Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 22930

1 Monday, 1 December 2003

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good morning, everybody. Madam Registrar,

6 could you call the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Case Number IT-99-36-T, the

8 Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam.

10 Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow the proceeding in a language that you

11 can understand?

12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I

13 can.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And good morning to you.

15 Appearances for the Prosecution.

16 MR. NICHOLLS: Good morning, Your Honours. Julian Nicholls with

17 Joanna Korner and Denise Gustin.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And good morning to you all.

19 Appearances for Radoslav Brdjanin.

20 MR. ACKERMAN: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm John Ackerman with

21 David Cunningham and Aleksandar Vujic.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, and good morning to you. And welcome

23 back.

24 Today we have a new witness. But before we start with the new

25 witness, do you have anything to tell us, Mr. Ackerman? First of all, how

Page 22931

1 are you feeling?

2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm feeling much better. Thank you.


4 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't know if I have anything else to tell you.

5 You're hinting at something.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm concerned at the possibility of going beyond the

7 end of January to finish your case, and of course if you need to finish in

8 more -- more days to finish your case beyond the end of January, it's not

9 going to be a major confrontation, major battle with us, provided it

10 doesn't go on and on and on. So what's the position?

11 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, the current date, assuming every

12 witness comes and takes the amount of time that we've predicted

13 is -- February 12th would be our last sitting day. I think we'll finish

14 quicker than that because I think some of those witnesses won't come.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Then if that would be the case, I would like to know

16 whether you would still require -- anyway, but I prefer not to waste

17 time -- not to use the sitting time to discuss that. If necessary, we'll

18 have a short meeting on that, and that's the time you need for preparing

19 the closing statements and whatever. We go through the plan again once

20 more, but it can be done later without taking our time here.

21 The witnesses for this week, we have number 33 starting today, no?


23 JUDGE AGIUS: And you anticipate will last with

24 cross-examination -- do you anticipate a long detailed cross-examination,

25 Mr. Nicholls?

Page 22932

1 MR. NICHOLLS: I hope it's going to be short, but I don't know

2 yet. Probably a couple hours.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: How many witnesses do you have laid out for this

4 week?

5 MR. ACKERMAN: Let me look, Your Honour. We have --

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Because on paper I have three.

7 MR. ACKERMAN: One, two, three.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: On paper, I have three.

9 MR. ACKERMAN: That's what we have.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: You plan to have the first two between today and

11 Wednesday.

12 MR. ACKERMAN: The second witness will be available to testify on

13 Wednesday.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: But then what about the -- yeah, Mr. Cunningham

15 informed us of that. And the third one was scheduled to require two days

16 of testimony.

17 MR. ACKERMAN: The third one is coming in at the same time,

18 Your Honour, and will be available as soon as we finish the second one.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, but the second one was scheduled to last a day

20 and a half at least.

21 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, that may happen.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: And which --

23 MR. ACKERMAN: The third one may have to remain over the weekend.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Provided you understand that and

25 he's prepared for it.

Page 22933

1 MR. ACKERMAN: That's a possibility.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. But please do put that witness in the picture

3 straight away because I don't want long faces and witnesses do get tired.

4 MR. ACKERMAN: I know.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Especially when it starts heating up, as I can see

6 this past three.

7 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I was listening while I was ill to the

8 proceedings, Your Honour, and I recall a time when Ms. Korner complained

9 that we were having down time, and she said it would be better to have

10 witnesses stacked up waiting than have down time. That's expensive.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: On the other hand, Mr. Ackerman, I would rather

12 prefer to have a witness stay here the weekend rather than find ourselves

13 with nothing to do on a Friday. That is also very expensive.

14 MR. ACKERMAN: I was trying to avoid that, Your Honour, because

15 earlier complaints that were directed, I guess to you, that we were

16 keeping witnesses here too long --

17 JUDGE AGIUS: It's true, and the complaints are still there, but

18 we are approaching the end and I think it will be false economy if we

19 tried to work out otherwise. I don't know anyway. I mean, if it's

20 problematic for you or for the Tribunal structure, then let me know.

21 MR. ACKERMAN: I reworked the list last week, and I'm really

22 compressing people pretty tightly now. So I think we're going to have

23 people sitting here rather than people not being here.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: That's my opinion. That's why I agreed with

25 Ms. Korner's suggestion.

Page 22934

1 MR. ACKERMAN: One of the reasons, just so the Chamber will

2 understand that it might make sense to keep people over the weekend now

3 and then is because of the -- it's that season in Serbia and

4 Republika Srpska where everybody has their what they call Slavas, it's

5 their saint days. So they all bunch up right in November and December.

6 So a lot of these people are doing these huge celebrations on Saturdays,

7 and won't travel on Saturdays, and can only come on Sundays.

8 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know enough about it anyway.

9 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, that's the problem. We've run into it two or

10 three times now.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.

12 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, may I just make one inquiry about the

13 timetable. Can we go into private session.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session.

15 [Private session]

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

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15 [Open session]

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher. Any preliminaries before we bring in the...?

17 Usher, could you escort the witness into the courtroom, please.

18 MR. ACKERMAN: There was one matter that we need to go back to

19 private session for.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Then let's go back to private session.

21 [Private session]

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 22937

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14 (redacted)

15 [Open session]

16 JUDGE AGIUS: Also, we didn't hear anything, and of course being a

17 Defence witness, and the system being what it is, I was very reluctant to

18 ask any questions about the offices themselves or the premises themselves

19 because when she gave evidence, she gave information on that, and we

20 didn't hear anything from the other witness.

21 Anyway, it --

22 MS. KORNER: For the moment, let's just wait and then I'll see.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see who the next witness is.

24 There are no protective measures in place?

25 [The witness entered court]

Page 22938

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: And welcome to this Tribunal.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: You're about to give evidence, testimony, and our

6 rules require that before you do so, you enter a solemn declaration,

7 something similar and equivalent, as far as legal effects are concerned,

8 to an oath in several jurisdictions that in the course of your testimony,

9 you will be speaking the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

10 truth. The text of the solemn declaration is being handed to you now.

11 Please read it out aloud, and that will be your solemn undertaking with

12 us.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

14 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please take a chair.

16 So Mr. Vidic, let me explain to you very briefly what's going to

17 happen. You're going to give evidence now, and since you are a witness

18 called by the Defence, a Defence witness, the first series of questions

19 that will be put to you will be coming from the lawyers representing

20 Mr. Brdjanin, who is the accused in this case.

21 After that, you will be cross-examined. In other words, you will

22 be asked questions by Mr. Nicholls, I suppose, Mr. Nicholls, who is

23 appearing for the Prosecution today. And you realise that there are two

24 sides, the Prosecution and the Defence, and you are a witness for the

25 Defence. Doesn't mean to say that you're here to favour the Defence or

Page 22939

1 that you have a right to discriminate between the Defence and the

2 Prosecution. Your obligation under the undertaking -- solemn undertaking

3 that you have taken with us, made with us, is that you speak the truth and

4 you answer each question as fully and as truthfully as possible,

5 irrespective of who is putting the question to you. In other words,

6 whether it's coming from the Prosecution or from the Defence, the

7 requirement is that you answer truthfully each time.

8 This is an advice that I give to every witness that comes here.

9 And the second advice is don't try to go around in circles or give more

10 information than you are asked for. Please, in answering the questions

11 that are put to you, answer the question, the whole question, and nothing

12 but the question. And that ensures that you will be out of this courtroom

13 the earliest possible. Otherwise, you will be here for days, and I am

14 sure that everyone will get fed up, and probably foremost yourself. Okay?

15 Did I make myself understood?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman or Mr. Cunningham? Mr. Ackerman, who

18 is the lead counsel for Mr. Brdjanin will be examining you in chief.

19 Mr. Ackerman.

20 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you very much, Your Honour.

21 Your Honour, as has become our practice, I have prepared a book of

22 exhibits for the witness, and I'll ask the usher to deliver it to him.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: What I don't have, Mr. Ackerman, and that's because

24 everything arrived late, is a summary of the witness's proposed testimony.

25 You don't have it either? I don't think either of us...

Page 22940

1 Do you have it, Mr. Nicholls?

2 MR. NICHOLLS: We got it, I think, late on Thursday or Thursday

3 morning.

4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I sincerely apologise. I thought it

5 had been --

6 JUDGE AGIUS: I could understand that it could also be somewhere,

7 because the list of documents arrived this morning, and my secretary was

8 preparing everything this morning.

9 MR. ACKERMAN: I thought it had been emailed to you in the normal

10 course.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: It may well be, but everything was done this

12 morning. So yes, Mr. Ackerman, please proceed.

13 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.


15 [Witness answered through interpreter]

16 Examined by Mr. Ackerman:

17 Q. Good morning, sir.

18 A. Good morning.

19 Q. Your name is Dobrivoje Vidic?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And where do you live, Mr. Vidic?

22 A. At the moment in Banja Luka.

23 Q. Would you tell the Chamber just briefly about your educational

24 background and your highest level of education that you've attained?

25 A. I'm an architect by profession. I own a private company. Many

Page 22941

1 engineers are involved. We are a stock company. We are working on public

2 projects, and I'm also into urban planning. I plan towns and physical

3 space in general, entire areas and regions, their infrastructure, and so

4 on and so forth.

5 I completed my studies in Belgrade in the 1980s. I was always

6 involved in my profession. Well, most of the time, at least.

7 Q. Where were you living in 1991 and 1992?

8 A. 1991, 1992, I resided in a small village 50 kilometres from

9 Banja Luka. The name of the village is Prnjavor.

10 Q. In -- during that period of time, and especially directing your

11 attention to 1991, did you become involved in politics with the advent of

12 the multiparty elections that were going to be held in that period of

13 time?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did you join any particular political party?

16 A. Yes. The free democratic elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina took

17 place in 1990, in late 1990. I had a personal need to get involved in

18 politics. My greatest reason for doing so was my desire, the ideal that I

19 held. My understanding was that it was necessary to introduce democracy

20 and institutions of democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through my work,

21 through my profession, I was particularly involved with an area of

22 activity called urban planning. This area deals with urban infrastructure

23 in towns and entire countries. This is an area of study well known

24 throughout the world. It was early on that I noticed that our system at

25 the time in the socialist Yugoslavia was not like the system that was

Page 22942

1 common at the time in the world.

2 I became very interested. And this, in a manner of speaking, got

3 me involved in politics. I started studying the kind of literature

4 favouring a liberal and democratic society. I tried to obtain the right

5 books. I tried to attend international conferences and obtain the kind of

6 literature that was advocating democracy. At one point I decided I should

7 make a personal contribution to this process, and in 1992, when I think

8 back, perhaps a little naively, before I even became actively involved in

9 trying to set up a political party, I started making plans for new

10 environment, some sort of civilian society. That was my main subject of

11 study. In 1990, at least to the extent that I can still remember, my main

12 envisaged aim was to change society itself, to introduce democratic

13 institutions. Frankly, my friends and other people I knew were more than

14 anything frustrated by fear, frustrated by division along ethnic lines,

15 because the Bosnian society at the moment, the society in Bosnia and

16 Herzegovina, under its constitution was established as a state where power

17 was divided between the different ethnic groups.

18 The institutions of civil society were not functioning properly.

19 Q. I think you've gone a little beyond the question, "Did you join a

20 particular political party?" Your answer was that you did and then you

21 explained to us some of the background of your interest in politics and

22 why you got interested in politics. And -- just a minute, don't answer

23 until I ask you a question. Then I think what you were trying to do was

24 to tell us about what was happening politically in 1990 in Bosnia that

25 started causing you and others that you knew some concern. And I think

Page 22943

1 that's important, so please tell us what you were observing during that

2 time that caused you to have some concern and to feel like you should get

3 involved in politics. What was it you were seeing?

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Perhaps you can start by telling us how old you were

5 at the time. It seems you are about in your late 40s now, no?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm 50. In fact, it is my birthday

7 today. So in 1990 --

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Happy birthday.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. So in 1990, that was --

10 well, I can't really figure it out. I would be 40, in fact, 38 or 39.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, so now perhaps you can answer Mr. Ackerman's

12 question. So please tell us what you were observing during that time

13 caused you to have some concern and to feel like you should get involved

14 in politics. What was it you were seeing happening around you? That was

15 your question -- or rather, the question that was put. And try to be as

16 concise as possible, please.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Citizens were mostly frustrated.

18 They felt that democracy should put them in their own ethnic groups. That

19 was the heritage of the former system. The only important thing it was

20 felt was that politically you should approach your own ethnic group.

21 Through politics, I tried to make my contribution to democracy, but the

22 real problem was that I did not have the money. I did not have the

23 possibility to form my own party. Since the processes were going really

24 fast --


Page 22944

1 Q. Excuse me. We have interpreters who are desperately trying to

2 keep up you with and failing, I think. So please speak a little bit

3 slower and give them a chance to do their job. Because they're really

4 good, but they can't go as fast as you can.

5 A. After I became active in mid-1990, I was thinking that perhaps I

6 could form some kind of a local association which would be affiliated to a

7 strong political party which had influence throughout Bosnia and

8 Herzegovina. At that time, on the political scene, there were some strong

9 parties which were strongly polarised. They each had their own ethnic

10 group behind them, SDA, HDZ, and SDS. The opposition that remained was

11 the thinkers from the former regime, socialists who, according to my mind,

12 had highly conservative ideas, and they used democracy, or rather the

13 elections, to prevent change.

14 So my options were quite limited as to whom I should join if I

15 wanted to become active in politics. I decided, therefore, to join the

16 SDS in 1990, in July.

17 Q. All right. Now, after -- by the way, I think this is about the

18 third or fourth witness who we have had here on their birthday,

19 Your Honours, which probably defies all the odds that we could figure on

20 that.

21 So happy birthday.

22 After you joined the SDS, did you hold any positions within that

23 party during the time you were a member?

24 A. At the beginning, no. I did not have any functions until the end

25 of the elections. After that, I became the deputy in -- deputy in the

Page 22945

1 assembly. I'm not quite sure now whether I was in any kind of a

2 commission or on any kind of board. But right at the beginning, before

3 the elections, there were some political misunderstandings or conflicts

4 already.

5 Q. Did you become a member of the main board of the SDS at any point?

6 A. As far as I remember, it happened the next year after the

7 elections, in 1991. At a session to mark the anniversary of some kind, if

8 I recall correctly, it was in July 1991. I was appointed to a body of the

9 main board, although in February, this means after the elections, after I

10 was elected as a deputy to the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I had a

11 conflict with the SDS politicians at the local level. I did not agree

12 with their policy, and I was thrown out of all the bodies at the municipal

13 level, in the municipality where I lived. But the party was keen on

14 keeping me as a deputy because I was elected as such to the assembly, and

15 that is why the party tried to get me involved in their work.

16 Q. How long did you remain a member of the SDS?

17 A. From July 1990 until February 1991, or perhaps it was March. That

18 is when, at the session of the SDS in the Municipality of Prnjavor, I was

19 dismissed from all my functions. However, I continued to be a deputy in

20 the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And then I was appointed to the

21 main board of the SDS, and I attended many meetings in this capacity.

22 Q. So are you still a member of the SDS today?

23 A. No.

24 Q. When did you officially end your membership in that party?

25 A. There are some periods in which I was strongly opposed or when my

Page 22946

1 views were very much different from their views. It was in February 1991,

2 and then in December, January, or February of 1992. And in February or

3 March of 1992, I did not attend the sessions of the main board at all and

4 also, the sessions of the assembly until the fall of 1992.

5 Q. I still need to have an answer to the question of when you ended

6 your membership in SDS. Do you remember approximately what date you

7 stopped being a member?

8 A. The party did not operate in such a way that you could say I'm no

9 longer a member of the party. At one point, you were admitted to the

10 party, you became a member. And it was up to you to decide when to leave.

11 The act of dismissal was not official, but it was quite clear that I was

12 treated as a dissident by the entire party. I was treated that way all

13 the time.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: But we need to know exactly when this happened. I

15 mean, it's -- in other areas where I am familiar with, you cease to be a

16 member of a party or of an association when you signify the termination of

17 your membership, either by not paying any more and writing saying that

18 "I'm ceasing -- stopping my membership now." I mean, it's not automatic;

19 it doesn't happen just like that. In fact, if you don't usually write a

20 letter to that effect or inform them officially that you're ceasing from

21 being a member, they would still send you -- you would still be

22 responsible for the payment of the annual membership fee, et cetera,

23 et cetera. But we need to know. The whole purpose of Mr. Ackerman's

24 question was to place this within a time frame so that we know exactly

25 when you ceased to have any connections with the SDS, particularly as with

Page 22947

1 regard to your being a member of the party.

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not pay the membership fee in

3 the SDS ever. But I did not join any other party until 1994.

4 JUDGE AGIUS: Did you resign your membership? I mean, did you

5 send a letter to the SDS saying, "I am no longer a member." Never?

6 So on what basis do you maintain that you are not a member of the

7 SDS now? Because if there was never any membership being paid. How do

8 you become a member and how do you cease to become a member of the SDS?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You signed an admission form for the

10 admission to the party, and you also took part in some meetings and things

11 like that. But the very act of dismissal -- officially, I was thrown out

12 of all my functions in February or March in 1991. But as a member and as

13 a citizen, you would not be thrown out of the party. This was not how it

14 was done. I never submitted any kind of a written letter to the party

15 indicating that I was no longer --

16 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous interpretation continues] ... Is it that

17 important for you? Let's move ahead.

18 MR. ACKERMAN: I think I understand. I'll ask one more clarifying

19 question.

20 Q. There came a time when you absolutely ceased participating in any

21 activities of the SDS. I think that's what you told us. Could you tell

22 us about when that was, that you ceased SDS activity.

23 A. I have to admit that it happened on several occasions. I would

24 stop, and then I would come back. The first time when I no longer

25 attended the meetings, I was no longer an active member, I simply

Page 22948

1 withdrew, that was in 1992 in February -- January or February.

2 Q. Okay. I want to talk to you about regionalisation and ask you if

3 you had any interest in regionalisation. I think you know what I'm

4 talking about when you say regionalisation. Did you have any interest in

5 that process?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And could you tell the Chamber what it was that caused you to

8 become interested in regionalisation and what that interest entailed.

9 A. While I was a deputy in the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, I

10 noticed that the assembly could not function properly because people were

11 trying to outvote each other. The political parties in Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina were there to express solely ethnic affiliation, and there was

13 very little interest in the -- in obtaining real changes in Bosnia and

14 Herzegovina, in the civil society there.

15 I felt that my region was in a very real danger. I will now try

16 to explain to you what I mean.

17 Q. When you do that, when you explain that, try to explain it as

18 briefly and as concisely as you can. What was the danger that you

19 believed your region was in? What was that danger?

20 A. Bosnia and Herzegovina was not a state with democratic

21 institutions. The only thing that was there was the elections. It was a

22 republic which had a great deal of autonomy in Yugoslavia. It was like a

23 company that owned all its property, all its assets. It was not like in

24 democratic states where there were real owners of the property, which

25 meant that the state had owned all the factories, all the companies, and

Page 22949

1 had a great deal of power that way.

2 There was a danger that if the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina was

3 not regionalised with the kind of outvoting that was going on in the

4 assembly - we also have to know that the central government had much more

5 power than in normal democratic countries - I believe that there was a

6 danger at the time that the funds would be moved from one region to

7 another. My political idea was to launch the process of regionalisation of

8 certain areas. I was particularly interested in achieving the

9 regionalisation of the area where I lived. It was a developed part of the

10 country with a developed agriculture. And since in the Assembly of Bosnia

11 and Herzegovina, there was a long, long debate which always ended in

12 attempts to win majority by outvoting on the part of one ethnic group over

13 another, they were all trying to achieve the power to rule, to control the

14 assets of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was the essence of what they were

15 trying to achieve, not democracy. I --

16 Q. So because of this concern that you saw the events that you saw

17 happening in that regard, you became concerned, did you, about your

18 region? And I take it that would be the Krajina region. And what was it

19 you were afraid would happen in the Krajina region that got you concerned?

20 A. There were some key issues. One issue, for instance, was the

21 property of the state-owned companies. It was in all the towns, so the

22 local government would appoint directors of such companies, and through

23 them it would control the property. I think that you can all see what the

24 possible consequences are.

25 The second type of danger was to the safety of the inhabitants.

Page 22950

1 The events in Croatia were quite frustrating for the public and caused a

2 great deal of concern and fear because there was this horrible, dirty war

3 there. Many people simply wanted to feel safe. In the end, it turned out

4 that the fear was justified because those who took the functions,

5 positions in the state, was in a position to actually endanger certain

6 areas and regions.

7 Q. So based upon all of that, what, if anything, did you do regarding

8 regionalisation, you personally?

9 A. Yes. My idea was to try on a voluntary basis to find people,

10 like-minded people, and then that we would put forward first the proposal

11 for an association of municipalities, and then to establish a multiethnic

12 region which would first set up a legitimate body which could be

13 established by appointing the deputies who had already been elected from

14 all ethnic groups in the region. And then we would launch negotiations,

15 diplomatic negotiations with the government and the Assembly of Bosnia and

16 Herzegovina which, at that time, had already violated certain protective

17 institutions, protective instruments that existed in the constitution.

18 The government and the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina violated

19 the constitution and its own rules of procedure. That was the idea I had,

20 to do things on a diplomatic field, to negotiate with the government of

21 Bosnia and Herzegovina through a legitimate body which would represent all

22 the citizens in order for the work of that body not to be in violation of

23 certain international rules. In particular, the charter on civil and

24 political liberties.

25 Q. So the idea was a multiethnic association designed to protect the

Page 22951

1 economic interests of the people in the Krajina. Is that what you're

2 saying?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And did you make -- did you take any steps, then, to form that

5 organisation? Were steps taken? Were you part of it?

6 A. I first talked to my colleagues, deputies in the assembly, some

7 friends of mine, and also some people from other parties, and I got quite

8 a lot of support for this idea. A group was established following this

9 initiative of mine, but I have to admit that I did not have that much

10 influence in the SDS. I simply had to talk and try to persuade a certain

11 small number of people. But when you get things on a higher level, then

12 things either changed and things were done in a different way, and the

13 goal that I wanted to achieve was not achieved.

14 If at the beginning the idea was to establish an association of

15 municipalities, the association of municipalities was not supposed to be

16 any kind of authority, did not have to have its own government or

17 anything. The idea was to unite the municipalities and to aid them to

18 achieve some kind of an agreement so that they can then protect their

19 interests, those interests that they all had in common. The organisation

20 itself was based on the provisions of the constitution of Bosnia and

21 Herzegovina.

22 Q. All right. Now, if you will look in your book at Exhibit P160,

23 1-6-0, that's it. You have it right in front of you. That's it. It's a

24 press report that deals with the formation of the Association of Bosanska

25 Krajina Municipalities on 27 April 1991. Were you involved in that

Page 22952

1 process? Were you at that meeting? Were you involved in the creation of

2 this association on 26 April, 1991?

3 A. Yes. Yes.

4 Q. And so this association actually got formed on that date, did it

5 not?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And the association that was formed on that date, was it

8 formed - and you alluded to this just a moment ago - was it formed as a

9 voluntary association or was it formed as a level of government?

10 A. It was a voluntary organisation. It was the steering committee.

11 It was just an initiative that was launched. At the first meeting, it was

12 not clear yet. There was a bit of confusion. There were some people,

13 some deputies who were opposed to this idea. It was supposed to be the

14 first, initial meeting. There were some results. A representative of

15 this association was elected.

16 Q. If you look now at Exhibit P11, this is a report on the second

17 session of this assembly of ZOBK, as it was called. If you look under

18 item 3, I think you're going to find your name. And could you just

19 explain to the Trial Chamber what that meeting was about and what

20 you -- position you were elected to and what that position entailed, if

21 you could?

22 A. This is the first serious meeting at the cultural centre in

23 Banja Luka with representatives of the municipalities in attendance. May

24 I remind you, in every municipality, there were deputies at the local

25 level, and each municipality sent one, two, or three of its

Page 22953

1 representatives to this meeting. These representatives then helped to put

2 together an initiative to establish an association of municipalities.

3 At this meeting, there was a proposal and proclamation. Members

4 were proposed to be appointed to the executive board, Andjelko Grahovac.

5 That's when my name was put forward, too. I think it was Mr. Brdjanin, as

6 a matter of fact, who put my name forward as vice-president of the

7 executive board. I was supposed to be in charge of the economy, the

8 economic activity, as far as I remember. Yes.

9 Q. So what happened to your concept that you just explained to the

10 Chamber of a multiethnic association that could represent the Krajina in

11 negotiations with the republic? What happened to that idea? Did it get

12 carried into effect in this organisation we're just talking about here or

13 not?

14 A. Not at this precise moment, not at this meeting, nor later, at

15 least not the way I imagined it should be done. However, at the very

16 outset, I could not oppose this because any initiative to establish an

17 association of municipalities would have been a good one. Also because

18 this did not mean that any authorities would immediately be established.

19 Therefore, I simply allowed myself to follow my own ideas. Throughout the

20 work of the assembly, the idea was to set up a body that would decide on

21 its own multiethnic nature and that deputies should come from all the

22 parties, whereas here you had only the representatives of the

23 municipalities. And it all depended on who the specific municipality

24 would send to the meeting.

25 Q. Okay. I take it there did come a time when it became clear to you

Page 22954

1 that your -- that your ideas, that your dream was not going to be able to

2 become a reality. Is that true?

3 A. That's true. The reason was that even this kind of organisation

4 and association of municipalities was viciously attacked by people close

5 to the top of the Serbian Democratic Party. This was a political platform

6 in the Krajina or in the centre of Banja Luka, the centre of which was in

7 Sarajevo. You knew exactly which the people were who were attacking or

8 undermining this initiative, keeping anything from actually being

9 established. Even the work of the municipality itself was under attack

10 and did not enjoy adequate support from the top level of the SDS.

11 This affected the organisation of our work, which after a while

12 boiled down to convening sessions that were not even attended by a

13 sufficient number of members. The approach became informal, and the

14 association of municipalities was merely there to issue the occasional

15 press release, make announcements every now and then. The real power,

16 however, was exercised at municipality level. Municipalities throughout

17 Bosnia and Herzegovina were different from what they were at the time in

18 the democratic world. The municipalities in our society, as it was, were

19 the first body under the state itself, directly subordinated to the state

20 itself. They were not independent units as seems to be the tendency now.

21 The municipalities each had their secretaries in charge of legal affairs

22 who passed opinions on what was feasible and what was not. They worked

23 under state laws mainly, the laws that Bosnia and Herzegovina had

24 inherited.

25 Throughout this period, the laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina were

Page 22955

1 the ones that were enforced throughout the municipalities. Any decisions

2 by this Krajina Municipality throughout this particular period of time

3 were mostly of an advisory nature, the occasional press release, public

4 announcements, that sort of thing. And in as far as was possible, these

5 were then implemented occasionally at municipal level, wherever legally

6 feasible. However, I know from my own experience that most of those

7 decisions that were adopted under varying circumstances with no proper

8 procedure in a way that was not even serious enough. You didn't even know

9 what had been adopted. There were announcements made for the public in

10 the newspapers, but the majority of those decisions were actually illegal

11 [Realtime transcript read in error "legal"], and therefore the

12 municipalities could not implement them. The assembly did not have a

13 proper legal filter, so to speak, in order to be able to decide what was

14 legally feasible and what wasn't. Anything could have been adopted

15 because in essence there was not a single body that was there to enforce

16 these decisions.

17 Q. I'll stop you there.

18 There came a time when this association, ZOBK, transformed itself

19 into the ARK, the Autonomous Region of Krajina. Were you still involved

20 in that regional process when that happened? And I'm not asking you to

21 look at a document. I just want to know if you were involved in --

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, I will ask you -- yeah, I thought so.

24 MR. ACKERMAN: Just a moment.

25 Your Honour.

Page 22956

1 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

2 MR. ACKERMAN: Page 25, line 21, the word right there at the

3 beginning should be "illegal," not "legal."


5 MR. ACKERMAN: Page 25, line 21.


7 MR. ACKERMAN: He said: "The majority of those decisions were

8 actually illegal, and therefore the municipalities could not implement

9 them."

10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.

11 Before we go into the ARK, I mean, I'm going through this part of

12 the evidence, where did the initiative to form the ZOBK come from? Where

13 did it originate? Who took the first steps?

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure about this, but --

15 JUDGE AGIUS: [Previous interpretation continues] ... Especially

16 when you have various municipalities coming together to form something

17 like this, someone must have taken the initiative or inspired the whole.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Certainly. Certain municipal

19 circles were interested. There were conversations where this was

20 discussed months ahead of time. It's very difficult to say precisely who

21 provided the initiative. I know about my own ideas that I presented.

22 Eventually, it happened naturally. I'm not sure, however, who was the one

23 to provide the initiative. But I do know that the leaders of the SDS were

24 not keen on that. You could clearly see that at the first session in

25 Celinac when there was a heated argument. The people who were involved in

Page 22957

1 this argument were later to become very successful members of the SDS.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: But would you agree that it was a Serbian

3 initiative?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At that moment, yes.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.


7 Q. In fact, earlier, I think you said you were one of the people who

8 came up with the idea and started the discussion, weren't you?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. All right.

11 A. I also tried to contribute to the establishment of the association

12 of municipalities. My idea was to adopt a multiethnic approach. At the

13 very outset, the association of municipalities was supposed to be as the

14 municipalities themselves multiethnic. If their representatives were

15 there, it could be considered that the Krajina itself was multiethnic.

16 This was not government level yet. It was later that I thought a

17 mini-parliamentary local body could be established that could then demand

18 autonomy from the central government of Bosnia and Herzegovina through

19 negotiations.

20 Q. When you first started discussing this, I think you said you

21 discussed it with other members of the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22 Did you discuss it with non-Serb members of that assembly from the

23 Krajina?

24 A. Yes. Yes.

25 Q. And did you receive support from any of those people for that

Page 22958

1 concept?

2 A. From some, but many in Sarajevo denied me their support. In

3 Krajina itself, many were prepared to talk about it. A number of my

4 friends approved of the idea of regionalisation and believed that this was

5 feasible. However, my supporters as a rule were people who understood

6 democracy.

7 Q. Now, when you talk about your friends and your supporters, are you

8 talking exclusively about Serb friends and supporters, or was that a

9 multiethnic group of people?

10 A. It is a multiethnic group. I had many friends in my political

11 debates and negotiations who were not Serbs, who included both Croats and

12 Muslims, and those were prominent intellectuals, people very much in the

13 public eye. I can provide you with names if you like.

14 Q. All right. I'd like to go now to the formation of the

15 Autonomous Region of Krajina. And I want you to look at P80, which you

16 have there in your book, P8-0, which is the statute of the autonomous

17 region.

18 And the first part I want to bring to your attention are the two

19 articles, 10 and 11. Let me know when you've found those and had a chance

20 to look at them.

21 Now, those two articles, 10 and 11, what kind of an organisation

22 are those articles describing? Are they describing an association,

23 voluntary association, or are they describing a level of government?

24 A. These two articles are describing the possibility of the

25 municipalities joining an association on a voluntary basis only, or

Page 22959

1 leaving [Realtime transcript read in error "leading"] the association on a

2 voluntary basis. Furthermore, they state that any municipality may join

3 the association. Article 10 states this very clearly.

4 Within the Autonomous Region of Krajina, other municipalities may

5 join. Here you have it, Article 11. Freedom of association for the

6 municipalities within one calendar year.

7 Q. Was any municipality required to be a member of the association?

8 Or was any municipality prohibited from leaving the association, to your

9 knowledge?

10 JUDGE AGIUS: They are two questions pooled together. You may

11 answer yes or no to either of them, or if you want to separate them,

12 you're free to do so.

13 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, page 29, line 9, the word is not

14 "leading," but "leaving." "Leaving" instead of "leading."

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ackerman.


17 Q. Did you understand my question, or should we start over?

18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think separate the questions yourself,

19 Mr. Ackerman, because it will be easier.


21 Q. To your knowledge, was any municipality ever required to be a

22 member of the Autonomous Region of Krajina?

23 A. No. No municipality was ever required to be a member of the

24 autonomous region.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay, let's move to the next question.

Page 22960


2 Q. To your knowledge, was any municipality ever prohibited from

3 leaving the association if they had wanted to?

4 A. No. No municipality was ever prohibited from leaving the

5 association.

6 Q. All right. I now want to call your attention to Article 35 of the

7 statute.

8 And the second paragraph of Article 35 says: "Decisions and

9 conclusions of the Assembly shall become binding for the associated

10 municipalities once they have been approved by the Assemblies of

11 Municipalities."

12 Now, as a member of this association representing Prnjavor, what

13 was your understanding of the meaning of that paragraph? How did that

14 apply to your municipality of Prnjavor, to your knowledge?

15 A. Paragraph stating that the municipalities must apply these, the

16 municipalities could not apply anything that was not legal. The

17 municipalities would assume the responsibility to implement any of the

18 decisions. For example, if a municipality which was the case all the

19 time, so to speak, decisions were not implemented in any of the

20 municipalities. Very often, they were confusing, awkwardly put together.

21 They did not reflect the common interests. Therefore, the municipalities

22 did not implement those. Krajina did not have the instruments of power to

23 dissolve the assembly or to subordinate it in any legal way. Only the

24 central republic government of Bosnia and Herzegovina had the power to do

25 that.

Page 22961

1 There was no legal or physical instrument for them to do that.

2 Q. All right. The next document that I want you to look at is P95.

3 And P95 is the 10th session of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of

4 Krajina held in Banja Luka. And if you notice on the first page in the

5 agenda section, it indicates that part of the agenda is a report by you on

6 the work of the government of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. But

7 before we get to that, I would like to draw your attention to a couple of

8 paragraphs under item 2.

9 There is a report from the Banja Luka Security Services Centre and

10 a report from representatives of the JNA on one Veljko Milankovic and his

11 arrest. Were you familiar with that at the time that it occurred, the

12 arrest of Milankovic?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And if you go, then, to the next -- I think it's maybe on the next

15 page, it's when you give your report. Apparently during the giving of

16 your report, you mention a personal issue apparently that you had with

17 Mr. Milankovic when you apparently told the assembly that he even drew a

18 weapon on you as president of the SDS, a member of the BH Assembly, and

19 vice-chairman of the executive council.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Which part of Exhibit P95 are you referring to,

21 Mr. Ackerman?

22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I'm on page 2. It's on the screen.

23 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, I think page 2 may be missing from the

24 exhibit which has been --

25 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I have.

Page 22962

1 MR. ACKERMAN: I don't know how it could be missing. It's on the

2 screen.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not missing on the screen. Unfortunately what

4 we have here, Mr. Ackerman, is -- my -- at least, my P95, is I have page

5 1, and then at the back, there should be page 2, but there is page 3. So

6 page 2 is missing. That is what -- so, Madam Registrar --

7 MR. ACKERMAN: We should probably check the original record and

8 see if it's complete or not.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what we need to do anyway.

10 Anyway, please proceed, Mr. Ackerman.


12 Q. Was that the case, was that a report that you actually made about

13 your run-in with Mr. Milankovic?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Would you describe that a little bit, in a little more detail to

16 the Chamber? Did you actually have such a -- what happened? What was

17 that situation?

18 A. At that time, the frustration was great. There was a war in

19 neighbouring Croatia and paramilitary units started showing up in the

20 area. There was a great danger that the different groups would identify

21 themselves with the assembly of the Krajina and with this association of

22 municipalities. There were people walking around informally bringing with

23 them armed persons. I was not particularly active in the work of the

24 executive council as the president was, and the rest of them. But as the

25 association of municipalities itself was in disorder, which you can

Page 22963

1 clearly see from this report. The president of the association of

2 municipalities convened this meeting in an ill-prepared manner. There was

3 a lot of confusion. I was invited, and I had never been invited to any of

4 their private meetings before, although at the first meeting it was

5 decided that I would be professionally and gainfully employed, this was

6 never carried out. Four or five months went by. I was gainfully employed

7 with the municipality, but I did not attend too many of those meetings,

8 and the assembly functioned very poorly.

9 However, I did discuss the various dangers, what might happen. I

10 discussed this with the president, and he convened a meeting of the

11 assembly. I'm afraid there weren't sufficient people to have one to begin

12 with.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

14 MR. NICHOLLS: This is nonresponsive, unless I'm really missing

15 where he's going.

16 MR. ACKERMAN: You're not. I was just getting ready to interrupt

17 him.

18 Q. Maybe you didn't understand my question. My question was: Could

19 you just describe very briefly your encounter with Mr. Milankovic. What

20 was that about? How did that happen when he pulled a gun on you?

21 A. Mr. Milankovic had with him a grouped of armed persons who were

22 just going about talking about the people, and they became very dangerous

23 at one point. They were very often in the Krajina region, and they had

24 brought with them journalists who took photos of them representing them to

25 be the army, the official army of the Krajina. This was absolutely

Page 22964

1 impermissible, and someone had to say something. I happened to know that

2 man. I tried to reason with him, telling him this was no way to do it,

3 telling him there were legal police bodies, the army, the Army of

4 Yugoslavia.

5 However, in one such conversation, he threatened me with the use

6 of firearms. And that's why I summed up the courage to go to the meeting

7 of the assembly, although I myself was not sure about suggesting this to

8 the municipalities. The municipalities had their own police, but the

9 assembly of the Krajina did not have any bodies that were directly

10 subordinated to it. You needed to have consensus from the

11 municipalities. You needed to have agreement at a higher level for this

12 to be done.

13 MR. ACKERMAN: Okay, thank you.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll have a 25-minute break now. Then we will stop

15 shortly before noon. I explained last week that we have a swearing-in

16 ceremony of the new Dutch ad litem judge, and I need to be there. That

17 would replace the break we usually have at 12.30. Okay. Thank you.

18 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.

19 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Vidic, we're going to proceed. Mr. Vidic,

21 I once more would like to emphasise the importance that you try and keep

22 your answers strictly to the questions that are put to you and to be as

23 concise as possible. Otherwise, you're going to be here the rest of the

24 week.

25 Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

Page 22965

1 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you, Your Honour.

2 Q. Mr. Vidic, we're looking at Exhibit P95.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: And the understanding, Mr. Ackerman, you know that I

4 don't like to stop the witnesses. I try to avoid it as much as you can.

5 But I think we have discussed this a little bit. I wouldn't like to take

6 you by surprise if I do between now and the end of the day because I think

7 it's a bit necessary.

8 MR. ACKERMAN: Not a problem, Your Honour.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Go ahead.


11 Q. If you look under the conclusions of P95, first paragraph 2 and

12 then paragraph 3, paragraph 2 indicates that there was a discussion

13 followed by a conclusion regarding paramilitary formations. And the

14 assembly is expressing its position basically that it is -- does not

15 support paramilitary formations and that any military organisation should

16 be under the control of the JNA at that point in time. Correct?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And then finally in paragraph 3, there is a conclusion that

19 probably followed a discussion regarding the arrest of Milankovic. In

20 fact, it says that there was a lengthy debate and says the

21 Autonomous Region of Krajina fully accepted the report and supported the

22 measures and activities of the security organs of the JNA 5th Corps and

23 the Banja Luka Security Services Centre.

24 I take it that means --

25 MR. NICHOLLS: I'd like him to just ask the witness what the

Page 22966

1 witness thinks it means rather than --

2 MR. ACKERMAN: That's fine. He's correct.

3 Q. What was the position that the autonomous region was taking

4 regarding the arrest of Milankovic? Were they in favour of it or opposed?

5 A. They were in favour of his arrest.

6 Q. Now, it says that that conclusion was arrived at after a lengthy

7 debate. Do you remember what if anything Mr. Brdjanin had to say about

8 the arrest of Milankovic and his feelings about it?

9 A. I think that he agreed with the arrest and that such formations

10 could not exist within the Krajina. So I think he was in favour. He

11 agreed with this.

12 Q. Did you hear him speak in that regard at this particular meeting,

13 or did you hear him or read about his position in that regard from other

14 places?

15 A. He took an active part even in the arguments with the people who

16 were leading those armed people. Mr. Brdjanin, in fact, took the most

17 active role in bringing about this.

18 JUDGE AGIUS: "This" what?


20 Q. Bringing about this what?

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Bringing about what?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The things that are stated in the

23 conclusions. In other words, that the paramilitary formation should be

24 disarmed by the authorities and should be placed under the proper control.


Page 22967

1 Q. All right. I'm finished with that document now.

2 And I'll simply ask you this: During the year 1992, were the

3 municipalities of the Autonomous Region of Krajina bound in any way to

4 implement the decisions of the ARK Assembly? Were they required to do so?

5 A. No.

6 Q. During -- during 1992 between basically May and July, were the

7 municipalities of the autonomous region bound or required to implement

8 decisions and conclusions of the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of

9 Krajina?

10 A. In that period, the constitution and the laws were passed by the

11 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the municipalities were

12 bound to comply with the laws. There was the Official Gazette, and they

13 all had to comply with this. There were also the instructions on how to

14 work and how the crisis staffs in the municipalities were to be

15 established, if there was any danger. The legal documents quite clearly

16 indicate that the Crisis Staff of Krajina was an illegal body as far as I

17 understood it. And I think that the municipalities acted accordingly.

18 They had their own crisis staffs which were based on the appropriate laws.

19 They also applied the existing laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina which

20 provided for the establishment of crisis staffs at the municipal level.

21 Q. I'm not sure you answered my question. And let me ask it again,

22 and please listen very carefully. Between May and July of 1992, were the

23 municipalities of the autonomous region bound or required to implement

24 decisions and conclusions of the ARK Crisis Staff?

25 A. I'm not sure because I do know that some municipalities did not

Page 22968

1 implement that.

2 Q. Were the police required or bound to implement decisions and

3 conclusions of either the ARK Assembly or the ARK Crisis Staff?

4 A. No. The police was part of the ministry, and they abided by the

5 chain of command that existed in the ministry. Responsibilities -- in

6 terms of responsibilities, implementation, and the chain of command in

7 general.

8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, page 38, line 12, I'm told that the

9 witness said not "some municipalities," but "many municipalities" did not

10 implement that.

11 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I would like for the whole

12 question and answer to be given again properly. I'm not happy, not for

13 that respect, but for something else. I don't think that's what he said.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: The question -- Mr. Vidic, I'm referring you back to

15 a question that Mr. Ackerman put to you, which was the following: "I'm

16 not sure you answered my question, and let me ask it again and please

17 listen very carefully. Between May and July of 1992, were the

18 municipalities of the autonomous region bound or required to implement

19 decisions and conclusions of the ARK Crisis Staff?"

20 And you answered: "I am not sure because I do know that some

21 municipalities did not implement that."

22 Now, the first point is it's being suggested that you didn't say

23 "some municipalities," but you said "many municipalities did not

24 implement that."

25 MS. KORNER: This is my objection to some of these so-called

Page 22969

1 corrections. I would like to have the whole question please asked again

2 and the witness to give his answer without any prompting.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: So what is your answer to the question? Were the

4 municipalities of the ARK bound or required to implement decisions and

5 conclusions of the ARK Crisis Staff? What is your answer to that?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to make a comment, and I

7 apologise for that. I am not sure whether Krajina had the instruments of

8 government whereby it could operate or act in the municipalities through

9 these authorities. And pursuant to the constitution and the laws that

10 were passed, it followed that Krajina could not force the municipalities

11 to implement its decisions. Because the municipalities had the executive

12 government, and Krajina did not have the executive government. This is

13 what I base my conclusion on. And what I know, that many municipalities

14 did not implement these decisions, and they did not -- no sanctions were

15 imposed on them for this reason.

16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. You have explained about the Krajina and

17 its nonexecutive powers. But the question that Mr. Ackerman had put to

18 you in the first place referred to the Crisis Staff of the ARK and whether

19 in your opinion, having lived those days, whether the municipalities were

20 bound to follow, to observe the decisions taken by the crisis staff. That

21 was the question. And what you have given us is an answer to some other

22 question that was not put to you.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The situation was similar with the

24 crisis staffs. As far as I know and as far as I can remember, because it

25 was a long time ago, the Crisis Staff of Krajina, it seems to me - I'm not

Page 22970

1 sure - but I can say that there was a certain duplication. I'm not sure.

2 I'm not sure.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

4 MR. ACKERMAN: Thank you.

5 Q. Was the army bound to implement decisions and conclusions of

6 either the ARK Assembly or the ARK Crisis Staff?

7 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it would be better to break that up into

8 two questions.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I think you're right, Mr. Nicholls.


11 Q. Was the army bound to implement decisions or conclusions of the

12 ARK Assembly?

13 A. No.

14 Q. Was the army bound to implement decisions or conclusions of the

15 ARK Crisis Staff?

16 A. No.

17 Q. Were you aware that Radoslav Brdjanin was the president of the ARK

18 Crisis Staff? Were you aware of that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Do you know of anyone who was bound to follow the orders or

21 instructions of Radoslav Brdjanin? Was there anyone to whom he was a

22 superior that you knew of?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Mr. Vidic, thank you very much. I have no further questions.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, I think you need to start here because

Page 22971

1 otherwise it doesn't make sense.

2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: I apologise to you. Yes.

4 Cross-examined by Mr. Nicholls:

5 Q. Let me begin by asking you, sir, when were you first contacted by

6 Mr. Brdjanin's Defence team about being a witness in this case?

7 A. I don't know when it was exactly, but perhaps two or three months

8 ago. Well, there was a contact about a year ago. I'm not quite sure.

9 Q. Who made the contact about a year ago?

10 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, this may be interesting, but I have no

11 idea why this is relevant, who contacted him, when he was first contacted.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: I can't discount it as irrelevant straight away,

13 Mr. Ackerman. I'll wait and see what the answer and what the next

14 question would be.

15 MR. NICHOLLS: I can say the reason is, Your Honour, that we have

16 found out that statements have been taken in the past and that some

17 witnesses have talked earlier. We've gotten these witness summaries very

18 late. Not everything in this witness summary was covered --

19 JUDGE AGIUS: Proceed, Mr. Nicholls. Proceed.

20 MR. ACKERMAN: Let me do this, as an officer of Court and an

21 officer of this Chamber, I will never withhold a witness statement. If a

22 witness has given a witness statement, it'll be given to the Prosecution.

23 So we're wasting time to ask this person if he gave a witness statement.

24 He didn't or the Prosecution would have it.

25 MR. NICHOLLS: Well, that's very interesting, but if you could

Page 22972

1 just let me finish with my questions.

2 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, I'm objecting to it, so it's up to the Judge

3 whether you -- the Prosecutor finishes with his questions or not. I think

4 we're wasting time and it's a fishing expedition.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: We probably are, Mr. Ackerman, but I think we'll get

6 there quicker if we proceed.

7 MR. ACKERMAN: If he has some good-faith reason for his question,

8 then I don't have any objection to it. But he's just on a fishing

9 expedition, he's trying to find something. He doesn't have any suspicions

10 there even.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, go ahead.


13 Q. When you were contacted a year ago, all I want to know is did you

14 meet somebody in person and talk to them about this case, about what your

15 testimony might be? Or over the phone?

16 A. As for the testimony for Radoslav Brdjanin, there was no contact a

17 year ago. It was about some other issues which have no relevance for this

18 trial.

19 Q. What issues were those? Because you said it was a contact from

20 the Defence team, from Mr. Brdjanin's team.

21 A. Yes.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: A year ago? A year ago?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, as for the Defence of

24 Radoslav Brdjanin, it was not a year ago. It was -- I don't know exactly

25 when it was.

Page 22973

1 MR. NICHOLLS: All right.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Nicholls. One moment.

3 MR. NICHOLLS: I think it's possible that he's confused and it's

4 another Defence team.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: It could well be, but witnesses should not get

6 confused when the question is pretty straightforward. I mean your very

7 first question on cross-examination was: "Let me begin by asking you,

8 sir, when were you first contacted by Mr. Brdjanin's Defence team about

9 being a witness in this case?" And he answered: "I don't know when it

10 was exactly, but perhaps two or three months ago. Well, there was a

11 contact about a year ago. I'm not quite sure."

12 So when you mention there was a contact a year about a year ago,

13 you were mentioning it within the context of a question that was put to

14 you referring specifically to contacts made by the Brdjanin Defence team.

15 If you want to make corrections, to correct yourself, feel free to do so.

16 No one is after your blood. Don't misunderstand me.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, there was a contact that had to

18 do with other persons. But the name of Radoslav Brdjanin was not

19 mentioned at that time, a year ago.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: But was the contact made by anybody on the Defence

21 team of Mr. Brdjanin? Who was the person who contacted you about a year

22 ago? Was it a certain Mr. Peric?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

24 JUDGE AGIUS: You see. You'll get there.

25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But it had to do with testimony in

Page 22974

1 another case, for Krajisnik. I don't know. We had only one conversation

2 about a year ago.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay. It's not important for me anyway.

4 I mean, it's...

5 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.

6 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

7 Q. At the beginning of your testimony, you told us how you became

8 politically active in the early 1990s and began taking part -- well, you

9 ended up having several different positions within the SDS and various

10 assemblies. Correct?

11 A. Well, these were not functions. Until the elections, I was the

12 president of the municipal board of the SDS. Immediately after the

13 election, I no longer held that function. I was merely a deputy. Later

14 on I was involved -- I became a member of the main board as a deputy.

15 Q. And my question is before all of that, were you involved in

16 politics? Were you involved in politics as a younger man, in your 20s?

17 A. No. As a young man, no. I was over 35 when I got active in

18 politics.

19 Q. And the whole time when you began your political activities, are

20 you saying that you - Mr. Ackerman called it a dream - that you were

21 trying to build this pluralistic representative party in the Krajina?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Now, it soon became apparent to you that with the SDS in your

24 municipality, Prnjavor, that was not an acceptable position. Correct?

25 A. Well, to a certain extent, yes. But there were conflicts related

Page 22975

1 to some other issues.

2 Q. Yes, but one of the issues that was clear was that the SDS in

3 Prnjavor did not envisage itself transforming into a pluralistic

4 representative parties of all people. That's correct, isn't it?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. I'd like to show you, please, P1785.

7 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm distributing my list now, Your Honour. I

8 wasn't sure when exactly this was going to start.

9 Q. Do you have that document, sir, in your language?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, if you look at that first paragraph, the very first

12 paragraph, it talks about how this municipality, which was 72 per cent

13 Serb, 13 per cent Muslim, and then just a few Croats and others, had

14 earlier on lived in harmony. Correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And then it talks about how interethnic relations had

17 deteriorated, and you spoke a little bit about that on direct. That's the

18 fear and mistrust between ethnicities that you were talking about when

19 Mr. Ackerman was questioning you. Is that right?

20 Now, the next paragraph --

21 MR. NICHOLLS: I'm sorry, the transcript has not picked up your

22 answer. You may need to speak up a little bit.

23 Q. The last question was a very important question. This first

24 paragraph is correct, is it, it talks about the interethnic tensions and

25 mistrust which you discussed with Mr. Ackerman. Correct?

Page 22976












12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and

13 English transcripts.













Page 22977

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. This second paragraph states: "The SDS won a majority of votes in

3 the elections, but extremist tendencies predominate in the senior

4 leadership of this party where there are insufficient educated and

5 competent people. Among the Serbs, there is a tendency to divide into

6 moderate, left-leaning and extreme. This division is deepening and is

7 leading to a rift amongst the Serbs."

8 Now, this document is dated the 15th of March 1992, after you were

9 essentially kicked out of your position as president. Correct? You need

10 to answer --

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So that paragraph is correct as well, isn't it?

13 A. Yes.

14 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour --

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

16 MR. ACKERMAN: To ask if a paragraph is correct asks him to affirm

17 every word of that paragraph, and I object to it in that regard. If

18 there's some part of that that the witness says is not correct, then he

19 should be permitted to say so.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: I think that's obvious. Perhaps you can rephrase

21 your question in a sense that if there's anything in that paragraph that

22 the witness doesn't agree or disagrees with, then he should state it.


24 Q. Everything I have read to you from this document, you have

25 affirmed it and that's the truth, isn't it? What I have read out aloud to

Page 22978

1 you from this document is correct. Isn't that right? You've already said

2 that it is.

3 A. Sir, what you told me, that was what my answer referred to. But I

4 was not focussed on the text itself. I was merely listening to what you

5 were saying, and I provided an answer to your questions.

6 Q. All right. Everything -- I don't want to go through it again, but

7 the questions I asked you, the statements I read to you were true

8 statements. Correct?

9 JUDGE AGIUS: If he hasn't focussed on the paragraph or contents

10 of the paragraph, Mr. Nicholls, you have to go through it again.


12 Q. All right. Let's do this again. Read the first paragraph. You

13 told me you had read it. Read it again, please, if you didn't read it.

14 You told me you read it, I thought. But please read the first paragraph.

15 Let me know when you're done reading it.

16 A. I'm finished.

17 Q. All right. Now, this paragraph is correct, is it not, that

18 approximately 72 per cent of the population of Prnjavor were Serbs? Is

19 that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. That percentage of the population and the remaining of the

22 population prior to the multiparty elections and the breakdown lived in

23 relative harmony and peace. Correct?

24 A. That's a good question. I would even be inclined to say no.

25 Q. Wasn't Prnjavor known as "little Europe" because everybody got

Page 22979

1 along so well?

2 A. Yes, but there were often fights in the town itself, interethnic

3 fights, fights between Muslims and Serbs. Prior to that, there were

4 drastic cases like that, just before the election.

5 Q. Just before the election. But what you answered when I first

6 started questioning you, that yes, traditionally in Prnjavor the different

7 ethnicities had lived together in harmony and tolerance. Go back into the

8 mid-1980s.

9 You need to answer with your voice, sir. I see you nodding, but

10 you need to speak into the microphone.

11 A. So there was a period of harmony that was about two years before

12 the election. But if we talk about two years before the election, it's

13 still a long shot from saying that life was harmonious.

14 Q. "The SDS, Serbian Democratic Party" - look at the second

15 paragraph, please - "won a majority of votes in the elections." That's

16 true, isn't it?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. "But extremist tendencies predominate in the senior leadership of

19 this party." That was true at that time, isn't it? You spoke about that

20 even on direct examination.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. "Where there are insufficient educated and competent people" --

23 the rest of that sentence, that's true as well, isn't it? That was part

24 of the problem with the SDS party in Prnjavor.

25 A. Yes.

Page 22980

1 Q. "Among the Serbs, there is a tendency to divide into moderate,

2 left-leaning and extreme. This division is deepening and is leading to a

3 rift amongst the Serbs." That's true as well, isn't it?

4 A. Yes. Yes.

5 Q. "The fact that the leading core of the SDS is encumbered by

6 incompetence and criminal activity (smuggling weapons, aid to the Serbs,

7 and other acts through achieving citizens' rights) is a particular

8 problem." That's true as well, isn't it, that there were members of the

9 SDS involved in smuggling weapons at that time in Prnjavor?

10 A. Members, persons, people who were smuggling weapons, but you can't

11 say that this was the case with the leaders of the party. Certain

12 individuals, yes; party leaders, no.

13 Q. Individual members of the SDS were involved in smuggling weapons?

14 A. I'm not sure about that. I can't really say who specifically

15 but...

16 Q. Skip five paragraphs, if you could, go down to the sixth paragraph

17 and I think you'll see your name in it, in the second sentence. Tell me

18 when you've found that paragraph.

19 A. I'm not sure about the page numbers.

20 Q. It's page 2 in your original.

21 A. All right.

22 Q. Tell me when you've found that section.

23 A. Yes, I've found it.

24 Q. We can move on, but the paragraph I'm interested in starts:

25 "They" - still talking about the SDS throughout this section - "also

Page 22981

1 espouse a struggle against the Muslims." That's the same paragraph you've

2 got. Right? Is that the paragraph you're looking at?

3 A. Yes. Yes, that's the one I'm looking at.

4 Q. The next statement -- the next sentence states: "The cadres in

5 the party are Dragan Djuric, president and businessman, blinded

6 politically by extremism, became president in a putsch replacing

7 Dobrivoje Vidic, an architect politically inclined towards the Serbian

8 Renewal Movement, highly irresponsible, both also a national

9 representative involved in arms smuggling and the idealogue behind the

10 military formation in Kremna." Is it true that it was Dragan Djuric who

11 replaced you? You talked about being replaced earlier.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. As far as you know, is this an accurate sentence?

14 A. No.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

16 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there's a giant ambiguity here, so I

17 really object to a question about "is it an accurate sentence"? If you

18 begin with those words, "highly irresponsible," those could either apply

19 to Dragan Djuric or they could apply to Dobrivoje Vidic; it's difficult to

20 tell. But I think it's totally ambiguous in that regard.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls. I just don't agree with your

22 interpretation, Mr. Ackerman, but I won't say more to leave the witness

23 free to answer the question.

24 Mr. Vidic, I would like you to read carefully the first part of

25 that paragraph starting with the words or from the words, "they also

Page 22982

1 espoused a struggle against the Muslims." And you can end with the part

2 "and the idealogue of the military formation in Kremna." Read it

3 carefully, and then I have one or two questions to ask you so that we

4 clear this up.

5 When you have finished reading it, tell me.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've read it.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Was Mr. Djuric an architect?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I was the one.

9 JUDGE AGIUS: You are the one. Now, how is Mr. Djuric described

10 in this first sentence of this paragraph? How is he described?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Blinded by extremism, became

12 president, Djuric, that is, in a putsch replacing Dobrivoje Vidic.

13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And how are you described in that

14 paragraph, in that sentence?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As politically inclined towards the

16 SPO. This is not accurate. That was just propaganda for me, but I was

17 not politically inclined that way. Highly irresponsible, also a national

18 deputy involved in arms smuggling, and the mastermind behind the formation

19 of a paramilitary formation in Kremna. This is not true. Veljko

20 Milankovic, commander of a paramilitary formation, this is simply not true

21 because --

22 JUDGE AGIUS: When the paragraph uses the words "highly

23 irresponsible," it's referring to you, no?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: And also a national representative, it's referring

Page 22983

1 to you?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: And the allegation accusation of involvement in arms

4 smuggling is referring to you?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, here in this document.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, and also being the mastermind or the idealogue

7 behind the military formation in Kremna is also supposedly referring to

8 you?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's what it says, just that

10 it's not true.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Okay.

12 Are you happy now, Mr. Ackerman? Thank you.

13 Mr. Nicholls, please proceed.

14 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

15 Q. Veljko Milankovic's paramilitary formation was in Vucak, if I'm

16 pronouncing it correctly? Isn't that right?

17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nicholls, please.


19 Q. Veljko Milankovic's paramilitary formation was from Vucak, isn't

20 that right? They were called the Wolves from Vucak?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. So you don't agree about some of the accusations made against you

23 in this, but you do agree with this statement that you were replaced by

24 Dragan Djuric who was a Serb extremist. Correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 22984

1 Q. Now, skip forward a couple pages probably. There's a heading

2 "public security station." And the first paragraph under that heading

3 starts with the words: "This organ has 70 employees, 48 policemen..." Et

4 cetera.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. You've found that?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And it states that Milenko Savic is the chief of the SJB police

9 station. Did you know Mr. Savic?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And it states he was an economics graduate and a Serb with 17

12 years of professional experience who had held a series of leading posts of

13 responsibility in the administrative organ.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Is that true what I've -- what is stated in this sentence we've

16 just read out together?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. You agree with me that -- well, do you think that Mr. Savic was a

19 decent professional police chief?

20 A. Yes, he was.

21 Q. You were pushed out in February, allegedly, for not being amongst

22 the most extreme Serb leadership in Prnjavor. What happened to Mr. Savic,

23 say, in April 1992?

24 A. As far as I remember, he, too, faced problems. I don't know at

25 which point exactly, but he was facing problems with the same structures

Page 22985

1 as I was.

2 Q. And one of his problems was that he wasn't a member of the SDS.

3 Isn't that right?

4 A. This may have been the case, but I'm not sure.

5 Q. Well, you know that he was not a member of the SDS. Correct?

6 A. Yes, but it wasn't that important. What mattered more was

7 Mr. Savic was an old hand. Maybe he refused change. So this can be seen

8 in two ways. I'm not really sure that that was the reason. Based on this

9 example, you can't --

10 Q. Go ahead and finish.

11 A. If you look at this example, I'm not sure that he was eliminated

12 from power simply because he was not a member of the SDS.

13 Q. You agree that could have been a factor?

14 A. I do agree. This may have been one of the reasons.

15 Q. And I think you're right that it was because in part he was old

16 school and didn't agree with all the changes which may have been coming.

17 Isn't it correct that the SDS leadership felt that it could not depend on

18 him to push their programme in Prnjavor?

19 A. At the time the SDS platform was not that extremist. There were

20 still people around who were conscious of the need for a democratic

21 society. It was only later that --

22 Q. Let me stop you. You've just agreed with me that this document is

23 correct and the statements in here are correct, that extreme SDS Serbs,

24 extremist leaders were taking over or were leading the Serb party at this

25 time. You'd explained that's why you were replaced. Right?

Page 22986

1 A. Yes. Yes.

2 Q. The reason he was replaced, because he was not sufficiently

3 extreme; he would not carry out orders that were illegal. Correct?

4 MR. ACKERMAN: I would ask at this time that the witness be

5 permitted to answer the question and not interrupted. It's being asked a

6 second time, and this time I hope he'll be allowed to answer it.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls, please.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say either of these two with

9 sure and certain knowledge. I can't say for sure that this was the

10 reason. Despite the fact that I had been eliminated, chucked out of the

11 party, there were still people who could effect future change and who

12 refused to allow extremism to spread. I, too, was persistent in my

13 efforts. Naturally, I was the president of the party, after all. So in

14 answer to your question, I'm not certain about this.


16 Q. You're not certain, but you the president of the party were kicked

17 out. You're certain about that?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. So it's highly plausible, you'll grant me, that he could have been

20 pushed out for the same reasons, the reasons I've suggested to you, that

21 he was not --

22 MR. NICHOLLS: I think that's a completely fair question. He said

23 he doesn't know exactly, but based on --

24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let him answer it.

25 MR. ACKERMAN: Well, Your Honour, it's the fourth time it's been

Page 22987

1 asked.

2 MR. NICHOLLS: No, it's a different question.

3 MR. ACKERMAN: So he can say for the fourth time that he doesn't

4 know.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Answer the question, please. It is different. It's

6 being put to him in a different manner.


8 Q. You can answer the question, sir, if you remember.

9 Is it not entirely plausible based on what you know that the

10 reason that Mr. Savic was removed from his position as chief of police is

11 because the SDS felt that it could not count on him or depend on him to

12 carry out orders in the coming period, their plan for the summer of 1992?

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Now you have changed it in a way that Mr. Ackerman

14 would be right in objecting to because you have rephrased it exactly the

15 way you had phrased it before when he had given you an answer.

16 The question that I allowed you to --

17 MR. NICHOLLS: I can repeat the question exactly.



20 Q. It's highly plausible --

21 JUDGE AGIUS: You will grant me that he could have been pushed out

22 for the same reasons, the reasons that I've suggested to you, and then you

23 were interrupted. Basically it's being put to you that both you and

24 Mr. Savic were pushed off for basically the same reasons, that you did not

25 fit in.

Page 22988

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure that it was for the

2 same reasons.


4 Q. The question is that it's plausible that it was.

5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.


7 Q. The question is not that you were a hundred per cent sure, but it

8 makes sense based on what happened to you. It makes sense, doesn't it?

9 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, how many times did he have to answer

10 the same question over and over.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: This is the last time, Mr. Ackerman.

12 MR. ACKERMAN: So this time when he says he's not sure, that'll be

13 the end?

14 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you for suggesting the answer, Mr. Ackerman,

15 but the question is different. He keeps saying he's not sure exactly what

16 happened, that's not the question.

17 MR. ACKERMAN: The question is not different. He keeps saying is

18 it plausible, it's plausible isn't it? And he keeps saying I don't know.

19 How many times do we have to do this. We can stay here all day and ask

20 the same question over and over and he can give the same answer over and

21 over. Mr. Nicholls is not going to be happy until he gets the answer he

22 wants.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: You think Mr. Nicholls is going to get the answer he

24 wants?

25 MR. NICHOLLS: He says I'm not sure it was for the same reason.

Page 22989

1 That's not answering the question.

2 JUDGE AGIUS: What makes you unsure, Mr. Vidic? What makes you

3 unsure? Because at a certain point in time - look at me - at a certain

4 point in time the situation changed. You got pushed off. He got pushed

5 off. Others got pushed off. The situation changed. Why did it change.

6 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, I really hesitate to interrupt but

7 there's really no foundation for this -- for these questions. Because

8 there's not showing that he knows from the people who pushed Savic out

9 why it was they pushed Savic out. If he hadn't talked to those people and

10 learned from them why they pushed Savic out, how could he possibly give an

11 answer here that's of any value to anyone?

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ackerman, the way the witness answered the

13 question before shows that he does know or, at least, he knows more than

14 he has told us. When he was pushed to answer whether not being a member

15 of the SDS could have been one of the factors, he said yes, but he hadn't

16 said it before. It was only when he -- and then he gave us to understand

17 that there may have been other reasons one of which was belonging to

18 this -- sort of the old school. I think the witness knows more than he

19 has told us, Mr. Ackerman.

20 MR. ACKERMAN: If we want him to guess, let's just ask him for his

21 guess and let him guess.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't want him to guess. I want him to answer the

23 questions.

24 MR. NICHOLLS: I can give the foundation very simply. This was a

25 small community. We've gone through this before. This man was president

Page 22990

1 of the SDS. He was involved in the power struggle in the SDS --

2 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's not argue in front of the witness,

3 Mr. Nicholls. Rather, I insist on my own question.

4 At a certain point in time, things changed. Why did things

5 change, if you know?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After Savic, there was another man

7 who was not a member of the SDS either who assumed the same position that

8 Savic had held. Therefore, I don't think that really mattered. Perhaps

9 what mattered is that he had been good with me. I don't know.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Anyway, Mr. Nicholls, he's your witness now. But

11 let's move now.


13 Q. Let me ask you if you agree with this statement: Up to April

14 1992, and we're breaking at noon, Your Honour, is that right?


16 MR. NICHOLLS: You said before. So I'm not sure whether --

17 JUDGE AGIUS: I need two minutes to get to the President's

18 Chamber.


20 Q. Up to April 1992, there was no ethnic cleansing in Prnjavor. In

21 my view, it started officially when the war started, and that is in 1992.

22 Everybody knows this and so do I. But this did not happen in Prnjavor

23 before April --

24 JUDGE AGIUS: What are you reading from, Mr. Nicholls?

25 MR. NICHOLLS: This is from a section of the transcript, Your

Page 22991

1 Honour.

2 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, they just went ballistic if I ever did

3 anything like that.

4 MR. NICHOLLS: That is completely not true. He put to so many

5 witnesses: "Would you agree with the statement that Banja Luka became an

6 ethnic ghetto for non-Serbs" or something like that. He knows exactly

7 what I'm doing is proper. It's the same thing that he's been allowed to

8 do. I'm not identifying where this came from or what it's about.

9 MR. ACKERMAN: He's identifying that it's testimony. He's reading

10 the exact words of the testimony. Ms. Korner objected over and over and

11 you --

12 MR. NICHOLLS: That is simply a completely misleading statement by

13 Mr. Ackerman.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I see nothing irregular about this. Go ahead.


16 Q. Up to April 1992, there was no ethnic cleansing in Prnjavor. In

17 my view, it started officially when the war started, and that is in 1992.

18 Everybody knows this, and so do I. But this did not happen in Prnjavor

19 before April, or rather, I think it was May, June, July when the problem

20 in Lisnje happened. But there wasn't any ethnic cleansing up to that

21 time. There was tension, but there was not ethnic cleansing.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Shall we stop here, and he will think about the

23 question and give us an answer when we resume.

24 MR. NICHOLLS: That's fine, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. 25 minutes, please.

Page 22992

1 --- Recess taken at 11.58 a.m.

2 --- On resuming at 12.28 p.m.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Mr. Nicholls.

4 Mr. Vidic, do you need me to repeat the question to you or not?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I'm going to read out to you what I have here.

7 "Up to April 1992, there was no ethnic cleansing in Prnjavor. In my

8 view, it started officially when the war started, and that is in 1992.

9 Everybody knows this, and so do I. But this did not happen in Prnjavor

10 before April, or rather, I think it was May, June, July when the problem

11 in Lisnje happened. But there wasn't any ethnic cleansing up to that

12 time. There was tension, but there was not ethnic cleansing."

13 And we stopped here so that you could have a coffee and we could

14 attend to our duties as well. Doesn't mean to say that we did not have a

15 coffee.

16 Mr. Nicholls, your question.


18 Q. Sir, you were in Prnjavor at that time. You've heard that

19 statement which the Judge has read out to you again. Do you agree that

20 that is an accurate statement of the situation in Prnjavor during the

21 summer of 1992?

22 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there are a number of things --

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I agree with you, Mr. Ackerman.

24 MR. ACKERMAN: I think there are eight questions, I counted them,

25 in that one phrase.

Page 22993

1 JUDGE AGIUS: You are not correct in your counting. There has

2 perhaps half.

3 MR. ACKERMAN: I have no objection to the witness answering the

4 way it's phrased if he believes he can. But if he wants to answer it in

5 separate parts, he can do that, too. I don't want to be here all day.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Vidic, do you think you need to take that

7 statement bit by bit, or can you give us a straight answer taking it as it

8 is?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Part by part, bit by bit, because

10 it's quite lengthy.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.


13 Q. I can break this down. It will take a little longer, but it's

14 okay because we've got all of today and tomorrow.

15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, exactly.


17 Q. Was there ethnic cleansing in Prnjavor before April 1992?

18 A. No. I don't think so.

19 JUDGE AGIUS: So you agree with this statement insofar as that

20 goes?

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.


23 Q. It started officially when the war started, and that is in 1992.

24 Do you agree with that statement, that sentence?

25 A. Partially, but I would say no.

Page 22994

1 Q. What do you partially agree with in that statement?

2 A. The question is whether a legal legitimate intervention by the

3 police against civilians who are armed or are disturbing public law and

4 order, whether that would constitute ethnic cleansing. I am not sure that

5 at that time there were any drastic examples --

6 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop, stop. You are an educated man with a

7 university education. I take it well read, and certainly not the kind of

8 person who for the first time is hearing the phrase "ethnic cleansing." I

9 hope you're not. It just doesn't tune in, at least in my mind, how

10 someone like you with your education can get confused with a legal,

11 legitimate intervention by the police against civilians who are armed or

12 are disturbing public law and order can in any way that you may volunteer

13 to describe to us become or constitute ethnic cleansing. That's unless

14 you have a very perverted view of what ethnic cleansing is all about. And

15 I'm being very blunt with you now.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Endangering civilians and the

17 persecution of civilians, this is what I would call ethnic cleansing and

18 violating their human rights and liberties. Where there is such pressure

19 on civilians, I would refer to that as ethnic cleansing.


21 Q. Now, do you agree that that took place in Prnjavor Municipality,

22 what you just described, during the summer of 1992?

23 A. I don't know about the municipality of Prijedor, but I do believe,

24 I do say that --

25 Q. I think I got a translation error. I said Prnjavor.

Page 22995

1 JUDGE AGIUS: The transcript says Prnjavor. I wouldn't know what

2 the interpretation --


4 Q. We're only talking about Prnjavor now. Answer the question,

5 please.

6 I'm sorry, I heard Prijedor.

7 A. At that time, the situation was quite specific. The question is

8 whether the all the ethnic cleansing was conducted by the local

9 authorities. You could not say that because there was a lot of chaos --

10 Q. That was not the question.

11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Nicholls, I think I have to go back to the core

12 of this issue because the witness says within the context of ethnic

13 cleansing, trying to define it, how he understands it, and then you follow

14 up with questions, he says endangering civilians and the persecution of

15 civilians, that is what I would call ethnic cleansing, and violating their

16 human rights and liberties.

17 We have ethnic -- two words, "ethnic" and "cleansing" combined

18 together in one context. What ethnic group are we talking about here with

19 reference to Prnjavor?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Bosniaks.

21 JUDGE AGIUS: And what do you understand by cleansing?

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The pressure on them to move out.

23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right it's much more clear.

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unlawful arrests.

25 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it you're being very honest with the

Page 22996

1 Trial Chamber. Now it's clear. It has been put within the context of

2 both ethnicity and also an operation of cleansing. Moving on, so

3 Mr. Nicholls, now you can put your questions, and they will be more

4 answerable, I would say.

5 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honour. I think you're right.

6 Q. Now, having told the Chamber your understanding of that term

7 "ethnic cleansing," did that occur in the Municipality of Prnjavor during

8 the summer of 1992?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And that occurred in Lisnje village. Correct?

11 A. [No audible response]

12 Q. Thank you. I'd like to, I'm sorry, briefly go back...

13 JUDGE AGIUS: Well, I see the transcript says "no audible

14 response." It could well be -- can I ask you, Mr. Vidic, to come nearer

15 to the microphones, or perhaps usher could position the microphones in a

16 way that they can receive.


18 Q. I'm sorry, sir, I want you to be comfortable. We're recording

19 everything said here today; that's why.

20 JUDGE AGIUS: And the thing is that your answer, which I heard

21 from here, was not heard by the interpreters. So the question was you

22 were first asked: "Ethnic cleansing, did that occur in the Municipality

23 of Prnjavor during the summer of 1992?" You said yes. And then you were

24 further asked: "And that occurred in Lisnje village, correct?" I heard

25 you say yes, but the interpreters did not hear you. Do you confirm that

Page 22997

1 you said yes?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

3 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.

4 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you.

5 Q. If we could go back to P1785, the document you were looking at

6 earlier, sir.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.


9 Q. I apologise. If we could go back to P1785.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it still on the ELMO? Yes, it's still on the

11 ELMO.

12 MR. NICHOLLS: Page 4 of the B/C/S, page 3 -- although it's not

13 marked, page 3 of the English.

14 Q. Before we get to this, sir, were you ever a member - you may have

15 answered this; if you did, I apologise - of the Prnjavor municipal crisis

16 staff?

17 A. No.

18 Q. Who was the president of that crisis staff when it was in

19 existence?

20 A. I'm not sure about the name.

21 Q. Who was president -- sorry?

22 A. I don't know. I don't know.

23 Q. Who was the president of the municipality before the crisis staff?

24 A. Nemanja Vasic.

25 Q. Does that help your memory at all as to who was president of the

Page 22998

1 crisis staff, too? If it doesn't, that's fine.

2 A. Yes, I assume that Mr. Nemanja Vasic was, but it was a long time

3 ago, so I don't really remember whether he was.

4 Q. All right. If you look at page 4, it's on the -- to your right.

5 It's not in the binder. You've got it.

6 The top paragraph, if I've got it correctly, should start with:

7 "The executive committee of the municipal assembly comprises eight

8 members." Is that right, what you have in front of you?

9 A. Yes. It then states as follows: "Radivoje Radivojevic is

10 chairman." Now, is that correct?

11 A. Radivoje Radivojevic. I have to make this correction. Yes, yes,

12 that's correct.

13 Q. All right. Was he a qualified engineer, this man?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did he belong to an extreme faction?

16 A. I don't think so. He was more of a professional, professional

17 when it came to municipal affairs.

18 Q. He was a member of the crisis staff, was he not, the municipal

19 crisis staff in Prnjavor?

20 A. I'm not sure.

21 Q. You don't recall him being thrown out of his position the way you

22 were and the way chief Savic was, do you?

23 A. No, I don't remember.

24 Q. Let me ask you --

25 A. As far as he's concerned.

Page 22999

1 Q. Let me ask you to speak up a bit. Some of these questions you're

2 answering very quietly. That's fine, but we just need to make sure that

3 the interpreters can hear you.

4 Do you believe -- we can skip the phrase that he was very

5 self-seeking. To your knowledge, was he one of the people who you've

6 talked about who were involved in smuggling arms?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Now, you know he wasn't, or you don't know whether he was or not?

9 A. It's a difficult question. As far as I know, however, no.

10 Q. Okay. Well, I've got to ask: What's difficult about that

11 question? It seems pretty simple and straightforward to me. What did you

12 mean when you said that was a difficult question?

13 A. It may be true that you or somebody else know that he smuggled

14 weapons. But I don't know about that. I do not know that he did that.

15 Q. All right. I'm just curious, have you seen this gentleman

16 recently or spoken with him?

17 A. I did not see him. I haven't seen him in over a year.

18 Q. Have you talked to him in over a year -- in the last year on the

19 telephone?

20 A. I don't remember, but I do know that some time ago, perhaps a year

21 ago or so, we met about a project for his apartment. He wanted to buy an

22 apartment, and I do projects of apartments for a company. And that was

23 the only issue. His daughter came, and she also wanted to know about the

24 apartment.

25 Q. That's all right. Thank you.

Page 23000

1 Now, if you go to page 3, it will be towards, I think, the bottom

2 of the page. I'm sorry, I've got that wrong. Page 2 at the top of the

3 page. I'm sorry. It's also page 2 in English. We see "Evaluation of

4 political parties." Do you see that heading? It would be at the top of

5 page 2 in your language.

6 A. Yes. I see it.

7 Q. It begins by talking about how the SDS won a majority, and we've

8 talked about that. Later on in that same paragraph it states: "The SDS

9 leadership gathered around Dragan Djuric, Veljko Milankovic,

10 Radivoje Radivojevic, and Nemanja Vasic, and some others, publicly

11 advocate the formation of Chetnik black Trojka units. Have you read that

12 part?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Now, based on your knowledge of being former president of the SDS

15 there, were these men, Dragan Djuric, Veljko Milankovic, Radivojevic, and

16 Mr. Vasic people who, as it states here, were of the same political mind

17 who gathered together?

18 A. This would be too strong a qualification. That is not true.

19 Q. All right. I'll ask an open-ended question. You describe the

20 relationship between these men I've just asked you about. What was it

21 like in March, April, May 1992 in Prnjavor?

22 A. Mr. Nemanja Vasic and Mr. Radivoje Radivojevic were on good terms.

23 One was the president of the municipality, and the other one was the

24 chairman of the executive board. Veljko Milankovic, I know that they did

25 not like him, and he caused a great deal of problems for them. But they

Page 23001

1 did not have any options or they did not have any courage since they did

2 not have police under their control at that time, and they were just

3 setting up the civilian authorities. But I know that

4 Mr. Veljko Milankovic was causing them trouble. And I know that they were

5 not on good terms with him. But they sometimes would meet in the same

6 place.

7 Q. What would they meet with Veljko Milankovic to talk about, even if

8 their relationship was as you characterise it?

9 A. Veljko Milankovic frequented the SDS premises, or actually he went

10 there when they would meet, and he usurped the proceedings, and he would

11 disrupt their work. But I don't know whether they put him on the board

12 because they were forced to do so. But I do know that while I was the

13 president, I insisted on Veljko Milankovic, who was a person like that and

14 who did not represent any local community, that he could not be a member

15 of the SDS. I had problems because of that, but I insisted on that point.

16 While I was there, he did not have the power to decide.

17 However, when they came on board, I know that they tried to avoid

18 him. But he was active there, too. This is as much as I know.

19 Q. All right. And you weren't at those meetings, so you don't know

20 exactly what was discussed between these men. Correct?

21 A. No. At that time, I did not attend any meetings.

22 Q. You'd already been replaced?

23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ackerman.

24 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, there seems to be a fairly significant

25 transcript problem. 69/6, page 69, line 6, "they did not have any

Page 23002

1 courage" which I thought was strange when I heard it. I'm told that what

2 he said was "since they belonged to the civil authorities, they did not

3 have any police under their control at the time." I don't think the "did

4 not have any courage" appeared there at all.

5 MR. NICHOLLS: I think he said something about the police under

6 their control earlier, but I can ask the witness.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to ask the witness.

8 MR. ACKERMAN: Wait a minute, I'm told I'm wrong about that, too.

9 He did say it about the courage, but the first part where he said they

10 belonged to the civil authorities. I don't know. It's very confusing to

11 me at this point to me even.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go through it. Mr. Vidic, sometime back you

13 were asked this question: "All right. I'll ask you an open-ended

14 question. You describe the relationship between these men I've just asked

15 you about. What was it like in March, April, May 1992 in Prnjavor?"

16 And this is what we have in the transcript: "Mr. Nemanja Vasic

17 and Mr. Radivoje Radivojevic were on good terms. One was the president of

18 the municipality and the other one was the chairman of the executive

19 board. Veljko Milankovic, I know, that they did not like him, and he

20 caused a great deal of problems for them. But they did not have any

21 options and they didn't" - this is where the problem starts - "but they

22 did not have any options or they did not have any courage since they did

23 not have police under their control at the time and they were just setting

24 up the civilian authorities."

25 Does it make sense to you, or do you want to correct anything?

Page 23003

1 It's a question of transcript, it's not a question of whether you have

2 been clear or not.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's how it was. They did not

4 have -- yes, yes. I abide by what I have just said.

5 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it okay, Mr. Ackerman?

6 MR. ACKERMAN: I guess so.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's take it up, then, from where we had

8 left it before. And yes, Mr. Nicholls.

9 MR. NICHOLLS: I've lost whichever question I may have asking.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. I'll help you. I'll help you.

11 Yes.

12 Q. All right. And you weren't at those meetings so you

13 don't know exactly what was discussed between these men. Correct?

14 A. No, at the time I did not attend any meetings.

15 Q. You had already been replaced?

16 And then Mr. Ackerman interjected. And this was all being said,

17 questioned and answered in relation to Milankovic and his relationship

18 inside the group.

19 MR. NICHOLLS: Yeah.

20 Q. My point is, sir, you've described this relationship. You don't

21 really know what these men may have said to each other during their

22 meetings because you weren't present. Correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. One thing - and going through all of this again of this

25 correction - surprised me you said they didn't have any police. What

Page 23004

1 about chief of the local police there, Mr. Savic? Didn't he, in fact,

2 later on take part in arresting them?

3 A. Yes. But not then when the president of the municipality or the

4 civilian authorities wanted it, when there is a certain consensus, when

5 you get the support of the higher superior ranks of the -- actually

6 superior organs of the police.

7 Q. Okay. So there needed to be a consensus in the superior organs of

8 the police that it was necessary to arrest Mr. Milankovic? Is that what

9 you're saying? I think that's what you just said, isn't it?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Well, who were the superior organs of the police who at that

12 time - we're talking about March, April - did not think it was yet ripe to

13 arrest Mr. Milankovic?

14 A. Under the ministry of police, which was centralised, down to the

15 ministry of police --

16 Q. Sorry, sir, you're whispering, at least that's what it sounds like

17 to me. If you could just speak a little bit louder.

18 A. Police had the chain of command for certain things, and it was

19 under the ministry of police. The AR Krajina could not influence the

20 police, only the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina which passed its

21 constitution and laws on the Ministry of the Interior could do that. They

22 set up the whole structure, and they appointed people at the higher levels

23 of the police.

24 Q. And so you're saying that the people at the highest level of the

25 police had not reached a consensus or did not want Veljko Milankovic

Page 23005

1 arrested. Is that right?

2 A. No. That's not what I mean. The events happened quite fast.

3 Veljko Milankovic was not the only person causing trouble. There were

4 other similar groups, and trying to enter the fray with such groups was a

5 dangerous thing at the time. And that is why there had to be

6 collaboration with the superior organs and throughout the whole

7 organisation in such actions because it was not a question of just this

8 one man, Veljko Milankovic, but of all the people that he had, his men,

9 who were all over the place.

10 Q. Could you look at P82, please. Now, what I'd like you to do, you

11 can skip the cover letter which is signed "Stojan Zupljanin" and go to the

12 report on the activity of the armed groups of the centre's territory.

13 Have you found that?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Now, I've got just a few questions about this, but I'd like you if

16 you could to just read from the report pages 1, 2, and 3. Sorry, that

17 will take a moment, but I'm going to ask you some questions about it. I

18 want to make sure you've read it.

19 A. My apologies. The paragraphs, not the pages?

20 Q. No, the first three pages which describe the activities of

21 Veljko Milankovic and his group.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: While he reads, what's your question going to be?

23 Because knowing that, I would see whether it's necessary for the witness

24 to read first three pages.

25 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, and I wouldn't want --

Page 23006

1 JUDGE AGIUS: And then get Mr. Ackerman stand up, object, and we

2 have to go straight to the first sentence. So let's see what's cooking.

3 MR. NICHOLLS: I wouldn't want to go line by line, but what I

4 wanted to see if he agrees, if he remembers these incidents that are

5 described here, these activities by Milankovic's group, and the

6 individuals involved on the scale of the problem in Prnjavor. I thought

7 it might be easier if he --

8 JUDGE AGIUS: Maybe you are right. So Mr. Vidic, go ahead, read

9 the three pages. And when you are ready, let me know.

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I've finished the first

11 three pages.

12 MR. NICHOLLS: All right. And I hope --

13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the President, please.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: I would suggest that you be very articulate about

15 your questions.

16 MR. NICHOLLS: I will try to be, Your Honour, and try not to cause

17 Mr. Ackerman any concern.

18 Q. Having read that document, has that helped you in any way to

19 refresh your memory about the activities of Veljko Milankovic and his men

20 in 1991 and 1992?

21 A. Yes, it has.

22 Q. Do you agree that it was in July or thereabouts in 1991 that this

23 group led by Milankovic came to Prnjavor from Knin? You correct me if

24 it's a different time.

25 A. Yes. I'm not sure about the month, but it was in that period.

Page 23007

1 Q. They came -- well, first of all, Veljko Milankovic was well known

2 in Prnjavor before the war, before these ethnic tensions. Correct?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. He was known as a notorious criminal?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. He went to Knin for training, military training?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Who sent him to Knin for that training?

9 A. At that time, they requested volunteers from Knin, the municipal

10 authorities in Knin requested humanitarian aid. They requested people to

11 come over. People started reporting. He owned a bus. In fact, he owned

12 a private company. They ran buses, and he used this bus to collect people

13 and drive them to Knin. That's what I know about it.

14 Q. All right. Back up a second. You just agreed with me that

15 Veljko Milankovic went to Knin for military training. He was not just

16 running some kind of taxi service. Correct?

17 A. No, no. He left, that's at least what I learned, only to provide

18 taxi service. However, once he reached Knin, he reported and stayed.

19 Q. And he received --

20 JUDGE AGIUS: The question is, still I don't know how many lines

21 later, we're still pretty much confused.

22 Mr. Vidic, Mr. Nicholls asked you a question some time back. He

23 said, referring to Milankovic, he went to Knin for training, military

24 training. And you said yes. That was your answer. Then he asked you,

25 who sent him to Knin for that training? And you have been telling us

Page 23008

1 about buses, taxis, transporting people. Could you please now tell us

2 whether you know who sent him to Knin for that military training? Because

3 that's what we want to know.

4 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, he answered that. He said there was a

5 volunteer request, and he was a volunteer.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: No, he hasn't answered it in any way, Mr. Ackerman.

7 I'm not stupid, Mr. Ackerman. Read it all from beginning to end, and you

8 will see that he has been trying to answer everything except that.

9 MR. ACKERMAN: I respectfully disagree. Lines 8 through 12 are a

10 pretty clear answer to that question. They called for volunteers, and he

11 volunteered and went and took his bus.

12 JUDGE AGIUS: Military training.

13 MR. ACKERMAN: He answered it.

14 JUDGE AGIUS: No, it's not --

15 MR. ACKERMAN: He's not playing around it, he answered it. Look

16 at lines 8 through 12, Judge. I think you just didn't hear it.

17 JUDGE AGIUS: No. Mr. Ackerman, it's completely different. Let's

18 go through it bit by bit if you want.

19 "Who sent him to Knin for that training?" And he said: "At that

20 time, they requested volunteers from Knin. The municipal authorities in

21 Knin requested humanitarian aid." And that's what he responded to,

22 according to the witness. He had a bus, and he started using that bus by

23 taking people to Knin.

24 MR. ACKERMAN: I think what he said was among the things they

25 requested was humanitarian aid.

Page 23009

1 JUDGE AGIUS: The question before was who sent him to Knin for

2 that training, the military training? And that's the answer I want to

3 that question.

4 MR. ACKERMAN: I think his answer is pretty clear. Nobody did, he

5 went as a volunteer.

6 JUDGE AGIUS: That's enough, Mr. Ackerman.

7 You have acknowledged already that Milankovic went or undertook

8 military training in Knin. Who sent him to Knin for the military

9 training? Or who was instrumental in that military training being given

10 to Milankovic?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were various agitators who

12 were taking people to Krajina. Many of them even boasted about this or

13 that person. Whether it was someone there leading the whole thing, that's

14 one thing that I was not aware of.


16 Q. I'm sorry, I don't understand your answer completely.

17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.


19 Q. I'm sorry, sir, I don't understand your answer completely. Many

20 of them boasted about this or that person. What do you mean there? I'm

21 just trying to ask you who was it who sent Veljko Milankovic to Knin for

22 military training? And you're talking about people boasting about this or

23 that person. Could you be a little more specific, please.

24 A. I do not know who took Veljko Milankovic to Knin.

25 Q. You do know, don't you, that he and his unit were involved in the

Page 23010

1 takeover of the Kozara transmitter?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. That was after he returned from Knin, wasn't it?

4 A. I think so. I don't know. Perhaps if I could have my memory

5 refreshed. But yes, I think so. Yes. I don't know. I can't answer your

6 question with precision, but yes, after all, yes. Yes, later.

7 Q. When Milankovic returned to Prnjavor, did he have about 30 armed

8 persons with him? Is that an accurate -- reasonably accurate figure, from

9 your knowledge of how many people were operating in his group in Prnjavor?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Were they well armed with pistols, automatic weapons, bazookas,

12 and grenades?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Now, I don't want to go through all of this line by line. But is

15 it true that they used these weapons to harass, intimidate, threaten the

16 population -- or just say people in Prnjavor?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is it true that on main roads, they set up checkpoints and they

19 conducted illegal searches of cars and that they actually committed thefts

20 from citizens?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Is it true that individually and as a group, they provoked and

23 harassed the Muslim population with the aim of precipitating interethnic

24 conflict -- interethnic fighting? Excuse me.

25 A. Not Muslims only. They mistreated everyone.

Page 23011

1 Q. I think you're right about that. But isn't it true that they were

2 particularly threatening and focussed on the Muslim or Bosniak population

3 in Prnjavor?

4 A. It was more against the Muslims than anyone else. That's correct.

5 Q. We've agreed that there was ethnic cleansing in Lisnje in the

6 summer of 1992. Milankovic was involved in that, wasn't he?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And those were Bosniaks who were driven out during that particular

9 campaign. Correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Now, you've told us, and you told Mr. Ackerman -- you explained at

12 some length how when the multiparty elections occurred and when these new

13 democratic institutions were being set up, your idea was to have a sort of

14 pluralistic multiethnic party, but that that didn't happen. Right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And although you were a member of the SDS and the SDS president,

17 you were pushed out of office?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And that was by the more -- I'll use the word nationalistic

20 elements of the SDS in Prnjavor?

21 A. It was more that they didn't really understand democracy than

22 being obsessed by hate.

23 Q. I didn't say "obsessed by hate." But they certainly were not

24 interested in your ideas about a multiethnic party?

25 A. That's correct.

Page 23012

1 Q. And in fact, has it never occurred to you that it would have been

2 useful for that SDS leadership in Prnjavor to have Veljko Milankovic

3 causing these disruptions and fear in the Bosniak population? Has that

4 ever occurred to you, that he was useful to the SDS leadership?

5 A. There's a dilemma there. What I understood was that other,

6 unknown people had influence on him. What I'm confused by, however, is

7 the hostility between him on the one hand and the municipal bodies on the

8 other. And --

9 Q. Why don't you try to answer that question again. Start over,

10 because you sort of faded out. Hasn't it ever occurred to you -- isn't it

11 true that Veljko Milankovic's activities after he returned from Knin were

12 useful and positive for the SDS party and leadership?

13 A. You can't say that. As far as I was aware, and I did talk to

14 people at that time, you know, the multiethnic assembly was still

15 operating with Muslims, Croats, and other parties in it. It was still

16 operating. The municipality, there was -- the feeling was more fear of

17 unrest than an ambition to deter unrest in the municipality. Also the

18 president, the way I saw it, regardless of their relationship. It's just

19 that they simply failed to understand my idea.

20 Q. I'm not talking about your ideas right now. I'll try it this way.

21 Veljko Milankovic's unit, the Wolves, were well armed and

22 ruthless. Correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. They saw themselves as Serb heroes?

25 A. Yes.

Page 23013

1 Q. There were others who saw them as Serb heroes?

2 A. Yes. Yes.

3 Q. That included some of the top SDS leadership and some of the SDS

4 leadership in Prnjavor. Stop. That included some members of the SDS

5 leadership in Prnjavor. Correct?

6 A. I don't know about those particular relations. I really can't say

7 anything about anyone there.

8 Q. All right. I'll move on in a minute. But something you said

9 earlier, I think it has gone off the screen, was that nobody knew, you

10 were saying, who had influence over Veljko Milankovic. The takeover of

11 the Kozara tower was viewed as a very positive development by the Krajina

12 leadership, wasn't it?

13 He was, in fact, congratulated by Dr. Vukic and Grahovac. Do you

14 remember reading that, for this Kozara takeover?

15 A. It may very well have been the case. I'm not certain about it,

16 but at one point in time, there was a person who was always there in touch

17 with Grahovac. That's precisely what some other people among us did not

18 like. So we moved for a decision within Krajina to express displeasure

19 about that. This was no authentic expression of Krajina. I think this

20 was a misuse, a case of misuse of that particular unit. There was no need

21 for anything like that.

22 Who was it to place another extra channel on the repeater itself?

23 This would have been no problem at all. It was something perfectly legal,

24 after all. I don't think there was a real reason to use force there,

25 least of all for this force to be used on behalf of Krajina. As far as I

Page 23014

1 remember, I became involved in this as well as other people from this

2 area. We couldn't come to terms with the fact that certain groups were

3 boasting about being part of Krajina, or rather the assembly of Krajina at

4 that time.

5 Q. You said a minute ago there was a person.

6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.


8 Q. You said a moment ago there was a person who was always there in

9 touch with Grahovac. Who's that person? Who are you referring to?

10 A. Miro Mladjenovic. May I just be allowed to say something else.

11 Q. Go ahead.

12 A. Mr. Brdjanin had a run-in with Mr. Mladjenovic in connection with

13 these very things.

14 Q. Were you present at this run-in?

15 A. Not for the biggest run-in, but later at a session that occurred

16 later, I heard about this very strong animosity, and I heard about the

17 reasons for it.

18 Q. Are you --

19 A. Miro Mladjenovic, and the reporter, he was a reporter himself,

20 took pictures, photographs, of Veljko Milankovic, or rather, of his men.

21 And they came to Krajina before we realised what was going on. And that

22 is why later, we took a stand on this issue.

23 Q. Just to be clear, what period are you talking about?

24 A. It is the period in 1991, the fall of 1991, as far as I can

25 remember, after the summer. In fact, just after the end of summer, as far

Page 23015

1 as I can remember.

2 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, the next thing I was going to do

3 involves playing an audiotape and a recording. If it's acceptable to the

4 Chamber, I'd rather just start off with that tomorrow rather than start

5 and begin questions on it and not finish. I can say that I will

6 definitely finish tomorrow.

7 JUDGE AGIUS: Is it okay with you, Mr. Ackerman?

8 MR. ACKERMAN: Your Honour, it is okay with me. Can I know what

9 video it is that's going to be used tomorrow.

10 MR. NICHOLLS: It's an audiotape, and the transcript has been

11 disclosed.

12 MR. ACKERMAN: Is it on the list of exhibits that you've given us?


14 MR. ACKERMAN: All right.

15 MR. NICHOLLS: Doesn't have an exhibit number yet.

16 MR. ACKERMAN: I think I know what it is, Your Honour. It's the

17 0323 -- one of those two 0323 documents.

18 MR. NICHOLLS: That's right.

19 MR. ACKERMAN: No problem.


21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

22 JUDGE AGIUS: Blagojevic is sitting tomorrow? It's still sitting.

23 It's not cancelled by any chance? So there is no way we can move to the

24 morning.

25 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm now so utterly confused by this

Page 23016

1 timetable. Tomorrow is the afternoon, is it?


3 MS. KORNER: Wednesday is the morning.


5 MS. KORNER: Thursday is the afternoon.


7 MS. KORNER: And Friday is the morning.


9 MS. KORNER: Make eminent common sense.

10 JUDGE AGIUS: You're telling me, Ms. Korner.

11 Yes, Mr. Vidic, we have to stop here because tomorrow we're

12 starting a new chapter, and I don't think we can finish that in the few

13 minutes that we have left. So take a rest, and you will come here again

14 tomorrow afternoon starting at 2.15. And hopefully we will finish with

15 you tomorrow and you would be able to go back home.

16 Madam Usher will now escort you out of the courtroom. Thank you.

17 [The witness stands down]

18 JUDGE AGIUS: So that's it. We stand adjourned until tomorrow at

19 2.15. I think it's the same courtroom, Courtroom II. Thank you.

20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.35 p.m.,

21 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of

22 December, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.