1 Thursday, 23 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
6 IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Registrar.
8 Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow in a language that you can
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I can
11 hear you and understand you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Appearance for the Prosecution.
13 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner assisted by Denise Gustin, case
14 manager. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good afternoon to you both.
16 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman
18 and I'm here with Milan Trbojevic. Ms. Jevtovic will be along, she's
19 struggling with a copy machine to get some exhibits ready for you for
20 today, we hope.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you and good afternoon to you both.
22 Before we start -- I mean in the meantime, the usher can go and
23 bring in the witness. I am trying, I've instructed Mr. Von hebel to see
24 how possible it is to shift the afternoon sittings of the week 3rd to 7th
25 February to the morning. I understand that Simic will not be sitting in
1 the courtroom, although it willing doing something else, it will not be
2 sitting in Courtroom III in the morning. So if it is at all possible, and
3 if I have -- if we have your okay, we'll try and sit in the morning rather
4 than in the afternoon. All right? 3rd to 7th. I will confirm it to you
5 later, obviously, because I don't have a confirmation yet. But I've asked
6 him to inquire about that and to arrange -- make the necessary
7 arrangements with you, Madam Chuqing, as well. All right? So I will
8 update you on that.
9 Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
10 MR. ACKERMAN: Just trying to think what that does.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: If there is a problem we can always shift on any one
12 of those days to the afternoon. Again, it's --
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour knows that I'm going to the U.S.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: And I'm flying.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: You're still going? You're still adamant about it?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't have any choice. I'm flying back on the
18 5th of February which means I would arrive here on the morning of the 6th
19 on. So if we switch to the mornings it means I will miss 4 of the sitting
20 days that week instead of the three that I planned.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Tell me what your preference is and I'm sure that
22 Ms. Korner won't raise any problems.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: My preference is always to sit in the mornings,
24 Your Honour, but I don't want to get the Prosecution into a witness bind
25 because I know that they are trying to schedule crime base witnesses for
1 those days that I'm gone, and I don't know whether he they can do four. I
2 know they can probably pull off three.
3 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we can because the witnesses after that,
4 we originally intended for the witness from the United Nations to testify
5 that week, but because of Mr. Ackerman's problems he's been rescheduled.
6 So all that week will be crime business witnesses.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. That will work fine then. The other
8 thing, Your Honour, is I've given you copies of these calendars today
9 where I have put Xs in the days that I would like to have for intense
10 preparation days so that they should be up there. They were handed to you
11 by Chuqing; I saw her do it.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I have this. This is what you mean?
13 MR. ACKERMAN: That's it.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: How are we supposed to distinguish -- I have --
15 let's go through it. Page 1, I have the timetable for this month and I
16 have two and three.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Ignore the numbers. That's just so --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: There are no markings on this first page, so I
19 understand it.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: That's right.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You have no comment. The second, February, it's --
22 I have 4, 5 and 1. Am I to ignore those numbers as well?
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Those numbers are just used to counts the number of
24 weeks, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Then I have the week of the 17th to the 21st.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: With four crosses.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: That's right.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: What's your suggestion?
5 MR. ACKERMAN: That we do not sit on those days.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And then March, there are no.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: March, there are none. April you will see four
8 more days.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: April, we are talking of Easter which is on the 20th
10 of April. And you're suggesting that we don't sit from Tuesday the 22nd
11 to Friday, the 25th? When did you receive this, Ms. Korner? Today?
12 MS. KORNER: Just before Your Honours came in. Your Honours, all
13 I can say is we repeat our request to --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Just have a look at it and discuss it.
15 MS. KORNER: I've looked at it. I'm aware of what Mr. Ackerman is
16 asking for, and my request remains the same and that is we sit all the
17 days allocated on the Court calendar. Obviously, it's a matter for Your
18 Honours having heard from Mr. Ackerman what you want to do.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: I just want to say very briefly that sitting
20 continuously, I understand why the Prosecution wants to do that because it
21 gives the Prosecution a very distinct advantage over us because they have
22 a number of people to deal with things, we don't. I have a stack of
23 documents this high that had been given me since the end of December, that
24 I haven't even had a chance to look at.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: But you have Mr. Trbojevic on whom you can rely and
1 Madam Jevtovic.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Not at all. I have to look at the documents
3 myself, Your Honour. Every one of them. If I didn't, I'd be delinquent.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: We will discuss it among ourselves and we will come
5 back to you. In the meantime, I prefer to go -- proceed.
6 MS. KORNER: I don't think I can allow that side crack to pass,
7 just to say this: It's not that we look for the advantage. We are
8 conscious because it's been raised so often of the length of time this
9 trial is taking and the fact that the public expects us to sit the
10 potential days.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: On the other hand, the public ought to know that I
12 for one do consider that there is an obvious disparity of arms between the
13 Prosecution and the Defence as far as resources are concerned.
14 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I thought we had discussed this before.
15 As Your Honour knows, it isn't that the lawyers who turn up from time to
16 time in this case are just working on this case.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: I know. But still the resources are different.
18 MS. KORNER: Well, I'm not going to argue with that but I don't
19 want it to be thought, Your Honour and I thought we had mentioned this
20 before, that each and every one of the lawyers who appears in this Court
21 is solely working on this case. Each and every one of them is working on
22 other cases.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, good afternoon to you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome back.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I also want to thank you on behalf of everyone for
5 your cooperation, which enabled another witness to return home where he
6 was urgently needed. We do appreciate that very much.
7 Before we proceed with your testimony, could I ask you to repeat
8 your solemn declaration, please?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
10 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: OSMAN SELAK [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down. And Mr. Ackerman
14 will continue and hopefully finish -- hope, hope -- with his
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour on that line I'll try but it's unlikely
17 and Ms. Korner knows that I will probably at least take the whole day. As
18 you know, it's not totally up to me how fast this moves but I'll do the
19 best I can.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
21 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel, and welcome back. And I hope you found a
22 way to enjoy yesterday's respite from being in court.
23 A. Yes. Thank you.
24 Q. I'm going to start again with your statement from the year 2000
25 and the Prosecution might as well give you all your statements so that we
1 don't have to wait and we can work our way through them. I'm going to be
2 referring in the next few moments to -- it's page 8 of the English
3 version. It might very well be page 8 of your version too. There is a
4 paragraph that begins, might be the easiest to find, "The Manjaca training
5 ground was strictly a military training facility."
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Okay. If you just look down a couple of paragraphs, you'll see
8 the one that I will be talking with you about. Now, after you retired
9 from the army, you continued to live in Banja Luka until May of 1995,
10 didn't you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. During that time, you frequently contacted officers of the VRS and
13 had conversations with them?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And I think you said that the Bosniaks and Croats who saw you
16 talking to these VRS officers thought you were a Serbophile and a real
17 officers of the VRS, in fact, didn't they?
18 A. That is their opinion. I can't say as to what people think of me
19 but it was to be expected for them to be suspicious of me and to have
20 their doubts about me, but that is up to the individual in question.
21 Q. And how did you learn that the Bosniaks and Croats who saw you
22 talking to the VRS officers had this suspicion? How did you learn about
24 A. If someone were to pass by me in the street without saying hello,
25 then one has to stop and think why, whether there are any reasons, and
1 probably the reasons were, as I was -- because I was with my colleague
2 officers in the Army of Republika Srpska.
3 Q. Now, when was it that people were seeing these conversations and
4 having these feelings about you being a Serbophile? Would that have been
5 right after you retired?
6 A. I had contact before retirement and after my retirement with
7 them. I was of pro-Yugoslav orientation. I wanted a joint state, a joint
8 army; however, people understood that differently, certain individuals.
9 But that is up to them. They are entitled to do that. I didn't reproach
10 them for this.
11 Q. As long as you have mentioned that, I'd like to ask you a little
12 bit about what you mean. Clearly, you were against -- being pro-Yugoslav,
13 you were against the break-up of Yugoslavia at all, against the secession
14 of Croatia and Slovenia at the very beginning, correct?
15 A. That was a political issue. I was a professional soldier. I took
16 my oath of allegiance to the Yugoslav People's Army. I grew up in a
17 multi-ethnic environment, and it was normal to expect me to continue to
18 uphold a common state. However, I was unable to bring any influence to
19 bear on developments. I did my job as a professional, as a soldier, and
20 not as a politician. But I was not indifferent to what was happening to
21 all the peoples in the territory of the former Yugoslavia and especially
22 to the peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because I felt that the policy
23 that was being pursued in those days would not benefit any single nation
24 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 Q. I'm not sure I got an answer to the question. Let me try again.
1 When you say that you were pro-Yugoslav, you're speaking of the Yugoslavia
2 that existed before the independence of Croatia and Slovenia. Correct?
3 A. I was and to this day, for a community of all peoples. Therefore
4 the people of Croatia and the people of Slovenia decide their destiny and
5 I had no right to interfere. Just as the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 had decided at their own plebiscite.
7 Q. The after Croatia and Slovenia had become independent, would you
8 say that you were still pro-Yugoslav? That you wanted to take what was
9 left and keep Yugoslavia together in that form?
10 A. I was in favour of a common state, a confederal Yugoslavia.
11 Q. All right. Now, if you go over, sir, I think just one page, it's
12 right -- the paragraph is, "In the middle of July, 1992." What you tell
13 us there is that in the middle of July, 1992, you were elected to be the
14 commander of the resistance staff in Banja Luka?
15 A. Just a moment, please. Yes, page 9, yes.
16 Q. And who was it that elected you to be the commander of the
17 resistance staff in Banja Luka?
18 A. A group of citizens of Bosniaks in Banja Luka was following and
19 assessing the political security situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
20 particularly in Banja Luka and the Bosanska Krajina. In Banja Luka, there
21 were a number of arrests of Bosniaks, instances of mistreatment. A
22 certain number were even killed.
23 Q. The question was not what was going on in Banja Luka. The
24 question was: Who was it that elected you to be the commander of the
25 resistance staff in Banja Luka? It's a simple question. Who elected
2 A. A group of citizens from Banja Luka.
3 Q. And were these citizens Bosniak, Croat, Serb? What was the
4 ethnicity of the group that elected you?
5 A. Bosniaks.
6 Q. No Croats?
7 A. No.
8 Q. No Serbs?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did this group have any meetings?
11 A. Yes. We did have meetings. We made assessments of the situation
12 in Banja Luka.
13 Q. How large was this group?
14 A. There were seven of us in the group.
15 Q. And what you say about that group was the formation of the group,
16 "This decision was taken to protect the non-Serb population who had
17 nothing to do with the planned resistance." What decision was that? That
18 was the decision not to do sabotage? Is that what you're talking about?
19 A. Yes. It was our judgement that the political security situation,
20 and the attitude of the Crisis Staff and other bodies, was directed
21 against the Bosnian people, Bosniak people in Banja Luka. And we feared
22 that someone might, through acts of sabotage against units of the Army of
23 Republika Srpska and their facilities, might provoke revolt on the part of
24 the army and the police, or rather reaction on their part, and that a
25 situation similar to the one that arose in Kozarac might develop, because
1 religious buildings, mosques and other buildings, were destroyed in Banja
2 Luka over a period of time of 15 days, and we considered this to be a
3 provocation, to provoke armed resistance and to spark a massacre and
4 complete ethnic cleansing of Banja Luka of Bosniaks.
5 And for that reason, we prevented any acts of sabotage or
6 diversions, even on the part of individuals, Bosniaks, and fortunately,
7 this was complied with and there were no acts of sabotage. We did not
8 provide a pretext to the authorities and the army in Banja Luka, even
9 though, in those days, more than 250 Bosniaks were killed, individuals
10 were found in the Vrbas River. There were large-scale arrests of men and
11 women, mistreatment, people evicted from their homes, et cetera. So that
12 people moved out of Banja Luka en masse, which we supported in those days
13 because we feared that people might be physically liquidated.
14 Q. You've indicated that your mission was protection of the
15 Bosnian -- of the non-Serb population?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And is what you're telling us that one of the ways you went about
18 that was to restrain the non-Serb population from engaging in provocative
19 activities, basically?
20 A. Not to restrain the non-Serb population but to prevent the
21 non-Serb population, because there were no activities of that kind; they
22 were prevented. And this saved both the Croat and the Bosniak population
23 in Banja Luka.
24 Q. These -- to be able to do that, of course, the word had to get out
25 in the community that you didn't want any of these kind of things
1 happening. You had to communicate that in some way to the non-Serb
2 population, didn't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So I guess by the time you did that, that these people you were
5 talking about earlier, these Bosniaks and Croats who thought you were a
6 Serbophile, must have learned differently after you were commander of the
7 resistance staff, didn't they?
8 A. No. Only a small number of people were aware of this resistance
9 movement. Throughout my time in Banja Luka, people avoided me, were
10 suspicious of me, and I wasn't angry about that because maybe that would
11 have been my reaction too if I had been in their place.
12 Q. In effect, what you did at that point in time was you became a
13 spy, an espionage agent of the Bosnian government, reporting what you
14 could learn from the VRS; that's true, isn't it?
15 A. No, sir. You are insulting me. I was not a spy. I just decided
16 to defend my people from genocide, which was being committed by the army,
17 the para army and the official policies of the Serb people.
18 Q. Well, even before you left the military, while you were still an
19 active VRS officer, you were passing information through your son to the
20 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, weren't you?
21 A. No. As an officer, I felt hurt, as a JNA officer, because on the
22 12th of March, 1992, I was appointed chief of a group for cooperation with
23 the United Nations in Bosnian Krajina. And then on the 8th of March, 26
24 days later, I was replaced because I was considered politically
25 unsuitable, and from that it became clear to me what was in the making,
1 that I was unsuitable, and I didn't take an oath of allegiance to the Army
2 of Republika Srpska. I was no spy, sir.
3 Q. You're aware, because I know you've read it, that a gentleman
4 named Muharem Krzic in his book says that while you were still active with
5 the VRS, that you were passing information to him to be passed on to the
6 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina through your son. You complained to him
7 that he had used the wrong name that it was a different son than he had
8 mentioned in his book. That's true, isn't it?
9 A. No. I didn't provide Mr. Muharem Krzic information to pass on to
10 the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I gave him information about
11 events in Banja Luka and the possible repercussions that the behaviour of
12 the army and the police and the paramilitary could have for the Bosniak
13 people, and what we needed to do to prevent genocide. And I did certainly
14 want this to be conveyed to the government so that diplomatic or whatever
15 measures needed should be taken so that Kozarac should not be repeated and
16 other events that I don't need to mention.
17 Yes, my son did take the information to Muharem Krzic, and I
18 wanted to inform him as a prominent man from Banja Luka who passed on
19 this -- to whom he passed on that information, I never asked him.
20 Q. In this courtroom, sir, on the 15th of January, page 12 --
21 MS. KORNER: No, I'm sorry Your Honour we are back on this little
22 topic again. I object to what one witness has said being put to another.
23 That's not a proper way of cross-examination. It's a comment. It can be
24 drawn to Your Honour's attention in a speech.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We have had this happening already in the past, and
3 we adopted the system that you don't tell the witness that some other
4 witness has said this or that. You just suggest -- make -- put to the
5 witness what you want to ask him and then, if necessary, confront him with
6 the fact that this was stated by someone else but. First, you put to the
7 witness your question.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm totally baffled.
9 MS. KORNER: So am I, Your Honour.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: How do you and Ms. Korner know what question I was
11 going to ask?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You were about to read out from a transcript of the
13 sitting of the 5th --
14 MR. ACKERMAN: 15th of January, that was last week, Your Honour,
15 and Muharem Krzic wasn't here last week. She's not paying attention,
16 that's all that's going on.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see what --
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it started this way, the question -- now
19 I've lost it.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: He said in this courtroom, sir, on the 15th of
21 January --
22 MS. KORNER: I appreciate it could have been the 15th of January
23 last year when Muharem Krzic.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: The trial hadn't started yet.
25 MS. KORNER: Okay.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Think before you -- I'm sorry, I apologise.
2 MS. KORNER: All right. Before we go any further, can we
3 establish this? If what Mr. Ackerman is about it do is put and tell this
4 witness what another witness has said by saying, this is what another
5 witness has said, that is inadmissible. What he of course, he can do is
6 put a suggestion to the witness.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
8 MS. KORNER: Simply saying, "Do you agree or disagree with it?"
9 And not -- it is unnecessary and improper in my submission to state that
10 this is what another witness has said and mention the name of the witness.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this is completely ridiculous.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's hear the question first.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: I had no intention of asking such a question, none
15 at all. I specified January 15th. That had to be last week, didn't it?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it had to be last week but let's hear what the
17 question is.
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. Sir, last week, on January 15th, you were asked by Ms. Korner
20 about your exclusion from these one half hour -- exclusion by one half
21 hour from these meetings that were going on with the corps commander. Do
22 you recall that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You said in your testimony that you were personally hurt by being
25 excluded this half hour before where the others met together and you
1 weren't there and that you presumed that they were discussing tasks of the
2 corps within its area of responsibilities that they did not want you to
3 hear. Correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And that was because you believed that they did not fully trust
7 A. That was my assumption, because the meeting would begin at 7.00, I
8 would be invited to come at half past 7.00, so I concluded from that that
9 they were discussing reports which I, as a Bosniak, should not hear, and
10 of course, this hurt me.
11 Q. Well, in fact, they were right, weren't they? Because were you
12 actually working as a spy, passing information to the government of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, weren't you?
14 A. No, sir. I was not a spy. I simply stood up in defence of my
15 people, to try and prevent the genocide committed in Kozarac and
16 elsewhere. Not a spy but a Bosniak who was sorry that Yugoslavia broke
17 up. It was broken up by those who threatened the Bosniaks, Croats,
18 Macedonians and others, not a spy, sir, but a patriot. I can look the
19 Serb people in the eye and each and every individual. It's not the Serb
20 people that are to blame in my opinion but the leadership that led them.
21 Q. Sir, once the war started, wasn't there a great deal of
22 justification for the authorities being suspicious of non-Serb officers in
23 the VRS and for dismissal of those officers?
24 A. Yes, and they were dismissed, both Bosniaks and Croats and the
25 Slovenes and others.
1 Q. And by the 18th --
2 A. That's precisely what happened.
3 Q. By the 18th of May, that army was the army of the Serbian Republic
4 and it had become a Serb army by May 18th, hadn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Muharem Krzic whom we talked about, of course, was familiar with
7 this resistance staff that you had been elected commander of, wasn't he?
8 A. I don't know of any resistance movement that Mr. Muharem Krzic
9 organised in Banja Luka. I hear this for the first time.
10 Q. No, no. I'm talking about the one that you were the commander of.
11 Muharem Krzic was aware of the existence of that organisation, of which
12 you were the commander, wasn't he?
13 A. No. Muharem Krzic was not aware of this group of men. He just
14 knew about me. And I didn't trust anyone, because I was afraid that due
15 to naivete, people might damage the resistance movement staff in Banja
16 Luka. I repeat, Mr. Muharem Krzic was not aware of the resistance
17 movement in Banja Luka and its composition. He didn't even know that it
18 existed, nor that I was the commander of that resistance movement.
19 Q. After Muharem Krzic left Banja Luka, which was fairly early in
20 1992, you then had to establish a new contact. And who was that new
21 contact that you began passing information to after Muharem Krzic left?
22 A. My first associate in the resistance movement staff was engineer
23 Sulejman Karabegovic and he was my closest associate, and I worked with
24 him most of all.
25 Q. But my question is: After Muharem Krzic, who you were passing
1 information to through your son, left Banja Luka, you had to have some new
2 contact to pass information to, and didn't you then begin passing
3 information to Smail Djuzel?
4 A. No. I hear that for the first time and it's an allegation.
5 Q. All right. Let's go to another similar -- associated issue right
7 In your testimony here on 17 January, you were asked the-- this
8 following question and gave the following answer, Did you -- It's page 146
9 of the LiveNote -- I'm sorry, page 69 of the LiveNote, day 146.
10 "Q. Did you take any physical action to investigate any arming of
11 any resistance groups? In other words, did you yourself procure or supply
12 any weapons to any group that was resisting the Serbs?
13 "A. Not a single weapon. Not a single bullet. We did not plan
14 any armed action, no sabotage. We did not have any weapons. We did not
15 give any to anyone."
16 Now, that's referring to this resistance group that you were the
17 commander of, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And I take it that remains your position today, that that
20 resistance group, neither planned nor engaged in any kind of armed
21 resistance or meant to?
22 A. Yes. There weren't any weapons, nor was there any plan for armed
23 action or sabotage by the staff of the resistance movement in Banja Luka.
24 Q. Sir, I'd like you to take a look at Exhibit P282, please. Sir,
25 this is a document dated 15 July, 1992, apparently signed by Colonel
1 Zdravko Tolimir from the intelligence affairs department of the 1st
2 Krajina Corps. It speaks of an interview with a gentleman named Dzemo
3 Becirevic. Did you know him?
4 A. No.
5 Q. He was being asked about an individual by the name of Jahic,
6 either Muhidin or Muhadim. Do you know that person?
7 A. Muhidin Jahic was a quarter master working with me. I knew him,
8 warrant officer.
9 Q. What is reported here is this: "Becirevic does not know if Jahic
10 has been hired by Colonel Selak to work at the logistics base. He is,
11 however, quite sure that Jahic is the main person in charge of the
12 military organisation and the arming of Muslims in Banja Luka and that he
13 has lists of all the armed Muslims, unit by unit. Some of the weapons
14 collected by Jahic are in the old JNA social centre in Vrbanja."
15 Now, this person you say was working for you during that time, was
16 he, in early 1992?
17 A. Mr. Muhidin Jahic, the quartermaster, was already retired at that
18 time. He was a very honourable man. However, he was too docile, and he
19 didn't have a great professional knowledge of weapons. He knew nothing
20 about them at all, but this is the first time that I'm seeing this
21 document, and it's the first time that I learn about this. But what it
22 says here is not correct. Mr. Muhidin Jahic unfortunately was not capable
23 of doing this, and quite certainly he knew nothing about it and didn't
24 know how to do anything like this and couldn't have do so therefore.
25 Q. Let me ask you if this part is correct: Did you bring him back to
1 work for you at the logistics base as a civilian employee following his
2 retirement? Was he working there as a civilian employee in the early
3 months of 1992?
4 A. No. Mr. Jahic, once he retired, I didn't need him, need his
5 services any more after that. There was no need for me to bring him into
6 the logistics base at all and I did not bring him so this is
8 Q. There is another paragraph in this document that is on a different
9 subject but while we are here I want to ask you about it. If you look
10 down, I don't know, it's maybe, four paragraphs below what we are talking
11 about. It says this and some of it is not translated: "A certain Java
12 Jengici [phoen] and Goran Banjac are the main criminals blackmailing
13 Muslims in Banja Luka by offering them protection for 2.000 Deutschmarks.
14 They also blue up the optician shop belonging to Rasim Cengic who refused
15 to give them 2.000 Deutschmarks a second time."
16 Do you know anything about those people and that incident that's
17 described there?
18 A. No. I know nothing about this. I know nothing about the threats
19 either or the blackmail, and the man who wrote this, I don't know of him
20 either. So please believe me when I say that I didn't want to see
21 anything like this happening and had I known about it I would have taken
22 steps to prevent it.
23 The optician's shop belonging to Mr. Cengic really was blown up.
24 He had to leave. I don't know what date this was on, and who the
25 perpetrators were, but quite certainly it was not a Bosniak because the --
1 a person who wrote this needed somebody. He needed a culprit. He needed
2 something to justify the blowing up of the mosques and other facilities,
3 houses and so on. And the expulsion of the Bosniak population from Banja
4 Luka and the Croats too.
5 So as for this document, this unfortunately seems to have been
6 written by Colonel Tolimir which was not a correct thing to do, because as
7 a professional man, as a professional military man, he should never have
8 written anything like this because quite simply, it's not true.
9 Q. All right. Now I'd like you to look at another document. It's
11 Sir, this document was written by you, was it not?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And it says that it is --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we have the document on the ELMO, please? Thank
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, do have a copy of it, because it was
17 actually originally included in our list?
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. It says that it was written for the attention of
20 Mr. H. Osmanagic. Can you tell us who that is?
21 A. Yes. He worked in the embassy in Zagreb, the embassy of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Croatia, in Zagreb, and this was written in 1995, I
23 think in July.
24 Q. And that was after you had left Banja Luka, wasn't it?
25 A. That's right, yes.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I think out of an abundance of caution
2 I would ask to go to private session just for the next question.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection, Ms. Korner?
5 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour, thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's go into private session. Thank you.
7 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 MR. ACKERMAN:
11 Q. All right. If you go a little ways down in the document under
12 paragraph 2 -- let me ask you. There is a person mentioned in this
13 document --
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. There is a person mentioned in this document just by the name
16 Siber. Who is Siber?
17 A. General Stjepan Siber was an officer of the army of the Republic
18 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Good friend of mine, since before the war.
19 Q. Now, it appears that what you did was send this with your son to
20 your -- I think it's your brother Emir Selak, with instructions that he
21 should deliver it to Mr. Osmanagic. Is that the way this was delivered?
22 A. I think that was the way it was delivered.
23 Q. Okay. Let's look now under paragraph 2.
24 The second paragraph under number 2 begins with, "In 1991, I
25 refused to carry out the order of General Uzelac for arming the Serbs from
1 Sipovo and Mrkonjic Grad because they wanted to go to Kupres to assist the
2 JNA units that were fighting the Croats." Correct?
3 A. Correct. However, because of a lack of space here, I failed to
4 write that General Uzelac asked that the -- not the formations where the
5 mobilisation had taken place be armed. In this case, General Tolimir was
6 informed, the assistant commander for logistics of the 1st military
7 district in Belgrade. I informed him about this too. As proof and
8 evidence, I can quote from my official notebook, which I have here, and I
9 can find it in the notebook where it was recorded with the exact date.
10 Q. That's really not necessary. The point I'm trying to make here is
11 that you knew at the time that there was a -- hostilities, fighting, going
12 on between JNA units and Croatian units at Kupres, didn't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you knew that by keeping men who wanted to go there to assist
15 the JNA from being armed so they could do so, you might assist the
16 Croatian fighters, didn't you?
17 A. No, sir. Quite the reverse. I insisted upon the fact that
18 through legal, official military formations, with the right to bear
19 weapons, be issued weapons, and the arming of the people would lead to in
20 quite the opposite direction, sir, and actually, because of all this, I
21 asked for the replacement -- I asked General Tolimir -- for a
22 replacement. He refused.
23 Q. Let's go now to the next page. There is a paragraph that begins,
24 "In November, 1991." What you say there is this: "In November, 1991"?
25 A. Just a moment, please. I haven't found that portion. September
1 you say?
2 Q. No, November. November 1991?
3 A. Yes, I see it.
4 Q. Requested by the 5K, I assume that's the 5th Corps, to do --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- a survey of the machines at the factory of the fittings in
7 Hrvatska Dubica and to check the possibility of quick dismantlement of the
8 machines. I sent an expert team with a captain graduate machine engineer,
9 my reliable man, who had stated in his report that the factory was intact
10 and fully operational. I did not allow the machines to be dismantled, and
11 because of that, the command of the 5th Corps and the political leaders of
12 the SDS caused me a lot of problems, threatened me and so on."
13 Now, the first question I want to ask you about that is what kind
14 of machines are we talking about here?
15 A. Yes. In Hvratska Dubica, there was a factory of armature --
16 reinforcement. When the units of the 5th Corps took control of Hrvatska
17 Dubica, they informed General -- or rather the corps commander of the
18 existence of this factory, whose machines ought to be dismantled, and sent
19 to Serbia. Colonel Vukelic came to see me. He was the assistant of the
20 corps commander for morale, and he asked me to carry out this task. I
21 sent a professional team to Hrvatska Dubica and two days later, as the
22 captain who was a mechanical engineer himself informed me, that the
23 factory had remained intact and complete, and that all it needed was some
24 inventory and material for reproduction.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: The question was, try please to answer the question
1 and nothing but the question. The question was: "Now, the first question
2 I want to ask you about is: What kind of machines are we talking about
3 here?" You should have just said -- answered what kind of machines you
4 were referring to in your statement. And that was what was asked of you.
5 Instead you went on to tell us a whole story, not that we -- I personally
6 mind, but other -- if we continue like this, you're going to be here the
7 rest of the week plus possibly also next week.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should like to say
9 that this is a very essential question for me too, so I seek your
10 indulgence. When I refused to dismantle the factory I had problems in the
11 corps command and threats as well, and that's what I wanted to explain.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: That was coming later. But I have -- you have to
13 answer the questions that are put to you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And try to restrict.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I shall remember that.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. Let's see, Colonel, if we can be a little more specific. These
19 machines, what exactly is it that those machines did? What were they
20 designed to do? What were they used for? What was built there? What was
21 constructed there?
22 A. It was a factory of fittings or armature for civil engineering,
23 for construction work and projects, and I don't know who needed it.
24 Q. Pipe fittings or things like -- or what?
25 A. I didn't see it. What I understood from the report was that it
1 was construction material.
2 Q. All right.
3 A. For civil engineering.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. But as I didn't see the factory myself, I really can't say.
6 Q. Now, a few moments ago - and it's been longer than I expected it
7 to be - we were talking about your testimony on page 69 of the LiveNote,
8 and I want to go back to. I had asked you about your testimony regarding
9 this resistance group that you commanded there in Banja Luka, and you had
10 assured me that there -- it never did plan or have the weapons to put up
11 any kind of armed resistance.
12 And having told me that, and let me refer you then to that
13 paragraph that begins, "In July 1992." And what you're saying there in
14 this document that you wrote yourself for transmission to the embassy of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zagreb was that, "A command post which I commanded
16 was set up to offer armed resistance, armed resistance, to the Serbian
17 troops in the region of Banja Luka. I will discuss this in detail when I
18 see you."
19 A. The idea was along those lines, yes. But when we saw how great
20 the military power was in Banja Luka, the Serbian Army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina there and other armed formations, we assessed, we
22 weighed up the situation and thought that this was quite crazy, if I can
23 use the term, and that it would mean the annihilation of the Bosnian
24 people. So we didn't do anything along those lines. We decided that we
25 would take no armed action.
1 Q. Sir --
2 A. So there were no attempts to do so either.
3 Q. Sir, you were in that army. You handled the logistics for that
4 army. When you planned to offer armed resistance, you knew what that army
5 was, and that's not something you discovered later and caused you to
6 change your mind, is it?
7 A. As I say, we weighed up the situation and decided what to do to
8 protect our own people, how to protect it, and it was on the basis of this
9 evaluation that we made the decision not to engage in to armed action and
10 to prevent any sabotage, not to give cause for liquidation and the
11 perpetration of genocide against the Bosniak people.
12 Q. Yes. Then you came into this Court and you told these judges, "We
13 did not plan any armed action," and you confirmed that twice today, having
14 been asked about it. And now you say, "Well we did plan armed action but
15 we changed our minds."
16 A. Yes -- or rather no. We didn't plan it. We weighed up the pros
17 and cons and the repercussions that this resistance would give rise to
18 throughout the population. There was no plan of armed resistance, sir.
19 Mr. Ackerman, sir.
20 Q. Sir, I need to you consult your notebook. I assume you have it
21 with you.
22 A. Yes, I'm ready.
23 Q. January 1 of 1992, page 17 of the English version --
24 A. Yes, I've found it.
25 Q. Under the heading, "Tasks of the 5th Corps Commander," as I
1 understand -- if I remember your testimony the other day well, you said
2 that these were tasks that the 5th corps commander was delivering to all
3 of you, having gotten them through the federal secretariat for national
4 defence. Is my memory right about that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And one of those in January 1 of 1992 was to protect the Serbs in
7 Republika Hrvatska from genocide. Correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I think we went through this the other day, so I'm going to skip
10 over some material here. We will come back to your notebook a little
11 later, sir. In your testimony -- see if I can find it -- it's your
12 statement of 2001 to the Prosecutor, and I'd also like you to have
13 document P15. The statement to the Prosecutor, on page 3, you speak of
14 eight documents that you had brought with you. Can you find that part?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You say, "I have brought with me eight document that I would like
17 to submit as evidence. I recently received these documents from the state
18 security in Sanski Most. I cannot disclose the name of the person who
19 gave me these documents."
20 Now look, would you please, at P15? And that document, sir, is
21 one of the documents you're speaking of that you brought from state
22 security in Sanski Most and delivered to the Prosecutor, isn't it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In your statement, it would be what's referred to as the fifth
25 document, dated 24 August, 1991?
1 A. 1991?
2 Q. Yes, 24 August, 1991.
3 A. Yes, yes, the document, yes, I'm sorry.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. I thought you were referring to the time when I received it. Yes,
6 that's right.
7 Q. Now, in that statement, you say, and this was a statement made in,
8 I think it was March of 2001, I'm not certain about that but it was made
9 sometime in 2001, you say that you recently received them from state
10 security in Sanski Most. How recently? How long before you gave your
11 statement to the OTP had you been handed these documents?
12 A. On the document itself, it says the 10th of March, 2001, and there
13 is my signature attached.
14 Q. So would that be the date you turned them over to the OTP or the
15 date you received them from state security of Sanski Most?
16 A. That is the date when I received the documents.
17 Q. And that would be 10 March, 2001?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And did you receive them in Sanski Most or were they brought to
20 you by someone?
21 A. I don't think that is important. I received them on the 10th of
22 March, 2001, and for reasons of security of that person, I do not wish to
23 give the name of that person.
24 Q. Well, I think it's important. Did you go to Sanski Most to
25 receive them? Were you there meeting with state security in Sanski Most?
1 A. I received the document in Sanski Most. Those are documents which
2 clearly indicate the intentions of paramilitary units, the intention to
3 form them and use them.
4 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... You're answering a question
5 you weren't asked. So you signed those documents indicating that you had
6 received them from state security on 10 March, 2001, and then you gave
7 your statement to the Office of the Prosecutor on that same date, 10
8 March, 2001?
9 A. It can't be right. There must be a mistake. There was a time
10 interval in between. I cannot remember the date. Then probably this is
11 the date when I gave this document to the investigators. I would like to
12 correct my statement. You are right. The date, the 10th of March, is the
13 date when I gave this document to the investigators, because I asked to
14 have a copy for myself, and I signed it for reasons of security. So that
15 it should be known that it was my document and that I had handed it over.
16 So I received it earlier, but I received it in 1991 [as interpreted]. I
17 don't know exact date. I can't remember.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Again, Your Honour, out of an abundance of caution,
19 can we go to private session for a moment?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection, Ms. Korner?
21 MS. KORNER: No, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session.
23 [Private session]
13 Page 13398 – redacted – private session
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session now.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. Sir, sometime in 2001, before March 10th, people with state
8 security in Sanski Most were aware that you were going to be giving an
9 additional statement to the Office of the Prosecutor, and with that
10 knowledge, gave you documents to assist you and to assist the Prosecutor
11 regarding that statement, did they not?
12 A. No, sir. I did not mention at all to the person who gave me this
13 that I would be having any contact with the Prosecution. The man gave it
14 to me because he trusted me and for me to have these documents for
15 myself. In fact, I abused his trust. But in the interest of truth and
16 evidence as to what was being planned and organised, I gave this to the
18 Q. In your statement, I think, at the -- at the very end of that 2001
19 statement, the last paragraph, you said, "I will talk to the person who
20 gave me these documents to inform him that he needs to inform the ICTY on
21 how he obtained the above documents."
23 A. Yes. That is what I stated.
24 Q. Do you know if that ever happened?
25 A. No, I don't know.
1 Q. When was the last time you talked to the person who gave you these
3 A. At the time, and I don't remember ever meeting him again.
4 Q. Let me ask you this: Over the last year, have you been following
5 this case? Have you been watching the television regarding this case, or
6 listening to it in any way? Have you been following this case?
7 A. I have not been following, and I'm not familiar with the details.
8 I did see in daily news bulletins on television, certain reports when they
9 appeared, but I am living in an area close to Sarajevo where there is no
10 TV broadcasts because the antennas, the aerials are very poor. And I very
11 rarely receive such information with the exception of what appears in the
12 press so this can easily be checked. The settlement [redacted]
14 Q. Have you spoken to anyone who has been a witness here about the
15 testimony they gave while they were here?
17 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, before that's answered I think we are in
18 open session at the moment.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes we are.
20 MS. KORNER: I wonder whether that last full answer he gave which
21 gives his exact address could be redacted, please, before it goes out?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Does it give the exact address?
23 MS. KORNER: Yes, to all intents and purposes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes. That's being granted as requested,
25 Madam Registrar.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you repeat the question, please?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: The witness just said something. What did the
3 witness say?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could you repeat the question, please?
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Oh, that's what he said, thank you.
6 Q. Have you spoken to anyone who has testified here in this case
7 about their testimony here?
8 A. I don't know who has testified in this case. All the people who
9 have testified. Certainly, a topic of discussion that cannot be avoided
10 when talking to my friends is the Tribunal, the responsibility of
11 individuals for what happened so that I don't know who has testified, nor
12 did people tell me or confide in me, so I may have but I don't know that
13 that person has testified.
14 Q. I was not specific enough with my question, sir, and let me try to
15 do a better job. What I'm interested in is have you spoken with anyone
16 who said to you, "I testified in the Brdjanin-Talic trial at The Hague and
17 let me tell you about that?" Did you ever have a conversation like that
18 with anyone who you know told you they testified here?
19 A. Yes. Mr. Adil Medic told me that he had come here and that he had
21 Q. How about Adil Draganovic? Did you ever speak with him?
22 A. Adil Draganovic?
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the difficulty about this question is
24 some people have testified openly. The witness may be allowed to name
25 people who haven't.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't remember if the last name mentioned.
2 MS. KORNER: Mr. Medic testified openly there is no question. I
3 don't know who else the Colonel is going to go on and name.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't object to going into private session.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go to private session and in the meantime, the
6 last name mentioned by Mr. Ackerman will be redacted.
7 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: 15 minutes. Thank you.
3 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 4.03 p.m.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: May I proceed, Your Honour?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. Colonel, there is some confusion that I need to get cleared up.
9 You'll remember at sort of the beginning of your session today, I showed
10 you a document, it was P282, from the intelligence affairs department of
11 the 1st Krajina Corps and it's signed by Colonel Zdravko Tolimir. There
12 were a couple of names that I asked you. Let me just do this. Is it true
13 that you do not know who Dzemo Becirevic is?
14 A. It is true, I do not know who Becirevic, whatever the first name
15 is is. I never heard of him.
16 Q. The other -- Zdravko Tolimir, you have heard of him or you knew
17 who he was at the time?
18 A. Zdravko Tolimir was a Colonel. I don't know what position he
19 held, I've forgotten, but I do know him -- I did know him.
20 Q. Okay. I think that's all. I want to go back now to that
21 document, P15, that we were looking at. I think you may still have it
22 there. If not, we will get it for you.
23 A. I don't have it.
24 Q. Now, the first part of this, there is a two-page part, which is
25 basically a letter and this letter is signed by a person named Colonel
1 Ostoja Dejanovic, is it not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And I think you told us you have no idea who this person is,
4 didn't you?
5 A. I don't. I believe he came from the areas of Slovenia and Croatia
6 and I really don't know Mr. Dejanovic.
7 Q. He calls himself, does he not, the commander?
8 A. Yes, commander of volunteer units.
9 Q. Other than this document that we are looking at right here, it's
10 the case, isn't it, that you never heard of a position of commander of
11 volunteer units other than having read it on this document?
12 A. I was not aware of the units or the deployment of those units or
13 their organisational structure. I had no access to that. Clearly the
14 reasons are quite clear.
15 Q. Well, there were never any weapons requests, weapons distribution
16 requests, like the ones we saw from the various TOs that came from the
17 commander or any other officer of this -- these volunteer units?
18 A. There were no requests, nor would I have approved them.
19 Q. And you don't have any idea, do you, whether this letter was ever
20 actually sent to anyone or not?
21 A. No, I see this document for the first time, but it was addressed
22 to municipal staffs of volunteer units in Bosanska Krajina.
23 Q. Before you saw this letter, you never heard of something called
24 municipal staffs of volunteer units, did you?
25 A. No, I hadn't. I knew that volunteer units existed, but that there
1 were municipal staffs, I hadn't heard of that, nor did I have any access
2 to such information.
3 Q. And you made frequent visits to various municipalities. That was
4 part of your job, to discuss matters occurring within those municipalities
5 and you never heard that there was a municipal staff of volunteer units in
6 any of those municipalities, did you?
7 A. I did not. I visited only three municipalities in my area of
8 responsibility, where my units are, for which I provided logistics,
9 Mrkonjic Grad, Jajce, and Donji Vakuf, and Banja Luka, of course.
10 Q. And additionally, you cannot tell us, you do not know, if this
11 document that is attached to this letter, if we can call it that, is
12 actually the document that the letter refers to or some other similar
13 document? You can't even tell us that, can you?
14 A. This document, which I provided, is from the staff of volunteer
15 units of Bosnian Krajina. I see this first document for the first time.
16 I haven't read it, not now even.
17 Q. But the second document, you don't know, do you, that -- I'm
18 sorry, you just said that you've seen it now for the first time. This is
19 the document that was given to you by somebody at the state security
20 service for your own personal collection. What do you mean you're only
21 seeing it now for the first time?
22 A. No. We didn't understand one another, Mr. Ackerman. I am saying
23 that I see for the first time the document signed by Colonel Ostoja
24 Dejanovic. That's the one I was referring to.
25 Q. Well, we just had a very long discussion before the break about
1 you acquiring this document from someone whose name you don't remember
2 with the state security service, and I asked you if it was acquired for
3 the purpose both in your mind and that of that person, of bringing it to
4 the Tribunal. And you said no, it was given to me for my own personal
5 collection of documents. And now you're telling us you're seeing it for
6 the first time. I don't understand. Can you explain that?
7 A. There is a misunderstanding, Mr. Ackerman. I said that I have
8 this document in my hands for the first time, the one signed by Colonel
9 Dejanovic. This is the document that I'm seeing for the first time, and
10 not this other one, which says, "Aims and principles of organising
11 volunteer units in the territory of Bosnian Krajina," which I received for
12 my personal collection.
13 Q. Ah, so it's only the second part, these last four pages, that were
14 actually given to you?
15 A. Yes. That was the document given to me.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if you recall, when I introduced this
17 document into evidence, it was -- I'd originally put it as an attachment
18 and I realised that a fuller version which was a letter plus the
19 attachment had already been exhibited through Mr. Donia, Dr. Donia.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I think it's a matter of dispute whether
21 that's a fuller version or not.
22 MS. KORNER: Whatever.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: In fact, Ms. Korner is right, because she did bring
24 this out. Secondly, Mr. Ackerman, if you refer to the witness's statement
25 itself, on the fourth page, top of the page --
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm satisfied that he's correct that
2 he only got this second part.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: The fifth document consists of four pages.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I agree.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. So you really have no idea whether this letter and this document
8 were originally together or not, do you?
9 A. I don't know that.
10 Q. So you'll agree with me that one of the possibilities is that both
11 of these documents, that may or may not be related to each other, one of
12 the possibilities is that they were draft documents that were never
13 distributed to anyone. Correct?
14 A. No, that's not correct. Those documents did arrive in the
15 institutions to which they were addressed, the municipal staffs and the
16 combat [as interpreted] units, and they were addressed to them.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, volunteer units not
18 combat units.
19 A. So they did arrive at the institutions they were addressed to.
20 MR. ACKERMAN:
21 Q. Well, I guess we are just going to have to start all over. We
22 just went through this whole process of you telling us you had never heard
23 of a commander of volunteer staffs, you'd never heard of municipal staffs
24 of volunteer units, that all you know about it is from looking at these
25 documents, that you went to several municipalities, while were you in
1 those municipalities you never heard of the municipal staff of volunteer
3 And now all of a sudden, you're telling us that you know these
4 documents was delivered to the municipal staff of volunteer units that you
5 don't even know exist. How could that be?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, Mr. Ackerman, just to make things clear, his
7 answer was: "These documents did arrive in the institutions to which they
8 were addressed, the municipal staffs, and the combat units." You're
9 telling him or suggesting to him that he said that they went to the
10 several municipalities and also to the municipal staff of volunteer
11 units. He did not say that.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: He said to the municipal staffs to which they are
13 addressed. That's what it's addressed to.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: It doesn't say so.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: It does. He said to municipal staffs of volunteer
16 units. He said it went to municipal staffs to which it was addressed.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Which document to municipal staffs.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: The first one.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: The one I have which is attached to his statement,
20 it just says, the objectives and principles of organising volunteer units.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: You're not looking at the cover letter, the alleged
22 cover letter, signed by Colonel Dejanovic. It says that it's addressed to
23 municipal staffs of volunteer units.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the cover letter. I'm only talking of -- he
25 is talking of the document that he saw at the time and that he knows
1 about. He can't be testifying on the other document which he is seeing
2 for the first time now.
3 MR. ACKERMAN:
4 Q. Sir, just tell us how you know that this document, the four-page
5 document that was given to you, was delivered to volunteer units.
6 A. If it was sent to and addressed to the volunteer units, there is
7 no reason why they shouldn't have been delivered there --
8 Q. Where does it say?
9 A. -- to them.
10 Q. Where does it say it was addressed to them? Show us. Where does
11 it say that?
12 A. It doesn't say anywhere, but other documents also indicate that
13 there was normal correspondence between the staffs, the municipal staffs,
14 daily communications, in fact, so this document points us in that
15 direction too.
16 Q. But you told us you didn't know that there were such things as
17 municipal staffs of volunteer units. You told us that. And then you told
18 us that. And then you told us that this must have gotten there because it
19 was sent there, but there is nothing on here indicating it was sent
20 there. Why are you just making things up here? Why don't you give us a
21 honest answer? You don't know that these were ever distributed anywhere,
22 do you?
23 A. Sir, I do know that the paramilitary formations, that's what I
24 call them, were under the control of the crisis staffs, the municipal and
25 regional ones, so this was normal correspondence between the two parties.
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... You don't know that this
2 document was ever delivered to anybody, do you?
3 A. I can't testify to that because I wasn't there. The document
4 wasn't accessible to me. If that's what you're asking me, then my answer
5 is I don't know. But from this document, it would emerge, it appears, we
6 see, to whom it was sent and why it was sent, Mr. Ackerman.
7 Q. That's why I asked you about five times and you told these judges
8 that you knew that it had been distributed to these people. Now you're
9 saying, okay, you're right, you didn't know that? And the truth is you
10 didn't know that. And you don't know it as you sit here today. Isn't
11 that right?
12 A. Mr. Ackerman, it doesn't state in the document to whom it was
13 sent. But it says the staff command of the volunteer units. So it's not
14 written for one's own needs but for the needs of the subordinate units and
15 organs. That's what I wish to say.
16 Q. But you sat here and told these judges that you knew it had been
17 delivered to the persons to whom it was addressed and the fact is it's not
18 addressed to anyone, is it?
19 A. I did not say that I knew that the document was addressed or not
20 addressed. The document exists as such and as a professional soldier, I
21 would expect that if a joint command existed, that they would all issue
22 orders to me and inform me what my tasks and duties were. So I didn't say
23 that I knew and was aware of these documents. I received them in the year
24 2001. That's when I saw them for the first time. So how should I know
25 that they had existed before that and that the units had received this
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's clear enough. I think we can
3 move to something different, Mr. Ackerman.
4 MR. ACKERMAN:
5 Q. Sir, as a professional soldier, as a highly trained and skilled
6 professional soldier, as someone who knows about documents and the
7 regularity and irregularity of documents, look at this document, tell the
8 judges what it is about this document that they should conclude would
9 persuade them it's not a forgery. Tell me one thing -- tell us one thing
10 about that document that you can use to conclude that it's genuine at all.
11 A. On the basis of the title of the document itself, Mr. Ackerman,
12 because it says, "The aims and principles of the organisation of volunteer
13 units in the area of Bosanska Krajina." And the signature is the staff
14 command of the volunteer units of Bosanska Krajina, and they are sending
15 out information as to the ways and principles of organisation.
16 Q. Does yours have a signature?
17 A. No, it does not.
18 Q. Does yours have a stamp?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Can you make a document authentic just by giving it a classy
22 MS. KORNER: Well, that really is an argument.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: No. Because the very first part of his answer was,
24 look, it has a title. So he's attributing importance to the fact that a
25 document has a title. So let's --
1 MS. KORNER: Rephrasing of the question would be better.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me rephrase it.
3 Colonel, the whole point that is being put to you - and I think
4 in a very fair well as well by Mr. Ackerman - is this: Just as much as
5 these documents were handed to you by a person, the identity of whom you
6 don't want to reveal, in 2000 or in the year 2001, isn't it equally
7 possible that these -- this document that was handed to you in 2001 is not
8 an authentic document at all but it is a document that has been made up
9 and handed over to you in the hope that this document would be made use of
10 by you, little knowing that it is not an authentic document? This is what
11 is being suggested to you by Mr. Ackerman, who has every right to
12 interfere and intervene if he thinks that I have misinterpreted his
14 MR. ACKERMAN: You haven't, Your Honour. That's exactly right.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The document is not signed. That is
16 true. There is no stamp either. And this brings us to a dilemma as to
17 whether it is authentic or not, but I personally don't doubt it. That is
18 my personal opinion. I do not doubt its authenticity.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's another point. Yes,
20 Mr. Ackerman.
21 MR. ACKERMAN:
22 Q. All right, sir. Let's look at another document, I'd like you to
23 look at P229. Now, I take it, sir, that you know absolutely nothing about
24 this document?
25 A. That's right.
1 Q. You know by looking at it that it has no signature?
2 A. No signature but it does have a stamp.
3 Q. Do you recognise the stamp?
4 A. It's a similar stamp, this is the Serbian Democratic Party, the
5 Sanski Most board -- I think it's Sanski Most. I haven't seen this
6 particular stamp, but I have seen similar stamps.
7 Q. It speaks about, if you look at the -- just the first paragraph,
8 right under the word, "Conclusions," a subregional meeting of the
9 representatives of several municipalities, Bihac, Bosanski Petrovac,
10 Srpska Krupa, Sanski Most, Prijedor, Bosanski Novi, and Kljuc, does it
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You don't know if there ever was such a meeting of those
14 municipalities, of your own personal knowledge, do you?
15 A. During the war, I did not have any personal knowledge. But after
16 the war, I heard from others, from people, that this was what happened,
17 but not during the war, I didn't then, no.
18 Q. That this specific meeting happened? You say you heard about this
19 specific meeting?
20 A. Yes, after the war.
21 Q. All right. You don't know whether this document was ever actually
22 sent to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina or the Autonomous
23 Region of Krajina or the 1st Krajina Corps, do you?
24 A. No.
25 Q. You never saw it as an official document that arrived at the 1st
1 Krajina Corps, did you?
2 A. No.
3 Q. If you look at paragraph 7, it says in paragraph 7 that "This
4 group proposes that Dr. Nikola Erceg finally form a government of the
5 Autonomous Region of Krajina." To your knowledge, Nikola Erceg never
6 formed a government of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, did he?
7 A. Something was formed. Mr. Nikola Erceg was held high posts.
8 Whether he was the Prime Minister or whatever, the Prime Minister of the
9 government of the autonomous region I can't say. Many years have passed
10 since then so don't held me to my word because I don't want to say
11 anything that I'm not certain of.
12 Q. Let me be a little more specific because I didn't lead up to that
13 properly. If you look at paragraph 6, you see that they are being very
14 critical of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. And they say, "If the
15 leadership of the Autonomous Region of Krajina in Banja Luka fails to
16 solve this issue, our seven municipalities will take all Muslims and
17 Croats under military escort from our municipalities to the centre of
18 Banja Luka."
19 So it's speaking about the existence of an Autonomous Region of
20 Krajina and their dissatisfaction with the way it's operating, aren't
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And one of the things that they are suggesting that might relieve
24 their dissatisfaction is if they could get Dr. Nikola Erceg to form a
25 government of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, that would truly take care
1 of the economy and evenly distribute the economic resources and potential
2 of the municipalities. Correct?
3 A. That's what it says in the document.
4 Q. All right. That's all I have with that document. Thank you.
5 I want to go to another issue now.
6 In your testimony in the Tadic case, it's on page 1.246 of your
7 testimony, the 5th of June, you were asked about paramilitary groups
8 during that testimony, and specifically you were asked this question:
9 "Q. Colonel Selak I would like to now ask you some questions about
10 paramilitary activity. In your position in the JNA, did you become aware
11 of any paramilitary units operating within your area in either 1991 or
13 And the answer you gave was this: You mentioned two groups in
14 your answer. You said:
15 "Yes, we called them red berets because they were wearing red
16 berets on their heads. They were officially called Serb defence forces.
17 The command was in the hotel Bosna in Banja Luka."
18 Then you go on to discuss a second paramilitary formation that you
19 were aware of that it was in Banja Luka at the time, that formation of a
20 Miljanovic from Prnjavor, and you say "they were called the eagles or
21 something like that," and that you had seen them near Prnjavor at one time
22 at least. So you named two groups and one of them who you thought to be
23 the Miljanovic group whom you thought to be the eagles. Correct?
24 A. Yes. Colonel Miljanovic's unit was at Prnjavor and I was coming
25 back from Belgrade from my -- from a business trip. I was passing by and
1 the traffic was being controlled by these people with knifes, tucked into
2 their belts, hand grenades, and so on. They were bearing both civilian
3 clothing and camouflage uniforms but they looked very, very dangerous.
4 Q. Yes. And those were the two paramilitary units that you were
5 familiar with on 5 June, 1996, that were operating in your area in 1991 or
6 1992, correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And even though you thought they were called the eagles, you now
9 know, I think that they were called the Wolves of Vucjak? Do you agree
10 with that?
11 A. Please, you've brought me to a dilemma now. I don't know they
12 were the White Eagles and the Wolves of Vucjak, and I can't really say now
13 because I wasn't -- I stopped at Prnjavor. I wasn't there. I did see a
14 paramilitary unit and I thought they were the White Eagles. Now whether
15 they were the White Eagles, the Beli Orlovi, or not or whether they were
16 the Wolves of Vucjak, I'm at not quite sure now.
17 Q. Well, whatever they were, they were a formation under the command
18 of Milanovic from Prnjavor. That's you're certain of, right?
19 A. Yes, because that particular unit, in the settlement of Lisnja had
20 perpetrated a massacre in 1992 against the Bosniak people and set fire to
21 nine houses, with Colonel Tepsic I intervened to calm the situation down
22 and it was dealt with.
23 Q. All right, sir, I'm now going to be asked that you be given the
24 1st Krajina Corps war diary, and I have a couple of questions I want to
25 ask you from that right now, and there will be more later. I want to you
1 find the entry for -- you looked at it earlier -- 1 July, 1992. It's the
2 first entry of that date.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What it says there, does it not, that at 1500 hours, Brdjanin came
5 with his escort to visit the OG.
6 A. Just a moment, please, the 1st of July, 1992, I have here, it says
7 General Mladic, General Pliptic [phoen].
8 MS. KORNER: Page 35, Your Honour, in the translation.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I have the English one.
10 MR. ACKERMAN:
11 Q. Sir, it could be very confusing because some of the pages from
12 June actually say July.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: You said first entry on that day, 1st July. If you
16 look at the previous one, it's 30th July. At least that's the one that we
17 have, page 28, the entry seems to be 30th July when it probably should be
18 30th of June. In any case, he needs to refer to ERN number 01304535.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: That's right. The last few days of June in the
20 diary are called July for some unexplainable reason.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: It's useless telling him to refer --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I've found it. Brdjanin came
23 at 1500 hours.
24 MR. ACKERMAN:
25 Q. With his escort to visit the OG, right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. OG stands for what, operations group, operative group?
3 A. Operative group, yes.
4 Q. And would it be correct that that is a collection of units larger
5 than a tactical group but formed basically for the same purpose?
6 A. Yes. It's a bigger one, of brigade composition.
7 Q. Yes. Now --
8 A. Bigger than a tactical group.
9 Q. Yeah. The entry doesn't say anything about who Brdjanin was or
10 any position that he held, does it?
11 A. No.
12 Q. And you of course have no idea what Brdjanin did when he went
14 A. I don't know what he was doing there but we know the aim of his
15 arrival. That's quite clear, and I said that last time.
16 Q. But you don't know what he did when he went there. That's my
17 question. You don't know what he did, do you?
18 A. No.
19 Q. You don't know if he met with General Talic, do you?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. You don't know if he had any discussions with anyone regarding the
22 situation at the front and the problems encountered by the army. Of your
23 own knowledge, you don't know that, do you?
24 A. No, I don't, but from the diary, as it's the same date, it says,
25 "General Talic had talks and so on." Now, what we discussed, I don't
2 Q. You don't know if he made any assurances about what the government
3 could or would do, do you?
4 A. No, I don't know that, but he did inform the command of the
5 operations group, that is my assumption, as an officer. When a political
6 person comes to me from the authorities, he brings information about the
7 goals and how to realise them, put them into practice, and with his
8 authority, he lent his support to the operations group units and its
10 Q. You just told us that from the diary on the same date it says,
11 "General Talic had talks and so on." Where is that? Where did you find
13 A. It is the first words, "General Talic had talks with the
14 commanders," et cetera on the 1st of July. The page is 534, "General
15 Talic talked to the commanders about the previous night," et cetera.
16 Q. Well, that would have been in the morning of that day?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Brdjanin didn't arrive until 1500 hours, so that couldn't be
19 related at all, could it?
20 A. He came at 1500 hours, yes, and what happened in the meantime, it
21 doesn't state in the diary. So therefore I don't know.
22 Q. You don't know if Brdjanin saw or was seen by any of the rank and
23 file troops who were actually doing the fighting, do you? Of your own
24 knowledge, you don't know that?
25 A. No, I don't, but from the diary, if he appeared in the operations
1 group, then he must have known what was going on and he was informed by
2 the commander of the operations group about the situation in the area of
3 responsibility of the operations group. And so there was feedback,
4 two-way information. That's what emerges from this. They informed each
5 other. And that is standard military practice.
6 Q. There is one sentence, "At 1500 hours, Brdjanin came with his
7 escort to visit the OG." Where does it say there that he met with the
8 commander of the OG, and there was feedback and conversation between
9 them. It's not there. You're just making that up, aren't you?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's be fair with the witness. Isn't it normal in
11 military practice that if someone is visiting the OG, he doesn't just walk
12 in. There is a protocol that is followed. And if he's an important
13 person like your client was at the time, he would be met by the commander
14 and not by --
15 MR. ACKERMAN: But if he was an unimportant person --
16 A. Precisely so, sir.
17 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... Person at the time and I will
18 show you that in just a moment then he wouldn't be met by the corps
20 A. Please, may I be allowed to state the following? In that case,
21 the commander of the operations group wouldn't receiver him, nor could he
22 come to the operations group. Some civilian with no authority or no
24 Q. We're going to find out a little more about that in just a
25 second. In your testimony here in this courtroom. Day 146, I think that
1 was Thursday but I'm not certain, page 59, LiveNote, you were asked with
2 this visit by Brdjanin at 1500 hours. And then you were asked, "Would you
3 expects a visit from the person who was in charge of the government of the
4 region to a military post?"
5 And your answer was as follows, sir, the question is clear: "The
6 units in the front visits by representatives of the government, the
7 political organs, the general staff, these visits were something that were
8 necessary. The people liked that. They liked to get information." Now
9 listen clearly, "And from this diary, you can see clearly that the
10 soldiers were satisfied. They were very happy with Mr. Brdjanin's visits
11 to the units in the front. This meant moral support to them."
12 That's what you told us. "From this diary, you can see clearly
13 that they were satisfied and very happy." That's what you said. Right?
14 A. Yes. And I would be satisfied if I was the commander of a unit,
15 if I were to receive a visit from a person age of that kind. It would be
16 my pleasure and privilege to have been visited by somebody like that.
17 Q. That is not my question. My question is: You said that you can
18 see clearly from the diary that the soldiers were satisfied that they were
19 very happy with Mr. Brdjanin's visit, and you were referring to that
20 sentence that says, "The soldiers were delighted and their morale rose
21 significantly." That's what you think shows how they felt about
22 Brdjanin's visit, right? And that's what you told us.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Between the sentence that talks about his visit and that sentence,
25 there is a pretty important sentence, isn't there in it says, "At 1530
1 hours word came that Plehan and Rabic had fallen." Don't you think that
2 would delight the soldiers and improve the morale a great deal more than
3 seeing Mr. Brdjanin?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What you're talking about and if you look next, "The Ustasha
6 stronghold, a bastion of Catholicism and fascism, and a seed of hatred
7 towards the Serbian people has fallen." Big deal. Much bigger than
8 Brdjanin's visit. Okay?
9 A. Both, sir, announcements, that is the arrival of Mr. Brdjanin and
10 the capture of Plehan by the operative group were certainly well received
11 by both officers and soldiers of the operations group.
12 Q. Now --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I also suppose they were happy to have received
14 cigarettes at 1200 hours. That must have made them delighted and boosted
15 their morale as well, Mr. Ackerman and Colonel Selak.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. I take it that someone of the -- of what you say was the stature
18 and importance of Mr. Brdjanin was certainly free to come and visit
19 various military units whenever he felt it was necessary for him to do
20 so. Correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. He wouldn't have had to get any kind of advanced permission from
23 the commander to come into that area, would he? Like a pass to get
24 through checkpoints or anything?
25 A. No. Visits of this level, Mr. Brdjanin and his associates needed
1 to inform the command of the corps or the corps command that they were
2 going to visit a subordinate unit or a tactical or an operative group or
3 even a brigade, and in that event, somebody from the command would go with
4 them but not necessarily, but the commander or the corps command needed to
5 be informed about it.
6 Q. But they certainly didn't have to get any kind of special travel
7 passes to allow them to pass through checkpoints or things like that
8 because of their high government stature, people like Brdjanin, Karadzic,
9 people like that. Right?
10 A. Yes. And they always had an escort. One would expect that they
11 had personal bodyguards, checkpoints were aware of this, these were
12 military and police checkpoints. Therefore it was normal for them to go
13 to the staff commands of units.
14 Q. I'd like you to look at DB122, sir. What you have before you,
15 sir, is a permit issued by General Talic that gives Mr. Brdjanin
16 permission to travel along a certain route, Doboj, Prnjavor, Banja Luka,
17 and his delegation, with nine people in four motor vehicles, that the
18 permit cannot be used for other purposes. In other words, that he can't
19 use it to travel anywhere else but just along that route, and that was
20 issued 26 June, 1992, was it not? Just a few days before this visit?
21 A. Yes. I just said that the information had to reach the command.
22 I didn't say whether it had to be in writing or orally, but the corps
23 command had to be informed. I didn't know that they issued written
24 documents for passage but the information had to be passed on.
25 Q. You also told us that a person of high stature, high government
1 official, wouldn't need such a pass or a permit, and I suggest to you
2 you're correct, but Mr. Brdjanin did have to get such a pass or a permit,
3 didn't he?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, Judge Janu is drawing my attention to
5 a very important point here. The permits, permission is not being granted
6 to Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin. It states delegation has another nine people
7 with four motor vehicles. So happens that the delegation is being headed
8 by Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin.
9 So to say that this is a permission that is being issued to Mr.
10 Radoslav Brdjanin because even a person like Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin
11 required permission, probably he did, and I would expect that the
12 permission would have had to be issued in any case, in a combat zone,
13 where there were army posts, but army checkpoints. But please do take
14 this into consideration, that the permit covers not just Mr. Brdjanin but
15 a delegation which he was heading.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, yes, of course. The document itself says
17 that it was he and his delegation that arrived there. And that's what I
18 was talking about throughout.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: The document says he and his escorts.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: That's different. The diary says at 1500 hours
22 Brdjanin came with his escort, one, singular, to visit the operations
23 group. While here we have delegation from the republic, Serbian Republic.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, judge, I think it will become clearer to you
25 as we go.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: But I would imagine -- I would expect everyone to
2 need a permit.
3 MR. ACKERMAN: I know that's your position, and we'll see if
4 you're right.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Knowing something about army procedure.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
7 Q. Would you look, please, at, sir, at DB123 now?
8 MR. ACKERMAN: And, Your Honour, there is a kind of an issue with
9 regard to this document.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Before you proceed, just for your assistant to take
11 care of this, because I notice that the documents that you handed to us
12 today begin with DB127, which presumes that we made use of DB126. In
13 actual fact, DB126 yesterday was presented as DB126 initially but
14 corrected because it was DB80 already filed on the previous occasion. So
15 we don't have a DB126. So take care of that so that we don't have this --
16 MR. ACKERMAN: We'll get it all worked out. This one was DB123.
17 What I wanted to tell Your Honours is this: When this was all initially
18 prepared I expected to use only one page from this logbook. And then as
19 time went by, I realised I needed to use some additional pages, so I
20 submitted another exhibit with a few more pages in it. And then yesterday
21 it became clear to me I needed more pages, so last night I decided to
22 submit the whole logbook. So we have got three sort of installments of
23 this document and as we go along, but the first one that I want to you
24 look at is just this one page.
25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, we do have a 126 to help Mr. Ackerman.
1 We are looking at it.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry?
3 MS. KORNER: 21st of April, DB126. So there is a DB126.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
5 Q. Sir, I'm interested in an entry made on the 26th of June, 1992,
6 which you'll see -- you have the page of it there, and what you're looking
7 at is what's described as the logbook of the 1st Krajina Corps command,
8 and you'll see an entry there that says, "Confirmation of movement of the
9 delegation, Mr. R. Brdjanin, 26 June, 1992." Do you see that?
10 MS. KORNER: [Microphone not activated]
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Page 4.
12 A. No, it says movement of the delegation confirmation, and then in
13 the second column, Mr. Brdjanin, the 26th of June, 1992, yes.
14 Q. And that's the same date as this permit that we looked at DB122
15 just a moment ago, is it not?
16 A. Yes. This is the logbook where this permit has been logged but it
17 doesn't say for how long this permit is valid. It appears to be
19 Q. All right. Now I want you to go -- just a minute. I want you to
20 go now to the date of -- in the logbook, not the logbook, the war diary,
21 to the date of 8 July. It's several pages further along from where you
22 are right now. And if it will help you, I can give you --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You got there, good.
25 A. Yes, I have.
1 Q. If I can find my place, we'll move along here.
2 A. I've found it.
3 Q. All right. Just bear with me a second.
4 All right. If you look -- it's probably near the end of that
5 day's entries. You'll see at 1700 hours Vojo Kupresanin. See if you can
6 find that.
7 A. Found it.
8 Q. It says, "At 1700 hours, Vojo Kupresanin, president of the
9 Autonomous Region of Bosnian Krajina, arrived and discussed with General
10 Talic, the situation on the entire front and problems encountered by our
11 Serbian army. He underlined that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 would do all it could to ensure that our army was organised and integrated
13 as a unified armed force with a unified command and without paramilitary
15 Now, sir, that entry is significantly different from the one with
16 regard to Brdjanin, isn't it? It says that he was the President of the
17 Autonomous Region of Bosnian Krajina, in other words it gives his
18 position, and says that he met with General Talic. It says that he and
19 General Talic discussed the situation on the front and problems
20 encountered by the Serbian army there, that he presumed to speak for the
21 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, saying that the Serbian government
22 of Bosnia and Herzegovina would do all it could to ensure that the army
23 was organised and integrated, as the unified armed force or unified
24 command without paramilitary formations. So that's a pretty extensive
25 entry compared with that of Mr. Brdjanin, isn't it?
1 A. Yes. But Mr. Kupresanin held a command -- went to the command
2 position of General Talic, and the questions discussed were recorded,
3 whereas Mr. Brdjanin went to the operative group and this logbook could
4 not record what was discussed there. This could be found in the diary of
5 the operative group. That is the distinction.
6 Q. Now, sir, I don't know whether you want to take the time to do
7 this or not, but this logbook where it recorded the permission issued to
8 Mr. Brdjanin, you can search it from now on, and you'll never find that
9 Mr. Kupresanin had to get any kind of a permit or permission, or it
10 doesn't record that he got any kind of permit or permission to visit,
11 which, if that's the case, would indicate that he had significantly higher
12 status than Mr. Brdjanin, wouldn't it?
13 A. I'm not talking here about status but from the war diary of the
14 command of the 1st Krajina Corps, it can clearly be seen that Kupresanin
15 visited the command post. Now, whether Mr. Kupresanin needed permit or
16 permission or not, I don't know. I doubt he did. But the operative group
17 which Mr. Brdjanin visited is more than 70 kilometres from Banja Luka.
18 There are checkpoints there, and probably this permission was requested
19 and approved because of those checkpoints.
20 Q. In the war diary, page 173, in the English version, it's the --
21 the date is 8 August, 1992?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If you go down to an entry that begins with, "At 1300 hours a
24 group of people" --
25 A. At 1600 hours?
1 Q. 1300 hours, 1300?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, you need to look at -- if he has it with
3 ERN numbers, it's 01304664.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: And the page starts with -- [Microphone not
6 activated]. Am I correct, Mr. Ackerman?
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, you are.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1830? Oh, yes, yes, at 1300 hours,
11 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Q. "At 1300 hours a group of people from Krajina arrived with
13 President Predrag Radic to ask about combat operations and our position on
14 the front. They were satisfied and amazed when they were told how much
15 territory had been liberated and that we all sat down and ate what they
16 had brought."
17 So Mayor Radic from Banja Luka came for a visit, didn't he?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And I think when asked about him, the other day, you told us that
20 his interest was only with regard to Banja Luka and not the areas outside
21 Banja Luka. Apparently he was interested well beyond Banja Luka, wasn't
23 A. The town mayor of Banja Luka, Mr. Predrag Radic, is a person of
24 authority. Banja Luka is the largest town in Bosnian Krajina, and in my
25 view, it was logical for him to visit the operative group and units on the
1 front. Therefore, this was quite logical, and why wouldn't such a town
2 mayor visit the units to provide information and to receive information?
3 So that is quite a normal occurrence in communication between the army and
4 the political authorities.
5 Q. Turn now, please, to the date of 18 August, 1992. Do you have the
6 ERN numbers in that book?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, do you know whether he has ERN numbers?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
10 Q. It's the second paragraph of the entry for 18 August, 1992.
11 A. Yes, the number is 4695.
12 Q. Yes?
13 A. 18th August, 1992.
14 Q. Second paragraph there says, does it not [Microphone not
15 activated] "Radic arrived at 1000 hours, to meet General Talic. They
16 inquired about the situation on the front and soldiers from Krajina."
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, sir, that logbook that you were looking at part of a little
20 while ago --
21 MR. ACKERMAN: And Your Honours I think it's been marked as DB128,
22 has it not?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
24 MR. ACKERMAN:
25 Q. Sir, we have the entire logbook or as much as has been furnished
1 to us as an exhibit, and if I suggest to you that no where in that logbook
2 will you find any reference to passes or permits being issued to Predrag
3 Radic or any group headed by Predrag Radic. Would you accept that or
4 would you like to look at the entire book?
5 A. I'm not asking to look through the whole logbook. But as a
6 professional soldier, I repeat, it would be a pleasure for me to be
7 visited both by Radic and Brdjanin and Kupresanin, because this is of
8 great importance for the officer and for the troops, that political
9 leaders should visit the units on the front. How they reached command
10 posts, that is up to an agreement and depends on who has control over the
11 checkpoints along the route, but such visits are normal, expected, and
13 Q. Yes. Okay. We are going to a completely different subject now.
14 This must have been your Wednesday testimony, maybe Thursday.
15 It's page 45 of the LiveNote, lines 19 through 21, you were asked about --
16 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, that doesn't help, have you got a date?
17 MR. ACKERMAN: That's what I can't do. I just neglected to put
18 the date here. It was at 11.00 in the morning on whatever day it was and
19 you will remember, Ms. Korner, that were you asking about mopping up of
20 the terrain. That's what I'm going to ask about.
21 Q. You gave an answer that asked about that you gave this answer:
22 "The term 'mopping up' implies the clearing of terrain of enemy soldiers,
23 of enemy units. The manpower of enemy units. I'm speaking now in the
24 military sense."
25 And it's correct, is it not, that that's exactly what it means, as
1 a military term, and that you defined it correctly in that answer?
2 A. The mopping up of the terrain means clearing it of men, in the
3 first place, of enemy soldiers and then also clearing it of the
4 population, which in reality was what was done.
5 Q. That is not what the military term mopping up means, is it? Isn't
6 it true that that term means clearing it of combatants and eliminating the
7 threat to your own units? Doesn't have anything to do with ethnic
8 cleansing, with removing civilians or anything else, does it?
9 A. No. It means clearing it of soldiers, soldiers are immediately
10 captured, if there are any. And clearing of the population means moving
11 the population, eliminating them, and that was the aim of those
12 operations. That's what I said, and that's what I meant then, and I'm
13 repeating it.
14 Q. So when we read in the press reports that U.S. and British forces
15 are involved in mopping up a certain area in Afghanistan, are we to
16 understand that they are ethnically cleansing that area, removing the
17 civilian population or should we understand it in a traditional military
19 A. We have to make a distinction, sir. The goals of the war, the
20 goals in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the war that was waged in Afghanistan.
21 The two cannot be identified.
22 Q. But "mopping up" is a term that is used in military circles around
23 the world, isn't it? Not unique to the JNA.
24 A. The "term mopping" up or cleaning or clearing can be chemical,
25 biological, because in these areas and in those days, where combat
1 operations were ongoing, we knew what the aim was, and the aim was ethnic
2 cleansing, sir.
3 Q. Okay. I want to go to another issue now.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, will you --
5 MR. ACKERMAN: It would be a good time, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So 15 minutes.
7 --- Recess taken at 5.14 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 5.32 p.m.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
10 MR. ACKERMAN:
11 Q. Sir, how many mosques were bombed or destroyed in Banja Luka in
13 A. I think it was 16.
14 Q. In 1992?
15 A. In 1992, 1993, don't hold me to the date, and there were 15 to 20
16 days in between the bombings, when the last one was actually destroyed, I
17 don't actually know. I could have come by that information but I didn't
18 ask for it actually.
19 Q. If it's the case, if it's true, that the first mosque destroyed in
20 Banja Luka was in 1993, then what you said about forming your resistance
21 group because of the destruction of mosques and other things like that,
22 going on in Banja Luka, could not have been true, could it?
23 A. It's not just a question of the mosques. It's also a question of
24 the arrests, unlawful arrests of people.
25 Q. Yes, we know there were other issues. I'm only asking you about
1 the mosques. That's the only question I have. I know there were other
2 reasons why you say that you created that group, but one of the reasons
3 you gave was the destruction of mosques. And all I'm asking is: If there
4 were no mosques destroyed in 1992, that wouldn't be one of the reasons,
5 would it?
6 A. Let me repeat: The resistance movement was not formed because the
7 religious sites were destroyed but for the protection of the Bosnian
9 Q. Please stop. We are going to be here forever if you can't answer
10 my question. And I think it's simple. If there weren't any mosques
11 destroyed in 1992, that couldn't have been a reason for you -- one of the
12 reasons for you forming that resistance movement, could it? That's all
13 I'm asking you. Nothing else.
14 A. Well, the resistance movement was not formed to protect the
15 mosques but to protect the people.
16 Q. I'm going to try one more time. If there weren't any mosques
17 destroyed in 1992, that could not have been a reason or one of the reasons
18 for you forming that resistance movement. It's a simple question. Yes or
20 A. I can't give you a yes or no answer. The resistance movement was
21 formed to protect the people and I stand by that statement.
22 Q. So then what you're saying is that if there were no mosques
23 destroyed in 1992, that it's still possible the movement was formed partly
24 because of the destruction of mosques? Is that what you're saying?
25 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I think -- in all honestly it's a
1 slightly unfair question because Mr. Ackerman is saying no mosque in Banja
2 Luka, but what about mosques elsewhere? I mean --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Listen, I'm not here to -- we are not here to answer
4 the questions or to replace the witness in answering the questions.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: [Microphone not activated]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Now you have hinted at something that
7 probably has given him a hint on how to answer the question.
8 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, no, I think it's an unfair
9 question because the way is phrased is you're lying if you say that --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: If you had a stupid witness, I would understand what
11 you're saying, but you don't have a stupid witness here.
12 MS. KORNER: Well, all right, Your Honour.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: I think I have to leave that area now, Your Honour.
14 Q. You spoke a lot during your direct testimony about cooperation
15 with local authorities. When you talk about cooperation with local
16 authorities, you're speaking of a couple of things, I think, and correct
17 me if I'm wrong but I think I'm right. You're speaking of maintaining
18 good relations between the army and local authorities and you're speaking
19 of the need to rely on local authorities for supplies, food, construction
20 materials, that sort of thing?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know when the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was
23 established? Do you know the date at all?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Do you know if it was the 1st of March, 1992? Does that refresh
1 your memory at all or do you know if that's a correct date? If you don't
2 know, please say so.
3 A. No, I don't know exactly.
4 Q. On page 51 of the LiveNote from Thursday, I believe it was, the
5 16th, the time signature is 11:36:54. Ms. Korner is asking you about a
6 meeting, she says this: "Can we then please now I think look at a meeting
7 that in fact was on the 4th of June, 1992, at our page 167?" [Realtime
8 transcript read in error "126] And she is referring to your notebook.
9 Now, this is a meeting at the Banja Luka municipal assembly with
10 the President of the Banja Luka municipal assembly and director general of
11 a particular company. You were asked if you'd found it. And then you
12 said you had. And then she said, "And it seems to be dealing with
13 cosmos." Do you know how this meeting came about, why you attended a
14 meeting at the municipal assembly? And you said that you were the
15 commander of the logistics base and the question I wanted to ask you about
16 that was: What is the company Rudi Cajavec or whatever its name is? That
17 was the company involved. What kind of a company is that?
18 A. The Rudi Cajavec company in Banja Luka produced radios, radio
19 stations for the purposes of the army, printed circuits for electrical
20 goods, for -- and it was a very strong military plant, which produced
21 radio stations for armoured vehicles produced by Yugoslavia and other
22 products. I can't enumerate them all. Other goods as well. But it did
23 have production for army purposes, a military production line, and that's
24 why I was invited to attend that particular meeting.
25 Q. All right. A different subject now.
1 If you'll recall, there was some conversation in the form of
2 testimony between you and Ms. Korner regarding paramilitary formations
3 fighting along side 1st Krajina Corps units during the fighting in the
4 corridor, and specifically you were referring to the Milanovic Wolves of
5 Vucjak and the formation led by Milan Martic. Correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. First thing, the Wolves of Vucjak were completely subordinated to
8 General Talic and effectively under his command during that entire period,
9 were they not?
10 A. I can't talk about that whole period. I didn't have information
11 of that kind. I assumed that that was so, but as I say, I wasn't informed
12 and therefore cannot confirm it.
13 Q. This fighting that was going on in the corridor, certainly there
14 were -- there were Croatian troops from Croatia that were involved in
15 those battles, weren't there?
16 A. I assume Croatian units from their coast, because the River Sava
17 separated them, so I assume that they were involved to prevent the
18 establishment of the corridor from the -- their military aspects, that
19 would have been quite in order. So I don't know which units.
20 Q. The troops of Milan Martic that were referred to as a paramilitary
21 unit, you were asked if it was unusual or irregular for a political
22 leader, a minister of the government, to have troops, to have a military
23 unit under his command. Do you recall being asked that?
24 A. I remember the question but not the details, the specifics.
25 However, the corridor itself was vital, not only for Bosnian Krajina but
1 for Banija and Kordun as well, which is where the Serbs lived in Croatia,
2 the Serb people living in Croatia were. Therefore, I see no reason for
3 there not to be units from Krajina there, included into the fighting for
4 the corridor. Not only those forces but others as well.
5 Q. The specific question you were asked was about whether it was
6 unusual for a minister of the government to be heading a paramilitary unit
7 engaged in this fighting, and I think your answer was yes, that was --
8 that would be highly unusual. Do you recall that exchange? And if I --
9 if you don't, and if I'm wrong about it, that's fine, but do you recall
11 A. It would be logical for a professional soldier to stand at the
12 head of the unit. However, if Mr. Martic was a reserve officer, then I
13 see no reason why he shouldn't command a unit.
14 Q. Do you know that at that point in time, he was the Minister of the
15 Interior of the Republika Srpska Krajina?
16 A. I think he was. I think that's what he was, yes.
17 Q. And you know in that position he would have had police units that
18 were under his command, wouldn't he?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And do you know that when police units become part of combat
21 units, they become subordinated to the military commanders of those combat
22 units, don't they?
23 A. That need not be the case. That particular unit can be given a
24 set assignment.
25 Q. And in the videos that we saw, I don't know if you remember this
1 or not but in the videos that we saw the other day, do you recall seeing a
2 video, a closeup, of one of those soldiers who had the patch Milicija
3 Krajina on his shoulder? Do you remember seeing that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And that means Krajina police, doesn't it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. That wouldn't be a paramilitary unit. That would be an organised
8 police unit, wouldn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In your testimony, you at one point, you say, you said that when
11 you saw Brdjanin in 1994, that he was wearing a camouflage uniform. Is
12 that what you said?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When you were with him at the meeting that you say he attended at
15 Radic's office, what was he wearing then?
16 A. You're asking me too much. A lot of years have passed but I think
17 he was wearing civilian clothing and that he was not in uniform.
18 Q. You watched videos here in this courtroom of Mr. Brdjanin visiting
19 the front. You remember seeing those?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Wasn't wearing any camouflage uniform at that point, was he?
22 A. You know what? I was looking at the facial expressions, so to be
23 frank -- well, don't ask me about that, because I was looking around to
24 see who else was there and I really can't be sure, so I don't want to
25 answer one way or the other. I was looking at Zupljanin himself and the
1 others on those images. So I really can't say. I think he was wearing
2 uniform -- a uniform but don't hold me to that. I can't say with any
4 Q. You're talking about when you saw him in 1994? You can't be
5 certain whether he was wearing a uniform or not, correct?
6 A. No. In 1994 --
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. On the video, yes.
9 Q. All right.
10 MS. KORNER: Can we make it clear before we move on, is the
11 suggestion that Mr. Brdjanin never wore a military uniform?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: That's the suggestion.
13 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, that is the suggestion?
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes.
15 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. Would you concede that you could also be mistaken about whether he
18 was wearing a camouflage uniform when you saw him in 1994?
19 A. The meeting was at the marketplace. He crossed the street. We
20 said hello to each other, and he asked me whether I needed any
21 assistance. Yes he was wearing camouflage uniform. His car was standing
22 there. He opened the door and then went up to me to say hello, and he was
23 wearing camouflage uniform, yes. I will never forget that.
24 Q. Could you describe the car?
25 A. Well, it was a passenger vehicle. I wasn't interested. I didn't
1 even look at the number plates.
2 Q. All right. Have you still got the 1st Krajina Corps -- I'm sorry,
3 let me go back. What kind of a passenger vehicle? Do you know what model
4 it was, what colour it was, anything like that?
5 A. I wasn't interested in anything like that. I just tried to make
6 the encounter as brief as possible because I didn't want to stay there
7 with him, stand about there, so that some of my fellow citizens could see
8 me with Mr. Brdjanin. So I wasn't interested in the car at all.
9 Q. All right. Have you got the war diary there with you still?
10 A. The war diary, yes, I have.
11 Q. All right. I think it's Exhibit P1590. Just for record purposes,
12 Your Honour.
13 How much time have you been able to spend looking through this
14 document, this war diary?
15 A. Just here during the trial, in the courtroom. That's when I saw
16 it first. When I arrived. Otherwise I knew of its existence and I wanted
17 to see it. Unfortunately I didn't have occasion to see it before now.
18 Q. Were you able to look at a copy of it outside the courtroom or is
19 the only time you've seen it is here in the courtroom? It or a copy of
21 A. Only what exists here in the courtroom.
22 Q. All right. Well, that's going to make our job a little harder but
23 we'll do it.
24 This particular version of the war diary, it's called war diary
25 one, extends from 24 June, 1992, to 30 August, 1992, doesn't it?
1 A. I can take a look.
2 Q. I think you can see it on the first page probably.
3 A. Let me see. Yes, that's how it stands. Yes, the 24th of June,
4 1992, to the 3rd of August, 1992.
5 Q. So it covers a period --
6 THE INTERPRETER: 30th of August.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. -- of about two months' duration, doesn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. It talks throughout from beginning to end, sir, about battles that
11 were going on, battles that were being fought, in this -- I think the
12 corridor area. There really was a hot war going on in that area, wasn't
13 there, in which people were being killed on both sides?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, this document indicates that the forward command of the army
16 at that point was at a place, and I'm trying to find where it first begins
17 with that, if you look at 25 June, 1992, right at the beginning, the
18 forward command it says is located at Duge Njive? If that's how you say
20 A. Yes, do you go Njiva the 25th of June, 1992, that's what it says
22 Q. Can you give us just sort of an idea about where Duge Njive is
24 A. I was never there in the area of Duge Njive. I assume it's close
25 to Prnjavor but please do not hold me to that. I wasn't there. I've
1 never been there.
2 Q. And the Corps headquarters was at this time in Bosanska Gradiska
3 and the forward command was in Duge Njive, right. And my question is:
4 Where would General Talic have spent his time, in Gradiska or up at the
5 forward command?
6 A. The forward command post was in Stara Gradiska in Croatia, not
7 Bosanska Gradiska, so it's across the Sava River, and the forward command
8 post was in Duge Njive. Talic was at the command post, but with regular
9 touring of the forward command post, which is where his Chief of Staff,
10 Colonel Jelecevic was, Bosko Jelecevic.
11 Q. So basically would you say that he may go in the daytime to tour
12 the area and in the evenings, though, he would be back at his command post
13 in Stara Gradiska?
14 A. According to his plan, and as was needed, he would go to where the
15 fighting was, to see the situation in the units for himself, and that was
16 the duty of each and every commander during wartime.
17 Q. One of the things that is reported by a diary of this kind are
18 combat deaths, injuries, persons wounded, things of that nature, correct?
19 A. Yes. All essential information on a daily basis would have to
20 have been recorded in the war diary.
21 Q. I'm going to try to keep this from being too tedious but I want to
22 run through a little bit of this. I want to start, sir, on page -- it's
23 30 in the English version and the ERN number that I want to you look for
24 is 01304 -- the last four digits are 4531.
25 A. 4531, you say. Just a moment, please.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You'll see at 1503 hours there was a report that three soldiers
3 were killed and more than a dozen wounded. Correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And then if you go a couple of pages further, on the same day, to
6 page 4533.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You'll see six soldiers killed and 12 wounded and two tanks
9 damaged? You see that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. Now we will go forward quite a ways now to page 65 in the
12 English version, look for number 4563.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you'll see four soldiers killed, 45 wounded, correct?
15 A. Just a moment, please.
16 Q. Right before troop morale.
17 A. At 1400 hours, give me a moment, please -- yes, four were killed
18 and 45 fighters wounded.
19 Q. If we go to ERN number 4572, I think, 12 July, I think it's 4571,
20 at the very end of 4571, according to a statement by the commander of the
21 Defence forces.
22 A. Yes, I've found it.
23 Q. It says 120 wounded, 30 killed, in the Ustasha attack on the town?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. If you go just a couple of pages, 4573, at the very bottom, during
1 the fighting yesterday, they had 31 soldiers killed and about 80 wounded
2 and lists a captain and a lieutenant that were among those killed, Captain
3 Jokic and Lieutenant Misic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, sir, we could go on through this, and if you want to look at
6 each of these, you're absolutely free to do so. 24 July, page 117 in the
7 English version, 8 killed, 15 wounded; 30 July, 12 killed, 11 wounded; 31
8 July, 6 killed, 61 wounded; 2 August, 8 killed, 31 wounded; 4 August, 5
9 killed, 23 wounded; 26 August, 10 killed, 92 wounded; 27 August, 15
10 killed, 76 wounded; 28 August, 13 killed, 26 wounded.
11 And there are more. So a lot of people. There were a lot of
12 casualties, a lot of people being killed and wounded in these fights up
13 there, weren't there?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And each of these deaths in that period was followed by a funeral
16 in some village somewhere probably in the Bosnian Krajina, wasn't it?
17 A. Yes, where the killed person had been born, that is where the
18 funeral would take place, if possible. If it was not possible to reach
19 that place, he would be buried on the spot.
20 Q. And the wounded, if not capable of engaging in any more combat
21 activities would go back to the places they were from, sometimes absent
22 arms, sometimes absent legs, sometimes seriously deformed, even mentally
23 deformed. Correct?
24 A. Yes. The medical corps would take measures to take care of the
25 wounded, and where they would be sent depended on the seriousness of the
1 wound or injury. Certainly, there were many people wounded, and they were
2 taken care of.
3 Q. All right. Let's talk about another subject now, and this is the
4 subject of morale. Another thing that one notices, if you go carefully
5 through there, is that there are frequent and serious problems with morale
6 among the troops in these units up there fighting in the corridor. And
7 let's visit if we can, just a very few of those and I'll ask you about
8 them. If you look at, it's page 26 in the English version, and the ERN
9 number I'll ask to you look for, you'll have to go back now, is 4527, 29
10 July -- it's actually 29 June.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You'll see --
13 A. July.
14 Q. It's actually June?
15 A. 29th of July.
16 Q. What you want to look for is ERN 4527. Do you have --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If you look at the bottom of that page, then, you should see, "The
19 Ozren battalion refused to organise defence in the Dobrnja sector," and
20 then turn the page over, "completely abandoned their positions and left
21 for Ozren. The reason for this is the poor authority of the battalion
22 commanders, excessive drinking, stealing, and plundering." And then it
23 goes on to talk about that battalion from Prnjavor that we talked about
24 the other day that was looting goods and appliances and tractors and
25 machines and things of that nature. Correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Go now to page -- I think it's ERN 4609.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You see about the Kozara Battalion [Microphone not activated]
5 "...on their own initiative. Some of the soldiers very rude and as a
6 result of that kind of behaviour, five soldiers were killed and 22 wounded
7 and three tanking and one armoured personnel carrier were destroyed."
8 And then if you just turn the page, to 4610, having talked about
9 the enemy breaking through lines and advancing a couple of kilometres, the
10 report along -- the diary says, "This was caused by the Kozara battalion
11 and their cowardice. He wanted to go back to Dubica, the state of morale
12 is very bad, and according to what the TG3 commander said there is a risk
13 of the whole tactical group falling apart because of the bad attitude of
14 soldiers from Dubica and Osinja who are absent all the time and who are
15 deserting their positions."
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Page 156 English, 4647 is your number, sir. The last entry.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The last portion of the entry there reads as follows: "The units
21 still have problems with soldiers leaving their positions without
22 authorisation and not returning to their positions after resting, which
23 makes the situation at," and that's not translated so I don't know what it
24 says. Do you know what it says right after?
25 A. The situation means firing position, VP is a short for firing
2 Q. "Makes the situation at firing positions very complex because the
3 first line of defence often remains weakened. The soldiers are quite
4 exhausted and constantly asking for relief so that they can go home. They
5 are particularly angry about looting and other forms of fraud in liberated
6 territory, and there is a possibility of rebellion and relieving of
7 certain municipal officials of their duties."
8 So this indicates that one of the causes for the morale of the
9 soldiers was the looting that was going on about them by some of these
10 other people, and they seem to be especially upset with municipal
11 officials. Correct?
12 A. That is what one can infer from the diary.
13 Q. Page 176 in the English, from 9 August, it's 4667, sir, which is
14 your number.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The first entry, "In the course of fighting today, most units did
17 not even leave their positions to attack as planned. Despite all the
18 measures that have been taken, most units simply do not want to go into
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Finally, one more, it's ERN 4672.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Just a little ways down after Ustasha's pounded you finally get to
24 morale. "The morale of the troops is quite shaken because of fatigue and
25 because they are still leaving their units in firing position without
2 Now, people are tired and leaving their firing positions and that
3 is effecting the morale, I guess, of those that are staying there and
4 trying to defend a position that has been weakened by the departure of
5 those other people. Is that the way you read that?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. All right. I'm finished with those. I want now to go back again
8 to an earlier part of the diary. I want you to look at ERN 4533. It's a
9 paragraph that begins with, "a group of security officers." It's actually
10 30 June, sir.
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. The date is incorrectly entered but it says, "A group of security
13 officers arrived from Teslic saying that the situation in Teslic
14 municipality was very chaotic. They said Captain First Class Mirko
15 Slavuljica and Captain First Class Borislav Maksimovic and the entire
16 Teslic brigade command were placed in custody during an inspection
17 investigation. They said that the blame for this should be put on the
18 leaders of Teslic, the President of the Teslic municipal assembly,
19 Nikola Perisic, the chief of the Teslic public security station,
20 Dusan Kuzmanovic and others, and that they had requested assistance from
21 the police in Banja Luka led by a man called Radilovic and arrested our
22 commanding officers and military policemen. After that, a letter was sent
23 to Karadzic to help sort out the situation."
24 Do you know anything about that?
25 A. No, I didn't know anything about that. I was aware of certain
1 problems there but not the details, because I was commander of the
2 logistics base and I didn't know about this. I did know that there were
3 problems there but I was not familiar with the details.
4 Q. If we go a little further over to your page 4536, page 36 in the
5 translation, there is a little more explanation, not much. "The commander
6 of the Teslic battalion, Sergeant Nedjeljko Subotic came and briefly
7 explained the situation in Teslic and the Teslic brigade. According to
8 his statement it was well known who was to blame. The President of the
9 municipal assembly, the chief of the public security station, and a couple
10 of others."
11 And again, I think you probably know nothing about that, I guess?
12 A. I don't.
13 Q. Right after that last entry that we just read from page 4536, sir,
14 there is an entry immediately following that says this: "A representative
15 of the FD of Banja Luka came to visit the command of the Doboj OG." Do
16 you know what a FD is?
17 A. I don't know. FD? I don't know.
18 Q. All right. Go now, please, to page 4539. And it's the first
19 entry. "At 0510 hours, the commander of TG3, Colonel Lisica reported that
20 during a detailed search of the church and the monastery in Plehan which
21 had fallen on 1 July, 1992, nine soldiers were killed and 16 slightly
22 wounded when the building was blown up from a distance of 2 and a half
23 kilometres, although this was expected our soldiers were caught by
24 surprise. The Ustashas were watching all this and 24 hours later, blew
25 the buildings up."
1 Did you know anything about that incident or ever hear about it?
2 A. I didn't know anything about this incident, nor had I heard of
3 it. Plehan is a settlement close to Derventa. It's a Croatian local
4 community. I do know that the church had been blown up, but as to the
5 details, how it happened, when, and the consequences, I was not informed
6 about them.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I just make a suggestion? If
8 Mr. Ackerman wants to read documents, as I do from time to time - he's now
9 doing the same effectively - then it really -- Colonel Selak has been
10 testifying for a long time. I'm perfectly happy for him to read the
11 documents to Your Honours and to me as well, but I'm just wondering
12 whether we need the witness here for it, because at the moment clearly
13 this witness can't assist.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, Your Honour. Microphone.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Read and then put the question. I suppose you do
17 have a question coming up, Mr. Ackerman?
18 MR. ACKERMAN: I do, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: At the same time, he is also testing the colonel's
20 knowledge of certain facts as they were or were not happening during the
21 last part of his career in the army.
22 MS. KORNER: If that's what Your Honour thinks he's doing, then
23 fine by me.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I mean --
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I would never do what Ms. Korner does
1 and just stand here and read documents to you. This is a very legitimate
2 exercise where I want to know.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Sometimes I let Ms. Korner do it, and I'll let you
4 do it. But please do come to the question, especially since we are
5 nearing the time when we have to adjourn.
6 MR. ACKERMAN:
7 Q. Sir, I want to you look at, I think I told you, page 4560. Are
8 you there?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you see an entry there about the Sanski Most Battalion? It
11 says, "The Sanski Most Battalion commanded by Major Brajic abandoned its
12 position and is preparing to return home to Sanski Most with booty. The
13 general," I assume that's General Talic, "said that Major Brajic should be
14 immediately sent to prison and tried for failure to carry out orders and
15 for bringing soldiers into a hopeless situation."
16 Do you know anything about that Sanski Most Battalion, and do you
17 know whether in fact, Major Brajic was charged and -- with offences as a
18 result of what the general said?
19 A. I was the commander of the logistics base. These were units of
20 the 5th or rather the 1st Krajina Corps, and at briefings that I attended,
21 these things were not discussed at all. Therefore, this was not a subject
22 of my interest and I don't know anything about these reports.
23 MS. KORNER: I asked about that very entry in chief and he's
24 already given an answer.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you are right, Ms. Korner.
1 MR. ACKERMAN:
2 Q. Would you go just a little further down? You'll find an entry
3 that starts with, "At 2035 hours?" It's the bottom of page 4561. Let me
4 see if you can help us here. "At 2035 hours, General Mladic called and I
5 briefly updated him on today's situation on the front." Would you know
6 who "I" is or what -- who the person is that would have -- be responsible
7 for writing this? So that we could know who "I" is that's briefing
8 General Mladic.
9 A. In the corps command, there is a command team that is the chief
10 for operative and training activities, and he was a colonel, Marcetic,
11 Dragan, and he was a colonel and that was his duty, and his men. I don't
12 know the name of the person who wrote this, but a war diary had to be kept
13 by them because they had the information. They received reports from
14 units and would urgently intervene on behalf of the commander if an order
15 needed to be issued to the units. The leader of the leading team would
16 change every day but other persons would be permanently there, so this was
17 a position determined by establishment who should hold it.
18 Q. Go now to page 4565, and I appreciate that answer, thank you.
19 4565, please.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This says, "From the early morning, the Ustasha heavy artillery,
22 especially VBRs and mortars on the left bank of the Sava River
23 has been pounding our positions. In order to neutralise them, our
24 artillery was ordered to attack the Novi Grad area ferry crossing and
25 Donji Svilaj ferry crossings which caused quite a commotion among the
1 Ustasha forces and tanks."
2 This indicates, does it not, that there was artillery fire coming
3 from Croatia across to the corridor area?
4 A. Yes. I said that earlier on. An hour ago. That Ustasha forces
5 from the left bank of the Sava River shelled positions of the Army of
6 Republika Srpska, that is shelled the corridor.
7 Q. Was it publicly known -- like in Banja Luka, where you were, was
8 it publicly known that this kind of thing that happened -- was happening,
9 that troops and artillery was firing, coming from Croatia, and artillery
10 was firing from Croatia, things of that nature, was that known in the
11 Banja Luka area?
12 A. We were aware of artillery fire, not about soldiers, because my
13 convoys used that corridor to go to Yugoslavia to fetch ammunition, food,
14 and other articles, and there was the question of safety, because there
15 was fuel and other things being transported. So we were warned of the
16 danger of artillery fire coming from the left bank of the Sava River.
17 Q. All right. Go, please, to page 4602. It's the last sentence on
18 that page.
19 A. 4602? Yes.
20 Q. "At 1650 hours, we received a report that one Mig 21 was flying
21 over our positions and that all units should be ready to fire on the
22 Ustasha aircraft."
23 Did the Croatian forces have aircraft, combat aircraft?
24 A. I don't know what the Ustasha forces had, whether they had
25 aircraft or not. Personally, I doubt it, because from Zagreb, from the
1 Pleso airport, all aircraft and personnel had been withdrawn to Banja
2 Luka. Among them was a nephew of mine. So that I know for sure that all
3 the aircraft were transferred from Zagreb to Banja Luka, the military
4 airport at Laktasi. But I don't know whether they might have, in the
5 meantime, received planes from someone else. I know of this airport at
6 Pleso near Zagreb, because I saw that air -- those aircraft. I was at the
7 Mahovljani air strip several times.
8 Q. I think you may have heard that aircraft was supplied to Croatia
9 from other sources sometime during the war. Did you or did you not? If
10 you didn't, that's fine, say so.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I object. What has this got
12 to do with the issues Your Honours have to decide, whether the Croatian
13 air force was supplied with aircraft?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: You've heard the question, Mr. Ackerman. Do you
15 have an answer?
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, it has a great deal with to do with it, Your
17 Honour, because what we are talking about what kind of impression that the
18 people in the Bosnian Krajina had about what might happen because of the
19 activities of the Croatian army.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: What you are suggesting to the witness is supposed
21 to have happened before the period that we are talking about or after?
22 MR. ACKERMAN: I truly don't know. He tended to mention it in his
23 answer and I was just asking him what more he knew about it.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If you have information to that effect,
25 perhaps you may bring it later on, if it has relevance; but for the time
1 being, I think you can spare the witness from having to answer that.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: I really was finished, Your Honour, when Ms. Korner
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And we need to stop in about three minutes'
6 MR. ACKERMAN: I'll ask one more question, then.
7 Q. Sir, look at page --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Colonel, yes, go ahead. You want to tell us
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I wanted to say that -- that
11 the airport had Migs 21 and 25, and I personally doubt that the Croatian
12 plane would be overflying this territory which was covered by the airport
13 near Banja Luka. My personal opinion as an officer -- that is my personal
14 opinion as an officer.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Ackerman.
16 MR. ACKERMAN:
17 Q. Sir, you were of course, in Banja Luka and living in Banja Luka
18 throughout all this period of time, and the next question I want to ask
19 you has to do with that. Look at page 4619, please.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Right near the end of that page, it talks about an invitation that
22 General Talic had gotten to attend an anniversary of 100 days of Banja
23 Luka TV. What -- do you understand that Banja Luka TV had only existed
24 for about a hundred days at that time, that it started broadcasting only
25 in April or May of 1992? Was that the case?
1 A. No. Banja Luka had its studio before that. Maybe this meant 100
2 days of the TV studio from the Serbian Republic.
3 Q. All right.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I think that's it for today, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
6 MS. KORNER: May I know how much there is tomorrow now from
7 Mr. Ackerman?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: I should certainly be finished by the first break,
10 Your Honour, or maybe earlier than that.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm very close.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Are we to expect re-examination?
14 MS. KORNER: Yes, we are, Your Honour, we've had a witness --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We also have some questions from this side.
16 MS. KORNER: Right.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there are a number of transcript
19 corrections that --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, in fact there is one which has been -- and
21 which perhaps you can straighten out straight away. I refer to you page
22 69, line 15. It's when you referred the witness -- I will start the
23 question from the beginning. On page 51 of the LiveNote from Thursday, I
24 believe it was, the 16th, the time signature is 11:36:54, Ms. Korner is
25 asking you about a meeting. She says -- she says this: "Can we then,
1 please, now I think, look at a meeting that in fact was on the 4th of
2 June, 1992, at our page 126" -- it's being suggested to me that that is
3 not the page number that you gave when you were putting the question. I
4 personally think I heard you say a number with four digits.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: It wouldn't be because his notebook is not four
6 digits. Our page 167.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: 167, okay.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, that's correct. Now, could Ms. Jevtovic give
9 you the other corrections?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's what was suggested to me.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: Because I don't know what they are. She has them
12 written down.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, I'm afraid you -- we haven't finished and
14 you have to return here again tomorrow morning. But it seems likely that
15 we would finish by tomorrow.
17 MS. JEVTOVIC: Thank you very much, Your Honour. If we can first
18 go to page 43, lines 14 and 15? In fact, it's the end of line 15. And
19 the witness gave an answer. He started saying "reej" [phoen] -- And then
20 said "municipal Crisis Staff." The transcript shows when talking about
21 the paramilitary formations, as you can see there. The transcript shows
22 both municipal and regional ones.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: And you're saying that he just mentioned municipal
25 MS. JEVTOVIC: Well, he did start saying "reej," [phoen] and he
1 hadn't finished, so we can ask him about that.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. How many of these do you have?
3 MS. JEVTOVIC: Just three.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Just three. Shall we clear them up today.
5 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, I don't think that's a proper. He
6 obviously -- it can only be cleared up by the witness answering it. I do
7 think this is not a correction of a mistranslation.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: But if he never said, as it is --
9 MS. KORNER: This is what Ms. Jevtovic says. I don't know one way
10 or the other.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We definitely have to put the question to the
13 MS. KORNER: Yes. Your Honour, this is obviously going to take
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we do it tomorrow.
16 MS. JEVTOVIC: Well, we can just review the tapes of the hearing.
17 I mean --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: But we don't have time to do that now because our
19 time is over, and I am not going to keep the staff here any further. We
20 can do that tomorrow morning.
21 MS. JEVTOVIC: I agree. I have no problem with that. Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Tomorrow afternoon, sorry, not tomorrow morning.
23 Thank you.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
25 6.33 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
1 the 24th day of January, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.