1 Wednesday, 17 February 2010 2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
6 IT-08-91-T, the Prosecutor versus Mico Stanisic and Stojan Zupljanin.
7 JUDGE HALL
8 Good afternoon to all. May we begin in the usual manner by
9 taking the appearances for the day, please.
10 MS. KORNER: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Joanna Korner,
11 assisted by Crispian Smith, for the Prosecution.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic,
13 Slobodan Cvijetic, and Eugene O'Sullivan appearing for Stanisic Defence.
14 Thank you.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. For Zupljanin
16 Defence, Igor Pantelic and Dragan Krgovic. Thank you.
17 JUDGE HALL
18 the witness back to the stand. Thank you.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE HALL
21 Mr. Krgovic to continue I remind you you're still on your oath.
22 Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour.
24 WITNESS: NEDJO VLASKI [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Krgovic: [Continued]
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Vlaski.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. We will resume where we left off yesterday late afternoon.
5 Both I and Mr. Zecevic asked you about the press release.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] And can the witness, please, be
7 shown Exhibit 1D116, please.
8 Q. Mr. Vlaski, we unfortunately don't have the binder you had
9 yesterday, so perhaps you can use the transcript you have in front of
10 you. Or perhaps we have it. This will make it easier for you, since the
11 print is rather small. Or, rather, bigger on the hard copy.
12 [Microphone not activated]
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Krgovic.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: Sorry.
15 Q. [Interpretation] My apologies, I didn't switch my microphone on.
16 Can you please look at that third passage from the top. I think
17 it's tab 12 in your binder.
18 Have you found it?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. It reads:
21 "By creating an anti-army atmosphere which can be deduced from
22 the written order of the MUP for the police to be involved in the
23 takeover of the military records from the JNA" --
24 I'm sorry that's behind tab 12.
25 Would you agree with me that this constituted a rather large
1 problem because the Muslim leadership of the MUP, in fact, was pushing
2 the MUP into a conflict with the JNA, was it not?
3 A. Yes. But this is discussed in the context of the takeover of the
4 records in order for military formations to be created that would be
5 capable of confronting the JNA.
6 Q. Mr. Vlaski, within the MUP and state security hierarchy you were
7 supposed to take up a rather senior post, practically that of the deputy,
8 and correct me if I'm wrong, deputy under-secretary?
9 A. Yes, deputy under-secretary. Nominally speaking, that's man
10 number two within security structure, such as that of the Security
11 Service. In other words, the man who would be ranked first and would be
12 in charge of operative work.
13 Q. So none of the operations -- none of the operative work could be
14 decided upon or launched without consulting you or without the proposal
15 coming from you. Were you not the one to propose the operative plan and
16 the measures for its implementation?
17 A. This was envisaged under the legislation in effect and the bylaws
18 governing the work of the service. However, the practice was never, or
19 rather, the regulations were never put into practice because efforts were
20 made for no one to occupy that post. It was a deliberate bypassing of a
21 chain and a deliberate attempt to avoid the implementations of the laws
22 on the part of those who wanted to act unlawfully.
23 Q. Within the lines of duties of an incumbent on that post, there
24 were also measures of surveillance wire-tapping and observing the
25 activities of an individual.
1 A. Well, that's only one part of it. No external or internal
2 activity could have been planned without previous notification of the
3 incumbent of that post. There didn't exist an opportunity for such a
4 post to be abolished, formally and legally speaking, or that anything
5 should be done in practice without the knowledge of the incumbent.
6 Q. You would have been the one, in fact, if it was necessary to
7 adopt -- to take any measures of wire-tapping for the request to that
8 extent to be forwarded by you to the higher-ups in order for this to be
9 approved and implemented?
10 A. Yes, of course, but only for justified reasons which need be
11 presented by every person requesting any measure, including the measure
12 of surveillance. In other words, any other measure which may encroach
13 upon human rights and constitutional powers. Nobody could have embarked
14 on such an activity without consulting the hierarchy, and it had to go
15 from the lowest level up to the highest. The decision-making process had
16 to start from the level at which a difficulty or a problem arose which
17 requires the application of such a measure.
18 So the first stage had to be first gone through where the problem
19 was identified, measures proposed, and then one would address the -- the
20 next immediate higher level and then what would follow would be the third
21 filter and that would be the senior staff of the service who would decide
22 whether the measures proposed were, in fact, commensurate with the threat
23 which was posed and then from then on, the procedure would ensue as per
24 regulations of the service.
25 Q. The fact that the post was abolished and that the SDA leadership
1 refused to agree to your appointment to that post, this particular chain
2 was fully bypassed by then and an alternative channel was set up with the
3 help of which they listened in to individuals they thought were
4 interesting to them.
5 A. Well, this is a drastic example of unlawfulness which definitely
6 required someone's consent or even a prior plan envisaging such activity.
7 Even if the case had involved anybody else where the intention
8 was to bypass laws, regulations, and certain levels, this would have been
9 possible just as in any other service but, of course, there would have
10 been a greater threat for the person to be uncovered in his unlawful
12 In the circumstances as they were, there was no such danger for
13 the person to be either uncovered or to be sanctioned for that conduct.
14 Q. Mr. Vlaski, the Prosecutor asked you yesterday to confirm that
15 you had recognised the voices of certain individuals.
16 I'm interested in the specific case you discussed yesterday.
17 Before the Prosecutor, or the investigator, played the audiotape to you,
18 you were shown the transcript of the intercepted conversation; is that
20 A. I don't know which particular transcripts or intercepts you're
21 referring to, so I can't tell you, but I was given the opportunity to see
22 the transcripts, yes.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we call up exhibit -- or
24 rather, 65 ter 1056 in e-court.
25 Q. This is the alleged conversation between Stojan Zupljanin and
1 Mico Stanisic.
2 When the Prosecutor interviewed you, you were shown the
3 transcript, and you commented on it. For everybody's reference that's on
4 page 17 of your interview. There you commented on this transcript. Do
5 you recall that?
6 A. Yes, I do. I commented on this and other transcripts.
7 Q. It follows from the transcript --
8 MS. KORNER: Sorry to interrupt, Mr. Krgovic. Are you referring
9 to page 17 of the old one or the one where there was a correction?
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, the old version.
11 MS. KORNER: All right. I'll have to look for that.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You were shown the portion where you saw that it was a
14 conversation between Zupljanin and then Gvozden and then you saw all the
15 various names involved in the intercept; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And then as you arrived here, you listened to the audio of the
18 intercept and the fact that you had previously seen the transcript helped
19 you identify the individuals in -- concerned; is that right?
20 A. Well, not that much. I -- I really could recognise the voices
21 and the individuals.
22 Q. But at any rate, this fact did facilitate the recognition of the
23 individuals involved; is that right?
24 A. Yes, it did.
25 Q. The procedure whereby you were first shown the transcript stating
1 the individuals involved and then played the tape is definitely not based
2 on the police technique of identification as you applied it in your work;
3 is that right?
4 A. Well, we used to have problems in our work where interlocutors
5 would speak without introducing themselves, but we had -- now there are
6 certain techniques and methods whereby you can uncover their identities,
7 whereas, at the time, we used other techniques and methods for that.
8 Q. Before you were played the audio, you commented on the transcript
9 with the Prosecutor in great detail; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In this particular transcript, the telephone number that was
12 wire-tape is missing; is that right?
13 A. Well, it was missing in all the other transcripts I was shown
14 too. I wasn't paying attention to the telephone numbers or to the way
15 the transcripts were labelled.
16 Q. And this is indispensable in order for the telephone line that
17 was wire-tapped to be established, and this would have then been done by
18 the rules.
19 A. Well, this should definitely have been mentioned in an Official
20 Note which would normally accompany such material. As for the way we
21 worked, it was customary for us to know which particular line was
22 wire-tapped and on which date, as well as all the other elements
23 necessary for the identification of the individual, place, and time, as
24 well as other important elements for incrimination or for the substance
25 of the conversation.
1 Q. The -- the start time and end time of the tape or the
2 wire-tapping was not mentioned here; is that right? And that's
4 A. Yes. Well, time is important because technology enables us to
5 define precisely the time at which certain things were done. And, for
6 the purposes of any sort of police work, time is an essential element.
7 Q. Quite a few of the elements you've now mentioned and which should
8 have been contained in such a document are missing from the transcript;
9 is that right?
10 A. Well, they are. It says here telephone surveilled, but it
11 doesn't say which one. Then the code number of the phone, well, there
12 could be several technological possibilities of surveillance. The
13 conversation could have been intercepted in a certain venue and then it
14 is important also to know the device that was used and based on which the
15 information was obtained.
16 Q. And there is no note explaining on the basis of what elements
17 Mico Stanisic was identified as one of the interlocutors because he was
18 not -- his name was not mentioned there?
19 A. Well, it depends on the author of the analytical note. Maybe it
20 is based on experience or his own knowledge of the voices.
21 Q. And the author of the analytical note should also indicate from
22 what time the conversation was recorded?
23 A. Yes, context is very important. If you are reflecting a
24 conversation in its entirety then you have to include everything without
25 deletion or redaction. If something is modified, that opens room for
2 Q. And from your experience in that period, do you know that these
3 wire-taps were brought to the MUP seat, various sources were there
4 compiled and then submitted to your service?
5 A. Well, in this type of work, the person who wants to provide a
6 certain report based on these technical sources, the report can combine
7 all kinds of sources, can put forward one single telephone check or use a
8 combination of various sources, but the report should show that. And the
9 person who receives that report cannot then use -- know exactly which
10 sources were -- were used.
11 Q. Look at the second page of this document, please, where Zupljanin
12 allegedly says: "Is there Vito, is Vito around?"
13 The only Vito you knew was Vito Zepinic, right?
14 A. Yes, it was a normal way of reference and in conversation.
15 Nobody called him with his full name, Vitomir. They always addressed him
16 as Vito, everybody in the MUP and even further afield knew that it was
17 Mr. Zepinic.
18 Q. Mr. Vlaski, this type of work, wire-tapping of telephones without
19 including this important elements and indication of sources, was unlawful
20 and improper.
21 A. Yes, it's unlawful in every respect. It's unlawful for one
22 service to keep tabs on -- on their own colleagues from another service,
23 and it is even more inappropriate to keep tabs on a -- on the chief of
24 that other service. It's beyond the pale to arrogate the right to keep
25 tabs on a colleague. It is a huge responsibility to assume, to get
1 involved in such serious violation of the regulations. It only speaks
2 about the people who were occupying such high positions at the time.
3 And, also, it speaks to the absences of all checks and balances that
4 should exist in a normal society. There should be checks and balances by
5 the civilian authorities but also by the parliament because this service
6 is supposed to be in the service of citizens, not only the people who
7 appointed these officers.
8 Q. And this transcript and what we see, the absence of these
9 important elements, leaves a lot of room for manipulation, doesn't it?
10 A. Well, from my many years in the Security Service, including this
11 type of work, that was always a possibility.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Vlaski. I have no more questions for you.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, before I re-examine, I do have an
14 application to make, which I'm afraid will require the witness to leave
15 Court. He does actually understand English.
16 JUDGE HALL
17 for a few minutes.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honours may not be surprised to hear me apply
20 regrettably for the second time in this trial to be allowed to
21 cross-examine this witness in re-examination and treat him as a hostile
22 witness. Every part of the evidence he gave evidence yesterday could be
23 described virtually as adverse to the Prosecution case. All -- some of
24 it actually volunteered, I can take Your Honours through the various
25 parts. A lot came out as a result of leading questions but even more
1 volunteered by him including the allegation - perhaps I better read it to
2 Your Honours - that the total destruction of the state was intended by
3 Mr. Izetbegovic and others.
4 Your Honours, it's at -- of the transcript, page 638. The
5 questioning was about the intercepts and the legality thereof. And he
6 was asked by Mr. Zecevic about information being provided to the media,
7 and then he talked about Sarajevo Oslobodjenje.
8 "When you say involved, they were used for the purposes of a
9 propaganda war, was it not?
10 "A. Yes, it was part of the political, military, and media
11 preparations for the takeover of power in Bosnia by the HDZ, SDA
12 coalition and to the detriment of the Serb people. The representatives
13 of this particular policy believed that they ought to be the masters in
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina. It seems that for Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
15 relationship between the master and the servant was a historical category
16 and they believed that it was time for them to become the masters."
17 He then went on to talk about -- he was actually being shown the
18 various document with the complaints, and he then said that:
19 "Mr. Kvesic, the head of the State Security Service, privatised
20 the service. When he no longer felt he needed to remain in Sarajevo
21 brought along with him documentation containing the service, if I may
22 add, it was precisely because of such actions that were taken that
23 certain individuals committed suicide."
24 Then he went on to say -- I don't know how much longer I need to
25 go on.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave, from
3 Ms. Korner's comments just now, I really see no grounds for considering
4 the witness hostile at this moment. I see no grounds for it in his
5 answers to the Prosecution and to me -- to the Defence. He is a
6 Prosecution witness. He was interviewed by the Prosecution and proofed
7 here. If the Prosecution has failed to ask all the questions that were
8 necessary to elicit the witness's real views and opinions, then it's
9 their omission. I really see nothing hostile to the Prosecution in -- in
10 the witness's evidence. He stated his views and his experience the way
11 he saw it.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] If I may add, I believe this
13 Prosecution application is -- comes too late. The Prosecution could
14 have, if they were unhappy with the witness's answers in direct
15 examination, stopped their examination and asked to cross-examine the
16 witness as hostile.
17 Now, only after our successful cross-examination, are they coming
18 up with this request, which I believe is contrary to the jurisprudence of
19 this Tribunal.
20 JUDGE HALL
21 Mr. Krgovic's last point.
22 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour, certainly. There is no bar to
23 applying to treat a witness as hostile in re-examination. Although he
24 said things and Your Honours may have seen that questions because I --
25 I'm sorry, I will start the sentence again.
1 He was unforthcoming in examination-in-chief, which he was not in
2 the course of the interview. If you recall the question I asked him in
3 respect of why the meeting of the 11th of February was held in
4 Banja Luka, he volunteered the information in interview that it was
5 because it was a Serb-controlled municipality. I'll give Your Honours
6 the page number.
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: We remember [Microphone not activated]
8 MS. KORNER: Yes, right.
9 But, Your Honours I felt at that stage I didn't have sufficient
10 to say that although he said a great deal which was not contained in the
11 interview in which he was asked to give his account without leading
12 questions, he never, for example, said, over and over again, as he did in
13 this court, that the murder of the Serb wedding guest was a political
14 murder. He gave an account which simply described it as a murder. I
15 decided at that stage I would leave matters as they were.
16 However, as a result of the -- the cross-examination, any
17 lingering doubt that I may have had, that he was hostile, or adverse to
18 the Prosecution case, was dispelled. He certainly never said in-chief
19 this business of the destruction. I didn't read the further bit, but he
20 said -- if he could call it a state. If Your Honours just forgive me,
21 it's -- and therefore, yes. It is a caricature of a state, he called it.
22 And that's at page 6391, all of which was volunteered.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my understanding of
24 the status of hostile witness the way I had an opportunity to see it
25 before this court, is that if the witness changes his evidence in a major
1 way, either in -- compared to prior statements or to prior testimony,
2 then he can be considered a hostile witness.
3 Here, there is no major deviation either from evidence in direct
4 or in -- in cross-examination. There is no major shift that could
5 justify his treatment as hostile witness at this point.
6 And this is, on top of everything, a viva voce witness, and what
7 he said in direct, he repeated in cross.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE HALL
10 has made to treat the witness called by them as an adverse witness and so
11 as to permit counsel to cross-examine that witness in the course of her
12 re-examination is an application which the Chamber grants, because it is
13 patent from the record that the tone and the -- sorry, not tone, but
14 the -- the overall effect of the witness's testimony was that, as the
15 Prosecution now advances, in essence, adverse. And the appearance of
16 this, and I pause to select the right word, the appearance of this in the
17 course of examination-in-chief became obvious in the course of
18 cross-examination so that the practical footing on which the application
19 is made is from a perusal of the record obvious.
20 There are certain procedural issues which may arise, because it
21 is exceptionally an application being made while the Prosecution is about
22 to re-examine -- re-examine, and not as would ordinarily happen while the
23 witness was being examined in -- in-chief.
24 We expect that that may be cured by allowing the counsel for each
25 of the accused limited time to further cross-examination -- to further
1 cross-examine after Ms. Korner would have completed her re-examination.
2 The -- and, therefore, we would, upon the witness being invited
3 to return to the stand, allow Ms. Korner to proceed in the manner that
4 she has sought.
5 MS. KORNER: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before the witness
7 comes in, I would appreciate a clarification.
8 Does your decision mean that the Prosecution's cross-examination
9 and the topics would be limited to our cross-examination? Because that
10 would be fair, not to allow the Prosecution to go beyond the topics that
11 we discussed in cross.
12 MS. KORNER: I agree. I have no intention of going outside what
13 was raised in cross-examination.
14 JUDGE HALL
15 JUDGE HARHOFF: That solves the problem [Microphone not
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE HALL
19 although you would have been called at the instance of counsel for the
20 Prosecution, at this stage of their reexamination, counsel is being
21 permitted to cross-examine you.
22 Yes, Ms. Korner.
23 Re-examination by Ms. Korner:
24 Q. Mr. Vlaski before we deal with some of the matters of principle,
25 if I can put it that way, that you raised in your answers, can we just go
1 back to a moment for the intercept that you listened to between Zupljanin
2 and Stanisic.
3 When you came to the Tribunal on Sunday, you listened to the
4 intercepts, did you not, before you were shown any of the transcripts and
5 the other documents?
6 A. I did listen to the intercepts.
7 Q. Yes. You listened to them without the benefit of having any
8 transcripts in front of you, didn't you?
9 A. At that time when I was listening, I didn't have the transcripts.
10 Q. Okay. And you have no doubt at all, as you've told Mr. Krgovic,
11 whether or not you saw the transcript eight months ago in Banja Luka that
12 the voices that you heard on that intercept are those of Stojan Zupljanin
13 and Mico Stanisic. That's right, isn't it?
14 A. That's right. I didn't go into any analysis. My aim was just to
15 identify the voices, and since I'm in full possession of my capacities, I
16 was able to do that.
17 Q. Now, what you told this Court in one of your many lengthy
18 speeches yesterday was that what was happening was that there was a:
19 "... political, military, and media preparations for the takeover
20 of power in Bosnia
21 Serb people. The representatives of this particular policy believed that
22 they ought to be the masters in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It seems that for
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina the relationship between the master and the servant
24 was a historical category, and they believed that it was time for them to
25 become the masters."
1 That's what you believe, is it, Mr. Vlaski?
2 A. Well, I gained that impression from my personal experience and
3 from the general situation on the political scene, in the media, and in
4 the security services. It was my impression that there was a plan.
5 Q. So you're saying that from reading the newspapers, from the
6 general situation on the political scene, and -- can you tell us what you
7 mean by that?
8 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry. This is -- is a misinterpretation what
9 the witness said. He said three things: The security situation; the
10 media; and the political scene.
11 MS. KORNER: Yes, I know that.
12 MR. ZECEVIC: Yeah. But I think you're only asking him for two
13 things and he says based on all three things he had that impression.
14 MS. KORNER: You know, I'm quite sure that the witness doesn't
15 need Mr. Zecevic's help. Your Honour, I'm taking this in stages. I'm
16 asking for an explanation of what he means by "the political scene."
17 Q. Mr. Vlaski, please.
18 A. Thank you very much, I will answer the question.
19 The political scene in Bosnia-Herzegovina was defined by the BH
20 constitution. The constitute nature of the peoples is that they are the
21 three peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina and representatives of these three
22 peoples won the elections, and it was only natural and it so happened
23 that after the first multi-party elections they set about forming the
25 However, following the elections, the HDZ/SDA coalition was
1 formed, and it was symbolically represented through the binding of the
2 two flags together. So the representative of the Serb people found
3 themselves confronted with a two-to-one ratio where two stood for the
4 majority of the Bosniaks and Croats. And everything was determined on
5 that majority. The political situation was such that the parliament
6 where democratic decisions were to be taken and where the constituent
7 nature of the peoples was to be respected, became the forum of outvoting
8 to the detriment of the Serbian minority. This manifested itself also
9 through the decisions of the government, although the constitution
10 dictated that a consensus and an agreement among the three peoples should
11 take place.
12 I could hold a speech on this topic, but if this will suffice, I
13 can end it here.
14 Q. I would really love to know what you call a speech.
15 I'm so sorry, you say that they were outvoted in the --
16 everything was determined by the majority.
17 Isn't that a democracy, Mr. Vlaski?
18 A. Yes, a democracy, according to the western standards where a
19 mono-ethnic states are concerned, but in a multi-ethnic state such as
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina was where the constitution dictated a consensus and an
21 agreement among the constituent peoples, it is not governed by that
22 particular principle. One element or one ethnic community had to be
23 content with the situation. Lacking that, the democratic principle was
24 not met.
25 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, the transcript does not reflect what the
1 witness said, and I feel it is important even for -- for Ms. Korner so I
2 don't how to deal. Shall we ask that the -- that -- that -- that the
3 tape be listened again. But it doesn't -- it wouldn't help Ms. Korner or
4 maybe he should slowly repeat what he said word by word because the
5 transcript says something which is -- which is definitely not what he
6 said. And I think it is an important issue about the constitutional
7 specificity in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Thank you.
9 JUDGE HALL
10 Mr. Vlaski, without counsel for the Prosecution having to repeat
11 her last question, could you give us your answer again and perhaps
12 sufficiently slowly so that it can be adequately interpreted? Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 I don't think that my emotions can be easily controlled in
15 situations such as these so I tend to speak more quickly, but I will try
16 to do it more slowly.
17 The constitutional position of Bosnia-Herzegovina is defined as a
18 community of three constituent peoples where all three peoples take key
19 decisions by way of a consensus. In other words, the constitution does
20 not provide for a possibility of outvoting on the part of a democratic
21 majority as in other democratic states in the west and elsewhere. But
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina is a multi-ethnic state, and it rests on this
23 principle of multi-ethnicity and constituent nature of peoples. This is
24 part and parcel of the constitutional provisions that outvoting shall not
25 take place. In order for the interests of every single peoples to be
1 respected, they have to have this mechanism enshrined in the constitution
2 in order for them to protect their national ethnic interests. We're not
3 talking about a civic state, you're talking about a multi-ethnic state,
4 so these are peoples who have the fortune or misfortune of living in the
5 same country in Bosnia-Herzegovina, because the community came into
6 existence based on the willingness of the three peoples to live together.
7 However, at some point, there arose a difficulty where the three
8 peoples didn't want to live anymore together so that that's why the
9 constitution envisaged the provision where for key decisions to be taken,
10 the agreement of even the smallest people had to be achieved and -- and
11 down to the last citizen of the country whose rights had to be
13 In the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the principle was violated
14 because a coalition was created between the party of democratic action
15 and the Croatian democratic union, and it manifested itself politically
16 through the binding together of their flags and in the parliament through
17 the outvoting and taking of decisions against the will of the Serb people
18 represented in these organs of power.
19 JUDGE HALL
20 MS. KORNER:
21 Q. The third element that you said led you to take this view was
22 the -- your personal experience, general -- sorry, in the media, the
23 security services.
24 Are you referring there to what you describe as the - I'm trying
25 to think of the right word for it - the seizing of the key positions by
1 Muslims and Croats and not Serbs?
2 A. The principle of the separation of power implies a distribution
3 of power on an equal footing according to the significance. You can't
4 allocate to someone a higher level post and to others to be street
5 cleaners. What was essential was to allocate down the hierarchy
6 political posts and positions in the government. In order for the power
7 to be distributed according to the interparty agreement. The
8 interparty agreement was achieved, and it only needed to be implemented.
9 This was not supposed to be the subject of bartering or trading off. If
10 an agreement is achieved, it can either be implemented or not. The Serbs
11 agreed to this interparty agreement even though it was to their detriment
12 because they did not have this historical experience of what was
13 important, which leaders of power were important to be held so that even
14 in this area they gave the advantage to the representatives of the
15 majority people including the Croat people who admittedly were not the
16 majority people.
17 It is important -- it isn't important who will be occupying which
18 post if the constitution and the laws are being respected. If the
19 regulations are applicable to all then they will be duty-bound to
20 implement them. However, the problem arises when individuals claim
21 right -- their right to decide which post is important and which is not
22 and when they enjoy political protection in doing so.
23 And they claim the right to decide which post should not be
24 occupied for certain individuals in order for them to realise their plan.
25 And that was the problem in Bosnia-Herzegovina, that a deliberate
1 obstruction was taking place in order for the Serb people to be tricked
2 politically and otherwise in order for them to be bypassed and in order
3 for time to be gained. Once power is established, it is very difficult
4 to change the structure.
5 As for the security sector, they covered literally all the
6 positions and did what they wanted. They did not feel the need to ask or
7 consult anyone on any matters let alone the representatives of the Serb
9 Q. Right. I must express again. [Microphone not activated]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MS. KORNER:
12 Q. I'm sorry. It is your view if I understand you correctly from
13 what you said before and what you say again that the Serbs were
14 inexperienced, didn't realise what was happening until too late; is that
15 what you're saying?
16 A. I wasn't referring to the Serbs. I was referring to the
17 political leadership of the SDS
18 intentions, they may have had the best of the intentions when they took
19 up the positions of the minister of information, the minister of
20 agriculture, health care, or science. These were the posts that they
21 fought for, the Speaker of the parliament. Now as for the prime
22 minister, minister of foreign affairs, minister of the interior, the
23 presiding of the Presidency, these were important posts which the Serbs
24 did not occupy.
25 Q. Let's deal with the political leadership of the SDS, shall we?
1 Were you aware that on the 14th of October, 1990 something called
2 the Serbian National Council was established by the SDS?
3 MR. KRGOVIC: This appeared from the cross-examination.
4 MS. KORNER: The whole tenor of his answers, volunteered in
5 answer to leading was that the Serbs were naive and had reacted too late.
6 In addition, he was asked about -- in a document produced by the Defence,
7 the SDA setting up a National Defence Council in June of 1991. This
8 arises directly out of those questions, not Mr. Krgovic's, I accept, but
9 certainly Mr. Zecevic's.
10 Q. Now, in connection with what you have been asserting, were you
11 aware of something called the Serbian National Council being established
12 in October, the 13th of October, to be precise, 1990?
13 A. I'm not certain that it was in 1990.
14 Q. Well, can I show you -- I'm sorry, Your Honour, because this all
15 came up today. It says Oslobodjenje -- again, we haven't got it in
16 e-court, but we -- and nor indeed has it got an ERN number, but it -- can
17 I just finish then, it was referred to in a footnote in Dr. Nielsen's
19 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, we already cross, I think, the line
20 in some respect with -- leaving the Prosecution the right to -- to
21 cross-examine the witness during the re-direct and then ultimately giving
22 the opportunity to the Defence to re -- recross-examine.
23 Now, this is -- is -- as I -- I -- I have to accept that this is
24 the ruling of the Trial Chamber. I have my opinion on that, but what I
25 think is, if Ms. Korner is allowed to use some additional documents,
1 which have not been used, which have not been noted in -- in their -- in
2 their exchanges that they are going to use with this witness, then we
3 are -- we are -- we are going way out of bounds, in my modest opinion.
4 Thank you very much.
5 MS. KORNER: I'm so sorry, but can I just be heard on this before
6 you make a ruling?
7 The document the Defence produced, as you appreciate, we have
8 never seen before. We have no idea even if they are genuine in
9 connection with the SDA. One in particular, a huge point was made about
10 the fact that in June of 1991 the SDA had set up what was called a
11 National Defence Council, and we don't have what it refers to because we
12 haven't been provided with the accompanying declaration.
13 In addition to that, this witness has said over and over again
14 the Serbs were at a complete disadvantage because they were naive and
15 only reacted too late.
16 I'm therefore entitled to put in re-examination, aspects,
17 particularly now I've been given leave to cross-examine, of evidence
18 which is available to the Defence because it is referred to, as I say in
19 a footnote of Dr. Nielsen's report that show what he has said is not
20 supported by available evidence. And that's the submission I make.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you will allow me.
22 We notified the Trial Chamber and the Prosecution in accordance
23 with the Rules rendered by the Trial Chamber in this case of the
24 documents we would be using. These were Defence documents, and documents
25 to be found in e-court.
1 Now, the fact that Ms. Korner saw them for the first time, I'm
2 really sorry about that, but that's her problem, really. She had them
3 for two days when the witness took an oath, and then we disclosed the
4 documents. She had a whole day to review the documents and to submit her
5 opinion on them. The fact that the document was disclosed by the Defence
6 as a document on the basis of which the witness would be cross-examined
7 has nothing to do with what I'm saying, and that's that the Prosecution
8 cannot be now allowed to use documents that they have not announced, that
9 were not used either in the examination-in-chief or in the
11 And that is my position. Thank you.
12 MS. KORNER: The documents were only released to us when the
13 examination-in-chief began. I did look at them. Indeed, I sent
14 Mr. Zecevic an e-mail about my objections to them, and you heard us argue
15 them yesterday.
16 What I'm saying is that we've got no chance of checking these
17 documents at all when we only get them at the beginning of
18 examination-in-chief. Which, if we're lucky, we get half a day to look
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE HALL
22 essentially uphold Mr. Seselj's objection and allow the Prosecution to
23 put questions but without putting -- putting -- referring the witness to
24 a particular document, that simply would invite complications that we
25 needn't bring on ourselves.
1 MS. KORNER: I'm perfectly prepared to do that.
2 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise, it's a minor mistake in typing.
3 It's page 25, line 10. I think instead of Mr. Seselj, it should be
4 Mr. Zecevic maybe.
5 JUDGE HALL
6 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated]
7 Q. All right, Mr. Vlaski. Can I put it to you, for your comments,
8 you have obviously heard because you say you don't think it was in
9 October of 1990 that the SDS
10 A. Well, I wasn't a member of the SDS. According to the working
11 practice within the police, we were not required to analyse the work of
12 the political structures. Perhaps it was somebody's duty to analyse what
13 the SDS
14 nobody told us officially that we should be occupied with that.
15 So I wasn't aware of the fact that they had such a body, but I
16 did know there was a political council of the SDS which gathered
17 intellectuals who supported the party but were not members of it. I know
18 of such individuals indirectly that they were involved in the work of
19 that council.
20 Now, as for this particular council, I'm not sure what its name
21 is. Well, what I find important is the activity performed by a certain
22 body, its activity or even more importantly inactivity. I don't know
23 what this body was doing, so I can't give a position on that.
24 Q. Let me suggest to you that the founding of this council was
25 published in the newspapers, including Oslobodjenje. Karadzic was its
1 first president, and the text of the decision, let me suggest to you,
2 said as follows:
3 "The council will be made up not only of parts of the republican
5 independent, distinguished persons. The first decision of the council
6 was adopted, by which the Serbian people make it known that it will not
7 recognise any decisions on the change of the BiH state unless it is
8 arrived at through a referendum of the Serbian people."
9 Now, do you remember reading anything like that?
10 A. I think that there was a great deal of such things and we were
11 practically swamped by them.
12 Now as for the text itself, I can't say that I am familiar with
13 it, but I am familiar with the context. I was of the general political
14 position that the Serb people, as a constituent people, had the right to
15 speak their mind on this very important issue, such as the constitution
16 in form of a state. Initially the -- initially Yugoslavia and later on
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina because of their constituent nature.
18 MS. KORNER: You know, just for the purposes of the record, I
19 should add it was Oslobodjenje on the 14th of October in which this was
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: [Microphone not activated]
22 MS. KORNER: Sorry?
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: 1991. [Microphone not activated]
24 MS. KORNER: 1990. Your Honour, that's the point I'm putting to
1 Q. You see, Mr. Vlaski, if that's right, then the SDS, the
2 leadership, was already making its position absolutely clear way back in
3 1990. Wasn't it? It wasn't reacting to things.
4 A. Well, this is a position in relation to the future of the state
5 because what was discussed at the -- at that point was Yugoslavia. We
6 were under the constitution of Yugoslavia
7 there was the federal constitution which was binding on the republics
8 forming the state, including Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that's quite clear.
9 From this particular document, the article in the Oslobodjenje concerning
10 this position, well, there is nothing strange about it because all the
11 peoples are called upon to protect the constitution, to safe-guard the
12 constitution. Is it a disgrace to try and safe-guard the constitution?
13 Q. Sorry, I'll try one more time, Mr. Vlaski, and we'll move on.
14 The point that I'm seeking to see whether you will accept is that
15 contrary to what you assert that the SDS leadership didn't appreciate
16 what was happening and was only reacting to things too late. Right from
17 an early stage, Mr. Karadzic was making it clear that the SDS would make
18 sure that the rights of the Serbian people were protected.
19 A. This was a legitimate demand from a representative of the Serbian
20 people even if it was Mr. Karadzic.
21 Q. We'll move on to the next topic.
22 You spent a little time explaining to Mr. Zecevic -- just let me
23 get the page number from yesterday. It's at page 6421. This is one of
24 your lengthy speeches. It started at page 6420, and it was put to you by
25 Mr. Zecevic that one of the tactics which was pervasive, particularly
1 prominent in the minister of the interior, was to postpone and drag the
2 resolution of certain issues that were raised by the Serb side.
3 And I think this was in the context of an intercept.
4 And in the course of this long answer, you said this, you raised
5 the Badinter Commission, and then you said:
6 "If this was an option that we were going to be given," the role
7 of a national minority, that is, "... it is clear that Izetbegovic
8 received political and international support to organise a referendum in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina" which, by the way, you added was never verified by
10 any of the institutions. This particular act, which was organised in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina without the participation of the Serb people, and
12 this was counter-constitutional, had never been verified by the BH
14 In -- on the 4th and 5th of November of 1991, was a plebescite
15 organised by the SDS
16 A. Not a referendum, a plebescite.
17 Q. Yes. You want to draw the distinction, do you?
18 A. There is a terminological difference and a difference in
20 Q. Did you vote in that plebescite?
21 A. I voted for the existing constitution of the Federal Republic
23 We had lived in such community until then, and there was nothing wrong
24 with that.
25 Q. It's right, isn't it, that, if you were a Serb you received one
1 colour of a polling card; if you were a non-Serb, you received a
2 different colour?
3 A. I don't know. I don't know about such details. I just went to
4 cast my vote. I didn't particularly look at the polling card to see the
5 colour or appearance. I just came to express my will, and what kind of
6 paper it was printed on, I didn't care.
7 Q. You didn't read anything from the SDA or any of the other
8 national parties pointing out that there were different coloured ballots,
9 whether you were a Serb or a non-Serb?
10 A. How can a -- someone coming to the polling box be recognised by
11 ethnicity? Who would make that sort of distinction and identification of
12 people by pushing one sort of paper or another into their hand? It's
14 Q. In Bosnia
15 A. It's extremely difficult, in fact. Not anymore perhaps because
16 people change the way they dress and sometimes they're very easy to
17 identify nowadays.
18 Q. If you had the -- never mind. Let's not get into an argument
19 about this.
20 So you're saying you're unaware of this.
21 Were the results of this plebescite ever given any kind of -- let
22 me find the express you used -- any kind of verification by anybody?
23 A. Well, it was not institutionally organised or prescribed by law
24 and constitution as a procedure. It was an initiative by a political
25 party. It did not go through the institutions, and there was no need for
1 it to be officially verified. It was not something organised by the
2 authorities. It was organised by a political party.
3 Q. But you know, don't you, that the results of this plebescite were
4 used as the basis, the authority, for the founding of the Serbian state
5 in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honours. I think
7 this is a complete -- completely untrue. We all know how Republika
8 Srpska came into existence. This sort of misrepresentation of facts is
9 inappropriate, I would say. I would be grateful if Ms. Korner could
11 MS. KORNER: In fact, Your Honour, maybe -- I'm going to find the
12 document -- [Microphone not activated]
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 MS. KORNER: Sorry. If Your Honours would take the break now,
15 I'll get the document that I'm referring to.
16 JUDGE HALL
17 [The witness stands down]
18 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I have asked for document 65 ter 1259
21 to be put up on the screen when the witness comes in.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, I'm not objecting. I'm just stating
23 for the record that this has not been notified to the any of the parties
24 that this document will be used.
25 Thank you.
1 MS. KORNER: I wasn't going to use -- I just told him -- I only
2 brought this because Mr. Zecevic raised the objection to what I was
3 putting to the witness and said I was misleading him.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Zecevic, I -- I'm under the impression but
5 perhaps I'm wrong and then I should adapt my system. But I'm under the
6 impression that you used in your cross-examination some documents as well
7 that weren't on the list that you gave us before we came in court.
8 You think I'm wrong?
9 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm 100 percent positive, Your Honour, that you are
10 wrong. I don't know how it happened but it might be --
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: For instance 1D-- 1D14. I didn't see that on
12 your list. It's an exhibit -- exhibited document, that I agree.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: But I didn't see it on your list.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, all the documents were listed, plus we
16 added a few documents during the -- the direct examination and we
17 notified the parties on that. On all the documents. I will -- I will --
18 I will check out the -- the -- the mail and I will inform you.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Perhaps I missed an e-mail. That's a
21 [The witness takes the stand]
22 MS. KORNER: I'm going to ask that document 65 ter 1259 is put up
23 on the screen.
24 Q. I assume while we're waiting, Mr. Vlaski, you remember the
25 declaration on proclaiming the republic of the Serbian people of Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina
2 A. I do.
3 Q. Well, let's look at the preamble to this.
4 "In order to contribute to the peaceful and agreeable resolving
5 of issues related to the territorial boundary determination and other
6 rights and duties related to achieving the right on self-determination of
7 the Muslim and Croatian people in the former Socialist Republic
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Assembly of the Serbian people in Bosnia
10 way and protector of its rights and interests, implementing its will
11 expressed by plebescite and its decision based on the plebescite to
12 establish the Serbian Republic
13 Now, you complained - and this is the only reason I'm putting
14 this to you, Mr. Vlaski - that the referendum held in March was not
15 valid, not ratified; but the same is true, is it not, of the plebescite
16 which had, may I suggest to you, even less validity than the referendum?
17 A. No, it doesn't have less validity.
18 A plebescite was just the expression of the will of one people
19 organised by one political party. A referendum, on the contrary, is an
20 act by the authorities, by the state, that has to meet the requirements
21 of both form and substance to make a decision that will include the
22 consent of the Serbian people, and without that consent there could be no
23 referendum and that was the key point in this case.
24 A referendum could not be held without the consent of the Serbian
25 people in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In some other states perhaps it would have
1 been possible. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, however, it wasn't. And it was an
2 anti-constitutional step.
3 Q. You don't consider, do I take it, Mr. Vlaski, that setting up
4 the -- the Serbian -- the republic of the Serbian people within Bosnia
5 January was in any way an unlawful or anti-constitutional step?
6 A. This is just a declaration, an expression of volition. It's
7 nothing official.
8 Here in the preamble it says that every attempt will be made to
9 achieve a peaceful agreement-based solution. You know well that the
10 international community was by this time was involved in the solution in
11 attempts to solve this problem. All the peoples in Yugoslavia enjoyed
12 this right to self-determination. If everybody enjoyed it, why not the
13 Serbs? And the same goes for Bosnia-Herzegovina because in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina Serbs are also one of the constituent peoples. Why
15 should they be treated any different from other peoples? Why shouldn't
16 they have that right? I think they have that right and they must enjoy
17 it and they must be able to exercise it if they live in a well-ordered
18 state ruled by the law. We had no other law.
19 Q. Would you accept that this action by the SDS in declaring the
20 state and everything that followed thereafter, if nothing else,
21 contributed to the outbreak of violence in April?
22 A. No, no. That was not the reason. The SDS, apart from this
23 political aspect of its activity, had no other element to it that would
24 point to its involvement or organisation in preparations for any
25 conflict. Because the Cutileiro Agreement was precisely along the lines
1 of the decision of this decision by the Assembly of the Serbian people,
2 that the three peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina should agree about their
3 rights and obligations, and also about the territories and try to find a
4 model which would be a solution. And that agreement was agreed upon,
5 although there were no guarantees by the international community that it
6 would be implemented, and it was very naive of the Serbian people not to
7 have required any guarantees from the international sponsors. And
8 precisely because there were no guarantees, this agreement was violated
9 eventually precisely by those who reckoned they had enough power to make
10 decisions without taking into account the Serbs, and that's why we ended
11 up forming these regions that were known later as SAO Krajina or
13 Q. I will repeat the question again.
14 Would you accept that this action by the Serbs, the SDS, in 1992,
15 the founding of the Serb republic, contributed - and I emphasise
16 contributed - to the outbreak of hostilities in April?
17 A. I answered the question. It did not contribute to it. This was
18 a political action. It was all legitimate and all these declarations.
19 There was nothing final about it, it was just an expression of a
20 political attitude, a political decision that had to be harmonised yet
21 and agreed upon with other peoples. If you decide something, it doesn't
22 mean that it is carved in stone that it will bear no further
23 modification, but it was something for the future. There was room for
24 negotiation yet and for agreement.
25 Q. I'll move on.
1 You were asked about -- by both counsel for the Defence, again,
2 about the 11th of February meeting.
3 And it was put to you in terms by Mr. Zecevic - just let me find
4 the right place - that no one could suggest -- I better just get the
5 right words.
6 MS. KORNER: Sorry, Your Honour, I thought I had marked up the
7 place but ...
8 Q. Well, I'm sure that Mr. Zecevic, if I get it wrong -- he put it
9 to you in terms that this was not a secret meeting and you agreed
10 wholeheartedly that the meeting in Banja Luka -- yes, I've got it. It is
11 page 6423. And he put to you:
12 "That was not a secret meeting, was it?"
13 And you said:
14 "No, it was in no way a secret meeting. I can absolutely claim
15 that it was not a secret meeting of any type."
16 If it was not a secret meeting, why was it held in the hotel
17 Bosna and not in the CSB
18 A. Well, precisely because it was not a secret meeting. You can go
19 into the CSB
20 authorised, but hotel Bosna is a public place, a public venue. Anyone
21 can walk in. And it's not secret also because the conclusions from this
22 meeting were sent to Delimustafic, the minister. Why would that be done
23 if the deliberations were secret? It's absurd to claim there was any
24 conspiracy to it.
25 These transcripts were not meant for Serbian leaders and Serbian
1 policemen, they were offered to the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a
2 proposal for -- for a way to resolve the many problems that had
4 Q. Well, should we have look at what you told us in interview about
6 MS. KORNER: Could we have up on the screen, please, page 30, and
7 this is the revised version, whether the names and the like were
8 corrected. So, sorry, 65 ter 9020. Is there a B/C/S version? I'm
9 afraid, Your Honours, there's only an English version, but the
10 interpreters can see it then.
11 It's page -- it says 30 of 73 at the bottom, yes, thank you.
12 Q. You have been asked on the previous page to look at the minutes
13 of the meeting, and you were asked as I asked you whether they were
14 accurate and you said, for the most part, yes.
15 And then you were asked:
16 "Did you take" - top of the page - "any contemporaneous notes
17 like an agenda?
18 "No, by that time, I had already given up on writing any notes.
19 I don't have any notes from that meeting. We were all -- we actually
20 arrived unprepared to the meeting. The chiefs of the CSBs, the centres,
21 they had the real power especially here in Banja Luka where the Serbs
22 were in the majority and they actually had the power. In Sarajevo
23 were illegals."
24 And then do you remember who asked you to the meeting, and you
25 said, "Dragan Devedlaka ... I don't know who informed whom, but it is
1 logical to me that Dragan Devedlaka would have hierarchically have been
2 informed by whoever, Mandic or Stanisic.
3 "And these minutes, were they distributed to the participants
4 after the meeting?
5 "I don't think I got it."
6 And the investigator said:
7 "Okay. Because you looked at it less than a minute and you knew
8 all about this meeting. I just wondered had you ever seen this document
9 before today?
10 "Later on, I did see it. I don't know if it was Radovic or
11 Zugic. I think it was Goran Radovic who gave it to me."
12 So the minutes were not distributed immediately after the
13 meeting, is that right, Mr. Vlaski?
14 A. Well, since the records were there, the people who prepared the
15 meetings and organised it and prepared the records had all these
16 technical things under control, and we who travelled to Banja Luka
17 return to wherever we came from, so I'm not so familiar with these
18 transcripts. I was not in such a position as to deserve a transcript. I
19 could, for instance, receive one from Mr. Zedlak.
20 MR. ZECEVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... what the
21 witness actually said.
22 MS. KORNER: I -- if you can help Mr. Zecevic.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: He said that somebody who organised and prepared
24 the meeting had the records and had to deal with them in a technical way.
25 I assume he meant that has to be retyped or something like that.
1 But the -- the -- the -- the transcript says all these technical
2 things under control which is -- which means nothing, and that is
3 precisely the answer to your question.
4 MS. KORNER: Okay. Perhaps if I can put it -- so what you're
5 saying, and tell me if is this right, please, Mr. Vlaski - I don't want
6 to put words in your mouth - is that you had nothing to do with how the
7 minutes were produced. Is that what you're telling us?
8 A. Well, of course, the recording secretary takes the record in this
9 case, this is Mr. Belasevic, and he is the person who was responsible for
10 what is in the transcript, in the minutes. And I said, I believe it
11 reflects the atmosphere and the topics of the meeting, although you can't
12 see from this that there was any secret or a meeting organised in advance
13 because there were no invitations or an agenda notified in advance
14 because the first prerequisite for a properly organised meeting is to
15 inform everyone of what the agenda would be. We did not need an agenda,
16 to be fair, because we had only one topic to discuss, the issue of
17 survival. And the records were done later, because we had no laptops and
18 we had no typewriters. I don't know where they did it physically, where
19 they prepared it. I was not familiar with the technical aspects of this
20 job and who formulated these minutes and these conclusions. Perhaps they
21 could be arranged better, in a different order, and perhaps they could be
22 even formulated better, but that's a different issue.
23 MR. ZECEVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... line 6, it
24 says -- Ms. Korner said "the minutes" and it says in the transcript "the
25 manipulates" were produced.
1 MS. KORNER:
2 Q. All right, Mr. Vlaski, I don't want to get too bogged down in
3 that, but I would like to move now to what you then dealt with. You
4 say -- you were asked by the investigator:
5 "Can you recall these conclusions" -- can we push the page up a
6 bit? Thanks. "Can you recall these conclusions?"
7 And you say:
8 "No, I believe they were compiled later.
9 "How long did the meeting last?
10 "Can't tell you.
11 "Why held in Banja Luka?"
12 And can we go to the next page, please.
13 "I don't know who insisted on being in Banja Luka, I don't know
14 who organised it all."
15 "Would you call it a closed meeting," said the investigator?
16 "Mr. Zupljanin provided security. We didn't feel insecure where
17 personal security was concerned. I believe this meeting could have been
18 held anywhere. I don't know who organised it and why Banja Luka was
20 "Q. But this was a meeting only open to Serb police officers not
21 to Croat or Muslim."
22 Your response:
23 "Yes, and that was his intention."
24 Now do you still say this wasn't a secret meeting?
25 A. It absolutely was not secret. I don't see why it should have
1 been secret.
2 Q. But if it wasn't meant to be a secret meeting and you wanted to
3 make your feelings known to the Muslims and Croats that you said were
4 taking all the positions, why didn't you invite them to this meeting?
5 Why didn't you have Mr. Delimustafic to this meeting with Mr. Mandic and
6 Mr. Stanisic and express your grievances?
7 A. Well, really, I have to -- you make me laugh. They -- they
8 should have come to our meeting. Well, they didn't call us to the
9 meetings where they should have called us because we were part and parcel
10 of the authorities. Were their partners in the everyday work that was
11 supposed to be performed. They didn't call us to these meetings we were
12 supposed to attend, and it would have been ridiculous for us to think
13 that they would come to one meeting that we organised, and it wasn't
14 really logical for them to be invited.
15 Q. And you absolutely reject any suggestion that this was a meeting
16 that was to be kept quiet from the other nationalities in the MUP.
17 A. This was the first meeting, and I've already said that. It was
18 on this occasion that I met many of the people for the first time and got
19 to know them. We hadn't had any previous communication unlike the
20 representatives of the Bosniak and Croat peoples who had everything at
21 their disposal from the various vehicles to communication devices and
22 premises. They didn't invite us to their meetings, and this became only
23 too apparent from everything that happened later. So this entire process
24 had lasted by that time for a year. Had we acted responsibly towards
25 ourselves, then we should have by the 11th of February, been very
1 familiar with one another and communicated our positions to one another.
2 But the fact that on the 11th of February we only met many of the people
3 amongst ourselves, only goes to show that we were at the very beginning
4 of any activities.
5 Q. By the time of this meeting, perhaps you'd like to go to the
6 minutes and could we have them up on the screen again. It's 1D -- have
7 you got them in your -- 1D135.
8 By the time of this meeting, the Assembly of the Serbian Republic
9 had already made a decision on -- that there was to be a Serbian MUP
10 established, hadn't it? That's what Mr. Radovic says.
11 A. That's right. The Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that's
12 what it should state because that's what the declaration was as well as
13 the political position that the MUP of the Serbian Republic
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina should be established.
15 Q. Right. And Mr. Stanisic, in his speech that we see on that page,
16 talked about the Council of Ministers of that Assembly, didn't he? First
18 "The position of the Council of Ministers at the last session was
19 that the territories in the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 are under Serbian control, that control must be felt ..."
21 So he was talking, wasn't he, about the Council of Ministers of
22 that Assembly, of which you may or may not have known he was a member?
23 A. He was an advisor. He had the role of a political representative
24 of sorts of the MUP within the Ministry of the Interior of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and his political role was to co-ordinate the work of
1 MUP representatives in -- or rather, to co-ordinate the work of the MUP
2 with the representatives of the MUP of Bosniak and Croat ethnicities and
3 to co-ordinate the work with the Council of Ministers which was set up at
4 the Assembly and the SDS
5 From his presentation it is clear that the MUP of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina is being divided by the Muslims and not by the Serbs.
7 To us, this was common knowledge. Their statements to the public at
8 large and all the other activities they undertook were aimed at laying
9 all the blame at the Serbs, so the result was the formation of the Serb
10 MUP from the municipal level to the regional level to the ministry
11 itself, but this was only a -- a -- a project at its inception at the
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... can I ask my original
14 question again.
15 Were you aware, and it seems that you were, that Mr. Stanisic was
16 a member of the Council of Ministers of the Serbian Assembly?
17 A. I was aware of it.
18 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, I didn't want to object because there
19 has been so many objections already.
20 I just don't see how this comes out of the cross-examination, and
21 I will beg Ms. Korner to pay attention to the limitation that has to be
23 MS. KORNER: He was asked both by -- by both counsel about the
24 content of these minutes, and his assertion is that at all times the
25 minutes were -- it was intended and that the minutes were sent to
1 Mr. Izetbegovic, and I'm just dealing with that aspect.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, I -- I beg your attention just --
3 He was asked on direct about the minutes of the 11th of
4 February meeting. He was re -- cross-examined, examined exactly on that
5 basis because he was asked on -- this document was produced to him during
6 the direct. He was cross-examined during the cross-examination on the
7 same document.
8 I don't see how, out of our cross-examination, anything of the
9 sort that -- that refers to the Council of Ministers or anything comes
10 out. I'm 100 percent sure that I never asked this question nor has
11 Defence of Zupljanin, or anything remotely connected to that.
12 Thank you.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm going to go on asking unless you
14 tell me -- I've got just one point to make, and I would like to make it,
15 if you allow me. If you don't, then I won't. There has been
16 cross-examination on this document. I appreciate I opened up in
17 examination-in-chief, but I want to explore some of those replies in
18 re-examination, in particular the assertion that these minutes went to
19 Mr. Izetbegovic, which is not something I think that was said in-chief.
20 JUDGE HALL
21 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
22 Q. Right. Were you also aware - before I move onto the next point -
23 that Mr. Stanisic was --
24 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm so sorry. In particular the certification that
25 these went to Mr. Izetbegovic which was not something that was said
1 in-chief. I heard Ms. Korner saying Izetbegovic. This is a
2 misinterpretation. He said the minutes -- he said in direct in the
3 cross-examination that the minutes are going to Delimustafic, the
5 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, I meant Mr. Delimustafic. I said
6 Izetbegovic, but I meant Mr. Delimustafic, which I apologise, you're
7 quite right.
8 Q. Now maybe we can finish this topic fairly quickly.
9 Were you aware that not only was he a member of the Council of
10 Ministers but a member of the SDS
11 A. I don't know, really, because I was not in charge of the
12 personnel policy of the SDS
13 party in that sense as to who was a member or who was not.
14 As for the work of the Council of Ministers I was interested in
15 that because that was a process that had been launched, and I knew that
16 he was involved in the work of the Council of Ministers.
17 Q. And Mr. Stanisic says:
18 "A list of minimal outstanding demands should be assembled at
19 this meeting and submitted to Minister Alija Delimustafic."
20 Correct? Do you see that? It's Mr. Stanisic 's speech. It may
21 be on the next page in B/C/S.
22 You are asserting, do I understand this, not that a list of
23 demands was sent to Mr. Delimustafic but these minutes of this meeting in
24 Banja Luka; is that what you're saying? I just want to understand that.
25 A. I think that the form itself was not that important. The
1 intentions were important. The format could have been that the message
2 could have been conveyed verbally or in writing. What mattered was the
3 intention to acquaint Mr. Delimustafic who was nominally the minister and
4 who was the individual who dealt with these matters was informed of this.
5 We believed in the survival of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the MUP of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. We only thought that the conduct had to change, and
7 that's why it mattered that the document be sent to Mr. Delimustafic.
8 Q. Yes, look, Mr. Vlaski, you have shown us over and over again
9 you're not a stupid man. You know the difference between a list of
10 demands being send and the minutes of a meeting such as this. I want to
11 know, the Trial Chamber may want to know what are you saying? Are you
12 saying that these minutes, these typed-up minutes were sent to
13 Mr. Delimustafic?
14 A. I cannot claim either way because I don't know who was supposed
15 to formulate and convey the demands. This is not stated in the minutes,
16 and I was not informed of it subsequently.
17 Q. Because the only person, the only people who are said to be
18 informed of the conclusions, if you go to number 18, if we can go to the
19 fifth page in English and probably about the same in B/C/S. Yes.
20 Are -- it says:
21 "Inform the Council of Ministers of the ..."
22 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry, it has nothing to do with the objection.
23 It is the translation problem. And ministerial council. It says in the
24 original [B/C/S spoken] of the mentioned conclusions the Council of
25 Ministers is to be informed too.
1 MS. KORNER: And it's difference is?
2 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I believe the difference is obvious.
3 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, I --
4 MR. ZECEVIC: The English should say: "Of the above conclusions,
5 the Council of Ministers should also be informed," or something along
6 these lines.
7 MS. KORNER: All right. I'm sure you're right, Mr. Zecevic.
8 Q. That's all I want to ask you about these minutes. And finally,
9 can we turn one last time to the question of intercepts about which you
10 have had so much to say.
11 As I understand your complaint, it is that the intercepts which
12 were made, in particular of Mr. Karadzic, were illegal and particularly
13 illegal -- and other people, other Serbs, because the operatives used
14 were not, at the time, members of the MUP.
15 Have I understood that correctly?
16 A. I provided an analysis of the procedure. The request for the
17 application of any measures has to be based on some sort of information.
18 In this case, orders for the application of measures and the
19 entire procedure starts from the top and runs along illegal channels that
20 were outside of the institutions.
21 JUDGE HALL
22 moment. Ms. Korner, I know that Mr. Krgovic spent quite a bit of time on
23 this, but the -- need you go down this road? Because the question of the
24 legality of this trial -- this trial -- is this really something that the
25 Chamber at the end of the day is going to have to consider?
1 MS. KORNER: No, well, I mean -- but, Your Honour, I don't know
2 is the answer because I know that you have ruled on this, as it were, but
3 it wasn't really Mr. Krgovic. It was more Mr. Zecevic who spent a very
4 long time and put various names to him, as to the operatives.
5 So I'm dealing with that as much as I can. But if Your Honours,
6 as we will be submitting that -- the -- the legality or otherwise is not
7 something that -- that will make these intercepts admissible or
8 non-admissible then I'm perfectly happy to leave it.
9 JUDGE HALL
10 eventual conclusion the Chamber might reach. I only say that in the
11 context of the clear ruling -- rulings, I think there are more than one,
12 that the Chamber has given that I'm surprised that counsel on either side
13 felt the need to go down this road.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, that's -- may I say, Your Honours
15 didn't stop Mr. Zecevic or Mr. Krgovic, so I can't read Your Honours'
16 minds, can I? I feel I ought to deal with this slightly in
18 JUDGE HALL
19 think counsel on both side would have appreciated that the, speaking for
20 myself, perhaps my fellow Judges as well, but rather that intervening
21 in -- when counsel is on a particular plank, the preferable course is to
22 say nothing in the hope that it would -- that he would come.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: It goes away [Microphone not activated]
24 JUDGE HALL
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honours I'm perfectly happy to leave it, I
1 mean, being given that indication. I hope I won't, if it later comes to
2 argument, be put at a disadvantage because I do have certain matters I
3 can put to him about it. But I'll -- I will take Your Honours' guidance
4 on this, if I may.
5 Q. I just want to then deal with one aspect of this -- from your
6 listening. The intercepts which you have listened to, which you listened
7 to here, they reflected, did they, particularly the ones where you were
8 referred to, the situation at the time?
9 Did you get the interpretation?
10 A. I have too much noise in my earphones. It's a problem. Perhaps
11 we're being listened in.
12 JUDGE HALL
13 MS. KORNER:
14 Q. Right. Did you hear the question?
15 A. I didn't. I didn't hear the question because there's too much
16 noise in my earphones.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the usher can give you
18 another set and see if that's any better.
19 The question I asked, Mr. Vlaski, was this: You listened to a
20 number of intercepts that particularly dealt with your situation but also
21 referred to other matters. Did those conversations, and forget whether
22 they were legal or illegally taped, represent a reflection on events that
23 you knew about?
24 A. From what I could hear and read, I believe that they did reflect.
25 There were many more things, of course. You don’t have insight into
1 all the intercepts, only the ones that were presented to you.
2 Q. I accept that entirely. All right.
3 Sorry, one last matter. You were asked by Mr. Zecevic yesterday,
4 and you had never said anything about the meeting but he put to you, at
5 page 6406:
6 "It was because of the nature of the your work that you were
7 informed of the secret meeting of the SDA in the police hall which was
8 held on 26th of May, 1991; is that right?"
9 Now you have never mentioned the meeting of the 26th of May in
10 interview, in Banja Luka, nor when you gave evidence when I was asking
11 you questions, but you knew exactly what Mr. Zecevic was talking about.
12 Did he discuss this with you when you met?
13 A. No, not this topic. But it was only logical that this issue of
14 organising would crop up, because the context of my testimony had to do
15 with the response to various actions by the Party of Democratic Action.
16 Q. What I want to know, Mr. Vlaski, is you didn't appear surprised
17 by the question at all. And so that's why I'm asking you whether you
18 discussed this with Mr. Zecevic when you met him.
19 A. I wasn't surprised by a single question put to me during my
20 testimony here. I am not surprised.
21 Q. Yes. All right. You see, you then -- your answer to this was:
22 "Yes, because at the time I was the chief of the administration
23 for the security of individual and those individuals included
24 Mr. Izetbegovic, who participated in the meeting."
25 Do we understand that you -- because were responsible for the
1 security, particularly of the President, you accompanied Mr. Izetbegovic
2 to this secret meeting?
3 A. I wasn't Mr. Izetbegovic's body-guard. I was the chief of the
4 administration. The practice at the time when I headed the
5 administration was such that many attempts were made at trying to prevent
6 me from obtaining relevant information as to when Mr. Izetbegovic was
7 taking the trip, where, when he was going to come back, and who he was
8 going to stay when and who with. And as for this particular meeting, I
9 received the relevant information perhaps 15 minutes ahead of its
11 Q. All right. Because, obviously, whoever was his body-guard, who
12 was under your command had to say where he was going and with whom?
13 A. He had body-guards who were not under our control. They were
14 party people. Some of them were held criminally liable later on, and
15 some even earlier on.
16 Q. Anyway, the upshot is, whether it was 15 minutes before or at
17 another stage, you were aware that Mr. Izetbegovic was going to a hall to
18 attend the meeting of the SDA; is that right?
19 A. That's right. Because the meeting was somewhat broader. It
20 included the representatives from Sandzak, Croatia
22 Q. Yes.
23 MS. KORNER: I have no further questions.
24 JUDGE HALL
25 cross-examine this witness in -- in the course of re-examination, it was
1 alerted to the possibility that this may have -- this unusual course, may
2 have resulted in leave being given to the counsel for the Defence to
3 further cross-examine. But inasmuch as Ms. Korner has confined herself
4 to matters that arose out of counsel's cross-examination, I -- do I
5 correctly conclude that the question of further cross-examination does
6 not really arise?
7 MR. ZECEVIC: You're correct, Your Honours. We don't have any
8 questions for this witness anymore.
9 JUDGE HALL
10 MR. KRGOVIC: I have no further questions for this witness, Your
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Vlaski, yesterday you told us, and it was
14 repeated today, that it seems that for Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
15 relationship between the master and the servant was a historical category
16 and they believed that it was time for them to become masters.
17 So I presume that, before that, they were the servants?
18 A. Well, it doesn't only have to do with servants. You've gone to
19 one extremism. We had equality, we had equality in the Socialist
20 Republic -- Federative Republic of Yugoslavia
21 which the country was based and servants and masters were a historical
22 occurrence during the Ottoman Empire
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Thank you.
24 JUDGE HALL
25 Tribunal in coming to give evidence. Your testimony is now at an end,
1 and you're now released as a witness.
2 The Chamber will now rise, and we will resume at 2.15 tomorrow
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.56 p.m.
5 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 18th day of
6 February, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.