1 Wednesday, 22 October 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Registrar, please call the case. I didn't
7 call you Madam this morning, so that should please you.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Case Number IT-99-36-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Radoslav Brdjanin.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir.
11 Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow in a language that you can
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour. Yes, I
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Please take a chair.
16 Appearances, Prosecution.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: Good morning, Your Honours. Joanna Korner, Ann
18 Sutherland, assisted by Denise Gustin for the Prosecution.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And good morning to you.
20 Appearances for the Defence.
21 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman,
22 with David Cunningham and Aleksandar Vujic.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness I understand is very anxious to return
24 back home. So Mr. Ackerman -- are there any preliminaries before? Okay,
25 Mr. Ackerman.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I just need to remind you that you are still -- the
3 solemn declaration that you entered yesterday to speak the truth, the
4 whole truth, and nothing but the truth still holds good today. So
5 remember that, please.
6 WITNESS: BORO MANDIC [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examined by Mr. Ackerman: [Continued]
9 MR. ACKERMAN: The Witness needs to be given DB172 through DB180.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, please. DB.
11 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Q. All right, sir, I think you have DB172 in front of you now. And
13 this is -- this series of documents are the documents that you brought
14 with you. Could you please just explain to the Chamber what DB172 is.
15 A. Your Honours, this document, 172, was written on the 1st of
16 December 1992 by the minister of construction and signed by Minister
17 Brdjanin. In this letter addressed to the main staff of the Army of
18 Republika Srpska and the Ministry of Defence of Republika Srpska and
19 relates to the protection of buildings and facilities in the territory of
20 Republika Srpska. We read that it has been noticed in areas where combat
21 is still taking place between the warring parties. When a certain part of
22 the territory is liberated, civilians tend to devastate facilities that
23 had not been destroyed by the war, taking away building materials and
24 other things, other property. The minister requires from these two
25 authorities, the Ministry of Defence and the Main Staff, to protect these
1 facilities to establish commissions in order to confiscate such material,
2 store it, and put it under the protection of civilian authorities to be
3 used later for accommodation of refugees coming from other regions.
4 This letter also suggests that these cases should be sanctioned
5 and held under control.
6 Q. Do you know of your own knowledge whether this letter actually had
7 any impact or effect?
8 A. From my own experience I know that this letter had a great
9 impact. However, it arrived a little too late because a lot of these
10 facilities had been destroyed before this letter reached the ministries.
11 Q. Could you look now at DB173. This appears to be another letter
12 issued by Mr. Brdjanin on 28 December 1992. Could you simply explain this
13 letter to the Chamber, please.
14 A. Yes, correct. The director of a big Banja Luka enterprise is
15 addressing the ministry, and Minister Brdjanin personally asking for help
16 in providing housing for the employees of that enterprise. Mr. Brdjanin
17 writes this letter to this big company called Incel, personally addressed
18 to the director, saying that this is a republic with a rule of law where
19 regardless of the war, nobody has the right to administer their own
20 justice at gunpoint and at their own consideration, and to jeopardise
21 public property, thinking that it is enough to put on a uniform of
22 Republika Srpska to have such rights.
23 He also mentions that soldiers and the families of soldiers who
24 were killed do have a right to housing, but not to acquiring it by force
25 or by evicting somebody else. That is the gist of the letter.
1 And at the end, there is a sentence that says: "If such incidents
2 occur again in the future, you should inform the army command of the Army
3 of Republika Srpska."
4 Q. Okay. I'd like to now have you look at DB174. And this document
5 is dated 12 August 1994.
6 A. Correct. This ministry and Mr. Brdjanin write a letter to the
7 Security Services Centre in Banja Luka; that is, the MUP, addressed
8 personally to the chief. And the subject is "eviction of squatters or
9 illegal tenants." There were a lot of squatters, and they needed to be
10 evicted. If civilians needed to be evicted, it was not a big problem
11 because the municipality had adopted a determination on evictions. And
12 the police would assist in this procedure, and the squatter would be
13 evicted easily.
14 However, in cases where the squatters were members of the police,
15 the municipality would institute proceedings to evict them; but in those
16 cases, the police force would not come to assist in the eviction of
17 illegal tenants who were at the same time members of the police. The
18 minister, therefore, is writing this letter to the chief of the
19 Security Services Centre saying that there had been a lot of such cases, a
20 lot of reports had been filed involving members of the police, even
21 instructors in the police academy. And the minister insists that
22 regardless of who an eviction involves, legal provisions need to be
23 observed and enforced. That is the gist of this letter.
24 Q. And it refers specifically to one employee by the name of Zeljko
25 Skrbic, a former member of the MUP special unit now employed at the school
1 of internal affairs who is illegally occupying a flat and needs to be
2 evicted. Correct? In the fourth paragraph.
3 A. Correct. That is what it says here.
4 Q. Look please at DB175 now, then.
5 A. What we see here is an enactment wherein the ministry circulates a
6 letter to all administrative boards of municipalities concerning the
7 rationalisation of housing stock. Namely, in end 1993 the people's
8 assembly enacted a law on the rationalisation of housing stock which
9 implies that every person who is occupying a large apartment without
10 really needing so much space should be moved to a more appropriately sized
11 apartment so as to make room for large families or families of refugees
12 who do need housing. However, in reality, it was noticed that this law
13 was not being implemented in all municipalities properly, so the Minister
14 Brdjanin circulated this letter to all municipalities saying that socially
15 owned apartments should be rationalised strictly in keeping with the law,
16 moving into apartments only people who have appropriate decisions or
17 determinations allowing them to do so, insisting also that nobody should
18 be left out in the street, and that the law should be enforced equally
19 regardless of who is involved.
20 I know that many such letters have been addressed to Executive
21 Boards of municipalities. In fact, every time when it was noted that
22 illegal actions are taking place.
23 Q. The next document is DB176.
24 A. This letter is phrased similarly. And the intent behind it is the
25 same. The only difference is that it is addressed to a large electrical
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 company in Banja Luka, and it was motivated by complaints by individual
2 citizens who came to complain to the ministry. And then the ministry
3 wrote this letter with the same message that is contained in the law,
4 insisting that the law must be enforced.
5 Q. The next one is DB177.
6 A. This document is an approval for exchange of apartments. As I
7 told you in my earlier testimony, I described the procedure for giving
8 approval for apartment exchange, housing exchange. We see here that this
9 particular flat was owned by republican authorities. In such cases, the
10 occupant had to address republican authorities asking for their approval.
11 In this case, it was Irfan Nurudinovic an ethnic Muslim who asked for this
12 approval wishing to exchange apartments with Jovanka Sobic. The Minister
13 hereby gives this approval. Everything is strictly in accordance with the
15 Q. This is a Muslim resident of Banja Luka in March of 1993 wanting
16 to exchange with -- is it a Serb resident of Sarajevo?
17 A. Judging by the name, it is a Serb lady. I can't be sure.
18 Q. Let's go then to Document 178.
19 A. Again, we see another approval for exchange of real estate. The
20 applicant is a Croat, Joso Pranjic from Banja Luka who wishes to swap
21 flats with Mladen Koljancic from Sisak. And in this case, the ministry
22 established that the intent behind this application is to move out and
23 move into a different apartment, and the change of residence, change of
24 the place of residence. Therefore, the ministry gave its approval.
25 Q. The next one is DB179. This one is 20 October 1994. This appears
1 that someone actually came to the minister to complain about his
3 A. Correct. From this document, we see that somebody came to
4 complain to the ministry. In this case, it was Vjekoslav Psorn, a person
5 of Croat ethnicity. He emphasises here that he has a contract and an
6 apartment, and that nevertheless his company allocated his apartment to
7 another employee, moving him to a smaller apartment. Since the ministry
8 judged that the law was violated here, it instructed the company to
9 implement the legal procedure and to reconsider again whether the person
10 in question should be indeed moved to a smaller apartment or not. We are
11 talking about the Rotas company of Banja Luka.
12 Q. And what is the ethnicity of Vjekoslav?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: He said it already. It's Croat.
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay.
15 Q. Let's go to DB180, the final document in this group.
16 A. This is a peculiar case. I am personally familiar with this, as
17 is almost everyone employed at our ministry. The family involved is very
18 prominent in Banja Luka. Krsto Schubert, I believe, is of foreign
19 provenance, Austrian or something. And his wife is from Banja Luka, a
20 Muslim. And in this case, they were subjected to a decision on
21 rationalisation; that is, moved to a smaller apartment. This family
22 complained to the ministry, and the minister, Brdjanin, wrote a letter to
23 the municipality instructing them to suspend eviction proceedings
24 regarding the Schubert family until their complaint is reviewed by a
25 higher Court.
1 I know that this family was not evicted at the time, and I'm not
2 sure whether they continued to live in that apartment.
3 Q. All right. Thank you. We're finished, then, with those
5 I want to know if you know an individual from Celinac by the name
6 of -- I think the name is Irfan Tatilic or something like that, a school
8 A. Yes, I know Irfan very well. His last name is Tetaric. He's a
9 director of a school, a very prominent citizen of Celinac, a Muslim.
10 Q. During the period when Mr. Brdjanin was president of the Executive
11 Board in Celinac, was he able to maintain his position with that school?
12 A. I honestly don't know. Mr. Tetaric was director of that school
13 for a long time. He was getting on, soon to be retired. I know that he
14 lived in Celinac all that time. He was a very cooperative citizen. His
15 daughter was a lawyer and worked for the municipal authorities under me.
16 She worked there, and I know her father lived in Celinac at the time, and
17 I know that she left Celinac for Zenica just before the war started.
18 Q. Okay. I want you to look now at one more document. It is
19 Document P2330, 2-3-3-0. You've seen this document before a day or two
20 ago. And in your capacity as a lawyer and as someone who has been active
21 in various ministries for a number of years, I want to ask you to take a
22 look at Article 46 of this document, the law on internal affairs, and give
23 the Chamber your interpretation of the meaning of Article 46.
24 A. I have been a lawyer for a long time. I helped write a lot of
25 laws, but in the area of town planning, environmental protection, and
1 construction, my field of expertise. This text that I'm reading is
2 difficult to interpret for any lawyer unless you know the entire text of
3 this law. I am not familiar with the entirety of this law, but this
4 article, 46, as I understand it, says that in discharging duties and
5 responsibilities related to the protection of constitutional order, human
6 lives, and the personal safety of citizens or security of citizens, the
7 minister or any other authorised official or, in special cases, other
8 officials authorised by the minister may issue special orders to citizens,
9 companies, and other legal entities. This is an authorisation of the
10 minister or another authorised official, assistant minister or deputy
11 minister or perhaps a lower ranking civil servant authorised by the
12 minister to issue such orders. If this is the law on internal affairs, it
13 must be referring to senior officials within the Ministry of Internal
15 Q. When it refers to the other authorised officials, that means
16 officials within the Ministry of Internal Affairs?
17 A. That's the way I understand it. This law applies to internal
18 affairs, so that must be the case.
19 Q. A few days ago the question arose as to whether -- the last two
20 words of that article, legal entities, has any specific meaning. Can you
21 tell us if it does; and if so, what does "legal entities" mean, what does
22 that refer to?
23 A. This moment, I can't say anything because this last sentence can
24 refer to something else. I would have to be familiar with the integral
25 text of this law which is rather long. Then I would be able to see
1 whether these authorities may be transferred to somebody else. However,
2 bearing in mind how laws were drafted in the former Yugoslavia, at least
3 to my knowledge, this article, to my mind, should have concerned the
4 relationships and command authority within the Ministry itself.
5 Q. Well, I think -- let me try to make that question a little more
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't think we are there, and I don't think you
8 are going to get there, Mr. Ackerman. I would leave the question to
9 someone who is more competent on the matter.
10 MR. ACKERMAN: That's probably fair, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: You are free to continue, to proceed --
12 MR. ACKERMAN: I understand.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: -- But I don't think you are going to get where you
15 MR. ACKERMAN: I think I may try one more question.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. If we just look at this law as the Minister being able in
19 emergency situations to issue orders to certain entities, it says to
20 citizens, companies, and other legal entities, the question we have -- and
21 if you don't know it, it's fine, just say you don't know - but the
22 question we have is what kind of organisations would be contemplated by
23 the term "other legal entities"? For instance, could that be a municipal
24 Crisis Staff or not?
25 A. I don't know.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Sir, when I asked you - it's in page 8, line 17 - I asked you --
2 you were talking about the daughter of this gentleman, Irfan. The
3 transcript indicates that you said that she left Celinac before the war,
4 and I'm told that what you said was that she left at the end of the war
5 and went to Zenica.
6 A. I really don't remember what I said. However, I know this woman
7 very well. I was her superior. She worked in the electoral committee of
8 the first multiparty elections. Later on, she was in charge of issuing
9 work permits and work licenses. I saw her in 1994. I remember it only
10 too well when she was still discharging these duties. I also heard, and I
11 know that towards the end of the war, she left Celinac. She went to
12 Zenica, and she works in the Municipal Assembly of Zenica. I can't
13 remember the date when she departed, but I remember that in 1994 she still
14 worked with me.
15 Q. All right. That clears that up, and that's all the questions I
16 have for you, sir. Thank you.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think, Mr. Ackerman --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the Presiding Judge.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, you're now going to be cross-examined by
20 Ms. Ann Sutherland for the Prosecution. I need to draw your attention to
21 a basic rule here, basic rule of procedure, and also of fairness and
22 natural justice, and that is that as a witness here, even though you have
23 been brought over by the Defence as a Defence witness, you are basically a
24 witness for truth and justice. So your duty under the oath that you took
25 yesterday is to answer all questions truthfully and fully, irrespective of
1 who is putting those questions to you. So your duty extends also to all
2 the questions that Ms. Sutherland will be putting to you. If there are
3 any questions that you feel you ought not to answer, then draw my
4 attention, and it will be myself and the two Judges flanking me that will
5 decide whether you ought to answer the question or not. Otherwise, your
6 duty is to answer all questions.
7 I recognise Mr. Ackerman.
8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I neglected to offer and tender
9 Exhibits DB154 through DB159; DB166 through DB169; DB170 through DB180.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: And they are also being admitted. Thank you.
11 Ms. Sutherland.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Cross-examined by Ms. Sutherland:
14 Q. Mr. Mandic, you said yesterday at page 47 of the LiveNote that you
15 worked as a technical secretary of the Celinac Municipality, and you
16 worked as a secretary of the executive committee until November 1992. Is
17 that correct?
18 A. It is.
19 Q. You were appointed by the Municipal Assembly?
20 A. No. If you want me, I can clarify. In the legal system before
21 the multiparty elections, there was a position of the secretary of the
22 Executive Board. I discharged those duties between 1983 and 1984.
23 However, after the multiparty elections, new rules were drafted, and there
24 was no longer the secretary of the Executive Board as a position because a
25 new position was established. And that was the chief of service for joint
1 affairs who was also discharging the duties of the former secretary of the
2 Executive Board. So I was issued a decision to be appointed chief of
3 services -- of joint and common services. And in that position, I also
4 executed the duties of the technical secretary of the Executive Board. I
5 don't know whether you have understood me.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I still don't have a clear-cut answer as to who
7 appointed you actually.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND:
9 Q. Who signed the decision?
10 A. The decision was signed by the president of the Executive Board.
11 That was my appointment to the position of the chief of joint services
12 which discharged all the technical and administrative duties for the
13 Executive Boards because according to this new law, there was no longer
14 position of the secretary of the Executive Board as such.
15 Q. Mr. Mandic, I would ask if you could keep your answers short.
16 So in other words, if I understood you, you worked for both the
17 Municipal Assembly and the executive committee or Executive Board? Yes or
19 A. No. The Municipal Assembly is a higher body. I didn't work for
20 the Municipal Assembly. I only worked for the Executive Committee.
21 Q. So you didn't attend the Municipal Assembly sessions, and you
22 weren't responsible for technically preparing those sessions?
23 A. No. Another person did that. The secretary of the Municipal
25 Q. And you said yesterday that you were responsible for getting
1 together all of the decisions relating to things that were discussed by
2 the Executive Committee.
3 A. Yes, I did say that. And this is the truth. The Executive
4 Committee discusses one set of things, and the Municipal Assembly as a
5 higher body discusses another set of things. The secretary of the
6 Municipal Assembly was involved in the preparation of their sessions, and
7 it was not me. For the Executive Board, I was the one who was performing
8 all such duties for the Executive Board.
9 Q. Who was the secretary to the Municipal Assembly?
10 A. The secretary of the Municipal Assembly after the multiparty
11 elections was Dusko Djajic and later on Andjelko Topic.
12 Q. When you were unable to present and someone else stood in your
13 position, in order to carry out your job properly, did you read
14 transcripts of proceedings and decisions which had been arrived at?
15 A. What minutes are you referring to? Are you referring to the
16 minutes of the Executive Committee or the minutes of the Municipal
18 Q. Both.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: How can -- anyway, I don't understand -- I don't
20 understand why you're mixing it up with the Municipal Assembly now once
21 you've just confirmed to us that you had nothing to do with the Municipal
22 Assembly. So there was no reason why you could have misunderstood the
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I understood the
25 question. Madam Prosecutor asked me questions about both the assembly and
1 the Executive Committee. So to answer this question, I was not in the
2 position to read the transcripts of the Municipal Assembly. The Municipal
3 Assembly is a higher body, and I didn't have to do that. As for the
4 Executive Committee transcripts, I had to read those because I myself did
5 not take the minutes. It was somebody else who was in charge of taking
6 the minutes of these sessions, and I had to read them.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND:
8 Q. The minute taker for the Executive Board or the Executive
9 Committee, was that a person by the name of Vujatovic?
10 A. It was Marica Vujatovic.
11 Q. Could you answer my question, please. Was that person the minute
12 taker for the Executive Committee or the Executive Board?
13 A. I believe so. It was not always the same person who took the
14 minutes. But very often, it was Marica Vujatovic or Rada Djombic.
15 Q. You discussed yesterday at page 48 and following for the Court the
16 difference between a decision and a conclusion. And you agreed with
17 Mr. Ackerman's question that a conclusion was more of an advisory nature
18 than that of a decision.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could the witness be shown DB164, please.
20 Q. Sir, this is an Official Gazette published in March 1992. If you
21 could look, please, at the law on government. And if I can take you to
22 part 6, "regulations and other enactments of the government," Article 20.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the problem? What was the problem? We all
24 seem to have it, no? You don't have it in B/C/S? I can't help you.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: I have a B/C/S version.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I took it from something that the witness said
2 yesterday he also understands English, no?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Sorry.
5 Do you want to check that it is the same document, Mr. Ackerman,
6 or not?
7 MR. ACKERMAN: No, I'm satisfied it's the same document.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Would it be possible for the interpreters to get
10 a copy.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Of which version, the English or the B/C/S?
12 THE INTERPRETER: Both would be nice if available.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, you can give the -- is this going to be a
14 long question or the beginning of a series of questions?
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: There's a couple of questions, Your Honour, so I
16 think it would be helpful --
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, so usher, you can give the interpreters my
18 copy, and then bring it back to me, please. But I don't have the
19 original -- the version in the original language.
20 Yes, Ms. Sutherland, let's proceed, please.
21 MS. SUTHERLAND:
22 Q. Sir, Article 20 says that the government shall issue decrees,
23 decisions, instructions, resolutions, and conclusions, does it not?
24 A. I don't understand your question.
25 Q. If I can take you to Article 20 of the law on government which is
1 on page number -- the ERN at the bottom of the page, 00184299.
2 A. Yes. I actually understand your question. However, you asked me
3 how was it that I said that the Executive Committee issued conclusions.
4 And here in front of me, I see Article 20 of the law on the government of
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina. And it's -- however, the duties of the Executive
6 Committee are regulated by an enactment of the Executive Board rather than
7 by the law on government of Republika Srpska. Here it says that these are
8 the enactments which may be passed by the government. At that time, I
9 didn't work in the government, and I believe that I cannot answer your
10 question for that fact.
11 The duties of an Executive Committee are regulated by a different
13 Q. If you wait for my question, you will see whether you can answer
14 it. My question to you was: Under Article 20, it says there that the
15 government has issue decrees, decisions, instructions, resolutions, and
16 conclusions, does it not?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Does that article say what Ms. Sutherland is
18 suggesting to you?
19 MS. SUTHERLAND:
20 Q. I can read it for you. "In the discharge of its rights and duties
21 as established in the constitution and law, the government shall issue
22 decrees, decisions, instructions, resolutions, and conclusions." Do you
23 see that paragraph, the first paragraph under Article 20?
24 A. No, I don't have it. In my copy, it says in the exercise, it is
25 constitutionally provided for duties, the government issues decrees,
1 instructions, decisions, and conclusions.
2 Q. Thank you. You just said that duties of the Executive Committee
3 are regulated by an enactment of the Executive Board, rather than this law
4 on government. But my question to you is --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, because I don't know the language. But
6 I can count at least. This is the first paragraph of Article 20, no?
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So I am starting from the last word in the
9 second line of the first paragraph of Article 20, and that last word
10 before the comma should be "decrees". Is that correct?
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So if that is correct, after there are one,
13 two, three, and four. So it's five. What you read initially would count
14 to five: Has issued decrees, decisions, instructions, resolutions, and
15 conclusions. The witness is leaving resolutions out. He's saying --
16 THE INTERPRETER: If you could ask the witness to read slowly, we
17 will interpret again. It was too fast for the interpreters to get the
18 entire sentence.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND:
20 Q. Sir, can you please read the --
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: I'm sorry, Mr. Ackerman is on his feet.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, give them the B/C/S version. Yes,
23 Mr. Ackerman, I saw you standing, but I hadn't finished as yet.
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Yes, I fear that we're getting into mass confusion
25 here. You'll recall that when Mr. Treanor was testifying, he talked about
1 the organisation of the organs of the Serbian people in Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina. What we're looking at here is the law on government which
3 Mr. Treanor described as what previously would have been the Executive
4 Body, or the Executive Committee. It's headed by a prime minister, two
5 deputy prime minister, and all of these other ministers. So this refers
6 to the operation of that organisation only. It has nothing to do with
7 municipal boards, Executive Boards, anything like that. So we're mixing
8 apples and oranges here, and as long as everybody understands that's what
9 we're doing that's okay. But I think there's confusion about it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I preferred to keep silent because I don't know what
11 the question is. The question could well be to distinguish between all
12 these decrees, et cetera, and that would be very relevant and that's why I
13 didn't try to jump the gun.
14 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sutherland.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: And I understand the difference very well.
17 Q. Sir, can you please read the first paragraph under Article 20, and
18 can you read it slowly for the interpreters.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. Sometimes, sir, you have to be patient
20 with us because here the process is that what you're saying is -- has to
21 be translated into English and into French. What I am saying has to be
22 translated into French and your own language. And it goes on and on, so
23 one has to speak slowly, and usually I am the first one to commit the
24 mistake, to make the mistake.
25 So go ahead and read out the first paragraph of Article 20,
1 please, as slowly as you can. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "In exercising its rights and duties
3 as stipulated by the constitution and the law, the government shall
4 adopted decrees, decisions, instructions, resolutions, and conclusions."
5 This is exactly what the Presiding Judge said a little while ago. You
6 said that I didn't mention "resolutions." A resolution in B/C/S is not a
7 resolution. It is an administrative enactment which is adopted by an
8 administrative body, and this is exactly what it says here. So
9 "resolution" for our purposes should be "determination."
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
11 Ms. Sutherland.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND:
13 Q. Sir, then it goes on to spell out what decrees shall regulate,
14 decisions shall regulate, instructions shall prescribe, and the government
15 shall issue resolutions in certain matters. And then it goes on to say:
16 "In its conclusions, the government shall establish its position on
17 matters which are not regulated by decrees, decisions, and instructions,
18 and establish the obligations of government working bodies as well as the
19 preparation of materials for the government and the national assembly."
20 Do you see that there in the final paragraph? Yes or no. Do you
21 see what I have just read to you about conclusions in the final paragraph?
22 A. Yes, I can see that. It is in the last paragraph of this article.
23 Q. So nowhere in Article 20 does it say that a conclusion is less
24 obligatory than decrees, decisions, instructions, or resolutions, does it?
25 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I object. It's not relevant to the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 testimony he was giving. He was talking about pronouncements of
2 Executive Board, Crisis Staff, things like that, not the government of the
3 Serbian Republic.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MR. ACKERMAN: To it's apples and oranges.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: No, it's not. One can draw inferences,
7 Mr. Ackerman. So the question is perfectly legitimate.
8 Answer the question, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did talk about the conclusions of
10 the government, conclusions adopted by the Executive Board of the
11 Municipal Assembly.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND:
13 Q. Pause there, sir. My question to you was nowhere in Article 20
14 does it say that a conclusion is less obligatory than decrees, decisions,
15 instructions, or resolutions.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's stick to Article 20 for the time being. Do
17 you agree with Ms. Sutherland is suggesting to you?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my understanding, it was always
19 the case that a conclusion is a milder enactment than those that the lady
20 enumerated before it. And it just provided for certain activities,
21 nothing more than that.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: But the question is that Article 20 does not really
23 make this distinction as to the weight that each one of these provisions
24 taken would carry. There's no distinction made between them in Article
25 20. That is what is being suggested to you. Do you agree to that?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are indeed great differences.
2 The --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Show me where in Article 20 you see these
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I see differences in the description
6 of what is governed by a decree as opposed to what is governed by a
7 decision and what is specified and stipulated by instructions, whereas
8 conclusions are adopted by the government on issues that are not
9 stipulated. That is, other issues that have not been covered by the
10 previous types of enactments. In other words, the government, through its
11 conclusions, simply adopts a certain stand on something, a position. What
12 is not regulated by instructions or decisions as legal enactments is
13 reflected in conclusions wherein the government takes a certain position
14 on an issue.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. He's your witness, Ms. Sutherland.
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Sir, one last question on this: In fact, the law refers to
18 obligations which may be imposed by a conclusion, does it not? That's
19 what the last paragraph in Article 20 says; it's referring to obligations.
20 The word is "obveza."
21 A. Correct. But in the form of regulating standards, and we lawyers
22 understand what regulating standard means as applied to the implementation
23 of certain activities.
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you. I've finished with that document.
25 Could the witness be shown P80. Then for the Court Deputy's benefit, then
1 I would like to show the Witness P227, and then P258.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
4 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't recall getting a list of the exhibits that
5 they were going to use in cross-examination.
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: Ms. Gustin is having it printed out as we speak.
7 MR. ACKERMAN: I hope I can get an apology for all the times I was
8 berated for not doing what they have just not done.
9 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, the Prosecution is not in a position
10 to determine what documents they are going to use in cross-examination
11 until they have heard the whole of the evidence.
12 Q. Sir, can I take you to the statute of the Autonomous Region of
13 Krajina dated September 1991. Can I take you to Article 35. And that is
14 under part V, acts of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
15 In particular, the second paragraph: "Decisions and conclusions of the
16 Assembly shall become binding for the member municipalities once they have
17 been approved by the assemblies of the municipalities." Do you see that
19 A. Yes, I can see it. And to this question, I can answer that I'm
20 seeing this statute for the first time, and I'm seeing it for the first
21 time because I never worked as secretary of the assembly, and I never had
22 any contact with the autonomous region. But if you allow me to voice the
23 opinion I have based on what I heard and what I learned here --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm going to stop you because the question was
25 whether you're seeing that article. For the time being, just answer
1 whether you have it in front of you or not. Read it, and then the next
2 question will follow.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Article 35: "Prior to the adoption
4 of decisions, conclusions, and stands on issues of vital importance for
5 the performance of the determined or stipulated functions of the
6 Autonomous Region of Krajina, if so requested by at least ten members of
7 the assembly, opinions shall be obtained from member municipalities.
8 Decisions and conclusions of the assembly shall become binding for the
9 member municipalities once they have been approved by the members of
10 municipalities." I did understand this article.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Your question, Ms. Sutherland.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. You've just read for the Court Article 35. Can I take you to
14 Article 38. That's under part VII, and it talks about amendments to the
15 statute. I don't want to you read the entire paragraph. Can you just
16 read it to yourself.
17 A. Yes, I have read this.
18 Q. And in there, it talks about if any proposal to amend the statute
19 should be communicated to the assemblies of the member municipalities for
20 consideration in order to obtain their opinions.
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. I want you to now look at Exhibit P227.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Ms. Sutherland.
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: It's the big Official Gazette number --
25 JUDGE AGIUS: We must give the usher time to find the document.
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: I was simply telling him it was a big document.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I see, okay.
3 Doesn't seem that big to me.
4 Is this what you wanted, Ms. Sutherland?
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
6 Q. Sir, that is the Official Gazette of the Autonomous Region of
7 Krajina issue number 2, published in Banja Luka on the 5th of June 1992.
8 And it contains 28 decisions and conclusions and decrees. Could I take
9 you to decision numbered 17, and that is a conclusion of the Crisis Staff
10 of the --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
12 MS. SUTHERLAND:
13 Q. For you, that appears on the page that has the number at the top
14 00497849. Do you see the number at the top?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. If you can go down towards the bottom of the page, it's decision
17 numbered 17. And it's "conclusions reached at the Crisis Staff meeting of
18 the ARK held on the 26th of May 1992."
19 And I take you to paragraph 1: "The work of the Crisis Staff of
20 the Autonomous Region of Krajina has absolute support since it is now the
21 highest organ of authority in the Autonomous Region of Krajina as the
22 Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina cannot function due to
23 objective and subjective circumstances."
24 The following paragraph: "Decisions of Crisis Staffs are binding
25 for all Crisis Staffs in the municipalities." And the third paragraph:
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 "These decisions of the Crisis Staff shall be submitted for verification
2 to the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina as soon as it is able
3 to convene."
4 Do you see those three paragraphs, sir?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. Can I take you now to Exhibit P258. Exhibit P258 is the Official
7 Gazette of the Autonomous Region of Krajina number 3 of 1992, published in
8 Banja Luka on the 23rd of June 1992. And it contains decisions numbered
9 29 to 47, decisions and decrees and conclusions.
10 Can you look, please, at decision number 42, which appears on the
11 page numbered at the bottom of the page 00389000. And that decision:
12 "The Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina at its meeting held
13 on the 15th of June 1992 took the following decision on amending and
14 supplementing the statute of the Autonomous Region of Krajina" which is
15 the document that you saw just a moment ago. Article 1 of that decision
16 states that paragraph 2 of the Article 35 of the Statute of the Autonomous
17 Region of Krajina is hereby amended to read: "The decisions and
18 conclusions of the Assembly must be respected by the municipalities." And
19 Article 2 states when the decision shall enter into force.
20 Do you see that decision, sir?
21 A. Yes, I see that.
22 Q. Do you still have P80, the Autonomous Region of Krajina statute in
23 front of you?
24 A. No, I don't.
25 Q. You may recall, and I will read it for you, that paragraph 2 of
1 the Article 35 to which this decision of the 15th of June 1992 refers, it
2 states that decisions and conclusions of the assembly shall become binding
3 for the member municipalities once they have been approved by the member
4 municipalities." And now, that is amended to read: "The decisions and
5 conclusions of the assembly must be respected by the municipalities."
6 So, sir, decisions and conclusions, here, of the same weight. Are
7 they not?
8 A. I cannot say much about these documents, and I cannot give you
9 full answers because first of all I see them for the first time. Second,
10 I did not work on their wording myself. I didn't work with the Crisis
11 Staff of the municipality or the Crisis Staff of the region or the
12 autonomous region itself. I can only speak on the basis of how I
13 understand this at first glance. This question had better be asked of the
14 people who really worked on the drafting.
15 Q. But do you agree that on the face of the documents that I have
16 shown you, where the ARK Crisis Staff on the 26th of May 1992 says they
17 are the highest organ in the region, and that all decisions are binding on
18 municipalities --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And conclusions.
20 MS. SUTHERLAND:
21 Q. -- And conclusions. And then some two weeks to three weeks
22 later, a decision amending the statute to say that decisions and
23 conclusions must be respected by the municipalities taking away the
24 previous paragraph, saying that they were only binding after the
25 Municipal Assemblies passed them. Do you agree that on the face of these
1 documents, that is correct, and that there's no distinction between
2 decisions and conclusions?
3 A. I would kindly ask you to let me say a few words because I managed
4 to put things together in my head. In Article 35 of the statute, it says,
5 as far as I understand it, that when somebody submits a motion to the
6 assembly for consideration, the assembly has first to canvass the joint
7 municipalities for their opinions. After that is done, and after the
8 assembly makes a decision, that decision, judging by paragraph 2 of
9 Article -- of this article, is only applicable after being approved by the
10 assemblies of municipalities, or --
11 Q. It says -- paragraph 1 of Article 35 says: "The Autonomous Region
12 of Krajina shall, if so requested by at least ten members of the Assembly,
13 obtain the opinions..."
14 A. Yes, yes, yes.
15 Q. If they are requested, it's not mandatory that they do so. Do you
16 agree with that?
17 A. I agree with you, it's not mandatory. But it applies if verified
18 by the assemblies of joint municipalities. But the other two issues are
19 related to this issue. And the other two provisions are a bit different
20 because on one hand, we see pristine problems and issues, whereas on the
21 other hand we have a situation of the state of war or the immediate threat
22 of war where the Crisis Staff replaces civilian authorities until further
23 notice, until a time when they're able to convene again. And it is
24 defined in this way here.
25 I am not fully conversant with this issue, but there must have
1 been situations in reality that motivated this particular phrasing.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let me try to draw this part of the testimony
3 to an end at least.
4 Going back to all the documents that you have been shown by
5 Ms. Sutherland on this question of conclusions, decisions, instructions,
6 resolutions, and whatever, did you see any document where the conclusion
7 is or would be that conclusions are not binding, while decisions, for
8 example, are always binding? Did you see anywhere being stated that
9 conclusions are not binding? Or is the general refrain always that
10 irrespective of the terminology used and the name given, they are always
11 decisions and they are always binding?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From my experience, I know that when
13 I'm writing conclusions and applying them, what I said applies.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I am not referring to your experience. I am
15 referring to your eyes. Did you see anywhere in these documents words to
16 the effect that conclusions reached by whoever are not binding while other
17 decisions are binding?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely. This conclusion number
19 17, which I talked about, provides absolute support, accepts a report.
20 That is the terminology of issues governed by conclusions under our
21 system. This decision amending the statute was adopted by the Crisis
22 Staff. And in Article 2, it says that quite understandably, it will be
23 verified by the assembly of the autonomous region when all the conditions
24 for that are met, when it becomes possible for them to meet.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
1 Ms. Sutherland.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND:
3 Q. Sir, just before we have a break and go on to another topic --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND:
6 Q. Sir, just before we have a break and go on to another topic, I
7 just want to go back to what we discussed first this morning. Do I
8 understand that you were head of the joint technical service in the
9 Celinac municipality of the Municipal Assembly?
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 MR. ACKERMAN: [Previous interpretation continues] ... Nothing to
12 do with the Municipal Assembly, and she just asked him if he was --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: This is a specific --
14 MR. ACKERMAN: Technical service in the Celinac -- Municipal
15 Assembly. He had nothing to do with the municipal assembly.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, but that's the Municipal Assembly, and this is
17 the joint technical service in the Celinac Municipality.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I thought the witness answer --
19 MR. ACKERMAN: The question contains the words --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: That doesn't change anything, Mr. Ackerman. He's
21 not being asked whether he formed part of the Municipal Assembly. He's
22 being asked whether he was the head of the joint technical service in the
23 Celinac Municipality. Were you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is true that I was the head
25 of service for joint affairs which dealt with all the joint affairs of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Executive Board, the Municipal Assembly, and all the municipal
2 authorities. That is what the organisational scheme was like.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: And it was answerable to whom, to which body, the
4 joint --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was accountable to the Executive
7 JUDGE AGIUS: That's it.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND:
9 Q. And as head of the joint technical services department, did you
10 attend the Municipal Assembly meetings?
11 A. No. It is the secretary of the Municipal Assembly who attended
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour. This is a convenient --
14 it's 10.30.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it you haven't finished your
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I was just hopeful.
19 25-minute break.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sutherland.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. Mr. Mandic, a moment ago you said that you were head of the joint
25 technical services department which dealt with all the affairs of the
1 Executive Board, the Municipal Assembly, and all the municipal
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You're aware that a Crisis Staff was formed in the Celinac
5 Municipality, are you not?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You said on page 51 of your testimony yesterday: "I never worked
8 in the war presidency, and I have absolutely no information about their
9 dealings." Do you still maintain that position?
10 A. As far as I can remember now, I was not a member. I did not
11 discharge any significant duties for them. I may have done some marginal
12 things, but I don't remember that I did.
13 Q. What would you call marginal?
14 A. During a certain period of time, the Municipal Assembly could not
15 be convened. And the Crisis Staff replaced that body. Maybe, the joint
16 affairs department at that time were asked to be of service, of technical
17 service to that body, maybe to do the transcript or other such things.
18 But that is all I can remember. But it would have been an obligation of
19 joint affairs department in any case.
20 Q. When you say "maybe to do the transcript," you're talking about
21 the recording of the Crisis Staff sessions?
22 A. Yes, yes. Taking minutes of all the bodies that worked at that
23 time, including the Crisis Staff. There was probably not a designated
24 person to take minutes there. It would always be somebody else who took
1 Q. Do you recall now the names of any of the people who may have
2 taken the minutes at the Crisis Staff meetings?
3 A. It could have been recording secretaries who usually did it at
4 regular sessions. It could have also been the secretary of the assembly.
5 It could have also been everybody who was an official in the municipal
6 body and who was given the task to take the minutes on any given day.
7 Q. You mentioned, I think, Andjelko Topic as being the secretary of
8 the Municipal Assembly. Is that who you are referring to when you said a
9 moment ago the secretary of the Municipal Assembly?
10 A. Yes, it could have been Andjelko Topic or anybody else tasked by
11 the president of the Crisis Staff to take the minutes. This is nothing
12 special. A person who is a recording secretary for a particular session
13 just makes notes of what is said during discussions. That person is not
14 in charge of drafting any conclusions or drafting any decisions.
15 Q. Where would those minutes, the transcripts of the recordings, be?
16 Where would they be filed? Where would they be kept?
17 A. I don't know that. Most probably they're kept by the secretary of
18 the Municipal Assembly or the president of the Crisis Staff. The Crisis
19 Staff replaced the service of the technical secretary of the Municipal
20 Assembly and the president of the Municipal Assembly.
21 Q. So what normally happens to the transcripts and the recordings of
22 the sessions of the Municipal Assembly and the Executive Board? Where are
23 they filed?
24 MR. ACKERMAN: Excuse me just a moment.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
1 MR. ACKERMAN: I just have a question. When Ms. Sutherland refers
2 to "recordings and transcript," I wonder if she means audiorecordings and
3 transcripts made there from and if the witness understands that that's
4 what she understands or if she has a different understanding of what she
5 means by recordings and transcripts.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's a fair question. Thank you,
7 Mr. Ackerman.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND:
9 Q. Sir, you mentioned recordings earlier. The person who is a
10 recording secretary for a particular session makes notes. I'm referring
11 to those recorded notes, whether they be in audio form or written form.
12 A. At that time, they were only kept in written form. And I believe
13 that this is the case even to this very day, as far as I know.
14 Q. As head of the joint technical services department in charge of
15 the technical aspects of the assembly and the Executive Board, you would
16 be in a position to know where these things are filed, when the assembly
17 and the Executive Board was running prewar. Where are they filed
19 A. I know it very well. When it comes to the Executive Board, all
20 enactments passed by the Executive Boards are kept in the file with the
21 secretary of the Executive Board or in the files of the Executive Board.
22 And as for the files of the Municipal Assembly, they are kept by the
23 secretary of the Municipal Assembly, some of it is kept by the president,
24 and in the service which is a special service consisting of two clerks
25 working for the assembly. So these are two separate sets of files,
1 absolutely separate.
2 Q. I am perhaps not being clear enough. I'm talking about where are
3 they physically filed? Where would they be? In whose filing cabinet, in
4 whose offices?
5 A. It should be in the office of the secretary of the assembly.
6 While I was discharging those duties, they were kept in my filing cabinet.
7 After that, I don't know.
8 Q. Where are the archives situated?
9 A. The joint archives for all the organs used to be in one place.
10 And particular cases which have not been filed in permanent documentation,
11 I've told you where they are. They're kept either one or the other
12 secretary, the respective secretaries of the Executive Board or the
13 Municipal Assembly.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Does that answer your question, Ms. Sutherland?
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: No, Your Honour.
16 Q. Where was the joint archive for all the organs?
17 A. Physically, it was located on the ground floor, and the -- it was
18 all registered and there was a person in charge of looking after all these
19 files in the archives.
20 Q. We've seen you brought some documents from the Ministry with you,
21 be Exhibits DB170 through DB180. Were you asked to bring any documents
22 from the Celinac Crisis Staff meetings with you or any documents
23 pertaining to the Celinac Crisis Staff?
24 A. No, nobody asked me to do that. There's no way for me to get hold
25 of any documents of the Crisis Staff. And I don't want to have anything
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 to do with any of the Crisis Staff, either of the Krajina staff or the
2 Celinac staff. I don't know who has custody of all that documentation. I
3 don't know much about this documentation or any of the decisions that were
5 Q. Why don't you want to have anything to do with any of the
6 Crisis Staff, either of the Krajina staff or the Celinac staff?
7 A. I must be very honest here, although I'm in the public eye. I
8 didn't ask for the war. I didn't want the war to happen. I wanted to be
9 as far away as possible from the war and from all the Crisis Staffs.
10 Nobody ever asked me to join them, and even if they had asked
11 me, I would have tried to get away from that somehow.
12 Q. Would you look at Exhibit P1993.
13 Sir, have you finished reading that document?
14 A. Not all of it. I have read item 1.
15 Q. Sir, that's a decision of the Municipal Assembly of Celinac at its
16 session held on the 13th of May 1992.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Appointing persons to the Crisis Staff of the
19 Celinac Municipality. And we can see under paragraph 1, Sveto Kovacevic
20 is appointed as president; number 2, Radoslav Brdjanin as a member.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And then another nine members. Had you ever seen this document
24 A. No.
25 Q. Can I take you to paragraph 3. It says the Crisis Staff shall
1 coordinate the functions of authority, and through coordination, the
2 Crisis Staff will create conditions for the municipal Executive Committee
3 to exercise its legal exact power and govern the economy and other aspects
4 of life.
5 Is it really your position today that you've never seen this
6 document before?
7 A. It is my position that I never saw this document before. I don't
8 remember all of these people. I remember some of the people who were
9 members of the Crisis Staff, but if you had asked me earlier to give you
10 all of their names, I wouldn't have been able to do that. Since the
11 assembly could not be convened, the Executive Committee worked regularly
12 and had a number of sessions. I don't know how many, and I don't know
13 what tasks it had at the time. But one of its tasks was to organise the
14 economy and all the social activities under the given circumstances.
15 Q. And therefore, from what you've just said, you must have realised
16 that the Municipal Assembly wasn't convening and that you, as head of the
17 joint technical service, now came under the Crisis Staff of the Celinac
19 A. Yes, the assembly could not be convened, and the Crisis Staff is
20 the body that organises life in the municipality, replacing the
21 municipality, and all the duties were discharged by the secretary of the
22 assembly which wasn't me. And my employees, my typists, my drivers, or
23 possibly some other members of staff were obliged to carry out tasks given
24 to them by the Crisis Staff.
25 Q. You were aware Mr. Brdjanin was a member, were you not?
1 A. Whether he was a member or not, I can see in this decision that he
2 was. If you had asked me before that whether he was a member, I wouldn't
3 have been able to tell you whether he was or not. I don't know how many
4 meetings they had, what things they discussed at those meetings, who
5 attended these meetings, whether Mr. Brdjanin attended those meetings
6 once, several times or not at all. I am really not in a position to tell
8 Q. You said that you held this position until November 1990 -- 1992,
9 I'm sorry.
10 A. Yes, 1992, yes.
11 Q. The Crisis Staff would have been meeting in the same building
12 where you were working.
13 A. It doesn't have to mean that. I don't know how meetings were
14 called, where they were held. I suppose that those meetings were held in
15 the same places where the sessions of the Municipal Assembly are held, or
16 the services that existed even before that. There was no reason
17 whatsoever to hold meetings anywhere else. This was just one body
18 replacing the Municipal Assembly at that given moment.
19 Q. The Crisis Staff were meeting in the municipal building, were they
21 A. Yes, I'm sure that they were. I'm sure of that.
22 Q. And your offices were in the municipal building?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And as head of the joint technical service of the
25 Executive Committee, you would have had dealings with these people, with
1 this body, that took over from the Municipal Assembly.
2 A. Well, in principle, the president of the Crisis Staff calls the
3 meetings of the Crisis Staff. The secretary of the general assembly or a
4 person authorised by the president takes the minutes of them. And
5 sometimes I knew, but I did not have to know. I was dealing in finances.
6 I was in charge of the maintenance of the building. I was involved in the
7 joint affairs of all the organs. It's a huge task. I did not have to
8 know about the meetings of the Crisis Staff, and especially not what
9 decisions they made and how they were arrived at. I was never there to be
10 able to know that.
11 Q. They were the only body that were meeting through that time, from
12 the 13th of May onwards. You came under their authority. Isn't that
14 A. Yes, it was for a short period of time. You can see here the 13th
15 of May. It was during the summer. I don't know when the Crisis Staff was
16 disbanded. But as far as I remember, it didn't last that long. Maybe two
17 or three months. I can't remember.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P1998.
19 Q. Sir, this is the document that you were shown yesterday, and it's
20 a decision of the war presidency dated the 23rd of July 1992. You said
21 yesterday at page 51 of the LiveNote: "I never laid eyes on this decision
22 before, nor have I ever heard about it, although it was talked about after
23 the war. To be precise, in some recent contacts I had, I learned that a
24 decision of this sort existed."
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When did you first hear about this decision?
2 A. I believe that I heard of this decision sometime after the war. I
3 heard that it had existed.
4 Q. Who told you?
5 A. I really don't know -- I can't tell you that. In Celinac, there
6 were rumours about the existence of such decision. After the war, this
7 decision was not accepted very well by people who talked about it. But
8 there were also others who said that this decision was indispensable, that
9 it had to be adopted, because it provided for the protection of these
10 people in practical terms.
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P1999.
12 Your Honours and Mr. Ackerman, page 28 of the English translation.
13 Q. Sir, could you go to the document which has the number 0326-2307
14 on the top. You can see there that these are minutes, handwritten
15 minutes, of the 17th session of the Celinac Municipal Assembly held at
16 10.00 a.m. On the 28th of July 1992. It says that there were 51
17 assemblymen present; and apart from the assemblymen, it names other people
18 who were also in attendance. The commander of the Celinac light infantry
19 battalion, Janko Trivic; yourself, as joint affairs secretariat. Do you
20 see your name there? Why did you say earlier that you never attended any
21 Municipal Assembly sessions?
22 A. There's no reason for me to say anything differently. I was the
23 chief of the joint affairs department, and I attended some of the sessions
24 to which I was invited in my capacity as the chief of this department. I
25 don't remember a single word from this session. However, if it says here
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that I attended as the chief of the joint affairs department, then --
2 Q. We will go through this document. But you were asked quite
3 clearly this morning on a number of different occasions whether you
4 attended any sessions of the Municipal Assembly. And you cat -- and you
5 said that you didn't attend one session.
6 A. I have to be honest. It was a long time ago. I'm not young
7 myself. I have not made any notes. Everything there is is in my head,
8 and it is possible that I was invited to attend a session in order to
9 criticise me about the maintenance of the rooms in the building, about the
10 cleaning of the premises, because that was what I did in my department.
11 That was what my staff did.
12 Q. Okay. We'll go through this.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
14 Round about this time, the 28th of July, who was the director of
15 inland revenue in Celinac? Who was the director of inland revenue?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean internal affairs?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: No, inland revenue. Do you have the B/C/S text of
18 this document? Perhaps we can refer because I know that director of
19 inland revenue is a typically English --
20 MS. SUTHERLAND:
21 Q. Sir, on the same page that I took you to a moment ago --
22 A. Yes, there is inland revenue. There is also internal affairs or
23 in-house affairs. I don't know what you're referring to.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Look, that document says -- mentions your name, Boro
25 Mandic as being one of the persons present at that meeting. But your
1 capacity is -- you read it out and tell us what it says. You were present
2 there in your capacity as what?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As the head of department for joint
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that what the document says? Or does it say
6 something different?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says SZP, which stands for the
8 department of joint affairs, and that is exactly what I was. That is what
9 the abbreviation stands for. May I please clarify while we are walking on
10 this ground here.
11 MS. SUTHERLAND:
12 Q. Just a moment, to answer the Judge's question, the person named
13 after you in relation to the revenue is Vlado Vrhovac. Is that correct?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I see, I see. Okay, okay.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Vlado Vrhovac, but not after me.
16 That is a completely different department.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, okay. I understand. It's my mistake.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND:
19 Q. The name appears after yours, sir --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Madam Prosecutor, while we are
22 talking about this, may I please answer your question as to why I attended
23 this particular session.
24 MS. SUTHERLAND:
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. On page 2 of the minutes, it says that the Municipal Assembly
2 adopted resolutions on the location of building plots for the construction
3 of garages. I participated in the bidding. I paid for the building plot
4 that I was bidding for. And under (b), it says clearly that the Municipal
5 Assembly issues resolutions. And under 1, it says Boro Mandic son of
6 Djordje from Celinac. And as I as a natural person, and a buyer of this
7 plot on which I was going to build a garage, I was supposed to be present
8 at that session, and I, therefore, attended. Whether everybody else on
9 this list attended, I don't know. This is what it reads under item (b) of
10 the minutes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: You wouldn't attend in your capacity as the chief of
12 the joint office, no? I find it strange to --
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could have gone on both counts.
14 It was not forbidden. It was a public session.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous interpretation continues] ... Are there
16 any other minutes where the witness's name appears, please?
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's find out what the reason was in each case.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND:
20 Q. Can I take you to the agenda, which is still on page 03262307 for
21 you, and it's on page 29 of the English translation. Basically, it was to
22 adopt the minutes of the Municipal Assembly's 16th session held on the
23 13th of May 1992. And it was at the Municipal Assembly session held on
24 the 13th of May that they adopted the decision to appoint members to the
25 Crisis Staff. And so as you were attending this meeting, you would have
1 had to have read the minutes of the 16th session of the 13th of May, would
2 you not?
3 A. I am not a member of the assembly, and it was not my duty to read
4 minutes because I have no say in decisions, nor do I have the right to
5 vote. I could only attend in the capacity that I explained earlier.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I doubt that we would have had the right to have a
7 copy of the minutes in any case. I don't know what the procedure was at
8 the time, whether the minutes were read or taken as read. We'll move to
10 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I'm going to take the witness
11 through the minutes.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND:
14 Q. Sir, if we go to paragraph 6 also on the agenda, was the
15 verification of decisions and solutions adopted by the Crisis Staff of the
16 Celinac Municipality war presidency, and then it listed them from A to M.
17 Now underneath that it says that this session was postponed until 8.00
18 a.m. on 5th of August 1992 because there wasn't a quorum. Is that
20 If you go to page numbered 0326-2311, and just above that --
21 A. Well, if it says so here, it must be true. I don't remember.
22 Q. If we can move on to page 32 of the English translation -- 31, I'm
23 sorry. That is the minutes of the 17th session of the Municipal Assembly
24 held on the 5th of August 1992. It says the assemblymen that were
25 present, and it says that the session was also attended by yourself. Do
1 you see that?
2 A. I can see that.
3 Q. And on the agenda again, we have adopting the minutes of the 16th
4 session held on the 13th of May 1992 and we also have as item 6 the
5 verifications of the decisions and solutions adopted by the Crisis Staff.
6 Now, sir, I want to take you to English translation pages 34 to 36. And
7 in the B/C/S, it is ERN number 0326-2317 to 2320. We have there Major
8 Ranko Trivic giving a political and security report on the situation in
9 the Celinac Municipality. Do you have page 0326-2317? And we can see
10 that Major Trivic says --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- A few lines after he begins: "There is sporadic fire and
13 destruction of property, Muslim and Croatian homes, an increase in crime,
14 car theft, destruction, arson. This is carried out by armed groups who do
15 this in a planned way and are helped out by some politicians. This
16 manifests itself through gatherings of extremists and support to such
17 people which results in anarchy and ends in genocide being carried out."
18 Do you know which politicians Major Trivic is referring to there?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. Is that an accurate description of the destruction that was going
21 on in relation to property belonging to Muslim and Croatian persons?
22 A. If this is the month of July, then it is true. There was torching
23 of Muslim houses, and we witnessed it. Most normal people condemned it,
24 and we can see from this document that this major also condemns it and
25 puts it to the session as a problem. But who organised it, I don't know.
1 Q. Can you take you to page 0326-2319. We have Dusko Dzajic, chief
2 of the SKB, in Celinac. And he says: In the Besici and Mehovci area,
3 which is mostly populated by Muslims" --
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: I'm sorry, for Your Honours and Mr. Ackerman,
5 page 35 and 36.
6 Q. -- In the Besici and Mehovci area which is mostly populated by
7 Muslims, we cannot guarantee their safety and we must take a political
8 stand that will enable these people to move out the Muslims of the area.
9 And further, in Celinac Municipality, none of the non-Serbs have weapons,
10 so there are no problems there. But there are around ten armed Serbs who
11 are causing trouble and they should have their weapons taken away."
12 It says here that the non-Serbs had weapons [as said]. So what
13 was the threat? You mentioned a moment ago that Muslim and Croatian
14 property was destroyed.
15 A. Well, if this was the month of July, it's not Dusko Dzajic, I want
16 this corrected to Djajic. And the Muslim village was also misnamed. It
17 is called Mehovci. It may have been recorded inaccurately or interpreted
18 inaccurately. Since the war had already begun, I know that everyone
19 feared everyone. Serbs kept guard around their villages, and so did
20 Muslims. Fear was all-pervasive and ubiquitous, and as this chief of SUP
21 Dusko Dzajic said, I believe that these were some renegade men who should
22 have been prevented from continuing with their crime spree.
23 Q. Can we move on --
24 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, just for the record, because the
25 question itself does explain it. But line 14, page 4 to 6, you are quoted
1 as having stated, Ms. Sutherland, it says here, this document in other
2 words, that the non-Serb had weapons. Actually what the document says is
3 that in Celinac municipality, none of the non-Serbs had weapons.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour, that's what I thought you had
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, that's what you had said, but the transcript
7 says exactly the opposite.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND:
9 Q. Sir, can I take you in the English translation to page 44, ERN
10 number 0326-2332 in your language. Can you see there under item 7,
11 Andjelko Topic, he has read the report on the work of the war presidency
12 so far, and now all these decisions should be verified at the Municipal
13 Assembly session. Do you see that?
14 A. I can't find it. Yes. Yes, yes. Andjelko Topic was the
15 secretary of the assembly. He also led the Crisis Staff, or handled the
16 Crisis Staff. So he had all these decisions in his possession. And when
17 the conditions for normal work of the assembly would be created, then he
18 would present all this, read it out, et cetera.
19 Q. You were in attendance at this session on the 5th of August 1992
20 where Andjelko Topic reads the report on the work of the war presidency
21 and asks that all these decisions now become -- now be verified. And then
22 there's a discussion which follows on these decisions. Can I take you
23 to - this is on page 46 of the English translation - can I take you to
24 0326-2335 in your language. We can see Ilija Maksimovic, and he says he
25 mentioned the problem of moving the Muslims who want to leave the area.
1 They should be given the possibility to do so without any incidents or
2 problems. We should organise this so that these people can move out
3 peacefully. The commission should assess all of this, and I will provide
4 a certificate of having moved out of the AR Krajina.
5 If you read further down that page - and for Your Honours, it's
6 on page 46 of the English translation - and it's over the page for you,
7 sir, Ljubo Aleksic, not all the Muslims mentioned in the decision are
8 extremists. The real extremists should be exposed. A couple of people
9 down, again, Ilija Maksimovic: As soon as the war operations in Kotor
10 Varos end, the decision on the status of the non-Serbian population in
11 Celinac Municipality will cease to be valid. Let us adopt the decision on
12 Muslims moving out voluntarily. We should make it possible for those who
13 voluntarily want to move out of Celinac Municipality to do so.
14 Sir, although it's not specifically mentioned in its full title,
15 they are discussing, are they not, Exhibit P1998 which was the decision of
16 the war presidency of Celinac of the 23rd of July in relation to the
17 status of non-Serbs, the document that you said you had never seen before.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Maksimovic refers to the title. The decision on the
19 status of the non-Serbian population in Celinac Municipality. I think
20 that's more than enough.
21 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you. It isn't mentioned
22 as one of the decisions earlier, in the list of decisions, but it's
23 discussed here.
24 Q. Can I take you now -- I'm sorry, before we move on, you said in
25 terms before, earlier today, that you had never seen that decision or
1 heard of it until after the war.
2 A. I think that is so, yes. As far as I remember, I didn't see it.
3 Q. You are in attendance at this meeting where it's being discussed.
4 A. I am trying to assure myself that you are understanding me
5 correctly. I did not attend these sessions either as a recording
6 secretary or a full-fledged deputy who had the background material in
7 front of him. I would come and go as the chief of this joint affairs
8 department who did -- who dealt with technical aspects of the work. I did
9 not hear the entire discussion, and that's why I'm not in a position to
11 I have absolutely no recollection of any item of the agenda of
12 this session, and especially not the discussion itself. I did not attend
13 in any capacity which would allow me to hear all of this. But if it says
14 so here, it must be true.
15 Q. Sir, we can see for a number of pages a number of different people
16 discussing this document. It starts with Ilija Maksimovic, it goes on to
17 Sveto Kovacevic, it goes on to Gojko Djuric, Ljubo Aleksic, Mirko
18 Mikanovic, again Sveto Kovacevic, again Ilija Maksimovic --
19 A. I can see that.
20 Q. -- Mladen Savic, Aleksis Srdic, Ljubo Mrdjan, again Mirko
21 Mikanovic, Irfan Tetaric.
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Sreten Radojkovic, Nedjo Babic, Milorad Stankovic, Mirko Mikanovic
24 again, Radomir Trivic. Are you telling this Court that you knew nothing
25 about this document where you were in attendance and all of these people
1 and more have discussed this decision?
2 A. What I'm telling this Court with perfect honesty is that I do not
3 recollect the discussion on this item of the agenda. It is possible that
4 I attended only the beginning of the session whereafter I came and went.
5 And I don't remember the discussion, although reading this now and knowing
6 the assemblymen, I believe that this is true. Their contributions were
7 sincere and accurate.
8 Q. Okay. We will move on.
9 MS. SUTHERLAND: Can I take Your Honours to page 48 of the English
11 Q. Sir, can you turn to page 0326-2337, and we are Mirko Mikanovic.
12 "This list should not have been made public. It should have been given to
13 the military police so they could keep them under surveillance."
14 On the next page, on page 49, Radomir Trivic, for you, this is on
15 page 0236-2339 -- it should be publicly announced that the municipal
16 assembly refuses to adopt this decision. This way we would avoid a
17 political situation that could escalate and the police could keep the
18 extremists under surveillance."
19 I now want to take you - Your Honours, page 51. Sir, can you turn
20 to page 0326-2342, Radomir Trivic said, or he suggests, that they do not
21 vote on the decision because of the consequences in the international
23 Now, sir, after that Braco Derajic says it is only common sense,
24 allow people to go where they like.
25 Sir, you are the next speaker, are you not? And this is what you
1 say about the decision on the status of the non-Serbs. You provided an
2 additional explanation of the decision. Where the list is concerned, it
3 should be rated and placed in a more realistic framework. The obligations
4 from this decision do not refer to loyal inhabitants of the municipality."
5 Does that now refresh your memory as to the discussion that you
6 were involved in on the 5th of August about this decision?
7 A. At that session, and I can say this honestly before this
8 Honourable Court, I attended, as it says in the beginning, in my capacity
9 as chief of the joint affairs service with the responsibilities that that
10 position implies. I had no special tasks. In view of this discussion
11 that you summarised in which some people made one suggestion, other people
12 made other suggestions, I wasn't probably aware of what decision it was
13 exactly or what list they're talking about. I must have commented in
14 light of the very accurate discussions of Irfan Trivic, Mirko Mikanovic,
15 and others, and I must have said that there are many loyal citizens, and
16 that that decision should be understood in a more fair way.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: By whom?
18 MS. SUTHERLAND:
19 Q. Sir, can you go to page 0236-2342. It states here that you were
20 providing an additional explanation of the decision over and above what
21 had been said before. You lied to the Court earlier when you said that
22 you had not seen this decision before and you knew nothing about it until
23 after the war, didn't you?
24 A. No, I don't remember that decision because I didn't draft it, nor
25 did I participate in its enactment or adoption or enforcement, and I can
1 not make any comments.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: But you participated in the discussion on that
3 decision during the meeting of - I don't know when - according to these
4 minutes. And you even provided an additional explanation of the decision.
5 So on that day, I take it that you were very familiar with the decision
6 itself already. Otherwise, you wouldn't have opened your mouth,
7 especially as head of the joint unit or joint office which had nothing to
8 do as such with this decision.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I simply don't remember. I did not
10 participate in any of the bodies that adopted it or voted or made
11 decisions, and what I may have said -- I was under no obligation to make
12 any contribution. There was the secretary who presented this decision.
13 Andjelko Topic invited discussion, and this may be a mistake on the part
14 of the recording secretary who said that I provided an additional
15 explanation. If I did say anything, it may have been just my opinion, my
16 opinion to the effect that one needed to be more realistic in assessing,
17 and take into account all the incidents that were taking place in the
18 municipality, not only directed against the Muslims where perpetrators
19 were Serbs, but probably other incidents where the situation was reversed.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Even if what you are saying now is correct, it would
21 still contradict what you stated earlier; namely, that you never knew
22 about this decision, about the subject matter of this decision, until
23 after the war.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to say this again: I did not
25 see this decision in writing and signed. I may only have heard the
1 discussion to a limited extent because I came and went all the time during
2 that session. I may have heard comments made by certain people. And I
3 was always of the opinion that it was only right to protect some people
4 because that was fair.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's go back a little bit. First, you tell us
6 that you never heard about this decision until much later. Never knew
7 about the existence of this decision. There were rumours, you said. Then
8 you are faced with the minutes of a meeting of the assembly in which you
9 are given to understand that at a meeting -- at a meeting in which you
10 were present, this decision was discussed. And you tell us maybe I was
11 there, I don't know, as head of the joint office or joint department, and
12 it was very normal that I would stay there for a while, and then leave.
13 Maybe it took place after I had left, and that's why I don't know anything
14 about it.
15 Now that you are faced also with a part of the minutes that quotes
16 you as discussing and giving your own additional explanation on the
17 decision, are you suggesting that this may be a mistake of the secretary
18 now, that you still don't remember anything?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't remember the decision.
20 I really hadn't seen the decision before this. And I wasn't invited to
21 attend as an MP. I did not vote. If I did take the floor at all, and I
22 believe I did just to say these two sentences, then I could have said that
23 I was not quite happy with some of the remarks of the previous speakers,
24 and I was not happy to let these people be treated as they were treated.
25 I was against that then as I am against it now.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Which would mean, however, that you were fully aware
2 what the subject matter of the discussion and, therefore, of the decision
3 was. I know of no one except very few persons that take the floor and
4 speak about things that they don't know about or that they know nothing
5 about. There are a few.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at that point in time
7 when I happened to be there, most probably I realised what the debate was
8 about. And in my contribution, I gave my support as a positive person to
9 other positive people who debated in that way, and I repeat, that was Mr.
10 Mikanovic, Radomir Trivic, and some other, Irfan Tetaric, who were not
11 members of the Serbian democratic party.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Sutherland.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. Sir, if you had no right to speak, why did you speak and what were
15 the additional -- what was the additional explanation that you provided?
16 It's a compound question. First of all, why did you speak if you had no
17 right to speak?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he's answered that question. He wanted to
19 give support to the people --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct. The people who took
21 positive attitude, and the entire Celinac and Republika Srpska knew very
22 well how I behaved during the war. And my wish was, although I wasn't
23 entitled to speak, to give my support to people who thought otherwise.
24 And about my conduct, anyone can ask every Muslim from Celinac how
25 I behaved. It can take days for me to give you the list of people I
1 helped, and if this is going into the public domain, to whom I offered
2 help, whom I found a job, whom I did not dismiss from work, et cetera.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND:
4 Q. Sir, I just want you to answer my question. What additional
5 explanation did you provide at this session about this document?
6 A. None at all. But besides, the president of the assembly and the
7 secretary who are authorised to give interpretation, there was no need for
8 me in my capacity to support this decision and I truly believe, and I
9 don't remember giving any additional explanation.
10 Q. Sir, this was an illegal discriminatory, persecutorial decision,
11 and that's why you won't admit any involvement in it, isn't it?
12 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, object to that characterisation. Many
13 people have said it was a decision for the purpose of protecting those
14 people, and there's even some indication in this discussion that that's
15 the case. As soon as Kotor Varos's hostilities were over, they didn't
16 need to be protected any longer. So I think that's just a bit of a
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman, but the witness has already in
19 part of his testimony gave the two sides of the coin on this decision. He
20 said precisely what you said now, that some people considered it to be
21 obnoxious, and others the way you described it. So I will allow the
22 question. The witness is being asked whether he is claiming absolute
23 noninvolvement in this decision because he acknowledges that it was
24 discriminatory, obnoxious decision. So I allow the question.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Quite frankly, before this
1 Honourable Court, I can state that I did not draft, write, create, saw, or
2 voted upon this decision because it was impossible. I wouldn't repeat
3 everything else, not to waste your time. What I said was said in the
4 context of these positive debates because that was only logical. Whether
5 the decision was a discriminatory one or not, now, when I read it as a
6 lawyer, it is discriminatory on the one hand, when you look at the text
7 and the language of it. But in those debates and in the public, there
8 were rumours that those people should be protected because operations were
9 in progress around the town, so in order to prevent those people from
10 being killed at the time, this decision or part of the decision referring
11 to this particular aspect was of temporary nature. And if that was true,
12 that was a good decision. But that refers to this particular case.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I don't think you need to press this any
14 further, Ms. Sutherland, and you move to something different.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you. I've finished with that document. It
16 can be given to the registry.
17 Q. Sir, I want to turn now to the situation in Celinac Municipality.
18 You said at page 56 of your testimony that you believed that during the
19 period of time until Mr. Brdjanin stopped being president of the Executive
20 Committee, that Celinac as a town neighbourhood was safe. Do you recall
21 saying that?
22 A. Yes, that's what I said. And I stand by it now.
23 Q. Where were you residing in May and June of 1992?
24 A. In May and June 1992, I was living in the centre of the town of
25 Celinac in the building where my neighbours came from all ethnic
1 communities. My one next-door neighbour was a Croat, and the other
2 next-door neighbour was a Muslim.
3 Q. Did you hear explosions and shooting?
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, during this same time frame?
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: May and June of 1992.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P1991.
9 Q. Sir, we can see here this is a script from Banja Luka Radio dated
10 the 11th of June 1992. It talks about explosive devices being thrown into
11 a Muslim house and three shops owned by Muslims, and that the damage
12 to these establishments is extensive.
13 A. From this you can see that this was a release broadcast by Radio
14 Banja Luka. It doesn't show exactly how they came to gather this kind of
15 information. But I personally know, because I was there with my wife and
16 my children, and Celinac is a small place, one could hear explosions
17 always at night. But whether all these incidents took place, I don't
18 know. I know that the house of Ismet Beharic house was attacked. He was
19 an acquaintance of mine. And another friend of mine with whom I was
20 together in the military service --
21 Q. Were you aware of these shops where explosive devices had been
23 A. You mean, after they had happened?
24 Q. Sabiha Hodzic, her shop, Sabiha Basic, and Salih Nezirovic.
25 A. Well, you know, when dark falls, and most of the time we didn't
1 have electricity, we all locked up ourselves until the morning. I never
2 went out. But in the morning on my way to work, and I walked most of the
3 time because we didn't have petrol, I saw some of these things, although I
4 didn't see the house of Ismet Beharic, which is a bit farther away. But I
5 did see that these shops were attacked with explosive devices.
6 Q. Could you look now at Exhibit P1992. Sir, this is another Banja
7 Luka Radio script dated the 12th of June 1992. And halfway down there,
8 you will see in Celinac at 1.00 in the morning, one or more unknown
9 perpetrators attacked the building of the mosque board with hand
11 Again, did you hear this explosion or did you hear about this
12 following this incident?
13 A. As far as I know concerning the mosque and its destruction, once
14 we heard an explosion, and somebody said that the mosque had been
15 demolished, which I personally saw while I was passing by the mosque, and
16 I saw that it wasn't demolished. Whether there was an attempt to do that,
17 I don't know.
18 Sometime after that, we heard a powerful bomb or a powerful sound
19 during the night. And in the morning, the whole of Celinac was able to
20 see that an explosive had been planted at the mosque.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Your answer would have been yes to both parts of the
22 question, and we would have finished half a minute earlier.
23 Yes, Ms. Sutherland.
24 MS. SUTHERLAND:
25 Q. So the Celinac Municipality wasn't so safe for non-Serb residents,
1 was it, just looking at these two exhibits here? You would agree with
2 that, wouldn't you?
3 A. Well, I must tell you frankly that I didn't feel safe either, just
4 like everybody else. My neighbours, Adila and Marija, we were all - and
5 you can call them to testify to that - we were all afraid, and we felt the
6 most safe when we were together. When I said that the municipality of
7 Celinac, Celinac, and with this I meant the town of Celinac, in the
8 previous period, two Muslim-populated villages were evacuated. They went
9 to Banja Luka. And a number of those citizens resided with their families
10 in Celinac because it was rather safe. There were no massive evacuations
11 or expulsions, nor any major devastation until the very end of the war. I
12 know a large number of people from these villages who had been evacuated
13 who resided in Celinac. I saw them on a daily basis, and I socialised
14 with them.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We got the answer. It was safe, but it wasn't.
16 Let's move.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: I want to turn to a completely different topic,
18 and that is the documents that you brought with you to The Hague. They
19 are Documents DB170 to DB180.
20 Q. First of all, who asked you to bring these documents to The Hague?
21 A. Nobody. Given the fact that I've come here not to be the witness
22 either for the Prosecution or for the Defence, but to be the witness for
23 the truth, I wanted to say that the ministry of construction where I work
24 now and where I worked during the war, how it operated.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: He hasn't answered the question actually. But
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: He has, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Nobody asked you.
4 MS. SUTHERLAND:
5 Q. If you weren't asked, why did you want to bring them? You said
6 that you wanted to say that the ministry of construction, how it operated.
7 A. Yes. It operated absolutely legally in compliance with the law,
8 and that is how it works today. And if anyone should ask me, I do know
9 what the subject was -- and if anyone should ask me how it operated during
10 the war where Mr. Brdjanin was employed, that is how it worked. And the
11 documents that were presented here from unknown sources, unknown to me,
12 testify along these lines.
13 Q. Why did you pick these particular documents to show how the
14 ministry operated?
15 A. If you recall, I said yesterday that hundreds of such documents
16 are in the ministry, and only one or two of these documents were taken
17 from case loads that we resolved during the war. One refers to the
18 exchange of residential areas, one refers to rationalisation, et cetera,
19 et cetera. Well, I don't think that you can believe that there were only
20 two or three people applying to the ministry of construction for help.
21 You are free to look into the archives and records, and you can see for
22 yourself how many decisions had been taken by the ministry.
23 Q. Why these particular documents as opposed to others of the many
24 hundreds that you have told us are there?
25 A. There's nothing particular about them. I took them randomly, just
1 to illustrate that the Serbs, the Muslims, and the Croats had been treated
2 in an equal manner. Even if there are people of other nationality, there
3 was a man -- he was either Polish or an Austrian; I don't remember his
4 name. But we didn't act in the ministry according to people's names.
5 Q. I want to move to another topic. You said yesterday at page 53 of
6 the LiveNote that an incident occurred in August 1992 which you said was
7 very clearly etched in your memory. You said you believed --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. -- It was in the beginning of August when persons were leaving
10 the Celinac Municipality in buses parked outside the building, municipal
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You testified at page 55, and I quote: "Mr. Brdjanin as a
14 representative of the assembly of Republika Srpska and as a humanitarian,
15 he used his authority in favour of the Muslim population of Celinac
16 Municipality and asked the police to intervene on their behalf and
17 disperse this unwelcome gang and for these Muslims to be placed somewhere
19 Do you recall saying that?
20 A. Yes, I do, precisely that.
21 Q. So Mr. Brdjanin was a person of authority in Celinac Municipality?
22 A. Mr. Brdjanin as the deputy of the national assembly of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, after the multiparty election in 1991, a huge number
24 of votes, and he acted accordingly towards his voters, regardless of their
25 nationality. He acted as a true deputy as it was his duty to do so.
1 Q. My question was Mr. Brdjanin was a person of authority in the
2 Celinac Municipality, wasn't he?
3 A. Yes, he was a person with authority because he had been working
4 there for many years. He was a good manager, a good entrepreneur, and
5 among the citizens of Celinac from all ethnic background, he was well
7 Q. Isn't it also the fact that he was a person in authority because
8 of the positions that he held? He was a deputy in the Republika Srpska
10 A. On behalf of the Municipality of Celinac, and he was responsible
11 primarily for the voters from Celinac. This is absolutely true. Very
12 often, he voted for other parts of the republic, but he took good care
13 for -- about the welfare of the citizens of Celinac.
14 Q. It was his authority as a deputy in the RS Assembly as president
15 of the Autonomous Region of Krajina Crisis Staff, he had authority to be
16 able to intervene over the police on behalf of the Muslim population.
17 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the Crisis Staff did not exist in
18 August of 1992. It ended July 17th, so he wouldn't have had the authority
19 at this time as president of the Crisis Staff. So I object to the
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Sutherland.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: The evidence is that --
23 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'll deal with this.
24 Technically it's right, but Your Honours have heard evidence from a
25 witness who went to a meeting in August of 1992.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: In any case, the fact that he was president of the
2 Crisis Staff, did that in itself make him a man of authority in
3 Celinac Municipality? Was he looked at as a man of authority, also
4 because of that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember any dates, and I
6 don't like to remember dates, to make it quite clear.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Forget dates. But did the fact that he was
8 known to be the president of the ARK Crisis Staff, at some point in time,
9 make him look like a clown or as a man of authority?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said yesterday, and I repeat this
11 today: I don't think that Mr. Brdjanin took advantage of his position in
12 order to make this humanitarian gesture. And what I think, that is the
13 opinion shared by all the citizens of Celinac, including Muslims, and that
14 is that Mr. Brdjanin made this humanitarian gesture first of all as a
15 token of humanitarian attitude towards his Muslim neighbour. I don't want
16 at this point to speak anything else about other things. I want to speak
17 only about Celinac and the ministry in which I work. And what I'm certain
18 about is the only thing that refers to where I worked and what I know
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Was he looked -- was he perceived as a political
21 charlatan or as a man of authority, of political authority?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how people perceived
23 him. I personally saw him as a man who is good at working as the
24 president of the Executive Committee within the scope of the committee's
25 responsibility. As to what kind of politician he was, you may not believe
1 me, but I never attended any of the rallies or have I ever -- well,
2 practically we didn't have electricity for three years. We couldn't watch
3 television. We were in a kind of information blackout. And what Mr.
4 Brdjanin did publicly outside the municipality of Celinac, I cannot say
6 I didn't go to any of the rallies, and I didn't read newspapers
7 because all the newspapers were publishing untruthful information.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: You're beating around the bush and going around in
9 circles in my opinion, because you're trying to shy away from even the
10 idea proposed to you that Mr. Brdjanin was perceived as a man in power, as
11 a man of authority. What do you have to say to that? Answer the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Brdjanin was a respectable
14 person in his opportunity as a deputy and as a citizen. I deeply believe
15 that as well as many people from Celinac believe. But as from the
16 position of authority, I cannot say. I told you yesterday, I didn't see
17 Mr. Brdjanin on the day when this unpleasant incident happened that
18 provoked this incident afterwards. But from the position of his being
19 acquainted, well acquainted with his Muslim neighbours, he acted in this
20 context of these good relations, at least with the majority of them.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: You're still going around in circles.
22 Ms. Sutherland, I give him back to you. And we have got two
23 minutes before the break. How much longer do you expect you need?
24 MS. SUTHERLAND: Half an hour, maximum, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. You might as well start preparing the
1 next witness. Do you want to break now? Two minutes from now we need to
2 break. Yes. Go ahead.
3 MS. SUTHERLAND:
4 Q. You've mentioned a number of times that Mr. Brdjanin is a
5 humanitarian. What is it about him that makes him -- that makes you say
6 that he's a humanitarian?
7 A. I'll just say a few words, and that is what I know about him.
8 When he was on the Executive Committee of Celinac Municipality, whoever
9 came with any appeal to him, regardless of their ethnicity, he helped
10 them. So if you are willing to accept my claim about this case of
11 Celinac, then it is evident. When he worked at the ministry of
12 construction, and I can specifically speak about that, roughly speaking,
13 to all of us lower-ranking officers, he ordered and asked us to take care
14 that no one who comes to the ministry is rejected and denied help. We
15 complied with that even when he was away. There are living witnesses,
16 there are documents about that. And in that context, I believe that in
17 the way how he treated people who came to the ministry and how he treated
18 the citizens of Celinac, he was a humanitarian.
19 Outside of the scope of work of these organs, I was not
20 participating there, and I know nothing about that.
21 Q. And so as far as you're concerned, he's never shown any
22 discriminatory feelings towards non-Serbs at all.
23 A. At the ministry of construction, we only did jobs within the scope
24 of our responsibility. Anyone can confirm that who had contacts with the
25 ministry. Any other meetings and other things that took place did not
1 occur on the premises of this ministry, and I know nothing about them.
2 Well, anyway, the government sessions were held in Pale, and all
3 other major organs were situated in Pale.
4 Q. In respect to the Celinac Municipality --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to break now, Ms. Sutherland.
6 Actually what the witness is saying is that a husband can be held to be a
7 good husband based on what he does at home, and regardless of his conduct
9 So let's take it up from there. Think about what I have just
10 said, and you will have another barrage of questions waiting for you.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I hope you've thought about what I told you.
14 Stop beating around the bush. Stop going around in circles. Answer the
15 question straight yes, no, the way you know it. But don't give us or
16 don't answer the questions that are put to you by giving information.
17 You're not the only smart guy here, you know. I mean, it's...
18 Yes, Ms. Sutherland.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you. Could the witness be shown Exhibits
20 DB170 through DB180, the documents that he provided.
21 If Mr. Mandic could be provided with all of them at once.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it is better, yeah.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND:
24 Q. Sir, can you point out for the Court those decisions that you say
25 are signed by Mr. Brdjanin. Sir, the signature block, but those that have
1 also been actually signed by Mr. Brdjanin. And if you could just read the
2 exhibit number at the top of the page. I don't want to go into any detail
3 relating to the actual exhibit. I just need you to give the Court the
4 exhibit numbers of those documents that you say are signed by him.
5 A. Mr. Brdjanin signed the enactment number DB172B dated the 1st of
6 December 1992.
7 Q. Thank you. If you can continue.
8 A. Another enactment, DB173B, dated 28th December 1992.
9 Q. Please continue. Sorry. I should...
10 A. Subject DB175B, dated 19 December 1994.
11 DB177B, dated 16th March 1993.
12 DB178B, dated 9th December 1994.
13 DB180B, dated 2nd November 1994.
14 Q. Thank you. And Mr. Brdjanin physically signed each one of those
15 exhibit numbers that -- those documents that you have just read out, the
16 exhibit numbers of?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: I've finished with all of those documents. Could
20 the witness be shown Exhibit P1697.
21 Q. Sir, this is a newspaper article from the Washington Post. The
22 author is Jonathan Randall. The dateline of the article is the 10th of
23 February 1993. Can I take you -- can you look, please, at the paragraph
24 which starts "Bosnian Serb housing administrator Radoslav Brdjanin...," if
25 you can look please at the page numbered 0304-4494 in your language. And
1 it's the last paragraph on that page.
2 Sir, I'll read the paragraph for you: "Bosnian Serb housing
3 administrator Radoslav Brdjanin, an avowed radical Serb nationalist, said
4 he,`personally argued that those unwilling to defend [Bosnian Serb
5 territory] must be moved out', but that the Serb political leadership so
6 far had not agreed. He said he believes the `exodus' of non-Serbs should
7 be carried out peacefully, so as to `create an ethnically clean space
8 through voluntary movement.' Muslims and Croats he said `should not be
9 killed, but should be allowed to leave -- and good riddance.'"
10 Whilst you were working with Mr. Brdjanin at the ministry, did he
11 ever express any sentiments like that to you?
12 A. No. This, if Mr. Brdjanin indeed said it, and I'm not aware that
13 he did, could be an expression of political sentiments. But certainly not
14 in his position as minister. I personally did not hear him say anything
15 like that. And we never discussed it. I never wished to discuss such
17 Q. Can you look now two paragraphs down from the one I just read you,
18 read out to you, the paragraph starting, and I will read it to you --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Your microphone.
20 MS. SUTHERLAND:
21 Q. The paragraph starting: "Specifically, Brdjanin said he is
22 preparing laws to expel non-Serbs from government housing to make room for
23 15.000 Serb refugees and for Serb combatants' families. With that in
24 mind, he said, officials recently began measuring Muslim apartments to
25 ensure that each resident occupied no more than 12 to 15 square metres."
1 And these sentiments are echoed by the person you say is a humanitarian.
2 A. I am not aware of his statement. But such laws had never been
3 prepared or enacted in the ministry of construction. And as for this
4 statement, I don't know that he made it.
5 Q. Sir, I've finished with that document. I would now like you to
6 watch a short video. It's Exhibit P509.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: If the video could be played, please.
8 [Videotape played]
9 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Brothers and sisters, citizens of
10 the Krajina and all the other patriots who have come to this gathering, we
11 must not be tricked by this greatest of trickeries into believing we are
12 voting for peace or war. We are voting for the betrayal of the salvation
13 of Republika Srpska. The leftists who are offering us again to live
14 together must know that the obligation of the Serbs for the next 100 years
15 is to wipe their shoes of this non-Christian scum who are tarnishing our
17 "Moreover, it is not true that we do not know where our borders
18 lie. Our borders lie from Benkovac to Trebinje."
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Stop the video.
20 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Our borders lie from the Hungarian
21 border all the way down to Sokolac, with Belgrade" --
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Stop the video, please.
23 Q. Sir, who would be the non-Christian scum that Radoslav Brdjanin
24 was referring to in that clip?
25 A. Well, probably Bosniak Muslims, and communists, socialists.
1 Q. After viewing that videoclip, do you still say that Mr. Brdjanin's
2 a humanitarian?
3 A. This is obviously a recording made at a rally which I did not
4 attend either from the podium or from the audience. But my entire
5 testimony refers to the territory of the Celinac Municipality and Celinac
6 town. I cannot speak to anything else. These words are not nice, but I
7 have heard very few of them because I did not attend rallies, and I did
8 not follow the reporting of the media.
9 Q. I have one final question: You mentioned earlier in your
10 testimony that you didn't want to have anything to do with any of the
11 Crisis Staff, either the Krajina staff or the Celinac Crisis Staff. Was
12 this because you knew that those bodies were responsible for the crimes
13 that were committed in Celinac and within the Autonomous Region of Krajina
14 in 1992?
15 A. No. I have a very clear position on this issue, which I voiced at
16 the beginning of my yesterday's testimony. I did not belong to the
17 Serbian democratic party. I did not belong to any narrow circle of any
18 organ. I did not wish to attend their meetings. Quite simply speaking, I
19 was not a desirable member in any of them.
20 Q. Sir, you haven't answered my question. My question was why did
21 you say you didn't want to have anything to do with either the regional
22 Crisis Staff or the Celinac Crisis Staff? What was it about those bodies
23 that you didn't like?
24 A. Well, it mostly had to do with the fact that the majority of the
25 members of these bodies were from the Serbian democratic party. I have
1 never been a member of that party myself, and I have no love lost for it
3 Q. Why not?
4 A. For a very simple reason: When the multiparty system prevailed in
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina, I, as a reasonable person, realised that the
6 ruling parties, SDS, HDZ, and SDA, were based on ethnicity, and that they
7 realised this themselves, and they immediately started carrying out
8 policies which I didn't agree with and have no compassion for, which is
9 still the case today. That is the only and very simple reason. This is
10 how I conduct myself under the present system as well.
11 Q. Who did you say was carrying out these policies, the SDS?
12 A. Those policies were implemented by all national or ethnic-based
13 parties, SDS, SDA, and HDZ, each in its own territory.
14 Q. Sir, you said a moment ago that you had no love for the SDS. I
15 want you to expand on why that --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Love lost, the way it was termed.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's simply a set phrase in our
18 language. Anyway, I'm not on good terms with them primarily because, as I
19 said yesterday in the beginning of my testimony, that this party did not
20 accept me from the outset because I was not a member.
21 MS. SUTHERLAND:
22 Q. But I still don't think you've answered the question. Why did you
23 not want to have any involvement with the Crisis Staffs, either Celinac
24 Crisis Staff or the regional Crisis Staff?
25 A. Because it was made up for the most part of members of the SDS.
1 They were the majority. I don't know the exact figures, but I believe
2 they were the majority.
3 Q. It was these -- these members of the SDS who were carrying out the
4 ethnic cleansing, both in Celinac and the Autonomous Region of Krajina.
5 Isn't that true?
6 A. In the Autonomous Region of Krajina, I cannot speak to that. I
7 can only speak to the Celinac Municipality. People were moving out, and
8 you saw the minutes and the records of sessions yourself. Whether it was
9 voluntary transfer where people moved out at their own will and without
10 any incidents involved or whether they moved out because they forced, I'm
11 not in a position to say.
12 Q. Why were they leaving their homes that they had lived in for many,
13 many years of their own volition? Why would that many people want to
15 A. Well, let me tell you: I know a lot of Serbs who left that area
16 who went to live abroad or to Serbia. To cut a long story short, people
17 were running away from the war. They were running away from poor living
18 conditions. We did not have electricity for three years. We had no food
19 or detergents. And even those people who stayed on did not have an easy
20 time of it. Everybody suffered from the war and from the living
21 conditions during the war.
22 Q. It was the Muslims that were leaving because of the policies to
23 drive them out, was it not?
24 A. Most probably, yes.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I don't know that.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: One moment.
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Mr. Ackerman, I see you.
6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I have some redirect.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I looked at you. Can I know what
8 questions you want to -- go ahead. Go ahead.
9 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.
10 Re-examined by Mr. Ackerman:
11 Q. Sir, I'd like you to look at -- I'd like you to be given back
12 P1999, please. And the page I want to refer you to in your language is
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And in English?
15 MR. ACKERMAN: In English, Your Honour, it's on page 48.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.
17 MR. ACKERMAN:
18 Q. Earlier in your testimony, I asked you about a Muslim director of
19 a primary school by the name of Irfan Tetaric. There's an Irfan Tetaric
20 on this page. Is that the same person?
21 A. Yes, yes, he is.
22 Q. Now, the contention is that what's being discussed here is the
23 decision on the status of the non-Serbian population of the Celinac
24 Municipality, which is on P1998. If we look at what Mr. Tetaric says, if
25 it's referring to this decision, what he says is it will be a shock to the
1 entire Muslim population, doesn't he?
2 A. Yes, yes, if you ask me.
3 Q. Isn't that an indication that the decision has not been issued,
4 that it will be a shock but apparently has not yet been issued? Is that
5 what he's saying there?
6 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I'd ask Mr. Ackerman not to lead in
7 future in this matter.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: And you are right.
9 Mr. Ackerman, you know that -- I think you ought to rephrase the
11 MR. ACKERMAN:
12 Q. What do you think it means when he says "the decision will be a
13 shock to the entire Muslim population" with regard to whether or not that
14 decision has been issued?
15 A. Are you asking me?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. It says here in the B/C/S version: "This document is a shock"
18 which probably means that it was adopted by that time. But it also says
19 that Muslims should be allowed to move out unless they have served in the
20 enemy army. That's what it says in these minutes.
21 Q. And this is a -- Irfan Tetaric apparently is a deputy, is he, of
22 the assembly at this time. And I think we're in July or August of 1992.
23 Is he still serving as a deputy of the assembly at that time?
24 A. Irfan Tetaric said this at an assembly session, and I believe he
25 was deputy. I was not the speaker of the assembly, so I cannot say this
1 with any certainty. But I do believe that he was an assemblyman, an MP.
2 MR. ACKERMAN: All right. That's all I have, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman. I'm sure on the same page,
4 you will notice that this was the process of verification of the decision.
5 In fact, if you refer to a few lines up, you will see that the assembly
6 members were being asked to verify or not to verify a decision.
7 Anyway, do you have any questions? Do you have any questions?
8 I just have one question. Were you ever a member of the league of
9 communists or a member of the communist party?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. If you allow me just a few
11 words on this issue --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So you would be one of those non-Christian scum, a
13 member of that community, no, according to yourself?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a very good student, in the third
15 year of secondary school, I was admitted into the League of Communists and
16 continued as a member until the first multiparty elections. But I was
17 always just an ordinary member. I didn't have any other functions, not
18 even small ones like treasurer. And after that, I was never a member of
19 any other party, and I decided firmly never to become one.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Which brings us to an end and which also
21 brings me to thank you for having accepted to come over and give evidence
22 in this trial. You will now be escorted out of this courtroom by our
23 usher, who will extend to you all the assistance you require to enable you
24 to return to your home country. I thank you once more.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thank the Honourable Trial Chamber
1 for enabling me to testify because I have come to tell the truth, and not
2 to be either a Prosecution or a Defence witness. And I thank the people
3 from the Prosecution for their fair treatment and conduct of the
4 Prosecution, and I thank everybody in the Tribunal.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. And travel safely.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So, are we ready for the next witness? We deal with
8 the preliminaries at least?
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM: He's present, Your Honour. I'm ready to go
10 forward if the Court is.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's make use of these 15, 17 minutes that we have.
12 There are no protective measures, no.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: There are no protective measures, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: So we're talking of Branko Cvijic.
15 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.
16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I've noticed that, and we are taking
17 steps ourselves to question people about this, but I noticed that VWS is
18 putting our witnesses in the same witness room here together. So they
19 could speak to each other. But we have told them absolutely not to do
20 that, not to speak to each other. I think a question from the Court or
21 something like that would be --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I will do it quietly after the sitting,
23 Mr. Ackerman. I thank you for bringing this to my attention.
24 Registrar and Elena, we get to this after the sitting, need to
25 bring this... They should know better.
1 Yes, the next witness, please.
2 Mr. Ackerman, if there is any witness coming and that we need to
3 caution on our part of any rights not to answer any --
4 MR. ACKERMAN: Yeah, I'd let you know, Your Honour, if there were.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, exactly. I don't know, because I know very
6 little about the background of these witnesses.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, sir.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome to this Tribunal. You are going to give --
11 start giving evidence. We won't finish today. We finish tomorrow, I
12 hope. And before you do so, our regulations, our rules require that you
13 make a solemn declaration equivalent to an oath, that in the course of
14 your testimony, you will be telling us the truth, the whole truth, and
15 nothing about the truth. The text of the solemn declaration is being
16 handed to you now. Please take it in your hands, read it out aloud, and
17 that will be your solemn undertaking with this Tribunal.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please, take a seat.
21 You have been summoned to give evidence by the accused in this
22 case which basically means that you are going to be first examined, asked
23 a set of questions by the Defence team. Is it you, Mr. Cunningham?
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: It is, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's Mr. Cunningham who is co-counsel for
1 Mr. Brdjanin who will be examining you in chief. He will then be followed
2 by Mr. Nicholls from the Prosecution team. But that will be tomorrow, I
4 Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 WITNESS: Branko Cvijic
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Examined by Mr. Cunningham:
9 Q. Your name is Branko Cvijic, correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I'm going to ask you questions, and I would like you to listen
12 very carefully to the question I ask you, and just answer the question
13 that's asked. If we need additional explanations, additional
14 informations, additional information from you, either His Honour or myself
15 or the other lawyer when appropriate will ask. Is that fair enough? Do
16 you understand those instructions?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. I'm sorry. Could you tell us your date of birth.
19 A. I was born on the 15th of August, 1939.
20 Q. And in what municipality were you born?
21 A. I was born in a village between the municipalities of Prijedor and
22 Banja Luka. The name of the village is Krivaja.
23 Q. And in what municipality do you now live?
24 A. I now live in Banja Luka.
25 Q. And how long have you lived in the municipality of Banja Luka?
1 A. I have lived in the municipality of Banja Luka since 1972.
2 Q. I would like for you to tell the Chamber about your educational
3 background starting with where you attended secondary school; and if you
4 attended university, where, and what degrees you might have.
5 A. I finished high school in Prijedor, then enrolled and graduated
6 from the law school in Zagreb in 1964.
7 Q. Did you pass your bar exam after graduation from the law faculty?
8 A. I passed two exams. One for administration, and the other was a
9 judicial or bar exam with which in our country you can serve both as a
10 judge or as an attorney-at-law.
11 Q. Briefly, and when I say briefly, I do mean briefly, tell us about
12 your educational experience with respect to administration or
13 administrative law.
14 A. After I graduated in 1964, I got a job with the Municipal Assembly
15 of Koprivnica. It's a town near Zagreb where I worked for six years. In
16 1972 I moved back to my birthplace in Banja Luka where I worked for seven
17 years. Then I worked for nine years in a construction company. And then
18 at the Rudi Cajavec electrical company. And then again in 1991 in January
19 of that year, I was appointed secretary of the Municipal Assembly of Banja
20 Luka where I worked until 1998. In that year, I moved to a bank by the
21 name of Vojvodina Bank, with a branch office in Banja Luka, which in the
22 meantime became a highly reputable and solid bank. And the majority
23 owner, stockholder, is an LHB bank from Frankfurt.
24 Q. Okay. Stop?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we are going to have the same problem --
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM: If I might try, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: -- I would prefer if I leave the control of the
3 witness in your hands rather than me having to tell the witness you're
4 going around in circles, you're beating around the bush, you're telling us
5 a lot of information which we don't need. Try to answer the question, the
6 whole question, and nothing but the question.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Sir, please -- and I apologise for interrupting,
8 Your Honour.
9 Q. Sir, please listen to my question. It's a simple one. I just
10 wanted to know about your educational experience with respect to
11 administrative law or administration. We can talk about your employment
12 experience later, just focus on that. Did you attend a university course
13 or specialised training in the area of administrative law or
15 A. Yes, I did. These are the subjects taught at the faculty of law.
16 But I didn't pass any particular exams for working in administration.
17 Q. So in addition, I take it - and I might have the Court's
18 permission to lead briefly on this - with respect to your training in
19 municipal administration, you got that experience while serving in the
20 town near Zagreb and while working for the municipality of Banja Luka. Am
21 I correct on those two points, sir?
22 A. Yes, you are.
23 Q. I take it from your testimony you worked for the municipality of
24 Banja Luka on two separate occasions, and those two separate occasions
25 were interrupted --
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. -- Were interrupted when you worked for the construction company.
3 Correct, sir?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Listen carefully: When was the first time period when you worked
6 for the municipality of Banja Luka? What years are we talking about?
7 A. From 1972 until 1978.
8 Q. Briefly, and again I emphasise the word briefly, during that
9 six-year period from 1972 until 1978, what were your duties?
10 A. I was an expert associate for bylaws. And at one time, between
11 1974 and 1978, I was the secretary of the Municipal Assembly.
12 Q. Okay. The company that you worked for, was that a construction
13 company? And I believe you would have started that in 1979. Correct?
14 A. It was a construction company, and I got an employment there in
15 May 1978.
16 Q. And during your employment with that company, did you come to
17 know, meet, Radoslav Brdjanin?
18 A. Yes. At the time, Radoslav Brdjanin worked in one of the
19 departments of this company in Celinac. He was a technical director of a
20 small unit which was part of that bigger company.
21 Q. And since that time that you worked for that company, have you
22 remained an acquaintance, a friend of Mr. Brdjanin?
23 A. Up until 1976, I knew him. We worked in the same company. We did
24 not socialise. We didn't visit each other's homes. In 1986, we spent a
25 year in Algeria in the town Ersaf near Oran, and we got close together.
1 So when we went back to our country, we did meet more frequently than
3 Q. Now, I want to just briefly because we're going to take a break in
4 a minute, after you worked for that construction company, you went back to
5 work for the municipality of Banja Luka. Am I correct, sir?
6 A. In the meantime, I worked for three years for the Rudi Cajavec
7 company in Banja Luka, and then I went back to my job in the municipality.
8 Q. And the second term you spent with the municipality, how long were
9 you there?
10 A. Since 1991, January 1991, until 1998.
11 Q. And in those seven years or so that you spent during your second
12 term, briefly in the one minute that we have remaining, tell us your job
13 title or job titles for the municipality.
14 A. I had just one office, and that was the secretary of the Municipal
16 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honours, I think this is a good time to
17 break if the Court so wishes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
19 Sir, we have to stop here because our time limit is over. We will
20 start again or we will continue tomorrow morning -- no, this afternoon,
21 this afternoon at 3.00. I hope that give you enough time to rest a little
22 bit and have a decent lunch. And then we hope to finish with you tomorrow
23 morning. Thank you.
24 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.44 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 3.09 p.m.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham, while we wait for the witness, just
2 to put us in a position to regulate the timetable --
3 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm at a position to discuss that, Judge.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: How long do you think your in-chief will last, your
6 MR. CUNNINGHAM: If he answers my questions as he was towards the
7 end, I think I will be done in less than two hours. Mr. Nicholls and I
8 have talked about his cross-examination, and I know that this will break
9 the interpreters' hearts and the staff's heart, but he would ask to start
10 his cross-examination tomorrow. Knowing that full well he could
11 probably -- he can speak to this better I can, but the intimation I got
12 was he would be done before noon, if he started at 9.00 tomorrow with his
13 cross in the morning. And in light of the fact that we don't have any
14 more witnesses scheduled here. It's up to the Court.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: It's definitely up to the Court, but we try to
16 accommodate you as much as we can. But the understanding would be,
17 Mr. Nicholls, that you will finish the witness tomorrow.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: Most definitely, Your Honour. I guess I have
19 something over an hour, between an hour and two hours, depending on how it
20 goes. So I would definitely finish tomorrow. But if Mr. Cunningham goes
21 until sometime after 5.00, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't finish in the
22 scheduled time today.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. So let's proceed. And the understanding is
24 that you start your cross tomorrow.
25 MR. NICHOLLS: Fine, thank you.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: At 9.00.
2 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you both.
4 Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
6 Q. I again want to remind you, sir, as you were doing towards the end
7 of my examination, please listen to the question, answer directly only the
8 question that I've asked, if I need any additional information I will ask
9 for it. So thank you for direct answers towards the end of my
11 You are now working at a bank. Am I correct, sir?
12 A. Yes, you are.
13 Q. And how long have you been with that bank? How many years?
14 A. Five and a half years.
15 Q. And what is your job title at that bank?
16 A. Executive manager of the bank for legal and personnel affairs.
17 Q. I'm going to now ask you about political parties, and this
18 question has a very bad connotation in my country, but I must ask it. Are
19 you now or have you ever been a member of the communist party?
20 A. Now, I am not a member of any party, but I used to be a member of
21 the communist party.
22 Q. And were you also a member of the SDS?
23 A. Yes, I was a member of the SDS for a certain period of time.
24 Q. And what was that certain period of time?
25 A. From 1990 until 1995.
1 Q. I want to take you back to your first term with the municipality
2 of Banja Luka. During the time that you spent with the municipality of
3 Banja Luka in the 1970s, were you involved or was the municipality
4 involved in a voluntary regional association situated in and around the
5 municipality of Banja Luka?
6 A. Yes. In 1973 or 1974, the community of municipalities of Banja
7 Luka was formed made up of eight municipalities. And I was the secretary
8 of that association.
9 Q. What form was that association, was that a political body,
10 economic body? Describe that very briefly for the Court.
11 A. That was on an exclusively economic basis. That was a body that
12 coordinated economic development in the areas of member municipalities in
13 the associations so as to avoid overlapping of economic facilities, but
14 rather according to the available natural resources of each municipality,
15 and also for participating in joint projects, in road construction,
16 waterworks, electrical network. And one of the most important issues at
17 the time was the construction of the Banja Luka airport. There were no
18 political connotations to the association.
19 Q. Was this a -- which municipalities besides Banja Luka were
20 involved in this voluntary association?
21 A. Laktasi, Gradiska, Srbac, Prnjavo, Celinac, Kotor Varos, and
22 Skender Vakuf.
23 Q. I'm going to relate this association to the -- the association of
24 municipalities we saw in the 1990s, but with respect to that organisation
25 in the 1970s where you served as the secretary, could the representatives
1 from the different municipalities, could they pass a measure, a law,
2 approve a project on their own, or did they need the approval of another
4 A. I already said that we had a coordinating role. Therefore, no
5 binding enactments or laws could have been passed or bylaws or any
6 executive decisions. We only made agreements and coordinated things.
7 However, specific decisions were adopted by the respective assemblies of
8 these municipalities that were members of the association.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, one moment, before you proceed. Just for the
10 record, page 86, line 6, amongst the municipalities that the witness
11 mentioned, he also mentioned Celinac. That doesn't show up in the
12 transcript, and goes for the record on now. Thank you.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
14 Q. So just to the record is clear, sir, could a project be finalised
15 without the consent and approval of each of the Municipal Assemblies of
16 the member municipalities?
17 A. No, it was not possible.
18 Q. In the early 1990s, did you become aware of another voluntary
19 regional association of municipalities in and around Banja Luka?
20 A. Yes. In the spring of 1992, I think it was in April, an
21 Autonomous Region of Krajina was formed, and the Banja Luka Municipal
22 Assembly adopted this decision as a member of this region.
23 Q. Okay. I want you to listen again to my question because you gave
24 us a lot more information than I requested, and I'm not trying to
25 criticise you, but just try to listen and we can get done a lot quicker.
1 You've talked about the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Were you
2 aware of the association of municipalities of the Bosanska Krajina that
3 was the predecessor to that?
4 A. I cannot say exactly how it was called, but I think its name was
5 the Autonomous Region of Krajina or Bosanska Krajina. I cannot say
6 precisely, but either of the two.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'd like to have, with the Usher's assistance,
8 show you an Exhibit, P2354. I think it has already been pulled.
9 Q. You have that document in front of you. It's entitled: "Statute
10 of the association of municipalities of Bosanska Krajina."
11 A. Yes, that was the name.
12 Q. Were you aware of this organisation in the early 1990s when you
13 were in your position in Banja Luka?
14 A. I don't think that it -- the association of municipalities of
15 Bosanska Krajina existed in the 1990s. But rather, the association of
16 municipalities of Banja Luka. I don't know whether the name was this
17 because I hadn't been in the administration for a long time before that,
18 and therefore I was not very much interested.
19 Q. What I want you to do is I'd like you to turn to that page of that
20 exhibit, Exhibit 2354, that contains Article 35 because I'm going to ask
21 you questions based on your experience as a lawyer and your experience in
22 administrative matters regarding municipalities.
23 If you come -- when you find Article 35, I'd like for you to take
24 the time to read it. It's two paragraphs, and I want you to read both
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, let me just be clear for the record. This
2 isn't being offered as expert testimony I take it.
3 MR. CUNNINGHAM: It is not.
4 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And I apologise for the interruption.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I said thank you, Mr. Nicholls; thank you,
7 Mr. Cunningham, and I apologise for not having the microphone on.
8 Yes, can we have the document on the ELMO, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I start?
10 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Hold on just a second. I want to make sure
11 you've read both paragraphs.
12 Q. So my first question is have you read both paragraphs in Article
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. Earlier you told us that with respect to the association
16 that you worked for as the secretary in the 1970s, a decision was not
17 binding on that organisation unless and until the member municipalities
18 adopted it. Looking at the second paragraph of Article 35, is this second
19 paragraph consistent or inconsistent with your experience with voluntary
20 associations in the 1970s?
21 A. Yes, this paragraph 2 exactly speak of what I was telling before,
22 which means that the assemblies of these associations could not adopt
23 binding decisions that would only come into effect once they would been
24 approved and adopted by the assemblies of member municipalities.
25 Q. Okay. I'd like you to look at now at Article 1, the very, very
1 first article, and I'd like for you to see if your municipality, Banja
2 Luka, is contained within Article 1. Take the time to read it before you
3 answer, please.
4 A. Yes, I see that Banja Luka Municipality is mentioned here.
5 Q. Now, when you read Article 1, did you also see any indication
6 whether this was a mandatory or a voluntary association of municipalities?
7 A. It was an exclusively voluntary organisation.
8 Q. Okay. If you look at Article 10, I'd like for you to look at
9 that, now. Read it to yourself. And then once you're done reading, I
10 will ask you a question.
11 A. Yes, I have read it.
12 Q. Does Article 10 support your statement that this was a voluntary
14 A. Yes, it does.
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm done with that exhibit.
16 Q. When did you become aware of the formation of the Autonomous
17 Region of Krajina?
18 A. I cannot say it precisely, but when that was offered as a proposal
19 to the Municipal Assembly of Banja Luka for adoption, I was then the
20 secretary. It was put on the agenda. There was a debate by the deputies,
21 and the decision was passed.
22 Q. Would that have been close to the beginning of your term that went
23 from 1991 to 1997, or close to the end? Would it be in the early 1990s,
24 mid-1990s, or late 1990s?
25 A. In the early 1990s.
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM: If I could have the usher show the witness
2 Exhibit P81, please.
3 Q. If you'll look at the second page, above the signature block for
4 the president, it should show a date of 16 September 1991. Is that date
5 consistent with your recollection of when you became aware of the ARK or
6 the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
7 A. I cannot give you a precise answer, but I think that's correct.
8 Q. Okay. Look at Article 1 of Exhibit P81 and read that document --
9 read that article to yourself because I'm going to ask you a question
10 about that.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry to interrupt.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: I don't know if we were given -- we may have been
14 given a list.
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM: You were. We emailed it to Ms. Gustin last
17 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay, but there's no larger list now. Okay, so
18 that's the only list, because that only had three exhibits on it.
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM: There should be the new DB exhibit as well that
20 you and I talked about during the break. And if I might address him
21 directly, Your Honour, just to assist him, I think it's going to be P2330,
22 81, 2354, which we've already gone through, and 227, decision 17.
23 MR. NICHOLLS: Okay, thank you.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
25 Q. Sir, have you had a chance to read Article 1 of Exhibit P81, sir?
1 A. Yes, I have read it.
2 Q. Based on that, does this Autonomous Region of Krajina appear to be
3 a successor to the alliance or association of Bosanska Krajina
4 Municipalities that we discussed before?
5 A. I don't know anything about this decision. I have never seen this
6 language before in my life. And I don't understand and I can't comprehend
7 Article 1.
8 Q. Okay. Fair enough.
9 Now, during the time that you were in the 1990s -- you were the
10 secretary for the Municipal Assembly in Banja Luka. Am I correct?
11 A. Yes, you are.
12 Q. During the time that you were there, did you have -- you became
13 aware of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. We already know that. Now,
14 here's my question, during the time period --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. During the early 1990s, specifically during 1991 and 1992, did the
17 Autonomous Region of the Krajina have legislative power over the
18 municipalities that were members of it?
19 A. No, it did not. It never had any legislative powers; rather, all
20 the decisions taken by the AR Krajina had to be verified by Municipal
21 Assemblies. And only after that could they come into force.
22 Q. How does that compare with your experience with the voluntary
23 associations in the 1970s? Is it the same or is it different?
24 A. The practice was the same, only the time frames were different,
25 and situations were different.
1 Q. Okay. I want to talk to you about the fact that in the early --
2 in 1991 and 1992, that there were Crisis Staffs or war presidencies formed
3 in municipalities. With respect to Banja Luka, did your municipality form
4 either a war presidency or a Crisis Staff during 1991 or 1992?
5 A. In 1991, sometime in September, the war presidency of Banja Luka
6 Municipality was established. And then in April -- it was operational
7 until January 1992. Between January and April, there was nothing, and
8 then in April the Crisis Staff of Banja Luka Municipality was established.
9 Q. My questions are going to be dealing with the first war
10 presidency. Tell us again when that was formed, what month, if you can
12 A. I believe that this was either in September or October 1991.
13 Q. And were you a member of the war presidency of Banja Luka, the
14 first one?
15 A. I was not aware of the fact that I was a member. However, the
16 investigators of this Tribunal showed me a document with my name on it as
17 a member of this body in 1991.
18 Q. And did you ever attend any meetings of this body in 1991?
19 A. As for the sessions which considered issues that pertained to the
20 authorities of the assembly, I attended those sessions. I didn't attend
21 any other sessions.
22 Q. And based on the sessions that you attended, could you tell this
23 Chamber what the primary function of that first war presidency was. What
24 were they dealing with?
25 A. The main function was looking after the population and especially
1 the population of the Western Slavonia which started fleeing from that
2 area and coming into the region of Banja Luka. And also, there was an
3 immediate threat of war spreading across Bosnia and on towards
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Measures were being taken in order to prepare for the
5 normal functioning, normal life, normal provisions, normal supply of food,
6 water, and electricity, and to preserve law and order in the town.
7 Q. During the time that the first war presidency was in existence,
8 was the Municipal Assembly of Banja Luka still meeting, holding sessions?
9 A. Yes. The Municipal Assembly of Banja Luka held regular sessions.
10 I don't think that they skipped even one, so they continued working
12 Q. I want to talk to you now about the Crisis Staff. I believe you
13 testified that that was formed on or about January of 1992. Am I correct?
14 A. No. The Crisis Staff was not established in January, but in
15 April. In mid-April or in late April 1992.
16 Q. I showed you Prosecutor's Exhibit 81 which established the
17 proclamation of the Autonomous Region of Krajina, the formation of the ARK
18 16 September 1991. So obviously, the second Crisis Staff was formed
19 afterwards, after this September 1991 event. Correct, sir?
20 A. Yes. I believe that the Crisis Staff of the AR Krajina was
21 established in April. I cannot be sure of that. I believe that this was
22 in April, and that before that the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region
23 of Krajina never existed.
24 Q. I don't want you to speculate about when an organisation was
25 formed. If you're not sure, don't speculate. But let me ask you this:
1 Were you a member of the second Crisis Staff, the one that was formed in
2 April of 1992?
3 A. No. I was not a member of either the Banja Luka Crisis Staff or
4 the ARK Crisis Staff. I was not a member of any of these.
5 Q. Fair enough. Do you know someone by the name of Predrag Radic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And at this time period, in April of 1992, what was his position
8 within the Municipality of Banja Luka?
9 A. He was the president of the Municipal Assembly of Banja Luka.
10 Q. And by virtue of that position, did he become a member of the
11 Banja Luka -- the municipal Crisis Staff?
12 A. Yes. He was a member of the municipal Crisis Staff, and also its
14 Q. I take it because of your position as the secretary, that you
15 worked closely with Mr. Radic.
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. And I apologise for the interruption. What I would like for you
18 to do is very, very briefly describe to this Chamber what your duties were
19 as the president -- I'm sorry. As the secretary.
20 A. My basic duties were as follows: To prepare sessions of the
21 Municipal Assembly, to monitor the legality of its work and the decisions
22 which were proposed by the Executive Board. It was my task to study them
23 and see whether they were legal or not. I was also in charge of calling
24 the sessions, contacting the assemblymen, attending sessions, and doing
25 everything necessary to provide for the technical functioning of the
1 Municipal Assembly and its work.
2 Q. And in doing those duties, did you have a professional
3 relationship with Mr. Radic?
4 A. What do you mean by a "professional relationship"? I don't know
5 what it means. In any case, we were both civil servants, and we
6 cooperated rather closely.
7 Q. And you bring up a good point; it was a bad question. By virtue
8 of your duties, were you in daily contact during the work week with
9 Mr. Radic?
10 A. Yes. Almost daily. There were days when we didn't meet, but as a
11 rule we would meet every day.
12 Q. Now, during the course of any of these meetings or through any
13 other means, did you find out that Mr. Radic had been appointed to the
14 ARK Crisis Staff?
15 A. Yes. Mr. Radic, by virtue of his position as president of the
16 Municipal Assembly, became a member of the municipal -- of the ARK Krajina
17 Crisis Staff.
18 Q. And where did the ARK Crisis Staff hold its meeting at?
19 A. It held its meeting in the same building where the Municipal
20 Assembly of Banja Luka was; that is, in our building on the second floor
21 in a separate, rather large office.
22 Q. Did you personally, do you have the recollection of ever attending
23 any meetings of the ARK Crisis Staff?
24 A. I didn't attend any meetings.
25 Q. Based on your daily work with Mr. Radic, do you know if he ever
1 attended any meetings of the ARK Crisis Staff?
2 A. At the beginning, he did. I'm sure of that. Whether he was a
3 regular member, a regular attendant of those meetings or not, I can't tell
5 Q. Do you know if he was ever sanctioned for ever failing to attend a
7 A. I don't know whether he ever suffered any consequences.
8 Q. Did you ever have any discussions about the ARK Crisis Staff with
9 Mr. Radic? That calls for a yes or no answer.
10 A. No.
11 Q. Could you tell otherwise what his attitude was towards the ARK
12 Crisis Staff?
13 A. Well, on several occasions, I saw him being dissatisfied, even
14 outraged as he came out of these sessions. In simple words, at times he
15 was angry.
16 Q. And did he ever express to you what he was angry about?
17 A. No. It was simply not his custom to talk about the things that
18 went on at these sessions.
19 Q. I want to talk about the interaction, if any, between the ARK
20 Crisis Staff and the Municipality of Banja Luka in 1991 -- excuse me, in
21 1992. It has been suggested that the ARK Crisis Staff was the highest
22 governmental authority in the Krajina. I would like to know what your
23 perception was of the ARK Crisis Staff. Was it a competent organ that
24 could bind its members?
25 A. The Crisis Staff was not the highest organ of government in
1 Krajina. It was not even the assembly because even the assembly had to
2 submit all of its decisions for ratification to municipalities. So if the
3 assembly was not the highest body, then the Crisis Staff consequently
4 couldn't be that either. I don't know what else I should say about that.
5 Q. I want to make sure that I understand you correctly because the
6 translation reads, on line 16: "So if the assembly was not the highest
7 body, then the Crisis Staff subsequently couldn't be that either." Is
8 that what you said?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Now by your answer, you seem to be suggesting that the
11 Crisis Staff had some authority to order the member municipalities around.
12 Was that the case? Was it considered a competent organ with the ability
13 to order member municipalities around?
14 A. I personally didn't perceive the Crisis Staff in that way. The
15 Crisis Staff in Banja Luka never ordered anything to the municipality of
16 Banja Luka. It never proposed any issues for discussion. Nothing that
17 pertained to the work of the Crisis Staff was ever discussed by the
19 Q. Your answer is a little unclear, and it's because of the poor
20 question that I asked. I want you to focus in on the ARK Crisis Staff.
21 Those that either were on the Banja Luka Crisis Staff or you, that worked
22 in conjunction with members of the Banja Luka Crisis Staff, did you
23 consider the ARK Crisis Staff to be a competent organ that could issue
24 binding decisions by itself upon municipalities?
25 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm going to object at this point about the
1 question asking him to comment about what other --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It couldn't.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: -- Other members of the Banja Luka Crisis Staff of
4 which he said he was not a member, of the ARK Crisis Staff. He can give
5 his opinion, but without some foundation, I don't think he can give an
6 opinion of another Crisis Staff that he himself was not a member of.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM: If I may interject, I tried to tie it in based
8 on his dealings with the members of the Banja Luka Crisis Staff.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you're perfectly right, Mr. Cunningham. I
10 think you're perfectly right. Go ahead and answer it the question.
11 I think you've answered it already, but I don't know if it has
12 made it to the... Yeah, it has. "It couldn't," he said.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
14 Q. In your capacity as the --
15 A. I still believe that this Crisis Staff could not issue orders,
16 could not make any decisions with the effect of an order. And the
17 Municipal Assembly of Banja Luka never had any such orders issued by them.
18 Q. Did you in your capacity or based on your discussions with any
19 member of the Banja Luka Crisis Staff ever become aware of any ARK Crisis
20 Staff decisions or conclusions being considered by the Banja Luka Crisis
22 A. I never learned of any such thing. Nobody ever informed me about
23 any such thing, so I wouldn't be able to answer that question.
24 Q. In your role as secretary, would you have been reading the minutes
25 of the Banja Luka Crisis Staff? Would you have been reviewing documents
1 that had been issued by the Banja Luka Municipal Crisis Staff?
2 A. No. That was not in my purview. I didn't attend their meetings.
3 I did not need to look at their materials. They were not even accessible
4 to me.
5 Q. As far as you know, was there ever any ARK decision or conclusion
6 that was ever implemented in Banja Luka?
7 A. Not at the Municipal Assembly meeting. Whether it happened at the
8 Executive Board or the Crisis Staff, I wouldn't be able to tell you.
9 Q. But based on what you just said, at the Municipal Assembly
10 meetings, there was never anything that was adopted to the best of your
11 recollection. Correct?
12 A. That is correct.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I would like with the usher's assistance to show
14 the witness Prosecutor Exhibit 227. And I ask that it be opened to
15 decision number 17.
16 Q. Sir, I'd like for you to read that to yourself; specifically, read
17 paragraph 1. What I'd like for you to do, if you feel it necessary, read
18 all eight sections, but I'm only going to be asking you about paragraph
19 number 1.
20 A. I've read the first paragraph.
21 Q. Okay. Now, reading this document, which is the conclusion of the
22 Crisis Staff reached on 26 May 1992, in this document, it appears to me
23 that the ARK Crisis Staff declares itself to be the highest organ of
24 authority in the Krajina. Do you see that, sir?
25 A. Yes, I can see that. But the Crisis Staff could not proclaim
1 themselves to be that. It could not ascribe to itself higher authorities
2 than the assembly. I've already said that, and I reconfirm it. So to my
3 mind, this conclusion has no legal effect whatsoever. I have not seen it
4 ever before, and the Municipal Assembly of Banja Luka never received this
6 Q. Okay. Now, just because the ARK Crisis Staff says it's the
7 highest organ of authority in the ARK, did that make it so?
8 A. No. Anybody could proclaim themselves to be whatever they wanted
9 to be. But the authorities were the authorities, and it was very well
10 known who that was.
11 Q. I understand you say that you've never seen this document during
12 your tenure in 1992 with Banja Luka. But let's just assume back in 1992
13 that you would have seen this. Would this conclusion have led you in your
14 position as secretary to the assembly, would you have suddenly said
15 "oh, this is different"? Would you have recognised this?
16 A. I would say that this was nonsense, and I would go to Mr. Radic
17 and I would ask for the annulment of this thing as something that is
18 illegal, that is against the law, and that is simply impossible. However,
19 I didn't know of any such thing, so I didn't ask for any corrections or
21 Q. Okay. During the time that you were in Banja Luka, and
22 understanding that you did not attend the Crisis Staff -- the Municipal
23 Crisis Staff meetings, let me ask you this: Did the Banja Luka Municipal
24 Crisis Staff have the competence, the authority, to issue binding orders,
25 first of all, to the police?
1 A. No. No. No. It never had any competence over the police.
2 Q. With respect to, again, the Municipal Crisis Staff, would it have
3 had the competence, the authority, to issue binding orders to military?
4 A. No chance. Both the military and the police were always
5 independent at the level of the state.
6 Q. Based on your understanding of the ARK Crisis Staff, could the
7 ARK Crisis Staff somehow issue binding orders to the military and/or the
9 A. No. The ARK Krajina Crisis Staff could not issue any orders
10 either to the police or the army. And both the army and the police were
11 way above any of these two Crisis Staffs.
12 Q. When you say "way above," briefly tell us what you mean.
13 A. What I mean is that at the level of the republic, there was a
14 government. And the government had its Ministry of the Interior. So
15 nothing that pertained to the military or the police could pertain to the
16 authority of either any of the municipalities or any of the Crisis Staffs.
17 The army had its supreme command at the level of the state, and everything
18 that happened in the army went down along a vertical command line.
19 Q. I want to remind you that -- the interpreters are doing a great
20 job, but they may be struggling to stay up with you when you talk so fast,
21 so please remember to slow down a little bit if you can.
22 Some have suggested that there was a change in the law of internal
23 affairs that somehow gave the --
24 A. I apologise. I'll try to slow down.
25 Q. Let me re-ask the question. Some have suggested that there was a
1 change in the law of internal affairs that somehow empowered the Crisis
2 Staffs such as the ARK Crisis Staff to issue binding orders to the
3 military and police. And what I'd like for you to do is to look at
4 Exhibit 2330, and specifically Article 46 on the law of internal affairs,
5 and I'd like for you to look at it.
6 A. Which article, please?
7 Q. Article 46, please, sir.
8 A. I've read Article 46.
9 Q. Okay. After reading that article, based on your practice in
10 municipalities and your experience as a lawyer, does this article somehow
11 infuse the ARK Crisis Staff with the power to order either the police or
12 the military to take specific steps?
13 A. This article, 46, says that "in the foreseen situations, the
14 minister or an official authorised by the minister can issue orders."
15 However, this does not apply to either the president of the
16 Municipal Assembly or any of the Crisis Staff. It only applies to his
17 assistants and his subordinates. But always those employed by the
18 ministry of the interior.
19 Q. I'm done with that document if you want to hand it back to the
20 usher, and I'm going to change topics.
21 Before the break, sir, you told us that you worked for a
22 construction company. And during that time at the construction company,
23 you became acquainted with Mr. Radoslav Brdjanin. Do you remember that?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Did you work with him on a large construction project outside of
1 the former Yugoslavia?
2 A. Yes, in the town of Ersaf in Algeria outside the town of Oran.
3 Q. Did you work with him just one year?
4 A. Yes, one year.
5 Q. You told us that during that one year, you became friends with
6 him; am I correct?
7 A. Yes, we spent every day together, we prepared lunches, dinners, we
8 socialised, we went to the beach, et cetera.
9 Q. After that one year you spent working with him on a daily basis,
10 did you continue your friendship with him?
11 A. Yes. But just on separate occasions. We met after we had
12 returned to Yugoslavia from time to time for certain celebrations and
13 other occasions. But we didn't socialise on a daily basis, nor did we go
14 to restaurants and taverns together.
15 Q. Based on the time you spent with him on a daily basis in the
16 construction company, during those times you socialised with him after
17 that one year, in those times did you ever hear or see Mr. Brdjanin
18 express a discriminatory attitude towards non-Serbs?
19 A. No chance. 3.000 Algerians worked together with us, there were
20 workers from Split, Pancevo, Belgrade, of all ethnicities. But never,
21 ever a single incident happened on an ethnic basis.
22 Q. But what about after your return to the former Yugoslavia. Based
23 on your socialising with him during that time period, did you ever see an
24 indication of an incorrect attitude towards non-Serbs?
25 A. No, never. On the contrary. Upon his return, a Muslim and he
1 established a company together with his wife, where they worked together.
2 Other Muslims also worked there. And there was no conflict breaking out
3 on that basis.
4 Q. During the years 1991 and 1992, did you know that Mr. Brdjanin was
5 involved in municipal government in the Municipality of Celinac?
6 A. Yes, I did. He was president of the Executive Committee of
7 Celinac Municipality.
8 Q. During his tenure there, was he also an assemblyman on the
9 republic level?
10 A. Yes, he was an MP in the National Assembly of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina that was elected in the late 1990.
12 Q. All right. Now, were you aware of his relationship with the
13 Muslim population in his municipality of Celinac?
14 A. Well, I know that personally, between him or any other citizen
15 were any conflicts, even on one occasion, I heard, but I didn't witness it
16 personally, that he took part in trying to calm down the situation that
17 broke out between the Serbs and the Muslims, and that he attempted to
18 return the Muslims to the villages that they had abandoned. But that is
19 only what I heard; I didn't witness it myself.
20 Q. Let me ask you this: Assuming with me that that was the case,
21 what was the basis for his authority to do something in his home
22 municipality of Celinac? Was it his authority as an MP or something else,
23 if you know?
24 A. He was president of the Executive Committee. And at the same
25 time, he was an MP. He was born there. And he enjoyed considerable
1 authority in his place where he lived, and people respected him so.
2 Accordingly, he was able to influence relationships between people in
4 Q. Now, based on your knowledge of the area around Banja Luka in 1991
5 and 1992, your knowledge of what was happening in the Krajina during this
6 time period, do you think that his authority would translate to
7 municipalities such as Prijedor? And by my question, I mean this: Do you
8 think that Mr. Brdjanin, based on that authority, could go to Prijedor and
9 stop discriminatory acts, violent acts against the non-Serb population?
10 A. I don't think he was able to do that. He was not a known figure
11 in politics before the war, whereas on the other hand, Prijedor had a very
12 strong branch office of SDS. They had their own police; they had a
13 military unit. And I don't believe that Brdjanin could actually have an
14 influence in Prijedor, or rather that anyone would listen to him there.
15 Q. Do you think his title as president of the ARK Crisis Staff would
16 have had any effect in Prijedor or a municipality such as Krupa or Kotor
18 A. I don't think so. Maybe in Kotor Varos, maybe, because it was
19 closer to Celinac and he knew some people. But as for Prijedor or Krupa,
20 I don't think so.
21 Q. Now in your testimony just a few minutes ago, you described how
22 Mr. Brdjanin had a very correct attitude towards the Muslims that he
23 worked with, the non-Serbs he worked with. Yet, I know from reading your
24 statements given to the Prosecutor that you're aware of statements that he
25 made that are totally inconsistent with that. My question: Is you're
1 aware of those speeches, those statements made in public. Correct?
2 A. That's correct. Mr. Brdjanin, during especially election
3 campaigns, he was capable of saying anything at those public rallies. And
4 he was able, including other SDS members, virtually competing in who would
5 use more abusive language.
6 Q. Based on the Radoslav Brdjanin that you know, do you think those
7 public statements were the real Radoslav Brdjanin?
8 A. No, no. We who knew him, we would always tell him afterwards, but
9 he would just laugh and say "I didn't do that." When we quoted him, then
10 he would just wave his hand and say "oh, this is just political game." So
11 he had two faces; one was for the public, and it was really inconceivable
12 how this person could have said those things. And he had another face
13 when he was at work.
14 Q. Did you take him seriously when he made statements such as that?
15 A. Well, I just warned him whenever we met, but we didn't meet
16 frequently, that that was not good. That both I and other people who knew
17 him, we would just wave our hands and say, "he's just crazy Brdjo."
18 However, it could incite fear in other people.
19 Q. There's one final -- a couple of final areas that I want to go
20 over with you. And I'd like for you to see DB188. And this is a new
21 document that was provided to the Chamber and counsel.
22 I'd like for you to take the chance to read it. I know that I've
23 never showed it to you. But I'd like for you to read it and let me know
24 when you're done with that document.
25 Have you had the chance to look at it and read it?
1 A. Yes, I have.
2 Q. Do you recognise that document?
3 A. Yes, I do recognise it. The two that were with me, they invited
4 me, and I attended one meeting in the company called Batros Hotel Banja
5 Luka. And when I realised Mr. Jugovic wanted to dismiss a director who
6 was more skilled and professional than he was, I never went to another
7 meeting of this organ or take part in its work. Mr. Jugovic managed to
8 replace the person who was there before him, even though he was less
10 Q. Okay. Do you know whether or not the proportional representation
11 reflected in DB188, that is, workers at more organisations and enterprises
12 would be 70 per cent Serb, 15 per cent Croat, and 15 per cent Muslim, do
13 you know if that was ever -- was that achieved?
14 A. I don't know. It's not clear to me whether this has ever been
16 Q. I'm almost done with you, and I appreciate you being concise with
17 your answers.
18 I want to ask you some questions based on your knowledge of
19 Mr. Brdjanin during the time frame 1991, say, through the end of the war.
20 Were you aware of Mr. Brdjanin's attitude towards war profiteers?
21 A. Yes. Mr. Brdjanin was really a single individual who had courage
22 to speak publicly against war profiteers. However, I'm not sure whether
23 he spoke about that during the war or after the war. But I do know that
24 he did speak about that, and I watched him on TV and read about that in
25 the media.
1 Q. Different topic: Some witnesses have suggested that camps at
2 Keraterm, Omarska were common knowledge to people in Banja Luka. Let me
3 ask you, sir, you were in municipal government. Did you find out about --
4 when did you find out about these camps?
5 A. Just a correction: I was an administrative staff, secretary of
6 the Municipal Assembly. I was not in the government.
7 As for these camps, I learned about them a few days after they had
8 been established.
9 Q. What do you mean "after they had been established"? Did you find
10 out from someone in government or through the media?
11 A. I learned that through the media. Namely, all that happened very
12 swiftly, in a day or two. There were attacks on Kozarac. And I don't
13 know what actually took place there. But the fact is the Muslim
14 population from Kozarac was partly housed in those collection centres or
15 camps as you call them. So a number of them were there.
16 Q. And my last question may have been caused by what I am told is an
17 error in translation. At line 21 of page -- excuse me, line 23 of page
18 108, the answer is: "As for these camps, I learned about them a few days
19 ago -- a few days after they were established." I'm told by Mr. Vujic
20 that it's published. So I'd like to see if that's clarified, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: I suppose I can put the question to him. You've
22 understood what the problem is. Perhaps you can clarify this for us.
23 Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After I had found out about these
25 camps through the media, and it was not more than four or five days after
1 that, representatives of the International Red Cross came to Banja Luka
2 and talked with Mr. Radic, mentioning harsh conditions, specifically in
3 Omarska. Therefore, I know, and I heard it both from them and through the
5 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
6 Q. That's been cleared up. It has also been suggested that a mass
7 killing on Mount Vlasic at a place called Koricanske Stijene was a public
8 secret and all through the Krajina --
9 MR. NICHOLLS: Excuse me. I would prefer that these questions not
10 be prefaced by "there's been a suggestion that", "witnesses have said",
11 anything like that. I think he can just ask the question.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: You are right, Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I apologise. I'll rephrase the question.
14 Q. In 1992, was it a public secret that there had been a massacre on
15 Mount Vlasic at a location called Koricanske Stijene?
16 A. I didn't know about that. I had not heard of it. If it was a
17 secret, it was a secret. It was not public. I didn't know really and
18 honestly. Truly, I didn't know about that incident. And I know nothing
19 with regard to this case.
20 Q. Some final questions, and then I'll pass you to Mr. Nicholls.
21 During 1991, 1992, were the conditions such that you knew what was going
22 on in Sipovo?
23 A. No, I didn't know anything about Sipovo until 1995.
24 Q. What about Kotor Varos?
25 A. Well, Kotor Varos was a very special case. There were massive
1 forces, Muslim forces concentrated there, and there was a place there
2 called Vecici where Serbian policemen were massacred sometime in May 1992.
3 Q. Let me stop you right there, because you went a little bit too
4 far. And I'm not criticising. Here's my question with respect to Kotor
5 Varos or any other municipality: Would there be any reason for you to be
6 reading Crisis Staff minutes from other municipalities?
7 A. No, no. We never received those, nor did we know what was taking
8 place. What I'm telling you is what I learned from the media and once I
9 was present personally at the funeral of the people killed in that area.
10 MR. CUNNINGHAM: That's all the questions I have, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
12 So the agreement --
13 MR. NICHOLLS: I would prefer it, Your Honour, rather than go for
14 ten minutes and take a break, and I don't think -- I wouldn't finish
15 today. So we would have to be here tomorrow in any event. And I can
16 definitely finish tomorrow.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, it requires three hours more minus one --
18 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm not sure exactly when I finish, but I would
19 definitely finish by the normal time, I would think, probably before 1.45.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You will be here another day. And we hope to finish
21 with your testimony for sure tomorrow, after which you will be free to go
22 back home. We sat this afternoon to make sure that we would finish with
23 your testimony by tomorrow. You will have an early evening. We are going
24 to break now. And we will adjourn and resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 I
25 think in this same courtroom. I thank you all.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.22 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day of
3 October, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.