1 Wednesday, 15 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Brdjanin, good morning to you. Can you
10 hear me in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning. Yes, I can hear and
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution?
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, good morning. Joanna Korner assisted
16 by Denise Gustin, case manager. Unlike Mr. Koumjian, I know who my case
17 manager is.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And good morning to you.
19 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin?
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman, with
21 Milan Trbojevic and Marela Jevtovic.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And good morning to you, too.
23 So shall we call in the witness? He doesn't enjoy any protective
24 measures, if I recall.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, he doesn't. Just before he comes in,
1 can I just make certain that Your Honours understand? I'm calling him
2 from scratch because the only time he's testified in Tadic, and the
3 emphasis of the case was completely different there. And although I will
4 try not to cover in too much detail matters that we already dealt with,
5 which I know Your Honours have read.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: He's your witness, I won't interfere.
7 MS. KORNER: The other thing is I don't know Your Honours were
8 given or we have a war diary of the 1st Krajina Corps. Mr. Ackerman, I
9 think, mentioned it. It's going to be used very briefly by us. It's
10 huge. The translation runs to 275 pages, mainly because each section has
11 been photocopied to look like a diary. So there is one copy of the whole
12 thing available. But what I was proposing to do was to only direct his
13 attention to certain parts, put those parts up on to the ELMO at this
14 stage, and then thereafter, give all of Your Honours copies of the pages
15 that have been used so there will be one --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: That will be better, Ms. Korner, because if we only
17 need to refer to a very small part of his diary, then there is no sense in
18 bringing it up and taking it down every day.
19 MS. KORNER: No, it's not his diary. No. "Diary" is not the
20 right word, it's his work notebook. That work notebook, Your Honours will
21 virtually need the whole thing.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Are we talking of the document which starts with the
23 ERN number 01104642?
24 MS. KORNER: Yes -- no, that is his diary. It's his -- I've
25 called it a diary. I'm informed that's wrong. It's his official
1 notebook. But in addition to that, underneath you'll see listed war diary
2 of the 1st Krajina Corps on the list of exhibits, if Your Honours have
3 that, list of documents to be used. It's on top of the bundle that Your
4 Honours were given, unless Your Honour's secretary has reorganised it
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Probably she has.
7 MS. KORNER: Okay. Your Honours --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Any way, I will check as we go along.
9 MS. KORNER: All right. Just -- and then if Mr. Ackerman uses any
10 other further pages, whatever he uses we will then put a bundle together.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The usher has gone to -- yes, please.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Mr. Selak. And welcome to this
14 Tribunal, where you are about to start giving evidence.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: I know that this is not the first time that you have
17 given evidence before this Tribunal and that you are familiar with the
18 procedure, so I won't take -- waste any time in introductions. Please
19 take the text of the solemn declaration that is being handed to you, read
20 it out loud, and that will be your solemn undertaking with us that during
21 the course of your testimony, you will be telling us the truth, the whole
22 truth and nothing but the truth. Please go ahead.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: OSMAN SELAK
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. You may sit down. The procedure
3 is as it was in the Tadic case. You will first be asked a series of
4 questions which are expected to last for something like two days by
5 Ms. Korner who is the lead counsel for the Prosecution in this case. She
6 will then be followed by Mr. Ackerman who is the lead counsel for the
7 accused, Radoslav Brdjanin. Thank you.
8 Ms. Korner, he's yours.
9 Examined by Ms. Korner:
10 Q. Colonel Selak, could you give us your full name, please.
11 A. Osman Selak.
12 Q. And were you born on the 20th of May of 1935?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And I think you were born in Visegrad, which is in the eastern
15 part of Bosnia?
16 A. Yes. Could the volume be turned up a little bit, please? I'm
17 having difficulty hearing.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, usher, please. Could we have a test
20 transmission so that we can confirm that the volume now, volume level, is
21 the right one?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't hear anything.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you hear now?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, can you -- first of all, are we sure that it
1 is -- it must be because he was understanding what I was saying before.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it to your satisfaction now?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, thank you.
6 Ms. Korner.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. And I think it's right that you are a Bosniak by nationality?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And until September -- until June of 1992, were you a serving
11 officer in the JNA?
12 A. Until the 10th of July, 1992.
13 Q. All right. I'm going to deal with your leaving the JNA or by then
14 as it had become in Bosnia -- the VRS, but I think it's right that you
15 applied to leave at the end of May. Is that correct?
16 A. The 19th of May, in 1992, I submitted my request for retirement.
17 Q. As you've told us on the 10th of July, you handed over your
18 responsibilities to another officer and were you actually, however,
19 formally granted your request for -- to retire in September of 1992?
20 A. Yes.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please come closer to the
23 MS. KORNER: I think it's better if the microphone goes closer to
24 the witness.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so. The usher will look into that. I
1 notice that one of the microphones is not switched on. It's switched on
2 now. Okay. Thank you.
3 MS. KORNER:
4 Q. And when you left the military in 1992, had you achieved the rank
5 of colonel?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, before I deal with your specialisation and matters pertaining
8 to the operation of the military, can I just deal with statements and
9 testimony that you have given before for the purposes of the record?
10 I think that you testified in June of 1996 in the trial of the
11 Prosecutor against Dusko Tadic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Having earlier made a statement about the events about which you
14 testified over a period of months between 1995 and January of 1996?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When I say "a period of months," there were a number of separate
17 days during that period. Did you then make a further statement in -- it
18 was signed in July of 2000 but you had been interviewed or seen and looked
19 at documents in January of that year?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you make a further statement in -- sorry -- March of 2001?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And finally, were you seen on a completely different matter,
24 really, by people unconnected, by investigators unconnected with this
25 trial in respect of Manjaca, to do with the association of camp detainees?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. And that -- I'm sorry I should give the date of that
3 one -- was in August of 2001.
4 Now, Colonel Selak, did you serve in what was then the major part
5 of the Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA, from 1955 until 1992?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And was your specialisation within the military the area of
9 A. Yes, the technical services.
10 Q. Now, just very briefly, can you explain to the Trial Chamber what
11 that particular department would deal with.
12 A. The logistics service was in charge of providing the logistics,
13 including all materiel, weapons, maintenance and also all the supplies
14 relating to construction, technical and other supplies in the zone or in
15 the area of its responsibility.
16 Q. Now, dealing very briefly with your duties really with the -- what
17 was called the Banja Luka Corps, after various other assignments during
18 the course of your career, in 1977, were you assigned to the 993rd
19 technical base in Banja Luka?
20 A. In 1993, no. In 1977 -- in 1977, I was the deputy commander of
21 the technical base in Banja Luka.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It must have been a problem with interpretation,
23 Ms. Korner, but we have sorted it out, yes.
24 MS. KORNER: Yes, don't worry.
25 Q. And did you then spend the remainder of your service actually in
1 the Banja Luka area?
2 A. Yes. My whole term of duty, I spent in Banja Luka, from the
3 academy until the time that I retired.
4 Q. All right. And can you just tell us what year were you promoted
5 to the rank of colonel?
6 A. In 1986.
7 Q. Now, did your area of responsibility cover a very large area
8 indeed, in respect of logistics?
9 A. Yes. The region of all the units in the region of Bosanska
10 Krajina, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and as far as the maintenance of tanks was
11 concerned, this area was even broader.
12 Q. All right. Now, I'd like to you have a look, please, at a map
13 that was prepared for the purposes of the Tadic trial.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, could that be perhaps put on the ELMO?
15 It was originally marked as Exhibit 161 in Tadic trial. It looks like
16 this, please, map number 1. All right. Perhaps rather than waste time,
17 perhaps I can explain to the Registrar, I'm now going to go through all
18 the maps that were in the -- and documents that were in the Tadic trial,
19 of which you have all of them. But I will start so that we don't waste
20 time using my copy.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, please.
23 Microphone, please.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, Ms. Gustin perhaps could identify
25 what would be the exhibit number.
1 MS. KORNER: Yes, the exhibit number for this, Your Honour, will
2 be P1548.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: 1548, okay.
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. Now, Colonel Selak, does that show your area of responsibility in
6 respect of logistics prior to the 18th of May, 1992?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So at this stage, you covered, as we can see, effectively from the
9 bottom of the Bosnian Krajina and then going into Croatia at the top?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. We can see that Teslic and Doboj fell outside your area of
12 responsibility. By what -- by which logistical unit would that be
14 A. Doboj and Teslic were under the Sarajevo control or under the
15 Tuzla corps area. I don't know the exact boundary between the Sarajevo
16 and the Tuzla Corps but this is where the boundary was, somewhere to the
17 right of Doboj, in between Teslic and Doboj. And this was until the 18th
18 of May, 1992, that was the area of responsibility.
19 Q. Now, can you just tell us, we are going to look at a second map in
20 a moment, can you tell us what was the significance of the date of the
21 18th of May?
22 A. The 18th of May, that day, the Serbian Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina was officially declared. After that, the area was also
24 shifted, the Banja Luka Corps zone was expanded to the east of Banja Luka,
25 north-east of Banja Luka, in Bosnia.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. All right. Thank you very much. You can take -- that can be
2 taken away and can you be shown, then, the second map marked "map 2"? All
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that will become, then, Exhibit 1549.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: The other one we had, Ms. Korner, but this one we
6 have not been given.
7 MS. KORNER: Yes, you have. I can assure Your Honour you have.
8 THE REGISTRAR: It's not in the bundle of the documents. I only
9 have map 1.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: We only have map 1, actually, all of us.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's on the ELMO. We'll check it at the
12 break. Maybe it's just me, Your Honour, but every time I appear in front
13 of Your Honours there always seems to be a problem with the exhibits.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, yeah, okay. I found it.
15 MS. KORNER: I know it's there, Your Honour. And it's also in the
16 registry's bundle. Right.
17 Q. In any event, Colonel, we can see it's on the ELMO now, does
18 that --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Does that show the alteration in the area of responsibility, as
21 far as you were concerned, with logistics?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And we can see that one of the differences is that it now includes
24 Teslic and Doboj?
25 A. Yes, Teslic, Doboj, Modrica, north-east towards Serbia.
1 Q. Even on the 18th of May, it still included, did it, areas within
2 the -- what was by then the declared Republic of Croatia, independent
3 Republic of Croatia?
4 A. Yes. It remained as part of the logistics service, the units --
5 our service maintained all the logistics for the units that were in the
6 area of Croatia.
7 Q. So on the 18th of May, there were still units, were there,
8 remaining in the area of Croatia?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right. Now, it's not shown on that map, but we are going to
11 hear evidence about the forward command post at Stari Gradiska. Can you
12 just indicate, just looking at that, can you show the Court where Stara
13 Gradiska was just roughly?
14 A. Stara Gradiska is over the Sava River, Bosanska Gradiska is to the
15 right and Stara Gradiska is immediately next to Nova Gradiska. There was
16 a famous correctional facility where those who were sentenced were serving
17 their sentences, and this was changed into the command post of the 1st
18 Krajina Corps from the 18th of May.
19 Q. Right. Yes. Thank you. Yes, that can be taken off the ELMO now.
20 Now, I want to come back, then, and go into a little bit more
21 detail about how the logistical supply --
22 MS. KORNER: I don't know what Your Honours have now been handed,
23 but I don't think it's got anything to do with what we are doing at the
24 moment. Right. Your Honour, can I just explain, I don't know why they
25 were handed to you now but they are just additional exhibits. They've got
1 nothing to do with this witness.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Oh, I see. Okay.
3 MS. KORNER: They are simply extra exhibits that were disclosed
4 and not even put in I thought. If Your Honours just put those aside.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
6 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
7 Q. Now, I want to ask you, please, about next, how the, as it were,
8 command structure worked, in terms of logistics, the hierarchy. And I
9 think the best thing is if you could please be shown now what was marked
10 in the Tadic trial Exhibit 168, which looks like that. All right. Let's
11 put my copy up again, please.
12 MS. KORNER: And, Your Honour, may that then be marked -- we had
13 two spare exhibit numbers so we went back to them, but this will be 1561.
14 I've just read it. It's in English but perhaps if you can just explain to
15 us how the hierarchy in distribution of logistics worked, please.
16 A. The chain of command functioned from the general staff of the
17 Yugoslav People's Army in the -- in Belgrade, of the Yugoslav People's
18 Army in Belgrade. So it went from the general staff to the army commands
19 to the commands of the bases, from the base commands to the corps
20 commands, from the corps commands to the brigades, from the brigades to
21 the battalions, and from the battalions to the companies. Those were
23 Whereas requests were put forth the other way around, companies,
24 brigades, corps, base commands, army commands and then to the general
1 Q. All right. So as you say, it was a two-way flow, either orders
2 would come from the top or requests would be made through the various
3 levels from the bottom?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, we can see, if we look at the left of this diagram, we can
6 see national contracts, contracted suppliers and local contracts. Can you
7 explain to us what is meant by that?
8 A. Yes. The complete logistics of the Yugoslav People's Army went
9 through the economy of Yugoslavia. All the facilities and capacities of
10 the economy of Yugoslavia were used, contracts were made with companies,
11 manufacturer organisations, overhauling organisations, and all others.
12 These were multi-year contracts throughout the territory of Yugoslavia.
13 This went through the bases. The bases and the federal secretariat for
14 national defence and army commands made these contracts; corps and
15 individual units did not make individual contracts. They simply put forth
16 their requests for logistical supply to the bases and then the bases
17 organised everything else.
18 As for what we did not have, we sent requests to army commands and
19 to the general staff. This particularly has to do with ammunition,
20 weapons, tanks, and other lethal weapons that the economy of Yugoslavia
21 did not manufacture. This required import from other countries.
22 Actually, some of it was provided for from the manufacturer of Yugoslavia
23 itself because the former Yugoslavia had a rather powerful military
24 industry. We even made tanks, APCs, aircraft, guns, et cetera but some
25 was imported from other countries. However, imports went through the
1 general staff. It is only the general staff that could sign contracts for
2 those needs that we could not meet by ourselves within Yugoslavia. Then
3 agreements had to be made with other states in order to have this kind of
4 equipment provided.
5 I personally in Banja Luka, my base command, signed contracts with
6 companies in Krajina, that is to say for meeting the needs for the units
7 of -- within the area of responsibility of the base command in Banja Luka.
8 Q. All right. Can we just amplify some of that? What sort of
9 supplies were provided by these companies with whom the army had
11 A. I'll make an effort to speak slower. I'm talking about the base
12 in Banja Luka, but the same situation was in other bases. We used mostly
13 food supplies, service organisations, then construction material was
14 provided -- were provided from construction companies. Medical services.
15 As for what the army did not have and for the emergency medical services
16 that the army could not provide, and then there were also transportation
17 agreements that were signed. Companies wanted to cooperate with the army
18 as much as possible because the army paid everything promptly. We even
19 gave lines of credit to certain companies.
20 Q. All right. Did the, as it were, the local companies ever provide
21 ammunition or anything like that, or was that all dealt with at the top
23 A. These local companies did not supply ammunition directly to
24 units. There were only a few companies in the territory of Yugoslavia
25 that manufactured ammunition and that ammunition went to warehouses of
1 logistics bases and logistics bases, upon request from corps and other
2 units, sent these supplies not directly to the corps but to the brigades
3 because corps did not have their own warehouses, their own depots, so it
4 was the brigades that received these supplies directly. The base sent its
5 own transport vehicles to the company concerned, and then on the basis of
6 the request put forth by the units, then we would supply those units with
7 the material requested.
8 Q. All right. Now, these supplies that you obtained, either
9 ammunition and weaponry from above or the ones you organised yourself
10 locally, to whom were they distributed? In other words, I'm sorry, can I
11 tighten that question slightly. Was it purely to the corps itself, the
12 regular army, or to the members of the TO?
13 A. Yes. This was also sent to the members of the Territorial
14 Defence, but the logistics bases did not provide for the Territorial
15 Defence, at least not in peace time. The Territorial Defence was at the
16 level of the republics. That was the -- its maximum level. And it is the
17 republics that made contracts with companies that manufactured ammunition,
18 or rather, if the army had a surplus, then they sent requests to the army
19 and then the army would supply them with this for training these units
20 when they had training for targeting, shooting, et cetera, but then this
21 was basically dealt with at republican level.
22 When the system functioned, then they sent requests to the bases
23 and then we properly informed the command of the army about that. So this
24 was resolved by telephone and then there was proper administration through
25 documents as well, depending on the needs of the Territorial Defence.
1 Also, we sent to them our surplus weapons, surplus equipment, too, the one
2 that was not required by the Yugoslav People's Army. Usually these were
3 dated weapons, and as for new types of weapons, only those that were truly
4 a surplus in the army. So the Territorial Defence units had rather dated
5 equipment and weapons, and they kept that in their own depots and
7 Q. All right. Now, finally, before we look at some other aspect of
8 military life, for supplies to be issued to members of the corps within
9 your area of responsibility, did you have to authorise that distribution?
10 Or your -- obviously your subordinate officers if you weren't there?
11 A. Requests for logistics, in order to meet the needs of the corps,
12 came directly to the base command. Mail also came to me. And then I
13 distributed it to the heads of the various services, the technical
14 service, the construction service, et cetera, and they directly resolved
15 this with the heads of services of the corps. The head of service of a
16 corps would say which brigade would have to be provided with ammunition or
17 any other material. So it is the heads of services actually who resolved
18 these matters directly because it is within their line of work and they
19 are the professionals that know how to do that properly.
20 Q. Yes. I understand the heads of services did it, but did you have
21 to authorise the actual -- if there was a large-scale request, for example
22 for more uniforms, would that be something that you would have to
24 A. The heads of service knew quite clearly how much equipment was
25 needed by each and every unit. Every unit depended -- had the right to
1 5 per cent more equipment in terms of what they actually had so that they
2 could intervene on their own if they needed extra equipment, et cetera.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. But if there were some abnormal requests, then I would be informed
5 about that and then I would react. Otherwise, this was a system that had
6 been operated very -- had been operating very well because the army
7 command and our command functioned properly and there were telephone
8 conversations every day and all these matters were dealt with
9 expeditiously on a day-to-day basis.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly be asked to speak
12 MS. KORNER:
13 Q. Colonel, I'm sure you heard that. Could you slow down slightly?
14 A. I beg your pardon.
15 Q. It's not -- the other thing is I think if you can try and keep
16 your answers as short as possible -- and then if I want more information
17 I'll ask for it. All right.
18 Now I want to move, please, next, as a topic to the actual, as it
19 were, makeup of the -- what was then the 5th Krajina Corps in Banja Luka.
20 Could you now be shown, please, what was Exhibit 169 in Tadic. It's the
21 diagram. And that will become Exhibit P1562. In fact, it shows the
22 offices relating to the support of the logistics system, as it were.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And again this is before the 18th of May, 1992. What you can see
25 is the office -- the names of the officers in charge of the various levels
1 that you indicated in that earlier diagram. Colonel General Adzic at that
2 stage was chief of the general staff. Is that right?
3 A. Chief of the general staff of the Yugoslav army.
4 Q. And then was his assistant for logistics effectively the gentleman
5 we can see there Lieutenant Colonel General --
6 A. Vladan Sljivic. He was a mechanical engineer.
7 Q. And as these are all names that are going to reoccur and have
8 already been mentioned in this case, we can see going across the page, can
9 we, there was Major General Djukic, who was head of technical
11 A. Yes, Djordje Djukic.
12 Q. And then moving down, Colonel General Kukanjac?
13 A. Commander of the 2nd army district in Sarajevo.
14 Q. And then under him, Major General Milicevic. And then coming --
15 A. He was assistants commander for logistics.
16 Q. Coming down we see the 5th Corps and what's shown there is General
17 Talic and Colonel Tepsic. But in 1991, who was the commander of the 5th
19 A. It was General Nikola Uzelac, General Lieutenant Colonel Nikola
21 Q. Was he replaced by another general before Talic?
22 A. Yes. On the 28th of December, 1991, it was General Vukovic who
23 was appointed commander of the 5th Corps. Before that, he was corps
24 commander in Knin.
25 Q. And I think he was then killed and was replaced by General Talic
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 A. No. General Vukovic was transferred to Nis, to the position of
3 corps commander and he was killed in a helicopter accident when he flew to
4 Pristina, so then when General Vukovic left in the month of March and he
5 went to Nis it was then that General Talic was appointed commander of the
6 5th Corps.
7 Q. All right. And then we can see that his assistant commander for
8 logistics was Colonel Tepsic?
9 A. Yes, Vaso Tepsic, Colonel Vaso Tepsic, assistant commander for
10 logistics until he was killed in 1992 in a traffic accident. He held that
12 Q. All right. And then if we go to looking at the right side, we see
13 as it were, your direct unit, chain of command. Yourself?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Colonel Cendic?
16 A. Rade Cendic. He was a colonel and he was also deputy
18 Q. Right. And then we see the other officers whose names we'll see
19 in some of the documents we are going to look at. But I wanted to move to
20 a slightly different topic based on this. Looking at these officers whose
21 names are mentioned here, what was the nationality, the ethnicity, of
22 these officers, if we can just deal, going through the top, Colonel
23 General Adzic first?
24 A. General Adzic is a Serb from Herzegovina, from Gacko.
25 Q. Don't bother telling us where they come from. It may become
1 relevant later but just the ethnicity. The next gentleman?
2 A. Vladin Sljivic, Serb.
3 Q. Djukic?
4 A. Serb.
5 Q. Brkic?
6 A. Serb.
7 Q. Kukanjac?
8 A. Serb.
9 Q. Milicevic?
10 A. Serb.
11 Q. Talic, we know. Tepsic?
12 A. Serb.
13 Q. Okay. Yourself, a Bosniak. Then below you?
14 A. Yes, Camic is a Serb.
15 Q. Camic?
16 A. Mujo Camic is a Bosniak.
17 Q. And Milosevic?
18 A. Serb.
19 Q. All right.
20 A. Vukovic is also a Serb.
21 Q. I'll come back to that after we've looked at the second document
22 in relation to this logistic support. Could you look, please, at what was
23 marked Exhibit 170, which will become P1563. Thank you. This shows the
24 logistical support after the change of the 18th of May, 1992, by which
25 time, of course, there was a Serbian Republic of Herzegovina. And we can
1 see the change in the general staff that at this stage General Panic was
2 chief of the general staff. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Stevilovic remains the same?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. But Djukic, the head of technical administration, becomes, in
7 fact, Colonel Brkic -- I'm sorry, he remains the same?
8 A. No, no. Djukic became assistant for logistics in the main staff
9 of the Army of Republika Srpska. He was subordinated to General Mladic.
10 Q. Yes, that's right. I'm sorry. It's Colonel Brkic remains in the
11 same position as he was prior to the 18th of May?
12 A. Yes, Colonel Brkic, yes.
13 Q. Sorry, my error. We can see there that Colonel General Mladic was
14 the commander, then Djukic, Talic, and Tepsic remain the same. And the
15 change in your chain of command, directly below you, there is a change
16 from Lieutenant Colonel Camic to Major Milan Spiric?
17 A. Yes, head of the technical service, Camic, Mujo, had to go to
18 Belgrade. Major Milan Spiric came, a Serb from Bosnia.
19 Q. I'm going to come back to why it was that Lieutenant Colonel Camic
20 had to go to Belgrade in May, but can I return, then, thank you, please,
21 to the question of the ethnicity of the officers in the JNA before it
22 transformed -- before part of it transformed itself into the VRS?
23 By and large, and we can put the diagram away now, thank you, by
24 and large, before -- and I want to concentrate on the period before the
25 conflict started, effectively in April, 1992 -- what was the ethnicity of
1 the officers in the JNA?
2 A. The officers, in terms of ethnicity, came from all the republics
3 or rather from all the peoples of Yugoslavia. Slovenes, Croats, Bosniaks,
4 Serbs, Montenegrins.
5 Q. All right. Now, you pointed out that all the officers save for
6 yourself and your junior officer that we saw on that diagram were Serbs,
7 of Serb nationality?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How was what we saw on that diagram reflected overall in the
10 officer corps of the JNA?
11 A. As for the information that I have myself, yes, that is precisely
12 the ratio that existed, about 90.5 per cent were Serbs and Montenegrins,
13 that is to say the officers of the Yugoslav People's Army. And the others
14 Slovenes, Croats, Macedonians, Bosniaks and others, only accounted for
15 9.5 per cent.
16 Q. The army itself, we've heard about the Territorial Defence aspect,
17 but roughly what sort of size was the standing army, the regular army,
18 leaving out all, Territorial Defence units?
19 A. You mean the entire territory of Yugoslavia?
20 Q. Well, actually, all I think for these purposes all I need to know
21 is for the purposes of the 5th Corps of the area of responsibility.
22 A. In peace time, as for the area of responsibility of the 5th Corps,
23 there was the military academy for tank operators and then the reserve
24 officer school for tank operators and the centre for drivers for combat
25 vehicles, for the entire territory of Yugoslavia. That was also stationed
1 in Banja Luka, and there were 6 to 7.000 -- 6.000 to 7.000 persons there
2 in peace time, but as for officers, there were 6 to 700.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters correct 900 to 1.000 there.
4 A. But as I already mention there were far more military personnel.
5 There were that many officers because there were so many important
6 institutions there.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. All right. Now, very quickly, can we just look at the other
9 diagrams which relate to effectively the 5th Corps itself? First of all,
10 before the 18th of May, Exhibit 171, which will be P1564, and there, can
11 we see General Talic? You've explained the change in commanders. And
12 then his staff, the assistant commander for morale, Colonel Vukelic, the
13 chief of security, Colonel Stevilovic; the Chief of Staff, Kelecevic;
14 Tepsic, we've seen; Colonel Vujnovic; and so on and so forth. And then
15 under that, we can see the combat units.
16 The 329th armoured Brigade commanded by Colonel Simic, where was
17 that based?
18 A. That was a very strong armoured brigade, an unit, which was
19 situated in the Kozara barracks north-east of Banja Luka, about 2
21 Q. The 343rd mechanised Brigade, Colonel Arsic, where was that based?
22 A. In Prijedor.
23 Q. All right. The next one is the mechanised brigade. Where was
24 that, the 16th?
25 A. In the Kozara barracks in Banja Luka, where the armoured brigade
1 was also located.
2 Q. The Derventa brigade, I think that's the next one, probably speaks
3 for itself?
4 A. In Derventa, it had its own separate barracks in Derventa where it
5 was stationed.
6 Q. Then finally the engineering regiment and what's the last one,
7 commander of the --
8 A. The engineering regiment, the commander was Colonel Radivoj
9 Tomanic, and that was in the Kozara barracks in Banja Luka.
10 Q. And the last one?
11 A. The commander of the rocket brigade, Colonel Nikola Obradoff, also
12 in the Kozara barracks in Banja Luka.
13 Q. All right. Thank you. And then, if you can look at the next
14 diagram, which shows the senior -- the officers and senior officers after
15 the 18th of May? P1565. And effectively, there is not a great deal of
16 change in the officers there. I think --
17 A. Chief of the anti-aircraft defence, actually, he -- the person who
18 came to perform that duty was Lieutenant Colonel Lazarevic, a Serb.
19 Q. That's right, that's the change?
20 A. The person who performed that job before he did was a Croat.
21 Q. All right. And I think while we are on that diagram, we had
22 better deal with Colonel Stevilovic. We've already heard evidence about
23 that, it says 06, 92. I think that's an error, though. He was killed in
24 July, so 07 of 1992. Is that right?
25 A. Yes. The chief of intelligence service, Colonel Stevilovic, was
1 killed in the month of July, the 2nd or the 3rd of July, I'm not sure.
2 Q. All right. Now, and then finally, and those are the last two
3 diagrams, and then I want to deal -- and one photograph?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner, the last one is 1565. Correct?
5 MS. KORNER: Yes.
6 Q. Can you look at the two maps showing the locations of the units of
7 the 5th Corps? Now, map 3, first of all, which will become P1566. Does
8 that show where the various units were based?
9 A. Yes. You can see here the responsibility of the corps until the
10 18th of May, 1992, and where its units were deployed Mrkonjic Grad, Jajce,
11 Donji Vakuf, Glamoc that was covered by the 30th division in Prijedor was
12 the 43rd Brigade and then Banja Luka was the armoured.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak slower?
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. Colonel Selak, could you slow down slightly?
16 A. In Banja Luka was the armoured brigade, the rocket brigade, the
17 engineering regiment, the 16th Brigade, and some of my logistics unit, the
18 maintenance, the tank maintenance capacities, the 343rd Brigade was in
19 Prijedor. Mrkonjic, Jajce, Donji Vakuf, and Glamoc was covered by the
20 30th Partisan division way was commanded by Colonel Stanislav Galic.
21 Q. Right. At this stage, did that come under, the 30th Partisan
22 division, the authority of the 5th Corps?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. All right. And now can we look, please, then, at the map 4
25 showing the locations after the 18th of May, 1992? P1567.
1 And effectively it echoes, I think, what we saw on your logistics
2 map, is that right, in that we now have unit --
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And Teslic and Doboj?
5 A. Yes, and Modrica, Derventa, Modrica, Doboj, Teslic, an operative
6 group was formed in Doboj which covered -- which covered Modrica and
7 Teslic. The operative group was under the command of the 5th Corps.
8 Q. And just to deal with that, I think the area of responsibility of
9 the 5th, which then became the 1st corps, 1st Krajina Corps, changed
10 somewhat over the period of 1992?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, finally, on documents or pictures for the moment,
13 uniforms. The Court has heard descriptions of the uniforms worn by the
14 military. How many types of uniforms were there?
15 A. The peace-time uniform, we call it the olive-grey uniform for
16 short, and that was the uniform for soldiers, and there was another olive
17 grey uniform for officers, for mobilisation and exercises other uniforms
18 were used, camouflage uniforms, which up until the time they are needed
19 are held in the warehouses of the units or the bases. So each base was
20 supposed to have the appropriate number of war uniforms in accordance with
21 the number of soldiers, plus another extra 5 per cent for wear and tear.
22 Q. All right. Now, what would be described by the words "SMB"?
23 A. Olive-grey colour.
24 Q. So that's the, as it were, the peace-time uniform?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I want you finally please to have a look at a photograph of
2 Colonel Popovic, which I know you've looked at before, which will become
3 Exhibit P1568. Can we just put it on the ELMO? Yeah. It's here. Just
4 put it on. It's only going to take a minute.
5 I think you've identified that before as Colonel Popovic who ran
6 Manjaca. All I want it know is this: What sort of uniform is he wearing?
7 A. This is either a camouflage or a war uniform. A camouflage
8 uniform could not be worn during peace time but only during war or upon
9 call-up. The rank insignia for officers was on the left pocket. There
10 were metal insignia, brass, yellow brass insignia. The reason for that
11 was so that a sniper would not see the rank insignia on the shoulders. So
12 instead of wearing the rank insignia on the shoulder, for security
13 reasons, for the safety of the people, the insignia was worn on the
15 Q. Yes. Thank you very much. We can take that away now. Did I give
16 that an exhibit number? I did. Yes. 1568.
17 Now, I want to move, Colonel Selak, please, to elicit from you a
18 brief description, if I may, of the reporting structures which existed in
19 the JNA.
20 MS. KORNER: Will Your Honour forgive me a minute while I just
21 find -- if Your Honour wants, it's the statement of 2000.
22 Q. You were asked to give detailed information about it, but I
23 wonder, if I may, I want just to try and summarise this. In peace time,
24 first of all, what would be the reporting done to the commander of the 5th
25 Corps? First of all, that's a rather loose question so I'll rephrase
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that. Would he receive reports, first of all?
2 A. Yes. Twice a day.
3 Q. From whom would he receive those reports?
4 A. The corps command had a team on duty, an officer on duty, who
5 collected information from the units and from the different garrisons, and
6 then he would convey all these reports, all this information, to the corps
7 commander or whoever was performing his job.
8 Q. How often were the units, garrisons or the brigades, obliged to
9 present their reports to the, as it were, the officer on duty?
10 A. Regular reports were sent in the morning, the situation at
11 7.00 a.m. By 8.00 a.m., it had to be submitted reporting on the situation
12 up to 7.00 a.m. Also, the second report had to be submitted by 8.00 p.m.,
13 with the situation as of 7.00 p.m. So these were regular reports.
14 Emergency reports, if something happened, had to be sent to the officer on
15 duty, and he was the one who decided whether the corps commander had to be
16 informed or whether the staff at the corps was able to resolve the
18 Q. Can you just give us one example of what would require an
19 emergency report.
20 A. Any emergency situation, a person being injured, a traffic
21 accident, any political problem, in any unit, was something that the corps
22 commander had to be informed about immediately, as well as of the steps
23 that were taken in order to resolve the problem. After that, he had to
24 inform, depending on the gravity of the problem, his superior.
25 Q. Now, did those twice-daily reporting requirements, plus the
1 emergency report that might be required, was there a change in that, if
2 there was a time of war?
3 A. Reporting was continued with the same method and at the same
4 time. However, at the corps command, there was a management team that was
5 formed, an operative team, that could command the units on behalf of the
6 commander if the commander happened to be away from the command. So that
7 management team knew the tasks of all the units as set by the commander.
8 And if the commander went away, he could perhaps convey to them some
9 additional tasks, which then they would convey to the units, and the units
10 had to carry out those tasks because the management team was speaking on
11 behalf of the commander. So this was a valid command to the subordinated
13 Q. And this management team, operative team -- I'm sorry perhaps we
14 ought to have the diagram of the officers in the 5th Corps command. Could
15 you be shown, please, again, Exhibit 172, whatever that was, 15 -- Exhibit
16 P1565? The old Tadic Exhibit 172. If the commander -- let's call it for
17 the purposes of this question, Talic, was elsewhere, who would form part
18 of this management team?
19 A. If the corps commander was not at the command post, he had a
20 deputy, the Chief of Staff, and in this case was Colonel Bosko Kelecevic.
21 However, the management team comprised of officers, colonels, the heads of
22 services of the corps command, they were the heads of the teams. And from
23 each branch, there was another officer every day in the management team so
24 that he was -- the chief of communications or the chief of intelligence
25 would each provide an officer. So they were able to expertly respond to
1 all the problems that cropped up in the units during the day, and then the
2 officer on duty of the management team would issue orders to the unit.
3 However, once the corps commander came back to the command, the
4 management team or the chief of the team had to inform the commander of
5 all the changes and inform him about all the orders issued to the units so
6 that the commander would know what had happened in his absence and that he
7 could then continue with his command duties.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, did the system of reporting change
9 after the 18th of May, and the formation of the VRS, or essentially did it
10 remain as it was in the JNA days?
11 A. The system that functioned during the JNA was strengthened in
12 manpower and communications and it continued to function because there is
13 no need to change something that functioned very well.
14 Q. This was the reporting that came from the subordinates of General
15 Talic. To whom did General Talic himself report?
16 A. The management team would gather information from the subordinated
17 units, and it was also obliged twice a day to inform the main staff of the
18 Army of Republika Srpska in Pale, as well as of emergency situations, if
19 they occurred, as they happened they would have the duty to inform the
20 main staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, and General Mladic about that.
21 Q. Now, supposing it was decided that a military action of some kind
22 had to be launched, let us take in a time of war -- for example, let us
23 take the attack that we all know happened, leaving aside how, what
24 exactly, that took place on the town of Kozarac. How would that have to
25 be set out?
1 A. The corps commander issued orders to all commanders of units or
2 brigades in the territory covered by those brigades. The military,
3 political, and security assessment was made in that area and the commander
4 of the Prijedor Brigade, Colonel Arsic, knew exactly what his tasks were.
5 They were given to him at the meeting with the commander in Banja Luka,
6 attended by all the commanders, so that the commanders of other brigades
7 knew what their duties and responsibilities were, as well as those of
8 other commanders. This was in order to carry out coordinated action among
9 the units.
10 The dividing line was known between the brigades. But the
11 responsibility for coordinated action was also there. So the -- each unit
12 knew how far they could go to the left and to the right. The commander of
13 the brigade in Prijedor knew what his tasks were. He didn't need
14 additional orders; however, he prepared his units, at the sign, and the
15 corps commander actually gave the sign to go ahead. But in extraordinary
16 emergency situations, the commander of the brigade was the one who decided
17 alone on the use of the unit. But he would inform the corps commander
18 about that immediately, what he did, and the results that he achieved.
19 Q. All right. Now --
20 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I want to break this down so it
21 may be appropriate to break at this stage.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So we will have a 25-minute break.
23 Is that fine with you?
24 MS. KORNER: Sorry, yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.26 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
3 MS. KORNER:
4 Q. Colonel Selak, I want to go over just a few of the things you said
5 in your long answer. First of all, you said that the military, political
6 and security assessment was made in that area. Who would make that
8 A. The assessment would be made by the corps command, together with
9 the commanders of the subordinated units. Everyone from his own segment.
10 The security organ presented their assessment. The morale organ presented
11 their assessment. The traffic organ their assessment, and so on and so
12 forth so everybody presented their own problems and their abilities to
13 carry out the coming tasks. On that basis, the situation in the area was
14 monitored in the municipalities, et cetera. So then these formations
15 would also be taken into account when assessing units.
16 Q. Right. Now, who would make the political assessment? Can you
17 just explain very briefly, please, what you mean by the political
19 A. The assistant commander for morale and political questions, it was
20 Colonel Vukelic specifically, had regular contacts with the political
21 authorities in the territory. I'm talking about Banja Luka and the entire
22 region. These political issues pertained to the following: What the
23 political situation is like in the area concerned. For example, Banja
24 Luka. He had to draw on the information provided by political
25 authorities, political parties, the security organs, because everybody
1 assessed the political situation as it affected their own line of work.
2 On the basis of such assessments, decisions could be made on taking
3 adequate measures for resolving current problems, adequate measures to
4 resolve these problems.
5 Q. Now, you said that after the discussion, the orders would be
6 issued to the person in charge, in this case Colonel Arsic, and then they
7 would set out what he was to do. But in cases of unexpected, I think, I'm
8 summarising because I haven't got the thing in front of me on the screen,
9 he had the authority to carry out actions without orders, provided he
10 reported it. Is that an accurate summary?
11 A. Yes, precisely. He had full powers to carry out the task that he
12 was assigned by his commander there and then on the basis of those
13 assessments. He had the power and the responsibility to do that.
14 Q. Now, the original orders you said would come from the corps
15 commander. For an operation such as Kozarac, would he have to seek
16 authority from his superiors, that is to say the main staff?
17 A. The corps commander had already been given an assignment from his
18 superior, that is to say General Mladic, and the main staff of the Army of
19 Republika Srpska. The corps commander knew what his tasks were, and when
20 returning from reporting to Pale or from the command post of the main
21 staff, he would call the commanders of the units, he would familiarise
22 them with the task involved and then convey to them his orders in relation
23 to carrying out that particular task.
24 After that, the commanders of units would, on the basis of the
25 task they had, elaborated in -- elaborate in detail the way in which the
1 task would be carried out specifically, according to separate units, and
2 what the responsibility of each and every subordinate unit commander would
3 be in terms of the implementation of that particular task. The timing
4 would be specified, the time when the task would be carried out and also
5 reporting on each and every stage of the implementation of the task
7 Q. All right. This is the next question I want to deal with. How
8 strict was the requirement that the stages of the operation should be
9 reported, the stage of implementation?
10 A. This is a legal requirement too. This is regulated by
11 legislation, that is to say the functioning of military organisations,
12 that subordinates have to report regularly to their superiors on each and
13 every stage of task implementation. Also, on possible problems that they
14 may encounter, and if they need additional information too. Then the
15 commander, the superior commander, would give them additional orders if
16 they would encounter problems, or rather if they would be in a dilemma as
17 to how to resolve these problems. And then such a person would have to
18 consult his commander in order to see how the task would actually be
19 carried out. Commanders of units or rather the corps commander and his
20 subordinates have the duty to tour these units on a daily basis and to
21 have personal insight, and to render necessary assistance to their
23 Q. Now, supposing, during the course of a military operation, part of
24 the forces under the command of the, in this case, Colonel Arsic, had got
25 out of hand and behaved improperly in some form or another, putting it
1 neutrally. Is that something that Colonel Arsic would be obliged to
2 report to his superiors?
3 A. If somebody would disobey or act contrary to the instructions
4 received, the commander of the brigade - I'm now talking about
5 Colonel Arsic specifically - could caution such a person, replace such a
6 person, appoint another officer, but at the same time, he would have to
7 report to the corps commander about the measures taken, and the reasons
8 why he acted the way he did.
9 Q. Now, if the -- it was reported to the corps commander, in this
10 case, General Talic, that during the course of an operation, something
11 again neutrally, had gone wrong, what would his obligation be in respect
12 of reporting to his superiors?
13 A. The corps commander, after having found out about the problem
14 registered at unit level would have to take action straight away. He
15 would send the person in charge to the unit concerned to see whether
16 everything was carried out the way he had decided. At the same time, he
17 reports to his own superior officer - namely, General Mladic or the main
18 staff of the Army of Republika Srpska - as to what measures he took.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, finally, on this aspect, if there was a major
20 combat operation, would General Talic have to be given orders about that
21 major operation by his superiors?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right. We may have to come back when we look at some of the
24 documents to this issue of reporting, but I want to move now, please, to
25 another matter connected with reporting.
1 If a criminal offence occurred, either during civilian life or
2 during a wartime operation or a military operation, what was the duty in
3 respect of action taken, first of all by the officer directly concerned
4 with the matter?
5 A. The officer in charge would have to take measures straight away in
6 order to resolve the problem, or rather according to his own assessment,
7 he could suspend or replace the officer who had violated the rules or had
8 done something wrong. If the problem was a larger-scale one, then the
9 military court would act.
10 Q. Who would be responsible for setting in train, starting up, the
11 military court procedures?
12 A. The corps commander, and his organs would file charges with the
13 military court, explaining the problem in detail, and then they would
14 suggest to the Court for the Court to deal with the problems caused by the
15 individual concerned, why this person had to be suspended from duty or
16 replaced, why another person had to be appointed, another officer, instead
17 of him, and then further proceedings are pursued by the Court itself, in
18 accordance with its own jurisdiction.
19 Q. All right. Now, can I move, then, to a slightly different topic?
20 And that's this: I wanted to ask you about the relationship between the
21 military and the political wings of government, and I want to deal first
22 of all with it at the top level. What was the relationship between
23 those -- the politicians at the republic level and the army at main staff
24 level? In other words, who was -- who was in charge?
25 A. The assembly of Republika Srpska or the assembly of the former
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Yugoslavia was the top authority, the top political authority. The main
2 staff or rather the general staff of the JNA or the main staff of the Army
3 of Republika Srpska was subordinated to the Commander-in-Chief. When
4 speaking of Republika Srpska, that is Mr. Karadzic. He was president of
5 the republic. And the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Republika Srpska.
6 No other authorities had the powers to command and control the
7 army. The hierarchy started from a soldier, all the way up to the
8 Commander-in-Chief. That was the chain of responsibility. But apart from
9 that, no political authorities could control the army.
10 Q. All right.
11 A. Cooperation was inevitable and normal, but no one had the
12 possibility or power to control.
13 Q. All right. I'll come back to that in a moment, but what I want to
14 understand is this: Did the army set its own goals or were those set for
15 the army by the politicians, the political authorities?
16 A. The political authorities set the objectives and tasks that were
17 to be carried out by the military.
18 Q. How those tasks were achieved, was that a matter for the
19 politicians as well or purely a matter for the military?
20 A. The military carried out their tasks, of course relying on the
21 territory involved, that is to say on material and human resources. So
22 there had to be cooperation between the sociopolitical organisations, the
23 economy, and the army, at every point in time, all the way up to the
24 Supreme Command.
25 Q. All right. Now, let's go back to the point you've just made. The
1 Chief of Staff, the Commander-in-Chief of the main staff, was subordinated
2 to the commander -- to the President of the Republika Srpska, in this
3 case, Mr. Karadzic. Before the declaration of Republika Srpska, under the
4 old Yugoslavia, did the same apply in respect of the JNA, the main staff
5 of the JNA, and the president of the old Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
6 A. The President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, I mean I did
7 not read their constitution but if you are talking about the SFRY, then
8 there was a Presidency and the Presidency was the Supreme Commander, the
9 Commander-in-Chief, of the armed forces. The general staff was
10 subordinated to the Presidency of Yugoslavia. So there was an analogy
11 with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The President of the republic
12 was the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
13 Q. All right. Now, can we move down the scale a little, as it were?
14 What was the relationship -- and let's go to the bottom first -- between
15 the municipalities and the army, the local representatives of the army
17 A. The unit commander knew what his tasks were. It was normal that
18 concerning part of the tasks he had, he should familiarise the political
19 leaders in the territory where he lived. I'm talking about, say,
20 Prijedor, and Banja Luka, the brigade commander had regular communications
21 with the head of the municipality, just as I did in Mrkonjic, Jajce, and
22 Donji Vakuf. Every day on a personal basis my commanders were there, they
23 communicated with them, but I personally also communicated with them in
24 order to see how we could help each other in carrying out our tasks.
25 Q. Slow down a little, please, Colonel Selak.
1 A. I keep forgetting myself. I'm really sorry.
2 Q. It's not your fault at all. I know it's difficult. You say you
3 communicated with them, that is the head of the municipalities, in order
4 to see how we could help each other in carrying out our tasks. Can you
5 give us an example of something where you'd have communication.
6 A. Since I had subordinated units in Donji Vakuf, Jajce, Mrkonjic,
7 and Banja Luka. In these three municipalities, Donji Vakuf, Jajce, and
8 Mrkonjic, I went to see what the army could do in order to help the
9 municipality and in which particular fields. In Donji Vakuf, for example,
10 we built roads, repaired bridges. We used their own business sector for
11 helping the unit, that is providing food, construction materials, et
12 cetera, and this was in the interest of the municipalities involved too.
13 So the heads of municipalities wanted the commanders of units to
14 be coming immediately all the time, rather, and informing themselves about
15 what was going on but also it was the managers of companies who had an
16 interest involved. Then the secretariat for defence of the municipality
17 involved would keep records of military conscripts, that were deployed in
18 army units and in Territorial Defence units and that is why I and my
19 subordinate commanders had to go to have personal insight as to these
20 records, whether they were kept up to date, and whether people actually
21 received accurate information in terms of mobilisation. That is to say
22 where they had to report and at what time. So with regard to a great many
23 issues, there were joint activities, normal activities, those that were to
24 be expected, of course.
25 Q. Now, in connection with this, I want you to look, please, at a
1 document which I think demonstrates what you're talking about, about the
2 cooperation. Could you have a look, please, at the document that's been
3 marked 4.854?
4 MS. KORNER: It's a 5th Corps order dated the 14th of May, 1992.
5 We found it. Thanks. And, Your Honour, that will then become P1569.
6 Q. This is an order actually four days before the, as it were, change
7 from the JNA to the VRS, and is the order -- is it signed on behalf of
8 General Talic? Or by General Talic himself? No, I think it's on his
9 behalf, isn't it?
10 A. It was signed on his behalf. I saw this signature often, but
11 right this moment, I cannot remember whose signature it is. But it is a
12 familiar signature.
13 Q. Don't worry, I don't think for these purposes it matters who
14 signed it. Dated the 14th of May, the order, item 1, issues and problems,
15 reinforcement, replenishment, I don't think we need trouble with, or 2.
16 Item 3, "The corps command [assistant commander for civilian structures]
17 shall resolve all issues relating to cooperation" --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Related to cooperation and coordination with civilian structures
20 contained in requests submitted by the units upon receiving approval from
21 the 2nd Military District command." And then item 4, "All requests for
22 assistance, cooperation, and coordination of activities on the ground
23 issued by civilian structures should be forwarded to the corps command,"
24 et cetera.
25 The assistant commander for civilian structures on the
1 14th of May, was who? Was that Colonel Vujnovic?
2 A. It was Colonel Gojko Vujnovic.
3 Q. And does this -- this document, is that one of many documents that
4 relate to the cooperation between the military and civilian structures?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And just to note, in item 5, there is, "A verbal reporting shall
7 be introduced because of combat activities," twice. So that was in
8 addition, was it to the written reports that had to be sent in?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. All right. Thank you.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, did the local brigade commanders actually report to the
13 municipality leaders, the presidents of the municipality?
14 A. Only regarding those matters that they felt the presidents of the
15 municipalities should know something about that. Further than that, there
16 was no need for them to be informed because it wasn't really reporting, it
17 was just informing them. In the army, there is a system of reporting to
18 the superiors, and informing on the level of equals, so there was no need
19 to report but only to inform.
20 Q. All right. Could the civilian authorities, the municipality
21 presidents, give instructions to the army at their level, again to brigade
23 A. Regular contacts were used and it was normal to expect that the
24 aims were the same. The president of the municipality knew of the tasks
25 and the aims of that unit, and naturally, they provided them with
1 information that would be useful in the carrying out of the tasks of that
2 particular unit.
3 Q. Supposing that they felt that something needed to be done, and
4 let's jump ahead to the time of the conflict, that they felt that a
5 particular area, village in their area, I should say, was some kind of a
6 threat. Could they issue instructions to the local brigade to take
7 military action?
8 A. The political bodies of the municipality, as part of their makeup,
9 had armed police forces which could, and were obliged to, resolve minor
10 problems, minor cases, and if they were not able to do that, the police
11 organs, then the assistance of the army would be requested and in that
12 case, the army would intervene and resolve the problem.
13 Q. So it was a request for assistance, rather than an order, to carry
14 out the task?
15 A. Yes. If the commander of the unit assessed that this was not
16 outside of his area of responsibility or his jurisdiction. If it was
17 within his jurisdiction, he would invest an effort to resolve that problem
18 because it was something that touched upon him as well. It could create
19 problems for him as well unless the problem was resolved, because the
20 people from the municipality were part of his unit. So they were directly
21 interested in resolving the problems in the municipality in a lawful and a
22 proper manner.
23 Q. All right. Now, can we move to the -- actually the regional
24 level? This was something I think that had not existed, the regional
25 level of authority, until 1991-92, is that correct, in Banja Luka?
1 A. Before the war, there were no regional associations, not at the
2 level of Yugoslavia. There were republics and provinces, as well as the
3 supreme authorities in Belgrade, the assembly, the federal government, and
4 then as far as the army was concerned, the general staff of the JNA.
5 Q. All right. Once this regional level of authority was
6 established - and let's take it back to establishment of the Autonomous
7 Region of Krajina in the autumn of 1991 - how did that level of authority
8 interact with the corps in Banja Luka? In other words, who would it deal
9 with at the corps? I'm sorry, I should actually go back.
10 Were there dealings between the regional level of authority, and
11 its leader, first of all Kupresanin replaced by Brdjanin when the Crisis
12 Staff came in, and the corps in Banja Luka?
13 A. Yes. There were regular meetings, activities, accords were
14 reached. The officers came to the Crisis Staff, and also from the Crisis
15 Staff they went to certain areas where the units were, where they carried
16 out certain activities.
17 Q. Can we leave aside the Crisis Staff for a moment because again
18 that's a separate topic. Before the establishment of the Crisis Staff in
19 May of 1992, who dealt with the leader of the Autonomous Region of Krajina
20 which up until then was Kupresanin?
21 A. Both the corps commander and his deputy for morale in the unit,
22 that was Colonel Vukelic, contacted him. Or Colonel Gojko Vojinovic, who
23 was appointed deputy commander for implementation of civilian authority
24 within the corps.
25 Q. Did the regional level authorities have any power, as the republic
1 level did, to remove officers?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Could the regional level of authority give orders to the military?
4 A. No.
5 Q. What was the relationship, then, between the regional level of
6 authority and the corps? How did that work?
7 A. The regional organ of authority had information about the social,
8 political and economic events in the zone, in the territory covered by
9 that regional organ. At the same time, it was of interest for the army in
10 that region, in that zone, to have life continue as normal within the law
11 and the legal institutions and so on. So the army used the capacities of
12 the territory which were there before that then, but they always reached
13 agreements with the authorised institutions of the regional organs. They
14 informed them about the tasks, the activities, and the use of the
15 resources of the territory for the needs of the army, and the other way
16 around. The army intervened in a certain area if there was a problem, so
17 they carried out such tasks, the army intervened, but the regional organ
18 was not. The political organ could not issue an order or an instruction
19 to the army to carry out a certain task. The strategic aims were the same
20 but the chain of command was well known.
21 Q. All right. Now, what was the importance of there being a good
22 relationship between, let's stick to the regional for a moment, the
23 politicians in the region and the army?
24 A. It was very important, because manning the army units was
25 conducted from that area, the families of those people lived in that area,
1 the economy worked both for the needs of the army, the army used those
2 economic resources. So it was important for those relationships to be
3 coordinated, harmonious, and to mutual benefit. That is why it was
4 essential to reach agreements and that was something that occurred very
5 frequently. And if any problem cropped up, it would be resolved jointly,
6 either in the corps command or in the offices of the institution.
7 Q. If a leader, a local leader, either at political or regional
8 level, did not agree with the methods used by the army to carry out a goal
9 that was agreed upon, what steps could he take to deal with that? What
10 could he actually do?
11 A. The local organ, if they disagreed with any of the activities of
12 the unit which was located in his area, was only able to request, but
13 according to the hierarchy, so going up from him through the republican
14 authorities to the government of Republika Srpska or even up to the
15 president, Karadzic.
16 Q. Yes. To request what? What could he request?
17 A. They could request that the problem be resolved, the problem that
18 this political institution felt should be resolved by the army and no
19 agreement could be reached with the army, with the commander. The
20 commander was obliged to inform the -- his superior commander about it.
21 So if it was the commander of the brigade he should have informed the
22 corps commander about that. And if the corps commander ordered him to do
23 that in accordance with the agreement that they had reached with the
24 sociopolitical organ, then they were obliged to carry out that task.
25 It could also have come from the assembly, from President
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Karadzic, down to the corps through Mladic, and then be passed down to the
2 brigade. So in reverse order, this order could have been issued to the
3 brigade to do as they were supposed to. The local commander could have
4 carried that out if he felt that that was in his jurisdiction. If not, he
5 was obliged to refuse such a request.
6 Q. All right. Now, dealing specifically with the period between
7 April 1992 and September 1992, were you ever aware of any disagreement
8 between the army and the authorities, the regional authorities, in Banja
9 Luka as to actions that were being taken by the army?
10 A. I didn't hear about any such case, but quite the reverse. I only
11 heard praise regarding this two-way informing and also there was gratitude
12 to the army for the achieved successes in the achievement of their tasks.
13 I haven't heard of any disputes, at least I cannot remember any right
14 now. There was a problem in Teslic later, but I think that -- there was a
15 problem in Teslic in late 1992.
16 Q. Yes. I want to deal as separate topics, your knowledge of and
17 dealings with Talic and Brdjanin, but from your understanding of what was
18 happening in that period of time, what was their relationship?
19 A. The relationship between General Talic and Mr. Brdjanin was always
20 fair. They met often, exchanged information. I did not attend their
21 joint meetings. Perhaps only on one occasion. But they were very
22 regular, and we were satisfied with the relationship between the army and
23 the staff headed by Mr. Brdjanin.
24 Q. Did there seem to be any divergence between the two of them in the
25 political goals that the SDS and the VRS were seeking to achieve?
1 A. I could never reach such a conclusion, that there was any
2 misunderstanding. Probably in the course of agreeing and coordinating
3 their positions, perhaps there was some things that were not fully
4 expressed, but in the media, in the public, and based on my contacts with
5 people, I could never come to the conclusion that there was any divergence
6 in any part or time frame while they were working together.
7 Q. And in general terms, as between the SDS and the VRS, leaving
8 aside personalities at the moment, that is Brdjanin and Talic, did there
9 appear that they wanted separate goals, separate ideas, in respect of a
10 Serbian state?
11 A. The Party of Democratic Action, the SDS party, was in power. The
12 president of the republic was the president of the SDS. So it was a
13 common objective to achieve, to create, the state of Republika Srpska.
14 And if that was a common goal, then they can only discuss how to reach
15 that goal in the fastest and easiest possible way. There could only have
16 been a divergence in the approach of how to achieve those goals, but the
17 goals were common goals and there was no dilemma about that, nor was there
18 any obstruction regarding that.
19 Q. All right. Thank you. I now want to start dealing, please, with
20 the events from the beginning of the war in Croatia. I'm going to be
21 asking you to look at a number of documents but in particular, I want to
22 establish a document that you yourself kept. Did you keep an official
23 notebook during this period?
24 A. Yes. There was an official, we used to call it the official
25 notebook or the working notebook, log, and at the end, this log was
1 certified with a stamp. It had its number and this document was an
2 official document for court purposes. This is where all the tasks were
3 noted down, who was given such tasks, and this was a document that was a
4 valid document acceptable to a court. So it was an official document in
5 the entire territory of the former Yugoslavia.
6 Q. Would you make notes at the time that you attended meetings or
7 subsequently, or a mixture of both methods?
8 A. No. Throughout my military career, carried those official
9 notebooks and I would note down the moment that I was issued a task or if
10 I issued a task, so I would note down in this official notebook the tasks
11 that I was supposed to carry out. I personally wrote down in this
12 notebook each official -- each officer was obliged to keep such a notebook
13 for himself. The office -- or an officer could not enter the office of a
14 superior officer without this notebook on him.
15 Q. If you were at a meeting -- you say you've noted do you know if
16 you were issued a task. If you were at a meeting and you were being
17 addressed by the corps commander, would you write the notes of what was
18 being said at the time or would you write it after the meeting had
20 A. No. I would write it as he was speaking, not only the commander
21 but also when my subordinate was speaking I would be noting it down. So
22 this helped me so that I could monitor myself while performing a task
23 given to me, as well as monitor the task issued to my subordinate.
24 Q. Right. And I think you kept your work -- official notebook from
25 the period -- when I say you kept, you retained in your possession from
1 the period December 1991 until you left in June of 1992. Is that right?
2 A. Yes. And I have it here in my briefcase.
3 Q. All right.
4 MS. KORNER: Now, Your Honour, Colonel Selak has brought the
5 original, in fact, it's been supplied to us sometime ago, the original is
6 here, we've kept it safe for him. I don't want to make it an exhibit,
7 because otherwise he won't be able to take it back. And I think the best
8 thing is if he has the same photocopy that is part of our exhibit, and if
9 necessary, he can go back to his original notebook.
10 I'm afraid one of the problems as I discovered is that because,
11 with respect to him, occasionally his writing is not the easiest to read
12 for the translator, there are occasional errors that have turned up in the
13 English translation. And I'm afraid it's because of his writing. So we
14 may have to do some correcting in some of the editions.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, would you agree to that?
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, of course, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you. So, Mr. Selak, what's going to
18 happen is this: You have your original with you, which you, of course --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: -- will make use of and consult in the course of your
21 testimony. However, you're also going to be provided with the photocopy
22 that we have of that original, and what I ask you is to ensure that when
23 you are referred to a specific part of that journal or that logbook, what
24 has been copied is exactly a replica of what you have. And if in the
25 course of the interpretation you notice that there is some divergence,
1 please point it out to us, because probably we will need your help
2 absolutely in this area. The reason, it seems, is your handwriting.
3 Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm only wondering why he's being asked to use an
5 inferior photocopy to his actual original. Why wouldn't he use his actual
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I want to make sure that he has the photocopy just
8 in case there have been markings added to the photocopy, et cetera. I
9 just want to make sure that the photocopy is a faithful reproduction of
10 the original, and I'm giving him that opportunity as he goes, he just has
11 a glance. And if there is a divergence, he will let us know.
12 MS. KORNER: The only reason for suggesting the photocopy was
13 this: That I know Your Honour is in the habit from time to time of
14 looking at the original. His notebook is not paginated like the
15 photocopies. That's the only reason. But I think if the colonel takes his
16 notebook out --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway we will try to render his life as easy as
19 MS. KORNER: Before we get to that, Your Honour, there are in
20 fact, a couple of questions that relate to the period before. So it's all
21 right, Mr. Usher, you needn't trouble with it. Thank you.
22 Q. Now, the war in Croatia broke out, as we know, in 1991, the middle
23 of 1991. Was there any change in the way you were treated after the war
24 with Croatia broke out, any particular example of a difference? Don't
25 worry about your diary for a moment. I want to stick to 1991, before
2 A. Could you please repeat your question?
3 Q. All right. Let's try and direct your mind to it because it's a
4 rather too general question, I feel. Would you attend meetings with the
5 corps commander on a regular basis, before September, 1991?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did they begin normally at around 7.00 in the morning?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was there any change in those meetings, I'm sorry, in your
10 attendance at those meetings after September, 1991?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And what was that change?
13 A. In September, I was subordinated to the command of the 1st
14 military district in Belgrade, just like General Uzelac. My base was
15 subordinated to the command of the 1st military district in Belgrade.
16 General Uzelac asked me to issue weapons to some Territorial Defence
17 headquarters, municipal ones, which did not legally implement the call-up
18 procedure of the TO units, which they were supposed to, under the law.
19 Q. Just pause, sorry, Colonel Selak. That is something I want to ask
20 you about, but at the moment, I was just asking you whether there was a
21 change in the -- your attendance at meetings held after September, 1991.
22 Was there a change in the time that you were asked to attend?
23 A. Yes. Before that, I regularly attended the meetings at the office
24 of the corps commander at 7.00 a.m. in the morning. After that, I was
25 invited to meetings at the corps command at 7.30. The corps commander had
1 already covered some questions with his subordinates, which I did not hear
2 and I did not know what had been discussed.
3 Q. I am coming back to what you were telling us about the arming, but
4 was there a change generally in the attitude to officers of Croatian or
5 Bosniak nationality?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And how -- what was the attitude? What was the change in
9 A. There was distrust in relation to them.
10 Q. Was that in relation to both Croatian and Bosniak?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. One can understand why Croatian, but why Bosniak?
13 A. Because Bosniaks -- there was a referendum for the independence of
14 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
15 Q. Yes, that's in 1992. Can we just stick to 1991.
16 A. In 1991, the units from the Banja Luka Corps went to the territory
17 of the Republic of Croatia for armed operations, and the logistics base,
18 my base in Banja Luka, covered all of those units regarding logistics, the
19 ones that were on the border with the Republic of Croatia.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop. I'll try to direct the witness to the
22 question that you were asking of him. Ms. Korner referred you
23 specifically to a particular point in time, and that's September of 1991,
24 relatively speaking we are talking of the commencement of the war in
25 Croatia. And you have stated, you have confirmed, upon a question --
1 answering a question that she put to you that the attitude inside the army
2 towards Croatians and Bosniaks did change at this particular point in
3 time. Ms. Korner told you, "I'm not surprised at all that there was a
4 change this attitude directed towards Croats because obviously there was a
5 war going on in Croatia.
6 But she wants some kind of an elucidation from you why the
7 attitude inside the army changed also with regard to Bosniaks when there
8 was no conflict as yet in Bosnia, or a conflict which involved the
9 Bosniaks. This is what you are being asked to explain. And after that,
10 there will be further questions.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bosniaks did not respond to the
12 mobilisation of wartime units that took part in the combat activities in
13 Croatia. That is one of the reasons why there was this distrust, and why
14 there were problems vis-a-vis the Bosniaks.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
16 Ms. Korner.
17 MS. KORNER:
18 Q. What did you understand was the reason for your exclusion from the
19 early part of these meetings with the corps commander? In other words,
20 that you weren't told to come until 7.30 whereas the meeting actually
21 started at 7.00?
22 A. I was a bit hurt by this personally, but it was my assessment that
23 they discussed the tasks of the corps within its area of responsibility,
24 and that I, as a Bosniak, should not hear that.
25 Q. Right. Now, you were starting to tell us about an incident
1 involving a request by General Uzelac to supply arms to a unit, and I want
2 to deal with arms, the supplying of arms, as a topic now. Can you -- you
3 told us, I think, that you were requested to supply weapons to -- I'm
4 afraid I've lost the part of the transcript --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Some territorial forces.
6 MS. KORNER: Yes, right.
7 Q. Can you explain about this incident, please? And then I want you
8 to look at some other aspects of this very topic.
9 A. General Uzelac, or rather the corps command asked me to issue
10 weapons and other military equipment for Territorial Defence units.
11 Q. And where were those Territorial Defence units?
12 A. This was Mrkonjic, Sipovo, Jajce. I think that one brigade was
13 also at Kozara. I insisted that mobilisation be declared and that the
14 legal requirements be met in terms of the issuing of these weapons.
15 However, that was refused, and then I refused to carry out this order and
16 that is how we clashed.
17 Q. All right. Now I think we need at this stage to ask you to
18 explain what you meant. First of all, in order for a Territorial Defence
19 unit to be issued with weapons, what had to happen?
20 A. The Territorial Defence was organised at the level of the
21 republics. According to the law, in order for a unit to be mobilised and
22 in order to have war equipment issued to it, from the warehouses, there
23 had to be regular exercises in peace time.
24 In a wartime situation and on the eve of a war, the declaration of
25 mobilisation by the authority in charge had to be obtained. And that was
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the legal requirement for issuing weapons and other equipment for the
2 Territorial Defence unit concerned.
3 Q. So each -- if there was a general order for mobilisation, there
4 still had to be a local order to mobilise the particular unit of the TO?
5 A. Yes. Every unit had to have its own. There is the Territorial
6 Defence staff of a particular unit that would declare mobilisation and all
7 of this is based on the superior authorities of the republic, and later
8 on, since the TO took all the weapons from the JNA warehouses, then the
9 federal authorities as well.
10 Q. There, the three municipalities that you talked about, Mrkonjic,
11 which I think it's Mrkonjic Grad, what was the majority -- I'm sorry, what
12 was the majority of the inhabitants were of what nationality in that
14 A. In Sipovo and Mrkonjic, there was a majority Serb population. In
15 Jajce, there was a majority Bosniak or rather the Bosniak and the Serb
16 populations were more or less equal. I'm not quite sure, but perhaps the
17 Bosniaks had a 2 per cent majority in Jajce.
18 Q. I'm going to ask you to look at some documents now in relation to
19 this arming but just generally speaking did a pattern emerge, as far as
20 you were concerned, in respect of who was being given arms by the JNA?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And who was being -- in general terms and we will look at
23 specifics in a moment, who was being supplied with weapons?
24 A. All mobilised units that were legally mobilised obtained weapons
25 from their wartime warehouses. These were called the warehouses of the
1 wartime reserves of the unit concerned. So it's not only weapons. It's
2 ammunition and other military equipment, radio transmitters, vehicles, and
3 so on and so forth.
4 Q. All right. Can we just look at some documents, then, please?
5 First of all, can you be given what was Exhibit 163 in Tadic, it's the
6 document 00465065. And it will become P1570.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's written in the right-hand corner
8 Exhibit 163. We will put the English up on the ELMO.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MS. KORNER: This will be Exhibit whatever Your Honour just said,
12 1570. Thank you.
13 Q. Now, this appears to be an order, does it, from somebody called
14 Colonel Petrovic? You've been given? I'm sorry, what have you been
15 given? Can I --
16 A. No. I got General Kukanjac's commander of the 2nd Military
18 Q. Did can I --
19 A. Yes, yes, here it is, here it is. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. General Petrovic was whom?
21 A. Colonel -- Colonel Petrovic. Before the war, he was head of the
22 technical service and the commander of the 5th military district in
23 Zagreb. May I finish?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. When the command of the 5th military district withdrew from Zagreb
1 via Bosnia to Sarajevo, Colonel Petrovic as a technical officer was
2 deployed in the technical service of the command of the 2nd Military
3 District in Sarajevo.
4 Q. All right. Now, does this order, it's an order to the logistics
5 takes base command of the 5th Corps, was that your base command?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you see this document at the time?
8 A. I know about this document. I did not receive it. It was my
9 assistant for logistics, Lieutenant Colonel Stamjenkovic [phoen] that
10 received it.
11 Q. This appears to be a request from ammunition and weaponry to
12 reinforce the 3rd Territorial Defence detachment of the 10th Partisan
13 division. Now, what was that?
14 A. The 10th Partisan Division, whose commander was Colonel Radosevic
15 covered the territory of western Bosnia. At that time, the corps command
16 was not my superior; it was the army command in Sarajevo that was. All
17 this ammunition was issued for this unit. There was no problem whatsoever
18 with having it issued.
19 Q. Right. And that unit was of what nationality? Or the soldiers of
20 that unit?
21 A. I think since this was already the month of February, that
22 99 per cent of them were Serbs. Perhaps even 100 per cent.
23 Q. Okay. But this, as far as you were concerned, was a perfectly
24 proper order and proper supply of ammunition and weaponry?
25 A. Yes. All the ammunition was issued and it can be seen in this
1 document that there is a sign, a mark, on the right-hand side showing that
2 this had been carried out. You can see it here.
3 Q. Right. I want to look at some further documents, please. Could
4 you have next the document which is got the number 4.2160? Dated March --
5 it says March of 1992 on it. It's a report or conclusions rather, of the
6 assessment of the situation.
7 MS. KORNER: Actually, Your Honour, I'm sorry, although in time --
8 may I stop that? Although in time it is the next document, I think
9 because it covers a number of areas, I'd better deal with some of -- that
10 we haven't touched on yet. Can I leave that in, I'm sorry. Can you now
11 have, please, the document that was Exhibit 166 in Tadic? And it's a
12 document dated the 24th of April, 1992, which will be P1571.
13 Q. Again, this is a document I think you saw, indeed you dealt with
14 it in Tadic.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. It's a document for the 24th of April, 1992, from the command of
17 the 2nd military area, to -- who is it actually addressed to? Is it
18 addressed to the federal secretariat for national defence?
19 A. Yes. It was sent by the command of the 2nd Military District as
20 very urgent to the federal secretariat for national defence, to the
21 technical department thereof.
22 Q. And we see that it states that, "From the Ministry of Internal
23 Affairs of the Serbian Republic of BiH, we received a demand, top secret,
24 for giving out material and technical assets to be used by the special
25 militia unit from the centre for security service of Banja Luka." That's
1 the CSB. And then we see a quite staggering list of requirements starting
2 with helicopters to the -- at the top, and finishing off with medical
4 Now, first of all, what was the special unit, special purpose
5 militia unit?
6 A. That is the special purpose militia unit for carrying out specific
7 tasks, like mapping out the terrain, bringing people into custody. The
8 special unit was not there in peace time. It was established only for
9 wartime purposes. In addition to the regular police, they asked for this
10 special purpose unit to carry out tasks that they were ordered to carry
11 out by the political authorities. They were not under the jurisdiction of
12 the military.
13 Q. Right. Was a request like this -- or in normal circumstances,
14 would the military supply this sort of equipment to the police?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Did you ever in your - however many years of service - ever see
17 such a request?
18 A. This is the first request I have seen in my military career.
19 Q. Was there any regulation that you're aware of that allowed the
20 military to supply to a special police battalion or militia unit, this
21 type of weaponry?
22 A. This was not the regular and legal way to arm the police, the
23 special police unit. I see on page 4, where General Kukanjac, recalls the
24 order of the chief of general staff of the armed forces of the SFRY and he
25 refers to a number.
1 Q. Yes, there must be an error I think in the date there. It should
2 be, it says we are reporting the demand in accordance with the order of
3 the armed forces blah, blah, blah. It should, I think, be 1991, should it
4 not, if we look --
5 A. Yes, no problem whatsoever. This is April 1992. And this is
6 orders by the chief of general staff, so no problem. Quite certainly,
7 this is 1991.
8 Q. Right.
9 A. I issued equipment that the base had for meeting the needs of this
10 police unit.
11 Q. Right. Thank you. Now, can you look, please, at a document which
12 I think may help us to understand what was happening? Could you look,
13 please, at a document of the 31st of August, 1992? It was attachment 7 to
14 the second statement, I think. And it's dated the 31st of August. Yes,
15 July -- it's attached to the statement of July 2000. Thank you. I said
16 second --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: This will be number?
18 MS. KORNER: 1573, I think. 2?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, 72.
20 MS. KORNER: This is headed:
21 "1st Krajina Corps command, strictly confidential, 31st of August,
22 1992. Inventory of weapons issued to, Republika Srpska army, in response
23 to your strictly confidential order of the 20th of August, we hereby
24 attach the inventory of weapons and equipment issued to units and TO
25 staffs; in other words, to structures outside the armed forces since the
1 beginning of the activities, aimed at protecting Serbs from genocide in
2 Croatia and the Serbian Republic. The weapons and equipment listed here
3 were issued against a receipt and still figure on the ledgers of the 1st
4 Krajina Corps units that actually issued the weapons. Please inform us of
5 your opinion on this matter."
6 Now, what do the words, "To structures outside the armed forces"
8 A. Structures outside the armed forces are paramilitary units.
9 Weapons were given to the Serb population at their homes. Except for the
10 paramilitary formations, people received weapons at their homes as well
11 during the night, in smaller towns and villages where there was a mixed
12 population, ethnically speaking, houses were marked using black paint on
13 walls showing that that would be a Serb house -- that that was a Serb
14 house, rather. I personally saw that in Derventa.
15 Q. So that means outside the -- even the members of the Territorial
16 Defence who had been mobilised to serve, does it?
17 A. It says here, "Territorial Defence staffs of Municipalities."
18 Q. Let's have a look at the list. Before we look at the list,
19 perhaps we should just -- this is going back to the time of the war in
20 Croatia. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All right. Can we now have a look, please, at the list that's
23 attached. Is what is shown under the words, "We can see the STO, the
24 territorial organisation," we see the various areas that it refers to. Is
25 that correct?
1 A. Yes, yes. But may I say the following? Okucani is in Croatia.
2 Kostajnica is in Croatia. Glina in Croatia. Sisak in Croatia. Dvor Na
3 Uni in Croatia. Prnjavor is Bosnia-Herzegovina, Western Bosnia. Petrinja
4 is in Croatia. Bosanska Krupa in Bosnia. Omarska in Bosnia. Sanski Most
5 in Bosnia. Laktasi, Celinac, Bosanska Gradiska, Banja Luka. SUP, Banja
6 Luka. The antisabotage unit, Banja Luka, and the Territorial Defence
7 staff of Western Slavonia in Croatia. Bosanski Novi in Bosnia, Laktasi,
8 and other beneficiaries. JNA, I don't know who this is.
9 Q. All right. You say that one of the things that this document
10 shows is that the -- there was an issuing of weapons to paramilitaries,
11 persons outside the mobilised units or the regular units. Why do you say
13 A. I say that because the units of the corps and the Territorial
14 Defence had been mobilised. They had their own weapons and all the
15 equipment and ammunition. This was issued apart from that. I mentioned
16 the staff of Western Slavonia. I know that they asked me for weapons for
17 2.500 men and official figures show that they had a personnel of 500 men.
18 I did not issue these weapons because it was my assessment that this meant
19 arming the people or paramilitary formations. As for this particular
20 survey, all of this was issued. It was not the base that issued it. It
21 was the corps units that did.
22 Q. Can we take, for example, the -- look at the ethnicity of some of
23 these municipalities --
24 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I see the time. Perhaps --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I was going to draw your attention. We will have
1 another break for 25 minutes. Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, for the purposes of the record, I
5 should say that Your Honours will see that I've been joined by Ms.
6 Sutherland who finds matters more interesting here than in the Stakic case
7 at present.
8 Q. Colonel Selak, we were dealing with this particular document
9 before the break, and I think we need to go through it a little carefully
10 but first of all can we look at the ethnicities of some of these
11 municipalities that are mentioned? Leaving aside the ones in Croatia,
12 Prnjavor, was that a largely Serb-dominated municipality?
13 A. Yes. All except Sanski Most where it was about 50 per cent and
14 50 per cent of Serbs and Muslims, that ratio.
15 Q. What about Prijedor, which I think also appears?
16 A. Prijedor also and Bosanska Gradiska, although the Serbs were in a
17 majority in Bosanska Gradiska but it was a small percentage.
18 Q. If you don't know the answer to this, say so because we can get
19 the evidence from elsewhere. In respect of Prijedor, was the head of the
20 TO, what ethnicity was the head of the TO? As I say, if you don't know
21 the answer, say so straight away.
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. All right.
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. What about in Prijedor? Or did I say Prijedor? No, Sanski Most,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I'm sorry.
2 A. I don't know about Sanski Most either.
3 Q. All right. Now, the list is headed, "Weapons and equipment issued
4 to the TO staffs and units of the 5th Corps." Let's just concentrate on
5 the TO staffs. That seems to conflict to some extent with the wording of
6 the original letter issued to units and TO staffs, in other words to
7 structures outside the armed forces.
8 Now, you've told us that this document reflects weapons being
9 issued to individuals as opposed to lawfully to the TOs. Why do you say
11 A. Because when it's issued to individuals, it's illegal, because a
12 person has to get them from the authorised institution. I never issued
13 weapons to an individual from the command. The procedure how a person is
14 armed is well known, who signs for it, and whether this person has the
15 right to carry a weapon also.
16 Q. Right. But why shouldn't this be a list of weapons and equipment
17 issued to TO staff, leave aside again units, of the 5th Corps, as a legal
18 matter? Why is it to individuals and not to the TO staffs themselves?
19 A. I know that retired officers and other persons received weapons
20 from units of the corps, allegedly in order to guard different facilities
21 and buildings and so on. I think that there was a document about that,
22 but it's not here right now, where it is documented --
23 Q. Yes, don't worry, Colonel Selak, we will come back. I know the
24 document you're referring to and we will be looking at that. But at the
25 moment all I want to know is if we look at this list, which apparently was
1 taken out of the ledgers of the 1st Krajina Corps, how are you able to say
2 that this was -- looking at this list, this shows an unlawful distribution
3 of weaponry?
4 A. It is the 31st of August, 1992, here, and in the text, in the act
5 itself, it says, "Since the beginning of the activities on the protection
6 of Serbian people from genocide in Croatia and the Serb republic."
7 Staffs of the TO do not need to have such a large number of
8 weapons because their TO units have been mobilised and armed. So the
9 staff only has a few -- a couple of people, four or five people, so I
10 don't see the need for such a number of weapons and equipment to be given
11 to the staffs. It must mean that they were issuing that outside of the TO
12 units so that must have been to paramilitary units or giving it to the
13 population in their homes.
14 Q. Right. Okay. I think we are getting there. So this was issued
15 to the staff - that's what it talks about - and not the TO unit itself?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And in the light of what you know to be the number of a staff, if
18 we look at the amount of weaponry that was handed out, for example if we
19 look at Prnjavor, 121 rifles, if we go to Bosanska Krupa, 905?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And Bosanska Krupa as well, 460 semi-automatic rifles and so on
22 and so forth.
23 A. Yes. That's right.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. If I can tell you, the Okucani staff in Croatia issued 111
1 pistols - that was distributed to the population - and semi-automatic
2 rifles, 900 of them. So this is illogical.
3 Q. I follow you. Were you aware of any of this distribution going
4 back, obviously, to 1991?
5 A. No.
6 Q. As the person in charge of logistics for the 5th Corps, then
7 becoming the 1st corps, should you have been aware that this had been
8 going on?
9 A. It was normal for the corps to request the logistics base to
10 request ammunition, weapons, and other equipment from the logistics unit,
11 in order to resupply their units. So the base was the one who should have
12 resupplied these units and not the corps. They were not subordinated to
13 the corps because this is a territorial organisation. So they had to use
14 other channels and use other ways to get the weapons and the equipment.
15 That is why I have the figure for the corps in my documentation here.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the number.
17 A. That is precisely the number that is being indicated that the
18 weapons and the equipment went to.
19 MS. KORNER:
20 Q. Could you just repeat the number, Colonel Selak, because the
21 interpreter didn't catch it.
22 A. In my official note, notebook, I have put down the information
23 that the corps numbered 100.000 people, which is not logical at all and
24 it's not correct. And these -- this composition was reported as part of
25 their number, and others as well.
1 Q. I'm sorry, I think you've lost all of us.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so too.
3 MS. KORNER: I'm afraid because we have to go back to the figure.
4 Q. You say the official number of the corps that you've recorded was
5 100.000 people?
6 A. If necessary, I will find it if my notebook, the place where I
7 wrote that down, where there are 98.000 and a couple of hundred
8 mentioned. That's the figure.
9 Q. Yes. Don't worry about that, we are going to come to that because
10 we are going to through your notebook logically. What we are trying to
11 understand is what you're saying here in relation to the size of the corps
12 and this document?
13 A. Yes. This document says that the corps also included these people
14 as part of its number of men.
15 Q. Well, what it actually says is that these were structures outside
16 the armed forces.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I see, yes. Units of the -- yes, quite right, yes?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And in fact, if I may butt in and perhaps you could
20 direct -- address the point by putting a further question, is that,
21 referring to the apparent conflict, that there is or divergence that there
22 is between the letter, the memo, sent by General Talic, which is the first
23 page of this exhibit, and the list, how can one come to possibly be able
24 to distinguish which of these weapons and equipment went to TO staffs and
25 which went to units of the 5th Corps? Because if there is no way of
1 distinguishing between the two, we have a problem. Plus the penultimate
2 column, other users, JNA, Yugoslav People's Army, perhaps he could address
3 that and explain whether that is the units of the 5th Corps. I don't
4 know. I mean it's --
5 MS. KORNER: This is clear, Your Honour and Colonel Selak can
7 Q. Colonel Selak, you heard the Judge's question. Of these columns
8 we can see which are the units of the 5th Corps that are referred to?
9 A. The other JNA users, I don't know which users he meant. The 5th
10 corps or the 1st Krajina Corps, regarding that, it is quite known
11 precisely how much weapons and how much supplies they should receive, plus
12 5 per cent over that. So the -- there are records of weapons in other
13 places. So these weapons were actually given to these units. I don't
14 know what they mean by "other users." Possibly they could only mean
15 retired officers.
16 Q. Yes. But it says, "Units of the 5th Corps." Are there any
17 columns here that relate or could relate, given what you say that this was
18 going to paramilitaries or individuals --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: You can go direct, Ms. Korner, by referring him to
20 particular columns. I can do that actually.
21 If you go third, sixth, eighth, column where there is brigade and
22 then TO, Bosanska Krupa, according to you, what does that mean? These
23 weapons and equipment were delivered to who? Why do we have brigada
24 here -- brigade?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Brigades, units, that's one
1 brigade. That is the brigade of the Bosanska Krupa TO which probably was
2 called up mobilised later, and weapons were issued to that brigade.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. If you go to the column that says -- I think?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Before that there is another one again but we want
7 to make sure that it is just Territorial Defence units or whether it's
8 something mixed or separate.
9 MS. KORNER: Yes. If you --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Two columns before the Banja Luka one, Ms. Korner,
11 OK, distribute, CTS, TOB, and then Banja Luka. And then there is another
12 one, Banja Luka, which is two columns further on.
13 MS. KORNER: Yeah, I don't want to give evidence.
14 Q. Can you deal, first of all, with the column after Bosanska
15 Gradiska and I think it's easier on the B/C/S than this one. What does
16 that relate to?
17 A. That is the regional staff of the TO in Banja Luka. So this 63,
18 30, and 408 helmets were issued to them.
19 Q. All right. The next we get the SUP Banja Luka, which is the
20 police, I think?
21 A. The secretariat for internal affairs, Banja Luka, that is the
22 police, and that is why there are pistols , and also the sabotage
23 detachment of Banja Luka, which is also not part of the 5th Corps. It was
24 under the jurisdiction of the SUP. It received the rest of this equipment
25 that -- and you can see that from this list.
1 Q. All right. So in fact, none of these columns other than "other
2 users, JNA," could even remotely be units of the 5th Corps? They are all
3 Territorial Defence?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All right.
6 MS. KORNER: Does that represent, Your Honour? All right.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: What I want to make sure is that we do have the
8 correct translation and the title. In other words, perhaps the witness
9 can read the title and we can have a current, running translation of it,
10 to make sure that it is "and the units of the 5th Corps." Do you
11 understand me, Mr. Selak?
12 MS. KORNER:
13 Q. Colonel Selak could you just read out --
14 A. Yes, yes. It's clear to me. This is a report of the command of
15 the 1st Krajina Corps.
16 Q. Yes, stop, don't worry. Could you just read out. I'm sorry,
17 you've misunderstood, Colonel Selak. Could you just read on the sheet
18 containing the figures, could you read out so that we can get a
19 translation, what it says.
20 A. Oh, to read the columns?
21 Q. No, just read the headnote.
22 A. Yes. "Review of weapons and equipment issued to the staffs and
23 units of the TO from the 5th Corps."
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But it makes it different.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please. Here, it states that
1 "Weapons and equipment was issued from the corps, from the corps
2 reserves." They are talking about the equipment here.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The translation that we have is exactly the
4 opposite. It's to and not from.
5 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour is absolutely right. It's the way
6 it's -- I'm afraid it's going to come up in another document which I
7 picked up as well that we've had the translation shows it the opposite.
8 Thank you very much, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: We have cleared that up.
10 MS. KORNER: Okay.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And this is confirmed by the
12 accompanying document. It confirms that it was -- the equipment and the
13 weapons were issued from the corps.
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. Right.
16 A. Had it been issued by the base, then it would state that it was
17 issued by the base and there would be the numbers 99 there.
18 Q. Okay. Can we just summarise, if we can, Colonel Selak, before we
19 put this document away what it actually shows? I think you've explained
20 largely. First of all, it shows issuing from units, now that we've got
21 it, from units of the 5th Corps, weapons to certain TO staff, or
22 allegedly, I should say.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Because it doesn't include -- this list doesn't include all the TO
25 areas that came within the 5th or 1st Krajina Corps, does it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. For example, Jajce came within, as we know, came within the area
3 of responsibility and they didn't receive anything?
4 A. Yes. Jajce and Donji Vakuf and other municipalities did not
5 receive anything. I don't know why. But perhaps the ethnic composition
6 of the population also was a factor in that.
7 Q. Then the reason -- let's get this absolutely clear, the reason, as
8 expressed in the letter, is that the -- the reason for issuing this was to
9 protect activities aimed at protecting Serbs from genocide?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And because the size of the TO staffs was very small, in your
12 view, this was a distribution of weapons illegally to individuals?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Yeah.
15 A. But the corps is informing, based on the order of the main staff
16 of Republika Srpska, it's reporting on what was issued, the staff asked
17 for the same information from other corps. So this is a report based on
18 an order issued by the main staff of Republika Srpska. So they had orders
19 to issue this equipment.
20 Q. Right, yes. Thank you. Now, can we look, please, before we look
21 at the major, the big document, at one further document in relation to
22 this matter? Could you be shown, please, document 4.593? It's dated the
23 14th of March. It's a little earlier. Quite a lot earlier, actually.
24 And it will be Exhibit P1573.
25 Now, it's dated 14th of March, "Issue of weapons and ammunitions
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 to the Banja Luka municipal Territorial Defence staff command, on the
2 basis of genuine need for the issue of weapons and ammunitions and with
3 the consent of the Banja Luka Territorial Defence staff, I hereby order
4 that the following weapons shall be issued to the Territorial Defence unit
5 in the village of Karanovac." And there we see the list. And then, "The
6 commander of the TO opportunity staff Sergeant Mladjo Vranes shall receive
7 the weapons, two combat sets of ammunition," and so on and so forth. And
8 it's signed by your assistant commander for logistics.
9 First, were you aware in March of 1992 that such an order had been
11 A. No.
12 Q. Should you have been made aware of this?
13 A. According to the rear support schedule, they should have contacted
14 the base and not the corps.
15 Q. All right. First of all, I want to come on to that, but in the
16 event that what was -- something extraordinary was happening like this,
17 should your assistant commander have made you aware of this request?
18 A. He should have consulted me and there would have been no problems,
19 because I see here that the district staff of the TO of Banja Luka knew
20 about it, even though the corps did not have these weapons, the base did,
21 and the base would have issued them, but I -- I, however, didn't know
22 anything about this. Nobody informed me about it.
23 Q. Now, this issuing of weapons to the unit in Karanovac, first of
24 all what ethnicity was Karanovac, or what nationality were the
25 inhabitants, I should say?
1 A. The local commune of Karanovac is up river from Vrbas, upstream of
2 the River Vrbas, and it's 5 kilometres away from Banja Luka, and the
3 majority of the population is Serb, 100 per cent.
4 Q. The request for weapons to be issued to the Territorial Defence
5 unit, I think you've told us, but can you just say it again, to where
6 should it have gone?
7 A. It should have gone through regular channels in accordance with
8 the regulations of rear supply towards the base, from the municipal staff
9 of Banja Luka, if I didn't have enough materiel I would have found a way
10 to bring the material in from another base and to issue the weapons but
11 this was a small platoon, about 30 soldiers, and Colonel Tepsic, the
12 deputy assistant for logistics, did have the weapons and he issued an
13 order that the weapons be issued from their reserves.
14 Q. Can we just look at this? It says that, "He orders that Banja
15 Luka Territorial Defence shall issue the following weapons." So he's
16 giving an order apparently to the Territorial Defence?
17 A. He gave his approval. He approved it.
18 Q. All right. In what circumstances would the Territorial Defence
19 command be applying to the corps for these weapons?
20 A. I personally think that the Karanovac local commune, before the
21 war, did not have a TO unit, that this was formed in March. The TO staff,
22 the Banja Luka municipal TO staff, did not have enough weapons to arm this
23 platoon, and this came back then to Colonel Tepsic, whether he could issue
24 that from his supplies, and this seems logical to me, because Karanovac is
25 at the entrance to Banja Luka, and with these people, they could control
1 all exits and entries into Banja Luka because the main road to Jajce
2 passed through this local commune.
3 Q. So what you're suggesting is that these people were being armed
4 not to go to Croatia but to control the entry or control the roads?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. All right. Thank you. And now finally, can we look at the major
7 report for that month, which is 42160, the assessment of the situation?
8 Now, this covers a number of topics and I think I'm going to come
9 back to this report when we deal with the various topics.
10 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, can it be produced at the moment as
11 Exhibit P1574?
12 Q. And can you turn, please, to the part of the report that is
13 headed, it says, "Volunteer units in the 2nd Military District zones."
14 And then there is a thing that says, "Personnel strength in corps zones."
15 Actually I'm sorry, perhaps we ought to go back -- I think we ought to
16 read this in context, paragraph 4, paramilitary organisations in BH. Do
17 you see that?
18 A. Yes, point 4 speaks about paramilitary organisations.
19 Q. All right. Now --
20 A. Actually, on a party basis, the Muslims 60.000, the Croats around
21 35.000, and the Serbs around 20.000.
22 Q. All right. Now, first of all, I don't think we can deal with the
23 figures so they are suggesting that there has been arming by the parties
24 with the Croats and the Muslims on the face of it having armed a great
25 deal many more people than the Serbs. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. And then it describes what it says are the main goals
3 of the Croatian and Ustasha forces in the republic, and then goes on to
4 deal with volunteer units. Now --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What, in your experience or understanding, is meant here by
7 "volunteer units"?
8 A. Volunteer units were established in all municipalities. This
9 figure pertains to the volunteer units of the Serb people.
10 Q. All right. If we look at that, it deals with the 2nd Military
11 District which covered the 5th Krajina Corps --
12 A. Yes. That's right.
13 Q. The units are formed into companies, their total strength is
14 69.198. No volunteers are to be used to replenish the strength of the
15 wartime units of the 2nd Military District, and only a small number belong
16 to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Territorial Defence. Thus, volunteer units
17 are outside the JNA and TO establishment."
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Very much goes along with that last document we saw. So these
20 volunteer units are what? How would you describe them? You've said they
21 were Serbs. What's the word you would use to describe these units?
22 A. Volunteer units carried out tasks related to party affiliation.
23 The SDS and the political institutions of the territories on which they
24 were established. Actually, they were carrying out ethnic cleansing too,
25 in the zones, but the army units did that to a lesser degree. This dirty
1 work so to speak was carried out by these volunteer units, arrests,
2 killings of people, maltreatment of people, et cetera, lootings and so
3 on. So there it was an exodus, or rather an ethnic cleansing of the
4 territory involved.
5 Q. I'll come to that but I have no doubt you've heard of a -- of
6 something called the Wolves of Vucjak. Are these what you would include
7 or what you could consider are being described as volunteer units?
8 A. That is one of the best-known volunteer units that was
9 well-trained, well-equipped, well-dressed and it was infamous for the
10 atrocities and abominations it committed in that area.
11 Q. All right. And then can we go down, please, to under D -- well,
12 personnel strength and then we see, sorry, paragraph, subparagraph F, "The
13 JNA has distributed 51.900 weapons to these volunteer units, 75 per cent,
14 and the SDS, 17.298 weapons."
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In order to get this information that the SDS had received 17.298
17 weapons, would there have had to have been contact between the SDS,
18 whoever was responsible, and the army over this?
19 A. This is an evident example of everyday communication that the SDS
20 got through the army all the necessary equipment, weapons, and the
21 commander of the 2nd military district, General Kukanjac, precisely in
22 this information gives the exact figures, gives figures as to how many
23 weapons were issued for the SDS.
24 Q. All right. And then under G, to date, "300 automatic rifles have
25 been distributed to retired military officers in Sarajevo." And we don't
1 need to bother about the rest of this. Were retired military officers
2 entitled to receive weapons?
3 A. They were not entitled to that. The army gave them this in order
4 to guard their houses and their own lives, but it was done in an
5 unauthorized manner, illegally.
6 Q. All right. Then can we look at some experiences? We see most of
7 their armed Serbs do not want to leave their immediate area. They want to
8 defend their village, neighbourhood, and military facilities. This refers
9 to Serbs in areas where Muslims are in the majority.
10 Second point made, "Some SDS leaders at all levels are seeking
11 weapons from the JNA and the Ministry of National Defence through various
12 channels in a fight for primacy which is causing division and
13 dissatisfaction amongst the people."
14 Colonel Selak, were political leaders entitled to be given weapons
15 by the military, the JNA?
16 A. According to the law, they could not do this. There was no legal
17 basis. However, the law was not observed. Weapons and ammunition were
18 distributed to the Serb people. A considerable portion from -- a
19 considerable portion of the weapons came from Serbia and Montenegro, too.
20 Q. If you don't know the answer to this, again, Colonel Selak, can
21 you say so. Do you know whether any of, first, the regional leadership in
22 Banja Luka was given weapons by the corps?
23 A. No.
24 Q. You don't know or they weren't, sorry?
25 A. Don't know. I don't know. I believe they were but I don't have
1 any official information.
2 Q. Thank you. It's important that we just stick to what you know.
3 Do you know whether any of the municipality leaders, like Radic and the
4 rest, were given weapons? And again, if you don't know, say, "I don't
6 A. Don't know.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. But I did saw that automatic -- that retired officers in Banja
9 Luka even had automatic rifles. If you want to, I can give you the names
10 of these persons.
11 Q. Don't worry about that unless Mr. Ackerman wants the names.
12 Now, in this part of the -- this document, we see this: "Some SDS
13 leaders advocate standing apart from the JNA and the creation of another
14 army, which may affect the JNA adversely, particularly when it comes to
15 troop replenishment of units."
16 Now, we were dealing earlier with the relationship between the
17 political and the military bodies. This paragraph seems to suggest that
18 where there was a SDS leader who wished to stand apart from the JNA and
19 the creation of another army, he could affect the military adversely,
20 particularly when it comes to troop replenishments. Does that mean that
21 the political leaders could have an effect in respect of replenishing the
22 number of troops needed for units?
23 A. Yes. They had a significant effect in respect of replenishing the
24 number of troops. That is why many did not respond to the call-up.
25 Q. And how did they achieve that effect? Was it their responsibility
1 to ensure that there was a replenishment of the units?
2 A. I am speaking about my own unit now. I had to ask for police
3 intervention to have certain military conscripts arrested because they did
4 not respond to mobilisation and to my own unit so I had to have the police
5 bring them in.
6 Q. All that I'm asking -- I understand what you're saying but
7 therefore the replenishment of the units, as it's put here, the bringing
8 in of recruits, lay within the power of the politicians, the political
10 A. Yes.
11 MS. KORNER: Thank you. Your Honour, perhaps that would be a
12 convenient moment.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner.
14 Colonel Selak, you deserve a break, but you need to return again
15 tomorrow morning at 9.00 when we will continue with your testimony.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I wanted to raise something but I have forgotten all
18 about it now. I meant to address you on something, Ms. Korner, but I have
19 forgotten. So -- anyway, tomorrow morning. Thank you.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
22 the 16th day of January, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.