON:
3 Q. Mr. Poplasen, this is the -- this is in English, Mr. Poplasen.
4 I'm sure you're familiar with its contents. It is the decision removing
5 Mr. Nikola Poplasen --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, before you continue, we've now seen a lot
7 of English documents and I'm concerned about Mr. Krajisnik not being able
8 to follow them. Although you read out specific portions, Mr. Krajisnik is
9 not in a position to put that into context. When could we expect
11 MR. HARMON: We will get them as soon as possible. Your Honour is
12 aware that we are working under conditions where witnesses change and we
13 had to work with alacrity, so we have not all the translations for these
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 Then, Mr. Josse, I take it you will have some understanding for
17 the problems the Prosecution is facing, not getting lists of exhibits, et
18 cetera, well in advance. Would there be a possibility for you to see
19 whether any contextual problems would arise in relation to what
20 Mr. Krajisnik could say about that?
21 MR. JOSSE: Well, I will, Your Honour. I do understand the
22 problems, and I -- and I'm sure Mr. Krajisnik also appreciates your
23 concern. Could I add one thing?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. JOSSE: My concern is also the witness. It's a severe
1 disadvantage when important statements, assertions, that he is alleged to
2 have made are put to someone, they can't see it in front of them. Can I
3 urge Mr. Harmon to go extremely slowly when he's putting these sort of
4 matters to the witness.
5 MR. HARMON: I would be glad to, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. Mr. Poplasen, the document in tab 4, which is entitled "Decision
9 removing Mr. Nikola Poplasen from the office of president of Republika
10 Srpska" is dated the 5th of March, 1999, and this is the decision of the
11 High Representative in removing you from your position as president of the
12 Republika Srpska. That -- and since you can't read English, let me just
13 read parts of it and I will ask you, Mr. Poplasen --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps you could first ask the witness --
15 Mr. Poplasen, did you ever receive a B/C/S version of this decision? Were
16 you able to read that, the decision by which you were removed from office?
17 Just so --
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Of course. I received it on the 5th
19 of March, both versions.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then at least we understand that the witness is
21 familiar with the document.
22 Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
23 MR. HARMON: I'm referring to the English text, Your Honour, on
24 the second page of this document, under "Reasons for removal."
25 Q. And, Mr. Poplasen, I'm going to read this to you. It says, and
1 I'll read part of it: "President Nikola Poplasen has abused his power,
2 blocked the will of the people of Republika Srpska by hindering the
3 implementation of the election results, refusing to abide by the decisions
4 of the National Assembly, and consistently acting to impede the formation
5 of a legitimate government with the support of the National Assembly,
6 obstructed the implementation of the general framework agreement for
7 peace, acted to trigger instability in Republika Srpska, and thus put
8 peace into risk in the Republika Srpska and in the whole of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina by the following actions ..." and then it lists a series of
11 Those were the reasons that were included in your dismissal. Do
12 you agree with that -- or you may not disagree [sic] with the actions of
13 the High Commissioner, do you agree that those are the reasons he set
15 A. I apologise, but I really don't understand your question. Are you
16 asking me whether this is what the text says or whether you're asking for
17 my opinion about the contents?
18 Q. No, I'm not asking for your opinion.
19 A. The answers I can give are different.
20 Q. I'm not asking for your opinion of the text. I accept fully that
21 you do not agree and did not agree at the time with the High
22 Representative's assessment. But do you agree that in the written
23 decision that you have had an opportunity to review in your language, that
24 the reasons that I read to you set out accurately what the High
25 Representative said were the reasons for your removal?
1 A. Again your question is ambiguous. I do not agree with the reasons
2 stated here. They are presented here accurately, that's true, but I do
3 not agree with the reasons in term of -- in terms of their essence. And
4 then if I can answer to your question in a couple of sentences, I will.
5 Because what is written here is a falsification of reality.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You have answered Mr. Harmon's question. I do
7 understand that you'd like to further clarify, and I would say that we'll
8 give you an opportunity, even if Mr. Harmon would not ask you, we would
9 give you an opportunity at a later stage to briefly, not very lengthy, but
10 briefly tell us what your objections were and then rather in terms, not
11 abstract terms, as a falsification of reality because that could be
13 And perhaps Mr. Josse will deal with the matter.
14 MR. JOSSE: Yes, Your Honour. Could I make this observation: I
15 assume that Mr. Harmon is going to ask it, because otherwise what is the
16 point in putting the document in evidence?
17 MR. HARMON: The point is --
18 JUDGE ORIE: The point is -- I take it -- that's at least how I
19 understand it, that Mr. Harmon wants to shed a negative light on the
20 credibility and perhaps reliability of this witness in view of the reasons
21 for which, in the eyes of the High Representative, had to be removed from
23 MR. JOSSE: If -- of course I understand that, but if that's
24 right, this is not a proper way to cross-examine, in my submission. He
25 might as well just submit the document to the Court and the Court can read
1 it. There's no point saying to the witness: Did you receive this from
2 the High Representative, and then not ask the witness whether he accepted
3 it. That is not proper cross-examination --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I think I was clear enough to Mr. Harmon
5 when I said if he doesn't ask for it, we would give an opportunity.
6 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
8 MR. HARMON: Just for the record, Your Honour, I also introduced
9 the document because yesterday the witness touched upon this and said he
10 had been removed, and this is the document --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do not think Mr. Josse disputes your right to
12 touch upon the subject in cross-examination.
13 MR. JOSSE: Certainly not.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. Now, Mr. Poplasen, if we can turn back to tab 8 of the document --
17 of the bundle before you. This is the interview that we saw a few minutes
19 MR. HARMON: I'd like to direct Your Honours' attention to page 3
20 in the English.
21 Q. Mr. Poplasen, if I could direct your attention to the -- again,
22 the B/C/S version, page 6, the second column. You then in this interview
23 comment on the actions of the High Representative, and let me read to you,
24 Mr. Poplasen, your remarks, that are again found in the B/C/S version the
25 second column.
1 Poplasen: "Well, we also declared --" I'm sorry. Let me go to
2 the question above it.
3 "Have you forgotten that the High Representative declared Seselj
4 to be an undesirable person in BH and RS?"
5 Poplasen: "Well, we also declared the High Representative and all
6 of his colleagues to be undesirable persons a long time ago. We never
7 invited them here. They came with tanks and with airplanes as part of a
8 plan according to which Serbdom, the Serbs, and the Serb countries are all
9 supposed to vanish. But nothing is permanent. The presence of the
10 occupiers is of a temporary character."
11 My question, first, Mr. Poplasen: Are those your words?
12 A. Yes, they are my words.
13 Q. And you assert that there's a plan by the High Representative to
14 make the Serbs, among other things, disappear -- to vanish.
15 A. Well, I don't know that I said that the High Representative was
16 one of them. He was just one of the small fish involved in the process.
17 I had in mind somebody who was higher up.
18 Q. Who did you have in mind higher up that had the plan that would --
19 in which the Serbdom, Serbs, and the Serb countries are all supposed to
20 vanish? Who did you have in mind when you said that?
21 A. I had in mind the large empires that were so powerful that they
22 were able to form the Fourth Reich.
23 Q. Okay. And the large empires who would form the Fourth Reich, what
24 countries were in that -- in that category?
25 A. Well, you see, it depends on how much time you can give me to
1 answer the question, because this question cannot be answered with a yes
2 or no --
3 Q. I didn't ask you for a yes or no answer.
4 A. -- I can answer in five sentences only.
5 Q. I asked you for the identity of the countries that were involved
6 in that group of countries that formed the Fourth Reich.
7 A. I will refer you to a source which deals with these matters in
8 detail, and then I will answer your question in three sentences only, if
9 you agree. The former advisor to Prime Minister Major, whose name is
10 Ronald Atkinson, wrote two books. One is called "The European Vicious
11 Circle," and the other "The New Dictatorship of Europe." He analytically
12 outlines all the elements which, in my opinion, show convincingly that the
13 European Community has -- bears all the hallmarks of the Fourth Reich,
14 that it is a para-fascist creation, created against the will of the
15 peoples, Germans, Britons, French, and so on, which can be established
16 through opinion polls and different analyses, and that we were
17 experiencing an imperialistic progression from the area, which was in turn
18 provoking ethnic nationalisms, and that's the typical
19 cause-consequence situation.
20 Q. Let me ask you to identify the countries, finally, that consist of
21 the Fourth Reich that you have asserted were part of a plan to make
22 Serbdom, the Serbs, and Serb countries vanish. What are the countries
23 involved in that group of countries?
24 A. I'm answering your question and you're putting it to me again. I
25 told you clearly the European Community --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Poplasen, you specifically mentioned that against
2 the will of the peoples, Germans, Britons, French. Would you say that
3 Germany, Great Britain, and France were the countries, perhaps among
4 others, who were forming this Fourth Reich?
5 THE WITNESS: Establishment.
6 [Interpretation] Political and economic establishment or the
7 leadership of these countries created the organs of the European Community
8 against the political will and conviction of most of the population of, I
9 can repeat, France, Germany, and Great Britain.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Any countries outside the European Union?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, this is already the realm
12 of an analysis. There are always those who wish to fulfil their own
13 interests and side with someone, like in World War II. It wasn't easy to
14 find partners in the Albanian or Muslim establishments.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I'm just asking whether you had any specific
16 countries in mind outside the EU.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could you mention them.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already mentioned the Albanian
20 establishment that is trying to come closer to the German interests. For
21 instance, the Muslim world is facing the same dilemma that they had been
22 facing in World War II, whether to cooperate with these establishments or
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Poplasen, I'm just asking for any specific
25 countries, not in a lengthy explanation on them. So you called the
1 Albanians. Any other country you would have in mind?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My apologies. I was drawing the
3 following distinction: When I said "Germany," I did not mean the German
4 people. I said the establishment. And when I said "France," I didn't
5 mean the French people --
6 JUDGE ORIE: I mean political leadership or any establishment of
7 any other country you had in mind?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as the Balkans are concerned,
9 I mentioned the Albanians and the Albanian leadership in Kosovo. As far
10 as Bosnia-Herzegovina is concerned, I mentioned the Muslim leadership. As
11 far as Croatia is concerned, from the beginning it had been forging a plan
12 with Germany to break up Yugoslavia, and that's the Croatian leadership.
13 As far as Slovenia is concerned, the situation there is clear, too.
14 Within this trend, there was the resistance in the Serbian --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Poplasen, we've now had Croatia, we've had
16 Slovenia, we had Albanians, Albanian leadership in Kosovo. Any other?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that's enough for now.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
19 MR. HARMON:
20 Q. Aside, Mr. Poplasen, those countries that you assert to have a
21 plan to make the Serbs in Serb countries and Serbdom vanish, you publicly
22 also stated, isn't it the case, that the Tribunal was created, in part, to
23 assist in that effort?
24 A. Well, I don't know. I would agree with you that this Tribunal is
25 a political institution and that it has certain political tasks to
1 perform, but do you think I'm naive enough to think that this Tribunal or
2 the Judges are supposed to go and commit genocide over the Serbian people?
3 No, that's too far-fetched, too naive. The Hague Tribunal is an
4 institution within the imperial spreading of the European Community -- or
5 rather, the reinstated Fourth Reich. But you keep mentioning a plan as if
6 there was a plan. It's rather a historical process.
7 Q. Well, let's take a look and see what you did say about the
8 Tribunal, Mr. Poplasen.
9 MR. HARMON: We will be playing a video, Your Honour. If I could
10 have an exhibit number for the video.
11 JUDGE ORIE: We find that under --
12 MR. HARMON: This is --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Transcript under tab --
14 MR. HARMON: This is Extra 1, so --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Extra 1, yes.
16 Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: That would be P1083, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: P1083.
19 THE REGISTRAR: That would be for the one dated 10 August 1996?
20 MR. HARMON: Yes, that is the one 10 August 1996. This is an
21 interview with SRT.
22 Q. We'll play it. Mr. Poplasen, if you could look at the screen in
23 front of you.
24 [Videotape played]
25 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "A viewer from Banja Luka is asking
1 Mr. Poplasen what the representatives of the Radicals think about The
2 Hague Tribunal and if Alija Izetbegovic will ever be indicted by that
4 "Well, Alija and The Hague Tribunal belong to one ... It's a
5 political institution and the purpose of its creation is a pogrom of the
6 Serbian people."
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. You said that, Mr. Poplasen, in August of 1996, did you not?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, if we turn to tab 9, Mr. Poplasen --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, may I take it that it's part of your
12 questions if the witness would briefly want to comment, he has an
13 opportunity to do so.
14 MR. HARMON: Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: So, Mr. Poplasen, if you'd like to briefly comment on
16 your own words or explain so that the Chamber better understands your
17 words, you have an opportunity.
18 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, of course I don't object to that, but
19 could I say I have no problem when Mr. Harmon doesn't do that in relation
20 to the words uttered previously by the witness. That is proper in
21 cross-examination, in my submission. The distinction I draw is in
22 relation to statements or assertions by a third party being related to him
23 which he can't comment upon. Can I make that clear.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that, but at the same time if,
25 for example, it reads "it is a political institution," that is a very
1 short phrase with which people might mean different things, like it was
2 created by politicians, it was the -- the Judges are --
3 MR. JOSSE: I'm sorry to interrupt. I'm happy for him to comment.
4 I'm just saying I'm not insisting, if I can put it like that.
5 JUDGE ORIE: So, Mr. Poplasen, not lengthy statements, but if you
6 would like to clarify any of these matters, not the full political
7 context, but especially there where there might be a risk of
8 misunderstanding, you're invited to do so.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was during a pre-election
11 campaign, August 1996, the first elections were soon to take place in the
12 republic, and of course in a television interview where there was more
13 than one participant, as you were able to see, one has to speak briefly
14 and concisely, using expressions that most voters will understand. It's
15 true that I said this, but when I said "pogrom" I wasn't referring to
16 killing, actual killing, taking lives. I was speaking historically, as
17 the Prosecutor said. Modern Western politicians call this
18 de-nationalisation, the loss of all ethnic and national elements. If
19 Serbs no longer speak the Serbs' language, keep Serb traditions, have a
20 Serb culture, that's what this means. I'm speaking about a historical
21 process. Maybe this will happen; it's happened to many peoples.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So should we understand this, that where you use the
23 word "pogrom" that it was very short for an attack on the Serbian people's
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Among other things, yes. Identity,
1 conditions of life, and so on.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
4 MR. HARMON:
5 Q. If we can turn next, Mr. Poplasen, to tab number 9. Again,
6 Mr. Poplasen, I will have to read this to you and I'm going to ask you if
7 these are your words. This --
8 MR. HARMON: First of all, if I could have an exhibit number for
9 tab number 9.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That would be P1084, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 MR. HARMON:
13 Q. P1084, Mr. Poplasen, is a -- from the United Nations liaison
14 office from Belgrade. It's dated the 8th of January, 1998. The
15 description is: "Poplasen: ICTY is an instrument of American
17 And the summary says, I'll read part of it: "The leader of
18 Vojislav Seselj's Serbian Radical Party in Bosnia, the SRS, Nikola
19 Poplasen, gave an interview to the Belgrade daily Demokratija where he was
20 quoted as saying that the ICTY was an instrument of American domination
21 and directly opposed to international law."
22 Do you remember making that statement or similar statements?
23 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I don't recall this but it closely
24 resembles my standpoints. I would not deny this.
25 Q. And when you say that the ICTY is "directly opposed to
1 international law," what did you mean by that?
2 MR. JOSSE: I'm going to interrupt, Your Honour. Where does that
3 take us?
4 MR. HARMON: I think it goes to, among other things, the witness's
5 attitude toward this Court.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, Mr. Harmon, of course we've seen now a
7 few examples. Is there any need to go in further details and ask for an
8 explanation in legal terms? It seems as if Mr. Poplasen is not a great
9 supporter of this institution and that he, in his political life, uses
10 strong language to express that view, and that it's not only that he's not
11 happy with it politically but that he even challenges -- that's at least
12 what my first impression is, that he challenges the legality of this
14 MR. HARMON: I was giving him in the opportunity, as I thought the
15 Court wanted, to briefly comment on certain parts of the statements that I
16 am presenting to this Court.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. HARMON: I can withdraw the question and am happy to move on
19 to the next.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I summarised in this way and I take it that the
21 parties would agree that this is the first impression of -- of what the
22 witness has told us in this respect, apart from other parts of his
23 testimony, of course.
24 MR. JOSSE: Yes, I have no objection, as such, to the witness
25 answering the question. This cross-examination is gratuitous, in our
1 submission, and is conducted for a gratuitous and unfair purpose, but I,
2 as such, have no objection to the witness answering the question. He
3 clearly can handle himself quite well.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time Mr. Josse asked you a
5 question, the Chamber adds to it, not in where it leads us but what it
6 would add to what we heard of course on this specific subject already.
7 MR. HARMON: I have one more example, Your Honour, I would like to
8 bring to the Court's attention.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, if that's the last one, then --
10 MR. HARMON: Yes. It's already an exhibit, Your Honour. It's
11 found at tab 8. It is Exhibit P1080.
12 Q. Mr. Poplasen, if you could turn back to your interview that's
13 found in tab 8. I want to direct your attention to some comments that are
14 found in that interview, Mr. Poplasen.
15 MR. HARMON: I direct Your Honours' attention to page 18 of 19.
16 Q. Mr. Poplasen, I direct your attention to page 6, again the box
17 that is found, small box, small rectangle on page 6 of the top, "Hag -
18 Instrument Sile." Let me read this into the record.
19 NN -- NN refers to the interviewer: "Do you personally
20 acknowledge the authority of The Hague Tribunal?
21 "Poplasen: I do not acknowledge it personally, on behalf of my
22 party or on behalf of my nation. How can I acknowledge an institution
23 which is contrary to all elementary norms, principles of humanity,
24 legality and justice, which represents a political institution and is the
25 instrument of the policies of hegemonistic, huge totalitarian fascist
2 "NN: Apparently you have a higher regard for The Hague inmates
3 than for the Hague court.
4 "Poplasen: They are my friends. The majority of them are
5 acquaintances. Some are colleagues. How could I not hold them in high
6 regard? It is pointless for me to identify with the executioners and spit
7 on the victims."
8 Mr. Poplasen, are those your words? Were you were making that
10 A. Yes, they are.
11 Q. Okay. When you referred to "the victims," are you saying that the
12 people who had been indicted and who have been arrested and have been
13 brought to this institution for trial are victims? Is that your meaning?
14 A. Some, yes, not all. But some people who are arrested and brought
15 to The Hague Detention Unit are victims and they are completely innocent.
16 Q. Okay.
17 MR. HARMON: That concludes this area of examination, Your Honour.
18 I don't know what time we're going to break.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we are. As a matter of fact, we're already very
21 I would like to add one question, Mr. Poplasen, since you have, it
22 seems, a specific opinion about some of the detainees to be victims and
23 others not. Do you have any specific opinion about the accused in this
24 case, Mr. Krajisnik, to what category he belongs?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to what I know, he has not
1 committed any crimes; therefore, he is a victim.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
3 We'll have a break for 20 minutes. We'll restart at 25 minutes to
5 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, there's a short matter perhaps I could
6 deal with immediately after the break for a minute.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
9 --- Recess taken at 6.15 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 6.40 p.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, you asked for one minute.
12 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, perhaps it's something I should know but
13 I'm afraid I don't. I reserve my position as to the admissibility of
14 these exhibits, and it's a matter, no doubt, in the usual way, the Chamber
15 will consider when the witness is finished. I'm concerned about those
16 documents where a small part had been referred to. Can I ask: Does the
17 Chamber read the rest of the documents? In other words, if a small part
18 is put into evidence, as opposed to admitted into evidence, does the
19 Chamber read the whole document? And if the document is then admitted as
20 an exhibit, does the position change? I obviously need to know that to
21 decide what I need to re-examine upon.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, I -- you may have noticed that the Chamber
23 often tries to reduce the size of the documents so as to have the
24 immediate context and not anything else. If from several portions of a
25 document quotes are put to a witness, then we usually read the whole of
1 the document. So if there would be anything else in that document that
2 would require cross-examination, then we would then read that. So we try
3 to resolve the matter by reducing the size of what is presented in
4 evidence, but if it's there, we can read it.
5 MR. JOSSE: Then --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Of course we'll mainly focus on -- we'll mainly focus
7 on the portions addressed by the parties, and we'll not a start an
8 in-depth search to see whether there's anything else we could find. But
9 if our eye -- we will read it --
10 MR. JOSSE: So can I just be clear.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. JOSSE: I may object to its admissibility, but leaving that
13 aside P1075, the extract from Mr. Seselj's book, one line has been put to
14 the witness and the rest of it may be read by the Chamber and used as
15 evidence in this case.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Is that about Mr. Poplasen -- about Mr. Krajisnik
17 or --
18 MR. JOSSE: I presume not. I haven't had a chance to read it, but
19 one of the things I need to know is whether I really do need to read it
20 tonight to be in a position to re-examine the witness upon it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, is there any way you would reduce the
22 size of the portion of the book and limit the evidence to the relevant
23 portions and the direct context on the page? Usually we say one page
24 before and one page after that so that we can place the --
25 MR. HARMON: Yes. Yes, Your Honour, I can do that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And can you inform Mr. Josse what parts you
2 will take out so he doesn't have to do any unnecessary reading tonight.
3 MR. HARMON: I will be glad to.
4 MR. JOSSE: Thank you for now.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Then I have a few other matters.
6 Madam Usher, perhaps you can -- I have to read for some six to
7 seven minutes a few decisions, and perhaps you could already take care
8 that the witness is stand-by and nearby.
9 I first would like to give a statement on behalf of this Chamber
10 on decisions of Bosnian courts.
11 The Trial Chamber would like to address the parties regarding the
12 presentation of material in the form of decisions from Bosnian courts
13 dealing with the prosecutions of crimes in Bosanski Novi municipality
14 during the indictment period. During the testimony on the 15th of
15 December of Witness Pasic, and I refer to transcript page 19700, the
16 Chamber asked the parties to verify the existence of this material and to
17 consider submitting it into evidence.
18 On the 23rd of February, I refer to transcript page 20838, the
19 Defence opposed the introduction of this evidence. The Defence objected
20 on the "identical" grounds that they objected to recently -- to the
21 recently requested evidence regarding Husein Hotic, namely that Rule 98 of
22 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence must be interpreted in light of Rule
23 85. The Defence's submission is that the latter rule places timing
24 constraints on the Chamber's powers under the former rule. We do not
25 agree with the Defence's interpretation. The Chamber may depart from the
1 sequence laid down by Rule 85 where the interests of justice allow.
2 The Chamber remains interested in receiving material relevant to
3 the testimony of Witness Pasic or that may shed light on potentially
4 relevant circumstances within Bosanski Novi. It is in the interests of
5 justice that this evidence be received at the earliest date possible. The
6 Chamber, therefore, directs the parties to agree on the type and amount of
7 material to be submitted by the 23rd of March. In the event that they are
8 unable to agree, the Chamber requests written or oral submissions from
9 both parties regarding their position on the material, again by the 23rd
10 of March. This concludes the matter of the -- on the legal decisions of
11 the Bosnian courts.
12 The next issue is admission of recently translated exhibits.
13 The Trial Chamber would like to address the issue of admitting
14 recently translated exhibits tendered by both parties. These exhibits
15 were submitted during the testimony of previous witnesses and are now
16 available for entry into the trial record. For the Prosecution, that
17 would be P970 and P1073 that have been translated. For the Defence, it
18 would be D106, D113, and D141 that also have been translated. The Chamber
19 will instruct the registry to admit these documents into evidence unless
20 the parties raise objections before the close of business on the 13th of
22 Additionally, on the 8th of March the Defence expressed its
23 intention to tender into evidence the video footage provided to them by
24 the Prosecution regarding a Muslim attack on a JNA convoy in Tuzla on the
25 15th of May, 1992. I would ask, if the Defence is now in a position to
1 offer it for admittance, that the registrar assign the footage an exhibit
2 number and admit it into evidence.
3 MR. JOSSE: That was Mr. Stewart's position yesterday, and it's
4 one I echo today, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then the Chamber asks that the Defence then
6 accomplishes this by the 14th of March. I think Mr. Stewart said that he
7 would like to have it admitted into evidence, or am I wrong?
8 MR. JOSSE: What are you asking the Defence to accomplish? Sorry,
9 I don't follow.
10 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, no, I think we asked him whether he wanted to
11 tender that material.
12 MR. JOSSE: Correct.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I think the answer was yes.
14 MR. JOSSE: Correct.
15 JUDGE ORIE: The question now is if it's there, to be assigned a
16 number; if not, then you're invited to accomplish --
17 MR. JOSSE: I beg your pardon, the registrar physically needs the
18 material. I'm sorry, I'm being slow on the uptake.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, without the physical material, we might have a
20 problem. So by the 14th of March this material is expected. That
21 concludes, then, the matter of exhibit admission.
22 Finally I'd like to deal with a list of criminal cases before the
23 courts of Kotor Varos regarding prosecutions of crimes committed against
24 the civilian population during the indictment period.
25 The Chamber would like to address the Defence regarding this list.
1 The Chamber, under Rule 98, has sought access to material on other
2 occasions to assist in the understanding and evaluation of the evidence
3 presented. It has done so in respect of both Prosecution and Defence
5 Witness D14 testified on the 23rd of January, 2006, and I refer to
6 transcript page 20257, that he was aware of the existence of a list of 30
7 cases showing that crimes committed against the civilian population during
8 the indictment period were prosecuted by courts of Kotor Varos. The
9 Chamber asked the witness whether he would be able to provide this list to
10 the Court. The witness readily replied that he would try to do so and, in
11 addition, at transcript page 20260, Witness D14 testified that he believed
12 that such a list had been provided to him by Defence counsel here in The
14 The Chamber is interested to learn about active prosecutions
15 against those who allegedly committed crimes against the civilian
16 population during the indictment period. The Chamber would like to
17 inquire of the Defence if it has such a list; and, if so, to provide it to
18 the Court by Monday, the 13th of March. If the Defence does not possess
19 this document, the Chamber asks the Defence to take measures to obtain it
20 from Witness D14 and provide it to the Court no later than Friday, the
21 24th of March.
22 This concludes this issue.
23 Mr. Harmon.
24 MR. HARMON: Two things briefly, Your Honour --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. HARMON: I turned it on. Two things, Your Honour: The first
2 item you have requested, decisions of the Bosnian courts, you referred to
3 various pages in the transcript. The state of play is this: Within a day
4 or two of the Court making that request, I provided to the Defence a list
5 of exhibits of documents from the case file that is referred to, and it's
6 -- at this point it's under consideration by the Defence, as far as I
7 know. So we have identified the documents and we are awaiting a reply
8 from the Defence.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Of course, I said that the Chamber therefore
10 directs the parties to agree on the type and the amount to be submitted,
11 and if they're unable to agree, that the Chamber then requests written and
12 oral submissions -- or oral submissions on the matter. So we did
13 understand that the Defence is now in possession of that material and that
14 -- well, of course, in order to agree upon something, Mr. Josse,
15 Mr. Harmon expects a position taken by the Defence, but that goes without
16 saying, I would say. The Chamber just waits whether you could agree upon
17 it; if not, then we'll hear further submissions and we might order either
18 the whole bunch of it or whatever or nothing at all. That's -- is that
20 MR. HARMON: That's clear, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. HARMON: The second item is that we have the missing page from
23 the document that was found in tab 2. Those have been distributed, I
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. HARMON: And it now needs an exhibit number.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you are going to put that to the witness again,
3 Mr. Harmon?
4 MR. HARMON: I'm not sure I need to. I read to him and I put the
5 proposition to him as set forth in tab 2, and he said that didn't happen.
6 So I'm happy to put it to him --
7 JUDGE ORIE: We'll then wait whether you use that now complete
8 document in your further evidence, and then we would assign a number to
10 MR. HARMON: Yeah, I don't intend to use it further, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. --
12 MR. JOSSE: It's something I will be objecting to. Whether the
13 Court wants to assign a number to it now and listen to my objections at
14 the end of the witness's evidence, or whether the Court would like to hear
15 my submissions now --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps --
17 MR. JOSSE: It will take 30 seconds. The submission is: The
18 witness totally denied it; it therefore has no value whatsoever. It comes
19 from a book, an extract of a book, the witness totally denies; it can be
20 ignored by this Chamber, in my submission.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, which then means that there is no need to use
22 the document.
23 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I'm not sure that the mere denial is
24 sufficient. I think the Court can consider it when it considers other
25 sources of material as to this witness's military service. He's stated a
1 proposition. He was in the Nisici Brigade and he was in the students
2 brigade, and that was it. And I put to him a number of sources that go to
3 his credibility. I think it should be assigned a number. What weight the
4 Court gives it ultimately is up to the Trial Chamber but I think it merits
5 a number --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Well, whether we need a document for that -- Mr.
7 Josse, I take it that you do not deny the existence of the document from
8 which Mr. Harmon read?
9 MR. JOSSE: Absolutely. I'm not suggesting the Prosecution have
10 forged it in any way whatsoever --
11 JUDGE ORIE: So the question then remains whether we use that
12 document in the evidence to evaluate the testimony of this witness, where
13 it seems not to be in dispute among the parties where someone has written
14 this in some book.
15 MR. JOSSE: Precisely.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And that whether we need the document to further then
17 assess credibility and reliability, of course it's a matter always of
18 evaluating the totality of the evidence. If someone would -- I could tell
19 you there are some books which write things about me which are not true.
20 At the same time, there are not hundreds of them. So therefore, it's --
21 comes to context, it comes to -- but it's also well-known that sometimes
22 several -- in several books or in several publications you find the same
23 mistakes because it's not unusual that sometimes people copy what others
24 have written. So therefore, it needs an evaluation. The text, which is
25 published in this book, is in the record. We'll consider that in the
1 totality of all the evidence we will receive in this respect.
2 Mr. Harmon, unless you would insist on that --
3 MR. HARMON: No, I don't.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You would agree it should not be in evidence. You
5 will agree as well.
6 MR. HARMON: I'm satisfied if it's not in evidence. The substance
7 of it was put to the witness.
8 JUDGE ORIE: If the Chamber will think otherwise, you will hear
9 from us tomorrow.
10 We've got a couple of minutes left which is, of course, for
11 Mr. Poplasen not -- perhaps if the interpreters would not -- could we have
12 some seven or eight minutes, because putting one question to a witness and
13 then saying that's it for today is perhaps not a very polite way, and I
14 will explain to the witness that we are a bit late.
15 Madam Usher, could you please --
16 MR. JOSSE: The only comment I would make, we have got plenty of
17 time tomorrow. That's the only comment I would make.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but that's not much consolation for the witness
19 who has waited.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Poplasen, I again have to apologise that you had
22 to wait for some time. We had to deal with a few other procedural
23 matters. We'll not be in this courtroom very long today. I know that
24 it's not a situation you would wish to be in, to wait for such a long time
25 and then to be perhaps only for another ten minutes in court, but we'll
1 continue tomorrow.
2 Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
3 MR. HARMON:
4 Q. Mr. Poplasen, if you would kindly turn to tab 37 in the package of
5 materials before you. Mr. Poplasen, this is a document dated the 9th of
6 September, 1991, from the Serbian Democratic Party, Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 Executive Board, and it is a decision on the appointment of the Commission
8 for Information and Propaganda. It lists 18 people. Your name is found
9 at number 14, and the decision was effective the date that it was adopted.
10 Now, you did in fact serve on this Commission for Information and
11 Propaganda, did you not, Mr. Poplasen?
12 A. No. This is the first time I've seen this decision. It doesn't
13 mean it's a forgery, though.
14 Q. Did you serve on a committee that dealt with mass communications
15 and information?
16 A. I would have had to attend at least one meeting of that
17 commission, the constituent meeting. But I never did so. This is the
18 first time I've seen that I was a member of that commission. I assume
19 this was a proposal. Number 1 is an acquaintance and friend of mine, so
20 he probably put forward my name.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Poplasen, whether it's a proposal or not doesn't
22 appear from the text. But the answer is simple: You never served on a
24 MR. HARMON: Can I have an exhibit number?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 37, Your Honours, is P1085.
2 MR. HARMON:
3 Q. If we could turn next, Mr. Poplasen, to tab 38. Mr. Poplasen,
4 these tab 38, these are minutes that are from the Serbian Democratic Party
5 for Bosnia and Herzegovina Committee for Mass Communications. It's dated
6 the 8th of October, 1991, and it is the minutes of the first meeting of
7 the Committee for Mass Communications held on 8 August 1991 at the
8 premises of the Delegates' Club between 1800 and 2100 hours. It lists as
9 the people who are present, it lists yourself, it lists Mr. Toholj -- I
10 have not done a comparison of the names to the previous document, but bear
11 with me for just a minute and I will. It also has attending Mr. Miroslav
12 Radovanovic, who was found in the previous document at number 3; it lists
13 Mr. Toholj as present, who is found at the previous document at number 1;
14 it lists Mr. Ostojic as present, who is found in the previous document in
15 number 2; it lists Ilija Guzina as present, he is found in the previous
16 document at number 4; it lists a person whose surname is Nikolic, there's
17 a person bearing the name Nikolic in item number 13; it lists Risto Djogo,
18 whose name -- being present at that meeting, whose name appears in the
19 previous document at number 9.
20 And then it says -- lists a number of people who are absent. It
21 includes Milan Zoric, who is -- appears item number 5 in the previous
22 exhibit; Branislav Lalevic, whose name appears in the previous exhibit at
23 number 7; Dubravka Kenic, whose name appears in the previous document at
24 number 8; Snezana Rakocevic, whose name appears in the previous document
25 at number 10; Ljubo Grkovic, whose name appears at number 12; Kolja
1 Besarovic, whose name appears in the previous document at 15; and finally,
2 Marica Lalovic, whose name appears at number 18.
3 So it appears that the meeting that I'm referring to that is
4 minuted in tab 38 appears to be substantially all of the members who had
5 been named to the Committee on Information and Propaganda. Does this
6 document, Mr. Poplasen, refresh your recollection as to attending such a
7 meeting or appearing in a meeting at which mass communications were
8 discussed within the Republika Srpska? Does this refresh your
9 recollection at all?
10 A. I have to repeat: I have just learnt for the first time that I
11 was a member of the commission you are referring to. Of course I don't
12 remember this meeting at all. It doesn't mean that I wouldn't agree with
13 the contents of the document, but I never attended any meeting of the
14 Commission on Information.
15 JUDGE ORIE: That answers Mr. Harmon's question.
16 MR. HARMON: Yes.
17 Q. Now, let me just -- I'm going to try to refresh your recollection,
18 Mr. Poplasen. At this meeting that I've described, Mr. Karadzic was
19 present and Mr. Krajisnik was also present. At this meeting there was a
20 discussion about the formation of an agency to broadcast what is said in
21 this document "our news." It would function as part of Javnost and it
22 said: "During this year we will try to establish a daily paper, Javnost."
23 This -- these minutes also reflect that the editorial office
24 should send information lasting five minutes to Belgrade TV News on a
25 daily basis in order to achieve a double effect since Belgrade TV News are
1 broadcast here every other day. And it finally ends with a conclusion
2 that it's necessary to form a daily paper, Javnost, as soon as possible.
3 Now, Mr. Poplasen, let me just ask you: Those matters that I have read to
4 you, do those refresh your recollection at all as to attending such a
6 A. Now I'm almost sure that this document is a forgery, although all
7 the positions you mention are something I espouse, and had I been there I
8 would have agreed to them, but I'm sure I would have remembered if I had
9 attended such a meeting. I don't know why this is in here.
10 Q. Are you able to point to anything in the document itself which
11 would suggest that this is a forgery?
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, the witness has been confronted with this
13 document for the first time in his life. It's a how-many-page document.
14 We should then give him an opportunity to read it or give him a copy and
15 an opportunity to look at it overnight so he could find this fair to the
17 MR. HARMON: All right. We'll make a copy available to the
18 witness, Your Honour, in B/C/S.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. HARMON: I'm not sure how much more time, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I'm looking at the clock. Is there -- would this be
22 a suitable moment to stop?
23 MR. HARMON: It will be, Your Honour, because we're going to have
24 to resolve the issue of this document and making one available --
25 MR. JOSSE: I was actually composing an e-mail as I sit here but
1 I'll put it on the record. The provenance of both these last two tabs is
2 clearly yet to be required.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time I think that you will agree
4 that the witness gets a copy of the B/C/S versions of the last documents.
5 MR. JOSSE: I'm grateful to Your Honour. I agree entirely, with
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Poplasen, we'll finish for today. You'll
8 be provided with a copy of the minutes of this meeting. Since you
9 expressed the possibility that it could be a forgery, you're invited to
10 tell us whether there's anything in this document which would support your
11 suspicion that it might be a forgery. And please keep in mind there are
12 two types of forgeries: One type is that the document is produced by not
13 at that time, not by the person so said that they produced it; that's one
14 type of forgery. Another type of forgery is that it was produced at the
15 time by the persons mentioned, but that the content does not reflect
16 reality. So when we are talking about forgery, please keep in mind that
17 it could be either of the two, and would you please be so kind as to look
18 at the documents overnight and tell us whether there's anything that --
19 yes --
20 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I have two documents, both the decision
21 and the minutes of the meeting, which I'll tender right now and give to
22 the witness through the usher.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I noticed, Mr. Harmon, that the minutes are in
24 some respects difficult to read.
25 MR. HARMON: I agree.
1 JUDGE ORIE: If you could produce a copy which is better legible,
2 but from the translation I do understand that there might not be a copy
3 which is much better.
4 So you're not blamed, Mr. Poplasen, for not being able to read
5 portions of it, but please concentrate on what you can read. Yes.
6 Then I again would like to instruct you not to speak with anyone
7 about your testimony already given or still to be given. We hope to
8 finish your testimony tomorrow, and we are confident that we'll be able to
9 do so.
10 We'll adjourn until tomorrow morning, but not after having thanked
11 the interpreters and the technicians. And we'll adjourn until tomorrow
12 morning, 9.00, same courtroom.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.10 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Friday, the 10th day of
15 March, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.