1 Monday, 24 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone after a relatively long time
6 not having been in court. Mr. Krajisnik, I haven't seen you for a couple
7 of weeks now.
8 So before we start, may I ask you, Madam Registrar, to call the
10 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus
11 Momcilo Krajisnik.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
13 The next witness the Prosecution intends to call is a protected
14 witness, and it will be you, Mr. Gaynor, who will examine the witness; is
15 that correct?
16 MR. GAYNOR: That's correct, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then perhaps, just for the record, it's
18 Mr. Hannis and Mr. Gaynor who appear as counsel for the Prosecution. It's
19 Ms. Loukas and Mr. Stewart and Ms. Cmeric who appear for the Defence. And
20 I've forgotten to --
21 MR. HANNIS: We're assisted by Carmela Javier.
22 JUDGE ORIE: I had forgotten that. Thank you, Mr. Hannis.
23 If there is nothing which would need urgent attention, I would
24 like to invite the Prosecution to call the next witness.
25 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, there are two tiny points, one which is
1 only -- I do realise that I was in a position of taking issue with Your
2 Honour's very first sentence this morning because, of course, what Your
3 Honour describes as a relatively long time we describe as a relatively
4 short time, but we'll leave that issue. The only other point -- the
5 reason -- I wouldn't have got to my feet for that, Your Honour, but simply
6 to say that I think Your Honour said, and it was a slip of the tongue,
7 that Mr. Krajisnik was represented this morning by me and Ms. Cmeric. I
8 think that's what Your Honour said, if I heard correctly. Of course, I'm
9 with Ms. Loukas as my co-counsel, but we may have misheard.
10 JUDGE ORIE: No. I first mentioned your names. As a matter of
11 fact, I took the -- perhaps the wrong order by first mentioning, I think,
12 Ms. Loukas, who is not lead counsel, but you, without any doubt,
13 Mr. Stewart.
14 MR. STEWART: I don't know whether that happened. That would not
15 be an issue for us, Your Honour. I --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Assisted by Ms. Cmeric.
17 MR. STEWART: I'm sorry to have taken time. I misheard. It's
18 Ms. Loukas, myself and Ms. Cmeric, in that order of something.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then, Madam Usher, could you please escort the
20 next witness into the courtroom.
21 The next witness is protected by face distortion, by pseudonym,
22 which will be 044.
23 MR. GAYNOR: Correct, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
25 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, while the witness is coming in, I'd just
1 like to give Your Honour an indication as to how we intend to proceed with
2 this witness.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
4 MR. GAYNOR: This witness is from the municipality of Bosanski
5 Novi. Specifically he's from the Japra Valley. Now, another witness
6 testified in relation to events in the Japra Valley on the 22nd of April.
7 The testimony of this witness is cumulative in part to the testimony of
8 Mr. Alic who testified on the 22nd of April. In particular, it's
9 cumulative in respect to the transport of Muslim civilians on cattle cars
10 out of the Japra Valley and in respect of detention of Muslim civilian
11 males and the Mlakve stadium in Bosanski Novi.
12 In respect of those matters, we do not intend to examine the
13 witness to any great extent. We might touch on a few details here and
14 there, and we will be submitting his statement pursuant to Rule 89(F).
15 Now, I won't be seeking admission of his statement until the end of his
16 testimony when he's had a chance to clarify and amplify certain aspects in
17 his statement. I trust that meets your approval.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We usually give a final decision on admission
19 of all evidence, as a matter of fact, at the very end of the testimony of
20 a witness, but it's good to know that you intend to tender that.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. 044, as I will call you --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- since certain protective measures are effective in
25 respect of you. That means that no one can see your face, your face is
1 distorted, and we will not use your name but we'll call you 044. Mr. 044,
2 before giving evidence in this court, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
3 require you to make a solemn declaration that you'll speak the truth the
4 whole truth and nothing but the truth. The text is now handed to you by
5 Madam Usher. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
7 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. 044.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 WITNESS: Witness 044.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gaynor, please proceed.
12 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, I would request the witness be shown the
13 pseudonym sheet which sets out his name and his date of birth. I'd also
14 request that an exhibit number be assigned to that sheet.
15 Examined by Mr. Gaynor:
16 Q. Witness, could you confirm that that is your name and that that is
17 your date of birth by simply saying yes or no.
18 A. Yes, it's correct.
19 Q. Witness, could I remind you not to refer to yourself by your name
20 at any point during your testimony nor to any members of your family.
21 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honours, I'd request that we go into private
22 session very briefly to describe the --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before doing so I would like to give the
24 opportunity to Madam Registrar to mention the number attributed to the
25 name sheet.
1 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit number for the pseudonym sheet is P93,
2 under seal.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. We'll then turn into
4 private session.
5 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE ORIE: We are now in open session now again. Please
25 proceed, Mr. Gaynor.
1 MR. GAYNOR: I request that the next exhibit be shown.
2 Q. Sir, if you look at the screen in front of you, you see a map of
3 the municipality of Bosanski Novi.
4 MR. GAYNOR: This, Your Honours, is Exhibit P78, which you have
5 seen during the testimony of Mr. Alic.
6 Q. Sir, do you see -- just wait for a moment while the image reaches
7 you. Sir, on that map do you see marked in green the village of Suhaca?
8 A. Uh-huh.
9 Q. Would you answer with a yes or no, please.
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. What is the ethnic composition of the village of Suhaca?
12 A. They're mostly Muslims there.
13 Q. How many Muslims were in Suhaca before conflict broke out in 1992?
14 A. About 2.000 inhabitants.
15 MR. GAYNOR: I request that the next exhibit be shown to the
17 Q. Sir, this next exhibit is a map --
18 MR. GAYNOR: I'll explain to Your Honours what the next map is.
19 This is a map showing the ethnic breakdown of Bosnia following the 1991
20 census. Your Honours will see, in the bottom left-hand corner is a
21 legend. It's clear from that legend that blue means an area with a Serb
22 majority, green means an area with a Muslim majority. This is exhibit is
23 P68, tab 2.
24 Q. Sir, if you could look at the area around the Bosanski Novi
25 municipality, which will be selected for you now. Do you see the area in
1 green around Bosanski Novi, sir?
2 A. Yes, I see that.
3 Q. Could you tell me, what does that area in green approximate to?
4 A. Well, it represents the area where the majority were Serbs.
5 Q. Sir, I'm referring to the area in green.
6 A. Uh-huh. The green area was the Japra Valley, and the villages in
7 the Japra Valley.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. GAYNOR: Could the witness now be shown his statement.
10 Q. Sir, is it correct that you gave a statement to the Office of the
11 Prosecutor on the 11th of December, 1998?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. And over the past few days have you had an opportunity to review
14 your statement in detail?
15 A. Yes, I have.
16 Q. Now, sir, I'd just like you to close your statement for the
17 moment, and we're going to correct and clarify a number of matters raised
18 in your statement. There is no need for you to consult it. I'll direct
19 you to the relevant -- I'll direct Their Honours to the relevant parts.
20 MR. GAYNOR: I will be referring to certain paragraphs in the
21 statement, Your Honours, if you wish to follow while I'm referring to it.
22 Q. Sir, at paragraph 8 of your statement, you're talking about the
23 dismissal of non-Serbs from employment in Bosanski Novi. You say that you
24 knew of three men who were dismissed: Mr. Adem Barjaktarevic, who worked
25 for the municipality; Mr. Husein Ekic, who was a driver for the
1 municipality; and a man called Hamdija, who was a policeman. What is the
2 ethnicity of those three people?
3 A. Those three people were Muslims, and it is true that they were
5 Q. Were any Serbs, to your knowledge, dismissed?
6 A. No, not to my knowledge.
7 Q. Sir, in your statement - paragraph 12, Your Honours - you referred
8 to a day in March 1992 when you went to the Serb village of Josava and you
9 and other villagers from Suhaca waited there for five hours while Suhaca
10 was searched. Do you remember that?
11 A. Yes, I do remember that.
12 Q. Who searched your village?
13 A. Mostly soldiers, Serb soldiers, and they took away two men, two
14 Muslim men, to protect them, to ensure that houses were not mined, but
15 mostly it was Serb soldiers who did that.
16 Q. What were they looking for?
17 A. They were looking for weapons.
18 Q. Later in your statement - paragraph 14, Your Honours - you say
19 that you saw a helicopter land and you saw two cars near that spot. Where
20 did that helicopter land?
21 A. Yes, I did see a helicopter, and it handed in the hamlet of
23 Q. How far away from you was the helicopter at the time that it
25 A. About one kilometre as the crow flies.
1 Q. Did you actually see the helicopter touch down on the ground?
2 A. Yes, I did. I saw it land, and we moved in the direction to see
3 what was going on. Two cars went by, and the helicopter took off at that
5 Q. When you say the cars went by, was that before or after the
6 helicopter took off?
7 A. After the helicopter had landed.
8 Q. Were the cars carrying anything?
9 A. Yes, they were. They were carrying weapons. You could see that.
10 Q. What kind of weapons?
11 A. Mostly rifles, Kalashnikovs.
12 Q. How many rifles? Five or ten?
13 A. More than that. In the Warburg station wagon car you could see
14 that the boot was full, and in the Lada car they were on the back seat,
15 covered with a blanket.
16 Q. Now, who was driving those two cars?
17 A. Warburg was driven by Mijo Majkic, who was the son of Niko Majkic
18 from Josava; and the Lada car was driven by Dragan Podunavac, son of
19 Rade. Or the other way around, I'm not sure who was Simo and who was
21 Q. What is the ethnicity of those two men?
22 A. They were Serbs.
23 Q. I'd like to clarify the duration of the shelling of Suhaca. This
24 is paragraph 17, Your Honours. How long did the shelling of Suhaca last
1 A. A week.
2 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honours, you might want to know that's a
3 correction to the statement.
4 Q. When the shelling first began, was it accurately pinpointing
5 certain buildings?
6 A. No, they weren't pinpointing accurately. The first day that the
7 shelling took place the shells fell all over, all over the place.
8 Q. Is it right that after a day or two soldiers in a JNA vehicle
9 visited your village?
10 A. Yes, that is right.
11 Q. How accurate was the shelling after that visit?
12 A. After that visit, the shelling was more accurate, and they hit
13 part of the old bridge and a garage and a house next to the mosque. About
14 20 metres away from the mosque, in fact.
15 Q. Did they manage to hit the mosque at that time?
16 A. No, they did not manage to hit it.
17 MR. GAYNOR: If the witness could be shown the next exhibit,
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, that's a tendentious question. To
20 phrase a question "Did they manage to hit the mosque" contains an
21 implication which should not be there in the question. The first question
22 should be whether they hit the mosque. The implication of "manages" is
23 quite clear and is inappropriate in the question.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Gaynor, it at least suggests that someone
25 was aiming at the mosque, whereas the first question is, I think, what
1 actually happened, unless you ask other questions to the witness, but then
2 of course you should first of all find out whether the witness has any
3 knowledge, specific knowledge, of those firing shells.
4 MR. GAYNOR: I withdraw the question. Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would ask you also to -- you ask a question
6 about paragraph 16 and the five weeks were amended, and one week. What
7 about the sixth week? Could you clarify that as well.
8 MR. GAYNOR: Certainly.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I mean, is it still the sixth week or is it the first
10 week after the shelling, or whatever.
11 MR. GAYNOR:
12 Q. At the end of the shelling --
13 A. Yes, I'm talking about the first week.
14 Q. Right.
15 A. That is to say, those six weeks was the entire period from the
16 shelling to the arrival in the village of Blagaj, and when the weapons
17 were handed over, the shelling and the arrival in Blagaj.
18 Q. How soon after the end of the shelling were you instructed to
19 leave your village?
20 A. Two days after the shelling they came again with Pinzgauer, a
21 military vehicle, and they said we had to leave because they said they
22 were no longer able to protect us.
23 Q. When you say "they came again in a Pinzgauer," who is "they"?
24 A. The soldiers, the Serb soldiers.
25 Q. Thank you. If you could look at your screen, at the image on that
1 screen. Do you recognise that building, sir?
2 A. Yes. It's the mosque in Suhaca.
3 Q. Sir, if you look at the structural damage on the building itself,
4 do you have any idea how that was caused?
5 A. Yes. This was caused by the explosion.
6 MR. GAYNOR: At this point I'd ask that the photograph be given an
7 exhibit number.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
9 MR. GAYNOR:
10 Q. Sir, you said that the damage was caused by an explosion.
11 I'll pause just for a moment, sir.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P94.
13 MR. GAYNOR:
14 Q. You said that the damage was caused by an explosion. Do you know
15 who caused that explosion?
16 A. I didn't see, but it was done by the Serb soldiers.
17 Q. Was this explosion caused during the shelling of your village or
19 A. The explosion took place after the shelling. While we were still
20 in Blagaj, we heard the explosion, the detonations, and a day after that
21 two men came back to the village of Suhaca to pick up a man who was
22 killed. And when they returned, they told us that both the mosques had
23 been destroyed and that that was the explosion that we had heard the
24 previous night.
25 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 17, Your Honours.
1 Sir, when you left your village, prior to your leaving the
2 village, what state were the houses in?
3 A. A normal state. They were all standing, intact.
4 Q. Did you see any fires in any part of your village?
5 A. That day when we were expelled to Blagaj, the houses were on fire,
6 the surrounding houses on the surrounding hills.
7 Q. What was the cause of that fire?
8 A. The cause of the fire was that the people, the soldiers, had set
9 fire to them, the ones I had seen with my very own eyes.
10 Q. When you say "the soldiers," could you specify which soldiers?
11 A. They were the Serb soldiers. They shot, creating fear amongst us,
12 and we saw them enter the houses. They were the houses in the -- on the
13 surrounding hills that were abandoned. They left the houses, and ten
14 minutes later the houses were burning.
15 Q. When you and the rest of the inhabitants left your village, did
16 you all leave your village or did some of you remain behind, some of the
17 Muslim population of Suhaca?
18 A. All of us left at once. Just an old woman stayed on, and the Serb
19 soldiers drove her in later on.
20 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honours, I'd like to refer you to paragraph 24
21 of the statement.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. GAYNOR:
24 Q. Sir, you spent 17 days in Blagaj Japra, and at the end of those 17
25 days you saw military vehicles, buses, and a Serb media vehicle pass
1 through the village. What -- when you say "military vehicles," what kind
2 of military vehicles do you mean?
3 A. A military bus carrying soldiers passed through, a tank, a
4 civilian truck, and a Golf car belonging to the Belgrade TV.
5 Q. Focusing on the tank for a moment, did the tank stop?
6 A. The tank passed through the village and came to a halt in the
7 hamlet of Troske, 2 to 300 metres away.
8 Q. Do you recall the direction in which the tank's turret was facing?
9 A. When it stopped in Troske, it turned in the direction of Blagaj
10 Japra and at that moment soldiers started getting off the bus.
11 Q. Now, in Blagaj Japra is it right that there was a very large group
12 of Muslim civilians?
13 A. Yes, that is correct. All Muslims from the valley.
14 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honours, I'd like to refer you to page 7,
15 paragraph 51 and 52 and 53.
16 Q. Sir, I'd like to bring you forward to the end of your detention
17 period at the Mlakve stadium in Bosanski Novi. Now, the day before the
18 last day of your detention, you signed a document; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. What was that document?
21 A. One day before my last day came to leave the camp, soldiers came
22 together with two civilians from the municipality. They brought us a
23 document which read, "I - and then the name and the surname - renounce all
24 my movable and immovable property to the Republika Srpska and the
25 municipality of Bosanski Novi of my own free will."
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Where did you sign that document? Where were you standing or
2 sitting physically at that time?
3 A. We signed that document at the stadium.
4 Q. Did you sign that document voluntarily?
5 A. No, I did not sign it voluntarily.
6 Q. Did anyone, to the best of your knowledge, sign it voluntarily?
7 A. As far as I know, out of those 700 people at the stadium, no one
8 signed it voluntarily.
9 Q. Did anyone resist in any way the signing of that document?
10 A. Yes, one man resisted, but he was a sick man, and at the end, his
11 brother signed for him.
12 Q. Just focusing on that incident: What happened to the man when he
13 refused to sign the document?
14 A. When he refused to sign the document, a soldier hit him with a
15 pistol on the head.
16 Q. Refer Your Honours to paragraph 53.
17 Sir, you stayed that in the stadium a person called Zoran called
18 out 18 names. Who was Zoran?
19 A. Yes, that is correct. I'm not sure who Zoran is, but I think that
20 before the war he had lived in Dobrljin, and he was an infamous mobster
21 belonging to the Suha Rebra group.
22 Q. Did you -- Zoran called out 18 names, you said. Could you tell
23 the Court the occupations of the people whose names were called out?
24 A. That is correct. He called out Resad and Dzafer, who were
25 presidents of the Bosanski Novi SDA. Then Muslimovic, who had a private
1 business; he produced plastic bags. Then they called out Salco. I only
2 know his nickname. He was not a local. He was not from the area. He was
3 a teacher who had come to work there. Then Nedjo, who had a business, a
4 trucking business. And then they called out Hasan Kantarevic, Hadjo, who
5 also had a small trucking business. And Fuad Adilovic, who was just
6 another a worker, employee. I don't know why they had called out his
7 name. Others were also ordinary people.
8 Q. Of the men whose names were called out, what happened to those
10 A. After the signing of the document and after these people had been
11 called out, they tied their hands and they took them away in the direction
12 of Bosanski Novi town, on foot.
13 Q. Did you see those men again?
14 A. Only two of them.
15 Q. Sir, have you had an opportunity to review not only your statement
16 but also the very last page of the document on your desk, which you can
17 now consult.
18 And just concentrating on that page, is that a set of corrections
19 signed by you on the 1st of June, 2001?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. Is that statement incorporating those corrections and
22 incorporating the clarifications which you provided today true to the best
23 of your knowledge and belief?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Is there anything you wish to add to that statement or amend in
1 any way?
2 A. No, nothing in particular, no.
3 MR. GAYNOR: I'd ask that the witness be shown the next exhibit,
4 and I'd request that the next exhibit be given a number.
5 While that document is being circulated, I'm just going to
6 summarise briefly what it is. This is a document prepared by the cantonal
7 court in Bihac. It's a record of an exhumation conducted on the 20th
8 October 1998. The exhumation was attended by, among others, an
9 anthropologist, Elvira Kovolovski [phoen] from Iceland, representatives of
10 Physicians for Human Rights, representatives of the office of the High
11 Representative, representatives of the International Police Task Force,
12 and representatives of SFOR.
13 At the bottom of page 2 of the English language version of that
14 document, statement, the document indicates that on the 13th of October,
15 1998, a mass grave was exhumed at the Blagaj-Japra-Dubrava location.
16 Now, I'd like to concentrate on page 3 of the English language
17 translation of this document, and I would like to draw the witness's
18 attention to the B/C/S original just headed with the number 00878525. It
19 says in this document that ten skeletonised bodies were found and marked
20 by numbers 1 to 10.
21 Q. Sir, I'd like you to concentrate on the paragraph beginning with
22 "During the autopsy..." That's the fourth paragraph on the version you're
23 looking at. Sir, I'd like you to tell the Court if you recognise any of
24 the names set down in that paragraph.
25 A. Yes, I do recognise these names.
1 Q. Could you read out for the Court the names which you recognise.
2 A. Sulejman Burzic from Blagaj Japra. Nijaz Isakovic, Hasan
3 Merzihic. I don't see any other names, but I know that there were more.
4 Q. When was the last time you saw Sulejman Burzic?
5 A. I saw Sulejman Burzic for the last time in the compound of the
6 Japra company.
7 Q. What was he doing the last time you saw him?
8 A. Well, he was in the compound of the company, like everybody else.
9 Q. What happened to him?
10 A. The man was killed by a Serb soldier by the name of Dragan who had
11 come from the direction of Svodna. Later I heard that he worked in
12 Svodna, that he was in charge of issuing birth certificates, that he
13 worked at the registrar's office.
14 Q. When you say the man was killed, did you see him being killed?
15 A. Yes, I did. He was killed some five to ten metres from where I
17 Q. You said you recognised the name Nijaz Isakovic. When was the
18 last time you saw him?
19 A. Yes. I recognised his name. Nijaz Isakovic and his brother
20 Karanfil were standing on the bridge with their hands tied at the moment
21 we were crossing the bridge.
22 Q. Why -- who had tied their hands?
23 A. I did not see that. By the time I reached the bridge, they had
24 already been tied up. But it was there that we were checked by the Serb
25 soldiers, and I believe it was the Serb soldiers who had tied them up.
1 Q. You mentioned that the last time you saw this man he was with his
2 brother Karanfil. Now, on the paragraph in front of you, you might see in
3 about third last line the last name Karanfil Isakovic, born on the 7th of
4 April, 1968, do you believe that to be the same man?
5 A. Yes. This is the same man.
6 Q. You said you recognised the name Hasan Merzihic. When was the
7 last time you saw him?
8 A. Hasan Merzihic worked as a waiter in Suhaca. He was with us in
9 Blagaj in the compound of Japra.
10 Q. What happened to him?
11 A. After we had been put into the cattle cars, a soldier, a Serb
12 soldier arrived whom I didn't know, neither by name nor by sight. He
13 called out three names amongst whom was Hasan Merzihic. Hasan Merzihic
14 spoke up and the soldier took him out of the wagon and took him in the
15 direction of the bridge.
16 Q. What happened there?
17 A. He was shot at in the chest and then again two times in the head
18 by this soldier, some 20 to 30 metres away from the wagon.
19 Q. Thank you, sir.
20 MR. GAYNOR: I'd just like to clarify with the registrar whether
21 that document has been given an exhibit number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit number is P95, and the English
23 translation P95.1.
24 MR. GAYNOR: I'd request that the witness be shown the next
25 exhibit, and I'd request the next exhibit be given an exhibit number.
1 I'll just describe it briefly for Your Honours.
2 The next exhibit is a document prepared by the public security
3 station in Bosanski Novi under the security services centre of Banja Luka
4 of the Ministry of the Interior, Srpska Republika.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, Mr. Gaynor, may I just ask you
6 for one clarification. The English version, that is P95.1, starts a
7 handwritten 9.480. If I look, however, at the B/C/S original, I do see no
8 handwriting at all. So I wonder whether the translation has been made
9 from this very document or ...
10 MR. GAYNOR: Yes, Your Honour. I mean, as Your Honour would
11 probably appreciate, it's very possible that the translation has been made
12 of a separate copy of this document. I hadn't noticed the discrepancy
13 myself. We can try and get hold of the version of this document which
14 contains 9.480 in the top right-hand corner, if you wish.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think it's always good if the translation
16 mentions something that we find that in the original as well. So if you
17 could find the corresponding original, that would be certainly an
19 MR. GAYNOR: Certainly, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. GAYNOR: The next exhibit, I was hoping it -- could it be
22 given an exhibit number, please.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P96, and the English version P96.1.
24 MR. GAYNOR: As I was explaining, Your Honour, this is a report
25 which, according to the last page of the document, was declared on the
1 15th of August, 1992 in Bosanski Novi, signed by Dragomir Kutiljevac. And
2 the opening paragraph suggests that the report was prepared on the basis
3 of the decision by the chief of the Banja Luka CSB of 14th August, 1992,
4 to establish a commission to inspect the municipalities and public
5 security stations of Prijedor, Bosanski Novi, and Sanski Most.
6 The second page, at the very top, this document records that the
7 forces of the Bosanski Novi Territorial Defence Municipal Staff and the
8 military police began to round up non-Serb citizens at the Mlakve stadium
9 without the knowledge of or consultations with the Bosanski Novi public
10 security station.
11 Now, we're not going to concentrate on which organs of the RS
12 government knew what at this stage, Your Honour. I would simply direct
13 the witness, sir, to the last paragraph on page 2 of the B/C/S. That's
14 the second paragraph on page 3 of the English.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Uh-huh.
16 MR. GAYNOR:
17 Q. Sir, I'm just going to read out a few phrases bit by bit and then
18 ask you for your comments. This is referring to the detention of Bosnian
19 Muslims at the Mlakve stadium. The first sentence says: "According to
20 our information, the persons at the collection centre were occasionally
21 permitted visits by their families."
22 How many visits by your family did you receive while you were at
23 the stadium?
24 A. I did not have any visits at all. It was during the last two
25 days, at the time when UNPROFOR was supposed to arrive, that they allowed
2 Q. Did any of the other detainees receive visits from their families?
3 A. Families did arrive. My family paid me a visit as well, but they
4 were not allowed entry into the premises. They would be standing there
5 for hours on end and then, afterwards, they would just -- they would just
6 go home.
7 Q. The second sentence of the document in front of you reads: "The
8 municipal Territorial Defence staff regularly provided them with food,
9 which meant one cooked meal a day." Sir, could you tell us how much food
10 you received during your six-week detention at the stadium.
11 A. We received food once a week, and usually they would distribute
12 one loaf of bread amongst 12 people, and they brought water - actually tea
13 - in metal containers.
14 Q. Was the food sufficient?
15 A. No, the food was not sufficient. There was very little food, and
16 there were very little dishes. Also, we had about 12 plates and spoons,
17 so you had to wait for others to finish so that you can use their dishes
18 and spoons.
19 Q. How much did you weigh on your arrival at the stadium?
20 A. I weighed 86 kilos.
21 Q. How much did you weigh at the end of your detention at the
23 A. At the end of my detention, after I arrived in Croatia, I weighed
24 75 kilos.
25 Q. How long were you in the stadium?
1 A. Forty-six days.
2 Q. The next sentence of the document in front of you reads: "The
3 citizens at the collection centre had at their disposal the use of the
4 football field and the premises of the football club as sleeping
6 Sir, did you use the football field for recreational purposes?
7 A. No. We could use the football field, only half of it, to the left
8 and to the right of the goal posts. We were not allowed to move further.
9 As for the premises of the football club, we did use them as sleeping
10 quarters. I slept in one of the changing rooms, together with 21 other
12 Q. Did you have a mattress, blankets, pillow?
13 A. No, we didn't have anything.
14 Q. How often did you change your clothes during those six weeks in
15 the stadium?
16 A. I never changed my clothes. I didn't have anything to change
17 into. I had a pair of trousers on, a T-shirt, and I was barefoot.
18 Q. The next line of the document in front of you reads: "If
19 necessary, they were given medical care." What medical care did you
20 receive while you were at the stadium?
21 A. I didn't receive any medical care, nor did anyone else, as far as
22 I know.
23 Q. I'd like to move on now to page 5 in the B/C/S version. Also
24 page 5 in the English version. A little halfway down this page it says
25 here that: "Proceeding from a decision on the voluntary moving out of
1 citizens issued by the government of the AR Krajina and an order by the
2 Bosanski Novi municipality Crisis Staff on criteria for voluntary moving
3 out, the Bosanski Novi public security station has, in accordance with due
4 procedure, dealt with citizens' requests in the following manner." Under
5 that, it says: "Permanently counciled residency 5.680 persons." A little
6 further down the page, it says, according to ethnicity, the total number
7 of counciled residencies was Muslims, 5.629.
8 Paragraph below, this document says, and I'll just read the
9 relevant part: "Citizens who have moved out voluntarily have given
10 written statements to the competent municipal organ that their moving was
12 Sir, there are several references there to the voluntary moving of
13 Muslim civilians. Did you voluntarily decide to leave your village of
15 A. That is not correct. I did not leave the area voluntarily nor was
16 that the case with my fellow villagers.
17 Q. Do you know any Muslim from the Japra Valley who voluntarily
18 decided to leave?
19 A. No, I do not. There were no such Muslims.
20 Q. Did you voluntarily surrender your property to the Republika
22 A. No, I did not. I was forced to do that at the stadium. I was
23 forced to signed the document.
24 Q. Do you know anybody, any Muslim who voluntarily surrendered his or
25 her property to the Republika Srpska?
1 A. No.
2 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honours, in order that the public may be fully
3 informed about the written evidence of this witness, we have prepared a
4 written summary which I'm willing to read out now or after the witness has
5 left, as you prefer.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's usually done in the presence of the
7 witness because, finally, it is a summary of his own statement. I take it
8 that the summary has been provided to the Defence prior to this hearing so
9 that they could check whether the summary was --
10 MR. STEWART: Well, yes, Your Honour, I received it with my
11 breakfast this morning.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's prior, but not a long time prior.
13 MR. STEWART: It is technically prior, yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: May I assume that in the future such summaries will
15 be provided at an earlier stage than at breakfast for the Defence,
16 especially when we have morning sessions.
17 Mr. Stewart, were you able to review the summary to the extent
18 that you can pronounce on whether you would agree this to be a proper
19 summary of the statement?
20 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. It was all part of the normal
21 working day.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It means early breakfast, doesn't it.
23 Mr. Gaynor, then please proceed.
24 MR. GAYNOR: This witness is from the Muslim village of Suhaca in
25 the Japra River valley in the municipality of Bosanski Novi, north-west
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The witness's evidence focuses on the expulsion of
2 the Muslim population of the Japra Valley in 1992 and the witness's
3 subsequent detention in the Mlakve football stadium in Bosanski Novi town.
4 Suhaca contains no military facilities of any kind. President of the SDA
5 Suhaca village was Sifet Barjaktarevic. Mr. Barjaktarevic was also the
6 representative for Suhaca in the Bosanski Novi Municipal Assembly.
7 President of the SDS in the nearby Serb village of Josava was Ranko
9 Before the outbreak of war, the witness saw a military helicopter
10 land at the nearby hamlet. Near the helicopter he saw two vehicles which
11 subsequently drove off to Josava. In March 1992, Serbs in Josava
12 established a Crisis Staff. At the end of March, Sifet Barjaktarevic
13 began a series of meetings with Ranko Balaban in Josava. As a result of
14 those meetings, the Suhaca Muslims surrendered their weapons, which were
15 mainly hunting rifles. After the weapons were surrendered the Muslim
16 inhabitants of Suhaca were instructed to assemble in a field at Josava
17 village. While the population of Suhaca were thus assembled at Josava,
18 Serbs searched Suhaca for more weapons. The Suhaca Muslims then returned
20 A week after the disarmament of the Muslims of Suhaca, the
21 shelling of Suhaca began without warning. Shelling lasted throughout the
22 day. Due to a barricade, it was impossible to leave the village during
23 the shelling.
24 The shelling appeared to be coming from the Serb villages of
25 Josava and Rasula. After it ended, Serb soldiers in a JNA vehicle arrived
1 in Suhaca and told the villagers they would have to leave their village.
2 By this time panic had taken hold in the Muslim population of the Japra
3 Valley. A convoy of approximately 8.000 people from the villages of
4 Gornji Agici, Dedici, Donji Agici, Hozici and Suhaca left their villages
5 and headed towards the town of Bosanski Novi. The convey got as far as
6 Blagaj, where it was stopped at the bridge by Serb military police.
7 There, two of the Serb military policemen took two brothers, bound their
8 hands, and detained them. The witness has not seen the two brothers since
9 that day.
10 At the bridge in Blagaj, the Muslims were ordered to leave their
11 cars and tractors, to cross the bridge and to get on a train that was
12 waiting for them. The Muslims refused. A meeting was held. Sifet
13 Barjaktarevic and other Muslim representatives met Serb representatives,
14 who included JNA captain Bogdan Grab. It was resolved that the Muslims
15 could stay in the village of Blagaj. They slept wherever they could find
16 shelter. Sifet Barjaktarevic went to Bosanski Novi to negotiate with the
17 SDS there. Negotiations with the SDS lasted 17 days. Barjaktarevic went
18 back and forth from Blagaj to Bosanski Novi but no agreement could be
20 In the meantime, the village of Blagaj was shelled by Serbs and
21 JNA soldiers then surrounded Blagaj. At the bridge in Blagaj, Serb
22 military police stripped the assembled Muslims of their jewellery,
23 valuables, and other property. The witness saw three people murdered at
24 the bridge. A Serb soldier called Milan Balaban from Josava selected
25 three civilians and shot them in the chest. In one incident a man was
1 holding a child in his arms before he was killed. Milan Balaban took the
2 child from the man's arms and handed it to its mother and then shot the
3 man 20 metres away from his wife.
4 A soldier with a red beret, called Zoran, ordered that the men be
5 separated from the women and children. The Muslims formed two lines in
6 accordance with these orders and then approached the bridge where they
7 were searched by Serb soldiers and police. Zoran occasionally shot in the
8 air and hit people as they passed.
9 The large group of Muslims was taken to the Japra enterprise
10 compound in Japra village where they were detained. At that location, a
11 man called Dragan who, the witness was told, was the president of the SDS
12 in the village of Svodna, killed a detainee with an AK47 in the view of
13 around a thousand people.
14 JNA captain Bogdan Grab called out the names of specific men on a
15 loudspeaker. Two men responded and were driven away. The soldier with
16 the red beret, called Zoran, called out the name of a detainee and then
17 shot him with six bullets. He then took Sifet Barjaktarevic, the SDA
18 president from Suhaca village, to an embankment, pushed Mr. Barjaktarevic
19 down the embankment, pulled a rifle to his shoulder and fired down the
20 embankment. The witness did not see Mr. Barjaktarevic return.
21 The witness and other Muslims were loaded onto a train of cattle
22 wagons which set off to Doboj, passing through Prijedor and Banja Luka.
23 It stopped at the village of Ostruzna where the Muslims were separated
24 into two groups. Men aged 15 to 60 were locked in rail cars. Women,
25 children, and the elderly were taken in other rail cars to Doboj. The
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 engine then returned and took four to five cattle wagons, containing over
2 700 men, towards Bosanski Novi. The train spent the night at Banja Luka.
3 While the witness was on the train, he saw destroyed mosques in
4 the villages of Urije and Prekosanje. On arrival in Bosanski Novi, the
5 men were forced to run through two lines of soldiers and into the Mlakve
6 football stadium. The men were detained in the stadium for about six
7 weeks. They received food once a day and rations were grossly inadequate.
8 Water supplies were also inadequate. Detainees attempted to communicate
9 with UNPROFOR vehicles located on the other side of the River Una in
10 Croatia. They wrote SOS on their coats.
11 One day, an UNPROFOR vehicle acknowledged their signals by
12 flashing its lights. Military police and soldiers guarded the detainees
13 in the stadium. Among the guards was Ranko Balaban, the head of the SDS
14 in Josava village. On the penultimate day of his detention at Mlakve
15 stadium, Serb soldiers forced the witness and other detainees to sign a
16 form. The form stated in effect that the person signing renounced all his
17 movable and immovable property and transferred it to the Republika Srpska.
18 During the signing process in the stadium, soldiers called out the names
19 of SDA members and successful businessmen and led them away. The witness
20 knew ten of those led away. He has not seen or heard of most of those men
22 The witness and other Muslims were transported then in a convoy of
23 buses and trucks towards the Croatian border. On the way, the witness saw
24 a number of destroyed mosques. The Orthodox church was intact. At the
25 Croatian border, the Muslims were met by UNPROFOR troops who fed the
1 Muslims and brought them to Karlovac, where the witness was reunited with
2 his wife.
3 The witness's written and oral evidence today is relevant to all
4 counts in the indictment and is relevant in particular to event 3.1 in
5 Schedule A to the indictment, detention facilities 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5 and
6 5.6 in Schedule C, and to mosques 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.6, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10, 3.11
7 in Schedule D of the indictment.
8 Your Honours, it has just come to my realisation that the -- I've
9 not specifically asked the witness regarding whether he saw with his own
10 eyes the mosques numbered in the final two -- the final sentence of that
11 page. If the Defence wishes me to establish those facts I can do so,
12 however if they wish to save time, we can move on.
13 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, we always wish to save time, but on the
14 other hand, we also do wish facts to be established once in awhile, so it
15 would not waste time if I simply say yes, please, would those facts be
16 established in the usual way.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Gaynor, I think --
18 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour --
19 JUDGE ORIE: -- that's good advice from the Defence.
20 MR. GAYNOR: -- I will do so. I'll just get a copy of the
21 detention facilities in question.
22 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask you --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. GAYNOR: I apologise.
25 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask you about certain mosques which you might
1 have seen, and I want you to tell us what state you saw those mosques in.
2 And I want you to concentrate on the year 1992 before you left Bosanski
3 Novi. I'll read out the name of the mosque. Please tell us what
4 condition it was in. The first one is Gradska Dzamija in Bosanski Novi
5 town. What state was that mosque in?
6 A. It was in a very good state. It was standing intact.
7 Q. Did you see any damage of any kind to that mosque?
8 A. At the exit to Bosanski Novi, it was destroyed.
9 Q. When -- when was that exactly?
10 A. It was that last day when they rounded us up from the camps in the
11 buses and trucks. We passed by the mosque in crossing into Croatia.
12 Q. When you say it was destroyed, was it completely razed to the
13 ground or was it merely partially destroyed?
14 A. The Vidorije Dzamija was destroyed and the Gradska Dzamija was
15 razed. There was just a grass patch.
16 Q. What was the state of the mosque in Urije when you saw it before
17 you left the municipality?
18 A. All the mosques were standing, Urije and Prekosanje were destroyed
19 when we passed by in the train from the Prijedor-Banja Luka direction
20 going to Bosanski Novi.
21 Q. I'll move on to the mosque in Blagaj Japra. What state was that
22 mosque in when you saw it?
23 A. In Blagaj Japra, when we arrived the mosque had been hit. The
24 minaret had been hit but it wasn't destroyed. Just a section of it had
25 been toppled. But later on in the Blagaj area, the mosque, it was
1 destroyed because the minaret was made of wood.
2 Q. Did you see with your own eyes evidence of the destruction of that
4 A. Yes. The mosque in Blagaj Rijeka, I saw that with my own eyes,
5 but they set fire to the surrounding houses, so that's how the mosque came
6 to be on fire too.
7 Q. When you say "they set fire," who do you mean by "they"?
8 A. The Serb soldiers. I saw that with my own eyes. They were
9 walking with the civilian government members in the direction --
10 MR. STEWART: Excuse me, Your Honour, the witness seems to have
11 switched to a different mosque, unless I'm simply getting confused by the
12 transcript. It looks as if he has switched to a different mosque, and it
13 may be that Mr. Gaynor will want to clarify that.
14 MR. GAYNOR: Sure.
15 Q. Sir, could you concentrate on the mosque in Blagaj Japra. Did you
16 see that mosque with your own eyes?
17 A. No. In Blagaj Japra, the mosque had already been hit when we
18 arrived, but I'm talking about Blagaj Rijeka, which was just 200 metres
20 Q. We'll come to Blagaj Rijeka in a minute, sir. Did you see the
21 Vidorije mosque?
22 A. Yes, I did see it.
23 Q. What state was it in?
24 A. The roof had been destroyed and the minaret as well.
25 Q. Now, sir, the Blagaj Rijeka mosque, what state was that in?
1 A. While we were in Blagaj Japra, it was standing in a normal state,
2 but afterwards, soldiers turned up, as I had just begun telling you, Serb
3 soldiers turned up with a civilian car, a Lada vehicle, and on the road
4 from Bosanski Novi to Prijedor, that's the road they took, and they would
5 move ten metres ahead, open the boot, shoot or use a hand grenade, and
6 move on. And that's how they set fire to the houses in Blagaj Rijeka and
7 the mosque as well.
8 Q. What state was the Stara Suhaca mosque in when you saw it?
9 A. Both mosques were standing intact the day we set out in the
10 direction of Blagaj.
11 Q. When you say both mosques, do you mean Stara Suhaca and the Suhaca
12 mosque, the main Suhaca mosque?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Earlier in your testimony you saw a picture of the Suhaca mosque.
15 Just to clarify, did you see that mosque bearing evidence of destruction
16 with your own eyes?
17 A. No. When we set out in the direction of Blagaj, the mosque was
18 standing intact, but that night in Blagaj we heard strong explosions,
19 detonations, and then the next day two men went there to pick up the dead.
20 And when they returned, they told us that both mosques had been destroyed
21 and the mosque which was in the -- the main mosque, in fact, was destroyed
22 so that they weren't able to pass by in the car. They had to go by on
23 foot to pick up the dead man, bring him to the mosque and take him back to
25 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, I have no further questions of this
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Gaynor.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, is the Defence ready to cross-examine
4 the witness?
5 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour. --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. Stewart.
7 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, yes. Subject to one thing. Normally
8 the lectern is made available on this side of the Court.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
10 MR. STEWART: It's a quick physical task but it does help a lot to
11 have it.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And it certainly adds to the equality of arms,
13 doesn't it?
14 MR. STEWART: Well, there is that, yes.
15 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, while the lectern is being transferred,
16 may I just confirm that I formally sought the admission of the statement
17 of this witness pursuant to Rule 89.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. GAYNOR: And I request that it be given an exhibit number.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The witness statement is Exhibit number P97, under
22 seal; and the B/C/S translation P97.1, under seal.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that includes the corrections made on the
24 1st of June which are in this same bundle, as far as I --
25 MR. GAYNOR: Yes, Your Honour --
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- understand.
2 MR. GAYNOR: -- it should be treated as one bundle.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Treated as one bundle. Now, Mr. Stewart, please
5 You will now be examined by counsel for the Defence, Mr. Stewart.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
7 Q. Witness, could I just start there at one slightly puzzling point
8 in your evidence which is that you described how you were able to identify
9 arms in cars which went past, and you referred to a Lada car containing
10 weapons which were covered by a blanket on the back seat. I wonder if you
11 could just make it clear how it was that you were able to identify what it
12 was that was covered by a blanket.
13 A. Precisely because it wasn't sufficiently covered. The blanket had
14 just been loosely placed over them.
15 Q. Can we go to your statement. You say that -- and this is
16 paragraph 10. The paragraph numbering is the same in your version and in
17 the English version.
18 MR. STEWART: Oh, Your Honour, I'd assumed the witness had a
19 copy of his statement in B/C/S.
20 JUDGE ORIE: He now has, Mr. Stewart.
21 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Now, Witness, if you look at paragraph 10, the English version
23 says: "Most of the trouble in our village started when the war in
24 Slovenia was over but when it was at its worst in Croatia."
25 So we're talking about sometime in 1991, aren't we?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. When would you date the start of the trouble in your village?
3 A. Precisely when the war in Slovenia began and spread to Croatia,
4 because all the Serb inhabitants from the surrounding villages went to the
5 war and came back with weapons, ammunition, started shooting, provoking,
6 came in drunken, and although movement wasn't completely restricted,
7 that's when it started. That is to say, you could move around when you
8 had -- absolutely had to.
9 Q. Yes. Put a month on it, please.
10 A. Well, there's no exact month. It was throughout the time of the
11 war in Slovenia and Croatia, and as time passed, it -- the situation
12 deteriorated until it reached us in 1992.
13 Q. Was -- was there any activity by Muslims in your area which
14 contributed to trouble?
15 A. No, there was not.
16 Q. None whatever?
17 A. Absolutely none, just small fights which were sort of normal even
18 before the war; brawls.
19 Q. Were there any -- in your village or in the surrounding area, were
20 there any groups, however large or small, of Muslim extremists?
21 A. No, there weren't.
22 Q. So do you say that such trouble as there was was entirely
23 one-sided, entirely created or provoked by non-Muslims?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In -- just go back a couple of paragraphs in your statement.
1 First of all, paragraph -- well, more than a couple. Paragraph 4, you
2 referred to a number of officials, officers of the SDA. You referred to
3 Sifet Barjaktarevic and Sefer Kapetanovic and others. Would those people
4 that you mentioned in that paragraph, they were all personally known to
5 you, were they?
6 A. Yes, they were known to me.
7 Q. If you look at paragraph 8 of your statement, you say: "Just
8 after the elections," and we're talking about -- or you're talking about
9 the November 1990 elections there, aren't you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. It was still peaceful, you said. The Serbs fired people, and you
12 know of three men who were fired from their jobs. Did you know those men
14 A. Yes, I knew those three men.
15 Q. What was Mr. Barjaktarevic's job working for the municipality?
16 A. Well, I don't know what he did exactly, but he worked in the
17 municipality of Bosanski Novi, in the municipality building.
18 Q. Do you have any idea what he did?
19 A. No, I don't know.
20 Q. It followed then that you had no idea of the circumstances in
21 which he lost his job.
22 A. He lost his job just for being a Muslim. I know the man from
23 Suhaca, and he told me himself.
24 Q. So he told you himself that he lost his job but you still have no
25 idea what that job was; is that correct?
1 A. No. He worked in the municipality of Bosanski Novi. What he did
2 exactly I don't know but after the elections he no longer worked there and
3 I asked why and he said, "Because I'm a Muslim," but he didn't comment.
4 He didn't elaborate.
5 Q. I think I asked you whether you had any idea at all -- but if I
6 didn't I'm asking you now -- whether you had any idea at all what his work
7 was for the municipality.
8 A. He certainly wasn't builder in the municipality, for example.
9 Q. Let's move on to paragraph 12 of your statement. You referred to
10 end of March 1992, meeting set up between the Serbs and the SDA, and you
11 refer to a specific meeting, and you say: "As a result of this meeting,
12 the Muslims surrendered their weapons. They were mostly hunting rifles."
13 If they were "mostly" hunting rifles, what were the rest of the
14 weapons that were not hunting rifles?
15 A. They were pistols and two semi-automatic rifles.
16 Q. And when you say, "We turned them over in a tractor trailer," are
17 you saying that you were personally involved in the physical handing over
18 of weapons in a tractor trailer?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. So precisely, as best as you can do, precisely what, first of all,
21 was the quantity of hunting rifles turned over and what was the quantity
22 of other weapons turned over?
23 A. I can't tell you exactly, but there were 70 to 80 hunting rifles
24 and some handmade rifles. The rest were pistols and those semi-automatic
25 ones that I mentioned.
1 Q. What sort of quantify? You gave a number to the hunting rifles,
2 can you give a similar estimate to the number of other weapons?
3 A. No, I can't give you an exact number, but altogether there would
4 have been about 300 barrels. I wasn't there when the list was compiled, I
5 just did the physical work, loading and unloading.
6 Q. And then you talk about -- your evidence in your statement is that
7 the Serbs took two of your people and they went back to your village to
8 search the houses for more weapons. The two people that the Serbs took,
9 that didn't include you; is that correct?
10 A. That's right. I stayed in the field with the other people.
11 Q. And can you say who those two people were?
12 A. From the village of Suhaca, Muslims.
13 Q. Yes. Who were they? Did you know them?
14 A. Yes, I did know them. They were Husein from Suhaca, I think his
15 surname -- I don't need to say his surname, do I? And the other one was
17 Q. And the search lasted from 11.00 to 4.00 p.m. Do you know if
18 anything was found?
19 A. Yes, that's right. The search went on to late afternoon, but
20 nothing was found.
21 Q. Absolutely nothing at all?
22 A. Absolutely nothing at all.
23 Q. And you know that, do you?
24 A. I do know that, yes, because those two soldiers came back with the
25 two men, and they said, "Everything's all right. They didn't find
1 anything. You can go home safely," and the soldiers left us and we went
2 back to our own homes.
3 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I wonder if that would be a suitable
4 moment for the Tribunal.
5 JUDGE ORIE: If it is a suitable moment for you, Mr. Stewart,
6 we'll have a break now. We will have a break until five minutes to
8 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, please proceed.
11 MR. STEWART: Your Honour.
12 Q. Witness, you -- you've described how the -- you say the shelling
13 started three days after you'd had a meeting in the field in Josava. Can
14 you remember exactly when was it, the very end of March or the very
15 beginning of April? Can you put a date on when the shelling started?
16 A. It was sometime in early April, the beginning of April.
17 Q. The -- and then in your original statement - but you've since
18 corrected that, apparently - you said that the shelling lasted for five
19 weeks. Do you remember that?
20 A. Yes, I do. Those five weeks referred to the entire period of time
21 starting from the hand-over of weapons, the shelling, and their arrival in
22 Blagaj. But the actual shelling lasted --
23 THE INTERPRETER: We didn't hear the witness.
24 MR. STEWART: Apparently -- sorry.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. 044, the interpreters couldn't hear the
1 last answer you gave. Could you please repeat that.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The actual shelling, the hand-over
3 of weapons and the arrival in Blagaj Japra lasted for about six weeks, but
4 the shelling, the actual shelling lasted one week only.
5 MR. STEWART:
6 Q. Are you saying that this was just some slip or mistake in your
7 original statement?
8 A. It was not my mistake. It could have been a mistake in
9 translation. I don't know.
10 Q. Well, let's look at paragraph 17. It's the -- 1-7. It's the same
11 numbering in your version as the English translation.
12 MR. STEWART: Could I just ask, Your Honour, I'm afraid I'm not
13 clear about this, whether the interpreters have the witness's statement in
14 B/C/S in front of them. Do they have that?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, we do.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. STEWART: Otherwise, it seems a bit silly if I read the
18 English statement, it gets translated into B/C/S, and the translation
19 comes out slightly differently from the witness's statement. It's more
20 sensible if they have it.
21 JUDGE ORIE: You'd like to ask them to translate it again or --
22 MR. STEWART: No, Your Honour. It's that -- well, they -- what I
23 -- what I would invite them to do, if that's not inconvenient, is if I, if
24 I have to, if I read out a sentence or so from the English translation of
25 the witness's statement, it would be more convenient if the interpreters
1 were then to adopt the witness's B/C/S statement as their translation.
2 Otherwise, we get slightly different versions, which is -- it's confusing
3 for the witness, I suggest.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand, and this is an excellent solution
5 apart from the situation where the translation is not fully correct,
6 because then your invitation would be to let the inconsistency between the
7 B/C/S and the English version to continue to exist, because you invite
8 them to give exactly the same translation as they find it in their B/C/S
9 version, but if there's any mistake, this would be a mistake to -- to get
10 an eternal life.
11 MR. STEWART: I'm sorry, I'm just trying to work out in my own
12 head, Your Honour. If the statement was initially prepared in B/C/S then
13 that problem doesn't arise because any errors in the translation will have
14 been from B/C/S to English, so the problem, Your Honour, refers to --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you start with the English text and you
16 invite those -- our interpreters to take exactly the literal B/C/S text,
17 then the same mistake would be made in the other direction.
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I --
19 JUDGE ORIE: If there is any.
20 MR. STEWART: I'm still not following Your Honour, because what
21 the interpreters are being invited to do will be effectively to read out
22 as their translation what was the original statement.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but we would have a wrong understanding of it.
24 Therefore, that's the reason why I thought that where the witness has at
25 least left it open that there might have been a mistake in translation or
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 perhaps even in writing down, although we find his initials not under the
2 original but only under the English version --
3 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- if -- yes, Mr. Gaynor.
5 MR. GAYNOR: If I can just correct the record a little. The
6 statement is prepared during the interview with the witness in the English
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because it says that it's language used in
9 interview is Bosnian and English, as the front page says. You say the
10 interview was held in English and was then translated into B/C/S.
11 MR. GAYNOR: Yes. The general practice is that statement would be
12 written in English, read back to the witness by the interpreter on the
13 spot in B/C/S and the written translation is prepared back here in The
14 Hague in English. So the original written statement is in English and not
15 in B/C/S.
16 JUDGE ORIE: That's also the one that was signed, at least
17 identified by the witness through his initials on the bottom.
18 MR. GAYNOR: That's correct.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, with all this knowledge in mind, Mr. Stewart,
20 I'm certain that you'll find a proper course for consideration.
21 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I believe my logic was impeccable based
22 on wrong statement, which was my assumption that the statement was
23 originally prepared in B/C/S. We have approached that in a slightly
24 crab-wise manner but we've got there in the end. So I'll just follow the
25 simple course then.
1 Q. The paragraph 17, I'm reading from the English, of course: "The
2 shelling lasted for five weeks. On the sixth week, the Serb soldiers came
3 into the village and told us that we had to leave. During the last week
4 they shelled us mostly at night."
5 Now, what I'm suggesting to you, Witness, is that it's a pretty
6 substantial correction to those three sentences to reduce the period of
7 shelling from five weeks to one week, isn't it?
8 A. There was shooting throughout those five weeks, however, this one
9 week as the worst, and that was the week when the shelling took place.
10 However, as for the remainder of the time, those five weeks, they opened
11 fire from surrounding hills, they shot in the air, and it is correct that
12 they -- that there was shooting throughout those six weeks, however, what
13 had to be emphasised here was that the actual shelling lasted for one
15 Q. So there was in that six-week period, there was several weeks,
16 were there, without shelling, followed, towards the end of that period, by
17 one week of shelling. Is that correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct.
19 Q. So the shelling came only in the last week or two of that six-week
20 period; is that correct?
21 A. That's right. After the hand-over of weapons. Before the weapons
22 were handed over, there was only shooting, sporadic shooting, from small
24 Q. I think we'd better get the time scale clear now, then. The
25 hand-over of weapons that you've described took place at the very end of
1 March. That's correct on your evidence, isn't it?
2 A. End of April.
3 Q. All right. So let's go back to paragraph 12 of your statement,
4 then, to clarify that. It starts off: "At the end of March 1992, there
5 were some meetings set up with the Serbs and the SDA." And
6 Mr. Barjaktarevic was called over to the village of Josava to meet the SDA
7 president, and you say: "As a result of this meeting, the Muslims
8 surrendered the weapons." And then you go on to describe the search that
9 you mentioned from 11.00 to 4.00 p.m. Are you saying that the period
10 covered by paragraph 12 of your statement from the initial meeting set up
11 to the search for weapons that took place from 11.00 to 4.00 p.m., are you
12 saying that that was a period of several weeks?
13 A. Yes, that is correct. This was taking place over a period of
14 several weeks. Sifet didn't attend only one meeting but several meetings.
15 The last time he went and came back, he said that the best solution would
16 be for us to hand over the weapons and that after that everything should
17 be back to normal. Dzafer and Resad came to that meeting at Bosanski
18 Novi, and they confirmed, they agreed that this would be the best
19 solution, and that is when we organised the hand-over of weapons. We went
20 to the village of Josava, to the field there, and it was after that that
21 the shelling started.
22 Q. And then in paragraph 18 of your statement, you say: "There was
23 no organised defence in Bosanski Novi. We had no weapons." And that's
24 been your evidence, that there were no weapons at all. So the -- however
25 long the shelling took, it took place in relation to a village which had
1 no defences at all; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, that is correct.
3 Q. Was there any attempt during that week of shelling that you've
4 described by any Serb forces to enter your village?
5 A. They did not enter the village directly. However, after the
6 shelling, they remained on the surrounding hills. We could see them. But
7 they did not come to the village itself apart from the two soldiers in a
9 Q. And then you described the organisation of a convoy of
10 approximately 8.000 people. Who organised that?
11 A. No one in particular. Serb soldiers created panic amongst the
12 people, and in Donji -- Gornji Agici, they directed the population in the
13 direction of Prijedor. Then they set the local petrol station on fire, as
14 well as some houses, and then we headed toward Bosanski Novi because we
15 realised that was the end.
16 Q. Was there a specific event or a specific change of the pattern of
17 what are broadly called military activity which triggered off that
18 organisation of a convoy?
19 A. Yes. When the two soldiers arrived in a Pinzgauer, they looked
20 for Sifet Barjaktarevic and they said that we had to leave our houses
21 because allegedly they were no longer able to protect us or defend us.
22 From whom, I don't know. They said that there were paramilitary
23 formations in the area, that they could not control them, that they had
24 slipped out of control. This is what we were told by the Serb soldiers.
25 Q. Then in paragraph 20 of your statement, you refer to -- you've
1 made an amendment to your statement since it was originally given so that
2 the sentence which began: "They took two men out of the crowd," now reads
3 that: "A group of Serbian military police separated two brothers," and
4 you gave their names, Nijaz and Karanfil Isakovic, and bound their hands.
5 You knew those brothers, did you?
6 A. Yes, I knew the brothers and I knew the soldiers from the military
8 Q. You knew the soldiers by name, did you?
9 A. Yes, I did. They had been civilians up until that day.
10 Q. Were they by any chance brothers, the two soldiers? Because you
11 gave their names.
12 A. No, they were children of two brothers. They were cousins.
13 Q. Yes. I see. And the -- do you know any reason why the Isakovic
14 brothers would have been separated out at that point?
15 A. In my opinion, they were rather well off. They wanted money from
17 Q. So they obviously had known each other before. The two cousins
18 and the two brothers, they had known each other; correct?
19 A. Yes, they had.
20 Q. And the cousins, the Messrs. Grab, you refer to them as military
21 policemen. What sort of policemen were they?
22 A. They were military police officers wearing camouflage uniforms and
23 flak jackets and they were standing on the road there. They were not
24 members of the regular military police. They had just put on this attire
25 when the eviction of the population started.
1 Q. And then in paragraph 23 of your statement, you refer to the
2 decision that you could stay in the village of Blagaj, this is after the
3 organised convoy that you've described. You say: "The women and children
4 were placed in houses and the men stayed and slept in garages and on
5 tractors." How many men are you talking about there who stayed and slept
6 in garages and on tractors?
7 A. We were anywhere between 3 and 4.000 if you're referring to all
8 men. But if you're referring only to military-aged men, then we were 700.
9 Q. What I'm referring to, so that we get it specific and there's no
10 doubt, your sentence talks about women and children being placed in
11 houses, and on the other hand the men, as opposed to the children, the men
12 stayed and slept in garages and on tractors. And I'm asking you in that
13 particular phrase in your statement, when you talk about the men who
14 stayed and slept in garages and on tractors, how many of those men there
15 were. That's my question.
16 A. Sir, I'm really unable to give you the exact number, because first
17 we were stopped in the village of Blagaj, and then we were put up in
18 several houses. In the house where I slept, there were 52 of us. We did
19 not want the women and children to sleep in the garages, so we put them in
20 the houses and we slept in the garage. And I think this was the case with
21 every house.
22 Q. Well, I suggest to you, Witness, that you talk about the
23 negotiations lasting for 17 days then when you were in this village, that
24 you must have some rather better idea of how many men there were staying
25 and sleeping in garages and on tractors in this village at that time, and
1 I'm inviting you to give the Trial Chamber as good an idea as you can of
2 the number.
3 A. We were about 8.000, that is all of us, all the residents,
4 together with the residents of Blagaj Japra, including women and children,
5 and all able-bodied men slept out in the open so the women, children, and
6 the elderly could have enough room in the houses.
7 Q. So is your answer that there was still something like 8.000 people
8 being squeezed into the village of Blagaj in the way that you've
10 A. Yes, but when I say "people," I include women, children, the
11 elderly; all of us. As for the able-bodied men, there were 700 of us.
12 Q. And it was the able-bodied men who were sleeping in garages and on
13 tractors, was it?
14 A. Mostly, yes. Children slept with women inside, as did the elderly
15 and the sick. This was perfectly normal.
16 Q. So to get it straight, there were 700 or so, you said, that you
17 put in the category of able-bodied men from which it follows that there
18 were over 7.000 people who were outside that category, either women,
19 children, or men who were too old or in some other way not able-bodied; is
20 that right?
21 A. Yes, that's right. And I said this because I learned the exact
22 number of able-bodied men in the camp once they drew up the list. That
23 is, while we were on the train and after we had been separated by the Serb
24 soldiers, there were 700 of us. There may have been more able-bodied men
25 in Blagaj, I don't know, but in the camp we learned that there were 700 of
2 Q. It's only this -- I'm sorry to keep picking away at this, but your
3 description so far is that you have a convoy of about 8.000 people - it's
4 my word, but they're obviously squeezed into the village of Blagaj because
5 8.000 is a lot of people for a village to accommodate - that more than
6 seven-eighths of that convey consist of people who were not able-bodied
7 men. Now, that's right so far? You agree with that as a correct summary
8 of what you are saying to the Trial Chamber?
9 A. Out of that 7 to 8.000 people, there may have been as many as
10 3.000 able-bodied men, but once we were put on the train and taken to
11 Ostruzna, then a Serb soldier singled out 700 able-bodied men who were
12 eventually thrown at the Bosanski Novi football stadium. In Blagaj, there
13 may have been anywhere between 3 and 4.000 able-bodied men. I am talking
14 only about the 700 that had been singled out by Serb soldiers in Ostruzna
15 and sent to the football stadium in Bosanski Novi.
16 Q. I would invite you, Witness, to concentrate very carefully on the
17 questions because we had a little bit of understandable confusion,
18 perhaps, about mosques earlier, but when I am asking you about the time in
19 the village and I'm not asking you about the time in the camp, would you
20 please do your very best to keep your answers to the area that I'm asking
21 about because otherwise it becomes totally confusing. Would you please do
22 that. Do you understand what I'm saying?
23 A. I do. While we were in Blagaj those 17 days, there were between
24 2.500 and 3.000 able-bodied men who slept in the garages.
25 Q. And there were enough garages for them, and tractors, were there?
1 A. Yes, there were. Including everything; stables, tractors,
2 trailers. People slept on trailers, underneath the trailers.
3 Q. In your statement in paragraph 25 -- and can we be clear what
4 we're talking about: You have given evidence that after the 17 days of
5 negotiation and the failure to reach agreement, the soldiers surrounded
6 the village of Blagaj, and then you talk about the JNA soldiers attacking
7 the civilian population. And then you say: "The shooting began and
8 civilians were wounded."
9 Was the shooting that you're mentioning there one-way in the sense
10 that Serbs were shooting but nobody was shooting at them? Is that your
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. When you say in paragraph 25: "The shooting began and civilians
14 were wounded," were any civilians killed on that occasion in that
16 A. No, not that -- on that occasion. Only two civilians were
17 wounded, but nobody got killed. They just wanted to create fear and
18 panic. But once we crossed the bridge, they started killing people.
19 Q. You refer in paragraph 30 to a man named Dragan who came in a
20 Lada. Do you know his other name?
21 A. No, I don't. I learnt that his name was Dragan only after he had
22 left, because people who happened to be around me told me that this was
23 Dragan from Svodna who had worked at the registry -- registrar's office
24 before the war.
25 MR. STEWART: No further questions, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
2 Mr. Gaynor, is there any need for re-direct?
3 MR. GAYNOR: No need, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Judge El Mahdi has one or more questions for you.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Witness, I should like to
8 clarify a detail with you. In your statement, you make mention of the
9 fact that you received food once per day, and on page 21 of the
10 transcript, you said - and I will quote you in English - I would like to
11 see if this is a clerical error, a typing error, or a slip of the tongue.
12 How do you respond to that? Did you receive food once every day or once a
14 A. No. We received food once a day.
15 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let me now move to
16 the incident involving the helicopter which you mentioned in your
17 statement. You said - again I'll quote in English - paragraph 14: [In
18 English] "I did see a military helicopter land in a nearby hamlet called
20 [Interpretation] My question with respect to that is as follows:
21 What were you doing at the moment when you noticed this helicopter land?
22 A. I happened to be outside in the yard of my house. As to what I
23 was doing, nothing out of the ordinary. I was just outside my home.
24 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] What time was it, approximately?
25 Was it during the morning, during the day, in the evening?
1 A. Sometime in the afternoon.
2 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes, at about what time in the
4 A. At about 2.00 p.m.
5 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Yes. And you were able to
6 identify a military helicopter as well as two vehicles?
7 A. Yes, I was.
8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And you were able to identify to
9 see the drivers of these two vehicles?
10 So where exactly did this helicopter land; in a field or ...
11 A. The helicopter landed between two hills in the hamlet of Zablacka
12 [phoen] near Halilovici. Ten minutes later, the two vehicles, which were
13 civilian vehicles, arrived. One of them was a Lada, and the other one was
14 a Warburg. I was not alone at that time. There were two other people
15 with me, so we wanted to see what this was all about. Mostly we could
16 observe aircraft over flying in the direction of Croatia, but this was the
17 first time that a helicopter landed. And as we were going towards the
18 helicopter, these two vehicles overtook us carrying weapons, and before we
19 were able to reach the spot where the helicopter was, it took off again.
20 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] If I understand you correctly,
21 you went there to see what was happening. You left your home, and you
22 headed out in the direction of the spot where the helicopter had landed.
23 You and several other people, your friends.
24 A. Correct.
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] How far were you from the
1 helicopter? How long did it take for the helicopter to land? Actually,
2 how long did it remain grounded?
3 A. For about 20 to 30 minutes.
4 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And the distance between the
5 spot where you were and the place where the helicopter had landed was how
6 many metres or kilometres?
7 A. Maybe one kilometre as the crow flies.
8 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you were walking
9 towards the helicopter, to the spot where it had landed. However, you did
10 not manage to cover all of this distance, because in the meantime the
11 helicopter left that spot. It was no longer there. And you saw two
12 vehicles coming back or going where? In what direction were these two
13 vehicles moving?
14 A. Yes, I was able to see these two vehicles. They were coming back
15 from the spot where the helicopter was, in the direction of the village of
16 Josava. As we were moving towards the helicopter, they were already on
17 their way back, and the helicopter had taken off in the meantime.
18 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And it was then that you were
19 able to identify the two drivers?
20 A. Yes.
21 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] And it was these two drivers who
22 took it upon themselves to unload the weapons, to place them into the two
23 vehicles, or were there others, other people helping them?
24 A. No, I didn't see anybody else, just the two drivers in the car.
25 JUDGE EL MAHDI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I've got a few questions for you as well.
2 My first question is you mentioned Ostruzna as the place where the
3 able-bodied men separated from the women, children, and elderly in the
4 train; correct?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Are you familiar with place called Stanari?
7 A. I have heard of it, yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know where that is, and do you know where it
9 is in relation to Ostruzna?
10 A. I think it's between Prijedor and Banja Luka.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. In your statement, you said that
12 the range of these weapons, and you were then referring to 60- and
13 80-millimetre mortars, are -- the range of these weapons are 1.200 metres.
14 A. Yes, that's right. That's what I did -- that's what I said.
15 Roughly. I can't give you any exact figures. But yes, it was
16 approximately 1.200 metres. That was the range.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you mean to say that this was the range
18 that they were shooting from or more in general terms, that the maximum
19 range of 60- and/or 80-millimetre mortars is 1.200 metres?
20 A. I meant to say that that was the maximum range.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Maximum range, 1.200 metres. You said that the
22 shelling was coming from two Serb villages, Josava and Krslje. What is
23 the distance of those two villages from where you were?
24 A. As the crow flies in a straight line, about one kilometre,
25 thereabouts. 800 metres perhaps. Anyway, across the hill.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And do you have any specific knowledge about mortars
2 or did you want to express that the range was sufficient to cover the
3 distance from where they were shooting from to the place where you were,
4 or do you have any further specific knowledge of mortars and ranges of
6 A. I don't know anything much about mortars, but I do know the
7 direction that the shells come from. When a shell explodes or, rather,
8 after the explosion, you can find the make the shell and its origin. So
9 the direction it comes from is where you'll find this fragment lodged in
10 the soil, in the ground.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. My last question also refers to the helicopter
12 incident. Did you discuss with other people your observations as far as
13 blankets and weapons hidden under a blanket are concerned? Did you
14 discuss that with others?
15 A. Yes, when we returned, when we went back. We gathered together in
16 front of a shop, a centre there, and we were wondering what they were
17 doing, what was going on, what was happening, and that's all. Later on,
18 of course, we learnt what it was all about and what was going on.
19 JUDGE ORIE: What did you think about weapons at that moment being
20 transported under a blanket?
21 A. When I saw weapons being transported under a blanket, I realised
22 that they were arming the Serb population from the surrounding villages
23 and that the time would come for us to move out, and that's what happened.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Were you the driver of the car you were in when you
25 saw this other car driving in the opposition direction where you observed
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 weapons under a blanket? Were you driving your own car or were you a
2 passenger in that car?
3 A. No, no, I was on foot. I was walking, and the vehicles were
4 driven by two Serbs, and they approached me. I was walking along. I
5 didn't have a car.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for these answers. Does the -- have
7 the questions by the Bench raised any need for further questions to the
9 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour, they have, very briefly. It's
10 Your Honour's questions in fact.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. STEWART: I wonder if the witness can have -- I hope this is a
13 convenient request. I'm looking at a map of Bosanski Novi municipality
14 which was in the batch of material provided to us. It's got the reference
15 number 0402-2625, Bosanski Novi Municipality. Is that something which can
16 be brought up on the screen for the witness to see?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Has it been used in evidence before?
18 MR. STEWART: No, I believe it hasn't this morning. I think we
19 used a different map.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then I have to look to Ms. Annink.
21 MR. STEWART: I was looking, Your Honour, as well, in effect, to
22 Ms. Annink-Javier.
23 JUDGE ORIE: It looks, Ms. Annink-Javier, as if it appears on the
24 list of potential exhibits under 39.084. At least, there I find this same
25 number. Is it possible to have this on the screen? In the description
1 it's called Bosanski Novi map number 1.
2 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I could deal with this more quickly --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you --
4 MR. STEWART: I'm sorry.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You could put it on the ELMO, perhaps, and in the
6 meantime Ms. Annink-Javier can -- and could it be shown for one second to
7 Mr. Gaynor so that he at least knows what --
8 MR. STEWART: Yes, of course. It's not a very complex point, Your
9 Honour, so really we'll manage pretty well with a piece of paper, I think.
10 JUDGE ORIE: We've got it on our screen.
11 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stewart:
12 Q. In answer to His Honour Judge Orie's questions, Witness, about the
13 distance of the villages of Josava and Krslje from your village, Suhaca,
14 you said, I think, that each village was one kilometre away as the crow or
15 the helicopter flies. That's right, isn't it? That's what you said.
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Have a look at the map so far as you need to, but the position is
18 quite clear, isn't it, that Josava is quite obviously two kilometres away
19 and not one, and Krslje is quite obviously five kilometres away from
20 Suhaca, isn't it, and not one?
21 A. Yes, but not in a straight line, as the crow flies.
22 Q. I beg your pardon, Witness: As the crow flies, you can draw a
23 line quite clearly, because that's all you do on a map, just a straight
24 line from Suhaca to each of those villages, and there's a scale on that
25 piece of paper as well. It's absolutely clear, isn't it, that Josava is
1 two kilometres away from Suhaca and Krslje is five kilometres away. As
2 near as makes no significant difference at all.
3 A. Well, if you want more exact data, then the point from the village
4 of Josava is not in the right place. It would be more towards -- to the
5 left, towards Suhaca in fact. Somewhere here.
6 Q. I'm sorry, you're saying the map's wrong or that your evidence
7 when you're talking about --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Before continuing, Mr. Stewart, could I have the
9 exact location, because it's not in my mind that I asked for distances
10 between villages, but I think I asked for the distance between where the
11 witness was, which is, of course, not the same as -- let me just -- and
12 I'd like to have it a bit more zoomed in because I can't read it.
13 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, it's available in colour now if you
15 JUDGE ORIE: All right. Then perhaps we move to the computer
16 evidence and see whether we have a more clear picture. And perhaps we
17 zoom in at the relevant part. I do understand. Let's just -- could you
18 take this out for a second, because it seems that there was a -- yes. The
19 problem is the bottom line, where there's information which should not be
20 there. This video will be -- this video part will be -- this computer
21 evidence part will be redacted to the extent that that part of the picture
22 will be taken out.
23 Could you create a picture without the -- yes. You've got it now?
24 Then we could again move to the computer evidence where we now have no
25 toolbar any more on the bottom. At least, I hope. I don't see anything
1 at all at this moment.
2 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, I think this will take a moment or two.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. STEWART: Well, perhaps I'll trial to make progress, Your
5 Honour, while we're waiting.
6 Q. Where you were -- what His Honour says is of course absolutely
7 correct. I'm sorry.
8 MR. STEWART: Could I have my piece of paper back, actually, if
9 we're going to be operating from the screen. I wonder if I could have the
10 paper back which I handed up.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. My problem with the paper was that I couldn't
12 read it on my screen, Mr. Stewart. So I was only too happy to have a
13 technically sophisticated picture on my screen, but then we have other
15 MR. STEWART: I have a similar problem, Your Honour, when this
16 screen is on, so it happens to us all.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. STEWART:
19 Q. The -- Witness, I think perhaps the most -- the best thing would
20 be to establish where you were, because His Honour did ask you how far --
21 I acknowledge that entirely -- how far the villages of Josava and Krslje
22 were from where you were, and where do you say you were?
23 A. I was in the village of Suhaca.
24 Q. And you said -- I think, a few minutes ago you suggested that your
25 location hadn't been pinpointed sufficiently accurately, and I think you
1 were suggesting there was a difference between the position of Suhaca
2 marked on the map and where you actually were. Is that what you're saying
3 or not?
4 A. No. The point on the map is exact, and that's where I was, where
5 Suhaca was. But you wanted more exact information as to the kilometres
6 between and the distance between Josava and Krslje. And if you look at
7 the point where Suhaca is to be found and where Josava is to be found,
8 then the Josava point should be a little more towards the right.
9 Q. I'm not following. Are you saying the map is wrong?
10 A. For such precise data, the kind that you're asking about, no, it
11 is not accurate enough.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could we perhaps zoom in on the relevant part of the
13 map but including the kilometre scale as we find just under the legend,
14 because that would -- I --
15 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could I --
16 JUDGE ORIE: I caused a lot of problem, I'm afraid.
17 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, could I comment this. This is, in
18 effect, potentially a time saving and it isn't really my giving evidence.
19 It is a simple fact that if one measures the distance between these
20 villages against the scale on the map, that the village of Josava is, on
21 the map, 2 kilometres from Suhaca. It just is. And the village of Krslje
22 is five kilometres from Suhaca. According to the map, it simply is, and
23 no elaboration with the witness poring over the map is going to change
24 that simple fact. So actually what I'm seeking from the witness is really
25 very simple.
1 Q. Witness, I'm inviting you to acknowledge that your evidence that
2 each village was one kilometre from where you were - in fact you said even
3 perhaps 800 metres - your evidence earlier that it was one kilometre is
4 not just wrong, but for somebody with local knowledge, as you have, was
5 simply obviously not true. Do you acknowledge that?
6 A. I agree because villages have houses, and they are set apart, but
7 the Serbs, the soldiers who shot at us, shot at us from the surrounding
9 Q. That's not the question you were asked. And what I'm suggesting
10 to you is that you came here, took the solemn declaration, you've got here
11 to tell the Trial Chamber, and you have been in this particular respect
12 apart from anything else, you have been quite exceptionally casual and
13 careless in the evidence that you've given to this Trial Chamber. Do you
14 now acknowledge that?
15 A. No. I said how it was and I told the truth. These small
16 discrepancies are just -- well, you asked where they shot at from those
17 mortars, or did you ask where the houses making up the village of Josava
18 lie and where they were?
19 A. The president of this particular Trial Chamber asked you very
20 specifically how far these villages were from where you were. Let's take
21 Krslje. You said one kilometre, perhaps 800 kilometres. Now, you lived
22 there. Krslje is five kilometres away, isn't it?
23 A. Krslje as a village is five kilometres away from Suhaca, but the
24 gentleman asked me about the mortars and where they were shooting from and
25 where they were shelling there.
1 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I don't need or wish to pursue this
2 point any further.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
4 MR. STEWART: Do I formally need to tender the map, Your Honour?
5 Ms. Cmeric suggests that -- the map we've just been looking at, there's
6 some formality I need to go through to make sure it's in the right place
7 for the future.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think it would be good to have, since
9 specific reference is made to this scale on this map, that we have that in
10 evidence. If you have not yet prepared copies, then that could be solved
11 at a later moment, I would say.
12 MR. STEWART: We need it back if we are to prepare copies, then,
13 Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, the next question is who is going to prepare the
15 copies. The registrar, which means that you have got a lot of credit with
16 her, will make the copies.
17 MR. STEWART: Fine. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Any questions for the Prosecution in respect of this
20 MR. GAYNOR: Just one or two questions, Your Honour, in respect of
21 his knowledge of military hardware.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Gaynor.
23 Further examination by Mr. Gaynor:
24 Q. Sir, is it right that you completed mandatory military service
25 with the JNA?
1 A. Yes, that's right.
2 Q. How long was that military service?
3 A. One year.
4 Q. Did you observe JNA helicopters during your service?
5 A. Well, that's quite usual throughout my military service.
6 Q. Did you also observe AK-47s and other kinds of rifles?
7 A. Yes, I did. I did come across different weapons.
8 Q. And did you observe shells, shell casings?
9 A. Yes, that's right, shells; 60 millimetres, 80 millimetres, the
10 Scorpio type of pistol, the automatic TM rifles, machine-guns, hand-held
11 mortars, Howitzers, that kind of thing.
12 Q. And during the period of your military service, did you have
13 frequent occasion to deal with weapons and to observe helicopters?
14 A. Yes, I did. While I was doing my military service, I was the
15 charger, the gunner on a recoilless rifle.
16 Q. And your military service was about two years prior to these
17 events; is that right?
18 A. Yes, that's right. 1989, June, was when I joined the army, or
19 rather, when I went to the army, and I returned in 1990.
20 MR. GAYNOR: Thank you, Your Honours. No further questions.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Gaynor.
22 Witness O44, or should I say 044, it's not quite clear to me, but
23 you've answered all the questions put to you by the parties and put to you
24 by the Bench. I thank you very much for coming the long distance to The
25 Hague, and it's important for this Tribunal to hear the testimony of those
1 who were present at the time of the events persons are charged with. I'd
2 like to wish you a safe trip home again. You're excused.
3 Madam Usher, would you please escort the witness out of the
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, and goodbye.
6 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I think that exhibit would be --
7 JUDGE ORIE: D11 has been written already on it by Madam
9 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, may I formally request that the exhibits
10 which we tendered be admitted into evidence.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The usual way of doing it is that now Madam
12 Registrar will briefly describe all the exhibits tendered so that we have
13 a full overview. Madam Registrar.
14 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I make a comment about the
15 statement, and it's a general comment. It won't help in relation to the
16 very large number of statements that have already been prepared out in
17 Bosnia and Republika Srpska, but it might just possibly help for the
18 future, and we're not in the business, on the Defence side, of
19 gratuitously criticising other people's work, but we are finding quite
20 commonly, and we found in relation to that statement, that the chronology
21 of events is perhaps not very specifically followed through when
22 statements are taken, and that actually does create extra work, and it
23 does take time in the course of cross-examination to sort out things which
24 really would be more conveniently sorted out at the point when the
25 statement is taken and prepared. So to the extent to which statements are
1 being taken in future or there is any reasonable opportunity to correct or
2 tidy them up, we would suggest that that would be a time saving for the
3 Trial Chamber and all else -- everybody else concerned.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. As you may have noticed in respect of paragraph
5 17 of the statement, I immediately asked myself if five week was one week
6 what the sixth week would be. So if you speak with witnesses, perhaps it
7 would be good, if there's any change in the chronology or if there is any
8 point where the chronology could be clarified, that the Prosecution tries
9 to do that in advance so that we have as clear as possible chronology in
10 the courtroom.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 MR. STEWART: My only other observation is a very brief one, Your
13 Honour. I mentioned this morning that we had had 89(F) statement only
14 this morning. I don't want to suggest that is -- that is a big problem.
15 It isn't. I've spoken to the Prosecution. It's only -- I say only, it's
16 important for its purpose that the public should know but it is a summary
17 of existing material. I had indicated that provided we receive these
18 summaries by, say, 9.00 p.m. the night before by e-mail, then owing to the
19 slightly different working habits of the members of the Defence team, that
20 would ensure that we were able to pick them up in good time and have time
21 to have a read through, because of course we know that they are just
22 summaries and the Prosecution will be preparing them in a professional way
23 anyway, so they don't require huge input of work, and that would be
24 entirely satisfactory.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You may have seen that I -- you may have heard that
1 the Chamber supports your slight criticism on matters delivered at
2 breakfast rather than the day before, and I would say 9.00 p.m. is rather
4 MR. STEWART: Also, the transcript rather suggests that the
5 Prosecution brought my breakfast to me. I have made that request, but so
6 far I can't persuade either the Prosecution or my Defence team to provide
7 that service.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Sometimes you get newspapers with breakfast,
9 sometimes you get other documents. Let's continue.
10 Madam Registrar, Mr. Stewart interrupted you when you started --
11 wanted to start to read the list of exhibits.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P93 under seal, the pseudonym
14 Exhibit P94, photograph of destroyed mosque in Suhaca.
15 Exhibit P95, record of exhumation dated 28 October 1998. And
16 P95.1, the English translation.
17 P96, report for the Bosanski Novi public security station dated 15
18 August 1992. And P96.1, the English translation.
19 P97, under seal, witness -- witness statement dated 11 December
20 1998, and addendum dated 1st of June, 2001. And P97.1, the B/C/S
22 D11, a map of Bosanski Novi municipality.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar. Since there are no
24 objections, all these exhibits are admitted into evidence, where
25 applicable under seal.
1 Before we ask the Prosecution to call its next witness, let's just
2 first verify there are no protective measures in force, as far as I
3 understand, and I do understand that it will be Mr. Karabeg; is that
5 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Loukas, I was informed that you would
7 cross-examine Mr. Karabeg; is that correct?
8 MS. LOUKAS: That's correct, Your Honour, yes. And I also
9 understood as an initiative welcomed by the Chamber that you would like
10 to, I would say, replace part of the cross-examination by tendering
11 cross-examination -- transcripts of cross-examination in other cases; is
12 that correct?
13 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, that's correct, Your Honour. What I propose to
14 do is in fact tender the cross-examination already performed in the
15 Brdjanin trial in respect of both the next witnesses that I will be
16 cross-examining, that is, Mr. Begic and Mr. Karabeg, and that will in
17 effect leave very little cross-examination for Mr. Begic and a much more
18 streamlined cross-examination for Mr. Karabeg. And there is no protective
19 measures for either of the two witnesses.
20 JUDGE ORIE: No, but there is one issue that is the public
21 character of this trial. That is point one. Does that mean that where we
22 -- when we I would say introduce short versions of whether these are
23 statements under 89(F) or whether this is our transcripts, we usually have
24 a summary. Did you prepare also a summary for those elements of
25 cross-examination so that the public knows what has been said and --
1 MS. LOUKAS: I understand Your Honour's concern, of course, but
2 what I propose to do is, in my cross-examination, briefly highlight the
3 high points of that previous cross-examination. I thought that was the
4 best way of ensuring the public character as well as saving time as well.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Does that also mean that by highlighting you also
6 give some guidance to the Chamber what are the most relevant parts of the
8 MS. LOUKAS: Precisely, Your Honour, yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I have no idea how many pages there are, but the
10 Chamber is a bit hesitant to -- we've seen some testimonies of over a
11 thousand pages, but that's --
12 MS. LOUKAS: Sorry, Your Honour. It's nothing like that. I'm
13 just going to consult with my fellow counsel for a second.
14 [Defence counsel confer] .
15 MS. LOUKAS: In fact, Your Honour, if I may, I'm just reminded by
16 my fellow counsel that if I give the page references and what have you,
17 it's all on the Internet in any event, and the dates.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do agree there is a difference between a
19 statement which is not yet public. On the other hand, there's another
20 issue. I take it that if you use the transcript, is that 89(F) then, in
21 your view, or would it be 92 bis -- 92 bis under (D)?
22 MS. LOUKAS: That's actually a very good question, Your Honour,
23 because --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Loukas.
25 MS. LOUKAS: Because I did give that some thought over the weekend
1 as to in which particular category it might fall, and it's an interesting
2 point. The answer, Your Honour, is that I still think it's rather a moot
3 point, but seeing the witness is here, then it could be said to be 89(F).
4 In view of the strictures in relation to ensuring that where one
5 contemplates 92 bis (D) transcript that the procedures of 92 bis should be
6 followed, there's also an argument that it's 92 bis (D). And when one
7 looks further at some of the comments that were made in that interlocutory
8 appeal in Milosevic in relation to the use of 89(F) and 92 bis (D), it is
9 an interesting point.
10 JUDGE ORIE: All right. Let's -- the Prosecution is invited to,
11 not necessarily at this very moment, but to give it some thought. It
12 might be relevant for the Prosecution sooner or later as well, especially
13 if it ever comes to presentation of the Defence case, and when introducing
14 transcripts of witnesses given in other cases. Well, I take it that the
15 parties do agree that either 92 bis (D) or under 89(F) we can proceed this
16 way. Let's then do it and if there are any further observations to be
17 made, the Chamber is quite willing to hear them. Not at this moment
19 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, just very briefly. It's our preliminary
20 view that 92 bis (D) is lex specialis in respect of transcripts, and if a
21 party seeks admission of a transcript of evidence, it does so pursuant to
22 92 bis (D). Now, 92 bis gives the other party two weeks in which to
23 respond to an application under Rule 92 bis. Now, while we certainly
24 won't seek to hold up the proceedings today in respect of that time limit,
25 we do reserve our position --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do I understand that it's not a view of the
2 Prosecution that 92 bis (A) is lex specialis in respect of 89(F)?
3 MR. GAYNOR: No, it's not our view, Your Honour, because when the
4 witness is on the stand and able to attest to the veracity of the written
5 statement, I think the Milosevic decision on 89(F) provides that the other
6 requirements of 92 bis are not --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's not -- let's not deal with it in its
8 entirety, but it's the first time that the Defence has introduced, I
9 think, transcripts as a way of introducing written evidence rather than
10 oral evidence in cross-examination. That's just a point I wanted to -- I
11 wanted to raise and to see whether there is any further observations to be
13 MS. LOUKAS: Just one further observation --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MS. LOUKAS: -- just in relation to what was indicated from
16 Mr. Gaynor in relation to the matter I raised about the Milosevic
17 interlocutory appeal and then, of course, the further comments that were
18 made about lex specialis. The distinction that Mr. Gaynor makes about the
19 fact that 92 bis (A) is different from 92 bis (D) because in respect of
20 the statement situation the witness is in the box, the same applies for
21 the witness being in the box in respect of the transcript. You gave
22 transcript on a previous occasion, you confirmed that you -- the evidence
23 you gave on a prior occasion was the truth. It falls -- actually falls
24 into the same category, I would submit, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Let's -- I don't know whether I fully agree but
1 perhaps the Chamber should consider it in its entirety. Let's move, then,
2 now forward. The next witness the Prosecution calls is Mr. Karabeg, if
3 I --
4 MR. HANNIS: That's correct, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Usher, please escort the witness into the
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, may I inquire at what time we were going
8 to take the next break.
9 JUDGE ORIE: The next break will be in approximately 15 minutes.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, I presume Mr. Karabeg. Mr. Karabeg,
12 before giving evidence in this court, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
13 require you to make a solemn declaration that you speak the truth, the
14 whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The text of this declaration is
15 now being handed out to you by Madam Usher. May I invite you to make that
16 solemn declaration.
17 WITNESS: MIRZET KARABEG
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
20 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much. Please be seated. You will
22 first be examined by Mr. Hannis, counsel for the Prosecution.
23 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I'm prepared to hand this over. I
24 meant to do it earlier.
25 MR. HANNIS: If I could hand the usher something to hand to the
1 registrar. It's a list of the exhibits I propose to show this witness and
2 the order in which I intend to show him.
3 Examined by Mr. Hannis:
4 Q. Sir, good afternoon. Would you tell us your name and spell it,
6 A. Karabeg, K-a-r-a-b-e-g, and my first name is Mirzet, M-i-r-z-e-t.
7 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, I would first like to show this witness
8 copies of two ICTY statements that he's made. We have both English and
9 B/C/S versions of his first statement dated 24 and 25 July 1999, and then
10 a supplement dated 23 May 2002, making corrections to the first statement.
11 And they are stapled together. I propose to treat them as one exhibit.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P98.
13 MR. HANNIS: Thank you.
14 Q. Mr. Karabeg, I would ask you to take a look at that statement, or
15 actually those two statements, and tell us if you recognise those as
16 statements you've previously made and that you've had a chance to review
17 before today.
18 A. These are my statements, the statements that I gave on two
20 Q. And the second statement, dated 23 May of 2002, was a statement in
21 which you made a number of changes or corrections to your first statement
22 in 1999; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. And yesterday, in preparing for your testimony today, did you have
25 an occasion to go over these statements with me?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. In the course of doing that, sir, I think we found one additional
3 paragraph where you noted that there should be made a change, and I would
4 direct you to paragraph 88 in the July 1999 statement. And I'm reading
5 the English, which says: "I was singled out with 14 others for beatings."
6 And in counting the names of the persons there, I believe we found out
7 that there were 11 names, and you indicated to me that that was incorrect.
8 Either the translation was incorrect or it was written down incorrectly in
9 that you were not singled out; is that right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Rather, these were the names of people you remembered who were
12 beaten but not especially singled out?
13 A. No. No. See, when I told you yesterday about this, it involved
14 an incident when all of us were beaten and not that a group had been
15 singled out specifically for beating. This group, we were together at
16 Betonirka. Most of us were in prison, and the majority of us, on the 28th
17 of August, 1992, were sent to Manjaca. So we were amongst the last people
18 to be sent to Manjaca. It was not a group that had been singled out for
20 Q. And, sir, with that one additional change, are you satisfied and
21 can you confirm to the Court today that your written statements are true
22 and correct and accurate to the best of your knowledge and belief?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, at this time, pursuant to Rule 89(F), we
1 would like to offer those two statements as part of this witness's
2 evidence today.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the summary, you'd start with that?
4 MR. HANNIS: Yes, Your Honour. I intend to now read a brief
5 summary of what is in his written statement.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Was this provided before or after breakfast to the
8 MS. LOUKAS: This is the summary, Your Honour.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MS. LOUKAS: Yes, yes. That was provided, in fact, after
12 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Any problems with the summary as far as we
14 MS. LOUKAS: No, Your Honour. I in fact received it as I walked
15 into court this morning.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, timing of delivering of summaries has been
17 discussed already. Please proceed, Mr. Hannis.
18 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Mr. Karabeg, I'm just now going to read a summary, and when I
20 finish this I will have some additional questions for you.
21 Your Honour, this witness is a Bosnian Muslim, a Bosniak born in
22 Sanski Most, trained as a lawyer, and worked in the Famos metal
23 manufacturing factory as chief of personnel. He was an SDA candidate
24 during the 1990 multi-party elections, and he became president of the
25 Executive Board of the Sanski Most Municipal Assembly, holding that
1 position from 1 January 1991 until 17 April 1992.
2 He describes the election results and the make-up of the Municipal
3 Assembly, noting Nedeljko Rasula, a Serb and SDS member, became president
4 of the Municipal Assembly. He names other leading figures in the local
5 SDS. Also notes that the local JNA unit in early 1992 was the 6th Krajina
6 Brigade under Colonel Branko Basara. The witness states that the SDS
7 Serbs began insisting on dividing the municipality along ethnic lines and
8 creating a separate Serbian municipality of Sanski Most which would align
9 itself with the Serb Autonomous Region of Krajina, ARK.
10 A first step in the process was the 11 April 1992 reorganisation
11 of the police force with new insignia and a loyalty oath to the Republika
12 Srpska, RS. The SDS Serbs continued to insist on a division of the
13 municipality and wanted the non-Serbs to move to the other side of the
14 river. Many checkpoints were set up in the municipality and all non-Serbs
15 would be stopped and searched.
16 On 17 April 1992, the SDS Serbs and the SDA and HDZ
17 representatives continued to negotiate the situation. The SDS
18 representatives said that they could not control their extremists and that
19 the non-Serbs had to leave the municipal building right away.
20 This witness and other non-Serbs, including about 36 non-Serb
21 policemen, went to the municipal building and took position there.
22 Negotiations continued for a couple of days with the SDS Serbs showing a
23 map proposing a street-by-street division of Sanski Most into two separate
25 On 19 April, Rasula gave an ultimatum to the non-Serbs in the
1 municipal building that if they did not leave by 2200 hours and surrender
2 all arms, they would be attacked. The non-Serbs noticed a column of about
3 30 vehicles of the 6th Krajina Brigade approaching and decided to quickly
4 depart from the building to Sehovic. Serbs did attack the building. On
5 20 April the two sides met together with JNA General Momir Talic. The
6 non-Serbs made several requests which were approved by Talic.
7 The local SDS Serbs did not comply with the approved request.
8 Local Serbs were part of an armed paramilitary group called the Serbian
9 Liberation Force, SOS, which the witness believes was responsible for a
10 series of shootings and bombings directed against the property of
11 non-Serbs in early 1992 in Sanski Most.
12 After 20 April 1992, JNA Colonel Basara had a series of meetings
13 in the town and surrounding villages, promising to keep the peace and to
14 deal with extremists in the SDS and SOS. The non-Serbs asked him to
15 re-establish contact with the Serb leaders of Sanski Most, but he never
16 did. The witness describes his arrest on 25 May 1992 and subsequent
17 detentions at the Sanski Most prison, at Betonirka camp, and eventually at
18 Manjaca. He talks about the terrible conditions and the constant
19 beatings, including ones in which he lost all his teeth. On one occasion
20 he was told that the beating was done based on the order of the chief of
21 police Mirko Vrucinic. The witness never received any medical care while
22 he was detained.
23 Your Honour, that completes my reading of the summary. Perhaps
24 now would be a good time for our next break.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think we best could have the break now.
1 Mr. Karabeg, questions will be put to you, but not until after the
2 break. We'll have a break until ten minutes to one.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, please proceed.
6 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Karabeg, I understand from your statement that you became the
8 President of the Executive Board for Sanski Most municipality in 1991; is
9 that correct?
10 A. Just a slight correction; not Bosanski Novi but Sanski Most, yes.
11 Q. My apologies; I was thinking of the last witness. And, sir, would
12 you explain to the Judges, please, a little bit about how the municipal
13 government in Sanski Most worked. First of all, explain to us about the
14 Municipal Assembly. How was that made up and what was their
16 A. This is how it was: The elections were held in 1990, and
17 following the electoral results in the Sanski Most municipality, if we
18 look at the parties, the SDS won the majority vote, and therefore it had
19 23 seats in the Municipal Assembly. The SDA won 22 seats in the Municipal
20 Assembly, and the HDZ won four seats, and the leftist forces 11.
21 On the basis of these election results, a proposal was put forward
22 by which the election results were to be put into practice. As the SDS
23 received the largest number of votes and had 23 seats, they had the right
24 to chose whether they wished to put forward a president of the Assembly or
25 president of the Executive Board. They opted for the president of the
1 Municipal Assembly, and there was secret ballot on the part of 60 members
2 as to the nominations. So the Assembly was led by the president of the
3 Assembly, the deputy Municipal Assembly president, and that was the
4 representative of the HDZ party, Anto Tunjic, and president of the
5 Executive Board. They were nominated and the elections were put into
6 practice as president of the Assembly, as nominated, Rasula Nedeljko, was
7 elected, I was the president -- as the SDA president, I became president
8 of the Executive Board, and Anto Tunjic for the Municipal Assembly
10 So within that context after the elections, the proposals were
11 that the executive authority be elected with the Executive Board at its
12 head, and I was the head of the Executive Board. Now, to the Executive
13 Board we had three representatives to make it up, Bosniaks, Muslims, and
14 then three representatives of the SDS party of Serb ethnicity and one
15 representative of the Croatian ethnicity. So that was the composition of
16 the Executive Board. It numbered seven members, of which three were
17 Bosniaks, three were Serbs, and one was a Croat.
18 Q. If I may stop you there, Mr. Karabeg. Can you tell me --
19 A. Yes, go ahead.
20 Q. Can you tell me what the relationship was between the Executive
21 Board and the Municipal Assembly. How were laws made in Sanski Most
23 A. This is how it was: The laws and regulations were passed at the
24 Assembly. That's where the decisions were taken, conclusions made, and
25 other acts passed, like the statute, the rules and regulations, and so on
1 and so forth.
2 Q. And what did the Executive Board --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel.
4 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry.
5 Q. Could you tell me what the Executive Board did with regard to laws
6 that were passed by the Municipal Assembly?
7 A. The Executive Board would implement those laws, and as it is
8 called the Executive Board, the Executive Board executes. It was the
9 executive power, and the Assembly was the legislative power.
10 Q. And how many votes did it take for the Executive Board to agree --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone.
12 MR. HANNIS:
13 Q. Did it take a unanimous decision by the Executive Board or merely
14 a majority of the seven to reach agreement on a decision?
15 A. This is how it was: We had our rules governing our work, the way
16 in which matters were voted on. So everything was regulated by law
17 through these rules, and decisions were made by a two-thirds majority.
18 And the work of the Executive Board could start if the Executive Board
19 meetings were attended by more than half the members, but decisions were
20 always taken by majority vote, a simple majority vote with the total
21 number of members present.
22 Q. And can you tell us how the -- how the paperwork was processed.
23 Once a decision was passed, a new statute, a new regulation, a new
24 decision, how was that put into effect? Who needed to sign it? Did it
25 need any kind of seal or stamp, et cetera?
1 A. It was signed and stamped by the president of the Assembly, and
2 the power was vested in him. That was law. Decisions and conclusions
3 were passed by the Assembly, and they were signed by the president of the
5 Q. And was there any official seal required to make that law take
6 valid effect?
7 A. This is how it was: For a signature to be valid and for procedure
8 to be put into effect, a seal was, of course, necessary, yes. The
9 signature had to be accompanied with a seal for it to be further
11 Q. And did the seal go on every copy of an order or were there other
12 copies that did not require a seal?
13 A. This is how it was: Every particular -- in every particular case,
14 how it should be dealt with was prescribed. The case in point, whether it
15 was necessary for further work, of course a decision would be made,
16 signed, and sealed, a stamp placed on it. Now, depending on how much time
17 had elapsed for the document to be implemented, and if that time had the
18 -- the deadline had passed by for its implementation, it was filed in the
19 archives, and then you would sometimes have signatures on that without a
21 Q. Mr. Karabeg, I want to ask you about a couple of other members of
22 the local SDS party. Did you know a Vlado Vrkes?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Who was he and what was his position in the SDS?
25 A. Vlado Vrkes was the president of the SDS party in Sanski Most or,
1 rather, the president of the municipal board of the SDS Sanski Most.
2 Q. And a Boro Savanovic.
3 A. Boro Savanovic was a member of the leadership of the SDS. I think
4 it was the same as the Executive Board in their party. The municipal
5 Executive Board of the SDS, in fact.
6 Q. Now, sir, I want to refer your attention to March of 1991. In
7 your position as president of the Executive Board for Sanski Most, did you
8 have occasion to attend a conference in Banja Luka around that time?
9 A. Yes, I did, and this is what happened: On my table, I found an
10 invitation that a meeting be organised in Banja Luka. Nobody handed it to
11 me, I just happened to find it on my table one morning. And the next day
12 I went to Banja Luka. I assumed that it was -- it had been placed on my
13 table because the president of the Assembly, Nedeljko Rasula, was not in
14 Sanski Most on that particular day. Anyway, I went to the conference hall
15 of the Municipal Assembly of Banja Luka, and when I got there, I found a
16 lot of people there. I did not know them, but I met the president of the
17 Executive Board of the Kljuc municipality, Asim Egeric, and I asked him,
18 "How come you're here? It seems that we have wandered into this
19 meeting." And he said, "I don't know. I found an invitation, and I
20 responded to the invitation." So that's how I came to be there.
21 Q. Could you tell us, please, what kind of meeting was this and how
22 many people were attending?
23 A. Well, as far as I remember, there might have been up to a hundred
24 people there, and later on I realised that they were the presidents of the
25 municipal assemblies and boards and party presidents, and some other
1 people there. I really can't say who they all were, but anyway, they were
2 from the municipalities of the Bosanska Krajina region, as it was called
3 at the time. So they were representatives, that is to say the leaders of
4 the Serb people.
5 Q. You mentioned the president of -- I believe it was the Executive
6 Board in Kljuc. Was he also a Serb?
7 A. Asim Egeric was a Bosniak, a Muslim. May I just be allowed to say
8 something at this point?
9 Q. Please.
10 A. Three days later I found this all a bit suspicious because on the
11 territory of those 17 municipalities of Bosanska Krajina, there was only
12 one Bosniak who was president of the municipality, and he was Muhamed
13 Cehajic. That was his name. Three days later, when I happened to be in
14 Prijedor, I asked him, I said, "Muhamed, tell me, please, did you receive
15 an invitation to attend that meeting in Banja Luka?" And he said, "I
16 didn't receive any invitation." And he was surprised that the meeting had
17 taken place. So that's why I think it was only the representatives of the
18 Serb people who were invited to attend that particular meeting.
19 So as the chief of the head of the municipality, he ought to have
20 been invited if all the other municipality presidents from the Bosanska
21 Krajina region, the 17 municipalities, had been invited.
22 Q. Were you and Mr. Egeric the only non-Serbs at this meeting, as far
23 as you know?
24 A. That's right, we were. We were the only ones, the two of us.
25 Q. And what do you recall about the topic that was discussed at this
2 A. Well, it was like this: It was mentioned for the first time that
3 Bosanska Krajina should be cleansed of the non-Serb people, that is to say
4 that the media should be stifled first, the Croatian media or, rather, the
5 Ustasha media, as they were referred to. And the Muslims were referred to
6 as the balijas. So the Zagreb and Sarajevo media, in fact. And that at
7 all cost the Serb people should be given the possibility of living in the
9 And I remember very well when Judge Srbac [as interpreted], a
10 judge of the misdemeanour court, said that the resources obtained from the
11 penalties and taxes accrued would be siphoned off to this fund which would
12 finance the functioning of Serbian media and Serbian television and that
13 the Ustasha and balija medias or, rather, the Sarajevo and Zagreb media,
14 and I mean television here, should be marginalised as much as possible.
15 Q. Do you recall who any of the speakers were that talked about
16 cleansing the Krajina of non-Serb people?
17 A. Well, this is how it was: I did not give much thought to the
18 meeting at the time, and we were just present physically, if I could put
19 it that way. Our presence was required, our physical presence, but we did
20 think that the worst might come. So we did stay to the end of the
21 meeting, but we tried to get away as soon as possible.
22 So that was -- is what sticks out in my mind and what I remember
23 best. And of course 14 years have gone by since then, so one doesn't
24 remember everything.
25 MS. LOUKAS: Just before Mr. Hannis goes on, I'd just like to pick
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of these transcript matters as they occur. At line 16, page 82, line 16,
2 there's a reference to, "And I remember very well when Judge Srbac..." In
3 fact, that's not the name of the Judge. It's a reference to a Judge from
4 a particular area called Srbac.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, from the place called Srbac.
6 I don't remember the Judge's name. He was president of the misdemeanour
7 court from Srbac.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's been clarified. Thank you, Ms. Loukas.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Hannis.
10 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you, Counsel.
11 Q. Mr. Karabeg, I would like now if we could give the next item an
12 exhibit number. It's a map with ERN 02296710. Mr. Karabeg, I'd like you
13 to look at this map and we'll talk about the Krajina for a minute.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P99.
15 MR. HANNIS:
16 Q. Sir, that's a map that shows Bosnia-Herzegovina with a portion of
17 it coloured in red which was an area that later became known as the
18 Autonomous Region of the Krajina. You mentioned at this March 1991
19 meeting, I think you referred to 17 municipalities. At that time, can --
20 or at this time can you recall which 17 municipalities were represented at
21 this meeting?
22 A. It's like this: Those 17 municipalities which belonged to the
23 Bosnian Krajina, I could tell you which they were on the basis of this
24 map, and I would tell you the ones that didn't belong. For example, Bihac
25 was never there, didn't belong to that, nor did Krupa, nor Petrovac, nor
1 Drvar, for example. So these would be the rest of the municipalities
2 belonging to the Bosnian Krajina because the others belonged to the Bihac
4 Q. And for --
5 A. And of course, the White Zazine and Velika Kladusa.
6 Q. And for the Court, could you explain what the Bihac region was.
7 A. The Bihac region was as follows: Zazine, Velika Kladusa, Bihac,
8 Bosanska Krupa, Bosanski Petrovac, Drvar, and Bosanski Novi. That would
9 be it.
10 Q. We can take that away now and I would like to show --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I just be allowed to add that
13 they were the districts on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 MR. HANNIS: Thank you. If the next map could be given the next
15 exhibit number and shown to the witness.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P100.
17 MR. HANNIS:
18 Q. Mr. Karabeg, can you tell us what is on the screen in front of you
19 now, or the ELMO to your right side.
20 A. On the screen we see the map of the Sanski Most municipality.
21 Q. And does that accurately represent the geographic location of
22 Sanski Most, the neighbouring municipalities, and most of the larger
23 area --
24 A. Yes, it does. It does.
25 Q. And most --
1 A. The neighbouring municipalities, yes.
2 Q. And most of the larger villages within Sanski Most municipality?
3 A. That's right. Yes. In fact, these are the local communes of the
4 Sanski Most municipality.
5 Q. And can you tell us, or tell the Court a little bit about the
6 ethnic make-up of Sanski Most municipality. How were the peoples divided
7 among the three largest ethnic groups?
8 A. This is how it was according to the 1991 population census:
9 Sanski Most had 60.280 inhabitants, of which there were - and this might
10 not be an exact figure, I might be wrong - but there were 28.300 Bosniaks,
11 there were 25.000 Serbs or thereabouts, and there were about 4.280 Croats,
12 and the others came under the rest or miscellaneous.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. HANNIS: If we could take that away and I would like to show
15 him the next exhibit.
16 Q. One more map, Mr. Karabeg, relating to the ethnic distribution
17 within Sanski Most municipality.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P101.
19 MR. HANNIS:
20 Q. Mr. Karabeg, this is a map based on the 1991 census and showing in
21 three different colours the distribution of the ethnic groups within
22 Sanski Most municipality, with green for the Muslims or Bosniaks, blue for
23 the Serbs, and red for the Croats. Based on your knowledge as a long-time
24 resident of Sanski Most and president of the Executive Board, does this
25 accurately depict the distribution of the various ethnic groups within
1 those geographic locations in Sanski Most?
2 A. I think it does, yes. I think it does represent that. This is
3 red, yes, that's right. This is the Croatian population. Yes, that would
4 be right.
5 Q. And within the town of Sanski Most itself, what was the ethnic
7 A. This is how it was: I think that in Sanski Most the ratio was 45
8 per cent Muslims, Bosniaks, 45 per cent of them. The Serbs amounted to 10
9 per cent, 10 per cent Croats, and the rest were Serbs [as interpreted].
10 Q. Thank you. Now I'm done with that map, sir, and I would like to
11 ask you to direct your attention to the summer of 1991. Do you recall a
12 series of explosions and/or shootings directed against non-Serb businesses
13 and properties in Sanski Most starting around that time?
14 A. Well, it started in April or May, I would say, 1991, when the
15 explosions started, mostly in the various cafes whose proprietors were
16 non-Serbs. And then this also -- this took place over two or three
17 months. But as the 25th of May grew close, it became more frequent. So
18 in May there would be two or three explosions, for example. And in other
19 places there were 27.
20 Now, these explosions -- well, one of the points on our agenda for
21 the Executive Board meeting was this, that the investigation organs should
22 uncover the perpetrators and that they be held accountable and brought to
23 trial. But of course nothing was ever done. None of these perpetrators
24 were ever uncovered. So the people who did this were never found.
25 Q. Let me clear up something in your answer that I'm not sure of.
1 You indicated that you think it began in April or May of 1991, and then
2 you talked about it increasing, and as the 25th of May grew close, it
3 became more frequent. Are you talking about the 25th of May, 1991 or
5 A. No, I'm talking about the 25th of May, 1992. I said that it had
6 started either in May or in April. I think that the first explosion took
7 place in April or in May, the next one in September, but as May grew
8 closer, the explosions became more frequent. When the date of the 25th of
9 May, as it was approaching in 1992, of course, they -- the explosions
10 became more frequent.
11 Q. And do you have any idea what the approximate total number of
12 explosions, these incidents in Sanski Most between the first one in spring
13 1991 on May of 1992?
14 A. Twenty-seven.
15 Q. And in each case was the -- the victim business or premises a
16 non-Serb property?
17 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, just in relation to that particular
18 point, I think that's a matter that the Prosecution should not lead on.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Hannis, would it be better for you to reformulate
20 your question.
21 MR. HANNIS: Yes.
22 Q. Mr. Karabeg, can you tell us as to those 27 incidents, whose
23 property was the subject of the bombing in each of those 27 cases, if you
25 A. In most of the cases Bosniaks, Muslims, and to a lesser extent
1 Croats, for the simple reason that there were not that many Croat
2 nationals in Sanski Most. So non-Serb population.
3 Q. Now, I want to ask you about an incident that you -- you wrote
4 about, I think, in a document for the Executive Board in February of 1992.
5 Do you recall an incident with regard to the -- the SDK, the public
6 accounting service?
7 A. Yes, I do remember that incident. We, the parties, had divided
8 the offices amongst ourselves, but as the events unfolded and as the
9 situation changed -- for instance, in 1991, the SDS didn't much care about
10 the SDK, however, at one point the SDK became interesting for them, and
11 they requested that it be allocated to them. They were not successful in
12 that request, however, and then through their prominent or extremist
13 members, as they referred to them, they attempted a break-in into the SDK.
14 They attempted to replace the man, the leader, the chief of the SDK by
15 force, which was very interesting in the sense that the man in charge
16 would then be able to send the funds in Banja Luka and not to Sarajevo as
17 it was provided by law.
18 I remember a lady by the name of Ankica who was a Croat and who --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could I just ask you to stop for a second.
20 Ms. Loukas.
21 MS. LOUKAS: Yes. Your Honour, I notice that Mr. Karabeg has in
22 front of him a document that he's reading from. In the circumstances
23 where the document is --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't. No, no. You can take
25 this away. These are just some copies that I have, but you're free to
1 take this away. I don't need -- I don't need any of this.
2 MS. LOUKAS: It's just appropriate that the document is moved to
3 the side.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The fact is that Mr. Karabeg had something in front
5 of him, he said he's not reading from it. He doesn't need it. So let's
7 Please, Mr. Hannis, proceed.
8 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour. I think we did leave his
9 statement in front of him because I anticipate referring to specific
10 paragraphs in the future but I would ask him not read from it and if he
11 does, to advise us when he's doing so.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Karabeg, Ms. Loukas cannot exactly see what is in
13 front of you so she's entitled to find out whether, which has happened in
14 the past, you would be reading or not.
15 Please proceed.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If she wants me to, I can give
17 these to her. They are no secret.
18 JUDGE ORIE: That has been clarified. There's no issue any more.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. HANNIS: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Karabeg, can you explain for us a little bit about what the
22 SDK was in the municipalities in Bosnia in 1991 and 1992. What was that
23 service? What was its function?
24 A. In the territory of the former Yugoslavia, we had the so-called
25 SDK, the public accounting service, through which all money transfers were
1 made. So until that time, all of the funds were directed to the centre in
2 Sarajevo, in accordance with the relevant provisions. We had SDKs at the
3 level of the municipality, at the level of the republics, and at the level
4 of the state, the state of the former Yugoslavia. So these funds included
5 taxes, various types of dues and duties. I'm not sure of all the funds
6 that went through the SDK.
7 All of a sudden, the SDS wanted to have their men at the head of
8 the SDK so that the funds could be redirected to Banja Luka. They made
9 several attempts to that effect, and they usually mentioned the fact that
10 it was their extremists, the extreme wing who wanted to do that. The
11 extremists had been specifically tasked with that mission. They wanted to
12 replace this Croatian lady and to bring Milovac Mile on that position,
13 which was eventually done, and the funds from Sanski Most were then
14 redirected to Banja Luka instead of Sarajevo.
15 Q. And if you know, sir, can you tell us why the Serbs would want the
16 money to go to Banja Luka instead of Sarajevo?
17 A. They were making preparations for the Autonomous Region of Bosnian
18 Krajina or the actual Republika Srpska. Those were just preparatory
19 measures, preparatory operations, and this was the final objective, and
20 they needed money to finance that.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. HANNIS: If we could have the next item marked as the next
23 exhibit. It's a document with English ERN 0306-5955.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number P102.
25 MR. HANNIS:
1 Q. Mr. Karabeg, this is a document dated the 5th of March, 1992,
2 bearing your signature as president of the Executive Board for the Sanski
3 Most Municipal Assembly. Partly as a result of these violent actions
4 against non-Serb properties and the incident regarding the head of the
5 SDK, did the Executive Board take any action or reach any decisions that
6 are referred to in that document?
7 MS. LOUKAS: Your Honour, again, if it is going to be proper
8 evidence in chief, the evidence should not be coming in a leading fashion
9 from a leading question from Mr. Hannis.
10 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I believe that was just
11 calling for a yes or no answer.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Which does not necessarily make it -- makes it not
13 leading perhaps, because also yes or no answer could be response to a
14 question which is highly suggestive in terms of --
15 MR. HANNIS: I understand, Your Honour, but I don't think it was
16 in this case.
17 JUDGE ORIE: No, but your response was just about the yes and no,
18 which is not the entire answer. Let me just re-read the question. One
20 Yes. A causal relationship is existing or not existing in the
21 question, and if you would rephrase it in a more open way, that would be
22 preferable. I remind you that usually leading questions, as such, not
23 always opposed to but in certain circumstances where it becomes of more
24 vital importance, then the other party can object against leading. Please
1 MR. HANNIS: I'll rephrase, Your Honour. Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Karabeg, can you tell us what that document is.
3 A. This document contains the conclusions of the meeting of the
4 Executive Board when measures were proposed following the incidents that
5 had taken place over the couple of previous days. And the incident in
6 question refers to the SDK. It was a case of vandalism. They simply
7 wanted to remove the leadership of the SDK by force, and these are the
8 measures that were proposed by the Executive Council at its meeting, the
9 measures or the conclusions.
10 Q. Can you tell us briefly, what were the proposed measures to be
12 A. See, we first condemned such behaviour on the 28th of February,
13 1992. That is what had happened at the SDK. We then offered a proposal
14 whereby a change in the government should be done in accordance with the
15 previous agreements following the multi-party elections, that is, there
16 should be no forcible changes whatsoever as far as the SDK is concerned,
17 that any personnel change should be carried out with full respect given to
18 the people who had held this office before that.
19 And this is what I wanted to say when I told you that the
20 situation changed, that the circumstances changed over the time.
21 We established the local government after the multi-party
22 elections in 1990, but at one point the SDS wanted to have the National
23 Defence Department, the Territorial Defence, the property department at
24 all costs, which offices then at one point no longer were interesting for
25 them. In turn, they became quite interested in the SDK. It must have
1 been pursuant to a signal that had been given by someone from Banja Luka
2 so that these funds could be redirected to Banja Luka. So they tried to
3 achieve it by force, to implement it by force, so that the funds could be
4 sent to Banja Luka. Because all of a sudden they changed their mind, and
5 we no longer want this particular department, we want the public
6 accounting service, because they could not get it through the regular
7 agreements, and then they used "extremists," their extremist wing to
8 implement this decision to take over the public accounting service, which
9 they wanted at the time, and not some other department. And these
10 conclusions listed under 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are in response to that.
11 Q. And some of those proposals for change to alleviate the situation,
12 were they ever acted upon by the Municipal Assembly?
13 A. Now, these were the times when we started expecting the worst.
14 These are the first signs of lack of cooperation between us and the SDS.
15 Before this happened, before this forcible takeover of power, that is when
16 the proposal was offered to have Sanski Most declared Serbian Sanski Most
17 and united with Banja Luka, so before that me and the president of the
18 municipality, together with our associates, we would start working
19 together every day at 7.00, drinking our morning coffee. We would agree
20 on what we would do with that day, how we would proceed. It was a
21 perfectly normal and collegial relationship, and we worked together during
22 that time.
23 Q. Now, sir, in --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 MR. HANNIS:
1 Q. In paragraph 12 of your statement, I believe you indicate that
2 beginning in March and on into April of 1992, the main issue on the agenda
3 as far as municipal business was concerned was an effort on the part of
4 the SDS to have Sanski Most join the Republika Srpska and the Autonomous
5 Region of Krajina. Now, I want to ask you about that.
6 Did you have occasion to talk with Vlado Vrkes about why he and
7 the SDS were so interested in making that happen?
8 A. I think that it was either on the 6th or the 7th of April that we
9 held the last session of the Municipal Assembly. At that time, during
10 that session, they expressed their wish to place the proclamation of the
11 Serbian Sanski Most on the agenda and also to declare the municipality of
12 the Serbian Sanski Most part of Banja Luka region.
13 Now, our response to the proposal was that if that should be the
14 case, then we wanted to discuss the unification of the municipality of
15 Sanski Most with Bihac. So we couldn't reach an agreement on that, so we
16 proceeded with a break, and we established a commission which was supposed
17 to come up with a proposal to be placed on the agenda of the session of
18 the Assembly. However, no agreement was reached to that effect, and the
19 session was never -- the session never resumed.
20 As for the president of the SDS, I was on very good terms with
21 him, and I put him in contact with a friend of mine from whom he had
22 wanted to buy an apartment, and that is how he -- how he and I, after that
23 session of the Assembly, this is how we met, Vlado Vrkes and this friend
24 of mine from whom he wanted to purchase an apartment. But I don't know
25 whether it was on the same day or the next day.
1 If I may continue, please. I think that we thought that this
2 would not eventually be placed on the agenda, the unification of the
3 Sanski Most municipality with the Bosnian Krajina. And because we were
4 good friends and we were close, I asked him, "How come that you want to
5 place this on the agenda now, at this point, for the first time?" And he
6 said that they had received an order to that effect in Banja Luka. He
7 said that this was done pursuant to an order issued by Krajisnik, an
8 instruction by Krajisnik. And then I asked him whether it was pursuant to
9 an order by Brdjanin, but he didn't know exactly who was the person who
10 issued the specific order.
11 Q. And after he told you this, did you discuss this with any of your
12 fellow SDA representatives in the Municipal Assembly or the municipal
14 A. Now, what happened was that we did meet afterwards, but we didn't
15 take his response to be sincere at the time. We thought that it was just
16 a justification, an excuse that he had given for this proposal to be
17 placed on the agenda, because after all, a long time had passed, and the
18 Sanski Most municipality was then the last one in respect to which the
19 proposal was made to be made part of the Bosanska Krajina region, and we
20 concluded this must have been pursuant to a proposal that came from Banja
21 Luka, because it was from that point on that bad things started to
23 MR. HANNIS: Your Honour, this would be a good point.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Hannis.
25 It's time for a break. Mr. Karabeg, your examination will be
1 continued tomorrow at 9.00.
2 Madam Registrar, that would be in -- Madam Registrar, I'm just
3 checking whether we are in the same courtroom or not.
4 But in whatever courtroom it will be, I would like to instruct you
5 not to speak to anyone, not with the Prosecution any more, not with the
6 Defence nor with anyone else, about the testimony you have given or you
7 are still about to give tomorrow or the coming days.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I'll just try to find out where we're expected to be
10 tomorrow. Yes. It will be in this same courtroom, Mr. Karabeg.
11 Madam Usher, would you please escort the witness out of the
12 courtroom. I would have one additional question for you, Mr. Hannis.
13 Looking at P101, it very much seems a projected - please - it very
14 much seems a projected map, because all the maps of Sanski Most -- well,
15 look a bit different. A scale on it and a projected map certainly leads
16 to all kinds of misunderstandings, so either we are fully aware that it's
17 a projected map not giving the proper -- the proper relations between
18 north, south, and east, west, distorted in that way. If that's clear,
19 then we could work with it, but the scale is of no help.
20 At least, if Merloit [phoen] is 1:300.000, is that the scale?
21 MR. HANNIS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, which exhibit were you
22 referring to?
23 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's P101, the coloured map with the--
24 MR. HANNIS: Ethnic composition?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. On the bottom it says Merloit, 1 to 300.000,
1 and I perhaps a bit --
2 MR. HANNIS: I think as you described is our understanding. My
3 purpose in showing that to the witness, Your Honour, was just to have him
4 indicate that that map showed in general terms the location of various
5 ethnic concentrations --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. HANNIS: -- within the municipality.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's clear.
9 MR. HANNIS: And before we adjourn, may I raise one scheduling
11 JUDGE ORIE: If you make it quick because we have to leave this
13 MR. HANNIS: I know. Based on earlier discussions that the week
14 of June 7th was possibly a week that we would sit or might not sit, we
15 have some witnesses scheduled for that week but it's important for us to
16 know if that week is going to go off, then we want to cancel those people
17 and cancel travel arrangements, but if not, then otherwise.
18 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has not been able yet to give a decision
19 on that and I call into your minds the meeting of last Friday which cast
20 some light on why the Chamber was unable to reach any decision up to this
22 Then finally, Ms. Loukas, if we are confronted with the transcript
23 tomorrow, would it be possible, especially if it would be a 92 bis (D),
24 then of course we would have to decide whether it can be admitted under
25 that Rule, could we have a copy this afternoon of the relevant part of the
1 transcript you'd like to introduce with this witness.
2 MS. LOUKAS: Certainly. I take it then that -- therefore a
3 decision has not been made at this stage as to whether to adopt that
4 course or not.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I think whether it will be under 89(F) or under
6 92 bis (D), I mean, one way or the other, I think we -- I have to discuss
7 it still with the Judges, although my mind goes provisionally a little bit
8 more in the direction of 92 bis (D) than in 89(F), but at least if it
9 would be 92 bis (D), then of course we'd like to have seen the transcript
10 in advance so we can take a decision.
11 MS. LOUKAS: Of course. Certainly, Your Honour, I'll --
12 JUDGE ORIE: If it could be delivered this afternoon. Thank you
13 very much.
14 We will adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00, in the same
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.50 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 25th day of May,
18 2004, at 9.00 a.m.