1 Tuesday, 26 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. This is case number IT-99-36-T,
7 the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can
9 you hear me in a language that you can understand?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. I can
11 hear you and I understand you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
13 Appearances for the Prosecution.
14 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner, Ann Sutherland assisted by Denise
15 Gustin, case manager. Good morning, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you.
17 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman and
19 I'm here with Milan Trbojevic and Marela Jevtovic.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: And good morning to you too. Shall we bring in the
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Mr. Sejmenovic.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: You will be continuing your testimony today, and
1 before we do that, please I'd like you to repeat your solemn declaration.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I solemnly declare that
3 I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN SEJMENOVIC [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down and Mr. Ackerman may
7 proceed with his cross-examination.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
9 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sejmenovic. How are you?
10 A. Good morning. Thank you.
11 Q. I want to just remind you of what we talked about yesterday, how
12 it will be much easier and much quicker if you can do your best to answer
13 the question that I ask you and not some other answer that you might want
14 to give.
15 I want to you have back -- I guess it's not back. I want you to
16 have a document, DB113. I don't know if you've ever seen this document
17 before. Do you know that after foreign journalists had visited Omarska,
18 that the CSB in Banja Luka set up a commission to investigate Omarska and
19 what was going on there. Are you aware of that?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And what you have before you is a report that Simo Drljaca wrote
22 to explain to the CSB in Banja Luka what had been going on in the Prijedor
23 municipality with regard to Omarska. Have you seen this report before?
24 A. Possibly. Perhaps it was shown to me during one of my previous
25 testimonies but I cannot confirm that with any certainty.
1 Q. If you look through it, I think you might conclude that what
2 Drljaca was doing here was trying to cover up what had been done in
3 Prijedor and at Omarska, and I don't know if you've had a chance to look
4 at it enough that you could give me your feelings about that. Can you?
5 A. If I would get enough time to read it, then I could give you a
6 complete opinion. This way is hard for me to say just at first glance
7 what the objective was of Mr. Drljaca.
8 Q. I understand. Let's just look at some parts of it. On the first
9 page, let me see if I can help you find it, it's in the second paragraph,
10 about halfway down, Drljaca reports to Banja Luka, "The representatives of
11 civilian organs of authority and SDS activists have undertaken a series of
12 activities throughout the municipality and have established numerous
13 contacts with elected representatives of the Muslim and Croatian peoples
14 with a view to achieving agreement on the peaceful and civilised disarming
15 of citizens and the acceptance of the established government while
16 guaranteeing all civic, national, and religious rights and freedoms to all
17 loyal citizens of the Serbian Republic." Was it your observation that
18 that was true?
19 A. No. It was not true in my opinion, and according to my
21 Q. So at least for that part, you could, I think, agree with me that
22 Drljaca was seeking to mislead the authorities in Banja Luka about what
23 was going on in Prijedor, at least to that extent?
24 A. I said that what was read did not match the actual situation and
25 now what Simo Drljaca's objective was is a different matter. That is his
1 own affair. That may be part of his agreement with senior authorities.
2 Q. Look at the next page, about halfway -- it's the next page in
3 English, at least. It's about halfway through -- it's the same paragraph
4 you were reading from just further down, language starts with, "At the
5 beginning of May." Drljaca says, "At the beginning of May, extremists
6 provoked the first incident in the village of Hambarine when they stopped
7 a group of soldiers without any reason. On that occasion, they resorted
8 to using their weapons, killing three and seriously injuring two
9 soldiers." Now, that part you know to be true, don't you?
10 A. I know that this incident did occur. As for the number of persons
11 who participated in it, I know about that from Serb sources, so I don't
12 know about it from some independent source but I know what I heard from
13 Serb sources through their radio links.
14 Q. And you also know that this was the first incident in the Prijedor
15 municipality involving what could be called shooting between military
16 forces of one form or another?
17 A. Yes. On the basis of the information from the Serb side, that was
18 the first incident.
19 Q. There was, wasn't there, a very well organised operation going on
20 in the Prijedor municipality to arm the Muslim people?
21 A. No. It was very poorly organised, because it became more
22 difficult to carry through mobilisation and to train the Territorial
24 Q. I'd like to you look at DB107, please. Tell the -- tell the Trial
25 Chamber, if you can, what this document is, that you have in front of you
2 A. I have the opportunity of seeing this during my last testimony,
3 that's when it was shown to me. My personal opinion is that I doubt the
4 authenticity of this document. It is some kind of minutes but first of
5 all, there is the minutes of the 24th of October and then afterwards, the
6 6th of September, as if that were chronological and then again November.
7 So there is not much logic in these minutes, and another thing, on one
8 page, three times instead of saying 1991, it says 1992, and then it was
9 corrected into 1991. So out of six dates, three are wrong and were
10 subsequently corrected to the year when all of this took place. But what
11 really confused me was this chronology so first the meeting in October was
12 held, and after that, the meeting in September. What is mentioned here is
13 the SDA, then some members of the party, and I was asked about this during
14 my previous testimony, and I did give some opinion of mine.
15 Q. Yes. I know you did. Don't you think that if someone were trying
16 to forge a document like this, that they probably would be a great deal
17 more careful in making an effort to make it look authentic? It looks,
18 does it not, like just the random notes of someone about what was going on
19 in these meetings that were being held? Doesn't it look like that?
20 A. I just said that it was hardly likely for someone to write 1992
21 three times and then correct it into 1991, and all of this on a single
22 sheet of paper.
23 Q. Let's look at -- let's look at the first entry in this document.
24 It says, "At the SDA meeting of 24 October, 1991, at the SDA meeting, the
25 following were assigned to weapons duty." And then it lists people from
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 various villages, Kozarac, Kenjar and Bahonjic; Trnopolje, Sead Sivac;
2 Kozarusa, Tadzic; Brdo and Ljubija; Kadiric, Hopovac, Sikiric; and
3 Puharska, Rufad Suljanovic. Did you know any of those people?
4 A. I knew most of these people.
5 Q. Do you know that they were assigned to weapons duty in these
6 various localities?
7 A. No. That's not correct. This is a larger number of people, and I
8 would have certainly known had any of them had any specific duty and I
9 know full well that some of them were not in the Territorial Defence at
10 all. I know that Dr. Suljanovic did not have anything to do with anything
11 related to this or was any kind of SDA meeting held during this period of
12 time at which any kind of weapons were discussed. So this simply is not
13 true. The date here is the 24th of October, 1991. It said 1992 and then
14 it was corrected into 1991. If we believe this to be the correct date,
15 then absolutely it was not possible to have weapons discussed at party
17 Q. All right. Let's look at -- you know what Eso -- is Eso a name,
19 A. Eso S. Very often the name Esad is abbreviated Eso, so this is a
20 nickname that is frequently referred to. Then the congress in Sarajevo is
21 mentioned so it's probably Dr. Eso Sadikovic, Dr. Esad Sadikovic. He was
22 nominated as an independent candidate to be invited to the SDA congress in
23 Sarajevo. That is indeed a fact and I remember that.
24 Q. Look at the entry for 6 September of 1991. It says, "Recruits to
25 stay within Bosnia and Herzegovina." Do you know what that means?
1 A. I don't know. I don't know what the person who wrote this meant,
2 but I do know what the discussions were at the time regarding the JNA.
3 Q. I think you answered my question. You don't know. I want to ask
4 you the same question about the next entry, "Records to be removed." Do
5 you know what that means?
6 A. I don't know.
7 Q. The entry for 20 November, 1991, it says, "Against mobilisation,
8 threaten with the UN and The Hague. Print announcement 300 copies." Do
9 you have any idea what that's about?
10 A. I do not recall such things, let alone that somebody was issuing
11 any threats related to The Hague in any way. I don't think that the
12 notion of The Hague was not really very well known at the time.
13 Q. Well, there was actually a peace conference that was held here in
14 The Hague regarding what was going on in Yugoslavia. Do you remember
16 A. I remember that a conference was held in Lisbon and that that was
17 discussed very extensively. There was information coming in every day
18 about the course of those negotiations and then also in Macedonia,
19 Skoplje, Brioni, the interrepublican negotiations that were being held in
20 all these places. Later on, when I testified before this Court, this
21 paper was shown to me and there was this conference on Yugoslavia that was
22 held in The Hague, as far as I can remember, but that was probably the
23 beginning of this process of international negotiations, and in the
24 public, it was not really that well known, not as well known as the
25 following sessions. In this context, I don't know what it means to
1 threaten someone by referring to a conference where everybody
2 participating -- participated on a footing of equality. I don't know.
3 Q. The next entry is 20 November, 1991, it says, "AD 6.
4 A Izetbegovic that's probably Alija Izetbegovic's order to have the police
5 force increase, although the Minister of the Interior requested that the
6 reserve force be dissolved." Do you have any idea what that means?
7 A. I cannot say anything with certainty regarding this particular
8 matter. I was not very well-versed. I know that the Territorial Defence
9 was discussed but as for the police, I don't remember, because that really
10 was not my line of work.
11 Q. "The introduction of religious instruction and Muslim people's
12 culture." Does that make any sense to you? Hadn't there been religious
13 instruction and cultural matters before that date?
14 A. No. The first part is logical. The parliament unanimously
15 decided, that is to say the members of all ethnic groups, and all parties,
16 that the legislation should make it possible to introduce religious
17 instruction everywhere in all -- as regards all the religions but of
18 course this would be an optional course, but as for the rest, no.
19 Q. Okay. Do you know who this person, seems to be a person mentioned
20 next, then, by the name of Camil Pezo. Do you know who that is?
21 A. I remember Mr. Camil Pezo.
22 Q. There is an entry there that reads, "On 23 September, 1991,
23 appointed to the war Crisis Staff." Do you see that?
24 A. I see that. That is the third paragraph, yes, that's what it
1 Q. Do you know about that Crisis Staff?
2 A. Absolutely not. On the 23rd of September, 1991, no Crisis Staff
3 existed or was any such possibility mentioned, that is to have a Crisis
5 Q. If you look on down, you see another entry, the same date, 23
6 September, 1991, "State of emergency, wartime conditions. Crisis Staff."
7 Do you see that?
8 A. As for this period, it is quite illogical. I also see some names
9 here that did not exist in the SDA. Underneath Crisis Staff it says Refik
10 Krkic and Camil Pezo. There was no Refik Krkic in the SDA or any person
11 that I know with such a name.
12 Q. All right. I'd like you now to look at a document DB-108?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I recognise Ms. Korner.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour I'm really seeking clarification.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please for Ms. Korner.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Microphone.
17 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not lighting either.
19 MS. KORNER: It definitely doesn't want the Prosecution to be
20 heard today.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Is this one working, the one in front? Or not. Not
23 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated]
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Why do these things happen?
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour maybe I'll just borrow the Defence. See
1 if it's working. No.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think it is. You can use mine.
3 MS. KORNER: Rather than waste time I'll just -- it's really just
4 clarification. Both the two documents that Mr. Ackerman has been asking
5 about were asked about in the Stakic trial.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I know that, yes.
7 MS. KORNER: The first one at length. I understood that the
8 agreement was that examination-in-chief would be done through the
9 transcript being put in with a few additional questions but in fact what's
10 happening it seems to me is that Mr. Ackerman's allowed to go through the
11 whole thing all over again.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: On cross-examination.
13 MS. KORNER: I know, Your Honour, I'm sorry, my point is this:
14 One of the problems when we agreed to this was we knew that Your Honour
15 would only get a partly one sided view of it but if these matters have
16 already been cross-examined to, unless there is a new matter, which is
17 separate, a different matter, then Your Honour it's in the transcript
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I know it is in the transcript already but I
20 cannot --
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour with respect, you can.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I know. I understand what you mean but how can I
23 anticipate what Mr. Ackerman is going to ask?
24 MS. KORNER: Absolutely right but if the point comes, I simply --
25 I'm asking for clarification. I don't want to keep leaping up and saying
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 this is at page X of the transcript.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: For example this particular document, 107 that we
3 have been just reviewing, the witness did say in Stakic that he gave it
4 very little credibility, I mean he viewed it as a suspicious document.
5 He's reiterated that.
6 MS. KORNER: And again Your Honour with the previous one, the CSB
7 report he went through that at some length, pages, actually.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: He didn't in this instance. I mean he was only
9 asked one question about one or rather three questions on three particular
10 parts of -- from that report and that's it. So -- but I think -- I think
11 it's very important and it's very useful that you have brought this up
12 because I think Mr. Ackerman would tend to agree with most of what you're
13 saying. At the same time, you need to appreciate that I am not
14 Mr. Ackerman's mind. I don't know what he intends to ask and where he
15 intends to lead the witness and what kind of information he requires. If
16 it's -- he embarks on an exercise which is merely repetitive then I will
17 stop him for sure. That's for sure but with regard to the previous
18 document I don't think he was. With regard to this one, maybe he is, as
19 you rightly say. But I think we will need to.
20 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry to interrupt Your Honour but rather than
21 waste time because as Mr. Ackerman is I'm anxious to try and get this
22 witness through. I'm merry raising the matter for Your Honour's
24 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. I appreciate that. That was on my mind
25 actually but I have this problem not knowing exactly what to expect from
1 the cross-examination at any time. It's --
2 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll just respond to this extent only. There are
4 huge parts of the cross-examination that was done in the Stakic case that
5 I intend to rely on and not bring up at all.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And I also --
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Page after page after page.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I also understand that it may well be your intention
9 to try and discredit the witness. I don't know. But in that case,
10 obviously you will need to go through parts of his previous testimony in
11 detail but if that is the case. I don't think you're heading that way
12 but -- yes, maybe we will get some enlightenment.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: I notice now that one of the witness's microphones
14 has gone dark and I don't know...
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps we will attend to that first, make sure.
16 It's on now.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: We are making progress. They are both on now.
18 There we go. All right.
19 Q. All right, sir. I think you should have before you now DB108. Do
20 you have that?
21 A. I don't.
22 Q. Okay. I know you've also seen this document before. It was shown
23 to you in the Stakic case. And was made an exhibit in that case. If
24 you'll go to -- there is a number 3, miscellaneous, and a person by the
25 name of Nagib, indicates that a person by the name of Nagib speaks. Do
1 you know who Nagib is?
2 A. I don't remember who he was.
3 Q. What Nagib appears to say is that "A lot of our people carry out
4 acts of provocation. Fazlic and Hasan Didin yesterday fired in order to
5 provoke. The police should immediately take such people to the police
6 station and disarm them." And then someone named Suljo says, "Such men
7 should be disarmed, that Didin takes drugs and he was at the front. Izmet
8 Dergic should be criticised. Sons who drive him around and hang out with
9 him." Do you know who Suljo is?
10 A. There was one. I know there was a Suljo in Kozarac, but now which
11 Suljo is that escapes me. However, I know that when you started reading
12 this, you added something that doesn't say here. It says Fazlic and Hasan
13 Didin fired. The police should then bring in them and disarm them and you
14 said that they fired in order to provoke. It does not say here, I'm
15 looking at the original document, I'm looking at what it says here.
16 Q. It doesn't say in the original document that they yesterday fired
17 in order to provoke? That language is not there?
18 A. It doesn't. The sentence ends with the word "fired."
19 Q. All right. So the translation apparently is wrong. If you'll
20 look at a section that begins with the number 5 at the top of it, and the
21 first -- it says it's a report from last night's meeting and mobility and
22 elimination of faults or something like that. The first person that
23 speaks is named Bahonja.
24 A. I'm sorry, I can't find it. Could you tell me where is it? You
25 said number 5 at the top.
1 Q. Okay. I'm going to look at the B/C/S and see if I can find it.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It's page 342. In this handwritten, printed, you
3 have IT 94-1-A and then 342.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes. That's it.
5 Q. There is a 342 in the upper right-hand corner, sir?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And it's the first three lines that you're being
7 referred to.
8 MR. ACKERMAN:
9 Q. The actual part I'm referring you to is where it's the third
10 person down, Beco, Beco speaks?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Fourth person, then.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Fourth person, yes.
13 Q. Do you see Beco there?
14 A. I do, I do, yes.
15 Q. He says, "We have to know what is our position for tomorrow's
16 meeting. I have nothing against a Serb going but you all know what this
17 Dule did against the people of Kozarac. You, Hamdo, are fighting for
18 your physical survival in Kozarac and at the same time pushing Dule for
19 the negotiations." Now are they talking about a delegation that's going
20 to go speak to the authorities in Prijedor and is the person they are
21 talking about there Dusko Tadic or do you know?
22 A. I'm not sure because there is no surname here. I know, however,
23 that several Serbs took part in some negotiations and talks about problems
24 at the time. Dule Tadic did live in Kozarac and it could be he.
25 Q. Do you know any other Serb who lived in Kozarac who had that
1 nickname Dule?
2 A. No, I don't.
3 Q. If you just go down a little bit further, you'll see a Kemo S
4 speak. Do you know who Kemo S is?
5 A. Sorry, you're previous question, if my -- if I remember correctly,
6 there was a policeman who was also nicknamed Dule but I'm not quite sure.
7 Q. Okay. Do you know who Kemo S is?
8 A. I know there was a Kemal or Kemo Fazlic in Kozarac so since I see
9 here initial "F" it could be Kemal Fazlic.
10 Q. Do you know a Beco?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who is that? Who is Beco?
13 A. Becir Medunjanin, secretary of the secretariat for national
14 defence of the municipality of Prijedor.
15 Q. So Kemo S says, "Beco, the people of Kozarac will never forgive
16 you if you drag them into war. Let Dule be a member of the negotiating
17 team." In other words he's responding to what Beco said about Dule in
18 that earlier part we read, isn't he?
19 A. That's what it looks like, within this context, but I can hardly
20 speak about that because I do not remember attending any such meeting.
21 Q. If you now go forward several pages, you should find another
22 document that is headed at the top, "Meeting of Kozarac and Kozarusa local
23 communes." It has the date 6-6-92 but I think -- I think we'll find it's
24 actually May of 1992 and I think we'll discover that here in a moment. It
25 would be 6 May of 1992, the date of that meeting. Do you know anything
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 about this meeting that is set out in these minutes?
2 A. The specific -- at that time there were several meetings. There
3 were meetings of this kind or another almost daily, so that it is
4 difficult for me to single out, to identify some of them. I did attend a
5 certain number of them. However, not the -- I didn't attend a much larger
6 number of them.
7 Q. Do you know who Ibro Kahrimanovic was?
8 A. I know that there was somebody in Kozarac who was called Ibro
9 Kahrimanovic. What he did, whether he held some office, what office,
10 that, I do not know.
11 Q. I assume you knew him personally.
12 A. Well, if I saw his photograph, perhaps I would know it then,
13 whether I knew him as it is, I don't.
14 Q. He's reported to have said in this meeting, "We do not want to
15 wear any insignia. Inhabitants of Kozarusa are resentful of the fact that
16 the president of the municipality and parties parade through the town.
17 They should be solving problems in their own area of town. Inhabitants of
18 Kozarac said that from then on, they would not let them go further than
19 the Koncar factory." Do you know anything about what he's saying
21 A. I'm not aware of any Koncar factory. I know there was a fabrics,
22 a textile factory or ready-made clothes. There was a sawmill. Whether
23 this textile factory was -- whether it was called Koncar, no, I don't
24 think so.
25 Q. If you look a little further -- so you don't know what the Koncar
1 factory is?
2 A. No, no. I don't know and I don't know what this man meant when he
3 said this.
4 Q. If you look a little further, you'll see Hamdija speak. First,
5 just above that, you'll see your own self, Sejmenovic, and Sejmenovic is
6 reported to have said, "I can see two solutions. Insignia or no insignia
7 on the police. However, a question of security is being raised. Who is
8 going to protect them if we surrender our weapons? Many people would get
9 killed if we choose to procrastinate we have to make all possible effort.
10 I am against the idea that people are left unprotected. I would rather we
11 tried to defend ourselves." That's what you said at that meeting, right?
12 A. I'm not sure that that is what my opinion looked like. I think it
13 was slightly different. Now whoever worded this, if the minutes, if this
14 record is correct, and the person who took the minutes, of course, it
15 is -- it depends on how he perceived it. The fact is that we were trying
16 to provide for the security and obtain guarantees from the Serb side not
17 to be attacked and to offer guarantees from our side that we would not
18 provoke them.
19 Q. You know who Osman was, don't you? Who speaks just shortly after
21 A. There were several Osmans. I know there was one Osman in the
22 police. There was one such man in the police. And I think he was a
23 commander there but I'm not sure, and he was nicknamed Osma [phoen].
24 Whether it is he that we see here or somebody else, I don't know.
25 Q. Well, if you look at what he says there, I think it's -- it will
1 help you clear up the proposition that this is the person who was chief of
2 police there in Kozarac. What he says was, "Many things will be clearer
3 tomorrow. Banja Luka will make a decision. If they decide to introduce
4 insignia, I will have to sacrifice my life for the Serbian state. The
5 police wants the people to speak up." Do you know what he means when he
6 says, "I will have to sacrifice my life for the Serbian state"?
7 A. No, I don't.
8 Q. If you look a little further along in the document, there is a
9 person by the name of Pasic who speaks. Do you know who Pasic is?
10 A. I assume that it is Dr. Jusuf Pasic from Kozarac, because I don't
11 know if there were any other Pasics in Kozarac.
12 Q. Pasic says, according to this, "I agree with the comrades. We are
13 occupied. The aggressor imposes its authority on us. We can either
14 accept it until some better times or get into war." Do you recall him
15 saying that?
16 A. I do not. I cannot recall that, but I do know Dr. Pasic and I
17 know that he came from the socialist democratic party. As far as I know,
18 he held no office, either in the Territorial Defence or in any other local
20 Q. He talks about either accepting what it is, and that has to do
21 with these insignia, I assume, accepting that or getting into war. And
22 actually, preparations were being made at that time for the possibility of
23 a war, weren't they?
24 A. Preparations were under way in so far as it was possible, but they
25 were meant for the defence, to prevent the massacre of the population,
1 such as we have already had the opportunity to see in the media in other
3 Q. If you'll look a little further now on, you'll come to a section
4 headed, "8-5-1992." I take it that's 8 May of 1992. And at the top, it
5 has a list of agenda items, I take it, 1, 2, and 3. Page 332, the top
6 right-hand corner, it's page 332, I think. And you should see a section
7 of that where Husein M speaks. I cannot find it in the --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: It's 333 in the B/C/S version, page 333.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it is.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: The second half of bottom part of the --
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Yeah, near the bottom of page 333, the Judge has
12 found it. Thank you.
13 Q. Did you find it, sir?
14 A. Husein M? No, no, I haven't. I haven't found it. No Husein M is
15 mentioned here or I mean I can find it.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Page 333 in the upper right-hand corner.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Handwritten page 333.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, yes, I see it, yes, I've found
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. Just take a minute and look at that and let me know when you -- I
22 just want you to read that little section there of what's attributed to
23 Husein M.
24 A. Husein M, "When we were talking about the municipality, it turned
25 out --"
1 Q. You can just read it to yourself. You don't have to read it out
3 A. Yes. I've read it more or less, because some words I couldn't
4 make out, but --
5 Q. All right.
6 A. I know the gist of it.
7 Q. Basically what he seems to be talking about there are the
8 negotiations that are going on in Lisbon regarding a possible settlement
9 of the issues in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and indicating that Izetbegovic on
10 behalf of the Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Muslim people, may sign an agreement
11 that provides for a Serbian canton in the Prijedor area, and he indicates
12 that, "We will accept any decision made in Lisbon." And then in the last
13 sentence says, "Try to arrange a meeting at any cost with Zupljanin or
14 Radic." Do you see that?
15 A. I do, yes, at the end.
16 Q. And I take it that the Zupljanin and Radic that he'd be talking
17 about are either -- are Stojan Zupljanin, the head of the CSB in Banja
18 Luka, or Predrag Radic, who was the President of the municipality of Banja
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Do you know why Husein M would be saying to arrange a meeting with
22 them at any cost?
23 A. Because Hamdo Balic, who is mentioned in the text at the beginning
24 of the page is a friend of Mr. Radic and Mr. Zupljanin's friend too, and
25 he is a kind of an in-law of Mr. Kupresanin. I mean they were personal
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 friends, and it was thought that Hamdija would be able to establish a good
2 communication with them.
3 Q. And that would be communication regarding this issue of the
5 A. Everything, all the matters that were discussed. We were really
6 expecting a great deal from Mr. Balic and other people, other officials
7 from Banja Luka.
8 Q. Finally the very last entry in this document, a person by the name
9 of Bahonjic speaks. Do you know who that is?
10 A. Bahonjic, I guess it is Islam Bahonjic from Kamicani. He was in
11 the SDA. He was a councilman in the municipal assembly and as far as I
12 can remember, he was involved with the Territorial Defence at a later
13 stage when it was expanded.
14 Q. And he says, does he not, that "if the people from Kozarac want to
15 surrender the weapons, let them do so. The people from Jakupovici will
16 kill a few Serbs." Do you see that?
17 A. Just a moment. This isn't it.
18 Q. It should be the very last entry in this document, if my
19 translation is correct.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Does he have 347?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found it. 338. I found it.
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. Oh, yeah. It's a different place. And that's what he says, isn't
25 A. That's what it says here. That's what's written down here, the
1 way you put it.
2 Q. And that's in fact what happened in that location, Jakupovici,
3 isn't it?
4 A. No.
5 Q. They actually destroyed a Serb tank that was in a convoy, right,
6 and killed a few Serbs?
7 A. Sir, I don't know who was around the tanks and on the tanks.
8 These were the military. And here reference is made to the actual
9 people. But the army moved later. Now, this is another question. This
10 is a -- this is the situation before the war. The nervousness, the
11 tensions before the war. So on this date, there was a tank at the
12 entrance into Kozarac and it was facing Kozarac. 20 metres from the first
13 houses. Later on, it retreated. I think that these two things have
14 nothing to do with each other. That's my opinion.
15 Q. I'm talking about a different event. I think it was on the 24th
16 of May, and I may be off a day or so, when a Serb convoy was travelling
17 along the highway at Jakupovici. That convoy was attacked by Muslim
18 forces, a tank was destroyed, Serb soldiers were killed. That was done on
19 the orders of captain Cirkin. They were ordered to fire by Captain
20 Cirkin. Do you know about that?
21 A. I just know what the stand of Territorial Defence was. If the
22 population is attacked, an attempt will be made to defend them. The only
23 other news regarding the situation in Jakupovici and in other parts of
24 Prijedor is something that we know about from Serb sources. I cannot
25 trust them. It is up to the competent authorities to establish through
1 appropriate proceedings what actually did happen. Physically, I was not
2 present in Jakupovici, and I cannot give my view on that. I beg your
4 Q. The answer is you don't know? That's the simple answer, isn't it?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Okay. Again we are going to be here a long time if you can't just
7 give me a simple answer like, "I don't know," because all I asked you was
8 if you knew about that. I don't think that required a speech, did it?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Move to the next question, Mr. Ackerman.
10 MR. ACKERMAN:
11 Q. I want you to look at another document, DB109. Sir, I would like
12 to move very quickly through this document so please try to help me do
13 that. This is a document dated 26 April, 1992, appears to be another
14 meeting of some sort, lists some of the people who we've already seen as
15 participating in it, and if you look down after all the folks have spoken,
16 there is a list of weapons, and just, for example, it says that there are
17 seven zolja hand-held rocket launchers, two in "Kam," two in "Koz," two in
18 "Kevlj," and one in Kozarac. Those are -- that -- those are places where
19 they are contending that these weapons are located. And my only question
20 is, do you know anything about this distribution of weapons that seems to
21 be set out in this document?
22 A. I know that the Territorial Defence had this right and this was
23 their right and responsibility. Before the war, and in case of threat of
24 war, to deploy weapons, distribute weapons. And I know that these are
25 symbolical amounts in relation to the Territorial Defence, that accounts
1 for a population of some 30.000.
2 Q. If you look, then, at a page that begins at the top, "Omer," this
3 document seems to talk about weapons that have been procured and how much
4 was spent in procuring them and other weapons that are in the process of
5 being procured, and how much it's going to cost to get those, speaks of
6 several rounds of ammunition, apparently in various locations. Do you see
8 A. I can see that. That is the third sheet.
9 Q. And this document is dated 26 April, 1992, isn't it?
10 A. That is the date the first page bears, but the other two sheets of
11 paper do not bear any date.
12 Q. The 26th of April, 1992, was a few days before the takeover of
13 Prijedor by Serbs, wasn't it?
14 A. Yes. But this was 20 days after the Serb tank was placed at the
15 entrance into Kozarac.
16 Q. And before there was ever a takeover in Prijedor, the Muslim
17 people were procuring arms and arming themselves in preparation for war,
18 weren't they?
19 A. Individuals tried to provide for their safety in that way, but
20 later on, it was all taken over by a legal institution. That is the
21 Territorial Defence. As can be seen from these documents, people brought
22 in what they had and the Territorial Defence distributed that and gave it
23 to various formations, according to official regulations.
24 Q. I want to go now to sort of the middle part of May. I'm through
25 with that document -- the middle part of May of 1992. The time I want to
1 really direct your attention to?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for Mr. Ackerman.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry, I bumped it.
4 Q. The time I want to direct your attention to is probably the middle
5 of May, the 17th, I think, of May, maybe. You have testified previously
6 about a mass meeting that went on in Kozarac that you participated in. Do
7 you remember that meeting?
8 A. I remember partly this big meeting at the elementary school in
10 Q. And that followed by a day or two a meeting that had gone on in
11 Prijedor where the military commanders there, Zeljaja and Arsic, basically
12 issued an ultimatum to Kozarac regarding the surrender of weapons,
14 A. I'm not sure. Perhaps it was the other way around, that first
15 there was this meeting in Prijedor, with the Serbs, and then afterwards,
16 the one at the elementary school.
17 Q. Well --
18 A. Now, I can't remember exactly.
19 Q. I may have left the wrong impression with you. That's exactly
20 what -- I think there was a meeting in Prijedor on around the 16th of May,
21 and then the meeting at the school in Kozarac around the 17th. I believe
22 that's been your prior testimony, although you've not ever been certain on
23 those dates. Those have been your best guesses and that's what I'm
24 referring to. That mass meeting at the elementary school in Kozarac, you
25 spoke at that meeting, didn't you?
1 A. Well, I know that I did take part in this particular meeting, but
2 I cannot remember specifically what I spoke about. Perhaps some general
3 statements, namely people from the Territorial Defence and the police who
4 were professionally well-versed were the ones who were really handling
6 Q. The only question I asked was, you spoke at that meeting, didn't
7 you? Just answer that.
8 A. I've already said that I did speak.
9 Q. I mean, if you want to come back next week or some later time, you
10 can keep answering questions the way you're answering them but I'm trying
11 to ask you questions that you can answer just with yes or no. At that
12 time, when that meeting was held, you were a leader, a representative, of
13 the people, a member of parliament, weren't you?
14 A. Correct, representative of the municipality, and what we are
15 talking about here are local communities.
16 Q. And you had a position in that area that was such that people
17 looked up to you, relied upon you in some ways, right?
18 A. As for importance, I ranked 7th or 8th in that area.
19 Q. But it was --
20 A. That point in time.
21 Q. It was quite a -- quite an experience for someone that was 28
22 years old at the time, to be put into a position of such responsibility
23 and authority, wasn't it?
24 A. Sir, in Kozarac at that time, parliamentary activity was not
25 necessary. I was a member of parliament and it is well known what a MP is
1 supposed to do. So what we are discussing here are Territorial Defence,
2 police, et cetera, and I'm not a person who was competent, as far as such
3 matters are concerned.
4 Q. Well, I don't know whether my question was not translated properly
5 or what, but I'm going to move on.
6 Isn't it the case that at that meeting, you opposed the surrender
7 of arms?
8 A. What I can certainly confirm to this Honourable Trial Chamber is
9 that I did not present any proposals of a collective body. I was very
10 careful, because I'm not competent enough. So I only presented personal
11 views. At that point in time, I did not have any high degree of authority
12 in Kozarac.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: But you are --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You're not answering the question. The question was
16 a very simple one. Were you asked by Mr. Ackerman whether at that
17 particular meeting, not any other meeting, that particular meeting,
18 whether it's true that you opposed the surrender of arms. Answer yes or
19 no, please. Because otherwise, we will go on and on and on. No one is
20 expecting you to justify or explain your conduct during those years.
21 You're not on trial here. Someone else is on trial. So you didn't?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I answered and I gave
23 an explanation. In the future, I am not going to give these additional
24 explanations. So I did not oppose it.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Next question.
1 MR. ACKERMAN:
2 Q. We saw just a moment ago the minutes from a meeting where you're
3 reported to have said that you were opposed to the surrender of arms. Do
4 you remember us looking at that?
5 A. This was before the meeting in Prijedor, sir, where the ultimatum
6 was addressed. Now we are in a different context.
7 Q. Now, at the time you're in that different context in Kozarac that
8 you're talking about, you had no way to communicate with the republic
9 authorities in Sarajevo, and therefore no way for to you take any
10 instructions from Sarajevo, correct?
11 A. No. I could not establish any contact with the authorities in
12 Sarajevo. Even if I could have, that had not been my duty.
13 Q. Well, when I speak of you in this context, I'm talking about the
14 folks that were in that meeting trying to solve this problem, having no
15 way to take instructions from Sarajevo, no way to contact Sarajevo. That
16 group there in Kozarac at that time was effectively on their own, weren't
18 A. Allegedly there were some radio links, but I don't know anything
19 about that. The secretary of national defence, Mr. Medunjanin could have
20 or should have established contact. Now, whether there were such contacts
21 or not, I don't know anything about that.
22 Q. But you basically found yourself in a position where you really
23 had two options, you could become part of the Serbian Republic of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina or reject that and try to remain a part of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina itself, and that's really the dilemma that you were
1 faced with at that point, correct?
2 A. That's not correct.
3 Q. Well, let me read an answer you gave. This I think was in the
4 Keraterm case, 14 July, 1998, page 649, what you told the Trial Chamber on
5 that date was the following --
6 MS. KORNER: Just for the correction for the transcript, it's
7 actually the Kovacevic case.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it is. You're exactly right.
9 Q. Page 649 what you said was this: "We had two options, either to
10 stop, cease being Bosnia-Herzegovina, and agree to enter the newly created
11 Serbian Bosnia-Herzegovina, or to remain Bosnia and Herzegovina and the
12 people decided to remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That was the decision
13 reached at that meeting." That's what you said then, isn't it?
14 A. That's what I said, but I was warned all the time, as I was today,
15 that I should give only partial answers. We were threatened by slaughter,
16 genocide. We had this experience. We saw it on television. And now you
17 are talking about some kind of two formal options, to espouse one policy
18 or the other. It was a question of trusting the Serb side. Nobody could
19 have trusted them because in other municipalities, they had done something
20 completely different.
21 Q. You've had an opportunity to listen to tapes of your prior
22 testimonies before coming to testify in this case, haven't you?
23 MS. KORNER: Only Stakic. He wasn't given any others.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: All right.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: I wish there was a way I could give you this
2 transcript, sir, and have you read it this evening but that can't happen,
3 but I would challenge you to find in it some place where you were ordered
4 by the Trial Chamber to give only partial answers, as you just said. If I
5 could do that.
6 Q. At that meeting, at that time, that we have been talking about,
7 that you said you were left with two choices, two options, to put it a
8 little more simply, the -- the options you had were to join them or fight
9 them, and you chose to fight them, didn't you?
10 A. We decided to defend ourselves. If I can say "we" on behalf of
11 all, all citizens, that is. If we are attacked.
12 Q. What you told the Chamber in the Stakic case, and this would be at
13 page 4553, referring to this early period of 1992, you said, "We were
14 trying to find the best possible solution, the most intelligent solution,
15 to get out of that situation, not to give them any pretext for any actions
16 for the attack." That's what you told the Trial Chamber in Stakic just
17 recently, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And in fact, what you actually did was to choose not to turn in
20 your weapons, to choose not to adopt the insignia of the new Serbian
21 Republic, but to challenge and fight, isn't it?
22 A. The Serb forces were not challenged to fight. They established a
23 para state and a paramilitary. They were not challenged. Whatever we
24 did, they had well-developed plans and that's what they would have done,
25 just like they did in the neighbouring municipality of Bosanski Novi where
1 there was no Territorial Defence, no organisation whatsoever, where the
2 people accepted insignia, handed over weapons, and they ended up the same
3 way we did. And all of this happened before the events in Kozarac.
4 Q. Well, don't you know that the police in Kozarac were engaging in
5 repeated provocative actions by stopping and disarming Serb soldiers in
7 A. I have not heard of any kind of repeated provocations. I simply
8 do not believe that some kind of repeated provocative actions were taken.
9 Q. Did you know that the Kozarac police were frequently stopping and
10 disarming Serb soldiers?
11 A. No. I'm not aware of any such thing.
12 Q. Well, that certainly doesn't fit in with an effort to find the
13 best possible solution and not to give them any pretext for any actions
14 for the attack, does it?
15 A. You mean what you mentioned, the frequent disarming of soldiers?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. I am not aware of any frequent disarming of soldiers. I simply
18 don't believe it. I reject that. I don't know about that quite simply.
19 I allow for the possibility of say some isolated incident that I had not
20 heard about. Of course this is in contrast to the attempts made not to
21 provoke incidents but also, the army sent its soldiers to provoke
23 Q. What is it you're writing down over there? I notice you writing
24 stuff. What are you writing?
25 A. You can take a look, if you wish.
1 Q. I don't want to look at them. They are your private notes. I
2 have no business looking at them. I'd just like to know what you're
4 A. I'm writing down some questions, because you often go back to
5 previously put questions.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. So that's what I'm writing down.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Can we take a break now, Your Honour?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. 25 minutes.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour may I just mention something before
13 Mr. Ackerman continues?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
15 MS. KORNER: That's this: Your Honour may recall that
16 Mr. Sejmenovic gave an answer when he was being cross-examined about the
17 Kovacevic testimony.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
19 MS. KORNER: To the effect -- I'll just read it: That he said,
20 "that's what I said because I was warned all the time as I was today that
21 I should only give partial answers." And Mr. Ackerman said.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That he would love to challenge him.
23 MS. KORNER: I'm sure Mr. Ackerman didn't want to take an unfair
24 point and in fact we had a quick look at the Kovacevic transcript and we
25 found on page 691, Defence counsel saying to him, "I asked you a very
1 simple -- a simple question and if you can answer with very short
2 answers," and then at page 651, it was put to him, "Your Honour if I may
3 instruct the witness to just answer yes or no," and I'll follow up very
4 quickly so I think everybody, and it's no criticism I'm sure of
5 Mr. Ackerman but I think you can virtually say in every trial every
6 witness is warned to try and control the answers.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I would imagine because having lived this trial for
8 almost a year now I realise that one of the biggest problems is precisely
10 MS. KORNER: I think it's common to all the trials and all the
11 Trial Chambers that because we appreciate that witnesses want to give
12 lengthy explanations that they are told to cut them off. Yes, thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: In any case, I thank you, Ms. Korner, for your
14 observations. Mr. Ackerman. Please remind the witness to answer yes or
16 MR. ACKERMAN: I will. I'll do my best. And with regard to what
17 Ms. Korner just said I think that is not the same thing as being told to
18 give partial answers.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: I want the witness to give full answers but
21 sometimes a full answer is a yes or a no.
22 Q. Again, Mr. Sejmenovic, let's try to keep your answers as short as
23 possible because I really would like to finish with you and -- by
24 tomorrow. And I can. I can finish my questions?
25 A. I'll do my best.
1 Q. The only question I have is whether you can finish your answers or
2 not. I want to talk to you for a little while about the actual battle
3 that went on in Kozarac, part of which I think you were able to observe.
4 And I'd like you to -- I want to refer you to something you said in the
5 Stakic case about what you were observing. I'm on page 4683. You said,
6 "The third night they burned the villages," and you were referring to a
7 map so some of this doesn't make sense without the map but you say, "The
8 infantry walked into the village from here and around 10.00 in the
9 evening, they reached this part of Kozarac. And from this position that
10 I'm pointing at now," that you were showing the Court where you were, you
11 said, "We could see the soldiers run by the houses and we could see people
12 trying to escape." Now, this time, when you use "we" are you referring --
13 are you including yourself in that? Did you see the soldiers run by the
14 houses? And did you see people trying to escape?
15 A. I was one of the people and among other things, you could also see
16 the silhouettes because the houses were lit by burning fires so that you
17 could see the outline of persons running past them so that I also watched
18 those scenes from a distance.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: The question is a very simple one. Were you part of
20 that group or is it indirect information that you're giving?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We've just drawn your attention to this problem, and
23 you just fall into it again and again and again.
24 Mr. Ackerman, next question, please.
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. How far were you away from Kozarac at that point?
2 A. I cannot give you a definite answer but it was close to half a
4 Q. I'd like you to look at DB113 again. If you look on page 3 in the
5 B/C/S version, sir, you find the second paragraph which begins with the
6 words, "U toku." Did you find that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. This again is that report written by Simo Drljaca that we were
9 referring to a little bit earlier. It says, "During the fighting the army
10 left a free corridor for all citizens who want to take shelter and flee
11 from the zone of armed conflict. That's to say for all those who did not
12 want to take part in an armed struggle against the army of the Serbian
13 Republic. The army organised shelter for such citizens in the village of
14 Trnopolje in the elementary school, the social centre, warehouse and
15 neighbouring houses to ensure their safety. This is how the open
16 reception centre of Trnopolje was established and it continues to operate
17 to this day." True?
18 A. Not true.
19 Q. What's not true?
20 A. Parts of the sentence that you've just read out are not true.
21 Q. Tell me what's not true?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's take it one sentence after the other. First
23 sentence, I am going to reed it to you myself. "During the fighting the
24 army left a free corridor for all citizens who wanted to take shelter and
25 flee from the zone of armed conflict that is to say for all those who did
1 not want to take part in an armed struggle against the army of the Serbian
2 Republic." Do you agree that during the fighting the army left such a
3 free corridor?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not agree, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Next. "The army organised shelter for such citizens
6 in the village of Trnopolje in the elementary school, the social centre,
7 warehouse and neighbouring houses to ensure their safety." Do you agree
8 with this? With this statement?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do not agree with this statement
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And then we have the last sentence. "This is
12 how the open reception centre of Trnopolje was established and it
13 continues to operate to this day." Do you agree that the open reception
14 centre of Trnopolje was established the way it is mentioned here? And
15 that it was still in operation -- operating along those lines when this
16 report came out? That is roughly, I would say, in August of 1992?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is not the way how this
18 reception centre came into being, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: So you've got your answer, Mr. Ackerman.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. The next sentence after the last one that we just read says this,
22 "The centre has no barbed wire fence." That's true, isn't it?
23 A. No. That is not true. There was barbed wire in a part of it.
24 Q. But the entire centre was not surrounded by a barbed wire fence,
25 was it?
1 A. No, not the entire centre. That is true.
2 Q. Just a little further along, "The army secures the centre from
3 attacks by extremists." That's true, isn't it?
4 A. Yes. There were troops in and around the centre. What they did,
5 I do not know and I cannot answer that question. I mean I don't know
6 whether they were involved in security.
7 Q. The next sentence, "The number of citizens staying there varies
8 because those who wish to can leave the centre at any time since there is
9 a railway station located right by it." Is that true?
10 A. That is not true.
11 Q. Is it true that people were permitted to leave the centre if they
12 had some place to go where they could stay safely?
13 A. Subject to the authorisation of the Serb troops.
14 Q. It goes on, a little later to say, "The centre has a clinic with a
15 medical team on duty round the clock equipped to extend basic medical
16 care." Do you know if that was true?
17 A. There was a medical team, but I do not think they were properly
18 equipped and they -- there were no conditions there to extend health care
19 apart from perhaps some basic interventions.
20 Q. Now, you actually spent sometime at Trnopolje, didn't you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you entered that facility on your own. Nobody arrested you
23 and took you there.
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber how you were able to enter that facility.
1 A. Crawling, at night-time. I crawled over the distance across
2 fields, as we call them. I crawled through a channel, and sometime before
3 the day break, I crawled under the barbed wire and joined the multitude of
4 people who were there.
5 Q. I think you mentioned in your testimonies or statement or
6 something that you had seen some machine-gun nests, correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I'd like to you look at a map. It's 1147.4. What you see there,
9 sir, is a map represented to be a map of Trnopolje that was drawn by
10 another witness here. Do you recognise it?
11 A. I do.
12 Q. You spoke about a machine-gun nest that was in the balcony of
13 Hamdo's house. Can you show us on this map where Hamdo's house was?
14 A. This is that Hamdo's house that I mentioned.
15 Q. And where is the balcony of that house, where you saw the
16 machine-gun nest?
17 A. Facing -- the balcony faces in this direction. From here you can
18 see the balcony directly.
19 Q. All right. Where is -- you also said there was a barn that had a
20 machine-gun nest in it. Where is that? Do you know?
21 A. Yes. It's here in this area.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. And this was open here and faced the meadows in this direction.
24 Q. And so the machine-gun nest would be facing to the left of the
25 barn? Is that what you're saying?
1 A. Yes. Left if we look from here, and if we are facing the camp.
2 So here in this part, and this is not really the barn. It is a covered
3 facility but has no walls, and it serves to park vehicles. So it was in
4 this part here, and I crawled through a channel which is here. I'm
5 showing you the direction and which ran between two plots of land.
6 Q. Now, the transcript is not really going to show the things you
7 were pointing at. Let's see if we can describe it for the transcript. To
8 the left of some language that looks like it says, in your language,
9 "Fudbalsko igraliste" or something like that. I think that's football
10 field, football pitch. It's Hamdo's house is just right there to the left
11 of that, isn't it?
12 A. Yes. If we are looking from the Trnopolje-Prijedor road. If we
13 are standing here, yes, we can see the football pitch and then the -- and
14 then Hamdo's house is to the left. If we are on the other side, then it
15 would be on our right.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me clarify this. Referring for the record
17 referring to the sketch, the witness has pointed as being Hamdo's house
18 the building that appears at 9.00 to the other building which is indicated
19 as the skola.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour it may help, it's up to Mr. Ackerman,
21 that we found a photograph which shows the house and that may help him.
22 It's up to him.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm happy with what we are doing. I just don't
24 want the witness making marks on the Prosecutor's exhibit.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course not. As regards the barn, the witness
1 indicated the block of buildings at 12.00 of the other building referred
2 to as skola.
3 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, it's Exhibit P1128.1 if that can
4 be shown to him. I think it's probably clearer on the photograph.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks, Ms. Korner.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. Let's look at the photograph and just see what it shows. In the
8 meantime, maybe the usher could make a copy of this exhibit so that I
9 could have a separate copy that he could actually put a mark on?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. You could have a photocopy of this
11 document and it becomes a new document, a Defence document, and he can
12 mark as much as he likes on it.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Yeah.
14 Q. You have in front of you now a photograph. Can you make a copy of
15 that? You have in front of you now a photograph and where is -- where is
16 Hamdo's house? Can you point to it?
17 A. Yes. I'm pointing at it right now. And this is the balcony that
18 I referred to.
19 Q. Do you know what -- and then you see the football pitch that's
20 over there. You can see it fairly clearly, can't you?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You can't see in this photograph the other building, though, that
23 was a -- described as a barn, can you?
24 A. No, because it's in this direction where I'm pointing right now.
25 So next to this meadow, in the extension of the school in this direction,
1 there are several houses, then a road, and then again two or three houses
2 and that is where this barn that we talked about is.
3 Q. And Hamdo's house that you pointed to, this photograph is an
4 exhibit, is it?
5 MS. KORNER: Yes. It's Exhibit P1128.1.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. In P1128.1, the structure you pointed to is Hamdo's house is kind
8 of a cream coloured, looks like a red roofed structure that sits at the
9 other end of the football pitch from the school building, the white school
10 building that sits there in front and it appears to have about three
11 openings in the end that faces us in the photograph. Does that describe
12 the building you're referring to?
13 A. It does, yes. Hamdo's house has the ground floor and a loft from
14 which you gain access to the terrace.
15 Q. In a moment we will have that other exhibit back and I'll ask you
16 to mark the two places on it so there will be no question about it but let
17 me ask you some other questions while we are waiting. Isn't it the case
18 that the guards that were located around the camp were there to keep
19 unauthorized persons from entering Trnopolje and not to keep persons there
20 inside it?
21 A. No. That is not true.
22 Q. Well, if they had wanted to keep people inside Trnopolje, don't
23 you think they would have fenced them in?
24 A. Well, there was a wire fence in parts, and in other places, where
25 there were no wire fences, there were machine-gun nests. I heard from
1 some people that there were some other machine-gun nests but I did not see
2 them and they would be in this direction here.
3 Q. But you were able to go in and out, weren't you?
4 A. I've told you, it was at night and crawling that I got there,
5 towards the morning, and crawled under and joined the throng and that is
6 how I left too and that is once again at night.
7 Q. Let's try it again. You were able to go in and out, weren't you?
8 A. I couldn't really go -- get in and out. Had I been able to do
9 that I would have taken the road rather than crawl.
10 Q. You weren't shot at, were you?
11 A. Did not -- they did not see me get in.
12 Q. Okay. You have this document, the map, and let's mark it as
13 DB114. And what I'd like you to do is, the house you identified as
14 Hamdo's house, could you just take a pen and just put the letters "HAM" on
15 that house, just write them right on it or next to it or however you want
16 to do it. Okay for the record you have written "HAM"?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: He can finish it he can write "Hamdo" I mean for
18 just two letters.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Go ahead, write "Hamdo."
20 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness speaks English he can also write
21 "Hamdo's house."
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. You've written "Hamdo" above what was Hamdo's house. Now you're
24 going to write the whole thing, "Hamdo's house." Very good. And that's
25 written above the structure?
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps Mr. Sejmenovic you could initial that,
2 please. Put your initials against what you wrote.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [marks]
4 MR. ACKERMAN:
5 Q. Now go over to the barn and write the word "barn" there and put
6 your initials?
7 A. Well, I can't really pinpoint the place where it was because I
8 think that this is -- this sketch is not very accurate but I can tell you
9 approximately where it was.
10 Q. All right.
11 A. [marks]
12 Q. For the record you've written what, what did you write and put in
13 parenthesis there?
14 A. I wrote "kolara" and underneath, garage.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Please write "barn" because that's what we are
16 interested in having indicated on that piece of paper.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [marks]
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. That's right. You got it right.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah.
21 MR. ACKERMAN:
22 Q. You've now written barn there also and you drew a line with an
23 arrow on the end of it showing approximately where you believe that was
24 located, correct?
25 A. Yes, more or less.
1 Q. All right.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: You're going to have this document marked DB114.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: And I offer it in evidence, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: DB114.
5 MR. ACKERMAN:
6 Q. Okay. I'm through with that now. We were -- we were in the midst
7 of discussing my contention that the guards there were there to keep
8 unauthorized persons out rather than to keep the people there in. There
9 came a point when you came back to Trnopolje the second time, when you
10 were advised to surrender, didn't there?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you were advised to do that by a person named Adem Trnjanin?
13 A. He did not advise. He beseeched.
14 Q. Well, that's fine with me. And what he told you, and I'm
15 referring now to your testimony in case IT-97-24-T, and I'm on page 699,
16 what he told you was that this fellow Slavko, who was the head of the
17 guards there, he told you that Slavko was only interested in how you
18 entered the camp because Slavko was the head of the guards at the camp and
19 he was only interested in how you were able to enter the camp. Correct?
20 A. Yes. That's what Adem said to me.
21 Q. Not interested in how you managed to get out but how you managed
22 to get in, as if what Slavko, the head of guards, was interested in was
23 how people were able to penetrate his efforts to keep people from getting
24 into the camp unauthorized, correct?
25 A. That's not correct.
1 Q. In the Stakic case, when you were discussing the food situation at
2 Trnopolje, you said, and it's page 4735, "They succeeded in obtaining an
3 approval from the command of the camp for some people to be issued with a
4 permit to go to their own homes and bring back flour so they could cook in
5 the camp." That's true, right?
6 A. That is right.
7 Q. And the reason they needed to be issued a permit was so that they
8 could safely pass through checkpoints outside the camp in going back and
9 forth to their homes?
10 A. I don't know what the real reason was. They were probably keeping
11 records as to who was leaving, who was leaving the camp from amongst the
12 persons who had been in the camp.
13 Q. Do you know if the -- I'm going to talk about Omarska for a moment
14 now. Do you know if that facility was placed under the supervision of the
16 A. I don't know formally under whose supervision it was. I know that
17 Serb soldiers in uniform were there, as well as a few policemen.
18 Q. In that report of Drljaca that we've been referring to
19 periodically in your testimony, he said at one point that the police were
20 entrusted with the task of providing direct physical security while the
21 army provided in-depth security in the form of two circles and by laying
22 mines along the potential routes of escape by prisoners. Do you know
23 whether or not that's a true account?
24 A. I don't know about that. What I know is what I saw in the camp.
25 I saw three types of uniforms.
1 Q. Describe them for us.
2 A. I saw blue police uniforms. As a matter of fact three persons
3 with such uniforms, the kind we saw before the war. Then I saw for the
4 most part ordinary soldiers' uniforms and I saw a few uniforms of
5 special -- of the special police that I had seen a few days earlier at the
6 prison in Prijedor. That is camouflage with a slightly purple hue.
7 Q. Do you know what the purple uniforms were? Do you know what they
9 A. I'm not sure. I think that's the special police but I'm not sure.
10 Q. Okay. I take it if I were to ask you about the numbers of people
11 who passed through Omarska and the numbers that were transferred out of
12 there to Trnopolje and Manjaca and things like that, you wouldn't really
13 know about that. Is that true?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. I'm certain you recall the day that you were taken to Omarska,
16 don't you?
17 A. I don't remember the date. I remember the approximate period. I
18 never managed to remember the exact date, but I think it was the beginning
19 of August, 1992.
20 Q. What I'm really asking you is whatever date it was, you certainly
21 remember that day, remember what happened that day, don't you?
22 A. I didn't understand the question. Do you mean do I remember which
23 day in the week it was?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no. I realise that you're not
25 understanding. What you are being asked, what you're being told is this:
1 We understand that you do not remember the exact date when you were taken
2 to Omarska, but Mr. Ackerman is suggesting to you that certainly you do
3 remember the events of that day, of that particular day, and this is, I
4 suppose what he is going to ask you about.
5 Mr. Ackerman.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. You were first taken to the building known as the white house,
8 weren't you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you were beaten in the white house, weren't you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You were in a room?
13 A. Yes, at the white house.
14 Q. And there was no other detainee in that room. You were the only
15 detainee in there at the time?
16 A. At that moment, there was no one there.
17 Q. And people were coming in and beating you and then leaving and
18 then another person would come in and beat you and leave, and I think
19 there were somewhere around five or seven people who actually came in
20 there and beat you, correct?
21 A. I do not remember exactly how many there were but there were a few
22 of them.
23 Q. And the first person that came in to beat you was a civilian. He
24 was not military or police, correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And he was a Muslim, wasn't he?
2 A. Afterwards, I found out that he was.
3 Q. And sometime in that process, you were actually on the floor and
4 you were kicked in the nose and the face so in your words, you were just
5 completely bloody, right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Can you tell us about when it was -- I know you don't know the
8 exact date, but can you tell us about when it was that you went to
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he has already stated that it was in the
11 beginning of August. He couldn't remember the day -- the exact date but
12 roughly he said it was the beginning of August, or at least he's got that
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. Were you there when there was a delegation that came to visit
16 Omarska from Banja Luka?
17 A. If you mean Mr. Kupresanin, I was there on the spot. This was a
18 few days later, in relation to what happened at the "white house."
19 Q. Now, was that when Kupresanin came and rescued you and took you
20 from there? Is that the one you're referring to?
21 A. Yes. He came and he took me out of the camp.
22 Q. And when you answered my question just a moment ago, that's the
23 event you were referring to, isn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. All right.
1 A. I heard from some camp inmates that there were other delegations
2 coming in but I don't know anything about it.
3 Q. All right. Your best guess is that it was right around the
4 beginning of August when you were taken there and when you were beaten so
5 severely over there at the white house, correct?
6 A. I think that it was the beginning of August. Perhaps it might
7 have been the end of July, but I'm convinced that it had to be the
8 beginning of August. Sometime around the 1st.
9 Q. You were interviewed by television there in Omarska and we saw a
10 clip of that yesterday. You remember that, don't you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And do you know that that was on the 5th of August of 1992?
13 A. I didn't know that. I beg your pardon. If this was on the 5th of
14 August, then what we have been discussing now might have been towards the
15 very end of July.
16 Q. All right.
17 A. Because I spent a short time in Omarska, perhaps between seven and
18 nine days. That was my feeling any way.
19 Q. Okay. What I want to do is have the video director play just that
20 part of the tape where you were interviewed, but this time with
21 translation so we can hear what it was you were saying and look again at
22 you in that process. So we can do that now.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Is the video readily available for the technicians?
24 Do they have it?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it's all cued up, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I want to make sure that the
2 interpreters have understood that we need a running interpretation of what
3 Mr. Sejmenovic says during -- in the course.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I met with the interpreters during the break and
5 pointed out the portion of the transcript.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. All right, Mr. Ackerman. I thank you.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I've taken care of all of this, Your Honour. I'm a
8 very efficient lawyer.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I just wanted to make sure that you were up to your
10 usual high standard.
11 [Videotape played]
12 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] They were interested in meeting
13 prisoner Mevludin Sejmenovic member of the parliament of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina and SDA activist in the area.
15 Question: We have heard that you were one of the rare inhabitants
16 of this reception centre here that came to Omarska on his own.
17 Answer: Yes, precisely.
18 Question: Can you explain why you did that, how come you came
20 Answer: I came here waiting and hiding around for a while. I
21 waited for all the prime actors in these horrendous events to be captured,
22 for the truth to be established, about what had happened, about the people
23 that had done all that evil so that my efforts and work, as well as the
24 statements I will give can be appreciated.
25 Question: When you say capture who do you have in mind, who was
1 responsible for all the horrors that took place in this area?
2 Answer: I'm primarily referring to the party leader for Bosnian
3 Krajina, Redjo Mucic [phoen] and chairman of the party branch in Prijedor,
4 Mirzo Mucic [phoen] and member of the party executive council for
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I would also like to add all the men working in the
6 party and organising these war-related activities.
7 Question: Your fellow colleagues in this centre do they know
8 about your opinion? Do they know about your views concerning the evil
9 that befell the Muslim people?
10 Answer: I have spoken about that on two occasions when we had
11 discussions here in an interview for TV Krajina as well. I've made my
12 statement and addressed a message to my people concerning this whole
13 situation. I am now personally witnessing it in Bosanska Krajina in
14 Prijedor. Not through a telescope, the way it is being watched by those
15 who concocted all this evil.
16 Question: I don't know whether you are aware of the fact that
17 some foreign reporters mostly from Great Britain have also come to visit
18 the centre. The reason for this visit is that over the past few days the
19 international media have been claiming that in Republika Srpska, that is
20 in the territory where you are now there are concentration camps for
21 Muslims and Croats. Since you are in this particular centre and you came
22 here of your own free will, as you said, could you tell these foreign
23 reporters what the truth is? Do you know what a concentration camp is?
24 Is this a concentration camp or is it a reception centre? What could you
25 say to them?
1 Answer: Well, I could say to them that it is the war operations
2 that caused such effects that it became necessary for people to be
3 grouped, both for reasons of safety and for mere survival in the final
4 instance. This centre does not have the characteristics of a
5 concentration camp, it's not the way the political propaganda has been
6 putting it and I think that they have managed to see that for themselves
8 Question: Just one more question. Before the flames of war
9 actually started here, were there any among the Muslim people living in
10 the area that were preparing for war?
11 Answer: Over the past few months, those arms were talked about in
12 every day conversations among ordinary people, let alone political
13 parties, including the SDA. In fact, there was a great degree of fear and
14 insecurity and people were looking for some kind of support, at least by
15 talking about personal safety. However, it is now definitely clear that
16 the political oligarchies were involved in very murky affairs, operating
17 behind the back of the party members and the ordinary people. Their goal
18 was to make the people fight for their private or individual interests
19 without taking into account the real effects that could stem from such
20 actions. I do not know. Perhaps it was even intentional. Since even
21 foreigners have now come to the conclusion that this war has all the
22 characteristics of a religious war, have you heard about some Muslim
23 priests, hodzas, Imams, that had special hunting rifles, American-made,
24 prepared even before the war?
25 Answer: As for weapons and the process of procuring weapons, I
1 really know very little about this. But ordinary people talked about this
2 and there is evidence that a number of people have been involved, a number
3 of priests were involved, in armed smuggling or some other form of weapon
4 procurement. I only know that by doing so, they breached both the norms
5 and the rules of the religion they preach as well as human moral norms, so
6 they too have certain merits quote unquote, for all this evil that befell
7 all the peoples living here."
8 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. Thank you.
9 Q. Now, I know that you've seen that clip a number of times and I
10 first want to tell you that it is not my intention to challenge you with
11 regard to that being the truth. I'm not going to do that. But I do have
12 some questions I want to ask you about it. And the first one is that I
13 would like to know if before that date in August of 1992, when you were
14 interviewed, had you had any kind of training in acting? Had you done any
15 kind of acting?
16 A. No.
17 Q. You have said in your various testimonies that the things you said
18 on that tape were untrue. They were things that you made up and that you
19 had good reason for doing that, and I'm not -- as I told you, not arguing
20 with you about that. But just watching you during that interview, is
21 there any way that we could know, just by watching you and listening to
22 you, that you were telling an untruth, that you were talking about things
23 that were not true? Is there any way we could know that without you
24 telling us that? Just by looking at the way you were being interviewed?
25 There isn't, is there?
1 A. I don't understand. I'm not competent to assess these matters in
2 such a way. I know what I said. I know what I had to say. And this is
3 the third interview. During the first one, my attention was drawn to the
4 fact that I have to say what had been written out for me. That was in the
5 first interview. And that would probably safe my life.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: The question is a very simple one. If, in 1992, 5th
7 of May [sic], as had been suggested, any one of us was watching that
8 programme on TV, listening to -- following your interview, would we have
9 been able to know that you were lying during that interview, that you were
10 saying what was -- what you knew was completely untrue? Or would we have
11 had no reason to doubt what you were saying? This is the question that is
12 being put to you. Any one watching you, would you have expected that
13 person to have believed you or to have realised to understand that you
14 were lying?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what to say in response
16 to this question.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, page 53, line -- it's actually page
19 54, line 1, I don't know if you said 5th of May but you clearly meant 5th
20 of August.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: 5th of August.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: So it should be corrected to show that.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah.
24 MR. ACKERMAN:
25 Q. The other thing I want to ask you about that is just looking at
1 you visually, this was four or five or six days, I take it, after you had
2 suffered this severe beating that you told us about, being down on the
3 floor, being kicked in the nose and the face, and being made completely
4 bloody, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What medical treatment had you had following that severe beating?
7 A. No medical treatment was administered. The wound on the nose had
8 healed because my skin had been scraped a bit, and I had a bad wound on
9 the back. However, that healed too, a few months afterwards.
10 Q. Now, I think it was the very next day, after this interview, that
11 you did on television, that Vojo Kupresanin came to Omarska and got you
12 and took you with a police escort to Banja Luka, didn't he?
13 A. Yes. Partly with a police escort, for part of the way. Most of
14 the time we travelled without a police escort, for most of that journey.
15 Q. The police escort would have been at the beginning of the journey
16 as you were leaving Omarska and the Prijedor municipality, correct?
17 A. Not through the municipality of Prijedor. It was through Omarska
18 and also for part of the journey through Banja Luka, but that was shorter.
19 Q. All right. In the Stakic trial, page 4804 of the transcript, you
20 told the Trial Chamber that when Kupresanin came and entered the room in
21 which you were waiting, you thought he was someone else. Who was it you
22 thought he was?
23 A. In that situation, at first glance, I had the impression that it
24 was Mr. Slavko Bereta from the parliament, from the municipal assembly in
25 Prijedor. That was my first impression at that moment.
1 Q. After Mr. Kupresanin took you out of Omarska, you learned that
2 there was some interest in you becoming a member of the parliament of the
3 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, didn't you?
4 A. I didn't know that. Kupresanin didn't tell me that. That's what
5 I found out from a soldier who drove me to Vrbanja.
6 Q. Well, that was my question. You learned that there was some
7 interest in you becoming a member of the parliament. And your answer is
8 yes, isn't it?
9 A. I heard about that from the driver. So it wasn't official. It
10 didn't come from one of the officials.
11 Q. You were told by Mr. Kupresanin that an agreement had been entered
12 into with Fikret Abdic that Abdic would become the Prime Minister of the
13 government of the Serbian Republic. You were told that, weren't you?
14 A. He didn't say the Serb Republic.
15 Q. What did he say?
16 A. He said region.
17 Q. Oh, so he told you that there was an agreement that Fikret Abdic
18 would become the Prime Minister of the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
19 A. No. He said that it would be annexed to Bihac, that all of it
20 would be one region, that they were negotiating to have Fikret Abdic Prime
21 Minister of that government, and that a Serb should be president of the
23 Q. Okay. The whole idea of that happening and you being a member of
24 the parliament and all of that was something that was rejected by you at
25 least, wasn't it?
1 A. Officially, Kupresanin never offered me to become a member of
2 parliament. I heard from the driver, and I quote, "Good that you decided
3 to be a member of the Serb assembly."
4 Q. Of course at that point you hadn't made that decision, had you?
5 A. I don't understand.
6 Q. You hadn't decided to be a member of the Serb assembly, had you?
7 You said the driver said it was good that you had made that decision. You
8 had not made that decision, had you?
9 A. No, of course I hadn't, because I knew nothing about it.
10 Q. Just for clarity of this particular transcript, could you tell the
11 Judges who Fikret Abdic is and what role he played during that time,
12 during the war?
13 A. He was in the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina before the war.
14 That is a member of the Presidency of the collective body. Then he quit
15 the Presidency, proclaimed a small area of Bosanska Krajina an autonomous
16 region bordering on Croatia. Later on, he established military links with
17 the Serbs seceded in Croatia and allegedly Serbs in Bosanska Krajina and
18 which war against the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 Q. It's the case isn't it that during the first multi-party elections
20 that Fikret Abdic actually received more votes than Izetbegovic did.
21 That's true, isn't it?
22 A. Yes. Yes. It is common knowledge.
23 Q. And yet Izetbegovic was chosen as president over Abdic as
24 President of the Presidency over Abdic, wasn't he?
25 A. Yes. At the Presidency session between the -- among the members
1 of the Presidency. There was a kind of automatic reaction and the person
2 who had won the most votes did not have to become automatically the
4 Q. Would it be fair to -- in speaking of the relative political
5 positions of those two people, to say -- and I emphasise relative, to say
6 that Izetbegovic was more of a Muslim extremist and Abdic more of a Muslim
8 A. There were no Muslim extremists there, and in this regard, one
9 could hardly spot any difference.
10 Q. Well, it's the case that Izetbegovic had actually been convicted
11 and put in jail for espousing extremist Islamic views, hadn't he?
12 A. I think that that was not the reason, but I'm not really familiar
13 with this cases. It was a long time ago. And at that time I was not
14 interested in that kind of topics.
15 Q. To your knowledge, Abdic was never put in jail for espousing
16 extreme Muslim views, was he?
17 A. No. Abdic did serve but for some other reasons, because of
18 economic fraud, because he caused an economic collapse.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You're not answering the question. You are
20 answering a completely different question, Mr. Sejmenovic.
21 MR. ACKERMAN:
22 Q. Abdic was never put in jail for espousing extreme Muslim views,
23 was he?
24 A. No. He was in prison for other reason, for breaches of economic
25 laws and for causing an economic collapse because he printed false bonds
1 so that both of them had served their terms.
2 Q. You told us about him forming his own autonomous province. He
3 actually had a very large following among the Muslims there in the Bihac
4 area, Velika Kladusa, that part of Bosnia, northwest Bosnia, didn't he?
5 A. Yes. He did. He organised it even in the military sense, he put
6 together an army, and called it Autonomous Province of west Bosnia.
7 Q. And his people up there, as you suggested, actually engaged in
8 fighting against the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in cooperation with the
9 armed forces of Republika Srpska, right?
10 A. In cooperation with the armed forces of Serbs from Croatia, and
11 allegedly, there was also some cooperation with the Army of Republika
12 Srpska, but I wouldn't know much about that. That military cooperation
13 mostly boiled down from what I heard from other people in procuring
14 supplies and participation of the Serb brass, of Serb officers, in that
15 Fikret Abdic's army.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, we are quite distant from the events
17 of 1992 and early 1993 now.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm finished with that process, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope so.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. During this process of being taken out of Omarska, taken to Banja
22 Luka, spending time there, with Mr. Kupresanin and all the things you did
23 there, you never encountered Mr. Brdjanin, did you?
24 A. No, I didn't.
25 Q. And it was clear to you, was it not, that Mr. Kupresanin, at
1 apparently the urging of Mr. Karadzic was taking an interest in the camps
2 and what was happening with the camps, correct?
3 A. I already told you what he said. I mean he made some inquiries
4 about some people, about other non-Serb MPs from the area, and had some
5 other plans in mind.
6 Q. I want you to look at a document -- and I hope we can get through
7 this real quickly -- look at a document DB111. Now, I think you've seen
8 this document before, sir. And the question I want to ask you -- I have a
9 couple of questions to ask you about it. The first thing you'll notice is
10 that it has no dates filled in. It hasn't got a date of a session. The
11 data session was held. It referred to it. It hasn't got a date, a
12 decision date, where Dr. Stakic's name appears. It has no signature. It
13 has no stamp. Doesn't it appear to you, sir, that what it is is a
14 proposed decision that was never acted upon?
15 A. I can speak only about my experience with documents, say in the
16 parliament. I cannot say anything about this concrete document. I can
17 also say the same thing that you said, that there is no date, no seal or
18 anything, but sometimes such documents are made and prepared for large
19 numbers of people attending various meetings, and it could only be the
20 standard type of a document, but what is behind it, I really cannot say.
21 Q. Well, I guess if -- with your experience in meeting in
22 deliberative bodies, one of the things that might be the case with regard
23 to this is it was a document that was prepared for a meeting of the War
24 Presidency of Prijedor municipality, that it was presented to those
25 attending that meeting, and not adopted and therefore no date was ever put
1 on it. It was a proposal that wasn't accepted. Don't you think that's
2 likely the case?
3 A. Well, if it were just a draft decision, I believe it would say
4 that, because then you usually have it "draft" or "proposed document" or
5 something and then it is only when one gets to the final document that it
6 would say "decision." So I mentioned various possibilities that could be
7 in play. I mean which one of them applies to this case, I really don't
9 Q. And the other thing that's -- that I find interesting in this
10 document is that section headed, "Statement of reasons," and in that
11 section it talks about the fact that there are no laws, either in the
12 assembly of the Serbian Republic of BH are the Autonomous Region of
13 Krajina that govern the seizure of property from citizens who participated
14 in an armed rebellion and have left the territory. And neither are there
15 any previous regulations applied in the Serbian Republic of BH, not in
16 violation of the constitution that cover it. And it says, "Urgent passage
17 of legislation that will govern this issue has been suggested in order for
18 the proposed decision, that being this decision we are looking at, to have
19 a legal foundation." It seems to me what they are saying there is even if
20 this decision were adopted it would have no legal foundation, correct?
21 A. You read this last part, and I think it explains your dilemma. So
22 there is a decision, but in order not to preserve the legal situation in
23 which it is not justification, it is proposed to pass a law that would
24 then ensure the legality of this decision. That is what I gather from
25 what you read last but of course I cannot really speak about this
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I think we agree. Okay. We
3 are going somewhere else now. In the Keraterm case, it's the transcript
4 of 28 May, 2001, at page 3957, Defence counsel, Mr. Greaves, asked you
5 this question: "Did you approve of the fact that the SDA became an
6 ethnically-based party?" And your answer was as follows -- and let me get
7 it because I may not have it quoted exactly right. Let's make sure we are
9 Your answer was as follows: "The SDA became predominantly
10 national parties because the circumstances brought that about, because
11 before that, another ethnic body, and that was the Serb, had organised the
12 Serb people exclusively." Now, that wasn't -- that answer is not true, is
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Which? Which part of the answer is not true,
15 Mr. Ackerman, according to you?
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Yeah, let me do that.
17 Q. The part of that answer where you say the SDA became a national
18 party because before that, another ethnic body, the Serbs, had organised
19 the Serb people exclusively. Now, the proposition that before the SDA,
20 the Serbs had organised a national party exclusively, is just not true, is
22 A. That fact is true. If we are talking about organisation. If we
23 are talking about the date on which the party was registered, then you
24 could say it was not true, because the SDA was registered with a court in
25 Sarajevo sometime before the SDS but if we are talking about political --
1 about the political organisation, setting up of initial committees, then
2 such organisation started amongst the members of the Serb people much
3 earlier and across Yugoslavia.
4 Q. In that dialogue that you had there with Mr. Greaves in that case
5 on that day, you took the position that the SDA was not an ethnically
6 based party, didn't you?
7 A. In the beginning, we did not want it to be one. We wanted it to
8 be a party bringing together other ethnic groups as well, and we did score
9 some initial success in that.
10 Q. That party, that SDA party, was organised by Alija Izetbegovic,
11 wasn't it?
12 A. The group which included Alija Izetbegovic as the man who enjoyed
13 the highest respect, who commanded the major -- the biggest authority in
14 that group at that time.
15 Q. And isn't it the case that no reasonable person could view a party
16 organised by Alija Izetbegovic as a multi-ethnic party?
17 A. I don't think you're right. In our Prijedor SDA, we even had two
18 councilmen of different ethnicity, as SDA members. And I think that those
19 two councilmen were sensible people.
20 Q. There is an exhibit in our case, Mr. Sejmenovic, it's Exhibit
21 DB1. It's in the form of a book written about the war in -- the name of
22 it is, "The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina." The authors are Berg and Shoup. I
23 think it's not here today.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: This is the book Mr. Donia had to testify upon.
25 MS. KORNER: I know, Your Honour, but we've never got a copy of it
1 or any form of it whatsoever.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman offered us a copy and we said we could
3 buy our own.
4 MS. KORNER: If it is going to be an exhibit we would like the
5 Defence to give us a copy.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: It is an exhibit.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: It is an exhibit I think.
8 MS. KORNER: All right, well in that case, can they please provide
9 us with a copy.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll see if I can get another one. I hope it's not
11 out of print. But I'll try to buy you one Ms. Korner not out of a
12 huge sense of obligation but I would be happy to do that for you. We
13 don't have it here but I don't think it matters, Your Honour. I have a
14 page that I just want to quote some language from and ask him if he agrees
15 with this language.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it a long quote, Mr. Ackerman or is it a short
18 MR. ACKERMAN: It's all relative, Your Honour. I think it's
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Because if it's short perhaps we can have it
21 photocopied or if you have a spare copy we could put it on the ELMO and
22 everyone will be in a position to follow, at least to follow better.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: If we put this on the ELMO, I can probably read it
24 from here.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah. The witness knows English as well so...
1 MR. ACKERMAN: I've --
2 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I cannot speak English.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Very well said.
4 MS. KORNER: I think his English has improved remarkably since
5 the first time I met him.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Because on his statement to the Prosecution,
7 languages known, used, Bosnian and English.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, watching him write barn and garage
9 today, I suddenly realised which I hadn't appreciated that his English
10 clearly had improved but I think he's been learning English.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll just read to you. There are two sections
13 there that I've highlighted in yellow. "The Party of Democratic Action
14 Stranka Demokratske Akcije SDA, was created in March, 1990, and led by
15 Alija Izetbegovic. Izetbegovic had been an active proponent of expanding
16 the role of Islam in public life and politics, although he carefully
17 avoided specifically advocating the establishment of an Islamic state in
18 Bosnia, the call for a greater role for Islam contained in his, "Islamic
19 Declaration" of 1970 was widely interpreted as referring to Bosnia. It
20 was for these views that he had twice been imprisoned under the
21 communists. He represented a faction of the SDA inclined toward an
22 identity defined largely in terms of Islam and intent on securing a
23 dominant role for the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina."
24 And then the next section, "The overtly Islamic and Muslim
25 nationalist orientation of the SDA leadership around Izetbegovic
1 led to a split with the more secular Muslims within the party led by Adil
2 Zulfikarpasic who formed his own Muslim party, the Muslim Bosniak
3 Organisation, or MBO, in October 1990. This party held little appeal
4 outside of liberal Muslim circles." Now, what these authors write there
5 about the SDA and Izetbegovic and his views regarding the SDA is
6 absolutely true, isn't it?
7 A. Well, not absolutely. This is the impression that the writer
8 gained. I disagree with it. I -- my opinion about all this is different.
9 Q. And it's also true, isn't it, that -- that Izetbegovic's overt
10 Islam Muslim nationalist orientation led to that split that caused the
11 creation of the Muslim Bosniak Organisation? That's true, isn't it?
12 A. I think that this is a much more complex issue, and there are more
13 reasons than only the ones that you mentioned.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So it's partly true.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. I'm finished with that.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You can return the document to Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour I'm getting ready to embark on a new
19 JUDGE AGIUS: We can break now for 25 minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.58 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. All right, Mr. Sejmenovic, we are going to go to Banja Luka now.
25 After Kupresanin then had gotten you out of Omarska and brought to you
1 Banja Luka you were taken to meet with Karadzic, weren't you?
2 A. One of the meetings was to be with Karadzic.
3 Q. Yes. Where was that place that were you taken to meet with
4 Karadzic? What building was that?
5 A. The building of the assembly in Banja Luka.
6 Q. And there were several people there when you went there, weren't
8 A. There was a large number of people.
9 Q. Can you estimate the number, how many people were there?
10 A. I cannot -- I cannot give you really a more specific number.
11 Q. At least among the ones you saw it was clear to you that it was a
12 group of fairly -- fairly important people, wasn't it?
13 A. I knew that because of what Mr. Kupresanin said. He said, "You
14 are going to meet president Karadzic now."
15 Q. And this was end of August, beginning of September, wasn't it,
16 somewhere in that range?
17 A. I think it was in September.
18 Q. Among the people you saw there, you saw Srdjo Srdic?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. And I don't know if the Judges know who he was. Tell the Judges
21 who Srdjo Srdic was?
22 A. He was president of the SDS in Prijedor during the first term of
23 office, and he was a MP in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina and later on
24 a MP in the Serb assembly.
25 Q. And at some point also the head of the Red Cross in the Prijedor
1 area, wasn't he?
2 A. I don't know about that. I know that he was a dentist. I am not
3 aware of the fact that he was head of the Red Cross. Perhaps in the past
4 but I really don't know anything about it.
5 Q. You saw Dr. Stakic there, didn't you?
6 A. Yes, briefly.
7 Q. And who you didn't see there was Mr. Brdjanin. He was not there,
8 was he, or you didn't see him at least?
9 A. I didn't see him.
10 Q. You overheard Mr. Srdic complaining to people about Mr. Karadzic,
11 didn't you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And among the things he was complaining about was that Karadzic
14 had given all power to municipal presidents, wasn't it?
15 A. Yes. He was saying something to that effect.
16 Q. In early 1992, and I'm now going to a different subject but just
17 very briefly, there was an economic blockade going on of the area in which
18 you were situated, wasn't there?
19 A. I don't know which blockade you are referring to because all of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina was in certain types of blockade, economic that is.
21 Q. There were, in the Krajina area, there were really kind of two
22 blockade problems. One of those being that because of the Croatian war,
23 the regular supply of materials back and forth across the border to Zagreb
24 and Croatia had been completely cut off, correct, so there was no commerce
25 going on there at that point?
1 A. Not in that direction. That's right.
2 Q. And then the other -- the other issue had to do with what became
3 known as the Posavina corridor. It was that corridor that was fought over
4 that was blocking any commerce between the Krajina area and Serbia proper,
6 A. Yes. That could be heard over the Serb media.
7 Q. What I want to know is were you able to assess, just by
8 observation, or whatever way, the effect of these various blockades, the
9 lack of commerce from both Croatia and Serbia? What effect did that have
10 on the Krajina region?
11 A. I could not notice that because the area of Kozarac was already
12 under blockade by the Prijedor army and police. People were not allowed
13 to go to work, to school, and later on, even physical travelling was
14 prohibited. So I cannot speak of any broader aspects because I did not
15 really have any insight apart from news coming from the Serb media, in
16 situations when I could hear these news or when I could hear
17 interpretations thereof.
18 Q. Well, let's talk then about that period of time right at the
19 beginning of 1992, before Kozarac was blocked off. Where you were able to
20 go to Prijedor, you were able to move around. Did you see any effects
21 of it at that point?
22 A. There weren't any major effects until then. What was noticeable
23 was that there was a shortage of medicine and all of us together in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina tried to resolve it. As for other things that
25 happened, I didn't know about that. From an economic point of view,
1 perhaps there were some things. There were power cuts. That would
2 happen, yes.
3 Q. And if you know, isn't it the case that certain factories had to
4 dramatically reduce their work because there simply was no outlet for the
5 product that they were producing? It could not be transported? Or in the
6 alternative, they couldn't get the raw materials to produce the product?
7 That happened, didn't it?
8 A. It happened before that period too. At the moment when the
9 changes took place in Slovenia and Croatia because most products from that
10 area, that is to say from Bosnia-Herzegovina, were sold in that market or
11 through that market, especially the export of raw materials. So this was
12 felt by all towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina even before that period.
13 Q. Did you ever become aware of a food shortage?
14 A. Rumour had it that there were food shortages too but I'm not aware
15 of any details. I just know from my very own experience.
16 Q. Were you aware, and you've testified about and we are going to
17 another subject now, about the takeover of the transmitter at Mount
18 Kozara, right?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour I have another video clip that I want
21 to play. I had asked the director to play it without sound but I think it
22 should be played with sound so that Mr. Sejmenovic can at least hear what
23 it's about. But I don't expect the translators to translate it. So we
24 can just play it with normal sound and it starts at -- they know where it
25 starts. It's at 3620 and I assume it's cued up.
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. ACKERMAN:
3 Q. If you see people in this tape that you recognise, would you say
4 stop so that you can identify them for us?
5 A. Stop. We see Mr. Srdjo Srdic here on the right-hand side wearing
6 a white shirt. We can go on now.
7 [Videotape played]
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Stop. On the left we see
9 Mr. Kupresanin, and on the right is Mr. Srdic. We can go on.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Could you stop please for just a minute?
12 Q. Do you know this gentleman?
13 A. I think I may know him from sight, by sight. His face seems
14 familiar but I couldn't know his name, no
15 Q. They just said that it was Andjelko Grahovac, do you know who he
17 A. I don't know who Grahovac was. I just say that the face seems
19 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. Go ahead and play it.
20 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour I was just about to say. I don't
21 think Mr. Ackerman made it clear but there is a full transcript of
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm full aware of that.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: He only wanted the witness to know what was going
1 MS. KORNER: But in case Your Honours want to follow it, it's all
2 in the transcript.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact I was going to ask at some point in time
4 because although Mr. Ackerman said that he's only interested in having the
5 witness get the content of the -- of the words there, I think we ought to
6 know too so I was going to ask in any case.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour it's the continuation of the tape.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Ms. Korner, please.
9 MS. KORNER: The full transcript Your Honours have.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour's have the transcript.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I have not seen this tape before -- I hadn't seen
12 this tape before so frankly, I don't know which transcript to refer to.
13 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, yes, you have. Sorry, do you remember
14 yesterday it's the continuation tape of the interview with Mr. Sejmenovic
15 so -- Your Honours were given a full transcript.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: This is a continuation of this.
17 MS. KORNER: I suddenly realised Mr. Ackerman had not made that
18 clear. All of this is transcribed into English.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner, for clarifying that.
20 Mr. Ackerman do you have -- do you want the video to continue playing
21 or --
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, I do. I want it to continue.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's continue with the playing of the video,
25 [Videotape played]
1 MR. ACKERMAN:
2 Q. Do you know this person?
3 A. No, I don't.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Go ahead with the tape. Go ahead with the tape,
6 [Videotape played]
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Can you stop, please?
8 Q. Do you recognise that insignia that you see there?
9 A. Well, one of the interviewees already said that it was the wolves,
10 some kind of wolves. I think that they came from the area of Croatia,
11 from the police of the SAO Krajina, something like that. That's where
12 insignia like this comes from, I think.
13 Q. Did you ever hear of the wolves of Vucjak?
14 A. I think I did hear about them and I think it was from the Serb
15 media, as far back as the war in Croatia.
16 Q. Did you ever hear about Milankovic from Prnjavor as being the
17 leader of the Wolves of Vucjak?
18 A. I don't recall. I don't recall having heard.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay. We can continue with the tape, please.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
22 MS. KORNER: Your Honour can I say that -- so that we've got an
23 identification on the transcript, the P number was P1532 of the that
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
1 MS. KORNER: Slash, sorry, S151.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: And I think it's the same number as the segment I
3 played from the interview earlier too.
4 MS. KORNER: That's right.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope your question is not always the composer of
6 the music.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I actually left those parts in because I thought
8 you would enjoy the music, Your Honour.
9 Q. There was a reason I wanted you to watch all of that, sir, and
10 you're going to find out what it is here quite soon. What was going on
11 there is they were celebrating the third anniversary of the takeover of
12 that tower, weren't they?
13 A. That's what they said, the people on this footage.
14 Q. And these were people who were claiming some kind of a role in
15 that process, weren't they?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And all those people being interviewed, they were talking about
18 three years ago, and how the transmitter was taken over and the process by
19 which it was taken over and who the people involved were and things of
20 that nature, weren't they?
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not hear the answer, we
22 are sorry.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: The interpreters couldn't hear your answer. I heard
24 you say "da." Is that right.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
2 MR. ACKERMAN:
3 Q. Throughout all those interviews and all the credits that people
4 were being given for their efforts in that regard, not once did we hear
5 the name Brdjanin, did we?
6 A. That name was not mentioned a single time.
7 Q. Nor in all of the pictures we saw of the people that were there
8 involved in that celebration did we see Mr. Brdjanin, did we?
9 A. We did not see him on this footage.
10 Q. Now, you know, don't you, that that transmitter was taken over in
11 August of 1991?
12 A. I know that it was sometime in mid-1992 or the beginning of the
13 second half of 1991 rather.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
15 A. But I heard this in this particular video clip.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. I guess you were living in that area. You probably also noticed
18 that the television changed in August of 1991, didn't you?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In Stakic, you were asked this question: "For the moment very
21 briefly just the period before the takeover, did this assembly have any
22 practical authority over events or bodies in the Prijedor region?" And
23 the question really is not terribly related to the answer but what you
24 said about halfway through your answer, and I'm on page 4481, was this:
25 "The Autonomous Region of Krajina, at the moment of its founding, took
1 over the military and television repeaters and installations on Mount
2 Kozara and they interrupted the radio and TV programmes." That was not a
3 true statement, was it?
4 A. That was an accurate statement, according to what we knew.
5 Q. Well, isn't it the case that the transmitter was taken over before
6 the Autonomous Region of Krajina was even created? The transmitter was
7 taken over in -- at the latest, August of 1991 and the Autonomous Region
8 of Krajina was not created until September of 1991. That's true, isn't
10 A. We knew that Krajina was in the offing, but we did not have any
11 clear fact that Krajina had been founded. That is formally speaking,
12 those MPs did not come forward and say, "We have set up Krajina." But in
13 the parliament, during a session, or rather during an interval between the
14 two sessions, I heard from Vojo Kupresanin, "We've made a region, taken
15 the transmitter, and now we are airing our own programme." So that is how
16 that was the sequence.
17 Q. Well, I'd like you to look again at P12, please. You looked at
18 this yesterday, sir.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And I want to you see it again because this is the 7th session of
21 the assembly of the community of Bosnian Krajina municipalities held at
22 1700 hours on 16 September, 1991, and you will notice that right at the
23 end of the paragraph -- the section denominated number 1, "after a vote,
24 it was established that all deputies had voted unanimously to declare the
25 Autonomous Region of Krajina." So that was the founding date of the
1 Autonomous Region of Krajina, wasn't it?
2 A. Legally speaking, perhaps yes, but you've read it yourself that
3 was the 7th session, and on the -- this tape, one of the protagonists said
4 that the regional authorities were in the Europe restaurant and that they
5 had taken a decision and explained why they were taking over the
6 transmitter. You just saw it on the tape or as the speaker said,
8 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Bosnian Krajina
9 municipalities, about the Autonomous Region of Krajina, right?
10 A. Yes. It's a matter of terminology. If you're asking me about it
11 in the legal sense of the word, I do not know. I do not know because I
12 had no access to these documents before the war.
13 Q. Well, but what you told the Trial Chamber in the Stakic trial was
14 the Autonomous Region of Krajina at the moment of its founding took over
15 these powers and transmitters and things?
16 A. I think what it means is that it already had taken the transmitter
17 at the moment of their foundation, that at that time, they already had
18 their tools of propaganda.
19 Q. On another matter, in your testimony -- let me find it -- it was
20 13 July, 1998, cause number IT-97-24-T, at page 612. You gave an answer
21 to a question. You were asked about what is a Serb, basically, and you
22 gave an answer that I thought was interesting and I want to ask you about
23 it. What you said was, "For me, a Serb is a person that states openly
24 that he or she is a Serb. We in Bosnia make this distinction among ethnic
25 background very well. It's a matter of personal choice. There were
1 people who were -- who were of a certain nationality but they stated that
2 they were Yugoslavs and among Yugoslavs, the majority at least this is
3 what the statistics showed, the majority of Yugoslavs were Bosniak
4 Muslims." Now, the part of that answer that I'm interested in is where
5 you said a Serb is a person who states openly that he or she is a Serb.
6 And that we in Bosnia make these distinctions very well. It's a matter of
7 personal choice. What does that mean?
8 A. Well, when somebody says, "My ethnicity is Serb, Greek, Bosniak,
9 Croat," then his ethnicity is the one that he has stated. I don't know
10 what else could it mean.
11 Q. So if you were to decide tomorrow that you wanted to be a Serb,
12 you could just announce that you're a Serb and you would be one? Is that
13 what you're saying here?
14 A. Under the constitution and law, that is how it is, ethnicity is a
15 matter to be decided freely by any citizen and nobody has the right to
16 challenge it. Scientifically speaking, how these matters are treated is
17 up to professionals.
18 Q. Historically, before 1974, in fact, it's the case that the Islamic
19 people, the Muslim people, were not recognised as an ethnic group and many
20 Muslims referred to themselves as Muslim-Serbs or Muslim-Croats, didn't
22 A. Because the then communist law gave -- offered them only that
23 possibility. In the previous period, they had no other possibility. They
24 could only say they were Serbs or Croats. Later on, as undetermined. At
25 the time that you're referring to, the communist authorities allowed them
1 to declare themselves as Muslims and in no other way, or if they wanted
2 to, as some other nation.
3 Q. I'm finished with that subject. We talked a little bit about the
4 Kosarski Vjesnik yesterday, that Prijedor newspaper. It was a weekly
5 paper, wasn't it?
6 A. I think so.
7 Q. Do you know if it was distributed anywhere outside Prijedor?
8 A. That was a municipal organ, that is a newspaper of the
9 municipality of Prijedor. Now, whether there were some copies sent to
10 other towns, I do not know. Perhaps there were.
11 Q. Do you recall seeing it in Sarajevo?
12 A. You mean on sale?
13 Q. Yeah.
14 A. I don't remember.
15 Q. It's a fact, isn't it, that it was really quite a local
16 publication, published in limited quantity and very narrowly distributed,
17 wasn't it?
18 A. I repeat, that was a municipal newspaper, and most municipalities
19 had papers of their own but that was an official organ, so possibly the
20 municipalities were duty-bound to send individual copies to the archives
21 in Sarajevo but I wouldn't be able to tell you anything more concrete
22 about that.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour I'm getting ready to go to a fairly
24 long, new section. I would suggest that we break now and I have a matter
25 that I would like to take up with you as soon as the witness leaves, in
1 any event.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Sejmenovic, we stop here for today, and
3 we'll see you again tomorrow morning at 9.00, hoping that we will be in a
4 position to conclude with your testimony tomorrow. You will be now
5 escorted by the usher. Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the first thing is to tell you that
9 it's quite clear that I'm going to conclude fairly easily tomorrow.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: That's good to know.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Perhaps as early as the end of the first break
12 maybe a bit longer than that. I've moved pretty fast and skipped some
13 material today so we are in good shape. The second thing, there was a --
14 I had made an inquiry about Sefer Halilovic material. The Prosecutor had
15 extracted out some that they thought might fall within the category that I
16 should have. It was given to the Court to look at and make a
17 determination about and I'm wondering what's happened to. We haven't seen
18 it back, I don't think.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I still have to discuss it with the other two
20 Judges, and I hope to be able to do that by the end of next week.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: All right.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, my legal assistants will try to
23 identify that again so that we'll give it all due attention. Sometimes
24 they fall by the way side.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: It happens with all of us, Your Honour. And the
1 final thing is I will very soon certainly by next week, have completed all
2 of my work with regard to the Rule 92 bis materials so that I can finish
3 my answer to the Prosecutor's 92 bis thing, and also the Rule 94 part,
4 although it was correct that I had all of those materials, what I didn't
5 have was the names of the witnesses and I've now been furnished those and
6 now I can go through those too and I think that will also be accomplished
7 by next wee.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Ms. Korner?
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the only things changed for next week.
10 With the change in dates, I think you now said that we were sitting on the
11 3rd --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I was told that there is no way you could bring
13 anyone on the 3rd.
14 MS. KORNER: Well, we are still making inquiries but Your Honour,
15 Lord Ashdown has asked that if he can now testify on the Friday rather
16 than on the Wednesday because he has to be in business in Europe in any
18 JUDGE AGIUS: He was going it testify on the 6th.
19 MS. KORNER: Correct. Do I mean next week? Or the week after?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it's next week.
21 MS. KORNER: So he will now be testifying on the Wednesday, the
22 4th instead of the 6th. I'm told and we are attempting to see whether the
23 witness who Mr. Ackerman wanted out of the Rule 92 can be here instead on
24 the Friday.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thursday is a holiday.
1 MS. KORNER: Thursday is a holiday and on the Tuesday we are
2 trying to put back the one who was due on the Wednesday, so at the moment
3 there are potentially three witnesses for next week.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Next week we are starting on Wednesday.
5 MS. KORNER: Correct, no, Tuesday.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: No. You told me that Tuesday.
7 MS. KORNER: I know but Your Honour you said we were going it sit
9 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no. It's out of the question now because I
10 delayed my return by one day knowing that you had no witnesses to produce.
11 MS. KORNER: Oh.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: We've also made plans the same way. We have people
13 leaving town and not coming back.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I asked because I could have returned
15 Monday but when you told me that Tuesday you had no plans to bring forward
16 witnesses, I said rather than travel long distance and odd hours on
17 Monday, I will come back on Tuesday.
18 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, it perhaps -- it's now by the by
19 but I understand that I think we said we would try. I didn't realise we a
20 had given a blanket --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I was given the indication that there was no use
22 trying to sit on Tuesday because there was no possibility of -- Tuesday is
23 the 3rd. Monday is the 2nd.
24 MS. KORNER: All right in that case, Your Honour, that solves that
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I would like to invite both of you to ensure that
2 when Lord Ashdown comes here we will try and finish his testimony --
3 MS. KORNER: Can I put it this way, Your Honour? I don't think
4 there is much chance that he's going to be staying on after that one
5 session so come hell or high water, we are going to have to finish him.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So we'll meet tomorrow morning at 9.00.
7 Thank you.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
9 1.46 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
10 the 27th day of November, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.