1 Tuesday, 21 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Madam Registrar, would you call the case,
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Brdjanin, good afternoon to you. Can you
10 hear me in a language that you can understand?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honour. I can
12 hear you and understand you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you appearances for the Prosecution.
14 MS. KORNER: Good afternoon, Your Honours, Joanna Korner and for
15 the first time Mr. Timothy Resch, who as I've assured Mr. Ackerman is not
16 working on this case but is here out of interest, and as usual,
17 Denise Gustin, case manager.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you Ms. Korner. Good afternoon to you. "To
19 you" means the plural. Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin?
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman.
21 I'm here with Milan Trbojevic and Marela Jevtovic. Sitting out in the
22 public gallery is a new intern who is a third year law student from
23 university of south Texas in Houston. I have talked with Ms. Korner and
24 she would have no objection to him entering the courtroom and sitting at
25 the backbench, if it's okay with Your Honours, but I didn't want to put
1 him in here until I cleared it with you.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose he's the one without the jacket?
3 MR. ACKERMAN: That's him. It's up to you, Your Honours. And
4 it's not an important issue but it would be nice.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it okay with you, Ms. Korner?
6 MS. KORNER: Yes, of course, Your Honour. No problems.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I hope he got the message too.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I think he did. We really didn't plan on this
9 until the last minute, so --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: We will be better from now on. Let me, before
12 Ms. Korner gets to do it I want to eat in her words, humble pie, in mine,
13 crow, about whether she asked for the reason or not. She didn't. And I'm
14 glad I didn't bet money on it.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So let's bring the witness in.
16 MS. KORNER: Just while the witness is brought in, no reason to
17 stop --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
19 MS. KORNER: I forgot I was reminded yesterday, to make the
20 Colonel's workbook, whatever he call it, an exhibit at the end of the
21 day. And appropriately perhaps could it be made P1600?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So that will be it, P1600 and there is
23 another thing that you promised us yesterday. You said that you were
24 informed by Mr. Brdjanin that he would be making further reference to the
25 war diary, and that you would have it photocopied and -- ah, here it is.
1 All right.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm wondering if we might not also give it an
3 exhibit number at this point, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thought it already had.
5 MS. KORNER: I thought I did exhibit the war diary.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: It does have. It does have.
7 THE REGISTRAR: It's 1590.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: 1590.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: So this will be I suppose the new 1590 because what
10 we had was as far as we are concerned we only had two pages.
11 MS. KORNER: No. I mean, Your Honour, I think I exhibited the
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Ms. Korner.
14 MS. KORNER: If Mr. Ackerman is going to use it we might as well
15 have the whole thing.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Colonel, good afternoon to you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman will be continuing with his
21 cross-examination of you today, and before we proceed, may I ask you to
22 repeat your solemn declaration, please?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: OSMAN SELAK [Resumed]
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
5 Mr. Ackerman?
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
8 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel Selak, and welcome back.
9 A. Good afternoon. Thank you.
10 Q. I'll ask the Prosecutor to return to you the statements that you
11 gave to the Prosecution, since we will be referring to them again today.
12 The one I'll be referring to first, sir, is your 1995 statement, the
13 segment that I'm interested in is on page 4 of the English version, a
14 paragraph that begins with, "The Yugoslav Defence forces were comprised of
15 the JNA." Let me know when you've found that.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. About a third of the way down, the following language appears, "In
18 the late 1980s, the Serb-controlled Yugoslav federal assembly, concerned
19 about TO weapons being in the control of others, passed a law placing the
20 responsibility for the TO weapons storage with the JNA." That's what you
21 said in 1995 and that's true, isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, I'd like you to look at the exhibit, 1572, please. Now,
24 you've seen this document before, last week. The first thing I'd like you
25 to tell us --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. With regard to this document is its date. It's dated the 31
3 August, 1992, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And the second thing about that document is - and that's revealed
6 in the body, in the first line - that it is a response to an order from
7 the main staff of the army, seeking an inventory of weapons and equipment
8 issued to TO units and staffs since the beginning of the activities.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And then, the last sentence, General Talic says to the main staff,
12 "Please inform us of your opinion on this matter." Do you have any
13 what that means, what that's about? Why would he be asking for their
15 A. Yes. The 1st Krajina Corps issued weapons and other military
16 equipment to staffs and units of the TO in Croatia and in the Bosnian
17 Krajina. The weapons were registered in the books of the 1st Krajina
18 Corps and the staffs and units of the Territorial Defence did not have
19 their own bookkeeping system so that they were -- there were no records
20 that the weapons had been received and recorded in the subordinated units
21 and staffs to which it had been issued. And for this reason, the corps
22 commander, General Talic, is asking for the opinion of the main staff of
23 the Army of Republika Srpska as to how to register the weapons and
24 equipment that had been issued to TO units.
25 Q. Thank you. That makes sense now. Now I'd like you to look at the
1 attachment showing the distribution of these weapons. And I want to first
2 of all, if I can, clear up the confusion regarding exactly what the title
3 of that attachment is. As we read it, what it says is - and you correct
4 me if I'm wrong about this - "List of weapons and equipment issued to TO
5 staffs and units from the 5th Corps."
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. Weapons and equipment that were issued from 5th Corps units to TO
9 staffs and units.
10 Q. Yes. Good. Thank you.
11 A. You're welcome.
12 Q. There is no indication on this document, is there, about what
13 dates these weapons were issued?
14 A. Not in this document. However, as a base commander, I received an
15 identical order to secure logistically all units in Western Slavonia,
16 Baranja, and Kordun, to supply logistically these units. So in addition
17 to the corps, the logistics base too, and I'm talking about 1991, received
18 such an order and that is why I assume that these weapons and equipment
19 were issued in 1992.
20 Q. Well, one thing we can kind of tell for sure, I think, is due to
21 the fact that a lot of the weapons were issued to TO units located in
22 Croatia, that it occurred during that period of the war in Croatia, didn't
24 A. Yes. During the war in Croatia, and also later, because units of
25 the 1st Krajina Corps, that is General Talic's corps, were in Western
1 Slavonia in 1992, an armoured brigade and other units, a part of the
2 rocket brigade was in Glina, close to Karlovac, et cetera.
3 Q. There is no indication, is there, on this document or in the cover
4 letter of General Talic as to whether the particular TO units being
5 supplied had been mobilised or not, is there?
6 A. This cannot be seen from this document, but I know for certain
7 that in the Tribunal, there is a document and an order from the general
8 staff of Belgrade and from the command of the 1st and later the 2nd
9 Military District, that the logistics base and the 5th Corps should cover
10 the units in Slavonia, Baranja, and Kordun. The staff from Glina sent me
11 a request for reinforcements of 2.000 men, and in my records, the strength
12 was 500 men, and this document exists in the OTP, and if necessary we can
13 look for it. Even in my notebook, I think this figure can be found. I
14 could try and find it if such proof is required in support of my
16 Q. I really think that's not necessary. Let me ask you this: If
17 these were in fact -- it's quite clear, I think that they are -- mobilised
18 TO units, then supplying those units with arms and equipment was perfectly
19 legal and within the guidelines and regulations of the JNA, wasn't it?
20 A. That is true, but with one observation, that the calls for
21 mobilisation went to able-bodied men of Serb ethnicity. I'm talking about
22 Bosnia. A concrete example is that of the municipality of Donji Vakuf. I
23 have the date and statement of the president of the municipality, when he
24 complained that military conscripts of Muslim or Bosniak ethnicity had not
25 received call-up papers.
1 Q. Well, if you disagree with this, say so, but I think you'll agree
2 that what more often was the case was that Muslims and Croats ignored and
3 refused conscript because they didn't want to get involved in the war in
4 Croatia. That was a major issue at the time, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes. That is true. There were such cases. There were cases of
6 people refusing to be mobilised, but there were also cases when they
7 didn't receive call-up papers because of mistrust as to how they would
8 behave once they were issued weapons in their units.
9 Q. In fact, it was suggested, was it not, by Alija Izetbegovic that
10 Bosniaks not respond to these mobilisation calls?
11 A. I'm aware of that statement of his. I didn't personally have it
12 in my hands, but I have heard that it exists and I'm not denying it.
13 Q. Now, looking again at this document, and bearing in mind that
14 there was war going on in Croatia between Croatian military forces and the
15 JNA, let's just look at each one of these entries here. The first, I
16 think, five Okucani and as we go across, are all in Croatia, aren't they?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The next one, Prnjavor was an area located close to Croatia,
19 border region?
20 A. It's not the border region between Prnjavor and Croatia there is
21 Bosanska Gradiska but it is nearby.
22 Q. What is it, 30 kilometres?
23 A. That order of magnitude, but I'm not sure, but I think it's around
24 that figure.
25 Q. And Petrinja, that's in Croatia?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Krupa was at the border, wasn't it?
3 A. Yes. Not quite on the border. It's close, just like Prnjavor but
4 it is not on the border itself.
5 Q. Omarska?
6 A. Omarska isn't either. It's in Bosnia.
7 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Kilometres from the border?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Sanski Most about the same?
10 A. Maybe a little more but about that.
11 Q. And the same is basically true of the next two. Then we go on
12 over to Bosanska Gradiska. That was on the border?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Next three are Banja Luka. The next one is --
15 A. It's 50-odd kilometres from the border.
16 Q. Next one is Western Slavonia, which is in Croatia?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. Bosanski Novi which is on the border?
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. And if you start looking at the actual weapons and numbers of
21 weapons, what you discover is that the vast majority went to either the
22 border or Croatian units. I don't know if you've done that but we may go
23 through it just briefly here in a minute. If you look at, for instance,
24 automatic rifles, automatic rifles, 7.62 millimetre, the first two
25 columns --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... 272 respectively are to
3 Croatia. You go over to --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You go all the way across to Western Slavonia, there is another
6 581. The large distributions all went to Croatia, correct?
7 A. Regarding automatic rifles, yes. As for semi-automatic rifles and
8 the others, well, yes, yes, you're right.
9 Q. Yes. If you look at that, you've got the first two columns of the
10 semi-automatic, 980 respectively. There is one large group for Prnjavor.
11 You know that there was a unit from Prnjavor, the wolves of Vucjak, that
12 was actually fighting in the corridor, and that might account for that,
13 might it not?
14 A. I'm not able to make any comments on that, because the TO units
15 and staffs in the Bosnian Krajina had already received weapons, at the end
16 of 1991 and the beginning of 1992. And I would like to ask you to take
17 note of the fact that this report was in -- on the 31st of August, 1992,
18 when combat operations were not so intensive in Croatia then and UN forces
19 were already there.
20 Q. But this attachment has nothing to do with 1992. This attachment
21 has to do with late 1991 or early 1992, not August, because these TOs in
22 Croatia didn't exist by August, did they?
23 A. It can't be 1991. I don't agree. It could only be 1992 because
24 the corps in 1991 would take weapons for its own units that it mobilised
25 in the municipalities of Bosnian Krajina, and it needed weapons. So I
1 know, and I cautioned that there were no records of the weapons issued to
2 the TOs because they didn't return to me certified documents confirming
3 receipt of weapons received from the logistics base in Banja Luka.
4 Therefore, in my view, this document is from 1992.
5 Q. Well, we have another clue as to when it was. We know that it was
6 before 18 May, 1992, don't we, because of its title? It was weapons
7 issued from the 5th Corps, not the 1st Krajina Corps. And the 5th Corps
8 didn't exist after 18 May, right?
9 A. Yes, but also at the command post of the command of the 5th Corps,
10 which was in the KP Dom in Stara Gradiska in Croatia, there was a
11 discussion with unit commanders of Slavonia. They had received permission
12 for tanks to be delivered to them and I have -- I have in my official
13 notebook the date, how many tanks, how many cannon and how many other
14 weapon should be delivered to staffs in Western Slavonia. Even that some
15 should be pulled out of Knin and taken to warehouses in the KP Dom and
16 elsewhere, and these be under the control of the UN forces, under lock and
18 So that the weapons should be under the control of the UN forces
19 but that it should remain the property of SAO Krajina, that is Western
20 Slavonia. And in my official notebook, I have a note of this, the
21 quantities of the equipment that had to be given to Western Slavonia and
22 we don't find here a single tank or APC or other materiel, which General
23 Talic spoke about at the meeting. There should have been T-34 tanks, old
25 Q. Let's keep going across that column of semi-automatic rifles.
1 You'll see 528 went to Bosanska Gradiska which is on the border; 1491 went
2 to Croatia, Western Slavonia; 535 to other JNA uses. Correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If you look at M-49/57 machine-guns, 50 to Krupa near the border,
5 150 to Sanski Most. Then in the right-hand column, 150 plus 50 plus 5
6 plus 4 totals 109. What do you suppose is correct, the total or the
7 individual numbers? Because it's actually 209, if you total.
8 A. It is a mistake in totalling. I think that the number of the
9 weapons that was given to the units is correct. I'm sure the person was
10 in a hurry and it's only human to err.
11 Q. M-48 rifles, first two columns, 430 to Croatia, 905 to -- there is
12 200 there to Croatia; and then 905 to Krupa, which is near the border, 170
13 other army uses; and finally let's look at zoljas, which are hand-held
14 rocket launchers. If you look at the zoljas, 148, 60, 24 and 60, there in
15 the first columns, all to Croatia, a couple of small numbers, then go all
16 the way over, 160 to Western Slavonia, so virtually all of that is to
17 units in Croatia, correct?
18 A. Yes. The units of the JNA or later the Army of Republika Srpska
19 in Croatia.
20 Q. Now, sir, when you analyse this document, as to where these
21 weapons were going, the vast majority of them were going either on the
22 border area next to Croatia, where the war was, or in Croatia. And rather
23 than some scheme that got dreamed up by someone that this was an effort to
24 arm civilians in the middle of Republika Srpska, the document basically
25 shows that it was an effort to deal with the war going on in Croatia and
1 arm the units that were fighting there, doesn't it?
2 A. Yes, but it also means that the objective, the purpose, of this
3 was to protect the Serbian people as it was said officially, to protect
4 the Serbian people in the area of the Republic of Croatia and that's the
5 reason why these units remained there. And I repeat, the UN forces
6 controlled these weapons, which had to be stored in warehouses.
7 I don't know what happened later. I never visited the area after
8 that, whether truly the tanks and the guns were in the warehouses or not,
9 I don't know, but I know that they were handed over. You have the
10 document here and the date, but as to the relevant quantities and if --
11 and whether this went to private homes, I don't think so. That was the
12 TO, the local units. I'm not saying paramilitary units because after all,
13 it was the army that exerted control of these weapons. I mean, if they
14 had issued, handed over the weapons, then they must have had some kind of
15 control over these weapons in order to prevent any abuse.
16 Q. You said that they were being issued to Croatia for the purpose of
17 protecting the Serbian people. What other people in the Croatia field of
18 operations were in need of protection?
19 A. In the Croatia field of operations, in the area from Western
20 Slavonia all the way down to Lika, Banija, and other territories further
21 down to Knin, the population was mixed, Croat and Serb, but the majority
22 were Serbs. There were very few Muslims and Bosniaks. The percentage is
23 negligible according to the information that I have, but I think that it
24 can -- this can be easily proved and checked. So once again, it is
25 logical for me that these weapons should have been issued because if we
1 are aware of the military objectives, then we realise that this is only a
2 logical sequence of events.
3 Q. It is logical, because there are no -- it wouldn't make sense that
4 the JNA would be issuing weapons to protect the Croatian people against
5 whom they are fighting and there are no Muslim people there to protect,
6 and even if they were they would probably be fighting alongside the
7 Croatian fighters. And therefore, the people who they would be issued to
8 protect would logically be the Serbian people. I mean, it just makes
9 sense, doesn't it?
10 A. Yes. It does make sense.
11 Q. I want you to look at Exhibit P19 now, please. Are you looking at
12 the English version?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Would you give him the Serbian version, please, the B/C/S
15 version. Now, sir, this is quite a long document and we are only going to
16 speak about the very first few pages. This document speaks of the order
17 we talked about earlier, dealing with the TO weapons having to be turned
18 over to the JNA at one point. Let's just go through some of this.
19 First paragraph, it says, "Pursuant to the order of the head of
20 the chiefs of staff of the armed forces of SFRY, confidential number 19-1,
21 of 14 May, 1990, the action geared to take over and secure the armaments
22 and ammunition of the all people's defence and social self protection
23 subjects in the JNA depots was conducted in the territory of SFRY. The
24 relocation of the TOSR BiH armaments and ammunition was carried out
25 between 18 May and 23 May, 1990, with the exception of the region of Bihac
1 and Banja Luka where it was completed 13 June, 1990. The armed forces
2 took these measures so as to ensure a better and more adequate storage and
3 a safer custody of the armaments and military equipment of the armed
5 Now, that actually happened, didn't it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And so by 13 June, 1990, in the Socialist Republic of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, all the TOs had -- the weapons from all of the TO had
9 been taken into custody by the JNA and put into secure storage by the
10 JNA. Correct?
11 A. Yes. It was not put in secure storages in the rear. I mean not
12 all of it. Part of the weapons were taken by the units in those
13 municipalities where brigades and regiments were located. They took those
14 weapons and placed them in their warehouses. I had the same problem for
15 the region of Bihac, Bosanski Novi, Prijedor, Banja Luka -- yes, Banja
16 Luka also.
17 Q. Just be patient, sir, we are coming to that. If you go over to, I
18 don't know if it's the next page in your document, it's -- there is a
19 small A, the head is the "The Territorial Defence of SR BiH" and the
20 sentence reads, "Until 16 May, 1990, TO of the socialist Republic of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina kept, stored, the armament and military equipment at
22 653 locations." Correct?
23 A. Just a moment, please. I haven't found it on page 2, but --
24 Q. It's probably on page 1 of your document, sir.
25 A. Yes. On page 1.
1 Q. Then if you go down from there -- so at that point, before the JNA
2 took control of this equipment, it was at 653 different locations. Then
3 if you go down about four paragraphs, you see a paragraph starting with
4 the words, "After the action." And what that says, "After the action, the
5 largest part of the armament and ammunition was amassed at 48 locations."
6 So we went from 653 to 48, didn't we?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now if we go a little further, we learn that even with that, there
9 were still security problems regarding weaponry and ammunition. For
10 instance, you'll see a paragraph that begins about halfway -- in the
11 English version it's halfway down the page, I don't know where it is in
12 yours. Let me see if I can direct. It's about one, two, three -- it's
13 about four paragraphs after the last one we referred to, beginning with
14 the language, "There have been and still are shortcomings in the custody
15 of armament and ammunition throughout the system as the security comes
16 down to a janitor, a guard, a policeman on duty, and periodical rounds.
17 Only special purpose production enterprises and some larger enterprises
18 have satisfactory security." And then down another couple of paragraphs,
19 there is a section that's headed, "Proposal of measures." Can you find
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Number 1, "When the JNA provides the storage conditions, collect
23 all the remaining armament, ammunition, and thereby provide for uniform
24 custody and storage for the TO." Now, that was an effort to even try to
25 do a better job of securing these weapons, wasn't it?
1 A. I don't think I can agree with this, because according to the
2 constitution, the TO was within the competence of the republics. The
3 commands of the bases would send their experts for weapons to the TO
4 warehouses with the purpose of inspecting, storing and protecting weapons
5 in order to prevent any abuse.
6 Q. Actually, there was a big controversy about that at the time,
7 wasn't there? This was a proposition that was passed by the assembly of
8 the socialist federal Republic of Yugoslavia, SFRY, and two of the
9 republics, Croatia and Slovenia, refused to comply because they said it
10 was an illegal order, illegal law?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. That's true, isn't it? So it was not with without controversy
13 that this happened?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. If you look at number 2, "Gather the information --" well, let me
16 look at the second paragraph of number 1 again. "The commander of the TO
17 of the socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina should adopt a special
18 criterion to regulate the quantity of armament ammunition to be left with
19 the TO headquarters to protect TO plans and facilities."
20 Do you know if this was actually ever carried out, this proposal?
21 A. I'm not sure. The objective seems clear to me, that the weapons
22 should be left for the purposes of protection of the TO facilities and
23 staffs. So here specific buildings are in question, so we are talking
24 about the minimum number of weapons for the guards, the janitors and
1 Q. That's really quite set out in the paragraph right before the
2 proposal of measures it says, "Bearing in mind that the TO is a competent
3 part of the armed forces, that the weaponry must be treated in a uniform
4 manner, and that all municipal TOs must keep some of the armaments pistols
5 and riffles, for the protection of persons, documents, flags, plans and TO
6 facilities, there is still a lot of weaponry and ammunition in enterprises
7 and it is -- are -- by and large stored under conditions worse than those
8 that existed in municipal TO depots."
9 And that then would take us down to number 2 under proposal of
10 measures, "Gather the information and views of the enterprises and
11 executive bodies of the sociopolitical communities and by the end of 1990,
12 solve the problem of the armament and ammunition of disbanded war units
13 and enterprises and the surpluses arisen from the reduction of these
14 units. We suggest that these surpluses from the enterprises be turned
15 over free to the TO headquarters." Now I have a couple of things to ask
16 you about that.
17 First of all, what we are talking about here, in addition to sort
18 of normal TO units, within various enterprises, companies, they also had
19 their own in-house TO units and the companies actually had weapons and
20 ammunition stored on the premises for their own internal units, didn't
22 A. Yes. Those were work units for the protection of factories and
23 special purposes enterprises. Not every working organisation had this,
24 only special working -- work organisations or enterprises that dealt with
25 some chemicals or lethal substances. So mainly the special purposes
1 enterprises. They were in charge of obtaining such weapons. They bought
2 such weapons themselves. The weapons were under the control of the TO
3 staffs, and the army experts from local bases would, from time to time,
4 carry out adequate checkups of these weapons. The military equipment that
5 was stored in the warehouses.
6 Q. Yes. Exactly. And that's why this says here that, "We suggest
7 that these surpluses from enterprises be turned over free to the TO
8 headquarters." That's a recognition that they had actually been purchased
9 at one point by the enterprise and was owned by them and had not been
10 furnished by the JNA or some other public enterprise. Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. So all of these TO weapons went from 653 places to 48
13 places. And when the war in Croatia broke out and TO units were then
14 mobilised and members were called to active service, there was a need to
15 return those weapons to the TO units that they had been taken from in the
16 first place so that they would be properly equipped, right?
17 A. Yes, under the condition that an official mobilisation had been
18 publicly declared, a mobilisation of the TO units and staffs. There was
19 an appropriate statutory provision, without a mobilisation having been
20 declared, no units could obtain weapons from the JNA warehouses.
21 Q. Yes. And some of the units that actually -- TO units that
22 actually got their weapons returned to them were in areas of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina that were majority-Bosniak-Croat areas, true?
24 A. In this memo and in this list of the weapons that had been
25 returned, it appears that all of the weapons were returned except in the
1 municipality of Hadzici, I think because they had a tank maintenance
2 institute there. I think that only Hadzici retained their weapons. But
3 from this list we can see that all of the weapons mentioned in the report
4 were returned by the 23rd of May. I think that the 13th of June, 1990,
5 was the date that applied in respect of Banja Luka. This order by the
6 general staff was in contravention of the law, of the constitution, and it
7 led to a number of conflicts and disagreements, because weapons were
8 deliberately taken from the republics. The republics which had after all
9 bought all of these weapons and other equipment, which had stored them,
10 which had trained the units, and there were a number of litigations before
11 courts because of this issue, because the assembly of Yugoslavia had taken
12 the prerogatives of the republics. Croatia and Slavonia [sic] did not
13 carry this out, whereas other republics, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 and Montenegro did, Macedonia as well.
15 Q. Yes, absolutely, and you have hit the heart of the point that I'm
16 trying to make. You're making it better than I am.
17 So we know that within Bosnia-Herzegovina, the JNA successfully,
18 with rare exception, was able to take control of the TO weapons. But
19 Croatia, for reasons of constitutionality contended that the order was
20 illegal and the TO weapons from the TO units in Croatia were not given
21 into the custody of the JNA, and that's the situation that was in
22 existence when the war broke out between Croatia and the JNA. So you have
23 all of these TO units in Croatia that had never surrendered weapons, TO
24 units in Bosnia-Herzegovina that were unarmed until they could reacquire
25 their weapons. That was the situation, wasn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And then --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Ackerman, before you move to the
4 next question, just a correction to the transcript, page 20, line 8, we
5 have Croatia and Slavonia, it should be Croatia and Slovenia.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: I may have even said Slavonia. I am totally
7 capable of doing things like that, you know.
8 Q. The Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, after April 7th of 1992, actually
9 arose from a number of TO units that then were formed into the Army of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And those TO units were able to reacquire their weapons, either
13 legally or illegally, weren't they?
14 A. Yes. I'm not aware of such channels in the regions of Gorazde and
15 Sarajevo and how they were armed. I know that there were both legal and
16 illegal channels. I am familiar with the situation in Bosnian Krajina.
17 That was my responsibility and I had part of those weapons. Only the
18 units that had officially declared mobilisation were given these weapons,
19 and legally so.
20 We should not forget that all JNA units that were withdrawing from
21 Slovenia and Croatia had to pass through Bosnia and Herzegovina. They
22 left part of their weapons, that is all of it, all of the weapons and the
23 equipment, in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As to what
24 channels were used for this purpose, I don't know, but I know that units,
25 some units, took these weapons, unfortunately these weapons were not
1 logged and they remained outside the control of the logistics, logistical
2 bases. I cannot speak about corps. I don't know how they were able to
3 keep this control. However, if we know that the JNA units had over
4 90 per cent Serbs in their ranks, then we can easily conclude we know
5 where these weapons and this equipment ended.
6 I can show you the documents to this effect for individual
7 municipalities and units, when General Uzelac, for instance, issued an
8 order to issue weapons to the 5th Brigade at Kozara mount - it was a TO
9 brigade that had not been legally, officially mobilised - I had to deal
10 with this problem via Belgrade, because it was illegal. And that's when I
11 clashed with the corps commander, General Uzelac, because of these
13 Q. We are going to look at a document that really maybe tells us a
14 great deal more about this. Would you look, please, at DB126?
15 A. While we are waiting for this document, may I please add a few
16 words about this? In the Tribunal, there is a document from the commander
17 of the 6th TO Brigade, Colonel Basara, October 1991. I have a copy of
18 that document, in which he explains emphatically and clearly how he armed
19 the Serb people in Bosnian Krajina, Kljuc, and Sanski Most. So I would
20 like us to look at that document, too.
21 Q. It's interesting, but it has nothing to do with the question I
22 asked you. The question I asked you was about Muslim TO units, and that's
23 what we are going to look at with DB126.
24 This is a document which is written by the person we've talked
25 about before, Mr. Mesud Hasotic, assistant commander for moral guidance
1 and psychological preparation, a colonel and a Bosniak. Correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And is it -- it is a document dated 21 April, 1992, which is two
4 weeks after the recognition by the European Community of the independence
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And if you look at the second paragraph, Colonel Hasotic says
8 this: "Military installations are especially under threat, military
9 industry, depots, and other isolated facilities. Those who are organising
10 the attacks are the republican Territorial Defence staff and the
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina MUP, while those who carry them out are the SDA and HDZ
12 paramilitary formations."
13 If you go down then to the first numbered paragraph, where he
14 says, "As regards other issues, we wish to mention the following: On the
15 night of 17, 18 April, 1992, the Green Berets and members of the BH MUP
16 special units attacked the Pretis factory in Vogosca and the consequences
17 of these two attacks at 0300 and 0500 hours were the following: Five
18 attackers were killed, 20 wounded, 9 captured, they drove off with seven
19 trucks, two of which contained ammunition. 100 VW Golf vehicles were
20 stolen and the green berets are already using them." Are you familiar
21 with that incident?
22 A. Let us go back to the beginning of this document. Colonel Hasotic
23 simply forwarded this report of the 2nd Military District on the situation
24 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The report came from the assistant for
25 political and legal affairs of the command of the 2nd Military District,
1 and Colonel Hasotic is not referring to events within the 1st Krajina
2 Corps, that is the 5th Corps area. But he's referring to the whole
3 document and forwarding it to the brigades for their information. This
4 was his professional duty to do. It is not his document but the document
5 of the 2nd Military District in Sarajevo.
6 MS. KORNER: What is the relevance of these areas which are all
7 outside the area that this indictment is concerned with?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour what this document does is talk about
10 the acquisition of significant numbers of weapons and materiel by members
11 of Muslim TO units in April of 1992. And as we all know, weapons don't
12 necessarily stay where they are captured but can be transported all over
13 the country.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous translation continues] ...
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's stretching a point. I rather
17 feel this is to show that in other areas, Muslims were receiving arms.
18 We've been through this particular aspect. It is not a defence to say
19 that Muslims were arming themselves. What this case is concerned about
20 is -- the evidence that the Colonel has given relates to the arming, as he
21 alleges, of Serbs within the area that this indictment covers. So, Your
22 Honour, I object to this line of questioning being pursued any further.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Final comment from you, Mr. Ackerman, if that's the
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I believe very strongly that it is --
1 that it is relevant for us to show that the Muslim, the Bosniak, forces
2 had sources of supply of weapons and could supply those weapons to any
3 place they so chose, including the Bosnian Krajina.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: But you are putting the cart before the horse here.
5 I mean, we can't go on like this. As I said, and Ms. Korner said,
6 stretching it too far. You can stretch it as far as you like and build an
7 argument on it. On this corps, you could be asking Colonel and presenting
8 him with documents showing that arms were being bought by Muslims in other
9 countries, on the pretext that they could have then forwarded them to
10 Muslims in the territory of Bosnia Herzegovina.
11 So I think we have to draw a line here, Mr. Ackerman. I think you
12 know exactly what I'm saying, and I would suggest to you to redirect.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I think maybe I can -- if I can
14 ask another couple of questions, I can establish more relevance and I'll
15 do that.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: But I will stop you if you keep going astray.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand.
18 Q. Where was the Pretis factory in Vogosca? Where is that?
19 A. Pretis in Vogosca or Vogosca municipality is to the west from the
20 center of the city of Sarajevo. It was a component part of the city of
21 Sarajevo. There was a car manufacturing factory there and a special
22 purpose industry, that is military-industrial facilities were there too
23 and it is all within Sarajevo.
24 Q. Military equipment was manufactured there, was it not? Or was it?
25 A. Yes, it was.
1 Q. And another place where military equipment was manufactured in
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina was at the Igman facility near Konjic. Correct?
3 A. Close to Konjic, some infantry ammunition was being manufactured.
4 Q. Well, the Igman factory?
5 MS. KORNER: That's Mr. Ackerman's two questions. Where are we
6 now going?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I don't think I should have to make
9 these representations about where I'm going, but I will. There were only,
10 as I understand it, about two or three factories in all of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina that manufactured weapons and ammunition. And those
12 factories were all located deep in the interior of the country, in the
13 areas, in the Sarajevo Konjic area for security purposes by Tito when he
14 set up the whole concept of the TO, so that if one is going to try to
15 acquire weapons for use throughout the whole country, by stealing them
16 from these units, these places, then you have to go where they are. I
17 mean, you couldn't go steal weapons in Banja Luka because there wasn't a
18 factory there.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: But we have to stick to the territory that we are
20 talking about. And unless there is at least a prima facie evidence that
21 these weapons ended up in the territory that forms the subject matter of
22 the indictment that we have, I mean, as I said -- I mean, we could have --
23 we could have instances of weapons being sold and bought by Muslims
24 elsewhere, plus in this case, we have already heard evidence of weapons
25 being sold by Serbs themselves to Muslims. So in actual fact, what is it
1 going to change to?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, I can't put the cart before the
3 horse. I have to go with the horse first.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you are putting the cart before the horse
5 because you have no evidence at all, at least no indication, at all, even
6 on the prima facie basis, that the weapons allegedly stolen from these two
7 military installations or industries ended up in the hands of the
8 Muslims -- Muslims in the territory that we are talking about.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Well let me give you an example.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't need, Mr. Ackerman, because we have
11 already evidence of Muslims in the territory that we are talking about
12 obtaining weapons from Serb soldiers returning from Croatia.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand, but this is the cart-horse problem.
14 Let's assume I had a witness on the stand who is saying that a great
15 number of weapons were coming into the Bosnian Krajina area from central
16 Bosnia. And then you would say to me: How could that happen? Where did
17 they get the weapons? How can I do that if I don't prove --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: But you already have this document. This is why
19 Ms. Korner is right in objecting to you pressing forward with the
20 questions, with these questions, with this witness. You have this
21 document which is a document, an official document, by one of the army
22 colonels and that's it.
23 MS. KORNER: Can I now -- I object to any further questions on
24 this document. As far as I can see, it is irrelevant to any issue that
25 this officer can help with, and I'd like a ruling so Mr. Ackerman doesn't
1 go on asking questions.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I think you have a ruling, and I object to being
3 restricted on cross-examination. I've made my record and I'm ready to go
4 on, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. Sir, I'd like to you look at Exhibit P1573. Now, sir, this is a
8 document that you looked at the other day, so it's not new to you.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The first question I have with regard to is the date. It's dated
11 14 March, 1992, correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. So this is at the time where the JNA continued to exist in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the weapons that are described in this document came from the
17 TO in Banja Luka. That's also true, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And it indicates that they were transferred with the consent of
20 the TO in Banja Luka?
21 A. This is an order to transfer it. It hadn't still been
23 Q. That wasn't my question. It was done with the consent or to be
24 done with the consent of the Banja Luka TO. Correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. My question is: Why is Colonel Tepsic getting involved in what,
2 in effect, involves a transfer of weapons from one TO to another? Why is
3 that any business of his?
4 A. Colonel Vaso Tepsic, assistant commander for logistics, was here
5 abusing his position. He did not have the competence to approve the
6 issuance of ammunition and weapons to TO units.
7 Q. I'm wondering if this document has any effect at all. I mean, the
8 Banja Luka TO could have simply given those weapons to the Territorial
9 Defence in Karanovac without Tepsic getting involved at all, couldn't
11 A. Yes. But here, we see that arrangements were made between the TO
12 staff of Banja Luka and the corps command. They probably discussed this
13 orally, and Colonel Tepsic on that basis wrote this order.
14 Q. You told us the other day in your testimony, it's page 12.947 of
15 the transcript, that you were not aware of this order of Colonel Tepsic in
16 March of 1992. Correct?
17 A. Yes. I wasn't aware of this document, and this order has no logic
19 Q. What you told us in the transcript, line 18, "He should have
20 consulted me and there would have been no problem. The district staff of
21 the TO of Banja Luka knew about it but nobody informed me." But I guess
22 what you're saying that it would not have been a problem and there was no
23 problem for these weapons being transferred between these two TO units,
24 just that you didn't know about it?.
25 A. I didn't know about it, but if this unit, which was actually a
1 platoon of 30 men, had not been armed, then the municipal TO staff should
2 have requested, through regular channels, such equipment from the
3 logistics base. However, he was asking for them from the corps command,
4 and that is why I'm saying that this was an illegal procedurally, that was
5 not the regular way to supply TO units with weapons.
6 Q. On page 12948 of your testimony last Wednesday, you were asked
7 this with regard to this document: "It says that he orders that Banja
8 Luka Territorial Defence shall issue the following weapons. So he's
9 giving an order apparently to the Territorial Defence?" Your answer was:
10 "He gave his approval. He approved it."
11 Now, if you look at the document, sir, doesn't it say, "I hereby
13 A. Yes. That is what it says, "I hereby order."
14 Q. So it's not an approval, it's an order, isn't it?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Why did you say that it was an approval? Why did you say that he
17 didn't order it, he approved it?
18 A. That was a slip I made. The document is quite specific. It says,
19 "I order." He won't be issuing the weapons but the operator who was where
20 the weapons were stored.
21 Q. Don't you find it strange that a JNA officer would order a TO unit
22 to do what it was they wanted to do anyhow? Why was that necessary? Why
23 would he have to order them to do it? I think I've asked that and it's
24 been --
25 MS. KORNER: What's more, Your Honour, what Mr. Ackerman hasn't
1 actually pointed out to the witness is the furthers explanation he gave as
2 to why Colonel Tepsic should be giving this order or approval which
3 follows directly on in the LiveNote he's quoting from.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: You are right, Ms. Korner.
5 MR. ACKERMAN:
6 Q. Let's go on now to --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
8 MR. ACKERMAN:
9 Q. I want you to look at DB116, and at the same time, you can also be
10 given DB117. Now, DB116, sir, is another similar order signed by Tepsic,
11 is it not?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. This one is dated 5 May, 1992, still the JNA, right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. This one says, "Pursuant to a verbal order issued by the commander
16 of the 5th Corps, at the briefing on 4 May and with the goal of supplying
17 units and Territorial Defence staffs with weapons and raising their level
18 of combat readiness, I hereby order military post 79, 80, Banja Luka --
19 [No English translation]
20 [B/C/S interpretation channel engaged instead of English]
21 MR. ACKERMAN: What happened?
22 THE INTERPRETER: What happened what?
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I heard a strange voice that mentioned
24 Mr. Brdjanin's name.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated] It's important that the
1 witness is hearing the interpretation, because I could follow your
2 question, Mr. Ackerman.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: What?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: It seems that there may be a problem, I'm not quite
7 sure that there is one. Colonel, have you heard.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters had some problem with the
9 equipment. We apologise.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. You have heard -- have had Mr. Ackerman's
11 question translated to you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I had heard of this document.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just the number was mentioned and
15 nothing more than that.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. Can you tell us what military post 7980 in Banja Luka was.
18 A. It is a subordinated unit, subordinated to the corps command.
19 Q. So it is --
20 A. I don't know which unit this was, but every brigade had its
21 military post. So the number of the military post is the secret name or
22 the confidential name for the unit. It's not really secret. It was used
23 in -- under peacetime conditions. In wartime, different numbers were
25 Q. So this was a brigade, basically, military post, 7980?
1 A. I assume so. Someone from one of the brigades.
2 Q. Well, were you there in Banja Luka. Were you familiar with
3 military post 7980?
4 A. The number is familiar. I've forgotten the location, and I
5 wouldn't like to make an error. I'm not sure. So if you have the
6 information yourself, I will think it over. The number does ring a bell.
7 It is Banja Luka. I'm not sure which military post this was. There were
8 very many of them.
9 Q. All right.
10 A. And it's rather difficult to keep all that in one's mind. There
11 were military posts in the subordinate units of the base, too.
12 Q. Let me ask you to look at the signature and more importantly the
13 stamp that's on this document. The signature and so forth, of course, is
14 assistant commander for logistics, Colonel Vaso Tepsic. But the stamp
15 there says, "Military post 4022, Banja Luka." Can you tell us what that
17 A. That is the corps command.
18 Q. All right.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you continue, Mr. Ackerman, are you finished
20 with this document?
21 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm going to 117 next, Your Honour, so I'm finished
22 with this.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
24 Colonel, just a simple question: You see in document DB116, we
25 have got two localities mentioned, two TOs, basically, one of Bosanska
1 Gradiska and the other one of Kotor Varos.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And in each case, we have 50 pieces of automatic
4 rifles, 7.62, 150 pieces of semi-automatic rifles. If you go back to the
5 document, P1572, that you were questioned upon earlier, you'll see that --
6 do you still have that document, 1572? So please, that's the document
7 which had the list --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar? Could you please give the
10 witness -- now, if you look at this document, 1572, which you had seen
11 before, under the column Bosanska Gradiska, you will see that there are
12 only 30 automatic rifles, although there are 528 semi-automatic rifles.
13 And you will also see that Kotor Varos does not appear in the list shown
14 on P1572. Could that possibly mean that the list contained in Exhibit
15 P1572 refers to a period in time prior to the 5th of May, 1992, which is
16 the date of Exhibit DB116?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is quite obvious that weapons
18 were being duplicated here. This was a unit consisting of 200 men in both
19 municipal staffs, and it did not -- it was not covered in this list dated
20 the 31st of August on the weapons issued. However, the corps command and
21 its units would obtain supplies for all units subordinated to them, even
22 without orders, all units that were carrying out their orders. As I was
23 saying, even paramilitary units, because I have a document, and I saw it
24 here in the Tribunal, which reports clearly the number of paramilitary
25 formations within the territory of the Serbian Republic of
2 So clearly, Colonel Tepsic, without consulting General Talic, I
3 believe, issued, on his own initiative, this order. He had the authority
4 to do that. He was the competent person. And the document is quite
5 legal. But I do underline that Bosanska Gradiska, for Bosanska Gradiska,
6 in the TO staff, there were only Serb soldiers, that is those units
7 consisted exclusively of Serbs. As for Kotor Varos, I believe the
8 situation was similar but I cannot guarantee, I'm not 100 per cent sure,
9 as I am for Bosanska Gradiska.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's have a 15-minute break. Thank you.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 Q. Colonel, we are still talking about this document, DB116 and in
16 answer to the Judge's question, you said this: "So clearly, Colonel
17 Tepsic, without consulting General Talic, I believe, issued, on his own
18 initiative, this order." That's what you said.
19 A. Yes. That's what I said, but I must apologise. In the
20 introduction it says, "Pursuant to an oral order issued by the corps
21 commander." It was my mistake. Colonel Tepsic did receive an order of
22 the 5th Corps commander to issue these weapons. My apologies once again.
23 Q. Let me ask you, what information it was that you have that caused
24 to you conclude that this order was issued without consulting General
25 Talic? Or did you just make that up?
1 A. I didn't just make it up, because Colonel Tepsic brought me, as
2 the commander of the base, an automatic rifle. It was a gift from him,
3 and I know that he gave same gifts to other officers. There was a bed in
4 his office under which there was a box of automatic rifles. I asked him,
5 "What do you keep these for?" And he just smiled. In my notebook, I have
6 the number of the rifle that he gave me, and my Chief of Staff,
7 Colonel Cengic. I have the number of this rifle in my notebook, the
8 official number, which means that he issued, and he gave the similar
9 weapons to other people, and it was quite shocking for me.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think we can move forward, Mr. Ackerman.
11 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Q. I want to ask you before I go on to the next document, I just want
13 to ask you a couple of general questions, so that we kind of understand
14 the general situation. TO units were not under the command of the 5th
15 Krajina Corps? TO units located in the area of responsibility of the 5th
16 Krajina Corps were not under the command of the 5th Krajina Corps, were
18 A. No.
19 Q. And it's correct, is it not, that there was a regional staff of
20 the TO headquartered in Banja Luka, that existed a long time before the
21 Autonomous Region of Krajina was ever created?
22 A. Yes. The chief was Colonel Nikola Kasabascic the Chief of Staff
23 of the TO.
24 Q. Of the regional TO?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me, interpreter's correction, commander
1 of the TO staff.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It used to be referred to as the
3 zone TO, whose commander was a Colonel Nikola Kasabasic.
4 MR. ACKERMAN:
5 Q. And how about Colonel Milorad Sajic, what role did he play with
6 regard to that regional TO?
7 A. I cannot remember. It is possible that he was the Chief of Staff,
8 but the exact function during that period of time, I don't know. I'm not
9 sure, because the situation changed within six months. A large number of
10 officers came from Slovenia and Croatia, who took up functions, offices,
11 that had been previously held by those Croats and Muslims who had left the
12 JNA. So I don't know during which period of time who had which particular
13 function. I'm familiar only with the key officers there.
14 Q. I have one last question with regard to this document, DB116, and
15 that is: Were you familiar with it at the time, in May of 1992? Were you
16 aware of it?
17 A. I was not aware of the existence of this document, no. I saw it
18 here in the courtroom for the first time.
19 Q. Look now at DB117. This is a similar kind of document, signed by
20 Colonel Tepsic, dated 9 May, 1992, still JNA, correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And that was four days after the last one we just looked at,
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And this orders military post 7980, Banja Luka, to deliver
1 additional materiel to Kotor Varos TO, does it not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Colonel, the English translation that we have says military post
4 office box 4022 and military post office box 7980, that's not an accurate
5 translation, is it? It's military post, isn't it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And again, this one says it's pursuant to a verbal order by the
8 5th Corps commander?
9 A. Yes, 4022 is the number of the corps command. That's the
10 peacetime number of this military post, because in correspondence between
11 units and civilian structures, usually the number of the military post
12 would be mentioned, and not the name of the formation, the brigade, the
14 Q. All right. And again, were you aware of this order in May of 1992
15 when it was entered?
16 A. No. I see this document for the first time. But it was on the
17 basis of an oral order of the corps command that Tepsic ordered issuance
18 of these weapons.
19 Q. You've now seen three similar orders signed by Tepsic which you
20 told us you did not see before. You were aware, weren't you, that Tepsic
21 was doing this, that he was signing orders of this kind?
22 A. He was assistant commander for logistics, and this concerns the
23 logistical tasks and Colonel Tepsic was in charge of that. He acted on
24 the basis of the orders issued by his commander, General Talic.
25 Q. Well, but you haven't answered my question. You were aware,
1 weren't you, that Tepsic was doing this, that he was signing orders of
2 this kind at the time, weren't you?
3 A. I was the commander of a logistical base and Colonel Tepsic was
4 with the corps command. He was the assistant commander for logistics and
5 we never discussed, nor was he under any obligation to inform me about the
6 existence of these documents. This was an order that he issued to his
7 subordinate units, and there was no need whatsoever for him to inform me
8 thereof, nor was I interested in that. If he had contacted me, then I
9 would have probably initialed the document in the upper right corner and
10 sent this to the chief of technical services to deal with this problem.
11 The corps had weapons, and Colonel Tepsic --
12 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Were you aware that he was
13 doing this or not? I think your answer is no, you were not aware, isn't
15 A. I didn't know that he had written this. I didn't know that he had
16 regulated this in a document. I can see the initial of the person who
17 processed this document, DJ. This person was probably in charge of
18 weapons. The official who was in charge of the weapons. So he was
19 probably the one who typed out this document and he signed it.
20 Q. All right. I'm going to insist, sir, that you answer my
21 question. The question is very simple: You were aware, weren't you, that
22 Tepsic was doing this, that he was signing orders of this kind? Were you
23 aware or not?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Answer yes or no, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not. I didn't know that he
1 wrote this type of document.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Next question, Mr. Ackerman.
4 Try, Colonel, I know that you are doing this in a sense of
5 cooperation with this Tribunal, but on the other hand, please try to be
6 concise in your answers and answer the question, the whole question and
7 nothing but the question. Don't go beyond what Mr. Ackerman is asking you
8 because that way, we will never finish. Thanks.
9 MR. ACKERMAN:
10 Q. You have in front of you, sir, your statement from 1995?
11 A. I don't. It's been returned.
12 Q. I don't know where it went.
13 A. Yes?
14 Q. The part I'm interested in is it's page 10 in the English
15 version. It's a paragraph that begins with, "Colonel General Nikola
16 Uzelac, the commander of the Banja Luka Corps in 1991. He received two
17 promotions during the war." Tell me when you find that. Page 11, sir.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, I want you to go down one, two, three paragraphs from that,
20 and you'll see a paragraph which reads as follows: "During late 1991 and
21 1992, Uzelac's assistant to the commander for logistics Colonel Vaso
22 Tepsic would come to me regularly at the end of the day with orders for
23 weapons for new brigades being formed in the local TOs." You did know
24 about this, didn't you?
25 A. We held regular, daily meetings, at which the logistical supplies
1 of the corps were analysed. There were also meetings, both his and mine,
2 with chiefs of relevant departments, and all the issues concerning
3 logistical supply of the corps were discussed during those meetings,
4 including these units mentioned here. But without documents.
5 Q. What you said was that he came to you regularly at the end of the
6 day with orders, like these orders we've been looking at. He came to you
7 with orders for new brigades being formed in the local TOs. These orders
8 were for the distribution of weapons to TOs. And you're talking here
9 about him bringing those orders to supply those new brigades being formed
10 in the TOs and that's what you told the Prosecutor, isn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I want to make sure that the word "order" is being
14 used in the context you are suggesting, Mr. Ackerman, and not in some
15 other context, because an order for weapons means one thing, an order
16 issued by Colonel -- by Colonel Tepsic to the post 7980, to supply,
17 furnish, so many weapons to a TO is another.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: How could that be? An order is an order.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course, if the TO in Kotor Varos places an order
20 for 100 rifles --
21 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand what you're saying.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That's an order too.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: And I want to make sure that what is shown as with
25 orders for weapons for new brigades is what you meant and not what I am
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Would you like me to ask him that?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The solution lies in the original language, which I
4 don't understand.
5 MS. KORNER: Sorry, Your Honour, the statement was taken in
6 English and then translated into -- so it's not the original language used
7 by the witness.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But perhaps the witness can enlighten us. I don't
9 know what's written in Serbo-Croat.
10 MS. KORNER: But, Your Honour, it's not what the witness said in
11 Serbo-Croat was written down. The witness -- we went through it, it's a
12 long time ago. You may remember, statements are taken in English so it's
13 witness answer, interpreter's translation, and then that's written down,
14 and then read back, maybe by the same interpreter, maybe not. And what's
15 happened is the whole statement has been translated since it was decided
16 that he would be called as a witness.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me put a direct question to the witness myself,
18 Mr. Ackerman.
19 Here it says, "During late 1991 and 1992, Colonel Tepsic would
20 come to me regularly at the end of the day with orders for weapons for new
21 brigades being formed." What do you mean by "orders for weapons"? In
22 other words, was Colonel Tepsic coming to you and telling you, "Colonel
23 Selak, we need so many rifles for the TO in Kotor Varos or the TO in
24 Bosanska Gradiska"? Or was he coming to you with an order ready only to
25 be signed or confirmed by you for the supply of weapons to the various
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 TOs? Because the way it's written here, in my opinion, leaves a little
2 bit of a question mark.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to give you a larger
4 explanation. We had regular meetings, Colonel Tepsic and myself, with our
5 assistants, the chiefs of departments. Colonel Tepsic never issued an
6 order for weapons. It was his official in charge of technical services,
7 in charge of weapons, who would tell us about the situation, and then
8 Tepsic would submit a request for the replenishment of these units, not in
9 writing. It would be discussed on the following day and then a request
10 for appropriate documents would be made. That's why I see this document
11 here for the first time, and there was no need for such a document to
12 reach me.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I think that's clear enough,
14 Mr. Ackerman. You may proceed.
15 MR. ACKERMAN:
16 Q. All right. We are going to go to a completely different subject
17 now, sir. I'm finished with that and with those documents. I want to you
18 look now -- I think you turn back one page in your statement of 1995. You
19 should find a paragraph that begins with the language, "With respect to
20 the issue of responsibility."
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What that says is, "With respect to the issue of responsibility of
23 senior commanders for the actions of their subordinates in the field,
24 there is no way that a commander in the field would commit a unit to
25 combat without the permission of his commander." And you said something
1 very similar to that in your testimony here, I think, Wednesday. Correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is there such a concept in the JNA that in the U.S. army we call
4 rules of engagement?
5 A. Yes. There were combat rules pertaining to the use of units, and
6 the authority in terms of command and control.
7 Q. There are -- there were regulations regarding what a unit could do
8 under certain prescribed situations, and I'll get specific here in a
9 minute, but that was well set out in the regulations, wasn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, could you tell us, please, what those rules are if a military
12 unit is attacked? If the unit is attacked, surely they don't have to wait
13 for permission from the commander before they can engage?
14 A. No. The commander immediately undertakes a defence. At the same
15 time, he is supposed to inform his superior commander that he has been
16 attacked, and that fighting is going on.
17 Q. And what are his standing orders at that point, beyond informing
18 his commander, what is he required to do? What is he supposed to do
19 pursuant to regulations at that point, when his unit is attacked?
20 A. He will use his unit to carry out the task, to defend his unit,
21 the ground, the terrain, and to report his superior commander whether he
22 may need assistance, or the degree to which the task has been carried
23 out. So he must regularly inform his superior in a successive way so that
24 the superior should be well informed on what was happening on the battle
25 front and what he needed to do to send him support and other things, if
2 Q. And if possible, and to the extent possible, he is to totally
3 eliminate the threat to his unit, isn't he?
4 A. That is why the unit exists. That is why it has been formed to
5 carry out the task assigned to by its commander. The commander has
6 already taken the decision to engage the unit in that part of the theatre,
7 and he is acting on that decision. He had to assess himself who the enemy
8 was, how strong the enemy was, and what the aims of the enemy were in
9 order to be able to take adequate countermeasures.
10 Q. Yes. And what I said to you and asked you, I think you could have
11 said is true. If possible and to the extent possible, he is to totally
12 eliminate the threat to his unit, isn't he? That's true?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I want you to now look at your statement from the year 2000. The
15 English version, sir, we are going to page 5, talking about brigades and
16 authorities, things of that nature. And the paragraph I'm directing your
17 attention to reads as follows: "I am not aware of any brigade
19 A. Just a moment, please. I haven't found the passage yet.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: It's on page 5, second paragraph.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
22 MR. ACKERMAN:
23 Q. Page 5, second paragraph, sir.
24 A. I've found it, yes.
25 Q. "I am not aware of any brigade operations that took place without
1 the knowledge of the division tactical group, operative group, or corps.
2 I think that a brigade could not carry out an operation without the
3 knowledge of the corps; the training and doctrine did not allow it." Now,
4 that's what we have been talking about, the training and doctrine, and of
5 course, as you've told us, a brigade could carry out an operation to
6 defend itself if it were attacked. Correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that's exactly what happened in Kozarac, isn't it? A JNA unit
9 was attacked and it defended itself according to JNA doctrine? And
10 secured assistance in that regard?
11 A. No. The brigade was not attacked in the military sense. If you
12 are referring to individuals, then they are not a unit, and that is a
13 misinformation, what you have said.
14 Q. Let's look at DB124 now, sir. What you have before you, sir, is a
15 document from the security services centre Banja Luka, June of 1992, and
16 it appears to be a report following an investigation of what happened at
17 Kozarac. Looking at the second paragraph of that report, "The information
18 gathered through interviews with extremists, their contacts, and a number
19 of citizens of Muslim nationality indicate that since the autumn of 1991,
20 citizens of Muslim nationality in the wider Prijedor area were illegally
21 supplied with weapons in a planned and organised manner and activity
22 organised by the SDA from Prijedor. The illegal arming was led by the
23 Crisis Staff formed in late 1991 with Muhamed Cehajic, Mirza Mujadzic,
24 Becir Medunjanin, Hilmija Hopovac, and others at the helm. After the
25 Crisis Staff was established, the total takeover of power by Muslim
1 extremists in the territory of Prijedor was openly advocated, to which
2 purpose paramilitary formations were established and illegally armed."
3 Now, in the first place, were you aware that there was a Muslim
4 Crisis Staff established in that area that was armed?
5 A. A Muslim Crisis Staff in Prijedor municipality was not armed. I
6 don't know that it had been formed. This is a report of the security
7 services centre, and it is not correct. It justifies the ethnic cleansing
8 that occurred in that area, Kozarac, Hambarine, and Prijedor. The killing
9 and arrest of people. This is not true. And these men mentioned here, I
10 heard of only one of them, but these were leading Muslims from Prijedor
11 that needed to be eliminated. I don't know what happened to them. Among
12 the large numbers killed, I believe some of them may be among them. This
13 report is not correct, but it served as an explanation for the massacre
14 that occurred against the Muslim people in this area.
15 Q. Do you deny --
16 A. Who could have armed the Muslim people in Prijedor? Across the
17 Sava was the Serbian Krajina. To the east was the Banja Luka Corps.
18 Would anyone have allowed it, the legal organisation of organisations of
19 the opponent? And this is not correct.
20 Q. Do you deny that there was an armed Crisis Staff established in
22 A. I did not know of it.
23 Q. So you don't deny it; you just don't know about it? It could have
24 existed? Is that your position?
25 A. That people had organised themselves and had night watch duty, I
1 believe they did, but they did not have an armed unit. That is what I
2 claim, a unit of the level of a company, battalion, brigade and so on.
3 Q. You just asked we are weapons could have come from. Let's look at
4 the next paragraph. "The armament was mostly funded from abroad by people
5 from this area working in foreign countries and some financial resources
6 were provided by citizens in the form of donations, especially by wealthy
7 people, private entrepreneurs, from the SDA coffers. Weapons were
8 obtained illegally through SDA and HDZ channels mostly from the Republic
9 of Croatia via Slavonski Brod but also from Sarajevo, Banja Luka, and the
10 Cazin Krajina, as well as by smuggling in which a number of people of
11 Serbian nationality were also involved, according to some information.
12 Some individuals illegally gained great material benefit by smuggling
13 weapons." You deny that that is the case?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Which case, Mr. Ackerman? Because there are several
15 statements here.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: There are.
17 Q. Just react, please, to what I just read new that paragraph. What
18 about that paragraph do you agree with? What don't you agree with?
19 A. I agree that there were individual purchases of weapons, but not
20 by groups. I agree that there was smuggling of weapons throughout the
21 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But I should also like to declare
22 that 80 per cent of the members of the police force in Prijedor
23 municipality were Serbs. How is it possible, then, that arms could be
24 smuggled when you had such a powerful mono-ethnic police force?
25 Q. You agreed there was smuggling and I guess you would agree
1 throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina and I guess you'd agree, for instance, that
2 arms stolen from an arms factory in Konjic could have been smuggled into
4 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, anything could happen.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him answer the question, Ms. Korner.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him answer the question.
8 Yes, your answer is do you agree with Mr. Ackerman that that was
9 possible or not?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. It was not possible.
11 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Q. Well then why --
13 A. Unfortunately, it was not possible, because one people was
14 victimised. If it had had weapons, it could have defended itself.
15 Q. Why did you say, then, in your answer, "I agree that there was
16 smuggling of weapons throughout the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina"?
17 You agreed with that?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: But he also said that he excluded that the purchase
19 was at a group -- on a group level. He said individuals were buying
20 weapons. And therefore, when he also add myths to smuggling, you have to
21 relate it proportionately to the aspect of or to the limitation that he
22 mentioned before. That is, that we are talking about individuals and not
24 MR. ACKERMAN:
25 Q. Whether it's an individual or a group, it's a weapon that kills
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Are we talking of smuggling on a massive scale or on
3 a small scale, Colonel?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We are talking about small-scale
5 smuggling. Unfortunately, as I said already.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. If you go over to the next page, you'll see a paragraph which
8 begins with, "As there had been earlier information."
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. "As there had been earlier information on illegal arming and the
11 establishment of illegal paramilitary formations in this area," that's
12 referring to Kozarac, "The legal government organs demanded that the
13 weapons be returned, which the war staff refused." Is that true?
14 A. It is true that the war staff demanded that all Bosniaks return
15 weapons. A number of people did so. I don't know what happened then.
16 However, I repeat that this was on an individual basis, that there were
17 legally-owned hunting weapons, and that I don't believe, or rather I know
18 for certain that there were no large quantities of such weapons. In the
19 Tribunal, there is a document, I've seen it, I saw it two years ago, in
20 which Sanski Most reports how many weapons had been returned, and
21 collected from the local Bosniak population. I believe that the similar
22 report exists for Prijedor.
23 Q. My question was really directed to Kozarac and the question was:
24 Is it true that when it was requested of the Kozarac people to return
25 weapons, they refused to do so? That's my question. If you don't know,
1 say you don't know. But answer that question, please.
2 A. Weapons were returned. Whether everything was returned, I don't
4 Q. All right. And that's the same thing you told us on Friday. This
5 is page 10, I believe, of the LiveNote, speaking of Kozarac you said,
6 starting line 22, you said, "In this area there were no armed formations
7 of the so-called Green Berets. People returned their weapons at the
8 request of the Prijedor municipal authorities." That's what you said
9 then, and --
10 A. I haven't found it. I do apologise. No -- yes, I have. No, here
11 there is reference to General Talic. No, I don't have it. I'm sorry,
12 excuse me.
13 Q. It's in your testimony on Friday, sir. You don't have it in front
14 of you. It's the transcript of your Friday's testimony?
15 A. Would you please repeat your question?
16 Q. You were asked a question about the Kozarac area. You said, "In
17 this area, there were no armed formations of the so-called Green Berets.
18 People returned their weapons at the request of the Prijedor municipality
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that's the position you maintain today, isn't it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, I'd really like to know how it is you know whether or not
24 people in Kozarac were armed. You weren't there, were you?
25 A. I wasn't in Kozarac but I didn't issue weapons either to any
1 paramilitary formation. The corps didn't issue such weapons. It would
2 have appeared in the media or it would have been discussed at a corps
3 meeting, that a company or battalion had been formed there but no such
4 mention was ever made.
5 Q. If people who were there, people like a former JNA officer,
6 Muslim, people like a former member of parliament, Muslim, told us that
7 there were armaments in Kozarac and that they did refuse to return them
8 when asked, would you change your mind? Would you say that you're wrong?
9 A. I said that there were weapons. That's for sure. Who knows
10 whether I myself would have returned a weapon if I were afraid for my
11 safety. No one provided me with a guarantees of security, and probably I
12 too would not have returned it.
13 Q. Don't you know that armed groups, after, at a later time, actually
14 attacked Prijedor, Muslim and Croatian, at least Muslim groups, actually
15 attacked Prijedor trying to retake Prijedor?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Can you be more precise as to the time frame we are
17 talking about, Mr. Ackerman?
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I think it's like --
19 MS. KORNER: And how many -- I mean you used groups in the
20 plural. It's not the evidence.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm going to read what this document says about it.
22 Q. "Interviews with persons that were brought in, largely clarified
23 the attack on Prijedor, launched by Muslim and Croatian extremists on 30
24 May this year. In the early morning, a group of about 200 well-armed and
25 organised men launched an all-out attack on vital facilities and
1 institutions in Prijedor, killing 18 and wounding 15 persons. In
2 addition, this armed rebellion and attack caused great material damage in
4 Are you aware of an attack by non-Serb forces on Prijedor around
5 the 30th of May of 1992, in an attempt to retake Prijedor?
6 A. The 343rd Motorised Brigade was in Prijedor and other brigades,
7 with a numerical strength of this first brigade that I mentioned had 6.000
9 Q. Sir, the question is simple. I didn't ask you anything about the
10 343rd Motorised Brigade. The question is simple. Just answer it. Are
11 you aware of an attack by non-Serb forces on Prijedor around the 30th of
12 May, 1992? Yes or no?
13 A. There was no attack.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. There was no organised attack by any particular unit.
16 Q. You've answered the question, sir, thank you.
17 I'm going to a different subject now. Around 15 May of 1992, all
18 JNA soldiers in Bosnia-Herzegovina who were not born there, who were born
19 in Serbia and Montenegro, had to withdraw from their units and return
20 home. Correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And soldiers from Bosnia and Herzegovina serving elsewhere left
23 those units and came back to Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 A. Yes. They returned to the places of their birth or residence.
25 Q. And this whole switching of soldiers, officers, non-commissioned
1 officers, from those who were born in Bosnia with those who were serving
2 outside Bosnia and all of that we just talked about, this created a great
3 deal of turmoil in the army and a significant desertion rate, didn't it?
4 A. Yes. Only of soldiers and not officers. The officers retained
5 their posts. They didn't return to Serbia, nor did they come from Serbia.
6 Q. In fact, around that time, there were units that had desertion
7 rates as high as 90 per cent, weren't there?
8 A. I do not have that figure in my possession.
9 Q. Would that surprise you?
10 A. It would surprise me that 90 per cent of the personnel would
11 dessert from a unit. Then what were the officers doing? It doesn't seem
12 logical, and I doubt that that could be true.
13 Q. Also around this time, around the middle of May, because of these
14 changes, there were JNA units that were traversing the Bosnian Krajina on
15 their way to Serbia, weren't there?
16 A. No. Units didn't travel through Bosnian Krajina to Serbia; they
17 stayed in Bosnia. I don't know of a single unit passing through Bosanska
18 Krajina and going to Serbia, except for the officers of the technical
19 military academy in Zagreb who went to Belgrade.
20 Q. All right. I'm going to go to a different subject now.
21 I want to talk to you about this whole subject of cooperation with
22 civilian authorities. In your statement from the year 2000, we just
23 looked at page 5. I now want to take you to page 6 in the English version
24 and find a paragraph that begins with the language, "In respect of links."
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What that says is, "In respect of links between military and
2 civilian bodies, these links with the local civilian bodies were very
3 good. The whole goal of the JNA was that it was a people's army and they
4 worked to develop a good relationship with the civilian bodies. The
5 official policy in all the laws and regulations was to work toward this
6 goal." True?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that was the policy and the laws and regulations in the JNA
9 long before there were any multi-party elections and long before any of
10 the events in 1991 and 1992 that we are talking about, wasn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. It was enshrined in the regulations and those same regulations and
13 laws of the SFRY that governed the JNA were adopted in whole by Republika
14 Srpska when the VRS was formed, weren't they?
15 A. Yes. They used those laws and regulations and rules of the former
16 SFRY or the JNA. All the legal regulations were taken over by them.
17 Q. Now, there are a lot of reasons - and surely we will not cover
18 them all, sir - why there needs to be a great deal of cooperation between
19 the military and local civilian bodies, but just a kind of simple one:
20 When you have a military post at which you have a number of young men,
21 conscripts, there are always difficulties engendered by those young men
22 and the things they do on leave when they go into the town near where the
23 military post is, aren't there?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And there has to be cooperation between the military post and the
1 local authorities regarding how to deal with those visitors to the
2 community who happen to be part of the military?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The military needs food, there has to be cooperation between the
5 military post and the local authorities to get food to feed the soldiers?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. They need construction material; that involves cooperation with
8 local authorities?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. They need medicines; that sometimes involves cooperation with the
11 local authorities?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And when we talk about having adopted those regulations and laws
14 of the former JNA by the VRS, there was no change in policy that would
15 allow local or regional political leaders to issue orders to military
16 units or to direct the policy of those units, was there? That never
17 happened, did it?
18 A. No. Local leaders could not issue orders to the units of the VRS.
19 Q. The only civilian authority which could set policy and issue
20 orders was the civilian Commander-in-Chief, correct?
21 A. Yes. That is the President of the republic, Dr. Radovan Karadzic,
22 the Commander-in-Chief of the VRS.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In that statement that we have been looking at, from the year
1 2000, page 7, I think you just turn the page.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And here is what you said with regard to some of these issues.
4 Talking about a local commander and relationships with, say, a Crisis
6 "The local military commander might, on a personal level, discuss
7 an issue with the head of the Crisis Staff if he did not agree with a
8 certain request of the Crisis Staff. However, if he did not agree, I
9 believe that the task would not be carried out. If the commander could
10 not sort the issue out at his level, it would be reported up the military
11 chain that there was a problem. If I were the commander in question, I
12 would immediately inform my superior commander of the problems that I was
13 facing, and then that superior commander would decide what had to be done.
14 This would be according to the set regulations in the army. Requests
15 which required civilian assistance from the military had to be authorised
16 by the crisis staffs. If, for example, a military wished to use a
17 particular building, the Crisis Staff was obliged to assist in clearing
18 the facility."
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. True?
21 A. Yes. There were regular agreements. There shouldn't have been
22 any verbal disagreements. The objective was always the same. It was all
23 agreed upon at the local level. As far as the supplies are concerned, the
24 army regularly paid for what they used, for the facilities that they used.
25 It was a long-standing practice that had been tried over the years. One
1 people, one army, and it was only logical. It was a common state, after
3 Q. As a local military commander, say a brigade commander in a
4 municipality, you could only carry out the wishes, say, of a Crisis Staff
5 in that municipality if it was either within your standing orders or with
6 the permission of your superior officers, right?
7 A. Yes, provided that it was a mutual interest.
8 Q. Never, ever, ever, were you, as a commander of a military unit,
9 subordinated to a crisis staff or the President of the crisis staff, were
11 A. No, no. I was not subordinated.
12 Q. I'd like to you look at DB118, sir. Now, what you see there is a
13 fairly curious document. It's signed by a fellow by the name of
14 Gojko Klickovic from Bosanska Krupa, who was apparently the President of
15 the War Presidency or Crisis Staff of Bosanska Krupa. Do you see that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And look what he tries to do. He sends an order to the command of
18 the 1st Krajina Brigade to destroy three bridges, reinforced concrete
19 bridge at Crno Jezero, the reinforced concrete bridge over the Una River,
20 and the wooden bridge. See that?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Now, if you were the commander of that 1st Krajina Brigade, after
23 you finished laughing, what would you do next?
24 A. The intention that is the purpose of bringing down these bridges
25 is clear to me, but the President of the Crisis Staff or the War
1 Presidency made a mistake because he did not have authority to issue
2 orders to a brigade commander, and he didn't have to carry out this order
3 if it was not in their mutual interest, that is in the interests both of
4 the army and the War Presidency of the Bosanska Krupa municipality.
5 Q. Would you say that this is an example of a local martinet trying
6 to exert authority way beyond what his actual authority was?
7 A. Yes. He overstepped his authority. He did not have the power to
8 issue orders. This did not constitute an order for the commander. He
9 could have done it, but if it had been in the interest of his brigade. So
10 then this would probably be an approval issued by the municipal
11 authorities to destroy the bridges. But as a document, this document does
12 not have authority as an order.
13 Q. Of course anybody can draft a document, call it an order and sign
14 their name, to do all kinds of things; but it's a separate issue as to
15 whether they have any authority to do that or not, isn't it? You know
16 that these bridges were never blown, all these three bridges that are
17 contained in this order? They exist today, don't they, just the way they
18 did in April 1992?
19 A. I believe this is so but I haven't crossed these bridges lately. I
20 don't think they have been destroyed. If it was not in the interest and
21 for the purposes of the needs of the army, no, I don't think that they
22 were destroyed.
23 Q. And I take it that you don't know, even if the commander of the
24 1st Krajina Brigade even bothered to transmit this sort of silly order to
25 higher authority, do you?
1 A. Personally, I think he first made contact with this
2 Gojko Klickovic, that the issue was explained to him and that if he gave
3 up on his request, there was no further need for reporting. However, if
4 not, he was supposed to inform there on his superior officer.
5 Q. Now, to be fair to Mr. Klickovic, we must point out that after the
6 order, he did authorise the command to postpone its execution if they
7 thought that would be a good idea, didn't he?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. On the other hand, if the military needed assistance from the
10 Crisis Staff, assistance from local authorities, the Crisis Staff would be
11 obliged to comply with the requests for assistance from the military,
12 wouldn't they?
13 A. The word, the expression "would be obliged" I think is erroneous.
14 This was mutual assistance, according to the mutual agreements and
15 regardless of Mr. Klickovic, if the commander of the army should assess
16 that the bridges posed danger to his units and that portion of the front
17 line, I think he would have destroyed them on his own initiative, without
18 asking for the consent of the -- of the president of this municipality,
19 because this unit was using the territory in question, the human resources
20 that they needed for the purposes of combat.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: If you have finished on this subject --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you hear me, Mr. Ackerman?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: No, I didn't.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: If you have finished on this particular document,
1 let's move to something different because I think we've heard enough on
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm basically through with this document, but I
4 have a couple of questions on the issue involved in it and I'll finish
5 quickly, I think.
6 Q. Sir, the last question I asked you had basically nothing to do
7 with this document. It had to do with a situation, and I'm -- I was
8 quoting your words, actually, what you said in that second paragraph I
9 read to you there was: "If, for example, the military wished to use a
10 particular building, the Crisis Staff was obliged to assist in clearing
11 the facility." Maybe that's not clear. But what I took to you mean by
12 that was, if the military needed a particular building for its use, the
13 Crisis Staff had to comply with that request. They were required to do
14 so. Am I right about that or is that a misinterpretation of what you
16 A. No. The Crisis Staff had to help with the clearing of the
17 building which was to be used by the military for their purposes during
18 the war. The word "had to" is wrong, I think.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: We will take a break. Well-deserved, I suppose.
20 --- Recess taken at 5.14 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 5.36 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Where is the witness? He disappeared,
23 Mr. Ackerman.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. In your testimony, you talked about General Talic attending
3 Regional Crisis Staff meetings, didn't you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And your only knowledge about that was what you were told by other
6 officers? You never -- you don't have any personal knowledge that he
7 attended Regional Crisis Staff meetings, do you?
8 A. Yes, except in one case, when he returned from Crisis Staff, he
9 invited his assistants and myself, I have everything written -- noted
10 down, including the date, when he briefed us on a meeting of the Crisis
12 Q. When you testified in the Tadic case, sir, 5 June of 1996, and I'm
13 looking at page 1.224 of the transcript of that date.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't worry about it, Colonel Selak, because you
15 don't have the transcript. You don't have the transcript over there.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. You were asked the following question and gave the following
19 "Q. Colonel Selak to your knowledge did General Talic meet often
20 with SDS members in the Banja Luka area?
21 "A. General Talic had regular briefings with political bodies,
22 notably the SDS. He was a member of the Crisis Staff of Banja
23 Luka. Therefore, he and Colonel Vukelic, his assistant for
24 ethics and head of security, Colonel Vujinovic [phoen] were
25 regularly there."
1 Now, there you're saying he was a member of and attended meetings
2 of the Banja Luka Crisis Staff?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Why is it that after 1996, between then and your testimony here,
5 you now say that he attended meetings of the Regional Crisis Staff? Which
6 one is it?
7 A. Well, it is true that he attended meetings of the Regional Crisis
8 Staff. It was a perfectly normal channel of communication between the
9 military and civilian authorities. I believed I said that in my first
10 testimony in 1996. I don't know how it was translated, but it was only
11 normal and logical that he attended those sessions. He in person or any
12 of his assistants, Vukelic, Bogojevic, or later Gojko Vujnovic, who was
13 his assistant for organisation of civil authority in the area of
14 responsibility of the corps.
15 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I think Mr. Ackerman may be taking an
16 unfair point, and I'm sure he wouldn't want to. In 1996, when the Tadic
17 trial was on, I don't think if you searched the transcript, there is no
18 distinction drawn, it's just Banja Luka Crisis Staff and there is no
19 regional and Banja Luka. So the suggestion is he said something
20 different, I think that may be an unfair one.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't intervene, Ms. Korner. First of all, I'm
22 not aware and I was not aware of what you have just stated, but I didn't
23 intervene because I think that basing myself on the statement that the
24 witness has already made earlier on during his testimony here, he was in
25 a -- perfectly in a position to answer the question because he's already
1 drawn a distinction between the two crisis staffs and the relative
2 importance of each. And I think that was also with reference to the
3 interaction between military and civilian.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, that's right, but my only reason for
5 raising this is because Mr. Ackerman seems to be suggesting, if I'm wrong,
6 that he has changed his testimony from the Tadic trial.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't take it like that, no.
8 MS. KORNER: Well, in that case, I'm sorry. I withdraw the
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I didn't take it like that. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
11 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Q. The legitimate purpose, Colonel, for General Talic attending such
13 meetings that I just told us was -- see if I can find your exact words,
14 "Perfectly normal," was to glean information about the political situation
15 in the region, to give instructions to the Crisis Staff regarding the
16 needs of the military, and especially with a -- it was a good place for
17 General Talic to have this interface we have been talking about with the
18 civilian authorities to deal with problems that had to be dealt with with
19 the civilian authorities, wasn't it?
20 MS. KORNER: Right, could we have those three, if not four
21 questions, please, split into four questions?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's fair enough, Ms. Korner.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll do that.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go through them one by one, Mr. Ackerman.
25 MR. ACKERMAN:
1 Q. The legitimate purpose for General Talic attending such meetings,
2 that you said were "perfectly normal," was to first of all glean
3 information about the political situation in the region? Yes?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. To let the Crisis Staff know about the needs of the military,
6 food, clothing, construction materials, medicines, whatever it was the
7 military might be short of?
8 A. No.
9 Q. That would have been your job?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And a good place for him to simply interface with the civilian
12 authorities about all the mutual issues that we talked about before the
13 break that exist between them? Correct?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. And for that same reason, would it make sense for Colonel Vukelic
16 to attend such meetings?
17 A. Yes. Not all three of them had to be present together but only
18 one person from the corps command staff, either the commander or one of
19 his assistants. It was not necessary for all of them to attend together.
20 Q. And if there was an ARK meeting, whether it be the ARK assembly or
21 the Crisis Staff of ARK, it was a perfect opportunity, was it not, to keep
22 in touch with all of the local authorities since those meetings were
23 attended by presidents of the crisis staffs or presidents of the
24 municipalities of the whole ARK region. Correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. General Talic, nor no other officer of the military, would have
2 gone to such meetings to take instructions as to what it was they were
3 being ordered to do, would they?
4 A. No.
5 Q. No military officer was in a subordinate position to any civilian
6 authority except at the Commander-in-Chief level, right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And conversely, no civilian authority was superior to any military
9 officer except at the Commander-in-Chief level?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. All right. On page 6 of your statement of the year 2000, and if
12 you've got it there in front of you -- I don't know whether you have it.
13 It keeps getting taken away. Just so everybody will know, I'll not finish
14 with all these statements until I'm finished with all these questions.
15 We were referring to -- I'll tell you what, let's just start
16 over. It's on page 6 in the English version, the bottom of the page,
17 starts with, "I myself had to keep contacts with the presidents of some
18 key municipalities." Page 7.
19 A. No. I haven't --
20 Q. Page 7, sir.
21 A. Page 7. Yes, yes.
22 Q. You said, "I personally visited the presidents of the
23 municipalities maybe around three to four times a year, not more. It was
24 important to keep links with the municipal bodies because many of the
25 soldiers and civilians for that matter, lived and originated from those
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. First of all, my question first of all is: Why is it that you, as
4 commander of logistics, were visiting these municipalities? What was your
5 particular role as regard to logistics that required to you make these
7 A. I had ammunition and fuel warehouses in these places. There were
8 no other JNA units there except for my units. So it was logical, and I
9 was expected to visit the authorities in these municipalities.
10 Q. We've just been talking about the interface that occurred with ARK
11 meetings in Banja Luka, whether a Crisis Staff or assembly of the ARK.
12 It's the case, isn't it, even both before and after the 18th of May, that
13 the area of responsibility of the 5th and then 1st Krajina Corps, was
14 never the same as the area of the Autonomous Region of Krajina? It was
15 always a different area but included some of the same -- many of the same
16 municipalities. Correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Another subject now, sir. There came a time when the headquarters
19 moved from Banja Luka to Stara Gradiska because of the war situation in
20 Croatia. Can you tell us about when it was that that was established?
21 A. I think it could have been sometime in the month of May, though I
22 don't know the exact date, something can be perhaps found in my notebook
23 but I don't think I have the exact date, when the basic command post, as
24 it is called, was transferred from Banja Luka to the building of the Stara
25 Gradiska penitentiary. I believe it was in May. Not earlier than that,
1 because I attended those meetings in May. Maybe in late April but I'm not
3 Q. And that's where General Talic was then head quartered, it's where
4 he slept, it's where he ate, it's where he operated his corps. Correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know how long that headquarters operated then out of Stara
7 Gradiska before it returned to Banja Luka?
8 A. I think until August, 1992, but I don't know the date. I had
9 already retired when the command returned to Banja Luka.
10 Q. In your testimony here last Wednesday, page 12.917, beginning at
11 line 16, you were asked this question:
12 "Q. Yes, I want to deal as separate topics your knowledge of and
13 dealings with Talic and Brdjanin, but from your understanding
14 of what was happening in that period of time, what was their
16 And this is the answer you gave, sir:
17 "A. The relationship between General Talic and Mr. Brdjanin was
18 always fair. They met often, exchanged information. I did
19 not attend their joint meetings, perhaps only on one occasion,
20 but they were very regular and we were satisfied with the
21 relationship between the army and the staff headed by
22 Mr. Brdjanin."
23 Now, that was your answer. Can you tell me, these meetings you
24 talk about, where did they occur? Where did they meet?
25 A. Of course, they would meet at the agreed venue. Mr. Brdjanin must
1 have come to the corps command but also General Talic and to the command
2 post of General Talic, but also to the positions of the combat units at
3 the front line, in the vicinity of Derventa and alongside the corridor.
4 Wherever they had agreed to meet, such contacts were normal and expected.
5 Q. During the time --
6 A. Because -- I'm sorry.
7 Q. During the time the command was in Banja Luka, how many times did
8 you see Brdjanin coming to the command to meet with General Talic?
9 A. I never saw it, I never saw him, because my offices were on the
10 7th floor, Talic was on the fifth floor. I never paid too much attention
11 to that. I was not interested in that. I could not, nor would not, see
12 it. I didn't have time for that. So I don't know how many times they
14 Q. Did you ever anywhere see the two of them meeting together?
15 A. Personally, no, except on one occasion when we were together, but
16 at other times, no, except in the media, on TV. The Banja Luka Glas Voice
17 and the radio broadcast it. It was normal for two top people from the
18 military to meet and coordinate their joint actions.
19 Q. I think I have to ask my question again: Talking about General
20 Talic and Radoslav Brdjanin, did you ever anywhere see the two of them
21 meeting together? Can you answer that yes or no?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Were you ever in a position where you were able to overhear what
24 it was they were saying to each other when they were meeting? Listening
25 in some way to what they were saying?
1 A. I listened to that, I saw it in the media, and on TV, but there
2 were also comments by our colleagues from the corps, and by Major
3 Pavlovic, who was in charge of monitoring political situation in his area
4 of responsibility, in the area of responsibility of the Banja Luka
5 logistical base, and he informed us about that.
6 Q. I think you must have misunderstood me again, sir. What I'm
7 asking you about are those occasions when you say there was a meeting
8 between Mr. Brdjanin and General Talic. We are talking about those
9 meetings. Were you ever in a position where you could overhear what they
10 were saying, either by having a hidden microphone in the room, or some
11 way, listening at the door? Were you ever able to hear what the two of
12 them were talking about?
13 A. No, no, no.
14 Q. You say that their meetings were very regular. How do you know
16 A. Regular because the political and military situation changed from
17 one day to the next, and that is why they had to meet. The leading
18 figures in politics and in the military.
19 Q. Let me ask you again: You say that their meetings were very
20 regular. How do you know that? Of your own knowledge, how do you know
21 that they were meeting regularly? What you just told me was there was a
22 reason for them to but how do you know they were?
23 A. At meetings with Colonel Tepsic, we had evenings, every evening,
24 to coordinate logistics supplies. My assistant for ethics and legal
25 affairs, Major Pavlovic, would regularly inform me about political events
1 and developments, and those were the sources of information that I had. I
2 personally didn't see them. I was not present.
3 Q. When you talk about meetings between Brdjanin and Talic, are you
4 including meetings of the Crisis Staff?
5 A. Not always, and there was no need for the Crisis Staff to keep
6 meeting, because the two of them were the leading figures in those bodies
7 and they could have addressed many problems ad hoc. As the problem arose,
8 they would deal with it.
9 Q. Sir, we are not going to finish any time soon if you don't listen
10 to my questions and answer them. I dislike like having to ask you every
11 question twice but let me do it again: When you talk about these meetings
12 between Brdjanin and Talic, are you including meetings of the Crisis
13 Staff, when you talk about those meetings? Does that also include Crisis
14 Staff meetings?
15 A. No.
16 Q. These Crisis Staff meetings that you talk about, where were those
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Did you ever see an office that had printed on its door, "Crisis
20 Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina" or anything like that?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Let me talk about some other relationships. What was the
23 relationship between -- we have been talking about the relationship with
24 Brdjanin. What was the relationship between General Talic and
25 Predrag Radic?
1 A. I never heard that there were any disputes or problems between
2 General Talic and Mr. Predrag Radic.
3 Q. Would you say that they met often and exchanged information?
4 A. They did meet. How often, I don't know.
5 Q. You wouldn't be able to say that their meetings were very regular?
6 A. Regular could mean once a month. As I went to municipalities.
7 When I say "regular," it doesn't have to be on a daily basis. It depends
8 on the agreement and on the need. They would meet when necessary, both
9 officially and unofficially.
10 Q. How about Nikola Erceg, do you know who he was?
11 A. I know the first and last name, but I've forgotten what position
12 he held.
13 Q. Would it help you if I said he was the President of the Executive
14 Council of the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What was his relationship with General Talic? Did they meet often
17 and exchange information?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. How about Vojo Kupresanin? What was his relationship with
20 General Talic?
21 A. I know that they had contacts and what their relationships were
22 like, I really wouldn't dare express an opinion, official -- an official
23 relationship existed but beyond that, I couldn't say.
24 Q. Well, you know, don't you, that Vojo Kupresanin was the President
25 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina? You did know that?
1 A. Yes. I had several contacts with him. He needed some assistance
2 from the logistic base and he would call me up by telephone, but I never
3 met with him.
4 Q. And you also know that the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region
5 of Krajina only existed for a very brief time during the months of May,
6 June, and most of July, and the rest of the time, the person who
7 General Talic would logically have been meeting with would have been
8 Vojo Kupresanin, isn't that correct? Because he would then have been the
9 head of the government? My question is: Do you know that those meetings
10 were going on at the same rate and frequency with regard to Mr. Brdjanin?
11 A. My logical conclusion would be yes.
12 Q. And my final question along this line, sir, is that with
13 General Talic meeting with these people, going to all these Crisis Staff
14 meetings, doing all these things, how on earth was he able to sit there in
15 Stara Gradiska and command his forces during a full-blown war?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You don't need to answer that question.
17 Move on, Mr. Ackerman.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
19 Q. I'd like you to look at another exhibit. This is Exhibit DB119.
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, while that's being found, may I ask for
21 five minutes at the end of the session to raise a different matter?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
23 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Take note of that, Mr. Ackerman, please.
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
1 Q. You've looked at that document before here. And I also want to
2 refer you to -- on English, it's page 9 of your statement of 2000. It
3 begins with a very short paragraph: "I have been shown the following
4 documents for my comments." We need to consult both of these as I ask you
5 these questions.
6 Did you find part of the statement that I'm referring to?
7 A. Which page, please, of my statement?
8 Q. It's page 9 in English. It's page 9 in your language. "I have
9 been shown the following documents for my comments." That's how it
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. In that first paragraph there, you indicate that you
13 were shown an order by General Momir Talic dated 7/6/92. It is an order
14 to the 1st Krajina Corps assistant commander for logistics, titled,
15 "Opening of the POW Camp in Manjaca."
16 According to this document, the premises of Manjaca should be
17 prepared to receive HVO prisoners of war. In brackets, it says, "the
18 premises had earlier housed prisoners of war." You go on to say, "It
19 appoints Colonel Bozidar Popovic as the camp commander with authority to
20 regulate the operations of the camp." You talk about Popovic and who he
21 was. Correct? And my question is: Was this document --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was this document in fact shown to you during this interview in
24 the year 2000? Or were you just told about it?
25 A. I'm not quite sure whether they told me about it. I do know about
1 the document. It was six years ago. I did know about the document. And
2 at a briefing, at General Talic's, he ordered the opening of the camp for
3 prisoners of war at Manjaca, and I have a note about it in my notebook.
4 On that occasion, the HVO was not mentioned but it was stated that it
5 would be a prisoner of war camp for 2.500 men, and I have the original
6 document and the date when such an order was issued.
7 Q. Look at the document, which you say you were shown during the
8 interview in year 2000. First of all, the document says, does it not,
9 that it appoints Colonel Popovic as commander? Doesn't it say that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And isn't it true that in 1992, when Manjaca was opened, Popovic
12 was not a colonel?
13 A. I think he wasn't. He was retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He
14 retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and he lived in Banja Luka.
15 Q. And I think you --
16 A. And he probably acquired the rank of colonel subsequently.
17 Q. I think you even told us the other day one of the reasons he came
18 back into the service in an effort to be promoted to colonel, or did I
20 A. Yes, precisely so.
21 Q. Now, look at the top of the document, the top left-hand corner of
22 the document. There is a notation 353/1/93. And then under that, the
23 date, 7 June, 1993. That's clear, isn't it?
24 A. In the right-hand corner, someone used a felt pen to write this
25 down. This is a photocopy. I don't know when this was written.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Can the usher bring me what you're looking at? Is
2 it on the ELMO now?
3 Q. Where do you see something, this is a photocopy? No, look at the
4 other side, sir, over on the left-hand side.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Command -- just right underneath there, you'll see --
7 A. Yes, yes.
8 Q. There you see 353/1/93, 07/06/93, correct?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. Go down then to the first paragraph, right before it says,
11 "Order." Again it says that its based upon a confidential order dated 7
12 June, 1993, from the main staff, doesn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And then go down to paragraph 6 of the order, where it says, "The
15 camps to be prepared by 1400 hours on 8 June, 1993." Doesn't it?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. My question is: If you were actually shown this document, as you
18 say you were, during the interview in the year 2000, how on earth could
19 you have mistaken this for a document dated 1992 when it says 1993 all
20 over it?
21 A. The prisoner of war camp at Manjaca was formed up until the 6th of
22 June, 1992, sometime prior to that. I was with Colonel Tepsic to tour the
23 camp when it was being formed, and I saw it for myself with my own eyes.
24 Q. But this order obviously has to do with a reopening of Manjaca in
25 June of 1993, doesn't it, to accommodate HVO prisoners. It even says that
1 it's premises where prisoners were previously held. It has nothing to do
2 with 1992, does it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And my question is: How did you mistake it for a 1992 order if
5 you were in fact shown it in the year 2000? How did that happen? Did the
6 investigator tell you that 1993 was a mistake and that it was really from
8 A. Let me see. The Manjaca prisoner of war camp was closed sometime
9 around the 15th or 16th of December, 1992. And it was reactivated on the
10 basis of this document that you have now shown me. Colonel Popovic
11 acquired the rank of colonel immediately after the opening of the Manjaca
12 camp in 1992.
13 Q. Did somebody tell you this was a 1992 document? Or did you
14 misread it? That's what I'm trying to find out.
15 A. Maybe I misread it. I misread the date. Because the camp was
16 formed in June, 1992, for the first time. In the stables of an
17 agricultural estate. Maybe the date, the 7th of June, 1992, and the 7th
18 of June, 1993, confused me, that may be -- maybe that is why I made the
20 Q. Well, one of the things you told the investigators on that date,
21 Mazhar Inayat, Ann Sutherland, Kellie Ward, and Ewan Brown were that you
22 knew all about this 1992 order that you were being shown because in your
23 notebook for 1992, you made an entry on 1 June, 1992, referring to that
24 order, and the opening of the camp.
25 Now, why didn't one of those interviewers at that point say, "No,
1 no. We are not talking about 1992. This order is 1993." Did anybody say
2 that to you?
3 A. I repeat: That was six years ago. I can't remember the words
4 that various people used speaking to me, and I can't answer that because I
5 cannot be sure of the accuracy of the answer.
6 Q. I will tell you that the English translation contains the date
7 1993, one, two, three, four times. Those people who interviewed you
8 couldn't possibly have misunderstood that they were dealing with a 1993
9 document, could they?
10 MS. KORNER: That's a comment --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner herself --
12 MS. KORNER: Exactly. I wasn't going to say but I said exactly
13 the same thing.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Korner herself intended to make use of that
15 document supposing it was a 1992 document, when yesterday or the day
16 before, I don't remember, we-- I highlighted the 1992, 1993 discrepancy,
17 she said, Okay, forget that document. I'm not making any further use of
18 it. That's why I haven't interrupted you. She did not make any use of
19 it, but you have right to make use of it yourself. Well, there's just --.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: But it is very obvious. I think we can leave it at
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I can comment but I think I won't.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Because it's pretty obvious that we couldn't be --
24 one couldn't be -- couldn't use this document for 1992 purposes except in
25 so far as it states that the camp was previously used for prisoners of
1 war. And the only question that I would have asked Colonel Selak was
2 whether prior to June 1992, to his knowledge, Manjaca camp was ever used
3 to house prisoners of war, pre-1992. And the answer to that probably
4 is --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, never.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: But between, in 1993, one could state that the camp
7 had been previously used for prisoners of war because it had been closed
8 down in December of 1992. So I think we can close --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Close it there and I don't think it can be doubted
11 any further as to the date.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm going to another subject now, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Oh, we have got five minutes that we require
14 for Ms. Korner and you want --
15 MR. ACKERMAN: I think we should stop now because this is a long
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you need Colonel Selak here --
18 MS. KORNER: I did, but can I just make one point, that
19 Mr. Ackerman reading out the list of investigators mentioned
20 Ann Sutherland's name, and I want to make very clear she's not an
21 investigator and it was -- I don't know why it was being put like that.
22 It wasn't intended that she take any part in the investigation. She may
23 have there for some minutes.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I didn't intend to include her as an investigator,
25 Your Honour. I know perfectly well what a stellar and incredible lawyer
1 she is.
2 MS. KORNER: Once Colonel Selak has left can we go into private
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Colonel Selak, once more I should like to thank
5 you for your testimony today, which hasn't been easy. We will see you
6 again tomorrow, same time, same place. Thank you.
7 Mr. Ackerman do you think you'll finish tomorrow? Because looking
8 at the amount of papers that you have left --
9 MR. ACKERMAN: It's touch and go. Probably not. I might. There
10 is a chance.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
13 MS. KORNER: Let's go into private session and let's discuss
14 because I have a very unhappy witness here.
15 [Private session]
13 Pages 13288-13293 – redacted – private session
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
8 6.33 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
9 the 21st day of January, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.