1 Wednesday, 22 January 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Good morning, Mr. Beara.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Harvey.
10 MR. HARVEY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
11 May I introduce Maria Naumceska, who is from the
12 Republic of Macedonia and has been with my team since November of last
13 year. Thank you.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 And for the record, I note that counsel for Mr. Beara,
16 Mr. Ostojic, is in the courtroom. Good morning to you, Mr. Ostojic.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE KWON: Today, Mr. Beara, you will be cross-examined by the
19 representative of the Office of the Prosecutor. I like to remind you
20 that the oath you took is still valid.
21 And I take it, Mr. Ostojic, the Chamber doesn't need to repeat
22 the Rule 90(E) advice for the benefit of the witness.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Correct, Your Honour. I believe you don't have to,
24 but from time to time Mr. Beara may ask for it, so depending on the
25 questions, correct.
1 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Ostojic.
2 Good morning, Ms. Pack.
3 MS. PACK: Good morning, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE KWON: Please proceed.
5 MS. PACK: Thank you.
6 WITNESS: LJUBISA BEARA [Resumed]
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 Cross-examination by Ms. Pack:
9 Q. Mr. Beara, you are serving a life sentence; right?
10 A. It's not the last judgement.
11 Q. This Tribunal found you beyond a reasonable doubt guilty of
12 persecution through murder and cruel inhumane treatment, guilty of
13 murder, guilty of extermination, guilty of genocide; correct?
14 A. Yes, that was the finding of the Court.
15 Q. And many of your associates in the VRS security administration
16 have been convicted. Your superior, Tolimir, also convicted of genocide
17 in another trial. You're aware of that?
18 A. Yes, yes. All that is well-known.
19 Q. Security officer below you in the Drina Corps, Popovic, also
20 convicted of genocide?
21 A. Yes. You know that, of course.
22 Q. I want to remind you of one question and one answer you gave in
23 your evidence in-chief.
24 MS. PACK: Now I can read out the question in open session,
25 Your Honours, but I'll have to read out the answer in private session, so
1 perhaps if you're bear with me I'll read out the question.
2 So in response to the question on the last occasion:
3 "During the war, did you ever author or read any VRS document
4 that indicated that prisoners from Srebrenica would be, were being, or
5 had been executed?
6 You gave the following answer which we'll hear in private
7 session, please.
8 MS. PACK: Could we move into private session.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 [Private session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of Chamber]
11 MS. PACK:
12 Q. You gave this answer --
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we are now in private session.
14 MS. PACK: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. "I never authored an order of that kind, nor did I ever see such
16 an order in a written form. It is also true that nobody ever orally
17 ordered me any such thing nor did I hear anybody order anybody else any
18 such thing."
19 You never gave, received, or heard any orders to execute
20 prisoners from Srebrenica. That is not an honest answer, is it,
21 Mr. Beara?
22 A. It is an honest answer. You should know that, of course.
23 Q. Do you recall what the Trial Chamber in your case said about you?
24 And let me read out a passage from the judgement.
25 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President. Can we go back into
1 public session, please.
2 JUDGE KWON: I'd like to hear from -- you're not asking to lift
3 the confidentiality of the previous question and answer.
4 MR. ROBINSON: Not at this time, but I think that this question
5 can be asked in public session.
6 JUDGE KWON: I think so. Ms. Pack.
7 MS. PACK: There's no reason why the question can't be asked in
8 public session, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Shall we go back to open session.
10 MS. PACK:
11 Q. Do you --
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
14 MS. PACK:
15 Q. Do you recall what the Trial Chamber in your case said about you?
16 I'm going to quote from your judgement at paragraph 2165. Said this:
17 "As chief of security in the VRS Main Staff, cloaked with the
18 authority of Mladic, he gave directions and orders to the subordinate
19 troops who implemented the murder plan. It was the abuse of this senior
20 position within the VRS which allowed him to utilise the resources at his
21 disposal to orchestrate the crimes."
22 Do you recall the Trial Chamber's finding to that effect in your
24 A. Of course, I don't remember. Who would remember? That was
25 almost two years ago. But I remember that a telegram was shown from the
1 chief of the public security centre, Dragomir Vasic, where he writes that
2 the MUP had taken over assignments from the army, that it surrounded and
3 liquidated 8.000 Muslims. And that was later --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand the verb.
5 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
6 Could you repeat from where you referred to 8.000 Muslims? The
7 interpreters didn't hear you well.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can, I can.
9 It's a telegram written by Dragomir Vasic, chief of the public
10 security centre at Zvornik.
11 MS. PACK:
12 Q. What are you pulling out of your folder, please, on your desk?
13 A. [In English] Sorry?
14 Q. What are you pulling out and putting on the folder on your desk?
15 A. [Interpretation] It's papers. It's not a gun.
16 Q. Would you put it, please, back? Would you put it back, please?
17 A. Why? That's what I'm talking.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may object, and I'm not sure if I have right
19 to object. I just think the Prosecution, will all due respect, doesn't
20 have a right to direct the witness as to what he should do. I think
21 perhaps the request should be directed to the Chamber, and if the Court
22 believes he can't refer to rely on things, then so be it, the Court will
23 direct Mr. Beara, but I think it's unfair for the Prosecution to sternly
24 direct any witness, particularly a witness that was subpoenaed by this
1 JUDGE KWON: But it should be correct on the part of the witness
2 to ask permission from the Bench before he consults any documents, in the
3 circumstances in which we do not know what that document is about.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: And I understand that, Your Honour. I think the
5 confusion, and I'm not -- I think when he was asked to restate it, he was
6 trying to refresh his recollection because he didn't catch fully what he
7 stated about the document that he was referencing, so needs to apparently
8 rely on it. So he looked at it in order to answer fully the question by
9 the Chamber.
10 In any event, I would object to the OTP's instructions to the
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Beara, I would appreciate if could you answer
13 the question from your memory, and, if necessary, ask permission from the
14 Bench to consult the document to refresh your memory.
15 Do you understand that?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I understand, and I'm
17 sorry that I rifled through my papers.
18 At any rate, I said that this telegram exists which is in the
19 evidence in the case, a telegram from Dragomir Vasic, chief of the public
20 security centre of Zvornik who is linked to the Ministry of Interior,
21 saying that, due to the engagement of the VRS in the operation concerning
22 Zepa, the MUP forces took over assignments from the army, and that they
23 surrounded and liquidated 8.000 Muslims. That's what I wanted to say.
24 That document was shown during the trial, and later in some magical way,
1 MS. PACK:
2 Q. Mr. Beara --
3 A. Yes?
4 Q. -- I'm not asking about that specific documents in your case. I
5 meant to ask you, please, another -- I'm going ask you and remind you of
6 another passage in your Trial Chamber's judgement about you, what they
7 said in finding you guilty of genocide. It's paragraph 1318 of the
8 judgement. They said this:
9 "The factors which the Trial Chamber finds to be decisive in
10 finding that Beara had the requisite specific intent for genocide are the
11 scale and scope of the killing operation carried out with his knowledge
12 pursuant to his instructions and under his supervision, his extensive and
13 forceful participation in all components of the killing operation, his
14 demonstrated determination to kill as many as possible and his vital
15 contribution in overcoming hurdles and challenges to effective
16 implementation. Further, the systematic, exclusive targeting of
17 Bosnian Muslims, the repetition by Beara of destructive and
18 discriminatory acts and his words all evidence his genocidal intent.
19 Further, his participation in these killings with knowledge that they
20 would contribute to the destruction of the group also demonstrates his
21 genocidal intent. Accordingly, the Trial Chamber is satisfied beyond
22 reasonable doubt that Beara participated in the JCE to murder with
23 genocidal intent. He is therefore guilty of genocide."
24 You don't accept that finding?
25 A. I don't accept it at all. It is, indeed, written, but that's not
1 how it happened in that time.
2 Q. You don't --
3 A. We have led evidence to that effect, but, again, I say all that
4 we presented disappeared in some magical way. Why and how, I really
5 don't know.
6 Q. Your Trial Chamber --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The Prosecutor is reading
8 some paragraphs from the judgement and interpreters don't have the text
9 of the judgement at their disposal at all. Thank you.
10 MS. PACK: We can have it at 65 ter 25863. I wasn't going to
11 bring it up, but it's available there. Paragraph 1318 that I just read
12 is an English page, 532; B/C/S, page 535. I'm just going to refer to one
13 other small portion.
14 JUDGE KWON: But please read it very slowly.
15 MS. PACK: I will do. Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Your Trial Chamber found -- and this is at paragraph 1068, it
17 found this:
18 "It found that the heavy hand of the security branch was evident
19 throughout -- throughout, that is the killing operations. Beara, they
20 said, was at the centre of the killing operations with Popovic and
21 together you were responsible for overall planning and implementation
22 logistics, locations, personnel."
23 That's what they found. They said that you translated the murder
24 plan into actions. That is, together in Zvornik, Beara, Popovic, and
25 Nikolic translated the murder plan into actions.
1 That is an accurate statement of your role in the Srebrenica
2 events, isn't it?
3 A. No. I don't know, in fact, what you're asking me. Do you want
4 me to confirm that I orchestrated the murders?
5 Q. In your final trial brief, in your own trial, you denied all
6 knowledge at the time of the crimes perpetrated following the fall of
7 Srebrenica. Is that a position you maintain?
8 A. Of course.
9 I would kindly ask the Trial Chamber for permission to get a
10 paper out of my file regarding these allegations of the Prosecutor.
11 MS. PACK: I would ask that the witness just answer my question.
12 He's answered the question. I've got another one.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, the question was whether you denied all
14 knowledge at the time of the crimes in your final brief, in your own
15 trial. I think can you answer the question without having to rely on the
17 MS. PACK: Indeed, Mr. President, he has done. He said, of
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I could not have known anything
20 about that at the time because I was not in the field. However, some
21 other people were in the field, and you can see that from the intercepts
22 where Pavle and Vuk are talking about it, and this Pavle on our side, who
23 later very persistently and constantly claimed that I and my men had been
24 organisers of the killings and he knew nothing about it, he is calling
25 members of the Muslim unit that came behind the Zvornik Brigade lines.
1 He is saying, I'll kill you in the woods, 100 men for one, and if that's
2 not clear to you, go to Orahovac and surrender. He didn't go -- he
3 didn't say, Go to Beara and surrender; he said, Go to Orahovac. And
4 Orahovac is an execution site, if somebody doesn't know it. That's what
5 I heard during the trial.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 Yes, please continue, Ms. Pack.
8 MS. PACK:
9 Q. Yes, Mr. Beara, I'm not asking about your analysis of the
10 evidence in your trial, just about you.
11 You -- you maintain then -- wait, please.
12 A. Well, you are analysing this.
13 Q. Wait, please. You raise an alibi Defence in your trial - I think
14 you just referred to it - you said that you were in Belgrade between the
15 13th and 14th. Is that something you still maintain? 13th and 14th of
16 July obviously. Yes?
17 A. Certainly.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness kindly speak much closer to
19 the microphone. Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, I said of course I was in
22 MS. PACK:
23 Q. And do you --
24 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Beara, you are requested by the interpreter to
25 come closer to the microphone.
1 MS. PACK:
2 Q. Do you deny that thousands of men -- we don't need to be specific
3 about the numbers. Thousands of men were systematically murdered by
4 Bosnian Serb forces following the fall of Srebrenica. That's what your
5 Trial Chamber found. Do you deny that, the truth of that?
6 A. How can I deny the horrible things that happened in that civil
7 war, religious war? It is a curse, not warfare. What happened was
8 horrific --
9 Q. You recall --
10 A. -- terrifying. But in some magical way, in some mysterious way,
11 it was all pinned on three men from the security service of the VRS, men
12 who neither had the authority or subordinates who were murders and
13 prepared to kill. That's what I wanted to say.
14 Q. Your Trial Chamber found that you were omnipresent in the Zvornik
15 area, the scene of the mass killings in the Zvornik area. You would
16 reject that finding too?
17 A. Of course. That's another mysterious or magical turn that this
18 affair took.
19 The Prosecution witnesses who were called to testify to my
20 presence, or the documents presented to the Court and admitted into
21 evidence, were of such a nature that it's simply difficult to believe
22 because these witnesses always see me alone at this execution site,
23 staring into the distance, lost in my own thoughts, or they see me
24 walking about and then they say -- or, rather, somebody tells them, This
25 is Beara. But you never brought the person who told them that this
1 person was Beara. You only brought the people who recognised me, looking
2 at my back, but you never brought that person who told the witnesses that
3 who they were looking at was Beara. There was this nurse who provided
4 bandages somewhere to tie the hands of people who were being taken to be
5 executed also said she had seen me at the execution site. But the way
6 she put it, it was the investigator who gave her my name. What she
7 actually said was that she had seen some lieutenant-colonel or colonel,
8 and then she described me in various ways and then the investigator says,
9 Could it be Beara? And she replies, Yes, it could be. I know that Beara
10 from the Drina Corps, from the time when I was in the Drina Corps.
11 And that's one of the cases. There were more of the same kind.
12 MS. PACK: I've got no further questions.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Ms. Pack.
14 Mr. Karadzic, do you have any re-examination?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Your Excellency. Thank you.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE KWON: Well, that concludes your evidence, Mr. Beara. The
18 Chamber would like to thank you for your testimony.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just say one more thing,
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Beara, what do you want to say to us?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I want to say this: When our trial
24 was nearing the end, you were on the Trial Chamber, some people spoke at
25 the end --
1 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Beara --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes?
3 JUDGE KWON: -- you were examined by the accused and
4 cross-examined by the Prosecution. I think that's it. I -- I thought
5 you would say some words of usual things. I appreciate it. And I also
6 thank Mr. Ostojic for his co-operation and assistance.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: [Microphone not activated] Thank you,
8 Mr. President, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE KWON: You may be excused Mr. Beara.
10 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President --
11 THE WITNESS: May I go now?
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Beara.
13 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, the next witness was scheduled for
14 a little bit later because of the estimate, so if we could take a break
15 and as soon as he arrives -- he was told to arrive at 10.00, I think he
16 may be here a little earlier but if we can take a break until he arrives.
17 JUDGE KWON: Shall we take a break for half an hour? We will
18 resume at 10.00. We will have some shorter break afterwards.
19 Hearing adjourned.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 --- Break taken at 9.28 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 10.03 a.m.
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ostojic, the Chamber asked you to return to the
24 courtroom because there was one thing that I wanted to deal with in your
25 presence. That's about the request of Mr. Robinson to lift the
1 confidentiality of the part of evidence Mr. Beara gave in
2 private session.
3 So shall I hear from the Prosecution first whether it is in the
4 position to make observation about that.
5 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President. That's a very fair
6 formulation whether we're in a position or not, and, in fact, my response
7 implicates the question you were about to ask Mr. Ostojic because we had
8 a discussion at the break. I had actually envisaged that this issue
9 would be resolved somewhat later in the proceedings for various reasons,
10 but under these circumstances, given the stage of the proceedings for the
11 witness, the nature of the testimony, and most particularly the fact that
12 I now know that Mr. Beara, Mr. Ostojic do not object. In that case, the
13 Prosecution does not either. But, of course, you'll need to hear from
14 Mr. Ostojic but I couldn't respond to the Court without alluding to the
15 discussion we had.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. Ostojic, you have the floor.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
19 We have -- I have consulted with Mr. Beara, and we do not have an
20 objection to lifting the confidentiality that you raised, so ...
21 JUDGE KWON: I appreciate that. Thank you.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: May I be excused?
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE KWON: Shall we bring the witness.
1 [The witness takes the stand]
2 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, Mr. Mandic.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE KWON: Before we continue, in light of the submission of
5 the parties and counsel for Mr. Bera, we hereby lift the confidentiality
6 of Mr. Bera's evidence given in private session, as well as the
7 audio/video part of the proceedings. Of course, that includes the part
8 of today's hearing that was given -- conducted in private session as
10 Yes, Mr. Karadzic please continue.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good morning, your
12 Excellencies. Good morning to all.
13 WITNESS: BOSKO MANDIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Mandic.
17 A. Good morning, Mr. President.
18 Q. Please, let us just take this slowly and let us pause.
19 You were asked -- or, rather, it was suggested to you that links
20 with Pale were better than what you had said. A decision on mobilisation
21 was shown here. Did you see many documents before the corridor came to
22 exist? How many documents from Pale did you examine at the Crisis Staff?
23 A. Well, I, quite simply, forgot. I mean, this document too. But I
24 don't remember that there were any documents or contacts, and I said
25 yesterday that, as far as I'm concerned, there weren't any contacts. I
1 think that we worked more on the basis of our own knowledge rather than
2 some instructions that could not have arrived from Pale.
3 Q. Thank you. We submitted a document here from my diary when I met
4 people from Prijedor on the first page -- or, rather, in the first
5 sentence it says:
6 "In relation to the 30th of May, the first 45 days without
7 contact with us."
8 How does that tally with your experience?
9 A. Well, that's the way it was. If it was recorded as such, that is
10 certainly the way it was.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] D435, could that briefly be shown
13 to the witness.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. This is a record from a session of our government held on the
16 18th of June, 1992.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the last page, please.
18 The penultimate one in English, please.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. You said that there was a blockade in the Krajina. Could you
21 tell us, please, third from the bottom, that a helicopter is requested
22 from the army and the government would use that. And then the next one
23 says to do away with the blockade of the Bosanska Krajina, and the last
24 one, the government decided to take all measures, including military
25 measures, to deblockade the Bosnian Krajina and ensure regular food
1 supplies and other goods for the region?
2 Did the government have a basis for taking this kind of position
3 with regard to developments in the Krajina?
4 A. Yes. We were in a very awkward position. We were sealed off as
5 far as Serbia was concerned. And, on the other side, the Cazin Krajina
6 was armed and always prepared to attack Prijedor because they always
7 thought that that was part of Muslim territory.
8 The situation in the Krajina was such that there was barely any
9 food, basic supplies. Also, there was a shortage of medicine. We know
10 of the case of the 12 babies. Let me not go into all of that now.
11 How do I put this? Some people were careless and that made that
12 happen. And the international community could have made a step in that
13 direction at least through the Red Cross, in order to ensure some
14 medicine. Of course, certain activities were taken to open the corridor
15 which was a life-line for the Serb people, in order for the Serb people
16 to survive.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether the Crisis Staff or other
18 authorities in Prijedor whether they had resources and then deprived the
19 population and detainees of that intentionally, and without any reason,
20 food, medicine energy, other resources --
21 JUDGE KWON: Before you answer the question.
22 Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
23 MS. GUSTAFSON: Sorry, the witness has made clear that he had
24 very little to do with the detention facilities. So before asking about
25 depriving detainees of food, et cetera, a foundational question should be
1 asked about the witness's knowledge about these matters.
2 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm going to leave that aside. I'm
4 going to withdraw that as regards detainees. I'm talking about the
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Did the Crisis Staff do everything it could or they -- or did
8 they intentionally deprive the population of something that they could
9 have provided to them?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all unnecessary
11 microphones please be switched off. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Crisis Staff never denied
13 anything. In accordance with our abilities, we provided food to the
14 population, regardless of ethnicity.
15 A. Since I was commander of civilian protection, ex officio, then
16 together with the Red Cross, and that was within my purview, in fact,
17 wherever necessary as far as bread, flour, milk, diary products were
18 concerned, we provided that to the population - and how do I put this? -
19 to the collection centre of Trnopolje and persons who did not have food
20 at home, et cetera. So irrespective of ethnic background.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Thank you.
23 Yesterday you mentioned a neighbouring village. However, we did
24 not make it possible for you to finish. A Muslim village that was in the
25 neighbourhood that was well armed, what was the name of that village?
1 What happened to it?
2 A. That is Hambarine, the village of Carakovo, Zecovi. So that is
3 the belt above Tukovi where I lived.
4 Q. Thank you. Do you know whether other Muslim villages, those that
5 had handed over their weapons, whether they were attacked, whether they
6 had any fighting there Suha, Vapolje [phoen]. Can you remember some
7 others that were not involved in any kind of fighting?
8 A. For example, the village of Cela. There was no fighting there;
9 that is to say, people were loyal. They handed over their weapons. As a
10 matter of fact, I think that they even removed extremists from their
11 area. They didn't want to have any contact with them. For example, one
12 part is called Muslim Gomjenica. Also in Tukovi, too. There were no
13 problem there. To this day, people live there. I mean, they were
14 refugee for a while but they came back to their homes and that's where
15 they live now.
16 Q. Muslimanska Gomjenica that is not reflected in the transcript?
17 A. Yes, Muslimanska Gomjenica.
18 Q. Gomjenica?
19 A. We call it Gomjenica.
20 Q. What about this village of Cela, how big is that? What's the
22 A. Well, I'm not very good like this. But like all the other
23 villages, Carakovo, Hambarine, so all of these villages are roughly --
24 well, it's very densely populated. Like Hambarine, Cela has a densely
25 populated centre.
1 Q. Can you tell us what this depended on, whether there would be any
2 fighting in a village? Did it depend on whether they would be attacked
3 or what?
4 A. It depended on the will of the population that lived there. The
5 Muslim population, I mean. If they were really in favour of life and
6 peace, remaining there in that area as neighbours, there was no problem
7 whatsoever. Even those who left asked their neighbours to take care of
8 their homes, you see? There were people who asked me to take care of
9 their houses. However, I was so busy that I could not take care of
10 anybody's house. I mean, I cannot be at work and take care of somebody's
11 house, but there were people who were not working and who were neighbours
12 and who took care of their other neighbours' homes.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mandic.
14 A. You're welcome.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
17 MS. GUSTAFSON: I'd like to ask permission to re-cross-examine on
18 one point which was relating to the Muslim villages that -- the answer
19 about the Muslim villages for where there were no problems such as the
20 village of Cela. I'd like to show the witness one document and ask one
21 question, please.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please proceed, Ms. Gustafson.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you. If we could have P3852, please.
25 Further cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:
1 Q. Mr. Mandic, this is, as you can see, a security assessment for
2 Prijedor municipality by the SMB in Banja Luka dated the
3 23rd of October, 1992.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to the next page, please.
5 Q. And in the second paragraph, it refers to: The national division
6 reached its climax in armed conflicts between the Serbian people which
7 had taken power and the Muslim and Croat extremists on the other.
8 The next line down, it says: Dozens of villages have been almost
9 completely destroyed and left uninhabited. And then there's a long list
10 of villages. And then it says: Or partly destroyed. And there's
11 another long list of village, including the village of Cela.
12 Now, that is the village which you claimed a moment ago -- for
13 which you claimed a moment ago there were no problems there to this day,
14 people lived there; correct?
15 A. May I explain?
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the moment when all of this was
18 happening in May and June 1992, I talked about that, afterwards, these
19 people asked to leave, and they did leave. However, some neighbours took
20 care of their houses whereas others devastated their houses and sold
21 things from them. Many people returned to Cela and live there to this
22 day. Somebody should investigate that and see that that is indeed the
24 Once a house is abandoned, it is very hard to take care of it, to
25 protect it from anyone, any citizen. People drove tractors, carried
1 rifles, took off windows, doors, whatever. They'd come from a different
2 municipality altogether and do that. It was very hard to prevent that.
3 So when a house is empty, then -- well, that's why the Crisis Staff said
4 that abandoned property should be declared socially owned property so
5 that people would realise that this should not be touched because it is
6 state-owned property.
7 MS. GUSTAFSON:
8 Q. So it's true, is it -- is it not, that the village of Cela was
9 partly destroyed, as this document says?
10 A. Partly destroyed, in terms of construction facilities, not on the
11 basis of war-time activity, but on the basis of peace-time activity by
12 the population.
13 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you. I have no further questions.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could I just ask that we focus
16 additionally, just on one part of paragraph 3.
17 JUDGE KWON: Paragraph 3 of this document?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. The one that's on the
19 screen. It says: As these people left, there began a massive looting of
20 their property which was left entirely unguarded by either the owners or
21 the municipal authorities. The impotence of the official authorities to
22 do anything about this could be felt at that time."
23 Further re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Mandic, how does this tally with your
25 own experience? Did the authorities view this looting favourably?
1 A. Thank you for this paragraph, Mr. President, because it is
2 responsive to the question put by the lady, the Prosecutor. We never
3 viewed this favourably. Quite simply, the situation was such that I
4 personally --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not understand the end of
6 the sentence.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The times were such --
8 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your last sentence.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm saying that these were very
10 difficult times. I didn't even dare watch what my neighbour was doing
11 and see what he was bringing from some Muslim village. This would lead
12 to poor neighbourly relations and other consequences. But we, in the
13 Crisis Staff, took other measures, and we asked the organs of the
14 civilian police, the military police, to protect these buildings as best
15 they could. Since a front line was opened towards the corridor, many
16 conscripts had to go to the front line and, quite simply, those who even
17 promised that they would take care of the houses did not manage to do
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't have anything else.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE KWON: So is it your evidence, Mr. Mandic, that the partial
22 destruction in the village of Cela was due to construction works which
23 took place after the people left?
24 A. Devastation by the population that had stayed on, the Serb
25 population, not because of war activity. It wasn't that somebody used
1 tanks to destroy that. It was the people themselves who devastated these
2 houses and then took the material back to build their own houses.
3 JUDGE KWON: But the last sentence of the paragraph in which Cela
4 was mentioned, which you saw earlier on, says like this, I quote:
5 "This destruction saw the beginning of mass exodus of both
6 Muslims and Croats."
7 Is it consistent with your memory, Mr. Mandic?
8 A. People started moving out even before that. People started
9 moving out of Prijedor already in February, March, April. First it was
10 women, children, and the elderly who took buses and tried to leave in
11 some way. And the extremists stayed on in Prijedor and, of course, if
12 somebody went into the wood, their house would remain empty, and such a
13 house could not be protected.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 JUDGE KWON: That concludes your evidence, Mr. Mandic. On behalf
17 of the Chamber, I'd like to thank you for your coming to The Hague to
18 give it. You are now free to go.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much indeed.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE KWON: Next witness is Mr. Sipovac.
22 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
23 [The witness entered court]
24 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, Mr. Sipovac.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE KWON: Would you make the solemn declaration, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
3 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4 WITNESS: CEDO SIPOVAC
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please be seated and make yourself
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
10 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Sipovac.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. Please let us take care to leave a short pause between questions
14 and answers and speak more slowly. We are from Herzegovina and speak
15 very fast but then we have problems with the interpretation.
16 Have you given a statement to my Defence team?
17 A. Yes, Mr. President.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D9663 is the document I would like
19 to show the witness in e-court.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Look at the screen. The Serbian version is on the left side. Do
22 you see your statement?
23 A. Yes, I see a part of it; three paragraphs on the first page.
24 Q. Have you read and signed this statement?
25 A. Yes. But I should now like to ask you about these words, "To
1 establish the VTO."
2 It's paragraph 3, line 3. It says:
3 "To establish the VTO," but it should actually be, "to man, or to
4 fill the VTO," because the establishment was decided by a previous
6 Q. Oh, you mean that the VTOs that had been formed earlier were
7 filled with personnel?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. So you want to make the correction that this text should read:
10 "The earlier formed VTOs were filled with personnel"?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Does the rest of the statement faithfully reflect what you've
13 told the Defence team?
14 A. On page 2, there is a typo. It's not the "VP 3673," but
15 "VP 3670," and later, it should be "VP 3662."
16 Q. Do you want to repeat that?
17 A. Page 2, line 3, the number should change. "3670" and later
19 Q. Is the rest of the statement correct?
20 A. Paragraph 10. It's not year "1992" but it's "1991." Line 1 of
21 that sentence. I cannot remember the date, but it's "1991," not "1992."
22 Q. Is that page 4 in Serbian?
23 A. Yes, paragraph 10.
24 Q. So you just want to change the year from "1992" into "1991"?
25 A. Yes. From what I can see, the rest is correct.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we show the last page so the
2 witness can identify his signature.
3 [In English] Last page in Serbian, please.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Is this your signature?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you. If I were to put to you the same questions today as
8 those asked by the members of my Defence team, would your answers be
9 essentially the same?
10 A. Essentially I would not change anything. I would only provide
11 additional explanation, if necessary.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tendered this statement under
14 Rule 92 ter.
15 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any objections, Ms. Iodice [sic]?
16 MS. PELIC: Pelic, Your Honours. And good morning, Your Honours.
17 No objection. However, we would like to note that some of the
18 questions in this statement are formulated in a leading fashion and also
19 some of them invite the witness to draw conclusions on legal issues; for
20 instance, questions 6, 12, 13 and 14 are obviously leading questions and
21 the last three are also asking for witness to draw legal conclusions so
22 that should go to the weight of the evidence. Thank you.
23 JUDGE KWON: My apologies, Ms. Pelic. Sometimes that happens.
24 We'll admit it.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4230, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will now read a brief
3 summary of Mr. Cedo Sipovac's statement in English.
4 [In English] Cedo Sipovac was an official in the
5 Secretariat for the People's Defence in Prijedor.
6 Cedo Sipovac noticed in 1991 that the political situation in
7 Yugoslavia was becoming more complicated and that the constitution and
8 orders of the SFRY Presidency were not being fully respected. This was
9 highlighted when instructions arrived from the Republican Secretariat for
10 the National Defence in BH which banned the secretariats from mobilising
11 war units. However, in the same document, instructions were provided for
12 how to carry out the mobilisation.
13 To Cedo Sipovac's knowledge, all appointments and replacements in
14 the JNA were done in accordance with the regulations valid at the time
15 and that there was no planned replacement of personnel. He noted that
16 people of all ethnicities responded to the call-up in 1991. Cedo Sipovac
17 does not agree with the claims of witnesses that Muslims were issued with
18 inferior weapons and that the Serbs with automatic rifles is not correct.
19 Cedo Sipovac recalls that at some point in 1992, a crowd gathered
20 in the front of the building of the Secretariat of National Defence in
21 Prijedor, which, to his knowledge, had been organised by the
22 Patriotic League. They wished to take the documentation from the
23 secretariat to avoid their use for the call-up of conscripts.
24 Further, on 30th May, 1992, he is aware that the Muslims attacked
25 the urban area of Prijedor and several members of the army and police
1 were wounded, some killed.
2 Cedo Sipovac was not aware of the Crisis Staffs, any civilian
3 authorities, or the police in the municipalities serving as an engine or
4 means for the permanent removal through genocide, persecution,
5 extermination, murders, deportations and inhumane acts of Bosnian Muslims
6 and Croats from those territories of BH to which the Serbs laid claim.
7 Cedo Sipovac was not aware of any camps in the Prijedor area. He
8 knew of two investigation centres in Omarska and Keraterm. He was also
9 aware of a collection centre in Trnopolje where people voluntarily
10 visited and stayed until they left Prijedor because they felt unsafe.
11 And at that moment, I do not have additional questions for
12 Mr. Sipovac.
13 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
14 Mr. Sipovac, as you have noted that your evidence in-chief in
15 this case has been admitted in writing; that is, through your written
16 statement in lieu of your oral testimony. Now you will be cross-examined
17 by the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor.
18 You understand that?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I understand. But when
20 Mr. Karadzic read out this here, he repeated that year, 1992. But it's
21 actually 1991. I'm sorry to make this correction again, but it's really
22 wrong in the text.
23 JUDGE KWON: I appreciate it very much. Thank you.
24 And, Mr. Sipovac, I like -- I wanted to tell you that at any
25 moment when you feel uncomfortable, please let us know. We'll take a
1 break whenever necessary.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for your understanding.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. Pelic, please proceed.
4 MS. PELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Cross-examination by Ms. Pelic:
6 Q. Mr. Sipovac, first, I would really briefly like to deal with the
7 roles that you had and to clarify that issue.
8 According to the paragraph 2 of your statement, from
9 September 1984 until October 1991, you worked at the
10 Secretariat of National Defence in Prijedor as a clerical officer for
11 civil protection; correct?
12 A. I'm sorry, the interpretation just began with the words
13 "September 1984," and I didn't hear what you said before that. So I
14 heard in my headset the part where you say "from September 1984," but
15 what exactly?
16 Could you repeat that? I didn't hear the entire interpretation.
17 Q. No problem I will repeat again.
18 I would very briefly like to clarify the roles that you had.
19 According to the paragraph 2 of your statement, from September 1984 until
20 October 1991, you worked at the Secretariat of National Defence in
21 Prijedor as a clerical officer for civilian protection; correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. And in your statement, you repeatedly state that you were a
24 clerical officer for the recruitment and mobilisation of conscripts under
25 the military territorial organ, which is also short as VTO.
1 Sir, but, in fact, you were not just a clerical officer. You
2 were the chief of the military territorial organ for mobilisation at the
3 Prijedor garrison, weren't you?
4 A. No, I was not the chief. I was the assistant. At VTO, I was
5 never a chief. The chief was Major Mile Stojanovic; he was chief of
6 section. And my direct superior in affairs of mobilisation was
7 Captain Micic. I worked there in that section from September 1984 until
8 August 1992, at the VTO, if you're talking about the VTO.
9 Q. You know Slavko Budimir, who, starting from the take-over of
10 Prijedor on 30th of April, 1992, was the secretary of the municipal
11 Secretariat for National Defence, don't you?
12 A. Yes, I know Slavko.
13 MS. PELIC: Could we please call up 65 ter 25872.
14 Q. And if we could go to page 1 -- transcript page 12859, lines 17
15 and 18. Transcript page 12859.
16 This is the testimony of Slavko Budimir in the Prosecutor versus
17 Stakic case, and when asked about your role, Mr. Budimir testified that
18 you were the chief of the VTO for mobilisation at the Prijedor garrison.
19 And that's correct, isn't it?
20 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me.
21 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Probably the witness doesn't
22 understand English and you better tell the witness what this is about.
23 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
24 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, we would be objecting to any
25 reference to this transcript or the testimony of Mr. Budimir, because we
1 have made a -- a motion for a subpoena for Mr. Budimir to be a Defence
2 witness. And on the 22nd of January, 2013, the decision on accused's
3 motion to subpoena Slavko Budimir, the Trial Chamber denied that motion.
4 So we think it's unfair for the Prosecution to be able to use any portion
5 of Mr. Budimir's evidence without us having had the right to bring him
7 JUDGE KWON: Could you expand on the reason why it would be
9 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. Because we have asked for
10 Mr. Budimir to come and testify, probably he already would have
11 testified, and then we would have had a chance -- or any issues about his
12 position about this witness's position or anything he said to have been
13 fully explored. But now if you allow the Prosecution to use this
14 evidence without us having been able to call the witness, even though
15 this may be a minor point in principle, we don't believe that the
16 Prosecution should be able to use evidence from witnesses who we were
17 denied the opportunity to call. You might recall this came --
18 JUDGE KWON: I can understand your objection if the Prosecution
19 is minded to tender this document. This was -- the transcript into
20 evidence, but she is just putting the question about witness's position
21 at the time, and --
22 MR. ROBINSON: Well, she's making use of evidence that
23 essentially is not available to us. So in --
24 JUDGE KWON: I don't understand that this is not available to
1 MR. ROBINSON: Well, the witness and his evidence is not
2 available to us because we tried to call this witness and you denied us
3 the right to call him. That's my point.
4 This issue came up once before with respect to
5 Mr. Tomo Sivic [phoen], a military judge whose document was attempted to
6 be used, and you denied the subpoena and you allowed the Prosecution to
7 proceed. But I wanted to maintain our objection, if nothing else but in
8 principle, that when a witness is not available to us because the Chamber
9 denied a subpoena, the Prosecution ought not to be able to ask questions
10 about events involving that witness.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, I understand that. But would you like to make
12 any observations, Ms. Pelic?
13 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER: May I, Mr. President. First, may I respectfully
15 suggest that when Mr. Robinson knows that the issue has been ruled on
16 before, that if he wants simply to maintain his objection, which is
17 really not necessary, I believe. We crossed that road before. He
18 acknowledges that the Trial Chamber has expressed its opinion on this
19 issue and simply notes that, rather than impliedly seek reconsideration
20 without acknowledging that until the Trial Chamber presses him on the
22 Secondly, apart from the fact that the Trial Chamber has ruled on
23 it, the Trial Chamber's ruling was perfectly correct. The observations
24 that you made this morning, Mr. President, underpin that. Let's hear
25 what the witness has to say. His position may very well be, That's
1 exactly right. And we either get further evidence and information
2 which -- to which this Court is entitled, or we prevent a witness from
3 being able to testify contrary to information that has been elicited in
4 this institution before, without knowledge of the Trial Chamber.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber agrees with Mr. Tieger's observation.
7 There's no difficulty at all with the Prosecution putting this transcript
8 to the witness.
9 Please -- please continue, Ms. Pelic.
10 MS. PELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Sipovac, Slavko Budimir testified in the Prosecutor versus
12 Stakic case, and I will quote now. When asked about your role,
13 Mr. Budimir testified:
14 "He was the chief of the military territorial organ for
15 mobilisation at the Prijedor garrison."
16 That's correct, sir?
17 A. No, that's not correct. And in my previous answer, I said that I
18 was never the chief of the military territorial organ in Prijedor. The
19 chief was Milivoj Stojanovic and his assistant for mobilisation was, I
20 believe, Captain Jovan Micic. That was a long time ago, and I was a desk
21 officer working on mobilisation affairs at the VTO in Prijedor, and that
22 organ covered the area of Prijedor, Sanski Most, Bosanska Dubica, and
23 Novi Grad. Those are the municipalities covered by the VTO based in
24 Prijedor. I don't think I need to repeat this anymore because I have
25 already given a solemn declaration to tell the truth and nothing but the
1 truth. I don't know why Mr. Budimir stated something like this. I did
2 not expect such questions so I did not bring my personal documentation,
3 and I could have, because I have all my letters of appointment. I can
4 provide them to the Court.
5 Q. Very well. You acknowledge in your statement under question
6 number 9 that you attended the 15th of May, 1992, meeting of the
7 Council for National Defence of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly where you
8 reported on the mobilisation, didn't you?
9 A. I'm not sure it was on the 15th because in some previous trials,
10 Defence teams told me that my name was mentioned as one of those present.
11 I don't remember it, but I was present perhaps only in situations when
12 briefing was provided on mobilisation, otherwise I would not attend. But
13 these meetings discussing national defence discussed issues of
14 mobilisation, which was very topical at the time.
15 MS. PELIC: Could we please call up P03529.
16 And can I correct the transcript: P03529.
17 Q. Sir, these are the -- the minutes of the 4th meeting of the
18 Council for National Defence of the Prijedor Municipal Assembly held on
19 15th of May, 1992, that I just mentioned to you. And if you look at the
20 list of people attending, you will see your name noted as present.
21 That's correct? Just yes or no.
22 A. Cedo Sipovac, yes, I see it.
23 Q. And if you look at the agenda, under item 2, it's "mobilisation
24 in the municipality."
25 MS. PELIC: And if we could go in English on the page 2, please,
1 and B/C/S, it's still page 1. Last paragraph in B/C/S.
2 Q. Sir, your name is mentioned there as one of the persons involved
3 in the discussion on the mobilisation in the Prijedor municipality;
5 A. I didn't understand. It says "conclusions." We're still on the
6 first page. The proposal -- the proposed decision on the organisation
7 and functioning of the Crisis Staff is accepted with a proviso that the
8 proposed composition of the staff is supplemented with the representative
9 of the garrison, Prijedor.
10 Yes. And then we -- yes, mobilisation and then I see my name.
11 Sorry, I took time to read this text.
12 Yes, the last in the third line is my name. I agree.
13 Q. And this is, indeed, the meeting that we are discussing on the
14 15th of May, 1992, at which you reported on the mobilisation; correct?
15 Just yes or no.
16 A. Probably. I had no other role in that, except to discuss the
17 carrying out of mobilisation.
18 Q. And this mobilisation that happened in May 1992 in the Prijedor
19 municipality was conducted pursuant to the decision of the
20 Autonomous Region of Bosanska Krajina Assembly; right?
21 A. I did not receive any interpretation. I can't understand
22 English, and I did not receive any interpretation.
23 Q. Sir, are you receiving translation now?
24 A. Yes. That mobilisation was not ordered by the autonomous region.
25 Mobilisation was an ongoing process, which started in 1991, and it lasted
1 for as long as the need to replenish war units existed. It went on
2 throughout 1991 and 1992. I'm not familiar with any orders. The only
3 order I am familiar with was the order that was issued on the
4 21st of May. That process was ongoing. It was a process that went on
5 uninterruptedly. I really don't know what mobilisation order you are
6 talking about.
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter notes: The word was
9 MS. PELIC: Could we please call up P03535.
10 Q. Sir, these are the minutes of the second session of the
11 National Defence Council of the Municipal Assembly of Prijedor held on
12 5th of May, 1992.
13 If you could please take a look at a conclusion number 2, it's on
14 page 1, both in English and B/C/S.
15 It states and I will --
16 JUDGE KWON: Do we see his name here as being present?
17 MS. PELIC: No, he was not present.
18 JUDGE KWON: All right. Please continue.
19 MS. PELIC:
20 Q. I will quote the conclusion number 2:
21 "The mobilisation orders following from the decision of the
22 Autonomous Region of Bosanska Krajina Assembly are to be carried out,
23 when the actual situation in the municipality renders it necessary, in
24 accordance with requirements and a special plan, through call-up papers
25 issued by the Municipal Secretariat for National Defence."
1 And, in fact, this just shows that mobilisation was carried out
2 pursuant to the decision of the Autonomous Region Bosanska Krajina
3 Assembly, wasn't it?
4 A. You're asking me something that we can read here. But I was not
5 in charge of mobilisation. I didn't participate in that mobilisation. I
6 did not receive any such decisions or order either from the chief or
7 anybody else. This was a position of the council which considered
8 mobilisation, and it was its right. I don't know how it happened. This
9 is what you're saying. This is what I read here, but I don't know. I
10 can't comment upon this because I don't know. I didn't -- I don't know.
11 I didn't participate in that. I didn't work on that. I told you when I
12 received the mobilisation order on the 21st of May,
13 2002 [as interpreted], that was an order for general mobilisation, which
14 I received from my superior officers.
15 Q. But on the 15th of May, 1992, you were at the meeting, the fourth
16 meeting of this council, and you reported on the mobilisation. You just
17 confirmed that, and that's the truth; correct?
18 A. Madam, I confirmed that, and I repeat -- I repeat mobilisation
19 was a continuous process. It was an ongoing process from the moment when
20 received a -- a mobilisation signal. It went on until there was a need
21 to replenish war units. It started in 1991 and went on throughout 1992,
22 1993, 1994, and so on and so forth. I told you what I knew; i.e., I
23 shared with you the information that I had about the situation on the
24 ground, and this is what I stand by. But this was not done pursuant to
25 this decision but, rather, pursuant to the requirements of the units.
1 And I apologise for using the word "insist," but you insist upon me
2 telling that this was what I had in my hands, but, no, I didn't. That
3 was never issued to me from my superior officers.
4 Q. I will move to another topic that I wish to discuss with you.
5 In your statement, under questions 5 and 6, you stated that you
6 don't have any facts about anyone replacing Muslim officers by Serbian
7 officers, including replacement of Colonel Muharem Efendic by Serbian
8 officer Colonel Vladimir Radisic, in "a planned fashion with a purpose."
9 Let's look at a couple of examples. On the day of the take-over of
10 Prijedor, 30th of April, 1992, secretary of the Secretariat for National
11 Defence, Becir Medunjanin, was replaced by Slavko Budimir, wasn't he?
12 A. According to you, yes; and according to the documents that I
13 have, yes. I didn't know about that, but that had nothing whatsoever to
14 do with what I did. I was a member of the armed forces of the JNA, and I
15 can tell you that had nothing whatsoever to do with anything. I
16 apologise. Don't switch off my microphone. That had nothing to do with
17 the part of the armed forces and the army. That was the Secretariat for
18 National Defence which was in charge of civilian structures and here
19 we're talking about the issue whether there were any shakeups in the
20 army. I'm claiming that there were no shakeups in the army, as far as I
21 know, and when I was appointed chief, that was never done. And there are
22 actually examples to the contrary.
23 Q. Sir, Becir Medunjanin was a Muslim; right?
24 A. It is not a pleasant thing to talk about somebody's ethnic
25 affiliations without that person confirming that, but I will accept what
1 you say, that he was a Muslim.
2 I know Becir Medunjanin personally and that's why I say what I
3 do. I used to know him.
4 Q. And, indeed, Slavko Budimir was a Serb; correct?
5 A. You said he was. Well, I suppose he still is. I don't know
6 whether he changed his ethnic affiliations. But I'm telling you that it
7 is not a good thing to comment upon somebody's ethnic affiliations
8 without consulting with that person first.
9 Q. Well, also Vahid Ceric was dismissed from the post of assistant
10 commander for the organisation of mobilisation and personnel affairs by
11 the Executive Committee of the Serbian municipality of Prijedor on
12 5th of May, 1992, wasn't he?
13 A. Madam, your basic question was about the army, and I told you
14 that there were no such things in the army, i.e., in war units. What
15 you're asking me now are questions that pertain to civilian structures.
16 If you're talking about the executive board, that was within its purview.
17 It was not within the purview of the JNA or the army. It was within the
18 purview of the structures, and I really can't comment upon that because
19 it is not pleasant for me to comment on that because I wasn't there. I
20 did not participate in that process. If there were any such things - I
21 suppose that there were - there must be a document to that effect, but
22 that had nothing to do with my job. It had nothing to do with war units,
23 with the JNA, and armed forces, and this was done within the purview of
24 civilian structures. That was what they did. And why things like that
25 were done, I don't know.
1 MS. PELIC: Could we please call up P03554.
2 Q. Sir, this is the Serbian municipality of
3 Prijedor Executive Committee decision dated 5th of May, 1992, signed by
4 the president of the Executive Committee, Dr. Milan Kovacevic.
5 Item 1 of this decision states that Vahid Ceric is dismissed from
6 his post.
7 And item 2 states that Major Radmilo Zeljaja shall be responsible
8 for the implementation of this decision.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Asked and answered.
10 The witness does not know anything about what was going on in the
11 civilian structure of power.
12 JUDGE KWON: He might be refreshed by this document.
13 MS. PELIC: And I haven't asked my question yet.
14 JUDGE KWON: Please -- please continue. Objection overruled.
15 MS. PELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Sir, Major Radmilo Zeljaja who was in charge of implementing this
17 decision that we are looking at was in the 43rd Motorised Brigade;
19 A. According to this decision, that was the case. I'm not a lawyer
20 but this is a confusion of authorities. Zeljaja couldn't deal with that.
21 I am familiar with this part of a job, given what I did. I don't know
22 why something drafted this. I won't go into that. But this should not
23 have been written.
24 The executive board, and I can explain, I'm not a lawyer by
25 profession but I can see that these are two totally different bodies
1 which have nothing whatsoever to do with each other. The president of
2 the executive board is under the authority of civilian structures and the
3 Assembly. And what about the authorities of the TO? The civilian
4 structures appointed employees and officers in TO Staffs, and
5 Radmilo Zeljaja, who was a major and who was my commander and my superior
6 later on, had nothing to do with that. The army and -- and the civilian
7 structures could not overlap. If it happened later, then, yes. But
8 since it happened when it did, knowing what I did from -- knowing what I
9 knew from practice, and formally and legally these are two completely
10 different bodies. You can't be tasked with doing something if you're in
11 the army, and to be tasked with things such as appointments. Those were
12 within the purview of civilian structure. And Vahid Ceric, whom I know,
13 worked in the TO Staff. He was one of the officers in the TO, and
14 Radmila Zeljaja was in the JNA, and there the authorities are completely
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to slow down.
17 Thank you.
18 MS. PELIC:
19 Q. Sir, the interpreters are kindly asking you to slow down when
20 you're providing your answers.
21 A. I apologise. I apologise. I can repeat, if necessary.
22 Q. There's no need to repeat the answer.
23 So, contrary to your position, this is one more example of
24 replacement based on ethnicity, isn't it?
25 A. For the third time, I repeat. I do not want to provide such
1 comments here because it is not a proper thing to talk about somebody's
2 ethnic affiliations based on names. It may be done in some cultures but
3 I'm not willing to do that. There were no examples in the army where I
4 worked of such a nature. If you want me to provide evidence to the
5 contrary, I can. Such things didn't happen. I don't want to comment
6 upon this. I don't want to say, I don't want to confirm that this was
7 based on ethnic affiliations. I don't want to comment upon that because
8 I cannot recognise that pattern in that, because you can't say that this
9 was based on ethnic affiliations.
10 Please. Tell me if you can, why do you think that it was done on
11 ethnic affiliations? Because Vahid is Vahid? I don't see any
12 explanation. I don't see a statement of reasons that would point to that
13 fact. And I can't confirm your assertion that this was done based on
14 ethnic affiliation.
15 Q. Sir, Vahid Ceric is a Muslim; right?
16 A. Madam, you are persistent. You're trying to convince me of
17 something that I can't accept. I can understand that you are judging by
18 the name, but I don't see it in the document. I knew Vahid, I worked
19 with him, I co-operated with him, but I don't want to -- to approach the
20 problem in such a way. I cannot confirm that he was removed because he
21 was a Muslim. I don't know that he was a Muslim. I don't know whether
22 he declared himself as a Muslim. I have never held in my hands any
23 document in which it says that he, himself, declared as a Muslim. If you
24 ask me similar questions in the future, then I can share with you my own
25 personal reasons for believing that you are wrong and why this is not so.
1 Q. Sir, I would like to deal with the last topic.
2 In your statement, pages 6 to 8, you stated that you have no
3 knowledge about the crimes that happened in the Prijedor municipality,
4 according to the indictment in this case. You also stated that had this
5 had been the policy of the civilian or police authorities at a local or
6 municipal level, the defence structures would have known about it.
7 Well, this Trial Chamber has received a large amount of evidence
8 of the crimes committed in the Prijedor municipality. We just talked
9 about replacement of your colleague, Becir Medunjanin. The Trial Chamber
10 has heard the evidence that he was tortured and killed in the Omarska
12 MS. PELIC: And for the benefit of the Court and the accused,
13 that can be found at confidential P00707, transcript page 2728 and 2730
14 to 2738.
15 Q. Sir, you are aware of the fate of the head of the organisation
16 that you used to work for, aren't you?
17 A. I am aware of it from what you have told me. I really didn't
18 know about that before.
19 What I would say as a human being about him that he was very fair
20 in dealings with myself. In terms of humanity, he was very fair in the
21 dealings with me. I'm sorry that he ended up like that. I didn't know.
22 Sometimes when I watch television I hear the family name Medunjanin, and
23 I thought that I might get in contact with that man because I thought
24 that that may be his son who plays football. He was chief of secretariat
25 when I left the secretariat, and he was very fair when he offered me to
1 help -- that he would help me if I had any problems. He was a very fair
2 person, and I'm sorry that he ended up the way he did.
3 Q. Sir, this Trial Chamber has also heard evidence that
4 Mr. Medunjanin's wife, Sadeta Medunjanin, was taken out from the Omarska
5 camp and subsequently exhumed from a mass grave.
6 MS. PELIC: And again, for the benefit of the Court and accused,
7 that can be found at Exhibit P03538, pages 28 to 29; Exhibit P04855,
8 page 23; and Exhibit P04853, page 15.
9 Q. Sir, you are aware of this, aren't you?
10 A. I don't see the document. I only see that those documents are
11 mentioned in English. I don't know about his wife. I really don't know.
12 I can't talk about things I don't know. I can only say that I'm sorry,
13 not only for them, but for anybody.
14 I don't have the translation of the documents that you have just
15 mentioned, and I heard you saying that the body of his wife was exhumed.
16 I don't have any of the documents. I'm not aware of any of the
17 documents. I don't know what happened, and I don't have the references
18 to those documents translated into my own language.
19 Q. Sir, I was just citing to the evidence before this Trial Chamber
20 and without intending to call it up.
21 My question was: Are you aware that Sadeta Medunjanin was killed
22 and subsequently taken from Omarska camp and subsequently exhumed? You
23 were aware of that, aren't you?
24 A. I apologise, I didn't understand your question. While you were
25 providing your comments within that context you said that that happened.
1 The question was not put to -- put to me that way or I didn't understand
2 it. After what you just said, I understand. You claimed that this was
3 established here during the trial, but I can tell you that I didn't know
4 about that, believe me.
5 Q. You also talk about the knowledge of the defence structures, of
6 the crimes happening in the Prijedor municipality.
7 MS. PELIC: Could we please call up P03662.
8 Q. Sir, this is the 1st Krajina Corps Command regular combat report
9 sent to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Army Main Staff on
10 31st of May, 1992.
11 MS. PELIC: And if we could go to page 2 of English and page 3 of
13 Q. If you could take a look at the last paragraph in B/C/S. And, in
14 English, it's the middle paragraph.
15 And according to this document, the 1st Krajina Corps Command
16 reported that:
17 "After the actions in Kozarac, Kljuc and Sanski Most, some
18 conscripts of Muslim nationality had asked to be released from their
19 units and had expressed their dissatisfaction with the massive
20 destruction of their towns."
21 Sir, as it is clear from this document, the defence structures
22 were well aware of the mass destruction of Kozarac, weren't they?
23 A. Please bear with me. I'm reading.
24 You referred to questions 7 and 8; right?
25 Q. No --
1 A. Let me see --
2 Q. -- I'm referring to pages 6 to 8 of your statement, sir. And
3 questions are 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. And everything under "incidents in the
5 A. Yes, in the report of the command of the 1st Corps that you have
6 shown to me, I believe that it would be wrong not to have drafted such a
7 report, but this is a report on the situation on the ground, and it is
8 only normal that the report was drafted. It is not normal what was
9 happening but it is normal that a report was drafted in the way it was
10 and that it was sent to the superior command. It's the --
11 Q. Sir -- sir, that was not my question.
12 A. -- knowledge or this information of the things that were
13 happening on the ground.
14 Please, please, you asked -- I apologise. You offered me to
15 provide an answer about the state of morale and to tell you something
16 about the system of reporting and about the state of the morale and you
17 quoted --
18 Q. Sir --
19 A. -- the place where --
20 Q. I will stop you there, sir, and I will repeat my question again.
21 A. Please, please.
22 Q. My --
23 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. I think he was coming to the
24 question -- to the question -- to -- to -- to answer to the question you
25 have put.
1 Yes, please continue. But, in the future, please make your
2 answer simpler.
3 Yes, please proceed.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I tried to be simple,
5 but I was looking for the questions that were put to me in the statement
6 to which I answered, and the question as put to me here whether the
7 Crisis Staffs in --
8 THE INTERPRETER: This is impossible to interpret.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Did they have knowledge -- or,
10 rather, that I had knowledge that the civilian structures did that and
11 that did they know, and so on and so forth, the system of defence I
12 provided an answer --
13 JUDGE KWON: You are speaking too fast, far too fast for the
14 interpreters to catch up.
15 So I will ask Ms. Pelic to put her question again and if you
16 could answer the question.
17 Yes, Ms. Pelic.
18 MS. PELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
20 MS. PELIC:
21 Q. Sir, my question was really simple, and I would really kindly ask
22 you to give a simple answer.
23 This combat report of the 1st Krajina Corps shows that the
24 defence structures were well aware of the destruction -- of the mass
25 destruction of Kozarac; correct?
1 A. This report shows that -- it says so in the report but in the way
2 you formulated your question you said something else. There were no
3 planned activities, and that's the answer that -- that I gave. To the
4 system of the defence, there were no planned activities. And as for what
5 happened on the ground --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I be -- I have an objection.
7 The report says what the soldiers of the Army of Republika Srpska Muslim
8 ethnicity think about the destruction. This is the position of -- so we
9 have to be precise when putting questions to the witness.
10 JUDGE KWON: No, I don't see the basis for your objection.
11 Yes, please continue, Ms. Pelic.
12 MS. PELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Sir, let's take a look at one more example of what the defence
14 structures knew.
15 MS. PELIC: Could we please call up D02040.
16 JUDGE KWON: What do you have in mind when you refer to "defence
18 MS. PELIC: I'm citing by the Defence -- evidence of the witness
19 in his Defence statement.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Thank you. Yes.
21 Please continue.
22 MS. PELIC: [Microphone not activated] Thank you. Thank you,
23 Your Honours.
24 Q. Sir, this is an extraordinary report of the
25 22nd Light Infantry Brigade sent to the 1st Krajina Corps command
1 intelligence and security division. It's dated 21st of August, 1992, and
2 type signed commander Lieutenant-Colonel Bosko Peulic. Commander Peulic
3 reports to the 1st KK that on the 21st of August, 1992, a combined
4 refugee convoy was moving in the direction of Travnik over Vlasic
5 mountain. Convoy was escorted by the Prijedor and Sanski Most police.
6 It stopped in the area of Koricanske Stijene and around 150 refugees were
7 taken out and genocide against civilians was committed by killing them in
8 various ways and throwing them into the river canyon."
9 Sir, it's clear from this document that the defence structures
10 knew that the police members participated in the Koricanske Stijene
11 massacre, isn't it? Just yes or no. Thank you.
12 A. Well, this is a telegram stating knowledge that something had
14 But, Your Honours, would you allow me to give an explanation,
15 because another question continues along the same lines.
16 The questions that were put to me under 12, 13, and 14, guided me
17 in the following way: There was no plan in the defence structures that
18 supported that and I stand by that. Now this, what was put to me now --
19 JUDGE KWON: I don't think Ms. Pelic asked -- asked you anything
20 about the plan. The question was whether is it clear from -- whether
21 it's clear from this document that defence structure, which is the term
22 you used in your statement, knew that the police members participate in
23 Koricanske Stijene massacre.
24 Do you agree or not?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's not very legible, but if that
1 is what is contained in the telegram, then that is the knowledge that
2 they had, that that was the situation on the ground.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue.
4 MS. PELIC: Thank you.
5 Q. Sir, in fact, even Defence Witness Slobodan Avlijas testified in
6 this case, transcript pages 35187 to 35188, that the entire
7 Republika Srpska knew that this massacre had been perpetrated by members
8 of the SJB Prijedor. Everyone knew about the Koricanske Stijene
9 massacre; that's correct?
10 A. The massacre that occurred at Koricanske Stijene, that's a fact.
11 That happened. I don't know when people found out about it, to tell you
12 the truth. I don't know when I found out. I don't know how much later.
13 So that's a fact.
14 I'm not talking about any kind of participation of mine or
15 anything like that. I'm talking about finding out when that had
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
18 be asked to speak slowly again.
19 MS. PELIC:
20 Q. Sir, contrary to your statement given to the Defence, even
21 Milomir Stakic testified in this case as a Defence witness at transcript
22 page 45269, and I quote:
23 "It is a fact that crimes were committed. It is a fact that they
24 were expelled from their homes and thereby compelled to leave the area."
25 Mr. Stakic also agreed that "most of them left out of the fear,
1 and so on and so forth."
2 But the crimes that Mr. Stakic and Mr. Avlijas acknowledged, the
3 crimes that were known to the 1st KK command, the crimes that befell the
4 family of your colleague, those are all things that escaped your
5 attention and you didn't know about them, according to your statement
6 given to the Defence; correct?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
8 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Pelic, did the witness deny that there was any
10 MS. PELIC:
11 Q. Sir, if could you --
12 MS. PELIC: Yes, Your Honour, at page 8 of the Defence statement.
13 JUDGE KWON: Paragraph.
14 MS. PELIC: After the question number 15 goes into incidents in
15 the indictment subparagraph. And the witness claimed that he has no
16 knowledge of the murders that allegedly happened in Prijedor
17 municipality. And murders --
18 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Where is it?
19 MS. PELIC: Last three paragraphs, four paragraphs -- three --
20 three paragraphs of the Defence statement.
21 JUDGE KWON: So in para 15?
22 MS. PELIC: Under "incidents in the indictment." Attachment A.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My objection is: How is that
25 contrary to - page 49, line 24 -- how are these documents contrary to the
2 MS. PELIC: If I may --
3 JUDGE KWON: Did you ask the witness whether he knew the massacre
4 at Koricanske Stijene?
5 MS. PELIC: Sir, if I may answer --
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
7 MS. PELIC: Your Honour, massacre of Koricanske Stijene is
8 included in our indictment --
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Whether -- my question is whether you put that
10 question to the witness.
11 MS. PELIC: The Defence did under murders linked to the
12 facilities of imprisonment --
13 JUDGE KWON: No, no, no. Did you ever ask to the witness whether
14 he knew of this massacre at that time.
15 MS. PELIC: I can do that now.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes. I don't think you put it to the witness.
18 MS. PELIC:
19 Q. Sir --
20 MS. PELIC: Thank you.
21 Q. -- in 1992, were you aware of the Koricanske Stijene massacre?
22 A. I cannot remember, really, when I found out about that, whether
23 it was 1992, 1993, or 1994. I really don't know. But absolutely. I
24 mean, I was not in this system at that moment that I had some knowledge
25 beforehand. I think it was later on, really. At that moment, if that's
1 the question that's being put to me, I really did not have any knowledge
2 about that. The fact is that that happened and I'm not denying that --
3 JUDGE KWON: But, Mr. -- Mr. Sipovac, you now know what happened.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Later on, I found out. It
5 wasn't now that I found out. I found out later. I cannot remember
6 exactly when, but I did find out that that had happened.
7 JUDGE KWON: What did you mean when you say "I do not have any
8 knowledge of murders"?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This question that was put to me:
10 Did you have any knowledge. That meant at the commission of such a
11 thing, did I know about that. I really did not know. I was not in that
12 kind of system, and I have no reason to evade anything. Had I known --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not understand the
14 end of the sentence.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The transcript is not good enough.
16 The witness said that his understanding was whether he had known
17 at the time, whether he had knowledge at the time, that this had happened
18 in Prijedor. It did not pertain to Koricanske Stijene. That is far
19 away. 150 or 200 --
20 JUDGE KWON: That part is not a proper intervention.
21 Do you have further questions, Ms. Pelic?
22 MS. PELIC: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
23 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Excellency. And then you
25 decide when the break should be taken and when we should continue.
1 JUDGE KWON: I think it's -- it's time now to have a break,
2 albeit short -- shortly.
3 We'll have a break for 15 minutes. And then we'll have lunch
4 break later on, as usual.
5 --- Break taken at 11.40 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 11.58 a.m.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Re-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sipovac, you were asked about your position.
11 Can you tell us how many desks there were at the VTO?
12 A. Well, there was a total of eight, nine, or ten employees. I'd
13 have to do the counting yet again, name by name in order to remember.
14 Between eight and ten.
15 Q. And you were in charge of which department or desk?
16 A. Mobilisation.
17 Q. What about others? Were they in charge of something else?
18 A. Recruitment. The VTO worked on recruitment and mobilisation
20 Q. We really have to speak slowly and pause.
21 So if Mr. Budimir said that you were in charge of mobilisation,
22 whatever the interpretation may be, did he say that you were for
24 A. [No interpretation]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the
1 answer, the beginning.
2 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat your answer, and speak more slowly,
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
5 I was the desk officer for mobilisation. And Captain Micic was
6 assistant chief for mobilisation. So, as for that part, where I worked,
7 the mobilisation department, there were three or four other desk officers
8 who worked together with me.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Thank you. In my question, lines 2, 3, 4, it is not recorded if
11 Mr. Budimir said that you were for mobilisation, whatever he'd call you,
12 chief, head, et cetera. Does that mean that that is correct, that within
13 that framework, you were just for mobilisation?
14 A. Yes. But I was not the chief. The question that was put to me,
15 as I understood it, was that I was chief of the VTO. I was not chief of
16 the VTO. I was a desk officer in the military territorial organ.
17 Q. What about Becir Medunjanin? What was he before the war?
18 A. Before the war, since I knew him, I think he was the principal of
19 the school in Kozarac. He was a professor -- or, rather, a teacher of
20 mathematics and physics. Then, after the multi-party elections, he
21 became secretary of the Secretariat for National Defence in Prijedor.
22 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us the following: Mobilisation
23 was discussed here as an ongoing process and also references were made to
24 a declaration of general mobilisation. Can you tell the Trial Chamber
25 whether that is one and the same thing; and if there's a difference, tell
1 us what the difference is.
2 A. Well, this is the difference: Mobilisation in terms of its
3 extent can be full mobilisation or partially mobilisation. In terms of
4 communication it can be general or public -- or, rather, it can be
5 public. I mean, it can be secret too, if call-up papers are delivered in
6 person. So the distinction in terms of the question that was put to me,
7 there was partially mobilisation of particular war-time units. There was
8 a request to mobilise them and that went on from the moment when it was
9 declared. It went on in continuity until the war-time units were fully
11 On the 21st of May, there was general -- or, rather, public
12 mobilisation because then all military-age military conscripts were
13 duty-bound to report to military organs, so that they could be recorded
14 as military conscripts, they could be given war-time assignments if they
15 did not have one, and then be sent on wherever necessary, war-time units,
16 or other duties that are in accordance with the plan.
17 Q. Thank you. What was included in the duties of Mr. Medunjanin?
18 However, before that, I'd like to ask you something else. Did you know
19 who Muhamed Cehajic was and what his duty was? And then I also have to
20 ask you what his ethnic background would be on the basis of his name.
21 A. Muhamed Cehajic was a professor, high school teacher. After the
22 multi-party elections, he was head of the Prijedor municipality.
23 Q. Thank you. Enes Kursumovic, did you know?
24 A. No. That name does not ring a bell at all. I cannot remember.
25 I don't know.
1 Q. All right. Fikret Kadiric and Sakib Besic?
2 A. Fikret Kadiric, I think he worked in the police, at the Prijedor
3 police station that is. And Sakib was at the TO Staff. He was
4 commander, head. Just before that, he had retired. I cannot remember
6 Q. Thank you. I find this embarrassing but I have to ask you this.
7 Does -- do these names sound like Muslim names?
8 A. Well, in respect of the previous questions, I said that it is
9 very awkward to speak about ethnic background on the basis of names only.
10 Through the records, the military records, one can see that military
11 conscripts, once they are recorded for the first time, they should say
12 what their ethnic affiliations is. I have already said that particular
13 people have a particular tradition culture, customs, habits. So, for
14 example, in the Orthodox world, if Krsta is a name, then in the Islamic
15 world, Muhamed is a name. So then on the basis of that, you can judge
16 the ethnic background.
17 Q. So what would be the duty, the work of the secretary of
18 National Defence, the post held by Mr. Becir Medunjanin, the person that
19 you were asked about?
20 A. Well, the duty of the secretary is, first of all, to be in charge
21 of the organ and to carry out measures and activities that fall within
22 the general framework of the organ -- or, rather, the Secretariat of
23 National Defence at the time. Among other things, they were duty-bound
24 in addition to the recruitment obligation and the planning obligation,
25 there was the obligation to mobilise war-time units for civilian defence,
1 Territorial Defence, units for reporting and surveillance, work
2 obligation, and so on and so forth, as far as I can remember right now.
3 Q. Thank you. Was it his duty to carry out the constitutional and
4 legal obligation to contribute to the defence of the country?
5 A. As a supervisor in that position it was his duty to carry out
6 these obligations that had to be in according with the law and in
7 accordance with the constitution, so his duty was to monitor the
8 implementation of plans and programmes in that field.
9 Q. Thank you. And what is this legitimate military formation that
10 he was supposed to service at the level of the municipality?
11 A. All war-time units were legitimate, if we're talking about 1991,
12 and I am talking about 1991, up until May/June 1992. So these are
13 war-time units, units of the Territorial Defence, units for reporting and
14 surveillance, then units of the civilian protection, then work obligation
15 units. So that would be manning. Now, as far as planning and manning of
16 war-time units is concerned, that too.
17 Q. Which army?
18 A. The JNA at the time, still.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
21 1D16050. While we're waiting for this document -- 16050, if it was not
22 written down correctly. 16050.
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. To the best of your knowledge, were people treated on the basis
25 of their religious affiliation or what they did?
1 A. Are you referring to the JNA or is this a general question?
2 Q. The part of the authorities where you had insight.
3 A. That part, absolutely. I can give examples, too, of officers and
4 other persons who, according to war-time assignment, were in the
5 43rd Motorised Brigade and in other units. And in the 43rd, I claim with
6 certainty that that was the approach. Those who had a war-time
7 assignment in 1990 or 1991, it doesn't matter, and who responded to
8 call-up when mobilisation was carried out, well, in the command of the
9 brigade itself, I'm sorry, as I've already said that I'm approaching the
10 problem this way, but I had the records before me so I can say that with
11 certainty. There were Croats, there were Muslims, and there were persons
12 of other ethnic backgrounds. And I don't know if I have to mention them
13 by name. I don't really want to hurt these people in any way, but I have
14 their records where they, themselves, stated what their ethnic background
16 The chief of the air defence system was a Croat. The operations
17 officer who drew work maps, plans, and so on, according to the records
18 there was a Muslim. The other operations officer for moral affairs was a
19 Croat. In the brigade itself, in the command, there were assistant
20 commanders who had mixed marriages. So I'm saying this with certainty,
21 within the unit itself in 1991, according to the records, the official
22 records, there were Croats and Muslims there during 1992. And that can
23 be checked in the records absolutely. There was an increasing number of
24 these units coming into the 43rd Prijedor Brigade. I claim that with
25 full certainty and that can be checked.
1 Q. Thank you. Could you please focus on this attachment to the
2 criminal report where it says that these are the names of the organisers
3 of the armed rebellion in Prijedor and the killing of JNA soldiers in
4 Hambarine. Number 3, the name we see is Becir Medunjanin. Is that the
5 same Becir Medunjanin, or were there several of them? It says here
6 secretary of the National Defence Secretariat of the
7 Prijedor Municipal Assembly.
8 A. His name is written here. Now whether he was involved in that, I
9 mean, really, I'm taken aback by this, frankly speaking. Him being
10 involved in that? Well, if it is stated here, then I accept it as a
12 Q. Thank you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted.
14 JUDGE KWON: Do we know from this document what this document is
15 about? This is an annex to what?
16 Mr. Karadzic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Criminal report. After the killing
18 of the soldiers in Hambarine and after it was dealt with, the criminal
19 report was compiled. And this is an annex to the criminal report,
20 listing the names of the persons who are responsible for that crime.
21 JUDGE KWON: So you're tendering this page, page 1 of this
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe it would be useful,
24 Excellency, for you to have the document in its entirety. Because this
25 events is very important and it is often mentioned during the trial.
1 JUDGE KWON: Do you --
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And also it can show whether the
3 basis for bringing these people in was religious affiliation or crimes.
4 JUDGE KWON: Are -- the names do not arise from the cross.
5 Do you have any objection to the admission of page 1 of this
6 document, Ms. Pelic.
7 MS. PELIC: Your Honour, the witness didn't testify anything to
8 the document except confirming the fact that what's already written and
9 in the record read by Mr. Karadzic.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE KWON: We'll receive the page 1 of this document.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4231, Your Honours.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Sipovac, records were shown to you from the meetings of the
16 Council for National Defence of the municipality. Can you tell us
17 briefly what kind of body this was; did we establish at the beginning of
18 the war; and, generally speaking, who regulates this matter?
19 A. The National Defence Council is an organ of the assembly, and
20 members of the council serve on the council ex officio, president of the
21 assembly, president of the Executive Board, secretaries of secretariats,
22 et cetera. The secretary of that council was simultaneously the
23 secretary of the National Defence organ, and his duty was to assess the
24 political and security situation in the area of the municipality; and, in
25 keeping with the situation and with the documents that had been endorsed,
1 to issue instructions and guide-lines to various municipal agencies that
2 implement the adopted policies.
3 Q. You just said there was a National Defence Council, including
4 Mr. Medunjanin, and there was also the VTO. To which authorities does
5 the Secretariat for National Defence belong; and to which authority does
6 the VTO belong?
7 A. If you mean the distribution of departments, it belonged to the
8 SDA. The secretariat belonged to the SDA.
9 Q. No, in the line to the top.
10 A. The secretariat was under the civilian authorities; and the VTO
11 was under the Federal Secretariat for National Defence, that is to say,
12 the armed forces. And the secretariat was too but along a different
14 Q. And the last topic. You were shown a report of
15 Lieutenant-Colonel Peulic about what happened at Koricanske Stijene.
16 Were you, in view of your job or otherwise, one of those who received
17 such reports?
18 A. No, my job did not include that.
19 Q. What did Peulic do with the information he obtained? Did he try
20 to cover up or to -- or did he pass it on to his superior command?
21 A. [No interpretation]
22 THE INTERPRETER: The witness needs to repeat his answer because
23 there was no pause between question and answer.
24 JUDGE KWON: No, no, you spoke too fast and without pausing at
1 Mr. Sipovac, could you kindly repeat your answer very slowly.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the Prosecutor asked me this
3 question and when she showed me the telegram signed by Mr. Peulic, I said
4 that I could not see exactly what it was about but I understood it was a
5 report about something that happened on the ground, that is to say, the
6 crime at Koricanske Stijene.
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. My question was what -- what was he supposed to do? Was he
9 covering up or was he reporting about it?
10 A. He was reporting, which is perfectly natural in the military
11 hierarchy. It was normal and it was his duty to report any incidents, if
12 they were in his zone of responsibility.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sipovac. I have no further questions.
14 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That concludes your evidence,
15 Mr. Sipovac. I thank you for your coming to The Hague to give it. Now
16 you're free to go.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE KWON: Shall we take the lunch break now, given the timing?
20 Yes, we'll resume at five past 1.00.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 --- On resuming at 1.06 p.m.
24 JUDGE KWON: Would the witness make the solemn declaration,
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 WITNESS: MILADIN NEDIC
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Nedic. Make yourself comfortable,
7 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Nedic.
11 A. Good afternoon, Mr. President. You are our president for all
12 times, forever.
13 Q. Thank you. Could we both speak slowly, please, and leave a short
14 pause between questions and answers to avoid problems for interpreters.
15 Do you agree?
16 A. I do.
17 Q. Thank you. Have you given a statement to my Defence team?
18 A. Yes, I gave a statement and signed it.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
20 in e-court 1D9664.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. On the left side, do you see the Serbian version of your
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Thank you. Have you read and signed this statement?
1 A. Yes, I have read it and signed it.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please show the last page
3 so that Mr. Nedic can identify his signature.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Is this your signature?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. Does this statement faithfully reflect what you told the Defence
8 team or are there any corrections to make?
9 A. I don't think there are -- are anything -- there are any
10 corrections to make.
11 Q. If I were to put to you the same questions now, would your
12 answers, in essence, be the same as in the statement?
13 A. I don't think I would change anything.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender this statement under
16 Rule 92 ter.
17 JUDGE KWON: Any objection, Ms. Gustafson?
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: Good afternoon, Your Honours. No objection.
19 JUDGE KWON: We'll admit it.
20 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4232, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 I will now read in English a short summary of Mr. Miladin Nedic's
25 [In English] Miladin Nedic, a mining engineer, was one of the
1 founders of the SDS in B and H. After the multi-party elections of 1990,
2 he was elected to become the SDS representative in the BH Assembly and a
3 member of the Main Board of the Serbian Democratic Party.
4 Later on, Mr. Nedic was elected to be a representative of the
5 1st Assembly of the Republika Srpska, that means continued to be a member
6 of parliament. He was involved in the work of the party in Ozren mount
7 from the moment it was established on the 28th of July, 1990.
8 At the Republika Srpska Assembly session of 24th to
9 26th July, 1992, Mr. Nedic gave a speech that was used by the Prosecution
10 in the case against Dr. Radovan Karadzic as an evidence that the Serbs
11 planned to commit genocide against the Muslims. The content of this
12 message has been twisted. Mr. Nedic was calling for a peaceful solution
13 of the crisis in BH without the interference of others from outside the
14 former Yugoslavia who could push the peoples in BH against each other.
15 He never advocated the execution of Muslims.
16 The next time Mr. Nedic addressed the Assembly, he stated clearly
17 that he did not want a war which would enslave some and transform others
18 in oppressors. He called for the treatment of soldiers in accordance
19 with the military codes and the respect of a knightly warfare which is
20 very distant from genocide. People in Ozren remained united which helped
21 them to survive because there was no bloodshed and conflicts between
22 them. Finally, he urged for the postponement of any discussion about
23 borders which would create chaos among soldiers.
24 Mr. Nedic has known Dr. Karadzic throughout the 1990-1995 period
25 and participated in many meetings with him. Dr. Karadzic never gave any
1 indication whatsoever of being in favour of destroying the
2 Bosnian Muslims in whole or in part.
3 And this is the summary. At that moment, I do not have questions
4 for Mr. Nedic.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nedic, as you have noted, your evidence in-chief
6 in this case has been admitted in writing, that is, through your written
7 statement in lieu of your oral testimony.
8 Now you'll be cross-examined by the representative of the -- of
9 the Office of the Prosecutor.
10 Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
11 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour. If I could have
12 Exhibit D92, please.
13 Cross-examination by Ms. Gustafson:
14 Q. And good afternoon, Mr. Nedic.
15 A. [No interpretation]
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear anything.
17 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nedic, could you come closer to the microphone
18 so that interpreters could hear you better.
19 THE ACCUSED: So witness responded "dobar dan," but it was not
21 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to page 40 of the English and
22 page 39 of the B/C/S.
23 Q. Mr. Nedic, we'll start by looking at the speech you made which is
24 the main subject of your witness statement, your speech at the
25 17th Session.
1 Now, towards the beginning of the speech you say:
2 "This, which is happening in Bosnia-Herzegovina today, was
3 planned 7- to 800 years ago in one of the world's power centres and this,
4 which is happening today, is by no means new."
5 And on the next page in the English, a bit later on you say:
6 "I am against solving the situation in Bosnia in haste. We must
7 admit that the Muslims have been planted to us as a people whose
8 executioners we are to be."
9 In your witness statement, you said that you were suggesting here
10 that factors outside Yugoslavia wanted to use the Serbs to fight against
11 the Muslims. This was based on the idea that outside factors, such as
12 powerful European states, did not want an Islamic state to be created in
13 Europe; is that right?
14 A. What was going on in Bosnia was not a new thing. It was a war
15 along religious and ethnic lines. Our religions were both 7- or
16 800 years old, and we are not responsible for the various characteristics
17 of these two peoples.
18 I was in favour of reaching an agreement with the other side, a
19 mutual agreement, without the diktat of any outsiders. It was the
20 centres of power that put us in that position. I don't know where these
21 centres are, but it's certainly not a new thing to divide and
22 rule peoples. They divided us in the First World War, the
23 Second World War, and this latest war, and I didn't want any outside
24 interference in Bosnia between us. I wanted us to reach agreement
25 between us, but it was not possible. We had reached an agreement with
1 Alija Izetbegovic and we were very happy that we had reached this
2 agreement to continue living side by side, but then it floundered, and
3 then the worse that could happen happened.
4 Q. Mr. Nedic, I'd like to ask you to listen very carefully to my
5 question and to answer the question that I ask. Because, in your answer,
6 you didn't actually answer that question.
7 My question was: You've said in your statement that you were
8 suggesting in this speech that factors outside Yugoslavia wanted to use
9 the Serbs to fight against the Muslims. And my question is: This was
10 based on the idea that outside factors did not want an Islamic state to
11 be created in Europe. That was what was motivating those outside factors
12 to use the Serbs to fight against the Muslims.
13 Do you agree or disagree with that?
14 A. Well, it's probable that somebody did not want to see an Islamic
15 state arise in the Balkans. And in that war nobody supported the Islamic
16 state. Perhaps somebody from the east did, but from the west, certainly
18 But we were not fighting against Muslims or Croats. We were just
19 defending ourselves. We had not planned that war. We had believed in
20 the army and co-operated with the army, until the very last day. And
21 these power centres outside, they made all the decisions. And the
22 bombing was done by -- by foreign planes, not by Islamic planes or I
23 don't know whose.
24 Q. Again, Mr. Nedic, I'm going to ask you to please focus on my
25 question --
1 JUDGE KWON: Why don't you put -- ask the witness to read out
2 paragraph 5 of his statement and ask what he meant. Probably he might
3 have been confused with this minute and with his statement.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON:
5 Q. Mr. Nedic, in your statement, you said, "I was suggesting" --
6 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
7 Do you have your witness statement, Mr. Nedic?
8 Why don't you upload his statement, Exhibit D4232, paragraph 5.
9 THE ACCUSED: Excellency, if it could be most suitable, we can
10 give hard copy to witness.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we can do that, but -- yes.
12 Can you read aloud paragraph 5 of your statement, Mr. Nedic?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "The gist of my message was let's
14 try to find a solution to avoid war, by not allowing others from outside
15 the former Yugoslavia to interfere and push us against each other. I was
16 suggesting that these outside factors wanted to use the Serbs to fight
17 against the Muslims. I only had the best intentions, and I don't
18 understand how anyone could make such a misinterpretation of my speech.
19 I never advocated the execution of Muslims."
20 I don't understand what's unclear here. I wanted us --
21 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Just -- here comes the question from
22 the Prosecutor.
23 Yes, please continue, Ms. Gustafson.
24 MS. GUSTAFSON:
25 Q. Mr. Nedic, you've said that it was your view that outside factors
1 want to use Serbs to fight against the Muslims.
2 Why did those outside factors want the Serbs to fight the
4 A. Nobody wanted to see an Islamic state in the Balkans. Who? Who
5 could have wanted that? Maybe Muslims themselves did. But even not all
6 of them, because most Muslims had opted to live in that territory
7 together with their neighbours.
8 I don't have a problem with my own people. I have a problem with
10 Q. Okay. That's clear now.
11 And you -- in this speech at the 17th Session, you said:
12 "We are a people who have been determined to be executioners and
13 to do someone a favour."
14 Now, this reflects the idea that the Serbs are in a position to
15 eliminate the Muslims through the conflict as they would thereby be doing
16 a favour to these outside factors who don't want to see an Islamic state
17 in the Balkans; correct?
18 A. Whichever nation in Bosnia had disappeared, a third party would
19 benefit; not us, but somebody outside. Because whenever people quarrel,
20 always somebody from outside interferes and benefits from that quarrel.
21 It's a law of life.
22 I was in favour of sitting down together with Croats and Muslims
23 and deciding how we are going to go on living together. I even compared
24 us to Switzerland because we have the same kind of country with the same
25 beautiful mountains, but we needed to find an arrangement to continue
1 living side by side and that could be done only peacefully and not by
2 war. And Mr. Karadzic never told us to go and take a territory with a
3 majority Muslim population. The example is Gracanica. When a general
4 asked for 1.000 soldiers to take Gracanica, Mr. Karadzic asked him, Why
5 would you do that? The Muslims also have to live somewhere. That is
6 their territory. And I understood him. And I did not provide troops to
7 takes Gracanica. We prevented that officer who wanted to do that.
8 Q. In your answer, Mr. Nedic, you said:
9 "Whichever nation in Bosnia had disappeared, a third party would
11 What you were saying in your speech at the 17th Session was that
12 if the Muslim people disappeared, these outside factors who did not want
13 an Islamic state to be created in the Balkans would benefit; right?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Okay. In your statement, you said you were not advocating the
16 execution of Muslims here and that the essence of your message was to try
17 to find a solution to avoid a war.
18 Now, you acknowledge that at this point, late July 1992, there
19 was, in fact, a war going on, as you state in this very speech. There
20 was war in Bosnia at that time; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, the primary goal of the Bosnian Serb leadership in this war
23 was to prevent the Serbs from becoming a minority in an independent
24 Bosnia by attaining a separate Serb state in Bosnia, a state in which
25 Muslims and Croats would be a small minority at most; right?
1 A. Why a very small minority?
2 Q. It was my question to you, Mr. Nedic. That was the goal of the
3 Bosnian Serb leadership: A separate Serb state in Bosnia where the
4 Muslims and Croats would be a small minority of the population at most.
5 Do you agree or disagree?
6 A. Well, in the early days, we were together in a common assembly of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and we recognised Bosnia. But we wanted it to be
8 part of Yugoslavia, and they proclaimed cessation from Yugoslavia. We
9 wanted to go on living together with all the other nations.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go back to D92, page 16 of the
11 English and page 14 of the B/C/S.
12 Q. Now, this is Dr. Karadzic speaking, Mr. Nedic, and towards the
13 bottom of the page he speaks about the importance of the Sarajevo
14 battle-field. He says a few lines down, beginning of that paragraph:
15 "A non-Serb state may be created on Muslim or Croat territories
16 in western Herzegovina, in Cazinska Krajina, or in Central Bosnia. But
17 on ethnic Serb territories, others cannot create any state, neither can
18 the Serbs allow any state to be created against them, because they know
19 what they experienced the last time they were in somebody else's state,
20 and they finally know their status in the states in which they are a
21 national minority."
22 Now what Dr. Karadzic is saying here is that a state dominated by
23 non-Serbs cannot encompass ethnic Serb territories, and, similarly, Serbs
24 cannot allow any state in which they constitute a national minority;
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And when he says that Serbs "know what they experienced the last
3 time they were in somebody else's state and they finally know their
4 status in the states in which they are a national minority," he is
5 referring to historical events where the Serbs suffered at the hands of
6 Muslims and Croats; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And I take it you agree with these sentiments that as a national
9 minority in a Muslim or a Muslim and Croat-dominated states, the Serbs
10 faced existential dangers. Do you agree?
11 A. Well, whenever Serbs were a minority, and whenever they were in a
12 foreign state, they were subjected to some sort of terror or a threat of
13 extermination. We have always faced extermination if we were in a state
14 governed by a foreigner. And this has repeated, not only lately, this
15 has been the case for hundreds of years.
16 Q. And you say:
17 "We have always faced extermination if we were in a state
18 governed by a foreigner."
19 You -- you -- your view is also that you, the Serbs, faced
20 extermination in a state governed by Muslims; right?
21 A. Correct.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 82 of the English and page
23 83 of the B/C/S.
24 Q. And there's an exchange here between the chairman, Mr. Krajisnik
25 and Mr. Ostojic, and Mr. Krajisnik asks:
1 "I need an answer. Do we want Jajce, Bugojno, Tuzla, Banovici,
2 Zepce and Zavidovici to be in Republika Srpska?"
3 And Mr. Ostojic answers:
4 "If a clear definition of the borders in that area is expected of
5 me, I think that we have to commit to a strategy of a national state and
6 not the strategy of grasping territories, because we would be repeating a
7 historical mistake like in 1918. On such territory, do you want me to
8 give you the numbers? In such country there would be 55 per cent Serbs;
9 35 per cent Muslims; and 15 per cent Croats. Through birth rate within
10 10 years you will loose even that percentage."
11 Now, here, Mr. Ostojic -- this is another reference by
12 Mr. Ostojic, this time to the need to ensure that the Bosnian Serb state
13 does not contain too many non-Serbs; right? That would be a historical
15 A. It would have been a historical mistake for us to take their
16 territories and their people into our state. However, if an agreement
17 could have been reached it would have been justified for us to live next
18 to each other and nobody threatening anybody else. And if those who
19 wanted to cross over to live in either the Serbian state unit or in the
20 Muslim state unit, they would not be forbidden. That's -- that was our
21 line of thinking. That's why we created Republika Srpska.
22 MS. GUSTAFSON: And if we could go to page 85 of the English and
23 page 86 in the B/C/S.
24 Q. Where Dr. Karadzic speaks again, and about three lines down he
1 "The thirst for territories and a greater country of the late
2 Aleksandar Karadjordjevic had cost us three million, plus their offspring
3 which amounts to 10 million people."
4 And about five lines down from there, he says:
5 "Now the question is, and you have to decide as an assembly, what
6 shall we do if they get killed on account of some river or hill and in
7 such a way again get to have an enemy in our own country?"
8 Now this is another reference by Dr. Karadzic from this session
9 to the need to ensure that the Bosnian Serb state does not contain too
10 many non-Serbs; correct?
11 A. Yes. But this would not have been done by force. An agreement
12 would have to be reached to that effect.
13 Q. Well, Mr. Nedic, in fact, achieving the Serb state without too
14 many non-Serbs in it, the one sought by the Bosnian Serb leadership,
15 involved reducing the numbers of Muslims and Croats in Serb-claimed
16 territories by committing crimes against them, didn't it?
17 A. That's not true.
18 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 7 -- if we could go to
19 page 72 of the English, page 73 of the B/C/S.
20 Q. And this is Mr. Rajko Dukic speaking. Now, Mr. Rajko Dukic was
21 the president of the SDS Executive Board and a member of the Main Board
22 together with you; isn't that right, Mr. Nedic?
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. And roughly halfway down in the English and ten lines down in the
25 B/C/S, he begins speaking about Semberija. And he says:
1 "As far as Semberija is concerned, we have not done anything in
2 Semberija either, gentlemen. We do not have Semberija, let us not
3 deceive ourselves. There are more refugee there now than before. In
4 Semberija, there are different authorities and policies and more Muslims
5 than there have ever been [sic] because in Semberija and Bijeljina
6 municipality, the majority of the population is Muslims -- is Muslim,"
7 sorry, "there are 12.000 Muslims without Janje which is 10 kilometres
9 And then a few lines down, he talks about what he saw in the
10 Official Gazette. He says:
11 "There it says that judges have been appointed to the Bijeljina
12 court: Smajil Salbegovic, Muhamed Gluhonjic, Alida Madjar,
13 Alija Zvizdic, and I do not know, I also found a fifth one,
14 Alma Halibegovic. So I am asking you, gentlemen, why we expelled all
15 judges from Vlasenica, Bratunac, and Zvornik? Will we be accused then, I
16 hope we will not, but will these others be better there working like
17 this? I would be ashamed and I would regret all the victims if I lived
18 in a state in which Muslims and Muslim ideology would judge and where
19 their justice was done."
20 And then a few lines down he refers to in -- in Bijeljina the
21 fact that people are sitting around in cafes drinking Turkish coffee and
22 singing Turkish songs. And he says:
23 "You see, our 3.500 women and children are counting their last
24 days there. We cannot do it like that. We have to decide about that."
25 Now, Mr. Dukic is saying here that even though Bijeljina is
1 militarily in the hands of the Serbs at this point, we still do not have
2 Semberija because there are too many Muslims living there; right?
3 A. During the war, I passed through Bijeljina and I saw a lot of
4 Muslims who lived there normally, although it was war time. But if this
5 was after the war, then fine. Muslims could live normally in Bijeljina.
6 Nobody touched them. There were some individuals who were involved in
7 incidents, but Dr. Karadzic never asked for anybody to be ill-treated,
8 never asked anybody to move out of Bijeljina.
9 Q. Mr. Nedic, you didn't answer my question. What Mr. Dukic is
10 saying here is that the Serbs still don't really have Semberija because
11 there are too many Muslims living there; right?
12 A. I don't know what he referred to, what he meant. If the
13 authorities were Serbs and there were too many Muslims, it really didn't
14 mean anything, didn't mean much.
15 Q. When Mr. Dukic says, "You see, our 3.500 women and children are
16 counting their last days there," what he is saying here is that the 3.500
17 Serb women and children living in Bijeljina, their lives are in danger
18 because of the number of Muslims still in Bijeljina; right?
19 A. When was that?
20 Q. At this session, Mr. Nedic, Mr. Dukic says in the speech we just
21 looked at:
22 "You see, our 3.500 women and children are counting their last
23 days there."
24 He is talking about the dangers that Serb women and children in
25 Bijeljina face because of the number of Muslims still living there;
2 A. I don't know what he had in mind. You have to ask him that.
3 Q. And if we could go to the next page of the B/C/S. And this is
4 another ten lines down or so in the English from where we left off.
5 He talks about Birac. He says:
6 "If we move further, there is Birac which is 100 to
7 108 kilometres away and has 120.000 Muslims. That is how many there
8 were, but I hope that has at least been halved and 90.000 Serbs."
9 Now, Birac is an area in Eastern Bosnia that includes Sekovici,
10 Vlasenica, Srebrenica, Milici, Bratunac, and Zvornik; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now when Mr. Dukic says that there are now 120.000 Muslims there
13 but he hopes that has at least been halved, he is talking about the need
14 to reduce the number of Muslims living in this area, an area claimed by
15 Serbs; correct?
16 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Before you answer.
17 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
18 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I object to the relevance of these
19 line of questions as to other people's statements at the Assembly. If
20 you look at the witness statement for Mr. Nedic, he is talking about what
21 he intended by the speech that the Prosecution cited as evidence of
22 genocide. What other people said, what other people intended, I don't
23 think are relevant to his evidence.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I told you that you should
25 ask Dukic about that.
1 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. Just a second.
2 French translation has only now been completed.
3 Yes, Ms. Gustafson.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 The -- this, of course, is the same assembly session in which
6 Mr. Nedic spoke and, of course, the context in which he made this speech
7 is highly relevant. I would add that Mr. Nedic is not on trial here.
8 It's Dr. Karadzic who's alleged to have acted with other members of the
9 Bosnian Serb leadership. What the other -- what other members of that
10 leadership were saying at this session I think is highly relevant and
11 goes directly to the witness's claims.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, the Chamber agrees with you. Please continue.
14 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
15 Q. Mr. Nedic, you said that "you should ask Dukic about that."
16 So you can't comment on his reference here to reducing the number
17 of Muslims in Birac. Is that a correct understanding?
18 A. I really don't know what he meant.
19 Q. Okay. In your witness statement, you said you advocated finding
20 a solution to avoid a war with the Muslims, and earlier today you said:
21 "I was in favour of reaching agreement with the other side."
22 And then a little bit later you said:
23 "I was in favour of sitting down together with Croats and Muslims
24 and determining how we are going to go on living together."
25 Now, in fact, at the time during the war, you made it clear that
1 you didn't think the Serbs should be negotiating with the Muslims at all;
3 A. I don't understand your question.
4 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to D115, please.
5 Q. Your view during the war, Mr. Nedic, was that the Serbs should
6 not even negotiate with the Muslims; right?
7 A. I don't know that I ever said that or that I ever thought that.
8 Throughout the war, all the time except [indiscernible] we would
9 sit down and talk and negotiate and not wage war.
10 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we could go to page 25 of the English and of
11 the B/C/S.
12 Q. Mr. Nedic, this is a transcript of the 25th Assembly Session held
13 on the 19th and 20th of January, 1993, and the discussion at this session
14 focussed on the Vance-Owen negotiations going on in Geneva.
15 And at the bottom of the page, you speak, and you say in the
16 second sentence:
17 "And I have to begin this way. Mr. Karadzic, your signature in
18 Geneva went up in smoke even before signed, and even had you affixed it,
19 it would have gone up in smoke. For, at the Bijeljina Assembly, we
20 adopted the position that the Muslims represented a religious Islamic
21 group of Turkish allegiance and South Slav provenance. In other words,
22 we, as a people, can talk to a people, and, in future, we can talk with
23 the Muslims only through their religious leader, the
24 Reis-el-Ulema Jakub Selimovski. They cannot blame this on us. They,
25 themselves, proved that they are not a nation. Everything that we
1 offered them as a people they refused, and had they been a people, they
2 would have accepted at least one option for us to live like human beings
3 and like peoples. They are to blame, not us. Let them fair as God sees
5 And on the next page, you say you are in favour of negotiating
6 with the Croats and your last words are:
7 "Therefore, as regards this whole discussion about the Geneva
8 negotiations, let me not belabour the point. Negotiations can only be
9 conducted with a people, and I am not in favour of negotiations with
10 religious sects."
11 Now, Mr. Nedic, it's quite clear that at this session you were
12 advocating that the Serbs should not even negotiate with the Muslims who
13 you viewed as a religious sect unworthy of a seat at the negotiating
14 table; correct?
15 A. I believe that we should not negotiate with them as a people but
16 as a religious group, they were Muslims. I did not want to exterminate
17 anybody and I still believe that Muslims in Bosnia are Serbs' brothers in
18 blood. And in terms of their religion, they are the Serbs' worst
20 Q. Mr. Nedic, you just said:
21 "I believe that we should not negotiate with them as a people but
22 as a religious group, they were Muslims."
23 But you said in this -- in this speech negotiations can only be
24 conducted with a people and I am not in favour of negotiations with
25 religious sects.
1 You were saying quite the opposite at the time, weren't you?
2 A. With religious sects as a people. I negotiate with a people, and
3 with religious sects I negotiated as with religious sects. But they did
4 not want negotiations. They wanted their own sovereign Bosnia where I
5 would have to tolerate the Sharia law. I lived or I have lived for 500
6 years under the Sharia law, and I know how it is.
7 THE ACCUSED: Transcript. [Interpretation] I'm not sure that
8 Mr. Nedic would have anything against Sharia, but I'm sure that he would
9 have something against Soraya, so it's not Soraya but the Sharia law.
10 Soraya was the Iranian queen.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Sharia law.
12 MS. GUSTAFSON:
13 Q. Now, you said, Mr. Nedic, "I lived or I have lived for 500 years
14 under the Sharia law." Now, at the time, you also made clear that if
15 your -- the area you were from, Ozren, went to the Muslim side, you'd
16 kill yourself.
17 Do you remember saying that?
18 A. Perhaps I did, but I don't remember.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: Well, if we could go to P1379, please. And the
20 passage I'm looking for is page 103 of the English and page 111 of the
22 Q. And, again, Mr. Nedic, the discussion in this session focussed on
23 the latest peace proposal, peace proposal which involved giving up some
24 territories around Ozren?
25 And your speech begins with you stating that you've started your
1 journey to this session from Ozren. And you said:
2 "And I have to say that I was really happy to go because my
3 fellow Ozren inhabitants asked me what I would do if it turned out that
4 Ozren should be given to the Muslims after all. Then I would hang
5 myself, I said - there's nothing else for me to do."
6 Does that remind you now of the fact that you said you'd kill
7 yourself if Ozren went to the Muslims?
8 A. I don't remember that. However, even if I said that, it would
9 have been only normal for me to have said it. Ozren fell largely under
10 Muslims but I didn't kill myself because Muslims did not take Ozren on
11 their own. They were largely assisted by the NATO shelling.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be asked
13 to look at the first paragraph. At least the first five or six lines
14 that are now on the screen.
15 Can he read that? Can he read that selection?
16 MS. GUSTAFSON: My time -- my time is very limited. I read it
18 JUDGE KWON: She put the question and the witness answered the
19 question. If you like to put -- for the part you can do that in your
21 MS. GUSTAFSON:
22 Q. Mr. Nedic, in your statement and several times already today you
23 reiterated the claim that you viewed -- your -- what you claim was your
24 view at the time which was that throughout the war you thought the Serbs
25 should sit down and negotiate and the parties should not wage war.
1 But at the time, you, in fact, insisted that the borders that had
2 been created by force could not be changed by the maps agreed to in the
3 negotiations, didn't you?
4 A. I never recognised the borders of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I
5 still do not recognise the state borders that we have now, that have just
6 been created, because this will also have to be renegotiated.
7 The Balkans is not in order. It has been shaken. How it is
8 going to be put in place, I don't know. I was not the one who shook it.
9 Karadzic wasn't one either. If anybody deserves the Nobel prize for
10 peace and humanity, it is Dr. Radovan Karadzic. During the six years
11 that we worked together, I learnt that.
12 MS. GUSTAFSON: If we go to P1394, page 85 of the English and
13 page 78 of the B/C/S, please. Should be three pages forward in the
14 B/C/S. One more page, please. Sorry, next page in the B/C/S, please.
15 Thank you.
16 Q. Now you can see this is where you begin speaking, Mr. Nedic. The
17 passage, I wanted to direct you to is on the next page in both languages,
18 and it begins about four lines down in both languages.
19 MS. GUSTAFSON: If I could have the next page in both. Thank
21 Q. And just to orient you, this is a session where the main point of
22 discussion was the peace plan proposed by the contact group and, in
23 particular, the maps attached to that plan. And you state:
24 "The border on Ozren mountain has already been drawn, the graves
25 and trenches show that border, no one can register maps there. The one
1 who wants to make new maps on Ozren mountain will have to move those
2 trenches, will have to move the graves."
3 And then a few lines down you say:
4 "Let me repeat the words from the folk poem: The meadow is my
5 patrimony, my grandfather got it with a sword, my grandchildren will keep
6 it with a sword."
7 And then you say:
8 "The suggestion is in these words, it is all clear, the maps are
9 drawn with the graves and trenches. And those who intend to draw new
10 ones, let there be an endless battle. Flowers will spring for some
11 future generations. Thank you."
12 That was the view you expressed at the time, wasn't it,
13 Mr. Nedic? The borders at Ozren have been drawn with trenches and graves
14 and anyone who wants to move them with negotiated maps will face an
15 endless battle.
16 A. [No interpretation]
17 Q. Sorry, if you could just repeat your answer. I don't think it
18 was caught on record.
19 Perhaps I'll just repeat my question, Mr. Nedic. That was the
20 view you expressed at the time. The border --
21 A. There's no need.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. Ozren is a mountain and it's between four rivers, Bosna, Speca,
24 Turija. Those were the borders that we held and we defended ourselves
25 from attacks from the Muslim-Croat army. On that boundary, in that
1 defence, hundreds of young men were killed, and people from Ozren, their
2 graves are there, and that is that boundary that I spoke about. That
3 boundary exists to this day, although half of Ozren had fallen. And it
4 had fallen on the basis of the Dayton Peace Agreement. The Muslims
5 exterminated everyone in that area, and there aren't even any bricks
6 left. People had been expelled. My house, my property, everything was
7 destroyed, torched. That is the effect of the Dayton Agreement and the
8 Muslim offensive on Ozren. And also, it is the consequence of NATO bombs
9 that destroyed the relay tower at Ozren, and five young men were killed
10 there by a single missile fired by NATO aircraft.
11 Q. Okay. Mr. Nedic, you agree, though, that despite what you've
12 said today about being in favour of reaching a negotiated solution, what
13 you said at the time about Ozren was that the borders had been created by
14 trenches and graves, and anyone who wanted to move those borders by
15 negotiated maps faced an endless battle.
16 That was the view you expressed at the time; right?
17 A. Serb people still live in Ozren. I returned to that land,
18 although everything was destroyed, although it is in the Federation. I
19 did not give up on my land, on the land of my forefathers and I'm never
20 going to give up on that, and I'm never going to sell it either. Now how
21 this will be regulated, how Bosnia will be regulated, I don't know. It
22 hasn't been regulated yet. There is still chaos there. There is still
23 the Vehabije there. There are all sorts of things there. Europe should
24 help regulate this, rather than sow discord.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Transcript.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In lines 12 and 13, the witness
3 said: There are still Vehabije there. Perhaps that's a problem for the
4 interpreters. Maybe they would interpret it as Wahabists. Those are
5 extremists from Saudi Arabia.
6 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
7 Yes, Ms. Gustafson, do you have further questions?
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: Two final questions, Your Honour.
9 Q. Mr. Nedic, you have stated today that you agreed that Serbs faced
10 extermination in a state governed by Muslims. You claim that you have
11 lived for 500 years under Sharia law. You claimed that the Muslims have
12 exterminated everyone in the Ozren area post-Dayton. You state at the
13 time that the Bosnian Muslims were a religious sect who should -- with
14 whom the Serbs should not negotiate. And you said that you would kill
15 yourself if the -- if Ozren went to the Muslim side.
16 Now you lived and live in great fear of the Muslim people;
18 A. Well, that's true.
19 Q. And at the 17th Session, Mr. Nedic, when you said, "We are a
20 people who have been determined to be executioners and do someone a
21 favour. In 100 years, we will regret each of these moves if we make a
22 mistake," you were advocating taking the opportunity that you believed
23 presented itself to eliminate the Muslim people, people with whom you
24 lived in great fear, once and for all so you do not have to face these
25 historical enemies again in 100 years.
1 That was basically your message in that speech; correct?
2 A. I never advocated the extermination of the Muslim people. The
3 only thing I hold against the Muslims as a religious group or people,
4 whatever you wish, is that they are forcing me to have to fire at them
6 That is what I find the hardest of all.
7 Q. I have nothing further.
8 MS. GUSTAFSON: Thank you.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, you have -- any re-examination, Mr. Karadzic?
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Excellency. All the documents
12 have been admitted, and I really wouldn't want to go further on the basis
13 of that. Thank you. I'm not going to put any further questions.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Mr. Nedic, that concludes your evidence. On behalf of the
16 Chamber, I would like to thank you for your coming to The Hague. Now you
17 are free to go.
18 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
19 JUDGE KWON: If the usher could tell the witness we didn't hear
20 anything so ...
21 No, like -- could you tell him he could be excused.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, is the next witness ready?
24 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE KWON: While we are waiting for the witness to be brought
1 in, what's the schedule for tomorrow, Mr. Robinson?
2 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, the next witness who is coming in,
3 Branko Davidovic, is the last witness that we have here this week, so
4 when we complete his testimony tomorrow, we will not have any further
6 JUDGE KWON: Speaking for myself, I'm a bit concerned about
7 this -- this schedule. These days we are losing time extensively.
8 MR. ROBINSON: We've had five witnesses today, Mr. President. I
9 don't know how much you can expect from us. We have to proof all of
10 these witnesses, prepare for them, and when we work at this pace,
11 sometimes we will have some extra time. I don't think we can bring any
12 more witnesses. We brought eight witnesses this week. I really don't
13 think we could bring any more in a week and proof them and prepare for
14 them. So if it goes as quickly as it does, we don't have much
15 alternative but to have some extra time.
16 JUDGE KWON: Bear with me a minute.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE KWON: If the witness could be seated and wait a minute.
20 Please be seated. Just -- there are some matters to deal with.
21 What's the schedule like for next week, Mr. Robinson?
22 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We have five witnesses
23 scheduled next week as well as General Mladic. We had another witness
24 who we hoped to bring, but we have -- had to ask for safe conduct for the
25 witness at the last minute because when we started arranging for his
1 travel, Victims and Witness Unit learned that he had some prohibition
2 against entering the Schengen area, so we had to postpone his testimony,
3 so we don't have as many witnesses next week to fill the entire week as
4 we had hoped.
5 JUDGE KWON: I'll leave it at that for the moment. But in the
6 meantime, I would like you to try your best not to lose any more time in
7 the future.
8 Yes, would the witness make the solemn declaration.
9 THE ACCUSED: May I say something, Excellency.
10 My --
11 JUDGE KWON: Just -- I told the witness to take the solemn
12 declaration, please.
13 I'll hear from you later on.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: BRANKO DAVIDOVIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Davidovic. Please be
19 seated. Make yourself comfortable.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I say one sentence in respect
23 of the previous topic?
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I came here in perfect health.
1 It's no longer perfect. I authorised the medical service to sent my
2 health bulletins to you. Our tempo of work is really terrible. I'm not
3 20-something any longer. I'm three times older than that. So please
4 take that into account as well.
5 JUDGE KWON: With respect to the topic we just discussed, do you
6 have any observation to make, Mr. Tieger? Scheduling.
7 MR. TIEGER: I don't wish to pile on, Mr. President. I -- if I
8 have the impression from my dealings with Mr. Robinson that he was or he
9 and his team were doing less than their utmost, and I -- I -- I would
10 have brought that forced to his attention and I would do the same with
11 the Chamber. We're not always in agreement about the efficiency or sort
12 of reliability of everything that is going on. Mr. Robinson knows that.
13 But I would not suggest that when Mr. Robinson says that he and his team
14 are straining themselves to the utmost that he is expressing anything
15 other than what I have come to understand is -- is the case.
16 Now I have offered some suggestions about more efficiency. I see
17 the Trial Chamber has some urging about additional matters that could be
18 taken. Mr. Karadzic responded to that about what their capacities may
19 be. I think those are all factors to be taken into consideration, but
20 I -- I have raised in a related way these sort of similar concerns of
21 Mr. Robinson because it puts a strain on the Prosecution when everything
22 doesn't run as smoothly as -- as possible, but Mr. Robinson has talked
23 with me about that, and I can appreciate the struggle and the -- I
24 believe, the sincere efforts he is making to deal with that.
25 That's about all I can share with the Court except to say that
1 behind the scenes, it can be an immense struggle for everyone. I will
2 commit myself to letting the Court know if, for some reason, I think less
3 than an optimum effort is being made by anyone, but I'm not in a position
4 to say that now.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
6 Yes, thank you for your understanding, Mr. Davidovic. Before you
7 commence your evidence, I must draw your attention to a certain rule that
8 we have here at the international Tribunal; that is, Rule 90(E). Under
9 this rule, you may object to answering any question from Mr. Karadzic,
10 the Prosecutor, or even from the Judges, if you believe that your answer
11 might incriminate you in a criminal offence.
12 In this context, incriminate means saying something that might
13 amount to an admission of guilt for a criminal offence or saying
14 something that might provide evidence that you might have committed a
15 criminal offence. However, should you think that an answer might
16 incriminate you and as a consequence you refuse to answer the question, I
17 must let you know that the Tribunal has the power to compel you to answer
18 the question. But in that situation, the Tribunal would ensure that your
19 testimony compelled under such circumstances would not be used in any
20 case that might be laid against you for any offence save and except the
21 offence of giving false testimony.
22 Do you understand that, Mr. Davidovic?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand all of it.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
25 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please proceed.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Examination by Mr. Karadzic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Davidovic.
4 A. Good day, Mr. President.
5 Q. Please, let us speak slowly, both of us, so that what we say can
6 be recorded. Also, let us pause between my questions and your answers.
7 So if you look at the cursor you will see when the interpretation is
9 Have you provided my Defence team with a statement?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
13 1D9665 in e-court.
14 [Microphone not activated]
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Would you please focus on the left-hand side of the screen.
18 That's the Serbian version.
19 Do you see the first page of your statement on the screen?
20 A. Yes, I do see the first page of my statement.
21 Q. Have you read and signed this statement?
22 A. Yes, I have read and signed that statement.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
25 the last page so that he could identify the signature.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Is that your signature?
3 A. Yes, that is my signature.
4 Q. Thank you. Did this statement faithfully reflect what you
5 communicated to the Defence team or would you like something to be
7 A. For the time being, I have no objections and I'm not asking for
8 any corrections to be made.
9 Q. Thank you. If I were to put the same questions to you today, the
10 same as those that were put to you when this statement was taken, would
11 your answers basically be the same?
12 A. Yes, my answers would basically be the same.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender
15 Mr. Branko Davidovic's statement into evidence according to Rule 92 ter.
16 JUDGE KWON: Do you have any objections, Ms. McKenna?
17 MS. McKENNA: No objection, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will receive it.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D4233, Your Honours.
20 MR. ROBINSON: There's one associated exhibit, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes. 1D9602, you do not object to the admission of
23 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, I believe that exhibit is already
24 admitted -- or that document, rather, is already admitted as P3663.
25 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. Please check it, Mr. Robinson, and come
1 back if it is not the case.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Now I'm going to read out in the English language a brief summary
6 of Mr. Branko Davidovic's statement.
7 [In English] Branko Davidovic responded to the mobilisation
8 carried out by the 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade in 1992 and was
9 assigned to the post of battalion commander and soon after as the
10 assistant of the commander of morale on the level of brigade.
11 Before the war broke out, the interethnic relations between the
12 Serbian, Muslim, and Croatian citizens in Sanski Most municipality were
13 good. In the first multi-party elections in Sanski Most, the SDS got the
14 greatest number of votes and it therefore formed the local authorities.
15 Although there were almost as many Muslims as Serbs, the Muslims had far
16 fewer voters because the average Muslim family has five to six children,
17 most of whom were under voting age.
18 At the local level, the SDA was under enormous pressure from the
19 SDA in Sarajevo and they were -- soon revealed their political goals as
20 being the cessation of BH from Yugoslavia and the creation of a unitary
21 state. The local HDZ was also under pressure from the HDZ leadership in
22 Sarajevo and the HDZ from the Republic of Croatia. The policy of the HDZ
23 leadership immediately before the war was that Bosnia should secede from
24 Yugoslavia, after which the parts of BH populated by Croats and the
25 territories that mattered to the Croats were to be annexed to the
1 Republic of Croatia.
2 When the confrontations reached the level wanted to -- wanted by
3 the Muslims and Croatian separatists, a referendum on the independence of
4 BH was organised. The Serbs did not take part in the referendum. And in
5 response to the memorandum of independence, Serbs organised plebiscite in
6 which the absolute majority of Serbs and many other citizens were voted
7 for preference to preserve the -- both peace and common state of
8 Yugoslavia. When the responsible command assessed that the security of
9 the state and citizens were threatened, it orders a mobilisation of the
10 commands and units of the 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade in
11 Sanski Most. The Serbs and a small number of Muslim and Croatian
12 citizens responded to the mobilisation. In the month of June 1991, the
13 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade set off for the general sector of
14 Jasenovac in Croatia.
15 In Sanski Most municipality or in places where the Muslims and
16 Croats were the majority population, Serbian citizens had already noticed
17 that the Muslims and Croats were arming themselves, forming armed groups
18 and units, and organising village guards. Due to fear, village guards
19 were also organised in response in the places where the Serbs lived.
20 The memory of the crimes committed against the Serbs during the
21 Second World War contributed to increase the fear. On 2nd and
22 3rd of April, 1992, the 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade was allowed to
23 return to Sanski Most municipality in order to prevent interethnic
24 conflicts. The Muslims entered by force and blockaded the municipality
25 building in the hope of seizing power because the Serbs had won the
1 largest numbers of seats in the municipal assembly and the president of
2 the municipal assembly was also a Serb. Information gathered by the
3 security services in Sanski Most revealed that many Muslims and Croats
4 were armed and paramilitary units had already been formed, and so
5 operative measures were taken to crack down on these developments.
6 Appeals were made to eminent Muslim and Croatian citizens in key
7 communities to speak to their fellow citizens and ask them to collect and
8 surrender all illegal weapons.
9 In order to find and disarm Muslim and Croatian paramilitary
10 formations, groups and individuals, the units of the
11 6th Krajina Light Infantry Brigade legitimately checked and searched
12 populated places in Sanski Most municipality on the 25th of May, 1992.
13 About ten members of Mr. Davidovic's unit were killed or wounded in the
14 fighting around Hrustovo village. This is a clear example that there was
15 a well-armed unit with the strength of one battalion in Hrustovo and that
16 the brigade was not fighting unarmed civilians.
17 The security services identified and located in their operative
18 work individuals and groups that were illegally armed in Sanski Most
19 municipality, and these people and those connected with them were found
20 and arrested. In the number of suspects increased -- as the number of
21 suspects increased and more people had to be accommodated before the
22 interviews could take place, a remand prison was set up at the Betonirka,
23 and reception centres were set up in the Famos sports hall and factory.
24 People were not brought in at random and civilians were not arrested.
25 And that is the short summary, and at that moment, I do not have
1 questions for Mr. Davidovic.
2 JUDGE KWON: Very well. Mr. Davidovic, as you have noted, your
3 evidence in-chief in this case has been admitted in writing. That is,
4 through your written statement in lieu of your oral testimony.
5 Now you will be cross-examined by the representative of the
6 Office of the Prosecutor.
7 Ms. McKenna, do you like that start today or do it tomorrow?
8 MS. McKENNA: I'm in Your Honours' hands. I'm happy to do
9 whichever Your Honour would like.
10 JUDGE KWON: Then let us start.
11 Cross-examination by Ms. McKenna:
12 Q. Mr. Davidovic, just to begin with, a -- I'd like to clarify a
13 preliminary point from your statement.
14 In paragraph 1, you say that you used to be a teacher. That was
15 a teacher at a primary school in Tomina; is that correct?
16 A. No. I taught in Donja Kamengrad and in the Narodni Front school
17 in Sanski Most. That's where I taught school.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, at paragraph 14 of your statement, you say that
19 when you joined the 1st -- the 6th Brigade you were first assigned as the
20 battalion commander and then you subsequently became the assistant
21 commander for morale. We'll come onto the operations in which you were
22 involved as a battalion commander, but I'd like to focus briefly on your
23 role as assistant commander for morale.
24 Now, you were responsible in this role for reporting to the
25 1st Krajina Corps Command on morale issues; is that correct?
1 A. That is correct, yes.
2 Q. And on the basis of these reports, the 1st Krajina Brigade
3 Command would report to the VRS Main Staff on the state of combat -- of
4 morale in Sanski Most municipality. That's correct, isn't it?
5 A. I suppose so. That was the chain of command, and that's how
6 things should have been.
7 Q. Now, I'd like to look at first at the document which you assisted
8 in drafting. That's P3663.
9 And I'd like to focus on the English page 4 and B/C/S page 5 of
10 this document.
11 Now, this, Mr. Davidovic, is the part of the document in which
12 you state in paragraph 16 of your statement that the situation is clearly
14 If we could focus towards the bottom of the page in English.
15 And you're discussing the situation -- the Muslim leadership in
16 Sanski Most municipality, and you state, the document states:
17 "The documents found show that they intended to commit a genocide
18 against the Serbian people, killed them, and expel them, and create a
19 Muslim state in these parts. All renowned Serbs and their families were
20 to killed and hanged in the park in Sanski Most. Serbian girls and women
21 were to be put in brothels to bear offspring to the Mujahedin, and the
22 Janissaries, Sharia law and government were to be introduced as in Iran.
23 Male Serbian children were to be circumcised and brought up according to
24 Islamic laws and principles."
25 Now, this was the type of information that you, as assistant
1 commander for morale, were providing your troops, was it?
2 A. What you're just saying, this information was collected by the
3 public security service and the public security services in the units.
4 Based on the reports that they submitted to the authorised bodies,
5 revealed the facts that you have just read out to us.
6 Q. Mr. Davidovic, on -- in paragraph 13 of your statement, you say
7 that on returning to Sanski Most, the brigade installed itself in
8 Lusci Palanka and the break -- brigade command thought that it would in
9 this way help to calm tensions between the divided citizens.
10 Now Colonel Branko Basara was the commander of your brigade;
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Could we please see P3660.
14 Mr. Davidovic, this is the war-time record of the 6th Brigade
15 written by Colonel Basara.
16 Could we turn to page 2 of the English and page 3 of the B/C/S,
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm seeking explanation. Is this a
19 war diary, or was this written subsequently? Is this a memoire?
20 JUDGE KWON: We dealt with this issue. Probably you raised this.
21 But this is already admitted.
22 But if could you help Mr. Karadzic, Ms. McKenna.
23 MS. McKENNA: I believe it's clear from the context that it was
24 written in 1992. And it's entitled: War record of the 6th Brigade. But
25 as Your Honour has pointed out, it is already in evidence.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Please continue.
2 MS. McKENNA: Thank you.
3 Q. Now at -- under heading 4 in this document, Mr. -- or Colonel
4 Basara states:
5 "On 3rd of April, 1991, the 6th was transferred in complete order
6 and with the utmost secrecy from Jasenovac to the area of Sanski Most so
7 that everyone was surprised."
8 That should be a reference to the 3rd of April, 1992, shouldn't
10 A. The brigade arrived between the 3rd and 4th of April in 1992 from
11 the Jasenovac sector to Sanski Most municipality, i.e., to Lusci Palanka,
12 and that place is some 25 kilometres away from Sanski Most and it is
13 mostly inhabited by Serbs --
14 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm going to -- sorry to
15 interrupt you. I'm going to ask you to just listen to my
16 questions and -- carefully and answer them as concisely as possible. And
17 your answer to that was yes, I believe.
18 If we look at what Colonel Basara says next, he states that:
19 "With the arrival of the brigade on this territory, the Muslims
20 and Croats became afraid, and the Serbs heaved a sigh of relief."
21 So this was the reality, wasn't it? That the brigade's command
22 didn't install itself in Lusci Palanka in order to calm tensions. It
23 installed itself there to reassure the Serb population and to instill
24 fear in the non-Serb population.
25 A. I don't think so. The contrary is true. If the brigade had been
1 destroyed in an area with a Muslim population, they would have considered
2 to be at risk and to be put under pressure by the brigade to do something
3 that they didn't want to do.
4 Q. Mr. Davidovic, you've said in paragraph 16 of your statement that
5 the basic task of the brigade was to prevent interethnic conflicts and to
6 secure the public property of all citizens of the municipality.
7 Now here in this document, Colonel Basara continues:
8 "We ordered the Serbs to arm themselves quickly and replenish the
9 unit. Since our task as a JNA unit was to prevent conflicts between the
10 nationalities, that is, to prevent the slaughter of the Serbian people,
11 we could not publicly arm the Serbs."
12 So that's the truth. The brigade's task wasn't to protect all of
13 the population, regardless of ethnicity. The brigade's task was to
14 protect the Serbian people.
15 A. At first, when the turmoil started, the brigade had the task to
16 prevent interethnic conflicts. The brigade was armed from regular
17 depots, according to the number of people that it was supposed to have,
18 according to formation. People who joined the unit received personal
19 weapons, so it didn't arm anybody else but its own members who were
20 called up and who responded to call-ups and joined the unit.
21 Q. And on the topic of the people that responded to the call-ups,
22 you say, in paragraph 14, that when the brigade arrived in Sanski Most,
23 it carried out an additional mobilisation in the hope that Muslims,
24 Croats, and Serbs would respond to the mobilisation.
25 I'd like you to look at what Colonel Basara, your commander,
1 said, on this topic. And it's on the same page halfway down. And he
2 states: "We had to resort to a trick" -- excuse me, it's at page 3 of
3 the B/C/S.
5 "We had to resort to a trick to make it possible for us to arm
6 the Serbs publicly and legally. The story was devised that the commander
7 of the 1st Krajina Corps had ordered the 6th to be promoted from a light
8 to an infantry brigade and that it could have as many as 15 battalions
9 but the brigade should be demobilised as soon as possible so that the
10 Muslims and Croats would not enlist in the brigade. It was put about
11 that as soon as mobilisation finished, it was leaving for Kupres. Then
12 conditions were made to legally arm and form nine battalions."
13 So, in fact, Mr. Davidovic, contrary to your statement, there was
14 no hope that non-Serbs would respond to the mobilisation. Rather, your
15 commander, Colonel Basara, was going do some length to actively prevent
16 non-Serbs from joining your brigade.
17 THE ACCUSED: Could we have the Serbian -- adequate Serbian page.
18 JUDGE KWON: I think Ms. McKenna said next -- next page.
19 MS. McKENNA: [Overlapping speakers] ... passage continues on
20 page 4, excuse me.
21 THE ACCUSED: Partly. It was partly on this, yeah.
22 MS. McKENNA:
23 Q. Mr. Davidovic, can you answer the question?
24 The question is: Contrary to your statement, there was no hope
25 that the -- that non-Serbs would join your brigade. Rather, your
1 brigade's commander was actively trying to prevent Muslims and Croats
2 from joining your brigade.
3 A. This document -- I can see that it is a handwritten document. I
4 don't know whose handwriting this is. I only know that the truth of the
5 matter was this. Muslims and Croats did not respond to call-ups, save
6 for a very small number. And there were few of them who stayed in the
7 unit practically until the very end of the war, and they didn't have any
8 problems. This was probably done, I'm sure it was done in order to
9 prevent any interethnic or conflicts as much as possible.
10 I never heard that the brigade had 19 battalions and that it was
11 deployed in Kupres. At one point, we had 11 battalions and, after a
12 while, due to the age and the low level of equipment and many other
13 reasons, the brigade reduced the number of its members to a total of six
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MS. McKENNA: Your Honour, this would be a good point to break.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes. We'll adjourn here for today and continue
18 tomorrow morning at 9.00.
19 Mr. Davidovic, I would like to advise you not to discuss with
20 anybody else about your testimony.
21 Hearing is adjourned.
22 [The witness stands down]
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.49 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 23rd day of
25 January, 2014, at 9.00 a.m.