1 Friday, 24 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Registrar, could you call the case,
8 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
9 This is case number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Mr. Brdjanin, good afternoon to you.
11 Can you follow the proceedings in a language that you can understand?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Yes, I can.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. You may sit down.
14 Appearances for the Prosecution.
15 MS. KORNER: Joanna Korner assisted by Denise Gustin, case
16 manager. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, to you both.
18 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin?
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Good afternoon, Your Honours, I'm John Ackerman
20 with Milan Trbojevic and Marela Jevtovic.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good afternoon to you three as
22 well. Colonel we are continuing and hopefully finishing with your
23 cross-examination, and then I understand there will be a short
24 re-examination and possibly some questions from the bench. So let's
1 WITNESS: OSMAN SELAK [Resumed]
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman?
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Cross-examination by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued].
6 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel Selak and welcome back to your last day
7 here, at least this trip. I need you to have the war diary again, please.
8 A. Good afternoon to you too.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: I think the Prosecutor has it.
10 Q. We are going very close to the end of that document, sir. The
11 page is 4736. 250 -- 260 in English. 4736.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You'll find an entry, I believe, that reads as follows: "At 1100
14 hours, a group of military judges and Prosecutors arrived because of a
15 large number of cases pending trial. The Court was ordered to organise
16 round the clock work and to update cases as soon as possible. The
17 misdemeanors magistrate will also work on a 24-hour basis."
18 Based on your military experience, would you have any idea what
19 this backlog of cases was? What kind of cases it was that these judges
20 and Prosecutors were coming there to work around the clock trying to deal
22 A. I assume that it was a large number of deserters that were being
23 tried, deserters from the units and failure to respond to the call-up and
24 mobilisation call, to report to the military units, and other
25 infringements against military provisions and laws, which all military
1 personnel come under, and citizens employed, civilians employed in
2 military units as well are subject to those laws and provisions.
3 It is not the civil courts that are in charge of persons of that
4 kind but the military courts.
5 Q. And it would also be, I suppose, fair to assume that some of these
6 cases might also have had to deal with these problems of looting that have
7 been mentioned throughout here and that General Talic seemed to be so
8 concerned about. Does that make sense?
9 A. Possibly. I would like it to be so, because that would have
10 prevented looting and plunder, yes, and this would have made the authority
11 of the unit greater.
12 Q. Now, I want to do this as quickly as I can. There are two places
13 in this war diary, sir, one is -- it's page 68 in the English edition, if
14 you want to look at it, it's 4566. I don't think you need to but you can
15 if you want. And then the other place is at page 101 in the English, and
16 that would be, for you, 4597. Both of those places, the diary speaks of
17 businessmen from Banja Luka arriving for visits to the command. The first
18 one just says that, businessmen [Realtime transcript read in error
19 "American"] from Banja Luka arrived for a visit.
20 The second entry -- and that was 11 July. The second entry, 20
21 July, "A group of private businessmen from Banja Luka arrived today and
22 brought us various radio sets as a gift." What would be the purpose for
23 businessmen coming to the forward command?
24 A. Businessmen came to the forward command because it was certainly
25 in their interests for the army to perform the tasks intended for it. And
1 so both materially and financially, they assisted it. There were donors
2 who supplied money, who gave money contributions to assist the army and
3 others would give material goods in this case various appliances,
4 equipment and so on. I know for a fact that businessmen came to visit
5 very frequently both from private firms and socially owned and social
7 Q. And do you know what it -- do you have any idea what it would mean
8 that they brought various radio sets as a gift? A gift to who? What
9 would that all be about? Do you have any idea?
10 A. Radio receivers. They are not radio stations. They were radio
11 receivers for the work -- battery operated, they were, these radio sets so
12 that the officers and soldiers in the trenches up at the front could, say,
13 hear the news over the radio.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Ackerman.
15 Colonel, I notice that the last entry, the one page -- relating to
16 20 August, refers to a date when you had already left the army. How do
17 you know these things? How do you know what kind of radios were brought
18 over by the businessmen from Banja Luka? And incidentally for the record,
19 as far as the first entry is concerned, the transcript refers to American
20 businessmen from Banja Luka, which is incorrect. You never mentioned
21 American businessmen.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: He never did.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm referring to page 3 line 18.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the information media, let me
25 explain, on television, in the press, radio Banja Luka, there were cases
1 broadcast of this type, and while I was an active duty officer, they would
2 come to my own units, giving gifts of other products, not only technical
3 goods but other things, even clothing and gloves, things of that kind, too
4 so that's how I know. And I heard it over television and the radio and
5 the other information media. It was quite customary even before, not only
6 during the war. This was done in peacetime too.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Sir, the next place I want to direct you to is page 4550. It's
10 page 51 English, and --
11 A. Just a moment, please. Give me a moment to find it. 4550, you
13 Q. Actually, I think it's 4549 -- no it's 4550. I'm right the first
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We are referring to the entry of the 6th July,
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you find it, Colonel?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I have.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
21 MR. ACKERMAN:
22 Q. Right at the very end of that day's entry, you'll see an entry,
23 "The General left for Banja Luka to attend a service marking the death of
24 Colonel Milan Stevilovic and the others."
25 The question I want to ask you about that is: Was it to your
1 knowledge customary, required, for any time the general left the area that
2 it be entered in the logbook?
3 A. Well, not customary, because that was his professional duty. He
4 had to attend commemorative sessions of this kind and other meetings, but
5 the officer on duty saw fit to record that. And the person on duty knew
6 where the commander was going, so he didn't actually have to enter all
7 those details into the logbook but it's up to the duty officer and the
8 team on duty, in fact, to decide.
9 Q. So there is no requirement that the duty officer account for
10 General Talic leaving the command for a period of time? That doesn't have
11 to be in the logbook? Is that what you're saying?
12 A. I said that when the corps commander or unit commander, whichever,
13 leaves his office, well people aren't going to record where he's gone
14 every time. He just tells his deputy orally or the team on duty where
15 he's going so that he can be reached in an emergency. Now, if he goes
16 further away from the area of responsibility or he goes up to the front to
17 visit some operative groups, then he would have to write in the time he
18 left and where he left for.
19 Q. I just want to make sure that we are understanding each other.
20 What I'm not asking you is whether the purpose of his trip needs to be
21 recorded. What I'm asking you is if it's required that some mention be
22 put in the logbook that General Talic has left for Banja Luka, for
23 instance. Or can he just go without that ever showing up in the logbook?
24 A. It had to be recorded in the logbook. Information of that kind
25 had to be recorded.
1 Q. All right.
2 A. It can also take the form of an official note written by the duty
4 Q. Could I have you look at, then, let's do this as quickly as I can,
5 4590? That would be page 92 English. I'll tell you it simply says: "At
6 1000 hours General Talic left for a meeting in Banja Luka."
7 A. Give me a moment please. I have the page but I haven't found at
8 1000 hours, that passage. Yes, I see it I've found it.
9 Q. Then you if you go to 4606 --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. 22 July, you see General Talic left for a meeting in Banja Luka.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And if you go to page 4655, the very last entry on that page for 6
14 August, 164 English?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. It not only records that he went to Banja Luka but says why,
17 "General Talic left for Banja Luka to attend a meeting at which all units
18 of the 1st Krajina Corps were given clear instructions for further
19 operations in the Krajina section of the front." Correct?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. So in this case, they also recorded the purpose, didn't they?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If you look at 4674, right at the very beginning, at 0800 hours,
24 "General Talic left for Banja Luka and the forward command post at Kula
25 Mrkonjic Grad, to meet the President of the Serbian Republic of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Radovan Karadzic for talks on the situation on the
2 front and the organisation of the Serbian army."
3 So he had gone there to have a meeting basically with the
4 Commander-in-Chief, had he not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And the last one, sir, look at page 4707, part way through the --
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. -- entry for 21 August, "General Talic stayed in Banja Luka for a
9 meeting with the commanders of brigades and the presidents of
10 municipalities from the area covered by the 1st Krajina Corps. They
11 discussed the situation on the front and functioning of authority."
12 Now, I will tell you that I have not been able to find any other
13 entries in this war diary about General Talic leaving and going to Banja
14 Luka except the six that we have just talked about. And among the six
15 that we have just talked about, none of those indicated that he was going
16 to Banja Luka to meet with Mr. Brdjanin or with the President of the ARK
17 Crisis Staff or anything of that nature, do they?
18 A. That's right, but he did have his representatives or rather his
19 assistants. He had an assistant for moral guidance and legal affairs,
20 Colonel Vukelic, head of security, Colonel Stevo Bogojevic and Colonel
21 Vujnovic - what was his first name - Gojko Vujnovic, and they attended
22 those meetings or rather they could attend those meetings on his behalf.
23 And Colonel Marcetic the head, the Chief of Staff. So General Talic
24 didn't always have to be present but he was always informed by his
25 subordinates and they would attend these sessions both in the municipality
1 and of the Regional Crisis Staff on his behalf.
2 Q. All right, sir. Finally we are finished with the war diary, no
3 more questions about that. I want you to take -- I want to ask you this
4 question first, see if you recall this. During my cross-examination of
5 you two or three days ago, we were talking about the organisation of
6 Muslims in Kozarac and the arming of Muslims in Kozarac and I think where
7 we finally got was you agreed that certainly some of the Muslim people in
8 that area would have had weapons, hunting weapons and other kinds of
9 weapons but I think you rather emphatically told us that there was no
10 organised TO units, Muslim TO units, operating in that area. Did I fairly
11 characterise what you told us?
12 MS. KORNER: Can you give a page reference for that on the
14 MR. ACKERMAN: I can't, I don't have it.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: The last few days he's been forgetting that.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I answer?
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Yes. I did say that a number -- a certain number of citizens had
20 hunting weapons, with the legal permits, but I believe that another part
21 of the population did not have permits for the weapons that they could
22 procure, but what I was saying was that there was no military organisation
23 on the part of the Muslims, the Bosniaks. Military formations. I don't
24 know about the weapons. I don't know how many people did have weapons.
25 But I'm sure that a lot of them did, because those were the kinds of times
1 they were. People were afraid for their lives and afraid for the lives of
2 their families and in that kind of situation I'm sure I would buy a weapon
3 too to protect myself and my family.
4 Q. When you say there was no military organisation, what you're
5 saying there was no organised or mobilised Muslim TO units there?
6 A. What I'm saying is this: That in the local communities, people
7 set up barricades in order to control the passage of certain vehicles and
8 they organised themselves --
9 Q. The question is simple. Were there organised or mobilised TO
10 units in Kozarac? That's all I want to know from you.
11 A. As far as I know, no, there weren't.
12 Q. Would you look, please, at DB127? Now, there are two things I'd
13 like you to pay attention to with regard to this document. One is that
14 it's entitled, "List of mobilisation," and the second is that each page
15 refers to Stab, TO Kozarac. And what you should find and take your time
16 and look through it, is a list of members of the TO Kozarac and the
17 weapons which they possessed, and when you've read it --
18 A. Yes, I can see that. I can see the signatures and it says,
19 "Hunting rifle, pistol, 7.65, et cetera." Underneath that the people who
20 don't have any. And of the 33, I see that only three or four men were
21 armed, in fact, out of the 33 there.
22 Q. Well, if you keep going, you're going to find that there were
23 quite a few weapons and you're going to find that several of them were
24 sort of classic military weapons.
25 A. On page A 12 of the 28 persons there, not a single one, nor does
1 it say -- of the 49 people, there is a hunting rifle, it says here pistol,
2 7.62, one has a M-48 rifle and that's all. All I can see of all these 49
3 people mentioned.
4 Q. What is a PAP? Can you tell me what a PAP?
5 A. A semi-automatic rifle. Where did you see the PAP?
6 Q. If you look at A/1/13, entry number 27, you'll see that.
7 A. Number 27, you say?
8 Q. Dedo Karabasic.
9 A. Give me a moment, please. I'm not looking at the same thing,
11 Q. In the upper right-hand corner, you should see an A/1/13.
12 A. I have 3/4 -- yes, just a moment. I don't seem to be on the same
13 page. 12? That's fine. Under 27, yes, it says here semi-automatic
14 rifle, personal weapon for Dedo Karabasic, yes.
15 Q. Go you go up to number 17 can you tell us what a automasko licno
16 oruzje is or whatever? I can't read that. Do you know what that is?
17 A. Automatic personal weapon. Well it could be an automatic gun, a
18 pistol -- it could be a pistol or a rifle. A personal weapon. It doesn't
19 say clearly what it is, but it is a weapon, a personal weapon.
20 Q. And I think a M-48 is kind of an older model military weapon, is
21 it not?
22 A. Yes. Manufactured in 1948.
23 Q. It's clear from these that someone was making a serious effort to
24 list all the people and the weapons that they had with regard to this stab
25 TO Kozarac or TO, BiH, Kozarac, isn't it?
1 A. Yes, but this could be expected. People were not going to
2 voluntarily offer their heads, but were going to try to protect their
3 lives. From what you can see, one can conclude that this is a minimum of
4 what a unit of the Territorial Defence should normally have. This is the
5 strictest minimum.
6 Q. Could you look at --
7 A. 2 per cent of the people were armed here, according to this.
8 Q. Would you look at page A/1/82, please?
9 A. A/1/82? Just a moment, please. Yes.
10 Q. Number 77 on that list, I can't -- I don't know what that means,
11 after the entry. I don't know whether that says zolja or what that says,
12 that looks like it says two bomb?
13 A. Yes, "zolja - two hand grenades," and then this other thing I'm
14 not sure, but that's what it says. All these weapons could be normally
15 obtained on the black market, that is on the local market. So this really
16 does not reflect anything. I mean, all this in case of a normal operative
17 army, operative military, these are just toys.
18 Q. It's awfully different from what you told us was absolutely no
19 organised TO units in Kozarac, isn't it? There clearly was organised TO
20 units in Kozarac. They signed up, they declared their weapons, the whole
22 A. Yes. This is just a list of people and weapons that they
23 possess. This is not a military formation, because in a military
24 formation, the strength of the unit would be regulated, including the
25 company, platoons, and so on and so forth, including also who the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 commander officer was and the Chief of Staff. Here I only see a list of
2 people who could have been organised if -- if I'd been there, I would have
3 organised them. Unfortunately, they were not organised themselves and
4 this is why the genocide took place, because they had no one to defend
6 Q. All right. Now what I want you to do is go to page A/1/93.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And I think what you see on those pages there is a formal or
9 formal mobilisation orders for the TO Kozarac, aren't they?
10 A. Yes. It says here, "General mobilisation call, local community
11 Kozarac," and so on.
12 Q. All right. I'm finished with that document, sir. I'm now going
13 to ask you to again take out your notebook, we will try to get through
14 some things in there very quickly that I want to talk to you about, and
15 then we'll be finished.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. First place we are going is 26 December, 1991.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Under number 2, commander's report, there is a -- it says VBS, and
20 then in our translation, there is some question about what that is. The
21 translator thinks it's military hospital Sarajevo. Is that right?
22 A. Yes. That's quite right. The Sarajevo military hospital, and now
23 we see the problems of the specialists, the problems with the personal
24 income, which at the time was 15.000. Here we also see that they lacked
25 some basic medicines such as the kofan and other.
1 Q. What I was interested in with regard to this, just to bring your
2 attention to, the shortage of basic medical supplies, was that a
3 continuing problem during this period of time or not?
4 A. Yes. That was a continuing problem at the time, but it -- we
5 also -- they also had a problem with electricity cuts, power shortages,
6 and the fact that they did not have enough generators -- well, actually
7 no, they did have electricity on the 26th of December, 1991, but they were
8 already lacking medicine. The problem with energy would arise only later
10 Q. Outside, going outside Sarajevo now, into the -- your area of
11 responsibility, was there a problem there with shortage of basic medical
12 supplies, during primarily early 1992?
13 A. Yes. There was. We managed to get via Belgrade, that is from the
14 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, something; the corridor had been
15 established in the meantime. But it is true that medicines for treating
16 combatants and the civilian population in general were lacking in the
17 Krajina at the time.
18 Q. And especially during that period of time that the corridor was
19 closed and supplies couldn't come from Belgrade, it became a rather
20 critical problem, did it not?
21 A. It became a problem for all, for the military and civilian
22 authorities in this area, and I'm sure that there were consequences.
23 Q. Look, if you will, please, now, just a little further down, there
24 is a -- it's "see chief of army housing institution." There is an entry
25 there that says: "Programme for tenants to buy out their apartments,
1 paper work prepared." Can you explain to us what that was about.
2 A. Excuse me, what page are you referring to?
3 Q. It's the same date, 26 December, just a little further down from
4 where we have been talking about.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. There is a "see chief of army housing institution," and then it
7 talks about a programme for tenants to buy out their apartments, paper
8 work prepared?
9 A. Yes, yes, yes. I see. The programme to buy out the apartments,
10 that such a programme was prepared, you mean. What is referred to is the
11 action of buying out the apartments that were property of the housing
12 fund, and that could be bought by the active duty servicemen and other
13 employees of the Yugoslav People's Army.
14 Q. So these -- correct me if I'm wrong -- these were apartment that
15 is were previously owned by the army, basically, and then the army decided
16 to allow the active duty servicemen to purchase those apartments if they
17 wished to?
18 A. Active duty officers. Conscripts who were doing their military
19 service did not have such right. Only officers and civilians employed
20 with the JNA.
21 Q. And do you know when that programme was initiated? Was it around
22 this time in December of 1991?
23 A. Yes. That is when it started, and I think it lasted until the
24 15th of February, 1992.
25 Q. Okay. Go just a little further now to number 5, Colonel Milicevic
1 on mobilisation. There is an entry that says "The general manpower level
2 in the first military district at 60 per cent." Does that mean that the
3 units are only overall at 60 per cent of authorised strength?
4 A. Yes. At the time, the strength was also -- only 60 per cent of
5 the 1st military district. That is to say a mobilisation had been
6 proclaimed and a number of people did not respond. However, in respect of
7 certain units, the mobilisation was declared null and void because combat
8 operations were not taking place in the entire area of responsibility of
9 the 1st military district, and that is why the mobilisation was declared
10 null and void, because there were other units who were in charge of the
11 rest of the Bosnian Krajina and it was only logical that not all units
12 should be mobilised.
13 Q. Who had the power to declare a mobilisation null and void? Who
14 could do that?
15 A. I didn't say invalid. The commander of the 1st military district
16 could in respect of the units on the territory of the Republic of Serbia
17 choose not to declare such a mobilisation. It is his right to decide
18 which of his units are going to be mobilised on the basis of his
19 assessment of the situation and what units he needed. The general
20 mobilisation in the entire area of the former Yugoslavia could only be
21 declared by the Presidency of Yugoslavia.
22 Q. Yes. But the question, and think we have a translation problem,
23 you had told us that the mobilisation was declared -- for parts of the
24 area, was declared null and void. I did not say "invalid." I said "null
25 and void," which I think is what you said. My question is: Who has the
1 power to declare a mobilisation null and void?
2 A. Yes, yes, I see.
3 Q. Who has that power? Who can do that?
4 A. The commander of the 1st military district, in respect of the
5 military district.
6 Q. If you go now to -- on the same date to paragraph 8, General
7 Vidovic. "General Vidovic reports that military courts convicted 232
8 persons." Would you have any idea what kind of offences these were, the
9 people were being convicted for?
10 A. I don't know. In respect of the 1st military district, like I
11 said, it covered a very large area from Novi Sad all way to the southern
12 Serbia including Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar. It was a huge area and I
13 really -- I didn't know. I wasn't interested in that. I just made a note
14 in my notebook. I Just wrote down this piece of information.
15 Q. Okay. Can you go now to 7 January, 1992?
16 A. Just a moment. Here I have the 6th. Just a second. Yes.
17 Q. Right before 7 January, do you have a page in your notebook that
18 has a list of a bunch of page numbers, or is this something that's just in
19 our translation? It says page 95, page 120, 121, 132 through 136.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: That's at page 24, Your Honours, in the English.
21 Q. Do you have that right before the January 7 entry? Just a list of
22 page numbers?
23 A. No. On page 29 of my diary, before the 7th of January, I have a
24 conversation with a commander of the 2nd military warehouse, and I have
25 enumerated the items and there are seven numbers, seven items on the list.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, are you not being correct. Look, please,
2 at page 01036889, and at the back of it, 01036890. These are the numbers
3 or the entry that Mr. Ackerman is referring you to, to confirm whether
4 they exist or not in your original diary and notebook, and they do exist
5 because I have them here in front of me.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please. You can have
9 a look at my notebook. I don't have that in my notebook. I don't know
10 what we are talking about. Here. Have a look.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It must be there. I don't think anyone invented it.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it wasn't that he was denying the
13 mistakes. The point I'm trying to make it wasn't that he was denying it
14 was there, whatever Your Honour is looking at, yes.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the page that you indicated, sir,
16 no, I didn't say anything in respect of other pages. Please refer me to
17 the exact page and we will solve the problem.
18 MR. ACKERMAN: Sir, I'm doing the best I can but I can't find it
19 either, so I'm not surprised that you can't.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, as I can see it, it's somewhere between the
21 3rd January 1992 entry and the 8 January 1992 entry.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: All right.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you want me to, I can have a look
24 at the English version and try to help. It will maybe remind me of the
25 equivalent page in the original.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: What we will do, Colonel, very simply put --
2 Usher, please come here. Give this to the witness. Show him this
3 page and the back of it, and then he will find it in his original for sure
4 because I'm pretty sure this is not something which is made up.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: Can you also show this him. This is what the
6 English version that I have looks like.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is my handwriting.
8 Whether this is from the same notebook, I don't know. Let me just have a
9 look. These should be the same pages as the ones in the notebook. I
10 think I wrote this as my personal notes of important things with respect
11 of this war diary. The page number is 95. Let me have a look, please.
12 Yes. Once again, this is my handwriting but I don't have it in my
13 notebook. I don't know where it can be found, but it is my handwriting.
14 The last entry, page 64, makes mention of the financing of the VRS from --
15 by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, at the situation as of the 20th of
16 May. Yes, I can only confirm that this is my handwriting but I still
17 don't have it in my notebook and these are the page numbers of my diary.
18 MR. ACKERMAN:
19 Q. Is it likely a document you prepared for the Office of the
20 Prosecutor to direct them to the parts of your notebook that you thought
22 A. No, sir. Here is a piece of paper where I made note of the
23 important things, the things that I consider to be significant from this
24 notebook. I have prepared them for this occasion as well, in order not to
25 wander too much. If you ask me so that I can quote the correct
1 information, in order not to waste time. Only for that reason. You can
2 check the number of the diary page.
3 Q. I'm perfectly willing at this point to let it all remain a mystery
4 but I do -- I would like my piece of paper back. We had made it to 7
5 January then, and the only thing I wanted to call your attention to on
6 that page --
7 A. Just a moment. Yes.
8 Q. The only thing I want to draw your attention to is under
9 quartermaster service, they mention a shortage of sugar. Was that a
10 continuing problem or was that just at that particular time?
11 A. I'm not sure. This was reported by the chief quartermaster
12 officer, that there was a shortage of sugar, and that we would have to
13 borrow it from work organisations. What we are talking about here is the
14 sugar needed for the units in the area of responsibility of the logistical
15 base. He said that we should go ahead with the borrowing and that we
16 would return them -- the commodity later on because the problem needed to
17 be solved.
18 Q. Thank you. Go now to 8 January, please, the next day, under
19 political and moral guidance.
20 A. Oh, I see.
21 Q. It says under 30 per cent of men present in the units, that means
22 that more than 70 per cent aren't? Is this because of desertion? Or what
23 is this?
24 A. No. See here, an approval was issued that the units who do not
25 need to have a reserve component because they are not taking part in
1 combat operations, if they are able to perform their tasks with the peace
2 time force, that they can return the surplus of their human resources to
3 the enterprises. This is what we are talking about here. I personally
4 did not have any problems with the manpower, and I gave my consent to the
5 commander. I told the commander of -- commanders of my subordinate units
6 that they should return these people if they did not need them to the
7 economy, to various businesses.
8 Q. Well, if we go to the next day, just the very next day, 9 January,
9 under the heading, "Reporting," for instance the 2nd ammunition depot
10 commander reports a large number of unauthorised absences, unauthorised
11 departure by conscripts is probable and expected, that people are stealing
12 weapons from you," doesn't he?
13 A. Could you please repeat? Because what I have -- oh, reporting for
14 the 9th. And you're referring to the next page? The page after that?
16 Q. "2nd ammunition depot commander reports that there are a large
17 number of unauthorised absences," in fact it's more than that. "There are
18 shootouts around the town at guard posts, ten conscripts went AWOL from
19 their unit, not coming back, can't afford experimenting with the military
20 organisation, a large number of unauthorised absences, unauthorised
21 departure by conscripts probable and expected, and stealing of weapons."
22 Those are things he reports, right?
23 A. Yes. Major Obrad Nikic from the ammunition depot in Mrkonjic Grad
24 where the command of the 30th Partisan Division of the Colonel, now
25 general, Galic was located. That was his command post and it is true that
1 they had problems. However, the unit managed to carry out all of their
2 assignments. They were burdened with some other problems, which this
3 person is indicating here, but the issue was finally resolved with
4 Colonel Galic at the time, who was based in the barracks.
5 Q. Now, the question that -- the thing that baffles me about this
6 and- that maybe you can help me with is this: This is a military
7 installation. It's an ammunition depot. How is it that they are not able
8 to provide sufficient security to keep people from stealing weapons? How
9 can that be?
10 A. Weapons were arriving on a daily basis by trucks, but they also
11 left in trucks, to the units of the corps, and we were informed of this
12 problem. However, the human factor, or rather the mobilisation, resulted
13 in the fact that there was a large number of dissatisfied people who were
14 afraid for their safety and they simply fled. We are talking about ten
15 conscripts, people who had been mobilised, who had left the unit on their
16 own, and the problem was discussed, but there were many units that were
17 faced with this kind of problem.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... This is probably related to
19 this unauthorised departure by conscripts and as they unauthorisedly
20 departed they took weapons with them, thereby stealing them? Is that what
21 you're telling us?
22 A. No. They weren't stealing them. They were close by and so, from
23 Mrkonjic and the neighbouring villages, from the Mrkonjic municipality,
24 the commander of their company and platoon allowed them to take weapons
25 because the people were afraid. This was contrary to military provisions
1 and laws, but unfortunately that's what happened. So they didn't actually
2 agree to them taking the weapons home, but I had a lot of problems in that
3 warehouse for -- because of other matters. I don't want to focus on that
4 now in this courtroom, but perhaps I could make a statement to that
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel Selak, in the entry, the third entry from
7 the bottom, under one, reporting, number 1, second ammunition depot
8 commander, you do have stealing of weapons. So what is being referred to
9 or meant by that entry? If it's not what you have been mentioning, what
10 kind of stealing of weapons is being referred to? Stealing of weapons
11 from where?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The weapons were stolen from the
13 units themselves. There were cases when the duty officer of the unit, the
14 unit in a company, a soldier would be on duty and would go to sleep while
15 on duty. And people would take advantage of this, seize the weapons, and
16 carry them off home. So things like that did happen. I never said they
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you happy with that, Mr. Ackerman?
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go ahead, then.
21 MR. ACKERMAN:
22 Q. Sir, on the next page, it's the entry about the third fuel depot.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. It says, "130 conscripts would like to volunteer after the
25 mobilisation announcement." What does that mean? They are already
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 conscripts. What are they volunteering for?
2 A. What this is about is that some of these soldiers were released
3 and left to go home. The commander of the warehouse discharged the
4 soldiers, the surplus soldiers, the ones he didn't need, and they were
5 allowed to go home. However, people still came in because they would be
6 given money, and so probably they didn't have enough money and then
7 volunteered. They wanted to be called up into the units first.
8 Q. Okay. Go now to number 16, in this same list where we were just
9 at number 3. Just keep going until you get to number 16 which talks about
10 the quartermaster service, and the quartermaster service --
11 A. Number 5? Not 16. I apologise but I think it's number 5, the
12 quartermaster service. We talked about number 3, 4 were the reserve
14 Q. Keep going.
15 A. This is 5.
16 Q. Go to 16, it's quartermaster service. You're looking at
17 quartermaster stores.
18 A. I see yes.
19 Q. It says, "some manufacturers cancelling orders." These would be
20 orders the army had given to these manufacturers who are now cancelling
21 them and not supplying what the army had asked for? Is that what that
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And were they doing that because of this shortage problem we've
25 been discussing, the inability to get the raw materials necessary to
1 fulfil these -- those orders?
2 A. I assume that was so. I didn't say which goods they were, which
3 materials, but I do believe that that was the reason.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you. Just out of curiosity, there is throughout your
5 notebook on occasion, you refer to one combat set of ammunition. Could
6 you tell us what one combat set of ammunition consists of?
7 A. One combat set of ammunition is a pistol, six bullets, for an
8 automatic rifle or rather the M-48, 7, 9 millimetres, that would be five
9 bullets and so on. For a tank, for example, let's take the T-55 tank, 35
10 grenades. So every type of weapon would have a combat set of ammunition
11 that would be issued for it. And so this is a mathematical calculation.
12 When the commander plans an operation of any kind, he tells the
13 units what part of the combat set they can use, artillery ammunition and
14 so on, infantry ammunition and so on. So these are calculations and this
15 was essential to have the necessary supplies. It was also essential
16 because it stipulated how much ammunition each person could have with him
17 so as not to weigh down the soldiers in combat, and these supplies were
18 filled by the logistics base.
19 Q. That's very helpful. Thank you. If you go to January 14th, the
20 last entry on January 14th, you indicate that you were informed that a
21 Golf car was missing from the headquarters administration staff with an
22 automatic rifle and one combat set of ammunition. So that would mean an
23 automatic rifle and, like, six rounds or something. Correct?
24 A. Just a moment. I've found the 14th of January but -- yes. Here
25 it is. The last one. Just a moment, please. Security, specifications, I
1 don't know what this is. I was informed at exactly 1230 hours. Probably
2 the chief of security because I see that underneath that, point 11, refers
3 to the chief of security and I don't know what was undertaken.
4 Q. I'm really trying to move a little more rapidly. And the only
5 thing I'm interested in here is: With that automatic rifle, one combat
6 set of ammunition would have been how many rounds?
7 A. For an automatic rifle that would be eight -- 16 bullets.
8 Q. All right. You told us --
9 A. Two rounds of eight bullets each, 16.
10 Q. You told us a few minutes ago when we were talking about
11 mobilisation, and this was referring to JNA times, that it was only the --
12 I think you said the president of the republic that could order a full --
13 the president of SFRY, that could order a full Yugoslav JNA mobilisation.
14 Is that what you said? I don't want to misquote you. Just tell me if
15 that's what you said.
16 A. Yes. I said in peacetime. If the assembly cannot meet, the
17 assembly of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, then what happens is that
18 on its behalf, the decisions are made by the Presidency on all issues
19 including that of mobilisation.
20 Q. So when the -- when the VRS was formed, and the rules and
21 regulations that had previously dictated operations within JNA were
22 adopted, then it would have been the Presidency of Republika Srpska that
23 would have been able to declare public mobilisation in the absence of the
25 A. Yes. I assume that the constitution of the Serb Republic of --
1 actually, I haven't read the constitution of the Serb Republic of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but I think this was done in the name of the assembly
3 and the president of the republic and the Supreme Commander can make
4 decisions of that kind.
5 Q. What about the Ministry of National Defence? Would the Ministry
6 of National Defence actually be the organ that would announce and organise
7 that mobilisation?
8 A. The Ministry of Defence is at the head of the units, and if it has
9 being given authorisation from the competent authorities, that is to say
10 the assembly or the Supreme Commander, rather the President, then it would
11 have to conduct preparations, and to proclaim a mobilisation, I don't
12 think it can do so on its own bat.
13 Q. Let's look at, and I just kind of want to get your take on P137,
14 please. 137. Let me see what you have there. That doesn't look right to
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm going to move on to something
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, Mr. Ackerman, thank you.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: If necessary, I can live without that.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: 371. Let's try that. Yes.
22 Q. All right. You have a document signed by a person named
23 Lieutenant Colonel Milorad Sajic, and I think you and I talked about him
24 briefly last week, did we not, or earlier this week?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And what this purports to be, among other things, is a decision
2 ordering the general public mobilisation on the whole territory of the
3 Autonomous Region of Krajina?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, I take it that somebody in the position of Lieutenant Colonel
6 Milorad Sajic could not, on his own, declare a mobilisation, but that that
7 authority had to come from the highest levels of government, and here it
8 says the Ministry of National Defence of the Serbian Republic of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina is the source, doesn't it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. All right. Let's go back to your notebook. I want you to look
12 under 16 January, 1992?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And if you go, there is an introduction under that there is a 1
15 and a 2, and if you keep going, then you'll get to another area, where
16 there is also a 1 and a 2. It's that second 2 that I'm interested in,
17 that starts with large consumption of small arms ammunition.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Underneath that there is a paragraph that -- it's not -- it's not
20 well translated, maybe, but here is what it seems to say. "The fact that
21 a state of war has not been declared reflects negatively on logistical
22 support because of the difficulties involved in using the MR, material
23 reserves, of the territory and the SRR, strategic stockpiles, including
24 preventing their use and attempts to hide or perhaps conceal them and
25 obstructing the supply lines." Tell me -- tell us what that all means.
1 A. I should like to ask you, if you would, or rather I'm looking at
2 this reference to ammunitions in two portions, in two sections. So I'm
3 not sure I can find it. I'm reading this here. "Due to the enormous
4 usage of ammunition."
5 Q. That's not where we are. It says, "The fact that a state of war
6 has not been declared." It's under number 2, it's the second number 2.
7 Number 1 is "fuel given to business organisations." Number 2 is "large
8 consumption of small arms ammunition." And then you just go down a couple
9 of paragraphs and you see, "The fact that a state of war has not been
10 declared." It's fairly early on 16 January?
11 A. Ah, 54, yes.
12 Q. Mentions --
13 A. Yes, I've found it, that's right.
14 Q. What is that about? What are these material reserves and
15 strategic stockpiles, and how do they relate to whether or not a state of
16 war has been declared?
17 A. There was large consumption of both ammunition and fuel by the
18 units here, and this is an analysis of the logistics supplies in my own
19 command. The problems were put forward, and we see 80.000 bullets are
20 mentioned here which is what one brigade requires for a 7.65 millimetre
21 pistol. This is a criminal act, because where can a brigade in combat use
22 80.000 bullets? I ask you. And so the corps commander was supplied with
23 this information. We focused on those figures because they would not have
24 the ammunition they needed when they most required it. So that's why we
25 went to Gornji Milanovac and Skoplje and Tetovo and other towns Serbia to
1 bring in both fuel and ammunition and the other things that were needed.
2 Q. I'm really trying to finish and the question I asked you was
3 what -- it's the next paragraph down where we are talking about the fact
4 that a state of war has not been declared. You see that paragraph?
5 "The fact that a state of war has not been declared?"
6 A. Yes. The fact a state of war has not been declared creates
7 problems to the army, because declaration of a state of war then the
8 units, if that is done, then the units can ask companies to supply them
9 with the necessary material once a state of war has been declared. In
10 peacetime, they have to be contracts signed and agreed upon for several
11 years, but in wartime, the army disposes of human and material potential
12 in its area of responsibility.
13 Q. These are -- this is materiel that is basically stockpiled,
14 reserves, strategic reserves and material reserves that can only be tapped
15 if there is a declaration of war? I think that's what you're saying.
16 A. Yes. But even then, the material reserves of the territory are
17 given on the basis of a percentage. Let me give you an example. Federal
18 fuel reserves in 1992, in Prijedor, the army was allowed to use a part of
19 those reserves and the autonomous region was allowed to use the other
20 portion, the Energopetrol company and some other companies were given 60
21 per cent of those republican -- I beg your pardon, I meant republican
22 reserves and federal reserves.
23 Q. Go, please, to 4 February, 1992.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Under quartermaster service, it says this: "There is no equipment
1 for military conscripts. There are 1.000 sets with items missing.
2 Requests filed, no response. Factories do not have production material.
3 Stocar has no meat, bread," and then next entry under that, veterinary
4 service, "shortage of meat." It looks like there are quite a few
5 shortages going on on February 4, 1992. Is that correct?
6 A. Yes, because the market had undergone upsets already.
7 Q. And what is Stocar?
8 A. Stocar was a company in Banja Luka.
9 Q. Was that a company that ordinarily supplied meat but because of
10 the supply disruptions was not able to do so? Is that what that means?
11 A. That was one of the reasons. The other was that the civilian
12 authorities had to ensure necessary supplies for the population. So there
13 were shortages both for the population at large and the army, and we had
14 to solve this problem as best we could, and we did so in different ways.
15 Q. If we go now to 7 February, 1992 --
16 A. I have it written down twice here.
17 Q. 7 February --
18 A. Which page, please?
19 Q. It's a meeting with unit commanders and the base command where a
20 functioning of the military organisation. That's the 7 February I'm
21 looking at.
22 A. Military organisations, yes.
23 Q. If you go down through there, you'll finally -- there will be a
24 number at the top there is numbers 1, 2 and 3, then you go along and
25 you'll finally get to where there is a second number 2, it says, "Military
1 conscripts refusing guard duty."
2 A. One is the first warehouse. Yes.
3 Q. How could it be in a military organisation that a conscript could
4 refuse to carry out an order? What kind of a military organisation is
5 that where they say, "No, we are not going to do that"?
6 A. What this is about is the first ammunitions warehouse in my base
7 in Banja Luka. The commander of the warehouse was Lieutenant Colonel
8 Aljosa Mujagic. And people were afraid.
9 Q. Sir, I really don't want to spend the rest of the day asking you
10 questions. If you'll answer the one I ask you, we can finish; if you
11 won't, we won't finish.
12 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, Colonel Selak said -- Your Honour,
13 I'm sorry, I didn't understand what all that is meant to mean. What is a
14 question like: How could a military organisation -- what kind of a
15 military organisation is that? What is the officer supposed to say to
17 JUDGE AGIUS: He's obviously asking for an explanation. How come
18 that in an army, at this particular time in its history, with all the
19 problems that there were, it seems that military conscripts were refusing
20 guard duty.
21 MS. KORNER: But I'm sorry, Your Honour, I didn't -- what is the
22 actual -- I'm sorry, Your Honour. What is that actual question that
23 Colonel Selak is being asked to answer?
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, he's being asked to explain how come this was
25 possible within an organised army.
1 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, if Your Honour thinks that that is a
2 question that can be answered, all right.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I understood it. He's showing surprise
4 that this could happen at all, but perhaps Colonel Selak has the
5 explanation ready for us.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do have an answer. The warehouse
7 is situated on the outskirts of Banja Luka. The citizens had quite a lot
8 of weapons, and there was a lot of shootings, sporadic shooting around the
9 warehouse and in the woods, and people were afraid to do guard duty. It's
10 all human, and we had to work with human beings to explain to them what
11 was going on and to ensure their safety. They are all children,
12 youngsters, of 18 years, 20 years.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Next question, Mr. Ackerman.
14 MR. ACKERMAN:
15 Q. Go down now to just a little ways, number 3, quartermaster
16 battalion where they say they are -- somebody is powerless to stop
17 conscripts from running away home. See that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Would you agree with me that it's beginning to look like an army
20 with little or no discipline?
21 A. Yes. That's also true. The battalion was in town. It was a
22 quartermaster battalion with the bakery detachments and kitchens and so
23 on. People fled to town. I called the commander for a talk. You have
24 this later on in the diary. I invited him for an official meeting, and we
25 drew his attention to that, that he had to ensure the control and
1 functioning of the military organisations he was Major Ivica Malic who had
2 to leave the unit later on and he went to Belgrade when he did.
3 Q. Let's go to 26 February, 1992, and just look briefly, if we can, a
4 little more about this morale problem. And try to help me work through
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. If we just start with the first ammunition depot, "Conditions in
8 quarters, morale on the decline, the evenings men running away home, mass
9 absence in the evenings, food quality mediocre, second ammunition depot
10 status much morale exhausted, lack of enthusiasm, quality of food, no
11 cooks. Second ammunition depot section," that's a little ways further
12 along, "a few undisciplined soldiers creating disorder in the whole
13 section. The third fuel depot, grumbling, men tired of guard duty.
14 Fourth spare parts depot, status of morale, too much strain overworked,
15 security and self protection stagnating, firearm shootouts in the
16 neighbourhood. Quartermaster store, 23 men not back from leave,
17 dissatisfaction with pay and grumbling. Quartermaster battalion, status
18 of morale, dissatisfaction, going AWOL into town." And that's enough of
19 that but there seems to be quite a lot of dissatisfaction in discipline,
20 things of that nature, going on at the time. Correct?
21 A. Yes. The economic state was reflected on moral discipline and
22 insecurity that families felt. People were dissatisfied. There was
23 general chaos. That's all true. And this is after the reporting of
24 subordinate commanders to me that I focused on these critical problems for
25 us to take steps to solve them. But yes, it's true that's what the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 situation was like.
2 Q. Can we go now to 1 March, 1992?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: No. I think we go for the break instead,
4 Mr. Ackerman. 15 minutes, thank you.
5 In the meantime, just to keep you informed, next witness, in case
6 we opt for, not for the closed session but for voice distortion, whatever,
7 I'm instructing the technicians so that during this break and the next,
8 they will make the necessary technical arrangements for that to be
9 possible should we decide later on to resort to that.
10 MS. KORNER: I'm just not sure whether the next.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Next witness, you had --
12 MS. KORNER: I'm just not sure where the next witness is at the
13 moment, and there has to be testing done.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I know. They will start preparing the microphones
15 and everything and they will do the testing in the second break. That was
16 the idea.
17 MS. KORNER: Okay.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thanks.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.10 p.m.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
22 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Colonel, we are making progress here. Let's go to 1 March, 1992.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: I was told by the technical people, Your Honour,
25 that I'm doing this a little too fast so I'm going to have to slow down
1 just a tad so everybody could keep up.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I was actually going to ask you to go faster.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 96, 97, I cannot find the 1st of
4 March. I wonder whether the page numbers are correct. No. I don't have
5 the 1st of March in my notebook. Give me just a moment, please. Yes, I
6 got it.
7 MR. ACKERMAN:
8 Q. The first entry, sir, reads, "At 1400 hours, Lieutenant Darko
9 Savic reported that all roads leading to and from the second ammunition
10 depot section had been blocked." Do you know what that's about?
11 A. Yes. The second ammunition depot section in Donji Vakuf, the
12 commander, Lieutenant Savic, reported that the roads were blocked at 1400
14 Q. Blocked by whom? And why?
15 A. Donji Vakuf is a junction of roads towards Bugojno, Travnik, and
16 Jajce. In the military sense, the authority lay with Colonel Galic; one
17 of his brigades was there. I assume that it was the local communities
18 that carried out the blockade of the roads. However, shortly after that,
19 the problem was resolved and the depot was able to function normally.
20 Q. When you say "local communities," you mean local civilian
21 authorities, blockaded the roads leading to and from the second ammunition
23 A. That is at least my assumption. I didn't note down the details
24 because the problem was quickly resolved.
25 Q. Let me take you, please, to 13 April, 1992. This is another entry
1 dealing with Donji Vakuf.
2 A. Just a moment, please.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Page 132, Colonel.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 15th? I found it. Thank you.
5 MR. ACKERMAN:
6 Q. Right before an entry that reads, "President of the Bugojno
7 municipal assembly," right before that, there is an entry that starts
8 with, "80 per cent." Let me know when you find that.
9 A. Just a moment. Yes.
10 Q. It says, "80 per cent of Serbs have moved their families out of
11 the area, and about 5 per cent Muslims."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you have any explanation as to why it was such a high
14 percentage of Serb families that left and such a low percentage of Muslim
16 A. Here, the President of the Donji Vakuf municipal assembly,
17 Mr. Terzic is reporting on the problems in Donji Vakuf. He provided this
18 piece of information. I personally was surprised, because after that, the
19 bridge in Donji Vakuf was destroyed by the military, which was there on
20 the 1st of May, 1992. They blew up the bridge to prevent communication
21 with Bugojno.
22 Following that, as you will see later, the Serbian Municipality of
23 Donji Vakuf was proclaimed. We discussed it two days ago. So this
24 information is not correct. Ethnic composition of the population in Donji
25 Vakuf, as far as Serbs and Muslims, that is Bosniaks, are concerned, was
1 such that there were only 1 or 2 per cent Muslims more than Serbs, and
2 there was a total of 4 per cent of Croats living in Donji Vakuf.
3 Q. Can you go to 15 April, 1992 now, please?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You'll find an entry that says, "Stamenkovic"?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. If you just go up a little ways from there, about oh, five or six
8 lines on this issue of discipline -- well, actually there are three
9 entries under Malic regarding discipline. "Lack of discipline in
10 quartermaster battalion units, going AWOL to go home particularly in the
11 baker's company." And then this entry, "company commanders have to beg
12 their men to carry out tasks." Do you see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you find it a little bizarre that a company commander has to
15 beg someone to do something rather than order them to do that and expect
16 it to be carried out?
17 A. Yes. You're quite right.
18 Q. Could we go, please, to 16 April? And there is one 16 April entry
19 that says "Jajce," and then after that, there is another one that says
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. If you look down through the one that says meeting, you'll come to
23 an underlined section called "chief of patrolling sector." When you find,
24 "Chief of patrolling sector," let me know.
25 A. "Chief of communication -- road sector". Do you see letters RH
1 written just above it? Is that the entry you have in mind?
2 Q. The entry right above it is a paragraph that starts, "The number
3 of people attended a course in Zagreb."
4 A. Just a moment. I haven't found it yet.
5 Q. If you start from the front of that meeting 16 April, you see "a
6 shot was fired from Colonel Galic's escorts," go down further you see,
7 "afraid of the military police." And then right after that, "A number of
8 people attended"?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. "A number of people attended a course in Zagreb." Do you see
12 A. I see "from the escort of Colonel Galic a bullet was shot during
13 the meeting," and then it goes down, decision by Crisis Staff.
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
15 A. Yes, yes, yes, I see. A number of people attended a course in
16 Zagreb, yes, I've found it.
17 Q. When the course was interrupted and there was a refusal to sign a
18 pledge of allegiance to the Republic of Croatia, they came home." Now,
19 who were these people that attended that course, do you know?
20 A. The course in question was intended for police officers. It was
21 interrupted and the people who attended it went back home. No other
22 comments, because I didn't know the details.
23 Q. "Police officers from Jajce apparently went to this course in
24 Zagreb and the authorities of the Republic of Croatia demanded that they
25 sign a pledge of allegiance to Croatia."
1 Is that your understanding of what happened?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Go, please, to the entry for 5 May.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And we touched on this very briefly the other day. Diagonally
6 across that page, there is a rather colourful entry that someone else put
7 there and my question to you about it is: What was that all about? Why
8 was that put there? It looks like somebody was frustrated with you not
9 giving them the supplies that they felt like they needed. Do you know
10 anything about that?
11 A. Yes. I know what this is about. To my left was a colonel from a
12 brigade. Weapons were required. This is all about weapons. A request
13 therefore was made for weapons, and I insisted on the appropriate legal
14 procedure to be applied. The mobilisation -- and then once the
15 appropriate conditions were met, I was willing to issue the weapons. And
16 then he wrote down these words in a pencil.
17 Q. So he was expressing his frustration at being required to follow
18 the regulations? Is that basically it?
19 A. Yes. He wanted to speed up the procedure. I didn't have the
20 right -- I mean I did not have an authorisation to issue ammunition and
21 weapons for those units that had not been mobilised, who did not have
22 right to such weapons. The units in question were the units from the left
23 bank of the Sana River, and this Lieutenant Colonel was from one of these
25 Q. Would you go to 18 May now, please? And we've discussed this
1 again before.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... day that the JNA became the
4 VRS. Correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And the item A, under 5th Corps commander, reads, "Information
7 from meeting of the Crisis Staff."
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And in your testimony earlier, you concluded that meant that
10 General Talic had attended that meeting, but it doesn't say anywhere that
11 he attended it, just that he is passing along information from it.
13 A. What he's talking about here are the tasks following a Crisis
14 Staff meeting. I'm not claiming that he attended the meeting but it is my
15 assumption because the meeting in question, the session in question, was a
16 very important one, and I see no reason why he wouldn't be there.
17 Q. Well, General Talic was in Gradiska at this time, wasn't he? In
18 this period of time?
19 A. Yes. His office was in Gradiska. However, his area of
20 responsibility and his rear command post was in Banja Luka, so he
21 occasionally went to Banja Luka. As far as he's concerned, this was a
22 normal travel, normal form of communication.
23 Q. I think you've answered the question that I really wanted to ask.
24 Thank you. Go to 22 May, please.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. If you go back from there to the last entry on 21 May, it says,
2 "Talic," and it says that he extends his welcome to Mr. Cyrus [phoen] and
3 his support regardless of ethnic background. Do you know who Mr. Cyrus
5 A. Cyrus Shakaline [phoen] was a representative of the International
6 Red Cross on behalf of the UN high commissioner for refugees. I too was
7 present on that meeting.
8 Q. Okay. Go to 29 May, 1992, then, would you, please?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. After the reporting section, the last one being E, fourth spare
11 parts depot, there is an entry called "duties for commanders."
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And who is it that would have been assigning those duties? Who
14 does this come from? Does this come from General Talic?
15 A. No. This was my order. Tasks to the commanders of subordinate
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. Because this was a briefing by my subordinate units, their
19 commanders, that is, and after this briefing, I issued tasks and
20 assignments to those commanders.
21 Q. All right. Would you go now to the 4th of June, then?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. If we look at the report of Colonel Tepsic --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. That would be at the level of the 1st Krajina Corps command, would
1 it not?
2 A. Yes. He reported at the meeting with General Djukic about rear
3 supplies for the corps units.
4 Q. And what he reports there under paragraph 7, which comes right
5 after 9 and before 4, "material reserves exhausted, no ammunition, spare
6 parts, food."
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So it looks like the supply situation is worsening rather than
10 A. Yes. Because in point 9 of his report, he had informed that there
11 were over 100.000 men in the corps. So the problem was how to ensure
12 supplies for them all. That was four regular corps in strength.
13 Q. And it was just virtually impossible to supply them with
14 ammunition and food and things like that because it just wasn't available;
15 fair statement?
16 A. Well, yes, and large consumption, particularly of fuel,
17 ammunition, vehicles were used a lot and so on.
18 Q. Colonel, thank you for letting me take so much of your time. I
19 appreciate your efforts to answer my questions. And that's all I have for
20 you. Thank you.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ackerman. Colonel, there is going
22 to be a short re-examination.
23 MS. KORNER: Your Honour keeps saying short. I don't think I said
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It was a suggestion.
1 MS. KORNER: No. It's going to be about an hour. There is quite
2 a lot I have to cover.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: It's going to take an hour?
4 MS. KORNER: Yes.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: What about the next witness.
6 MS. KORNER: That's what I'm about to raise with you.
7 Mr. Nicholls has brought to my attention that she's been waiting in the
8 witness room now for an hour, and if I finished at 5.30, I don't know how
9 long Your Honours are going to be in asking questions.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Well --
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE AGIUS: It will be very few questions. Very few questions.
13 A question of a couple of minutes. That's all.
14 MS. KORNER: In that case, Your Honour, think we might start her
15 then at least.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: The thing is this: We will require testing with the
17 witness, 30 minutes I'm informed now, 30 minutes.
18 MS. KORNER: You mean it can't be done outside court with the
19 witness at present?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: No. They require the witness sitting where
21 Colonel Selak is sitting and test the equipment, et cetera. So basically
22 we should --
23 MS. KORNER: It would have been nice if somebody told us that
25 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I tried to avert previously, but I was
1 told that doing what I suggested meant the technical staff not having a
2 break and therefore, that is perfectly understandable.
3 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, may I say, I think when Your
4 Honour hears from the witness, I think Your Honour will accede to closed
5 session rather than --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Maybe, maybe, maybe. Maybe what the situation as it
7 is now, Ms. Korner, is that we will need to break at 5.15 in any case, and
8 that's less than the hour that you require.
9 MS. KORNER: We do need to break at 5.15?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, we break at 5.15.
11 MS. KORNER: But we only started at 5 past 4.00, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: That's an hour and a half any way.
13 MS. KORNER: Anyhow, Your Honour -- all that I'm asking Your
14 Honour is to make a decision. Is this witness going to start this
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We are here at your disposal, Ms. Korner. I mean,
17 there's no question about that. So -- but let's see how long your
18 re-examination is going to take. Then perhaps halfway through or at some
19 point in time, you yourself make a reassessment of the situation, keeping
20 in mind that the technicians require a 30-minute break in any case.
21 MS. KORNER: In that case, Your Honour, it seems to me it's hardly
22 worth it. Because all that would happen if Your Honour -- rather than
23 seeing first whether you're going to grant closed session is going to have
24 the half hour testing with the technicians just in case, and then there's
25 no point, you can't start. In that case, Your Honour, she can't -- Your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Honour, I'm going to have to ask to call Mr. Mayhew first on Monday. He
2 has to leave, finish his evidence.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That's no problem -- that's no problem with us, but
4 you understand, I'm sure you understand that we are dealing with a witness
5 that has given evidence before, on previous occasions. It's true that you
6 have explained to us that there are new circumstances that have come up,
7 that would warrant a closed session, but honestly I mean --
8 MS. KORNER: All right. Your Honour, in that case, it seems to me
9 that the only solution is that if it requires half an hour's testing, that
10 should happen when we finish with Colonel Selak and clearly the witness
11 can't start until Monday.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: The reason is that if we are satisfied that with
13 these extra precautions, voice distortion or image distortion, he or she,
14 so that we don't give an indication, would be sufficiently protected in
15 addition to the precautionary protective measures that are already decided
16 upon. We will go that way rather than go into closed session obviously.
17 MS. KORNER: I mean, Your Honour, I don't think it's -- but I can
18 say if Your Honours minded to do that, the Court will be in and out of
19 private session because the nature of the evidence is such that it
20 identifies her. Anyhow, Your Honour, having said that, perhaps I can now
21 continue with Colonel Selak.
22 Re-examined by Ms. Korner:
23 Q. Colonel Selak, I know you've spent a very long time testifying.
24 If you can just answer the questions directly that I ask - if I want more
25 details I'll follow up - I think we get through it and let you go a little
1 bit quicker. I want to deal first of all with the very last thing you
2 were asked about virtually, and that is the attendance of General Talic at
3 Crisis Staff meetings.
4 And you've told us that in relation to the 18th of May, he didn't
5 say directly that he'd just come from it, but from the very context and
6 what he was saying, you took it he had been at the meeting. Is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You told us earlier that though he personally wouldn't tell you
10 that he had been to a Crisis Staff meeting, it was necessary that other
11 officers were aware of his whereabouts at any given time. I want you to
12 think back quite carefully. Were you told by other officers that General
13 Talic when not at the post wherever he should have been, was attending a
14 Crisis Staff meeting?
15 A. No. I was not told.
16 Q. All right. So how did you know that General Talic attended
17 meetings of the Crisis Staff?
18 A. At the meeting with General Talic, I felt from what he said --
19 Q. I'm going to stop you. Don't worry about the 18th of May. I
20 think you've explained why. But at any other stage, are you saying that
21 you knew or were told that General Talic was attending meetings of the
22 Crisis Staff?
23 A. We discussed amongst ourselves, that is to say the officers, of
24 the corps command, about these meetings. I never asked who attended them,
25 whether Talic or one of his associates.
1 Q. I see. All right. Now, before I move on, there is one matter
2 that I just want -- if I could, Mr. Ackerman, to confirm.
3 MS. KORNER: I understand that the suggestion that was put to the
4 colonel yesterday that, when I asked in fact in terms, that Mr. Brdjanin
5 never wore any kind of uniform, is not in fact the suggestion that
6 Mr. Ackerman intended to make.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm authorised to say this: It was
8 the representation I intended to make but it was my error.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And I could notice I was looking at your
10 client at the time.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: I was told -- and my client has authorised me to
12 tell you this, I was told by my client that what he said was not true
13 because he didn't even have a uniform. And I concluded from that that
14 meant he never wore one, and that's why I said what I said.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Ms. Korner? I think that clears the
17 MS. KORNER: It does. Thank you very much, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
19 MS. KORNER:
20 Q. Now, I want to go back, please, briefly over a couple of matters
21 that you were asked about yesterday. First of all, you were asked about
22 Milan Martic and the fact that it wouldn't be unusual for a TO officer or
23 whatever to be leading troops. I want you to look, please, and this is
24 the last time --
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me, to correct it, the question had to do
1 with the fact that he was the head of MUP and that MUP has police troops
2 and that's -- it wasn't the head of TO. It had to do with his police
4 JUDGE AGIUS: And the colonel had explained to you that he saw
5 nothing strange in it in considering that he was a retired army officer or
6 a reserve --
7 MS. KORNER: No. It was put to him that it would be -- the
8 colonel said it would be logical -- at page 71 of yesterday's transcript.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.
10 MS. KORNER: For a professional soldier to stand at the head of an
11 unit. However, if Mr. Martic was a reserve officer, then I see no reason
12 why he shouldn't command an unit.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
14 MS. KORNER:
15 Q. I'd like you -- and this is the last time, Colonel, I'm going to
16 ask you to do this -- to look at your diary -- sorry, your official
17 notebook, for April the 16th.
18 MS. KORNER: Which Your Honours will find in the translation at
19 page 104.
20 Q. It's headed, Colonel, "Jajce."
21 A. Just a moment, please. Yes.
22 Q. And did you record there something about a group hijacking vans,
23 et cetera?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And do you go on to say, "The group were Martic's men, who went
1 about ill treating people"?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Is that the same Martic that we are talking about? Or that
4 Mr. Ackerman was asking you about, the Milan Martic, the minister in the
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. As far as you were aware, and from this report, were his men
8 proper, authorised soldiers? Or police officers serving under a proper
9 military command?
10 A. No. Martic did not have his units in the Jajce area, Kljuc,
11 Jajce, and Mrkonjic. This group of men, according to the report by the
12 depot commander in Jajce arrived in a van, they took the van -- actually,
13 how they came, that doesn't say, but he said they were Martic's men. I
14 didn't ask him where he got this information from, how he knew they were
15 Martic's men.
16 Q. From your own knowledge of that area, was that the only occasion
17 that these so-called "Martic's men" committed criminal offences? Not just
18 in Jajce but in other places.
19 A. When we speak of the concept of Martic's men, in Banja Luka there
20 was information along those lines, and people feared the very name of
21 Martic's men when they heard it, because there were problems in my area of
22 responsibility, which was Donji Vakuf, Jajce, and Mrkonjic, there were not
23 any other cases except for this one but the word "Martic's men" would
24 instill fear in us. It wasn't pleasant for us to hear it mentioned.
25 Q. Now, next I want to deal with one of the documents that you were
1 asked about again yesterday, and this in fact was P229, which is this
2 document prepared or conclusions of a meeting of various municipalities,
3 and I would like you now please -- and it was put to you that you don't
4 know whether this document was actually ever sent to the Serbian Republic
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina or the Autonomous Region of Krajina or the 1st
6 Krajina Corps and you said no?
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you standing up for any reason, Mr. Ackerman?
8 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'm trying to find a book.
9 MS. KORNER:
10 Q. Could you now please have a look at a document called -- with a
11 number P247? And if we could have -- if it's possible to have the
12 English, just the first page of the English, placed on the ELMO? Yes,
13 thank you.
14 Now, this is a document dated seven days later, the 14th of June.
15 It's headed, instead of Sanski Most, "Intermunicipal agreement Sanska
16 Unska area," but it's the same group of municipalities, it appears, Krupa,
17 Petrovac, Novi, Dubica, Prijedor, and Sanski Most. And could you look at
18 the last page, Colonel? Is that again the same stamp that we looked at
19 last time but a rather fuller version?
20 A. Just a moment, please.
21 MS. KORNER: Usher, could you give me the -- and I'll find it for
22 the colonel. Yes.
23 A. Yes. This is the same stamp.
24 MS. KORNER:
25 Q. Which is I think you told us the SDS party Sanski Most; is that
2 A. Yes. That's what I said.
3 Q. All right. Now, if you just go to the first page --
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Paragraph 1, does that say, "With regard to the previous meeting
6 of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, we can note that
7 most of our proposals have been adopted and have been incorporated into
8 the official positions of the Crisis Staff taken at its 8th June, 1992
10 Now, we haven't got the record of that session, but we do have a
11 radio announcement in relation to it. Could you look now, please, at
12 Exhibit P233? And to remind ourselves that the 9th of June -- sorry, the
13 7th of June document from this group had asked for a purging of Muslims
14 and Croats from the Krajina Corps.
15 This is Banja Luka Radio, the 9th of June, which states this:
16 "The Crisis Staff of the Krajina autonomous region has issued an
17 announcement in which the following is stated: Urgent differentiation
18 along national lines is required within the officer corps of the army of
19 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina." And then it goes on to
20 deal with centres of security services.
21 Now, Colonel, you were asked this yesterday about the earlier
22 document. Have you any reason to believe that either of these two
23 documents, that is of the 7th of June or the 14th of June, are forgeries?
24 A. No. These are authentic documents. I believe in them completely.
25 Q. Yes. Thank you. That's all I want to ask you about that topic
1 that you were asked about yesterday.
2 Now, finally on yesterday's cross-examination, it was suggested to
3 you, in no uncertain terms, that you were acting as a spy when you passed
4 information to the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina in respect of what
5 you learned of troop movements and the like. Whom did you regard as the
6 legitimate government within Bosnia and Herzegovina?
7 A. The legitimate government in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- there was a
8 referendum and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was officially
9 proclaimed. It was recognised by the United Nations. And that was what I
10 considered to be the legitimate government.
11 Q. I'm not asking you for a legal opinion in any way, Colonel, but
12 did you regard the so-called Serbian Republic of -- in Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 as a legitimate government?
14 A. No, I did not consider it to be a legitimate government because it
15 was proclaimed only by one nation, one ethnic group, whereas
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina is a multi-ethnic state with three nationalities,
17 Serbs, Bosniaks, and Muslims. And this was proclaimed by the Assembly of
18 the Serbian People and for me, it was not legitimate, unlawful.
19 Q. I want now, then, please, to go back to questions you were asked
20 during the first day you were cross-examined, I think the Tuesday of this
21 week. And I want to deal with three different matters, please.
22 First of all, you said to Mr. Ackerman, when he was asking you --
23 I will just find the page. Yes. He was asking you in respect of arming,
24 and I'm going to come back to the two major documents but you said this:
25 "In the Tribunal, there is a document from the commander of the 6th TO
1 Brigade, Colonel Basara, October 1991." And then you explained you had an
2 a copy of the document in which he explains emphatically and clearly how
3 he armed the Serb people in Bosnian Krajina, Kljuc, and Sanski Most.
4 That's at page 13.228 of the transcript. I'd like you to have a
5 look now please at Exhibit P745. First, Colonel, is that the document you
6 were thinking about? It may help if you look, please, under paragraph 4
7 of this document.
8 A. Give me a moment, please. I haven't found it yet. One, two,
9 three. I can't see number 4. Could you help me and read the text out?
10 Q. Yes, it begins, "In the course of March, 1991, clashes between the
11 nationalities intensified." I think you'll find it on page -- with the
12 stamp number 00478674. Which begins with the word "Krajs" [phoen]?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And if you go down that paragraph, and if the usher would be kind
15 enough to put the English on to the ELMO so that everybody can see what we
16 are looking at, do you see there, "We had to resort to a trick to make it
17 possible for us to arm the Serbs publicly and legally"? And before
18 that -- all right. Colonel, don't worry about that. Is this the --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. All I want to know is: Did you know Colonel Basara?
21 A. Yes, I did, during the war, but I didn't know him before the war.
22 Q. All right. Would you be able to recognise his writing? Did you
23 ever see his writing?
24 A. No. I wouldn't be able to recognise his handwriting but I can see
25 that this document speaks about what I quoted and what I noted down in my
1 notebook. I quoted the document. I had it in my hands and I made a note
2 of it and I'm reading from it, "We worked in two directions, the first to
3 organise and arm the Serb people and the second to negotiate, persuading
4 the Muslims and Croats to remain loyal." So that is the document.
5 "In order to be able to arm the Serbs publicly, we had to resort
6 to a trick to make it possible for us to arm the Serbs publicly and
7 legally. The story was devised that the commander of the 1st Krajina
8 Corps ordered" -- that's the document, but I don't know the handwriting.
9 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel. That's all I ask from that
10 document. You can put that away.
11 Now, I want to deal with two allied topics. First of all, this
12 question of those documents showing arms supplied by the 1st Krajina
13 Corps. Could you have back, please, document 1572? Now, a lot of time
14 was spent on this document, both when I asked you questions and when
15 Mr. Ackerman did, but the situation as I understand your evidence now is
16 that this relates to arms supplied to various TO staffs and units from
17 1991 onwards. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct. And that was from the 5th Corps.
19 Q. And these arms could have been properly issued if these particular
20 TO units had been actually mobilised?
21 A. Yes. And in that case, the regular path would have been through
22 the logistics base and not via the corps.
23 Q. All right. It appears from the other documents you were shown by
24 Mr. Ackerman, which showed a supply of arms to Kotor Varos that this may
25 be an incomplete list. Is that correct?
1 A. Yes. Not everything is included here. I received an order to
2 issue even machine-guns to the MUP units, the police units, so even a
3 larger amount and a larger assortment of weapons and other equipment,
4 everything that the units needed on the basis of their requests.
5 Q. Now, in order for them to be mobilised, as you and Mr. Ackerman --
6 or as you told Mr. Ackerman this morning, there had to be an order for
7 mobilisation issued. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. There had been an order issued in September of 1991, in respect of
10 the conflict in Croatia. Is that also correct?
11 A. Yes. When I too mobilised my logistics base.
12 Q. Now, there are no dates on this so we don't know when these arms
13 were issued. But can I just ask you this: Omarska, which is -- it's the
14 tenth, I think, or ninth TO on this list, did that fall -- did that TO
15 unit fall within any other area unit?
16 A. The Prijedor unit.
17 Q. All right. But it was issued separately with arms because we can
18 see, I think, that Prijedor -- don't think -- a correction on this --
19 appears on this list?
20 A. I don't understand your question.
21 Q. Does Prijedor appear on this list?
22 A. Prijedor? I don't see it here.
23 Q. All right. So -- and can you just tell us this: Was Omarska a
24 Serb ethnicity village or Muslim or mixed?
25 A. I don't know. I'm not sure. I mean I'm sure it was mixed, but I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 don't know what the percentage was.
2 Q. All right. Now I want you to have again, please, the other
3 document that you were asked about in respect of this, and that's 1573.
4 Now, this is the one you were asked a lot of questions about, whether it
5 was authorised or ordered or whatever. But the date is the 14th of March,
6 1992, and you've already told us that this particular village, Karanovac,
7 was Serb.
8 A. Yes. Located five kilometres from Banja Luka, to the west, as you
9 get out of the --
10 Q. Yes. Don't worry about where it is.
11 A. Vrbas canyon.
12 Q. We do know the date of this. 14th of March, 1992. On the 14th of
13 March, 1992, had any order for mobilisation been issued?
14 A. I don't remember that. That is, when it was issued in respect of
15 individual units. I don't remember the date that there had been a
16 mobilisation. I'm not sure.
17 Q. All right. If there had not been, if evidence shows that there
18 had been no mobilisation call, would there have been any reason for this
19 village to have had this selection of weapons sent to it?
20 A. Yes. In my assessment, these weapons were issued to a 30 troop
21 strong battalion for the purposes of controlling access roads to Banja
22 Luka from the direction of Jajce and Mrkonjic Grad which were the only
23 routes from the direction of Jajce along the Vrbas canyon towards Banja
24 Luka. That is the only road that vehicles could take. It is a canyon
25 that can be easily controlled with a battalion.
1 Q. But is that a -- that's -- you deduced that but was that is a
2 legitimate reason for these -- for this village being given the weapons?
3 A. No. This does not seem to be logical to me because the small unit
4 should have been part of a larger TO staff, a larger TO unit, such as a
5 company or a battalion. To arm a small group of people, such as platoon,
6 from the military point of view, doesn't seem logical.
7 Q. Well, was it the job, was it lawful, if you like, for a TO unit
8 to, as you put it, control all the roads? Or was that a police job?
9 A. No. This is in the spirit of the law, because normally, the
10 civilian police is in charge of controlling the traffic, and the military
11 police as well if necessary, in the area of combat operations, if there
12 are no combat operations, then it is the job of the civilian police.
13 Q. Were there any combat operations going on on the 14th of March,
14 around the area where this village was?
15 A. No. Not even throughout the war, there were no combat operations
16 in this area.
17 Q. All right. Thank you very much, Colonel. You can put that
18 document away now.
19 Now, you were asked this morning to look at the records of the TO
20 units in Kozarac and to look at the weapons. I want you to have again,
21 please, the document you looked at earlier, P1416.
22 Now, you looked at it when I was asking you questions about the
23 attack on Kozarac but this is for a different point. The motorised
24 brigade that you described was supported by two 105-millimetre howitzer
25 batteries and a tank squadron. Did any of the weapons that you looked at
1 on the lists this morning compare with the type of weaponry that the VRS
3 A. I apologise for having smiled. The weapons that the so-called
4 conditionally speaking Green Berets had and the weapons that this
5 Motorised Brigade had, I mean, it's just toys compared to this.
6 Q. What sort of weaponry would the VRS have had?
7 A. The VRS had the most modern weapons, from the JNA, even a surplus
8 of weapons that had been pulled out from Slovenia and Croatia and which
9 were kept in the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the JNA units,
10 initially, later in the units of the VRS. As for automatic rifles --
11 correction, they had automatic rifles, all kinds of weapons, including
12 M-84 tanks, MIG 21 and 25 aircraft, with complete logistical support.
13 Q. Apart --
14 A. And the assistance of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
16 MR. ACKERMAN: I'm just wondering if the Prosecutor is now
17 conceding that this document reflects an accurate account of what happened
18 at Kozarac or -- in other words, does she accept paragraph 4 as well as
19 paragraph 2?
20 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's quite clear, that isn't even a
21 question that deserves an answer. Your Honour, I'm asking the difference
22 between what is put down here as what was engaged in the attack in
23 Kozarac, I'm certainly not accepting, and Mr. Ackerman knows it, that to
24 describe the total strength of the Green Berets as 1.500 to 2.000 men
25 isn't in any way accurate and we've been through that. I'm merely
1 comparing the relative strength of what's down here. But if Mr. Ackerman
2 wants to suggest that they also lied about what they used I'm quite happy
3 to take that.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the explanation forthcoming from Ms. Korner
5 is a fair one, Mr. Ackerman. We can proceed.
6 MS. KORNER:
7 Q. To your knowledge, apart from the tanks and the weaponry, did the
8 Motorised Brigade also have armoured personnel carriers?
9 A. Yes, of course it had. In terms of formations, it is normal for a
10 Motorised Brigade to have armoured personnel carriers.
11 Q. All right. Yes. Thank you.
12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour said you wanted to have a break at 5.15.
13 Perhaps I can just deal with one allied topic first.
14 Q. You were asked -- you were shown the -- the CSB version of what
15 happened in Prijedor and Kozarac around this period of time, and you were
16 asked whether you accepted that there was an attack on Prijedor, as was
17 put in this report, launched by Muslims and Croatian extremists, 200 well
18 armed and organised men launched an all-out attack on vital facilities and
19 institutions. And you said you did not accept there was an attack on
20 Prijedor. Now, I want you to have a look at another document on this,
21 please. Could you look, please, at first of all, P937?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: While they are looking for the document, how much
23 longer do you expect your re-examination to last?
24 MS. KORNER: About another 20 minutes or so.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Another 20 minutes?
1 MS. KORNER: I have quite a lengthy section to go through.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have the break. I think it's safer to have
3 the break because we can run into the same problem we did last time when
4 Mr. Trbojevic said he would only take 20 minutes.
5 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour. I was expecting to have a break.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's have the break but let's give the witness the
7 document that -- the exhibit that you want to question him about.
8 MS. KORNER: Well, Your Honour, it can wait until after the break,
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. We will do that after the break. Thank
12 you. 15 minutes.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.16 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 5.33 p.m.
15 MS. KORNER:
16 Q. Now, Colonel, this is a report -- one of the first KK reports,
17 dated the 30th of May, and it deals under situation on the ground, with a
18 description of what happened in Prijedor on the 29th, 30th of May. It
19 says, "In the morning at about 0400 a group of Muslims extremists
20 neutralised a position at the Sana River bridge, killing two sentries,
21 overpowered the hotel Prijedor security guards." That's paragraph 3.
22 "And using a Molotov cocktail, set fire to the hotel where the military
23 police was accommodated." And then, "sniper fire in the vicinity of the
24 hotel." And then, "eight extremists from the area of Donji Puharska
25 opened fire on targets in the barracks. Heavy fighting is taking place in
1 the town of Prijedor. The assault was carried out by a group of about 80
2 Muslim extremists."
3 If you look, please, at the combat report for the next day, or the
4 day after, that's Exhibit P655, that shows, under, "Situation in the
5 units," "the 1st Krajina Corps in the areas of Prijedor, Kljuc, Sanski
6 Most, et cetera, are in control of the situation and are continuing the
7 mopping up." And so on and so forth. Now, do you remember that incident,
8 when approximately 80 people, 80 Muslims, extremists or not, did try and
9 seize part of Prijedor?
10 A. I really cannot remember this. I think that it would have been a
11 suicide to attack the town of Prijedor, where a very powerful brigade,
12 with almost 6.000 troops, was located. It is possible that there were
13 individual actions, but that there was -- that there would have been an
14 organised attack on the town, no, that would have been a suicide, as I
15 said. I am not aware of this attack. I believe I already indicated that.
16 Q. All right. Thank you, Colonel. Then I needn't trouble you
17 further on that matter. Then the final top take I want to cover with you
18 is this question of cooperation, military, political, and the exact
19 meaning of orders. Now, Mr. Ackerman asked you a number of questions, and
20 ended by showing you this document from Bosanska Krupa, which purports to
21 give actual military orders to the units that were stationed there.
22 Now, I want you to look, please, at a series of documents from
23 different municipalities, at the end ask you to really sum up for us the
24 nature of this type of cooperation.
25 Can we start, please, by you having for a moment the gazettes, the
1 Official Gazette of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, P227? And could you
2 go, please, to number 9?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Which is the 13th of May meeting. Paragraph 7, "The persons
5 authorised to resolve all military and political --"
6 A. Just a moment, please. I have the 14th of May on page 9.
7 Q. I'm sorry, can I -- it's -- you need to go to the 9th, as it were,
8 meeting. It's the one of the 13th of May, and you'll find it on page --
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Have you found that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. "The persons authorised to resolve all military and
13 political issues in the Autonomous Region of Krajina are Vojo
14 Kupresanin" --
15 A. No, no. Just a moment, please.
16 Q. All right. Can you give me --
17 MS. KORNER: Usher, just give me them?
18 A. Yes, I've got it. Item 7.
19 MS. KORNER:
20 Q. Yes. And you see that, "The persons authorised to resolve all
21 military and political issues in the autonomous region are Kupresanin and
22 Radic." Now, can you go, please, to the meeting 11, which is the 15th of
24 A. Yes, the 15th of May, conclusions.
25 Q. 5: "Talks should be held with General Talic about calling up and
1 assigning military conscripts on the 20th and 21st of May, 1992." Do you
2 see that?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. We've looked already at the 18th of May in respect of Kozmos and
5 finally on these gazettes could you go to number 15, which is the 22nd of
6 May meeting? Have you found that?
7 A. The 15th? Yes. Just a moment, please.
8 Q. You'll find -- I think you'll find that on --
9 A. Something's wrong.
10 Q. You'll find that on the page that's got the ERN number 00497848.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Paragraph 4, conclusion 4, "In view of the presents poor
13 coordination between the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina
14 and the newly established army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, mandatory attendance of General Talic or a person designated
16 by him is requested at the meetings of the Crisis Staff."
17 5, "The Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina hereby
18 demands that the government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina and its ministry of the army urgently secure a passage, a
20 corridor, to Semberija and Serbia in order to facilitate a flow of goods
21 and people."
22 Now, Colonel, do these sections represent the sort of cooperation
23 and, if you put it that way, requests that were going on at the level of
24 the ARK Regional Crisis Staff and the corps command?
25 A. Yes. Here, it is the coordination in terms of tasks between the
1 military and the civilian authorities.
2 Q. All right. Now, I want you to look, please, at some documents
3 from various municipalities, and then ask you at the end the question.
4 First, could you be given Exhibit P902?
5 MS. KORNER: This comes from the Kljuc municipality, Your Honours.
6 Q. A letter from General Talic to the Kljuc Municipal Assembly, and
7 also to the autonomous region assembly, 8th of May. "Dear sir," it reads,
8 "you are well aware of the efforts we are investing together with you and
9 the municipal leaderships in preserving the peace in Krajina. We would
10 have failed in these efforts had it not been for the high level of
11 cooperation between the military and civilian authorities which we have no
12 doubt shall continue."
13 And then, it goes on to say, "We are dissatisfied with the
14 cooperation provided by the municipal organs in Kljuc." And then it goes
15 on to describe Chetnik units, "units being encouraged to dessert under the
16 pretext they are going to defend Kljuc. Two Muslims killed for unknown
17 reasons and the president of the municipal assembly is attempting to
18 exercise command over the JNA units in the area." And it goes on to ask
19 for the intercession of various people.
20 Next, please, could you look at again, it's P208. Dealing with
21 this in order.
22 This is Sanski Most Crisis Staff meeting, 27th of May, 1992 -- I'm
23 sorry, Kljuc, sorry, again. Item number 10. "The relationship of the
24 military authorities to the civilian authorities should be such that the
25 military will execute the orders of the civilian authorities while the
1 civilian authorities will not interfere with the way these orders are
2 carried out." And I'll come back to that at the end.
3 Next could you be shown, please -- now this is a document that
4 doesn't have an exhibit number yet, it's disclosure number is 3.202, and
5 we have copies available for Their Honours, the Registry, and the Defence.
6 MS. KORNER: And, Your Honour, may that then be marked P1607
7 [Realtime transcript read in error "P1067"]?
8 Q. Now, this comes from Kotor Varos, 24th of June, 1992, Crisis Staff
9 meeting. Item number 3: "After a discussion of the work of the security
10 station, it was concluded that the Crisis Staff has no right to interfere
11 in the professional work of the police and army, and that no one wishes or
12 requires it to take upon itself security --"
13 A. I apologise, but I do not have that document. This is from the
14 36th session.
15 Q. Yes, that's right. Yes. Can you look at item 3?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Does it start, "Inspector Pejic"?
18 A. Yes, I do apologise.
19 Q. Okay. On this date, the 24th of June, the Crisis Staff is saying
20 that it shouldn't interfere in the professional work of the army.
21 Next, please, I'd like you to have a look at another document from
22 Kotor Varos, and that's 3.223, which will become Exhibit 1608. And I'll
23 hand those out as well.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Page 65, line 21, is should be, I think, 1607, not
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you are right, Mr. Ackerman.
3 MS. KORNER: Quite possible I said that, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: No, you didn't. No, you definitely said 1607.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: And the other thing is at 66, line 9, Ms. Korner
6 says that this document says that the Crisis Staff is saying that it
7 shouldn't interfere in the professional work of the army and that's --
8 that is a misquote, because what it says is that it is --
9 MS. KORNER: I read out the exact quote.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: That it has no right to interfere, not that it
11 shouldn't but that it has no right to interfere.
12 MS. KORNER: I read out the exact quote earlier on.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's correct and I have the impression that
14 she did read out has no right, in fact, because I remember it vividly.
15 Okay. But in any case, thank you, Mr. Ackerman, for pointing that out,
16 and you, Ms. Korner, for confirming it.
17 MS. KORNER: Could the witness look at the next one which is the
18 14th of July, Kotor Varos again?
19 Q. Item 1, "Mane Tepic and Savo Tepic briefly expanded Presidency
20 members on combat operations. Based on this information, the War
21 Presidency concluded it was not satisfied with the results achieved so far
22 and the current military and security situation. It was further concluded
23 that General Talic and Stojan Zupljanin chief of the CSB have to be
24 contacted urgently in order to inform them of our satisfaction of
25 development so far and task them with creating conditions needed to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 accelerate late the operation."
2 All right. Next please, I'm sorry, there are only another three
3 documents. Could you be handed Exhibit 7 -- P710?
4 MR. ACKERMAN: This last document, was it given an exhibit number,
6 JUDGE AGIUS: 1608, Mr. Ackerman.
7 MS. KORNER:
8 Q. Now, this is the Sanski Most municipal assembly on the 27th of
9 July, because then it had gone back to an assembly. Can you turn, please,
10 Colonel, to item number 4?
11 A. 27th of July, yes.
12 Q. 27th of July, I hope.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Item number 4, when the chairman opened the debate on the
15 political and security situation. Do you find that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And then this is rather difficult but can you -- if you move down
18 the paragraph, just before a man called Boro Savanovic speaks, you should
19 find a sentence reading as follows: "The command of the 6th Krajina
20 Brigade should be relocated to Sanski Most and the chairman of the
21 executive committee should put this forward at a meeting of the government
22 of the autonomous - it reads republic, but it must be - region of
23 Krajina. So there they were saying this is what they wanted to happen and
24 they would put it forward.
25 Now, could you look, please, at document P746? Which is a
1 description generally of the work of the 6th Krajina Brigade.
2 If you turn, please, Colonel, in that -- I'm afraid this is rather
3 difficult. It's a paragraph, a short paragraph, that begins, "On the 28th
4 of August."
5 MS. KORNER: It's at our page 9, Your Honours, and it's just above
6 a list of brigade commanding officers.
7 A. I haven't found that yet.
8 Q. You will find that, I think --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, page 9.
10 MS. KORNER: But that's the English.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found it.
13 MS. KORNER:
14 Q. On the 28th of August, 1992, the command of the brigade with
15 headquarters support units relocated from Lusci Palanka to Sanski Most.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Which is about -- almost exactly a month after that last request.
18 Now, finally on this topic could you be shown P733 and P735.
19 A. Basara.
20 Q. 733, please, first of all. Sanski Most again, November, 1992 now.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Item 2, "Arrange a visit to the 1st Krajina Corps command, inform
23 the corps commander of the situation in the municipality. The issue of
24 reducing the number of battalions in the 6th Krajina Brigade to four.
25 Respect of the army command for work obligation. The issue of course is
1 for military officers," and so on and then the delegation. And then item
2 number 4, "The 6th Krajina Brigade command is asked to analyse its work
3 and make personnel changes."
4 Thank you. That's all I want on that document. And the final
5 document I want now, I assure you, Colonel, is Exhibit P735. 17th of
6 November, 1992, Sanski Most again. "The command of the 6th Krajina
7 Brigade and the public security station are requested to submit a report
8 on who participated in the organisation of the armed attack on Trnovo and
9 Sehovci and what was the goal of an attack on such a scale? The
10 perpetrators of this horrible crime must be urgently found and the most
11 severe measures provided by the law taken against them. The 6th Krajina
12 Brigade and the public security station are hereby requested to provide
13 security for all citizens of Sanski Most municipality and their property."
14 All right. Colonel, that's it. Thank you. I'm sorry to have
15 taken so long with the documents.
16 Now, Mr. Ackerman, in a rather dramatic way, suggested that the
17 way that Krupa attempted to give orders to the military was laughable. I
18 think he said, "When they stopped laughing." Having looked at all these
19 documents and from your own knowledge, although the civilian, political
20 authorities could not give orders in the military sense to the military,
21 order them to do things, could they, as we've seen, have an influence on
22 what the military actually did by making these requests, and in some case
23 dressing them up as orders?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I object for a couple of reasons.
25 First of all, he's already answered that question twice at least in the
1 course of his testimony. He has said that a civilian authority could at
2 any time could make requests of the military and the military could decide
3 what they wanted to do about that request. Either passing it up the chain
4 of command or within the authority of the local commander, go ahead and
5 carry it out if he thought it was appropriate. That's in the record.
6 It's been put in at least twice. I asked both of us asked him about it.
7 Second of all, it seems to me it's rather unfair to go through
8 this whole list of documents and not ask him a question along this line
9 about the document while he's looking at it, and ask him to try to give
10 some kind of a summary answer after having looked at all of them.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: You did exactly the same thing yesterday for almost
12 an hour, Mr. Ackerman. And I'm allowing the question for a very simple
13 reason: That in the course of your cross-examination, you showed the
14 witness other documents purporting to prove exactly the opposite of what
15 is being suggested now by Ms. Korner.
16 So particularly -- particularly with reference to Krupa, which is
17 specifically being referred to by Ms. Korner in the beginning of her
18 question. And that arises precisely from your cross-examination.
19 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, there may be a misunderstanding because that
20 was a document where a civilian leader actually issued a document that was
21 called an order, purporting to order the military to do something. All
22 these document that is Ms. Korner has been going through this afternoon
23 all say requesting the military to do things and the that the military
24 should do certain things.
25 MS. KORNER: That's not actually right.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. Your objection is not being sustained,
2 Mr. Ackerman.
3 And Ms. Korner,
4 MS. KORNER:
5 Q. Colonel, all I want to know is: Looking at these documents and
6 from your own knowledge is it as simple a concept as Mr. Ackerman would
7 have it, that the military only carry out its own orders without
8 effectively any input into those orders from the political?
9 MR. ACKERMAN: That is absolutely not my position. I went through
10 the whole thing that the military is under the control of the civilian
11 Commander-in-Chief, and of course they do everything under their control.
12 And I never said what she suggested.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you are right. In a way you didn't say,
14 because what you suggested in the course of your cross-examination was as
15 follows: That the military authorities took orders from the higher
16 echelons of the military organisation itself, except in as far as the
17 President of the republic with specific reference to Mr. Karadzic at the
18 time that you mentioned, and previously the relative political -- the
19 highest level.
20 MS. KORNER: Exactly.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: As the chief of -- Commander-in-Chief, as the
22 Commander-in-Chief, that was your suggestion. But the witness did also,
23 as a result of several questions that you put to him, and some documents
24 that you should to him, tend to suggest that there were instances where
25 the military would not be subjected to any kind of interference or
1 influence on the part of the civilian authorities. And what Ms. Korner is
2 precisely asking of the witness is to clarify this position on the basis
3 of the documents that she has shown him now. This is why I'm telling you
4 that her question is perfectly in order and I'm allowing it. Perhaps you
5 may prefer to rephrase it.
6 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, the suggestion as I understand it from
7 Mr. Ackerman was that effectively the only political authority that could
8 have any control or influence over what the army did was the
9 Commander-in-Chief, the very top level.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: That's absolutely not the case. My question had to
11 do with chain of command.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 MR. ACKERMAN: Superior-subordinate relationships. The
14 superior-subordinate relations go through the army chain of command from
15 the Commander-in-Chief now. No intervening civilian authority has a
16 superior relationship over any army unit. Those are exactly the questions
17 I asked and exactly the answers I got.
18 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm not suggesting for one movement, and
19 that's not what my question about. But the impression was clearly left by
20 Mr. Ackerman that effectively it was laughable for any municipality
21 president or authority or regional to attempt to, as it were, get the army
22 to do things. I am merely asking Colonel Selak if that is correct.
23 MR. ACKERMAN: No. That is not what I said. I said it was
24 laughable for somebody to order the army to do something. Not to try to
25 get them to do it. He said, and I have said all along, that the army can
1 request all they want to. I mean, the civilians can request all they want
2 to and then the army decides what they are going to do about it, but this
3 document was an order. He was purporting to order the army to do
4 something. And the witness correctly said to me, no he can't do that. He
5 can't order the army to do something. That's the issue. That's all.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's correct with regard to that Krupa incident.
7 But as regards the rest, the question that Ms. Korner has put is perfectly
8 legitimate and it is arising out of the cross-examination. So I am
9 allowing the question.
10 And, Colonel, please -- I would suggest that you repeat the
11 question because now.
12 MS. KORNER: I can't remember what it is either.
13 Q. Colonel, having looked at all these documents and from your own
14 knowledge, the relationship below the republic Commander-in-Chief, a
15 simple -- that the municipality and the regional level couldn't issue
16 orders, and that was the end of that, or was this a more complex
18 A. The relationship was a little more complex. To order the use of
19 units by the municipal authorities is something that could not have taken
20 place. However, in certain cases, and in some of the previous documents,
21 where investigations were called for with respect to certain sabotage
22 activity or the killing of certain persons, et cetera, the army had to be
23 involved, and engaged, because it was assumed that some of the
24 perpetrators may have been army members. So they had this common goal,
25 and the municipal authorities and the units located in the area had to
1 cooperate in matters of this kind. So let me repeat.
2 The head of the municipality could not issue orders to the brigade
3 commander to have the brigade deployed. However, in the area of
4 responsibility where there were common problems, they had to discuss
5 things and reach agreements as to what was to be done. Have I been clear
7 Q. Well, I was going to ask you finally, Colonel, and this is the
8 last question: Does the part that I read from the document -- yes, the --
9 it was Exhibit P208, from Kljuc, where they say, "The relationship of the
10 military authorities to the civilian authorities should be such that the
11 military will execute the orders of the civilian authorities while the
12 civilian authorities will not interfere with the way those orders are
13 carried out."
14 Does that seem an accurate summary of the relationship?
15 A. Authorisation has been overstepped by the President of the Crisis
16 Staff. He has overstepped his authority to command, issue commands and
17 orders to the army.
18 Q. Right. But if the situation is this: The political authorities
19 say, "This from a political point of view is what needs doing, we, the
20 political authorities tell the army this is what needs doing but you do it
21 in the way you think proper." Is that a fair summary of what would
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the document is being misquoted again
24 by Ms. Korner. The document says, and she quoted it right above, from
25 Kljuc, says, "The relationship of the military authorities to the civilian
1 authorities should be such that the military will do this." Not that it
2 is. This is a wish, and the wish was never granted.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Point taken. But I don't think she is misquoting.
4 MS. KORNER: I quoted exactly.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: She did read out the text verbatim and I don't think
6 the colonel did not understand the question. I'm not quite sure whether
7 he is directing his answer bull's eye where it should be, but put the
8 question again.
9 MS. KORNER: I think and certainly I think the colonel and
10 everybody else in this Court is quite tired on a Friday afternoon let me
11 just try one more time a simple question.
12 Q. Yesterday, or the day before, when Mr. Ackerman and earlier, when
13 you were testifying, you explained that it was the political who set the
14 goals. They were then carried out by the military. Is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The actual orders to the military could only come from the
17 political Commander-in-Chief, if you like, that is, as you pointed out,
18 Mr. Karadzic, and the actual order to carry out an attack or deploy or
19 whatever could only come within the military chain of command?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. But at the regional level or at the municipal level, in this
22 cooperation that was going on, if the regional level said, "This is an
23 objective that needs to be achieved," as we looked at now, or at the
24 municipal level, and you the army should carry this out because it's
25 within your sphere of competence, is that something that would carry
1 weight, even if, as you say, they couldn't give an order?
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this has been asked and answered about
3 ten times now, I think.
4 MS. KORNER: I'm just finishing off, thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead, Ms. Korner, and please bring it to an end.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The unit commander, if he had the
7 authority and duty to carry something out, he would have done so. Now, if
8 this went against his authorisations and competence and assignments, he
9 would not carry it out. However, he would have to inform his superior of
10 the problem that had arisen between the civilian organs of power and
11 authority and his own particular unit, and likewise, the civilian
12 authority would have to follow its own hierarchy and chain to solve the
13 problem. However, there were very few such problems in actual fact.
14 Q. And that was why?
15 A. Because the goal was the same: The creation of a state called
16 Republika Srpska. And the goal uses all the means it can.
17 MS. KORNER: All right. Thank you very much, Colonel Selak. That
18 really is all I ask.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
20 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I had one re-cross question with
21 regard to Exhibit P227.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: And the question is what?
23 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it was the contention of the
24 Prosecutor, or suggested by the Prosecutor, that General Talic had
25 attended the Crisis Staff meeting of the 18th of May. And document P227,
1 I just would like to ask the witness if it's not a bit strange that four
2 days later they would be demanding his presence at the Crisis Staff
3 contending that he had never attends, if he'd been there four days before.
4 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, it's not even a proper question on any
5 showing and it's one that could have been asked a lot earlier.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Could have been asked and I think the position has
7 been made quite clear by the witness. I mean why he concluded -- he
8 reached the conclusion that he reached. I don't think it's going to
9 change anything basically.
10 Yes, Judge Janu. I believe you have some questions. Go ahead.
11 Colonel, we have some questions from the bench
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE JANU: Colonel Selak, I have two simple questions for you.
14 I would like to go back to your statement, first one, from the year
15 1995-96, and you stated there that the top three reasons for the war in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina were, first, Serb nationalism; second, the propaganda
17 of Orthodox Church; and the third one, propaganda of Serbian academy of
18 art and science.
19 My question is: I would like limited myself to the second and
20 third point, because on the first one, we already have heard quite a lot
21 of -- we have quite a lot of evidence. So I'm interested in the
22 propaganda of the Orthodox Church and propaganda of Serbian academy of
23 science. My question is: Who was involved in this propaganda, concerning
24 the Orthodox Church. Was it just individuals from the structure of the
25 church or was it the top leadership, top clergy? And if you can provide
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 us with some names, I would be happy about that. And in the Serbian
2 academy of science, the same, if it was the top or just individuals in the
3 structure, and if you know some names, please give it to us. That's the
4 first question.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Colonel. And please try to be as concise as
7 A. The media reported on this, in Serbia, for instance, that the
8 objective of creating a Greater Serbia, a meeting was held at the Belgrade
9 patriarchy, attended by the federal secretariat for National Defence,
10 General Adzic, patriarch German. I don't know who represented the academy
11 of science. It was mentioned in the conclusions that, with the purpose of
12 creating a Greater Serbia, we are prepared to sacrifice as many as 70.000
13 lives. There is a document to that effect in Serbia. Therefore, the
14 Orthodox Church was also in favour of Greater Serbia. And the history has
15 taught us that as early as during the Balkan wars, this was the case. I
16 don't know whether I've been clear enough.
17 JUDGE JANU: Yes, thank you. And my second question is going back
18 to the meeting from your official notebook, and you don't need the
19 document. It was the meeting with the directors of Rudi Cajavec and
20 Kozmos, and there were present directors and there were also present two
21 generals, General Dukic and General Nikitovic, and I don't know, Major
22 Tepsic and others. And the discussion was going on and concerning the --
23 for example, production of ammunition. There was a problem of the defined
24 status of military industry firm. I think this meeting was in connection
25 how to convert these companies to the military sphere, for ammunition, and
1 there were of course because the war wasn't declared there were some
2 problems. I understood this document this way. And there was also
3 present Mr. Brdjanin and Mr. Radic, president of the municipality.
4 And Mr. Brdjanin in this connection, when, among all these
5 technical problems of conversion, for example to invite the experts from
6 Federal Republic of Serbia, to help with this, Mr. Brdjanin stated, "the
7 production must begin as soon as possible." And the statement of
8 President Radic was something like, something similar. He said, "If we go
9 to the government, it will be too slow, so it must be organised on the
10 municipal level and there shouldn't be any delays because of the
12 My question is: Could a person without power and authority make
13 such a request in the presence of representative of the army, I mean
14 statement of Mr. Brdjanin. That's one part of the question. A second one
15 is: What was the reaction of the military officials to this request?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Colonel?
17 A. The Rudi Cajavec factory belonged to the municipality, to the town
18 of Banja Luka, and it also manufactured some military equipment. It
19 needed to be reorganised in order to be able to manufacture ammunition as
20 well, and experts were being sought for that purpose. President Radic
21 wanted to speed up this process, and he suggested that the government
22 should be bypassed in order not to waste time. That is at least how I
23 understood him. General Djukic was also in favour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: You're not answering the question, Colonel. The
25 question was this: With reference to what Mr. Brdjanin allegedly said in
1 the course of that meeting, according to you, could a person without power
2 and authority make such a request in the presence of representatives of
3 the army? That's question number one. Your answer, yes or no?
4 A. No.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Next question: What was the reaction of the
6 military officials to this request?
7 A. They didn't react at all, and it was decided that they should
8 start with the production as soon as possible.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That's it.
10 Okay, Colonel, I'm sorry to have been so abrupt with you at this
11 very last part of the sitting. I know that everyone is tired. I thank
12 you -- yes.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] With your permission, Your Honours,
14 just a few words. Honourable Judges, I wish to inform you that, as a
15 6-year-old boy in 1941, at the beginning of the Second World War, I was
16 placed in a children's home where I spent almost 15 years. I was educated
17 and brought up by the state. In this home, in this orphan age, we
18 socialised according to our inclinations and not in accordance to our
19 religious or ethnic affiliations. And it was to this multi-ethnic state
20 and multi-ethnic army that I gave my oath of loyalty. In Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, there are many people now with the same beliefs, who hold the
22 same beliefs as I do. We are sparing no effort to have -- in order to
23 create once again a new Bosnia and Herzegovina, a prosperous country for
24 all its citizens and all its three constituent peoples who must people at
25 home in this state.
1 Your Honours, your assistance and your help is invaluable for us
2 in our efforts, and I should like to express my sincere gratitude to you.
3 Thank you very much for allowing me to say these words.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Colonel. On our part, on behalf of the
5 Tribunal and this Trial Chamber, I wish to thank you for having come over
6 and give evidence. I know that this must have been quite tiring for you.
7 You've been here for more than a week. This has now come to an end. Once
8 more, I thank you. You will be assisted by the officers of this Tribunal
9 to arrange for your return trip home, and on our part, we wish you a safe
10 journey back home. Thank you.
11 Ms. Korner, Monday, Mr. Mayhew first.
12 MS. KORNER: Yes, Your Honour, Mr. Mayhew and then the witness who
13 had been here today.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman.
15 MR. ACKERMAN: I just want to offer DB116 through DB128.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. They are so admitted and yours too. That's
17 the end. Thank you. Have a nice weekend.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
19 6.27 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
20 the 27th day of January, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.