1 Tuesday, 12 March 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Would the witness make the solemn declaration, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
9 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Ceklic. Please be seated and make
11 yourself comfortable.
12 WITNESS: MOMCILO CEKLIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
16 Your Excellencies. Good morning everybody.
17 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Ceklic.
19 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
20 Q. I must congratulate you. You are the first and the second in a
21 series of 100 witnesses. You're number 101.
22 I must ask you and remind myself, too, that we should speak
23 slowly and pause between question and answer so that everything can be
25 Did you give a statement to my Defence team?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see 1D7899.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. Can you see the statement in front of you now?
6 A. I can.
7 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed the statement?
8 A. Yes, I read and signed it.
9 Q. Thank you. Please show us the last page with the signature. Is
10 this your signature?
11 A. Mr. President, yes, this is my signature.
12 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you said
13 to the Defence team, or does anything need to be changed?
14 A. As far as I remember, the statement was faithfully rendered and
15 there is no need to change anything.
16 Q. Thank you. If I were to ask you the same questions today, would
17 your answers be essentially the same?
18 A. Yes. The essence would not change at all.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Under Rule 92 ter, I seek to
21 tender the statement.
22 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We're offering three
23 associated exhibits listed in our 92 ter notice, and we would ask that
24 for each of them they be added to our Rule 65 ter list as we didn't have
25 them at the time that list was filed.
1 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Gustafson, any objections?
2 MS. GUSTAFSON: Good morning, Your Honours. No, no objections,
3 just an observation. Document 1D14009, referenced at paragraph 37, has
4 been admitted. It's D1193. Thank you.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, we'll receive the statement as well
6 as the remaining two associated exhibits.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The 92 ter statement 1D7899
8 will be D3112, and the other two associated exhibits will be D3113 and
9 D3114 respectively.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will now read the
12 summary of Mr. Momcilo Ceklic's statement in English.
13 [In English] Momcilo Ceklic was born on the 23rd of September,
14 1941, in Obrinje village, Kalinovik municipality. He is a lawyer by
15 profession and currently resides in east Novo Sarajevo. He was the
16 secretary of the Ilidza Municipal Assembly and a member of the Crisis
18 Following the establishment of the HDZ and SDA municipal parties
19 in 1990, the SDS Municipal Board was formed on 7th of September, 1990.
20 After the multi-party elections in November 1990, Mr. Momcilo Ceklic
21 observed relations between the parties deteriorated as interethnic
22 tensions continued to mount in the area.
23 In one instance in May 1991, the taxi drivers of Sarajevo drove
24 throughout Serbian areas of Ilidza with Muslim markings, making noise and
25 firing shots. It was a public secret that the Muslims were preparing for
1 war. Momcilo Ceklic himself witnessed between 150 to 200 Muslims
2 undergoing training at this time. The Ilidza settlement of
3 Sokolovic Kolonija was a stronghold of the SDA and its paramilitary
5 On January the 2nd, 1992, the Ilidza SDS Municipal Board formed a
6 Crisis Staff, and on the following day, the SDS proclaimed the Serbian
7 Ilidza municipality, which was intended for preventive and political
8 activities. The Crisis Staff did not hold a sessions -- session until
9 early April, despite the difficulty security situation.
10 In the following period, persecution and arrests of Serbs began
11 in Hrasnica and Sokolovic Kolonija, predominantly Muslim settlements of
12 Ilidza municipality. Serbian deputies in the BH Assembly were out-voted,
13 and Muslims and Croatian deputies proclaimed the independence of BH
14 against the will of the Serbian people. In early March 1992, Muslim
15 forces carried out an armed attack on a nearby Serbian settlement and
16 seized the Novi Grad and Novo Sarajevo police stations.
17 Alija Izetbegovic declared a general mobilisation, engaging and arming
18 Muslim forces, including the Green Berets paramilitary units.
19 In light of these events, the Crisis Staff of the Serbian
20 municipality Ilidza adopted a decision to place a defence around the
21 Serbian settlements in order in order to protect the Serbian people. On
22 5th of April, 1992, the constitutive session of the Assembly of the
23 Serbian municipality of Ilidza took place. The Assembly proclaimed a
24 state of imminent threat of war and authorised the commander of the
25 Crisis Staff to adopt decisions, orders, and instructions on behalf of
1 the Assembly.
2 Following a Muslim attack on Ilidza on April the 22nd, the Crisis
3 Staff adopted a decision on to declare a state of war in Ilidza
4 municipality. Throughout this period, the Crisis Staff made a number of
5 attempts to negotiate for lasting peace but received no co-operation from
6 the Muslim side, and the conflict continued to escalate throughout 1992.
7 In one incident, Momcilo Ceklic witnessed Muslim forces fire missiles on
8 a bus station in Ilidza, killing and wounding several civilians.
9 The Crisis Staff was formed pursuant to the instructions of the
10 government of the Serbian Republic of BH with the intention of taking
11 over the prerogatives and functions of the Municipal Assembly when it was
12 unable to meet. Representatives of the government of the Serbian
13 Republic of BH appointed by the government played a co-ordinative role
14 for them to act professionally and in accordance with the law. It was
15 not a means to remove members of the other nationalities from the
16 territory of BH in any inhumane method. During the fighting that
17 followed, Muslims, Croats, and Serbs fled Ilidza, and some returned for
18 the duration of the war, including Muslims and Croats. All civilians,
19 regardless of their ethnicity, were allowed freedom of movement.
20 Momcilo Ceklic had no knowledge of any camps for prisoners of war or
21 collection centre in his territory, except for one semiopen pre-war
22 prison used to house Croatian and Muslim prisoners of war as well as
23 Serbian prisoners.
24 It was never the policy of the SDS generally to permanently
25 remove Muslims and Croats from BH in Serbian regions, and genocide,
1 persecution, extermination, deportation, and other inhumane acts were not
2 propagated by the SDS staff.
3 Dr. Radovan Karadzic could not have taken any unilateral
4 decisions in the SDS, nor did he display such tendencies. The
5 municipalities were independent, and their relationship with the
6 president of the Republika Srpska was in accordance with a valid
7 constitutional and legal provisions. With regards to Ilidza, it was cut
8 off from the influence of higher organs of power throughout the war
9 because it was under enemy encirclement. There was no control, and the
10 course of events was decided by situation.
11 Momcilo Ceklic was aware of the existence of paramilitaries that
12 formed in the chaotic beginnings of the war, but they were not tolerated
13 by the Serbian municipality of Ilidza authorities which did its best to
14 remove them and impose order.
15 [Interpretation] This was a brief summary of Mr. Momcilo Ceklic's
16 statement summary. I have no further questions to the witness at this
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ceklic, as you have noted from Mr. Karadzic's
19 comments that your evidence in chief in this case has been admitted in
20 writing in lieu of your oral testimony, and now you'll be cross-examined
21 by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor, Ms. Gustafson.
22 THE WITNESS: Okay.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ceklic. At paragraph 12 of your statement you
2 said that the HDZ formed a municipality in the Stup settlement of Ilidza
3 and that on the 3rd of January, the SDS analogously proclaimed the
4 Serbian Ilidza municipality. Now, that suggests that this step taken by
5 the Ilidza SDS was an independent local initiative, and in fact the
6 decision to form a Serbian municipality in Ilidza was based at least in
7 part on SDS Main Board instructions of 19 December 1991, otherwise known
8 as the Variant A and B instructions; isn't that right?
9 A. I must tell you that the Croats in their area, that is at Stup 1
10 and Stup 2, were the first ones in Bosnia-Herzegovina who established
11 their own municipality, and as a response the Serbs proclaimed the
12 Assembly of the Serbian people on the 3rd of January, 1992. This
13 Assembly of the Serbian municipality of Ilidza, which was proclaimed on
14 the 3rd of January, 1992, was purely fictitious, which means that it
15 didn't do anything special. It had a preventive political character.
16 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but my question was simply whether or
17 not you agree that the Serbian municipality of Ilidza was formed, at
18 least in part, based on SDS Main Board instructions of the -- of 19
19 December 1991. Do you agree or disagree with that?
20 A. Yes. It was partly established based on that instruction, but
21 that instruction was never fully implemented, never fully honoured.
22 Q. Okay. And at paragraph 37 of your statement you talked about the
23 creation of the Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality of Ilidza, and
24 you state that the Crisis Staff was formed on the basis of the government
25 instructions, and you refer to P2717, and those instructions are dated
1 the 26th of April, 1992. And the document reflecting the creation of the
2 Crisis Staff also referenced in your -- in that paragraph of your
3 statement is D1193, and that document is dated the 10th of April, 1992.
4 Now, you agree with me, don't you, that it's impossible for
5 the -- it would have been impossible for the Serbian municipality of
6 Ilidza to form a Crisis Staff on the 10th of April, 1992, on the basis of
7 instructions that were only issued 16 days later, on the 26th of April,
9 A. Speaking about Crisis Staffs in the Ilidza municipality, we must
10 distinguish between two types: One was the party's Crisis Staff, which
11 was established on 2nd of January, 1992, and it's --
12 Q. Mr. Ceklic, I'm aware of that distinction. I'm just referring to
13 assertions that you have made in your statement, and your assertion at
14 paragraph 37 is that the Serbian municipality created a Crisis Staff, and
15 the document you've referenced for that is dated the 10th of April, 1992.
16 You've also asserted that that Crisis Staff was formed based on the
17 government instructions that were dated 16 days later, the 26th of April,
18 1992. Now, you agree with me that that's impossible?
19 A. I think I understood you well. The Crisis Staff was formed
20 pursuant to the instruction dated 19 December 1991. Maybe this is a play
21 on words in the statement. The Crisis Staff was established following
22 the instructions of 19 December 1991. Now the dates fit, and that date
23 is actually the right one. Do you understand? Because there was a
24 Crisis Staff that was a party's Crisis Staff of 3 January 1992, and
25 another Crisis Staff with a different structure was established on
1 10 April, 1992, and this Crisis Staff in the true sense of the word is
2 some type of a local government body which had -- which executed the
3 duties of the municipality, although the municipality could not do its
4 proper work.
5 The situation at Ilidza throughout the war was very specific,
6 because the Municipal Assembly and the municipal structures functioned
7 almost throughout the war, and the Crisis Staff was one kind of
8 co-ordination between the municipal bodies and the government bodies.
9 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you again, but I think we're moving away
10 from my question. Now, I understand your position now to be that both
11 Crisis Staffs were based -- were formed on the basis of the 19 December
12 1991 instructions. Were you aware that at the 14th session of the
13 Bosnian Serb Assembly on the 27th of March, 1992, Karadzic instructed the
14 deputies to establish Crisis Staffs in their municipalities, and that's
15 D304, page 20?
16 A. I was never aware of such instructions, and I doubt that
17 Mr. Karadzic would have issued such an instruction of his own accord. He
18 is a great democrat, and all the main decisions were taken by the
19 Main Board at the level of the Serbian Republic. Mr. Karadzic can make
20 proposals, but the decisions were taken by the Main Board which was a
21 collective organ of authority. It decided in a democratic fashion. In
22 the Main Board it was not Mr. Karadzic who could take decisions on his
24 I'm not aware of any such instruction issued by Mr. Karadzic.
25 Finally, he never showed an inclination to do anything of this kind.
1 Q. Well, I won't take that any further except to just confirm that
2 you never attended the Bosnian Serb Assembly; is that right?
3 A. I never attended.
4 Q. Okay. That's clear. Thank you.
5 A. I attended some of their meetings.
6 Q. Sorry, you said you never attend, and then you said I attended
7 some of their meetings. Did you ever attend any meetings of the Bosnian
8 Serb Assembly at the republic level?
9 A. No, no. There must be a misunderstanding. I never attended the
10 Assembly sessions at the republic level, but I did attend meetings of the
11 Crisis Staff at the municipal level because it was part of my duties. I
12 was referring to the local level.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ceklic. I'm going to ask you to please keep your
14 answers as short and directed to the question as possible because I have
15 very limited time.
16 Okay. In your statement you talk about how the Muslims were
17 preparing for war, including by arming, and I refer, for example, to
18 paragraph 13, but it's true, is it not, that the Serb authorities in
19 Ilidza undertook intense activity to arm citizens of Serbian nationality?
20 A. I don't know what you're interested in first and foremost about
21 the arming of the Muslims or the arming of the Serbs. The Serbs never
22 prepared for war. They only prepared for defence, because the policy of
23 the Serb leadership and the SDS at the level of the Serbian
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina was directed at --
25 Q. Mr. Ceklic.
1 A. -- the preservation of the biological and physical survival of
2 the Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you again, but I wasn't asking you about
4 policies. I was just asking you whether you agreed or disagreed with the
5 proposition that prior to the war the Serb authorities in Ilidza
6 undertook intense activity to arm citizens of Serbian nationality. Do
7 you agree or disagree?
8 A. The arming of the Serbs only started once the Muslims had started
9 to arm themselves, and this arming process was based on weapons from the
10 Territorial Defence, to a very minor degree to -- on weapons from the
11 JNA's warehouses. From Donji Potok somewhere in early April when the
12 MUP -- MUP's warehouse was placed under control, then weapons were
13 distributed to the Serbian people. But it was clear that all the
14 goings-on would result in war. There couldn't have been any other
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Krtelj was not recorded. Perhaps
17 the witness could explain what that is. But it was not recorded that the
18 Muslims took Krtelj.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON:
20 Q. Okay. In your statement you refer in a number of places to
21 attacks by Muslim forces in Ilidza. You refer to an all-out attack on
22 Ilidza on the 22nd of April. That's paragraph 25. An attack on Rakovica
23 settlement on the 27th of April, paragraph 32. Another all-out attack on
24 Ilidza on the 14th of May, paragraph 33. And at paragraph 35 you make
25 the general assertion that Ilidza was subjected to constant Muslim
1 attacks, that the Serbian forces were constantly defending their lines,
2 and they did not have any aspirations to conquer territory under Muslim
4 Now, first with respect to the two all-out attacks you refer to
5 on the 22nd of April and the 14th of May, Bosnian Serb forces not only
6 repelled those attacks but conquered new territory in the course of them,
7 and Bosnian Serb forces in Ilidza carried out a number of offensive
8 operations resulting in conquering territory held by Muslims; isn't that
10 A. No. Absolutely false. It is only correct that the first attack
11 on the Serbian population of Ilidza happened on the 25th of April at a
12 quarter before 6.00. Ilidza was attacked from all directions,
13 Sokolovic Kolonija, Butmir, Hrasnica, Stupsko Brdo, and so on, and there
14 was heavy fighting that went on for about 12 hours. Once they repelled
15 the Muslim attack, the Serbs stayed in their area without any ambitions
16 to conquer other territories. The Serbs never had such ambitions. That
17 is completely false. Eleven people were killed, 56 were wounded.
18 Then -- but unfortunately -- yes?
19 Q. Sorry to interrupt you again. Your position is clear that my
20 proposition I put to you is completely false, and I'm not interested at
21 the moment in the details of these operations.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to P2308, please.
23 Q. This is a report from the 20th of September, 1993, from the
24 Ilidza public security station to the RS MUP.
25 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to page 4 in both the
2 A. Could you please turn up the volume. The volume, thank you.
3 JUDGE KWON: The usher will be coming to assist you, Mr. Ceklic.
4 Do you hear me well now, Mr. Ceklic?
5 THE WITNESS: Okay. [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON:
7 Q. Okay. If you could look towards the bottom half of this page.
8 It refers to the two attacks that you describe three paragraphs from the
9 bottom, the attack on the 22nd of April, 1992, and then in the next
10 paragraph another attack on the 14th of May, 1992, and then at the bottom
11 of the page it says that:
12 "Organisation of the defence in the above-mentioned cases was
13 done by Mr. Kovac and his associates. It was very successful, which is
14 confirmed by the fact that the enemy didn't gain any of our territory
15 while we conquered new territory ..."
16 And then if we go to the next page, it says:
17 "Offensive actions undertaken by the members of the public
18 security station resulting in new territories under our control are as
20 And then there is a rather extensive list on page 5. 13th of
21 May, it says Binjezevo was liberated joining Hadzici to Ilidza. From the
22 15th of May to the 31st of May, Rakovica local municipality was
23 liberated, again joining territories. 1st of March, liberation of
24 Ahatovici, referred to as a Muslim strategic point. The 9th of June,
25 1992, there's a mistake in the English translation, refers to a
1 successful action in Kasindolska Street. 17th of June, liberation of
2 airport settlement, liberation of Doglodi, member -- the conquering of
3 the shopping centre Cenex.
4 It's clear from this document, isn't it, Mr. Ceklic, that there
5 were a number of offensive operations aimed at conquering new territories
6 by Bosnian Serb forces in Ilidza?
7 A. As far as I remember, we talked about the first attack on the
8 22nd of April, and I told you about what transpired on the 22nd of April.
9 Everything else that you went on to read was beyond the 22nd of April, at
10 a later date. The 22nd of April was before, and I was talking about
11 that, when a Muslim attack was staved off, the attack on Ilidza. The
12 Serbs kept the status quo and held onto their own territory.
13 Everything you have enumerated happened after the 22nd of April.
14 So -- I've never heard all of this information before. Talking about
15 Rakovica, because that's what you mentioned, it never needed to be
16 liberated because it was part of the Ilidza municipality. It could only
17 have been viewed as active defence and certainly not as an ambition to
18 conquer territory that was predominantly Muslim. I'm not sure if we have
19 understanding here. I am certainly doing my best to be perfectly clear
20 on these issues.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. Excuse me. So I'm telling you what I know about the 22nd of
23 April as someone who was there and who was a first-hand witness.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ceklic. I'd like to stay on this document for a
25 moment and move to another topic which is the statement that you made at
1 paragraph 27 that people fled Ilidza in panic and fear during the
2 fighting and that there was no organised or forced expulsions or ethnic
4 Now, first it's true that the Serb police in Ilidza were
5 detaining Muslims and taking repressive measures against them
6 resulting -- causing them to flee, is it not?
7 A. No, it's not true. That's simply not what happened. I need to
8 explain one thing. When there is a war on, what you have is chaos all
9 over the place. Everybody fears for their own personal safety and that
10 of their families. It wasn't just the Muslims that were fleeing Ilidza
11 at the time but Serbs and Croats, too, leaving four predominantly Croat,
12 Serb, and Muslim areas. Serbs, too, were leaving for Montenegro and
13 Serbia. My own family was in Serbia at the time, and that applied to
14 quite a number of people there. So it wasn't just that the Muslims were
15 leaving. You have people from all three ethnic groups leaving the area
16 because of the war.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ceklic. It's --
18 A. May I just add one thing if I may?
19 Q. No. I'm sorry. Your answer to my question was very clear. I
20 have limited time. I just don't have time for you to give me all these
22 It's clear that you deny that the police were taking repressive
23 measures against detained Muslims causing them to flee.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 3 of this document,
25 please, and this is again the report from the Ilidza public security
1 station to the RS MUP.
2 Q. And the second paragraph from the bottom states that:
3 "All detained Muslims were thoroughly interrogated in order to
4 extract useful information regarding their intentions. Repressive
5 measures undertaken against them for various reasons resulted in them
6 increasingly fleeing and moving out of this territory."
7 So it's right here in black and white from the Serbian police
8 station in Ilidza itself; isn't that right, Mr. Ceklic?
9 A. There is one thing that you need to know: I wasn't up to date on
10 the Ilidza police station reports. I have a rough understanding of how
11 the situation evolved in terms of any population movements and people
12 leaving Ilidza for other areas. As for police-generated information, you
13 must understand that I wasn't privy to that.
14 Q. Okay. That's clear. Now, staying on the same topic but moving
15 to another part of your statement, you referred at paragraph 30 to an
16 incident at that took place during negotiations that were taking place on
17 the 23rd of April, 1992, and you said that Muslims opened fire on Serbian
18 areas from Gornji and Donji Kotorac. And then you said that the JNA
19 returned fire and in the ensuing search of these settlements weapons were
20 seized, the biggest extremists were taken to Kula, while civilians from
21 these settlements fled to Butmir and Dobrinja.
22 Now, it's true, is it not, that after this 23rd of April
23 operation the Muslim civilians who had fled Gornji Kotorac returned?
24 Then on the 12th of May, 1992, on the order of Mr. Prstojevic, the women
25 and children were expelled to Sarajevo and the men were imprisoned in
1 Kula. And a few days later, those men, too, were expelled. And this is
2 another example of the organised expulsion of non-Serbs from Ilidza.
3 Do you agree or disagree with that?
4 A. I disagree. This is entirely erroneous. Gornji Kotorac had a
5 total of 70 Muslim households more or less. This was prior to the 23rd
6 of April, 1992. There were frequent acts of provocation from
7 Gornji Kotorac against Kasindol and the Lukavica barracks. So they had
8 no choice but to respond and deduce some form of control throughout that
9 area where quite a large quantity of weapons was found. There was fire
10 being opened at the barracks in Lukavica and Kasindol, and that was
11 causing a lot of problems. So these people were taken to the Kula KP Dom
12 and kept there for a while. There were no women and children there being
13 kept at this correctional facility. The only people being held there
14 were Muslim extremists who were frequently opening fire on those
16 Secondly, you couldn't say that these civilians were expelled.
17 They left on their own accord. The simple reason being they were afraid
18 because weapons were found in the position of their fellow Muslims in
19 their homes. They were now taken to the Kula KP Dom. So the women and
20 children now became scared, and they left Kotorac because of that. It's
21 not that they were driven out. Nobody was forced to stay. Everybody
22 was -- who was forced to leave. Everybody was allowed to stay. Some
23 left, but some returned even during the war, and some even spent the
24 whole duration of the war in Ilidza. Therefore, Madam Prosecutor, I
25 think what you just specified is entirely erroneous, and I can say that
1 without any kind of bias at all.
2 Even the military-aged men who returned eventually began to
3 pursue their activities in terms of opening fire, using all kinds of
4 different weapons to cause unrest. I believe it was on or about the 12th
5 of May that something like that reoccurred just prior to the 14th of
6 April attack on Ilidza, the second attack.
7 So they continued to pester the military and the Serbian
8 settlements there. There was no other way but to do something about it.
9 People involved in such extreme activities had to be removed in order for
10 the situation to go back to normal to some extent at least. That is the
11 only truth, and everything else is just speculation.
12 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Your position is clear. If we could go
13 to P1086, please. This is a transcript of a conversation between
14 Mr. Prstojevic and a certain Milenko, then a certain Novakovic, and
15 although it's dated the 14th of May, 1992, there's evidence from
16 Mr. Prstojevic that it should be -- that this conversation actually took
17 place on the 12th of May, and that's at transcript page 13859. And
18 towards the bottom of the page, Mr. -- or at the top of the next page in
19 the B/C/S, I apologise, the bottom of page 1 in the English,
20 Mr. Prstojevic says:
21 "Why did Mika phone me?"
22 And Milenko says:
23 "To check with you these people in Kotorac. What should we do
24 with them?"
25 And Mr. Prstojevic says:
1 "Did you arrest them? What did you do?"
2 And if we turn the page in the English, Milenko says:
3 "People are down there."
4 And Prstojevic asks again:
5 "Have they been arrested?"
6 And then Milenko says a couple of lines down:
7 "Down there on the road all of them, men are separated from
9 And then Milenko again a few lines down says:
10 "I just received the word men are in the Kula prison and women
11 went in the direction of Butmir."
12 And then Novakovic comes on the phone, and if we go to the next
13 page in the B/C/S, Prstojevic asks Novakovic:
14 "Have you been cleaning Kotorac today?"
15 And Novakovic says:
16 "They have. I don't note exact details."
17 And then a few lines down Prstojevic says:
18 "That's okay, but tell me, please, I beg of you, why did you take
19 women to Butmir?"
20 And Novakovic says:
21 "They said women were not in Butmir."
22 And then he clarifies:
23 "Well, in Butmir, yes, not to KP Dom but to Butmir. That's where
24 they're going."
25 And Prstojevic says:
1 "They cannot go to Butmir. We'll mop up Butmir in time as well."
2 And then the next page in English, Prstojevic says:
3 "Butmir will be mopped up, Sokolovic will be mopped up, Hrasnica
4 will be mopped up."
5 And Novakovic says:
6 "Well, I don't know where to take them."
7 And Prstojevic says:
8 "They will all -- there is Bascarsija? Please take all of them
9 to Bascarsija on foot," and he clarifies, "women, and men to prison."
10 And then Novakovic says:
11 "Okay. I'll check with them and I'll let you know."
12 And Prstojevic says:
13 "Tell them those who convert to Orthodox religion on the spot,
14 they can stay, women and children."
15 And then they sign off.
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could now go to P1126.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just ask one thing. Could we
18 have fewer of these really complex questions?
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: I haven't asked my question yet.
20 Q. At P1126 is a memo from the Ilidza -- sorry, the Kula police
21 station to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Justice dated
22 the 20th of May, and it says that since the 12th of May until the 20th of
23 May there are 156 persons detained in KPD Butmir, and in the next
24 paragraph it says that 38 persons were brought in by the Ilidza TO who
25 were in possession of automatic weapons in Kasindolska Street, and then
1 it says:
2 "47 persons from Gornji Kotorac removed in an operation by former
3 JNA and TO Kasindol forces but returned to the area of Gornji Kotorac on
4 the 12th of May and were therefore taken to KPD Butmir."
5 And then it goes on to refer to other people taken from Dobrinja
6 and Nedzarici, Vraca, et cetera.
7 And then on the next page of the English it refers to the
8 inadequate conditions in the prison and the need to urgently resolve the
9 status of these detainees.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could finally go to P1151.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I perhaps comment?
12 MS. GUSTAFSON:
13 Q. I'll ask you a question after I show you one more document,
14 Mr. Ceklic. And this is another letter from the Ilidza Kula police
15 station dated five days after their previous one, and it refers to their
16 previous letter again addressed to the Ministry of Justice and the
17 Ministry of the Interior, and it refers to the problems of accommodation
18 from the previous letter, and then in the next paragraph it says:
19 "After co-ordinating with the minister of justice and the SJB
20 undersecretary on the 20th of May, 114 persons were taken to the
21 Vrbanja Bridge location and sent into the city. This group consisted of
22 persons whose place of residence was in Gornji Kotorac and Dobrinja."
23 And then it says that they had unsuccessful communications with
24 the Ilidza exchange bureau, so they decided to send these detainees to
25 the -- to Sarajevo, and then it refers to the need to resolve the status
1 of the 38 persons taken in from Kasindolska Street who were in possession
2 of automatic weapons, hand grenades, and it states had extreme views and
3 therefore should not be exchanged.
4 Now, as these documents show, the Muslim civilians from
5 Gornji Kotorac who returned to Gornji Kotorac on the 12th of May were
6 expelled; the women and children were sent directly to Bascarsija, the
7 men were detained at Kula, and they, too, a few days later were sent into
8 Muslim-held Sarajevo?
9 MR. ROBINSON: Well, excuse me, Mr. President, that's like a bar
10 examination question.
11 JUDGE KWON: Well, let's see how the witness can answer the
13 MR. ROBINSON: But how --
14 JUDGE KWON: Let us see.
15 MR. ROBINSON: How could he possibly remember all the --
16 JUDGE KWON: If he does not remember, then he can say he cannot
17 remember that. Let us see.
18 Yes, Mr. Ceklic, do you remember the question, or should I ask
19 her to repeat the question?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think the question is a bit too
21 comprehensive. Perhaps it would be more effective to ask a series of
22 questions subsumed under this one huge large-scale question. But if we
23 have sufficient time, perhaps I could shed some light on this.
24 As for these orders, I'm really not privy to that. As for the
25 KP Dom, again I did not have any direct knowledge of how it operated.
1 All I know is the accounts of some people and witnesses who were there
2 and were released. They stated themselves for the record that they fared
3 much better at the KP Dom than in their own homes and that the care there
4 was better. It's an incontrovertible fact that given the wartime
5 conditions, the conditions at the KP Dom were good, and the professionals
6 there, it is my deepest conviction, worked in keeping with all the rules
7 governing the work and existence of that institution also in terms of
8 prisoner treatment.
9 As for Kotorac and women and children being driven out, I cannot
10 accept that assertion. Not a single person was ever driven out of Ilidza
11 regardless of their ethnicity. People were leaving because they feared
12 for their own personal safety and that of their families. So it was only
13 to be expected that those people would be heading for predominantly
14 Muslim, Serb, or Croat areas as it were. The reference here obviously is
15 to the Muslims. Furthermore, no women or children or indeed pregnant
16 women were ever locked up in the KP Dom at Kula. That is entirely untrue
17 and cannot be maintained as simple as that. I was the Assembly
18 secretary. I -- I worked in an office, but I did know quite a lot of
19 things about a number of different things that were going on at the time,
20 and that's what I can share with you today.
21 People being driven out, no way.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON:
23 Q. Okay. Well, were you aware at the time that Mr. Prstojevic had a
24 conversation about what to do with people in Gornji Kotorac and he
25 instructed that the women and children be sent to Bascarsija on foot
1 unless they converted to the Orthodox religion on the spot and the men
2 were to be taken to the Kula prison? Did you know about that at the
4 A. I didn't know that at the time. I've heard about it somewhat
5 later. This is anti-rhetoric, though. Mr. Prstojevic said a lot of
6 things and said many more things than he actually ended up doing. I
7 don't think this was done. I think he was just talking a lot. But he's
8 an honourable man, and I think if push ever came to shove, he would have
9 been the first to take a stand and say that no one was to be driven out.
10 This is anti-rhetoric. It's as simple as that. He was just being
11 carried away by the general war atmosphere if you ask me.
12 Q. Okay. Well, do you deny then that the men were -- were taken to
13 Kula prison in accordance with Mr. Prstojevic's instructions?
14 A. I am not denying anything.
15 Q. Okay.
16 A. I am not denying that there were men in prison because of all the
17 reasons that I enumerated but not for the reasons stated by
18 Mr. Prstojevic. Mr. Prstojevic said a lot of things, but none of that
19 ever came to be. He was just shooting his mouth off for the sake of
20 doing it.
21 Q. Well, Mr. Ceklic, the Chamber has received substantial evidence
22 of Mr. Prstojevic's involvement in military matters in Ilidza and the
23 surroundings, and I would refer, for example, to P5710, P5705, P2411, and
25 First, were you aware of Mr. Prstojevic's military role at the
2 A. No. No. Mr. Prstojevic had links to the civilian authorities
3 and no more than that. There was some co-ordination between these
4 various bodies at Ilidza municipality level, but it was all about the
5 normal operation of all the relevant authorities in Ilidza municipal
6 territory. The people in charge of the military were professionals,
7 Territorial Defence likewise, police likewise, qualified, appropriately
8 skilled people who knew their jobs.
9 Q. Okay. I'd just like to cover one last topic briefly with you
10 which is the topic of paramilitaries. At paragraphs 45 and 46 of your
11 statement, you said that the paramilitaries were not tolerated by the
12 army, the MUP, or the Serbian municipality of Ilidza and that the
13 municipality tried their best to have them removed.
14 If we could go to P5691, please.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 22 -- or, rather, page 22,
16 line 16, it should read "honourable man."
17 MS. GUSTAFSON:
18 Q. This is a transcript a conversation, Mr. Ceklic, on the 13th of
19 May between Captain Legija, one of Arkan's men, and Milisav Gagovic, who
20 at the time was commander of the JNA 4th Corps in Sarajevo, and this is a
21 brief conversation. After the introductions, Gagovic asks:
22 "What's up?"
23 And Legija says:
24 "Well, these men here are kind of trying to get up there towards
25 those through Kasindolska Street to the airport, and those people they
1 were fighting ferociously, but this very centre of Ilidza, these parts of
2 the municipality, I don't know."
3 Gagovic asks:
4 "Okay. Are they falling? Is it possible to monitor where these
5 shells are coming from?"
6 And then a few lines down, Legija says:
7 "I'm going to place my monitors up there."
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to the next page in the
10 Q. Gagovic says -- and Gagovic says:
11 "Go ahead and have the monitor report about where the shells are
12 falling. I can cover it all from here from the airport."
13 And then Legija says, and this is at the next page in the B/C/S:
14 "Well, I am going to place my monitors now. And these things
15 coming down from Igman - and there they have those - I know mortars. If
16 I catch their fire, I will send you their grid references up there."
17 And Gagovic says:
18 "Go ahead and do it now."
19 Now, were you aware, Mr. Ceklic, of this kind of co-ordination of
20 military activities between the commander of the JNA 4th Corps and
21 Arkan's men in reference to operations in Ilidza?
22 A. No. First I hear of it.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to P2229.
25 Q. This is a conversation between Mico Stanisic and Nedjeljko Zugic
1 from the 15th of May, 1992. And again it's a very short conversation.
2 And after the introductions, Stanisic says about halfway down the page:
3 "What are you doing?"
4 Zugic says:
5 "I've just come from Sokolac."
6 And a few lines down, Mico Stanisic says:
7 "Good. And where are you now?"
8 And Zugic responds:
9 "I'm in the Serb municipality of Ilidza."
10 "And Stanisic says:
11 "Tell me what the situation is like."
12 Zugic says:
13 "With Vuk and Mlaco and Prstojevic."
14 And on the next page in English, Stanisic says:
15 "Tell me what the situation is like over there."
16 And Zugic says:
17 "Well, we got reinforcements from Gagovic. Some Arkanovci and
18 Seseljevci came. I don't know."
19 And Stanisic says:
21 Again, were you aware at the time of this kind of approval that
22 the minister of interior gave to the presence of Arkan and Seselj's men
23 in Ilidza?
24 A. I know these men, Mr. Stanisic and Mr. Zugic, but I wasn't privy
25 to this information. I don't know anything about it. Unless you want to
1 know about the paramilitary units and groups. Perhaps I could should
2 some light on that.
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Mr. Ceklic. I have no further
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
6 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Very briefly. Can we
8 please leave the last document -- or, rather, return the last document to
9 our screen. P2229.
10 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please look at the second to last
12 thing here.
13 "Well, we have received reinforcements from Gagovic."
14 Could you tell us, this person Gagovic, he was an officer in
15 which army exactly? Who was around on the 15th of May in your area?
16 A. He was a JNA officer.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you know anything about the relationship between
18 the army and -- on one hand and the volunteers and paramilitaries on the
19 other following the 12th of May when Republika Srpska VRS was
21 A. First and foremost, Mr. President, the paramilitary units and
22 volunteer units that arrived in Ilidza were people who were not known to
23 us, and they caused more damage to the Serbian people in Ilidza than any
24 good that they may have done. There was no benefit to their presence at
25 all for us. The regular military units and the police tried to drive
1 those units out of Ilidza, but the MUP and the public security station in
2 Ilidza was facing a dire situation because they were running out of
3 equipment and weapons.
4 Could you call those paramilitary units? I don't know. That may
5 be a bit too harsh. These weren't real units. They were just minor
6 groups normally numbering between 10 and 20 men. They would only stick
7 around for a very short while. They would loot the areas around whenever
8 and wherever they could, and they would simply leave, flee Ilidza with
9 whatever it was that they took.
10 Now excuse me, Mr. President. The military and the police were
11 doing their best to place those paramilitary units under control, which
12 was difficult to do, particularly after the date you specified when a
13 certain number of people, a great minority, reported, volunteered with
14 the VRS.
15 Q. Thank you. What was the distance between the war zone and
16 Gornji Kotorac, Ilidza, and the settlements that we have been talking
18 A. As the crow flies from right in the middle of Ilidza, across
19 Hrasnica and Vojkovic, I don't know, perhaps 1.000 metres. Nonetheless,
20 for us to reach those areas, the eastern part of Ilidza, we had to take a
21 round about route of about 120, 140 kilometres. So Ilidza was in the
22 thick of the war throughout its duration and the siege was far fiercer
23 than that of Muslim Sarajevo, and this is one thing that people tend to
24 forget these days. Ilidza was under siege for the duration of the war.
25 And it was because of that siege, Mr. President, that we were unable to
1 have a normal communication with the eastern reaches of our municipality.
2 We had take a 140-kilometre round about route in order to get there,
3 whereas as the crow flies the actual distance was no more than a
5 Q. All right. And what about Gornji Kotorac? Where were the
6 confrontation lines in relation to these villages and how far were those
7 from the theatre of war?
8 A. The distance between those positions was not particularly great.
9 I think between 150 and 200 metres. No more than that separating the
10 confrontation lines. If I understand you correctly, Mr. President.
11 Q. Thank you. And now tell us, please, as a lawyer you must know
12 this, what are the obligations? Are there certain obligations of the
13 army that is in combat and fighting towards civilians in the areas that
14 are affected by the combat?
15 A. Well, certainly each army in keeping with the international law
16 is supposed to treat civilians in a humane way to comply with the Geneva
17 Conventions and the rules of war.
18 Q. What about evacuations? Does it have the right or the duty --
19 or, rather, is it allowed to keep the civilians in the areas where combat
20 is going on?
21 A. No. It's not allowed to do that. They can move them perhaps if
22 certain conditions are met.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, just one more question. There were some
24 measures mentioned here. Now, as a lawyer, can you tell us whether there
25 are any measures that are envisaged by law? Well, repressive measures
1 envisaged by law.
2 A. Well, the repressive measures are there in order to prevent
3 crimes being committed. For instance, in our areas we had a historic
4 session of the Assembly of the Ilidza municipality of the Serbian people
5 on the 28th of August where certain decisions and conclusions were
6 adopted to the effect that all relevant structures may carry out their
7 normal duties, including the army, the police, the prosecutor's office,
8 the judiciary, and so on. So at this session, the special focus was
9 placed on the prevention of crime, because there were frequently
10 instances where state public property was damaged, so there were calls
11 for those perpetrators to be prosecuted and for the prosecution and the
12 judiciary that at that time were functioning well to take measures in
13 keeping with the law.
14 Q. Thank you. What are the criteria that the Muslims took? Or
15 actually what was Krtelj --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. -- for the Muslims?
19 A. Well, that was a base of the Muslims. On the 3rd and 4th of
20 April, Muslim Specials captured Krtelj and then they informed the Muslim
21 forces that there would be convoys arriving from Sarajevo, entire convoys
22 with weapons in order to arm of the Muslim people. That's a generally
23 known fact. This was on the 3rd and 4th of April, 1991, and at the same
24 time in this area sometime in the middle of the night around 12.30
25 they -- Muslims with some four APCs were prepared to capture Krtelj.
1 So this is to do with the arming and with the movement of these
2 forces. So this was their main base, the main Muslim base which was used
3 for arming the Muslim people. Although there were other people who armed
4 themselves via private channels, also taking weapons away from the TO
5 depots and depots of JNA units. So they've started arming themselves
6 very early on, perhaps early in 1991. Unfortunately, that was how it
8 Q. Thank you. I'd like to read out to you a brief portion on
9 Mr. Prstojevic's position. This is dated the 4th of May or the 1st of
10 May 1992, D10206. He says as follows:
11 "We also stress that the Serbian authorities of the Serbian
12 municipality of Ilidza provide -- allow free movement of civilians across
13 the territory of this municipality irrespective of their ethnic party,
14 gender, or any other affiliation. All of this, of course, provided that
15 there is police control at check-points."
16 Now, how does this tally with what you know about this?
17 A. Mr. President, until the first attack on the 21st of April, 1992,
18 all citizens of Ilidza could move freely, because our check-points,
19 metaphorically speaking, I may say, were rather elastic. So there was
20 absolutely no obstacle to freely moving along those roads. Now, as of
21 the 21st of April, when the first attack on Ilidza was, the only persons
22 who were free to move -- who were allowed to move freely were able bodied
23 men of Serb ethnicity who had to stay there because -- for the purpose of
25 Q. Thank you. And what was the basis for arresting able-bodied
1 Muslims? Were all Muslims, able bodied Muslims in Ilidza? Were they all
2 called up and taken to the police station to be questioned?
3 A. Well, no, not everybody was called to report to the police
4 station. Only extremists, people who had weapons, who harassed the
5 Serbian population and military targets. All other citizens who just
6 behaved like any normal reasonable people, of course, they wouldn't have
7 to be detained or brought to the police station for questioning, nor did
8 we want for something like that to be done. There was no decision of the
9 Municipal Assembly, the War Presidency. What -- adopted in that sense --
10 in that sense, nor was it ever -- nor was anything like that ever ordered
11 by the top leadership, including yourself, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ceklic, how did they distinguish the extremists
13 from ordinary people?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that was very simple. An
15 extremist is a person who keeps opening fire on Serb areas against the
16 Serbian population, who opens fire at the Yugoslav People's Army, and the
17 police. I don't know what else you could call it. It's either an
18 extremist or an aggressor. Probably aggressor rather than extremist.
19 And when these people were checked, that's where large quantities of
20 weapons were found, and there were lists of all the weapons that had been
21 seized. And it is for this reason that these people were brought in and
22 kept at the penal and correctional facility at Butmir.
23 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
25 Q. Were there any Muslims and Croats -- or how many of them were
1 there? Because you said that there were some Muslims and Croats who
2 returned or who stayed in this area throughout the war.
3 A. Yes. Throughout the war there were Muslim and Croats who
4 remained in Ilidza and they live there to this day. I don't know if this
5 Court has this information from 1994 from IFOR or UNHCR to the effect
6 that a massive number of Muslims remained in Ilidza living there
7 throughout the war and they still reside there to this day.
8 Q. Thank you. How many Muslims did you convert to Christianity in
9 the course of the war?
10 A. Well, I really don't know. Are you trying to say whether we put
11 pressure on them to convert to the Orthodox faith? Well, that's really
12 absurd. Everyone is free to choose what job they will do, what religion
13 they will abide by. So that was never in our plan.
14 Q. Well, it's "van svijke pomitaj" [phoen], I wouldn't really say
15 "observed." I would say "out of mind." Well, the reason I'm asking you
16 this is because of what Prstojevic quoted.
17 A. Well, as I said, that's just sheer rhetoric, as I -- it had
18 nothing to do with reality. It was very far from reality nor there was
19 ever anything like that.
20 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Ceklic. I have no further questions.
21 Thank you for coming to answer the questions.
22 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. That concludes your evidence,
23 Mr. Ceklic. On behalf the Chamber, I thank you for your coming to The
24 Hague to give it. Now you are free to go.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Thank you.
1 May I just put a question here if you allow me to the President of the
3 JUDGE KWON: We do not entertain a question from the witness --
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's of a private nature.
5 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to go to private session?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's of a private nature. No, no.
7 If I may just exchange greetings with Mr. President -- with the President
8 before I leave The Hague Tribunal, that's all.
9 JUDGE KWON: No, Mr. Cekic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE KWON: My apologies. His name was Ceklic, not Cekic.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, it is really admirable how
14 well you can actually pronounce our last names.
15 JUDGE KWON: Is the next witness ready?
16 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE KWON: Could the witness make the solemn declaration,
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Tesic. Please be seated and make
24 yourself comfortable.
25 WITNESS: BRANIMIR TESIC
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE KWON: Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Tesic, I must
3 draw your attention to a certain Rule that we have here at the -- at the
4 International Tribunal, that is Rule 90(E) of Rules of Procedure and
5 Evidence. Under this Rule, you may object to answering any question from
6 Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecution, or even from the Judges if you believe
7 that your answer might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In this
8 context, "incriminate" means saying something that may amount to an
9 admission of guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that might
10 provide evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence.
11 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you and as a
12 consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that
13 the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the question.
14 However, in that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony
15 compelled in -- under such circumstances would not be used in any case
16 that might be laid against you for any offence save and except the
17 offence of giving false testimony.
18 Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Tesic?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
21 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
22 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Tesic. Did you give a
24 statement to my Defence team?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. Thank you. And thank you for pausing between my question and
2 your answer, because we have to wait for the interpretation.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now 1D7198, please, in
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
6 Q. Can you see the statement of yours on the screen before you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
9 A. Yes, I've read it and signed it.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
11 the last page with his signature on it.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Is this your signature?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. Thank you. Does this statement accurately reflect your words,
16 what you've said to the Defence team?
17 A. Yes, it does.
18 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today that
19 were put to you on that occasion, would your answer in essence be the
21 A. Yes, in essence they would be the same.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
24 statement under 92 ter, Rule 92 ter.
25 JUDGE KWON: You are not tendering any associated exhibits?
1 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Mr. Costi?
3 MR. COSTI: No, Your Honours.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE KWON: I note, Mr. Robinson, Mr. Karadzic, that it has been
6 the -- our practice that when a substantial new information is added to
7 the statement less than 48 hours prior to testimony, that new information
8 should be led live. Do you have any observation in that regard? I'm
9 referring to the last four paragraphs relating to the adjudicated facts.
10 MR. ROBINSON: Well, Mr. President, we don't -- we didn't --
11 first of all, we did run a little short of the 48-hour requirement, and
12 if I -- I was expecting if the Prosecution had any problem with that we
13 would have rescheduled the witness, and it would be our preference not to
14 lead those live, and we also don't think they're particularly
15 substantial, but if the Chamber -- whenever you want to hear something
16 live, of course, we'll do that.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE KWON: In light of the circumstances, particularly in which
19 the Prosecution does not oppose the admission, on an exceptional basis
20 we'll admit the statement in its entirety, but we are making sure that we
21 are not deviating from our practice. Please bear that in mind in the
23 Yes. We'll receive the statement.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3115, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will now read out a
2 short summary statement by Mr. Branimir Tesic in English.
3 [In English] Branimir Tesic was born on 6th of May, 1995, in
4 Bratunac, and currently resides in Ljubovija Serbia. In 1992, he was
5 appointed as the deputy commander of a Serbian police station in
7 The Bratunac SJB employed mainly Muslims but also some Serbs.
8 Interethnic relations were satisfactory until the beginning of the war as
9 tensions mounted and people began obtaining weapons; however, people
10 became concerned for their safety and began leaving Bratunac. In
11 Bratunac in 1991, a large number of Muslims gathered in front of the
12 municipality building in Bratunac where a small military police unit came
13 from Tuzla to take over the card files. The Muslims refused to let them
14 enter the building. After this news spread, Serbs started to gather in
15 order to support the JNA. Thanks to the police who separated the people,
16 large-scale incidents were prevented.
17 Later, the commander of the military police unit was forced to
18 order firing in the air in order to make the Muslims move away from the
19 them, and then he withdrew with the unit. They moved into a primary
20 school building near the municipality building while the Muslim police
21 remained in the police building, so making two police stations on a
22 grid-way. Later the Muslims left this police station with the other and
23 handed over this police station to the Serbian police. Mr. Tesic and
24 other policemen with an army unit were required to ask the inhabitants of
25 the area who owned weapons illegally to hand over the weapons to the
1 police station.
2 In early May 1992, Branimir Tesic and a police patrol were
3 assigned to escort a struck to Milici. On their way back, in Hranca,
4 they saw shooting all around them and something was burning. They were
5 told that Muslims had attacked a JNA column that was withdrawing from the
6 Central Bosnia towards Serbia, and this was confirmed later when they
7 returned to Bratunac.
8 Branimir Tesic was not aware that some Muslims were brought to
9 Bratunac from Hranca that evening and locked up at the Vuk Karadzic
10 elementary school, nor did he know that some Muslims were killed during
11 that time because he was not there nor he was -- nor was he needed to
13 Regarding the operation in Glogova in early May 1992,
14 Branimir Tesic had no specific knowledge because he was not there.
15 Through later -- though later he knew that some vehicles which were
16 carrying some Muslims, he did not know if any Muslims were taken to
17 Vuk Karadzic elementary school on that day.
18 Both army and civilian authorities had a lot of problems with
19 volunteers. They were very hard to control, and many were often drunk or
20 steal property. They even physically attacked policemen and the station
22 In late May 1992, Branimir Tesic heard rumours that Muslims in
23 Sandici had ambushed a military armoured vehicle travelling from Bratunac
24 to Vlasenica. That night, the chief of the police station,
25 Milutin Milosevic, was captured and killed subsequently. Many soldiers
1 were killed or wounded there. Later, they tried to exchange the bodies
2 with the Muslims but were refused.
3 Around 14th of July 1995, Branimir Tesic heard that
4 Zeljko Ninkovic, a member of the PJP, was killed in Sandici during an
5 attack launched by the Muslims from other police -- policemen who were
6 with Ninkovic that day. About the incident in the buildings of the
7 farmers cooperative in Kravica, Branimir Tesic heard that one of the
8 Muslims started shooting at the police with a rifle and then the security
9 officers opened fire -- fires on the Muslims.
10 And that is a short summary. I don't have questions for this --
11 for witness for the moment.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
13 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. Before we take the
14 break, I was checking my records concerning the notification for this
15 witness, and I was wondering if the Chamber could also check, because my
16 records show that we provided 59 hours notice, but perhaps you could
17 check your own records. Maybe you didn't receive notice when I did, so
18 thank you.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE KWON: We'll have a bit longer break than usual, for 35
22 minutes, and resume at 10 past 11.00.
23 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
24 MR. TIEGER: I was going to wait until after this, as I
25 appreciate you didn't see me, but I would -- just wanted to say that the
1 distinction between 48 hours, 50 hours, and so on may be a distinction
2 without a difference depending upon the substance of the additional
3 information. I think the Trial Chamber has made that clear, so I --
4 we've made the point before that it isn't necessarily a bright line test
5 depending on the nature of the information provided, and I think the
6 Court has made that clear too.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.36 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.14 a.m.
10 JUDGE KWON: I apologise for the delay. The Judges' deliberation
11 went a bit longer than expected.
12 Yes, Mr. Costi.
13 MR. COSTI: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Cross-examination by Mr. Costi:
15 Q. Good morning, Mr. Tesic.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. I would like to start by talking about the days after the fall of
18 Srebrenica in July 1995. At paragraph 37 of your statement, you said
19 that one evening you saw a number of buses with Muslims arriving and
20 staying in Bratunac overnight. The police was guarding the prisoners at
21 night; is that correct?
22 A. It is correct that the military police were guarding those
23 prisoners during the night, as far as I know.
24 Q. Well, let me briefly read you what Bogdan Subotic, a military
25 policeman, said in the Popovic case on the 1st September 2008 at
1 transcript 24991 and 24992. He's describing the military police
2 escorting a column of buses from Nova Kasaba to Bratunac. And then he's
4 "Q. When you arrived in Bratunac, who did you hand the prisoners
5 over, to whom and where?
6 "A. I handed them over to members of the station of the interior
7 in Bratunac, the civilian police. They awaited us at the entrance of the
9 And later on he further explained:
10 "Can you tell me more about it?"
11 And he says:
12 "I was at the head of the column. I reached the gate of the
13 elementary school. I waited a member of the civilian police to come out,
14 and then I informed them that I had POWs. He said - the police, the
15 civilian police - that he was informed and said that he should move the
16 armoured vehicle around so that the buses could enter into the school."
17 So I'm asking you again, the civilian police was guarding the
18 prisoners in Bratunac that night; correct?
19 A. No. The civilian police did not guard the prisoners during that
20 night at Bratunac. First of all, you have just said that the civilian
21 police had to move their armoured vehicles, but the civilian police never
22 had any armoured vehicles.
23 Q. I'm sorry. There must have been a misunderstanding. This is not
24 what I said. This is the military policeman who testified and said that
25 he was told to move their armoured vehicle in order to let the buses to
1 enter the school. But you gave an interview to the office of the
2 prosecutor of the state court of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2008, and in that
3 context you -- you gave a slightly different answer to the similar
4 question. You were asked:
5 "Our information is that you instructed some policemen to go and
6 help to secure the people."
7 And your answer was:
8 "That is possible. That's possible, but what I'm saying is that
9 I was not in position -- in a position to give out or to assign any
10 people to assist the security."
11 So if I understand correctly what you said to the prosecutor in
12 Bosnia is that it's possible that civilian police was there, but as far
13 as you knew, you didn't give any order. You didn't deploy them, but it's
14 possible that they were there. Is this your testimony today, or you
15 change your position and now you're saying that the civilian police was
16 not guarding the prisoners?
17 A. No, no. I have not changed my position. This isn't about
18 positions but about what happened. It's possible that there was someone,
19 but no order was issued. I didn't have enough staff at the Bratunac
20 police station to provide security to buses carrying Muslims.
21 Q. Thank you. So you agree that it's possible that the police was
23 Now, in the same interview to the Prosecutor in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you also said that you only heard about the shooting
25 and the killings that night at the Vuk Karadzic school and the stadium,
1 and we are talking about 1995, that you only heard later through the
3 Now, you meant the trials here in The Hague, didn't you?
4 A. Yes. Both here in The Hague and the trials in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, before the court of BH. I heard shooting, but at
6 that time you could hear shouting all about the place, from the stadium,
7 from the school, from the Poca Usa [phoen], from Srebrenica, from
8 Voljavica. You could hear shooting from all over the place at the time.
9 And we learned of the killings only later when the buildings, the
10 schools, and so on, were vacated and the civilian protection entered and
11 found a number of dead bodies.
12 Q. So what you said at paragraph 37 of your statement is not
13 accurate, because -- and I read, you say:
14 "I do not know if there was shooting in the town that night and
15 if any Muslim were killed."
16 A. Not that night. I didn't know whether anybody was killed that
17 night, but later we learned that people had been killed, that is, dead
18 bodies were discovered, bodies of people who had probably been killed.
19 Q. All right. So you learned later through the trials as you
20 explained a few seconds ago.
21 MR. COSTI: Now, can I have P04398, please.
22 Q. Mr. Tesic, this is an article that was published in
23 "The Independent," an English newspaper, on the 21st of July 1995. So
24 more or less a week after the 13 of July. And if we go to the first page
25 at paragraph 3, it says:
1 "One Serb woman who claimed to have seen the main execution site,
2 a playground in Bratunac, spoke of a field knee-deep in blood. And the
3 killings are said to be continuing. 'It is terrible what they are doing.
4 If I could, I would call the people in Bratunac for this,' the woman
6 And on the second page in paragraph 4:
7 "The two women say that the killing were going on at the
8 'playground' earlier described as a stadium and a school near some kind
9 of warehouse. Testimony from all other sources mention the same sites."
10 So two random women from Serbia knew that people were killed at
11 that time and you, the deputy commander of the police, that probably, as
12 you said, but it was in fact there guarding the prisoners, you only heard
13 about this event through the trials in The Hague or before the Bosnian
14 Serb court. Is this your testimony?
15 A. No. I'm not saying that I first learned of this in The Hague.
16 The information reached me much sooner when the buildings -- the school
17 buildings were vacated. Then the news spread. But what I'm trying to
18 say, that the civilian police of Bratunac was not charged with guarding
19 those buses. At the time, we didn't have enough staff --
20 Q. Sir --
21 A. -- because they were in the field, and we could not assign anyone
22 to securing these buses. We merely secured roads from Bratunac to
23 Kravica, Konjevic Polje, and so on.
24 Q. So you were a deputy commander --
25 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The -- a question was put to the
2 witness as if he hadn't answered at the top of page 42. He said that
3 they learned as soon as the school was vacated, that they learned of the
5 MR. COSTI: If I may answer to that.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, very well. Let's proceed, Mr. Costi, yes.
7 MR. COSTI: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Q. Now, in your statement you said at paragraph 39 that
9 Zeljko Ninkovic was killed in the evening of the 13th July. In fact, he
10 was killed early in the morning of the 13th July; is that correct?
11 A. Here in paragraph 39 it says the 14th of July, 1995, but I
12 reiterate that I do not remember the exact date. It was during that
13 period, however. He was a police officer of the Bratunac police station.
14 At that moment he had been -- he was part of the unit from Zvornik and
15 that unit that secured that the road probably from Kravica to
16 Konjevic Polje. This officer, Zeljko Ninkovic, was killed.
17 Q. Let me just clarify: At paragraph 39 you said that on the 14th
18 you learned that the evening before, meaning the 13th, Ninkovic was
19 killed. So it's not the 14th, the date you indicated in your statement,
20 but I -- I understand your testimony. You're not sure about the date.
21 MR. COSTI: Can I have P06189, please.
22 Q. Now, if we see the document on the screen, at the -- it says that
23 in the early morning hours of the 13th July 1995, the 1st PJP Company
24 Zvornik SJB had contact with a large enemy group. And it goes on and it
1 "However, Zeljko Ninkovic, a policeman from the 1st Company, born
2 in 1967, was killed."
3 So this report, CJB report, Zvornik CJB report indicates that he
4 was killed in the morning, early hours at 4.00 in the morning of the
5 13th; is that correct?
6 A. Don't ask me if this is correct. If such a document was drafted
7 and sent out, it's probably true. This document bears the date of
8 13 July and probably it is accurate. You're asking me after 20-odd years
9 if I remember the date or possibly the hour when someone was killed. I
10 can't know that now. I can't know the exact hour when someone was
11 killed. This is a dispatch and there is no signature on it, but it says
12 that it was -- the original was signed by Dragomir Vasic, and I think it
13 must be accurate.
14 Q. Very well. So -- and the funeral of Ninkovic was the day after,
15 on the 14th.
16 A. Probably on the day after he was killed in accordance to Serbian
17 customs -- not only Serbian customs. There must -- a certain time must
18 elapse before someone was buried. So he was probably buried on the
19 following day.
20 Q. Thank you. At paragraph 40 of your statement you say that you
21 heard later about the massacre at the Kravica warehouse. Now, you
22 actually heard about it on the 14th, didn't you? So only a few hours
23 after people were killed at the Kravica warehouse, because on the 14th in
24 Bratunac, everyone was talking about it; is it correct?
25 A. I cannot say if I learned of it on the 14th, but probably at the
1 moment when it was happening I was in no position to know about it. I
2 was at Bratunac and they were at Sandici, which is some 13 or 14
3 kilometres away. A certain time had to pass, a few hours at the least,
4 for the news to spread that the people were being killed there. But I
5 was nowhere close to Sandici on that day.
6 Q. Very well. So let's go back in time to 1992. In your statement
7 at paragraph 27 and 28, you said that you only heard later that Muslims
8 were kept at the football stadium, and that you only heard later that
9 Muslims were detained and some of them killed at the Vuk Karadzic school.
10 We're talking about May 1992; is it correct?
11 A. Here in my statement it says later. "Later" can mean anything, a
12 few hours later or ten days later. When people gathered at the stadium,
13 I probably knew a few hours later that this was happening. The Muslim
14 population came there mostly voluntarily or escorted -- or rather,
15 secured by the TO. Our orders were not to interfere with the TO's
16 business, and they were part of the armed forces, the JNA. Besides the
17 TO, there was a small JNA unit present, and they had their own military
18 police squad. Apart from the Bratunac MP, there was also this military
19 unit of the JNA, and we had received orders by Chief Milutin Milosevic
20 who, as far as we knew, had been in touch with the then CJB of the
21 Birca Romanija district, and we were ordered not to interfere with what
22 the TO and the army were doing.
23 Q. Very well then. You said this in the statement.
24 MR. COSTI: Can we have P04308. And if we can please go to the
25 last page, page 282.
1 Q. So this that you should have in front of you, it's an aerial
2 picture of Bratunac that you can probably recognise. Now, you can see,
3 can't you, the -- that -- okay. Sorry. Now I can finally see it in
4 front of my screen. Apologies.
5 You can see that -- what is the stadium, can't you, is on the
6 left side, is this empty field close to where we have the labour
7 "Vuk Karadzic school"; right? That's the stadium; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you can also see the Vuk Karadzic school itself because it's
10 pointed with a red arrow, isn't it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And you can also see the police station is indicated right in the
13 centre of this picture.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, would you agree with me that this is not more than a
16 five-minute walk from the police station to the Vuk Karadzic school and
17 the stadium? So my question for you is: No matter what you were ordered
18 or not, you must have known at the time what was going on at the stadium
19 and the school? You must have known as deputy head of the police that
20 thousands of Muslims were brought there, right, and not later.
21 A. It is correct that this is within five minutes walking, but if
22 you're saying that I had to know, no, I didn't. Why should I have to
23 know. I know that Muslims are gathering on the stadium, the football
24 pitch, and that's what I stated in an earlier statement. We didn't
25 provide security to them, and I don't see why I had to know. Well, yes,
1 I did know that they were gathering there. The Muslims were gathering at
2 the football pitch of Bratunac on that day.
3 Q. Before we move on, so you did know that the Muslims were at the
4 football stadium and the Vuk Karadzic school at the time they were there
5 and not later as you said in your statement.
6 A. I knew that these Muslims were gathering at the football pitch,
7 and later we learned about some events, that there had been victims.
8 Q. Very well.
9 MR. COSTI: Mr. President, can we go into private session,
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 35255-35256 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
16 MR. COSTI: Thank you, Mr. President. Can we have 65 ter 24757A.
17 Q. Mr. Tesic, this is a statement that B1070, a protected witness in
18 the Slobodan Milosevic, gave again to the BiH MUP, this time on the 29th
19 of June, 1992.
20 MR. COSTI: And if we go to e-court pages 8 and 9 of the English
21 and B/C/S 10.
22 Q. And again the witness described --
23 MR. COSTI: At the bottom of the page in English version. Sorry.
24 It starts about -- yeah, around 19.
25 Q. So the witness says he was again detained at the stadium and then
1 brought to the Vuk Karadzic school, and he says when he was still in the
3 "At around 1900 hours, the residents were ordered to form two
4 lines and start walking towards the entrance gate of the stadium where
5 there were guards. There was a number of special task forces from
6 Belgrade at the gate separating men aged between 15 and 50 from women,
7 children, and old men who were led towards the trucks parked in front of
8 Lamela in Bratunac. Once he finished separating us, we were lined up in
9 four rows. At that moment, Miroslav Deronjic, chairman of the SDS of
10 Bratunac, Rodoljub Djukanovic, known as Rocko, chairman of the Executive
11 Board of the Bratunac Municipal Assembly, Branimir Tesic known as Baka,
12 deputy commander of the Serbian police station in Bratunac came by."
13 Now, we can see from this statement that the process of boarding
14 women and children on the trucks to be brought outside Bratunac and
15 bringing the men to the Vuk Karadzic school happened at the same time.
16 Now, you said that you might have been present when women and children
17 were boarded on buses. I'm asking you did you also witness men selected
18 and walked to the close by Vuk Karadzic school?
19 A. As a said a while ago and as I said in my statement, I may have
20 been near the stadium when the Muslim population were being assembled
21 there. I didn't specify women or children. There were men there
22 boarding the buses. Most probably, again I must point out I don't quite
23 remember, we provided police escort, military police specifically. We
24 entrusted them with the buses, and they were off to Kladanj.
25 As I said a while ago I was not a deputy head. I was deputy
1 commander of the police station.
2 Q. So how do you explain the two witnesses saw you there before
3 being brought to the Vuk Karadzic school? Both these witnesses we
4 discussed were then brought to the Vuk Karadzic school, not on a bus or
5 nowhere else.
6 A. As I said, I don't remember. I don't know that they were taken
7 there in my presence. I didn't see that.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like to discuss the events of the 9th of
9 May in Glogova. You said in your statement at paragraph 25 that you know
10 nothing specific about it. However, the police was involved, wasn't it,
11 in the operation?
12 A. No.
13 Q. So this Chamber heard the evidence of Milenko Katanic, and it is
14 his statement at P04374, at paragraph 35, he said -- and Milenko Katanic
15 took part to this operation:
16 "I was asked about the units involved in the operation. I
17 mentioned Captain Reljic from Novi Sad Corps. The police, public
18 security station also had their armed forces. They were also deployed
19 and they all had their assignments."
20 So I'm asking again, the police was indeed involved in the
22 A. I categorically assert that the police were not involved in this
23 operation. This witness is not telling the truth.
24 Q. Very well. We'll let the Trial Chamber to decide who is telling
25 the truth. And then the goal of the operation. You said that the
1 operation was aimed to -- to take weapons illegally detained. Now, you
2 might know that Miroslav Deronjic pled guilty to crimes against humanity
3 for the killings of 64 Bosnian Muslim civilian in Glogova, the forcible
4 displacement of the rest of the population, and the destruction of
5 religious and civilian property in Glogova. I'm asking you, the
6 operation was not to disarm the population, was it?
7 A. Based on my information, based on what I heard, the objective was
8 to do something about the communication between Bratunac and
9 Konjevic Polje, to make it safe.
10 Q. Now, again, Milenko Katanic in the statement mentioned before at
11 part -- at P4374 at paragraph 38, says:
12 "I've been told that what Deronjic said and pled guilty to, is
13 that the purpose to the Glogova operation was to remove the Muslim
14 population of Glogova from Bratunac municipality."
15 And then he said:
16 "That is the conclusion I myself made after the operation, but
17 that is not something I knew during the operation."
18 So I'm asking you: Would you agree with Mr. Katanic that the
19 conclusion you should reach today is that the operation was not to disarm
20 or to secure the road, but it was, in fact, to expel the population?
21 A. No, I wouldn't agree. Milenko Katanic was a close associate of
22 Miroslav Deronjic, and he was probably in a better position than me to
23 know. I didn't know. I wasn't privy to that kind of information, and I
24 was not involved in politics. I was not even involved in any
25 preparations, actions, or anything at all that took place there at the
2 Q. As you said, Milenko Katanic was in a better position than you to
3 assess. So you're not willing to change your view today in light of what
4 a person that was better positioned than you said?
5 A. Why would I? I believed -- what I believed at the time, and I
6 still believe the same thing: Milenko Katanic is entitled to his own
7 views and he may have known better than me.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, at paragraph 30 of your statement, you said you
9 had problems with the volunteers and you describe it further in
10 additional paragraph that were add to your statement. What you didn't
11 say is that the Serbs' authorities started being concerned with the
12 problem with the volunteers only when they start attacking Serbs' houses.
13 Isn't it true?
14 A. The Serb authorities were concerned right after certain steps
15 were taken by the volunteers against the Muslim population. It wasn't
16 just later when they actually started attacking Serb homes. The
17 municipal authorities reached certain conclusions and took certain
18 decisions to drive out the paramilitary units. Nevertheless, at the time
19 they did not have sufficient manpower to achieve that and to drive the
20 units out of the Bratunac area.
21 MR. COSTI: Can we have 65 ter 04695, please. And page 2 and 3
22 of the English version and page 2 of the B/C/S.
23 Q. Mr. Tesic, this is a report of a performance inspection that was
24 made on the 22nd and 23rd of August, 1993, at the Bratunac SJB. They
25 discuss several issues, and if we look at the last paragraph in the
1 English version of this page, we see there's after all this talk which
2 were held at Bratunac SJB, we had a meeting with representative of all,
3 say, the Bratunac Serb authorities, the army, the president of the
4 municipality, the chairman -- chairman of the SDS, Zoran Tesic on behalf
5 of the municipality, other representative of the army, the head of the
6 SJB Luka Bogdanovic, the commander Ljubomir Borovcanin, the deputy chief
7 Branimir Tesic. And now probably the translation should have said
8 "deputy commander," as you specified before.
9 "Now, during this meeting, the SJB chief gave a short overview,"
10 and I'm reading, "on the activities of the Bratunac SJB from the
11 beginning of the war until today," so August 1992, "saying that four SJB
12 member lost their lives in this war so far, the chief and three service
13 police officers. He stated further," and this is the relevant part,
14 "that they have problems with different volunteer units on their
15 territory which in the beginning of the war played a role in the war but
16 which later on got mainly involved in robberies and trouble making on the
17 territory of the municipality."
18 Further down on page 2, almost at the bottom, and page 3 of the
19 B/C/S, then there are conclusion by the president of the municipality,
20 Simic. He talks about problems in the organisation, and then he talks
22 "A lot has been done already."
23 And that:
24 "The police should be engaged especially in preventing of further
25 lootings because Serbian houses are now being looted too."
1 So my understanding of this document is that the Serb authorities
2 played a role -- sorry, the Serb authorities' view is that the volunteers
3 played a role at the beginning of the war, but then at one point it was
4 necessary to take steps, because also Serbian houses were looted. Is it
6 A. May I just know the date of this meeting?
7 Q. I believe it happened between the 22nd and 23rd of August, 1992,
8 because this is a report of this inspection that took place in these two
9 days. So either one of the two. The report doesn't specify which day.
10 A. You're asking me about some things that you probably got from
11 Mr. Luka Bogdanovic's contribution. These are his words. That was the
12 way he phrased it. I have no idea about the reason for that.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown who
14 authored or produced this report, please.
15 MR. COSTI: It's on the last page.
16 JUDGE KWON: But do you agree you were at the meeting, Mr. Tesic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I could agree if that's what
18 the document shows. I don't particularly remember, and it's very
19 difficult for me to say anything. I see that the report was submitted by
20 Blagoje Sasa. I have no idea who that person is, Sasa Blagojevic.
21 Perhaps we could find some information in the header. Who was this
22 produced by? A centre, a security centre. I have no idea who this
23 person is.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Sarajevo CSB. Shall we show him the first
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The header reads: "The Birac
2 Romanija Centre," and the police station was formally under that centre.
3 Nonetheless, I did not know a person named Sasa Blagojevic, which doesn't
4 mean that there wasn't a person named that around. Perhaps he was there
5 and attended the meeting. I trust the document, but I can't remember the
6 specific meeting held sometime in August back in 1992.
7 MR. COSTI:
8 Q. Mr. Tesic, was a -- what I'm asking you is whether you agree with
9 what I said, which is that the volunteers were useful, were used at the
10 beginning -- they had a role at the beginning of the war and that you
11 started being concerned with the lootings only when they start attacking
12 Serbs' houses?
13 A. They never did us any good, not even back at the outset. They
14 always stirred trouble. Therefore, I would not agree with the words
15 stated here by the then commander.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. COSTI: Can we go now to the paragraph 10 of the same
18 document, which is at page 4 of the English version and page -- sorry.
19 My mistake. Not paragraph 10 but is page 2 of the English version and
20 B/C/S page 1, at the bottom. And -- exactly. That's the paragraph I'm
21 interested for the English. The one that begin -- there's a paragraph at
22 the beginning that talks about investigation of war crimes and should be
23 the last paragraph of the B/C/S version.
24 Q. And the English version says:
25 "In proving of war crimes and identifying of war criminals, the
1 Bratunac SJB had achieved significant results using all available means
2 and all operative knowledge based on which they created a photo and video
3 documentation of the victims of the genocide while they are compiling a
4 list of perpetrators of Muslim nationality who carried out the genocide
5 against the Serbian nation based on the civil records, that is to say
6 personal IDs, which they have been able to keep in safe custody of the
8 Now, as head commander of the Bratunac SJB, isn't it true that
9 you achieved significant result investigating war crimes by the Muslims,
10 but I don't see mention of any investigation on possible war crimes
11 committed by the Serbs, for example, at the Vuk Karadzic school, just two
12 or three months before? Isn't it true that the document doesn't mention
13 any investigation of Serb crimes, war crimes?
14 A. As for any war crimes investigations conducted by the then public
15 security station in Bratunac, this was something that was down to the
16 crime police, the inspectors working there, in co-operation with the
17 people from the Birac Romanija region while I was the deputy commander.
18 This wasn't my job. And whatever they eventually achieved was not
19 available to me. They submitted reports only to the chief of what used
20 to be the centre.
21 Q. So you don't recall any investigation on war crimes potentially
22 committed by the Serb authorities?
23 A. I didn't really go into investigations conducted by different
24 service, that of the centre or that of the public security station.
25 Again, I was deputy commander, and I was working at a police station. I
1 had no jurisdiction at all over the work of the crime police at the
2 Bratunac public security station or indeed the public security centre
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. COSTI: Can we have in document admitted, Your Honour?
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6196.
8 MR. COSTI: Now, can I have 65 ter 18496. And here it's e-court
9 page 4 for the English and 3 for the B/C/S.
10 Q. Now, this is another report of a similar inspection, this time in
11 September 1992, and paragraph 10 at page 4 of the English says again:
12 "As for the documenting of war crimes against the Serbian people
13 committed by Muslim extremists, 46 cases were documented."
14 So again, no mention of any investigation on possible war crimes
15 committed by the Serb authorities, again like at the Vuk Karadzic school
16 or Glogova, nothing like that; right?
17 A. Again you talk about the Serb authorities committing crimes.
18 This is not something that I'm aware of.
19 Q. Very well.
20 A. This report is probably accurate, and it was probably put
21 together by a control team that visited the Bratunac Public Security
22 Station, but I would like to know who signed it, who produced it, and
23 when exactly that occurred.
24 Q. Yes, signed by the inspector for police duties and tasks and
25 reported, and again -- reported again as the one we saw before to
1 Sarajevo Romanija.
2 Now, if we could now look at paragraph 6 of this report.
3 MR. COSTI: And it's e-court page 3 for both English and B/C/S.
4 Q. It says:
5 "The paramilitary formation in the area of Bratunac SJB from
6 among the civilian berets, 50 men in total, of which 30 are locals,
7 whereas 20 of them are from the Republic of Serbia, the public security
8 station is engaged with its own forces and with assistance of the
9 military and the civilian authorities in the dispersal of such formation
10 in order to put them under the command of the armed forces of
11 Republika Srpska."
12 So if I'm not wrong, far from investigating crime possibly
13 committed by these formations, you were actually busy to try to put them
14 under the control of the VRS; is it correct?
15 A. This is an entirely different paramilitary unit who you're
16 talking about here at paragraph 6. We are looking at a unit here which
17 arrived in the area I think back in 1993. The unit was led --
18 Q. The document is from 1992, so we are not talking about a unit
19 that entered in the area one year later the report -- after the report.
20 A. The one thing that's confusing me is it reads here that the unit
21 numbered 20 men from the RS and about 30 locals, and the only unit I know
22 of that was around which corresponds with this description was in 1993
23 and it was led by an officer from Serbia, actually from Montenegro,
24 Vasilije Mijovic, who brought over a number of men from Serbia and put
25 together about 30 locals and then performed some specialised training
1 with these men.
2 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt. We have very little time. My question
3 wasn't who are these men but whether no steps was taken to investigate
4 these people. Rather, the point was to take them under control without
5 any investigation as whether war crimes were committed. These units that
6 you said you tried to ...
7 A. In paragraph 6 we're not talking about paramilitary units that
8 committed crimes early in 1992. We're talking about an entirely
9 paramilitary unit here. We did run into trouble with this one as well.
10 This particular paramilitary unit attacked a police station and wounded
11 one of our police officers. Members of this paramilitary unit were
12 terrorising ethnic Serbs as well. Well-regarded citizens of Bratunac who
13 were being brought in on account of allegedly committing crimes. They
14 would interrogate them, beat them up, take them off somewhere to Serbia
15 and lock them up there. The Bratunac police station actually had an
16 armed clash with these units. One of our police officers was even
17 wounded during that clash. And then the RS authorities somehow managed
18 to get these men out of Bratunac municipality.
19 MR. COSTI: Can I admit this document.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6197, Your Honours.
22 MR. COSTI:
23 Q. Let me now briefly move back in 1995, July 1995. Paragraph 36 of
24 your statement you said you went to Potocari after the fall of
25 Srebrenica, and you went with a policeman called Dragan Neskovic. In
1 Potocari, you witnessed a woman and children being loaded onto the buses.
2 Is it correct?
3 A. It is correct that I went there with this police officer
4 Dragan Neskovic, but I did not see any women or children there. There
5 were elderly persons being loaded onto buses there and able-bodied men,
6 but I only caught the very start of this process of people being loaded
7 on the buses. I was only there for a very brief while for certain
8 reasons which I will not go into now.
9 Q. We know the reason. Let me now -- this is not what you actually
10 said in your interview with the Prosecutor at the state court of
11 Bosnia-Hercegovina. What you said is that:
12 "The first time I saw people, women and children, getting onto
13 the buses was in Potocari."
14 So you did see not just elderly men but also women and children
15 being loaded on the buses, didn't you?
16 A. I can assert now that I'm certain that I saw elderly men and
17 able-bodied men boarding the buses, but that was at the very start, the
18 early stage, the first couple of buses. I stayed no more than half an
19 hour in Potocari before I went back to the station, which was in the
20 first day when the Muslim population reached Potocari.
21 Q. Now, people were asking for help, didn't they?
22 A. What people do you mean?
23 Q. People that were pushed and loaded on the buses. Prisoners -- I
24 mean, sorry, refugees in Potocari.
25 A. I didn't hear anyone asking for help because I was there at the
1 very start, and I didn't see that anyone was pushing anyone onto the
3 Q. Let me read you what Dragan Neskovic, the policeman you went
4 with, testified in the Popovic case on the 28th of October, 2008, at
5 transcript 27431.
6 "I probably would have stayed longer, but many people knew me.
7 They were calling my name. I couldn't bear that. I could not help
8 everybody. I could not even maybe help the two that I was looking for.
9 It would have been hard to do. It was war. So I returned, and Tesic
10 stayed behind."
11 Now, Neskovic returned to Bratunac because he could not bear the
12 fact that people were asking for help. But you don't recall anyone
13 begging for help, although you stayed behind. Is this your testimony?
14 A. No. I arrived there with Neskovic, and I went back to the police
15 station with Neskovic. Now, when we arrived at Potocari, he went one way
16 and I went another way. We went through the mass of people there and
17 probably Neskovic was better known by those people than I was because he
18 was older than I was and he had worked there longer in that service, and
19 these were all people from the Srebrenica municipality who didn't really
20 know me too well. So when I went and walked amongst those people, I
21 questioned them. I asked them a bit about what was going on there, and
22 he wasn't there, but we returned -- I returned to the police station with
23 Neskovic in the same police car.
24 MR. COSTI: I don't have any other questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
1 Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellency. Thank you.
3 I hope I will be brief and complete this soon.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Tesic, where do you live now?
6 A. Now as 20 and something years before, I lived in -- I live in
8 Q. Thank you. Would you tell the Trial Chamber how far Ljubovija is
9 from Bratunac as the crow flies and also if you go by road.
10 A. Well, if you take the road it's about 7 to 8 kilometres, but as
11 the crow flies it's about 3 kilometres perhaps.
12 Q. Thank you. Where did you spend your time when you were not on
13 duty, and where did you spend your nights?
14 A. Whenever I wasn't on duty I was at home in Ljubovija.
15 Q. Thank you. Could we see -- or, rather, on page 52 the Prosecutor
16 was trying to establish when exactly you arrived there and what you saw.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see 24757, please. That
18 is a statement that -- I believe page 10 in the Serbian language and
19 pages 8 and 9 in the English. But it's sufficient to have the Serbian
20 version on the screen. As for the other participants here, they can
21 follow it on page 8 and 9. It doesn't have to be broadcast, I mean.
22 JUDGE KWON: I think we have a redacted version, and we'll
23 broadcast it.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could you just zoom in a bit.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You said that you didn't see people being separated; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Let's see what we can read here.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please zoom in a bit.
5 This is really not -- it's a bit difficult to read this.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Once the separation was complete, they were lined up in fours,
8 and at the -- at that point in time, Deronjic, Djukanovic, and Tesic
9 arrived, and they -- towards the end of the column.
10 Now, is this consistent with what you know, that actually you
11 arrived there once the separation had already been complete?
12 A. Well, I've already said before that it is possible that I was
13 near the stadium, in the vicinity somewhere, when the Muslim
14 population -- when the Muslim civilians were entering the buses to be
15 transported, but I can't really recall the details. We probably provide
16 the military -- police escort to assist the -- in the transport of these
17 men towards Kladanj.
18 Q. Thank you. The point that I'm trying to ask you about is this:
19 The Prosecutor showed you this statement trying to show, to prove that
20 you were there while the separation was going on and that you saw it, but
21 here in the statement it says that you arrived there after the separation
22 was already done. So which is true, what you've said and what we see or
23 what the Prosecutor claimed?
24 A. Well, I have to say again I did not see anyone being separated at
25 that time, nor did I see anyone already having been separated.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 JUDGE KWON: Although the witness has answered it, the question
3 was very much leading. Let's proceed.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. I was just trying to
5 make a point to show, namely, that the statement doesn't really differ
6 from this witness is saying.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Now, on page 54, from lines 15 and on, there is talk about
9 various militaries. Now, first let me ask you a general question. What
10 was the position of the authorities towards the various military groups,
11 and has it changed and at what point?
12 A. Well, the authorities were never quite receptive of the
13 paramilitary units. As I've said before, they took the decision not at
14 the time where we saw that document in August or September. Decisions to
15 that effect were taken much earlier, in April or May. The authorities'
16 position was that paramilitary formations and units should be expelled.
17 However, these paramilitary units had the support of the population.
18 There was a large rally of citizens from Bratunac and refugees from
19 Srebrenica, Serbs, because all the villages around Srebrenica had been
20 torched and destroyed.
21 So these people rallied there outside the municipal building and
22 they did not allow -- or, rather, they expressed their support of the
23 paramilitary units. So most of these people were refugees from these
24 villages that had been at that time in May and June already torched and
25 people expelled from them by Muslim extremists.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have 747, 65 ter 747 in
3 e-court. Could we also see English, because it's more legible. Could we
4 see the last -- the next page, please -- rather, the next two pages.
5 This is just the cover page. Page 3, please.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
7 Q. The Serbian version is rather difficult to read out, so I will
8 read it out in English.
9 "[In English] Serbian Republic of BH, SAO of Birac, Bratunac
10 municipality Crisis Staff, Bratunac, 6th of May, 1992.
11 "On the basis of the Decision of the National Security Council of
12 the Serbian Republic of BH and pursuant to the SAO Birac Crisis Staff
13 Decision and the Decision of the commissioner of the government of the
14 Serbian Republic of BH for the Birac area, the Bratunac municipality
15 Crisis Staff hereby takes the following decision: All paramilitary
16 formations should leave the territory of Bratunac by 1600 hours on 7th of
17 May 1992.
18 "The Decision was taken unanimously.
19 "If the paramilitary formations fail to act on the Decision,
20 legal military formations will be ordered to implement it."
21 [Interpretation] How does this tally with what you knew about the
22 position that the authorities took vis-a-vis the paramilitary units?
23 A. Well, here we can see that the municipal authorities adopted this
24 kind of decision already in early May. In other words, paramilitary
25 formations were never well received as far as the authorities and the
1 police were concerned. However, there you had it. These crimes had
2 occurred in the area of the Srebrenica municipality in Serbs villages,
3 but also in Serb villages in the Bratunac municipality where hundreds and
4 thousands of citizens had moved in order -- because their villages -- had
5 moved to because their villages had been torched and destroyed. And they
6 supported these are paramilitary formations which, of course, was wrong.
7 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber needs to rise at the moment. We'll take
8 a break.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
10 document, please.
11 JUDGE KWON: We'll discuss it after the break. We'll resume at
12 quarter past 1.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 1.17 p.m.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency. I
17 would like to tender this document into evidence, please.
18 MR. COSTI: No objection.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D3116, Your Honours.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could would now take a
22 look at 00748 on the 65 ter list.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Tesic, the document of the 6th of May that we just saw a
25 moment ago, it was obviously put out before -- or, rather, let me put it
1 this way: When did Judge Zekic die? When was he killed?
2 A. Mr. Goran Zekic was killed on the 7th of May, 1992. On his way
3 back from Srebrenica to Bratunac he was taking a roundabout way and this
4 was close to Zalazje.
5 Q. Thank you. Was he killed in fighting or was he a civilian?
6 A. No, he wasn't killed in combat. He was a civilian. He was
7 deputy in the pre-war BH Assembly, and after the war that was the Serbian
8 Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was in a civilian vehicle, and an
9 acquaintance of his, Delivoje Sorak, was also in the car with him.
10 Q. Thank you. Where was he a judge?
11 A. He was a judge in the then Lower Court in Srebrenica.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. Well, thank you. I think -- I thought he might have been the
14 president of the court as well, but I'm not sure.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have page 3, please.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Can you recognise the signature that you see now?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Whose signature is it?
21 A. This is the signature of Zoran Tesic.
22 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to tell you this, although it's more
23 legible in English. On the 1st of May, there is a reference to a
24 decision by the National Security Council of the Serbian Republic of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Birac Crisis Staff, and it says that an order
1 is being issued forbidding all paramilitary formations and illegal
2 citizens to operate in the territory of Bratunac municipality. So an
3 order forbidding all paramilitary formations and illegal citizens to
4 operate in the territory of Bratunac municipality. All paramilitary
5 formations and illegal citizens as well as all groups that have come in
6 from outside are hereby forbidden to operate in the territory of the
7 municipality. The only authorised units that can operate in military
8 terms are in the territory of -- in other words, only JNA, Yugoslav
9 People's Army units, and TO defence units of the Serbian Republic have
10 the right to deal with military issues and performing duties in the state
11 of war that has been declared in the territory of Bratunac municipality.
12 Now, have you received this order?
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter requests that the witness
14 repeat his answer.
15 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your answer, Mr. Tesic.
16 Interpreters couldn't hear that.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not sure that the police
18 station ever received this order -- or, rather, the public security
19 station in Bratunac. I can't see -- because I see here that it says
20 inform the TO -- the TO headquarters and the Bratunac Public Security
21 Station of this order, but I don't see that it was actually forwarded to
22 the public security station in Bratunac.
23 Q. Thank you. But were you aware, did you know that this was the
24 position of the authorities vis-a-vis paramilitary units even before
25 the -- they began mistreating Serbs?
1 A. Yes, I did know of this position and decisions to that effect
2 that were taken by the Crisis Staff in Bratunac.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could I -- I would like to tender
5 this into evidence, please.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D3117, Your Honours.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now briefly
9 take a look at P1696. That was a document that was just admitted into
10 evidence a few minutes ago.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. How often did these inspections visit you at the public security
13 station? How often did they go there?
14 A. Well, you couldn't really say that they came often. Based on the
15 reports you can conclude that this was probably quarterly, on a quarterly
16 basis, every two or three months, or, rather, when there was a problem,
17 then they would come.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe this is not the same
19 document, 04695 on the 65 ter list, and the P, that was 6196. 6196, not
20 16. Yes. Very well.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Now, in this report we see that it was of the 27th of August, and
23 it says in line 5 or 6 that there is no crime scene technician. Now, did
24 you have a crime scene technician at the time?
25 A. At the time -- let me just try and -- and remember that. I'm
1 sorry. I need to jog my memory. No, we didn't.
2 Q. Thank you. Now, please look at the third bullet. When examining
3 the documents of the crime service at this public security station, I
4 established that there is a lot of documented information on perpetrators
5 of crimes.
6 Did you collect documents only -- gather information only on
7 Muslim perpetrators or how did you do that work?
8 A. Well, as I've said a few moments ago answering Mr. Prosecutor's
9 questions, the job of documenting crimes, war crimes, was done by members
10 of the crime prevention service in co-operation with the crime prevention
11 service of the public security centre of the Birac-Romanija area.
12 Q. Thank you. But you may be aware of this. It says here that the
13 authorities were not -- had not yet been -- the judicial organs have not
14 yet been established, so they're transferred to the Lower Court in
15 Zvornik. So are you aware of this?
16 A. Well, there was never a judicial organ in Bratunac, not during
17 the war. The competent court was the Lower Court in Zvornik.
18 Q. Thank you. Could we see the third page, please. It says at the
19 top the commander of the police station then took the floor and he
20 proposed that meetings should be held every day at this level, and also
21 in order to resolve the problem of volunteers he proposed that all
22 persons who were illegally in the territory of the Republika Srpska
23 should be expelled and that lists of such persons should be compiled so
24 that they would be forbidden and prevented from coming into Bratunac.
25 Were you aware of this position?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And a little lower it says the president of the municipality,
3 Ljubisav Simic, pointed out that there were numerous problems in
4 organising all three levels of authorities in this area saying in the
5 process that there were even members of the public security service who
6 engaged in illicit acts and he asked that they be purged, and he also
7 acknowledged that already a lot had been done in that area.
8 Now, were you aware that there was this purge on -- going on
9 within the security service organs and that this was the position of the
10 municipal authorities?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. COSTI: Your Honour, I would object this line of questioning
13 which seems to me leading.
14 JUDGE KWON: It's very difficult to intervene when there's no
15 pause at all. The witness has answered the question, but bear that in
16 mind, Mr. Karadzic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Tesic, let me rephrase that. Was this position by the
20 president of the municipality, Mr. Simic, implemented?
21 A. Well, yes, it was implemented even from before. In the month of
22 June there was a purge at the police station in Bratunac, and at that
23 point the number of police officers was reduced, those who breached the
24 discipline in any manner or committed some disciplinary infraction. Such
25 policemen were dismissed. And we also reduced the number of police
1 officers for the need of the Bratunac Battalion that existed at the time,
2 and we sent some policemen at the request of the army to the ranks of the
4 Q. Thank you. Now, what was the situation with the communications
5 at the time, and how was communication conducted with higher authorities,
6 superior authorities?
7 A. Well, we did not always have telephone lines available. They
8 weren't always functioning. So I think we used the military system, the
9 military signal system, in order to be in touch with the Serb -- with
10 Serbia, although we did use the radio station for some major issues.
11 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Tesic, would you put a pause before you start
12 answering the question.
13 And, Mr. Karadzic, how does this arise from the cross-examination
14 at all?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This document was put to the
16 witness, and it was proposed by the Prosecution with this witness, and of
17 course the Prosecutor selected the portions that he asked the witness
18 about, but there is a lot more that was not explored. It was very
20 Now, on the first page in the third paragraph it says that all
21 the communications are down and they were requesting that some form of
22 communication be established.
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, it does not mean that it opened every
24 issue, but how is it relevant to the issue that you would like to raise
25 or that was raised by Mr. Costi?
1 Yes, Mr. Costi, you would like to add anything?
2 MR. COSTI: Not really, Your Honours. The point was exactly the
3 same. I mean, even if the document covers other issue, that doesn't open
4 the door to touch it if it weren't discussed in cross.
5 JUDGE KWON: Let's move on.
6 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, may I just point out that when
7 document is admitted, you're admitting it for all purposes, so it seems
8 logical that we would have a chance to explore areas in that document
9 regardless of whether it arose from the cross-examination.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber is split, but the Chamber orders the
12 accused to move on, Judge Baird dissenting, but my point is that there is
13 no need to cover this issue repeatedly. Move on, Mr. Karadzic.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. It would be much easier
15 for the Defence if we knew the Chamber's position so we could reduce the
17 Could we please see P1697.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, not 16 but 61.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 6197.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. How many police officers did you have? A couple of minutes ago
22 you said that you gave them all to the army. So how many did you have,
23 and was the number sufficient for keeping law and order?
24 A. Once we had ceded a number of officers to the army, we were left
25 with 20 something.
1 Q. Thank you. This audit was done ten days after the previous one,
2 and it says under item 1 that the station has a total of 24 police
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please repeat his last
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Could you repeat your question, the
7 last part of your question, Mr. Karadzic.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In the last paragraph we read that they only had a fix --
10 fixed HF radio station for communication, and for telephones they only
11 had local phones. Now, how does that tally with what Mr. Tesic is
13 A. Yes, this is correct. We only had local communications,
14 communication lines, and the police had a couple of hand-held radio
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Costi.
17 MR. COSTI: Thank you, Your Honour. I think that's the same
18 issue. Unless -- unless he's linking the passage he's reading to
19 something that arise from cross-examination, then that will be fine, but
20 this seems to be purely question about communication system that are not
21 related not only to my cross but to his testimony itself.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic. You know the ruling.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I do, Your Excellency, but if
24 this police station is expected to control an area and inform the higher
25 ranking bodies, we must establish whether that was possible.
1 MR. COSTI: I'm sorry again, but of course this wasn't an issue
2 in my cross whether they could actually perform investigation or whether
3 they could communicate the result to higher-rank level.
4 JUDGE KWON: Shall we move on, Mr. Karadzic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The next page, please.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. This was covered in the cross-examination. Did you document and
8 file criminal charges, and was a distinction made based on ethnic
10 A. Criminal reports were filed. There was no distinction made based
11 on ethnic affiliation at the time when the station had been established
12 and when we started functioning.
13 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 44, second subparagraph, we say -- we
14 read that the police officers in the previous period have submitted 30
15 official notes that point to the existence of criminal -- criminal
16 offences. Which service was in charge of that?
17 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
18 MR. COSTI: Just one little point. The -- I never touched upon
19 the issue of common crimes. I was talking about war crimes. So I don't
20 know whether this arose and whether it is relevant at all.
21 JUDGE KWON: Well, it's a bit difficult to exclude the relevance
22 of any criminal investigation. Let's continue.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Please finish your answer. Who did this, and then I will have no
25 further questions. What does this phrase "police officers" mean?
1 A. "Police officers," this phrase refers to uniformed police
2 officers of the Bratunac station, and in their work in the field they
3 obtained operative intelligence, and based on that they drafted their
4 official notes. These are submitted to the commander of the police
5 station of Bratunac who then forwards it to the chief -- or, rather,
6 informs the chief, and these notes are forwarded to the crime
7 investigation service, and if they think it is of interest to the police
8 station of Bratunac, then they inform them, but if it's about a criminal
9 offence with a more serious sentence, then it is also forwarded to the
10 CJB or the ministry.
11 Q. Thank you. Another question, Mr. Tesic. Did the Bratunac
12 authorities take part in or contribute to the commission of war crimes
13 such as the persecution of the Muslim population?
14 A. As far as I know, they did not.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you for coming to testify.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for calling me,
17 Mr. President.
18 JUDGE KWON: I have a question directed to the parties rather
19 than to the witness, but I will do it while he's here. Shall we upload
20 Exhibit D1 -- I'm sorry, Exhibit D3117. That's a report, a decision of
21 Bratunac Crisis Staff, probably page 3 in English. Yes. It reads:
22 "On the basis of the decision of the National Security Council of
23 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on declaring an imminent
24 threat of war and pursuant to the SAO Birac Crisis Staff Decision on
25 declaring a state of emergency ..."
1 And we also so similar phrases from the witness statement of
2 previous one, Mr. Ceklic, paragraph 19 and 28, where he referred to the
3 declaration of imminent threat of war and declaration of war -- or state
4 of war in Ilidza municipality. So my question for the parties,
5 Mr. Tieger or Mr. Karadzic, do we have any documentary evidence of a
6 municipality declaring a state of war or imminent threat of war and
7 whether it was for the municipality or the central government, i.e., to
8 declare such things? Or if Mr. Tesic is capable of assisting us, could
9 you tell us if you could?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't think I can help you with
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may, Your Excellency. We have
13 seen the Law on All People's Defence and social self-protection. The
14 municipality has the same powers in the area of all people's defence as
15 the state. The president of the municipality is the Supreme Commander,
16 and they have the right and the duty to make their own assessment when
17 there's a threat. We later changed that, but it was taken over from
18 Tito's time.
19 JUDGE KWON: So -- yes, Mr. Tieger.
20 MR. TIEGER: To the best of my recollection, Mr. President, I
21 don't think we'll -- we have seen any references to the declaration of a
22 state of war in a municipality prior to the decision referred to at the
23 republic level in mid-April, and I similarly don't recall indications of
24 the existence of state of imminent threat of war in a municipality that
25 does not reference the republic-level decision, but that at the moment is
1 based on my immediate recollection. We'll keep an eye on it with the
2 Court's inquiry in mind.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. If the parties could provide the Chamber
4 with references later on if they could.
5 Very well. Mr. Tesic, that concludes your evidence, and on
6 behalf of the Chamber, I'd like to thank you for your coming to The Hague
7 to give it. Now you're free to go.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as well.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, while we're bringing in the next
11 witness, just to -- with respect to this next witness, this is actually a
12 case where in fact the witness is testifying before the 48-hour period
13 expires. I think perhaps the Chamber had this witness in mind instead of
14 the previous one when it indicated that it was considering some
15 paragraphs had to be led live. So we would hope that the same ruling
16 would apply and that the four paragraphs in this statement could also be
17 accepted without having been led live.
18 The reason why the witness is testifying a little earlier than
19 expected is because our expert witness, Dr. Pasalic, was sick, and he had
20 to delay his arrival in The Hague by two days, and so instead of -- he
21 arrived -- he was proofed yesterday. Instead of having him testify
22 today, we moved this witness up in the order. So we apologise if it's an
23 inconvenience to anyone and we hope that we'll be able to lead his
24 evidence under Rule 92 ter.
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: I would leave it with Your Honours.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE KWON: On an exceptional basis, yes. But please bear that
4 in mind. This will not be repeated.
5 Were some paragraphs redacted from this witness's statement,
6 Mr. Robinson?
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We've agreed to redact
8 paragraphs 8 and 9 of the witness's statement, and we won't be offering
9 the associated exhibit that was referenced in paragraph 8.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
13 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tesic. Please be seated and make yourself
16 WITNESS: ALEKSANDAR TESIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE KWON: I think we are having two Mr. Tesics on the same day
19 from Bratunac, Mr. Tesic.
20 Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Tesic, I must draw your
21 attention to a particular Rule that we have here at the International
22 Tribunal, that is Rule 90(E) of Rules of Evidence and Procedure. Under
23 this Rule, you may object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic,
24 the Prosecution, or even from the Judges if you believe that your answer
25 might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In this context,
1 "incriminate" means saying something at that might amount to an admission
2 of guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that might provide
3 evidence you might have committed a criminal offence. However, should
4 you think that your answer might incriminate you and as a consequence you
5 refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that Tribunal has the
6 power to compel you to answer the question, but in that situation, the
7 Tribunal would ensure that your testimony compelled in such circumstances
8 would not be used in any case that might be laid against you for any
9 offence save and except for the offence of giving false testimony.
10 Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Tesic?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
14 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Tesic.
16 A. Good afternoon, Mr. President.
17 Q. I will ask you to pause between question and answer, and we
18 should both speak slowly for everything to be recorded.
19 Did you give a statement to the Defence team?
20 A. I did.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see 1D7195. Could
23 we zoom in on the Serbian version.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Do you see that statement in front of you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you read and sign that statement?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us show the witness the last
6 page for him to identify the signature.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Is this your signature?
9 A. It is.
10 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you said
11 to the Defence team?
12 A. It does.
13 Q. Thank you. If I were to ask the same questions to you live
14 today, would your answers to those questions be essentially the same as
15 the ones in the statement?
16 A. Yes. In -- in general terms, yes.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I seek to tender
19 this statement under Rule 92 ter, and I will have another document that I
20 will lead after dealing with the summary.
21 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Mr. Nicholls?
22 MR. NICHOLLS: No. Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3118, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will now read out a
2 short summary of Mr. Aleksandar Tesic's summary in English.
3 [In English] Aleksandar Tesic was born on 23rd of January, 1954,
4 in Bratunac BH. He lives in Ljubovija, Serbia. He was the secretary of
5 the municipal Secretariat for National Defence in Bratunac.
6 On one occasion a small unit of military police attempted to
7 remove mobilisation records from the municipal building in Bratunac. A
8 large group of Muslims gathered in front of the municipality building and
9 more kept coming. Aleksandar Tesic, who was employed in national defence
10 municipal secretariat, was asked to assist with the removal and believed
11 that the SDA Muslim party was behind this gathering. The Muslims swore
12 and hurled insulted at the army and Serbs and tried to confront
13 physically the military police unit which had to fire into the air at one
14 point. The police and military units were greatly outnumbered by the
15 Muslims, and it was very likely that they would be physically attacked.
16 Then the Serbs began to gather with the intention of protecting the
17 police and the members of the JNA. Fortunately, in the end large
18 conflicts were avoided.
19 Regarding to the volunteers, Mr. Tesic said that they formed
20 their open unit instead of referring to the police. They were hard to
21 control, having lots of problems such as looting and being drunk often.
22 They even attacked the police station.
23 At a meeting of the Crisis Staff, Aleksandar Tesic learned that
24 some volunteers took some Muslims to the Vuk Karadzic primary school. He
25 said that what happened were -- there was a shock to them, and they all
1 condemned it. After this, the Crisis Staff decided to disarm these
2 volunteers and to expel them from Bratunac. One night the Crisis Staff
3 decided to transport all the Muslims who were in the school because it
4 was the only way to prevent an even worse disaster.
5 On 9th of May, 1992, in order to prevent conflicts in Glogova, an
6 operation to disarm the citizens were planned to be carried out. Later
7 on, Aleksandar Tesic heard that some people were killed or you wounded.
8 He mentioned that the atmosphere was charged with the previous night due
9 to the killing of a judge -- of the judge Goran Zekic, a member of
10 parliament who was killed by the Muslims in Srebrenica.
11 He was told about the Muslim attack on the JNA convoy in Hranca
12 on 2nd of May, 1992, and which had resulted in casualties.
13 On one occasion he discovered the bodies of around 20 Muslims in
14 the hangar. Later the bodies were buried, and he believed that the
15 funeral of the dead Muslims were performed in accordance with the Geneva
17 He believed that the volunteers whom no one could control were
18 responsible for the killing of the Muslims in Bratunac and Glogova.
19 When General Mladic asked him about what to do to the people --
20 with the people in 1995, he assumed was referring to the Muslims in
21 Srebrenica. He said that transport should be provided for those who
22 wanted to leave. On 13th or 14th of July, 1995, he saw several buses
23 loaded with Muslims in Bratunac. He did not hear the soldiers had abused
24 anyone because no soldiers were in the city, nor did he hear anyone was
25 killed. Few days later, he learned that from Ljupko Ilic that there were
1 some Muslims corpse in the Vuk Karadzic primary school.
2 He said that during the meetings of the Crisis Staff, he never
3 heard President Radovan Karadzic issue any orders in connection with the
4 persecution, imprisonment, or killing of the Muslims. Instead, the
5 president always emphasised that they must adhere to the Geneva
6 Conventions in relation to the Muslims and civilians. He thought that
7 President Karadzic could not have known a single incident that took place
8 in Bratunac during the war due to the lack of communications.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. And now, Mr. Tesic, I would like to ask you a question about
11 something that you state is your recollection of my stay in Bratunac.
12 You talk about that in paragraph 43. What is your recollection?
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, I have to make one objection to the
15 summary. Lines 14 on page 85:
16 "He thought that President Karadzic could not have," there's a
17 typo there, "heard of a single incident that took place in Bratunac
18 during the war."
19 That very strong statement was in a prior version of the
20 witness's statement which was altered. So that summary does not now
21 correctly reflect the last sentence of paragraph 42 which is what I think
22 it goes to. So for the record, that is not in the witness statement.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may, the wording here is
24 slightly different in that statement. It was probably an earlier
1 JUDGE KWON: We just noted that. As you know, your summary is
2 not part of evidence, but please shall cautious in producing the summary.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you remember the question, or perhaps I should remind you.
6 You describe your recollection of my visit when the convoy was stopped at
8 A. Yes, I do remember that. It was late in 1992. There was a
9 humanitarian convoy carrying food for Srebrenica. At the entry point to
10 Bratunac, some grieving mothers stopped the convoy. Their close
11 relatives had been killed in the fighting the previous summer, in autumn,
12 and their villages had been burnt down. They stopped the convoy because
13 they believed that the convoy would be benefiting their enemy, and they
14 did not allow the convoy to go through. Nonetheless, President Karadzic
15 had been informed by someone about this, so he travels to Bratunac.
16 He addressed the people assembled there from the balcony of a
17 building in Bratunac housing the Red Cross, saying that the civilians on
18 the other side were not responsible for the crimes committed by their
19 leaders and army, the Muslim army. He gave a speech about the role and
20 importance of the Red Cross, saying that throughout its history, the Serb
21 people have always complied with humanitarian law and the rights of their
22 enemies, citing some examples from the Serb Bulgarian war in the late
23 19th century.
24 This produced a result, meaning the convoy was allowed to get
25 through carrying all of the goods that were en route for Srebrenica.
1 Q. Thank you very much. What was the reaction of the assembled
2 people to my words?
3 A. People accepted, although with some difficulty and reluctance,
4 what you said during that speech and as a result allowed the convoy
6 Q. Thank you very much. What was the position take by the local
7 authorities about the situation in which the convoy was stopped? Did
8 they have a part in that?
9 A. Well, I can't specifically remember or indeed know what position
10 was taken by each and every one of the people involved, but I don't think
11 anyone stood up to oppose the president's decision.
12 Q. Thank you. 65 ter 101189, please. That's my next document.
13 Thank you. 01189, please.
14 Are you familiar with this journal called "Nasa Rijec" and can
15 you tell me exactly what it is?
16 A. Yes, "Nasa Rijec" was a local newspaper in Bratunac. It mostly
17 covered developments in the Podrinje area.
18 Q. Thank you. There is this piece called: "We are Building our own
19 State." Is that article in reference to my visit that you describe in
20 your statement?
21 A. Believe me, I don't know, nor indeed can I read what it says
22 because the print is very, very small.
23 Q. Perhaps we can zoom in on the upper right corner of the Serbian
25 A. That will do, thank you.
1 Q. Let me ask you the following question: Towards the end of
2 paragraph 2, is this a faithful reflection of my words:
3 "We are building our own state, and we need to use our own
4 behaviour to show the world that we deserve one. The best way for us to
5 do this will be to show our enemies that we are not building our state by
6 using our hatred towards them, because this is not in the spirit of the
7 Serb people."
8 A. Yes, I understand fully what you mean. These are indeed your
9 words. You often used these words in your speeches. I see the initials
10 of the person who wrote this piece. It's probably Milan Jovanovic who
11 was the editor-in-chief of the newspaper at the time.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Next paragraph.
13 "In front of an assembled crowd of citizens with mostly mothers,
14 children, and fighters who had been killed there, as well as refugees
15 from other areas..."
16 When you previously talked about grieving mothers, are these the
17 persons that you had in mind?
18 A. Yes, the grieving mothers, the mothers of fighters who were
19 killed and civilians who were killed, or perhaps also refugees. One
20 thing that applied to all the Serb villages in Srebrenica municipality
21 is -- Srebrenica municipality is that they were all set fire to, and the
22 refugees were now in the Bratunac area where they were received. 1992 in
23 particular, the fighting took a heavy toll. From the month of May, this
24 situation went on through the summer and spilled over into 1993, late
25 January, to be more specific.
1 Q. Thank you very much. Towards the end of paragraph 1 it reads:
2 "Karadzic told the assembled people that they should allow the
3 convoy carrying humanitarian aid for Srebrenica's population through,"
4 and then they quote the example of the Serb-Bulgarian war.
5 And the last thing it says:
6 "When leaving the municipality, Karadzic met with the
7 representatives of the convoy."
8 Is this consistent with what you happened to know about my
9 positions, those publicly expressed, and my positions on issues regarding
10 humanitarian aid generally speaking?
11 A. Yes, it is perfectly consistent with that.
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this,
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3119, Your Honours.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Excellency, at
18 this point in time I have no further questions of Mr. Tesic.
19 JUDGE KWON: I have one issue that you would like to take up.
20 Oh, fine, yes. That's fine.
21 Mr. Tesic, as you have noted, your evidence in chief in this case
22 in most part has been admitted in writing in lieu of your oral testimony,
23 and now you will be cross-examined by the representative of the Office of
24 the Prosecutor.
25 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
1 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
3 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. It's not your first time in the Tribunal; correct? You testified
6 here as a Defence witness in the Blagojevic case?
7 A. Yes, that's right. April 2004.
8 Q. And told the truth in that testimony?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right. I want to first ask you a little bit about your job
11 during the wartime. You worked in civilian protection, which is part of
12 the -- under the Ministry of Defence; correct?
13 A. I was not with civilian protection. Before the war from, the 1st
14 of March, 1981, on, I worked with the secretariat for People's Defence in
15 Bratunac in the service for observation, reporting information and early
16 warning, command signals, and encryption, and then in 1992 specifically
17 on the 2nd of May, unbeknownst to me and without me having submitted any
18 request at all, the municipal Crisis Staff appointed me secretary of the
19 secretariat for All People's Defence in Bratunac.
20 Within the framework of the work done by that secretariat were
21 also various tasks related to civilian protection. If you require
22 further details on that, I'm talking about military records, so entering
23 the information on military recruits, recruitment itself, and the persons
24 being sent to perform their regular military term at a particular
25 location. So all of this was registered and recorded there.
1 Q. Let me stop you and try to refer you to some of your prior
2 testimony. The superior organ to the secretariat you worked in was in
3 Zvornik; correct?
4 A. At one point, yes, during the war.
5 Q. During the war. And above them was the headquarters in Pale;
7 A. We didn't refer to it as headquarters. It was the defence
9 Q. Okay. So the Ministry of Defence was above the Zvornik centre,
10 which was above you. That's my point.
11 A. That's true.
12 Q. And part -- let me just talk then about civil defence or civilian
13 protection which you discussed in your prior testimony. This -- wait for
14 the question. This is 65 ter 24746 at T7778 to 7780, your testimony in
15 the Blagojevic case. You said -- the question was from Mr. Karnavas:
16 "You indicated civil defence. Could you explain a little bit
17 about what you meant by civil defence?"
18 And your answer was:
19 "Civil defence or civil protection is a separate segment of the
20 defence and it is geared towards providing protection and safeguarding
21 people, the inhabitants and the society's material resources."
22 And then you go through the different aspects, which I won't go
23 through, in detail, and then you said:
24 "Then there was a unit for transport and supplies and a unit for
25 sanitation for the terrain and a biological and chemical protection
2 So that was part of civilian defence in Bratunac; correct?
3 A. I remember well what I said, but I can tell you what I said at
4 the time. I talked about the structure of the tasks performed by the
5 secretariat for all people's defence in peacetime. However, there comes
6 a time when mobilisation must be carried out of the municipal civilian
7 protection staff. When that time comes, it can operate on an on-and-off
8 basis, but it can also operate on a permanent basis, as in nonstop
9 mobilisation. (redacted)
11 (redacted) - was
12 appointed --
13 Q. Excuse me.
14 A. -- as --
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Can we go into private session.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 [Private session]
13 [Open session]
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Wait, wait, wait. We're in open session now,
15 again, and I don't know what the witness is about to say.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we are now in open session.
17 Very well. Let's continue.
18 MR. NICHOLLS:
19 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you a question and try to speed this up.
20 This is from your testimony in that same case. It's 78193. And what I'm
21 getting to is that the municipal civilian protection staffs and the tasks
22 of cleaning and sanitising the terrain were not under the command of the
23 VRS. Do you agree with that? And I won't have to go through your
25 A. Yes. Civilian protection was a special body, a special
1 department comprising a sanitation unit and clearly the terrain. The
2 unit existed from before the war, but when the need arose, the unit was
3 mobilised up to full complement, 100 per cent, and even extended. There
4 was a platoon-level unit also numbering 33 men. The commander of that
5 unit was Dragan Mirkovic who was the manager of the utilities, public
6 utilities company in Bratunac. He was fully qualified to perform that
7 job --
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. -- because he had taken and completed a course.
10 Q. Okay. You've answered my question because I wasn't asking you to
11 go through all the personnel, but you've answered the question.
12 Why do you keep looking over at Mr. Karadzic when I ask you a
14 A. I can't say I even noticed Mr. Karadzic sitting there. It may
15 have been a perfectly automatic reaction. But if you mind, perhaps I
16 should turn around and sit in such a way that I'm facing you.
17 Q. You can look however you want. I was just wondering why you were
18 looking over there when I ask you questions. So just to make it short,
19 basically the command chain of civilian -- of your staff in Bratunac went
20 through Zvornik and then up to the republican staff in Pale, right?
21 A. As for civilian protection, is my understanding correct, yes.
22 The municipal civilian protection staff in Bratunac also had a regional
23 staff in Zvornik and another one at the republican level. So that was
24 the chain of command and the links.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. The way it operated.
2 Q. All right. Now, Drinska Street number 13 in Bratunac. That's
3 the street where the Vihor bus company is located on, right?
4 Drinska Street.
5 A. Drinska Street number 13. That's interesting. Drinska Street
6 number 13 is my family home. The last couple of months perhaps or last
7 year the street numbers were changed around. So our home is now number
8 21, and Vihor, I can't really say, but it could be street number 13 now.
9 Q. Okay. My question wasn't clear. Drinska Street number 13 is
10 where you used to live, correct, in Bratunac?
11 A. Yes, yes. My mother is still there.
12 Q. Yes. And you lived there during the war; right?
13 A. I would spend the occasional night there during the war, but
14 normally I live in Ljubovija, which is in Serbia. I bought some land
15 there in February 1987 and subsequently built a home.
16 Q. Okay. Well, I just ask you that, because in your sworn
17 statements to the Republika Srpska MUP, and we'll look at them later
18 maybe, you listed your address where you lived at Drinska Street
19 Bratunac, not Serbia like we see in your statement here today.
20 A. Well, let me tell you this. We have five houses in Bratunac, the
21 Tesics, and I myself own a house at this address. That's a big home
22 where my youngest brother lives, and there is a smaller house,
23 middle-sized house where my mother lives, and the first house where --
24 Q. Okay. Let me stop --
25 A. -- we were born.
1 Q. Right. Where were you living in July 1995? You listed in your
2 MUP statements of 2003 Bratunac. Were you living in Bratunac in July
3 1995 during that very difficult period for Bratunac?
4 A. For the most part, more often than not, I slept in my office.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. At the municipal building.
7 Q. Right. And when you weren't in your office, the last time I'm
8 going to ask it, were you sleeping in Bratunac in, say, July 11th, 12th,
9 13th, 14th, 15th?
10 A. Those were critical days, and for sure I was at my office.
11 Almost certainly I spent every night there, although from time to time I
12 also went home to Ljubovija.
13 Q. All right.
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have P04308 on the screen, please. That
15 is an aerial of Bratunac.
16 Q. And while that's coming up, the witness who testified just before
17 you, Branimir Tesic, is he related to you?
18 A. We are brothers, both paternal and maternal.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: It could also be "cousins"
20 in Serbian.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness has already spoken
22 about this. When he said that he had five houses, he mentioned that, but
23 it didn't make it into the transcript. When he mentioned that the house
24 where his mother lives, "that belonged to his brother who testified
25 before me." That's what the witness said.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 MR. NICHOLLS:
3 Q. Page 282, please, in e-court. All right. Take a moment to look
4 at this, sir. It's an aerial view of Bratunac, and you can see the road
5 on the bottom right leads to Potocari. The one on the top heads off
6 towards Ljubovija, Serbia. And then we can see marked the Hotel Fontana
7 with a red line, the police station with a red line where your brother
8 worked, the Vuk Karadzic school and the stadium. So could you, and the
9 usher will help you, could you point to and put an M on the municipality
10 building where your office was, because that's not marked clearly. If
11 you can find it. Their Honours have been there. I just want to make
12 this clear.
13 A. What do you want me to mark? What do you want me to show? I
14 didn't hear it.
15 Q. The municipality building where your office was. It's right up
16 the street from the Vuk Karadzic school; right?
17 A. I can't really see too well. What is this? Well, it was right
18 in the centre. I don't know what exactly you want me to do.
19 Q. Well, if you're having problem with the aerial, it was right down
20 the street from the Vuk Karadzic school towards the centre where the
21 mayor's office and the a -- is.
22 A. Yes. Could you help, please.
23 JUDGE KWON: Shall we zoom in a bit?
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, maybe if we could zoom in and maybe since
25 there are some markings there --
1 JUDGE KWON: Okay. We can lose it.
2 MR. NICHOLLS: Yeah, start again.
3 JUDGE KWON: Once again. Can you zoom bit further.
4 MR. NICHOLLS:
5 Q. All right. Well, you see the Vuk Karadzic school is marked with
6 that red line.
7 A. Yes, I can see it. This is the school, and then down here that
8 leads towards Vihor. Well, it's right here somewhere. I don't know
9 exactly which building. It's a low building, rather long. Before the
10 war the address was Marsala Tita Street 48. I don't know what you want.
11 Q. Okay. Let's just leave that. That's fine. And Ljupko Ilic's
12 office was also in that municipality building, right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, I want talk about some of those critical days, as you called
15 them. This is from paragraph 41 of your statement. You said:
16 "On the night of 13 or 14 July, 1995, I saw several buses loaded
17 with Muslims in the town of Bratunac. At the time, I thought these
18 people were from Potocari and could not be transported at night so they
19 stopped there until daybreak. I did not hear that soldiers had abused
20 anyone because there were no soldiers in the city, only the elderly women
21 and children. I did not hear either that people were killed on buses,
22 playgrounds, or streets. Over the next days I learned from Ljupko Ilic
23 that there were several Muslim corpses in the Vuk Karadzic primary
25 So we'll talk about 13 July in a minute, but something that's not
1 in your statement at all is that the previous day, 12 July, you went to
2 Potocari, didn't you?
3 A. Yes. Yes, I did.
4 Q. You went there around noon.
5 A. Just a minute. Let me try to recall that. After the meeting --
6 well, it wasn't quite a meeting, but General Mladic asked me to come to
7 the command. He issued certain orders. And after that, perhaps sometime
8 around noon, I can't recall exactly, I went to Potocari to see and check
9 whether the situation was really as General Mladic said it was. He said
10 that there was some 20.000 people, women, and children. Should I go on?
11 I went to Potocari with the president of the Executive Council,
12 Srbislav Davidovic, nicknamed Buco. We went in my private car. I went
13 there and I really saw for myself that there were as many people as he
14 said. I had some experience with assessing numbers, because I frequently
15 went to football matches when I was a student, the Red Star club matches,
16 and I could judge because the stadium would fill with a number of people
17 and you could judge. So there were about -- at least 20.000 people,
18 maybe even more there.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. In Potocari I stayed for perhaps 15 or 20 minutes.
21 Q. Right. And did you notice that there were as reported in the MUP
22 reports of that day virtually no men of military age present in the
24 A. Well, that depends. Well, they looked miserable. Maybe they
25 were young. Well, not young. In those wartime years, even men of 60
1 years of age were conscripts, but there were people who were aged 30 or
2 40 or 50, and there were also a lot of women and children, but I don't
3 know if they were military aged or able-bodied men or not, whether they
4 were conscripts or not.
5 Q. But it was overwhelmingly women and children and the elderly,
7 A. Well, yes. I think -- I think so. Most people were elderly.
8 People 40, 50 years of age. As for able bodied young men who could carry
9 their rifle every day, I don't think they were there. There were a few
10 of them. Because they took another route. They did a breakthrough
11 towards Tuzla some 15-16.000 of them. Those who wanted to fight --
12 Q. I don't mean to cut you off but I don't have much time and you
13 answered my question, thank you. You described that scene in your
14 testimony at 7814, line 18, as a scene of suffering and as a humanitarian
15 catastrophe. And that's true when you testified about that, isn't it?
16 That's the way it looked to you.
17 A. Yes. Yes. That's what it was like.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honours, I don't know what your intentions
20 were. I've got about a half hour left, I think of my hour. I've got
21 another topic. I'd rather just start that new topic tomorrow or we could
22 go for four minutes if you want.
23 JUDGE KWON: Let's adjourn. Let's adjourn for today.
24 Mr. Tesic, we'll continue tomorrow morning at 9.00. I'd like to
25 advise you not to discuss with anybody else about your testimony. Thank
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your welcome.
3 JUDGE KWON: The hearing is adjourned.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.43 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 13th day
6 of March, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.