1 Wednesday, 24 April 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Please be seated.
7 Can we have the case called, please, Madam Registrar.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is the case number,
9 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin and Momir Talic.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, Mr. Brdjanin. Can you hear me in a
11 language that you can understand?
12 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your
13 Honours. I can hear you and understand you.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down.
15 General Talic, can you hear me in a language that you can
17 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
18 I can hear you and understand you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you.
20 Appearances for the Prosecution.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, Joanna Korner, assisted by Denise
22 Gustin, case manager. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you.
24 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman
1 with Marela Jevtovic.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Ackerman.
3 Appearances for General Talic.
4 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.
5 Xavier de Roux and Natasha Fauveau for General Talic.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you.
7 So --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Before we start with the witness, two very short
10 matters. Mr. Ackerman and Maitre de Roux, you are aware, because I'm sure
11 you have been served with a copy of the Prosecutor's memo in compliance
12 with a directive of this Chamber re-justification for the delay,
13 nondisclosure of the identity of a witness.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Are you speaking of a motion that might have been
15 filed within the last couple of days maybe?
16 MS. KORNER: Friday.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Friday, I think. Yeah, the end of last week.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes. I'll be writing -- I'll be filing a written
19 response to that, Your Honour. I oppose it.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And Maitre de Roux?
21 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Yes, we received it Monday.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And will you be responding?
23 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] No. We haven't responded yet,
24 Mr. President.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But will you be filing a response?
1 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] I give the floor to Madam Fauveau.
2 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we do not
3 object to this motion, but under the condition that between the date of
4 the communication of the identity of the witness and the date that the
5 appearance of this witness, there should be two weeks without trial so
6 that we can go to Bosnia and conduct our investigations.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So I would suppose that you're going to file a
8 written response, no?
9 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] If this is not sufficient
10 to you, then we will file a response.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... I would expect
12 it. I mean, if this is what you're requesting, obviously it should be put
13 on record in a more formal manner.
14 So that will be --
15 Yes, Ms. Korner.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, all I would say about this is we
17 complied with Your Honours' ruling.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I know that.
19 MS. KORNER: Can I put it this way: It was slightly unusual but I
20 take that Your Honour would be applying the same standards or rules to the
21 Defence if they do the same thing.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, we handed down or we gave that order for
23 a very simple reason. And you find it in --
24 MS. KORNER: We read the judgement, Your Honour, yes.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I mean, there has been already a decision
1 by Judge Hunt in this case which we think ought to be followed.
2 MS. KORNER: Well --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Ought to be followed obviously applicable to both
5 MS. KORNER: Yes. If it's applicable to both sides, Your
6 Honour --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Obviously.
8 MS. KORNER: I mean, we nearly did discuss the fact that
9 Judge Hunt's order actually relates to a different situation.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 MS. KORNER: But if it's to be applied across the board, then Your
12 Honour --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No. It will be applied across the board, but
14 although the case was somewhat different -- or the circumstances somewhat
15 different, the principle remains the same.
16 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, let me just say, Your Honour, that there will
18 never come a time in this case when I will seek your permission not to
19 disclose the name of a witness to the Prosecutor, because counsel need to
20 know who the witnesses are going to be. The purpose of the rules
21 regarding witness protection are to protect the witnesses from public
22 knowledge of their identity.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman. Let's not argue -- let's not
24 argue about it.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: [Previous translation continues] ...
1 responsibilities in the case.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: My intervention was meant only to get to know
3 whether to expect a response negative, positive, or whatever.
4 The next thing I wanted to make sure of is that you are prepared
5 for tomorrow's informal meeting, which will take place in room 177 at
6 11.00 a.m. I have -- a preliminary meeting has already been held between
7 the senior legal officer together with the rest of my staff in preparation
8 for this meeting, and tomorrow morning I will have a meeting myself with
9 Mr. Von Hebel to make sure that everything is -- is in place.
10 During the meeting -- and I have already asked my legal assistant
11 to approach you in an informal manner. It is desirable that there will be
12 some discussion, and preferably also some agreement on possible agreed
13 facts. So you will be approached for -- with this aim in view by my --
14 today I think during the break.
15 MS. KORNER: We've been handed it already, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see. Please do give this matter your utmost
17 attention. Obviously it's in the Chamber's interest to secure it. None
18 of us approaches this matter suspecting that you are being invited to
19 compromise your position. The idea is where there are facts that could be
20 agreed upon, which are either neutral or which does not affect your client
21 in any way, as well as the Prosecution obviously, probably if you could
22 reach an agreement on that --
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think this is entirely a matter for
24 the Defence. Obviously.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MS. KORNER: We'll wish to have agreed facts.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And having said that, I think we can start with
3 the -- continue with the witness.
4 Good afternoon, sir.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: May I kindly ask you to make the solemn declaration
7 once more, please. Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: ADIL DRAGANOVIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Judge. You may sit down.
13 Ms. Korner will be continuing her examination-in-chief.
14 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated] I'm sorry. Just before we
15 go on with that, Your Honour will recall there was a question yesterday
16 about this village --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Which you had to check out.
18 MS. KORNER: Yes. Well --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Two villages, actually.
20 MS. KORNER: Yes. I can't remember what the first village was
21 now. The second village was -- I'm sorry.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: The village was Kasapnica.
23 MS. KORNER: Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Kasapnica.
25 MS. KORNER: What we've taken -- I've spoken to Mr. Inayat about
1 this obviously, who produced these maps, and we've only got one copy of
2 it. But there's a map produced of Sanski Most by the Bosnians themselves,
3 showing the ethnic composition. It may not matter very much.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know if it is important. Let's --
5 MS. KORNER: It shows -- and I think perhaps I can deal with it
6 best this way, that it -- it shows that Kljevci was a Serb village and
7 Kasapnica was supposed to be a suburb of this. But perhaps the best thing
8 I can do is show the witness the original Bosnian map and then just ask
9 him about it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: If it's -- if it's the only copy that you have,
11 Ms. Korner, let's put it on the ELMO, please.
12 MS. KORNER: Yes, certainly. If the witness can have a --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And the witness can either look on the monitor or
14 directly on the document itself
15 Examined by Ms. Korner: [Continued]
16 Q. Now, sir, can I just ask you, have you seen one of these types of
17 maps before?
18 A. This map, it is possible that I have seen it.
19 Q. Now, you told us yesterday that Kasapnica was a village without
20 any Serbs. Is that correct?
21 A. That's right.
22 Q. Is it in fact close to a hamlet of Kljevci?
23 A. That's right. Yes.
24 Q. But from your knowledge -- which is a Serb village, I think.
25 A. Kljevci, one part of it is a Serb village. That's correct.
1 Kasapnica was a locality of a mass grave, a location of a mass grave.
2 It's an abandoned hamlet of Kljevci, where Croats used to live before.
3 And the wider locality is called Kljevci.
4 Q. All right.
5 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, then, this is clearly the
6 evidence. And although it's marked like that, everybody has heard it.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. Thank you very much, Judge. That's fine.
10 MS. KORNER: And we can take it off the ELMO.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you intend tendering that document as an
12 exhibit? I don't think it is necessary.
13 MS. KORNER: Unless anybody wants it as an exhibit, I wouldn't
14 have thought so -- no, I see heads shaking all round.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
17 Q. Okay. Sir, can we go back to where we finished yesterday, and you
18 were talking about the 6th Krajina Brigade and the mobilisation that took
19 place. In fact -- I'm sorry. You will need the map we produced back
20 again for a moment, which is Exhibit -- no, no. The proper exhibit,
22 Sir, I want to ask you about JNA training fields in the area. I
23 think it's right that there were no actual barracks in the region of
24 Sanski Most. Is that correct?
25 A. That's right. There were no barracks.
1 Q. Did it have various training grounds in the area or near Sanski
2 Most, first of all in a place called Lusci Palanka?
3 A. The 6th Sanski Brigade had training ground in the area of Lusci
5 Q. Which we can see, I think, on the map marked towards the left-hand
6 corner, or the left-hand side, rather.
7 And how far was that from the town of Sanski Most?
8 A. Lusci Palanka is about 25 kilometres away from the town
10 Q. And I think it's going in the direction of the municipality of
11 Bosanski Krupa; is that correct?
12 A. That's right.
13 Q. Then the next training ground, was that in a place called
14 Koprivna, which we can see near the River Sana towards the middle --
15 right-hand side of the map?
16 A. Koprivna is on the way between Sanski Most towards the airport.
17 It's about 3 or 4 kilometres distance away from the town. And in this
18 area, there were units of the 6th Krajina Brigade.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. And after returning -- returning from Croatia, from the Republic
21 of Croatia, after returning from the front, there were some battalions
22 that were stationed there, and they also had manoeuvres.
23 Q. And did that in fact give them control of the road towards
25 A. Of course.
1 Q. Then was there -- were there further training grounds at Kruhari,
2 which we can see very close to the right-hand side as we look at the
3 map of Sanski Most?
4 A. In Kruhari were also stationed some battalions that belonged to
5 the 6th Krajina Brigade, under a certain command. And this was used for
6 training before the beginning of the attack on Sanski Most from the
8 Q. And finally, were there also training grounds in the vicinity of a
9 place called Dabar? We can see it marked on the map below Sanski Most. I
10 think it's Gornji Dabar and Donji Dabar, and were there training grounds
12 A. First I'll explain that Dabar is south-west from the town of the
13 Sanski Most. These are hills, and going towards Grmic, Mount Grmec.
14 It's a very large area which the 6th Krajina Brigade occupied and set out
15 their positions -- set up their positions. Specifically in Magarice
16 which is a part above the town towards Dabar. That's where also the HQ
17 was with the commander Colonel of the JNA Branko Basara. In Dabar -- so
18 before the beginning of the attack on Sanski Most, for days there were
19 detonations of cannon shells that could be heard. Towards Dabar in April
20 and May --
21 Q. All right. Don't worry. I'm going to come to April and May. I'm
22 just trying to establish where the grounds are at the moment.
23 A. Fine.
24 Q. All right. And finally, was there a further training ground at a
25 place called Milin Birt. And I'm not sure that's marked on the map.
1 Could you indicate where that was roughly.
2 A. Milin Birt is located also on the main road between Sanski Most
3 and Prijedor. And it is about 2 or 3 kilometres away from the town. It
4 is a crossroads of regional road which separates -- which goes off to the
5 left towards a large Muslim settlement, Stari Majdan, then to the Croatian
6 settlement, Stara Rijeka, and it also goes to Ljubija, which is the
7 municipality of Prijedor. On the crossroads, there was a large checkpoint
8 of the military place of the 6th Krajina Brigade, and a brigade -- or
9 rather, the battalion.
10 Q. So it was the military police who were there.
11 A. That's where the police -- the military police was as well, yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So is it -- can he -- can the witness point it on
13 the map for us. Is it past Stara Rijeka.
14 MS. KORNER: I think he said it was past Stari Majdan.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, past Stari Majdan, past Stara Rijeka.
16 If you can mark it with a pen on the same map and then put your
17 initials, please.
18 We need to have it on the ELMO so that we can see from here as
19 well, please. He can mark it now, but then we need to see it on the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I apologise. Let me
22 just get my bearings. So from Podbrijezje, in the immediate vicinity is a
23 hamlet marked here Podbrijezje, and I'll put a blue dot.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Cross it with an "X", please, Judge.
25 THE WITNESS: Okay.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Because we have several blue dots.
2 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I see. But didn't you mention it before that it was
4 in the direction of Stari Majdan and Stara Rijeka? That's further up.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So where you have marked with an "X," what does that
8 "X" represent?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is approximately the location,
10 the place called Milin Birt. You pass through Podbrijezje and then just
11 behind Podbrijezje in the direction of Prijedor.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And what was the name again?
13 MS. KORNER: It was Milin Birt.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's two words.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please.
16 MS. KORNER: I was looking at the bottom of page 4 of the
17 statement, and you'll see the name there.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay?
19 MS. KORNER: Yes, thank you.
20 Q. Okay. I want to move now, please, to what happened after the war
21 in Croatia broke out in Sanski Most. What was the attitude towards the
22 inhabitants of Sanski Most who were of Croat ethnicity? What happened to
24 A. When the war in Croatia started, the Croatian population in Sanski
25 Most was in an unfavourable situation because, if I can put it this way,
1 the Serb representatives through the policies of the SDS expressed
2 themselves very -- in a very negative way about the Croats in Sanski
4 Q. All right. Can you just describe to us, please, the physical
5 manifestation of that negative way. What was actually happening to the
7 A. Well, what happened was that there was a series of terrorist
8 activities against citizens of Croatian nationality at that time in Sanski
9 Most. For instance, in the settlement of Kruhari, which was a mixed
10 village with Serbs and Croats, there were some bombs that were set to
11 explode, there were even some murders. There were grenades that were
12 thrown on houses. And I would say that a -- that there was a terror of a
13 very cunning type that was being exerted on the Croatian population. And
14 this was the same situation in other villages where Croats lived. So
15 somewhere in Ovanjska near Budimlic Japra, a Croat was killed, and his
16 house was set on fire.
17 Q. Now, did you as an investigating judge investigate many of these
19 A. As an investigating judge, I went to do the investigation in the
20 case of all these explosions and terrorist attacks.
21 Q. Did you ever find materials, items that had been used to cause the
23 A. I did. On all these occasions, I would find parts of devices --
24 of explosive devices -- hand grenades, rifle grenades, and remnants of
1 Q. And were you able to identify the origin of these explosives in
2 the sense of where they came from?
3 A. I was. More or less in all cases I was able to identify the
4 origin --
5 Q. And what --
6 A. -- of the explosive device. And I can say that these were lethal
7 means coming from the stockpiles of the Yugoslav army.
8 Q. And how are you able to say that?
9 A. On the jackets of the rifle grenades and on the remnants of those
10 grenades, I was able to tell the origin of the explosive device. Also in
11 the case of hand grenades I could see that they were grenades
12 manufactured in a military factory of Yugoslavia that was situated in
13 Bugojno. So on the basis of the remnants of that grenade, I was able to
14 tell the origin. My task as the investigating judge is to investigate and
15 to prosecute the perpetrators. I --
16 Q. Sorry. I don't -- I think you explained that. All I -- because I
17 need to move through, sir.
18 A. [In English] Okay.
19 Q. Sorry about that. What I want to know about this finally -- this
20 matter finally is this: Were you ever -- was anybody ever arrested and
21 prosecuted for any of these bombings or explosive attacks?
22 A. [Interpretation] No, never.
23 Q. Whose duty was it to arrest these people or to order the arrest,
24 yours as an investigating judge or the police's?
25 A. In the first place, it is the duty of the police to identify the
1 perpetrators, that is, people for whom there are grounds to suspect them
2 of having committed the crime, and to report this to the prosecutor and
3 the judge. Not in a single case was such a perpetrator identified,
4 because of which I intervened on a number of occasions and objected very
5 seriously about it to the chief of police and to the head of the crimes
6 department in Sanski Most. And both of them were of Serb ethnicity.
7 Q. All right. Now, still staying in 1991 -- and I'm going to move
8 shortly to 1992. Were there any such attacks on Muslim persons or
10 A. In that period of time, there were still no such attacks on
11 Muslims and Muslim property. This would occur later.
12 Q. Now, in 1991 were there rallies held in the Sanski Most area on
13 behalf of the SDS?
14 A. I remember some rallies.
15 Q. And can you remember -- firstly, did you attend any of those
17 A. I was present at one rather large organised rally in the square in
18 the centre of town, which was organised by the SDS of Sanski Most
20 Q. And can you remember, first of all, who the speakers were, or some
21 of them?
22 A. As far as I can remember, the speakers were the leaders of the SDS
23 of Sanski Most municipality. I don't remember any other persons from
24 outside Sanski Most. But I do remember most groups that would come to
25 that meeting or rally carrying Chetnik banners and Chetnik insignia,
1 wearing beards. I also remember some speeches by Rasula and Vrkes.
2 Q. In general terms, what was the tone of the speeches, the theme?
3 A. The danger that the Serb people were in and a call for the unity
4 of the Serb people, the -- even then I felt the tendency to create a
5 unified state in order to preserve Serbdom within a single state.
6 Q. Now, can we move then to 1992. In February of 1992, was the
7 referendum -- I'm sorry. Before -- I beg your pardon. Before we leave
8 1991, was there a referendum held by the Serbs?
9 A. Yes. A plebiscite of the Serb people was organised. That is how
10 they called it.
11 Q. Now, did you have anything to do with the organisation or any
12 monitoring of that particular plebiscite?
13 A. I did not. I had nothing to do with it, because I wasn't invited,
14 even though officially I was the president of the municipal elections
15 commission elected to that position at the assembly meeting of Sanski Most
16 municipality. And I did have the qualifications.
17 Q. Now, in 1992, however, was the referendum held to decide upon the
18 independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. And were you involved in the organisation of that referendum
21 through your official position?
22 A. I was, as the president of the municipal elections commission, it
23 was my task to provide professional assistance in accordance with the law
24 and the constitution to organize and implement the referendum in the
25 Sanski Most municipality, which I in fact did, together with the other
1 members of the commission coming from the ranks of the Bosniak and Croat
2 people, because members of the municipal SM commission from the Serb
3 ethnic group decided not to participate in the work of the commission.
4 However, we had a sufficient number of seven members and we carried it out
5 in accordance with the law and the constitution.
6 Q. All right. Now, what I want to ask you about that: We know what
7 the results were overall, but were there any particular problems that you
8 had with the positioning of polling stations in Serb areas?
9 A. We organised the referendum and covered the whole area with
10 polling stations so as not to provoke any anger among the Serb people.
11 However, on the eve of the referendum itself, from the territory of the
12 settlement of Tomina, I received a written ultimatum saying that in that
13 area, there would be no referendum in the premises of the local offices
14 which we had chosen as a polling station.
15 Q. And who gave you that ultimatum? Who did the written ultimatum
16 come from?
17 A. That ultimatum was in written form, as I have just said. It was
18 brought in person by the secretary -- active secretary from Tomina, Toma
19 Renovic [phoen], who was in the local branch of the SDS in charge of
20 Tramosnja and Tomina.
21 Q. As a result of that ultimatum, what did you do about the polling
22 station? Did you leave it there, or did you move it?
23 A. I immediately convened a meeting of the commission, and we agreed
24 to move the station, even though those were -- that was an office
25 belonging to the Sanski Most municipality as the -- as a communal office.
1 And we moved the polling station to a Bosniak home in Tomina.
2 If I may, I would like to add something.
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. We had a polling station for the area of Begici settlement,
5 which is in Kljevci, and we designated as a polling station there the home
6 of a Bosniak, Ceric Miralem. That's a correction on my part. Not Begic,
7 but Ceric. However, on the 31st of May, 1992, this old man, who was about
8 70, and his younger son and his older son were killed on the bridge at
9 Vrhpolje. Afterwards his wife was dead too.
10 Q. Was that one of the bodies that was exhumed later on?
11 A. We did exhume some bodies. But their death is linked to the
12 positions of the polling station in that house. That house was totally
14 Q. All right. Now, at the time of this referendum and before the
15 referendum was held, what was the attitude of the SDS and the Serbs
16 towards this referendum, as it was expressed through speeches or leaflets
17 or posters?
18 A. [No interpretation]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. We are not receiving any
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises. She failed to
22 switch on her microphone.
23 MS. KORNER: I think we're all guilty of that, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Could you repeat once more what you have just said
25 stated, please, for our benefit, because we were not receiving
1 interpretation into English. I'm sorry about that, Judge. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The SDS of Sanski Most municipality
3 worked in an organised manner against the referendum in Sanski Most by
4 leaflets that were posted on various institutions, in the halls of
5 buildings, which appeared one morning. And it was stated in these
6 leaflets propaganda to the effect that the referendum was directed against
7 the Serb people.
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. And what was the language like in those leaflets?
10 A. The wording was horrific. Mostly to the effect that the Muslims
11 and Croats would, let me say, kill Serb children, that they would destroy
12 the Serb people. They made mention of the name of Alija Izetbegovic. And
13 simply in that leaflet, the Serbs were appealed upon not to vote in the
14 referendum and not to allow the referendum to be organised in the area or
15 in the local communes inhabited by Serbs.
16 Q. All right. I just want you to have -- I want to -- although I
17 want to look at the documents in one bunch, as it were, I want you to
18 look, please, at one particular document, which is Exhibit P700.
19 MS. KORNER: If that could be handed to the witness, but just one
20 part of it.
21 And I would like to have a look at the B/C/S. And if Your Honours
22 would have a look at it, because the translation doesn't reveal what this
24 No, I'm sorry, usher. Could you give it to me. I just want to
25 look at one single part of it. It's just easier if I just find it.
1 Thanks. I want the witness to see it, please. Sorry. No, it's
2 my fault.
3 If we look in our bundles at the third page of that translation,
4 headed "Dear brother Serbs."
5 Q. Sir, is that document you're looking at, does that say "Dear
6 brother Serbs" at the top?
7 A. Yes, exactly. That's what it said. This leaflet is similar to
8 the other leaflet, but it is on half a page. But the text in the leaflet
9 is similar.
10 Q. All right. Can we just very quickly look at the text --
11 MS. KORNER: Although Your Honours will recall I read part of this
12 in opening.
13 Q. "Dear brother Serbs, do you know what our blood thirsty enemies
14 have been scheming for us? What they had in mind was to gouge out our
15 eyes, carve us up, hack our bodies to piece, rape women and girls in front
16 of their dearest, to circumcise, to destroy our religion, to crush
17 us just because we happen to be Serbs. Don't think that anybody's family
18 would have been spared. They had monstered ready committed to raping
19 Serbian women and they had developed a system of killing each and every
20 Serb. Soon we will show everyone their horrible weapons, the Serb cutter,
21 swords from the middle-ages, sledge hammers, special knives, instruments
22 to gouge out eyes out with, and instruments to carve us up with." And
23 then the rest -- it's clear this was written a little later because it
24 refers to Vrhpolje.
25 Now, first of all, is this the sort of language that was being
1 used in the leaflets that were being distributed before the referendum?
2 A. Yes. Precisely such a leaflet was distributed even to homes,
3 apartments. I know that a leaflet of this content was read out over the
4 Serb radio Sanski Most on the 27th of May, 1992, because I heard it with
5 my own ears in the prison in which I was detained, in the immediate
6 vicinity of the public security station. This leaflet was all read --
7 read all day long and maybe the following days as well and was the most
8 important propaganda material they used. I think that someone recorded
9 this on an audiotape and that this audio recording is in the possession of
10 the Prosecution, recorded from the Serb radio over which it was
12 Q. All right. Now, I just want to answer -- I'm sorry. I just want
13 to ask you this. And if you can't answer it, say so straight away. Do
14 you know whether ordinary Serbs believed this is what the Muslims wanted
15 to do to them? Did you speak to anybody about what was being said? If
16 you don't know the answer, as I say, say so straight away.
17 A. I would need more time to explain this, because I was simply in a
18 state of shock. I couldn't believe that people with whom I had
19 socialised, worked, and was a good friend with could suddenly turn their
20 backs on me. However, the impression I got that day when the attack on
21 Sanski Most started, that -- it's hard to describe it as a collective
22 turning of heads away. I think that many people were misled and that they
23 simply didn't dare react. Maybe later on I will be able to tell you that
24 I spoke to some of my friends when I received a threatening letter before
25 my arrest.
1 Q. Well, we'll come on to the letter you received, as you say, when
2 we reach that part.
3 All right. Can we move -- the referendum was held. And the vote
4 not participated in by Serbs was a majority for independence.
5 After that referendum, what was the attitude towards the Muslim
6 and Croat population in the area of Sanski Most from the Serbs?
7 A. After the referendum, there was a lot of tension in relationships
8 already then. When I was sending reports on the referendum to Sarajevo, I
9 noticed that there was some movement of groups of Serb ethnicity, about
10 which I later learned that they were members of the SOS.
11 Q. All right. Again, can I -- I want to deal with the SOS as a -- a
12 concrete topic. But just generally, you explained that there were
13 explosions directed against Croats when the war broke out. Did that --
14 did those explosions and attacks extend to the Muslims after the
16 A. Yes, they did. Precisely at that time frequent terrorist attacks
17 occurred on buildings, businesses in Sanski Most, of mining, of the
18 setting of explosive devices, of destruction of facilities, buildings
19 in the surrounding area of Sanski Most which belonged to Bosniaks. There
20 were even attacks, armed attacks, in rural areas. For instance, on the
21 crossroads of Milin Birt, the military patrol -- an army patrol which had
22 the crossroads under its control fired from automatic weapons at a vehicle
23 where a Bosniak young man was killed.
24 Also on the road from Budimlic Japra towards Sanski Most, a
25 Bosniak, a teacher was attacked who was returning from work in a vehicle.
1 And he was also fired at with weapons.
2 Q. Can you tell us roughly when this was?
3 A. This happened in April and May 1992.
4 Q. Did you try and conduct any sort of investigation into those
6 A. As a judge, I went into the field and I would conduct an
7 investigation and I would seek for an investigation to be opened. But as
8 I have already explained before, not one such activity was uncovered by
9 the members of the police.
10 Q. You say that there was this incident in which a military patrol
11 opened fire on a vehicle and that the Bosniak was killed. Did you have
12 any dealings with the military over this particular incident?
13 A. I will have to correct myself. This Bosniak was severely injured
14 in his spine, and he is a severely disabled invalid. Fortunately he did
15 survive. And now I'm going to answer your question. I was on the scene
16 of the incident; that is, I was at the command post of that unit. And I
17 had a conversation regarding how the incident occurred. At that time I
18 became convinced that this was done without any reason because this young
19 man, accompanied by a friend, was actually living in Milin Birt, and he
20 was coming from the direction of Sanski Most going towards his home.
21 Q. Don't worry about the actual circumstances of what happened. All
22 that I want to know about is this: Were you allowed to interview any of
23 the people who were allegedly responsible for the shooting?
24 A. I spoke to them.
25 Q. As they were members of the military, did they come under your
1 jurisdiction or the jurisdiction of the military court?
2 A. They were under the jurisdiction of military courts, because they
3 were members of the 6th Krajina Brigade, which was still at that time was
4 part of the JNA, that is, of the 5th Corps.
5 Q. And do you know whether or not any steps were taken to prosecute
6 these men, whether any charges were brought?
7 A. As far as I know, they were not charged, nor were any steps
8 undertaken. Although, it is known perfectly well who opened fire on the
10 Q. All right. Can I move from that. Those were two incidents that
11 you described. You mentioned now the SOS. Can you tell us, when you
12 first became aware of a group calling itself the Serbian defence forces or
14 A. It is hard for me to define precisely at the time, but I can say
15 that I first heard about some secret Serb organisation who were civilians
16 and that they were rather prone to criminal behaviour, to setting up of
17 explosives, mining, provoking disorder. I knew most of these people. I
18 then learnt that they had a military vehicle, and I saw that vehicle.
19 This vehicle comes from the JNA. It is a lorry. I don't know whether
20 they had one or two. On the door of the driver's cabin, on both sides,
21 left and right, it was written in Cyrillic alphabet "SOS." SOS. This
22 lorry or lorries had a canvas back to start with. Later on in April, the
23 canvas back was taken off, and then I saw them more frequently patrolling
24 around the town or going to areas of other localities.
25 Q. I'm sorry.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Sorry. Then when -- when they started to dismiss managers and
2 directors in organs, institutions, companies, that's when the SOS, or
3 rather, the SOS members were always present, on those occasions, together
4 with Rasula and with Vlado Vrkes. So with my own eyes, I saw the occasion
5 when the director of the public auditing service was forced out,
6 Mrs. Ankica Dobrijevic. They physically forced their entrance into the
7 premises and they physically removed her from the premises.
8 Q. All right. I want to come again to dismissals as a discrete
9 topic. But can I just go over a couple of the things you said. First,
10 you say you knew most of these people. Were these people in uniform or in
11 civilian clothes?
12 A. I saw them in civilian clothes.
13 Q. And when you say you knew them, were they local people then?
14 A. They were people from Sanski Most. Most of them I knew. And at
15 first, there were about 30 to 50 of them, perhaps 40.
16 Q. And what sort of people were they? I mean, obviously I assume
17 they were men. But what sort of reputation did these people have?
18 A. They were mostly problematic persons, meaning their behaviour. I
19 can say that they were criminals, in fact. And I think that they were
20 specially selected.
21 Q. Now, you said that they were prone to criminal behaviour, they set
22 explosives, they provoked disorder. Did the police make any attempt to
23 control them?
24 A. No, never, because at that time from the referendum until my
25 arrest they were some kind of force in the town. They were terrorising
1 the town. They provoked fear among the population. And every night they
2 were blowing up a building belonging to Bosniaks.
3 Q. What about attacks on people? Did they carry out attacks on
4 people as well?
5 A. Yes, absolutely. They also attacked people. On one occasion, I
6 was in a situation when a teacher called me on the phone, a secondary
7 schoolteacher from the Sanski Most grammar school. His name was Blaz
8 Grgic. He was a teacher of German. He told me that his apartment had
9 been broken into and that he had been robbed, that he was robbed of a
10 large sum of money that he had, and he was -- and he told me that this was
11 done by two persons whose names were Dusan Saovic aka Njunja and Dusan
12 Mudrinic, aka Medeni. Who already then were feared in town, together with
13 other members of that group. He did not dare report it to the police,
14 that is, to the police at that time. So I called him to come to me, and I
15 interviewed him.
16 After that interview, I had reasonable grounds to believe that
17 these persons did commit this offence. I then reported this to the
18 police, and I ordered for this to be investigated. However, the following
19 day, that is -- yes, the following day, they went into the school centre,
20 to the school with weapons. They were armed. And they attacked the
21 teacher, who was then forced to flee, he then had to flee Sanski Most,
22 either the next day or the following days.
23 I would also like to add that due to the terror that was
24 continually present and that was also increasing in intensity, the
25 population, the Bosniaks and the Croats, were leaving the Sanski Most
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We have to stop here for the time being, Ms. Korner,
3 for a quarter of an hour. And we will resume immediately after.
4 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
6 We're having a break, Judge. Thank you.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.34 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 3.54 p.m.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I see you standing, Mr. Ackerman.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there are problems with regard to the
11 diary that I just have no idea how we're going to solve.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you informed Ms. Korner?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes. We have been talking about it today.
14 What they did -- and I --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Actually, I thought it was too good to be true, no
16 problems today. I mean, it's quite unusual.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: And Ms. Korner didn't do this. It was somebody on
18 her staff that did it. But what they did was they gave us a list of those
19 portions of the diary that had not yet been set to translation --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You explained yourself yesterday.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: That they would send a translation.
22 So we were working on it this morning. And what that requires is
23 that we take the translation that we've got so far and sit down with what
24 they say they have additionally sent and try to figure out by comparing
25 what has been translated and what hasn't, what it was they decided to
1 leave out. I thought that would be a simple thing to solve. When I same
2 this morning, I said, "Just give us the page numbers of what you decided
3 not to send for translation so we can then look at those and decide if we
4 agree." And that was kind of the agreement that we had made, that they
5 would show us what they thought should not be translated, and then we
6 would have -- have an opportunity to say yes or no about that.
7 It turns out that it cannot be reconstructed at this point. They
8 cannot tell us what it was they decided not to send for translation.
9 That's what I was just told a little -- a few moments ago. So I think
10 there are two possibilities: I think it would take us, the two of us --
11 one of my assistants who speaks the language and I are sitting down going
12 through this, it would probably take us a couple of weeks to extract those
13 thing that have not been sent for translation. The other possibility is
14 to revert back to Judge Hunt's order and have it all translated. But
15 there's no way to solve the problem that has arisen now that I can think
16 of. Maybe you can think of one, Judge. You sometimes are a great deal
17 smarter than me.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Not immediately. Not until I have heard the other
20 Yes, Ms. Korner.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, first of all, we have indicated of the
22 untranslated bits, those numbers that Your Honours have seen, it is called
23 the ERN numbers, so that it's quite easy to sort out which pages we
24 haven't sent for translation of the yet untranslated material.
25 In effect -- and Your Honour, this is quite simple -- we asked
1 them to translate the parts between August and -- April and September
2 1992, and that was done. And then there was the request for the rest of
3 that year. So all that has to be done is for them to check the page
4 numbers from January 1992 through to, I think we said, the 4th of April,
5 and then the September ones. And all they've got to see is the page
6 numbers that we haven't sent for translation.
7 May I say the selection of none translation was -- in fact, it was
8 Mr. Ackerman or maybe Madam Fauveau who brought it to my attention -- was
9 there are parts where the diarist refers to squirrels running across the
10 garden and that sort of stuff and we decided that really wasn't relevant,
11 and to so that was extracted. I'd be surprised if we'd extracted anything
12 that didn't relate to events.
13 The second matter is this: The one thing that we all tried to do
14 is to save the Translation Unit having to translate things which really
15 are not relevant. We all know that --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: They're extremely, busy, Ms. Korner.
17 MS. KORNER: That they're overwhelmed. And therefore -- I hear
18 Mr. Ackerman saying two weeks to sort this out. I would have thought to
19 simply sit down for a day, it would achieve that.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Yeah. I believed exactly what Ms. Korner just said
21 when I spoke to you yesterday. And we carried out exactly the exercise
22 she talks about this morning. What we did was we looked at one of the
23 things that they said they had sent for translation. It has particular
24 ERN numbers. We can then look up the B/C/S version that has those ERN
25 numbers. And when you do that, you find that there are parts of it that
1 appear not to have been sent for translation because they're not included
2 within the page range. So then you look at that, and it contains material
3 that obviously should have been translated. And then when you do a search
4 of the translated material, you find that it actually was sent for
5 translation. So it has been translated.
6 So what I originally thought when we were working on it this
7 morning was that there was a great deal of what I would call exculpatory
8 material that they had decided not to send for translation, but it turns
9 out that it was translated as an earlier time. And the only way to find
10 out what has not been sent for translation is to really make a -- an
11 almost word-for-word comparison with the Serbian version and the English
12 version sitting side by side. Because what Ms. Korner suggests on using
13 the ERN numbers gets you nowhere. It only gets you what was sent for
14 translation in this batch.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, what I am going to do, Mr. Ackerman, for the
16 time being is --
17 And perhaps you could pass on the message to Mr. Von Hebel who
18 will get in touch with me tomorrow on this. I am going to give
19 instructions to the senior legal officer to include this on the agenda for
20 tomorrow's meeting so that you can actually discuss it in his presence,
21 and if possible, if you have any documents that you might bring along or
22 carry along with you tomorrow to show to Mr. Von Hebel to explain exactly
23 where the problem lies, I think that would help. And then after that, I
24 will discuss it with him and see how best to tackle this problem. I think
25 for the time being, that's what we ought to do.
1 I think you ought to have with you the same report that you handed
2 to me. And also if possible, if these exist, there is a bundle of
3 documents -- pages from this diary that have not been translated and are
4 not going to be translated which you can produce tomorrow, I think you
5 would help Mr. Von Hebel tremendously to be able to take stock of how
6 really problematic this -- how much of a problem this really is.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Judge, if they could hand me the page that is
9 they have decided not to send for translation, that would end the problem.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Maybe this is why -- this is why I am mentioning.
11 Because if they exist, they are already in a bundle, that would solve the
12 problem, except that you may still come forward and say, "We are not quite
13 sure that this is all it."
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, that --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: There may be others. We still have to compare the
16 B/C/S with the English, one page after another, et cetera, et cetera, et
17 cetera. But in any case, let's deal with it first the way I am
18 indicating, and then we'll see afterwards.
19 Yes, Maitre --
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand, but the reason I rose to address you
21 is that I was informed that there is no such.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. Maybe the Prosecution don't have
23 them. Maybe the translation -- Translation Unit have already put them
24 aside. I don't know.
25 MS. KORNER: I can tell you -- well, I see Maitre de Roux on his
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Maitre de Roux.
3 MR. DE ROUX: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I do not want to
4 prolong this debate. I already said what I thought of this matter. This
5 is a -- an eternal problem of quotations and a selection of quotations.
6 We either have all the documents or we have just quotations from
7 documents. And I believe that in a case which is so serious, it is
8 important to have the entire context of every document so that we are able
9 to read it, so that we are able to understand what this diary is trying to
10 say in its entirety, rather than have extracts from here and there and
11 quotations which are either exculpatory or they're helping to convict. So
12 I believe that the Prosecution, if they want to use a document, I believe
13 that it will be fair for everyone to know its entirety and its whole
15 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I'm tempted to say to that that
16 Madam Fauveau can spend a happy evening reading through this diary in its
17 entirety. However, we have a duty not to overload the translation
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not a question of a duty only, Ms. Korner. I
20 was going to -- I mean, I was trying to restrain myself from mentioning
21 it, but there has been developments in the field of what ought to be
22 translated. And if not entirely, a scale of prioritising translation
23 by -- translations by the responsible -- by the unit responsible for
24 translations. And you know, or you should know as much -- when I say
25 "you," it's not you, Ms. Korner, it's everyone. You all should be in a
1 position to know that this matter has been taken up by the bureau and
2 certain decisions taken, which necessarily if I am to apply them or if we
3 are to apply them necessarily have a bearing on what has been decided
4 previously, both in this case and in other cases, as to what should be
6 In other words -- I don't want to carry this much further if there
7 is a practical solution to it. But if there is no practical solution to
8 it, I will definitely have to revise the -- first review and then revise
9 the position and act in accordance with what has already been decided
10 administratively, internally as to what should be translated and what
11 should be translated first before -- before the rest.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I say that we're -- I'm going to see
13 what we can do. It -- I said to Mr. Ackerman earlier before Your Honour
14 came in that this was all on the basis that in future, he would also tell
15 us not what he hadn't done but whatever. But -- but Your Honour, I'll see
16 if there's anything we can do to solve this problem by tomorrow morning.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Please do. And I am entrusting you in the hands of
18 Mr. Von Hebel because I know what a valid person he is, and I'm sure that
19 having heard both of you and possibly seen some -- seen firsthand some of
20 the documents which you may have, he probably will come with some
21 practical solution.
22 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, it will certainly give us
23 something to discuss at this conference.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And we also have to our advantage that there
25 is ample time between now and September, because that's the month you
1 mentioned yesterday or the day before.
2 MS. KORNER: That's when they're going to complete the
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
5 MS. KORNER: The remaining.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: So we have ample time within which we can manoeuvre
7 and find the practical solution.
8 Yes. Sorry, Judge. I'm sure that in your court this happens as
9 well. We can now proceed with the cross-examination -- with the
10 examination-in-chief. Thank you.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, all I'm going to do -- and I think these
12 maps may be useful to Your Honours in future, because there are proper
13 ordnance survey types.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
15 MS. KORNER: Can I ask that the witness just have a look at one
16 map which I've marked in yellow because I think that's where the Milin
17 Birt is and just confirm it, and then I'll hand it up to yourself also --
18 and to my learned friends also marked.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I was going to ask you whether they have a legend,
20 but they do. I can see it from here. Because otherwise -- otherwise it
21 may not be easy for everyone to read.
22 MS. KORNER:
23 Q. No sir, I'll tell you what -- can you just -- sir, if you look at
24 that, I've marked a place in yellow highlighter. I wonder how you
25 translate that. But can you just confirm that that's Milin Birt that you
1 were talking about?
2 A. Yes. That is the locality. It can be seen very well on this
3 map. It is north, north-west in relation to the town of Sanski Most. And
4 that is where the crossroads is. And to the left, was where the command
5 post was.
6 Q. All right. Thank you, very much, sir?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we just -- the we just put it on the ELMO for a
8 while until everyone sees where the high lighted spot is.
9 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I believe she has copies for all of
12 MS. KORNER: I do.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And they are highlighted as well?
14 MS. KORNER: I was going to highlight it for Your Honours, and I
15 assume the Defence -- but I don't mind highlighting it to help out.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: I've got my own highlighter.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. He doesn't even want your highlighting,
18 Ms. Korner.
19 But I still say put it on the ELMO at least. We will see where
20 the spot is. And then perhaps Ms. Gustin can do that while you continue
21 with your examination-in-chief.
22 MS. KORNER: I can do that myself while he's just pointing it.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
24 MS. KORNER: I'll hand one copy of it to the Defence and then
25 three -- do Your Honours require three or just one between the three of
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Just one copy is enough, Ms. Korner.
4 MS. KORNER: In that case -- well, as soon as the usher is
5 finished, I'll hand it up. And I'll hand -- the Defence prefer to mark
6 their own.
7 That's for Their Honours. Thank you very much. And one copy each
8 for the Defence and one for the Court.
9 Your Honour, I think it better become -- there's actually a colour
10 one which better become the original exhibit, I think, which is two --
11 whatever the maps are -- I'm sorry.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: 757.3.
13 MS. KORNER: 757.3.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: This would be.
15 MS. KORNER: Yes.
16 That's one for Their Honours marked.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Three for --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: No. Just one is enough. And if we need more later
19 on, I'm sure the Prosecution will make them.
20 MS. KORNER: And that's just one for the registry, which is a
21 colour copy, and then one copy each for the Defence.
22 Your Honour, this was -- the colour one was produced by the -- I
23 think the audiovisual -- the mapping section of our office. It may well
24 be that was only lent to us. If necessary, we may have to substitute a
25 black-and-white one as the original exhibit. We're just checking.
1 Q. All right. Yes. Sir, you were dealing with the SOS, the Serbian
2 defence forces, before the break. And I just want to ask you this: Were
3 they -- did they have their headquarters in any particular place in Sanski
5 A. Yes. They did have a command post. But I learnt about that only
6 in April, in the month of April.
7 Q. And where was that?
8 A. It was --
9 Q. Where was their command post?
10 A. That command post was -- in Sanski Most was next to the Partizan
11 sports hall, which had sports grounds behind it and playing fields and a
12 fence, so that within that sports facility they had their headquarters,
13 and that is where they gathered. On the floor above, there was the Sanski
14 Most radio station.
15 Q. Thank you. And finally for the moment on the SOS, this: Did you
16 ever hear about a group calling itself the Serbian defence forces, the
17 SOS, that went into Banja Luka in the beginning of April of 1992?
18 A. I knew of that group from Sanski Most that called itself the SOS,
19 or rather, the Serbian defence forces. As for circumstances in Banja
20 Luka, whether there was any such organisation there, I did not know,
21 though I had heard that it -- that several paramilitary forces were
22 active, such as the White Eagles and the SOS.
23 Q. Thank you. Can we move for a moment -- although we'll come back
24 to the SOS role in the later events when we reach it. But you talked
25 about how people were being dismissed and how the SOS to your knowledge
1 was involved in one of those. When did the dismissals start? And can we
2 deal first of all with the Bosniaks, the Muslims. When did they start to
3 be dismissed?
4 A. The dismissals of Muslims started already in April. I think after
5 the 20th of April, I think. Maybe a little earlier, depending on the type
6 of job and the significance of the position. And towards the end of April
7 or the beginning of May or up to the 15th of May, all Muslims had been
8 dismissed from their workplaces in Sanski Most.
9 Q. What about Croats?
10 A. I think the situation was similar for Croats.
11 Q. And the dismissals were ordered by whom?
12 A. I think that it came from the Crisis Staff of the SDS.
13 Q. Was that -- we're going to see documents relating to the
14 declaration of the Crisis Staff in April of 1992, but were there any
15 dismissals before that?
16 A. There were dismissals.
17 Q. And in that event, before the Crisis Staff came into being, who
18 was ordering the dismissals?
19 A. I think that it was the president of the municipality, Rasula, and
21 Q. And how were they able to enforce the dismissals of employees?
22 What control did they have over the companies involved?
23 A. Well, Rasula was the president of the municipality, so he would
24 call the directors of enterprises. Then there was the executive council.
25 They also had a Serbian assembly, organs of authority. So I think that it
1 was at meetings of those bodies that they adopted conclusions which they
2 later implemented.
3 Q. You attended meetings of the assembly in your capacity as
4 president of the court. Were you ever present at any meetings of the
5 assembly when the dismissals were discussed or raised?
6 A. I was present at assembly meetings while the assembly was a joint
7 one with delegates of all political parties participating, as a guest.
8 And I was invited to attend those assembly meetings. However, when the
9 deputies representing the SDS formed the Serbian assembly, I was no longer
10 invited nor did I attend those meetings.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. I ...
13 Q. Yes. That's the only point.
14 Now, you said also that after the arrival of the SOS, people were
15 leaving Sanski Most. In the period between the arrival of the SOS and
16 your arrest at the end of May, how many people left Sanski Most roughly?
17 A. I can say that in April, pressure started to be brought to bear
18 and there was propaganda, so that the people out of fear took buses that
19 were organised by Sanatrans, the local transport company. They used
20 them to leave Sanski Most and to leave Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those
21 pressures were getting stronger and stronger in the course of the month of
22 April and also May. It is hard to say how many people actually left.
23 However, I would frequently pass through settlements within Sanski Most
24 municipality and the town itself, with a majority Bosniak population, and
25 I would notice that there were less and less people, or rather, that
1 windows were shut and the blinds closed in houses. And I also was able to
2 see more and more organised bus transports for the population to leave.
3 But it is hard to say how many people left before the beginning of the
4 attack on Sanski Most, but quite a few left.
5 Q. Of your --
6 A. Certainly quite a few.
7 Q. Of your fellow judges, did any of them leave as a result?
8 A. I don't know, but I think I mentioned once that there were ten
9 judges working in the court, out of which another two judges were Bosniaks
10 in addition to me, who was the president of the court. Two judges had
11 already left in April, together with their families. They had left Sanski
12 Most out of fear for their families. They told me that before they left.
13 Q. But of the judges who left, were they of -- were they all Muslims,
14 or were there people of other ethnicities?
15 A. I said that they were Muslims.
16 Q. All right. I'm sorry -- all right. Was there a Serb who was
17 working there but who was married to a Croat?
18 A. Yes, there was a lady judge of Serb ethnicity who had a mixed
19 marriage, and they were the first to leave, in March. And it became clear
20 to me already then.
21 Q. All right. By --
22 A. Why she left, she didn't tell me, so I didn't know.
23 Q. What about freedom of movement in Sanski Most? Did that become
24 restricted in any way? And if so, when?
25 A. Already after the 19th of May -- no, the 19th of April - I'm
1 sorry - 1992, there were checkpoints manned by the army and the police.
2 At all intersections of roads, in front of buildings, of bridges. And
3 already then there was a danger when people moved about. But it was only
4 in May -- I can't remember now the exact date -- that the SDS Crisis Staff
5 took a decision and proclaimed a curfew and prohibited movement from the
6 evening until the morning.
7 Q. Now, what about weapons? Was there any arming of any particular
8 ethnicity going on during this period, April/May or even before, of
10 A. I think that citizens of Serb ethnicity in Sanski Most
11 municipality with a few exceptions had been given arms, automatic weapons
12 at that. And I know that weapons were distributed to them by the SDS.
13 And also, I know that members of the 6th Krajina Brigade, as well as the
14 reservists, that all of them had weapons. They didn't return them at
15 all. On a number of occasions, I saw that some SDS representatives were
16 bringing in weapons and distributing them among apartments. Of course
17 this provoked fear among the other peoples. And in that fear, I think
18 that also some Muslims and Croats purchased weapons. However, this was
19 nowhere like the amount the Serbs had.
20 Q. All right. Can I just ask you a couple of questions about that
21 answer. First of all, by the -- this period, April/May 1992, were there
22 any Muslims or Croats still serving in the 6th Krajina Brigade?
23 A. No, there weren't, because the Muslims and Croats abandoned the
24 6th Krajina Brigade already in 1991, when this brigade was going to the
25 battlefields in the Republic of Croatia.
1 Q. What about the weapons, the TO weapons? I think you told us
2 yesterday that they were kept behind the police station. What happened to
4 A. The weapons of the Territorial Defence were by force, let me say,
5 taken by the JNA. Or rather, already in 1991 - I don't remember the
6 month - a law was passed in the federal assembly in Belgrade by summary
7 procedure that the Territorial Defence in the republics had to be
8 subordinated to the JNA. Using the provisions of this decision, I know-
9 because I was an eyewitness - when trucks arrived from Banja Luka,
10 military trucks then belonging to the 5th Corps at the time. And when the
11 entirety of armaments were taken and loaded onto these trucks and driven
12 off towards Palanka -- Lusci Palanka. These weapons were taken over by
13 the 6th Krajina Brigade.
14 Q. You said that some Muslims and Croats had bought weapons. Who did
15 they buy weapons from?
16 A. I said that these were individuals and in an insignificant
17 number. They purchased them mostly from Serbs who were selling weapons.
18 There were several channels. I heard about these already in those days.
19 Q. We will see that later on there was an order issued by the Crisis
20 Staff that there should be a disarmament effectively of non-Serbs. This
21 sale of weapons by Serbs to Muslims and Croats, did that in any way assist
22 in the disarmament?
23 A. It did, because the persons from whom they purchased weapons had
24 exact information regarding the number of weapons, the type, and the
25 person they had sold them to. So they simply took the money from these
1 people. And when the disarming operation started, then they knew on the
2 basis of that list who had what, and they would order those weapons to be
3 surrendered. However, those persons were designated as extremists, who
4 later ended up in prisons and detention camps and many of them were
6 Q. All right. Can we move now, then, please, to the 20th of April of
7 1992. By that stage, first of all dealing with you, were there any other
8 Muslim judges left at the Sanski Most court?
9 A. I was the last Muslim in the court, and I was the president of the
10 court. I was expelled by force on the 15th of May of 1992.
11 Q. I'm going to come on to that.
12 A. [In English] Okay.
13 Q. I want to deal with the takeover, please.
14 On the 20th of April, did the SDS then declare a Serbian
15 municipality of Sanski Most?
16 A. [Interpretation] That's right.
17 Q. With it own assembly, headed by Rasula?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. And in addition, at about the same time did they declare that
20 there was a Crisis Staff?
21 A. That's right. Although, the Crisis Staff had already been
22 established before, but at this time it received an official proclamation
23 by the Serb assembly. Its function, that was given to it by the assembly
24 in conditions of war; and that it could issue decisions independently,
25 like the -- like the assembly -- for the assembly, which the assembly
1 would then confirm at a later date.
2 Q. Now, I know you since these events looked at documents that show
3 that the Serb Crisis Staff in fact existed before, but at the time in
4 Sanski Most were you aware that there was such a thing as the Serb Crisis
6 Are you having a problem?
7 A. I apologise. I just want this switched off. I'm sorry. Could
8 you repeat the question. Thank you.
9 Q. I'll say it again. I'm sorry. I didn't realise. Of course, it's
10 rather irritating.
11 I know you've looked at documents since then that showed the
12 existence of a Crisis Staff before its official declaration, but were you
13 aware at the time, before April the 20th, that the SDS had created a
14 Crisis Staff?
15 A. Yes, I did know, because these were difficult days for us Muslims
16 and for other non-Serbs, because the events on the 17th of April and the
17 19th of April, that was the date when the police -- or rather, from the
18 public security station, Bosniaks and Croats were expelled. So those
19 employed policemen were expelled. And when they left and went to the
20 municipality building. Then we were living in fear and expectation what
21 would happen -- as to what would happen. At that time I knew that there
22 was the SDS Crisis Staff.
23 Q. All right. And just before we move to how the events progressed,
24 were you -- had you ever heard of any kind of Crisis Staff being created
25 in Banja Luka as a result of the Serb defence force's demands in Banja
1 Luka? If you hadn't, say so straight away.
2 A. I heard and I knew that there was a Crisis Staff in Banja Luka.
3 But I cannot tell you precisely when I found out about this.
4 Q. Before your arrest, had you heard of the creation of a regional
5 Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, headed by Radoslav
7 A. Yes, I had.
8 Q. And can you remember how you'd heard about it? Had you read about
9 it, or had you heard it on the radio, or had somebody told you?
10 A. I was working in the court as the court president, and of course I
11 did not want to leave my position until I could see what would happen to
12 me. Although I was receiving threats, these were in written form and
13 verbal, and these were threats on my life. I decided to stay at my
14 position until the end. I had a conversation with the president of the
15 municipality, Nedeljko Rasula, precisely in order to see his viewpoint
16 and decision. On that occasion, I learnt from him that the question of
17 the judiciary had not been resolved yet, and I also learnt that this
18 matter was being resolved in Banja Luka. On that occasion, I also learnt
19 that there was a Crisis Staff in Banja Luka which was dealing with these
21 Q. Did you ever hear Radoslav Brdjanin speak either in public at a
22 rally or a meeting or on the radio or on television?
23 A. Since this was a long time ago -- it was ten years ago -- I think
24 that I did hear him -- that I did hear some reports, rather, on the radio,
25 but I don't recall that I watched it on television. I say I cannot
1 recall, but it is possible that I did hear and see.
2 Q. All right. Now, when there was this declaration of the Serb
3 municipality and the assembly and then the Crisis Staff, what happened as
4 far as the various institutions in Sanski Most were concerned? For
5 example, the SDK.
6 A. According to the decisions issued -- taken by the Crisis Staff,
7 they were taking over certain positions and certain institutions. And in
8 this vein -- I believe that it was sometime in April -- they came to the
9 SDK without any announcement. Specifically it was Vrkes who came, who was
10 at the time SDS president. He was accompanied by SOS members and the Serb
11 police. They forcibly took over the SDK by -- by forcing Ankica
12 Dobrijevic, who was a director and a Croat, by forcing her out of the
13 building and by appointing a Serb lady in her place. They then directed
14 payments, which until that time went through the public auditing service
15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They redirected it, the payments, in another
17 Q. Which was? Which direction?
18 A. Banja Luka and Belgrade.
19 Q. And how did you become aware of this, that payments had been
21 A. I was still working in the court, and so I had to change certain
23 Q. All right. After the SDK, did they also take over the radio
24 station and the bank and the health centre?
25 A. It was approximately at that time -- perhaps before or later -- in
1 the same way they resolved the question of the radio station of Sanski
2 Most. There was a director who was a Bosniak, a Muslim, Osman Boturic.
3 He was also forcibly expelled from the radio. And in his place, they
4 appointed a director of Serb ethnicity. Also, in the economic bank of
5 Sanski Most, Privredna Banka, which was a branch office of the Privredna
6 Banka economic bank in Sarajevo, they also expelled a person, who was a
7 Muslim, Rufad Zukic, and he was imprisoned at the same time as I was in
8 Betonirka and tortured and later sent to Manjaca. And that's the same
9 thing they did with the director of the radio of Sanski Most, Otto
11 They also -- in Jugobanka, a director who was of Croat
12 nationality -- ethnicity Mato Dosen, he was also expelled. And they
13 appointed a director to be a Serb. Mato Dosen was killed in the first
14 days of the attack of Sanski Most. He was between 55 and 60 years old.
15 Q. I'm going to summarise so -- the rest. I think they also went to
16 schools and factories and major companies and removed all the non-Serb
17 directors. Is that right? If you just say "yes" or "no."
18 A. Yes, that's correct.
19 Q. In respect of the police station that you've already mentioned,
20 who actually went to the police station from the -- the Serb Crisis Staff
21 or Serb assembly?
22 A. I think that this took place on the 17th of April, 1992. I was
23 informed by the police commander who was a Muslim that an appointing --
24 that a meeting was scheduled for 12.00 noon and that he had found out that
25 it would be at that time that policemen who were Muslims and Croats would
1 be either forced to leave or sign loyalty. Naturally I -- I was waiting
2 for what would happen in great fear. At 12.00 noon, this meeting was
3 held, but it was only at about 1500 hours that Rasula came to this
4 meeting. And he simply forced out -- ordered them to leave, all the
5 policemen who were Muslims and Croats had to immediately leave the
6 building and leave their weapons behind.
7 Q. And did they, the officers -- the Muslim and Croat officers then
9 A. Yes, they did leave. There was no incident. But they went to the
10 building of the Sanski Most municipality, where they remained with the SDA
11 leadership and they stayed there until the 19th of April.
12 Q. On the 19th of April, what happened to the municipality building?
13 A. Before I answer this question, I'll say that I went a day later to
14 the building to see what the situation was. And on that occasion, I could
15 see for myself that the policemen were there together and that some SDA
16 leaders were with them. Naturally after I saw the situation, I left the
17 building. However, on the 19th of April in the evening, members of the
18 6th Krajina Brigade came in transporters and with weapons. They came to
19 the square. They blocked all entrances and exits from and into town. On
20 the left side of the town, they also placed heavy vehicles. And they then
21 in the evening issued an ultimatum to the policemen, saying that they
22 should leave the building, and they fired one or two shells in the
23 direction of the building -- at the building. And that was on the ground
24 floor of the building. During that night, there was great tension in the
25 town. Shots could be heard from the surrounding hills, from the areas of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Dabar, from the Kruhari position, from certain locations in the town. And
2 approximately at 2200 hours, or until 2300 hours, the shooting stopped.
3 I was at home, that is, with my parents in their house. In the
4 morning I learnt that the policemen, Muslims and Croats, had left the
5 building through the other side of the building. And going along the Sana
6 riverbank had gone to the neighbouring village of Sehovci which is about
7 two kilometres away from the municipality building.
8 Q. Okay. Now, I want to deal next with the negotiations. But before
9 I do that, you said --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, we'll break in two or three minutes
11 time. If you'd prefer to break now --
12 MS. KORNER: I think it probably would be -- yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So we'll have a 15-minute break once more, and
14 we'll continue -- we'll resume immediately after. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 4.57 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 5.18 p.m.
17 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
18 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau.
20 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I should simply like to
21 convey the apologies of Maitre de Roux, because he has to be absent -- to
22 Your Honours.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I just ask, what time we're sitting
25 to tonight.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: 6.30.
2 MS. KORNER: 6.30. Thank you.
3 Q. Judge, I want to ask you next about this letter. You told us
4 earlier that you'd received an anonymous letter. Can you tell us when
5 that was?
6 A. I was still working. This was on the 11th of April, 1992.
7 Q. And what -- sorry, what did the letter actually say to you?
8 A. For me, it was frightening. The letter said: "Ustasha, you will
9 no longer judge us. It is known that what you did against the Serb
10 people. You have a deadline, and that is the 15th of May, to leave the
11 municipality of Sanski Most together with your family. Otherwise your
12 children and your wife will be killed before your eyes, and you will be
13 roasted -- impaled and roasted on a spit. We will destroy all your
14 property." And it was also stated: "This also applies to your colleague,
15 Enver Ceric." And I wish to point out that he was the deputy public
16 prosecutor in Sanski Most, a Muslim, a Bosniak, who was killed. And it
17 also said that I should convey this to him too, that is, that I should let
18 him read the letter as well. And at the end, it was signed: "A group of
19 White Eagles." That's what the letter said.
20 Q. Did it make any allegations in respect of -- that you had taken
21 property or anything like that?
22 A. It was stated in the letter that I had been against the Serbian
23 people, that I had done something against the Serbian people, and that was
24 all. Nothing more than that.
25 Q. Now, as a result of that, did you in fact send your family to
1 Germany the following day?
2 A. I did, precisely because of that. Because when I came home, my
3 daughter, who was in second grade of elementary school, told me that a
4 male voice had telephoned without introducing himself and that he had said
5 that the house had been mined and that we should flee.
6 Q. All right. Now, you told us that there had been the takeover of
7 these various public buildings and companies and the like. Did the SDA
8 and the HDZ try and enter into negotiations with the SDS?
9 A. In April, regarding the takeover of power and any discussions
10 about it, there were none, with the exception of perhaps some discussions
11 regarding the situation that was evident in town at the time. I think
12 that after the 19th of April, there were in fact no discussions or
13 negotiations except for a meeting in the municipality on the 20th of
15 Q. Now, I want to come to that meeting, please, on the 20th of
16 April. And I should correct that earlier I led you that all of the
17 takeovers were on the 20th. But from what you say, it was clearly
19 Now, the meeting of the 20th of April. Who was present at that
21 A. I think this was a meeting that was attended on behalf of the SDA
22 party by Mr. Redzo Kurbegovic, Suad Sabic, and I think it was Mirzet
23 Karabeg, who was president of the executive council on behalf of the SDA.
24 And as far as I know, also present at the meeting were, from the 5th Corps
25 then, which was still the 5th Corps, General Talic from the Prijedor
1 barracks, Zarko Zgonjanin, I think he was a Major Zeljaja, and another
2 senior military officer. On behalf of the SDS, I think that the following
3 were present: Rasula, Vrkes, and I don't remember who else. Actually, I
4 was not present, but --
5 Q. I was going to ask you. Did you hear what had happened at the
6 meeting from anyone afterwards?
7 A. I was informed later on about the discussions conducted at that
9 Q. All right. I think what I'm going to ask you to do at this
10 stage -- first, later, as we're going to hear, did you find a diary that
11 appears to -- or a record of events really that appears to have been kept
12 by Rasula?
13 A. I did. I found that diary.
14 Q. And when you read through it, did you see a record of this meeting
15 that apparently was kept by him?
16 A. I did see it. I saw that record too -- or rather, his notes, from
17 that meeting which were quite precise.
18 Q. And did those notes accord roughly with the account that you had
19 been given of the meeting by other people who were present from the SDA?
20 A. Well, they were notes that more or less did accord with those.
21 But the author interpreted them in his own way. He gave his own
23 Q. All right. But I think the best way of dealing with this meeting
24 is for you, please, to have a look at that entry in Rasula's diary.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, that was the -- the diary was
1 attached -- is one of the attachments to the statement of the -- it was
2 the sixth attachment. And I think you were handed it yesterday. I hope
3 Your Honours all got it.
4 And I would like the witness to have the B/C/S version, please.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: This is in -- in the big bundle of document that is
6 we were handed yesterday?
7 MS. KORNER: It is, Your Honours, yes.
8 I'm going to think the easier way is not to give Your Honours big
9 bundles in advance but to hand them out as we come to them. But --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And can you tell us the reference number?
11 MS. KORNER: It hasn't been premarked with a P number, but it's --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. But here what I was given shows 9.7, 9.6
13 this is the disclosure number presumably. No?
14 MS. KORNER: Well, I don't know what "9" is, but --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, if you don't know, just imagine what I do.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it should -- what it will read on the
17 front, it says -- it should say "special session of the executive
18 committee," unless the pages were added in, the extra ones that I asked.
19 And it's attachment 6, 7.77.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: At the top right corner, is there any number?
21 MS. KORNER: Yes, there is.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Handwritten?
23 MS. KORNER: Yes. 7.77, attachment 6. The ERN number is
25 Well, you've certainly got it, because it was attached -- it's
1 attachment 6.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Attachment 6?
3 MS. KORNER: Yes. That's it.
4 I see various looks going on from the Defence, but I decline to
5 believe they haven't got it.
6 Could the handwritten B/C/S version could be handed to the
8 Q. While that's being done, Judge, I think that's right that the
9 original of this document is retained in Sanski Most, the original book
10 that this came in. Is that right? I'm sorry, Judge, before you look at
11 this, is it right that the original book that you found is kept in Sanski
13 A. Yes, that diary is still in Sanski Most, and it is well guarded.
14 Q. All right. Can you see if you can find -- and I'm sorry, sir, can
15 you find the entry that relates to the 20th of April, the meeting with
16 General Talic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And there's an entry headed "Meeting with General Talic, Colonel
19 Basara, Major Zekaj, and representatives of the SDS, SDA, and HDZ
20 present." And we can see a list of names. Can you tell tell us who
21 Mirzat was.
22 A. Mirzat is a Bosniak. President of the executive council of the
23 municipality of Sanski Most representing the SDA --
24 Q. Yes. Can you just give us his surname?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I have no idea where we are. I've got a document
1 that's 115 pages long.
2 MS. KORNER: Page 15 at the bottom, 01104342 at the top.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: 03001853.
4 MS. KORNER: No. I'll read that again. 01104342.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: My pages are all numbered 0300 something.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm getting confused as well, Ms. Korner. The
7 English translation of attachment 6 is 01104328, or at least that's the
8 first page.
9 MS. KORNER: Yes. You're absolutely right. And if you go on to
10 342, that's the entry.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: The B/C/S -- or the original or the photocopy of the
12 original diary --
13 MS. KORNER: Forget about that. He's got it, but we don't need
15 JUDGE AGIUS: No. But is -- is that what is confusing
16 Mr. Ackerman?
17 MS. KORNER: I haven't a clue what's confusing Mr. Ackerman.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, what is confusing you, Mr. Ackerman? Because
19 you're confusing me in turn.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I have a document that was
21 provided to me by the Prosecutor as attachment 6.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: 7.77, attachment 6.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: The ERN number begins 03001839.
1 MS. KORNER: All right.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: And goes through 03001954.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We don't agree on that, except that there is --
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the confusion may be -- but I would have
5 thought that a bit of common sense could have sorted this. What
6 happened is there are various -- there are statements -- and in that, I
7 agree, is not helpful. Each investigator when taking the statement merely
8 added the attachments. It may well be he's -- if Mr. Ackerman is looking
9 at an exhumation report, that's what the numbering is. But the diary is
10 attached -- was attached to the statement -- and everybody else seems to
11 have it --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: There may -- you may be confusing something,
13 Mr. Ackerman. I don't know. I may be wrong myself. But there is another
14 document marked attachment 6. But this is relative to -- not Witness 7.77
15 but Witness 7.7.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Mine is 7.77, Attachment 6.
17 MS. KORNER: All right. Would Mr. Ackerman like me to give me his
18 papers and then I can perhaps sort this out?
19 I think the problem is Your Honour, that Mr. Ackerman obviously
20 resorts his documents.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: I do not.
22 MS. KORNER: Because he's got all sorts of odd numbers up there
23 which mean nothing to me.
24 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
25 MS. KORNER: I'll tell you what, Your Honour. The easiest thing
1 is we're now going to give Mr. Ackerman another copy. And -- it's here.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
3 Sorry to be a pest, Your Honour, but I really would like to see
4 the document.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: No. It's a pleasure, Mr. Ackerman.
6 MS. KORNER: All right. If everybody is now on page, except for
7 you, sir -- I'm sorry, you're on the original copy -- 101104342. At the
8 bottom of the page the names there.
9 Q. You explained to us who Mirzat was, could you tell us what his
10 surname is?
11 A. Mirzat Karabeg.
12 Q. Thank you. And the next name mentioned?
13 A. Redzo Kurbegovic. In those days he was president for the SDA
14 party in Sanski Most.
15 Q. Sabic?
16 A. Sabic was a member of the executive board of the SDA party, and he
17 participated in this negotiations on behalf of the party.
18 Q. Ante?
19 A. Ante Tunic.
20 Q. I think it was Tunic.
21 A. Tunic. Yes, Tunic, Ante.
22 Q. And finally Vlado?
23 A. Vlado Vrkes.
24 Q. Ask then we see the next entry -- this is -- would appear
25 General Talic, a summary of what he said. Among everything else
1 emphasises the army's position towards. Can you read -- in the original,
2 what does that say? Because the translator seems to have had difficulty.
3 A. If you mean this page, the number is 442 that I have, the last
4 three digits are 442.
5 Q. Yes. Sir, have you found the entry for the 20th of May of the
7 A. I've found it, yes. And at the beginning there's a paragraph
8 where it says "General Talic."
9 Q. Yes?
10 A. "Introduction." Shall I read it? I'll read the note -- the
11 entry. Can I?
12 Q. Could you just read it so we can get a translation of it.
13 A. "Among everything else, emphasises the army's position towards
15 Q. So it is hatred. Okay. Thank you.
16 And then at that stage, did -- who spoke next? That was
17 Mr. Kurbegovic.
18 A. Yes, Mr. Kurbegovic, Redzo.
19 Q. Okay. Summarise what he appears to have said according to this
20 note, that the official position of the Muslim peace is to respect -- the
21 Muslim people is to respect peace. The SDA has abided by agreements.
22 Then there was a proclamation of the parties, the agreement to carry out
23 divisions in the municipality. Pausing there for a moment, do you know
24 what that was referring to, the agreement to carry out divisions in the
1 A. It says here that they agreed that the divisions be carried out in
2 the municipality.
3 Q. I understand that. But did you know anything about any agreement?
4 A. By peaceful means.
5 Q. Yeah. Did you know anything about any type of agreement that
6 there should be divisions, that the municipality should be divided? If
7 you don't, say so immediately -- or didn't -- I'm sorry. If you didn't
8 know anything about it at the time, say so.
9 A. I knew some things. Actually, what was discussed was that the
10 worst option was war and that war should not happen. And the SDA was in
11 favour of every other option, including a division of territory.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. And then there was further mention of
13 agreement. And then there's a list of demands. "The guarantee of public
14 safety of citizens and property, the establishment of the organisation and
15 functioning of legal public security service, a legitimate municipal
16 assembly, the functioning of the economy, payment transactions in keeping
17 with the agreement in Bosanski Novi." And then can you read the next line
18 for us, after "Bosanski Novi on the 17th of April." What does the next
19 line say?
20 A. "Representatives of Muslims and Croats of the Muslim and Croat
21 peoples. Deadline immediately."
22 Q. Okay. And then, "The establishment of activity by all public
23 institutions and companies with special emphasis on the work of the radio
24 station with parity programming and determination of the sequence of
25 events of the 18th and 19th of April through the work of a mixed
1 committee." These were demands being made on behalf of the SDA, were
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. And then the next part: "Objection against the military police,
5 mostly from Prijedor without having criminal/individuals involved. Jovic
6 and Lukac I'm not sure about that pronunciation. Who were those
7 individuals? Do you know? Jovic and the other man.
8 A. I think that Lukac was the commander of the military police of
9 the 6th Krajina Brigade. And Jovic, I don't know who he is.
10 Q. Okay. And then apparently Colonel Basara's driver irritated the
11 SDA. I suppose I should ask. Do you know what it was about his driver
12 that was irritating?
13 A. I don't know what this refers to.
14 Q. All right. And then Mr. Vrkes entered the arena, explained -- he
15 said he had explained all the events and outstanding manner and has
16 pointed to the causes. And then the cause or position of the -- does it
17 say Krisni Stab there, Crisis Staff?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. It does.
20 Then there was a response. And I don't think we need bother about
22 Then Mr. Tunic spoke, saying that he didn't accept the opinion of
23 the HDZ head office and the Croat population as a result of the
24 relationship of these two peoples, they have no power in the municipality
25 and approves of the Serbian municipality and is awaiting a reply from
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel slow down, please.
3 MS. KORNER: Sorry. "The conflict is in the fact that the Serbs
4 went ahead with specific moments and solutions." And he appealed to the
5 army to preserve law and order.
6 In other words, the Croats were -- or Mr. Tunic on behalf of the
7 Croat population was indicating that he supported these events
9 A. Yes. He declared that he supported the formation of a Serbian
10 municipality of Sanski Most. At the time -- I have to point out -- these
11 discussions were conducted in a difficult -- very difficult situation in
12 an atmosphere of fear, when there were no political activities by the SDA
13 or the HDZ, when actually everything was in the hands of the Serb
14 authorities and the army and the police.
15 Q. Then Mr. Sabic gave way to Mr. Karabeg, who then gave a list of
16 the -- effectively the problems that were facing the SDA. And --
17 A. That's right.
18 Q. If we move, please, to -- was there an intervention there from
19 Colonel Basara? Do you see that, sir? Do you see "Colonel Basara"?
20 A. I'm afraid the copy is not too good. It's difficult to read.
21 After Mirzat, there's nothing else on that page. I apologise. Is that
22 right? After "Mirzat Karabeg," his name is underlined and what he said.
23 Q. Yes?
24 A. And then we go onto the next page.
25 Q. Yes. On the next page. I'm sorry, yes. Could you go onto the
1 next page. Do you see "Colonel Basara"? You've found that?
2 A. Yes, I've found it, Colonel Basara.
3 Q. Apparently saying that the army did not act well in connection
4 with the SUP, the police.
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. Do you know what that was referring to? If you don't, say so
7 straight away.
8 A. I don't know what he meant.
9 Q. All right. And then Mr. Sabic finally spoke and said that the
10 right to work and free movement in town, the police should be -- their
11 police should be able to work and the army should adopt a stance towards
12 the Serbian municipality and the Serbian police, and said that there was a
13 mistake -- I'm summarising now -- not signing the readiness to
14 negotiate. And then the negotiations are possible.
15 And then Colonel Basara again stated that he was told by
16 Mr. Kurbegovic that his having come with the army wasn't good and the
17 negotiators said that the MUP would be divided painlessly and pressure had
18 been brought. And then said this: "I made the rounds in our absence,
19 which the colonel's driver noticed. They deployed snipers on the roofs in
20 the organisation's (Muslims)." Now, to your knowledge, were there any
21 Muslim snipers around Sanski Most at the time when the takeover was taking
22 place some -- the previous days?
23 A. I'm convinced that there were none on the side of the Muslims.
24 There were snipers at the hotel, and they were positioned there on behalf
25 of the 6th Krajina Brigade. There were snipers on the post office, where
1 there was a sniper's nest of the SOS. Mudrinic Dusan known as Medeni and
2 Njunja were there, Saovic Dusan.
3 Q. Right. He went on to say that the Territorial Defence expected
4 Halilovic, but he did not want to carry out his orders. Who was
6 A. Halilovic was appointed commander of the Territorial Defence.
7 Actually, he held that position for a very short time, after an agreement
8 was reached among the parties on the sharing of positions. And I think
9 that his position actually was nullified when the armaments were taken
10 over from the TO by the 6th Krajina Brigade or the JNA. He was also
11 arrested, and he was at Manjaca in the camp.
12 Q. All right. Then the unit, 6th Krajina, did not succeed in
13 arriving on time to separate the two sides. Well, were there two sides
15 A. There was no fighting at all, nor were there any excesses. Simply
16 a meeting was scheduled in the public security station, as I mentioned
17 earlier on.
18 Q. Yes. Don't worry. If you just stick -- so as far as you're
19 concerned, there was no need to separate two sides, because there was no
21 A. Absolutely, so yes.
22 Q. Okay. Now, the next person to speak was somebody called Major
23 Zeljaja. Do you know who Major Zeljaja was?
24 A. I may not be precise in relation to his military position or a
25 command post. I had heard of him that, he had been a barracks commander
1 in Prijedor, that is, that he was the commander of the Prijedor Brigade
2 within the JNA, that is, within the 5th Corps from Banja Luka.
3 Q. Okay. And he then spoke and said: "Divide yourselves but without
4 war." He said there were problems around noon, the Territorial Defence
5 and the executive council president wants the army to inform him of its
6 movements, while we receive orders that you are spying on the army and
7 informing Sarajevo."
8 And then somebody called Colonel Hasotic -- do you know who he
10 A. Colonel Hasotic. I believe he was from the 5th Corps.
11 Q. I'm sorry. Does it say Hasotic in the original?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Well, Your Honour, it's quite an important one.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let me just check.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour is going to hear evidence about Colonel
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I know what I mean, Ms. Korner. Just to make
19 sure -- it's my duty to check.
20 So if you tell me the corresponding page of the diary, the ref
22 MS. KORNER:
23 Q. Could you give the number of the page, sir, that you're reading
24 from? You'll see there's a number.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Starting with 00 ...
1 MS. KORNER: Yes. If you could just give that. That will be
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's 00379442.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's just above --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes. I know. It's just under line 15.
6 MS. KORNER: Absolutely.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
8 But can you repeat to us, Judge, what the first two words are,
9 where the name of this person appears in the diary. The first one is
10 short for "Colonel," I suppose?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. Colonel Basara.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: And the -- no, no. Not Colonel Basara. It's ...
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Further down it says, "Colonel
15 JUDGE AGIUS: How do you spell it, please?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] H- -- H, as in The Hague --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, Ms. Korner. Thank you.
19 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
20 Q. Sir, were you aware of a Colonel Hasotic in the 5th Krajina Corps,
21 the commander of Morales [phoen], who was a Muslim?
22 A. I heard about the general -- rather, Colonel Hasotic, and I knew
23 that he was a high officer -- a senior officer in the 5th Corps. But I
24 did not know specifically what his position was. And that's all.
25 Q. So did you know that he was in fact a Muslim officer?
1 A. Yes. Yes, I did know he was a Muslim.
2 Q. And he intervened apparently at this stage to say he was present
3 at some theatre of war and effectively he didn't want war to move here.
4 And then finally, General Talic apparently made some concluding
5 remarks. "Reach agreement but without undue delay." The place --
6 apparently military police from Prijedor shall remain. And if need be
7 from Banja Luka.."
8 Pausing there, did you know that there were military police there
9 from Prijedor?
10 A. Yes. Yes, I did know. They were at checkpoints, at main
11 checkpoints in Sanski Most.
12 Q. And then: "We do not recognise the paramilitary formations. We
13 are not allowing barricades to be put up."
14 Now, after this meeting -- I just want to move off for a moment
15 the diary -- were barricades removed from the Sanski Most area?
16 A. Out of all this, I know only that these policemen from Sehovci
17 returned home, and nothing else changed. Everything remained the same.
18 Q. So the barricades you've told us about, they were still left up
20 A. Yes, that's right. I believe that I could assess this meeting as
21 being buying more time.
22 Q. All right. --
23 A. That's what I think.
24 Q. All right. I just want you to go back one moment, because there
25 were a couple more sentences. If you could go back to the diary, the page
1 you were on, 379442. Apparently Talic ended up by saying: "The JNA will
2 guarantee the peace of the citizenry and the security of property. We are
3 asking for your help; otherwise, you will see --" and it was crossed out.
4 And then this: "Don't call anyone for help. Otherwise you will have
5 Kupres, Bosanski Brod, Vukovar." And then over the next sentence reads:
6 "The Banja Luka mufti has appealed for peace. Listen to him."
7 Now, what did you understand, or do understand, because you
8 weren't at the meeting, by the references to Kupres, Bosanski Brod, and
10 A. This proves how arrogant General Talic was at this meeting. And
11 this is an obvious threat. That's how I see it.
12 Q. And why is it an obvious threat? What do the references to
13 Kupres, Bosanski Brod, and Vukovar mean?
14 A. These were fronts, battlefields, where terrible things were
15 happening at the time. So what's being said in effect is this is how it
16 could be here.
17 Q. All right. Yes, thank you, sir. If you can put the diary away.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, could I ask that be formally made
19 Exhibit P -- Prosecutor's Exhibit 759. And Your Honour, we will be coming
20 back to it later.
21 Q. Now, as a result -- did that meeting that you heard about from
22 people who were present, did that have any result other than you've told
23 us this police group left?
24 A. I think that it had no result whatsoever. Threats with weapons
25 continued. There was firing in the night. All the checkpoints at
1 intersections, they were already in place. People were being asked to
2 show their ID when they were crossing these intersections, checkpoints. I
3 couldn't get home without being asked to show my ID at least three times.
4 At a distance of 500 metres I had to show my ID card. At checkpoints
5 there were persons who were armed. There were soldiers. But there were
6 also civilians who were armed.
7 At night there were detonations. There was shooting. There
8 were some interesting type of shooting, because at one point there would
9 be silence, and then there would be a burst of fire that could be heard
10 from a larger caliber weapon. It could probably be a machine-gun or an
11 anti-aircraft weapon. And that would be like a signal. And then after
12 that, from various locations in hills you could hear these replies,
13 responses, also bursts of fire. These were terrifying nights. At the
14 time I was no longer spending the night, sleeping at my home, because my
15 house is about 50 metres away from the Sana riverbank. And across the
16 River Sana, on the other side, at about 100 metres distance was a large
17 checkpoint with heavy weaponry, with mortars. And this was turned towards
18 my street, towards my house. It was the same in other areas. And what
19 followed was mobilisations and the establishment of the Serb Territorial
20 Defence, according to local areas, local communes. So what happened, for
21 instance, was that it was not possible for a person to go by car from
22 Sanski Most to Kljuc or to Prijedor. Sorry. If I can just finish.
23 Simply, you would have to go through three or four checkpoints
24 where there would be a danger that that person's life -- that your life
25 would be in danger.
1 Q. Was there any kind of resistance, either politically or by any
2 kind of force, through this takeover of the municipality of the SDS?
3 A. There was no resistance at all, which means that the SDS in these
4 two months took over practically all power, all economic organisations,
5 that is, companies, schools, the radio, banks, the hospital. In the
6 hospital, in the same way, they have dismissed a director, a Muslim --
7 Dr. Enis Sabanovic, who was a specialist in internal medicine. And in
8 his place, a Serb was appointed, Dr. Boska Grubisa.
9 Q. Okay. At the moment, sir, you've dealt with that. And we've
10 dealt with other witnesses. So you need no -- what I'm saying about is
11 this: On paper the Muslims and Croats outnumbered the Serbs in Sanski
12 Most. Why, in your opinion, did nobody try to stop the takeover?
13 A. Well, we were not organised at all in order to prevent -- or
14 rather, we did not want to enter a war. We thought that this will be
15 resolved in a peaceful way. That is why in all our efforts and
16 discussions, we would -- offered them more, whatever they wanted to take,
17 just in order to avoid war. And in the end, they did take everything.
18 But they also took over the hills, positioned heavy weapons. They brought
19 the army to beat us.
20 Q. All right. On the 15th of May, were you forced out of your
22 A. Yes, I was forced out of the court on the 15th of May. But before
23 that, if you'll allow me to say that -- eight days before that, they sent
24 me to my office from the crime department. They sent Branko Sobot, and
25 the former commander of the police, who was remobilised into the police,
1 whose name was Andelko Kajtez and three other policemen. Five of them
2 came, and they asked me in an ultimatum to hand over to them foreign
3 currency and some golden items which were in the court, and they were --
4 they formed part of evidence. And the value of these items was about 20
5 to 25 thousand Deutschmarks. I refused to hand that over to them. I
6 said, "I will not give this to you. You will have to put it in writing."
7 They threatened me. But since they saw that I was persistent, they left
8 -- they went to the public security station, and they wrote a -- an order
9 -- a written order, and they even brought with them a decision of the
10 Crisis Staff, and they read it out to me in my office. Again, I refused.
11 And they did not touch me. I said, "I will not let you have this. This
12 is in the bank in a safe." They then went to the bank, Privredna Banka.
13 And they snatched -- they took a metal safe from there and they took it to
14 the police station. They then again came for me, and they took me to the
15 police station so that I can open this safe for them. I then had to open
16 the safe. And they snatched it -- they took it. So after eight days,
17 that was 15th of May, 1992. At 9.00 in the morning, they came accompanied
18 with the military police and armed. And with the police from the public
19 security station, they surrounded the building with a lot of pomp. They
20 blocked that part of town. They entered the courthouse -- the armed
21 policemen entered the courthouse.
22 I was forcibly taken from my office to the ground floor of the
23 courthouse, into the courtroom, together with my other colleagues,
24 Bosniaks, and who were employees.
25 Q. Can I -- I'm sorry, sir. I'm going to -- I appreciate that
1 there's quite a long story. But I -- there's a lot we need to get
2 through. Can I summarise this. I think they took all of the, as you say,
3 the Bosniaks, who included the president of the misdemeanour court,
4 Mr. Muhic, the deputy prosecutor, Mr. Ceric, the court secretary, and in
5 fact all non-Serb employees. And did they then replace you with Serbs as
6 court president, prosecutor, and deputy prosecutor?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And I think -- were you forced to take what was described as
9 annual leave?
10 A. That's right. They said that we would have to go to mandatory
11 annual leave. But we did not receive any kind of certificate, and I had
12 to leave the building immediately, that very moment.
13 I would just like to add that Vrkes read the order of the Crisis
14 Staff that I am being dismissed and that the judiciary authority was
15 handed over to Radovan Stanic and that for the public prosecutor would be
16 Milenko Delic and for the misdemeanour court would be Andja -- I've
17 forgotten the name. Also a Serb. Unfortunately my colleague, who was the
18 president of the misdemeanour court, Nedzad, and public prosecutor --
19 deputy public prosecutor were killed.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Deputy public prosecutor. Interpreter corrects
22 MS. KORNER:
23 Q. Yes. I think, Mr. Ceric, was he killed on the bridge in Vrhpolje?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And Mr. Muhic was one of the people who suffocated in a truck on
1 the way to Manjaca?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. Now, after that, did you stay at home during the day but not at
5 A. I immediately went home. And in that state of shock and fear, I
6 didn't know what to do. I was waiting for -- I don't know what I was
7 waiting for it. In the evening, I had to hide because I did not dare
8 sleep at home. And I hid at my neighbour's -- houses of my neighbours and
9 my parents' house.
10 Q. And I think -- did you also, then, go to Kljuc on the 21st of May
11 to stay with relatives but returned to Sanski Most, as you were concerned
12 about your parents?
13 A. Yes, I did. And if you'll allow me, I can explain why I did
14 that --
15 Q. I'd prefer --
16 A. -- to Your Honours.
17 Q. I think that Their Honours will understand why you did that.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't need to explain, Judge.
19 Ms. Korner, next question, please.
20 MS. KORNER: Yes.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay.
22 MS. KORNER:
23 Q. Now, when you returned, was that on the 25th of May?
24 A. Yes, in the morning.
25 Q. And once you were on the way back, were you stopped?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, I was. In fact, I had asked a friend of mine who was a Serb
2 to drive me to Sanski Most so that I could see my parents and to try and
3 convince them that they should also come with me to a relative's in
4 Kljuc. And he drove me in his car. And I was stopped at checkpoints in
5 Peci and in Capalj and in the bridge in Vrhpolje.
6 Q. Thank you. However, because your friend was a Serb, were you able
7 to get through and return to Sanski Most?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Did you go and see your parents?
10 A. Yes, I did. And I came home. But in Capalj, there was a
11 military guard -- army guard. They recognised me, and they pointed a gun
12 at me -- a rifle at me, and they said they had been looking for me. And
13 this friend of mine in talking to them managed to get me released, and so
14 I came home.
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. And then my parents came.
17 Q. And then did you discover that the police and members of the
18 military had been looking for you when you spoke to your parents?
19 Perhaps you could just answer "yes" or "no."
20 A. Yes. That's when I learnt it, yes.
21 Q. And then did you go into town, still with your Serb friend?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. And whilst you were there, were you stopped?
24 A. Yes. There we were stopped by an army patrol in a yellow
25 Mercedes. They blocked the way. And I was forcibly taken out of the car,
1 and they tied me up and put me in the Mercedes, four of them -- four armed
2 soldiers. And they took me to the police station, that is, to the public
3 security station.
4 Q. And that's the station that you identified yesterday on the
5 photograph, on the map.
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. Now, the men who arrested you, you say they were soldiers. Do you
8 know who they were? Do you know their names?
9 A. I think I do know their names.
10 Q. Could you tell us their names.
11 A. One of them was Danilusko Kajtez. And the second one was Vlasta.
12 And the third one -- I'm sorry. I've forgotten.
13 Q. That's all right.
14 A. I did know them -- I do know them.
15 Q. That's all right. It's the first name I'm concerned about.
16 Now, when they -- when you got to the police station -- or before
17 you got to the police station, did these men do anything to you?
18 A. Before I got to the police station, at the arrest itself I was
19 mistreated. And then when we arrived there, in front of the station there
20 was a whole crowd of soldiers, and in the front of the station was an
21 anti-aircraft cannon which was positioned in front of the entrance.
22 These were the hardest moments of my life. They started to beat me and to
23 spit on me, telling me I was an Ustasha. And they said, "Here we are. We
24 caught an Ustasha major." I can't talk about it much. I apologise.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps, Ms. Korner, we can stop here. My instinct
1 tells me to stop here. And I think the witness deserves a rest.
2 So we will -- Judge, we will continue tomorrow --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: -- in this same courtroom at 2.15, at 2.15. Thank
5 you and good evening.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
7 at 6.29 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
8 the 25th day of April, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.