1 Thursday, 4 September 2008
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The accused Miletic not present]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, everybody and to you, Madam
7 Registrar. Could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-05-88-T, The Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic, et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, madam. General Miletic like yesterday
11 is not present today. A waiver has been received. Prosecution team is
12 Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Vanderpuye from what I can see behind the column,
13 and Defence teams I think it's -- I just saw Mr. Haynes. Where is he?
14 Oh, I see. Yeah, and then I didn't see him anymore. So it's only Mr.
15 Bourgon who is absent.
16 MR. HAYNES: I'm sorry. I had to move because the monitor over
17 there wasn't working.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. But we have these two columns that, at
19 least as far as I'm concerned, are of obstruction.
20 Witness is present. Mr. Trifkovic. Good afternoon to you.
21 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You are most welcome. You are about to start
23 giving evidence as a Defence witness for the Beara Defence team. Before
24 you do so, our rules require that you make a solemn declaration, which is
25 going to be handed to you, and this is an undertaking to testify the
1 truth. Please read it out aloud.
2 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
3 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please make yourself comfortable. Do
5 I take it that you are going to testify in English?
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, indeed.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. You are free to testify in any
8 other language which is translatable here should you feel so.
9 Mr. Ostojic is going first. You will be with us today and
10 tomorrow for sure. He didn't like it. Okay. So you can cut down your
11 direct, Mr. Vanderpuye will take my advice to do likewise, and we can
12 send him home today.
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Good afternoon. Mr. President, Your Honours. I'll
14 try to do my best. May I proceed?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
17 WITNESS: SRDJA TRIFKOVIC
18 Examination by Mr. Ostojic:
19 Q. Sir, as you know my name is John Ostojic, and I'm one of the
20 attorneys here for Mr. Ljubisa Beara. Can you please state your name for
21 the record?
22 A. Yes. My same Srdja Trifkovic. I'm also known to my
23 English-speaking friends as Serg.
24 Q. Mr. Trifkovic, we both speak the same language, and sometimes we
25 can overlap as both the person who is asking the questions and the person
1 who is providing the answers. We're going to try to take it slow today
2 even though we will make every effort to conclude with your testimony
3 today. Can you share with us briefly, where do you currently reside?
4 A. I currently reside in Highland Park, which is a north-shore
5 suburb of Chicago, Illinois
6 Q. Can you tell us a little about your education? What's the
7 highest level of education that you've attained?
8 A. A PhD in European history at the university of Southampton
10 Q. Sir, do you -- presently, do you -- are you employed anywhere?
11 A. Yes, as foreign affairs editor of the monthly magazine
12 "Chronicles Published By The Rockford Institute" in the city of Rockford
13 in Illinois
14 Q. How long have you held that position?
15 A. For the past nine years.
16 Q. And prior to that, have you been gainfully employed?
17 A. Yes. Between 1996 and 1999, I was in academia, first at the
18 University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas
19 one year; and at then at Rose Hill College
20 Q. Okay. Can you share with us what you did in 1992?
21 A. In the first half of 1992, I was completing my one year of
22 post-doctoral research at Stanford -- at the Hoover Institution at
23 Stanford University
24 policy in the Balkans during World War II. The second half of that year
25 I spent as Chief of Staff of his Royal Highness Crown Prince Alexander
1 Karadjordjevic based in London, England
2 Q. And as his Chief of Staff, just briefly describe what your duties
3 and responsibilities were at that time.
4 A. That was a period when the monarchist sentiment in Serbia
5 the rise and when believing that the Crown could electrify a position to
6 Milosevic, a sentiment I wholeheartedly shared. I was keen to help him
7 assert himself as a possible factor who could meaningfully contribute to
8 the process of political change in Serbia.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Trifkovic, you and I know each other, and we've known
10 each other for quite some time, correct?
11 A. Longer than I care to remember.
12 Q. Fair enough. Can you tell me, also, have you testified before
13 the Tribunal in other cases or in any other case?
14 A. I was an expert witness in March of 2003 in the Stakic case.
15 Q. And what expertise did you provide for the Stakic case at that
17 A. I provided a background of the Bosnian war in general and the
18 situation in the municipality of Prijedor
19 on my personal observation of the circumstances but rather on the access
20 to secondary sources, materials, and statements.
21 Q. And you recognise, sir, although you were an expert witness in
22 that case that you're being called here in this case as a fact witness?
23 A. Indeed.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Please pause between questions and answers for
25 the sake of the interpreters. Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you hear that?
2 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Both of you? Yes, please. If you could comply,
4 we'll appreciate that. Thank you.
5 MR. OSTOJIC:
6 Q. Sir, following your employment with Crown Prince Alexander in the
7 capacity as Chief of Staff, what, if anything, did you do in terms of
9 A. In the summer of 1993, it became obvious that contrary to my
10 hopes and expectations the crown prince was not going to move to Serbia
11 on a permanent basis, which I believe he should have done especially in
12 view of the ongoing conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, and I was not
13 willing to simply continue as basically a glorified administrator
14 preparing press releases and statements out of the London office, which I
15 believed to be somewhat meaningless.
16 So relying on my previous connections as correspondent for US
17 News and World Report in Belgrade
18 period of my work for him, I decided to work as a freelance journalist,
19 and I had a contract with the Belgrade
20 they also had regular slots in a number of English-speaking publications
21 including at that time also the leading bilingual newspaper of the
22 Serbian community in the United States, Sloboda, Liberty. And I was also
23 providing regular interviews to the electronic media in the UK having
24 spent six years as a radio journalist with the BBC world service in the
25 1980s. I had connections there, too, and I was regularly interviewed
1 especially when it came to presenting a Serbian point of view in the
2 ongoing conflicts in the former Yugoslavia
3 Q. Share with us, if you will, if you ever had an opportunity to go
4 to Pale and meet with Radovan Karadzic.
5 A. Yes. The first such occasion was in my capacity as Crown Prince
6 Alexander's advisor, which was at the end of July of 1993 at the time of
7 the Igman and Bjelasnica operation, when I also brought in my car, a
8 consignment of humanitarian assistance and medicines sent by the crown
9 prince's wife Princess Catherine, and I also had a meeting at that time
10 with a number of political and military leaders in a purely ceremonial
11 capacity conveying the best wishes from the crown prince and delivering
12 the packages to the hospital, Koran [phoen] hospital at Pale.
13 Q. Were you ever asked to assist with any of the mainstream media
14 from Dr. Karadzic or people from Republika Srpska in connection with --
15 or based upon your experience as a journalist and being knowledgeable in
16 the Balkan area?
17 A. That initiative came later on. In September of 1993, my wife and
18 I were touring northern France
19 time one of the negotiating sessions was going on, and I was personally
20 acquainted with the late professor Nikola Koljevic somewhat more closely
21 than with the others from the Republika Srpska leadership. And it was
22 from him that the initiative came that I would be useful as a
23 spokesperson in some capacity because I think he had seen some of my
24 articles and my media appearances up to that time.
25 Q. And did you accept to attain such a position as a spokesman?
1 A. Well, the situation was somewhat delicate because accepting the
2 position of an official spokesman would have severely curtailed my
3 capacity to function as a freelance journalist and also to provide the
4 kind of analysis of the political background to the conflict in former
6 indicated to Professor Koljevic before he formalized the proposal to Dr.
7 Karadzic that I would accept an informal arrangement in which my ability
8 to continue with my other professional pursuits would not be hindered,
9 and which would also enable me to present and articulate positions and
10 analysis in accordance with my own understanding rather than in
11 accordance with anyone's formal instructions.
12 I also believed that in this way I could provide a more
13 comprehensive and more useful information to the media consumers in the
14 English-speaking world, especially since, to be perfectly frank with you,
15 I was also skeptical about the ability of people in Pale, the ability of
16 people in the Serbian lands in general, to present and articulate their
17 positions in a way that would be both readily understood by the western
18 media consumer and that would be presented in a convincing and coherent
20 Q. Mr. Trifkovic, what was your title, then, if any, at that time?
21 A. My title was the Balkan affairs analyst with close links to the
22 Bosnian Serbs. I was occasionally in the media presentation, actually
23 referred to as the representative or spokesman for the Bosnian Serbs,
24 which I always insisted on correcting because I did not want this
25 impression of a formal relationship to be created, not only because of
1 the fact that I wasn't receiving either instructions or payment from Pale
2 but also because I wanted to give them the ability to obtain plausible
3 deniability of my statements if they happened to be displeased with them
4 so that at all times I could both retain the status of an independent
5 analyst, and the leadership of the Republika Srpska could retain its
6 ability to distance themselves from my analysis as presented to the
7 media, which, by the way, did not happen.
8 Q. And we've seen -- or received from the Prosecution some media CDs
9 of you giving speeches to news outlets, and they referred to you as "the
10 unofficial Bosnian Serb spokesman." Would that be a fair way to say it?
11 A. No, because spokesman or spokesperson, again, whether official or
12 unofficial is the person who conveys clearly articulated formal
13 statements or positions of a given entity, which I was very careful to
14 emphasize that I was not in the position to do. But on the other hand,
15 journalists are in the habit of simplifying issues, and if the editor
16 says, give me the Bosnian Serb point of view, they will probably, you
17 know, fill the slot any which way they can even if such a designation
18 which corresponds to the needs of the editorial cycles may fit in neatly
19 with their requirements would not be accurate when it came to my actual
21 Q. Okay. So let me stick, then, with the title that you provided
22 us, and that is as "the Balkan affairs analyst with close links to the
23 Bosnian Serbs." Did you hold that position for any length of time?
24 A. I did until, I believe, first week of September of 1995 when the
25 political leadership of the Republika Srpska decided to authorize
1 Slobodan Milosevic to negotiate on their behalf. I could not possibly
2 continue as someone presented as a person with close links or any links
3 with a political entity that was now hardly more than an offshoot of the
4 Milosevic Pale centre. In fact, I remember saying at one point that --
5 asking Milosevic to negotiate on behalf of the Republika Srpska was
6 tantamount to entrusting Count Dracula with a blood bank.
7 Q. Now, Mr. Trifkovic, if you could just give us an idea, and since
8 you started in approximately mid-to late September in the role as Balkan
9 affairs analyst with close links to the Bosnian Serbs, can you tell us in
10 that year how often you would meet with the Republika Srpska leadership
11 just so we can get a general sense of it?
12 A. I spent a week in late November of 1993 in Geneva at the
13 Palestine Nations where I tried to set up some kind of media management
14 for -- I obviously wasn't going to stay there, but I wanted to help them
15 out with the art of composing press releases and formal statements and
16 not relying on improvisation as they had been doing until that time. I
17 am afraid that I was successful in this endeavour to a very limited
18 extent. And after that, during 1994 I paid a total of four visits to the
19 Republika Srpska at times they coincided with my coming to Belgrade
20 private business or vacations. One or two occasions in 1994 and one
21 occasion in 1995 were purpose-made trips because I simply wanted to find
22 out what was the view from Pale, so to say, at particularly sensitive
23 moments of the Bosnian crisis, such as the Gorazde crisis in 1994, the
24 aftermath of Ex-President Carter's visit in 1995, and ironically in the
25 summer of 1995 I visited Pale because I had already intended to be in
2 days in the month of July would subsequently prove to be critical in many
4 Q. And we'll come back to July 1995 a little later in your
5 examination, but just give us an idea. In 1995 other than July, were you
6 at Pale?
7 A. I was at Pale in late January of 1995. I remember leaving
10 Q. Just tell us what day.
11 A. It was 27th of January. I was at Pale 28th and 9th, and I drove
12 back the following day, so probably on the 30th. And in March, I was
13 there just for one day, in March -- I don't remember the exact day.
14 Probably 22nd or 23rd or 24th of March.
15 Q. And help me with this: After your visit in Pale in July of 1995,
16 did you ever go back to Pale?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Where were you stationed during the time that you were the Balkan
19 affairs analyst?
20 A. I was dividing time between London
21 at that time still pursuing research subsequent upon my post-doctoral
22 work at Stanford, and I was actually looking for employment in the United
23 States because having been frankly disillusioned with the way that the
24 Republika Srpska leadership, one might say, folded up by entrusting
25 Milosevic with the end game, I prepared the ground in the US for my
1 subsequent move to Houston
2 Q. Are you familiar, as I'm sure you are being a historian, with
3 events that were generally considered the September 1993 action?
4 A. I am familiar in the capacity of, you know, someone who takes a
5 great deal of interest in these affairs, but I'm not familiar with them
6 on a firsthand basis. In other words, I have not discussed them with any
7 of the key participants or key players, and I certainly have not been
8 privy to any privileged information concerning their background.
9 Q. Well, just give us an idea of what it is from the information
10 that you have.
11 A. The Latin tensions between the political leadership of the
12 Republika Srpska and the military leadership had always been present to
13 some extent. The military leadership was composed to a large extent of
14 the former YPA officers who were viewed by the political leaders
15 belonging to the Serbian democratic party as people with a great deal of
16 ideological baggage in their tow. But my first awareness of these
17 tensions came, actually, during the very first visit to Pale during the
18 and Igman and Bjelasnica operation when I gathered from conversations
19 with other people such as one of the advisors to Dr. Karadzic, that he
20 viewed Karadzic, that operation as detrimental to what he believed was a
21 possible diplomatic political break-through and that he believed that by
22 acting without the clear approval from the civilian leadership, the
23 military was somehow undermining the political and diplomatic efforts of
24 the civilian leadership.
25 I, frankly, did not believe that this was substantively the case,
1 even if Dr. Karadzic believed it to be so. In fact, I was pretty certain
2 that no immediate political diplomatic break-through was on the horizon,
3 and as we had seen subsequent to the summer of 1993, in the fall of 1993,
4 the negotiations in Geneva
5 promising framework of the three entities that had the attributes of
6 sovereignty, collapsed, torpedoed by the United States just as the
7 previous Owen-Stoltenberg plan had been torpedoed in the spring of '93.
8 The second crisis, if you will, in the relations occurred in
9 September of 1993 with a protest by the war veterans, handicapped and
10 wounded soldiers, and the families of the fallen, and there were two
11 versions of what was going on. One was that of the political leadership,
12 which claimed that this was engineered by the military top brass as a
13 means of putting pressure on politicians and as a means of pointing out
14 the existence of Banja Luka as the alternative power centre to Pale;
15 while on the other hand, the view of the soldiers was that the Serbian
16 democratic party establishment, allegedly both corrupt and inept, was
17 manipulating the perfectly justified grievances of the veterans, the
18 wounded, the handicapped, and the widows and orphans, in order to
19 engineer a show-down with the military that would give them an excuse to
20 replace the top brass of the BSA. And either way, I frankly do not have
21 the information that would enable me even at this stage to pass the
22 verdict, whether it was one or the other or the mix of the two. But
23 either way, it certainly proved that not -- that something was rotten in
24 not the kingdom of Denmark
25 Q. Okay. Let me just follow up if you don't mind and clarify. You
1 said BSA. Just tell us what you mean by that.
2 A. I mean VRS, Vojska Republika Srpska or Bosnian Serb Army is the
3 usually shorthand used in...
4 Q. Fair enough. And then you also use the acronym YPA?
5 A. The Yugoslav People's Army or JNA.
6 Q. I just want to clarify that. Now, when, if at all, was the first
7 time that you heard the name of Ljubisa Beara?
8 A. The first time I heard the name of Ljubisa Beara was during the
9 week I spent in Geneva
10 arduous negotiating sessions of which I was not -- to which I wasn't
11 privy and obviously was not invited, I spent a few hours in all with the
12 members of the Republika Srpska delegations security detail. Being both
13 a journalist and a historian, I was very interested in the views and
14 experiences of these young men who were all veterans of the early battles
15 in the summer of 1992 and who being, you know, mostly simple folk from
16 the grass roots of the Bosnian/Serb public at large were providing -- I
17 don't want to sound condescending about this, but it was the genuine vox
18 populi. It was something that one doesn't get in a raw form unless you
19 actually spend a long time in the Republika Srpska, which I wasn't able
20 to do.
21 And so just listening to them chatting among themselves, joking,
22 reminiscing, and commenting provided me with a fascinating insight into
23 the -- you know, the nitty-gritty of the perception of events on the
24 ground. And it was in this context that I heard them refer to Ljubisa
25 Beara's appointment as "bezbednjak," chief of security of the
1 Bosnian/Serb army, with displeasure and even indignation because they
2 believed that it simply meant that the old-school Tito-restrained former
3 YPA officers who had internalised the Yugo nostalgic -- who had internal
4 analysed the both Yugoslav rather than Serbian loyalty and the particular
5 brand of Titoist communist Yugoslav loyalty as their formative experience
6 in the period of their personal and professional development and that
7 therefore he wasn't someone that they would look upon with approval as
8 the chief of security of what they expected to be a new army for a new
9 Serbian state. Nevertheless --
10 Q. And just so -- sorry.
11 A. Sorry. At the same time, they referred with a degree of grudging
12 respect to what I understand was his successful arrest of some Croat
13 demonstrators who were guilty of killing a Macedonian conscript during
14 the demonstrations in Split
15 May of 1991. But they specifically referred to the killing of two
16 volunteers belonging to the Serbian radical party in the region of
18 nationalist berges [phoen] and beards, and I now quote from memory. He
19 can't stand caucades and beards, was a comment made at that time.
20 Q. And who were these individuals again? They were providing
21 security detail for who?
22 A. For the Serbian -- Bosnian Serb delegation. They were -- I have
23 to tell you the truth. I don't remember their names, but they were in
24 their late 20s, perhaps early 30s, and they were the veterans of the
25 early battles. I believe that most of them came from the special police
1 units rather than the military structures.
2 Q. Now, you mentioned, also, two instances, one with the Macedonian
3 conscript, and then you also mentioned a killing of Serbian radical party
4 volunteer. Do you know if that was the same incident or two separate
6 A. These would be two separate incidents, and they were referred to
7 with a very different sentiment. The killing of two volunteers was
8 referred to as the proof of Beara's animosity to any display of Serbian
9 particularism within what was still at the time the JNA, but the
10 apprehension of Croat culprits for the killing of the Macedonian
11 conscript was mentioned, as I say, in the spirit of grudging respect as
12 the proof that the man is a pro.
13 Q. Now, help me with this: Since you were there and based on your
14 personal observations and experiences, were there any idealogical
15 differences between the civilian authorities, let's call them, in Pale
16 and Banja Luka and those who were former JNA either officers or members;
17 and then if you can, describe that for us.
18 A. Well, even at this distance of more than a decade, it is hard to
19 tell to what extent differences that acquired the guise of ideology were
20 rooted in the differences over personalities, the position in the power
21 structure, or even the accusations of corrupt dealings and outright
22 criminality which was occasionally levelled by the military leaders
23 against the civilian authorities and in particular against the SDS party
24 structure on the grounds. But suffice to say that I became aware of
25 these differences in fairly outspoken references by Dr. Karadzic to the
1 "commie bastards," "komunjare," and the Red Plague, which I do not recall
2 being referenced to any particular person but which I took to imply the
3 top brass, the, basically, top leadership of Bosnian/Serb army. The
4 constant spirit of this underlying animosity was based on the claim that
5 they had divided loyalties and that many of them were still on the
6 payroll of the Yugoslav Army, which at that time was no longer Yugoslav
7 People's Army but was -- became VJ and Milosevic himself, and that they
8 were playing a duplicitous game on the one hand accepting the primacy of
9 the political leadership but on the other still continuing to act as an
10 independent power centre in its own right.
11 On the other hand, the view from the military was that the
12 political leadership displayed a mix of political and diplomatic
13 inaptitude on one hand and the proclivity to corruption and even
14 criminality on the other; that the civilian leadership had failed to
15 proclaim the state of war in the entire territory of the Republika
16 Srpska; that it had failed to control the smuggling of fuel, cigarettes,
17 and even munitions and military hardware, either by the politically
18 connected individuals or through the state company, which even though was
19 supposedly serving the treasury of the Republika Srpska was still in the
20 end allegedly used by the various SDS bigwigs and well connected
21 individuals to line their pockets. But as I mentioned earlier, all of
22 these elements in the puzzle, I haven't been able to glean from any
23 first-hand sources but, rather, from fragmentary accounts and from
24 elements of, you know, press articles and public statements somewhat
25 reinforced by this remarkable level of almost vehement personal animosity
1 that I noticed in Dr. Karadzic on a number of occasions when it came to
2 the top brass of the Bosnian/Serb army collectively.
3 Q. And did this attitude, if you will, based on the observations
4 that you've made and had, did this attitude persist throughout the period
5 that you worked as a Balkan affairs analyst, meaning until September of
7 A. I would say that it was less pronounced in 1994 or maybe early
8 1995 than it was in the summer of 1995. In the summer of 1995 - that was
9 my final visit - I had two meetings with Dr. Karadzic, one with two
10 Serbian/American people --
11 Q. We'll get to that.
12 A. Yes. And at that time I actually became aware of rather strong
13 language used with reference to the events surrounding the assembly of
14 the Republika Srpska held at Sanski Most in mid-April. Even though
15 reference to what amounted to a coup was not something I heard from
16 Karadzic itself, I cannot exactly recall who made that particular
17 reference or who used that metaphor, but I believe it was an exaggeration
18 that the attempt by the military leaders at that assembly to obtain a
19 number of decisions from the politicians regarding the conduct of the
20 war, the organisation of both the production geared to supplying the
21 military, and the more even burden of the effort on different strata of
22 the population, that was certainly interpreted by the political leaders
23 as an attack on their own position and on -- certainly on their own
25 Q. And what time period are you speaking of?
1 A. Well, it was a two-day assembly of the Republika Srpska. I
2 believe it was April 15th and 16th of 1995.
3 Q. And where was it specifically?
4 A. At Sanski Most.
5 Q. And who was giving the speeches that led to this, as you put,
6 increased or almost vehement personal animosity that you were generally
7 discussing and this coup that you mentioned?
8 A. Obviously I wasn't there, but my understanding is that General
9 Mladic came up with a list of specific demands and that on behalf of the
10 SDS the party secretary Velibor Ostojic responded in vehement terms that
11 those demands were nothing short of an act of disobedience, disloyalty.
12 Q. And help me with this: Did it ever come other than the
13 conversations you shared with us with the security detail of the
14 political establishment at the Palace of Nations
15 other opportunity that a discussion about Mr. Beara was undertaken in
16 your presence?
17 A. It was either during my January visit of 1995 or my March visit,
18 I can't remember which of the two, that vice-president Nikola Koljevic's
19 Chief of Staff, Zdravko Miovcic, referred to Beara as someone who doesn't
20 trust all these foreign Serbs who have gained access to the political
21 leaders. In addition to myself, he mentioned Jovan Zametica and Milos
22 Prica as, you know, the diaspora Serbs who simply by virtue of living in
23 the West or having lived in the West where one might say suspicious by
24 definition, that therefore, their loyalty was open to doubt, but Miovcic
25 added half-jokingly, but don't worry about it, he doesn't count for much
1 around here, meaning Pale.
2 Q. Just remind us of who Mr. Zametica was at that time?
3 A. He was advisor to Dr. Karadzic. I believe he was particularly
4 focused on foreign and diplomatic affairs.
5 Q. And the same with Mr. Mitrovic? What was his role?
6 A. No Miovcic. He was vice-president, Koljevic's Chief of Staff.
7 Q. Did you form an impression as to whether or not they were
8 speaking as a result of their position and their close ties with Mr.
9 Karadzic that perhaps those were his views as well?
10 A. Not necessarily, but nevertheless, I found it remarkable that
11 both at the level of, you know, simple but, you know, honest-to-God young
12 fellows who comprised the security detail of the political leaders and at
13 the upper echelon of their entourage, for instance, the Chief of Staff to
14 the vice-president, a fairly similar sentiment was expressed, and also
15 that if what Mr. Miovcic said was true about Beara's dislike of the fact
16 that all these diaspora Serbs are, you know, making themselves
17 conspicuous, that would imply that the security experts in the
18 Bosnian/Serb army took a somewhat dim view of the judgement of political
19 leaders themselves, because if they surround themselves by people who by
20 virtue of having lived abroad are of dubious loyalty, then obviously
21 their own judgements and their own loyalty, perhaps, could be open to
22 some doubt.
23 Q. Mr. Trifkovic, the transcript and I misspoke when I used the name
24 Mr. Miovcic, it's M-I-O-V-C-I-C, correct? Is that the way we would spell
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. It's important just so we have it right. Thank you for
3 that. Now, have you ever heard of Karadzic referred to Beara --
4 A. No.
5 Q. -- at any time during any of your visits or the times that you
6 spent in Pale from 1993 to September 1995?
7 A. No. Let me reiterate. The only specific references to Beara by
8 name were the ones made by the security detail at the Palace of Nations
9 in Geneva
10 late January or else mid-March of 1995.
11 Q. Share with me, if you will, are you familiar with the name of Bob
12 or Robert Djurdjevic?
13 A. Yes. He was a businessman based in Phoenix, Arizona
14 previously lived in Canada
15 "Truth In Media."
16 Q. And do you remember seeing him at all in Pale in July of 1995?
17 A. Yes, I remember seeing him in a very brief encounter at the
18 office of Dr. Zametica. I don't think it was a particularly friendly
19 encounter because of -- there are two things. One of the two Serbian
20 Americans who came with me on that trip was Mrs. Slavica Ristic from
21 Phoenix, Arizona
22 city and even volunteered when he started his newsletter with the layout
23 and the data entry but who by that time had come to the conclusion that
24 he was, as she put it, a Milosevic man.
25 That opinion could have been justified some years later when I
1 came across a report in the English language edition of the Haaretz daily
2 newspaper in Israel
3 for corruption, it was mentioned that he received a particular payment
4 from Belgrade
5 power at that time, which was delivered by Bob Djurdjevic.
6 Q. Okay. Mr. Trifkovic, we will go into detail on your visit in
7 Pale, but I just wanted to cover with respect to Bob Djurdjevic whether
8 you knew him or not. Thank you for that.
9 Can you share with us where you were in early -- or in July 1995
10 prior to you arriving in Pale?
11 A. Yes. I was in Belgrade
12 cottage, mountain retreat on Mount Jelica
13 to Pale with Mr. Premovic and Mrs. Ristic, I actually left my family in
14 the cottage because having visited Bosnian/Serb republic in the summer of
15 1993 they were not particularly keen to go, especially since it was the
16 time when military operations were underway. They deemed it wiser not to
17 join me on that trip, and I completely concurred.
18 Q. Why did you go?
19 A. Because at that time the Srebrenica military operation was in
20 full swing, and I generally wanted to hear what was their take on what
21 looked like an unexpected development. By the way, I had intended to go
22 even before the military operations started unfolding, but when I left,
23 which was July 12th, I was really keen to obtain the kind of firsthand
24 account of what was going on and what was the political leader's take on
25 future course of events so that upon my return to London, which was
1 scheduled for July 18th, 17th or 18th, I could address the media with
2 some degree of authority having been to Pale: Having spoken to the
3 political leaders, having considered the situation with analysts in
5 Q. And did you provide such interviews or commentary to the news
7 A. Well, yes, and one point on which the political leaders were
8 particularly insistent, Karadzic, Koljevic, and their advisors, was that
9 the failure of the United Nations to demilitarise the UN-protected zone
10 of Srebrenica had effectively compromised its status as the protected
11 zone and the military operation was made necessary by the failure of the
12 UN to act in the way that would prevent its further use as an armed camp
13 when raids are carried out against surrounding Serb villages on the one
14 hand and as a UN-protected zone when the Serbs threaten retaliation.
15 Q. Do you remember, sir, specifically how long you stayed in Pale in
16 July of 1995?
17 A. I stayed -- I stayed from the evening of the 12th until the early
18 morning of the 16th, so I was there the 13th, 14th, and 15th.
19 Q. And where did you go afterwards on the 16th?
20 A. On the 16th, I drove to Belgrade
21 day or the one after I flew to London
22 passports to see the stamps in order to ascertain this.
23 Q. Now, I'd like to show you what we've identified or are going to
24 use as an exhibit in e-court, which is P2905.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: And just so the Court's aware, this is an excerpt
1 from an appointment calendar for Radovan Karadzic in July 1995. It was
2 used in the Milosevic trial, and although I understand now we do have
3 what purports to be the complete calendar, this one was used, I think it,
4 as my learned friend has told me, is almost if not identical to the one
5 that was recently seized, but we're using the one given to us by the OTP
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to -- this is obviously an important
9 document. We did not purport we have the complete version of this diary,
10 but we did provide what we do have, that what we know we do have from the
11 recent seizure of that diary, and it matched what came out of the
12 Milosevic trial. So we have -- I think it's roughly the month of July
13 for the diary, but we did have the material that was included that came
14 out in the Milosevic trial, just so that's clear.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: And just so it's further clear, this is the
16 document from the Milosevic trial. We didn't go through -- since we were
17 only given the seizures from Radovan Karadzic only yesterday, this is the
18 one that was actually used in the Milosevic trial, so...
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, both of you. Please proceed.
20 MR. OSTOJIC:
21 Q. Mr. Trifkovic, you are looking at, obviously, as you've heard,
22 what purports to be an excerpt from an appointment calendar for Radovan
23 Karadzic for July. Specifically, I think it's the 13th and 14th of July,
24 1995. Do you see that on your screen?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. There's an English version to the left, and do you have both
2 versions there?
3 A. Yes, except that I don't see the bottom of the handwritten
4 Serbians. Oh, there we are.
5 Q. Do you see your name depicted anywhere on that entry after the
6 13th of July, 1995?
7 A. Yes. Both the 13th with the two visitors from the US and on the
8 14th with Dr. Zametica.
9 Q. Okay. Well, let's take it one step at a time if you don't mind.
10 The entry which is at the top portion of this exhibit P2905, the 13th of
11 July, how many times is your name entered there? Do you see?
12 A. Just once under the 13th.
13 Q. And what time does it designate?
14 A. 1700 until 1840.
15 Q. There seems to be some hash marks or minus signs or plus signs to
16 the left of the names of some of the purported visitors with Dr.
17 Karadzic. Can you explain that to us?
18 A. Well, I don't know for fact, but it stands to reason that when
19 appointments are made a minus sign would be put next to the name, and if
20 the appointment is actually realized, then the cross or plus sign would
21 be completed. But if for whatever reason the appointment was not, then
22 -- or if it was rescheduled, then the minus would stay because the third
23 from top on July 14th Professor Karadzic and V, presumably Velibor
24 Ostojic, we have the minus sign and -- with the addition tomorrow. So I
25 would say that wherever you see the plus sign, that meeting had actually
1 taken place.
2 Q. And so what does it say with respect to you in the meeting that
3 you had with Dr. Karadzic?
4 A. Well, that --
5 Q. For the 13th. We're only talking about the 13th.
6 A. That's right. Originally, I seem to remember that we were
7 supposed to have at least a brief meeting with Dr. Karadzic on the
8 evening of the 12th because as I mentioned earlier, for the two visitors
9 from the United States it was a matter of something -- they wanted purely
10 formal and ceremonial reasons and especially as people who had also
11 provided a lot of humanitarian assistance and so on, but we were not able
12 to do so when we arrived on the evening of the 12th. So on the 13th, we
13 had a meeting during which Dr. Karadzic greeted and took pictures and
14 then gave a rather optimistic account of the likelihood for the, you
15 know, speedy political and diplomatic conclusion to the war because with
16 the fall of the eastern enclaves, we are probably going to enter the
17 period of intense diplomatic activity which, as he believed, would pave
18 the way for, you know, a peace on terms favourable to the Serb.
19 Q. To the best of your recollection, do you recall who was
20 maintaining the appointment book for Dr. Karadzic in July of 1995?
21 A. There was a secretary. I believe her name was Mira. I really
22 can't remember her last name. I may have been told it at some stage, but
24 Q. And just so we have a better understanding of the entries there,
25 to the right of the name in parentheses, do you know what that -- those
1 designations are?
2 A. Well, I would say that once the meeting is completed, she was
3 probably entering the actual times when it was held.
4 Q. And help us with your meeting and entry on the 13th of July,
5 1995. How long did that meeting last, first to the best of your
6 recollection, and then we'll compare to the entry.
7 A. Well, I wouldn't have been able to tell you from my recollection
8 what was the duration. I would have said more than an hour, less than
9 two, and this sounds about right.
10 Q. Does it just give the length of the meeting, or does it designate
11 the time that perhaps the people met with Dr. Karadzic?
12 A. I would say that this actually indicates the time when visitors
13 came and left.
14 Q. And what does it say for your entry on the 13th of July?
15 A. 1700 until 1840.
16 Q. Is that the only entry that bears your name on the 13th of July,
18 A. Yes. On the 13th, it is the only one.
19 Q. Let's move, then, on to the 14th of July. Do you see any entries
20 that bear your name?
21 A. Well, I do, but can you bring the handwritten page down? Yes.
22 We are -- there we are, second from bottom. Myself and Zametica, meaning
23 Dr. Jovan Zametica, 2305 until 0035 -- 25 to 1 a.m..
24 Q. Now, looking at this document, do you -- and we mentioned Mr.
25 Djordjevic. Do you see whether he met with Dr. Karadzic?
1 A. Yes. We see his name entered from 5 p.m. until quarter past 7
2 Q. It's far for me. Does it say actually 5 p.m., or does it have
3 the military --
4 A. Actually, it has 1700. All designations are military style.
5 Q. Okay. Now, let me take you to the next document, and we'll come
6 back to this in short order, and I'd like you to now look at 2D531. And
7 it's a long document, but I'd like first for Mr. Trifkovic to see the
8 front page of it so he can become familiar with it.
9 THE INTERPRETER: The speakers are kindly asked to slow down and
10 to pause between answer and question. Thank you very much.
11 THE WITNESS: Sorry. I will bear it in mind.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm sorry.
13 Q. Mr. Trifkovic, this 2D531 exhibit is something the Prosecution
14 provided us during this case, and it seems to be a diary of sorts from
15 Bob Djurdjevic as indicated on the first page, and I think -- from my
16 understanding its his handwriting on the bottom right-hand corner where
17 he says not to open until after the YU war ends -- after three years
18 after the YU war ends. I want to go to a couple of entries in his diary
19 just to see whether it matches or not with the appointment book that we
20 were just looking at. So I would ask with respect to this diary that we
21 go to immediately to - and I think I have the right number here -
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you contesting this?
24 MR. OSTOJIC:
25 Q. It's a doc ID --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because we could skip this if the
2 Prosecution does not contest the -- what would be the outcome of this
3 piece of part of the evidence? We can skip it if it's just for
4 confirmation of what is contained in the diary and the appointment book.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: It's not just that. It also goes to the
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, okay, then -- but the way you described that
8 was as if it was just that. Okay. Go ahead. Go ahead.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: I was getting there, though. It's more than a...
10 Q. Do you see the entry before you, sir, that from this diary of Mr.
11 Djurdjevic that he says that he had a meeting with Radovan Karadzic and
12 the time that he notes that he had this meeting in Pale?
13 A. Yes, it would seem to fit the entry in the appointments book.
14 Q. Now, if we just go a couple of pages prior to that which is Doc
15 ID number 2D40-0504, which is the date that Bob Djurdjevic writes as the
16 when the meeting took place. And as you know, we looked at the diary
17 from the 14th when that meeting took place from 1700 hours on. He in his
18 diary, however, writes that it seems to have taken place on the 13th of
19 July, 1995. I'm not going to ask you if you remember what day that falls
20 on, but I will take you further back to Doc ID number 2D40-0491. If we
21 can just look at that entry. That also is July 13th, 1995, but it's a
22 Thursday, and it's actually the start of Bob Djurdjevic's trip from
24 respect to the dates is it fair to say, and I know you didn't read the
25 entire article, that the meeting that Bob Djurdjevic had, as did you,
1 with Radovan Karadzic actually occurred on the 14th of July, 1995
2 A. I would say that we had two meetings. One was with the visitors
3 from the United States on the 13th, and the other was with Dr. Zametica
4 in attendance late at night on the 14th. I'm sorry, Mr. Ostojic. Are
5 you referring to my own meetings?
6 Q. I wasn't, and that's what I was looking at.
7 A. Oh, sorry.
8 Q. That's okay. I'm just looking to get some help to see the
9 authenticity of this document. Now, the 13th of July, 1995
10 Bob Djurdjevic's diary that he actually arrives in Pale on the 13th, and
11 he has no reference to meetings with Dr. Karadzic, but his only reference
12 is the next day, which he state is th 13th, which is an error, at least
13 according to the appointment book, correct?
14 A. Correct. The 14th was Friday, not the 13th.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: I object, obviously, to the form of question.
17 It's leading, and he suggested the answer to the witness.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It had been better had you stood up earlier. It's
19 over. So let's -- but in future try to avoid leading questions, please.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: I will. Thank you.
21 Q. Now, do you -- I'm going to show you an entry that Mr. Djurdjevic
22 makes -- strike that. Let's go back to the appointment calendar of
23 P2905. I want you to walk us through some of this, and thank you for
24 your assistance on this, and once we get it up we'll be able to look at
25 it, I guess. I want to in particular focus on the 14th of July, 1995
1 and the meetings that Dr. Karadzic seems to have had on that day. But
2 first I want to ask you this question: Do you know a person or did you
3 know a person by the name of Miroslav Deronjic?
4 A. No, I don't recall ever hearing his name or meeting him.
5 Q. And can you share with us, please, whether you can identify his
6 name as having purportedly had a meeting with Dr. Karadzic on the 14th of
7 July, 1995?
8 A. Well, yes, indeed. He figures on the list at 1100, 11 a.m.
9 scheduled but actually held from 1240 until 1310. Sorry. Yes. It is
10 somewhat unclear. It looks like Deronjic himself had a meeting, 1240 to
11 1310, and then with the delegation from Srebrenica later that afternoon
12 from 1425 until 1825. This is potentially somewhat confusing, but I
13 presume that this is what it means because in the handwritten notes it
14 looks like the meeting was scheduled for 1100, that's the figure on the
15 left; that it was actually held between 1240 and 1310, that's the numbers
16 in parentheses above his last -- his first name; and then the subsequent
17 meeting with the delegation, since it is right next to his name,
18 presumably he was with that delegation from 1425 until 1825.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vanderpuye.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'm sorry. I object to this line
21 of questioning. It's clear that this witness doesn't have any personal
22 familiarity with this book. The book speaks for itself. Everyone can
23 read what it says, and this line of questioning is completely
24 inappropriate to pursue with this witness because all we're getting from
25 him is speculation.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment, Mr. Ostojic?
2 MR. OSTOJIC: I think we can determine as to whether or not the
3 book has any level of accuracy and authenticity because this witness was
4 a participant in several meetings, and he can confirm whether or not
5 approximately he met with Dr. Karadzic at that time. I think it's
6 likewise very important for this Court to know when Miroslav Deronjic met
7 with Karadzic at least according to the appointment book. It is indeed
9 JUDGE AGIUS: What you haven't answered is the following: There
10 is the document itself, which purports to say that, but is the witness in
11 the position to confirm that indeed a meeting took place between Deronjic
12 and Karadzic on that day at a time or at any other time?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: By him describing his meeting and the hash marks --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: He can only confirm -- he can only confirm that he
15 himself had this meeting, but can he confirm -- yes, Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Could we have a brief discussion without the
17 presence of the witness. This, again, is an important document.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Right. The witness needs to leave the courtroom
19 because the discussion will be in English, of course.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, who wishes to go first?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: And I apologise for interrupting Mr. Vanderpuye
23 on this, but this, again, goes back to -- perhaps folks don't know, but
24 Mr. Karadzic's secretary was interviewed about these pages and described
25 what these marks meant, and those statements are available. I believe
1 they've been provided to people, and we can sort this out through that so
2 it's clear to everyone. My memory is I think his speculations are
3 correct, but I would stand by Mr. Vanderpuye's objection that these are
4 about the numbers and who's meeting with who. Those are speculations.
5 However, you know, whether he saw Deronjic, whether -- you know, those
6 sorts of things are perfectly appropriate. But I am sure -- we can go
7 over those -- the secretarial interviews with Mr. Ostojic and get this
8 sorted out. I don't think it's, frankly, a big issue, but it can be
9 sorted out.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment. I'll give you the floor,
11 Mr. Ostojic, soon. Mr. Josse.
12 MR. JOSSE: We support Mr. Ostojic's position in relation to
13 this, Your Honour. In this diary, it's clear that Bob Djurdjevic spoke
14 at some point to this witness. That's detailed in the diary. And in our
15 submission, it's perfectly permissible to ask the witness about other
16 parts of -- sorry, I'm not going to -- other parts of the diary. Diary
17 is confusing because, of course, we are dealing with Karadzic's diary and
18 Djurdjevic's diary, and I am referring to Djurdjevic's diary.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but I --
20 MR. JOSSE: If the objection relates to Karadzic's diary, we take
21 no stance.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I was understanding it to be.
23 MR. JOSSE: That's my fault, then.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I was understanding -- if I am wrong, I
25 apologise, of course.
1 MR. JOSSE: I'll only enter the fray if it relates to
2 Djurdjevic's diary.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. I never understood it that way.
4 Otherwise, I wouldn't --
5 MR. JOSSE: That's my fault. I'm sorry.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please not overlap. Thank
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I apologise to you. Mr. Ostojic, your question did
9 relate, indeed, to the Karadzic appointment book and not to Djurdjevic's
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Specifically, it did, but we were going to go back
12 to Bob Djurdjevic's diary.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but that's another matter.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay, well, just so the Court knows.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it can be seen from Mr. Vanderpuye's
17 objection that most of this we don't have any problem with, but when he
18 starts speculating about what the secretary's meant is where finally
19 we've said -- you know, Mr. Vanderpuye's objection. And just so people
20 know -- and out of an abundance of caution, can we go into private
21 session for one second?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's go into private session for a
23 short while.
24 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Ostojic.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Can we please have the appointment diary back on the screen.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I understand it is. The appointment diary,
19 Karadzic appointment diary, no.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, it is on the screen.
22 MR. OSTOJIC:
23 Q. Sir, let's look at -- and we'll get back to it on the 13th of
24 July, 1995, in your meeting with Dr. Karadzic. You started to briefly
25 tell us who was in attendance at the meeting, and share with us, if you
1 will, what was discussed during that meeting.
2 A. There wasn't really a discussion. It was more in the form of a
3 fairly long and detailed monologue, I, Dr. Karadzic, on what I remember
4 as a rather optimistic view of developments and his confident expectation
5 that with the fall of the two enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa we are on
6 the threshold of a diplomatic solution to the war by which I believe he
7 implied the realization by the western powers, primarily the United
8 States, that the Serbs had the wherewithal to end the war by military
9 means and that they, meaning the western powers, will finally come up
10 with an offer that was better than, as I remember him putting it, the
11 meaningless offer of the contact group, which consisted of nothing more
12 than an unacceptable map.
13 I wasn't sure at the time, since we didn't have a private
14 meeting, whether this was actually what he believed or whether it was
15 more of a - how shall I say - public gloss for the other two visitors.
16 But in view of the fact that the meeting lasted a fairly long time and
17 that my own views were distinctly more dim regarding the likelihood of a
18 speedy political solution on terms favourable to the Serbian side, I was
19 particularly keen to meet him one more time, which happened the following
20 day in the presence of Dr. Zametica when in fact even, you know, without
21 the presentation of visitors he reiterated what I can only call a
22 rose-tinted view of developments and predictions about the future.
23 So -- unfortunately, my precise notes about the meetings were
24 lost when my computer crashed, and I had not had the copies of the files.
25 That was back in the late '90s, but my overall impression from those
1 meetings was that he was in an upbeat mood and believed that the end of
2 the war was on the horizon in the form of an improved political package
3 that would give the Serb Republic
4 within whatever Bosnian package was finally negotiated.
5 As I say, I did not agree with that analysis, but on the basis of
6 previous similar encounters I did not argue the point, either.
7 Q. Okay. Now, immediately under your name we see a name of another
8 individual. Do you see that?
9 A. Yes, Vladimir Dimitrijevic. I know that the man. He is a
10 Serbian Swiss publisher.
11 Q. I'm looking at the English version. On the 13th of July, 1995
12 we're still talking about.
13 A. Oh, sorry.
14 Q. That's okay. The meeting that you had with Toma and Slavica and
15 Dr. Karadzic, immediately under that entry by your name Dr. Karadzic had
16 another meeting, correct?
17 A. I don't want to get into the interpretation of the diary. I
18 would say that on the basis of what's in parentheses that meeting must
19 have taken place before our meeting.
20 Q. And I could see that, Mr. Trifkovic. I'm not suggesting the
21 meeting, just the name beneath yours.
22 A. Tomo Kovac. Yes.
23 Q. Do you know who Toma Kovac was at that time?
24 A. No. It rings a bell, but I don't have the precise recollection
25 of his function.
1 Q. Okay. Now, had you met with Dr. Karadzic on the 13th of July,
2 1995, other than on one -- this occasion and for that approximately one
3 hour and 40 minutes?
4 A. No, I did not.
5 Q. What did you do on the 13th of July, 1995, during the day when
6 you didn't have this meeting with him?
7 A. I also had a meeting with Professor Koljevic later that evening,
8 and also during the day, I do not recall exactly at what time, I had a
9 lengthy conversation with Dr. Zametica.
10 Q. And share with us that meeting you had with Professor Koljevic.
11 A. It was in the evening hours, and Professor Koljevic was also in
12 an upbeat mood, and --
13 Q. Tell us who was present. I'm sorry for interrupting.
14 A. I believe that there were both his Chief of Staff, Zdravko
15 Miovcic, and Karadzic's advisor, Zametica, in attendance.
16 Q. And you were starting to tell us. What were the discussions to
17 the best of your recollection at that meeting?
18 A. Professor Koljevic shared Karadzic's optimistic predictions and
19 upbeat mood, and he was also planning to go to Srebrenica the following
20 day, as he put it, to provide reassurance to the civilians that they
21 would be treated properly, which, by the way, was a point strongly
22 emphasized by Dr. Karadzic, and I had the distinct impression that at
23 that point Dr. Koljevic was not -- functioned under the impression that
24 the civilians were still there. And obviously, I myself was not in the
25 position to know what was the score on the ground, but in retrospect I
1 found it remarkable that Professor Koljevic on the evening of the 13th
2 seems to have believed that he would be going to -- the following day,
3 the 14th, and that the civilians would still be in Srebrenica. It
4 implied to some extent, again, looking back with hindsight, that maybe
5 the left hand didn't quite know what the right hand was doing over there.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: I think it may be time for a break, but we can go
7 on, whatever the Court wishes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. Shall we have a 25-minute break now? Okay.
9 25 minutes.
10 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Ostojic.
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Mr. Trifkovic, we're going to try to complete this more
15 efficiently if you don't mind. And now, we're looking at the 14th of
16 July, 1995, and can you remember as you sit here whether you had a
17 meeting with Radovan Karadzic on the 14th of July?
18 A. Yes, even without the diary I would have remembered that it was a
19 meeting late in the evening with Dr. Zametica in attendance. It was a
20 fairly short meeting and far from giving me some useful insights that
21 would have been at odds with this upbeat and optimistic assessment given
22 on the 13th in the presence of two visitors. On that occasion, Dr.
23 Karadzic broadly reiterated the points already made this that meeting.
24 In other words, his firm belief that the military successes were
25 heralding the political and diplomatic end game that would work out to
1 the Serbs' favour.
2 Q. And do you recall how long that meeting lasted on the 14th of
3 July, 1995?
4 A. Well, having seen the appointment, it would indicate about an
5 hour and a half. I seem to remember -- or rather, my impression from --
6 or my memory from that meeting would have appeared to be a bit shorter
7 than that. It didn't in my memory feel like an hour and a half, but
8 that's what it says here.
9 Q. Now, let's turn to Mr. Djurdjevic's diary again, and the doc
10 number is 2D40-0507. As that's coming up, do you remember meeting with
11 Bob Djurdjevic on the 14th of July, 1995?
12 A. I believe I already mentioned that we had a brief encounter when
13 he entered the office of Dr. Zametica where I was at that time using his
14 computer because he was feeling unwell, and I went to the office to write
15 a letter from Dr. Karadzic to A.M. Rosenthal, the former editor of the
16 New York times, and also to translate a press release into English that
17 he -- no, sorry, Zametica asked me -- he, meaning Zametica, asked me to
18 do on his behalf and pass it on to the SRNA news agency.
19 Q. And as you're looking at this exhibit, which is a portion of Bob
20 Djurdjevic's diary, he also has your name depicted that he saw you there,
21 on the top of the page, as you see, on 2D40-0507. Do you see that?
22 A. Yes, yes.
23 Q. And it reflects, also, a meeting or an encounter with him in
24 Jovan Zametica's office?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. I can tell from that brief summary that the mutual love and
3 affection between us was fully reciprocated.
4 Q. We won't get into the contents of that, but thank you for that.
5 I wanted to ask you, the day of July 14, 1995, did you have any other
6 meetings with Radovan Karadzic other than that which you've testified to?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Now, let's go to the next day, the 15th of July, 1995. Did you
9 have any meetings with Radovan Karadzic on the 15th of July, 1995
10 A. No. No, I didn't.
11 Q. When was the last time you had any meeting or had contact with
12 Dr. Radovan Karadzic?
13 A. It was on the evening of the 14th.
14 Q. And then can you tell us when you departed Pale?
15 A. I departed Pale early in the morning on the 16th. In fact, the
16 15th I remember taking Mrs. Ristic and Mr. Premovic just for walks
17 around. We may have driven up to Jahorina, and it was not a day filled
18 with substantive meetings, and I don't have much of a memory of that last
19 day. Certainly, it wasn't significant in terms of conversations or
21 Q. And sir, have you ever met Ljubisa Beara?
22 A. No, I have not.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: That's all the questions I have. Thank you,
24 Mr. President.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ostojic. Mr. Zivanovic?
1 MR. ZIVANOVIC: No question for this witness, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thank you. Ms. Nikolic?
3 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. No
4 questions for this witness.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Lazarevic? Thank you.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: I'm sorry. No questions. Thank you, Your
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Lazarevic. Madam Fauveau, s'il vous
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci, madam. Mr. Krgovic?
12 MR. KRGOVIC: I have some questions for this witness, Your
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Trifkovic. My name is
17 Dragan Krgovic, and I appear on behalf of Milan Gvero. I have some
18 questions for you. Since I'll be asking you in the Serbo-Croatian
19 language, and I can see you've already taken your headset off, I'd kindly
20 ask you to wait until you've completed my question in order to answer so
21 as to avoid any overlap.
22 You said here that on several occasions you went to Republika
23 Srpska and that you met with certain individuals. Did you have occasion
24 to see or meet my client General Gvero?
25 A. I did have two encounters with General Gvero that I can remember,
1 and also I met him once with a group of other people where we didn't have
2 an opportunity to actually talk. The first such occasion that I do
3 remember was in July of 1993; and the second, it was on my way back from
4 Pale at a hotel or restaurant of the hotel at Han Pijesak on the
5 roadside, which would have been either in late January or in late March
6 of 1995 on my way back when I believe that General Tolimir was also in
8 The first meeting was also my very first visit to the Republika
9 Srpska, and I remember remarking to General Gvero on the need for someone
10 who is fully proficient in English to be appointed their - meaning the
11 VRS, the Bosnian/Serb army - spokesperson, and that ideally it should be
12 a diaspora-born Serb, hyphenated Serb from either the US or Canada
13 because in the western world to a large extent the medium is the message,
14 and if the messenger is fully proficient in the language of the intended
15 target audience, then the message itself will be more readily accepted.
16 As we had seen with the example of the Muslim foreign minister,
17 Sacirbegovic, Sacirbej, as he was called in the English-speaking world,
18 whose fluency in American English was a great boon to their side of the
20 I don't recall the exact date of the second meeting, but I know
21 that my overall comment to General Gvero and I believe there were Tolimir
22 and maybe one or two others was that -- and I tried to be as tactful as I
23 could knowing the tensions between the political and the military
24 leaders, that I wanted to indicate that I do not share the optimistic
25 assessment of the political situation that was prevalent at Pale, and I'm
1 now talking about early 1995, the aftermath of Jimmy Carter's visit, and
2 yet another set of assurances from Dr. Karadzic that things were just
3 hunky-dory and that in fact the political and diplomatic solution was
4 going to favour the Serbs and would not take a long time to come.
5 My impression is that on both occasions, General Gvero was just
6 listening to what I had to say rather than engaging in, you know, an
7 active two-way conversation. I certainly had the impression that my
8 point about the need for an effective spokesperson fully bilingual was
9 well taken, and whether it was acted upon, I don't think because we would
10 have known about it. But on the other hand, the fact that he did not
11 actively comment on my somewhat gloomy assessment of the prospects for a
12 negotiated peace favouring the Serb side, which by the way had been a
13 constant theme of my various visits to Pale, that his reluctance to
14 comment upon that may have reflected, you know, the desire not to appear
15 explicit about the differences that must have existed between the
16 military and the civilian leadership on this point just like on many
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Trifkovic, for a very thorough explanation. When
19 answering to my learned friend Mr. Ostojic's questions, you mentioned
20 certain comments made by President Karadzic when he commented on the VRS
21 top brass.
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please show 2D531 to the
23 witness next, ERN number 2D40-0510.
24 Q. Mr. Trifkovic, it is the third paragraph from the bottom.
25 There's a sentence uttered by Mr. Karadzic talking about General Gvero.
1 [In English] "Mladic and a small number of communist pig."
2 [Interpretation] The part beginning: [In English] "The RK said that
3 judging by the reaction most officers were shocked to learn that. It was
4 clear that the coup was being planed only by Mladic and a small number of
5 communist pigs, 'komunjare,' around him like Gvero. He said Gvero is one
6 piece of human garbage."
7 [Interpretation] Mr. Trifkovic, such expressions, have you ever
8 heard Mr. Karadzic utter those things when talking about the generals of
9 the VRS?
10 A. I have to admit that the particular term, "djubre coraka," "human
11 garbage," I haven't heard, but I have heard the term "komunjare," which
12 Djurdjevic translates as "communist pigs" and maybe should be more
13 colloquially translated as "commie bastards." I have certainly heard it
14 often enough, and I also seem to remember this "Red Plague" term,
15 although not in particular reference to General Gvero, although from the
16 context of his remarks I think it would not be difficult to guess that he
17 would regard General Gvero as part of this inherited milieu of ex- JNA
18 officers to which whom he - had how to put it tactfully - serious
20 Q. Do you know why Karadzic singled out Gvero in that context? Do
21 you know what was General Gvero's role and function in the VRS?
22 A. I don't know what was the exact formal title, but I know that he
23 was in charge of relations, public relations and that he had the role of
24 port parole of the Republika Srpska military. I don't know the exact
25 context of the remarks referring to the meeting of May the 1st, but that
1 meeting would have been two weeks after the session of the Republika
2 Srpska assembly at Sanski Most on April 15th or 16th at which, as I know
3 from open sources and my own reading of many years later, General Gvero
4 was present and was at least implicitly one of those supporting the 25
5 points that represented -- at that time by Mladic that represented as
6 specific demands from the political leadership for the more effective
7 waging of the war.
8 Q. Do you know that the result of the work of the assembly was that
9 they made a recommendation for General Gvero to be pensioned off?
10 A. I'm not aware of General Gvero being singled out by himself. I
11 believe that shortly before the fall of the Krajina, and now we are
12 entering into an area where I don't have any firsthand experiences or
13 knowledge based on personal encounters, but I believe that it was shortly
14 before the fall of the Krajina in the first week of August that an
15 attempt was made to pension off a whole group of senior officers
16 including not only General Gvero but also General Mladic.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Trifkovic. No
18 further questions.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Haynes?
20 MR. SARAPA: No questions, thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Mr. Vanderpuye.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to
23 you. Good afternoon to my colleagues.
24 Cross-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
25 Q. And good afternoon to you, Dr. Trifkovic. My name is Kweku
1 Vanderpuye. On behalf of the Prosecution, I'm going to put some
2 questions to you in relation to your direct examination and also in
3 relation to your cross-examination. So if there's anything that I ask
4 you that's not clear to you, please let me know and I'll try to rephrase
5 it in a way that we can better understand one another.
6 Now, you mentioned that you never met Colonel Beara.
7 A. I have no recollection of meeting him. I was present on a few
8 occasions in gatherings where several people were present, for instance,
9 in the area of Gorazde when there was a reception. I'm not aware of
10 meeting him, and I certainly have no memory of exchanging any words with
12 Q. Okay. But you've -- you learned his name, and you heard him
13 spoken about in 1993, you mentioned, right?
14 A. Yes. The -- I remember him mentioned by name in November of 1993
15 and then again in early 1995 on the two occasions that I described.
16 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated that you had gone down to Pale from I
17 think it was Belgrade
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. Okay. And about what time did you arrive at Pale?
20 A. It was towards late afternoon, early evening. I would be
21 hard-pressed to give you more precise time than between 530 and 7 or so.
22 Q. All right. And for what purpose were you going?
23 A. I was spending the previous ten days in Serbia on -- as part of
24 the summer break and was going to visit, anyway, at some point in order
25 to learn the details of what was going on in the aftermath of the
1 Srebrenica operation which, of course, was very much in the news at that
2 time, although obviously not for the reasons that we are mostly concerned
3 these days. And the two friends of mine from the United States -
4 independently of each other, by the way - were also in Serbia, and it was
5 a sort of friendly favour that I took them along pay a visit which both
6 of them very earnestly wanted to make. But my primary interest was, to
7 put it colloquially, get the score on the what views from Pale were,
8 which I could then usefully employ in my own analysis, writings, and
9 media presentations.
10 Q. Okay. And the two friends you are talking about are Tom
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. And Slavica Ristic?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Okay.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I could have 65 ter 3690 in e-court, please.
17 If we could just go down and blow up, that's probably okay.
18 Q. This is another entry from the appointment book of Dr. Karadzic,
19 and with respect to your name, you see it appears on -- below 12 July
20 1995. It's the second line following the date.
21 A. Right.
22 Q. Okay. Now, you see below that the name of Vukcic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know who that is?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Do you recognise any other names that you see on this particular
2 page, that is, under the 12th July date?
3 A. No.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. And by the way, let me add that this meeting was not actually
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. Yeah. We were supposed to arrive somewhat earlier, and the
9 secretary informed me that the meeting was rescheduled for the following
11 Q. All right. And when did you learn that the meeting had been
12 rescheduled for the following day?
13 A. Upon arrival at Pale.
14 Q. And do you recall the name of the secretary who told you that?
15 A. As I mentioned earlier, I believe her name was Mira, M-I-R-A, but
16 my visits were not frequent enough to establish any kind of rapport with
17 administrative support staff.
18 Q. And did you -- well, following the rescheduling of the meeting,
19 did you meet with anybody else on the 12th?
20 A. I'm sorry. The transcription says "were not frequent" -- all
21 right. Sorry. On the evening of the 12th, the only -- the only person I
22 recall meeting, or rather, persons were Dr. Koljevic's Chief of Staff
23 Zdravko Miovcic and Dr. Karadzic's advisor Dr. Zametica.
24 Q. Okay. And were these meetings -- were these meetings actually
25 scheduled beforehand or were they scheduled simply after --
1 A. No, I knew them privately, so to say. I -- they were not people
2 with whom you would need to formerly schedule a meeting. They were
3 people who I actually relied upon to give me informal behind-the-screens
4 briefing of what's going on.
5 Q. And with respect to the rescheduling the rescheduling of the
6 meeting that you had for the 12th, were you given an explanation as to
7 why the meeting had been cancelled?
8 A. That our arrival was later than had been anticipated and that,
9 therefore, his schedule for the evening was full.
10 Q. Okay. When did you make the appointment actually, initially?
11 A. When I called Dr. Zametica to say that we would be coming, and I
12 believe it was only done a day or two before we left Belgrade because I'm
13 pretty certain that I wasn't able to fix the dates until at most two days
14 before leaving.
15 Q. All right. The reason, as you can imagine, I'm asking is because
16 there's no time indicated for your planned meeting.
17 A. Well, the details are somewhat blurred after all these years, but
18 I believe that I would have been advised to give them a call once I
19 actually arrived.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. And in view of, you know, crossing the border and checkpoints and
22 so on, one couldn't be very precise about the timetables and schedules.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Sorry. Can we have the B/C/S version of that
24 appointment calendar moved so we can see the full writing on the
25 right-hand side of that, please.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Vanderpuye speak closer to his
2 microphone or more into the microphone. Thank you.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it good enough like that?
5 MR. OSTOJIC: If that's the best they can do. I'm just told that
6 in parentheses it has an indication of something, and maybe it might
7 assist us to have the witness inform us what it says.
8 THE WITNESS: Well, I think --
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Or if they have the original, they can share it.
10 THE WITNESS: I think it probably means for tomorrow because it
11 says "za se" [phoen] so it would be "za sutra."
12 MR. VANDERPUYE:
13 Q. Okay. Now, you'd mentioned that you'd met -- you'd had some
14 meetings after this particular meeting was cancelled, right? These are
15 private meetings?
16 A. As I say -- I wouldn't necessarily call it a meeting. It was a
17 private conversation that had more of a character of a social get-
18 together with, you know, snacks and drinks and informal off-the-record
19 chat about what's going on, who's doing what to whom, what's the mood,
20 what's -- it would be, as I say, the kind of friendly briefing that you
21 get from people you know personally rather than people who are
22 communicating with you on the basis of their function or the chain of
24 Q. Okay. And what is the nature of the informal conversations that
25 you had with Mr. Miovcic?
1 A. I don't have precise recollection, but I would probably guess
2 that it had to do with the unexpected or seemingly unexpected collapse of
3 the Defence of Srebrenica and the diplomatic implications and what is the
4 take at Pale on the significance of this event and on the presentation of
5 the issue which in -- at that time was primarily focused on -- in my
6 personal interest was also whether there would be the continuation of the
7 military activity in the direction of Gorazde, whether they would try to
8 wrap it up in one swoop, and also, what feedback, if any, were they
9 getting from the UN and from various other international powers that be.
10 But I can't give you more precise answer because I know this
11 would be the kind of conversation I would have with Zametica and Miovcic
12 with whom I had both a better personal rapport than with the officials
13 higher up and also with whom I was able to be more frank about my
14 disagreements or differences of opinion than would have been the case
15 with someone like Karadzic or even Koljevic.
16 Q. Well, seeing as you've discussed this matter with them, did you
17 get the sense with them at any point as to what direction this particular
18 operation was going?
19 A. I had a strong sense both then and the following day that they
20 were generally surprised that Srebrenica fell effectively without a fight
21 and that there was also some difficulty in getting the feedback from the
22 ground as to what was actually going on. I remember while I was with the
23 other two visitors at Karadzic's office the following day that on a
24 couple of occasions he actually was interrupted and tried to get the
25 connection through to someone at Han Pijesak, but one particular term I
1 remember used is that the line is down. So what I got from those two
2 gentlemen was the sense that they really didn't know what happened, that
3 after, you know, a long period of tenacious defence that Srebrenica just
5 Q. Well, did you discuss some of the concerns that would normally
6 arise in the situation like that, such as humanitarian concerns?
7 A. Absolutely, and --
8 Q. Okay. What did you discuss?
9 A. That it would be very important for the Serbian side to make sure
10 that nothing happens in the treatment of the civilians and, by the way,
11 the focus was primarily in our conversations with the civilians that
12 would be used in the way that during the different episodes earlier on
13 with Gorazde, with Bihac, and of course, Sarajevo itself that there was
14 immediate treatment of the Serbian side that was greatly detrimental to
15 the Serbian interests, which was at least to some extent, even though
16 possibly exaggerated, but at least to some extent based on real events.
17 I had the impression that they shared this assessment, and I also
18 have the impression that during the meeting the following day, Dr.
19 Karadzic was particularly insistent that he would issue orders that
20 nothing would happen to the civilians that could be used in the media
21 presentation as a tool against the Serbs.
22 Q. Well, why did you -- what gave you the impression that they
23 shared that particular concern?
24 A. Because I commented on, first of all, that I saw a number of
25 civilian buses, that as we drove down from the Drina River
1 Serbian border towards Pale, I didn't see much in the way of traffic,
2 military or civilian, but there were certainly buses parked by the
3 roadside especially in the area where the road turns left towards
4 Bratunac from the main highway from Zvornik to Sokolac. And on that
5 first evening, which is the 12th, I have to emphasize that my own
6 knowledge or understanding of what was actually going on was sketchy in
7 the extreme. On the other hand, I again have to reiterate that even the
8 following evening, the 13th, Dr. Koljevic, the vice-president, expressed
9 intention to go and visit Srebrenica the following day, the 14th, which
10 would at least suggest that he, also, was not fully appraised of the fact
11 that the civilians had been removed or were being removed at that time.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. If I could, could I have 65 ter 2047
13 in e-court, please. 2048, I'm sorry. Page 58 through 61. 58 through 61
14 in the English. Page 43 in the B/C/S, please. All right. I don't see
15 it yet. Thank you.
16 Q. What you have in front of you now, sir, is a -- it's a broadcast
17 of an interview with Dr. Karadzic on 12 July 1995.
18 A. Mm-hm.
19 Q. In particular, the reason why I've put it up on the screen for
20 you to see, it relates to the information that Dr. Karadzic had on the
21 12th of July, and in particular it touches upon some of the concerns that
22 you raised with Mr. Miovcic in your meeting with him as regards the
23 humanitarian concerns following the fall of Srebrenica. If we could --
24 first of all, have you seen this document before?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Okay. Now, you can see on this page, that is, ERN 92454, that
2 Dr. Karadzic is saying: "Our army is enabling the establishing of our
3 civil authorities there because the Serbs were exiled from Srebrenica at
4 the beginning of the war." You see that, right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. Further on it says: "And there is now as affairs settle
7 down an activity of the refugees who want to leave." Before I go on, let
8 me ask you first: Did you have any of this information on the 12th
9 pursuant to your meeting with Mr. Zametica and Mr. Miovcic?
10 A. No, I did not.
11 Q. Did this particular issue come up at all?
12 A. It came in the general sense that it would be important for the
13 Serbian side to avoid any mistreatment or appearance of mistreatment of
14 the Muslims, not only as a matter of principle but also in order to
15 prevent the media treatment of any such incident in the way that would
16 magnify it and render it politically useful to the other side. In other
17 words, it was more a discussion in principle of an issue that was
18 presumably going to be on the agenda in view of the fact that there were
19 large numbers of people in Srebrenica. So it wasn't prompted by any
20 specific information I had. It was simply the discussion that presumably
21 I would have had if at that time either Bihac or Gorazde rather than
22 Srebrenica was on the agenda.
23 Q. All right. So your understanding from your conversations on the
24 12th which were followed up with Dr. Karadzic in a sense on the 13th was
25 that it was important at least from the point of view of the western
1 press that was there was the appearance that humanitarian treatment of
2 the refugees is being appropriately administered, right?
3 A. No. What I was not saying is that there should be the
4 appearance, but rather that such treatment should be substantively so in
5 order to avoid the media presentation of -- or rather, misrepresentation
6 of the appearance of mistreatment.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you for clarifying that. If we could go to the next
8 page, please. Now, if you go -- sorry, we also have to move forward in
9 the B/C/S. Now, if we could go all the way down to the bottom of the
10 page in the English. All right. I would say about the fifth line or
11 sixth maybe or seventh line from the bottom, you can see it says
12 "secondly". This is in response to a question put to Mr. Karadzic:
13 "Mr. President, what information do you have on the humanitarian
14 situation in this town?"
15 And I'll refer you to where it starts: "Secondly..." It says:
16 "Our commissaria for refugees as you can see rushed in to help. Everyone
17 can see that these people look well-fed and that there are no problems at
18 all. If you compared what happened in western Slavonia where the
19 Croatians were allegedly liberating with what has happened in Srebrenica
20 where the Serbs are doing the liberating, there is such a difference that
21 it is impossible to talk about war at all."
22 Now, first of all, I just want to ask you: Did you discuss
23 western Slavonia
24 Mr. Miovcic?
25 A. I can't remember that I did. I can only tell you if we did what
1 I would have said about western Slavonia
2 the arguments for my constant misgivings or unease that Milosevic had
3 some kind of deal with Tudjman and that the overall lay of the land
4 didn't look right to me. The way that western Slavonia fell, and as
5 indeed it happened with the Krajina on a grander scale in August,
6 reflected my constant suspicion that the powers that be in Belgrade
7 striking deals that were detrimental to the western Serbs' position.
8 Q. Did you discuss with Mr. Karadzic at some point what his
9 consideration or concerns were about western Slavonia as they related to
11 A. No, I don't have any memory of that. I do remember, however,
12 that in the meeting on the 13th he stressed that the treatment of the
13 Muslim civilians in Srebrenica will be such as to put the Serbian side
14 beyond any reproach even by the non-benevolent media.
15 Q. And when you say non-benevolent media, what do you mean by that?
16 A. I would say that he would regard most of the western mainstream
17 media as not friendly to the Serbian side in their reporting or analysis.
18 Q. All right. And in fact, you yourself have referred to the
19 situation in western Slavonia
20 you gave, right?
21 A. I would need to look at those interviews. It's been a long
22 while, and I believe, yes, that I did make a number of observations about
23 it at the time, yes.
24 Q. All right. Well, in particular -- I don't think we have this in
25 e-court because it was just provided by Defence counsel last night, but
1 let me read it to you, and let me see if that refreshes your
2 recollection. This is an interview with BBC TV Newsnight live. It's
3 dated 28th May, 1995
4 Resolutions." Interview with Dr. S. Trifkovic. Presenter: Peter Snow.
5 And in this interview, the question is put to you: "What is
6 going on? Have the Serbs now thrown all restraint to the wind?" In your
7 answer. You say: "If mockery is made of UN-protected zones, it is of
8 the UN's own making. They are not enforcing their own resolutions when
9 it is the Croats and the Muslims who are violating them. The Serbs are
10 fed up. They are feeling very irritated because only three weeks ago in
11 western Slavonia
12 exodus of Serb civilians, and the UN did nothing. They did not even
13 castigate the Croatians in the security counsel; ditto with the misuse of
14 the safe havens."
15 Is that essentially what Dr. Karadzic is referring to in this 12
16 July broadcast interview?
17 A. Well, first of all, let me emphasize that I did not either
18 receive inputs from Pale or seek them in my presentation of -- in fact,
19 the mood of the Serbs at that time was more than amply supplied by the
20 media from Serbia Proper or Republika Srpska. It was the early days of
21 the internet, but it was already possible at that time to have it at
22 one's fingertips, if you will, not video streaming but certainly written
23 reports. And my judgement on what happened in western Slavonia in the
24 first week of May of 1995 did not need to rely on Dr. Karadzic's
25 assessment. If the two coincide, it is probably because there was some
1 substance to such an impression, that, indeed, it was an attack in
2 violation of the UN rules, and that, indeed, it was both brutal and
3 indiscriminate when it came to the treatment of the Serb civilians.
4 Q. All right. Well, I want to talk about your independence as a --
5 I've forgotten the term that my colleague used but what I understand it
6 to be is an unofficial spokesperson for VRS, but we'll talk about that
7 separately. But let me equate you with a different news article, if I
8 could, and this is one from London
9 Monday, 17 July 1995
10 one, but I have the time for this one, and that's 2135. And it's
11 entitled: "Consequences Of Failure To Demilitarise. Live interview with
12 Srdja Trifkovic. Presenter: Paul Reynolds." And the question that he
13 puts to you, he says -- well, you finish the previous paragraph saying:
14 "These places have not been demilitarised." He says: "But is that an
15 excuse to have the Muslims of Srebrenica ethnically cleansed?" And in
16 your response, you say: "In the Balkans, one ethnic group does not trust
17 soldiers belonging to another ethnic group. In the hundreds of years of
18 civil and religious wars in the Balkans, this has been a regular feature.
19 Only two months ago we had a tragedy on a much greater scale in western
21 attacked the Serbs, drove them out, and massacred hundreds of them.
22 There are 600.000 Serb refugees in both Serbia and the Serb republics of
23 Krajina and Bosnia
24 Okay. Now, this is a separate interview, obviously, and it's
25 dated just about a week -- well, five days after the interview with
1 president Karadzic. Now, in relation to your statement there, were those
2 statements predicated upon your conversations with Dr. Karadzic or your
3 understanding of what Dr. Karadzic is referring to on the 12th of July?
4 A. Well, in fact, no. If you read my response to that particular
5 question, I'm actually making a factual statement that is amply supported
6 by the empirical evidence of the wars of Yugoslav succession, that,
7 indeed, the ethnic group that is faced with the sudden change of
8 authority in a given territory will do its best to depart the territory
9 because it does not trust, and I'm not either quantifying the degree of
10 unpleasantness of one group towards the other or trying to qualify in any
11 way that the Serbs behaved necessarily better or worse than the other two
12 sides. I'm simply stating a fact that has been a regular feature of
13 warfare in that part of the world for a very long time, that if, for
14 instance, the Croat troops come into the area of Neretva valley, the
15 Serbs from Mostar will run away to Trebinje or Nevesinje, or when the
16 Muslims overrun parts of central Bosnia
17 sometimes even using Serbian territory will escape to Croatia proper, and
18 needless to say that the Muslims when the Serbian army advances will feel
19 more comfortable going to Tuzla
20 would say, more of a descriptive factual statement than analytical let
21 alone value judgement.
22 JUDGE KWON: What is the 65 ter number, Mr. Vanderpuye?
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Judge Kwon, this doesn't have a 65 ter number as
24 yet because these were provided to me last night by Defence counsel. So
25 I'm only -- I'm not tendering the documents as it were, per se. I'm only
1 putting the questions to the witness, and if it becomes an issue then I
2 think I'll have to pursue the course to enter the documents into
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Judge Kwon.
6 Q. All right. In fact, in the interview that Dr. Karadzic gave on
7 12 July 1995
8 that was 65 ter 2048. Let me just read it in the interim so that we can
9 move along. He says -- all right. It's there now. It's the third line
10 from the bottom on this screen. It's page 45 in the B/C/S, I understand.
11 "I would also like to remind the entire international community of a
12 particular hypocrisy. Whenever Muslim forces from these safe havens
13 advance through the Serb territory from Bihac" -- as you've just
14 mentioned -- "Tuzla
15 Gorazde, the whole word applauds. But when the Serbs undertake
16 counteroffensives and neutralise their opponents, then the world starts
17 to wail and mourn Over the losses. You can see that the Muslim civilians
18 haven't lost anything, but the Muslim army has."
19 Now, did you have any information as concerns the Muslim
20 civilians when you spoke to Mr. Miovcic and Mr. Zametica on the 12th of
22 A. Other than the agreement with the absolute necessity of acting in
23 the way that would be beyond reproach and other than the indication given
24 by Koljevic that he still believed that basically they were there on the
25 evening of the 13th, no. However, I was becoming aware that the
1 evacuation was underway or had already taken place at the tail end of my
2 stay, ironically more through listening to the BBC World Service than
3 being told firsthand by anyone over there.
4 Q. All right.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I could have 2748, please, in e-court. All
6 right. Thank you.
7 Q. This is an urgent combat report. It's directed to the president
8 of the Republika Srpska, and it's dated 12 July 1995. Let me ask you
9 this: Have you ever seen a document like this before?
10 A. No, and in fact, this would be the kind of documents that I
11 normally wouldn't see or, indeed, expect to see.
12 Q. All right. If I could go to page 3 in the English. It's the
13 last bottom of paragraph A. 6(a), I'm sorry, and I believe it's page 3
14 in B/C/S. At the bottom of this paragraph, that is, where it says under
15 number 6, "In the DK zone of responsibility," Drina Corps zone of
16 responsibility. Paragraph A, "The enemy..." At the bottom of that
17 paragraph, you'll see it says: "The enemy has been attempting to
18 withdraw from the Srebrenica enclave with women and children in the
19 direction of Ravno Buljine and Konjevic Polje but ran into a mine field."
20 Go to the next page, and we look at B, "Situation In The Corps."
21 And I think it's the next page -- it's not. Okay. It's in the middle of
22 the paragraph in the B/C/S. At the bottom of that paragraph, that is
23 paragraph 6(b), it says: "On..." and then slashes, "... important axes,
24 parts of our units in the MUP have laid ambushes in order to destroy
25 Muslim extremists who have not surrendered and who are attempting to
1 break out of the enclave in the direction of Tuzla."
2 So my question to you is in respect of the information that is
3 contained in this report, did you have any discussions on the 12th, or
4 for that matter, on the 13th as regards these Muslim extremists who have
5 not surrendered and are attempting to break out of the enclave?
6 A. In order to answer this adequately, I have to emphasize that on
7 the 12th I drove with two visitors from Zvornik from Karakaj border
8 crossing to Pale on that very road, and at the checkpoint outside Zvornik
9 driving south we were warned of the possibility of small armed groups
10 crossing the road and that we were proceeding on our own responsibility.
11 We were not either told to take a detour or advised not to proceed.
12 We were also told that in case of any such movement, it is better
13 -- best to avoid contact or to make a U-turn, but certainly didn't look
14 like they were overtly concerned at the level of military activity was
15 such that it would make the trip risky.
16 So I have to admit that on the basis of what looked like a fairly
17 uneventful drive through the very area that -- of Konjevic Polje and the
18 vicinity of Bratunac and Tomorici and from there up to Vlasenici and so
19 on that I already arrived at Pale, maybe lulled into a false sense that
20 the military activity was practically over.
21 Q. All right.
22 A. But I was certainly not aware of -- in fact, the conversations at
23 Pale proceeded with the assumption that it's over, the enclave has
24 fallen. There was, you know -- I believe you know, imminent expectation
25 of the news of Zepa, but I wasn't aware at that time of any attempts by
1 the armed groups of a significant size and magnitude to break through.
2 Q. All right. So nobody at Pale when you had these conversations
3 within the circle of the Presidency actually discussed this particular
4 information with you --
5 A. No.
6 Q. -- at least not on that day?
7 A. The focus of the conversation both on the first day when I came
8 with the two visitors from the United States and on the second day late
9 in the evening when I was there accompanied by Dr. Zametica was on Dr.
10 Karadzic's view of the political diplomatic aftermath of Srebrenica's
11 fall. In other words, on the first day I heard what looked like, in my
12 opinion, excessively optimistic assessment, and on the second I really
13 hoped to have a more realistic conversation, but having encountered even,
14 you know, in -- in a more -- without the presence of the first-time
15 visitors, having encountered a similar outlook, I basically did not argue
16 the case because on a number of previous occasions, assessments that I
17 regarded as faulty or poorly based by Dr. Karadzic, I tried to enter into
18 some kind of analysis in terms of real politik and scenario-making, and I
19 never got very far with it. On the contrary, I could sense that the
20 discussions based on the non-acceptance of favourable assessments were
21 not welcome or encouraged.
22 Q. Okay. Now, with respect to the information that you received
23 concerning these small armed groups, did you receive that before you
24 crossed at Zvornik?
25 A. Well, no, but I think that it stood to reason to assume that in
1 such immediate aftermath of what at that time one assumed was a fairly
2 major military operation that it would be necessary to obtain the
3 information from the military on the ground about the possibility of the
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. And that's why I mentioned this relaxed attitude of the Serbian
7 soldiers at the checkpoint exiting Zvornik because I didn't have any
8 specific information about the level of military activity, but I assumed
9 that it was possible that some was still in evidence.
10 Q. But in fact, somebody did tell you that you should be aware of --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- small arms groups?
13 A. Yes. That was the soldiers manning the checkpoint exiting
14 Zvornik in the direction of Konjevic Polje.
15 Q. Okay. So these are VRS soldiers, right?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Okay. And they had the information concerning these potential
18 extremists that are mentioned in this combat report?
19 A. Well, in retrospect I would say that their demeanour was more
20 relaxed and --
21 Q. Well, they're further away, too, right?
22 A. But I would say that, you know, in retrospect and with hindsight
23 I would not have made that drive. It was maybe their assessment or their
24 impression of the situation but certainly that we were told that, yeah,
25 we should exercise caution, but it was not presented in terms of, you
1 know, serious warning that there is some likelihood of encounters that
2 could be dangerous.
3 Q. Okay. Now, I think I may have forgotten to ask you, but you tell
4 me if I've repeated the question. I'm sure my colleague will tell me.
5 When you met with Mr. Zametica and Miovcic, did you meet with them alone,
6 or did you meet them, also, with Mr. Premovic and Mrs. Ristic?
7 A. I believe that Mrs. Ristic was tired and was not with us. Mr.
8 Premovic would have been with us at least part of the time, but it was --
9 I really can't be sure. But the conversation was certainly of the kind
10 that had more to do with background briefing of the overall mood of the
11 place rather than end, you know, outlook, hopes, expectations, rather
12 than any specific information that would preclude the desirability of a
13 third-party presence.
14 Q. All right. Did you meet with anybody else following your meeting
15 with Mr. Zametica and Mr. Miovcic --
16 A. I'm pretty certain --
17 Q. -- on the 12th of July?
18 A. No. No, I believe that was it. In fact, it was getting on,
19 anyway, and it had been a long day.
20 Q. All right. Now, you've indicated that you also met -- you met
21 with Mr. Karadzic on the 13th of July?
22 A. That was with the visitors from the States, yes. It was on the
23 13th in the afternoon.
24 Q. And this is when you described his upbeat monologue that he
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you indicated, also, in relation to your contact with Mr.
3 Karadzic that you had some notes concerning these conversations that you
4 had between -- well, over the 13th and the 14th, right?
5 A. Yes. I don't think I had my laptop with me on that particular
6 occasion, but I would have entered then from scribblings, brief notes
7 made at the end of the day. However, with my laptop crashing I believe
8 in 1997 and the backup diskettes not covering some of these -- in fact,
9 it's a source of great regret to me personally. But to be perfectly
10 frank, I had the overall sense of deep frustration and misgivings, not
11 for the first time, after what was yet another encounter with the
12 inability of Dr. Karadzic to look at the predicament of the Republika
13 Srpska in the full complexity of the wider international situation, and I
14 make no qualms about that. I think that that meeting would have been yet
15 another occasion for such sense of frustration that the view from Pale
16 was rather narrow and based on wishful thinking rather than a
17 comprehensive analysis of the global diplomatic and political situation.
18 Q. All right. Now, you mentioned that you met with Mr. Karadzic on
19 the 13th for between one and two hours.
20 A. I believe from the diary it would appear that it was about an
21 hour and a half.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. Yeah.
24 Q. And you met with him in the company of Mr. Premovic, Ms. Ristic,
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. Was anybody else present during the course of this meeting?
3 A. I think that Mr. Zametica came in and out but was not present
5 Q. Okay. And during the course of your meeting with Dr. Karadzic,
6 was he in contact with anybody else, any soldiers or --
7 A. Well, I remember him shouting a few times, give me connection,
8 what's up with the connection, "veze su u prekidu," who exactly he was
9 trying to contact, but I also got the sense that some lines were down.
10 Q. Okay. How did you get that sense? Did somebody say that
12 A. He actually said something like [B/C/S spoken] or something like
13 that. Whether it referred to the film connection or some other form of
14 communication, I'm not sure, but I believe he was actually shouting this
15 to the secretary, so it must have been the film.
16 Q. All right. But -- okay. How many times did he shout this during
17 this hour and a half that you were with him?
18 A. I would say two or three times.
19 Q. Okay. And did he have access to any other telephones that were
21 A. Yes. Occasionally, the phone would ring, and -- I wouldn't be
22 able to say how many times, but yes, our meeting was being interrupted,
23 and it wasn't a particularly structured meeting in that it was mostly his
24 resume of how he saw things to the visitors.
25 Q. Okay. You said that he seemed -- well, "buoyant" is, I think,
1 too strong a term, but optimistic?
2 A. Upbeat, optimistic. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. And was that because he felt as though -- well, tell us
4 why that was, what your understanding was of that.
5 A. This would really take us into the overall propensity of Dr.
6 Karadzic to look upon the situation of the Republika Srpska in a more
7 optimistic and more upbeat manner than was warranted by circumstances or
8 by the attitudes of the great powers. For instance, the hope or
9 expectation, even, that Russia
10 position had been a salient feature of his comments and remarks
11 throughout the -- I wouldn't say each and every time I came, but I would
12 say that the majority of times he would say something like, "Rusija se
13 budi," "Rusija progledava," Russia is waking up, Russia
14 the light, an opinion I didn't share. I actually believed, and as we
15 know in retrospect, this is correct, that Yeltsin's Russia did not want
16 to confront the West over the Balkans at that time. Likewise, I think
17 that his hope or expectation that some kind of diplomatic deal or offer
18 was imminent is another salient feature of his comments in the winter of
19 1995 January after the visit of President Carter or, for that matter, in
20 the spring of 1994 after the Gorazde operation.
21 So all the time I had the increasing sense of frustration with
22 the inability to communicate my understanding of the problem of the
23 Bosnian/Serb position as seen from the other side of the Atlantic
25 realized that in a very deep cultural sense we did not speak the same
2 Q. Well, speaking of language, what exactly did he say to you during
3 the course of this meeting? What exactly did he say in terms of his
4 position concerning the operation?
5 A. Because of my lack of precise notes, I can only give you the best
6 recollection I have of the meeting after 13 years, which is that he was
7 greatly optimistic that the outside world will realise from the success
8 of Serbian arms in Srebrenica that it is futile to expect the Serbs to
9 continue taking punishment and not getting the elements of a political
10 package that it can live with, and he expressed repeatedly his confidence
11 that in the near future as the result of this demonstration of Serbian
12 military might, there should be a political movement and diplomatic
13 movement that would actually wrap up the war.
14 I do remember -- and I'm sorry, before coming here I didn't call
15 Mrs. Ristic or Mr. Premovic to compare not notes but memories, but I do
16 remember his saying that the war is coming to a close. Now, with
17 hindsight we know it was but certainly not on the terms he had in mind.
18 Q. All right. I think this is probably a -- am I wrong about the
19 break time?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: No, you are right.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: All right. So --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We still have another 15 minutes for the break.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Very well, then. Thank you, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: However, that said, if you prefer to have it now,
25 we can have it now.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Now would be a good time, I think.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Right, we'll have a 25-minute break. Thank
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Could I ask you, how much longer do you think you
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think about -- well, half an hour, 40 minutes.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And do you envisage --
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Not much, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. Then think about who is coming
12 MR. OSTOJIC: We'll talk about that.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.29 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Trifkovic.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could some microphones be turned off, please.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: I was asking -- I'm sorry, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. Just checking to accommodate the
21 interpreters. Is there anybody else with his microphone or her
22 microphone on apart from me, which I will switch off immediately now. Go
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Mr. Trifkovic, when we left off I was asking you about your
1 meeting with Dr. Karadzic on the 13th of July, and I'd asked you
2 specifically what he had said regarding the operation in Srebrenica. Can
3 you tell us what, if anything, else he said during the course of that
5 A. On the basis of my conversation with Dr. Zametica and Mr. Miovcic
6 the previous evening, I recall being curious about the military details
7 of what seemed to be rather sudden, unexpected, and swift fall of
8 Srebrenica on which he didn't really enlighten me. In fact, to be
9 perfectly honest I left Pale and the Republika Srpska on the 16th still
10 none the wiser as to what actually happened in terms of the military
11 aspect of the operation itself. Bearing in mind the tenacious fighting
12 in Bihac in the fall of 1994 or Gorazde in the spring of 1994 or
13 Srebrenica in 1993, I have to admit that the issue as to what actually
14 happened to make the fall of this enclave so swift and so unexpected, at
15 least my impression was that to them up in Pale it was unexpected, that I
16 still didn't get the answers to that particular question.
17 Q. No, I understand that, Mr. Trifkovic, and I appreciate your
18 response. But my question to you is specifically what it is that Dr.
19 Karadzic told you during the course of that meeting, and you understand
20 the distinction --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- between that and what your impressions of what he said are?
23 A. I have to confine myself to overall impressions because I don't
24 have the minutes, and after all this time the memories tend to acquire
25 the character of overall impressions rather than specific snippets or
2 Q. I understand that, too, but as you recall, you did testify about
3 a conversation that you had which concerns Mr. Beara in 1993. I take it
4 you don't have notes of that conversation?
5 A. Well, no, but it was, nevertheless, to someone who had
6 encountered these grassroots soldiers from the ranks, if you will, for
7 the first time. It was a memorable experience because it was also the
8 first time that I sensed first-hand this latent mistrust bordering even
9 on animosity between the two traditions among the Bosnian Serbs. It
10 would be a characateur to describe as the partisan tradition versus the
11 Chetnik tradition, but it was certainly something of that spirit at work
13 Q. Well, Mr. Trifkovic, at that period of time in particular, that
14 is, on the 13th of July, 1995, you were still functioning in some
15 respects in the capacity of dealing with the western media regarding
16 specifically the information that you came to acquire?
17 A. Well, when it comes to the attitude of the western media to the
18 issue of Srebrenica, I became aware of the question of what happened to
19 the military man or man of military age only after returning to London
20 In fact, the theme of conversations that I had was solely the treatment
21 of civilians. The issue of the treatment of military prisoners didn't
22 even come up. But again, to give you a very precise answer, I didn't
23 find that particular visit useful when it came to articulating positions
24 in media interviews. I didn't find the optimistic scenario for the
25 future useful. I certainly wouldn't have condoned it or shared its
1 overall tone.
2 Q. Well, maybe I've misunderstood what you've said, but on your
3 direct examination I believe you said that you came down -- the reason
4 why you went to Pale was to get information about the specific goings on
5 as concerns the Srebrenica operation for the purpose of dealing with the
6 western press or the outside media. So my question to you is this.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If that's the reason why you went there and you actually had an
9 appointment and spoke to the object, the purpose of your being there, you
10 spoke to the president of the Republika Srpska, and he spoke to you about
11 the specific incident that you were there to inquire about, but is it
12 your testimony that you have no recollection of what he told you on the
13 13th of July knowing --
14 A. No --
15 Q. -- knowing now in retrospect what transpired on the 13th of July?
16 A. No. My answer is that it wasn't particularly fruitful or useful
17 meeting from the point of view of having either a closer understanding of
18 what was going on on the ground or of getting an insight into the
19 political background and the realistic scenario for the end game from
20 which Srebrenica might lead.
21 So whereas it is, indeed, very much the purpose of my visit to
22 have a clear picture, from the meetings with Dr. Karadzic far from
23 getting clear picture, I get an upbeat story of the war entering its
24 finale on terms favourable to the Serbs and the absence of clear
25 description, even, of what actually happened to make Srebrenica fall
1 quickly and unexpectedly.
2 Q. Did you ask the question?
3 A. Yes, I did. Yes.
4 Q. Did you ask him what happened to the military that was in
5 Srebrenica --
6 A. Well, actually, the --
7 Q. -- that is, the Muslims?
8 A. The issue of what happened to the military had never arisen until
9 that moment, and I'll tell you why.
10 Q. I just want to know if you asked.
11 A. No, I didn't.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. It didn't occur to me because in all previous operations the
14 prisoners -- my understanding was that the prisoners were regarded as
15 valuable assets to be exchanged for one's own side, and I had no reason
16 to believe that this was an issue, and I didn't ask.
17 Q. I take it you asked about civilians?
18 A. Very much so because --
19 Q. And what did he tell you?
20 A. Well, I expressed the opinion that I already shared with Miovcic
21 and Zametica on the first evening, that it would be extremely important
22 to avoid any incidents or exercise that would be detrimental to what I
23 believed was very sensitive political situation of the Serbs at that
24 moment and that Dr. Karadzic gave me assurances on this point. In fact,
25 I believe that I was also given a press release in Serbian about these
1 assurances to translate into English in the absence of Dr. Zametica for
2 further distribution by the SRNA news agency.
3 Q. And what did this press release say?
4 A. If there is a record of the SRNA news agency releases for that
5 period, you might see the precise wording, but my memory is that it
6 contained specific guarantees that their safety would be -- that they
7 would be looked after and they have nothing to fear.
8 Q. All right. Now, I've asked you a lot of questions and a lot of
9 time as concerns about -- as concerns what Dr. Karadzic told you on the
10 13th. Is it your testimony that you have no specific recollection as to
11 what he spoke to you about or what he said, I should say, over that hour
12 and a half to two
13 A. Well, first of all, it wasn't two. It was an hour and a half
14 during which time some interruptions due to phone calls and his attempts
15 to make them were taking place. Some of the time was taken up by social
16 niceties connected with the introduction of the two visitors, but I am
17 being perfectly frank with you when I say that what I recall of that
18 meeting is, first of all, a very long discourse on the end game which he
19 confidently expected to follow that would be favourable to the Serbian
20 point of view; and secondly, the agreement with my insistence that it is
21 both substantially and in terms of media relations extremely important to
22 avoid any incidents in the treatment of the civilian population that
23 would be reminiscent of the early stages of the war.
24 Q. And that's your best of your recollection?
25 A. It is, indeed.
1 Q. Now, you mentioned that you had you notes concerning these
2 meetings that you had with Dr. Karadzic on the 13th?
3 A. Particularly what I recall, and I don't know if the record of it
4 exists somewhere else, was a letter that I wrote to A.M. Rosenthal, the
5 former editor of the New York Times, by Dr. Karadzic in which he praised
6 his editorial published a few days previously and made some specific
7 suggestions about the renewal of direct contacts between the Clinton
8 administration and the Republika Srpska leadership. So this is the
9 closest I can get to some specifics of our conversation that were
10 contingent upon his overall favourable assessment of the situation, that
11 he felt so confident that in fact the situation is ripe for some kind of
12 diplomatic end game that he approached Rosenthal with a suggestion that
13 such -- that he explores the possibility of such contact.
14 Q. The notes that you referred to that were on your computer, you
15 say they were destroyed?
16 A. No, they were not destroyed. I had what they call a hard disk
17 crash --
18 Q. All right.
19 A. -- either in late 1996 or early 1997, and I had not been doing
20 backups in a timely manner at the time.
21 Q. Well, what did you do about it? Did you try to get your hard
22 drive fixed?
23 A. Yes, I did, but it was -- I was not able to recover anything,
24 which in fact is a source of great anguish to me personally, not that it
1 Q. I can imagine. Do you have that computer?
2 A. No. It's been discarded.
3 Q. It's been discarded?
4 A. Many years ago, yes.
5 Q. Did you keep any handwritten notes?
6 A. Well, no, because --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Forget the computer because the
8 computer you will discard, for sure. It's the hard disk itself. Did you
9 keep the hard disk?
10 THE WITNESS: Well, no, because it would have meant dismantling
11 it. Once I was told by the Best Buy technician that it was a matter of a
12 basically catastrophic failure, the business of defragmentation - and I
13 don't know the technical jargon - was, as I again recall, beyond their
14 ability to take care of but might have been done at a considerable
15 expense by some expert company specializing in that kind of problem,
16 which I in hindsight regretfully decided not to do.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE:
18 Q. Sorry, you say that computer crashed in 1996?
19 A. In the winter of --
20 Q. Or 1997?
21 A. -- 1996, 1997. Yeah.
22 Q. All right. So you had it for a good year after the events in --
23 A. It was a brand new computer that I took with me to Serbia
24 didn't take it with me to Pale. It was actually the first colour laptop
25 that I had.
1 Q. Did you produce any articles based on the information that you
2 had in that computer, the notes that you took?
3 A. Well, no, because I must emphasize, the meeting with Dr. Karadzic
4 was both disappointing in terms of his analysis and not particularly
5 informative in terms of the background to the specific military
6 circumstances surrounding the fall of Srebrenica. So on the basis of
7 that particular meeting, I did not write anything or publish anything.
8 Q. All right. But you did have contact with the press after that,
10 A. Yes, I did, and in fact I don't think that my comments to the
11 press would have been much different if I had not gone to Pale at all in
12 July of 1995.
13 Q. In other words, they were not specific, but they were general
14 comments that you made?
15 A. Even if they refer to -- again, you have some advantage over me
16 because I haven't actually been revisiting my old interviews in awhile.
17 But suffice to say that the only point that I came with was the assurance
18 that the civilians would be treated well, and also, let me add the
19 reiteration of the insistence that military operation was necessitated by
20 the failure of the UN to demilitarise the enclave. But there was nothing
21 new about that. That had been the old theme early on in the spring of
22 1994 in connection with Gorazde.
23 Q. All right. Mr. Trifkovic, you met again with Dr. Karadzic on the
24 14th -- well, first, before I get to that, I'm sorry. On the 13th -- and
25 you'll correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you mentioned on the 13th
1 that he had mentioned something about Zepa?
2 A. I think it was taken more or less for granted. I have no
3 recollection whether Zepa had already fallen or was about to, but it was
4 pretty much taken for granted that it would.
5 Q. Well, let me ask, again, then: What did he say in respect of
6 Zepa on the 13th?
7 A. Again, I can only say that he said with Srebrenica and Zepa, we
8 have proven that the strength of our weaponry, our military prowess is
9 such that it can no longer be assumed that the Serbs will accept any
10 terms of final settlement that do not address their key interest. I
11 don't know even on what specific day Zepa fell, but I think with that he
12 assumed that it was going to happen as a matter of course.
13 Q. All right. You met with him on the 14th, right?
14 A. On the 14th. It was quite late at night. It was with Jovan
15 Zametica, and the specific purpose of that meeting as far as I was
16 concerned was to try and see if there was a more nuanced and a more
17 critical view or understanding of the overall political and diplomatic
18 situation than the one displayed the previous afternoon. In other words,
19 to be perfectly frank, whether he was playing to the gallery with
20 Serbian/American visitors who are prominent in their local community and
21 presenting the upbeat front for their benefit or whether it was indeed
22 what he believed, and it was indeed what he believed.
23 Q. Well, since you recall so specifically what he believed, can you
24 recall what he told you on the 14th?
25 A. I think that it is possible to recall the overall tone, flavour,
1 and "stimmung" is the German word, which maybe the best in English
2 equivalent would be -- yeah, the overall tone is good enough, without
3 recalling the specific quotes. He was saying that the war is coming to a
4 close, that the Serbian military success in Srebrenica will present the
5 world with the reality that can no longer be denied, and that after this
6 we can look forward to the diplomatic movement which will finally be
7 based upon the realisation that the Serbs cannot be defeated and that
8 they will not accept a settlement that does not address their key
10 Yeah, I'm again quoting from memory of many years ago, but again,
11 what I found remarkable is that in a more private meeting, in a different
12 setting, just with his advisor Dr. Zametica in attendance, he essentially
13 repeated the same-old, same-old, which I found deeply flawed both in
14 terms of the rigor of analysis and in terms of the understanding of the
15 diplomatic facts of life.
16 Q. Well -- and forgive me for this, but I'm a bit puzzled. You're a
17 historian by profession, by training, right?
18 A. Right.
19 Q. You have a PhD --
20 A. Right.
21 Q. -- in history?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. An historian is a kind person who remembers dates, events, places
24 and things of that nature very well, right?
25 A. I --
1 Q. And can recall them?
2 A. I would argue that, in fact, it is far more important in the
3 study of history to remember the essential underlying intent of the key
4 participants rather than their verbatim quotes. We don't know exactly
5 word for word who said what to whom in July 1914, but we do know that the
6 underlying tendency was for Wilhelm in Germany to give Austria
7 cheque to deal with Serbia
8 Q. Mr. Trifkovic, you are were in the middle an historic event
9 concerning the former Yugoslavia
10 midst of it with a note pad, with a computer, and for the specific
11 purpose of gaining access to information that would help you discharge
12 your obligations to the -- to the civilian authorities of the Republika
13 Srpska. That's why you're there, and you're a historian, and you're
14 telling this Court today that you have no recollection, specific
15 recollection of what Dr. Karadzic told you on two separate occasions on
16 the 13th and 14th of July, 1995, knowing fully well looking back what was
17 occurring on those days? You know that on the 13th of July, 1995
18 people were being killed?
19 A. I know now.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. I didn't know then.
22 Q. Well, you knew that in 1996.
23 A. I have to remind you that I've tried to give a fairly detailed
24 and comprehensive answer about the essentials of that conversation, and
25 my inability to reproduce -- and my inability to reproduce verbatim
1 quotes is really based on my respect for occasion that we need to get --
2 to understand the character of that meeting rather than try to and
3 reproduce unreliably the specific, quote-unquote verbatim segments of it,
4 and in that respect I've done my best today.
5 Q. All right. I appreciate your concern for the integrity of these
6 proceedings and your respect for the Court as concerns the information
7 that you're providing and the accuracy that you wish to provide it in.
8 Now, you have written a number of articles in the past, right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you've also testified at these -- at this particular Tribunal
11 in the past as well, right?
12 A. As an expert witness in the Stakic case five and a half years
14 Q. Now, do you recall writing an article in 1996 -- a 1996 article
15 called "The Hague Tribunal: Bad Justice and Worse Politics"?
16 A. Indeed, I do.
17 Q. And it is true that you wrote in that article that: "The
18 tradition, that is to say the International Court of Justice tradition
19 which is now being destroyed by a pseudolegal imposter, the Yugoslav war
20 crimes Tribunal, which was inserted deliberately into The Hague to
21 provide the pretender with a legal and cultural pedigree and at that same
22 time devalue the true legacy."
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. "It's as if Jimmy Swaggart set up shop in Rome, took a crash
25 course in Latin, and took to wearing a miter." Did you write that?
1 A. Yes, I did. Yes.
2 Q. You also wrote that: "This so-called Tribunal uses legal
3 language. It has jurists on its panels, and they are dressed in a
4 bizarre imitation of continental judicial attire." And you said that "It
5 has funds, lots of funds, but it's a fraud." Right?
6 A. It's been a few years, but certainly, the sentiment is right.
7 Q. Okay. Well, in fact, what you said on page 13790 of that
8 transcript, that is, in the Stakic case, is that -- yeah, that's a
9 verbatim section of the article published in June 1996, and you readily
10 admit that you have considerably modified your views of the Tribunal
11 since then. That was back in 2003.
12 A. Right. That's what I said, yes.
13 Q. And in fact, other than the comments about the judicial attire,
14 you still hold the view that the Tribunal is in fact a fraud, don't you?
15 A. I would say that this has to be somewhat qualified in -- on
16 several counts. First of all, I think that the Tribunal is an extremely
17 important forum for the presentation of the historical record. Secondly,
18 I believe that some of the decisions of the Tribunal, particularly in the
19 Haradinaj case and in the Oric case would only reinforce skepticism of
20 its modus operandi and its process, but at the same time that because of
21 the need to set the historical record straight as comprehensively and as
22 dispassionately as possible, I certainly respect it as the forum in which
23 the attempt to get a very complex story analysed in as comprehensive a
24 manner as possible is indeed here.
25 Q. All right. Well, you wrote -- I should say you said, rather, in
1 an interview with BBC, and this is 65 ter 3684. I don't think I enter it
2 into e-court. You'll let me know if you want to see it. All right. You
3 were asked this question, and this concerns -- well, let me give you the
4 date first.
5 A. 22nd of July.
6 Q. 22nd of July, 2008, and you were asked about the indictment of
7 Mr. Karadzic, and you were asked specifically, "Do you think the war
8 crimes were committed?" And your answer to that was: "The war crimes
9 were committed. Absolutely. What remains to be seen is to what extent
10 the war crimes committed by the Serbs will continue to be treated as
11 uniquely more substantial, more evil, and more massive than those
12 committed by the other two sides." Do you recall giving that answer to
13 that question?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. And you stand by it, don't you?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Okay. Because you think -- well, in your opinion, I should say,
18 this Tribunal is anti-Serb?
19 A. No. If you look at that quote, I said it remains to be seen.
20 Which means I'm --
21 Q. So you're optimistic?
22 A. I'm still giving this Tribunal the benefit of the doubt that
23 after two
24 nature and its underlying premises, the Haradinaj and Oric case, we may
25 as yet with the Karadzic case get a more dispassionate and more
1 evenhanded treatment than the one that, as I say, we've seen in those
3 Q. All right.
4 A. It would sound haughty and arrogant for me to say that I'm giving
5 the Court the benefit of the doubt, but hopes springs eternal.
6 Q. Well, do you think that that somehow makes it sound less haughty
7 or arrogant?
8 A. No, it is maybe a human touch that the lawyers will take as such.
9 Q. You have expressed the view that you expect Mr. Karadzic to be
10 convicted because the verdict has already been written, haven't you?
11 A. Well, the verdict I didn't say was written by the Court, but the
12 verdict but the media chorus and of the commentators on each and every
13 flickering screen and printed page in the world is not only written; it's
14 cast in stone.
15 Q. All right. And that's your view as you sit here testifying
16 before this Tribunal today, isn't it?
17 A. Yes, indeed, it is.
18 Q. You've also written several pieces with respect to your views
19 about Muslims, haven't you?
20 A. We have to draw the distinction between pieces about the Muslims
21 and pieces about the Islamic ideology. I would appreciate if you'd let
22 me know which of the two you particularly refer to.
23 Q. Well, I'm referring to Muslims. Let me refer you to 65 ter 3687.
24 This is an article that you wrote. It appears to be on the 24th of
25 November, 2003, and it's entitled: "Islam and Slavery: The Concealed
1 Truth. Excerpt from a lecture by Srdja Trifkovic." Xavier University
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I don't know if we can go to page 6 on this one. I'm on page 6,
5 and I guess we'll get there. You see the paragraph which begins: "It is
6 richly ironic", right?
7 A. Mm-hm.
8 Q. What it says below that is it says: "The violent and inherently
9 discriminatory message of the Koran is a huge problem for all Muslims.
10 We cannot solve it for them, and we should not be asked to deem the
11 problem solved by pretending that the Koran is a pacifist tract." Right?
12 A. Right.
13 Q. And that's your view with respect to not only Islam but as to all
14 Muslims, right?
15 A. No. I don't see where you see the connection.
16 Q. I see the connection where you say "all Muslims."
17 A. It is the problem for all Muslims, and some Muslims resolve it by
18 choosing to reinterpret the Koran while others stick to the view that the
19 Koran is the unadulterated view of Allah, which is immutable for all time
20 and cannot be interpreted but must be taken literally. And there is a
21 great deal of distinction between saying that it is a problem for all
22 Muslims and further saying, which I'm not, that all Muslims regard the
23 Koran as literal -- in its literalist way, the way that, for instance,
24 the Muhabis do and the way that in which the Rema [phoen] of the chief
25 centres of learning ital alaskar [phoen] university do.
1 Q. Well, let's look a little bit further down on the page if we
2 could. Looks like it's just about the last sentence on that paragraph,
3 you say: "The West has yet to learn fully the lesson that my Balkan
4 ancestors were forced to learn six centuries ago, that Islam a collective
5 psychosis seeking to become global, and any attempt to compromise with
6 madness is to become part of the madness oneself." You wrote those
7 words, right?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. You believe that Islam is a collective psychosis, right?
10 A. Yes, I do, but without putting it in the context of the
11 literalistic interpretation, it wasn't conveyed. In other words, you are
12 taking this totally out of context.
13 Q. Am I?
14 A. If we say that in the discriminatory message of the Koran is a
15 huge problem and if we, then, say that Islam is a collective psychosis
16 without reference to the particular problem that the Koran presents with
17 its inherently discriminatory message, then it would be necessary to
18 explain whether this collective psychosis reference refers to each and
19 every Muslim believer or to those who take the Koranic message in its
20 literalist sense. This is where I think you have to look at it in the
21 totality of my piece and not in isolation.
22 Q. All right. Well, looking at it in that context, then, it would
23 make sense that people that are not Muslim should seek ways to defend
24 themselves, right, by disengaging from the world of Islam physically and
1 A. That --
2 Q. Does that make sense to you?
3 A. That disengagement is indeed something that I have long
4 advocated, which is vastly different from attempts to intervene in the
5 Muslim world and to "bring democracy to the Muslim world." In fact, I
6 think that from the civilisational point of view it is far more
7 productive, far more promising of a peaceful discourse to disengage than
8 to engage in the way that engagement has been practiced in Mesopotamia
9 and Afghanistan
10 Q. All right. So that means it would make sense to separate from
11 somebody from the Islamic faith, right? Because that would be the most
12 practical solution to the problems that you've identified in Islam, isn't
14 A. It would indeed be the best advisible strategy for the western
15 world to deal with the problem of Jihad, not by trying to bring
16 counter-Jihad to the heartlands of Islam but to, indeed, disengage in the
17 way that would preclude open-ended military commitments that are only
18 helping the Jihadists obtain new recruits for their cause.
19 Q. All right. In your article dated January 26, 2007, this is
20 called Dines Vedemi [phoen], and that was published in Chronicles
21 Magazine, you say -- 65 ter 3693 for the record. "It's never happened
22 before because" -- well, let me go back so I can put this in context.
23 "Now, think how amazing this is. Has it ever happened in this
24 country - I'm not talking about some totalitarian country, but America
25 has it ever happened that a prominent intellectual called on leading
1 writers on a subject of major importance to stop writing what they are
2 writing because it would offend someone?" That's your question. You
3 answer it. "No, this is has never happened before. It has never
4 happened before because it is only in response to Mohammedinism that
5 westerners adopt the posture of preemptive surrender which Batjar calls
6 mental dhimmitude. Of all the social, ethnic, religious, political
7 movements in the world, only Islam has the ability to evoke this eagerly
8 cringing attitude. Only Islam has this faculty of inducing people to
9 surrender" --
10 THE INTERPRETER: We need to look at the original of the text on
11 the screen in order to be able to interpret it correctly into B/C/S.
12 Thank you. Because we don't see it on the transcript, either, because it
13 too fast. Thank you.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE:
15 Q. Okay. If we could go -- it's on the second page -- or third page
16 of this document, and reading from paragraph 8, it's the third paragraph
17 in that series. I'll start here where it says -- it's the third line
18 from bottom of the page on the screen: "Of all the social, ethnic,
19 religious, political movements in the world, only Islam has the ability
20 to evoke this eagerly cringing attitude. Only Islam has the faculty of
21 inducing people to surrender psychologically to it even before it has any
22 actual power over them."
23 You believe that, right?
24 A. Well, in fact, this is -- that's yours, quote, but I agree with
25 it, that in fact the self-censorship that the elite class of the western
1 world exercises when it comes to misogyny, violence, and the active
2 attempt to change the liberal nature of the western society in order to
3 accommodate the views and beliefs that are not shared by the overwhelming
4 majority of the host population is, indeed, unprecedented. I think that
5 the level of self-censorship witnessed in connection with Muhamed's
6 cartoons, for instance, or with the non-reporting of the dark side of
7 family violence among the Muslim diaspora in western Europe and so on
8 reflects this fundamental truth, that if there is any other social,
9 ethnic, religious, or political movement that is guilty of such
10 transgressions, for instance, deep southern evangelical Christianists, or
11 in terms of ideologies, members of either far left or far right
12 movements, the level of public indignation of the media class and of
13 disclosure and unmasking of the facts of the case would be far greater.
14 I think that it is not even particularly unique nowadays to complain of
15 this tendency to self-censorship. You will find it in articles by Stein
16 or by Robert Spencer, by -- in fact, it is beginning to come from both
17 the left and the right, that one does not help either the continuation of
18 the liberal character of the western society or the integration of the
19 Islamic community to gloss over the unpleasantness that is all too often
20 present. And yet, the media editors prefer not to dwell on it because
21 not only is it tricky; it can be physically dangerous as unfortunately
22 Vince - I said almost Vincent van Gogh - the documentaries van Gogh found
23 to his peril on the streets of Amsterdam
24 few years back.
25 Q. In your article, this one's dated 27th February, 2002. It's
1 called: "Islamic Terrorism In Italy: The shape Of Things To Come" by
2 you. That's 65 ter 3688. If we could go to the bottom of the page. Oh,
3 wait a minute. If we could go to page 3, please.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Microphone.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry, Mr. President. If we could just go
7 to page 3.
8 Q. If we could -- all right. You see this paragraph that leads
10 A. Right.
11 Q. Now, in the paragraph you mention in the second sentence of the
12 second paragraph below it where it says "Islamic law" --
13 A. Mm-hm.
14 Q. -- in brackets. It says: "In Britain today where Islam controls
15 the inner cities..." Now, I'll grant you this article was written in
16 2002. Now, when you make this reference to inner cities and Islam
17 controlling inner cities, do you have any particular cities in mind?
18 A. Well, this is actually something that needs qualification. The
19 inner cities does not refer to areas not inhabited by Muslims, but on the
20 other hand, there are significant areas of some inner cities,
21 specifically Leeds
24 under their own Islamic-based rule. You will not find alcohol in any of
25 the shops, you will not find video stores that would offer material not
1 to the liking of the adherence of Mohammed's faith, and you will find
2 that there is a great deal of pressure on local people to conform to such
3 an extent that even young Britons of Pakistani origin are very keen to
4 leave such areas if they do not subscribe to the cultural assumptions and
5 the lifestyle prevalent in them. Again, to those of us who know
6 circumstances in Britain
7 indeed, remarkable.
8 Q. Well, Mr. Trifkovic, with all due respect, that's known in some
9 circles as commercialism. One does not sell what another will not buy,
10 and that's why you don't find these things in certain shops in all kinds
11 of places around the world.
12 A. At the same time, those who would try to test the market for
13 alternative products which are not offered would soon find his shop
14 window smashed and his physical security jeopardised, and that is --
15 Q. And that's what we call the mafia, and that exists all over the
16 world, too, Mr. Trifkovic.
17 A. No, not if it is not motivated by commercial interest but by
18 idealogical convictions of the perpetrators, which by the way is similar
19 to what is it happening in France
20 suburbs of eastern valieus [phoen] of Paris do not wear the head scarf,
21 risk getting something called the "smile," which is a knife slash that
22 goes from the angle of the lip to the lower earlobe. So no, it is not
23 the Mafia; it is fanaticism.
24 Q. Let me ask you this question. If we could go to page 5. You see
25 that paragraph that leads "Meanwhile across the channel..."
1 A. Mm-hm.
2 Q. You write in this paragraph: "In Germany, the highest Court in
3 the land ruled in January 2002 that Muslim butchers should be allowed to
4 slaughter animals according to Islamic practice by slitting their throats
5 and letting them bleed to death and without stunning them first in any
6 way. German law says animals cannot be slaughtered without first being
7 stunned, but the constitutional court has now overturned it. The head of
9 be an important step in the integration of Muslims in Germany." You then
10 write: "If and when the constitutional court allows a clitoridectomy for
12 but that integration will be complete only when Pakistanis in Britain
13 Algerians in France
14 Islamic society by compelling it to adapt to their way of life."
15 You wrote that, right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And you believe it?
18 A. Believe what specifically?
19 Q. Well, you believe that the only way that a Muslim person can
20 integrate into a Christian society is by turning the Christian society
21 into one that is based on Islamic law, right?
22 A. I'm not saying it is the Islamic activists that are saying it,
23 that the only end product of their activism is the complete triumph of
24 Dar al-Islam over Dar al-Harb and if you doubt that this is indeed the
25 self-proclaimed objective of each and every Islamic activist in the
1 world, given the sufficient time I would be more than happy to supply you
2 with ample quotes that settle the matter beyond any doubt. This is not
3 suggesting that all Pakistanis in Britain, Algerians in France, and Turks
4 in Germany
5 in Germany
6 I still stand behind this view that making legal exceptions and
7 exemptions for a religious group in order to accommodate its particular
8 demands only feeds appetites for further demands which are ultimately
9 unlimited in scope and nature.
10 Q. Well, thank you very much for that, Mr. Trifkovic. I do
11 appreciate your candor.
12 A. Thank you.
13 Q. I have no questions for you.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye. Mr. Ostojic, do you
16 have any re-examination?
17 MR. OSTOJIC: I do not, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's -- do you have any questions?
19 Do you have?
20 Mr. Trifkovic, that means that we have come to the end of your
21 testimony. I was wrong in the beginning when I imagined you will be with
22 us again tomorrow, but I'm sure you are happier. On behalf of the Trial
23 Chamber, I wish to thank you for having come over, and on behalf of
24 everyone present here I also wish you a safe journey back home.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Documents?
3 MR. OSTOJIC: We've sent the list around, but I think it is just
4 2D531 that we'll be requesting.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Any objections?
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: There's no objection, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from the other Defence teams? None?
8 So admitted. Mr. Krgovic, you didn't use any documents so as of
10 MR. KRGOVIC: Same documents, so...
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but apart from that, in other words, you
12 haven't used anything else. Mr. Vanderpuye?
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Just bear with me for
14 one second. I'm sorry. I'm just going through the list.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. We tender 65 ter 3678
17 through -- 3678 through 3690, and then 3693.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objections?
19 MR. OSTOJIC: We have to take a closer -- thank you. I'm not
20 sure that -- you know, if they want to bring in the articles, I don't
21 have an objection to that if that's their point, but I don't know with
22 respect to 3690 through 3693. I do have an objection to 3691 and 3692.
23 I guess 3693 -- you're not offering that? I have to maybe have a
24 clarification. Through 3690 and then 3693, no objection, Your Honour. I
25 read it now. I have no objection. Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought you were misreading it.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: I was.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So those documents are also
4 admitted. Now, before we adjourn, what is the position about tomorrow?
5 MR. OSTOJIC: We -- Professor Wagenaar, obviously we haven't been
6 in contact with him since his testimony. He was instructed to be here on
7 Monday. With the scheduling, we really don't have any witnesses in town
8 to present to the Court, and I apologise for that. We just envisioned
9 that -- as I tried to suggest on Wednesday, I believe, that we may have a
10 gap and maybe we should start Professor Wagenaar on Friday because I
11 envisioned possibly a shortened Mr. Trifkovic or an overlapping one. We
12 do not have any witnesses here in The Hague to present for the Court
13 tomorrow, so I do apologise for that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I was expecting to hear something different. I
15 mentioned specifically before the last break what's going to happen
16 tomorrow in the hope that you will take the hint and during the break try
17 to contact Professor Wagenaar.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: I took the Court's hint, and my intern who we gave
19 the two days off because we're scheduled to meet on Sunday morning to
20 prepare, we're trying to get a hold of her and have someone from the
21 victim and witness unit call Professor Wagenaar. We haven't been able to
22 accomplish that. We just can't get ahold of him, nor did we -- I
23 personally didn't try to call him, but we have called our intern who was
24 here, and I know we have scheduled for her to meet with me Sunday morning
25 to go over the transcript and the testimony. That was yesterday when we
1 finished with him. So we can continue to try this evening, and I can get
2 back to the Court on that.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, of course, everyone else, all your
4 colleagues, Prosecution, forget ourselves because we will be here in any
5 case, but everyone else will have to come here and wait to see what's
6 going to happen in the morning, whether we are sitting or not sitting.
7 This is what I purposely tried to avoid. Yes, one moment.
8 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And in particular, Madam Registrar is also drawing
10 our attention to the accused because to come here they have to wake up
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Mr. President, I suggested I think on Wednesday
13 that Professor Wagenaar does continue to testify on Friday, and with all
14 due respect to you, I think you mentioned at least two separate occasions
15 and specifically to the witness that he recommence on Monday, and I --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: That's because you told me that you required the
17 full day for Trifkovic and another full day was required by the
18 Prosecution, and then Mr. Zivanovic wanted one hour which was -- or 45
19 minutes which then reduced to 10 and which resulted into nothing today.
20 We can't go on like this. One moment.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope we've made ourselves pretty well understood.
23 Last thing we want to do is to complicate matters, and at least this
24 Trial Chamber as composed tries to be as pragmatic as possible. In our
25 mind, we have got two concerns, that this kind of occurrence should be
1 avoided. The second concern is the Nikolic Defence team, that by Monday
2 first thing in the morning need to know exactly from you, Mr. Ostojic,
3 when you will definitely be concluding your case so that they can start
5 So what we are going to do, we are going to adjourn until Monday
6 when Professor Wagenaar will continue his evidence. I don't want to keep
7 everyone else hanging until tomorrow morning, come over here, and then go
8 back; the accused wake up at 7 and are brought here only to be taken back
9 after I don't know how many hours waiting for transport. It's simply not
10 done. It's an inconvenience, which should be avoided at all costs.
11 So we'll reconvene Monday morning, no -- Monday morning, Monday
12 the 8th at 9 o'clock
13 Monday morning before we start with his testimony all your definitive
14 plans indicating the day of completion of your case, when you will rest
15 your case.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: And we will do that, and we will send out a
17 schedule as we do on Thursdays, which I think we already did.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. That, we have received.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: My only troubling fact is I don't know how to rely
20 on the estimates by the other parties and the Prosecution to give you a
21 definitive. I think we can reasonably conclude on Thursday of next week.
22 At the outset, I believe we will conclude by Friday. The only concern is
23 that DutchBat individual who I'm in conversation with my learned friends
24 to see if we can resolve that. Our case wouldn't technically close
25 because we have two witnesses that will b e coming during the case of the
1 Miletic case just so that the Court is aware of it. But I think by
2 Friday we will have -- our case should close with the exception of the
3 DutchBat individual and obviously the two witnesses we've previously
4 provided notice to the Court and our learned friends who are calling on
5 direct as well.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Monday, the 8th day of
9 September 2008, at 9 a.m.