1 Thursday, 20 June 2002
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is the case number,
7 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin and Momir Talic.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can you hear me in a language
10 that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
12 I can hear you and I understand you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Brdjanin.
14 General Talic, good morning to you too. Can you hear me in a
15 language that you can understand?
16 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I
17 can hear you in a language that I understand.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, General Talic.
19 Appearances for the Prosecution.
20 MS. RICHTEROVA: Anna Richterova and Julian Nicholls for the
21 Prosecution, assisted by Denise Gustin, case manager.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, madam.
23 Appearance for Radoslav Brdjanin.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman.
25 I'm with my co-counsel, Milan Trbojevic, and Marela Jevtovic.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Ackerman.
2 And appearances for General Talic.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic and
4 Natasha Ivanovic-Fauveau for General Talic.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
6 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honours, as we closed yesterday I told you I
8 wanted the evening to think about some proposals I want to make to you
9 regarding the Witness 52. Your Honours will remember that on Monday I
10 brought to your attention my concern about the apparently closed-ended
11 time that he was scheduled to be here and suggested that once a witness is
12 here that it should be up to Your Honours how long they are here and not
13 the witness himself.
14 We were then told yesterday that the witness must leave and not be
15 here after Tuesday, and therefore we all have to change our lives to
16 accommodate his business interests. And I don't think that is an
17 appropriate situation for us to find ourselves in.
18 On Monday we were handed two fairly large packets of material.
19 Because of other responsibilities regarding this case --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Ackerman.
21 Could the usher please inform the witness that once more we have a
22 procedural problem that we are dealing with and that is why we are keeping
23 him waiting. Thank you.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: We were both -- both teams were handed fairly large
25 packets of materials. Because of other responsibilities, I was not able
1 to begin looking at those materials until Wednesday, at which point I
2 discovered that there were two -- three additional transcripts of prior
3 testimony of Witness 52 contained in those materials.
4 On Thursday, when I arrived here, I spoke with Ms. Gustin
5 regarding the B/C/S versions of those transcripts and whether the tapes
6 were ready for our clients to listen to or not, and I was told that they
7 were not ready and she didn't know exactly when they would be ready. But
8 the bottom line is that Mr. Brdjanin has not had an opportunity to listen
9 to the tapes of those three transcripts that were provided to us on
11 Now, Your Honour, those transcripts are from testimony of 13 and
12 14 May 1999. I cannot imagine how under the -- any conditions at all
13 there's any excuse for waiting until Monday of this week to supply us with
14 those materials and to not have prepared the tapes in B/C/S for our
15 clients. This should have been done before this case started because this
16 witness was known to the Prosecutor and known that this witness was going
17 to be brought here before this case started.
18 So in view of that, I am not of a mind to be very accommodating
19 regarding Ms. Korner's requests of yesterday. I will make to you this
20 proposal, which might solve the problem and might accommodate everyone's
22 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
23 MR. ACKERMAN: No. Let him testify on direct in this Chamber
24 tomorrow and then let the Stakic case have him until -- through Monday and
25 then bring him back here on Tuesday for cross-examination. That is based
1 upon the proposition that the Prosecutor can supply us the tapes that I
2 can get to Mr. Brdjanin by today or tomorrow so I can take instructions
3 from him regarding this.
4 Now, Ms. Korner or the Prosecutor will tell you that there is
5 nothing in these transcripts or the tapes that's relevant to anything that
6 they're going to ask this witness. But very frankly --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: What she said yesterday - sorry to interrupt you -
8 was that the events that Mr. McLeod testified upon on those two previous
9 occasions were not in any way related to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Well --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: -- now, whatever. I'm not in a position to confirm
12 or deny that because obviously I have never gone to -- I don't even have
13 the transcripts that you have been given. So --
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, yes, Your Honour. And it may very well be
15 the case that once we get through this material, we'll take that same
16 position, but I can't have Ms. Korner deciding what's relevant for the
18 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. Definitely not.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: My client needs to hear this.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Neither you nor the Tribunal.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: And my proposal would be that, that we have him
22 here on direct tomorrow, that once he's finished his direct that he goes
23 on to the Stakic case or whatever they want to do with him, that he's back
24 here Tuesday for cross-examination. I think that might solve everybody's
25 problem. If it doesn't, then he can come back, you know, when the
1 Prosecution can get him back here, but I don't think we should be forced
2 into a cross-examination tomorrow.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Before I -- before we pass on your suggestion
4 to Ms. Richterova for onward -- or onward transmission to Ms. Korner,
5 Mr. Zecevic, would you agree with the suggestion that Mr. Ackerman is
6 putting forward?
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, Your Honours. We do join with the submission
8 of Mr. John Ackerman.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So Ms. Gustin or Ms. Richterova or Mr. Nicholls - I
10 don't know who will be the ambassador amongst you in this particular
11 case - could you convey the suggestion made by Mr. Ackerman and endorsed
12 by Mr. Zecevic to Ms. Korner and -- yes?
13 MS. RICHTEROVA: Yes, Your Honour. We will convey these
14 messages. I think it's possible to --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: In which case, then, you have -- you will need to do
16 two things -- or, rather, three things. First thing, make sure that the
17 first of the other two witnesses, that is 7.135, if I remember well. I
18 may be mistaken in the number, but --
19 MS. RICHTEROVA: 139.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, 139. Will give evidence today.
21 MS. RICHTEROVA: Your Honour, I would wish -- I would wish that I
22 manage to finish both these witnesses, because they are talking only about
23 one incident, and I want to focus only, and only on that incident.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So let's not waste time talking and
25 discussing that.
1 Please convey the suggestion made by Mr. -- by the two Defence
2 teams to Ms. Korner, and if we could have feedback by the first break, I
3 think that would be extremely useful.
4 Next thing I would like you to convey to Ms. Korner, next message,
5 is this: We would like -- we were discussing amongst ourselves, and we
6 would like to be in a position to have a schedule in place right through
7 the end of December. And our suggestion to both sides is to sit together
8 as you did previously and then submit to the Chamber what your preferences
9 would be for breaks, in other words. The only thing that we might come up
10 with is that there may be a couple of dates that we ourselves would
11 require but shouldn't -- I don't think that's going to make any big
12 difference. So please do sit down.
13 If you could come back to us by either Monday or early next week,
14 then we could have the timetable, the time schedule -- the time schedule
15 in place and so that you would know where you stand between now and
17 Yes, Mr. Cayley. I see that you must have been watching --
18 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry, Your Honours. I was actually walking out
19 of the building and I heard Mr. Ackerman's dulcet tones, and I was
20 listening to what he was saying, and I just wanted to clarify with the
21 Court about these two transcripts, because I was actually involved in one
22 of the two other cases, and they actually have absolutely nothing to do
23 with this case. They're actually concerning another conflict in Bosnia,
24 the Muslim-Croat conflict. And whereas in principle Mr. Ackerman is
25 absolutely right, he should have these materials available to him. I
1 don't think in any way he is going to be prejudiced -- his client is going
2 to be prejudiced by not having the transcripts.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cayley, he did not bring up the matter as a
4 casus belli in order to start an argument, because all in all -- I mean,
5 he just made his point but then also made a practical suggestion. So
6 let's concentrate on the practical suggestion and leave the rest,
7 because -- I mean, let's not argue about it.
8 MR. CAYLEY: No. I just wanted to make it clear to the Court that
9 these transcripts are not a problem. And in terms of the practical
10 suggestion, I actually think it's probably quite a good idea.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay. So two feedbacks. One today and one as
12 soon as practicable. The one today is whether we are taking up
13 Mr. Ackerman's suggestion regarding Witness 7.52, McLeod. And second
14 feedback coming next week: How do you intend to have -- or what are your
15 preferences for a time schedule for this case between first -- end of
16 August, when we resume, until the end of September [sic] when we go into
17 recess, end of September [sic] when we go into recess in September [sic]
18 anyway. In December, sorry. In December. Okay. Like we did
19 previously. In other words, when you -- beforehand when we were going to
20 have breaks and when we are sitting.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I was thinking about the same thing
22 myself this week. The thing that kept me from starting that on my own was
23 that we don't know when we're returning from the August break.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I can tell you my intention is to start
25 working again the last week of August, because the official break
1 terminates, I think, on the 23rd of August, if I remember well. I'm
2 speaking from memory. The official break of the Tribunal finishes 23rd of
3 August. And my intention was to start on the 26th, if I remember well,
4 which is a Monday, the 26th of August. That would give us the last week
5 of August as the first week after the recess.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: And then the other thing that I don't know is when
7 the December break begins.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: The December break -- I think there is a plenary
9 in -- 11th, 12th, something like that, and after that you have the break.
10 More or less I think -- I am on duty starting from the 13th to the 20th of
11 December, so I'll still be enjoying the beautiful weather of The Hague,
12 but I think we would have already started the recess.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: That's what --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. But in the meantime, I can have that
15 checked. Ms. Registrar, you can check exactly when the -- there is a
16 document which I have already, which was circulated in the beginning of
17 the year -- so that we can give the information.
18 The witness. You can bring him in, please.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Good morning to you,
21 Mr. Biscevic, hoping that this will be your last day in --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, to you Mr. Biscevic, hoping that this
24 will be your last day in this Tribunal.
25 Once more please proceed with making the -- entering the same
1 solemn declaration as before. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
3 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: FAIK BISCEVIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: You my sit down. Thank you.
7 Mr. Zecevic.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you. Good morning, Your Honours.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Zecevic: [Continued]
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Biscevic.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. Yesterday before we adjourned we were speaking about the 20th of
13 April. Do you remember?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. 1992.
16 Could you tell me, after that incident in Sanski Most there
17 weren't any other large-scale incidents until the 25th of May; isn't that
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. However, the situation in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 had dramatically -- or was dramatically deteriorating from the 20th of
22 April to the 25th of May, during that period.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. On the 1st of May, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic was arrested, and on the
25 3rd of May, a column in Sarajevo was attacked in Dobrovoljacka Street a
1 column was attacked. 160 and 200 people were wounded in an ambush. You
2 know about all these things, don't you?
3 A. More or less.
4 Q. Tell me, Mr. Biscevic, you said that on the 27th of May you were
5 arrested and then taken to the area of the village of Magarice; isn't that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Before the 27th of May, you were in that village Magarice or
9 not -- were you in that village or not?
10 A. No, I wasn't.
11 Q. On that occasion, on the 27th of May, you were taken there -- he
12 took you there and he showed you the town and he said, "Look, can you see
13 what you did?"
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In the statement that you gave to the investigators of the
16 Tribunal in 1997 and 1999, you said that at the time he was thinking of
17 the Party of Democratic Action.
18 A. Yes. When he told that to me he was thinking of the party in
20 Q. In that same statement, on page 00838010 you said in your
21 statement of 1997 and 1999, you said the following. I'll read it out in
22 English and it will be translated to you.
23 [In English] "Major Vukic was Basara's deputy. He had come from
24 Tuzla where he used to serve as an active-duty JNA officer. Vukic told me
25 that he had come from Tuzla when he interrogated me after my arrest. He
1 was born in the village of Dabar in the vicinity of Sanski Most and that
2 is why Vukic came to Sanski Most. He had to leave Tuzla after the
3 Bosnians forced the JNA to leave Tuzla."
4 [Interpretation] Do you remember giving this statement?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. And you stand by what you said?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. The major told you this on that occasion, on the 27th of May, or
9 did he tell you something before that date, if you can remember?
10 A. That was at the time we were in that curing hut, and then he told
11 me, "I'm from Tuzla. I've been expelled. I've come to Sanski Most."
12 Whether it's Branko Vukic, I don't know. But from those two villages
13 somewhere in Sanski Most.
14 Q. Thank you. Tell me, yesterday you told us that at some time there
15 was -- there were groups of paramilitary formations of the army.
16 A. All the Serbian people were armed.
17 Q. Do you know that members of other nationalities were armed?
18 A. They weren't armed in Sanski Most.
19 Q. So when you say that "they weren't armed," you want to say that
20 they weren't armed in Sanski Most, in the Sanska Valley, in Sanski Most.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know of a paramilitary formation called the SOS? We
23 mentioned them yesterday.
24 A. Yes. Yes, I've heard about this formation.
25 Q. Are you aware of the Patriotic League?
1 A. Yes, I am.
2 Q. That was also a paramilitary formation.
3 A. I don't know what it was. I know that it was the Patriotic
4 League, that this was established. But what happened to that Patriotic
5 League, what it did, I don't know. But I know that it existed.
6 Q. The Patriotic League was a military formation, wasn't it?
7 A. I don't know. It was formed in Sarajevo. I don't know whether it
8 was a military or civil organisation.
9 Q. Do you know whether on the 11th of June, 1992 a great meeting of
10 the headquarters of the Patriotic League was held in Dosici Nikolecija
11 [phoen], and it was attended by presidents of the municipalities and
12 municipal organisations of the SDA?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Very well. The people who belonged, such private army formations,
15 paramilitary formations, or groups of armed men, they didn't
16 participate -- they weren't included in any official military or police
17 units, were they?
18 A. Yes, they were.
19 Q. In what sense?
20 A. That was a legal army which had been issued weapons and uniforms,
21 and later it was part of a particular party, the SDS or the SOS or the
22 command of the 6th Corps. These were all armed formations and they had
23 various branches and belonged to certain parties. But they were all armed
24 and they had illegally been issued weapons. They had received these
25 weapons legally from the JNA, the Yugoslav People's Army.
1 Q. And tell me -- could you tell me how you know this?
2 A. It was common practice in the last -- in the most recent days, the
3 helicopters come from the Banja Luka area. They would land in Serbian
4 villages, and they would distribute weapons.
5 And a second -- well, it wasn't a secret but it was something that
6 was publicly known. Mico Krunic was given a bus. He took the windows out
7 and covered them with tin sheets and took weapons to villages, Serbian
8 villages, and distributed these people to the Serbian villages on a daily
10 My son had a girlfriend in a village, in a settlement, in our
11 settlement where the majority of the population that was Serbian. They
12 received flats which they -- in which they lived. The mother of his
13 girlfriend said -- her neighbour said that on that night, every Serbian
14 flat had to put a window in the -- a candle in the window, and that was a
15 sign that the house was a Serbian one, and then they would distribute
16 weapons. We didn't believe that because that was a little earlier on.
17 But later on, it proved to be true.
18 Q. If I have understood you correctly -- if I have understood you
19 correctly, what you have just told us, you saw none of this personally.
20 You heard about this.
21 A. I saw Mico Krunic. I was watching every day, and I could see the
22 helicopters every day with my own eyes. I wasn't there when helicopters
23 arrived in the Serbian village and distributed weapons, but I saw the
24 helicopter-- helicopters, and I knew why it had arrived.
25 Q. Very well. Tell me, around that time many people put on uniforms
1 for no particular reason?
2 A. If they had a uniform, maybe they put it on. It wasn't necessary,
3 because they had uniforms which had been legally issued to them. So they
4 could put them on.
5 Q. In your statement you said, in your statement of 1995 which you
6 gave in the court in Sanski Most, you said that Vlado Vrkes, the President
7 of the SDS, had been going there recently. I think you're referring to
8 the period before the 25th of May. You said that he would come to the
9 meetings in the municipality wearing a uniform and carrying a weapon. Is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes. He came to our meetings in uniform and he had a revolver.
12 We laughed at him and joked about it with him. We didn't think it was
13 anything in particular, but he was very official. He said, "This is the
14 weapon I have been issued with, and I carry it with me quite legally
15 throughout the day and throughout the town." And it wasn't just Vlado
16 Vrkes but other leaders at the time. They had weapons.
17 Q. You also told us yesterday that Rajkica Stanic, a Judge from
18 Sanski Most, had put on a uniform and acted as some sort of a coordinator,
19 didn't you?
20 A. No, he didn't act as a coordinator. He was literate. He was an
21 attorney, and he worked as a civilian in the court in Sanski Most. When
22 the war came, in my opinion all those people working in MUP were not of
23 the same profession. They were not qualified. So he would come and go
24 and talk to the interrogator. He wasn't acting or pretending to be a
25 coordinator but he was the coordinator because of his qualifications.
1 Q. Tell me, please, before April and May 1992, there were no
2 stationary garrison of the JNA in Sanski Most, was there?
3 A. No.
4 Q. When on the 27th of May you were taken to the village of Magarice
5 or the area of the village of Magarice, as far as you know, was there any
6 kind of a permanent military facility there, a warehouse or something like
7 that, before that, before the 27th of May?
8 A. There was nothing permanent there before or after that, but the
9 6th Corps came. They took the weapons into the meadow. There were boxes
10 of weapons piled up, and there were mortars and there was a provisional
11 canteen, and the soldiers were sleeping in the stables or around there.
12 There was nothing organised. It wasn't prepared in advance. It was as it
13 was before.
14 Q. So we will agree that this was a kind of provisional camp?
15 A. Yes, provisional.
16 Q. You told us yesterday -- I'm sorry, the day before yesterday, that
17 you were taken that same day to the radio station where you read out a
18 statement that had been prepared and which we heard the day before played
19 in this courtroom. Isn't at that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I should like to read to you a part of that statement of yours if
22 you remember. We heard it the day before yesterday. On page 10 of the
23 Serbian version of the transcript -- of the statement, or page 6 of the
24 English version, the last three sentences which in English begins, "That
25 is why we are prepared...." I'm going to read it to you in Serbian.
1 "That is why we are prepared, on the orders of the Serb armed
2 forces, to come out before our people and to be judged by our people in
3 the next few days. I assure you that the command of the Serbian armed
4 forces which is carrying out the armed activities in Sanski Most was
5 forced into such behaviour by our lies and sycophancy." End of quote.
6 Do you remember reading that out on that occasion in Sanski Most,
7 in Radio Sanski Most?
8 A. I don't know what I read, but I heard it yesterday.
9 Q. You heard it yesterday on a tape?
10 A. Yes. I heard my voice.
11 Q. Tell me, for the needs of this Court and people who don't speak
12 our language, the abbreviation for "Serbian armed forces" is SOS, is it
13 not, S-O-S?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Tell me, please, as far as you know, this statement that you read
16 in Radio Sanski Most on that day, did it have any effect in the sense that
17 you had made a call for weapons to be surrendered? Did it have any effect
18 at all, if you know?
19 A. I don't know, but the JNA knew exactly what they were doing. They
20 knew that I was very influential in Sanski Most, that I come from a
21 wealthy, noble family, a dentist, a jeweller in Sanski Most, highly
22 influential. And the Muslims and Croats, some of them at least, believed
23 what they heard, and those that hadn't surrendered their weapons until
24 then did so.
25 Q. Tell me, please, after this did you go to the Radio Sanski Most on
1 any other occasion to read statements, different statements? Do you
2 remember that, any other statement?
3 A. The major, whatever his name was, Brajic or Vukic, in Magarice
4 spoke to me. Now, whether he taped that or not, I don't know, but I
5 didn't go to the radio station again. But I did hear myself, in prison,
6 speaking on Radio Sana, and then I realised that everything had been taped
7 and that they aired it even though I was in prison.
8 Q. So if I understand you correctly, your conversation with this
9 major or some other person was taped and, after that, broadcast.
10 A. I don't know that. Probably. If there was any other statement,
11 then it was probably taped.
12 Q. I'm going to read out to you from the same transcript of the
13 audiotape that we heard the day before yesterday on page 01907762 of the
14 English version and the B/C/S version, 01104887. This is P827 A. And it
15 says the following:
16 "Male voice: Muslims and Croats to hand over their legal and
17 illegal weapons to the Serbian authorities, not to fall prey to Muslim or
18 Croat extremists, nor to the tale they tell, because that would lead to
19 the large-scale suffering of innocent people. We have now shown who and
20 what we are, accusing and blaming one another. Our people have seen
21 through us and don't trust us any longer. That is why I ask you to
22 respond to the legitimate Serbian army and authorities. The Serbian army
23 has already made a few announcements and has given us the opportunity to
24 surrender, so please heed the appeal and hand over your weapons to the
25 commander of the Serbian army, where I have been staying for two days now
1 and I am personally convinced that it is the most humane army I have ever
2 met," et cetera.
3 The last sentence: "Announcement written by Faik Biscevic."
4 Mr. Biscevic, do you remember writing a proclamation of this
6 A. No.
7 Q. Tell me please, so you don't know whether your statement produced
8 any result, or rather, both of these statements, all these statements,
9 whether it had any effect in terms of the surrender of weapons by Muslims
10 and Croats, do you?
11 A. How could I know, when I was in prison?
12 Q. I mean did you learn later after being released from prison? Did
13 anyone tell you about it, that they heeded what you said in your
14 announcement on the radio, if you know?
15 A. I do know very well. They didn't need to heed anyone. The
16 practice of the Yugoslav People's Army was to go to Muslim and Croat
17 villages and their streets and to collect or round up the population, to
18 separate men to one side, women to another. And anyone found after that
19 would be executed, because on that first day 43 civilians were killed in
20 Sanski Most who were in hospitals and their apartments. They were
21 collected on the third day and buried in a mass grave at the cemetery in
22 Sanski Most. Therefore, my statement had the least effect on them because
23 they had no chance of surrendering anything. They simply had to. They
24 were simply rounded up.
25 Q. Mr. Biscevic, I asked you in connection with weapons. My question
1 was related to weapons. So could you please answer that for me. You've
2 already explained this whole procedure. I was just asking you about the
3 weapons. Did your statement have any effect on the Muslims and Croats to
4 surrender their weapons, if you know?
5 A. I told you. I was in prison, so how could I know?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Just bear with me, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
8 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. My colleague is telling me that all that you said a moment ago
10 also happened while you were in prison, yet you are aware of it, whereas
11 you are not aware of what I am asking you about.
12 A. I don't understand your question. Would you rephrase it, please.
13 Q. I'll tell you just in a minute. You spoke about the practice of
14 the Yugoslav People's Army, and this was in response to my question about
15 weapons. You spoke about the practice of the Yugoslav People's Army and
16 said that on that first day, 43 civilians were killed in Sanski Most, that
17 they were rounded up on the third day and -- sorry, collected and buried
18 in a mass grave at the cemetery in Sanski Most. So my question is: Since
19 at that point in time you were under arrest, you were in detention, you
20 were in prison when all this was going on, so how is it you know about
22 A. After my release.
23 Q. Very well, Mr. Biscevic. After spending some 30 hours with the
24 army, as you told us, you were transferred to the MUP building in Sanski
25 Most. That's right, isn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you spent 95 days there, until the 27th of August, 1992 when
3 the police transferred you to Manjaca and handed you over to them there.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Tell me please, during this period of detention in Sanski Most,
6 you were guarded by members of the police, were you not?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. In your statement of 1997 and 1999 you said that they wore police
9 uniforms and that Bosko Kuzmanovic, an active policeman, was their
10 commander. That's right, isn't it?
11 A. Bosko Kuzmanovic was one of the shift leaders.
12 Q. Very well. The police was escorting all people to Manjaca, wasn't
14 A. Yes. They were transported by vehicles and escorted by the
15 police, yes.
16 Q. In your particular case, on the 27th of August when you reached
17 Manjaca, it was only at the entrance to Manjaca that the police handed you
18 over to the officers of Republika Srpska; isn't that right?
19 A. The official police had no access to the Manjaca camp, the
20 complex; only outside.
21 Q. If I understand you correctly, so this was happening at the very
22 entrance to the camp, at the fence.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. When you were handed over to the officers and soldiers of
25 Republika Srpska under their competence; isn't that so?
1 A. Yes. The bus went as far as the gate on the outside. It
2 stopped. We got off, lined up four by four, and waited to enter. And as
3 soon as we entered, the police had nothing more to do with us.
4 Q. Thank you. Tell me please, on the 15th of November, when you were
5 released, the situation was the same, wasn't it? The procedure was the
7 A. No.
8 Q. I mean that the Army of Republika Srpska went as far as the
9 fence --
10 A. No. When we were released, 12 buses came. I was in the fourth or
11 fifth. A representative of the International Community was with us on the
12 bus. And the escort, the security of the buses -- I didn't pay
13 attention. I don't know who provided the escort.
14 Q. Now, let me go back to the time you spent in Sanski Most. During
15 your detention in Sanski Most, that was in the remand custody. You were
16 held in remand custody, were you not?
17 A. Maybe you know that as a professional. We know that we had
18 special treatment. We were under lock and key. The shift leader was
19 responsible for us and he was the only one allowed to unlock and lock the
20 gates, according to the regulations.
21 Q. So let me rephrase the question, make myself clearer. Do you know
22 that the purpose of the premises in which you were kept from the, shall I
23 say, the 29th of May until the 27th of August, 1992 in Sanski Most - even
24 before May 1992 - was as an investigating prison or detention on remand?
25 That is what it was used for. I am talking about the building.
1 A. I don't know how you call it. We know that it was the city
3 Q. A municipal prison in your view implies a prison attached to the
4 police station in Sanski Most.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know that the conditions that you found there in that
7 prison, the city prison, as you call it, in May 1992 were the same even
8 before 1992?
9 A. I was never imprisoned.
10 Q. I was just asking you whether you know.
11 A. I was never imprisoned.
12 Q. In the course of your time in those cells, other persons were
13 brought there, the perpetrators of some criminal acts; isn't that right?
14 A. Some were coming, others going, on a daily basis almost. So what
15 was going on, I don't know.
16 Q. You told us yesterday in transcript page 22, line 10 to 13 that on
17 one occasion a Serb soldier had been brought in who activated a hand
18 grenade who was afterwards beaten for as long as he could speak. That's
19 right, isn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Also yesterday, on the unofficial transcript, on page 19, lines 11
22 to 15, you explained that running water in that building of the city
23 prison in Sanski Most did not exist because of lack of electricity, and
24 the fact that the water supply system worked in such a way that the pumps
25 pumped the water up to higher levels and these provided the city with
2 Tell me, please, this system, water supply system, was the water
3 supply system, wasn't it? The whole town was provided with water in the
4 same way?
5 A. Yes, in the same way.
6 Q. Which means that no citizens of Sanski Most could have water when
7 there was no electricity. That's right, isn't it?
8 A. Yes, no one could.
9 Q. Tell me, please, yesterday while you were testifying in answer to
10 a question from the Prosecution, you described in detail the appearance of
11 the room in which you were held, and among other things, you said that
12 there was sheet steel on the window with small holes drilled into it of
13 four millimetres each, so that there wasn't enough air in the room. Do
14 you remember that?
15 A. Not about four millimetres but exactly four millimetres. And
16 those holes were made by Redzo Kurbegovic, as he was an expert. And he
17 did this before the war. And we joked with him and said, "How could you
18 have made such tiny holes?"
19 So it is true. There was a sheet steel cover, and the holes
20 drilled in it were of four millimetres diameter.
21 Yes, it was fixed so that the room was hermetically closed,
22 probably to prevent anyone from escaping. But it was placed there, as we
23 heard, just in case anyone would want to throw in a hand grenade. So the
24 sheet steel was fixed very firmly, and there was no air as a result.
25 Q. You say that this was hermetically --
1 A. It was nailed in, nailed in.
2 Q. So light, sound could hardly penetrate those tiny holes.
3 A. As this window was to the east, in the morning there would be some
4 light. And after 11.00 it was semi-darkness. And in the afternoon, it
5 was total darkness.
6 Q. Was it also difficult to hear anything?
7 A. There was no glass, and one could hear much better than if there
8 were glass panes. The doors were metal, so one could hear through that
9 too. And people spoke in a normal loud voice. There was no need to
10 whisper, so that things could be heard.
11 Q. I'm asking you all this because yesterday, at one point in time
12 you said that as far as you knew, soldiers, upon returning from the front,
13 were lined up on a plateau close to the city prison where you were being
14 detained. Do you remember saying that?
15 A. Not a plateau but a soccer field that was separated from the
16 prison by a wall. There was a football pitch.
17 Q. How do you know, then, that they were lined up on this football
18 field? Did you see that?
19 A. We heard the officers making speeches, distributing decorations,
20 appraising certain combatants, whether they would cheer. When Lieutenant
21 Colonel Basara would say something then they would cheer. Then there
22 would be shooting. There was just a wall separating the two.
23 Q. I'm just asking you whether you saw this or not.
24 A. I told you nicely. We heard it. We couldn't see when it was not
25 possible to see.
1 Q. Tell me, please, sir, while you were in this investigating prison,
2 you told us that you were questioned about supplies of weapons for the
3 SDA, didn't you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Questions also had to do with collecting funds for the purchase of
7 A. There was no question about money.
8 Q. Yesterday you mentioned, if I remember correctly, that the
9 investigator, Mima Dosenovic in those days, asked you in connection with
10 some debt that you had to another fellow citizen of yours. Do you
11 remember that?
12 A. Alagic, photographer, is my neighbour, and I borrowed some money
13 from him which I didn't pay back for a certain period of time. He said
14 this in a restaurant, and an informer heard this and told Mima. And then
15 he said, "You see, you had money for weapons." But this money was
16 something I needed to do a general service for my car.
17 Q. My question was precisely whether Mima Dosenovic had asked but the
18 collection of money for weapons. Your answer was no, so I've just
19 reminded you. So he did ask you about collecting funds for weapons,
20 because he thought that the money you had borrowed from your fellow
21 citizen was allegedly being used for the purchase of weapons; isn't that
23 A. Yes. He specifically mentioned Riza Alagic because he knew
24 exactly who the money had been borrowed from.
25 Q. Tell me Mr. Biscevic, please, whether you really did procure
1 weapons for the SDA or not.
2 A. What do you mean?
3 Q. I'm asking you whether you procured weapons for the Party of
4 Democratic Action in Sanski Most. Yes or no.
5 A. No.
6 Q. Tell me, please, you told us that when this statement was being
7 taken from you that you were first beaten by the investigator
8 Mima Dosenovic, who was a policeman, and another person who kept -- who
9 wrote the record, and then two men in uniform whom you didn't know and who
10 came with this Rajkica Stanisic. Is that right?
11 A. They didn't come with Rajkica, but they came in when Mima came
12 out. And Rajko came when Mima was there, and he would talk to Mima. He
13 didn't beat people, he just talked to Mima. He didn't talk to me and he
14 just went off. And the soldiers came in after Mima left. They didn't say
16 Q. Tell me, please, these two persons who were wearing military
17 uniforms and whom you didn't know, do you remember what kind of uniforms
18 they were wearing?
19 A. They all wore those camouflage uniforms.
20 Q. When you say "everyone," who are you referring to?
21 A. They had camouflage uniforms of the Serbian army. As they were
22 wearing shirts, they had short-sleeved shirts. It was summertime.
23 Q. I'm asking you about these two men. What sort of uniforms were
24 they wearing?
25 A. These two men too, camouflage uniforms, military uniforms.
1 Q. Did they have some sort of insignia on those uniforms?
2 A. They had some sort of mark here and they had some sort of tags.
3 Whether they had them at the moment -- whether those two men had them, I
4 don't know. I wasn't looking. But all soldiers had some sort of
5 insignia, yellow, green, white insignia. What it was exactly, I don't
6 know, but they had this on the soldier.
7 Q. When you say "tag," do you mean bands of some kind?
8 A. Yes. A sort of band which is tied here. A sort of braid. And it
9 would be tied here on the epaulettes.
10 Q. In different countries --
11 A. Yes. It wasn't sewed in. It would be tied -- tied up, perhaps so
12 that it would be possible to change it.
13 Q. Mr. Biscevic, we'll finish this very rapidly now. Tell me, you
14 were taken to Manjaca on the 27th of August, 1992; isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you do your military service in the former JNA? Did you serve
17 in the former JNA?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Where and when?
20 A. In Ljubljana and in Sarajevo. I was a part of the medical corps.
21 I was a reserve officer in the medical corps when I finished -- towards
22 the end of my service in the army.
23 Q. Could you tell me what year that was.
24 A. It was in 1963. That's when I was a Second Lieutenant in the
25 medical corps.
1 Q. As a reserve officer in the medical corps, you are surely aware of
2 the procedure for bringing recruits to do their military service.
3 A. Yes, I am.
4 Q. They go for a medical check-up, they're registered, and then they
5 are given accommodation; isn't that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So that is a very similar to the procedure through which you went
8 when on the 27th of August, 1992 you arrived in Manjaca. I am referring
9 to the medical check-up, being registered and being provided with -- being
10 provided with accommodation.
11 A. No, it's not at all the same. How could it be the same?
12 Q. Very well. Tell me, from Manjaca -- you were released on the 15th
13 of November, 1992 from Manjaca; isn't that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. In the statement you gave here, you mentioned a certain boy who
16 was underage, someone from your town - I assume that was Sanski Most - and
17 you said that he was a retarded boy and his name was Senad Kalic; isn't
18 that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. According to the list that we have, the person with that name was
21 pardoned by decision of the main headquarters of the Republika Srpska and
22 he was released on the same day as you, on the 14th of November, 1992.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You remember that, don't you?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. But the only thing that doesn't agree with this is that according
2 to the list, Senad Kalic was born in 1992.
3 THE INTERPRETER: 1962. Correction.
4 A. I don't know what you mean by that.
5 Q. I want to mean that in 1992 he was 30 years old. He wasn't
6 underage. He wasn't a minor.
7 A. Excellent. That confirms what I said, because my father was over
8 50 and they had no other solution other than to send him with his -- send
9 him away with his father. That was the only solution. They didn't know
10 what they would do with him without his father.
11 Q. I'm just asking you whether you allow for the possibility that
12 this boy was not a minor. You said he was retarded. I'm only asking you
13 whether it is possible that the boy in question was not a minor, since on
14 the basis of the documents that we have that person, who has that name
15 from Sanski Most, he was born in 1962, which means that in August 1992 he
16 was about 30 years old.
17 A. You are playing with words. It is a custom among us to say that a
18 retarded person is -- has a child's mind. But although he was 30 years
19 old, they released him as if he were a child of ten years old. For what
20 were they to do with him, because he was less than a minor. That is
21 probably why he was released. It was an exception of sorts.
22 Q. We have solved that. Obviously they didn't understand you,
23 because in the -- in the transcript it said "a minor." It didn't say
24 "someone who was retarded." Thank you, Mr. Biscevic.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
1 Mr. Ackerman.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Excuse me, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: First, I didn't want to interrupt the
5 cross-examination, but for the record could he -- could counsel state what
6 list he was referring to, what document he was reading from.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like to know what he means by "this list of
9 names we have."
10 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Not a list of names. It's
11 something that we verified. Our investigators verified this. And
12 according to the name that the witness gave to us, we've verified the
13 facts relating to this person.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you satisfied with that, Mr. Nicholls?
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, I would like to see the list --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But she's telling you there was no list --
17 she verified -- the mentioning of a list was obviously a mistake.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
20 Yes. Mr. Biscevic, you're now going to be cross-examined by
21 Mr. Trbojevic, who is co-counsel for Mr. Brdjanin. Thank you. And again,
22 same recommendation, allow a pause, because Mr. Trbojevic has exactly the
23 same problem that Mr. Zecevic has. Thank you.
24 Go ahead, please.
25 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: No. It's okay.
4 Go ahead, please.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Trbojevic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Biscevic, you said that were -- are a
7 politician, a political leader.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You said that after the multi-party elections, together with the
10 SDS and HDZ you formed a coalition government in Sanski Most.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. If we assume that at one of those many meetings that you had on
13 the agenda was the formation of these authorities. That's -- would that
14 be a correct assumption?
15 A. Absolutely.
16 Q. At the beginning of 1991, those authorities started functioning.
17 A. Immediately after the multi-party elections.
18 Q. In the course of 1991, there were political differences among
19 these parties.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In your statement, you didn't go into details, you didn't explain
22 this in detail, you didn't explain these differences in detail.
23 A. Was it -- would it have been necessary to explain anything?
24 Q. I'm asking you whether you would agree with me that one of the
25 main differences was the fact that the political position of the SDA was
1 that Bosnia and Herzegovina should separate from Yugoslavia, and the SDS's
2 position was that it should remain within Yugoslavia, that Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina should remain within Yugoslavia.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you agree with me?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. These were the themes of the referendum, of the plebiscite?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And this resulted in absolutely and totally
10 contradictory positions -- contrary positions on the part of these
12 A. Well, that wasn't so much an obstacle. It wasn't so prominent at
13 the time. But it became prominent later.
14 Q. After the 6th of April, when the independence of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina had been declared, it was practically no longer possible to
16 work together, to follow a common direction.
17 A. We nevertheless discussed matters in Sanski Most and we would
19 Q. Would I be right to say that at the time talks about a possible
20 division of the territory commenced, of the division of institutions, et
22 A. Yes. There were discussions, but towards the end in May, when
23 everything had collapsed, then people started talking about dividing the
25 Q. And these discussions finished with that situation when the police
1 force was divided. The Serbian police remained in the police building and
2 the Muslim force in the municipality building.
3 A. When the police station was taken over, then the Serbian Sanski
4 Most was declared. And when the municipality building was attacked, then
5 all ties were severed, and that's when it finished.
6 Q. Do you agree with me that the war events in Slovenia and Croatia,
7 which happened a little before the events we are talking about, would you
8 agree that these affected, in an important manner, the events in Sanski
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I mean the fact that some of the police were mobilised and there
12 weren't as many who were within the police force. I'm referring to the
13 return of armed reservists with their weapons. And I'm also thinking of
14 the decision on the part of the SDA that Muslims should no longer go and
15 join the JNA.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Yesterday, you told us that the cause of that decision by the
18 Party of Democratic Action not to join the JNA any longer, the cause of
19 this decision was the fact that there were Muslim soldiers who had been
20 killed, who had been killed by being shot in the back.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Don't you think that the political position of the SDA was more
23 important, more important than certain individual cases if such cases had
25 A. You are right. As far as the individuals are concerned, those who
1 returned and who were killed, we couldn't do much about that. That was a
2 matter for the army. But our position was that if anyone had to go from
3 Sanski Most, they should remain in Sanski Most, not go to Croatia.
4 Q. But that decision was taken in Sarajevo, wasn't it, without the --
5 without the presence of the Serbian members?
6 A. Yes. By the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina without the
7 Serbian members.
8 Q. I'd like to return to the beginning. On page 2 of the statement
9 that you gave to the investigators of the Prosecution, when you spoke
10 about important people, people who were important for the situation, you
11 started with Rasula, and you said that you went to school together, et
12 cetera. You said he was a -- he was a pro-Serb. What were you referring
13 to exactly when you side that he was a pro-Serb and that he was in favour
14 of the Serbian cause?
15 A. The monument to his father -- on the monument to his father, he
16 said, "My father was killed by state enemies." You can see that to this
17 very day. It hasn't been destroyed. Whenever anything had to happen, was
18 to happen between the Muslims and the Serbs, he would be the one in
19 charge. When he graduated in Sanski Most, Avdo Umcanin was the director
20 of the secondary school. And as soon as he came with his brother Sofia
21 and Slobodan - I don't know what the name is - they just replaced Avdo,
22 retired him summarily, and then Rasula became the director because he
23 thought the director of a secondary school had to be a Serb.
24 Q. You said that Rasula sought -- provided the Serbs who had
25 graduated with important positions.
1 A. That was common practice then. It wasn't common practice then,
2 but always later on most personnel would come from the village. And in
3 the town we also had graduated professionals but these professionals
4 weren't able to take up important posts. The custom in our place was that
5 if you wanted to be a politician, you should finish political school and
6 then you would become an official because that was a condition to hold
7 such a post.
8 Q. I understand that. There's a certain lack of tolerance on the
9 local level between the town and the village.
10 A. Yes. More or less that's how it was.
11 Q. But if on page 4 of this same statement you told us that before
12 the war the police in Sanski Most was about -- 90 [Realtime transcript
13 read in error "09"] per cent of the police was Serb and the leader was
14 Salko Coric. Doesn't that indicate that the leading positions were
15 important and occupied by Muslims too, even in such a situation where a
16 large number -- we say that if someone had -- it was just for show, to
17 show people that it was mixed up. Salko Coric was a communist, and a
18 condition for him to hold that post was for him to be a communist. So
19 that means that he had severed ties with Muslims, with religion, et
20 cetera. Then he would assume such a post. And this was just for show.
21 Q. So that was the -- those were the policies at the time.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Just for the record, in the beginning of your
23 question the transcript says "09 per cent of the police were Serb." In
24 actual fact, I heard the interpretation say "90 per cent." Just for the
25 record. It's corrected then later on, but I think for the record we need
1 to clarify it. Thank you.
2 You may proceed Mr. Trbojevic, please.
3 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the witness to be
4 shown P832 , Exhibit P832.
5 Q. It's a record of the release of your son from Manjaca, and you
6 have had it in your hands already. It says: "Record on the release of
7 someone from Manjaca, of the release of a person from the Manjaca
8 Prisoners of War Camp."
9 Have you found it?
10 A. Yes, I have.
11 Q. Could you please read the following sentence?
12 A. "On the basis of an order from Colonel Stevo Bogojevic, Biscevic
13 Nedim, son of Faik, is being released from the Sanski Most camp."
14 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] You can remove that. There is
15 nothing of interest for me in this document any more.
16 Q. From the very first day, we spoke about the notes that you had
17 before you. You told us that you had made notes, so I assume -- so you
18 will be able to give a fuller and more detailed testimony here. Am I
20 A. Absolutely.
21 Q. And if I suggested that you should provide us with these notes and
22 provide the Trial Chamber with these notes too so that they could examine
23 them, what would you say to that?
24 A. I was going to ask the Trial Chamber at the end. After the
25 cross-examination, I was going to ask them to read out these notes so that
1 you could hear them and the Trial Chamber, but it's no problem to
2 photocopy them.
3 Q. Well, I will finish then.
4 A. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, is there re-examination?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please proceed.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: I would say for the record, though, it's my
9 recollection the witness used the notes for one question to refresh his
10 memory --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I was not going to raise the matter at all because
12 to -- from what I could observe, and I do keep my eyes open, as you may
13 have noticed to now, he was not referring to the notes. But he's
14 volunteering these notes, and I have no problems if there is no problems
15 forthcoming from your part.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: I just don't think that it's necessary for that
17 there's any point, because he did not refer to those notes. He's referred
18 from his own memory. He's referred from his -- he's used his recollection
19 to give evidence. That's the evidence which is before the Tribunal.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: His expectation, Mr. Nicholls, is that he be given
21 time to even make declarations based on those notes. So if we could avoid
22 wasting time which is precious for Madam Richterova today, I would rather
23 prefer proceeding the way I suggested.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. In the meantime, unless you need them
1 now, Mr. Biscevic, we can have them photocopied now so that you take the
2 originals back with you when you leave the courtroom.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are no problems, but I would
4 just like to ask you: It's just two pages. Could I read it out in front
5 of you? Could I read out what I think is the most important and then you
6 can take it?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Your wish will be granted, but Mr. Nicholls.
8 Please finish with your re-examination. We have five minutes. I
9 really would like to finish with this witness within --
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it may help if I say why I'm here,
11 because I think this may take some of the pressure off. I heard what was
12 said earlier -- or I was sent an e-mail. Your Honour, it seems to me that
13 there's only, at the moment, one realistic way of proceeding. I would ask
14 Your Honour to sit all day tomorrow whatever hours it requires for this
15 purpose. Ms. Richterova can deal with the witness. Both witnesses need
16 to give evidence before Mr. McLeod, apparently, and I accept that. The --
17 I think we could start -- we will do Mr. McLeod certainly in chief. And I
18 would ask that if we're sitting all day, whoever is cross-examining first
19 cross-examines and then we'll see where we are at the end of tomorrow.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: My position hasn't changed, Your Honour. I think
22 we do Mr. McLeod on direct and cross-examination on Tuesday, and I still
23 think that's a sensible suggestion.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's not possible. That's why I said
25 that. The reason is because there is still and will be still for part of
1 Monday a witness part heard in the Stakic case. We're just having to
2 proceed on the ordinary basis. There's no reason, in our submission, why
3 the Defence, if there is time and the witness is finished in chief, should
4 not begin cross-examination.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I've already told you the reasons this
6 morning, Your Honour, and I think they're valid. Materials were given us
7 on Monday. There is not a B/C/S version of those materials yet in the
8 hands on my client. I can't take instructions. I was going to meet with
9 him Friday morning. I had scheduled a meeting between 10.00 and 12.00
10 Friday morning. That's now being taken away because Ms. Korner wants us
11 to sit all day on Friday. And so the next opportunity I would have to
12 meet with him would be on Monday. And that would mean that I couldn't
13 possibly do my cross-examination until Tuesday. And if the witness has to
14 stay here through Wednesday, that's -- that's just the way it is.
15 MS. KORNER: No.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry that he has business problems, but he's
17 here now under the control of the Trial Chamber and he should remain here
18 until the Trial Chamber is satisfied --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, Ms. Korner, let's finish with this
20 witness first, because I don't think it's proper that we discuss these
21 things in his presence, in any case.
22 MS. KORNER: No. I -- Your Honour, I agree. But can I make it
23 absolutely clear there is no question, as Mr. Ackerman says, of this
24 witness being kept here on Wednesday. This witness has given up a lot of
25 time to come and assist the Court. He has said that he has to be back for
1 that and he won't be here, if that's what the situation is.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: If necessary, he will come again. I mean, it won't
3 be the first time.
4 But anyway, let's finish with this witness. Re-examination,
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Nicholls:
8 Q. Mr. Biscevic, Defence counsel for General Talic read out an
9 additional part of the radio -- the tape-recording transcript and asked
10 you whether or not you had read the portion attributed to you and you said
11 that you did not. I'd like to read you the following section. This is on
12 page 10 of the English translation.
13 It begins at the top: "Female voice: We have received
14 information on seized and returned weapons from Husmovci settlement. A
15 successful operation by the 6th Krajina Brigade and the operative efforts
16 of the Sanski Most public security station on 26, 27, and 28 May of this
17 year have resulted in the seizure of illegally owned weapons and a large
18 amount of ammunition," and it continues.
19 Is that -- did you hear any broadcast of this type which referred
20 specifically to the involvement of the 6th Krajina Brigade in disarming
21 the population of Sanski Most?
22 A. Nothing in particular. No, I didn't hear it. They had their
23 plan. For each particular area they would designate a military officer
24 with a truck. A date and time would be given for collecting the weapons.
25 And how it was actually done, I don't know.
1 Q. Okay. And very briefly when you refer to "they" in the answer
2 you've just given, who are you speaking about? "They had their plan."
3 A. The 6th Krajina Brigade and the JNA.
4 Q. Thank you. You were also questioned and asked about who was
5 guarding you when you were in the MUP, and you confirmed that it was
6 police. Just to clarify, did you not also say yesterday that soldiers in
7 uniform would enter the MUP and beat you and other prisoners there?
8 A. Yes, correct. It was customary, because working hours were until
9 2.00 p.m. There was a joint building shared by the police and the army.
10 Then the officer on duty who had the key, they would give the keys to the
11 soldiers. They would unlock it and do what they wanted. That was a daily
12 occurrence in the afternoons and the evenings.
13 Q. Now, counsel yesterday helped you refresh your recollection on
14 some dates. And he showed you Prosecutor's Exhibit P608 and P609. Both
15 of these -- P608 is an order signed by General Talic on the 1st of April,
16 1992. P609 is a regular combat report, signed on the 2nd of April, 1992.
17 And both of those documents contain instructions for the 6th Krajina
18 Brigade to go to Sanski Most and prevent inter-ethnic conflict.
19 P608, the order, also states that the 6th Brigade is to establish
20 full cooperation with the organs of government in Sanski Most municipality
21 in collaboration with the TO and Territorial Defence units and the
22 police. And that was used to show you that the arrival of Basara and the
23 6th Brigade would have been around the first week of April. At that time
24 Mr. -- it was after that point, then, that Colonel Basara assured you as a
25 representative of the Muslim community and the SDA that the army was there
1 to guarantee peace and prevent war; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Then on the 19th of April - you were refreshed on that date or
4 around that date - was the crisis at the municipality building when the
5 non-Serbs were forced out. And you were asked questions about how the
6 following day Mr. -- General Talic arrived by helicopter. And again you
7 weren't at that meeting but you heard that he guaranteed peace and
8 security and that there would not be war between different ethnic groups.
9 Is that right?
10 A. Everything was like that. One thing was said and action was
11 something quite different.
12 Q. And then about five weeks after that was the civilian order
13 broadcast over the radio for people in your town, in your community, in
14 Sanski Most, to turn over weapons. And those weapons were turned over to
15 military officials at checkpoints; is that correct?
16 A. Only Muslims and Croats. The Serbs didn't have that obligation.
17 Q. And on the 26th of May, shelling of Sanski Most began. Who was
18 shelling Sanski Most?
19 A. The Yugoslav People's Army from the surrounding hills.
20 Q. They were shelling Muslim and Croat neighbourhoods only; correct?
21 A. All Serbian houses are standing. The Muslim houses were
23 Q. So it's fair to say that Branko Basara did not keep his promise to
24 the Muslim and Croat people.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: He's already stated that.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Far from it.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour. But this has been brought up
3 again. These statements have been shown. There's been the implication
4 that there were these orders to prevent inter-ethnic conflict, and I think
5 he should be given a full opportunity to explain what he thinks these
6 orders were really about, these promises, what the motive for them was.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Go ahead.
8 MR. NICHOLLS:
9 Q. And you said also that - I think it was on the first day - that
10 when you first heard these guarantees from the JNA that you were -- and
11 the Muslim and Croat people were happy because you thought there might be
12 a chance that the army would fulfil its promise and prevent war between
13 the different ethnicities; isn't that right?
14 A. That was our only salvation. The Yugoslav People's Army should
15 have been a guarantor of peace.
16 Q. Now, as His Honour said yesterday, you're an educated man, you're
17 a professional man. You were there, and you lived through all this. In
18 your opinion, what was the purpose of these guarantees made to you by
19 Branko Basara and General Talic that you could rely on them to protect you
20 and prevent inter-ethnic conflict?
21 A. To mislead us so that they would be able to elaborate the plan
22 they had in mind at peace. If -- but that is true. I would ask the Court
23 once again as these are just two pages covering the chronology of events
24 in the municipality of Sanski Most, that it should be read out so that we
25 can see that there was a plan behind it with specific stages that followed
1 one another in order.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: I have no further questions, Your Honour. And I
3 think he should be allowed to make a statement at the end if he wishes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Is there any objection on
5 the part of the Defence?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if -- if the witness is to use a
7 certain -- certain notes concerning certain issues, then we are, of
8 course, entitled to have that beforehand and cross-examine him on that. I
9 don't really see any particular reason --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, he's making -- going to make a statement.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Going to make a statement.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes. He can make a statement but without consulting
14 his notes. Because in that case, we will be --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: No. But if he has a pre-prepared statement, which
16 he wants to read, I see no problem in -- in not -- allowing to do so. And
17 then obviously we'll have -- he will make it now, and if you have any
18 questions you would like to ask afterwards, I will give you the
20 Go ahead, please. Go ahead. You can read out this statement or
21 make your statement. Please be as short as you can. Thank you.
22 And we'll have the break immediately after.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The chronology of events in Sana.
24 On the 14th of March 1992, the 6th Krajina Brigade arrived with
25 Basara Brana as commander.
1 On the 14th of April, 1992 the Serbian municipality of Sanski Most
2 was proclaimed and a Crisis Staff was formed. For control in the Crisis
3 Staff, Rasula Nedeljko, Vrkes Vlado, Vrucinic Mirko, Basara Branko, Anicic
4 Nedeljko, Lukic Slobodan, Savanovic Boro, Banjac Bosko, Tadic Boro,
5 Tripkovic Nemanja, Davidovic Nenad, Ergarac Dane, Jaglica Nebojsa, Delic
6 Tomo, Krunic Mico and others were appointed.
7 On the 17th of April, 1992 workers, Muslims and Croats, were
8 chased out of the MUP. Nedeljko Rasula was in charge of this action.
9 On the 19th of April, the Crisis Staff was formed consisting of
10 SOS, SDS, and the 6th Krajina Brigade of Basara's -- no. Basara commanded
11 this operation of formation of this staff. That is when executives,
12 Muslims and Catholics, were chased out of the social accounting service,
13 the court, the prosecutor's office, the radio station, the public utility
14 company, Famos, the hospital, educational institutions, and the municipal
16 On the 15th of May, 1992 all employed were fired, a curfew was
17 introduced, patrols by the military police and the 6th Krajina Brigade,
18 instruction at school was suspended.
19 On the 22nd of May, 1992 a general mobilisation of Serbs was
20 proclaimed. Vlado Vrkes was in charge, as well as Boro Savanovic and Boro
22 On the 25th of May, 1992 by orders of the Crisis Staff
23 paramilitary units and the police arrest us, the leaders. They declare us
24 to be Alija's fighters, Mujahedins, the worst extremists. In addition to
25 us, other more -- men of repute in Sanski Most were arrested. We were
1 taken to the prison at the Betonirka, the Hasan Kikic school, the Krings
3 On the 26th of May in the evening paramilitary forces by decision
4 of the Crisis Staff and the SDS carry out an armed attack on the town,
5 shelling of the Muslim part of town Otoke, Muhici, and Gornja Mahala.
6 On the 27th of May, I was taken away as well. In the course of
7 the day of the 27th of May, there was evacuation and the beginning of
8 systematic looting and burning of Otoke, Muhici, and Mahala. The people
9 were gathered at the exercise grounds in Krkojevci. 43 victims were
10 killed, women, children, and men, in Muhici and Mahala. Those victims
11 several days later were collected and their bodies buried in a mass grave
12 at Greda.
13 On the 6th of June, 1992 by orders of the Crisis Staff the first
14 group was taken to Manjaca. And from then on in certain time periods a
15 total of some 1.500 men were taken to Manjaca. The transport was carried
16 out in -- escorted by Serbian policemen upon instructions of Drago
18 That is all that I wrote down, and I allow this copy of mine to be
19 photocopied -- this document to be photocopied.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We'll have a break now.
21 Please, Mr. Biscevic, make that -- that block of notes available
22 to the usher, who will make photocopies of it.
23 Yes. He needs to come back because I want to know if there are
24 any questions forthcoming and -- unfortunately.
25 In the meantime, please Ms. Korner, Mr. Ackerman, and Mr. Zecevic,
1 try to utilise the next 20, 30 minutes --
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm going to talk to Defence.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: -- because --
4 MS. KORNER: Yes. I agree, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We need to find -- we need to find a solution.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Otherwise I will have to impose a solution, which
8 both of you will not like. I mean, as simple as that.
9 MS. KORNER: At least that would be evenhanded, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Break for 30 minutes.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.46 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.23 a.m.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry for the delay, but we had a minor mishap. It
14 was minor.
15 MS. KORNER: Well, Ms. Sutherland informed me this morning she'd
16 upset a whole pot of coffee over her desk, so I hope it wasn't as bad as
18 Your Honours, we have spoken --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 MS. KORNER: -- and the Prosecution, as ever, has given in to this
21 extent --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a question of size.
23 MS. KORNER: Yes, may be. Your Honour, I just hope that for
24 future we can try and perhaps be a bit more agreeable on these matters,
25 but anyhow, the agreement reached, subject to Your Honours' approval is
1 this: that Mr. Ackerman, as he wishes to see Mr. Brdjanin tomorrow morning
2 between 10.00, that will remain. We'd ask if Your Honours were to sit at
3 12.00 to start. Ms. Richterova, then depending on where she gets with her
4 witnesses today, will complete those two witnesses, and then we'll deal
5 with Charles McLeod. I would hope enough time being left that he can
6 complete his evidence in chief. I'm pretty certain he can. And, Your
7 Honour, then on Monday, cross-examination will take place in the
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's go step-by-step. Tomorrow, you're
10 suggesting that we commence at 12.00 noon.
11 MS. KORNER: Yes, if that is agreeable to Your Honours.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but before -- do we have a courtroom available
13 at 12.00?
14 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. The Courtroom I will be available between
15 12.00 to 3.00.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: That will mean sitting from 12.00 noon to what time?
17 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry? Well, Your Honour, I'd ask the Court --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: You have to advise me on this, because --
19 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour. From 12.00 until 6.30, the normal
20 time, but just with two more breaks. A break for lunch, obviously.
21 THE REGISTRAR: So we can move between Courtroom I and
22 Courtroom II.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But that's -- for me that is not a big
24 problem. I mean, it's not a problem at all moving from one courtroom to
25 another. But I still have to have the time.
1 It's 12.00 noon until what time first before we break?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Just wait a minute.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Everything is confused. I don't know how this
5 happened, but my understanding of the agreement that I just made with
6 Ms. Korner was this: That we were going to meet the entire day tomorrow,
7 that I would --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I just heard her say that she wants to honour your
9 commitment to --
10 MR. ACKERMAN: No. That commitment --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: -- with Mr. Brdjanin.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: No. That commitment only has to do with meeting
13 with him after he hears the tapes of the transcripts, which won't be
14 available. So he can't hear them by tomorrow morning at 10.00.
15 Therefore, it makes no sense for me to meet with him tomorrow morning at
16 10.00. It makes sense for me to meet with him Monday morning at 10.00,
17 after he's had a chance to hear the tapes over the weekend, which is what
18 my understanding was of what we were going to do. And so we can meet all
19 day tomorrow, as far as I'm concerned, and finish up the two witnesses
20 Ms. Richterova has plus the direct examination of Ms. Korner's witness,
21 and then the cross-examination would be at the normal time Monday
22 afternoon, and I think we can finish the cross-examination on Monday and
23 that solves all the problems, and that was my understanding. I don't need
24 to meet with Brdjanin tomorrow. I need to meet with him Monday.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes --
1 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I understand that; in which case
2 one -- we could sit -- I mean, I need to meet with Mr. McLeod, who's not
3 arriving until this evening, as I said yesterday. But if we could -- I
4 think if we could sit 10.00, then sit through until -- it may be I'll be
5 finished at -- in fact we sit at 9.00 or 9.30, and then it may well be
6 that if Your Honour feels --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me make myself clear. I still have to look
8 right and left, because obviously, I mean, we haven't even started
9 consulting amongst one another yet.
10 MS. KORNER: Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: But I would imagine that on the basis of past
12 experience that there shouldn't be any problems.
13 However, let's start. Are you suggesting that we start at 10.00,
15 MS. KORNER: Yes. For Ms. Richterova to finish.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
17 MS. KORNER: And then --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I need to know exactly what time we would break
19 after that. That would be 11.30?
20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: For half an hour, resuming at 12.00 noon and
22 finishing at 1.30. Then we would have a break of...?
23 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour will obviously want, I imagine, a
24 bit more for the luncheon adjournment. So if we said we sat again at
1 JUDGE AGIUS: 2.30.
2 MS. KORNER: And depending on where we've got to --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
4 MS. KORNER: -- we may need to move courts after that, but I would
5 hope not.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: 2.30 and --
7 MS. KORNER: And --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And that would mean sitting till 4.00?
9 MS. KORNER: Yes. Although, I heard --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: So basically we're talking of an hour and a half
11 here, another hour and a half here. That's three hours. And that's
12 another hour and a half here. Four and a half hours, I think that should
13 be plenty for one day. I wouldn't like -- even if you want to shorten it
14 by quarter of an hour, I would be prepared to do that.
15 MS. KORNER: Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean, it's -- okay. So tentatively first
17 proposition: 10.00 a.m. to 11.30, 12.00 to 1.30, 2.30 to 4.00 p.m.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that agreeable to the two Defence teams?
20 Okay. So tomorrow that will be the time schedule.
21 Madam Registrar, you're tasked with informing the parties -- the
22 times are established but the courtrooms are not, so please -- Courtroom I
23 to start with.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exactly. Just the last one, from 2.30 to 4.00,
25 we'll be sitting in Courtroom II.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: In Courtroom II. Okay.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So that seems to be the arrangement: Courtroom I
4 until 1.30 and Courtroom II for the last -- the third and final session.
5 MS. KORNER: Yes. Can I -- and there's one -- I've spoken to
6 Mr. Ackerman and I've asked if it's possible that both sets of
7 cross-examination could be completed on the Monday session in the
8 afternoon. At the moment my intention is that he will start in Stakic
9 then only on the Tuesday morning. But it may well be, because I haven't
10 had a chance to address Judge Schomburg, that he may want him to start his
11 examination-in-chief on the Monday before he's finished in this court. In
12 that event, I'm taking it from what was raised earlier there's no
13 objection, although it's a highly undesirable way of proceeding.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. But I interfere as little as I can in
15 these things, as you may have gathered. But --
16 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: I --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I can't force anyone to tell me beforehand either --
19 MR. ACKERMAN: No objection to what? I don't --
20 MS. KORNER: It's Mr. Ackerman's original suggestion that
21 Mr. McLeod should start his examination-in-chief in the Stakic case before
22 he's being cross-examined in this case. I hope that's not going to
23 happen, but it may well be that's what has to happen.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I don't have any objection to that
25 happening. I think, you know -- I am certain that he is a very busy man,
1 and I think his time here should be utilised to the fullest if possible.
2 So I don't have an objection to his spending some time in Stakic in the
3 midst of what we're doing here.
4 MS. KORNER: Whether he can do it is another matter, but
5 anyhow ...
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So anyway, we'll start from that.
7 So the understanding as far as tomorrow is concerned, it's all
8 clear. And then Monday we'll reassess the situation obviously, and we
9 will do our -- our level best to finish with the witness so that -- we'll
10 try anyway.
11 MS. KORNER: Yes. Thank you very much, Your Honour. Thank you
12 very much, Your Honour --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Ms. Korner.
14 MS. KORNER: -- Your Honours.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Zecevic, are you sure you want to put questions
16 to the witness on the statement that he read or ...?
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, Your Honours. Actually, I have five questions
18 for him.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And Mr. Ackerman -- or Mr. Trbojevic, do you
20 want to put questions to the witness?
21 MR. TRBOJEVIC: [Interpretation] No, thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, do you intend to put questions to
24 MR. NICHOLLS: No, Your Honour. My only suggestion would be, I
25 think, if these -- if his statement is treated as evidence, of course --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: No. It's not going to -- I'm not going to treat it
2 as evidence.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, in that case, I --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not going to treat it as evidence.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: In that case, I don't honestly see the need. I've
6 put all my questions to him. They put all their questions to him. The
7 Chamber allowed him to make his statement, which is not evidence. You're
8 not a lay jury. If it's not treated as evidence, I don't see --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I mean, I have no intention of
10 admitting this as evidence. Obviously you have a copy of it. If there is
11 a request from one of you to have it admitted as evidence, we will
12 consider it. But frankly, I mean, it's -- I don't ...
13 MR. ZECEVIC: If I may, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not trying to stop you, Mr. Zecevic.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: I'm sorry?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not trying to stop you.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Oh, I know that you're not trying to stop me. And
18 the point is that his statement is on the transcript, so we have now a
19 couple -- this is not the statement. These are the facts, the dates, the
20 actual names of the people. That is why --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Bring the witness in again, please.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: I mean, this is going to be considered anyhow.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. But my invitation to you was to pre-assess
24 where this could -- where you could get with these five questions, whether
25 it's going to change anything or --
1 MR. ZECEVIC: No. I know it's --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Just as much as his extra statement, whether it has
3 changed anything or not from his previous testimony.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: My point, Your Honour, if I may, is that if the
5 statement which he read at the end after I was through with my redirect
6 examination, if that's not evidence, there's no point in him questioning.
7 The answers won't be evidence --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: He made a statement in open court. That -- he made
9 a statement. And what's not going to be evidence is this -- these notes
10 which I suppose include also the version -- the written version or the
11 prepared statement that he read from. I mean, I don't -- I don't need it.
12 MR. NICHOLLS: My only --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: He made a statement verbally.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: My only suggestion was that his statement made here
15 be treated as just a statement made - it wasn't a response to
16 questioning - and that it not be considered in your deliberations either
18 MR. ZECEVIC: But Your Honours, with all due respect, this
19 statement was made in the open court.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You have every right to question him, Mr. Zecevic.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, of course. And that is why -- and the witness
22 has provided with new information --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: That has been pointed out. Yeah, especially as
24 regards date, because you put questions to him during your
25 cross-examination regarding the dates and it's obvious that you are not
2 Try to be as short -- concise as you can so that we get it over
3 and done with.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Biscevic, as a result of you reading
6 your -- your reading of that short statement that you made, Mr. Zecevic
7 has got a few questions to -- additional questions to put to you, so
8 please listen to what he needs to question you about and give us a short
9 answer. Thank you.
10 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 Further cross-examination by Mr. Zecevic:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Biscevic, just a few questions for
13 clarification in connection with this statement of yours. In your
14 statement, you repeated that the arrival of the 6th Krajina Brigade
15 occurred on the 14th of March. And yesterday I thought we had agreed that
16 it was on the 3rd of April.
17 A. I read out what I had noted down. And we agreed you are probably
18 right. I will not dispute the dates.
19 Q. Tell me, in your statement you mentioned -- I think on page 44 of
20 the transcript - I don't want to waste time by quoting you - you mentioned
21 members of the Crisis Staff, I think.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In your statement to the investigators of the Prosecution in 1997
24 and 1999, on page 00838012, second paragraph of the English version, you
25 said the following. And I'll quote you in English: [In English]
1 [Previous translation continues] ... "the Crisis Staff as the authority
2 they had to consult but never specifically stated who were the members of
3 the Crisis Staff. At that time I did not know who were the members of the
4 Serb Crisis Staff in Sanski Most."
5 [Interpretation] Did you make that statement?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. This statement that you made today was based on what? When you
8 listed members of the Crisis Staff when in your statement to the
9 investigator, you explicitly said that you didn't know who were members of
10 the Crisis Staff.
11 A. These are my notes that I took down every day on the basis of my
13 Q. Does that mean that you learnt about these facts as to who were
14 members of the Crisis Staff after 1999?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So I assume someone told you.
17 A. Yes, in contact with others.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Excuse me, Your Honours, these questions could have
19 been asked on his original cross-examination. They're all based on this
20 statement. It's got nothing to --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we'll finish earlier if you let Mr. Zecevic
23 finish with his five questions. I think you have already put four.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I have two or three more, Your Honours.
25 Q. [Interpretation] In your statement today, you said that on the
1 19th of April, the Crisis Staff was formed by the SDS, SOS, and the 6th
2 Brigade, didn't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So this is some other Crisis Staff, if I understand you
6 A. These are my notes.
7 Q. So this, too, is something you learnt after 1999.
8 A. These are my notes that I work on on a daily basis.
9 Q. Today -- or, rather, yesterday and today, you repeated that on the
10 20th of April -- that it is true that on the 20th of April, according to
11 what you know, General Talic came to the meeting, and that on that
12 occasion he said to Mr. Kurbegovic that what had been done in Sanski Most
13 was wrong and that Rasula had done it on his own initiative. Is that
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Tell me, please, in your statement, you said that the mobilisation
17 took place on the 22nd of May and that it was organised by Vlado Vrkes,
18 Boro Savanovic, and Boro Tadic, didn't you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Vlado Vrkes was the President of the SDS, Boro Savanovic President
21 of the Club of Deputies, and Boro Tadic a member of the SDA, weren't
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. So not one of them was a military man.
25 A. They were civilians who later put on uniforms.
1 Q. Tell me one more thing. From your notes here, I can see that you
2 know Adil Draganovic, a Judge of the court in Sanski Most.
3 A. I know him very well.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: This you could have asked him before.
5 MR. ZECEVIC: Well --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I mean it's -- you don't need to see one's notes to
7 know -- and he told you that. He mentioned Adil Draganovic earlier. He
8 said that Adil Draganovic was in Manjaca. So he mentioned him already.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, this is just the information which we
10 got right now. This is new information.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Which information?
12 MR. ZECEVIC: That Draganovic Adil was the organiser of the SDA
13 party in Sanski Most. This is relevant information which we received.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So ask him the question.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Is it true that Adil Draganovic was the organiser --
17 MR. NICHOLLS: This isn't about the statement now that he made
18 just before he finished on his own. As you said, Adil Draganovic was
19 mentioned in his direct examination. There is -- I don't see any point in
20 asking questions about that.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think I'm going to stop you Mr. Zecevic.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, with all due respect, if I may say --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Because these notes, he made them available not
24 because he referred to them. He made them available because he wanted to
25 make them available. But I allowed you to question further the witness on
1 the basis of what he stated in his final statement and not beyond that,
2 not beyond that.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: I understand, Your Honours, but with all due
4 respect, we have found a piece of information right now.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but that's your problem. That's your problem.
6 Ask some other witness, not him. With this witness, you can ask him with
7 regard to the statement that he made. In his final statement, he did not
8 mention Adil Draganovic.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further
10 questions. Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So, Mr. Biscevic, that brings us
12 to the end of your role here as a witness. On behalf of the other two
13 Judges and the Tribunal, I would like to thank you for having come here to
14 give evidence. You will now be escorted by the usher, and you will be
15 given all the assistance you require to return to your home. I thank you
16 once more, and you may now withdraw. Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much and good-bye.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And have a safe journey.
19 Next witness. We'll give the usher a chance to escort the first
20 witness out.
21 MS. RICHTEROVA: This witness is in closed session.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The witness is in closed session, so we will
23 go --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The next witness, BT14, is in closed session. So we
1 will wait for the usher to come forward and prepare the courtroom for a
2 closed session, according to the Rules.
3 [Closed session]
13 Pages 7201-7238 – redacted – closed session
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
12 at 1.42 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
13 the 21st day of June, 2002, at 10.00 a.m.