1 Friday, 20 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.28 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone. I think we all together
6 are a bit responsible for the late start. There were some problems of --
7 about the protective measures that would apply.
8 But, first of all, Madam Registrar, would you please call the
10 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
11 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
13 The next witness to be examined is called for cross-examination.
14 His testimony has been admitted under Rule 92 bis. The Chamber has
15 granted a request for protective measures which was formulated as -- that
16 a Chamber should order that the identities -- the identity and the
17 identifying information for that witness would not be disclosed to the
19 To translate that in practical measures during cross-examination
20 would mean face distortion, voice distortion, and pseudonym. That is how
21 the Chamber interprets now its own decision. And perhaps when a similar
22 request is made, perhaps it could be formulated a bit more precise, also
23 in case cross-examination -- in case the witness would be called for
25 Mr. Stewart, are you ready to cross-examine Witness 012?
1 MR. STEWART: Yes, I am, Your Honour. But I also have a -- a
2 specific and un -- unusual request which I've discussed with the
3 Prosecution, and the -- the position is this, Your Honour: Your Honours
4 I think are probably well aware - she's informed you herself from time to
5 time - that Ms. Loukas has an outstanding application for her to be -- to
6 withdraw as co-counsel. And for -- for the record, but without wishing
7 there to be any misunderstanding, I now also have an application for her
8 to be withdrawn, but I must make it clear that's not a hostile
9 application in any form as between Ms. Loukas and myself if that could
10 give rise to misunderstanding. So there are two pending applications.
11 Your Honour, I don't pre-empt at all the Registrar's decision in
12 -- in this area. It's under consideration and we're told that that will
13 be resolved quite soon. But, Your Honour, in anticipation and in
14 preparation for such a step, if it should come about, I have made
15 arrangements, of course, for a prospective replacement co-counsel.
16 Your Honour, he has flown over this morning from England. And
17 when I say "this morning," it's pretty obvious that means pretty early in
18 England. His flight was at 6.00 this morning from Luton airport. He is
19 coming with me to see Mr. Krajisnik late today. But, Your Honour, part
20 of the purpose of his coming over so early this morning - and we consider
21 it to be a valuable purpose - was that he would have an opportunity of
22 observing this trial in action.
23 Your Honour, I understand that the technical reasons related to
24 the particular courtroom that we're in at the moment, the combination of
25 protective measures which has been granted just makes it technically
1 impossible for him to be in the public gallery, although in theory of
2 course it not being actually closed session, he in principle could and --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr -- Mr. Stewart, apart from the time the
4 witness -- the prospective replacement left England, I take it that in
5 the last two minutes you were heading for a solution that he could attend
6 this hearing.
7 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course.
9 MR. STEWART: And so that the public understands and the Trial
10 Chamber understands this very unusual request, Your Honour, I was taking
11 a couple of minutes just to give Your Honour the simple background.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. STEWART: But, Your Honour, the position is -- his name is -
14 and I have no reason not to give his name - he couldn't be troubled by
15 that - his name is Mr. David Josse, that is J-o-s-s-e. He is personally
16 known to me as a barrister. He is a member of the bar of England and
17 Wales in good standing, something between 15 and 20 years in practice.
18 He is actually in practice in chambers in England. Your Honour, I'm
19 quite sure -- I see no reason why he wouldn't. I'm quite sure that Mr.
20 Josse would of course give the Trial Chamber any appropriate professional
21 undertaking as a barrister, which is something that of course he would
22 then --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. STEWART: -- keep to.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Since it's quite unusual to ask people to speak from
1 the public gallery, when the witness is prepared for being brought in, we
2 could just withdraw for one second and that I personally can take the
3 assurances of Mr. Josse to briefly explain his position and then ask the
4 assurances appropriate at this time, if the parties would agree with
5 that. And then before I'll allow him to enter the -- the public gallery,
6 I'll explain to the witness what the situation is. I think that's fair.
7 Because the witness might be --
8 MR. STEWART: Absolute, Your Honour. Of course.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- confused by the situation.
10 MR. STEWART: Of course I have to say the Prosecution, I've
11 discussed it with them, very helpfully agreed entirely with the course
12 that I've proposed. They have no objection.
13 The only other thing I should mention, Your Honour, is we can't
14 find Mr. Josse right now because he may not have arrived from the
15 airport. But we --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. As soon as -- as soon as he's there, we'll --
17 yes. And it's good that you warn us, Mr. Stewart, because I do
18 understand that good behaviour of the Chamber might enhance the chances
19 that Mr. Josse will --
20 MR. STEWART: Well, I've said nothing to him, of course, Your
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
23 MR. STEWART: Nothing to him at all.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll turn in -- is voice distortion in place?
25 Is face distortion in place?
1 They're all in place. The pseudonym to be used is KRAJ 012, I
2 take it, Mr. Margetts?
3 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then ...
5 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, whilst the witness is coming in, this
6 is obviously 92 bis with cross-examination. We would like to introduce
7 two exhibits, one being the annexure to the statement that has been
8 introduced into evidence and another being a press article that the
9 witness brought and provided to us today and we have provided an copy of
10 that article to the Defence.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It is a 92 bis witness. Usually a summary is
12 read into the -- into the transcript, but of course identifying elements
13 should not be in there. I don't know whether there -- has any summary
14 been prepared or ...
15 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour, a summary has been prepared.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I take it that particular caution has been
17 given to the -- that the potential identifying elements are -- are not
18 present in --
19 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you'll perhaps explain to the witness the
21 -- the procedure of 92 bis in reading the summary so that he can be
23 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Good morning, Witness 012. Can you hear me in
1 a language you understand?
2 THE WITNESS: [No audible response]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Witness 012, because that's how we will address you,
4 the Chamber has granted protective measures, which means that no one
5 outside this courtroom can see your face, no one outside this courtroom
6 can hear your own voice. Your voice will be distorted. And we'll not
7 use your name but we'll address you by "Witness 012."
8 Witness 012, before you give evidence in this court, the Rules of
9 Procedure and Evidence require you to make a solemn declaration that
10 you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The
11 text is now handed out to you by the usher. May I invite you to make
12 that solemn declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: [Microphone not activated]
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot hear the witness.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Witness 012. Please be seated.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot hear the witness.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Witness 012, that no one can see your face, also the
18 public gallery in this courtroom is closed. There is a chance, however,
19 that during this morning's session someone would arrive who is a
20 prospective replacement for Defence counsel; that is, he's a professional
21 lawyer. That might be present. He is expected to be on the Defence
22 team, so he's not just someone of the public but has a very specific
23 reason why he would like to attend.
24 May I take it that you would not oppose if that person but that
25 person alone would be in the public gallery if he arrives this morning?
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot hear the witness.
2 JUDGE ORIE: [Microphone not activated] Even now we switch to
3 channel 4, I did not receive any --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the witness.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please repeat what you just said,
6 because the interpreters ...
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my conversations with the
9 Prosecutor so far, I was not informed about that. And I do not want that
10 person to be present, and I can explain why.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please tell us why.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. May I explain to you. This person is someone
17 who is expected to join the Defence team. Defence lawyers --
18 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. MARGETTS: Sorry, just -- the previous answer from the
21 witness may tend to identify him. If we could have that redacted.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it will be redacted.
23 This is a professional lawyer who comes from England, just as Mr.
24 Stewart, Defence counsel, is a professional lawyer who comes from
25 England. So he's not someone that could possibly be expected to
1 interfere. He is someone who will expectedly join the Defence team. And
2 Defence counsel of course are here, see your face, hear your voice. So
3 therefore I again would like to ask you. It would be different if it was
4 someone unknown. It is a professional lawyer from a non-Balkan country
5 with good standing for over, many, many years. And I will instruct that
6 person, if he arrives, personally that whatever he sees - because that's
7 the only difference, that he sees your face - that he should not talk
8 about it to anyone. So I do not see at this moment how that would add in
9 whatever way to the security -- that to keep him out would add in
10 whatever way to the security of your family.
11 And you may accept from me that this Chamber is sharp on
12 protection of witnesses.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very hard for me to change my
14 opinion within the scope of two or five minutes. I adhere to what I have
15 just said. If I acted differently, I would undermine myself. I fully
16 appreciate what you have just said. However, this -- if this had been
17 said to me in time, I would have considered that opportunity. And as
18 things stand now, I don't see why I should accept this situation.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, before we give any final decision on
20 the issue, I suggest the following: That we start now. As soon as the
21 Chamber is informed that Mr. Josse has arrived - and if that would be
22 before the first break - but otherwise that we would allow the
23 Prosecution to speak with the witness during the first break on the
24 subject only of this matter. They can be assisted by interpreters so
25 that, Mr. Margetts, you're in a better position perhaps to explain the
1 situation and that we do not take any decision as it is now. So public
2 gallery at this moment is empty. And whenever Mr. Josse would arrive, if
3 that would be before -- before the first break, we'll wait until the
4 first break. During the first break, Mr. Margetts, you are - with your
5 consent, Mr. Stewart - allowed to discuss this matter, this matter only,
6 with the witness.
7 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I couldn't possibly object to
8 that course because the Prosecution have been distinctly helpful over
9 this matter. If we should get to that point, Your Honour, it might be
10 that I would appreciate being able to say something very briefly which
11 would be better said probably in the absence of the witness.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. STEWART: But, Your Honour, shall we cross that bridge -- I
14 should just say that although perhaps Mr. Josse is not yet in the
15 building, I spoke to him early this morning as he was about to get on the
16 plane. So the likelihood that he's seriously delayed is not very high
17 because he was just boarding the plane when I spoke to him.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has taken no decision, so at this moment
21 you can be assured there's no one who can see your face, not even on an
22 exceptional basis.
23 Mr. Margetts, you explained to the witness the 92 bis procedure
24 and that you'll read out a summary?
25 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. Just a --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, of course you'd first like to start with
2 the identity of the witness, I take it?
3 MR. MARGETTS: Yes.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
5 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, just to comment on the matter we've
6 just discussed. I did explain to the witness that in this courtroom
7 should these protective measures be in place then the public gallery
8 would be empty. So the course that Your Honour has indicated, I think,
9 is the appropriate one, that I explain why there may be an exception to
11 Your Honour, if we could present the first exhibit, the pseudonym
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 THE REGISTRAR: The pseudonym sheet will be Prosecution Exhibit
15 P728, under seal.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
17 WITNESS: WITNESS KRAJ 012
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 Examined by Mr. Margetts:
20 Q. Witness 12, can you read the document before you. Does your name
21 and your date of birth appear on that document?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. MARGETTS: I've finished with that exhibit. If we could move
25 to the next exhibit, which is the attachment to the ICTY statement of the
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that the Chamber will receive
4 everything as a package on a CD, so the statement would then get one
5 number and whatever is attached to it gets a related number.
6 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. The situation was that this was
7 not -- was not specifically requested that this be part of the 92 bis
8 package, and that's the reason that I'm presenting it in --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Separately.
10 MR. MARGETTS: -- in this manner.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Madam Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: The attachment to the ICTY witness statement will
13 be Prosecution Exhibit number P729.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I just have a couple of questions in
15 relation to this exhibit. And if we could go into private session so I
16 could ask those questions.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we'll turn into private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 13190-13192 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Witness 012, the Chamber has observed that where the
20 Chamber thought that it would not make that much of a difference, that
21 it's disturbed you and that it confused you and that you opposed strongly
22 against the presence of even one person in the public gallery. For that
23 reason, although we gave an opportunity to the Prosecution to discuss the
24 matter with you, the Chamber finally decides whether you would have given
25 your consent or whether you would not have given your consent, that the
1 presence of that person is not of such importance as that would justify
2 to take any risk that you would feel put under pressure to agree with
3 something you rather would not agree to. Therefore, whatever your
4 position would have been, the Chamber meanwhile has decided, taking into
5 consideration your earlier response, not to make any exception to what
6 has been told to you. Also, in order to avoid that you get the feeling
7 that something different is told to you prior to the court and then
8 suddenly the situation in court would change unexpectedly for you.
9 So, therefore, no exceptions are allowed.
10 And, Mr. Margetts, you may proceed. But then we -- we'll turn
11 into private session, since we are dealing with a document that might
12 contain identifying detail.
13 [Private session]
11 Pages 13195-13201 redacted. Private session.
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
20 MR. MARGETTS: The following is the 92 bis summary of the
21 statements that have been admitted into evidence for Witness KRAJ 012.
22 The witness was a high-ranking member of a municipality in the
23 Romanija region.
24 In May 1991, the SDS municipality leaders established a
25 "Community of Municipalities," incorporating immediately surrounding
1 municipalities. By autumn of 1991, the Serbian Autonomous Region of
2 Romanija had been established.
3 From early 1992, Serbian paramilitaries trained volunteers in the
4 municipality and by the end of February 1992, two brigades of
5 paramilitaries had been organised. At the end of February 1992, weapons
6 were distributed to hundreds of Serbs by the Serbian commander of the
7 Territorial Defence.
8 In March 1992, all of the non-Serb officers were dismissed from
9 the police and the Serb police of SAO Romanija was formed. Zoran
10 Cvijetic was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs of SAO Romanija.
11 In March 1992, all non-Serbs were dismissed from public
12 positions. At a meeting between Serb and Muslim representatives, the
13 Serbs stated that those who were not prepared to obey the Serb authority
14 would be killed or expelled. The president of the Municipality and
15 president of the Serb Crisis Staff stated that this would be the last
16 meeting with the Muslims, since the Muslims "won't exist any longer."
17 Following this meeting, many crimes took place in the
18 municipality and the Serbs prepared a list of wanted persons, including
19 the witness, who they said were enemies of the Serbian State. The
20 witness left the municipality and his family also left the municipality.
21 That concludes the 92 bis summary.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Witness 012, the main reason why you're in The
23 Hague is since the Defence would like to cross-examine you on the written
24 statement the Chamber has received and has carefully read. And now, Mr.
25 Stewart, counsel for the Defence, will have an opportunity to
1 cross-examine you on this evidence.
2 Mr. Stewart, please proceed.
3 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, yes, we are at the time of a break.
5 MR. STEWART: I think it's time.
6 JUDGE ORIE: But Mr. Stewart will start only after the break.
7 We'll have a break for half an hour, until 11.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
10 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I -- may I begin making a
11 commission while the witness is coming in? Oh, he's coming in anyway.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, he's coming in.
13 MR. STEWART: It's just this, Your Honour, in relation to that
14 chronology. My submission is this: That it really isn't satisfactory or
15 appropriate even given the reasonable latitude in relation to hearsay
16 evidence that a chronology of events in relation to this municipality
17 should be put in as if it were part of the witness's evidence for a
18 period when he expressly --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. STEWART: -- acknowledges that he wasn't there. And I'm not
21 going to suggest an issue about the earlier part of the chronology which
22 largely fits in with and supplements in relatively minor ways what's in
23 the statement. But I would suggest, Your Honour, that from -- on that
24 chronology between April 1992 - because the witness says he left in early
25 1992 - after that, that the rest of that chronology should not be
1 included as the witness's evidence.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I don't know whether it's good to fully
3 discuss it in the presence of the witness.
4 Mr. Stewart, I take it that you'll need until the next break
5 approximately for cross-examination at least.
6 MR. STEWART: That's -- that's about a good rough estimate, Your
7 Honour, yes.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's then -- let's just then prior to the
9 next break deal with this --
10 MR. STEWART: Indeed, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- and one or two other matters, because I can
12 imagine that you'd like to know whether that portion of the chronology is
13 admitted into evidence before concluding your cross-examination.
14 MR. STEWART: Well, yes, Your Honour, indeed.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then please proceed at this moment.
16 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
18 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, just one matter. And that is Madam
19 Registrar reminded me that we don't have numbers for the statements that
20 have been admitted into evidence. And that may assist the Defence in --
21 and the Court in the course of the cross-examination, being able to
22 identify those documents by number.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: The witness statement dated 02 February 1999 will
25 be Prosecution Exhibit P731, under seal. And the addendum to the
1 statement dated 01 May 2003 will be Prosecution Exhibit P731.A.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
3 Mr. Stewart, you may proceed. And would you please -- may I
4 remind you to switch off the microphone once the witness is answering the
5 question, not before you put the question to the witness.
6 MR. STEWART: Yes, well, I won't do the latter, Your Honour.
7 Sometimes I might.
8 Your Honour, may I just seek a bit of brief guidance. The --
9 clearly the witness's identity is -- is the issue here. So we're --
10 we're not in full private session, so my approach must be to try to just
11 avoid anything which points riskily to the witness's identity. Is
12 that --
13 JUDGE ORIE: That's correct. Or ask -- or ask for private
15 MR. STEWART: Yes, indeed, Your Honour, as an alternative.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
17 Q. Witness - I have to address you like that without any discourtesy
18 for exactly the reasons of protecting your identity.
19 Witness, you give quite a lot of evidence in the statements about
20 the activities in your municipality and particularly of Serb forces in
21 the most general sense of that meaning. Can you confirm that in the
22 autumn of 1991 there was also a formation of units of a Muslim
23 paramilitary organisation generally known as the Green Berets in Sokolac?
24 A. This is not correct.
25 Q. So if I suggest that if you think about it, there was such --
1 there were such units formed headed by a Mr. Mevludin Smajic, then an
2 employee of the MUP, that's simply untrue, is it? Or do you have no
3 recollection? Which is it?
4 A. This person worked in Sarajevo. It was not in our territory.
5 And what you said is absolutely not true.
6 Q. You're telling the Trial Chamber, are you that, you positively
7 know it to be untrue; is that right?
8 A. Absolutely right.
9 Q. And so if, for example, Mr. Smajic subsequently admitted later in
10 1992 that he had brought explosives to Sokolac, distributed them among
11 Muslims, and instructed them how to make bombs, do you know about that or
12 do you say also that that is untrue?
13 A. I know Mr. Smajic personally, and this person likes to brag a
14 lot. He is an unreliable person. And what you are saying has nothing
15 whatsoever to do with the truth.
16 Q. So Mr. Smajic is such a bragger, is he, that if he told the press
17 and through the press the public that he had brought explosives to
18 Sokolac and distributed them and given instructions how to make bombs,
19 this was false bragging, was it, by Mr. Smajic?
20 A. Yes. Yes, it was false bragging. Just like you have put it.
21 Q. And if it is suggested that in around December 1991 Mr. Smajic
22 was making lists of prospective Muslim fighters, distributing arms, and
23 reconnoitering the territory of the Romanija region, do you say that you
24 don't know anything about that or that it is positively untrue?
25 A. I don't know anything about that. But I would like to add to
1 that that it is absolutely untrue.
2 Q. Can we get that clear. You don't know anything about it but
3 nevertheless you are willing to assert before this Trial Chamber that it
4 is absolutely untrue? Have I understood your answer correctly?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Witness --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just -- let me just try to -- just for
8 clarification, Witness, is there a possibility that you do not know about
9 it but that it may have happened?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This did not happen. Absolutely
11 not. (redacted) Mevludin Smajic, who is a very unstable person.
12 (redacted). And the only thing I
13 know and that I heard and I read in news reports is that Mr. Momcilo
14 Radic [as interpreted] and this person were involved in crimes, in the
15 thefts of cars. And this is what I know about him. I am sure that he
16 was not involved in anything that was mentioned by the Defence. He did
17 not do any such thing. He was not concerned with that at all. He is
18 just a -- a bragger, nothing else. He just brags. That's who he is, a
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, could we have a clarification in
22 respect of the name that appears at page 28, line 23. It was Mr.
23 Momcilo, and I didn't quite catch the surname.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please repeat the name you
25 mentioned, the first name being Mr. Momcilo -- you said, "I heard and I
1 read in news reports" -- no, I'll read the whole line to you: "And the
2 only thing I know and that I heard and I read in news reports is that Mr.
3 Momcilo" and this person "were involved in crimes, in the theft of cars."
4 What is the family name of this person Mr. Momcilo?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, two corrections. Not
6 in crimes but in criminal acts. His name was Momcilo Mandic. I don't
7 know whether he was his boss.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Somebody's microphone is on. Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The press brought reports on these
10 two persons who were involved in criminal acts. They were involved in
11 crime, thefts, forging documents, and other such things. And this is
12 what I heard. And as a person I don't want to waste time in thinking
13 about the two gentlemen that I've mentioned because they are just
14 lowlifes. They are just petty criminals.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.
16 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I say I don't want to develop the
17 point in the presence of the witness, but I'd just like to say for the
18 record, Your Honour, that I'd submit that line 17 of the last page was
19 the -- with respect, the wrong time and the wrong place for the Trial
20 Chamber to intervene in counsel's cross-examination.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
22 MR. STEWART:
23 Q. Witness, in January -- similarly, in January 1992 was there in
24 Sokolac a Muslim paramilitary unit operational called - and the English
25 version would be - the People's Patriotic League or some such very
1 similar title?
2 A. I'm absolutely unaware of that.
3 Q. At such a -- to try and jog your memory -- such a league with a
4 membership of 866 men? That doesn't trigger your memory in any way?
5 A. 866 able-bodied men in the territory of Sokolac municipality do
6 not exist. The mere fact tells you that it is a fabrication. There are
7 -- there are no 866 Muslim able-bodied men in Sokolac.
8 Q. And no such organisation existed, you say, at January 1992 in
9 Sokolac, whether with that number or with a smaller number of men?
10 A. I am absolutely unaware of -- of that.
11 Q. By the end of January 1992, Witness, were there any fighting
12 groups of Muslims in Sokolac?
13 A. When you say "Muslim fighting units," I can say that they did not
14 exist nor could they have existed, for that matter.
15 Q. Well, let's be careful about definitions, then. The units I'm
16 asking you about now in this next question, I include any units formed
17 with a view to potential fighting as well as perhaps any actual fighting
18 that they were conducting. And such units, were there -- had there been
19 any that had come into existence during 1991 and 1992 in Sokolac by the
20 end of January 1992?
21 A. No. There was no need for any such thing.
22 Q. Because there was simply not enough threat from anywhere to
23 create such a need?
24 A. There were even too many threats. However, there was no way to
25 organise any units. It was impossible.
1 Q. Had there been any discussion in the Muslim community about any
2 possibility or -- of forming any such units or groups?
17 May I also ask you to -- to directly answer the question. The
18 question put to you was whether there had been any discussion in the
19 Muslim community about any possibility of forming any such units or
20 groups. That was the question. Could you please answer that question.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am unaware of that.
22 MR. STEWART:
23 Q. Witness, when do you say -- well, were there at any point in 1992
24 that Muslim fighting or prospective fighting groups formed in Sokolac?
25 A. As far as I know, there were not. And since we are talking about
1 only four and a half thousand people, I'm sure that I would be aware of
2 any such things, because most of the people are relatives, friends,
3 acquaintances. And despite my obligations and my workload, I was not
4 aware of that.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the mics please be switched off at all
6 times while the witness is speaking.
7 MR. STEWART: Mine was, Your Honour, at this time.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you. Now it's better.
9 The usher's mic is switched on. The mic near the door, the
10 entrance door.
11 JUDGE ORIE: As far as I now can see, there's no microphone open
12 any more. If the problem continues, I'd like to be informed. I'll
13 switch off mine now.
14 MR. STEWART:
15 Q. So throughout 1991 and 1992, did the Muslim community, then, in
16 the municipality of Sokolac continue in a totally defenceless state
17 without any fighting facilities or abilities at all?
18 A. At that time we could see that there was a war going on in
19 Croatia and that its focus would be moved because a lot of weapons from
20 Slovenia and Croatia was being transferred to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 However, as the least numerous people in the former Yugoslavia, Muslims
22 were in favour of Yugoslavia. They trusted the Yugoslav People's Army,
23 which did what they did.
24 Q. Witness, excuse me. If -- if I wish to put questions to you
25 about the background and the position of the various communities in
1 relation to Yugoslavia and so on, I will put those questions. May I
2 remind you of what my question was: It was whether throughout 1991 and
3 1992 the Muslim community in the municipality of Sokolac continued in a
4 totally defenceless state without any fighting facilities or abilities at
5 all. That is the question.
6 A. Due to their naivete that I have just explained, the community of
7 4.500 people, consisting of men, women, and men -- adults and children,
8 people who worked and who were in favour of peace and dignity, they did
9 not believe that -- that what would happen would happen to them and
10 that's why they did not organise themselves, because they did not see the
11 clear threat. They failed to see the clear threat.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you've now answered the question which you
13 formulated yourself as why they did not organise themselves. The
14 question was whether they had any facilities created. So first before we
15 go to the why, we first have to establish what actually happened.
16 So Mr. Stewart asked you whether there was no facility of defence
17 whatsoever. It could be anything. Whether that would be from hunting
18 rifles and to tanks or whatever, whether there was nothing at all. And I
19 can inform you that this Chamber has heard some evidence that in many
20 places some type of action by standing guard or buying weapons somewhere
21 or seeing whether still some legitimate weapons were available to defend
22 if it would be necessary or -- but whatever. So we heard that that had
23 happened. At least, we heard evidence that this happened in some
24 municipalities. And therefore, again the question, not the why, but was
25 there nothing of that kind happening in Sokolac?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if people stand guard
2 in front of their house preventing crime -- criminals from entering the
3 house and killing their children, it's not any form of resistance. So I
4 would adhere to my statement when I say that I was not aware of any such
5 thing. No classical units were known. And there were a thousand
6 households. And for me to go from one house to another to see whether
7 anybody was standing guard to protect their unborn -- newborn babies, it
8 was irrelevant for me. I'm not a sociologist. I didn't do that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: No. That's because you're interpreting the
10 questions rather than answering them. Mr. Stewart asked whether there
11 were in totally defenceless state. If you stand guard before your house,
12 even if it was with a hunting rifle or whatever, then that is a state of
13 defence. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with that. But we
14 are just trying to find the facts. And if someone organises to stand
15 guard, whether it is to protect your families or not, for whatever
16 purpose. We first have to find out what the facts were.
17 And may I just add to that that these questions are not asked to
18 you as to blame someone for whatever happened but just first to find out
19 what actually happened. Standing guard before your house, if it is with
20 -- with or without weapons or is a kind of a form of defence - and it may
21 be totally justified - but we'd like to know what happened, and that's
22 what Mr. Stewart is trying to find out.
23 So could you please tell us, then, if anyone in the Muslim
24 community thought that there was reason not just to expose them to
25 whatever threat there was there, what did they do - perhaps totally
1 justified - but what did they do to avoid that they were in a totally
2 defenceless state?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, your question is very
4 long and requires some observations. Territory -- the territory of
5 Sokolac municipality covers 724.000 square metres. It's a wooded area.
6 It's an enormous area. And four and a half thousand Bosniaks were
7 scattered in 30 to 40 villages. In peacetime, had I had all possible
8 means of transport and communication, I could not have known what was
9 going on 70 kilometres away at the other end of the municipality. For
10 this reason, I really know nothing about any such units. All I can
11 say --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, no one asks from you to know what happens
13 at a distance of 40 or 50 kilometres. What the Chamber and what Mr.
14 Stewart would like to know is whether you are aware of anything of the
15 kind I just described, whether you have seen anything of it, whether it's
16 happened in your neighbourhood. Yes or no? And even whatever type of
17 effort even to defend or to prepare for unpleasant situations took place.
18 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I, with respect, observe that when
19 Your Honour says to the witness: "No one asks you to know what happens
20 at a distance of 40 or 50 kilometres," in an unqualified form that does
21 not necessarily represent the Defence's position.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand that. It was more or less a
23 response to what the witness said when he seemed not to -- when he felt
24 that he might be unable to answer the question.
25 MR. STEWART: Yes, we understand that, Your Honour. But just for
1 clarification --
2 Q. Because, Witness, I --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could we first ask the witness to answer the
5 MR. STEWART: Which -- probably, Your Honour, as a precaution --
6 I'd be entirely happy for Your Honours to do that. Just remind him once
7 again of what it is, the question namely.
8 JUDGE ORIE: The question is, Witness -- the question is whether
9 you have any knowledge of any type of defence that was organised from the
10 simplest, as I depicted it to you as a couple of neighbours standing
11 guard or whatever, up till whatever other level, or is it that nothing of
12 this kind happened?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, at that time I was an
15 extremely busy man. I was very busy in my job and constantly on the
16 move. Had I observed anything of the kind, I would tell you now.
17 All I can say is based on my experience is that certain
18 individuals tried to protect my families. I did this, and I assume that
19 others did the same, or something similar. However, I am not aware that
20 there was any kind of organisation in place.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
22 MR. STEWART:
23 Q. Witness, can I just be clear. You said you were very busy in
24 your job and constantly on the move. When you say "on the move," do you
25 mean just that you were constantly active or on the go or do you mean
1 that you travelled around in any way in the course of your work? And
2 don't be too specific, please, Witness, in the answer, bearing in mind
3 the identity question.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I said I was active, I meant I
6 was moving between my house and my office. In the office, I had three
7 telephones. I had discussions about my job. I had obligations toward my
8 family. That's what I meant when I said I was active. I went to
9 Sarajevo and other places. I was a young man then, full of life and
10 strength, and I wanted to make a good living, and this when you're young
11 can make you get carried away. That's what I meant when I said I was
13 MR. STEWART:
14 Q. Well, please don't get carried away with your answers today too
15 much, Witness. I'd like you to focus very much on -- on the questions
16 that I put to you.
17 Did you -- did you move around the municipality of Sokolac in
18 connection with your work?
20 (redacted), to Sarajevo in the
21 direction of Olovo. So I moved along the main roads.
22 Q. But otherwise not around the municipality of Sokolac?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did go out, out -- in view
25 of my job I had to leave the municipality and go to other places.
1 MR. STEWART:
2 Q. Witness, I -- I really have asked you here a very simple question
3 about three or four times in a slightly different form, and, with
4 respect, you do keep answering a slightly different question. As His
5 Honour suggested a few minutes ago, you reformulate the question to some
6 other question. It is very simple what I'm asking you. In connection
7 with your work, did you move around and within the municipality of
9 A. I moved on the territory of Sokolac municipality as well as
10 outside the municipality in other towns because of my job. The work I
11 was doing, my work required it. I won't go into what I was doing.
12 Q. It's -- Witness -- Witness, in your statement, without going into
13 the details of it -- but in your statement, from the point where you left
14 Sokolac - and you identified that point in 1992 - you then go on to give
15 quite a lot of evidence about what happened in that place where you were
16 no longer present. How far away -- when you left the area, you say - and
17 you give the date, in the first half of 1992 - how far away were you from
18 Sokolac, from the -- the main town in Sokolac?
19 A. What period of time are you referring to?
20 Q. Well, perhaps can I -- a lot must have been happening here, Your
21 Honour. Unless Mr. Margetts suggests that there's a difficulty or risk
22 in actually reminding the witness of exactly when he says he left the
23 area, I -- I could do that. It wouldn't seem to me to present a great
24 problem. But I was just being ultra-cautious.
25 MR. MARGETTS: The month in which he left the area, I think, is
2 MR. STEWART: Thank you. That's helpful.
3 Q. Witness, you say you left Sokolac in April -- or you left the
4 area in April 1992. That's what you -- you said in your evidence by way
5 of your statement. I'm not asking you precisely where you went. How far
6 away did you go, then, from the main town in Sokolac when you left the
13 A. Thank you. I said that the information presented about the
14 events that occurred from April 1992 until the end of 1995 were collected
15 in Olovo.
16 Q. So how far away were you then? When you left the area, how far
17 away was it that you went?
18 A. It was some 20 kilometres away, maybe a little less than that.
19 Q. So let's try and be -- be very clear about what your evidence
20 comes to so there's no misunderstanding. Apart from perhaps individual
21 defence of own households and own family, first of all, you are unaware
22 of any formation of any sort of fighting or prospective fighting Muslim
23 group, whether classical or not, in 1991 and 1992 in the municipality of
24 Sokolac; is that correct?
25 A. Absolutely not. I mean, I was absolutely not aware.
1 Q. Yes, so that's absolutely correct, you say. And not only are you
2 unaware of such matters, but is it correct that you feel able to assert
3 to this Trial Chamber that that did not happen?
4 A. I am not aware of it.
5 Q. Does that mean that you acknowledge that this could have happened
6 without your being aware of it?
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You have been repeating this
9 question now. This is the fourth or fifth time, I think. And I said
10 that the Bosniak, Muslim community on Sokolac -- on the territory of
11 Sokolac municipality numbered 4.470 until the genocide which was
12 perpetrated. It was 4.472 people. And although, as I explained a little
13 while ago, these people were scattered all over the territory of Sokolac
14 municipality. They knew one another. And I would have had to know --
15 even were I deaf or blind I would have had to know about it; I would have
16 had to see or hear about it. I am not aware of any such thing happening
17 except what I said about myself, individuals standing guard in front of
18 their own house as individuals.
19 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I do see the answer buried in --
20 in there.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You -- perhaps you'll move to your next
22 subject, because this matter -- this specific matter has been dealt with
24 MR. STEWART:
25 Q. You say, Witness, in your statement -- or you talk about the
1 establishment of a Community of Municipalities in May 1991 which only
2 Sokolac, Han Pijesak, and Pale joined in the end with Rogatica and Olovo
3 not agreeing to join. And you described that as having been established
4 by SDS municipality leaders. What do you know about the activities of
5 that Community of Municipalities from May 1991?
6 A. As I have already said, the Community of Municipalities was
7 established in early May, while the euphoria lasted following the
8 establishment of the Serbian Radical Party in a cave on Mount Romanija.
9 This was presided over by Dr. Vojislav Seselj. In this euphoria, this
10 enthusiasm prompted by the myth of some sort of Greater Serbia and
11 probably the project of the SDS leaders concerning all parts of Bosnia
12 and Herzegovina which had a relative Serb majority, Autonomous Provinces
13 were established, Communities of Municipalities which later became
14 Serbian Autonomous Provinces. They had their ministries. They had a
15 Minister of Police; for example, Zoran Cvijetic was the Minister of
16 Police of the Romanija SAO. Slobodan Batinic was the commander of the
17 Territorial Defence. Then there was a minister of information, and that
18 was Nedeljko Zugic, whom I have known since we were schoolchildren
19 because we lived in the students' residence. And there was not much
20 effort to conceal this.
21 It was not only I who knew about it but anyone living in Sokolac
22 municipality who knew anything about things knew about this. The
23 self-declared Serbian Autonomous Province organised line-ups of policemen
24 in March on the stadium in Sokolac municipality - I'm referring to the
25 soccer pitch - where all the citizens could see what was happening. And
1 I saw it as well. And this was attended by several dignitaries of the
2 Republican Ministry of the Interior who were of Serb ethnicity, also the
3 Chief of Police from Pale and --
4 MR. STEWART: Your Honour --
5 Q. Witness, may I perhaps, with His Honour's permission, just invite
6 you to stop there in relation to that answer.
7 The -- I'll move to a different topic. You say that in May 1991
8 the firms and factories in the municipality - and that's Sokolac -
9 stopped paying taxes for pensions and medical treatment to the Republic
10 of Bosnia and Herzegovina and started sending the payments to Serbia.
11 Now, first, being careful not to give away any identifying information,
12 did that change happen where you worked?
13 A. Where the chief accountants were Muslims, it didn't happen. They
14 respected the laws of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But in
15 those companies where Serbs were in the majority, the chief accountants,
16 the chief executive, the managers, they directed the payments towards
18 Q. And what is the source of your knowledge of that?
19 A. In the town of Sokolac municipality, there were 208 Bosniaks and
20 the managers, managing directors, and other executives who were Serbs
21 felt so comfortable that they made no effort to conceal this. I heard
22 from them on more than one occasion that they were doing this.
23 I also learned about it later on, after the war, when our people
24 went to Sarajevo to get the documents relating to their pensions, when
25 they were collecting documents either to get a new job or to retire. And
1 all the people I talked to discovered that their pension insurance
2 payments had not been paid in Sarajevo in that period, say
3 1990-1991-1992. And in this way the misfortune of these people is
4 continuing, even 13 years later.
5 MR. STEWART:
6 Q. You also say in your statement that in that period and your
7 reference point is there is May 1991, that "every 15 to 20 days meetings
8 of the leaders of municipalities inhabited by Serbs were held in
10 My first question, Witness, is: What is the source of your
11 information in relation to that matter?
12 A. I learned about it from people who went there, municipal
13 officers, and when talking to businessmen and other people, they would
14 say, We had a meeting about the electrical power plants in the
15 then-Titovo Uzice, or they would say, We had a meeting in Belgrade about
16 this or about that. So it was not difficult to reach this conclusion.
17 Not only is it known to me; it's well known to anyone engaged in any kind
18 of business activity at the time.
19 Q. And then you say - this is paragraph 12, by the way - but you say
20 that "all business and payments were turned towards Belgrade." Are you
21 -- is that just a summary of what you -- you've already described about
22 taxes, pensions, and these reports from businesspeople of meetings in
23 Belgrade, or is there something more that you've got in mind there?
24 A. There were many events which I summarised here. Let me just say
25 that replacing the Yugoslav dinar with some kind of Serb dinar is another
1 illustration of this. The banks injected para-currency, illegal
2 currency, and this only goes to show how serious this plan was and how
3 complete, encompassing the economy, culture. For example, if some kind
4 of cultural event was organised, there were no contacts with Sarajevo or
5 neighbouring municipalities but only with Belgrade. Shops from Belgrade
6 opened their shops here. The newspapers no longer came from Sarajevo.
7 The TV was forcibly oriented toward Belgrade. And this is generally well
9 There was a system put in place which created an economic,
10 political, media, information infrastructure, military, police, and other
11 prerequisites for a state which might be called a Greater Serbia. I was
12 a witness of all these events, and I am an intelligent man. I was able
13 to realise what was going on.
14 Q. Witness, in that same paragraph of your statement, after your
15 reference to "all businesses and payments being turned towards Belgrade,"
16 you said: "They said" - which seems to refer to leaders of
17 municipalities in your statement but - "They said that they had become a
18 part of an economic community with its centre in Titovo Uzice in Serbia."
19 Witness, we can agree about this, can't we: Yugoslavia - and I'm
20 talking about Yugoslavia as it was then, before these wars - Yugoslavia
21 had been extremely recently a communist state, hadn't it? We can agree
22 about that, can't we?
23 A. Yes, it was a communist state. However, it was organised on a
24 federal principle. There is a difference there.
25 Q. Witness. Witness, yes, all right. I'm going to discourage you
1 from the howevers. I just wanted to get some simple agreement on that.
2 And the first free elections had been held in November 1990, hadn't they?
3 We can agree about that as well, can't we?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Witness, I don't want to ask you broad sociological and economic
6 questions. But as an intelligent man, you would agree with this, would
7 you: It would have been absolutely remarkable if there hadn't been
8 widespread, significant changes in the structure and nature of economic
9 activity in these countries throughout 1991, wouldn't it?
10 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I know Mr. Stewart expressed his wish
11 not to ask wide questions of that nature which call for speculation, but
12 in -- in our submission, that -- this witness answering that question
13 would not be helpful to the Trial Chamber.
14 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, it's an entirely appropriate
15 question because this witness, when he talks in his statement about
16 businesses and payments being turned towards Belgrade in general terms,
17 gives the evidence that he's given, talks about these -- it's hearsay
18 evidence but talks about reports to him of people becoming part of an
19 economic community, it is an entirely legitimate point to pursue in this
20 limited way.
21 JUDGE ORIE: The witness may answer the question. At the same
22 time, we should not stay too long with this subject, which is only
23 marginal of relevance for what the case is about.
24 MR. STEWART: I had no intention of staying on this subject. If
25 the witness answers my question here, we can probably immediately move to
1 another topic.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart asked you whether it was -- would have
3 been surprising, if not changes -- significant changes in the structure
4 and the nature of economic activities in these countries would have taken
5 place. That was the question of Mr. Stewart. Could you answer that.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is a very difficult and very
7 complex question and only an expert would be able to answer that.
8 However, as a person who resided in the area and who was engaged in
9 business, who was part of the business community and who was aware of
10 some things that were happening, I can say only this: The former
11 Yugoslavia was organised on a federal principle. There were some
12 economic dealings on republican principles. So if we're talking about
13 the municipality of Sokolac, it was not a company from Serbia that
14 organised and established a company in Sokolac. It was a Sarajevo
15 company, a Sarajevo corporation that established a company in Sokolac.
16 Planika, a shoe factory from Belgrade, did not establish a company in
17 Knezina. It was the KTK from Visoko, from Bosnia-Herzegovina who
18 established a shoe factory.
19 The first consequence was that companies were alienated from
20 their corporations and their executives started leaning on Serbia.
21 That's one form of theft that is still going on. And I also mentioned
22 culture. But let's mention the medical field. In Sarajevo, there is a
23 clinical hospital, Kosevo, which is renowned all over Europe. And
24 patients from Sokolac were no longer sent to Sarajevo, which is only 40
25 kilometres away; they would be sent to Belgrade with no reason
1 whatsoever. A whole study could be drafted with -- about that. And I
2 believe that it will be drafted eventually about the idea of alienating
3 everything that belonged -- used to belong to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 And for that reason I am saying all this, because I had noticed that all
5 the payments were directed towards Serbia.
6 If we are -- we're talking about the system of payment, banks
7 were not involved in payments. There was a so-called Transaction
8 Payments Institute. Maybe the European, western economists are not aware
9 of that. So this was this service, the SDK or the Payments Transactions
10 Institute, that was in Sarajevo. And any payment that went via Belgrade
11 was against the law at the time.
12 In all the spheres of life, people broke laws. They robbed their
13 companies. For example, electricity that was produced in Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina all of a sudden started being channelled towards Serbia.
15 This is a very difficult and complex question. However, the few
16 examples that I have given you may have helped you to understand things.
17 And if you want me to provide you with some more detail, I am -- I will
18 only be glad to do that.
19 MR. STEWART:
20 Q. Witness, you've -- you've said that in all the spheres of life
21 people broke laws. Do you have any knowledge of the -- the Republic of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina ceasing to pay its proper dues to the central
23 government in Belgrade?
24 A. What happened to Bosnia and Herzegovina is a miracle, but it was
25 the last republic that continued paying a 3 per cent contribution for the
1 JNA. There was a law in the former Yugoslavia pursuant to which 3 per
2 cent of the total income was allocated for the JNA, and it was only
3 Bosnia and Herzegovina that paid that contribution.
4 Another thing of some significance is the following: There was a
5 law on assistance to Montenegro after the earthquake that had happened in
6 that country, and the only state --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you please answer the question. The
8 question was not whether Bosnia and Herzegovina paid the 3 per cent
9 contribution but the question was whether there was any payment that was
10 not done by Bosnia and Herzegovina, payments due to the central
11 government in Belgrade.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, maybe I don't have
13 enough information. This stopped when the infrastructure system imploded
14 and payments no longer could be made. But people in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina had so much consideration and they were so honest that even
16 when the shelling started, they still had payment slips for payments to
17 be made to various accounts in Belgrade.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Now, what you're telling us, that there were good
19 reasons to stop paying, the question just was whether there were any
20 payments not made. Could you tell us when it stopped and what payments
21 were stopped.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in my previous
23 statement I said --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- that I am not an expert, and it
1 is impossible for me to establish what happened in Sarajevo and when the
2 payments had stopped. However, knowing the people in the place where I
3 resided -- or, for example, in Olovo and so on --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you. If I asked you when it stopped:
5 If you do know, tell me; if you don't know, tell me that you don't know.
6 But I was under the impression that you might know, since you gave a
7 rather long answer on payments that were made. So that made me expect
8 that you might also know when it stopped. Do you know it or do you not
9 know it?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Again --
14 MR. STEWART: The question --
15 JUDGE ORIE: I have to stop you again.
16 The question was about payments made by Bosnia and Herzegovina as
17 one of the republics to the central government in Belgrade. I'm not
18 talking about anything else. Are you aware of any payments due by the
19 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the central government that they
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The system was such -- the system
22 of payment was such that all the dues and all the funds - the pension
23 fund, the health insurance fund, all the other contributions, the 3 per
24 cent for the JNA, I don't know how much was paid in respect of
25 Montenegro, 3 or 5 per mil [as interpreted] for the assistance to
1 Montenegro - all those companies that recognised the statehood of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina continued paying until the 30th March 1992. The dues
3 that --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Again, my question is not about companies paying a
5 state of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I'm talking about payments due by
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina to the central government. Are you aware of those
7 payments being stopped at any specific moment?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot answer ...
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I cannot give you a
13 precise answer to that question because at the given moment I was not
14 affiliated with the institutions in Sarajevo that were in charge of that,
15 so there no way for me to know that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You say you have no precise answer. Do you have an
17 approximate answer? Have you any knowledge on that it stopped in a
18 certain period of time or -- even if you do not know exactly the dates?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Based on the information that I had
20 from talking to people, I can tell you something. I don't know about the
21 last date; however, the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was the last to
22 stop paying, of all the republics, Slovenia, Montenegro, and others.
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina was the last that stopped paying its dues to the
24 federal budget, and I don't know when that -- that was. It was the last
25 to stop its payments even towards the JNA of all the republics of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 former Yugoslavia.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, please proceed.
3 MR. STEWART: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. So, Witness, if I put to you in case it might jog your memory
5 that it was December 1991 following a resolution in the Assembly of the
6 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina that that republic ceased paying its
7 proper dues to the central government, you're saying you -- you know --
8 you know nothing about that; you can't help the Trial Chamber any further
9 on that point? Is that where we are?
10 A. I really can't say anything about that. It would be pure
11 speculation on my part, and that is something I don't want to get
12 involved in.
13 Q. Let's move on, then, Witness. You say in the next paragraph of
14 your statement - that's paragraph 13 - you referred to the start of the
15 war in Croatia, mobilisation starting in Sokolac and so on. "Bosniaks
16 who were part of the reserve units protested and many of them left their
17 units." When you say "many of them left their units," you mean, do you,
18 that many of them deserted in breach of the law?
19 A. I can say that there was a -- a certain form of forcible
20 mobilisation of everybody and primarily Bosniaks and Croats. These
21 people were sent to the theatres of war in Croatia to fight against the
22 legal bodies of the Republic of Croatia. And if there had been a breach
23 of law, the law was broken by those who sent those units to shell the
24 villages and towns there and to kill people there.
25 Q. Witness, let's get it very simple. You talk about forcible
1 mobilisation. Mobilisation, not surprisingly, was compulsory in
2 accordance with the law of Yugoslavia, wasn't it? That's got to be a yes
3 or no -- that must be a yes or no if the first place, Witness, and then
4 you would have ample opportunity to explain in accordance with answering
5 the question properly.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
7 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, from the witness's first answer,
8 we're clearly moving into an area that could be of legal expertise. It
9 did you want seem to me black and white from his previous answer and may
10 not be an appropriate area for this witness to comment on.
11 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour -- sorry.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It's too limited. Of course, if we're going into
13 further depth, then of course it's -- it certainly would become a legal
14 -- it's anyhow a question to what extent it assists the the Chamber. But
15 the witness may answer this question.
16 The question is, Witness, whether strictly speaking those who
17 left the units were not allowed to do so under the law. And I'm not
18 asking about any good reasons or bad reasons to break that law, but is it
19 true that those who left the units did so by breaking the law? That's
20 the question put to you by Mr. Stewart.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I know is the following: The
22 mobilised people who were able-bodied men and who were obliged to respond
23 to the mobilisation calls in order to respect the law. The mobilisation
24 place was in Han Pijesak and from there the units were transferred to
25 Banja Luka.
1 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone, please.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And from Banja Luka they were sent
3 to the theatres of war in Croatia. However, in Banja Luka, with Bosniak
4 and Croatian majority, the officers could not move those units. They
5 could not force them to kill people there, and then those units would be
6 returned to Han Pijesak and disbanded. And this is what I had in mind
7 when I was answering the question.
8 The units that could not be used and could not be moved by their
9 officers in order to fight in the Republic of Croatia in the various
10 theatres of war, they would be returned to Han Pijesak and disbanded.
11 And when these units were disbanded in Han Pijesak, all the Muslims were
12 taken their arms away from them, whereas the Serbs were given those
13 weapons either to take home or use in any way they saw fit.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I hope Your Honour will see that
16 the -- in this limited area in relation to the basically legalities, this
17 is material to -- what the witness covers in his own statement.
18 Q. In paragraph 13 of your own statement, you refer to two different
19 situations, Witness. One is where you say "Bosniaks who were part of
20 reserve units protested and many of them left their units." That's one
21 situation. The second situation is you say: "Some units composed mostly
22 of Bosniaks who were sent to Banja Luka were dismissed and sent back."
23 So that's the second situation.
24 Now, I just want to be -- just see if we can get agreement. The
25 first situation, "Bosniaks who were part of reserve units who protested
1 and left their units," they left their units simply by deserting in
2 breach of the law without permission, didn't they?
3 A. When I said that they protested, this is just a summarised
4 version of my statement. I did not say that they were protesting at
5 home. They protested in Banja Luka, when there were hundreds of men
6 there carrying arms. They felt safe and they protested -- the Yugoslav
7 People's Army had already split into --
8 Q. Witness, may I stop you. May I stop you. Witness, I put it to
9 you -- you are an intelligent man, as you've said. You know perfectly
10 well that my question was not directed to the word "protested," and
11 you're avoiding my question. My question is directed to the -- leaving
12 their units. They left their units without permission in breach of the
13 law, didn't they?
14 A. This form of desertion from the units is something that I am not
15 aware of.
16 Q. Do you say -- it's your evidence here in your statement. Do you
17 say they left their units with permission? They said to their commanding
18 officer, I don't want to be here any more. Is it all right if I go? And
19 their commanding officer said, Sure, off you go? It was desertion,
20 wasn't it?
21 A. I don't know what the commander told them, the commander who did
22 not provide any food for them. At least that's what people told me.
23 This was an army without the proper leadership. That was the time when
24 the Yugoslav People's Army was being transformed into the Serbian army.
25 I mentioned the mobilisation point in Banja Luka and the one in
1 Han Pijesak. The Serb soldiers had their tents where is they had food,
2 tinned food, beer, and everything that they needed, whereas there were
3 other tents with Bosniaks in them; they did not receive any food. Nobody
4 addressed them. Nobody talked to them. The officers ignored them. And
5 I heard people talking about that, people who -- who returned and told us
6 about that.
7 There were also Bosniak officers, as well as the Serbian
8 officers, and I suppose that they had agreed and that they said, There is
9 not enough food for everybody. Let's leave people to go home but without
10 weapons. That is something I am absolutely aware of. All the reservists
11 who had left in that way, who had been mobilised either in Han Pijesak or
12 in Banja Luka, they would return in this way. They would be sent home in
13 this way.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, let's not pursue this matter too much.
15 It's not one of the core issues of the case. And I don't know whether
16 there's that much disagreement between the parties on whether there was a
17 legal basis for leaving. I mean, I'm not talking about whether there
18 were reasons to do so but whether there was a legal basis to leave any
19 unit. And we really enter into the realm of speculation where we say
20 because of the lack of food and the uneven distribution of it, commanders
21 might have said. I mean, it's really --
22 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, may I say I 100 per cent agree,
23 because not a single one of my questions was directed towards eliciting
24 any of that information.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. STEWART: And frankly, I didn't want it. I didn't ask for it
2 and I didn't want it.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then is there any disagreement between the
4 parties that there was no legal provision providing for someone who
5 didn't want to go to Croatia to leave their units?
6 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'm not in a position to put the
7 Prosecution's position on that. What I am able to say is that in our
8 submission the -- the facts that the witness have -- has referred to are
9 facts that impinge upon the legality of their continued participation in
10 the --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's clear.
12 MR. MARGETTS: Departure.
13 JUDGE ORIE: You're doing the same as the witness does, and that
14 is to rephrase my question only to answer a different question. I asked
15 whether there was any legal provision which would allow someone to leave
16 the unit, and I was not asking whether you might have good reasons to do
17 so. And sometimes even if there's no legal provision, there are good
18 reasons to do something. Let's proceed.
19 MR. MARGETTS: Well, Your Honour, in direct response to your
20 question, we would say that the matters that the witness has raised, I am
21 sure that there would be a legal provision that would allow for those to
22 be aired in any hearing for someone who has deserted.
23 MR. STEWART: Mr. Margetts is not entitled to express his opinion
24 on that. There are different cultures here. But Mr. Margetts's opinion,
25 he is sure that there would be a legal opinion. He shouldn't say that.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Let's move on to a different subject.
2 Please move on, Mr. Stewart.
3 MR. STEWART: After all, they've got our system in Australia.
4 Q. The -- the second situation that I was referring to, Witness, is
5 this -- and I just -- again, as His Honour has indicated, I don't want to
6 ask you to explore the underlying reasons or justifications. I just want
7 to make it clear. "Some units composed mostly of Bosniaks who were sent
8 to Banja Luka were dismissed and sent back." You're talking there in
9 summary about the situation where basically the commanding officers just
10 came to the view that there was no value in maintaining these units
11 because they were not getting cooperation and obedience and discipline
12 and so they should disband these units because they were of no military
13 value. That was -- that's the -- that's the position there, isn't it?
14 A. These were only just parts of the units with Bosniaks as a
15 majority. In the army, there are officers in charge of security and
16 those in charge of morale and guidance, and I am sure that there was an
17 assessment that these units could not be used against the Croatian
19 Q. You don't agree very simply, Witness, that there was clearly --
20 however it was done, there was clearly an assessment these units were no
21 longer of sufficient military value to the -- to the army and they should
22 be disbanded and the members sent home? Isn't -- isn't that -- the
23 answer to that yes?
24 A. I've said that parts of these units with Bosniaks in them as
25 majority, who were treated in a very bad way, for example, in Banja Luka,
1 at the Assembly point where people were kept on just one tin of food over
2 a period of several days.
3 Q. But Witness --
4 A. And --
5 Q. Witness, please, please do not answer a totally different
6 question by giving your own justifications for what happened. I'm asking
7 you about facts.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you're asking for a -- just again, you've
9 asked for the logics for sending them back. Mr. Stewart, the Chamber has
10 heard a lot of evidence in respect of Muslims not very much inclined to
11 participate in the war in Croatia. The Chamber has also heard of Muslims
12 who arrived in Banja Luka and then were sent back. Whether that was
13 logic or not, it does not need a lot of imagination with the attitude, as
14 it appears from at least major parts of the evidence I was just referring
15 to, that if I were a commander who had to go to Croatia, right or not,
16 that I'd rather not rely entirely on those elements in my units. That
17 goes without saying, whether the witness says it's logic, it's not logic.
18 The witness in his statement did not speculate. We are now seeking
19 justifications. We're seeking logic behind the matters. We'd rather
20 stick to the facts.
21 Yes, Mr. Stewart.
22 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I was seeking no such thing, as I've
23 made clear before.
24 Q. But, Witness, this --
25 MR. STEWART: And, Your Honour, here's the link.
1 Q. Witness, paragraph 15, you say "In October 1991 all equipment for
2 territorial defence such as uniforms, helmets and so on were taken from
3 Bosniaks. They would receive written orders to bring in their equipment
4 and hand it over to the Territorial Defence authorities. Weapons had not
5 been distributed to the majority of the Bosniak reserves, so they did not
6 have to hand in -- have them to hand in. And then Bosniak reserves who
7 had answered the mobilisation calls and had been dismissed had to hand in
8 their weapons when they left their units and returned home."
9 Now, the first question is: You say "they had received written
10 orders to bring in their equipment and hand it over to the Territorial
11 Defence authorities." Did you see any such written orders yourself?
12 A. Yes, I did see written orders, and I saw people with rucksacks on
13 their backs who went to Sokolac, to the Territorial Defence building, to
14 take their weapons and other equipment there. And on their way back, I
15 saw them not carrying weapons. And that is how I learned that people did
16 not actually have weapons. They only had equipment that they handed in.
17 But this is all that happened after the attempt to use those units. And
18 when they realised that yes, those units could not be used - and that's
19 the logic of it that I'm talking about again - when they saw that these
20 units could not be used, the men would be taken away, both the weapons
21 and the equipment. This is now my logic, and I believe that that was the
22 case actually.
23 Q. Witness, I just want to -- I don't want to spend long on this at
24 all. I just want to get clear, then, how this relates to the categories
25 you referred to a few minutes ago.
1 You -- first of all, the Bosniaks who had answered the
2 mobilisation calls and has been -- had been dismissed, as you describe
3 it - for example, the ones that went to Banja Luka were dismissed and
4 sent back - they had no weapons anyway because as they were dismissed,
5 their weapons were taken away from them. That's correct, isn't it?
6 A. The answer to your question concerning mobilisation, going to
7 Banja Luka, a lot of things that happened there, their return,
8 demobilisation in Han Pijesak, the return home, and several days later or
9 several weeks later taking this equipment back, this is something I
10 cannot answer with a simple yes or no. This was a process involving many
11 events which led to the units being unusable in Croatia, disbanded and
12 sent home. They were not allowed to take weapons home as the Serbs were,
13 and they received a written order which I have seen with my own eyes. I
14 saw people getting onto buses and taking their equipment back to the
15 Territorial Defence in Sokolac and handing it back.
16 Q. But this order, then, to -- or these orders to hand in weapons
17 would apply, wouldn't they, to people who had deserted their units and
18 taken their weapons with them?
19 A. Sir, Bosniaks, Muslims, have never been deserters. Throughout
20 history, in the Turkish army, in the Austro-Hungarian army, in the
21 Kingdom of Yugoslavia, in Tito's Yugoslavia, in the Army of the Republic
22 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, throughout history, not a single Bosniak has
23 ever been a deserter.
24 Q. I'll put a different question to you, then, Witness. These
25 orders applied to those Bosniaks who had protested and left their units,
1 didn't they?
2 A. Entire units protested whether they were companies or parts of
3 battalions. And 300 or 700 armed men protested because of the poor
4 conditions and primarily --
5 Q. Please answer my question, Witness. Do you need to know again
6 what the question is? I'll give it to you anyway. These orders applied
7 to those Bosniaks who had protested and left their units. Whatever the
8 basis of the protest, it applied to those Bosniaks, didn't they, those
10 A. Can you clarify what orders.
11 Q. No, Witness. I'm going to give up. The -- the next question,
12 Witness, is: These orders applied to Bosniaks who had refused to answer
13 mobilisation call, didn't they?
14 A. I don't know such people, people who refused the call to
15 mobilisation and broke the law. If you have any knowledge of this and
16 any lists of such men from Sokolac municipality, you can show it to me.
17 Q. Well, you added the reference "the break the law" in your answer,
18 Witness, but you're saying you don't know of any refusals by Bosniaks to
19 answer the mobilisation call? Let's define it to Sokolac. Are you
20 saying you don't know of any -- you never heard of any Bosniak in Sokolac
21 refusing to answer the mobilisation call during the war in Croatia?
22 A. Men liable for military service, conscripts, or members of
23 Territorial Defence units in a percentage in compliance with the law,
24 there were people who were ill or abroad or who had other --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, let me stop you. The question clearly is
1 whether there were any Bosniaks who refused, not because they were ill,
2 because they were abroad, but just did not want to respond to a
3 mobilisation call. That's the question.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the period I was referring to, I
6 know of no such cases; that is, July/August 1991 until September. I am
7 not aware that anyone refused.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And after that period?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After that period, when they had
10 handed back their equipment, they were not even called up.
11 JUDGE ORIE: So you have no knowledge whatsoever of Bosniaks
12 refusing to answer a call for mobilisation.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then it's time for a break, Mr. Stewart.
15 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We'll have a break of half an hour, which is a bit
17 more than usual, due to the number of redactions.
18 We'll adjourn until ten minutes past 1.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.41 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 1.18 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, the Chamber will first make a finding
22 on your objection against the chronology. Anything --
23 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- beyond the 1st of April because -- might be
25 important for you to -- to know whether there's any cross-examination
1 needed on that point.
2 The Chamber does not as such reject evidence which consists of
3 information provided by other sources to a witness on events in a
4 municipality the witness had left already by the time of the events. The
5 Chamber has accepted such evidence where it was introduced in a way which
6 allowed the Chamber to establish whether a minimally required level of
7 reliability existed to attribute any probative value to that portion of
8 the evidence.
9 In respect of the chronology - that's the list of events tendered
10 by the Prosecution - in respect of that chronology, to the extent that it
11 goes beyond the 1st of April, 1992, the Chamber finds that it is not in a
12 position to establish a level of reliability due to the major lack of
13 transparency of the sources and also in view of the limited talent the
14 Chamber observes the witness has - just on his own, and not guided by
15 proper questions - to clearly distinguish between facts and assumptions.
16 And due for these reasons we find that we are not in a position to
17 establish a level of reliability needed to attribute probative value to
18 that part of the chronology. So therefore it's -- your objection is
19 granted and there's no need to cross-examine the witness on those
20 portions of the evidence.
21 Yes, Mr. Margetts.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, there was a further addition to the
23 material that was submitted, and that was a list of persons that were
24 captured in Novoseoci, and in his statement he said, in fact, that those
25 people were killed. I note that that event occurred, I think, in
1 September 1992. So I'm assuming that that is encompassed within your
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Whatever events there are until the 1st of
4 April, 1992 is -- all the rest taken prisoner and now -- it's -- you
5 might not be surprised, Mr. Margetts, that the Chamber is quite hesitant
6 to accept this kind of evidence.
7 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: The witness may be brought in.
9 Mr. Stewart, perhaps the course the cross-examination took until
10 now is such that the Chamber would like you to finish the
11 cross-examination today.
12 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I -- I was going to say exactly
13 this -- and perhaps it wouldn't be inappropriate for it to be transmitted
14 to the witness. Your Honour, if the witness answers my questions, I am
15 confident that I can finish by the end of the day. If he doesn't, then,
16 Your Honour, it's simply unfair to expect me to do that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But then to continue and to see whether your
18 questions will not be answered at future occasions is -- you might also
19 keep in the back of your mind the ruling the Chamber just gave.
20 MR. STEWART: It was -- sorry, I beg your pardon, Your Honour, I
21 didn't --
22 JUDGE ORIE: It's --
23 MR. STEWART: I didn't understand that as a ruling. Your Honour,
24 with respect, it cannot be ruled that in advance of seeing whether the
25 witness even observes minimal cooperation in answering the questions put
1 that a time limit should be put. Your Honour, I'm saying I do expect to
2 finish, but would Your Honour --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
4 MR. STEWART: -- please then assist me strongly in assuring the
5 witness does not continue to avoid answering the questions and
6 reformulating them to his own taste.
7 JUDGE ORIE: I try do so. I'll continue to do so.
8 Mr. Stewart, you may proceed.
9 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. Witness, you described in paragraph 17 of your statement, this
11 was, when you heard news about barricading. You were in Olovo at the
12 time. You said that you -- you said: "The streets, cafes, coffee bars
13 were full of Serbs," et cetera. "Many of these people were not from our
14 area. I estimate that 20 per cent were from Rogatica, Pale, and Han
15 Pijesak." What was the basis of your estimate as to where those people
16 had come from?
17 A. This refers -- I estimated this on the basis of the number of
18 participants in these protests and the blocking of the town, because the
19 town of Sokolac has not more than 5.000 inhabitants, including women and
20 children. That's the entire population. In my assessment and also the
21 assessment of other people who were present or in some way involved in
22 these events. This was between three and four thousand people who were
23 there. So you can say that a large percentage of people had arrived from
24 outside to support these protests.
25 Q. And why specifically -- or how specifically did you assess that
1 they were from Rogatica, Pale, and Han Pijesak?
2 A. A population of 5.000 inhabitants in Sokolac, they all knew each
3 other. I'm referring to the adult men. You can remember several hundred
4 telephone numbers. You can have a thousand friends. You can remember a
5 certain number of faces. It's all a gift of God. So based on that and
6 based on conversations with other people. And on the basis of people
7 whom we didn't know who were there and who said they had come to our
8 assistance, as they said, from Pale, Rogatica, Han Pijesak, and other
9 places. So it wasn't hard to conclude that. This was a small town, not
10 a large place.
11 Q. Sorry, come to whose assistance? You said, "They said they'd
12 come to our assistance."
13 A. That's what they said. Whenever they protested about something,
14 they always said they were under threat. On the 10th of June, 1991 to
15 block the town from all sides, all entrances, and organise a rally of
16 some sort, for no reason. How else can we explain this?
17 Q. You give evidence - it's paragraph 21 of your statement - that on
18 the 20th of February, 1992 two brigades of paramilitaries that you
19 described gathered, about 2.000 of them at -- it's Brezjak is the name
20 given in your statement. Is that the same as we'd see on the map as
21 Brezakovici or are those two different places?
22 A. Brezjak is the real name.
23 Q. It's just north of the main town in Sokolac; is that correct?
24 A. I wouldn't say it was to the north. I would sooner say it was to
25 the south-east.
1 Q. Well, we can all look at the map in due course.
2 The -- what's the source of your knowledge that two brigades were
3 activated and about -- and 2.000 of them about gathered at Brezjak?
4 A. We, conditionally speaking, we Bosniaks, one of our fellow
5 townspeople was employed in the Territorial Defence. He was a reserve
6 officer of the JNA and he worked in the Secretariat for All People's
7 Defence. And I think I told you from whom this Bosniak -- the Bosniaks
8 in Sokolac learned that two brigades had been prepared for mobilisation.
9 One was called the Light Romanija Mountain Brigade and the other was
10 called the Mechanised Brigade and that the manpower was about 2.000. He
11 didn't say with precision that it was 2.000.
12 Q. Yes. Just moving on, then. In -- it's in paragraph 24 of your
13 statement. You refer to what you describe as a new force Serb police of
14 the SAO Romanija, and you say: "The chief of this police of this new
15 force had the first name Cedo. I think his family name was Krajisnik."
16 You're -- that's just a coincidence, is it? You're not aware of and not
17 suggesting any family connection with Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik who's on
18 trial here, are you?
19 A. It's a common last name, Krajisnik, not just among the Serbs.
20 There are also quite a few Bosniaks bearing that last name. I don't
21 think they were related in any way.
22 Q. And then later on in your statement, paragraph 26, you talk about
23 in the middle of -- at "the beginning of April 1992, a Bosniak, a factory
24 watchman was killed in Podromanija." You say, "his name was Ahmet
25 Cerimic and he was killed, you say, by Rade Abazovic," who was a member
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of the SDS. At that time he was one of the ones who manned a checkpoint
2 close to the factory.
3 If we take it he was a member of the SDS, you know of nothing, do
4 you, to suggest that the SDS as an organisation was involved in or in any
5 way brought about that killing, do you?
6 A. The SDS in waging its policy brought about a situation in which
7 it was possible for one of its members to kill a man without being
8 brought in or ever being punished. He has not been punished to date.
9 It's up to Their Honours to evaluate what the responsibility of the SDS
10 is for this. It's not up to me.
11 Q. Well --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But the question was whether you have any
13 specific knowledge that the SDS instigated or sent him or anything of
14 that kind, or that you just say he was an SDS member.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The SDS established a para-police.
17 He was a member of it. And this made it possible for him to perpetrate
18 this dishonourable act.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, the Chamber finds that there's no more
20 specific evidence on this issue.
21 MR. STEWART: Well, thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. The -- and then you say there were eyewitnesses to the murder.
23 Are you able to name just one? Are you able to name any eyewitness?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Near that checkpoint was the house
1 of a lady who worked in the psychiatric hospital. Her name was Havka
2 Hrvat and she saw this incident. Unfortunately, her son Mirza was killed
3 in her house a little while later before her very eyes.
4 MR. STEWART:
5 Q. And you refer to another murder, Ms. Hrvat. You say that he was
6 murdered on the 15th of June, 1992 and that Zeljko Minic was responsible
7 for that murder. You -- you know, do you, that -- yourself that Zeljko
8 Minic was responsible for that murder?
9 A. According to the statement made by his mother, Mirza's mother,
10 the witness who knew the gentleman you mentioned personally, she claims
11 that he committed the murder before her very eyes and her daughter was
12 present also. She was 17 or 18. She was of age. So it's not just her
13 but also Havka's daughter who were present when the son or -- and the
14 brother were killed in the house.
15 Q. You --
16 JUDGE ORIE: May I just seek one clarification, Mr. Stewart, in
17 this respect.
18 Did you -- did they tell you or did you -- you were talking about
19 a statement. Did you read a statement?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I was a refugee in Visoko,
21 this lady, Havka, was a neighbour of mine.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So she told you; is that a correct understanding?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not just once. She told me that
24 over and over again, and I always listened to her patiently because it
25 was a way of relieving her sorrow for her only son who had been killed.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
2 MR. STEWART:
3 Q. You -- you refer to an incident - this is paragraph 28 of your
4 statement - on the 26th of March. You talk about "paramilitary units
5 driving army trucks, looting, damage to shops." Partly destroyed by
6 paramilitaries. And you say: "The police didn't take any action about
8 Wouldn't the position have been this: That given the nature of
9 what you describe, the police simply couldn't have taken any effective
11 A. There were sufficient numbers of policemen, and they had
12 sufficient weapons and equipment. I am referring to vehicles,
13 communications equipment, and so on. They had sufficient access
14 everywhere. So they could have stopped this unprecedented looting very
15 efficiently. It was, however, the common purpose for parts of the
16 municipality with a Bosnian majority to be deprived of food so that it
17 would be easier to eliminate them when they were starving.
18 Q. How many men do you say - we'll assume it was all men - how many
19 men do you say were included in these paramilitary units who arrived
20 driving army trucks on the 26th of March, 1992?
21 A. There would usually be a jeep and a lorry.
22 Q. Witness, just give an estimate, please, of the total number of
24 A. The territory was large, so on any one day the looting would take
25 place in different places. Seven, eight, or ten paramilitaries were
1 engaged in one place. I can give you those places or facilities.
2 In Banja Lucica, in Kalinja --
3 Q. Please just give an estimate. If you can't say, you can't say.
4 And then please tell the Trial Chamber that. Otherwise, please give an
5 estimate for the total number of men you say, if you know.
6 JUDGE ORIE: The witness, could you please answer that question,
8 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. MARGETTS: It appears that the answer has already been given
11 in the previous answer.
12 JUDGE ORIE: No, it's not given. Mr. Stewart was asking about a
13 total of the paramilitaries and the witness described a number of -- of a
14 group of paramilitaries. So the witness at the same time said they went
15 to several places.
16 Could you give us an estimate of how many approximately, if you
17 can, on these various places where they were, how many there were in
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On that day, according to my
20 estimate, including those who had given them orders, between 70 and 100
21 men were involved in the looting.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
23 MR. STEWART: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Q. In paragraph 30 of your statement, you say: "The military
25 commander of SAO Romanija was Slobodan Batinic and Nedeljko Zugic was
1 Minister for Information. All those appointments" -- or both those
2 appointments, presumably -- "were done in secret." In what way were they
3 done secret and kept secret from whom?
4 A. When I was talking about secrecy, I was referring to the Bosniak
5 population, they were not kept abreast of the situation. They could not
6 learn through their representatives or in the Assembly or in any other
7 way, they couldn't learn about those appointments. Only when rumours
8 started circulating amongst the people or when on Radio Romanija somebody
9 would appear and introduce themselves as the commander of the Territorial
10 Defence or the minister of the so-called police, it was only then that we
11 heard that, or maybe somebody said -- the anchor said, The Minister for
12 Information will explain some events to you. And then it would be
13 Nedeljko Zugic, the blacksmith, who would be that minister. I don't have
14 anything against him. I know him personally. But how can you appoint a
15 blacksmith as -- as a Minister for Information? This is -- this just is
16 something that escapes me.
17 Q. Well, let's move on to the next question, Witness. You said --
18 at paragraph 33 of your statement that the Serb Crisis Staff "had been
19 established during 1991" and it "held authority over the police,
20 Territorial Defence all important functions." Now, Witness, there was no
21 question of -- of that Serb Crisis Staff having that sort of authority
22 during 1991, was there?
23 A. From the very establishment, he did have the authority and he had
24 things under his control. Everything that was happening in a
25 municipality - in this case, the municipality of Sokolac - it was the
1 Crisis Staff and its decisions that prevailed and nothing else could be
2 done. It was the Crisis Staff that usually comprised the president of
3 the municipality, the president of the Executive Board or the local
4 government, as it were, the Chief of Police, the commander of the
5 Territorial Defence, and so on and so forth. So they had all the
6 authorities in their hands. Whatever was being done, it was done under
7 their control, according to their orders, and they were responsible only
8 to the higher levels. And that's who they reported to, to the higher
9 levels for everything that they did.
10 Q. When you say "he" -- you said, "He had things under his control"
11 at the beginning of that answer. Were you talking about Mr. Milan
13 A. Milan Tupajic was the president of the --
14 Q. Were you talking about Milan Tupajic when you said -- it's a very
15 simple question, Witness. You talked about "him," "he," "his." Is that
16 person you're talking about Milan Tupajic?
17 A. I can say that in Sokolac the president of the Crisis Staff was
18 Milan Tupajic. And this is what I said. And if I mentioned the Crisis
19 Staff and if -- if a reference is made to the president of the Crisis
20 Staff in Sokolac, that was Milan Tupajic. He was the president of the
21 Crisis Staff.
22 Q. Is it correct that a Crisis Staff at municipality level comprised
23 not only SDS members but members of the SDP, which was under the
24 leadership of Nijaz Durakovic? Is that correct?
25 A. To talk about politics and to talk about Nijaz Durakovic and his
1 members as members of the Crisis Staff, this is --
2 Q. Witness, I don't want you to talk about him in some general
3 sense. I would like you to answer the question, please.
4 JUDGE ORIE: The first part of the question was whether there
5 were any members of the Crisis Staff were SDP members.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I am now concentrated.
7 When there was a division of power between the SDS, the SDA, and other
8 parties, all the key positions were taken by members of the SDS, the
9 chief of police, the president of the court, the president of the
10 Executive Board, the president of the Municipality. They were all SDS
12 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'll stop you. Were there any SDP members
13 -- members of the Crisis Staff?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to my knowledge, this was
15 not the case.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stewart.
17 MR. STEWART:
18 Q. Because I put it to you, Witness, that there simply was no Serb
19 Crisis Staff that met at any time, or SDS Crisis Staff that met at any
20 time before April 1992. Do you accept that?
21 A. The Crisis Staff of the Serbian people, I don't know whether it
22 was known or not, existed even before that date. Many preparations were
23 carried out even before the date that you have just mentioned.
24 Q. You've referred to people being killed in an attack on the
25 village of Novoseoci. Would you agree that that was a Serb revenge
1 attack following Muslim attacks on Serb civilians?
2 A. Sir, could you please tell me where the attack took place. That
3 would enable me to answer you maybe.
4 Q. Witness, we start with the attack which -- about which you give
5 evidence, which is, you say, "persons killed in an attack on the village
6 of Novoseoci." And I think we can take it that you're talking about a
7 Serb attack and that the persons killed were Muslims. That's -- that's
8 correct so far, isn't it?
9 A. There was an attack by the Serbian army on a village with a
10 Bosniak Muslim majority. 44 people were killed and 102 women and
11 children were transported by buses to Sarajevo and expelled. This was on
12 the 22nd of September, 1992. Amongst those 44 people who were killed,
13 there was also one woman.
14 Q. And it was a revenge attack in response to a number of Muslim
15 attacks on Serb civilians, wasn't it?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the territory of Sokolac
18 municipality, not only was not a single civilian killed, but no Serb had
19 even lost a hair from their heads. Not a single house was torched. Not
20 a single cow was taken away. Bosniak Muslim population of Sokolac
21 municipality never ever committed anything illegal against the Serb
22 neighbours. There's no evidence to the effect that any such thing had
23 ever happened, and I'm sure that in the future no evidence will ever be
24 revealed to that effect.
25 MR. STEWART:
1 Q. So if -- if I mentioned to you seven members of the Dautovic and
2 Brdjanin families killed in the village of Tocionik that summer by
3 Muslims, you know nothing of that; is that correct?
4 A. Sir, and Your Honour, the Dautovic family was killed by the Serbs
5 from Kalimanici village -- or rather, Tocionik village near Sokolovici.
6 The eyewitness to the event is a person called Kerla. He is a Serb. And
7 there's also Miroljub Krunic, who currently resides in Sarajevo. The
8 latter took the first man into his car and transported him to Sarajevo
9 together with his family to help them. So this is a humanitarian gesture
10 that the latter person did.
11 Based on this evidence and the testimony of some Serbs whom I
12 wouldn't mention - there is a family Djeric, whom I know. There are
13 allegations that the Djerics had killed this family. This man was a
14 wonderful man. He had a very old mother. (redacted)
16 (redacted) They killed his
17 son, his daughters, his old mother. They killed him and his wife. That
18 is a terrible act that was committed.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, I'm looking at the clock. I'm also
20 looking at the interpreters and technicians assisting us. How much time
21 would you still need? The witness is now answering your questions.
22 MR. STEWART: Yes, I've noticed that, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. STEWART: And we've been making tremendous progress.
25 Your Honour, I only really have a couple more questions. If the
1 witness does answer my questions, we shouldn't have a problem finishing.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could I ask the interpreters whether they're
3 willing to assist us for a couple of more minutes and then -- you heard
4 Mr. Stewart saying that it's only a couple of questions. For the
5 technicians as well. Then we may proceed.
6 Mr. Stewart, let's try to finish within the next seven to ten
8 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I shall certainly do my very best to
9 do that.
10 Q. Witness, you also nothing about -- I'm going to give you three or
11 four names. I won't give you so many that you can't digest them. But
12 Vukosav Belkovic [phoen], Jovan Veljovic, Rade Dragicevic, Ilija Macar
13 [phoen] and his wife Slobodanka. Do you know anything about the killing
14 of any of those people?
15 A. I don't know anything about those people. But as a human being,
16 I would like to know something. If you have any information about that,
17 I'd like to know as a human being if --
18 THE INTERPRETER: If the microphone could be switched off,
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please tell me where
21 those killings were committed, who committed them, if you know. If this
22 is your deliberate interpretation of some events, I don't know what to
23 say to that.
24 MR. STEWART:
25 Q. Well, Witness, if you say you know nothing at all about any of
1 these people, then I -- if you don't mind, I won't spend time giving you
2 the information.
3 The -- do you know the names of any of the Serb perpetrators of
4 the attack on Novoseoci?
5 A. Novoseoci? The attack on Novoseoci was carried out by the
6 military police under the command of Momcilo Pajic, who is currently the
7 head of land surveying department of the municipality of Kostolac.
8 Between 400 and 450 soldiers were involved in the attack. The women who
9 were expelled to Sarajevo identified 62 participants in the attack. When
10 the crime happened and when the men were separated from the women and
11 children and the women and children were loaded onto buses, Momcilo Pajic
12 went to Sokolac and according to the testimony of these women, he came
13 black in the face. They assume that somebody from Sokolac ordered
14 Momcilo Pajic to kill all the men. It is only an assumption at the
15 moment who it could have been; either Milan Tupajic as the head of the
16 Crisis Staff, or general whose name I can't -- oh, it was Krstic, General
17 Krstic, who was the commander at the time. This still remains to be
18 seen. This is still in -- within the realm of speculation. I wouldn't
19 go into that.
20 Q. Witness, do you know anything about two of these Serb
21 perpetrators of -- of that attack, the participants in that attack
22 committing suicide subsequently?
23 A. I've already said that the attack --
24 Q. No, do you know anything about two of the perpetrators of that
25 attack committing suicide? If you don't, please say you don't.
1 A. I know nothing of that. But if you will allow me, if the Court
2 will allow me, I would like to --
3 Q. Witness, I don't know if the Court will allow you. I'm in the
4 Court's hands. But I'm not going to encourage you, Witness, no.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You may proceed, Mr. Stewart.
6 MR. STEWART: Thank you. I have one more question, a different
7 topic, Witness. Well, I think it will be one. It might be just two
9 Q. The -- is it correct that you in either late 1990 or in 1991
10 informed Serb officials in your municipality that it was the intention of
11 the Muslim community to set up their own parallel municipal organs in
12 Kacina [phoen] and I think it's Knezina?
13 A. If I may give you just three sentences in introduction. The
14 municipality of Sokolac has 11 local communes. Bosniaks are a majority
15 in about five local communes. In one of these local communes, until the
16 year 1957, there was a municipality that the communist powers, for
17 reasons known only to them, had abolished. It was the desire of the
18 population to have the municipality restored because of the local
19 significance, local development, because the municipal territory was
20 large. It was difficult to do, to perform different jobs. I may have
21 mentioned in a conversation this desire; however, I say as I sit here --
22 I will still say that it would be good if there was a municipality there
23 because of the people who reside there, irrespective of their ethnic
24 background and -- and it is a good thing that the Bosniaks have returned.
25 We live together. The mosque is being renovated, the one that was built
1 in 1542. And I can say that --
2 Q. Witness, witness, can we come forward from 1542, please, to just
3 this: You did, in fact, take some -- or steps were taken by the Muslims
4 to set such parallel organs in operation and they called themselves some
5 such name as the Muslim militia; is that correct?
6 A. At the beginning of our testimony, I said that Bosniaks, Muslims,
7 did not have the opportunity to do any such thing. This may have been
8 mentioned on one occasion in a private conversation with a colleague of
9 mine, somebody from the SDS maybe even, that I said that it would be good
10 for the Bosniaks to have Knezina as a municipality. Yes, I remember now
11 that I did say once to the then-president of the SDS, and I told him, If
12 you keep on insisting on your Autonomous Provinces --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness --
14 MR. STEWART:
15 Q. Witness, you're answering my last question, which I thought you'd
16 already answered.
17 JUDGE ORIE: The question was, Witness 012, whether this wish
18 that you once expressed in conversation ever materialised in establishing
19 something which would be called the Muslim militia.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Such an organisation did not exist
21 in Sokolac municipality. And as far as I know, it didn't even exist in
22 any part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is the first time today that I
23 hear of such an organisation, of all the inconceivable things that were
24 ever mentioned to me. This is really something that I hear for the first
1 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you answered the question.
2 Mr. Stewart, any further questions?
3 MR. STEWART: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
5 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, one very brief question.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
7 MR. MARGETTS: If I may.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 Re-examined by Mr. Margetts:
10 Q. Witness 012, when the SAO Romanija police were formed and the
11 Serb police gathered at the Sokolac oval, how many police gathered at the
12 Sokolac oval on that occasion?
13 A. I have described many events today, but I believe that this
14 happened in March.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Witness --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was a line-up --
17 JUDGE ORIE: You were not asked when it happened. The question
18 was how many police gathered at the Sokolac oval on that occasion, and
19 that is when the SAO Romanija police were formed. Do you know how many
20 either precisely or approximately were there?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Between 300 and 350, including the
23 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you. Your Honour, we did intend to ask
24 another question in relation to the payment system of SDK Sokolac, but I
25 don't know that we have the time for that, and I just want to put that on
1 the record in case it may result in us wanting to recall this witness at
2 some stage.
3 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, the Chamber has considered your
5 request for one further question, but in view of the time, in view of the
6 whole context we are in at this moment, the Chamber asks you to refrain
7 from putting that question to the witness.
8 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then since -- since the Chamber has no questions for
10 you, this concludes your testimony, Witness 012, taking that you, Mr.
11 Stewart, have -- well, there could have been no questions triggered by
12 the Bench, but also not by the one question put by the Prosecution.
13 I'd like to thank you very much for having come to The Hague and
14 to testify. We're happy that you're in a position that you can return
15 home and that you don't have to stay over the weekend, which of course
16 might not have been pleasant for you.
17 We thank you very much for coming. We wish you a safe trip home
19 Mr. Usher, could you please escort Witness 012 out of the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, as far as exhibits are
24 concerned ...?
25 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibits are Prosecution Exhibit P728 to
1 P731A, all exhibits under seal.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. They are admitted with the exception of -- now
3 I don't see what the number is -- events on the territory of -- that's
4 the chronology.
5 Mr. Margetts, you are invited to provide a redacted version of
6 that document so that any event after the 1st of April does not appear
7 any more on it.
8 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. We will redact the exhibit
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So, then, 728 and 730 and following, as
11 mentioned by Madam Registrar, are admitted. 729 is still pending until
12 we have received the redacted version.
13 I would like to thank the interpreters and the technicians very
14 much for their patience. It's very often on Fridays that I am asking for
15 this patience. Thank you very much.
16 We will -- I'll not deliver the other decision we had in mind. I
17 ask the legal officer to try to get the copies back so that they can be
18 distributed to the next interpreter's team next Monday.
19 We'll adjourn until next Monday, at 9.00, same courtroom. We
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.08 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Monday, the 23rd day of
23 May, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.