1 Monday, 24 June 2002
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.29 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Please call the case, Madam Registrar.
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.
9 Mr. Brdjanin, good afternoon to you. Can you hear me in a
10 language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED BRDJANIN: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your
12 Honours. I can hear you and I understand.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. You may sit down.
14 General Talic, good afternoon to you. Can you hear me in a
15 language that you can understand?
16 THE ACCUSED TALIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
17 I can hear you and I understand you.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
19 Appearances for the Prosecution.
20 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner, Andrew Cayley, assisted by Lise-Lotte
21 Karlsson this afternoon. Good afternoon; Your Honours.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Ms. Korner.
23 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman
25 with my co-counsel Milan Trbojevic and Marela Jevtovic.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Ackerman.
2 Appearances for General Talic.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Slobodan Zecevic and
4 Natasha Ivanovic-Fauveau for General Talic.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you.
6 I understand there are some preliminaries. Yes, Ms. Korner.
7 MS. KORNER: First of all, Your Honour. Mr. McLeod did work over
8 the weekend --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. That's good.
10 MS. KORNER: And can I hand to Your Honours -- or have you already
11 been handed it?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: No.
13 MS. KORNER: His revised typed version based on his own reading of
14 the notes. The Defence have just got it. And there's one for the
15 registry as well. And if necessary, if the interpreters require it, we
16 can hand out copies. That's it.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, there has been one more glitch, I'm
19 afraid, in the witnesses. Witness number 33 on the list.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MS. KORNER: With the number 7.119.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: 7.119.
23 MS. KORNER: Who was due to testify one --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One after the next, yeah.
25 MS. KORNER: When he was contacted by VWS he told them that he'd
1 just got a job after a very long time of being unemployed to start this
2 Monday and asked if his testimony could be put back. So we said it
3 could. I don't think it matters much. We estimate we have enough to fill
4 up the rest of the week anyhow because --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the important thing.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes, I do.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: And please keep in mind that this week we are not
8 sitting on Friday.
9 MS. KORNER: Yes, that's right. Exactly. So we've got two more
10 witnesses lined up for this week, and we estimate that number 34, 7.59,
11 will take a little time.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Okay. So actually we're talking of 7.112.
13 MS. KORNER: 7.112 either -- later this afternoon or tomorrow.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And then followed by 7.59.
15 MS. KORNER: That's right.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: That's perfect.
17 MS. KORNER: And can I just tell Your Honours in advance that 7.59
18 does have medical problems. He was the one we were worried about. But
19 he's attended. But just to forewarn Your Honour that there may be ...
20 JUDGE AGIUS: But it's good to forewarn us, definitely. I think
21 what we ought to do is -- Madam Registrar, I don't know what the practice
22 has been so far, whether it's the Prosecution that does this or whether
23 it's the Registry, to alert the Victims and Witnesses Section to be on
24 standby, should there be an emergency. I mean, that's very important.
25 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, it's a long-standing illness, but
1 he's been receiving treatment for it recently and I'm just alerting the
2 Court of it.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Ms. Korner. And when I say to be
4 alerted, to remain on standby, it doesn't mean only while he's giving
6 MS. KORNER: No. Afterwards --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: While -- during his entire stay here in The Hague.
8 MS. KORNER: Yes.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay?
10 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.
12 Mr. Ackerman or any preliminaries? There is a couple of things
13 that I need to mention.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the -- the proposed schedule.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: From now to the end of the year either prepared and
17 presented to the Prosecutor. They will obviously go through it in good
18 time, and it will be in your hands by the middle of the week I'm sure.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And also I'll try to communicate to
20 you one particular week where we need a couple of days.
21 MS. KORNER: Well, I was going to ask -- if Your Honour would
22 assist, it would help us by simply letting us know what days you, as the
23 Trial Chamber, won't be sitting. That would help.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Exactly. I mean, I personally need to be
25 away -- I need to be in Malta on the 16th of November for sure. So that's
1 16th of November is a Saturday, I think.
2 MS. KORNER: Saturday. Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: So I need to be in Malta one or two days before
4 that. That's the only --
5 MS. KORNER: I think Your Honour, that would help. And if we
6 could know in advance also what days are set aside for court maintenance
7 or plenaries or things like that.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I have asked my secretary to inquire into that.
9 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: It seems to be alternating -- seems to be a
11 practice they alternate one courtroom after another one Friday and then
12 it's one other Friday in a month which is skipped entirely. So that's --
13 but she's going to find out for me.
14 MS. KORNER: The trouble is we seem to move courtrooms and then
15 move into the courtroom that has maintenance.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I can assure you it's -- I have nothing to do with
18 MS. KORNER: I know. It's just unfortunate. Thank you very much,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
21 Now, there are just a couple of minor things that I needed to
22 bring to your attention, and one is due to the fact that we have six
23 trials ongoing on any given day here and some of us have got either Status
24 Conferences to attend to or Pre-Trial Conferences or whatever.
25 Unfortunately on the 23rd of next month, of -- the 23rd of next month, on
1 July, in other words, which will be a Tuesday - yeah - I will be holding a
2 Status Conference and I have to hold it at 2.15 p.m. In other words, we
3 will have to take one hour from Brdjanin and Talic on that particular day
4 in order to be able to sit.
5 MS. KORNER: I think we're in the mornings.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: No. We are in the afternoon. In July, we are in
7 the afternoon as well.
8 MS. KORNER: Oh, are we? All right. I thought we were switching
9 to the mornings --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I hope. I hope we could.
11 MS. KORNER: Thought I saw on the list that we were back to a
12 morning sitting, but I may be wrong on that. In July.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No. I haven't got the July one here, but --
14 MR. ACKERMAN: I have it and it shows afternoons. It shows a
15 sitting at 2.15 on July 23rd in Courtroom III.
16 MS. KORNER: All right.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I just -- I was in duty bound to alert you to this.
18 I do not expect that Status Conference to last long, also because
19 practically all that needed to be discussed has been already discussed.
20 And it's only a question of a decision pending which will follow hopefully
21 within a week after that. But we will probably need to take one hour from
22 Brdjanin and Talic, and I'm also informed that we would need -- if it's
23 broadcast, if the Status Conference is broadcast, we need an extra 30
24 minutes then for the room to be prepared. So if there are any changes, I
25 will let you know.
1 The other thing is my attention has been drawn to something that
2 goes back in time to about a month and a half if not two ago. And you
3 will recall, Ms. Korner, that you had made a -- an oral motion regarding
4 filing of -- under Rule 92 bis of statements.
5 MS. KORNER: Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Made by 7.139 that has been superseded because 7.139
7 gave evidence last week, and 7.35, who is a witness related to Prijedor.
8 7.139 was the witness who gave evidence last week --
9 MS. KORNER: Oh, yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Re the garage --
11 MS. KORNER: Yes., I remember.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Massacre.
13 MS. KORNER: Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: The other one is 7.35. And Madam Fauveau had filed
15 a -- a response to that --
16 MS. KORNER: I'm just trying to think why it would be Prijedor,
17 Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It was Prijedor. 7.139 was definitely Prijedor.
19 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. I don't have the motion with me. But I
20 would be surprised because --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: 7.35. Not -- sorry. 7.35.
22 MS. KORNER: Relating to this municipality, Your Honour?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: No. I think it related to Prijedor, if I am not
24 mistaken, because the occasion was that this witness was -- I think he has
25 already given evidence in the Stakic case. And the idea was that he would
1 give evidence in this case --
2 MS. KORNER: Oh, yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: But then something cropped up. He refused to stay
4 here and give evidence or something like that.
5 MS. KORNER: That's right. It's coming back to me now, Your
6 Honour. Yes.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You had suggested that we could postpone -- postpone
8 this, and in the meantime there was the suggestion of filing his testimony
9 under -- under the -- either his testimony or his statement under 92 bis.
10 MS. KORNER: His testimony, yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, I think so.
12 MS. KORNER: Yes.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And actually, I had even prepared a draft decision,
14 which is still somewhere in my -- in my -- on my hard disk. But then
15 that's because in anticipation of his coming over while he was giving --
16 to give evidence while he was giving evidence in the Stakic case. But
17 what I had prepared was entirely restricted to his statement, not to his
18 testimony. Then we --
19 MS. KORNER: I think, Your Honour, can we say obviously Prijedor
20 we anticipate should start with all the gaps and dates and delays but
21 sometime in September, and we'll be filing a separate motion. Your
22 Honour, in fact we should be filing this afternoon the -- if I get away to
23 sign it or read it, the Rule 92 motion in respect of the witnesses for
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MS. KORNER: And I think we'll do another separate one for
2 Prijedor. And if you could leave that witness till then.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Exactly. But the reason why I'm raising this
4 issue is that there is already a reply from Madam Fauveau. And basically
5 unless the -- there is something new coming, we would need to decide on
6 this, unless you tell us that this witness will be coming over to give
7 evidence, if you can convince him to give evidence.
8 MS. KORNER: No. And once more, I don't think --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: This is the witness, if you remember, that has
10 written books or whatever.
11 MS. KORNER: That's the one, yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, firstly, it was done on the basis of --
14 I think you're right -- of his statement, and it won't be the statement
15 we're seeking to tender it will be the transcript.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 MS. KORNER: So it seems to me that -- and Your Honour, it may
18 well be that in order to have his evidence admitted, we'd have to do some
19 editing of the transcript from some of the things he said. So I think it
20 would be better if Your Honour were just to regard our original motion as
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
23 MS. KORNER: And we'll refile at a convenient time.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: More or less that puts Madam Fauveau --
25 MS. KORNER: Yeah.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: -- in a situation where she knows where she stands.
2 I'm addressing Madam Fauveau and not you because this is something that
3 she dealt with.
4 Yes, Madam Fauveau.
5 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no objections to
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 The other thing -- one moment. One other thing is -- but you did
9 mention it now. I was going to remind you today if you had intentions
10 with regard to 92 because of the 21-day period limitation that we had
11 established previously. Okay.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, yes. I'm aware of that.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: So please keep that in mind.
14 MS. KORNER: It may not get filed this afternoon, because I've
15 been in court all day, but it will get filed tomorrow at the latest.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Ms. Korner.
17 Mr. Ackerman.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I need to take us into private session
19 for just a moment and tell you --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: -- something in the role of messenger basically.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's go into private session, please,
23 Madam Registrar.
24 [Private session]
13 Page 7354 – redacted – private session
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Who's going first? Mr. Ackerman.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. McLeod.
1 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, sir.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry for keeping you waiting, but we had some
3 preliminaries -- procedural preliminaries that we had to attend to. So
4 please accept the apologies of the Trial Chamber.
5 Could I ask you to proceed with repeating the solemn declaration
6 that you entered last Friday, please.
7 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
8 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: CHARLES MCLEOD [Resumed]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. You're now going to
11 be cross-examined by the first of the two Defence teams, and that's
12 Mr. John Ackerman for Radoslav Brdjanin.
13 Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Ackerman:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. McLeod.
17 A. Good afternoon, sir.
18 Q. One thing I learned over the weekend is you've been through this a
19 number of times, and so I don't think you require much instruction from me
20 with regard to what this is all about, in terms of cross-examination.
21 I want to just go into your background for just a second and very
22 briefly. How long were you in the British army?
23 A. Ten years.
24 Q. And you didn't tell us why you left the army. Can you tell us
1 A. I resigned my position because I was working in Northern Ireland
2 and realised that the issues that we were dealing with there were more
3 political than military and therefore perhaps I'd be better off doing
4 something else.
5 Q. That's direct. Thank you.
6 I've gone through in some detail the reports that you wrote about
7 your trips to Northern Bosnia and the ones we discussed during your direct
8 examination here, and what I'd like to know is if you have a fully
9 independent recollection of the matters that are described in those
10 reports or if you can remember those things in the detail you do simply
11 because you have the reports that you can refer to and your notes.
12 A. It depends how much detail you want to go down to. I can
13 certainly remember making the trips. I can remember most of what I saw.
14 If you want a verbatim understanding of what was going on in each of the
15 conversations, I certainly can't remember that ten years later.
16 Q. Yeah. Conversation details would certainly be difficult if you
17 didn't have the notes.
18 A. Certainly.
19 Q. Okay. You have referred to various people you talked to, Predrag
20 Radic, the gentleman you spoke to in Bosanska Gradiska, and Mr. Stakic. I
21 think you've referred to them all as mayors. In fact, in -- in the
22 government system that was in effect in that area at the time, they were
23 actually presidents of municipalities, weren't they?
24 A. I think that we understood that they were mayors. If there's a
25 difference, then I'm sure there are other people who can sort that out.
1 But they were the individuals that we were speaking to.
2 Q. All right. In your mind, you remember speaking to mayors;
4 A. In my mind, I was speaking to the people who were responsible for
5 those areas, be they governors of municipalities or mayors.
6 Q. Okay. That fair.
7 I'd like to go first to your very first meeting in Banja Luka with
8 Mr. Radic. I think that's Exhibit P841.1, and it's the meeting of 23
9 August 1992. I think you have it there.
10 A. I do, yes.
11 Q. Why was the choice made to speak with Mr. Radic? Do you know the
12 answer to that?
13 A. He had been one of the main interlocutors that the ECMM had been
14 dealing with before they left Northern Bosnia and therefore he was the
15 first point of contact that ECMM wanted to go back to.
16 Q. Okay. So he was a known quantity to ECMM?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And was that -- was that contact with him made by you or --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Please. Would the counsel make a pause before
20 asking the question so the interpreters can catch up with you. Thank
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you for reminding me.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] Yes. But --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness did not have his earphones on. So the
1 interpreters are drawing attention to the fact that you're both English
2 speaking and therefore you just --
3 THE WITNESS: We need to slow down.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: You just follow question -- answer follows question
5 immediately and they're not having enough pause in between. So please
6 take care of that, because it -- it will cause unnecessary problems for
7 the interpreters.
8 Mr. Ackerman, please repeat your question.
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. Was that contact with Mr. Radic to set up that meeting made by you
11 or by someone else in the organisation?
12 A. That was made by somebody else.
13 Q. Do you know when it was that the initial contact was made and the
14 initial contacts with him were made?
15 A. I think that we have looked at earlier on the permissions, the
16 passes that were faxed back and forth, and so I think that would be the
17 record that I would go back to to understand when it was that we'd made
18 contact with them.
19 Q. I've not asked my question in a way that you could understand me,
20 so I'll try it again. You spoke about the reason he was the one that was
21 contacted was because on prior visits to Banja Luka, he had been the
22 contact person. And I'm wondering if you know when those prior visits
23 were, when the mission was actually operating there.
24 A. Without having specific dates, the mission had been operating in
25 Northern Bosnia up until the point when the conflict in Bosnia erupted and
1 the mission had then left. But I couldn't give you exact dates.
2 Q. Okay. All right. Back to this day of 23 August 1992, when you
3 met with Mr. Radic. He had an agenda and he spoke first, I take it, and
4 one of the things that he mentioned - and I think the first thing,
5 according to your report - was that he was concerned about Serb prisoners
6 being health in Rascani and no one being allowed to see them. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And he asked you to look into that matter.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, when you went back the second time, just a few days later on
11 the 25th of August - two days later, actually - you indicated to Mr. Radic
12 that ECMM had tasked a team to go to Rascani and actually look into the
13 matter that he'd requested that you look into; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Where is Rascani?
16 A. I don't know if we want to use this to identify it.
17 Q. You can use that if you'd like, yes. It might be helpful.
18 A. I don't think that this map identifies Tomislavgrad by that name,
19 because they were known by different names. Basically it's in the area in
20 South-West Bosnia, if that would do.
21 Q. What would be the nearest town that we would all recognise do you
23 A. Well, Tomislavgrad, if somebody knows the other name by which
24 Tomislavgrad is known by.
25 Q. Livno.
1 A. Livno. Okay. Thank you. So in the Livno area. And then Rascani
2 was further, I think, north-west from Livno.
3 Q. Can you find Livno on the map?
4 Okay. We've got a new name how about Duvno?
5 MS. KORNER: It might be quicker if counsel took a map and
6 identified it for the witness.
7 THE WITNESS: Okay. Well, I have Duvno. See if that is any use.
8 MR. ACKERMAN:
9 Q. I think we've found it. Right?
10 I see Livno. Right under your pen.
11 A. I can't see what I'm indicating, I'm afraid.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You're indicating Livno, Mr. McLeod.
13 MR. ACKERMAN:
14 Q. Okay. Is there any way to get the map in a little better focus, I
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And he is indicating Duvno now.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay. There we go.
18 Q. All right. And at the time that was called Tomislavgrad
19 apparently? After that. Okay.
20 All right. Thank you. Did a team actually go there?
21 A. I think on that occasion the team went into Tomislavgrad, and I
22 think on a subsequent occasion we actually put a team up into Rascani.
23 Q. And is Rascani a village or a -- a facility or what?
24 A. I understand it's a village.
25 Q. And there was a prison there or something?
1 A. I understand that the population was being held in the village, as
2 opposed to being held in a prison. But it was a village, and the village
3 was cut off.
4 Q. And the findings that were made by that team were reported to
5 Mr. Radic, I take it.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. There was also -- he also asked about as many as 2.000 Serbs that
8 were being held in a tunnel at Bradina. Do you know if a team ever
9 investigated that?
10 A. I can't remember. I think -- I think the ICRC were aware of it.
11 I'm not sure at this distance whether we actually had a team that went
13 Q. And did you ever learn about a place called Celebici?
14 A. The name is familiar.
15 Q. Okay. In your -- during your second meeting -- and I'm looking at
16 page 10 of your report, actually. The indication there is that you got
17 the impression that all of the talk from Mr. Radic about these Serb
18 prisoners was motivated by pressure from families trying to get
19 information regarding relatives or loved ones. Is that a fair statement?
20 A. I -- you're referring to my comment?
21 Q. I am.
22 A. I think it was fair to say that all the parties at whatever level
23 that you spoke to people were desperately keen to know what was happening
24 to people who were being held on each of the sides by each of the other
1 Q. Okay. Another concern that was expressed to you during that first
2 meeting by Mr. Radic was that aid was not being allowed to be flown into
3 Banja Luka. And what he said to you was the UN would not allow aid to be
4 flown into Banja Luka. Correct?
5 A. Could you point me in the right direction in my note, please.
6 Q. I will. It's on page 1, the last paragraph of your first report,
8 A. Yes. I think that you'll find -- I can't put my finger on it, but
9 I can certainly remember that further on during the conversations they
10 also make the point that the air space is not being made available by the
11 other two parties. So yes, I think he was making that point, but I think
12 they also make the point that the airport was functional but the other two
13 parties, either Croats and I guess the Muslims, weren't allowing them to
14 use the air space.
15 Q. Yes. That's also mentioned. You're right.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. When you spoke with Mr. Zupljanin, he also pleaded for your help
18 in getting the airport open, didn't he?
19 A. Yes. I think this was a common theme which came up with everybody
20 that we were talking to at that time.
21 Q. All right. Since you were trying to re-establish a mission there,
22 the thing that you were interested in was the freedom of movement that you
23 would have in the area of Banja Luka; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, in addition to these -- these two things we've discussed that
1 Mr. Radic raised with you, he also spoke about the problems of
2 electricity. Was there electricity in Banja Luka when you were there?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Zupljanin also mentioned to you when -- when he spoke about energy
5 problems that were existent in the area, didn't he?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. He talked about the water being shut off for most at day -- maybe
8 that was Radic -- the water being shut off for most of the day. Was there
9 water when you were there?
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. Did you have any problems with water any time you were there?
12 A. We certainly carried water in with us. I simply can't remember
13 turning a tap on and seeing whether there was a flow or not.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. I'm sorry.
16 Q. Where were you staying when you were in Banja Luka?
17 A. When we stayed overnight, we were in a hotel. I can't remember
18 the name of the hotel.
19 Q. Do you know if that hotel had a generator or if it relied upon the
20 power grid?
21 A. I can't remember.
22 Q. Was the hotel called the Golden Card?
23 A. I could take you back to Banja Luka and show you the hotel. But
24 at this time -- I simply can't remember what it was called.
25 Q. Okay. On page 8 of that first -- the report of that first
1 meeting, there was some talk about a press release. And Mayor Radic asked
2 you to change that press release to say that -- instead of being invited
3 by Mr. Radic, you had been invited by the prime minister. And you told
4 him that you could not do that; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And when he spoke of the prime minister, you understood, did you
7 not, that he was speaking of the prime minister of Republika Srpska?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And in your conclusions, you determined that the top priorities of
10 the people you spoke to were recognition - and when I say recognition, I
11 mean recognition of Republika Srpska as an independent entity - and
12 humanitarian aid for prisoners of wars, the refugees, and the population
13 as a whole.
14 A. Yes. Humanitarian aid for their PWs. So the Serbs who were being
15 held on the other side.
16 Q. Yeah. Well, that probably would also include prisoners of war
17 that were also being held that that area, wouldn't it?
18 A. I -- I think he was referring to the people in Rascani and so on.
19 Q. Okay. Exhibit 841.2 is a report of your second Banja Luka visit
20 on 25 August 1992, just two days later. I assume you left Banja Luka and
21 then returned.
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. When you returned and went to meet with Mr. Radic again, he asked
24 you immediately did you get permission from - and your report says - the
25 Bosanska Krajinan government for your visit. You told us though in your
1 testimony on Friday that he probably just said government and that you
2 would have been the one that added "Bosanska Krajina" as kind of an
3 assumption on your part. Correct?
4 A. I think if we go to my handwritten note, which would be quite
5 tedious, we'll see the word "government" which was my shorthand for the
6 Krajinan government. I think it was quite clear -- you can see a number
7 of exchanges where this comes up, that what he's trying to do is to get us
8 to recognise formally the government and we're having to dance around to
9 make sure that we don't formally recognise the government, because we were
10 not allowed to do so.
11 Q. But that government he was trying to get you to formally recognise
12 was the Republika Srpska government.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Yes. If you look at page 2 of the report -- it would be the third
15 paragraph, beginning with the word: "It depends." The last sentence --
16 and this paragraph is talking about a next meeting. The last sentence
17 says: "In the meantime, the HOM, which I understand means head of
18 mission, and Djeric can provide the authorisation for your visits. None
19 of us can make the decisions." Do you know who Djeric was?
20 A. I think -- I'm not certain on this point, but I think that he was
21 the Serb representative in Geneva. I'm sure you could find somebody else
22 who would recognise that.
23 Q. All right. And on page 6 -- the bottom of page 5 and the top of
24 page 6, Mr. Radic asked you if you could buy newspapers. He said that
25 they have difficulties with papers. And it has something to do with
1 different currencies and things. Could you explain that, tell me what
2 that's about.
3 A. I think -- I think that it was Barney who had asked Radic if we
4 could buy newspapers, and Radic was then explaining that they were having
5 difficulty getting hold of the paper with which to print the newspapers.
6 I think that's -- that's what that conversation was about.
7 Q. All right. But he talks about "You can't find a smaller area with
8 more different currencies in use." There apparently was some question
9 about which money was valid money at that point. Did you run across
11 A. Certainly. And so again each of the parties either was or was
12 alleging that the other was producing their own currency.
13 Q. Okay. The next report I want to visit with you about is your
14 report of 1 September 1992 and your meeting with Ivastanin Nebojsa, the
15 municipal president of Bosanska Gradiska. And that would be Exhibit
16 841.3, I believe. Is that correct?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, correct.
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. He identified their first problem as attacks [Realtime transcript
20 read in error "a tax"] coming from Croatia, didn't he?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you accept his report in that regard?
23 A. I think you could go back again to the UNPROFOR reporting at the
24 time, which would give far more detail than I can remember. But I
25 remember that there was an issue with the Croats going into UNPA North --
1 north? That would have been west. The UNPA just to the north of Gradiska
2 anyway. I think it's UNPA West. And attacking -- or shelling from there.
3 Q. Yeah.
4 A. But I can't remember the precise detail.
5 Q. Bosanska Gradiska is located on the Sava River, which is the
6 border between Croatia and Bosnia, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And how far is -- is Gradiska from Banja Luka? Do you know?
9 A. I can show you on the map without seeing where the scale is on the
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One --
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. Would you accept that it's about 50 kilometres?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
16 Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours -- Your Honours, there is a -- I
18 believe it's a mistake. 24, 17 -- 18. The attacks coming from Croatia.
19 It is in the transcript.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes. Yes. As a tax.
21 MR. ZECEVIC: I believe it is attacks and not a tax.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You are a hundred per cent right. You are a
23 hundred per cent right. Definitely it was -- I heard the interpreters
24 saying attacks coming from Croatia.
25 Thank you, Mr. Zecevic.
1 THE WITNESS: So counting on my map, I think it's 56 kilometres.
2 It's got a route -- on it.
3 MR. ACKERMAN:
4 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you. The next thing that he spoke about
5 after the attack from Croatia was a shortage of food, electricity, and
6 water. And in that connection, he spoke of the blockade. Do you know
7 what blockade he and other people were talk about?
8 A. Yes. Fundamentally there was a blockade of Serbia and beyond
9 that of all the Serb parts of both Croatia and Bosnia.
10 Q. So the effect of the blockade of Serbia on that part of Bosnia
11 which could no longer get supplies from Croatia or Sarajevo was to also
12 cut that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina off from any supply line.
13 A. Well, not exactly. And again, I think there are references to it
14 in here, to the fact that they had a very narrow corridor which they
15 established at the very north --
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. North-easten corner of Bosnia where they were able to get supplies
20 Q. But those supplies had to come from Serbia, which was subject to a
22 A. Certainly.
23 Q. Yes. And you do know that supplies from Croatia and Sarajevo had
24 been cut off, of course, because of the war.
25 A. In terms of normal commerce, yes.
1 Q. Yes. Now, if you look at paragraph 21, page 3 -- 21 and 22
2 actually. What Mr. Nebojsa told you was: "We wish to have our canton.
3 We think that the principle of self-determination should be accepted." Do
4 you know what he's talking about there?
5 A. Yes. One of the ideas which was being floated by the parties and
6 the International Community was that Bosnia should be divided into three
7 cantons, which would be autonomous regions within the overall country of
9 Q. And this is additional argument to some extent for the recognition
10 of -- of Republika Srpska or some part thereof as a -- a Serb canton. And
11 based on the international law principle of self-determination.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. And then he said to you, and you've reported this in
14 paragraph 27: "So the best solution would be within the boundaries that
15 each of these groups organise their lives as well as they can and then the
16 process of integration happens in a natural way. In this way the wounds
17 are healed." That's as close as you could recall to his actual words to
18 you; correct?
19 A. Yes. That's me writing down what the interpreter was saying as
20 they were interpreting what he was saying. So I, yes.
21 Q. And then he simply asked: "Help us in this, and you will make a
22 great contribution to peace"; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You talked about the security situation you saw there in Bosanska
25 Gradiska, and I think you said there were pickets every hundred metres or
1 so which you thought was a significant security protection. In light of
2 your knowledge that Gradiska was a border town, on the border between two
3 warring parties, in the midst of a war, that probably wasn't an excessive
4 amount of security, was it?
5 A. I think you misunderstand. What they were doing was standing
6 there lining the route, as you would do for a royal procession. So this
7 was something on show for us, as opposed to --
8 Q. Oh, I see.
9 A. It was my interpretation of it.
10 Q. Sort of treating you as semi-royalty.
11 A. Well, certainly Sir John was, yes.
12 Q. Okay. All right. Let's go now to your third meeting with
13 Mr. Radic, which would be your report at 841.4. And this was on the 1st
14 of September, 1992. And on page 3 of that report -- and it's paragraph
15 17 -- it appears that he presented you with a fax which contained a plan
16 for flights that would be carrying 560 tonnes of aid in seven days into
17 Banja Luka, consisting of flour and medical supplies, controlled in
18 Belgrade and by the International Community in Banja Luka. He told you
19 that flight should have come in on the 26th -- the first of those flights
20 should have landed on 26 June, in which the Red Cross would have received
21 14 tonnes of medicine and 9 tonnes of other medical supplies. And he says
22 those flights were not allowed by the governments of Bosnia and Croatia
23 because they did not open the air space from Belgrade to Banja Luka. Do
24 you have any independent knowledge of that situation, beyond what
25 Mr. Radic told you?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Okay. He told you about babies dying of lack of oxygen and people
3 dying because there was no dialysis liquid fluids. Do you know anything
4 about those situations beyond what you were told by Mr. Radic?
5 A. No.
6 Q. There was a Mr. Popovic at that meeting; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you understood him to be a representative -- a Minister of
9 Health or something from the government of Republika Srpska; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. According to your reports here, you made three visits to Banja
13 Luka. On how many of those visits did you actually remain overnight in
14 Banja Luka?
15 A. On those three visits, we stayed over once. And I think on
16 subsequent visits, we'd stayed over again probably a couple of times.
17 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber what Banja Luka was
18 like. I mean, what was it like being in Banja Luka at that time?
19 A. It was a town that was very hot and dry in the summer, fairly
20 quiet, not much vehicle movement, not surprisingly, because there was very
21 little petrol. People moving around -- armed people moving around; not a
22 town that had been damaged by any particular fighting that was obvious,
23 but again that wasn't surprising because there hadn't been fighting there
25 Q. I take it it didn't strike you as a town in the middle of a war.
1 A. The fact that it was very quiet and there weren't a lot of
2 vehicles moving around was actually a symptom of the fact that there was a
3 war going on because of the blockade.
4 Q. The economic effect of that war?
5 A. If you like. And the fact that there were a lot of people walking
6 around carrying Kalashnikovs and wearing uniform, again perhaps a symptom
7 of a war.
8 Q. Yes. Did you see any roadblocks in Banja Luka?
9 A. Yes. But I would hate to have to try to mark them on a map
10 again. But certainly, there were roadblocks on the way in.
11 Q. Okay. During the night that you were there, did you hear any
12 shooting or any explosions?
13 A. I think so, but I can't -- I couldn't tell you which night and --
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. -- what sort of things were going back.
16 Q. Did you have occasion to speak with any of the non-Serb residents
17 of Banja Luka?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Would it be consistent with what you saw to describe Banja Luka as
20 a ghetto?
21 A. Well, I -- I would want to understand your definition of a ghetto.
22 No. It was a town that was very quiet but not a -- not a ghetto.
23 Q. Okay. I want to go now to your report of 3 September, a short
24 two-page report detailing your visit to Manjaca. We're told -- this is
25 what your report says. And it's confused me. You were told that all
1 Croat prisoners of war were to be exchanged on 1 September 1992. "I do
2 not know if this actually happened." And it was actually the 3rd of
3 September when you were there, two days after that. Is there a mistake
4 there or what?
5 A. I'm not sure. Let's go back to the original and see what I've put
6 in there. You even now have the copy that's --
7 Q. I do. But I don't know where I'd find it, what page I'd find it
8 on in here.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Page -- it starts page 40, I think, Mr. Ackerman,
10 and Mr. McLeod. If I'm not wrong, but I think so.
11 THE WITNESS: I don't actually have a printed copy of that -- of
12 those typed notes. If somebody has a spare, that would help.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Could the usher hand him ...
14 THE WITNESS: What was the page, Your Honour?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the part of the notes starts on page 40,
16 dealing with your visit to Manjaca --
17 THE WITNESS: Yes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: -- camp starts on page 40. But I can't find the
19 reference that Mr. Ackerman has pointed -- or has asked you about.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. It's on page 49, "Tensions regarding PW." 6 -- number 6 on page
22 49. It says "Tuesday." Maybe you know in the context of the meeting what
23 Tuesday was.
24 A. Well, I certainly wrote "Tuesday." If anybody has a diary which
25 would take us back to that month of that year, we'll be able to work out
1 what Tuesday was in terms of a date.
2 Q. Well, we're probably not going to get there, and I'm not sure it's
3 that important, so let's just drop it. My guess is that you were
4 referring to --
5 A. To the following Tuesday.
6 Q. To the following Tuesday, not the Tuesday before you got there.
7 So that -- and that's probably a fair guess, is it not?
8 A. I would make the same assumption as you have at this time.
9 Q. All right. You were also told that the -- the Muslim prisoners of
10 war were available to be exchanged but the Muslims were not interested,
11 they did not believe they were worth the effort. And then you said:
12 "This is not true as demonstrated by events in the Middle East." What
13 did you mean when you said that? It's paragraph 15 of that report, by the
15 A. I seem to remember that at that time in the Middle East there were
16 a series of either hijackings or hostage takings designed to get the
17 Israelis to release Palestinian prisoners.
18 Q. That -- that may or may not have had any relationship to what the
19 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina believed with regard to exchange with the
20 Muslims that were in that camp, however, and that doesn't necessarily
21 indicate that wasn't true, does it?
22 A. There would then be a difference between what the Bosnian
23 government wanted to do and just the laws of Islam. So I was making a
24 comment about his interpretation, your point is correct, I think my
25 point is also correct.
1 Q. Yeah. I agree with you.
2 I now want to go to Exhibit 841.7, which is your 3 September
3 meeting with Dr. Stakic in Prijedor. On page 3 you report that Dr. Stakic
4 said this to you: "The main problem is that the Muslims wage their war
5 with electricity. The result is that no one has electricity and CSCE
6 can do something about it. It is much more important to have electricity
7 than butter." Do you know what he meant by the statement "The Muslims
8 wage war with electricity"?
9 A. I -- I think that he was referring to the fact that there were
10 probably hydroelectric generating plants in Central Bosnia in areas
11 controlled by the Muslims which would then have supplied power up to
12 Northern Bosnia and that those transmission lines had been cut, I think.
13 Q. Yes. You visited Trnopolje, and yesterday you talked about the
14 machine-guns you saw during that visit to Trnopolje. You were told they
15 were there for the safety of the person staying there. And I think you
16 expressed some scepticism about that, didn't you?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Do you know and did you know at the time, that there were roving
19 bands of armed criminal extremists who were attacking places like
20 Trnopolje and Manjaca for that matter? Did you know that?
21 A. Nobody told us that when we were there.
22 Q. Did you know not about attacks on Manjaca by armed extremist
23 groups, Serb extremist groups that were armed?
24 A. No. Nobody on either party had mentioned that to us on any
1 Q. If you had known that, that, of course, would have changed your
2 impression with regard to the contention that those machine-guns were
3 there to protect the people that were there.
4 A. Certainly.
5 Q. If that were the case. Yes.
6 A. Certainly.
7 Q. You told us that you were asked by most people who spoke to you at
8 Trnopolje that their primary question was when they were going to get out,
9 when would they be able to leave there.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And when they spoke about getting out and leaving there, they were
12 speaking about getting out of the country.
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. And going somewhere else. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. They were, of course, free to walk away from the camp any time and
17 go back to their homes, but they wanted to leave the country, didn't
19 A. Yes. Two things. Yes, they wanted to leave the country, and
20 I think in practice they couldn't go back to their homes because their
21 homes probably didn't exist any more.
22 Q. Yeah. And you know that there was a reluctance on the part of the
23 UN and UNHCR to assist people in leaving the country because of the fear
24 that it would become -- they'd sort of become complicate in what at that
25 time was known as ethnic cleansing?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And I think you told us that it took a long time for UNHCR to
3 process people to -- to leave the country because they'd have to interview
4 each one and establish that they really wanted to leave before they would
5 assist them in leaving.
6 A. I was referring to the ICRC, who interviewed --
7 Q. ICRC.
8 A. -- each person individually.
9 Q. That's right. I got it wrong in my notes.
10 Okay. I want to go back to Manjaca for a few moments now. The
11 people you saw as detainees in Manjaca, many of them were of military age,
12 were they not?
13 A. Again, I think one has to work out a definition for military age.
14 And I think at that time in that place, anybody who was male over the age
15 of about 14 was considered to be of military age, so yes, they were all of
16 military age.
17 Q. And there was an Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a Muslim army, in
18 operation, wasn't there?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that army along with the Croatian army was fighting against
21 the Serbian army, the Army of Republika Srpska, wasn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And young Serbian men were being killed by young Croatian and
24 Bosniak men fighting in their separate armies during that fighting.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And many of those who were confined in Manjaca would have been
2 perfect candidates and perfectly willing, I assume, to fight for the Army
3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina given half a chance.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In fact, you know, don't you, of released prisoners who did
6 exactly that.
7 A. I certainly met a man -- I wonder if this is what you're referring
8 to -- in a Croatian prison in Central Bosnia the following year who had
9 been in Manjaca and had been released and had then been picked up by the
10 Croatian army. Yes.
11 Q. The choices facing those responsible for keeping these people at
12 Manjaca were to either keep them there, to send them to Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 and face them on the front lines, or to send them to third countries
15 A. Is that a statement or a question, sir?
16 Q. That's a question. Those were the choices available: Keep them,
17 send them to Bosnia-Herzegovina territory, or send them to third
19 A. Or allow them to stay at home.
20 Q. Well, I think we just established that if they were allowed to
21 stay at home, they would likely become part of the Army of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina and wind up in the front lines fighting against the
23 Serbs; correct?
24 A. I think that if they had -- now, we're dancing on pinheads here.
25 But I think if they had just stayed at home, they would have carried on
1 being members of the population in that part of Bosnia, would otherwise
2 have had to leave that part of Bosnia to get down eventually to join the
3 Armija in Central Bosnia. If they had done that, then yes, they would
4 have certainly joined the army, one can assume, or gone off to do some
5 other job somewhere else in Europe, if they'd been able to. But there
6 would certainly have been an option for them to have stayed at home and
7 done whatever else it was they had been doing had it not been for the war.
8 Q. Do you know -- do you know that Muslims from north-west Bosnia,
9 the Krajina area of Bosnia, actually did leave there, become part of the
10 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and fight against the Serb army?
11 A. I -- I met one person who had done that, so I can certainly say
12 yes in that case.
13 Q. The United Nations and UNHCR were taking the position regarding
14 all of these people, whether they were held in places like Manjaca or
15 Trnopolje or any other place, that facilitating their departure from
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina was something they were reluctant to do for fear of
17 being complicate in ethnic cleansing.
18 A. Yes. The fundamental position of the UN agencies was that people
19 should be allowed to stay at home and live as part of that community.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. And if they were rounded up and put in a camp and then told your
22 option is to remain in this camp or leave, and the UN was going to
23 facilitate that, then they would exactly be facilitating ethnic cleansing
24 and all that would have to be done by whichever party wanted to carry out
25 ethnic cleansing would be to round people up and put them into a camp.
1 Q. I wonder if you looking at that situation -- and I didn't plan to
2 ask you this question, but I'm going to take the risk and just do it. I
3 wonder if looking for that situation, you didn't start having the same
4 kinds of feelings that caused you to leave the British army because of
5 what was going on in Northern Ireland, that things were political rather
6 than practical.
7 A. In Northern Ireland, the army was trying to prosecute a
8 counter-terrorist war which inevitably was not going to work because you
9 had to deal with the terrorists through politics, which is what has now
10 happened with some success. The issue in Bosnia was that at least two of
11 the three parties felt that the solution was to remove those members of
12 the community that didn't fit their ethnic mix, then solidify the borders
13 of their canton, then hold elections and say "Look at us, we are
14 democratic Europeans. We want to be part of Europe." But the process
15 quite clearly was to get rid of the people that didn't fit first and then
16 hold elections and be democratic. So yes, the problem was a political
17 one, but I don't think that the practical solution was necessarily wrong.
18 Q. Well, you spoke of your -- of your dismay upon seeing the
19 conditions under which people, for instance, at Trnopolje were being
20 forced to live. And there was an option that was not politically
21 acceptable, and that was to let them go -- people who wanted to go, to
22 let them go somewhere where they could have a more comfortable life until
23 the war had been resolved, at least. Didn't that seem like the sensible
24 thing to do?
25 A. At that point - and if one goes back to what Mr. Stakic had said,
1 when they had recently fought an election and the Muslims were actually
2 the majority - therefore perhaps in the Prijedor area that was a majority
3 population. You had the minority population using force to evict the
4 majority population because they did not fit the pattern which the
5 majority population -- of which the minority population, but you had
6 control of the army and the weapons wanted to impose. To me that's not
7 the right way of doing things.
8 Q. Well, my wife says to me occasionally what do you want to do?
9 Affix blame or solve the problem? And I agree with you that that might
10 have been a way to affix blame, but there were people that were in stress,
11 who were not getting enough to eat, who did not have sufficient shelter,
12 and it seems to me -- and I'm just wondering if you'll agree with me --
13 that the solution to that was not to make them continue to endure that for
14 political reasons.
15 A. If one accept that is one has already taken steps which are very
16 counter to the correct political way of running things, then yes, the
17 answer is not to hold people in a concentration camp for any longer than
18 you have to. At that point, I would agree with you.
19 Q. You had heard from everyone that you spoke to basically in Banja
20 Luka, in Bosanska Gradiska, in Prijedor about the problems and the
21 shortages of food and water that arose from the blockade and the economic
22 situation that existed in Northern Bosnia at that time; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You -- you told us that when you were at Manjaca you were able to
25 speak to some of the prisoners in German but that guards would immediately
1 come over and listen in to those conversations. You don't know if any of
2 the guards understood German, do you?
3 A. I have no idea, because I didn't try to strike up a conversation
4 in German with them to find out.
5 Q. You concluded from your visit that most, if not all, the persons
6 detained in Manjaca were civilians.
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. You were told that they were not civilians, that they were
9 military, that they had been captured wearing uniforms, that those
10 uniforms had been confiscated for the use of the army and they were given
11 civilian clothes to wear.
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. That was told to you.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you told us on Friday that that was very difficult to believe
16 because the clothes they were wearing appeared to be their own clothes
17 because they fit them properly.
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. You told us you were present then when everyone was finally
20 released from Manjaca.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you said it was winter and that it was very cold.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you told us that the detainees were standing outside in their
25 normal clothes, those clothes that we just talked about.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Isn't it the case that ICRC had provided them with some very nice
3 new jackets, ski-type jackets, that they were wearing at that point in
4 time? Let me help you. Dark blue, ski-style jackets with light blue,
5 red, or yellow trim. Do you remember those jackets?
6 A. No. Now, there were people who were taking photographs, so I'm
7 sure you could get a photograph which would prove it one way or the other
8 way. But I can't remember jackets.
9 Q. I think so. Didn't the ICRC also supply all of them with new
10 shoes from the Banja Luka shoe factory?
11 A. I don't know. They were -- now, I think that my comment was
12 that -- was made on the basis that there were certainly still people
13 inside Manjaca who were not being released at that point and they were
14 certainly still wearing just civilian clothes.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. So I'm -- I'm sorry that I can't remember the details that you're
17 asking for, but there were certainly still people inside the buildings who
18 were still just wearing civilian clothes.
19 Q. You said that inside Manjaca when you visited the inside of the
20 camp that people were sitting on the floor for -- on their blankets for
21 long periods of time. And I believe it was your conclusion that it must
22 have been uncomfortable for them to -- to have had to sit on the floor for
23 long periods of time; is that correct?
24 A. I said that they were sitting on the floor and that if they had
25 been sitting on the floor for long periods of time, then it would have
1 been excruciatingly painful.
2 Q. Okay.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, whenever it's convenient, we'll break
4 for 15 minutes.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: It's convenient right now, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I just ask --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
9 MS. KORNER: How much longer Mr. Ackerman thinks he's going to be
11 MR. ACKERMAN: 15 or 20 minutes.
12 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: But then, of course -- are you -- is there going to
14 be a cross-examination for General Talic?
15 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. It
16 will take about one hour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So we'll break now and then we will have --
18 we'll continue after the break, resuming at five past 4.00. Thank you.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Please go ahead.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. During the time that you were performing your duties for ECMM, you
25 actually visited several different parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina, didn't
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And I believe it was your -- your habit or your usual behaviour
4 that when you would go into a -- a new area that you were not familiar
5 with, you would try to read as many reports as you could to familiarise
6 yourself as much as possible with the area and what had been happening
7 there before you got there.
8 A. That was certainly the case in some places, yes.
9 Q. And of course that would certainly facilitate the efforts you were
10 making if you had as much knowledge as you could possibly acquire about
11 what was going on.
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. And then you personally observed a great deal of what was going on
14 in various parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the times you were there.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And would it be fair to say that what you saw was a conflict that
17 was going on between citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina primarily divided
18 along ethnic lines?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Muslims and Croats were fighting Serbs, and later Croats and Serbs
21 were fighting Muslims.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And would you say that what you saw was by classic definition a
24 civil war?
25 A. Yes, if a civil war is a war amongst the -- the members of a
1 particular nation state, then yes.
2 Q. You concluded at the end of all your visits that you talked about
3 here to Banja Luka and the various camps that the Muslim population was
4 being systematically kicked out of that area, didn't you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And what you told us was that this was common across all parts of
7 the former Yugoslavia. One section of the community that was not wanted
8 by another section of the community. So Muslims, Serbs, and Croats were
9 all kicked out of certain areas by Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, weren't
11 A. I think that you will find -- and you're referring in part to
12 things that I've said in previous Trial Chambers, I think -- that
13 certainly Serbs were kicked out, Croats were kicked out, Muslims were
14 kicked out, but the people who were doing most of the ethnic cleansing, if
15 we want to use that term, were the Serbs and the Croats. And in my
16 experience, the Muslims to a -- a far greater extent than the other two
17 parties wanted to try and maintain some sort of ethnically mixed
18 grouping. So I think there was far less evidence -- there was evidence,
19 but I think there was far less evidence of the Muslims ethnically
20 cleansing than the two other parties who most definitely did carry that
22 Q. Are you familiar with the presence in Banja Luka of -- of Serb
23 refugees in fairly large numbers out of Central Bosnia?
24 A. Yes. And there were a number of references to them, 176.000
25 refugees is the number which was mentioned a number of times.
1 Q. And the pattern across the whole area, whether it in -- a Croat --
2 in Croatia, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in those situations, it was nearly an
3 identical pattern, wasn't it? Maybe I need to explain that. And if I do,
4 you tell me.
5 A. Could you be slightly more precise, please.
6 Q. Yes, I will. You spoke about it in this way. You spoke about
7 a -- a pattern of activity where women and children were separated from
8 men, women and children were generally transported somewhere. Men were
9 generally confined to somewhere and that that pattern repeated itself all
10 across Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
11 A. I think I said -- and I think I would say now that the pattern
12 particularly of separating women and children and removing them and
13 putting the men into camps was something which we observed in Northern
14 Bosnia, so I think that would be quite correct. It would also be quite
15 correct to say that the basic principle of -- of ethnic cleansing was
16 something which took place in most areas but that -- that precise
17 methodology, if you like, is something which I'm comfortable saying that I
18 witnessed and heard references to in Northern Bosnia but I wouldn't want
19 to try and think of an example of exactly the same pattern somewhere else.
20 Q. And I take it you're not familiar with -- with the pattern, for
21 instance, in the Konjic, area, Bradina area, in the southern part of the
22 country, in the Celebici camp we -- I asked you about that earlier.
23 A. No. I didn't -- I didn't go and talk to people down there.
24 Q. How about Travnik? Are you aware of what happened in that area?
25 A. Not in detail, not having been there myself.
1 Q. Okay. All right. I think that's all I have. Thank you very
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
4 Yes. Madam Fauveau.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm going to give up my position for
6 Madam Fauveau and just sit over there.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I understand. Thank you.
8 Madam Fauveau will be cross-examining you, sir, on behalf of
9 General Talic. Thank you.
10 Cross-examined by Ms. Fauveau-Ivanovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] In 1992 you were working for the European
12 mission; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When did you start working for the European mission?
15 A. In July 1992.
16 Q. And where were you based in 1992?
17 A. In Zagreb.
18 Q. You said that the European mission worked in Bosnia and that it
19 left Bosnia before the war. Do you know why the European mission left
20 Banja Luka?
21 A. I think that it was considered by the member states of the ECMM
22 that conditions within Bosnia as a whole were too dangerous. I think that
23 a monitor had been killed fairly recently before that in Central Bosnia.
24 Q. The observer who was killed, wasn't he killed near Mostar -- next
25 to Mostar?
1 A. I'm not certain, but I think so.
2 Q. Do you know that the Serbian authorities in Banja Luka were
3 opposed to the departure of European observers from Banja Luka?
4 A. Because I wasn't there at the time, I don't know what they were
6 Q. In August 1992 you went to Banja Luka for the first time; is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you go during that same period to other areas in Bosnia?
10 A. No.
11 Q. And later on did you go to other areas in Bosnia?
12 A. Yes. I was in Central Bosnia in the Kiseljak-Zenica area
13 - Christmas of that year - and back again the following May, and I was in
14 Bihac on a number of occasions.
15 Q. The regions you went to, the areas you went to, were under the
16 control of Muslims and Croats; isn't that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And when you visited these areas, you were able to observe the
19 presence of Mujahedin there; isn't that correct?
20 A. I'm aware that there were people that were called Mujahedin in
21 Zenica. I don't remember seeing anybody called Mujahedin in Bihac.
22 Q. Before going to Banja Luka, you did inform the authorities in
23 Banja Luka of your visit; isn't that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the Banja Luka authorities immediately answered your request.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. This answer was favourable.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You said that you were taking -- that you took notes at meetings.
5 Did other members of your mission also take notes?
6 A. I'm sure that they did, but I don't have their notes.
7 Q. When writing your reports, did you use their notes as well?
8 A. No. I think you can see that my reports are to a large extent
9 simply typing my handwritten notes, so they were almost entirely based on
10 the notes that I took.
11 Q. Other members of the mission, did they also write reports?
12 A. I am fairly certain that Barney Mayhew would have written
13 operational reports, but I don't have copies of most of the stuff that was
14 written by ECMM, so I don't -- I certainly don't have copies of reports
15 written by members of the team.
16 Q. You said that sometimes you'd be absent from the room; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So the parts of the conversation that took place during your
20 absence aren't included in your reports; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you have a look at page 8 of your report of 25 August. It's
23 P841.2. That is the exhibit number. It's the second meeting with the
24 Mayor Radic. That's what it is about.
25 At the bottom of that page, you wrote: [In English]
1 The Serbs hold 64 per cent of area. Mr. Karadzic
2 estimated in his statement to CNN that Serbs will not retain more than 50
3 per cent." [Interpretation] Is this paragraph something that Mr. Radic
5 A. Yes, I think so.
6 Q. Were you aware at the time of this position of Karadzic's, to keep
7 50 per cent of the territory?
8 A. I can't remember at this stage the exact positions of the
9 negotiations at that point at the -- or building up to the London
10 conference. I'm sure there are other people who were actually involved in
11 the negotiations who would give a far better answer than I can.
12 Q. Do you know that the Serb proposition for the Lisbon conference
13 was to have 46 to 49 per cent of the territory? That is what the Serbs
14 had suggested.
15 A. I -- I wasn't a party to those negotiations, so I -- and I simply
16 can't remember.
17 Q. In fact, this position that Radic expressed concerning 50 per
18 cent, that corresponds more or less to the Dayton agreement; isn't that
20 A. Well, again, I don't have a copy of Dayton, so I can't confirm
21 that, but I would assume that it's probably correct if you think that it
23 Q. You don't know that the Serbs obtained 49 per cent of territory in
24 accordance with the Dayton agreement?
25 A. I -- I don't have a copy of the Dayton agreement, and I don't
1 remember the precise details of percentages. I'm sorry.
2 Q. Nevertheless this percentage had been put forward when you were in
3 Banja Luka according to your report.
4 A. The percentage that I reported was the number which Radic
5 mentioned during the meeting. I simply don't have the details which would
6 show how that percentage had been arrived at through the negotiations and
7 where it ended up towards Dayton.
8 Q. At meetings with the Mayor Radic, you spoke about freedom of
9 movement and he told you that you could have freedom of movement but not
10 in the entire area; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When you went to the zones, the areas under Muslim or Croat
13 control, you didn't have total freedom of movement; isn't that correct?
14 A. I think it would be fair to say that as a principle, ECMM didn't
15 have full freedom of movement in the other areas. To give a precise
16 answer, I'm not sure that we tested that -- that I personally tested that
17 theory in each of the other areas. But as a principle, there were
18 certainly areas controlled by each of the parties where ECMM was not able
19 to go.
20 Q. But it was common in war zones not to be able to go everywhere;
21 isn't that correct?
22 A. Yes. But again, the principle under which the ECMM was trying to
23 operate was that it had full access to all areas and particularly, for
24 example, in Croatia where it was established to try and monitor the -- the
25 cease-fire it had to have access to the contact line to see that there
1 were not heavy weapons which had been brought up to the contact line. So
2 the theory was access anywhere. The practice was that there would be
3 areas where it would be difficult to go to.
4 Q. But the European mission itself was also preoccupied with the
5 security of its members. It was concerned about their security.
6 A. Of course.
7 Q. It would be correct to say that in 1992 in Bosnia there were
8 snipers everywhere; isn't that correct?
9 A. Well, not everywhere, but certainly along the contact lines it
10 would not be uncommon to find snipers.
11 Q. And it would be correct to say that there were also minefields.
12 A. Again, along contact lines, certainly, yes.
13 Q. When you visited Banja Luka, you were escorted by the police;
14 isn't that correct?
15 A. We were escorted -- I simply can't remember whether it was a
16 police vehicle or a military vehicle, but almost certainly police.
17 Q. You were a member of the British army, and you're not sure whether
18 it was a police vehicle or a military vehicle; is that what you're
20 A. I'm saying that ten years later I can't remember whether it was a
21 military vehicle or a police vehicle, but certainly we were escorted.
22 Q. Could you have a look at your report regarding the meeting with
23 the mayor of Bosanska Gradiska. It's Prosecutor's Exhibit P841.3. It's
24 page 3. It's the last paragraph, and it's item 26.
25 In this paragraph, the jihad is referred to. Was it the mayor of
1 Bosanska Gradiska who referred to the jihad?
2 A. Yes, I think so.
3 Q. But as you said, you did meet Mujahedin in Bosnia.
4 A. No. I said that I was aware that there were people that were
5 called Mujahedin in Zenica. To take that a step further, it was a -- it
6 was a matter of very great interest to the International Community whether
7 there were Mujahedin and a lot of people were trying to find Mujahedin and
8 they had very little success. So I did not personally see people that I
9 think were Mujahedin, but I know that in Zenica there were people who
10 people referred to as Mujahedin.
11 Q. You said that Colonel Popovic, whom you -- who visited -- when you
12 visited Manjaca, he spoke to you about the Geneva Conventions; isn't that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So Colonel Popovic was fully aware of the Geneva Conventions. He
16 had knowledge of these conventions.
17 A. I believe so, yes.
18 Q. You said that Colonel Popovic spoke to you about the embargo which
19 had been imposed on Yugoslavia; is that correct?
20 A. Do you want me to check my notes? Yes.
21 Q. And you or someone else remarked that the embargo was not
22 applicable -- didn't concern medical supplies; is that correct?
23 A. Yes. I think it would have been Sir John Thomson who made that
25 Q. It wouldn't be true to say that all the transactions - and that
1 included medicine and food - all these transactions were subject to
3 A. What control do you mean? Sorry.
4 Q. The control of the competent authorities, so they could check that
5 medicine and food was actually -- were actually the items in question.
6 A. I think that if there had been humanitarian aid which was being
7 taken in, then it would have been subject to control, yes.
8 Q. So a country under sanctions always has more difficulties in
9 procuring medications and food than a country which is not subject to
11 A. I don't think that I am competent to say that a country under
12 sanctions would always have particular difficulties.
13 Q. Wouldn't it be correct to say that the embargo imposed on
14 Yugoslavia had consequences for the entire economy of Yugoslavia?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And in fact, the population -- the entire population of a country
17 under sanctions feels the consequences of the embargo.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And these consequences are felt primarily in the form of lack of
20 certain products, shortages.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know that the embargo was imposed on Yugoslavia on the 30th of
23 May, 1992 by virtue of the resolution number 757?
24 A. Sorry. By the time you got to the end of the translation, I
25 couldn't see what the point was.
1 Q. Are you aware that the embargo was imposed on Yugoslavia on the
2 30th of May, 1992?
3 A. Not precisely, no.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm hesitant to interrupt but it does
5 seem to me we're drifting well away from this witness's area of
6 competence. This is all general history and --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
8 MS. KORNER: I think he is but nonetheless, Your Honour, I
9 don't think this is particularly relevant to him.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: You are right, Ms. Korner. Perhaps --
11 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I only have one more
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
14 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Are you aware that this embargo lasted until after the Dayton
17 A. And again I'm probably not the right person. But I'm sure you
18 could simply get hold of the relevant UN resolution which would tell you
19 what the answer was.
20 Q. While you were in Banja Luka, in that period, Banja Luka was able
21 to procure products only from Yugoslavia; isn't that correct?
22 A. I think in practice, there was a very thriving black market and a
23 great deal of things were being brought across the Sava River. But again,
24 that is what I believe was happening, as opposed to what I actually saw
1 Q. When you say from the other side of the Sava River, are you
2 talking about the territory of Croatia under Serb control?
3 A. I think that things would have gone from Croatia under Croatian
4 control into Croatia under Serbian control into Northern Bosnia under
5 Serbian control.
6 Q. Did you have evidence of that?
7 A. No. As I said, it's what I believe was happening, but I didn't
8 see it myself.
9 Q. At any rate, officially the products available in the area of
10 Banja Luka originated from Yugoslavia; isn't that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And when you said that you had in mind there was a very thin
13 corridor linking Banja Luka with Yugoslavia -- linking Bosanska Krajina
14 with Yugoslavia.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know that this corridor was opened not long after your
17 arrival in Banja Luka?
18 A. I can't remember exactly when it was opened, but I was certainly
19 very familiar with the fact that people were travelling backwards and
20 forwards using that corridor. So it was a fact of life for most of the
21 time that I was there.
22 Q. In August 1992 you visited the camp of Manjaca. Did you visit in
23 1992 any camps under Muslim or Croat control?
24 A. Yes. I -- well, in 1992 -- I think it was 1992 we went into Bihac
25 to take Serb detainees from Bihac all the way back round to Belgrade. At
1 the time that we picked them up, I don't know whether we were collecting
2 them from the camp that they had been held in or just a place where the
3 ICRC had been told to -- to collect the detainees. It was some sort of
4 factory building, so I don't know whether it was a prison or not.
5 Q. Do you remember seeing any Croat or Muslim-run camp in 1992?
6 A. As I said, I don't know whether the place where we picked up the
7 Serb prisoners was a camp. It didn't look like a camp. And then I didn't
8 see a Croat camp in Bosnia until 1993.
9 Q. As far as Manjaca is concerned, you said that the prisoners did
10 not wear uniforms; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Since they were not in uniform, you concluded that they were not
13 prisoners of war; is that correct?
14 A. I think a combination of the fact that they were not wearing
15 uniforms and the fact that they said that they were civilians led me to
16 believe that they were not prisoners of war.
17 Q. Wouldn't it be fair to say that in former Yugoslavia a lot of
18 people carried weapons?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And those armed people often organised themselves into groups;
21 isn't that correct?
22 A. I think it would be the other way around, that there were people
23 who were in groups who were then armed as opposed to people suddenly
24 finding they had weapons in their hands and forming groups.
25 Q. And all those armed people in groups, not all of them wore
1 uniforms, did they?
2 A. I think that almost all of the people that I saw on each side who
3 were carrying weapons were wearing a uniform of some sort.
4 Q. You never saw in Bosnia or in Croatia people in civilian clothes
5 who still had a weapon?
6 A. I certainly saw people wearing civilian clothes who were
7 bodyguards for various dignitaries and they were wearing civil clothes.
8 But I think I -- the vast majority of the people that I saw carrying, for
9 example, a Kalashnikov were wearing uniform. The gentleman from Pale were
10 wearing civilian clothes, and he had a pistol in his belt and he was
11 carrying a very nice German machine pistol in his car. So certainly there
12 were exceptions. But majority of people would be wearing uniform.
13 Q. Did you go for the first time to Bosnia in August 1992?
14 A. Yes, I think that was the first time I'd actually been inside
16 Q. Is it possible that at the very beginning of the war in Bosnia, in
17 April, a lot of people carried weapons but did not wear uniforms?
18 A. I have no idea.
19 Q. You spoke about a certain Canadian, Glasnovic. Do you remember
20 that man?
21 A. A member of the CSC rapporteur mission was a Canadian, and I think
22 he had been asked to try and find a Canadian, and so this is the person
23 that we're talking about.
24 Q. Isn't it correct to say that this Davor Glasnovic was a Canadian
25 mercenary who was hired by the Croatian army?
1 A. I have absolutely no idea.
2 Q. You said that you couldn't see everything when you were in
3 Manjaca; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the part that you were not able to see was in fact outside the
6 camp, wasn't it?
7 A. It depends on your definition of the camp. It was outside the
8 wire which contained the cattle sheds but certainly within the -- within
9 the environs of the camp.
10 Q. This area that you were not able to see was outside of the part
11 where the prisoners were held; is that true?
12 A. It was outside the area where the cattle sheds where the men were
13 kept for the majority of the time but we know that the prisoners were
14 taken out of the cattle sheds to go to work, and therefore it was
15 certainly within the area where it was possible for the prisoners to be.
16 I can't remember now exactly what it was that prompted us to go and look
17 at these facilities, but at the time there must have been something that
18 prompted us to say, "Can we go and look here?" Which prompted the
19 response, "No, you can't."
20 Q. Were you aware at the time that Manjaca was a military compound?
21 A. It was evident as we arrived up the road from Banja Luka that we
22 were entering a military training area or what looked to me as an
23 ex-soldier like an military training area. There was a military camp on
24 the road. And then we turned right and drove along the side of a very
25 shallow valley. And on the left-hand side as we were driving along
1 the valley was then what was obviously a farm which had been converted
2 into a camp -- into a Detention Centre, concentration camp, call it what
3 you will.
4 Q. At any rate, this part that you were not able to see could have
5 been a training area, a military training zone.
6 A. The -- now, at this stage I can't remember exactly what it was,
7 but it was certainly within what was definitely originally a farm, which
8 was distinct from the military camp back on the main road. So there may
9 well have been a military reason why they didn't want us to see something,
10 or it may well have been -- or it may possibly have been that there were
11 people there or things there that didn't want us to see. But this was
12 certainly within Manjaca, the detention centre, which as I've described
13 earlier on was formerly a farm and it was within the farm compound that we
14 were asking to go. We didn't want to go see back on the main road
15 anything to do with the military barracks.
16 Q. At any rate, you allow the possibility that you were not able to
17 see -- that you were not allowed to see that area for military reasons.
18 A. At the time we were being told by the commandant that we were free
19 to see anything, and we said can we go and see something, and the question
20 was ignored, which meant that we were not able to go and see something.
21 That's all I can report now.
22 Q. You said that the Serbian Minister for Health said that he was
23 ready to sign an order for the closing of all camps on behalf of the
24 Serbian government; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. I think that I said -- I have noted that he was from the
1 health ministry. I think your colleague gave him the title the Minister
2 of Health. I wasn't sure about that. And I believe he said that yes, he
3 was in a position to sign a paper.
4 Q. And in fact several months later such an order was signed by
5 Radovan Karadzic; isn't that correct?
6 A. And indeed consequently the ICRC went in and started to take
7 people out of the camps, yes.
8 Q. When that order was signed by Radovan Karadzic, it was concluded,
9 it was decided that prisoners of all three parties be freed; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And in fact the Croats and the Muslims did not keep their
13 promise. Serb prisoners were not freed. Isn't that correct?
14 A. No. I think that that is not correct because I certainly
15 personally saw Serb prisoners being released by the Muslims from Bihac and
16 I drove a very long journey with them back to Belgrade, and colleagues of
17 mine from the ECMM accompanied the ICRC in other parts of Bosnia where
18 other prisoners of other groups were being released.
19 Q. I'm not saying that they -- there were no Serb prisoners who were
20 released, but the agreement was all prisoners -- for all prisoners,
21 according to my information, not all Serb prisoners were released.
22 A. I don't have the details, but I think that in practice all three
23 parties hung onto a number of prisoners for various reasons.
24 Q. In your report concerning the Manjaca camp, which is Prosecutor's
25 Exhibit 841.6. And that's page 2, paragraph 15. You wrote: [In English]
1 "We were told that the Muslim war prisoners were available for exchange
2 but that there was no interest in this from the Muslim side. The
3 explanation was given that the Muslims do not believe that prisoners are
4 worthy of effort. This is not true, as events in the Middle East
6 [Interpretation] You concluded it was not true in the light of
7 what happened in the Middle East. Are you familiar with the Middle East?
8 A. I think that at that time one of the other stories that was
9 playing on Sky News and CNN was the fact that the -- one of the many
10 Palestinian organisations was either carrying out hijackings or holding
11 hostages -- I can't remember exactly which -- in order to facilitate the
12 release of Palestinian detainees being held by the Israelis. And at the
13 time that was a very current issue and that's what I was referring to.
14 Q. Yes. But please tell us, in the Middle East was it about
15 prisoners of war or simply prisoners?
16 A. I think it depends on your point of view. It would be fair to say
17 that these were Arabs or Palestinians who were being detained by the
19 Q. [No interpretation]
20 A. That wasn't translated. Sorry, I got French.
21 Q. At any rate all your knowledge about the developments in the
22 Middle East are based on what you saw in television; isn't that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you speak at the time about this problem to anyone from the
25 Muslim government, about the fact that there were Muslim prisoners
1 available for release or for exchange but there is no goodwill to proceed
2 with that?
3 A. No. That was a debate which was being conducted in a different --
4 at a different level to the level that I was operating at by different
5 people. So certainly that conversation was taking place, but I was not a
6 party to that conversation.
7 Q. So you personally didn't know what the position of the Muslim
8 government was with regard to the Muslim prisoners at Manjaca.
9 A. Ten years later on I wouldn't want to try and hazard a precise
10 response to that. At the time I probably knew pretty much exactly what
11 the position was, but now I simply can't remember.
12 Q. You said last Friday, the 21st of June, that you had been to
13 another camp while you were in the British army. In which country was
15 A. That's in England.
16 Q. And who were the prisoners in that camp?
17 A. British soldiers.
18 Q. It wasn't really a prisoner of war camp, was it?
19 A. No. But I think I was saying that I had been inside a prison
20 which was a military prison. I think the point that was being made, that
21 I had experience of military prisons.
22 Q. And the United Kingdom is on a totally different level
23 economically compared to the former Yugoslavia, isn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And it wasn't in a state of war, was it?
1 A. That depends on your point of view.
2 Q. There was no war on the territory of England, Wales, or Ireland.
3 A. That would certainly depend on your point of view. If you talked
4 to the current education minister in Northern Ireland, he was definitely
5 feeling like a combatant in the war against the British at that point in
6 Northern Ireland and on the mainland territory of the UK.
7 Q. You also spoke about the antipathy, hostility between the Scots
8 and the English.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You said that Scotsmen and English fought on the same side in
11 the Second World War?
12 MS. KORNER: [Previous translation continues] ...
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let her finish.
14 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I'm just a bit concerned as to how
15 long this is going on.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] I think we are nearing
17 the end. This is what I remember right now, that your very first question
18 was "What's your name? Is it correct that you're Charles McLeod?" And he
19 said not exactly, it's Charles George Alexander or whatever. So more or
20 less it explains the Scottish-English balance of powers, Madam Fauveau.
21 THE WITNESS: I don't think that I actually said that the Scots
22 and the English fought on the same side in the Second World War.
23 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation].
24 Q. No. That was my question. I asked you if Scottsmen and the
25 English fought on the same size shoulder to shoulder in the Second World
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know that during the Second World War Serbs fought on one
4 side and the Muslims and Croats on the other?
5 I don't think that all of my question was interpreted. I said
6 Muslims and Croats fought on the other.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. In fact the translation that I have on the
8 transcript is: "Do you know that during the Second World War Serbs fought
9 on one side and Muslims on the other?" The question actually included
10 also the Croats, together with the Muslims.
11 THE WITNESS: No. I knew that the -- to an extent you had Croats
12 on one side and Serbs on another side, I didn't actually know which side
13 the Muslims were aligned with.
14 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. And you know that Croats actually fought on the side of fascist
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know that Mr. Paddy Ashdown visited the Manjaca camp in
19 1992 in August?
20 A. No.
21 Q. You said that you were present during the release of prisoners
22 from Manjaca in November 1992; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. It was the 14th November 1992, wasn't it?
25 A. I don't have my diary now, but it was -- if that's the date that I
1 have said before when I had my diary in front of me, then I'll accept that
2 that was the date.
3 Q. It was -- it's the date which features in your witness statement
4 given to the OTP on the 16th of March, year 2000, page 4.
5 A. Okay. So on that occasion I had my diary with me and that was the
6 date in the diary, so yes.
7 Q. Do you know how many people were released on that day?
8 A. I can't remember exactly at this moment, no.
9 Q. You said that on that occasion one person made a speech thanking
10 the camp authorities at Manjaca; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And this speech was held in your presence and in the presence of
13 the Red Cross; is that so?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And this person who made the speech, this prisoner, was released
16 on that same day from Manjaca; is that correct?
17 A. I don't know whether that individual was then released, but I
18 would assume since he was standing on the outside with the group who were
19 released that he probably was.
20 Q. If that person was liberated, he would have left in the direction
21 of Croatia together with the Red Cross, wouldn't he?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So in fact that person would have had no other reason to make that
24 speech unless he really meant it.
25 A. I think that that person was probably told to make that speech
1 very publicly under duress as opposed to saying what he really thought.
2 That's my personal opinion.
3 Q. But when this person gave the speech, the Red Cross was already
4 present; isn't that correct?
5 A. It is a slightly naive view to think that somebody would not say
6 something under duress simply because they were standing and about to
7 leave is my view.
8 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the registrar show
9 the witness the photograph which is Exhibit 842.2.
10 Q. This photograph was taken in August 1992; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And at that point in time there was no fighting in that area; is
13 that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So you personally didn't observe, didn't see the destruction of
16 these two houses that we can see in the photographs.
17 A. No.
18 Q. And you don't know how these two houses were destroyed.
19 A. No.
20 Q. You said that the two houses which were destroyed and which we can
21 see, that they belonged to Muslims and that the house which is intact
22 belonged to a Serb. Could you tell me the identity of those who owned the
23 houses that had been destroyed?
24 A. No. I'm making a comment based on my experience of seeing a
25 similar pattern right across the former Yugoslavia, where you would find
1 houses in a village which had been destroyed and other houses which had
2 not been destroyed. And I'm saying in light of that experience, I would
3 infer that these are houses which are occupied, on the one hand, Muslims,
4 who are no longer there, and on the other hand, by a Serb who looks as if
5 he is still living there.
6 Q. You don't know who the owner of the house which is intact is
7 either; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So in fact this is an assumption of yours.
10 A. Yes. And I think that that was clear from what I was saying.
11 MS. FAUVEAU-IVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Korner, is there re-examination?
14 MS. KORNER: There is.
15 Re-examined by Ms. Korner:
16 Q. [Microphone not activated] Mr. McLeod, you were --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Microphone, Ms. Korner, please.
19 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
20 Q. That in relation to the camps, one of the reasons for these camps,
21 in particular Manjaca, as I understand it, was to keep out marauding
22 bands of Serbs. You remember that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I would like you, please, to have a look at a document which is
25 exhibited as Prosecutor's Exhibit -- that's a good point. My volume
1 didn't have it. It's in the volume 4 of the Banja Luka documents, and
2 it's dated the 27th of July, 1992. And it's got the disclosure number
3 4.674 and I'm sorry, because I had a volume without the numbers on them,
4 I'm just going to check?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Ackerman.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there's apparently something wrong
7 with the --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: With the monitor?
9 MR. ACKERMAN: No. With the question. The transcript indicates
10 was asked by Ms. Korner. I don't think that's the question she asked.
11 Starting 19, 20, and 21 I don't think that's -- just look, Ms. Korner.
12 I don't think that's your question, was it?
13 MS. KORNER: As I understand it, Mr. Ackerman, it was your
14 suggestion that that's how the question came out, that these camps had
15 been established because there were bands of Serbs marauding around the
16 place. Are you saying that wasn't your question?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: I certainly asked no such question, Your Honours.
18 My -- my question had primarily to do with the machine-guns that he saw at
19 Trnopolje that he was told were there to protect the people that were
20 there and that he didn't believe that, and we had had testimony from one
21 of the people from Manjaca that there had been an attack by some -- attack
22 on Manjaca by some armed Chetniks, and I was just asking him if he knew
23 about that. I never suggested the camps were designed to protect people
24 from roving bands of Serbs.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, unfortunately at the moment we have a
1 monitor that we can't seem to get today's LiveNote on, so I want to go
2 back to see the exact question that Mr. Ackerman asked. But if there's no
3 suggestion, then I don't need to trouble the witness with this document,
4 that --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: My impression is that there was such a suggestion.
6 MS. KORNER: Well, that was mine as well.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Not exactly the way you have phrased it now,
8 Mr. Ackerman, but more or less this was common practice that one had to be
9 cautious because there was always this constant threat of these groups,
10 possibly assailing one of these camps. Although you did not phrase it the
11 way you phrased it a minute ago. I mean, but that's the impression they
12 got, anyway. But if it's -- if I got you wrong, then -- then you are
13 obviously right.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, it's --
15 MS. KORNER: No. Well, we obviously both got the same impression,
16 Your Honour, I think certainly the way the question -- Mr. Ackerman didn't
17 phrase it that way as he's just phrased it now.
18 If there's no suggestion at all that these camps -- or these gun
19 emplacements had nothing to do with the Serbs trying to attack the
20 inmates, though I'm not going to bother --
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, that was certainly my position with regard to
23 MS. KORNER: All right. And what was Manjaca?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Manjaca was only being used as an example of a
25 situation where we have testimony that some band of Chetniks tried to
1 attack the place.
2 MS. KORNER: All right. Your Honour, I --
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Not that it was there for that purpose.
4 MS. KORNER: I'm going to put this document in any event, if I can
5 just find the P number. I think it's P399. If that could be handed to
6 the witness and we'll put it on the ELMO so -- because I don't imagine
7 Your Honours have got the Banja Luka 4 volume with you.
8 Q. Now, this is a document from the 1st Krajina Corps.
9 MS. KORNER: And Your Honour, I think we actually looked at it
10 before. We did.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We did. I don't remember when and in relation
12 to which witness, but we certainly did look at this before, yes.
13 MS. KORNER: All right.
14 Q. And it's dated the 27th of July, 1992. Stepping up security
15 measures in defence of the prisoner of war camp order.
16 "On the basis of the demonstrated need to step up security measures
17 in the Manjaca prisoner of war camp because of possible interventions and
18 actions aimed at forceful liberation of the prisoners from the outside
19 or from within, and with a view to organising and taking measures to step
20 up the security and the defence of the camp and prevent actions aimed at
21 liberating the prisoners, I hereby issue the following." And there's a
22 long list of -- which I needn't trouble you with, Mr. McLeod, of the
23 security measures.
24 With your military background, if there had been a perceived risk
25 by the command of the 1st Krajina Corps that there were going to be
1 attacks on the prisoners from outside, would you have expected that to be
2 something that was mentioned and -- well, first of all, would you have
3 expected something like that to have been mentioned?
4 A. It would depend on the timing of the various attacks. But looking
5 at this, it's quite clear that what they're referring to is the need to
6 increase security, to prevent removal of prisoners as opposed to people
7 trying to get their hands on the prisoners to do damage to them.
8 Q. All right. And then could we move to another document, please.
9 This is in relation to these suggestions or rather the comment that what
10 else could the Serbs be expected to do but lock up or deport people who
11 might fight against them.
12 Could you have a look now, please, at another document which is in
13 the same Banja Luka volume 4. It's P408.
14 MS. KORNER: Again, this is a document, Your Honour, we've looked
16 Q. From the 1st Krajina Corps command, dated the 6th of August,
17 department for intelligence and security affairs. A selection of
18 prisoners in the Manjaca POW camp.
19 "By processing the war prisoners in the Manjaca POW camp we
20 realised that a certain (quite large) number of them, according to
21 incrimination, do not deserve to be treated as prisoners of war (they did
22 not have weapons, they did not participate in combat, they were not in
23 uniform, et cetera).
24 "In order to free space to accommodate potential new prisoners in
25 the Manjaca POW camp and in order for each prisoner to get the treatment
1 they deserve, we ask that you send a responsible official (or several of
2 them) to the camp, who would together with the Security Organ (at Manjaca)
3 carry out a selection of persons who could be released and persons who
4 must remain in the camp. This is all in aid of the proposal and the
5 release of that section of the prisoners who do not fall into the prisoner
6 of war category.
7 "According to our records, in Manjaca there are currently 944
8 prisoners from the Sanski Most municipality.
9 "As you know, we have recently been attacked by the European and
10 world media in connection with the existence of "concentration camps." So
11 this is a sufficient reason to carry out prisoner selection."
12 Now, first, Mr. McLeod, what do you say about this and the
13 suggestion or the comment that was made that the Serbs could do nothing
14 but lock up people who could carry a weapon effectively?
15 A. Well, it's fascinating to see that piece of paper. It's quite
16 clear looking at that that they knew that a large number of the people
17 that they were holding in Manjaca were civilians who shouldn't have been
19 Q. Now, this comes from the chief of the Security Organ of the --
20 it's stamped 5th, but it was then the 1st Krajina Corps, a
21 Colonel Bogojevic. With your military experience, Mr. McLeod, if the
22 chief of security within a corps you would discovered that people were
23 being held improperly, to put it at its lowest. Would that be a matter of
24 concern to the security officer?
25 A. I think it would depend. I think under the circumstances he is
1 likely to be the person who is working out whether it's a good idea or not
2 to be seen to be holding these people opposed to whether or not it is a
3 good idea to be holding them. Certainly if one takes the Geneva
4 Conventions, then it's a command responsibility to be carrying out the
5 Geneva -- to be implementing the Geneva Conventions, and as such if
6 he's part of the chain of command responsible for managing the camps, then
7 he absolutely has a responsibility to make sure that there are not people
8 in there. But looking at that letter, that doesn't seem to be his
9 concern. He's simply trying to create some space.
10 Q. Is this a matter that within a corps command should have been
11 brought to the attention of the person in command of the corps?
12 A. If they had thought that all the people that they were holding
13 were soldiers and suddenly they realised that a large proportion of them
14 were not soldiers - although I find it hard to believe that they could
15 have found themselves in such a situation in the first place - but if they
16 suddenly realised that they had a whole load of people who should not have
17 been held there, then that would absolutely have been a command
18 responsibility to fix in accordance with the Geneva Conventions.
19 Q. And then finally just one last document on this topic. Could you
20 be shown please Prosecutor's Exhibit 415.
21 MS. KORNER: Perhaps if we could just put that on the ELMO as
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please. Because otherwise we won't be able to
25 MS. KORNER:
1 Q. It's headed "Manjaca, 20th of August, 1992. "Meeting regarding the
2 position on the treatment and prominence of persons who participated in
3 armed disturbances."
4 Present: Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, Major Stupar, coordinator of
5 Security Organs of the Krajina Corps, and inspector and somebody
7 And then finally -- I'm leaving out introductory remarks. "A list
8 of 92 individuals for whom there's no evidence of executing/participating
9 in military activities. They are quite ill and their appearance is
10 attracting attention from the media and humanitarian organisations."
11 And then there's effectively a list of all these people.
12 Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. McLeod.
13 MS. KORNER: Unless Your Honours have any questions for the
15 JUDGE AGIUS: No. We don't have any questions, which means that
16 your testimony comes to an end here.
17 On behalf of the Tribunal, I would like to thank you for having
18 come over to give your evidence. You will now be escorted out of the
19 courtroom and given all the attention you require, either to return
20 immediately to where you would like to return or I understand that he's
21 still -- he's still -- his presence is still required here or isn't it?
22 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry. Mr. McLeod is required in -- in the
23 Stakic case tomorrow.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: In the Stakic case. Yes. So you will be required
25 to give evidence in another case.
1 As far as this case is concerned, you're free to go. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll break for another 15 minutes or so and we will
4 start with the new witness 7.112.
5 MS. KORNER: Mr. Cayley is going to be calling the witness, Your
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.19 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.36 p.m.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cayley, we don't have any protective measures in
12 place. No?
13 MR. CAYLEY: No, Your Honour. That's right, we don't.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
15 Mr. Islamcevic, could I ask you to stand up, please.
16 Good afternoon to you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: As you know, you've come here to give evidence. And
19 according to our Rules of Procedure and Evidence, you are first required
20 to make a solemn declaration that you will tell us the truth, the whole
21 truth, and nothing but the truth. The text of the declaration is
22 contained on the piece of paper that you have just been handed. And you
23 will be asked to read that aloud, please. That will be your solemn
24 undertaking. Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Willingly, Your Honours.
1 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
2 and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: BESIM ISLAMCEVIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
6 So let me -- before the Prosecution starts putting questions to
7 you, let me explain to you a little bit where you are and what's going to
9 If you look at my direction, I'm the Presiding Judge, and I am
10 flanked on either side by two other Judges. Together we form this Trial
11 Chamber which is hearing this case and which will ultimately decide it.
12 My name is Agius and I come from the island of Malta; to my right is
13 Judge Janu from the Czech Republic, and to my left is Judge Taya from
15 Right in front of us is the member from -- is the team for the
16 Registry. They will be monitoring the proceedings as we go along and
17 assisting the Chamber.
18 And to your right in the front row is the team for the
19 Prosecution. The gentleman in the middle wearing the robe is Mr. Cayley
20 and he will be the one to conduct the examination -- the so-called
21 examination-in-chief, which will start today and which presumably will
22 continue tomorrow. I do not anticipate that you will be in a position to
23 conclude today, Mr. Cayley? No.
24 Then tomorrow after Mr. Cayley finishes with his direct
25 examination of you for the Prosecution, you will be examined by the two
1 Defence teams. And the two Defence teams are in the front row on your
2 left. The first three persons represent the Defence team for Radoslav
3 Brdjanin, and the last two persons represent the Defence for
4 General Talic.
5 Having said that, you will now be asked a set of questions by the
6 officer for -- appearing for the Prosecution, Mr. Andrew Cayley.
7 Mr. Cayley, the witness is in your hands.
8 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Examined by Mr. Cayley:
10 Q. Witness, your name is Besim Islamcevic; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. My name is Besim Islamcevic.
12 Q. And you were born in Sanski Most in 1955; correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. And you are by nationality a Bosnian.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you are of Islamic faith; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, in terms of your presence in Sanski Most, am I right in
19 saying that apart from go periods of absence for your national service and
20 for employment reasons you've lived all of your life in the municipality
21 of Sanski Most?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness can be shown Prosecutor's Exhibit
25 Q. Witness, whereabouts in Sanski Most did you live in 1992?
1 A. I lived in the Podbrijezje local commune, number 74 through 2 in
2 the municipality of Sanski Most.
3 Q. If you look at the map next to you on the overhead projector --
4 you'll have to look at it next to you. Could you point to the Judges the
5 village or commune of Podbrijezje.
6 A. That's it.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record, the witness points at the
8 village which is indeed shown on the map with the word -- with the name
10 MR. CAYLEY:
11 Q. Am I right in saying that your commune was on the road to
12 Prijedor, on the main road to the Prijedor municipality?
13 A. Yes. It's the N15 main road from Sanski Most to Prijedor.
14 Q. Now, I want you to direct your mind to March and April of 1992.
15 And I think I'm right in saying that at that time you were working at the
16 Zdena pump station. Is that correct?
17 A. On the pump station to provide the town of Sanski Most and the
18 surroundings with drinking water.
19 Q. Now, what I'm interested in is events that you observed from your
20 workplace at the pump station. Did you ever see military trucks in and
21 around the Zdena area when you were working at the pump station?
22 A. I think it would be best to clarify certain things, first of all,
23 to clarify the fact that this is a working place and it required a working
24 system consisting of four shifts: The first shift for two days, the
25 second for two days, this third for two days, and the fourth -- two days
1 would be -- the next two days would be free. During that period in the
2 morning and in the afternoon and in the evening I was present in the
3 working place in the local commune called Zdena, or rather in the
4 immediate vicinity of the social centre. What you have said is correct.
5 Towards the end of March and at the beginning of April while going to the
6 nearby shop to get food for dinner I saw in the street where the shop was
7 located, which was part of the social centre, which had offices on the --
8 on the floor, about 100 metres further down below I saw two lorries,
9 olive-drab colour, and I noticed people too wearing olive-drab colour
10 uniforms. That surprised me, and I noticed people moving and I noticed
11 that something was being unloaded from the lorries and I could make out
12 that they were unloading rifles. I didn't stay there for long because I
13 was afraid to do so. I was afraid that as a witness I might have to
14 suffer the consequences. I returned to my workplace. That was at dusk.
15 That's what I said.
16 Q. Did you make any conclusion at the time as to who was unloading
18 A. A lot of things were clear to me during the days before and
19 afterward in the social centre in Zdena a group of people met, people
20 who belonged to the Serbian Democratic Party. I had the opportunity to
21 observe that, and Mr. Vrkes Vladimir, president of the Serbian
22 Democratic Party in Sanski Most was present, the president of the Sanski
23 Most municipality was present, Mr. Nedeljko Rasula --
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I want to keep your evidence
25 quite focussed. We'll get on to this, but I'm asking you specifically
1 about the events with the truck. You observed weapons being unloaded from
2 the truck. Who was unloading the weapons from the truck?
3 A. People wearing olive-drab uniforms. The lorry belonged to the
4 JNA; that's logical. And people of Serbian nationality were there who
5 were wearing military uniforms.
6 Q. And who was receiving the weapons that were being unloaded, if you
7 know the answer to that question?
8 A. In each case, it was the inhabitants, the inhabitants who were
9 there and who lived around the social centre in the streets Kolonija 1,
10 Kolonija 2, Kolonija 3. And a hundred per cent or at least 95 per cent of
11 the population is Serbian there. So these were people of Serbian
13 Q. Now, also focussing on this time period March and April of 1992.
14 Had you heard of an organisation called SOS or Serbian defence forces,
16 A. Yes, I had, and I personally saw certain members of that formation
17 in the town.
18 Q. Who did you understand these people to be, the members of the
20 A. What do you mean? What were these people?
21 Q. What was their function? What was their role within the community
22 in Sanski Most?
23 A. As far as I know they were the first who started shooting in
24 Sanski Most -- or rather, disturbing law and order, shooting from weapons,
25 from zoljas, hand-held rocket launchers, and they would also blow
1 up certain shops, certain establishments. And this information is
2 information I obtained in the town from people who were more familiar with
3 this matter. And if you allow me to say this, they didn't really make an
4 effort -- much of an effort to conceal this. They walked around, and
5 their insignia were quite clear. There was the SOS inscription which they
6 had on them.
7 Q. Now, you say that they blew up certain shops, certain
8 establishments. Shops and establishments belonging to whom in Sanski
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'd object to this whole line because
11 he says, "This is information I obtained in the town from people who were
12 more familiar with this matter." In other words, he has no person
13 knowledge of this at all. If he can identify those people and was he
14 talked to them and that kind of thing, then I would remove my objection.
15 But I think this is not -- he's not testifying from his own knowledge at
16 all at this point.
17 MR. CAYLEY: Could I response to that, please.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cayley.
19 MR. CAYLEY: He also said that nobody made any kind of effort to
20 conceal what was going on. I mean, in effect that this was public
21 knowledge. It wasn't a secret as to what the SOS were doing in Sanski
22 Most. And I'll ask the witness --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think that's the best way to go about it.
24 Put a direct question, and -- because otherwise, I mean, it's not
25 something which is unusual in these proceedings, Mr. Ackerman. I mean,
1 the way he's going about it and the way the question was put and the way
2 the question was answered is not in any way unusual. I mean, I do
3 understand your point and I take your point, but I think there's an
4 easy -- easy remedy for it.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, here's the thing I'm starting to worry
6 about: It would very well be that what he heard he heard from someone
7 else in town he heard last week in preparation for testifying here.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I know but --
9 MR. ACKERMAN: You know, I think that the Prosecutor must set more
10 of a foundation than --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think, Mr. Ackerman, I take your point, and I
12 think Mr. Cayley knows how to deal with it.
13 Please, Mr. Cayley.
14 MR. CAYLEY:
15 Q. What was the target? You've said that shops and establishments
16 were blown up. Who did those shops and establishments belong to in Sanski
17 Most? That's the first question, before you deal with anything to do with
18 what the gentleman on the Defence bench has said. So if you can answer
19 that question first, what I'm putting to you, and I'll come on to the
20 other point in a moment.
21 A. In each case they belonged to Bosniaks; that is to say, Muslims,
22 without exception. And I heard these explosives. Each explosion made my
23 house shake. It's 1.200 metres as the crow flies. The town and the house
24 that I lived in. Obviously I couldn't see all this but I heard all these
25 explosions. And in the morning, in the course of the day, I obtained this
1 additional information. I apologise. This wasn't a few days ago. I
2 lived through all this. I experienced all this personally.
3 Q. Now, I'm right in saying that you did not see anybody physically
4 plant explosives in any of these buildings, did you?
5 A. You're right in saying that.
6 Q. How do you know that the SOS were the people that were engaged in
7 blowing up these buildings?
8 A. Please. Certain members of the SOS would brag about it. The late
9 Dusko aka Njonja, his deputy Mudrinic Dusko. They -- that was no secret
10 at the time. Vojo Drazenovic, known as Vojvoda. They didn't hide this.
11 This was success for them. It was a well-known fact in the town.
12 Q. Did you personally hear them bragging, these individuals that
13 you've named? Did you hear them bragging about the fact that they'd been
14 planting bombs in Muslim establishments in Sanski Most?
15 A. I have to say that I didn't hear this from them -- I didn't hear
16 them saying this directly.
17 Q. Who did you hear it from that they'd been bragging about blowing
18 up Muslim establishments in Sanski Most?
19 A. People I knew. From acquaintances, friends in the town, both from
20 Muslims and from some Serbs.
21 Q. Can you name any of those people? If you can remember. I know
22 it's ten years ago. If you can remember any of the people that gave you
23 this information.
24 A. In each case -- for each case I can remember certain names, some
25 of the names. But the person I heard this from, Mr. Rajlic Slavko --
1 Slavko Rajlic, a doctor from Sanski Most, respected citizen of Sanski Most
2 who was also a Serb but a good man. I heard this from him. He was one of
3 the persons I heard this from.
4 Q. I want you to now direct your mind to the 25th of May of 1992.
5 And I think I'm right in saying that this was your last working day at the
6 marketplace in Sanski Most. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. And I think after that time you had to return the keys for the
9 marketplace and for the funeral parlour. You had to return your official
10 keys. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, I'm also right in saying that around this time there was a
13 call for the Muslim members of the community to hand in any weapons that
14 were in their possession. Do you recall that demand?
15 A. I have to answer the first part of your question first. On the
16 25th of May, at about 11.20, half past 11.00, a colleague from work wrote
17 to me and he said - Vojin Milorad - "Don't you see anything happening?
18 Can't you see --" I said no. "Can't you see that something isn't okay in
19 the town and that something is happening? It would be good for you to go
20 and hand something in.." I did this. Then there was an announcement.
21 They asked for weapons to be surrendered, not just in the Podbrijezje
22 local commune but in the entire municipality under local Sanski Most
23 radio, broadcast this and repeated this information on several occasions.
24 Q. Now, you say you handed something in. What did you hand in to the
1 A. There's no translation.
2 Q. Do you hear me now?
3 A. Yes. Yes. First the daily -- the cash that I had at the market
4 and then the keys that I had at the marketplace, and the additional
5 equipment that I had also been issued with, that me and my colleague had
6 been issued with.
7 Q. Did you hand in a pistol that belonged to you, to the Serb
8 authorities in Sanski Most?
9 A. Yes. In the local commune of Podbrijezje on a certain date all
10 the -- there was a certain day when all the citizens of that local commune
11 had to go to the social centre and they had to surrender weapons. I and
12 the other inhabitants surrendered weapons. I can say that these weapons
13 were ones which we owned legally, had permits, mostly for pistols and
14 hunting rifles.
15 Q. Now, for the next 15 to 20 days I don't think you moved around the
16 municipality of Sanski Most very much, did you?
17 A. That's correct. There was not much movement. I went out on two
18 or three days, and I tried not to get involved in anything and not to talk
20 Q. I think there came a time after this 20-day period when Teufik
21 Hasic came to see you. Do you recall that time?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell the Judges what Mr. Hasic came to see you about.
24 A. Perhaps I should clarify one thing to the Chamber. Teufik Hasic
25 is a local from the Podbrijezje commune. He was on good terms with the
1 father of Vlado Vrkes because they worked together in the Sanu company
2 [phoen], so he had the opportunity of talking to the father of Vlado Vrkes
3 and finding out what the position of the Serbs was in Podbrijezje, and he
4 learnt and told the rest of us that this gentleman had told him that
5 Podbrijezje was also planned for evacuation. It was the northern gate of
6 Sanski Most and therefore important for the Serbian authorities, and as
7 such it would be evacuated.
8 Q. Now, just a couple of questions for you. Mr. Hasic was a Muslim;
10 A. Yes. Teufik Hasic is a Bosniak, a Muslim.
11 Q. And at this time who did you understand Vlado Vrkes to be?
12 A. Would you care to clarify. In which sense?
13 Q. What function did Vlado Vrkes have in the municipality of Sanski
14 Most, if you know?
15 A. Oh, now I understand. I just have to say one thing before that.
16 I knew Mr. Vlado Vrkes from before as a member of the League of Communists
17 committee. He was very well read, well educated. He had returned from
18 his university studies very recently. And first Mr. Rasula was appointed
19 president of the SDS, and then Vrkes took over from him. So he became
20 president of the SDS party in Sanski Most.
21 To your question, I can say that at that time he was a man who was
22 able to help or to refuse to help. On his position of the president of
23 the SDS party he was as powerful, if not more powerful, than the president
24 of the municipality.
25 Q. Now, you say that you were told by Mr. Hasic that it was planned
1 that the commune of Podbrijezje was to be evacuated. By evacuation, what
2 do you mean? And who was to be evacuated?
3 A. Well, when I say "evacuated," I mean that people had to depart
4 from the homes they occupied for centuries and that was forced movement,
5 forced evacuation, primarily of women and children.
6 Q. And who? Which people in your commune were to be, as you state,
7 forcibly moved?
8 A. Well, it was certainly Bosniaks, Muslims. Certainly not the Serbs
9 from Sanski Most.
10 Q. Now, as far as you can recall, can you explain to the Judges the
11 process that a citizen had to go through in order to leave the
12 municipality of Sanski Most, the administrative procedure that they had to
13 go through in order to depart.
14 A. I can say with complete certainty that in addition to the
15 announcement that people wanted to leave voluntarily, quote unquote, you
16 also had to produce certain papers, such as certificates that you paid
17 your duties to the municipality, such as your electricity, your telephone
18 bills, public utility bills, rent, and also a statement from your bank
19 that you have no outstanding dues. When you gathered and prepared all
20 these documents, you submitted them to the municipal authorities and
21 filled in a form with your personal details. And in that form, there was
22 also a line to the effect that each one of us was signing that document
23 voluntarily and signing away our property to the Serb authorities; that
24 is, to the Serb Democratic Party.
25 Q. I'll ask you a question which you may think is somewhat foolish.
1 But we have to look at this transcript in months to come and I want to
2 make it absolutely clear. Why do you say people who wanted to leave
3 voluntarily, quote unquote? Why do you say that?
4 A. Obviously there is a meaning implied. Who in their right mind
5 would leave their home of their own free will together with all their
6 property and the land they had lived on for many years? The Serb
7 authorities did not want or could not provide guarantees of our personal
8 security, could not guarantee that people would receive pensions, that
9 their children would be able to continue going to school as before, could
10 provide no guarantee of anything. To put it simply, there was no place
11 for Muslims in Sanski Most any more in the new concept of life.
12 Q. Am I right in saying that Muslims who remained in Sanski Most had
13 to sign a loyalty oath to the Serbian authorities? Are you aware of
15 A. Yes. And I believe that the only time in history when someone had
16 to do that was with the Jews in the Second World War. And people did that
17 in order to save their families and their lives. They signed those oaths
18 of loyalty. I signed one myself. Its value was nil. I felt pretty
19 miserable at the time knowing what I knew.
20 Q. I want you to direct your mind to the second half of June of
21 1992. Am I right in saying that at this time you and other members of
22 your community requested that Mr. Vrkes come to your community to discuss
23 the prospect of the movement of the Muslim population from your commune?
24 A. Obviously, yes. It was through Vladimir Vrkes and some other
25 people I knew. I contacted them and asked them to come to the Podbrijezje
1 local commune and meet with people in order to explain to them how they
2 can safely, quote unquote, move out, leave their homes, because they
3 knew - and I mean both them and their neighbours from the local commune of
4 Podlug - that all of these people used to be their good neighbours, that
5 they were peace-loving people who had previously had good relationships
6 with them. Mr. Vrkes agreed to do that. He came to Podbrijezje together
7 with Mr. Mikan Davidovic, a lawyer, a person who was in charge of
8 emigration affairs. And I believe there was also Milenko Stojinovic, son
9 of Dane Stojinovic. So we held that meeting at the community centre of
10 Podbrijezje, and in a way I chaired it. After that meeting, there was a
11 rally of citizens. Behind the house of the late Teufik -- sorry, late
12 Kamber Teufik, there were 62 of us. And at that rally the Serbs explained
13 what categories of people would be able to apply for papers necessary to
14 leave their Sanski Most municipality.
15 At that rally, I was one of the five citizens nominated to handle
16 this process. We were given the task to collect the identity cards of all
17 those willing to apply, to take their documents to the municipal building
18 and to handle the procedure for each and every one of them.
19 Q. I want you to direct your mind now to a different event. And it's
20 an event at the end of July, on the 27th of July of 1992. Your
21 father-in-law was a man who at that time was undergoing constant medical
22 treatment; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What kind of medical treatment was he undergoing?
25 A. He was dependent on regular dialysis treatment. Once in every
1 three days he had to go and receive this dialysis treatment either in
2 Prijedor or in Banja Luka.
3 Q. Can you explain what happened to him on the 27th of July of 1992.
4 A. Certainly I can. On the 27th of July in the morning my wife and
5 his wife put him in a wheelchair and drove him, Ismet Nalic, the 50 metres
6 from my house to the road, and then an ambulance drove by carrying other
7 patients who also needed dialysis. The driver of that ambulance was
8 Mr. Rajko Kriska, a full-time employee of the Sanski Most health
9 centre. We expected him to come back that same afternoon, but then
10 darkness fell and he hadn't come back. We called this Rajko Kriska to
11 find out, and the truth hit us very hard. He told us that on their way
12 back near Carakovo, three Serb soldiers stopped the ambulance and asked
13 him whether there were any Muslims inside. Rajko said, "Yes, there are."
14 And the soldiers said, "Let them come out." Ill and weak as they were,
15 they had to come out and despite Rajko's efforts to protect them they were
16 taken out at the Carakovo checkpoint and Rajko was threatened that he
17 would share their fate if he tried to resist these men. So he had to let
18 them go. They were taken out at the checkpoint, as I said, and that was
19 the last that was heard about them. That doctor who treated them at the
20 health centre, who was responsible for them, was Nenad Davidovic. The
21 other patients, in addition to Ismet Nalic, were Omic Hasan and a man
22 named Karadzic whose first name I can't remember. It was Almaz, Almaz
23 Karadzic. They are still registered as missing and we haven't learned
24 anything about them to this day.
25 Q. And Ismet Nalic was your father-in-law; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. After he was expelled from the Mahala, he was living with me
2 at my place.
3 Q. Now, you heard this account from Mr. Rajko Kriska of what
4 happened; is that correct?
5 A. Yes. That was the driver of the official ambulance belonging to
6 the health centre marked visibly with a red cross on its sides.
7 Q. Now, Carakova is in the municipality of Prijedor; is that
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Did Mr. Kriska identify the three Serbian soldiers who stopped
11 the ambulance? Did he know who they were?
12 A. Unfortunately he didn't tell me that. He just said three Serbian
14 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could now be shown Prosecutor's
15 Exhibit 709. And I want to --
16 Q. I want you to direct your mind back to the events in Sanski Most
17 in connection with the movement of the Muslim population.
18 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown the B/C/S version of
19 this document. There's only one paragraph that interests me.
20 Q. Do you have that in front of you, witness?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. If you look at paragraph 1 and you look at the third paragraph,
23 you will see that it states: "There are currently about 18.000 Muslims
24 and Croats in the Sanski Most municipality area, and in order to avoid
25 danger to the Serbian people it is necessary to organise their voluntary
2 Now, you can see that this is a conclusion of the Sanski Most
3 Municipal Assembly. Do you see that? If you look at the top of this
5 A. President of the executive board, Mladen Lukic. Yes. I can see
7 Q. Does the first paragraph of this document, the paragraph at the
8 very top, indicate the date on which this particular matter was discussed
9 at the municipal assembly?
10 A. I'm sorry. I didn't quite understand what you said.
11 Q. I'll lead you straight to it. You can see in the very first
12 paragraph of this document that it states that the municipal assembly at
13 its ninth session held on the 27th of July of 1992 adopted a number of
14 conclusions. Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I can see that.
16 Q. And one of those conclusions is what I've just read out to you,
17 that 18.000 Muslims and Croats need to be resettled from Sanski Most. Do
18 you see that?
19 A. I can see that.
20 Q. Do you recall having a meeting with Mr. Vlado Vrkes and other
21 Serbian leaders in Sanski Most on the 28th of July of 1992?
22 A. Certainly. Of course I remember.
23 Q. Can you tell the Judges what was discussed at that meeting.
24 A. I would like to explain if you allow me the reason why this
25 meeting was convened in the first place.
1 Q. Please go ahead.
2 A. The night before -- that is, the night between the 26th and the
3 27th -- an attack was orchestrated on Podbrijezje, an attack from the
4 neighbouring commune of Podlug from about half past 10.00 p.m. until half
5 past 9.00 in the morning you could hear shooting of about even intensity,
6 I would say. It was a very long night. We could hardly wait
7 for the light of dawn to be able to see what it was all about. We could
8 see hay burning in stables and a couple of roofs here and there. Nobody
9 left their house. Everybody was too afraid. And that was the reason why
10 we requested a meeting with Mr. Vrkes. And on that day, at 1.30 p.m., I
11 called a well-respected Serb citizen in Sanski Most whom I knew and who
12 worked at the Secretariat for the Interior in Sanski Most to ask for his
13 help, and I complained to him that I was not able to cross the
14 checkpoint. I told him I needed someone to come and let us through --
15 lead us through, rather. The gentleman I called was in fact Dusko Radic.
16 Around half past 1.00 a police car arrived before my house and
17 took me to a meeting with Vlado Vrkes at the police department. I was not
18 the only person there to meet him. I found Mr. Branko Davidovic there, a
19 former president of the municipality, a lawyer by the name of Dosenovic,
20 another man called Rajkica, who was also a lawyer, and some other people
21 who worked at the Secretariat for the Interior. I asked Vrkes "What was
22 this in Podbrijezje all about?" And I have to tell you the truth about
23 his answer. He said, "Forget about that. That's nothing serious. It's a
24 fake attack." There was a part -- an area to the north of Podbrijezje
25 called Bojancici from which several bursts of gunfire were fired towards
1 our neighbours, and that was enough to alarm the citizens of Podbrijezje
2 and to start the shooting.
3 That same night a civilian deputy in charge of Podbrijezje,
4 Mr. Pero Nikolic, left my house, and strangely enough he said absolutely
5 nothing about this. But I had a telephone number of the community centre
6 in Podlug, and in desperation I dialed it several times to try to find out
7 what was going on. However, I couldn't get through for a long time until
8 2.30, when Mr. Dusan Nikolic answered. This Mr. Nikolic was the brother
9 of a work colleague of mine. I asked him, "What was going on?" And he
10 said, "It's nothing. Just sleep on it." And I said, "How can I forget
11 about it? We here think that we may go up in the air at any second." And
12 it was only later at that meeting that I heard from Vrkes that it was an
13 orchestrated attack. I told him that people were afraid for real, that
14 somebody might have had a heart attack, somebody could even have got
15 killed, and I told him, "I'm asking you now as a human being, please find
16 me a way. I want to get out of here."
17 Q. If you could stop there, witness, and we'll resume tomorrow.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Islamcevic, we need to stop here today.
19 We will continue tomorrow afternoon.
20 We are adjourned till tomorrow at 2.15, if I remember well --
21 2.15, thank you. In this same courtroom, Courtroom I.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
23 at 6.30 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
24 the 25th day of June, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.