1 Monday, 25 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.11 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honours. Good morning, Your Honours.
7 This is case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can you hear me
9 in a language that you can understand?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
11 can hear you and understand you and I'm also very sorry about what
12 happened on Friday.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I appreciate your apologising. Yes, appearances for
14 the Prosecution.
15 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner, Ann Sutherland, assisted by Denise
16 Gustin, case manager, good morning, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. Appearances for Radoslav
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Morning, Your Honours I'm John Ackerman and I'm
20 here with Milan Trbojevic and Marela Jevtovic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you. Any preliminaries before we
22 bring in the witness and finish with him? No?
23 We go in -- I think we need to bring down the curtains for a
24 while, until he comes in.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 WITNESS: WITNESS BT27 [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: The usher is going to give you the text of the
6 solemn declaration which you are kindly requested to repeat before you
7 recommence your testimony.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued].
15 Q. Good morning, sir.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. With regard to your contention that you saw Mr. Brdjanin at
18 Manjaca, was there ever a time that any investigator or lawyer from the
19 Office of the Prosecutor showed you a page of photographs to see if you
20 could identify the person who you claim to have been Mr. Brdjanin?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Was such a possibility even mentioned or suggested to you?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did any Prosecutor or investigator show you a photograph of
25 Mr. Brdjanin at any time prior to your testimony here on Friday?
1 A. No.
2 Q. That visit to Manjaca by the person who you claim to be Brdjanin,
3 who I put to you was Kupresanin, you said happened closer to the end of
4 your stay there than the beginning, correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. So it was not long after that visit that Manjaca was closed and
7 you were freed, was it?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. And the same thing happened at Omarska, didn't it? Not very long
10 after the visit of the delegation that you described, where you heard
11 about the delegation being there and heard the noise and stuff outside,
12 very short time after that, Omarska was closed and you were transferred to
13 Manjaca, correct?
14 A. Well, I do not really recall the time when that happened in
15 Omarska, whether it was towards the end or sometime in the course of it.
16 I just can't remember.
17 Q. When you were at Manjaca and the winter time came, you were given
18 winter jackets by the ICRC, weren't you?
19 A. The International Red Cross issued us with training suits, with
20 foot wear, but there were no winter jackets. No, I think it seems to me
21 that we did get those jackets but it was the International Red Cross.
22 Q. Yes. And that -- the day that you were -- that you left Manjaca,
23 it was in December and it was cold and you were wearing those jackets,
24 weren't you, all of you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. We saw a videotape, little segment of a video of a wedding here on
2 Friday. And during the Prosecutor's questioning of you it was indicated
3 that those little excerpts were prepared by you. Could you tell us how you
4 prepared those? How did that happen?
5 A. I took only those parts of that videotape about which I'm -- which
6 I knew that had gone missing. I mean they simply -- no. About those
7 people that I knew were missing. I mean those are people whose trace was
8 lost sometime in 1992.
9 Q. That part I understood. I'm asking you more of a technical
10 question, technically how was it done? Were you working with a video
11 technician somewhere? Was that here at the Tribunal? How did that
13 A. Here. It was here. I did it here.
14 Q. So you did it in conjunction with somebody, a technician who knew
15 how to do that sort of thing or did you know how to do it yourself?
16 A. Yes, it was a technician, somebody who knows how to do that kind
17 of thing.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: That's all I have, thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Sutherland, is there re-examination?
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Any questions?
22 Thank you. That brings to us an end of your -- except that there
23 is a couple of questions from Judge Taya.
24 Questioned by the Court:
25 JUDGE TAYA: When did you come to know the fact that Mr. Brdjanin
1 was arrested?
2 A. I learned about Mr. Brdjanin's arrest in 2001, I think.
3 JUDGE TAYA: Through what way you knew about that fact? Through
4 media, through someone? Through what?
5 A. Through media. I -- I could hear Radio Free Europe in the place
6 that I live in, on the news.
7 JUDGE TAYA: Before you became to know the fact that Mr. Brdjanin
8 was arrested, did you have anticipated that Mr. Brdjanin would be
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, can I ask you to repeat your answer? Because
12 it was not picked up by the interpreters.
13 A. Yes, yes. I assumed that Mr. Brdjanin might be arrested.
14 JUDGE TAYA: Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That brings us to the end of your testimony
17 here, after which you can return to your country. I'm sorry that we had
18 to keep you for the weekend here. At the same time it was necessary. I
19 also ought to inform you that at the beginning of this sitting, before you
20 entered the hall, Mr. Brdjanin said that he was sorry for what happened
21 last time. You will now be escorted by the usher, but before you leave
22 this courtroom it is my duty as the Presiding Judge to thank you for
23 having accepted to come and give evidence in this trial. Thank you. You
24 may now leave.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Stay where you are for the time being. Stay, stay,
2 stay. You have one curtain which did not come down.
3 The next witness is in closed session, if I remember well?
4 MS. KORNER: No.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, yeah, okay.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, before we get to Mr. Sejmenovic, as a
7 result of the length of his testimony, last time --
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 MS. KORNER: -- the only matters that I'm going to go through, I'm
10 going to summarise again his evidence as I've done with other witnesses.
11 There has been an objection to part of the testimony he gave which related
12 to Mr. Brdjanin. One of those objections arises from the assembly of the
13 12th of May, so I'm going to go through that document in full.
14 Your Honour, I should add and I add this now so that everybody is
15 clear, Mr. Sejmenovic has -- this will be the fifth time he has testified.
16 One of the reasons I'm not going to go through other documents that I
17 could use with him is that I've taken the view that it would be unfair to
18 keep him here talking about these events again for as long as it otherwise
19 would take. He was cross-examined at length in the Stakic case, which is
20 also contained in the transcript. So, Your Honour, on this occasion, I'm
21 going to ask that Your Honours say that cross-examination is limited so
22 that it doesn't cover the same ground that has already been covered.
23 Clearly, it's most desire that Mr. Sejmenovic finish his evidence by
24 Wednesday in any event because there will be no further sitting for a
1 Your Honour, the other matter before he's called is this: Many of
2 the Stakic exhibits are already exhibit numbers in this case. So in
3 order -- what we've done, and we've provided to Mr. Ackerman I think we
4 better provide it to Your Honours' legal officers, is a cross-reference
5 because when one of the difficulties of not having the witness go through
6 the exhibits again is it may be difficult to realise that there has
7 actually been evidence about exhibits in this case. I know that Your
8 Honours will have read through all the transcripts, but it may not have
9 been obvious that nearly every single exhibit mentioned in the Stakic case
10 is also exhibited in our case and already has exhibit numbers. So, Your
11 Honour, with that introduction, the witness can be brought in.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Before I comment on part of your statement,
13 Mr. Ackerman, may I -- do you want to say anything about your -- the way
14 you will conduct your cross-examination or whether you would agree with
15 Ms. Korner to limit it to what has not already been stated upon
16 cross-examination? I know that you are not the counsel cross-examining
17 the witness in Stakic.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, it may be that Mr. Sejmenovic
19 has testified here five times before and that it's a burden on him to come
20 testify but we didn't call him. The Prosecutor did. The agreement that
21 we had regarding the use of transcripts from other cases was that they
22 would serve as direct examination and I would be entitled to a full
23 cross-examination. No one has ever cross-examined him before on behalf of
24 Mr. Brdjanin and that's what I intend to do.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's bring Mr. Sejmenovic.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I agree. I'm not saying for one moment
2 that in matters strictly relating to Mr. Brdjanin, of course, but what I
3 will be objecting to and I make it absolutely clear is that if we go over
4 again the TO in Kozarac.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, if the Prosecutor is abandoning the joint
6 criminal enterprise theory, then I'll restrict it to Brdjanin only. If
7 they are staying with it then I must do a complete cross.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Sejmenovic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And once more, welcome to this Tribunal, with which
12 you are by now familiar. As I would imagine you are familiar with the
13 very beginning of this procedure, that is the making of -- the entering of
14 a solemn declaration. The solemn declaration is contained, the text of
15 the solemn declaration is contained in the piece of paper that you've just
16 been given by the usher and could you kindly read that statement aloud.
17 And that will be your undertaking with this Trial Chamber to speak the
18 truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Please proceed.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN SEJMENOVIC
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You may sit down.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Since you have given evidence in more than one case
1 already, I don't need to explain to you what the procedure is, and I would
2 invite Ms. Korner now to start with her direct.
3 Ms. Korner, I know that the practice that you have been adopting,
4 not just you, but each one of you, is to go through parts of the
5 transcript upon which you then intend putting questions. You can restrict
6 that part to the events, proper events, on which you are then going to ask
7 questions. I think it will cut shorter. The other thing that I think you
8 ought to know, both of you, is that at least as far as I'm concerned, I am
9 familiar with the transcript from Stakic.
10 MS. KORNER: Is Your Honour telling me that you've read the nine
11 days worth of --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I have gone through that transcript. That much.
13 But I am not familiar with the contents of the statements of witnesses in
14 other proceedings. In other words, if you will be making reference to any
15 of those other statements, other testimonies, please let me know, a little
16 bit in advance, so that I can bring them over and have a look at them
17 because I haven't seen those.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, no. As I said originally, we are going
19 to put in only the transcript on which we rely and in this case, we took
20 the view that the Stakic transcript covered just about every aspect of Mr.
21 Sejmenovic' life. Your Honour, the reason I'm doing that is because I'm
22 well aware of the difficulties of following evidence through a transcript.
23 Equally, the witnesses can't suddenly be thrown into cross-examination
24 without some chance just to remind himself, and therefore, I don't think
25 it takes very long and I think it's better that at least we summarise the
1 major parts of the evidence that he's going to give.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Try to keep it -- condense it as much as you can so
3 that we try and finish with the witness.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I have no doubt at all this witness will
5 be finished by Wednesday.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good. Good to hear that, Ms. Korner. Yes,
7 Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have very serious doubt that he will
9 be finished by Wednesday. I will also be offering as exhibits the
10 transcripts from all the other cases.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: But in their entirety or --
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I'm going to be referring to parts of them
13 but I think in their entirety they ought to be admitted properly.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: At least if you're going to be referring to parts
15 and you know which parts, if you can indicate those to us, we can be
16 better prepared by the time you come to -- to your cross.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: I can probably do that although not immediately.
18 Maybe during the break I can prepare it or something.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We will be happy if you could do that by
20 tomorrow, by tomorrow morning.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, let's see how we get along and, I think,
22 rather than discuss how long this is going to take.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes
24 Examined by Ms. Korner:
25 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, good morning. I think your full name is Mevludin
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And were you born on the 15th of October of 1962?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And I think that you are a Bosniak by nationality?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, just so that the Court fully understands, Mr. Sejmenovic, I
8 think that you have testified first of all in the Tadic case?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Then in the case against Kovacevic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You were brought back for cross-examination in the -- what's
13 called the Keraterm case?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Sikirica and others. And you testified in full in the Stakic case
16 a few months ago?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I just want to summarise your background. I think it's correct
19 that you were in 1990 -- I'm sorry, perhaps we ought to go back, yes. No.
20 In 1990, were you elected as the first vice-president of the SDA in the
21 municipality of Prijedor?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. At that stage, were you living in the Trnopolje area?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. Sorry, can I have a translation?
1 A. That's right, yes, yes.
2 Q. Sorry. It was my fault. I hadn't put the thing on.
3 Were you in the 1990 elections elected as the member for Prijedor
4 to the republic assembly in Sarajevo?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And did you attend that assembly as well as the Prijedor Municipal
7 Assembly until the events of 1992?
8 A. Yes. All the sessions of the republic parliament and most
9 sessions of the municipal parliament.
10 Q. And before the Serbs, the Bosnian Serbs, left the republic
11 assembly in October of 1991, did you get to know the politicians in that
13 A. Yes. I did meet some of them. I met some of them personally. I
14 knew others by sight. Or I got to know them by listening to their
15 participations in the debate in parliament.
16 Q. Right. Well, let's move straight away, please, to the accused in
17 this case, Radoslav Brdjanin. When did you first meet him?
18 A. I first met him in the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 Q. When you first came across him, did you speak to him? Did you
20 have any conversations with him?
21 A. I do not recall that we personally ever conducted any kind of
22 conversation. Perhaps this did happen but I don't recall anything like
24 Q. Now, in his speeches or discussions within the assembly, what were
25 the sort of views he was putting forward?
1 A. Mr. Brdjanin, as one of the more prominent Members of Parliament,
2 is a person I noticed only in the second half of 1991, when the debate
3 took place on federal institutions, on the Yugoslav People's Army, and
4 particularly the need to regionalise Bosnia-Herzegovina. As far as I can
5 remember, that's when Mr. Brdjanin spoke more often in the debate. As for
6 the proposals to start reorganising the country or rather establishing
7 regions, he was one of the most prominent speakers and as a matter of fact
8 he insisted the most that such proposals be put through parliament.
9 Q. Can you just expand a little on what you mean by regionalisation?
10 A. In that period of time, that is to say at the moment when the SDS
11 MPs, primarily through Mr. Brdjanin, presented their demand that
12 parliament approve the regionalisation of the country, in that stage, the
13 SDS called that economic regionalisation. And they explained the need to
14 do so due to economic necessity. There were many debates in parliament
15 and it was pointed out that there was already regionalisation based on the
16 economic principle. Other parties agreed that this be discussed by having
17 this model perhaps corrected. However, the SDS wanted a completely
18 different model of regionalisation. They presented some of their own
19 parameters, but it all boiled down to the following: That they wanted to
20 create regions along the lines of the already-established Serb regions in
21 Croatia. Of course it was noticed that they started doing this in some
22 parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina even before this had been discussed in
23 parliament. So in Herzegovina they had already established a Serb region,
24 the SAO Herzegovina and they had already taken some measures with a view
25 to creating the same kind of region in the area of Bosanska Krajina.
1 Q. From the point of view of your party or you in particular, what
2 did the purpose of this regionalisation appear to be, if not economic?
3 A. The purpose was national, ethnic, and this was evident in the
4 policy of the SDS of Croatia, in the area of the neighbouring country
5 where there were Serb areas. They first called for economic
6 regionalisation and then they closed off that area and turned it into Serb
7 Autonomous Regions. So we already had experience with the SDS policies in
8 the wider area and we also had experience in the area of
10 Q. Now, you say that Brdjanin was one of the proponents of this
11 regionalisation. What sort of position did he appear to hold within the
12 SDS, in the assembly?
13 A. Until the debate on regionalisation took place, to be quite frank,
14 I considered Brdjanin to be a very ordinary MP in parliament without any
15 special kind of influence or any special kind of importance. Perhaps he
16 did have that but I was not aware of it and I could not get such an
17 impression because he was not particularly active, at least not at the
18 outset, not at the first stage of parliamentary debates. However, when
19 the debates on regionalisation started, then he was one of the most active
20 speakers and that's when I concluded -- oh, yes and of course he was
21 talking about very serious matters that could have very serious
22 consequences. I came to the conclusion then that he probably had a
23 stronger role in the SDS; perhaps he himself was struggling for that. But
24 at any rate, he came to the forefront, or for example, he was one of the
25 leading Members of Parliament among the SDS MPs. At least as far as
1 parliamentary activities were concerned.
2 Q. Now, one of the regions that was created, as we know about, was
3 the Autonomous Region of Krajina with a seat, as it were, in Banja Luka.
4 Did you become aware of Brdjanin within -- Brdjanin's position within that
5 Autonomous Region?
6 A. At first I didn't know that, only later when things were evolving
7 further I found out that this region was formally established and this was
8 disclosed in Banja Luka, and it became obvious that in this hierarchy in
9 the Autonomous Region, Mr. Brdjanin also had a place. Of course
10 Mr. Vojislav Kupresanin held the top position at the time. That the whole
11 thing was organised and that it was going on before the parliamentary
12 debate is something that I heard personally from Mr. Kupresanin. A few
13 other MPs were present during the break, everybody was having coffee. On
14 that occasion, Kupresanin was boasting to some of the other MPs of the SDS
15 that he had done a lot and that Vucurevic had done something too in
16 Herzegovina. And that other Serb MPs had not done anything except for
17 talking. That's when Kupresanin said "We have already taken over the TV
18 transmitter. We have already sealed off our own TV area. We are watching
19 TV Belgrade. We have organised this." That is part of the conversation
20 that I heard, and which clearly led me to the conclusion that this process
21 was already well underway as far as this Serb region was concerned. Or
22 rather this Autonomous Region as they formally called it later.
23 Q. Now, did you ever during this period and up until May of 1992, see
24 Brdjanin make speeches on television?
25 A. During that period, I think that this did happen several times on
1 the TV news because regionalisation was the main topic in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time and all the media and all the people who
3 discussed this or rather --
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: I object, Your Honour, to what he thinks happened
7 several times. If he's just guessing, then it's not appropriate.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you guessing? Or on what basis are you making
9 your statement?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the TV news were the
11 most -- were the -- TV programmes in Bosnia-Herzegovina that were watched
12 by most people at the time, and there were excerpts from parliamentary
13 debates and there were interviews from -- with persons, important persons
14 from various parties. Mr. Brdjanin certainly appeared there too as a
15 member of parliament for Banja Luka that had just started setting up a
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. Did you actually see him yourself on television?
19 A. I think I saw him personally but I cannot recall which TV news, on
20 which date. It would be very hard to remember exactly now. As a matter
21 of fact, I think that I spoke in parliament and that I actually replied to
22 Mr. Brdjanin and that we directly had a clash with regard to the issue of
24 Q. Now, did Mr. Brdjanin ever speak about the percentage of --
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I object to this, it's a leading
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have the question first.
3 MS. KORNER: Why is it leading?
4 MR. ACKERMAN: He's asking if he spoke about percentage or
5 something. If he heard him speak about something, he can say he did, but
6 not to be led by Ms. Korner.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Rephrase your question in a way in which it
8 is not as leading as Mr. Ackerman imagines it is going to be, Ms. Korner.
9 MS. KORNER: I just want to know what's leading about what I
10 started to ask.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. But any way, put the question and
12 then if it's really leading, I will stop you.
13 MS. KORNER:
14 Q. Did Mr. -- did you ever hear Mr. Brdjanin speak about the
15 proportion of the various nationalities that should be allowed to live in
16 the area of the Bosnian Krajina?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: My objection is that that's excessively leading.
18 MS. KORNER: I await Your Honour's ruling.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please answer the question.
20 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In parliament, during the first
22 debates on regionalisation, Mr. Brdjanin mentioned many parameters
23 supporting that theory. According to which the regions should be
24 established. He spoke about the percentage of the population in Banja
25 Luka, that it was a predominantly Serb area, about some economic
1 parameters, about some percentages of economic resources that were going
2 from Banja Luka to Sarajevo, leaving the Serb people in Banja Luka on the
3 losing end. And therefore, in parliament, during this debate, he appeared
4 to be the proponent of Serb interests exclusively in the area of Bosanska
5 Krajina. That's what it looked like. As for other people, later on, when
6 I was in Banja Luka, I heard from other people that on local TV, on radio
7 and in the Banja Luka newspapers, Mr. Brdjanin appeared often, explaining
8 that this was a Serb area which, over the past 40 or 50 years, through
9 anti-Serb policies was populated by Muslims and that therefore the Serbs
10 why imperilled and that they had to win their own national safety and
11 security there and secure for themselves their own ethnic area. Since
12 Mr. Brdjanin had a very symbolical type of speech, or rather he used
13 adjectives often, he made statements that made the ordinary people very
14 restless and very fearful. Often, these statements sounded like threats.
15 I didn't hear it, but I heard from several people that Mr. Brdjanin said
16 over the radio that the Muslims should not make sauerkraut that season
17 because they won't need it that winter or that the Muslims should not buy
18 firewood because they wouldn't need it that winter. At the same time, a
19 campaign was organised to expel, move out, the non-Serb population from
20 that area. At that time, in the Banja Luka media, people could read all
21 the time about some kind of ratios, percentages, in terms of property on
22 that territory, and that is something that happened in all towns where the
23 Serbs took measures, not only in Banja Luka. The same thing happened in
24 Prijedor. The same thing happened in Sarajevo. The same thing happened
25 there where they said what was Serb and what percentage of the property
1 there belonged to others and what percentage belonged to Serbs. And where
2 non-Serbs lived in Serb ethnic areas, so non-Serbs were living there but
3 they should leave and go to the place where they naturally belonged.
4 Your Honours, it is very hard for me now so much time after that,
5 to give you exact quotations. In a particular context, I may recall some
6 but I'm interpreting the essence of what was being said, and sometimes I'm
7 actually giving you the authentic statements that I heard at the time.
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. All right. Thank you, Mr. Sejmenovic. I want to come back to
10 Brdjanin as head of the Crisis Staff in a moment, but I want to just deal
11 briefly with the evidence that you gave about the background to these
12 events. I think you dealt with the referendum that took place in November
13 or the plebiscite - I can never remember which is which - at page 4488 of
14 the transcript in Stakic, you dealt with various documents and you dealt
15 with your knowledge of Dr. Stakic at page 4526, and then why Prijedor was
16 strategically important. Now, I want to move, please, to an assembly that
17 took place in Banja Luka after Prijedor had been taken over on the 12th of
18 May, and I'd like to you have P50, please.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, he dealt with part of this in Stakic but
20 part has been edited out.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 MS. KORNER: Since an objection was taken. Page 4623. Now --
23 Would Your Honours give me just one minute?
24 [Prosecution counsel confer]
25 MS. KORNER:
1 Q. Now, I know you weren't present, Mr. Sejmenovic, but I want to ask
2 you about some of the personalities who spoke and some of the things that
3 were said. And I think you've had a chance to have a look at it. Could
4 you turn first of all to the speech made by Karadzic which you'll find on
5 page 8? Firstly, have you heard Mr. Karadzic speak? I'm sorry, you won't
6 find that on page 8. It's on the translation, page 8. It's -- it begins,
7 "Ladies and gentlemen, deputies, honourable guests."
8 A. I found that part.
9 Q. All right. Now firstly, had you heard Karadzic speak in the
10 assembly before the Serbs left?
11 A. I heard him speak before the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina the
12 last time. I heard that he had spoken at the assembly that the Serb
13 deputies held when they left the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina and this
14 was on the TV news. In public --
15 Q. Sorry, I just want to know, because I want to ask you a general
16 question. So you had heard him speak in the assembly?
17 A. Yes. In the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, yes.
18 Q. Right. Now, I want you to look at just part of what he said here.
19 He said, "That the political conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the
20 last two years since the foundation of the HDZ, first in Croatia and then
21 in Herzegovina and later in Bosnia too with its militant and dangerous
22 gatherings with insignia of the Ustasha regime which has committed
23 genocide against us and the setting up of the SDA at its founding assembly
24 with a militant Islamic fundamentalism, et cetera." Had you heard him use
25 language like that before?
1 A. Before, in the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, he did not use
2 such wording.
3 Q. Had you heard him use such wording outside the parliament?
4 A. Outside the parliament, yes, in interviews, with some foreign
5 journalists or domestic journalists, one could hear him use some of these
6 terms, and one could read it in his statements carried by the written
7 press. However, as time went by, this kind of vocabulary began to
8 predominate in all Mr. Karadzic's public appearances.
9 Q. All right. Can we move, then, please, to the page 14 where he set
10 out the strategic goals? Sorry it's page 14 in the English. And it's the
11 paragraph that begins, "The Serbian side in Bosnia and Herzegovina."
12 MS. KORNER: Do Your Honours have copies of the actual document?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have it, Mr. Ackerman?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: No, but that's okay, Your Honour, I can follow it.
16 MS. KORNER: It was on the list.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, yes. It was clearly on the list, I just
18 neglected to bring it.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. But the important thing is I know that you
20 can follow.
21 All right. Please proceed.
22 MS. KORNER:
23 Q. Have you found that part?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. All right. In this, Karadzic part of the speech, Karadzic set out
1 the six strategic goals, so called, or priorities. The first such goal is
2 separation from the other two national communities, separation of states.
3 Now, had you heard him utter those sentiments before?
4 A. No. Well, perhaps there were some hints, perhaps generally, but
5 never directly and never as explicitly as this. Because at that stage, he
6 usually spoke about the preservation of Yugoslavia rather than separation
7 from other nations.
8 Q. And then I don't think we need go through -- well, perhaps we can
9 just summarise. The second strategic goal, the corridor between Semberija
10 and Krajina. And then the third strategic goal, the corridor in the Drina
11 valley. Fourth, the establishment of the border on the Una and Neretva
12 Rivers, division -- fifth strategic goal, division of Sarajevo. And the
13 sixth, the exit of the Serbian Republic to the sea.
14 Then, if you go, please, to the paragraph that begins, "Honourable
15 deputies, dear guests." This is page 21 of the English -- page 15 of the
16 English. Have you found that?
17 A. This is Karadzic again?
18 Q. It says here -- just a moment.
19 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, one of the difficulties is I was working
20 off a different version when I was --
21 Q. Yes. It's halfway down -- I'm sorry, Your Honour, this is what I
22 mean. It's halfway down the paragraph, that first paragraph. All right.
23 Don't worry, the point I want it make out of this is not worth wasting
24 time over. All right, could we go, then, please, next to the speech made
25 by Mr. Milosevic, not, I hasten to add, I think the Milosevic, who is on
1 trial. Do you know who that was, that Mr. Milosevic? Mr. Sejmenovic?
2 A. I know there was some Milosevic. He was either in the cabinet in
3 the government or in the parliament. I mean, the name sounds familiar or
4 perhaps I just came across it in the press, but I believe he was one of
5 the SDS officials -- I believe there was a MP called that, but I'm not
6 quite sure.
7 Q. All right. He, it would appear, was talking about the goal of
8 setting up the corridor in Northern Bosnia, and if you go to the end of
9 his speech, can you see the part that says, "I demand once again from the
10 assembly to state its position on this strategic goal. And my proposal is
11 the same as the one, no matter how megalomaniac it may be, which I
12 presented to and which was accepted by the Presidency. Mr. Brdjanin is
13 here, who was presiding in this Presidency. Mr. Radic was present. The
14 Presidency has accepted that at the moment the right bank of the Sava
15 River is our border with Croatia. Thank you, gentlemen, and I want the
16 assembly to state its position on this."
17 Had you heard discussion before of the right bank of the Sava
18 River being the border with Croatia?
19 A. No. Not formally from SDS officials, but one could hear such
20 utterances from members of the Serb Radical Party, who embraced the theory
21 that wherever there were Serbs living, it was Serb territory and that in
22 this war they should be Serbia or wherever there were some ancient Serb
23 graves that would also be historic Serb turf and which should be liberated
24 and joined with Serbia. As for the SDS, until that time, I did not hear
25 it said in public. None of their officials, that is, ever said anything
1 like that in public at that time.
2 Q. All right. Can we move, then, please, to somebody called Dragan
3 Kalinic? This is at page 22 of the translation. Now, first of all, did
4 you know Mr. Kalinic?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Well, look at his speech and then I'll ask you about him or part
7 of his speech. He said that amongst all the issues, this assembly should
8 decide on, the most important is this: "Have we chosen the option of war
9 or the option of negotiation? I say this with a reason and I must
10 instantly add that knowing who our enemies are, how perfidious they are,
11 how they cannot be trusted until they are physically, militarily destroyed
12 and crushed, which of course implies eliminating and liquidating their key
13 people. I do not hesitate in selecting the first option, the option of
14 war." Et cetera.
15 Now, had you heard Mr. Kalinic express sentiments like that
17 A. Until that time, Kalinic expressed views which were completely
18 opposite. He was a prominent member of an opposition party, that is the
19 Socialist Party or some other party, the SDP, yes, and he spoke in the
20 parliament on behalf of the left wing. He used to be antiwar,
21 anti-nationalist parties. And he very frequently spoke from that
22 position. One could never hear anything like this from Mr. Kalinic when
23 he spoke in the parliament, and I can tell you that when the Serb MPs
24 walked out of the parliament and when we heard Mr. Kalinic was one of the
25 few who left at the same time from the opposition, that is, and the public
1 was shocked by his statements, that is, first by the fact that he had gone
2 to Pale with SPS MPs and the SDS MPs and the members of the Serb Radical
3 Party and also that he was rated very highly in that group and also the
4 statements which he occasionally made for the media but shortly
5 afterwards, he was elected as a minister, and I know that his party
6 colleagues - I have some friends amongst them - simply could not believe
7 that something like that could happen to Mr. Kalinic.
8 Q. And then later on, he stated, he gave his reasoning, for saying he
9 wanted war. "They should go for war, the fate of the Serbs in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina cannot be solved in any other way but by war. It is
11 possible that in doing this the fate of us Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 would be to choose 100 years of solitude over 500 years of slavery under
13 some new Turkish empire." And finally he stated, "Why do I say that the
14 option of war seems more likely to me? Because only what has been
15 conquered militarily can become really and truly ours." And then I think
16 we can skip the rest although he made various threats in relation to
17 destruction of TV transmitters and the like.
18 Now, can we turn, please, next in this to Mr. Vjestica? Miroslav
19 Vjestica? Have you found that, Mr. Sejmenovic?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you know him?
22 A. He was a member of parliament or there was an official in the SDS
23 who was named was Vjestica. I believe he came from Bosanska Krupa and I
24 think I did meet him once about a month before the war broke out in
25 Bosanska Krupa. I mean he was easy to remember because of his rather
1 specific last name.
2 Q. Right. He apparently told the assembly that in the Serbian
3 municipality of Bosanska Krupa there were only 24 per cent of Serbs and
4 14.500 and 47.000 Muslims. He also told the assembly that: "For a year
5 and a half, we have been preparing for war in the Serbian municipality of
6 Bosanska Krupa because we knew that there would be war and it cannot be
8 You yourself were in Prijedor, which like Krupa, had a majority of
9 Muslims. Were you aware of any preparations in Prijedor for war by the
11 A. We of course were aware of the war going on in Croatia, and
12 secondly, we were also aware that the Yugoslav People's Army was planning
13 to wage war in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We became aware of
14 that when they had moved all their forces from Croatia to
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina rather than choose Serbia which would have been
16 logical. And of course, judging by the conduct of people returning from
17 the front, the behaviour of the SDS officials, and army officers in that
18 area, it was quite logical that war preparations were underway, or rather,
19 it was evident. At that time, at that time, the SDS was actively and
20 publicly taking part in preparations for war. One could hardly fail to --
21 one could hardly notice specific preparations by the SDS. Vjestica says
22 here that they had been preparing for it for about a year and a half; that
23 is before the elections. Frankly speaking, we did not notice that they
24 were doing it on the eve of the elections, at the time of the elections or
25 on the -- in the wake of the elections or perhaps it was very secret. But
1 the fact is that when the war broke out, people who were experts, people
2 who understand things about wars and fighting, that they observed that the
3 operations were following plans and were being conducted in a manner
4 indicative of a long-term preparation rather than a 15-day preparation for
5 it or a month or three months.
6 Q. All right. Can we move, then, please, to Kupresanin? Whose
7 speech in the translation starts at page 28?
8 In fact, think we can leave it, because he talked about the
9 military for the most part and can we come then finally to Mr. Brdjanin?
10 And let's have a look at that. Page 29.
11 Now, Mr. Brdjanin said this, "Mr. President, I've asked for the
12 floor only after I realised that I was the most remote, that compared to
13 everyone else I was kindergarten. I would first of all like to thank
14 those participating in the discussion. I would like to say a heart-felt
15 bravo to Mr. Kalinic. In all my appearances in this joint assembly, it
16 has never crossed my mind that though he seems quiet, while I seem
17 hawkish, his opinions are the closest to mine. I believe that this is the
18 formula and we should adhere to this formula."
19 Now, Mr. Brdjanin expressed the same surprise that you did about
20 Mr. Kalinic, apparently, but he stated that he seemed hawkish. Was that
21 the impression that you got when he was making speeches in the Sarajevo
23 A. My impression, at least when he spoke about the above-mentioned
24 topic, that he was very energetic, that sometimes his position sounded
25 like ultimatums, that he was intolerant and he was saying, I'm not quoting
1 him, but that the Serb people would do it, the people of Bosanska Krajina
2 would do something regardless of the position of the parliament. And he
3 spoke in a rather aggressive manner so that one got the impression -- I
4 wouldn't like to use the word belligerently because I do not remember him
5 mentioning war or saying that we would wage war, but he was very
6 aggressive and pretty arrogant.
7 Q. He then dealt with, in his speech, the Crisis Staff of the
8 Autonomous Region of Krajina, which I want to come back to, and then the
9 question of Muslims in the JNA. He stated this, at page -- it's page 30,
10 paragraph beginning, "How can anyone still believe it's all right that we
11 have a Muslim teaching political classes in the Banja Luka Corps?" Had
12 you come across anybody called Lieutenant Colonel Hasotic?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And as I say, the rest of the speech which was fairly lengthy,
15 dealt with the question of the armed forces mobilisation. And then
16 finally, at page 32, he said, "Unfortunately, as Mr. Kalinic has said, to
17 wage war by -- because it seems to me that this is our option, our only
19 Just so we can finish this before the break, page 32, Mr. Ostojic
20 spoke, and do you know who Mr. Ostojic was, Velibor Ostojic?
21 A. I do, yes. He was a prominent member of the SDS and he was a
22 minister in the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 Q. And he said that he noted that he fully agreed with the view
24 expressed by our colleague, Minister Kalinic, and later on stated that
25 he'd witnessed a confirmation of what Mr. Brdjanin said about the Muslims
1 and their conduct in relation to Serbian rule.
2 Then can we look, please, at Mr. Kozic at page 33? Who was
3 Mr. Kozic? Did you know him?
4 A. I knew him, yes. He was a Serb member of parliament from
5 Herzegovina. I'm not sure whether he was a member of the Serb Radical
6 Party or the Serb Democratic Party. I'm not sure about that. I do
7 remember however that he was involved in an affair which has to do with
8 arms contraband. It became public and I believe that he was stripped of
9 his seat in the parliament after that. I think it was Mr. Kozic, but I'm
10 quite sure that he represented Herzegovina in the parliament. I think his
11 first name was Dusan, that he was Dusan Kozic or something like that.
12 Q. Well, he dealt with the enemy, as he described them, "Ustashas and
13 mujahedin must be defeated by whatever means are necessary and only after
14 that can we negotiate."
15 The terms "mujahedin and Ustashas" were used by nearly every
16 speaker. Before the walkout of the Serbs in October, 1991, were those
17 sort of terms used within the assembly?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And then finally, effectively, there was various short speeches
20 and a very lengthy rambling speech from Mladic. How often did the
21 military turn up in the assembly?
22 A. I cannot answer this question, but I know on what occasions under
23 when is it that the military can appear in a parliament.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. That is, they will turn up there if they are invited to do so by
1 the state, by the government, by the parliament, to have a general there
2 submit a -- and have him submit a report, or perhaps an officer may be
3 there as a candidate for one of the portfolios in the government if the
4 parliament decides so. These are the legal possibilities allowing for a
5 general or another army officer to sit in -- to sit in the parliament, or
6 in case of the state of war or preparation for war.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think the problem that we just saw
9 was that the question that Ms. Korner asked was not properly translated
10 and so Mr. Sejmenovic was answering what he thought the question was. And
11 as I understand it, what she was asking him was how often the military
12 turned up in the assembly, and that's not what he heard in translation, I
14 JUDGE AGIUS: If that is the case, and I'm not in a position to
15 confirm or deny that, perhaps the question can be put again and
16 Mr. Sejmenovic can try to answer it.
17 MS. KORNER: It looks like an answer to me, interestingly enough.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: What Mr. Ackerman is suggesting --
19 MS. KORNER: It's not worth pursuing, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: -- based probably on what his assistant is -- has
21 explained to him, is that the -- your question was not properly
23 MS. KORNER: I'm not going to pursue it, Your Honour. Thank you
24 very much.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Please go ahead.
1 MS. KORNER: All right. Your Honour, can we ask for a break here
2 because I want to look at the video of the 12th of May and just identify
3 the persons.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We will break for 25 minutes, please.
5 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I've given Ms. Chuqing the transcript
9 reverences that you've asked for. They are just handwritten on one copy.
10 That's the best I could do for now.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you.
12 MS. KORNER: Could we have a copy as well? I don't need it
13 straight away, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner, you may proceed.
15 MS. KORNER:
16 Q. I'm going to ask you, I think Mr. Sejmenovic you had an
17 opportunity to look on Friday at a video. I'm going to ask you to have a
18 look at it please again and could you say "stop" when you recognised
19 somebody? I think that's the easiest way of dealing with it.
20 MS. KORNER: Can we play the video V0001983?
21 Is there a problem?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so because I don't see anything on my video,
23 on my monitor.
24 MS. KORNER: That's what I mean. I'm asking the video people if
25 there is a problem. I don't know whether the video booth heard. Could we
1 play, please, the video marked V0001983.
2 MS. KORNER:
3 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, as soon as you recognise somebody could you say
5 [Videotape played]
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. I see here General Talic,
7 next to him is General Mladic. In the second row, I think I see
8 Mr. Vucurevic. You may proceed.
9 MS. KORNER: All right. Yes. Carry on, please, thank you.
10 [Videotape played]
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. This is Mr. Krajisnik,
12 president of the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time when he was in
13 it. You may proceed.
14 [Videotape played]
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Next to Krajisnik is also a member
16 of parliament, I don't remember his name but I remember him. Again,
17 General Talic, Mladic. Stop. Mr. Brdjanin is standing in the third row
18 between two windows.
19 You may proceed.
20 [Videotape played]
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. I think that on the
22 right-hand side is a Serb politician from Croatia, Goran Hadzic. It seems
23 to me it's him. It looks like him, but I'm not quite sure. You may
25 [Videotape played]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is Mr. Karadzic.
2 [Videotape played]
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the left-hand side, we see
4 Mr. Koljevic, next to him is Mr. Velibor Ostojic.
5 MS. KORNER:
6 Q. Pause there for a for a moment, please, which one is Ostojic and
7 which one is Koljevic?
8 A. The elderly gentleman on the right wearing spectacles is Professor
9 Koljevic, member of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time. In
10 the middle is Mr. Velibor Ostojic, member of the SDS and minister in the
11 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Later on, he was minister in the entity
12 or rather state that the Serbs were building. This is Mr. Ostojic, whose
13 speech in parliament we considered during the previous sitting.
14 Q. All right.
15 MS. KORNER: Carry on, please.
16 [Videotape played]
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again here we see Mr. Brdjanin.
18 [Videotape played]
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. Here we see Mr. Kupresanin.
20 You may proceed.
21 [Videotape played]
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I remember many of the
23 people who are on this video footage but I can't remember their names.
24 For the most part they are former Members of Parliament of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Again, General Talic and General Mladic.
1 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much. That's all. Although I played
2 that video in opening, it never was exhibited yet, so can we make it
3 P1531, please.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: It is being so admitted.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: It is being so admitted.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. Now, Mr. Sejmenovic, I just want to deal fairly quickly with
9 matters that happened to you before we look at some photographs and one
10 more video. You, I think, described what happened after the takeover in
11 Prijedor to the Stakic Judges, and you then dealt with the meeting that
12 was held with the SDS in Prijedor, and then the attack which took place on
13 Kozarac on the 24th of May. And I also think you gave a lengthy -- or
14 gave lengthy evidence both in chief and under cross-examination about the
15 organisation of the Muslim TO in Kozarac.
16 Now, I think that you yourself went into hiding after the attack
17 but eventually went to Trnopolje, which by then had been turned into this
18 camp, and from there, you were taken to Prijedor, first of all to the
19 police station where you were beaten, and finally to Omarska; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Before we deal with the video in relation to Omarska or about
23 which you've been asked on a number of occasions but so the judges can see
24 it, can I just ask you to have a look at some photographs, please?
25 First -- some have already been exhibited, others not. Can you look first
1 of all, please, at one which has been marked with ERN number 01002441? Do
2 you recognise that, Mr. Sejmenovic?
3 A. I recognise it. This is the camp of Omarska on this photograph,
4 or rather before the war, these were the facilities of the Omarska mine.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, just to remind you, these were the ones
6 taken in 2000 by Mr. Inayat.
7 Q. Can you look, please, next?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: This is going to be exhibit --
9 MS. KORNER: There is a collection, I gather, of photographs
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Ms. Korner.
12 MS. KORNER:
13 Q. And then second one -- can we just give it to the witness and then
14 we'll hand them out afterwards. We'll put it on the ELMO. Do you
15 recognise that as an aerial view of Omarska?
16 A. Yes. That's it. These are the facilities of the mine.
17 Q. Can you just -- I'm sorry, can you just indicate where is
18 Trnopolje in relation to that?
19 A. In relation to this camp, Trnopolje is in this direction here. In
20 the direction in which I'm pointing this pointer. So it's over here.
21 Q. All right.
22 MS. KORNER: That will be, Your Honour, .39. Thank you.
23 Q. Could you have a look, two shots of aerial, first of all, 24 --
24 I'm sorry, I'm told these are already exhibited. Already distributed.
25 This is 2428. What are we looking at there, please, Mr. Sejmenovic?
1 A. The area of Kozarac and, in the background, the mountain of
2 Kozara. The road that we see in the middle of the photograph is the Banja
3 Luka-Prijedor road or rather the Prijedor-Banja Luka road and the road
4 that I'm showing now is the Kozarac-Trnopolje road.
5 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, I'm just looking for my note of something.
6 Q. I just want to ask you this about that photograph for a moment.
7 Yeah. Can you indicate where the artillery was stationed during the
8 attack on Kozarac on that photograph?
9 A. On this photograph, I can show the directions involved or some
10 places. The artillery was on Kozara, on Benkovac. I think it's in this
11 area here, around here approximately. It was in this area, above the
12 quarry. It was in this area, in the direction of this road, and then
13 below the road in the area of Vrapci [phoen]. It was above the road, but
14 further on, in the area of Orlovci and further on in the area of Urija.
15 It was on the opposite side towards Trnopolje and further on towards
16 Ribnjak, and Tomasica. It was in the area of Omarska in this direction,
17 so these are some of the localities where there was artillery.
18 MR. KORNER: Thank you. And then finally, the photograph marked
19 0 -- sorry, that will be, Your Honour, that's 1128-40.
20 Q. Finally, could you have a look at 01002426? All right. I don't
21 think it matters much, Your Honour, because we seem to be -- you've
22 already got it but -- thanks. Now, looking again it's another aerial
23 shot. Can you just indicate where Trnopolje was -- is, sorry?
24 A. This is Kozarac from the opposite direction, in relation to the
25 other direction that we were viewing it from. So now Kozarac is here
1 closer to me, and these are the slopes of Mount Kozara and the villages in
2 Kozara and this is the road towards Trnopolje. Trnopolje is in this area.
3 Behind Trnopolje are Ribnaca [phoen], Sanicani and then Tomasica. So
4 Trnopolje is below Kozarac in this area. It can't be seen well in this
5 photograph, but it is located in the area that I'm pointing out right now.
6 On the right-hand side further on we see the road, Prijedor-Banja Luka,
7 the Prijedor-Banja Luka road and what we see here, at the very end of this
8 photograph, is probably the outskirts of Prijedor.
9 Q. All right. Thank you very.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that will be 1128.41. Your Honour, it's
11 not -- you can actually just make out, it's better on the original rather
12 than on the ELMO.
13 Q. All right. I think you were then in Omarska for sometime before
14 you were taken out of Omarska by Kupresanin, apparently on the orders of
15 Karadzic because you overheard a conversation between Kupresanin and
16 Karadzic. But whilst you were there, were you interviewed by Serb
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. I'm going to ask now that that be played.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's actually -- there is a lengthy --
21 effectively what it was was Penny Marshall being followed around by Serb
22 television. I think I'm going to ask if they can find it -- I didn't set
23 it out because I was going to play the whole video, but I don't think
24 that's necessary -- the part where it says -- it's on the transcript, if
25 Your Honours have got it, reporter -- maybe it's just quicker to play the
1 whole thing through. Your Honour, I will just ask the video be played and
2 then I'll stop it after the -- the number is S151, yeah.
3 [Videotape played]
4 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Prijedor looks quite dismal after the
5 fighting and villages were --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear the sound any
8 MS. KORNER: I suggest the interpreter doesn't bother to interpret
9 because there is a transcript.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MS. KORNER: Pause, please. Can we stop the video, please, and go
12 back? Can we reverse the video until I say stop, please? Stop. Stop.
13 Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic do you recognise the road with the destroyed
15 buildings on it? Stop the video, please.
16 A. It could be one of the several roads by which there were destroyed
17 houses. This is the old road or the road Prijedor-Banja Luka, the old
18 road through Kamicani. It could be the road Kozarac-Trnopolje. Along all
19 these roads there were destroyed or burned houses, a large number of
20 houses, because it was mostly non-Serb families, non-Serb population, that
21 lived along these roads, so I cannot state anything with certainty. I
22 assume that they are going where they say that this TV crew is going,
23 namely Trnopolje-Omarska.
24 MS. KORNER: All right. Can we continue the video, please?
25 [Videotape played]
1 MS. KORNER: Yes. Thank you very much. That's all I want to play
2 of the video.
3 Your Honour, I'm not sure what we are calling this, oh, yes,
5 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, you've been asked about this video on a number of
6 occasions and gave a very long explanation in the Stakic trial around page
7 4795 of the transcript. Just in summary, why did you say the things that
8 you were saying there? For example blaming Mujadic for the horrors that
9 had taken place, as we see from the transcript?
10 A. I had to because that was what they wanted to hear. Had I told
11 what I really thought, I suppose I would have been killed after the
13 Q. As I say, you gave -- and I'm not going to give you the
14 explanation again, a long explanation.
15 Now, finally, Mr. Sejmenovic, I want to ask you about -- I want to
16 go back to Mr. Brdjanin. You've described what he was like in the
17 parliament and we've gone through the speech that he made. He became --
18 and there is, as I understand it, no dispute about this -- the President
19 of the ARK, the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff. Now, in your
20 view, from what you know of him as a person, was he someone who could have
21 been a mere figure head in that Crisis Staff?
22 A. At that time, perhaps one could get that impression. However, his
23 subsequent activity, his high ranking amongst the Serb politicians showed
24 that that was not really the case because he was promoted and appointed to
25 very important offices, such as, for instance, Deputy Prime Minister or
1 Assistant Prime Minister or a ministerial position. That is what I think.
2 Q. You started your answer by saying, "At that time perhaps one could
3 get that impression." What do you mean by that?
4 A. I said that at that time, it could have been the case, because I
5 do not know. I was not aware. I didn't know what were the relations
6 within the SDS at the time. What I do know for a fact is that at least at
7 the local level, the Serb Democratic Party at times designated to
8 positions people for, I presume, some formal reasons and then replaced
9 them by some other people. I'm referring to the local level. Whether it
10 held true of the higher echelons, I do not know. What I'm saying is that
11 this was the first important position that Mr. Brdjanin held that I
12 heard -- that I heard of. But after that, he did not disappear from the
13 political stage. He moved up and up to ever more important political
14 functions so for me, it is logical to think that he was not a figure-head
15 but I'm saying this is my opinion and my impression.
16 Q. Yes. I'm more interested in from what you knew of his personality
17 and the type of speeches that he made whilst you were in the assembly with
18 him, in your view, was he someone who would sit back and let someone else
19 take the decisions? And be merely content to sign off on other people's
21 A. I don't think so. I don't think so. Because I know that in Banja
22 Luka, he had a lot of weight in the political hierarchy. Once
23 Mr. Kupresanin took me to the parliament building, I overheard a fragment
24 of conversation of some Serb politicians and they were mentioning
25 Mr. Brdjanin and from the context, I gathered that they were -- that
1 Brdjanin, Kupresanin, were on very poor terms, because at that time,
2 Kupresanin referred to Mr. Brdjanin adversely. He mentioned some state
3 reserves, petrol, fuel, but I overheard only a fragment of that
4 conversation and I cannot really give it to you verbatim. I also know
5 that they were part of the local political structures but that they
6 advocated different options. Kupresanin lost his positions eventually and
7 Brdjanin continued to move up. I was also interested in the fate of a
8 colleague, a Serb politician, with whom I was on very good terms. He came
9 from a place called Celinac, near Banja Luka and whose last name was
10 Kuzmanovic because in the early days of the war I never heard his name
11 mentioned publicly. And then the gentleman whom I asked about him told me
12 that that Kuzmanovic had lost his influence and that he had got into some
13 trouble because of Brdjanin because allegedly Brdjanin came from the same
14 area. And refugees from Celinac, who arrived in September, sometime in
15 early September, in Bosanska Vrbanja, they were saying, at least according
16 to what they said, that their houses had been burnt and that they had been
17 expelled because it had been done by some local officials following the
18 orders of Mr. Brdjanin. Now, I am giving you the talk of semi-literate
19 people, men and women, that I heard. But I know that this Kuzmanovic who
20 was a friend of mine, he was not a prominent figure and Mr. Brdjanin made
21 a career, made head way in politics, but that is all that I can say about
23 Q. Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. Sejmenovic.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it's going to take me a few minutes to
1 get organised. I'll do it as fast as I can.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you require any help, Mr. Ackerman?
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Ackerman:
4 Q. Good morning.
5 A. [In English] Good morning.
6 Q. I have a lot of things that I want to talk to you about, and I
7 have no idea how long it's going to take, but let me tell you this. I'm
8 going to try to ask you questions, as much as I'm able to, that you should
9 be able to answer fairly easily. Some of them I think you should be able
10 to answer with a simple yes or no. But the amount of time you spend here
11 is going to depend to a great extent on the length of the answers that you
12 give, and so if you will try to listen to my questions, try to understand
13 what I'm asking you, and give the shortest possible answers and just
14 answer the question that I'm asking you, I think we can move through this
15 fairly quickly. Would that be fair?
16 A. [Interpretation] I'll do my best.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Incidentally, that's the advice that we give you as
18 well. Try to answer the question, the whole question and nothing but the
19 question. We don't want whole stories, not exactly related to the
20 question that is being asked or that is being put to you.
21 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. The first thing I want to ask you about is whether by any chance
24 you have been watching this trial or listening to it by any of the means
25 that are available for you to do that? Have you seen any part of this
2 A. No.
3 Q. Are you a member -- are you a member of any kind of an association
4 of detainees or former camp inmates or any association of that kind?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Have you ever been?
7 A. Not personally, no. Whether somebody put my name on a list
8 without my knowledge, without telling me that, I do not know.
9 Q. You certainly -- from your knowledge, you're not a member of any
10 such association; correct?
11 A. I don't remember enrolling.
12 Q. Okay. Well, I'm not asking you that question because I know the
13 answer. I'm asking you because I'm trying to find out, okay?
14 A. No, I've already told you. I did not, how did they put together,
15 lists in the various associations I do not know that. Perhaps some put my
16 name somewhere because they knew that I had been to the camp, but I never
17 joined actively any such association.
18 Q. I suggest to you, sir, and I put it to you, sir, that in your
19 various testimonies and statements regarding the events in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that to some extent you've simply made up answers
21 because you believe they sounded good in the context of the testimony you
22 were giving. Is that a fair statement?
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour --
24 A. No, it isn't.
25 MS. KORNER: That's a wrap up question. I suggest Mr. Ackerman
1 puts each individual thing he says he made up rather than a general
2 statement like that.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, your objection is sustained, Ms. Korner. I
4 don't suppose that you're suggesting to the witness that he made up all
5 his testimony in the Stakic and in other cases and what he told us this
7 MR. ACKERMAN: My question was clear in that regard too, Your
8 Honour. I didn't suggest that everything was made up.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So I mean, if it not everything, if there is
10 anything in particular that you're suggesting has been made up by the
11 witness, then you should indicate that and put the direction -- the
12 question as direct -- as direct as you would like.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: That's -- will definitely happen, Your Honour.
14 Q. The first thing that I want to talk with you about, sir, is your
15 statement to the OTP. And you mentioned a bit of this in your testimony
16 this morning also. It probably would be helpful for you to have a copy of
17 your OTP statement dated 2nd November, 2000. I think you told us in your
18 direct testimony a while ago that you first became acquainted with
19 Mr. Brdjanin as when he was a member of the parliament representing Banja
20 Luka. Is that true?
21 A. In the parliament, in the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 Q. Yes. That was your first acquaintance with Mr. Brdjanin when he
23 was there representing Banja Luka. Is that what your testimony is?
24 A. He came to represent Banja Luka -- the area of Banja Luka in the
25 parliament. I came from Prijedor. Everybody came from a different area.
1 I began to notice him in the parliament, that is, he became somebody whom
2 I saw at the parliamentary sessions. Before that, I did not know him.
3 Q. Don't you know that Mr. Brdjanin never was a member of parliament
4 from Banja Luka? Don't you know that?
5 A. Mr. Brdjanin was a member of parliament from the area of Banja
6 Luka, sir. The area of Banja Luka is pretty large. I did not mean -- I
7 did not mean the municipality or the town of Banja Luka, but the region of
8 Banja Luka, the region whose capital, whose principal city is Banja Luka.
9 I cannot remember exactly, but I think that Mr. Brdjanin was on the -- was
10 a member of the Chamber of Citizens. I'm not quite sure but I think so,
11 and MPs, the Chamber of Citizens, were elected from larger constituencies
12 and that was called the constituency of Banja Luka so I think there is a
13 misunderstanding here. I think you understood -- you didn't understand it
14 in the way that I interpreted it.
15 Q. Well, you represented the municipality of Prijedor, and in that
16 representation, you were able, for instance, to attend and did attend
17 meetings of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor, didn't you?
18 A. At times, when I was in Prijedor, if I didn't have a session to
19 attend in Sarajevo at the same time.
20 Q. I want you to refer to -- I'm going to refer to your statement to
21 the Prosecutor now. It says page 2 at the bottom but it's actually the
22 first page of your statement in the English version. You talk about what
23 Mr. Brdjanin said and you give an example. For example, in the autumn of
24 1992, Brdjanin said on television that non-Serbs did not need wood for the
25 winter. Correct?
1 A. Earlier on, I -- that is before the break, I gave you this
2 example. This is what I heard from rank and file, non-Serb people, who
3 were not active, who were just ordinary people, who listened to the radio
4 hour after hour because they lived in fear and they didn't know what was
5 in store for them, and I think I said that on several occasions during
6 this case.
7 Q. As I said when we started, you're going to be here a very long,
8 long time if you don't answer my questions. The question was simple. In
9 your statement, you said, in the autumn of 1992, Brdjanin said on
10 television that non-Serbs did not need wood for the winter. Isn't that
11 the case? Isn't that what you said?
12 A. Yes, but I did not say who I heard it from and whether I watched
13 it. It does not here I saw on television because that is not what it says
14 here. Had I seen it on television, I would have told Their Honours I saw
15 it on television.
16 Q. Where were you in the autumn of 1992, when this statement, you
17 think, was made on television?
18 A. I do not know when it was, when the statement was made on
19 television and when I heard it from people who said had heard it. It was
20 the autumn of 1992, in Bosanska Vrbanja, which is a Banja Luka suburb.
21 Q. I'm sorry, I think I misunderstood you. Are you saying that
22 that's where you were in the autumn of 1992, when this statement was made?
23 A. I'm telling you now, I was in Bosanska Vrbanja, which is a Banja
24 Luka suburb or if you like, a locality as you come -- arrive in Banja Luka
25 from the direction of Celinac. That is Kotor Varos or Celinac.
1 Q. I think you made it clear that you didn't actually see this
2 television statement of Mr. Brdjanin, haven't you?
3 A. That's correct. I didn't. But I heard about it. On this
4 occasion I did not say where I heard about it or from whom, but I was not
5 asked to say all of that.
6 Q. What -- what position did Mr. Brdjanin hold in the autumn of 1992,
7 do you know?
8 A. In the autumn of 1992, or rather when I was brought to Banja Luka,
9 at that time I did not know which position Mr. Brdjanin held. I think I
10 didn't know in the autumn of 1992 either or at least I can't recall now
11 what specific position he held then. I just know that among the non-Serb
12 population, his name was mentioned a lot. I knew for sure that he was one
13 of the important officials, so we are talking about the period in the
14 autumn of 1992.
15 Q. It's true, isn't it, that you never saw Mr. Brdjanin on television
16 in 1992?
17 A. I don't dare say yes or no. I can't remember enough. Possibly, a
18 few times I did watch Serb television in Bosanska Vrbanja but right now I
19 really cannot remember what I did see and what I did not see because I
20 lived under very difficult circumstances.
21 Q. So I take it the answer is no, you didn't see him on television?
22 That you can recall?
23 A. I don't remember. I don't remember.
24 Q. Mr. Brdjanin wasn't involved in getting you out of Omarska, was
1 A. No. I did not see him there.
2 Q. That was August of 1992; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Karadzic was involved in that and he dealt directly with
5 Kupresanin with regard to getting you out of Omarska, didn't he?
6 A. That became clear to me in Banja Luka. He said openly -- I mean
7 he talked to the President openly, and he said to me that he had had that
8 conversation, and later on he took me to meet him.
9 Q. It was Kupresanin that Karadzic replied upon to come to Omarska,
10 to bring you to Banja Luka, to take care of some of your needs once you
11 got there, wasn't it?
12 A. I found out that Karadzic appointed Kupresanin, coordinator for
13 humanitarian matters, and as coordinator for humanitarian affairs, he sent
14 him to Omarska. I saw that in a document that was later given to me so
15 that I would hand it over to the Red Cross, the International Red Cross or
16 perhaps it was on some pass that was supposed to let me move around. I
17 don't remember any more.
18 Q. Do you know what position, official position, Mr. Kupresanin held
19 at that time? When he came and got you out of Omarska?
20 A. He was president of the Autonomous Region of Krajina and that's
21 what he said when he came to Omarska. He said exactly, "I am the
22 President of the Autonomous Region of Krajina."
23 Q. And he took you to his offices in Banja Luka, didn't he?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And at no time that you were in Banja Luka, after having been
1 brought there by Mr. Kupresanin, until the time that you left
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, did you ever see Mr. Brdjanin; correct?
3 A. I never saw Mr. Brdjanin in person. I heard him mentioned in
4 conversations but I did not see him actually.
5 Q. I want to go now to this issue of regionalisation and I'd like to
6 you look again at your statement in the second paragraph, after what you
7 said about Brdjanin speaking on television. You were talking about the
8 regionalisation, economic regionalisation, and you said that, "According
9 to the plan he presented, it was apparent that the project was not based
10 on economic principles. It was contrary to basic economic parameters. If
11 one looked at a map, it was clearly an attempt to create a national
12 territory." That's what you said in your statement; correct? And that's
13 all I'm asking you. Is that what you said in your statement?
14 A. Yes, yes. That's what it says here. That's what I signed.
15 Q. So the plan for regionalisation was presented to the assembly by
16 Brdjanin. Is that your testimony?
17 A. Yes. I remember that Brdjanin did that. Possibly other Members
18 of Parliament did that too. Yes, certainly, quite a few people from the
19 SDS took part in the debate about this but Brdjanin was the most active in
20 this respect. I think that he was the first one to present this in public
21 and to explain the need to create a region.
22 Q. When did Brdjanin present the plan?
23 A. I cannot remember exactly. It was in the second half -- or around
24 the middle of 1991 or in the second half of 1991. I think. I really
25 cannot remember exactly now, but I think that there are minutes from these
1 sessions and that should be no problem to find that.
2 Q. And it's your position that, I take it, that he was presenting
3 this plan for regionalisation, seeking the approval of the assembly, for
4 the creation of a region? Asking the assembly to create such a region;
6 A. He advocated the policy of the SDS. The policy of the SDS through
7 its MPs called for the parliament amending the law on regionalisation,
8 that existing regionalisation was no good and they asked a new
9 regionalisation to be embarked upon, completely new. Other parties
10 accepted to have an analysis of the existing regionalisation and to have
11 it corrected. The SDS wanted to do it from scratch, the way we put it,
12 and Brdjanin tried to get this through, and he explained the reasons for
13 it. Of course, in part, this is an expert matter. I'm not an economist
14 by training. I'm not a lawyer. I'm not a historian, but I know that in
15 parliament there were doctors and economists and historians and that this
16 subject was dealt with from a professional point of view, with the SDS
17 MPs, and there were different reasons that were presented and very
18 qualified persons in parliament who discussed this from a professional
19 point of view said the kind of things that I mentioned here. There is no
20 reason for me not to respect their views. Otherwise, I am not an expert
21 in economics and I cannot discuss economic parameters to a great extent.
22 Q. We'll get to that in just a minute. So I guess your answer to my
23 question is this: That he was seeking an amendment to the existing law
24 regarding regionalisation by the presentation he was making to the
1 A. He wanted the assembly to adopt a conclusion to embark upon
2 regionalisation. Just like any member of parliament, he presented this
3 proposal and parliament refused this with a vast majority at that. From
4 that point in time, this could no longer be done.
5 Q. All right. You just told us that the SDS was seeking -- and these
6 are your words -- for the parliament amending the law on regionalisation.
7 That was your testimony just a moment ago. So what amendment was it that
8 was being sought? There was a current law on regionalisation already in
9 existence. You told us that Mr. Brdjanin wanted to amend it. How did he
10 want to amend it? What was the amendment? What was the nature of that
12 A. No. As far as I can remember, so I am saying that I am not an
13 expert in this field, as I can remember, as a regular MP, the SDS brought
14 this question up before parliament, but they did not agree to have
15 existing regionalisation, economic organisation, looked at. They called
16 for a completely new principles.
17 Q. What I'm asking you is how did they want it amended? What
18 amendment were they seeking? If you don't know, just tell us you don't
19 know. That's okay.
20 A. I said what I know about that. They asked for the boundaries of
21 certain regions to be changed. As far as I can remember, they asked for
22 the grouping of Serb ethnic areas in the region. Also, certain areas were
23 supposed to be included in these envisaged regions without any economic
24 parameters and I heard the views of professional people, experts, in this
25 area, who did not challenge this.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You are repeating yourself. Please try to stick to
2 the question -- to answering the question that is put to you. And don't
3 try to repeat. Because otherwise, you're going to --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: -- to be here and to have to return to this Tribunal
6 after Wednesday. So it's up to you. Please try to answer.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: -- yes or no or shortly in any case.
9 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
10 MR. ACKERMAN:
11 Q. Is it the case that you really don't know the amendments that were
12 being sought to the regionalisation law? If you do know them, just very
13 briefly tell us how they were wanting it to be amended?
14 A. I don't know what the boundaries were of the pre-war regions. I
15 don't know that exactly. But I do know that the new boundaries and maps
16 that were shown linked up certain municipalities and areas that according
17 to existing plans were not part of such a region. I also know that the
18 process of ethnic regionalisation in Serb areas in the neighbouring state
19 had already been completed. Also, already at that point in time it was
20 known that in Herzegovina, a Serb Autonomous Region had been established.
21 In Banja Luka, at that point in time, the TV system of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 had been taken away from the state, or rather a transmitter had been taken
23 away, and this rounded off the area that was under the control of Serb
24 politics and they were even boasting about this in parliament.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You are going beyond what was asked from you. The
1 question was very simple and you answered it at the beginning and then you
2 went on and on and on. The question what is it the case that you really
3 don't know the amendments that were being sought to the regionalisation
4 law. If you do know them just very briefly tell us how they were wanting
5 it to be amended. You started giving the details and now you are going
6 beyond. Please try to stick to the questions that are being asked of you.
7 Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN:
9 Q. You told us that you were not an economic expert and therefore you
10 were not able to discuss economic issues. I'm wondering in light of that
11 why in your statement you told the investigator from the Office of the
12 Prosecutor that the plan presented by Mr. Brdjanin was contrary to basic
13 economic parameters. If you're not an economic expert, how would you know
15 A. I knew that because that was the standpoint of professors of
16 economics from the Sarajevo university. That's what it was at that time,
17 too. There is no reason for me to believe otherwise.
18 Q. How was it contrary to basic economic parameters? In what way?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: In what way it means not how you understand it, but
20 how it was explained to you because obviously if you're not an expert,
21 you're not in a position to give your own opinion on this.
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. If you don't know, that's okay. You can just say that.
24 A. Well, no. I said so. I mean I know it in part and I don't know
25 it in part. The municipality of Bosanski Petrovac cannot but be linked
1 with Bihac in terms of economic links because it is along the road that
2 links Bihac with Central Bosnia. And this in turn is linked up to Banja
3 Luka, according to this alleged economic regionalisation. There were
4 similar examples, but I can't remember them now.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Do we need to go into all this, Mr. Ackerman?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm nearly finished, Your Honour. I have one more
7 question about it.
8 Q. And the final thing you said about that plan was if one looked at
9 a map, it was clearly an attempt to create a national territory. I'd like
10 you to look, please, at P446 -- I think it's 446.1. Now, sir, you have
11 there before you a map of the Autonomous Region of Krajina and you said
12 that for it to be economically viable, and that it was contrary to basic
13 economic parameters if it didn't include Bihac, you'll notice that in fact
14 it does include Bihac. So what else about it makes it economically and in
15 violation of -- contrary to basic economic parameters? What is it about
16 this map that does that?
17 A. Sir, before the war, the area that we see here was the area of two
18 regions associated on the basis of an economic principle, the region of
19 Banja Luka and the region of Bihac or as they were called the community of
20 municipalities of Bihac and the community of municipalities of Banja Luka.
21 A fusion took place here of two regions. As for expertise, I cannot go
22 into that and I cannot speak to you about that, but now all of this was
23 put under the control of Banja Luka.
24 Q. And what you said was that it was an attempt, if you just look at
25 a map, it was clearly an attempt to create a national territory. That's
1 what you said in your statement to the Prosecutor, didn't you?
2 A. Yes, sir. But this is not a map of the Autonomous Region of
3 Krajina. The Autonomous Region of Krajina did not include Bihac. It was
4 only part of Bosanska Krupa that was included so a significant part in
5 this area was not included.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think this -- I think it's composed as
7 we know from the documents, various municipalities joined at various
8 times. So it's not right to say that this represents the Autonomous
9 Region of Krajina at the time that Mr. Sejmenovic is talking about. So --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: In any case, he's affirming that Bihac was not part
11 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina then. Which I think can be
12 established from other sources. It's true that this map does show Bihac.
13 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour, it's a composite. It shows it
14 every municipality that was within it within the period that we were
15 talking about the municipalities that we were going to call evidence on.
16 There are loads of municipalities that are not shown on this map.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. And the period we are talking about is the period of 1992?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: We are talking of the period of 1991, Mr. Ackerman,
20 when the first --
21 MR. ACKERMAN: That's true, that's true.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Because we are still during at --
23 MR. ACKERMAN: At the parliament.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: In the stage of the proposal.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's go -- let's proceed.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm now confused. Is it the Prosecutor's position
3 that this map was not accurate? That that was their exhibit.
4 MS. KORNER: I said over and over again about this map, and I said
5 it when I opened it. This map shows the municipalities about which we
6 intended when we have the time to call evidence. It does not show when
7 each municipality joined. It does not show the other municipalities about
8 which we were not going to be calling evidence, for example, Mrkonjic-Grad
9 which also formed part of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. I hope that's
11 MR. ACKERMAN: It's on the map. Mrkonjic-Grad is on the map.
12 What municipality is not on this map but was part of the Autonomous Region
13 of Krajina?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think that's important at this stage,
15 Mr. Ackerman. Let's proceed with the questions.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. Sir, the whole --
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm through with the map.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. Sir, the whole idea of regionalisation was not some radical new
21 concept, was it?
22 A. In the way in which the SDS had conceived of it, yes. It proved
23 to be a radical new concept.
24 Q. Well, so far today you've not been able to tell us what the
25 difference -- what change it was, that the SDS representatives were trying
1 to make in the law that made it some radical new concept. You haven't
2 been able to explain that yet. And so to say that it's a different
3 concept as presented by the SDS is meaningless unless you can tell us what
4 was the difference.
5 A. The difference lies in the following: According to the SDS
6 concept, the community of municipalities is supposed to have its own
7 information area. It is supposed to exercise influence over education,
8 greater influence over the economy that it had -- than it had before. And
9 so on. These are the general things I mentioned. Don't ask me now to go
10 into specific paragraphs. I don't remember that. And regardless of
11 everything, the process continued according to the pattern that the SDS
12 had conceived.
13 Q. Well, there had been regions for four decades before the
14 multi-party elections, hadn't there?
15 A. There were communities of municipalities, and they were linked
16 only on the basis of economic principles. At the level of inter-municipal
17 economic interests.
18 Q. And for 25 years, there had been an association of municipalities
19 of Banja Luka. That was an economically based association; isn't that
21 A. Probably.
22 Q. In one of your testimonies, sir, at -- it's from 8 July, 1998,
23 IT-97-24-T, in response to a question, your answer at page 383, was "Banja
24 Luka had its association of municipalities in accordance with the relevant
25 law of the republic. Such organisation was in place for the past 25
1 years, I believe." And then after you had said that, a page later, sir,
2 you were asked the following question: "Did the SDS later declare the
3 creation of a Serb Autonomous Region in the northern area of Bosnia
4 referred to as the Autonomous Region of Krajina?" And your answer was,
5 "Yes, they did."
6 Do you remember that?
7 A. I remember that we talked about that. I cannot remember
8 everything exactly because it all took a long time.
9 Q. Do you stand by the statement that the SDS declared the creation
10 of a Serb Autonomous Region called the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
11 A. The Autonomous Region of Banja Luka. I don't know. I can't
12 remember exactly, the exact name, but it can be seen on the stamps that I
13 gave to you. I think it was called the Autonomous Region of Krajina if we
14 are talking about the Banja Luka region.
15 Q. I'm not --
16 A. It was called the Autonomous Region of Krajina, yes, because on
17 the stamp, it says, the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, with
18 its seat in Banja Luka, yes.
19 Q. I'm really not trying to quarrel with you about the name. What
20 I'm asking you about is your statement that the SDS declared the creation
21 of a Serb Autonomous Region and called it Autonomous Region of Krajina.
22 Do you stand by the position that it was declared by the SDS as a Serb
23 Autonomous Region?
24 A. If you're asking in a formal sense, the party meets and enacts
25 something as a party document. I don't know. If it is an enactment by
1 those who had met, that is to say the representatives of some
2 municipalities that had met and agreed and proclaimed this, I assume that
3 that's the way it was. But I know that from a political point of view,
4 all of this was organised by the SDS. When I say that something was done
5 by the SDS, I mean that interpretation. This free interpretation. I
6 don't know what the founding legal enactment looked like and whose actual
7 stamp was on this document. I don't remember that.
8 Q. All right. We'll get into that in a little more detail in a
9 moment. I think it's time to take a break.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's have a 25-minute break.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I at the end of the session have
14 three minutes to deal with Mr. Ackerman's Rule 92 response? Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Just remind me, however.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: When we are nearing the end of the sitting, just
18 draw my attention to it. Thanks.
19 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. During your -- I'm going to do something else for a moment, then
22 we will come back to where we were, sir. During your testimony earlier
23 this morning, you talked about how there came a time when Mr. Brdjanin
24 moved up in the hierarchy and Mr. Kupresanin and Mr. Kuzmanovic
25 disappeared basically politically. Do you recall saying something to that
2 A. I said that that was my impression at that time.
3 Q. What you said was --
4 A. And later on, I also realised that it held true of some other
5 names, too.
6 Q. I think in fact what you said was that Mr. Brdjanin kept moving
7 up. Are you aware that after he was president of the ARK Crisis Staff, he
8 only held one other job and that was Minister of Construction of Republika
10 A. Yes. I learned from the media that he was a minister. I think he
11 was the minister responsible for reconstruction and development and that
12 he was also Deputy Prime Minister or Vice Prime Minister. I know nothing
13 about any other offices that he might have held.
14 Q. And you know that he was an engineer? Or did you not know that?
15 A. I think he had something to do with forestry but I cannot confirm
16 this, but I think while we were in the parliament still, that it was --
17 that there was mention that he had something to do with forestry so
18 perhaps he was a forestry engineer.
19 Q. And do you know that he was dismissed from that position in the
20 ministry for making speeches against war profiteers?
21 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
22 Q. Let's talk for a moment about Mr. Kuzmanovic. In the parliament,
23 there were -- there were two houses almost, basically. There was the
24 Council of Citizens and the Council of Municipalities. Is that fair?
25 A. It is.
1 Q. And the Council of Citizens would have been made up of people who
2 were elected from regions like you talked about the Banja Luka region and
3 the Council of Municipalities was made up of people who were elected from
4 specific municipalities; correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. And Mr. Brdjanin was in the Council of Municipalities representing
7 the municipality of Celinac and Mr. Kuzmanovic was in the Council of
8 Citizens, isn't that true?
9 A. Possibly but I don't really remember in which of the two
10 chambers -- on which chamber each of them sat.
11 Q. And isn't it true that Mr. Kuzmanovic remained president of the
12 SDS in Celinac throughout the war period and from 1992 to 1999, served as
13 the assistant Minister of Health?
14 A. I know nothing about that. I do know that there was a university
15 professor, doctor, specialist in Banja Luka, who was also Kuzmanovic. He
16 was this Kuzmanovic that I mentioned's brother or a relative of his, I
17 think. He was a highly distinguished specialist and professor at a
18 medical department in the university in Banja Luka. Whether this is one
19 and the same person or two different people, I don't know. But that
20 Kuzmanovic that I'm talking about from Celinac, he was a man I was very
21 fond of before the war and I think we were on very good terms. We
22 understood one another when we talked about politics, but then later on, I
23 could not hear his name mentioned in the media and I wanted to know where
24 he was and whether he still held some office. People who knew him, that
25 is the refugees, those expelled from Celinac, told me that he held no
1 office, at least not in a broader area. What happened later, I do not
2 know. I'm simply not aware of further developments.
3 Q. The person I'm asking you about is the Kuzmanovic that you knew
4 from Celinac and I'm asking you, I guess you don't know, if he was the
5 Minister of -- Assistant Minister of Health through 1999. I take it you
6 don't know that.
7 A. No, no. I do not -- I do not know it. I think that it is
8 professor Kuzmanovic from Banja Luka, a professor at the school of
9 medicine in Banja Luka.
10 Q. And Mr. Kupresanin was the President of the Autonomous Region of
11 Krajina until Mr. Karadzic abolished the regions, wasn't he?
12 A. I've heard that.
13 Q. And after that, he continued to sit in the parliament of the
14 Republika Srpska, didn't he?
15 A. As far as I could see, all the former members of the parliament of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Serb Democratic Party and some from the
17 opposition and the Serb Radical Party continued as members of the Serb
19 Q. Now, after -- before the break, we were talking, sir, about your
20 statement in the transcript of another case, that the SDS declared the
21 creation of a Serb Autonomous Region called the Autonomous Region of
22 Krajina, and you confirmed that that was your position. I'd like you to
23 look, please, at Exhibit P12. Do you have the document, sir?
24 A. I do.
25 Q. And it's the case, isn't it, that it was the assembly of the
1 community of Bosnian Krajina municipalities that actually declared the
2 creation of the Autonomous Region of Krajina on 16 September of 1991;
4 A. Before that, there was no the assembly of the community of Bosnian
5 Krajina municipalities. There was the community of municipalities of
6 Banja Luka and Bihac. This is the first time that I see this term, and it
7 says that "The councilmen and the representatives of the municipalities
8 met and adopted the following agenda."
9 Q. And if you'll notice under paragraph 1, Mr. Brdjanin is quoted,
10 and what he says at the end of his statement there is, "By declaring
11 autonomy, we want to go to negotiations, not to war." Correct?
12 A. What it says here, "We do not want to prevent or cause trouble for
13 anyone who wants to part ways with Yugoslavia," but it does not say what
14 will happen to those who do not want to leave Yugoslavia.
15 Q. That wasn't what I asked you. Doesn't Mr. Brdjanin say, "By
16 declaring autonomy, we want to go to negotiations, not to war"?
17 A. Yes, there is that sentence, that's true. This is the second
19 Q. All right. I'd now like to you take a look at Exhibit P80.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel get closer to the microphone,
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Well --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: As close as possible.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: -- I'll do the best I can. Maybe I'll speak a
1 little louder, but I can't get any closer.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: From here I can notice a couple of obstacles.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: That might work better.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: That's better.
5 THE INTERPRETER: It does indeed.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. Now, what you should have before you, sir, is the Statute of the
8 Autonomous Region of Krajina adopted that same day, 16 September, 1991;
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. And I want to first draw your attention to Article 4 of that
12 Statute. Now, this is the region which you called the Serb Autonomous
13 Region. Look at paragraph 4. "In performing tasks within the
14 jurisdiction of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, all peoples and
15 nationalities in the Autonomous Region of Krajina shall have equal rights
16 and duties without distinction as to race, sex, birth, language,
17 nationality, religion, political or other beliefs, education, social
18 background, wealth, and any other personal qualities." It says that,
19 doesn't it?
20 A. Yes, it does say that.
21 Q. Look at Article 5: "The official language of the Autonomous
22 Region of Krajina organs shall be Serbo Croatian and Croato-Serbian, using
23 the Cyrillic or Latin alphabets." Correct?
24 A. That's what it says.
25 Q. And that's politically significant, isn't it?
1 A. It says that, but it's only on paper. The practice looked
2 completely different.
3 Q. That's politically significant, isn't it?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Answer yes or no. It's a very simple question.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. Look at Article 10, please. "Other municipalities may join the
8 Autonomous Region of Krajina." Correct?
9 A. It says so.
10 Q. Article 18, please. Article 18 sets out the duties of the
11 assembly of the Autonomous Region and if you look down toward the end,
12 you'll see that one of those is to ensure the equal presence of the
13 Cyrillic and Latin scripts; correct?
14 A. Yes. That is what it says.
15 Q. Now, the fact is that the Autonomous Region of Krajina became a
16 Serb-dominated Autonomous Region because the municipalities that were
17 Muslim municipalities refused to join. Isn't that true?
18 A. It is. And Croat municipalities.
19 Q. Yes, by its constitution at least it was designed as a
20 multi-ethnic association of municipalities, wasn't it?
21 A. Judging by what this says, that is how it could be interpreted.
22 Q. And the Muslim and Croat people did not want to take any part in
23 the Autonomous Region of Krajina because they didn't want to be a minority
24 in that organisation. Isn't that the case?
25 A. The establishment of this Krajina was in violation of the
1 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Some citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 and some individuals and some parties did not observe the constitution.
3 We did, and some other parties did, and we did not undertake to set up
4 parallel state institutions. This was a parallel state institution.
5 Q. And isn't it a fact that that -- that the -- that the Serb people
6 in Bosnia-Herzegovina declared their own Serbian Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Exercising their right of self-determination?
8 A. But they did it outside the institutions of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
9 that is in an illegal and wrongful way and support -- with the help of the
10 armed force.
11 Q. Is it your position that it was legal for the Assembly of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina to adopt a resolution on a referendum after the
13 delegates of the SDS had abandoned the assembly? Do you think that was
15 A. The assembly conducted a democratic debate about it and vote took
16 place at the end of the debate, and in a normal procedure, under the
17 regulations in force at the time, that decision was taken and there were
18 also Members of Parliament of Serb ethnicity also took part in the vote.
19 Not all of them but some of them did, with the exception of those
20 representing the SDS and the Serb Radical Party.
21 Q. I want you now to take a look at Exhibit P24. And this is a
22 document that you have seen many times, sir, and I'm labouring under the
23 assumption that you've had an opportunity to read through it. And if my
24 assumption in that regard is incorrect, let me know.
25 MS. KORNER: If the assumption is that he read through any
1 documents since he's come here, the answer is you're assumption is
2 incorrect. He's not read through any.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Not since he came here. He's been here many, many
4 times and he's seen this document many times before.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see what he has to say about it.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I did see this document two or
7 three times and I went through it in part. I never properly went through
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. Now, this is a transcript of the third session of the assembly of
11 the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, isn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And did you notice when you went through it that Mr. Brdjanin's
14 name does not appear anywhere in this transcript? Did you notice that?
15 A. No, because I didn't go through this document carefully. I never
16 read this transcript. I just had a cursory look at it. So that I'm not
17 sure. It's possible but -- if I'm given an opportunity to read it, then
18 perhaps I will be able to answer your question.
19 Q. The date of this meeting was 11 December, 1991, wasn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I want to refer you to -- and you have spoken about this before.
22 It's page 39 of your version, page 29 of the English version -- a speech
23 given by Kupresanin. Let me know when you've found it. I believe it's
24 page 39.
25 A. I've found it.
1 Q. I don't know if you remember it. If you don't, just take a moment
2 and read through it to yourself and then I'll ask you a question when
3 you're ready.
4 A. Do you want me to read this statement?
5 Q. You want you to be familiar with it so when I ask you a question
6 about it, it will be fair. And let me ask you -- let me tell you the
7 question I want to ask you. I'll tell you the question I want to ask you
8 then you read as much of it as you think is necessary to be able to answer
9 the question. It appears from what Mr. Kupresanin is saying there that he
10 is representing the Autonomous Region of Krajina, that he's talking about
11 the regionalisation process, and he's talking about that concept of Serb
12 territory as land rather than population, which you've discussed before.
13 That's essentially what he is speaking about in that speech, isn't
15 A. Yes, it is. That's what the first part says.
16 Q. All right. That's all I need with regard to that document.
17 I'm going to talk to you now, sir, briefly, I hope, about the
18 takeover of Prijedor at the end of April of 1992. In the Tadic case, on
19 the 23rd of May, 1996, page 910 of that transcript you said this -- the
20 question you were asked was, "What happened in Prijedor on April 30th,
21 1992?" You said before you answered the question, "I would like to say
22 that before 30th April and after we abandoned these common patrols, we
23 noticed the evacuation of the Serb population during the night from some
24 parts." When you say "we noticed," who do you mean? Does that include
1 A. When I say "we," I mean the body, the collective, that is the
2 population, my neighbours in Trnopolje where I lived became aware of that.
3 It was also noticed by some people in the town of Prijedor and some of the
5 Q. Well, did you notice in Prijedor the evacuation of Serb population
6 during the night from some parts? You yourself.
7 A. No. I was not in Prijedor on any of those nights, but the
8 population and some people who came to report, to inform me about this,
9 some of the officials, noticed that and explained when that had happened
10 and how.
11 Q. So when you use the term "we noticed or we observed or we saw,"
12 what you're saying is that you didn't see any of this, that this is things
13 you've heard from other people?
14 A. No. Well, I do not use "we" when I mean myself, when I speak
15 about myself, I say, "I saw." When I say "we," then I can mean members of
16 my ethnic group in a neighbourhood community or my neighbours or
17 population in that area. Or "we" as the party that we had received the
18 report about that.
19 Q. Well --
20 A. I can give you the names of some individuals who watched that and
21 who even asked some people why were they moving out.
22 Q. Someone standing downstairs in this Tribunal who has not been here
23 all day were to say, "We spent the morning in court with Judge Agius,"
24 that wouldn't be a true statement, would it, because that person wasn't
25 here. That would be a misleading statement, wouldn't it?
1 A. I don't understand you, sir. If the rule is that I should speak
2 only of what I saw with my own eyes and nothing else, then I can tell you
3 very little. I mean whatever was seen by somebody else, if I, for
4 instance, heard the gun fire but didn't see those shots being fired, then
5 I shouldn't be allowed to speak about that gun fire. From the house in
6 which I lived, 300 metres away, are houses belonging to Serbs. On at
7 least two occasions, those people went out at night-time, for reasons that
8 were unexplained -- inexplicable and went to spend the night somewhere in
9 the direction of Omarska and then they would come back in the morning.
10 I'm not talking about one or two persons. I'm talking about hundreds of
11 men, women and children, and that was observed as a phenomenon. So when I
12 say, "We," I mean the neighbourhood community, its bodies, the
13 neighbourhood. On that occasion I was not asked to give the names of
14 individuals who saw that. I can do that. But that was not how the
15 question was worded.
16 Q. Okay. The question was worded, "What happened in Prijedor?" That
17 was how the question was worded and another answer you gave?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It wasn't worded like that Mr. Ackerman.
19 MS. KORNER: It wasn't worded like that at all. And Mr. Ackerman
20 just a moment. I'm making an objection. This transcript in the Tadic
21 case is not an exhibit in the case. Mr. Ackerman is perfectly entitled to
22 use it if he wants to cross-examine, to show inconsistency, but to bring
23 something in and then try and shoot it down and then ask the witness
24 whether he doesn't realise -- it's lying. Your Honour, in my submission
25 that's not a proper way to cross-examine.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Indeed you are right, Ms. Korner.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm going to make it an exhibit, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm pretty sure that Mr. Ackerman intends to --
4 MS. KORNER: Mr. Ackerman says he's go to make it an exhibit,
5 fine. But it can only be made an exhibit if in some way it's relevant to
6 an issue in the case or in some way it's relevant to show that this
7 witness has been inaccurate. You can't just have it made an exhibit in
8 the case for the hell of it, if I can put it that way.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: But let's not rush into those conclusions for the
10 time being. We'll wait and see how this develops and then we will be in a
11 position to decide accordingly. Mr. Ackerman, please.
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. Sir, throughout your testimony in all of the cases that you've
14 testified in, you have a tendency to use this phrase that I'm talking
15 about now, and that is that "we saw, we noticed, we became aware." And
16 the next question I want to ask you about that, the next thing you said in
17 your answer to the question, "What happened in Prijedor on April 30,
18 1992?" Was, "We noticed that in the town of Prijedor, where from some
19 skyscrapers dozens of families would in groups late in the evening they
20 would go into other parts of town." Now from what you've told me so far,
21 that if someone concluded when they hear that statement that you noticed
22 it, that you were part of a group known as "we" who noticed that, if
23 someone were to conclude that you noticed that, they would be wrong,
24 wouldn't they?
25 A. I understand you, sir, but as far as some questions in the Tadic
1 case were concerned, I gave answers as a member of the SDA, as an official
2 who was informed more or less, well, very well, about some questions, and
3 then in response to other questions, I said what my personal insight was.
4 Q. The last sentence in that first paragraph of your answer was,
5 referring to these people leaving at night, "We did not know why and
6 nobody explained that to us, although we did ask." Were you one of the
7 people that asked? Does that "we" include you?
8 A. This "we" includes the authorities of the local commune of
9 Trnopolje. That is to say, the officials in the local community and also
10 persons who were neighbours of those who had moved out overnight. A few
11 people asked their neighbours in the morning, "Why are you leaving? Where
12 are you going?" They also addressed official questions to persons from
13 the local community. If I said "we," I meant a collectivity. It's not
14 that everybody individually went around asking. I interpreted general
15 knowledge --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Sejmenovic, try again. I'm trying to remind you
17 for the umpteenth time, try to answer just the question. The question was
18 very simple when -- in this particular circumstance, when you use the word
19 "we," did you intend to include yourself as having acquired that
20 information firsthand by being present or indirectly through others? This
21 is what is being asked from you. If it included you because you were
22 present, then say, "Yes, it included me." If not, say, "No, I acquired
23 the information from others." This is what Mr. Ackerman wants to know
24 and he has every right to know it.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have
1 understood what you said and I do apologise. In this case, this is
2 indirect information. As far as personal information is concerned, I
3 always use the words, "I saw," et cetera.
4 MR. ACKERMAN:
5 Q. So the answer is "we did ask," would not include you? You didn't
6 ask? Is that fair?
7 A. I had requested from the organs of the local community that
8 somebody go and check that. I remember that. I did not go by myself to
9 ask these people.
10 Q. So if anyone concluded that that "we" included you, they would
11 have been mistaken? Wouldn't they?
12 A. It's a misunderstanding. I've just explained now what I meant by
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Move forward, Mr. Ackerman, please.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: P1168, please.
16 Q. I'd like to you look at P1168. Sir, we can do this very briefly.
17 This is a document written by presumably Simo Drljaca. It's dated 30
18 April, 1992. It speaks about the Prijedor takeover, and what Mr. Drljaca
19 says is that these activities were carried out in a synchronised manner
20 and without firing a bullet. You know that to be true, don't you?
21 A. I don't know the numbers. I did not have any insight so I cannot
22 say, and I cannot know, whether these numbers are correct or not.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, there is.
24 MS. KORNER: What do you know to be true?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: What Mr. Ackerman read out to you should have
1 indicated what kind of information he is requiring from you. Exactly.
2 It's the last part was "And these activities were carried out in a
3 synchronised manner and without firing a bullet." And you are being asked
4 to state whether you know this to be true or not.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, sir, because I did not
6 live in the town of Prijedor. It was only in the morning that I came to
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Next question, Mr. Ackerman.
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. So "we didn't discover that no bullets were fired during the
11 takeover"? You seem to have no hesitation telling us things that other
12 people tell you as "we knew this" and "we saw that" and all that when it's
13 a question that has to do specifically?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
15 MS. KORNER: I object to this. This was put in from a previous
16 testimony. He has been not up until now asked to specify what he saw
17 himself. He now says that he will only -- that the suggestion being that
18 he should only tell the Court what he saw himself, fine. That's what he's
19 doing. So to criticise him now is wrong.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You're right and I'm sure that Mr. Ackerman will
21 change course now.
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. After April 30th, when Prijedor was taken over, a group of armed
24 Muslims tried to retake the town and staged an attack on Prijedor. That's
25 true, isn't it?
1 A. I had information about this from the Serb police. We could hear
2 that over the radio at the local community. We had this interpretation,
3 but we did not have any knowledge about the actual state of affairs. We
4 only had the news coming in from the Serb military and police.
5 Q. Would you look at DB112, please? DB112 was given to you this
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you found it? You can have mine. You have
8 approximately five minutes left, Mr. Ackerman.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll finish really quickly because Ms. Korner wants
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. That's correct so you have less than five
13 MR. ACKERMAN:
14 Q. Sir, this is an article from a publication called Kozarski
15 Vjesnik, 5 June of 1992, and part way down in the first paragraph, it
16 says, "that After their attack on the town, the army of the Serbian
17 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina undertook the necessary measures to
18 neutralise the effects of their operations and defend the vital
19 facilities, the town and its population. In street fighting, 16 defenders
20 were killed and 16 were wounded. The largest number of soldiers in the
21 army of the Serbian Republic of BH were killed by fire from an ambush laid
22 overnight by the paramilitaries, others perfidiously from the back and
23 still others treacherously from the windows of apartment buildings." Do
24 you know whether or not that report is true?
25 A. I don't know. I've already repeated this. I lived in Trnopolje,
1 15 kilometres away from Prijedor. We could hear about these events only
2 at the local community over the police radio.
3 Q. Do you have any knowledge whether this newspaper Kozarski Vjesnik
4 has a reputation for reporting truthfully or untruthfully?
5 A. From the moment of the takeover, it was the official paper in the
6 hands of the Prijedor authorities, or rather the newly established Crisis
7 Staff. Otherwise, it had been a municipal paper.
8 Q. But my question was, do you have any information that would allow
9 you to conclude whether it reports things reliably, truthfully, or not?
10 A. I don't know, because I was not there. I was not physically in
11 town or could I know in any other way how many people were attacking, how
12 many people were defending, how many people were wounded, how many people
13 were killed.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: The question, again, you are either not
15 understanding the question or you're trying to avoid answering the
16 question because it's a very simple question. You've had heard -- it's
17 been suggested to you that you knew about this newspaper and you are being
18 asked to give your own personal opinion on whether you thought at the time
19 or now that it was a reliable or an unreliable paper. This is the
20 question. It's a very simple question.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
22 From the moment of the takeover, I believe, and I'm convinced, that
23 Kozarski Vjesnik was an instrument of the Serb propaganda and it was under
24 the control of the army and the Crisis Staff. And I think that what was
25 published in it was only what suited the army and the Crisis Staff and the
1 Serb Democratic Party.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: So shall we stop here, Mr. Ackerman?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, I think we can escort the witness out of
5 the courtroom first. Mr. Sejmenovic, we will continue tomorrow morning at
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner?
11 MS. KORNER: Can I just say we haven't been given any copies of
12 his new exhibits so I don't know what --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: They were handed to us.
14 MS. KORNER: They weren't given to us. We were just given a list,
15 so could we have a copy of the ones that are going to be handed in? I'm
16 sure they came from--
17 MR. ACKERMAN: They came from the Prosecutor, Your Honour, but we
18 will give them back to them.
19 MS. KORNER: The point is we get the list first thing this
20 morning, we don't have the documents, we don't have them here.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: We are going to give them to her right now.
22 MS. KORNER: Can I raise the Rule 92 issue, in relation to
23 paragraph 3, Mr. Ackerman states in respect of Witness 7.51, that his
24 testimony regarding Trnopolje differs in many respects from that of other
25 witnesses. His testimony is not reliable, et cetera. First, does Your
1 Honour consider that is sufficient to overrule Rule 92? This witness was
2 with Charles McLeod who has already testified before Your Honour. He does
3 no more than corroborate. He was cautioned, as it's put, or warned by
4 Judge Schomburg because I think it's purely and simply -- I raised it with
5 Judge Schomburg. Judge Schomburg didn't -- there was a misunderstanding.
6 However it is our submission that's insufficient to require a witness who
7 is no more than corroborative to attend. But if Your Honours think it is
8 sufficient then he can, we hope or he may be able to be brought here for
9 as I understand it we are now not sitting Monday and Tuesday of next week
10 but Wednesday.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, the whole purpose of Rule 92 bis
13 is to admit a statement of a witness that is a reliable statement, because
14 that's the way you avoid having the witness available for
15 cross-examination. There must be significant guarantees of reliability
16 and trustworthiness. That's why they take statements and have them sworn
17 to and things of that. In the transcript of this witness's testimony, on
18 more than one occasion, Judge Schomburg had to warn him that he was under
20 JUDGE AGIUS: But that's a different matter. I think -- I take it
21 from completely different point of view. If you have every right to ask
22 for the witness to be brought forward for cross-examination, to start
24 MR. ACKERMAN: That's all I'm asking and that's my only objection,
25 that he not be admitted without cross.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We will leave it at that.
2 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I say it's not enough unless there is a
3 good reason why he wants to cross-examine him, on what basis?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: But I think it's a right. I will not question
5 Mr. Ackerman before and tell me why you want to cross-examine a witness
6 because cross-examination is a right.
7 MS. KORNER: All right. Well, then, Your Honour, in that case, we
8 will try and make arrangements to have him here.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that all?
10 MS. KORNER: Yes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So we stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at
12 9.00. Thank you.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day of
15 November, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.