1 Monday, 30 January 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.23 p.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-00-39-T, the Prosecutor versus Momcilo Krajisnik.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Mr. Margetts, are you ready to continue the cross-examination?
11 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Then I'd like to remind you, Mr. Savkic, that you're
13 still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of
14 your testimony; that is that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and
15 nothing but truth.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
17 WITNESS: TOMISLAV SAVKIC [Resumed]
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Margetts: [Continued]
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 MR. MARGETTS:
21 Q. Mr. Savkic, when we concluded on Friday, we were going through
22 your various positions that you held between 1991 and 1995, and you had
23 provided details in respect of the positions you held in the party and the
24 positions you've held in government, and you were commencing with your
25 answer in relation to the positions that you held in the military, and if
1 my memory serves me correctly, you'd reached September 1992, and so I
2 invite you to continue with the description of the positions that you
3 held, the units you were involved with in the military until the end of
5 A. Yes. I arrived by September, and I said that after the commander
6 for the defence of the mine, I returned and was the person in charge of
7 engineering until the 1st of November, 1992, when I took over the 1st
8 Infantry Battalion, and as commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion, I was
9 at that post until the 1st of November, 1993, when I became the president
10 of the Municipal Assembly, and after that I was no longer part of the
11 military formations.
12 I would just like to make an addition regarding the party. I
13 remembered that I did not say that from the period 2001. Perhaps I did
14 say it, but I don't think that I did, that from 2001 until 2005, I was
15 member of the Main Board of the Serbian Democratic Party. And also, if
16 you allow me, I remember I did express reserves at the time, but when I
17 was asked by the Defence counsel, who were the councillors or deputies who
18 left with Hodzic, I mentioned Atif Ceric. I don't rule out the
19 possibility that he was a deputy, but I think that the person that we
20 talked about, the shopkeeper, was Hasan Dzindo.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Savkic. There's just one area I'm not entirely
22 clear on, and that is that your record shows that you were engaged in war
23 service from the 6th of April, 1992. Could you explain to the Trial
24 Chamber precisely what unit you were involved in from the 6th of April,
25 1992, until the transformation of the TO into the Infantry Brigade
1 subordinated to the Birac Brigade.
2 A. I didn't say that it was from the 6th of April that I was in any
3 military unit. What I said was that our military booklets had either the
4 date 4th of April or the 6th of April written down in them. There is a
5 reason why this date was put in our booklets. I said that in that period,
6 later, other than -- first of all, I'm thinking of March -- no, May.
7 Other than carrying out my functions in my company, I was also carrying
8 out the work regarding the engineering provisions in relation to the mine
9 at the staff or the command of this unit of the Territorial Defence or,
10 rather, that battalion. That's what I said.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Savkic. I'd now like to move to your election --
12 or not your election but your appointment as a deputy in the Republika
13 Srpska Assembly. I have a copy of the attendance records of the Assembly
14 for the period from May 1992 through to the period October 1993, and I'd
15 like to present those to you. They're contained in tab 20.
16 JUDGE ORIE: On your list it appears as having no number yet,
17 Mr. Margetts.
18 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. If that could receive --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 20, Your Honours, will be P1054.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
22 MR. MARGETTS:
23 Q. Mr. Savkic, if you could look at the document before you, you'll
24 see that at the top of the table there is a reference which states --
25 which explains what the table represents, and that is it says: "The
1 numbers on the right-hand side indicate the number of the sessions from
2 which the deputy was absent."
3 Can you please look at number 74, which is your name, and you'll
4 see that there listed at number 74 are the sessions that you did not
5 attend in the period May 1992 through to October 1993.
6 Mr. Savkic, do you have any reason to doubt the accuracy of this
8 A. I don't have number 74 on my list.
9 Q. Mr. Savkic, I think if you turn over the page, twice, in fact.
10 Apologies for that. It's broken up due to the stamp which authenticates
11 this as an original document.
12 A. It states here that I did not attend the 16th, 20th, 23rd, 24th,
13 34th, the 3rd part, and the 35th sessions.
14 Q. Yes. Do you have any reason to dispute the accuracy of this
16 A. Well, I don't know the dates of these sessions right now. I
17 should know the dates. I don't know specifically what you mean. I don't
18 see the dates when these sessions were held.
19 Q. No, the dates are not contained there. I can assist you in some
20 respects, and that is to say as follows: The 16th session which it's
21 listed that you did not attend was a session on the 12th of May, 1992,
22 held in Banja Luka. The next session which these records record you did
23 attend was the 17th session, which was held at the Bistrica hotel in
24 Jahorina. Is that consistent with your memory that that was the first
25 session you attended?
1 MR. JOSSE: The date for that, please?
2 MR. MARGETTS:
3 Q. And the date of that session was the 24th to the 26th of July.
4 A. All I know is that the session that adopted that decision - this
5 was in May - all I know is that I was given that mandate then. I was not
6 at that session, definitely, and I know that the first session that I did
7 attend was in September or October, but I know that the first session that
8 I attended was, as far as I can remember, held in Prijedor. I cannot
9 recall attending any other sessions.
10 Q. All right. Mr. Savkic, the session that you were nominated as the
11 deputy to replace Mr. Zekic was in fact this session, the 17th session of
12 the 24th to 26th July, 1992, at the Bistrica hotel, Jahorina. Were you
13 present on the day that your nomination to replace Mr. Zekic was on the
14 agenda of the Assembly?
15 A. If that's the session, then I definitely did not attend it. If
16 that's the one held at Bistrica, then I definitely did not attend. I
17 thought that that was the May session. But, no, if you say that this was
18 held at Bistrica, meaning later, then I definitely did not attend it.
19 Q. Okay. So I'll move on. If you could close the exhibits before
21 Now, you told the Trial Chamber that you lived all your life in
22 Milici, and in fact you lived in the village of Dubnica. That's correct,
23 isn't it?
24 A. No. I was born in Dubnica. I lived my whole life in Milici,
25 except for 1983, when I had an apartment as a professor. From 1983 until
1 the 14th of June, 1994, when I moved to the Boksit Company. And at the
2 same time, I actually offered my thanks for the school apartment. So this
3 was a period of one year. And even then I didn't sleep, because one of my
4 colleagues slept there because I was sleeping at my parents' in Dubnicki
5 Most, or Dubnica.
6 Q. And your friend Rade Bjelanovic, he was from the village of Gornji
7 Zalukovik; correct?
8 Sorry, the witness is indicating that he didn't receive a
10 I will repeat the question, Mr. Savkic. Your friend Rade
11 Bjelanovic, he was from the village of Gornji Zalukovik; correct?
12 A. Yes, I understand. I'm -- I'm -- Radomir Bjelanovic was born in
13 Gornji Zalukovik, and he lived for most of his life in Vlasenica. Also,
14 sometime in the 1980s, he was given an apartment in Milici. However, then
15 - I mean when he was in Vlasenica and over there - he was an engineer in
16 the same company that I worked at, and I've already said we were good
18 Q. Okay. Mr. Savkic, if we could move on to the Crisis Staff of
19 Milici, that's the Serb Crisis Staff of Milici. You mentioned in your
20 evidence-in-chief that that was disbanded on the 30th of May, 1992, and
21 you also gave evidence that the Muslims were forming Crisis Staffs at the
22 time that you had the Municipal Assembly meeting on the 14th of April,
23 1992. When was the Serb Crisis Staff formed?
24 A. In your question, something is obviously not quite right. You're
25 talking about the Serb Crisis Staff in Milici, and you're talking about
1 the session on the 14th of April in Vlasenica. I don't know if the
2 interpretation was correct.
3 Q. Well, in that case, let me be clear and not confound the issue.
4 The first thing I was saying was that you told the Trial Chamber that on
5 the 14th of April, 1992, when you had the Municipal Assembly meeting in
6 Vlasenica, that the Muslims were not present, and in fact they were
7 forming Crisis Staffs. That's the first point.
8 The second point is this: That in your evidence-in-chief you said
9 that the Milici Crisis Staff was disbanded on the 30th of May, 1992. So
10 what I'd like you now to tell the Trial Chamber - and you only need to
11 give the date - when was the Milici Crisis Staff formed?
12 A. The Prosecutor, I don't know, either because the translation was
13 incorrect or -- I don't know, but in the transcript it will state clearly
14 at the Municipal Assembly of Vlasenica, on the 14th of April or the 16th
15 of April, it doesn't matter, I said was attended by deputies of Muslim
16 ethnicity. His Honour the Presiding Judge asked me how many of such
17 deputies were there. I said either three to five at least, up to 15 the
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... the mistake is mine. What I
20 have said is Muslims were not present. I should have said a number of the
21 Muslim representatives were not present. But putting that aside and
22 putting aside the background I've tried to give you to orient your answer,
23 can you just then answer this question, just this simple question: When
24 was the Crisis Staff of Milici formed?
25 A. The Milici Crisis Staff was never formed, as far as I know. As
1 far as I know, the Crisis Staff in Milici was never formed. The Municipal
2 Assembly was formed. It was constituted, as well as the Executive Board.
3 That was also established. That's what I said. This can be found in the
5 Q. Now, you also talked about the Serbian municipality of Milici. I
6 take it that a statute was adopted establishing the Milici municipality;
7 is that correct?
8 A. Well, the statute probably was adopted. That's your assumption.
9 But that's something that should be put to the Milici president of the
10 Municipal Assembly, who is a person, and his first and last name is known.
11 I can tell you what his first and last name is.
12 Q. And, Mr. Savkic, you referred to the protocol establishing the
13 Milici municipality. When was the Milici municipality first proclaimed?
14 A. The Milici municipality. I can't remember the date it was
15 proclaimed, but from 1945 until 1958, the Milici municipality existed.
16 Then it was abolished and joined with the --
17 Q. Sorry, Mr. Savkic. I'm -- I'm intending to refer to the Milici
18 municipality that's been the subject of your evidence and was the subject
19 of the protocol signed on the 11th of April, 1992. When was that Milici
20 municipality proclaimed?
21 A. The Milici municipality, once the joint Assembly session was held
22 in Vlasenica, was proclaimed then. However, all the preparations
23 regarding its actual existence - I mean that's probably when the statute
24 that you mention was adopted - anyway, all of this was carried out in late
25 March. I think that it was the 31st of March, actually. I'm not sure,
1 but I think that all this was done on the 31st of March. It was
2 constituted, then the potential deputies were taken into consideration,
3 how many of them, and how it can be constituted also was looked at.
4 Q. Now, you've referred to the specific date, the 31st of March. Why
5 has that date come to your mind? Do you have any documents in mind that
6 relate to the 31st of March?
7 A. I don't have these documents here now, but in the archives of the
8 Municipal Assembly of Milici I believe the document exists.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Margetts, you are sort of obstructing the
10 microphone with the thing your papers are lying on. So could you turn on
11 the other microphone or do something.
12 MR. MARGETTS: I apologise for that. I have now turned on both
13 microphones to my left and my right. I hope that is of assistance.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, now the sound comes back on the other
15 microphone, so three is too much.
16 MR. MARGETTS: Okay. If I try two, does that work or have we got
17 it echoing?
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, up to the moment that we hear the whistle in
19 our earphones. Is it sufficient for the interpreters?
20 THE INTERPRETER: The left one is actually better. If you can
21 switch that one on and switch the right one off.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Okay.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you.
24 MR. MARGETTS:
25 Q. Okay. Mr. Savkic, are you able to describe this document, this
1 document of 31 March 1992 that you're thinking of?
2 A. What I'm referring to is the minutes from that Municipal Assembly
3 session, or alternatively, there could have been a poll of citizens in the
4 local communities, local communes belonging to Milici, as to whether they
5 wish to unite into the Milici municipality. So you have these reports by
6 local communes, and there's certainly a record of the session itself, the
8 Q. So prior to this decision and the session that you're referring to
9 to form the Milici municipality, had there been any decisions taken at the
10 republican level by the Assembly of the Serbian People to proclaim the
11 municipality of Milici?
12 A. No. Absolutely not. The initiative to set up the Milici Assembly
13 dates back to the 1978 study. And there was a demand made to the
14 initiative board of 1990 that the Municipal Assembly of Vlasenica reject
15 it, although the municipalities, all the local communes, both Muslim and
16 Serb, from that municipality demanded that this municipality should
17 separate. Any attempt to ascribe this attempt to that time period is
18 absolutely wrong. I have a complaint from the chairman of the initiative
19 board, and I'm talking about year 1979, why this municipality did not give
20 its approval --
21 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm going to have to stop
22 you. But it is the case, obviously, that the history of any municipality
23 is interesting, but we have to focus just on the issues that are relevant
24 here and this historical record, unfortunately, is not relevant to the
25 issues we're talking about today.
1 Moving on to other matters dealing with the republican level. In
2 May of 1992, did you receive the Official Gazette of the Assembly of the
3 Serbian People of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Milici?
4 A. In that case, it would be best to ask that question of the
5 president of the Municipal Assembly or the president of the Executive
6 Council. Personally, I believe that in that period, although -- no.
7 You'd better ask them. I had no insight into the work of the Municipal
8 Assembly or the Executive Council, but if you're asking me, I didn't see
9 that Official Gazette.
10 Q. So were you aware that decisions taken at the republican level, or
11 were you aware -- I'll ask you the question this way: Were decisions
12 taken at the republican level implemented in the municipality of Milici in
13 May of 1992?
14 A. I have to repeat this question once again: That question had
15 better be put to the president of the Municipal Assembly and the president
16 of the Executive Council. I cannot say one way or another.
17 JUDGE ORIE: If you know it, tell us whether you know it from your
18 own observation or whether you know it because someone told you. If you
19 don't know, please tell us as well, but to whom the question should have
20 been addressed is -- Mr. Margetts will find someone else if you can't
21 answer that question.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
24 If I could turn to tab 5, and if the document there could have an
25 exhibit number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 5, Your Honours, will be P1055.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you. For the benefit of the parties and
4 possibly the benefit of the witness, I brought the original of this
5 document along because the copy in some respects is not as clear as it
6 could be. So possibly if I could pass this first to the Trial Chamber and
7 secondly to the Defence and finally to the witness.
8 And, Your Honour, with the benefit of the original having been
9 extracted from evidence, we obtained a revised translation, which we'll
11 Q. Mr. Savkic, this is a decision taken by you as president of the
12 Crisis Staff, and you'll see that the stamp there is the stamp of the
13 Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, municipality of Milici, as the
14 header on the document also depicts. And you'll see that the stamp at the
15 top is marked 31 March 1992, and similarly the date in the preamble is 31
16 March 1992.
17 Now, Mr. Savkic, this document in a number of ways contradicts the
18 evidence you've given to this Trial Chamber. You've told the Trial
19 Chamber that a Crisis Staff wasn't formed. You've told the Trial Chamber
20 that if it was, you were never informed, and you never knew you were a
21 member of the Crisis Staff. You've told the Trial Chamber that the
22 Municipal Assembly was running the municipality, and this document quite
23 clearly shows that the Crisis Staff in fact had authority. You have
24 indicated to the Trial Chamber what you thought of the formation of Crisis
25 Staffs by the Muslims without mentioning to the Trial Chamber that at that
1 time you had already formed a Crisis Staff, you were president of that
2 Crisis Staff, and it was operating.
3 So in short, do you have any response to the inconsistency in this
4 original document and your evidence?
5 A. Yes, distinguished gentlemen. This document has its own
6 background. First of all, it's obvious that they did everything well, but
7 there's no signature of that president of the Crisis Staff called Tomislav
8 Savkic. The forgery's all the greater because there is a seal, a stamp of
9 the president of the Municipal Assembly, and it is numbered 1.
10 The purpose of this document lies in another document that I have
11 here, and it was needed by those gentlemen only in order to cover up the
12 non-payment of taxes as costs of the greatest local company, the Boksit
13 Company. So they were presenting or covering their non-payment of taxes
14 in 1992 as allocations to the army.
15 This was recovered in 1998, but the problem, Mr. Prosecutor, is
16 that you are receiving documents to discredit me from criminals whom I
17 have been persecuting all my life, and especially during the war in 1995
18 to 1998, when I was anti-constitutionally replaced from the post of
19 president of Municipal Assembly. That is the only truth. All other
20 versions are false. Even this stamp here does not correspond to the
21 actual stamp from that time.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Savkic. If -- so I take it that your response is
23 again that there was no Crisis Staff, it didn't function, and that you
24 consider this document is a forgery. That's correct? You consider this a
1 A. Distinguished gentlemen, I have stated before this Honourable
2 Court that I am not informed whether that Crisis Staff ever existed, and I
3 stand by that statement. I think all this can be subjected to expertise,
4 and we can establish what the truth is.
5 Q. Yes. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: May I just ask you, if you -- in your last answer,
7 when you say, "I'm not informed whether that Crisis Staff ever existed,"
8 is -- are you now referring to the Serb Crisis Staff of Milici?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Crisis Staff of Milici, yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then I did not fully understand what this
11 document was intended to cover up. I just didn't fully understand. This
12 document says that the taxes on the turnover of the goods and services has
13 been directed to the budget of the Milici municipality.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Dear sir, the Government of
15 Republika Srpska, which was then called the government of the Serbian
16 Republic Bosnia and Herzegovina, once passed a decree which states --
17 stated clearly that Municipal Assemblies can re-channel this tax by virtue
18 of their own decisions to municipal budgets, because at that time
19 municipalities financed everything, including the army. And it was said
20 that at some point that municipalities should form Crisis Staffs whose
21 competencies should include this as well. And I have a document from the
22 time when the government asked the taxes to be paid. The President of the
23 Executive Board had to submit, to attach one decision or another. He
24 chose this one, and I can only guess at the reason. I suppose that in the
25 period when this was ordered, from the 1st of January, 1992, until the
1 31st of December, there was neither a municipality or Assembly or various
2 other authorities, so they zoomed in on the Crisis Staff. And if you
3 allow me, I can find that document, a business arrangement between the
4 Government of Republika Srpska and this particular company.
5 JUDGE ORIE: If you'd first please explain to me. I do understand
6 from your answer that this document should cover up the non-payment of
7 taxes. Is that correct?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not to cover up non-payment,
9 actually, but to justify the allocations from that company to the army, to
10 the police force, and the entire logistical base in that period. And all
11 of this was actually justified, recognised until and including November.
12 So they were given tax reliefs, et cetera.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let's take it step-by-step. The taxes on the
14 turnover and services has been directed to the budget of Milici
15 municipality. You say this document serves to justify the allocations
16 from that company to the army, to the police force. What -- that company,
17 which one is that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The document that I have on me
19 concerns the Boksit Company.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So whether or not you have a document on it.
21 So your answer is the Boksit Company, taxes paid per that company are now
22 redirected to the budget of the Milici municipality through this document;
23 is that correct?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes and no. Yes, because of
25 the wording. But in actual fact this tax was paid through allocations in
1 kind, such as food. There is a system of barter lying behind it;
2 allocations of oil, oil derivatives, et cetera. This was all calculated
3 and compared to taxes due, and at the end of the year it turned out that,
4 at the bottom line, the government should pay to the company another 100
5 million dinars.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It's still not very -- not very clear, but,
7 Mr. Margetts, please proceed.
8 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if we could move on -- and certainly
9 that doesn't mean it's clear to the Prosecution either, but if we could
10 move on to the next exhibit, and that's tab 4.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That would be tab 4, and tab 4 --
12 MR. MARGETTS: Is previous Exhibit P64A, which is an excerpt from
13 the 12th session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly of 24 March, 1992.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Would you have binder and tab number?
15 MR. MARGETTS: I apologise, Your Honour, I don't have anything
16 more than P64. I'll attempt to get that. I think it's the footnotes of
17 the Treanor report.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's proceed on the basis of the information
19 you gave.
20 MR. MARGETTS:
21 Q. Mr. Savkic, if I could refer you to this document, and in
22 particular it's the part of this document which appears at page 40 before
23 you, and you will see there's an eight-digit number at the top of the page
24 that's stamped on the page, which is 00896896.
25 Now, this is an extract of the proceedings of the Bosnian Serb
1 Assembly of the 24th of March, 1992. And if you go down the page to the
2 last paragraph, with the heading "Decision," and if you read that portion
3 of the document to the end of the page, and that's sufficient.
4 Yes. Mr. Savkic, have you read that part of that particular page,
5 and do you see that that is a decision taken by the Assembly of the
6 Serbian People on the verification of the decisions of municipal
7 Assemblies on the proclamation of territories of the newly established
8 Serb municipalities, and that includes Milici.
9 Mr. Savkic, this contradicts your evidence as well. You said
10 today, although you didn't say it in your evidence-in-chief, you said
11 today that the municipal -- the municipality of Milici may have been
12 proclaimed on the 31st of March, 1992. This decision clearly demonstrates
13 it was proclaimed earlier. Secondly, you said this had nothing to do with
14 decisions at a republican level. Well, this decision those that there was
15 a proclamation of this municipality at the republican level.
16 You also told the Trial Chamber at one stage of your evidence in
17 chief that the municipal -- municipality of Milici, the Municipal Assembly
18 of Milici, had no indicia of ethnicity. That's false as well. This
19 decision demonstrates that it in fact was a Serb municipality.
20 Do you have any explanation for the contradictions between the
21 evidence you've given this Trial Chamber and this contemporaneous
23 A. Dear sirs, I will state unequivocally now: The Municipal Assembly
24 of Milici - and I'm saying this officially now - was on the 31st of March,
25 1992, proclaimed, and I claim it will be confirmed by everyone from that
1 negotiating team that worked a long time that our municipality adopted all
2 these documents, including the protocol, without the knowledge of the
3 authorities of Republika Srpska. And when I say without the knowledge,
4 it's with the exception of this Bedjit [phoen], who probably made all that
5 material available to them. And without the knowledge of the third rule
6 authorities of Yugoslavia. I'm stating this responsibly.
7 So as for who provided this information to the levels upstairs, I
8 don't know, but it is not the first time that such documents are
9 demonstrating that communication between the Government of Republika
10 Srpska and the local authorities was not the best. But in view of the
11 kind of times we were living in, that's no wonder.
12 Q. Mr. Savkic, regarding the communications between the Republika
13 Srpska republican level and the regional level, I'd like to refer to the
14 next page of this Assembly session, and in particular, I'd like to refer
15 you to the paragraph that's about in the middle of the page and commences
16 with the words: "Presidents of all SAOs should inform about the
17 establishment of Serb municipalities," and I'd like to refer you to the --
18 not the next small sentence but next paragraph, which says: "The chairman
19 -" that being Mr. Krajisnik - "explained, having said that all presidents
20 of the autonomous regions had received instructions and that they were
21 supposed to prepare and organise everything."
22 So, Mr. Savkic, you see there that there's a reference to the work
23 of the Serbian Autonomous Region presidents. Now, in your municipality,
24 the Serbian Autonomous Region Assembly of Birac was the autonomous region
25 Assembly that was responsible for Vlasenica and Milici.
1 Now, in your evidence-in-chief you failed to refer to the
2 existence of that Assembly, and you failed to refer to your involvement in
3 it. And I'd like to refer to tab 41 of the Prosecution's exhibits, and
4 that already has an exhibit number. And that is again P64A, and I
5 understand that to be a footnote to Mr. Treanor's report.
6 Mr. Savkic, if I could refer you first to page numbered 28, with
7 the eight-digit stamp at the top 02919245, and you'll see this is the
8 minutes of a meeting of the Assembly of the Autonomous District Birac held
9 on 5 February 1992 in Milici. And then if I can get you to look over a
10 number of pages, you will see that -- in fact, if you can go to page 33,
11 which is marked at the top 02919250, you will see that there's a list of
12 people who have been elected to working bodies of the Assembly. At
13 section 4 you are marked as number 5. You have been elected to the
14 political council of the Assembly of the Autonomous District Birac.
15 Now, if I could now move to another exhibit, and that is the
16 exhibit at tab 3.
17 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, Mr. Margetts has been going on for in
18 excess of 25 lines. He has not asked the witness a question.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, do you want to put a question after you
20 have confronted the witness with two documents, or is this document
21 worth --
22 MR. MARGETTS: I think -- yes, Your Honour. Just in this instance
23 it would be more efficient if I referred him to the other document as
24 well, then asked him the question I have in mind.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then you're allowed to do so.
1 Mr. Savkic -- but let me just -- I want to be sure that Mr. Savkic
2 has found the portion where his name is mentioned, that is members elected
3 to the political council. Have you found that, Mr. Savkic?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not yet, Your Honour. I didn't
5 understand all that well.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Savkic, semi-last page. At the very bottom
7 of that page your name appears. And from the translation, the Chamber
8 understands that that's a list of the members elected to the political
9 council at the meeting of the Assembly of the Autonomous District Birac on
10 the 5th of -- is it the 5th of February or the 2nd of May?
11 MR. MARGETTS: The 5th of February, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: 5th of February, 1992. Have you found it? Yes?
13 Mr. Margetts will now draw --
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts will now draw your attention to another
16 document but please keep this one in mind.
17 MR. MARGETTS: And that's the document found at tab 3.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Tab 3.
19 MR. MARGETTS:
20 Q. Which is the minutes of the 1st session of the Executive Council
21 of the Birac SAO, held on 18 February 1992.
22 Mr. Savkic, if you look at the top of the first page of that
23 document, you will see that this is the minutes of the Executive Council
24 for SAO Birac. If you then look at the last line on the first page,
25 continuing over to the second page, you will see that you, a part of a
1 four-member team who were tasked to review the existing map of the ethnic
2 region and to see a representative at the republican level by the name of
3 Mr. Jovo Miskin. And then if I can refer you further down the page,
4 you'll see that under the heading Conclusion, which appears towards --
5 just above the middle of the page, there are four steps set out for --
6 what it says is, it's -- these steps are set out: "In order to take over
7 power in the area of the Birac SAO as efficiently as possible, it is
8 necessary to take stock of the existing situation in the following
10 The question I have for you, Mr. Savkic, is this: That having had
11 a number of opportunities in the course of your examination-in-chief, and
12 having been given an express opportunity to state all party, government,
13 military positions you held, you failed to mention once your involvement
14 in the Assembly of the SAO Birac, and you failed to mention this body at
15 all whilst purporting in your evidence-in-chief to deal with the events in
16 Vlasenica and Milici accurately. And so my question to you is this: Your
17 evidence, Mr. Savkic, has been untrue and false in relation to your
18 involvement in affairs in February 1992 in Vlasenica.
19 A. Gentlemen, I'm hearing for the first time that a post or a
20 function can be that deputy -- being a deputy can be a function, that
21 being a member of a commission can also be a function, or a member of some
22 board. According to what I believe, that was never so. Officials were
23 always determined, and it is known who they are. What is just listed is
24 something that never constituted a function and never will.
25 It's true that this Assembly was held. That's beyond dispute.
1 And as far as I can see, the first government session also was held. It's
2 true that this government, this Executive Council, actually never fully
3 functioned. There were some agreements to provide premises where they
4 could actually meet to work, there were agreements about this and about
5 that, but ultimately it all remained at the level of conclusions.
6 Actually, the minute the decisions were made this body actually never
7 became fully functional. That's how it was.
8 The Birac SAO region - and everybody knows that - did not have any
9 chances of becoming, and it never existed as such.
10 Q. Mr. Savkic, we will address that matter in the course of another
11 subject later on. Could I now turn to tab 7.
12 JUDGE ORIE: But could we have the real response of Mr. Savkic.
13 Mr. Savkic, what Mr. Margetts is confronting you with is that he
14 says, well, what you told us about what your activities were, that's not
15 complete, because already in February, you were involved in activities on
16 the -- on this level in which you were tasked with reviewing the existing
17 map of the ethnic region and -- so what he actually wants to confront you
18 with is that in meetings where one was talking about in order to take over
19 power, and that's February, that you did not give a full picture of what
20 had happened in Milici because you left out your role in these activities
21 in the Autonomous Birac reason -- region, Autonomous District.
22 What's your comment on that? So let's not lose ourselves in
23 semantics on whether it's a function or just a role or a position or --
24 that's not the core of the issue. The core of the issue is that where you
25 gave a picture of others setting up Crisis Staffs and that you, as
1 Mr. Margetts confronts you now with, were already busy with ethnic maps of
2 the region, meetings where taking over of power was prepared or at least
3 discussed. That's what Mr. Margetts would like know. At least, what the
4 Chamber would like to know.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Gentlemen, as far as meetings are
6 concerned regarding these matters - I'm speaking generally about the
7 situation - we're talking about working meetings or party meetings, and
8 here we see at the Assembly there were so many meetings that at such a
9 turbulent time truly it was difficult for a man to remember all the
10 details. If I am expected to recall where I was on each particular day
11 and what I did, that then would create problems.
12 When we're talking about this, these minutes and this agenda, I
13 said that this government never came into being, never fully existed.
14 That's evident. And the things that were adopted at that meeting that we,
15 the four of us, should get in touch with Mr. Miskin, I don't know if any
16 of these people were actually informed about it.
17 One thing is certain, though: The four of us never actually met
18 together. Even some of these people, Nego Jevtic, Mitar Tesic, I don't
19 know if I ever actually met these people. They're completely unknown to
20 me. Rajko Vidakovic. If that's the person that I think is here, I think
21 I know him. But this person here, Nego Jevtic, please believe me when I
22 say that I never saw him.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Hanoteau would have a question for you.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Dear sir, on table number 3 --
25 could we take a look at table -- at tab number 3.
1 So at the conclusion, as the Prosecutor says, in English it says,
2 "A four-member team of representatives of the region should be formed up
3 and tasked to review the existing map..." and there's your name there.
4 There's your name there, under that heading. So were you consulted? Were
5 you told? Were you asked to be part of that team? Yes or no.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, definitely
7 -- in particular before the meeting and definitely after the meeting, no.
8 No, not to work with these people, two of whom I had never seen. I don't
10 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] So you were never consulted to be
11 part of that team? You were never asked?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That is absolutely correct. I was
13 never --
14 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you. Is it the first time
15 that you noticed that you were part of that team, today? Is that the
16 first time? Is that something that you're discovering right now?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. I am finding out now for
18 the first time that I was a part of this team.
19 MR. MARGETTS: If I could now turn to tab 7, Your Honour, and if
20 that could have an exhibit number.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 7, Your Honours, will be P1056.
23 MR. MARGETTS:
24 Q. Mr. Savkic, you have before you a decision made by the president
25 of the Assembly, Mile Lalovic, and it's dated 30 May 1992, and the
1 preamble reads: "Based on the decision of the Serb Republic
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the establishment of the army of the Serb Republic
3 of BH (the Official Gazette number 6/92) and Article 27 of the statute of
4 the Milici municipality, the Milici Municipal Assembly held on 30 May 1992
5 passed a decision on discontinuation of the Crisis Staff of the Milici
7 The first thing is this, Mr. Savkic: Is that you didn't say
8 whether or not you knew whether decisions of the republican level were
9 implemented in Milici. Do you see now that they were?
10 MR. JOSSE: Why does this document help with that question?
11 Surely my learned friend needs to establish some groundwork whether the
12 witness accepts the veracity of the document, he's ever seen it before,
13 whether he can comment on it, just the same way that the Defence have
14 repeatedly been told they have to do that with documents they put before
15 witnesses. The exact same thing applies, in my submission.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, in view of the objection, could you
17 please lay the relevant groundwork.
18 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. Your Honour, I may just -- I may
19 just withdraw that area of inquiry and proceed to other matters which
21 Q. Mr. Savkic, can you refer to paragraph 2 of this decision. It
22 states there: "Instead of the Crisis Staff, the Military Command of the
23 Milici Municipality and the Wartime Presidency of the Milici Municipality
24 have been established."
25 Now, Mr. Savkic, that contradicts the evidence that you've given
1 this Trial Chamber. The evidence you gave this Trial Chamber on a number
2 of occasions was that it was the Municipal Assembly and the Executive
3 Board that --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, I think you were invited to lay the --
5 the relevant groundwork, and it seems that you just continue, or is that
6 the wrong understanding of your approach?
7 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, that's correct. That's what I did. I
8 guess I should then respond to the objection.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 MR. MARGETTS: The situation is as follows, Your Honour: We have
11 a number of documents and the Prosecutor is satisfied of their
12 authenticity --
13 MR. JOSSE: Objection to that comment.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Savkic, tab 7. Have you ever seen that document
15 in your life before?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, I've never seen this document
17 before, but -- but what I said regarding the first decision stands. You
18 can see that this is the stamp of the president of the Assembly. I'm now
19 reading for the first time this decision.
20 Please, Article 2: Instead of the Crisis Staff, the military
21 command of the Milici municipality is being formed. If we really look at
22 the reality, until the 19th of May, the 19th of May, 1992, there was --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let me stop you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I mean, nothing really corresponds
25 to -- I'm seeing this for the first time.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do you know who Lalovic Mile is?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mile Lalovic is the president
3 of the Municipal Assembly, the first president of the Municipal Assembly.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Do you remember the signature of Lalovic Mile on this
5 document -- do you recognise the signature of Lalovic Mile on this
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am not sure if that's his
8 signature, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: You said something --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't tell.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I think you said something about the stamp. You said
12 you can see that this is the stamp of the president of the Assembly. What
13 did you mean to say by that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I meant was when we were
15 talking about the Crisis Staff, the decision regarding the taxes, the
16 decision of the Crisis Staff on taxes, this is the confirmation that the
17 stamp on that document is the stamp of the president of the Municipal
18 Assembly. We have the whole background, which I already suggested to you.
19 I suggested what the main purpose was. The main purpose was to have the
20 Boksit Company avoid paying taxes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: What does the stamp say? Does it say "The Serbian
22 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, opstina Milici"?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: So the stamp as such, if you say that stamp appears
25 once on a decision which is --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Crisis Staff.
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- and another time that it is a decision of the
3 Municipal Assembly, the stamp in itself doesn't give any clue as to
4 whether it's either Crisis Staff or Municipal Assembly, or perhaps even
5 both, if one considers them both to be part of the opstina of Milici. Is
6 this a correct conclusion, or would you draw my attention to any other
7 aspect of these stamps which would contradict what seems, in my view, to
8 be the obvious.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you see here that
10 there's a stamp here and also the name of the president of the
11 municipality. The document which was used to cover the non-payment of
12 taxes, there is no signature there. So it seems that that person is me.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, that signature is not the same as stamps.
14 The stamps you have seen before and this stamp -- that, is the
15 stamp on the text decision and this stamp, do you consider those to be the
16 same stamps or do you see any difference?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely number one. In both the
18 stamps it's the stamp of the president of the Assembly. There is no need
19 to say that until that time the gentleman worked at the Boksit Company
20 too. The whole purpose, again, is to evade paying taxes. That's why it
21 was done.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Now, you say this is the stamp of the
23 president of the Assembly, which seems to support the origin of this
24 document to be the Assembly.
25 On that basis and not having given any decision, Mr. Margetts, on
1 the authenticity of this document, you may put further questions to the
2 witness as to the content, of course within the limits of his own
3 knowledge, and please keep in mind it is the first time he sees this
5 MR. MARGETTS:
6 Q. Mr. Savkic, the second paragraph accurately sets out the municipal
7 authorities in 1992. That is as follows: In April and May of 1992, or
8 prior -- let's say this: Prior to the 30th of May, 1992, the Crisis Staff
9 was the municipal authority, and subsequent to the 30th of May, 1992, the
10 military command and the wartime Presidency of Milici was the municipal
11 authority, and your evidence that it was the Municipal Assembly is false;
13 A. I am saying again that the Crisis Staff of the municipality of
14 Milici did not exist because there was nobody to constitute such a body.
15 And please, we are here because of the truth. So for the sake of truth,
16 we need to see the minutes of all the Municipal Assembly sessions and the
17 sessions of the Executive Board of the Milici Municipal Assembly from the
18 31st of March until the 30th of May, 1991, and then we will have a clear
19 picture of what the Municipal Assembly was doing and what was the Crisis
20 Staff doing.
21 I can say that the background of all that is written here. I can
22 tell you what the background is if the Court wishes to hear it.
23 JUDGE ORIE: If you have specific knowledge on the -- especially
24 then paragraph 2, please tell us.
25 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt, but surely the
1 question is very straightforward. The question Mr. Margetts is asking is
2 does the witness accept what is said in paragraph 2 of this document.
3 It's as straightforward as that and the witness needs to comment on it.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think the witness did that. The witness said
5 that it couldn't be true because the Crisis Staff never existed, and now
6 he wants to explain to us the background. He's invited to do so if he has
7 any specific knowledge on it.
8 Please proceed.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Gentlemen, I think that a couple of
10 days before - perhaps on that day - the president of the republic
11 abolished the Crisis Staffs. This gentleman here, known as a bureaucrat,
12 probably proposed to the National Assembly -- no, not the National
13 Assembly but the Municipal Assembly -- made the proposal to the Municipal
14 Assembly, and it decided to abolish something that never actually existed,
15 unless he wanted to conceal or keep from knowledge that evasion of taxes
16 which happened when he was president.
17 This Article 2 also is illogical to the extent that "the military
18 command" is a term that was actually never used. It was always referred
19 to in that period as "the command of the town" or "the staff of the
20 Territorial Defence." Both terms were used.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Savkic, while explaining the document, you say,
22 as a matter of fact, that because there was a decision on a higher level
23 that Crisis Staffs should be abolished, that even where there was no
24 Crisis Staff it was abolished just following the instructions, I would say
25 blindly, without thinking about it, and you say that it also becomes
1 apparent if you use the language used here, which is not -- okay. That's
2 a clear answer.
3 Mr. Margetts, please proceed.
4 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour. I note the time. I would
5 be presenting another exhibit and wouldn't be finished within the next
6 minute or two.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll have a break until ten minutes past four.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, please proceed.
11 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour --
12 JUDGE ORIE: I receive the French translation of my own words in
13 English for a second, but I take it that we're back on English and on
14 channel 4.
15 Please proceed.
16 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I have two documents I'd like to
17 present, and they both need exhibit numbers.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
19 MR. MARGETTS: The first document I'll be referring to is a
20 document dated 27 May 1992, and the second is one dated 31 May 1992. And
21 the Defence already has a copy of these documents.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If you provide the witness with a copy. And
23 Mr. Registrar, that would be --
24 THE REGISTRAR: The first document, dated 27 May, 1992, Your
25 Honours, will be P1057; and other one, dated 31 May 1992, will be P1058,
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Mr. Savkic, you're looking at the document which is
4 P1057, which is a document dated 27 May 1992, and is a report of the duty
5 officer to the commander of the police station of Milici. I don't expect
6 that you would have received this, given it's addressed to Mr. Bjelanovic;
7 however, if your friend Mr. Bjelanovic gave it to you or you saw it
8 otherwise, could you please tell the Trial Chamber whether or not you've
9 seen it.
10 A. I have not seen this document before.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Savkic. If you could look at the second part of
12 the report, which is titled "Parties." And it refers to the incident when
13 the convoy of trucks was attacked, which you've referred to. The last two
14 sentences read as follows: "The attack took place in Konjevic Polje," and
15 the last sentence says: "The Milici Crisis Staff was informed of the
17 Mr. Savkic, this document contradicts your evidence that the
18 Milici Crisis Staff was not functioning, and this document shows, in fact,
19 that the Milici Crisis Staff was being informed of the events in the
20 terrain; correct?
21 A. Well, although it's the third time I'm saying this, I have to
22 repeat it. Obviously the Prosecutor is not listening to what I'm saying.
23 I --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Savkic, it is -- the Prosecutor is entitled, if
25 he finds other documents in which the existence or the functioning of a
1 Crisis Staff in his view is expressed, to confront you with that, and you
2 should then refrain from -- say that it doesn't change your answer or that
3 it did not exist or whether it's a forgery of -- or whether the author of
4 this document is an idiot, but please give an answer to his question.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I've just read this,
6 but Milovan Kresimir, I don't know which Milovan is meant. Maybe the duty
7 officer of the public security station. But in fact, that is not in
9 I have to tell you this: Very often -- I told you how many times
10 the staff was renamed: Staff of the army, staff of the battalion, staff
11 of the Territorial Defence, city staff, command of the city, et cetera, et
12 cetera. It's possible that in all this ignorance precisely this military
13 authority is named here Crisis Staff. That's a possibility, because the
14 person who wrote this is a policeman.
15 MR. MARGETTS:
16 Q. Mr. Savkic, I'd like to refer you to the next document, which is
17 P1058. It's dated the 31st of May, 1992. That again is a report to
18 Mr. Rade Bjelanovic, the commander of the police station, and I refer you
19 to the part that mentions your name, and it's the last part of the report.
20 It says: "Tomo Savkic was escorted by a patrol composed of M. Milosevic,
21 G. Lalovic and R. Saric." And it states that the patrol left at 2200,
22 direction of Milici-Vlasenica.
23 The reference to "M. Milosevic" is a reference to the policeman
24 stationed at the Milici police station, Milomir Milosevic; correct?
25 A. Yes, yes. All the three policemen are from Milici.
1 Q. And Mr. Milomir Milosevic was a subordinate of Mr. Rade
2 Bjelanovic; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Mr. Savkic, I've finished with that document. Now, the takeover
5 of the town of Vlasenica occurred on the 20th of April, 1992, and that
6 takeover was performed by the forces of the Yugoslav army and the formed
7 unit that was coordinated by the SDS Crisis Staff; correct?
8 A. No. That's absolutely incorrect.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'd like to refer to the document
10 that's at tab 6. And if that could be shown to the witness.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Tab 6 has no number yet.
12 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, sorry, Your Honour.
13 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1059, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
15 MR. MARGETTS:
16 Q. Mr. Savkic, this is a report setting out the history of the 1st
17 Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade sent by commander Major Mile Kosoric to
18 the Drina Corps command. And you can see in the first paragraph it reads
19 as follows: "On 20 April 1992 the forces of the Yugoslav Army and the
20 formed unit coordinated by the SDS Crisis Staff liberated the town of
21 Vlasenica." It then goes on to describe other activities of the SDS
22 Crisis Staff and the history of the 1st Vlasenica Light Infantry Brigade.
23 It is correct, isn't it, that the takeover was performed by the
24 JNA together with the unit that was coordinated by the SDS Crisis Staff.
25 A. This is absolutely not correct. It's not true. This heading
1 here, combined with the contents below serves I don't know what purpose.
2 I don't know to speak about the setting up of all this, because you can
3 see from the dates that it's from the 19th of May onwards how the units
4 were formed after that date. Everybody understands that.
5 Let me comment on the first part. On the 20th of April, 1992, the
6 forces of the Yugoslav army and the formed unit led by the SDS Crisis
7 Staff liberated the town of Vlasenica. What I know is this: I described
8 precisely how Vlasenica was taken over and what preceded that event. I
9 have in front of me an original document -- or, rather, a copy of the
10 original document, entitled "Report of the Municipal Staff of the
11 Territorial Defence of Vlasenica," addressed to the Main Staff of the
12 armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this document will fully confirm
13 what I said at the time, and I will kindly ask the distinguished Judges,
14 because this is a very important document not only confirming what I said
15 in my testimony but also one that speaks to the scenario of genocidal
16 cleansing of those three municipalities. And if the Honourable Court
17 allows me, I will explain it later.
18 But as for this passage here --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Have you shown this document to Defence counsel with
20 whom you have spoken before the beginning of your testimony?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember. But this document
22 and another one I left aside precisely for the cross-examination, because
23 I expected the Prosecutor to try to discredit me as a person and as a
24 witness, and I wanted to keep this in store to -- to show who actually
25 perpetrated all the evil in Vlasenica. I hope -- I don't know what the
1 procedures are here.
2 MR. MARGETTS: Yes. We have a submission on what the procedures
3 are. Obviously, it would be our position that at this stage we'd like the
4 witness to answer our questions.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I do understand.
6 MR. MARGETTS: -- re-examination.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
8 MR. MARGETTS: How he proceeds in re-examination is a matter for
9 him -- well, for his Defence counsel, but this doesn't constitute an
10 answer to my question. This constitutes an attempt to introduce new
12 JUDGE ORIE: Well, an attempt to introduce no evidence --
13 MR. JOSSE: "The Defence counsel" rather than "his Defence
14 counsel." I'm sorry to be pedantic, but it's an important point.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I would have corrected these words as well if I
16 were in Mr. Josse's position.
17 At the same time, the witness offers new material, which seems to
18 be unknown to both parties and which might be of importance to better
19 understand his testimony and also perhaps to better appreciate what you
20 try to establish at this moment, that is that the documents give a
21 different version of the events if we compare it with the testimony of
22 this witness.
23 Would you mind to give a copy of that document, which I take it is
24 in your own language? Is that correct? Would you please be so kind to
25 give a copy at the end of this hearing to the registrar so that he can
1 make copies for the parties so that the parties can see whether it's of
2 any use for them, and the Chamber will try to explore and see whether this
3 is evidence which is of such importance that we should call it ourselves.
4 So -- then you get back the document once we have --
5 MR. JOSSE: I'm only interrupting, Your Honour, because I can
6 assure the Court I will deal with this in re-examination. So I wasn't
7 clear when Your Honour used the word "hearing" what Your Honour meant. I
8 assumed at the end of this session.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's what I --
10 MR. JOSSE: Because -- thank you. Thank you.
11 MR. MARGETTS: Of course, Your Honour, we may have submissions to
12 make as to whether it's an appropriate matter to be dealt with in
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, of course. We do not know yet what the document
15 is, but the witness raises the issue of the existence of this document in
16 relation to one of your questions, and we'll see to what extent it's
17 proper to deal with it in re-examination. At least, Mr. Margetts, you
18 know that if the Chamber is aware of what the document is, the Chamber is
19 not bound by the question whether it is examination in chief or
21 We'd like to receive that later on. Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. Mr. Savkic, in 1992 in Vlasenica, there was a War Presidency of
24 the Milici municipality that you failed to tell this Trial Chamber about,
25 wasn't there?
1 A. Which Presidency do you mean?
2 Q. The War Presidency of Milici municipality.
3 A. Your Honours, I have to assert once again. If this existed, then
4 the president of the Municipal Assembly of Milici should have known about
5 this. I didn't know about that Presidency, because I know that the
6 Assembly and the Executive Council were operational. Both sat in their
7 offices and all citizens who had any affairs to settle with them went to
8 see one or the other. And of course they dealt in everyday life with the
9 rest of the administration.
10 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I could refer to tab 16 and if that
11 could be given a number.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 16, Your Honour, would be P1060.
13 MR. MARGETTS:
14 Q. Mr. Savkic, as you can see, this document is on the letterhead of
15 the Republika Srpska, Milici Municipality War Presidency, and it's stamped
16 as the creation of the War Presidency. You can also see that your good
17 friend, confidant, Radomir Bjelanovic is a member of this Presidency as
18 represented at paragraph 6 and on the first page.
19 Having seen this document, Mr. Savkic, do you now agree that your
20 evidence was incorrect and there was a War Presidency that was operational
21 in Milici municipality?
22 A. Your Honours, you see, in this Presidency, if it existed, you
23 don't see name. That's one thing. Another thing: I don't see any reason
24 why this person Mile Lalovic, president of the Presidency, would inform
25 the commander, the 8th of December, the commander of the 1st Infantry
1 Battalion, that the War Presidency was being established.
2 I am saying once again: If it existed, I never attended their
3 sessions, and I am seeing these names for the first time.
4 Let me have a look at this 8th December thing. Maybe there was
5 some heavy combat going on in that period. But I don't want to comment on
6 something I have no knowledge of.
7 Q. Mr. Savkic, if I could refer you to page 3 of the document and to
8 the last -- the last seven lines of the major paragraph on page 3. And
9 there was discussion about the competence of the garrison commander, and
10 the minutes record that the commander, who they refer to as Milenko
11 Petkovic, "acts like a demagogue in the army, so in order to avoid any
12 serious consequences, our suggestion is that he be relieved of his duties
13 and that Captain Zoran Pantic be appointed in his place ..."
14 JUDGE ORIE: Were you referring to English, the English page, or
15 to the --
16 MR. MARGETTS: I apologise, Your Honours. I only referred to the
17 B/C/S page. In the English page, the portion I'm reading from is the
18 bottom two lines of page 3 and proceeding over to the continuation of that
19 paragraph and to the end of the paragraph on page 4.
20 JUDGE ORIE: So you're reading from item 2.
21 MR. MARGETTS: I'm reading --
22 JUDGE ORIE: No, no, no. Sorry, no, no.
23 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, yes. Yes, Your Honour. It's item 2.
24 JUDGE ORIE: It's item 2 but the last -- well, starting
25 approximately ten lines from the bottom --
1 MR. MARGETTS: It's item 2.
2 JUDGE ORIE: -- of the item. Yes. I think we've found it, yes.
3 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. I'm particularly concerned with
4 the last two lines of page 3 and the four lines that appear at the top of
5 page 4.
6 Q. It records: "If there are any problems with Pantic's appointment,
7 our suggestion is that the present commanders of the battalion, Tomislav
8 Savkic and Radomir Dzinkic, reserve captains, be appointed, as known
9 officers and fighters."
10 It's correct at that time, Mr. Savkic, isn't it, that you'd been
11 appointed to the command of the Milici Battalion, and you were known in
12 battle as a good fighter.
13 A. I didn't understand you at all. I told you that from the 1st
14 November, 1992, onwards, I was commander of the battalion. This here is
15 dated the 8th of December. That's 38 days later. By that time, I was
16 already commander. I don't see the point.
17 If you allow me, I would like to read --
18 JUDGE ORIE: The answer, therefore, is simple: "Yes, I was
19 commander of the battalion," and then we'll wait what the next question
20 will be.
21 Yes, Mr. Margetts.
22 MR. MARGETTS:
23 Q. And, Mr. Savkic, the reason that you're referred to as a good
24 officer and a fighter and the reason that you were appointed commander of
25 the battalion is because you were engaged in the military operations that
1 took place to clear the access roads between Milici and Zvornik and Milici
2 and Bratunac; correct?
3 MR. JOSSE: It doesn't say he was a good officer and a good
4 fighter. It says he was a known officer and a fighter.
5 JUDGE ORIE: It was always my understanding of the English
6 language that if you're saying he's a known pianist that it's usually not
7 because he's playing so bad, but --
8 MR. JOSSE: I wouldn't accept that, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- then my understanding of the English language
10 falls short.
11 Would you please confront the witness with being a known fighter.
12 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, it would be our submission that your
13 understanding of the English language is perfect.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Let's not further explore the differences between the
15 English and -- as it is spoken in different parts of the world. Please
17 MR. MARGETTS:
18 Q. Mr. Savkic, the reason that you were a known officer and fighter
19 and you were appointed to the position of the commander of the Milici
20 Battalion was that you had been engaged in the military operations to
21 clear the access roads between Milici and the two eastern cities of
22 Zvornik and Bratunac; correct?
23 A. Absolutely untrue.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, it doesn't help very much to put two
25 questions in one, because if the response is in the negative -- why not
1 first ask the witness whether he was engaged in the military operations
2 you mentioned; and then if you're interested to know whether that is why
3 he was called a known fighter, I don't know whether that's -- could be,
4 but that's at least a different question.
5 MR. MARGETTS:
6 Q. Mr. Savkic, you were involved in the military operations to clear
7 the access roads between Milici and Zvornik and Bratunac, weren't you?
8 A. Absolutely untrue.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I could move to the next tab, which
10 is tab 19.
11 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Just one question, if I may,
12 Mr. Witness, please. If I could have -- I just want know something. Were
13 you aware of the problems with Milenko Petrovic, the commander of the
14 Milici garrison? It says he shouldn't continue being tasked with his job.
15 Did you know about this? Was that a problem? Were you aware of that --
16 of that problem with Milenko Petrovic and the way he behaved? Milenko
18 I want "yes" or "no" as an answer. Were you aware of the problem
19 with this person?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was, but very little, and I can
22 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] You were aware. You were aware.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very little.
24 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I --
1 JUDGE HANOTEAU: [Interpretation] -- wanted to know.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very important.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, you may proceed.
4 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour. I won't proceed now to the
5 tab I earlier indicated. I'll proceed instead to --
6 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, sorry, I thought it was the habit of the
7 Chamber that if a witness --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I made a note that the witness said it's very
9 important and what it was about, so that we can come to it -- back to it
10 at a later stage, depending on how testimony develops, yes.
11 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, sorry. I'll just ask one question
12 prior to referring to the next exhibit, and I apologise for various
13 directions I've proceeded in in the last few minutes.
14 Q. Mr. Savkic, as at January 1993, you had over 700 men under your
15 command, didn't you?
16 A. In January 1993, I had not 700. I had more than 700. I think it
17 was around 900 people under my command.
18 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'll refer to the next exhibit, and
19 that is the exhibit at tab 19. Now, Your Honour, Mr. Josse has been good
20 enough to tell us that -- to alert us to an error in the translation.
21 Unfortunately, we haven't been able to rectify that prior to presenting
22 this document before the Trial Chamber, and it's not one we wish to read
23 out on the record, but if we could tell Your Honour where this error is.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. MARGETTS: And tell you that -- and inform the Chamber that
1 the parties have agreed that this particular portion be deleted. So
2 before presenting this to the witness, I'd just like to refer to that.
3 And Your Honours have before you this document which is dated 21 August
4 1995. You will see in paragraph 2, which is on the second page --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
6 MR. MARGETTS: -- at -- in -- on the third line of that paragraph
7 there is something which is behind -- there are four words behind a back
8 slash and then there is a forward slash, and it is the back slash, the
9 four words, and the forward slash that we would like struck from this
10 translation and our preferred way to proceed, just for efficiency, would
11 be that a line be ruled through that so that it is deleted from this
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Do I understand that it is because it does not
14 appear in the original language?
15 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE ORIE: So therefore it's just the four words, the first
17 starting with the D and the fourth ending with an S, which should be taken
19 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Yes. Then the registrar is instructed to -- or
21 if you -- do you have the -- Mr. Registrar.
22 MR. MARGETTS: And if we could have a number for the exhibit.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar. You may proceed.
24 MR. MARGETTS: Yes. If we could have a number for that.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 19, Your Honours, will be P1061.
1 MR. MARGETTS:
2 Q. Mr. Savkic, you have before you a document signed by you as
3 president of the War Presidency of Milici.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And again, Mr. Savkic --
6 A. The first document that I signed.
7 Q. Despite ample opportunity, you have not been fully truthful with
8 the Trial Chamber, and this document demonstrates that. You were the
9 president of the War Presidency of Milici municipality, and you failed to
10 inform the Trial Chamber of that; correct?
11 A. Your Honours, we're talking about the 18th of August, 1995. It's
12 very important to stress -- actually, the explanation is very simple. On
13 the 5th of August, with the attack of the Croatian army on the
14 Knin-Krajina, there was a decision --
15 MR. MARGETTS: If I could stop the witness there. I'm just
16 referring specifically to whether or not he occupied that position. If
17 the answer's yes, then that's adequate for my purposes. Or if the answer
18 is no. Whatever his answer is, it's a simple yes or no answer.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The witness pointed at the date, or at least at a
20 date, because I see two dates.
21 Were you president of the War Presidency of Milici municipality in
22 August 1995?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, after Croatia's attack on
24 Krajina -- yes, yes, yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Savkic, the first -- the first question I'd like
1 you to answer is whether you were president of the -- of the War
2 Presidency in 1995. So that now has been -- that's now part of your
3 testimony. If -- yes. It's clear. We're talking about 1995.
4 Mr. Margetts, please proceed.
5 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if the map which is at tab 17 could be
6 given a number and presented to the witness.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 17 will be P1062.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
9 MR. MARGETTS:
10 Q. Mr. Savkic, you have before you a map of an area of Eastern Bosnia
11 which incorporates almost the top of the municipality of Zvornik, and Pale
12 is noted down in the left corner of the map. There are six villages
13 marked in red and relatively large type face, and those villages are
14 Vlasenica, Cerska, Konjevic Polje, Milici, Srebrenica, and Zepa.
15 It is the fact, isn't it, Mr. Savkic, that the Muslims in 1992,
16 from around April 1992, left Vlasenica in various directions, that
17 enclaves were formed in Cerska and Konjevic Polje. It's also correct that
18 after various military operations, they left the enclaves of Cerska and
19 Konjevic Polje in around March of 1993, and they then occupied Srebrenica
20 before they left Srebrenica following the attack which commenced on the
21 12th of July 1995.
22 That is the correct description of the movement of the Muslim
23 population through the enclaves and eventually from the Srebrenica
24 enclave; correct?
25 A. The first part is absolutely incorrect. That is already
1 historically known. The history is known, that when we're talking about
2 the Cerska enclave, for the most part that's what you call Konjevic Polje,
3 but it's actually much broader than that. And all of that is via
4 Kamenica, which is also an enclave. And they all went to Kalesija or,
5 rather, Tuzla. A very small number of members of the armed formations
6 from Cerska, from this part, went to Srebrenica.
7 Before that, I want to add that the complete civilian population
8 took this road that I mentioned to Kalesija, or Tuzla.
9 Q. Mr. Savkic, can you describe to -- Mr. Savkic, the -- the members
10 of the defence units, including the units that you were involved with in
11 August 1992, those soldiers that were stationed in Milici and the
12 surrounding municipalities of Sekovici and Zvornik, knew of the conditions
13 in the enclave of Cerska, didn't they?
14 A. I didn't hear the translation all that well. Could that please be
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts.
17 MR. MARGETTS:
18 Q. The soldiers in the units that you were engaged in, and the other
19 Republika Srpska units in the vicinity of Milici, knew what the conditions
20 were like in the Cerska enclave, didn't they?
21 A. I don't know if they did know. That will best be seen from the
22 document which I mentioned about the conditions that prevailed. It's a
23 document I mentioned, and it's entitled "Report of the TO Staff
24 Commander," whoever it was, "to the Main Staff of the B and H armed
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Savkic.
2 MR. MARGETTS: If I could turn to tab 15 and have an exhibit
3 number for this document.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 15 will be P1063.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
6 MR. MARGETTS:
7 Q. Mr. Savkic, this is a document that was prepared by the Bircani
8 Brigade command and distributed in Cerska, and it describes the conditions
9 as follows: Obviously the Bircani Brigade command is based in Sekovici
10 and includes those units in Milici, Zvornik, and Sekovici.
11 "Muslim people," it reads, "your future is in your hands. Thanks
12 to the incompetence of your politicians and military leaders, you are now
13 in a hopeless situation. You are surrounded from all sides. Your lives
14 lack human dignity. You are suffering from hunger. You have no
15 electricity. Your children are at risk. Your sick are dying."
16 And it continues, and it offers the Muslim people a way out of
17 what it describes as hell.
18 Mr. Savkic, it's the case that the soldiers in the Bircani
19 Brigade, or the Birac Brigade, were well aware of the condition of those
20 Muslims that were in the enclaves at Cerska and Konjevic Polje, isn't it?
21 A. Your Honours, as an officer not only of this army, take any
22 officer, take the services that are involved in the propaganda war, and
23 you will see that this proclamation is no different in any way from
24 proclamations written more or less in all the wars waged before this one,
25 waged in this war, and also in future wars.
1 It's a fact that life there was not easy, but I say again you will
2 see in this period also, the 20th of August, and that is the period after
3 this report of the 19th of July, what these, as it says here, people who
4 suffered did to the civilian population of the municipality of Milici and
5 broader. This was one attempt, an attempt, a propaganda attempt without
6 shedding blood to probably take a step forward in all of this. It's also
7 a fact that this corridor that I talked about earlier functioned
8 throughout that time, and there is evidence for that.
9 Q. Mr. Savkic, you told the Trial Chamber earlier today that the
10 organs of the SAO Birac didn't function. That's not the case, is it, and
11 in fact on the 30th of May, 1992, the SAO Birac government took a decision
12 regulating the moving out of the Muslim population from the Birac region,
13 didn't it?
14 A. I -- perhaps I didn't understand you properly, but I really -- I
15 don't know what you're talking about. I would like to have a correct
16 interpretation. Maybe there's a mistake in the interpretation. I would
17 like to have the interpretation repeated, please.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Savkic, Mr. Margetts is asking you whether your
19 testimony that the SAO Birac did not function, whether that's not an
20 incorrect testimony, and whether in fact - and that seems to be a second
21 question - whether in fact on the 30th of May, 1992, the SAO Birac
22 government decided on the regulation of the moving out of the Muslim
23 population from the Birac region.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is something that I don't know.
25 All I know is that that government did not have its own building, its
1 premises. It didn't work in the composition that it was proposed to work
2 in. I don't know how it worked, what the composition was. This is the
3 first time that I'm hearing that the government was regulating something
4 like that. This is unknown to me.
5 This is a date when I was the commander of the defence of the
7 MR. MARGETTS:
8 Q. Mr. Savkic, if I could refer you to tab 9. And that already has
9 an exhibit number, and that is Exhibit P668.
10 Mr. Savkic, it's the case that the commander of the Birac Brigade,
11 the commander of the brigade to which your units were subordinate,
12 implemented the decision of the SAO Birac government which regulates the
13 moving out of the Muslim population, isn't it?
14 A. It would be best that the authenticity and veracity of this
15 document that we have in front of me is commented on by Major Svetozar
16 Andric. The document doesn't even have a stamp, the document that is in
17 front of me. I know I had nothing to do with this. This was a period
18 when I was not a commander. This is the 31st of May, when I was not a
19 commander of the battalion which I spoke of earlier. In that period I was
20 still working on the engineering duties.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You say, "I don't know anything about such a
22 decision," and you wonder whether the document is an authentic one.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. MARGETTS:
25 Q. Mr. Savkic, the fact is that this decision was widely known
1 because it was widely published, and in fact it was known in Pale, wasn't
2 it? This decision of the SAO Birac government to regulate the moving out
3 of the Muslim population, it was widely known and it was known in Pale;
5 A. That is not correct. Well, actually, I don't know. Pale is far
6 from the Boksit mine, and the organ -- based on this. And I personally
7 think, looking at all this here, I personally believe that this is an
8 original forgery. Knowing how orders were issued and so on and so forth,
9 I think this decision, without a stamp and without a protocol of the
10 command of this brigade, I think that -- I don't know. Something like
11 this, I am giving you my opinion that this can only be a pure forgery.
12 I will not state my second or other claims so as to avoid any
13 disrespect towards the Prosecutor.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I could proceed to the next
15 exhibit, which is tab 33. And if that could have an exhibit number.
16 JUDGE ORIE: It needs a number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 33, Your Honours, will be P1064.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
19 MR. MARGETTS:
20 Q. Now, Mr. Savkic, I'd like to refer you to the article in Javnost,
21 published on the 6th of June, 1992, and it's the article that appears in
22 the left-hand side top of the copy of that edition that is before you.
23 And if you could read the first two paragraphs, which state that the
24 government of the Serbian Autonomous Region of Birac determined the
25 borders of this region on the 30th of May, and they sent an invitation to
1 representatives of neighbouring municipalities. And in the second
2 paragraph, it says, at the same time a decision was made on the safe
3 moving of Muslims from that area. It's suggested to the neighbouring
4 Muslim municipalities to organise this within seven days. The government
5 decided to take this step as a result of crimes Muslim extremists carried
6 out against Serbs in the area.
7 Seeing that, the decision taken on 30 May, was published in the
8 Javnost publication, does that change your view as to the authenticity of
9 the order from Svetozar Andric implementing that decision?
10 A. Nowhere here are there any camps mentioned, nor did they exist.
11 What the government did, if it did anything, and I knew that it very
12 quickly fell through and didn't actually work, what is being offered here,
13 negotiations, offers being made, that has absolutely nothing to do with
14 the municipality of Milici, not in any single sentence.
15 Q. Mr. Savkic, you referred in your answer to the fact that nowhere
16 in that article are camps mentioned, but you know that Susica camp, as
17 it's known, was set up near Vlasenica in early June 1992, don't you?
18 A. So far I didn't know that it was established on the 1st of June.
19 Now I know that it was established on the 1st of June.
20 Q. And --
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Savkic, first of all, the -- Mr. Margetts said
22 early June and not the 1st of June. What are you telling us, that you
23 today learn about that it was established on the 1st of June? What we
24 would like to know is whether you were aware in June 1992 whether a camp
25 called Susica was established.
1 MR. JOSSE: I'm only interrupting to say that we think there's a
2 translation problem. Mr. Karganovic mentioned it to me before the witness
3 gave the answer.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the translation problem would be "1st" or
6 MR. JOSSE: He didn't say, "Now I know that it was established on
7 the 1st of June," he said, "According to you, it was established ..."
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, what I'd like to know is were you aware
9 that Susica camp was established near Vlasenica.
10 I take it, Mr. Margetts, that's what you'd mainly like to know.
11 Were you aware at that time that this camp was established?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I state that in this period, I did
13 not know of the existence of the Susica camp. I state that with full
15 JUDGE ORIE: When did you learn about it for the first time?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found out about it much later, and
17 that was through another Serb man. And I must say --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Let me say I asked you when. Not how, but when.
19 When did you learn? You said much later. Could you give that a year, or
20 did you learn that in 1994, 2000, or in October 1992? Tell us
21 approximately when you learned for the first time about Susica camp to be
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's possible that that was in late
24 1993, perhaps 1994.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
1 MR. MARGETTS:
2 Q. It is the fact, Mr. Savkic, isn't it, that members of the Birac
3 Brigade, from the establishment of the camp in early June 1992, were
4 securing this camp?
5 A. You can check that fact and [inaudible] it only from the man who,
6 if he ordered it to be set up, then it was set up. I claim, or I assert
7 that from my battalion not a single man was sent to that camp nor did it
8 ever reach me, as the battalion commander, at least, that these people
9 were being requested.
10 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'd like to refer to tab 11, which
11 will need an exhibit number.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 11 will be P1065, Your Honours.
14 MR. MARGETTS:
15 Q. Mr. Savkic, this is a daily operations report from the commander
16 of the East Bosnia Corps to the Main Staff of the Republika Srpska army.
17 It's dated 7 June 1992. I'd like to refer you to paragraph 8, which
18 reads: "We have around 560 prisoners in the region of Zvornik and around
19 800 in the region of Vlasenica."
20 The figure 800 is approximately the number of Muslims that were
21 detained in Susica in early June 1992, isn't it?
22 A. To this date nobody ever told me the number of people who had been
23 in Susica, and I myself didn't ask at the time.
24 Q. The figure of 560 prisoners in the region of Zvornik is the figure
25 that relates to those people who were detained first in the Karakaj
1 Technical School, then taken to Pilica, and then massacred, doesn't it?
2 A. I've never known that figure, nor does it have anything to do with
3 my battalion, although, by the way, I don't see which year this is. 7th
4 of June, but I don't see the year. 1990? '90, 9-0. In all likelihood,
5 this is one more of your documents that were given to this Court purely as
6 a forgery. And I see here the 7th of June, 1990.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Witness --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So one more falsified document.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you the following: You just said that no
10 one ever told you about the number that had been held in Susica, "and I
11 myself didn't ask at the time." Could you further elaborate on not asking
12 it at the time.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, out of respect mainly
14 for you, I can talk to you about the Susica camp based on some things I
15 learnt while it was in existence. Just like the last time when I was
16 answering a question from the Defence about the statement of the imam and
17 then the Prosecutor told me that it was second or third degree hearsay and
18 is not relevant to this Court, and you upheld that view. So if you want
19 me still to tell you what I know, I can.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Tell us what you learned about Susica camp based on
21 the things you learned while it was in existence. Please do so. Even if
22 it's hearsay.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I already knew that this really
24 existed, I asked one man, a Serb, what was actually going on in Susica,
25 and he told me: "Don't worry, I've talked to a friend of mine, a
1 neighbour, who is a Muslim, and he told me the following about the Susica
2 camp." Since the population of ethnic Muslims were still in Vlasenica,
3 and I have to say, to be completely honest, that the director of one of
4 the largest companies, a Muslim, stayed in Vlasenica until July, he wasn't
5 touched by the Serb authorities. At the beginning, nights were especially
6 bad, although the curfew had been introduced in Vlasenica. I cannot tell
7 you until when it was in force.
8 "Some of us went to the cabins that were used as arms depots
9 before the war by the Territorial Defence, complete with beds, et cetera.
10 We went there to spend the night, and then we would return home in the
11 morning. In the beginning of the war, that's what we did." That's what
12 this Serb told me.
13 And I recalled our famous writer again. How come that such
14 low-lifes, rose to the surface, to the top during that time and how they
15 were allowed to do what they did, I don't know. But to come back to this
16 story of this Muslim. People still lived at home at that time. When this
17 was transformed into something else, I don't really know, although it was
18 transformed indisputably at some point.
19 I heard from friends who heard it from friends, who heard it from
20 their friends. So it's third degree hearsay. And I don't want to say
21 anything at this moment precisely because I don't want to offend those
22 people whose family members may have been in that camp.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You said some ten minutes ago - and I'm trying to
24 reconcile your testimony - that only late 1993 or perhaps early 1994 you
25 learned about Susica. That -- what you tell us now seems as you learned,
1 although not firsthand but you learned about it already at the time is
2 what it was established, that at least you heard about it from others.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know what was interpreted to
4 you, but I told you what this Serb told me about his conversation with
5 that Muslim friend and what this Muslim friend told him about what it was
6 like at the beginning. If you can have the interpretation repeated, you
7 will see that it's exactly the way I said it.
8 JUDGE ORIE: One moment, please. Part of your testimony was
9 translated as, "When I already knew this really existed, I asked one man,
10 a Serb, what was actually going on in Susica, and he told me ..." and then
11 you continue to say what you were told about Susica camp, and that very
12 much suggests that this was told at the time when the camp existed. When
13 you said, "When I already knew this really existed." And that's also what
14 I understand from your words as they were translated to us. "I asked a
15 man, a Serb, what was actually going on in Susica camp," which seems not
16 to refer to the past but, rather, to the presence of that moment.
17 That's how your words were translated and on the basis of which I
18 put the last question to you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. But it's clear that this
20 knowledge came from a Serb, and that Serb knew what he knew from a Muslim,
21 a third man, who in the initial period used to go to Susica.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would you please, in all the answers you will
23 further give to us, will you tell us everything what you know, what you
24 heard, whether it's through three persons or four persons or five persons.
25 The Chamber will then further explore whether this is multiple hearsay,
1 whether it can be used, it cannot be used. You tell us just about what
2 you knew by your own observation or what you knew as a result of what
3 others told you. Yes? Would you please not make the judgement on to what
4 extent it is reliable, to what extent it's hearsay. Would you please not
5 make that judgement yourself but leave that to this Chamber.
6 Mr. Margetts.
7 MR. MARGETTS:
8 Q. Mr. Savkic, in late May 1992, Svetozar Andric issued an order
9 specifying that the moving out of the Muslim population must be organised
10 and coordinated between municipalities, and that only women and children
11 can move out while military-aged men were to be placed in camps for
12 exchange; correct?
13 A. Well, that piece of information never reached me. I've never seen
15 MR. MARGETTS: If I could refer now to tab 8, Your Honours, and
16 that's Exhibit P865. Yes, Your Honour, I believe that's the correct
17 exhibit. Tab 8, P865. It's just the description in the list is not the
18 correct description.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Then please give the correct description,
20 Mr. Margetts.
21 MR. MARGETTS: It's an order of 28 May 1992, for the moving out of
22 the Muslim population.
23 Q. It is the case, Mr. Savkic, isn't it, that Svetozar Andric did
24 issue an order for the moving out of the Muslim population - well, at
25 least the women and children - and the detention of the men in camps.
1 A. Distinguished gentlemen, I really wonder how this order that is
2 far less important does not bear the mark. Even an idiot understands what
3 this is about, how dangerous it is. It's very curious that in the upper
4 right side there is no mark "Military secret," "Strictly confidential," or
5 anything like that.
6 What can I say about this? This is obviously about the TO Zvornik
7 staff. But even with regard to this document -- one more thing: The 28th
8 of May. Come to think of it, I'm not sure that there was anything in
9 Zvornik town by that time.
10 I have never seen this document before, but it's evident that it
11 is not stamped "Military Secret" or "Confidential" and even this "Military
12 Post Sekovici" looks suspicious to me. But if you wish, you can always
13 invite Svetozar Andric to tell you the truth.
14 Q. Mr. Savkic, it's the case, isn't it, that from early June 1992
15 through to March 1993, there were many orders issued by the Main Staff of
16 the VRS and the corps and brigade level relating to operations that were
17 to be conducted in the corridor. And when I refer to the "corridor," I'm
18 referring to the corridor you described when you were talking about
19 strategic goal three. That is, you said at page 63 of Friday's
20 transcript, "That refers to my corridor, the Milici-Konjevic
21 Polje-Bratunac road, or that area towards Zvornik. There was evidently a
22 need, our need, the need of the citizens."
23 Now, that need of the citizens for strategic goal three to be
24 implemented was met, wasn't it, through Main Staff orders and orders of
25 the subordinate commands to conduct military operations in that corridor.
1 A. Distinguished gentlemen, if you go back to this passage, obviously
2 the Prosecutor is dividing the whole thing into parts he needs and parts
3 he doesn't need. And I have to quote from what I said myself.
4 If this applies to Milici-Zvornik-Bratunac -- I won't go on
5 quoting for myself -- it was the desire of all of us, including me,
6 whereas you put it that this was your corridor. That's one thing.
7 Second thing, the authorities of Republika Srpska, the staff of
8 Republika Srpska, never issued orders to my battalion.
9 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I could refer to tab 43, and the
10 witness could be shown a copy.
11 Q. Witness, this is an order of 7 June --
12 MR. MARGETTS: Oh, if we could have an exhibit number. Apologies.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Registrar.
14 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1066, Your Honours.
15 MR. MARGETTS:
16 Q. Witness, this is an order from the East Bosnia Corps command to
17 the subordinate brigades, including your brigade you were operating in the
18 Birac Brigade. It's an order from Dragutin Ilic, East Bosnia Corps
19 commander dated 7 June 1992.
20 At paragraph 2 of the order, the second sentence states that:
21 "The East Bosnia Corps ... with strong support in the direction of Tuzla
22 and Zupanja, it shall 'cistiti' any remaining enemy areas, establish
23 firmer connection with the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps, secure the Zvornik -
24 village of Milici - Vlasenica road and 'ocistiti' any remaining enemy
25 areas in Birac." More specific order relating to the Birac Brigade to be
1 found at paragraph 5.8.
2 But it is the case, isn't it, Mr. Savkic, that from 7 June, or
3 from earlier, but as at 7 June 1992, orders were coming from the corps
4 command to cleanse enemy areas in Birac; correct?
5 A. I cannot say anything about this. It's dated 7th June 1992. I
6 don't know anything about any operations that took part in this area. But
7 since you had an obvious forgery before from this man Dragutin Ilic, I
8 would be reluctant to comment this thing he provided. And whenever you
9 refer to Dragutin Ilic, since this is not marked "military secret,
10 confidential" -- and once again, I have to say that this has nothing to do
11 with the locality that I know. And after this, as of the 1st of November,
12 I was battalion commander.
13 Q. Yes, Mr. --
14 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, do we have time to move to one further
16 JUDGE ORIE: I'd refer to have a break now. That would leave us
17 another hour, and could you see how far you could come in that remaining
19 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Preferably conclude. I don't know, Mr. Josse,
21 whether from, what you've heard until now, whether you need much time for
23 MR. JOSSE: Presently very little, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If there would be a chance, Mr. Margetts, to
25 finish by today, the Chamber would appreciate if that could happen. Of
1 course, if not, then we'll have to continue tomorrow morning. Yes.
2 MR. JOSSE: Could the witness give the document to the usher.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. The document you earlier spoke about, could you
4 please give that to -- to the usher so that it can be copied and so the
5 parties can look at the importance of that document. Would you please be
6 so kind as to deliver that.
7 Madam Usher, could you try to ...
8 We will have a break until 6.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, you may proceed.
12 MR. MARGETTS:
13 Q. Mr. Savkic, in -- on 19 November 1992, Ratko Mladic issued an
14 order that is known as directive 4 and commenced an operation called
15 Operation Breakthrough. On the 24th of November, 1992, Zivanovic
16 implemented that order. And contrary to your evidence only moments ago,
17 that order was directed to your battalion and required you to engage in
18 the operation designed to force the Muslims to surrender and force the
19 Muslim population to leave the area of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica, and
20 Gorazde; correct?
21 A. Such an order never reached my battalion, and that is not correct.
22 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I refer to tab 26, which is Exhibit
23 P892, tab 14. Your Honours, in the English I'm referring to -- I will be
24 referring to a paragraph marked as 2.2 on page 2. And in the B/C/S,
25 unfortunately, I've noticed that there is an inversion of the two
1 paragraphs 2.1 and 2.2. So for the witness, I'm referring to paragraph
2 2.1. And this is a previous exhibit. I don't know whether that error has
3 already been picked up, but it's something I only just noticed and will
4 endeavour to -- I will have rectified.
5 If Your Honours can follow me, I'm referring to the second page of
6 the B/C/S. The direction to the Bratunacka Battalion is at 2.1 and the
7 reference to Zvornicka is at 2.2.
8 Your Honour, may I proceed?
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed. I'm just trying to -- in our
10 translation, Zvornik -- first Zvornik comes under 2.1, and Bratunac comes
11 under -- yes, it seems to have been mixed up. Yes, please proceed. Could
12 you provide us with a better -- with a correct translation so --
13 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour.
14 Q. Mr. Savkic, this is an order from commander of the Drina Corps,
15 Zivanovic, to the subordinate brigades, including your brigade, the Birac
16 Brigade, and it includes, among other things, an order to force the Muslim
17 population to leave the area of Cerska, Zepa, Srebrenica and Gorazde.
18 At paragraph 2.1 you will see that, contrary to your evidence,
19 there are direct tasks given to your battalion. It states quite clearly:
20 "In cooperation with parts of the Birac Brigade (Milici Battalion) cut off
21 the Srebrenica-Cerska road."
22 It is the case that you as a commander received this order and
23 implemented it, isn't it?
24 JUDGE ORIE: Let's first seek confirmation. Have you found the
25 relevant passage?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Would you please then answer the question,
3 which was that you received this order and implemented it, whether that's
4 not true.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never received this order. That's
6 the first thing. The second thing is it states here the Milici Battalion
7 of the Birac Brigade. There were two battalions in the Birac Brigade. I
8 was the commander of the first, and then there was another one, a second
9 one. But in this same order, it says precisely to whom this copy should
10 be delivered, and it states, "A copy to the commander of the Bratunac
12 So my battalion always, if it did receive an order, always
13 received it from the superior command, the brigade superior command.
14 JUDGE ORIE: What was the name of the other battalion?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The second battalion was called the
16 2nd Infantry Battalion.
17 JUDGE ORIE: It was not referred to in any way by the name Milici?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Neither one was referred to with any
19 name that had Milici in it. The first one was called the 1st Infantry
20 Battalion, and the second one was called the 2nd Infantry Battalion, and
21 that's how they were referred to.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Prosecutor please turn the other
23 microphone on. Thank you.
24 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I might be able to assist. There is
25 actually a document that we've seen that refers to two battalions, the
1 Milici Battalion and the Derventa Battalion. That's in evidence. It's
2 the 8 December 1992 document, and it refers to the fact that Mr. Dzinkic
3 is the commander of the Derventa Battalion.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Margetts puts it to you that the other
5 battalion, according to evidence this Chamber has received, was sometimes
6 referred to by the name of Derventa Battalion. Is that correct or not
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's possible, but in that case my
9 battalion was called the Dubnicki Battalion. If that is that, then my
10 battalion had my establishment post in Dubnica, and everybody knew it as
11 the Dubnica Battalion. By establishment, it was the 1st Battalion.
12 JUDGE ORIE: But now this document speaks about Milici Battalion.
13 What would that have possibly been? If you know, tell us. If you don't
14 know, tell us as well.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Gentlemen, this, this -- this order
16 exclusively refers to the command of the Bratunac Brigade. We're talking
17 -- the term here is the Milici Battalion. All I can say is that the task
18 of that battalion to cut the Cerska-Zepa road, their only road was through
19 several burned Serb villages, which were quite inaccessible, and there
20 were no roads. So I really don't know what it refers to.
21 JUDGE ORIE: So you'd say that here a task which could not exist
22 is given to a battalion that does not exist. Is that -- I asked you, as a
23 matter of fact, what could be referred to, if you would know, by Milici
24 Battalion. I didn't ask you whether the task given to that battalion was
25 a possible task or an impossible task. But could you tell us, if it would
1 not be your battalion, what battalion could it refer to? If you know.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It could refer to the first one or
3 the second one, if it's referring to a battalion. But I would like to
4 repeat once again that I did not receive any orders from anyone other than
5 the command of my brigade.
6 JUDGE ORIE: That's what you said before.
7 Mr. Margetts, you may proceed.
8 MR. MARGETTS:
9 Q. Mr. Savkic, as at November 1992, there were two battalions that
10 came under the Milici garrison. One was called the Derventa Battalion.
11 The commander was Radomir Dzinkic. The second was called the Milici
12 Battalion and was commanded by you; correct?
13 A. I said that I was the commander of the 1st Infantry Battalion.
14 Radomir Dzinkic was the commander of the 2nd Infantry Battalion. And the
15 commander of the 3rd infantry battalion, who was over the way towards
16 Kladanj and comprised of fighters from Vlasenica, I can't remember who
17 that was. That was the structure.
18 Q. Mr. Savkic, the Presidency of Republika Srpska issued orders
19 relating to the military operations in the corridor. In fact, in early
20 December 1992, the Presidency of Republika Srpska issued an order to
21 disarm the enemy in the municipalities of Cerska and Konjevic Polje, take
22 control of the road communications Milici-Drinjaca-Zvornik and Konjevic
23 Polje-Bratunac. That order was issued by the Presidency, wasn't it?
24 A. I'm not aware of that.
25 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honours, I refer to tab 27. And if we could
1 have an exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Tab 27, Your Honours, will be Exhibit P1067.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
4 MR. MARGETTS:
5 Q. Now, you've had the opportunity to see that order, Mr. Savkic.
6 It's the fact that Momcilo Krajisnik knew about this order and he received
7 information from Milici in regard to its implementation, didn't he?
8 A. I assert once again that this order -- that I am seeing this order
9 for the first time right now. The order to my battalion in this action
10 was quite specific, and I received it from the command of the brigade that
11 was superior to my brigade.
12 Q. Mr. Savkic, at this time you were a deputy in the Assembly of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you know that Mr. Krajisnik knew about this order,
14 don't you?
15 A. I don't know whether Mr. Krajisnik knew about this order or not.
16 Mr. Krajisnik will tell you himself whether he knew about it or not. I
17 didn't know about it.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Margetts, it's not entirely clear what the
19 witness mentioned by "The order to my battalion in this action was quite
20 specific ..."
21 From whom did you receive that order, Mr. Savkic? From the
22 command of the brigade, that you said. Was that a written order or an
23 oral order?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were written orders and oral
25 orders. As for this one -- well, not this one, but for what my battalion
1 was supposed to be doing, I definitely received it at the brigade command.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's not an answer to my question. My
3 question was whether this was a written order or an oral order.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In relation to this action to break
5 through the corridor, I cannot remember.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. If you --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But I know --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if you -- I was interested to know whether you
9 knew about this order.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
11 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if we could move now to tab 28, which
12 is already in evidence and is Exhibit P52.
13 Q. Mr. Savkic. Mr. Savkic, if you look at this facsimile, it's from
14 -- sorry. Mr. Savkic, if you look at this facsimile, it's from the
15 director of Boksit Milici, Mr. Rajko Dukic, and you can see on the bottom
16 left-hand corner -- well, on the bottom left, actually, two-thirds of the
17 way down the page, that the individual who it is sent to is the Assembly
18 president, Mr. Krajisnik, and it is addressed to Republic Presidency, and
19 it is sent from Milici.
20 You'll see that at paragraph 3 it states that: "Your order dated
21 5 December 1992 has been carried out only in part," and then provides
22 further details.
23 It is the case, isn't it, Mr. Savkic, that Momcilo Krajisnik
24 received information about the implementation of that order; correct?
25 A. I don't see that Mr. Krajisnik is mentioned anywhere here.
1 JUDGE ORIE: I think Mr. Margetts is referring to the bottom left
2 from the stamp, where it seems to read "Predsjedniku Skupstine G.
3 Krajisnik," which is translated to us as "Mr. Krajisnik."
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What this gentleman is writing here,
5 I don't know whether he dispatched that or not, whether it was delivered.
6 And what is written here is something that I'm seeing now for the first
8 In any case, here I --
9 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... yes, if there's
10 any other question.
11 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Whether or not in relation to this document.
13 MR. MARGETTS: No, Your Honour. I'd like to proceed to a
14 different topic, and that is the topic of the strategic goals.
15 Q. Mr. Savkic, you told this Trial Chamber that you first became
16 aware of the strategic goals when you arrived in The Hague. You stated
17 you were not aware of the strategic goals even in a broad sense.
18 Mr. Savkic, in fact, you were in the presence of Mr. Krajisnik
19 when he enumerated the strategic goals very specifically, and
20 Mr. Krajisnik said, "At the beginning of the war the Assembly endorsed as
21 one of the most important documents the strategic objectives of the
22 Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and organised the people to
23 implement them."
24 Mr. Savkic, what you told the Trial Chamber is not true, is it?
25 You heard very specifically from Mr. Krajisnik about the six strategic
2 A. Excuse me. You probably -- it is quite specifically stated what
3 my words were. I said that the first time that I saw what is written
4 there was when it was shown to me, and it was shown to me by the Defence.
5 Q. I take it from your answer that you're saying that I am correct
6 and Mr. Krajisnik did say that in your presence, and you were aware at the
7 time of 1992, 1993, that the strategic goals existed and were to be
9 A. I don't know what translation you're getting, but I'm saying it
10 again: The first time that I saw this was when I was at the premises of
11 the lawyer Mr. Stefan [phoen], who showed it to me. That was here in The
12 Hague, in a private apartment.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I think, Mr. Margetts, we're not making much progress
14 in the way you approach the matter, because the witness testified that he
15 was aware of some of these targets or whatever but that they're not
16 presented as strategic goals. So, therefore, to ask him whether it was
17 correct that Mr. Krajisnik presented them as strategic goals is --
18 Were you ever present when what you read in that document you said
19 you were confronted with or was presented to you when you arrived in The
20 Hague, was there -- is there any moment, as far as you remember, that what
21 was in that document, what was described in that document, was ever
22 presented by Mr. Krajisnik? Apart from whether he said -- whether he did
23 or did not say that these were strategic goals, but just the content of
24 what they were about according to that document.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never heard it from Mr. Krajisnik
1 before Dayton. For example, the sixth strategic goal, as it is pompously
2 called, that I know that there was discussion about an exit to the sea.
3 This was for the Dayton discussions, that a request be addressed to
4 President Tudjman that Republika Srpska be ensured a corridor from
5 Prevlaka 17 kilometres towards Konavle, and to have that link with the
6 municipality. I think that it was the municipality of --
7 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in 1995.
9 JUDGE ORIE: It appears in what Mr. Margetts calls the strategic
10 goals. You heard that for the first time from Mr. Krajisnik's position
11 before Dayton, and I take it then relatively short before Dayton or during
12 the Dayton negotiations?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sir, I explicitly stated that I did
14 not hear that from Krajisnik but that in the discussions during the
15 preparations for all the stories relating to Dayton, amongst other things
16 this was also discussed. It was not written down anywhere, and perhaps it
17 was written down somewhere, but there was a request that a request be
18 addressed to President Tudjman of Croatia to seek 17 kilometres from
19 Prevlaka to Konavle. That part of the territory should be joined to the
20 Republika Srpska. I was quite precise about that.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I think that's exactly what I at least tried to say,
22 quoting you more or less by saying, "I never heard it from Mr. Krajisnik
23 before Dayton," which I understand to be that at Dayton, that then -- you
24 didn't --
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was said in the deliberations
1 of the MPs. And, Your Honour, there was a special request from the
2 deputies from Herzegovina.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's clear. Not from Mr. Krajisnik and not
4 before Dayton.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
6 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour. If we could refer to tab
7 37. These are the minutes of the 36th session of the Republika Srpska
8 Assembly that took place on 30 and 31 December 1993. Your Honour, that
9 will need an exhibit number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: That will be P1068, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 MR. MARGETTS: First of all, if the court usher could assist
13 Mr. Savkic and refer him to the second portion that's extracted, noted as
14 page 49 to 50. And if he could refer to the B/C/S with, at the top,
15 marked page 53.
16 Q. And if you look at -- Mr. Savkic, if you look at the bottom of
17 page 53, which is --
18 JUDGE ORIE: We have not found it yet.
19 MR. MARGETTS: -- which is, in the English, in the second portion
20 of the extracted materials. On the front cover page, page 49 to 50. And
21 in the English version, it's on the bottom of the first page after that
22 cover page.
23 Q. I'm just referring to a portion, Mr. Savkic --
24 MR. MARGETTS: Are Your Honours able to find that portion?
25 Q. I'm referring to the portion where there are proposals for
1 deputies to sit on the council for the spatial plan of RS, and one of the
2 people nominated was yourself, Mr. Savkic. If you turn over the page to
3 page 54, you'll see in the third paragraph down - and in the English it's
4 in the third full paragraph down - it states that you proposed that there
5 should be someone else other than yourself in this committee who met Mr.
6 Bucalo's request.
7 So, Mr. Savkic, do you recall that discussion about the RS spatial
8 plan and your nomination to be a representative on that committee?
9 A. I cannot say with any certainty that I recall it or that I don't
10 recall it, but I think I accepted. I think I accepted to work on this
11 board for the zoning plan of Republika Srpska, or land management. Since
12 I was a specialist in electrical engineering, it is clear why I was
13 nominated for that post.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Savkic. If you could now refer to another portion
15 of this extract.
16 MR. MARGETTS: And if the court usher may assist Mr. Savkic. It's
17 behind the part marked pages 10 to 16, which is the second portion
18 extracted. And in the English, it's starting from the fourth bottom
19 paragraph on page 12 and running through to the top of page 13. And for
20 Mr. Savkic, the portion I'd like to refer to is starting at the bottom of
21 page 13, the last paragraph there, and proceeding until the bottom of
22 number 6 on page 14.
23 Q. Mr. Savkic, the reference I'd like to refer you to is where
24 Mr. Krajisnik said in your presence in December 1993, "At the beginning of
25 the war the Assembly endorsed as one of the most important documents the
1 strategic objectives of the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
2 organised the people to implement them."
3 And then there's a further paragraph, and Mr. Krajisnik then
4 continues, just skipping that second paragraph, and he continues and says,
5 "Let us recall that the strategic objectives, that is the priorities the
6 Serbian people on Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted at the session of the
7 National Assembly on 12 May 1992, are as follows ..." And he sets out the
8 six strategic objectives in virtually the same terms as the document that
9 you were shown when you say you saw it for the first time when you arrived
10 in The Hague.
11 It's clear, Mr. Savkic, that your evidence to this Trial Chamber
12 relating to your knowledge of the strategic goals is false, and you were
13 well aware of them, as were the other deputies.
14 A. Well, distinguished gentlemen, it would be best if we had a
15 polygraph here to test me here and now. The work of the Assembly --
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Savkic, may I just -- you have to understand, and
17 for someone who comes from your background but the same is true for some
18 of these Judges, this is the way of putting it to you. What Mr. Margetts
19 actually wants to say is here you see a document of a meeting where you
20 were present where, according to the minutes of that meeting,
21 Mr. Krajisnik explained, after some of them had been achieved, the
22 strategic goals. How could you tell us yesterday that you never heard
23 about them as strategic goals since you were, according to these same
24 minutes, were present during that meeting?
25 That's actually the question, and false or true. That's a way of
1 putting it to a witness, but could you please respond to the question as I
2 explained it to you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to be very precise, Your
4 Honour. In the work of the Assembly sessions, since they are very long,
5 it happens frequently that a large number of deputies simply leave before
6 the end because of their various obligations. If Mr. Krajisnik did indeed
7 said that at this session, then it's probably at a time when I was not
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. At the same time, Mr. Krajisnik refers to it as
10 a very important decision that has been taken earlier, not just one
11 decision. So therefore, one wonders whether you had never heard about it
12 before, when he said, "One of the most important documents adopted,
13 endorsed in the beginning of the war." He called it "the priorities of
14 the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina." That's --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I was not present in the hall at
16 the time, then this whole story, including the most important part, did
17 not reach my ears.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Mr. Savkic, this is reasoning that you did not
19 -- have not heard that, but of course it could be that by any other way
20 that you learned about it. I mean, I never attend parliamentary sessions
21 of my country, nevertheless, I sometimes am informed about what happens
23 You never heard about this ever discussed in parliament, in the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I can give you
1 examples. For instance, the Lisbon Agreement --
2 JUDGE ORIE: No. I'd rather have an answer to my question whether
3 you ever heard about these strategic objectives ever being discussed in
4 parliament, in the Assembly.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Under the heading "Strategic Goals,"
6 I did not hear about them. However, the matters contained in them I did
7 hear about. I would rather call it doctrine, or maybe tactical
8 objectives. As an officer, I would call them tactical.
9 JUDGE ORIE: That's what you explained during your testimony.
10 You may proceed, Mr. Margetts.
11 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I intended to refer the witness to
12 similar comments relating to the strategic goals in another session.
13 However, I --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it doesn't seem to make much sense to -- the
15 witness is very clear that although he was aware that these matters,
16 whether he called it, as he said -- he said perhaps -- he called it
17 doctrine, technical objectives, but not as strategic goals. Of course,
18 the Trial Chamber has received quite some evidence, and it seems to be
19 clear that the witness never received any information under this heading,
20 so there's no -- not much need to confront him further with such headings.
21 MR. MARGETTS: Yes, Your Honour. I'll just note for the record
22 that the exhibit I was going to refer to is P64, P65, Treanor 16 tab 221.
23 MR. JOSSE: As you know, I object to that course.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, Mr. Margetts, it's not a case that I
25 quote them by heart, the references.
1 We have gone through it several times, Mr. Josse, with other
2 witnesses, and then usually they were presented to the witness and there
3 was a similar exercise. So I do understand that for procedural reasons
4 you object to it. At the same time, it's not something that really adds
5 very much or --
6 MR. JOSSE: No. I mean, Your Honour, the Chamber are aware of it.
7 The Prosecutor will no doubt remind the Chamber --
8 JUDGE ORIE: -- not taking any advance of that. Mr. Margetts,
9 that's clear. Please proceed.
10 MR. MARGETTS:
11 Q. Mr. Savkic, you also gave evidence about the variant A and B
12 instructions. You said you'd never seen them before until you arrived in
13 The Hague. And you said you were never aware of any such instructions
14 circulating among municipalities in late 1991, early part of 1992. You
15 were specific with the dates in your answer at pages 54 to 55. You
16 weren't aware of those instructions circulating in late 1991, early part
17 of 1992. When did you become aware of these instructions?
18 A. I've already said that. Here. The paper with that written on it
19 I saw here in The Hague for the first time in the form of paper.
20 Q. And again you've given a very specific answer, and appropriately
21 so, that the first time you saw the paper was here in The Hague. But when
22 was the first time that someone mentioned in your presence instruction A
23 and instruction B?
24 A. I don't think anybody ever used that terminology.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Could we -- Mr. Margetts is trying to find out when
1 you for the first time, although not by seeing that paper, when you for
2 the first time learned about instructions or at least what you later read
3 in that paper to be instructions or orders or request, whatever name you
4 give it, but when did you first for the first time learn about that apart
5 from now seeing the paper in The Hague?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I've said the last time as
7 well that as an officer I knew about all that was written there from
8 various documents. Nobody ever said to me specifically that such-and-such
9 a measure came from instruction such-and-such. That relates -- that
10 applies to the major measures. But as for all the various permutations of
11 these, nobody ever mentioned them to me as instructions A or instructions
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Margetts.
14 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I'd like to refer to tab 34, which is
15 P529, tab 468. And first I'd like to refer to the first extract and note
16 that at page 199 of the English translation there is a reference to Mr.
17 Savkic, and I'd like to refer Mr. Savkic to page 12 in -- of the B/C/S and
18 note that he is the last speaker referred to there.
19 Q. Mr. Savkic, you were in attendance at this session of the
20 Assembly, weren't you?
21 A. I didn't hear the date. When was this session?
22 Q. Held on the 9th to 11th November and 23rd November, 1994. The
23 46th session.
24 A. I don't know what is in dispute about this contribution of mine.
25 Q. Mr. Savkic, I -- I apologise. I apologise. I should have
1 restated my question seeing the time that you were taking. What I wanted
2 to discuss with you -- or what I asked you was -- was -- I said you were
3 in attendance at this session, weren't you? And that's the case, isn't
5 A. Obviously.
6 Q. Now, I'd like to refer you further on, Mr. Savkic, to the second
8 MR. MARGETTS: If the court usher may assist, that would be
9 greatly appreciated. And for the English, it's at the bottom of page 9
10 and continuing over to -- sorry, the bottom of page 347, continuing over
11 to 348. And for Mr. Savkic, it's at the bottom of page 9, which is the
12 document stamped, the page stamped 02153546.
13 Q. And Mr. Savkic, there's a speech of Radovan Karadzic here, and he
14 states this in your presence: "Do you remember the instruction A and
15 instruction B? We had Crisis Staffs, and it was clear that they were the
16 authority. They could make mistakes, but they still were the authority."
17 It is clear from this transcript, isn't it, Mr. Savkic, that your
18 evidence to this Court was incorrect, and in fact you had heard of
19 instruction A and instruction B.
20 A. I haven't found anywhere what you are saying.
21 Q. Apologies, Mr. Savkic. [B/C/S on English channel].
22 JUDGE ORIE: Channel 4 it is B/C/S translation.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is in this transcript. It's
24 underlined. However, is it possible that these two words "instruction A
25 and instruction B," if you have never seen them, even though these words
1 are uttered by the president of the republic, would that make them
2 suddenly familiar to an uninitiated listener? It's the same as if he had
3 said instruction C and D. I told you I've never heard about them. I've
4 never heard them or seen them until here in The Hague. What would this
5 have meant to me if President Radovan Karadzic had said it?
6 JUDGE ORIE: The answer is perfectly clear. Please proceed,
7 Mr. Margetts.
8 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, if I could refer to tab 48, which is
9 P64, P65, tab 128. And there are other references there as well but it's
10 the 50th session.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Are these similar references you wanted to confront
12 the witness with?
13 MR. MARGETTS: I can just quote it to the witness and ask him
14 whether he's heard those words, I guess. They're similar references, but
15 they're also much more -- there's more detail.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
17 MR. MARGETTS: Expressed in different terms in more detail.
18 Q. Mr. Savkic, you were present at the 50th session of the Republika
19 Srpska Assembly, weren't you? Held in Sanski Most on 15 and 16 April,
21 A. There was a session in Sanski Most that I did attend, yes.
22 Q. And if I could refer you to the speech of Radovan Karadzic.
23 MR. MARGETTS: I apologise, Your Honour. These exhibits were
24 prepared late, and I've apparently misnumbered the version I had
25 previously marked up.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps otherwise -- it's a couple of minutes to
2 7.00. We'll not finish with the witness anyhow today.
3 MR. MARGETTS: I have found the reference now, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: You've found it. Okay.
5 MR. MARGETTS: It's at page 323 of the English version, and it
6 will be at the commencement of Mr. Karadzic's speech in the B/C/S version,
7 and in fact commences on page 176 of the B/C/S version.
8 Q. And I'll refer -- in English it's page 323, halfway down almost,
9 on the second paragraph, and commences: "You will remember, the A and B
10 variants. In the B variant, where we were in the minority ..." And on
11 page 176, it commences approximately a third of the way down. You can see
12 there the reference to A and B a third of the way down on page 176.
13 So, Mr. Savkic, Mr. Karadzic gives a very good description of the
14 planning and preparation that the SDS took before the war, the steps they
15 took. He says: "In the municipalities where we were in the majority, we
16 set up secret government, municipal boards, municipal Assemblies,
17 presidents of executive boards. You will remember, the A and B variants.
18 In the B variant, where we were in the minority - 20 per cent, 15 per cent
19 - we had set up a government and a brigade, a unit, no matter what size,
20 but there was a detachment with a commander." He then talks about the
21 relationship with the JNA.
22 Is it the case, Mr. Savkic, that you had heard not only about
23 instruction A and instruction B, you'd heard about the A and B variants.
24 You've heard about that being related to the majority and minority
25 municipalities, and you were well aware of these instructions prior to
1 arriving in The Hague.
2 A. The essence, the contents of Variants A and B are not mentioned
3 anywhere here. And this whole story about whether I heard about it or
4 not, I can't say with any certainty because at this moment I don't
5 remember. And I have absolutely no associations. Now that I hear it, it
6 doesn't associate me with anything.
7 It is a big question whether I heard it at all, since the session
8 was held in a small, closed room with a very large number of people in
9 attendance. And there were many people, not only Karadzic.
10 I don't know what kind of brain it takes to absorb everything that
11 is said at a session that lasts for three days and three nights.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Margetts, it's time.
13 Witness, we have not finished yet. We will finish tomorrow
14 morning. We'd like to see you back at 9.00.
15 Mr. Registrar, in the same courtroom?
16 9.00 tomorrow morning. Yes, you would like to ask something?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I've been here for 14 days now, and
18 I've -- I take between ten and 15 different medicines every day. I must
19 say that I'm running out of some types of medication. The service that is
20 working with witnesses is really doing their best, but after this last
21 break, they still didn't manage to find two of the most important
22 medicines, and I have to tell you that my condition is one that can result
23 in a crisis. I hope that I will be able to hold out until the end of
24 tomorrow, and I haven't taken some of my medicine today at all.
25 I'm emphasising this because the doctor who is attending to me is
1 now on holiday. The medication that I have I brought from Republika
2 Srpska. I don't know what it will look like, but I would like to -- in
3 fact, I promise -- to clarify these two documents that I've been
4 mentioning to you. But I have to tell you that I have these blackouts
5 that come with absolutely no warning. Right now I'm feeling fine.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I'm informed that the medication you asked for will
7 be provided tomorrow so that you'll not be short of medicine. From what I
8 understood from Mr. Josse, at least one of the documents will be referred
9 to in his re-examination. Tomorrow morning will be the last morning. It
10 will not be the whole day. It will be the morning, and it will not take
11 the whole of the morning, Mr. Margetts, because -- how much will you still
13 MR. MARGETTS: Your Honour, I expect I will be finished within
14 half an hour.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You should, because otherwise you are far
16 beyond your 60 per cent.
17 MR. MARGETTS: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: So tomorrow morning you could expect another half an
19 hour questions by Mr. Margetts.
20 Mr. Josse.
21 MR. JOSSE: Ten to 15 minutes, I would say.
22 JUDGE ORIE: So with a little bit of luck, we'll finish by the
23 first session tomorrow. That would mean that it will not be more than one
24 hour and a half. That's at least what I expect. You could contribute to
25 that to very carefully listen to the question and focus your answer very
1 much on what is asked. So I hope that everything will be okay for the
2 last one and a half hours remaining.
3 I'd like to invite you -- first of all, I'd like to instruct you
4 not to speak with anyone about your testimony already given or still to be
5 given. It's familiar to you already, I take it, Mr. Savkic, and I invite
6 you to follow Madam Usher.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Before we adjourn, I'd like to make a very short
9 observation in relation to the latest information we received as far as
10 witness lists are concerned. Last Friday the Chamber expressed its
11 concerns about the present situation. The Chamber made very optimistic
12 calculations on the basis of 48 witnesses still to appear and to testify
13 and Mr. Krajisnik to start his testimony on the 20th of February. The
14 latest information this Chamber received seems to include that
15 Mr. Krajisnik would start one week later, that's the 27th of February, and
16 apart from that, seems to be including that testimony would still have to
17 be heard from over 80 witnesses.
18 These latest information appears not to meet the request the
19 Chamber has made last Friday where it invited the Defence to further
20 prepare the presentation of its case and the planning of it in line with
21 the Chamber's decision and also in line with what realistically could be
22 expected, because 80 witnesses, of course, if they take five minutes each,
23 then of course that would well fit within that, but already on the
24 optimistic calculations of last Friday, we had to assume that the planning
25 was far beyond the final date set and the Chamber is not inclined just to
1 accept this -- to accept that orders of the Chamber are, in the
2 communication with the parties, dealt with at least as far as the Chamber
3 can understand, and the Chamber made clear how it understood the
4 preparations on the basis of the optimistic calculations it made, but as
5 far as the Chamber understands, we cannot accept in this respect the
6 orders to be disregarded, and until now it appears from the latest
7 information we received that that is what happens.
8 I think it's announced that we would receive further information
9 by next Wednesday. I would say that anything between 36 and 48 hours to
10 get to the right route again.
11 We will adjourn until tomorrow morning, 9.00, the same courtroom.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.09 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 31st day
14 of January, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.