1 Tuesday, 19 February 2002
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. Please be seated. Please call the
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours, case number
7 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin and Momir Talic
8 [The accused entered court]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Brdjanin. As usual, I would like
10 to know whether you can hear me in a language that you can understand.
11 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour,
12 yes, I can hear you and I understand you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down. General Talic, good
14 morning, to you. I put the same question, can you hear me in a language
15 that you can understand?
16 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I
17 can hear you and I understand you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, general, you may sit down.
19 Appearances? For the Prosecution?
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, Joanna Korner, Anna Richterova and
21 Denise Gustin, case manager for the Prosecution.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Good morning, to you. Mr. Ackerman,
23 sorry appearance for Mr. Brdjanin?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman,
25 along with my co-counsel Milka Maglov and legal assistant Tania
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. Appearances for General Talic.
3 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] I'm Xavier de Roux and I'm assisted
4 by Natasha Fauveau-Ivanovic.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, and I hope we will see you more
6 often, Maitre de Roux. How are you feeling? Are you better?
7 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] [In English] I don't know exactly.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Any way, I suggest at some point in time you try to
9 have a word with your client. The Chamber has kept itself informed on
10 your application to have Madam Fauveau appointed as co-counsel and the
11 decision of the Registry was communicated to your client during
12 yesterday's sitting. I suppose you are aware of it, but I think that a
13 short talk, tete-a-tete with your client at this point in time is in
15 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] I will speak with my client in a
16 minute after the pause.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Most kind, Maitre de Roux. So are there any
18 preliminaries this morning?
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, not a preliminary but at the end of the
20 sitting I would like to raise what happened yesterday in the Stakic trial
21 because Defence counsel aren't aware in terms of -- I think Mr. Ackerman
22 saw some or heard some of the hearing, but it does affect this trial.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I haven't had a chance to consult Judge Schomburg as
24 yet. I'll be meeting Judge Schomburg on something completely different
25 but I suppose --
1 MS. KORNER: It's really to put Defence counsel in the picture on
2 the record, as it were. Defence counsel in this case, because that's the
3 trouble. Although what happened yesterday has an affect on this case,
4 neither Defence counsel was present.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. Okay. I thank you, Ms. Korner. Pleasures
6 yet to come.
7 MS. RICHTEROVA: I would like to erase the stain on my reputation
8 and hand over the missing maps which we exhibited yesterday but without
9 physical presence of the maps.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Actually, Mr. Ackerman was very
11 sympathetic. Yes. Thank you. Please bring in the witness. Thank you.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, to you, Mr. Smailagic. You will be
14 asked once more to make the solemn declaration that you made yesterday.
15 Please proceed.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: ZIJAHUDIN SMAILAGIC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You may sit down, thank you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, Madam Richterova for the Prosecution will
23 continue with her examination, direct examination of you and pleas may I
24 remind you to answer just the question and nothing but the question, and
25 Ms. Richterova to pause a little while after he's finished giving his
1 statement. So that the translators will have enough time to complete
2 their interpretation. Thank you.
3 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Examination by Ms. Richterova: [Continued]
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Smailagic. I would like --
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. I would like you to remind what we were talking about right before
8 the session was adjourned. You mentioned that the main parties in Banja
9 Luka held interparty meetings and that at the beginning, during these
10 interparty meetings, there were attempts at reaching agreements. Is it
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When you said that there -- at the beginning, it means did the
14 situation change later?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Which way did the relationship between parties change?
17 A. Well, the system of communication weakened and that happened when
18 the war commenced in the Republic of Croatia.
19 Q. And how would you describe the relationship between parties after
20 the war started and when the relationship deteriorated?
21 A. At the beginning of the war in Croatia, a mobilisation was
22 proclaimed of the population, the population in Banja Luka was mobilised.
23 We were against this mobilisation, that is to say the government of Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina and the head, Mr. Izetbegovic, called for there not to be
25 a response to the mobilisation. And on one occasion, that was the main
1 subject at one of the meetings for mobilisation and since then, the
2 relations deteriorated. We tried to persuade people not to respond to the
3 mobilisation, to persuade our population not to respond to it.
4 Q. Why was that? I mean that you tried to persuade people not to
5 answer the mobilisation order?
6 A. Because it was not a war. We hadn't been attacked as a state. We
7 felt that we were morally justified in not -- we felt we didn't have the
8 moral right to influence and to participate in the war which had commenced
9 in Croatia. We thought it was unjust.
10 Q. And what were the comments of other parties of -- or one party,
11 whoever made comments regarding these mobilisations?
12 A. At the time the HDZ stopped communicating, probably because for
13 reasons known to them, and only the SDS called some of our representatives
14 to meetings on several occasions and tried to persuade us. However, these
15 meetings always turned into very, very unpleasant situations. There
16 were -- insults were even hurled and threats were made.
17 Q. When you were talking about insults and threats, can you assist
18 the judges and briefly state some threats or some statements which you
19 felt as threats?
20 A. Well, at the beginning, it started by belittling and humiliating
21 our president, Mr. Izetbegovic and then it boiled down to making threats
22 issuing threats to us. If we didn't respond to the mobilisation, we would
23 have to leave Banja Luka ourselves. Even then, the Republika Srpska had
24 unofficially been proclaimed and at a public appearance, and we reacted to
25 this, as a party, with the SDS party, if I can mention this person,
1 Mr. Brdjanin, Mr. Vukic said at a meeting sometime in the summer of 1991,
2 they said that the army was Serbian and that not a single bullet from the
3 barracks wouldn't be taken out. And that the army was now theirs. At
4 that point, we felt that the situation had deteriorated quite a bit and
5 later, the meetings were very rare. There were almost no meetings.
6 Q. In case you said there were almost no meetings, were there some
7 official or unofficial contacts between SDA and SDS and if yes, what was
8 discussed during these contacts?
9 A. Yes. The official meetings had stopped but there were some
10 unofficial ones since we had an office next to them. Sometimes they would
11 call us, come and have a look at something, come and discuss something,
12 sometimes we even insisted on a meeting because there were threats and
13 disorder at sessions of the at the assembly, the Municipal Assembly
14 because we had our delegates there. The objective of these talks was to
15 see how we could help the population in Banja Luka because the population
16 was afraid, a mobilisation had been proclaimed and we attempted to do
17 something here, but there were no results.
18 Q. Can you tell us during these meetings or conversation, were there
19 any subjects or proposals made by members of SDS in which they could
20 express their nationalistic views?
21 A. Well, yes. At one meeting, an unofficial meeting, when we
22 energetically rejected their proposals, Mr. Brdjanin said literally,
23 "Well, aren't you ashamed? You're walking around on Serbian territory,
24 it's all Serbian." That was quite a significant warning to ourselves with
25 regard to the situation, what the situation was like.
1 Q. When you mentioned Mr. Brdjanin, did Mr. Brdjanin attend these
2 interparty meetings?
3 A. Yes. He was there on several occasions.
4 Q. Did you -- did he express some other views? Did he held some
5 speeches during these interparty meetings or unofficial meetings?
6 A. Well, nothing in general, but as I understand it, Mr. Brdjanin, we
7 sometimes thought that he was joking. He made some very serious threats
8 but there were most quarrels among the members of the SDS, that is to say
9 their executive board.
10 Q. Can you stop you now? When you, before, said that, I will quote,
11 "Mr. Brdjanin said literally, "Well aren't you ashamed? You are walking
12 around on Serbian territory. It is all Serbian," did he explain why he
13 was saying this was Serbian territory? Did he make any comment, further
15 A. He made comments which you might call comments. They weren't
16 really so. Since we were used to his provocations, to these provocation
17 that is they directed at us. That this was this had been Serbian
18 territory for centuries, that we had been converted to the Turkish system
19 and that we had taken their territory, he would say things like that.
20 Q. Did you use -- did he use some names when he was referring to
21 non-Serb people?
22 A. Do you mean names of individuals or in general?
23 Q. I mean general, in general.
24 A. In general, well, he tried to use words to provoke us in order to
25 insult us as much as possible. He very often and especially in some of
1 his public appearances he very often used the word "balija." I doubt that
2 he knew what balija, the word "balija" meant, but in fact for an ordinary
3 man, an uneducated man, someone who has no culture, so that's what mean --
4 that's what the word would mean, so it could relate to anyone.
5 Q. Excuse me, what does this expression "balija" mean?
6 A. Balija, in fact, means a man who is not educated, who behaves
7 badly, rude, someone who is rude, in short, an impolite man, a simple man.
8 Q. Now I would like to return to these meetings between parties.
9 Were -- who else apart of Mr. Brdjanin, who else was present?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me a moment, Your Honour, I may have missed
11 it, but I don't think it's been established when these meetings were
12 taking place. I believe they were prior to the time of the indictment but
13 I think it should be established when they were so that the Trial Chamber
14 would be able to evaluate them better.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I think your observation is perfectly in order and
16 perhaps Ms. Richterova, you could put the question direct to your witness.
17 MS. RICHTEROVA:
18 Q. Mr. Smailagic, are you able to tell us when these meetings took
20 A. After the multi-party elections, the formation of the government,
21 I'm thinking of the municipal authorities in Banja Luka.
22 Q. No, no. I mean when we were discussing now the meetings or
23 informal meetings when Mr. Brdjanin started expressing his attitude, when
24 these meetings --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The period of time, in other words.
1 MS. RICHTEROVA: The period of time.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: The period of time.
3 MS. RICHTEROVA:
4 Q. Of course I do not want to hear exact day because I believe you do
5 not remember it. It's ten years ago but --
6 A. Well, these meetings, roughly speaking, started to be held around
7 the middle or the beginning of the summer, June or July, when the war in
8 Croatia had been going on for two or three months already. That's when it
9 started, and I think it happened after the mobilisation. That
10 mobilisation was in May or June in Banja Luka, in 1991. So the middle of
11 1991 is when these meetings started, and they didn't last for long.
12 Towards the end of the year, they stopped.
13 Q. So you are talking about the mobilisation for the war in Croatia?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. That's the answer, Mr. Ackerman.
16 Can I go now and I would repeat my last question and it was, who
17 else was present during these meetings? And I would like you to talk
18 about meetings which took place towards the end of 1991 or 1992, if there
19 were some meetings.
20 A. Well, at these meetings almost the entire executive committee
21 attended them. Mr. Vukic was there, the president of the SDS in Banja
22 Luka. Mr. Brdjanin. Mr. Kupresanin. On several occasions, Mr. Zupljanin
23 was present and there were --
24 Q. Can you assist us and again tell us which speeches struck your
25 attention, which you felt as threatening or which you felt uneasy with
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour I think this exact question has been
3 previously asked and answered. Almost in exactly the same words.
4 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, but this --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. Let me interject. No. There is a slight
6 difference, Mr. Ackerman, without the need of actually asking
7 Ms. Richterova to comment on your objection. Because the previous
8 question has been directed to establish who else, apart from your client,
9 used to be present at these meetings. Now, this question that is being
10 asked now is obviously directed to establish whether there were other
11 statements made by anyone of these persons present that may have attracted
12 witness's attention more than others. So for the time being, for whatever
13 it is worth, I will accept the question and direct the witness to answer
14 it. He has also heard what I had to say and perhaps it is more clear to
15 him what is expected from him. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I have checked the transcript, Your Honour,
17 and you're correct her previous question was about things that
18 Mr. Brdjanin had said and that has been asked and answered.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: As far as Mr. Brdjanin is concerned, yes, but now
20 the question is a sequence -- a sequence to the previous one which
21 referred to who else used to be present at these meetings.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So if there were any other statements made during
24 these meetings, don't forget that we have here the charge of joint
25 criminal enterprise and this and that, so this is why I'm allowing the
1 question for whatever it is worth. Because obviously, I mean one has to
2 give it weight later on.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand that she's now asking people other
4 than Brdjanin and I had not understood that she had not asked that
5 question before. Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Smailagic, please, you've heard the
7 question. You are being asked to state whether -- of the statements that
8 you may have heard in the course of these meetings at which you mentioned
9 these persons as being present, which statements attracted your
10 attention. If there were any. You have already stated that there were
11 some made by Mr. Brdjanin. Were there any other statements that attracted
12 your attention?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. There were. They would take
14 the floor, all of them, and speak. However, what attracted my attention,
15 not only my attention but the attention of others, were the statements
16 given by Mr. Vukic, the president of the SDS. He also used the same
17 threatening expressions, and he would always first attack Mr. Izetbegovic
18 and then continued by saying that we should give up his policy if we
19 wanted to remain with the rest of the population in Banja Luka. So those
20 were the threats that he made in this indirect manner. There were others
21 as well, but more subdued.
22 MS. RICHTEROVA:
23 Q. Mr. Smailagic, I will ask you slightly different question. Is
24 there any difference between Muslim and Serbian first name or surname?
25 A. Yes. There is a difference between Muslim and Serbian names.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Was that ever a topic that was raised during these meetings?
2 A. The topic was raised on a number of occasions. Now, I can recall
3 for instance that there was talk about our allegedly -- alleged Serbian
4 origin, that we should all be Serbs actually. To put it simply, that we
5 should change our names.
6 Q. Did it happen?
7 A. There were such cases in Banja Luka, a significant number of
8 people did change their names. Some out of fear, some because of the
9 threats. What is interesting is the fact that in most of the cases, the
10 individuals were women. They took Serb names.
11 Q. Did you personally talk to anybody who would change his name?
12 A. Yes, I did. I even had a neighbour who changed his name. His
13 name was Omer and he changed it to Jovan. May I explain?
14 Q. Excuse me, and did he state the reason?
15 A. Yes. I once went to his home on private business, his wife opened
16 the door and I asked whether Omer was there, and she said, "There is no
17 Omer here. He's Jovan now." But he was not at home. Later, I met him in
18 the street. He had already been mobilised and was wearing a uniform. He
19 was a member of the military and I said, "Is it true that you've changed
20 your name?" And he said, "Yes. It made me feel safer." But although he
21 didn't say, most probably he did it under pressure.
22 Q. I will change the subject and I will go from interparty meetings
23 into any public -- public meetings, in 1991, 1992, were there any
24 political rallies in Banja Luka?
25 A. Yes. There were. Especially from late May until early autumn.
1 SDS organised such rallies very frequently because of the war, and it was
2 during one of these rallies, I believe that it happened in May or June,
3 maybe even July, that the loudest person was Mr. Brdjanin. May I
5 Q. Yes. You may continue.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Usually I give him permission.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What happened was that in Banja
8 Luka, there was a joint movement which was actually not a party. It
9 involved a number of citizens from different ethnic backgrounds and they
10 organised a peaceful rally against the war in Croatia and they made
11 statements in respect of everything that was going on. However, very soon
12 the police dispersed the crowd and soon after that, a public rally was
13 organised by the SDS.
14 MS. RICHTEROVA:
15 Q. Do you remember who was present at that public rally who was
16 organised by the SDS?
17 A. Usually all of the members would be present at the -- at public
18 rallies, but when the war started, we began seeing individuals in uniform
19 on the stage. And in those speeches, and those addresses, the loudest
20 person, as I said, was Mr. Brdjanin, with his threats, addressed to the
21 Muslim and Croat population. There is a number of statements that he made
22 during those rallies and not only during the rallies but also in various
23 TV and radio programmes and also in the media, in the print, where he used
24 very abusive language when speaking about Croats or Muslims.
25 Q. I will stop you now. And let's go step by step. When you said
1 you saw Mr. Brdjanin at these rallies. Let's focus at rallies, at this
2 particular one which you have in your mind or in case there were some
3 others. What do you remember that was said by Mr. Brdjanin during these
4 rallies? You said he was the loudest person. Do you remember?
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, we are now to describing as these
6 rallies generically. I think we need to be more specific, if we can, as
7 to when the rally that he is speaking about occurred, as close as he can
8 get rather than generically, a plural, bunch of rallies.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Generically you are also right, Mr. Ackerman. Let
10 me try and direct the witness myself for a while, if you don't mind,
11 Ms. Richterova, and we will come to your question in any case.
12 Mr. Smailagic, you used the word "rallies" in the plural. How
13 many of these rallies are you aware of? Let's start from there.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were several such rallies. I
15 am referring to the period of time starting in late May until winter; that
16 is, during the time where people could be outside. There were least six
17 or seven such rallies, to the best of my recollection.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And to the best of your recollection again, in these
19 rallies, as far as you can remember, was Mr. Brdjanin always present? And
20 did he always speak? Or make a speech?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot remember whether he
22 attended all of those rallies because his presence can only be remembered
23 for the statements he made. Those statements were very detrimental for
24 us, very intimidating, and instilled fear, not only amongst the Muslim
25 population but amongst the Croats as well. Let me quote one of his first
1 statements, which made us feel quite uneasy. One of such statements was,
2 that is, one such statement that frightened us a lot, was that, "It was a
3 sin and shame of every Serb to drink the same water as balijas." We knew,
4 as early as that, that horrible things would happened and they did indeed
5 happen subsequently.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Maitre de Roux?
7 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm sorry to
8 intervene, but I am somehow lost in the chronology. Are we talking about
9 1991 or 1992?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: As I figure it out from what I have been following
11 on the monitor and also listening to the interpretation, we are talking of
12 the end of 1991, as I gather it. That's because this is more or less
13 happening at the same time the mobilisation started or immediately after.
14 But you are right, Ms. Richterova, if you could perhaps be more specific
15 in your question, in your questions, and if you could be more specific in
16 your answers, you would narrow the gap, because as you understand, the
17 objection or the remark, more than an objection, that was raised by
18 Mr. Ackerman is very valid. You have every right to speak and tell us
19 what you know about what Mr. Brdjanin said in these rallies but we --
20 Mr. Ackerman has also got the right to know how many of these rallies
21 you're talking about, whether you were all -- you were present at all of
22 these rallies or at only some of these rallies, whether Mr. Brdjanin spoke
23 in all of these rallies, and if he spoke in some of these rallies, when
24 were these rallies actually held. I can't help you more than that, and I
25 will now leave you again in the hands of Ms. Richterova but please try to
1 be as precise as possible in your answers. Thank you. I know it's not
2 easy because you are a politician too, and therefore, you must have taken
3 part in a large number of events and we are talking of events that
4 happened ten years plus ago, but please try to concentrate as much as you
5 can. No one is after your blood here. We are just trying to find out
6 what happened, what happened in the course of these rallies that you are
7 being questioned about. So Ms. Richterova, please. If you may either
8 rephrase your question or put the question again to the witness, the
9 witness now has more or less been briefed as to what is required from
11 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you, Your Honour. I will try to do my best
12 and I will rephrase my questions. In fact, I will use some questions
13 which you just mentioned.
14 Q. Were you present at all of these meetings?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Rallies actually because we are talking rallies.
16 MS. RICHTEROVA:
17 Q. Excuse me, rallies.
18 A. In view of the time that has gone by and all of the events, I
19 cannot remember exactly how many rallies I attended. But I'm sure that I
20 attended most of them, because I was curious, of course. In view of the
21 situation it concerned us, and it was my moral obligation to be present at
22 such rallies. I felt it that way. One of such statements, apart from the
23 one that I have already quoted, was even more frightening. Though I'm
24 unable to tell you the exact date, when it was said, again, from the end
25 of May until beginning of September, roughly, but I'm -- I would like to
1 stress that I do remember these statements very well. I have already
2 quoted one of them, there was another one something to the effect that we
3 had no business to do on sacred Serbian land. Then another one, which was
4 uttered at -- during an autumn rally. It is a custom in our country to
5 buy large quantities of cabbage in that period of -- in that time of the
6 year, to make sauerkraut, and during one such rallies he said, and this
7 was broadcast by the TV, "I should like to tell the balijas that they
8 should not be buying cabbage because they will not have time to eat it."
9 There was a number of such statements, all of them including very abusive,
10 offensive language. There was another one, he said, "There is a proverb,
11 a balija proverb which says, 'Whoever hits you with a stone, you should
12 give him back a piece of bread.' Whereas us Serbs, our prover says,
13 'Whoever hits you with a stone, you should hit him back with two.'" All
14 of these statements affected us considerably and we felt them really bad.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Richterova, perhaps you have noticed that
16 witness has not told us who is making these statements and perhaps you
17 could direct the question to that effect.
18 MS. RICHTEROVA:
19 Q. Mr. Smailagic, I knew you were -- whom you were referring but we
20 just missed this part. Who did make these speeches you were just quoting?
21 A. The speeches, the statements, were exclusively uttered by
22 Mr. Brdjanin. I don't know whether he acted in any official capacity by
23 doing so, but that is what he said. There were others who took part as
24 well but never made such statements, never spoke in this manner. Those
25 were his words. As for the thing that he said about the cabbage, he
1 repeated it twice during one of the rallies and during a TV interview. He
2 made quite a few interviews for the Banja Luka, the Serb TV, at the time.
3 Q. Mr. Smailagic, I would like to stop you and as we discuss it at
4 the beginning, I will try to ask you questions and you will answer my
5 question, if you could limit your answer to my questions. And I perfectly
6 understand that you want to tell us everything, not to forget anything.
7 But to follow the events, the chronology of events, it is easier for us if
8 you will answer just my questions.
9 We will return to these rallies. What effect did these speeches
10 have on non-Serb population in Banja Luka?
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: There is no foundation for that question. It's not
14 been established whether he knows what effect it had.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you rephrase your question, then,
16 Ms. Richterova, please?
17 MS. RICHTEROVA: I will.
18 Q. What effect did these speeches have on you?
19 A. The speeches affected us frightfully. People were concerned.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, Your Honour [Microphone not activated]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: The question was, "What effect did it have on you?"
23 He's answering the first question, what effect did it have on all the
24 people. And I would insist that he answer the question that was asked and
25 that is what effect it had on him.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Smailagic, please, the question was
2 directed as to your own personal reaction to these statements that you
3 heard during these rallies. Answer that question first, and then if there
4 are further questions directed to you, as to whether you know whether
5 others were affected also by these statements, you would be able to answer
6 that question as well. You don't need to put the question again. You
7 have put it already. So how did these statements affect you, if they did,
8 at all? You personally, as Mr. Smailagic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They had a very frightening effect.
10 We realised that the situation was very tense and I felt scared and other
11 people felt scared as well.
12 MS. RICHTEROVA:
13 Q. Did you discuss these speeches with other people?
14 A. Yes, I did. I must now kindly ask Mr. President to allow me to
15 explain this in more detail. I had many friends amongst Serbs and Croats
16 as well, but mostly amongst Serbs, because of the people that I socialised
17 with. After such rallies, many of my Serb friends told me, "You should be
18 careful. This doesn't augur well." And they criticised Mr. Brdjanin. I
19 would not like to mention their names for reasons of their safety but what
20 I'm trying to tell the Court is that there were quite a few Serbs,
21 ordinary Serbs, who were saddened to hear his speeches. The fear had
22 already reached its peak amongst the population.
23 Q. I will now move on other occasions, if there were some other
24 occasions, where you see -- saw Brdjanin in person or if you saw him on
25 TV, heard him on radio?
1 A. I saw him on TV on a number of occasions. I watched TV in
2 particular such programmes on a regular basis, that is the programmes
3 which concerned the rallies which he attended. So I did see him on a
4 number of occasions.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you could ask him again to specify which
6 period of time he's referring to, because this is important.
7 MS. RICHTEROVA: I was just going to.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 MS. RICHTEROVA:
10 Q. When was it that you saw him on TV? And I would like you also to
11 tell us, if you recall any statements heard by Brdjanin on TV, to tell us
12 approximately the period of time you heard it.
13 A. What I described a moment ago took place in 1991, because it was
14 during that period of time that most of such statements were made, though
15 they continued in 1992. As for his TV appearances, I remember only the
16 appearances when he made specific statements, but the TV would often
17 report his statements and his speeches, all of which included threats
18 expressed to the Bosniak population and non-Serb population in general.
19 He often said, "Whoever is not with us is against us." So that was
20 repeated quite often.
21 Q. And a last question regarding these appearances on TV or radio,
22 you said he -- he expressed threats against Bosnian population. To the
23 best of your recollection, do you remember any particular speeches which
24 you felt as a threat?
25 A. One of such threats, for instance, was that we better go back to
1 Turkey. He was actually quoting something that Mr. Vuk Draskovic had said
2 on an earlier occasion. Then on another occasion, he repeated what he had
3 already said, "That it was a sacred Serb land and that Muslims," that is
4 balijas, as he referred to them, "had no right to walk on that land." So
5 it was in that spirit, in that sense, that he made his statements.
6 Q. Did he ever said how many of Serbs should leave Banja Luka? He
7 said -- of non-Serbs should leave Banja Luka?
8 A. I think that he made that particular statement in 1992, early
9 1992. It was at the time when non-Serb population, but also a certain
10 number of Serbs, had started leaving abroad. He said, "We would keep
11 between 3 and 5 per cent of balijas here, to make them do humiliating
12 jobs, the jobs which were humiliating for Serbs." I'm talking about 1992
13 now. At that time, Banja Luka had a street which was called Gospodska
14 Ulica where people walked around in the evening and he said, "Those who
15 remain will have to lick Serb shoes in Gospodska Ulica, Gospodska
16 Street. " So this was just another example of the statements that he made
17 and that affected us profoundly, affected myself and others as well.
18 Q. Did you personally heard -- hear this speech on TV?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I will now move further and I want to ask series of questions
21 about the life in Banja Luka. What effect had the war in Croatia on the
22 life of people in Banja Luka?
23 A. At the time, everything had been disturbed, disrupted, nothing was
24 normal any more. Security was in non-existent, the security of
25 non-Serbian citizens.
1 Q. Mr. Smailagic, I would like you now to say, to only summarise
2 various aspects which changed, just give me -- give the Judges the list of
3 aspects which changed and then we will develop them.
4 A. The most important change was the fact that circulation was
5 limited, movement was limited. This was in 1992. In order to move
6 freely, it was necessary to have a pass. Secondly, if you were a
7 civilian, in civilian clothing, there was always the possibility of your
8 papers being checked and a Bosniak or non-Serb could have very unpleasant
9 experiences in such cases. There were beatings and maltreatment and the
10 like. That's how it started and then they continued on to other things.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Maitre de Roux?
12 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this testimony is
13 difficult to follow because the question that was put to the witness
14 concerns, if I have understood it well, the situation in Banja Luka during
15 the war, with Croatia. That's what I can read here. However, the war
16 with Croatia finished on the 3rd of January, 1992, and now the witness is
17 speaking to us about security in 1992. So I don't think he's answering
18 the question.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: No. Maitre de Roux, I think I will let him answer
20 the question as he likes and then we draw our conclusions afterwards. In
21 reality, the question as put to him according to me, covers the whole
22 period of the war in Croatia and certainly does not exclude also the
23 aftermath of the war. If he can, of course, distinguish and be more
24 precise, that would be more helpful to you and to the Trial Chamber. But
25 as phrased, the question covers both the period of the war and the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 aftermath of the war. But if you can distinguish between the two, for
2 example, I would imagine from what we have heard already, information with
3 regard to mobilisation of troops inside of Banja Luka during the war in
4 Croatia, after the war in Croatia, I'm sure it was not the same. I'm sure
5 you are in a position to give us information on that. So please try to be
6 more specific in giving your answer and try to answer the question that
7 was put to you in the way it was put to you. For the time being, we just
8 want a list, for example if there was shortage of food, I don't know, I
9 mean -- I'm just thinking aloud about something that may have occurred or
10 may not have occurred. If you just say there was shortage of food,
11 troops, more troops on the territory of Banja Luka. Just give us a list.
12 And then Ms. Richterova -- Dr. Richterova then can proceed with asking you
13 for more details later. Yes, Mr. Smailagic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We were just speaking about 1991,
15 when the war in Croatia was being waged. Banja Luka did not have a lot of
16 food [As interpreted]. The events that happened in Croatia, such events
17 happened in Slovenia first of all. The Yugoslav army was there at that
18 point. All the forces from Slovenia too and then when the war in Croatia
19 finished --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you're not interested in Slovenia, I suppose.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: No, that's not it. I understand what the witness
22 said was "Banja Luka was not out of food" and the translation says, "Banja
23 Luka did not have a lot of food."
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's what I heard. That's what I heard him
25 say, or at least not him say it, the translation. "There wasn't a lot of
1 food." That's what was translated.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand that's not what he said. What he said
3 was --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know what he said in B/C/S, definitely not.
5 And my congratulations to you if you know.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: I have a couple of people here.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: We can ask him to -- yes, there seems to be some
8 sort of an either wrong interpretation, translation of what you said or we
9 need to clarify it any way. When you referred to the -- to food in Banja
10 Luka, during the conflict in Croatia, did you say that there was ample
11 food, there was sufficient food, or that there was not sufficient food
12 during the war in Croatia? In Banja Luka, obviously.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that there was enough food
14 and that was no problem.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So you were right, Mr. Ackerman, the translation was
16 not correct. Thank you. You can proceed now, thank you.
17 MS. RICHTEROVA:
18 Q. Mr. Smailagic?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Microphone, please.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: Sorry.
21 Q. Mr. Smailagic, I would like to rephrase my question because we
22 have on previous occasion heard about the war in Croatia. Now I would
23 like to ask you specifically about Banja Luka from April, 1992, until the
24 end of April. How at that time the life for non-Serbs change? And as I
25 said at the beginning, please give me a list and we will go back to each
1 of these topics separately.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: The question I know wasn't intended but
4 Ms. Richterova said from April until the end of April. I think she means
5 something different otherwise the witness would be fairly restricted.
6 MS. RICHTEROVA: The end of the year.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: April 1992.
8 MS. RICHTEROVA: 1992 to the end of the year.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: And I would suggest to you until or unless I stop
10 you, that to put direct questions to him. I mean, if you are going to --
11 if you want to know what was, for example, the security situation, if you
12 want to know, what was the food situation, if you want to know what was
13 the electricity supply situation, go direct. I will allow you to do that
14 until there may come a point at which I may need to stop you. But in the
15 meantime, I think we will get where you want to get where we all want to
16 get, quicker. So please proceed with putting a direct question one after
17 the other. And then if you want to add further questions after that, of
18 course, to get more detail, of course, you will be allowed to.
19 MS. RICHTEROVA: Thank you, Your Honour. It will be very helpful.
20 Q. You already mentioned the restriction of movement. In which way
21 this restriction -- in which way the movement was restricted?
22 A. I had to ask for a -- for permission to explain my answer to this
23 question, because at the end of the year of 1991, in Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, a referendum had been announced for the secession of Bosnia
25 and Herzegovina from Yugoslavia and for it to be recognised as an
1 independent state and since that date, a lot of pressure was already being
2 exerted on all of us. Pressure was brought to bear as far as the SDS
3 party is concerned, in order to prevent this referendum from being held.
4 Now I'm going to turn to 1992, towards the end of February or March, I
5 really can't remember exactly, a referendum was held in Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina and in Banja Luka. The referendum was organised and held in
7 very difficult circumstances. As we had -- I apologise, Mr. President,
8 but I really have to explain this, if I may.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: A question was -- I tried to intervene myself. The
10 idea being to try to streamline the series of questions simplify the whole
11 process, of course you are referring -- this is not April, 1992. But do
12 you have any comments, Maitre de Roux?
13 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the question
14 concerned the restriction of movement in Banja Luka and we are now
15 speaking about the referendum and independence. To be frank, I don't
16 understand anything any more.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: They may be related and in fact what we heard in
18 previous sittings they are definitely related, but I suppose he can answer
19 the question. The question was very direct, starting from April 1992
20 onwards until the end of the year, what do you have to state, to tell us,
21 with regard to restriction of one's personal movement? So go ahead. If
22 you think this restriction was the result of the holding of the referendum
23 two months before, just state it, but you don't need to explain. I mean
24 we have been told the whole story already by persons who are qualified to
25 give us the picture of -- the historical survey of the events that took
1 place at the time. So please try to answer the question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was one of the reasons -- the
3 referendum was one of the reasons for having a reign of terror in Banja
4 Luka, introducing such a reign. In May 1992, they had already started
5 with work obligations, mobilising people for work obligations, and whoever
6 responded to this mobilisation, for work obligations, or reported to
7 military units, would receive a pass which would allow him to move freely.
8 And only such people were able to move freely through the town. If anyone
9 didn't have a pass he would be arrested, maltreated and sent off to do
10 work obligations. Not only people who were fit for work were sent to do
11 work obligations, but all people who were of non-Serbian nationality were
12 sent to do such work. I have to give you an example which concerns
13 myself. I've been a disabled pensioner since 1986. I had a decision from
14 the disability commission, and I was called up to do -- to carry out my
15 work obligation. When I received the first call-up, I sent my wife. And
16 in the middle of the day, they would start beating in the street.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I have to stop you, Mr. Smailagic. The question is
18 restricted only for the time being on movement restrictions, restrictions
19 of movement. So please try to answer that. You will definitely be asked
20 questions on what happened in other fields of life, to you personally and
21 to others that you are aware of. But for the time being, because the way
22 you are handling the examination-in-chief is disruptive also to the
23 Prosecution, in the sense that -- I have to stop you because otherwise you
24 will get us all lost completely. I mean, when Maitre de Roux says that he
25 can not follow, I appreciate what he is saying. It's difficult even for
1 us to follow. So please try to answer that question. There were
2 restrictions on one's movement. And you explained also that those who
3 accepted the mobilisation rules and reported to work and to barracks, et
4 cetera, were given a pass. Do you have anything else to add with regard
5 to restrictions of movements, starting April, 1992, ending December 1992?
6 And if the situation changed, got better, worse, or stopped, during these
7 months, please tell us -- give us the details.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They had introduced a curfew
9 too. So there was a curfew and movement was restricted. So the situation
10 from April until the end of the year got worse with every day. And I have
11 to say the men moved around town very little. Mostly women went out and
12 bought things and so on, for security reasons.
13 MS. RICHTEROVA:
14 Q. Mr. Smailagic, were you aware of establishment of checkpoints in
15 Banja Luka?
16 A. The roads in Banja Luka, some of the checkpoints there were -- the
17 first ones were put I think on the 13th of May, 1992.
18 Q. What was the purpose of these checkpoints, do you know?
19 A. These checkpoints were set up only after the events in Sarajevo on
20 the 12th of May, I think, give or take a day. These checkpoints served to
21 check people, to check their papers, but they were used for other
22 purposes. The regular police did not man these checkpoints.
23 Q. Who manned these checkpoints?
24 A. There were men who were dressed in uniforms. They had SOS, the
25 SOS mark on their caps. They were well-known Banja Luka criminals. They
1 were Serbs and Bosniaks and there were Croats too. They were mostly
2 composed of well-known Banja Luka criminals, and when they would check
3 people's papers. If they saw that the citizen whose papers they were
4 checking had money in their wallet, they would take it immediately, or if
5 they would see a ring on someone's hand, they would take it. So that was
6 the purpose. They wanted to spread panic and unease among the population.
7 Q. When did they appeared in Banja Luka?
8 A. That was after these disturbances in Sarajevo, around the 13th of
9 May. That's the first time that I saw and heard from others, from my
10 friends, about this.
11 Q. Did you personally had any dealings with these SOS?
12 A. I did not personally because the part of the town in which I
13 lived, we could say it's closer to the centre. There was not a checkpoint
14 in that part of town, no barricades. But I had the opportunity to hear
15 from my friends, from my colleagues, and some of them at the time were
16 still employed then. I'm talking about -- I'm thinking about employed
17 women. They would say, "We have been sent back from the checkpoint." At
18 that time, some work was being done, but it was mostly women who were
19 doing the work, who were employed. The men had work allegations or they
20 had to do their military service. And when papers were being checked in
21 the morning at the checkpoint, if they established that the woman was a
22 Bosniak, they would send her back, they wouldn't let her pass through.
23 Q. I probably missed, even though I followed the LiveNote, who were
24 the -- did you said -- did you say how these criminals called themselves?
25 A. They -- on their caps they had a sign, SOS, the Serbian Armed
1 Forces, which in fact means the Serbian Liberation Forces.
2 Q. You mentioned the wrong doings of these people. Did the police do
3 anything about these criminals?
4 A. They did know. At one of these checkpoints, one of these
5 checkpoints had been set up near the Mejdan Police Station and yes, they
7 Q. Do you remember --
8 MS. RICHTEROVA: Can we use the map and if the witness could show
9 us --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The same map that you made use of yesterday?
11 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Smailagic, only to assist the Judges, can you show where the
13 Mejdan is, in which part of the town?
14 A. Mejdan is on this stretch, it's down the Vrbas, but I can't see
15 here because the letters are very small but it's somewhere here. Mejdan
16 is at the very beginning of this path which is leading here. It's the
17 continuation of this, because this is a neighbourhood which is fairly
18 large and it is called Mejdan and the police station was here and a little
19 below, maybe 50 metres below, there was a bridge which connected part of
20 the town, called Carcepsi [phoen] with Burak [phoen]. And this is a path
21 that people had to use when they were going to work. The checkpoint was
22 here. So about 100 metres from the police station.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, could you mark it with a pen, please? And put
24 your initials next to it? Actually, yesterday, you showed us Mejdan. You
25 had put a cross. If you look at where you were pointing just now and
1 where you have marked, and go to about eight o-clock to the left, you will
2 see Mejdan and you marked it for us yesterday. It's above Kotor Varos
3 right in the last square --
4 JUDGE JANU: He got it.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, he got it, but it is important for us to know
6 exactly where this checkpoint that you are referring to was. So please
7 mark it on the map and put your initials next to it. You see the Banja
8 Luka/Kotor Varos road.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It's here. Mejdan and it's
10 somewhere here, just allow me a minute.
11 MS. RICHTEROVA: I think Mr. Smailagic should use his glasses.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: It's no use lending him mine.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, it's in this street, the Danka
14 Mitrova Street. In this street, the police station was in this street.
15 And right here, in the vicinity, there is the bridge which goes over the
16 Vrbas. It's here. But I don't have it marked here. This is the old
17 bridge, the Rebrovac, but here, somewhere in the middle of this path,
18 between this mark, the Rebrovac, or perhaps this mark that has been placed
19 on the map here. So along the street Danka Mitrova there was the bridge,
20 so I've just seen it. Here it is. This is the bridge. And there was a
21 checkpoint on the bridge. And right here, in the vicinity, there was the
22 police station. This bridge was the Studentski Most. That's what it was
23 called. They knew about this barricade.
24 MS. RICHTEROVA:
25 Q. I think that's enough. Thank you. I would like to move on with
1 another question. So we were talking about restriction of movement, about
2 establishment of checkpoints. Are you aware of people who would lost
3 their jobs during this period of time?
4 A. Yes. That was a mass phenomenon. People would lose their jobs,
5 especially if a member of the a family, a male member, failed to respond
6 to the mobilisation call, the call-up to do a military service or to do
7 work obligations or if his mother or sister had been removed from their --
8 dismissed from work. Sometime in May or June ... [no interpretation].
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I am not receiving any interpretation.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the Glas newspaper which was
11 published in Banja Luka, the name of which was later changed into Srpski
13 MS. RICHTEROVA:
14 Q. In this connection, I would like you to show a document which was
15 premarked P254, and it is already part of Banja Luka collection. However,
16 we have copies.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, they were supposed to give us a list
18 of documents they were going to use with the witness. They didn't give us
19 any list and this was certainly not provided to us in advance. We don't
20 have all the documents here. Because there are thousands of them and I
21 think we were told that the only documents that were going to be used were
22 those which were attached to his witness statement, and so this comes as
23 kind of a surprise to us.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Not just to you, Mr. Ackerman, but also to us. Do I
25 understand it, Ms. Richterova, that you will be, in the course of the next
1 hour and a half after the break, making use of a number of documents?
2 MS. RICHTEROVA: I am going to --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Or is it just this document for the moment?
4 MS. RICHTEROVA: A part of this document. I am going to use right
5 at the end of my appearance, three more documents, which were --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Distributed.
7 MS. RICHTEROVA: Which were disclosed and I can distribute them
8 right now and we -- they weren't part of Banja Luka but they were
9 disclosed under different witness.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but the thing is, the Defence have a right to
11 know which -- this is a document that you are going to show now, no?
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes. I am going to show this --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you inform the Defence which documents the
14 witness was going to be asked to make reference to?
15 MS. RICHTEROVA: No.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I think I would make -- I suggest we make use of the
17 break now and you sort this out. It's a very simple problem. And perhaps
18 you could also put us in a position where we know beforehand which
19 documents we need to have before us. I do have a bundle which was given
20 to us yesterday, but again, I don't know which documents you're referring
21 to because these have a reference number 2.3 to 395 and they are not
22 marked otherwise as -- oh, exhibit, I see.
23 MS. RICHTEROVA: No, these documents are translations. In fact, I
24 asked yesterday whether you want all the exhibits and we were told no,
25 that they can be distributed during the tendering of these --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: But we need to know beforehand.
2 MS. RICHTEROVA: But I can -- we have enough copies so we can
3 distribute them right now.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And this document exhibit number is?
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: P254.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not among the ones that were given to us
7 yesterday, no?
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I must complain rather loudly because
9 we had an agreement that they weren't going to supply us copies of the
10 exhibits, they were going to use, because that would be too burdensome but
11 they would give us the list in advance.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You are right.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: If I had had this last night, it may have affected
14 my preparation for cross-examination and that was the reason they were
15 going to supply us in advance. We either give them copies or we tell in
16 advance any documents we are going to use. That was the agreement, and
17 this is not fair and I shouldn't now be expected to cross-examine.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: You are right, Mr. Ackerman. I don't think you need
19 to convert the converted. Ms. Korner, will you --
20 MS. KORNER: It's entirely my fault. I apologise.
21 Ms. Richterova, of course, hasn't been in court. I forgot to tell her the
22 system. We will sort it out and I'm sorry that Mr. Ackerman has been put
23 in this position and Your Honours likewise, but it's not Ms. Richterova's
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. So please do take it in hand and we will
1 reconvene at just before 11.00, 5 to 11.00. In the meantime I suppose
2 this will be sorted out. You are right, Mr. Ackerman, you've got the
3 Chamber's support.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Please be seated.
7 Would you bring in the witness, please? Yes, Ms. Richterova?
8 MS. RICHTEROVA:
9 Q. I would like to ask one more question, in fact, I will repeat my
10 question, which wasn't thoroughly answered because Mr. Smailagic was
11 pointing at the map, the place where the checkpoints were established,
12 that it was close to the police station, but he didn't answer the question
13 whether police ever did anything against these people who manned these
14 checkpoints. And to whom he was referring as criminals.
15 A. The police never did anything in order to remove the checkpoints.
16 However, they were eventually removed but I don't know when that was. As
17 for the criminals, I was referring to individuals from Banja Luka who had
18 been organised by someone and sent to the barricades. They were given
19 weapons by them and they plundered people's property. Those were the
20 criminals I was referring to. There were even cases of internal fights
21 amongst them because of the spoils. A case of that kind occurred at one
22 of the barricades here and I remember that a member of one of this SDS
23 units was killed at one of the barricades by the police.
24 Q. That's enough.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Give a little bit of a pause because during the
1 break, the interpreters explained to me the difficulties that they are
2 passing through. So between his answer and your next question, allow at
3 least a few seconds to go by.
4 MS. RICHTEROVA: I will.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 MS. RICHTEROVA: Now I will return to document which we discussed
7 before the adjournment, and I assume that now all parties and the Judges
8 have the document. If I may ask you to show this document, which was
9 marked a P254.
10 Q. Did you see this document and did you read the article at the --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Richterova. This document consists
12 of three pages, at least that's what we have here. You are obviously
13 showing him the one which is a photo copy of, I suppose, the newspaper.
14 MS. RICHTEROVA: The article itself.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Just to make ourselves understood, this is the
16 document, Mr. Ackerman, this is the document that he is being obviously
18 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we do not
19 have the document in question.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: You must have because we placed them on your
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a three-page document starting with the first
23 page being a translation into English of what is -- what appears in the
24 document that the witness is now being shown.
25 Yes, please go ahead, Mr. Smailagic.
1 MS. RICHTEROVA:
2 Q. Did you read this article at that time?
3 A. Yes. I am familiar with this document. It was a well-known
4 decision signed by the president of the Crisis Staff of the Krajina,
5 Mr. Brdjanin, and it concerned the restrictions in terms of employment of
6 non-Serbs to the effect that all non-Serb leaders and managers should be
7 removed from their positions. The decision was implemented. That is the
8 employment was limited. I cannot read the words here, the print is too
9 small for me, but I do remember the text itself.
10 Q. I only want to point that as a part of the Banja Luka binder or
11 collection is the exact decision which was issued, and on which based this
12 article was issued.
13 Did this decision had any effect on you personally?
14 A. Yes, it did. The document was just one more confirmation of what
15 we believed could happen to us. I had a very large family and all members
16 of my family lost their jobs. After this decision, the situation
17 generally speaking was disrupted. I think that it was passed after the
18 outbreak of conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It said that all who did not
19 take part at the plebiscite were not considered as equal citizens, and
20 could not be employed at managing positions. They recognised only one
21 party, that is the SDS, as the ruling party, and so on and so forth.
22 Q. So you said it had a direct affect on members of your family. Are
23 you aware of other people would be affected by this decision?
24 A. Yes, it did. My daughter, for example, that is my son-in-law,
25 eventually lost his job because he did not respond to the call-up papers;
1 That is, the order to report to the military unit. Furthermore, all of
2 our colleagues who were on the list as delegates to the Municipal Assembly
3 suffered various forms of harassment, including searches, and I heard
4 people say that whenever such searches were carried out, they would be
5 told that the best thing for them was to leave Banja Luka.
6 Q. I would move on --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, before you move on. Mr. Smailagic,
8 could you give the Trial Chamber information as to which newspaper this
9 photocopy comes from? The name of the newspaper?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was published in a local Banja
11 Luka paper called Srpski Glas where I was able to read this. I'm not sure
12 whether the same text was published in any other paper, but I personally
13 read this in Srpski Glas magazine.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And does the word "Srpski" -- the word "Glas," I
15 know what it is, and the word "Srpski," I know what it is, but does the
16 word "Srpski" indicate that this is a newspaper published by a particular
17 party or a particular ethnic group in your area?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. It had already been taken over
19 by the Party of Democratic Action. It concerned all -- all types of
20 media, even the television was called the Serb television.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I know. But what I mean to say, what -- was it a
22 newspaper that belonged to one of the political parties existing in the
23 area at the time?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The paper was published by the
25 Party of Democratic Action -- sorry, that is the Serb Democratic Party.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You may proceed.
2 MS. RICHTEROVA: You will hear evidence about this --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: No, because the document itself does not state which
4 newspaper it was taken from. So I had to know that. And also it is
5 important to know whether the -- there is a political affiliation between
6 this newspaper and some political party.
7 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yeah, I agree, Your Honour. Before the
8 adjournment, the witness mentioned that he read this particular article in
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but Glas, we have been hearing about Glas for
11 the past three weeks and it seems to me that there was more than one Glas.
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: I agree. I agree. And we will hear more
13 evidence so I won't -- I don't want to develop this subject right now.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, please proceed with the next
16 MS. RICHTEROVA:
17 Q. Before, when we finish this Glas article, you were saying that
18 people were encouraged to leave Banja Luka. Were people leaving Banja
19 Luka in the period from April, 1992, until the end of the year?
20 A. Yes. They were. There was a mass departure that occurred in May,
21 I don't recall the exact date, when transport was organised with military
22 vehicles and aircraft. Everybody had to leave under pressure. People
23 were first taken to Belgrade and then from Belgrade via Hungary and other
24 countries elsewhere.
25 Q. Can I stop you? What was the nationality of that people who were
1 leaving Banja Luka?
2 A. In that period of time, Bosniaks, Bosniaks were leaving Banja
4 Q. Were you aware of any agencies or offices which would be set up in
5 Banja Luka and which would help people leaving Banja Luka?
6 A. An agency had been established for immigration which was led by a
7 lady called Perka whose surname I don't remember and Mr. Glogovac who had
8 come to Banja Luka from Zenica. It was said that the agency had been
9 established, that is, that the owner of the agency was Mr. Brdjanin, but
10 there is no document to that effect. However, that was the rumour amongst
11 the people. And finally the opinion prevailed. In order to leave --
12 Q. Okay. Go on. You said in order to leave -- and I interrupted
13 you. I will ask you again about these agencies. What was the purpose of
14 these agencies? In which way did they help people to leave?
15 A. It did not actually help people. It helped the government at the
16 time to ethnically cleanse the town of Banja Luka. Various transport
17 companies were organised and they were very well paid. Whoever made a
18 request to this agency for departure had to pay a hundred German marks per
19 person which was a considerable sum of money at the time. One could live
20 off 100 German marks for about a month in Banja Luka. That is for 30
21 marks, you could live for a month. In order to be given permission to
22 leave, one had to have various kinds of papers, from the bank to the
23 effect that they didn't have any debts, from the PTT organisation, from
24 the power distribution company, from the water distribution company. They
25 had to prove that they had settled all the costs and all the expenses that
1 they had. And finally, they had to sign a statement whereby they were
2 relinquishing their property to the municipality, the Serb municipality,
3 that is, the municipality of Republika Srpska.
4 Q. To summarise what was the purpose of these agencies, it means that
5 these agencies just organised the transportation of the people from Banja
6 Luka elsewhere; is it correct it say?
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. Now I would like to ask you another question. Are you aware of
9 vehicle who was generally called as a red Kombi in Banja Luka, at the time
10 as we discussed before?
11 A. Yes. It was common knowledge amongst the citizens of Banja Luka.
12 All non-Serb citizens were afraid of this red Kombi, which would simply
13 pick up people on the street.
14 Q. When you said that red Kombi would pick up, I don't think that the
15 car itself would pick up. What did this red Kombi really mean?
16 A. Police officers were there. That is the driver and four or five
17 police officers who were in this Kombi, and they would arrest people but
18 some never returned. Some did return alive. Some returned injured and
19 beaten up, but there were cases of people whose bodies were eventually
20 found in the outskirts of Banja Luka. I know a person, that is, a family,
21 where a son disappeared after he'd been arrested by the people in this red
23 Q. Were they members of regular police?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you personally was ever picked by these members of red Kombi
1 or by these police?
2 A. I wasn't, no.
3 Q. I want to move again and I want to ask you questions about Crisis
4 Staff in Banja Luka. Was there Crisis Staff in Banja Luka?
5 A. Yes. There were two Crisis Staffs in Banja Luka. One was the
6 Crisis Staff of the Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina and the other one
7 was the Crisis Staff of the Banja Luka municipality.
8 Q. How did you learn about establishment of these Crisis Staffs?
9 A. The news were reported in the media, as far as I can remember. We
10 knew who the leaders were and what the composition of these Crisis Staffs
11 was, more or less.
12 Q. Did you know the purpose of the Crisis Staff, of establishment of
13 Crisis Staff?
14 A. Because of the war that had been declared by the Crisis Staff,
15 that is the war situation, the state of war, it is my opinion that the
16 purpose was to cleanse Banja Luka, not only Banja Luka but other regions
17 as well of non-Serb population and they did it successfully.
18 Q. When was Crisis Staff set up, or when you start knowing or when
19 you were aware about the establishment, which period of time?
20 A. 1992. I think that the Crisis Staffs were established sometime in
21 May, mid-May or late May, after the outbreak of the conflict.
22 Q. Can you make distinguish and say who were members of each of these
23 Crisis Staffs?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I guess I would object because this is
25 clearly not the best evidence. There are documents that show who the
1 members of these Crisis Staffs were, and his opinion of who they might
2 have been is very far from the best evidence regarding this matter.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not the best evidence, but it will give us,
4 information as to how much the witness knows about the composition of
5 these and whether he is on confusing, for example, some members in the
6 municipality Crisis Staff with the other Crisis Staff for the Autonomous
7 Region of Krajina. So the question is perfectly in order and I will allow
8 it. Let's start with the Crisis Staff for the Autonomous Region of
9 Krajina. Are you in a position to tell the Trial Chamber who were the
10 members of that particular Crisis Staff? Is this okay with you,
11 Ms. Richterova?
12 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And then we will move to the next one. Do you know
14 who the members of the Crisis Staff of the ARK, of the Autonomous Region
15 of Krajina were?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Members of this regional staff
17 were the head of the staff, that is Mr. Brdjanin; and a number of
18 high-ranking officials of the SDS from Banja Luka, and neighbouring
19 towns. For example, Mr. Vojo Kupresanin was one of the members. Stojan
20 Zupljanin, and a number of others whose names I cannot recall at the
21 moment. As for the municipal staff, the composition was different, but
22 they acted in concert, because both Crisis Staffs had their seats in Banja
24 MS. RICHTEROVA:
25 Q. Do you, by any chance, know who were the members of the municipal
1 Crisis Staff?
2 A. As for the municipal Crisis Staff, its president, by virtue of his
3 office, was the head of the Banja Luka municipality, Mr. Predrag Radic.
4 Andjelko Grahovac, Dr. Vukic, I believe, were also the members. Kasagic.
5 And almost all of the members of the leadership, the municipal leadership
6 of the SDS were also at the same time members of the Crisis Staff.
7 Q. Did you follow decisions issued by Crisis Staff?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
9 MS. RICHTEROVA:
10 Q. Excuse me, did you follow decisions made by autonomous region
11 Crisis Staff of Krajina, ARK?
12 A. Yes, I did. The decision that we discussed a moment ago was one
13 of the first decisions that were passed. It concerned employment, but
14 there were others that I cannot remember at the moment. I cannot remember
15 their topic. Mostly they concerned failure to respond to call-up papers,
16 work obligation, restrictions on movement.
17 Q. How did you learn about the content of these decisions? Were they
18 published publicly?
19 A. Some of them were made public, that is, they were published. A
20 couple of decisions were published by Srpski Glas, for example. But they
21 were commented upon and broadcast over the Serb TV and radio, that is the
22 Banja Luka TV and radio.
23 Q. Now, I would like to summarise. You said that there were all
24 kinds of restriction in life of non-Serb people in Banja Luka. Did you
25 speak to anyone in authority about the wrongdoings and if they would be
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 able to help improve the life of non-Serbs?
2 A. On one or two occasions, I had the opportunity of visiting the
3 mayor at the time he was the president of the municipality in the Crisis
4 Staff, Mr. Radic, with Mr. Safet Filipovic. So we considered that Radic
5 had been a long-term citizen of Banja Luka. Before the war, he was a very
6 eminent and respected man. He was communicative and it was possible to
7 talk to him. We visited him but he made promises to us. He said that
8 something -- that things would improve, but this all came to nothing. He
9 made this promises but there were no results. And on one occasion, since
10 he and Mr. Safet Filipovic were personal friends and were friends before
11 the war, too, he said somewhere towards the end of the conversation, on
12 the second visit, "It's best for to you collect your things and to leave.
13 You can see what's happening here." That was, I mean, the end of
15 Q. Why didn't you complain to Mr. Brdjanin as president of the Crisis
16 Staff, ARK Crisis Staff?
17 A. Well, we didn't have the courage in general terms. I'm not
18 referring to security. And after all the statements he had made about us,
19 to go and talk to him seemed to be quite futile. And also, we didn't want
20 to skip levels. The municipal level, and go to him directly, because he
21 could have helped us quite a lot. But this all came to nothing because
22 this municipal level was under the regional level, after all, the Regional
23 Crisis Staff.
24 Q. And now I would like to move to another topic again. You said --
25 you told us about all these restrictions. Did you try to inform the
1 outside world about the life of non-Serb population in Banja Luka?
2 A. Yes. We did that very often. I think that we were lucky in that
3 certain international organisations were in Banja Luka, among others,
4 there was the International Red Cross, and we were -- we had very frequent
5 contact with them and we presented all our problems to them. We also
6 informed our government, the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which
7 was still a legal one, and in Sarajevo, and we informed our mission, the
8 BH mission, to the United Nations, in order to inform the world of the
9 situation in Banja Luka.
10 Q. What kind of information did you send to these organisations?
11 A. We informed them about the forcible -- about forcing people to
12 carry out work obligations. People were taken to the front lines where
13 the conflict was raging and they were made to dig trenches. They had to
14 carry out -- people who were unfit for work were made to carry out work
15 obligations. Age wasn't taken into account. People were simply gathered
16 and taken off to work. We also informed about the general situation,
17 about expulsions. At the time there was a lot of looting in Banja Luka.
18 And I think that sometime in May or June, a lot of pressure was exerted on
19 Banja Luka intellectuals of non-Serb nationality to leave Banja Luka -- in
20 order to -- a well-known Banja Luka lawyer, Safeta Ibrisagic was found
21 strangled in her flat with a so-called police wire and nothing was taken
22 away, nothing was stolen. She was simply killed.
23 Q. You said at the beginning that "we" informed. Who were the people
24 who participated in this handing over of information, of sending
1 A. We personally, from the Party of Democratic Action, we provided
2 the information to our people. And as far as conversations with the
3 International Red Cross is concerned, the UNHCR, we sometimes went with
4 representatives of the Croatian government and with representatives of the
6 Q. You probably didn't understand what I meant. I meant when you say
7 "we," who was it? It was you and who else?
8 A. Mr. Safet Filipovic, Mr. Muharem Krzic, Amir Novalija.
9 Q. I think that's enough. I don't want to develop this part because
10 we have already heard evidence about this?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, she asked the question and I
13 think --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And he has answered.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: He hasn't. She stopped him in the middle of his
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you know of any other persons, Mr. Smailagic, who
18 participated in this continuous transmission of information to the various
19 persons and organisations that you mentioned earlier, that is your
20 government, the permanent mission in New York, International Red Cross and
21 so on? You mentioned Mr. Krzic, you mentioned Mr. Filipovic, you
22 mentioned Amir someone else, I can't remember the name. Was there anyone
23 else who participated in this exercise?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Asimir Krlic, Smail Djuzel,
25 Asim Jakirlic, Mirsad Mehanovic. And then towards the end of 1992, they
1 had already left Banja Luka, but before that, there was Ganic Bahut.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you want him to go on, Mr. Ackerman?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please go on. Any other names that you can
5 remember, please tell us.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Pribac but I can't remember his name
7 right now. Sometimes Mr. Mehmet Krupic. And on one occasion, I have just
8 remembered this, the Banja Luka mufti, Mr. Mahmut Ganic went to have
9 conversations with the International Red Cross, was Mr. Halilovic. He was
10 present at these talks.
11 MS. RICHTEROVA:
12 Q. Were there taken any actions against you and other people who were
13 sending this information?
14 A. Yes. Among other things, I should first of all mention that
15 during that period, from 1992 up until 1994, my house was searched on two
16 occasions, but whenever it was searched, they said that they suspected
17 that there were arms in my house, but on this occasion, when they searched
18 my house, no arms were found. There was nothing there. Up until 1994,
19 the 31st of August, when I was arrested.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: Can I show the witness a document which was
21 premarked as P464? It is in English and B/C/S.
22 Q. Can you assist the judges and tell them what this document is
24 A. This is -- sorry, this is an indictment which was raised
25 against -- issued against me and the people mentioned in the indictment,
1 by the military court, the military Prosecutor's Office in Banja Luka and
2 the security service centre in Banja Luka. We were accused of being
3 involved in espionage. We were accused of being spies. On the basis of
4 this indictment, we were arrested on the 31st of August, 1994.
5 Q. When you said you were accused of espionage, which period was
6 covered by this indictment?
7 A. I think it was from 1993, that's the year that they gave. I can't
8 remember exactly. I can't read this right now. And most of the documents
9 that they presented to the Court was composed of these reports that we had
10 sent to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to the United Nations
11 and to other international organisations.
12 Q. Can I show you another document which was premarked P465? This
13 was the Registry. Tell us what this document is about.
14 A. This is a sentence, a judgement, which was passed at the military
15 court in Banja Luka in 1995.
16 Q. You were in the trial for the espionage based on the indictment
17 which we previously saw. Did you have a lawyer at that time -- sorry.
19 A. I was offered to have a lawyer. I said I didn't have finance and
20 that I couldn't have a lawyer. And then I was assigned by the judge
21 someone called Zoran Opacic. At our first meeting with the investigating
22 judge, the judge presented him as my assigned counsel. We met. The
23 meeting was short. And I was then returned to my cell. However, at the
24 second time I appeared before the investigating judge, in the presence of
25 the lawyer Opacic he said, "I won't defend you. I've been to your house.
1 I've asked your -- I asked your wife to pay me 5.000 marks. She didn't
2 have such funds." And he said, "I won't work for free." I was then
3 returned and after the indictment, I was informed at the court, by the
4 president of the Chamber, that another lawyer had been assigned to me.
5 Her name was Milika Maglov, a lawyer from Banja Luka, who was to defend
6 me. Mrs. Maglov never came to the prison and not even to the Court in
7 order to meet me, to talk to me about whether she could defend me. During
8 the entire trial, she was silent, she remained silent, until the end of
9 the trial, and when the defence had a closing argument to make. At that
10 time, when she was supposed to make a statement, she only said one thing.
11 "I leave it to the chamber to rule." That was what her Defence amounted
12 to. And later, we the accused, were asked to make a statement. They --
13 the others had lawyers. I don't think that I and, Jakirlic didn't have
14 lawyers. We had assigned counsel. When it was my turn to make a
15 statement, I don't know why, maybe I was just feeling bad, I said, "I
16 accept the Defence of my counsel." And even the Presiding Judge laughed
17 at this.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, before you proceed. Mr. Smailagic, you
19 mentioned the name Milika Maglov. Do you see this person in this
20 courtroom by any chance?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know the lady down there.
22 She reminds me perhaps of her. I can now see that it's her. I think it
23 is. If I'm not mistaken.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please proceed. We will talk about this
1 MS. RICHTEROVA:
2 Q. Were you convicted based on the indictment after the trial?
3 A. Yes. I was sentenced to 11 years in prison.
4 Q. How long did you stay in the prison?
5 A. I spent 17 months in total in prison.
6 Q. I would like to return, because you were indicted and convicted
7 for espionage, and part of this conviction was that you were collected
8 military-related information and trying to obtain weapons. Was it the
10 A. That's not true. And especially as far as weapons are concerned.
11 We -- when we came into contact with the Bosniak people, we even tried to
12 calm the situation, to make sure that no excesses occurred, since given
13 that we knew about Banja Luka and its geographic position. We knew that
14 it would not make any sense to try to mount a defence because it would all
15 end tragically for everyone concerned. That was one of the reasons. And
16 the other reason is the former JNA, Yugoslav People's Army, at the end of
17 the war in Croatia, the all these forces were concentrated in Banja Luka.
18 Therefore, it would not have made any sense to do something, to try and
19 organise some kind of resistance. We always believed that the
20 international community would have the possibility of bringing what was
21 happening to an end and to improve the situation eventually. I'm not
22 claiming that we didn't send information, but they considered the
23 information we have mentioned -- they considered that the information that
24 a citizen had lost his life, died, while carrying out his work obligation,
25 or that a person called Nervin Nesovic when he was being taken away by the
1 red Kombi, he was killed and thrown out in the street. I don't consider
2 this to be espionage.
3 Q. No. My question was whether you collected military-related
5 A. We didn't collect any kind of information, but what we found out
6 from people we knew, friends, we would forward it because we thought that
7 the state was the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that this was an
8 attack against the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and that it was our
9 duty to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina to report on all the changes,
10 to report this to certain authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to
11 report this to the international community. We sent the same information
12 to the government in -- of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, and we sent
13 the same information to the mission, to the BH mission in the United
14 Nations, and to the International Red Cross. There was information about
15 killings, and let's say they -- they would try to conceal the casualties,
16 the people who were killed. This had to be known. The world had to know
17 about this, that they would take people to the Novo Groblje the new
18 cemetery in Banja Luka. They would take them there in refrigerated
19 lorries. They would do this every evening. Unfortunately, these were
20 young people and they didn't know why they were dying.
21 Q. When you said they would take people to Novo Groblje, who were
22 these people?
23 A. They were soldiers, so-called soldiers in the Serbian army.
24 Q. Thank you. Before I close my appearance, I would like to show you
25 a last document which was premarked P466. And if you could assist the
1 Judges and tell us what this document is about?
2 A. This is the decision on cancelling the criminal proceedings
3 against us who were accused. This decision was suspended. I'd like to
4 say that I saw this decision in 1997, not before this. I didn't have the
5 opportunity of receiving it. I didn't receive it personally. It was not
6 until 1997 that I got it through Mrs. Filipovic, who was defending her
7 brother, Safet Filipovic.
8 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honours, I do not have any further
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. [Microphone not activated]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Ms. Richterova. Have you discussed
13 amongst yourselves, Mr. Ackerman and Maitre de Roux, who is going to start
15 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour. I would start first with this
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You can go ahead.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Did you want to pick up the matter that just came
19 up in the examination regarding Ms. Maglov at this point or do you want to
20 defer that?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I think we can defer that. We don't need to
22 discuss it in the presence of the witness.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand that. Can I have just a moment to get
24 prepared, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You may go ahead, Mr. Ackerman, thank you.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Ackerman:
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Smailagic.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. At the beginning of my questions to you, Mr. Smailagic, I will be
6 referring to a large extent to two statements that you have given to the
7 Office of the Prosecutor. You have given two statements to the
8 Prosecutor's Office, have you not?
9 A. I believe I did.
10 Q. And one of those was a statement that you gave them in -- on 15
11 April of the year 2000 which we will refer to as statement number one,
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And the second one was a statement that you gave on the 4th of
15 June, the 14th of June, and the 19th of August, 2001, which we will refer
16 to as statement number two, okay? Is that correct?
17 A. Well, I cannot confirm the dates. I know that I did give a
18 statement but I'm no longer sure about the dates.
19 Q. I'm going to ask the Prosecutor to provide you with copies of the
20 statement so you can look at them because I don't want to ask you
21 questions about something that you can't look at. I want to be fair with
22 you about these questions so let me ask the Prosecutor to provide him with
23 his statements.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, let's establish first whether the witness can
25 read English, read and understand English. Can you, Mr. Smailagic?
1 Because I would imagine or rather I'm pretty sure that these statements
2 are in English.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: We have them in B/C/S also, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: You have them in B/C/S also?
5 MS. RICHTEROVA: They have been translated and we have the B/C/S
7 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, I would like confirmation from the
8 witness himself whether he can read and understand English, the English
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So you might as well give him the texts that you
12 have in B/C/S.
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: Do you want to us show him also the B/C/S -- the
14 English which was signed?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please. Yes, please. Especially because I
16 understand that it's only the English version that is signed by the
17 witness, no?
18 MR. ACKERMAN: That's correct, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And I would start with that.
20 Mr. Smailagic, you have four documents there. Two are in the
21 English language, two are in Serbo-Croat. I would like you to look at the
22 two documents which are not in your language but which are in English, and
23 I would like to know from you whether you can distinguish, whether you can
24 see, on those documents, your signature.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, you will -- you are going to be asked questions
2 with reference to those two statements and you will be allowed to refer to
3 those statements before you give us your answer.
4 Mr. Ackerman, you can proceed.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Mr. Smailagic, we were talking about statement number two, and if
7 you'll look at your B/C/S version of the statement, it's the one that has
8 dates on it of 4 and 14 June and 19 August, 2001. Tell me if you see
9 those dates. They would be on the face page, not the one you're looking
10 at. It would not be the page you're looking at but -- there. About
11 two-thirds of the way down that page, you should see the date of the
12 interview and then you should see the dates that that interview occurred.
13 Okay. And so you can confirm for me that there was -- there were three
14 days, the 4th and 14th of June and the 19th of August of 2001, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. You need to answer me audibly so that the translators can
17 translate your answer instead of just nodding at me, and they'd appreciate
18 that and I'd appreciate that because your answer needs to go into the
19 record. Why did it take three days for this second statement to be
21 A. I don't know that. All I know was that on several occasions,
22 during these interviews, I asked for a break from the investigator because
23 I was not feeling very well, and a moment ago, I just wanted to ask the
24 Presiding Judge for a short break a 15-minute break if possible because
25 I'm real any not feeling very well. My health is not at the best. So
1 that was perhaps one of the reasons why this statement was taken over a
2 period of time. That is with interruptions.
3 MR. ACKERMAN:
4 Q. Are you saying now that you want to ask the Judge for a short
6 A. That was my intention, yes, in order to -- because after a
7 while --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: No problem with that. We will break for as long as
9 is necessary. I will give it 20 minutes for the time being. If you need
10 more, we will give you more. And I will give instructions that if either
11 you need medical attention or if you need some coffee or some tea, you
12 will be provided with that, or water or whatever.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I just mention, because it's the
14 second time it's come up, if Mr. Ackerman wants to know about why
15 sometimes these statements are spread over days, I can call the
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we have been given an explanation already.
18 MS. KORNER: Exactly.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Because the same question was made to previous
21 MS. KORNER: Exactly.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And the explanation was that actually confirmation
23 of information given and reconfirmation and also that other witnesses or
24 other persons would be interviewed in the meantime on the same days. I
25 think that is perfectly understood, but I would allow the question just
1 the same.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour. All I'm going to say if anything
3 turns on it, in each case the investigators have notes as to why there are
4 breaks or whatever and they are the persons to deal with it if anything
5 turns on it.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner. We will break for 20 minutes
7 and please do attend to the witness and see what his needs are, and if we
8 need to have a longer break, we will have a longer break. And if he needs
9 anything, please make sure that he gets it. Okay? Thank you. We will
10 break for 20 minutes.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 --- Break taken at 12.05 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.42 p.m.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Please be seated.
15 Before we admit the witness again in the courtroom, Mr. Ackerman,
16 while in chambers we were discussing amongst ourselves -- no, no, no.
17 Before, I said. Please wait outside for a while. Thank you.
18 We will in due course discuss what emerged this morning, namely
19 that your co-counsel was defence -- was counsel for the witness in the
20 espionage proceedings of 1994. Irrespective of what may or may not have
21 implied, irrespective of whether there should be any decision taken in
22 regard, I think, and we are in agreement in this, that for the time being,
23 while the witness is giving evidence, especially now that he is being
24 cross-examined by your team, of which Ms. Maglov forms part, we are going
25 to suggest to you to agree that while this is taking place, Ms. Maglov
1 will absent herself from the courtroom. It will help the witness to feel
2 more at ease and it will pave the way for a more reasonable approach, a
3 practical, pragmatic approach to the problem when we come to it, when and
4 if we need to discuss it.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I accept that. It's -- this is a
6 matter of course that is somewhat troubling. I first became aware of the
7 problem fairly recently, where I come from it would be an absolute bar to
8 her appearing as counsel in this case. I've been informed that that is
9 not the rule in this Tribunal, that in at least one case, a lawyer who the
10 Prosecution thought they might want to use as a witness, because his name
11 was all over documents in the case, was allowed to continue representing a
12 defendant in the case. So what I would have thought, had this occurred in
13 the United States, may not be the case here, but I do recognise the issue
14 very clearly, and with that in mind, I have not asked Ms. Maglov to share
15 with me any information that she may have obtained from this witness in
16 the course of a confidential attorney-client relationship, because that
17 would make it highly improper. And so I have scrupulously avoided asking
18 her those kinds of questions and will continue to do so.
19 I think -- I don't know what the position of the Prosecutor is
20 with regard to this. I think that may be important.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I think for the time being, leave the Prosecution
22 alone. We are dealing directly with you as a Trial Chamber for the time
23 being. We are not discussing the issue as such. We just made a
24 proposition to you, a suggestion, and I am using the words, the nouns,
25 proposition and suggestion, to indicate that this is a direct approach
1 that we are taking with you as lead counsel in this case. We still have
2 to discuss it amongst ourselves in any case, because as you can imagine,
3 we did not have as much time. We know about the other case that you
4 mentioned because in the meantime, we have obviously asked for
5 information. And also basing ourselves on what happened in the
6 previous -- in the other case, it's also basing ourselves on what happened
7 in the other case that we are making this proposition to you. And I think
8 it will make things easier. I don't think I need to explain further for
9 the time being. I think you are understanding me.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I accept the suggestion, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I also appreciate your loyalty to the Trial Chamber
12 and also to the Prosecution in affirming that you have specifically
13 avoided asking questions or seeking information from Ms. Maglov in regard
14 to what may or may not have taken place in 1994 when she represented
15 Mr. Smailagic. The Trial Chamber wishes to put that on record. You have
16 been -- you have showed a lot of loyalty so far and that is appreciated by
17 the Trial Chamber.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I better make the record clear. I have talked with
19 her about the allegation that she was his counsel. I have not asked her
20 anything about any private, protected, attorney-client communication she
21 had with him because that's where I think the impropriety would exist.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We definitely would have appreciated this
23 information to have come forward from you or Ms. Maglov directly at the
24 beginning of the evidence of Mr. Smailagic because I think it would have
25 spared us all this maybe unnecessary waste of time but any way, I take it
1 that Ms. Maglov accepts to absent herself from the courtroom while
2 Mr. Smailagic continues with his -- continues being cross-examined by
3 Mr. Ackerman.
4 MS. MAGLOV: No problem.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Maglov.
6 Mr. Brdjanin, in case this has been beyond your understanding, I
7 am sure that Mr. Ackerman will explain this to you at some point in time,
8 later on, because I don't want you to go back with the idea that this
9 Trial Chamber has capriciously deprived you for an hour or two from one of
10 the lawyers representing you. There is a reason for doing this and for
11 the time being. Then there will be a full opportunity to have this
12 discussed and to listen, to hear the views which Mr. Ackerman,
13 representing you, may have on the matter and also what the Prosecution may
14 have on the matter. But there may be a case of possible conflict of
15 interest, which -- or also possible ethical conduct which we may have to
16 go into. We need to study it further and of course, your lead counsel
17 will have ample opportunity to inform -- to give his reasons to the Trial
18 Chamber. I wanted you to know that there is a reason why we had to make
19 the suggestion to your lead counsel for the time being. Have you
20 understood me?
21 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] I fully understand the
22 reasons, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Brdjanin. Yes, Ms. Korner?
24 MS. KORNER: I can just remind Your Honours and Mr. Ackerman that
25 I would be grateful if we could have ten minutes at the end of the
1 session. Mr. Smailagic will obviously be still here tomorrow where I can
2 just deal with the Stakic matter.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Ms. Korner.
4 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So bring in Mr. Smailagic, please.
6 Yes, Mr. Smailagic, are you feeling better now?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I am. Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, Mr. Ackerman, representing Mr. Brdjanin, will
9 be resuming his cross-examination of you. If at any time you feel
10 uncomfortable and you need further -- a further break, please do not
11 hesitate to let the Trial Chamber know that.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. Mr. Smailagic, if you find yourself not feeling well again, please
16 feel free to advise us, okay? I have an additional question to ask you
17 with regard to both of these statements. There came a time, did there
18 not, starting with the first one, when an actual written statement was
19 presented to you and you were asked to sign the statement. That would be
20 the English version of number one, the 15 April version. You in fact
21 signed that. The Judge has already confirmed that. Correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And before you signed it, you were given an opportunity to be
24 completely familiar with the contents of the statement, were you not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And so when you signed it, you knew what you were signing?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And the same would be true of the second statement, which I
4 presume you signed on 19 August, 2001, correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Since you have come to The Hague or prior to your coming to The
7 Hague, have you had a chance to review both of your statements?
8 A. No, I have not.
9 Q. When was the last time you had a chance to review your statements?
10 A. The statement was read back to me after it had been taken from me,
11 from -- by the investigator in Zenica and with the assistance of the
12 interpreter, I accepted it as such and signed it.
13 Q. And you have not seen it since then?
14 A. No, I haven't. At least not in the translation into Bosnian.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, could you please ask the witness
16 whether he was given a copy?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: That's where I'm going.
18 Q. Were you give and copy of your statement in the translation, in
19 the B/C/S version, ever?
20 A. No, I wasn't.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I think that makes it very
22 difficult for me to ask him about his statements since he's never been
23 provided with it.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think it may be if it's put more
1 directly, when he came here on the weekend --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: You gave it to him.
3 MS. KORNER: -- he was given a statement. It wasn't dealt with by
4 me, but I think that may get the answer required.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So I suggest to you, Mr. Ackerman to put a direct
6 question to him to that effect.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. Mr. Smailagic, since you have come to The Hague, has anyone handed
9 you a copy of your statement?
10 A. Oh, yes. I believe it was on Saturday, and I had an opportunity
11 to read it at that time, in Bosnian language.
12 Q. And so you have read both of your statements recently?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did anyone interfere with your reading? Did you have complete
15 freedom to read them at your leisure, for as long as you wanted?
16 A. I did.
17 Q. Tell me, as you sit here today, if all of the statements that you
18 made, in each of those statements, was a true statement.
19 A. Yes. But I made a correction, an error may have occurred in
20 interpretation on two occasions, I believe. In the first statement, there
21 is a mistake. There is maybe a mistake in the second one as well but I
22 cannot find it. On page 146, in the first statement, you could read the
23 words "Brdjanin's wife, Perka." I was maybe referring to her as a woman
24 not as a wife actually. It's the way we speak. And that is the reason
25 why I said that he -- she probably was not his wife. I just meant a woman
1 that he worked with. So that was one correction.
2 And then another one, where mention was made of the young man who
3 was killed, Nerko Mesinovic and then Smail Djuzel is the name that follows
4 immediately after that. It was not from Smail Djuzel or his father that I
5 heard that. I heard the information from the father of Nerko Mesinovic.
6 It was from the father that I heard that he had been taken in this car.
7 So these would have been my remarks.
8 Q. And back when you originally signed these statements you didn't
9 notice these mistakes?
10 A. No. I didn't -- I wasn't paying attention.
11 Q. So when you signed the statements, swearing that they were true,
12 you weren't paying attention?
13 A. You are probably correct. That was probably the case.
14 Q. It's the case, isn't it, and I suggest to you that it's the case,
15 that when the investigators came to speak to you the second time, after
16 your first statement in which you had made certain allegations, when the
17 investigators came to speak with you the second time in June of 2001, the
18 investigators told you that some of the things you said in your first
19 statement were not true and that you needed to correct them. Isn't that
20 the case?
21 A. Yes. There were some instances that I got mixed up. I was
22 confused. You must understand the kind of situation I was in, both
23 physically and psychologically. Sometimes I even today I feel that way.
24 Q. Were you being put under any kind of pressure by the investigators
25 from the OTP?
1 A. No, no, no, I wasn't.
2 Q. In your first statement, the one of 15 April, 2000, I'll ask you
3 to look at the second paragraph of that statement. In that paragraph, you
4 mention that although the 1991 census showed there were 28.000 Muslims
5 living in Banja Luka --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Registered. Not living,
8 MR. ACKERMAN:
9 Q. Yes. Registered in Banja Luka, there were actually 52.000 Muslims
10 living there,. That's what you said, correct?
11 A. Yes, and I stand by that statement.
12 Q. And that would have been, in your view, the number living there in
13 1991, when the census was taken?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And what do you think the number was in 1992, in April of 1992?
16 Would it have been roughly the same number?
17 A. There may have been some slight changes because people had already
18 started leaving. I said that, in May, a military transport was organised
19 to take people out of Banja Luka. Do you want me to explain the
20 difference between the census and the actual number that I mentioned, that
21 is 52.000, 52.300 or so Muslims living in Banja Luka.
22 Q. I take it it's your position that those people who in the census
23 called themselves Yugoslavs were predominantly Muslim?
24 A. Yes. That's exactly what I meant.
25 Q. I think you would also agree, wouldn't you, that a significant
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 number of people who called themselves Yugoslav would have been Croats?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. And wouldn't it be fairer to say that this figure that you've come
4 up with of 52.000 represented both Muslims and Croats, in other words
5 non-Serbs, living in the Banja Luka municipality and not just Muslims?
6 A. This figure, 52.000, represents only Muslims, and I can clarify,
7 if you want me to, my reasons for that.
8 Q. I will ask you to tell me on what basis you made the determination
9 that the vast majority of those people who designated themselves as
10 Yugoslavs were Muslims.
11 A. I should like the Presiding Judge to allow me to explain this in
12 somewhat greater detail.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, start explaining it, and then we'll see how
14 much further detail you will be allowed to give. But try to be as concise
15 as possible. I mean there should be a very simple explanation. Probably
16 it's historical. And you obviously are showing us that you know something
17 about it or you are giving us that indication, but try to be as short as
18 possible. Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will do my best, Your Honour. I'll
20 try to be as brief and as clear as possible. I have already told you
21 about the referendum that was organised in Banja Luka in February or
22 March, 1992. In order for such a referendum to be held, it was necessary
23 to compile lists with voters. The lists are kept at the Banja Luka
24 municipality. And as we were carrying out preparations for this
25 referendum, we asked the Banja Luka municipality to provide us with
1 electoral lists on the basis of which the referendum could be organised.
2 We also asked for the stamps of the electoral commissions, which we did on
3 two occasions. But on both of these occasions, we were refused. After
4 that, we went to the state Ministry of Administration in Sarajevo, where
5 we were given electoral lists, including the lists of all citizens of
6 Banja Luka, by names and surnames. And it was on the basis of that that
7 we were able to have the number of all citizens in Banja Luka who were
8 allowed to vote. This number here, 52.000, does not include children. So
9 the document in question was a reliable document, issued by state
10 authorities, which existed at the Ministry of the Interior of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina, and it was there that we were given the stamps for electoral
12 commissions so that the referendum could be held, which was indeed carried
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You have given us a lot of information, but you have
15 not answered the question that was put to you by Mr. Ackerman. Please
16 look at the second paragraph of your first statement. And there you have
17 two affirmations. The first affirmation is that according to the findings
18 following the census in 1991, there were 28.000 persons registered in
19 Banja Luka who are described now here by you as Muslims. Now, this is a
20 census, and as I understand it, if I am wrong please correct me, a census
21 has got absolutely nothing to do with a referendum, or what is commonly
22 referred to as the electoral list of voters. Then you move forward and
23 make an assertion, if not an affirmation, that in fact, however, although
24 the census result showed 28.000 Muslims registered in Banja Luka, there
25 were 52.000 Muslims living there. There is a discrepancy of 22.000
1 individuals here. What Mr. Ackerman wants to know from you is on what
2 basis, what knowledge do you have on the basis of which you found it
3 yourself comfortable in making this affirmation. In other words, how can
4 we be assured that although there were 28.000 Muslims registered in Banja
5 Luka, according to the census, in reality, there were 52.000 Muslims? How
6 can we know that you know what you're talking about? Thank you.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Let me try to explain. The
8 statistics were given to us on the basis of lists of citizens. The source
9 of which was the Ministry of the Interior. The lists included the names
10 and surnames of all residents there and it was possible to establish the
11 number of 52.000 or so Muslims. However, as for the census in 1991,
12 people declared themselves as Serbs, Muslims, Croats and there was another
13 category which was titled "undeclared." I don't know what happened later
14 on with this category in Slovenia and Croatia, for example. But it was on
15 the basis of that category that some people declared themselves as
16 Yugoslavs, but I must tell you something else. This former Yugoslavia was
17 actually the best solution for us in -- I mean, in the old times, and that
18 was the reason why people declared themselves as Yugoslavs and most of
19 such cases are from the regions that are predominantly Muslims and that is
20 the reasons why you have figures and statistics as such in this census,
21 that is that there was a certain number of Muslims, Croats, Serbs
22 Yugoslavs and others. As for the lists from the Ministry of the Interior,
23 we had precise information, that is we had all names and surnames of the
24 citizens living there and it was on the basis of that list that I was able
25 to assert that there were 52.000 or maybe 52.250 Muslims living in the
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think, Mr,. Ackerman that answers your
3 question or mine, whichever way you prefer to put it and you can proceed
4 with the next question.
5 MR. ACKERMAN:
6 Q. So I take it you actually sat with those voting lists and counted
7 the number of people who had names that you could recognise as Muslim
8 names and you came up with 24.000 that you counted off those lists. Is
9 that what you're telling us?
10 A. Yes. Not only names but also surnames and not only 24.000 but
11 52.000 in total.
12 Q. So you looked at those lists and counted 52.000 people that you
13 concluded were Muslim?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. How long did that take you?
16 A. It was possible to establish that very fast. The lists were
18 Q. My question, though, was how long did that take you to count
19 52.000 people from those lists?
20 A. We didn't have to count them. They were numbered. Their names
21 were listed under numbers. We got the list with specific names and
23 Q. So you had a stack of paper with names and surnames, numbered from
24 1 through 52.000?
25 A. Yes, but there is maybe a misunderstanding. The lists were broken
1 down according to local communes, and we knew immediately the figures for
2 a particular local commune. We didn't have to, for example, consult the
3 list for the Stricic local municipality where only certificate Serbs lived
4 or Debeljaci where only Croats lived or the local commune of Ivanjska also
5 populated exclusively by Croats. Muslims lived mostly in the town. There
6 was only one Muslim, exclusively Muslim village in the vicinity of Banja
7 Luka, Bastasi, where 90 to 100 Muslim families lived.
8 Q. But there were a lot of mixed areas, too, that had Muslims, Croats
9 and Serbs living in them, weren't there?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. So you had to go through those lists and make a separation and
12 count how many of those were in fact Muslim, didn't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I go back it my question. How long did this process take
16 A. Listen, the whole procedure at that time, we weren't interested in
17 this. When the referendum was held. We were interested in all citizens
18 as far as the referendum is concerned. And then later, when they started
19 abusing figures and the commitment of people, whether they had declared
20 themselves to be Slovene or Muslim, at that point we presented all the
21 information. Whether it took five days or two weeks or a month it's
22 impossible for me to say now. But then we could see that it was necessary
23 for the real situation to be discovered, and to report on this.
24 Q. When you say "we" there were other people helping you do this
25 counting, then, I take it?
1 A. Let me clarify this. I didn't -- I didn't conduct this
2 numbering. I only assisted to the extent that I was able to, and when I
3 was able to. Naturally, there was several people, there were a number of
4 people who were involved in this.
5 Q. If it has been established earlier in this trial that the
6 population of Banja Luka municipality was 48.4 per cent Serb, 14.8 per
7 cent Croat, and 14.6 per cent Muslim, would you agree or disagree with
8 those figures?
9 A. I wouldn't.
10 Q. You wouldn't what?
11 A. With those numbers, I would, if we are talking about how people
12 declared themselves, that they declared themselves to be Muslims or Croats
13 or Serbs and Yugoslavs. And the category of others, which is a category
14 which existed with us. But if we are talking about the numbers of
15 Muslims, then I can't accept that figure of 14 per cent. But only the
16 other one that I mentioned earlier on.
17 Q. So if someone testified here that the number of Muslims was 14.6
18 per cent, they were in error?
19 A. It wasn't an error because he took the information from the
20 statistics of the -- from the 1991 census.
21 Q. I want to move forward. I would --
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours I have an exhibit, DB 42A. This is a
23 document that was supplied to us by the OTP and no -- I don't think there
24 was a B/C/S translation ever done of the document, at least if there is, I
25 don't have it. But I think we need to put it on the ELMO. If there is a
1 B/C/S translation, it would be helpful to have it, but I don't think there
2 is one.
3 Q. Mr. Smailagic, this is going to be a little bit difficult because
4 we only have this in the English language, and so I will simply tell
5 you --
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we are just checking. There may be a
7 translation but we are just checking.
8 MR. ACKERMAN:
9 Q. I will simply tell you that what this is is an article from --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Would you wait a minute, Mr. Ackerman, until we
11 verify whether there is a translation because that would simplify matters.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, I will.
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: There is a B/C/S translation of this document
14 which was disclosed to the Defence. However, we don't have it right now
15 with us.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I have a suspicion that this document was filed with
17 the first batch. What number -- what number does it show on your records?
18 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, are you referring to ERN number,
19 this M000 --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no, no. It's -- I have seen this before, or
21 at least there was a reference to it before, Roy Gutman, or at least he
22 was mentioned by Mr. Krzic as one of the persons that he was -- that he
23 contacted, and the name appears in one of the reports submitted to the
24 secret service.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's absolutely right. Mr. Krzic was
1 asked about meetings with Mr. Gutman but this article in itself was not
2 being produced.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
4 MS. KORNER: But we can -- if Mr. Ackerman can wait until tomorrow
5 for this, we believe he has a copy but we can find a copy ourselves.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, during my cross-examination of Mr.
7 Krzic, I put it on the ELMO and referred him to one paragraph of it but I
8 don't think I ever marked it or had it admitted as an exhibit.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: No, you didn't, in fact, no.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I again only want to refer to one paragraph, very
11 short, and I think I could just read it to him and ask him if he accepts
12 it. If the Prosecutor wants to give him a B/C/S copy and ask him further
13 questions about this document, they are certainly free to do so. I will
14 do what Your Honour suggests.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We can -- no, no. We can move ahead along those
17 Mr. Smailagic, we have a document here which unfortunately, for
18 the time being, is only in English. You're not going to be asked
19 questions on the entire document, but only on a very short paragraph which
20 counsel, Mr. Ackerman, is going to read out in English, and while he is
21 reading it out, it will be translated into your own language by the
22 interpreters. So basically, the importance of having the document in your
23 own language or in English, in the English language, does not arise more
24 -- any more. Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. President, the interpreters do not have a copy
1 of this exhibit, and would need it in order to translate it. Do you have
2 extra copies?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: They have it. We gave it to them.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I'm seeing the Nero sign. Please proceed,
5 Mr. Ackerman.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: We try very hard to take good care of our
7 interpreters, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. I'm very sure of that.
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. Mr. Smailagic, this -- I'll tell you what this document is. It's
11 an article from Newsday, which is a newspaper published on Long Island, in
12 New York, United States of America. The article is written by a fellow by
13 the name of Roy Gutman. I take it you have heard of Mr. Gutman.
14 A. Yes. More or less.
15 Q. Have you ever met Mr. Gutman?
16 A. I can't remember.
17 Q. Do you know that Mr. Gutman met on at least one occasion with
18 Muharem Krzic and was a recipient of information from Muharem Krzic?
19 A. Muharem Krzic met several of these people. He met journalists and
20 representatives of the international community and finally, as president
21 of the Party of Democratic Action, he was authorised to have contact with
22 them and to make statements, to issue statements for them.
23 Q. I understand that. My only question was, do you know specifically
24 if he met with Mr. Gutman?
25 A. I really can't remember now. That was a long time ago, after
1 all. I'm not sure. I can't remember.
2 Q. Part of this article I want to read to you is very short, and my
3 question will be: Do you accept what Mr. Gutman says? I'm going to read
4 to you the fourth paragraph on the first page, where Mr. Gutman reports as
5 follows: "At least 50.000 Muslims and Croats remain in Banja Luka,
6 Bosnia's second biggest city and the capital of the breakaway Serb
7 area." That's the statement. The date is 26 September, 1992. Do you
8 agree or disagree with that number as reported by Mr. Gutman?
9 A. Since he didn't say an exact number but provided an approximate
10 number, I agree with that. I mentioned that from April or May, they
11 started -- people started leaving Banja Luka, both Muslims and Croats.
12 Q. You have -- you've said in your statement on page 2, that
13 Mr. Brdjanin was a member of the executive board of the SDS in Banja
14 Luka. Do you stand by that assertion?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. You have said in your testimony here today, and in your statement,
17 that Mr. Brdjanin attended SDS joint meetings, SDS-SDA in the Dom Kultura,
18 in the fall of 1991, as a member of the SDS executive board of Banja
19 Luka. Do you stand by that assertion?
20 A. Yes. On several occasions, he attended and in the course of the
21 summer, I think that a while ago, I said that he was not only present at
22 those meetings but I was there on a daily basis in our premises. We were
23 very close to each other and I would see him there.
24 Q. I suggest to you that Mr. Brdjanin was never a member of the SDS
25 executive board in Banja Luka, never a member of the SDS in Banja Luka,
1 never attended a meeting of the SDS in Banja Luka, and never attended any
2 meetings which you speak of in 1991. Do you accept that?
3 A. [No interpretation]
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, there are a number of questions there.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think, Mr. Ackerman, please go through the list
6 again, and he will be asked to reply to each and every one of them.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm trying to do this curious thing that the
8 English call "putting it to the witness" which we never heard of it
9 America, and I'll try to do it properly. I'm just struggling with this,
10 Your Honour. And Ms. Korner has tried to explain it to me, but apparently
11 not well enough.
12 Q. Let me try to ask you --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: The first one was that Mr. Brdjanin was a member of
14 the executive board of the SDS in Banja Luka.
15 MR. ACKERMAN:
16 Q. I suggest to you that he was not a member of the executive board
17 of the SDS in Banja Luka. Do you accept that?
18 A. No, I don't.
19 Q. I suggest to you that he was not a member, ever, of the SDS in
20 Banja Luka. Do you accept that?
21 A. No.
22 Q. I suggest to you that he never attended a meeting of the SDS in
23 Banja Luka. Do you accept that?
24 A. No.
25 Q. I suggest to you that he never engaged in any meetings, joint
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 meetings, between SDA and SDS members in Banja Luka in the fall of 1991,
2 as you have testified. Do you accept that?
3 A. No, I don't.
4 Q. On page 3 of your statement --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, whenever it is convenient for you,
6 remember, please, we have -- we need ten minutes on other matters. I
7 don't want to interrupt you but if you can possibly conclude this
8 particular part of your cross-examination between now and the next three
9 minutes --
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm actually getting ready to start a new subject.
11 This would be a good time to stop, and we probably need more than ten
12 minutes anyhow.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. So, Mr. Smailagic, we have to stop now
14 because there are other matters that need to be debated in this courtroom.
15 You will be returning to this courtroom tomorrow morning at 9.00, when Mr.
16 Ackerman will hopefully conclude his cross-examination, and then you will
17 also be cross-examined by the Defence team for General Talic. I thank you
18 for your patience. And you can withdraw. You may withdraw now and we
19 will see you tomorrow morning. Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Just before you leave -- okay. He won't understand
23 me in English in any case. I just wanted to remind him not to have any
24 contact at all with the next witness but I'm sure that they are not --
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, there is no problem with that. I think
1 he's taken the warning to heart.
2 Your Honour, before I deal with what was raised yesterday in the
3 Stakic case, can I say that I think sooner rather than later Your Honours
4 should hear exactly from an investigator how a statement is taken. I
5 propose to put in as soon as this witness is finished shortly, Mr. Dupas,
6 the investigator who took the statement, so that Your Honours can hear the
7 method by which it's taken. Your Honour, can I now turn to what happened
8 yesterday in the Stakic Status Conference, which has an effect on this
10 As Your Honours know, but the Defence in this case may not know,
11 the same team for the Prosecution has conduct of the Stakic case. The
12 Prosecution yesterday was ordered by Judge Schomburg to -- firstly, I'm
13 sorry, I should say the trial of Stakic, depending on finance, apparently,
14 is provisionally listed to start on the 17th of April. I'm sorry, the
15 16th of April. That has this effect that, by that stage, we shall have
16 left Prijedor in this case because of the Stakic case, and be -- we
17 anticipate, be engaged in the Sanski Most municipality evidence.
18 Judge Schomburg then made an order that the Prosecution should
19 file in the Stakic case and in this case separate motions for the
20 witnesses in the Prijedor segment, which are common to this case and to
21 Stakic, which I should say is effectively the same all bar, I believe we
22 counted nine, seeking to depose those witnesses, to have evidence taken by
23 way of deposition, and the suggestion made by Judge Schomburg was that
24 each Trial Chamber would make its own ruling as to whether depositions
25 were appropriate. And if each Trial Chamber came to the conclusion,
1 having heard from the Defence on -- in both cases, that witnesses were
2 suitable for deposition, then the idea was that the deposition will be
3 conducted with a presiding officer, unspecified. There will be one
4 examination-in-chief and then, if the witness is one that both cases or
5 the Defence in both cases wish to cross-examine, then there will be
6 cross-examination by effectively three different counsel. So Your Honour,
7 that's the suggestion that was made. The Prosecution will accordingly
8 file in each case a motion as to which witnesses should be the subject of
10 One of the matters that was raised by Judge Schomburg was this:
11 That it would be preferable that some depositions took place before the
12 beginning of the Stakic trial. Now, Your Honour, that does seem to us on
13 the Prosecution side to raise exceeding difficulties because we shall be
14 sitting until the end of March, bar the one week. One suggestion was made
15 that we should deal with this trial in the morning and then all counsel
16 would be expected to deal with Prijedor witnesses in the afternoon in
17 deposition form. I think that may cause considerable difficulty, perhaps
18 less for us, because we can allocate members of our team separately but
19 certainly for Defence counsel. I'm raising it at this stage, as I say, so
20 that both the Defence counsel in this case know. Did I ask that a
21 transcript of yesterday's proceedings should be provided to the Defence in
22 this case and so that one can take cognizance of the fact of what's going
23 to happen.
24 Our concern is that if the Stakic provisional date is proceeded
25 with, then there is no crossover with this trial. And I'm raising it
1 before Your Honours. It will be Your Honours' decision as to how to deal
2 with this but it would be preferable, we consider, that both Trial
3 Chambers should be starting Prijedor at the same time, but I merely raise
4 this, as I say, as a matter to inform Defence counsel. I have no doubt
5 Your Honours will be informed by Judge Schomburg of his ruling.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner. I would imagine, from the
7 looks of Mr. Ackerman and from the looks of Maitre de Roux, that this is
8 all news to you and that obviously I would -- it would be very unfair on
9 my part, on our part, to expect any sort of reaction from you for the time
10 being. I understand, Ms. Korner, that you are going to file these
12 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour. We are going to file motions
13 saying which witnesses -- effectively I think it will be the same. We are
14 going to file the same motion but addressed to different Trial Chambers.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Obviously, composed differently, too. I happen to
16 be in both for the time being.
17 MS. KORNER: Ah, we were told it was going to be two ad litem
19 JUDGE AGIUS: But that's when there is said that the trial will
21 MS. KORNER: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That will be the trial stage. For the time being we
23 are in the Pre-Trial stage as far as that case is concerned, while we are
24 in the trial stage as far as this is concerned. So that tends to
25 complicate matters as well.
1 MS. KORNER: Yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Any way, we'll see. You will find me cooperative.
3 However, you need to realise that we are talking of two different
4 compositions for the time being. Yes, Mr. Ackerman, or Maitre de Roux, I
5 mean you both stood up more or less at the same time. I don't know who to
6 address first.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Let Mr. De Roux --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: The in the meantime you get time too think about it
10 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'm a
11 little surprised because we are here judging the accused, General Talic,
12 within the scope of an indictment. And the hearing here and now, which is
13 in this indictment, and what the objection that the Defence is making, the
14 charge the Defence is making about this act, and suddenly we are being --
15 they are suggesting that we interrogate, examine witnesses, at the same
16 time and in the light of another indictment, with which we are not
17 acquainted. And obviously, this falsifies, this stocks the matter. We
18 are not judging the Prijedor case. We are judging the General Talic case
19 with evidence that the Prosecution considers to have gathered. And I
20 think that if we abandon this logic, we will commence a new trial. We
21 will be entering into a new trial. As far as I know, Mr. Stakic, the
22 mayor of Prijedor, has never been examined with regard our indictment, and
23 I don't think it is the time right now, it's a little late, to try by
24 having recourse to common hearings. I don't think it is right to try and
25 mix two indictments or otherwise in such a case, it would be very
1 complicated. We would have to do a joinder. I think that the Prosecution
2 will file a motion, we will respond to it, but I think this trial is too
3 far advanced for us to abandon the indictment raised against General
4 Talic. Thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you Maitre de Roux. Mr. Ackerman?
6 MS. KORNER: May I respond to that before Mr. Ackerman? Your
7 Honour, I don't think that Mr. De Roux appreciates the procedures. It's
8 under Rule 71. It is not suggested that there is going to be a joinder.
9 It is simply a method of not having to bring back the same witnesses to
10 this Court twice. It doesn't mix the two cases as such, but the evidence
11 is from -- examination-in-chief is identical in both cases.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: As I understand it, Ms. Korner, the whole idea is
13 that one option, I must say an undesirable option, would be to introduce
14 inside this trial while the witnesses are here, Mr. Stakic, who is under
15 another indictment, with possibly two Trial Chambers, three different
16 Defence teams, and that would be a confusion -- confusion, organised
17 confusion. And would certainly not work. So what I understand, if I read
18 you well, I still have to go through the minutes of the records of the
19 transcript of yesterday's Status Conference, if I read you well, -- since
20 that is not feasible, I mean practically, there is no way it can be done,
21 there is a simpler way of doing it, by having these witnesses come here at
22 a certain point in time before the Stakic case starts, and we will have
23 absolutely nothing to do with the Stakic case. These witnesses will be
24 questioned, examined and cross-examined, by the three different teams, not
25 in open court as we are here, but in -- during a session which is -- which
1 falls within in parameters of Rule 71, chaired by a --
2 MS. KORNER: Presiding officer.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly, as presiding officers, as conceived in that
4 section because he is conceived in a different way in another section, in
5 another rule, and then with the understanding that since there will be a
6 representation of the Defence in this case, and the Defence in the other
7 case, that the evidence will be brought forward in this case, which is the
8 one we are interested in, and it will be sort of taken as read because you
9 would have conducted your examination-in-chief and they would have
10 conducted their cross-examination. This is how I understand it, if I am
11 reading you well because I may be confusing the issue in my mind as well.
12 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour is absolutely right. That's what is
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So Mr. Ackerman, please may I -- I have been give
15 and note here that we must end now. And they need time to prepare for
16 Simic so if you could keep your brief -- well, obviously we are not
17 deciding anything on this. I still have to read the transcript and give
18 you all the opportunity to come back to the Trial Chamber on this matter.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Let me have 20 seconds, maybe.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Even more, Mr. Ackerman.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: All I want to say right now is this, and I'll have
22 a lot more to say later. This problem was created by the Prosecution by
23 multiply indicting a number of people for the events that happened in this
24 area and now they are seeking help from the Defence in that -- and the
25 Chamber to solve the problem that they have created. And I'm willing to
1 help in that regard. And I think the Chamber is willing to help in that
2 regard. But I'm not willing to sacrifice the fair trial that my defendant
3 is entitled to and the rights that my defendant is entitled to just to
4 help the Prosecution solve this problem. And we shouldn't do that.
5 That's expediency taking over justice. And we can't let that happen. I
6 do not want to get involved in taking depositions where counsel for Stakic
7 are in the room examining the witness at the same time we are. Because
8 that creates motivations to do things that are mischievous that couldn't
9 possibly happen in this trial.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Any way, I understand, Ms. Korner that you will be
11 filing, the OTP will be filing the relative motions. And you will have
12 ample opportunity, of course, to respond to them. And we will take the
13 matter afterwards when the response -- the necessary responses.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, this was simply to given the Defence
15 warning because they suddenly got motions and they had no idea what was
16 going on.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you. We will resume tomorrow morning
18 at 9.00. I thank you all. Good afternoon.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at p.m. 1.48, to
20 be reconvened on Wednesday the 20th day of February,
21 2002, at 9.00 a.m.