1 Friday, 15 July 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone. Good morning, Mr. Gasi.
7 THE WITNESS: Good morning. [Interpretation] Good morning,
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Gaynor, have you come back with the
10 analysis of your associate exhibits?
11 MR. GAYNOR: I have indeed, Mr. President. I'll just read the
12 associated exhibits into the transcript if I may. We'll be tendering
13 65 ter numbers 08174, 07669, 07466, 08405, 06940, the next one has
14 already been admitted as P102.
15 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. 7466 and what is the number after
17 MR. GAYNOR: 8405.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
19 MR. GAYNOR: Then 6940. The next has been admitted as P102. The
20 next is 7485. 7345. 11439.
21 JUDGE KWON: 11439, yes.
22 MR. GAYNOR: 7629.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 MR. GAYNOR: 7774.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, but I think that's a duplicate or copy of
1 11441, and I think that 11441 is of better quality.
2 MR. GAYNOR: Very well. Mr. President. We'll tender 11441.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 MR. GAYNOR: The next is 06959.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 MR. GAYNOR: 7113.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
8 MR. GAYNOR: 40188.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 MR. GAYNOR: 7950.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
12 MR. GAYNOR: 7676.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
14 MR. GAYNOR: That ends the associated exhibits, and we've
15 uploaded as P3002 the transcript of the evidence of this witness redacted
16 in accordance with Your Honours' decision.
17 JUDGE KWON: Thank you very much.
18 MR. GAYNOR: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue your
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Excellency. Good
22 morning Excellency. Good morning everyone.
23 WITNESS: ISAK GASI [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
1 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Gasi.
2 A. Good morning, Mr. Karadzic.
3 Q. We left off yesterday when I asked you for how long you were a
4 member of the SDA and the Executive Committee and I was a bit perplexed
5 with regard to that. You said that you were in that position only for a
6 few months before the election, but in some states -- statements you say
7 that you were a member between the 26th of May 1990 and November 1992?
8 A. It is possible, but let us -- let me make it clear for you. I
9 can tell you that I intimately still feel a member of the SDS -- SDA.
10 JUDGE KWON: Do not overlap, please. Put a pause. Mr. Gasi,
11 just wait before you start answering, please.
12 Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Repeat your question.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I'm not asking you in some negative context. I'm just curious to
15 know in what capacity you participated in the political life of Brcko
16 after the elections. Did you participate in the political life in Brcko
17 after the elections?
18 A. Absolutely not. Once I resigned as a member of the Executive
19 Committee, I never attended a single meeting of the SDA party in Brcko.
20 Q. Very well. But if you were a member until November 1991, that
21 means to say that during that period prior to multi-party elections for a
22 year you took part in the political life.
23 A. Yes, but only up until the elections. Otherwise, I did not take
24 part in it afterwards.
25 Q. In what capacity did you attend Municipal Assembly meetings?
1 A. Simply as an observer.
2 Q. Can we quickly look at 1D3893 in e-court. Let's look at page 6.
3 Here you confirm that you attended meetings of the Municipal Assembly.
4 Can you see that if we can locate it. Lines 1 and 2.
5 [In English] "What were your duties in that capacity?"
6 "Well, I attended meetings. I did not have any special duties."
7 "Do you recall the elections that were held in your area ...,"
8 and so on and so on.
9 A. Yes, yes. I attended rallies before the elections, but I did not
10 hold any position or any office.
11 MR. GAYNOR: Objection to the question made by the accused. He
12 said -- he's putting to the witness an inconsistency which is not, in
13 fact, in the transcript. The previous page of this transcript states
14 that the witness's answer is: "A member of the town's Executive
15 Committee of the town of Brcko."
16 And then the question comes: "What were your duties in that
17 capacity?" So in my submission Mr. Karadzic is deliberately mixing up
18 the Executive Committee of the town of Brcko and the Municipal Assembly.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Gaynor.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] With all due respect, the witness
21 confirmed, but I probably didn't give you the proper reference page, but
22 the witness confirmed and I know from other sources that he attended
23 Municipal Assembly meeting during the multi-party period. That is what
24 he confirmed today as well and he did that as an observer.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes. I believe I attended two such meetings.
3 Q. Thank you. So were you familiar with the policies pursued by the
4 SDA and the activists who were in the SDA in Brcko?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You were among the top seven people in the SDA at the time.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did the SDA have a Crisis Staff in Brcko?
9 A. I don't know about that.
10 Q. In your testimony in the Tadic case, you said that in Muslim
11 villages there were no weapons; correct?
12 A. Not to my knowledge.
13 Q. Let's look at a letter that you wrote to the "Ljiljan" magazine.
14 Will you please tell the Chamber something about this periodical?
15 A. Mr. Karadzic, I did not write that letter, and I know nothing
16 about it.
17 Q. That's not your letter?
18 A. No, it's not.
19 Q. How do you know which letter I'm referring to?
20 A. Well, I've been asked before in this court about this letter, and
21 I'm telling you now that I'm not capable of writing such a kind of
23 Q. Can we now have a look at 1D3888, and we'll see that perhaps
24 after all it was you who wrote that letter?
25 A. Well, you can look at it as much as you want, but I'm telling you
1 I'm not the author of that letter.
2 Q. Were you in this country that was blackened out here - I think
3 it's Denmark - at the time?
4 A. Yes, I was in Denmark.
5 Q. The first sentence says that you are addressing the readership of
6 the "Ljiljan" magazine, that you had listened to BH radio and then you
7 are giving a comprehensive assessment.
8 Can we have the last page, please.
9 "Your loyal reader, Isak Gasi." Is this your address?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. Is this your handwriting?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Well, it seems that this is, after all, a letter that you wrote.
14 A. The man who wrote this letter now lives in America. He used to
15 be a journalist before the war in Brcko. I did not write this letter,
16 although this is my address.
17 Q. But you did read it, and you signed it, didn't you?
18 A. I did not sign it in the sense to confirm that I authored it. I
19 signed it as a reader who was interviewed by this journalist, but this is
20 not my letter.
21 Q. Ah-ha. So only the answers that you gave are yours?
22 A. Yes, some of them.
23 Q. Can we now have page 1. Somewhere in line ten from the top, it
24 says that the preparation for the occupation of Brcko by the JNA started
25 several months before the war officially started. "We, the naive
1 Bosniaks, were led astray by our leadership."
2 Do you think that the JNA was illegally in Brcko in 1991?
3 A. No, it wasn't illegally in Brcko in 1991. Moreover, it was not
4 an illegal force even until May of 1992.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 JUDGE KWON: By the way, if this letter or interview, this
7 article, is discussed in previous proceedings, why do we not have a
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We sent it to be translated. We
10 still haven't got it back, and I don't know whether it was translated for
11 the previous trials.
12 JUDGE KWON: Let's continue.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Can we have page 2 of this letter, or apparently this was done in
15 the form of an interview, but it was printed in the form of a letter;
17 A. Yes. You might be right.
18 Q. Let's look at first two lines.
19 "When we saw that the devil came, we started to arm ourselves
20 covertly. We paid 800 German marks for a single rifle."
21 A. Well, you see this language that concerns the arming is nothing
22 that I uttered. I did not discuss it with this gentleman.
23 Q. Are you trying to say that it was his language and his
25 A. Yes. I never said anything to this effect. I never spoke about
2 Q. Thank you. In the Tadic case, on page 705 and 706, you testified
3 that people in the Serbian villages wore military uniforms but that there
4 were no such people in Muslim villages.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Are you telling us today that in April of 1992 there were no
7 armed Muslims in Muslim villages?
8 A. As far as I know and as far as I was able to see, I saw none of
10 Q. Can we now have 1D3893, which is your testimony in the Tadic
12 Here you say that those were reserve uniforms of the JNA. Does
13 that mean that these men were registered with the JNA, but according to
14 the law, were the people in Muslim and Croat villages also reservists of
15 the JNA?
16 Sorry, this is page 9 and 10. Nine and then 10. The last two
18 The question was:
19 "After that mobilisation call do you remember seeing any men in
20 Serb villages wearing military uniforms?"
21 Can we have page 10.
22 And you see that up to line 5 you said - you can read
23 English - that you didn't see such things in Muslim villages.
24 Were all able-bodied men in all villages, Serbian, Muslim, and
25 Croat, according to the law in force at the time reservists of the JNA?
1 A. Yes. According to the law.
2 Q. Right. But you allege that the people from the Muslim villages
3 did not respond to the call-up, they had no uniforms or weapons?
4 A. I don't know if the people from Muslim or Croat villages
5 responded to the call-up, but I personally did not see people in Croat or
6 Muslim villages dressed in uniforms or carrying weapons. I am 100 per
7 cent sure of that.
8 Q. Can we now again have 1D3888. You say at the time Bosniaks and
9 Croats left active duty service in the JNA. The gaps were, as a rule,
10 filled by Serbs. Is that correct?
11 A. I believe that's correct.
12 Q. All right. We don't have to call up this document then?
13 MR. GAYNOR: I would like to object again to the form of the
14 question. In the question you said, You say that, and the witness has
15 already given evidence that that earlier document, 1D3888, is not his
16 letter but simply something created by a journalist which contains parts
17 of what Mr. Gasi said. So I object to the form of the question made by
18 the accused there.
19 JUDGE KWON: I think we can understand and we can proceed,
20 Mr. Gaynor.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I'm not going to insist on
22 this unless the witness confirms that parts of this is true. This is
23 actually his knowledge about the situation.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can we now have a look at 1D3876.
1 JUDGE KWON: Are you tendering that letter?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. For identification pending
3 translation, and as I said, we already sent it to the CLSS.
4 JUDGE KWON: We'll mark it for identification.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D1563, Your Honours.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Do you agree that this is a report regarding paramilitary
8 organisations that was compiled by the command of the 17th Corps, that is
9 to say before the war in 1991?
10 A. It seems that the command of the 17th Corps had written up this
11 report. I have no reason not to believe that.
12 Q. Thank you. Can we have page 7 of this document.
13 Do you agree that the JNA is describing the paramilitary
14 organisation of all three parties here, and it says paramilitary
15 formations of the HDZ, and it says here that they did not form their own
16 paramilitary organisations here, but they did work on arming their
17 members. And they were not organised into military units. At the same
18 time, the HDZ has recruited its members into the armed forces of the
19 Republic of Croatia, and then villages are being listed here of these
20 smaller military units, in Ulice, Krepsic, Donja Skakava, Gornja Skakava,
21 Zovik, Bosanska Bijela, Gornji Vuksic, Dubrava, and so on and so forth.
22 Are all of these villages Croatian?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could we please have a
24 clear screen.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that is the majority
1 population there to this day.
2 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Could you wait until we have a clear
3 screen. E-court has experienced some difficulty.
4 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
5 JUDGE KWON: It's better to have a break. We'll a break for ten
6 minutes to solve these technical issues.
7 --- Recess taken at 9.32 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 9.54 a.m.
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Let's continue, Mr. Karadzic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
12 Q. Can we have 1D3876 again, please, and then page 7.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have LiveNote again in e-court.
14 Yes. Now it's right.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Page 7, that's what we had. It's the army, the JNA, describing
17 the situation in Brcko. We have already spoken about the HDZ, and let us
18 see what it says about the SDA paramilitary formations, the village of
19 Brezevo Polje, a detachment of Muslim believers, diagram number 2 that we
20 are going to look at, then the weapons, what they had. Do you see that
21 part, number 1?
22 And then number 2, paragraph 2, says that they have reliable
23 information to the effect that the SDA had armed most of their extremist
24 members already in the month of October with about 300 pistols and then
25 rifles. And then paragraph 3 says:
1 "As this question was centralised the leadership of the SDA of
2 Brcko is planning to send an SDA brigade at battalion level consisting of
3 the Muslim population living in the territories of the municipalities of
4 Brcko, Gradacac ...," et cetera.
5 And then it also says further on, under C, that a Chetnik
6 detachment of undetermined strength and with an undetermined amount of
7 weapons was formed, following orders of SDS leaders from Brcko and at
8 Seselj's suggestions. Most members of this detachment are volunteers in
9 a JNA unit stationed in the area so that they could undergo training,
10 procure weapons, and ideologically influence the active duty command
11 officers. Obviously, ideologically, they were different from the command
12 of the JNA, right? So the general is suspicious and believes that they
13 will influence his officers. Did you know that things were developing
14 this way, that weapons were being distributed publicly in mosques and in
15 party offices and so on?
16 A. Mr. Karadzic, I don't know anything about this.
17 Q. Thank you. Can we look at page 22. You were off until the 27th
18 of May; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can we have page 22 in this document. Can we enlarge this?
21 Did you know Meho Muratovic, Osman Kavazovic, Sako Hadzajlic,
22 Ako Hadzajlic, Dzemila Hadzajlic, Nijaz Dzidza? You see these names
23 here. Did you know these men?
24 A. No, I did not.
25 Q. Did you know or do you see now that this was a brigade of Muslim
1 believers in Brezevo Polje and that later on it was the basis for a four
2 battalion brigade that already became operational in May in Brcko?
3 A. I see this paper. I see this diagram. Whether this actually
4 existed, I don't know.
5 Q. In your statement you said that true fighting had started. Who
6 was engaged in this fighting? In town itself you said that there was
7 true fighting.
8 A. True fighting? I did not say true fighting. I did see
9 artillery, though. That belonged to the JNA at the time, and it was
10 firing perhaps every 10 or 15 minutes.
11 Q. We'll get to that part of your statement. Did you know
12 Farid Mujkanovic?
13 A. No, I don't know who that is.
14 Q. Did you know that in Brcko there was also a staff and a
15 detachment of the Patriotic League?
16 A. I'm not aware of that.
17 Q. Did you know Ibrahim Ramic?
18 A. Yes, I do know Ibrahim Ramic.
19 Q. What was his function?
20 A. He was president of the SDA of the city board.
21 Q. Thank you. Mustafa Ramic?
22 A. He's the brother of Dr. Ibro Ramic, and he was the elected
23 president of the Municipal Assembly of Brcko.
24 Q. I see. Thank you. Do you know that in all 103 municipalities
25 except for the Croat municipalities there was a Municipal Staff of the
1 Patriotic League and a brigade?
2 A. I really don't know about that, Mr. Karadzic.
3 Q. Did you know Rasid Guso?
4 A. No, I didn't know him personally.
5 Q. Have you heard of him?
6 A. Not during the war while I was in Brcko. Later on I read
7 something about him in the newspapers.
8 Q. Well, you were born in that town and you were a well-known man in
9 that town whom. How come you didn't know? Did you know Miralem Jukic,
10 nicknamed Skorpija?
11 A. No, Mr. Karadzic.
12 Q. Thank you. Then we're going to abandon this line of questioning.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted?
14 JUDGE KWON: No, Mr. Karadzic. All this witness testified about
15 this document is that he would not doubt the authenticity of this
16 document, but he didn't know anything about this document. There's no
17 basis. And this is an example how you are wasting your time. You could
18 have put your case to the witness, and you just could proceed. You read
19 out all the documents that could not be admitted, and that's -- yes.
20 Let's proceed.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Excellency. These were
22 names from another document that I haven't even tendered, a different
23 document. But I just wanted to check what the witness knew out of all of
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. 65 ter 6961. Can we have that now, please. Can we see paragraph
2 3 down there that has to do with Bijeljina and Brcko.
3 You mentioned that you knew what was going on in Bijeljina. Have
4 a look at paragraph 4. This is the JNA again, the 17th Corps, on the 2nd
5 of April, and in the first part of paragraph 4, it says that the
6 situation did calm down in Brcko -- no, Bijeljina, and it says that the
7 party leaders are not in control and cannot ensure that fighting stops.
8 And then there's a reference to Brcko, the blockade of roads, access to
9 the hospital in Bijeljina, and so on and so forth.
10 And can we now have the next page. Do you see this?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. Is this something that you knew yourself, that this chaos had
14 A. In Bijeljina?
15 Q. Well, yes, in Bijeljina. How far away is Bijeljina from you?
16 A. About 50 kilometres.
17 Q. So it's the neighbouring town, isn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can we have the second page -- ah yes, here it is. Brcko, now,
20 you see here it says what the situation is like in Brcko. It says from
21 the morning hours of the 1st of April in front of JNA premises the
22 representatives of parties are moving, calling for a move towards
23 Bijeljina, but others are appealing for peace and order. Did you know
25 A. I did not know that and I cannot see on my screen what you seem
1 to have read out just now.
2 Q. It's the second part of paragraph 7, Putnikovo Brdo, so on and so
3 forth and it says, "In Brcko from the morning hours ...."
4 Do you see that, the 1st of April? See where this cursor is now?
5 A. I see. Mr. Karadzic, I really don't know anything about this. I
6 can not talk about that.
7 Q. Thank you. 1D3888. Can we have a brief look at that.
8 Did you know that many Muslims had set out towards Bijeljina from
9 various towns and villages, that they wanted to walk on Bijeljina in
10 military fashion?
11 A. No, I don't know anything about that.
12 Q. Please look at page 2 of this document. Take a look at this, the
13 second circled paragraph.
14 "At that time, many Bosniaks from Gradacac, Orasje, Srebrenik and
15 surrounding villages came to Brcko to see whether our people in Bijeljina
16 could be assisted. The majority was in favour of moving on Bijeljina,
17 but they were stopped by the leadership from Brcko, the brothers Ibro and
18 Mustafa Ramic."
19 So you say in your interview the same thing that the JNA is
21 A. I've already told you, Mr. Karadzic, that that interview that I
22 gave to that journalist who wrote this, that has nothing to do with what
23 I had said to him. I don't know anything about this, nothing whatsoever,
24 and I repeat once again, if I knew anything, I'd tell you.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. Nevertheless, you put your address and
1 your signature below this interview.
2 A. Well, yes, it is my signature and my address. And how it reached
3 "Ljiljan," I really don't know.
4 Q. Thank you. What about the previous document? Are you going to
5 admit that, the JNA report of the 2nd of April, 6961?
6 JUDGE KWON: No. We don't have any basis to admit it.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. 1D3881, please. Before the 27th of May, you were able to listen
9 to the radio, watch television, and move freely about the town; right?
10 A. Yes, that's true.
11 Q. Could you please pay attention to this report by the Radio Bosnia
12 and Herzegovina. They broadcast something that they allegedly received
13 from ham radio operators in Brcko. There is a reference to the artillery
14 opening fire on Brodusa and Dizdarusa, and it says here:
15 "At around 1800 hours, soldiers from the 108 Brcko Brigade
16 started an operation in the area of Bila Gorge. This operation by the
17 special units was successful and they broke through deep into occupied
18 territory destroying in the process one tank, one personnel carrier ...,"
19 and so on and so forth.
20 Can you see the date? It was on the 15th of May.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Are you aware of the fighting that took place at the time?
23 A. As far as I know, there was no fighting going on at the time. On
24 the 11th or the 12th of May, I was with Elektrodistribucija, very close
25 to that Kalanac [phoen] gorge. If there had been fighting going on we
1 wouldn't have been able to go there.
2 Q. But this is a report dated 19th of May, and Ministry of Defence
3 of the BiH Army stamped that, and this was broadcast on the radio.
4 A. I don't know. I can only tell you what I experienced in Brcko
5 from the 1st to the 27th of May, and that doesn't tally with what the
6 document says. The document is here, but I'm not able to comment upon it
7 because the truth of what I saw with my own eyes was different.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What is the attitude of the Chamber
9 towards this document? It contradicts the fact that a Crisis Staff
10 existed and that a brigade existed, so what is the attitude of the
11 Trial Chamber towards this document?
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Gaynor?
13 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honours, if Your Honours consider this to be of
14 assistance towards the witness's credibility, it would be admissible on
15 that basis. I'd just like to note also that the ABiH stamp on this
16 document bears the date 19th of May, 1992, but I don't think, I'm sure
17 Mr. Karadzic will agree, that the document itself, it's not clear what
18 date it's from. Thank you.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll admit this document as indicated by
21 Mr. Gaynor for the purpose of the assessment of the credibility of this
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1564, Your Honours.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. 1D3877 is the next
25 document I would like to call up.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Look at this. This is a statement by the Brcko municipality
3 Crisis Staff, handwritten and translated, and towards the end, it says,
4 "Soldiers of the 108th Birac Brigade are still holding the line ...," and
5 so on and so forth.
6 There is a description of what is going on. The forces are
7 pulling back towards Bijeljina, and the reporters have observed long
8 columns of refugees and troops in the town.
9 Do you see this statement by the Brcko municipality Crisis Staff
10 press centre? This certainly is not a Serbian Crisis Staff, because it
11 uses derogatory words for Serbs, calling them Chetniks and so on and so
12 forth; right?
13 A. Mr. Karadzic, the document that you showed me before this one is
14 where it says in the heading Vares, and this document here in the heading
15 has the words the Public Company Usora Jela. So far as I know this is
16 not in Brcko. This must have arrived from Doboj.
17 Q. Mr. Gasi, but this is just a block stamp that companies
18 distribute by way of advertising. You can have that anywhere.
19 A. I don't know. I did not see those writing pads in Brcko. This
20 is from Doboj. I don't know who wrote this, where this was written. I
21 can't comment upon this.
22 Q. Can we now look at the last page? Do you see that this was
23 received and stamped by the Ministry of Defence and the BiH Army on the
24 14th of June, 1992, which means that the Crisis Staff of Brcko
25 municipality, not the Serbian Crisis Staff issued its statement; right?
1 A. Yes, it is right. You say that this is a stamp and it is a stamp
2 by the Ministry of Defence and the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. However,
3 the paper on which it was written seems to have arrived from Doboj.
4 Q. Thank you. Can this be admitted?
5 MR. GAYNOR: You were, I would like to object to the authenticity
6 of this document. We're willing to agree that the stamp of the ABiH
7 appears to be authentic. The rest of the document does not appear to
8 bear the usual indicia of reliability and authenticity which are normally
9 present on documents tendered for admission.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may be allowed it respond.
11 This is a Prosecutor's document with an ERN number. Obviously they
12 received it either from the Muslim side or from the Ministry of Defence.
13 This statement was probably read out, but before it was read out it was
14 handwritten. It was recorded in writing.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE KWON: Based upon the fact that it was received by the ABiH
17 army, we have a basis to admit this. We'll admit this.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1565, Your Honours.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Did you know, Mr. Gasi, that people from Brcko, both Muslims and
22 Croats, especially Croats, were leaving and going to Croatia to join the
23 national guards in Croatia, the armed forces of Croatia?
24 A. I didn't know such people.
25 Q. Did you know that people often crossed the river from Croatia to
1 Brcko, transporting weapons from Croatia?
2 A. I'm sure that I would have seen that, Mr. Karadzic, because I
3 spent a lot of time on the Sava River, and while I was there I didn't see
4 any such thing.
5 Q. Did you spend nights on the river?
6 A. No, I didn't spend nights on the Sava River.
7 Q. Do you agree that those transports of weapons would probably have
8 taken place by night rather than by day?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. How far is Orasje from Brcko?
11 A. Thirty-five kilometres.
12 Q. Do you know anything about the blowing up of the bridge in Orasje
13 by the Croatian forces? And that happened before the blowing up of the
14 bridge that you described in your statement, the bridge in Brcko.
15 A. Yes, I heard that the bridge in Orasje had been blown up.
16 Q. We have to wait for the interpretation. You should know why I am
17 making pauses.
18 When was the bridge in Orasje blown up?
19 A. I don't know the exact date, but I think that it was in early
20 April 1992. Perhaps a month before the Brcko bridge was blown up.
21 Q. Do you know that that bridge was blown up by Croats?
22 A. I don't know that, Mr. Karadzic.
23 Q. And under whose control was Orasje throughout the war and before
24 the war?
25 A. Before the war? I don't know under whose control it was. I
1 really don't know.
2 Q. During the war?
3 A. I don't know that either, because I did not participate in the
5 Q. You don't know that Brcko -- or, rather, Orasje was always under
6 HVO control and of the Croatian forces and the vast majority of the
7 population is Croatian?
8 A. It's not a vast majority. There's a vast Muslim majority in
9 Orasje -- rather, was before the war. It wasn't really Croats.
10 Q. All right. We'll have a look at the census, and it's going to be
11 easy to see that.
12 Do you know that on the other side of the Sava River there was an
13 improvised bridge before the war broke out in Brcko, in Brcko itself?
14 There was an improvised bridge across the Sava River.
15 A. I don't know. There were two bridges. Both were damaged, but
16 for someone to have made a third bridge, that I don't know.
17 Q. Do you know that people could cross the Sava on foot at that
19 A. Yes, yes, across the old bridge. People went on foot from
20 Croatia to Brcko.
21 Q. And the other way round; right?
22 A. Yes. That's right.
23 Q. Do you know that weapons from Croatia were transported from
24 Croatia to Brcko across that bridge as well?
25 A. That I don't know.
1 Q. And do you know that apartments of prominent Serbs in Brcko
2 before the conflict broke out were specially marked?
3 A. That I really don't know.
4 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that when the conflict broke out people
5 were fleeing, and you mentioned the Serb part of town and the Muslim part
6 of town. Since when has this Serb part of town existed?
7 A. First of all, I don't understand what you're saying. Fleeing.
8 What do you mean fleeing? From where? Who was fleeing?
9 Q. You said that people were seeking shelter, Serbs in the Serb part
10 of town, Muslims in the Muslim part of town.
11 A. Where did you find that? I didn't say that. I don't know.
12 Q. Was the population fleeing from Brcko and within Brcko itself?
13 A. Well, let me tell you. On the 1st and 2nd and 3rd of May, I was
14 moving from my apartment that is close to the garrison of Brcko to Meraje
15 that is, say, half a kilometre away from where I live and that is where
16 my wife's parents live. I did not notice anyone fleeing from town at the
17 time. That is what I saw. I crossed the river and I went back too.
18 Q. All right. Let us just establish this. You mentioned that there
19 is a Serb part of town in Brcko. Since when?
20 A. Since -- for as long as I can remember, and I was born in 1957 in
22 Q. It dates back to the Turkish times; right?
23 A. I think so.
24 MR. GAYNOR: Can I ask for a transcript reference for any further
25 references to Mr. Gasi's prior evidence, please.
1 JUDGE KWON: Before that, Mr. Karadzic, I'm regularly struggling
2 to understand the relevance of your line of questioning. You have spent
3 almost one and a half hours with this witness, who testified his
4 experience he underwent in the Luka camp, but you didn't ask a single
5 question about it.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, I think that we
7 spent more time waiting than what I spent, but I think we should take
8 advantage of the opportunity of having a witness who is a sportsman, a
9 popular person in town, a member of the SDA, the top echelons of the SDA
10 at that, and he can shed more light on these developments that led to the
11 creation of Luka and also, by the way, the question of credibility is
12 important, too, but I am going to cut things short. If that is your
13 view, I'm going to cut things short.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. All right, Mr. Gasi, we are going to move on to Brcko, and after
16 the break I'm going to find a reference in terms of the Serb part of town
17 and the Muslim part of town. You did say there was a Muslim part of town
19 A. Mr. Karadzic, the Serb part of town, I know that very well, and
20 in that Serb part of town there were quite a few Muslims who had their
21 houses and apartments there.
22 Now, why it was called Srpska Varos, the name probably dates back
23 to the old times.
24 Q. Thank you. But there were Muslim parts of town, predominantly
25 Muslim parts of town; right?
1 A. Right.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, I'm asking that
3 because there was a debate in terms of transforming Brcko into three
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Were you aware of that debate aimed at transforming Brcko into
7 three municipalities so that every municipality would have its own part
8 of the inner city and also the surrounding villages?
9 A. Yes, yes. This division into three parts, yes, I know about that
10 I heard that at the session of the Municipal Assembly of Brcko.
11 Q. Thank you. Let us now briefly go back to the question of the
12 destruction of bridges. You said that Rade Bozic informed you that he
13 destroyed the bridge; right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Would you say that the Croatian side destroyed the bridge in
16 Orasje so that the JNA would not cross over from Bosnia to Croatia and
17 that the JNA destroyed the bridge in Brcko so the Croatian Army would not
18 enter Brcko?
19 A. First of all, I don't know who destroyed the bridge in Orasje.
20 Secondly, I have already told you, and I said many times before this
21 Court that Rade Bozic said to me himself personally that he commanded the
22 operation of destroying the bridges in Brcko.
23 Q. And that he made a mistake and that he was sorry; right?
24 A. Yes. That is right. That is what he said. That is literally
25 what he said.
1 Q. Was Rade Bozic a member of the green -- no, Red Berets, some
2 paramilitary group in Brcko?
3 A. At the time, Mr. Rade Bozic was saying that he was a captain of
4 the military police. He did have a red beret.
5 Q. Thank you. We'll go back to that when we have enough time. Let
6 us now take a look at developments in Brcko itself. You say that as soon
7 as the tensions went up in Brcko, you decided to get your family out of
8 Brcko and to take them to Belgrade; right?
9 A. I had given such a great deal of thought to tensions in April,
10 Mr. Karadzic, that thanks to a Serb, a good neighbour of mine, I managed
11 to take my wife and daughter with his assistance to Bijeljina on the 30th
12 of April in the afternoon by car. I had no idea of these tensions in
13 town. Had I known, I assure you perhaps I wouldn't be sitting here in
14 this courtroom today.
15 Q. Tensions in which town?
16 A. Brcko.
17 Q. Why then did you take your wife and daughter out of Brcko?
18 A. Because the wife of that neighbour came to me and said,
19 "Jasminka, it is time for you and your husband and your child to leave
20 Brcko because the war has started." Since I had no connections and no
21 possibility to go either left or right, I went towards Serbia, towards --
22 to go to Serbia, Belgrade. I went to Serbia. Jovica Bogicevic took me.
23 Q. And after Bijeljina you took them to Belgrade; right?
24 A. In Bijeljina, I came across this sportsman who is a good friend
25 of mine. He was a member of Yugoslavia's national team, the national
1 team of the former Yugoslavia, and he took Jasminka and Adna [phoen] to
2 Serbia and I went back to Brcko together with Jovica.
3 Q. You did not cross over into Serbia then. You came only in June.
4 A. When Mr. Rade Bozic took me out, yes.
5 Q. You do know that by then the war was well underway throughout
6 Bosnia for three weeks, from Sarajevo and further on?
7 A. I heard about it. I saw it on TV. Now, whether it was a raging
8 war as you had put it, I cannot say, but there was a war going on.
9 Q. However, peace had been preserved in Brcko; right?
10 A. In that belief I returned. I believed that there would be no
11 problems, yes.
12 Q. At that time you moved about freely in town while the civilian
13 authorities kept the situation under control in the customary way; right?
14 A. Yes. April, and until the bridges on the Sava River were
15 destroyed; that's right.
16 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I note the time. It's time to take a
17 break if it is convenient.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Excellency. Thank you.
19 JUDGE KWON: We will resume at 11.00.
20 MR. HARVEY: Your Honour, Your Honour, I should at the outset
21 introduced a member of my team who is with us today. Rens van der Werf
22 has been a legal assistant on our team for the last six months and he's
23 here for the balance today.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Welcome, Mr. van der Werf.
25 Eleven o'clock.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you remember that as part of the efforts to preserve peace in
7 Brcko you had joint patrols -- or, rather, mixed patrols of a mixed
8 ethnic composition; right?
9 A. Yes. I heard that, and I also saw those patrols that existed
10 both in town and outside of town. There were, indeed, mixed patrols
11 composed of civilian police and the military police from the barracks.
12 That's what the city council of Brcko had agreed with the command of the
13 garrison in Brcko.
14 Q. You repeated that in the Stanisic case. This is 1D3894, page 18.
15 Can we just have a -- take a brief look, and that contributed to the
16 preservation of peace?
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure the number is
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was peaceful even before those
20 patrols were set up. Those patrols were introduced because the municipal
21 leadership had negotiated with the military command, and they asked for
22 members of the JNA to be involved in those patrols.
23 Q. Your answer here starts before the war, and then you continue
24 talking about that.
25 A. Yes.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, I would like to
2 tender all those pages I'm going to call up. I don't know if they will
3 be admitted under one number or several numbers, and if I don't call up
4 the pages I don't wish to tender them, but I would like to tender this
5 particular page that is on the screen now.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. The chief of the police station was a Croat, a member of the HDZ,
8 Stjepan Filipovic, and the commander of that public station was as a
9 Muslim, Zlatko Jasarevic; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Veselic joined only after the break-up of power as part of the
12 judiciary; right?
13 A. I don't know what happened in the police station at that time. I
14 don't know when Veselic joined the police station as its chief. I
15 believe that it was on the 2nd or 3rd of May, 1992.
16 Q. However, while the joint police existed, the -- the chief was a
17 Croat from the HDZ, and the commander was a Muslim from the SDA; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And then in April the joint authorities still functioned, and
20 Council for National Defence of Brcko organised a meeting and invited
21 appealed for a unit of a mixed composition to be set up; right?
22 A. Yes, I heard of that. You're right.
23 Q. And you say in your interview that you could apply and that the
24 only condition was the person didn't have a criminal record. You say
25 that you volunteered to join that unit and that there was a meeting
1 between the volunteers and the representatives of the municipal
2 authorities who were behind that idea; right?
3 A. Yes, you're right.
4 Q. Can we look at 1D3888. I have already tendered the page on the
5 screen. Can this be admitted, and maybe we can preserve the same number,
6 because everything has been already admitted in the Stanisic case?
7 JUDGE KWON: We'll see how many pages are going to be tendered
8 and see whether it's wiser to admit it in its entirety. We'll see it
9 later. So this page will be admitted.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1566, Your Honours.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Can we now look at 1D3888 in e-court, and the translation will
13 probably be on the ELMO. We have it there already. Page 3, please.
14 JUDGE KWON: Page 3.
15 THE ACCUSED: Page 4 in the English, please.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. You say here that among the attendees were representatives of all
18 the three parts of the authorities, Ristanic, Milutinovic, and so on and
19 so forth, and you say that people volunteered en masse and the only
20 condition was that they didn't have criminal records, and then there was
21 a meeting in the culture hall between us volunteers and the municipal
22 representatives. And then you say:
23 "We were surprised to see that the meeting was also attended by
24 Pavle Milinkovic and Milorad Segovac [phoen], representatives of the JNA
1 And you say:
2 "When we learned whose insignia we were supposed to wear on the
3 uniforms and who we were supposed to be subordinated to, there was
4 commotion and people started leaving the meeting. Mustafa Ramic, a
5 Muslim, and Mustafa Kehunjic [phoen], the secretary of the Secretariat
6 for National Defence of Brcko Municipality, attempted to hold you back
7 and they did everything they could prevent us from leaving the meeting.
8 They tried to rally us once again but this time by issuing call-ups for
9 the reserve, but this attempt failed as well."
10 JUDGE KWON: Slow down. Slow down, please. What is your
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. My question is this: We're talking about a mixed
14 Municipal Council, and they tried to set up a mixed unit of volunteers,
15 and that that attempt would have succeeded if the garrison had not been
16 invited into that unit?
17 A. Yes. The idea existed, but I wouldn't agree with you when you
18 say that in this letter it says that when Pavle Milinkovic appeared and
19 he was the commander of the garrison, and the other officers, that we
20 dispersed because of that. I personally knew that they would be the ones
21 who would supply us with weapons, who would arm that unit, and I was in
22 favour of that. If things had been different, I guarantee you that I
23 would not have accepted weapons from anybody else.
24 Q. So you're saying that the journalist actually tried to pass on
25 his own ideas into your own text.
1 A. Mr. Karadzic, this is not my text. I repeat once again. This
2 letter or the report, whatever you call it, I can comment each and every
3 part of it. The ideas that are presented here, the ones that you
4 circled, I would not subscribe to any of them.
5 Q. However, the idea of a mixed volunteer unit to preserve peace did
6 fall through; right?
7 A. Yes, it did fall through.
8 Q. Do you know why it fell through?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Was the name of the journalist who compiled this report?
11 A. Said Muminovic. We grew up together in Brcko.
12 Q. Thank you. I'm not going to ask you to speculate. However, let
13 me ask you do you think that peace would have been preserved and
14 prolonged if the idea of the unit had taken off the ground?
15 A. I think so, because I was one of the proponents of that idea.
16 Q. Thank you. Then the bridge was destroyed and there was an
17 all-out conflict which lasted while you were there; right?
18 A. I believe that a true conflict broke out on the 3rd or the 4th of
19 May. I don't know who the parties to that conflict were because I didn't
20 know who was on the other side. I didn't see who opened fire on the JNA
21 in Brcko.
22 Q. Thank you. And your statement from 2008, according to 92 ter,
23 paragraph 13, says that the war broke out in Brcko on the 3rd of May,
24 1992. It was a real conflict that lasted throughout the whole period
25 that I spent there, and it takes two to have a conflict. Do you agree?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. In that same paragraph, you say that an aircraft flew over and
3 that a tremendous explosion was heard. However, that you had never seen
4 where the alleged missile fell. You didn't see any ruins, et cetera. Is
5 that correct?
6 A. No. There were two aircraft, not one.
7 Q. An explosion was heard, but you didn't see the location where it
8 happened; right?
9 A. Once I went in the direction of Mujkici. I saw damaged roofs of
10 buildings and family houses in that particular area. I'm not sure
11 whether that was caused by these aircraft, and I cannot tell you that
12 with any degree of certainty.
13 Q. Thank you. Do you know that when there is -- a sound barrier is
14 broken that that can also produce a tremendous effect?
15 A. Yes, I know that very well, but what I heard were probably bombs
16 dropped by the aircraft.
17 Q. But you're not sure?
18 A. I am sure that they did fire those missiles at certain
20 Q. In hindsight, do you now understand the existence of the
21 108th Brigade, the HVO, and the Birac Motorised Brigade given the
22 conflict broke out on the 3rd of May and lasted throughout the whole time
23 that you were there?
24 A. Mr. Karadzic, I don't understand your question. Am I supposed to
25 agree with you on the existence of something that I personally did not
2 Q. Well, we are trying to help the Chamber to realise who was
3 involved in the conflict. You yourself confirmed that the real conflict
4 started there and lasted the whole time. Who was involved in the
6 A. I saw heavy weaponry belonging to the JNA, that it was firing.
7 However, who was their target and where these guns were pointing at, I
8 don't know.
9 Q. Thank you. You said that towards the end of April there were
10 groups of troops there wearing a variety of uniforms; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. I saw at the Brcko garrison people dressed in camouflage
12 uniforms and wearing red berets on their heads. As far as I know, such
13 people did not exist before in the Yugoslav People's Army. Those were
14 the people I saw, including the reservists, of course.
15 Q. Thank you. You say that the president of the municipality, the
16 Croat, largely trusted the JNA and was advocating the idea for the JNA to
17 try and preserve peace in Brcko.
18 A. Yes, that's correct. He appeared on TV and gave statements to
19 this effect. I, myself, also believed in the JNA.
20 Q. Then you say that when the conflict broke out total chaos ensued
21 and that the situation was confusing; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you agree that the first victim was a Serb whose last name was
24 Medic who was killed from a mosque near the centre of the town?
25 A. This is the first time that I hear that from you.
1 Q. Very well. 65 ter 22527A, page 150. In the Krajisnik case you
2 said that you did not see any damage caused by the bomb, the aerial bomb;
4 A. The aerial bomb, yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Then you went on to say that during and after the
6 fighting in Brcko, the army itself did not commit crimes but that,
7 rather, paramilitary formations were involved in the commission of
8 crimes, and you accused them of the most serious crimes; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
10 Q. Then you said that during this chaotic situation, paramilitary
11 formations managed to impose their rules in town and to occupy main
12 check-points in the town close to the Tesla factory, Grcica factory, et
13 cetera; is that correct?
14 A. Those were the ones that I saw in town, but also the ones that
15 you mentioned, all of these points were manned by people who emerged from
16 the JNA barracks in Brcko. They were members of their special units.
17 Q. Can we now look at 22527A, page 90 from the Krajisnik case,
18 please. Page 90, you say -- just a moment. You say from the 12th of May
20 [In English] "When I was moving around, I had several
21 opportunities to leave the Elektrodistribucija and go to the town in
22 order to do repairs. In the town, itself, there were several
23 check-points, mixed check-points manned by the people in camouflage
24 uniform for whom I suppose that they belonged to the JNA, and sometimes
25 there would also be one or two police officers wearing regular police
1 uniform. It all depended on check-points."
2 [Interpretation] And you said that Red Berets were there as well
3 in camouflage uniforms and that some of them were local Serbs from Brcko.
4 [In English] "And some of the local Serbs from Brcko, my
5 neighbours, were stopping vehicles and asking for the people's IDs."
6 [Interpretation] Is that right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. We don't need to tender this into evidence because I
9 have read this page for the record.
10 You were arrested on the 27th of May and taken to the police
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE KWON: This is already in the evidence. This is his 92 ter
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Thank you.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. In the police station, you were put in a dark room alongside two
18 other persons; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Those people were already there.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Nobody maltreated you at the statement; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. One of these two persons was Slavko Bozic. Was he a relative of
25 Rade Bozic who later on released you?
1 A. No, he wasn't.
2 Q. Why was this Slavko Bozic arrested?
3 A. Slavko was a petty criminal before the war. While I was in this
4 room, I chatted with him, and he did not discuss the reason for his being
6 Q. So Nedzad Dizdarevic and Slavko Bozic were there and you came
7 there as a third person; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Then you stated that a man called Jovan Pudic had
10 committed a lot of bad things in Brcko such as the killing of civilians.
11 That was registered by a Reuters correspondent of Serb origin and he sent
12 out photographs all over the world?
13 A. That's not correct.
14 Q. Can we then look at your statement given on the 7th of May, 1993
15 that's 65 ter 19924, and we need page 3. Page 3 in both English and
17 I believe that we need paragraph 9 in Serbian.
18 [In English] "A Serb Reuters correspondent took photos of
19 killings and was later on rewarded for those -- these photos by the World
20 Press Photo jury in Amsterdam."
21 [Interpretation] At the end, he said: [In English] "The
22 policeman shooting men in the photo is Pudic, Jovan."
23 Is this true or not?
24 A. Mr. Karadzic, this is a report draft by the Helsinki committee in
25 Denmark. They also showed me the photograph took by Bojan Stojanovic in
1 May of 1992 in Brcko. They asked me if I knew the man who was shooting
2 this other person in the back, and I said that I didn't.
3 In July of 1992, in Belgrade, Mr. Bojan Stojanovic and Rade Bozic
4 brought me a couple of photographs that he also took in May 1992 showing
5 Mr. Pudic, but he was not the one who killed people personally.
6 Q. So this is not correct that this is Pudic.
7 A. No, it's not correct.
8 Q. Thank you. However, you said that in addition to the killing
9 that we now realise didn't happen, you said that Pudic and his colleagues
10 used to beat you; is that correct?
11 A. Pudic hit me with a handgun on the back of my neck or on the head
12 when he pushed me into the office. Later on when I was in the hangar,
13 whether it was a colleague of his or not, this one beat me up properly,
14 and I described that in my testimony.
15 Q. Thank you. However, in the case against President Milosevic, you
16 described the situation slightly different.
17 Can we now look at 1D3895. On page 25 of this document you say,
18 starting from line 10:
19 [In English] "Pudic met me and he was a policemen before the war,
20 and I think he's still a policeman actually. So he was there and he
21 wanted to take a pistol to hit me on the head with it, but he changed his
22 mind and took me into an office. Now, why they took me ...," and so on
23 and so on.
24 [Interpretation] Now, it seems that your description was slightly
25 different. He wanted to hit you, but he didn't hit you.
1 A. He did hit me.
2 Q. Now, what your said in the Milosevic case is not true.
3 A. Well, I don't know how this happened, but he did hit me, and he
4 did push me into the corridor.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have this page admitted into
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1567, Your Honours.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Now, in the Krajisnik case there is also something -- in the
12 Krajisnik case there's also something slightly different, and can we now
13 see 65 ter 225278.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 27A.
15 JUDGE KWON: That is Exhibit P3002.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Where did Pudic hit you exactly?
18 A. Somewhere here.
19 Q. Thank you. Let's look at pages 131 and 132. The bottom of the
20 page 131, lines 24, 25:
21 [In English] "That's correct that he didn't hit you?"
22 And you say:
23 "It's correct that he hit me, but in this statement I don't
24 know --"
25 And then 132, please.
1 "... I don't know why it's in the statement the way it is. Well,
2 he did hit me on the side of the head. He did hit me actually on the
3 head, but more on the side to my ear. I don't know why in the statement
4 it says that he did not, but he did hit me on the right side of the head,
5 that is correct."
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. [Interpretation] So not on the neck but behind your right ear.
8 A. Mr. Karadzic, he did hit me with a handgun on my head. Now, I
9 don't know how we're going to describe this, whether it was in -- on the
10 head, on the neck, et cetera. As we say in Bosnia, not directly on the
11 head but actually, yes.
12 Q. In one statement you say that he took you to the office. In
13 another statement you say that he hit you on the neck, and in the third
14 statement you say that he hit you behind the ear. It's quite different.
15 A. You may take it as you wish. What I'm telling you now is how it
16 actually happened.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, which of the three versions shall we accept and
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't get the answer that the
20 witness gave.
21 JUDGE KWON: Your answer was not reflected in the transcript
22 because of the overlap. Could you repeat, Mr. Gasi.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The accused asked me, Judge, why I
24 said once that he -- that Pudic hit me on the head. Then I said that he
25 didn't, and the third time I said that he hit me behind my right ear.
1 I was hit with a handgun. Whether it was on the right or the
2 left side, I don't know exactly.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Well, my question was which of the three statements should we
5 choose, and you said, "Whichever you like."
6 A. It's consistent with the answer that I gave you.
7 Q. Thank you. 1D3891. Can we have a look at that, please. It's a
8 video. It was made by my team, my Defence team, and it's Mr. Pudic.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: "[Voiceover] I'm Jovan Pudic. I was born in
11 1949 in Grbavica near Brcko. At the beginning of these war events, I had
12 a job in Germany, and I came sometime around the 19th of May.
13 "During the trial in The Hague, I was watching television in my
14 own house, and I saw Gasi, who is also from Brcko, testifying against --
15 I think it was Krajisnik. At one point in time he mentioned my name,
16 that on the 3rd of May, in front of the place station, he saw me killing
17 people of Bosniak ethnicity. He also testified that he had been detained
18 in Luka and that on the 7th and 10th of May or between the 7th and 10th
19 of May he watched me taking people out with gunshots in the back and that
20 those people no longer returned.
21 "I -- this didn't strike me, because I was not in Brcko during
22 that period at all. I thought it was some kind of mistake. However I'm
23 the only Jovan Pudic. I found it a bit funny. However, people from the
24 Krajisnik Defence came to see me and I gave them a statement. As I
25 showed them documentation that I was employed in Germany until the 15th
1 of May and that I was in possession of documents when I had come out and
2 all of that, I gave them the statement. I can give this same statement
3 to the Karadzic Defence as well."
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. So he was not a policeman. He was working in Germany, and in the
6 beginning of May when you ascribe these misdeeds to him he was not in
7 Brcko at all?
8 A. But, Mr. Karadzic, it seems you and I do not understand each
9 other here. I'm not talking about Jovan Pudic. I'm talking about
10 Branko Pudic, who was a policeman before the war. To this day he's a
11 policeman in Brcko.
12 My apologies to this gentleman. I don't know how his name was
13 brought up here at all. I don't even know this man.
14 Q. Thank you. Can we have a look at your statement of the 7th of
15 May, 1993. We did look at it a moment ago.
16 [In English] "The policeman shooting men on the photo is Pudic,
18 [Interpretation] That's in your statement, Pudic, Jovan. Can we
19 have a look at it again, 65 ter 19924, and then page 3. 65 ter 19924?
20 JUDGE KWON: Paragraph number?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 3. Paragraph 9.
22 I have nothing on my screen.
23 JUDGE KWON: Probably we need to switch from Sanction to -- yes.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. This policeman is Jovan Pudic. That's what you say here, the man
1 in the photograph who was shooting people.
2 A. I've just given you an answer to that. This is an interview
3 given to the Danish Helsinki committee. I never mentioned Jovan Pudic in
4 this document. If I ever mentioned Pudic, it was Branko Pudic who was a
5 policeman in Brcko before the war and who is a policeman to this day in
6 Brcko. I don't know how this happened.
7 Q. Ah-ha. Can we look at page 5, page 5 of this document. It's
8 repeated in the second paragraph on the top of the page.
9 Dragan Zivkovic, Miso Sajevac or Cajevac, Jovan Pudic and Ranko
10 Marinkovic and so on.
11 A. Branko Pudic, not Jovan. Branko Pudic.
12 Q. All right. But it doesn't say Branko here, it says Jovan; right?
13 A. Well, yes, you're right.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the video be admitted?
16 JUDGE KWON: There's no need to admit it.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Then you got to Luka. How long were you at the police station?
20 A. Well, half an hour, 40 minutes, not more than that.
21 Q. In various statements of yours you gave testimony describing what
22 happened in the Luka camp. Now I would like us to establish the facts in
23 respect of that camp together with you.
24 My first question will be: Do you remember that the Luka camp
25 was established by the command of the paramilitaries?
1 A. I would not agree with you.
2 Q. Can we have a look at page 4 of this statement that is in e-court
3 now. [No interpretation]
4 [In English] "In the second room there were circa 200 prisoners
5 and Arkan group was in command of the warehouse at Luka."
6 [Interpretation] Is that right?
7 A. I don't know. Where did you read that from?
8 Q. Page 4. We are going to find it. It's the fourth line from the
9 top of the page in English.
10 A. The man who beat me up, Mr. Karadzic, is Ivan, a member of
11 Arkan's group.
12 Q. [In English] "And Arkan's group was in command of the warehouse
14 [Interpretation] Is that what you said?
15 A. Where? Where did you read that from?
16 Q. In English, it's the fourth line from the top of the page.
17 JUDGE KWON: I think it may be the previous page in B/C/S.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. You're right. Thank
19 you. The last paragraph, number 12 on this page in Serbian. And then it
20 moves on to page 13 -- or, rather, page 23.
21 A. You're going back to the report again of the Helsinki committee
22 the one that they wrote up, Mr. Karadzic. I received that report in
23 English perhaps only two months later. As for all of this that was said
24 here, I hadn't signed any of this. I did not sign a single sheet of
25 paper. They didn't give me enough time to make corrections or anything.
1 Q. Thank you. So what is written in this statement is not correct;
3 A. Yes. I would agree with you, yes.
4 Q. Thank you. However, you mentioned some other men as camp
5 commanders. Did you say that Vojkan Djurkovic was the commander of the
7 A. Yes. On one occasion Mr. Djurkovic showed up down there in Luka,
8 and he introduced himself as commander of that camp down there at a
9 particular point in time.
10 Q. He brought you cigarettes and potato chips and other things?
11 A. Yes, his men, when he made those speeches.
12 Q. What were these speeches of his about?
13 A. Some of the prisoners were detained in Luka from the beginning of
14 May, he was actually calling out their names and saying to them that he
15 had personally saved them from being killed, and he said that he tried to
16 protect people as much as he could. Then he called out the names of
17 these people who knew, and he asked them to confirm that before all of us
18 in the hangar.
19 Q. Thank you. Can we look at your statement from 1995, 1D3889.
20 Page 10. I believe that it's the same in English. I have the English
22 [In English] "I believe all prisoners ..." [Interpretation]
23 That's the second paragraph in English. You say that everyone knew that
24 Djurkovic was the commander of the camp and that he was the one who could
25 spare your life, that he made speeches, brought people there. And
1 further down it says that when he would leave, the prisoners would get
2 together and say how good Vojkan was; is that right?
3 A. Yes. Yes, you're right.
4 Q. However, in your testimony in the trial of President Milosevic,
5 1D3895, page 4, you said something different. 1D3895.
6 Can this page from the 1995 statement be admitted? Page 10.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1568, Your Honours.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Page 4 of this transcript, please. This is probably the
11 compensatory page, so the next one, please. Thirteen. Take a look at
12 that. Thirteen. It is probably --
13 JUDGE KWON: This is not part of his witness -- I think this is
14 summary read out by the member of the Prosecution. But --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That the witness confirmed.
16 JUDGE KWON: No. The witness wasn't asked. As in this case,
17 when reading out the summary, Prosecution does not ask whether he or she
18 agrees with the summary read out, but proceed.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. All right. Did you say that Kosta Simonovic was camp commander?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did I understand you right that Kosta Simonovic kicked Jelisic
23 out of the hangar? Am I right or wrong?
24 A. He did not kick him out. He just took him out, took him by the
25 hand and took him out. That's what I said yesterday.
1 Q. I see you mentioned some kicking. Why did he not kick him? Why
2 did he take him by the hand?
3 A. Goran was kicking as he was being led out of the hangar. The
4 Prosecutor asked me to describe what kind of relationship existed between
5 the two of them, what my impression was. It was like two good friends
6 where one is leading the other out of a tavern.
7 Q. All right. This Kosta, why did he not kick him out?
8 A. Mr. Karadzic, I really cannot give you an answer to that. I
9 don't know.
10 Q. Thank you. Could he have done that to Jelic? Who was more
11 dangerous out of the two?
12 A. I believe that Jelisic was a more dangerous man.
13 Q. Did I understand you correctly that he took him under the arm in
14 order to calm him down and then take him out of the hangar with as few
15 problems as possible?
16 A. I would agree with you on that.
17 Q. Thank you. In this statement of 1993, we don't really need to
18 call it up, the Helsinki committee interprets you as having said that the
19 head of the camp was Goran Jelisic, 26 years old. Was he some kind of
20 head of the camp too?
21 A. Yes, you're right. The prisoners were saying that, too, that he
22 was one of the main persons there.
23 Q. So now we have three different persons who are being denoted as
24 commanders of the Luka camp. What do we take as true then?
25 A. Mr. Karadzic, on the 27th of May, 1992, the only one who played
1 the role in my view, was Konstantin Simonovic, Kole, because he was the
2 one who had the list of all 200 prisoners at the time, and at 7.00 in the
3 evening, every night, Kole would enter the hangar and pull out the names
4 and surnames of all the prisoners. If you were a prisoner, you were
5 supposed to say that you were present. That's what happened every night
6 in Luka while I was there.
7 Now, who had more power in terms of killing and torturing
8 prisoners, that is something I cannot say to you now.
9 Q. Thank you. Are you trying to say that formally he was that but
10 that he did not have that power and that those two who would come in were
11 more powerful than he was? Actually, there were three of them, some of
12 Arkan's men and Goran Jelisic, and Vojkan Djurkovic; right?
13 A. If it would be of assistance to you to understand the situation
14 in Luka in 1990, this is what I'm going to say to you: Once when I was
15 in Kosta's office, on the way out of his office, at the door of his
16 office, there was a typewritten text stating that no one had the right to
17 enter the hangar and take prisoners out, mistreat them, hit them, or kill
18 them without the presence of Mr. Konstantin Simonovic who signed that
19 sheet of paper as commander of the investigation prison of Luka.
20 Q. And was that complied with?
21 A. In my case, I believe that it was.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, it's now time to -- for you to
23 conclude. You have -- you will have up to 12.00.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellency, it's really very
25 little, very little time. Many things will remain uncovered.
1 JUDGE KWON: I don't think you are in a position to complain
2 about a shortage of time after having spent your time on those marginal
3 issues for such a long time.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, very well, but can I be given
5 at least half an hour? I'm not asking for a whole session. I'm asking
6 for half an hour, and that is very little for such an important witness.
7 It's very important to spot the controversies and contradictions and also
8 to arrive at the truth as to who was there and who did what. It would be
9 a shame to miss that opportunity.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes. It's a shame to miss after having wasted your
11 time. I'll consult my colleagues but before, I'll hear from Mr. Gaynor.
12 MR. GAYNOR: Yes, I think this is a clear tactic by the accused
13 to pretend that he's not given enough time for cross-examination -- to
14 conduct his cross-examination. He's been encouraged time and time again
15 to get straight to the heart of the matter in his first few questions.
16 Yesterday, we had questions about crimes committed against Serbs in
17 World War II, which is totally irrelevant to these proceedings. Again
18 and again, he attempts to put the Trial Chamber in the position of
19 thinking that it hasn't given him enough time to cross-examine when it
20 has. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to respond to
22 this? May I respond?
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would not have mentioned crimes
25 from the Second World War if the witness himself had not interpreted my
1 speech at the founding session of the SDS. That was the only reason I
2 introduced what I did. I just wanted to check whether the witness knew
3 what the gist of my appearance was. I could not leave that without a
4 comment, without shedding light on my own words.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE KWON: Whatever you may have more to ask this witness about
7 Luka camp, you will have ten minutes. Conclude by ten past.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. On two occasions you stated that in your case a mistake had been
11 made. Did they want to arrest somebody else? Did they mistake you for
12 somebody else? You said yourself that Rade Bozic, himself, had been told
13 that a wrong man was arrested, and secondly, Rade Bozic was told that the
14 Serbian police had made a mistake in your case. Have you ever discovered
15 who was supposed to be arrested instead of you?
16 A. I know that when Ivan beat me up that a Serbian soldier entered
17 and said that I was not the man that they had actually been after, and
18 Rade Bozic told me that I was a good person and that that's what he was
19 told at the Brcko SUP by Petar Gavrilovic and the people who worked at
20 the SUP at the time and who knew me. They told him that I was not a man
21 who had ever had anything against the Serbian people nor would I ever
22 have anything against them in the future. That's the kind of man I am,
23 Mr. Karadzic.
24 Q. So you were beaten by mistake on one occasion, and then somebody
25 said, "Why is this man in prison?" And the answer was the Serbian police
1 have made a mistake; right?
2 A. It was not the Serbian police that had made a mistake when they
3 came to Elektrodistribucija in Brcko and when they asked Mr. Bahto
4 Ristic, the director of Elektrodistribucija at the time, where Isak Gasi
5 the athlete was, and then the two of them pushed me into the van and
6 drove me to the police station. Why they did that, who had ordered them
7 to arrest me, I don't know.
8 Q. Is it true that when somebody asked why is this man in prison, he
9 was answered, "The Serbian police have made a mistake"? That was stated
10 on page 25. Let's see it.
11 Was that, indeed, the answer, that the police have made a
12 mistake? Let's not try to find it. Somebody asked, "Why is this man in
13 prison?" And the answer was, "The police have made a mistake." Right?
14 A. I don't know. It's possible that was the answer that he got. I
15 don't know. I was in Luka. I had been arrested. I was beaten up. I
16 saw all sorts of things. I know that all of a -- I studied -- I started
17 praying to God although I had never been a believer or religious person.
18 I am a good man. Even Mr. Rade Bozic himself told me that.
19 Q. Is it correct that you were asked never to tell anybody that you
20 had been beaten and that you even complied with that and you kept on
21 repeated that your scars are the result of your sleeping on the concrete?
22 A. Well, this is the lesson that I learned on day one from the other
24 Q. In the Krajisnik case - we don't have to call the document
25 up - you testified that you had been asked whether you were beaten and
1 you said no. And then you were asked why there were scratches on your
2 face and head, and you answered this was from sleeping on the floor.
3 A. Yes. Mr. Petar Kaurinovic asked me, "Gasi, why are you black and
4 blue all over the face and head?" And then I told him, "Pero, please
5 leave me be. I had spent the entire night sleeping on the floor."
6 Q. In line 17 he told you: "Just tell me if somebody ill-treats
7 you. We know you. We know who you are, and I will help you."
8 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. What was Kaurinovic's role?
10 A. He was a crime inspector before the war and he continued being a
11 policeman during the war.
12 Q. And he interviewed the prisoners. He carried out the
13 investigations; right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. When did you attend sessions of the Municipal Assembly, during
16 what time?
17 A. In April 1992.
18 Q. Uh-huh. When did you see Mr. Ristanic in uniform in the
19 Municipal Assembly? You did see him?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. But when?
22 A. It may have been the end of April. I don't know exactly. During
23 one week of April or around that time, I'm sure. Actually, that was
24 during the last session of the Municipal Assembly of Brcko. I can't
25 remember the date, but it was the last session.
1 Q. There is some confusion, Mr. Gasi, about where you saw me. Did
2 you attend a session of Prosjeta, the Serbian culture association?
3 A. Yes. That was in the culture hall.
4 Q. Did you see me there, or did you see me at the founding session
5 of the SDS?
6 A. You were not in the culture hall, but you were at the founding
7 session of the SDS in Brcko.
8 Q. However, in some of your statements you stated that you saw me
9 there together with Buha; right?
10 A. No, that's not correct. I never stated that.
11 Q. You also noticed Goran Cesic. It is actually Ranko Cesic whom
12 you saw; right? And he used to wear different uniforms.
13 A. Yes. I saw him twice in Luka.
14 Q. There were times when he wore an olive-drab uniform, and other
15 times he wore a blue uniform; right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Kosta in -- called you and said that you had a visitor.
18 Rade Bozic shook hands with you, and Kosta asked you not to tell him that
19 you had been maltreated in Luka.
20 A. Kosta didn't say that. He just said, "Don't fret. You will be
21 rowing for Yugoslavia again."
22 Q. However, the Helsinki committee statement of which you say that
23 it is not correct and that's why I'm not calling it up, it says in it
24 that Kosta said, "Tell him that you had not been maltreated," and Rade
25 conveyed greetings to you from your wife, and then Kosta asked you into
1 his office for a cup of coffee, and then Rade said, "Why is this man in
3 And then Kosta said, "The Serbian police have made a mistake."
4 That's on page 6 of your statement as interpreted by the Helsinki
5 committee. Is that what transpired? Rade Bozic was brought in, you
6 shook hands, you chatted and then you went into his office and then it
7 was mentioned that the Serbian police made a mistake; right?
8 A. I'm not sure 100 per cent, but it is possible that that's how
9 things transpired, because we really did have a friendly conversation
10 lasting for some 20 minutes.
11 Q. And they were your released and --
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, it's now time to put your last
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. When you attended that session of the Municipal Assembly, you
16 said that there was a lot of noise and shouting and that at one point
17 Ristanic banged his fist on the desk and demanded that the municipality
18 be divided; is that correct?
19 A. Yes. Yes. That was an Assembly session of the city of Brcko;
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you, Mr. Gasi,
22 and I have no more time.
23 It is possible that I spent too much time on trying to paint a
24 picture of Brcko, Excellencies, but it was necessary. I wanted to do
25 that with a Muslim witness. I wanted to paint a complete picture of
1 Brcko. And I'm really sorry. I really regret I haven't been given more
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Karadzic, a correction. I'm
4 not a Muslim. My father is an Albanian from Kosovo, and my mother was a
5 Muslim from Brcko, but I was raised as a Yugoslav.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I respect that, but you declared yourself as a Bosniak Muslim and
8 a Yugoslav.
9 A. In 1992, you Serbs wanted me to be a Bosnian extremist and a
11 Q. Mr. Gasi, were you a member of a multi-ethnic party or were you a
12 member of the SDA? Let's just be clear on that?
13 JUDGE KWON: I stopped. Yes, Mr. Gaynor.
14 MR. GAYNOR: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
15 Re-examination by Mr. Gaynor:
16 Q. I'd just like to clarify two small points. First of all,
17 Mr. Karadzic asked you a fair number of questions about Pudic who struck
18 you at Luka camp, whether there was Branko Pudic or Jovan Pudic. Do you
19 remember those questions?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Yesterday, as a matter of fact, I had asked you which Pudic had
22 hit you at Luka camp. Do you remember that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Which Pudic was it?
25 A. The only one that I have been mentioning all the time, and that
1 is Branko Pudic.
2 Q. Thank you. I want to clarify your position in relation to the
3 document created by the Danish Helsinki committee on the 7th of May,
4 1993. I would like to call up page 3 of 1D03890, which was shown to you
5 during cross-examination.
6 Now, at the bottom of the first paragraph of this statement, it's
7 just two sentences, I'll just say that you gave -- say that you gave a
8 supplementary statement to the members of the Danish Helsinki committee.
9 You say:
10 "I must point out that many facts in this interview are incorrect
11 due to the fact -- excuse me, due to that fact and the fact that I never
12 signed that record, since I received a copy of it in English, a long time
13 after the interview was held. I do not consider it to be my statement."
14 Do you see that part?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Does that remain your position today?
17 A. Yes, it does.
18 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Gasi.
19 MR. GAYNOR: Thank you, Mr. President. No further questions. I
20 do have some clarifications to make about the exhibits which I can do
21 after the witness has withdrawn, if you wish.
22 JUDGE KWON: You're not tendering this document?
23 MR. GAYNOR: We can tender that page, Your Honours. I've read
24 out the relevant part, but I'm willing to tender this page as a document
25 or indeed the entire document as Your Honours wish.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, this page will be admitted.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P3023, Your Honours.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender the page we
4 displayed and from which we cited paragraph 13. In e-court it is the
5 fifth page, I believe. Perhaps we could take a look at page 5.
6 JUDGE KWON: Have we not admitted the Helsinki statement?
7 MR. GAYNOR: I don't believe that's been admitted yet. There's
8 no objection to its admission subject --
9 JUDGE KWON: 19924. Are you referring to at that statement,
10 Mr. Karadzic?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D3890 is the one I have in mind.
12 It has just been called up by Mr. Gaynor. 1D3890. That statement was
13 given in 2008, the one that has been on the screen just recently. If we
14 look at page 1, we will see that the statement was provided by Mr. Gasi
15 in 2008.
16 JUDGE KWON: Let's deal with it one by one. My question was
17 whether you are minded to tender the 65 ter number 19924, which is an
18 alleged statement or interview given to Helsinki committee by this
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE KWON: First we'll admit it as Defence Exhibit.
22 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D1569, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE KWON: And what is your opinion as to this supplementary
24 witness statement which I think it was just tendered as part of 92 ter.
25 MR. GAYNOR: It hasn't been tendered by us. It shouldn't be
1 broadcast at the moment, please, Mr. Registrar. This has not been
2 tendered by us. There is no objection to the admission of it in its
3 entirety or to the page requested by Mr. Karadzic.
4 JUDGE KWON: What did you say, Mr. Karadzic? If you are not
5 tendering it, let's leave it at that. Very well.
6 MR. GAYNOR: Very well. I'll just clarify three other things.
7 Earlier on I sought the admission of associated exhibit 7113.
8 Mr. Registrar's inform me that's been admitted as P2888. Next, yesterday
9 there were two video-clips which were subject to some discussion and
10 rulings by Your Honours, P3006 and P3007. We've uploaded versions of
11 those two clips which comply with the rulings given by Your Honours.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you very much.
13 MR. GAYNOR: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That --
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we admit paragraphs 13 and 36
16 in the statement, because we have called up both? Both deal with the
17 conflict in Brcko and the role of Vojkan Djurkovic, paragraphs 13 and 36
18 of the 2008 statement.
19 JUDGE KWON: The Prosecution is not tendering any part of that
20 document, and as such there's no basis for you tender those paragraphs.
21 Mr. Gasi, that concludes your evidence. On behalf of the Chamber
22 and the Tribunal as a whole, I would like to thank you for your coming to
23 The Hague yet again to give it. Now you are free to go. Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you -- [Interpretation] Thank you,
25 Your Honour.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you on behalf of the Defence,
2 Mr. Gasi.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Karadzic.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE KWON: Given the time the Chamber is minded to take a break
6 now for half an hour, and then I would like to inform the parties the
7 Chamber is minded to conclude -- is to -- minded to rise at 20 past 2.00
9 Half an hour. We will resume at 10 to 1.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 12.20 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 12.52 p.m.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Good afternoon, Mr. Hayden.
13 MR. HAYDEN: Good afternoon, Mr. President. I wanted to quickly
14 raise the issue of the need to provide this witness with a Rule 90(E)
15 warning prior to his testimony in the absence of the witness. He's been
16 treated as a suspect in each of his prior interviews with the OTP, and
17 for that reason we think the warning is necessary.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Let's bring in the witness.
19 MR. HAYDEN: And just while the witness is being brought in I'll
20 just address a procedure matter. Just before the break, we had the
21 discussion about the admission of Mr. Gasi's 2008 statement. Just to
22 clarify, just prior to that we admitted or there was admitted one page of
23 that statement as Exhibit P3203. We understood the subsequent
24 conversation meant that's not admitted any more and we vacate that
25 exhibit number.
1 JUDGE KWON: That's correct.
2 MR. HAYDEN: Thank you.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, sir. If you could take the solemn
5 declaration, please.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 WITNESS: DJORDJE RISTANIC
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please be seated and make yourself
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
13 JUDGE KWON: I take it this has been explained to you. Before
14 you start giving evidence, Mr. Ristanic, I would like to draw your
15 attention to a particular Rule here at the Tribunal.
16 Under this Rule, Rule 90(E), you may object to answering a
17 question from the Prosecution or the accused or from the Judges if you
18 believe that your answer will incriminate you. When I say "incriminate,"
19 I mean that something you say may amount to an admission of your guilt
20 for a criminal offence or could provide evidence that you have committed
21 an offence. However, even if you think your answer will incriminate you
22 and you do not wish to answer the question, the Tribunal has the
23 discretion to oblige you to answer the question. However, in such a
24 case, the Tribunal will make sure that your testimony compelled in such a
25 way shall not be used as evidence in other case against you for any
1 offence other than false testimony.
2 Mr. Ristanic, do you understand what I have just told you?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 Yes, Mr. Gaynor -- I'm sorry. Mr. Hayden.
6 MR. HAYDEN: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Examination by Mr. Hayden:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Ristanic. Could I have 65 ter 90248. What
9 is being brought up on the screen in front of you is a statement
10 amalgamating evidence you have provided to the Office of the Prosecutor
11 in recorded interviews in 1998 and 2003. Is that your signature that we
12 see on the front page, Mr. Ristanic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And does that indicate you have had an opportunity to review this
15 amalgamated statement?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And can you today confirm that the contents of the statement are
18 accurate, and if you were asked to answer the same questions on the same
19 topics today the information you would provide would be the same?
20 A. Yes.
21 MR. HAYDEN: In those circumstances, I tender this statement,
22 Mr. President. One thing to note: The English translation we had
23 appended to the final Rule 92 ter notification contained some errors. A
24 corrected English translation has since then been uploaded into e-court
25 and does match the B/C/S translation which -- B/C/S version which
1 Mr. Ristanic has adopted as his evidence.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That will be admitted.
3 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P3023, Your Honours.
4 MR. HAYDEN: I'll now read a summary of that statement.
5 Mr. Djordje Ristanic was an SDS politician in Brcko municipality
6 serving as the president of the War Presidency from the beginning of the
7 conflict. At the end of December 1991; the SDS in Brcko established a
8 Serb Assembly in response to the so-called Variant A and B instructions.
9 On the 29th of April, 1992, the Brcko SDS met, and upon faxed
10 instructions from the accused formed a war presidency. Early the next
11 morning, Serb forces blew up the bridges in Brcko, which signalled the
12 beginning of the takeover of the town by forces which included the JNA,
13 Serb Territorial Defence, and various paramilitaries.
14 On or around 3rd of May, 1992, the SDS-appointed Dragan Veselic
15 took over as chief of police and Serb police were asked to mobilise and
17 A detention facility was established at the port, so-called Luka
18 camp, where non-Serb civilians were detained, mistreated, and in some
19 cases killed.
20 That concludes the summary.
21 Q. I now have some further questions for you, Mr. Ristanic. 65 ter
22 23163, please.
23 According to the statement that is now in evidence, key members
24 of the War Presidency, including yourself, were evacuated to Stanovi
25 outside of Brcko prior to the blowing up of bridges and the
1 War Presidency returned to the town on or about the 4th of May. Now
2 when, you returned to the town, who was in control of Brcko town?
3 A. It was just one part of the city of Brcko, and that was
4 controlled by the Serb forces.
5 Q. Looking at the map of Brcko in front of us --
6 MR. HAYDEN: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could zoom in on the
7 central portion of the map. Yes. Thank you.
8 Q. Can you identify on this map the SJB building? And if you can,
9 can you please circle it and mark it with an A. If you need it to be
10 zoomed in further, then please let me know.
11 A. No, I don't need that. [Marks]
12 Q. And when you returned on the 4th of May, who controlled the SJB
14 A. Serb forces.
15 Q. On the same map, can you identify the JNA garrison, and if you
16 can, mark it with a B.
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. And when the War Presidency returned, where was it based
20 A. Do you want me to encircle the place?
21 Q. If you can just first answer the question. Where on the 4th of
22 May when the War Presidency returned, where it was initially based.
23 A. It was based in the building in Bijeljinska Cesta, which housed
24 the headquarters of the forestry company.
25 Q. Was that building known as the Sumarija building?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I'll ask you to identify that building and circle it with a C.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. Was the War Presidency based in any other building from the
5 period of 4 May onwards? Either before or after the Sumarija, even if it
6 was only temporary.
7 A. We spent one night in the barracks before the 4th of May.
8 Q. And that's the same barracks as you've marked with a B on the
9 map; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And lastly, are you able to identify on the map the location of
12 the detention facility known as Luka camp?
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. And to orientate the Chamber who may or may not have been to
15 Brcko, can you estimate how long it would take to walk from the SJB
16 building to the entrance of Luka camp?
17 A. About ten minutes.
18 MR. HAYDEN: I tender that map into evidence, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
20 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
21 JUDGE KWON: Correct. Mr. Ristanic, would you be kind enough to
22 date -- put the date of today, which is 15th of July, 2011, and your
24 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit Number P3024, Your Honours.
1 MR. HAYDEN:
2 Q. Mr. Ristanic, in light of the evidence in your statement that
3 Serbs constituted approximately 20 per cent of the population in Brcko,
4 to your knowledge what was the motivation or what prompted Serb forces to
5 take control of the town, or part of the town as you've described?
6 A. To put it simply, at that moment that part of town was empty.
7 You can see in the map that the barracks is in the centre of all those
8 developments. The JNA was still there, so it was only logical for the
9 forces that were inside to want to control the area around the garrison,
10 the garrison itself and the area around the garrison to make the road
11 passable towards Bijeljina.
12 Q. Mr. Ristanic, you spoke there about troops who were in the
13 barracks. You also mention in your statement that various Serb forces
14 came from Bijeljina to assist in the takeover. What prompted them or
15 what motivated them to take over Brcko?
16 A. Serb forces within Brcko were minimal, and they needed
17 assistance, and that assistance could only be expected from the direction
18 of Bijeljina, which was part of the then SAO Semberija and Majevica. We
19 had asked for assistance. We wanted to talk to them, and they came to
20 talk to us.
21 Q. I'm not sure you're answering the question specifically. You've
22 stated here that you asked for assistance from the Serb forces in
23 Bijeljina. Why did you require their assistance? What task did you need
24 their assistance with?
25 A. In the town itself on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of May there were
1 very few people, very few residents capable of defending themselves. On
2 the 1st of May, shelling started from the eastern part of Brcko
3 municipality and from across the River Sava, from Croatia.
4 Q. I'm going to ask you a few further questions about Luka camp,
5 which is discussed in your statement. How long after its arrival or your
6 arrival back in Brcko from Stanovi did you or the War Presidency learn
7 that people were being detained at the facility at the port?
8 A. We learnt about that very quickly. I don't know when the camp
9 was set up, but we knew of it very soon.
10 Q. Can you just clarify "very quickly"? Are we talking days ago,
11 hours? Clarify that phrase, please.
12 A. Within a few days or perhaps within a day or two, a couple days.
13 I don't know.
14 Q. And from whom did you receive such information?
15 A. I believe that I received -- not just me, but all of us received
16 that information from the chief of police. He told us that at one of our
17 regular evening briefings. And also I learned that from other citizens.
18 We were in town, and obviously we could learn that from our fellow
20 Q. According to the information you were receiving from the chief of
21 police and your fellow citizens, where did the people come from who were
22 being detained at the port facility?
23 A. The citizens of Brcko were there.
24 Q. Do you know whether these detainees had been detained in other
25 facilities prior to being detained at Luka?
1 A. I know that they had not been detained elsewhere. They just
2 found a temporary shelter in the barracks and in the Laser company, or
3 perhaps the name of that company was Partisan -- or, rather, it was a
4 gym, and only that were they -- only then were they taken to Luka, only
5 some of them.
6 Q. Do you know the process by which persons were selected to go to
7 Luka? You mentioned only some of them were taken to Luka.
8 A. I don't know.
9 Q. Who took them to Luka from these facilities?
10 A. I can only assume that those were Serb forces, troops.
11 Q. Do you base that assumption on any information you received or
12 observations you made?
13 A. That was based on the information that we received.
14 Q. And according to the same information, what was the ethnicity of
15 the people who were being taken to Luka facility by the Serb forces?
16 A. They were mostly Muslims.
17 Q. You mentioned before you were headquartered at the barracks, the
18 JNA garrison, for one night upon your return to Brcko. When you were
19 stationed there, were any civilians being either detained there or
20 staying there for their own protection?
21 A. I remember seeing quite a lot of civilians within the barracks
22 compound because it's a huge space, and I saw those civilians in the
23 cafeteria or the mess or in the barracks or outside on the tarmac where
24 people gathered and where buses came.
25 Q. You've told us that some of those people ended up at Luka camp
1 facility. Do you know upon which basis some were taken to Luka and
2 others were not?
3 A. I don't know that.
4 Q. Did the War Presidency take any steps to determine what had
5 happened to these civilians being detained or staying at the barracks?
6 A. Whilst they were in the barracks and at Laser, that wasn't a
7 problem at all. People found shelter there. They were fed, et cetera.
8 It didn't last long though. When the camp was set up, and that is to
9 say, when we heard that people were taken there, we of course reacted.
10 We discussed this on the Presidency, the War Presidency, and we also
11 talked to the brigade commander and other people who were in charge of
12 the garrison.
13 Q. To clarify, Mr. Ristanic, you say when the camp was set up,
14 you're referring to Luka camp; is that right?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Do you know upon which grounds, legal grounds or other, these
17 person -- these persons were detained at Luka camp?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. In your view were there any legal grounds for the detention of
20 these persons at Luka camp?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
22 JUDGE KWON: For -- on what, Mr. Karadzic?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Asked and answered, and now the
24 witness is asked to speculate.
25 JUDGE KWON: It was not clear in the previous question, so he
1 wanted to clarify.
2 Mr. Ristanic, if you could answer the question.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can you please repeat the question?
4 MR. HAYDEN:
5 Q. In your view, Mr. Ristanic, were there any legal grounds for the
6 detention of these persons at Luka camp?
7 A. In my view and in the view of the War Presidency, there were no
8 such reasons.
9 Q. Can you explain how you formed the conclusion that there were no
10 such reasons, no legal grounds?
11 A. Well, in order to incarcerate someone, a procedure has to be
12 followed. Someone has to be accused of something. I suppose that's how
13 it works.
14 Q. Did the War Presidency ever instruct the chief of police,
15 Mr. Veselic, to take any action with respect to Luka?
16 A. Yes. Yes. This topic was discussed from day one, and it was
17 suggested to him that this mustn't go on. However, he didn't have enough
18 strength or powers to disband this or abolish this.
19 Q. Did he take any steps with respect to Luka camp?
20 A. Yes, he did. In agreement with us, he made an attempt to send
21 police inspectors to the camp so that they could see what was being done
22 there and to officially question people there to find out the reasons for
23 their detention, and on the basis of thus found facts, all those who were
24 kept there without any grounds would be released.
25 MR. HAYDEN: 65 ter 11266, please, Mr. Registrar.
1 Q. When a detainee was released, were they provided with anything
2 from the police to mark the fact that they had been officially released
3 from Luka or other places?
4 A. Yes. They had passes, uniform passes that allowed individuals to
5 move in and out of town.
6 Q. On the screen in front of you, Mr. Ristanic, is a pass which is
7 dated the 9th of May, 1992. Is that the kind of pass you were just
8 referring to now?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. There's a seal affixed to this pass. It reads Serbs Republic of
11 BH, SAO Semberija and Majevica, Assembly of the Brcko Municipality. Do
12 you see that there?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Where did this seal come from?
15 A. That was the only seal that we in the War Presidency had. We got
16 it -- or, rather, people from Bijeljina brought it because we ordered it
17 to be made there, and I think it arrived or -- on the 4th or the 5th of
19 Q. Do you recall when you ordered this stamp to be made?
20 A. When we first met the people from Bijeljina. That was on the 3rd
21 or 4th of May.
22 Q. Mr. Ristanic, you've just told us that you ordered it to be made
23 there and it arrived on the 4th or 5th of May. When did you first meet
24 the people from Bijeljina and make this order?
25 A. The first time we met with them was, I think, in the -- on the
1 evening of the 3rd of May, or maybe on the afternoon, in the village of
3 Q. And this was the only stamp that the War Presidency had in Brcko;
4 is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. HAYDEN: 65 ter 07894, please. And I'll tender the document
7 on the screen, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P3025, Your Honours.
10 MR. HAYDEN:
11 Q. What's coming up on the screen now, Mr. Ristanic, is another pass
12 issued in Brcko, this time on the 14th of May, 1992.
13 Is this pass adopting the same format or template as the pass
14 that we just had on our screen a moment ago?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And again, is that the seal of the War Presidency that we saw
17 affixed to the pass on our screen a moment ago?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you know anyone that went by the name or nickname "Adolf" in
20 Brcko at this time?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Who was that?
23 A. That was Goran Jelisic.
24 Q. How did Goran Jelisic come to possess the stamp of the
25 War Presidency in Brcko?
1 A. He didn't have it in his hands. He was given passes already
2 verified and with a seal affixed.
3 Q. Who gave him those passes?
4 A. We gave him.
5 Q. Was that because Goran Jelisic was working in co-ordination with
6 the War Presidency?
7 A. No. No. That was done because when we first intervened for some
8 people to be released, we provided a number of passes for the people for
9 whom we knew that they were all right, that they were being kept there
10 unnecessarily, and I described in my statement how all this took place.
11 Q. You've testified that you instructed Dragan Veselic to undertake
12 steps with respect to Luka and that in the view of the War Presidency
13 there was no legal grounds for the detention of these people. Why didn't
14 the War Presidency instruct him to immediately close the camp?
15 A. Because we didn't have any authority over him or other people who
16 were there with him. They wouldn't listen to us.
17 Q. When did you first visit Luka camp, Mr. Ristanic?
18 A. I visited one of the offices in front of the Luka camp where
19 police inspectors were. It might be the same date, I don't know. I was
20 asked by a number of people from town and other residents of Brcko and
21 some of my friends to do something and to have these people released.
22 With the chief of police, I agreed to go there to meet with the
23 inspectors, and I drove there with a friend of mine. We reviewed some
24 documents, and there were quite a few of them on the desk in that office,
25 and then together, based on the names or the photographs, we selected, I
1 would say, 80 to 100 people for whom we were sure that nobody would
2 criticise us or create any problems for us for choosing them to be set
4 Before that, Goran Jelisic was asked whether he would release
5 those people if we provided guarantees for them, and he said yes, and
6 that's what we did. We took care that nobody who was probably guilty of
7 something be among those whom he released eventually.
8 Q. A couple of follow-up questions to that answer. Firstly, you
9 said it might be the same date that you visited Luka camp. Can you tell
10 us which date you are referring to? The same date as what?
11 A. I'm talking about the 14th of May, which is in the heading of
12 this pass. Possibly that was the date.
13 Q. And secondly, you released somewhere between 80 and 100 people.
14 So you had the authority to release those persons.
15 A. I just told you. We asked him if it was possible for the people
16 for whom we provide guarantees that he would release those people. We
17 even didn't know how many people were in custody.
18 MR. HAYDEN: 65 ter 06940, please.
19 JUDGE KWON: Have you admitted this?
20 MR. HAYDEN: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. That will be
21 tendered for admission.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes. That will be admitted.
23 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. I was wondering if the
1 Prosecution has an unredacted copy of that.
2 MR. HAYDEN: We do, in fact, and we disclosed it unredacted, but
3 for the purposes of admission, we didn't think it was necessary for the
4 name, the witness's name, to be revealed. They're not a witness in this
6 MR. ROBINSON: Very well. We'll look for that document. Thank
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes. That will be admitted as Exhibit P3026.
9 MR. HAYDEN: If I can clarify further for the Defence. I believe
10 the original is unredacted, and the English translation has always been
11 in a redacted form. That's the copy where you possess also.
12 JUDGE KWON: Before moving further, the witness referred to Serb
13 forces in several places, for example. When he returned, the town was
14 under the control of Serb forces or it was the Serb forces that took
15 persons to Luka camp.
16 Mr. Ristanic, can you tell us what you meant by the "Serb
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I meant by when I said "Serb
19 forces" was primarily active-duty and reserve officers of the JNA,
20 reservists, Territorial Defence, in as many of them as there were at the
21 time in town, and also a number of military policemen who happened to be
22 there at the time.
23 JUDGE KWON: Military policemen where?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were billeted in the barracks
25 as well, the garrison barracks.
1 JUDGE KWON: Did you mean JNA?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Hayden.
4 MR. HAYDEN:
5 Q. And one follow-up question. There's references occasionally in
6 your statement to paramilitaries. At the time that Mr. President is
7 referring to, the initial period of May, were the paramilitaries
8 independent of the Territorial Defence or included within the Territorial
9 Defence, to your knowledge?
10 A. I think that they were independent. Paramilitary forces arrived
11 at the same time when people from Semberija came, which is on the 4th of
12 May, and I think that they were freelancers initially.
13 JUDGE KWON: So Serb forces would include those paramilitaries.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not at the beginning, because there
15 were no paramilitary forces until the forces from Bijeljina arrived.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 MR. HAYDEN:
18 Q. Do you recognise what is depicted in this photograph,
19 Mr. Ristanic?
20 A. Yes, I do. That's the commodity reserves warehouse of our former
21 state, and in one section of this complex was the Luka camp.
22 Q. Again, taking the pen, can you mark for us what you refer to as
23 the entrance to Luka camp.
24 A. Are you referring to the main gate or just the gate to this
25 specific facility?
1 Q. I believe you referred to an entrance, but if you can mark for
2 us what was the main point of entry when you visited Luka camp.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. And on this photograph, can you identify the office that you
5 referred to where you sorted through the photographs and files on your
6 visit to Luka.
7 A. I think that that was the administration building of the Luka.
8 Q. Did you see any detainees while you were visiting Luka camp?
9 A. No. No. No one was outside.
10 Q. Where were they when you were visiting Luka camp?
11 A. They were inside the facility, the one that I marked, and this is
12 the entrance, and then the exit on the other side, towards the river, and
13 this is where they were.
14 Q. Thank you. If you can put an A next to the entrance, a B next to
15 the office, today's date and your signature, please.
16 MR. HAYDEN: I tender that into evidence.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes. This will be admitted.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P3027, Your Honours.
19 MR. HAYDEN:
20 Q. Did you ever return to Luka camp, Mr. Ristanic?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Why not?
23 A. For a variety of reasons. First of all, nothing could be done in
24 terms of providing assistance, and I was not the only resident of Brcko
25 who didn't want to go there apart from those who worked there.
1 Q. Did any other members of the War Presidency, to your knowledge,
2 visit Luka camp aside from Mr. Veselic, the chief of police?
3 A. I don't think that anyone visited the camp, not even Veselic. I
4 have no information in that regard.
5 Q. You mentioned Goran Jelisic before, as the man who was nicknamed
6 Adolf in the past, that is now admitted into evidence. When did you
7 first meet Goran Jelisic?
8 A. I never met this Goran Jelisic, but I do remember -- when
9 everything came into light, I remember -- remembered his face, and I
10 remember meeting him at the beginning of the war, because he and another
11 policeman were assigned to accompany me when we visited Serbian villages.
12 They were kind of a security detail that was begin to me. I went there
13 in a police car, and we simply wanted to visit the villagers there to
14 gauge the mood amongst them and see what was happening. Later on, I
15 learned that he was the man, but I don't know when that was, the 3rd or
16 the 4th of May. So I went there in order to ask those people to agree to
17 be mobilised, not to flee, to stay in their homes, et cetera.
18 Q. Who assigned Goran Jelisic to you, or who assigned the security
19 detail to you?
20 A. I think it was Veselic, the chief of police. Whether it was
21 after the 3rd of May or not, I don't know. I simply asked for a car and
22 two uniformed policemen to accompany me, and he selected those two. I
23 know that one of them was Jelisic, but as for the other one I can't even
24 remember his name.
25 Q. Prior to your subsequent visit to Luka camp and the provision of
1 the freedom of movement passes by the War Presidency to Goran Jelisic,
2 had you heard anything about Mr. Jelisic's activities in Brcko?
3 A. Yes. I heard it first from the neighbours in my street, because
4 I live in the same area where the Luka camp was situated. This
5 neighbourhood is called Srpska Varos. It was about 300 metres from my
6 house, and I heard if from my neighbours and from my father that a man
7 called Jelisic appeared. That was interesting, because he had an uncle
8 living on the same street. His uncle was a good man, and I remembered
9 that name because I know that they did not hail from the area of Brcko.
10 I heard that he was harassing people around the area of the Orthodox
11 cemetery and elsewhere, but he was not the only one doing that. I mean,
12 he wasn't acting alone. He had some people with him.
13 Q. You say you heard about his activities from your neighbours and
14 others. Just very briefly, what were the nature of the activities you
15 heard about?
16 A. I heard that he was taking people away, breaking into houses,
17 taking people, and I think that all of this was happening before the
18 induction of the Luka camp. I heard that he picked the houses of wealthy
19 people, that he harassed them and robbed them. However, I didn't hear of
20 any killings or murders being committed in town itself.
21 MR. HAYDEN: 65 ter 07034, please.
22 JUDGE KWON: While it is being uploaded, Mr. Hayden, in relation
23 to the exhibit we admitted under the number 3025, which is a travel
24 permit, the name of which was redacted, in your notification, that bears
25 the name. So is it to be reclassified?
1 MR. HAYDEN: Thank you, Mr. President. That is an oversight.
2 That is to be reclassified or we can provide a public version of that
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 MR. HAYDEN:
6 Q. Have you seen this photograph before, Mr. Ristanic?
7 A. Yes, I have. I saw it in a newspaper at the time and then again
8 much, much later.
9 Q. Which newspaper and at which time?
10 A. Well, I don't know exactly. I think it was a French newspaper,
11 and I think that it was the month of August or September. I don't know
12 exactly. 1992.
13 Q. Do you recognise where this photograph is taken?
14 A. Yes. That is the so-called craft centre, the entrance to the
15 crafts centre. This is the entranceway. To the right is the craft
16 centre, and to the left is the former cinema Oslobodjenje, and so on.
17 Q. Do you recognise any persons in this photograph?
18 A. No, not from the back.
19 Q. Did you come to learn of the identity of any persons in this
21 A. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. I learned that the man in the blue shirt
22 is Jelisic.
23 Q. The man we see on the left-hand side, do you recognise that
25 A. Well, I've been trying all along, but it's so dark that I really
1 cannot. It's dark, and I don't know. I cannot say.
2 MR. HAYDEN: I tender this photograph, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Exhibit P3028.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. Exhibit P3028, Your Honours.
5 MR. HAYDEN:
6 Q. Did the War Presidency or yourself learn of any crimes committed
7 by Goran Jelisic at Luka camp?
8 A. No. No. Not at the camp itself. Later on when the camp was
9 disbanded, we heard stories about killings down there, although we know
10 about some other killings, specifically here by the police station and --
11 and in front of the Posavina Hotel, but Luka, at the time we did not know
12 that there were killings there. We were convinced that it was, indeed, a
13 collection centre.
14 Q. Mr. Ristanic, is it your position that the War Presidency,
15 yourself included, did not have any contemporaneous information about
16 crimes being committed at Luka camp in May 1992?
17 A. We did have information from these police inspectors that there
18 was mistreatment, but as for killings, specific killings, I'm not sure
19 that we had information in May specifically, but we did know that people
20 were being mistreated, that they were being forced to sing. That could
21 even be heard during the night, to sing all together as a choir, but as
22 for special mass killings, we did not know about that.
23 Q. When was Luka camp closed?
24 A. I really, really do not know the date. I think it was being
25 closed in succession, on successive days. From the first day we got
1 there to ask for the release of these people, and everyday there was less
2 and less of them, but I really don't know the date. I think that it was
3 emptied to a considerable degree when these people were being taken to
4 Batkovici, near Bijeljina.
5 Q. What steps did the War Presidency take to find out whether Luka
6 had been closed down?
7 A. Well, in agreement with the chief of the police, we asked to have
8 all victims recorded and identified and to conduct a proper crime
9 investigation to the extent possible, and to leave that for some better
10 times when one could investigate that in peace. Who did something, what
11 for, and so on, because for the most part these were rumours, many names
12 were being mentioned, that they were victims there and then that they
13 were being mistreated by others and that there were murders and this and
14 that, but at the time we just knew for sure that it was Jelisic, because
15 he confirmed it himself. He was bragging about it in public. We found
16 out only about the rest only much, much later, years later. It wasn't
17 only Jelisic who was convicted for what happened there, there were others
18 against whom court proceedings took place.
19 Q. We will return to the issue of investigations shortly. I now
20 want to ask you some questions about the provision of information to
21 persons or institutions outside of Brcko.
22 MR. HAYDEN: Exhibit P2888, please.
23 Q. The document that's being brought up, Mr. Ristanic, is a summary
24 of events which in your statement you confirm that you authored or
25 coauthored, you signed. The document is undated. Can you say
1 approximately when this document was created and sent to the Presidency
2 and the government?
3 A. I really don't know whether it was the end of May or the
4 beginning of June. End of May, beginning of June, I really don't know.
5 I think it was just when the conflict started. This was the first survey
6 that was written up. Nothing was written before that, so it could have
7 been May, June.
8 Q. Turn to page 6 of the English and 17 of the B/C/S. The final
9 sentence of the report reads:
10 "All other necessary information available to us will be
11 presented in a more detailed conversation with senior organs."
12 Firstly, who are the senior organs you refer to here?
13 A. It is primarily the Presidency of the republic that is the senior
14 organ, the Presidency of the Republika Srpska, the government, perhaps
15 someone from the Assembly, too, but the Assembly only because we had an
16 MP from Brcko who was a member of that Assembly and who could communicate
17 in that way as well, but primarily the Presidency of the republic and the
19 Q. And to your knowledge did such conversations subsequently take
21 A. I did not talk to anyone, but I know for sure that that problem
22 was being pointed out. And not only that one, all these problems that
23 are mentioned here in this document. The Member of Parliament and the
24 president of the local SDS pointed that out when communicating with these
25 organs. We primarily asked for help, help that did arrive, but there
1 were probably many such situations in other municipalities, so the help
2 could not arrive immediately.
3 MR. HAYDEN: Exhibit P1607, please.
4 Q. The next document on the screen, Mr. Ristanic, is a report
5 authored by Slobodan Aviljas and it is discussed in your statement. You
6 confirmed in your statement that a handwritten note appended to this
7 report, that is at page 7 of the B/C/S and 8 of the English, was handed
8 to Mr. Aviljas in your presence when he visited Brcko. Now, the note
9 refers to 216 bodies in a mass grave, and says that as of 10 July, 1992,
10 the people killed were buried at a cemetery properly marked and with
11 religious rites. Can you clarify: Did you mean that these 216 bodies
12 were reburied or is that a reference to deceased persons from 10 July
14 A. These are persons who lost their life from the 1st of May until
15 the 10th of June.
16 Q. I understand that's the persons referred to in the list, but this
17 comment that the people, as of 10 July, 1992, the people killed were
18 buried at a cemetery, is that referring to this 216 or is that a
19 reference to the people killed after 10th of July?
20 A. I think, I'm not sure, but what is being referred to here, I mean
21 if this document was brought to Aviljas in September, then that is the
22 number of deceased persons who were killed, identified, et cetera, until
23 then. Out of this figure of 216, now, I don't know exactly. They were
24 buried at the Muslim cemetery. So it was the period up until the moment
25 when this report was being presented. In my view. That is my
1 understanding of this document.
2 MR. HAYDEN: If we can turn the page, Mr. Registrar.
3 Q. Behind this handwritten note in the report is a series of lists
4 and it begins on the 6th of May -- sorry, the 5th of May, 1992, and then
5 the following page is the 6th of May, et cetera, et cetera.
6 Can you confirm that these lists of persons were also handed over
7 to Mr. Aviljas in your presence in Brcko?
8 A. I know that this was handed over but I cannot remember exactly
9 now whether these were the names that were there then, but I think that
10 is it because no other list was given.
11 Q. Finally, with respect to these lists, who was responsible for
12 identifying the bodies in these mass graves? We see that in some
13 instances we have a full name, an age, sometimes a street address. Who
14 was responsible for identifying those persons?
15 A. It was the inspectors from the public security station who on the
16 basis of the documents they had or did not have, or on the basis of the
17 fact that they knew someone, they identified these persons. It had been
18 agreed that this should be done, that it should all be documented so
19 that, one day, further investigations could take place and possible
21 Q. And when was that agreed that that would occur? We see the first
22 list is the 5th of May. Is the agreement concurrent with that list?
23 A. No. The list was written up as things happened, but we had a
24 problem at the very outset when we arrived in Brcko. There was the
25 problem of people being killed and left in the street, and these people
1 could not be just left there in that place, and they could not be buried
2 without having been identified. So at the suggestion of the
3 War Presidency and these people from the police, it was agreed that this
4 should be done as it should be done, that is to say, to have these
5 persons identified, removed from the streets, and buried. Later on, this
6 became a mass grave, but at the outset it was an area that was meant for
7 that, to have these people buried there.
8 MR. HAYDEN: Exhibit P2889, please.
9 Q. The next document Mr. Ristanic is a report dated the 29th of
10 September, 1992, signed by Simeon Cuturic. Before you met with OTP
11 representatives last month, had you seen this document before?
12 A. Yes. I saw it at a trial in Brcko when the lawyer of the
13 suspects, I think there were three of them, showed me this document then
14 and asked me whether I knew about it. I didn't know about it then. I've
15 had it since. He gave me a photocopy, and then you showed it to me
16 afterwards as well.
17 Q. Having had an opportunity to review it, then, and putting to one
18 side for a moment the comments that are attributed to you in this report,
19 does the information about events in Brcko in May 1992 generally conform
20 with your recollection of events in Brcko in May 1992?
21 A. Well, I'd have to read this all over again, but I think that it's
22 that more or less, apart from the personal impressions of the gentleman
23 who wrote this.
24 Q. The report refers to a statement by you which was "300 people
25 were killed," but you were not upset because of that, and you had said
1 there were much larger graves in Prijedor. Do you know how Mr. Cuturic
2 obtained these statements attributed to you?
3 A. I don't know that man. I don't remember talking to him at all.
4 I don't think I talked to him, because he's an intelligence officer from
5 the Eastern Bosnia Corps, a low-ranking one. I think I never talked to
6 him. The name and surname is a very memorable one, and I'd have to
7 remember a person by that name.
8 As for the entire statement, it should be read from the beginning
9 to the end to see what the objective of this report is, what its
10 objective is and what its purpose is I think that we as the civilian
11 authorities were mentioned sort of in passing. As for me not being
12 upset, it has to do with things that did not really affect me directly,
13 but I don't remember ever seeing that person, and for me stating this
14 kind of thing publicly, never, never.
15 Q. You mentioned before there was a member of parliament that would
16 be in contact with the republican-level leaders. Who was that person?
17 A. Dr. Milenko Vojinovic.
18 Q. Did he have a nickname?
19 A. Yes. He had a nickname. Everybody called him Beli. From
20 childhood he was known as Beli, and then when he became a doctor, he was
21 known as Dr. Beli.
22 Q. To your knowledge, how frequent was his contact with
23 republican-level leaders?
24 A. I don't know. I don't think that he had frequent contacts with
25 them. It was not easy to travel. In any case, I don't think that he had
1 daily contacts, but those contacts were less frequent.
2 Q. Again to your knowledge, who were his main interlocutors in Pale?
3 A. I think he had most contacts with President Krajisnik, the
4 president of the Assembly, because he was his boss as the speaker of the
5 parliament and with somebody in the government. He spoke to them on the
6 telephone, and when he was in Pale, I don't know who he spoke to.
7 Q. Returning to the events in Brcko in May 1992, did these events
8 attract any media attention?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What type of media attention?
11 A. A lot of attention was paid to the events in view of the
12 propaganda that was launched from Brcko Rahic and Brcko Ravno
13 municipalities. There was always something out on the radio. There was
14 always something in the press. We were bombarded by information about
15 several thousands people being killed in Brcko. The figures started
16 as -- as being 12.000, then several thousand. At the end of the war it
17 was 3.000, and today it is as many as it was. All that attracted a lot
18 of attention from journalists from all over the world. Journalist -- the
19 journalists started coming to Brcko, and our position was that those
20 people should be allowed to speak the truth, to convey the true message
21 to the general public.
22 The presence of Reuters journalists who were there from the
23 beginning of the war and who recorded some events in the town, and we saw
24 the footage here, say that there were no bans on the presence of
25 journalists in town.
1 MR. HAYDEN: 65 ter 08513, please.
2 Q. The next document, Mr. Ristanic, is an article that appeared in
3 the "Nas Glas" newspaper on the 9th of October, 1992. It refers to a
4 press conference that you gave. Once it's up on our screens, I'll ask
5 you to confirm that you've had a chance to review this in preparation for
6 your testimony?
7 A. Yes. I saw this the first time when you showed it to me.
8 Q. Does it accurately reflect the stated views you provide -- you
9 provided publicly at this time, October 1992?
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. There's a reference in this article to dozens of foreign
12 journalists who you said they would come out from around the world about
13 an "alleged concentration camp for Muslims." Is that a reference to the
14 media attention we were just discussing before this document came -- came
15 on the screen?
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 MR. HAYDEN: I tender that into evidence.
18 JUDGE KWON: What has been our practice in terms of translation?
19 If the Defence is happy with partial translation, we'll admit it.
20 MR. ROBINSON: Yes. As I understand, this is just a translation
21 of the newspaper article pertaining to this and the other parts of the
22 newspaper about other issues were not translated. That's perfectly
23 sensible with us.
24 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll admit this.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P3029, Your Honours.
1 MR. HAYDEN: I'll call up a video-clip, 4170. We'll have to move
2 into Sanction. This is a news item from the end of September 1992 on TV
3 Serbia News 2. I believe the interpreters have a transcript provided to
4 them. The number is 65 ter 40170.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "The leader of Bosnian Serbs has
7 today dismissed the American accusations that his forces have massacred
8 3.000 Muslims as completely ungrounded. Karadzic has called on the
9 American President George Bush to release the actual evidence for his
10 accusations. State Department representative Richard Boucher announced
11 that Washington had new witnesses who corroborate reports of about 3.000
12 Muslims having been killed at a camp in nearby Brcko in May and June.
13 Along with his appeal to President Bush to disclose the evidence for such
14 allegations, Karadzic has stated that 200 Serb civilians, victims of last
15 week's massacre committed by Muslims, were buried this morning, but the
16 State Department has not so much as taken notice of it."
17 MR. HAYDEN:
18 Q. Were you able to follow that clip, Mr. Ristanic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is that a reference to the same international media attention
21 that was given to events in Brcko in May and June 1992, discussed a few
22 moments ago?
23 A. I believe so, yes.
24 MR. HAYDEN: I tender that clip, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes. That will be admitted.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P3030, Your Honours.
2 MR. HAYDEN:
3 Q. Mr. Ristanic, what steps did the War Presidency or the leadership
4 of the SDS take to investigate the crimes that were committed at Luka
5 camp in the months and years immediately after it was established?
6 A. At that time when the crimes happened and immediately thereafter,
7 the victims were identified, the places where they were buried and the
8 number of those who were buried and then we waited for the conditions to
9 be right to prosecute the perpetrators. That's all we did.
10 Q. Was anybody prosecuted or punished for the crimes committed at
11 Luka in the months or years immediately after it was established?
12 A. At the relevant time in 1992 and 1993, it was impossible. Nobody
13 dared prosecute anybody.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MR. HAYDEN: No further questions, Mr. President. With respect
16 to the associated exhibits, there are none to tender. I would just note
17 one has already been admitted and 65 ter 16793 is, in fact, page 7 of
19 JUDGE KWON: Unless the parties are of different opinion, the
20 Chamber is minded to rise for today given the time, starting your
21 cross-examination tomorrow.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I agree.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
24 MR. TIEGER: First of all, Your Honour, I do need a couple of
25 minutes to address a scheduling issue the Court will want to hear about
1 but, secondly, I would ask in light of the circumstances that the
2 cross-examination documents be released so we could have an opportunity
3 to review them over the weekend. It would be helpful to everybody.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes. That could be done. I take it there's no
6 MR. ROBINSON: No problem.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
8 MR. TIEGER: Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
10 MR TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. There were four witnesses
11 scheduled for next week, as the Court knows it's --
12 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
13 MR. TIEGER: Sure.
14 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger. Would you like Mr. Ristanic to
16 be --
17 MR TIEGER: Yes, of course he can be excused. I'm sorry.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Mr. Ristanic, please have a nice weekend. I
19 will see you on Monday. Probably you must have heard this as well, but
20 you're not supposed to discuss with anybody about your testimony while
21 you are giving testimony here.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. As mentioned, four
1 witnesses were scheduled for next week. It's obvious now that the last
2 witness will not -- that testimony will not commence. Moreover, with
3 respect to the third scheduled witness, Mr. Panic, we calculate that in
4 order to complete Mr. Panic's evidence, it would require three additional
5 court sessions, either after the first three sessions of the day or on
6 Friday or a combination of both. We are indeed keen to complete
7 Mr. Panic's evidence, not -- in part because of significant scheduling
8 issues which would arise in connection with the Prosecutor who is calling
9 that witness at the same time. So we would certainly welcome the Court's
10 intervention with that additional time.
11 JUDGE KWON: That means Mr. Panic is here already.
12 MR. TIEGER: No. He -- the reason I raise it now is that
13 Mr. Panic is scheduled to travel on Sunday, so I wanted a resolution of
14 this issue one way or another. I do note that without the additional
15 sessions, Mr. Panic's evidence would not be completed, and indeed if --
16 if there were no sessions at all, I calculate that his testimony would
17 probably not even commence.
18 So I present that issue to the Chamber. As mentioned, we would
19 be quite keen to complete his evidence if possible. However, I think
20 none of us would wish to bring him unnecessarily. So it's now in the
21 hands of the Chamber. If you could please advise us by the end of the
22 day in light of his imminent travel so we can act accordingly one way or
24 JUDGE KWON: We'll do so during the course of today.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
3 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, to the extent that our
4 presences are important we would prefer that they not bring that witness
5 because we don't even think his testimony would begin and it would put a
6 lot of pressure on us with the military expert who we have a lot of
7 questions for. So we prefer, instead of being under this time pressure,
8 where time cannot be extended, that the witness simply come in August.
9 JUDGE KWON: We'll take that into account as well.
10 9.00 on Monday morning.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.19 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Monday, the 18th day
13 of July 2011, at 9.00 a.m.