1 Thursday, 21 March 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
5 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
6 Before we hear the evidence of the next witness, the Chamber will
7 issue an oral ruling. The Chamber refers to Krstic's request for
8 reconsideration of the order dated 13th of March, 2013, filed
9 confidentially on the 19th of March, 2013, in which counsel for
10 Mr. Krstic requests reconsideration of the Chamber's oral ruling of
11 13th of March, 2013, in which Mr. Krstic was ordered to testify in this
12 case on 25th of March, 2013, on the basis that the relevant medical
13 report did not identify medical reasons which would amount to good cause
14 for Mr. Krstic not to comply with the terms of subpoena dated
15 23rd of October, 2012. Mr. Krstic requests that this order be set aside
16 on the basis that, number one, he was not given an opportunity to make
17 submissions as to the meaning and impact of the medical report; and
18 number two, that the Chamber's oral ruling appeared to be inconsistent
19 with the medical report.
20 The Chamber was put on notice of the health concerns referred to
21 by Mr. Krstic when he refused to testify in this case on the
22 7th of February, 2013, which prompted the Chamber to order the
23 preparation of a more detailed medical report evaluating whether
24 Mr. Krstic was fit to testify and assessing the possible impact of
25 testifying in this case on his health. In deciding to order that
1 Mr. Krstic testify in this case, the Chamber was not incognizant that
2 doing so could cause considerable distress to Mr. Krstic, but concluded
3 on balance that any potential impact on his health as identified in the
4 medical report was not sufficiently serious to amount to good cause not
5 to comply with the terms of subpoena. The Chamber finds that the test
6 for reconsideration of its oral ruling has not been met, given the
7 failure to demonstrate there was a clear error of reasoning or that
8 reconsideration was necessary in order to prevent injustice.
9 The Registry is instructed to communicate this ruling to
10 Mr. Krstic and his legal representatives.
11 That said, shall we bring in the next witness?
12 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
13 MR. TIEGER: If I could just raise one quick housekeeping matter,
14 Mr. President, and this refers to something that I think Mr. Robinson
15 alluded to in a recent submission, it may be obvious to everyone in the
16 courtroom but I was simply seeking confirmation, and that is that with
17 respect to Mr. Martic, irrespective of anything else that may happen in
18 the upcoming days, that we get official confirmation of what, as I said,
19 now seems obvious, and that is that the Prosecution will not be
20 cross-examining him next week at least for our -- for purposes of our
21 scheduling and preparation and allocation of resources. So I -- that may
22 be obviated by the Court's response to Mr. Robinson's request in respect
23 of the current appearance date. But one way or another, I think it's
24 clear that the cross-examination cannot proceed next week. And we'd just
25 like the reassurance of a confirmation of what does seem obvious to us
1 from the Court so that we don't engage in unnecessary and wasteful
3 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber is aware of the situation and is
4 considering the matter, and I think the Chamber will come back to that
5 issue during the course of today.
6 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, if I could just add that we had
8 filed our submission on that issue concerning the assignment of counsel
9 before Mr. Tieger had made an oral representation which included a
10 suggestion that the Chamber may not have jurisdiction over that issue,
11 and I imagine the Chamber is well aware of two decisions which give the
12 Trial Chamber jurisdiction over that issue, one of them being in the
13 Popovic case, which you participated; the other being in the
14 Mico Stanisic case. So I could supply those to your Chamber if you're
15 interested; otherwise, I just wanted to make you aware of that so that we
16 didn't waste time bouncing the issue back to the President.
17 JUDGE KWON: What was the decision in the Popovic case about?
18 MR. ROBINSON: That was the decision on the third request for
19 review of the Registry decision on the assignment of co-counsel for
20 Radivoje Miletic on the 20th of February, 2007, where the Trial Chamber
21 reversed the Registrar's decision that attorney Nenad Petrusic could not
22 be co-counsel for Mr. Miletic because he didn't speak English. And in
23 the Mico Stanisic case there was a decision on the review of the
24 Registrar's decision concerning co-counsel for Mico Stanisic on the
25 24th of April, 2007, where the Trial Chamber found that it did have
1 jurisdiction to review the Registrar's denial of assignment of co-counsel
2 for Mico Stanisic on the grounds that he didn't speak English but upheld
3 the Registrar's decision in that instance.
4 JUDGE KWON: I note that both of those decisions related to the
5 accused or one of the accused.
6 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 Yes, we'll bring in the next witness. Next witness is Sosic, to
9 be sure?
10 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration,
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: MIRKO SOSIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Sosic. Please be seated and make
19 yourself comfortable.
20 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
22 Your Excellencies. Good morning, everyone.
23 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Professor Sosic.
25 A. Thank you. Good morning to you.
1 Q. Have you given a statement to my Defence team?
2 A. I have given several statements. I don't know which one you
4 Q. Have you recently read and signed one of them?
5 A. Yes. Very recently your associates came to my hotel. I read the
6 entire statement and signed it.
7 Q. [Microphone not activated]
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Would you please be mindful of pauses before question and answer.
11 Please look at the transcript and watch the cursor. We should speak
12 slowly and make a pause between what I say and what you say.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could I call up 1D7941 in e-court,
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Professor, do you see before you the statement you've given?
17 A. If only we could make this larger because it's very tiny now.
18 Yes, yes, that's it.
19 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed that statement?
20 A. Yes, that is precisely the statement I've read and seen.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we show the Serbian version
22 on one side and show the last page to identify the signature.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Is this your signature?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Does the statement faithfully reflect your words? Is
2 everything correct? Is there a need to correct something?
3 A. As far as I could see, everything is well interpreted. Like all
4 the witnesses, one could always add something, but that is the gist.
5 Q. Thank you. If I were to ask you the same questions today as you
6 were asked during the interview, would your answers be essentially the
8 A. Yes, definitely.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I tender this
10 package under 92 ter.
11 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, the package includes three
12 associated exhibits. None of them appeared on our Rule 65 ter list and I
13 would ask that they be added because we didn't have them at the time that
14 list was filed.
15 JUDGE KWON: Having briefly looked at the witness statements
16 which refers to those three items, the Chamber is not satisfied that they
17 form indispensable and inseparable part of the statement as well as their
18 relevance. So the Chamber is not minded to admit them at the moment.
19 Good morning, Ms. Iodice. Do you have any objection to the
20 admission of the statement?
21 MS. IODICE: To the admission of the statement, no, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE KWON: So we'll admit the Rule 92 ter statement of this
24 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, 1D7941 will be Exhibit D3138
25 [Realtime transcript read in error "D3938"].
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
2 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Am I right in assuming that I can
4 lead some of the documents live?
5 JUDGE KWON: It's up to you, Mr. Karadzic, but it's a separate
6 matter whether Chamber will admit them having been satisfied with their
7 relevance and probative value.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 I will now read the summary of Professor Mirko Sosic's statement
10 in English.
11 [In English] Professor Dr. Mirko Sosic worked as a professor at
12 the University Clinic Centre, the Clinic for Thoracic Surgery. He was
13 and is a member of the Academy of Sciences and Arts and professor and
14 prominent surgeon. From August 1992 when he left Sarajevo, he worked at
15 the Koran hospital at Pale.
16 Mirko Sosic considers that Muslims and Serbian communists started
17 putting pressure on Serbian staff in the 1960s which resulted in many
18 professionals leaving Sarajevo. However, from the moment the political
19 parties were formed the doctors were divided on ethnicity.
20 Professor Sosic first saw members of the Muslim paramilitary in
21 March 1992 when the forces practically occupied Kosevo university
22 hospital. Following this occupation, the suspicion and hostility towards
23 the Serbs increased both towards the employees and the patients. After
24 the first clashes broke out in Sarajevo, a Crisis Staff was formed in the
25 university clinic, and from the moment Serbian doctors were cleared out
1 of all positions.
2 On April the 4th, 1992, Professor Sosic attempted to travel from
3 Pale to Sarajevo. He came across a large group of people who had been
4 stopped by armed Muslims on the Pale-Sarajevo bus line and were ordered
5 to go back to where they had come from. Mirko Sosic was only able to
6 return to Sarajevo a few days later on the civilian -- last civilian
8 At this point an internal blockade placed on the city. Guards
9 were organised by the tenants of residential buildings with entrance and
10 exit of the buildings being strictly controlled. The people who checked
11 this were armed paramilitary groups who would enter apartments they
12 considered suspicious, search and then ransack them. From the first few
13 days of the clashes in Sarajevo, there was an internal blockade in
14 Sarajevo. Guards organised by the tenants of residential buildings
15 strictly called entry and exit from the building.
16 On June 1992, he saw trucks travelling down the road and heard
17 two shots fired. As the truck passed, he saw that it had a weapon
18 mounted on its body and projectiles were being fired from the weapon;
19 however, this Muslim neighbours denied -- his Muslim neighbours denied
20 this. Other weapons were placed around the city. A cannon was placed in
21 the underground entrance of the emergency room at the hospital. The
22 cannon would be pulled out, fire two or three projectiles, and then be
24 Professor Mirko Sosic joined the Koran war hospital in Pale, and
25 as far as he is aware, Serbian doctors respected in full the medical code
1 of honour and ethics, making no difference between patients on any basis
2 whatsoever. All staff at the hospital showed significant attention to
3 wounded victims of all nationalities. Captured UNPROFOR soldiers were
4 kept in good psychological and physical state.
5 Throughout his time in Sarajevo, Professor Mirko Sosic was
6 informed that many Serbs died in the hospital for lack of medical aid.
7 Several times, according to Professor Sosic's knowledge of events and
8 information from fellow doctors, the Muslims opened artillery fire from
9 the hospital -- Kosevo hospital area.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I should now like to ask you, Professor, to tell us about a few
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we look at 1D10031 in
14 e-court, please.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Were you aware of the circumstances of the captured UN soldiers
17 and how?
18 A. Yes, I was aware. One day - and I can't give you the exact date
19 but I see here that it's displayed - I was informed by the then-health
20 minister Dragan Kalinic that I was put in charge of visiting the captured
21 UN soldiers who were in a nearby camp to see the status of their health,
22 what they need, and their situation, in order to inform the ministry to
23 see what they wished, what they needed in terms of medicine, what state
24 of mind they were in, et cetera. I accepted, and because I wanted to be
25 accommodating to those people, supposing that they must be fearful, I
1 contacted a colleague at the ministry who is an excellent doctor and who
2 spoke English, and another woman who was a volunteer and worked in a
3 hospital, she was Dutch, a retired pharmacist --
4 Q. Thank you, Professor. That's already in your statement. Could
5 you just tell us what this letter is in the chain of events concerning
6 these examinations. What is the letter on page 1? Is this the request?
7 A. Yes, that's this gentleman, the major, writing to
8 Colonel Batinic, expressing their wish to help, that somebody should
9 provide care for the health of those captured people.
10 Q. Did you publish this anywhere? Is this in the public domain?
11 A. No. From memory I made some notes, it's a manuscript, but it's
12 never been published anywhere.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see page 3.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Could you help us, because we don't have the translation yet,
16 what is the second part of the text?
17 A. Excuse me, could we zoom in a little more. Yes, the second part.
18 It's part of my report, where I say that we were invited by the captain
19 to look in on the eight captured members of the UNPROFOR, and that's my
20 description of their accommodation, their location, their treatment,
21 their physical and mental status, an examination by a team of doctors to
22 establish which of them are the most vulnerable, to put it that way,
23 et cetera. I suggested that, first of all, we should decide how to talk
24 to them because I was a civilian, I was a doctor, just visiting. I
25 wanted to see how we are going to conduct these interviews. There were
1 two suggestions: To talk to them as a group or to talk to them
2 individually. Everybody said they wanted it to be individual. So we set
3 aside one whole afternoon and talked to each one of them individually.
4 Each of them had their own story, their own view of the situation. At
5 first they looked fearful, but when they realised that we were
6 well-intentioned, especially when they saw that lady who was able to
7 speak to a Dutch officer in his own language, the atmosphere that began
8 as tense turned gradually into a friendly one.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we see who signed this
10 report. Scroll down.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That is my signature and the
12 signature of my colleague who went with me, that was Mr. Babic who was a
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can you please --
16 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Do you see your signature, Doctor,
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't see a signature here. It
19 just says signed by Professor Dr. Mirko Sosic.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And is this an authentic text?
22 A. Yes, absolutely.
23 Q. And what is here on the following page?
24 A. This is the list of the prisoners or whatever we might call them,
25 the persons who were members of the UNPROFOR and who were present there.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I tender this to
3 be admitted as an MFI document.
4 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Iodice, any objection?
5 MS. IODICE: No, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE KWON: We'll mark it for identification pending English
8 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D3139, Your Honours. I just correct the
9 record, the 92 ter statement is Exhibit D3138.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Professor Sosic, you said that doctors of Serbian ethnicity were
13 removed from various positions. What happened with these Serbian doctors
14 later on?
15 A. Well, the attitude, perhaps it would be good to illustrate it
16 with several examples. In the beginning of the war I was head of clinic.
17 That was my duty. And at one of the meetings held for all heads of
18 clinics, which was organised by the Crisis Staff presided by my colleague
19 Professor Dr. Faruk Konjhodzic, when I came to attend the meeting, the
20 first thing he asked me was what I was doing there, that that was no
21 place for me, and I still held the position as head of clinic. And I
22 considered that as a sort of inofficial replacement.
23 And then when I returned to the clinic I learned from one of my
24 younger colleagues who used to be my assistant, that he was informed that
25 he was to take over the duty as the head of the clinic. So he told me
1 privately, "Well, you see, I didn't want to tell you this. This should
2 be among ourselves. We would keep the same relations between us. When
3 we do the rounds, you will lead the rounds. We will determine who needs
4 to be operated so that we would not make a big fuss of all that." And,
5 you know, one feels rather uncomfortable when, after 25 or 30 years of
6 employment and socialising with colleagues whom I knew since my high
7 school days and who I believed I was on good terms with, suddenly you
8 feel something like this, that they take this sort of attitude towards
9 you. But then when I discussed this with other colleagues, I saw that it
10 was not directed against me but that the others were treated in the same
12 Another colleague of mine who was the head of the traumatology
13 clinic at the time, which was overwhelmed with the wounded at the time
14 because the war began and the war always entails trauma,
15 Professor Jovo Vranic, he told me, "Well, you faired quite well." And
16 why did I fair well? I was told publicly by the head of -- and he said,
17 "Do not ever dare to address me," even though he was the head of the
18 clinic and he was supposed to write reports about the situation in the
20 So these were just some illustrations of the situation.
21 And on a daily basis we witnessed that someone went missing
22 without a trace. One doctor or another doctor, they were no longer
23 there. Or this one was detained, another tried to commit suicide,
24 another one was wounded and so on. On the first day of the war --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: On the 4th of
1 April --
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. If I can just ask you to slow down a little bit so that
4 everything would be recorded.
5 A. Well, I think that from the first day of the conflict, when the
6 conflict broke out, that is to say, the 4th of April, a murder was
7 attempted of the dean of the faculty of medicine. That was
8 Professor Dr. Borisa Starovic. It was only thanks to the fact that he
9 bowed down at the moment when he was entering his car and therefore the
10 bullet hit him on his shoulder blade and his back rather than hit him in
11 the head when he was getting into the car. Another family of my
12 colleague, his wife and daughter were wounded while they were sitting in
13 their kitchen. So regularly it happened that doctors were the victims I
14 might freely say of assassinations. A well-known incident was the murder
15 of retired head Dr. Professor Vojko Sorbat. And then
16 Professor Mijatovic, who was returning home from work, when he tried to
17 cross the bridge over the Vrbanja was wounded by a sniper and he hardly
18 survived. It was a very serious injury and he had to be operated on
19 11 times in order to reconstruct his alimentary tract because the
20 injuries were very serious. And let me not speak any further.
21 JUDGE KWON: Dr. Sosic, yes, I'm very sorry to interrupt you, but
22 our time is rather limited.
23 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You mentioned a Crisis Staff which was making those decisions.
2 Can you just tell us briefly what that was about, what Crisis Staff?
3 A. As I understood, that was organised ad hoc, a body that was
4 established ad hoc, and it replaced all other administrative organs of
5 the clinical centre and the hospital. They had the authority not just to
6 control everything in the organisational sense of the word but also in
7 the medical one. They controlled everything, organised everything, and
8 also oversaw all the activities in the hospital, including all the
10 Q. Thank you. What was the basis of such attitude towards you and
11 your other colleagues of Serb ethnicity? Were you politically engaged or
12 politically active in any political party at the time?
13 A. If I may venture to comment, I was never a member of any
14 political party. I liked surgery and I held a prominent position as the
15 president of the surgical association of all of Yugoslavia. So that was
16 my preoccupation. And as a student and as a successful sportsman, I was
17 a member of the communist party. They just enrolled me into the party,
18 but later on I was not active at all so I was probably thrown out of the
19 party. And after that I was never a member of any party at all.
20 Q. Thank you. You went back and after the beginning of the war in
21 Sarajevo what was your intention? Why did you want to return to
22 Sarajevo? Did you intend to stay there?
23 A. Of course. I'm a native of Sarajevo. Everything I had,
24 everything I had achieved was connected with this Sarajevo. My
25 childhood, my career, my friendships, everything was in Sarajevo. In
1 1986 [Realtime transcript read in error "1996."] I received the award of
2 the city of Sarajevo for achievements in the medical profession, which
3 was the greatest acknowledgement awarded by the city of Sarajevo. Of
4 course, I was just one of the team members who were awarded. And in
5 addition to that, it was also my conviction that there should be no war
6 and that conflicts can be resolved peacefully. And lastly, I had the
7 responsibility, I was head of the clinic and I had the responsibility to
8 the patients and my colleagues and myself and my duty.
9 Q. Thank you. In line 15 it should be 1986.
10 Professor, did you record or review later on at any point and
11 make a list of doctors who, like you, had to leave Sarajevo eventually?
12 A. Well, if I may, if I may tell you this first. The attitude which
13 was partial towards the Serbs and I began to notice that from day-to-day.
14 And then later on I remembered a thought which was very clever and it
15 wasn't mine. You see, I didn't feel myself a Serb or a nationalist or
16 anything. I considered myself a member of my family and a surgeon and an
17 internationalist. And I found a sentence which said if they insult you
18 and attack you as a Jew, you have to defend yourself as a Jew. That is
19 to say, by analogy, if they attack you and insult you as a Serb, you have
20 to defend yourself as a Serb. I think that Mrs. Hannah Arendt, a
21 prominent philosopher, said this. And I found this to be a logical
22 explanation in a way because you are simply forced to go where you are
23 being pushed, because otherwise you don't belong anywhere.
24 And looking around and looking at my colleagues, I could not stop
25 wondering how those people were going missing or were leaving. And then
1 in an amateur way, I began to compile a list of people I knew who had
2 been prominent doctors. I stuck to the medical profession only, and
3 these were the people who were leaving Sarajevo that I entered in my
4 amateur's list. The list included around 450 doctors, you see, and I
5 guarantee that 95 per cent of those doctors did not belong to any
6 political party. 70 or 80 per cent of them were prominent,
7 well-respected professors at the university, doctors, and so on. What I
8 found strange about this - and I could not that then nor could I discover
9 it now - what was the reason to create such conditions that would force
10 these people to leave Sarajevo. Wasn't it detrimental for the city and
11 the social environment and the profession when one populated place loses
12 450 doctors.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have 1D10029 in
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. While we are waiting for this to appear on the screen, Doctor,
17 when you mentioned the assassinations, can you tell us about the Serbian
18 lines. How far were they from the places where these people lost their
19 lives? Were the Serbs able to fire from there?
20 A. As far as I can assess - and I'm a native of Sarajevo and I liked
21 to walk the surrounding mountains, especially Trebevic - in my
22 assessment, it was 3 or 4 kilometres as the crow flies or perhaps even a
23 little bit more.
24 Q. Thank you. What can we see on the screen now, Professor? Is
25 this your list?
1 A. Yes, yes. I initiated this, but you know how it is. I showed
2 this list to some of my colleagues and then they criticised me and said,
3 "Well, how could you have forgotten this man?" And so the list was
4 expanded. So I couldn't claim I knew everything because they would tell
5 me, "Why didn't you include this man? He went there," and so on.
6 Q. So it is a collective work?
7 A. Well, yes, made by friends.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can it be admitted?
9 JUDGE KWON: Could you assist us how this is relevant to your
10 case, Mr. Karadzic or Mr. Robinson.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I have this feeling for
12 justice, and as for law, Mr. Robinson can judge about that. We are
13 showing what happened in various places with the Serbs and Muslims. We
14 are listening how the wild Serbs attacked Sarajevo which was a peaceful
15 town; however, Sarajevo was militarised and it was brutal towards the
16 Serbs. And the list of 400-odd doctors who fled and were not members of
17 the SDS and were not political activists just fills this picture, so this
18 is the basis.
19 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Iodice, do you have any observations?
20 MS. IODICE: Yes, Your Honour. First of all, I would like to
21 note that the Prosecution filed a motion to exclude the evidence of this
22 witness and the evidence related to this document was included in
23 paragraph 16 of the old statement, and in the response the accused agreed
24 to remove this exhibit from the -- from Dr. Sosic's statement once it was
25 finalised. So that's the first point.
1 Second point is that --
2 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Was the motion ruled upon by the
4 MS. IODICE: No, Your Honours, because once the accused agreed
5 with the objections of the Prosecution, the Trial Chamber asked us and we
6 thought that the matter was closed.
7 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
8 MS. IODICE: And the second point is that the evidence contained
9 about the doctors leaving Sarajevo that is now in the statement should be
10 sufficient. There is no -- I don't see any value being added by this
11 exhibit being admitted.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, if I may respond. First of
14 all, it corroborates the statement because these are specific people.
15 And in addition to that, D130 to 133 are parts of a video-clip which have
16 been admitted and they relate to this topic and the professor is featured
17 in this video.
18 MS. IODICE: Your Honours, if I may add just one point.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Iodice.
20 MS. IODICE: As to corroboration, it's -- the witness is
21 stating -- it's the same source. So the relevance of the corroboration
22 is limited. There is not an independent confirmation of the doctors that
23 left Sarajevo.
24 JUDGE KWON: While I had some doubts, I allowed you to put those
25 questions to Dr. Sosic and his evidence in the transcript. I think
1 that's more than sufficient. The Chamber is not satisfied with the
2 relevance of this document and we'll not admit this.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Professor, you mentioned the late Professor Jovo Vranic, who was
6 well respected and you said that you exchanged information with him. Can
7 you tell us what was the most striking of all the things that
8 Professor Vranic told you?
9 A. Well, we were colleagues. We were born the same year, we held
10 the same position, we happened to be in the same situation in the same
11 kind of trouble and so on and so forth, so it was logical that during the
12 war and after the war we talked and we co-operated.
13 Professor Jovo Vranic wrote his memoirs of the war and he asked me to
14 review them, to review that document of his that unfortunately had not
15 been published, because in the meantime he passed away.
16 However, at the time when I wanted to write that review I
17 consulted with him. So I received explanations about his situation and
18 about his impressions, about his memory of what happened during the war
19 because, I repeat, he was the head of the traumatology clinic where most
20 of the patients were, by the very nature of things, surgery. He
21 confirmed to me what I knew, and it wasn't only me, we all knew that
22 before the war broke out, already in the month of March, the hospital had
23 been occupied by paramilitary organisations, and that all doctors, all of
24 the officially employed doctors, had to be subjected to rigorous checks
25 when entering the hospital that was quite informal. We were searched,
1 frisked, we needed to open our bags and so on.
2 Q. Thank you, Professor. I have part of that book here, but I doubt
3 that the Trial Chamber will need that. I'd like to ask you about another
4 document, though. Can you tell us, as for health infrastructure, what
5 did the Serbs manage to keep once they were expelled from town? What did
6 you encounter? What did you have to do in terms of protecting the health
7 of the population and of the wounded?
8 A. You know, at first glance this was a problem that could not be
9 solved because in those parts of town that were under the control of the
10 Serbs, there were a few health institutions that were not equipped for
11 providing full medical care. The only hospital that was official that
12 was in Kasindol was a pavilion-type hospital and it specialised in
13 treating tuberculosis and chronic chest diseases. So without an
14 operating room -- it was founded in 1921 and it certainly could not serve
15 that basic purpose.
16 Q. Thank you, Professor.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But what I have in mind here is
18 1D10025. So, Excellencies, I would be interested in the following. Does
19 the Chamber accept this document? There's a translation too which shows
20 the difficulties that Serb doctors encountered when expelled from
22 JUDGE KWON: I ruled that it does not form part of --
23 indispensable and inseparable part of this witness's statement. As such,
24 we did not admit it. As to be satisfied with the relevance or probative
25 value, we have to see the documents, but I doubt whether -- if it has any
1 much probative value. It's up to you to proceed or not, Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm tendering the document, but if
3 your ruling is not to have it admitted, then I would like to ask for
4 1D10027, that is to say, the knowledge that Professor Sosic gained from
5 Professor Vranic. It's pages 4 to 10 in e-court. That's what's been
6 translated and I think that those six pages are sufficient.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, to save time, I'll tell you that the
8 Chamber is not minded to admit either of the documents. In the future
9 please ask Mr. Robinson how to proceed in tendering documents. Please
10 move on.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you,
12 Excellencies. I have to say that I give Mr. Robinson top grades, but my
13 personal feelings are primarily those of justice, not law, so that is why
14 I say what I say. Thank you. At this point in time, I have no further
15 questions for Professor Sosic.
16 JUDGE KWON: Dr. Sosic, as you have noted, your evidence in chief
17 in this case has been admitted in most part in writing, that is, through
18 your written statement instead of your oral testimony. And now you will
19 be cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor.
20 Yes, Ms. Iodice, please proceed.
21 MS. IODICE: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Cross-examination by Ms. Iodice:
23 Q. Good morning, Dr. Sosic. Doctor, you said today that you never
24 joined any party, any political party; right?
25 A. That is absolutely correct, except I already mentioned this by
1 way of a correction, that as a university student because of sports I was
2 admitted into the communist party. But no, never, definitely.
3 Q. Thank you. And you also said in your statement that you were
4 appointed minister of health during the time of Klickovic's government.
5 MS. IODICE: I would like to call 65 ter 24737. While we wait
6 this is a newspaper article from "Knina" which is dated the 2nd of
7 December, 1996, and it's about the -- and it is about the people who were
8 appointed as members of the government of Klickovic.
9 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
10 MS. IODICE: Your Honours, I have hard copies for the -- for the
11 witness if that's easier.
12 JUDGE KWON: I note it's coming. We are still having technical
13 difficulties uploading -- not coming. Yes. Shall we use ELMO. We are
14 using Sanction now?
15 MS. IODICE: Yes. And if we can go to the third page in B/C/S
16 and 5 in English. Thank you.
17 Q. Dr. Sosic, you can see at the top of this page your name,
18 Dr. Mirko Sosic. And at the end, the last sentence you can read:
19 "... and he's a member of the Serbian Democratic Party."
20 Can you see that?
21 JUDGE KWON: Do you have proper B/C/S page --
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Doctor confirmed it, yes.
24 MS. IODICE:
25 Q. So you were a --
1 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes, you may proceed.
2 MS. IODICE: Thank you.
3 Q. So you were a member of the SDS, weren't you?
4 A. I don't know what the custom is here. I was never a member of
5 the SDS and, because of that, I had a bit of a problem to be appointed
6 minister in the government.
7 Now, the then-minister of health who put me up as a candidate,
8 because before that I worked in a group of experts for the strategy of
9 developing the health system, he said that it didn't matter, that it
10 wasn't relevant at all, that he had carried out consultations on that,
11 whether I was a member of the SDS or not, but I was never a member. This
12 is here either on the basis of inertia or it's malicious or maybe people
13 thought everybody had to be that. I was the only one who didn't really
14 want to. How do I put this? I was aware of my own value and that as a
15 surgeon and an expert I didn't have to be a member of any political
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MS. IODICE: Your Honours, could this document be admitted?
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6213, Your Honours.
21 MS. IODICE:
22 Q. And you mentioned a medal that you received in 1996. Did you
23 also receive a medal in 1995? You were awarded with a medal by --
24 directly by Mr. Karadzic?
25 A. Believe me, I don't know the date. I don't remember the date.
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not understand the
2 previous sentence.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It didn't really matter to me.
4 MS. IODICE:
5 Q. But do you remember that the person who awarded you that medal
6 was Mr. Radovan Karadzic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 7 of your statement --
9 MS. IODICE: Maybe if the witness could be provided with a copy.
10 I also have in hard copy if necessary.
11 Q. So if you could go to paragraph 7 of your statement, you talk
12 about house searches. And when we met two days ago, you confirmed that
13 nothing was stolen from your apartment; right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. And when in your statement you have discussed all the
16 weapons that you saw and the shelling you witnessed, you refer to the
17 time that you were in Sarajevo up until mid-August 1992; right?
18 A. Correct. Correct. I remember it was summertime, early in the
19 morning, so ...
20 Q. Thank you. And in paragraph 8 of your statement, you discuss the
21 event where you witnessed a truck with a weapon mounted on its back. Do
22 I understand your evidence correctly that you only heard two shots and
23 then you saw a truck driving by with a weapon at its back; is that
25 A. Partly. You know, I was in front of the door. It was 6.00 in
1 the morning, summertime, and actually came to stand in for my wife
2 because I could not be on this guard duty because of my duty at hospital.
3 But then I heard shooting from the student dormitories in Bjelave. Now,
4 was it two or three or whatever shots, but we heard these shots getting
5 close to us slowly as it passed by my house. It wasn't a big truck. It
6 was a small TAM truck and there was a weapon mounted on it. And as it
7 passed by, then the shooting became more distant too. Now, was it two or
8 three, but I could follow how it was moving on the basis of that sound.
9 Q. Thank you. And all I wanted to know whether you first heard a
10 shot -- the shots and then you saw the truck driving by?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You did not see the truck shooting as it was driving by; right?
13 A. You mean that moment of firing?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. No.
16 Q. Thank you. And in paragraph 9 you discuss a cannon that you saw
17 in the vicinity of the emergency room in the hospital. Is it correct
18 that you saw the cannon but you did not see the cannon firing?
19 A. First of all, I have to correct you. This is the clinic of
20 traumatology. It's not the emergency department.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 A. Secondly, invariably a siren would go off. And then -- you know,
23 all of us in the hospital knew that, this was a warning for no one to go
24 out. And then --
25 Q. Dr. Sosic, may I just stop you there. We'll get to that. I just
1 want to know first if --
2 A. All right.
3 Q. -- you saw the cannon but you did not see it firing; is that
4 right? Whether you heard the later firing, we'll get to that. I just
5 want to know whether you saw the cannon firing. You did not; right?
6 A. I was hiding behind the window and I was watching - of course I
7 was being careful, you know - and I saw that this weapon was going back.
8 This is so loud, is such a loud explosion that it's under your feet and
9 you cannot really mistake it for something else. And then when you see
10 the smoke dispersing -- now was that the moment when I was watching it
11 being fired? Well, really, I cannot say. But I saw the smoke dispersing
12 and then I -- before that the entire building shook.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 16, it should say "smoke."
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you know, you know, smoke,
16 dust, whatever it may be.
17 MS. IODICE:
18 Q. Thank you. And if you can now have a closer look at the second
19 part of paragraph 9 when you start with the specific -- this specific
20 incident. I just want to summarise the evidence for you and see whether
21 you agree with me or not. Right? So you first heard the alert sirens.
22 Then you heard a very loud explosion that shook the entire building. And
23 then you heard what you assumed it was the sound of a shell falling and
24 then an explosion far away. This is correct; right?
25 A. I beg your pardon, may I just correct you on one thing in this
1 second part. I heard the sound of the trajectory, you know, through the
2 air. And after that, I heard an explosion in the distance. Perhaps
3 there is a bit of difference there.
4 Q. Thank you. And you were -- you said in your statement that you
5 were inside when this happened; right?
6 A. Yes, yes, yes, diagnostics, yes. I went to get what we could get
7 as far as medicine was concerned and I was accompanied by the head nurse.
8 Q. And do you agree with me that the alert sirens were activated in
9 case of danger; right?
10 A. Yes, that's what usually happened. They would even -- they would
11 either announce an attack or whatever, but at any rate, yes, they are
12 there as a warning.
13 Q. And danger, for example, would be shelling; right ?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And do you also agree with me that when a shell hits a building,
16 the building will shake?
17 A. Well, I assume so.
18 Q. Thank you. I will now move to a different topic, the -- what you
19 discussed in paragraph 11. You stated that you visited the UN military
20 observers and that you found them in good psychological and physical
21 state, and you also discussed your report here in court today.
22 MS. IODICE: So if we could have Exhibit D989.
23 Q. Dr. Sosic, we also have received already in evidence in this case
24 a report -- the official report that you ordered and signed and you'll
25 have it in front of you in a few moments.
1 This is your report, right? Do you recognise it?
2 A. This is not my handwriting and it's not my signature either.
3 Q. Okay. I will go then to page 5 in B/C/S. And this is your
4 signature; right?
5 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
6 Q. And the same with page 3 in B/C/S. And this is also your
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So if we now move to page 2 in both English and B/C/S, you can
10 see under number 2, towards the end of the page, you listed some of the
11 hostages and stressed that some of them showed signed of extreme stress.
12 A. You mean this?
13 Q. Yes, where it says:
14 "Jose Antonio Romero Muelin (Spain) who exhibits signs of extreme
15 stress ..."
16 Do you recall that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. And if we now --
19 A. Yes. Of course I remember. This is a man who, at the moment
20 when he was taken prisoner and so on, had problems with his wife who was
21 pregnant. So these were the consequences of his inability to communicate
22 with his wife and he was worried, of course, about her pregnancy.
23 But may I say something straight away, please. My friend took
24 his address and the same day upon his return, Dr. Babic called his
25 friends in Spain and they called his wife and said that she shouldn't
1 worry. This was not really in line with military rules, you know,
2 because you know what it's like in the military. However, we looked at
3 all this from a human perspective. So we informed whoever we could and
4 whoever we knew so that they wouldn't worry about their nearest and
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MS IODICE: And if we move to the page -- to the following page
8 in B/C/S at the top. Yes, that's right. And you remember -- the same
9 page in English.
10 Q. And you remember also the case of the other -- that would be
11 page 2 in English, at the end of the page.
12 And do you remember also the other officer from Poland who also
13 exhibits, as you noted, marked symptoms of depression provoked by his
14 uncertain status. Do you remember that as well?
15 A. Do you mean Mr. Clerieh from the Czech Republic?
16 Q. No, Janusz Kalbarczyk from Poland. It's at the -- should be at
17 the top of page -- of the page in B/C/S. You can see the name Janusz --
18 A. Yes, I do see it. Yes, Poland, the Polish officer there, yes.
19 Believe me, if that's what I wrote down, that's the way it was. But I
20 cannot recall that he was particularly that way because we made a
21 selection and an analysis and then we said what our priority was in terms
22 of who should be released first, but he didn't seem like that to me.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MS. IODICE: And if we could move to page 4 in both English and
1 Q. And under point 1.1 here, do you remember that another of the
2 things that you noted was that they all complained about the treatment
3 they had received during the first days?
4 A. Yes, 1.1?
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. This pertains to something which I think I wanted to note. The
7 very way in which someone deprives you of your freedom is not pleasant,
8 so this has to do with loss of freedom. That was the first day, because
9 people were completely taken by surprise. They didn't believe that that
10 could happen to them. That's what I mean.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. [In English] You're welcome.
13 Q. And I have just one final issue. At the end of paragraph 5 of
14 your statement you said:
15 "Suffering ..."
16 You have your statement in hard copy in front of you, Dr. Sosic,
17 in a hard copy --
18 A. [Interpretation] I do, but which number?
19 Q. Five, at the end of paragraph 5. So you said in your statement,
20 you said:
21 "Sufferings of Serbian doctors during the war have been described
22 in the movie 'Sarajevo, The Truth Covered by Silence.' I note that some
23 of the events mentioned in this movie have already been described and
24 admitted by the Trial Chamber in the case against Dr. Radovan Karadzic
25 under the Exhibit numbers: D130, D131, D132, D133."
1 And when I asked you at the interview the other day whether you
2 were shown these videos when you reviewed your statement with the
3 Defence, you told me that you were not shown these videos; is that right?
4 A. Oh, that's what you mean? I said that at this moment I have not
5 seen the movie again. That's in the statement I've given, but I have to
6 confess that it was in 1998. And, you know, human memory is fallible. I
7 could not remember everything. I said I did not see the movie again
8 during the proceedings in The Hague.
9 Q. Yes. And you don't -- in fact, you do not know exactly what
10 these numbers stand for and what the content of these numbers is; right?
11 A. The numbers relate to that movie. That's all I know, but
12 otherwise they don't mean anything to me.
13 Q. Okay. And you were not shown the movie now -- you were not shown
14 the movie when you reviewed your statement?
15 A. In The Hague, no.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MS. IODICE: That's all I have for this witness. No further
18 questions, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Iodice.
20 Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very brief, Your Excellency.
22 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] As usual, we'll pick up where you left off with
24 the Prosecutor. Professor, did you know which of your statements the
25 Defence was referring to?
1 A. Yes, I knew. I am familiar with all the Defence has at its
2 disposal because, in the preparatory procedure, the judge came to see me
3 at Pale, I asked him to see those statements, and I saw the same thing
5 Q. Today on page, perhaps, 29, you said you made a triage, a
6 selection, as to setting priorities for captives to be released. Did you
7 make a list?
8 A. Yes, we did that urgently, and I noted, especially concerning
9 this gentleman from Spain, that he should be released urgently and he
10 was, indeed, released two or three days later. And I was so happy that
11 although I'm just a doctor, somebody was willing to listen to me and
12 accept my proposal.
13 Q. Is that in the document 1D10031, on the last page?
14 A. I believe I put that on record. I can't see the documents now
15 but it should be there.
16 Q. Can you tell us the name of that Spaniard? It says also that
17 Jenny Sesita [phoen] talked to her heart's content and cried a lot?
18 A. That's a retired lady, a retired pharmaceutical expert who
19 accompanied us. She wanted to help and she was very emotional in her
21 Q. She was from the Netherlands?
22 A. Yes, she lives somewhere outside of Amsterdam, in a small place,
23 Heerhugowaard, and we actually met a couple of evenings ago, with the
24 leave of the Court, of course.
25 Q. On page 27, you were asked if a building would shake when hit by
1 a shell. At the moment you felt the building shake and you saw smoke in
2 connection with that gun, was the building hit?
3 A. Certainly not. Those are two different sensations, completely
4 different. It's true I have no experience of being inside a building
5 that is hit, but I can suppose what it feels like, it's completely
6 different. There's this kind of vibration that comes from the ground.
7 Q. Was the traumatology department ever hit?
8 A. I can't remember that it was hit in the time I was there.
9 Q. On page 24, you were asked about the decoration. This is
10 actually an order of compassion. It's an order, not a decoration?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What was it that you were awarded this order for?
13 A. My contribution in treating the sick and the wounded. I believe
14 also this lady from Holland, this friend of mine, received the same order
15 of mercy. I remember a small celebration was organised and you awarded
16 this. There were other doctors there who received it as well who were
17 prominent doctors who deserved it.
18 Q. My learned friend Ms. Iodice stressed that you received this
19 order from me, as if it were a flaw of the order itself. Do you remember
20 we met during the war at the club of the clinic? Is there anything you
21 could tell the Chamber about me?
22 A. I will. If I can take the liberty of saying this, I'm much older
23 than Dr. Karadzic, and at the time when he was a student, I was assistant
24 professor, a lecturer. We were not friends, but at the beginning of the
25 war and during the war I knew him. And what impressed me on the first
1 day, on the 20th August, when I came to Pale after having fled Sarajevo,
2 he was one of the first people who came to greet me and say, "The
3 situation is as it is. We need doctors. There are also other colleagues
4 of yours here. Think about it. People need doctors."
5 But perhaps I had the most contacts with Dr. Karadzic when I
6 needed something. In our co-operation I was not happy with my status, I
7 was not a military doctor. I was a civilian doctor and this relationship
8 did not work very well. And then I would go and see Dr. Karadzic as the
9 president to see if he could do anything to change our status.
10 We had no status. We had no property. We had no families with
11 us, children. And that's when we got the idea to establish a clinical
12 centre that would be a hospital for civilians. Dr. Karadzic welcomed the
13 idea and said he would help us, and that's when a more intensive
14 collaboration began in this spirit of euphoria.
15 We were aware that there's no return for us to Sarajevo and we
16 wanted to create conditions for our patients, our people, our soldiers,
17 that would be decent, not work in a hotel where we pushed out the
18 billiard tables to set up an OR.
19 Dr. Karadzic helped us. I don't know if he used his personal
20 connections, but some architects arrived from Belgrade. I remember this
21 wonderful man, Professor Antic, a very prominent professional who
22 suggested that he make a design for a hospital. And when we started
23 these talks, I realised that Dr. Karadzic, whenever he had a spare
24 moment, would come and see us. It was important to him and we discussed
25 where the hospital could be located, what could be attached to the
1 hospital. And I remember this request that looked unrealistic to me, but
2 one day Dr. Karadzic said, "You know, we should have a theatre here.
3 This is a place where people live." So he took an intensive part in all
4 of this. I believe for him it was some kind of relaxation.
5 And also, as a senior physician, I remember the minister of
6 health asked me to go and see Dr. Karadzic because his knee was injured.
7 The knee was swollen, tender, and warm, and during the examination I
8 asked him how he was taking it and he said, "I have to go and have some
9 recreation, some exercise." I took his pulse, his pressure; his pulse
10 was 110, his pressure was 150. I told him, "You are under some stress."
11 And he said, "For me, this is normal. That's how I live." I thought it
12 would be inappropriate for me to say, you know, "Take it easy."
13 Q. Can you say anything about me concerning the treatment of
14 patients of other ethnicities and humanitarian aid?
15 MS. IODICE: Your Honour.
16 JUDGE KWON: I think we dealt with it enough. I don't think it
17 has arisen from the line of cross-examination. Was that your point,
18 Ms. Iodice?
19 MS. IODICE: Yes, Your Honours, I didn't think the medal issue
20 would open to such a broad, different -- completely different issue.
21 JUDGE KWON: If you have more, we'll adjourn now for a break.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will conclude in a minute, but I
23 believe it arises from cross-examination because the Prosecution tried to
24 invalidate the witness's answer that he received from me the order of the
25 mercy -- the order of mercy. I wanted to pick it up for that reason, but
1 I can withdraw the question.
2 MS. IODICE: Your Honours, if I may respond.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
4 MS. IODICE: I --
5 JUDGE KWON: He said he's withdrawing the question.
6 Let's continue.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. The last question, Professor, when you were shown that somebody
9 wrote that you were a member of the SDS as a member of the government, do
10 you remember to which party Minister Kalinic belonged almost throughout
11 the war until the very end? He was a member of which party when he
12 became minister?
13 A. As far as I can remember although I tried to avoid politics as
14 much as I could, he was one of the founders of the reformist party led by
15 Mr. Markovic, I believe.
16 Q. Thank you, Professor, for making the effort of coming here to
17 testify. Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That concludes your evidence,
19 Professor Sosic. On behalf of the Chamber I would like to thank you for
20 your coming to The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go. We'll rise
21 all together.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE KWON: We'll resume at 11.05.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 --- On resuming at 11.12 a.m.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Robinson.
3 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, may I introduce to you
4 Beatris Spasova, from Bulgaria, who is a legal intern on our team and
5 will be joining us during this session. Thank you.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 Before we proceed to hear the next witness's evidence, the
8 Chamber will deal with a small procedural issue regarding MFI D3127.
9 On the 14th of March, 2013, the Chamber admitted pages 18 to 22
10 of 65 ter 1D7910 and marked it for identification as MFI D3127, pending
11 the resolution of various issues. The Chamber notes that pages 20 to 22
12 of that exhibit, i.e., D3127, are identical to the documents admitted as
13 Exhibit P2597. Therefore, the Chamber considers that it is only
14 necessary to admit pages 18 to 19 -- pages 18 and 19 under Exhibit D3127
15 to avoid duplication, and hereby instructs the Defence to remove pages 20
16 to 22 of the document uploaded as D3127.
17 Furthermore, the Chamber notes that the B/C/S original of D3127
18 has not been uploaded to e-court, only the English translation has. The
19 Chamber instructs the Defence to locate and upload the B/C/S original to
20 e-court, liaising with the Prosecution if necessary. Therefore, as the
21 reasons for D3127 being given MFI status have now been addressed, the
22 Chamber admits it into evidence in full.
23 Shall we bring in the next witness.
25 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, good morning, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Good morning, Your Honour. In relation to
3 the advice 90(E) in relation to this witness, it was a caution measure
4 because of his position at that time. I just wanted to mention that.
5 There is no suspicion against the witness actually amounting from his
7 JUDGE KWON: So shall we do without it and give him the advice if
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I think that would be sufficient.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you for your information, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness take the solemn declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
15 WITNESS: ZIVAN FILIPOVIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, Mr. Filipovic. Please be seated and
18 make yourself comfortable.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 JUDGE KWON: So do you hear me well in the language you
21 understand, Mr. Filipovic?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you, but the
23 interpretation is not loud enough.
24 JUDGE KWON: Our usher will assist you. Just a second, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 JUDGE KWON: Do you hear me better now, Mr. Filipovic?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 Yes, please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
5 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Filipovic.
7 A. Good morning, Mr. Karadzic.
8 Q. I see that you already know that we need to make pauses between
9 what you and I say, and that we shouldn't speed up but rather speak
10 slowly so that everything could be interpreted.
11 Did you give a statement to my Defence team?
12 A. Yes.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have Exhibit 1D7947
14 in e-court.
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. While we are waiting for this document to appear on the screen,
17 Mr. Filipovic, did you hold a rank at the moment when you retired?
18 A. I retired with the rank of reserve lieutenant-colonel, but not --
19 I was not a military pensioner but a civilian who retired.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D7947.
22 JUDGE KWON: If it is a Rule 92 ter statement of the witness --
23 now we see it on the ELMO.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, we have it in e-court now so
25 the ELMO is unnecessary.
1 [In English] It doesn't have to be ELMO, we have it in
3 JUDGE KWON: If you have a hard copy, why don't you provide it to
4 the witness so that he can keep his hard copy -- he has it already. All
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE KWON: Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Can you see the statement on the screen in front of you? That is
10 to say, is it identical to what you have with you as a hard copy at the
12 A. I think so.
13 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
14 A. Yes.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please show the last page
16 to the witness and everyone else so that he would identify his signature.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Is this your signature?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully convey what you told
21 the Defence team and is there anything that you would like to correct in
23 A. I think that all the points of the statement are identical to
24 what I said. And, if possible, perhaps one correction. I think it's
25 technical in nature. In point 20.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please show the penultimate
2 page. We need paragraph 20.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Can you assist us with this by telling us what needs to be
6 A. It says here:
7 "After the VRS was established in May 1992, some Muslims also
8 reported, or rather, responded to the mobilisation."
9 It was a negligible number of Muslims, and then the text should
10 continue as follows:
11 "In September 1992, when general mobilisation was called, a
12 significant number of Muslims responded to the call-up, and one battalion
13 and one engineering unit were established," as the text reads now in the
14 following sentence.
15 Q. Thank you. And they remained in the Army of Republika Srpska
16 until the end of the war; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. Is everything else then correctly noted?
19 A. Yes, everything else is fine.
20 Q. Thank you. If I were to ask you the same questions today in the
21 courtroom as those you were asked while you were being interviewed, would
22 your answers substantially by the same?
23 A. Substantially, yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender this statement based on
1 92 ter.
2 JUDGE KWON: Any objections, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff?
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3140, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will now read out a
8 brief summary of Mr. Zivan Filipovic's statement, a reserve
9 lieutenant-colonel of the Army of Republika Srpska, and I will read it in
10 the English language.
11 [In English] Zivan Filipovic was the commander of the
12 Territorial Defence of Bijeljina and later the deputy commander of the
13 2nd Semberija Brigade. He considers that the inter-ethnic relations
14 between Muslims and Serbs were fine until the mid-1990s. However, when
15 nationalist parties became active and the SDA wished to implement its
16 separatist policies, it disturbed these good relations. Further, staged
17 workers' protests by Muslim employees at the steel plant in Bijeljina in
18 1990/1991 led to a greater deterioration of good inter-ethnic relations.
19 The steel plant workers used physical violence to capture the factory and
20 plants, also ensuring that the conflict with the police spread through
21 the town.
22 It was well-known that the SDA were responsible for this unrest.
23 When the SDA began being selective in their requests for appointment for
24 important positions throughout the political sphere, it was clear that
25 they had always intended to take control of the municipal, regional, and
1 republican Territorial Defence staffs. This then became the basis for
2 the Patriotic League and the Green Berets.
3 Mr. Zivan Filipovic considers the media stories about the war in
4 Bijeljina and the claims made by Muslims about the activities of the
5 Serbs to be lies by those who actually provoked the fighting in the town.
6 On 30th of March, 1991 [sic], Zivan Filipovic received a call on
7 his home phone reporting shooting in the town centre. He travelled in
8 the direction of the town; however, he was stopped at the barricade which
9 was manned by more than 15 well-armed men. He was told that they were in
10 control of the town and if he did not turn back he would be shot. He
11 recognised some of the men as Muslim citizens and a number of them wore
12 green berets.
13 When Zivan Filipovic returned to the office in April 1992, he saw
14 that the office had been broken into, the files were strewn all over the
15 floor and stairs, and all the weapons that had been assigned to them had
16 been taken by persons unknown. He was informed by colleagues that during
17 the fighting, Muslim citizens had attempted to secure the city through
18 barricades. Muslim snipers were also stationed on the dominant points in
19 Bijeljina and surrounded the hospital and the police station.
20 Further, during the conflict the Muslim forces spread the rumour
21 that Serb soldiers had killed 500 Muslim townspeople who had taken
22 shelter in the military facilities. This rumour had the effect of
23 stirring the Muslims up to the point that they were liable to take up
24 arms again. However, this lie was discovered and the Muslims in Janja
25 surrendered their weapons. In doing so, they demonstrated that they were
1 much better equipped than the Serb soldiers.
2 As a member of the VRS in Brcko, Zivan Filipovic was a witness to
3 almost daily selective artillery -- unselective artillery fire on the
4 centre of the town by artillery and armoured units of the Army of
5 Republic of BH and HVO, frequently using numerous rocket systems. The
6 indiscriminate fire caused major destruction of the civilian facilities
7 and numerous casualties. The Army of Republic of Croatia fired at Brcko
9 Zivan Filipovic knew the Geneva Conventions, the international
10 law of war, and humanitarian law, and his soldiers were also familiar
11 with them. No one in his unit violated these. He is aware that members
12 of the Army of BH and HVO did not adhere to these laws, confirmed when an
13 exchange was organised with the Muslim forces and the Serb soldiers were
14 presented with bodies of colleagues who had been captured alive but
15 killed by the Muslim forces.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. I want to ask you just one question. Before the war you were the
18 deputy --
19 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Just a second.
20 Yes, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Just one correction and I know that it is
22 just the summary read, but the date of the 30th of March, 1991, does not
23 reflect what the witness actually said. He said in his statement the
24 31st of March, 1992.
25 JUDGE KWON: I see the nodding yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise for the error.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Before the war, as you say in the second paragraph, you say that
6 you were the assistant commander of the Bijeljina municipal
7 Territorial Defence staff?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Who was the commander and what can you say about him and his
11 A. Up until 1990, the commander was Ljubomir Mitrovic who retired,
12 and by harmonisation concerning the distribution and division of power
13 between the Bijeljina SDA and the SDS, Mr. Saud Abdic was appointed the
14 new commander. He had just graduated and he held the rank of
15 2nd lieutenant, which was the lowest rank of anyone in the staff.
16 Q. Are you familiar with his view of arming and setting up a
17 paramilitary force and his possible involvement?
18 A. The weapons of the Territorial Defence staff were held in depots
19 of the JNA barracks in Bijeljina which were secured by the corps of the
20 JNA. We also had some weapons for possible defence that were held in
21 institutions and enterprises where conditions for that had been created,
22 namely, security had to be guaranteed, metal doors, metal safes. As for
23 the plans of defence, that was the part of weapons to be used for an
24 urgent defence of those institutions and enterprises. That was the
25 Territorial Defence plan. Saud Abdic, as the commander, could not have
1 changed them himself even if he wanted to. He was very often absent from
2 work. And in discussions with my other colleagues who were also Muslims,
3 I was told that he went to conduct some training at Kula in Zvornik. The
4 training was the training offered to Bosniaks, future members of the
5 Patriotic League.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Knezevic [sic].
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions at this
8 moment for Mr. Filipovic.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Thank you.
10 Mr. Filipovic, as you have noted, your evidence in chief in this
11 case has been admitted in most part in writing, that is, through your
12 written statement in lieu of your oral testimony. Now you'll be
13 cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor,
14 Madam Uertz-Retzlaff.
15 Yes, please proceed.
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examination by Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Filipovic.
19 A. Good morning, Madam Prosecutor.
20 Q. First I would again like to thank you for attending an interview
21 with the Prosecution and I will address some of the facts that you told
22 us during the interview as we go.
23 Mr. Filipovic, in paragraphs 7 and 8 of your statement you
24 described how you experienced the start of the fighting on the
25 31st of March, 1992, and you do not really need to look now at the
1 statement now, only if you need to refresh your memory at some point in
2 time. And we also do not need to go into the details that you have
3 already described in your written statement.
4 But during the interview we had on Monday, you said that it all
5 started when fierce young Muslim men that frequented the cafe Istanbul
6 and fierce young Serbs that frequented the cafe Ravna Gora started
7 fighting with each other. And in this context you also said that the
8 Ravna Gora cafe was frequented by so-called Chetniks associated with
9 Mirko Blagojevic. That's what you told us; right?
10 A. If you allow me, I have a correction to make. I made a technical
11 error. It was the Istanbul cafe and the Srbija cafe. The radically
12 oriented youth used to carry at the Srbija cafe, as you said, and which
13 is correct, and the Bosniak or Muslim youths tended to visit the Istanbul
14 cafe. The cafes are visible one from the other because the distance is
15 between 150 to 200 metres, and it is a fact that the first squaring of
16 accounts took place between these two cafes when a Bosniak, a Muslim, on
17 horseback tried to ride and --
18 Q. Let me interrupt you. Let me interrupt you. We have very little
19 time. I told you this already during our talks on Monday, and therefore
20 if I need more details, I will ask you these details; but otherwise, just
21 be very, very brief in your answers.
22 Mr. Filipovic, there is evidence before this Court --
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And, Your Honour, I refer here to an
24 interview, P02901, that Mirko Blagojevic gave.
25 Q. And I do not want to show it to you, Mr. Filipovic, but
1 Mr. Blagojevic said that his group threw a grenade into the cafe
2 Istanbul. Could that actually have started the entire affair?
3 A. Yes, a hand-grenade was thrown at the Istanbul cafe by a young
4 man, and then a horseman set off from the Istanbul cafe to throw a
5 hand-grenade at the Srbija cafe.
6 Q. Mr. Filipovic, in paragraph 22 of your statement, you refer to
7 the number of casualties that you were aware of and you do not need to
8 repeat this. I make these references only to the statement so that the
9 Judges know where it is actually coming from what I'm saying.
10 And when I asked you during the interview who caused these
11 casualties, you said that these young fierce men that we just spoke about
12 were responsible for this as well as Arkan and his men, Ljubisa Savic,
13 nicknamed Mauzer; the Patriotic League led by Mr. Tiric; and a
14 reconnaissance group of the JNA. And in relation to the reconnaissance
15 group from the JNA, you said that this was a reserve unit comprised of
16 local Serbs commanded by Blagoje Gavrilovic, who later became the
17 commander of the 2nd Semberija Light Brigade of the VRS. You said that,
18 you remember ?
19 A. Yes, you just changed the sequence a little bit. Members of the
20 Patriotic League were the first to set up barricades and also to position
21 snipers in prominent places, and then there were those who were involved
22 in the Bijeljina war, when they took down the barricades from the
23 facilities and intersections in the Bijeljina town.
24 Q. Mr. Filipovic, you told us also on Monday -- or rather, you
25 looked at a small newspaper article from "Slobodna Bosna" --
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And, Your Honours, I refer here to P06185.
2 Q. -- and you looked at the names and you remembered an Albanian
3 family and you saw the name in that list from "Slobodna Bosna"; right?
4 You remember that?
5 A. Yes.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: In this context can we please have on the
7 screen P02919, page 29. And I hope it works. What is coming up is
8 photos. I want to have page 29, photos that were made at that time. 29.
9 If it is not working, I - it is 29 - I have hard copies.
10 JUDGE KWON: Could you show it to me.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: That's 29.
12 JUDGE KWON: That should be e-court page 30 if my memory is
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I was told it is 29. But 30, yes, try 30.
15 Yes. Can we have this a bit bigger so that Mr. Filipovic can see this.
16 Q. Mr. Filipovic, looking at this photo, do you recognise -- do you
17 know these people that are -- one is lying here and the lady is over --
18 trying to help obviously. Do you know who that is, the lady and the
19 young man?
20 A. I see the photographs. I assume that the woman is helping the
21 man, but I don't know who they are.
22 Q. Could that be one of this -- one member of the Albanian family
23 that you mentioned that was living near the -- near the barricade where
24 the hospital was?
25 A. I don't know. Judging by the face, I don't remember the face at
2 Q. Good. Can we have the next photo -- but before that, look at the
3 clothing that the lady is wearing.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And can we now have the next photo?
5 JUDGE KWON: I think that was the last photo. Could you show me
6 the picture again. Yes, this is two pages before that.
7 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Oh, it's -- according to what we have it's
8 actually ...
9 Q. So, Mr. Filipovic, when you look at this photo now, first of all,
10 do you recognise any of the soldiers?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Would that -- looking how they are dressed and the weapons they
13 have, would that be one of your TO men? Would that be the usual TO
14 members? Or can you see from what they are wearing which group they may
15 belong to?
16 A. In terms of the equipment and the types of weapons there, I
17 assume that they are members of Arkan's unit.
18 Q. And when you look at the bodies that you are finding here and
19 when you look at the location, the surroundings where they are lying, you
20 see that the woman very close to the wall is the one that you saw on the
21 previous photo; right?
22 A. Judging by the skirt and sweater, yes.
23 Q. And when you look at the location now with this double door,
24 metal door, would that be something you recognise? Could you say what
25 that -- where this location is?
1 A. No.
2 Q. These photos, did you ever see them published during the events
3 in 19 -- in the 1990s? Did you ever see them published? Or is that the
4 first time that you see them here at all?
5 A. This is the first time I see them.
6 Q. Thank you. We can now move on and perhaps also turn -- put this
7 photo off. During your interview on Monday, you said that you were aware
8 that Arkan had established a training centre across the Drina in
9 Badovinci. That's what you said; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you also said that you were not aware that young men from
12 Bijeljina were trained in Badovinci, but you told us that you knew that
13 three men from Bijeljina were trained by Arkan in his training camp in
14 Erdut. And you said that it -- among them was Vojkan Djokovic,
15 Pero Sarov, which is a sort of nickname. But do you now remember who the
16 third person was?
17 A. At the centre in Erdut, a lot before these events in Bijeljina,
18 there were three men, relatively younger men, at the training centre. On
19 which basis? I don't know. One of them was Vojkan Djurkovic, nicknamed
20 Puskar. The other one was Pero and his nickname was Sarov. And the
21 third one was Maletic, nicknamed Promaja.
22 Q. And, Mr. Filipovic, you also mentioned when we met on Monday that
23 Arkan had a bad reputation. You consider -- he was considered a criminal
24 and so were his men, and you said that many Serbs were afraid of him and,
25 in fact, all the Muslims. That's what you said; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Sorry.
5 Q. Mr. Filipovic, in paragraph 13 of your statement you refer to
6 Arkan and that you do not know how he came to be in Bijeljina. However,
7 we saw here in the court an interview of Mr. Arkan --
8 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And, Your Honour, that's P02857.
9 Q. -- and he himself claims that - and I cite here what he says:
10 "We have come here to help the Serbian population ..."
11 And a sentence further he said:
12 "Therefore we came upon a honourable invitation from the TO of
13 Semberija and Bijeljina from the Crisis Staff to help the Serb people who
14 were in danger there."
15 Mr. Filipovic, you were the TO commander and Arkan refers here to
16 the invitation of the TO Semberija and Bijeljina. Who would that then be
17 if not you?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm afraid that it's a misquote.
19 It wasn't Semberija and Bijeljina. It's Semberija and Majevica.
20 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
21 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: I have actually -- we can put it on the
22 screen. It's P02857. At least in the English translation that I
23 saw - can we have it on the screen --
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, it's ...
25 Yes, in B/C/S it also says "Semberija and Bijeljina" probably
1 but --
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
3 JUDGE KWON: -- that can be clarified with the witness.
4 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
5 Q. So at least Arkan says Semberija and Bijeljina. And my question
6 to you was whether you had invited him or, if not you, who else would be
7 TO of Semberija and Bijeljina?
8 A. My commander was a Muslim, the commander of the
9 Territorial Defence of the municipality of Bijeljina. I was the Chief of
10 Staff, second in command. I've already told you during the interview
11 that he could have been invited by the mentioned three persons, his
12 soldiers, or the radicals who were helping. I claim with full
13 responsibility that no staff of the Territorial Defence or authority of
14 Bijeljina asked Arkan to come and help.
15 Q. The appearance of Arkan in Badovinci before the conflict broke
16 out, that fuelled the tension in town, did it not? It scared the people
17 and, as you said in particular, all Muslims feared him; correct?
18 A. I said - and that's correct - Arkan was a special kind of person.
19 He liked to introduce himself as a hero and liberator. His statements --
20 well, he made all sorts of statements, full of praise, showing off about
21 his ability to be able to liberate the Serbs. These are not proper
22 official statements within any authority, either in the municipality or
23 the TO staff --
24 Q. Let me --
25 A. -- quite simply, it's him bragging.
1 Q. Let me interrupt you. My question was actually whether his
2 appearance in Badovinci fuelled the tension that was already in the town?
3 That was my question. And that's correct; right?
4 A. I think that the stay in Badovinci did not fuel tension or cause
5 anything in town until he entered town actually.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we please have 65 ter 40607A on the
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Filipovic, while we are waiting for the
9 document, do you know or remember who sent those three young men,
10 including Djurkovic and Maletic, to Arkan's Erdut camp, training camp?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if you would like to
12 hear my opinion, it was Arkan's Volunteer Guard and young men who were
13 vice prone assembled there, tough guys who wanted to be with him and his
14 unit as an important segment of the defence of the Serb people. No one
15 sent them.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, back to you, Ms. Uertz-Retzlaff.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes.
18 Q. And what we are looking here is actually an interview that you
19 gave in 1995 and you may remember that you gave an interview to a group
20 that collected information on the historical events. And what you say
21 here in this document - and you see it here:
22 "Well, the tension and the information about Arkan conducting
23 training in Badovinci and then at the Drina River in Popovic in order to
24 prevent, or rather, to keep under control certain importation of weapons
25 and other material and equipment, this information fuelled the atmosphere
1 even more causing this incident in the night between the 31st of March
2 and the 1st to mark the beginning of the war ..."
3 So at that time when you gave this interview, you did actually
4 say that this contributed, did you not?
5 A. Well, you know, stories, as stories go, and stories about Arkan
6 as some kind of dangerous man, were indeed bandied about. Did you hear
7 this or that about Arkan? How come Arkan, and so on and so forth. But
8 his stay did not cause anything massive to happen or did he physically
9 have any impact on Semberija and the town of Bijeljina until the shooting
10 started during the night between the 31st of March and the 1st of April.
11 And then these stories from before about him being dangerous, that he's
12 omnipotent and so on and so forth, that his units were such elite units,
13 I assume, well, that they were reinforced by his entering the area. He
14 was a Fata Morgana for us, Arkan, for Serbs and Muslims --
15 Q. Let me interrupt you. We are very limited in time, sir, and I
16 told you already during the interview that I will interrupt you when it's
17 too detailed.
18 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we please have P05475 on the screen.
19 Q. And as it is coming up, it is a report by JNA General Jankovic of
20 4th April 1992. And, Mr. Filipovic, you knew General Jankovic; right?
21 As a TO commander you would have to co-operate with him; right?
22 A. I did not know General Jankovic personally, but I did know that
23 there was a general with his headquarters in Tuzla, that's the commander
24 of the division, and that he wrote orders for a while to all subordinate
1 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Maybe I misspoke. I wanted to see P05475
2 and it should be a report dated 4 April 1992. No, it's again -- it's
3 again the wrong document. Oh, Your Honour, I misspoke. It is P05474,
4 not 75. Yes, yes. That's the right one.
5 Q. And if you look at point 2 in the document, General Jankovic
6 refers to:
7 "... the big influence of the SDS and Arkan's propaganda which is
8 felt in the 38th Partisan Division and the 17th Mixed Artillery Regiment
9 because of which some conscripts had left their units with arms."
10 Mr. Filipovic, you as the TO commander, you were aware of these
11 problems; right?
12 A. There were problems. The war that started shocked everyone and
13 everyone became suspicious of everyone else. In my view, it's natural to
14 a degree that things like that would happen, because what is unnatural
15 are the living conditions.
16 Q. And if you look a bit further down under point 4,
17 General Jankovic states in the second sentence there that:
18 "The town of Bijeljina is controlled by SDS and Arkan's men ..."
19 And he further states that the JNA facilities harbour now
20 3.000 refugees. So what he says here, that is a picture of how it was;
22 A. I cannot comment upon the figure, whether someone counted the
23 refugees or not, but there were two groups of refugees. They withdrew
24 into barracks. One group was in the Bijeljina barracks and another
25 smaller group of about 500 Muslims took shelter at the Golo Brdo
1 barracks, that's about 3 kilometres from Bijeljina. Now, whether they
2 can be called refugees or not, these were simply people who sought
3 shelter from gun-fire. But there were a number of Serbs among them too.
4 They sought safety in the barracks.
5 Q. Mr. Filipovic, when we had the interview on Monday, you mentioned
6 that you met Arkan three times and you told us that first one was in the
7 evening of the 3rd of April, 1992, during a briefing in the JNA barracks
8 which was also attended by Dragan Andjelic, the president of the
9 Executive Board; Milan Novakovic; Novica Simic; and Dragica Makum
10 [phoen]. And you said on this occasion --
11 A. Dragisa Masal, commander Dragisa Masal.
12 Q. Thank you. And you also said that on this occasion, Arkan
13 forcefully requested the hand-over of the barracks to him and his men.
14 That's what you told us; right?
15 A. Yes. Arkan wanted to move the training centre from Erdut to
16 Bijeljina, and since the barracks in Bijeljina was very proper, he said
17 that he wanted to throw out the communist officers, the commies as he
18 called them, to take over the barracks and liberate the Serb people from
19 the threat of war.
20 Q. And the second time, you told us, was the next day in the
21 municipality building in a meeting with the local authorities during
22 which Arkan again requested the hand-over of the barracks to him and he
23 put great pressure on Zlatko Jokovic. Can you remind me what position
24 Mr. Jokovic had at that time?
25 A. Mr. Jokovic at the time was president of the municipality of
1 Bijeljina. When Arkan did not manage to take the barracks from the
2 military, then he tried to have the civilian authorities hand it over to
3 him and he exerted serious pressure on the president of the municipality,
4 and someone informed President Karadzic about what was happening in
5 Bijeljina. So the meeting was interrupted and Zlatko Jokovic returned,
6 perspiring, saying, "I don't know what to do. The president will not
7 allow this to be done. And if I don't do that, Arkan is going to execute
9 After a while, as a consequence of that request to hand over the
10 barracks, I think that President Karadzic dismissed the president of the
11 municipality of Bijeljina because of his attempt to co-operate with
12 non-military structures or paramilitary structures.
13 Q. Yes. Thank you. Just one other remark. On that same day, there
14 was also Mrs. Plavsic arriving in Bijeljina in a delegation. Were you
15 present also when she arrived or not?
16 A. The delegation was sent by the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 and consisted of Biljana Plavsic, Fikret Abdic, and the minister --
18 Q. Let me interrupt you --
19 A. The minister of defence -- I wasn't present, no.
20 Q. That was actually only my question, whether you were present or
21 not. Thank you. During the interview on Monday, you also said that
22 Arkan left on the 6th of April but his Colonel Pejo stayed behind; right?
23 A. From time to time he would stay in Bijeljina, yes, Pejo and a
24 number of other men would be in Bijeljina from time to time.
25 Q. Mr. Filipovic, you also mentioned the third time that you met
1 Arkan and you said that was in September 1992, when you were already in
2 the 2nd Semberija Light Brigade of the VRS and deployed at the front line
3 between the Muslim village of Celic and the Serb village of Bobeta Brdo
4 in the Brcko area. And you told us that on this occasion, Arkan and his
5 men came from Lopare municipality and wanted to take revenge for an
6 attack that had occurred against the Serb village of Miroslavci and that
7 he demanded that you and your unit join this attack on Celic. And you
8 also mentioned that he referred to the gold that one could get there
9 during the attack.
10 Does this summarise what you have told us correctly?
11 A. Yes. He launched an attack on Celic when he came to my unit.
12 The attack was underway. He asked for our support but we had no approval
13 from the superior corps command. But he simply forced us to go into
14 Celic, and on that occasion we pulled out the bodies of three of his dead
15 men and 16 wounded soldiers, and that's where the contact ended.
16 Q. Yes, thank you.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Can we now please have 65 ter 0844 [sic] on
18 the screen.
19 Q. And it brings us basically back to Bijeljina in the beginning of
20 April 1992, when you were still in the TO. And as it is coming up it is
21 another report of the 17th Corps of the JNA by General Jankovic of the
22 7th of April --
23 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: No, it's -- it's again the wrong one. It's
24 again incorrect. Did I misspeak? It's 65 ter 08441.
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Filipovic, did you become the commander of the
1 TO at a certain point of time?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: The second in command, yes.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Gavrilovic was appointed. I was
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, deputy, I misspoke, Your Honour. I
7 misspoke. Thank you.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Now we have the right document.
10 Q. Under point 2, if you look to point 2, General Jankovic refers
11 again to mobilisation problems and he states that the Bijeljina
12 Crisis Staff would not allow mobilisation. They request that
13 17th Anti-Artillery Brigade be named Semberska Brigade and that they are
14 to have direct influence on appointments of commanding officer.
15 Do you recall that situation, Mr. Filipovic?
16 A. I think the general is justifying himself a bit here, but it is a
17 fact that the Presidency of the municipality of Bijeljina appointed three
18 men at the beginning of April 1992 because nothing else functioned.
19 Q. And that would be the Crisis Staff, Bijeljina Crisis Staff, or --
20 because here Mr. Jankovic refers to Bijeljina Crisis Staff. What would
21 he mean?
22 A. No. I believe the general misspoke, the Presidency of the
23 municipality of Bijeljina appointed Blagoje Gavrilovic, Zivan Filipovic,
24 and Vasilije Andric as the core of the command of the Territorial Defence
25 in the war, but not the Crisis Staff because I would have never been on
1 it. They would have never appointed me.
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, can this document please be
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6214, Your Honours.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I see --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I -- excuse me. I think the
8 witness said he did not belong to the SDS.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was not a member of the SDS.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That was not previously recorded.
11 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: But I didn't say -- did I call him SDS
13 JUDGE KWON: No, no --
14 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Never.
15 JUDGE KWON: -- probably witness has said so.
16 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Okay.
17 JUDGE KWON: Do you confirm that you have said that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I was not a member.
19 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, I'm aware of the time, but I
20 need a bit more time because I needed to address in particular the Arkan
21 section because I'm aware that in other statements, the adjudicated facts
22 in relation to this troop are challenged, and therefore I had to add a
23 few more matters. Therefore, I would need another -- I would think
24 another approximately 20 minutes.
25 JUDGE KWON: Could you try to finish before the break,
1 15 minutes?
2 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Yes, I will try my best.
3 Q. Mr. Filipovic, in paragraph 20 of your statement, you refer to
4 one battalion of the VRS led by Pasaga Halilovic, a Muslim, and you spoke
5 already about it today.
6 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And we need to go briefly into private
7 session, Your Honour, because I wish to address confidential evidence.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF:
14 Q. Mr. Filipovic, in paragraph 14 of your statement you describe the
15 situation in Janja in April 1992, and you mentioned it also this morning,
16 and how a tragedy could be averted at that time. However, despite this
17 fact, the Muslims from Janja were expelled, were they not, in 1994, to be
18 precise in August/September 1994. You're aware of this; right?
19 A. I know a large number of Muslims from Janja demanded that they
20 re-join their people, but I suppose a number of them were also expelled.
21 Janja was overburdened with Serb refugees from Central Bosnia. It was
22 very, very tense to live there at the time. There was several reasons,
23 some of them wanted to go, and I suppose there was also some coercion,
24 but not from the authorities and not from the MUP of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. Is it again this -- this Vojkan that you mentioned? Are you
1 saying he was the one?
2 A. Vojkan was prosecuted for these actions. There was a trial.
3 Muslim witnesses were heard and the proceedings were interrupted. In
4 fact, Vojkan Djurkovic was acquitted of the charges that he had forcibly
5 expelled Muslims. That was a -- the judgement of the court in Bosnia.
6 Q. My last topic with you, Mr. Filipovic, is what you told us about
7 on Monday, that on the 3rd of May, 1992, Mauzer on the public square in
8 Bijeljina with a megaphone called on the people to set off to liberate
9 Brcko, and you said that 12 buses indeed departed to Brcko, including
10 Mauzer's men, Gavrilo's men, TO and MUP troops. And my question to you
11 is: You yourself did not go on that -- at that time or did you also
13 A. No. That convoy set off on the 3rd of May at the invitation of
14 the people from Brcko to help liberate the hospital, the health centre
15 which was on fire, and the road. I went to Brcko on a mission on the
16 6th of May, three days later.
17 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: And can we please have P02889 on the screen,
18 and it should be -- I hope this time it's the right one. It should be a
19 report, an extraordinary report, of 29 September 1992 by Captain Cutoric
20 from the Eastern Bosnia Corps command in which he describes the
21 activities in Brcko - and it's to the VRS Main Staff.
22 Q. And if you look at the first bigger paragraph he says or writes,
24 "The town was flooded by different 'patriotic' oriented
25 individuals who used 'devotion to Serbism' as an excuse for robbery,
1 rapes, and as a result of that, murders for no justified reasons."
2 And two lines further down he says:
3 "We also believe that there were groups which came as ordered,
4 that is, who had the support of the then military and civilian
5 authorities. And here we mean the leadership in Bijeljina, which in fact
6 brought 550 gathered 'fighters' at the very beginning of the war. The
7 most notorious of all were Mauzer and Major Gavrilovic with Arkan's men
8 led by Peja and the civilian authorities in Bijeljina."
9 Mr. Filipovic, your corps command, because you belonged to this
10 corps, describes the activities of the troops from Bijeljina here;
12 A. It is a fact that the Brcko theatre was very iffy, that in
13 addition to the regular units of the army and the MUP, certain small
14 groups raided Brcko and of their own accord created rather big problems
15 and hurt the reputation of both the MUP and the army. We did not have
16 enough forces to secure the town of Brcko and protect it from these
17 violent groups that came from I don't know where and then left I don't
18 know where. One of such groups was the Obilic men from Kosovo. Another
19 was the group of Zika the Montenegrin. Self-organised groups who came as
20 volunteers to help the Serbs, but in fact they came to loot.
21 Q. One last document, Mr. Filipovic, I want to show you and that is
22 P02855, and it should be coming up now here, a report of the
23 1st Krajina Corps command to the VRS Main Staff dated 13 -- it should be
24 something 13 August 1992. It's the wrong ...
25 A. 20 -- no.
1 Q. Oh, no, it's correct. It's 28th -- it's correct, yes. It's the
2 28th July 1992. And it is from Colonel Zdravko Tolimir. And if you look
3 at the first -- very first paragraph he refers here to the various groups
4 like Arkan's men, Seselj's men, Captain Dragan, and so on and so forth.
5 And he lists then in the next paragraph their main characteristics and he
6 refers to them to have low moral quality. A bit further down he says
7 that many formations of this type display hatred of non-Serb peoples, and
8 I quote:
9 "One can conclude without reservation that they are -- that that
10 are the genocidal elements among the Serbian people."
11 And in the next line he refers to looting.
12 Mr. Filipovic, that is a fair description of the behaviour of
13 such troops that Mr. Tolimir here states; right?
14 A. These things happened. And these false pretenses of patriotism,
15 et cetera, that's true. Those groups were bent on looting. Honourable
16 people honestly reported to military units if they wished to serve. In
17 addition to the military police we have the police force and the MUP.
18 There were so many such pests that we could not protect or defend the
19 population. The 2nd Semberija Brigade held for four months a military
20 police company in Janja and they barely managed to protect the population
21 of Janja from looting and robbery at the beginning of the war.
22 I don't know how else to explain it, but I suppose dogs of war
23 turn up in every war, bent on profiteering and all types of vice, least
24 of all to help their own people, Muslim, Serb, or any other people. They
25 are simply members of paramilitary groups, groups of robbers and looters.
1 Q. Mr. Filipovic, let's look now at page 5 in both languages,
2 please. And as you can see here that Colonel Tolimir refers to -- it's
3 in the middle, it's in the middle of the page in both languages. He
4 refers to Bijeljina, and I quote again:
5 "The Serbian National Guard in Bijeljina has formally joined the
6 so-called special brigade. The Serbian National Guard was formed by the
7 Bijeljina SDS, and the Presidency of the Bijeljina Municipal Assembly
8 decided that this would be the army of Bijeljina which would defend
9 Bijeljina should it be attacked and appointed self-styled Major
10 Ljubisa Savic, Mauzer, as the commander."
11 And he said:
12 "The greater part of the municipality authorities in Bijeljina
13 still back that Guard."
14 Mr. Filipovic, that's again Mr. Tolimir assessing now Mauzer's
15 men, and he's right in this, is he not?
16 A. Colonel Tolimir was a security organ and Mauzer and the Guard
17 were part of the 3rd Corps. There was no love lost between them, but the
18 corps was superior to the Bijeljina Brigade. There were certain
19 misunderstandings, I suppose, definitely, and other minor things, but
20 they were subordinated to the military command of the corps.
21 Q. And when we spoke on Monday, you mentioned that Mauzer was early
22 on seen around the office of the SDS. So what Colonel Tolimir says, that
23 it was formed by the Bijeljina SDS, that would be correct; right?
24 A. The Serb National Guard was set up by Ljubisa Savic, Mauzer, to
25 be on a par with Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, to have his own guard just
1 like Arkan did. So that Arkan's guard would leave and the other would
2 stay behind to keep Bijeljina. Ljubisa Savic, Mauzer, tried with his
3 strict attitude and harsh discipline to imitate Arkan's guard and hold
4 himself out as the only protector and defender of the Serbian people.
5 Q. And my last question, Mr. Filipovic, this special brigade, the
6 Serbian National Guard, would also escort Mr. Karadzic and Mr. Krajisnik
7 when they came to Bijeljina or passed through to Belgrade; is that right?
8 A. I'm not aware of that. I didn't know that.
9 MS. UERTZ-RETZLAFF: Your Honour, no further questions.
10 Q. And thank you, Mr. Filipovic.
11 JUDGE KWON: Speaking for myself, I just had -- was of the
12 impression if the parties could come up with some agreed facts, for
13 example, on paramilitaries, some questions could have been dispensed
15 We'll take a break for 45 minutes and resume at 1.20.
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 1.23 p.m.
18 JUDGE KWON: For the remainder session of today we'll be sitting
19 pursuant to Rule 15 bis, with Judge Morrison being away.
20 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
21 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. If I could introduce to you
22 and the Chamber Zygimantas Juska, who is one of our interns from
23 Lithuania and joining us this session. Thank you.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
25 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, do you have re-examination for this witness?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Not much, Your Excellencies, but it
2 is necessary, though, to clarify some issues.
3 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] When you talk about the lack of love which
5 existed between the civilian and military structures, can you tell us
6 approximately what the basis for that was?
7 A. Mr. Karadzic, I think that alongside the war that was waged in
8 Bosnia and Herzegovina there was also a civilian war, and that the newly
9 elected authorities were as a rule anti-communist people and the officers
10 from the former JNA, the former Yugoslavia, were mostly communists and
11 there was a degree of distrust between the ideology of the former
12 communist system and the new system with ethnic-based political parties
13 and the new understanding of matters in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I think that
14 that was the basis for the lack of trust. Whether the communists would
15 support the ethnic groups, one or the other or some other peoples, it was
16 believed that the communists were people with a tendency to act
17 differently in similar situations. That was the substance, in my view,
18 of this distrust.
19 Q. Thank you so much.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please have P02855,
21 that is to say, show it again. Thank you.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I will try to read out to you something from the document as the
24 font is quite small.
25 "Not one of the paramilitary formations expressed its affiliation
1 to the ruling political party, the SDS. Quite the contrary, all of them
2 have the political markings of the opposition parties from Serbia, SPO,
3 SNS ..." and so on and so forth.
4 How does this information and the assessment of the
5 then-Colonel Tolimir fit with your knowledge of the party membership of
6 those paramilitaries?
7 A. I think that the military security had special ways of monitoring
8 and assessing the conduct of groups and military units and organs, and in
9 reports these assessments are often expressed. Paramilitary formations,
10 mostly from Serbia - I mentioned one of them from Kosovo - did not arrive
11 influenced by any ideology, either the communist ideology or any other.
12 I believe that they came to "help" the Serbs but they were actually
13 coming to achieve gain and to loot. That was why the military
14 leadership - I specifically mean the 3rd Corps command and the municipal
15 authorities, and in particular I would stress the leadership of the
16 state, I mean your role and the role of General Mladic, to shake off
17 these paramilitary formations which only caused damage, both to the
18 people and the army and the political sphere.
19 Q. Thank you. We do not need this document anymore.
20 On page 62 of today's transcript you were asked about expulsions
21 from Janja and about Vojkan. And you said that Vojkan was released and
22 that Muslims testified at his trial, the Muslims from Bijeljina. I did
23 not understand whether those from Janja testified as well. Could you
24 tell us how these witnesses, Muslims whom he was taking to the other part
25 of the country, testified at the trial?
1 A. They testified on behalf of Vojkan Djurkovic, aka Puskar, because
2 they believed that he was helping them in difficult conditions to go out
3 into the territory under the control of Bosnian Muslims and that it would
4 be much easier for them there. The substance of their request to leave
5 Janja was not any sort of political pressure except for a huge number of
6 Serbs who had arrived to the populated place called Janja. I have the
7 information that from 28 municipalities of the former Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina there were Serbs who arrived to Janja. So there was a
9 mixture of various customs, habits, ways of life, and everything else.
10 Around 10.000 refugees in Janja and 10.000 locals in a small space in
11 very difficult living conditions without sufficient food, water, without
12 sufficient living space and so on and so forth, all made the living
13 conditions there insupportable.
14 For the same reason, I have the information, and I believe that
15 it is true, that a lawyer from Tuzla would submit to Vojkan, he was a
16 Bosniak, a Muslim, Pasic, he would submit to Vojkan the lists of people
17 who were to be taken to the regular places for exchange which were made
18 possible by the army. They should be brought there so that they would be
19 exchanged; that is to say, they would be handed over to Tuzla and they
20 would join their compatriots.
21 And I believe that the bulk of the witnesses who testified on
22 behalf of Vojkan were from the place of Janja, and after he was released
23 he boasted around Janja that he had not done anything and that the
24 Muslims had testified and said that he was actually helping them.
25 Q. Thank you. And what about Mr. Pasaga Halilovic and those several
1 among the 50 or so who were included but did not wish to leave?
2 A. I am not familiar with the details. I know certainly that
3 Pasaga Halilovic was at the head of a battalion of the Muslim army which
4 was fighting as part of the Eastern Bosnia Corps of the 3rd Semberija
5 Brigade in the Posavina area, that they were loyal. That is to say, they
6 responded to the call-ups without any forms, they set up a unit and the
7 reserve officer, reserve major, he was at the head of this unit. And the
8 municipal leadership and the commanding officers from the corps were
9 horrified and it wasn't clear to anyone -- let me not say that they
10 regretted why that happened. And the method which was used to take them
11 there is something that I don't know.
12 Q. Thank you. Do you know if they were returned and where
13 Mr. Halilovic is living now?
14 A. I don't know where he is living at the moment but I know that one
15 of his brothers who used to be a teacher at the agricultural school and
16 who was also a member of this unit is still living in Bijeljina. And as
17 for Pasaga, I think that he's somewhere in the Federation. He was an
18 official in the Bijeljina municipality. He was also a director of some
19 enterprises and so on.
20 Q. Thank you. Who replaced Mr. Pasaga Halilovic in the position of
21 this battalion's commander?
22 A. When both for Serbs and for Muslims -- I'm not sure about
23 Muslims, but for Serbs it was an untoward event. It was something -- let
24 me not say unheard of or not normal for the Serbs. Mujica Jahic was
25 appointed to his position. In that period he used to be the director of
1 the waterworks and sewage in Bijeljina, he was also a reserve officer and
2 he replaced Mujica Jahic in that position and he led this unit to the end
3 of the war.
4 Q. I could guess his ethnicity, but other participants in the trial
5 cannot judge by the names. Can you tell us what his ethnicity was?
6 A. Mujica was a Muslim. He's now a Bosniak, probably.
7 Q. Thank you. You were also shown several documents signed by
8 General Jankovic. Where was General Jankovic's seat or headquarters,
9 rather, at the time when he made the assessments of the events in
11 A. General Jankovic was the commander with his headquarters in
12 Tuzla, and all the events in Bijeljina and the surrounding area as well
13 as the attempt to move the Tuzla garrison with the management of
14 General Jankovic and the events at Brcanska Malta, let me not talk more
15 about that, were the cause for him to issue certain orders. Such as, for
16 example, to mobilise the Territorial Defence unit and secure the left
17 bank of the Drina, which was absurd. Or, for example, I cannot judge
18 what were the channels through which General Jankovic obtained this
19 information, probably through the security and intelligence organs.
20 However, it seems to me that they also ascertained the situation somewhat
21 one-sidedly and then they reported to their superior so that
22 General Jankovic did not have - and I claim this with full
23 responsibility - he did not have 100 per cent truthful information from
24 the territory.
25 Q. Thank you. As far as you know, did the SDS take part in combat
1 that took place in April 1992?
2 A. The SDS as a political party certainly did not get involved
3 militarily. However, the seat of the Municipal Board of Bijeljina was
4 used during the civilian war as a gathering place for the army and so on.
5 The SDS members did go out to the front, but not as a unit, a political
6 unit or a political body, but as members of military unit. So,
7 Mr. President, I have to -- their political affiliation was one thing and
8 their military engagement was something completely different. There was
9 no political unit and only political unit in the territory of the
10 Bijeljina municipality.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Filipovic. I have no further questions. Thank
12 you for coming here to testify, and thank you for being a proper official
13 of Republika Srpska even though you were not a member of the SDS.
14 A. Thank you, too.
15 JUDGE KWON: Well, that concludes your evidence, Mr. Filipovic.
16 On behalf of the Chamber I would like to thank you for your coming to
17 The Hague to give it. Now you are free to go.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you as the Trial Chamber and
19 thank you to ICTY which will investigate everything and determine
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness take the solemn declaration,
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: DUSAN SPASOJEVIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Spasojevic. Please be seated and
5 make yourself comfortable.
6 I take it you hear me in the language you understand,
7 Mr. Spasojevic?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE KWON: Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Spasojevic, I
10 must draw your attention to a certain Rule of Procedure and Evidence that
11 we have here at the International Tribunal, that is, Rule 90(E). Under
12 this Rule, you may object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic,
13 the Prosecution, or even from the Judges if you believe that your answer
14 might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In this context,
15 "incriminate" means saying something that might amount to an admission of
16 guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that might provide
17 evidence you might have committed a criminal offence. However, should
18 you think that an answer might incriminate you and as a consequence you
19 refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that the Tribunal has
20 the power to compel you to answer the question. But in that situation,
21 the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony compelled in such
22 circumstances would not be used in any case that might be laid against
23 you for any offence save and except the offence of giving false
25 Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Spasojevic?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
3 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Spasojevic.
7 A. Good afternoon, Mr. President.
8 Q. I will ask you to make pauses between what I say and what you
9 say, that is to say, between question and answer, and also to speak
10 unhurriedly so that everything would be recorded.
11 Did you give a statement to my Defence team?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have 1D7946 in
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Do you see in front of you a statement which you have given?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
20 A. Yes, I have.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I will ask that the last page be
22 shown to the witness now so that the signature would be identified.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Is this your signature?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Does this statement faithfully convey what you said
2 and the information you expressed and is there anything that should be
4 A. Everything is well recorded and well conveyed.
5 Q. Thank you. If I were to ask you the same questions today as you
6 were asked at the time when you gave the statement, would your answers
7 substantially be the same?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, I tender this
11 statement. And one document mentioned in paragraph 15 is something that
12 I will lead live as it has not been translated.
13 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Gustafson, as regards the
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: No, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3141, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Excellency. Now
20 I'm going to read out the summary of Mr. Dusan Spasojevic in the English
22 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes.
23 THE ACCUSED: Sorry for translation. My apologies to
25 Dusan Spasojevic was born on 23rd of October, 1958, in Bijeljina,
1 and currently resides in the village of Dazdarevo. He was an inspector
2 of the crime police at the SJB Bijeljina. Dusan Spasojevic and his
3 colleagues obtained intelligence information that clearly indicated
4 growing ethnic divisions between the Serbs and the Muslims in Bijeljina.
5 While Serbs wishing to preserve the political status quo were assigned to
6 the regular forces of the country, Muslims joined paramilitary units in
7 Croatia and took part in terrorist operations against the JNA.
8 Between 1990 and 1992, the SDA, Muslim party, which had full
9 control over the Ministry of the Interior of BH, used its resources to
10 select Muslim members of the reserve police force and send them to
11 Croatia for training. Hasan Tiric, for example, was a member of the SDA
12 Main Board in Bijeljina and was secretly arming Muslims and making
13 preparations to carry out terrorist acts. Maps made by Muslim extremists
14 showing Serbian houses marked with crosses indicate clearly the nature of
15 the conflict that unfolded in Bijeljina.
16 As early as late 1990, there were almost daily reports of
17 harassment and abuse committed against Serbian women by young Muslim men
18 at the town's markets. In the same period, another group of young
19 Muslims stormed Serbian catering facilities, causing ethnically motived
20 fights. Dusan Spasojevic and his colleagues concluded that these groups
21 were organised and committed to instigating ethnic divisions and creating
23 By mid-1991, the situation was so severe that the Bijeljina
24 Muslims only visited restaurants and bars owned by Muslims, while the
25 Serbs visited those owned by Serbs. Meanwhile, the local authorities of
1 the municipality, the JNA garrison, and the police were working with all
2 their powers to calm tensions and improve inter-ethnic relations.
3 On 30th of March, 1992, a Serb detonated an explosive device at a
4 restaurant. The perpetrator was apprehended by the on-site investigation
5 team, led by a Serb. This incident demonstrates that the police and
6 local authorities were resolved to calm the situation and bring law
7 breakers to justice, including where the perpetrators of crimes were
8 Serbs too.
9 Around 27th of March, Dusan Spasojevic was informed of an
10 explosion in the premises of the SDA. Upon attending the scene, he found
11 some 20 to 30 Muslims gathering -- gathered who behaved threateningly and
12 prevented Spasojevic and his official colleagues from entering the
13 premises. Intelligence later revealed that weapons were soon transferred
14 from the SDA premises to a nearby mosque. Dusan Spasojevic believes that
15 he was prevented from accessing SDA premises after the explosion in order
16 to hide the stockpiling of weapons there.
17 On the 1st of April, 1992, Dusan Spasojevic discovered a
18 roadblock near his premises operated by 15 well-armed men. These men
19 later opened fire without warning on a marked police vehicle as well as
20 nearby onlookers which included a number of children. Dusan Spasojevic's
21 residence was known as a building housing police officers and their
22 families. He observed more roadblocks in neighbouring streets and
23 believes that these were set up deliberately to prevent policemen from
24 calming disorder in the town. Later that day, those arming the
25 roadblocks started shooting at soldiers, ordering the blocks be
1 dismantled. Dusan Spasojevic was informed by the duty officer at the
2 police station that all major roads and intersections were blocked by
3 armed Muslims and the local hospital was completely encircled. On high
4 buildings of the town snipers were observed randomly opening fire.
5 During the day many Serbs fled the town to nearby villages.
6 Dusan Spasojevic believes the evidence shows that these events were
7 planned in advance by Bijeljina's armed Muslims.
8 Mr. Dusan Spasojevic was never ordered by anybody to do anything
9 to the detriment of the non-Serb citizens and he never gave such an order
10 to his subordinates. The actions of Dusan Spasojevic and his
11 subordinates were in line with the law and focused on the well being of
12 all citizens regardless of their ethnic background. All crimes against
13 non-Serbian citizens were properly investigated and, where possible,
14 perpetrators were handed to the relevant authorities.
15 Dusan Spasojevic was also involved in the commission
16 investigating the events surrounding Srebrenica 1995. This commission
17 concluded that the Muslim side in Bosnia falsely claimed that
18 8.000 Muslims were killed there by claiming Muslim soldiers who were
19 killed in the breakthrough and in previous clashes of the war were
20 innocent victims in Srebrenica. A report presenting these facts was
21 submitted but rejected by the republican MUP under the pressure of
22 international representatives.
23 And that would be short summary.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I'd like to ask you about paragraph 2. It says that from 1997
1 until 2006, for ten years, you were commander of the police station in
2 Bijeljina; is that correct?
3 A. That's not correct. I had been police commander for about
4 three years but then I also did other work in the crime police, but I was
5 in the service non-stop.
6 Q. Thank you. Was it necessary for the international police force
7 to certify you and were you certified as eligible for police work?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. You mentioned in your statement Mr. Tiric.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have 1D15018 in
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. While we're waiting, can you tell us what you know about the
14 units that were later commanded by Mr. Tiric?
15 A. Tiric Hasica was a criminal before the war and, perhaps in 1989,
16 I filed a regular criminal report against him for aggravated theft.
17 Q. Please speak slower.
18 A. This report was filed by my colleagues, that is to say, they
19 interviewed Tiric Hasica, or rather, persons who were at the barricades.
20 And after the armed conflict, they voluntarily handed over their weapons
21 to the Bijeljina public security station.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the next page now,
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: I apologise for interrupting. I just note that
2 we did receive a translation of this document this morning. It's not yet
3 uploaded in e-court, but we have it in Sanction now in both languages if
4 that would assist.
5 JUDGE KWON: I appreciate it.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Can you tell us what Article this is, 151?
9 A. The Law on Criminal Procedure, and on that basis, a criminal
10 report is filed with the office of the prosecutor.
11 Q. Thank you. Can you say something about the rest? Did you know
12 any of these other people?
13 A. I knew most of these other people, some by sight, some I know
14 better. Quite a few of them are criminals, among them Hasica Tiric as
15 one of the most prominent ones, if you will.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the next page in
18 English. It says "Tiric Hasan" and then come the rest.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Now, why were criminal reports filed against them here?
21 A. I think that it was armed rebellion, I think, according to the
22 law that was then in force.
23 Q. Thank you. Did Hasan Tiric participate in the events of the
24 31st of March, 1992?
25 A. Well, since my police building was surrounded by five or six
1 roadblocks, I noticed him. He had a vehicle, a Ford, with a Zvornik
2 licence plate and I saw him going from one roadblock to another. Also he
3 used a fire truck and a small TAM truck. I saw him a few times in the
4 morning hours while I was in my building.
5 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that that is a building where policemen
6 lived. Was there a difference in terms of the places where the
7 barricades were, in terms of where buildings were and where particular
8 neighbourhoods were?
9 A. Well, the entire building was blocked, it was a residential
10 building, and all of the exits and entries were blocked.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I tender this document?
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
14 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honours. We note that this
15 criminal report is essentially a summary of information, and based on the
16 list of attachments at the end of the report, although none of the
17 attachments are included, it appears that this document is largely based
18 on the contents of third-party statements. So it does raise some of the
19 concerns the Chamber has raised previously about such statements,
20 concerns that are amplified by the fact that since we don't have those
21 attachments or statements, we can't assess how accurately this report
22 summarises them. And on top of that, the statements appear to be
23 war-time statements taken by the Bosnian Serb police of ethnic Muslims,
24 and in light of the pattern of abuse by Bosnian Serb police forces of
25 ethnic Muslims in this case and I would refer to adjudicated facts 863,
1 937, 1327, 2288, 2437, 2536, and 2652 as examples, this raises further
2 reliability concerns.
3 However, I believe I -- I believe some of the assertions in this
4 document bear on assertions the witness has made in his statement and I
5 will be using this document to test some of those assertions. So in the
6 circumstances, I'm not going to object to the admission of the document.
7 I just note these reliability concerns in terms of the weight that it
8 should ultimately be given. Thank you.
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll receive it.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3142, Your Honours.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
12 questions for Mr. Spasojevic at this point in time.
13 JUDGE KWON: The adjudicated facts you referred to were mainly
14 related to general circumstances where Muslim people were detained, not
15 specifically for the purpose of criminal investigation?
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: No. Some of them involved interrogations, but
17 not necessarily -- they weren't all necessarily detention for that
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
20 Yes, Mr. Spasojevic, as you have noted, your evidence in chief
21 has been admitted in most part in writing, that is, through your written
22 statement in lieu of your oral testimony. And now you'll be
23 cross-examined by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor.
24 Yes, Ms. Gustafson, please proceed.
25 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
1 Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:
2 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Spasojevic.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'd like to stay on this criminal report for a
5 moment so if we could go back to Sanction.
6 Q. The subjects of this criminal report, Mr. Spasojevic, the report
7 against Hasan Tiric and others, they're all Muslims including 28 Muslims
8 who the report acknowledges at the time were dead; is that right?
9 A. I cannot say.
10 Q. You don't know? The report makes it clear --
11 A. I don't know.
12 Q. You don't know whether they're all ethnic Muslims or you don't
13 know whether 28 of them were dead at the time?
14 A. All of them are ethnic Muslims, but I don't know whether there
15 were that many dead.
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 39 of the English and
17 page 14 of the B/C/S.
18 Q. Here the report says that the reported persons listed under the
19 numbers 133 to 160, and then it names a number of people, after the
20 breakout of armed conflicts, et cetera, were actively engaged as Muslim
21 and Albanian extremists at the barricade set up in JNA street near the
22 hospital where they lost their lives.
23 So reported persons listed under numbers 133 to 160 of this
24 report were dead at the time; right?
25 A. Since I was not working on that case and I did not review those
1 corpses, I cannot say.
2 MS. GUSTAFSON: Okay. Now if we could go to page 51 of the
3 English and page 21 of the B/C/S. And in the beginning of the first full
4 paragraph in the English and at the top of the page in the B/C/S, it
5 talks about the -- on the third day of the armed conflicts in Bijeljina,
6 so this would be the 3rd of April, the Muslim fanatics exulting at having
7 easily have taken the town tried to intimidate the Serbs as much as
9 And then in the next paragraph it says during the third and
10 fourth days of the conflict, which would be the 3rd and 4th of April, the
11 self-organised people of Semberija managed to remove some of the
12 barricades in the town and rout the Muslim extremists from them.
13 Q. Now, this description of events on the 3rd and 4th of April,
14 Mr. Spasojevic, is almost entirely false. The Muslims never took the
15 town, let alone easily. It was not the self-organised people of
16 Semberija who removed the barricades, but principally Arkan's Serbian
17 Volunteer Guard paramilitary force, which I note is not mentioned
18 anywhere in this report. And furthermore, Arkan's men started removing
19 those barricades immediately, and by the 3rd of April, it was Arkan, not
20 the Muslims, who controlled the town; right?
21 A. I would not agree with you.
22 Q. Okay.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON: Let's go to P2629. And if we could go to the
24 bottom of page 1 in the B/C/S and the top of page -- I'm sorry, bottom of
25 page 1 in the English, top of page 3 in the B/C/S.
1 Q. And you can see this says that:
2 "The security situation in Bijeljina was disrupted on 31st March
3 1992 at about 2030 hours in the evening when barricades were set up in
4 the centre of the town by Muslim extremists. During the night and the
5 next day the Territorial Defence" - if we go to the next page in the
6 English - "the Serbian National Guard and the Serbian Volunteer Guard
7 started removing the barricades under the supervision of the Bijeljina SO
8 Crisis Staff."
9 So it's clear from this police report that the Serbian National
10 Guard and the Serbian Volunteer Guard, otherwise known as Arkan's men,
11 started removing the barricades right away, during the night of the
12 31st of March and morning of the 1st of April; right?
13 A. The roadblocks were removed only around 10.00 or 11.00 on the
14 following day, because I watched the removal of one barricade.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript. In line 12 the witness
16 said the removal started at 10.00, not that it ended then.
17 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON:
19 Q. And when you say "the following day," do you mean the
20 1st of April or the 2nd of April?
21 A. The date? I cannot focus now, but the barricades were there all
22 night. So the day after that first day, between 10.00 and 11.00.
23 Q. Okay. But you only saw one barricade; is that right?
24 A. I saw the removal of one barricade, but from my building, from
25 the roof of the building where I live, I saw four barricades -- five.
1 Q. Okay.
2 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to D1612 now. And if we could go
3 to page 11 in both languages. And if could direct your attention towards
4 the top of the page in the B/C/S, towards the middle of the page in the
5 English. This is an interview that Arkan gave after the events about
6 what happened in Bijeljina. And he states that:
7 "We arrived in the course of the night ..."
8 And a few lines down he says:
9 "It was night; however, we entered Bijeljina as a unit and we
10 took the centre."
11 It says:
12 "The fighting was merciless ..."
13 And towards -- about eight or nine lines down he says:
14 "Naturally, we had military experience. We came with big battles
15 behind us and we entered as a military ... as a unit and we took
16 Bijeljina fast."
17 And if we go to the next page, towards the middle in the English,
18 towards the top third in the B/C/S, he's asked:
19 "Who was the real boss in Bijeljina at the time?"
20 And he says:
21 "Well, I was the real boss of Bijeljina at the time. But at our
22 check-points, for example, that Dogo," and then he's corrected and says
23 "Doko." And then he starts to tell a story about how Bojan Curkovic
24 [phoen] was holding a check-point.
25 "Doko, Abdic and Simovic came along and they were forced to lie
1 down on the ground." Then he says:
2 "They were sent back that evening, but we agreed they would come
3 back the next day."
4 And then he describes how they came back the next day with
5 Mrs. Plavsic.
6 So it's clear that this event at the check-point would have been
7 the 3rd of April because the delegation, we know, came on the 4th. So
8 that indicates that Arkan had set up check-points and was controlling who
9 entered the town on the 3rd of April.
10 Q. So these documents, Mr. Spasojevic, make clear that the
11 description of the conflict in the criminal report against Hasan Tiric
12 falsely represents the Muslims as the dominant military force and falsely
13 claims that the Serbs were a local self-organised force even though
14 Arkan's involvement was common knowledge. Right?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Just one explanation, please. How
16 come this interview is an official document and an official criminal
17 report is not? This should be called interview rather than document --
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, that's a very inappropriate and
19 unacceptable intervention. You may take up that issue in your
21 Yes, please continue -- do you remember the question,
22 Mr. Spasojevic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not correct. Arkan enjoyed
24 promoting himself and bragging in the media. I have information to the
25 effect that there were about 15 or 16 of them there. There was this
1 clash with the guests, but he did not set up roadblocks. There weren't
2 any check-points of his anywhere as far as I know.
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: Okay. Well, let's go to P5474, an official
4 document. And if we could look at point 4, towards the bottom of the
5 page, this is a report from the 17th Corps of the JNA dated the
6 4th of April. And under number 4 it says:
7 "The situation in the territory is extremely complex. The town
8 of Bijeljina is controlled by the SDS and Arkan's men who do not even
9 allow our armoured unit to each certain positions in the town."
10 Q. So, Mr. Spasojevic, whether or not Arkan had any check-points or
11 not, he was able to control even whether the JNA entered the town, wasn't
13 A. I see this is a report from some military command. I'm a
14 policeman and that's why I wouldn't like to go into this, but I know
15 there were no check-points and Arkan could not control entry and exit
16 into the town. I'm a local and I went all over town.
17 Q. Okay. So one last question about Arkan. Because you also give a
18 very detailed about events in early April in your statement and you don't
19 mention Arkan at all. Did you not think Arkan's involvement in the
20 conflict in Bijeljina was sufficiently important to even mention it in
21 your sworn evidence?
22 A. He's absolutely inconsequential to me because I had had some
23 problems with his men concerning crime and I saw no reason to mention him
25 Q. Okay. I'd like to ask you about the people who were killed in
1 the conflict. You didn't see anyone actually -- you didn't personally
2 witness anyone getting killed in the conflict in early April, did you?
3 A. Right.
4 Q. Okay. And in your statement at paragraph 20 you said that after
5 the initial conflict, dead bodies were picked up by a utility vehicle,
6 accompanied by the police, and placed in the morgue. Did you personally
7 participate in this process of collecting the bodies or is this just
8 something you learned about?
9 A. I only heard about it.
10 Q. Okay. And did you see any of these dead bodies before they were
11 collected, lying in the streets or anywhere else?
12 A. I think when with my family and my children I was going towards
13 the village, I saw one corpse in Majevicka Street.
14 Q. And apart from this one corpse, did you see any others?
15 A. I can't remember. I don't think so.
16 Q. Okay. And these bodies were simply collected from the streets.
17 There were no on-site investigations conducted; right?
18 A. Right.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could we go into private session for a moment,
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
23 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session, Your Honours.
2 MS. GUSTAFSON:
3 Q. And I note also that the criminal report against Hasan Tiric also
4 states that a number of persons including Redzep Sabanovic lost their
5 lives at or around the barricade near the hospital. And that's at
6 pages 51 and 52 of the English.
7 Do you recognise this location, the location in this photo, as
8 being a location near the Bijeljina hospital, near where the barricade
10 A. The photograph -- perhaps. I cannot really judge. I'm really
11 sorry. I can't.
12 Q. Okay.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go back to the criminal report
14 back in Sanction and go to page 51 and 52 of the English and page 21 of
15 the B/C/S. And this is towards the bottom of the English.
16 Q. This is the passage that talks about the Muslims who were killed
17 around the barricade at the hospital, and it asserts:
18 "During the crushing of the barricade near the hospital, the
19 following persons lost their lives at or around the barricade while they
20 were putting up armed resistance ..."
21 And then it lists a number of persons.
22 And there's no source identified so I'd like to ask you,
23 Mr. Spasojevic, what is the specific source of this information that
24 these Muslims were putting up armed resistance when they were killed?
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. Okay. Did you know Redzep Sabanovic by any chance?
2 A. I knew him by sight.
3 Q. Okay. And did you know his -- that his wife -- Aisa Sabanovic,
4 was that his wife's name?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. But you confirm that Aisa Sabanovic is a Muslim female
7 name; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Okay. The list of attachments to this report includes a number
10 of death certificates related to the report and it includes Aisa
11 Sabanovic's death certificate in that list. But the report doesn't say
12 anywhere anything about how Aisa Sabanovic was killed. Do you know why
13 the report didn't say anything about the cause of her death?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Okay. And this passage of the report also includes Bego Sindric
16 as someone who was killed at or around this barricade and whose body was
17 collected on the 5th or 6th of April. But another witness in this case,
18 a Defence witness, Dr. Kicanovic testified that Bego Sindric was wounded
19 in the conflict and in fact he died in hospital a few days later. And
20 that's transcript page 34891.
21 Are you able to reconcile that inconsistency?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Okay. Mr. Spasojevic, at paragraph 20 of your statement you said
24 that approximately half of the victims of the conflict in early April
25 were killed during street fighting. But it's clear from your evidence
1 that you didn't see any of the bodies except for one, you didn't see
2 anyone actually getting killed, you don't know anything about their
3 injuries, there were no on-site investigations, and I've just asked you
4 about the source of information in this report about how these people
5 were killed and the basis for the assertion that they were killed putting
6 up armed resistance, and you had no idea. So basically you're just
7 guessing when you say that half the victims were killed during street
8 fighting. You really have no idea; right?
9 A. I do know, after all there is talk among colleagues, we are all
10 policemen, and from these conversations with colleagues I came to that
11 conclusion. This is not a precise conclusion when I said that half of
12 them died in street fighting. It's not precise. It's the way I see it.
13 Q. Okay. And I'd just like to ask you one last question about this
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 59 of the English and
16 page 24 in the B/C/S which is the list of attachments. And if we could
17 go to the next page -- if you just scan your eyes down this list of
18 attachments and if we could go to the next page in both languages.
19 Q. There are a total of 65 listed attachments, mostly written
20 statements and death certificates. But in your statement you said that
21 in the attachment to this criminal report there was a fax sent from the
22 Tuzla SDA to the Brcko SDA regarding the dispatch of armed combatants to
23 Bijeljina to fight the Serbs in Bijeljina. But that document isn't
24 listed anywhere in this list of attachments, is it?
25 A. That fax circulated beginning with 1992 because the premises of
1 the SDA in Njegoseva Street were demolished. I believe that fax was
2 found on the premises of the SDA.
3 Q. Do you have any explanation for the fact that it's not listed in
4 these attachments even though you assert that it was attached to this
5 criminal report?
6 A. It should be, as a rule, attached to the report.
7 Q. Okay. At paragraph 18 of your statement you asserted that all
8 crimes against the non-Serbian citizens in Bijeljina municipality were
9 handled by the members of the public security station in Bijeljina, and
10 any possible perpetrators that were uncovered were handed over to the
11 relevant prosecution offices. And later in your statement at
12 paragraph 25 you discuss the September 1992 murder of members of two
13 families, the Sarajlic and Mujagic families, a crime that you state was
14 condemned by the whole community.
15 Now, it's correct, is it not, that members of these families were
16 taken out of their homes and executed on the banks of the Drina River
17 near the village of Balatun and that Dusko Malovic's special police unit
18 was widely suspected of perpetrating that crime; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. And at paragraph 25 of your statement you said you gave a
21 statement about this incident a couple of years ago, three years ago, and
22 that this crime is still pending. Now, the reason it's still pending,
23 Mr. Spasojevic, is that no investigation into this crime was initiated
24 until 2002, when the Bijeljina prosecutor's office requested the
25 Bijeljina police to look into this incident; right?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to 65 ter 24768.
3 MR. ROBINSON: Also if Mr. Reid could send us that one.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: I apologise.
5 Q. Now, this is a report from the Bijeljina public security centre
6 to the regional office of the prosecutor in Bijeljina about this case.
7 And the title is your request from 26 February 2002 to collect
8 intelligence. And it says:
9 "Pursuant to your request ... we have checked the operational
10 files in the CJB Bijeljina, police station Bijeljina, and those of the
11 former reserve police station in Brodac, and we have established that
12 there is no written trace in relation to the crime described in your
13 request and that our organ did not submit the criminal report to the
14 competent office of the prosecutor."
15 And that's a confirmation of the fact that this crime was not
16 investigated at the time; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'd tender this document.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6215, Your Honours.
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go now to 65 ter 24773.
22 Q. This is an official note of the Bijeljina police station of the
23 3rd of June, 2002, again it's in relation to this investigation into this
24 crime and it's an official note of an interview with Momcilo Djilas. And
25 as you can see, Mr. Djilas told the Bijeljina police that in 1992 he was
1 a member of the reserve police station in Brodac. And about five lines
2 down the first paragraph he says that the commander of the police station
3 Radoljub Ivanovic ordered him, Milo Skoric and Miodrag Tomic to go to the
4 ferry in Balatun and take bodies of people who had been killed the night
5 before who are presently at the bank of the Drina River and throw them in
6 the Drina River.
7 Another five or six lines down he describes the scene. He says
8 "when I came close to the water bed" he could -- he said he could see
9 bodies of people he recognised in the water, Izo Sarajlic, Osman Sarajlic
10 and his daughter, as well as Osman Sarajlic's wife, and the body of their
11 10 to 12-year-old daughter and as others.
12 And if we go to the next page in the English, he says:
13 "Since the bodies were in the water and since there were no
14 bodies at the coast," I think he means the river-bank, "we had no need to
15 throw them into the water. We returned from the site where we informed
16 the commander Ivanovic that somebody had already thrown the bodies into
17 the water before us and that we covered the body and splattered brains
18 with earth so as not to get the flies and wasps on it. Upon hearing
19 that, the commander said, 'You did well.'"
20 Now, the note was taken by Borislav Ivanic and Milenko Djokic,
21 are these police officers that you worked with at the Bijeljina police
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And would you say that they were professionals and you can rely
25 on the accuracy of their official note?
1 A. You can rely on its accuracy.
2 Q. And did you know this former reserve police station officer who
3 was interviewed, Momcilo Djilas?
4 A. I did.
5 Q. And he was in 1992 a member of the Brodac reserve police station?
6 A. Yes, according to his statement.
7 Q. Do you know that independently?
8 A. I didn't know that, but I've read it now.
9 Q. Did you know that the commander of the reserve police station was
10 Radoljub Ivanovic, was that something you knew at the time?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And can you confirm, based on your own information, that this
13 location where the bodies were found that Mr. Djilas describes, the banks
14 of the Drina River and in the Drina River near Balatun, is that
15 consistent with your information?
16 A. In 1992 I did not have this information, in 1992. And later on,
17 I was involved in gathering some notes and documents that were later
18 forwarded to the prosecutor's office.
19 Q. And is this information consistent with the other information you
21 A. Yes, for the most part.
22 Q. And did you gather any other information about members of the
23 police, specifically the Brodac reserve police station, being involved in
24 concealing the remains of these victims?
25 A. All the documentation that was gathered was forwarded to the
1 prosecutor's office in Bijeljina. I cannot remember any longer all that
2 we managed to gather.
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: I tender this document.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6216, Your Honours.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to 65 ter 24816.
7 Q. And this is another document from this investigation that was
8 commenced in 2002 and it is a certificate issued by the RS Red Cross at
9 the request of the Bijeljina MUP and judicial organs, listing a number of
10 missing persons from these families. And if you could just scan down
11 this list and indicate whether this list of missing persons is consistent
12 with your information about the victims, the identity of the victims of
13 this crime.
14 A. Yes.
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: I tender this document as well.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6217, Your Honours.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON:
19 Q. And one last question about this incident, Mr. Spasojevic. As
20 you were involved in this investigation that was initiated in 2002, did
21 the information that was gathered in the course of that investigation, in
22 light of that information did Dusko Malovic's special police unit remain
23 the prime suspects in the case?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'm just about to move to another topic and it
2 will start with a somewhat lengthy document, so if the Court wishes to
3 adjourn now, it would be convenient.
4 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will do so.
5 But before we do so, Mr. Robinson, are we going to hear
6 Mr. Vucurevic tomorrow?
7 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President, we're not able to do that. We
8 tried, actually, but the security is unable to accommodate a proofing at
9 a time when it would have been possible to do that.
10 JUDGE KWON: Having looked at his statement very briefly, the
11 Chamber has found that while there are parts which are relevant and
12 important, but some part also pertains to the Nevesinje area which is in
13 Herzegovina and not in the indictment. So when preparing the revised
14 statement could you take a look into the matter and a substantive part --
15 majority of the associated exhibits seem to have been related to that
17 Mr. Spasojevic, we'll adjourn for today and continue tomorrow at
18 9.00. In the meantime I'd like to advise you not to discuss with anybody
19 about your testimony.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 JUDGE KWON: The hearing is adjourned.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.43 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Friday, the 22nd day of
24 March, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.