1 Thursday, 15 December 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.07 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone.
6 Mr. 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, Mr. Registrar.
10 The Chamber intends today to sit for the whole of the day, as was
11 said before, and that we would stop for the morning at quarter past one
12 and would restart quarter past two, so have one hour for lunch break so
13 that we effectively would have seven and a half hours today. If possible
14 the Chamber would very much like to see whether we could finish with this
15 witness today, since I am not available tomorrow.
16 Madam Usher could you please escort Mr. Pasic into the courtroom,
17 unless there is something to be raised at the moment, Mr. Josse. If there
18 is not --
19 [The witness entered court]
20 WITNESS: RADOMIR PASIC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Pasic.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, I would like to remind you that you are
25 still bound by the solemn declaration you have given at the beginning of
1 your testimony. I further would like to inform you that --
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
3 JUDGE ORIE: I would further like to inform you that, not as
4 usual, we are not just sitting the morning or an afternoon but we will sit
5 for the whole of the day so it will be a very long day for you as well.
6 Mr. Josse, please proceed.
7 Examined by Mr. Josse: [Continued]
8 MR. JOSSE: Could the witness have the bundle of documents placed
9 in front of him, please?
10 Q. We were examining, Mr. Pasic, various aspects of tab 1, the Crisis
11 Staff report, when we adjourned last night. Can I ask you this question
12 about that document? Did you personally provide it to the Defence, either
13 lawyers, investigators, anything along those lines? If you don't
14 remember, say so.
15 A. I didn't provide them with this document. I don't think that I
16 gave the document to the investigators but I did tell the investigators
17 that there were certain documents at the municipal building, not only
18 relating to the war. I didn't know exactly what was there and what
20 Q. Thank you. Now, we were examining the history of this document,
21 and I think by looking at tab 1 and tab 2, we are going to be able to
22 accomplish that.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Before we -- if we are dealing with more tabs, then I
24 would like Mr. Registrar to assign an exhibit number to it.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 1, Your Honours, will be D115.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And that's the report on the work of the Crisis Staff
2 of the municipality of Bosanski Novi.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. JOSSE:
5 Q. Dealing with tab 1 just for a moment longer, if we look at the
6 very first paragraph, which I'm going to go through in a little bit more
7 detail in moment or two's time because that really relates to
8 Judge Hanoteau's question which started very helpfully this matter off, we
9 can see, can't we, in the second or third line that it says the Crisis
10 Staff was set up at the beginning of April, on the very first page,
11 Mr. Pasic.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. If we then look at the -- towards the end of the document, we can
14 see, I think on the last page, that it says, paragraph -- about the middle
15 of the page, there is something like this: This analysis, the work of the
16 Crisis Staff in the municipality, its inception and chronology of all
17 events in the past two and a half months shows, et cetera. Important
18 words there, being in the past two and a half months.
19 Can you see that?
20 A. Yes, I found it.
21 Q. And then, if we go to tab 2 --
22 MR. JOSSE: Now, Your Honour, I need to explain something about
23 tab 2. Tab 2 has in fact already been exhibited. It's D15, as I
24 understand it. That should be perhaps be added to the exhibit description
25 list, front page of this bundle. The translation that's been provided is
1 as follows: In fact, it speaks for itself on the face of the English
2 document. We have described it as an unofficial translation of D15. It
3 was exhibited on the 1st of June 2004, Court can see the transcript page,
4 and what presumably happened - of course, it was long before I was here -
5 was that when it was put to a particular witness by -- I think it was
6 Ms. Loukas, the Court I assumed asked Ms. Cmeric to translate it. That
7 she has done and I don't think it has ever been officially translated.
8 JUDGE ORIE: I think as a matter of fact that she read it and it
9 was then translated by the interpreters as part of the transcript. But --
10 MR. JOSSE: I see. Thank you very much, Your Honour. It's
11 extremely grammatical so it's -- it's a very helpful translation, but if
12 we could deal with this document.
13 Q. I'll ask you to tell us more about it later, Mr. Pasic. We see,
14 don't we, that it says, second -- somewhere near the top of the text of
15 the document is as follows: Pursuant to Article 186, et cetera, of the
16 Bosanski Novi Official Gazette, held on the 16th of June 1992. So this is
17 in relation to a meeting that was held on the 16th of June 1992, number 1,
18 the report on the work of the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Bosanski
19 Novi is hereby adopted. And the conclusions, orders, and other decisions
20 it reached are hereby confirmed. So would you agree that almost certainly
21 this particular decision is referring to the report that we find in tab 1?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, you may have noticed that I was very much
23 not concentrating on what you said at this moment. The Registrar just
24 provided me with what seems to be a normal translation of D15.1 so it does
25 exist. Perhaps it could be -- if it would assist you, then it could be
1 provided to you at this moment.
2 MR. JOSSE: I think what I'll do, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Put it on the ELMO.
4 MR. JOSSE: I'll deal with this now. I'll then turn back to this
5 document later and I'll have it copied. I'll have 12 copies made right
6 now so, if I may. If it can be provided to Mr. Sladojevic he'll go and do
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. JOSSE:
10 Q. Now, do you follow my question, Mr. Pasic? It appears, does it,
11 that the report being referred to is the one that we've been examining?
12 A. Yes. I have been following your question. I understand it. Tab
13 1 is the report on the work of the Crisis Staff of the municipality of
14 Bosanski Novi and it was prepared for this meeting, and when you read the
15 complete report chronologically then you can see that the actions
16 described are for the period of May and part of June, up until mid-June,
17 and you can see here that on the 16th of June, a meeting was held of the
18 municipal assembly which reviewed the work of the Crisis Staff and it
19 adopted a conclusion which is then contained here in tab 2.
20 Q. Let's then go back, if we may, to tab 1, and analyse this report
21 in a little bit more detail. And if we could have a look at the first
22 paragraph, it explains, does it not, exactly why the Crisis Staff was set
23 up? I'm bound to say the official translation unrevised that we have
24 has -- the translator had some difficulty with the first sentence, so
25 could I ask you slowly, please, to read out the very first sentence of the
1 body of the document? Slowly, please.
2 A. In its original form, the municipal Crisis Staff was formed at the
3 beginning of April by the municipal board of the Serbian Democratic Party
4 on the proposal and according to instructions of higher organs of the SDS
6 Q. Thank you. And it goes on to describe how the Crisis Staff was
7 originally a political and operative body, how it worked, and what its
8 initial aim was. Would that be an accurate summary of the first two or
9 three sentences?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, there are a few other parts of this document that I would
12 like to take you to because in many ways it reflects the point in your
13 evidence that you had got to when this particular document was introduced.
14 In the second paragraph, in your version on page 1, in the English
15 translation on page 2, it says, "It was agreed that our opinions and
16 policies should be clear and uniform and that no differing factions, soft
17 and hard line, which did appear at certain moments, president of the
18 municipal assembly versus the SDS leadership, were to be allowed." Do you
19 have that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It goes on to say that there had to be constant talks with the
22 representatives of the SDA in search of a peaceful solution.
23 Can I ask you what you understood the document to mean when it
24 said the words in brackets, "President of the municipal assembly versus
25 the SDS leadership"? What was that referring to?
1 A. I said yesterday evening that this report was written. I didn't
2 personally draft it. It was an assessment, I think. On one page of the
3 report it says that the person was the secretary of the municipal assembly
4 of Novi Grad. Let me just find the page. His name is Djordje Pravuljac.
5 I think he actually drafted the report because he was in charge of
6 information and some kind of propaganda. You can see that on page 5, the
7 list of people who were in charge of the different sectors, who were
8 supposed to be doing what, and I think that this was something that he
9 remarked on because it would happen that a number of people in the party
10 itself, I repeat some people within the party, believed that somethings
11 needed to be done faster in order to prevent any kind of unexpected
12 situations. Others, however, felt that there had to be a more liberal or
13 slower approach. I don't think that there was anything special or
14 particular in this part, if I can say the way it's written here. In
15 parentheses, the president of the assembly versus the SDS leadership. Of
16 course, it was normal to discuss every problem but there were no
17 divergences and I'm now thinking of the municipal leadership and the
18 municipal SDS. Their positions didn't differ all that much. There was
19 harmonisation, agreements reached, and so on.
20 Q. The next part I want to take you to is, I think, probably on page
21 2 of your original document. And, in fact, it is a clear translation
22 error in the English. Bottom of page 2, in the English, it says, "In
23 early May [4th of May 1991.]" If we look at the B/C/S version, it's
24 clearly 1992, isn't it?
25 A. Yes. In my copy it says 1992. I don't know what you have in
2 Q. Thank you. And it says that concrete discussions begun with the
3 SDA representatives regarding current political and security situation.
4 Could you tell us anything more about those concrete discussions?
5 I see you're very sensibly reading on to the end of the sentence. I will
6 read it out for the record. It says "the position of the SRBH and its
7 jurisdiction and disarmament, the SDA representatives pointed out that
8 they would accept the SRBH as a transitional solution before final
9 agreement on BH was reached. Its laws would have to be observed. As far
10 as disarmament was concerned, all the people unlawfully armed would have
11 to be disarmed regardless of ethnicity, and all the time involvement of
12 the SDA in arming of Muslims was denied. This statement was not accepted
13 by the Crisis Staff.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please speak into the
16 MR. JOSSE: Yes, of course.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. We talked with the
18 representatives from the highest leadership of the SDA political party.
19 When I say the SDA political party I'm thinking of the municipal leaders
20 of the SDA, not those at the republican level. We are talking about the
21 municipal level where we discussed the current political and security
22 situation which, as I said yesterday evening, was already tense and full
23 of turmoil, and I would like to say that already conflicts had broken out
24 in the area of Novi Grad municipality, war was already going on in
25 Bosanski Novi, as well as on the other side, in the municipality of
1 Prijedor. So we were in an environment where actually there was peace in
2 a way, while war was waging all around us. We did try to find the
3 strength to see what was in our common interest because we were living
4 together in that area. So we wanted to make an assessment of the security
5 situation with the SDA representatives. The position was the Serbian
6 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina already existed and its jurisdiction, as it
7 states here, had to be respected. The laws were literally transferred
8 from the former Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina there.
9 At least in the very beginning we stressed that all paramilitary
10 formations which were creating enormous problems for us, and I think I
11 gave some examples for that yesterday evening, we asked that everything,
12 regardless of the ethnic groups or political orientation, be disarmed.
13 This is where we sought the support of the SDA party and we had certain
14 information through the public security station that some people from the
15 democratic action party were arming illegally the Muslim part of the
16 population, and we asked them, and we also asked the Serbian Democratic
17 Party also to act amongst the Serbs and that the SDA is active amongst the
18 Muslim or the Bosniak population because, as I repeat, these two people
19 lived in the area of the Novi Grad municipality together.
20 So I repeat, in that conversation, this was actually transcribed
21 here more or less how the conversation proceeded. They pretended in a way
22 that they didn't know anything about the arming and that they helped in
23 this arming of the Muslim part of the population. I repeat, this
24 information was something that we received from the public security
25 station and, based on that information that a part of the Muslim
1 population was armed, we actually asked the party to exert an influence
2 over them and to try to have that part of the population, both the Muslim
3 and Serb part of the population, disarmed and to place the weapons under
4 the control of the TO Staff, and this was repeated several times.
5 Actually, the representatives of the Muslim ethnic group refused to be
6 mobilised. I said that -- in 1991 and even then we were suggesting that
7 they should join the Territorial Defence Staff so that we would together
8 with respect and in a way we would create security when the
9 representatives of the Muslim ethnic group were part of the TO Staff. If
10 they were mobilised to that staff then we would simply create a feeling of
11 security amongst the Muslim people, too, by the TO. They still continued
12 to refuse to be mobilised and, as I said, they pretended not to know
13 anything about these weapons and I think it says here in the last
14 sentence, in this passage, that the statement was not accepted by the
15 Crisis Staff. I think that was the reason why this was written in this
16 way. This denial on their part about the existence of weapons and that
17 there was no influence exerted by them on these paramilitary groups, that
18 is why I think this sentence was written the way it was written.
19 MR. JOSSE:
20 Q. The report continues dealing with the matter in some detail, does
21 it not, at page 3 in the B/C/S version, page 4 in the English version,
22 where it talks about, the paragraph that begins in English, "regarding the
23 implementation of the government's decision on disarming, 5th of May,
24 Crisis Staff representatives invested a lot of effort in negotiations with
25 the SDA representatives in order to implement the disarming action
1 peacefully. Crisis Staff session was held after every meeting to assess
2 what was achieved on negotiations. SDA representatives always
3 demonstrated their readiness to implement this action successfully.
4 However, it turned out that either they had little influence on Muslim
5 people or they were remarkably perfidious, saying one thing on the
6 negotiations and then something completely different to their members.
7 However, at the deadline, 11th of May, 1500 hours, a small quantity of
8 armaments was surrendered."
9 Does that jog your recollection about how the matter developed
10 really up to the outbreak of hostilities?
11 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, in respect of that question, "after the
12 outbreak of hostilities" is very imprecise because I understood that the
13 outbreak of hostilities started on the 11th of May and there were no
14 hostilities prior to that time. So I'm not sure what counsel is referring
15 to. I would ask him to clarify that portion of his question.
16 MR. JOSSE: Exactly what my learned friend just said, up to the
17 11th of May.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have found the paragraph.
19 However, it seems to me that it wasn't translated into Serbian as it says
20 here. Things seem to have -- some words seem to have been turned around
21 in the translation. Can we read -- well, I don't know where to start. It
22 says, a staff meeting was held to analyse what was achieved in the talks
23 and every time the representatives of the SDA expressed their readiness to
24 succeed in the action. However, it turned out that they either had little
25 influence on the Muslim people or they were going along two tracks. That
1 is to say, saying one thing in the negotiations and doing something
2 different with their members. However, by the deadline of the 11th of
3 May, and then it says -- 1500 hours, very small quantities of arms were
4 surrendered but those quantities meant a recognition of the legitimacy of
5 the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and their organs.
6 Now, if I've understood the question correctly, what is being
7 attempted here is to describe the situation up until that date, the 11th
8 of May, and here it says, that in or rather in the previous part it says
9 that the meeting took place on the 4th of May. I don't think that all the
10 many meetings that we had with the representatives of the SDA were
11 included in the Crisis Staff meetings because I went to work every day
12 myself, for instance, and usually during the day I would be in contact
13 either on the phone or personally in my office with people from the SDA
14 party and people from the SDS party in an attempt to try and see what we
15 could do in each situation and try to prevent anything that would lead to
16 war, the outbreak of war. So I think that this is just one segment that
17 has been described, just one of the ways that all this happened, and
18 perhaps let me repeat that an observation would be in order, when this
19 report was written, how it depicted an image. Perhaps a subjective one, a
20 subjective opinion, in describing the reactions, whether they it any
21 influence on the Muslim people or did not or whether they simply worked
22 along these two lines, this double track, whether they were bluffing. So
23 the dilemma remains with this written report as to what the real truth of
24 it was and what the true image was that the representatives of the SDA
25 party portrayed. So I think that in this text, the way it's been written
1 is that there was a dilemma as to what their true position was, given a
2 situation and the point in time that they found themselves in.
3 MR. JOSSE:
4 Q. The next passage that I'd invite you to look at is -- I think
5 probably at page 3, the last paragraph on that page in your version, page
6 5 in the English. And it's towards the bottom of the page. It
7 says, "Simultaneously with the armed conflict, certain groups of people
8 are engaging in looting which can't be prevented or controlled. Various
9 armed groups are arriving and are introducing themselves as regular units,
10 military police and so on, when in fact they operate under no control or
11 command and are engaging in looting activities."
12 I can see that you've got that. Tell us about your recollection
13 of the looting, please.
14 A. Well, I think I said last night something about these events, and
15 unfortunately if we have understood the role of the Crisis Staff, that
16 quite literally it provided suggestions and that it was a group of people
17 in certain positions and this can be seen here in several places, that
18 means that we, during our daily contacts and the talks we had with the
19 chief of the public security station, the command of the TO, we really did
20 indicate these very great problems that we were facing. But they said to
21 us that it was almost or well-nigh impossible that throughout the
22 territory of the Novi Grad municipality, to effect control and to prevent
23 such incidents from taking place such as looting on the part of certain
24 groups who even wore some sort of uniform or different uniforms at that
25 time because there were, of course, different uniforms that were worn here
1 and there, people from certain military units who either earlier or --
2 were created either earlier or at that point in time, and some people even
3 introduced themselves falsely. They gave false identities, groups would,
4 say, change into camouflage uniform and put a white belt over their
5 uniforms which -- to denote the military police. The military police had
6 these white belts, so we did have instances in which these people quite
7 literally attacked private property and worked within that context,
8 contrary to the law, and they were indeed crimes that took place. But let
9 me repeat what the Crisis Staff could do was that it could just launch an
10 appeal to the police station and the TO headquarters to try and prevent
11 such untoward behaviour. And let me repeat, we did receive information
12 from the commander of the TO as we did indeed from the chief of the public
13 security station but it was practically impossible to control all this.
14 Q. And in this regard I'm going to jump forward in the report a
15 little bit and then go back. At the bottom of page 5 in the B/C/S
16 version, bottom of page 8 in the English, page 5 in your version,
17 Mr. Pasic, the report -- dealing with the period towards the end of May,
18 it says, "The order was not followed through which led to complete chaos.
19 The villages mentioned, which were Muslim villages about which we are
20 going to hear a little bit later, were completely looted and enormous
21 problems appeared in relation to civilian defence. There were men killed,
22 many houses were set on fire, as well as other structures, many livestock
23 carcasses were either killed during looting or perished through bloating,"
24 and then it goes on and deals with matters of hygiene, sanitation and the
25 threat of an epidemic.
1 Now, I don't think you had got to that point in your evidence
2 yesterday. What is that referring to, please?
3 A. I'm trying to find that passage but I haven't found it yet, what
4 you've just read out. Did you say page 5?
5 Q. At the very bottom --
6 A. Or perhaps page 6.
7 Q. I'm sorry, it's the last four words in B/C/S on page 5, and then
8 it continues on to page 6.
9 A. Is that the last sentence on page 5 that you're referring to?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. "The order was not adhered to." Yes. Well, this describes a
12 period which would be, if I've understood it correctly, to be the end of
13 May, the last third of May, which was when there was a crisis, if you look
14 at it as time, and the Crisis Staff really did endeavour, and yes,
15 property was destroyed, cattle had died, and the situation was as it says
16 here, the hygienic situation and the threat of epidemics breaking out, so
17 we asked the civilian protection staff to undertake certain measures in
18 order to try and prevent that from happening, and I've just read a
19 sentence, I don't know whether you read that one out, but it says here
20 that teams went out into the field but were not able to work normally
21 because they were shot at, and so was the police shot at. So I think
22 these teams that tried to deal with the perished livestock and tried to
23 bury them to prevent any epidemics from taking place, that these
24 paramilitaries that were responsible for the unrest targeted the civilian
25 police, and the team. They shot at them. And perhaps I ought to mention
1 that the paramilitary units did shoot at these people. They really did.
2 And there was some sabotage going on, and it mentions the digger used to
3 bury the cattle, the livestock. There is an explanation given so that the
4 deputies in the assembly should get the proper picture of what was going
5 on during that period of time. We tried to explain the kind of problems
6 we were encountering, many problems involving these paramilitaries. So we
7 weren't even able to bury the carcasses of the livestock that had been
9 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would like to put a question to you.
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Witness, if I understood
11 correctly, you were talking about a particularly chaotic period. Before
12 the beginning, before this chaotic period started, I would like to know
13 who was in charge of maintaining peace? How many people were there
14 involved before the conflict? How was the police organised? The
15 Territorial Defence as well in that municipality? You were the president
16 of the municipality so you must know what is the number of the regular
17 forces, how many people were involved? You were talking to us about
18 paramilitaries, about various groups. But how was law and order
19 maintained and by whom? Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, public law and order, as I
21 said, was maintained by the regular police force. That is to say, the
22 public security station, as we called it. That was the term that we
23 inherited from the social system of the former Yugoslavia. The regular
24 police force was in charge of preserving law and order and that came under
25 the exclusive competence of them and to whom I told you to whom the police
1 was responsible. The chief of the public security station or commander
2 was appointed by the Minister of the Interior of Bosnia-Herzegovina, for
3 example. So that was that chain of command and responsibility. And I
4 said there were contacts both by telephone and in other waist although it
5 wasn't actually my responsibility either to issue orders or to provide the
6 public security station -- I mean, I could make suggestions but I didn't
7 have the authority to issue orders.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'm interrupting you because I
9 just wanted to know how many men were involved in the maintenance of law
10 and order of that municipality. Were we talking about a thousand people,
11 a thousand men, a hundred men? Ten men?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think in the public security
13 station, there were a total of about 60 policemen. But don't hold me to
14 the figure. I think it was roughly that number.
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] And what would happen in a
16 situation of a disaster, for instance, or another conflict? The
17 Territorial Defence was to maintain law and order in your municipality?
18 Was that also one of their roles?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the Territorial Defence was a
20 military formation and its task in a way was that, but for well-known
21 reasons and the extraordinary situation that reigned when the war broke
22 out, they did have the role, the military role, more than the public
23 security station did, preserving law and order and excessive behaviour.
24 So I think that there we had a division of competence for misdemeanours
25 and lower scale crimes, then it would be the security station that would
1 act. If there were more serious instances and violations, then it would
2 be the military, if it surpassed the capabilities of the public security
3 station, if it didn't have enough men to deal with the situation.
4 Now, when we speak about paramilitaries and paramilitary units,
5 then probably it would be the Territorial Defence Staff that would be in
6 charge of suppressing any untoward behaviour rather than the others, if
7 I've understood your question.
8 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Last
9 question, Witness: There is always a beginning and an end, of course. At
10 the very beginning, things changed suddenly. Do you know if there were
11 some arrests made immediately by those 60 police officers? Did they try
12 to -- did they attempt to arrest people? Did they do what they were
13 supposed to do? Did they do the necessary --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Although those operational matters,
15 I cannot say specifically or give you any names but I do know when this
16 report was written, when we had meetings with the chief of the public
17 security station, he did inform us about cases of that kind. Of course,
18 there were certain arrests and the law courts went into action. There
19 were cases like that, too.
20 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
21 MR. JOSSE:
22 Q. There are two other points in this document I'd like to ask you
24 Could we go back in your version to the last paragraph on page 4?
25 And in the English, towards the top of page 7, where it says, "With a
1 slight delay, the government of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 have forwarded instructions for the work of municipal Crisis Staffs. Our
3 municipality received the instructions on 20 May and in accordance with
4 the instructions we have immediately approached the reorganisation of the
5 Crisis Staff." And then it goes on and deals with those in a little bit
6 of detail. Do you have any recollection as to these instructions,
7 Mr. Pasic?
8 A. Well, I certainly don't remember the details. I can't be precise.
9 But roughly speaking, I do know what this refers to, the instructions.
10 Although judging by the instructions, the Crisis Staff, and I think I said
11 something about that last night, did not work or was not working because
12 there was no need for it to be established earlier on. It says here the
13 beginning of April. Now, whether it was the beginning or not or the
14 middle of the month it's difficult to say now what the exact period was.
15 The Crisis Staff therefore did not have, as it says here, and there is no
16 reason for me not to believe it, that it actually happened on the 20th of
17 May, that is to say when the unfortunate events had already broken out,
18 and, as a human being, I was affected by the fact that we had no,
19 absolutely no, information coming into us from the competent republican
20 organs as to how we could try to stop the war and prevent these
21 unfortunate events from taking place because quite simply nobody gave us
22 any -- well, instructions or guidelines. We were left to fend for
23 ourselves at the local municipal level, to do what we could, and to try to
24 solve the problems ourselves. So that was what hit me hard personally,
25 because I was left to fend for myself, to deal with the situation with my
1 associates, as it says here, who were in the Crisis Staff, to deal with
2 every situation as it arose, to try and find the best possible solution
3 for any event and to try to prevent any escalation which went along the
4 lines of destruction of property and people, too.
5 Q. The final part of this document --
6 JUDGE ORIE: May I just ask one question?
7 You have now repeatedly told us that Crisis Staff, was no need to
8 be active. Are you now talking about -- because we were at that portion
9 of the report which says something about the 20th of May, do you mean to
10 say that the Crisis Staff, that there was no -- as a matter of fact, no
11 need to operate before that 20th of May?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if we read this report
13 chronologically, then it gives a picture that is incomplete. We see here
14 that the Crisis Staff, and I've already said this, the public security
15 station, the TO staff and so on, the people who were at the meetings and
16 working together at the meetings, that Crisis Staff, as it says, existed
17 from the month of April. It did exist. But let me repeat, it did not
18 work according to any instructions. It would meet, convene, and it called
19 itself, gave itself the title and name of "Crisis Staff." And you'll see
20 that this was pursuant to a former law of Bosnia and Herzegovina by which
21 a council existed. So that was the council in actual fact that was
22 composed of individuals who performed functions by virtue of the posts
23 they held so that this Crisis Staff was in fact that council for national
24 defence, as it existed in the former Bosnia-Herzegovina and as it was
25 provided for by the law and by the Statute. So it did exist, yes, the
1 Crisis Staff did exist before the 20th of May. However, it was not given
2 any instructions and guidelines governing its work in any strict form.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Let's -- you said two minutes ago -- and I think I
4 said something about that last night, that "Crisis Staff did not work or
5 was not working because there was no need for it to be established earlier
6 on." Which period did you have in mind? Did you have in mind the period
7 until the 20th of May? When exactly do you think that there was any need
8 for the Crisis Staff to work?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. What I meant was the period
10 before the month of April 1992. That is to say quite simply there was no
11 need up until mid-April 1992 for the Crisis Staff to exist. I wasn't
12 thinking of up to the 20th of May. I was thinking of mid-April to the
13 20th of May when the Crisis Staff was in existence.
14 JUDGE ORIE: So once it was established, there was a need for the
15 Crisis Staff to work? Is that a correct understanding?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't understand your question.
17 The need for what existed? What did you say?
18 JUDGE ORIE: The need for a Crisis Staff to be established because
19 there was work to be done by such a Crisis Staff?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I already emphasised that the
21 need arose as of mid-April. When the situation around Novi Grad was
22 heated, when the war started we became conscious of the situation we were
23 facing so it was at that time that it began working, or, rather, that the
24 Crisis Staff was given a role.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer. That certainly clarifies
1 my understanding.
2 MR. JOSSE:
3 Q. So as I say, the last part of this report that I want to ask you
4 about really leads on to the -- what is going to amount to the second part
5 of your testimony, and this can be found at page 6 in the B/C/S version,
6 page 9 in the English, and really it's immediately after the description
7 of the looting and killings that took place at various Muslim villages.
8 I'll read out the paragraph. "The population in Blagaj remained without a
9 solution, so one was requested for its migration. Negotiations were held
10 with the organs of the autonomous region, with the government of the
11 Serbian Republic of Krajina and UNPROFOR. The remaining possibility was
12 to expedite a voluntary emigration towards Banja Luka and that a return to
13 the valley of Japra was definitely impossible but this population showed
14 no willingness for it."
15 Now, I think the first thing you should perhaps explain,
16 Mr. Pasic, I don't think you've done so, I'll be corrected if I'm wrong,
17 is the geographical area that this refers to when it talks about the
18 population of Blagaj. Where was it in Bosanski Novi and how many villages
19 did it involve? What sort of size of population, what were their
20 ethnicity, this sort of matter?
21 JUDGE ORIE: I take it you're aware that we received already quite
22 some evidence on that.
23 MR. JOSSE: I am aware, Your Honour. If the Court is happy with
24 the background, then I'm content.
25 JUDGE ORIE: It's the valley that goes north-south, which ends at
1 the northern part in Blagaj where there was a railway section east-west et
2 cetera. That's all in evidence and even without looking at my papers or
3 even without having reread them it's clearly in my mind and I see that the
4 same is true for my colleagues.
5 MR. JOSSE: That makes -- I'm very grateful.
6 Q. Then really all I want you to deal with, Mr. Pasic, is where the
7 Crisis Staff and/or the municipal assembly for this purpose were up to, so
8 far as these people were concerned at the time of the writing of this
9 report, clearly in early to mid-June of 1992.
10 A. Could you please repeat the question? The Crisis Staff what? You
11 mean what was the role of the Crisis Staff in this situation?
12 Q. It wasn't a very good question. It wasn't remotely precise
13 enough. My apologies.
14 At the point that this report was written, what were the municipal
15 authorities collectively hoping to achieve in relation to the population
16 of Blagaj?
17 A. The municipal leadership was literally placed before a fait
18 accompli. It didn't have the option of choosing what to do. What
19 happened was what was described, that in the Japra valley, that part from
20 Blagaj to the valley all the way up to Gornji Alagici, we were explaining
21 that earlier, that's an area inhabited by the Muslim population and what
22 happened was that these paramilitary formations committed certain, let me
23 say, crimes which moved the population in the direction of the village of
24 Blagaj. We tried to get some kind of order established so that these
25 people could return home. When we came to the Japra valley, we talked
1 with some of the deputies from the SDA party who asked me if they could
2 leave that area. I think that you can see that in this last sentence
3 here, when it says that the population did not show any willingness for
4 that to return to the valley of Japra, and we are talking about some
5 villages which are higher up from Blagaj, Crna Rijeka, Suhaca, Hodzici,
6 Agici. People from those villages had come down to this settlement called
7 Blagaj. So this --
8 JUDGE ORIE: May I stop you here for one moment? You just said,
9 "When we came to Japra valley we talked with some of the deputies from
10 the SDA party, who asked me if they could leave that area." I think that
11 you can see that in the last sentence here, when it says that "a
12 population did not show any willingness for that return." Let's now read
13 the last line of this paragraph, which says, "The remaining possibility
14 was to expedite a voluntary emigration towards Banja Luka, and that a
15 return to the valley of Japra was definitely impossible, but this
16 population showed no willingness for it." This document, and this
17 sentence, you are quoting, is understood by me and I'll check with my
18 colleagues whether they have the same understanding of this language, that
19 is to say that they could not stay, they could not return to the valley,
20 that what this report said, the remaining possibility, was to expedite a
21 voluntary emigration so that means the only possibility was that they had
22 to leave. But they did not want to do that. That's what my understanding
23 of this language is. So there seems to be a basic difference in
24 understanding of this language, where you invoke the same sentence to a
25 totally different end. Therefore, I wanted to confront you with my
1 understanding and the understanding of both my colleagues, and to explain
2 to us what makes you interpret this sentence in such a different way as we
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think, if I understood properly, I
5 don't think that this was translated properly. I was talking with the
6 deputies of the SDA party in the municipal assembly building, and based on
7 their information about the situation in the Japra valley, meaning I
8 didn't actually go --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there. What you told us, that this
10 last line confirms -- let me just take it very literally so that there is
11 no misunderstanding. You said that you met with some of the deputies from
12 the SDA party who asked you whether they could leave that area. And you
13 said that's what you can see in this line. As a matter of fact, I do not
14 see any request for leaving the area here. What I see on this line is
15 that this report establishes an impossibility to return, sees as the
16 remaining possibility an expedited emigration, and that the population did
17 not want that. So, therefore, this line, as far as we understand it, does
18 not in any way support your testimony as you claimed that the population,
19 as it was explained to you by the SDA representatives, that the population
20 wanted to leave.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My statement, and my assertion is
22 based precisely on the fact that when I was negotiating for the second
23 time with the representatives from the Japra valley and based on what they
24 were asking for and based on their report, when they told me about the
25 situation in the Japra valley I'm just saying just what happened. This
1 sentence, I even think that even grammatically it's not well formulated
2 and it probably causes confusion in the translation, probably in the
3 translation itself, would lead to some sort of confusion.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Whenever there is any translation problem we are
5 going to check that so we'll ask to have this specific line read out
6 slowly so that we can check whether the interpretation is right or not.
7 MR. JOSSE: I was going to request exactly that.
8 Q. Could I ask you --
9 MR. JOSSE: May I take up this baton as far as this issue is
10 concerned, Your Honour?
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so.
12 MR. JOSSE:
13 Q. May I ask you, very slowly, please, Mr. Pasic, to read out the
14 sentence in question? It begins in the English translation, "The
15 remaining possibility was to expedite." The whole sentence slowly,
17 A. "Only possibility remained was to conduct a voluntary removal to
18 the -- in the direction of Banja Luka and that the return to the Japra
19 valley was definitely impossible but that population did not show any
20 willingness to do that."
21 JUDGE ORIE: The translation we received is where emigration is
22 now translated as removal, is certainly not any less strong than the
23 translation we received on paper.
24 MR. JOSSE: May I, Your Honour, ask this supplementary question?
25 Q. What do you understand that sentence to mean?
1 A. I didn't understand. Are you asking me?
2 Q. I am indeed.
3 A. I repeat my statement that I am making now. I am trying to
4 remember the actions and events that happened in that period so that I
5 could understand this sentence more easily. As I said, there were
6 negotiations by the SDA deputies, who were asking me to find a solution so
7 that those people can temporarily move out or go somewhere and to enable
8 them to leave safely that area because it was impossible, and they were
9 asking me if we could guarantee them complete safety, could we protect
10 their houses, their property, could we guarantee their lives, the safety
11 of their lives? As I said, this was practically impossible to do because
12 you would need so many men in order to protect each house in that area,
13 and I could not do that. I could not provide any safety guarantees.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you there again. You're explaining what,
15 as you testified over the last ten minutes, what the situation was. You
16 claimed that this report would support your view. I confronted you with
17 how the judges read this portion of the report, and then Mr. Josse invited
18 you to tell us exactly what you understood by this one line, what you
19 actually did is that you repeated your view on the situation. You did not
20 tell us how you understand these three lines on from the remaining
21 possibility was.
22 Please tell us how you interpret this.
23 Mr. Josse, I take it that's what you asked the witness, how he
24 understand this is language and not to --
25 MR. JOSSE: It is, Your Honour, in particular -- yes, perhaps the
1 witness could try again how he understands the language the whole sentence
2 is concerned and then if need be I'll break it down.
3 Q. What does it say?
4 A. Yes. You interrupted me, actually. I wanted to explain. It's
5 hard to do it in two words, to discuss a situation which evolved over a
6 period of days and to explain the sentence that was stated. I repeat, the
7 people who were representing the SDA party and the Muslims, the Bosniaks,
8 in that period, did not want to go in the direction of Banja Luka to the
9 Federation, explaining that they would be mobilised there, that they did
10 not want to be in the uniform of the then Bosnia which was under the
11 leadership of Alija Izetbegovic, but they did ask to leave in a different
12 direction and you will see that in one of the following passages where
13 they sought to go in the direction of Croatia.
14 This is what I think is the sense of this sentence, what that
15 referred to, where they simply did not wish to go in that direction and we
16 told them at the time we can only help you at this time if you want to
17 leave, that you can only leave in the direction of Banja Luka, the
18 direction of Doboj, and then in that area where the line of separation was
19 between Doboj and Maglaj. You can go to that area.
20 I repeat, I think that that is the sense of this sentence because
21 at the time they were refusing to go in that direction but they did
22 request to go in the direction of the Republic of Croatia, and that's how
23 this conversation proceeded. What it is that they wanted our help in,
24 that they wanted us in a way to assure that they could go freely where
25 they wanted to go, to the destination they wanted to go. And the reason
1 they wanted to go in the direction of Croatia was that people in the Japra
2 valley had relatives who were working in -- abroad in Germany, Austria, so
3 their motive was in that way to try to overcome this difficult time.
4 JUDGE ORIE: So now do I understand that you say you read this
5 line that where the population showed no willingness for it, then that is
6 limited to the direction in which they were to be emigrated or removed.
7 Now, another portion of this line says that the return -- a return to the
8 valley of Japra was definitely impossible.
9 Do I have to understand this, that under the situation existing at
10 that time, it was no option -- you did not consider it possible for the
11 population to return to the valley?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was that option, and that was
13 the first option for the people to return to their homes, before any of
14 the conversations we --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you. The line reads, "That a return to
16 the valley of Japra was definitely impossible." Please explain to me what
17 that means in your view.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am just trying to say what it was
19 that was happening in that period. This report was written about a month
20 later, so chronologically this had already happened. So somebody was
21 interpreting what had already happened in the simplest and easiest
22 possible way. So what I want to say is when those people came to my
23 office, I proposed to them, is there any way to have the following
24 solution that you return to your homes, that you return from Blagaj to
25 your homes? And they explained to me at the time that simply there was
1 fear, insecurity, and they wanted me to provide absolute security
2 guarantees that certain paramilitary formation groups would not appear
3 there, that they would not come to that area, then they would probably go
4 back. Of course, I myself from my aspect, from my competencies as
5 president of the municipal assembly, did not have the power or the
6 competencies to extend these guarantees to them and I was giving this
7 example that -- to them that even while we were sitting here in the
8 office, something unpleasant might happen up there at your houses. I gave
9 them the examples that I really couldn't provide these guarantees for
10 them. It was too great a responsibility for me to guarantee something
11 that I was not responsible for. And for those reasons, when they
12 understood what my competencies were and once I understood them, they
13 suggested to me that they could go in the direction of Croatia. And, if I
14 recall correctly, I think at the time, the only possibility was for them
15 to go in the direction of Banja Luka and Doboj. There was another option
16 which did not suit them at all, and that was the option and perhaps it
17 would have been the simplest option, for them to go from that area and
18 that was to go towards the direction of Bosanska Krupa, which they did not
19 accept at all because they believed that as soon as they left towards
20 Bosanska Krupa, the so-called Cazinska Krajina that they would
21 automatically be mobilised there and that they would be facing the lines
22 towards Serb territory. So what was being talked about here at that time
23 was just the possibility, if they remain, how safe would they be, and
24 whether the Crisis Staff or the TO staff or the public security station
25 could provide them absolute guarantees for security and if they could not,
1 then they asked them -- they asked for us to try to help them to alleviate
2 their problems and to go, let's say n one of these directions. So their
3 wish was to go in the direction of Croatia. We are actually talking about
4 the direction of how they would go and where they would go.
5 JUDGE ORIE: One final question: Why didn't you ask the military
6 to go in and get rid of those who were -- who had been looting and why
7 didn't you -- or did you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm just saying that I was seeking,
9 and I was constantly seeking, we, I, I repeat, every day I went to work,
10 and I sat there and I asked the TO Staff every day and public security
11 station every day to make the ultimate effort to really prevent these
12 paramilitary formations. This was not a request made once. It was a
13 request made a thousand times, at any point, in any situation that's what
14 I was asking. But I repeat I did not have the responsibility. It was not
15 in my jurisdiction, in a way, to be able to prevent these events.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, is there any documentation on any decision taken
17 that you ordered someone to go there and to drive out the -- what I
18 understand were just people who committed crimes and -- did you -- is
19 there anything, any order, any document, which can illustrate your, as you
20 said, you are efforts, your repeated efforts, to stop this -- what is
21 described as a rather terrific situation?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think it states here that the
23 conclusions and decisions of the Crisis Staff were accepted. There were
24 several of those types of conclusions, proposals, decisions, by the Crisis
25 Staff where certain suggestions and instructions were given, even it says
1 some kind of order existed. It says here, although in the practical sense
2 of the word we did not have the authority for orders but I'm sure that
3 there was one. I don't have it. If somebody here has it, it would be
4 good for to us look at it but I cannot specifically remember. But I
5 repeat it was not my order, and I'm repeating in these Crisis Staff
6 meetings, it was a working, operational meeting, where there were
7 suggestions, let's say, to the chiefs of the public security station or
8 the commander of the TO staff, let's see what we can do, can we stop this
9 group which was destroying property and doing something else? So giving
10 such suggestions, proposals, I don't know if there were anything like that
11 in written form. There were certain minutes of those sessions. I don't
12 have these unfortunately with me because it was a wartime situation which
13 was going on and I know that a part of the -- these documents were
14 destroyed but I don't know which part was destroyed, if there is anything
15 of that, any notes, it would be good, then I could refresh my
16 recollection. I know that we did take minutes of the meetings and then
17 based on the minutes, once we saw them, you could see that there were such
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You also say, we had no competence to issue
20 orders in this respect. It was, let me just find your words. You say in
21 the practical sense of the word, "we did not have the authority for
23 Is that --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: On the 11th of May, the Crisis Staff, at least that's
1 what I read in this report, issued an order to establish a cease-fire,
2 which at least suggests that the Crisis Staff itself considered itself
3 competent to issue these kinds of orders whereas later on that same page
4 where it describes the events -- bodies were instructed and fully
5 authorised to undermine the work and activity of the aforementioned
6 illegal individuals, at the same session, in a conclusion, the TO
7 municipal staff was instructed to have its units of the military police --
8 so the language of this report gives limited support to your answer that
9 you had no competence to issue orders in these circumstances. Could you
10 explain why the report repeatedly states that orders were given whereas
11 you now testified that you're not competent, it was -- it was beyond
12 your -- beyond your authority to give orders?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Even though the question is quite
14 long, I think that I did understand it. If really this report on the work
15 of the Crisis Staff -- well, you cannot take it segment by segment. If
16 you take it as a whole, then it's an entire text and according to my views
17 it can only be looked at like that. I think that the word "order" here
18 does not reflect the true meaning actually in the way that it is cited
19 here. I repeat, it was more -- I'm going to say from sort of media
20 reasons, written in this way in order to form the impression -- actually
21 not to spread defeatism, not to spread fear. We had to, in a way, explain
22 that we even perhaps did have some force as a Crisis Staff but in the real
23 sense, in the formal sense, it really did not have the power or did not
24 have any basis, I'm talking about the Crisis Staff now, to be able to
25 issue any orders. We were able to issue orders but we were not competent
1 for orders whereby somebody could do something or not do something. I
2 mean, we could say, yes, issue an order, but the person that the order was
3 being issued to could say, sir, you're not competent and you don't have
4 any right to issue such an order to me. We tried only to act on the basis
5 of our authority. So probably there were such written documents which
6 were written in the form of an order, but there was no legal force behind
7 them, as an order. So this is probably -- I mean I probably understand
8 you when you are saying when we are talking about the word "order," the
9 word "order" itself can be taken to mean that somebody had certain
10 competences but I'm saying actually how things were actually at the time
11 and what we did and how we actually operated. We did not have that legal
12 formulation. I think that word was not used properly and I'm just saying
13 actually for the reasons that I explained that we formed this sort of
14 picture where we were actually acting on the basis of our authority. But
15 in that sense, order, because I mentioned that the public security station
16 was not subordinated to the president of the municipal assembly, that the
17 TO staff was not subordinated to the president of the municipality
18 assembly, Novi Grad, well, it happened in all the municipalities. This
19 was a law. It was exactly known whom they were subordinated to, who could
20 issue orders to them, commands, and certain requests.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although your answer was quite long, I think I
22 understand it. Please proceed.
23 Yes, Judge Hanoteau has a question.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Witness, I would like to
25 understand two things. First of all, what type of report, not a written
1 report, of course, but what was a rapport that you had with the people who
2 were in charge with the TO municipal Defence people? There must have been
3 a commander of that municipal TO.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Were you able to meet him in
6 those days?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, on a daily basis almost. Not
8 every single day but yes, we did meet because we had offices next to each
9 other, or close to each other, and we did meet. And as it says here, he
10 was a member of the Crisis Staff.
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So what did he understand? What
12 was his understanding of the situation?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in this report, an attempt was
14 made to describe this, if I understood the question correctly, how he
15 viewed the situation. Of course, he too appealed and asked for
16 assistance. He was impotent too and he found it difficult to accept from
17 the moral standpoint and from the standpoint his own remit, competence and
18 authority, and I saw during those discussions that he was worried and
19 concerned for not being able to control the situation, that he didn't have
20 the force and power to control it. And quite literally, as it has been
21 described, some things escaped control, something was happening in one
22 place and then in another place and a third place. So it kept moving and
23 he kept having to keep abreast of some events that were happening but they
24 were happening all over, and as soon as one problem would be solved,
25 another one would crop up. So if I've understood your question, this was
1 troubling and -- to him, and a cause for concern. We is we discussed this
2 every time. We viewed the situation to see what we could do from our
3 positions and how far we were able to influence the situation. So we
4 viewed it from the moral and humane aspect, too. Can we do anything
5 objectively speaking, on the basis of the competence and authority we had?
6 And could we act as human beings as well to do something?
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. Pasic, this TO commander, how
8 many men did he have in his group? What was the size, what was the
9 strength, of the police? I mean, I already asked you a question similar
10 to this one but was there a thousand people that he was in charge of or a
11 hundred people? I mean, how many men were involved?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm really not an officer. I just
13 did my military service in the former JNA. In formation terms,
14 establishment terms, I wouldn't hazard a guess. But I don't think he had
15 a lot of men at his disposal, on the basis of the information that I
16 received, at least not enough, not a sufficient number of men, to be in
17 full control of the situation. There was the command of the TO staff,
18 there was the chief of TO staff, and he had some assistants in the
19 department, in the TO staff, but how many men he had at his disposal at
20 any given point of time, of the mobilised soldiers, I really can't say. I
21 don't remember. I just don't know.
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] My second question: Was the army
23 deployed in that area where you were yourself? The army itself, not
24 talking about the TO, but was the army deployed in your area?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. What army are you referring to?
1 What do you mean when you say army and what period of time?
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] We are talking about the month of
3 June, if I'm not mistaken. So at that time, in June, was there an army
4 deployed? Were there any regular troops that were already engaged?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as far as I remember, I think
6 that all over Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time, the former JNA, the Yugoslav
7 People's Army, that is, from mid-May, had withdrawn. So if that's what
8 you mean by army, it wasn't on that territory. It wasn't in the area.
9 Not that kind of army. After -- well, whether there is an agreement or
10 international agreement or whatever, that the present Serbia and the then
11 Republic of Yugoslavia or the former SFRY should withdraw from the
12 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the former socialist Republic of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina as it was, so as a regular army, it didn't exist any
14 more in those areas. So that was its initial form, original form. And
15 the TO Staffs in fact were just -- just their commanding officers were
16 professionals, whereas the soldiers had been mobilised so they weren't
17 actually professional soldiers, the ones who had been mobilised. Just the
18 commanding cadres worked professionally.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Very well. That's precisely the
20 point. These men, they were mobilised men. According to you, did they
21 also engage in murders, in burning houses, et cetera, et cetera, that
22 because you were talking about paramilitary formations. I think that that
23 term is confusing somewhat. We don't quite know what we are talking
24 about, and it's all quite unclear. Are you telling us that among those
25 people who were killing men and who were destroying property, were those
1 men who were engaged in the TO?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Previous interpretation
3 continues] ... got to say that and explain it in a word but I'll do my
4 best. When we mention paramilitary formations, I think I talked about
5 that earlier on, those paramilitary formations appeared from different
6 sources. They appeared -- they were part of the mobilised army who was in
7 Croatia, on the battle front there. They would come on furlough, and they
8 would create these groups of men wearing uniforms and even army rifles,
9 they would come in from the battlefields of Croatia and create problems.
10 And if you read the report carefully, then you can see from a portion of
11 it that even part of these men who had been mobilised and who were under
12 the command of the TO Staff of Novi Grad, you can see that in fact they
13 refused the TO command, and I think that that was referred to as some sort
14 of regional staffs or headquarters. I think that that's how the TO staff
15 was organised. It had regional, small points. And it says here that at
16 one of those regional staff headquarters, they had refused to take -- the
17 command of the TO, and that this person or unit created problems to the
18 legal authorities, as a renegade, in fact. I think that you can see that
19 somewhere, if you read the report carefully, and it relates to the
20 regional staff, if I remember correctly.
21 Some of the villages, they were referred to and they were Agici,
22 Krslje, Krupska, those were the names of the villages, and I think that's
23 the name of the regional staff that created those problems, in fact, and
24 who, quite literally, did not execute the commands of the TO staff. Let
25 me say that certain measures were taken, but you couldn't take any
1 automatic measures, at least that's the information that was fed back to
2 the TO, and some of the perpetrators were punished as well, as far as I
3 know. But I don't remember all the possible ramifications and details of
4 the various incidents, because later on, a military court was set up as
5 well, so they -- steps were taken along the military line, so I don't know
6 that part of the executive power and authority at the level of the
7 republic. I'm really not well-versed in that and whether proceedings were
8 taken or how far they got to.
9 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I'm very sorry to insist so much
10 on this point, but do you agree with me that men that were recruited from
11 your municipality, men who had answered to the call, were those same men
12 who all of a sudden became renegades and became perpetrators of various
13 illegal acts?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understood your question
15 correctly, then it's not possible to answer it that way. They were not
16 the renegades, people who were under the control of the TO Staff. It was
17 just a small group of men that did separate and didn't listen to orders
18 coming from the TO Staff, but looking at it globally, in its entirety and
19 in percentages, then a large percentage of men was under the TO command
20 and did follow orders coming from the TO staff and the commander of the TO
21 staff. But also, it also says here that in addition to those paramilitary
22 formation that were on the side, what happened was that even a portion, so
23 not all the regional staff, but a portion, a small group, of men from the
24 regional staff quite literally refused to follow orders issued by the TO
25 commander. If I've understood your question and if I've answered what you
1 wanted to know.
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] No. No. Thank you. You've
3 understood my question. I'm just going back to this report where we see
4 on page 5 that [English] "TO municipal staff noted that he's unable to
5 have control over the entire municipal territory, as certain groups are
6 distancing themselves from the chain of command, are not obeying orders,
7 and are acting on their own initiative." [Interpretation] Do you see that
8 sentence, sir? Of course, in English on page 6.
9 MR. JOSSE: I think it's page 2 in the B/C/S. I think so because
10 I have another passage marked which enables me to work it out. Towards
11 bottom of page 2 in the B/C/S, I suspect.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm trying to find that passage but
13 I haven't managed to do so yet.
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Page 5 in English, the Crisis
15 Staff session [French spoken], [English] Situation and said that TO staff
16 did not issue to order -- fire on.
17 MR. JOSSE: I'm sorry, Your Honour, my fault entirely. It's page
18 3. It's page 3 towards the bottom of the page. I am sorry. I am sorry.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you just tell me, could you
20 give me the beginning of the sentence?
21 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [In English] "He noted that he's unable to have
22 control over the entire municipal territory, as certain groups are
23 distancing themselves from the chain of command, are not obeying orders
24 and are acting on their own initiative."
25 MR. JOSSE: I think the witness is probably looking at the right
1 place. It's the paragraph that begins, "At the Crisis Staff session held
2 the 12th of May 1992." It's in that paragraph, the passage that the
3 learned judge is quoting from.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ah, yes, I found it now.
5 Well, an attempt has been made here to describe the situation that
6 I myself have been describing in my own words. I described what I
7 experienced and what happened, and what I was informed about, and the
8 commander of the TO staff is saying in this paragraph that he is facing
9 the kind of problems that I've been describing, if I understand your
10 question. And I have been talking about that problem, and saying that the
11 TO commander was faced with very serious problems without having the power
12 or men to control it all and to put a stop to these events that were
13 taking place. So I think we can say that that becomes apparent on the
14 basis of this portion of the text.
15 And quite simply, you can just interpret this in that slightly
16 different way but the sense of it is the same. The sense of the sentence
17 goes along the lines of what I myself said; of course, using different
18 words. It's just a matter of the text and wording.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Looking at the clock, I think we are far beyond our
21 usual time. So we'll have a break.
22 At the same time, I'd like to ask special attention of the
23 parties, not specifically you, Mr. Josse, but to be very careful with the
24 translation of this document. I just, for example, note that on page 4 of
25 the English translation, there is a list of six points whereas on page 3
1 of the B/C/S version, we have that same list but now consisting of seven
2 points. The third one not being translated. So that reduces seven to
3 six. So therefore, if there is any doubt as to this document, we should
4 always very carefully check the translation and whether it's complete and
5 whether it's in every respect accurate. Of course, that's what an
6 unrevised translation brings as a risk.
7 We will adjourn until 20 minutes --
8 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour can I make this observation? So far as
9 the questions that Your Honour has asked there were a number of passages I
10 was going to take the witness to. I'm sure the Court will look at this
11 unrevised translation as closely as it can but some of Your Honour's
12 questions are answered to a limited extent in this document and it may be
13 if the Court looks at it again, I can deal with it much more speedily
14 after the break.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Perhaps -- yes. There is a fair chance that
16 you're more efficient than we sometimes are.
17 We will have a break until 20 minutes past 11.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.51 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
20 JUDGE ORIE: May the witness be brought into the courtroom.
21 You may proceed, Mr. Josse.
22 MR. JOSSE: If I may, I would like to deal briefly, I hope, with
23 two passages of this document, which, to some extent, as I've already
24 said, answer the questions posed by His Honour Judge Orie.
25 Q. At page 5 in the English, bottom of page 3 in the original, there
1 is some discussion in the document, is there not, Mr. Pasic, about
2 instructions, the word used in the translation, given by the Crisis Staff
3 to the Territorial Defence? I'll read a bit of it. "At the same session,
4 in a conclusion, the TO, Territorial Defence Municipal Staff, was
5 instructed to have its units of the military police, with the assistance
6 of the public security station police and, if necessary, the military
7 police from the Banja Luka Corps estimate the situation and take concrete
8 measures of searching the terrain in parts of town with instant
9 occurrence." And then it names the various villages, other settlements in
10 the Japra valley, enforce public law and order and make provisions for the
11 return of the civilian population from the area.
12 That's right, isn't it?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could it be on the top of page 4 in the B/C/S, which
14 is more likely?
15 MR. JOSSE: Yes, thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Page 4 at the top, Mr. Pasic, I think would --
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I might be allowed a few moments
18 to read through it just briefly, please, because I haven't found the
20 JUDGE ORIE: Have you found it by now?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I have found it.
24 MR. JOSSE:
25 Q. I think all my question is, is it confirms, does it not, that an
1 instruction was given to the TO to do something?
2 A. Yes. In a series of the instructions, proposals, and so on and so
3 forth, we can see from this that we asked that regardless of their
4 presentation, and this referred to the TO staff and public security
5 station, that they should continue to invest every effort to ensure that
6 all these little groups and the excessive behaviour that was taking place,
7 to try and place them under their control, to control the situation, and I
8 think that that's what this passage refers to as well.
9 Q. You will remember that we looked in some detail at -- in the
10 B/C/S, the bottom of page 5, I think the last three or four words, so
11 turning on to page 6, about the looting, this is page 9 in the English,
12 but we didn't look at the last part of that paragraph, so I think this is
13 page 6 in your version. Have you got that passage? Page 6 towards the
14 top of the page. I'll read this bit out. It's after it describes the
15 looting. "As the area was a location of many valuable structures, the
16 Crisis Staff had issued" - I assume it's "an order" - "to the regional
17 staff of Donji" -- and then there is an illegible word. I don't know if
18 you can help us with the name of the place that's mentioned there.
19 A. It's not on page 6, or at least I haven't found it there. On my
21 JUDGE ORIE: If I could assist you, I think it's page 6, the first
23 MR. JOSSE:
24 Q. It mentions a mill, a telephone exchange. It is page 6,
25 Mr. Pasic. We are fairly sure about that here. Top of the page.
1 A. Page 6 starts with the first sentence on page 5 and it said "the
2 order wasn't acted upon and chaos ensued." Is that the passage? And all
3 the places have been totally looted.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Words to that effect.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Until -- well, let's say two-thirds of that
7 paragraph, then you find the passage that was just quoted. The part
8 quoted, it's actually the 10th line, the 10th line of page 6.
9 MR. JOSSE:
10 Q. Why don't you read it out in the B/C/S, please?
11 A. "The TO staff expressed" - I think it says expressed, although
12 it's rather illegible. Is this "inability" or is it "assistance"? I
13 can't quite read it -- "in ending this action." That the TO expressed
14 impotence or inability to end the situation like that, but as I say, it's
15 not a very good copy. But I think that's what it says, and that that's
16 the meaning of the sentence.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It's the next line -- it's the next sentence,
18 Mr. Pasic, where there is also one portion declared illegible. So there
19 is -- where it says, as the area was a location of many --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, valuable structures. I don't
21 know how you're going to interpret this but led me read the sentence
22 out. "As the area was a location of many valuable structures, the Crisis
23 Staff had issued to" - I think it says Donji Agici is the village, "issued
24 an order to Donji Agici to secure some of them so that -- or some of them,
25 yes, "some" is the word, some of them, and then it says the mill, the
1 telephone exchange, the private carpentry shop, et cetera, with
2 Territorial Defence members of the same RS, Regional Staff, I think that
3 is, and the commander of which was designated as personally responsible
4 for carrying out the order, and then there is a full stop there and it
5 goes on to say the order was not carried out because a lot of the
6 equipment, and then in brackets it says, I think this is machinery,
7 electrical motors, et cetera, was looted from the facilities or
9 So it says here who we issued orders to based on the discussions
10 or we discussed the orders, and we even tried to issue orders to that
11 regional staff. That was under the control of the TO Staff, to issue
12 concrete instructions how to stop the looting of property, and this just
13 chooses some of them, quotes some examples, there were probably a lot of
14 facilities like that which they tried to safeguard but were not able to do
15 so because that property was ultimately destroyed. But anyway we did
16 want, as I said a moment ago, to try and become more serious. This was
17 all going into the media, and we wanted prevail upon the ordinary man in
18 the street to show him that the Crisis Staff did have some sort of
19 authority or power or whatever you like to call it, and all this was
20 geared towards one end, that is to say to prevent these groups, little
21 groups, or paramilitary formations, to instill fear in them, to have them
22 realise that they would be punished and that the Crisis Staff would be
23 effective in its measures. So those were the proposals we sent down the
24 line as we did here, and you can see the sense and purpose of the proposal
25 given by the Crisis Staff to try and preserve the property. I don't know
1 if I've explained this fully enough but --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I take it that this is an answer to the
3 question because you only asked to say what Donji and then illegible was.
4 MR. JOSSE: It is an answer to where eventually I was going it
5 take the witness. So I'm going to move on to my next point. I don't know
6 whether the Court has any questions.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would like to ask for two or three
9 Could you tell us, the mill that's mentioned, was that private
10 property or was that public property?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I cannot be certain but as far as I
12 know, there was no publicly owned mill in that valley. It was a mill
13 owned by a person who was a Muslim, a Bosniak. If I can remember
14 correctly, I think that at some of the meetings, the joint consultations
15 that we had, it was proposed that some key facilities should be secured,
16 protected, as valuable, because it was simply not possible --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, you answered my question. I'm quite
18 satisfied. You say as far as you remember it was privately owned and it
19 was owned by a Muslim.
20 Private carpentry shop, do you remember who owned that?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that this was also private
22 property. In that area -- well, you have the map in front of you, I hope,
23 and you saw that area. That area was mostly inhabited by Muslims and I
24 think that that carpentry shop was also owned by a Muslim. It was
25 privately owned.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You say that is what you think. You're not
2 sure about it but that's what you -- on the basis of the population what
3 you expect? Or do you have any more specific knowledge about ownership?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that area that we are talking
5 about, then and now, there were no publicly owned companies or state-owned
6 companies, and based on that, I conclude that this was private property
7 and that the owner -- because I remember in the village of Supaca [phoen],
8 there was a larger carpentry shop where a Muslim Bosniak was the owner and
9 I think that refers to that because from Blagaj to Gornji Agici, those
10 villages up there, there were no state-owned firms where that could be
11 interpreted differently, that the property was of any other kind other
12 than property -- personal property, and there was no other large carpentry
13 shop except for this one in the place of Suhaca and that shop was owned by
14 a Muslim.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
16 And may I ask you, Mr. Pasic, sometimes you give a lot of detailed
17 information where sometimes the one who asked the question might not need
18 all those details, which, of course, take time. If further details are
19 needed, you'll certainly be asked for it, but try to keep the answers
20 brief to the extent possible and reasonable.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
22 MR. JOSSE:
23 Q. Could we move to tab 2, please, D15, which we looked at a little
24 bit earlier.
25 This, as is clear from the document, is a decision in June of
1 1992. What do you read the date as, Mr. Pasic? Because the translation
2 is a little unclear as to the exact date. Can you help us?
3 A. Well, if we are talking about the same thing here, we have the
4 conclusions of the Bosanski Novi municipal assembly at its meeting which
5 was held on the 16th of June 1992.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you just -- your attention is drawn to the
7 top, where, second line, there could be some question as to the exact
8 date. How do you read that? Where it says "datum."
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says the date, if we look in the
10 upper hand corner, underneath the decision, and the conclusion, it says
11 the 18th of June 1992, but if you look at the preamble of the conclusion,
12 then there --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But that's, I think, what Mr. Josse asked.
14 MR. JOSSE:
15 Q. Simple as that.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Just as simple as whether it's the 18th and he didn't
17 specify that, whether it's the 13th or 18th, which is logical. I don't
18 think it needs further attention.
19 MR. JOSSE: Precisely, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
21 MR. JOSSE:
22 Q. Moving to the conclusion we have to some extent earlier examined
23 number 1 and it speaks for itself.
24 Number 2, again, I'm going to leave at least for a moment because
25 3 and 4, to some extent, again arise from some of the questions asked by
1 the learned Judges. We see, so far as number 3 is concerned, Judge
2 Hanoteau specifically asked about this. It urges that all necessary steps
3 be taken to form a brigade similar to a battalion of the army of the
4 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's right, isn't it? That's
5 what it says?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. And why was it thought urgent, and indeed necessary, for such a
8 battalion to be established?
9 A. Precisely because of all the things that I stated, the manner of
10 activity, the jurisdiction and the competence of the TO which proved
11 itself to be inefficient in that form of organisation and that type of
12 army. All of that is talked about in tab 1 here in the report on the
13 work, and, of course, we were not satisfied with that manner of work, i.e.
14 the functioning of the TO Staff, and it was considered that that TO Staff
15 was not connected to any other activities and actions and it didn't have
16 the power and the authority to stop these events that I was talking about.
17 Our opinions, the opinions of the municipal assembly, which adopted this
18 conclusion, was that it was essential and it was urgent to stop all of
19 these unfortunate events and that a real, proper formation, as it states
20 here, a formation, a brigade formation of a battalion type, to transform
21 this TO Staff into the army of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 At that point in time, that was the prevailing opinion, that based on
23 everything that we had seen and analysed, this chaotic situation, the
24 general conclusion was that that type of functioning of the TO, of course,
25 normally was not efficient and it did not carry out what was being asked
1 of it to establish law and order, together with the forces of the police,
2 and for those reasons it was asked that the authorised institutions and
3 organs act in order to organise this battalion as fast as possible, which
4 in our opinion should have been more effective, more disciplined, in order
5 to prevent these little groups of paramilitary formations to stop
6 repeating themselves.
7 Q. So far as item number 4 is concerned, and you were asked by
8 Judge Orie as to whether there had been any order in relation to security,
9 this instructs the public security station and the military police command
10 to establish public law and order and the security of its inhabitants in
11 Bosanski Novi. Now, you've already given us a fair amount of explanation
12 as to why this was necessary. In relation to this specific conclusion, is
13 there anything you can add?
14 A. I've already said what the competencies were of the TO staff at
15 the time and that's why this item 3 and 4 in a way is sort of separate.
16 They are kind of separate entities and what was thought that for these
17 things to be improved in the military sense and as I mentioned I don't
18 want to repeat again, this formation about the battalion, the public
19 security station was asked thus together with the commands of the military
20 police. I think this proposal was given to set up or establish public law
21 and order because that was their task, for them specifically to maintain
22 law and order. The police were supposed to do this.
23 I repeat, thus -- well, let's not repeat ourselves then. When we
24 are formulating this part, is being asked -- is being requested to --
25 these were forms of suggestions, appeals, if I may translate that freely,
1 like this, but this was a way to make it known that both sides, the
2 military and the civilian police forces, were being asked for a more
3 effective and faster action in order to establish discipline and to
4 prevent all of these unfortunate events which were happening in that past
5 period. So this was confirmed again at this meeting of the municipal
6 assembly, which was adopted, as it says here, on the 16th of June, as it
7 says up here, the actual document was drafted on the 18th and this is
8 where the dilemma comes from about which date is correct. The meeting was
9 on the 16th and the text was drafted on the 18th. I don't know whether
10 that is your regular practice but this is how we used to do it when
11 something was adopted and then when something was actually drafted in
13 Q. I would now like to move on to item 2?
14 JUDGE ORIE: Item 2 of this same document, I leave you with the
15 document and wait with any additional questions.
16 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour if I could suggest additional questions
17 might be an idea now because I'm going to use number 2 to lead on to the
18 problems with these --
19 JUDGE ORIE: You just explained to us that decisions were taken
20 and then put on paper. I asked earlier about orders in relation to the
21 events in the Japra valley. Are there any such written orders and
22 instructions in relation to the -- establishing public law and order from
23 that time? Because from what I understand, comparing the report on the
24 Crisis Staff activities with this document, that that matter had been
25 settled already by the 16th or the 18th of June, where the people were
1 allowed to move out on the 8th of June, as the other document says. So
2 I'm asking whether there were any similar orders from the time of the
3 events in the Japra valley.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have the documents here.
5 Probably there is a paper trail, but at this point in time, I really
6 cannot recall it, but I repeat, at the meeting of the -- meetings of the
7 Crisis Staff, minutes were taken and some of those conclusions were
8 formulated, whether as formulations of proposals or so on, but there were
9 things like that, but at this point in time, I really cannot remember
11 JUDGE ORIE: Then one tiny little thing. At the top of this
12 document, in our translation, some words are reported as being illegible.
13 If I read the two very top lines, is it true that the first one starts
14 with Srpska Republika? Is that how you read it?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes Serbian Republic of
17 JUDGE ORIE: Now the second line, does that start with the word
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And that's council -- that's assembly? Skupstina.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So the translation could be the Serbian Republic of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the municipal assembly of Bosanski Novi.
24 Now --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: -- I first leave you with number 2, Mr. Josse.
2 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
3 Q. Now, number 2 is a repetition of something that's in the Crisis
4 Staff report. I haven't checked whether it's word for word but it deals
5 with the Muslims of the municipality, and it says that the Muslims may
6 leave voluntarily in an organised and civilised manner, that any
7 activities directed at forceful expulsion is banned, and then it goes on
8 to deal with the reception centre of the Mlavke stadium.
9 Now, by this time, you had already begun your negotiations with
10 the international community in relation to these Bosniak people; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And it might be a convenient and easier way of dealing with this.
14 To begin with, if we look at tab 3, and look at the first document.
15 MR. JOSSE: If I could be given one moment, Your Honour.
16 Q. Which I think is P125. It says P126, on it, Your Honour, I think
17 that's a mistake. Perhaps the Court will check.
18 JUDGE ORIE: I think it's a mistake because at the copy in the
19 hands of the Registry -- no. It might be -- I've got 126. The problem is
20 that these -- no, no. Let me just have a look.
21 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, from my records, this appears to be a
22 part of P126.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I'm just wondering whether it's -- yes. The
24 faxed transmission is a part of 126. That's true.
25 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. The difficulty we had in preparing these
1 documents is in the official court exhibit list, 125 and 126 are described
2 in almost identical fashion and therefore -- perhaps had we gone back to
3 the transcript we might have been able to sort it out but on the face of
4 the exhibit list, it was impossible to stand them apart.
5 JUDGE ORIE: I haven't got the list with me at this moment but at
6 least the cover page of 125 bears as the date the 26th of May 1992,
7 whereas 126 cover page, the first page of that exhibit, is 1st of June
8 1992. But very similar forms. Please proceed.
9 MR. JOSSE:
10 Q. Could I ask you to find the B/C/S translation of this original
11 English document, and you should find it somewhere in tab 3. It bears at
12 the top right-hand corner the number 03066808. And this is a note or
13 report prepared by Jens Brostad of a meeting he held with you on the 28th
14 of May of 1992. You are mentioned in paragraph number 2. He sets the
15 scene in paragraph number 1 of what the position was. I'm going to ask
16 you one or two selective questions about the document and then perhaps you
17 could tell us about your recollection of this meeting.
18 But perhaps before I do that, at this point, had you met
19 Mr. Kirudja? In other words, on the 28th of May 1992, where you had a
20 meeting with Mr. Brostad, had you met Mr. Kirudja on any previous
22 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, while the witness is contemplating his
23 answer, I believe, in the course of the testimony, that the date of the
24 28th of May 1992, which is found at the top of this report, was corrected
25 in court to be the 27th of May 1992.
1 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: That's not in my recollection at the moment.
3 That's -- thank you, Mr. Harmon, for -- but was it only on the top or
4 also in paragraph 2 where --
5 MR. HARMON: I recall Mr. Kirudja testifying that the meeting that
6 was recounted in this document was held on the 27th of May and I think he
7 corrected this document as part of the record.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, because the 28th appears twice, not only in
9 the -- yes, okay.
10 MR. JOSSE:
11 Q. So in other words, was this the first time you met Mr. Kirudja?
12 A. I met Mr. Kirudja but I don't remember whether it was the 27th or
13 the 28th or some other date. It was at Topusko which is in today's
15 Q. And again, it might help to put this into some sort of context if
16 I ask you how many meetings did you have in total with Mr. Kirudja?
17 A. I really wouldn't be able to say exactly how many, but I know that
18 these talks went from Dvor Na Uni and Topusko which is in Croatia, now we
19 also had talks at the UNPROFOR base at Dvor. We also had talks at the
20 bridge which divides Bosnia and Croatia. It's a bridge on the river Una.
21 But I really cannot give you an exact number, whether it was two, three,
22 or five, I don't know. There were more than two but I really wouldn't be
23 able to say exactly how many. I simply don't remember. I know that there
24 were several of those kinds of conversations, not only with Mr. Kirudja
25 but with other representatives from this committee for refugees.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, were you asked about meetings with
2 Mr. Kirudja. If Mr. Josse would like to know whether you met other people
3 he will certainly ask you. We are under some time constraints. So let's
5 Mr. Josse.
6 MR. JOSSE:
7 Q. Particularly bearing in mind that answer we will try as best we
8 can to work from these documents although I hope that that won't turn out
9 to be more rather than less time consuming. The document I'm about to ask
10 you about, paragraph 6, it says the situation, and it says, Mr. Rade, who
11 did most of the talking for the visitors. Who was Mr. Rade? Sorry. Yes.
12 This doesn't help at all. It's in fact paragraph 4 in translation, it
13 says 4 in translation. In English it says 6.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. English counting always has been a bit
15 surprising for all of us, Mr. Josse.
16 MR. JOSSE: I've got no retort to that, I'm afraid.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found it here. It's item 4 in my
18 language. It says, "The situation" if we are thinking of the same thing,
19 Rade Palije, first name Rade, last name Palije. I cannot be specific but
20 I think his function in these talks were because he knew English and
21 French very well and he was the one who went with me to make the initial
22 contacts. He was there at hand so that we could communicate more easily,
23 if I can put it that way, although he was perhaps even a member of the
24 executive board, but as a volunteer, not in a professional capacity. In a
25 certain period I know that he was a member of the executive board, but
1 these were volunteers for education, culture, sports and so on.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Again, whether he volunteered or whether -- what your
3 answer could have been as -- by the way, Mr. Josse, we find it in the
4 document itself as well, that Mr. Palije Rade was a member of the
5 executive council, I take it of your municipality. Is that correct?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I was thinking of the
7 Novi Grad municipality.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Again, whether he was sent by his wife or whether he
9 did it on his own, whether he volunteered, that's if we would like to know
10 that, we'll ask you about it, or Mr. Josse will ask you about it.
11 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, probably it would have helped if I had
12 led in something like that. All I was trying to establish is that he was
13 basically an interpreter and he spoke good English and French.
14 Q. That's right, isn't it?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. This meeting at Topusko, what were you trying to achieve?
17 A. It's just what I was saying earlier, when we were talking about
18 the report of the Crisis Staff, you could see that representatives of the
19 Muslim people asked me for help to find a solution how they could move out
20 of the Novi Grad municipality area. So, based on what they were seeking I
21 was trying to find a solution. We didn't even know how this could be
22 resolved but for the first time we addressed the Dvor municipality and
23 somebody from there said that people in charge of civilian questions were
24 in Topusko. I didn't know who was there. It was an informative meeting,
25 an informative talk, what can be done vis-a-vis this situation, how can we
1 help these people, what were their requests, how can we agree on this, how
2 can we make their problems a little bit easier?
3 Q. I'd like you to help us specifically with paragraph number 9,
4 where it is claimed by the author of the report that after much
5 hesitation, two local Bosniaks were named. Do you recall hesitation on
6 your part in naming Bosniak representatives?
7 A. I don't recall that I hesitated over anything. I initiated the
8 meeting and I even proposed that Mr. Kirudja, who attended the talks with
9 me, should be convinced of what I was -- said. And I did, and I can say
10 that subjectively. I did gain the opinion that Mr. Kirudja doesn't
11 believe what I was telling him in one way or another. And then I thought
12 that perhaps he didn't understand me and that Mr. Rade and the official
13 interpreter hadn't translated what I had said properly. So I proposed
14 that some of the Muslim representatives should come and talk to him, if
15 possible, and then we said Topusko Dvor Na Uni could be a possible place
16 for this meeting to take place because the mission did not have a mandate
17 for going all over Bosnia-Herzegovina. They told me that. They said that
18 that was not their mandate, and they didn't have competence or UNPROFOR
19 didn't have the authority to cross the border of Bosnia and Herzegovina
20 and I know there were some problems along those lines. So I said, well,
21 gentlemen, if you like, I'll propose somebody or you can propose somebody
22 so that you don't have my own personal choice but you could discuss the
23 problems with these people and see what they want, what they are asking
25 Now, I don't remember that I hesitated in any way. Quite the
1 contrary. It was I who insisted upon a meeting like that taking place, to
2 solve our problems as soon as possible. It was an appeal, if we had
3 accepted the proposal by the Crisis Staff, to see that the problem should
4 be settled as soon as possible and stop all the adverse things that were
5 going on and to bridge the difficulties, and one of those ideas along
6 those lines was to try and solve it with Mr. Kirudja or rather the
7 representatives of that particular institution.
8 Q. In the light of that answer, could we examine the next-but-one
9 paragraph which I will read in whole. It says, "In discussing the right
10 of the representatives to speak with us directly and participate in
11 informing the situation and in decisions relating to them, CAC, presumably
12 civil affairs coordinator, in other words, Mr. Kirudja, was blunt in
13 saying we should stop pretending the persons were leaving voluntarily. It
14 was admitted by the representatives that if we met with these persons
15 directly, we would hear that they did not want to leave."
16 Two questions. First of all, do you recall Mr. Kirudja being
17 blunt and saying that the persons were leaving voluntarily -- were not --
18 I beg your pardon, were not leaving voluntarily?
19 A. I remember some of his words but I don't remember that particular
20 one, or at least as it has been interpreted to me. But there is a word
21 that I seem to recall and is imprint on my mind, I'm not going to perhaps
22 use the exact word but it was along those lines. Mr. Kirudja told me, he
23 said, Mr. Pasic, our mission is to help the refugees, not to exert any
24 forcible expulsion or voluntary expulsion, and I said, well, I'm not
25 asking for that. I'm asking for you to assist the refugees and then I
1 quoted examples of refugees that had left Croatia. They were Serb
2 refugees it would had left Croatia. So I asked for help and assistance to
3 settle the problem of the Serb refugees who had come into Novi Grad and
4 how to settle the problem that we had discussed in the Japra valley and in
5 the Novi Grad municipality. So my question to Mr. Kirudja was this: Can
6 you truly help us? Can you really help us? And if he doubted what I was
7 telling him, what I was saying, that he could feel free to talk to the
8 representatives of the Muslim ethnic group so that he could become
9 convinced and aware of their opinions because they had asked me to mediate
10 and help them. I didn't go of my own free will to Topusko, it was at the
11 initiative of those representatives, the representatives of the ethnic
12 Muslims that I went there to try to solve the problem. Of course, my
13 conscience dictated to me that the problem should be solved as soon as
15 Q. The next question is that last sentence. It says here quite
16 clearly that it was admitted by the representatives, presumably you and
17 Rade, that if the UN officials met with those persons directly, they would
18 hear that they did not want to leave. Did you or Mr. -- well, did you say
19 that in your language? That's really -- you can't obviously say what Mr.
20 Rade may have said in a language you didn't understand, but did you say
22 A. Well, I think that that was a very rough translation of the
23 sentence. We were very frank. We spoke very openly, and discussed the
24 problem and I tried to explain the motives where Mr. Kirudja asked me why
25 people wanted that. Of course, had there not been a war and had the
1 situation not been what it was, then quite certainly those people would
2 not have left their homes. So they would have probably stayed on in their
3 homes. But the political, economic and security reasons why such that
4 these were motives for them to leave, and for which the people wanted to
5 leave Novi Grad. So you can't look at it unilaterally and say those
6 people didn't want to go or wanted to go because if we do it that way then
7 we won't understand the problem that the area was facing.
8 Q. It's clear, I think you would accept this, that there were no
9 Bosniak representatives at this particular meeting. Is that right?
10 A. Yes, that is right.
11 Q. What happened after this? In your next meeting with Mr. Kirudja,
12 were Bosniak representatives present?
13 A. Well, maybe I'm not going to get the meetings right in
14 chronological order so, please, excuse me if I mix up some meetings but I
15 know that there were meetings, they did take place in the hotel at Dvor Na
16 Uni and at the UNPROFOR base as well in Dvor Na Uni, and that there was a
17 meeting which I would say was essentially -- took place at the bridge
18 itself, halfway on the bridge, above the river Una, between the Dvor Na
19 Uni and Novi Grad municipalities or, rather, in between Croatia and
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, halfway.
21 And one of those meetings, let me repeat, the meeting on the
22 bridge, at that meeting there were representatives of the Muslim ethnic
23 group but I'm not sure whether they attended one or two meetings that were
24 held in the UNPROFOR meeting. I think there were Muslim representatives
25 there too but I can't be quite sure about that because it's been a long
1 time since then. I know about the bridge meeting, that they were there
2 100 per cent. As to the other meetings, I'm not quite sure.
3 Q. As you understand it, what happened in relation to your offer that
4 we see detailed in this minute of the meeting of the 28th of May that
5 UNPROFOR representatives meet up with Muslim representatives or families?
6 What exactly happened, as you understand it, in that regard?
7 A. Well, the course of the discussion itself, in my opinion, and we
8 can see that now, that the representatives of the mission did not have --
9 did not trust us, did not have confidence in what we were saying whereas
10 we did our very best to explain the situation to them as objectively as
11 possible and I think the turning point in all this was the fact that the
12 representatives of the Muslims themselves asked and we allowed them to do
13 so and we wanted them to do so, to attend the meetings and to explain
14 their position, and once the people from the mission realised this, that
15 was a turning point. And on one occasion, I don't remember at what
16 particular meeting I said, "Gentlemen, if you really don't believe us, I
17 don't know how to convince you that what we are saying is correct. It's
18 your right to disbelieve us, but then what you should do is to hold
19 independent talks, independent of myself or the Serbs, find four or five
20 Muslim families to talk to them, without our knowledge, if you like. Talk
21 to them and then you'll get the truth from them and they will be able to
22 tell you what they really want." And that was done on one occasion, that
23 is to say I didn't know that a meeting was taking place or which family
24 they were going to talk to or when, but I later received information at
25 some subsequent meetings that we had, whereas I think Jens or Jensen was
1 present and another gentleman. I think his name was Jean-Claude
2 Coquillateur [phoen] or whatever. I'm sorry, I apologise for my
3 pronunciation, but they said that they had actually talked to the Muslim
4 representatives, to their families in their houses, without our presence,
5 without the presence of the police or any army or anything like that. So
6 they conducted these discussions independently and autonomously and they
7 came to realise, as I was told, that what I tried to explain to them was
8 right, and which was the dilemma that they had at all our meetings.
9 Q. And were the Serb authorities in any way party to those meetings
10 with the Muslim families?
11 A. I've already said no, they weren't. Nobody attended those
12 meetings with those families. No Serbs. No ethnic Serbs. None at all.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau has a question.
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Sir, I would just like to get
15 your opinion on the following. You were talking to some people. You were
16 talking to your counterparts. Now, wasn't the problem this one? Were
17 they in fact in doubt that these Muslims did not want to leave on their
18 own? Or did they try to understand why did they want to leave
19 voluntarily? You've told us not long ago that there was a chaotic
20 situation in the municipality, but for your counterparts, such as
21 Mr. Kirudja, who was maybe not on the ground, one of the most important
22 things to understand at the time was not to determine what was making
23 these people willing to leave. Yes, of course, they were probably not
24 willing to leave on their own free will but they had to leave because of
25 the things that were happening in their own country, because of the
1 conditions that they were in and who and why was the situation so
2 different and so difficult? This is what they had to establish. Would
3 you agree with me on that point?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that's a long question and if
5 I've understood it correctly, you would like my opinion -- well, both then
6 and now --
7 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] No, no, I'm terribly sorry to
8 interrupt, sir, but what I would like to know is whether you understand
9 that people such as Mr. Kirudja -- I'm just putting myself in his shoes, I
10 don't know if that was really the problem but do you understand that your
11 counterpart may have said yes, of course, these people are willing to
12 leave, of course, they are willing to leave, but there is a reason for
13 that, and that is that in their own country, in their own state, they did
14 not live in very good conditions. Do you understand or did you understand
15 at the time that there may have been this -- that kind of feeling?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean Mr. Kirudja's hesitation?
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Well, yes, but also other people
18 from that same organisation.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, to be quite frank, I really
20 did understand it. Perhaps I would have behaved in the same way had I
21 been in their place, and I wouldn't have taken any hasty decisions. Let
22 me repeat, had I been in their position. I would have investigated. So
23 that's why the discussion went on for such a long time. And I've already
24 said that. I think there was a sort of doubt present in their mind, a
25 lack of confidence and trust in what we were saying. They didn't fully
1 believe us. And I could understand that. I understood Mr. Kirudja's
2 doubts. When you look at it from the aspects of peace this might even
3 appear ironic that somebody wanted to leave their homes of their own free
4 will voluntarily, but as I said, there were a number of motives which
5 these people asked to leave the area they were living in and had been
6 brought up in. It's difficult to explain, of course, and it's difficult
7 to understand for the man in the street, ordinary people, to understand
8 why somebody would want to leave their own home. But as I said, there
9 were a number much reasons why they wanted to do that, when I discussed
10 the report on the Crisis Staff. I tried to explain the reasons for which
11 people did wish to leave and why they in fact did leave.
12 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
13 MR. JOSSE:
14 Q. Just this. In paragraph number 9 we have been looking at in some
15 detail, it mentions two Muslim representatives. Briefly, gentleman named
16 as number 1, is he still alive?
17 A. I don't think so.
18 Q. Do you know how he died?
19 A. I don't know that, because I received information later that he
20 didn't die a natural death but that he was killed somewhere.
21 Q. And number 2?
22 A. I think the same thing happened to the second man, Mr. Hamzagic
23 [phoen]. He was a deputy in the SDA assembly and I later learned that the
24 two of them had been killed, that they didn't die a natural death.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us anything about where and by whom
1 they were killed? Or what you heard about that? I take it that you did
2 not personally observe that but --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're right, I did not personally
4 observe that. But I don't remember when that information came my way.
5 But anyway I did learn that they were killed in some of the clashes where
6 those paramilitaries were rampant around the Japra valley and so on, but I
7 can't be exact. The information I received didn't include the exact
8 locality of their deaths.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Is that the Japra valley events you described before?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, the events in the Japra
12 JUDGE ORIE: So when did that take place?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, precisely the period described
14 in the report on the work of the Crisis Staff. That is to say, from the
15 11th -- 10th, 11th of May onwards, until sometime around mid-June perhaps
16 or a little earlier.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Although isn't it true that the events that is
18 from the report, I remember that mortars were fired, civilian population
19 left the Japra valley and since we are now dealing with larger amounts of
20 refugees that this meeting took place once the Japra valley was already --
21 that civilians were not living there any more.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. If this is the 27th or 28th of
23 May, then that would be roughly around the 20th to the 25th perhaps. I
24 can't say exactly. But any way, that part of the population had already
25 been moved from the upper villages to the village of Blagaj and Sifet
1 Bajrautarevic and Fikret Hamzagic, these two people who knew me
2 personally, they were deputies in the municipal assembly, they came to see
3 me with a request that I really do something to help them because they
4 wanted to leave, and that's -- and the problem was whether they wanted to
5 go to Banja Luka or Croatia, which direction. So they asked me that, and
6 I said that a moment ago, that they -- there was this option of going
7 towards Banja Luka.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Do you exclude that the two gentlemen had died
9 already by the 27th or the 28th of May?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
12 MR. JOSSE:
13 Q. And one other name from the Bosniak community, Izet Muhamedagic,
14 was he still living in Bosanski Novi at this time?
15 A. What time?
16 Q. Well, late May 1992.
17 A. Yes. He's alive and living in Novi Grad.
18 Q. And what was his position? He'd been president of the executive
19 committee of the Bosanski Novi SDA; is that right?
20 A. Yes. He was the president of the SDA party in Bosanski Novi.
21 Well, his position was almost identical to the positions I described a
22 moment ago, and Mr. Muhamedagic, I remember -- I don't remember what the
23 date was, whether it was May or the beginning of June, I'm not quite sure
24 there, but anyway, he came -- I think he came to my office and that he
25 asked -- and even tried to explain to us and said that that was the -- a
1 political position taken by the SDA party itself at the level of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that they should peacefully, voluntarily be enabled to
3 move out from Bosnia-Herzegovina. He meant the Muslim population. So all
4 that then confirmed or rather came from the representatives of the Muslims
5 themselves and all my attempts were to lessen the troubles and problems
6 that these people were facing, and they gave some ideas as to how those
7 problems could be solved. So I didn't have a special vision myself of how
8 the problem could be solved but we pooled our efforts and tried to solve
9 the problem jointly, to make it as less painful for the population.
10 Q. And your understanding as far as this gentleman's concerned is
11 that he in fact was a deputy justice minister in Mr. Izetbegovic's
13 A. Mr. Izetbegovic [as interpreted], for reasons unbeknownst to me,
14 was not part of the bigger group when the Muslims went and were escorted
15 by UNPROFOR but left Bosanski Novi according to some unofficial channels,
16 I think that a group of Serbs escorted him into the present Republika
17 Srpska Krajina which is Croatia today, and that they traversed the same
18 route these people traversed later on, that he left that same way, and
19 later on, he was assistant minister for legal affairs in the government of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was led by Mr. Izetbegovic and the SDA party.
21 Q. It came out in translation as "Mr. Izetbegovic." You were talking
22 about Mr. Muhamedagic. That's right? You just described him, correct?
23 A. If I understood the question you asked me about Izet Muhamedagic
24 who was present at the SDA in Novi Grad, is that right? But I might have
25 made a slip of the tongue.
1 Q. That's right.
2 A. I might have made a slip of the tongue and said Izetbegovic but
3 who I meant to say was Izet Muhamedagic who was president of the SDA in
4 Novi Grad.
5 Q. And it's right that he was subsequently killed in a helicopter
6 crash along with some other government ministers?
7 A. Yes. I learned that through the media. I think it was 1993,
8 1994, in the territory of the present Croatia. At least that's what the
9 television broadcast announced, that he had been killed along with
10 Ljubijankic, who was Minister of Justice, I think.
11 Q. I think it would next be useful if we can, please, to look at tab
12 5, or at least the first two photographs in tab 5.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, does -- do the photographs need an exhibit
15 MR. JOSSE: They do, Your Honour. And I --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: The photograph found at tab 5 will be given
18 Defence Exhibit D116, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: 116, and then perhaps you give A for the -- no, we
20 have three photographs. Let's number them A, B, C, A being the photograph
21 of the man in camouflage uniform and hand at his nose, second one the
22 photograph on which in the background appears a car, licence plate M
23 11074. And the third one is a landscape with quite a lot of buses on it.
24 That's C.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. JOSSE:
2 Q. Now, these, as we can see, are black and white photographs. In
3 fact, you have the original colour photographs in your possession; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You do not want to relinquish those colour photographs. You want
7 to retain them; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. Very helpfully, you prepared a CD of those colour photographs,?
10 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, that we could make an exhibit if in due
11 course anyone wants to see the colour copies. The problem is we don't --
12 we didn't have the facilities to put the colour -- the CD on the screens.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just ask you, what do the colours add to what
14 we see in the black and white?
15 MR. JOSSE: Nothing, really.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then let's just keep it to the three black and
18 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
19 Q. Now, these -- the first two photographs were clearly both taken at
20 the same time. Briefly tell us who took them.
21 A. I've already mentioned, this was taken by a photographer or rather
22 journalist, whether he was from Denmark or Belgium, I'm not quite sure,
23 but he wasn't somebody from those parts, and he attended those
24 negotiations and meetings, and this is a picture taken on the bridge that
25 I mentioned a moment ago.
1 Q. Now, the -- this was, as you've just said, the bridge negotiation.
2 The gentleman in the middle with the beard, is that the man you know as
3 Mr. Jens, who I think you can assume is Mr. Brostad?
4 A. Yes. You can see on the screen, that's the person who is holding
5 a notepad or some paper in front of him. I received information that that
6 was Jensen [as interpreted], that that man was called Jensen.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, that's how you knew him as Mr. Jensen.
8 MR. JOSSE:
9 Q. We can see you as we look at the photograph to the left. Who are
10 the two men that we see in military fatigues?
11 A. The people in the military uniform next to me and next to
12 Mr. Jensen are both from the Dvor municipality. They were officials in
13 the Dvor Na Uni municipality, that is the then Serb republic -- the
14 Republic of Serbian Krajina and present Croatia.
15 Q. The gentleman to the right, whose wrist watch we see very clearly,
16 I'm not -- from which community did he come?
17 A. You can see here on the left and the right side, representatives
18 of the Muslim people who were negotiating together with us.
19 Q. Have you any idea when this photograph was taken? I suppose,
20 again, bad question. Specific idea. We know vaguely when it was taken
21 but are you able to help us with the exact date?
22 A. I really wouldn't venture to say, because I don't remember the
23 dates but I think that this is a period sometime after these talks with
24 Mr. Kirudja, so it could be perhaps June, I don't know whether it's early
25 June or late June. We could say that it was more likely that it was late
1 June because, as I mentioned to you earlier, after this meeting, I think
2 that after this meeting, these talks took place with representatives of
3 the Muslim ethnic group independently, without the presence of anybody
4 from the Serb ethnic group. I could be wrong but I think it's probably
5 late June, thereabouts.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, could you ask also to identify the
7 representatives of the Muslim population?
8 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour that's a matter perhaps I could -- I am
9 going to turn to that, perhaps.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay.
11 MR. JOSSE:
12 Q. Could I ask you this? We can see in the distance Bosanski Novi,
13 clearly the river underneath. The photograph has been taken from the
14 Croatian side, so to speak. Why was the meeting held on this bridge?
15 A. I said earlier that there was a dilemma about the mission's
16 mandate, the mission of these gentlemen from Topusko. And then I think
17 Mr. Jensen at the time we were speaking said that his mandate didn't
18 permit him to cross into Bosnia-Herzegovina. I said for me it doesn't
19 matter where we meet. It's important to try to resolve something so the
20 place where it would be held didn't really mean anything because even
21 though that day was quite hot and we spent some two or three hours
22 standing on that bridge and it was quite uncomfortable, let's say, in that
23 sense, I mean the physical sense.
24 MR. JOSSE: We will turn if we may to the third photograph later.
25 Q. Perhaps if I can confirm this, the third photograph the one of the
1 buses was taken on a completely different day, is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We'll come back to that a little bit later.
4 Related to the evidence that you've just given and an important
5 part of the negotiations was the people who were being housed, putting it
6 neutrally, in the football stadium. That's right, isn't it?
7 A. I didn't understand the question. Which people? You mean at the
9 Q. No, no. Sorry. An important part of the negotiations concerned
10 the plight and welfare of those individuals who were being housed in the
11 football stadium?
12 A. Yes. It did refer to them, to them also.
13 Q. And we see reference to the stadium in tab 2, where the municipal
14 assembly had said in paragraph 2 of tab 2 that those people should be
15 treated humanely. And I might add, in the spirit of regulations on
16 detainees and prisoners.
17 What is your recollection, as to how it was that a significant
18 number of people came to be housed at the football stadium?
19 A. I will try to be as brief as possible so as not to take up too
20 much time and I will also try to be concise and clear. So as I say,
21 sometime in late May, what happened was what we already mentioned, that
22 the people came down from the upper villages to Blagaj and that this whole
23 situation was -- happened. We were doing negotiations with Mr. Kirudja
24 and we were trying to find a solution and that representatives of Mr., as
25 I mention him here, Sifet Bajrautarevic and Hamzagic, I think his name
1 was, Fikret, we were trying to find a solution how to help those people.
2 I repeat, I'm perhaps repeating it for the third time, that they
3 did not want to go in the direction of central Bosnia, under the pretext
4 that they would be mobilised there and they simply did not want to carry
5 weapons and fire. They wanted to go to Europe where they would meet their
6 families, those who had families, family members who were already working
7 in Europe. So that was what the conversation was about that I already
9 But, as the situation continued to be tense and very difficult,
10 and I really don't remember exactly what day it was, but I assume it was
11 sometime approximately the same in late May or early June, it was probably
12 more likely to be early June, that they agreed to go towards Central
13 Bosnia or in the direction of Banja Luka, rather, towards the line of
14 separation between Doboj and Maglaj. This was done, and I repeat, from
15 the Japra valley, from those villages. Those people were then placed into
16 railway cars and went towards Doboj by rail. That's where we, and when I
17 say we, I mean the municipality people who were doing something at the
18 time, we didn't know that they would return from that -- that the
19 militarily-able people, men, would be returned from Doboj and that there,
20 only the elderly, the women and children were allowed to pass from that
21 column, from that train. That problem simply happened to us. It was
22 created just like a series of other problems were created. That's how
23 this problem also just happened. Having learned from the situation and
24 based on what had previously happened in the Japra valley, and out of fear
25 that something even worse would happen to them, we simply didn't dare
1 return these people to the Japra valley again, those people who had been
2 returned from the column, those people who were going towards Doboj. Then
3 there was a proposal that they should be located somewhere where in some
4 way they -- we would be able to guarantee them some kind of security and
6 At that moment, it was suggested that an adequate solution would
7 be the football stadium in Novi Grad because there are other facilities
8 there at the stadium such as a restaurant some dormitories. There was
9 some catering establishments along the stadium and they could be adapted
10 so these people could temporarily stay there. Then all these talks that
11 had already been started with Mr. Kirudja were giving us hope that this
12 problem which had suddenly cropped up would be resolved quickly and that
13 we could finish that case very quickly. Unfortunately, this was shifted
14 to some months or something, that's what I recall, and precisely that time
15 period of their stay really depended on all of these negotiations that I
16 mentioned with the commissariat or commissioner for refugees from Topusko
17 and the authorities from Dvor Na Uni.
18 Q. Did you ever personally visit the football stadium?
19 A. No, I did not.
20 Q. Who was responsible for running it?
21 A. You could notice based on what I said before that the TO Staff was
22 responsible, the TO Staff command engaged part of those mobilised soldiers
23 who then were securing and guarding those people.
24 Q. What was your understanding as to the conditions that the people
25 were being kept in?
1 A. Well, those people were definitely not ones that they could have
2 had at their homes but we tried to give them a kind of humane service. We
3 also tried to give them a sense of security so that these incidents which
4 were carried out by paramilitary formations would not happen. I must say
5 that those people were even permitted to receive visits from family
6 members who happened to be in town itself, meaning that some of the Muslim
7 population who were still in town and where there was control in that
8 area, to some extent. These people could visit them and we fed them and
9 as far as I can recall, they were fed from the same place where the
10 soldiers were being fed, and I was informed that they received regular
11 meals, they slept in the premises that I mentioned, and I repeat they were
12 allowed to receive visits from their close relatives and families and, if
13 necessary, these people could even bring them food or anything else.
14 Q. Let's be clear. It may be worth clarifying your long answer. The
15 people detained there, as far as you were concerned, were all men because
16 their women and children had been allowed to depart at Doboj; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And it was the men who had been sent back to Bosanski Novi, and it
20 was the men that you had to deal with, correct?
21 A. Correct, yes, correct.
22 Q. And as far as you were aware, no women or children were held
23 there; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, as far as I'm aware, there were no women or children there.
25 Q. The men who were held there had all come from the Japra valley, as
1 far as you were concerned; is that also correct?
2 A. As far as I can recall, these militarily able men were from the
3 Japra area, the men who were returned from Doboj.
4 Q. So far as the Bosniak community of the actual town of Bosanski
5 Novi were concerned, what had happened to them at the time that these men
6 were being held in the football stadium?
7 A. I think that I already explained that once but I will repeat. The
8 town itself was easier to keep in control, although there was no real
9 control. Simply these TO staff units and the police tried in a way to
10 maintain public law and order, if we can call it that, and for those
11 reasons, these people stayed in their own homes.
12 Q. You would presumably accept, bearing in mind the use of the words
13 in tab 2, "Detainees and prisoners," that these people were not free to
14 come and go?
15 A. You could say it like that because they were there and I repeat
16 the main motive in a way was their security and safety. If we look at
17 things from this aspect now, they did not have all the freedoms, but the
18 restriction of freedom was a result of the overall situation that had been
19 created in the entire territory of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Now, your answer says they did not have all the
21 freedoms. Let's be very clear. Were they allowed to leave the stadium?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Look, the stadium, as far as I can
23 recall, and -- was left -- actually those people who guaranteed that they
24 had relatives in the town itself, who still lived in their own houses,
25 they left the stadium. I don't have the exact information about how many
1 people were released at that point, but according to some estimates and
2 stories I heard later, I think about half of those people were located in
3 the town itself. They didn't go to the Japra valley but they were staying
4 with friends and relatives in town. People even went to Serb homes, those
5 who had Serb friends went there so they were taken care of and in a safe
6 place for the time being, in town, in those houses in the town itself.
7 JUDGE ORIE: You say many of them were allowed if they had family
8 members there. How could I reconcile with this answer with one of your
9 previous answers which was to the extent that they were even allowed to
10 receive visits from the family members? I'm not just trying to imagine
11 the situation which is that I have a family member living in town, I am
12 now taken from my own security to a football stadium where, as you said,
13 conditions were not the same as at home. Now, I'm allowed to go and to my
14 family members but I rather stay there and receive them to visit me? Is
15 that how I have to understand it? Because that's part of your two
16 answers. They were even allowed, you said "even allowed," to receive
17 family visits from the town, and you say they did not enjoy all of the
18 freedoms, but they could go to the family members. Now, I'm just trying
19 to understand how someone chooses to remain in that stadium although he
20 can freely go to his family members in the city, in the town, but instead
21 prefers to have these family members, which are even allowed to visit him,
22 to come and go to the stadium. I'm just putting to you what comes into my
23 mind if I carefully listen to your answers and to assist me in properly
24 understanding your testimony.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will try. It's not about whether
1 somebody wanted to or not or wished to and did not. These problems were
2 created here which needed to be resolved at that given time. I repeat:
3 Because of security reasons, because these people happened to find
4 themselves at the stadium. That's what I was informed of initially, those
5 first few days, first, 2nd, third, fifth day. That's what I was told.
6 How the families came and I don't know how they knew that they could
7 accept these people, put them up, have them stay with them, this is
8 something that didn't happen all at once. It happened over that five-day
9 period. I don't know whether it was on the second day, the fifth day or
10 the tenth day that two, three or 15 people left. It happened that
11 families would come and then it happened that those people would leave
12 with those families but I repeat, this would only happen in the area of
13 the town itself, where there was some kind of a safety zone, where law and
14 order was maintained in the town area. They didn't say that they didn't
15 want to leave the stadium but there was a solution found in the sense
16 that, was it a good solution for that person to go and stay with that --
17 their family, their relatives, and so that it wouldn't happen that perhaps
18 the person and the relatives would be harmed as well. It wasn't all done
19 at the same time. I repeat, the people who were responsible there, the TO
20 staff command, made a kind of assessment at the time and at a given point
21 in time, they would release those people, let them leave the stadium.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse. I have to look at the
23 clock as well because we are close -- yes -- one question from Judge
25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Very short question. This
1 morning, you told us that the TO was completely disorganised. You told us
2 that the commander of the TO was not in a position to control some of his
3 men. You tell us that the stadium was under the control of the TO.
4 Weren't you supposed logically to worry about what could happen at the
5 stadium because the stadium was placed under the orders of an organisation
6 that was completely disorganised and how do you explain the following, as
7 a representative of the municipality, as the head of the Crisis Staff, how
8 come you did not take the necessary precaution, how come you didn't visit
9 that was called -- a place that was called a place of protection? Or that
10 was meant to provide protection to these people?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A situation was created where we had
12 no choice. Of course, it was not the proper solution. It was probably
13 not the right choice. But we didn't have a different solution or a
14 different option other than the army that we had at the time, the ones
15 that you described in the way that you did just now.
16 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Please answer my question. You
17 said this morning that it was sheer and utter chaos, that the commander of
18 the TO was not able to control some of these men, some of his men, any
19 more. We have a housing centre, protection centre, being organised in
20 your own municipality.
21 Why, as a citizen, as an official of the municipality, as an
22 official of the Crisis Staff, why didn't you -- didn't you have the idea
23 to go and see what was going on there?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really would not be able to give
25 you an answer but it's true that I did not go to visit the stadium. I
1 think that I was preoccupied with a different kind of problem. I thought
2 in a way that that was the job of the TO Staff. That it was more of a
3 military question in a way, that it was a question for the police. My
4 tasks were directed at these talks that I spoke about, so I was more
5 focused on that. In a way we were dividing the problems that were being
6 created right in front of us, that were occurring. So my job as the
7 president of the municipality, if I may say, was to try to find a solution
8 of how to solve that problem, and what we looked at now were these
9 meetings that related to that. That's one of the reasons.
10 The other reason is that if you looked at the map, that stadium is
11 on the way out, in the direction of Bosanska Krupa. I lived on the other
12 side of town, and I simply didn't even pass by there, by the stadium at
13 that time, because I don't know at this point, I don't even know if I had
14 time then to visit the stadium and to see the actual state of affairs. So
15 everything that I'm saying I'm saying based on information and reports
16 which I received from the TO Staff command at those meetings, at those
17 sessions, about these things that related to the stadium.
18 I repeat: I was more focused on the talks with people from
19 UNPROFOR and the people from the commission for refugees.
20 JUDGE ORIE: We are close to finish, Mr. Josse. Is there
21 anything? If there would be one or two remaining questions, of course you
22 can put them to the witness.
23 MR. JOSSE: Let's -- can I just see how I get on, Your Honour?
24 Because in relation to what's just been asked, I think it's worth looking
25 at tab 1 again.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. JOSSE: Page 9 at the bottom in English. Page 6 in the
3 middle, in the B/C/S.
4 Q. It says, "For security reasons the military police had
5 concentrated a large number of civilians of military age at the Mlavke
6 stadium. They were to be held until the weapons' sweep was completed and
7 then interrogated. As the persons were held for a long time, four days,
8 they incurred high costs for the holding period in security, food and
9 lodging, and a counter-effect was created among the rest of the populace
10 by the fact of their being held longer. Regardless of the ending of the
11 operation, the Crisis Staff gave its agreement that the municipal
12 Territorial Defence Staff that these persons should undergo interrogation
13 for selection and then be evacuated from the stadium." And then it deals
14 with a conclusion, the 4th of May, which I'm not going to deal with at the
16 A few brief questions about this. First of all, it's right, isn't
17 it - I'm sure I can lead on this - that it was presupposed at that time by
18 the Crisis Staff that four days was going to be a long time for detention?
19 A. Yes. That was a long time period, as far as we were concerned.
20 Q. What about the high costs aspects? What was that referring to?
21 Obviously food and lodging speaks for itself in one sense. What about the
22 reference to high costs of security?
23 A. Perhaps this has been incorrectly translated. It's not the costs
24 of security. It was about costs, and if we know the situation, if we know
25 that at that time the overall area of Bosanska Krajina there was a sort of
1 ghetto block, there was a danger of an economic nature. We had no
2 communication because of the war in Croatia, and because of the
3 interruptions with respect to Serbia. So we were in an encirclement in a
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If any answer is based on the assumption that
6 the translation is not correct, it should be checked rather than to allow
7 a witness to proceed without verification.
8 MR. JOSSE: That must be right, Your Honour, with respect.
9 JUDGE ORIE: But nevertheless we are close to -- if you finish
10 your sentence, your last sentence was that you said that you were in an
11 encirclement. Let me just repeat your one last sentence where I stopped
12 you. Then invite to you finish it and then we'll have a break.
13 You said -- you explained that there was a sort of ghetto block,
14 there was a danger of an economic nature, we had no communication because
15 of the war in Croatia, and because of the interruptions with respect to
16 Serbia, so we were in an encirclement in a way. That was part of your
17 explanation of the text we will look at more closely. Please finish your
18 answer. So you were in an encirclement in a way and then?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I wanted to say what the
20 meaning of this report was, the sense of it, written in this form because
21 it was assessed at the time that there weren't enough food supplies, food
22 stocks, and other necessities, if you were somewhere else or located
23 somewhere. So we asked that if there was information from the TO
24 headquarters and staffs that these were sort of extremists and that they
25 were interesting for processing purposes, that this should be done quickly
1 and effectively and if -- and the ones, the suspects for which there were
2 no grounds to hold them should be left straight away.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you for that answer.
4 We'll adjourn. May I first ask, Madam Usher, you to escort the
5 witness out of the courtroom.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse how much time do you still need.
8 MR. JOSSE: I'm going to be at least an hour, perhaps nearer two,
9 I'm afraid.
10 JUDGE ORIE: The witness was scheduled for four hours. The
11 Chamber is not unaware that it took quite some time itself as well.
12 MR. JOSSE: It's not so much that, my excuse or, more seriously,
13 my explanation is in fact this Crisis Staff document and, of course, I did
14 not realise until I got this translation, how significant it would be. We
15 must spent I hope there is no criticism of this, at least three hours on
16 it, at least.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's an interesting document, although the
18 witness also testified that publication of this document might have
19 influenced some of the language, or at least.
20 But could I just learn from the Registrar -- I think one more
21 hour, then would you have, apart from that, some of the questions of the
22 Judges, of course, add to the information already, but one more hour would
23 bring you over four hours. So would you please try to finish within the
24 first hour after the break. Let's see how far we come, Mr. Josse.
25 MR. JOSSE: Yes. Could I -- thank you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I expect you will --
2 MR. JOSSE: I will try my best. I have been the first to concede
3 on every occasion that my personal estimates are guesstimates.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
5 MR. JOSSE: Precisely.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I appreciate that. You're expected to do your utmost
7 best to finish within the hour and, if that's not possible, then please
8 demonstrate during that hour that you're using your time as efficiently as
9 possible. And -- for example, a lot of time spending on colour
10 photographs, on a CD, which could be -- and then finally, if I asked,
11 "Does it add anything," then the answer is no. So under those
12 circumstances you could have discussed with Mr. Harmon whether he would be
13 in need of having nice colours or not. I mean, I'm talking about these
14 kinds of things.
15 Let's proceed. We will adjourn and -- for the interpreters, I was
16 informed that another team will assist us the afternoon. Otherwise I
17 would not have dared to go on for such a long time. We will adjourn until
18 a quarter past 2.
19 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.21 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 2.21 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: May the witness be brought into the courtroom.
22 Mr. Josse, please proceed.
23 MR. JOSSE: I'm going to move on a bit in the bundle. We are
24 still at tab 3.
25 Q. I'd like to turn to what we think is P141, which is a letter that
1 you sent to civil affairs HQ headquarters in Topusko, in effect
2 Mr. Kirudja, dated the 6th of July of 1992.
3 Now, I don't know whether you can help us with this. We can see
4 that there is a B/C/S version of this document that purports to be signed,
5 bearing your name. There is also an English version which is clearly an
6 original document, and then there is also an English translation, an
7 official translation. First question is: Do you remember anything about
8 the English translation? Who sorted that out, why did you send it,
9 anything along those lines?
10 A. I really can't remember for certain who translated this letter. I
11 am really unable to remember precisely whether anyone was asked to do this
12 by the municipal authorities or whether this was done in a different way.
13 I can't say because I don't remember. It's as simple as that.
14 Q. Do you remember sending the letter at all?
15 A. As I've already said, there were certain letters being sent.
16 There were conversations that were conducted. Some of it was done in
17 writing. I can't remember specifically when or how. I do remember there
18 being letters, though.
19 Q. What was your aim in reducing the subject matter of this
20 particular letter to writing?
21 A. If one reads through this document, I believe at the bottom of the
22 page, if you look at the second-last passage, you can see what the letter
23 itself explains. It explains that something had been agreed already. I
24 believe we are at a point in time here when I had already talked to the
25 representatives of that committee. I believe we should be able to
1 conclude that based on this letter, that it had been agreed, as a matter
2 of principle, to give assistance to the Muslim population so that they
3 could leave the area. An order had been given that security should be
4 provided for the buses about to leave the area over the following days and
5 then certain company names are given, companies that would take charge of
6 this. I think this letter talks about the agreement that we reached with
7 the people from Topusko or rather from the UNPROFOR base at Dvor Na Uni.
8 Q. I'd next like you to have a look at a document that is not in the
9 bundle but I think has been handed out. It bears a -- front page is an
10 UNPROFOR message form dated the 13th of July of 1992, and as far as we can
11 make out, Your Honour, this is P145. And it's not the message form itself
12 I'd like you to look at. It's the memorandum. To state the obvious the
13 original is in English so you have got a translation. And it talks about
14 20 busloads of refugees from Bosanski Novi crossing the border towards
15 Croatian-controlled territory through sector north. I will read
16 it, "Today an advance group of people from Bosanski Novi arrived at the
17 gate of Dancon in Dvor and announced that on Wednesday, 15th July--
18 THE INTERPRETER: Can you please slow down? Thank you very much.
19 MR. JOSSE: I'll start again.
20 Q. "Today an advanced group of people from Bosanski Novi arrived at
21 the gate of Dancon in Dvor and announced that on Wednesday, 15 July, at 12
22 noon, 20 busloads of refugees will arrive in Dvor. The people have been
23 advised that UNPROFOR will not be in a position to assist them in crossing
24 and the government of Croatia has given instructions to its border police
25 not to accept their entry into Croatian-controlled territory. We
1 appreciate it if the humanitarian agencies concerned could be alerted and
2 coordinate appropriate action in UNPA north with UNPROFOR."
3 As far as you can remember, what actually happened on the 15th of
5 A. Well, as I have already indicated, some principles had been agreed
6 in terms of how the operation would unfold, how all the people would leave
7 Novi Grad municipality, the modalities, and this is something that had
8 preceded the meetings that I had been talking about.
9 I've tried to explain this in a way. I don't know about this
10 letter that is referred to here but I know about this moment when people
11 had already begun to talk about these columns. I have no reason not to
12 believe that this was the 15th of July.
13 So once the columns had been formed, this group reached the bridge
14 that you saw in that photograph. The UNPROFOR forces stopped there and
15 blocked passage to the Republic of Serbian Krajina, which is now Croatia.
16 Those people, the UNPROFOR people, told us that they could not allow the
17 convoy to pass because the Croatian authorities disagreed and refused to
18 give authorisation for their passage across that stretch of land between
19 Croatia and the Republic of Serbian Krajina.
20 May I follow through on this or --
21 Q. Yes. If you go on, please, I'd like you to describe literally
22 what happened to these refugees on the 15th of July.
23 A. Well, it happened sometime in the afternoon, when those people
24 were stopped. I was there. I attended the negotiations. I continued to
25 be there. I was told that I could not take that crossing to Topusko to
1 Tusilovici or on to Karlovac for that matter. That was the area
2 separating the Republic of Krajina and the Republic of Croatia. We were
3 there for two or three hours. I can't be more specific, just standing,
4 waiting for a letter that was supposed to arrive from, if my understanding
5 was correct, some people who were superior to UNPROFOR. I'm not sure if
6 they were in Zagreb or elsewhere. Apparently they had been engaged in
7 talks searching for an opportunity to cross into Croatia. In my
8 understanding, they were having talks with both people from the Croatian
9 government and someone from UNPROFOR. We waited for about two or three
10 hours after which they explained that we would be allowed to cross but not
11 over that bridge. They said we should take our column a bit further back
12 down the Bosnian side as far as Bosnian Dubica. They said we should go to
13 another crossing near Bosanska Dubica called Jasenovac. A bridge had been
14 destroyed there. There had been a bridge there before the war. They said
15 they would erect some sort of a raft or a pontoon bridge for us to cross
16 the river. The column was then redirected and headed for Dubica.
17 However, at the crossing itself between Kotoriste Grad and
18 Kotorska Dubica, the municipal authorities stopped us and for a -- for
19 some reason I did not know, refused to allow us to pass through Kotorska
20 Dubica. Again we found ourselves facing an inconvenient situation. What
21 were we to do with all those people since we could no longer go back? But
22 I think it was I who proposed for us all to go back to Kostajnica, the
23 distance being some 15 kilometres, to back track, as it were, to see if it
24 was possible to cross there, to allow throws people to cross over to
25 Hrvatska Kostajnica and onwards. I remember well there was an UNPROFOR
1 base in Kostajnica. Again I met some people there. I can't remember who.
2 Anyway, those people told me we would have to wait a while to see what
3 would happen. The convoy stayed on the Bosnian side in Bosanska
4 Kostajnica and the UNPROFOR was on the Croatian side in Croatian
5 Kostajnica. These two towns are separated by the river Una. This took a
6 long time, until midnight or possibly 1.00 in the morning.
7 I know that at the time those people who secured the convoy, in a
8 way, who provided our security, came over and told me that there was a
9 real danger since this was night time, those people were there in
10 Kostajnica in their cars and vehicles, that there was a real danger of an
11 incident occurring, yet again another column being attacked by someone.
12 It was night time and therefore it was very difficult to make sure that
13 nothing happened.
14 We agreed that all the people -- that all the people should head
15 back to their homes regardless of how long the negotiations would take.
16 It was taking too long, especially as far as the UNPROFOR people in
17 Kostajnica were concerned. They sent us back to Novi Grad, and all those
18 people, between the 15th of July and for about one week after the 15th of
19 July, these people headed back to their homes and stayed there waiting for
20 the situation to be resolved.
21 Q. So to state the obvious, the convoy of buses had been arranged and
22 the people had obviously got into the buses and then the buses had taken
23 the route that you have just described?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. As you say, people on the buses, the Bosniaks, all went back home.
1 What about the occupants of the football stadium? Had they joined the
3 A. I really can't remember for certain. I have no reliable
4 recollection of that. I just know that all those people were sent back.
5 I have no idea if they came back once more later on. I can't remember
6 right now. But I do think that some of those, as I've said before, the
7 best part of the people at the stadium were already staying in houses
8 around town, wherever it was even relatively safe. I can't remember
9 specifically whether people were sent back from that particular convoy,
10 people from the Mlavke football stadium.
11 Q. The problems that you have just described, the buses, for want of
12 a better expression, encountered, how were these problems overcome in the
13 next week or so before the convoy actually left Bosanski Novi?
14 A. The negotiations continued, and that is how the problems were
15 overcome. I'm not sure where the negotiations took place. I think it was
16 in Dvor Na Uni in the UNPROFOR base. They were looking for the same
17 solution, at least that's what they told us. They said they would be
18 dealing with the problems very soon. They said they were sorry that the
19 whole thing happened the way they did. The people were tired. They knew
20 that. They had spent the entire day on the buses. They said they would
21 do everything within their power to deal with this matter so that those
22 people could go wherever they close to go. That is what they told us
23 during our talks. I think this was on the 21st, 2nd, or 3rd of July. As
24 you see, I'm in the very specific about this.
25 The convoy was reorganised, as it were, and those people left on
1 the same day, in conditions of perfect safety. If you look at that letter
2 which talks about the buses, and the companies, they used those. And
3 those who had their own cars or vehicles could use those. Nobody stood in
4 the way. They were free to leave in their own cars, if they so wished.
5 Q. By -- you mean the letter of P141, your letter of the 6th of July?
6 From the page in English?
7 A. I think we discussed the letter a while ago. So that's the one I
8 had in mind.
9 Q. Let's just be precise about it, if we may. It's your letter of
10 the 6th of July 1992, that describes -- mentions the two companies?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could we go back to the photographs for a moment, please? The
13 last photograph. What does this photograph depict, Mr. Pasic?
14 A. In this photograph, we can see the buses on the day that the
15 convoy was organised under the auspices of UNPROFOR. I think you can see
16 an UNPROFOR vehicle here sporting a flag. They were monitoring the
17 process whereby the Muslim population was leaving the Novi Grad area.
18 This was the day when the agreement was finally reached, and they assumed
19 upon themselves the responsibility to see the population out, I mean
20 UNPROFOR and the refugee committee based in Topusko.
21 Q. And it's clear from the colour photograph, for what it's worth,
22 that that is a blue, United Nations flag on the United Nations vehicle?
23 A. Yes. That's crystal clear.
24 Q. Do you know whereabouts this photograph was taken? In other words
25 what countryside this depicts?
1 A. As I've already said, I was given these photographs by some
2 foreign journalists. They said this was somewhere between Dvor Na Uni
3 municipality and Mlin which used to be part of the Republic of Serbian
4 Krajina and is now part of Croatia.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Just to fully understand that, this picture is not
6 taken on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina or what was then -- what is
7 now Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. At least the way the
9 journalists told me, or rather the photograph. At this point, these
10 people were already on their way out and this shows them some way along
11 the road.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just not to misunderstand. You said these
13 people were already on their way out. From what you just told us, I would
14 phrase that as that they had left already the territory of your
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honour, I'm not sure
17 I understand your question. What exactly do you mean by "on their way
18 out"? Out of where?
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, that's how it was translated to us. If I
20 say, "I'm on had my way out," I understand that to be, but I'm not a
21 native English-speaker, that I'm on the way to leave the location which is
22 mentioned, where I do understand from your testimony that these buses had
23 already left the territory of your municipality according to what the
24 journalist told you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This photograph was not taken in
1 Novi Grad municipality. What I was told is that this was a snapshot of
2 the convoy just a small portion of the convoy photographed between Novi
3 Grad and Karlovac. More specifically somewhere around Dvor municipality
4 and Glina municipality. They were en route, and that's when this
5 photograph was taken.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Josse, we have now three times asked the
7 question. Do you understand the answer to be that it was not on the
8 territory of the witness's municipality any more, so they had left and
9 were still on their way to whatever destination?
10 MR. JOSSE: That's how I understood his evidence, yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
12 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
13 MR. JOSSE:
14 Q. The occupants of the football stadium, what happened to them?
15 A. Those people at the football stadium were also in this convoy and
16 they left together with the other people, those who wished to leave the
17 territory of Novi Grad. So all of them left together, those who had
18 remained at the stadium left together with others going in that direction.
19 After that, based on what I know, there were no people left on the
21 Q. And perhaps for completeness I should have asked you this: It's
22 right, isn't it, that eventually the buses did in fact cross the bridge,
23 the bridge that we see in the photographs -- the bridge that you're
24 standing on in the photographs that were taken some weeks earlier?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Could you have a look, please, at tab 4? This is a document
2 that's helpfully in both of our languages. Where it says date or datum at
3 the bottom, what date do you read?
4 A. As far as I can see, this document is in English. In Serbian, in
5 the last line, it says, place, Bosanski Novi.
6 Q. The date immediately above that, please, which is written in
8 A. It seems that this is 8, but I'm not quite sure. Then slash 10,
9 and then slash again, and then 1992. If I read can out correctly. It's
10 not entirely clear to me, the first digit.
11 Q. Now, we can see that this relates to 1560 people who were -- will
12 be transferred from Bosanski Novi to Karlovac. Are you able to help us at
13 all as to which people this document is referring to?
14 A. I have to tell you that this document doesn't look familiar to me.
15 I also don't know that anything else was organised after this convoy. I
16 don't know that anybody departed in an organised manner. Therefore, I
17 can't give you any further information regarding this document. It
18 doesn't look familiar to me, and doesn't ring a bell, so to say. Looking
19 at this document, even the signature that is right below the first stamp,
20 Cedomir Aleksic, even that is not familiar to me. All I know is that
21 after this organised departure, in which UNPROFOR took part and the UNHCR,
22 as far as I know, nothing else was done in the following period of time.
23 Q. What about the name, Dr. Cedomir Aleksic, is that name familiar to
25 A. As I already said to you, I don't know this person. The name
1 doesn't mean anything to me.
2 Q. I'm not sure under the rules, Your Honour, whether this then can
3 become an exhibit. I'm not inviting it to. I don't -- I'm entirely
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, of course, the evidence is that this
6 witness doesn't know about the name and about the document. We could
7 admit it to a limited extent. One of the other ways of dealing with it is
8 to mark it for identification so that at least we know what the witness
9 didn't know, although the name is on it. Mr. Harmon?
10 MR. HARMON: My inclination, Your Honour, would be to mark it for
11 identification only.
12 MR. JOSSE: I'm more than content with that.
13 JUDGE ORIE: We will mark it for identification and it will bear
15 THE REGISTRAR: D117, MFI, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: D117, MFI.
17 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
18 MR. JOSSE:
19 Q. You in fact only remained president of the municipal assembly
20 until the end of 1992; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Literally in a sentence, if you can, why did you cease to be
24 A. I resigned.
25 Q. And why?
1 A. I could say there were several reasons. One of the main reasons
2 was that I myself was not happy with the existing situation with all the
3 terrible things and misfortunes that had taken place. It was very
4 difficult for me to work under those conditions. And perhaps it was
5 cowardly of me to resign. Perhaps people view it through that prism as
6 well. There was really not much I could do. My authorities were very
7 limited and the responsibilities placed on the shoulder of the president
8 of municipality were huge while at the same time, as I've said already,
9 the president did not have wide enough authorities to fulfil the
10 responsibility. This is not how it looked to the public but that's how it
11 was. Therefore, I took that position because I believed that under the
12 circumstances I did not wish and I was not able to continue to do that
13 work. There was too much burden tying me down, and at the same time, my
14 hands were tied and I was -- I didn't have sufficient authorities to deal
15 with the amount of problems I had.
16 Q. As far as you were concerned, at the point of the departure of the
17 Bosniaks from your municipality, were you aware of any maltreatment of
18 them at the hands of Serbs whilst they were in detention at the football
20 A. People who were at the football stadium, as far as I know, were
21 not mistreated. Nobody harassed them, attacked them physically or
22 insulted them in any other way. They were not subjected to any
23 mistreatment. As I've already stated here, there were certain cases of
24 outbursts and even killings committed by the paramilitaries. Trials were
25 launched against these people and you can find information about this in
1 courts in Novi Grad and in the high court in Banja Luka. I think that the
2 basic court, a municipal court, could issue sentences up to ten years, and
3 everything more serious than that was handled by the Banja Luka court.
4 And based on the documents and records existing there, you can see that
5 trials were instituted against these people, these people who committed
6 crimes in order to acquire personal gain, who committed killings and so
7 on. I'm not aware of all of the information regarding these cases but I
8 know that there were trials and I know that this was handled in a proper
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I don't know whether that would be your
11 next question. When took these trials place?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not really competent to discuss
13 court proceedings. However, I know of a case -- I remember it well
14 because I knew the person who was killed. I think that he was a criminal
15 inspector. He worked at the police station, and he was killed sometime --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, I was just asking about when, not what
17 case exactly. If we would like to know. I'll ask you. So when took
18 these trials place? Was that still in 1992? Were the people arrested
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I was going to
21 say. Five days after the murder, the perpetrators, the killers, were
22 caught. They were detained, placed in detention, and then trial was
23 launched. I don't know what course the trial had, but all I know is that
24 immediately upon discovering that a murder had been committed, a trial was
1 JUDGE ORIE: The victim was of what ethnicity?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The victim was a Muslim, and the
3 murderer was a Serb.
4 JUDGE ORIE: And how many of these cases, in your recollection,
5 were taken to court? Five, ten, 20, a hundred? Could you give us an
6 approximate number?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I truly wouldn't be able to give you
8 the number. I know that there were such cases.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You're talking about trials, but
12 when did those trials take place, and what were the crimes investigated?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. I didn't quite
14 understand your question. Would you elaborate on it, please?
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Earlier on, you told us that
16 there was chaos, you told us that there were a lot of mistreatments for
17 the civilian population, you told us that houses were looted, you told us
18 that murders were committed, and I asked you a question, and you answered
19 in the following way. You told us there was such a chaos that the police
20 couldn't do much, it was too much for everyone, and now you're talking,
21 you're telling us -- you're talking about trials, about multiple trials,
22 and I would like to know when these crimes took place, when did these
23 crimes take place? Were there different incidents? And I'm thinking
24 about the incidents that you mentioned this morning. So for these trials
25 were the incidents different?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't say that police was
2 helpless, was unable to do anything. Police did something. But not
3 sufficient in order to establish full law and order. Therefore, police
4 did take some steps and one of such cases was that after five days, they
5 were able to find the murderer. So one cannot really say that police did
6 nothing. They did take certain steps. These people were brought to
7 trial. However, in my view, that wasn't sufficient, that wasn't
8 sufficient to consider their work as satisfactory. So to repeat, police
9 did take certain steps but not full measures in order to preserve law and
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] In any case, you are not just
12 talking about one case, the case that you have mentioned, i.e. this person
13 who was arrested five days after a murder. You are telling us that there
14 were several cases and that there was a follow-up, and that there were
15 several trials. Do you agree with me there were several trials, several
16 people who were brought to justice?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct, yes, yes. There
18 were several of them.
19 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So presumably we will be able to
20 find in the Court archives the minutes of these trials, and the sentencing
21 as well.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. One should be able to find the
23 records. I know that archives are there in place, that records should be
24 there. So all of these facts could be located. One could establish
25 exactly how many trials there were. I myself know that there were several
1 but I do not know the exact number. What I'm trying to tell you is that
2 there were different crimes committed. However, I focused on the cases in
3 which Serbs were the perpetrators and Muslims unfortunately were the
4 victims. So I just told you about the cases that were instituted during
5 this period of time, that I was aware of.
6 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir.
7 JUDGE ORIE: One additional question in this respect. You said
8 the perpetrator of this murder was arrested after five days. Was this a
9 murder that was perpetrated in the -- well, let's say the Japra valley
10 event, so mid-May? Was it at that occasion that this person was murdered?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I said that this was roughly in
12 late June or early July. I'm not quite sure. I think it was during that
13 period of time. The man who was killed lived somewhere in town. I don't
14 know his exact address. However, this could be checked, either at the
15 police station or in court records.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the other cases you were talking about, could
17 you with certainty locate these cases in time and in place in the context
18 of the Japra valley event, as we have discussed that before?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understood your question well,
20 you wanted to know whether any proceedings were instituted against people
21 who committed certain crimes in the Japra valley.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, ones you mentioned killings, arson, all the --
23 let's say the cruel events that have been described in this report as
24 well. Is there anyone arrested and prosecuted, punished and sentenced for
25 crimes committed in that specific context?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that an investigation was
2 conducted during that period of time, and certain proceedings. As far as
3 I know, during that period of time, in 1992, upon discovering that certain
4 people were perpetrators, and I don't think that this was completed
5 quickly, I think that the proceedings progressed through 1993 and 1994. I
6 don't know what the final outcome was. But I'm sure that this information
7 could be located in the Court in Novi Grad or in the high court in Banja
9 JUDGE ORIE: Do you know of any perpetrator being arrested for any
10 of these crimes committed during what I call the Japra valley event, that
11 is the event which is described in the report, on the specific dates? Do
12 you know of any specific perpetrator being arrested for one of those
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Tell me, could you please tell me when and do you
16 have any further details? So, first, when.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't be able to give you the
18 exact period of time, but it was roughly then, between May and perhaps
19 August of 1992. I don't know the exact dates, though. I can't remember.
20 I know that these paramilitary formations and small groups which were
21 active there and committed crimes, among them there was one comprising
22 people who had been criminals even before the war. They were called Suva
23 Rebra, the people who were in that group were called Petici and Djukic,
24 and they did stand trial. I don't know the exact date. However, I know
25 that there was a trial, they were prosecuted, an investigation was
1 conducted, and trial followed it.
2 JUDGE ORIE: They were prosecuted for crimes committed during this
3 Japra valley event or for any criminal -- or were they prosecuted for any
4 criminal behaviour outside of that event?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't go as far as to qualify
6 the crime. I know that a crime was committed and that people were
7 prosecuted. As to how exactly the crime was legally qualified, I wouldn't
8 be able to tell you. It was up to the court and I don't know whether they
9 qualified it correctly or not.
10 JUDGE ORIE: I didn't ask you for that. I asked whether they were
11 prosecuted for any crime committed during these couple of days where these
12 horrible things happened in the Japra valley.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've already said to you that they
14 were prosecuted and that there was a trial, yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, you still do not answer my question.
16 My question is: Was -- were the charges brought against these persons for
17 crimes committed during these couple of days described in the report what
18 happened in Japra valley.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In that case, I misunderstood your
20 question. Let me repeat. There was a trial. The trial was not
21 instituted immediately. Trials probably were instituted as the crimes
22 were uncovered and as the situation became more stable.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, why don't you answer my question? My
24 question is quite simple. Were they prosecuted, were they charged, for
25 any of the crimes committed during these couple of days in the events in
1 Japra valley or were they charged with perhaps crimes committed elsewhere
2 at another moment? That's my question. And I've put it now five times to
3 you, so I would rather like to receive an answer.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really did not understand your
5 question initially. However, I've understood it now. Naturally, yes,
6 trials were held for crimes committed. Trials in cases where the
7 perpetrators were Serbs and Muslims were the victims. It was not only in
8 the Japra valley. It was all over the region, in town as well, and as
9 I've said to you already, there were such crimes committed.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did the charges comprise events in the Japra
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I repeat, not only in the Japra
13 valley but in the entire region. Some crimes were committed in the Japra
14 valley. However, some were committed in town itself.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the crimes committed in the Japra valley
16 were committed, the people were charged with those crimes as they were
17 committed during these couple of days you described in the report; is that
18 correct or incorrect?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In places where evidence existed,
20 where facts were uncovered, proceedings were instituted even when the
21 perpetrator's identity was not known. The organs tried to locate the
22 perpetrators and in some cases they were not able to discover who had
23 committed certain crimes but, in some cases, yes, and in those cases,
24 people stood trial.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, I've tried for ten minutes to get an
1 answer which I would consider certainly in favour of the accused, that
2 Prosecutions were instituted against those who had participated in the
3 crimes committed during this Japra valley operation. I give it up now but
4 if you have any better chance, then please try. I was really seeking
5 this, as you may have noticed.
6 [Trial chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse, but I'm also addressing you, Mr. Harmon,
8 as you may have noticed from the line of questions, the Chamber considers
9 itself potential relevance to know it. And so therefore, is there any
10 documentation -- if there is any documentation available the Chamber would
11 like to receive that so that we get concrete answers.
12 MR. JOSSE: Well, I think it's going to make what I'm about to say
13 that much easier. Your Honour, the position is this: That the witness,
14 as the Court is vaguely aware but I'm now going to make it specifically
15 aware, was interviewed in June of 2003. Now, Mr. Harmon provided me with
16 that interview as a courtesy, and he made it quite clear to me that it was
17 as a courtesy. I think he accepted, and he is there to speak for himself
18 in a moment, but some of it may have been -- he may have had to have
19 provided it under Rule 68 but he effectively decided to give it all to me,
20 my having requested it after my recent trip and having spoken to this
21 gentleman and learned that he had in fact been interviewed. I was quite
22 anxious to put this interview before the court for a variety of reasons.
23 Mr. Harmon dissuaded me not to do. Its admissibility may have been in
24 some doubt. He's asked about this at some length.
25 JUDGE ORIE: In the interview.
1 MR. JOSSE: He is asked about this in the interview. I certainly
2 want that passage to go before the Court and, in addition to that, could I
3 make this comment? He's asked about it, he gives some answers, and I'm
4 very anxious to know what the investigators, OTP investigators, indeed
5 there was an OTP lawyer there, have done about the information the witness
6 provided. I'm sorry to spring that on Mr. Harmon but at one point I was
7 thinking of asking for a short adjournment because he and I have had quite
8 lengthy discussions about this matter, and Your Honour, could I --
9 [Trial chamber and registrar confer]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could we turn for one second to private session?
11 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes we are in open.
24 MR. JOSSE: Before I sit down, what I was in the middle of saying,
25 and it's important, I accept that this is a matter of sensitivity to my
1 learned friend, and he and I have had quite long and at times marginally
2 difficult conversations about this particular topic. And I'm sorry that
3 I've had to raise it now without having had a chance to speak to him
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Harmon, any comment? I must say that if we
6 are talking about an interview that I hope questions and answers in that
7 interview were better linked than they were over the last ten minutes.
8 Mr. Harmon?
9 MR. HARMON: Perhaps, Your Honour, during the next recess counsel
10 and I could discuss this matter and we could try to resolve this matter.
11 My second observation is, Your Honour, we submitted in our case in
12 chief evidence in respect of Prosecutions, a considerable volume of
13 evidence. I won't comment on that now. But there was considerable
14 evidence in that respect.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll have to review that. I hope you don't
16 mind that we don't have it all in our memory actively available.
17 MR. JOSSE: Your Honours, I am actually getting near the end of my
18 examination. Clearly I'm going to need to take a short break.
19 [Trial chamber confers]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
21 MR. JOSSE: Well, I would request that the Court go into private
22 session now, please.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We turn into private session.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 19703-19704 redacted. Private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
24 MR. JOSSE:
25 Q. Mr. Krajisnik, I want to ask you a few questions in relation to
1 him, please. Firstly, the best of your recollection, did you see him,
2 have a meeting with him, or have any dealings with him in Bosanski Novi in
3 1991 or 1992?
4 A. To the best of my recollection, and to the extent that I'm
5 familiar with this, there were no meetings or conversations with
6 Mr. Krajisnik in Bosanski Novi at this time.
7 Q. In 1992, do you recall a meeting where a large number of Bosnian
8 Serb leaders were in attendance, as well as leaders from the neighbouring
9 Serb Krajina republic?
10 A. I recall the meeting of the assembly. I think that's what it was
11 called, the Joint Assembly of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 and the Republic of Serbian Krajina. This took place in Novi Grad but it
13 was not back in 1992. Rather, it was sometime in April or May, the spring
14 of 1993, at least as far as I can remember. This meeting of the assembly
15 was held in Novi Grad. That much is true.
16 Q. And it may again be obvious but I think I should ask you, the
17 events that you have described in relation to the various problems in the
18 Japra valley and in particular the departure of the Bosniaks and your
19 negotiations with UNPROFOR, did Mr. Krajisnik play any part in those at
21 A. As far as I remember, he did not. I think there was this once
22 when the telephone lines were re-established, because, as I have said,
23 there had been a total communication breakdown at one point with the
24 republican leadership. I think once he called me on the phone, and I
25 think members of the Serbian Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 Mr. Koljevic and Mrs. Plavsic, were there too. I spoke to one of them. I
2 can't remember which one. But they just wanted to get some general
3 background on the situation that prevailed in our municipality. There
4 were no specific proposals being made or instructions being given. This
5 was purely for information purposes, nothing else, and nothing followed.
6 This conversation gave rise to nothing further.
7 MR. JOSSE: May I invite the Court to take an early break? I wish
8 to speak to my learned friend and wish to leave open this examination
9 until I have done that and also have a word with Mr. Krajisnik.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 One second, please.
12 Yes. If you have a conversation with Mr. Krajisnik as well, with
13 the last witness we were confronted with a wish of Mr. Krajisnik to add
14 any questions to questions put to the witness by counsel. That was done
15 only when the witness was re-examined, which seems not to be the right
16 moment to take such an initiative. So if you consult with Mr. Krajisnik,
17 Mr. Josse, would you also try to find out whether any additional
18 questions, of course, preferably to the put to the witness by you, but --
19 well, it now and then happens, not very often, that for one reason or
20 another, it's preferred by the Defence that Mr. Krajisnik puts the
21 question. If that's the case, would you also give the necessary guidance
22 to Mr. Krajisnik not to lead, et cetera, et cetera. So if you would
23 please include that?
24 MR. JOSSE: I've got some reasonably good news for the Court. He
25 and I had a discussion during the last adjournment. I think we see eye to
1 eye on this. It's belt and braces on my part that I would like to speak
2 to him again. Most of my time is going to, I suspect, be taken up with
3 Mr. Harmon rather than my client.
4 JUDGE ORIE: That's then clear. We will then have a break until
6 --- Recess taken at 3.33 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.04 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Josse.
9 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, the position is that it's right, I think,
10 to say that we have not come to an agreement. However, for reasons, as
11 I've said, that I don't propose or wish to go into I'm not going to argue
12 the point and seek any form of ruling. What my learned friend has agreed
13 that I can do, and in the absence of an agreement as far as the document
14 is concerned, this is what I propose to do, is lead in relation to the
15 passages and names that the witness mentioned in the course of the
16 interview. So that's what I propose to do.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then we ask Madam Usher to escort the witness into
18 the courtroom again.
19 And do you have any idea, it's not easy to give an assessment, do
20 you have any idea of time how much this will take us.
21 MR. JOSSE: This exercise will take I imagine five to ten minutes,
22 and then I will be finished.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 WITNESS: RADOMIR PASIC [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Examined by Mr. Josse: [Continued]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, a few more questions will be put to you by
4 Mr. Josse.
5 MR. JOSSE:
6 Q. Mr. Pasic, when you were interviewed in June of 2003 by a Paul
7 Grady, a Julian Nicholls, and a Timothy Resch, you were -- various
8 questions were put to you over the course of the day in Banja Luka. Do
9 you remember that?
10 A. I do remember that, yes.
11 Q. And I think it's right, and probably important to mention, the
12 fact that you were cautioned that you were being treated as a suspect.
13 That was the purpose of the interview, so you were told?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And as I've already said the interview took the best, really the
16 whole day and, in effect, within the last couple of pages, they almost ran
17 out of time and said that they might be in contact with you again. I
18 don't think they ever did contact you again; is that correct?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. I think it's also fair and right to point out that they offered
21 you a lawyer and you chose not to have a lawyer.
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Towards the end of the interview when it was clear from what was
24 being said that time was running short you were asked about court
25 proceedings that had taken place, as a result of some of the crimes that
1 you had described. Do you recall that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And rather like you told this Court, you told the interviewers
4 that they could check the documents in Novi Grad basic court and the
5 district court in Banja Luka?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You mentioned a Zoran Dukic and a Mladen Dukic who had committed a
8 crime, I think you say for the theft of two cows from a Muslim, Mohamed
9 Kuzmetovic [phoen]. And I'll go on. You went on and said there was --
10 proceedings were instigated and he was convicted. "I don't know how many
11 months, but he was. I'm talking about property, let's go, let me just
12 find my bearings here."
13 And then in fact, Mr. Resch interrupted you and asked you if you
14 could deal with Article 36, manslaughter, Article 38, serious bodily
15 injury, and indeed, "better yet," he says, "war crimes." And you
16 say, "Let me finish. Murder of Hotic Husein, 1 July 1992, this is the
17 time when the Muslims had already left for Doboj but not to Croatia yet."
18 Who murdered -- "who murdered Husein Hotic," Mr. Resch asked you. And
19 then it says, rather unfortunately, the English that I have reads,
20 "Witness lists names in B/C/S, not translated." Then it says "Petic
21 Goran, Dukic Goran, Dukic Mladen, Baron Dragoljub." So these four men
22 were brought in as suspects.
23 Now, I've mentioned to you quite a lot of names there. Two
24 Dukic's, someone called Petic, somebody probably called Baron. There is a
25 question mark by his name in English. Two victims, a Husein Hotic and a
1 Mohamed Kuzmetovic does any of that jog your memory and, if so, tell us
2 how it jogs your memory, please.
3 A. I remember the statement I gave. I think the only error is when
4 you mentioned the names, you said Dukic. It probably should have been
5 Djukic. I had been asked or at least that was my understanding of the
6 question at the time about proceedings and it was suggested that no
7 proceedings had been instituted and that no Serb perpetrators had been
8 punished or that there was no will to have any of them punished. I was
9 trying to show some of the case that is were documented and real. The
10 examples that you have listed are a handful but there are more of those.
11 This is correct. And this is the same thing that I have been
12 speaking about. I can't remember the exact date now but I think you
13 mentioned the 1st of July, and that should be accurate. I think it was
14 four or five days later that the perpetrators were arrested and
15 prosecuted, the murderers, the names that you have read out. The record
16 of that trial or those trials should be available and you can probably
17 obtain that from the basic court or from the Banja Luka district court.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let's -- of course, I do understand that you seek to
19 establish that prosecutions were taking place. The Chamber was very much
20 interested, at least I was, about the Japra valley -- well, operation, not
21 in the military sense but at least the events in Japra valley. 1st of
22 July was far after the Japra valley event, a couple of weeks. Do you
23 remember where this person was killed?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I've already indicated, that was
25 the very person that I had in mind. I think it was in the vicinity of the
1 town but I don't know exactly. There should be a document indicating the
2 exact place where this person was murdered.
3 JUDGE ORIE: It's unrelated to the events in the Japra valley. At
4 least not directly related to it.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know how this case could be
6 viewed separately. All these things had to do with Novi Grad
7 municipality. I didn't draw any conclusions there myself.
8 JUDGE ORIE: No. I think the Chamber did.
9 Please proceed, Mr. Josse.
10 MR. JOSSE:
11 Q. For completeness, you in fact were then asked by Mr. Nicholls what
12 was the sentence and you said, "On 5th July they were taken, they were
13 taken in for four days. There was an investigation. They were put on
14 trial. So the Crisis Staff, whenever they were able to establish the
15 circumstances, they were trying to get the SJB to take those people into
16 court to be processed." And you were asked whether you knew the sentence
17 and you said you didn't know, you can check in the basic court. And on
18 two occasions, Mr. Nicholls said we will check that. We'll look that up.
19 I think it's fair to say that you were not asked specifically
20 about the Japra valley. The Chamber sees what you're trying to say about
21 the connection between the events, the unfortunate killing of Mr. Husein
22 and the Japra valley events. Do you have any recollection of any
23 investigation into the events in the Japra valley before the Muslims left
24 that area?
25 A. Well, I believe I have pointed this out already. I'm not sure
1 whether I was clear enough. There were things being done. I'm not sure
2 when exactly, but proceedings had been instituted. There were a great
3 number of perpetrators, and there was an attempt to establish who the
4 perpetrators were, to get their names. I cannot say what stage the
5 proceedings reached but I can tell you what the public security station
6 informed me about. They told me that there were people on the ground,
7 that the crime police were doing their work, the operative work, and that
8 they would keep me posted on whatever they found. This process was
9 underway and continuing at a difficult time.
10 MR. JOSSE: I'm going to leave it there, Your Honour. I have no
11 further questions.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Josse.
13 Mr. Pasic, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Harmon, counsel for
14 the Prosecution.
15 Mr. Harmon, you may proceed.
16 MR. HARMON: I'm waiting, Your Honour, until the packages are
18 JUDGE ORIE: I think you could start.
19 MR. HARMON: Yes, thanks very much, Your Honour.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Harmon:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Pasic.
22 MR. HARMON: If the witness could be first of all presented with
23 Defence Exhibit I believe it's 116, 115, a copy of the report on the work
24 of the Crisis Staff that we discussed this morning.
25 Q. Now, Mr. Pasic, I just want to go over very quickly and I think
1 you can help us with this, resolve an ambiguity that appears within this
2 particular report. It references two Crisis Staffs. Page 1 of the
3 English translation of this, the first, at the top of page 1 of the B/C/S
4 version, it discusses in its original form the Crisis Staff was formed
5 essentially at the beginning of April, at the request, on the proposal of
6 higher SDS organs. You testified about that. And when asked,
7 approximately, could you give us greater details about that, the formation
8 of the Crisis Staff, you were not particularly able to give us greater
9 details about what gave rise to the formation of the Crisis Staff. I know
10 you are aware of variant B and variant B document and you had seen that
11 document at some point in time prior to the creation of the Crisis Staff
12 that's described in April of 1992. Isn't that correct?
13 A. The question is quite long. I don't know if I understood it
14 right. Could you please repeat the actual question?
15 Q. Are you familiar with the document referred to as variant A and
16 variant B?
17 A. If we have the same document in mind, we just spoke about the
18 interview that I gave in Banja Luka, and in that case, if that's what you
19 have in mind, then yes.
20 Q. Okay. Let's be perfectly clear on what I have in mind so if you
21 have the documents in front of you, Mr. Pasic, do you have a set of
22 documents in front of you? That will be presented to you and I'm going to
23 refer you to tab 38.
24 Just if you would cast an eye on that document, Mr. Pasic, that's
25 the document I have in mind. That's the document you were asked about on
1 an earlier occasion.
2 A. Yes. This is familiar. I think that this part is complete. I
3 can't read all of it now but I assume that this is right, and Variant A
4 and B that we covered during my interview is something that I am familiar
5 with, yes.
6 Q. And Variant A and Variant B document, as you are aware, Variant A
7 which dealt with municipalities where there was a majority of Serbs called
8 for the establishment of Crisis Staffs. Do you recall that?
9 A. Are we talking about the same document now?
10 Q. That's correct.
11 MR. JOSSE: Well, I don't think my learned friend can assert that
12 with respect. The witness needs to look at the document.
13 MR. HARMON: Well, Your Honour, I was trying to get through this
14 because I thought he was familiar with this. But I will be glad to take
15 him through it.
16 JUDGE ORIE: The question is about the same document. The witness
17 just said that it looked familiar to him when looking at it, familiar to
18 the extent that it looked like the document that was presented to him
19 during his interview. That's how I understood.
20 Yes. Please proceed.
21 MR. HARMON:
22 Q. Yes, Mr. Pasic, if you turn in this document, in the B/C/S, let me
23 read a portion of Variant A and Variant B to you. It says, under Variant
24 A, under the first level, this is on page 3 of the English translation,
25 unfortunately it's in Cyrillic and I cannot direct you to the specific
1 portion but let me read it to you, Mr. Pasic. The first level under
2 subpart 3 it says, "SDS municipal boards shall immediately -- shall
3 establish immediately Crisis Staffs of the Serbian people in the
4 municipality composed of the following." And then it lists a group of
5 persons. My only interest in this, Mr. Pasic, don't want to spend a lot
6 of time on this, was that Variant A and Variant B document that you were
7 familiar with called for the establishment of Crisis Staffs in
8 Serb-majority municipalities, yes or no?
9 A. I really can't give a yes or no answer. As I said to you, Variant
10 A and B, as they are called, is something that I am familiar with. This
11 document in a way gives instructions on how and when to establish Crisis
12 Staffs. Novi Grad municipality had no need to establish a Crisis Staff in
13 that period of time, when this document was issued.
14 If I may continue, I can give you more details.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, I want you to carefully listen to the
16 questions and to answer to the questions, and if any further detail is
17 needed, you'll be asked for it.
18 As a matter of fact, Mr. Harmon was drawing your attention to page
19 2 of the B/C/S version of this document, tab 38, at -- relatively at the
20 top of the page, under 3, Mr. Harmon asked you whether this document
21 called for the establishment of Crisis Staffs in Serb-majority
22 municipalities, yes or no. So he's just asking about what this document
23 calls for. Would you agree with him or would you disagree with him that
24 this document calls for the establishment of Crisis Staffs at --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's what it calls for.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
2 MR. HARMON:
3 Q. Mr. Pasic, on February 14th you attended in Sarajevo at the
4 holiday an extended session of the main board and the executive board of
5 the SDS at which time level 2 of those particular instructions, Variant A
6 and Variant B were called to be implemented by Radovan Karadzic; isn't
7 that correct?
8 A. I truly don't remember whether I attended that meeting. I did
9 attend some meetings but right now I can't claim whether I attended
10 precisely this meeting as well.
11 Q. I want to turn to tab 39, Mr. Pasic. Tab 39 are the -- is a
12 transcript of that particular meeting, and I want to direct your attention
13 and I want to direct the Court's attention to four passages. Perhaps this
14 will refresh your recollection. I'm referring first, Mr. Pasic, and
15 Your Honours, to page 5 of the English version at the bottom, line 32,
16 and, Mr. Pasic, for your benefit, in the B/C/S version I'm referring to
17 the page that has in the up ever right-hand corner numbers 04002200.
18 I'm going to read very slowly from the middle of the page that you
19 should be looking at the following passage and I'm going to read you four
20 passages before I ask to you comment and I would like you then to comment.
21 The first passage I've directed your attention to reads as
22 follows: "That is, if you remember who keeps that in mind, or maybe not
23 on his person, a stage number 2. There is -- remember you know what I am
24 talking about, we know, yes, that is therefore the stage number 2, the
25 second stage in smaller or bigger variations, but you have to implement
1 that slowly now, to have absolute control who is travelling along your
2 roads, what they are transporting, for which purposes. That's the way it
3 must be. You have to have at your disposal, first of all, you have to
4 have a -- have legal organs, reserve police and regular police which has
5 to carry out their duties on orders of a -- civil authorities because you
6 are civil authorities in most municipalities, in large number of
7 municipalities, in all our municipalities, it is you."
8 Now the second passage, Mr. Pasic, I would like to direct your
9 attention to and the Court's attention, Your Honours, I'm referring to the
10 English version page 7, lines 11 through 15, and Mr. Pasic, I'm referring
11 to the very next page, 0400-2201, at the middle of the page, and I will
12 read again a portion of Dr. Karadzic's statement. "The second thing that
13 is very important, it gives us full moral right not to accept any decision
14 resulting from the referendum, and it gives us the right to introduce the
15 stage number 2 in functioning of your areas, and relaying [sic] on your
16 own forces to absolutely defend yourselves from the independent Bosnia and
18 The third passage I would like to quote Dr. Karadzic is found at
19 page 24 in the English version, Mr. Pasic, and in the version that is in
20 front of you, the B/C/S version, it's at 0400-2208. It appears at the
21 lower quarter of the page.
22 MR. JOSSE: Mr. Krajisnik, Your Honour, had a slightly dud copy.
23 I took it over because mine is now -- stops at page 22 so perhaps I could
24 swap with the Registry copy for now.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
2 MR. HARMON:
3 Q. This is the passage from Dr. Karadzic. "And as regards the
4 essence of which Mr. Radic spoke, now, please, that is why we called you
5 today, to intensify, to introduce the second level, and to intensify the
6 functioning of the government at any cost and on every single millimetre
7 of our territory."
8 I'm sorry, Mr. Pasic, that's my mistake but let me -- that,
9 Your Honours was found at page 24 of the English and Mr. Pasic, just for
10 your benefit, that is found -- bear with me, Mr. Pasic. Let me start
11 again, Mr. Pasic. I'd like to direct your attention and the Court's
12 attention to page 17 of the English, lines 14 through 18, and, Mr. Pasic,
13 for your benefit, that is found at 0400-2208, at the bottom third of the
14 page, and that quotation, Mr. Pasic, reads as follows: "There is nothing
15 that we shall disapprove of except for foolish things and I think that we
16 Serbs must stop with declarations, with declaration. We have had enough
17 declarations and now those declarations should be translated into a map
18 and the stage number 2 should also be converted, the one we've talked
19 about, the one you have, if not here, then at home."
20 And finally, Mr. Pasic, I will reread to you the passage I read
21 before that is found in the English version at page 24, lines 20 through
22 23, and in the B/C/S passage found at 0400-2210. And that's found in the
23 middle of the page, Mr. Pasic.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Did you have in mind 01 or 10.
25 MR. HARMON: I said 2201, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Page 24 would then be earlier than page 17, which is
2 surprising, at least.
3 MR. HARMON: No, Your Honour, is correct, I'm sorry. 2214 is what
4 I meant.
5 Q. And Mr. Pasic, that's found at the top of page 2214. So let me
6 read this to you. "And as regards the essence of which Mr. Radic spoke,
7 now, please, that is why we called you today, to intensify, to introduce
8 the second level and to intensify the functioning of the government at any
9 cost and on every single millimetre of our territory."
10 Mr. Pasic, does that refresh your recollection as to whether you
11 attended this particular session of the extended session of the main board
12 and executive board of the SDS held on the 14th of February 1992 in
13 Sarajevo at the Holiday Inn?
14 A. Based on what has been read out, I still cannot make any claims.
15 I do not remember whether I was present. I don't know whether there are
16 some -- any additional details and whether that could refresh my memory.
17 Q. Let me try to refresh your memory a different way, Mr. Pasic. If
18 we could turn to tab 40, there should be two documents at tab 40. The
19 first document, Mr. Pasic, is a document which I will read a portion of
20 into the record. It says, "Bill number 05294/2, 158166 to be paid for
21 hotel services for members of SDS assembly for 14th and 15th February
22 1992," and if you turn to the second document, Mr. Pasic, second document,
23 do you have that in front of you, Mr. Pasic? That exhibit? The second
24 document is a -- reads, "Holiday Inn hotel, name, R. Pasic-Dejanovic, SDS,
25 price 5.000 for room 631/1, arrival February 14th and it bears a receipt
1 number 0018541."
2 Mr. Pasic, does that assist you in recalling whether or not you
3 attended this session of the main board that I referred to in the Holiday
4 Inn on the 14th of February?
5 A. All I can say is that I still do not remember. You have to admit
6 that it's been a long time. I truly do not remember all of the sessions
7 and meetings. I think that I already stated this once. I know that
8 certain sessions were held. I know that I attended some of them. But
9 whether it was precisely this one held on this day, I don't know. What
10 you just read out to me did not refresh my memory, and I cannot claim with
11 any certainty that I was present. Once again, I don't remember all of
12 those events and the texts that we have read out today do not help me
14 Q. One final question on the receipt that bears your name and the
15 name of another person, Dejanovic. Who was Mr. Dejanovic?
16 A. At the time, there were two men called Dejanovic, if we are
17 talking about the Serbian democratic party. There was Milos Dejanovic and
18 Mirko Dejanovic. I don't know which one is mentioned here. I can't
19 remember after 15 years or 13 years. I can't remember which one was
20 present and who I met with at the relevant time.
21 Q. Do you remember sharing a room with Mr. Dejanovic in Sarajevo?
22 A. No. I don't remember that either.
23 Q. All right. Let me then turn to tab 42. I'm going to --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, I'm a bit confused about tab 40 because I
25 do not see any original from the first document.
1 MR. JOSSE: Yes, one of our two copies that we now have had it and
2 the other had a considerable number of reproductions.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you take care that we get. I have
4 received now a translation of something which seems to be addressed to the
5 SDS BiH and we have an original, but the original only addresses R.
7 Could any of the persons by the name of Dejanovic, Mr. Pasic,
8 could that person possibly have shared a room with you or accompanied you
9 when you apparently were in Sarajevo in February 1992?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I can say is repeat what I've
11 mentioned before. I know that hotel, Holiday Inn. I know what type of a
12 hotel that is.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, that was not my question. My question was
14 whether any person by the name of Dejanovic could have possibly
15 accompanied you at that moment?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That person could have been with me
17 but I don't think that person was sharing the same room with me.
18 JUDGE ORIE: All right. Now, what position did that person by the
19 name of Dejanovic, and it seems that you have one of the two you know in
20 mind, what position did he have?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as I said to you, there were
22 two men Dejanovic.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you certainly had one in your mind when you
24 said that a person could have accompanied you, I take it, or could both
25 have accompanied you?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say either way. All I know
2 that there were two of them. One was a member of the municipal board --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the other was?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The other one was the president of
5 the municipal SDS board.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So both candidates for accompanying you at that
7 moment. Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
8 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I'm going to refer Your Honours to tab
9 42, the -- page 23, the lower, the penultimate paragraph.
10 Q. Now, you don't have to refer to the document, Mr. Pasic, because
11 I'm going to ask you a question if this refreshes your recollection at all
12 or if you were aware of this. At the 27th -- on the 27th of March 1992,
13 at the assembly session, Dr. Karadzic said, and I quote, "When you return
14 to your municipalities, especially the newly formed municipalities, I ask
15 you to do what you are required and entitled to do under the law. The
16 moment you arrive in your municipalities you must urgently establish
17 Crisis Staffs." Does that in any way assist you in remembering why the
18 Crisis Staff was formed in early April and on what basis it was formed in
19 early April as described in your report on the work of the Crisis Staff?
20 If not, just say so.
21 A. Well, I believe I have been speaking about the reasons why the
22 Crisis Staff had not been set up earlier in Novi Grad. There was no need.
23 It was only once the temperature rose, as it were, once tensions were
24 exacerbated and political safety was jeopardised that the Crisis Staff was
25 formed as the report claims in mid-April or around that time. I still
1 don't know the date. I must say this again. I don't remember the
2 meetings in Sarajevo, and it is quite obvious that we did not follow these
3 instructions stated here. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or a bad
4 thing but that's how it was. What this means is that we did not react
5 immediately to these instructions given by the SDS.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon before we proceed, at tab 40, the Holiday
7 Inn receipts need a number, I take it.
8 Mr. Registrar?
9 THE REGISTRAR: That would be P1024, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And would you please sort out that we get the
11 originals of both the receipts?
12 MR. HARMON: Of course, Your Honour.
13 Q. Now, if you could turn your attention, Mr. Pasic, to the document
14 that is marked Defence Exhibit 115, the report on the work of the Crisis
15 Staff? I'm going to read you a part of this document, Mr. Pasic.
16 MR. HARMON: For Your Honour's benefit I'm referring to page 7 of
17 the English.
18 Q. And let me just read this to you rather than try to locate it for
19 you Mr. Pasic in the B/C/S version.
20 MR. HARMON: Referring to the first complete paragraph at the top
21 of page 7, Your Honours.
22 Q. "With a slight delay the government of the Serb Republic of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina had forwarded instructions for the work of municipal
24 Crisis Staffs. Our municipality received the instructions on 20 May, and
25 in accordance with the instructions we immediately approached the
1 reorganisation of the Crisis Staff. In war conditions, Crisis Staff takes
2 over all prerogatives and functions of the municipal assembly as for as
3 long as it is unable to convene." And it goes on further to describe
4 certain duties. Let me direct your attention, Mr. Pasic, first of all, to
5 tab 41. Tab 41 needs a number, an exhibit number?
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar?
7 MR. HARMON: No, it does not?
8 [Prosecution counsel confer]
9 JUDGE ORIE: According to your own list, it doesn't, but -- oh,
10 41, let me just have a look.
11 MR. HARMON: I'm informed it does not need a number. There is a
12 number on it, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's already twice in evidence, from what I
15 MR. HARMON: May I provide that shortly to the Court, Your Honour,
16 the number that is being looked up at the moment.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think it's P65 Treanor 11, tabs 1, 2, 3 and
18 P529, tab 76. That indeed was the Registrar. I take it reliably tells
20 MR. HARMON: Yes, Your Honour.
21 Q. Mr. Pasic, if you take a look at the document that is before you,
22 this is a document that is signed or from Prime Minister Djeric. It
23 discusses -- it's instructions, and it is dated April the 26th, 1992. Are
24 these the instructions that you are referring to in the passage that I
25 read to you, the instructions that you received on the 20th of May to form
1 a Crisis Staff?
2 A. I really, really can't remember. This may well be the case. If I
3 had time to go through the whole document maybe that would refresh my
4 memory but I really can't say whether this gave rise to any further
5 instructions. Based on just this, I'm really unable to remember. I had a
6 fleeting look at the instruction. I think this is called an excerpt from
7 the instructions for the operation of Crisis Staffs of the Serbian people
8 in municipalities. If you give me sufficient time to go through these
9 instructions, then we can backtrack, as it were and see if this is the
10 thing we are talking about or not.
11 Q. If you take a look at item number 6 in the document, that
12 reads, "The operation of the Crisis Staffs shall be based on
13 constitutional and legal provisions and also on the decisions of the
14 assembly, the Presidency, and the government of the Serbian Republic of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina." If you refer to your report on the work of the
16 Crisis Staffs, I will quote from a passage in that report. And I'm
17 referring Your Honours to page 7 the penultimate paragraph, the
18 second-to-last sentence starting with, "It found its work on
19 constitutional and legal solutions and decisions of the assembly,
20 Presidency and the government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina. Following its reorganisation, the Crisis Staff endeavoured
22 to act according to the mentioned instruction." Does this assist you
23 in --
24 A. I can still say only this. I'm not trying to deny the substance
25 of these instructions or the fact that they existed, but there is an open
1 possibility that there were additional instructions in addition to this
2 one. This is not something that I can talk about. I can't say that the
3 Crisis Staff was ran -- was run and operated along the lines and
4 guidelines provided by these instructions. I can't firmly state that. I
5 am not trying to deny it but I'm not in a position to state in no
6 uncertain terms, with sure and certain knowledge, that this was the only
7 document in existence.
8 Q. Okay. Well, let's -- we'll move on, Mr. Pasic. In your report on
9 the Crisis Staff, you assert in your report that the Crisis Staff works on
10 constitutional and legal solutions and decisions of the assembly and the
11 Presidency and the government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina. That's accurate, isn't it?
13 A. This is not my personal report. It's a report produced by the
14 Crisis Staff. It must be the way it says.
15 Q. Okay. And this is a report, as you showed us in your tab 2, was a
16 report that was adopted by the municipal assembly, correct? At a
17 municipal assembly session on the 16th of July, this report was accepted
18 by the municipal assembly.
19 A. Maybe we failed to understand each other. If I got the
20 interpretation right you said this was my report. This is not my report.
21 This report was produced by the Crisis Staff. It was on behalf of the
22 Crisis Staff that I signed the report but I was not the only person
23 constituting the Crisis Staff. I'm not sure if I understood your question
25 Q. This report that was signed by you and submitted to the municipal
1 assembly was accepted by the municipal assembly with the assertions that
2 are contained in it, correct?
3 A. Yes, it was accepted. That is clear enough if you look at the
4 conclusions that we have reviewed.
5 Q. Now, let me then focus on the last sentence of the passage I've
6 just read, "the Crisis Staff endeavoured to act according to this
7 instruction." In other words, I interpret that, and I want your comment
8 on this, Mr. Pasic, I interpret this last sentence to mean that the Crisis
9 Staff operated on the decisions of the assembly, you acted in respect of
10 those, to implement those, decisions of the Presidency, and decisions of
11 the government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, you read the last sentence, to this
13 instruction. It reads, in my version, in the provisional translation, the
14 mentioned instruction.
15 MR. HARMON: Yes, well, I can rephrase the question, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do so, especially I'm putting this to you
17 in the English version five and a half lines above the list of nine names,
18 you'll find language which you may understand could cause some confusion.
19 Please proceed.
20 MR. HARMON:
21 Q. After the Crisis Staff was reorganised, Mr. Pasic, the Crisis
22 Staff endeavoured to act according to the mentioned instruction. Now, let
23 me put this proposition to you, Mr. Pasic. The Crisis Staff endeavoured
24 to work and follow the decisions of the assembly, the decisions of the
25 Presidency, and the government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina; is that a correct statement?
2 A. If I understand your question correctly it's a general one. You
3 asked me whether it acted in accordance with these decisions of the
4 Republika Srpska assembly and other bodies and authorities. I have
5 already mentioned in my testimony that the Crisis Staff had no choice and
6 could not have undertaken anything else. It was powerless to all
7 practical intents and I think the same answer would apply to the question
8 you've just asked me.
9 Q. That's fine. Thank you very much. Now, Mr. Pasic, I want to
10 change the subject. This Trial Chamber in the course of this trial has
11 heard considerable evidence that Serbs, prior to the commencement of the
12 war in April of 1992, that the JNA and the SDS party provided arms to Serb
13 citizens within their communities. What can you tell us about that in
14 respect of the municipality of Bosanski Novi?
15 A. I think I've already spoken about that too. You can't say that
16 there was a single source for all the population, in terms of obtaining
17 weapons. There were several different sources for both Serbs and Muslims.
18 One of them was --
19 Q. Mr. Pasic, what can you tell us about the JNA and the SDS
20 providing weapons to Serbs in your community before the start of the war
21 in April 1992. That's my question.
22 A. If I understand you correctly, before April, I was not aware of
23 any weapons being handed out. You should really be more specific and name
24 some specific cases of weapons being handed out to people. I had no
25 information to indicate that any of the official JNA bodies were supplying
1 weapons to people. I was aware of that source too existing but not
2 officially. It was through certain channels, certain officers, who were
3 familiar with certain other people or friendly and they gave people
4 weapons, but I'm not aware of any specific case.
5 Q. Well, are you aware of the JNA and the SDS providing weapons to
6 citizens in -- Serb citizens in your community prior to the beginning of
7 the war in April?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, the witness just explained to us that he
9 knew about JNA officers but that it was not official JNA activity. In
10 your next question you ask whether the witness is aware of the JNA and the
11 SDS. I think we should clearly identify what your question is about. Are
12 you talking about those who served in the JNA or is your question about
13 the JNA as a military organisation providing arms? So the distinction
14 this witness has made should be clear in your question what you had in
15 mind, or both.
16 MR. HARMON: Let me -- I'd ask the witness to tell us what he knew
17 about that, and I'm going to show you two documents that I'm going to ask
18 you to comment on these documents, Mr. Pasic. If I could refer your
19 attention first of all to tab 3. This is -- tab 3's exhibit number is
21 Q. Mr. Pasic, I want to direct your attention to page 5 in the B/C/S
22 of this document. This document is a document that was a military secret.
23 It is a -- conclusions of the evaluation of the situation in Bosnia in the
24 zone of the military -- of the 2nd district, and it is signed by
25 General Kukanjac, and if you take a look at subpart 5, it deals with
1 volunteer units in the zone of the 2nd military district. It references
2 in subpart B -- do you have that in front of you, Mr. Pasic?
3 JUDGE ORIE: It seems to be on page 4 where it starts.
4 MR. HARMON:
5 Q. Page 4, beginning of page -- top of page 5. This is a portion,
6 Mr. Pasic, that reads, "The volunteer units in the zone of the 2nd
7 Military District." You'll find it at the bottom of page 4 of the B/C/S
9 A. Is that the title?
10 Q. Yes. That's the title. This deals -- this report -- this report
11 deals with the number of people who were volunteers within the 2nd
12 Military District, and under subpart B it says there are 69198 people. In
13 subpart C, Mr. Pasic, it says that the volunteer units are not part of the
14 formation of the JNA or the Territorial Defence. And in subpart F,
15 Mr. Pasic, it says that the JNA distributed 51900 pieces of armament, 75
16 per cent, and the SDS distributed 17298 pieces. Mr. Pasic, if I could
17 then ask you to turn to tab 4, there is a bundle which is an addendum to
18 Mr. Kukanjac's, General Kukanjac's report, and if I could direct your
19 attention to the right-hand column, number 72, it refers to 1.000 men in
20 Bosanski Novi.
21 Now, Mr. Pasic, it has been our submission to this Court, when you
22 tally up the number of men on this particular page, it matches with the
23 number of weapons that are described in General Kukanjac's report. So
24 from these two documents, it appears, Mr. Pasic, that 1.000 men in
25 Bosanski Novi received weapons, either from the JNA or from the SDS or
1 from both. Do you know anything about that? This document -- one more
2 fact. This document is dated in March, Mr. Pasic, March of 1992. Now, do
3 you know anything about the supply of weapons? Does this refresh your
4 recollection at all?
5 A. I'm not familiar with this document. As I've said before, there
6 were several sources from which the weapons came. I'm not familiar with
7 this specific case.
8 Q. Are you -- the sources of weapons for the Serbs in your community
9 prior to the beginning of the war, what were the sources?
10 A. Well, of course, those weapons had come from military units, in
11 several different ways. I'll tell you about some I know of. It's no
12 secret that back in 1991, I think I've said this, there had been a
13 mobilisation in Novi Grad municipality and that Serbs responded. I'm not
14 sure how it was establishment-wise but I think one or two battalions had
15 been mobilised in Croatian territory, and it was precisely those people.
16 In a way, they had been ordered to do that, but according to some of the
17 information that I had, they brought in some of the weapons and that may
18 have been part of it. I can't say for sure but that may have been part of
19 it because those were weapons belonging to the former JNA. So that may
20 have been one of the sources, and if it is true, indeed, as you suggest,
21 that Mr. Kukanjac said or wrote this, this might be somewhere in the
22 military files recorded as this or that sort of equipment. I think
23 establishment wise there were one or two battalions back in 1991 that had
24 been mobilised. There remained in action or active throughout 1991 and
25 1992. They would come and go and that sort of reminds me of one of the
1 possible sources. I have to say that there was a great deal of smuggling
2 too, both Serbs and Muslims purchased their weapons. This was done on
3 both sides, as I've pointed out before. People used their own private
4 channels, specifically JNA officers were used as sources and the JNA
5 comprised both Muslims and Serbs, as you know, so people used private
6 channels to obtain weapons. Serbs gave weapons to Serbs and Muslims on
7 the inside, as it were, gave weapons to other Muslims.
8 Q. Prior to the conflict in Bosanski Novi, we have heard evidence
9 from witnesses in this Court that the helicopters landed in Serb villages
10 in the Japra valley, and delivered arms. Do you know anything about that?
11 A. I know nothing about that. I don't know that anyone had brought
12 in weapons by helicopters but this is a purely subjective position. It's
13 my own personal view. It must have been possible to bring in the weapons
14 by land. I have never heard of a helicopter bringing weapons into Novi
15 Grad municipality.
16 Q. Now, you had a role in organising the Territorial Defence in Novi
17 Grad, did you not?
18 A. No. There were legal provisions governing that.
19 Q. So you had nothing to do with the organisation of the TO?
20 A. Well, there was no need for me to be involved. The TO was there.
21 I did say today or yesterday that the command structure comprised
22 professionals. It existed before the war and continued to operate
23 throughout the war. Only the soldiers were mobilised into the TO, but the
24 commanding structure was composed of professionals that operated in both
25 peace and wartime. There were legal provisions governing there entire
1 mechanism. It wasn't down to a decision that I might have made or
2 somebody else, for that matter.
3 Q. I would like to turn to tab 5 of the bundle in front of you.
4 MR. HARMON: I'm directing the court's attention to -- in English,
5 to the last paragraph in the document.
6 Q. I direct you, Mr. Pasic, to the last paragraph of the document.
7 Let me read this passage to you, Mr. Pasic.
8 MR. HARMON: This is a document, Your Honours, that was seized by
9 the Office of the Prosecutor from the CSB building in Banja Luka in
10 February of 1998.
11 Q. "Citizens of Serbian ethnicity are organised within the system of
12 Territorial Defence, mainly through the efforts of Radomir Pasic,
13 president of the Bosanski Novi municipal assembly. So far, about 1300
14 Serbs have been armed, mostly with automatic infantry weapons, and they
15 control a considerable amount of equipment for anti-armour combat,
16 90-millimetre launchers, one; 76-millimetre Pack Howitzer gun and a
17 smaller amount of 82- and 120-millimetre mortars."
18 This document is a review of the security of relevant information
19 for Bosanski Novi municipality. Let me ask you again, Mr. Pasic: Did you
20 have a role in organising the system of the Territorial Defence?
21 A. All I can do is repeat the answer I gave previously. I don't know
22 who wrote this and on the basis of what. I don't know what they
23 considered to be my contribution to this. Let me repeat that there was no
24 need for me to get involved in the establishment of the TO Staff. It
25 existed before I became the president of municipality, and it continued to
1 operate regardless of my activities, and in this text, I don't see what is
2 attributed to me when it comes to the arming. I don't know who wrote this
3 text, who the author is.
4 Q. Let me -- Mr. Pasic, in terms of the Bosanski Novi Territorial
5 Defence, can you describe for us the chain of command in the Territorial
6 Defence? Identify the commander of the Territorial Defence? First of
7 all, can you identify him by name?
8 A. As I've said before, and I can repeat it, Damjanovic, Mile, was
9 the commander of the TO staff. The chief of the TO staff was rad Slav
10 Sekulic, sorry, Radislav. As for the other posts and formations, I don't
11 know. I know that there was some formations. These two men were the key
12 persons when it comes to the operation of the TO staff. They had their
13 assistants. As for the exact titles of these men, I'm not sure about
14 that, but that can be verified.
15 Q. Mile Damjanovic is referred to in your report to the -- the work
16 on the Crisis Staff. He was indeed a member of the Crisis Staff, wasn't
18 A. Yes. As is written in this Crisis Staff report, people were
19 members of the Crisis Staff ex officio, and this is something that this
20 report confirms.
21 Q. Who were the superiors of the commanders of the Crisis Staff -- of
22 the Territorial Defence in April and May?
23 A. You mean who were superiors to this Crisis Staff leadership? Who
24 were Mile Damjanovic's superiors.
25 Q. The Territorial Defence, who were their superiors? The commanders
1 of the Territorial Defence in Bosanski Novi, what was the chain of
2 command? Did they respond to the Crisis Staff? Did the Crisis Staff give
3 them orders and instructions, or did somebody else give them orders and
4 instructions? And if so, who?
5 A. I've already said this and I will repeat. The Crisis Staff did
6 have no powers over the TO staff command. Even though they used in some
7 documents the word "orders", in actuality the Crisis Staff had no such
8 powers. Initially, in the very beginning, I think that the command was at
9 the level of the republic. I don't know who specifically was superior to
10 the TO staff command. I don't know the exact person.
11 Q. You say in the beginning. What time period are you referring to?
12 A. I mean all the way up to May, until the army of Republika Srpska
13 was established. This was the time when the JNA disintegrated so there
14 was a vacuum left. In that period of time they attempted to set up the
15 army of Republika Srpska. I don't know how long this period lasted, and
16 during this vacuum, I'm not sure who the TO staff was responsible to. I
17 don't know whether this automatically was transferred to the army of
18 Republika Srpska or to somebody else. I really don't know.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would like to ask a question but not
20 until after a number has been assigned to this exhibit.
21 MR. JOSSE: Could I say I'm certainly going to put the Prosecution
22 to proof again on provenance on this. I'm going to object to its
23 admissibility, and I'm raise to raise why it hasn't been disclosed under
24 Rule 68. It's entirely a matter for Your Honours as to when I should
25 commence owes arguments, but I'm going to take all those points.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could I -- you would say that the provenance should
2 have been disclosed of this document?
3 MR. JOSSE: I'm saying it should have been disclosed under Rule 68
4 firstly, then I'm going to ask proof, exact proof as to where it came
5 from, and then I'm going to -- depending on the answer to those various
6 questions I'm going to object to its admissibility as an exhibit.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's on the record. Nevertheless, I think as
8 a matter of fact it has been assigned a number already or not?
9 THE REGISTRAR: No, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Well, then, this is not a decision on admission but
11 just an administrative matter that provisionally a number is assigned to
12 this document. No decision has yet been taken.
13 MR. JOSSE: I've got no problem with that, of course, thank you.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 5 will be P0125 and the English translation
16 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would have a question for the witness.
17 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to understand this
18 is already been mentioned this morning. I would like to understand -- you
19 told us that the JNA had withdrawn to go towards the border, the Croatian
20 border. And I had understood that it had been replaced by what you have
21 called the VRS, and a while ago I thought I understood you had said there
22 had been a vacuum, a period of time during which there was no army on the
23 territory of your municipality. Have I understood you properly and how
24 long did this interruption last where there were forces of the TO and
25 these paramilitary groups which you mentioned this morning? I would like
1 to understand -- maybe am I too curious, but I would like to understand
2 the situation, the precise military situation on the ground.
3 Was there a period during which there was no army as such? I make
4 a difference between an army and the Territorial Defence forces and the
5 paramilitaries. Could you answer this question? Or just tell us if you
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can answer that. I know
8 about this. First of all, I don't think you understood me well, if I
9 understood your question correctly. Because it was lengthy.
10 In my previous testimony I said that sometime in May, I'm not sure
11 about the date, the JNA withdrew to the then Federal Republic of
12 Yugoslavia but not to Croatia as has been interpreted to me. So the JNA
13 did not go to the border with Croatia but rather to the border with
14 today's Serbia and Montenegro. I repeat, I don't know the exact date but
15 it was in May. I think it was May when the JNA left the territory of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina for good. The TO was an integral component of the JNA
17 and it needs to be distinguished from the paramilitary formations. TO and
18 the JNA were legal formations established by law. As for the paramilitary
19 formations, as the term indicates, they existed outside of the law.
20 Nobody officially established them. Nobody stood behind them. These were
21 just people who got organised in order to commit crimes and to disturb law
22 and order in the territory of the entire Bosnia one could say although I'm
23 here to testify only about Novi Grad.
24 I repeat, I think that this vacuum was -- did not exist for a long
25 period of time, and it lasted precisely from the moment when the JNA left
1 the territory until the VRS was officially established. Once again, I do
2 not know the exact date. I think it was in late June. We could see in
3 the conclusion of the municipal assembly when they asked for a battalion
4 to be established. I think that such battalions were established in late
5 June, early July, which means that there was a period of time when
6 formally the army did exist. I think that the decision was reached in
7 Banja Luka on the 11th, 12th, or 13th of May. I wasn't present when it
8 was done. On the ground, however, the army did not start functioning
9 right away. And during that period of time, the TO staff represented the
10 army. So this is what I described as a vacuum. During this period of
11 time, there was no real army on the ground, and this was from the moment
12 the JNA left until the army was officially established in late June, early
13 July, when the actual battalions were established, battalions of the VRS,
14 in the territory of Novi Grad.
15 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to complete my
16 question. I would like to know if -- I would like to know whether this TO
17 had heavy weapons or not, or -- by heavy weapons, I mean mortars, guns,
18 cannons, not only rifles or light weapons. That's what I mean.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, I think that this
20 is called light infantry weapons. I don't know about the calibres. Since
21 I'm not an officer, I'm not a military person, I can't be fully certain
22 about this. I think that they had some mortars. I wouldn't be able to
23 tell you more about calibres. So they had more than just rifles, they had
24 some mortars and some machine-guns. I think that military experts would
25 be better placed to explain this to you, namely what exactly the
1 term "light infantry weapons" covers.
2 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The report says that on the 11th of May, armed
4 conflict started on the town territory, infantry and artillery fire
5 directed towards the town lasted for three hours. Had the JNA already
6 withdrawn when this happened?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I have to repeat that in Novi
8 Grad municipality, there was one barracks but I think that it only had
9 reserve of soldiers there, not active-duty personnel. In that period of
10 time, in Novi Grad, there was no JNA army. It is possible that the army
11 was present on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina during that period of
12 time. However, in Novi Grad municipality, I think that there was no
13 longer any JNA at that point in time.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that answer.
15 Please proceed, Mr. --
16 Mr. Harmon, two judges interrupted your line of questioning. We
17 need to have a break soon. If this would be a suitable moment, we'll have
18 it now.
19 MR. HARMON: That's fine.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll have a break until ten minutes to six and
21 I'd like to deal for a couple of minutes only with some procedural matters
22 when we return.
23 --- Recess taken at 5.31 p.m.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 --- On resuming at 5.56 p.m.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I will first deal with a few procedural matters.
2 First of all, the Chamber has delivered a written decision in relation to
3 what I would call the Davidovic issue. Second, one of the matters that
4 have not been discussed but is certainly not -- certainly -- is certainly
5 does still cause great concern is the 65 ter summaries, the preparation
6 and the communication of information to the Prosecution. We find no time
7 to discuss it at this moment but the -- since the concern is still fully
8 there, the Defence is at least invited to see whether, over the recess and
9 the time when we are not sitting, whether it can improve its performance
10 and then we'll see after the recess what the situation is and whether it
11 will need further attention.
12 MR. JOSSE: If it's any consolation I would have urged the Court
13 to put off the matter today at any rate because Mr. Stewart indicated some
14 week or so ago he was personally anxious to deal with that matter. Of
15 course, I will convey to the Court [sic] what Your Honour has said. We
16 hope that the next few weeks will help us sort these matters out. That's
17 all I can helpfully, I hope, helpfully say.
18 JUDGE ORIE: This is a matter I will raise at a later stage why
19 it's not possible for us at this moment to pay any further attention to
20 the matter.
21 So I will continue with some other procedural matters.
22 On the 22nd of November, the Chamber has requested the Prosecution
23 to respond to a number of Defence exhibits introduced through witness
24 Vasic. The exhibit numbers are D70, D72, 73, 74, 76, 77, 79, and D81, up
25 to and including 82G. That's day 81 up to and including 81G. Then D85,
1 D86, D87, and D88. As of today, the Prosecution has raised no objection
2 against these documents and therefore the Chamber admits the exhibits
3 mentioned above into evidence.
4 The Chamber also notes that a number of documents introduced by
5 both parties are yet to receive translation. The Prosecution exhibits
6 that require translation are P954, P968 to P973, P976 to P978, P992, and
7 P1008. The Defence exhibits that require translation are D78, D80,
8 D82(H), D82(I), D83, D92 to D98, D99(A) to D99V, D100 to D102, and D105 to
10 The Chamber requests the parties to provide translations for the
11 documents mentioned above not later than by the 15th of January unless
12 good cause is shown.
13 In addition, two of the Prosecution exhibits, namely P1012 and
14 P1013, admitted into evidence by the Chamber on the 24th of November, are
15 undated. There is no reference to any context in terms of time. The
16 Trial Chamber requests the Prosecution to provide the dates or at least to
17 provide any indication, even if it's not an exact date, for the documents
18 mentioned above, no later than the 15th of January. Otherwise, the
19 Chamber may reconsider the admission of these exhibits.
20 Finally, the Chamber requests the Prosecution to verify the
21 accuracy of the translations of certain text portions from the following
22 exhibits: P851, which is the transcript of the video interviews with
23 Mr. Krajisnik dated the 25th of November and the 17th of December 1992;
24 P852, which is the interview with Mr. Krajisnik dated the 21st of December
25 1992; and P877.A which is the transcript of the video of the funeral in
1 Vlasenica dated the 30th of December 1992. The specific portion that is
2 need special attention are in an attachment provided with the copy of the
3 handout of these -- of these observations which will be distributed to the
4 parties. The highlighted parts in the attachment require careful
6 These are the procedural matters. You're informed, I hope, or
7 perhaps I should have told you that everything would be distributed to you
8 so that you didn't have to write it all down.
9 Then we could continue --
10 MR. JOSSE: I do need to mention one matter, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. JOSSE: The indignation that I expressed earlier in relation
13 to tab 5 was, I regret to say from my only personal point of view,
14 completely unfounded. Mr. Harmon has told me that tab 5 apparently has
15 been disclosed to the Defence on no less than four occasions, twice in
16 2001, once in 2002, and once in 2004. I apologise unreservedly to my
17 learned friend and his office.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that the apologies are accepted,
19 Mr. Harmon.
20 MR. HARMON: Yes, that's correct.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And at the same time, you told us something about the
22 provenance of that document.
23 MR. JOSSE: I'm not going to challenge it further.
24 JUDGE ORIE: That's, then, on the record as well.
25 Then the witness could be escorted into the courtroom again.
1 MR. HARMON: Very briefly before he is escorted in, Your Honour, I
2 had one issue I would like to discuss.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The witness is arriving, it doesn't matter I take it.
4 MR. HARMON: I'll do it tomorrow.
5 JUDGE ORIE: That's if there is any tomorrow.
6 MR. HARMON: If there is tomorrow.
7 JUDGE ORIE: At the end of the day.
8 MR. HARMON: At the end of the day. I know there will be an end of
9 the day.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Certainly, yes, yes.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 WITNESS: RADOMIR PASIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Harmon: [Continued]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, you may proceed.
16 MR. HARMON:
17 Q. Mr. Pasic, I want to follow up on a question posed to you by the
18 judge and I want a very clear answer if you're able to give one. Did the
19 Territorial Defence in Bosanski Novi possess artillery weapons in the time
20 period we have been discussing?
21 A. I think I've answered that one already.
22 Q. Okay. There is a difference between mortars -- I want to put
23 aside mortars. Did they possess artillery weapons to your knowledge
24 during the time period of the events that you have testified about in the
25 Japra valley in May and June?
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, the witness has told us that he's not a
2 military expert and that he has already difficulties in understanding what
3 light artillery is. Could you please explain to the witness what you mean
4 by artillery weapons so that he has a --
5 MR. HARMON: I don't want to spend a lot of time.
6 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, no. I'm not asking to you spend a lot of
8 MR. HARMON: The witness told us he had served his mandatory
9 service in the JNA.
10 Q. What part of the JNA did you serve your time in? What unit?
11 A. I was a signals officer.
12 Q. Now, do you know -- you know what a mortar is?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You know what an artillery piece is, a cannon, 75-millimetre
15 cannon, other types of -- 120-millimetre cannons? Do you know those types
16 of weapons?
17 A. I'm roughly familiar with the existence of something they call
18 light artillery and heavy artillery but I would not interpret the
19 distinction itself simply because I have no professional experience.
20 Q. Did the TO have heavy artillery at its disposal in the time period
21 we are talking about?
22 A. I see you are quite persistent, but I must repeat my previous
23 answer, and please don't get me wrong. What I believe is that they had
24 light infantry weapons as I have already described. I am not sure what
25 that implies.
1 Q. Let's move on to a different topic because I have a limited amount
2 of time, Mr. Pasic. I want to talk about the police patrol incident that
3 you described took place on the 10th and the 11th of May 1992. Your
4 testimony to us yesterday was that on the night between the 10th and the
5 11th, of May, a military police patrol was shot at while passing the
6 village of Blagaj. You attempted to calm down the situation on the 11th
7 of May. The situation -- shooting started again, and went into the second
8 night. Now I want to ask you, Mr. Pasic, are you aware that the Muslims
9 on the 11th of May attempted to put a roadblock up into the village of
10 Blagaj Japra?
11 A. According to my information, or the reports I received, this was
12 not an obstacle. There was fire by infantry weapons against a military
13 police vehicle. I think I said so yesterday. Two military policemen were
14 slightly wounded on the occasion.
15 Q. I asked you if you aware after that incident the Muslims in the
16 village of Blagaj Japra attempted to put up a roadblock to block the road
17 in the village of Blagaj? Are you aware of that?
18 A. I'm not aware of anything like that. This is the main road
19 leading from Novi Grad to Prijedor, and --
20 JUDGE ORIE: The question simply was whether you were aware of a
21 roadblock being erected. The answer "no" is fine. Where that road leads
22 to, whether you are aware of other things, is not in the question.
23 Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
24 MR. HARMON: Let me refer Your Honours to tab 6. This needs a
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 6, Your Honours, will be P1026.
3 MR. HARMON: I refer Your Honours to paragraph 3 in the document.
4 Q. For your information, Mr. Pasic, this is a document from the 5th
5 Corps command of the JNA signed by General Talic. It's dated the 11th of
6 May. It's addressed to the 2nd Military District. And let me read to you
7 paragraph 3. A second -- starting with the second sentence: "In the
8 municipality of Bosanski Novi, an attempt to block the road in the village
9 of Blagaj has been made by SDA members. The command of the Prijedor
10 garrison has intervened and the military police have set up a checkpoint
12 Now, Mr. Pasic, this refers to the Prijedor garrison of the JNA
13 operating on your territory on the 11th of May 1992. Does that refresh
14 your recollection as to when the JNA was still operating on your
16 A. Well, I really can't remember. I said that it was about this time
17 that the JNA withdrew but I can say when specifically. I'm not familiar
18 with the fact that there was this roadblock in the village of Blagaj. At
19 least I was not aware of it. I don't know that this garrison was active
20 and operational. Whoever wrote this, Talic or whoever else, I'm entirely
21 unsure what they were trying to imply.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, you could just have answered by saying
23 this does not refresh my recollection. Because you start repeating all of
24 the evidence you gave earlier and add to that that what you -- in addition
25 to what you said, you already did not know, you add to that. If you just
1 listen to the question, this does not refresh your recollection. It
2 doesn't tell you anything more than you had told us already.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. HARMON:
5 Q. Mr. Pasic, on the 11th of May, didn't the Bosanski Novi
6 Territorial Defence conduct a mortar attack on the village of Blagaj?
7 A. Well, that's what the report indicates, that, as they say, there
8 was a warning.
9 Q. Let me refer you to tab number 7.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, the report says, at least if we are
11 talking about the report on the activities of the -- it says that on the
12 11th, there was a -- from what I remember, an attack on the town, isn't
14 MR. HARMON: There is a difference, Your Honour, between --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Then if you please assist me in -- that's in the
16 beginning, perhaps, and then perhaps later on, we --
17 MR. HARMON: It's on the bottom of page 4 of the English version,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
20 MR. HARMON: My question was directed toward Blagaj.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I just wanted to -- yes, please proceed.
22 MR. HARMON:
23 Q. Turn your attention -- Your Honour' attention and the witness's
24 attention to tab 7.
25 MR. HARMON: This, Your Honours, I'm directing your attention to
1 page 2 of the English version under the caption, "Bosanski Novi."
2 Q. And, witness, this -- I direct your attention in the B/C/S version
3 to the portion that is at the bottom -- bottom third of the page if
4 says, "Bosanski Novi." This is a Security Service Centre Banja Luka
5 report to the Serbian Republic of BiH MUP and to the SJB and to all Chief
6 of Staff. It's an information from May the 11th and May the 12th, and if
7 we turn to the section dealing with Bosanski Novi, this says, and I'm
8 referring to the third line, the sentence that reads as follows: "Members
9 of the Muslim nationality put up a barricade in Blagaj village and members
10 of the Bosanski Novi Territorial Defence carried out a mortar attack on
11 the village at 2100 hours." What can you tell us about that, Mr. Pasic?
12 A. Blagaj is not only on one side of the river Sana but also on the
13 other. It straddles the river, in other words. I said I knew nothing
14 about the roadblock across the main road and I think that's what causes
15 the confusion to arise. But there is Blagaj, there is Japraj [phoen] and
16 there is Blagaj Rijeka. The exact location is not specified. This is one
17 village. But that's the internal distinction so to speak. On the other
18 side of the road to the upper villages, there were roadblocks, or
19 barricades but that's precisely what I was trying to draw the distinction
20 between the main road and the other road, where the roadblock was.
21 Q. So I take it from your answer, Mr. Pasic, you are unable to assist
22 us and this Trial Chamber in respect of the mortar attack that was carried
23 out on Blagaj by the Bosanski Novi Territorial Defence. Do I understand
24 your answer?
25 A. Well, I think I've referred to this report a number of times. It
1 was the night between the 10th and 11th of November. And I told you what
2 happened. I can only repeat what I've already said.
3 Q. You have read the -- you've heard the passage I referred to,
4 Mr. Pasic. I would like you to comment, if you can, if you can tell us
5 what you know, about the mortar attack that was conducted on the village
6 of Blagaj at 2100 hours by Bosanski Novi Territorial Defence. What do you
7 know about that?
8 A. That is precisely what I have been talking about, this attack. I
9 think the incidents occurred at around 11.00 or 12.00, I don't know
10 exactly because I know it was past midnight when I received a phone call
11 from the TO Command Staff. They phoned me because I was at home. That's
12 why I was saying that Mr. Muhamedagic and I arrived together at the staff
13 command which was in Novi Grad, the town, itself, whereas this other place
14 is about eight or nine kilometres from the town, away from the town. I
15 wasn't up there when the incident occurred and I can only say what I've
16 already said, and which is indicated by the Crisis Staff report, and what
17 the command said after all. They fired warning mines or missiles warning
18 shells, probably that was a reference to a mortars, so that is the sort of
19 infantry weapon that I had in mind.
20 Q. So it's your evidence that you were informed by the Territorial
21 Defence that they had fired warning mortars into the village of Blagaj?
22 Do I understand your testimony correctly?
23 A. No. That night, I was informed that a TO staff, military police
24 patrol, had been fired at in the village of Blagaj, and that two military
25 policemen had been wounded on the occasion. That was what I was told that
1 night, and that's why I went straight to the command.
2 Q. I'm not asking you about that. I'm asking you about what you know
3 about the Bosanski Novi TO, following the attack on the police patrol,
4 firing mortars into the village of Blagaj village. What do you know about
6 A. I said that at least two or three times.
7 Q. Well perhaps I didn't understand. Would you mind repeating what
8 you know about mortars being fired into the Blagaj village on the 11th?
9 A. Well, there is precisely this report by the Crisis Staff that
10 indicates this. Warning mines were fired. If I remember correctly, no
11 specific buildings were targeted. This was by way of a warning that these
12 missiles were fired. No specific people or buildings were targeted.
13 These were fired in a general direction because there are meadows there,
14 and forests too. At least that was the information that I had. I'm
15 telling you about what I know and that's what it says in the report, that
16 warning mines or mortars were fired.
17 Q. Did you give the order to fire those mortars and those warning
19 A. You didn't listen carefully, sir.
20 Q. Could you answer my question? Did you give the order to fire
21 those warning shots?
22 A. No.
23 Q. If we could turn to tab 8 -- I'm sorry, tab 7 needs an exhibit
24 number, still?
25 THE REGISTRAR: It will be P1027, Your Honours.
1 MR. HARMON: If we could turn to tab 8 which also needs an exhibit
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar?
4 THE REGISTRAR: That would be P1028, Your Honours.
5 MR. HARMON:
6 Q. Witness, this is a report from the Croatian authorities who were
7 monitoring the situation in Bosanski Novi. This report is based on
8 intercepted communications, and I refer you and the Court to the second
9 paragraph starting with "the JA police patrol from Bosanski Novi was
10 attacked by ambush at 2315 hours in the area of the village of Blagaj. It
11 was attacked by infantry arms and one Zolja hand-held rocket launcher
12 shell was fired. Two police members were wounded so that JA," that means
13 the Yugoslav army, "brought three tanks in front of the barricade and
14 issued an ultimatum to surrender. At 1840 hours, Major Zeljaja informed
15 Colonel Devic who forwarded the information to the general that the
16 following event took place in Blagaj. According to the order of the
17 president of Bosanski Novi municipality, the Serbs opened fire at Muslim
18 villages from artillery and mortars. That was not necessary because the
19 measures had already been taken. Everyone had been disarmed and
20 everything had been mopped up or cleansed. They are completely crazy
21 extremists led by the municipality president."
22 Let me ask you again, Mr. Pasic: Did you give the order to open
23 fire on Muslim villages with artillery and mortars on the 11th of May
25 A. No.
1 MR. JOSSE: I am going to require some more details about this
3 MR. HARMON: That is certainly not a problem, Your Honour.
4 MR. JOSSE: Thank you. Thanks. Thank you.
5 MR. HARMON: We will be glad to provide the foundation for this
7 Q. Now, Witness, in the days that followed this attack on the village
8 of Blagaj with mortar rounds, the situation calmed down and there was no
9 additional armed conflict in your municipality, was there?
10 A. I don't understand which date you mean.
11 Q. Following the mortar attack on the village of Blagaj on the 11th
12 of May 1992, thereafter, the situation remained tense but there was no
13 additional conflict in your municipality, was there? I'm talking in the
14 days that followed.
15 A. Well, that's precisely what I said in my previous answer, isn't
16 it? There was a lull but it only lasted until the afternoon the following
18 Q. After you told us about the lull, there was some fighting and then
19 after that, there was -- there was no additional combat in your
20 municipality through, say, the following three or four days, was there?
21 A. You just can't say that it was like that. I'm telling you this
22 was between the 10th and the 11th, and then this went on for the next 10
23 days or thereabouts. There were certain disturbances, there was firing,
24 and what I just talked about, when we talked about the Crisis Staff
25 report. I told you that on the 11th, on the morning of the 11th, there
1 was a lull but for reasons unknown to me there was again firing in the
2 afternoon of the 11th of May.
3 Q. Let me direct your attention to the next exhibit, which is found
4 in tab 10.
5 MR. HARMON: This needs an exhibit number as well, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar?
7 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1029, Your Honours.
8 MR. HARMON: I'm referring Your Honours to the English version to
9 paragraph 3 of the report. This is a JNA 5th Corps command report dated
10 the 15th of May 1992 to the command of the 2nd Military District. It's a
11 regular combat report. It's signed by a Major General Talic, who was the
12 commander. And in the -- it reads, I'll start second sentence, "In the
13 area of responsibility of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the
14 situation is still complex, especially in" -- and then it mentions
15 Bosanski Novi. "There have been no armed conflicts in this territory but
16 the situation is extremely tense."
17 Q. Does that help you remember more clearly, Mr. Pasic, about the
18 days that followed the attack on the village of Blagaj?
19 A. No. This means nothing to me.
20 Q. Okay. Now I want to focus your attention on a different subject,
21 then, Mr. Pasic. And that is on the attacks on the Muslim villages in the
22 Japra valley that took place on the 23rd or the 24th of May 1992. This
23 Trial Chamber has heard considerable evidence about what happened in the
24 Japra valley, reports of people who lived in those villages, describing
25 being forced out of their villages because their villages were bombarded,
1 houses being burned, their mosques being destroyed, and their being forced
2 to move out of their villages.
3 Now, I believe that you have -- you would agree with that,
4 wouldn't you, Mr. Pasic? That's what happened?
5 A. I said that in my previous testimony. There was disturbance and
6 there were clashes in the Japra valley.
7 Q. Now, let's -- I want to turn your attention to tab 11. And tab 11
8 already has an exhibit number. It's P892, Brown, tab 50. This is a
9 report that is dated the 15th of August 1992, and it is a report on -- for
10 the security station in Bosanski Novi, and it describes in the English
11 version, under -- at page 1, the bottom of page 1, under reception centres
12 in the area of Bosanski Novi municipality, in this document, Mr. Pasic, it
13 describes combat activities, several combat activities toward the areas
14 and villages with majority Muslim inhabitants -- I'm sorry, let me start
15 again. It describes -- I'll -- the night of 10-11 May 1992, in the place
16 of Blagaj Rijeka, according to the reports of members of military police
17 patrol, military police, they -- military policemen were attacked. These
18 events caused several combat activities toward the areas and villages with
19 majority of Muslim inhabitants. So on 24 May 1992, all inhabitants from
20 the villages from the area of the upper valley of Japra river were
21 accommodated in the central part of Blagaj Japra. After a funeral of a
22 member of military police who got killed on the occasion of the attack on
23 Prijedor in the town settlement of Prekosanje combat activities occurred
24 in the evening hours of 1 June 1992. All aforementioned combat activities
25 from performed by armed and uniformed persons who were self-organised, or
1 members of Territorial Defence, or military units of the JNA. Members of
2 the public security station Bosanski Novi did not participate in the
3 aforementioned activities.
4 Now, if we turn in that same document to an additional description
5 that is provided, it's on page 4, additional description that's provided
6 of the attack in the villages in the Japra valley, Mr. Pasic, I'll read to
7 you the following passage. "According to the information of this public
8 security station, very intensive and unselective artillery fire from many
9 arms was opened in the wider area of the valley Japra river, villages,
10 Blagaj, Japra, Maslovare, Crna Rijeka, Suhaca, Hozic, and Donji Agici, in
11 the night of 23-24 May and on 24 May 1992." This describes in the night
12 of the 23 to the 24th of May and in the day of the 24th of May, Mr. Pasic,
13 seven separate Muslim villages being attacked by heavy artillery fire.
14 What do you know about that, Mr. Pasic?
15 A. All of this is contained in this report, and this was precisely
16 the reason for the negotiations that I spoke about. I didn't understand
17 well something that you read out on page of this report. At least the
18 report reads different from what was interpreted to me. All of the
19 above-mentioned combat operations were conducted by the armed uniformed
20 persons who were self-organised or members of the TO units or JNA war
21 units. Because that's what the text says. It says "or" which means that
22 this is just an assumption on their part, and that really coincides with
23 what I said. People did wear uniforms but they were not under the TO
24 Staff, which at the time was part of the regular army in that territory.
25 Based on the information of the police station, who wrote this report,
1 there were uniformed people but these people did not constitute an
2 official, regular unit, which was supposed to be under the TO Staff
3 command. This is something that I said in my statement as well.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, the "or, or" matter. Again that was on
6 MR. HARMON: That's on the bottom of page 1, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Bottom of page 1.
8 MR. HARMON: Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: It says in English as well, "or, or" so we now heard
10 the comment of the witness. Yes, please proceed.
11 MR. HARMON:
12 Q. Is it your evidence in this Tribunal, Mr. Pasic, that artillery
13 fire opened on seven separate villages in the Japra valley on the night of
14 the 23rd and the 24th of May, was conducted by some paramilitary units,
15 the small paramilitary units that you described in your testimony earlier?
16 A. I think that when describing the artillery attacks, we said
17 enough. There is no need for me to go into more detail. The report says
18 that certain groups, and I even emphasised this, that some members of the
19 sector staff, I said this, this morning, people who were in charge of that
20 area, Krslje, Mala Novska, and Agici, they refused the order which came
21 from the TO Staff command about not shooting. This is what is stated in
22 this report. It is quite clear. It's not vague at all. It is clear that
23 there were certain individuals, certain small groups, and also some
24 individuals who were members of the sector staff and regional staff who
25 acted outside of the TO staff instructions. This information came from
1 the public security station in Novi Grad.
2 Q. The people in the Japra valley were forcibly expelled from their
3 villages as a result of that artillery fire that was directed toward their
4 villages; isn't that correct?
5 A. I've explained that as well in the report. I said that people
6 from these villages in the course of these clashes, came to the village of
7 Blagaj, and this is where they were.
8 Q. They were expelled from their villages as a result of that fire
9 that was directed at their villages. That's what you say in your report,
10 Mr. Pasic, on page 8 of your report. In the middle of the page, you say,
11 "armed activities which included the use of mortars caused expulsion of
12 Muslim civilians from the villages of Donji Agici, Celopek, Hozic, Suhaca
13 and they were taken to the settlement of Blagaj. Your report uses the
14 word "expelled." I don't want to get into a semantics debate with you.
15 Now, Mr. Pasic, given that you were certain that very serious
16 crimes had been committed against members of your community, the Muslim
17 community, did you report what had happened to the leadership in the ARK?
18 Did you have conversations with people in the ARK leadership what had
19 happened in your community? If so, with whom and when?
20 A. I didn't understand your question. Did I inform whom?
21 Q. Did you inform Mr. Brdjanin, Mr. Kupresanin, and other leaders in
22 the ARK region about what had happened in your community?
23 A. I don't remember whether I talked to Mr. Brdjanin or not. The AR
24 Krajina was not really a legal institution. It was more only -- it
25 existed more on paper.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, you're not invited to give your views on
2 what the ARK was but you were just asked whether you reported and you said
3 you don't remember whether you talked to Mr. Brdjanin. Now, the question
4 included Mr. Kupresanin and other leaders in the ARK region. So would you
5 please answer that question, whether you had conversations with them on
6 what had happened in your municipality.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was discussed but I don't
8 remember when.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 Q. Who did you discuss it with?
11 A. This particular issue, I don't know when exactly I discussed it.
12 I think that -- I think, I'm not sure, that we informed, once,
13 Mr. Kupresanin about the situation, without any further details, because
14 at the time they were powerless to help.
15 Q. When was that conversation with Mr. Kupresanin?
16 A. As I just told you, I really don't know.
17 Q. Did you talk to anybody at the republic level leadership about
18 what had happened in your municipality?
19 A. I think that I didn't talk then, during that critical period of
20 time, because I believe that there was no communication with other parts
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina at that, where all the leadership was. They were
22 present in Sarajevo and Pale.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, again, you say you think you didn't talk.
24 You were asked about whether you did talk, and you said I didn't talk at
25 that critical period. When, then, did you do that? You're invited to
1 respond to the question.
2 MR. JOSSE: Well, I'm going to come to his rescue, Your Honour,
3 that in my respectful submission is an unfair interruption. Your Honour,
4 with respect, he is answering the question there.
5 JUDGE ORIE: The question was, did you talk to anybody at a
6 republic level leadership about what had happened in your municipality.
7 MR. JOSSE: And it was quite clear that he was being asked about
8 Mr. Kupresanin and that particular period.
9 JUDGE ORIE: I did understand the question to be whether
10 Mr. Pasic, but please correct me when I'm wrong, Mr. Harmon whether apart
11 from speaking to ARK officials whether he talked to any republic-level,
12 that's one level higher up, whether he discussed it with them. And then
13 the witness started saying that he did not at that moment. So he's
14 invited to tell us whether he did, and perhaps the question on when you
15 did it might be the following one.
16 MR. JOSSE: I'm sitting down to save time, Your Honour. I --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's -- and I also always will carefully
18 listen to if any of the parties says that I'm unfairly treating a witness,
19 that's -- you can be sure of that. So I'll give it further consideration.
20 Mr. Harmon.
21 MR. HARMON:
22 Q. Can you answer my question, Mr. Pasic? At the time of these
23 events did you talk to anybody at the republic level leadership about what
24 was happening and what had happened in your community?
25 A. I said previously that sometime, I don't know whether it was June
1 or early July, I'm not sure, but I think it was that period of time, this
2 is when I talked to Mr. Koljevic and Biljana Plavsic, if I remember well,
3 and I believe that I've stated this here.
4 Q. The question was at the time these events -- these events, did you
5 talk to anybody in the republic leadership? Not talking about much later.
6 At the time of these events?
7 MR. JOSSE: That's the problem, which events?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I take it that we are talking about the mortar
9 attack on --
10 MR. HARMON: Talking about the --
11 JUDGE ORIE: More that are attack on Blagaj.
12 MR. HARMON: I'm sorry, Your Honour I had moved to the subject of
13 the attacks on the villages in the Japra valley on the 23rd and the 24th
14 and we were discussing those.
15 Q. And that's the time I was referring to, Mr. Pasic. At the time of
16 the attacks on the villages, Muslim villages in the Japra valley on the
17 23rd and the 24th of May, did you speak to anybody at the republic
18 leadership about what was happening at the time of those events?
19 A. I don't think so.
20 Q. Okay. Then let's move on into your document, then, Mr. Pasic,
21 this document that's -- D115. After the Muslims were sequestered, after
22 they had been expelled from their villages in the Japra valley and they
23 were sequestered in the village of Blagaj, according to your document, I'm
24 referring to page 9 of the -- page 9 of Exhibit --
25 JUDGE HANOTEAU: I'm sorry, which document?
1 MR. HARMON: Defence Exhibit D115.
2 Q. If we can refer to your document at page 9, the middle paragraph,
3 I will read it to you, Mr. Pasic. Rather than have you take the time to
4 read it, let me read it to you. It says, "The population of Blagaj
5 remained without a solution so one was --
6 MR. JOSSE: I know my learned friend is trying to save time but
7 the problem is the witness then starts looking for the passage. He
8 doesn't then listen to what he's being asked. I would much rather he
9 found the passage. I know it takes time but it's only fair that the
10 witness looks at the document when he's being asked a question like this.
11 MR. HARMON: Well, if I read it to him, perhaps he can find it,
12 Your Honour, but I can't direct him to it. Unfortunately.
13 Q. So let me read there passage to you, Mr. Pasic.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so slowly.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. "Population in Blagaj remained without a solution, so one was
17 requested for its migration. Negotiations were held with the organs of
18 the autonomous region, with the government of the Serbian Republic of
19 Krajina and UNPROFOR. The remaining possibility was to expedite a
20 voluntary emigration toward Banja Luka and that a return to the valley of
21 Japra was definitely impossible, but this population showed no willingness
22 to it."
23 My questions, Mr. Pasic, relate to the negotiations that you had
24 with the organs of the autonomous region in respect of the emigration of
25 these people. Who did you speak to in the ARK region? Who did you
1 negotiate with?
2 A. I already talked about this. As far as I can remember, at least
3 the only conversation that I remember is the one with Mr. Kupresanin. I
4 talked to him. I don't know whether anybody else from the Crisis Staff
5 talked to him. It is possible. However, after all this time, I cannot
6 remember who and when talked to him. I do not wish to challenge this
7 report now. There is no reason for that. But most likely there was
8 somebody there from the AR Krajina government, and UNPROFOR. I remember
9 talking to Mr. Kupresanin, but that conversation had the goal of informing
10 him. That was the nature of that conversation.
11 Q. Let's turn to page 10 of that same document, the paragraph --
12 second paragraph from the bottom. I'll read it to you then I'm going to
13 ask you about it: "Along with this problem there remained the issue of
14 Blagaj residents. Since the option of their emigration toward western
15 Europe was definitely discarded, the superior bodies (AR Krajina
16 government, government of Serb Republic, BH), et cetera, were asked to
17 determine a decisive stand on the status of that Muslim population. The
18 answer given was that there it was a possibility of them being exchanged
19 for Serbs captured in Zenica, Travnik and Busovaca, but this was not --
20 this has not taken place."
21 Two questions about that. With whom did you negotiate at the
22 government of the Serb republic in respect of the status of the Muslim
24 A. If I understood your question correctly about who I talked with in
25 AR Krajina --
1 Q. No I'm asking you about the government of the Serb Republic of BH.
2 Who did you talk to in the Serb Republic of BH, as recorded in this
4 A. Once again, I repeat this for the third or fourth time: If you
5 have in mind that critical period of time, the 23rd or the 24th, I believe
6 I did not speak to anyone in the government of the Serb Republic of BH.
7 Q. So this report that was confirmed and ratified by the municipal
8 assembly and accepted by it is in error? Is that your testimony?
9 A. No. That's not what I said. I didn't say that was erroneous. I
10 just said that I did not speak to anyone in the government of the Serb
11 Republic of BH.
12 Q. Who for Bosanski Novi municipality spoke about the status of the
13 Muslim population with a -- with members of the government of the Serb
14 republic? Can you assist us with that?
15 A. I truly don't remember whether anybody talked.
16 Q. Well, the answer that is given was that -- one answer was that
17 these people could be exchanged for Serbs. You know who gave that
19 A. I really don't remember that response. I believe that this
20 information came from Banja Luka. I don't know from what official organs,
21 though. It was presented as a possibility. They said there was a
22 possibility to have some exchanges, at least that's what I was told. I
23 was told that it is possible to have some Serb inhabitants who lived in
24 the area where they were threatened exchanged for some other inhabitants.
25 However, this was not implemented, not in Novi Grad.
1 Q. Was there anybody from the ARK region or the republic level of the
2 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina who suggested that additional
3 police forces could be sent to protect these people and protect them in
4 their homes?
5 A. I believe that it was us who asked from the public security centre
6 in Banja Luka. I think that it was us who asked for a special unit, which
7 was located in Banja Luka. I don't know what period of time it was, but I
8 know that this unit came to Novi Grad and it did more of a disservice to
9 us than anything else, and I believe that this is reported somewhere in
10 one of the reports. After that, when we realised that this special unit
11 was really not helping us at all, we asked that it urgently be sent back
12 because it really only did us a disservice.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon, before you continue, I'm looking at the
14 clock. I was informed that the Defence would need at least 15 minutes for
15 re-examination. How much time would you still need?
16 MR. HARMON: 45 minutes, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that means that we cannot finish today.
18 Then the next question would be -- there has been an allusion
19 already to that at an earlier moment today, whether there will be any
20 hearing tomorrow.
21 For urgent personal reasons, I cannot sit tomorrow. The Rules
22 give an opportunity to the other two judges to continue in my absence. I
23 will consult with my colleagues whether they wish to continue in my
24 absence or whether they rather wait until I'm present again, which would
25 mean that, since tomorrow is the last day before the recess, that we would
1 then have to invite the witness to come back after he has returned over
2 the Christmas period.
3 Let me consult with my colleagues.
4 [Trial chamber confers]
5 JUDGE ORIE: I can't say the Chamber has decided but the two
6 remaining judges, if I may deliver the decision of the two remaining
7 judges, they will not use the opportunity given by Rule 15 bis, I think it
8 is. They would prefer to hear the whole of the testimony of the witness
9 with three judges, which means that in a couple of minutes we'll adjourn.
10 And, Mr. Pasic, you may have followed what I just said. It has,
11 as a consequence for you, that since we will not sit tomorrow and since
12 tomorrow will be the last day before the Christmas recess, that the
13 Chamber will ask you to come back, and then Mr. Josse and Mr. Harmon, I
14 think it would be -- although the Chamber fully understands that this is
15 not very pleasant for you, to leave The Hague and then to return after a
16 couple of weeks, and the first day we are sitting again is the 16th of
17 January. I do not know what has been prepared for the 16th of January,
18 Mr. Josse, but could we -- I take it that we would need another -- all
19 together another perhaps, together with the questions of the Bench,
20 another two hours with this witness.
21 MR. JOSSE: I think that's right. We need to schedule at least
22 two hours because my estimate of 15 minutes was at the last break.
23 Presently I intend a relatively long re-examination.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let's say we need at least half a session because the
25 judges might have some questions as well.
1 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Would that be -- for the 16th of January, would that
3 cause you any problems? Because I don't think that we have received yet,
4 but I'm not quite sure about that, a list of witnesses to be --
5 MR. JOSSE: The Court has not received a list of witnesses of the
6 that's absolutely correct and we could schedule this witness for that day,
7 as far as I'm concerned. I suppose my learned friend --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Of course. Mr. Harmon the 16th of January?
9 MR. HARMON: Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Pasic, as you may have noticed, we were
11 discussing the possibility of continuing your examination on the 16th of
12 January. Would it be possible for you to come back on that date?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I regret that we will be unable to
14 finish tonight. I would kindly ask the Trial Chamber to take into
15 consideration certain religious circumstances in my life. The 20th of
16 January is a very important holiday for me. It's my patron saint day. So
17 I need several days in order to prepare for the festivities. I am
18 prepared to come back, but please take this into account and please take
19 into account this event, if possible.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And if we would not need any more than Monday,
21 the 16th, what we -- let me just look at it.
22 MR. JOSSE: I think it may be a Tuesday, Your Honour, but I'm not
24 JUDGE ORIE: I've got a Monday for the 16th of January.
25 MR. JOSSE: Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: The 16th of January, we are scheduled for the morning
2 hours. So most likely, Mr. Pasic, there would be a possibility -- I'm not
3 certain about flights, but most likely there would be an opportunity for
4 you to return on that same day, so that three days would remain until the
5 20th of January. Would that --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That would be fine.
7 MR. JOSSE: It's very unlikely he could return that day,
8 Your Honour. I think that's extremely unlikely.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And any reason for that?
10 MR. JOSSE: Because I think - we could ask - he would fly from
11 Zagreb and I think the only flight is the one in the middle of the day,
12 12.00-ish, I think. I don't pretend to be an expert on these things.
13 Very far from it. Perhaps we could ask.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps the -- Mr. Registrar.
15 [Trial chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The Chamber has considered the matter. The
17 witness is invited to come back on the 16th of January.
18 And Mr. Pasic, we'll do whatever we can to see that you return as
19 quickly as possible, if possible that same day. If not, then certainly
20 the next day.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thank you very much for that,
22 Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: If there would be any change, you'll hear from the
24 Victims and Witnesses section because they cannot be consulted at this
25 very moment because of the time of the day.
1 Then we'll adjourn until the 16th of --
2 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, excuse me, there was one matter --.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. HARMON: -- that I did want to raise with the court. It was in
5 respect --
6 JUDGE ORIE: In the absence of the witness? Yes, you said you
7 would like to.
8 MR. HARMON: In the absence of the witness.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then, Mr. Pasic, first of all, you were talking about
10 religion. A happy Christmas for you as well, even if it's perhaps not on
11 the same day as we celebrate Christmas. A happy Christmas to you and your
12 people, and we would like to see you back on the 16th at 9.00 in the
13 morning. Thank you. You may follow Madam Usher, and I have to instruct
14 you that even for these longer periods of time, you are instructed not to
15 speak with anyone about the testimony you've given and I can imagine that,
16 since it was a public testimony, that people start asking questions about
17 it or want to discuss it with you. You are instructed not to do so, and
18 neither to discuss anything about the testimony still to come. Then I
19 wish you a safe trip home for this moment and I would like to thank you
20 for your flexibility and your willingness to come back on the 16th of
21 January. Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Harmon?
24 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I only wanted to raise one matter in
25 respect of an exhibit. I'll do it very quickly. I was fearful that it
1 would become too stale if we have to wait until January to raise this
2 issue. I'm referring to Exhibit P967. This was a set of handwritten
3 notes that related to the testimony of Mr. Stavnjak. The Court -- I had
4 made a submission that these handwritten notes had been recovered in
5 Gorazde - I'm referring to the transcript at page 18051 - that this --
6 Your Honour had asked me if I had further details. I said I would make a
7 further inquiry, and I have made that inquiry, Your Honour, and these
8 handwritten notes were recovered by a unit of the Bosnian army at a house
9 in Gorazde in late August of 1992 after the Serb forces had withdrawn from
10 Gorazde, and the house was the command of the Serb Territorial Defence
11 forces. There was a command of the Serb Territorial Defence forces in the
12 house where this document was recovered. That's what I wanted to submit
13 to the Court. Thank you for your indulgence, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's then on the record. If this raises any
15 further concerns or comments from the Defence, we'll hear from you
16 Mr. Josse.
17 MR. JOSSE: Could I make it clear that Mr. Harmon was good enough
18 to tell me that earlier. This was an inquiry of the Chamber rather than a
19 point raised by Mr. Stewart who was dealing with that particular witness.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, it could be that on the basis of this
21 information he would have any additional concerns.
22 MR. JOSSE: In that case I will reserve the Defence position. I'm
23 grateful for that.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 Then we will adjourn until the 16th of January but not until after
1 I have -- unless there is anything else, Mr. Harmon, but not until
2 after -- I have to stop. I just got a message that there might be a
3 problem with the 16th. I think I already said to the witness that if
4 there'll be any change, the 17th is suggested now but I'd like to mare
5 more about these problems before we make any change. Then, of course, the
6 parties will be informed and the witness will be informed.
7 As I said, I'll not adjourn until after I have wished everyone
8 good days, whether religious or just at the end of the year and the start
9 of the new year.
10 Mr. Krajisnik, the Chamber is fully aware that celebrating
11 Christmas in your position is not the thing one would wish. One would
12 wish other circumstances. The Chamber is fully aware of that, but
13 nevertheless we would like to convey also to you our best wishes for the
14 coming weeks.
15 We stand adjourned.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.,
17 to be reconvened on Monday, the 16th day of January
18 2006, at 9.00 a.m.