1 Wednesday, 27 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar could you call the case, please?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, case number IT-99-36-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Mr. Brdjanin, can you hear me in a
9 thank that you can understand?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I
11 can hear you and I understand you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Appearances for the Prosecution.
13 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner, Ann Sutherland, assisted by Denise
14 Gustin, case manager. Good morning, Your Honours and my apologies for
15 keeping you waiting.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: No problem, Ms. Korner. Good morning to you.
17 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman.
19 I'm here with Milan Trbojevic, my co-counsel and Marela Jevtovic.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good morning to you too. Are there
21 any preliminaries before we admit the witness? I just wanted to inform
22 you with regard to what was mentioned yesterday about the Halilovic
23 transcript that the exercise is ready. I will go through it again just to
24 make sure that nothing has been overlooked and then a decision will be
25 given later on.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I should make it clear, in the light of
2 the ruling, on those days we were working on summaries so all you've got,
3 Mr. Ackerman, is a summary of the relevant evidence. We didn't feel that
4 any of it was Rule 68 as we said, but if required, we can of course give
5 you the full version.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
7 So let's bring the witness in, please.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Sejmenovic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Once more, could you please repeat your solemn
12 declaration to tell us the truth?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN SEJMENOVIC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. Mr. Ackerman will
18 be concluding his cross-examination of you this morning.
19 Mr. Ackerman.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
22 Q. Good morning, Mr. Sejmenovic.
23 A. Good morning.
24 Q. How are you this morning? Are you okay?
25 A. Fine, thank you.
1 Q. I want to start this morning with a section that I have headed,
2 "The Prijedor authorities operated independently." And my first question
3 of you in that regard was, it's true, is it not, that at times, the local
4 SDS in Prijedor ignored directives from SDS Sarajevo and blocked things
5 for which they had received orders from Sarajevo? That's correct, isn't
7 A. Partly. Only at the first stage of the SDS activity.
8 Q. When I ask you that question, I'm referring to your testimony in
9 case IT-97-24-T of 8 July, 1998 at page 369, line 21, when you said, "And
10 when it comes to Prijedor the SDS did not fully follow the directives from
11 the SDS office in Sarajevo. Very often they would block the
12 implementation of certain things for which they had orders." That's what
13 you said in that case. Didn't you?
14 A. Yes. And I said exactly that it refers only -- that it held true
15 only of the early days of the SDS when the President was Mr. Srdic and a
16 little later at the time when they were distributing offices.
17 Q. Well, after the takeover of Prijedor and the creation of the
18 Serbian government in Prijedor, that continued. They ignored matters
19 coming from Sarajevo and ignored matters coming from ARK also, didn't
21 A. I was no longer keeping abreast with the SDS activities at the
22 time that you are talking about, that is when they took over the power or
23 rather when they set up their parallel authorities.
24 Q. I'd like to you look at a document, P1268, please. What you have
25 there is the Official Gazette of Prijedor municipality, date of Thursday,
1 25 June, 1992, and each of the decisions has an identifying number and
2 what I'd like you to do is -- it's down toward the very end, I believe, is
3 to find decision number 116.
4 A. Did you mean towards the end of the document?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. Itself? Yes. Then I've found it.
7 Q. The particular conclusion is dated 23 June, 1992, and indicates
8 that it -- that the original was signed by Dr. Milan Kovacevic. This
9 conclusion reads as follows, does it not: "The Crisis Staff of Prijedor
10 municipality does not accept and considers invalid all decisions by the
11 Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina adopted before 22 June,
13 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Ackerman, could you slow down, please,
14 because our ELMO screen does not work.
15 MS. KORNER: I was about to say I can't actually find -- I'm
16 sorry, it's our fault, but I can't find the particular decision he's
17 looking at.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: No, I don't have it either. In fact I was going to
19 see whether we could have it on the ELMO. This is a document to which
20 reference has been made before.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's right but it's not -- for some
22 reason, we go in the copies we've got, and Mr. Ackerman has obviously this
23 time done better than us, it goes decision, the last page is 115 and 119
24 and the one before that is 118 and 117.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: As Your Honour will recall, this is the document
1 that the Prosecution chose to translate only parts of and we then provided
2 the translations of other parts so it would have been a separate -- it
3 became part of P1268, but I think we provided the translation of these
4 extra parts.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't have it here. Not in --
6 MS. KORNER: We don't have it at all and as somebody has pointed
7 out, the ELMO doesn't appear to be working.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: No. It's -- mine is power management off. It's
9 working now but there is nothing on it.
10 MS. KORNER: There is no document. Is there a copy that we could
11 put on the ELMO? Thanks very much. And perhaps if Mr. Ackerman would be
12 kind enough -- for some reason we all appear to have not had this.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And the reason I think is what has just been
14 explained by Mr. Ackerman.
15 MS. KORNER: Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And the number is 116, is it?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, 116. And it's now very clear on the ELMO,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. And I've referred to the first paragraph there, sir. The second
22 paragraph reads, "The Crisis Staff of Prijedor municipality shall
23 implement all enactments submitted to and adopted after 22 June, 1992, by
24 the Crisis Staff of the autonomous region." Now, that's what that
25 document indicates; correct?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Yes. That's what it says.
2 Q. And clearly what they are saying is that we didn't -- we don't
3 accept any of the authority of the Autonomous Region of Krajina before 22
4 June, 1992. That's right, isn't it?
5 A. According to what it says, yes, one could make -- draw such a
6 conclusion. But I cannot tell you because I was not making part in any of
7 the developments so that I cannot really tell you how the authorities in
8 Prijedor and around it functioned. I can make some conclusions. I can
9 make conjectures on the basis of what I've read, but I do not have any
10 real knowledge.
11 Q. Well, we'll look at another document and I'll give this one to the
12 usher too. It's the same packet, sir. It's decision number 119.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: That we have.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: You both have that one.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: We'll put it on the ELMO anyhow so ...
17 Q. Now, this document is a couple of days later. The first one we
18 looked at was the 23rd of June. This one is two days later, the 25th of
19 June, and paragraph 1 of this one reads as follows, does it not? "The
20 Crisis Staff of Prijedor municipality shall not implement enactments
21 adopted by the government of the Autonomous Region of Krajina until the
22 assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina has elected all members of
23 the government respecting the principle of equal representation of
24 municipalities through the election of their candidates for members of the
25 government." So having said in the first one that they would implement
1 decisions after 22 June by 25 June, they are again indicating rejection of
2 the authority of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, are they not?
3 A. That is what the text says, and it is obviously the basis for the
4 request that their members be incorporated in the Krajina authority. It
5 seems to me like a struggle for power, but my only comment can be the same
6 as the one that I gave you to your previous question.
7 Q. I agree with you about the power struggle analysis. I think
8 you're right about that. In the Stakic case, on 18 June, 2002, you were
9 shown another document during the examination by Ms. Korner, and I'd ask
10 that you take another look at it. It's P1272. And I think -- I'm
11 suggesting this is just an example of how the authorities in Prijedor were
12 ignoring decisions of ARK. This is a decision of the ARK Crisis Staff
13 dated 10 June of 1992, and it talks about the immigration from ARK of
14 children, women and old men?
15 MS. KORNER: Not in this one, I'm afraid, it doesn't.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly, Mr. Ackerman, this is not the one 172 that
17 I have. The Exhibit P1272 is a decision, a ruling, of the president of
18 the executive committee of the municipality of Prijedor appointing a
19 particular person to a particular position.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I wonder what this is that I have, then.
21 MS. KORNER: If you tell us the Stakic number we can probably tell
22 you what the P number is.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I can't even do that much. I can't do a disclosure
24 number. It's 229 is the disclosure number, 2.29.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: That 2.29 is also the disclosure number of this 1272
1 that I have.
2 MS. KORNER: Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And then there is a reference 0063/3986, at the top,
4 right corner. And that's in the B/C/S original, which is also marked
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, it's a mystery that I think I'm probably
7 incapable of solving, Your Honour, so what I will do is hand the English
8 to the usher to put on the ELMO.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Is there some kind of reference number on it apart
10 from 2.29?
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, it has some numbers from my own document
12 system. It has --
13 MS. KORNER: Can you just tell me the date again of this document?
14 MR. ACKERMAN: The date of the document is.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: 10 June, he said.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: 10 June, 1992. It's actually two documents in one.
17 It's -- let me just have the usher show it to you, Ms. Korner, rather than
18 trying to describe it to you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't have that
20 document. That document that I have is dated the 30th of June.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: I think the Stakic number might be 150B. What Ms.
22 Korner said --
23 MS. KORNER: 240. Yes, that's it. P240. 12th of June. It's
24 actually, yes, from the Banja Luka Security Services Centre.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: That's the one.
1 MS. KORNER: Yes.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes. Can I have mine back? Thank you.
3 Q. What we have here, sir, is a communication from the security
4 services centre in Banja Luka. That's the police station, the CSB, to --
5 apparently sent to Prijedor, enclosing a decision of the ARK Crisis
6 Staff. And that decision speaks of the immigration of children, women and
7 old men, and says in paragraph 2, "Activities related to the above shall
8 be carried out in cooperation with humanitarian societies." Now, in the
9 Stakic case, Ms. Korner asked you if this was being done in cooperation
10 with humanitarian organisations and you said no, it was not. Correct?
11 A. At that time, there was no cooperation with humanitarian
13 Q. Yes. So this is another -- it's just an example of how Prijedor
14 was paying no attention to what was going on in the ARK Crisis Staff or
15 the Autonomous Region of Krajina in June of 1992, in accordance with that
16 other decision we saw dated the 23rd; correct?
17 A. If that is how you read it, it may look like it, but what I know
18 is from Banja Luka, that is from the centre of the regional government,
19 still people did not leave through humanitarian organisations.
20 Q. Yes. That's the point. Now, I'd like you to look at a document
21 P269, please. This document, P269, sir, comes from the Official Gazette
22 of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina of 30 June, 1992. It's a
23 decision of 10 June, 1992, signed by Dr. Radovan Karadzic. And the
24 particular part of that that I want to draw your attention to is Article
25 5, "War commissions shall be formed within 15 days of the date this
1 decision enters into force. The day the war commissions are formed Crisis
2 Staffs shall cease to operate in municipalities across the Serbian
3 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina." Now, that would indicate that there
4 should be a war commission in Prijedor by the 25th of June, and that the
5 Crisis Staff should cease to operate. That did not happen, did it?
6 A. I was physically not abreast of the changes in the Serb
7 government, and the relationship between the local and higher authorities
8 so that I cannot really know what was going on. Possibly that is how it
9 was or perhaps it wasn't like that, but I do not really have any knowledge
10 about that because this makes reference to June, 1992, plus 15 days.
11 Q. But you do know --
12 A. Which makes it -- so it -- July, 1992, and I've already explained
13 to you the situation that I was in during the previous month and at that
14 time, so that I can make some inferences on the basis of what I'm reading
15 here, but I know nothing about the context, so that it is very difficult
16 for me to make any definite conclusions on the basis of such a text.
17 Q. But you do know, don't you, that the Crisis Staff in Prijedor
18 continued to operate in July? You know that, don't you? If you don't,
19 say so. That's okay.
20 A. No. I've told you, about the time indicated here, which is the
21 24th of June onward, I didn't have that kind of information. Towards the
22 end of July, I was arrested and after that, I obviously could not have any
24 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... that question,
25 Mr. Ackerman.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm finished with that document, Your Honour.
2 Q. New subject, Mr. Sejmenovic, I want to talk to you for a moment
3 about the plebiscite conducted by the SDS in the fall of 1991. You
4 remember that as having occurred in November of 1991, do you not?
5 A. I do remember that the plebiscite took place at about that time
6 but I do not remember the exact date.
7 Q. In your testimony in cause IT-97-24-T, 8 July, 1998 at page 389,
8 you said this about that plebiscite, "I have to stress that we at the
9 parliament could not accept such a kind of plebiscite because it was not
10 constitutional. It was not legal. One could never hold a plebiscite for
11 only one segment of the population." Could you tell us how it was
12 illegal? What law was it that that plebiscite violated?
13 A. No. You have to ask lawyers, experts, about that period of Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina's functioning. I presented to you the position taken by
15 the parliament and that was taken on the basis of many discussions and
16 expert opinions and interpretations of the then constitution. I am not
17 qualified to go into such details and to elaborate on the legal aspect of
18 individual provisions of the constitution and law. So that was the
19 official position of the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina adopted by a
21 Q. So you're testimony that it was illegal was not based upon
22 anything you knew about it being illegal?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: He has already answered that question, Mr. Ackerman.
24 JUDGE JANU: [Microphone not activated]
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. On the same day, 8 July, 1998, you just told us that you don't
2 know anything about the law or that you don't know the law and therefore
3 you can't tell us why that was not legal. On that same day, at page 445
4 of the transcript, you were asked a question, "Based on your knowledge of
5 the laws of Bosnia-Herzegovina, would it be normal for the President of an
6 executive committee to give a direction to a military commander of a JNA
7 unit?" That question was objected to on the ground that you had no
8 expertise in law and had not been qualified as an expert on law.
9 Mr. Keegan then asked you a number of questions to qualify you as an
10 expert on the law. He asked you about how you had to become very familiar
11 with the law in your duties as a member of parliament. You indicated,
12 yes, it was important for that. Quoting from you, "As a member of the
13 parliament of the republic, I had to discuss proposals, drafts of the law,
14 participate in these discussions. We adopted several hundreds of
15 amendments to already-existing laws. Members of Parliament are not
16 exclusively lawyers." And then he went on to ask you another question
17 about your knowledge of the law, you again said, "Yes, we discussed that."
18 And then Judge May decided that there was sufficient evidence that you
19 could be qualified as a legal expert and could answer the question about
20 the law.
21 Do you remember that?
22 A. I remember that, and I stand by it, but the previous question was
23 constitutional subject matter, and you being a good lawyer, are aware of
24 the weight of such matter and it is indeed something that should be dealt
25 with by experts. So it -- this other thing had to do with the actual
1 functioning of government at lower levels, or participation in and
2 observation of government, and on that basis, a lot could be learned about
3 the mechanisms of how government functioned, but the constitution and its
4 related subject matter is something I did not go into. So I respect the
5 views of experts who are involved in such matters, and who were engaged by
6 parliament too.
7 Q. Is it your position that it -- then, that it is illegal for a
8 political party to try to make a determination regarding the feelings of
9 its supporters on an important issue by asking them their opinions? Do
10 you think that's illegal?
11 A. When I used the expression "illegal," I don't know whether it was
12 interpreted very well, but what is legal is what the assembly, as the
13 highest organ of legislative government adopted. What was done
14 politically speaking, and what was not approved by parliament, is
15 something that we can call illegal, unlawful. That's what it's all about.
16 Certain actions were taken on the basis of existing laws or in accordance
17 with parliamentary approval and the other hand there were things that were
18 not approved by parliament. That's what I referred to.
19 Q. Well, a political party, independent of the government, has its
20 own rules, regulations, laws, if you will, and can function independently
21 as a political party, and can ask its members, "Do you agree with this
22 proposition or not?" There is nothing illegal about that, is there?
23 Wouldn't it make sense for the SDA to try to find out what their members
24 feel about something so they can take a position that reflects those
1 MR. ACKERMAN: I think your microphone is on, Judge.
2 A. I have understood you, sir. That is the mechanism of the
3 functioning of the party. Ultimately the majority views are the views of
4 the party. Also in parliament, there is position and opposition and there
5 is a struggle of different views and the view that prevails is accepted.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I didn't hear you.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we move to another subject and another question,
9 Mr. Ackerman?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, we are doing that now.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we are wasting our time.
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. In your testimony in the Stakic case, talking about the arming of
14 Serbs in the Prijedor area, at page 4545, you said that, "Military units
15 in the Prijedor area were being additionally armed," and were you asked
16 where those additional arms for the military units were coming from. Do
17 you recall that?
18 A. I remember that we talked about that.
19 Q. In answer to where the additional armaments came from, you said
20 this: "Warehouses full of ammunition and combat materiel were set up in
21 several places in the Prijedor municipal area, so all these were elements
22 of what I referred to as additional arming by the 5th Kozara Brigade and
23 other new elements coming in." Do you remember saying that?
24 A. I don't remember that that is what I said verbatim, but I did say
25 something to that effect and I agree with what you've just read out.
1 Q. What were those places that were set up? Where were these
2 warehouses full of ammunition and combat materiel. Tell us where they
4 A. We found out from some people that at the Prijedor garrison, some
5 depots were made. Also we found out from non-Serb officers who were
6 within the 5th Kozara unit for a while that big warehouses, big depots and
7 big training grounds were opened somewhere between Prijedor and Sanski
8 Most in a forest. That's what I heard from a specific person who was not
9 a rank and file soldier. I think this person was a Lieutenant and this
10 person deserted. There were a few artillery batteries with ammunition,
11 where the weapons were deployed, although beforehand, there were never in
12 such places. For example, behind the village of Cejreci in the area of
13 Tomasica, also at Kozara in Benkovac I heard that there was a large number
14 of soldiers it would arrived there and that weapons were being brought up
15 there too. I'm saying this because in Prijedor, before the war, when the
16 situation was normal, there was only this one small military garrison in
17 Prijedor. And there were no big military units or facilities, at least as
18 far as I know.
19 Q. Well, I would like to make sure that you understand that I'm
20 asking you a rather precise question?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: If that is the case, Mr. Ackerman, and this is what
22 I was going to suggest before he started answering the question. If you
23 want to go into details and expect the witness to go into details, then I
24 suggest we bring out a detailed map of the Prijedor region or municipality
25 and he starts pinpointing one place after the other so that we have a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 clear picture. If that is what you're interested in.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: That probably makes sense, Your Honour. Let me ask
3 him a preliminary question first because it may waste time if I don't.
4 Q. Sir, I'm specifically referring to your statement in the Stakic
5 trial that reads as follows: "Warehouses," that's plural, "Warehouses
6 full of ammunition and combat materiel were set up in several places in
7 the Prijedor municipal area." Now, if I were to give you a map, could you
8 show us on that map where each of these warehouses, plural, is located
9 that you contend were full of ammunition and combat materiel. Could you
10 show us on the map where those warehouses were?
11 A. I can. According to what I was told, what was conveyed to me,
12 that is, I can, yes. Approximately of course. Not with precision, not
13 the exact localities, but I can.
14 Q. Well, now when you answered that question the first time I asked
15 you, you started referring to artillery batteries. Artillery batteries
16 are not warehouses and I'm asking you about warehouses?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait before you answer because he also suggested
18 that where there were artilleries there were ammunition depots, where a
19 new troops or units arrived, ammunition depots were created. That was the
20 gist of his answer. What I would suggest if we are going to go into
21 details if you feel it is necessary to go into details, then we identify a
22 map that can be used for the purpose of this question and his answer and
23 we proceed accordingly.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm willing to do that. I just don't know the
25 exhibit number of an appropriate map.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps Ms. Gustin could help us here. Which
2 Prijedor map would be.
3 MS. KORNER: I think Ms. Sutherland is probably the best.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Or Ms. Sutherland.
5 MS. KORNER: We think P1127 may be --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have a look at it first.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm grateful to the Prosecutor for that assistance.
8 Thank you.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we can help because I know that the
10 Registrar is not normally in this Court, although she's familiar with the
11 Prijedor area. Thanks.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, that's probably good. Show it to the
13 witness and see if it will work for him.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Do we have a spare copy of that map or --
15 MS. KORNER: We can give Your Honours a black and white one, a
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't need a colour -- what I asked for is a copy
18 to be used by the witness.
19 MS. KORNER: Yes, he's going to be on the ELMO.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Can he mark on that one?
21 MS. KORNER: Yes.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: If we can use a black and white one rather than --
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, he can have the black and white.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Exactly. Give the witness a black and white.
25 And if necessary, we'll ask him to mark, put markings on it, and then it
1 will be made into an exhibit. If it's too complicated for you,
2 Mr. Sejmenovic, because I see that this is quite a detailed map, but if it
3 is too complicated for you, we'll try and find a simpler map. At the
4 moment is focusing on Prijedor, the town of Prijedor, and perhaps we can
5 start from there.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We are looking at the town of
7 Prijedor now on this map.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ... Usher give the
9 witness a coloured pen, preferably red or green, and ask him to put marks.
10 What I would suggest you do first, Mr. Sejmenovic, is, since the question
11 mainly dealt with warehouses, warehouses full of ammunition, you indicate
12 on that map the spots, the localities, as near as possible where these
13 warehouses were situated. And we start with those first.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the town of Prijedor itself,
15 there was the army garrison building. As the 5th Kozarska unit was
16 withdrawing from the front line in Croatia, quantities of ammunition were
17 brought in that were stored somewhere within the garrison compound. That
18 is somewhere in this area here.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Can I ask you to put GP against that circle
20 that you have marked on that map, please?
21 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry, not -- leave it GP for -- GP1, GP1.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I'd like to ask a question before we go to the next
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 MR. ACKERMAN:
2 Q. Now, sir, what you're saying is that this ammunition warehouse
3 that you identify in that location existed because the 5th Kozara Brigade
4 had withdrawn from the fighting in Croatia back to Prijedor; correct?
5 A. All of this, that is to say all this ammunition and artillery
6 pieces were put there after the 5th Kozarska unit returned from Croatia.
7 Q. And so what the materiel that you're referring to is what they
8 brought back with them from the battlefields in Croatia; is that true?
9 A. No. I don't know if they brought all that materiel from the
10 battlefield. As for this one enormous depot that I already referred to
11 and that the Lieutenant told me about, the Lieutenant who deserted, that
12 is -- I have to keep moving the map so that I could show you the right
13 direction. So it was here in the direction of Sanski Most. So the road
14 leading to Ljubija and then further on, and further on in this direction,
15 so I'm going to put an arrow on this map.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: For the record, it has been marked as GP2 in a
18 MR. ACKERMAN: And then with an arrow pointing somewhere.
19 Q. How far off that map would that GP2 actually be?
20 A. Yes, yes. So it's the direction towards Sanski Most. To pinpoint
21 it a bit more precisely, I think it's around the village of Rasavci,
22 according to what the Lieutenant said. And indeed there were enormous
23 quantities of weapons there, artillery, ammunition, ammunition for
24 multiple rocket launchers, et cetera. In my opinion, he saw there the
25 kind of weapons that he never saw in Croatia. That is with Mr. Salih
1 Elezovic said.
2 Q. You never saw that?
3 A. No. I never saw it.
4 Q. And you say that he said something about those being the kind of
5 weapons he never saw in Croatia?
6 A. Ammunition, ammunition. Calibres, the calibres he saw there he
7 had never seen at the front line. He did not see the ammunition for the
8 so-called VBR, the multiple rocket launchers, whereas, over there he did
9 see stored shells for multiple rocket launchers and they looked very
10 imposing because the calibres are very big.
11 Q. Do you have any idea why the JNA would be uninterested in using
12 the best weaponry they had available in the battle in Croatia? Does that
13 make any sense to you?
14 MS. KORNER: I think the witness is being asked to speculate here.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: That's what he's doing anyhow.
16 MS. KORNER: I know. You're inviting him to do it, Mr. Ackerman.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I think Ms. Korner's objection is sustained. One
18 can draw conclusions, Mr. Ackerman.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. Show us another warehouse, will you? Show us the third warehouse
21 full of ammunition and combat materiel.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't need to answer the previous question. Just
23 proceed to indicate the third warehouse. Or where you believe the third
24 warehouse was.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We found out that in the area of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Urije there were artillery pieces that were deployed and also that there
2 was ammunition by these artillery pieces. I am referring to artillery
3 pieces, long-range howitzers, as they told us.
4 MR. ACKERMAN:
5 Q. Now, when you say, "We found out," you're using that word "we"
6 again which means you didn't find out but somebody else did; right?
7 A. We received reports from the field. "We" in the party. Or rather
8 "we" in the group of municipal officials were informed by persons who
9 observed this, who noticed this. If you insist, I will stop using this
10 type of expression and I will only refer to what I personally saw, but I
11 am not doubting many of the facts that we were informed of from persons
12 who came and told us about these facts.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no. It's not a question of who insists or who
14 doesn't insist here, Mr. Sejmenovic. You have every right to say "we" if
15 you mean the party and Mr. Ackerman has every right also to have you
16 clarify what you mean when you use the expression "we." But you have
17 every right to, and we also want to know what you in the plural,
18 collectively as the party, gathered by way of intelligence, by way of
19 information. So could you mark that third circle with GP3, please?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
21 MR. ACKERMAN:
22 Q. And what was there at GP3, did you say? Another warehouse?
23 A. There were guns there, cannons with ammunition, with large
24 quantity of ammunition. In normal conditions, ammunition is never placed
25 by cannons.
1 Q. And where -- where in this Urije was this located? Was it located
2 in a -- I don't know. Tell me, where it was it located in Urije?
3 A. I didn't see it.
4 Q. Do you know of any other warehouses?
5 A. We had received information.
6 Q. "We" being not you?
7 A. Of course. I did not tour the area to see whether there were
8 warehouses or artillery pieces there or not. After all, you couldn't just
9 go around these areas just like that, those that already had military
10 security. Put an arrow here because we received information that
11 somewhere behind the village of Cejreci. I don't know in which area this
12 was exactly -- but here it is, GP4.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you encircle that, please?
14 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. You keep speaking about "we" received information and I just want
18 to make sure that every time you use the word "we" you mean it's something
19 that you yourself have no knowledge about. You're only talking about what
20 you heard from others. Correct?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: He's made that clear already, Mr. Ackerman.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, there was a time, Your Honour, where he said
23 "we" did include him. I don't know how we are going to sort out --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: When the moment comes, Mr. Sejmenovic, when "we"
25 includes also you personally, firsthand knowledge, then if you are using
1 the preposition "we," please do tell us also that "we" means also "I"
2 personally included, came about --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Came about this information or --
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, we have -- we have a really big
6 problem here with this language situation because you have as evidence an
7 exhibit that is all of his testimony in the Stakic case. And throughout
8 that, he uses this word "we." And anybody that's ever studied language,
9 any language, knows that "we" includes you. You don't say "we" unless you
10 mean yourself as part of that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Sometimes "we" means only "I."
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Sometimes it can, but it never means they. It
13 never means they?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, but --
15 MR. ACKERMAN: So it's being used --
16 MS. KORNER: Can I assist?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. But one moment.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: So it's being used in a very misleading way.
19 MS. KORNER: Can I assist? If it assists, Mr. Ackerman, we've
20 always had this problem with witnesses from Bosnia, the difficulty of
21 sorting out what they themselves saw and what they were told. But if it
22 helps with Mr. Sejmenovic - can I put it this way - I'm perfectly content
23 to proceed on the basis that "we," when used by him in the transcript for
24 Stakic, he's 90 per cent likely not to have been him personally but he's
25 been told it, so that it's not direct evidence. I think from memory and
1 from rereading the transcript, it's pretty clear where he's talking about
2 events he directly saw himself, but I am not going to try and persuade
3 Your Honours at any stage that where "we" is used, it means direct
4 evidence from what he himself saw.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We are not taking it like that any way. So I fully
6 agree. Please in the course of your testimony or what's left of it, when
7 you use the term "we", if you want to assist us better, in all those cases
8 where "we" means also "I" included, came by this information, then please
9 do tell us. What is firsthand knowledge in your case and not just
10 information acquired by a group to which you belonged at the time, please
11 do make the distinction, because that would be very helpful. And at the
12 end of your testimony, I will ask you a very direct question with regard
13 to your testimony in Stakic, if you could identify for us those particular
14 instances that you were present at and that you can recall personally,
15 without going into details, so that we make a very clear distinction as to
16 what you came to know personally and what you were told or what you heard
17 as a result of your political connections or standing at the time, and
18 involvement, of course.
19 MR. ACKERMAN:
20 Q. All right. Sir, are there more warehouses? Are you finished or
21 are there more?
22 A. In the area of Tomasica, I'm trying to locate Tomasica.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: GP5, that should be, because you have already put
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So somewhere in the area of
1 Tomasica. That was the information I received. Then in the area --
2 MR. ACKERMAN:
3 Q. And what was there in that area of Tomasica, according to the
4 information you received?
5 A. Artillery and ammunition.
6 Q. And who did you receive that information from?
7 A. Your Honours, when we agreed that I would not say "we" any more
8 but rather "I," I knew we would find ourselves in this predicament. I
9 cannot now recall the name of the person who gave me this information or
10 many other pieces of information because there -- it was very -- there was
11 very lively activity and there was a lot of information. Some are easy to
12 remember and I remember them, but this was information that was submitted
13 either to the party or perhaps some officials.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: No one is going to blame you, Mr. Sejmenovic, if ten
15 years after those events you do not remember a name here and a name there,
16 especially when it comes to intelligence gathering.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. When did you learn this information?
19 A. I do not remember the date but it must have been a few days after
20 artillery had been put in place and ammunition transported there. I can
21 give you the name of the concrete person in this particular case, that is,
22 about two such cases. As for the remaining three, I can't. I learned
23 this from a local official in the neighbourhood community of Cela,
24 Mr. Mehmet Mesic, because he has some private property in that area, Cela,
25 that is, Gomjenica is an area which is adjacent to the area of Tomasica
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and from people who lived there, we -- I received this information and it
2 was the secretary of the neighbourhood community responsible for national
3 defence, who was told that by Mr. Mehmet Mesic.
4 Q. Okay. Are there more?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you have marked to GP5 now. You said, expect
6 another three or something like that, if you could mark them, please. You
7 have already told us that you don't remember the name of the informer, but
8 perhaps you do remember the details as to what kind of warehouses they
9 were, what they contained, in other words, what kind of ammunition was
10 stored there.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the area of Benkovac, I'm trying
12 to locate it but I can't. Oh, here it is.
13 MR. ACKERMAN:
14 Q. You marked GP6. What's at GP6?
15 A. GP6, before the war, there were some military facilities there,
16 some structures. At this time, there were troops quartered there who also
17 had their weapons and people saw that and told the either party or
18 municipal officials that in addition to troops, weapons were also being
19 amassed there.
20 Q. Isn't it the case that the troops there had come there for a rest
21 from the fighting in Croatia?
22 A. I don't know why they had come, why they came, I do not know.
23 Nobody told me. And as far as I can remember, I don't think that our
24 local or municipal officials were officially informed about it either.
25 Q. Are you finished yet or do you have more? Is there a GP7?
1 A. I learnt that in -- there are two locations more. There were also
2 some in the direction towards Bosanski Novi.
3 Q. What did you mark there, GP what?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: GP7.
5 MR. ACKERMAN:
6 Q. Okay, GP7?
7 A. GP7.
8 Q. Tell us very quickly, what it was your understanding was located
9 at GP7?
10 A. From what I heard, there were also some artillery pieces and
11 multi-barrelled rocket launchers targeting Prijedor.
12 Q. Do you know who you heard that from and when?
13 A. No, I do not know that.
14 Q. Is there another one? Is there a GP8?
15 A. I heard that there was something in the quarry above Kozarac, a
16 gun, but I did not hear of any significant quantity of weapons or
17 ammunition. I've heard of only one gun being there so that perhaps I
18 shouldn't include that. It is also possibly that there were some other
19 locations, but I do not remember them right now.
20 Q. All right. We need to have that marked as DB number 1 --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, usher, please, because he needs to sign
22 that document.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: It will be DB115, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: DB115 will be the exhibit number, yes, Ms. Korner.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's got a Stakic exhibit number on it
1 at the moment so it needs to be crossed through.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please, obliterate it.
3 MS. KORNER: As a matter of sheer interest, your honour, what does
4 GP stand for?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Initially it was going to be garrison something,
6 then I decided it was going to be gunpowder. I knew you were going to ask
7 that question, Ms. Korner.
8 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, has learned to read my mind after all
9 this time.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: After a quarter of a century being a Judge, I have
11 learned to read minds. So I was prepared for your question. GP means
13 Yes. As I haven't seen the witness signing the page, sign it
14 either at the top or at the bottom, please. Not there because -- in the
15 middle-- yeah.
16 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And that will be admitted, it will be
18 admitted as Exhibit DB115?
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
22 Q. Sir, I want to go back to your testimony in answer to that
23 question of arming. The very next sentence, you said, "At the same time
24 we noticed that weapons were being distributed to Serb civilians in
25 certain villages." And again that "we noticed" means that you didn't see
1 any weapons being distributed to Serb civilians in certain villages,
2 doesn't it?
3 A. You're right. In the wake of that incident, Mr. Muhidin Cepic
4 came with that information. He was a member of the local party branch who
5 had watched the scene with another man and he was very upset when he came
6 to the party premises and told us to call municipal officials, to call the
7 press, to go to -- record it on tape and do something about it. So it was
8 Mr. Muhidin Cepic who provided that information about the distribution of
9 weapons in Cirkin Polje.
10 Q. Now, just a sentence later, I think, you say this: "Automatic
11 rifles were being distributed to civilians and around the houses in the
12 village. Helicopters came down and left crates in certain places, crates
13 carrying as we assumed, weapons. There was in Petrov Gaj bordering on the
14 Omarska area. It also occurred in the hamlet Sajaci, near Trnopolje."
15 Now when you say there "it also occurred," does it mean that it also
16 occurred that helicopters came down?
17 A. Sajaci.
18 Q. Thank you. Does it mean, when you say "It also occurred in the
19 hamlet Sajaci," do you mean that helicopters came down and left crates in
20 certain places there?
21 A. I personally saw helicopters land in nearby hamlet, Sajaci,
22 because it's not far from my house, but people from the neighbourhood
23 community, from the local authorities, in Sajaci asked what's happened,
24 and they could see that something was being unloaded. Yet they were given
25 a bizarre explanation, denying of course that there was anything unloaded
1 from that helicopter, and I can give you that explanation, if you want me
2 to. That there was a soldier in this helicopter and that they had landed
3 to partake of coffee in his house. That was the explanation.
4 Q. Well, I'm trying to understand exactly what it was you were saying
5 here in Stakic. You said, "Helicopters came down and left crates." And
6 then you say, "That occurred in the hamlet Sajaci and I witnessed that
7 latter occurrence myself." And the impression I got from reading that was
8 that you saw a helicopter land in Sajaci and unload crates. Would I be
9 wrong in assuming that that's what you were saying?
10 A. You're wrong. All I saw was the landing itself, and it did land,
11 some 20 minutes later or so, as far as I can remember, it took off again
12 and left.
13 Q. And where is Sajaci?
14 A. Some 400 metres away from my house.
15 Q. Your house would be in Trnopolje; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the story that you were given by officials from that area when
18 you were -- when asked about it was that it was a soldier who had stopped
19 by to have coffee with his family. That's what the story you got;
21 A. Yes. That is what I heard in the neighbourhood community offices.
22 Q. What you said, based upon having seen a helicopter land and having
23 been told that it was so a soldier could have coffee with his family, that
24 that combination of things convinced you that that helicopter was
25 distributing weapons to the Serbs in that hamlet; correct?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. The explanation that we were given simply made no sense, because
2 it simply can't be that a helicopter lands for a plain soldier. To begin
3 with, just ordinary foot soldiers seldom were entitled to helicopter
4 flights and certainly not just to have a meal or something. It won't land
5 for that.
6 Q. What if that soldier was a Lieutenant Colonel? That would make a
7 difference, wouldn't it?
8 A. That is something that I don't know, but what we were told by
9 Mr. Hadzic from a village near Omarska that people had seen with their own
10 eyes, as they worked in their field, how that helicopter landed and how
11 they were unloading two large crates from that helicopter and take them
12 towards Omarska so we could not but put two and two together in this case.
13 Q. If what you just said, which you haven't said before, is somebody
14 witnessed crates being unloaded from that particular helicopter, you never
15 said that before, if what you just said just now is true, then it would
16 make no sense for you to consult the competent officials from that hamlet
17 to tell you what was going on, because you would have seen it. So you
18 just made that up just now, didn't you? Sitting there, you just made that
19 up, that people had seen crates being unloaded.
20 A. No, no, sir. No, sir. This was something -- this was the news in
21 Kozarac. Everybody talked about it, and it was not very pleasant when it
23 Q. Do you know a family that lives there by the name of Milutinovic,
24 don't you?
25 A. There were some Milutinovics, but I do not recall knowing
1 personally any one of them. There were a number of Milosevics.
2 Q. Don't you know that Milan Milutinovic was a Lieutenant Colonel in
3 the JNA?
4 A. I'm not aware of it.
5 Q. You never saw any weapons being distributed to Serb civilians in
6 the Prijedor area by anyone, did you?
7 A. I've already said it. Personally, I did not see it. I was not
8 physically present.
9 Q. In -- I'm going to another subject now. Yeah, we can do that.
10 You had a meeting in mid-May in Prijedor with SDS representatives. I
11 think it was around somewhere between the 16th and 18th of May. Do you
12 remember that meeting?
13 A. In the latter half of May? Yes, I do.
14 Q. That was the meeting that Becir Medunjanin attended, that you
15 attended and so forth; correct?
16 A. It is.
17 Q. And at that meeting the SDS representatives there were demanding
18 that the Muslims in the Kozarac area surrender a certain discrete number
19 of weapons, weren't they?
20 A. Yes. Different numbers were mentioned but they requested that
21 huge amounts of weapons, quantities of weapons, be surrendered, not only
22 the SDS but also the troops, the officers.
23 Q. I think sometimes you've said 5.000, sometimes 7.000, I'm not
24 going to argue with you about that. It was a large number of weapons,
25 wasn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you -- your group, not necessarily you, but people in your
3 group, at least, tried to make it clear that the Muslims in Kozarac didn't
4 have anywhere near that number of weapons, didn't you?
5 A. That's true. Mr. Becir Medunjanin was -- had the largest number
6 of interventions at that meeting and was saying -- was saying about what
7 the real state of affairs was.
8 Q. And what I think was probably clear to you was that what was
9 really being demanded was that Kozarac be turned into a Serb-administered
10 village. Is that a fair statement?
11 A. No. That was not the demand made at that meeting. They requested
12 the surrender of those several thousand pieces of weaponry, and that was
13 the prerequisite for everything else.
14 Q. But also discussed at that meeting was the issue of the Serb flag
15 and the Serb insignia on the police uniforms, wasn't it?
16 A. Simo Miskovic, the SDS president had something to say about that,
17 but the main say was with the officers. He did mention something that
18 there were some extremists, that those extremists could not bear to see
19 any other symbols but Serbs. That is about the vein in which Miskovic
20 spoke. But what was repeated several times was that some huge quantities
21 of weapons had to be turned over, which however did not exist, and of
22 course, threats were being addressed with the weaponry that the army had
23 at the time.
24 Q. And so Medunjanin then finally said that he would convey their
25 messages to the people of Kozarac and let the people of Kozarac decide
1 what they wanted to do, whether they wanted to surrender weapons, accept
2 the Serb flag, and the Serb police insignia, didn't he?
3 A. Yes. He did say something to that effect.
4 Q. And in closing, said, "We will inform you later about the
5 decision. I only guarantee that no Muslim will fire a single shot at any
6 Serb. And please do not attack because there is no reason to attack."
7 That's what he said, right?
8 A. Yes, and repeated it. We were all saying that, and that was the
9 thrust of the activity, not to provoke it in any way.
10 Q. And that was simply not true, was it? In fact, the first shots
11 fired were Muslims shooting at Serbs; right?
12 A. That is the version of the Serb army, but to be quite honest, I
13 don't believe it. I believe that the Serb troops were bent upon creating
14 some kind of provocation or setting the stage for a provocation so that
15 then they would have the excuse to attack the other side. That is what I
17 MR. ACKERMAN: I think it would be an appropriate time for a break
18 now, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, Mr. Ackerman. Let's have a break of 25
20 minutes, resuming immediately after.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
23 MR. ACKERMAN:
24 Q. All right, sir, we are going to do -- okay. We are going to do a
25 different subject now. I want to go to some testimony you gave in the
1 Stakic case. I'm referring now to page 4577. You were asked this
2 question, "Did the army take decisions involving, for example, defence or
3 anything to do with military manoeuvres without involvement of the
4 political authorities?" In part, your answer was as follows, "The army
5 did not take orders from civilian structures at a lower level. The
6 general staff was the only authority to issue orders or the lower ranking
7 military command structures." That's what you said; correct?
8 A. Yes. That's how the army operated.
9 Q. Yeah. And further you said, "As far as direct orders concerning
10 military directives and weapons were concerned, civilians could never
11 order anything like that." Correct?
12 A. Yes, except for the Supreme Commands of course, but as far as
13 lower levels are concerned, that's the way it is.
14 Q. Yes. And that was the -- that was the way the JNA had operated
15 for years and years and years, wasn't it?
16 A. Well, in principle, that's the way it was, as far as I knew.
17 Q. Yes. I wanted to ask you if you know -- I'm on a different
18 subject again now -- you spoke a little bit about Celinac events at the
19 very beginning of your testimony the other day. I just wanted to know if
20 you know what happened to the Muslim people who lived in Celinac?
21 A. I only know about the survivors, the Muslim refugees who survived,
22 and who came from Bosanska Vrbanja. I heard a few things from these
24 Q. Do you know that there are still -- that there is a very large
25 number of Muslim people living in Celinac today?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I assume that quite a few Muslims returned to many parts of
2 Republika Srpska. This return process is a rather intensive one and it is
3 still under way.
4 Q. Do you know that many remained there throughout the whole war?
5 A. I don't know which number is involved. I don't know.
6 Q. Do you know that some of the Muslim men from Celinac even served
7 in the Army of the Republika Srpska?
8 A. I don't know about Celinac, but I know that a symbolical number
9 for a variety of reasons remained in the former JNA which was later turned
10 into the Army of Republika Srpska but this is a very small number of
11 people, to the best of my knowledge.
12 Q. All right. I'm getting real close to the end, Mr. Sejmenovic, and
13 there are some just sort of miscellaneous little matters that I would like
14 to go through and I hope we can do it with, you know, rather quickly. In
15 the Stakic case, page 4526, you're talking about that period of time when
16 Muhamed Cehajic was the President of the Prijedor municipality and Milomir
17 Stakic was the vice-president. And the question I want to ask you about
18 that was: Based upon your understanding of how a municipality government
19 operates, was the vice-president somebody who could exert exactly the same
20 powers as the President could or was he somehow subordinate to the
22 A. The Vice-president was supposed to deputise for the President if
23 the President could not conduct sessions of the assembly. If he was
24 absent, if he was sick, then he would take over all the powers of
25 president. However, if both are present, what the direct legal
1 relationship is is something I don't know. That is prescribed by the
2 Statute of the municipality.
3 Q. The next subject, you were testifying about military persons
4 attending municipal assembly meetings and at page 4533 you said that "In
5 one of those meetings at least the military people talked about the
6 need --" I'm quoting now starting with "the need" is a quote from you,
7 sir. "The need to send Prijedor residents to the battlefield in Croatia
8 for the purpose of defending or protecting the town of Prijedor." Can you
9 tell us what that means? And why would it be important for Prijedor
10 residents to go to Croatia to defend or protect Prijedor? What does that
12 A. What you read out just now is not a verbatim interpretation of
13 what I said but that is the gist of it. Colonel Arsic spoke about that on
14 several occasions, and he claimed that Prijedor is defended in Pakrac and
15 Lipik and Novska. That is to say, that Prijedor was being defended at the
16 battlefield in Croatia. He never gave precise logical explanations as to
17 why. He insisted that as many people as possible be mobilised and wage
18 war against Croatia in order to defend Prijedor.
19 Q. Well, didn't it have to do with the fear that Croatian forces
20 would come across the border and attack Prijedor?
21 A. I don't think so. Because the Serb territory had already been
22 rounded off in Croatia and a Serb parastate was created in that area so I
23 don't think there was any military fear involved. However, this is a
24 matter for military assessment and I am not an expert in this field.
25 Q. I'd like to you look at -- I'm going somewhere else again -- look
1 at P1158, please. What you have before you there, sir, is indicated to be
2 a conclusion adopted by the assembly of the Republic of Serbian people of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina on 26 January, 1992, with a signature and stamp --
4 MS. KORNER: No, sorry, that's not the one. Exhibit P1158?
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
6 MS. KORNER: 19th of February, Serbian Democratic Party of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina addressed to the municipal boards. Can you give us the
8 Stakic number?
9 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't --
10 MS. KORNER: Or --
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I can give you a disclosure number, 282. I can
12 give you an ERN number, 01 --
13 MS. KORNER: Was it used in Stakic?
14 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't think so. 01107499 is the ERN number on
15 the English version.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: The same document we have is like the one you have.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Presiding Judge, please.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, sorry about that.
19 MS. KORNER: Try P102.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: How come you've got all this mix-up, Mr. Ackerman?
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think it probably has to do with
22 a -- I'm not going to make any -- these -- these exhibit numbers are
23 entered into our data base system by people we can get to do that
24 voluntarily mostly and they sometimes make mistakes and it appears we've
25 run into two of them today.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's make sure that we have -- could you put it on
2 the ELMO, please? And Mr. Ackerman, please check through the ELMO that we
3 are talking of the same.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, that's it, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Does that have an exhibit number?
7 MS. KORNER: P102.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: P102. All right.
9 Q. 26 January, 1992, assembly of the Republic of Serbian people of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and I'm just referring to that first paragraph, sir.
11 "The decision to hold a referendum for the citizens of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina, which would be a basis for transforming Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina into an independent state, was adopted in an irregular manner
14 and without the presence of the Serbian deputies. As an act by the legal
15 representatives of the Muslim and Croats peoples in Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina, it can be binding only on members of those two peoples. For
17 the Serbian people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this decision is invalid and
18 directed against their existential interests." Do you understand
19 what that means, directed against their existential interests?
20 A. This is the wording and interpretation that was given by the SDS.
21 The parliament or rather we in parliament did not understand the decision
22 of parliament in that way.
23 Q. Understand I'm only asking you about that last phrase, what does
24 it mean, directed against their existential interests? Do you know?
25 A. I can only interpret this sentence but again, I say that this is
1 an interpretation of this decision by Serb politicians. There were also
2 Serb opposition politicians who viewed this decision quite differently,
3 the one that was controversial, as far as the SDS is concerned. And on
4 the other hand, both groups of politicians belonged to the same people, to
5 the Serb people.
6 Q. Does that phrase have legal significance, "Against their
7 existential interests" that you know about?
8 A. As for the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it does not have any
9 legal significance, because a certain number of Serb MPs left the
10 parliament of their state in an unconstitutional way and they declared
11 some kind of parallel parliament, and they adopted their positions. This
12 is the actual situation, the factual situation, as it was viewed by the
13 authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina. If you're asking me what the sponsor
14 of this text meant when drafting the text, I really cannot go into
15 interpreting it.
16 Q. That's fine. I'm finished with that. In Stakic you were shown a
17 document and I hesitate to say what I think its exhibit number is but I
18 believe it's Exhibit number P227.
19 MS. KORNER: If that's the gazettes, the Banja Luka gazettes,
20 that's 227.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One issue, too.
22 MS. KORNER: I can see it's not. What's the date of the document?
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I really don't want to --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you have the ERN number.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm not going there, judge. It's the -- it's that
1 document that we've talked about over and over and over signed by
2 Lieutenant Colonel Milorad Sajic which --
3 MS. KORNER: That is part of it, it's part of it, yes.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
5 MS. KORNER: So it's 227.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
7 Q. And the only part of that, sir, that I have any interest in is in
8 this decision by Sajic. He said, "A curfew is to be introduced on the
9 entire territory between 2200 and 0500 hours except for members of the
10 police, the military police and the Serbian Territorial Defence." And I
11 take it you recall being asked about that?
12 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, I don't think there is any point giving
13 it -- unless you give it to me and I'll tell you where it is.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. Do you remember being asked about that?
16 MS. KORNER: Yeah, front page.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I cannot actually
18 recall everything because I testified in the Stakic case for 39 hours. I
19 spent 39 hours in this courtroom. So it's very hard for me to remember
20 certain things but I know generally speaking that these topics were
21 tackled as well.
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. Are you grateful that I'm not keeping you here for 39 hours or
25 A. I really am.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Have a look at the document, try and remember.
2 MR. ACKERMAN:
3 Q. Paragraph 4, a curfew is to be introduced. And you were simply
4 asked by Ms. Korner if that curfew actually took effect. That's page 4590
5 of the transcript. And your answer was, "Yes, it did." And then you
6 said, "I was not in Prijedor or Banja Luka at the time. I didn't go to
7 Prijedor or Banja Luka in the evening hours, and that you know that it was
8 put in effect because there were announcements on the radio or TV to the
9 effect that movement was restricted. But you personally couldn't see it
10 for yourself." So the fact is you don't know whether that went into
11 effect in Prijedor or not, do you?
12 A. That is not the way it is. I know that it came into force on the
13 30th of April. That is to say before the date that is mentioned here,
14 namely when the Serbs carried out a military coup and took over power. So
15 the authorities, the officials and people from the party were informed
16 that a curfew had been imposed in Prijedor.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... that's all I need to know
18 about that. At page 4871 of your Stakic testimony, in late 1991, early
19 1992, many persons were trying to leave Prijedor, weren't they?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And those people included Serbs who were leaving Prijedor;
23 A. Possibly, but I know about the non-Serb population that was
24 prevented from leaving. That is why some people came to complain. They
25 came to the government authorities to complain.
1 Q. And in many cases, though, in January and February, both Serb and
2 non-Serb people were successful in leaving the municipality, weren't they?
3 A. I assume so.
4 Q. What you said was, "However, as early as March, it was no longer
5 possible because the Serbs in the Omarska and Banja Luka areas started to
6 return passengers who were trying to leave by bus, and in April, it was
7 completely out of the question," referring to the effort to leave.
9 A. Yes. By bus or other regular means of transportation, it was
10 impossible to leave. If such attempts were made, then these persons were
11 robbed and turned back.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I'd like to go into private session for just a
13 moment, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session for a few
16 [Private session]
13 Page 12302 – redacted – private session
11 [Open session]
12 MR. ACKERMAN:
13 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to look at one more document and we'll
14 be finished. The document is DB110. And what this is, sir, it's the
15 minutes of an extraordinary session of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly of
16 14 February 1992, and this is a session of that assembly that you
17 attended, isn't it?
18 A. Yes. But the date is the 17th of February, 1992.
19 Q. Hmm. Yes, it is.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I need a clarification.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: The translation is incorrect.
22 MS. KORNER: Yes.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I have the B/C/S original here.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: It says 17 February.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It does show indeed 17.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Yeah, so it just got it wrong on the translation.
2 Q. All right, sir, what I want to do is refer you to -- in your
3 version, it would be a page with the ERN number P0053073.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And the English version, Mr. Ackerman?
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Page 20, Your Honour.
6 Q. And what you see there is a speech that you made.
7 A. Yes, I can see that.
8 Q. Can you tell us generally what the discussion that was being had
9 that day was about?
10 A. As far as I can remember, that day, the request of the SDS for
11 calling extraordinary parliamentary elections was discussed. I do not
12 remember this in great detail but I know that this was the basic request
13 of the SDS, because the SDS had already brought the parliament into
14 blockade and somehow agreement was reached to have this session of the
15 assembly held and then a discussion was held. The SDS thought that there
16 were no normal conditions for holding elections, that there were problems,
17 that they had to be resolved rather than have new elections held, and in
18 this way, lose a month or two. That was the core of the discussion at
19 this session. Individually, who said what is something I can hardly
20 remember now, at least not in greater detail but we have got the minutes
21 and perhaps I can comment upon that, if I manage to remember what it was
23 Q. Well, what -- I'm trying to do this as quickly as possible because
24 I want to finish with you. What I would like to do, just to make it a
25 little quicker, I think, is to have you look at that speech you made,
1 there on the page I referred you to, and just read through it to yourself,
2 just read it yourself, don't read it out loud because that will take
3 longer and then just kind of tell the Trial Chamber the essence of what
4 you're saying there, what does it mean, what's it about? Can you do that?
5 A. I'm reading. I've finished, sir.
6 Q. Okay. Just tell us, essentially, what it is you're talking about
7 there. What does all that mean?
8 A. Well, what it means is the time saying that some other things
9 should be accorded priority over extraordinary elections. That is the
10 thrust of what I said.
11 Q. Look, then, at the next thing that you said, which is just right
12 after it, very little short paragraph there. What you said there was, "I
13 will tell you about the elections Mr. Mutic. I ask you in your capacity
14 as a professional journalist and as an assemblyman not to talk to me in
15 this way." That's first. And second, "I perfectly understand you because
16 it is unpleasant to have some fundamental and essential things said in
17 your face from this floor. It was Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Izetbegovic, a
18 gentleman from the HDZ who had agreed to hold by-elections even before the
19 last elections and they confirmed it when they met at the opposition's
20 initiative ten days ago. You may call your headquarters and check." Who
21 was Mutic?
22 A. He was a journalist with Kozarski Vjesnik who at the same time sat
23 on the municipal parliament, municipal assembly, and he was commenting as
24 I was speaking. There were some interjections on his part, and I reacted
25 to that.
1 Q. It appears from your reaction that were you taking the position
2 that what he believed to be the case was simply not true. Is that a fair
4 A. I'm sorry, now I've lost you.
5 Q. You seem to be saying, when you in your second little speech
6 there, with regard to Mr. Mutic, that what he apparently had been saying
7 was not true because you told him that you could call your headquarters
8 and check.
9 A. Yes. I mean the SDS had asked for extraordinary elections in the
10 municipality of Prijedor. At the republican level, talks were already
11 being conducted to have, extraordinary elections organised a few months
12 later. So that was, as a matter of fact, the opposition's proposal to
13 nationalist parties. And I know that there was an agreement, an
14 understanding in principle, to hold those extraordinary elections, and I
15 thought that we should wait for that particular moment rather than use
16 this particular session to call the extraordinary elections at the
17 municipal level.
18 Q. And what was it you were talking about with regard to blocking the
19 assembly? What does that mean, "Blocking the assembly"?
20 A. You mean the municipal assembly?
21 Q. Yes. You used the language in here about blocking the assembly.
22 Let me refer you to it just so -- because I want you to know what I'm
23 talking about. Look at P0053102, sir, and in the English, it's page 37.
24 And what you say there is, "It is my suggestion to bring this session to
25 an end. In addition to what I said earlier I wish to say that we should
1 avoid finding all kinds of pretexts and ways of blocking this assembly. I
2 see it like this. We have a house, the door to is locked and now we want
3 to pull down the house because we can't enter it. We have the key in our
4 hand now. All we have to do is insert it into the lock, enter the house,
5 and work normally. I repeat, the assembly is unblocked." What are you
6 talking about?
7 A. The initial SDS request for that particular assembly was that it
8 should be dissolved and that extraordinary elections should be called.
9 Our request was for the assembly to continue its work and to face up to
10 the chief and the major problem at the time. And the discussion was very
11 long, there were very many interventions and we managed to persuade a
12 certain number of SDS assemblymen and of course other councilmen that the
13 assembly should continue as it was rather than to take a decision to
14 dissolve it.
15 Q. So the SDS was actually trying to have a brand new election hoping
16 they might do better the next time?
17 A. That was their interpretation -- well, no. I don't know why,
18 because they did not say why. They simply said that such an assembly
19 could not work properly and that they were after extraordinary elections.
20 Q. All right. Mr. Sejmenovic, have a nice trip home and thank you
21 very much.
22 A. Thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you even try to leave this courtroom, you
24 have another series of questions upon re-examination by the Prosecution.
25 Ms. Korner.
1 Re-examined by Ms. Korner:
2 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, I'd like you to have back, please, the document
3 DB108. Is that the B/C/S version? Yes, right. Now you were asked a
4 number of questions about this yesterday morning. I don't think you told
5 the Court exactly what these records are. What are they records of? They
6 are obviously records of meetings but meetings of who or what?
7 A. It looks to me like the minutes put together by the Territorial
8 Defence in Kozarac, because the Territorial Defence is the most frequently
9 used word.
10 Q. We know that you attended at least one of these meetings because
11 we see what you say and your attention has been drawn to what you said.
12 Before I take you to other entries I'd just like you to tell the Court
13 this: What was the general mood at the meetings which you attended? In
14 other words, what was it that, above all, the Territorial Defence in the
15 Kozarac area was seeking to achieve?
16 A. The Territorial Defence in Kozarac was seeking to remain within
17 the -- to remain the part and parcel of the Territorial Defence of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and insisted on the laws which governed its
19 functioning before. That is if we are talking about the formal aspect of
20 the question. If you're talking about its practical aspect, people were
21 trying -- were trying to provide for these legal possibilities, but in
22 view -- but they were living in tremendous fear and under serious
23 psychosis. Sorry, the Territorial Defence therefore had -- did not have
24 any military potential that would be adequate given the time and the
25 adversary force and it tried to do its best within this short period of
2 Q. Was it the intention of the Territorial Defence of this area to
3 start a war, an armed resistance, against the Serbs?
4 A. No, no, no way. There was no such option in play.
5 Q. Now, I want to look at just a few of -- your attention was drawn
6 to some of the things that were said. I want to look at some of the other
7 things, please, just a few. On the 30th of April, Kemo Fazlic spoke,
8 saying "Is there a plan? No. Kozarac will not be defended by arms.
9 Therefore everything should be undertaken before opening fire, wisdom is
10 needed." Who was Kemo Fazlic?
11 A. I know there was a man called Kemo Fazlic in Kozarac but what
12 office he held and I don't think I personally know him. Perhaps if I saw
13 his photograph, then perhaps I might recognise him, but as it is, I just
14 can't remember.
15 Q. So do you know what happened to him?
16 A. I don't.
17 Q. Then someone called Ilkan stated, "They will use these reserve
18 soldiers as provocateurs, therefore there should be no response to the
19 first shots." Now, on the same page, we can see that the -- under item 1,
20 "The issue of the ultimatum for surrendering weapons, no surrender but we
21 shall only respond if attacked." Two, "The issue of the members'
22 insignia," and then three, "The delegation." Now, you don't know about
23 Kemal Fazlic. Islam Bahonjic, about whom you were asked, first of all,
24 who was he?
25 A. You've mentioned Ilkan. Ilkan was the President of the Kozarac
1 SDA. Islam Bahonjic was also a councilman in the municipal assembly.
2 Islam Bahonjic came from the Kamicani SDA, another councilman in the
3 municipal assembly, and I think he was also a member of the Territorial
4 Defence, if my memory serves me well.
5 Q. Do you know what happened to Islam Bahonjic?
6 A. He was killed, and from what I heard, from others, in a horrible
7 way. He was for a long time agonising.
8 Q. Can you just tell us where was he killed, from the information you
10 A. People in the Omarska camp told me that he had been tortured
11 there, butchered, and that he took several days to die.
12 Q. Next, Becir Medunjanin?
13 A. Becir Medunjanin was the municipal secretary, that is head of the
14 Municipal Secretariat for National Defence and another SDA official in the
15 municipality of Prijedor, representing the territory of Kozarac because he
16 lived there and he was also on the local SDA board in Kozarac.
17 Q. Can you remember what sort of age he was?
18 A. He could have been around 45, 50 maybe.
19 Q. Do you know whether he had a son?
20 A. He had two sons.
21 Q. And was one of them a man named Anes Medunjanin?
22 A. That's right. Yes, his elder son was Anes Medunjanin and I knew
23 him well.
24 Q. Do you know what happened to Becir Medunjanin?
25 A. He was killed in Omarska too, and his wife was also killed in
2 Q. And finally, Ilko Memic [phoen], do you know who he was?
3 A. He was the President of the local Kozarac SDA and a councilman in
4 the municipal assembly in Prijedor.
5 Q. And do you know what happened to him?
6 A. He managed to leave the area on the eve of the war, supposedly
7 using some private connections, and then he travelled through either
8 Bosanska Gradiska or Lubica or some such place. That was the last thing
9 that I'd heard about him.
10 Q. Can we look very quickly, then, at a few other entries in these
11 records? Could you go to the next -- I think -- it may not be the next
12 page. It's the 2nd of May entry, item number 3, miscellaneous. "A lot of
13 our people carry out --" this is somebody called Nasib speaking. "A lot
14 our people carry out acts of provocation. Fazlic and Hasan Didin
15 yesterday fired in order to provoke. The police should immediately take
16 such people to the police station and disarm them."
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait one moment, Ms. Korner. Yesterday or the day
18 before yesterday, I don't remember, he did point out that the words "in
19 order to provoke" did not show up in the original B/C/S version.
20 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour, that's quite right. I've got it
21 here. In fact the other question I wanted to ask was this, the only
22 question I wanted to ask.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I was just pointing this out to you.
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour is quite right. I'd forgotten he said
1 Q. What was your view of anybody who set out to provoke the Serbs?
2 A. We had all this -- we had decided to prevent any kind of
3 provocation, and of course, all those who were in charge, either in the
4 Territorial Defence or the police, endeavoured to prevent and prevented
5 such provocations, of course. Needless to say there were such cases.
6 Somebody gets drunk and fires shots, then of course, one can intervene
7 only when it comes to the consequences of that. And of course, there were
8 shots fired, not too many, but you could hear them at times, although in
9 that area, we were surrounded by other areas where the firing never
11 Q. All right. I want to look at just two other entries, please.
12 Could you find the entries for the 6th of June, a meeting at which you
13 were present? Just before we move on, you said that you were surrounded
14 by other areas where the firing never stopped. What areas did you have in
16 A. The areas around Kozarac, with the Serb population, literally this
17 whole belt, practically the whole belt around Kozarac, from all sides.
18 And there, there was shooting, which never stopped, and it had gone on by
19 that time for several months. That is frequent shots, with or without
20 reason, and it was happening as of the time that people started coming
21 from the fronts in Croatia and especially after the 5th Kozara Brigade
22 came to quarter in the territory of the Prijedor municipality, because
23 soldiers, the Serb soldiers, when going from the barracks home, would take
24 their weapons and ammunition with them.
25 Q. All right. Can we look, then, just very briefly at an entry from
1 the -- dated apparently the 6th of June?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: That's actually another mistake, Ms. Korner. It
3 should be 6th of May.
4 MS. KORNER: Sorry, 6th of May. I was actually going to say it
5 must be a mistake. 6th of May.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: It is.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. Where we see under the agenda and then miscellaneous, one, "Vahid:
10 We have established the peace headquarters consisting of members taken
11 from all parties operating in the area." And then Mr. Hamdija
12 Kahrimanovic stating, "I was pleased to be a mediator in a meeting similar
13 to this, et cetera. We know who has put us in this situation, but there
14 it is, and what we have to do is try and make peace prevail in the whole
15 municipality." And so on and so forth.
16 Now, you yourself attended a meeting with the SDS in the middle of
17 May. Was this as a result of these discussions you had with other members
18 of the Kozarac Territorial Defence and members of the non-Serb
20 A. Yes. Some representatives of the non-Serb population attended
21 those meetings. However, when we arrived in Prijedor for that meeting, it
22 was absolutely impossible to establish the kind of communication that we
23 expected. Quite the contrary. The President of the SDS refused to talk
24 pending the arrival of the Colonel and the major. It was only after the
25 colonel and the major arrived, they then started moderating the meeting
1 and they had the main say during the meeting. There was not a single
2 mention of the agreement in -- of the agreement in Kozarac. It was then
3 that they said that they were the Serb army, and then the meeting unfolded
4 and we've talked about it repeatedly here.
5 Q. All right. Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. Sejmenovic. That's all
6 I want to ask you about that document.
7 Now, next, I'd like to you have a look, please, again, at a very
8 short part of the video that Mr. Ackerman played you yesterday, which was
9 the discussion about the takeover of the Kozara transmitter, and it was
10 put to you by Mr. Ackerman that there was throughout all the interviews
11 and all the credits that people were being given for their efforts in that
12 regard, not once did we hear the name Brdjanin, did we? And you agreed.
13 But I just want to play one small portion of what one of these people were
14 saying, and it's been --
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's been set up already. There is a
16 transcript which Your Honours were given, if I can have it for a moment.
17 It's P1533, but I'm -- no, I'm sorry, it's P1532, but it was S151. But
18 I'd like, if possible, the interpreters just to interpret that short
19 passage. Perhaps we can play it. Could somebody make sure that Mr. --
20 It's on. Okay.
21 [Videotape played]
22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] My war diary says Thursday, 31st of
23 July, 1991. It's raining. Veljko Milankovic is arriving. In three
24 sentences he briefs us about the situation. He said, his face grave, "The
25 transmitter must be taken."
1 MS. KORNER: Yes, could we go on, sorry?
2 [Videotape played]
3 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] The preparations took two days. On
4 Saturday, around 1600, we prepared vehicles, people, uniforms, and in the
5 civilian uniform, we went to Gradipa [phoen] where they were waiting for
6 me as the commander, and headed for Europa. There, the politicians of the
7 then AR Krajina, Bosnian Krajina, were waiting for us, and they in a few
8 words explained to us the political significance of the takeover of the
9 transmitter. Here, we changed into uniforms, with the insignia of the
10 Krajina police, and we came -- we fetched up here in cars, and an engineer
11 Branko, was already waiting for us. He had been briefed about the whole
12 situation. We opened the gate. Veljko went in first and were followed by
13 Mr. Mladen Sahaba [phoen] and they were followed by Zuti.
14 MS. KORNER: Thank you very much. That's all. Thank you. I
15 don't need any more of the video. Thank you very much.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Sejmenovic, all I want you to confirm is that as the
17 interpreter interpreted it to us you were listening, I think, that what
18 was stated by this gentleman -- I'll start that again. Mr. Sejmenovic,
19 the man we were watching was a man called Desic, Ratko Desic, but can you
20 just confirm that what he said was, "When we reached the Europa," which I
21 assume is a hotel of some kind, "We were met by politicians of the then
22 Autonomous Region of Krajina, that is Bosnian Krajina, who explained to us
23 in short the political importance of the relay takeover."
24 A. Yes. That is precisely what he said.
25 Q. Yes. Thank you. Now, finally, Mr. Sejmenovic, you had -- you
1 were given a copy of the CSB report on Trnopolje or the report by
2 Mr. Drljaca on Trnopolje and what he had to say about it and were you
3 asked what your views were. I want you to please listen to some other
4 descriptions of Trnopolje.
5 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the first, I thought, was a document
6 that I'd put it through Mr. McLeod, but I hadn't and it will be going --
7 it was a letter written by Mr. Mayhew and I'm not -- I don't think we need
8 trouble to give the witness the copy.
9 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, can you just listen to this description, please,
10 because were you asked about the machine-gun emplacements. This is a
11 description written at the end of August, beginning of September.
12 "Approximately 1600 male refugees, again almost all Muslim, are held
13 there for their own safety, according to the Bosnian Serb authorities,
14 although some officials claim the refugees are free to leave. However,
15 small sandbagged military guard posts on the edges of the centre face
16 inwards." Now, I don't know how closely you saw those machine-gun
17 emplacements, Mr. Sejmenovic. Were you able to see whether the guns faced
18 inwards towards the camp or out?
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I don't know that this is proper
20 redirect, because it's based upon the proposition that I was trying to
21 prove something different and in fact what I proved was that the guns
22 faced inward so I don't know why there is a redirect on that issue.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I understood --
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I asked him to mark the places were the guns were
25 and which direction they were facing and actually where he came into the
1 camp he came in between those two machine-gun nests that he identified,
2 and he doesn't know where any of the others are. So I just think it's
3 improper redirect and it doesn't challenge anything that I did.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's fine.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
6 MS. KORNER: That's fine by me. I understood the suggestion being
7 that the guards, the military guards were there to protect the inmates
8 from outsiders. I did not -- I did not understand Mr. Ackerman to be
9 accepting, from anything he said to the witness, that the machine-guns
10 actually faced in towards the camp.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, that's the way they were drawn. It is still
12 my contention, however, Your Honour, that they were there to protect the
13 people on the inside and that's why the commander of the guards there
14 wanted to find out how he got into the place, not how he got out of the
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Any way, let's proceed with the question. I think
17 it's perfectly in order.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I don't --
19 Q. All right. Mr. Sejmenovic, can you remember whether the
20 machine-guns faced in or out of the camp?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: He also said yesterday that he didn't know where all
22 the machine-gun nests were.
23 MS. KORNER: I agree. I just want to know if he saw --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So those that you saw with your own eyes, where were
25 they pointing?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Some were pointing inside. Some
2 were pointing outside. Your Honours, by your leave, Captain Slavko was
3 not interested in how I got in. He was interested, I quote, in how I was
4 getting in and how I was getting out repeatedly. Because I got in, got
5 out, and got in again. I added this, if it can assist you in any way.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Yes, Ms. Korner.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, just -- yes, Your Honour, I
8 don't think in fact I was going to put part of what was in the OSCE
9 report, but I don't think --
10 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, I mean in just a few sentences, without me putting
11 anything to you, how would you sum up the conditions in Trnopolje for the
12 time that you were there?
13 A. At the moment when I was there, women, children and old people
14 were being brought in, as well as men who were of age, but the two were
15 separate. Women, children and some old men were evacuated, as well as
16 some men who had enough money to pay, and they were evacuated by buses or
17 trains. Some men were taken away, beaten up, interrogated, within the
18 premises of that particular complex. Others were taken away and killed.
19 Q. Yes.
20 MS. KORNER: Mr. Sejmenovic, thank you very much. That's all that
21 I ask.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, before you sit down, this -- what are we
23 going to do with this report?
24 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's going to be admitted through --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Some other witness.
1 MS. KORNER: Another witness, yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And with regard to the other documents that were
3 circulated earlier?
4 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour. I was going to put part of it,
5 again they are going to come in through same witness. When I had another
6 look at it, I decided it wasn't going to take us much further.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So what I'm going to do is hand them back to the
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, should we take them back altogether and
10 then hand them out
11 JUDGE AGIUS: To confuse us. Do I take it that you're ready with
12 your re-examination?
13 MS. KORNER: Finished.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You're finished?
15 MS. KORNER: Yes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Are there any questions? Any questions?
17 Mr. Sejmenovic, as I told you earlier, referring back to your testimony in
18 Stakic, and considering that since I brought this up, you have been
19 testifying again for over an hour and a half, are there any instances that
20 you referred to in the Stakic -- in your Stakic testimony, or your
21 testimony in Stakic, which are of significance, which are of importance,
22 to which you were personally a witness, that you would like to point out
23 to us, leaving apart, leaving aside, all the other information that you
24 testified about or upon in the Stakic case, which you had come to know,
25 knowledge of which you had acquired, as a member of the organisation you
1 belonged to? Just the events that you witnessed personally which you
2 think are of significance and which we ought to know that you testified
3 upon because you knew the facts personally.
4 A. Your Honour, I think that everything that is important is what I
5 have been asked during these five trials. I certainly would have recalled
6 the important details when working with the Office of the Prosecutor, so I
7 believe that I did not omit anything of importance related to Stakic. I
8 said then that we had very few personal contacts. I observed his work.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think it's going to be a bit too
11 difficult to do this in the way Your Honour wants, but I think if I may,
12 if I can --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly, please.
14 MS. KORNER: -- just take him through the major parts.
15 Q. Mr. Sejmenovic, you testified and you've testified over and over
16 again, first of all, about your election to the assembly in Sarajevo, and
17 the Prijedor Municipal Assembly. In both cases, you attended those
18 assemblies, did you not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You testified of your own knowledge what you yourself saw happened
21 in Kozarac?
22 A. Yes. Now I've understood the point of your question, Your Honour,
23 so I can proceed on my own. I attended the meeting or rather the
24 negotiations. I attended the meeting or rather the negotiations with the
25 Serb Democratic Party and the officers who put an ultimatum before us. I
1 attended the sessions of the municipal assembly, some sessions that were
2 attended by Mr. Stakic too. I attended meetings at the local commune. I
3 observed the shelling of the other part of Prijedor, that is to say, the
4 part of the hills in Hambarine or rather the fire that broke out then. I
5 watched the shelling of Kozarac and later on physically I got very close
6 to Kozarac by bicycle myself and I viewed this from a very short distance.
7 I also viewed the shelling of the refugees who were moving out by the
8 village of Sivac. I also saw the men being taken away, either in vehicles
9 or on foot, in the directions of Kozarac or Trnopolje. I personally
10 watched five men being taken out of the camp of Trnopolje, five men who
11 never returned afterwards. I personally saw a man who was taken away in
12 the morning and who came back in the afternoon, after having buried these
13 five corpses. I saw the Serb civilians entering the camp of Trnopolje and
14 I saw them talking to some men who were non-Serbs and who were taken out
15 the next day and killed. I saw a great many things, if we are considering
16 what I saw personally, and I can go on enumerating these things that I saw
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we can stop there. I think we can stop
19 there. There being no further questions, your testimony comes to an end
20 here. Once more, I would like to thank you for having accepted to come
21 over and give evidence in this trial. I know that this is the fifth time,
22 the fifth case, that you have testified in, so I thank you once more. You
23 will be attended to by the organisation staff of this Tribunal to help you
24 return to your country and you will now be escorted by our usher. Thank
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman?
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think in the course of my
5 examination, I used Exhibits DB107 through DB115 and I just want to make
6 sure that they are all offered and admitted properly.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm not quite sure you used them all to tell you the
8 truth. I seriously doubt that, but if you want to have them admitted, I
9 see no point in arguing about it. I will have them admitted, because they
10 are all relevant.
11 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, according to Ms. Gustin's log,
12 used was DBs 107, 108, 109, 112, 113.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: He may have used 110 as well. If I remember well.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I certainly used 111. We went through that
15 at great length. I certainly used 110 because that was the one that had
16 the wrong date on it and we fixed that. I think I used them all, Judge,
17 whether I did or not I am offering them.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I will not argue with you about that but they are
19 being admitted, all of them, as evidence.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
21 MS. KORNER: Sorry, can we just deal with the exhibits part before
22 we deal with something else, Mr. Ackerman, sorry. As far as tendering of
23 the Prosecution side of this, the transcript we'd ask to be tendered as
24 1533. Now, regrettably, with all sorts of exhibits, some which have not
25 been tender, some which -- I mean they've all been tendered, but some have
1 separate exhibit numbers, but we've given the schedule to Ms. Chuqing and
2 I think we just have to exhibit the remaining ones as P1533/ whatever the
3 S number is.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
5 MS. KORNER: And she's just going to have to work out what they
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. I mean, it's not easy, but --
8 MS. KORNER: We have provided a cross-reference schedule.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it could be worked out before the next time
10 we meet, before the next sitting. Is there anything else before we wind
11 up for the day, Mr. Ackerman?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'd like to go into private session
13 for a moment.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session.
15 [Private session]
13 Pages 12324-12334 – redacted – private session
6 [Open session]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The case stands adjourned until Wednesday. I
8 take it we'll hear the evidence of Lord Ashdown.
9 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, yes. I think we are Wednesday morning.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Wednesday morning, yes, it is.
11 MS. KORNER: In this Court.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 MS. KORNER: We got a message originally saying that he had to
14 leave by noon. We pointed out this was somewhat difficult and I gather he
15 can now stay until the end of the session.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you all and have a nice weekend.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.38 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 4th day of
19 December, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.