1 Thursday, 4 December 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.35 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Call the case, please, and let's proceed.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Good afternoon, Your Honours.
7 This is Case Number IT-99-36-T, The Prosecutor versus Radoslav Brdjanin.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Brdjanin, can you follow the proceedings
9 in a language that you can understand?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. Yes,
11 I can.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. And good afternoon to you.
13 Appearances, Prosecution.
14 MS. KORNER: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Joanna Korner,
15 Julian Nicholls, assisted by Denise Gustin, case manager.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you all. Appearances,
17 Radoslav Brdjanin.
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM: David Cunningham assisted by Aleksandar Vujic.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you and good afternoon to you.
20 First of all, I apologise for the delay with which we are
21 starting. I know that time is precious today and tomorrow. Reason, as you
22 know, was that the previous trial went beyond the anticipated quarter to
23 2.00 deadline which automatically entails a delay in starting on our part.
24 So that was beyond my control, and my apologies to you.
25 Second thing, we will need to stop at a certain point in time to
1 do the Maglov Initial Appearance. I have been given to understand that
2 there shouldn't be any problems, that everything should be plain sailing,
3 and that the Initial Appearance shouldn't take long. Or perhaps even less
4 than I anticipated. Only thing is we need to programme well so that there
5 will be the least time wasted or usurped from the Brdjanin case. I think
6 that is still possible.
7 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, I'm told, if I can assist, that apart
8 from the interpreters obviously needing a break, that there needs to be a
9 break because of tapes being changed because it's a different --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: But my idea was this, Ms. Korner, that there will be
11 the usual break at quarter to 4.00, and we'll start with Maglov
12 immediately after.
13 MS. KORNER: So that would be at 4.00.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we need 20 minutes. So 30 minutes
15 will be very ideal for us.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: And then we'll finish with that. If need be, there
17 will be another break between Maglov and Brdjanin, but then there will be
18 no further breaks. This is the idea. Usually in Brdjanin, you have two
19 breaks in any case. So there will be two breaks in any case, except that
20 perhaps we will lose 20 minutes or something like that. That's my -- what
21 I am hoping for. And we play it by ear.
22 Any preliminaries before we escort the usher in? Madam usher,
23 please. Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: This is very brief, this witness, he is
25 bilingual, he is going to attempt to testify in English. And I've told
1 him if he feels uncomfortable, he can go back to his native language.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It's up to him. Your client needs to have
3 interpretation in any case.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I just wanted to inform the Chamber of that. And
5 I've told the witness that even though we're going to try to do this in
6 English, he needs to have space between his answers so it can be properly
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
9 This is no protective measures, no?
10 MR. CUNNINGHAM: None.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And how long do you expect your in-chief, or direct
12 as you call it in the States, to last, Mr. Cunningham?
13 MR. CUNNINGHAM: My examination will certainly finish today,
14 probably in less than two hours. That would probably be my guess.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
16 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, just before the witness comes in, can I
17 ask a favour just -- no witnesses at the moment are being asked for their
18 dates of birth for some reason. I wonder when they are asked to give
19 their name, they could also be asked to give their dates of birth.
20 There's a reason particularly with this witness because there's
21 potentially a confusion between someone else of the same name.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: You are very right. Quite right, Ms. Korner.
23 Mr. Cunningham.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'll be glad to do that with this witness.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Whenever you forget, I will that myself then, okay?
1 Yes, please.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon, Mr. Dejanovic.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome to this Tribunal.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: You are a Defence witness in the trial instituted
8 against Radoslav Brdjanin. And you are going to commence giving testimony
9 within a few minutes. Before you do so, our Rules require that you enter
10 a solemn declaration equivalent to an oath; namely, that in the course of
11 your testimony, you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
12 the truth.
13 Madam Usher is going to give you the text of the solemn
14 declaration. Please read it out aloud, and that will be your solemn
15 declaration with this Tribunal.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. Please, take a seat.
19 And good afternoon once more. The procedure is a very simple one.
20 You will first be asked questions by counsel for Radoslav Brdjanin, you
21 being a Defence witness. And that will be Mr. Cunningham questioning you
22 or examining you. After that, it will be followed by a cross-examination
23 which will be conducted by Ms. Korner, who is the lead counsel for the
24 Prosecution in this case.
25 Your duty or obligation or responsibility as a witness is to
1 answer all questions truthfully and as fully as possible, but also
2 concisely irrespective of who is putting the question. In other words,
3 irrespective of whether it's the Defence, that have brought you here to
4 give testimony, or the Prosecution that is putting questions to you. Now,
5 your obligation is to answer each and every question the same. That is
6 truthfully and as comprehensively as possible.
7 My suggestion to you if you want to finish your testimony by the
8 end of tomorrow's business is to be concise, to be precise to the point;
9 in other words, to answer the whole question, the whole question, and
10 nothing but the question. Don't give more information than you are asked
11 for because that will entail -- would invite -- will invite more questions
12 and would probably mean that you'll be still here on Monday if not also on
13 Tuesday. If you take my advice, you'll be out of this courtroom and of
14 this building by the end of tomorrow quarter to 2.00 at the latest.
15 Thank you.
16 Mr. Cunningham, he's all yours.
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 WITNESS: MIRKO DEJANOVIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 Examined by Mr. Cunningham:
21 Q. Your name is Mirko Dejanovic. Correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You and I have met before, and in our conversations yesterday and
24 today you indicated that you wanted to testify in English. Is that the
25 case? Or would you feel more comfortable testifying in your native
1 language? It's really your choice.
2 A. In my desire to speed up the proceedings, I am prepared to testify
3 in English. Should there be any problems, I would like to go back to my
4 own language.
5 Q. Okay. That's certainly fine with everyone here. But let me
6 caution you even though you and I both speak English, all of your answers
7 need to be translated into other languages, so you need to give -- we
8 can't talk too quickly. You need to give the interpreters enough time to
9 answer. Is that okay?
10 A. [In English] Okay.
11 Q. We need this for the record. Could you tell the Chamber your date
12 of birth. When were you born?
13 A. I was born 10th of July, 1963.
14 Q. The binder that you brought in, the binder that's in front of you
15 is a book containing some exhibits that I gave to you earlier. Correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. When I refer to an exhibit, I'll try to refer you to the
18 tab number that's in there. I know you've looked at these documents. But
19 if at any time you get a document today, if you need time to look at it,
20 please take the time to read it so that you're comfortable with it.
21 You told us you were born on 10 July 1963. Where were you born
23 A. I was born in Kostajnica. It's a little place in Croatia.
24 Q. Were you raised in Croatia? Were you raised somewhere else?
25 A. No, at that time. My family already lived in Bosanska Kostajnica,
1 and I was raised in Bosanska Kostajnica in Croatia.
2 Q. What municipality do you currently reside in?
3 A. I am currently living in Banja Luka.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, can we go into private session for about
5 four background questions, please.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session.
7 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
20 Q. You told you were raised in Bosanska Kostajnica. Did you attend
21 secondary school there?
22 A. I attended secondary school in Kostajnica in Croatia. Elementary
23 school, I attended in Bosanska Kostajnica.
24 Q. And upon graduation from secondary school, did you attend
1 A. Yes, in Banja Luka.
2 Q. And did you receive a diploma?
3 A. Yes, I finished economy, school of economy at the University of
4 Banja Luka.
5 Q. And when did you receive your diploma?
6 A. It was 1986, I think.
7 Q. Are you married?
8 A. Yes, I am.
9 Q. And do you have any children?
10 A. I have two sons.
11 Q. You told us that you were raised in the area of
12 Bosanska Kostajnica. Is your family from that area?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. How long have they lived in that area?
15 A. As far as I know, it's more than 200 years.
16 Q. Was that area of the former Yugoslavia an area that suffered
17 casualties during the Second World War?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. And did your family suffer casualties during the Second World War?
20 A. During the Second World War, all men with age over the 14 years
21 had been killed.
22 Q. And roughly speaking, how many people was that?
23 A. It's, if I'm talking about my family, I'm thinking a few houses.
24 It's 18 men.
25 Q. Did those individuals die, those men, 18 men, die in combat
1 operations or some other way?
2 A. No, as a civilian.
3 Q. And briefly, how did that come about?
4 A. That happened when during the World War, there was an independent
5 Croatian state, so-called independent Croatian state which covered Croatia
6 and Bosnia and Herzegovina. And the army of that state collected all that
7 people, not just from my family, but also from all other families and
8 simply shooted them.
9 Q. Growing up where you did, did you grow up exclusively among Serbs,
10 or did you have friends and acquaintances from the other nations, the
11 other people?
12 A. No. I didn't raise isolated. Even all these places in Bosnia had
13 some neighbours with people from one nation. We get together at school.
14 We play together football. We had one football club. And also some -- I
15 had a -- I have a sister-in-law, she is a Croat. I have my best man's
16 wife is Bosniaks and so on. It means we grow up together for a long time,
17 for 40 years.
18 Q. And did you have relationships, friendships, with non-Serbs while
19 you attended university?
20 A. Of course, I did. I share my bed for one year, not room, bed,
21 with one Bosniak.
22 Q. After graduating from university in Banja Luka, where did you go?
23 Did you return home?
24 A. I returned to my home.
25 Q. And in 1986 or about then when you returned home, what sort of
1 work did you do?
2 A. That was reason why I went back to my home, because I had a job in
3 a factory, metal factory, in my raised place.
4 Q. And what was your position at this metal factory?
5 A. I started as a salesclerk. Then after that, I performed some
6 other positions, sales manager and financial manager.
7 Q. How long did you work at this metal factory in your home
9 A. I think it was about five years, maybe a little bit less.
10 Q. When you returned to the municipality of Bosanski Novi, where did
11 you live? What town?
12 A. When I returned to municipality, I lived in my parents' home in
13 Kostajnica, Bosanska Kostajnica.
14 Q. What I'd like to do is show you an exhibit. It's an exhibit that
15 is a map of the municipality of Bosanski Novi. I believe this is
16 Exhibit 1624.
17 Now, I'm going to ask you to point out some areas on the map, and
18 what you're going to have to do is not point at the screen but rather at
19 the actual map itself. Could you point out for the Chamber, please, where
20 your town, your village of Bosanski Kostajnica is.
21 A. Yes, this is it.
22 Q. It's at the very top of the map with a blue dot. Correct?
23 A. Yeah.
24 Q. And it's apparent from your earlier answer, but what is right
25 across -- is there a river that flows through Bosanski Kostajnica?
1 A. From Bosanski Novi to Bosanska Kostajnica, and far away, there is
2 River Una, which is the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia
3 on the other side.
4 Q. In the early 1990s, what was the population of Bosanska
6 A. It's approximately 70 per cent were Serbs, and 29 per cent
7 Muslims, and 1 per cent other.
8 Q. And what would the population be in actual numbers?
9 A. In the city, let's say city, was 3.500 people. And in the
10 villages around, around Kostajnica, there was another 3.000, maybe fully
11 6.500 people, I think.
12 Q. If we were to follow the Una River south and west, would that take
13 us down to Bosanski Novi?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is there an area in the municipality, and I apologise if I
16 mispronounce this, known as the Japra Valley?
17 A. Yes, the Japra valley is - that's what I'm showing - from
18 Donji Agici to Blagaj Japra. That's we call the Japra Valley.
19 Q. It appears on the route that you traced that it goes through
20 some -- there are some villages in that area. Am I correct?
21 A. Yes, Bozici, Suhaca, Joseva, Maslovare, and so on.
22 Q. What is the -- is there a sizeable Muslim population in the
23 Japra Valley?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. What is the distance as the crow flies between Bosanska Kostajnica
1 to the Japra Valley?
2 A. As you can see, if we are talking about Blagaj Japra, it's about
3 40 kilometres to Kostajnica, maybe little bit less, 38 or something like
4 that. But to Donji Agici, it's an additional, I think, 14 kilometres.
5 I'm not sure.
6 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm done with the map. Thank you, Madam.
7 Q. In the 1980s, while you were a student and after you completed
8 your studies at Banja Luka University, were you a member of any political
10 A. No, I did not have any political activity.
11 Q. Did there come a time in the early 1990s that you became
12 interested in the SDS?
13 A. If you allow me just to explain.
14 Q. Sure.
15 A. That was at the time when national parties all over the Yugoslavia
16 had been established, and in Croatia, HDZ had been established. And later
17 on, HDZ in Bosnia had been established. And later on SDA, as parties
18 from -- of Croats and Bosniak people -- let's say, population. Simply
19 having in mind that what I had in my, let's say, experience listening
20 stories from my parents, listening what happened during the Second World
21 War in my region and having in mind my historical, let's say, knowledge,
22 and having in mind that people in place where I was born and where I
23 raised had really big confidence in me, it seemed to me that it is better
24 for me to get involved in political life than to stay out of that and give
25 some mixed extremist or some other people to do that.
1 Q. Okay. Now, let's break that down a little bit. When the national
2 parties started forming, the HDZ, did they - specifically with the
3 HDZ - did they use certainly national or nationalistic symbols?
4 A. What is -- what was very frightening for Serbs in that time is the
5 symbols which -- and words, words -- wording which that parties started to
6 use, symbols, for example, flags, coat of arms, or some songs or something
7 like that. Everything was what reminded Serbs of the Second World War.
8 Q. We talked about the HDZ, the flags, the coat of arms, those
9 things. What about the formation of the SDA? Did that raise any similar
11 A. They had also their own flags and coat of arms. But what
12 especially frightened Serbs was exhibitions on the common meetings, common
13 assemblies of that two parties, especially probably you know about tying
14 up together flags and all other expressions which they made.
15 Q. Now, you are a well-educated man, an intelligent man. Why did
16 that cause fear in you and other people in the Serb population?
17 A. Well, maybe it looks different from the point of view from this
18 time, and I know very well that from the foreigners from the Westerns, it
19 seems very unreasonable that the symbols could produce some fear in -- to
20 one people. But the situation in which we were, fresh remembers of the
21 World War II, and combined with those symbols and combined with political
22 activities which led to separation and secession of former Yugoslavia,
23 that is something that really frightened not only ordinary people, but
24 also little bit more educated people or intellectuals or everybody else.
25 It is something that is connected with our history which we know very
2 Q. I want to talk to you about the SDS in Bosanski Novi. Were you
3 approached to become a candidate or to join the party?
4 A. I was asked, let's say, from local people who knew me very well.
5 I was strongly asked to join the SDS party for all the reason I already
6 said. And I decided to join the party. Immediately after I decided that,
7 I was appointed to be president of local SDS in Kostajnica.
8 Q. And when did that appointment happen?
9 A. I'm not sure. In 1991. I can't remember exact date.
10 Q. That's okay. Did you ultimately get appointed to another position
11 within the municipality?
12 A. Not ultimately. That was, let's say, political procedure. Later
13 on, I was appointed to be member of local parliament. And later on I was
14 appointed to be president of Bosanski Novi committee of SDS.
15 Q. So you were a member of the -- I guess the municipal assembly?
16 A. Municipal assembly, yes.
17 Q. And when you say "president of the Bosanski Novi committee of the
18 SDS," is that also known as the SDS main board?
19 A. Yes, SDS main board.
20 Q. Okay. What qualified you to serve in that position? How is it
21 that you got that position?
22 A. I was elected between some people. I suppose it was probably my
23 education because not a lot of people in that time had a university
25 Q. You told us in -- at university, you told us while you were at the
1 metal factory -- I didn't ask you this, so let me back up. While you were
2 working at the metal factory, were there non-Serbs working at that
4 A. Yes, they were.
5 Q. And what sort of reputation did you enjoy or have with the
6 non-Serb workers ter factory?
7 A. I believe -- I believe I had great respect, and I believe I still
8 have quite a big respect from non-Serb population in my born place.
9 Mostly of them.
10 Q. I want to talk to you now about the Municipal Assembly of
11 Bosanski Novi. You were a member of the assembly. After the multiparty
12 elections, who had the majority in the municipal assembly?
13 A. SDS had the majority. The second party was SDA, and there were
14 two smaller parties, as I remember.
15 Q. And do you happen to remember the breakdown in seats; that is, how
16 many seats the SDS had, how many seats the SDA had, and then the two minor
17 parties? And if you can't remember the exact numbers, that's okay.
18 A. Let me see. It was maybe 36 SDS, maybe 17 SDA, and then both
19 minor parties had 5 seats. I'm not sure.
20 Q. Were there any SDA members of the executive council of the
22 A. Yes, there were.
23 Q. Generally speaking, after the multiparty elections, how did things
24 work in the municipal assembly? Did the parties get along? Describe that
25 for us, please.
1 A. Even already there were some disputes in a former country. I
2 think I can say that we worked quite normal and quite correct between our
3 parties. You know, it's when you elect local assembly, then you have to
4 fulfill some executive committee and to solve some personal issues, and
5 then all other issues. I think we worked correctly.
6 Q. All right. Did there come a time when the SDA members walked out
7 of the assembly?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you happen to remember the exact date? And if you can't
10 remember the exact date, do you happen to recall the event that prompted
11 their walkout of the assembly?
12 A. I really can't remember exact date. But I remember very well what
13 was the reason for that.
14 Q. And what was it?
15 A. We tried, and we had interest, SDS representatives, to join to
16 ZOBK - I'm not sure I can translate it, I hope you understand what I'm
17 talking about - and later that was called ARK. Bosniak representatives
18 didn't want to adopt that decision. Later on, we adopted that decision --
19 Q. Let me stop you right there because we'll talk about the ARK
20 later. So you don't need to go into that right now.
21 A. Okay. That was the reason for leaving.
22 Q. Was there a similar walkout of the SDA members that were on the
23 executive council?
24 A. Not only executive council, and also from some other positions.
25 Q. Were the SDA members replaced in the municipal assembly?
1 A. Later on, yes.
2 Q. When we say --
3 A. Not immediately.
4 Q. Do you remember how much later -- how much down the road they were
5 replaced? Was it weeks? Months? Years?
6 A. I suppose it's weeks, but not months, not days.
7 Q. Were the SDA members replaced on the executive council?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The replacements, which ethnicities were they of?
10 A. They were Serbs.
11 Q. Okay. I want to talk to you about the war in Croatia. In 1991,
12 when the war in Croatia started, did that have an impact on your
13 municipality of Bosanski Novi?
14 A. Yeah, that had great impact.
15 Q. We -- on the map earlier, we showed that your -- the place where
16 you were raised, Bosanski Kostajnica is right across the Una River from
17 Croatia. In your municipality were there actual war operations, combat
18 operations during the war with Croatia?
19 A. In that time, Croatian army and police tried to get control over
20 the Kostajnica and all other places around there. And that caused some
21 battles and combats and so on. JNA in that time was official -- still
22 official army of the former country. And JNA was involved on some level
23 in that conflict. Of course, that caused a lot of problems including some
24 deaths and a lot of refugees and so on.
25 Q. Because of Bosanski Novi's proximity, it's closeness to Croatia,
1 was it common or uncommon to see JNA men, equipment, going through your
3 A. Yes. Bosanski Novi is a very frequent place where you can go to a
4 lot of other places. And it was very usual to see a lot of army going
5 through the Novi.
6 Q. Did the war affect the commercial relations, the economy of the
7 municipality of Bosanski Novi?
8 A. Yes, I can say extremely.
9 Q. And why is that?
10 A. Former country Yugoslavia was one market, let's say, of 20 million
11 people. And especially Bosnia and Herzegovina's companies had production
12 which -- and they sell their products all over Yugoslavia. Starting with
13 break of Yugoslavia caused a lot of problems, especially we couldn't sell
14 our products. But also, some supplying systems, some electricity system
15 and so on.
16 Q. With the impact on your markets because you said you couldn't sell
17 your products and the impact of your supply systems, how did that affect
18 the employment? Did the level of jobs remain the same? Increase? Or
20 A. The employment decreased.
21 Q. Did people lose their jobs?
22 A. Yes, of course.
23 Q. Was it only Bosniaks, Muslims, who lost jobs?
24 A. I don't have exact figures, but a lot of people stopped to work
25 because simply companies couldn't work, not only Bosniaks, but if
1 companies stopped to work, normally work stops Bosniaks and Serbs.
2 Q. During 1991 with the conflict in Croatia, were there call-ups?
3 Were there mobilisations of conscripts from the local community?
4 A. Excuse me. I didn't --
5 Q. That was a lawyer question. Let me break it down into real
7 Were there call-ups during the conflict in Croatia? Were people
8 being called into the service?
9 A. Yeah, yeah. Mobilisation has been started.
10 Q. And what was the -- in your municipality, what was the attitude,
11 the response of the Muslim population to the mobilisation? Did they
12 respond or not respond?
13 A. Some Muslims respond to the mobilisation, especially in the first
14 stage. But later on, not. A majority of Muslims didn't respond to
16 Q. In the law of the former Yugoslavia, if an individual did not
17 respond to mobilisation, could there be consequences? Could it affect
18 that person's employment?
19 A. Yeah, they could be fired. They should be fired. According to
20 law, if they didn't.
21 Q. And in Bosanski Novi, if an individual did not respond to
22 mobilisation, what would happen to his employment?
23 A. As I remember, they were not fired automatically. Simply we were
24 waiting for some political solution.
25 Q. Did that political solution ever come about?
1 A. Maybe, with Dayton Agreement.
2 Q. Okay. But certainly not in 1991 or 1992?
3 A. No.
4 Q. What if a -- based on your knowledge of Bosanski Novi in 1991,
5 1992 -- let's just stick with 1991. If a Serb did not respond to
6 mobilisation, what consequences did he face?
7 A. He should be also fired, or he should be also treated equally.
8 Q. Okay. And did that happen? When I say "that," were Serbs and
9 non-Serbs treated equally if they failed to respond to mobilisation?
10 A. I believe in that time that we still -- we treated people equally.
11 Q. With the presence of military equipment in the JNA in your
12 municipality and the war across the river, were there any restrictions
13 placed on civilians moving within the municipality?
14 A. There were no official restrictions in terms of freedom of
15 movement. Of course, the war was close to people's home, just across the
16 river. And nobody feel happy to travel, for example, through the night
18 Q. Your answer -- you said in your answer that there were no official
19 restrictions. What do you mean when you say "no official restrictions"?
20 A. There was no curfew. There was no prohibition for any group or
21 any individuals to move freely.
22 MS. KORNER: Could I ask, I'm sorry --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Ms. Korner.
24 MS. KORNER: Again, if we could get a period of time, as
25 Mr. Ackerman kept asking me. At the moment I'm not sure what period were
1 talking about.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: You're a hundred per cent right.
3 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I agree, Your Honour. And that's fair.
4 Q. When in 1991 did war operations, combat operations come to the
5 vicinity, come to near?
6 A. It was summer of 1991. I can't, again, remember exact dates. But
7 it was July, August, maybe September of 1991.
8 Q. Okay. So let's talk about the period of time before July, August
9 of 1991. As far as you know, were there any restrictions on movement
10 within the --
11 A. Not at all.
12 Q. At this time period, in 1991, where were you working? Were you
13 working in Kostajnica or in Novi?
14 A. In that time, I think I worked in Kostajnica. In that time in
15 Kostajnica, but later on I moved my job to Novi.
16 Q. You told us that the war operations started July, August. During
17 that time period, were there any curfews imposed by the civil authorities
18 to your recollection?
19 A. Not official curfews, or not curfews at all. But there was some
20 fear to travel during the night.
21 Q. With the presence of the military in the community, were there any
22 checkpoints or barricades set up during the summer of 1991?
23 A. I can't remember.
24 Q. When do you remember, roughly speaking, approximate when the
25 hostilities ended in your -- in the vicinity of your municipality?
1 A. It ended -- you are talking about war connected with Croatia?
2 Q. Yes, sir.
3 A. It ended, I think -- as I said, in September, I think. Maybe
4 later August or early September.
5 Q. And at the end of the war in August or early September 1991, were
6 you still working in Kostajnica?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And what was your job there? Were you still at the metal factory?
9 A. Yeah, at that time I was financial manager in that factory.
10 Q. Now, did the -- at the termination in September, August, September
11 1991, did the economy bounce back?
12 A. Not off. The economy was still very weak, and we still didn't
13 solve the problem -- economy problems I was talking about.
14 Q. Now, do you remember whether the SDA left the municipal assembly
15 before or after August, September 1991, the end of the hostilities?
16 A. It's after that. Quite a long -- quite a long period after that.
17 Q. And you told us earlier that had to do because they did not agree,
18 the SDA did not agree, with the SDS position with respect to the ZOBK.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. As a member of the municipal assembly and a member of the SDS
22 main -- municipal main board, did you have an interest in the ZOBK? Was
23 it something that appealed first to you, and then secondly to the party?
24 A. It simply appeared. Before that there was a solution in former
25 Yugoslavia constitution to join some municipalities in some association.
1 In that period, period of big crisis, it appeared -- ZOBK appeared as a
2 possible solution to solve some economic issues, some infrastructure
3 issues. But later on as the political issues rise in all country, it also
4 appeared as a solution for solving political problems.
5 Q. Okay. Let's break down your answer and talk about how it
6 appealled -- excuse me, appeared as a possible solution to some economic
7 issues, some infrastructure issues. What are you talking about?
8 A. I am talking about electricity system, about telephone system,
9 about railway system, about payment system, financial banking system and
10 everything else.
11 Q. How would the ZOBK, how would this entity assist in the
12 infrastructure and the economic issues?
13 A. Let's say if we are talking about electricity, you know, the
14 electricity system has to be a system. You can't have your own
15 electricity in one municipal. You have to have enough big space if you
16 want to organise electricity supplying system. As already problems
17 started in -- with Bosnian government started with activities to secede
18 from Yugoslavia, that also impact on electricity supplying system. I can
19 say, for example, that we had had to sit and to agree. For example, we
20 could have only two or three hundred kilowatts of electricity, our
21 municipality. And then we have to discuss about how much which
22 municipality should have electricity to enable some companies to work.
23 That was, for example, one question. I can point to some other examples.
24 Q. And I appreciate that. But let's try to get back on track a
25 little bit. Was the ZOBK -- and let me back up. When the ZOBK was first
1 proposed, did you and your colleagues within the party look at this
2 statute or the proposed statute of the ZOBK?
3 A. Now I understand. Yes, we look at it and recognise it is a good
4 solution for our municipality also.
5 Q. Was it mandatory that Novi join?
6 A. Yeah, it was mandatory.
7 Q. But Novi didn't join the ZOBK, did it?
8 A. We needed two-thirds of a vote to join the ZOBK according to
9 statute of the municipality. In that time, we couldn't reach that volume
10 of votes.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Two-thirds of what? The majority of which votes?
12 Of whose votes?
13 THE WITNESS: Local assembly. Local assembly had 70 seats, and we
14 needed two-thirds of it.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: So did the problem arise because the SDS -- SDA
16 members walked out?
17 THE WITNESS: No. The SDA members were still there. The problem
18 is because they didn't want to vote for that, and some other -- from
19 minority parties, some members didn't --
20 JUDGE AGIUS: You had 36 votes there?
21 THE WITNESS: Sorry?
22 JUDGE AGIUS: How many votes did you have? How many seats did you
24 THE WITNESS: We needed just one vote more.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one more.
1 THE WITNESS: Just one more, yeah.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
3 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. I asked you if it was mandatory for Novi to join, and I think you
5 might have misunderstood me. When I said "mandatory," was it --
6 A. Sorry, sorry.
7 Q. That's okay. Please don't worry about it.
8 Did every municipality in Bosnia-Herzegovina, were they required
9 to join?
10 A. No, no, we were not required. Now, I understand. It was a
12 We have to decide on our own whether we would like or not to join.
13 Q. Now, at the time that you originally examined the statute, what
14 was your primary motivation? Was it economic?
15 A. At that time it was economic. And when I'm talking about
16 economic, I'm firstly thinking infrastructure issues.
17 Q. You told us that the SDA did not agree that the municipality
18 should join the ZOBK. You didn't get the required two-thirds vote.
19 Ultimately, did your municipality join an association known as the ARK?
20 A. Yes. That was our -- in the meantime, the association changed its
21 name. And we in a third attempt, we succeeded to have enough votes.
22 Q. And you got to two-thirds vote.
23 A. Yeah.
24 Q. From the municipal assembly and joined. Do you happen to know
25 when you got the two-thirds vote?
1 A. We got --
2 Q. It's my fault because it wasn't a clear question. Do you remember
3 the date where you joined the ARK?
4 A. I can't really remember the date. But I know that it is after all
5 other municipalities formed and joined to the ARK.
6 Q. Okay. Was the ARK intended -- was the ARK a level of government?
7 A. No. It is association, not -- it can't be government.
8 Q. I want you to look at I think -- look in your notebook in front of
9 you. It should be tab number 2, which is Prosecutor's Exhibit 61. And
10 this is in evidence, and it is a list of the representatives in the
11 Krajina Autonomous Region Assembly. Do you have that document in front of
13 A. Yeah, I have.
14 Q. Now, do you see your name there?
15 A. I see my name. It's number 93, but it is connected with the wrong
17 Q. And do you know how that happened, or is that just -- obviously
18 that's a typographical error. Correct?
19 A. It's very obviously, because Bosanski Novi is immediately after
20 that. After my name.
21 Q. There is you, and one, two, three --
22 A. Four.
23 Q. -- Four other people --
24 A. Me and other three.
25 Q. I'm sorry, you're right. It appears to me that some of these
1 other municipalities have six or seven members. Why is it that it appears
2 that Novi had four?
3 A. All other municipalities had seven, let's say, seats. We
4 appointed just the four, four representatives to Assembly for AR Krajina
5 willing to keep three other seats to Bosniak people because we believed
6 that they will also join, they will change their mind, they will appoint
7 their representatives for assembly.
8 Q. Was it intended that the ARK be a -- solely a Serb entity?
9 A. It was not intended, and especially in our case, in Novi grad.
10 Q. Why did you feel it was appropriate especially in Novi to have the
11 SDA, the Muslims, involved in this?
12 A. Let me say that just some other municipalities had some Bosniak or
13 non-Serb representatives. And we believe that this is a good solution for
14 all of us, and also we believed that it is solution to get together, to
15 get together in solving all the problems which I was talking about.
16 Q. And in talking about the problems of the future of Yugoslavia. Am
17 I correct?
18 A. If you are talking about political problems. But also about
19 economical and infrastructural problems, that was the way we could solve
20 all that problems together.
21 Q. In your notebook, I would like you to go to tab 4, which is
22 Exhibit 2354, and that is the statute -- I'm sorry. I've got the wrong
24 You told us this is the statute of the ZOBK. You told us that
25 obviously that became the ARK. During your time as a member of the
1 municipal assembly, as a member of the ARK Assembly, as a member of the
2 SDS main board, did you have the opportunity to read the statute that in
3 effect set up the Autonomous Region of Krajina?
4 A. Yes, I did, because we were discussing about that local assembly.
5 Q. Okay. What was necessary before a decision of the ARK Assembly?
6 What was needed before a decision on the ARK Assembly -- decision of the
7 ARK Assembly would be binding upon the municipalities?
8 A. It was necessary that that decision also has to be also adopted in
9 local assembly.
10 Q. You told us that you were appointed to become a member of the ARK
11 Assembly. Were you aware of ever any elections to select representatives
12 to the ARK Assembly?
13 A. No, I'm not. It was -- we were delegated. We say that, from the
14 local municipality.
15 Q. Did the ARK have executive powers over the municipalities?
16 A. No.
17 Q. How about legislative powers over the municipality?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did you ever attend any meetings of the ARK Assembly?
20 A. Several of them. Or let's say, just a few of them.
21 Q. When you say "a few," how many are you talking about?
22 A. Two or maybe three. I'm not sure.
23 Q. Where were the meetings held at?
24 A. In Banja Luka.
25 Q. Specifically where in Banja Luka were they held at?
1 A. It was -- We call that building Banski Dvor, it's in the centre of
2 Banja Luka.
3 Q. And where inside Banski Dvor were the assembly meetings held at?
4 A. There were two halls, two rooms. I think we met in both, but I'm
5 not sure. There were bigger and smaller rooms.
6 Q. What were the meetings like? Could you describe for the Chamber
7 the atmosphere of these meetings?
8 A. For me - and that was why we were there just two or three
9 times - it was like Hyde Park. Everyone could enter. Everyone can have a
10 speech. Everyone can go out whenever he wants and so on. It was very
11 unserious job. It was really funny, let's say, because there is no
12 minutes, there is no rules about proceeding these meetings.
13 Q. And how long did it take you to come to that conclusion that it
14 was not serious?
15 A. I can say in days or months. But it was after two or three
16 meetings. I realise that it is really unserious job.
17 Q. And as a result of your conclusion that it's not -- what was your
18 perception of the ARK Assembly's power or its competence?
19 A. No, it was not competent.
20 Q. You know, competent can have two meanings. It can deal with a
21 person's ability or lack of ability, or the powers of the -- that the
22 entity has, so let's take it --
23 A. I think both missing in that case.
24 Q. What was the reaction when you had returned to Novi as a member of
25 the ARK Assembly? How did the people in Novi react to the ARK Assembly?
1 I don't know if that makes any sense.
2 A. When we come back from that meeting, of course we have to -- we
3 had to discuss, we had to inform all other peoples what's going on, how it
4 is going on. What we said, me and my friends in the assembly, what we had
5 to local assembly, to local people was that definitely we should care
6 about ourselves on our own. That was my response.
7 Q. Expand upon that a little bit because that's not clear to me. Did
8 you think -- what prompted you to say that? I don't want to ask you a
9 leading question that might suggest an answer. But explain a little bit
11 A. Simply, we still wanted and we still believed that we should find
12 some solutions for all problems I was talking about. But when you are
13 coming to Banja Luka and see how it is going on, we were coming back to
14 Novi Grad or Bosanski Novi and sit around and discuss that. And I told to
15 all other people that we should think a lot more about ourselves because
16 we can't expect that that body or that association could help us. We
17 didn't leave that association because we still believed that it will
19 Q. Was there hope that the ARK could be a vehicle to resolve the
20 political issues?
21 A. Yes, it was. Because, you know, regional approach, let's say, was
22 already very interesting thing in all Europe, and we believed that through
23 regional approach, through regional organisations and through regional
24 cooperation, we could solve all that problems in former Yugoslavia.
25 Q. I want to talk to you about a document that's in the book. It's
1 Document P25. And that's tab number -- actually, it's apparently not in
2 your book.
3 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And I apologise to the usher. I'll need your
4 help in showing the exhibit, P25, to the witness, please.
5 I'm sorry, I made a mistake. It's number 8. If you could look at
6 number 8. It's tab number 8 in his book.
7 I apologise, Madam Usher.
8 Q. This document dated 19 December 1991 is entitled: "Instructions
9 for the organisation and activity of the organs of the Serbian people in
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina in extraordinary circumstances."
11 Did you ever see this document in 1991 or in 1992?
12 A. You showed me this document when we first time talked. Before
13 that, I've never seen that document.
14 Q. And the first time we talked was a month, month and a half ago,
15 something --
16 A. Something like that.
17 Q. So you never saw this in 1991 or 1992?
18 A. No, I never saw it and I never dealt with that. And I read it and
19 I think it's ridiculous.
20 Q. Why do you think it's ridiculous?
21 A. Because if we are reading some variants, and if we are comparing
22 this variant A, which what should be in the case of Bosanski Novi, simply
23 it was not like that. Nothing happened like that, or main things didn't
24 happen like that, like it is wrote there.
25 Q. Go to the next tab, which is Exhibit 157, Tab 9, this is a
1 document, an excerpt, entitled: "From instructions for the work of the
2 municipal crisis staffs of the Serbian people." It's dated 26 April 1992,
3 attributed to Branko Dzeric, Prime Minister. Did you see that document in
4 1992 as an SDS member of the municipal assembly and member of the SDS main
5 board in Novi?
6 A. I see this document and I know about it. But I see it by virtue
7 of my position and especially by virtue that I was from
8 Bosanska Kostajnica, which is quite, let's say, separated area in
9 Bosanski Novi and by virtue that I'm coming from that, I was involved in
10 some later activities.
11 Q. Were you a -- This document talks about crisis staffs. By virtue
12 of your position as president of the local main board, were you a member
13 of the crisis staff?
14 A. Let me just say that I think in that time, I was already a member
15 of main board in Novi Grad.
16 Q. Right.
17 A. And I attended to some meetings of crisis staff in Novi Grad, even
18 we didn't have a lot of meetings.
19 Q. So let me make sure I understand. There was obviously a crisis
20 staff in Novi Grad. Right?
21 A. There was later.
22 Q. And you were a member of that crisis staff?
23 A. Yeah.
24 Q. I want to talk about specific events in 1992, the spring and early
25 summer of 1992. And first of all, I want to talk with you about the
1 police department in the municipality of Bosanski Novi. In the spring of
2 1992, were there Muslim policemen, Bosniak policemen, on the police force?
3 A. Yes, there were.
4 Q. Did something happen that caused some of the Muslim police to
5 leave their jobs?
6 A. In that time, police changed the signs on the uniforms. And I
7 think uniforms also. That caused the -- that some Bosniak police didn't
8 want to accept that signs and uniforms, and they left.
9 Q. Do you know whether the Muslim, the Bosniak police officers were
10 also required to take some sort of loyalty oath?
11 A. Yes, I'm aware.
12 Q. And did some non-Serbs including Bosniaks remain on the police
14 A. Yes, they did. I know about Kostajnica, that for sure some
15 non-Serbs, both Bosniaks and Croats, were still in the police after that.
16 I'm not sure for police station in Bosanski Novi. Maybe yes; maybe not.
17 Q. Okay. How many officers, how many policemen would there be
18 typically in Kostajnica?
19 A. It used to be between the Second World War and the early 1990s,
20 usually it was always six policemens. But I think in early 1990s, various
21 number, just for a few of them. And there was already a reserve
22 policemens who were started to work every day. I'm talking both about
23 reserve police and active police.
24 Q. Right. I guess what I'm trying to have you answer is how many
25 non-Serbs were there on the local force in Kostajnica and how many of them
2 A. Approximately ten of them professionally. I'm talking about
3 professional police. And I'm sure that two of Bosniaks which worked there
4 remained, both of them. They worked and they remained.
5 Q. I'm going to stop you right there. Does that mean there was a
6 total of ten officers on the force, and then two --
7 A. About ten. And then we have reserve police.
8 Q. And how many --
9 A. And there were some Croats in the reserve police, I know for them.
10 Q. How many of them remained in Kostajnica?
11 A. At that time, the two of them, the Croats, were there.
12 Q. Did you have a good relationship with the local SDA and the local
13 Muslims police officers?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. What sort of relationship did you have with the chief of police
16 or -- in Novi?
17 A. Chief of police in Novi, I know him very well. He's my friend.
18 He was my friend at that time.
19 Q. What about the police station in Kostajnica, who was the head of
20 that police station?
21 A. One man, Sucur [phoen] is his surname. He's also my friend. He
22 was chief of that small department.
23 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Your Honours, if we're going to take a break at
24 about quarter to, this is an excellent stopping point.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Cunningham. We will have a break,
1 and we will reconvene as early as possible dealing with the Maglov case.
2 And then we will proceed.
3 We are going to have a break now during which I hope you will be
4 served coffee and you can have a little rest. It will be roughly in about
5 an hour's time that you will be called again because in the meantime we
6 are dealing with another short case, another matter in which, of course,
7 you are not involved.
8 THE WITNESS: Okay.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. We'll reconvene in about 25 minutes'
10 time. Thank you.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 5.28 p.m.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Bring Mr. Brdjanin in, and then we continue.
14 [The accused entered court]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Mr. Cunningham.
16 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm sorry, Your Honour. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Q. Sir, one of the things I want to do is I want to clear up a
18 mistake that I made in my terminology. Earlier you told us that you were
19 a member of the SDS board in Novi, and I refer to that as the main board.
20 In reality, that's called the municipal board. Correct?
21 A. It's main board for municipal.
22 Q. Okay. And when you were on the board in Kostajnica, technically
23 speaking, that's the board for the commune of Kostajnica. Correct?
24 A. Yes, for the commune.
25 Q. I wanted to clear that up. If you could, we'll get back on track
1 and go back to talking about the events in the spring and early summer of
2 1992. And if you could, in the binder in front of you, go to tab number
3 10. Tab number 10 is Prosecutor's Exhibit 227 which is the
4 Official Gazette of the ARK. The very first decision, the one that should
5 be in front of you right now, is a decision pursuant to the decision of
6 the Ministry of Defence. It is a document dated 4 May 1992 from the
7 secretary of the National Defence Secretariat of the ARK,
8 Lieutenant Colonel Milorad Sajic.
9 Number 5, notation in this decision says: "All paramilitary
10 formations and individuals who illegally possess weapons and ammunition
11 are to immediately, and by 1500 hours on 11 May 1992 at the latest,
12 surrender them." And we can see the rest of the document there. I want
13 to talk to you about this: In May, the first part of May 1992, what part
14 of the municipality were you spending the bulk of your time in? Were you
15 all over the municipality, or in one -- spending most of your time in one
16 portion of the municipality?
17 A. At that time, I was working in Novi Grad, and some of my duties
18 related to my job, I performed in Novi Grad. But usually I spent the time
19 in Kostajnica because it was already tough time, and I was there.
20 Q. You say it was a tough time. Let's -- if you could, describe for
21 the Chamber what made it a tough time, say, at the end of April, early May
22 of 1992? Were tensions increasing in the area?
23 A. Yes. Tensions increasing, especially related what started in
24 Sarajevo and all over the Bosnia and the referendum of the plebiscite.
25 And then some events in Slavonski Brod, and then tensions rised.
1 Q. Was -- were there concerns among the population about other
2 peoples having weapons? Were the Serbs concerned about the Muslims have
3 been weapons and vice versa?
4 A. There were both, both concerns very strong.
5 Q. This decision in Exhibit P227, the one that I read out, were you
6 aware of this decision?
7 A. I can say that I'm aware very well because I'm -- I was not very
8 close to, let's say, military issues, but I don't know. Probably it was
9 issued. Even we had a Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in that time,
10 and there was Ministry of Defence because I'm not sure this gentleman was
11 authorised to issue this decision.
12 Q. I'm not really -- at this stage, I'm not really concerned about
13 whether or not he's authorised. What I'm concerned about is the subject
14 matter of paragraph 5, which has to deal with paramilitary formations, the
15 possession of weapons, illegal weapons, and ammunition, and the
16 surrendering of them.
17 In late April, early May of 1992, what steps, if any, did you take
18 to deal with the rising tensions that you just described?
19 A. I was really trying to deal both with Bosniaks and with Serbs,
20 trying to calm down the situation and to keep peace, let's say. I was
21 permanently trying to be in contact with all sides because of all these
22 concerns about weapons, and I tried simply to calm down the situation.
23 Q. Well, what area of the municipality, what region of the
24 municipality did you have any influence in?
25 A. I had influence in my, let's say, born place. When I'm saying
1 "born place," I'm thinking about Bosanska Kostajnica. I had influence in
2 that area. Because of that, I spent a lot of time there.
3 Q. Okay, now, you said that you were permanently trying to be in
4 contact with all sides, trying to calm down the situation. In this
5 respect, what did you do? First of all, did you do anything to -- were
6 you working with the SDA and the Muslims in Kostajnica?
7 A. Yes. For example, among other things I've done, I went to the
8 mosque, talked to Islam priest, hodza, we call that, that you say usually
9 hodza is the most influenced man among Muslim people. I went to the
10 mosque, stayed there for a long time. Not only me, me and local Orthodox
11 priest, we went to the mosque, talked to people. We tried to find a
12 solution how to calm down situation, how the Muslims could express, let's
13 say, good faith. And we settled one agreement, let's say, that Bosniak
14 should collect any possible weapon they have, and then we -- they collect
15 some weapons, some real weapons and some handmade weapons which they had,
16 and we -- they put it on the bags. And publicly, came to the police
17 station and surrendered their weapons. That enabled me to go to the
18 Serbian population and say, "okay, Bosniaks, they surrendered their
19 weapons. They're not any dangerous for us. Let's keep calm down. We can
20 deal with that problem."
21 Q. You talked how you -- by the way, are we talking about -- your
22 efforts, are these -- what time of the year? Is it April, May? Give us a
23 time frame.
24 A. It was around - I'm not sure - 11th or 10 May, something like
25 these days. At the time of the matter of the collecting weapons or
1 surrendering weapons from the paramilitary and other groups was on the
3 Q. When you're working with -- and we're going to talk about what, if
4 anything, with the Serbian population. But in your dealings with the
5 Muslim population, was that simply on one day? Was it just this one
7 A. No, no, it lasts for days. The other days I -- of course, there
8 was need to encourage local Muslim population. Then I done that with just
9 walking through the streets during the early night, about 9.00 or 10.00,
10 meeting people, talking to them and so on.
11 Q. And how could that, just walking through the streets and meeting
12 people and talking to them, how could that have any effect? Did that have
13 to do with who you were and your reputation there? Describe that for us.
14 A. I think they believed me in that time, and I was really open and
15 honest to them. And I think a lot of people -- let's say all the people
16 knew me, both Bosniaks and Serbs. They knew me. I grew up in that place.
17 My father was there. One part of our life, we used to live in the society
18 where the Bosniaks lived. Simply I think they believed me. I talked to
19 them, "let's keep calm down, I hope everything will be solved," and so on
20 and so on.
21 Q. Okay. You've told us about what you were doing on the Muslim side
22 of the situation, and that included convincing them to turn in weapons.
23 A. Yes. I think turning weapons from the Bosniaks was very important
24 because even if they have or if they have not weapons, it didn't mean
25 nothing because they were minority. But they could do great thing if they
1 surrender any weapons as a good faith, let's say. And because of that, I
2 asked them, I asked both sides to surrender weapons. But from other
3 reasons. I'd like also the Serbs' paramilitary forces to be disarmed, and
4 I called them also to surrender the weapons. And from the Bosniak side, I
5 asked them to surrender weapons in order to find some signal of good faith
6 which could enable us, let's say, politicians, local politicians, to have
7 some instrument to calm down the situation.
8 Q. Okay. I want to follow up on something that you said there. You
9 said: "I'd like also that the Serbs' paramilitary forces to be disarmed,
10 and I called them also to surrender their weapons." Now I'd like you to
11 tell us what you did with respect to the Serbian population to get them to
12 surrender their weapons. Because I take it, did the Muslim population
13 ever tell you: "We are frightened of the Serbs"? Was there fear on both
15 A. There was fear on both sides, and there was fear also -- there was
16 fear about paramilitary units on both sides, same. What I tried to do is
17 in constant contact with the police chief, we also always asking for
18 paramilitary groups and for criminals to be disarmed or to be put in the
19 control. I can give you one example. It's maybe -- I have no right
20 probably for closed session, but there was one --
21 Q. Let me stop you right there. Is there an individual's name --
22 A. There's individuals --
23 Q. I mean, with the Court's permission, if we could go into closed
24 session -- private session?
25 A. Private, sorry.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Any problems, Ms. Korner? Not at all.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the president, please.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: My apologies. Let's go into private session for a
4 while. Thank you.
5 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We are back in open session. Let's proceed, Mr.
3 Cunningham. Thank you.
4 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. I want you to describe in detail what you did first with respect
6 to the Serbian paramilitaries in an effort to disarm them. What did you
8 A. As I said, I was not authorised to take any actions, military or
9 police actions. But what I could do is politically to put always that
10 problem on the table and discuss about that and ask all governmental
11 levels or institutions to deal with that and to disarm that. That was
12 only what I could do, and I've done that all the time.
13 Q. You told us that the head of the police in Kostajnica was someone
14 that you had a good working relationship with. Correct?
15 A. Both in Kostajnica and in Novi.
16 Q. You made your requests upon these police officers; did they take
17 any action? Was there an effort made to - let me finish - was there an
18 effort made to disarm Serbian paramilitaries that may have been on the
20 A. I think we tried that. I already told about one, let's say, the
21 biggest problem. But I believe they tried always to disarm the -- even
22 they were also not capable for big deal.
23 Q. When you say that "they were not capable for a big deal," I think
24 I know what you're talking about, but it's not really clear for the
25 record. So explain that a little bit more.
1 A. There were --
2 Q. My fault. Are you talking about the capability of the local
3 police or what?
4 A. Yes, I'm talking about capability of local police because it was
5 chaotic situation, and there was a lot of, let's say, paramilitary groups
6 or the group. The war was just across the river. A lot of people had
7 relatives, friends across the river in Croatia. And a lot of people from
8 the Bosnian side, as volunteers, took part in the war in Croatia. That
9 was one thing.
10 That people sometimes came with arms to the Bosniak side.
11 Q. Let me stop you right there because we're talking about May of
12 1992. Was that still a recurring problem in May of 1992?
13 A. I tried to explain the situation that that produced a lot of
14 groups and a lot of arms all around. Also, the war in that time, there
15 was still war in the Croatia, but it was not on the River Una. It was,
16 let's say, 30 or 40 kilometres far away. There was still war. There were
17 a lot of groups from -- I don't know. From everywhere. And that's what I
18 thought when I tell that the local police was not capable to deal with all
19 these groups and individuals and so on. Because again, Novi was very,
20 very specifically situated, and it was cross point for a lot of people.
21 Q. Were those groups -- I take it then from your answer that those
22 groups, some of those groups, at least, were still in the municipality.
23 On the territory of the municipality in April and May of 1992? Were they
24 still a problem then?
25 A. Yeah, they were a -- we felt they were a problem. They will be a
1 problem, that groups. Even still, if we are talking about April, May,
2 still, there was no any, let's say, actions. But we knew that the problem
3 with that groups will arise.
4 Q. Earlier in describing the Muslims, you talked about how they made
5 a -- in good faith, they turned over some weapons. Did the police in
6 Novi, using your term, did they in your opinion make a good-faith effort
7 to deal with these paramilitaries to get their weapons?
8 A. We're talking about Serbs?
9 Q. I'm talking about Serbs, and I'm specifically talking about April
10 and, more importantly, May of 1992.
11 A. Okay. Again, I think they had good faith, but they were not
12 capable enough.
13 Q. We've talked about the efforts to deal with Serbian
14 paramilitaries. Were there just regular Serbian citizens who had weapons
15 during this time period?
16 A. It was still time when we recognised JNA as the official army of
17 Yugoslavia and official army on that territory. There was also a TO,
18 which is subordinated to JNA, which we also recognised as official
19 military units. They were fulfilled mostly with Serbs. Even, again, in
20 Kostajnica, we had some Muslims involved in that units.
21 Q. Let me stop you --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: He's not answering your question. Perhaps he may
23 have misunderstood the question.
24 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And I was going to rephrase it, Judge.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I see, okay. Thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
2 Q. It was my fault because I referred to Serbian citizens with
3 weapons. And what I'm really getting at is Serbian civilians, not
4 affiliated with the TO, not affiliated with the JNA, just a regular
5 civilian who had weapons. Were these -- you talked about how you
6 approached the Muslims on weapons; you've talked about the Serbian
7 paramilitaries. Tell us what if any efforts you personally took to
8 convince the Serbian -- the regular Serbian civilian who had a weapon to
9 put that weapon up or turn it in?
10 A. There was no -- there was no need for Serbian civilian to be
11 armed. There was TO, there was JNA. There was mobilisation that -- if
12 anyone received invitation for mobilisation, he could go to the army.
13 There was simply no need, and I'm not aware about any armed civilians, if
14 I'm clear now, because the Serbs responded to the mobilisation. There was
15 no need for some civilians to be armed. If they are armed out of the JNA
16 or TO, it is paramilitary group simply.
17 Q. Okay. Did you ever approach any individual Serbian citizens who
18 were not affiliated with the TO, not with the JNA, to turn in their
19 hunting rifles, their licensed pistols? Did you make a similar request on
20 the Serbian civilian population that you made to the Muslim population?
21 A. No, I didn't.
22 Q. What part of the municipality was your focus in in trying to
23 reduce these tensions? Was it Kostajnica?
24 A. Again, it was Kostajnica.
25 Q. Do you believe that your efforts bore any fruit? Were they
2 A. I believe it was successful.
3 Q. Why do you say that?
4 A. First of all, in that critical period, we didn't have any victims,
5 any -- we didn't have any combat between Serbs and -- I think from the
6 point of view in that time, that was great success comparing with what
7 happened in all other...
8 Q. You use a phrase in your answer: "We didn't have any victims." I
9 want to talk to you, and I want you to remember what you said there
10 because I want you to talk about whether or not there were any problems
11 with either paramilitaries or parapolice coming to Kostajnica. First of
12 all, did they come to Kostajnica, the parapolice?
13 A. They come a little bit later. I'm not sure. It was the end of
14 May, I think, came one group to Kostajnica, which caused a lot of problems
15 in Kostajnica.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. If you allow me, please, when I told victim, I was thinking about
18 murdered people, not about --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could both speakers please kindly slow down.
20 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
21 Q. I don't know if you heard the interpreter, but we're going a
22 little bit too fast. So we need to slow down, and let's remember that
23 everything is being translated.
24 A. Okay.
25 Q. You told us that at the end of May, you believe a group came to
1 Kostajnica which caused a lot of problems.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was this a group of police? Or parapolice?
4 A. They introduced themselves as police. By what they've done later
5 on, I think it's a criminal group. I don't believe it's real police. But
6 still, we don't know them -- any one of them because they were not from
7 local community.
8 Q. You say "by what they've done later." What did they do to the
9 citizens, specifically the Muslim citizens of Kostajnica?
10 A. They beat them, robbed them.
11 Q. Okay. And were you aware of this?
12 A. Not immediately, because, you know, I was travelling and going up
13 and down. And one day when I back home, some Serbs, local Serbs, told me
14 that it is something unusual and terrified what that people are doing.
15 Q. Okay. Did you investigate it?
16 A. I contacted police officers, and they confirmed me that it's a
17 group which is -- which are not doing like police. They are doing like
19 Q. You told us that you had a good working relationship with the head
20 of the police in Kostajnica. Did you and he do anything to try to resolve
21 this problem and to deal with the parapolice and what they were doing?
22 A. I strongly asked him to take some step in order to -- for that
23 people to leave the territory. And also, we let's say send them the
24 message if they don't leave, we will try to self-organise and beat against
1 Q. And let's take it first step. What did the -- specifically, what
2 did the head of the police in Kostajnica do to get these people to stop?
3 What's the first step? Do you remember?
4 A. He's done only what he could to done. He phoned police chief, and
5 they send some letter, I don't know where, telling that that group is a
6 problem and the Serbs are very, let's say, afraid what they are doing.
7 They are not accepting that. And it will be a problem if they don't leave
8 as soon as possible.
9 Q. Was there ever a confrontation between you and other Serbs that
10 were opposed to this sort of behaviour in the parapolice?
11 A. One of that guy from that so-called police units, probably knowing
12 what happened, he tried to threaten me. He threaten me that I will be
13 arrested, I am -- I am trying to stop them to do their job, I'm protecting
14 Muslims and so on.
15 Q. And what ultimately happened with this group of parapolice?
16 A. Later on, I don't know how long a time, but not so long time after
17 that, they left Kostajnica.
18 Q. And do you know why they left?
19 A. I don't know. They left.
20 Q. What was the reaction of the Muslim population in Kostajnica when
21 they left?
22 A. After all, they were frightened, of course. But I believe it was
23 much easier for them. They were happy when that group left, even -- they
24 already made quite a lot of bad things. And they stayed, I think, a
25 little bit frightened after all.
1 Q. Did a -- did any of the Muslim population of Kostajnica leave
2 because of this fear? Did they move away because of this fear you've just
4 A. Maybe some of them, yes. Even from Kostajnica, we never had,
5 let's say, big group or convoy or something like that, people leaving
6 Kostajnica. I don't know exact number, but big number of Muslims stayed
7 in Kostajnica during all the time of war. But some of them left later on
8 during the war, one by one, but also a lot of Serbs left also because of
9 economic situation and because of fear they felt.
10 Q. Do you feel that your efforts in Kostajnica were effective in
11 reducing the tensions?
12 A. I think it is, after all, after the war, I'm meeting that people,
13 I'm sitting with them in cafes and discussing. Even with some guys which
14 was under the, let's say, torture of this group in that time. They never
15 tell me anything wrong about my role in all this.
16 Q. When you're referring to these people, you're referring to which
17 population? Bosniak population?
18 A. Bosniak population, yeah.
19 Q. Now, we've talked about your efforts in the northeast or the
20 northern part of the municipality. I want to talk about events in other
21 parts of the municipality. Earlier in your examination, you pointed out
22 to us on the map where the Japra Valley was. In early May, in April and
23 May, were the same sort of tensions in that part of the municipality?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Did you try to go to the Japra Valley to -- as you did in
1 Kostajnica, to try to reduce the tension there?
2 A. Everything happened in quite a short period of time. I did not
3 have time to left the situation in Kostajnica and go to other places.
4 Some other people tried to calm down the situation there, but...
5 Q. Was -- the situation, was this a concern of the local SDS
6 municipal board or the crisis staff?
7 A. Yeah, it concerned us. We were discussed about that. On several
8 occasions, we tried to persuade people publicly, on the meetings, that we
9 should calm down the situation. We should stop all bad things what
10 started, if we can. But again, it was on the meetings where we discussed
11 what was going on, we were concerned about the situation in Blagaj Japra.
12 Q. Why were you concerned about the situation there?
13 A. I don't know exact date, but the problems appeared there. I'm
14 informed that paramilitary groups made some attack on military police.
15 And I don't know about that even then. I'm not sure where that happened
16 and when exactly. But that was -- that caused, let's say, a lot of
17 problems between people in that area. Mostly populated by Muslims and
18 with some villages with Serbs.
19 Q. Was -- like someone -- like, you tried to ease the tensions in
20 Kostajnica. Was anyone from the SDS trying to do the same thing in the
21 Japra Valley?
22 A. They were obliged. All the local SDS officials, they were obliged
23 by our decisions to try to calm down the situation, same as we done in
25 Q. And were they successful like you were in Kostajnica?
1 A. I can't say they were because of what happened there.
2 Q. Let's talk about what happened there. Did you become aware,
3 through conversations, about a large convoy of Muslims leaving the area
4 because they were afraid --
5 MS. KORNER: I'm sorry, that's really horribly leading.
6 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Then I'll rephrase.
7 MS. KORNER: I would like to know without being told --
8 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
9 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
10 Q. You talked about specifically the problems -- again I apologise
11 for my pronunciation -- there was one town, Blagaj?
12 A. It's Japra Valley. We used to say Blagaj Japra is the same,
13 because Blagaj and River Japra for the same. It's same thing, Japra
15 Q. Did you become aware of a large group of Muslims leaving that
17 A. Yeah, I was aware.
18 Q. How did you become aware?
19 A. Simply, I'm informed. I can't remember who, from but I'm informed
20 that there is a big group who wanted to leave that area. And of course,
21 that happened after some fights, some --
22 Q. Why were they wanting to leave the area?
23 A. There was some shelling and some shooting in that area. They were
24 frightened. They felt great fear. And they simply wanted to leave.
25 Q. And --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: You're saying shelling and shooting. Perhaps you
2 can be more precise on who was doing the shelling and the shooting.
3 THE WITNESS: I think that were paramilitary forces. For me, that
4 were paramilitary forces.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Paramilitaries were also capable of shelling?
6 THE WITNESS: When I say shelling, I think about, let's say, big
8 JUDGE AGIUS: This is why I'm asking you to be clear because for
9 me using shelling and shooting may have different connotations from what
10 perhaps you mean to tell us.
11 THE WITNESS: Excuse me. It's my misunderstanding.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: That's why I put the question to you.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
14 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
15 Q. I don't know if you've answered His Honour's question.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: He hasn't actually. He hasn't explained what he
17 means by shelling.
18 THE WITNESS: Shooting by paramilitary forces.
19 MR. CUNNINGHAM:
20 Q. I still don't think you've answered the question.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: How do you distinguish shooting from shelling?
22 THE WITNESS: Now, I know what you told me. Shelling should be
23 made by big, big guns or cannons. And shooting is from, let's say, guns,
24 small guns.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: But before these Bosniaks decided to leave the area
1 because they were frightened as you said from shelling and shooting, was
2 there shelling and shooting?
3 THE WITNESS: It was shooting, as I know.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: So there was no shelling?
5 THE WITNESS: I don't know for shelling.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Cunningham. Sorry to interrupt.
7 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Absolutely no problem, Your Honour.
8 Q. How many people, if you know, were trying to leave?
9 A. I can only imagine that it could be five to seven thousand people.
10 Having in mind the Bosniak population in Novi Grad. I'm not sure, but it
11 is about maybe 5.000. I'm not sure.
12 Q. Where were they trying to go when they were leaving?
13 A. They tried, let's say, they asked to be sent to Central Bosnia.
14 It's towards Doboj, Zenica, Sarajevo route because that area was populated
15 mostly by Muslims.
16 Q. And what happened with their request to be taken to
17 Central Bosnia?
18 A. I was not involved in that. I'm talking what I heard. There was
19 a train organised for that people, and they were put on the train and went
20 towards Doboj. Local authorities in Doboj didn't want to allow for men in
21 our age, let's say, military age, to go to Central Bosnia because they
22 were, as they said, afraid that people will be mobilised and turned to the
23 people in Doboj, Serb people in Doboj. And then as I informed again, they
24 were, let's say, separated. Women and children could go further, and mens
25 were turned back to Novi Grad, Bosanski Novi.
1 Q. What happened to the men, if you know, once they turned to Novi?
2 A. It had to be find some solution where they could stay, and they
3 were put on the stadium, local stadium in Novi, Bosanski Novi.
4 Q. Was that your idea to have them put in the stadium?
5 A. No, it's not my idea.
6 Q. Who decided that they should go to the stadium, do you know?
7 A. I really don't know who exactly in that period. Someone who dealt
8 with them. I think there were some people who dealt with them directly
9 with the Bosniaks, and they wanted to be somewhere together. And there
10 was only, I don't know. It was the only possible solution to go there.
11 Q. Okay. How long were they in that stadium?
12 A. I can't remember exact, but it lasted, let's say, for tens of
14 Q. For tens of days?
15 A. I don't know. 20 or 30 days maybe.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. I'm not sure.
18 Q. I just didn't understand your answer.
19 Now, while they're in the stadium, you told us that you were on
20 the municipal board and also on the crisis staff. Are there discussions
21 on either the board or in the crisis staff on finding a solution for these
23 A. There was discussion, of course. Even I can't remember did we
24 have crisis staff at that time? We had discussions, and we asked local
25 assembly and all local institutions for some steps. I can't remember
1 exactly for what, but for some steps which will enable as normal life for
2 that people as it could be in that circumstances.
3 Q. Well, let's back up. Let's talk about ultimately did these people
4 leave the stadium? Did they leave the stadium and leave Novi?
5 A. Later on, yes.
6 Q. Okay. Where did they go?
7 A. They went to -- through Croatia -- to Croatia, through the region
8 which was under the control of UNPROFOR in that time. And that was done
9 together with -- in coordination with UNPROFOR and International Red Cross
10 and so on. There were big negotiations about how that people could go
12 Q. All right. Were you involved in those negotiations?
13 A. No, I was not involved.
14 Q. Do you know based on your conversations that you had with other
15 people in the municipality why it took so long for the arrangements to be
17 A. There was, as I am told from the president of assembly, there was
18 a resistance from both UNPROFOR and International Red Cross to take part
19 in all organisation. And the local Serbs didn't want to do that without
20 such kind of assistance. And it was necessary to make some preparation.
21 You know, you must find the vehicles, you must enable that people can go
22 with their properties as they can bring, not to be robbed at the end of
23 the story and so on. That was why it takes a lot of time.
24 Q. Who was the president of the municipality?
25 A. The president of the municipality was Mr. Pasic Radomir.
1 Q. Was he involved in the negotiations with the Red Cross and
3 A. Yes, he was involved, as I know.
4 Q. What property did these people leave with?
5 A. They leave everything they could have with them. It means, cars
6 and other vehicles and everything what they can put -- excuse me. We
7 should make distance between people from the stadium and all other people
8 who were in convoy.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. Unfortunately, that people on stadium, they didn't have any
11 property any more in their hands. But together with them in convoy, some
12 other people which were not in the stadium, they joined them in that
13 convoy. Of course, it has been tried to enable them to take their
14 property as much as they can.
15 Q. You've talked about moveable property. I would --
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. Did many of these people own houses and farms and other real
19 A. Yes, they did.
20 Q. What happened to that property?
21 A. Again, that was the chaos. Some people tried to use that
22 situation to take over property from the Muslims, some Serb people, and
23 they asked them for some kind of contract or some kind of giving them free
24 of charge their property and so on. And they submitted -- there were
25 different cases. Someone just left their homes. Someone gave keys to
1 maybe their friends or some people who forced them to give them. There
2 were different, various things.
3 Q. Did -- were there Serbs within the municipality that felt that
4 these transactions were -- they would be forced to give up their property,
5 did they feel these transactions were fair?
6 A. There was a lot of people who thought that was not fair, the
7 transactions, or majority. We have discussed that also in the SDS. And
8 following that, the local institutions took some steps, made some
9 decisions or orders - I can't remember exactly what - saying that their
10 contracts are not legal, are not made freely, are not legal, and couldn't
11 be legal any more.
12 Q. Let's -- when you say the local institutions took some steps,
13 specifically what did -- who were the local institutions and what were the
14 steps that they took to prevent these sorts of transfers from going
16 A. That was local executive board which was in charge to adopt some
17 decisions in order to, let's say, stop all the procedure about these
19 Q. Was that decision ever adopted by the municipal assembly?
20 A. It was confirmed by municipal assembly.
21 Q. You told us that when you looked at an exhibit earlier, which was
22 the document from Prime Minister Dzeric, I think it's in April of 1992,
23 dealing with crisis staffs, that you were on the crisis staff. Do you
24 remember how many meetings the crisis staff of the Municipality of
25 Bosanski Novi might have had?
1 A. I can't remember, but we didn't have a lot of sessions of crisis
2 staff as I know.
3 Q. At the meetings of the crisis staff -- the municipal crisis staff,
4 did the subject of the ARK Crisis Staff ever come up?
5 A. I don't remember any of that.
6 Q. In front of you in tab number 10 is the Prosecutor's Exhibit 227,
7 which is the Official Gazette of the ARK. Did you ever attend a meeting
8 of the ARK Crisis Staff?
9 A. No. No, I didn't.
10 Q. Were you aware of anyone from Novi attending any meetings of the
11 ARK Crisis Staff?
12 A. I'm not aware. I think nobody attended.
13 Q. Okay. Do you remember now, almost 11 and a half years later,
14 whether or not you received any of the decisions of the Official Gazette
15 of the ARK?
16 A. I was looking at that Official Gazette, and really I can't
17 remember that I read it at that time and that I saw it.
18 Q. And I left a copy of P227 with you overnight to see if you -- to
19 give you the opportunity to read it, to study it. Looking back now after
20 the fact, do you remember getting any of these decisions that are
21 contained within P227?
22 A. I don't remember that we dealt with any of these things in that
23 time. We had a lot of things, a lot of problems on the ground. I think
24 we haven't dealt with these decisions.
25 Q. During 1992, specifically during the period of May through July of
1 1992, you, as a member of the municipal assembly, a member of the
2 municipal crisis staff, did you believe that you were required to
3 implement the decisions, conclusions of the ARK crisis staff?
4 A. Now, when I'm reading these decisions, I can say that we simply
5 didn't or I simply didn't do a lot of -- I didn't do anything from this.
6 Q. Okay. And I understand that you said you didn't do anything, but
7 I want to know if the municipal crisis staff did anything with respect to
8 these decisions.
9 A. As I remember, we didn't even dealt with these decisions. We
10 didn't even put it on the table.
11 Q. Go ahead. I cut you off.
12 A. Again, we had a lot of problems on the ground which we had to
13 solve. And then this was not obligatory. That's what I made a mistake
14 before. This was not obligatory for us, and simply we couldn't waste time
15 and examine what crisis staff is trying to do.
16 Q. Was there ever a concern within Novi among members of the crisis
17 staff that if you didn't follow these conclusions and decisions, that you
18 would be punished, that you would be sanctioned?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you know the defendant in this case, Mr. Brdjanin?
21 A. Yeah, I did know him in that time.
22 Q. How is it that you knew him?
23 A. As you can see, I was a member of ARK Assembly. I saw him there.
24 And of course, on the television, newspapers. From time to time, I heard
25 about him.
1 Q. Were you aware that he was the president of the ARK Crisis Staff?
2 A. Yeah, I were aware. It was public.
3 Q. What was -- did he have any power? During May, June, and July of
4 1992, did he have any power, any authority, any competence in your
6 A. I really think that he's not a powerful man, or he is without any
8 Q. Okay. What about the ARK Crisis Staff? Did it have any power or
9 authority or competence in your municipality during May, June, July of
11 A. It was a body which was not considered seriously, not only in my
12 municipality, also in other municipalities.
13 Q. Was the opinion that you just expressed that it was not considered
14 seriously, was that just your opinion? Or did other people in your
15 municipality share your opinion?
16 A. It was a common opinion from I think all people involved in any
18 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
20 Yes, Ms. Korner.
21 MS. KORNER: Your Honour, can I have an indication of how long
22 Your Honours will sit this afternoon.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: You have until 7.00.
24 MS. KORNER: Thank you.
25 Cross-examined by Ms. Korner:
1 Q. Now, sir, I want to make it very clear to you, if you don't
2 understand the question and you find difficulty in answering in English,
3 please, please answer in your own language because I don't want there to
4 be any misunderstanding, do you understand?
5 A. I understand. If you prefer, we can switch to my native language.
6 Q. I'd like to start by asking you about Mr. Pasic. Is he alive?
7 A. Yes, he is.
8 Q. Where is he these days?
9 A. He's in Bosanski Novi. He's working in Prijedor, I think.
10 Q. So there would be no difficulty if anybody wanted to call him to
11 this Court in finding him?
12 A. There is no any difficulty for sure.
13 Q. And Mr. Pasic was the president of the Assembly. Is that right?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Mr. Pasic was the president of the crisis staff in Bosanski Novi?
16 A. I'm not sure. Maybe, but I think in one period of time the
17 president of executive board was the president of the crisis staff in that
19 Q. All right. In the period --
20 A. I'm not sure.
21 Q. All right. In the particular period between April 1992 and
22 September 1992, was Mr. Pasic the president of the crisis staff in
23 Bosanski Novi?
24 A. I believe he was. Even I must say that maybe in one period of
25 time, he was not.
1 Q. All right. And you yourself - I'll come back to the crisis
2 staff - were a member of that crisis staff?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. But the person who has the greatest knowledge of that crisis staff
5 and of the dealings with UNPROFOR, in particular, is Mr. Pasic?
6 A. Yeah, that's correct.
7 Q. Are you able to give us an address for Mr. Pasic?
8 A. Not in this moment, but it's a very small place. You can find him
9 very easy.
10 Q. If we were to ask you overnight to make inquiries, would you be
11 able to do that?
12 A. Inquiries?
13 Q. Yes. Would you be able to find out by making a telephone call
14 what the present address of Mr. Pasic is?
15 A. I would be able, but again, it's not a problem at all for anyone
16 to find out.
17 Q. That may be. But sir, I'm going to ask you very kindly if the
18 Trial Chamber agree that you do that for us.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Cunningham is going to do that for you,
20 Ms. Korner.
21 Yes, Mr. Cunningham.
22 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I understand she might be interested in
23 his appearance before this Tribunal, but I don't think this is really
24 beyond this or relevant to this area of inquiry.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think with your experience, you know exactly where
1 Ms. Korner is heading. It's not just what you said.
3 MR. CUNNINGHAM: And with all due respect, Judge, I don't think
4 it's his job to do their work to find a witness.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's see. Obviously, I'm not going to force the
6 witness to go and look for the address of Mr. Pasic.
7 MS. KORNER: I can't force the witness either, Your Honour. I'm
8 only inquiring.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I have done this before myself, Ms. Korner, so I
10 know exactly what you are up to.
11 MS. KORNER: Your Honours, I'm making sure that Mr. Cunningham
12 understands, I'm making the point that the witness who would have appeared
13 to have been able to give the most relevant information to this Trial
14 Chamber --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Pasic.
16 MS. KORNER: -- is Mr. Pasic.
17 Q. Sir, if you are able to do, would you be prepared to make a phone
18 call and provide for us a telephone number and an address for Mr. Pasic?
19 A. I am able, if you need, I can do that, but it came on my mind that
20 that I've heard that Tribunal already contacted Mr. Pasic, and he is in
21 contact with I don't know whom from the Tribunal.
22 Q. That may be so, sir. If you forgive me, if you don't mind doing
23 it, then as I say, I would be very grateful if you would do that and let
24 us know tomorrow.
25 A. It's nighttime. It's a little bit inconvenient.
1 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, I have told him that while he's a witness
2 here, after he testifies, that he is not to talk to anyone, not to mention
3 that he's here. And I'm placed in a quandary, if the Court wants him to
4 do that, then so be it.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: The Court doesn't want him to do anything. But
6 you're free to accommodate Ms. Korner if you can and if you are willing,
7 and Ms. Korner, I think, will pass on the address to Mr. Cunningham.
8 MS. KORNER: I don't think we need -- Your Honour, may I say, for
9 various reasons - sorry, I've just been given a note - I don't think we
10 need trouble the witness with it.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's proceed.
12 MS. KORNER:
13 Q. Sorry. I'm sorry, sir. Can I now return to your own involvement
14 with this case. Mr. Cunningham told us during the course of his
15 examination with you that you met with him about a month and a half ago.
16 Is that right?
17 A. Yes, right.
18 Q. Before that, had you met with any other member of the Defence
20 A. I just met once the lawyer, local lawyer who is I suppose a member
21 of the team who just asked me whether I'm willing or not to testify.
22 Q. All right. And can you remember who that was? Was it Mr. Peric?
23 A. Mr. Peric.
24 Q. And did Mr. Peric ask you whether you could provide any documents
25 that would assist in this case?
1 A. No, he didn't ask me about any documents.
2 Q. Have you provided documents to the Defence in this case?
3 A. I bring two documents which I was given from the municipality, and
4 I couldn't find anything else because I don't have any personal archive
5 or documents or something like that.
6 Q. Do you mean before you met with the Defence, you went to the
7 municipality to obtain some documents?
8 A. No, I did not go to the municipality. I asked my friend who is
9 working there just for one document because I remembered very well that we
10 discussed about problems, such problems. And I wanted to remind my
12 Q. What problems? I'm sorry.
13 A. All the problems in -- about people in the stadium.
14 Q. All right. So you gave the Defence two documents concerned with
15 the stadium and nothing else?
16 A. Nothing else.
17 Q. During the course of the meetings of the crisis staff, minutes
18 were taken. That's right, isn't it?
19 A. It should be the case. I'm not sure.
20 Q. There was no organisation, was there? No formal meeting of
21 organisation that went unminuted?
22 A. Again, I suppose that should be, but I don't know whether anyone
23 took minutes or not on the crisis staff.
24 Q. At the conclusion of the crisis staff's work, a report had to be
25 made to the municipal assembly, didn't it?
1 A. Yeah.
2 Q. On its activities.
3 A. Okay.
4 Q. You agree with that.
5 A. I agree with you now, because it means there were some minutes
6 because the assembly confirmed some steps.
7 Q. The assembly was obliged to verify the decisions that had been
8 made by the crisis staff.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right. Where is that report?
11 A. You think documents?
12 Q. No, where is the physical report that was delivered to the
13 municipal assembly?
14 A. I really don't know. I don't work in assembly. If assembly
15 adopts or confirms something, it should be in archive in assembly.
16 Q. Where are the minutes that were taken of the crisis staff?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. Those minutes should have been in the municipal building. That's
19 right, isn't it? Archived.
20 A. I'm not sure.
21 Q. The records of official meetings of the assembly and/or the crisis
22 staff which took over its functions had to be kept, didn't they?
23 A. Records about assembly meeting should be. I'm not sure for the
24 meetings -- meetings of the crisis staff. Whether or not, I really don't
1 Q. I'm sorry. But we're going around in circles slightly, sir. A
2 minute ago you agreed with me that in order for a report to have been
3 given to the assembly, there must have been minutes.
4 A. There should be some conclusions or something like that. But
5 you're asking me, if I'm right, are there documents in the assembly
6 building? I'm not sure.
7 Q. Did you make any attempt to obtain from the assembly -- from the
8 municipal building or anyone who works in the municipality copies of those
10 A. No, I didn't. If you allow me, I will explain why. I was
11 president of the municipality board, and I was interested just for that
12 exact case that the local SDS has discussed that problem and has concluded
13 something about the situation. I did not have my personal documents or
14 archives, and that's why I was interested just in that. I don't think
15 that I should have anything else apart of that.
16 Q. I understand. But you told us that you asked for copies of
17 documents that were related to the football field, although you've told us
18 a moment ago that was nothing to do with you.
19 A. I can say that is nothing to do with me, but my responsibility is
20 that board of the SDS, and I was interested what we have concluded in that
21 time. That's why I asked for that -- such document.
22 Q. But you knew, didn't you, before you even spoke to Mr. Cunningham,
23 that this case was about the operation firstly of the regional crisis
24 staff, and secondly of the crisis staff in Bosanski Novi. You realised
25 that, didn't you?
1 A. I realise that.
2 Q. So why didn't you ask someone in the municipality to provide you
3 with copies of the crisis staff minutes of which you were a member?
4 A. Very simply, I'm not in charge of that. And you know, if I come
5 to assembly and ask for some documents, anyone will ask me, "Who you are
6 to ask that?"
7 Q. And you haven't the faintest idea why those documents apparently
8 are no longer at the municipal building.
9 A. I didn't say that they are no longer there.
10 Q. Well, if they are there, Mr. Dejanovic, I would be most grateful
11 again if you could make a phone call asking whoever is in charge to give
12 them to us.
13 A. I'm not capable for that any more. I'm not living in that
14 municipality. I think the Prosecutor's Office has enough capacity to
15 obtain those documents.
16 Q. Yes. Well, I can assure you, sir, that the request was met with
17 the explanation that these documents were not there.
18 All right. Can I now, please -- one further thing, sir. Were you
19 staying in the same hotel as the previous witness, Mr. Vidic?
20 A. Yes, I did stay, because I saw him when he left hotel.
21 Q. Right. Did you know Mr. Vidic before this?
22 A. Of course. He was member of ARK Assembly.
23 Q. Did the two of you discuss the evidence that he had given?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Are you sure about that?
1 A. I'm sure. Hundred per cent sure.
2 Q. And so it's your opinion, formed by yourself, that the ARK
3 Assembly, as you described it, was an unserious organisation?
4 A. Yes. All my opinion.
5 Q. And not as a result of any discussion that you had with Mr. Vidic?
6 A. No, no, not at all. It's my expression from that time. Not only
8 Q. And this description that you gave us of Hyde Park, everyone
9 coming and going, and everyone voting, you never discussed that with
10 Mr. Vidic?
11 A. No. Give me the example, maybe I can say what I am remembering,
12 but there was a lot of examples.
13 Q. All right. You told us that you became the -- you joined the SDS
14 in 1991 because of what had happened to your family in World War II. Is
15 that right?
16 A. It's not just because of that. As I explained, it's quite more
17 wide. Not just because of what happened to my family, because of a lot of
18 things. The most important thing was that I believed that with my
19 presence in the SDS, I will try and I will do something in order to
20 prevent some more extreme people to do something, and not because of what
21 happened to my family, but especially because of our historic experience
22 in Balkans.
23 Q. All right. The SDS in its numbers contained some very extreme
24 people, didn't it?
25 A. Yeah, that's true.
1 Q. Dr. Vukic, for example.
2 A. I can't give -- I'm not ready to give any, let's say, opinion
3 about was he extremist or not.
4 Q. Well, you don't think that making speeches about what should
5 happen to the babies of mixed marriages was extremist?
6 A. I can confirm that he talked very hard, but still I can't say that
7 he was extremist. I'm not sure that is the same.
8 Q. All right. Well, what do you call an extremist?
9 A. Extremist is someone who would really do something, something like
10 that. That's my opinion. Maybe I'm wrong, but...
11 Q. Do you think that it is extreme to say that the Muslims and Croats
12 should be driven out of the places where they had lived because it was
13 Serb territory?
14 A. It is an extreme statement. I agree.
15 Q. And you heard Mr. Brdjanin make a number of statements like that,
16 didn't you?
17 A. He has talked quite hard also, as Mr. Vukic.
18 Q. I'm sorry, I didn't catch --
19 A. As you mentioned, Mr. Vukic.
20 Q. I'm now talking about Mr. Brdjanin. Mr. Brdjanin and Dr. Vukic
21 made similar types of speeches, didn't they?
22 A. They talked very hard. That's what I can say. Very hard, very
23 hard statements.
24 Q. And the effect of those statements, was to terrify, wasn't it, the
25 non-Serbs, in particular, the Bosniaks?
1 A. I suppose it could terrify on some level, but it was not -- still,
2 I can say that they will do the same thing what they -- there was a lot of
3 hard talks from all sides in that time. I can only consider what
4 Mr. Brdjanin and Vukic said in that sense, that there was a lot of hard
5 talks from all sides.
6 Q. I'm not arguing with you at all about that, sir. But at the
7 moment, I'm just concerned with the effect that the speeches made by
8 high-ranking SDS members would have on the non-Serb population. The
9 answer was, wasn't it, that they were terrified, and that's why they began
10 to leave?
11 MR. CUNNINGHAM: I'm going to object to that, Your Honour, because
12 that's, in effect, two questions. One, were they terrified? And two, is
13 that why they left?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right, let's stick to whether they were
15 terrified or not first, Ms. Korner.
16 MS. KORNER: I thought he'd answered that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Not really.
18 MS. KORNER: All right.
19 Q. The effect of these speeches by high-ranking members of the SDS
20 was to terrify the non-Serbs, wasn't it?
21 A. Yes. They felt fear.
22 Q. And the fear was that if they didn't leave, they would be driven
23 out by force? That's what it was, wasn't it?
24 A. I mean that it doesn't mean that.
25 Q. Well, then, why do you think they were terrified?
1 A. They were -- they felt fear, but it still doesn't mean that they
2 will be driven out if they don't go.
3 Q. Then what were they afraid of?
4 A. They were afraid of what could happen, as we all were afraid, that
5 some bad things could happen. But it still doesn't mean that they should
7 Q. But what bad things would happen as a result of those speeches?
8 A. Again, I agree they felt fear. But I think you told that some
9 things could happen as a result of speech. It couldn't be results of
10 speech. It could be results of war circumstances. They felt fear that
11 the war could come and they could be wounded or robbed or something like
13 Q. The war had nothing to do with speeches by Mr. Brdjanin and
14 Dr. Vukic that non-Serbs should leave.
15 A. There was war already there. Combining those speeches and war,
16 it's reasonable for some people to feel fear.
17 Q. And the other thing about those types of hate speeches, and they
18 were hate speeches, weren't they, sir?
19 A. I would say they were very hard and strong speeches. I still
20 can't say that they were hate speeches.
21 Q. All right. But the other problem with making speeches like that
22 is this, isn't it, that the ordinary Serbs began to hate and fear their
23 Muslim and their Croat neighbours, didn't they?
24 A. If I consider myself as ordinary Serbs, it's not the case. I
25 didn't start to hate or to fear anyone.
1 Q. No. But no doubt when you talked to the farmers, the people who
2 worked on the factory floor, and I'm talking now about Serbs, members of
3 your party, did you notice that they were now also making threats against
5 A. If I'm talking about my surrounding, about place where I was
6 living and so on, I can't say that these speeches influenced very much
7 people around me. And I think we confirmed that later on in our relations
8 with non-Serb population.
9 Q. I'm not talking now about Bosanska Kostajnica, which was a tiny
10 part, wasn't it, of the municipality?
11 A. Yes. But having in mind a situation in my surrounding, I think no
12 one should start to hate someone because of someone's speech. And I'm not
13 sure the speeches were something what produced -- what was the major thing
14 in all what happened.
15 Q. So it is not within your experience at all that what I would call
16 racist rhetoric has any effect on the ordinary person?
17 A. If you are dealing with people on the ground, I think we could
18 prevent that that speeches became, as you say -- to have major effect on
19 the ordinary person.
20 Q. So you say you -- I'm sorry.
21 A. It depends on the person, you know. Some person may be could
22 listen some speech and start to change their mind. But if we are on the
23 ground working with the people, and tell, okay, the situation is like that
24 and that, we can prevent all this effect.
25 Q. And are you saying that within Bosanski Novi, you were able to
1 nullify, if I can put it that way, any kind of effect that these speeches
2 might have had?
3 A. Excuse me; I didn't understand the word "nullify".
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Neutralise.
5 THE WITNESS: Neutralise.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: He understands that better coming from near the
8 MS. KORNER:
9 Q. Are you saying that you and other members of your party were able
10 to ensure that those speeches didn't have that effect?
11 A. I think I did my best, and people with me did the best they could.
12 Q. And are you saying that you are unaware of any situation where
13 local Serbs not in the army, not in a particular paramilitary formation
14 attacked their non-Serb neighbours?
15 A. If you put there also criminals, then I would agree with your
16 answer. No one apart from paramilitary situations and criminals and as
17 you say army, I'm aware were not attacking their neighbours.
18 Q. No. I'm talking about Serbs who acquired weapons, neither
19 criminals, nor really paramilitaries in that sense that we mean, in the
20 Japra Valley and attacked their neighbours. You're saying you were
21 unaware of anything like that happening?
22 A. As my knowledge is, the problems in Japra Valley have been made by
23 paramilitary groups. That's my knowledge. I'm pretty sure it's right.
24 Q. I just want to make sure I understand what was your last or one of
25 your last answers about this. You are saying, are you, that any shelling,
1 shooting, or any kind of attack was carried out by paramilitary groups?
2 Is that what your evidence is?
3 A. What my opinion is, yeah.
4 Q. Well, you were there in the area, you were part of the government
5 of the area, sir. Now, are you saying that all attacks upon non-Serbs
6 were carried out by paramilitary or criminals?
7 A. First of all, excuse me, but I'm not part of government. I was
8 president of local SDS party, and it's not government.
9 I think, I really think that these attacks was carried out by the
11 Q. Sir, you were president of the SDS. Under the Dzeric regulations
12 or the Serbian Government regulations, you were a member of the crisis
13 staff. Do you agree with that?
14 A. I was the member of the crisis staff. I attended to the meeting
15 of the crisis staff more because I came from Kostajnica, and Kostajnica
16 was a pretty separate municipality. And having in mind that someone
17 should attend and take care about this part of the municipality, I
18 attended to the meetings.
19 Q. Do you agree that the instructions from the Serbian government in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina about crisis staff included the fact that the president
21 of the municipal SDS board should be a member?
22 A. You are talking about instructions which I've told you I've never
23 seen. And I was not attended to the crisis staff meetings according to
24 that instructions. I was attending according to instructions from
25 Mr. Dzeric. He didn't notice that presidents of SDS should attend, but it
2 Q. Did you have a delegate from Bosanski Novi attending the -- well,
3 first of all, was there somebody from Novi on the main board of the SDS?
4 A. Yes, there was.
5 Q. And who was that?
6 A. It was Mr. Grbic, I think.
7 Q. And was there also a member of -- a delegate to the assembly from
8 Bosanski Novi?
9 A. Three of them, two Serbs and one Bosniak, if we are talking about
10 Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 Q. No -- well, first of all the Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
12 and then the Serbian Assembly.
13 A. Two of them were in Serbian Assembly.
14 Q. And are you saying that neither Mr. Grbic or either of the two
15 members of the assembly, the Serbian, ever told you about or gave you a
16 copy of the instructions that had been issued by the SDS board on the 19th
17 of December?
18 A. No, they didn't.
19 Q. Are you sure about that?
20 A. I'm positive.
21 Q. So how did you know how to set up a crisis staff?
22 A. The crisis staff has been settled according to the regulation
23 still from former Yugoslavia.
24 Q. And so you, although -- I'm sorry. I'll start that again.
25 Do you agree that the crisis staff functioned only when the
1 assembly could not meet because there was war or a threat of war?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you agree that the crisis staff replaced or took over the
4 functions of the assembly?
5 A. Yes. But all decisions had to be adopted by the assembly as soon
6 as possible.
7 Q. Do you agree that for the time that the crisis staff is in
8 existence, it is the government of the area?
9 A. Excuse me. Are you talking about crisis staff in municipality?
10 Q. I am.
11 A. Yes. It performed the local government.
12 Q. So we go back to where I was about how many questions ago. You,
13 for the period that you were on the crisis staff, were a member of the
14 government. Do you agree with that now?
15 A. It's a theoretical question, but I think I was not a member of the
17 Q. No, it's not a theoretical question, sir, it's a question of fact.
18 You were, for that period of time while the crisis staff was in existence
19 and you were on it, part of the government of the municipality. That's
20 the situation, isn't it?
21 A. If you say so. But still, I think the government is one thing,
22 and the assembly is another thing, and crisis staff is third thing. I was
23 member of assembly. I attended -- again, I attended to the meeting as a
24 man from Kostajnica, attended to the meetings of crisis staff, but I still
25 can't say that I'm member of the government.
1 Q. And just two last questions for today: What was your job in
2 Bosanski Novi in this period? I don't think you've told us that.
3 A. I was manager of SDK's payment bureau in that time.
4 Q. Okay. And then this is the last question: Are you telling this
5 Trial Chamber that you never at any stage received any instructions from
6 the regional crisis staff?
7 A. I can positively say that this regional crisis staff did not send,
8 let's say, any instructions we should implement. Even more, I think this
9 crisis staff didn't even think or didn't even consider a situation in
10 Bosanski Novi.
11 Q. All right.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Korner. Thank you, Mr. Dejanovic.
13 Thank you, Mr. Cunningham.
14 We will continue tomorrow morning at 9.00.
15 MR. CUNNINGHAM: Judge, can I make one request before we adjourn?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: In the presence in the witness?
17 MR. CUNNINGHAM: It's easy. I just need the exhibit list from the
18 OTP for this witness.
19 MS. KORNER: We'll hand that over and to Your Honours as well.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
21 [The witness stands down]
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.56 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Friday, the 5th day of
24 December, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.