1 Monday, 28 February 2000
2 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.33 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be
8 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Good
9 morning to the interpreters, the staff of the
10 audiovisual booth, the Prosecution, the Defence, and
11 the accused.
12 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the
14 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes. Good
15 morning, Mr. President.
16 Case number IT-98-30-T, the Prosecutor versus
17 Miroslav Kvocka, Milojica Kos, Mladjo Radic, and Zoran
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
20 very much, Mr. Registrar.
21 Mr. Prosecutor, can we have the appearances,
22 please, for the Prosecution?
23 MR. NIEMANN: Good morning, Your Honours. My
24 name is Niemann, and I appear with my colleague
25 Mr. Waidyaratne, and assisting the Prosecution today is
1 Ms. Reynders and Mr. Saxon. Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
3 very much.
4 For the Defence, can we have the appearances,
5 please, in the order in which the accused are listed in
6 the indictment?
7 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
8 Your Honours. My name is Krstan Simic. With me is
9 Mr. Branko Lukic, co-counsel. Together we represent
10 Mr. Kvocka.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Thank you very much, Mr. Simic. I take advantage of
13 the occasion to welcome your co-counsel.
14 Mr. Nikolic.
15 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
16 Your Honours. The Defence of the accused Milojica Kos
17 consists of Mrs. Jelena Nikolic, legal counsel;
18 Mr. Eugene O'Sullivan, co-counsel; and myself, Zarko
19 Nikolic, as lead counsel. Thank you.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
21 very much.
22 Mr. Fila.
23 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your
24 Honours. Mr. Zoran Jovanovic and myself represent the
25 Defence counsel for Mr. Mladjo Radic.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
3 Your Honours. I'm attorney Tosic representing
4 Mr. Zoran Zigic. To my left is my co-counsel
5 Mr. Slobodan Stojanovic, attorney from Belgrade. Thank
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 I say good morning to all the co-counsel who are here
9 in the hall for the first time.
10 Good morning also to the public. For the
11 benefit of the public in the gallery, I wish to tell
12 you that we are at the beginning of the trial,
13 according to our Rules, this is Rule 84. That is to
14 say, we are going to have the opening statement of the
15 Prosecutor, which will be followed by the testimony of
16 the accused, Mr. Kvocka, Mr. Kos, and Mr. Radic. Today
17 we are going to have the opening statement by the
18 Prosecutor, and tomorrow we'll have the testimony of
19 Mr. Kvocka.
20 So I now give the floor to Mr. Niemann for
21 your opening statement. Please, Mr. Niemann.
22 MR. NIEMANN: If Your Honours, please. Your
23 Honours, during the course of my presentation here
24 today, I'll be referring to a number of documentary
25 exhibits which, as I refer to them, will appear on Your
1 Honours' television screen, and the section that Your
2 Honours will see is the essence of the document that I
3 seek to refer to in the course of this opening. These
4 documents have been provided to the Defence, some of
5 which they've had for some considerable time. And some
6 of the documents, in fact all of them except one, has
7 formally been admitted by order of the previous Trial
9 In order to facilitate a smooth demonstration
10 of these documents and other material, might I have
11 Your Honours' leave for Ms. Reynders and Mr. Saxon to
12 sit here near the machine so that the documents can be
13 placed on the machine as I refer to them. Thank you,
14 Your Honours.
15 I also have had prepared, Your Honours, three
16 binders of documents which are not in the nature of
17 exhibits as such. They are, in fact, copies of what
18 are the exhibits and what will be tendered in the
19 course of the proceedings, but they are the documents
20 that I will refer to, and they're placed in the order
21 that I will refer to them.
22 Your Honours, these I hand to you, and I ask
23 the registrar if he would hand them to you so that you
24 could refer to them if you wish or, alternatively, if
25 you want to see the whole document or later refer to
1 it, it is there for that purpose. But for the most
2 part, Your Honours need not do that unless you want to,
3 because as I say, it will appear on the screen and at
4 the same time I will read the contents of the document
5 to you. So I'm not asking you to follow it
6 religiously, but it's there for your convenience if
7 that is of assistance to Your Honours.
8 So perhaps they could be handed up. Oh, I
9 see that Your Honours have them. Thank you.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
11 Mr. Prosecutor. You may continue now.
12 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Your Honours, this trial is about a
14 government policy of persecution and ethnic cleansing.
15 The crime was on a massive scale. The who, when,
16 where, why, and how of the crime illustrates its
17 dimension. If we pose these questions, we begin to see
18 the scope of this criminal activity.
19 Who committed the crime? Well, it was
20 certainly committed by more people than you have here
21 before you today. It consisted of a large number of
22 politicians, police, and military leaders, and loyal
23 followers of the Republika Srpska. It was this puppet
24 entity, dangling from the strings of Slobodan
25 Milosevic, that turned its police and military forces
1 upon its own people in a quest to participate in the
2 grand achievement of an ethnically pure Greater
4 When was the crime committed? It was
5 committed from about April of 1992, and to some extent,
6 the ramifications of that crime are still felt by the
7 victims today. But what happened in April - May of
8 1992 was not some random unexpected event. It was a
9 well-planned, orchestrated campaign of terror that had
10 been in the making for some considerable time.
11 Where was it committed? It was committed
12 across a large swathe of Bosnia-Herzegovina but mostly
13 the areas to the north of Sarajevo and particularly in
14 the Bosnian-Serb dominated areas to the north and west
15 of that republic.
16 Why was it committed? It was committed
17 because a handful of ethnocentric fanatical
18 nationalists had seized power and were intent on
19 forcing their nationalistic fanaticism on the whole of
20 the population.
21 How was it committed? It was committed by
22 subjecting the non-Serbian, mostly Bosnian Muslim and
23 Croat population of the area to the most savage,
24 brutal, and inhumane campaign of terror, the likes of
25 which have not been witnessed in Europe since the end
1 of World War II.
2 This trial is about this campaign of
3 wholesale persecution of Bosnian Muslims and Croat
4 populations at the hands of the Bosnian Serbs and how
5 the accused before you participated in this campaign of
6 persecution and terror.
7 To understand these crimes, it's not possible
8 to close our eyes to the wider nature of the crime and
9 nor is it proper for us to do so. These are not just
10 crimes of murder, rape, and beating. First and
11 foremost, they are crimes of a policy of persecution
12 unleashed by a state on its civilian population. It
13 occurred during an armed conflict and was committed on
14 a widespread and systematic basis. Fortunately, Your
15 Honours do not have to trouble yourselves with domestic
16 murders, rapes, and beatings that may have occurred in
17 Bosnia at the time. You only become concerned when the
18 murders, rapes, and beatings, and the like were
19 committed in furtherance of this crime of persecution.
20 Nor do Your Honours have jurisdiction to try states for
21 the crimes that they might commit, but it is the
22 individuals employed by the state to commit the crimes
23 over whom your jurisdiction lies.
24 The bulk of the evidence that you will hear
25 will describe three prison camps in north-western
1 Bosnia which operated during the spring and summer of
2 1992 as instruments of this policy, and the acts and
3 omissions of the four accused who were responsible
4 directly or indirectly for many of the atrocities that
5 occurred in those camps. The evidence will prove
6 beyond a reasonable doubt that thousands of Muslims and
7 Croat detainees suffered and died at those prison camps
8 because of their ethnicity, either directly at the
9 hands of the accused or at the hands of individuals who
10 were subject to the defendants' authority.
11 These accused may well try to impress upon
12 you that it was not them who planned, instigated, or
13 ordered this campaign of persecution and terror, but
14 that it is something that came from above, and to some
15 extent that might be so. But how does a state commit a
16 crime? A state has no mind, it has no physical
17 possibilities. It is the servants of the state that
18 make it function, or, in this case, dysfunction. This
19 discriminatory campaign of persecution, this criminal
20 enterprise, was given birth to by the human instruments
21 of the state, and it was these accused who joined this
22 criminal enterprise.
23 As I said a moment ago, throughout this
24 presentation, I'm going to refer to a number of
25 documents that were seized by investigators of the
1 Office of the Prosecutor during the execution of search
2 warrants in Prijedor and the city of Banja Luka. As I
3 describe each of those documents, they will appear on
4 Your Honours' screens. First, the first page of the
5 document will appear as a whole, and the precise
6 extract that I'm reading from will then become
8 Your Honours, prior to 1992, the municipality
9 of Prijedor was a multiethnic, relatively peaceful
10 region. The total population of Prijedor municipality
11 was approximately 112.000 persons. About 50.000 were
12 Muslim, 48.000 were Serbs, 6000 were Croats, and the
13 remainder identified themselves as Yugoslavs or other
14 nationalities. When the Bosnian Serb persecution
15 campaign ended, only 6.000 Muslims and 3.000 Croats
16 remained in Prijedor, living, according to the Bosnian
17 Serbs' own assessment, in permanent fear and
19 The creation and operation of the Omarska,
20 Keraterm, and Trnopolje camps were part of the Bosnian
21 Serb plan to ethnically cleanse the Prijedor
22 municipality of non-Serbs. Bosnian Serb leaders
23 targeted ethnic Muslims and ethnic Croats for
24 persecution, particularly intellectuals and politicians
25 who could impede their efforts to create a Greater
1 Serbia. Your Honours, persecution consists of a severe
2 attack on fundamental human rights, with the aim of
3 excluding the victim from society on discriminatory
5 The evidence presented during this trial will
6 prove that these accused and others under their
7 supervision confined, beat, tortured, sexually
8 assaulted, and murdered many of the Muslim and Croat
9 detainees at the prison camps during the summer of 1992
10 solely because of the victims' ethnicity.
11 Your Honours, images of skeletal malnourished
12 people at the detention camps in Prijedor sent shock
13 waves around the world when they were first broadcast
14 in 1992. Allow the Prosecution to share some of this
15 video footage with you.
16 Your Honours, we have a short clip of video
17 that I'd now ask to be played. The first segment of
18 the video shows Radovan Karadzic in his mountain
19 headquarters in Pale, speaking to Western journalists,
20 where he emphatically denies the existence of civilian
22 The second segment is taken shortly after
23 this interview, when the journalists finally gained
24 permission to visit these camps. Their visit is
25 delayed as the worst of the detainees are moved out,
1 some to Trnopolje and others to Manjaca. But
2 fortunately, Western media caught up with these
3 detainees who were mostly being held at Trnopolje.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. NIEMANN: This is when conditions were
6 good, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I apologise
8 for interrupting. Can the accused follow the
10 Mr. Registrar, will you please help us with
11 the video.
12 MR. NIEMANN: Perhaps, Your Honours, I might
13 ask the technicians if they can roll back to the
14 beginning of the tape and play it again.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
16 Mr. Niemann, excuse me, but we have a technical
17 problem, and therefore I think we will have to make a
18 break of at least ten minutes for the problem to be
19 fixed and for the accused to be able to see the video
20 pictures. So we'll have a ten-minute break.
21 --- Break taken at 10.55 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.09 a.m.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I hope that
24 everything is in order now.
25 Mr. Prosecutor, we apologise for this
1 interruption. Please continue your opening statement
2 now, Mr. Niemann.
3 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, Your Honours. Your
4 Honours, I think because that video segment was
5 interrupted, I'd like to play it again, if I may. It's
6 very short anyway. So could I ask the technical booth
7 if they could play it again.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, the establishment
10 of these camps.
11 In late May 1992, Bosnian Serb authorities
12 established a prison camp at the Omarska mine, located
13 to the south-east of the town of Prijedor. Simo
14 Drljaca was the chief of police at Prijedor in May of
15 1992. He was indicted by this Tribunal for, among
16 other things, crimes arising out of some of the same
17 incidences that the accused before you today have been
18 charged. Simo Drljaca was the superior of the accused
19 Kvocka, Radic, and Kos. In July of 1997, an attempt
20 was made by SFOR to affect his arrest, but during the
21 course of his arrest, Drljaca drew a pistol. Shots
22 were fired, which resulted in his being fatally shot,
23 but not before a young British soldier was injured.
24 Well, this very same Simo Drljaca issued an
25 order, on the 31st of May of 1992, in his capacity as
1 the chief of police in Prijedor. In this order, he
2 explains the new purpose of the mine at Omarska.
3 If we could now have that document on the
4 screen, please.
5 Your Honours, in the first paragraph of this
6 document, Simo Drljaca says that: "The industrial
7 compound of the Omarska strip mine shall serve as a
8 provisional collection centre for persons captured in
9 combat or detained on the grounds of the security
10 services' operational information."
11 We're not told, Your Honours, what security
12 services operational information means, but I suggest
13 to you that by the conclusion of the Prosecution
14 evidence, Your Honours will have a clear understanding
15 of the meaning of that euphemistic phrase.
16 In the second paragraph he says: "Together
17 with the appropriate documents, the persons taken into
18 custody shall be handed over to the chief of security,
19 who is duty-bound, in collaboration with the national,
20 public, and military security coordinator, to put them
21 up in any of the five premises allocated for
22 accommodation of detainees."
23 Well, Your Honours, you will see the
24 conditions that were provided for the so-called
25 accommodation of detainees, and I'm sure that you will
1 see that they were far from adequate.
2 Then in paragraph 3 he says: "A mixed group
3 consisting of national, public, and military security
4 investigators shall be responsible for the work with
5 and categorisation of detainees. They shall organise
6 themselves respecting the parity principle and Mirko
7 Jesic, Ranko Mujic, and the Lieutenant-Colonel
8 Majstorovic shall be responsible for the work."
9 Going on to paragraph 6, he says in this
10 order that: "Security services at the collection
11 centre shall be provided by the Omarska police station
12 with an adequate number of policemen who shall be
13 present at the collection centre at all times and shall
14 organise guard duty according to the on duty-on
15 call-off duty principle."
16 Your Honours, the accused Kvocka and Radic
17 came from the Omarska police station, as did the
18 commander of the camp, Zeljko Meakic.
19 In paragraph 8, he says: "The management
20 shall, without delay, fence off the compound around the
21 management building with barbed wire, placing a barrier
22 on the road to Omarska and shall also provide drinking
23 water. The guards shall prevent any unauthorised
24 persons from approaching or entering the collection
25 centre in accordance with the official guard-duty
2 Then in paragraph 9: "Authorised
3 representatives of the army of the Serbian Republic of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina shall without delay lay a
5 minefield in accordance with mining regulations, which
6 includes making a minefield layout, correct markings,
8 The significance of these paragraphs, Your
9 Honour, is that clearly there was no difficulty in
10 controlling who was kept in the camp, but similarly,
11 there was absolutely no difficulty at all in
12 controlling who entered the camp.
13 Then finally, in paragraph 11: "The security
14 services coordinators shall submit a report on the
15 preceding 24 hours to the Chief of the Prijedor Public
16 Security Station daily at 12.00 hours or immediately
17 when the circumstances allow no delay."
18 And finally paragraph 15: "I most strictly
19 prohibit giving any information whatsoever concerning
20 the functioning of this collection centre. All
21 official documents shall be kept at the collection
22 centre and may be taken out or destroyed only with the
23 permission of the Chief of the Prijedor Public Security
24 Station. This shall be the responsibility of the
25 security staff."
1 From this document, Your Honours, we see that
2 there is no question that the information went up the
3 command and down and that it was kept highly
4 confidential and for obvious reasons.
5 Officially, Omarska was meant to serve as a
6 temporary detention service for prisoners of war but
7 most of the detainees were Muslim and Croat civilians.
8 Omarska held many prominent Muslim intellectuals,
9 academics, businessmen, and politicians.
10 The Bosnian Serb authorities called Omarska a
11 "collection centre." However, the evidence will prove
12 beyond reasonable doubt that Omarska was a prison camp
13 and an interrogation centre, a place where murder,
14 torture, rape, and other cruel and inhumane treatment
15 were a daily occurrence. The prison guards, mostly
16 policemen from the Omarska substation, like the accused
17 Kvocka, Radic, and Kos, committed many of these
19 Every part of the Omarska facility used to
20 detain prisoners was overcrowded. Open space was so
21 limited that in some instances prisoners could not even
22 sit or lie down. Detainees could not move at all
23 unless they received permission explicitly to use the
24 toilet or to eat. Often guards beat them savagely on
25 their way to use the toilet, so many preferred to
1 defecate in their clothing rather than to risk this
2 treatment. The prison camp did not supply bedding or
3 prisoners often used their clothing as pillows or
4 covers. Although the weather was very hot during the
5 summer of 1992, the prisoners received very little
6 water. The water they did receive was often unsanitary
7 and often the prisoners became ill as a result.
8 Prisoners had no opportunity to maintain their personal
9 hygiene and lice, dysentery, and other water-borne
10 diseases were commonplace at Omarska.
11 If I might direct Your Honours' attention to
12 the model that is before you here, and perhaps I might
13 ask the assistance of Ms. Reynders to come forward and
14 point out some of the features of the model as it
16 Your Honour will see that there are four main
17 buildings which are used as part of the prison camp.
18 The administration building, the hangar building, the
19 building that's referred to as the White House, the Red
20 House, and the pista. Thank you. Each building had
21 its own role in the functioning of the camp.
22 The administration centre, for example,
23 housed a kitchen and a canteen on the ground floor
24 where the prisoners were allowed only a few minutes to
25 eat. They were given starvation rations to survive on,
1 consisting of soup and a tiny piece of bread. Some of
2 the prisoners lost as much as 20 to 30 kilograms of
3 weight in the period of one to three months. Also, the
4 ground floor was a large room where certain prisoners
5 were held, and also a small garage where prisoners were
7 Could I please ask that the photographs of
8 the administration area be shown. This building we're
9 now looking at is an area of the administration
10 building where prisoners were kept.
11 Your Honours, on the first floor of the
12 administration building there are eight rooms used for
13 the daily interrogation of the prisoners. Those
14 offices were also used for the administration of the
15 camp and the sleeping quarters for the nearly 40 female
16 prisoners held at the camp. These women were forced to
17 clean the inspection rooms every day, and the walls and
18 floors of the room that they scrubbed were often
19 covered with blood, hair, skin, and teeth, and the
20 grotesque by-products of what the authorities
21 euphemistically referred to as "processing" the
23 Many of the female detainees were raped or
24 otherwise sexually assault on a nightly basis in the
25 administration area. Typically, a guard would come to
1 the women's room and would call out to one or two of
2 them and take them to a guard or camp official who then
3 often raped and beat them. The accused Mladjo Radic,
4 also known as Krkan, is so charged in the indictment.
5 The pista. Between the canteen and the
6 hangar was a L-shaped, 30-metre long slab of cement
7 known as the "pista". When the prisoners ate, they
8 were forced to run across the pista to and from the
9 canteen, where they were subjected to beatings as they
10 ran. Often the detainees had to run a gauntlet through
11 a cordon of guards to beat them with rifle butts,
12 batons, fists, and boots. Many prisoners were also
13 left out in the open on the pista regardless of the
14 weather conditions.
15 It was on the pista where Slavko Ecimovic,
16 the leader of the Prijedor's Muslim community, was
17 brutally beaten in front of a number of other prisoners
18 in June of 1992. Before he was captured by Serb
19 forces, Mr. Ecimovic let a group of poorly armed Muslim
20 fighters in an abortive, perhaps Quixotic attempt to
21 capture the town of Prijedor. Mr. Ecimovic was beaten
22 by a group of guards who shouted to the other
23 prisoners, "Here is your leader. Here is your
24 Ustashe. Look at him." At the time, Mr. Ecimovic had
25 his hands tied behind his back and both of his cheeks
1 had been punctured with barbed wire.
2 The hangar building. During peacetime, the
3 hangar building held the trucks and machinery of the
4 iron ore mine. But when the mine served as a prisoner
5 camp, the bulk of the prisoners at Omarska were housed
6 in this hangar building.
7 I think, Your Honours, if I may ask for
8 assistance, we have a photograph here of the inside of
9 that very building, and Your Honours can see there the
10 equipment that was used. Hardly a suitable place, you
11 might think, for the keeping of prisoners during times
12 of war. Staircases were often used as places where
13 people were kept as well, and they had to live in these
15 On the ground floor there was a room where
16 many prisoners were held, and the first floor, which
17 was smaller than the ground floor, also held some
19 The White House. Before the armed conflict,
20 the White House was used as a first-aid station for
21 injured miners. Ironically, it was in this very same
22 White House that the prisoners detain at Omarska
23 received the most brutal treatment and were often
24 murdered. Normally those marked for special treatment
25 were those considered to be extremists by the Serbs,
1 such as civic leaders or members of the SDA, the Muslim
2 political party. With the exception of one woman, only
3 male prisoners were kept in the White House.
4 During this trial, you will hear testimony
5 that it was in the White House that the accused Zoran
6 Zigic and others brutally beat Becir Medunjanin over a
7 two-day period. Becir Medunjanin was the president of
8 the SDA, and witnesses will testify that he received
9 particularly harsh treatment due to his prominent
10 position in the Muslim community.
11 The Red House. The last of the four
12 buildings in the compound, the Red House, was used as a
13 work utility room when the Omarska mine was
14 operational. When the mine was converted for use as a
15 prison camp, prisoners who entered the Red House were
16 rarely ever seen again.
17 The disposal of the bodies. Just about every
18 morning during the relevant period of indictment, at
19 least five to ten bodies, and often more, were piled
20 upon each other outside of the White House to be
21 carried away in trucks. The Serbs buried many of these
22 bodies at the remnants of a village of Kevljani, a
23 Muslim village located four kilometres from the Omarska
24 prison camp, which was destroyed by Serb forces during
25 the ethnic cleansing campaign. The bodies were dumped
1 into a series of graves dug into a meadow adjoining the
2 flattened mosque that once stood in Kevljani. We dug
3 up that grave. Personnel from the Office of the
4 Prosecutor exhumed 72 bodies from these graves, but the
5 evidence presented during trial will prove that an
6 undetermined number of bodies were removed from these
7 graves prior to the OTP's exhumation.
8 If I might ask that some of the photos of the
9 exhumation be shown at this stage.
10 Many of the bodies found in the exhumation
11 will demonstrate that the injuries received, in many
12 cases, were blunt-object injury and bullet wounds.
13 The next one, please. The next one, please.
14 This poor unfortunate individual had modern
15 keys. Many of them were buried with their clothes on.
16 Many of them, as I said, had gunshot wounds in the
17 head. And modern artefacts were found in the grave.
18 Thank you.
19 With the assistance of DNA analysis, the
20 Prosecution has reliably identified several of the
21 bodies unearthed at Kevljani as former prisoners of the
22 Omarska camp.
23 The closing of the camp. The Bosnian Serb
24 authorities in Prijedor operated the camp at Omarska
25 until early August of 1992. When the international
1 press discovered the camp and the horrific conditions
2 existing there, the international media exposure forced
3 the Serbs to curtail their criminal activity at
4 Omarska, and most of the prisoners were transferred to
5 other prison camps at Trnopolje and Manjaca. Many
6 prisoners were beaten or killed during these so-called
8 In a dispatch, dated August the 5th, 1992,
9 Simo Drljaca, who I referred to early, the chief of
10 police for Prijedor, described in clinical terms the
11 results of the so-called processing of prisoners in
13 Could we have the next document, please.
14 In this report, he says: "Please be advised
15 that the Prijedor Public Security Station, in
16 cooperation with the competent security services of the
17 Banja Luka CSB and the army of the Serbian Republic of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, has completed the processing of the
19 prisoners of war.
20 "The investigation has found elements of
21 criminal activity in 1.466 cases, for which valid
22 documentation exists, which we shall transfer under
23 guard, along with the persons it pertains to, to the
24 Manjaca military camp on 6 August 1992. The remaining
25 persons are of no security interest and will be
1 transferred to the reception camp in Trnopolje on the
2 same day and under escort provided by the SJB.
3 Trnopolje is a location where Muslims fleeing from the
4 combat operations in the municipality found shelter.
5 Security at the camp is provided by the army of the
6 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina."
7 Well, Your Honours, the evidence will
8 demonstrate clearly the nature of the so-called crimes
9 and nature of the so-called prisoners of war to which
10 he refers.
11 When the prisoners were removed from Omarska
12 on August 6th, 1992, some of the transferees were
13 killed or otherwise disappeared. Approximately 80
14 prisoners in relatively good health remained behind in
15 the camp to create the public facade that nothing was
17 And what could be described as being "in
18 relatively good health" was the photographs that Your
19 Honours saw of the man eating in the Omarska camp.
20 Subsequently, those prisoners left behind
21 were also transferred to the prison camps at Trnopolje
22 and Manjaca, and hundreds were killed at a remote area
23 called Vlasic Mountain on the 21st of August, 1992. On
24 23 August 1992, Simo Drljaca reported to his superiors
25 in Banja Luka about these prisoners who had been
1 transferred to Manjaca.
2 Could I have the next document, please.
3 We see in this reporter here: "We are hereby
4 informing you that the required documentation
5 concerning the prisoners of war who have been
6 transferred from Omarska Investigation Centre to
7 Manjaca prisoner-of-war camp was forwarded to the
8 commander of the Manjaca prisoners-of-war camp today."
9 And we can see those prisoners in the
10 photograph that Your Honours will see on the screen
11 now, if we could have the photograph now, please, of
12 the detainees as they were kept in the Manjaca
13 so-called prisoners-of-war camp.
14 Thank you.
15 Thus, the police in the Prijedor municipality
16 were involved at every stage of the persecution
17 campaign directed at the Muslims and Croats. The
18 Bosnian Serb police were so sure of their power as well
19 as their righteousness of their cause that they kept
20 accurate records about their criminal activity.
21 The Keraterm camp. The Keraterm ceramics
22 factory served as another important component of the
23 Serb persecution campaign in Prijedor. On May 25th,
24 1992, the factory became a fully operational detention
25 centre, holding some 2.000 to 3.000 prisoners. Most of
1 the detainees were Muslim and Croat men from the
2 Prijedor region. They were kept in four rooms, under
3 conditions so crowded that often they could not lie
4 down or move about, and again were fed starvation
6 Could we please have the photograph of the
7 Keraterm facility.
8 This is a photograph showing the front of a
9 building and a building known as the "weigh bridge,"
10 which guards often used during the time that Keraterm
11 became a prison camp.
12 Thank you.
13 As one of the complexes of prison camps for
14 Muslims and Croats in the Prijedor region, Keraterm was
15 an important part of the common Serb plan to ethnically
16 cleanse Prijedor of non-Serbs.
17 All of the detainees in Keraterm were
18 subjected to mistreatment, such as murder, beatings,
19 rapes, and macabre and sadistic acts of torture. The
20 Bosnian Serbs often committed these degradations in
21 full view of other prisoners so as to magnify the
22 horror and humiliation of the detainees, and thereby
23 break their spirit. No medical attention was offered
24 to the detainees, even after they had been savagely
25 beaten. Corpses of prisoners were often piled inside
1 the detention rooms or adjacent to a trash bin at the
2 end of the factory, near Room 4. The camp guards
3 forced the surviving detainees to carry the bodies
4 outdoors and load them onto trucks.
5 It was in Keraterm, during mid July of 1992,
6 where the accused Zoran Zigic, together with certain
7 camp guards, brutally beat many prisoners, including
8 Jasmin Izeiri, Spija Mesic, and Drago Tokmadzic, in
9 front of the detention rooms.
10 It was in Keraterm, during late July of 1992,
11 where we allege that the accused Zoran Zigic and others
12 severely beat a group of prisoners, including Emsud
13 Bahonjic and a man named Sead Jusufagic, known by the
14 nickname "Car," over a period of several days. Emsud
15 Bahonjic became blind as a result of the beating, his
16 limbs were broken, and he died an agonising and cruel
17 death. Mr. Zigic and others subjected detainees to
18 violent and degrading acts, such as being forced to lie
19 on broken glass and to commit fellatio with other male
21 Furthermore, it was at Keraterm camp during
22 June of 1992 where the accused Zoran Zigic and others
23 brutally beat Fajzo Mujkanovic, Senahid Cirkic, and
24 Fikret Alic. They beat a group of prisoners in Room 3,
25 including Fahrudin Hrustic, and they beat a group of
1 approximately 18 prisoners confined in Room 2. It was
2 at Keraterm, during the summer of 1992, when the
3 accused Zoran Zigic also brutally beat a prisoner named
4 Jasmin Ramadanovic, known as Sengin.
5 The Keraterm prison camp was also the locale
6 of a bloody massacre of Muslim prisoners from the Brdo
7 region of Prijedor, an area that comprised the villages
8 of Hambarine, Carakavo, Rakovcani, Biscani, and
9 Rizvanovici. Around the 20th of July, 1992, Bosnian
10 Serb forces brought a large number of prisoners from
11 this region to Keraterm and confined them in Room 3,
12 which had been vacated in preparation for the arrival
13 of this particular group of detainees. For days, these
14 men and boys were denied food and water until camp
15 guards, members of the Bosnian Serb army, and visitors
16 to the camp, including the accused Zoran Zigic, finally
17 slaughtered most of them with machine-gun fire.
18 Approximately 200 innocent people were slaughtered that
19 evening in what became known as the Room 3 massacre.
20 The Keraterm camp continued to function until
21 August 6th of 1992. At that time, following the
22 exposure of the camp in the international press, the
23 majority of prisoners were transferred to camps at
24 Trnopolje and Manjaca.
25 The Trnopolje camp. The Trnopolje camp was
1 comprised of a former school, a municipal centre, and a
2 theatre. The majority of the thousands of prisoners
3 held at the Trnopolje camp were elderly people, women
4 and children. The women and girls were often raped,
5 generally during the night when Serb forces arrived and
6 called them out. Generally, there was very little food
7 available and there was almost no drinking water.
8 As at Omarska and Keraterm, the personal
9 hygiene of the prisoners suffered greatly as a result.
10 Disease spread quickly and there was no medical
11 attention provided to those suffering. Dysentery, in
12 particular, was a severe problem. The evidence
13 presented during this trial will prove that inside the
14 Trnopolje camp, during the fateful summer of 1992, the
15 accused Zoran Zigic beat a prisoner named Hasan
17 Many survivors of the horrors of the Omarska
18 and Keraterm prison camps subsequently found themselves
19 in Trnopolje.
20 If we could go to the next document, please.
21 Your Honours, this document is a report in
22 1993 concerning the Prijedor Public Security Station
23 during the last nine months of 1992, and the relevant
24 section that I'd like to take Your Honours to is a
25 reference to the Trnopolje camp, where, in the words of
1 the report, it's provided that:
2 "The Trnopolje reception centre, however,
3 remained in place until November; in addition to women
4 and children, there was a large concentration of Muslim
5 men fit for military service there, including persons
6 who had spent some time in Omarska and Keraterm because
7 of their direct or indirect involvement in armed
8 rebellion. As several convoys were organised for the
9 transportation of these persons in the direction of
10 Skender Vakuf, Bugojno, Kalovac, and Gradiska, our
11 policemen took part in the escort and security details
12 provided for these convoys."
13 Your Honours, the Trnopolje camp served as a
14 final point of expulsion for many thousands of Muslims
15 and Croats who were forced to leave the Prijedor area.
16 The fortunate souls who survived the brutal conditions
17 of the Prijedor prison camps were bussed by the Bosnian
18 Serb authorities from Trnopolje to other parts of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, often with the cooperation of the
20 Red Cross.
21 If we could look at the next document,
23 Your Honours, the document we now see is a
24 translation of a newspaper article, published in
25 Prijedor on the 13th of November, 1992. The article
2 "The unravelling began unexpectedly in the
3 days when the drama of the Trnopolje Reception Centre
4 reached its climax and when the last internees of the
5 centre were literally threatened by death from
6 starvation. Half of the number of internees remain in
7 the centre compared to the number at the end of the
8 last week.
9 "The turning point occurred when the first
10 transit visas arrived in Prijedor from Croatia.
11 Five-hundred passes arrived on Monday alone, and
12 finally the number of the reception centre internees
13 began to decrease. Last week there were 3.200 and it
14 is estimated that the maximum number of internees as of
15 Wednesday is 1.500."
16 And then at the end:
17 "At the reception centre and in the Prijedor
18 municipality, the potential emigrants' agreement is
19 impatiently anticipated, for it would resolve the
20 months-long problem of the Trnopolje Reception Centre.
21 Until then, some 1.500 of its remaining internees
22 continue to starve and freeze."
23 The last prisoners in Trnopolje did not leave
24 the camp until December 1992.
25 May we see the next document, please.
1 Your Honours, this document is an article
2 from the newspaper Lozarski Vjesnik, dated 4 December
3 1992. It says: "The Trnopolje Reception Centre exists
4 no more. After operating for more than a half a year,
5 and its official closing in mid-October, the reception
6 centre was vacated at around noon of Tuesday. At that
7 moment, there were some 1.560 internees there. Some
8 potential emigrants from the Prijedor municipality
9 returned to their homes and the rest of the internees
10 were housed in some 150 abandoned houses in Donja
12 In September 1992, Milomir Stakic, president
13 of the Prijedor Municipality, explained why the
14 prisoners from Keraterm, Omarska, and Trnopolje camps
15 were moved.
16 Could we go to the next document, please.
17 Your Honours, this document is an extract
18 from the minutes of the meeting of the Prijedor
19 Municipal Assembly of September 1992, and the relevant
20 part of that document, if we could see it on the
21 screen, please, is marked with the blue there, Your
22 Honours. It reads: "Stakic indicated that two key
23 reasons which had motivated the cabinet in Pale to make
24 such a decision: The pressure from the international
25 public opinion and official policy, and the steep cost
1 of maintaining the prisons."
2 Your Honours, this document is also one of
3 those documents that provides proof of the chain of
4 command and lines of authority that existed between the
5 Bosnian Serb government and Dr. Radovan Karadzic based
6 in Pale, and the ongoing persecution campaign against
7 Muslims and Croats in Prijedor. These prison camps
8 were an integral component of the Bosnian Serb
9 persecution machine.
10 Of course, there were no guarantees that
11 prisoners who survived the horrors of these detention
12 camps would survive the expulsion process. On the 21st
13 of August 1992, in a remote region known as the
14 Koricani Cliffs, a large number of prisoners were
15 murdered in cold blood after they had been removed by
16 bus and truck from the Trnopolje Camp. Ostensibly,
17 they were being transferred from Trnopolje to a
18 Muslim-held part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 This incident, Your Honours, became widely
20 known, and when this became widely known, the Bosnian
21 Serb authorities in Banja Luka were spurred into taking
22 official action and, subsequently, acknowledged that
23 approximately 150 Muslims were killed at the Koricani
25 Could I have the next document, please.
1 You'll see in this document, Your Honours,
2 that it is an order from the ARK chief of police Stojan
3 Zupljanin, the superior of Simo Drljaca, who was
4 referred to. This is an order that he's sending to
5 Simo Drljaca:
6 "I order you to conduct a full investigation
7 in accordance with the laws and other regulations of
8 the killing of about 150 Muslim people in the area of
9 Skender Vakuf municipality.
10 "You will inform the Ministry immediately
11 about the results of this investigation, and in the
12 case that the above-mentioned allegation is confirmed,
13 you will start legal proceedings against the
15 "Minister Mico Stansic.
16 "In connection with this order, it is
17 necessary to immediately take written statements about
18 the events at Skender Vakuf from the policemen that
19 escorted the convoy from Prijedor to the border of
20 Travnik on 21 August 1992."
21 It's signed by Stojan Zupljanin.
22 However, the perpetrators of this crime were
23 far less intimidated by such things as international
24 public opinion. Consequently, the requested
25 investigation never occurred. Simo Drljaca, the police
1 chief in Prijedor, arrogantly informed his superiors
2 that the policemen who escorted the convoy on 21 August
3 1992 were on combat duty and, consequently, unavailable
4 to cooperate with the investigators.
5 If we can look, please at the next document.
6 This is his reply to his superior in Banja
7 Luka, where he says: "In response to your dispatch,
8 number and date of communication, we inform you that
9 we're not able to conduct an investigation regarding
10 the alleged death of a number of Muslims in the area of
11 Koricanske stijene, since all of the policemen who were
12 involved in the escort of the Travnik convoy
13 on 21 August 1992 have been deployed on the Hans
14 Pijesak front since 9 September, 1992.
15 "Also, we are unable to provide you with the
16 lists of the citizens who travelled on those convoys,
17 since the public security station did not organise
18 those convoys but only assigned a certain number of
19 policemen to the duty of providing physical security
20 for the convoy as required by the army and the Red
22 It's signed by Simo Drljaca.
23 The accused. The accused in this trial and
24 the prison camps in Prijedor where three of the four
25 accused were employed were an integral component of the
1 violent campaign of persecution which Bosnian Serb
2 leaders orchestrated in north-western Bosnia during
4 Allow me to provide you with more specific
5 information about these accused and the conduct of each
6 of them in the camps in Prijedor.
7 The accused Miroslav Kvocka was born on
8 January 1, 1957 in the village of Maricka, in the
9 Prijedor municipality of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Prior
10 to the armed conflict, he was a police officer in the
11 Prijedor municipality. Kvocka was the first camp
12 commander at Omarska. In June 1992, he was replaced in
13 that position by Zeljko Meakic. At that time,
14 Mr. Kvocka became the Deputy Commander of the camp.
15 The accused Kvocka was present at the Omarska
16 camp daily and often demonstrated that he was in
17 control. When Zeljko Meakic was not present in the
18 camp, Kvocka would receive important Serb visitors.
19 Due to the positions he held, first as Commander and
20 later Deputy Commander, the accused Kvocka was in a
21 position of superior authority to everyone in the camp
22 except Zeljko Meakic when he was present.
23 The accused Milojica Kos, also known as
24 "Krle," was born on April 1, 1963, in the village of
25 Lamovita in the Prijedor municipality of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina. Before the outbreak break of the conflict
2 in the region, he was a reserve policeman attached to
3 the Omarska police station. Mr. Kos acted as one of
4 the three guard shift commanders at Omarska, and in
5 that capacity he supervised a number of guards. As a
6 shift commander, Kos was subordinate only to the camp
7 commander Zeljko Meakic and the Deputy Commander, the
8 accused Kvocka. Each shift of guards was comprised of
9 approximately 30 men. While the accused Kos was on
10 duty at Omarska, he had command and control over every
11 guard on his shift and, therefore, was in a position of
12 superior authority to them.
13 The accused Mladjo Radic, also known as
14 "Krkan," was born on May 15, 1952, also in the village
15 of Lamovita in the Prijedor municipality of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina. Prior to the outbreak of the conflict,
17 the accused Radic was a police officer in the Prijedor
18 municipality and worked out of the Omarska police
19 station. Radic was one of the three guard shift
20 commanders at Omarska. His position as shift commander
21 meant that he was subordinate only to the accused
22 Kvocka and the commander of the camp, Zeljko Meakic.
23 Like the accused Kos, Radic was in a position of
24 superior authority to all of the guards on his shift.
25 The accused Zoran Zigic. Zoran Zigic was
1 born on September 20, 1958 in the village of Balte in
2 the Prijedor municipality of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3 Prior to the armed conflict he was a taxi driver. He
4 did not hold a formal position at any of the camps but
5 entered all three of them periodically for the purpose
6 of beating, torturing, murdering, harassing, and
7 robbing prisoners.
8 The evidence presented during this trial will
9 prove beyond reasonable doubt that each of the accused
10 bear individual criminal responsibility under
11 Article 7(1) of the Tribunal's Statute for serious
12 violations of International Humanitarian Law at the
13 Omarska camp between May 24th and August 30th, 1992.
14 Additionally, the evidence will prove beyond
15 a reasonable doubt that all of the accused, with the
16 exception of Zoran Zigic, were responsible under
17 Article 7(3) for the criminal acts of their
18 subordinates at the Omarska camp during the relevant
19 period during the amended indictment.
20 The evidence will prove beyond reasonable
21 doubt that the accused Kvocka, Kos, and Radic knew or
22 had reason to know that their subordinates were about
23 to commit such criminal acts or had done so and failed
24 to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent
25 such acts or to punish them.
1 In order to understand the discriminatory
2 nature of these crimes committed by these accused, it's
3 necessary to understand the political environment in
4 which they occurred and which led to the creation of
5 the Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje prison camps.
6 The Serbian Democratic Party, also known as
7 the SDS, was founded in the summer of 1992, sorry,
8 1990, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. At that time, the SDS
9 adopted a programme and statutes and elected
10 Dr. Radovan Karadzic as its president. Shortly
11 thereafter, SDS leaders began to openly advocate the
12 formation of a Greater Serbia. In September of 1991,
13 Bosnian Serb leaders proclaimed the establishment of
14 several Serb autonomous regions, with the aim of
15 separating from the republican government agencies in
16 Sarajevo and creating a Greater Serbia.
17 Prijedor was located within the Bosanska
18 Krajina. And if I may be assisted, could we have the
19 map, please.
20 Looking at the map, Your Honours, the arrow
21 now pointing indicates the opstina or the municipality
22 of Prijedor and that town, and we can see relatively
23 closely to it the town of Banja Luka.
24 The autonomous region consisted of the city
25 of Banja Luka and the surrounding municipalities where
1 the Serbs constituted a clear majority. Several of the
2 municipalities that the SDS leadership had planned on
3 joining the autonomous region, including Prijedor,
4 didn't, in fact, join it in 1991. This left Prijedor
5 virtually isolated, surrounded by other municipalities
6 that had joined the Serb association. Thank you.
7 Bosnian Serb deputies of the parliament of
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina took another step towards the
9 creation of Greater Serbia when they established the
10 Assembly of the Republic of Serbian People of Bosnia
11 and Herzegovina on the 24th of October of 1991. That
12 assembly was the highest organ of the political party
13 in the SDS.
14 On the 9th of January, 1992, Bosnian Serb
15 leaders proclaimed the creation of the Republic of the
16 Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina. On the 26th
17 of January 1992, the Assembly of the Republic of
18 Serbian People of Bosnia-Herzegovina adopted its
19 constitutional resolution.
20 If we could have the next document, please.
21 Your Honours, this document is an extract of
22 the minutes of the Assembly of the Republic of the
23 Bosnian Serb People of Bosnia-Herzegovina of the
24 26th of January 1992. If I could just take Your
25 Honours to a number of the paragraphs of that
2 Paragraph 3: "The Assembly of the Serbian
3 People of the Bosnia and Herzegovina hereby task the
4 Ministerial Council, working bodies, and other
5 authorised representatives of the Serbian people of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina to draft the constitution, relevant
7 decisions, and other instruments which would regulate,
8 as soon as possible, the subsequent organisation of the
9 Serbian people of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a state so
10 that the Republic of the Serbian People of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina can function as an actual state entity."
12 Paragraph 4: "The place of the Republic of
13 the Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina is in a
14 common state of the Serbian people. The democratic
15 transformation of Yugoslavia must be conducted parallel
16 with the organisation of the entire Serbian people into
17 a Serbian Federation or a union of Serbian states."
18 And finally: "It's necessary immediately to
19 redefine our relationship with Yugoslav federal
20 institutions, in particular with the JNA, Yugoslav
21 People's Army, on the basis of our mutual, political
22 and existential interests."
23 SDS leaders justified their action by the
24 results of a rigged plebiscite that purported to show
25 overwhelming popular support for the inclusion of
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina into a federal Yugoslavia.
2 Could we have the next document, please.
3 At a meeting of the SDS Prijedor Municipal
4 Board in February 1992, an SDS leader named Srdo Srdic
5 noted that: "An important argument for our
6 transformation is the plebiscite we conducted. The
7 creation of states brings about a mass emigration and
8 the resettlement and the exchange of territories which
9 is imminent."
10 In early 1992, SDS and military forces in the
11 region began to establish parallel municipal
12 governments and separate police forces in areas like
14 The SDS president, Radovan Karadzic,
15 reiterated the Bosnian Serbian push towards the
16 creation of a Serbian state at the same SDS meeting at
18 If we could have the next document.
19 He explained to a gathering of the SDS
20 leaders that: "We are forced to create national
21 communities on ethnic territories. There will be a
22 maximum strengthening of authority in the regions
23 (economically and politically) and the activities of
24 the region of Bosnian Krajina are geared towards that.
25 After the situation in the country calmed down and the
1 pre-conditions are there, the will of the people would
2 bring about the unification of all Serb territories and
4 In March 1992, the Assembly of the Serbian
5 People of Bosnia and Herzegovina promulgated the
6 constitution of the Serb Republic of Bosnia and
7 declared itself a distinct republic. During that
8 spring, Bosnian Serbs took control of the television
9 tower on Kozara Mountain, which ensured that the
10 residents of Prijedor municipality could only receive
11 programmes from Belgrade or Novi Sad in Serbia and Pale
12 and Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Television
13 was a powerful medium through which the Bosnian Serb
14 leaders could disseminate racist and inflammatory
15 propaganda. Throughout this period, symbols of Serbian
16 nationalism, including flags, songs, and emblems became
17 prevalent as well.
18 On April 30, 1992, the SDS conducted a
19 bloodless takeover of Prijedor town with the assistance
20 of the military and police forces.
21 Could we have a look at the next document,
23 This document is a dispatch issued by the
24 Prijedor Public Security Station on the date of the
25 takeover and provides us with many of the details about
1 that event. In part, it provides, for example,
2 that: "Ten police stations, numbering 1.587 members,
3 were mobilised. All call-ups were responded to and
4 there was no avoidance of work obligations. At 0400
5 hours, in keeping with the conclusions reached by the
6 executive committee of the Serbian Assembly of the
7 Prijedor municipality, power was taken over in the
8 territory of the municipality when possession was taken
9 of all public security stations and other strategic
10 points. These activities were carried out in
11 synchronised action and not a single bullet was fired.
12 The normal work and functioning of the service was
13 ensured by organising security guards and patrols.
14 Economic and non-economic organisations are operating
15 normally. We shall inform you in due time about our
16 future activities. Signed Simo Drljaca."
17 The SDS leaders in Prijedor were instructed
18 to take control of every aspect of municipal
19 government, and they acted in concert with the army of
20 the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
21 the JNA.
22 The late Milan Kovacevic described the
23 takeover of the Prijedor municipality in an interview
24 on Radio Prijedor in 1995.
25 If we could have a look at this document,
2 In a relevant part of the document, he
3 describes the takeover in the following terms: "It was
4 all neatly prepared and done, and we waited for the
5 moment which we had set, and then on today's date, 0400
6 hours, a few years ago, we did it. To my and many
7 other people's surprise, it really went the way we had
8 planned. I mean, they told me that from SUP, that is
9 to say, from the centre, Simo and the others told me
10 that they had announced from our staff that the
11 movement would begin, and in 28 minutes I was at the
12 post of the chairman of the Executive Board, and Stakic
13 was at the post of the president of the Municipal
14 Assembly. All bodies of authority were in place and
15 began functioning from that moment on ..."
16 So some kind of transition was made from
17 those national parties, today opinions may vary, but
18 those were, indeed, national parties and it's good that
19 they were.
20 "So twenty minutes after the departure from
21 Cirkin Polje municipality, bodies resumed their work as
22 if nothing had happened. That was done without
23 casualties or shooting. Nothing. We just came to our
24 respective offices and began working, as if it had been
25 like that for centuries and thank God it still goes
1 on ..."
2 Your Honours, over 1.500 people were
3 mobilised, organised, and deployed in the efficient
4 Serbian takeover of Prijedor. This was a well-planned,
5 highly coordinated operation between police,
6 politicians, and military authorities. By the end of
7 April 1992, the Bosnian Serbs had taken control of the
8 Prijedor municipality and renamed it the "Serbian
9 Prijedor municipality." That signalled the
10 intensification of the Bosnian Serbs' campaign of
11 persecution of the Muslims and Croats in the Prijedor
12 municipality in order to eliminate them from the area.
13 The Bosnian Serb authorities had important
14 strategic reasons for executing their campaign of
15 persecution against non-Serbs in Prijedor. The
16 municipality of Prijedor lies in the Krajina region,
17 "Krajina" meaning border-region, of north-western
18 Bosnia. It is located along one of the major travel
19 corridors running east to west in the former
21 If we could have the map again, please.
22 As Your Honour sees the cursor moving along,
23 it runs through that area and down the Krajina border,
24 or the border which had a large occupation of Serbian
1 As such, it was invaluable to the Bosnian
2 Serb leaders aspiring to create their Greater Serbia,
3 because it served as a link between the Serb-dominated
4 Croatian Krajina to the west of the republic and to the
5 Republic of Serbia to the east. The ultimate goal of
6 Bosnian Serb political leaders was to integrate the
7 entire Serbian Autonomous Region of Krajina, including
8 the Prijedor municipality, into Greater Serbia.
9 If we could see the next document, please.
10 Your Honours, this document is the extract of
11 minutes of the meeting of the SDS Municipal Board of
12 Prijedor in December of 1991, and Milan Kovacevic says
13 in the relevant part:
14 "Prijedor is the most important district in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. We are in a war situation, which
16 makes our work more difficult ... This is a moment
17 critical for the survival of the Serbian people,
18 especially in BH."
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, is it possible
21 for you, when it is convenient for you, to have a
23 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, Your Honours, this would
24 be convenient.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: All right. So we will have
1 a break of 15 minutes.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We have
5 planned to continue until 3.30, Mr. Niemann. I'm
6 telling you that for you to be able to manage the
7 time. We're going to work for one hour, twenty; then
8 we'll have a break. So I give you the floor. You may
9 continue, Mr. Niemann.
10 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Your Honours, Serb authority in Prijedor and
12 other parts of north-west Bosnia was consolidated under
13 the Crisis Headquarters of the Autonomous Region of
14 Krajina, or the ARK Crisis Staff. This institution was
15 also known as the ARK War Staff. In early May of 1992,
16 the ARK Crisis Staff, headquartered in the city of
17 Banja Luka, took over all powers of government and
18 municipal crisis staffs, such as that established in
19 Prijedor, and implemented its decision.
20 For example, there was intense pressure for
21 the Bosnian Serb men to respond to the call for
23 Can I have the next document, please.
24 On the 10th of June, 1992, the ARK Crisis
25 Staff adopted a decision that stated that "Only
1 children, women, and old men may emigrate from the
2 Autonomous Region of Krajina if they so wish."
3 Thank you.
4 Bosnian Serb men, quite obviously, were
5 expected to fight for the Serb cause. Muslim and Croat
6 men, who might return one day to fight for their homes,
7 could not be permitted to leave the area.
8 In June of 1992, the Prijedor Crisis Staff
9 issued a set of detailed instructions on the
10 establishment, composition, and tasks of the local
11 crisis staff in the Prijedor municipality.
12 Could we have the next document, please.
13 The basic duties of the local crisis staff,
14 according to these instructions, was as follows:
15 "to exercise and coordinate authority in the
16 local territory; to maintain effective protection and
17 defence of the local territory and secure all
18 prerequisites essential for successful armed combat; to
19 control the security of the territory, protect the
20 safety of citizens and their property as well as the
21 safety of socially-owned property, ensuring consistent
22 adherence to the existing regulations; to maintain
23 constant synchronisation and coordination of the
24 measures and actions of the military and the police in
25 the local area; to organise and implement preventive
1 and operative civil protection measures; to develop the
2 most varied forms and methods of information and
3 political propaganda activities; to organise and revive
4 the economy, especially agriculture (sowing,
5 harvesting, threshing, mowing, and the gathering of
6 other agricultural produce) and organise the buy-up of
7 the agricultural produce; to organise supplies
8 including the provision of transport and technical
9 means; to organise medical services and care for the
10 wounded and the sick; to organise suitable help for the
11 families of dead combatants."
12 These instructions gave the local crisis
13 staff a wide range of duties and, obviously, a great
14 deal of power. The municipal crisis staffs such as
15 that of Prijedor had to provide daily reports to the
16 ARK Crisis Staff regarding steps taken to implement the
17 discriminatory policies of the Main Board located in
18 Banja Luka.
19 After the Bosnian Serb takeover of Prijedor
20 on 30 April 1992, conditions for the Bosnian Muslims
21 and Croats in the Prijedor municipality deteriorated
22 rapidly. Prominent members of the Muslim and Croat
23 community, particularly members of the SDA, the leading
24 Muslim political party, and the HDZ, the leading Croat
25 political party, were dismissed from their jobs and
1 subjected to harassment.
2 If we could have the next document, please.
3 This document, these are the minutes of a
4 meeting of the Prijedor Municipal Board of the SDS on
5 9 May 1992, which reflect the onset of discriminatory
6 policies and practices that foreshadowed the widespread
7 ethnic cleansing campaign to come. At the meeting,
8 Milan Kovacevic, the President of the Municipal
9 Assembly Executive Committee said:
10 "The cabinet meets daily and has adopted at
11 least 50 decisions, the most important of which
12 include: replacement of staff has been carried out,
13 with all SDA leaders removed from functions in the
14 Municipal Assembly; the functioning of government at
15 the level of Krajina can now be felt; instructions and
16 decisions are being forwarded from the top; larger
17 companies and institutions have separated themselves
18 from Sarajevo; financial transactions have resumed; the
19 cabinet will continue to meet constantly; all measures,
20 decisions, and conclusions must be verified by the
21 Assembly; local boards of the SDS must be more
23 Thank you.
24 The expulsion of Muslims and Croats from the
25 Prijedor region became a priority of the Bosnian Serb
2 Could we have the next document, please.
3 On 26 May 1992, just four days before the
4 police chief of Prijedor issued his orders concerning
5 the establishment and functioning of the Omarska camp,
6 the ARK Crisis Staff issued a series of orders, and
7 among them, we have order 5 [as read]:
8 "5. A committee shall be formed for
9 negotiations with members of other nationalities and
10 representatives of Herceg-Bosna.
11 "6. An agency shall be established that will
12 work on the problem of population resettlement."
13 Your Honours, as you review these documents
14 and consider the testimony of the victims of this case,
15 I hope that you will look beyond the rather clinical
16 language used in the documents such as to mask the true
17 nature of the Bosnian Serb plans and policies.
18 The Prosecution will prove beyond a
19 reasonable doubt that the Bosnian Serb solution to the
20 so-called "problem of population emigration" was a
21 widespread, systematic, and violent campaign of ethnic
22 cleansing designed to kill or expel the majority of
23 ethnic Muslims and Croats in Prijedor. The enormity of
24 this criminal task eventually required the active
25 participation and coordination of several agencies of
1 government, including the military, the police, and the
2 municipal and regional crisis staffs.
3 Prior to the armed conflict, the JNA 5th
4 Corps, headquartered in Banja Luka, was the predominant
5 military power in the Prijedor region. As of 19 May
6 1992, when the JNA supposedly departed from Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina, the name of the 5th Corps of the JNA
8 changed to the 1st Krajina Corps of the Republika
9 Srpska army. However, the same commanding general and
10 Serb officer corps remained in control. That military
11 unit was responsible for ordering the deployment of
12 artillery and troops on the hills surrounding the town
13 of Kozarac, a predominantly Muslim town near the city
14 of Prijedor.
15 The Bosnian Serbs justified the start of
16 violent expulsions of Muslims and Croats from their
17 homes in the Prijedor municipality with the pretext of
18 an attack against Serbs.
19 Next document, please.
20 In a dispatch dated the 26th of May, 1992,
21 Simo Drljaca advised his superiors in Banja Luka of the
22 events in Prijedor:
23 "We hereby notify you that the fighting
24 which began on 22 May 1992 with the killing and
25 wounding of a group of military reservists is still
1 continuing on the territory of Prijedor municipality.
2 A mopping-up operation is currently underway on the
3 territory of Kozarac, Kozarusa, Kamicani, and the
4 Trnopolje local communities."
5 Further on, he says: "In other
6 Muslim-populated peripheral areas of the municipality,
7 as well as in the town itself, sporadic small-arms fire
8 can be heard from time to time, although the weapons
9 are being handed over in an organised way and are being
10 seized during searches of apartments and other
11 buildings ..."
12 He then goes on: "Further activities in this
13 connection will be carried out in an organised way and
14 in cooperation with the military authorities and
15 members of the National Security Service."
16 Your Honours, the military attacks were
17 carried out by the combined forces of the 1st Krajina
18 Corps of the Bosnian Serb army, army reservists from
19 Prijedor, regular and reserve police officers from
20 Prijedor, and paramilitary units organised and equipped
21 by the SDS. There was a pattern to these operations as
22 huge quantities of artillery were first used to shell
23 the non-Serb neighbourhoods in order to quash any
25 Your Honours, these weren't military targets,
1 these were the homes of civilians, the homes of
2 civilians who, in most cases, happened to be Muslims.
3 If we may see some of the results of this
4 military campaign on the Muslim town of Prijedor --
5 Kozarac, I'm sorry.
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. NIEMANN: This is the town of Kozarac, as
8 we move up the main street of the town, where the shops
9 are and the local houses are, mostly of Muslim people,
10 who were forced out of their homes and into the camps.
11 Some of the buildings are untouched. Generally, in
12 those cases, those buildings belonged to the Serbs.
13 Such was the meticulous nature of the campaign where
14 only the Muslim properties were destroyed. With such
15 destruction, people had nowhere to go. But not only
16 were their homes attacked and destroyed, but also their
17 religious monuments. It could hardly be a military
18 target, but the mosque that you now see appearing was
19 destroyed and gutted.
20 That was one side of the road. This is the
21 other, going back down the centre of the town of
23 As I said, the religious monuments were also
24 attacked, but not the Serbian religious monuments such
25 as this Serbian Orthodox Church in Kozarac.
1 Your Honours, following these attacks, the
2 Serb paramilitary groups systematically rounded up
3 ethnic Muslims and Croats, and expelled the non-Serb
4 population from the area. Those who evaded captured
5 fled to the surrounding mountains and forests.
6 Once captured, most of the women and children
7 were taken to the Trnopolje Camp. The men, on the
8 other hand, were usually taken to Omarska or Keraterm.
9 Oftentimes, civilians were interrogated at the Prijedor
10 police station and then subsequently transferred to
11 Omarska or to the other prison camps.
12 Could we have the next document, please.
13 This is an extract from the newspaper
14 Kozarski Vjesnik of 19 November 1993, and we see in the
15 relevant section of this article the following:
16 "Following the armed uprising, reception centres were
17 set up in Keraterm, Omarska, and Trnopolje, where
18 officers of the SJB (police station) were taking people
19 in for questioning, carrying out operative processing
20 and security operations."
21 The Bosnian Serb authorities, including the
22 accused sitting before you, confined Muslim and Croat
23 civilians for a variety of highly dubious and
24 artificial reasons. One justification for confinement
25 was a familial relationship to a Muslim political
2 Can we see the next document, please.
3 For example, in a note from the Prijedor
4 police station, one official wrote: "Since Kapetanovic
5 is Muhamed Cehajic's brother-in-law, there are grounds
6 for believing that he has been aware of the illegal
7 activities of the SDA.
8 "This information indicated involvement in
9 white-collar crime and bribes-taking, as well as his
10 nationalistic attitude towards officials of Serbian
11 nationality. Therefore, a further processing at
12 Omarska location is recommended."
13 Your Honours, you'll note that the term
14 "processing" crops up rather frequently in these
15 documents. The term "processing" had a special
16 significance in Prijedor during the summer of 1992.
17 For example, Muhamed Cehajic, the man
18 referred to in the document you've just seen, was a
19 Muslim, and, prior to the armed conflict, the president
20 of the Prijedor Executive Board, a position roughly
21 equivalent to the mayor of a town in other parts of the
22 world. He is also a victim, specifically named in the
23 schedules to the amended indictment.
24 During the course of this trial, you'll hear
25 testimony describing how Muhamed Cehajic was seen in
1 the administrative building at Omarska camp, covered
2 with bruises, and how Mr. Cehajic was taken away on or
3 about the 26th of July 1992 and was never seen again.
4 Often, Muslim members of the SDA were
5 arrested because they were considered to be extremists
6 who posed a threat to the fledgling Serbian state
7 because of their political views.
8 The next document, please.
9 According to one police intelligence report
10 from Prijedor compiled in July 1992, it says: "At
11 number 6 in II Krajiske Brigade Street, the extremist
12 Enes Kadiric is staying in a house owned by Muharem
13 Kadiric. He is an important member of the SDA in the
14 organisation in the village of Biscani, where he is
15 hiding in the house of his above-named relative.
16 Therefore, the arrest of both Muharem Dadiric and Enes
17 Kadiric should be effected on the grounds of suspicion,
18 and it is true that both are extremists and pose a
19 threat to the present system of government. According
20 to information volunteered by Dragoja Rodic, a year ago
21 when he was working as a production manager, he,
22 Kadiric, dismissed Serbian staff, claiming that there
23 would be no room for them in what today is the Krajina
24 if they did not convert to Islam."
25 Then further on in the document there is an
1 addendum. It says: "Enes is much more extremist than
2 the note conveys. In the Oslobodenje branch office he
3 got rid of each and every Serb and harassed them,
4 employing Turks as he pleased. I am not going to do a
5 lot of writing here, but for what he has done so far,
6 death is all he deserves to have from the Serbs."
7 Finally, at the top right-hand corner of the
8 very same document, you will see a note from Dragoljub
9 Mudrinic, who added another directive: "Check the
10 statement in this note and take appropriate measures in
11 order to process and arrest. 23 July 1992."
12 Your Honours, by July 28th, Mr. Enes Kadiric
13 was in the custody of the Bosnian Serb authorities and
14 his processing had begun.
15 Additionally, the Banja Luka Public Security
16 Station was collecting intelligence information on
17 Muslims who were in possession of weapons and who were
18 allegedly organising themselves against the Bosnian
19 Serbs. Serb propaganda justified the takeover of
20 Prijedor as a pre-emptive strike to avoid a bloodbath
21 of Serbs perpetrated by Muslims and Croats.
22 If we could see the next document, please.
23 In this document, in the words of one of the
24 Serb leaders in Prijedor, he says: "One could see what
25 they are up to and how they planned to go about it. We
1 know their exact location, how they were armed, where
2 they had trained and prepared themselves in Kozarac, up
3 there in Benkovac, in Hambraine, in Puharska. We knew
4 the people who were bringing in the weapons, we knew
5 how they were organised, we knew everything. It was
6 staring us in the face.
7 "I know they took a hell of a lot of money
8 from their people in order to procure weapons to attack
9 the Serbs, to force their exodus and to slaughter
11 The next document, please.
12 In another media interview, Simo Miskovic,
13 the chairman of the SDS in Prijedor explained the Serb
14 actions more graphically, and he says: "Yes, it's true
15 SDS succeeded in its task to save the Serbian
16 population from the planned genocide. As head of the
17 crisis HQ at the particular time, the time prior to
18 armed action, there was only one thought in my mind, a
19 moral obligation to prevent recurrence of 1941 and a
20 new ordeal of the Serbian people. The embodiment of
21 the ordeal suffered by the Serbs in this area was the
22 family of Sveto Banovic, Lulas, who found the ripped up
23 bodies of his father, mother, wife, and children, with
24 pigs pulling on their intestines. This was the reason
25 which made it necessary to plan and prepare with a cool
1 head a timely action which would counter the impending
3 In stark contrast to what is by these
4 documents no more, in our submission, than a trumped up
5 fanciful version of events designed to cloth their
6 criminal activity in some form of legitimacy, the
7 evidence presented at trial will demonstrate that in
8 reality, small groups of non-Serb armed resistance
9 fighters were scattered around the mountains and
10 forests of Prijedor. But these groups were generally
11 poorly equipped with an assortment of hand-held
12 weapons, and they were no match for the massive
13 firepower put to use by the Bosnian Serbs, assisted by
14 the JNA.
15 The next document describes their so-called
16 threat in the following way: "The group on Hegici hill
17 was Kemo Alagic's group. At the time, it numbered 10
18 to 15 men. From the direction of Kurevo, assistance
19 would come from a much larger group led by Slavko
20 Ecimovic. They had hunting rifles, several handguns,
21 and several hand grenades. With time, the group grew
22 in number and weaponry."
23 The second individual mentioned in this
24 document, the Muslim resistance leader Slavko Ecimovic,
25 is also named as a victim in the schedules to the
1 amended indictment.
2 Thousands of persons were processed as well,
3 because they held political or religious beliefs
4 inconsistent with the positions of the SDS leaders.
5 Next document, please.
6 Such was the fate of Ivan Filipovic and Fehim
7 Fazlic. You see -- and I want to go to the trouble of
8 reading them all, Your Honours, but you will see from
9 these documents the reasons for which they were
11 Just how many people were processed at
12 Omarska and Keraterm.
13 Next document, please.
14 According to a 1993 report concerning the
15 work of the Prijedor Public Security Station during the
16 final nine months of 1992, we're told: "More than
17 5.500 persons were fully processed. Responsibility or
18 some form of responsibility was established and proved
19 in 1.502 cases, and these persons were subsequently
20 transferred to the prisoner-of-war camp in Manjaca."
21 Obviously, the confinement and interrogation
22 of 5.500 persons required a lot of manpower, and the
23 responsibility for physical control over the prison
24 camps in the Prijedor municipality and control over the
25 prisoners detained within the camps rested with the
1 police from Prijedor, and in particular at the Omarska
2 camp, with the police from the Omarska police station,
3 including the accused Kvocka, Radic, and Kos.
4 Next document, please.
5 The war presidency of Prijedor Municipal
6 Assembly had adopted a decision requiring that the army
7 take over the camps by the 31st of July 1992, but the
8 army was busy elsewhere. Prijedor chief of police,
9 Simo Drljaca, reported that: "We hereby inform you
10 that at a meeting held on the 24th of July 1992, the
11 war presidency of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly
12 adopted a decision," and the number is set out
13 there, "pursuant to which the reserve police force
14 presently employed should be greatly reduced and the
15 security of the Keraterm, Trnopolje, and Omarska
16 reception centres provided by the army. The deadline
17 for the implementation of this decision was fixed for
18 31 July 1992.
19 "The army refused to assume security duties
20 at the centres, which our station supplies with a staff
21 of 300 police officers every day.
22 "Therefore, we hereby inform you that we are
23 not in a position to implement the above-mentioned
24 decision on the reduction of the reserve police force
25 as long as the army does not assume its duties, in
1 accordance with the arrangements and decisions
2 previously made."
3 While the accused Kvocka, Radic, and Kos
4 exercised authority at Omarska camp, atrocities
5 occurred throughout north-western Bosnia as part of the
6 broader Serb campaign of persecution against non-Serbs
7 in the region.
8 The Bosnian Serb military and police forces
9 synchronised their efforts in order to ethnically
10 cleanse Muslims and Croats from the Prijedor
11 municipality. In May 1992, there were a thousand
12 policemen from the Prijedor police station
13 participating in combat operations and the chief of
14 police recorded the names of those who lost their lives
15 in his dispatches. In fact, only the men who had
16 responded to the military call-up could sign up or
17 receive permanent posts with the police and reserve
19 Next document, please.
20 A dispatch issued by the Prijedor Public
21 Security Station on May 28, 1992, reported that:
22 "Armed conflicts and combat operations have recently
23 spread through almost the entire area of the Autonomous
24 Region of Krajina. There is a tendency of further
25 deterioration of the security situation and the
1 appearance of new crisis zones in spite of the
2 synchronised and organised activities of this centre
3 and without the knowledge and approval of the competent
4 corps commands of the armed forces of the Serbian
6 Next document, please.
7 The security services of Banja Luka issued
8 information and data on August 4, 1992 stating:
9 "Thanks to the synchronised activities of
10 the Serbian army and police, these paramilitary
11 formations have been shattered and in large part
13 They go on and say: "The members of the
14 active and reserve police force, practically alone and
15 without a fight, took over Prijedor, sealed off the
16 town, and organised the security of all vital
18 "After the outbreak of fighting, they took
19 an active part and showed an impressive level of
20 cohesion and synchronisation with members of the
21 military. In May, almost all of the policemen from
22 Prijedor, Omarska, Lamovita, and Tukovi participated in
23 the fighting first at Hambraine and then in Kozarac and
24 Prijedor. In these battles, seven policemen lost their
25 lives and 22 were seriously or lightly wounded. In
1 only one day, when the Muslim and Croat extremists
2 attacked Prijedor, four policemen lost their lives, two
3 from active and two from reserve forces.
4 "After that, the situation calmed somewhat
5 and the police returned to their regular duties. Only
6 40 policemen from the intervention platoon were
7 involved in periodical inspections of the terrain, but
8 the police was burdened with another task, that of
9 securing Keraterm, Omarska, and Trnopolje collection
10 centres, which are still performing today. There is
11 severe renewed fighting in Ljubija in July, in which a
12 hundred policemen participated. Three of them bravely
13 lost their lives in the battle of Raljas, which brought
14 the death total to ten."
15 And finally: "The exchange of information
16 between the military and the police is satisfactory.
17 Information is exchanged everyday verbally or in
18 written form, with the constant contact maintained for
19 the purpose of finding solutions. In addition, it
20 should be pointed out that the military is playing a
21 significant part in equipping the police with weapons,
22 ammunition, mines, and explosives as well as combat
24 "A more organised participation of the
25 police in executing possible combat activities is
1 recommended so that the police units and formations
2 would, in future, be subject to the command of the
3 military unit in charge of combat activities."
4 Signed by the chief of the SJB, Simo
6 Your Honours may hear suggestions from the
7 Defence that the situation in Prijedor, during the
8 relevant time of the indictment, was chaotic,
9 disorganised, that there was no clear chains of
10 command. But within the local police, as with the
11 army, the Bosnian Serb authorities maintained the
12 principles of discipline and the chain of command.
13 Could we have the next document, please.
14 On 6th of May 1992, Stojan Zuplajnin, the
15 chief of the public security services in Banja Luka
16 issued the following orders. I'll take Your Honours to
17 the most relevant versions of this.
18 "It is essential that seniority that is
19 strictly observed in the relationship between senior
20 officers and police officers and other police staff.
21 There must be order among the police. I do not want to
22 see a policeman without a policeman's beret. We have
23 to set the example ourselves.
24 "All my orders conveyed orally, as well as
25 those I may forward by dispatch, must be carried out.
1 They are your law. The chain of command, commanding
2 and execution are clearly distinguished in this
3 service. If any one of your staff should refuse to act
4 upon an order, just inform him that he is fired. We
5 have to get rid of the old ideology and concepts not
6 suited to the present moment."
7 And finally: "In all our activities, we are
8 obliged to observe all measures and to apply all
9 procedures ordered by the crisis staff of the
10 autonomous region."
11 Next document, please.
12 These orders were implemented five days later
13 by Simo Drljaca, the chief of the Prijedor Public
14 Security Station, who ordered the station commanders to
15 brief their employees on police policies as such,
16 paragraph 7:
17 "The senior officer - policeman - worker
18 relationship is to be tightened to the maximum.
19 "All orders are to be acted upon without
20 question (any refusal to do so would result in the
21 termination of employment or removal from the reserve
23 Therefore, the evidence presented at trial
24 will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the military
25 and the police worked together very closely to
1 implement the discriminatory policies of the Bosnian
2 Serb government, utilising principles of discipline and
3 of command and control. To a great extent, these two
4 institutions jointly executed the Bosnian Serb leader's
5 policy of ethnic cleansing for the purpose of creating
6 a Greater Serbia. The accused Kvocka, Radic, and Kos,
7 therefore, were important participants in these crimes
8 against humanity.
9 The Bosnian Serb media also began to document
10 the process of ethnic cleansing.
11 Could we see the next document, please.
12 An article published on July 10, 1992 called
13 "Convoys for Resettlement", described the mass
14 expulsion of Muslims and Croats in the following
16 "At its latest session, the Prijedor
17 Municipality Crisis Staff established that the number
18 of people who are voluntarily applying for moving out
19 of the municipality, and the AR, or Autonomous Region
20 of Krajina, has increased. Having considered this
21 problem, the crisis staff has agreed on accelerating
22 all activities which makes it possible to carry out
23 this process in an organised fashion."
24 In addition, Your Honours, there was economic
25 ethnic cleansing.
1 Employment. The Bosnian Serb authorities
2 also used discriminatory economic pressures to achieve
3 their goals. The Muslims and Croats who avoided
4 detention in one of the Prijedor camps or who were
5 released from a camp, often found themselves without a
6 livelihood. After the takeover of Prijedor, only those
7 loyal to the Republika Srpska had the right to fill
8 positions of authority in the community. Non-Serbs
9 were removed from their jobs and replaced by Bosnian
10 Serb professionals.
11 Next document, please.
12 In this document, the ARK crisis staff issued
13 a series of discriminatory decisions concerning
14 employees of local companies and the public sector:
15 "Management posts in enterprises must
16 definitely be filled by persons loyal to the Serbian
17 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 "Leading posts in social and public
19 organisations may be occupied only by the most
20 professional persons who are absolutely devoted to the
21 Serbian people in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
23 "All executive posts involving a likely flow
24 of information, posts involving the protection of
25 public property, that is, all posts important for the
1 functioning of the economy may only be held by
2 personnel of Serbian nationality.
3 "This refers to all socially-owned
4 enterprises, joint-stock companies, state institutions,
5 public utilities, ministries of the interior, and the
6 army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
8 "These posts may not be held by employees of
9 Serbian nationality who have not confirmed by
10 plebiscite or who in their minds have not made it
11 ideologically clear that the Serbian Democratic Party
12 is the sole representative of the Serbian people."
13 If we could see the next document, please.
14 Milomir Stakic, who replaced a Muslim by the
15 name of Muhamed Cehajic as president of the executive
16 council of Prijedor issued an order on July 2, 1992, in
17 which he says:
18 "All organs, enterprises, and communities
19 are ordered to terminate the employment of workers who
20 have participated in the armed rebellion and who are
21 currently in Omarska and Keraterm.
22 "Information about these workers is to be
23 submitted by the Prijedor Public Security Station on
24 the request of the above-mentioned organs, enterprises,
25 and communities.
1 "The public security station and the
2 competent municipal inspection service will be
3 responsible for the execution of this order.
4 "This order shall enter into effect on the
5 day that it is issued."
6 Indeed, the Prijedor Municipal Crisis Staff
7 was meticulous in its discriminatory efforts to remove
8 non-Serbs from their places of employment. Between the
9 29th of May and July 24th, 1992, Bosnian Serbs were
10 appointed to take the places of non-Serbs in positions
11 such as the acting director of the medical centre, the
12 acting principals of several schools, the acting
13 director of a number of companies, and the chief of the
14 unemployment bureau. There were scores of decisions
15 which called for the dismissal of particular
16 individuals and their replacement with Bosnian Serb
17 candidates loyal to the SDS policies. The Bosnian
18 Serbs in the Autonomous Region of Krajina also
19 restructured major companies in order to take power
20 from the non-Serbs and place them in their own hands.
21 Your Honour, in a recent judgement issued on
22 the 14th of January, in the case of the Prosecutor and
23 Zoran Kupreskic, the Trial Chamber explained that a
24 loss of livelihood can have the same inhumane
25 consequences as forced transfer or deportation;
1 paragraph 631 of the Judgement. Likewise, in this
2 case, restrictions placed on the employment of Muslims
3 and Croats in Prijedor were a discriminatory means
4 intended to achieve the forced transfer of large
5 numbers of Muslims and Croats away from north-western
6 Bosnia. The employment practices of the Bosnian Serb
7 government therefore constituted a gross denial of
8 fundamental human rights, as well as persecution.
9 Concurrent with the confinement of much of
10 the non-Serb population in Prijedor, the Bosnian Serbs
11 systematically destroyed personal and cultural property
12 belonging to the Muslims and Croats, including entire
13 villages, numerous homes, mosques, and churches. The
14 destruction of such property was an integral component
15 of ethnic cleansing. The deliberate destruction of
16 families, communities, and cultural life also
17 constituted gross violations of human rights.
18 Next document, please.
19 According to a security assessment drafted
20 for the Prijedor municipality, on October 23rd, 1992,
21 we see:
22 "... The national division reached its
23 climax in armed conflicts between the Serbian people
24 which had taken power, and Muslim and Croatian
25 extremists on the other. From then until today, the
1 consequences of these conflicts can be felt
2 everywhere. Dozens of villages have been almost
3 completely destroyed and left uninhabited ..." It then
4 mentions a number of towns, those partly and fully
5 destroyed. "... This destruction saw the beginnings of
6 the mass exodus of both Muslims and Croats.
7 "According to estimates, roughly 38.000
8 Muslims and Croat citizens have left the municipality
9 of Prijedor so far ..."
10 Further on: "As these people left, there
11 began a massive looting of their property which was
12 left entirely unguarded by either the owners or the
13 municipal authorities."
14 And then: "The entire period is
15 characterised by the blowing up and destruction of
16 buildings owned by Muslims and Croats, as well as
17 places of worship. This represents a direct threat to
18 the life and property of all citizens of the
20 As I've described, Your Honours, the Bosnian
21 Serb policy of persecution was extremely effective and
22 the non-Serbian population of the Prijedor population
23 was all but wiped out. In 1992, there were 49.351
24 Muslims counted in the official Prijedor census. In
25 1993, only 6.124 of them remained, a loss of over
1 43.000 Muslim men, women, and children in just two
2 years. In 1992, 6.316 Croats lived in the Prijedor
3 municipality. By 1993, there were only 3.169 Croats
4 remaining there. In 1991, 9.295 people were counted in
5 the census as neither Serb, Muslim, or Croat. But in
6 1993, only 2.622 remained in the region. During this
7 same two-year period, the Serb population grew by more
8 than 6.000 persons.
9 Next document, please.
10 According to the security assessment drafted
11 for the Prijedor region in October of 1992:
12 "As the time goes by, one can feel that both
13 the official authorities and the citizens themselves
14 are relaxing under the impression that with the
15 departure of the Muslims and Croats everything has been
17 Subsequently, at the annual assembly session
18 of the Prijedor Municipal Board of the SDS, held in
19 December of 1992 -- next document, please -- Mr. Branko
20 Simic, the Vice-President of the Republika Srpska
21 Assembly, boasted of the achievements of the SDS in the
22 following way:
23 "A group of brave Serbs came together, in
24 those times of insecurity, and we began to work on
25 setting up the Serbian Democratic Party, and although
1 we were late - in comparison to other national
2 parties - we succeeded. Thanks to the SDS, we have
3 politically and nationally animated the Serbian people
4 and elevated them to a human position, put them on
5 their feet. With no political experience, no capital,
6 persecuted and arrested, nonetheless we achieved our
7 goal and created our State, Republika Srpska ..." He
8 goes on: "Our achievements so far give us the right to
9 complete this honourable task, so that the Serbian
10 people, for the first time in this region, have their
11 own State. These are achievements of the Serbian
12 Democratic Party and no one can or should dare to deny
14 Next document, please.
15 The following year, in November 1993, the
16 Prijedor police department received an award for its
17 efficient contribution to ethnic cleansing. The event
18 received the attention of the local media, and it was
19 reported in the following way:
20 "In the preparations undertaken by Serbian
21 people for the defence of their centuries-old hearths
22 and their freedom in this region, an important role was
23 played by the Prijedor Police Station. All
24 preparations had been carried out in an exemplary
25 cooperation with the Serbian army, and in a very short
1 time 13 illegal Serbian police stations with 1.600
2 police officers had been formed while the SDA was still
3 in power in Prijedor. It was not easy to hold illegal
4 meetings and to prepare for defence, but after the
5 Presidency of the former BiH blockaded the barracks and
6 other military installations, it was decided, in
7 agreement with the officers of the Serbian army, the
8 Serbian Democratic Party and the Executive Committee of
9 the Municipality of Prijedor to seize power from the
10 Muslim extremists.
11 "And this was accomplished on the 30th of
12 April last year. Due to outstanding organisation and
13 discipline, the Serbian police in Prijedor seized power
14 without a shot being fired ..."
15 And finally:
16 "Following the armed uprising, reception
17 centres were set up in Keraterm, Omarska, and
18 Trnopolje, where officers of the SJB were taking people
19 in for questioning, carrying out operative processing
20 and security operations."
21 Further on:
22 "According to the official findings and
23 reports of the inspectorate ..." of the SJB of
24 Prijedor, it "... is one of the most efficient police
25 stations in Republika Srpska. Therefore it was
1 nominated for the prestigious decoration - the Nemanjic
2 Medal ..."
3 Your Honours, three of the police officers
4 who contributed to the efficient persecution campaign
5 that destroyed the lives of thousands of citizens in
6 Prijedor are sitting before you today: Mr. Kvocka,
7 Mr. Radic, and Mr. Kos. Indeed, the accused Radic even
8 received a special honour, a recommendation from his
9 superiors for a cash bonus for his extensive efforts in
10 support of persecution.
11 Next document, please.
12 "... Since the very beginning of combat
13 activities, Mladjo has been actively involved in the
14 preparation and organisation of young officers for the
15 implementation of the most complex police tasks. His
16 colleagues respect him because he excels in all actions
17 as a true leader.
18 "He selflessly laboured to uncover the deeds
19 of Muslim extremists at the Omarska Reception Centre,
20 where he worked day and night. In the execution of
21 combat tasks on our territory and on the Orasje front,
22 he gave an example to others of how to defend their
24 "Even today, in the difficult work
25 conditions of the police, he selflessly labours to
1 convey his knowledge and experience to junior
3 The criminal responsibility and the criminal
4 behaviour of the accused. Under Article 7(1) and 7(3)
5 of the Statute of the Tribunal --
6 Your Honours, I'm moving on to a new section
7 now. Is it satisfactory to proceed?
8 The 7(1) authority. All the accused in this
9 case are individually responsible for the crimes with
10 which they have been charged in the amended indictment,
11 pursuant to Article 7(1) of the Statute of the
12 Tribunal. Under Article 7(1), individual criminal
13 responsibility includes planning, instigating,
14 ordering, committing or otherwise aiding and abetting
15 in the planning, preparation or execution of the acts
16 or omissions which constitute their alleged criminal
18 Your Honours, as I mentioned earlier, but it
19 bears repeating, the campaign of persecution that
20 violently and methodically cleansed Prijedor of most of
21 its Muslim and Croat population in 1992 was not the
22 work of one man, nor ten, nor twenty. It involved the
23 systematic, coordinated efforts of hundreds of
24 individuals, soldiers and civilians, from all walks of
25 life, including these four accused, who have committed
1 themselves to the nationalist Serb goal of creating a
2 Serb state.
3 Last July, in the Tadic Appeals Judgement,
4 the Appeals Chamber concluded that:
5 " ... all those who have engaged in serious
6 violations of international humanitarian law, whatever
7 the manner in which they may have perpetrated, or
8 participated in the perpetration of those violations,
9 must be brought to justice."
10 The Chamber explained that crimes committed
11 during wartime situations most often:
12 " ... do not result from the criminal
13 responsibility of single individuals but constitute
14 manifestations of collective criminality: the crimes
15 are often carried out by groups of individuals acting
16 in pursuance of a common criminal design. Although
17 only some members of the group may physically
18 perpetrate the criminal act (murder, extermination,
19 wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, etc.),
20 the participation and contribution of the other members
21 of the group is often vital in facilitating the
22 commission of the offence in question. It follows that
23 the moral gravity of such participation is often no
24 less - or indeed no different - from that of those
25 actually carrying out the acts in question."
1 This is paragraph 191 of the Tadic Appeals
2 Judgement, if Your Honours please.
3 For that reason, Your Honours, criminal
4 liability in this Tribunal attaches under Article 7(1)
5 of the Statute to "actions perpetrated by a
6 collectivity of persons in furtherance of a common
7 criminal design." Paragraph 193 of the Tadic Appeals
9 The Appeals Chambers explained that the
10 liability under our Statute includes:
11 " ... those modes of participating in the
12 commission of crimes which occur where several persons
13 having a common purpose embark on a criminal activity
14 that is then carried out either jointly or by some
15 members of this plurality of persons. Whoever
16 contributes to the commission of crimes by the group of
17 persons or some members of the group, in execution of a
18 common criminal purpose, may be held criminally
19 liable ..." Paragraph 190 of the Judgement.
20 If Your Honours will excuse me.
21 Your Honours, what was the common criminal
22 purpose or, if you will, the common design that united
23 the four accused in this trial? Each accused was
24 committed to the creation of a Serbian state within the
25 former Yugoslavia, and each worked to achieve that goal
1 by participating in the persecution of Muslim Croats in
2 Prijedor -- Muslims and Croats in Prijedor. Your
3 Honours, the common business of the Omarska, Keraterm,
4 and Trnopolje prison camps was the brutal confinement
5 of Muslims and Croats until they were interrogated or
6 either killed or expelled from Prijedor. The purpose
7 of the interrogation was to assist in the
8 classification of prisoners. Those prisoners who were
9 classified as having taken part in the limited Muslim
10 paramilitary operations in the Prijedor area, or who
11 were considered to be a threat to the Serbian goal,
12 were either killed or severely tortured.
13 The jurisprudence of this Tribunal now
14 describes three distinct categories of collective
15 criminality that fall within the doctrine of the common
16 purpose liability. During the course of the trial, you
17 will hear evidence that speaks to each of these three
18 categories, so permit me now to take a moment to review
19 each category and its relevance to these four accused.
20 The first category includes those cases where
21 all perpetrators, acting pursuant to a common design,
22 possess the same criminal intention, although their
23 methods of participation may differ. For example, our
24 Appeals Chamber cited the decision rendered in the
25 Einsatzgruppen case, where a Nuremberg tribunal noted
1 that guilt for murder is not restricted to the man who
2 pulls the trigger or buries the corpse. That tribunal
4 "Thus, not only are principals guilty but
5 also accessories, those who take a consenting part in
6 the commission of crime or are connected with plans or
7 enterprises involved in its commission, those who order
8 or abet crime, and those who belong to an organisation
9 or group engaged in the commission of crime."
10 That is quoted, Your Honours, at paragraph
11 200 of the Tadic Appeals Judgement.
12 With regard to the actus reus and mens rea,
13 the Tadic Appeals Chamber defined two criteria for
14 liability under this first category of the common
15 purpose doctrine. First, the accused must voluntarily
16 participate in one aspect of the common design, and
17 second, the accused, even if not personally effecting
18 the criminal act, must nevertheless intend its result.
19 Paragraph 196 of the Tadic Judgement, if Your Honours
21 In the Prosecution's submission, pursuant to
22 Rule 73 bis that we tendered in the pre-trial stage,
23 there was quoted the statement of (redacted), who was
24 imprisoned at the Omarska camp and witnessed the
25 conduct of the accused Kvocka, and he provides an
1 example of the first category, and I quote from part of
2 his statement where he said:
3 "First night when we got to the camp and
4 were being searched and beaten, Kvocka was there. At
5 the time when prisoners were being beaten and our
6 personal possessions were seized, we had our heads
7 bowed and instructions not to look around. Therefore,
8 I cannot say that Kvocka was standing close to us
9 during our beatings. However, as soon as the search
10 and the beatings ended, we saw him. I am positive he
11 saw each and every thing guards did to us."
12 The accused Kvocka apparently did not
13 personally beat the prisoners, nor loot them of their
14 possessions. Nevertheless, as camp commander, and
15 subsequently as deputy commander, Mr. Kvocka's presence
16 and his total failure to restrain the guards'
17 misconduct could only have encouraged the abuse of the
18 prisoners. By standing by and providing this
19 encouragement, Mr. Kvocka voluntarily participated in
20 the common criminal design; moreover, by presiding over
21 such criminal acts, the accused Kvocka demonstrated his
22 intent that they occur. The first category of
23 liability under this theory of common purpose,
24 therefore, speaks to the conduct of Mr. Kvocka inside
25 the Omarska camp.
1 The second category of cases described by the
2 Appeals Chamber where the common purpose doctrine is
3 applicable embraces the so-called concentration camp
4 cases. During the Nuremberg era, the doctrine of
5 common purpose was applied to instances where members
6 of the military or administrative units, such as those
7 running concentration camps, committed the offences
8 charged. In other words, the crimes were committed by
9 a group of persons acting pursuant to a concerted
11 The Tadic Appeals Chamber, in its Judgement
12 at paragraph 203, explain that in these cases:
13 " ... the required actus reus was the active
14 participation in the enforcement of a system of
15 repression, as it could be inferred from the position
16 of authority and the specific functions held by each
18 What was the system of repression to which
19 the accused Kvocka, Radic, and Kos were formally
20 attached? Your Honours, in this trial, the evidence
21 will prove that in 1992, Serbian forces constructed a
22 system of concentration camps that was integral to the
23 Serbian plan to persecute Muslims and Croats and
24 thereby rid the Prijedor area of non-Serbs. Three of
25 the four accused, Mr. Kvocka, Mr. Radic, and Mr. Kos,
1 held positions of authority at the Omarska camp during
2 mid 1992. Mr. Kvocka, as I mentioned, was the first
3 commander of the Omarska camp, and then in June 1992,
4 he was replaced by Zeljko Meakic. Therefore,
5 Mr. Kvocka served as the deputy commander of the camp
6 after that date. Mr. Radic and Mr. Kos served as guard
7 shift commanders.
8 The system of detention camps in the Prijedor
9 area is described in paragraphs 6 to 11 of the
10 indictment. These paragraphs describe the unlawful
11 confinement and mistreatment of the Bosnian Muslim and
12 Croats and other non-Serbs from Prijedor at the
13 relevant times and dates. Thus, the charges allege,
14 and the evidence will prove, that Mr. Kvocka,
15 Mr. Radic, and Mr. Kos actively participated in a
16 common, widespread and repressive system of detention
17 camps designed for the persecution of non-Serbs. They
18 deliberately took part in a system that took no account
19 of the value of human life. Perhaps these three men
20 were not present all the time, or at the same time.
21 But the evidence will show that as they came and went,
22 the system remained, and as each of them took over his
23 position, he adhered to and sustained the system.
24 When applying the common purpose doctrine to
25 concentration camp cases, the Appeals Chamber described
1 a mens rea with dual components: i) knowledge of the
2 nature of the system and (ii) the intent to further the
3 common concerted design to ill-treat inmates. This is
4 paragraph 203 of Their Honours' Judgement, if Your
5 Honours please.
6 Your Honours, common sense dictates that it
7 was impossible to belong to the staff of the Omarska
8 camp for a substantial period of time, as did
9 Mr. Kvocka, Mr. Radic, and Mr. Kos, without being aware
10 of this malevolent system. Your Honours just have to
11 look at the photographs that now appear on Your
12 Honours' screen to see that it would be impossible to
13 hold positions of authority for the operation of the
14 Omarska camp, as these three accused did, without being
15 aware of this system; without being aware of the daily
16 basis in which innocent prisoners in the camp were
17 being shot, raped, beaten, tortured, and starved to
19 With regard to the mens rea component of
20 intent applicable in concentration camp cases, the
21 Appeals Chamber has explained at paragraph 203 of the
22 Tadic judgement that:
23 " ... in these cases, the requisite intent
24 could also be inferred from the position of authority
25 held by the camp personnel. Indeed, it was scarcely
1 necessary to prove intent where the individual's high
2 rank or authority would have, in and of itself,
3 indicated an awareness of the common design and/or
4 intent to participate therein."
5 Your Honours, paragraphs 26 and 28 of the
6 indictment describe how the accused Kvocka, Radic, and
7 Kos possessed the authority to alter the conditions of
8 confinement in the Omarska camp. The evidence will
9 prove beyond a reasonable doubt that these men had the
10 authority to control the conduct of the guards who
11 worked under them, and to prevent and control the
12 conduct of any visitors to the camp. They had the
13 authority to grant the prisoners more freedom and
14 rights within the camp, including access to potable
15 water, reasonable living conditions and hygienic
16 standards, and to have contact with their families and
17 friends to receive clothing, hygienic supplies, food
18 and medicines.
19 The Omarska prison camp became emblematic of
20 the Bosnian Serb system of persecution and ethnic
21 cleansing, and this kind of day-to-day operational
22 control in Omarska evidences an intent by the accused
23 Kvocka, Radic, and Kos to participate in this system.
24 The evidence will also show, with rare exceptions, that
25 Mr. Kvocka, Mr. Radic, and Mr. Kos did nothing to
1 improve the conditions of life for prisoners at
2 Omarska. For persons at their level of responsibility
3 and authority, this was a calculated disregard of the
4 ordinary duties of any gaoler, guard, or prison
5 warden. Such a cruel omission also creates a powerful
6 inference of intent to participate in this repressive
7 system. Therefore, under the second theory of common
8 purpose liability, criminal responsibility must attach
9 to Mr. Kvocka, Mr. Radic, and Mr. Kos.
10 Your Honours, the Appeals Chambers described
11 a third category of cases involving a common design to
12 pursue one course of conduct where one of the
13 perpetrators commits an act that, while outside the
14 common design, was nevertheless a natural and
15 foreseeable consequence of effecting that common
16 purpose. The Appeals Chamber provided the example of a
17 common, shared intention on the part of a group to
18 forcibly remove members of one ethnic group from a
19 town, that is, to effect ethnic cleansing, with a
20 consequence that in the course of the operation, one or
21 more of the victims is killed. And the example they
22 give, although perhaps murder was not an explicit part
23 of their common design, it was certainly foreseeable
24 that forcible removal of civilians from their homes
25 might well result in the death of one or more of those
2 In the Tadic Appeals Judgement at paragraph
3 206, this category of common design has two
4 requirements. Your Honours say:
5 "A criminal intention to participate in the
6 common criminal design and the foreseeability that the
7 criminal acts other than those envisaged in the common
8 criminal design are likely to be committed by other
9 participants in the common design."
10 Your Honours, as I have already described,
11 the common business of Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje
12 prison camps was the brutal confinement of Muslims and
13 Croats. During the relevant time periods described in
14 the indictment, while Mr. Kvocka, Mr. Radic, and
15 Mr. Kos were supervising operations in Omarska camp,
16 outsiders, such as Zoran Zigic, frequently entered the
17 camp to harass, torture, and kill prisoners.
18 Again, in the statement that I referred to,
19 that we provided in our Rule 73 bis material, (redacted)
20 (redacted) provides another example. He says:
21 "I also remember seeing Kvocka in the camp
22 when Zoran Zigic would come to the camp accompanied by
23 another person. That other person was younger and
24 slightly shorter than Zigic. Whenever Zigic came to
25 the camp, he would select a few prisoners and take them
1 out of the White House for beatings. We sitting on the
2 pista could hear the screams and beatings of these
3 prisoners. They would be beaten while the doors of the
4 White House would be closed.
5 "On one such occasion, I saw Kvocka speaking
6 to a guard near the entrance of the restaurant. At
7 that moment, Zoran Zigic came and called out Asef,
8 Kiki, and Began. I don't know the names of Began and
9 Kiki. As Zigic was calling out these names, the guards
10 said to the prisoners on the pista to lay on the floor
11 facing the ground. Soon after, we heard the screams
12 and there is no way Kvocka could not have heard it. We
13 were facing the floor for at least three hours, and
14 during most of that time we could hear screams and
15 cries coming from the direction of the White House."
16 All of the accused in this proceeding shared
17 the common criminal design to persecute Muslims and
18 Croats in Prijedor so as to cleanse the region of those
19 who would not participate in their Serbian state.
20 In the Tadic Appeals Judgement, the Appeals
21 Chamber concluded that criminal responsibility may be
22 imputed to all participants within a common enterprise
23 when the risk of injury occurring was both a
24 predictable consequence of the execution of the common
25 design and the accused was either reckless or
1 indifferent to that task.
2 The evidence during this trial, such as the
3 testimony of (redacted), will describe a calculated
4 acquiescence by camp superiors to the violent acts of
5 persons such as the accused Zigic and his associates.
6 These visits happened so often, so openly, and with
7 such predictable brutality that the injuries inflicted
8 on the victims in this proceeding can never be confused
9 with mere coincidence.
10 Therefore, under the third category of common
11 design liability, by permitting the entrance of accused
12 Zoran Zigic and others like him into the Omarska camp,
13 and by doing nothing to present such incursions, the
14 accused Kvocka, Radic, and Kos, also became responsible
15 for the natural, foreseeable, and horrible consequence
16 of these events. Under the third category of common
17 purpose liability, the criminal responsibility of these
18 three men in authority rests on the manifest of
19 recklessness or indifference or both, which these three
20 demonstrated in the face of the predictable dangers
21 created by the presence of men like Zoran Zigic within
22 this camp.
23 The four accused, therefore, did not all
24 participate in the common design to persecute Muslims
25 and Croats in exactly the same manner, but it was the
1 composite of the actions of all that resulted in the
2 commission of these crimes which lie at the heart of
3 these proceedings.
4 Your Honours, the evidence presented during
5 this trial will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that
6 this group of men shared a common purpose to rid the
7 Prijedor area of Muslims and Croats. Many of the
8 victims arrived in the prison camps after being
9 detained during military or paramilitary ethic
10 cleansing operations in the areas where they resided,
11 their homes. Each of the accused actively participated
12 in this common design, and in so doing, each bears
13 responsibility for the crimes against humanity and
14 violations of the laws of war.
15 7(3), authority.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me
17 for interrupting you, Mr. Niemann. Perhaps before
18 going on to this point it would be convenient to have a
19 break. What do you think about it, Mr. Niemann?
20 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I'm happy to do
21 what would suit Your Honours, but I have four pages to
22 go. If you would like to hear me complete, I can
23 conclude it in four pages.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is that all
25 for the opening statement?
1 MR. NIEMANN: Yes.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think
3 that it would be better to make a little extra effort
4 and to finish with your opening statement. So you may
5 continue, Mr. Niemann. Thank you very much.
6 MR. NIEMANN: I was going on, Your Honours,
7 to mention Article 7(3), authority.
8 All of the accused, except for Zoran Zigic,
9 are also or alternatively criminally responsible for
10 the acts of their subordinates with respect to the
11 crimes charged in the indictment by virtue of their
12 respective positions of superior authority in the
13 camps, pursuant to Article 7(3) of the Statute of the
14 Tribunal. Article 7(3) defines a person in a position
15 of superior authority as one who is responsible for the
16 criminal acts of his subordinates if the superior knew
17 or had reason to know that his subordinates were about
18 to commit such acts or had done so and the superior
19 failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to
20 prevent such acts or to punish the subordinates.
21 In the Celebici judgement, the Trial Chamber
22 articulated that Article 7(3) not only includes the
23 responsibility of military commanders but also the
24 responsibility of civilian authorities. This is
25 paragraph 343 to 363.
1 The evidence presented in this trial will
2 prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused
3 Kvocka, Radic, and Kos, exercised effective control
4 over their subordinate guards at the Omarska prison
6 Your Honours, the Prosecution will submit
7 evidence concerning the continuing effects of ethic
8 cleansing on the lives of the surviving Muslim and
9 Croat victims from Prijedor even to this day. This
10 evidence will assist the Trial Chamber in determining
11 the appropriate sentence if one or more of the four
12 accused are found guilty of the charges in the
13 amendment indictment. In our submission, Your Honours,
14 this evidence is admissible under Rule 84(A)(vi) of the
15 Rules of Procedure and Evidence.
16 As you are aware, the parties have agreed
17 that following the presentation of the opening
18 statement, some of the accused will testify. However,
19 the use of this procedure will not relieve the
20 Prosecution of its burden of proving each and every
21 element of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
22 Accordingly, following the testimony of those
23 accused, the Prosecution will present its case with the
24 vigour, thoroughness, and independence mandated by the
25 Statute of the Tribunal.
1 Your Honours, the Prosecution expects to call
2 a number of witnesses and has already presented
3 documentary exhibits to the Trial Chamber. Some
4 footage and photographs will be introduced as well.
5 The Prosecution evidence will prove the
6 culpability of the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.
7 In the interests of justice, they must be held, in our
8 submission, accountable for their criminal behaviour.
9 The International Community demands that these heinous
10 crimes be exposed and punished according to
11 international law.
12 Accordingly, Your Honours, at the close of
13 these proceedings, the Prosecution will ask you to find
14 each of the accused guilty as charged.
15 Unless I can assist Your Honours with any
16 other matter, that is my opening address.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
18 very much, Mr. Niemann. I think we have before us
19 plenty of time to clear up all the points that you have
20 presented to us.
21 I think that the Defence of Mr. Kos would
22 like to say something and, therefore, I should give the
23 floor to his Defence counsel.
24 Mr. Nikolic, please, you have the floor.
25 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
1 Mr. President. Your Honours, the Defence of the
2 accused Kos would, first of all, like to tender its
3 apologies for what we are going to say now.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
5 Mr. Nikolic. I didn't hear the beginning of your
6 statement. Could you repeat that, please?
7 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I shall be glad
9 Your Honours, the Defence of the accused
10 Mr. Kos would, first of all, like to tender its
11 apologies for what we are now going to say, because the
12 Defence is aware of the efforts you have invested in
13 scheduling this trial. However, since the Defence team
14 of the accused Kos has now become complete and after we
15 have reviewed all the aspects of the charges against
16 the accused Mr. Kos, the Defence has changed its
17 strategy, and the accused Mr. Kos would like to waive
18 his right to testify at the beginning of this trial in
19 his own Defence under oath.
20 I appeal to you to accept this request and to
21 treat it as the right of the accused to seek out the
22 best method of defending himself, and as his Defence
23 counsel, I am simply conveying to you his position.
24 Thank you.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is that
1 all? You may be seated, Mr. Nikolic.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
4 Mr. Nikolic, we have a question for you. What you have
5 just told us is the renunciation of the right to
6 testify now, or after, throughout the trial, or is the
7 accused just renouncing this right for the beginning of
8 the trial?
9 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
10 only as regards the opening of the trial.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think
12 that is going to raise a whole series of questions. I
13 think we should have thought about that. Perhaps in
14 order to decide on this matter, I must ask the others
15 for their opinion, because as you know, there was this
16 question either all the accused shall testify at the
17 same time, and we agreed that should be at the
18 beginning, or not, because that complicates the whole
19 proceedings and this does pose a problem.
20 Therefore, I think we shall have a break,
21 because we have to confer. After the break we'll have
22 a Status Conference. We'll have a 20-minute break, and
23 then we will discuss the matter.
24 --- Whereupon the proceedings adjourned
25 at 2.10 p.m., to be followed by a Status