1 Tuesday, 21 January 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Yes, Mr. Harvey.
8 MR. HARVEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours. May I
9 introduce Dennis Lazarus from Mexico who has been with our team since
10 November 2013 and holds a degree in international relations. Thank you.
11 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Very well.
12 Good morning, Mr. Radetic.
13 Shall we continue, Ms. Sutherland.
14 WITNESS: DRAGAN RADETIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examination by Ms. Sutherland: [Continued]
17 Q. Mr. Radetic, for the interpreters and for the court record, we
18 need to ensure today that we both do not speak at the same time, and my
19 apologies to the interpreters and to the court reporter for the
20 overlapping speakers yesterday.
21 Secondly, I wish to follow up on a couple of things that you said
22 yesterday. At transcript page 45673, you said that the command of the
23 43rd Motorised Brigade moved to Kozara Putevi building sometime in late
24 May and June. And Kozara Putevi is that building -- the military
25 barracks across from the Keraterm camp. Did you ever go to that barracks
2 A. The building of Kozara Putevi? Yes, I did go there several
4 Q. During the time that you worked at the Keraterm camp?
5 A. I'm not sure that while I was at Keraterm the command of the
6 43rd Brigade was at Kozara Putevi. I believe that they were transferred
7 there only thereafter.
8 Q. And you said that the unit remained at the old Zarko Zgonjanin
9 Barracks, and that's Z-g-o-n-j-a-n-i-n Barracks. For the Court, this
10 location is shown on Exhibit P03533. The unit that you mentioned
11 yesterday is the military police unit; is it not?
12 A. If I remember it well, you asked me about the command of the
13 43rd Brigade and you asked me where they were transferred to the
14 Kozara Putevi building. This is what I answered: The command of the
15 43rd Brigade - and only the command - was transferred to the
16 Kozara Putevi building. I don't know anything about the percentages, but
17 I would say that I'm -- a vast majority of the troops remained in the
18 Zarko Zgonjanin Barracks, and I'm referring to the 43rd Brigade.
19 Q. Mr. Radetic, we have a lot to cover today in very, very limited
20 time. I thought my question was clear. You said yesterday that the
21 command moved from Zarko Zgonjanin Barracks to Kozara Putevi. You also
22 said that the unit remained in the old barracks. I was simply asking you
23 this morning to define what you meant by "the unit." Did you mean the
24 military police unit remained at the old barracks?
25 A. If we're talking about the military police, one part of the
1 military police unit remained in the old barracks and the other part was
2 moved to the white building behind the Keraterm building that I showed to
3 you yesterday when you showed me that photo. But I don't know the exact
4 dates when those things happened. I can't remember.
5 Q. And that --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
7 JUDGE KWON: I don't know what it is about. Do you have an
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know how to interpret 3533.
10 We can see a building there, but you can't see the relationship of that
11 building with any other buildings. And now the reference has been made
12 to that relationship, so I don't know how to interpret that.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, it was -- it was me noting for the
14 Court that the Zarko Zgonjanin Barracks is simply located on that
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, let's continue. I think that's okay. Shall we
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Q. Mr. Radetic, you said at transcript page 45683 that
20 Dusko Knezevic was tried for war crimes and is serving his sentence.
21 You're aware of the fact that he was actually tried in Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 as a result of the transfer of the ICTY indictment to the Bosnian state
23 court? You're aware of that fact, yes?
24 A. Dusko Kraljevic is the name I heard yesterday for the first time.
25 I don't know who you're talking about. As far as I can remember,
1 Dusko Kraljevic did not exist in the 43rd Brigade, or at least I didn't
2 know any such person.
3 Q. Mr. Radetic, yesterday I mentioned Dusko Knezevic who was
4 involved in crimes --
5 A. Knezevic?
6 Q. -- with Zoran Zigic. Now, you know that he was tried in Bosnia
7 as a result of an indictment sent by the ICTY to the state court, don't
9 A. Madam, for the transcript to be clear, in your previous question
10 you asked me about Dusko Kraljevic, and now you just skipped that name
11 and you're asking me about Zigic and Knezevic. Do we still need to talk
12 about Dusko Kraljevic?
13 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Radetic, it's an issue of interpretation. There
14 is a mistake in the course of interpretation. Please understand that.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND:
16 Q. Are you able to answer the question, Mr. Radetic?
17 A. And the question is about whom, Dusan Knezevic and Zoran Zigic,
18 whether they what?
19 Q. No, I'm moving on. We're wasting time.
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: Can I have Exhibit D04140 on the screen please.
21 Q. Mr. Radetic, will you please concentrate very carefully on my
22 question and answer the question as succinctly as you possibly can,
24 JUDGE KWON: Can you read the exhibit number again, please.
25 MS. SUTHERLAND: D04140.
1 Q. The document you see on the screen is an official note signed by
2 Dusko Sikirica, who is the commander of the Keraterm security, dated the
3 4th of July, 1992. And it states there that Zigic, an armed uniform
4 person, together with Dusko Knezevic, Zoran Vokic, and Zeljko Timarac
5 came to the Keraterm camp and beat prisoners to exhaustion and after
6 which they would die a few days later. He asks there to the
7 Prijedor police station number 2 to ask the responsible bodies to suggest
8 to the military command that such conscripts should be prevented from
9 committing these arbitrary acts. Now, Sikirica's statement about Zigic
10 establishes that a crime has been committed, doesn't it? Can you answer
11 that with a yes or a no?
12 A. It arises from this now that the answer is yes.
13 Q. And Zigic and others as a result of this official note should
14 have been arrested, should they not?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The police were duty-bound to inform the military command and the
17 prosecutor of this 4th of July, 1992, letter, which contained information
18 that crimes had been committed?
19 A. Madam, on the 4th of July, 1992 --
20 Q. Mr. Radetic --
21 A. -- there were neither a military prosecutor nor a military court.
22 As far as I can remember, the military court and the military
23 prosecutor's office were set up either at the end of September or the
24 beginning of October.
25 Q. They could have informed the civilian police -- they could have
1 informed the -- the civilian prosecutor, yes?
2 A. Precisely. Because Zoran Zigic was not a military conscript, nor
3 was he a member of the 43rd Brigade.
4 Q. Now, there was -- there was a military police unit under the
5 military command of which you were a member, yes?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And so the police were duty-bound to inform the military command
8 of this letter, and it was the responsibility, was it not, of the police
9 and the military to investigate and -- investigate this matter?
10 A. Madam, the military police was duty-bound to deal with illegal
11 dealings carried out by uniformed personnel in the armed forces.
12 Zoran Zigic was not a member of the military. He was not a military
13 conscript. He could not even be mobilised because he had some health
14 problems, as far as I can remember. The story about Zoran Zigic should
15 have ended in proceedings carried out by the Ministry of the Interior
16 because he was a civilian involved in the commission of crimes.
17 Q. And Dusko Knezevic, he was not a member of the military? Is that
18 your position?
19 A. He was a member of the unit of the 43rd Brigade.
20 Q. All right. We'll deal with some documents in a moment, but just
21 before we do that, in paragraph 35 of your statement, it states that
22 after 15 days at Keraterm you were assigned other duties. And in
23 paragraph 33 of your statement, you say that you were transferred to the
24 crime department of the military police. You said you investigated
25 crimes against property and that 90 per cent of the cases involved Serb
2 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Just a second. There seems to have
3 been some problem with your microphone. I'm not sure whether the witness
4 heard your question in full. Did you understand the question?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Whether I was transferred to
6 the crime prevention service of the military police after a short while
7 and the answer is yes, that happened.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND:
9 Q. In paragraph 8 of your statement, you say that everyone who the
10 military police found out had committed a crime was arrested and criminal
11 reports were filed.
12 A. He was processed but that doesn't mean that he had to be
14 Q. Now, Mr. -- Mr. -- Mr. Radetic, you mentioned, you know,
15 extensive looting, robberies. Now, the non-Serbs were the victims of
16 these crimes - correct? --
17 A. Robberies --
18 Q. -- in the majority of cases?
19 A. A majority of those crimes were committed in the areas where
20 there was no population and that's where looting and robberies happened.
21 Those were the areas where combat had taken place previously, and I'm
22 talking about 90 per cent of all the cases.
23 Q. And those places where combat occurred where the civilians from
24 that area were fleeing their houses, is that the areas that you're
25 talking about, the non-Serb houses in the combat areas where the looting
1 was occurring?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what about -- what about serious crimes? What about crimes
4 against life and limb, war crimes against a civilian population? Did you
5 investigate those crimes? You said everyone who the military police
6 found out had committed a crime was arrested.
7 A. They were processed. When it comes to crimes against life and
8 limb, we had cases that could be processed. We gathered evidence. We
9 investigated. We interrogated suspects. We collected evidence. We
10 prepared documents for future processing, yes.
11 Q. The focus was on property crime and not investigating crimes like
12 murder and serious assaults committed against the non-Serb population,
13 wasn't it?
14 A. A lot more crimes that pertained to property, at least according
15 to the information available to the police, were known to the police. We
16 did not know about the large number of killings of the non-Serbian
17 population, and we knew about the others. We had information about
19 Q. Mr. Radetic, you said yesterday that you informed your superior
20 command of the crimes that you heard about -- oh, no, sorry, you informed
21 your command about the crimes that you had heard about unofficially that
22 had occurred at the Keraterm camp after you left. Now, there was no
23 investigation by the military police into these crimes, was there?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Well, what about the room 3 massacre involving the death of over
1 150 detainees that occurred on the 24th of July, 1992, in the Keraterm
2 camp? Did the military police investigate that matter?
3 A. In the statement that I provided to the Tribunal, I explained
4 very clearly that during that period of time I was not in Prijedor. I
5 was absent from Prijedor because my father was sick. After four or five
6 days when I returned, I learnt about the killings that had occurred on
7 the 24th of July. As far as I know in view of the fact that those
8 victims were civilians and that the civilian police secured the camp, the
9 police station in Prijedor was involved in some investigation.
10 Q. Now, wasn't -- wasn't -- wasn't it the talk of the town that a --
11 that a TO unit or a military unit was also involved in the commission of
12 that massacre?
13 A. When I returned, I heard this: It was the talk of the town that
14 some people tried to escape from Keraterm and that several of those who
15 tried to escape were killed. That's what I heard.
16 Q. The unarmed civilians who were -- who were locked in a -- in a
17 shed tried to escape and then they were machine gunned down; is that
19 A. Madam, I was not there. I told you what I had heard and those
20 were just talks.
21 Q. Let's turn briefly now to -- to the military court prosecutor's
22 office. In paragraph 8 of your statement, you say that the main problem
23 in the work of the military police was the fact that no military court
24 had been established until September/October 1992 and there was no place
25 to process the recorded perpetrators of crimes. We have evidence in this
1 case that the military courts and military prosecutor's offices in the
2 Republika Srpska were established much earlier and that was by a decision
3 of Mr. Karadzic of the 31st of May, 1992, which is P03602. We also have
4 evidence in this case showing that the Banja Luka military court was
5 operational and functioning from August 1992, and the reference for the
6 Court and the accused is Exhibit P03596.
7 Now, the military prosecutor's office was functioning from at
8 least mid-July, yes?
9 A. In mid-July I did go to the military prosecutor's office on
10 business. A man was there in that room. He didn't have a desk. He did
11 not even have a typewriter, let alone a computer. Captain Pisarevic,
12 whose name I can't remember, was on the phone all day to try and get at
13 least the bare necessities for his work. That's what the prosecutor's
14 office looked like in mid-July 1992.
15 Q. We have evidence in this case, Exhibit P03608 which shows --
16 which is the military court prosecutor's log-book, which shows that the
17 prosecutor's office was operational from at least the 19th of July, 1992.
18 But, Mr. Radetic, you were working in the prosecutor's office in -- in
19 August 1992; correct?
20 A. The end of August, beginning of September. I don't know exactly
22 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could we have --
23 Q. You were -- you were a desk officer or an administrative officer
24 in the military prosecutor's office at that time, weren't you?
25 A. Yes, a professional associate.
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: Can we have 65 ter number 25840, please.
2 Q. Mr. Radetic, this is a cover page of a -- of a file for
3 Zoran Zigic, and it's dated in the very top left-hand corner the
4 19th of August, 1992. And it's got a reference, 84/92. And if we go
5 down to the bottom of the page, is that a reference to you down in the
6 bottom right-hand corner?
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we can go to page 2 of the English.
8 Q. Is that a reference to you, Mr. Radetic? That's being --
9 A. I assume that the answer is yes, but I cannot recall the case.
10 Q. [Overlapping speakers] Well, you're the only --
11 A. I assume the answer is yes.
12 Q. You're the only person with the surname Radetic that worked in
13 the military prosecutor's office, weren't you?
14 A. Yes.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: I tender that document, Your Honour.
16 THE ACCUSED: How many pages?
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: It's simply the cover page, one.
18 JUDGE KWON: Two pages?
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Two pages in the English, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Yes, we'll receive it.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6595, Your Honours.
22 MS. SUTHERLAND:
23 Q. Now, you say in paragraph 7 of your statement that the civilian
24 authorities, the police, and the army took measures within their purview
25 against violators of public law and order and those who committed crimes
1 and also in paragraph 8 that when -- as -- as we've just discussed, when
2 everyone -- when you were working in the military police company,
3 everyone was arrested but that you couldn't process them because there
4 was no military court. You also said in paragraph 50 that attempts were
5 made to process people who had committed crimes. But the fact of the
6 matter is, Mr. Radetic, that the prosecutor's office and the court failed
7 to follow through with prosecutions of perpetrators in relation to crimes
8 committed against non-Serbs; correct?
9 A. Now, what actually -- are you asking me about the work of the
10 military police or the military prosecutor's office? What is the aspect
11 from which I should answer this question?
12 Q. Military prosecutor's office and the court.
13 A. The military prosecutor's office, after it was enabled to do what
14 it was supposed to do on the basis of the law, and that was at the end of
15 September, worked on cases that it received from police organs to the
16 extent to which these reports arrived and to the extent to which there
17 was evidence supporting the reports. However, the focus of the military
18 prosecutor's office in view of the war situation were problems within the
19 Army of Republika Srpska.
20 Q. Mr. Radetic --
21 A. -- that rendered it impossible --
22 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I said that the focus was not --
23 they didn't follow through on crimes that were committed against
24 non-Serbs - that was my question - yes or no?
25 A. I'm not sure. I cannot give a yes or no answer. I'd have to
1 spend a lot of time to remember all of that. How could I possibly just
2 say yes or no? I cannot recall how many such cases were dealt with as
3 you have been referring to just now.
4 Q. I want to look at an -- an example in the Prijedor basic court.
5 Now, you worked there for seven years before the war, did you not, in the
6 basic court?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So we know that Zoran Zigic was arrested on the 1st of July and
9 detained for three days for a crime of accepting bribery of
10 4.000 Deutschmarks from two non-Serb detainees in Keraterm camp.
11 MS. SUTHERLAND: And the reference for that is D01926. And the
12 criminal report is D1925.
13 Q. There is then a request by the Prijedor basic public prosecutor
14 on the 3rd of July.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND: And if we can bring that document up, 25842,
17 Q. Now, this is from Samba [phoen], deputy prosecutor, Drasko Zec.
18 And it's addressed to the court, the investigating judge in the court,
19 requesting to carry out an investigation against him and to detain him
20 for one month for this -- for this crime of bribe taking. And it says on
21 the 10th of June that he was a member of the unit providing security to
22 the Keraterm collection centre. Now, we saw earlier the document P04041,
23 the 4th of July letter written by Dusko Sikirica, the commander of the
24 Keraterm camp, about the -- the crimes that had been committed by the
25 four people named in that document. Do you recall that?
1 A. No, I cannot recall that.
2 Q. It was the -- it was the exhibit that we showed very early this
3 morning, and it --
4 JUDGE KWON: Official Note written by Sikirica. Do you remember
5 having seen that this morning?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely. Of course. Well, this
7 morning -- well, you know, I thought that you asked me whether I had seen
8 that in 1992. 1992. In 1992, I did not see it or at least I do not
9 recall seeing it. Of course I saw it this morning.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND:
11 Q. Yeah, no, I'm sorry if -- if there is some confusion,
12 Mr. Radetic. So Mr. Zigic is arrested for this crime here in front of
13 us, this -- this bribery crime. The very next day, after this letter is
14 written to detain him for one month, Sikirica then writes and -- and
15 informs the public -- the police station about the crimes being committed
16 by Mr. Zigic. Now the police are duty-bound to hand that letter on to
17 the prosecutor, are they not?
18 A. Civilian prosecutor's office, yes. I assume the answer is yes.
19 Q. Okay.
20 MS. SUTHERLAND: Now if we could call up 65 ter number 25836.
21 JUDGE KWON: Did you ask any question about this request from the
22 prosecutor's office?
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Well, Your Honour, I was showing this to the
24 witness to put it into -- to establish a chronology of -- of documents to
1 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Yes. Please continue.
2 MS. SUTHERLAND:
3 Q. So we see in front of us, Mr. Radetic, an undated letter,
4 although it has a date stamped down in the bottom left-hand corner as
5 having been received from the -- the prosecutor's office on the
6 8th of August -- 8th of July, I'm sorry. It's -- it's a letter of the
7 sabotage reconnaissance unit of the military post 4777/3 Prijedor signed
8 by Sergeant Dusko Knezevic, and it's sent to the public prosecutor, and
9 it's requesting the release of the soldier Zoran Zigic accused of a crime
10 under Article 230, saying because the unit will leave for Derventa and
11 they -- they need Zigic because he's an exceptionally capable and
12 disciplined soldier and one of the best explosive experts.
13 Now, four days after the -- five days after the -- the document
14 we just saw from the prosecutor's office asking for a -- for a -- for the
15 detention for one month, we see Mr. -- where it -- sorry, where it says
16 that Knezevic had been a member of the Keraterm security, which is
17 attached to the police, we now see him being part of a military unit.
18 And we have his partner in crime here, Dusko Knezevic, writing a letter
19 for his release.
20 Now, this military post, the sabotage reconnaissance unit
21 military post 4777/3, this is a unit within the 43rd Brigade, yes?
22 A. Yes.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Now, could we have 65 ter number 25843 please.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you allow me. If the Prosecutor
25 allows me -- or, rather, if the Court allows me, this document that is on
1 the screen now and that was signed by Dusko Knezevic is a pure forgery.
2 It's compiled by criminals in order to have one criminal help another
4 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we could have 65 ter number 25843, please.
5 Q. And this is a decision signed by Zivko Dragosavljevic from the
6 Prijedor lower court, dated the 9th --
7 A. Drago Savljevic.
8 Q. -- of July, 1992, immediately releasing the accused, Zoran Zigic.
9 And it says -- it says here that he's fully admitted to having committed
10 the crimes, and then says the reasons to keep him in custody don't exist
11 anymore and also the public prosecutor's office proposed the release from
12 custody. And then it refers to the letter written by Dusko Knezevic.
13 Now, is this a legitimate basis to release when -- when Zigic has
14 confessed to the crime and the matter could have gone straight to trial?
15 But in any event, the -- the court should have been aware of the letter
16 of the 4th of July, 1992, from Sikirica outlining that Zigic had
17 committed a murder. And if the court had evidence that murder had been
18 committed, he shouldn't have been released, should he?
19 A. Let me tell you: As a professional, I don't like to state my
20 views on the decisions of any court without having detailed insight into
21 the case itself. Let me say this: As for this detention of Mr. Zigic's
22 in that case and the constellation of the crimes that he had committed
23 anyway and on account of which he was arrested, and so on, this is very
24 mild, if I can put it that way, extortion, bribery. If Mr. Zigic
25 admitted the commission of such a crime and if there was other supporting
1 evidence before the court in addition to that confession, and it has to
2 do with the crime of bribery, there would be no reason for detention on
3 the basis of the Law on Criminal Procedure that was in force then and the
4 one that is in force now.
5 However, if, as you claim, the court had Dusko Sikirica's letter,
6 then this is catastrophic, releasing Mr. Zigic from custody.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In line 20 it was not recorded
10 properly, "if."
11 JUDGE KWON: Yeah, we understood that. You confirm that
12 Mr. Radetic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 MS. SUTHERLAND:
16 Q. Mr. Radetic, I want to show you, you said you're not comfortable
17 with dealing with -- looking at cases that you weren't involved in.
18 Well, I want to show you some that you are aware of. You agree that this
19 happened frequently, that the court was releasing perpetrators back to
20 their units in order to replenish manpower at the front?
21 A. Well, that's a difficult question. That's a difficult
22 question --
23 Q. Well, yes or no?
24 A. -- that cannot be given a general answer. No.
25 Q. You're saying it didn't happen frequently?
1 A. The concept of "frequently" is a very broad one, and I don't know
2 what the Prosecution means by "frequently."
3 Q. All right. I will be more specific. In relation to crimes
4 committed by non-Serbs -- crimes committed by Serbs against non-Serbs, in
5 those instances the court was releasing perpetrators back to their units,
6 weren't they?
7 A. I cannot recall something like that happening.
8 MS. SUTHERLAND: Your Honour, I've been advised that my time is
9 up, but I do wish to show Mr. Radetic four documents, if -- with
10 Your Honours' leave. Sorry, five documents.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE KWON: Please conclude by 11.00.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND:
14 Q. Mr. Radetic, five weeks later Zigic was again involved in
15 extortion. The previous --
16 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry, I meant 10.00. Yes. Thank you for your
17 indication, Mr. Robinson.
18 MS. SUTHERLAND: I know I had asked for an additional half-hour,
19 Your Honour. In my estimate -- my cross estimate was for two hours, but
20 I will -- I will abide by the Court.
21 Q. Mr. Radetic, five weeks later Zigic is again involved in
22 extortion. I mean, this one that we just dealt with was in relation to
23 2.500 Deutschmarks, but the next case in August dealt with an amount
24 of --
25 JUDGE KWON: I'm sorry to interrupt you. Did you mean to tender
1 those three documents?
2 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, please, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
4 MR. ROBINSON: No objection.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive them all.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter number 25836 will be P6596;
7 65 ter number 25842 will be Exhibit P6597; and 65 ter number 25843 will
8 be P6598.
9 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND:
11 Q. Now you know about this case, don't you, because the Banja Luka
12 military court now dealt -- deals with this second case of extortion.
13 And it's -- it's a case involving Zoran Zigic trying to get money from
14 Husein Ganic, Husein Ganic. You know the case I'm talking about?
15 A. I cannot remember that individual case now. I know that
16 Mr. Zigic several times tried or did commit crimes against the Ganic
17 family. That I do remember. As far back as when I worked for the
18 military police, that's when that kind of thing happened.
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: If I can have 65 ter number 25846, please. I'm
20 sorry, 25845.
21 Q. Now, this is a -- this is a decision signed Svetozar Davidovic
22 against an appeal by Zigic rejecting it and keeping him in custody,
23 because it concludes that he can repeat this same criminal activity and
24 could influence the witnesses. Do you recall this case?
25 A. Madam Registrar, Zoran Zigic was involved in 20 cases. When
1 there was reasonable doubt. You see that this is August 1992. He was a
2 suspect in so many cases. I really cannot recall all these individual
4 Q. Okay.
5 MS. SUTHERLAND: If we can have 65 ter number 25846.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Is this document being tendered?
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Mr. Robinson? Yes, we'll admit it.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6599.
10 MS. SUTHERLAND:
11 Q. Now this document is a decision in relation to Zigic's co-accused
12 Mladen Dosen, and it actually is releasing him. And at the
13 second-to-last paragraph on page 2 of the English, it says that the
14 Chamber also weighed the need to deploy him to the same unit on the
15 battle-field that he came from. So again we see these reasons about
16 returning people to battle-fields.
17 MS. SUTHERLAND: If I could have 65 ter number --
18 JUDGE KWON: If you are tendering this document, ask him a
19 question whether he agrees with it.
20 MS. SUTHERLAND:
21 Q. Do you agree with what I've just said, that again this is another
22 indication of courts releasing people back to their units?
23 A. As for this exhibit, I cannot say anything because I don't know
24 the essence. I'm not familiar with the case. This is one of the reasons
25 based on by-laws that units needed soldiers. Now, releasing Mr. Dosen
1 from detention, now, whether the court assessed all the reasons based on
2 the law, if the reasons were not really there and he was released, then
3 it's all right. But if there were reasons to keep him in detention, then
4 what the prosecutor says would be correct.
5 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive this.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6600, Your Honours.
7 MS. SUTHERLAND: Could I have Exhibit 25841, please --
8 65 ter number 25841, please.
9 Q. Mr. Dosen -- Mr. Dosen -- Mr. Radetic, while that document's
10 coming up, we saw a moment ago Mr. Zigic's appeal for release is --
11 Mr. -- he's kept in custody, that would be an opportunity to investigate
12 Zigic for all the crimes that he's committed at the Keraterm and Omarska
13 and even the Trnopolje camp which were known to the police and the
14 military; correct?
15 A. Whether keeping Mr. Zigic in detention was an opportunity to
16 investigate other crimes that he had possibly committed, I don't think so
17 because he was kept in custody because of a particular crime. The court
18 and the prosecutor's office have a lot of work to do in order to prove
19 the crime on account of which he is being kept in custody.
20 Q. Mr. --
21 A. Mr. Zigic appears before the military judiciary and the civilian
22 judiciary in I don't know how many cases.
23 Q. Mr. Radetic, we've already established that when you have
24 evidence of a crime being committed, it should be investigated,
25 especially when it's a crime of murder. While he was being detained on
1 this charge, which related to 25.000 dollars, he could still have been
2 investigated on the other crimes and additional crimes could have been
3 bought, do you agree -- brought, do you agree?
4 A. Madam Prosecutor, at the prosecutor's office a criminal report
5 arrives against a particular person. It is the authorised police
6 institution that submits it. And in that report it says that -- and
7 Marko Markovic committed such and such a crime and then there is a
8 description. Do you really expect someone at the prosecutor's office
9 when they receive this kind of criminal report that they address the
10 police organ and say, Are there perhaps some other indications that this
11 person did something else too?
12 Q. Mr. Radetic, you testified yesterday that you told Majstrovic
13 about crimes being comitted. You said the whole town knew about crimes
14 being committed. They have an obligation to investigate these matters,
15 the military police, the prosecutor's office. Surely that's the case.
16 Now this document in front of us, 65 ter 25841, is a decision by
17 Vojin Maric, of the 8th of October, 1992, releasing Zoran Zigic from
19 Now, Zigic was never tried for these crimes was he?
20 A. I don't know about that. I think he was. I think he was
21 prosecuted and convicted before a civilian lower court of Prijedor. I
22 think it was on the charge of murder, but I cannot be sure because I was
23 not involved in that case.
24 Q. He was --
25 A. It's only as far as I can remember.
1 Q. Exhibit P03608 shows that the -- that he file was transferred to
2 the civilian court in 2000. He was never tried during the war. But he
3 was arrested in June 1993 and tried and convicted for the killing of a
4 Serb civilian woman named Danka Petkovic - you're aware of that, aren't
5 you? - and he was sentenced to 16 years in prison?
6 A. In town he killed a woman, and I know there was a trial involving
8 Q. So he's in custody twice for crimes committed against non-Serbs,
9 he's released on both occasions, he's -- commits an offence against a
10 Serb victim, and he's tried and convicted and sentenced to 15 years in
11 prison. That's the -- that's the -- the lot of it, isn't it?
12 A. Well, I cannot judge what's the lot of it out of three facts.
13 MS. SUTHERLAND: I have no further questions. My time is up,
14 Your Honour. Thank you.
15 JUDGE KWON: Are you tendering the last document?
16 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, please, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6601, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, your Excellency, thank you.
21 Good morning, your Excellencies.
22 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Radetic. While we have this
24 document before us, could you tell us -- first of all, look at the second
25 paragraph of the explanation, the statement of reasons, in fact, where
1 they suggest that his detention be terminated, and the charge requires
2 psychiatric expertise from the centre where the detainee had been in
3 treatment. Tell me, who was able to interfere with the judge's decision
4 on custody?
5 A. As far as I know, nobody.
6 Q. Thank you. While we are discussing this case and it's fresh in
7 our minds, do you remember whether the criminal report dated 3rd July,
8 65 ter 25842 and now it has a P number, it was written on the
9 3rd of July?
10 A. I really can't remember who drafted the criminal report.
11 Q. [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone is off.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean the request to place in
14 remand? I think it's the basic prosecutor's office in Prijedor that
15 drafted that document.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. On the 3rd of July; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So Zigic writes his basic report?
20 A. You mean Sikirica?
21 Q. Can you tell us --
22 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. -- whether this act by Sikirica is appropriate?
25 JUDGE KWON: We need to be precise. Shall we upload first
1 Exhibit P6596? I'm not sure, did you refer to this, Mr. Karadzic?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, your Excellency, but it's good
3 to have it.
4 JUDGE KWON: No, no, let's --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's good to have this one.
6 JUDGE KWON: Let's upload first P25842 which was admitted as
7 Exhibit P6596. So your question was about this document, yes.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, your Excellency.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Is this the request and was it sent on the 3rd of July?
11 A. From the case file, we see that it was typed up on the 3rd and I
12 believe that from the reception stamp it's also the 3rd of July, 1992.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Did this document have to be proceeded by certain actions before
15 the 3rd of July?
16 A. Of course. The pre-investigating proceedings by the police
17 forces, and the police then informed the prosecutor of all these facts.
18 Q. Then on the 4th of July we see an Official Note written by
19 Mr. Sikirica. What is the channel that this Official Note has to pass
20 through and could it be before this request for custody?
21 A. No, it couldn't be before because it was written a day later --
22 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- when this was already filed in
25 JUDGE KWON: Please put a pause between question and answer.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise to the interpreter and
2 the parties.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. So how long does this Official Note have to travel and what is
5 the road it has to travel to the desk of the investigating judge?
6 A. The normal path would be for this Official Note by Dusko Sikirica
7 to come first to the desk of the higher police officer to whom he sent
8 it. This higher police officer when he receives such a document, gives
9 it to the crime investigation police for them to check because very
10 serious crimes are mentioned here. The crime investigation department of
11 Prijedor municipality was supposed to carry out certain pre-investigating
12 proceedings concerning these allegations to check if these are indeed
13 true. After that with a criminal report against the persons named in
14 this Official Note, they would approach the prosecutor's office in
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we just see --
17 JUDGE KWON: But you remember that the decision to release Zigic
18 was finally issued on the 8th of October that year 1992. So if --
19 MS. SUTHERLAND: Excuse me, Your Honour, no, that was the
20 military court file -- the -- the civilian court file. He was released
21 on the 9th of July.
22 JUDGE KWON: On the 9th of July. And he was arrested again, yes.
23 MS. SUTHERLAND: Yes, he was arrested on the -- the
24 1st of July --
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 MS. SUTHERLAND: -- and then released and then again around the
2 22nd of August.
3 JUDGE KWON: So he was arrested and released at the end of the
4 date on the 8th of October.
5 So my question is: The report written by Sikirica should have
6 arrived before the military court by that date, i.e.,
7 8th of October 1992, shouldn't it?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So if there is any misunderstanding
9 concerning this paragraph, this request to carry out an investigation was
10 written on the 3rd of July.
11 JUDGE KWON: We are talking about Sikirica's Official Note
12 written on the 4th of July.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 4th of July.
14 JUDGE KWON: It's D4140. It will come to your monitor soon.
15 So my question again is that when the military court decided to
16 release Zigic, it could have this document before it.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Zigic was already released on
18 the 9th of July and he was released by a civilian court, if I got the
19 dates right, based on a letter that I said was a forgery, signed
20 allegedly by Dusko Knezevic.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, so at that time that court may not have had
22 that information originating from Sikirica, but by October it could have
23 this information, couldn't it?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, all the way up to
25 8 July we are talking about the civilian court of Prijedor, but in
1 October there is a military court. I'm not sure that civilian police
2 submitted and had the habit in practice of filing their documents with
3 the military court as well. I'm not sure about that.
4 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
5 Back to you, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we briefly look
7 at P6595.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Look at the lower bottom corner, what does it mean 24th August,
10 then 26th August, and then the 7th of September? What are these
12 A. What do you mean?
13 Q. The lower bottom corner. Do you see these dates, 24th August and
14 then some more additions? What does it mean, "additional investigation"?
15 A. I'm not sure, but these are individual documents made by the
16 prosecutor's office and sent to various addresses from the police
17 requesting them to run checks as well as other state agencies.
18 Q. Pursuant to the Official Note by Sikirica, did you understand
19 that Mr. Sikirica was in favour of such action or against it?
20 A. He qualified them as perpetrators of the most heinous crimes. He
21 was certainly not trying to protect them.
22 Q. So such actions by Zigic and his accomplices, was that the rule
23 or an exception?
24 A. Obviously these were persons who constituted a glaring exception
25 compared to the vast majority of the population of Prijedor.
1 Q. This release from remand, does it mean termination of
3 A. No, not at all. Remand is just the most serious measure to
4 ensure the presence of the accused, because it's contrary to basic human
5 rights and freedoms. As soon as reasons for using this harshest measure
6 ceases, it is terminated, and the investigating judge takes care all the
7 time during the proceedings to make sure whether these reasons for the
8 harshest measure are still present or not.
9 Q. [No interpretation]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Karadzic repeat his question, please.
11 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Mr. Karadzic, you need to repeat
12 your question. Interpreters couldn't hear that.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. My question was: Which part of the reasons for remand custody is
15 eliminated when an accused confesses guilt?
16 A. Well, one reason that is eliminated is disturbance to the public.
17 If that's the kind of crime that is charged, then even a confession does
18 not eliminate reasons for remand in custody.
19 Q. Mr. Radetic, did you have any knowledge that I, as president of
20 the republic, come supreme commander, was interfering with the judiciary?
21 A. No, certainly not. If you want me to be quite honest, when I was
22 working in the military prosecutor's office, I really held a grudge
23 against the president of the republic because he didn't give us more
24 resources to work faster.
25 Q. Thank you. How would you connect these cases with the president
1 of the republic? What does the president have to do with when somebody
2 would be released from remand custody or detained, et cetera?
3 A. The president would be abusing his authority and office very
4 seriously if he tried to interfere with live cases; that is to say, cases
5 that are being processed by the judiciary.
6 Q. Thank you. This Dusko Knezevic who wrote this letter --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we look at this document, by
8 the way. It was 65 ter 25836 but now it has a P number. Yes, there it
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Apart from his signature, the signature of the person sending it,
12 do we see any reception stamps? Do we see anything that makes this
13 document trustworthy?
14 A. This is the reception stamp of the prosecutor's office, and we
15 see the number under which this was filed. I've looked at many documents
16 describing all the things that these people had done, but this one I
17 haven't seen. This was certainly a forgery. Mr. Zigic was unfit to be a
18 member of the army. He was never mobilised for that reason and it's out
19 of the question that he was part of that unit.
20 Q. Is that the same man mentioned in Sikirica's letter?
21 A. Yes, it's the same person, the same person who was involved
22 together with him in these crimes.
23 Q. There was a bit of confusion about the location of the command
24 and the location of the unit. Tell me, how far is
25 Zarko Zgonjanin Barracks away from the unit?
1 Q. It's not less than 3 or 4 kilometres. It's an entirely different
2 part of town. It's on the Banja Luka-Prijedor main road, the unit, and
3 the barracks is along the Prijedor-Dubica thoroughfare. Totally
4 different roads.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Radetic, for your testimony.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
7 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Then that concludes your evidence,
8 Mr. Radetic. On behalf of the Chamber, I would like to thank you for
9 your coming to The Hague to give it. You are free to go.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Goodbye.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE KWON: And the next witness is Mr. Torbica?
14 MR. ROBINSON: That's correct, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll hear his evidence after the break. But
16 before we take a break, the Chamber is going to issue an oral ruling.
17 The Chamber will now issue an oral ruling on the accused's
18 "Motion to Reclassify Status of Intercept Exhibits," filed on the
19 17th January, 2014, in which the accused requests that the Chamber
20 reclassify the status of 20 intercepts, which were previously "marked as
21 not admitted" by the Chamber because it was not satisfied of their
22 authenticity at that time. The accused submits that it has been the
23 Chamber's practice to mark intercepts for identification pending
24 authentication by "officials of the Croatian and Bosnian governments" and
25 he intends to call such officials to testify in February 2014; therefore,
1 to maintain consistency and avoid confusion, he argues that the
2 intercepts should be reclassified as marked for identification.
3 The Prosecution responded on the 20th of January, 2014, stating
4 that it does not take a position on the accused's request; however,
5 noting that changing the status of the intercepts at this stage of the
6 proceedings is unnecessary as their current status does not prevent the
7 accused from presenting further evidence which could ultimately lead to
8 their admission.
9 The Chamber first notes that the accused includes Exhibit D1787
10 and D2029 in the motion; however, both have been fully admitted into
11 evidence. D2029 was admitted into evidence through
12 Witness Vladimir Lukic on the 23rd of May, 2013. The Chamber further
13 notes that D1787 was never marked as not admitted and, as noted by the
14 Prosecution, the accused seems to refer to D1747 instead of D1787. As
15 such, the Chamber will consider the accused's request to include D1747,
16 not D1787.
17 The Chamber notes that in its decision of the
18 7th of December, 2012, and the 7th of August, 2013, it marked the
19 intercepts as not admitted because as a "special category" of evidence,
20 intercepts may only be admitted into evidence if the Chamber is satisfied
21 of their authenticity either after hearing from the relevant intercept
22 operators or a participant in the conversations or after judicial notice
23 of their authenticity has been taken, and the accused had not
24 demonstrated either with respect to the intercepts. The Chamber
25 considers that the status of "marked as not admitted" does not preclude
1 the accused from making further submissions to demonstrate the
2 authenticity of the intercepts, at which point, if satisfied, the Chamber
3 will fully admit them into evidence. The Chamber therefore does not find
4 it necessary to reclassify the status of the intercepts and thus denies
5 the motion.
6 We'll have a break for half an hour and resume at 5 to 11.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
10 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO TORBICA
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Torbica. Please be seated and make
16 yourself comfortable.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Torbica, before you commence your evidence I
19 must draw your attention to a certain rule of evidence that we have here
20 at the international Tribunal; that is, Rule 90(E). Under this rule, you
21 may object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecutor,
22 or even from the Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate
23 you in a criminal offence. In this context, "incriminate" means saying
24 something that might amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal
25 offence or saying something that might provide evidence that you might
1 have committed a criminal offence. However, should you think that an
2 answer might incriminate you and as a consequence you refuse to answer
3 the question, I must let you know that the Tribunal has the power to
4 compel you to answer the question. But in that situation, the Tribunal
5 would ensure that your testimony compelled under such circumstances would
6 not be used in any case that might be laid against you for any offence
7 save and except the offence of giving false testimony. Do you understand
8 that, sir?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
11 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
12 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Torbica. Straight away I
14 would have to ask you, and I have to remind myself, that we should speak
15 slowly and that we should make pauses between my questions and your
16 answers. But first and foremost, good morning to you, sir.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. Have you provided a statement to my Defence team?
19 A. Yes, I have.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Do you see that statement before you, Mr. Torbica?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you read the statement and did you sign it?
1 A. Yes.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
3 the last page and could he identify his signature?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is my signature.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. Does this statement accurately reflect what you said
7 to my Defence team or are there perhaps some errors that need to be
9 A. Yes, whatever I stated is accurately reflected in this statement.
10 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today as
11 were put to you by members of my Defence team, would your answers in
12 essence be the same as those in the statement?
13 A. In essence they would be absolutely the same.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this statement be admitted
16 pursuant to Rule 92 ter?
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Zec, do you have any objection?
18 MR ZEC: Good morning. No, no objection.
19 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4228, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. And now I'm going to
23 read a short summary of Mr. Zdravko Torbica's statement in English.
24 [In English] Zdravko Torbica was a member of the SJB Prijedor.
25 He was involved in the war from the beginning, securing the railway lines
1 and conducting traffic checks in border areas. He noticed that in late
2 1991 and early 1992 there was an increased number of buses transporting
3 non-Serbs from Prijedor to Croatia and Slovenia. He was, therefore,
4 aware that something was happening but was not aware of what and there
5 was no proof of any weapons. However, Zdravko Torbica discovered the
6 check-points when he was asked to accompany the ambulance carrying
7 injured soldiers because the Green Berets had blocked the roads.
8 Zdravko Torbica was on duty in SJB on 29th of May, 1992, when
9 Prijedor town and SJB were attacked. The attack began with an explosion
10 from the direction of the secondary school and the sound of infantry
11 fire. Fire was not returned as the officers were not certain of the
12 situation and indeed received orders not to return fire. The telephone
13 lines were down and the only communication they had was via radio to the
14 police station at Urije. The next day the soldiers were informed that
15 the town had been attacked and there had been attempts to take over the
16 building of the municipality as well as the SJB; once this situation was
17 established, the order was given to defend the building.
18 Due to the lack of communication, the officers were unable to
19 warn their colleagues coming to start the next shift and a number of them
20 were wounded in the cross-fire. One of the wounded officers was targeted
21 from a house near the station and killed. Due to the heavy infantry
22 fire, the officers were not able to help their colleagues.
23 The perimeter of the MUP was guarded to stop members of the
24 opposing forces from the entire -- from entering to the building.
25 Assistance was provided by the police station at Urije; however, the
1 vehicle they were travelling in also came under the heavy fire and a
2 further police officers -- officer was injured. Military police arrived
3 in addition to assist but were unable to enter the building. The firing
4 stopped only when a tank arrived and stopped in front of the building.
5 Five police officers were killed, one wounded, and eight soldiers
6 were killed too.
7 From April the 29th, 1992, until the June the 1st, 1992,
8 19 members of the Serb police and army were killed and 29 wounded by the
9 Muslim forces.
10 And now I would like to clarify several things live with
11 Mr. Torbica.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Torbica, after the war did you undergo the certification
14 process and were you certified, and, as a result of that, were you able
15 to continue working in the police?
16 A. After the end of war, my professional career continued in the
17 police station for traffic safety in Prijedor until the year 2005 when I
18 resigned because I wanted to be retired and I had all the conditions in
19 place for that.
20 Q. Thank you. After the war, who was it who checked the
21 professionalism of our policemen? Who was it who was in charge of
22 issuing certificates?
23 A. Immediately after the end of the war in 1997, members of the
24 international forces arrived in my police station and they stayed there
25 up to the moment when I was pensioned off. They were mentors in our
1 police station and they checked and looked at every individual to see
2 whether they satisfied all the conditions to work there.
3 Q. As a member -- as a member of the traffic safety police, did you
4 have an occasion to escort convoys? Did you know anything about the
5 movement of convoys or the movement of civilians both of Serb and
6 non-Serb ethnicity? Could you please tell us what you saw in that sense
7 and what you were able to do?
8 A. In 1991, one of the tasks of the police station was to escort
9 vehicles who were over-sized as it were, including military vehicles,
10 that moved through the area covered by my police station. In 1991, that
11 happened very often. As from the civilian police sector, very often
12 escorted such vehicles and those vehicles were wider and heavier than
13 normal. They were always escorted by the civilian police, and the reason
14 for that was safety of all the other participants in road traffic.
15 Q. And can you tell us about the routes that those military vehicles
16 travelled? Were those military vehicles and on what routes they moved?
17 A. I don't know why those vehicles travelled. Our task was to
18 escort them through the areas that we covered in Prijedor. Whether they
19 also took in -- went in other directions, for example, Banja Luka or the
20 Republic of Croatia, I suppose they did. They went wherever they needed
21 to go. They were mostly military vehicles. There were also other
22 vehicles that escorted them under the law, but we escorted them and those
23 transports obviously included convoys that moved in various directions.
24 Q. Could you please tell us about those convoys? Were they those
25 convoys of civilians, did you know anything about the arrival of refugees
1 from Croatia, did you know anything about departures from Prijedor, and
2 did you play a role in all that?
3 A. First of all, all those things happened in 1991. My police
4 station where I worked secured the railway line because we had been
5 informed that the sabotage groups would blow it up, so we had to guard it
6 during the night. After that, my police station was deployed on the
7 border with the Republic of Croatia in Jasenovica and we stayed there
8 until the moment when the bridge was blown up by the Croatian forces, and
9 then we were moved in depth in Republika Srpska, and we stayed at that
10 check-point for some time. I can't remember the dates. Our role at
11 those check-points was to monitor the situation and the movement of
12 people. We did not do anything with this regard. We only drafted
13 Official Notes in order to inform our superior about any security
15 And when it comes to the escort of those military convoys, I
16 personally participated in the escort of a tank convoy. I don't know
17 what number it was. It moved from Banja Luka to Prijedor and its
18 destination was the sports airfield in Prijedor. It stayed there for a
19 short while in that area, and I know that people -- a certain number of
20 people of other ethnic groups in Prijedor were not very happy about that
21 convoy, and I know that a certain number of citizens who prevented state
22 organs from doing their job were reported to the police, criminal reports
23 were filed against them, and they included some police officers. I don't
24 know how the whole thing ended up. I don't know what happened to those
25 criminal reports. But I know that against some of the civilian
1 population, including the president of the municipality, some police
2 officers in Prijedor, criminal reports were filed but I don't know what
3 the outcome of that was.
4 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you to slow down to help the work
5 of our interpreters.
6 And now can you tell us -- or, rather, you say that the president
7 of the municipality was involved in the incidents when the work of the
8 military was obstructed. When was that and was it legal?
9 A. I believe that that happened sometime in 1991. Whether that was
10 legal or lawful, I don't know. I suppose not because my colleagues from
11 the crime prevention police deemed it necessary to file a criminal report
12 against him. That's why I think that that gesture on their part was not
14 Q. And now could you tell us something about the year 1992. Did you
15 know anything about the movement of civilians of non-Serb and Serb
16 ethnicities -- or, rather, of Croatian and Muslim ethnicities? Was your
17 public security station -- or, rather, your traffic control police
18 involved in all that? Did you assist? Did you regulate something in
19 that respect?
20 A. Whenever we received official requests in that respect, obviously
21 my police station would meet such requests. Whoever thought that they
22 needed assistance of traffic police, we extended that assistance. When I
23 worked at that check-point that I spoke about, our only task was to
24 control people who were interesting from the security point of view for
25 our service and send reports and Official Notes. Those were the only
1 actions that we were allowed and we did undertake.
2 Q. Did the police - not your police but -- because you regulated
3 traffic. Did the police move people out? Did the police force somebody
4 to form convoys and to move in the direction of Croatia, Slovenia, or
5 Central Bosnia? According to what you know, how were those convoys
6 formed? Who was it who requested from you to escort those convoys?
7 A. I don't know from where these requests came. In the morning when
8 we would assume our duties, in our patrol orders for that day, we
9 received specific tasks. I also don't know -- actually, I'm just talking
10 about the traffic police now. I don't know that it exercised any kind of
11 influence in terms of taking an adverse attitude towards other citizens
12 of other ethnic backgrounds because our patrols were still mixed patrols
13 at the time; that is to say, until the take-over and five or six days
14 after that, in each and every patrol there would be a mixed composition,
15 there would be one Serb and one Muslim.
16 Q. Thank you. Further on during 1992 when the war was already
17 underway, did your service escort convoys? Who was in those convoys and
18 which directions did they go to?
19 A. Yes, my police station secured convoys in all directions. Now,
20 who set what these directions would be and who channeled them, who said
21 that they should go north, south, east, west, we really did not know. In
22 my view it was done by the civilian authorities in the town of Prijedor.
23 Q. Thank you. Did you have an opportunity to help Croatian
24 civilians from other parts of Bosnia to cross over a certain territory?
25 Do you remember any such examples?
1 A. Yes. This was an order, a dispatch of yours that was sent to the
2 Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska. The
3 Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska sent that further down to my
4 police station, and I accepted -- or, actually, it wasn't that I accepted
5 this, I was designated to be the escort of this civilian convoy
6 throughout the territory of the Republika Srpska. This convoy involved
7 citizens, women, children, the wounded, and other persons from the
8 territory of Vares that was under the control of Muslim Croat forces.
9 And this happened in 1993 when there was a conflict between the Muslim
10 and Croat sides. I don't know on which basis but then you agreed on
11 that; namely, that this convoy of civilians, women, children, should go
12 throughout Republika Srpska to Livno. That is about 860 kilometres away.
13 During that trip good and bad things happened, sad things, all
14 sorts of things that can happen in life, but I am proud today to say
15 2.007 civilians, and I believe there were even more, arrived at their
16 destination without a single negative gesture being involved, without any
17 such thing happening in the territory of Republika Srpska.
18 Although I had difficult problems to deal with, there were some
19 people who were not under the control of the "armija" or the Army of
20 Republika Srpska or the MUP. That happened to me at Romanija when I and
21 my policemen protected these people with our own lives, lest they fall
22 into the hands of these irresponsible people who were not under anybody's
23 control. I remember that the leader of that group stopped me, asked who
24 this was and what this was, generally, and I said that this was an order
25 of the president of the state. And he said, Which state? And then I
1 answered him, Well, I guess it's yours and mine. Then that person
2 responded by saying that you were not his president and that you could
3 not issue orders in the territory that is under his command. At that
4 moment, there was a fierce showdown between my police that I commanded
5 and this group that wanted to steal things from the people who were in
6 this convoy. That was my assessment. At any rate, they didn't succeed
7 in doing that. I was even wounded during that clash and it was only
8 after that that I managed to go through all of Romanija with that convoy.
9 We reached Sokolac, and then the assistant commander of the police
10 station in Sokolac who was involved in traffic security, I told him about
11 all of that and then he told me that there were many such groups in the
12 territory of Romanija and that nobody could control them, the army or the
14 Now this other gesture, this was something I experienced in
15 Milici because this was a convoy of 72 vehicles. Some of them were
16 buses, some of them were trucks. And then because of some of the
17 obstacles that were on the road, the convoy was stopped. On the
18 right-hand side, if you look at the way in which we were moving, on the
19 other side there was also another large convoy that had been stopped and
20 they were transporting soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska, and I
21 had a remarkable experience then. The soldiers from that other convoy,
22 it was very difficult to do something like that and very risky at the
23 time. The soldiers from that convoy were giving food to the people from
24 the other convoy, these women and children. As for food and medicine in
25 that convoy, there was very little of that, and my policemen told me that
1 they had major problems on account of hunger. We tried to make do as far
2 as water was concerned.
3 When entering Banja Luka, I could establish radio contact with my
4 superior command, and I asked for the problem of food and medicine to be
5 resolved for these people in some way. The duty officers in Banja Luka
6 told me that they would contact the Red Cross in Banja Luka and also the
7 head of the operations duty service asked me to address
8 Mr. Franjo Komarica directly in Banja Luka which is what I did. I left
9 my deputy on the spot there and I went to the church in Banja Luka and I
10 addressed Mr. Komarica and I explained to him what the situation was
11 regarding these people in this convoy.
12 After 10 or 15 minutes, I saw this wonderful image there. The
13 Red Cross together with Caritas from Banja Luka gave enough food and
14 medicine and water to these people, and that kept them going all the way
15 to the separation line between Grahovo and Livno.
16 Upon arriving in Livno, or, rather, the separation line, I had
17 the hand over of this convoy together with members of the HVO, and today
18 these people send me more greetings for my patron saint's day and other
19 holidays than other people do, and I'm proud of having carried out this
20 task that was ordered by you, Mr. Karadzic. And I and my policemen
21 carried that out. To this day this is being referred to in the area as a
22 major humanitarian achievement. I did not participate in any others but
23 I heard that there were other such convoys when there was a conflict
24 between the Muslims and the Croats. But on the basis of the contacts I
25 had with my other colleagues who handled these other convoys, their
1 experience was similar to what I had experienced.
2 Q. [No interpretation]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the
4 beginning of Mr. Karadzic's statement.
5 JUDGE KWON: Please repeat, Mr. Karadzic.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Could you please briefly respond to three questions: What was
8 the ethnicity of these civilians; how long did this journey last; and
9 Mr. Franjo Komarica, what was his function?
10 A. This was only civilians of Croat ethnicity, 100 per cent.
11 Franjo Komarica is the bishop of Banja Luka. And as far as I know, he is
12 one of the main people in the Catholic church in Banja Luka. You asked
13 me something else, didn't you?
14 Q. How long.
15 A. How long this journey was? When the vehicles were taken in Livno
16 and then travelling to Livno from Vares, this journey lasted for more
17 than 15 days.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Torbica. I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
20 Yes, Mr. Zec.
21 MR ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Zec:
23 Q. Good morning to you, Mr. Torbica. Let me first ask you about
24 your political background. You are a member of the SDS; right?
25 A. When I ended my professional service -- I mean, I could not have
1 been politically active when I was a member of the Ministry of the
2 Interior. I said that in 2004 I was pensioned off, or, rather, I left
3 the professional service. And from 2007, yes, that is right, I got
4 involved in politics.
5 Q. In 1995, Mr. Karadzic awarded with a golden medal for bravery for
6 all the efforts you took upon yourself during the war; is that correct?
7 A. Yes. Roughly in the proposal --
8 Q. I appreciate short answer to the question. I think "yes" was
9 enough, and then I'll show you one document and then I'll ask you the
11 MR ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 25824.
12 Q. And what you're going to see on the screen is Mr. Karadzic's
13 decree on decorations to the members of the Ministry of the Interior.
14 And it says that:
15 "To those who represent remarkable example, heroism ..."
16 MR ZEC: And we need now page 8.
17 Q. So here we will be able to see the title of the decoration.
18 MR ZEC: And now we need the next page in B/C/S, page 10 in
20 Q. If you look item number 49, you should be able to see your name;
21 is that correct?
22 A. I cannot answer this question with a yes or no only, and for the
23 following reasons --
24 Q. Number 49.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR ZEC: I will tender this document, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes. But what are the relevant pages? Page 1 and
4 page -- this page and the previous page. Three pages would be enough?
5 MR ZEC: If you prefer excerpt, that's fine. But maybe you will
6 be better assisted if you have all of them.
7 JUDGE KWON: We'll have three pages at the moment. Yes, we'll
8 admit it.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As P6602, Your Honours.
10 MR ZEC:
11 Q. Mr. Torbica, you testified previously before the court of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina in two cases related to the events in
13 Koricanske Stijene. In both cases you testified as a defence witness;
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you told the truth to the court; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now we have -- we will focus a little bit on 1992. The SDS and
19 Serb officials organised and implemented -- implemented the take-over of
20 Prijedor which took place in late 1992; that's correct, isn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. One of the steps the Serb authorities took in preparations for
23 the take-over was to organise a reserve police; right?
24 A. Reserve police station. I didn't take part in that.
25 MR ZEC: Can we have a look at 65 ter 18336.
1 Q. And this is a dispatch sent from Prijedor police station to the
2 Banja Luka CSB in May 1992. It provides information on the structure of
3 your police station. And if you look at the last paragraph, it says:
4 "The new war structure, which is functioning now, was prepared
5 during secret preparations for the take-over and it's ready to meet its
7 So, Mr. Torbica, the take-over as well as the structure of the
8 police station where you were working was prepared in advance and in
9 secret; correct?
10 A. No, my police station, the one that I worked in, did not take
11 part in the take-over. It was there like all the other police stations,
12 but it did not play any role in the take-over of power. The structure in
13 my police station remained the same just like before the war except for
14 those policemen who had left our police stations. We took in reserve
15 policemen so that we could carry out all our professional duties and have
16 the right number of policemen in the station.
17 MR ZEC: I will tender this document, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll receive it.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6603, Your Honours.
20 MR ZEC: And if we can have now P02968.
21 Q. And with regard your statement just what you told us, that the
22 police did not participate in the take-over. Now you will be able to see
23 SJB Prijedor report on the work for the last nine months of 1992.
24 MR ZEC: And we need page 2, paragraph 2.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excuse me, could we just be
1 precise. The witness is talking about a traffic control station. There
2 should be no confusion. That's a separate station.
3 MR ZEC:
4 Q. Mr. Torbica, your traffic control section was within police
5 Prijedor in town in the same building; right?
6 A. It was not a section. It was a police station for traffic
7 security under the direct control of the security services centre,
8 Banja Luka, based in the police station; that is to say, the public
9 security station of Prijedor.
10 Q. And you were under direct command of station Commander-in-Chief
11 at that time? I'm talking about after the take-over. That's
12 Simo Drljaca; correct?
13 A. Perhaps only in the early days in the transition period. But
14 Simo Drljaca in the public security station never had jurisdiction over
15 the traffic security station because we fell directly under the security
16 services centre of Banja Luka. With the establishment of the security
17 services centre Prijedor in 1993, my station began to be under the
18 security services centre of Prijedor, directly. But as long as we had a
19 public security station in Prijedor, my station was under the direct
20 control of the security services centre Banja Luka.
21 Q. So from whom would you receive orders, from Drljaca in the police
22 station Prijedor or someone from Banja Luka?
23 A. From the establishment of the security services centre Prijedor,
24 all orders were received from Mr. Drljaca, and all orders concerning the
25 traffic control station came from the CSB Banja Luka, the traffic
1 security section.
2 Q. In the document before, we can see it again, Drljaca says this is
3 our police station, this is a structure, and he provides the information
4 section on the traffic section.
5 MR ZEC: We can have the document before back? That one was
6 65 ter 18336, item number 5.
7 Q. He says, "The police" -- "There is a police station for road
8 safety ..." and security.
9 So this is within police station Prijedor. That's your
10 difference to you?
11 A. Precisely. This document says exactly what I stated earlier. In
12 Prijedor there is a traffic security station, not a section. And he only
13 says here that it exists in Prijedor. I don't see anywhere in the
14 document that he commands over that station.
15 Q. And we have many other documents about the structure of the
16 police. But let me ask you this: Regardless of your section, other
17 police officers -- Serb police officers, they participated in the
18 take-over of the power in Prijedor; that's correct, right?
19 A. Yes, except the police station for traffic security. And if you
20 want me to describe its role, I can.
21 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure I'm following you, Mr. Torbica. Take a
22 look at item number 8 in this document. It says:
23 "The new war structure anticipates 13 police stations plus the
24 police station for road safety and traffic control."
25 It talks about, in total, 14 police stations. Are these stations
1 not under the command of Drljaca at the time?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My police station for road safety,
3 he says 13 plus the station for road safety, makes 14. Now, what
4 Mr. Drljaca meant when he wrote this, I don't know really. But
5 organisationally speaking, what I'm saying is the truth.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 Please continue, Mr. Zec.
8 MR ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. And about the role of your section in 1992, you already told us
10 about it this morning, but one of the tasks that your section was
11 performing was manning check-points in Prijedor together with the
12 military force; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And also as you were talking about at the time, people were
15 deported from the municipality and your section assisted in this
16 deportation; right?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] When was this said? Could we have
18 a reference, please? When did the witness say that there had been
20 MR ZEC: The witness was talking about the movement of convoys.
21 So, in any event, this is my question to the witness about the
22 deportation. He can answer that.
23 JUDGE KWON: Time-frame?
24 MR ZEC: I'm talking about 1992.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know about deportations,
2 but it is true that my police station - and I've stated this many times
3 already - provided services of escort for transports. What does that
4 imply? Physical security and traffic security are two separate things.
5 Traffic security means that at the head of a convoy of ten or so
6 vehicles, there is a police vehicle that will inform or let other
7 vehicles in traffic of the convoy [as interpreted]. And it makes the
8 transport safe in terms of rest time, in terms of speed, et cetera. That
9 is what escort security means.
10 MR ZEC:
11 Q. And physical security of the convoy was provided by other members
12 of the police station Prijedor?
13 A. Yes, that's true. Physical security was provided by general
14 stations; that is to say, the public security station of Prijedor except
15 for the convoy that I described where both physical and traffic security
16 was provided by the station for road safety and traffic control of
18 Q. Another task of yours was a terrain search jointly with army
19 members looking for unknown armed groups; correct?
20 A. No, no, I don't know any such thing.
21 MR ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 25812.
22 Q. And this is a CS -- SJB Prijedor report on a terrain search. If
23 you see the name of the drafter or signatures, we see your name. This is
24 your name; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. It says the operation was carried with 30 policemen and about
2 20 VRS members. You took part in this operation; right?
3 A. Here in this document I see a typewritten name, but I also see
4 this report was written by the sector leader. I was indeed sector leader
5 and sector is one area within the area. Those are local and regional
6 roads in the territory of Prijedor and the street network in Prijedor
7 town. I haven't read the report. If you want me, I can read it and then
9 Q. It's very simple. It's a report on a search of the terrain and
10 it's drafted by you, and it says, including, among others things, that
11 policemen and VRS took part in this. All I'm saying, this is your name
12 and you took part in this; right?
13 A. I recognise it. I recognise this part of my report. It's true.
14 I led the policemen via Ljubija to show them the way so they can enter
15 this area because I had been in this area, but I didn't participate in
16 the search of the terrain.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Torbica.
18 MR ZEC: I will tender this document, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive it.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6604, Your Honours.
21 MR ZEC:
22 Q. After the take-over, Mr. Torbica, many non-Serbs were brought to
23 your police station for interrogations; right?
24 A. No. Nobody was brought in for interrogation into my station.
25 They were brought to the public security station.
1 Q. Well, I appreciate you trying to distinguish traffic section
2 police and uniform police, but that's the same building. So you saw
3 people coming and were being brought to the police station; right?
4 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I'm not trying to do anything. I'm just telling
5 the truth about the distinction between the station for road safety and
6 traffic control and the public security station. My office was on the
7 third floor facing north, and the entrance door was in the middle of the
8 building, and the auxiliary door leading into the compound was on the
9 south side. So I could not see even physically what was going on on the
10 lower floor because all my work took place in my own office. It didn't
11 lead me to other offices.
12 Q. This Chamber has received evidence of non-Serbs being brought to
13 the -- to the police station where they were beaten and interrogated, and
14 after that transferred to Omarska.
15 MR ZEC: P2095, P3478, P3528.
16 Q. And you knew this, Mr. Torbica, that people were brought to the
17 police station being interrogated, being beaten; right?
18 A. That people were brought in to the station, that much is true. I
19 don't know why. I never witnessed any beating, especially because I
20 never spent much time in the part of the building where people were
21 brought in and questioned because that was not my job and it was not the
22 job of any other policeman in the station for road safety and traffic
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 24, it seems the witness says,
2 "I don't know why," and the witness actually said, "I don't know on what
3 basis." Perhaps the distinction is not great, but it's more professional
4 to say he doesn't know on what basis they were brought in.
5 JUDGE KWON: Very well. We could understand that.
6 Shall we continue.
7 MR ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 25823.
8 Q. And these are notes of what a victim witness said during an
10 MR ZEC: And we need page 2, paragraph 2.
11 Q. The witness said that he was arrested in his apartment and
12 brought to the police station. He said:
13 "When I arrived, a policeman named Tomo took my personal details.
14 One of the policemen, Zdravko Torbica, asked me what I was doing there
15 and hit me in the head and stomach. They never told me why I was
16 arrested. I was put in a cell, and there I saw Bato Deomic. From here,
17 Bato and I were taken to Omarska."
18 So, Mr. Torbica, the fact is you were involved in beatings of
19 prisoners; right?
20 A. That is not true. This gentleman you mention, Tomo, was indeed a
21 member of the road safety station, but I don't remember I was ever
22 present at such an event. Maybe you can show me the whole document.
23 Maybe if I read the whole thing, perhaps I could recall something from
24 this document.
25 Q. So you're denying that you beat anyone in the prison -- in the
1 police station, actually, not prison; right?
2 A. There is no citizen in the town of Prijedor or the municipality
3 of Prijedor who could confirm today what is written in this document. I
4 state this with full responsibility because I am not that kind of person.
5 I am a professional policeman, a trained policeman, and I did not
6 participate in any beatings, especially beatings of people who had
7 nothing to do with my area and with my line of work. This man who is
8 stating this, I don't know who he is, I don't know what he is.
9 Q. Let's talk about your task of escorting convoys. You talked
10 about escorting convoys of -- of military convoys. And, for example, if
11 there is a convoy transporting any sensitive goods in your area of
12 responsibility, you and your section would provide assistance to such
13 transport; right?
14 A. I said at the beginning, we escorted convoys which were outsized
15 or carried valuable cargo, anything that was required of the road safety
16 station. We carried out all the orders, although it depended on who was
17 on duty.
18 Q. Let's say there was a crime site with a lot of human bodies that
19 needed to be removed and transported to a burial site, so human bodies
20 being transported, very sensitive transport. You and your section would
21 provide assistance in such situation; right?
22 A. I did not participate in that and I never heard that the police
23 station for road safety in Prijedor ever provided assistance of that
25 Q. Tomasica, a big mining site in Prijedor area; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Tomasica mine was used as a burial site for many hundreds of
3 bodies of Muslims and Croats who were killed in Prijedor area in 1992;
5 A. I found out about that only when the mass grave in Tomasica was
7 Q. And your section assisted in escorting these transports to
8 Tomasica; right?
9 A. I personally did not participate in such escorts. I don't know.
10 And as far as I know, I think that my police station did not participate
11 in escorts of such -- such ...
12 MR ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 25860.
13 Q. And this is an article published in "Blic" in Serbia in November
14 last year. And you already talked about Tomasica mine being exhumed.
15 And this, what you're going to see on the screen, is one of many articles
16 and news reports published regarding the ongoing exhumations at Tomasica.
17 A. Could we zoom in, make this larger so I can read?
18 Q. Perhaps if we can zoom like the bold part and then later the
19 first -- the paragraph at the bottom. But you will be able to see that
20 in the first paragraph it talks about 430 remains have been exhumed so
21 far, among which 275 complete bodies. And in the last paragraph on your
22 page, it's second page in English, it says that among the documents that
23 were found there are those belonging to people killed in Biscani on
24 20 July 1992.
25 So, Mr. Torbica, you know about this site has been discovered and
1 being exhumed as indicated in this article; right?
2 A. I've already said how I found out about the Tomasica location.
3 When it was discovered and when it was reported by the media, I found out
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the Prosecutor
8 to specify: Does he claim that the entire number was killed in Biscani
9 or it relates to only one family? I mean the citation of the words of
10 one policeman.
11 JUDGE KWON: His question was this, it said this document says
13 "... among the documents that were found there are those
14 belonging to people killed in Biscani ..."
15 I think that was fair enough. You can explore further, if
16 necessary, later on.
17 MR ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE KWON: But if you would like to clarify, you may do so.
20 Yes, please continue, Mr. Zec.
21 MR ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President. And you were right, I was
22 just referring what is in the article. I was not saying that this is 400
23 from Biscani. It's just what has been exhumed so far.
24 Q. Mr. Torbica, this Chamber has also received evidence regarding
25 the discussions that your chief, Simo Drljaca, had with VRS officers in
1 1993, during which they discussed Tomasica mine, where 5.000 Muslim
2 bodies were buried and that the world knows about this from the released
4 MR ZEC: This is in P1483, page 154, 155.
5 Q. So having been reminded about the size and the scale of this
6 clandestine burial facility for non-Serb bodies, do you still maintain
7 that you, as a person responsible for the process of removal and transfer
8 of sensitive -- sensitive transports, you somehow did not know about the
9 hundreds, thousands of bodies buried at Tomasica or this, perhaps,
10 information refresh your memory?
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I never said that I was the person in charge of
12 something like that. I don't know where you got that from. I was never
13 responsible under any order whatsoever for such work that you are
14 referring to, I was never personally made responsible for such things,
15 and I never participated in such escorts. As far as knowledge is
16 concerned, I didn't know because I was not at such a level of management
17 as to attend collegium meetings that were attended by Simo Drljaca as
18 well. I was not on that level. I was number four in my police station
19 at the time. Ahead of me was the commander, then the deputy, then the
20 assistant, and I was sector leader, number four.
21 Q. So are you saying to us that you were not involved in this but
22 your section might have been; is that you -- is that your evidence?
23 A. I don't know anything about that. I really don't.
24 Q. Mr. Torbica, you talked at length about escorting convoys, army,
25 people, sensitive goods. Now we have massive burial, bodies, hundreds,
1 thousands of bodies in mass grave, and now suddenly you say you don't
2 know anything about this?
3 A. I was talking exclusively about what I did. This is my evidence,
4 things that I participated in. And the patrol orders that were issued by
5 the police station commander were issued to me in my name for each and
6 every activity that had to be performed, and this is what I'm talking
7 about, the only thing that I'm talking about.
8 Q. And your colleagues in other section of the police or perhaps in
9 your section were involved in these activities; is that your evidence?
10 A. If I say something here, I have to know about those things. And
11 if I repeat that I don't know and if I were to say that I knew something
12 about that - and I don't - I'm a professional, I'm a policeman, I know
13 that my every word has to be corroborated by evidence. I can't answer by
14 saying that there were such things because I don't know. I was not
15 involved. I was not involved in such activities.
16 MR ZEC: I tender this article, Mr. President.
17 MR. ROBINSON: Objection, Mr. President. The witness doesn't --
18 hasn't confirmed anything about the article other than he heard -- he
19 read about this event in the newspaper in 2013. This is not a proper
20 basis for admission. And if this kind of evidence is important to the
21 Prosecutor, they can make a motion to reopen their case and present it
23 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to add anything, Mr. Zec?
24 MR ZEC: The issue was simple, his knowledge about the Tomasica
25 mine. And he said that he learned only from the media. And I put to him
1 one of the articles that is published -- being published at the time, and
2 he confirmed this is how he learned about this. So he confirmed the
3 content of the article.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber agrees with Mr. Robinson's observation,
6 and then I take it that your purpose has been accomplished by the
7 transcript we have now.
8 Shall we continue? We'll not admit this.
9 MR ZEC:
10 Q. Mr. Torbica, regarding the incident of 30th May, 1992, you say
11 there was no communication at the police station except for one radio
12 communication. You said the telephone lines were down. This is page 3
13 of your statement.
14 MR ZEC: Can we have now 65 ter 25822.
15 Q. And this is a story published in "Kozarski Vjesnik" in 1993 about
16 this event.
17 MR ZEC: We need English page 3.
18 Q. And in B/C/S, Mr. Torbica, if you look at the portion in second
19 row just above the -- just above this paragraph that we see in the
20 middle, which is the content of the conversation between Savo Golubovic
21 and Cvetjko Rendic about this event.
22 MR ZEC: If we can scroll down in B/C/S, a little bit down -- oh,
23 sorry, then up. Still up. We need like the -- we need to see the --
24 further in the middle of the page. Further, Mr. Registrar.
25 Q. So, Mr. Torbica, you will see just above the paragraphs on
1 your -- on your left side. There is a -- and it says, quote:
2 "'Is there a telephone up there,' Rendic asked him while pointing
3 at the Ribar.
4 "'There is, but it's locked,' Savo replied.
5 "The two of them somehow managed to run across to the Ribar,
6 force the door, and get to the phone. Call the SUP.
7 "'We're under attack, send help and ammunition,' Rendic said in a
8 single breath.
9 "'Most probably not a chance, because we're under attack here,
10 too,' the duty officer informed him."
11 Mr. Torbica, Ribar, Ribar is a restaurant in Prijedor; right?
12 A. Yes. Mr. Rendic was -- may I?
13 JUDGE KWON: No, just -- let's hear him out. Yes, please
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Rendic was at the check-point
16 between Hotel Prijedor and the restaurant Ribar, which is about
17 800 metres away from the police station. I don't know what time of day
18 is it in the morning, but at the moment when we wanted to inform our
19 colleagues who were supposed to relieve us of duty, what to expect, we
20 couldn't because the telephone lines were down at the moment. I'm
21 talking about the time when we wanted to inform our colleagues not to
22 enter and risk their lives. We wanted to save their lives. We could not
23 inform them, and all four of them -- or, rather, all five of them were
24 killed as they were on their way to work to relieve us who were on duty.
25 MR ZEC:
1 Q. So the telephone lines were -- [Microphone not activated]
2 JUDGE KWON: No. Microphone.
3 MR ZEC:
4 Q. So the telephone lines were working, Mr. Torbica, Savo and
5 Cvetjko went to restaurant and called the SUP. It's not what he is
6 saying that there was no -- that the lines were down.
7 A. What I'm saying is that we could not inform our colleagues by
8 telephone. Had we managed to inform them, they would still be alive
9 today. How did Mr. Rendic contact the public security station and at
10 what time? I don't know. At the end of the day, this is a newspaper
11 article. This is not an official report. I don't know what this
12 journalist wanted to say, what Rendic had told him. Whether he had told
13 him the truth, I don't know.
14 MR ZEC: [Microphone not activated]
15 JUDGE KWON: Microphone, please.
16 MR ZEC: I tender this article.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson.
18 MR. ROBINSON: No objection, Mr. President.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE KWON: In light of the Defence's non-opposition [Realtime
21 transcript read in error "Defence not having a position"], we'll admit
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6605, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE KWON: Do you have further cross-examination?
25 MR ZEC: Nothing further. Nothing further, thank you.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
2 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, your Excellency. No questions,
4 thank you.
5 JUDGE KWON: The transcript should read: "In light of the
6 Defence's non-opposition," line 22.
7 Yes, Mr. Torbica, that concludes your evidence. On behalf of the
8 Chamber, I would like to thank you for your coming to The Hague to give
9 it. You are free to go. But we'll have a break for 45 minutes. We'll
10 rise all together. We resume at 5 past 1.00.
11 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 [The witness entered court]
14 --- On resuming at 1.08 p.m.
15 JUDGE KWON: Could the witness make the solemn declaration.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I?
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Mandic, do you hear me in your language?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Will you take the solemn declaration,
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: BOSKO MANDIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Mandic. Please be seated and make
1 yourself comfortable.
2 Before you commence your evidence, Mr. Mandic, I must draw your
3 attention to a certain rule of evidence that we have here at the
4 international Tribunal; that is, Rule 90(E). Under this rule, you may
5 object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic, the Prosecutor, or
6 even from the Judges if you believe that your answer might incriminate
7 you in a criminal offence. In this context, "incriminate" means saying
8 something that might amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal
9 offence or saying something that might provide evidence that you might
10 have committed a criminal offence. However, should you think that an
11 answer might incriminate you and as a consequence you refuse to answer
12 the question, I must let you know that the Tribunal has the power to
13 compel you to answer the question. But in that situation the Tribunal
14 would ensure that your testimony compelled under such circumstances would
15 not be used in any case that might be laid against you for any offence
16 save and except the offence of giving false testimony. Do you understand
17 that, Mr. Mandic?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
19 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
20 Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please proceed.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Mandic.
24 A. Good afternoon, Mr. President.
25 Q. I have to ask you and I have to remind myself that we should both
1 speak slowly and that we should make pauses between my questions and your
2 answers and vice versa so that everything may be recorded and that we may
3 avoid any waste of time. As a result, the record will be clearer.
4 Have you provided a statement to my Defence team?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Please pay attention to the left side of the screen. Do you see
11 your statement in Serbian?
12 A. No.
13 Q. And now do you -- uh-huh. And now can you look at it?
14 A. Yes, it's all right. I can see it now.
15 Q. Thank you. And now could you tell us whether you have read this
16 statement and whether you've signed it?
17 A. Yes, I have.
18 Q. I'm waiting for the interpretation and I'm asking the same of
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown the
21 last page where he will be able to identify his signature.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Is this indeed your signature, sir?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Thank you. Does this statement accurately reflect what you told
1 my Defence team?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. If I were to put the same questions to you today in the
4 courtroom, would your answers in a sense be the same as in this
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm tendering this statement
9 pursuant to Rule 92 ter.
10 JUDGE KWON: Any objections, Ms. Gustafson?
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
12 No objections. I just would like to put on the record a remark
13 about the leading nature of some of the questions that were asked which
14 have been provided in the statement. So, for example, question 11 where
15 the witness was asked after the failed attack on Prijedor town:
16 "Why did the Muslims want to leave?"
17 Which, in a case where expulsions form such an essential part of
18 the allegations, it's obviously inappropriately leading. Questions 18
19 and 19 are similarly problematic. This, in our submission, goes to the
20 weight that the answers should be given. And in light of the mounting
21 pattern of similar problems, this goes to the weight that should be
22 attributed generally to Defence Rule 92 ter statements. Thank you.
23 JUDGE KWON: We'll admit this.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4229, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE KWON: Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now I'm going to read a short
2 summary of Mr. Bosko Mandic's statement in English.
3 [In English] Bosko Mandic was a member of the Crisis Staff of
4 Prijedor municipality in 1992. On 16th of April, 1992, he was appointed
5 deputy president of the Executive Board of the municipal assembly of
7 After Slovenia and Croatia seceded from the SFRY and after the
8 plebiscite for BH and the formation of the HDZ and SDA, the Serbian
9 people realised that they had to get organised politically in order to
10 avoid the suffering of World War II be repeated. After
11 9th of January, 1992, with the establishment of the Republika Srpska
12 Assembly, the Prijedor Serbian Assembly was also established. Following
13 the peaceful take-over of power in Prijedor on 30th of May, 1992, the
14 National Defence Council made a decision that a crisis staff be
15 established in order to more easily overcome the new, complex political,
16 and security situation in the territory of Prijedor municipality.
17 Nobody from the authorities at the time organised or instigated
18 the removal of the non-Serb population. However, a large mass of the
19 non-Serbian population felt economically, financially, and generally
20 unsafe after the political and security situation in BH became complex
21 and started leaving the municipality. The people leaving were mainly
22 women, children, and elderly, with the able-bodied men staying behind.
23 The first incident in the territory of Prijedor municipality
24 happened on 22nd of May, 1992, when Croatian and Serbian soldiers were
25 stopped and killed at the check-point in Hambarine by Muslim paramilitary
1 forces. After various unfruitful attempts to peacefully resolve the
2 situation, the Prijedor Crisis Staff issued an order to the police and
3 army forces to remove the check-point in Hambarine and to bring the
4 killers of the soldiers to justice. At the same time, the political and
5 military leadership of Prijedor municipality started negotiations with
6 the representatives of the Kozarac Territorial Defence in order to
7 establish normal traffic on the Prijedor-Banja Luka road.
8 Civilians who did not wish to participate in the conflicts with
9 the Serbs were accepted and kept in the town of Prijedor and Trnopolje
10 camp for their own safety until a decision was made on whether they
11 should leave or stay. At the same time, Muslim paramilitary forces fled
12 to the woods of the Kozara mountain and organised occasional incursions
13 into the neighbouring villages of Bozici, Lamovita, and Babici during
14 which they massacred Serbian civilians in those villages.
15 After the attack on Prijedor on 30th of May, 1992, the majority
16 of the Muslims extremists decided to flee to other countries. All those
17 non-Serbs who did not violate the law and did not possess weapons also
18 decided to leave Prijedor town and were helped by the local authorities
19 during this process. Their departure was made possible and organised
20 through the Red Cross in Prijedor and International Red Cross. Those
21 people who participated in combat or had been captured with weapons were
22 taken to the Omarska investigation centre and their criminal
23 responsibility was determined. At the same time, a huge number of
24 Serbian refugees from Croatia and from other towns in BH under Muslim and
25 Croatian role, they arrived in Prijedor looking for accommodation. The
1 Prijedor Crisis Staff, through its regional staffs, accepted and
2 registered the refugees and temporarily accommodated them in abandoned
3 houses and apartments.
4 The paramilitary formations which belonged to the Muslim and
5 Croatian forces caused conflicts and incidents in the territory of
6 Prijedor municipality. Some of the Serbian villages were stormed, the
7 houses were torched, and the civilians killed. As for the paramilitary
8 formations on the Serbian side, all people who were exempt of military
9 service or declared unfit were to return weapons.
10 There were problems of communication with the central authorities
11 and the systems were down for an extended period of time. The civil war
12 that broke out in BH was the result of centuries-long animosity, hatred,
13 and revenge, and if murders or incidents happened, they could only have
14 been perpetrated by individuals or groups which the authorities were
15 unable to place under control.
16 And I -- at that moment, I do not have additional questions for
17 Mr. Mandic.
18 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
19 Mr. Mandic, as you have noted, your evidence in chief in this
20 case has been admitted in writing; that is, through your written
21 statement here. And now you'll be cross-examined by the representative
22 of the Office of the Prosecutor.
23 Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:
1 Q. And good afternoon, Mr. Mandic.
2 A. Good afternoon to you, too.
3 Q. At paragraph 7 of your statement you talk about the take-over of
4 power in Prijedor and you state that that was on the 30th of May, 1992.
5 The evidence in this case indicates that that was -- that that take-over
6 occurred on the 30th of April, 1992. Do you accept that the take-over in
7 fact took place on the 30th of April?
8 A. Yes, yes. And one more thing, if I may be allowed.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Mandic.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In paragraph 5 it says that
11 Mr. Karadzic said the vice-president of the Executive Board, whereas
12 Mr. Karadzic actually said "the deputy president," and I would like to
13 correct that. The two things are different. I don't want those two
14 things to clash. That's on page 1, paragraph 5. Mr. Karadzic said that
15 I was the deputy president because the deputy president is something
16 different than the vice-president.
17 THE ACCUSED: The deputy prime minister of the municipality, as a
18 matter of fact that should be really "vice-president."
19 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure I'm following that, but I leave it
20 there. I'll leave it to the parties to clarify further.
21 Yes, please continue, Ms. Gustafson.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON:
23 Q. Just to follow up on that, Mr. Mandic, you confirm that paragraph
24 5 of your statement is correct: You were the vice-president of the
25 Executive Committee of the Serb --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- municipality? Okay.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now back to the take-over on the 30th of April. At paragraph 23
5 you describe that take-over as a reaction to the telegram received on the
6 29th of April. But, in fact, it's true, is it not, that the Serb
7 authorities in Prijedor had been preparing that take-over long before the
8 29th of April and that telex was simply a trigger that accelerated the
9 timing of something that had long been in preparation?
10 A. Shall I answer?
11 Q. Yes.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we were aware of the time
14 that we lived in. We were aware of our history before that, and we knew
15 that representatives of the SDA party had decided to take over entire
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina and what happened to the Serbian people in the
17 Second World War was supposed to happen to them again in the new war.
18 Those who were born, they have a family history where their uncles and
19 fathers paid with their lives, so we had to prevent anybody from doing
20 that again. We wanted to avoid that danger, but we wanted to do it
21 without bloodshed or any new traumatic events.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON:
23 Q. So you agree, then, that the Prijedor SDS was preparing the
24 take-over of power in Prijedor long before receiving the telex on the
25 29th of April; is that right?
1 A. Well, let me put it this way: We had to organise ourselves in
2 one way or another through meetings, talks, negotiations, but it was done
3 to a lesser extent than the SDA and terrorists who were prepared to do
4 everything. And you can see from the moment when power was taken over
5 that nobody faired badly, nobody was wanting anything, either material
6 goods or anything else.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we can go to P2968, please.
8 Q. And, Mr. Mandic, this is a Prijedor SJB report for the -- the
9 last nine months of 1992.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to page 2 in both languages.
11 Q. And in the second paragraph, the report refers to the
12 circumstances where it claims ethnic maps were being drafted which placed
13 Prijedor in the Cazin Krajina. Activities were launched to prepare for a
14 take-over by force. These activities gained momentum in April, and the
15 actual date of the take-over was forced upon us by the presidency. And
16 it refers to the contents of the telex that you also refer to in your
17 statement. And then it says:
18 "As a result in the night between 29 and 30 April, 1992,
19 following very detailed preparations and pursuant to the relevant
20 decision of the Executive Committee of the Serbian Municipality of
21 Prijedor, an organised take-over of power was embarked upon."
22 And it goes on to discuss the role of 400 policemen in carrying
23 out that take-over.
24 Now as this police report makes clear, this take-over by the SDS
25 in Prijedor was planned long before the telex was received on the
1 29th of April; correct?
2 A. Yes. But that was not the only reason. I mean, the
3 Cazin Krajina.
4 Q. Now you talk in your statement about events in Hambarine in late
5 May. This is at paragraph 10 of your statement. And you refer to the
6 check-point incident in Hambarine. And you said that the Prijedor
7 Crisis Staff called for the Muslim extremists to hand over the bodies of
8 the killed soldiers and those responsible for their killing, and called
9 again the next day for the citizens of Hambarine to hand over the alleged
10 perpetrators of this incident.
11 Now, the truth is, Mr. Mandic, this call by the Crisis Staff was
12 in the form of an ultimatum, wasn't it? In other words, the Crisis Staff
13 instructed the population of Hambarine to hand over the alleged
14 perpetrators and said that if the ultimatum was not obeyed, the
15 Crisis Staff was no longer willing or able to guarantee the safety of the
16 civilian population; right?
17 A. Yes, that's how it was. It was actually not an ultimatum because
18 a lot of time was left to them to think and to hand over the bodies or --
19 and the wounded and to hand over the extremists who were the perpetrators
20 of those crimes. You know, killing a man is a big thing and it was said
21 clear and loud on Radio Prijedor that children and the elderly should
22 seek shelter because we were prepared to carry out an action that would
23 allow us to get hold of the bodies and those who committed the crime.
24 And it was not done on the day when the incident happened but on the
25 following day because those were not only Serb soldiers, they were JNA
1 soldiers, but not only Serbs but also Croats who got killed. So it was
2 not an ethnic thing or a mono-ethnic thing on account of which somebody
3 could say it was just Serbs trying to protect their own.
4 Q. Now, Mr. Mandic, I didn't ask you anything about ethnicity and my
5 time is very limited, so I would like to ask you to focus very much on
6 the precise question that I'm asking and limit your answer to the -- to
7 that question. You said in response to my question: Yes, that's how it
8 was. But then you say that it was not an ultimatum. You agreed, do you
9 not, that the Crisis Staff told the population to hand over the alleged
10 perpetrators, and if not, the Crisis Staff was no longer willing or able
11 to guarantee the safety of the population. Do you agree with that?
12 A. Well, no, we asked those who did that to surrender. We didn't
13 ask the population to surrender; that is to say, that those who committed
14 this crime were supposed to surrender. There is Mirza Mujadzic there,
15 and it is well known who led the SDA and who did that.
16 [No interpretation]
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'm not sure we got translation for the last part
18 of the answer.
19 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your last sentence?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That the perpetrators, that is to
21 say the participants of this crime, be brought to justice, that they be
22 prosecuted for what they did.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could have P3485, please.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Mandic in the top right-hand corner of this page of
25 "Kozarski Vjesnik," there are a number of public statements of the
1 Crisis Staff reproduced, and I would like to direct you to the very top
2 right corner of this page which reproduces a Crisis Staff statement of
3 the 23rd of May, 1992. And at the very end, the last two paragraphs of
4 this statement, says that the Crisis Staff orders the population of
5 Hambarine and other local communes in the area to hand over the
6 perpetrators of this crime - they were talking about the check-point
7 incident - by the same day at noon. And the last paragraph says:
8 "This crime has exhausted all dead-lines and promises, and the
9 Crisis Staff no longer can, nor is willing to, guarantee the safety of
10 the population of the above-mentioned villages in this area."
11 That was the message of the Prijedor Crisis Staff to the
12 population of Hambarine, wasn't it?
13 A. If this is the original text provided by the Crisis Staff, that
14 means that everything had been exhausted and the Crisis Staff asked for
15 this to be brought to an end and that the perpetrators of this crime be
16 brought to justice. So obviously the population sided with their heros
17 and they did not do a single thing in order to hand them over to the
18 authorities. However, this same population had already fled from
19 Hambarine and they did not wait for the army or the police, only the
21 Q. And now you said that on the 23rd of May the police and the army
22 carried out an action in Hambarine, and by the evening the operation was
23 over. You claim that there was strong resistance to this action by the
24 Muslim extremists. In fact, the army suffered no casualties in this
25 operation, did it?
1 A. I don't know, believe me, who suffered casualties. It didn't
2 really reach me and I did not have this kind of information.
3 Q. Well, if we could stay on this document and go to the next page
4 in the English and move down -- zoom out a little in the B/C/S and move
5 down slightly.
6 So that -- I'm looking now at the Crisis Staff statement of the
7 24th of May, 1992, which you can see is in this inner box --
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: Exactly, that's it.
9 Q. And this is a Crisis Staff statement from the following day, the
10 24th of May, and in the first paragraph, this is just under the line in
11 the English, at its morning session the Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff
12 discussed the situation in the municipality, and it says:
13 "Following yesterday's operations by the army directed as
14 disarming the Muslim paramilitary formations from the Hambarine local
15 commune, the situation had calmed down during the night. The
16 Crisis Staff assessed that the operation has been successful. The army
17 suffered no loss during the combat activities. One member was wounded."
18 Now, a moment ago you said you didn't have this kind of
19 information. Does this remind you that, in fact, the Crisis Staff did
20 the following day know that the army had suffered no casualties in the
21 Hambarine operation?
22 A. I really cannot remember. It's been over 20 years now. Whether
23 there were any wounded or not, I cannot remember. Maybe I didn't attend
24 the session, maybe.
25 Q. Okay. In your statement you describe this operation as -- as one
1 that was undertaken to remove the check-point in Hambarine and locate the
2 alleged perpetrators of the check-point incident. The fact is,
3 Mr. Mandic, that the entire village was shelled, wasn't it? That was the
4 army's response to this check-point incident, to shell the village.
5 A. I don't know. I don't have that information. I cannot remember
6 that detail. I did not take part in these attacks, so -- I mean, had I
7 participated I would have known, but I did not participate and I don't
9 Q. How about the shelling of Kozarac for two days, do you remember
10 that? A couple of days after Hambarine.
11 A. Believe me, my work did not really have anything to do with the
12 police or the military. Maybe. I don't know. If you find the text,
13 maybe it would be there. I really don't know. I didn't really deal with
14 that, so -- I mean, I was a member of the Crisis Staff, but I did not
15 follow what the army and the police were doing. That is their own line
16 of work, so ...
17 Q. Well, did you ever have occasion to travel the
18 Prijedor-Banja Luka main road from where you could actually see the
19 destruction of the houses in Kozarac? Could you see those destroyed
21 A. Not then. I didn't travel at all. Until these things happened,
22 perhaps I was in Banja Luka once or twice. But when the operation was
23 over, I went to Banja Luka. You know, there was no need for me to
24 travel. You see, there was the president of the municipality and others
25 who were supposed to co-operate with the autonomous region of the
1 Krajina. There was no need for me to do that, so I did not travel
3 Q. Okay. At paragraph 10, you state that Trnopolje was set up --
4 was set up and that civilians were kept there for their own safety until
5 a decision was made on whether they would leave or stay or until they
6 obtained documents to go to third countries. Now, the civilians in
7 Trnopolje were not there by choice, were they? They had been detained by
8 the police and the army and they were held in Trnopolje as detainees;
9 isn't that right?
10 A. No, it's not right. I think it would have been better for the
11 civilians to be in Trnopolje protected rather than in the street where
12 some fool in uniform could walk up and make trouble. So they were free
13 to enter Trnopolje and leave Trnopolje. In fact, they sought protection.
14 They wanted to spend the nights in Trnopolje and during the day they
15 would go home. The aim was to protect them because I myself, as a Serb,
16 I was afraid. I was afraid of people with weapons. I wasn't afraid of
17 Muslims or Croats. I was afraid of my own. I'm referring to those who
18 were shooting at random, who were getting drunk and creating trouble in
20 May I go on?
21 Q. No, you've answered my question, Mr. Mandic.
22 A. All right. Thank you.
23 Q. You said that the Muslims sought shelter in Trnopolje and you say
24 that the Serbs -- you, yourself, as a Serb was also afraid. But there
25 were no Serbs seeking shelter in Trnopolje, were there? It was just
1 Muslims and Croats, wasn't it?
2 A. Well, I don't know whether there were any Serbs. Believe me, I
3 did not carry out any kind of triage and I don't have any information
4 about that. I'm just saying that I was afraid. I as a Serb who lived
5 and worked there. I was afraid of people who were shooting at random,
6 who were drunk, things like that. Such a person would turn a rifle at me
7 as well, not only a Muslim. They would no longer know who was who. And
8 it's better for people to be protected rather than be left at the mercy
9 of those who took advantage of the situation, killed people, and so on.
10 There was a war going on.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could have P2915, please.
12 Q. Mr. Mandic, this is a list of -- summarising conclusions adopted
13 by the Executive Committee and by the Crisis Staff. The list of
14 conclusions adopted by the Crisis Staff begins about halfway down the
15 page and continues.
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to page 3 in both languages.
17 Towards about two-thirds of the way down in the English and the second
18 full entry in the B/C/S.
19 Q. It refers to a conclusion of the Crisis Staff of the
20 2nd of July, 1992, forbidding the individual release of persons from
21 Trnopolje, Omarska, and Keraterm. Now, it's clear from the title of this
22 decision that the people in Trnopolje were detained there, isn't it?
23 A. Yes, but that was temporary, I think. Precisely so they would
24 not go back, because it was possible that there was this area where there
25 were moping-up operations against terrorists, and then perhaps there were
1 land-mines left in some of these houses. So I think that that was the
2 idea, that they should not go home because they might get killed, not by
3 the army or the police but those who were still there, who were not
4 arrested, who had weapons, and also until people would see how these
5 persons who had requested to leave could be safely transported to third
6 countries because they had expressed a wish to do so.
7 Q. Now at paragraph 12, you speak about Omarska and you say that
8 people who participated in combat or were captured with weapons were
9 taken to Omarska where an investigation was conducted and criminal
10 responsibility was determined. This is a claim you repeat again at
11 paragraph 20.
12 The truth is, Mr. Mandic, that Omarska was full of non-Serbs who
13 had had nothing to do with combat or weapons; right?
14 A. Could you please show me that? Which paragraph was it that you
16 Q. You said this twice in your statement at paragraph 12 and again
17 at paragraph 20.
18 A. Yes. Why was that done? Obviously because in the field in
19 Omarska there were many inhabitants -- or, rather, those people who had
20 weapons. But there were also those who did not have weapons. If there
21 were few rifles, then there would be a second or a third person waiting
22 in line to take over that weapon. I was not in Omarska until last year.
23 Simply, it was not my line of work, but I assume that they all had to go
24 through this triage -- or, rather, there were these organs who were
25 interrogating people, asking whether they had taken part in this
1 armament, and now they were either released or transferred to the
2 collection centre of Trnopolje. I don't know. I have not really
3 followed this because I think that there were many people there in
4 uniform, and even apart from that you had to carry out a triage. You
5 could not determine out in the field and say, You did shoot, you did not
7 Q. Well, the Prijedor SJB acknowledged officially that there were
8 people in Omarska who "were not interesting from a security point of
9 view, but who were captured because they found themselves in combat
10 zones," and people, "for whom there was no substantial proof that they
11 had participated in the armed rebellion in any manner whatsoever."
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: That's D470 at page 30.
13 Q. Were you aware of this assessment by the Prijedor SJB, a body
14 largely responsible for detaining and processing these detainees?
15 A. Well, yes, if that's what they wrote, then that's the way it was.
16 But I think there were non-Serbs -- or, rather, there were Serbs who were
17 there also, Igor Kondic, I know that myself. How he happened to be
18 there, I don't know. I did not carry out a triage. I did not
19 interrogate anyone.
20 Q. Now at paragraph 28 of your statement, Mr. Mandic, you comment on
21 some adjudicated facts regarding dismissals of non-Serbs, particularly
22 from leadership positions in Prijedor. And you said that leaving a
23 position of authority depended on one's respect for the constitution and
24 laws and not on nationality. If a person of any nationality was loyal to
25 the state, he or she would remain in position.
1 The Crisis Staff, Mr. Mandic, of Prijedor issued an order
2 requiring that certain posts considered to be important could only be
3 held by ethnic Serbs, didn't it?
4 A. Well, I don't know which places they were, believe me; for
5 example, what is important is the public security station and there were
6 Muslims among the ranks of the police there. Also, at the post office
7 there were both Muslims and Serbs working there and Croats, too, and
8 there were directors, that is to say, top people heading companies. For
9 example, GIK Mrakovica, I think that the gentleman's name was
10 Bilo Begovic, and he was the director there and nobody touched him
11 because he did not co-operate with the extremists and he was loyal, a
12 loyal citizen.
13 Q. Now, Mr. Mandic, you didn't really answer my question. You were
14 a member of the Crisis Staff in Prijedor. The Crisis Staff issued an
15 order that only ethnic Serbs could hold certain posts that were
16 considered important. Yes or no?
17 A. Well, no. I think that that is not the way it was. I think that
18 they had to be loyal citizens according to the constitution.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to P2740, please.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Mandic, you can see that this is a decision of the ARK
21 Crisis Staff of the 22nd of June, 1992. And under point 1, you can see
22 that the decision requires that only personnel of Serbian ethnicity may
23 hold executive posts, posts where the information flow is possible and
24 posts involving the protection of socially owned property; that is, all
25 posts of importance for the functioning of economic entities. And it
1 states that this includes all socially owned enterprises, shareholding
2 societies, state institutions, public enterprises, the MUP, and the army.
3 Now, the Prijedor Crisis Staff received this decision and
4 forwarded it for implementation; right?
5 A. [No interpretation]
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness start
7 his answer again? Thank you.
8 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Mandic, could you repeat your answer.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm saying that I didn't have to
10 accept that. I mean, if they were loyal, the leading people who were
11 Muslims and Croats. I mean, quite simply we did not resolve that problem
12 on the basis of the decision of the AR Krajina. If this information
13 defines these enterprises that were important, then it must have been
14 that. But when we assess that there was no need to replace people, then
15 we wouldn't do that.
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 3 of this document.
17 Q. So you recall receiving this decision, Mr. Mandic?
18 A. Well, no, I did not have any contact with the AR Krajina. We did
19 not receive individual decisions. Or, rather, we as individuals did not
20 receive decisions. It was the president of the municipality that did.
21 Q. Okay. And here on the third page of the document we can see the
22 president of the municipality, Dr. Stakic, forwarding this ARK
23 Crisis Staff decision for implementation - correct? - the next day.
24 A. I'm sorry, forwarding it to who?
25 Q. Well, let's go to P2637. I'll ask you a more specific question
1 about its implementation. As you can see, this is a Prijedor SJB
2 document updated the 1st of July, 1992, to the Prijedor Crisis Staff, and
3 it lists a number of conclusions that the SJB is implementing.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to the very last entry which
5 is on the second page in both languages.
6 Q. It states:
7 "The decision of the Banja Luka ARK Crisis Staff, number 03-531
8 dated the 22nd of June, 1992," and I can tell you that that is the number
9 and date of the ARK Crisis Staff decision we saw a moment ago, "on
10 staffing executive posts and other posts important to the functioning of
11 business establishments has been implemented in this SJB."
12 So, Mr. Mandic, the Prijedor Crisis Staff forwarded the ARK
13 Crisis Staff decision, at the very least, to the SJB, and the SJB here is
14 reporting back to the Crisis Staff of Prijedor that this has been done;
16 A. Obviously that's the way it is, but who they replaced, how, what.
17 There were top personnel who also left their work-places and left and
18 those positions had to be filled too, but it doesn't say here who was
19 replaced. They carried out this task, but -- in fact, this is a
20 statement that people were replaced, but who was replaced I don't know.
21 Q. At paragraph 22 of your statement, you say that during the first
22 few months of the war you did not have contact with the authorities in
23 Pale and that you made all decisions independently. Now, I'd like you to
24 specify, if you could, the time-frame during which you claim you had no
25 contact with the Pale authorities.
1 A. I personally did not have any contact whatsoever. I think that
2 it was up until the corridor was created to Bijeljina. Until then, we
3 did not have the possibility of receiving certain orders and instructions
4 as to how we should behave in such complex moments.
5 Q. Okay. So from the beginning of the war until the corridor was
6 created, which the evidence shows was at the very end of June 1992, so I
7 take it that your position is that during the month of May 1992 the
8 Prijedor authorities had no contact with the Pale authorities; is that
10 A. I really cannot give you an answer. I simply don't remember
11 that. I did not have any contacts, and therefore I cannot remember. If
12 it can be seen somewhere that it did exist, if it was written that way,
13 then that's it, but I really cannot remember any of that. And that is my
14 position because I did not go to Pale, I didn't go to Banja Luka. Quite
15 simply, I'm the vice-president. I could not convene sessions of the
16 Executive Board because according to the law I could not do that. It was
17 only the deputy president that could convene sessions.
18 Q. Well, Mr. Mandic, your sworn evidence in this case is quite
19 categorical. You say:
20 "After the war began, during the first few months, we in Prijedor
21 did not have contact with the authorities in Pale. We made all decisions
23 Now in your last answer it sounds like you're backtracking from
24 that. You say: I simply don't remember. I did not have any contacts,
25 and therefore I cannot remember. If it can be seen somewhere that it did
1 exist, if it was written that way, then that's it, but I really cannot
2 remember any of that. So what's your evidence on this? Is it what you
3 say in your statement or is it that you just don't know and can't
5 A. I don't think I had any contacts.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could have P3919, please.
7 Q. Now you can see, Mr. Mandic, this is a decision on general public
8 mobilisation of forces and resources in the republic, dated the
9 20th of May, 1992, issued by the presidency of the RS and signed by
10 Dr. Karadzic. Now, the Prijedor Crisis Staff received and implemented
11 this order; right? Decision, sorry.
12 A. Obviously, but I did not receive documents. I can't remember. I
13 apologise to the Court. Documents did not reach me, so I never held this
14 in my hands.
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to P3537, please.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Mandic, this is a decision of the Prijedor Crisis Staff
17 and the preamble says:
18 "Pursuant to the decision of the Serbian Republic of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina about the general public mobilisation of forces and
20 materiel in the republic, the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor municipality,
21 considering the current situation and conditions, at the meeting held on
22 the 22nd of May, 1992, reached this decision," and the decision on
23 mobilisation follows.
24 Now you -- when I showed you the presidency mobilisation decision
25 from two days previously, you said you didn't remember, Documents did not
1 reach me. I never held this in my hands.
2 Do you remember now that the Prijedor Crisis Staff in fact
3 discussed and implemented that presidency decision at its meeting on the
4 22nd of May, 1992?
5 A. Obviously the decision was made, but I just simply didn't go
6 anywhere and I didn't -- I don't remember what happened. It's more than
7 20 years ago. Now I see that that is it.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to P6589, please.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Mandic, these are the minutes of the
10 Prijedor Municipal Board of the SDS meeting held on the 18th of May,
11 1992, chaired by Mr. Miskovic, and you can see agenda item 2 is report
12 from the session of the Serbian Republic of BH Assembly. And under
13 item 2 in the text it says that a report on the assembly session was
14 presented by President Miskovic, and then there are some notes saying
15 that there were 18 items on the agenda, main guidelines and future
16 activities were identified, commander of the army, supreme staff,
17 appointed, members of the presidency of the republic elected, et cetera.
18 And then it says that the assembly deputy, Svetozar Timarac, presented
19 additional information on this session.
20 Now do you recall this meeting at which Mr. Miskovic and
21 Mr. Timarac reported to the Prijedor SDS on the decisions and discussion
22 at the -- taken at the RS Assembly session from a few days prior to this,
23 on the 12th of May, 1992?
24 A. No, no I can't remember. There were many assembly sessions,
25 really. Sessions of the Assembly of the Serbian Republic and
1 Municipal Board sessions and Crisis Staff sessions, so that -- maybe that
2 was a briefing, information that the commander was elected, the
3 presidency of the republic was elected, but there were other things
4 discussed, too. This was just a briefing, information.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Mandic, you agree that you were present at this
6 18th of May session of the Prijedor Municipal Board. We can see you
7 participating in the discussion in item 3.
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. But you have no recollection of any briefing of the 12th?
10 A. This was a discussion concerning the SDS platform. If there had
11 been any discussion in the previous paragraph, it would have been
12 indicated. But it doesn't mention any discussion. It ended when the
13 president of the party presented what he had to present. Nobody
14 discussed these items on the agenda of the assembly.
15 Q. Okay. You agree you were present at this session. And one of
16 the -- sorry, the 18th of May session.
17 A. Yes, yes, certainly. It says so here. It's written. But we
18 didn't discuss.
19 Q. Now, one of the items that Mr. Miskovic included in his briefing
20 on the 12th of May are S Assembly session was the main guidelines in
21 future activities. Now, that appears to be a reference to the strategic
22 objectives that Dr. Karadzic announced at the 12th May assembly session.
23 Do you remember Mr. Miskovic telling the Prijedor SDS about the strategic
24 objectives at this SDS session?
25 A. Well, it's certainly that he spoke. But what he said, I can't
1 remember now. He certainly touched upon some strategic objectives. It's
2 written in the platforms and he must have touched upon these items.
3 Q. Now, at paragraph 13 of your statement you say that the
4 Prijedor Crisis Staff established regional staffs to register abandoned
5 property and temporarily accommodated refugees in these properties. Now,
6 you're talking here in your statement about registering abandoned
7 property. In fact, in August of 1992 the Prijedor municipal authorities
8 issued a decision that declared abandoned properties - properties of
9 those who had left the municipality - to be state property; isn't that
11 A. Yes. Because somebody had to protect that property. The purpose
12 of regional staffs was to protect property to see which houses were
13 empty, to make a list of things, to keep -- put them in safe keeping, and
14 to provide accommodation for the 60.000 refugees that we already had by
15 that time in Prijedor and these people needed to be put up somewhere.
16 If -- there were people who liked to go around these houses and take
17 whatever they liked, some took off even entire roofs and somebody had to
18 protect these things. Because all the property, all the apartments that
19 belonged to state-owned enterprises were not the property of the person
20 occupying the apartment. It was still social property, public property.
21 It was not the property of an individual but the entire society. That
22 was the law at the time in our country. The only private property was if
23 somebody bought their apartment. The rest was all socially owned.
24 Q. Well, first of all, the decision didn't make any distinction
25 between socially owned property and private property. It simply declared
1 abandoned properties to be state properties; right?
2 A. Yes, state property, socially owned property, the same thing. In
3 order to protect it, not in order to re-sell it or to steal it but to
4 protect it.
5 Q. Okay. But the municipality didn't have to take over ownership of
6 the properties in order to protect it, did they? They could have simply
7 registered the properties as you claim they did in your statement and
8 allow people to temporarily -- allowed temporarily housing of other -- of
9 refugees, et cetera, in those properties? Declaring those properties to
10 be state properties wasn't required to protect them, was it?
11 A. Well, I don't know now but I believe that was the legislation at
12 the time. The laws required it. I don't know, I'm not a lawyer. I
13 suppose that the person who made this proposal was guided by the
14 legislation, but I don't know. I cannot really go into these problems.
15 I'm not a lawyer.
16 Q. And this process wasn't just about housing refugees. You were
17 also appropriating business that had been owned previously by Muslims and
18 Croats and issuing them to Serbs for their use; correct?
19 A. There were certain businesses. But now, believe me, there was
20 one company, Hidrofleks, I believe, owned by a Croat, but he had made a
21 contract, an agreement with somebody in Prijedor, a contract on sale. I
22 don't know exactly what happened. I am not familiar with individual
23 cases, so I cannot say whether something was given to a Serb or not. I
24 know about that one case, but apparently a contract on sale was involved.
25 I -- it was not up to me to investigate these things and to inquire.
1 Q. Okay. So you're not aware of any other or any business that had
2 been owned by Muslims or Croats where the municipality took over
3 ownership and re-issued those businesses to others for their use? You
4 can't think of a single example?
5 A. I am giving you the example of Hidrofleks. I'd like it if you
6 could give me a list here and then I could say item by item. As it is, I
7 can't remember because I was not involved in politics for long at that
8 time. A year before that, I worked in Germany in a German company as the
9 commercial director. I was not interested in these things. I'm not that
10 kind of person. But if you had a list, we could go through the list and
11 say this was taken by that person, this was given to another person,
12 et cetera.
13 Q. Just to be clear, Mr. Mandic, you can't think of a single example
14 of the -- of Prijedor municipality appropriating a business of a Muslim
15 or Croat who had left the municipality and giving it out to somebody
17 A. I just thought of one. It's a catering establishment called
18 Cuko, owned by a Muslim, and it was taken over by Dusko Knezevic. I
19 believe he was one of those accused here. But you couldn't stop people
20 like him. He didn't need anybody's permission. He just took what he
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to 65 ter 25827, please.
23 Q. Now, this is a conclusion of the Prijedor Executive Board dated
24 the 14th of May, 1993. At this point, Mr. Mandic, you were the president
25 of the Executive Board; correct?
1 A. No, I was vice-president of the Executive Board, but I remember
2 the list. The list is okay. Now I remember.
3 Q. So at May 1993, Mr. Mandic, you were the president of the
4 Executive Board, were you not? In 1993.
5 A. Oh, I see, yes, this is 1993. I thought you were talking about
6 1992. Yes, I was president of the Executive Board.
7 Q. Okay.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: Okay. If we could just quickly go to the second
10 Q. I think you'll recognise your signature.
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. And this is a decision issued and signed by you; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go back to page 1.
16 Q. It states that the -- with the aim of implementing the
17 Executive Board's conclusion of the 22nd of December, 1992, that the
18 immediate family members of soldiers killed in combat and disabled war
19 veterans be awarded 10 commercial premises, the following commercial
20 premises are being selected for that purpose. And then there are a list
21 of ten premises and each one includes the name of the former owner. So
22 the first one is a grocery formerly owned by Dzevad Mujanovic, and it
23 goes on. Now all these ten people identified as former owners of these
24 business, these are all Muslims and Croats, right, non-Serbs?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. And these business -- you can see, sorry, in item 3 on page 2, it
2 states that all the persons selected to be awarded these business are
3 obliged to sign a commercial property lease contract with the Prijedor
4 municipality. Now, it's clear from this decision that these business
5 were appropriated by the municipality and then awarded to family members
6 of killed soldiers and disabled veterans who were then to enter into a
7 lease contract with the municipality for their use; correct?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Now, a few moments ago you stated that you could not come up with
10 a single example of the Prijedor municipality appropriating the business
11 of a Muslim or Croat and giving it out to somebody else except for one
12 example where a catering example was taken over by a criminal,
13 Dusko Knezevic, and you said, "... but he didn't need anyone's
14 permission. He just took what he wanted." In fact, Mr. Mandic, the
15 Executive Board of the municipality was doing exactly the same thing as
16 Mr. Knezevic, appropriating business and giving them away -- of non-Serbs
17 and giving them away to Serbs; correct?
18 A. Well, these things are not equal. This was done by the
19 authorities and the other thing was done by an individual. An individual
20 is not an authority. This was legal. It was legally decided that this
21 would become state property. It was decided that this property would be
22 protected, and upon a request from the war veteran's association and the
23 families of those who were killed, we assigned these properties to them
24 to have them continue operating and to protect them. Nobody had the
25 right. Nobody could keep these business after the war. The contracts
1 would be terminated and the business returned, so this was legal.
2 Whereas Dusko Knezevic was not in authorities. He was not the state. He
3 could not do these things.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: I tender this document.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P6606, Your Honours.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON:
8 Q. Now, at paragraph 15, Mr. Mandic, you refer to crimes that you
9 call crimes that were blamed on the Serbian people, and you say that:
10 "It is generally known that various individual murders happened
11 and that police organs and the prosecutor's office of Prijedor
12 municipality undertook various investigations and filed misdemeanor and
13 criminal reports against known or unknown perpetrators."
14 Now which individual murders, as you put it, of non-Serbs in 1992
15 are you aware of?
16 A. I'll give you an example. I believe it was the Rizvanovic
17 family, he was a car mechanic. And I believe the other family's name is
18 Dosen. He committed the murder by night. I don't know exactly, but I
19 believe it was very -- I mean, fear pervaded Prijedor. We all knew this
20 man by sight, and the moment he drank a bit he lost control completely
21 and then what happened happened. I believe the police station carried
22 out an on-site investigation and identified the perpetrator.
23 Q. Okay. And who was the perpetrator of this incident, of this
25 A. A person whose nickname was Djole. Rumor had it it was him. I
1 did not have any documents to that effect.
2 Q. Okay. And was this person whose -- with whom -- about whom you
3 only know the nickname, was that person prosecuted by the
4 Republika Srpska authorities at the time?
5 A. I don't know. It was a matter for the prosecutor's office and
6 the police, so --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I ask for a clarification? I'm
8 not sure that the witness knows only the person's nickname. I believe
9 that he also mentioned his family name.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I believe that the man's family
11 name was Dosen.
12 MS. GUSTAFSON:
13 Q. Any other cases of what you call individual murders that you are
14 specifically aware of of non-Serbs in 1992?
15 A. Well, it was during war operations, during conflicts, during the
16 attack on Prijedor. But I suppose all was documented and that the actors
17 are known and those were non-Serbs.
18 Q. Okay. So you just said -- you've only named one case of an
19 individual of a murder that you're aware of, you don't know if the
20 perpetrator was prosecuted, and now you say:
21 "I suppose all was documented and the actors are known ..."
22 So in your statement when you said police organs in the
23 prosecutor's office of the Prijedor municipality undertook various
24 investigations and filed misdemeanors and criminal reports against
25 perpetrators, what exactly is that based on if you can only name one
1 murder incident and you don't even know if the perpetrator was
3 A. Well, I assumed that everybody did what they were supposed to do,
4 that courts and the prosecutor's office did what they were supposed to
5 and the police did the same. One couldn't just turn a blind eye on
6 events that happened because they did happen, and I suppose that they
7 documented those things and that they caught the perpetrators. There
8 were talks about various people who had done things. I didn't go to the
9 police or to the court to ask whether they followed through or not and
10 who the perps were.
11 Q. Okay. You said one couldn't just turn a blind eye on events that
12 happened because they did happen. Now, you were, in 1992, a member of
13 the Crisis Staff. You were vice-president of the Executive Committee.
14 And in 1993 you were president of the Executive Committee. Did either of
15 these organs, the Crisis Staff or Executive Committee, take any steps to
16 investigate or gather information about crimes against Muslims and Croats
17 in 1992 while you were members of those bodies?
18 A. I believe so. I think so. I believe that what happened in
19 Keraterm resulted in the trial of the persons who were involved. I'm
20 assuming that there are records of on-site investigations by the police.
21 I can only share with you my assumptions because I had never saw any
22 documents. However, if they were doing their job, then they must have
23 documented those things and they must have arrested the perpetrators.
24 Q. Sorry, Mr. Mandic, you may have misunderstood my question. I'm
25 asking you about the bodies that you belonged to: The Crisis Staff and
1 the Executive Committee of Prijedor. Did those bodies take any steps to
2 gather information about the crimes committed against Muslims and Croats
3 in 1992?
4 A. Well, the Executive Board was operational for the first ten days
5 after the take-over, and then it was the Crisis Staff that took over.
6 When the Crisis Staff was abolished, the Executive Board continued
7 operating. I believe that at a meeting we decided that we should
8 investigate crimes committed against the Serb population in Prijedor
9 municipality and that we were in communication with Minister Toholj, I
10 believe that that was his name, and Mr. Bolajic as well, who lived in
11 Belgrade and who was affiliated with the United Nations and worked on
12 crime investigation. While I was the president of the Executive Board
13 there was that one attempt to investigate some of the crimes that were
14 committed against Serbs in Prijedor municipality. And as for the rest, I
15 don't know. We did not investigate anything during my term of office.
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to 65 ter 25829, please.
17 Q. Now, in your last answer you talked about a decision taken by the
18 Executive Board to investigate crimes committed against the Serb
19 population, and you refer to communication with Minister Toholj in that
20 regard. And here we see a letter authored by you to Mr. Toholj dated the
21 7th of May, 1993, stating that the Executive Committee of Prijedor
22 municipality had formed a municipal commission for gathering documents on
23 the genocide committed against the Serbian people in the territory of our
24 municipality. And it goes on to talk about efforts to obtain
25 documentation and requests the minister to facilitate the commission's
1 efforts to gather documents and information with the Ministry of Defence
2 and minister of the interior.
3 Now, this letter reflects the efforts you referred to a moment
4 ago by the Prijedor Executive Board to investigate crimes against Serbs
5 in Prijedor municipality; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the Prosecutor explain
10 whether the collection of documentation is tantamount to investigation,
11 or whether she considers it to be investigation?
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: Those were the witness's own words in the
13 previous long answer.
14 I tender this document and I have no further question.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, thank you. We'll receive this.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P6607, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, will you start your re-examination?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellencies, since we have to
19 work tomorrow perhaps it would be best if I could start tomorrow. We
20 have only five minutes left and if you want me to, I can make the most of
21 the five minutes that we have.
22 JUDGE KWON: Tomorrow, but we'll begin with Mr. Beara's evidence,
23 as far as I understand it.
24 THE ACCUSED: Yeah, I think it's better not to start because the
25 few times we'll be interrupted.
1 JUDGE KWON: So that means you have more than 10 or 15 minutes
2 for your re-examination for this witness?
3 THE ACCUSED: But no more than 15.
4 JUDGE KWON: I will consult my colleagues. If you could conclude
5 in 15 minutes, why don't we continue.
6 THE ACCUSED: I can --
7 JUDGE KWON: Just let me consult.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE KWON: Given that we started earlier than usual for this
10 session, if the interpreters are fine with this arrangement, we'll
11 continue with their indulgence, but we'll see.
12 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
13 JUDGE KWON: Could you conclude by five to 3.00? In 15 minutes.
14 THE ACCUSED: I hope so.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
16 THE ACCUSED: I hope so. I think so.
17 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Mandic, in the document that is before us,
19 it says: "Collection of documents." On page 96, you were asked whether
20 the Crisis Staff, and later on the Executive Board, took any measures to
21 investigate crimes. Could you please tell us whether a Crisis Staff or
22 an Executive Board have their own investigative bodies which are not the
23 regular investigation bodies?
24 A. No, neither crisis staff nor an Executive Board have their own
25 investigating bodies. There is the police, the court, and those are the
1 bodies that belong to the powers of the state that have the authority to
3 Q. And what about the Crisis Staff or the Executive Board, did they
4 have any authority over the judiciary or was the division of powers
5 present and respected in Prijedor?
6 A. Everybody did their job. The court did what it was supposed to,
7 the police as well, so there was a division of powers between them.
8 Q. On page 95, you were asked why you remembered only one case of
9 murder. Could you tell us whether in the area outside of combat
10 activities, there were more killings of Serbs than others in general
12 A. Yes. I believe that there were, but I don't remember.
13 Q. How many? Could you remember?
14 A. Well, not that many in that sense. There were such cases but I
15 can't remember any details. I remembered that particular case because I
16 live downtown and I remember that particular incident.
17 Q. Thank you. And on page 92 you were asked about the take-over of
18 property by the municipality. Could you please tell us whether the
19 take-over of property means that the ownership is also taken over? And
20 how many units of private property actually changed hands or changed the
21 ownership in an illegal way in Prijedor?
22 A. It's very difficult to answer that question because people
23 entered houses and they did whatever they wanted. However, things had to
24 be channeled. And if somebody entered the house, it had to be known that
25 they live there, that they had to behave like good hosts, that they had
1 to protect the property. They were not supposed to live in one house for
2 a while and then in another next, so commissions were set up to make
3 stock of that property so as to allow the municipality to give the
4 available property to refugees and displaced persons with the help of the
5 commissions that were in charge of that.
6 Q. And what about property in war? When somebody disposes or gets
7 property at their disposal, do they also get ownership of that property?
8 And how many pieces of property did the state take over as its property?
9 A. No, it didn't happen. It never -- the state never registered as
10 the owner. The ownership remained the same but the deeds were not
11 changed, is what I'm saying. If Marko Markovic was the owner of a house
12 he was still the owner, but the state was the custodian of such property
13 because the owner -- the rightful owner was not there. It was done in
14 order to protect property. There were no books of empty properties where
15 such properties would be registered in the land books or in the registry
16 books. There was a state of chaos -- or chaos prevailed and empty
17 property had to be protected.
18 Q. If I receive an apartment from one company and then I leave that
19 company, whereas the apartment belongs to the company, whose -- in whose
20 ownership is it?
21 A. The apartment remains in the -- is in the ownership of the
22 company, and if you leave the company you have to return the apartment.
23 That's the law. By living in the apartment, you do not get property
25 Q. Apart from these private businesses, we're talking now about
1 socially owned companies, whose ownership is it, in fact, when we say
2 "socially owned"?
3 A. It's owned by all the citizens, the society as a whole. Nobody
4 can say that they own the company. That was the system in the
5 former Yugoslavia.
6 Q. You were asked about communications.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we show D01832, briefly.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Do you stand by your assertion that communications were
10 compromised, that it was difficult to establish contact?
11 A. Yes, certainly.
12 Q. This is a member of the State Security Service, well known to us
13 by his code-name. Can you read what is written in Serbian?
14 A. Shall I read it?
15 Q. Yes, aloud.
16 A. "The situation is difficult. Communications are broken down. In
17 Prijedor, yesterday, a reservist policeman of Serb nationality was killed
18 from behind. Immediately after, a relative of the dead policeman killed
19 four Muslims."
20 Q. [No interpretation]
21 A. [No interpretation]
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed this entire question and
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I asked: How is this consistent with your experience from
1 Prijedor from that time concerning communications, revenge, murders,
2 et cetera?
3 A. I answered "yes."
4 Q. Thank you. [Microphone not activated] On page 73, you were
5 asked -- the question was -- I'll read in English:
6 [In English] "As a result of the night between 29th and
7 30th of April, 1992, following very detailed preparations and pursuant to
8 the relevant decisions of the Executive Committee for the Serbian
9 municipality of Prijedor, an organised take-over of power was embarked
11 [Interpretation] And then further on:
12 [In English] "And now as this police report makes clear, this
13 take-over by the SDS in Prijedor was planned long before the telex was
14 received ...," [Interpretation] and so on.
15 Your answer was:
16 [In English] "Yes, but that was not the only reason. I mean the
17 Cazin Krajina."
18 [Interpretation] Can you tell us what were the other reasons?
19 What made the authorities carry out preparations for some contingency?
20 A. I didn't understand if you cited the telegram by the minister of
21 the interior of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Delimustafic, which was the spark
22 that provoked this take-over of power?
23 Q. You were asked about the take-over. A passage was read out to
24 you from a MUP report saying that these preparations had been conducted
25 earlier and the telegram only speeded up the take-over. According to the
1 Law on All People's Defence and for practical reasons, do the authorities
2 always make such contingency preparations?
3 A. This just provided a cause. It was not only that Cazin Krajina
4 you said --
5 JUDGE KWON: Stop. Stop. Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
6 MS. GUSTAFSON: He didn't get the answer he wanted the first time
7 and now he's asking it again in an incredibly leading manner.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The witness said he didn't
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said I didn't understand.
11 JUDGE KWON: It was because you didn't cite sufficiently for the
12 witness to understand what the question was.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Because I'm in a hurry.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. But here, you were shown a police report saying that contingency
16 preparations had been made earlier, and you --
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: No, no.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. -- answered --
20 MS. GUSTAFSON: The report doesn't say that contingency
21 preparations had been made.
22 JUDGE KWON: No.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON: The report says:
24 "Activities were launched to prepare for a take-over by force."
25 The report also mentions the Cazin Krajina -- it may assist the
1 witness if Dr. Karadzic go -- if he wants to ask about that particular
2 aspect to go to the report.
3 JUDGE KWON: So the question and answer will be -- I will read
4 those parts to you. The question is this:
5 "Now as this police report makes clear, this take-over by the SDS
6 in Prijedor was planned long before the telex was received on the
7 29th of April; correct?"
8 And this is your answer:
9 "Yes. But that was not the only reason. I mean, the
10 Cazin Krajina."
11 So then, Mr. Karadzic was asking what are the other reasons that
12 you had in mind? Can you answer the question.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The leadership of the
14 Serbian Democratic Party was involved in intensive negotiations with the
15 leadership of the SDA about a peaceful solution to all the interethnic
16 issues in Prijedor. The Serbian Democratic Party was very committed to
17 finding a peaceful solution, keeping the peace, and it wanted the removal
18 of extremists among the SDA members, people who were already known in
19 Prijedor -- or better to call them notorious such as one Hadzija and one
20 man named Ecimovic and we had information that they were already
21 distributing arms around villages. I live in a place that is close to a
22 Muslim village, so I could see with my own eyes how they were walking
23 about the hills. So we had to protect the Serbian people, but not only
24 the Serbian people, the Muslim people as well because God forbid that
25 Muslims should have taken over power in Prijedor. We had a very bad
1 experience from the Second World War. But under the previous system in
2 which we lived, it was forbidden to talk about these things. However,
3 after Tito's death and the democratic changes, our people learned much
4 more about who had done what and who was doing what. So we tried in a
5 peaceful way, and we, the Serbian people, I believe managed to save many,
6 many more lives.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, the Chamber doesn't want to obliged
8 you to conclude your re-examination being pressed for time. We'll
9 continue tomorrow, if you so wish.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Better to continue tomorrow, then,
11 because we've lost some time in these misunderstandings.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Mandic, we'll continue tomorrow. Unfortunately,
13 we are not able to finish your examination. But tomorrow we'll begin
14 with Mr. Beara's cross-examination. I don't know how much time it
15 will -- it will be necessary to conclude his evidence. You'll be heard
16 after Mr. Beara's evidence is concluded. Do you understand that?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you for your kind understanding.
19 Please --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 JUDGE KWON: -- do not discuss with anybody else about your
22 testimony while you are giving evidence. Hearing is adjourned.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.58 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 22nd
2 day of January, 2014, at 9.00 a.m.