1 Thursday, 4 December 2003
2 [Sentencing Proceedings]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 8.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 courtroom. Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-01-42/1-S, the Prosecutor versus Miodrag Jokic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 Mr. Jokic, can you hear me in a language you understand?
12 Could -- could someone assist Mr. Jokic to find the right channel
13 for B/C/S.
14 Mr. Jokic, can you now hear me in a language you understand?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Is it a matter of volume? Is it a matter of
17 channel? Could someone assist.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can hear you, but I'm not
19 receiving any interpretation.
20 JUDGE ORIE: What is the B/C/S channel?
21 Do you now receive interpretation, Mr. Jokic?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's not loud enough.
23 JUDGE ORIE: It's not loud enough.
24 Could you please adapt the volume.
25 Is it now loud enough?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can barely hear you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then this should be fixed first before we
3 continue. Is there any -- is it a matter -- it could be the headphones
4 as well. Perhaps we could exchange the headphones.
5 Mr. Jokic, are the new headphones any better? Or if one of the
6 other units would be used.
7 Is this any better, Mr. Jokic?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's fine now.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Jokic, you now understand me -- you now
10 hear me in a language you understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you very well.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jokic, before you could hear me, I wished good
13 morning to everyone, so you've missed that. Good morning to you as well.
14 Now, I see you can hear it. And Madam Registrar has called the
16 Please be seated.
17 May I have the appearances. The Prosecution first.
18 MS. SOMERS: Good morning, Your Honours, Mr. President. For the
19 Prosecution, Susan L. Somers, lead counsel; behind me, Ms. Gina Butler,
20 Mr. Philip Weiner; to my right, Mr. Nicholas Kaufman and Miss Victoria
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Somers.
23 And the appearances for the Defence.
24 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
25 morning, Ms. Somers. Eugene O'Sullivan, Jelena Nikolic, and Zarko
1 Nikolic for Mr. Jokic.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic.
3 The order of this hearing today, which is a hearing in which
4 we'll hear the submissions of the parties and evidence relevant for
5 sentencing will be the following: First, the Prosecution will shortly
6 introduce its position in regard of sentencing; then - and I understand
7 that it takes less time for the Defence to do the same - this would take
8 approximately 40 minutes altogether; we'll then hear the testimony of
9 witnesses called by the Prosecution, as far as I understand, two
10 witnesses to be examined in closed session.
11 Ms. Somers, is that correct?
12 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: And the parties agree on that, that it will be in
14 closed session.
15 Then we'll see a video to be presented by the Prosecution. And
16 then there'll be a victim's address, as far as I understand, and that all
17 before we hear the first Defence witness, then, and we'll hear another
18 Defence witness. We'll then -- it's announced that Mr. Jokic will make
19 an oral statement, and finally closing arguments will be presented by the
20 parties, Prosecution first and then the Defence.
21 I already announced at this moment that it may be that before we
22 hear the first witness that we need a short break for reasons not related
23 to this case, so that the parties are prepared that we might have a short
24 additional break.
25 I do understand that the parties also agreed on this order. So
1 if there's nothing else to be -- to be submitted at this moment, I could
2 give an opportunity to the Prosecution to present its position in regard
3 of sentencing, but I'll not do that until I first have briefly set out
4 what this case is about.
5 This case is about the events that that happened the day after
6 tomorrow 12 years ago, on the 6th of December, 1991, which was the
7 shelling of the city of Dubrovnik, which caused the death of persons,
8 which caused persons to be injured, and which caused serious damage to
9 the old city of Dubrovnik.
10 Now, Mr. Jokic, you have pleaded guilty in relation to these
11 events on six counts, as they are in the indictment. That is the case on
12 which we'll hear the submissions of the parties on sentencing and on
13 which we'll hear evidence in relation to sentencing.
14 MS. Somers, please proceed.
15 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. Following up what Your
16 Honour has presented as introductory comments, inasmuch as the Trial
17 Chamber has not had the benefit of a tremendous amount of background
18 evidence, the Prosecution will take a bit of time to put into context the
19 events underlying the factual basis to which Admiral Jokic has entered
20 his plea of guilty.
21 The unlawful shelling attacks on the old town of Dubrovnik, this
22 is focal point of this indictment, which occurred on the 6th of December,
23 1991, must be viewed as among the most shameful events in military
24 history. Although there is little knowledge by those who perpetrated the
25 criminal acts of the victims and of the objects, as it were - I don't
1 mean it in a military sense - which were struck by the hundreds, perhaps
2 up to a thousand projectiles, that came from JNA forces, the depravity of
3 the act, the incredible recklessness interspersed with deliberate intent
4 requires an examination of how such things could happen with
5 career-military personnel the calibre of someone like Admiral Jokic.
6 First, the images which are normally conjured up when one thinks
7 of the shelling of the old town of Dubrovnik are images of buildings, of
8 antiquity, of precious items being ruined. Of course, this is the case,
9 but first and foremost we have to turn our attention to the fact that the
10 old town of Dubrovnik was a living city, not a museum, and there were
11 human beings whose lives were either ended or irrevocably altered by the
12 events of the 6th of December, 1991.
13 What happened? After approximately three months of occupation of
14 the areas surrounding the city of Dubrovnik, of which the old town is a
15 part, both sides, the JNA and the Croatian defenders, were about to come
16 to terms for a comprehensive cease-fire agreement which would end
17 hostilities, although not necessarily end occupation. The negotiators
18 for the parties deserve special attention. Representing the JNA was
19 Admiral Jokic; representing the Croatian side were three high-level
20 Croatian cabinet ministers. This is noteworthy in that most negotiations
21 were held with local negotiators. The importance of this particular
22 cease-fire, with its comprehensive aspect, cannot be underestimated.
23 It's central to bear in mind.
24 One of the most essential aspects of the cease-fire which the
25 Admiral had been involved in negotiating was the restoration of basic
1 necessary commodity, such as electricity and water, for the population of
2 Dubrovnik. The only glitch which did not permit, in the Admiral's
3 judgement, allowing the signature on the page, as of the 5th of December,
4 was an issue about inspection of vessels. Dubrovnik was besieged in the
5 sense of encirclement with a blockade of its port and surrounded from all
6 sides by forces under the control of the JNA.
7 In order to work out this particular detail, the Admiral
8 indicated he would need to confer with persons higher than he in
9 Belgrade. However, it was clearly understood by both sides that the
10 cease-fire was effectively a done deal and would simply be consummated
11 formally the next day, the 6th of December. Parties left with this
12 understanding. Orders were passed down. And all sides -- both sides were
13 to have been ready for the terms to have been implemented upon the
14 working out of that last detail.
15 What happened, however, on the very early morning hours of the
16 6th of December was not an implementation of the cease-fire but, rather,
17 an unauthorised attack, as the evidence suggests, by forces under the
18 control of Admiral Jokic but not ordered by Admiral Jokic. The attack
19 was from forces in the area of Zarkovica, which is the Croatian
20 stronghold -- I'm sorry, the JNA stronghold in the high ground on Srdj,
21 the Croatian high ground stronghold. The chaos which ensued from this
22 unauthorised attack, at least unauthorised from the perspective of
23 Admiral Jokic, was that a full-blown fire-fight ensued. Simultaneously
24 or almost simultaneously with the attack on the Croatian defenders at
25 Srdj was the opening of fire on the old town of Dubrovnik.
1 I would like to take a moment and just allow a visual assist to
2 see, if I may, a little bit about the layout of Dubrovnik. If I can ask
3 my colleague to produce Dubrovnik general view 5 first on Sanction, which
4 is the mode of presentation for all our visual aids. If I can be sure
5 that everyone has it.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jokic, do you also have on your screen the
7 picture just announced?
8 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated] .
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the accused, please.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Ms. Somers.
11 MS. SOMERS: In order to acquaint the Chamber with the layout of
12 the old town, it is the promontory which is pictured in the centre of the
13 image. It is clearly surrounded by water on both sides. And behind it,
14 in the next shot, which I would ask my colleague to proceed to, Your
15 Honours can see that behind it are the high grounds.
16 If we may proceed to yet the next photo, and the next, please;
17 and the next, please.
18 The Chamber should have a fairly good picture of the bird's-eye
19 view from the high ground to the old town of Dubrovnik. The lovely
20 barrel-tile roofs that you see on the promontory are the structures
21 within the ancient walls of the old town of Dubrovnik.
22 When I mentioned a few moments ago that fire was opened from
23 Zarkovica, I would ask now to present a picture of what the old town
24 looks like from Zarkovica, which was the JNA high ground stronghold.
25 Sorry. We'll go back one. This would be one angle -- can we return,
2 One who looks down from there, it has been said, can see coffee
3 being drunk on the central dividing street of the old town, called the
4 Stradun. I don't know if we'll be able to retrieve the particular photo
5 -- I believe it is now -- is that correct? -- it is now in front of Your
6 Honours. This is one of several views to indicate what it looked like to
7 officers of the JNA.
8 If I can ask you then to show the next view. Among the ordnance
9 used from the high ground just pictured is a weapon called a Maljutka,
10 which is a wire-guided missile, a precision instrument. Weapons of this
11 type were directed against the old town and in fact detonated there,
12 along with mortars and other forms of artillery.
13 How did this come to pass? How did it happen that what should
14 have been a cease-fire ended up in mayhem? There have been outstanding
15 standing orders, directives, and other transmissions from the highest
16 level of the Federal Yugoslav authorities as well as from Admiral Jokic
17 and General Strugar that the -- his co-accused -- that the old town of
18 Dubrovnik was not to be damaged, destroyed, attacked, or in any way
19 molested. Despite the standing order, which has -- based in reason its
20 cultural value, which is protected under the protocols of the Geneva
21 Conventions and which is further evidenced by the UNESCO designation of
22 world heritage site, which was granted to the old town of Dubrovnik,
23 everything inside, including the walls, in 1979, no harm was to befall
24 this demilitarised area.
25 Nevertheless, in October of 1991 circumstances surrounding