1 Tuesday, 24 May 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.37 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Before we call the next witness, Mr. Krajisnik, it's, I would
11 say, a shared experience of all human beings how it feels after you've
12 seen the dentist. I hope that you're not feeling too bad, that you're
13 still comfortable.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am very grateful for the Trial
15 Chamber having given me the possibility of seeing a dentist. I don't feel
16 bad. And once again, thank you very much.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. It goes without saying, dental care is one of
18 the things the Detention Unit should provide to the extent needed.
19 Then, Mr. Gaynor, the next witness is a 92 bis witness.
20 MR. GAYNOR: That's correct. The next witness is Osman Selak.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 MR. GAYNOR: Who will be testifying without protective measures.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Without protective measures.
24 And I did understand that you wanted to submit also some of the
25 exhibits that were presented during his testimony in the Brdjanin case.
1 MR. GAYNOR: That's correct, Your Honour. Your Honours have
2 expressly asked to be provided with one exhibit.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. GAYNOR: And we've selected six others which we consider to
5 be the most -- of greatest value to Your Honours in reviewing his
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What's the way in which you -- you just --
8 MR. GAYNOR: Yeah. I've discussed it with the registrar.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. GAYNOR: What I suggest we do is first of all we tender a CD
11 containing the transcripts themselves.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. GAYNOR: And then I would tender the exhibits -- I will read
14 the number from the Brdjanin case into the record to assist in
15 cross-reference. I'll then tender all of the exhibits with a separate
16 number in this case. And I don't propose to ask the question --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. GAYNOR: The witness any questions at all about them.
19 JUDGE ORIE: That's fine. The video, which is on your list, is a
20 lengthy video which was not in its entirety played in Brdjanin, was it?
21 MR. GAYNOR: That's correct, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So if we are going to admit it, it would be more
23 than was tendered and admitted in Brdjanin. I take it, at least, that
24 only those portions that were played were admitted.
25 MR. GAYNOR: To be honest, I don't know whether they admitted the
1 entire video or simply those portions in the Brdjanin case. What I can
2 do, if you prefer, is select -- regardless of what was admitted in the
3 Brdjanin case, select the portions of that video which are of most
4 relevance to this case, and I can select the transcript portions and
5 submit those and dispense with the CD version of the video, whichever Your
6 Honours find most useful.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Mr. Stewart, would you have any views on the issue?
9 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I'm wondering whether the
10 simplest course wouldn't be simply to -- well, what was admitted in
11 Brdjanin presumably is accompanied by a transcript.
12 JUDGE ORIE: It's played in court. And from what I remember, is
13 that we have the transcript -- at least, the text is reproduced.
14 MR. STEWART: Yes. Well, Your Honour, it seems to be sufficient
15 for -- for this trial's purposes that the -- the text is on the
16 transcript, unless the Prosecution consider that the actual video is of
17 some extra materiality.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Of course, another way of dealing with it would be
20 to -- to limit the admission of those portions of the -- of the videotape
21 that are reflected in the transcript.
22 MR. STEWART: Yes --
23 JUDGE ORIE: That's of course not the same thing. It's still the
24 video. But limited portions of it.
25 MR. STEWART: I'm just wondering, Your Honour, after all it's --
1 perhaps some of the experience in this case is that the -- there's many
2 instances in which the actual video doesn't really add anything to the
3 text is --
4 JUDGE ORIE: I haven't seen it, so ...
5 MR. STEWART: Well, I was saying, Your Honour, unless the
6 Prosecution is suggesting that this is a case where it really does add
7 something, we can simplify things by just dispensing with it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gaynor.
9 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honours, we'd prefer to review the transcript
10 and the video and make the selections. The most critical participants are
11 actually on pages 1 and 2 of the transcript. There may be other parts
12 which are of utility to Your Honours. And if we could defer a decision
13 on, this I'd be grateful.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll then hear from you at a later stage.
15 Then, Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. ...
16 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Meanwhile we could ask Madam Registrar to assign
18 exhibit numbers to the exhibits listed.
19 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gaynor, would you be in a position to give the
21 Brdjanin exhibit number for the video to Madam Registrar so that she can
22 better work on it?
23 MR. GAYNOR: Yes, Your Honour. The video to be reviewed is P1594
24 in the Brdjanin case.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Selak. Do you hear me in a
2 language you understand?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Selak, the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
5 require you to make a solemn declaration that you'll speak the truth, the
6 whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The text is handed out to you now
7 by Madam Usher. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
9 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Selak.
11 WITNESS: OSMAN SELAK
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Selak, you have been called as a witness. The
15 Prosecution has submitted to the Chamber your testimony in the Brdjanin
16 case, and that's admitted into evidence. Just for the public, Mr. Gaynor
17 will briefly summarise the content of that testimony, and the reason that
18 you are called is to give an opportunity to the Defence to cross-examine
19 you on -- on these issues.
20 Mr. Gaynor, you may proceed.
21 MR. GAYNOR: Certainly.
22 Examined by Mr. Gaynor:
23 Q. Witness, could you confirm your full name for the record, please.
24 A. Osman Selak.
25 Q. Mr. Selak, as the Judge has just indicated, I'll read into the
1 record a summary of the evidence which you gave in the Brdjanin trial and
2 I'll read slowly.
3 Colonel Osman Selak is a Bosnian Muslim. He was a professional
4 soldier in the JNA from 1955 until 1992. By 1992, he was a colonel and in
5 charge of logistics for the Banja Luka area of command. Upon the creation
6 of the VRS, he applied for retirement. Pending his application, he served
7 from 18th May to 10th July 1992 as one of the few Muslim officers in the
8 VRS. The witness did not personally attend any meetings of the VRS Main
9 Staff, nor any meetings with any members of the Republika Srpska
11 The witness previously gave testimony in the Brdjanin trial about
12 the transformation of JNA units in Bosnia and Herzegovina into the VRS.
13 The witness also testified about the command structures in the JNA and the
14 VRS. He testified about reporting structures within the VRS, including
15 the requirement for twice-daily reports from commanders to the VRS Main
16 Staff and the requirement for troops on the ground to report every
17 principal stage of task implementation to their superiors.
18 Colonel Selak described the ethnic composition of the JNA and the
19 VRS and instances of discrimination and propaganda directed against Muslim
20 and Croat soldiers and officers. He testified about the dismissal of
21 Muslim and Croat officers and the confiscation by the VRS of their
22 property after they had fled from their homes.
23 He also testified about the relationship between the Serb
24 Territorial Defence forces and the JNA. Contrary to JNA regulations,
25 Colonel Selak was ordered by General Uzelac to provide weapons to Serb
1 Territorial Defence units that were not mobilised. He also testified
2 about the distribution at night of weapons to Serb civilians at their
4 Colonel Selak also testified about military operations of the
5 Banja Luka Corps conducted against Muslim and Croat civilians. He
6 testified about VRS military operations against non-Serbs in Kozarac in
7 May 1992.
8 The witness testified about a meeting at which both he and
9 General Talic were present. VRS operations at Kozarac, including the
10 killings and arrests of civilians, was discussed at the meeting. Colonel
11 Selak also testified about the creation of the Manjaca prison camp.
12 The witness testified about regular contact between the VRS and
13 political organs in Banja Luka and about cooperation between Serb military
14 and political leaderships to achieve their joint objective. He also
15 testified that information was provided by municipality presidents to VRS
16 units to assist those units in carrying out their tasks.
17 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honours, I propose to just address one subject
18 with this witness. Prior to doing that, I'd like to tender, as we
19 discussed earlier, a number of exhibits from the Brdjanin case. And I
20 will read out the Prosecution's exhibit number in this case as well as the
21 Brdjanin case while I do this.
22 The first exhibit, which was P1588 in the Brdjanin case, is a
23 combat report dated the 1st of June, 1992 to the Main Staff of the Army of
24 the SR BH from Lieutenant Colonel Stanimir Djurovic; that is P734 in this
1 The next exhibit is a document authorised by Colonel Mico Grubor,
2 which is transmitting an order of the Main Staff of the VRS. This
3 document is dated 21st of June, 1992. It was Exhibit P1584 in the
4 Brdjanin case. It is Exhibit P735 in the Krajisnik case.
5 The next exhibit is an order to the command of the 1st Krajina
6 Corps from Colonel General Ratko Mladic dated the 9th of June, 1992. It
7 was Exhibit P1583 in the Brdjanin case. It is Exhibit P736 in the
8 Krajisnik case.
9 The next exhibit is a short videotape of a speech by Colonel Pero
10 Colic on the 2nd of August, 1992. The Brdjanin exhibit number was P1596.
11 In the Krajisnik case, the exhibit number for the video version of the
12 speech is P737, and the transcript is P737A.
13 The next exhibit is a report dated the 27th of May, 1992 to the
14 Republika Srpska BH army Main Staff. It's a report on the elimination of
15 the Green Berets. This was Exhibit P1587 in Brdjanin and P738 in the
16 Krajisnik case.
17 The next exhibit is dated the 9th of June, 1992. This was sent
18 to the SR BH army Main Staff and the SR BH Presidency. It was sent from
19 Colonel Milutin Vukelic. This exhibit was Exhibit P1582 in the Brdjanin
20 case and it's Exhibit P739 in this case. That's the exhibit which Your
21 Honours expressly requested to be provided with.
22 The final exhibit which I will deal with at a later date was
23 P1594 in the Brdjanin case, and I'm instructed will be P740 in this case.
24 And the transcript will be P740A.
25 Now, I'd request, Your Honours, to concentrate on the last of
1 those exhibits, which is the exhibit which Your Honours expressly
3 And I'd like the witness to be shown a copy of that exhibit,
4 please. That's P739.
5 Q. Now, Colonel Selak, you might recall having a look at this in the
6 Brdjanin case. As you can see, it was dated the 9th of June, 1992. It's
7 a report submitted to the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina army Main
8 Staff and the SR BH Presidency. And it says in the first paragraph: "One
9 of the issues that was discussed at yesterday's session of the AR Bosnian
10 Krajina Crisis Staff was the general personnel policy in the army 1st
11 Krajina Corps."
12 It goes on to say: "It was stated that within the units of the
13 1st Krajina Corps, 14th PoB, and the units of the RV i PVO in Banja Luka
14 garrison there are 67 officers of Muslim or Croat nationality."
15 Stopping right there, could you tell us what the 14th PoB was.
16 A. That's the 14th logistics base of which I was the commander. It
17 provided all the units in Bosanska Krajina with logistics, the 1st Krajina
18 Corps and the other units that were in that area of responsibility.
19 Q. And could you just clarify how many men you were commander of.
20 A. After THE mobilisation had been carried out in May 1991 and in
21 September 1991, there were about 2.300 or 2.500 men, give or take a few
22 hundred men, but that was roughly speaking the figure.
23 Q. All right. Now, this document goes on to say: "An ultimatum was
24 issued" -- this is the middle of the first substantive paragraph: "An
25 ultimatum was issued requesting removal of these persons from vital and
1 command posts by the 15th of June, 1992 or they will take over the control
2 of the armed forces. We consider this demand to be justified."
3 At the end of the paragraph, it says: "The 1st Krajina Corps
4 Command should make the decision as to which staff members from the ranks
5 of Muslims and Croats may be temporarily -- may still be temporarily kept
6 and at what posts."
7 Now, Colonel Selak, I'm going to direct your attention to a
8 question you were asked about this paragraph in the Brdjanin case and the
9 answer that you gave. The prosecuting lawyer asked you whether you were
10 surprised that this document went to the Main Command of the army but also
11 to, as it were, the head of state. This for cross-reference purposes is
12 on page 13068 of the Brdjanin transcript of the 17th of January, 2003.
13 To that question, as to whether you were surprised, you
14 said: "No, that does not surprise me."
15 You were then asked: "So that's something you would have expected
16 in respect of this kind of issue."
17 You replied: "The question here is very important. It pertains
18 to the survival, to the life of the people in an area. And according to
19 my opinion, this information is something that is expected. It's not
20 something that surprised me."
21 MR. STEWART: It's this type of information, I think, doesn't it?
22 MR. GAYNOR: I'm grateful for the correction.
23 Q. "This type of information is something that is expected. It's
24 not something that surprised me. Members of the Presidency of the Serbian
25 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina regularly visited the corps command and
1 toured the units of the front."
2 Now, I just want you to focus on the last sentence which you gave
3 in your response, and I'll just repeat it: "Members of the Presidency of
4 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina regularly visited the corps
5 command and toured the units at the front."
6 Now, I want you to explain whether you personally saw any members
7 of the Presidency visit the corps command and tour the units at the front.
8 A. Your Honours, I was never personally present. I never saw them
9 in the corps command or in the units. But the media, the newspapers,
10 et cetera, would regularly --
11 MR. STEWART: [Previous translation continues] ... he's answered
12 the question then. He was asked whether he'd personally seen them, and he
13 has. Your Honour, this witness, 92 bis application, and then there's a
14 supplement in this area, but the witness has now answered the question.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour --
17 JUDGE ORIE: The next question would be: If you did not
18 personally see it, what information you had available which make you
19 testify that members of the Presidency regularly visited the corps command
20 and toured the units at the front. Could you tell us what -- on the basis
21 of what information you gave this testimony.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the president of the
23 Serbian Republic, Karadzic, arrived on one occasion to calm the situation
24 down. And the 16th Brigade of the Banja Luka Territorial Defence, they
25 had certain problems. And I saw Biljana Plavsic myself. I saw her in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Banja Luka.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The question was: If you did not see them
3 yourself but - from the last part of your answer it is not entirely clear
4 to me who you saw and who you did not see - could you first tell us when
5 you said that Mr. Karadzic arrived on one occasion to calm the situation
6 down, in relation to problems of the 16th Brigade of the Banja Luka
7 Territorial Defence, how did you learn about this visit?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I learned about it from my
9 colleagues, officers of the Republika Srpska army. I had regular contact
10 with them. They were my neighbours. We had regular contact. And this
11 was also relayed by the media, because afterwards some officers from that
12 brigade were replaced. Unfortunately, other units were transferred and
13 they were eliminated because there was a rebellion in that brigade. And I
14 personally saw Mrs. Biljana Plavsic in Banja Luka. I was perhaps no more
15 than a metre away from her.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you tell us in more detail at what time
17 Mr. Karadzic and Mrs. Plavsic were present.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. Karadzic was there in 1993. It
19 could have been in the month of September, because that brigade or part of
20 that brigade refused to carry out acts of genocide. As the officers acted
21 in a correct manner, they reacted to the problems created by the brigade.
22 There was a risk of a large-scale rebellion. So Karadzic personally
23 appeared. He did not enter the town, but he went to the Trn settlement,
24 which is a municipality on the outskirts of Banja Luka. He, too, was
25 afraid of entering the town because he was afraid that the situation might
1 be chaotic. The situation was calmed down. The officers were replaced.
2 I said some men died as if they had been on the front. And later
3 Mrs. Biljana Plavsic - again, this was in 1993 - I was in front of the
4 Bosna Hotel and she was leaving the hotel with her escort. We passed by
5 each other. That was sometime in the afternoon. I don't know the month
7 As for the daily papers, Your Honour, they provided daily
8 reports. The television also provided daily reports about the visits to
9 the corps units, et cetera. That was one of their duties.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you here. I was just asking about the
11 time, and you explained a lot more.
12 Two short questions, if possible brief answers. You never saw
13 any member of the Presidency visiting a corps command in 1992?
14 MR. STEWART: The witness has already said --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 MR. STEWART: -- expressly that he never saw any of this, so Your
17 Honour is --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. -- Mr. Stewart.
19 Did you learn about any visit of a member of the Presidency in
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not see them personally.
22 JUDGE ORIE: My question was whether you learned about any visit
23 of a member of the Presidency in 1992, whether personally or by other
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard it from my friends, my
1 fellow citizens of Banja Luka, officers, because I lived in a building
2 where most of the people were officers. Most of them were Serbs. I was
3 the only Bosniak, the only Muslim. We had normal contacts and we had
4 normal exchanges of information.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us any further details on any such
6 visits as who visited, when this visit took place?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the visits that were
8 made were not just to the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska but to
9 political institutions, the Crisis Staff, the municipalities. Well, all
10 citizens of Banja Luka, all the Serbs, took a positive view of that. They
11 expected it. It was, you know, the normal visits from the leaders of the
12 Republika Srpska. I myself did not see --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. Please carefully listen to
14 the question. The question was not whether the Serbs accepted this as
15 normal, but the question was whether you could give us further details on
16 such visits in 1992, and I added to that: Who paid these visits? When
17 took these visits place? I would like you to very much concentrate on the
18 specific questions I put to you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember now. After all,
20 it was 13 years ago. So I can't really remember when and who made those
21 visits. I did not record it in any of my notebooks, so I really can't
22 confirm the exact dates and who went to see whom. My information at the
23 time was what I'm telling you. I mean, through the media and yeah, of
24 course, you can check it out very easily. You can then check the dates
25 and see exactly who visited where and on what day. But I can't really
1 give you any specific information after 13 years.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
3 Mr. Gaynor, you may proceed.
4 MR. GAYNOR: Thank you.
5 Q. Witness, I want you to focus exclusively on the year 1992 when
6 you respond.
7 Earlier, a few moments ago, you said, and I quote: "Television
8 also provided daily reports about the visits to the corps units."
9 The first question is: Did you yourself see on television or in
10 other media during 1992 coverage about members of the Presidency of the
11 Republika Srpska, about their visits to the corps command or units at the
13 A. I remember that it was broadcast on television, and I remember a
14 Lieutenant Pero Colic who later became the Defence Minister of the
15 Republika Srpska. I remember him. I remember General Talic, who was
16 receiving these visits. And from where we stood, it was kind of normal,
17 normal regular obligatory visits. But I really can't recall the exact
18 date. As I said, it was 13 years ago. And I can't give you the date.
19 I'm afraid I might get it wrong.
20 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, that ends the -- this portion. Thank
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Gaynor.
23 Mr. Stewart, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
24 MR. STEWART: Yes, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Then please proceed.
1 MR. STEWART: Thank you.
2 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Stewart:
4 Q. Mr. Selak, in the -- the same case, the Brdjanin case - and the
5 reference to this is 12905 - counsel asked you, he said: "I wanted to ask
6 you about the relationship between the military and the political wings of
7 government and I want to deal first of all with it at the top level. What
8 was the relationship between those, the politicians at the republic level
9 and the army at Main Staff level? In other words, who was in charge?"
10 That was the question.
11 The first bit of your answer then was: "The Assembly of
12 Republika Srpska or the Assembly of the former Yugoslavia was the top
13 authority, the top political authority."
14 Now, whichever Assembly you're talking about, do we take it that
15 in referring to the Assembly as the top authority, you are referring to
16 the fact that it is the Assembly, the parliament, that passes the laws
17 that the other organs of government must implement and obey and the
18 citizens must be obey?
19 A. Yes, that's what I meant. Because it was precisely the Assembly
20 that passed the decision about the setting-up of the Armed Forces of
21 Republika Srpska as well as passing the law on the armed forces, and it
22 was implemented by the Defence Ministry and the Main Staff. So the
23 Assembly set the tasks that were then carried out by the army.
24 Q. Well, when you say "the Assembly set the tasks that were carried
25 out by the army," you don't mean any more, do you, than that they passed
1 the law on the armed forces and then left it to the Defence Ministry and
2 the Main Staff to implement those laws in practical terms? Is that right?
3 A. Your Honour, the army had the same goals as the Assembly.
4 Therefore, the laws passed had been discussed and agreed before, and those
5 common goals were implemented by the armed forces in that sense. Then the
6 police force, et cetera. I mean, the Assembly passed the laws and it was
7 clear who had to implement them and within what period of time, but the
8 goals were common. In this case, apparently the goal justified the means.
9 Q. Well, Mr. Selak, if a parliament passes a law that sets up a
10 railway system, you don't -- you wouldn't say the parliament runs the
11 railways, would you? Or would you? Would you or wouldn't you?
12 A. Obviously there would have to be an institution putting it into
13 practice. But if the Assembly reaches a decision, they also need to say
14 who is supposed to put it into practice and within what period of time.
15 And it's much the same in all the other countries of the world; the
16 parliament decides about the essential segments of the functioning of the
17 state, and then the other institutions put it into practice. And, of
18 course, then there is a reporting system through various committees,
19 representatives, et cetera, and you have the relevant time limits, and
20 then reports goes back all the way to the Assembly once again.
21 Q. Mr. Selak, do you have any knowledge of the Assembly of
22 Republika Srpska having executive powers in relation to the operations of
23 the armed forces?
24 A. The executive arm of the Assembly is the government; that is to
25 say, first of all, the president of the republic, then the government,
1 followed by all the other institutions, the police force, the armed
2 forces, et cetera. They are the executive bodies. The Assembly appoints
3 the government and the president and -- we know who is accountable to whom
4 and who is in charge of the reporting system on a regular and exceptional
5 basis. And we're talking about daily communications, because we all lived
6 in the same area and we were in constant communication on a daily basis.
7 So the information went from the executive bodies to the government, the
8 Main Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republika Srpska, and then, of
9 course, to the Assembly.
10 Q. But, Witness, Mr. Selak, is the answer that you don't have any
11 knowledge? It's a simple answer: You don't have any knowledge of the
12 Assembly having executive powers in relation to the operation of the armed
13 forces, do you?
14 A. The Constitution of the Republika Srpska speaks clearly on all
15 that, and it states clearly who is responsible for what. I never had to
16 and, frankly, was not all that interested in every single detail of all
17 that. It is regulated by the Constitution and the legal provisions, the
18 relevant legal provisions governing the behaviour and responsibilities of
19 all the relevant bodies within the Republika Srpska.
20 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, may I say I'm not proposing to pursue
21 this particular line anymore, but also nor am I proposing to -- with this
22 witness to enter into any debate about whether it is correct to say, as
23 was at line 23, that the executive arm of the Assembly is the government.
24 If we start getting into political theory with this witness and political
25 institutions, I suggest we'll be straying outside what he can usefully
1 help the Trial Chamber with. So unless Your Honours were to feel that I
2 should pursue that, I really don't propose to.
3 JUDGE ORIE: No, I don't think that you should pursue it. You're
4 free to do so if you want to, and the Chamber does not insist.
5 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, if it -- if it assists the
6 Chamber in the search for truth for me to do so, then I will.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let me say the following, black-and-white
8 questions, the relationship between a government and a parliament, is not
9 completely dealt with if you ask someone whether the parliament would have
10 any executive powers of the army, just referring to your example: If you
11 set up a railway system and if a parliament does so, it's usually not done
12 just by saying there should be a railway system. Very often, whether on
13 the legislative level or later in controlling the policy of the
14 government, sometimes parliament is interested to know whether it's
15 Amsterdam or The Hague that are connected by a line, or Delfzijl and
16 Marum, which are two small villages in the Netherlands. So, therefore,
17 I'm just -- I don't want to have any misunderstanding that by putting some
18 black-and-white questions that not all the grey areas are explored.
19 Whether they should be explored, I leave it entirely up to you. But
20 Chamber at least is aware that there's more -- that there's more than just
21 black and white and that there are different shades of grey in existence
22 as well.
23 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, I respectfully agree. And if it
24 were as black and white as that, I could have shortened my three years at
25 Oxford University to about a week and gone home. So --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, if that's sufficient guidance for you on
2 how to proceed, you may do so.
3 MR. STEWART: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour I --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would have --
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the witness
6 what he was trying to say. Could he specify that. When he said "the
7 Assembly and the armed forces had the same goals," could he clarify his
8 train of thought.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Serb Democratic
10 Party and the Serb Radical Party within the Republika Srpska had members
11 who were members of the Assembly and the Armed Forces of the Serbian
12 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina had the same goals as the MPs of the
13 Republika Srpska. So they had a common goal, to annex -- or rather, to --
14 for the Republika Srpska to remain within the structure of the Federal
15 Republic of Yugoslavia. And it can be seen in some documents. It is
16 stated explicitly that their wish and their intention was for the
17 Republika Srpska of Bosnia-Herzegovina to remain a part of Yugoslavia and
18 that it was their goal. And if the Assembly passes a law on the defence,
19 on the setting-up of the Armed Forces of Republika Srpska, in that case
20 all these people would be called upon to implement those goals. That's
21 what I meant, Your Honour, when I referred to the common goals of the
22 Assembly of the Republika Srpska and the Armed Forces of the
23 Republika Srpska. And I stand by what I've said.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Does this mean -- I'm just
25 looking at your answer here. Does this mean that you consider the armed
1 forces, at least a certain extent, to have been very closely connected to
2 the SDS? Because you're saying that many members of the armed forces were
3 also party members, that they were members of the Serb Democratic Party.
4 Let me specify my question a little bit: What I mean is that one
5 could take a different view of things and say that the armed forces must
6 be politically neutral and that they are simply called upon to implement
7 the guidelines and the directions given to them, so to say, by the
8 government, the National Assembly, or the Defence Ministry. And you seem
9 to indicate that the army was extremely closely connected to certain
10 political choices and that it was at the service of those political
11 choices having been made by others and that they were bent on achieving
12 these goals. Is that what you are trying to say? Is that your evaluation
13 of the situation?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is indeed correct
15 that the armed forces were in favour and gave their full support to the
16 policies of the Assembly of the Republika Srpska, fully and entirely.
17 Unfortunately, the crimes committed by the Armed Forces of the
18 Republika Srpska and also by paramilitary formations active in that area
19 in that period of time, none of the politicians, none of the members of
20 the Assembly ever called for them to be -- to be brought to justice or
21 held accountable. I mean, I would really like for all this not to have
22 happened and for me not to have to sit here and tell you about it.
23 So what I'm trying to say: The armed forces were fully in
24 agreement with the goals set out by the Serb Democratic and the Serb
25 Radical Party in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 MR. STEWART:
3 Q. Do you know of a single case of the Assembly of Republika Srpska
4 giving an order or direction to the armed forces as to what to do or not
5 to do apart from legislation that we can read? So leaving aside
6 legislation, do you know of a single case of the Assembly of
7 Republika Srpska giving an order or direction to the armed forces as to
8 what to do or not do?
9 A. I know of one case only. When the Assembly of the
10 Republika Srpska asked the JNA - and I think there is a document from the
11 month of April 1992 - well, they asked the JNA to protect the Serb nation
12 and for them to be given assistance and for the Republika Srpska and the
13 Krajinas -- well, for the army to help them remain within Yugoslavia. And
14 I think that this document must have been submitted to this Court at some
15 point. It is from April 1992. I don't know of any other specific cases
16 about them taking any initiative, in terms of protecting their role and
17 their -- especially not that they were trying to hold anyone accountable
18 for those crimes.
19 Q. In the Brdjanin case, you were asked by Ms. Korner, she was
20 talking about General Talic, and she said: "We saw also there, Colonel
21 Selak, General Talic saying words to the effect there was" --
22 MR. GAYNOR: Mr. Stewart, could we have a page number, please.
23 MR. STEWART: I'm sorry, 13.149.
24 Q. "... words to the effect that there was a Muslim Croat coalition
25 to enslave the Serbia people. From what you knew of him - this is General
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Talic - did he generally believe that when he was saying this on
3 You said: "Yes, he did believe that sincerely because he
4 sincerely wanted for the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina to come
5 into being, and he did all within his power to obtain that objective. He
6 believed that all the means were good to achieve that objective so they
7 had excellent cooperation with all political structures and with the SDS
8 in particular, and nobody opposed it because they were pursuing the same
9 common goal and that was the establishment of the Serb Republic of Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina. He believed that firmly and to the very end."
11 Mr. Selak, when you talk about "they" having excellent
12 cooperation with all political structures and with the SDS in particular,
13 who do you mean by "they"?
14 A. The army, the staff of the 1st Krajina Corps, headed by
15 General Talic.
16 Your Honours, there are regular meetings, briefings with the
17 Crisis Staff, with Mr. Brdjanin at its head. Mr. Brdjanin went to the
18 command. His men went there too. For example, Colonel Vukelic, the
19 assistant commander for morale; Colonel Vukovic Gojko, assistant commander
20 for the organisation of the civilian authorities. They would regularly go
21 to the Crisis Staff, exchange information. And on the basis of that, they
22 took decisions. The Crisis Staff and the corps command took decisions in
23 order to realise the objective of annexes the Serbian Republic of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina to Yugoslavia. I'd known General Talic for years, and
25 I was familiar with his beliefs, so I stand by what I have said.
1 MR. STEWART: No further questions, Your Honour. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gaynor.
3 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, we have no questions in re-examination.
4 I do have one procedural point, and that is I've been asked to read out
5 the exhibit numbers for the transcript. I'll do that whenever you wish,
6 for the Brdjanin transcript.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
8 Didn't -- were they not read out yet?
9 And another matter is that no numbers have yet been assigned to
10 the 92 bis transcripts.
11 MR. GAYNOR: Yes, that's precisely what I was doing.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay.
13 MR. GAYNOR: The transcript of this witness's testimony from the
14 15th of January, 2003 is P733; the transcript from the 16th of January,
15 2003 was P733A; the 17th of January, 2003, P733B; the 20th of January,
16 2003, P733C; the 21st of January, 2003, P733D; the 23rd of January, 2003
17 was P733E; the 24th of January, 2003 was P733F. And we did not tender the
18 transcripts of this witness's evidence from the Milosevic case.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Registrar, is that all clear?
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Selak, we'll first have a short break. And it
22 might well be that the Chamber has some additional questions for you after
23 that break.
24 So we'll adjourn until 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Judge Hanoteau has one or more questions for
3 you, Mr. Selak.
4 Questioned by the Court:
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Yes. Witness, a while ago you
6 mentioned the Crisis Staff. I would like to know whether you remember
7 when this Crisis Staff was established and in what way did -- way in which
8 this Crisis Staff function change, in the way the decisions were taken, in
9 what way did this have an effect on life in the local community? How --
10 what would you say? If you could answer that question.
11 A. Your Honours, the Crisis Staffs were formed at the end of 1991
12 and at the beginning of 1992 in the territory covered by the JNA -- or
13 rather, the Republika Srpska army. The Crisis Staffs were formed at the
14 level of Republika Srpska. That was the main Crisis Staff. And there
15 were Crisis Staffs formed in municipalities and in districts. Each
16 municipality had its own Crisis Staff, and that was also the case for the
17 various districts, Bosanska Krajina, Eastern Herzegovina, et cetera,
18 et cetera. Each municipality, as I have said, had its own Crisis Staff.
19 The Crisis Staffs took over all the power, apart from military
20 power. The Crisis Staffs took over civilian power. And I'm referring to
21 the police and to the economy. Everything was organised by the Crisis
22 Staffs. They had all the power, with the exception of military power.
23 As far as the military and the Crisis Staffs are concerned, their
24 relationship was in municipalities, regions, and also in the main Crisis
25 Staff of Republika Srpska. There were political organs in the Crisis
1 Staffs, heads of municipalities, chiefs of police of municipalities, of
2 districts, et cetera. And in the main Crisis Staff there were members
3 from the government, et cetera. They had all the power and they were
4 responsible for all the activities in districts, municipalities, and in
5 Republika Srpska as a whole. There was a daily cooperation between the
6 Crisis Staff and the army, and I know that in the case of Banja Luka and
7 the Crisis Staff of Bosanska Krajina, whose president was Mr. Brdjanin, at
8 meetings of the Crisis Staffs there was the assistant commander for morale
9 and legal affairs, Mr. Vukelic who went there, and the assistant commander
10 for the organisation of civilian authorities in the territory of the corps
11 would also -- he would also attend those meetings. That was Colonel
12 Vukovic Gojko. And there was the corps commander who also attended these
13 meetings when necessary, General Talic. And there was the chief of his
14 staff, Major General Bosko Hlekovic [phoen]. I assume that in other
15 districts things were organised in a similar way because the common
16 objective was to create the Republika Srpska.
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So you said that the Crisis
18 Staff had no power over the military, had no authority over the military;
19 however, you say that representatives from the military or their commander
20 attended certain meetings of the Crisis Staff. Why did they attend these
21 meetings in that case? Why did these high-ranking members of the military
22 attend certain meetings of the Crisis Staff?
23 A. Well, in order to realise the common objective, Your Honour,
24 because the army was manned with individuals from the territory where the
25 Crisis Staffs were in operation. The army used economic resources for its
1 own purposes. So they tried to coordinate their actions, to implement
2 their goals in municipalities and districts and in the Republika Srpska.
3 So they were trying to coordinate their action and to resolve difficulties
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You never attended these
6 meetings of the Crisis Staff.
7 A. No, I didn't.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I have a few questions for you as well, Mr. Selak.
10 Could you tell us something about the chains of command of, on the
11 one hand side, the Territorial Defence, TO, and, on the other hand, JNA or
12 VRS at a later stage. Were these chains of command totally separate or
13 was there communication between them? And if so, what type of
15 A. Your Honours, the chain of command for the TO went through the
16 Crisis Staffs. Up until 1990, Your Honours, the Territorial Defence in
17 the territory of Yugoslavia was under the republics that had formed them
18 and supplied them and assigned them tasks. The army assisted when it came
19 to equipping them and providing them with trained personnel.
20 After 1990, the Assembly of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
21 took a decision according to which the weapons of TO units should be
22 placed in JNA warehouses. My unit participated in that action in the area
23 of responsibility assigned to me. The idea was to separate the
24 Territorial Defence from the republics because it was believed that
25 Yugoslavia might break up in this way.
1 When the Crisis Staffs were formed - I am now referring to
2 Republika Srpska - they took over the responsibility of equipping and
3 training TO units. Part of those units in certain areas joined JNA units,
4 or rather, the Republika Srpska army, and parts of them, if they didn't
5 become part of the Army of Republika Srpska, remained under the TO in that
6 municipality or in that district.
7 The TO units that were formed at the time, the so-called volunteer
8 units, that General Hadzic decided to form in 1991 - I think that you have
9 that document, Your Honours - well, it was at that time that these
10 volunteer units were established, and they were the responsibility of the
11 Crisis Staffs, not of the army but of the Crisis Staffs. These volunteer
12 units - we also called them paramilitary units because that is what they
13 were - they carried out tasks assigned to them by the Crisis Staffs in
14 municipalities, districts that were assigned to them by the Republika
15 Srpska Crisis Staff.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Would their activities be coordinated with the
17 JNA/VRS units if the units were not subordinated to the army units?
18 A. Yes, Your Honour, the activities were coordinated.
19 JUDGE ORIE: And that coordination, who was in charge or who
20 actually coordinated the activities? Was it mainly the Crisis Staff? Was
21 it the command of the regular army units? Was it the command of volunteer
22 units or paramilitary units? Who -- who took the lead in those
24 A. Your Honour, the Crisis Staff took the lead in that coordination
25 because the army units had clearly assigned tasks, and the tasks the
1 Crisis Staff had to deal with were the tasks carried out by the so-called
2 volunteer units, these paramilitary units. So the Crisis Staff was in
3 charge of them. But the army provided officers. There are official
4 documents about this matter in which authorisation is given to manned TO
5 and volunteer units with officers. And authorisation was also given to
6 provide them with weapons, to provide everything that the TO volunteer
7 units needed.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did this constitute a change in respect of the
9 relations that existed in earlier stages between the JNA and the
10 Territorial Defence? Was this a -- did you consider this to be a change
11 of the structure of relationship between JNA and TO?
12 A. Yes. There was a change.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd like to draw your attention again to a
14 certain portion of your evidence you gave in the Brdjanin trial. Part of
15 your answer was read already to you, but I'll extend that a bit.
16 You stated in the Brdjanin trial the following. You said: "The
17 Assembly of Republika Srpska or the Assembly of the former Yugoslavia was
18 the top authority, the top political authority. The Main Staff, or
19 rather, the General Staff of the JNA, or the Main Staff of the Army of
20 Republika Srpska was subordinated to the commander-in-chief. When
21 speaking of Republika Srpska, that is, Mr. Karadzic, he was president of
22 the republic and the commander-in-chief of the Army of Republika Srpska.
23 No other authorities had the powers to command and control the army."
24 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, the precise quote is "no political
25 authorities could control the army."
1 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, I'll check that in the transcript.
2 MR. STEWART: Is that not correct?
3 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just find it.
4 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, the version we have says "no other
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm looking now at the relevant page,
7 Mr. Stewart, because of -- to the best of my abilities, I'll try to --
8 MR. STEWART: Is it 12.907, Your Honour?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes.
10 MR. GAYNOR: Your Honour, there might be some confusion. Line 6
11 says "no other authorities," and line 9 says "no political authorities."
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. STEWART: No, that's quite right. I beg your pardon, Your
14 Honour. It's -- it's got both. I'm so sorry.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I continue: "And the commander-in-chief of
16 the Army of" -- when you referred to Mr. Karadzic, "He was the president
17 of the republic and the commander-in-chief of the Army of
18 Republika Srpska. No other authorities had the powers to command and
19 control the army. The hierarchy started from a soldier all the way up to
20 the commander-in-chief. That was the chain of responsibility. But apart
21 from that, no political authorities could control the army."
22 Now, you explained to us the first lines of this part of your
23 testimony, where you said that "The Assembly was the top authority, the
24 top political authority." Could you explain to us how you reconcile, if
25 there would be any contradiction at all, the first part of your answer,
1 saying that the Assembly was the top authority, the top political
2 authority, also in view of the explanation you've given, and the last
3 line, where you say that "apart from that" - and you are then talking
4 about the chain of command - "no political authorities could control the
6 Do you understand my question?
7 A. I understand it, Your Honour. When I answered that question, I
8 wanted to say that the Assembly of Republika Srpska took a decision on
9 establishing the Republika Srpska army and then declared a law on the
10 Republika Srpska army. This was their legislative power. The executive
11 organs in the Assembly start with the president of the republic, who is
12 the commander-in-chief, and go right down to the very last private in a
13 unit. Orders are issued from the president, from the commander-in-chief.
14 They're issued to units, and they then go in a reverse order from units to
15 the commander. It's true -- it's quite certain that the president of the
16 republic was duty-bound to inform the Assembly of the results of the tasks
17 carried out by the Army of Republika Srpska. That's what I meant, Your
18 Honour. No institution had the right to issue orders to the army, apart
19 from the fact that I have already mentioned the commander-in-chief, other
20 commanders, and then subordinate units. That's the case in all armies
21 throughout the world because you can't have a dual chain of command in the
22 army. This would result in anarchy.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then in an answer just after this, you
24 said: "The political authorities set the objectives and tasks that were
25 to be carried out by the military."
1 In your answer, you were referring to the legislative power, that
2 is, to create, as you said, the Republika -- to establish the
3 Republika Srpska army. Once established, in what way, if at all, was the
4 Assembly still involved in setting objectives and tasks?
5 A. No. This role was taken over by the commander-in-chief and the
6 Main Staff of Republika Srpska. The Assembly was only informed about the
7 tasks carried out, about the objectives pursued. The Assembly didn't get
8 involved in command and control, but they had to receive information from
9 the army. The president of the republic as the commander-in-chief
10 regularly informed the Assembly of the results obtained by the military
11 and of its operations and the difficulties encountered.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were they in a position to comment on the
13 information they had received or to, well, invite the commander-in-chief
14 or the Minister of Defence to change or to adapt their -- their goals or
15 their objectives?
16 A. I have no such information on the specific problems that were
17 dealt with at the level of the Assembly. I don't know which issues were
18 dealt with. But this was the usual procedure when it came to the
19 Assembly. The Minister of Defence would provide information on the
20 results obtained and on the activities carried out by the army. He'd be
21 informed -- they'd be informed of the problems encountered. And this was
22 also the case at lower levels, at the level of the municipality. The
23 Municipal Crisis Staffs were in regular contact with the units, and the
24 common problems that arose were dealt with at that level. Problems that
25 could not be dealt with were dealt with at the corps level or at the
1 district level. And if they couldn't be dealt with at that level, then
2 they would try to deal with these problems at a higher level, at the level
3 of the government, et cetera.
4 A minute ago I said that the army used the capacities in the
5 territory, and this was arranged at the level of the Crisis Staff. They
6 agreed on logistical supplies, on medical treatment, et cetera. And if it
7 was impossible to bring -- to man the army from that unit, then this would
8 be done at higher levels. So there was coordination on a daily basis.
9 That is how the system functioned.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Now, apart from whether it ever happened, could the
11 Assembly in reviewing the report given to it on the objectives and the
12 goals, could they comment on it? Could they disagree and ask the
13 government to do it in a different way or ask the commander-in-chief to
14 adapt their -- his objectives or -- I mean, what -- did they have any
15 controlling function as far as the policy, the objectives, and the goals
16 of the army are concerned?
17 A. Your Honour, the Assembly is the top legislative body and
18 everybody else is accountable to them, starting from the president of the
19 republic, the government, and it goes for the armed forces as well and
20 their behaviour. So it is only normal in case problems crop up or in case
21 one expects problems, the Assembly must be consulted and must issue its
22 opinion or suggestions or give orders as to how to solve the situation.
23 By way of example, the cooperation between the Republika Srpska
24 and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia run -- run fairly smoothly throughout
25 the war, but it went through the president of the republic, the Crisis
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Staff of the Assembly, and then on their opposite numbers on the other
2 side, in Yugoslavia. And then of course there were certain -- certain
3 problems sometimes, but the Assembly had to check the situation out and
4 they had to be informed on a regular basis about any problems and the
5 tasks of the armed forces and the way in which these tasks are carried
6 out. I do not have specific examples as to what problems were discussed
7 at what Assembly meeting, but that was the way it was done. It was only
8 normal for the armed forces to be accountable to the Assembly. That's the
9 way in which the entire defence system works.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
11 Mr. Gaynor, I asked whether I could be provided with Prosecution
12 Exhibit 1570 in the Brdjanin case. Would it be available?
13 MR. GAYNOR: Yes, we have it here, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could I have a copy and could you provide a
15 copy to the Defence as well.
16 MR. GAYNOR: That's 1572; is that correct, Your Honour?
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's 1572 to start with. I also asked for
18 229, but that's still to come.
19 MR. GAYNOR: Just for the record, Your Honour, Exhibit P229 in
20 the Brdjanin case is P192 admitted in this case, and we have copies of
21 that too.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That was not entirely clear to me, whether it
23 was a similar ...
24 Yes, could the witness have a -- be presented with 1572 in
1 Do you have it in front of you, Mr. Selak?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: In this document from the 1st Krajina Corps command,
4 it says: "In response to your strictly confidential order number 211541
5 of 25th of August, 1992, we hereby attach the inventory of weapons and
6 equipment issued to units and TO staffs; in other words, to structures
7 outside the OS" - which stands for "armed forces."
8 Was -- first of all, do you have any knowledge about the equipment
9 issued to structures outside the armed forces?
10 A. Your Honour, General Hadzic, the Chief of Staff of the Armed
11 Forces of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia already in the beginning
12 issued orders to set up these voluntary units and that they should be
13 issued arms and that people from the army should help them and join them,
14 and the Armed Forces of the Republika Srpska did precisely that. They
15 were issuing weapons to those Territorial Defence units which were set up
16 at municipal and regional level, to voluntary units, which were set up in
17 municipalities and in regions, as well as other formations outside the
18 Armed Forces of the Republika Srpska. I am informed of that.
19 I informed that I had a problem with General Uzelac, who was the
20 commander of the Banja Luka Corps, who asked me to help create two
21 brigades, at Kozara and Mrakovica and to give them weapons, and I did not
22 issue weapons to them, but the weapons were issued through units who had
23 been withdrawn from Slovenia and Croatia through Bosnia, so they got that
24 quite apart from our logistical base, which was in charge of supplies.
25 So these units were filled and they were given weapons and other
1 equipment by the armed forces, and sometimes even officers went to work
2 with them.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, just looking at the type of organisations
4 that received these weapons, we see that most of them are identified
5 by "STO." I see many "STOs." Could you explain to us exactly what "STO"
6 stands for. You see: "STO Okucani. STO Kostajnica. STO Glina."
7 Your Honour, it's Territorial Defence staff of the municipality
8 Okucani, Kostajnica, and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sanski Most, Delac
9 [phoen], Laktasi, Celinac. All that is in the Krajina region. So these
10 were -- these Territorial Defence Staffs that were provided with weapons.
11 And then it says: "Other users outside the scope of the JNA." So that's
12 what I mean by those voluntary units and other formations set up by these
13 Crisis Staffs, for their own needs.
14 JUDGE ORIE: You say "other units outside the JNA" as the last
15 column. In translation, it says: "Other users JNA." Could you perhaps
16 read the original so that we can verify whether the translation is in this
17 respect correct. So could you please read slowly just the words on top of
18 that column so that it can be interpreted.
19 A. "And other users of the JNA." That's what it says in this
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
22 A. Which means other users were in existence; that is to say, the
23 JNA did not need that equipment, and other users were using their
24 equipment. So what is meant basically these -- are these voluntary units
25 that General Hadzic approved and that were set up.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we find one reference which is different
2 from the others, and that is in relation to Bosanska Krupa, I think. It
3 says: "Brig TO." How should I interpret that, where the others usually
4 say "the staff of the TO."
5 A. Your Honour, this refers to the brigade of the Territorial
6 Defence for Bosanska Krupa.
7 Allow me to clarify this piece of information. At that time --
8 or rather, by the end of 1991 at a meeting at Banja Luka where I was
9 present and General Hadzic was there, and the decision was made to set up
10 light brigades in municipalities, in regions, the Territorial Defence
11 brigades. And here it refers to the Territorial Defence brigade Kljuc, I
12 think -- no. Bosanska Krupa.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So it was -- the equipment was not provided to
14 the Territorial Defence Staff but directly to that brigade. Is that a
15 correct understanding?
16 A. Yes, Your Honour. But the brigade was under the command of the
17 Territorial Defence Staff of that municipality. The other municipalities
18 had not yet set up their brigades, so they could not present them as such.
19 It was up to the staff and then they set up all the other units,
20 battalions, companies, et cetera, depending on how many people they had,
21 what their manning strength was. So that was up to the staff.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And any equipment provided to the staff of the
23 Territorial Defence, could that finally end up in the hands of what you
24 called volunteer units as well or paramilitary units?
25 A. Yes, Your Honour. The Territorial Defence Staff was actually
1 supplying these voluntary and other units with weapons, the other units
2 that they wished to set up for their own purposes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 A. Even house to house they were distributing weapons to the
5 population. I was an eyewitness in the municipality of Derventa. They
6 were distributing weapons to people at night living in houses which were
7 marked by an "S," Serb, a Serb house. And people would knock on their
8 doors and they would get weapons. And it was done on a broad scale. And
9 even the armed forces participated in that distribution, arming the Serb
10 people, light weapons.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you very much for that answer.
12 Could I just have a look at -- Mr. Gaynor, you were so kind to
13 assist to say that Exhibit 229 was a document already in evidence. I --
14 could I just have a look at it.
15 But perhaps first the document we just reviewed is not in
16 evidence in this case, as far as I understand.
17 MR. GAYNOR: That's correct, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. There are two possibilities: Either you
19 tender it, or the Chamber will ask it to be -- it relates to the testimony
20 of the witness. You --
21 MR. GAYNOR: All right. We're happy to have it with a
22 Prosecution exhibit number, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Madam Registrar, then that would be ...
24 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Prosecution Exhibit P741.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
1 Before I continue, I just want to ...
2 Witness, could you please look at the document in front of you,
3 which is a document where the heading reads "Sanski Most" and the date is
4 the 7th of June, 1992. These are conclusions adopted at a subregional
5 meeting of political representatives of certain municipalities. And as
6 the document says, sent to the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of
7 Banja Luka, the leadership of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in
8 Sarajevo, and the 1st Krajina Corps in Banja Luka.
9 Have you seen this document before?
10 A. Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Have you any knowledge on who were present at the
12 subregional meeting where these conclusions were adopted?
13 A. Your Honour, I think that this meeting -- that these conclusions
14 refer to a subregional meeting, we're talking about the Bosnian Krajina
15 and the municipalities referred to here, it was the political
16 representatives of the Serb people there, probably from the Serb
17 Democratic Party and other political organisations, because it follows
18 from the text what the reason for this was.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 A. In relation to the Crisis Staff and the 1st Krajina Corps.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. My question is whether you have any direct
22 knowledge of persons attending that meeting. I can see from the document
23 that it was a meeting --
24 A. No.
25 JUDGE ORIE: You have no --
1 A. No. No, no, no. No, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we also see in this document that it was
3 sent to the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Banja Luka, the
4 leadership of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo. Have
5 you ever seen a similar document addressed to, among others, the
6 leadership of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or is it in any
7 other way familiar to you, this way of addressing a document?
8 A. Your Honour, I had no opportunity to take a look at similar
9 documents. It says: "The Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina," and
10 then the -- between the word "leadership" and "the republic," it
11 says "Serb republic." And it has been deleted.
12 But I -- I never got to see these documents when I was still in
13 service, in active service. I got them later on. But this is quite
14 clear, this request is clear, because this is a situation that repeated
15 itself later on in the course of the war when, for example, there were
16 documents referring to the Muslims and the Croats having to leave the
17 area. With regard to these institutions, the municipalities, the regions,
18 et cetera -- and some documents even had deadlines, by -- when Muslims and
19 Croats had to leave and unless they did it of their own accord, they would
20 be bussed to Banja Luka.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I was specifically asking on the way it was
22 addressed to other persons, but I do understand that you could not provide
23 any specific information in relation to that.
24 Since it's already in evidence, we do not have to tender that
1 Mr. Selak, I have no further questions to you. But before I give
2 an opportunity to the parties to raise any issue triggered by questions of
3 the Bench first, Judge Hanoteau would have one or more questions for you,
4 additional questions.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would just like to clarify one
6 point, sir. Earlier on you referred to units which were equipped and
7 trained by the TOs, and you said they could be described as paramilitary
8 groups or units. Is my understanding correct?
9 A. Yes. Yeah, I referred to paramilitary units.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] In those combat activities that
11 might have taken place, had there been any cases of those paramilitary
12 units fighting alongside the so-called regular army, the armed forces of
13 the republic?
14 A. Yes. They had a common goal, and for some activities, less
15 complex activities, where the armed forces were not actually needed, they
16 used the services of those voluntary or paramilitary forces and they would
17 dispense with those tasks, arrests, taking people to concentration camps,
18 sometimes even killings or the torching of villages and the destruction of
19 religious sites. And for the most part it was these paramilitary
20 formations or units that were in charge of all that.
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And what about the regular armed
22 forces? Could they offer some sort of support to those activities engaged
23 in by the paramilitary units? Had there been any cases of the regular
24 armed forces providing support to paramilitaries?
25 A. Yes, Your Honour. Because there was regular coordination on a
1 daily basis with the TO staff, the Crisis Staff, and the army units in
2 that area. So they agreed amongst themselves who was going to do what in
3 that area.
4 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] This coordination or this
5 distribution of tasks, would it have been done on the basis of a meeting
6 within the Crisis Staff or was it just a meeting of Chiefs of Staff or
8 A. No, Your Honour, in the area of the Crisis Staff there was
9 coordination at that level, the Crisis Staff of a municipality or a
10 region. And unless they agreed -- there were no such cases. But in that
11 case, it would have had to go up to the main Crisis Staff or the chief --
12 the Main Staff of Republika Srpska, but I don't think it has happened
13 ever. It was all done on the basis of regular daily contacts or meetings
14 between army units, the Crisis Staff, or the Territorial Defence Staff,
15 and they would be directly in charge of specific problems.
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Any questions triggered by the questions of the
19 MR. STEWART: Well, yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, if -- if there would be -- of course,
21 it's -- it's the Prosecution's witness. Of course they tendered the
22 92 bis statement -- the 92 bis transcripts. But would it not be the
23 logical order first to give an opportunity so that the Defence would have
24 the last --
25 MR. STEWART: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- opportunity for cross- --
2 MR. STEWART: Well, indeed. I just glanced over and got the
3 impression that they weren't getting to their feet. But I entirely -- I
4 entirely agree with you -- with Your Honour's suggestion.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let's verify whether the impression is right.
6 Mr. Gaynor.
7 MR. GAYNOR: We just have one issue that I want to treat. I'd
8 like just to give Your Honours copies of Prosecution Exhibit 207. I have
9 three copies for Your Honours and a copy for the Defence, and I have a
10 copy for the witness.
11 Now, I'd like ...
12 JUDGE ORIE: That's the Brdjanin number you're referring to?
13 MR. GAYNOR: No, this is admitted in this case.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, admitted in this case.
15 MR. GAYNOR: P207.
16 JUDGE ORIE: I hope you do not mind that not immediately a bell
17 rings when I hear a number. Yes.
18 Further examination by Mr. Gaynor:
19 Q. Now, Witness, I'd like you to turn the page and look at
20 paragraph 3. On the English, that's actually on the first page at the
21 bottom. And this document is dated the 28th of July, 1992. It's from the
22 command of the 1st Krajina Corps. It's to the SR BH army Main Staff.
23 It's described as a regular combat report.
24 At the bottom appear it is name Colonel Zdravko Djuric [phoen]
25 and this document bears a stamp.
1 Now, Witness, I'd like to direct your attention to that
2 paragraph. Earlier in your testimony today you referred to daily
3 cooperation between the Crisis Staff and the army. You also referred a
4 short moment ago to -- there was regular coordination on a daily basis
5 with the TO Staff, Crisis Staff, and the army units in the area. And His
6 Honour the Presiding Judge drew your attention to some testimony on
7 page 12.907 of the Brdjanin case, lines 16 and 17, where you said, and I
8 quote: "The political authorities set the objectives and tasks that were
9 to be carried out by the military."
10 Now, going back to the document in front of you, this document
11 says: "In the city of Banja Luka and other large towns, there is an
12 increased demand for and organisation of the departure of Croatian and
13 Muslim population. We consider that the municipal and regional
14 authorities should work much harder at this."
15 Now, I'd like to invite your comments on that section of that
17 A. Your Honour, this is a regular combat report of the corps command
18 to the Main Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republika Srpska and
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This item 3 simply confirms the fact that the
20 Republika Srpska throughout its structure was bent on the departure of
21 both the Croat and the Muslim population from the area that they felt
22 should be the territory of the Republika Srpska.
23 There are several documents confirming this. And certain
24 municipalities even asked for deadlines, as I said. And, for example, in
25 the municipality of Sanski Most, they said unless they left, they would
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 organise buses to take these people to Banja Luka so that the Crisis Staff
2 of the Autonomous Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina could deal with it.
3 So this is just reflection of the policy which is being implemented in
4 relation to the planned departure of the Croat and Muslim population from
5 those regions, and that was common practice.
6 By the end of the war, there were about two and a half thousand
7 Bosniaks who stayed in Banja Luka and very few Croats, and before the war
8 there were about 40.000 of them combined.
9 MR. GAYNOR: No further questions, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Gaynor.
11 Mr. Stewart.
12 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stewart:
13 Q. Colonel -- Mr. Selak, you were asked at the very beginning of, I
14 think it was, questions by the Trial Chamber, you were asked by His Honour
15 Judge Hanoteau about Crisis Staffs and you gave a rather long and
16 comprehensive answer about Crisis Staffs, including crisis -- "The Crisis
17 Staffs were formed at the end of 1991 and at the beginning of 1992 in the
18 territory covered by the JNA -- or rather, the Republika Srpska army. The
19 Crisis Staffs were formed at the level of Republika Srpska."
20 Now, first of all, Mr. Selak, have you conducted some personal
21 study of the issue of Crisis Staffs in relation to Republika Srpska?
22 A. Your Honours, as a professional soldier and a logistics base
23 commander, I was preoccupied with this problem because we used the
24 territory of the Bosnian Krajina, in terms of economic resources in order
25 to provide the army units with logistics supplies. So we took advantage
1 of the territory, and I and my bodies wanted to know which institutions we
2 should establish contact with in order to deal with the problems that
3 arose and the institutions concerned were the Crisis Staffs, which had all
4 the power in the areas of their responsibility. So I was interested in
5 the Crisis Staffs. I don't know the names of specific people.
6 I know that in the case of Banja Luka, the president was
7 Brdjanin, et cetera. And the corps bodies also contacted them on a daily
8 basis. Whereas my associates went to municipalities to find logistics
9 supplies, et cetera, for corps units and other units in the area of
10 responsibility covered by the logistics base that I was in charge of.
11 Q. Mr. Selak, how many Crisis Staffs did you personally have any
12 contact with in 1991 and 1992?
13 A. Your Honours, to be quite frank, to provide you with specific
14 information, it was a problem for me to go to those municipalities because
15 I'm a Muslim. My problems developed towards the end of 1991 and were
16 compounded in 1992. To provide you with a specific example: When we were
17 to take over the federal reserves of fuel from Prijedor, I and a group of
18 my experts were to go there. My deputy, Colonel Cendic, a Serb, told me,
19 You won't go there. You shouldn't go there because you'll be risking your
20 life. And from that point in time I avoided going there. My associates
21 went there. But they informed me about how they had dealt with the
22 various issues.
23 Q. Mr. Selak, what is the answer to my question how many Crisis
24 Staffs did you personally have contact with in 1991 and 1992?
25 A. Yes. My men, my associates, would visit all the Crisis Staffs in
1 all the municipalities. They'd go to all the municipalities where the
2 army was present in order to deal with the logistics problems. The area
3 of responsibility of the Banja Luka logistics base was in Bosanska
4 Krajina. But I don't know how often associates went there and I don't
5 know who went there, because there were a lot of them and I wouldn't like
6 to provide you with misleading information.
7 Q. Mr. Selak, for the third time of asking, what is the answer to my
8 question: How many Crisis Staffs did you personally have contact with in
9 1991 and 1992?
10 A. I contacted Mr. Brdjanin on two occasions, but I had no contact
11 with Municipal Crisis Staffs. I had contact in Banja Luka with
12 Mr. Brdjanin, but I had no contact with anyone else.
13 Q. So the -- where you say, and this was at page 24, line 12, at the
14 end of a long answer: "I assume that in other districts things were
15 organised in a similar way because the common objective was to create the
16 Republika Srpska," that's the basis of your wide assertions of what was
17 happening in relation to Crisis Staffs all over Republika Srpska, isn't
18 it? Common goals.
19 A. Yes. Those were the common goals of the Crisis Staffs and of the
20 Republika Srpska army. This is quite certain.
21 Q. You talked about -- you talked about volunteer units. This was
22 page 28, line 8: "With these volunteer units, we also called them
23 paramilitary units because that is what they were. They carried out tasks
24 assigned to them by the Crisis Staffs in municipalities, districts, and
25 that were assigned to them by the Republika Srpska Crisis Staff."
1 Now, just --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stewart, perhaps before we proceed - because
3 you're referring to pages again - you said at page 24, line 12 there was
4 at the end of a long answer. In my transcript, page 24 of today's hearing
5 reads Mr. Gaynor saying the transcript of this witness's testimony from
6 the 15th of January is P733. So I have some difficulties in
7 identifying --
8 MR. STEWART: Well, perhaps I -- maybe I just got the wrong
9 reference there, Your Honour. Excuse me one moment.
10 Oh, I'm sorry, Your Honour. Thank you. No, it's page 26.
11 JUDGE ORIE: 26.
12 MR. STEWART: It's either my brain or my eyesight, or it could
13 even be both.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Let's hope for the best, Mr. Stewart.
15 MR. STEWART: I'm not sure which one I want to lose first, Your
16 Honour. One would be less painful.
17 Thank you, Your Honour. I'll now try and use them both to find
18 where I was a moment ago. Yes, 28, 14, I think.
19 Q. Yes. Just to -- well, to remind you, Mr. Selak, it was the
20 sentence at page 28, line 8: "These volunteer units, we also called them
21 paramilitary units because that is what they were. They carried out tasks
22 assigned to them in the municipalities, districts, and that were assigned
23 to them by the Republika Srpska Crisis Staff."
24 Taking first your mention of tasks assigned to them by the Crisis
25 Staffs in municipalities, districts, the position is the same, isn't it,
1 that outside what you've said specifically in relation to Banja Luka, what
2 you say about the carrying-out of tasks assigned by Crisis Staffs in
3 municipalities and districts is based on your assumption in relation to
4 common goals?
5 A. Yes. The goals were shared. These were the executive bodies of
6 municipalities, or rather, of the Municipal Crisis Staffs, and they
7 carried out the dirtiest actions. They maltreated people, arrested
8 people, destroyed buildings. But the army participated and assisted in
9 the destruction of buildings. They provided weapons experts. So all the
10 mosques in Banja Luka, 17 of them, were destroyed in Banja Luka, as well
11 as Catholic churches, et cetera. So these paramilitary or volunteer units
12 were involved in the dirtiest actions and the army itself would not have
13 had the time to carry out these actions.
14 Q. And you also talk, the second limb of that sentence: "These
15 volunteer units carried out tasks that were assigned to them by the
16 Republika Srpska Crisis Staff."
17 Do you have any personal knowledge of any tasks being assigned to
18 paramilitary units by the Republika Srpska Crisis Staff?
19 A. I don't have such information and I've never seen such documents,
20 but what the Crisis Staff did in the municipalities and in the districts,
21 well, the information was forwarded to the main Crisis Staff, so there was
22 an exchange of information between these Crisis Staffs on a daily basis,
23 and this involved forwarding information and orders. So things followed a
24 regular procedure, and that was the case throughout the war in
1 Q. Did you ever personally see such information and orders, first of
2 all, passing to the Republika Srpska Crisis Staff?
3 A. No, Your Honours. I said that at meetings of the corps command I
4 assisted such -- I attended such a meeting at 7.00, when everyone was
5 present. And in 1992 I was called at 7.30, and in half an hour they dealt
6 with information that I, as a Bosniak, as a Muslim, and as commander of
7 the base was not supposed to hear. So such issues were dealt with before
8 I was present. I wasn't present when those decisions were taken and when
9 such information was passed on. I wasn't present at the time such
10 decisions were taken at any of the meetings because of my nationality.
11 MR. STEWART: Thank you. I have no further questions, Your
13 Questioned by the Court:
14 JUDGE ORIE: I have one follow-up question on that last issue,
15 Mr. Selak: You say -- you told us what was discussed when you were not
16 there yet. How did you learn about that? What happened in your absence?
17 A. Your Honours, throughout the war I remained in Banja Luka because
18 I was not allowed to leave Banja Luka. The corps command had issued such
19 an order. And when I retired, my colleagues, my officers in Banja Luka,
20 did not know that I'd been forbidden to leave Banja Luka. And when I
21 stayed in Banja Luka, well, they believed that that was my own decision.
22 And when I had contact with my colleagues, with other officers, we
23 discussed such issues, as well as other political and military issues, and
24 on that occasion they informed me about the events in the region and at a
25 higher level. And it is in this manner that I obtained such information
1 from other officers, colleagues of mine and from other citizens in Banja
2 Luka with whom I had contact.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau has one more question for you as
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Witness, there's something else
8 I would like to clarify.
9 I'd like to put the following question to you: When a volunteer
10 or paramilitary unit is engaged - that's what you have called them - you
11 said in response to a question that I put to you that engaging this
12 paramilitary force was the result of a decision taken by the TO Main
13 Staff. What I would like to understand is whether this decision, this
14 order issued by the Main Staff that engaged the paramilitary force, was
15 this decision -- was this order the result of a discussion held at the
16 Crisis Staff? Could you confirm that the Crisis Staff was directly
17 involved in issuing orders for such-and-such a paramilitary unit to
18 participate in an action in a given battlefield?
19 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, I know that Your Honour doesn't like
20 me to get on my feet when Honourable Judges are asking questions, but I
21 would respectfully suggest that if one were more specific about which
22 Crisis Staff, it would avoid any possibility of misunderstanding, before
23 the witness answers.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'm referring to a Crisis Staff
25 of the municipality in which you held your position. I don't want to
2 A. Your Honours, the Crisis Staff of the municipality - of the
3 municipality of Banja Luka, if that's the municipality we are referring
4 to - also had the civilian police under them and the volunteer units that
5 it had established. These units were not directly involved in fighting
6 the other side, the Army of the Republic of Croatia, of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, et cetera. They were involved in carrying out actions
8 that the police in Banja Luka could not carry out. That involved moving
9 people out, confiscating weapons, destroying buildings, et cetera,
10 et cetera.
11 So these paramilitary forces were equipped by the army, were armed
12 by the army. And, Your Honours, in 1991 the army even provided them with
13 helicopters, military helicopters. This document is one that we have.
14 The army armed them, but they did not get involved in the details in how
15 their tasks were carried out. It's the -- it was the Crisis Staff of a
16 given area that was responsible for such matters, if I have been
17 sufficiently clear. So the army did not command those units. They
18 equipped them. They trained them. In the case of Banja Luka, the
19 training was provided at the Manjaca training ground. That was a military
20 training ground used to train the tank [realtime transcript read in error
21 "task"] corps of the JNA, and later it was a prison, a camp. And this is
22 where paramilitary forces, the Red Berets, et cetera, were trained. And
23 Bogdan Subotic was in charge of this at the time, who was later to become
24 the Minister of Defence in the government of Republika Srpska, and General
25 Talic on the 1st of June, 1991, ordered that these paramilitary forces
1 should be withdrawn from Manjaca because at the time a prisoner camp was
2 being established at the training ground in Manjaca.
3 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like a precise answer to
4 my precise question. In order to engage paramilitary forces, was it
5 necessary to have a decision taken by the Crisis Staff?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Just for the record, page 52, line 11 is tank corps,
9 rather than task corps.
10 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, might I ask a question arising out
11 of --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes.
13 MR. STEWART: Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Whenever an issue is triggered by Bench questions,
15 you are allowed to do so. Please proceed.
16 MR. STEWART: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stewart:
18 Q. It's the last answer, Mr. Selak, where Judge Hanoteau said -- he
19 invited a precise answer to the question in order to engage paramilitary
20 forces was it necessary to have a decision taken by the Crisis Staff, and
21 you answered yes.
22 Mr. Selak, I put it to you the position was this: That the
23 paramilitary forces were in many instances a law unto themselves and
24 didn't need and didn't require a decision taken by anybody for their
25 activities. In many instances they just went ahead and just did what they
1 did. Do you agree?
2 A. No, Your Honours, that's not correct. How could an armed group
3 go into action in the territory of a municipality where there was a police
4 force and where there was an army presence without the authorities being
5 aware of the fact? This is not correct, Your Honour. The municipal
6 authorities were responsible for such things.
7 Q. Well, Witness, your -- your answer contains a question, which --
8 and I'm not here to answer questions. But do you say, then, that there
9 was no activity in Banja Luka -- let's define it to 1992. There was no
10 activity by paramilitaries in Banja Luka in 1992 that was not taken
11 pursuant to an order or decision of the Crisis Staff?
12 A. Your Honours, the Green Berets [as interpreted] had their
13 headquarters in the Bosna Hotel in Banja Luka. It's a paramilitary
14 organisation. And they were members of the so-called Serbian defence
15 forces in Banja Luka. And they set up barricades and the authorities were
16 aware of this. And in front of the Kozara barracks there was an armoured
17 brigade in those barracks, et cetera. In the course of the day, weapons
18 were sold to the inhabitants over there. So they were active, but none of
19 the members was arrested by the authorities for their manner of conduct.
20 I never heard of any such case. They were in the Bosna Hotel, and I was
21 there for a month as the head of the group for cooperation with the UN. I
22 was then replaced. But next to my office there was also the office of the
23 Red Berets, and their training was provided at the Manjaca camp.
24 MR. GAYNOR: [Previous translation continues] ... make a
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. GAYNOR: There was an interpretation error. At page 54,
3 line 2, the transcript reads: "Green Berets."
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And that's -- at least sounds not very logical
5 in view of --
6 MR. GAYNOR: I think the witness said Red Berets in the original.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 When you said that the berets had their headquarters in the hotel
9 in Banja Luka, did you refer to --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Red Berets, yes.
11 MR. STEWART: Well --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the Red Berets.
13 MR. STEWART: The same colour discrepancy had struck Mr. Gaynor
14 and me, Your Honour. I was going to say to clarify, we are talking and
15 it's apparent that we are talking about Serb paramilitaries, and that was
16 the purpose of my question.
17 Q. So, Mr. Selak, you -- you have referred more than once in the
18 last few minutes to the authorities being aware of these activities. My
19 questions to you are focussed not on whether they were aware of these
20 activities but whether there was a decision or order, which was an answer
21 you gave a few minutes ago. And what I'm putting to you is -- or I'm
22 asking you: Are you saying that - and I'll make the express
23 qualification - are you saying that in 1992 there was no Serb paramilitary
24 activity in Banja Luka that was not pursuant to a decision or order of the
25 Crisis Staff?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I had -- did not have access to the orders issued by the Crisis
2 Staff, but the army did not expel the inhabitants in Banja Luka. They did
3 not make threats. It was the members of these organisations that were
4 involved in such activities. There was the notorious red van which in the
5 course of the day and especially at night went around and they arrested
6 people. Tens of -- scores of people were killed in the vicinity of Vrbas.
7 This was never investigated. And this was done by the paramilitary
8 organisations. Who issued such orders to them if it wasn't the Crisis
9 Staff or someone from the Crisis Staff? Well, I don't know. It was
10 probably not the army. The army did not get involved in such minor
11 operations. The volunteer units were involved in such operations. And
12 they were under the Crisis Staffs in the municipalities. This is true and
13 this can be confirmed by all the inhabitants who lived in the area at the
15 Q. Mr. Selak, you don't know yourself whether anybody issued that
16 group with orders, do you?
17 A. Well, then a state of anarchy prevailed.
18 Q. Mr. Selak, please -- please answer my question. I'm not asking
19 you to speculate or theorise. I'm putting it to you you do not yourself
20 know whether anybody issued that group with orders, do you?
21 A. I wasn't present when the orders were issued or when the groups
22 were established. I wasn't present when they were assigned tasks. But if
23 they were present in a municipality, we know who had the power in that
24 municipality and who could have dealt with such matters, and that was the
25 Crisis Staff. They could have authorised them to carry out certain
1 actions or prevent them from carrying out certain actions. This wasn't
2 done, so one can draw the relevant conclusion.
3 MR. STEWART: Your Honour, conclusions in the end do seem to be
4 for the Trial Chamber, so I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stewart.
6 MR. GAYNOR: And we have no further questions.
7 JUDGE ORIE: No further questions from the Prosecution.
8 Mr. Selak, this concludes your testimony in this court. I'd like
9 to thank you very much for having come the long journey to The Hague.
10 We'd like to thank you for answering the questions of the parties and of
11 the Bench. I wish you a safe trip home again.
12 Madam Usher, could you please escort Mr. Selak out of the
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I hope that I have contributed to
15 establishing the truth, and I hope that will have assisted in ensuring
16 that everyone will be held accountable for what they did. Thank you.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibits are P733 to P741.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Since I hear no objections, they're admitted into
22 Before we adjourn for the day, because I take it that your next
23 witness is not yet available, or is the next witness available?
24 MR. GAYNOR: He's not yet available.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Not yet available. When will the next witness will
2 MR. GAYNOR: He'll be ready tomorrow, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Tomorrow?
4 MR. GAYNOR: Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Before we adjourn, I'd like to deliver one
6 decision. That is a decision on two sets of contextual exhibits and on
7 the Brcko dossier, and it also contains a directive on the municipality
8 dossiers in more general terms.
9 This is a decision on the admission into evidence of contextual
10 exhibits for Witnesses 73 and 84, as well as of the Brcko dossier. The
11 Chamber will also take this opportunity to issue guidelines for the
12 submission and admission of the remaining dossiers.
13 As for contextual exhibits of Witnesses 73 and 84, the Chamber
14 recalls that it provisionally admitted them on the 19th of April, 2005.
15 The Defence had an opportunity until the 9th of May to raise objections
16 and did not do so.
17 The Chamber wishes first of all to make it clear that, in order
18 to be admitted, all contextual documents must be of real assistance for a
19 better understanding of the testimony of the witness to which they relate
20 as well as for the determination of issues central to the case.
21 The Chamber has reviewed the material submitted by the
22 Prosecution in relation to Witnesses 73 and 84. The Chamber is satisfied
23 that they meet these criteria and therefore admits them into evidence.
24 I will now deal with the Brcko dossier.
25 On the 26th of April, the Prosecution provided the Brcko dossier
1 to the Defence. On the 12th of May, the Defence sent its observations to
2 the Prosecution. On the 15th of May, forwarded them to the Chamber. On
3 the 19th of May, the Chamber provisionally admitted the Brcko dossier.
4 The Defence did not object to the admission of the dossier but
5 made suggestions to improve its usefulness; namely, to add
6 cross-references to already admitted exhibits, to make double-sided copies
7 of the dossier, to provide a hyperlinked CD of the chronology, to
8 translate the chronology into B/C/S, and to include in the dossier a
9 municipality map, a separate index, a municipality dramatis personae and a
10 continually updated running list of witnesses heard and to be heard in
11 relation to each municipality (with date and page references and a list of
12 items admitted into evidence). The Defence also proposed that the
13 chronology be revisable at any time in order to incorporate its
14 suggestions and that a procedure be followed in order to add new Defence
15 items to the dossier.
16 The Chamber considers that the municipality dossier should
17 contain only documents which are of real assistance for the determination
18 of issues central to the case as well as for a better understanding of the
19 evidence already admitted for each municipality.
20 In this regard, the Chamber has reviewed all material provided in
21 relation to Brcko municipality and is satisfied that they meet the above
22 standard. It therefore admits them into evidence. Furthermore, the
23 Chamber invites the Prosecution to assist the Defence as much as possible
24 by implementing the requests made by the Defence in its submissions dated
25 the 12th of May.
1 Perhaps because the Chamber and the Defence have different working
2 methods and archival systems, the features requested by the Defence are
3 not regarded as essential for the Chamber's purposes. The Chamber is
4 content to receive the documentary exhibits with neutral - and I emphasise
5 neutral - index to the contents of each dossier. The additional features
6 requested could be provided separately to the Defence and need not be
7 exhibited, since they are not in themselves evidence. Another reason is
8 that the Chamber does not want to insist on implementation of the
9 Defence's very helpful and sensible suggestions is that we are running out
10 of time. This will become apparent - if it isn't already - in what I next
11 have to say about the schedule for the remaining dossiers.
12 I therefore turn to the future process for the municipality
14 As ordered in the April scheduling order, the Prosecution must
15 close its case in chief no later than the 22nd of July, 2005. The
16 admission of dossiers is a process that must be completed well before that
17 date so that the parties and the Chamber have the time to deal with any
18 issues that individual dossiers might give rise to.
19 In the Chamber's mind, it is necessary now to map out the dossier
20 process to fit the trial schedule. It is also necessary to put a ceiling
21 on the amount of evidence that comes in through the dossier process so
22 that the Defence and the Chamber can better foresee and respond to their
23 weekly workloads.
24 The Chamber's ruling on the remainder of the dossier process is
25 as follows:
1 First point: The Prosecution is to stagger its submission of
2 municipality dossiers into seven steps. The next set of municipality
3 dossiers will become due this Friday, the 27th of May. The last set will
4 become due on Friday, the 8th of July. That's a total of seven Fridays,
5 and that means roughly five municipality dossiers each Friday for the next
6 seven weeks. I say "roughly" because 36, not 35 municipalities remain.
7 No municipality dossiers will be admitted after the 8th of July.
8 Second point: The number of documents to be submitted may not
9 exceed 10 documents per dossier and 250 documents in total (including the
10 Brcko dossier). It's for the Prosecution to make what it considers the
11 best selection of documents which, as mentioned above, are of real
12 assistance for the determination of issues central to the case, as well as
13 for a better understanding of the evidence already admitted for each
14 municipality. The Chamber may authorise the Prosecution to exceed the
15 limit of 10 documents per dossier if good cause is shown. As for bulky
16 documents, the Prosecution must tender into evidence only the parts which
17 are strictly relevant for the case.
18 Third point: Each batch of roughly five dossiers will be
19 submitted to the Defence and the Chamber at the same time. A provisional
20 exhibit number will be assigned to each dossier. A provisionally marked
21 dossier will be considered admitted into evidence after seven days have
22 elapsed, unless, in the meantime, any concerns expressed by the Defence or
23 the Chamber are a cause for delays and amendment to the dossier.
24 Fourth point: The Prosecution is reminded, in accordance with my
25 earlier comments, to provide to the Defence with the requested additional
1 features in the dossiers, if time allows.
2 This concludes the Chamber's decision on the contextual exhibits
3 and the municipality dossiers.
4 This concludes our hearing.
5 MR. STEWART: Well, Your Honour, --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. STEWART: -- I did have just a couple of minutes of
8 observation about something, if I may.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Let me just -- we -- yes, a couple of minutes
10 will go within the limits tapes allow us, Mr. Stewart.
11 MR. STEWART: Yes. Your Honour, it's this: The way in which
12 this last witness's evidence was dealt with is, in the Defence's
13 submission, very unsatisfactory. The -- he was a 92 bis witness with well
14 over 1.000 pages -- I haven't done an immediate count, but well over 1.000
15 pages of transcript. When a 92 bis witness comes along for
16 cross-examination, at least for a change, the Defence is supposedly in
17 control of what it's going to cross-examine about. And, Your Honour, with
18 a very heavy programme of witnesses, that is of some importance to the
20 If we are going to come along faced then with the possibility
21 that the Trial Chamber may then be going to explore any area that is in
22 that 1.000-plus pages of documents, then the burden of preparation on our
23 side becomes inordinately greater.
24 Your Honour, the practical suggestion is this, Your Honour: Is
25 that in the very same way -- and I'm not suggesting we're of equal status,
1 Your Honour. But from a practical point of view, in the very same way
2 that the Trial Chamber frequently insists that the Defence - and certainly
3 in response to 92 bis applications - should indicate the areas in which it
4 wishes to cross-examine. If we are faced with a situation like this, we
5 would request that the Trial Chamber give the parties sufficient notice -
6 and one could discuss what that is, but certainly a matter of several
7 days - sufficient notice of such areas that are proposed to be explored by
8 questioning from the Trial Chamber. Otherwise, Your Honour, it simply
9 becomes impossible for us.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Your suggestion is on the record. We'll consider
11 whether we could follow it.
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Gaynor, anything you had in mind?
14 MR. GAYNOR: Nothing. We'll -- we'll discuss the matter with the
15 Defence also.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you.
17 Then -- Ms. Loukas, I hope that I do not disappoint you when I
18 say that we adjourn for the day upon your arrival. That's not -- there's
19 no causal relationship between the two.
20 MS. LOUKAS: Well, I was just wondering about that, Your Honour,
21 but I'm pleased to hear that there's no causal nexus.
22 MR. STEWART: Your Honours, I can assure Your Honours that
23 there's no causal nexus between my co-counsel choosing this very last
24 moment to arrive.
25 JUDGE ORIE: It did not even come into my mind, Mr. Stewart.
1 We'll adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00. And, Madam
2 Registrar, we are in Courtroom II again? Yes, Courtroom II.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 12.44 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 25th day of
5 May, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.