Esed Velic finished his testimony at the “tribunal” today. He was the president of the SDA in Bosanska Krupa from September 1991 onwards.


Velic testified that the SDA wanted to increase the number of Muslims in the reserve police force in Bosanska Krupa so that they could acquire more weapons.


Velic explained that the fighting started in Bosanska Krupa when two young Serb men were shot by this same police at a checkpoint.


Velic considered that the killing of these two Serbs, by the Muslim police officers, was a provocation that had been staged by the SDS. President Milosevic didn’t buy that version of events, he mocked the notion that the SDS told those Muslim police to shoot those two young Serbs.


Velic’s statement had some inaccuracies in it, which highlight the fact that admitting entire witness statements as evidence is a flawed practice. Belic swore that his statement was truthful and accurate, and the statement was admitted as evidence under Rule 89(F).


The only problem is that Velic’s statement was not truthful and accurate. Velic attributed the inaccuracies to the fact that he didn’t write his witness statement. At The Hague “tribunal” none of the witnesses write their own witness statement. The prosecution interviews the witness before they testify, and on the basis of the interview the prosecutor writes the statement for the witness.


So what we have is the prosecutor writing a document and then having their own document that they wrote themselves treated as evidence against an accused.


With Velic his statement said one thing, but his live testimony said something different. In his statement he spoke of the front lines in Bosanska Krupa and talked about how the Muslim forces managed to hold the frontlines. In his live testimony he said no front lines existed in Bosanska Krupa at all. He recited the same old story that the Muslims had no armed forces (which makes it all the more amazing that they managed to fight a war for three years).


In his statement he said that he went to Zagreb to work in the war presidency, but in his live testimony his story was different. He said that he was sent to Zagreb by the war presidency, not that the war presidency was located in Zagreb, and that he went there so that he could work for them. He had been working for them all along.


This illustrates the fact that witnesses, either by accident or intentionally, are not pointing-out inaccuracies in their 89(F) statements. If the tribunal wanted to have even the appearance of a real court of law they would abandon this practice of admitting statements written by the prosecutor as evidence. Moreover, this illustrates that evidence admitted under Rule 89(F) is suspect.


After Velic withdrew, Miroslav Deronjic took the witness stand. Deronjic is involved in a plea bargain with the prosecution. He has agreed to plead guilty to crimes in Glogova in exchange for a light sentence, but he has not been sentenced as of yet.


In point 11(A) of Deronjic’s plea agreement it says “based on Miroslav Deronjic’s full and substantial co-operation with the Office of the Prosecutor, the Prosecutor will recommend to the Trial Chamber that it impose a term of 10 years imprisonment.”


So the prosecutor needs to consider that Deronjic is fully and substantially cooperating in order to recommend the 10 year imprisonment. If they don’t consider that there is adequate cooperation from Deronjic they are not bound to recommend anything.


In point 11(B) of the plea agreement it says, “the Prosecutor will take necessary and reasonable steps to ensure the safety and protection of Miroslav Deronjic and members of his family;”


In exchange for a light prison sentence, the protection of his family, and immunity from further prosecution for the crimes that he plead guilty to. Deronjic agrees in point 12 of his plea agreement “to meet as often as necessary with members of the Office of the Prosecutor and to co-operate with and provide them with truthful and complete information that is known to him regarding individuals and events in the former Yugoslavia. He agrees to be truthful and candid and to freely answer all questions put to him by members of the Office of the Prosecutor. Miroslav Deronjic agrees to testify truthfully in any trials, hearings, and proceedings before the Tribunal where the Prosecutor deems his evidence may be relevant, whether those matters are presently before the Tribunal or may be in the future.”


So Deronjic only gets his sweet deal if he testifies against others. He hasn’t been sentenced yet and if he fails to impress the prosecutor he loses his deal. The last part of point 11(A) of his plea agreement says “Miroslav Deronjic understands that the Trial Chamber is not bound to accept the Prosecutor’s recommendation and may impose a sentence above or below the Prosecutor’s recommended sentence. The imposition of such a sentence will not vitiate the plea of guilty;”


In other words, the plea agreement doesn’t mean that they can’t still screw him anyway, so he’d better play ball if he ever wants to be a free man again. In looking at the plea agreement one can really see that Deronjic’s testimony is the result of extortion by the prosecutor.


Deronjc testified under the now infamous Rule 89(F). His 232 paragraph statement was admitted into evidence, and Slobodan Milosevic was only allotted 2˝ hours to cross-examine him.


The cross-examination started with the transcript of an allegedly intercepted conversation between Radovan Karadzic and the witness. It is interesting to note that the source of this transcript is unknown and that no tape recording exists of this so-called intercept. Deronjic nonetheless, confirmed that the transcript was of an authentic telephone conversation.


Deronjic, who was the President of the Bratunac Municipal Board of the SDS claimed that he frequently spoke with Radovan Karadzic. He claimed that Karadzic told him at a meeting in Zvornik that he should prepare Bratunac for VRS operations around Srebrenica.


Deronjic, whose memory was so precise about the alleged telephone conversation, found that his memory failed him when he was asked to say when the military operations actually began.


Deronjic said that he met with Gen. Krstic, but he didn’t know how long he spoke with Krstic, what he spoke to Krstic about, or even what day he met Krstic. Deronjic thought that he might have had some coffee with Krstic, but he didn’t remember.


Deronjic, in spite of the fact that he claimed to have spoken with the VRS commanders in the area, said that he didn’t know what objective the VRS was trying to achieve in the area of Srebrenica. Deronjic said that he didn’t know because he didn't ask.


In spite of the fact that Deronjic says he didn’t know what the VRS was up to, he contacted Radovan Karadzic and advised him to send a special unit of the R.S. MUP to assist with the situation in Srebrenica.


Deronjic said that because he didn’t know what was going on with regard to Srebrenica that he traveled to Pale to meet with Radovan Karadzic so that he could ask him.


Deronjic said that he went to Pale unannounced. He didn’t tell anybody in Pale or Bratunac that he was going off to meet with President Karadzic.


Deronjic had no idea when he left Bratunac to go to Pale, and he had no idea when he got there. In his statement he got there on July 9, 1995, but when he was on the witness stand he didn’t know with any certainty what day it was that he was there.


Deronjic claimed that when he got to Pale he just by luck happened upon Radovan Karadzic, Momcilo Krajisnik, and Jovica Stanisic while they were out taking a nice leisurely stroll.


Then Deronjic said that Karadzic introduced him to Krajisnik and Stanisic as “our man in the field” and on the basis of that Deronjic concluded that the three of them had been speaking about Srebrenica. He didn’t hear them saying anything about it, but he none the less concluded based on Karadzic’s reference to him as the “man in the field” that the subject of this meeting was in Srebrenica.


Deronjic excluded the possibility that he had been referred to as “man in the field” because he was the president of a local board of the SDS. But that isn’t as important as Deronjic’s next ludicrous claim.


Deronjic claimed that Karadzic took him off to the side and told him to kill as many Srebrenica Muslims as he could manage to kill.


President Milosevic ripped Deronjic’s lies to pieces. President Milosevic produced the VRS orders regarding Srebrenica. The orders had been issued by Maj. Gen. Jovanovic on July 2, 1995 – one week before Deronjic went to Pale to ask Karadzic what the military’s objective was.


The orders explicitly stated the objective and it was to sever links between Srebrenica and Gorazde and reduce the enclaves to just the urban areas. The orders also explicitly stated that the Geneva conventions had to be observed.


Apparently our witness, who was the leading political figure in the area, was the only one who didn’t know what the plan was.


President Milosevic asked Deronjic if he was part of the military chain of command. Deronjic of course said that he wasn’t, and so President Milosevic asked him why Karadzic would tell him that the Muslims should be killed? If Deronjic couldn’t have them killed so why would Karadzic even bring up the topic? The witness had no real answer to speak of.


President Milosevic then produced orders issued to the VRS by Radovan Karadzic himself. These orders were issued on July 9th, the same day as Deronjic claims that Karadzic told him to kill all the Muslims. The orders explicitly said that civilians, POWs and UNPROFOR soldiers should be protected.


The witness got flustered and explained that he didn’t think that accuracy was so critical in his statement. He admitted that the dates were wrong and that the quotation marks were misplaced in his statement. So what if quotes are being attributed to people who never said something, this is the Hague Tribunal! Here we have a 232 paragraph witness statement that isn’t even written by the witness and the witness says that the dates are wrong and the quotes aren’t that exact, but he swears that the statement is true and it is admitted as some sort of so-called “evidence” nonetheless.


Deronjic, in addition to being the SDS president in Bratunac, had been appointed as the Civilian Commissioner for Srebrenica. He said that Karadzic told him to meet with Muslim representatives and offer them 3 options. The first option was for them to remain in Srebrenica, the second option was for them to go to an area that was under control of the ABiH, and the third option was for them to go to a third country. Deronjic said that the result was that the Muslims decided that they wanted to leave Srebrenica.


According to Deronjic, Karadzic also ordered that war criminals be apprehended and dealt with in accordance with the laws and customs of war. Specifically the orders from Karadzic were that the POW’s should be sent to the military prison, not that they should be killed or anything of that sort.


At this point President Milosevic asked Deronjic if he thought that these orders coming from Karadzic conflicted with his earlier assertion that Karadzic wanted those people killed. Deronjic had no choice but to admit that his testimony was contradictory here.


Deronjic said that the POWs weren’t properly guarded, and that he had heard second-hand that some of them were being killed at the cooperative farm in Bratunac but that he didn’t know, even to this day, who was killing them; although, Deronjic did testify that civilians had been carrying out revenge killings in the area.


Deronjic also testified that 15,000 – 20,000 Muslims soldiers in Srebrenica were carrying out an operation to break-out towards Tuzla, and he confirmed that they took large casualties in the process.


Deronjic, since he claimed prisoners were being killed, was asked how many people were killed in combat and how many were killed while imprisoned. Deronjic didn’t know, or else he didn’t want to answer because he didn’t answer.


Deronjic claimed that Radovan Karadzic called him and asked him how the evacuations were progressing and how the fighting was going. When Karadzic called him, Deronjic had already heard about killings taking place, but he says he didn’t tell Karadzic about them, because he thought that Karadzic knew about it.


Then Deronjic says that a drunk man called “Beara” came to his office. Of course nobody but Deronjic saw this, he had already sent his assistant away.


Deronjic said that this drunk “Beara” person wanted to take over the prisoners and kill them. President Milosevic asked Deronjic who sent this “Beara” and Deronjic didn’t know for sure because he didn’t ask, but he just assumed that Karadzic must have sent this drunk man to him.


Deronjic says he told “Beara” that he couldn’t kill the prisoners because Karadzic had issued orders that the POWs should be sent to the military prison, so that it could be established if they were war criminals or not.


The morning after this “Beara” allegedly came staggering drunk into Deronjic’s office, Deronjic says that he was woken up by news that “Beara” was taking a group of POWs to the brick factory to kill them. Deronjic says that he caught-up with “Beara” on the road to the brick factory, but that he didn’t see any POWs with him.


By this time it is July 14th and Deronjic, who says he already thought that Karadzic knew about the alleged killings, went to Pale to see Radovan Karadzic so that he could tell him about the killings.


Deronjic says that he met with Karadzic alone, and that Karadzic was concerned about what to do with the bodies. What Deronjic didn’t know was that President Milosevic had acquired a copy of President Karadzic’s daily agenda book, and in the book it can be seen that Deronjic never met with Karadzic alone on July 14th. Deronjic saw Karadzic, but as part of a whole delegation from Srebrenica. Deronjic didn’t see Karadzic alone. He was caught in a lie, and there are witnesses from that delegation who can bear this out.


The “trial’s” broadcast feed abruptly ended today. Video technicians put-up the slate for Milan Babic’s initial appearance before the Milosevic “trial” had adjourned.


All I have to say to Deronjic is that he should take a good look at Milan Babic. Babic prostituted himself for the OTP and look what it got him. Deronjic should also take a harder look at his plea agreement since it only refers to Glogova. The OTP could still indict him for something else; perhaps they would indict him for Srebrenica since he talks like he was up to his elbows in that mess.


At any rate, being a whore never pays. I don’t know what sort of pathetic excuse of a man would betray his people in such a shameful fashion as Mr. Deronjic is doing. If the “tribunal” doesn’t get Deronjic then God will.

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