1 Tuesday, 26 March 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE KWON: Could the witness make the solemn declaration,
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Stevic. Please be seated and make
13 yourself comfortable.
14 WITNESS: VUJADIN STEVIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning,
18 Excellencies. Good morning to everyone. Good morning, Mr. Stevic.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Costi.
21 MR. COSTI: Good morning, Mr. President. I just -- maybe this --
22 there may have been a miscommunications between the Prosecution and the
23 Chambers, but we believe that we need the Rule 90 warning in this case.
24 JUDGE KWON: That was not a miscommunication. It was my fault.
1 Mr. Stevic, before you commence your evidence, I must draw your
2 attention to a certain Rule of procedure and evidence that we have here
3 at the International Tribunal, that is Rule 90(E). Under this Rule, you
4 may object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic or the Prosecutor
5 or even from the Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate
6 you in a criminal offence. In this context, "incriminate" means saying
7 something that would amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal
8 offence or saying something that might provide evidence that you might
9 have committed a criminal offence. However, should you think that your
10 answer might incriminate you and as a consequence you refuse to answer
11 the question, I must let you know that the Tribunal has the power to
12 compel you to answer that question, but in that situation, the Tribunal
13 would ensure that your testimony compelled in such circumstances would
14 not be used in any case that might be laid against you for any offence
15 save and except the offence of giving false testimony.
16 Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Stevic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stevic, have you given a statement to my
22 Defence team?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. And thank you for pausing before answer, and make it
25 even longer between my question and your answer and to speak slowly so
1 that everything can be properly recorded so that we don't have
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now please have 1D7970 in
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
6 Q. Do you see your statement on the screen before you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Have you read this statement, and have you signed it?
9 A. Yes.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please go to the last page
11 so that the witness can see his signature.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is my signature.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Does this statement
14 faithfully reflect what you told my Defence team.
15 A. Yes, Mr. President.
16 Q. Thank you. If I asked you today the same questions, would your
17 answers essentially be the same as the ones given in the statement?
18 A. I think they would.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this please be
20 admitted into evidence under 92 ter Rule.
21 JUDGE KWON: Are you tendering any associated exhibits,
22 Mr. Robinson?
23 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Mr. Costi?
25 MR. COSTI: No, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll receive the statement.
2 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3174, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I'm going to read a
5 brief summary of Mr. Vujadin Stevic's statement in English.
6 [In English] Vujadin Stevic was born on 12th of May, 1958 in
7 Ljubovija, Serbia, and currently resides in Slapasnica in Bratunac. He
8 was the platoon commander of the Slapasnica Unit within the Bratunac
9 Territorial Defence.
10 He was mobilised into the Territorial Defence in March 1992.
11 Then he was assigned to the reserve force of the police station in
12 Bratunac. He observed that at this time, there were more Muslims than
13 Serbs in the police force.
14 In April 1992, Mr. Vujadin Stevic was ordered to organise night
15 watches in his village, Slapasnica, which was surrounded by Muslim
16 populated villages. At night he often heard shooting above the Muslim
17 villages and was aware that armed conflict was imminent. He knew that
18 his leader had tried every means to avoid the war and tried to reach a
19 peaceful agreement with the Muslims, but the Muslims did not agree. The
20 Serbs were very frightened after some Muslims at the SDA elections
21 realised -- rallies expressed hatred against the Serbs.
22 On around 2nd or 3rd May, 1992, Vujadin Stevic heard that Muslims
23 in Hranca had attacked the JNA column as it was withdrawing from Central
24 Bosnia and many were killed that time.
25 On May the 8th, 1992, Vujadin Stevic received news that the
1 Muslims in Srebrenica had ambushed and killed paramilitary deputy and the
2 Judge Goran Zekic and wounded a number of Serbs. This was confirmed at a
3 later meeting in Territorial Defence headquarter in Bratunac. He was
4 given task to go to Glogova a with unit whilst received strict orders not
5 to kill anyone unless they were attacked.
6 A while later, Vujadin Stevic was told by a soldier that they
7 followed a Muslim to a shelter and found a pistol on him. At the
8 shelter, they found a homemade explosive device, and there were around
9 another 200 Muslims in the nearby woods. Vujadin Stevic did not take any
10 pistol from the -- from Musan Talovic, because the pistol was found by
11 his soldiers. He also never called Najdan Mladjenovic over the radio,
12 and he did not receive any orders from him to kill the Muslims.
13 In around June or July 1992, he was assigned to the army of
14 Slapasnica and then moved to Pajici and Cizmici. A few days later the
15 Muslims attacked Pajici, setting fire on it and killing or wounding many
16 civilians. After that a company was formed which was commanded by
17 Milivoje Stjepanovic from Slapasnica.
18 And that would be the short summary. At the moment I do not have
19 any questions for Mr. Stevic.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
21 Mr. Stevic, as you have noted, your evidence in chief in this
22 case has been admitted in writing, that is, through your written
23 statement in lieu of your oral testimony. Now you'll be cross-examined
24 by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor.
25 Yes, Mr. Costi.
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Costi:
2 Q. Good morning, Mr. Stevic.
3 A. Good morning.
4 Q. Were you a member of the SDS in the 1990s?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In fact, you were an active member of the SDS. In fact, you were
7 a candidate of the SDS at the first multi-party election for the Bratunac
8 municipality Assembly in November 1990; correct?
9 A. Yes. I was a president of the SDS local board in Slapasnica, I
10 was a member of the Municipal Board of Bratunac, and I was a candidate on
11 the list for deputies in the Bratunac Municipal Assembly. However, I was
12 not among the first 24 who made up a joint Assembly in Bratunac. Only
13 after the Muslims walked out of the Assembly I was elected to the
14 Municipal Assembly of Bratunac.
15 Q. And you were also member of the Serbian Municipal Assembly from
16 the very first session in December 1991; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Thank you. And you didn't mention this in your statement, did
20 A. Well, I didn't think that that was necessary, but it's beyond
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We received an interpretation that
23 he was a member of the Serbian Municipal Board, but it says the Serbian
24 Municipal Assembly of Bratunac. A Municipal Board can also mean a
25 political party board.
1 MR. COSTI: What I meant was the municipal -- the Serbian
2 Municipal Assembly, not the party.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Municipal Assembly. You said
4 it correctly, but the witness is receiving wrong interpretation. So it's
5 the Municipal Assembly, and it was said a local commune. It might affect
6 the witness's answers and his credibility.
7 JUDGE KWON: In any event, do you confirm that you were a member
8 of the Municipal Assembly, Mr. Stevic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, but after the Muslim
10 population had left Bratunac. Mr. President, if I could have the volume
11 turned on, Mr. President, because I'm hard of hearing a bit.
12 JUDGE KWON: I hope you are now hearing better.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's all right now.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
16 move closer to the microphone, thank you.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Stevic, if you could kindly come closer to the
18 microphone so that the interpreters could hear you better. Thank you.
19 Yes, Mr. Costi, please continue.
20 MR. COSTI: Thank you, Mr. President. Can we have
21 Exhibit P03199, please.
22 Q. These are the minutes of the Serb Municipal Assembly of Bratunac
23 from 1991, 1992, and 1993, and as you can see from the page 1 in the
24 English version and page 2 in the B/C/S version, you're listed among the
25 members, number 27. It's actually probably page 3 of the B/C/S. Sorry.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And if we go to page 3 in English, and it will be page 6 in
3 B/C/S, now we see the minutes of the 13th of February, 1992, session, and
4 on the following page, the English is halfway through, page 4 in the
5 B/C/S, it's again halfway through the page, you'll see that you took the
6 floor at that session. So is it true, isn't it, that at least in
7 February 1992 you attended the Serbian Municipal Assembly of Bratunac
9 A. I don't see that this is a minutes of the meeting of the Serbian
10 Assembly. It is perhaps a meeting of the SDS board in Bratunac.
11 Q. You said it at page 3 in the English version, the minutes of the
12 first regular session of the Serbian Municipal Assembly of Bratunac. In
13 any event, we can move on with you. Can you see it?
14 A. Yes, I can see my name in the last line, but the sentence is
16 Q. We probably need the page before for the B/C/S at this point,
17 which is page 6, where the minutes of that day begins.
18 MR. COSTI: Can we go to the prior page of the B/C/S, please.
19 Here we are. Yes.
20 Q. We can see the date and the heading.
21 A. Yes. One can see the date. Mr. Prosecutor, this was a long time
22 ago, and I don't have particular recollection of this.
23 Q. Very well. I'll move on. Now, on the 8th of May, you were
24 tasked together with your unit, the TO unit from Slapasnica, to take part
25 to the Glogova operation to take place the day after; correct?
1 A. Yes, that is correct. My village is bordering Glogova, and an
2 order was issued for them to carry an operation of disarming in Glogova,
3 and I was requested to reinforce my defence line between Slapasnica and
4 Glogova, and I acted accordingly.
5 Q. Very well. Now, during the operation when you were walking
6 towards the centre of Glogova, you captured a group of 20 Muslims that
7 were hiding in some kind of a shelter. Is it correct?
8 A. I didn't capture them personally. It was done by my fighters.
9 Of course, following an order from our superior. We had to go down to
10 the centre of Glogova so that we wouldn't have to go back through very
11 forbidding terrain. On the way, they came across a number of Muslims --
12 Q. Yes, and it is in your statement. Now, you soon after join your
13 unit who had captured these 20 men and you walk them to Glogova, to the
14 market or the shopping centre in Glogova. When you got there, you
15 ordered them to stand against the wall; correct?
16 A. That is correct, while we were waiting for our superior to come
17 and tell us what to do. At the same time, I provided protection for them
18 from any possible problems that might occur. I told them to stand
19 against the wall so that would protect them from that side, and on the
20 other side we provided protection pending the arrival of our superior who
21 would possibly question them about what was happening in Glogova.
22 Q. Mr. Stevic, I would ask you -- we'll get there, to just try to
23 focus on the question that I'm answering you -- the question that I'm
24 asking you.
25 Now, you ordered the men to stand against the wall and also to
1 face the wall and to keep their hands up; correct?
2 A. That is not correct.
3 Q. Now, this Court has heard the evidence of one of these 20 men,
4 Musan Talovic, that you also cite in your statement, and at P3188, which
5 is a statement, he said at paragraph 25:
6 "When we arrived to the village, it was 10.00 in the morning.
7 Stevic told us to line up against a wall and face the wall at the
9 And later on in the same paragraph:
10 "They also ordered us to put our hands up."
11 You ordered them to put their hands up and to face the wall;
13 A. It's not correct. First they stood against the wall, and then I
14 told them to sit down. But, please, once again I said here that there
15 were about 20 men. Nobody counted those people. It may have been 15 of
16 them or fewer than that.
17 Q. Mr. Stevic, there were actually 23 in fact. Anyway, contrary to
18 what you stayed in your statement at paragraph 22, it was
19 Najdan Mladjenovic who told you to bring these prisoners to the market
20 because they were actually commanding the TOs in this specific operation.
21 Isn't it true?
22 A. At the time, I did not know Najdan Mladjenovic at all. It was
23 impossible for him to contact us on the radio that was carried by our
24 superior in that operation.
25 MR. COSTI: Now can I have 65 ter 24845.
1 Q. Mr. Stevic, this is an article published on the Balkan
2 investigative reporting network web site, and it discusses the trial that
3 is currently ongoing before the Bosnian state court in Sarajevo, and it's
4 the -- it's the Mladjenovic case. It's a trial about the crimes in
5 Hranca and Glogova, and halfway through the page it says, the paragraph
6 that begins "on," it says:
7 "'On May 3, 1992, Mladjenovic carried out and took part in the
8 attack on the village of Hranca in which several Bosniak civilians were
9 imprisoned and killed, and whose houses, under his orders, were burned
10 down. Also, he commanded over the attack on the village of Glogova six
11 days later, when he issued the order that 20 Bosniak men from that
12 village be killed,' said the Prosecutor, emphasising that there were
13 underage children among the killed."
14 Now, I'm asking you again Mladjenovic was commanding the TOs in
15 Glogova and ordered you to kill these 20 men. Is it correct?
16 A. I'm not aware of that, and he didn't come to me. I didn't know
17 him. Later on, I heard in 1993 or, in fact, he was wounded in 1992, but
18 in 1993 when my unit established a communication line between Bratunac
19 and Konjevic Polje, the food warehouse was in his house and that was when
20 we first met. He originated from Hranca, and I don't know which
21 activities he was involved in. Our units were completely separate, and
22 there was no significance there.
23 Q. Let me tell you what Musan Talovic, one of the 20 men, stated
24 here, and it is again P3188, paragraph 24:
25 "Stevic contacted the Vojvoda, a man called -- contacted a
1 Vojvoda, a man called Najdan Mladjenovic, through his radio. I knew him
2 before the war. He lived about 2 kilometres from my house. We could
3 hear the conversation and Stevic asked Vojvoda what to do with the 23
4 Balijas. Vojvoda told him to bring us to the centre of Glogova in front
5 of the supermarket."
6 And then at paragraph 31:
7 "The Vojvoda ordered Dragan to execute the rest of us. He said
8 to Dragan, 'Executioner of the punishment, get done with your work.'"
9 Is it true, isn't it, Mr. Mladjenovic that -- Mr. Stevic, that
10 Mr. Mladjenovic ordered you to execute these prisoner and that your
11 nickname is Dragan?
12 A. The nickname of Dragan is actually not a nickname. It is my
13 Christian name. My official name is Vujadin Stevic.
14 I tell you once again: Mr. Talovic can write whatever he wants.
15 It's not true. My superior was one of the JNA active duty officers and
16 the purpose of the operation was to secure the road in order to have
17 certain forces of the JNA withdrawn from Central Bosnia. Given the fact
18 that there had been an incident a few days previous in Hranca village,
19 that is why some measures were taken, i.e., another attempt was made to
20 disarm the Muslims.
21 I have to say that the Muslims in Glogova had built shelters so
22 that they can take cover easily after an operation of theirs or after
23 they had set up an ambush along the road.
24 Q. Mr. Stevic --
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The transcript. The witness said,
1 "I say again that Mr. Musanovic," that is line 9 -- no, "Musan Talovic,"
2 not "Mladjenovic," that he could write what he wants. If we listen to
3 the transcript, we'll see that he said that Musan Talovic could write
4 what he wanted.
5 JUDGE KWON: I think I can confirm that.
6 MR. COSTI: Yeah, I agree.
7 Q. Now, you said that you didn't know Mladjenovic at that time, but
8 I would say that you knew it very well. He was a TO like you in 1992,
9 and you were both member of the Bratunac SDS Municipal Board.
10 MR. COSTI: If I can have 65 ter 00603F. And if we go to English
11 page 2 and B/C/S 2.
12 Q. At that session there was a discussion about reviving the local
13 boards of the SDS and both you and Mladjenovic were tasked to revive
14 local board of the SDS.
15 A. I did not understand the interpretation. Could it please be
17 Q. Now, if you read the second conclusion -- or the first
18 conclusion -- let me check. The second conclusion, which is at page 2,
19 and is also the second conclusion at page 2 of the B/C/S, it says:
20 "To revive the work of the local board in Fakovici, people in
21 charge of it are Nedjo Nikolic, Zoran Tesic, and Miroslav Deronjic.
22 Vujadin Stevic is in charge of the local board in Slapasnica.
23 Dragan Radic is in charge of the local board of Borici. Milo Vasic and
24 Najdan Mladjenovic are in charge of the local board in Repovac."
25 So as you can see from here we are both cited in the same
1 paragraph one session of the SDS Municipal Board tasked with similar
2 mission and goals, and so what I would say is that you knew each other,
3 didn't you?
4 A. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, we did attend the meeting together, but I
5 was never in any close contact with that man. There may have been over
6 20 or 30 people there. Now, why would I have any need to be friends with
7 anyone in particular? Hranca village is some 14 kilometres away from my
8 village. I couldn't know everyone, especially because before that I had
9 spent three days working in Western Berlin.
10 Q. All right.
11 A. Those people -- three years working in Western Berlin, and the
12 people there changed a lot over that time. I did not know him
14 Q. Very well. Let's move on.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The transcript. Those young people
16 grew up while he was in Germany.
17 MR. COSTI:
18 Q. So let me close on the Glogova operation. Now, you know that the
19 person you captured were killed, and you probably know that 40 others
20 were also killed, and I'm sure you know that the village was burned down,
21 and the rest of the population was expelled. I'm asking you: The goal
22 of the operation was not to collect weapons, but it was to expel Muslims.
23 A. I wouldn't agree with your assertion. The number of killed that
24 day cannot be based solely on the statement of a witness. In the records
25 of Bratunac municipality, there is precise information on who was killed
1 when, on what date, with their first and last name, their personal
2 numbers, et cetera. Such lists drafted by someone with the aim of
3 increasing the number, well, on such lists you can even find people who
4 had previously died or been killed, even those who had never been born.
5 The only truthful document is the register of citizens because
6 that is where the families reported the names of their family members and
7 the dates of their disappearance or when they were killed. Anything else
8 is not credible. Could we please rely only on such records as the true
9 documents. I do know that the late Miroslav Deronjic had agreed to
10 accepting this increased number of the killed, and the names were
11 gathered from who knows where and many -- I don't even have their date of
12 birth or their personal number. In my view, it is terrible to find that
13 a Tribunal of this sort would use such random data without relying on
14 credible documents. I don't want to waste anyone's time, but in
15 Republika Srpska I can tell you that every tree that is cut down in the
16 forest receives its number, and it is precisely known what household cut
17 it down, where it is, and in which part of the forest, let alone
18 information about people.
19 I personally believe that it is terrible to make a list of -- as
20 this of first and last names without appropriate personal information,
21 such arbitrary lists.
22 Q. Thank you. So let's move on to -- to the following days. The
23 day after, on the 10th of May, you said in your statement that you
24 participated in another operation. You were tasked with blocking
25 Mihaljevici because another operation was ongoing. Now, is it true,
1 isn't, that that morning Mihaljevici was set on fire?
2 A. Mihaljevici was not torched. None of the villages below Bratunac
3 was in the direction of Zvornik. They were not set fire to, not a single
4 building, but there was an operation with the goal of disarming.
5 Q. Mr. Stevic, this -- this Tribunal, this Chamber has heard the
6 evidence of a protected Witness which is KDZ605, and in his statement at
7 paragraph 45, he discussed and said that at 9.00 a.m., Mihaljevici had
8 already been ablaze. Do you disagree with it?
9 A. Mr. Interpreter, it is not Mihajlovici but Mihaljevici. Perhaps
10 a haystack had been set afire so that this would be a signal to start
11 with the process of disarming. But definitely no building was set on
12 fire all the way up until the end of the war.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, the following day, and at this point I think we
14 are around 11 of May, you were tasked to find Muslim hiding in the woods,
15 and you explained at paragraph 26 and 28 that you did find a group of
16 Muslims and that you organised their transportation to Bratunac. Now,
17 what I don't see in your statement is that these persons, these Muslims
18 that you organised the transfer of, were forced to do so, they had no
19 alternative. Am I correct?
20 A. You are not, Mr. Prosecutor. It did not take place on the 11th.
21 I cannot be precise, but it was a few days later, perhaps on the 13th or
22 the 14th or even the 15th of May. That is when I was informed by my
23 people that a group of neighbours in Radjici [phoen] settlement which was
24 part of Mihajlevici village along the road between the Ljubovija bridge
25 to Zvornik, that is to say at the place where the road crosses the Drina,
1 they sent a man to call me to arrange with me how to leave that territory
2 safely. Of course, I met their request. I remember well that I came to
3 a house. In a room they were praying, and with my left arm I motioned
4 them to continue, and in the room to the right I saw my schoolmate
5 Hajrudin Dubicic. Since I knew him best I approached him, greeted him,
6 and we started talking about the problems and what was going on. They
7 were in fear. They did not dare be next to the road, because different
8 paramilitary formations moved along the road, firing in the air and
9 causing fear.
10 When the people praying in the other room finished their prayer,
11 they approached us. We knew each other from passing quite well, although
12 not necessarily by first and last name. We sat down and tried to agree
13 on what would be the best thing to do. Out of fear they did not wish to
14 be in their homes, and they could no longer be in the forest. They
15 wanted to leave their village because they were eyewitnesses. They could
16 see that all women and children from the Serb villages had crossed the
17 bridge over the Drina and left for Serbia. It wasn't safe for them
18 either, and they felt fear, especially because there was chaos everywhere
19 in the town itself and in the villages as well.
20 We agreed that I would contact my superior in order to try and
21 secure transport. That is how it was. I secured their transport to
22 Bratunac. I did tell them that those were still up in the forest should
23 come down, too, so that it would all be in one go. They came the next
24 day, and I know that they couldn't fit in one bus --
25 Q. It is in your statement, Mr. Stevic.
1 A. -- and that it had to go back two or three times. Very well.
2 And that's how they left the village. They were grateful, especially
3 certain individuals who told me that they fared well, that they managed
4 to leave Bratunac without being mistreated, and up to this day people
5 come back to me with stories like that.
6 Q. That part is already in your statement, so sorry to interrupt
7 you, but the time is very short. Now, when you said in your statement
8 that they reached Bratunac without problems, now, you didn't say in your
9 statement, though, what was happening in Bratunac to the Muslims that
10 were captured in the surrounding villages, meaning most of them, families
11 detained at the football stadium, and men mistreated and killed at the
12 Vuk Karadzic school. So they might have been safe in Bratunac, but in
13 Bratunac they actually encountered pretty serious problem. Isn't it
15 A. These people definitely not, because they confirmed it to me
16 after the war when they returned to their homes.
17 Q. Very well. But you know that thousands of Muslims were detained
18 in Bratunac and at the Vuk Karadzic school men were mistreated, tortured,
19 and killed, don't you?
20 A. I know of some stories, but I had no occasion to see it. You
21 know that in my village at the time, the telephone lines were down. I
22 could only rely on a radio device which had a direct connection with the
23 TO staff. I wasn't informed about this.
24 MR. COSTI: Can we have 65 ter 24843, please.
25 Q. Now, this is an article that was published on the 5th of May,
1 2010, on a Bosnian news web site and is about Milenko Prodanovic also
2 known as Mungos. Milenko Prodanovic, the article discuss some of the
3 crime he committed in Suha and particularly the killing of a pregnant
4 woman, and then in the second page of the article both in English and
5 B/C/S, there is a bit an interview, part of an interview of
6 Sakib Ahmetovic who is the -- was at least in 2010 the president of the
7 Association of Detainees in Bratunac, and he says:
8 "'I was imprisoned by Milenko Prodanovic and taken to the camp by
9 a man who introduced himself as Chetniks Vojvoda Dragan Stevic. Everyone
10 called him Dragan, however his name is Vujadin Stevic,' said
11 Sakib Ahmetovic, president of the association of the camp inmates."
12 You can find the full interview on the internet of the federation
13 TV web site.
14 Now, isn't it true that you actually escorted prisoners to the
15 Vuk Karadzic school, so you were fully aware of what was going on there?
16 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this really begs a story, and I apologise for
17 taking up time. Mr. Sakib Ahmetovic was a good neighbour of mine. After
18 the war, when I again became president of the local commune in Slapasnica
19 where the village in question belonged to, he had an argument with his
20 neighbour Sahman - I don't remember the last name - concerning a path and
21 a fence. They called me to the spot as the local commune president.
22 When the surveyor and the municipal inspector ascertained the border
23 between their two plots, then he and Sahman his neighbour, I don't
24 remember his last name, but they had a fight. I simply didn't want to
25 get involved. And it seemed funny at the time because I had saved both
1 of them from those - how should I call them? - people who caused disorder
2 at the beginning the war and yet now they were fighting, and instead of
3 being grateful that I testified in court in his favour rather than
4 Sahman's. When the criminal report was dealt with, he put this up on the
5 internet, and it just seemed ridiculous, because on the internet you can
6 put whatever you like. That was the reason why he wrote this.
7 Q. Well, thanks for that lengthy explanation. At this point I have
8 very limited time. I'm going to move to 1995, the events that follow the
9 fall of Srebrenica. I have just two question for you on that. First of
10 all, you said that -- well, at that time you were assistant commander for
11 logistic in the 1st Battalion of the Bratunac Brigade, and on the 12th of
12 July you said that your battalion captured in Cizmici a group of the
13 UNPROFOR soldiers, and then you brought them to the Hotel Fontana where
14 they were detained by the army.
15 Now, I don't need you to retell me the story that's in your
16 statement, I would like you to just answer yes or no to this question:
17 What you did was against the will of the UNPROFOR soldiers. They were
18 arrested against their will. They were not free to leave. Am I correct?
19 A. You are not. If I'm allowed to explain, I'd be happy to.
20 Otherwise, you can take it whichever way you like it.
21 Q. Well, I take it the way that's in the statement, which is --
22 which you just confirmed is sort of voluntary.
23 MR. COSTI: Now can I have 65 ter 06202.
24 Q. This is a Security Council, United Nations Security Council,
25 Resolution 1004 on 12 July 1995, and as you -- we can see in the middle
1 of the page, it says "Condemning."
2 "Condemning the offensive by the Bosnian Serb forces against the
3 safe area of Srebrenica, and in particular the detention by the Bosnian
4 Serb forces of the UNPROFOR personnel."
5 And in the following page the Security Council:
6 "Demands the Bosnian Serb forces to immediately and
7 unconditionally release unharmed all detained UNPROFOR personnel."
8 So it seems like the United Nations had a slightly different view
9 from yours. It appears that they were forcibly detained. They were
10 detained, and they asked for their release.
11 A. Please, it would be the same as if I were to say that you
12 detained me and sent me to the hotel room to sit down and wait until it
13 is my turn to testify. They were all invited to come to the hotel to
14 take shelter from everything that was going on there, as people under UN
15 protection. And I only see the humane side in it all and nothing bad on
16 my part.
17 Q. Maybe on your part, but you are aware that the VRS then
18 threatened to kill these UNPROFOR soldiers if the NATO bombing had not
19 stopped. You know that; right?
20 A. I don't know what was being arranged up there at the command, but
21 I do know that there was bombing in the area of Bratunac and Srebrenica.
22 So this is incorrect too. No one did it out of fear. We simply acted in
23 the most humane way by escorting them to the hotel, you see, because at
24 the time no one guarded them with any rifles. No one guarded them at
25 all. It was just the police who walked up and down the street, and
1 people waved from the windows. I see nothing in it all save for the
2 humane gesture. I have to say this: When I arrived at that place, we
3 waited for this young man who could speak English, I think it's in the
4 statement, and when I established contact with an UNPROFOR fighter, he
5 told me, he showed me the trench where only two days before there were
6 500 armed Muslim soldiers. So how do you explain to him that -- whether
7 UNPROFOR had done what it had been sent to the protected area of
8 Srebrenica to do in the first place? And he said, "Thank God you hadn't
9 arrived here earlier, because all of those Muslims would have been
10 killed." I even want to say this: I responsibly claim that I still see
11 some of those guys that I -- well, if I were in contact with them, I
12 believe they would be delighted now to explain.
13 Q. Now, last questions. At paragraph --
14 JUDGE KWON: A quick question. What did you mean, Mr. Stevic, by
15 an UNPROFOR fighter?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant the soldiers of UNPROFOR.
17 I just used the wrong word.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
19 MR. COSTI: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Now, at paragraph 36, you said in your statement that in the
21 following days before being deployed to Zepa, you remained at the
22 battalion command in Magasici. But this is not true, is it? You were
23 actually deployed together with your battalion looking for Muslims that
24 were left behind the column, Muslims that were still hiding in the woods.
25 Am I correct?
1 A. I'm sorry, Mr. Prosecutor. You're not correct yet once again.
2 When my commander sent me to escort UNPROFOR soldiers, he told me when
3 you hand them over to the brigade in the hotel, I should go back to my
4 tasks in the battalion command at Magasici. And my tasks were to
5 organise food and possibly the replenishment of ammunition for my men on
6 the line. It lasted for a day or two, and then we went to Zepa. I --
7 there was no need for me to chase the Muslims who were there. There were
8 some other units who did that. My unit was not involved in that.
9 MR. COSTI: Can we have 65 ter 02114, please.
10 Q. This, Mr. Stevic, is an order from the command of the
11 Bratunac Brigade to your battalion, and if we read at point 1, it says:
12 "The 1st Infantry Battalion will search the terrain of the former
13 enclave of Srebrenica on the right side ...," and then it goes on
14 indicating the three points and the villages of responsibility of your
15 battalion. And this was issued according to the order of the Drina Corps
16 command, which is D02239, just for the record.
17 So your battalion was actually tasked with searching the terrain
18 or chasing the Muslims, as you said, on the 14th of July, and this was
19 its occupation until the 17th when, as you said in your statement, you
20 were deployed to Zepa; correct?
21 A. I'm not familiar with the order. Perhaps the commander was
22 familiar with it. However, my battalion could not move either leftward
23 or rightward. It could only advance a bit forward through the woods, and
24 eventually they returned even before they reached Srebrenica. It
25 returned to Magasici, and perhaps one or two days later we packed our
1 belongings and we went to Zepa from there.
2 Let me repeat once again my personal task was at the command of
3 this Infantry Battalion in Magasici. I was there to secure the command
4 and make sure that there was food. I was in charge of the rest of the
5 logistics tasks for the battalion.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. COSTI: Can we have this document admitted, Your Honour,
9 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6231, Your Honours.
12 MR. COSTI:
13 Q. So to conclude, Mr. Stevic, you were in Magasici during those
14 days. Now, the Chamber had the opportunity to visit those areas, but
15 just to remind ourselves, Magasici is on the road between Bratunac and
16 Konjevic Polje, and if I'm correct it's let's say halfway between Kravica
17 and Bratunac, around Glogova, a little bit southern than Glogova. Am I
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. It is on Avdagina Njive. It is an elevation, and to the left you
22 can see Magasici if you're looking from Bratunac towards Kravica.
23 Q. So you know that at the time you said you were there, on the 13th
24 of July a thousand -- over a thousand of Muslim men were killed at the
25 Kravica warehouse, and you know -- which is about 5 kilometres from your
1 command, and you probably also know that in the following days the bodies
2 of these thousand men were buried in Glogova, which is, I would say, not
3 even a kilometre from your command. So were you aware at that time that
4 execution were taking place and that the bodies were buried, I would even
5 say, in your backyard almost?
6 A. Please, once again you are using wrong numbers. At the beginning
7 of my testimony, I said that it is really sad that the number of dead and
8 killed is being distorted and blown up. All these men have their names
9 and family names, and all the other details, and I'm sorry that you
10 measured them like you would cubic metres of stone or wood. Nobody
11 really knows the exact number of those who may have been there. Those
12 who gathered them and brought them there did not count head. I'm
13 particularly insulted by the numbers. Kravica was not in my area of
14 responsibility. It was to the right of my area of responsibility if
15 you're looking from Magasici towards Srebrenica, and it was
16 approximately -- or, rather, it was -- it was part of the responsibility
17 of the 6th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade that was attached to us.
18 To the right in the direction of Konjevic Polje, the command of
19 the brigade left a corridor at the moment when the line was established
20 between this 6th Battalion of Zvornik and the military brigade. So all
21 the Muslims could leave, i.e., they could go. They did use that corridor
22 but not to leave but to go to Tuzla to fetch weapons to increase their
23 weaponry which is another sign that --
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Stevic, the question was whether you knew the
25 executions were taking place and bodies were buried. Did you know or did
1 you not?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not know. I did not have the
3 time to deal with that. If something happened behind our backs, there
4 was no way for us to see that.
5 JUDGE KWON: While you do not know the executions were going on,
6 on what basis can you say that the number is being distorted?
7 MR. COSTI:
8 Q. If I may follow up. What would be the right number?
9 A. I said at the beginning when we started talking about Glogova,
10 you go to the municipal records to find out the exact number.
11 JUDGE KWON: We are now talking about Kravica warehouse in 1995.
12 You said you didn't know that but you also said the number was being
13 distorted, and even you said you were insulted. How come? Could you
14 explain that to us.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm insulted by the arbitrary
16 numbers that are being presented here. If something happened, then the
17 exact number should be known. All the dead people deserve to be
18 identified, counted, and buried. Only such information containing the
19 first name, the last name, or the exact number, but as I've been
20 following these trials for a year, nobody mentioned the same number and
21 nobody actually used the proper information about those casualties and
23 MR. COSTI:
24 Q. Mr. Stevic, I'm asking you again, what is in your view the
25 correct number of people killed at the Kravica warehouse?
1 A. I do not know the right number, but I know for a fact that it was
2 much lower. You have access to all the information. At least you have
3 an opportunity to access information in Bratunac and Srebrenica. That's
4 where the families of the victims are, and they personally reported who
5 was killed, on what day, and in which place, and this is the only kind of
6 information that I accept as credible.
7 Q. We did access this information. We did have exhumation. Did
8 exhumation. We have numbers. The numbers are the one I said. What is
9 the basis for you to say that it was a lower number? You don't know.
10 A. I claim that because you did not use the official records. You
11 used the lists of some associations which are arbitrary, just like the
12 list of Musan Talovic's.
13 MR. COSTI: Very well. I don't think I have any other questions,
14 Your Honour.
15 I forgot on my way through to seek the admission of three 65 ter
16 numbers which were: 24845 and 24843, the two articles, and --
17 JUDGE KWON: Let's go one by one. The first one seems to be the
18 article published in -- on an internet web site which contains the
19 Prosecutor's opening statement.
20 MR. COSTI: Correct, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: What's the probative value would it have at all?
22 MR. COSTI: Well, Your Honour, it doesn't itself. The only value
23 would be to have it on the record to -- when assessing the weight of the
24 testimony of this witness.
25 JUDGE KWON: I think it was read to the witness and there's no
1 need to admit it at the moment.
2 MR. COSTI: Very well.
3 JUDGE KWON: And the next one.
4 MR. COSTI: The second one would be 24843, but I believe probably
5 the same thing applies.
6 JUDGE KWON: 24sata --
7 MR. COSTI: 843 which is the other article.
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
9 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, we object. The witness didn't confirm
10 anything about it and it has no probative value as it stands.
11 MR. COSTI: The witness gave a long explanation as why the
12 article and why that witness said those things in that interview. So I
13 believe in this case the witness provided a sufficient basis for its
15 JUDGE KWON: Was it an interview, Mr. Costi?
16 MR. COSTI: It was a report, and the last bit, the one that I put
17 to the witness, is part of an interview where a witness was talking about
18 being brought to the Vuk Karadzic by the witness.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE KWON: Shall we upload it so that we can see it again.
21 MR. COSTI: Sure. It is 2 -- here we are.
22 JUDGE KWON: So I'd like you in the future to deal with it at the
24 MR. COSTI: Yeah. I'm very sorry. I just --
25 JUDGE KWON: I understood you are not tendering at the moment.
1 MR. COSTI: It is my mistake. I completely overseen this.
2 It's in the second page. The second paragraph -- sorry, the
3 second from the bottom. And this is a statement from Sakib Ahmetovic.
4 JUDGE KWON: So could you first tell me what this document is
5 about and what this web site is about.
6 MR. COSTI: Well, the web site is a -- is a Bosnian news general
7 web site. It reports news on the Balkans, and this particular article --
8 JUDGE KWON: What is 24sata?
9 MR. COSTI: Yeah. That's the name of the web site. And the
10 article, though, it's about an interview, a video interview that was
11 taken by the federal television during which Prodanovic refuses to answer
12 the question and he sort of almost violently reacted to the journalist.
13 And because of this interaction between the FTV journalist and Prodanovic
14 the -- was quite violent, it reached the news, and this is the news about
15 that interaction and that interview. And in the web site, there is also
16 a video which we didn't upload because we didn't think it was worth to
17 upload the actual video of Ahmetovic interview which is there.
18 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Given that the witness offered a very
19 lengthy answer, statement, with respect to this bit, we'll receive this.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6232, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: And the last one.
22 MR. COSTI: And the last one is --
23 JUDGE KWON: UN Resolution.
24 MR. COSTI: Yeah, but that one, we've already, I think, admitted
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 MR. COSTI: And the last one is 0 -- sorry. It's 00603F, which
3 are the minutes of the SDS Municipal Board that we discussed at the
4 beginning of the cross-examination.
5 JUDGE KWON: That's the relevant part of the document, which is
6 65 ter number 603. So only --
7 MR. COSTI: 603F, yes.
8 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Mr. Robinson?
9 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6233, Your Honours.
12 MR. COSTI: Thank you.
13 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
14 Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Do you have re-examination?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] A couple of questions, perhaps
16 three, your Excellency.
17 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Stevic, were you known to people as a
19 Chetnik Vojvoda?
20 A. The first one who referred to me as Chetnik Vojvoda after the war
21 was comrade Ahmed Husic, my colleague. I thanked him for the title that
22 reached me from the enemy side or the opposition side.
23 Q. Thank you. In Topalovic's statement he says that somebody
24 communicated with Vojvoda Mladjenovic, was Mladjenovic a Chetnik Vojvoda?
25 A. As far as I know none of us were Vojvoda and that includes him,
2 JUDGE KWON: Please put a pause before you start answering the
3 question for the benefit of the interpreters. Do you understand that?
4 And the line 6, "Topalovic" should read "Talovic." Am I correct?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. That was my mistake -- my
6 mistake. Thank you.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did you have a nickname as a fighter?
9 A. I had several nicknames. As I've already told you, my real name
10 is Vujadin. Dragan is the name that I was christened as. During the war
11 they called me Tito, Cica, and many other names.
12 Q. Tito would not be a Chetnik nickname, would it?
13 A. Well, it wouldn't, but things happen, don't they.
14 Q. Thank you. When did you learn about the incidents in Kravica at
15 the farm there?
16 A. As we were leaving for Zepa, we passed by the warehouse. We
17 could not see anything in front of it. We were in vehicles, so I could
18 not see anything in front of the facility. And as for what was happening
19 inside, we could not see that from our vehicles.
20 Q. Thank you. Were you familiar with the warehouse? Can you tell
21 us how large is it? How many people could fit in there?
22 A. I believe that there are two or three buildings there, and those
23 are mostly buildings for farming purposes. I did not measure them. I
24 don't know what their surface is. I don't know what their volume is, so
25 I wouldn't dare speculate, but they were enough to serve the purposes of
1 one village.
2 Q. And now my last question: You were asked about the Serbian
3 municipality of Bratunac. Why was it called the Serbian municipality?
4 Was there any other municipality? Had there been an agreement with this
6 A. As far as I know, the Serbian authorities and the Muslim
7 authorities in Bratunac had tried to agree how to avoid war and how all
8 of us could stay in that area. The Serbian police was thus formed in
9 order to control the Serbs, and as far as I know the Serbian police
10 abandoned the police building and only the Muslim police stayed there.
11 There were also talks about organising both the Serbian and Muslim
12 municipalities in order to avoid a conflict happening in that area.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] On line 17, the witness didn't say
15 "to protect the Serbs" but the Serbian police was to control the Serbs
16 and the Muslim police was to control the Muslims. This is what the
17 witness said.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And if you listen to the tape, I'm
20 sure that you will see that I'm correct.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
22 Q. Very well, Mr. Stevic, I have no further questions for you.
23 Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Yes. Mr. Stevic, that concludes your
25 evidence in this case. On behalf of the Chamber, I thank you for your
1 coming to The Hague to give it. Now you're free to go.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE KWON: We'll rise all together.
4 Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
5 MR. NICHOLLS: Good morning, Your Honours. If I could have one
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Just a second. Then you may be excused,
8 Mr. Stevic.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
12 During my cross-examination of Jovan Nikolic on 14 of March, I
13 played a video which was admitted as P06202, an interview with
14 Mr. Karadzic where he's claiming there were mass executions or executions
15 at all, and the Trial Chamber and the Defence asked me for the date of
16 that interview with CNN by Mr. Karadzic, and for the record, the date was
17 28 November 1995. I sent a link to Mr. Robinson yesterday which has the
18 transcript of that CNN interview with Mr. Karadzic. We've uploaded that
19 to show the date as 65 ter 24847, and we can either make it part of the
20 video exhibit or stipulate to the date or whichever the Trial Chamber
21 prefers. But the date, I think, is beyond dispute was 28 November 1995.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, did you have any observations to make?
23 MR. ROBINSON: Actually, I hadn't seen this or had any -- had
24 notice that this was going to be offered as an exhibit. I'd like to take
25 a minute and read it, it's four pages long, and get back to the Chamber.
1 JUDGE KWON: Whether or not include that part.
2 MR. ROBINSON: Correct.
3 MR. NICHOLLS: And no objection to redacting it so that it
4 matches the video part. It's just -- I just want to make the date clear
5 for everybody.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Nicholls.
7 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I remember properly, in that
9 footage I wear very light clothes, and it was on the 28th November. In
10 our neck of the woods, it's very cold at that time.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I take it Mr. Robinson will come back to us.
12 Given that we -- the Chamber has a meeting, we will have a break
13 for 35 minutes and resume at 11.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, Mr. Obradovic. Please be seated and
21 make yourself comfortable.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning and thank you.
23 WITNESS: DRAGOMIR OBRADOVIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE KWON: Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Obradovic, I
1 must draw your attention to a certain Rule that we have here at the
2 International Tribunal, that is Rule 90(E) of the Rules of Procedure and
3 Evidence. Under this Rule, you may object to answering any question from
4 Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecutor, or even from the Judges if you believe that
5 your answer might incriminate you in a criminal offence. In this
6 context, "incriminate" means saying something that might amount to an
7 admission of guilt for a criminal offence or saying something that might
8 provide evidence that you might have committed a criminal offence.
9 However, should you think that an answer might incriminate you and as a
10 consequence you refuse to answer the question, I must let you know that
11 the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer the question, but in
12 that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your testimony compelled
13 under such circumstances would not be used in any case that might be laid
14 against you for any offence save and except the offence of giving false
16 Do you understand what I have just told you, Mr. Obradovic?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
19 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Obradovic.
23 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
24 Q. Just like in case of everybody else who speaks Serbian, I would
25 kindly ask you to pause between starting your answer after my question
1 and to try and speak as slowly as possible so that everything can be
3 Have you given a statement to my Defence team?
4 A. Yes, I have.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have 1D7973 in
8 MR. KARADZIC:
9 Q. Can you see the statement on the screen in front of you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed the statement?
12 A. I have read it many times, and I signed it.
13 Q. I'm waiting for the interpretation to be complete and I ask you
14 to do the same.
15 Can we please now look at the last page so that you can confirm
16 if that is your signature, Mr. Obradovic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Does this statement accurately reflect everything that you told
19 the Defence team?
20 A. Yes, it does.
21 Q. If I were to put the same questions to you today, would your
22 answers basically be the same?
23 A. They would be completely identical.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender this
1 statement and 92 ter package into evidence. There's a document mentioned
2 in paragraph 12. I would like to lead the witness live on that issue.
3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, can you help us with respect to
4 associated exhibits.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We're offering 13 associated
6 exhibits. Nine of them are not on our 65 ter list because we didn't have
7 them at the time that the list was submitted. We would ask that they be
8 added to the 65 ter list.
9 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Gustafson, any objections?
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: Good morning, Your Honours. Yes. As we indicate
11 in our e-mail last night, we object to the admission of the three
12 photographs referenced at paragraph 7. That's 65 ter 1D12075 through to
13 1D12077. These documents don't meet the standard for associated exhibits
14 in our submission. It's not even indicated in the statement that the
15 witness has recognised these photographs as being what they are meant
16 to -- depicting what they are meant to depict. In addition, there are
17 markings on the photograph, and there's no mention in the statement that
18 these markings even exist let alone who made them or what they are
19 intended to depict. And I note also that there is B/C/S text on some of
20 the photos that's not translated. So in our submission these photos
21 would have to be led live to be admitted.
22 We had indicated that we were objecting to the last sentence of
23 paragraph 12 because it describes a document that hadn't been identified.
24 I've just been informed of a 65 ter number that that is -- sentence is
25 supposed to refer to, and as Dr. Karadzic mentioned, he's intending to
1 deal with that document live, so we'll reserve our objection to that
2 sentence for now. Thank you.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 In addition to agreeing with Ms. Gustafson's submission, I also
5 draw your attention to the document, i.e., 1D7300, which is referred to
6 paragraph 19. The Chamber doesn't consider that that document forms an
7 indispensable and inseparable part of the statement. It is just simply
8 listed at the end of the paragraph. So except for those four documents,
9 we'll admit the statement as well as the remaining nine associated
11 Shall we give the number for the statement.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The statement will be
13 Exhibit D3175.
14 JUDGE KWON: And the remaining associated exhibits will be given
15 numbers by the registrar in due course.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Now I'm going to read
18 the summary of Mr. Obradovic's statement in English, and after that we
19 are going to deal with some documents that we intend to offer.
20 [In English] Dragomir Obradovic was born on 27th of June, 1950,
21 in Krsevi, Sokolac municipality. He was the commander of SJB Sokolac and
22 a member of the Crisis Staff of Sokolac municipality in some months in
24 After the constituent Assembly of the SDS party was held on
25 Sokolac in August 1990, the first multi-party elections were held. The
1 SDS won the elections, but afterwards there was a distribution of power,
2 and many key posts in the government went to Muslims.
3 From 1991 onwards, there was growing mistrust among the
4 population, often increased by the media in BH. While there were no open
5 confrontations between employees at the police station, there was
6 considerable disunity between Serbs and Muslims.
7 Through operatives in the state security, Dragomir Obradovic
8 learned that Muslims were arming and forming paramilitary units and
9 preparing to set up Muslim police station in the areas where Muslims were
10 a majority. Mevludin Smajic, a high-ranking official of the MUP has
11 admitted that he brought weapons and explosives to the Muslim -- Muslims
12 and organised training in making explosive devices. In one case, on 21st
13 of July, 1992, Muslims launched an attack on a house in village without
14 provocation using mostly automatic rifles and a hand-held launcher
15 grenade. The Serbs fled the village.
16 When the JNA mobilised in June 1991, Serbs responded to the
17 call-up while Muslims boycotted it at the instruction of the SDA.
18 During this period, the police force had a special unit intended
19 to -- for rapid intervention in major disturbances. This unit, however,
20 began without authorisation to carry out actions that contravened the
21 regulations that were in force at that time. Mr. Dragan Obradovic
22 immediately proposed to the Crisis Staff that the unit be disbanded,
23 which happened.
24 There were no paramilitary units in the municipality. The Crisis
25 Staff passed a requiring any sighting of such group to be reported. No
1 reports were received.
2 The police took all measures to preserve security throughout the
3 municipality. As soon as the Crisis Staff was formed, it called the
4 representatives of all parties to participate in joint actions to
5 preserve peace. However, this move was condemned by local Muslims, and
6 the SDA did not attend.
7 The Crisis Staff was required to make -- to take measure --
8 measures such as restricting the work of catering establishments and
9 prohibiting the movement of armed individuals in public places in order
10 to preserve public law and order. No fighting from took -- took place in
11 the municipality until the second half of 1992.
12 On 27th of July, 1992, Muslims blocked a Serbian village,
13 arrested some civilians, and took them to a camp in Zenica. Several days
14 later, another attack on Serbs took place in the village of Donje Babine,
15 and in August another attack was carried out on the village of Cvrcici.
16 Following these and other attacks, Serbs pressured police to disarm
17 Muslims in certain areas -- in certain villages.
18 Dragomir Obradovic and his colleagues visited the Muslim village
19 of Pedise to collect illegally-possessed weapons, but when the police
20 patrol arrived to collect them, the villages -- villagers had left rather
21 than hand over their weaponry. After the attack -- an attack on a Serb
22 village on 21st of July, 1992, Muslims who had organised the attack left
23 their villages. The entire population of Mangurici, Sahbegovici, and
24 Meljine left instead of handing their -- over their weapons. This showed
25 that Muslims were not forced to leave but did so voluntary. In Vrhbarje,
1 for example, Muslims lived peacefully until October 1994 when they moved
2 to Sarajevo.
3 Muslims were killed by police units in the Novoseoci and
4 Arbinjska Propast. The Sokolac police station took no part in this, and
5 the civilian authorities were not informed. In all cases where the
6 police became aware of killings, proper procedure was followed,
7 investigations were carried out, and a criminal report filed.
8 The police did not set up check-points along any roads, nor did
9 they control the movements of Muslims. Occasionally police patrols were
10 put up, but only when the police were aware that the perpetrators of
11 specific crimes were in the area. Despite the conditions of war, the
12 police continuously carried out their regular tasks. There was never a
13 prison at the police station. Individuals could be detained no longer
14 than 48 hours or, in exceptional cases, 72 hours. Those who were
15 detained were properly fed and nobody was physically punished.
16 Dragomir Obradovic has no information regarding the military detention
17 unit established in Sokolac.
18 Local mosques were destroyed, but the police were not informed
19 about this. It was apparently done by local residents because it was
20 believed that the weapons were being kept there.
21 And that is short summary.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. This is a brief summary of your statement. Now I would like to
24 ask you to help us shed some light on a number of documents. Do you have
25 a hard copy of your statement, or if you don't -- actually, could you ask
1 the Chamber for permission to use it?
2 A. Can I please be allowed to use my statement in hard copy?
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Do you have it with you now?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. In paragraph 12 you speak about the freedom of movement, and you
9 said that you saw a document that speaks about that issue. I'm talking
10 about the freedom of return. Had you known that even before the document
11 was shown to you?
12 A. I knew that the Crisis Staff decided that all the people who had
13 left the territory can return without any impediment provided they had no
14 weapons on them that could be used in combat.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I please have now 1D4355 in
17 e-court. Unfortunately, it hasn't been translated.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. When did the people start leaving Sokolac municipality, and
20 members of which ethnic communities left?
21 A. After the Serbs left Sarajevo, towards the end of 1992, the
22 Muslims from this area started leaving it so that they headed towards
23 Sarajevo because there were already available facilities where they could
24 find accommodation. This was done by the villagers of Tocionik,
25 Kalimanici, and those on the edges of Sokolac municipality who had
1 committed certain crimes as mentioned in the statement, i.e., the
2 killings of the villagers of the aforementioned villages.
3 Q. Thank you. Did you say that the Serbs left Sarajevo towards the
4 end of 1991 or 1992?
5 A. Late 1991 and early 1992, and also some people left after that
6 date if they managed to do that with the aid of UNPROFOR and other
7 agencies involved in exchanges.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you please look at this document dated 23rd of
9 April, 1992. It speaks about the conclusions reached by the Crisis Staff
10 of the Sokolac municipality.
11 A. Paragraph 12, yes.
12 Q. Paragraph 12 in your statement, but on the screen you can see the
13 document that deals with this issue.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between
15 questions and answers.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. What does the first paragraph say? Can you read it?
18 A. This is a conclusion of the Crisis Staff who invited the people
19 who had left Sokolac municipality to come back and that their security
20 would be guaranteed provided they do not bring any weapons with them.
21 That was the conclusion adopted by the Crisis Staff.
22 Q. Does it say here that all the people who had temporarily left the
23 territory of the municipality to return home without any fear for their
24 personal safety and the safety of their property because there were no
25 reasons for their moving out?
1 A. Yes. That was a public proclamation which was broadcast on
2 Radio Romanija.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Obradovic, before you start answering the
5 question, please put a pause for the benefit of us who are relying on the
6 interpretation, please.
7 THE WITNESS: Okay.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
9 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could I just have a
11 minute of your patience.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Can you please look at paragraph 2, read it, and then tell us
14 what it speaks about.
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: If the witness is reading the paragraph, perhaps
16 he could read it out loud for the benefit of the non-B/C/S speakers.
17 JUDGE KWON: Why don't we zoom in a bit further.
18 Mr. Obradovic, could you read it aloud, para-2.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Presidents of local communes and
20 other activists in local communes shall maintain constant contact with
21 representatives of the legal authorities in the area of municipality.
22 All the possible problems shall be resolved through legal institutions of
23 the government system in the area of municipality in order to ensure the
24 functioning of the authorities in the entire territory of the
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Thank you. Can you now read paragraph 3?
3 A. "It has been estimated that so far in the area of municipality
4 there had been no incidents involving citizens of various ethnic
5 backgrounds and that all the organs should carry out continuous actions
6 in order to maintain and preserve the situation, good neighbourly
7 inter-ethnic relations."
8 I'm sorry, I have the wrong pair of glasses, and this is not big
9 enough for me to read.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Did you leave your glasses somewhere
12 in the Tribunal?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, but obviously they are not
14 suitable for reading from the computer screen. They are good for reading
15 from paper.
16 JUDGE KWON: Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we now have the
18 next page.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Can you please read paragraph 4.
21 A. "President of the local communes bordering with the areas of
22 other municipalities shall contact with the relevant organs in the
23 municipality and inform them of any incidents of attempts by incursions
24 by -- attempts of incursions by individuals and organised groups or any
25 other formations in the area of municipality which might cause anxiety
1 among the citizens and disturb peace in the area and subsequently they
2 shall inform the Sokolac --"
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Karadzic please wait for the
4 interpretation to finish.
5 JUDGE KWON: Please put a pause yourself as well. Yes.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. I have to keep
7 reminding myself of that.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Item 7, the first sentence please.
10 A. "To enable regular supply of basic necessities and food to all
11 inhabitants of the local communes and" -- I don't see the rest.
12 JUDGE KWON: Just slow down and put a pause. And if the
13 interpreters could speak to the microphone. Let's continue.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. What does to mean to enable regular supply of food to the
16 inhabitants of all local communes?
17 A. Given the fact that at the beginning of the war there were
18 certain products that there were insufficient quantities of, a decision
19 was made that all inhabitants should be supplied with such products that
20 could be found in the shops. In the villages and hamlets Muslims, too,
21 received such products that were in short supply, things like flour,
22 sugar, salt, et cetera.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you directly participate in terms of your
24 position in organising visits to those local communes, and what was the
25 aim of such visits?
1 A. Our station area was divided in five security sectors. Each
2 sector was headed by its leader who daily visited their sectors, touring
3 villages and talking to people. At the end of the day, the policeman in
4 question would draft an official report once he returned from the field.
5 Q. Can you tell the name of the person who attended this task the
7 A. All of the policemen did their work depending on the needs of the
8 service. Sometimes they stayed even after their working hours. The
9 sector leaders were both Serbs and Muslims, so if there was any need, the
10 policeman who was on duty that day would sometimes be required to stay
11 all the way up until midnight if necessary and if required by the
13 Q. Do you mentioned -- do you mention the name of Rade Dubovina
14 anywhere in your statement?
15 A. Rade Dubovina lived in Polje. He was 30 or 40 years of age at
16 the time. He was in charge of being in contact with the inhabitants of
17 Novoseoci and to supply them with products and whatever was necessary.
18 He was also tasked with co-operating with the policeman in charge of that
19 part of the area in terms of assigning -- or making arrangements.
20 Q. I wanted to read out what Witness Munira Selmanovic had to say
21 about it which is on page 18553 and 554. She says:
22 [In English] "Nobody was going anywhere. People were working
23 until the 1st of May. On the 1st of May we were given holidays. They
24 said we would summon you back to work. Nobody went anywhere. And as I
25 told you, these people were stopping by, Macar, Savic, Velimir, all of
1 those people came as well as Rade Dubovina, who used to come by
2 practically every day --"
3 JUDGE KWON: Will you stop there.
4 Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you. Your Honours, I don't think it's
6 appropriate for Dr. Karadzic to read out the evidence of another witness
7 to have this witness comment on it. If he wants to make submissions
8 later about what various witnesses said about someone that's fine, but he
9 can just ask the questions in an open way and elicit the answers. Thank
11 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I disagree with that completely. I
12 think it's helpful to the Chamber and very fair for Dr. Karadzic to put
13 to a witness what another witness has said, quoting directly is even the
14 best way to do that, and it's open to the witness to make any comment.
15 There's nothing leading about that whatsoever.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If I may add --
17 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes Mr. Karadzic. Do you have
18 anything to add to what Mr. Robinson already said?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Just to say that the
20 Prosecution only recently quoted the words of another Prosecutor to a
21 witness, that is to say from another proceedings, and I am talking about
22 witness who spoke here confirming the story that this witness has to
24 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Gustafson, would you like to respond, or could
25 you expand why it would be inappropriate to put the witness --
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: Well, my response to Dr. Karadzic's comment would
2 be there's a difference between a direct examination and a
3 cross-examination, and in cross-examination it's a given that you put
4 evidence in the form of document or witness evidence to the witness and
5 that's -- that's the nature of cross-examination. So the analogy is
6 inapposite. As Dr. Karadzic said, he wants this witness to confirm what
7 another witness said. I just don't see the point in that. As I said, if
8 he wants to make submissions later about the fact that witnesses were
9 consistent on a point that's fine, but he can just -- he just should
10 elicit the evidence and later make those submissions, and asking this
11 witness whether what someone else said is consistent with his evidence is
12 of no benefit to the Chamber.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE KWON: Well, Ms. Gustafson, while we understand your point
15 of distinction between the examination-in-chief and cross-examination,
16 but in this case having led some foundational questions, the Chamber does
17 not see any difficulty with putting such questions. He could have it --
18 he could have put it in a more neutral way, but we don't see any
19 difficulty with it.
20 Please proceed, Mr. Karadzic.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'll read this out in
22 English so as to receive appropriate interpretation.
23 "[In English] And as I told you, these people were stopping by,
24 Macar, Savic, Velimir, all of those people came as well as Rade Dubovina,
25 who used to come by practically every day, and he would be talking to
1 people, People, there is no need, it's like this, like that. I told you
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Do you know what the position was of the authorities concerning
5 potential departures of people from Novoseoci or other villages? Were
6 the authorities in favour of their departure or were they trying to talk
7 them out of it?
8 A. The authorities tried to keep everyone in our area, and they were
9 trying to talk them out of moving out. They wanted fuel so that they
10 could leave, and the Crisis Staff of the municipality did provide it so
11 that they could continue with their sowing and harvesting.
12 Q. Thank you. And on page 18549 and 550, this lady said that they
13 went to the municipal building asking that they be evacuated and the
14 authorities talked them out of it saying that there was no reason to
15 leave and that they should freely go home and would be provided with
16 everything that they need. Now that you mention fuel, I'll read
17 something out from page 18556. It had to do with whether these were the
18 Sokolac authorities.
19 "[In English] All of them are from Sokolac. First Savic, then
20 Milorad Savic, and this other persons said all right, come with us, buy
21 fuel, work with machines, buy what you need, all of that is correct.
22 Then they would come to some village, bring whatever was needed, people
23 would take that. There you go, that's how it was. These were these
24 favours done by the people of Sokolac."
25 [Interpretation] How does this tally with your knowledge
1 concerning the position of the authorities concerning the Muslim
2 inhabitants in the Muslim villages?
3 A. The overall authorities treated all of the citizens equally.
4 There was no distinction made. If someone needed assistance, they were
5 helped irrespective of whether they were Serb or Muslim.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I think this goes too far, and it's
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Can you tell us, Mr. Obradovic, how did it happen that you
10 preserved peace in Sokolac municipality until late July, that is to say,
11 four months after the outbreak of war in all of the adjacent
13 A. We preserved our area for four months so as to avoid war. Had it
14 not been for the murders in the border areas of the municipality, we
15 would have awaited the end of the war without fighting each other.
16 However, the murders provided a spark which set off all of the further
17 clashes. The inhabitants of the village asked the police and the army to
18 protect them. I know that even women stood guard with their children
19 around their homes while the men were engaged in the 206th and the
20 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade. So a poet of ours said that in wounds
21 human blood turns bad, which means that once the bloodshed started, it
22 was simply an incentive to fan the conflict.
23 Q. It is difficult for the interpreters with translating
24 "njegos" [phoen]. It should actually say that human blood makes for very
25 bad food.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have this
2 admitted for identification.
3 JUDGE KWON: You mean this one, 1D4355.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
5 JUDGE KWON: We'll mark it for identification.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D3185, Your Honours.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Obradovic, the photographs of the initial firing at Serb
10 houses. Who took those photographs and under what circumstances?
11 A. The police, that is to say the crime police which carried out the
12 on-site investigation. They took the photographs on the spot.
13 Q. As part of their investigation?
14 A. Yes.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, can now those
16 photographs be admitted?
17 JUDGE KWON: Let us take a look at those photos one by one.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have in e-court 1D12075, 6,
19 and 7, one at a time.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. As you said in your statement and in your testimony, there had
22 been no clashes before that; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we zoom in, please.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. And could you explain to us what is depicted in the photograph.
2 A. This is Slavko Batinic's house in Donje Babine. When Mr. Batinic
3 died, the Serbs came out on the third morning as was customary, and upon
4 returning from the cemetery at noon that day, the people sat down to have
5 lunch. However, Muslims opened fire from infantry weapons, and they even
6 used a mortar. They tried to have the shell land in through the window.
7 By sheer chance or luck it struck underneath the window, and we see the
8 shards of glass and pieces of stone which flew around wounding many
9 around the house. Later that night, all of the Serbs fled Donje Babine
10 to Knezina where they stayed until the end of the war. The next morning,
11 the Muslims left, too, because they probably didn't dare any longer
12 following that kind of incident.
13 Q. Thank you. What is the meaning of the circle in the right-hand
14 side corner? Can you read what it says in it?
15 A. The place where a shell hit. This is where a shell hit, the
16 black spot.
17 Q. Can we see the following photo, 76.
18 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Could you read out the title of this
19 photo. Shall we scroll up. Could you read it out?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot understand.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Slowly, and can you articulate, please. This has to be recorded.
24 It has to be translated for the Trial Chamber.
25 A. "Slavko Batinic's house which was attacked by Muslims on the 31st
1 of July, 1992, and where Serb civilians were shelled."
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the following.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Tell us what this is, please.
5 A. This is a house on which fire was opened. I don't know who the
6 house belongs to. It doesn't say.
7 Q. Could it be the same house but the photo was taken from the other
9 A. Yes, from the other side. That's where -- where fire from
10 firearms was opened on it from automatic rifles, whereas a shell hit the
11 other side of the house.
12 Q. Okay. Can we see the following page. 77. Who was in charge of
13 the investigation?
14 A. The lawyers of the crime investigating police, whereas the police
15 officers secured the location.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted now?
18 JUDGE KWON: Could you read out that aloud which is written
19 together with an arrow. Do you see "Mjesto" something?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Shell impact location."
21 JUDGE KWON: Is this the picture depicting the same house as the
22 one we saw for the first time?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The house is depicted from the
24 front and from the eastern side, I suppose, where fire was opened on it
25 from automatic weapons.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. And that's when the house was full. There was a festive dinner
3 taking place.
4 A. Yes. There were some 40 people inside.
5 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Gustafson?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted, please?
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: No objection.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll admit them all.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3186 through to Exhibit D3188
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, due to your
12 decision I'm not going to insist on the clip from Vrhbarje. That village
13 lived in peace all the time. They hugged each other when they said their
14 good-byes, but it is proof that the authorities --
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: This is just commentary.
16 JUDGE KWON: No submission. So I take it you are not tendering
17 1D7300. Is that what you're saying, Mr. Karadzic?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, if this is your decision. If
19 on the contrary your decision is to lead the witness live, I would very
20 much like to show that clip. I didn't understand you properly. I
21 thought it was unacceptable, but it may be acceptable if it is led live.
22 So can --
23 JUDGE KWON: Probably Mr. --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see the document, please?
25 The number is 1D7300.
1 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll see whether it's relevant and
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. How many Muslims continued to live in villages around Sokolac and
5 in which villages, Mr. Obradovic?
6 A. Give me a time reference.
7 Q. From the start of war up to a certain moment in time, for as long
8 as they say.
9 A. Novoseoci, Vrhbarje, Micivode, Kuti, Knezina, Kaljina,
10 Sahbegovici, and Meljine. These are the villages where Muslims went on
12 Q. Can you look at the document and tell us whether it is correct
13 that it was only on the 31st of October that Muslims from Vrhbarje
14 requested to move out from the village? What do you know about that?
15 A. The Muslims of Vrhbarje remained there until 1994. They were
16 there throughout the war living there. They co-operated well with the
17 locals of Zovjedovac [phoen], Vitomira [phoen], and Sarci [phoen], and
18 they really looked after each other. I was present when people be
19 requested to be allowed to leave the area. That was allowed to them
20 eventually. I was there when they greeted each other. Both the Muslims
21 and the Serbs cried. They hugged each other. People then got into their
22 cars and they simply left.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you see a film by the Norwegian television
24 channel about that?
25 A. I heard about it. I didn't see it.
1 Q. You are the one who drafted this document; right?
2 A. Yes. This is a report that I sent to the MUP to the CSB.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted?
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: No objection.
5 JUDGE KWON: This document is saying that 61 Muslim civilians
6 were removed. Do you confirm that?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, well. These are translations
8 for you.
9 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. They went of their own will.
11 JUDGE KWON: I was asking the witness. Could you read out the
12 document, the main text. Could you read it aloud.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please zoom in a little.
14 "On the 29th of October, 1994 --
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Please slow down.
17 A. "On the 29 of October, 1994 --"
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot possibly follow the
19 speed of the witness's reading.
20 JUDGE KWON: The witness is reading the main text.
21 Could you start again, Mr. Obradovic.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Slowly.
24 A. "On the 29th of October, 1994, at 1300 hours, a relocation
25 exercise was carried out from the village of Vrhbarje, municipality of
1 Sokolac. A total of 61 persons of Muslim ethnicity moved out. This was
2 organised by the commissariat for exchanges of Republika Srpska. The
3 policemen from the public security station in Sokolac handed over the
4 aforementioned persons to the KP Dom in Kula and accompanied that
5 hand-over with certificates. There were no other elements over the past
6 ten days that would have had an impact on the security situation as per
7 the order of the President of Republika Srpska."
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise for the objection, but
10 actually I am grateful to you for having noticed in -- the mistakes in
11 the translation. This will be the main issue that the Defence is going
12 to raise, the accuracy and the correctness of the words in translations.
13 I have no further questions. Has this document been admitted
14 into evidence?
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll receive it.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D3189, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Mr. Obradovic, as you have noted, your
18 evidence in -- evidence in chief in this case has been admitted in most
19 part in writing, that is through your written statement in lieu of your
20 oral testimony, and now you'll be cross-examined by the representative of
21 the Office of the Prosecutor, Ms. Gustafson.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:
24 Q. And good afternoon, Mr. Obradovic.
25 A. Good afternoon.
1 Q. A few moments ago you were looking at some photos, I'm sure you
2 recall, of Slavko Batinic's house, and you said that the crime police
3 took these photos on the spot as part of their investigation. That was
4 at page 50. Was that investigation -- did that investigation take place
5 shortly after this incident?
6 A. That happened sometime around 1300 hours. I can't be more
7 precise than that. I don't have those documents. That was reported to
8 the police. The police went to the site and carried out an on-site
9 investigation on that same day as far as I can remember.
10 Q. Okay.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could we go to 1D12076, which I think has
12 been admitted as D3187.
13 Q. And this is one of the photographs you looked at a few moments
14 ago that you said was taken by the crime police as part of this on-site
15 investigation on the same day as this incident.
16 Now, in front of the house, in the bottom right-hand corner of
17 this photograph, you can see some snow on the ground; is that right,
18 Mr. Obradovic?
19 A. There was no snow. The land was dry. I don't know whether this
20 is snow or what. I don't know.
21 Q. That white patch on the ground, you can't conclude that that's
22 snow? Do you have any idea what else that could be other than snow?
23 A. I don't know. I don't know what this is.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: Could we go to the next one, 1D12077.
25 Q. And again, Mr. Obradovic, in the foreground in front of this
1 house there is snow on the ground, and to the left of the house in the
2 trees somewhat behind the house you can also see snow on the ground in
3 the trees, can't you?
4 A. The photo is true. I don't know what else to say, but there was
5 no snow.
6 Q. Okay. Well, clearly these photographs were not taken by the
7 crime police on the 31st of July when this incident took place; right?
8 A. I believe so, because the police went to the location to take
9 photos of the house and to carry out an on-site investigation on the
11 Q. Okay. But these photos can't be those photos, right, because
12 these photos have snow in them, and those photos were taken on the 31st
13 of July. Do you agree with me?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. At paragraph 1 of your statement, you said
16 that when the war began, you were the commander of the traffic police
17 station and then later you became the SJB commander. At what date, to
18 the best of your recollection, did you become the SJB commander?
19 A. I don't remember the date, but I believe that that was after all
20 the turmoil that happened. After the Muslims left Sokolac municipality,
21 I became the SJB commander. I was appointed by the MUP.
22 Q. The document we saw a few moments ago from October 1992, I
23 believe, indicated that you were the SJB commander. So you were at least
24 by October the SJB commander. Do you remember how long before that you
25 had been the commander?
1 A. Before that period I was an SJB commander from 1986.
2 Q. Now I think you're maybe confused with your position as the
3 traffic police station commander. I'll just move on.
4 At paragraph 28 of your statement that you said that due to the
5 dismissal of some Serb police in Stari Grad, Zoran Kitic, the SJB chief,
6 asked the Muslim policemen from Sokolac not to come to work any more
7 until this issue was resolved. In fact, Mr. Obradovic, on the 23rd of
8 March, 1992, the Muslim employees of the Sokolac police station and the
9 traffic police station were simply dismissed, and you were involved in
10 informing members of the traffic police, Muslim traffic police officers,
11 of that fact; right?
12 A. You said that I did something in Stari Grad. As far as I can
13 remember, you stated that at the beginning of that sentence. However, I
14 did not have any authority over the police station in Stari Grad. The
15 Muslims in the Stari Grad police station dismissed all the Serb policemen
16 and only Rade Tusija [phoen] remained. After that, Zoran Cvijetic, who
17 was the chief of the police station, invited all of the Muslim police in
18 Sokolac to come to a meeting and he told them that for as long as the
19 staff issues were unresolved in Stari Grad that they should not be
20 returning to work. All the police officers kept their personal weapons,
21 I mean pistols or short-barrelled weapons, and after that I sat down with
22 all those Muslim police officers in our mess. We -- I bought them drinks
23 and coffees. There was -- there were no harsh words said among us.
24 Nobody was angry. I wished them a lot of luck, and I said that I hoped
25 that they would soon come back to work.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to P6089.
2 Q. And if I could ask you, Mr. Obradovic, because my time is very
3 limited, if you could try to focus your answers as much as possible on
4 the precise question that I am asking, and I will try to keep my
5 questions precise.
6 Now, this document is a SRBiH MUP record of statements.
7 A. Can this be zoomed in a little?
8 Q. Yes. And I'm actually going to direct your attention to the next
9 page. This is what some Muslim police officers from Pale and Sokolac
10 said at the time about what had happened in their police stations. And
11 if we could go to the bottom of the second page. It refers to a
12 statement by Mahir Caldarevic. Can you confirm that he was a member of
13 the traffic police in Sokolac?
14 A. Again can this be zoomed in a little?
15 Q. Now, it says that this --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecutor.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: Pardon me.
18 Q. Mahir Caldarevic said on the 24th of March that on the 23rd he
19 had gone to the traffic safety police station in Sokolac and the
20 commander had told him that the Crisis Staff of Sokolac municipality and
21 the government of the Romanija SAO had decided to remove all policemen of
22 Muslim nationality from work.
23 Now, you were the commander of the traffic police station at the
24 time, so I'm assuming this is a reference to you. Can you confirm that
25 this is what you told Mahir Caldarevic at the time?
1 A. It was not me. It was the chief of the police station,
2 Zoran Cvijetic, who said that, and this person, Mahir Caldarevic, the
3 name doesn't ring any bells. I don't know of any policemen bearing that
4 name. Caldarevic? Mahir Caldarevic. Is it a mistake or something?
5 Mahir Caldarevic, the name doesn't ring a bell as somebody who was
6 affiliated with the police station ever.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to 65 ter 24848.
9 Q. At paragraph 28 you also said that the Muslim -- even after the
10 Muslim policemen stopped working it be SJB they continued to receive
11 their salaries.
12 A. Until the beginning of war activities, of war operations.
13 Q. This document is MUP list of employees who performed duties at
14 this place station referring to the Sokolac police station in April 1992
15 and received a salary advance for the month.
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could zoom in -- perhaps we could just
17 go to the B/C/S. Thank you. And zoom in on these names.
18 Q. Now this list of employees who received a salary for April 1992,
19 they're all Serbs; right? There are names on the next page I'd like you
20 to look at as well.
21 Are you looking at the document, Mr. Obradovic?
22 A. Yes, yes. Yes, yes. Look, these are salaries for April. At the
23 beginning of April war started, so they were no longer on our public
24 security station's payroll after that.
25 Q. Okay.
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'd like to tender this document, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, can I just add something?
3 Zdravko Krstic had arrived from Sarajevo and joined our station. People
4 came from Sarajevo to fill the places that those other people abandoned.
5 The war had already started then.
6 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We'll receive this.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6234, Your Honours.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON:
9 Q. At paragraph 9, Mr. Obradovic, you referred to the Special Police
10 Unit in Sokolac. Was that the unit led by Dusko Malovic?
11 A. Not Dusko Malovic. It was Pera Suka.
12 Q. Were there two Special Police units in Sokolac, because the
13 Chamber has also received evidence of a Special Police Unit from Sokolac
14 led by Dusko Malovic?
15 A. I know that Pera Suka was a commander of this unit.
16 Dusko Malovic's name was mentioned in some context, and I think he worked
17 at the MUP at the time. That's all I know about him.
18 Q. Okay. At paragraph 15 of your statement, you said that it was
19 after events at the end of July and early August, these attacks that you
20 referred to, that the Serbs began pressuring the police and the
21 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade to disarm Muslim villages, but in fact the
22 Bosnian Serb forces began disarming Muslim villages well before the end
23 of July 1992; isn't that right?
24 A. No, that's not right. There were only attempts at reaching an
25 agreement. When the army started, that's when the fighting started.
1 Again, before that I went to the village --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't catch the name of the
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We discussed the issue of weapons.
5 I told them that they could hand over the weapons for this. They didn't
6 have any permits, whereas if they had permits they could keep them. All
7 of them claimed not to have any weapons in their possession.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON:
9 Q. You answered my question right at the beginning, so I don't need
10 all this detail at the moment. If I need details, I'll follow up with
11 additional questions.
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to P5242, please.
13 Q. This is a -- these are the minutes of a Crisis Staff -- a Sokolac
14 Crisis Staff meeting held on the 15th of May, 1992.
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to page 7 in the English and
16 page 8 in the B/C/S, to item 16. And it's at the bottom of the page. If
17 we could make it as large as possible.
18 Q. Item 16 says:
19 "Drago Macar informed those present that the plans for disarming
20 certain villages were made. It was concluded that the decision on the
21 aforementioned shall be made later."
22 Now, Drago Macar was the TO commander at the time and then he
23 became a commander in the VRS when it was formed in late May, right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And he actually died soon after this meeting. On the 2nd of
1 June, 1992, he was killed when his vehicle hit a mine; right?
2 A. He was killed on the front in Gorazde.
3 Q. Right. And that was on the 2nd of June or thereabouts; right?
4 A. Yes, thereabouts. I cannot recall any specific date.
5 Q. Okay. Dr. Karadzic already referred to the evidence of
6 Munira Selmanovic from Novoseoci. She testified that in the spring of
7 1992, Drago Macar came to her village and asked the men to hand in their
8 weapons and they handed over some weapons, and that's P3295, paragraph 3.
9 And in her testimony, she specified that this took place around the 27th
10 of May. That's transcript page 18551. And she also said she knew
11 Drago Macar as he was from the neighbouring village.
12 So it's clear given that Drago Macar was dead around the 2nd of
13 June that Muslim villages began to be disarmed well before late July;
15 A. Drago Macar was the neighbour of those people down there in the
16 village, and most probably he talked to them because they started arming
17 themselves extensively. He as a commander may have initiated some action
18 on his own, but in view of the fact that he was the commander, I'm not in
19 a position to comment on what he did.
20 Q. Fair enough. At paragraph 20 you discuss later events in
21 Novoseoci, and you said that approximately 40 Muslims from that village
22 were killed after the civilians from Novoseoci had been evacuated to
23 Sarajevo, and that this suggests, Mr. Obradovic, that those who were
24 killed were not civilians. But in fact what happened was the soldiers
25 came to the village. They separated out every able bodied male from the
1 village, and that included a 15-year-old boy, an 82-year-old man, as well
2 as a number of men in their 60s and 70s, and I refer to P3297 for those
3 facts, and they killed them; right?
4 A. It is correct that 40 men were killed and that that was done by
5 members of the military. I don't know what the cause of that was. I
6 personally condemned that incident and as did all the municipal
7 officials. We thought that to be a heinous act and an operation which
8 blemished the reputation of the municipality of Sokolac. Later on I
9 heard some stories to the effect that five of our men in Kaljina came
10 across an antitank mine and got killed.
11 Q. Thank you. That information is in your statement so I'm just
12 going to move on to my next question. And you also said in your
13 statement that the civilians from Novoseoci were evacuated to Sarajevo.
14 In fact, the women and children were simply ordered onto buses and taken
15 to Sarajevo, right?
16 A. I don't know. I wasn't present on the spot. Somebody did that,
17 but I don't know how. Most probably this is the way it happened.
18 Q. Okay. And you also asserted in your statement that before this
19 killing the Crisis Staff had allowed the villagers to organise armed
20 guard duty during the night. However, the Chamber has received evidence
21 that the authorities disarmed this village. Ms. Selmanovic's evidence
22 that I referred to earlier about Drago Macar's disarming the village in
23 May and P3296, which is the 2nd Romanija Brigade's record of the
24 confiscation of weapons on the 27th of July, 1992. So whatever
25 theoretical permission they may have had from the Crisis Staff to
1 organise armed guard duty to protect themselves would be useless if their
2 weapons had been taken away; right?
3 A. Weapons can be confiscated, but they can easily obtained again.
4 Once they were taken away, new ones would be obtained. And once the war
5 started, people were in possession of weapons.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In line 16 can we add what witness
7 said at the end of the sentence. He said, "I don't know." [In English]
8 "I don't know."
9 MS. GUSTAFSON:
10 Q. Now, you said in your statement you were informed about the
11 killing of the Muslims from Novoseoci on the 22nd of September, the day
12 it happened, that evening. How did you hear about this? Who told you?
13 A. I don't know exactly who told me. I just heard the news that
14 these people were killed, but I don't know who I heard it from. Since
15 that was a military matter, we did not interfere with that nor did we
16 include any police forces in the investigation.
17 Q. You said you heard the news. So was this more or less general
18 knowledge in the -- in the area by the evening that -- on the day that
19 this killing took place?
20 A. I don't understand your question.
21 Q. You said you couldn't remember who exactly told you. You just
22 heard the news. So my question is was this common knowledge in the area
23 that these men had been killed by the 22nd?
24 JUDGE KWON: Did the witness say he heard the news or he was
25 informed of it?
1 MS. GUSTAFSON: He said, "I don't know exactly who told me. I
2 just heard the news that these people were killed."
3 JUDGE KWON: I was looking at the statement. My apologies.
4 Please continue, Ms. Gustafson.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON:
6 Q. Mr. Obradovic, did you understand the question? Was this
7 something that people were generally talking about by the evening of the
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Okay. And I think it's clear from your answers, but if you could
11 just confirm the police didn't conduct any investigation into this
13 A. Police did not conduct any investigation because that was beyond
14 our jurisdiction. It was performed by the military police and the
15 Military Court.
16 Q. Well, the military police and the Military Court didn't
17 investigate either though, did they?
18 A. I don't know about that.
19 Q. Well, do you know, because you lived there at the time, that
20 these victims bodies were only exhumed in the year 2000? That's P3297.
21 A. I don't know about that since in 1993 I was working in Bijeljina.
22 I wasn't aware of the details of this incident nine months later.
23 Q. Okay. So -- but you agree that if a proper investigation had
24 been conducted at the time, these bodies would have been exhumed and
25 examined right away; right?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Calls for speculation even of
2 medical nature.
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: Well, I don't think so. This witness was a
4 police commander at the time. I think he can answer the question.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Can you answer the question, Mr. Obradovic?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What was the question?
7 MS. GUSTAFSON:
8 Q. That if a proper investigation had been conducted by the military
9 authorities at the time, the bodies of the victims would have been
10 exhumed and identified right away, not in the year 2000; right?
11 A. Yes, that is right, but nobody conducted exhumations in other
12 places as well. Nobody was involved in this kind of activity. But, yes,
13 you are right. If everything had been done properly, that would have
14 been a different case.
15 Q. Okay. Could we have 65 ter --
16 JUDGE KWON: If it is convenient --
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: Oh, of course.
18 JUDGE KWON: We'll have a break for 45 minutes and resume at
19 quarter past 1.00.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] But, please, in the transcript, his
21 answer said that not even Serb bodies were exhumed at the time. That is
22 what the witness said, that not even the Serbs were involved in being
24 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That's noted.
25 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.18 p.m.
2 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson, please continue.
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you. If I could have 65 ter 24854, please.
4 Q. Mr. Obradovic, before the break you had said at page 67 that the
5 military police and Military Court investigated the Novoseoci killings,
6 and then when I put it to you that they didn't investigate either, you
7 said, "I don't know about that."
8 So I'd just like to show you this document which is a report of
9 the 23rd of September, 1992, from the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade
10 commander, then Colonel Krstic, to the Main Staff, and at item 1.C, which
11 is a little bit further down the page, it says:
12 "In the villages that were recently...," "ciscenje," translated
13 as "mopped up or cleansed," "... namely Kuti, Micivode, and Novoseoci,
14 the remaining parts of groups managed to withdraw in some places."
15 And the Chamber has already received a report from Krstic of the
16 previous day describing the events in Novoseoci in very similar terms.
17 That's P5438.
18 Now, there is no indication in this report that an investigation
19 into the events in Novoseoci is being conducted or even that a crime has
20 occurred. Colonel Krstic describes what happened in Novoseoci in rather
21 standard military terms, or, sorry, as a standard military operation,
22 doesn't he?
23 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. I'm a little late with
24 this, but I'm going to object because all the witness is being asked to
25 do is say what's in the document. He's not -- there's no indication that
1 there was an investigation from this document, and, you know, what the
2 document describes, so I don't believe that the witness can add anything
3 by answering that question.
4 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Gustafson.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON: Well, I asked him that -- I put it to him that
6 the events were being described in standard military terms. I think
7 that's a real question that can be answered. And in any event, it's
8 still a question that goes to impeachment of this witness in terms of his
9 evidence about a subsequent investigation.
10 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, what I see here is an attempt to
11 get into evidence a document that shouldn't be gotten into evidence
12 through this witness, so I don't think that it's proper to put up a
13 document for which there is no connection to the witness and ask him
14 something about it.
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: Well, I could easily ask the question another
16 way. He's asserted that there has been an investigation. I could say,
17 "Did you know that Colonel Krstic described the operation in Novoseoci in
18 this manner the day after?" If the Chamber prefers, I could ask the
19 question that way.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Yes. Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The problem is that I did not
23 intervene on page 67. The witness did not say that the military police
24 investigated this. He only said that this was beyond the jurisdiction of
25 the regular police, but he never confirmed that the investigation had
1 been conducted by the military police, and that was not recorded in the
2 transcript. Nevertheless, this has been taken as the foundation for this
4 JUDGE MORRISON: Well, Dr. Karadzic, you can re-examine on that
5 if you think it's important.
6 JUDGE KWON: Page 67, the witness said police did not conduct any
7 investigation because that was beyond our jurisdiction. And further, the
8 witness said, it was performed by the military police and the
9 Military Court.
10 Do you remember having said that, Mr. Obradovic?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I said that that should have
12 been done by the military police and the Military Court, should have.
13 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Gustafson, the Chamber prefers the formulation
14 you suggested.
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: Certainly.
16 Q. Mr. Obradovic, did you know that the day after the killings in
17 Novoseoci Colonel Krstic described what had happened there as mopping up
18 or cleansing to his commanders?
19 A. How can I know that? Krstic did not submit any reports to me.
20 MS. GUSTAFSON: Okay. I tender this document.
21 MR. ROBINSON: Really, Mr. President, this is a real unfairness
22 to allow a document to be admitted into evidence this way when a witness
23 knows nothing about it, is expected to know nothing about it. It doesn't
24 contradict or confirm anything that he would be expected to know or has
25 said in his testimony. And especially given that General Krstic refuses
1 to testify in this case, it's really unfair to allow this to be
2 considered as evidence.
3 MS. GUSTAFSON: Well, the document is very straightforward, and
4 the purpose for which it's being admitted is simply what Colonel Krstic
5 reported the next day. I mean, it's right there in black and white.
6 Unless there are any authenticity concerns, which I hear none, this
7 document is completely admissible.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE KWON: While it is a separate matter whether this document
10 can be admitted through a bar table motion with certain requirements, but
11 the Chamber agrees with Mr. Robinson's observation. We'll not admit this
12 through this witness.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: If I could have 65 ter 24854, please.
14 Q. Now --
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: This, I think, has been admitted as an associated
16 exhibit as D3180.
17 Q. Mr. Obradovic, you said that the police didn't investigate this
18 crime because it was beyond your jurisdiction.
19 MR. ROBINSON: I think you've maybe given the wrong number,
20 because the --
21 JUDGE KWON: She's given us the exhibit number. You gave the
22 65 ter number of the previous document.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON: Oh, I apologise. Yes, this is the document I
24 want, D3180.
25 Q. Now, you referenced this document in your statement at paragraph
1 22, and you say that it confirmed that you took all legally prescribed
2 measures against individuals who in any way disturbed public law and
3 order and regularly filed criminal reports against such individuals.
4 Now, this document states that the Sokolac SJB had filed four criminal
5 reports against VRS members and had brought misdemeanour proceedings
6 against another ten VRS members, if we go to the next page. Oh, sorry,
7 we've only got the one language.
8 So, Mr. Obradovic, it's clear that you brought charges against
9 VRS members in this instance. You could have done the same for
10 Novoseoci; right?
11 A. No. That's not the same thing. These people against whom
12 reports and criminal reports were filed were not in uniforms, but they
13 were members. They spent a fortnight on the line and then took a rest
14 for two weeks. When they went to town they did not wear uniforms, and
15 for that reason reports were filed against them as civilians, in actual
16 fact they were members of the military, but they committed these felonies
17 and misdemeanors whilst in civilian clothes and proper reports were filed
18 against them accordingly.
19 Q. Okay. Well, let me ask you this: The day that this crime was
20 committed you heard about it informally. You said you can't even
21 remember who told you, but you heard the news. So this was clearly
22 informal information that you had that the perpetrators of this crime
23 were VRS members, and you certainly couldn't have been sure at that point
24 that there were no civilian perpetrators among them. What you could have
25 and should have done is investigated this crime, and if your
1 investigation determined -- confirmed that the perpetrators were VRS
2 members, then you should have arrested them and handed them over to the
3 military authorities for prosecution; right?
4 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is your question relating to this
7 MS. GUSTAFSON:
8 Q. No.
9 A. What is it relating to? I didn't understand your question
11 Q. That's fine. I'll ask it again. The day this crime was
12 committed you heard the news that it was VRS members who committed this
13 crime. So this was informal information that you had. You're a police
14 officer. If you had received such information at the time, what you
15 could have and should have done is gone immediately to investigate what
16 happened, and if your investigation had confirmed that these perpetrators
17 were VRS members, at that point you should have handed this over to the
18 military police; right? You shouldn't have just sat there and done
19 nothing when you heard about this horrible crime taking place in your
20 municipality; right?
21 A. The area of military responsibility was the zone where the army
22 was. They had military courts and military police, and wherever members
23 of the military cause problems it was a matter to be dealt with by the
24 army, not by the police.
25 Q. Okay. Let's go to another topic. If I could have 65 ter 24734,
1 please. Now, at paragraph 19 you talked about the villagers of Vrhbarje
2 who you say moved to Sarajevo of their own freewill in October 1994.
3 Now, by this time, by 1994, there very few Muslims left living in Sokolac
4 municipality; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay, this is a statement of a man named Avdija Katica from
7 Vrhbarje. Did you know him?
8 A. I cannot remember his face, but I knew quite a few people of that
10 Q. They were from Vrhbarje; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. If we move down to the third and fourth paragraph in this
13 page. It starts about the middle of the page. Mr. Katica talks about
14 what happens prior to this moving out in October, and he explains that in
15 July 1992, Serb neighbours including Ilinka Saric and Drago Djokic -- oh,
16 sorry, my mistake, in this capacity he talks about how the villagers
17 handed in at least most of their weapons to the 2nd Romanija Brigade in
18 July 1992. Can you confirm that this village was disarmed?
19 A. I don't know if they surrendered their weapons. If they did,
20 that means that they were disarmed. But it was never difficult to
21 procure weapons. I may hand in a rifle today and have a new one the next
22 day. So people used to bring weapons with them, for example, from
23 Sarajevo, and distribute them overnight.
24 Q. Okay. And if we go to page 2 in the B/C/S. I'm sorry, this is
25 still on page 1 in the B/C/S, at the bottom. Mr. Katica talks about how
1 Serb neighbours, including Ilinka Saric and Drago Djokic, from
2 Dzedovci [phoen] made it possible for them to survive by assisting them
3 in trading their agricultural products, and in your statement you said
4 you were surprised at the level of care that existed between the Vrhbarje
5 villagers and Serbs in neighbouring villages. Is this the kind of care
6 you were talking about, the Serbs were helping them trade their products?
7 A. Yes, of course. Even today if I cannot sell my cattle, I will
8 look for someone who can do that for me. That's what they did throughout
9 the war. If they needed to sell something, they would look for a person
10 who can arrange that for them.
11 Q. Okay. And if we can go to the next page in the B/C/S, and this
12 is at pages 2 to 3 of the English. Mr. Katica describes how on the 17th
13 of April, 1994, nine men from the village were taken to the
14 2nd Romanija Brigade Commander Krstic and from there they were sent to
15 work on the front line fortifying positions and digging trenches,
16 et cetera, and after 15 days they were allowed to return to the village
17 for two days, then they were taken out again in 15 to 20-day shifts with
18 two day rest periods in between, and this continued until the 30th of
19 July 1994.
20 Were you aware that the men from this village were being taken to
21 the front line to work in the spring and summer of 1994?
22 A. I didn't know. I do know that there were working groups where
23 Serbs participated too, those who did not join the army be it because
24 they refused to or were not mobilised. There were so many Serbs in
25 Sarajevo who dug so many trenches across Mojmilo Polje and elsewhere and
1 yet no one asks about that.
2 Q. Okay. You said I did know that there were working groups where
3 Serbs participated too. So you were aware that there were working groups
4 where Muslims were working. For the military authorities.
5 A. I didn't say Muslim. I know that there were Serbs who
6 volunteered to do so, but I have no knowledge about this matter regarding
8 Q. And then if we go to --
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excuse me. I truly ask that it be
10 interpreted as it should. The witness said that Krstic -- I don't know
11 about Krstic mobilising them. This is way too free in interpretation.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness speak
13 loudly, clearly, without mumbling, thank you.
14 MS. GUSTAFSON:
15 Q. Mr. Obradovic, the interpreters have asked that you speak more
16 loudly and clearly to assist in their interpretation. Thank you.
17 If we could go to page -- stay on page 2 of the B/C/S. On the
18 bottom half of the page, Mr. Katica talks about cattle being looted from
19 their village at night throughout 1994 and an incident on the 16th of
20 August, 1994, when mass thieves looted their houses and hit one of the
21 villagers with a rifle butt, and this incident caused the villagers to
22 start spending the night in the woods. Were you aware of these kinds of
23 incidents in the village or the fact that these villagers had started to
24 spend the night in the woods out of fear?
25 A. It is incorrect that they spent their night in the forest. I am
1 aware of this detail because I was present when it took place. Namely,
2 during the day two or three criminals arrived. A person sold a horse and
3 received 400 German marks and they took the money from him. The people
4 from Vrhbarje went to see Sarac, a neighbour, because they were afraid.
5 I was in the field in Sokolovici. They called me and myself and --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the name.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- went to see this Sarac in the
9 JUDGE KWON: The interpreters didn't hear the name.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dovar [phoen] Sarac.
11 JUDGE KWON: And could you start over from there?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Who did you go with? That's the
13 name they didn't pick up.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please wait for the end of
15 interpretation. We didn't hear it again.
16 JUDGE KWON: Interpreters couldn't hear you because you spoke
17 while they interpreted Mr. Karadzic's words. So who did you go with?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Milovan Zuban, deputy commander of
19 the station in Sokolac.
20 JUDGE KWON: I leave it to you, Ms. Gustafson.
21 MS. GUSTAFSON:
22 Q. Okay. It's still not clear, Mr. Obradovic, how you can confirm
23 that these villagers didn't start spending the night in the woods after
24 this event. You weren't in that village every night to confirm where
25 they were at night, were you?
1 A. You didn't allow me to finish, to explain. Namely, having
2 arrived in the village to Mr. Sarac, there were 60 people, women and
3 children included, were seated in the house. When I asked them what had
4 happened, they explained that Hamo -- that someone had taken -- had hit
5 Hamo and took 400 German marks from him. He suffered lightly bodily
6 injuries, and policeman Zuban took him to Podromanija, to the military
7 hospital. He was administered help and his bruise was taken care of. He
8 had a cut. I tried to have the woman who saw it describe the person
9 involved to me. She started describing, and in the meantime someone else
10 asked me something. When I turned round and when I responded and turned
11 back, the woman had gone. No one else wished to provide any statements.
12 That evening, I called another two policemen. We returned them
13 home. We put each of them in their house, and I left policemen to guard
14 them that day and the next several nights because they were afraid.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat.
16 JUDGE KWON: Probably you are speaking too fast again.
17 "We put each of them in the house and I left policemen to guard
18 them that day and the next several nights because they were afraid."
19 Please repeat what you said after that, slowly.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After you what have just read? Of
21 course, there were criminal groups who went to villages. They even came
22 to my mother who was alone in the village at the time, but no one ran,
23 and I guaranteed every evening that they would receive a policeman if
24 necessary so that one or two policemen would guard the village.
25 MS. GUSTAFSON:
1 Q. Well, you said you left policemen there to guard them that day
2 and the next several nights. So after that, you don't know what happened
3 at night in that village, do you?
4 A. After that I think I provided policemen for five or six days to
5 secure the village, and after that I had no reports of anyone attacking
6 them in that village. It was a coincidence. It could have happened to
7 any Serb. It happened that people came, took money, those criminal
8 groups that were later caught, and reports were submitted against them.
9 Q. Okay. Then at the bottom of this page and at the top of the next
10 page Mr. Katica describes how a man by the name of Djurkovic, the
11 Municipal Assembly secretary, came to the village on the 10th of October,
12 1994, to speak with the villagers about their intentions, and Mr. Katica
13 said that if the authorities could not guarantee their safety, then they
14 should be allowed to go to Sarajevo. And then other officials came to
15 the village to discuss the conditions of their departure, including
16 municipal president Milan Tupajic.
17 Now, was this transfer arranged by the civilian authorities as
18 described here?
19 A. They asked to go. I don't know what they discussed with Tupajic
20 or with that man, the other one that is mentioned. I only know when they
21 were supposed to go we went there as the police to provide security so
22 that everything would end safely in terms of their departure.
23 Q. So although you assert that they left of their freewill, you have
24 no knowledge of their discussion with the civilian authorities who
25 arranged their transfer; is that right?
1 A. I have no such knowledge. No one invited me to those talks, and
2 I can't discuss something that I was not present at.
3 Q. Okay. And at the bottom of page 2 in the B/C/S, Mr. Katica
4 states that on the 29th of October, 1994, they were bused out of the
5 village escorted by a policeman named Ivan Sarac, and instead of going to
6 Sarajevo for exchange as they had been told, they were taken to Kula
8 Now, earlier in your testimony today you said that these people
9 got into their cars and simply left, and that was at page 55. However,
10 they were, in fact, taken under police escort to Kula prison; right?
11 A. They were taken by bus. I didn't say vehicles. I think some
12 international community representatives were present there. They were
13 taken to Kula. I don't know what happened next. Kula is right next to
14 the border near Sarajevo. The border passed by Kula.
15 Q. And Kula is a prison; right?
16 A. Kula is a settlement, and there's a prison at Kula.
17 Q. They were taken to Kula prison, weren't they, Mr. Obradovic,
18 escorted by the Sokolac police?
19 A. They were take to the Kula location where there is a prison. The
20 police returned from Kula. Now, what else did the authorities do later
21 on is something I don't know.
22 Q. Well, let's look at something you do know or you did know at the
23 time, and that's at D3189, and again this is a document that's referenced
24 in your statement and that you actually looked at earlier today. This is
25 your document signed by you that says that on the 29th of October, 1994,
1 the day Mr. Katica confirms they were moved out, 61 Muslim civilians were
2 removed from the village of Vrhbarje. The next sentence says:
3 "They were turned over by policemen of the Sokolac police
4 station to the Kula penal and correctional facility with a receipt."
5 I'm going to ask you again, Mr. Obradovic. These people were
6 taken to Kula prison escorted by the Sokolac police, weren't they?
7 A. The exchange commission was present, too, and it was stated that
8 they were to be taken to Kula. How should I know what was done later on?
9 It's mentioned that there was this Commission for Exchange. They should
10 have taken care of it. Even if they were taken to Kula, again they were
12 Q. Mr. Obradovic, it's a very simple question. You're not answering
13 it. I'm going to move on.
14 You make assertions about fighting that occurred in other
15 villages, villages which you claim were armed with all kinds of infantry
16 weapons, and that's at paragraph 30. Now, the Chamber received evidence
17 from a witness who saw one of those villages, Meljine, being shelled by
18 tanks and howitzers and burning, and that's P131, page 9. Did you
19 actually witness the attack on this village?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Okay. And did you know these villages were being shelled?
22 A. Well, that operation was carried out by the army. I couldn't
23 even get near there. It was within their remit.
24 Q. Okay. At paragraph 25 of your statement you said that a military
25 detention facility was set up in the primary school in Sokolac, and it
1 was there for ten days or so --
2 MS. GUSTAFSON: Oh, I apologise, Your Honours. I intended to
3 tender Mr. Katica's statement. I should have done that before I moved on
4 to the next topic. That's 65 ter 24734.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. If you're going to -- we
6 object to the admission of this statement, but if you are going to admit
7 some parts of it, we think you have to be very careful in admitting only
8 those parts that were confirmed or contradicted by the witness. There
9 are a couple of -- there's a paragraph on page 2. I have to call this
10 document up in front of me again but -- I can give you more specifics,
11 but there's a paragraph on page 2 that I think can -- was confirmed by
12 the witness concerning the care that was taken for their -- people in
13 their village, and I believe there was a paragraph on page 3 that was
14 confirmed by the witness concerning thieves that came and looted from
15 them, and then on page 4 concerning their transportation to Kula prison
16 there was a paragraph.
17 So I think that those three paragraphs were confirmed or
18 contradicted testimony of the witness, but there's a lot of other
19 information in the statement that has nothing to do with anything that
20 was even asked of the witness and some things that the witness didn't
21 confirm. So if you are going to admit a third-party statement made three
22 years after the event to law enforcement, then I would think it has to be
23 very limited. Thank you.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
25 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you. Well, the witness certainly confirmed
1 various aspects of the statement and indeed the entire statement does
2 contradict the witness's assertion that these people went to Sarajevo of
3 their own free will. The thrust of the statement is quite the contrary,
4 so I think that coupled with the fact that aspects of this statement were
5 confirmed and indeed corroborated exactly with the -- the documents --
6 the document that was admitted through this witness, I believe it meets
7 the standard for the admission of these types of documents.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE KWON: In light of the witness's answer that he was present
10 when it took place, the Chamber is of the view it can admit the document
11 in its entirety. It's only three pages.
12 Yes, we'll receive it.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6235, Your Honours.
14 MS. GUSTAFSON:
15 Q. Mr. Obradovic, at paragraph 25 you said that there was a military
16 detention facility set up in the primary school in Sokolac and it was
17 only there for ten days or so when it is relocated to the primary school
18 in Cavarine at the beginning of October. Now, you said it was a military
19 detention facility. Was this facility under the authority of the
20 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade?
21 A. What was under whom?
22 Q. The military detection facility that you state was set up at the
23 primary school in Sokolac and then was relocated to the primary school in
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now, you said that it was only in operation at the primary school
2 for about ten days or so. Can I ask you what the source of your
3 information is for that?
4 A. I simply heard of it. I didn't go there.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last
6 portion of the sentence.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON:
8 Q. The interpreters didn't hear the last part of your sentence.
9 Could you repeat your sentence, please.
10 A. I heard that there was some kind of detention for a few days at
11 the school and that it was later moved to Cavarine. I never went there,
12 and I don't know what the conditions there were and what sort of thing
13 was there.
14 Q. Okay. The Chamber's received evidence that that detention
15 facility in the primary school in Sokolac was in operation from July 1992
16 until October 1992. So a lot longer than ten days. Now I take it based
17 on the fact that you never went there and you only heard about this that
18 you can't exclude the possibility that you are wrong about the dates
19 during which this facility operated at the primary school?
20 A. I think it was for a short time only. After some time it was
21 used to receive Serb refugees who came from Sarajevo and other places.
22 Even Muslims from Sarajevo came there. There was a woman with her two
23 children who was accommodated there.
24 Q. But you can't be sure that it was only in operation for ten days.
25 It could have been in operation for longer than that prior to October --
1 or, sorry, prior to September 1992; is that right?
2 A. I can't say whether it worked for five or ten days. I don't know
3 any exact dates.
4 Q. Okay. I'm putting it to you that it was in operation for a lot
5 longer than that, several months. Can you exclude that possibility or
6 should we go through the documents?
7 A. I don't know how long it operated. I don't know exactly. I know
8 that refugees came after that and that they were placed at the school.
9 Q. Okay. At paragraphs 23 and 24, you discuss the detention of
10 people at the Sokolac SJB, including Becir Homarac who was from Micivode,
11 a neighbouring village of yours. This was someone that you knew. Now
12 you said -- now after his detention at the SJB, he was sent to the
13 military detention facility at Cavarine; right?
14 A. Not that it was closed -- that he was detained, but he was held
15 when he was interviewed by members of the state security. Then he was
16 sent to that detention there, because he had nowhere to return. Those
17 villages had been cleansed.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Interpretation. The Prosecutor
19 said detention, and the witness received interpretation that he was
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: Well, I'm not sure how much of a difference that
22 makes, but that's on the record now.
23 Q. Okay. So at paragraph 23 of your statement you said that after
24 people had been held at the Sokolac SJB, the person would either be
25 released or referred to the prosecutor for further action. It's clear
1 from your answer just now that Mr. Homarac was neither released nor
2 referred to the prosecutor. He was sent to detention at Cavarine. So
3 that was a third option, wasn't it. They were either released, referred
4 to the prosecutor, or they were sent to military detention; right?
5 A. Well, he was sent to Cavarine for an exchange because in
6 Micivode, his village, there were no more people. I can't return him to
7 Micivode to walk around the village alone.
8 Q. So you assert that it was for his own safety that he was sent to
9 a military prison instead of being allowed to go home; is that correct,
10 Mr. Obradovic?
11 A. He couldn't return home because there were no people up there.
12 He would have remained alone, and for security reasons he was to be
13 evenings changed. That's how Serbs were exchanged from Sarajevo as well.
14 Q. Okay. I'd just like to go to one last topic and document, it's
15 65 ter 01110.
16 Now, Mr. Obradovic, Mr. Milan Tupajic was the president of the
17 Sokolac municipality during the war; right?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. Now, this is Mr. Tupajic's answer to a telegram sent from
20 Dr. Karadzic to various municipality presidents, including him. It's
21 D95. And that telegram had placed responsibility on municipal presidents
22 to ensure the protection of Muslims and Croats who hand over their
23 weapons and do not intend to fight.
24 Now, you can see here that Mr. Tupajic states several things in
25 response. First of all, he says that the headquarters of the TO has not
1 existed since the 21st of May, 1992. Now, that's a reflection of the
2 fact that the Sokolac TO had been incorporated into the VRS at that time;
4 A. Yes, to the 2nd Romanija.
5 Q. And he says that the chief of the SJB had submitted his
6 resignation. Is that correct? Did the chief of the SJB submit his
7 resignation sometime in the summer of 1992?
8 A. I don't know if he submitted his resignation or whether he was
9 removed. His name was Rado Birac.
10 Q. But he left his position; is that right?
11 A. Correct. If you want me to explain, the man is a writer, a poet.
12 He joined the station and all of the problems that happened. He thought
13 that he could deal with them slowly.
14 Q. That's fine. I don't think we need that level of detail at the
16 Now, Mr. Tupajic, at the end of this message says that the
17 protection of the local Muslim population has to be taken by the
18 2nd Romanija Brigade and the SJB. Now, those were the two organs in
19 Sokolac at the time with primary responsibility for security matters;
21 A. [No interpretation]
22 Q. I think I heard you agree, but I didn't hear an interpretation.
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON:
25 Q. Can you just repeat your answer, please, Mr. Obradovic.
1 A. Those two organs deal with security in the territory of a
3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Obradovic, could you come closer to the
4 microphone. Yes. Thank you.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON:
6 Q. And at the end of this message Mr. Tupajic says:
7 "In conditions as they are now, I cannot take responsibility for
8 their safety."
9 Now, it's correct, is it not, that the president of the
10 municipality was not anywhere in the chain of command of the Sokolac SJB?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And similarly, he was not in the chain of command of the
13 2nd Romanija Brigade?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Thank you. I tender this document and I have no further
17 MR. ROBINSON: Objection, Mr. President. This witness can't
18 speak to this document at all. He can -- there -- you know, he can
19 identify certain organs that are mentioned in the document. This is a
20 subterfuge, you know, to have the Prosecution admit through a witness who
21 can't speak to a document evidence that will reflect on Mr. Karadzic's
22 knowledge, notice, things like that that should have been put through a
23 witness who could speak to those issues, not to smuggle them in through
24 another witness who can only say that, "Yes the MUP was working at this
25 time," or "The TO was not working," and then to use that as some kind of
1 pretext to admit the document. So we think that on balance the
2 prejudicial effect of admitting a document in this manner would outweigh
3 any probative value that you might get from admitting given this
4 witness's answers.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: Yes, Your Honours. There is no subterfuge here.
7 I think this -- I mean, the witness has confirmed virtually every aspect
8 of the document. He's confirmed the position of the author, the date of
9 incorporation of the TO into the VRS, the fact that the chief of the
10 public security station had left his job, the organs responsible for
11 security and Mr. Tupajic's position or not in the chain of authority of
12 those organs. I mean, this -- every aspect of this document has been
13 confirmed. These documents are admitted as a matter of course.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes. The Chamber agrees with Ms. Gustafson. We'll
16 admit it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6236, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, do you have re-examination?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, your Excellency.
20 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Since the document is on the screen, could you
22 please first tell us: Besides physical security, could the municipality
23 do anything else for the citizens including Muslims, and did it do
24 something for them?
25 A. Whatever the citizens of the municipality needed they got from
1 the municipality to the extent of the municipality's abilities to do so.
2 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us whether on the 14th of July
3 it was confirmed that the measures of disarming Muslims were not
4 implemented in the territory of the municipality?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. This is in relation to a question that was put to you during
7 cross-examination. Allegedly what Macar collected from his neighbours
8 was considered official disarming. Before mid-July, were there any
9 efforts to disarm Muslims officially?
10 A. Nothing happened before mid-July. Macar talked to his
11 neighbours, but they did not surrender their weapons at the time, I
13 Q. Thank you. Now let us display another document. Let us see what
14 was handed over in that village. Let's look at D1667. You have already
15 told us that it was not difficult to obtain weapons, but let us look at
16 this report and let us see what the army had to say about that. D1667.
17 The command of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps sent this on the 27th
18 of July, 1992. At the end -- or, rather, in the second half of the
19 passage, Novoseoci village, can you see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The accused is reading too fast. There is no
22 English translation on the screen. We cannot interpret.
23 JUDGE KWON: Without showing the English version, it's very
24 difficult for interpreters to follow. So -- but we may collapse the
25 English one for the benefit of the witness. Please read very slowly.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. This is the only thing I can control, reading slowly. The rest
3 is out of my hands. Let me repeat:
4 "In the village of Novoseoci south of Sokolac, some 5 or 6
5 kilometres away from Sokolac, the weapons and lethal assets were handed
6 over by the Muslim population to the representatives of the
7 2nd Romanija Brigade. The hand-over was carried out pursuant to an
8 agreement and it is considered that the surrender was not complete, i.e.,
9 that not all the weapons were surrendered. On the 27th of July the
10 military reported that not everything was handed over. How does that
11 tally with what you knew as a police officer?
12 A. I don't have the document on the screen. I know that very little
13 was handed over, that both sides laughed. The surrender was just
14 ridiculous. I don't know how much was surrendered, but it was very
16 Q. Thank you. Just a while ago we saw a reply by the president of
17 the Municipal Assembly. Let us look at 65 ter 5377. Did you know what
18 my position was with regard to the protection of the population of Muslim
19 ethnicity which was not engaged in the fighting?
20 A. I don't have that text in front of me.
21 Q. You don't need it. What did you know? Leave aside the text.
22 Did you know anything about my position in this regard?
23 A. I was aware of your position because I was listening to you at a
24 meeting at the municipality of Sokolac which I attended. You invited
25 people to live together. You said that one ethnicity could not be
1 expelled from an area, that Muslims should be provided all the staples
2 for a normal life, that they should be protected on the ground, and to
3 allow them to work and live freely. You especially emphasised and
4 underlined the Geneva Conventions, and I believe that you spoke very well
5 at that meeting and that you said exactly what should be honoured in the
6 war in order to avoid any possible problems.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at -- look at
9 65 ter 5377.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
11 Q. We saw that the previous document was a reply to a telegram of
12 mine. Please cast a glance at this document which will appear sometime
13 soon on the screen for you to see. Can you read the document? It is in
14 the Latinic script. The Trial Chamber can do it as well. Were you aware
15 of this position of mine? Were you aware of such telegrams that I
16 dispatched? How does this tally with what you knew about my position?
17 A. I don't have it in the Serbian.
18 Q. It is in harping. It says here --
19 A. "All the villages" --
20 Q. "... in which the Muslim population under" -- I don't see the
21 word in between.
22 A. "... surrender weapons and do not intend to fight against us must
23 enjoy the full protection of our Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 President of the municipalities will be responsible for this."
25 Q. Thank you. How does this tally with what you knew about my
1 position with regard to minorities?
2 A. The document is self-explanatory. It says here that those people
3 must be protected on the ground and that they are protect on the ground,
4 that they enjoy protection.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted?
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: I have no objection. I just note that the
8 contents are virtually duplicative of D95. It's not in exactly the same
9 form in the sense that this is the individual telegram, whereas the other
10 document repeats the contents of the telegram. It says that it's been
11 sent to the following municipalities. So I'm not sure it's necessary to
12 have this in evidence, but I don't object.
13 JUDGE KWON: Can we see D95.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct. It is a group
15 of telegrams. This was sent to Sokolac. There were others that were
16 sent to other municipalities. It is 65 ter 01109, and there is also a D
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure that she got the
19 65 ter number correctly.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This text is the same but this
21 telegram is proof that it was delivered to Sokolac.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive that separately, i.e., 65 ter
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3190, Your Honours.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Obradovic, you said and you confirmed that before the 21st of
3 July there was no fighting. How did things develop? Was the peace
4 preserved? Was there fighting? If there was fighting did it subside or
5 did it intensify?
6 A. Towards the end of August, as I've already told you, the villages
7 that didn't want to surrender weapons were approached by the
8 2nd Romanija Brigade in order to disarm them. However, they opened fire
9 on the 2nd Romanija Brigade, and since their numbers were smaller they
10 had to withdraw from the villages.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to look at 1D4391,
12 dated 19 September, three days before the developments in Novoseoci.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
15 Q. The brigade commander Krstic reported on the 19th of September,
16 and says:
17 "Due to frequent provocations and attacks on our positions in
18 Serbia [as interpreted] population by Muslim extremists, we wish --" and
19 I will stop here.
20 Were there any civilian Serb casualties at the hand of the
22 A. Of course. In Cvrcici village they killed three people.
23 Jovan Sekulic was killed in a particularly heinous way. They skinned
24 him. They inserted a rod in his penis and left him alive, and the --
25 that was a terrible state. And then Saffron Krsmanovic was killed. He
1 was driving in his village. He was shot at. Saffron was killed, his son
2 Milenko was injured, and the tractor was pierced with bullets. Peric who
3 escaped from the shooting went missing and his whereabouts are not known.
4 His remains have never been found, but he's not among the living.
5 In the village of Dzimrije, which is not in our municipality,
6 another man was killed. In the village of Ozarkovici, another man was
7 killed. In all the borders areas there were casualties. In
8 Gornje Babine Milomir Batinic was shot at but he managed to escape to
10 This is proof that there were casualties there, including the
11 seven people who were taken to Zenica, to the prison there. In other
12 words, there were a lot of dead around our municipality in the suburbs.
13 Since all the Serbs were engaged in the army that they joined the
14 2nd Romanija and the 216th, the Serbian village were empty and the
15 Muslims in the neighbouring villages were armed. They were at a distance
16 of 5 to 10 minutes. They arrived from Zepa and from elsewhere. So those
17 villages were reinforced by men, and they had sent their women and
18 children to Sarajevo. Imagine a village where there are women and
19 children and another village where there are only armed men. How could
20 the Serbs sleep calmly? It's -- the way it transpires is that they were
21 not left alone but -- by us but it was just the other way round.
22 Q. When you said empty Serb villages, what did you have in mind,
23 what kind of emptiness?
24 A. Well, the lack of people who were able to fight, the lack of men
25 fit for combat and resistance.
1 Q. Thank you. Now it says here:
2 [As read] "We inform you that on the 20th and 21st of September,
3 1992, we are going to carry out active operation towards the villages of
4 Kuti and Micivode with the aim of liberating the Serb villages from the
5 Muslim extremists."
6 Does this imply that they are going to be liberated from ordinary
7 civilians or extremists?
8 A. From extremists, because everybody who had weapons were
10 Q. So without reading the remaining part of this document, can it be
11 admitted into evidence, please?
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll receive it.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3191, Your Honours.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. Do you recall that on the 21st and the 22nd, the
16 2nd Romanija Brigade incurred losses? Were there any burials in Sokolac
17 on the 22nd?
18 A. On the 21st of July you mean?
19 Q. September.
20 A. There were funerals, but I don't remember whose it was. If you
21 would give me a name I might remember.
22 Q. In paragraph 20 you mention some soldiers who lost their lives.
23 A. That was in the village of Kaljina. I tried to speak about that
24 a while ago but we skipped it. They were returning from the front line,
25 from their positions. The Muslims were deep in our territory in the
1 village of Kaljina or there about, and they planted mines there that
2 killed four or five men amongst whom was Nenad Tabakovic. So four or
3 five soldiers were killed on that occasion which was immediately before
4 the incident in Novoseoci.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at 1D4390, please.
7 I believe that the Prosecution might have a better number that conceals a
8 translation as well.
9 Could the other participants have a translation.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
11 Q. So 20th of September that -- 22nd of September, that is the day
12 when the incident in Novoseoci took place?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE KWON: I don't see an English translation for this.
15 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The translation is going to appear.
17 We'll find it.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
19 Q. Now, you can see that this is a combat report by the
20 2nd Romanija Brigade. Can we look at the bottom of the page.
21 65 ter 24854 is identically the same with the exception of paragraph D
22 which reads:
23 [As read] "During the previous night and day, the brigade
24 suffered losses from the 4th Motorised Battalion. Two soldiers whose
25 names we do not know were killed, and those were Bogdan Borovcanin and
1 Darko Krsmanovic."
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Karadzic wait until the
3 interpretation is completed.
4 JUDGE KWON: I can't find document in that number but yes.
5 MS. GUSTAFSON: I think that -- it's not identical, but I think
6 the same -- essentially the same contents are in the 22nd of September
7 report that's in evidence as P5438. It seems to be in a different format
8 but I think this information is in that exhibit.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. In this document
10 paragraph D was supplemented by providing the names of the victims from
11 the 2nd Romanija Brigade. It seems that what I read was not recorded, so
12 it can perhaps be admitted into evidence if -- I'm going to continue:
13 "... Bogdan Borovcanin, Darko Krsmanovic, and Nenad Tabakovic.
14 One member of the 1st Motorised Battalion was injured."
15 Now, can we have this document -- well, we didn't hear
16 Mr. Obradovic's response.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is correct that these three
18 were killed and that one was injured.
19 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I understand that this document is
20 already in evidence as P5438.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Excellency, except that
22 in this version paragraph D is shorter, but wait a minute. As I see it,
23 it seems there is something there after all.
24 JUDGE KWON: Why don't we show Mr. Karadzic the second page.
25 D -- I think I was able to follow everything you read out.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Now I see that they are
2 identical. Thank you. There is another version without the names, and
3 then we had a Serbian version with the names. So since this is in
4 evidence, we're not going to tender it into evidence.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Can you tell us, do you know exactly on which date these men from
7 Novoseoci were killed? In what way and who did this, which unit? And
8 who was the commander?
9 A. Well, there is the date somewhere. You are confusing me a bit.
10 I have trouble following you.
11 Q. Let me help you. The Prosecutor asked you if you received formal
12 information about that. You said that it was informal. On page 67, you
13 were asked the following: It was common knowledge what happened in
14 Novoseoci, and you said yes.
15 When you said that, did you mean that everybody knew that or did
16 you know that as an official?
17 A. I knew that in my official capacity, but stories were circulating
18 around Sokolac regarding the killing.
19 Q. Thank you. Do you know any details? Were these people shot dead
20 and what were the circumstances under the killings took place?
21 A. I don't have that information.
22 Q. In paragraph 30, you speak about the fact that some villages put
23 up resistance and that fighting developed there.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, look what this document says. It speaks about operations,
1 active operations, from infantry weapons and mortars.
2 "During last day and night, the enemy attacked our forces along
3 several axes in the sector of defence of our forces, and these operations
4 are carried out with the use of antitank mines, mortars, and other
6 How does this correspond with the knowledge that you have about
7 fighting taking place there?
8 A. I heard that there was fighting in the area, and I heard that
9 they had antitank shells, that they had mortars, that the village of
10 Meljine was engaged in combat with the 2nd Romanija Brigade.
11 Q. Thank you. In paragraph on page 64 in Exhibit P3296, you -- it
12 was put to you that Mr. Macar said that plans had been drawn up for
13 disarming individuals in possession of illegal weapons way back in May.
14 Does that mean that these plans were immediately implemented?
15 A. Well, they were not implemented until the fighting started. When
16 the 2nd Romanija Brigade started and wanted to disarm the people, that's
17 when the fighting broke out because they resisted these attempts. If
18 there had not about any resistance there would not have been any
20 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us -- you said that there was in the
21 border areas, these Muslims who attacked Serb civilians, where did they
22 all come from?
23 A. Well, those were mostly people from the villages on the edges of
24 the municipality, the village of Kaljina, Ivazovici [phoen], Gornja Selo,
25 Sasevci [phoen], and Meljine.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you rule out the possibility that these attacks
2 were carried out by people from Novoseoci, and did you have any
3 information about the groups that raided the area from Olovo and other
5 A. According to Krstic's report, there were 7.000 armed men in
6 Olovo. There were 30 to 40 in Kaljina, and in Knezina and other Muslim
7 villages, there were approximately 30 to 40 armed men respectively, and
8 he said that the attack came from Golovo through these villages in order
9 to create confusion in the Serbian Army and enable them to link up with
10 Zepa, then Visegrad, and Ilivaca, and eventually to capture the whole
11 area and link it up with Pale and Sarajevo.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can you please look at 1D4389. Can
14 we please zoom in and can the other participants be provided with a
15 translation in display.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation].
17 Q. This is a combat report dated the 23rd of September, which is one
18 day after the Novoseoci incident. In the second paragraph, it says that
19 the enemy's trying to constantly infiltrate sabotage group lay mines on
20 supply roads and therefore create confusion and cut off supply channels
21 in the sector of Karacic, Olovske Luke. There were several soldiers who
22 were wounded and the attack was repelled, et cetera.
23 What do you know about the activities of these groups and was
24 this sabotage and terrorist activity something that endangered the
25 civilians and the army?
1 A. There were several incidents that landmines were planted on a
2 number of roads because after these several killings the army placed the
3 roads under their control. All of this had an adverse effect on the
4 Serbian people, causing them to be frightened and posting guards around
5 their houses.
6 Q. Thank you. Can we have the next page. Let's look at item C. It
8 "In villages that have been recently mopped up, Kuti, Micivode,
9 and Novoseoci, there are still straggling groups which escaped, which is
10 why some units are searching the area and discovering and destroying
11 these groups as well as controlling roads and important routes."
12 Further down it says that someone was buried in Sokolac and so on
13 and so forth.
14 What did you know about the arming of these groups? Were they
15 armed, and did they also lay mines deep inside our territory?
16 A. I know that a group was detected in the area of Kustravica in
17 late 1993. They were moving through villages across Mount Devetak going
18 as far as the Drina almost. Another route they used was across
19 Kopito hill, also deep inside our territory. There was a group of people
20 who were in contact with Zepa, so such groups constantly moved through
21 the wooded area such as Devetak, Kustravica, and further afield to Olovo
22 and Sarajevo.
23 Q. Thank you. As a policeman, please tell us: When you received
24 such reports, would you be able to find elements to launch an
1 A. An investigation against whom?
2 Q. Are there indications here that there were some unlawful
4 A. Of course there were unlawful killings. You wait for someone in
5 his own territory, you lay mines, and people get killed. Of course
6 investigations were supposed to be launched if it was known who did it,
7 but the army was in no position to find that out.
8 Q. Thank you. My question is this: Based on this report, would you
9 have initiated an investigation against the 2nd Romanija Brigade? Does
10 it contain certain elements of unlawful behaviour?
11 A. I don't know why I would launch a report when the Muslims were
12 doing worse on their side than these people were on ours.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can this be admitted?
14 MS. GUSTAFSON: No objection.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll receive it.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3192, Your Honours.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Obradovic, did you have enough? How many policemen did you
19 have? Did you have enough police forces to go about your duties, and did
20 your policemen join the forces at the front line or were they all at your
22 A. We did not have enough forces even to carry out purely
23 political -- police tasks. There were cases of breakthrough through the
24 lines when police were used to patch up at such locations, so the police
25 did take part in combat. They would go for five or six days and there
1 would be a rotation of another group -- with another group. So we never
2 had enough men, especially not trained men who could do that.
3 Q. Thank you. Can we look at 1D7974. This is from the
4 Executive Board of Sokolac municipality. The date is 24th of September,
5 two days following Sokolac. The second item it says there is a unanimous
6 conclusion that there are no bases for the implementation of legal and
7 other regulation. In paragraph 4 it states:
8 [As read] "The public security station is in no position to
9 prevent looting, smuggling, and armed attacks on civilians. Not even the
10 introduction of the curfew did provide any visible results. The
11 functioning of the authorities is put into question as well as the
12 implementation of laws, municipal regulation, as well as conclusions and
13 orders of the Presidency of RS."
14 It goes on to say the lack of will or power -- well, what was it
15 that the security station lacked?
16 A. We lacked power, force. We didn't have enough people, and even
17 the ones we did have were not adequately trained. Just a moment ago I
18 was trying to say that the chief of station was a writer, an emotional
19 person who thought that things would stop when he had a conversation with
20 criminals. I would bring them in to the station. He would talk to them
21 and release them instead of allowing me to detain them and submit
22 criminal reports. That is why those criminals felt even stronger. After
23 that this Bilic, I don't know whether he was removed or he resigned
24 himself, but things were put in order at the station later and it
25 functioned pretty well throughout the war.
1 JUDGE KWON: But, Mr. Karadzic, how does it arise from the
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There was this question whether
4 there were no investigations against the army and they did not seem to
5 have enough manpower to investigate criminals. So this brings about the
6 issue of the ability of the police station to do something.
7 JUDGE KWON: I don't think the witness raised the issue of lack
8 of personnel with regard to the investigation of the military personnel.
9 Given the time, why don't you conclude? How many more minutes do
10 you need, Mr. Karadzic?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Two, perhaps three.
12 JUDGE KWON: Please proceed.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You were shown Mr. Tupajic's answer to me when he said that he
15 had no forces to protect the Muslims. Despite that, did you try to cover
16 up any suffering on the part of Muslims or did you also undertake
17 investigations when the victims were Muslims?
18 A. There was no covering up. Everything was known that would take
19 place during any given day because people talked, so there was no
20 covering up on either of the sides.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we briefly look at 65 ter
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Did you personally take part in investigations?
1 A. Me? Sometimes.
2 Q. Thank you. 65 ter -- yes. Are you familiar with this document?
3 There is a translation, because I have it in my hand.
4 A. Can you please zoom in?
5 Q. So the 20th of July, an on-site investigation, and this is a
6 record of it, it involves Judge Gavrilovic and Carkic and so on. The
7 injured party is Salih Dautovic and so on. Who is Salih? What was his
8 ethnicity? Where was he from, and what did you do as part of that
9 investigation? How many of them were there? How many of you?
10 JUDGE KWON: Before you answer, yes, Ms. Gustafson.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: This incident is already discussed in the
12 witness's statement as well as the document related to this
13 investigation. I didn't touch it in my cross-examination, so it just
14 doesn't arise. It was already addressed in direct. If Mr. Karadzic
15 wanted to ask additional questions about it, he should have done that at
16 the outset. It don't arise from cross-examination.
17 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, because of the admission of
18 Mr. Tupajic's letter, this shows in fact how the local authorities are
19 continuing to try to protect the Muslims, and I think that that opened
20 the door to this to come in.
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: And just for your reference, it's at paragraph 21
22 where he discusses this incident and the investigation.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is seven days --
25 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber agrees with Mr. Robinson's observation.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us who were the perpetrators and what
4 happened with this Mr. Dautovic?
5 A. Mr. Dautovic was a forest ranger in Tocionik. He worked there.
6 He was a fine man. His village a few days was -- before that been
7 deserted. The people left themselves, and I talked to him, asking him
8 why they left. He told me, "Dragan, I don't know." He told me that they
9 went to Olovo and that he refused so that I could come the next day -- he
10 would come the next day after he had said good-bye to the inhabitants of
11 Sokolovac. We sat down at Krunic's place and I told him if need be just
12 give me a ring at any time of day or night, there's no problem, if there
13 are any disturbances of law and order, if there's anyone touching you or
14 doing anything criminal. We said our good-byes and I left. I told him
15 if you're interested, give it a thought, because I could take you to
16 Olovo to take you to your people. On Monday morning people from Grbici,
17 some young guys awaited me and told me that Salih Dautovic and his family
18 and another two people were killed in their own home. We set up an
19 on-site investigation team including representatives of the
20 [indiscernible] state security, the crime police, an investigating judge.
21 We went to the location, saw what happened, submitted a criminal report,
22 and it was against an unknown perpetrator.
23 Q. Thank you. Who is under number 4?
24 A. Dragan Obradovic, station commander.
25 Q. Who is that?
1 A. I am.
2 Q. So the full name would be Dragomir?
3 A. Yes.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I seek to tender this
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: No, just to say no objection.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll receive it.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D3193, Your Honours.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Just one more question. Please, when these were for an exchange
12 taken to Kula, did they have the status of prisoner there or did they
13 await an exchange?
14 A. They awaited an exchange. I don't know how many days later it
15 took place and they went to Sarajevo. Some people called me and thanked
16 me for it, for how they were transported and saying that no one
17 mistreated them and so on and so forth.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Obradovic. Thank you for being a good policeman
19 and thank you for having testified today.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
21 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Obradovic, that concludes your evidence.
22 On behalf of the Chamber, I'd like to thank you for coming to The
23 Hague to give it. Now you are free to go. The hearing is --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, and I considered it to
25 be my duty to do so.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. The hearing is adjourned.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.57 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day
5 of March, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.