1 Tuesday, 29 February 2000
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be
6 seated. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Good
7 morning to the technicians, the interpreters. Good
8 morning to the members of the Prosecution, the members
9 of the Defence, and all other persons present in the
11 Mr. Registrar, will you please call the
13 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes. Good
14 morning, Mr. President. Case number IT-98-30-T. The
15 Prosecutor versus Miroslav Kvocka, Milojica Kos, Mladjo
16 Radic, and Zoran Zigic.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
18 very much.
19 I see we have some different members of the
20 Prosecution team, so could we have the appearances,
21 Mr. Niemann.
22 MR. NIEMANN: Good morning, Your Honours.
23 Yes. My name is Niemann, and I appear with my
24 colleagues, Ms. Hollis, Mr. Keegan, and
25 Mr. Waidyaratnet, and Ms. Reynders is assisting the
1 Prosecution. Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
3 very much, Mr. Niemann.
4 I turn now to the Defence. We have the same
5 appearances as yesterday, but could you introduce
6 yourself nevertheless, please? Mr. Simic.
7 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
8 Your Honours. With me this morning is Mr. Branko Lukic
9 as co-counsel. Thank you.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
11 Mr. Nikolic.
12 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
13 Your Honours. As yesterday, with me is Mrs. Jelena
14 Nikolic and Mr. Eugene O'Sullivan.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
16 very much.
17 Mr. Fila.
18 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your
19 Honours. The Defence of Mr. Radic is represented by
20 Mr. Toma Fila and Zoran Jovanovic.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Tosic.
22 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
23 Your Honours. The Defence of Zoran Zigic, as
24 previously, is represented by Simo Tosic as lead
25 counsel and Slobodan Stojanovic, an attorney from
1 Belgrade, as co-counsel.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
3 very much.
4 For today, it is envisaged that Mr. Kvocka
5 should begin his testimony. So I give the floor to
6 Mr. Simic.
7 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
8 Your Honours.
9 Before we begin with the
10 examination-in-chief, on behalf of the entire Defence
11 team, without analysing the opening statement of
12 Mr. Niemann, I should like to express a protest.
13 Mr. Niemann yesterday, in line 23, 24, page
14 5, declared that the Republika Srpska is a puppet
15 entity. I must say that both in Dayton, and later in
16 Paris, the Dayton Peace Agreement was signed in which
17 the Republika Srpska is provided for as an entity, and
18 today Bosnia-Herzegovina is functioning as a state of
19 two equal entities, the Federation and the Republika
21 I'm sure that Mr. Niemann didn't mean his
22 statement to be interpreted in the way we understood
23 it. Let us consider it a rhetorical error rather than
24 a position which would contest something that is
25 verified by the International Community, because the
1 greatest powers of the world are the granters of the
2 Dayton Agreement. Through the functioning of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina and two equal entities, the desire
4 is to ensure peace and stability. And we felt it
5 necessary to draw attention to what we hope is an error
6 in linguistics.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
8 Mr. Niemann, do you wish to react, or shall we close
9 the incident?
10 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, my comments were
11 contemporaneous with the events, and I don't withdraw
12 them, having regard to those times.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think it
14 is not necessary to continue the discussion on this
15 case because, after all, we are not here to have a
16 discussion on that issue. We will close the incident,
17 and we will begin with the testimony of Mr. Kvocka.
18 Therefore, Mr. Simic, you have the floor for
20 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I quite agree,
21 Your Honour. Thank you.
22 I should now like to call Mr. Kvocka to
23 testify before this Tribunal, because we feel that his
24 testimony can contribute significantly to the
25 establishment of truth and to justice being served.
1 [The accused Kvocka takes the stand]
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Kvocka,
3 can you hear me?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You're
7 going to read the solemn declaration that the usher
8 will hand to you, Mr. Kvocka, please.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
10 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
11 and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: MIROSLAV KVOCKA
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be
15 seated, Mr. Kvocka.
16 If you don't mind, Mr. Simic, before
17 beginning this testimony. I should like to remind you,
18 Mr. Kvocka, that you have just taken a solemn
19 declaration saying that you will tell the truth, the
20 whole truth. Therefore, you now enjoy the status of a
21 witness. You are the accused, but now you are the
22 witness, and therefore I wish to remind you that you
23 are under the same obligations and duties as other
25 I should also like to remind you, because a
1 certain confusion could occur, you come from a system
2 in which the accused has the right to lie, to put it
3 that way; however, I remind you that here you do not
4 have that right. You are obliged to tell the truth,
5 and you are under that obligation. So now you can
6 testify, after I have reminded you of that obligation.
7 Mr. Simic, it is now your turn to examine
8 your witness.
9 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
11 Examined by Mr. Simic:
12 Q. Mr. Kvocka, the President has reminded you
13 that you have to speak the truth. Let me also tell you
14 that I am fully aware of the fact that some time has
15 gone by since the events in question, that you have in
16 the meantime reviewed the evidence produced by the
17 Prosecution, and today you should tell us the things
18 you know, perhaps things that you have heard, and at
19 the same time to provide sources of information without
20 entering into any polemics with the evidence produced
21 by the Prosecutor.
22 You tell us what you know and what you are
23 familiar with. Do you understand?
24 A. Yes. I shall do my best to act as you advise
1 Q. Mr. Kvocka, when were you born?
2 A. I was born on January the 1st, 1957.
3 Q. And where were you born?
4 A. In the village of Krivaja, Prijedor
6 Q. That close to the hamlet of Omarska?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you tell us the names of your parents?
9 A. My father's name was Dragomir and my mother's
11 Q. What were they by occupation?
12 A. My father was a worker, baker by occupation,
13 by trade.
14 Q. Where did he work?
15 A. He worked in a bakery.
16 Q. In view of the ethnic composition of the
17 Prijedor municipality, was that bakery multi-ethnic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did your father have any problems in that
21 A. Absolutely none.
22 Q. What about your mother?
23 A. My mother was a housewife.
24 Q. I apologise for going too fast. How many
25 children did your parents have?
1 A. My parents had five children.
2 Q. How many boys? How many girls?
3 A. There were three brothers and two sisters.
4 Q. Did you go to school in the area of
6 A. Most of us except for me, or partially. I
7 partially was educated in the area of Prijedor and
8 partially further, beyond.
9 Q. Upon the completion of your education, did
10 you get married? Who did you marry?
11 A. I married Mrs. Jasminka Crnalic from
13 Q. What is she by ethnicity?
14 A. She is Muslim.
15 Q. What were the names of your sisters?
16 A. Dragojla and Zorana.
17 Q. What is the name of Zorana's husband?
18 A. My sister Zorana's husband is called Halil
20 Q. What is he by ethnicity?
21 A. A Muslim.
22 Q. Where are they living today?
23 A. They are living in the United States of
25 Q. Why?
1 A. They are living there because in the course
2 of these most unfortunate events that occurred in the
3 former Yugoslavia, they had to flee from the area of
4 Herzegovina where they used to live before that.
5 Q. When did that happen?
6 A. That happened shortly after the war broke out
7 in 1993.
8 Q. So that means they've been living in the
9 United States for some seven years?
10 A. Yes. Exactly.
11 Q. Did your father die in the meantime?
12 A. Yes, he did.
13 Q. After your sister and her children left to
14 the United States, did he have occasion to see them
16 A. No. We never saw one another again.
17 Q. Your mother never saw her daughter again
19 A. No, she did not either.
20 Q. Does your sister find this hard?
21 A. Yes. She finds it very hard.
22 Q. And what about your mother?
23 A. Well, her situation is perhaps the worst.
24 She finds it most difficult.
25 Q. And your sister Dragolja, you mentioned her
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Whom did she marry?
4 A. She was also married to a Muslim.
5 Q. And his name?
6 A. For a moment I have forgotten because they
7 divorced several years before the war, but I will
8 remember perhaps.
9 Q. Tell me, please, she has a child, doesn't
11 A. Yes. She has a grown-up girl.
12 Q. Were contacts broken off between the child
13 and her father during the war?
14 A. No.
15 Q. When did you start going out with your wife?
16 Was there any resistance in your family against this
18 A. In my family there was absolutely no
19 resistance or reaction.
20 Q. Was there any opposition or negative
21 reactions on the part of your wife's family?
22 A. When we started dating and going out there
23 was a certain measure of opposition on the part of the
24 parents of my wife.
25 Q. Why?
1 A. My wife's parents come from a very old
2 conservative Prijedor family who attached great
3 importance to religious principles.
4 Q. Were these problems overcome?
5 A. After we got married, me and Jasminka, those
6 problems disappeared altogether. I was accepted by her
7 family more or less as an equal member of the family.
8 Q. Have you had children?
9 A. Yes, two.
10 Q. What sex?
11 A. A girl and then a boy.
12 Q. What is the name of your daughter?
13 A. My daughter's name is Sanela.
14 Q. Mr. Kvocka, is that a Muslim name?
15 A. Yes. Absolutely a purely Muslim name.
16 Q. You come from Omarska, don't you?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Was Omarska virtually a hundred per cent
19 populated by Serbs?
20 A. Yes, almost a hundred per cent, with two or
21 three families belonging to other ethnic groups only.
22 Q. In spite of that situation, you gave your
23 first child a Muslim name. Was that unusual?
24 A. One could say it was unusual, but it was our
25 decision. Actually, my wife and I discussed what name
1 we would give our child, and my daughter [sic] wanted a
2 Serb name, Mirjana, which she liked particularly, but I
3 liked the name Sanela, and she conceded to me. But
4 then our agreement was that when the second child came,
5 my wife would choose the name for it.
6 Q. You had a son later on. What is his name?
7 A. Sinisa.
8 Q. Is that a Serbian name?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you get on well in your marriage with
11 your wife?
12 A. Yes. There were absolutely no problems.
13 Q. Mr. Kvocka, I'm well aware of the troublesome
14 period that you have lived through and you're still
15 going through. Throughout this time, did you have the
16 support of your wife?
17 A. Absolutely, yes. My wife supported me in
18 every sense of the word. Especially now I find that
19 support most encouraging, and it is very pronounced on
20 her part.
21 Q. Mr. Kvocka, in view of what you have been
22 through and are going through now, you were often a
23 subject in the media. Is it true that your wife, on
24 one occasion and linked to your status at present, did
25 she say that if she were to get married again a hundred
1 times, she would marry Miroslav Kvocka again?
2 A. Yes. This did happen, particularly on one
3 occasion when there was more or less an offensive by
4 the media against me when the indictment was
5 published. She told a foreign journalist, a foreign
6 reporter, that each and every time, if she were to
7 marry again, she would marry Miroslav Kvocka, and I am
8 most grateful to her for this. And as you have
9 mentioned the media, maybe they will report this, and I
10 have no other opportunity to thank her except in this
12 Q. Of course we will be discussing Omarska
13 separately later on, but in the context of this
14 subject, I should like to ask you how many brothers
15 your sister had. I'm sorry, your wife. How many
16 brothers did she have, your wife?
17 A. My wife had a total of five brothers, but one
18 brother, a few years prior to the war, died.
19 Q. Let me now ask you a question regarding the
20 location of your wife's brothers today?
21 A. Out of the four remaining brothers, three
22 brothers are now in the United States of America.
23 Q. And the fourth?
24 A. And the fourth is in Sanski Most, which is
25 part of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. How old is your mother-in-law?
2 A. I think she's close to 80. I'm not quite
4 Q. Where is she today?
5 A. She is also in America.
6 Q. Did they all have to leave as a consequence
7 of the war?
8 A. Yes. I would put it that way. The war and
9 the consequences, the poverty, everything that followed
10 resulted in their having to leave.
11 Q. And could we also say the insecurity?
12 A. Yes, indeed. No one at the time could
13 guarantee security 100 per cent.
14 Q. When they left, did they leave some
15 considerable property behind?
16 A. Yes, they left everything they had.
17 Q. Has your wife seen her mother ever since she
18 left to go to the States?
19 A. No.
20 Q. In view of her age, the age of your
21 mother-in-law, is it more or less certain that she will
22 die without seeing her daughter and her grandchildren
24 A. That is highly probable, in view of her age
25 and ill-health.
1 Q. Would you agree with me that that is
3 A. For our conditions and mentality and
4 traditions, there is nothing worse than that.
5 Q. Your wife and children, are they suffering as
6 a result of this?
7 A. Of course they are, in various ways. Of
8 course, it is very difficult to describe in words how
9 grandchildren suffer because their grandmother is away,
10 and vice versa, and all the other things that this
12 Q. You were working in the police.
13 A. Yes, throughout my working lifetime.
14 Q. In view of the organisation of the police, it
15 was organised on the basis of the so-called ethnic
16 parity principle. Did you have colleagues who were
17 Muslims and Croats?
18 A. Yes, there were colleagues belonging to both
19 ethnic groups.
20 Q. And what were your relationships with them?
21 A. Normal relationships, as among colleagues.
22 Q. Did you have friends among them?
23 A. Very close friends among my colleagues,
24 policemen of Muslim ethnicity.
25 Q. For instance?
1 A. Just now, the names that come to mind are
2 those who worked very closely with me, though there
3 were others working further away, but those working
4 with me were in Omarska: Edin Besic, Hamdija Arifagic,
5 Fikret Harambasic, Emir Karabasic, and probably
7 Q. These were your colleagues and friends;
9 A. Yes. As I said, they were my friends and
10 also colleagues from work, and also we were friends
11 away from work.
12 Q. Mr. Kvocka, in your family, in your
13 upbringing, were you ever an extreme nationalist?
14 A. No, absolutely not. I never agreed with
15 that, nor did I pay very much attention to those
17 Q. Taking into account your life, I'm going to
18 show you an exhibit that is a special exhibit.
19 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] This is Exhibit
20 P14, Your Honours. This is a special type of exhibit
21 whose contents are not part of the evidence, but rather
22 it refers to a reaction or a response of Mr. Kvocka in
23 a particular situation.
24 Q. Mr. Kvocka --
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. -- do you recognise the book that is in your
2 hands now?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What is it?
5 A. This is a Muslim religious book which is
6 called the Koran.
7 Q. What does it mean, in essence?
8 A. I believe that this is a basic book of
9 Islamic religion, something similar to the Holy Bible
10 that the Christians use, that is, the Orthodox.
11 Q. How do you know this book?
12 A. I came into possession of this book while I
13 worked in Omarska, and I can describe how this came
15 Q. Go ahead.
16 A. One of the detainees, a middle-aged man, was
17 on the pista, and at one point, he sort of called me
18 somewhat surreptitiously, and when I approached, he
19 pulled out the book from his pocket and asked me if I
20 could take it and give it to my wife or her parents,
21 because he said that he knew them and that when
22 everything was over, the investigation that he assumed
23 that was going to take place, that they would have it
24 in safekeeping and that he would pick it up from them
25 once everything was over.
1 Q. Taking into account the extreme views that
2 prevailed at the time, could this book have been a
3 source of trouble for that particular detainee?
4 A. Yes, I believe that it could have. Had it
5 been accidentally discovered by someone with extreme
6 views, had this book been found on this man, it could
7 have been a source of great trouble for this man. For
8 a guard or anybody else who was found in possession of
9 this book, in those times, this book would have been
10 interpreted very badly. Immediately, this person would
11 have been linked to the ideas promulgated in the book,
12 and so on. In other words, he could have suffered
13 consequences just by the fact of having possessed this
15 Q. Could you have had problems, or could you
16 have expected some negative response for what you did?
17 A. In a nutshell, I could have fared the same
18 way that he could have fared.
19 Q. By this act, did this person show a kind of
20 confidence towards you?
21 A. This is how I can interpret it. Since he
22 chose me, to hand it over to me, it means that he was
23 not afraid of me.
24 Q. What did you do with this book?
25 A. I left the book with my wife, and it has been
1 in her possession until now.
2 Q. Mr. Kvocka, you said that you came from a
3 mixed marriage. In those ugly times, what was the
4 attitude towards mixed marriages in general?
5 A. Sometime, I think it was as early as 1991,
6 the opinions on mixed marriages deteriorated rapidly.
7 So there were very negative attitudes which were
8 publicly expressed by a number of people, including
9 some very prominent ones.
10 Q. Do you know of a statement by one of the
11 founders of the HDZ, one of the nationalist parties in
12 the area, who later became the President of Croatia,
13 the late Franjo Tudjman, that he was happy that his
14 wife was neither an ethnic Serb or a Jew?
15 A. Yes. The media reported this to the public
16 very widely, that is, this position of President
17 Tudjman, that is, that expression of his views.
18 Q. Was this the position only of the Croatian
19 leader, or was this opinion expressed in other
20 communities as well?
21 A. It was expressed among others as well. I
22 remember, I read Dzemaludin Latic's views, who was one
23 of the leaders of the SDA party, the Muslim party, from
24 the founding, he said that mixed marriages were an
25 unnatural thing, that it was an unnatural phenomenon,
1 that it should stop, that it was just simply not
2 natural. Also, certain Croatian priests referred to it
3 as an unnatural thing, that is how they expressed it.
4 Q. Can you tell me, was this position shared by
5 some Serbian leaders?
6 A. Absolutely. You could read about it in the
7 media. In one of the previous Status Conferences, a
8 paragraph from the annex was adopted, the one offered
9 by the Prosecution, this is from the judicial notice,
10 and I think that the view expressed there was that
11 children from the mixed marriages should be used for
12 soap making.
13 Q. I think that the paragraph you were referring
14 to is 344.
15 A. Yes. I think you may be right.
16 Q. This is from the Prosecution's submission of
17 19 January, and it is part of the adjudicated facts in
18 the case.
19 However, you survived and you maintain your
21 A. As far as the relationship between my wife
22 and myself, our respective families, there was no
23 response of any kind to that.
24 Q. Have views of certain individuals changed
25 with respect to your family? I will mention a case, a
1 case from Omarska.
2 We all know that a person by the name of
3 Crnalic was killed in Omarska. He was the brother of a
4 well-known handball player. Is it true that his
5 brother, the handball player, and his sister have,
6 regardless of that fact, actually maintained good
7 relations with your family regardless of this? That
8 they continued to visit you regularly while you were
9 still free and that they continued to visit your wife
10 to date?
11 A. Yes. That is absolutely true there is a man
12 named Crnalic, whose nickname is Roga. He was a
13 well-known handball player. He continued to visit with
14 my family and myself throughout these tragic events and
15 continued to do so even after my arrest. His sister
16 later has moved out of Prijedor, but she continues to
17 come and visit.
18 Q. And their brother was killed in Omarska?
19 A. Yes. He was killed at Omarska.
20 Q. In the context of your attitude towards these
21 other ethnic groups, throughout this period were you
22 and your wife the best man and maid of honour to
23 another mixed marriage?
24 A. Yes. I think this took place in 1994. I
25 believe it could have been in May. I don't know the
1 exact date, but this was on the occasion when we were
2 witnesses, that is, the best man and maid of honour, to
3 another mixed marriage.
4 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] This, Your
5 Honours, is Exhibit DP10.
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] I grant you
7 this opportunity to say that this exhibit will have the
8 number D2, and the previous one D1/1, and this is D2.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Just a
10 moment. I apologise for interrupting you. Could you
11 repeat, please, what you just said? We have some
12 documents with certain numbers attached. Could you
13 give us the exact correspondence between the documents
14 that we have here on the numbers?
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] I'm afraid I
16 don't have the exhibits, Mr. President, that you have.
17 The first will be D1/1 and this exhibit will be D2/1.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
19 very much.
20 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a
21 certain confusion may have arisen from the fact that we
22 have numbered our own exhibits, and we were given an
23 explanation from the registrar that he was going to
24 number and register. So the number that I just called
25 was the number which we used in our reference systems.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me.
2 Ms. Hollis, you wish to intervene?
3 MS. HOLLIS: Yes, Your Honour. Could we take
4 this occasion to ask that a certain procedure be set
5 regarding these exhibits and that we be allowed to look
6 at the exhibit before it's provided to the witness so
7 that we know what exhibit it is that they're being
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Is it
10 possible to give a copy of these documents to the
11 Prosecutor? In the case of the documents we have here
12 at the bench, I don't know whether the Prosecutor has
13 the same photocopies as we do, Ms. Hollis.
14 MS. HOLLIS: I have copies, but in light of
15 the uncertainty of the numbers, if they would show us
16 the exhibit, we could see which of our copies it is
17 that they're talking about. We would like also like to
18 look at this book because we've never seen that.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Usher,
20 could you please assist?
21 Mr. Simic, perhaps it would be appropriate to
22 place the exhibits on the ELMO so that we can see what
23 exhibit we are dealing with. Could that be done?
24 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
25 first of all, let me say that we have provided all
1 exhibits to the Prosecution, that is, all the exhibits
2 that we're going to present today and perhaps the next
3 couple of days. They are all numbered and I will call
4 each of these numbers.
5 There is a technical possibility to follow
6 this sequence. We can also put the exhibits on the
7 ELMO, but we are facing technical problems. I am using
8 the exhibits in the Serbian language, and we can
9 provide copies of them to the usher and he can then use
10 them as he wants.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic,
12 it is important that we are all looking at the same
13 document. So I suggest that you place the document
14 under the ELMO, and then we can see whether it
15 corresponds to what we have.
16 So, Mr. Usher, will you please place under
17 the ELMO this exhibit.
18 Also, there's another reason. It is
19 important for the public, who is following the
20 proceedings, to be able to see the documents on the
21 monitor as well.
22 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
23 Honours. I think we have squared things now.
24 Q. Mr. Kvocka, who were these --
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic,
1 I apologise for interrupting you. Perhaps I'm going to
2 ask the technical booth to give us an overview of the
3 document so that we can see the number that the
4 document bears. Is there a number on this document,
5 please? Can it be focused in such a way that we can
6 see the whole document with the number? Mr. Usher.
7 Personally, I don't know which document this
8 corresponds to in the pile that I have in front of me.
9 So I understand the concerns of the Prosecution.
10 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in
11 the top-right corner --
12 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me for interrupting.
13 There is a number 10 on this document circled in all
14 piles, the piles for Judges and the piles for the
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. I
17 have it now. But I do not see on the document that you
18 have placed on the ELMO the number 10. So could you
19 put the number on the document which you are placing on
20 the ELMO? In that case, we can see immediately which
21 document we are dealing with and we can match it up
22 against what we have. So I think the objection of
23 Ms. Hollis is quite correct, because we have to know
24 and we must all know which document we are dealing
1 So the document on the ELMO is rather hard to
2 identify for us because it doesn't carry the number
3 10. If it has number 10 on the right-hand corner, then
4 it is very easy to find it quickly.
5 So perhaps we could now have a break and
6 please deal with this question during the break, and we
7 will resume after 20 minutes.
8 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
10 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.50 a.m.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I hope that
13 we now have a code of communication between us all and
14 that we can continue with our deliberations.
15 Counsel Simic, please continue.
16 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
18 We have tendered the document, but we can't
19 see it on the monitor, on the screen, as yet. Thank
21 Q. Mr. Kvocka, may we continue?
22 A. Yes, we may. I'm ready.
23 Q. You have in front of you a copy of this
24 document in English, but as you're well-acquainted with
25 it, you can speak without the document, I'm sure.
1 A. Yes, I can.
2 Q. On what date did you and your wife testify,
3 or were best man and maid of honour to a Muslim and a
4 Serb in their marriage ceremony?
5 A. This took place in May 1994, and I can see
6 that it was exactly on the 12th of May, according to
7 this document.
8 Q. What was the husband's name?
9 A. The husband's name, my kum, was Hasan
11 Q. And the lady to whom he was married on the
13 A. Her name was Ljiljana Jesic.
14 Q. Mr. Kvocka, from the regions we come from,
15 the institution of witness at a marriage ceremony, by
16 tradition, is a very important event, is it not?
17 A. [No audible response]
18 Q. According to custom, what term do we use to
19 refer to these witnesses that witness the marriage
20 between two people?
21 A. Well, in our country, in jargon, and
22 generally the term used is the kum.
23 Q. By becoming a kum and setting up the whole
24 kum relationship within a family, and by being witness
25 to a marriage ceremony, what relationships are
1 established between the people getting married and the
2 people who serve as their kum?
3 A. Well, the relationships are very intimate,
4 very close, ones of friendship, and the kum is almost
5 equivalent, and in fact is equivalent to a brother.
6 That is how close the relationship is.
7 Q. Mr. Kvocka, by tradition, in the areas from
8 which all of us come, is it customary for the kums and
9 their children to enter into marriage?
10 A. Absolutely not. That is absolutely
11 impossible by virtue of custom and tradition, and I do
12 not know of any such cases, although there is nothing
13 to stop them actually from doing so by law. But
14 respecting the traditions and this relationship of kum,
15 this is absolutely not possible.
16 Q. When the marriage ceremony is completed, is
17 there any custom to celebrate the event? Is that what
19 A. Yes, of course, that's what happens every
20 time, and it is customary that there is a wedding
21 ceremony and a wedding lunch. In times of peace, this
22 is usually a very large wedding ceremony and lunch with
23 lots of guests attending.
24 Q. Is the wedding ceremony and lunch a public
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. On the occasion, on this particular occasion,
3 in view of your financial possibilities, did you have a
4 wedding celebration of that kind?
5 A. Yes, we did.
6 Q. Where was it held?
7 A. We went to my flat, which is located in the
8 Pecani settlement of Prijedor, and with some of our
9 close friends and next-door neighbours and neighbours,
10 we had a luncheon. We sat around and talked and
11 generally celebrated the event.
12 Q. After that, did you continue to behave as
13 befits a kum?
14 A. Yes, absolutely so. We had an intensive
15 friendship going on. We would go swimming, to the
16 beach, by the river bank in the summer. We would help
17 each other, in view of the fact that there was no ready
18 money to be had and it was very difficult to make a
20 Q. Did you help your kum, Mr. Oklopcic?
21 A. Yes. I tried to do so whenever the occasion
23 Q. How did you do this?
24 A. Well, one way was that I helped him find a
25 job, because he's an electrician by profession, and I
1 did my best to find him a job, which lasted several
3 Q. So did he work, and who did he work for?
4 A. Yes. At my insistence and request, he worked
5 with a well-known private entrepreneur, Vila Ranko, who
6 was building a new facility, a printing press, in fact,
7 and I called him up and asked him to employ my kum, to
8 give my kum a job. He accepted this, although he
9 didn't do so very readily because he was afraid of
10 criticism, he was afraid of the extremists, and it was
11 a little difficult for him to give this man a job. But
12 I said that I would come to work with my kum, so that
13 this would help me and help my kum. So he agreed in
14 the end, and that's what we did.
15 Q. At the job which was economically beneficial,
16 were any other workers engaged?
17 A. Yes. Several days later, another Muslim
18 joined us -- his surname was Gecevic, I forget his name
19 -- so that the three of us did the work.
20 Q. And was he an electrician as well?
21 A. Yes, Gecevic is an electrician by
23 Q. And you had the role of helping them and
24 covering them in their job?
25 A. Well, I'm a policeman, yes. I had nothing to
1 do with the profession of electrician and the
2 electrical trade, but I was there to see that
3 everything went okay.
4 Q. After the work was completed and the job had
5 been done, would you go to cafes where people could see
6 you out with your kum?
7 A. Yes, we did, because usually when your job is
8 over, at the end of a day, we would go and have a
9 drink, somewhere on our route home, and we used to do
10 this too. We would mostly go to a cafe which was
11 located in the marketplace at Prijedor.
12 Q. What was the proprietor's name of that cafe?
13 A. The owner was called Nedzo, his name was
14 Nedzo, and I forget his surname.
15 Q. The individual who was the proprietor of the
16 cafe, did his brother -- was his brother killed in the
18 A. Yes. That was common knowledge. On the door
19 to the cafe, he would have the death certificate or
20 obituary which testified to the death of his brother.
21 Q. Did this Mr. Nedzo have any criticisms to
22 make, any objections to the fact that your kum and the
23 other man, Gecevic, frequented his cafe?
24 A. Well, he did complain later on and said that
25 he had a lot of complaints and pressure from his other
1 guests who asked him how could he allow Muslims to sit
2 in his cafe, and how could he allow Kvocka to bring
3 Muslims to his cafe, whereas the Muslims had killed his
4 brother a short while ago. So there was this difficult
5 position for him, because he had this pressure and
6 problems on the one side from other people.
7 Q. Did you have any complaints, objections,
8 pressure exerted on you?
9 A. Well, at that time -- you mean during the
10 time I was in the cafe? Well, no, not me personally.
11 Not directly.
12 Q. May I ask you where your kums are now?
13 A. My kums are now also in the United States of
14 America. They went there quite recently. Before that
15 they had been in Germany.
16 Q. Do you still maintain contacts with them?
17 A. Yes, I do. Not as frequently, of course, in
18 view of the situation, but last summer my kuma came to
19 visit her relations in Prijedor and visited my family
20 on that occasion too.
21 Q. Did she bring your children presents?
22 A. Yes, she did.
23 Q. Did she express gratitude to you for your
24 humane act and conduct in those difficult times?
25 A. Yes, she did. They talked about the
1 situation, and she thanked me for everything that we
2 had done for her and for all our help. Quite simply,
3 she could not understand what was going on in my
4 particular position and with me, and that's what she
5 told my wife.
6 Q. Mr. Kvocka, a moment ago you confirmed that
7 the brother and sister would pay friendly visits to
8 your house of the individual who was killed in
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did your sister, whom, unfortunately, due to
12 a tragedy that occurred in the areas from which we all
13 come, after you were indicted and charged, did your
14 sister have any problems in the United States; that is
15 to say, her and her husband, did they have problems in
16 the USA?
17 A. Yes, they did. They also had pressure
18 brought against them, and they were mistreated. At one
19 point they even had to change the town in which they
20 lived in. They had to move somewhere else where they
21 would be less well known and where there were less
22 emigres. So they were doubly mistreated. First,
23 because they had a mixed marriage and, second, because
24 I was an alleged war criminal, as they said, and things
25 of that kind.
1 Q. Mr. Kvocka, as we are standing here and
2 talking about your relationships towards other
3 religious communities, when you worked in the police
4 station at Tukovi, did you engage in any activity
5 connected to the village of Alisici?
6 A. Yes. There was a characteristic incident at
7 the end of July and the beginning of August, I think it
8 was. Anyway, it was in the summer, when my wife called
9 me up from home and asked me to come home urgently
10 because she needed some assistance.
11 Q. What kind of assistance did she need?
12 A. When I came home, she told me, my wife, that
13 is, told me that we had to go to the village of Alisici
14 if that was at all possible. It was halfway between
15 Prijedor and Sanski Most. That's where the village was
16 located. It was in this village that my wife's family
17 and my wife has close relations and other relations on
18 her mother's side. They had called her, in the
19 meantime, and told her that they were threatened there
20 by great danger and that we should do whatever we could
21 to save them.
22 Q. Did you undertake anything in that regard?
23 A. Yes, I did. We tried to do whatever we
24 could, although it was very difficult.
25 Q. Why?
1 A. Well, because we had to find some oil, some
2 petrol that we didn't have, and a driver who would be
3 brave enough to make this undertaking, and to put them
4 all into a truck and load up some things that they
5 could take with them and bring them to Prijedor, to a
6 safer place.
7 Q. Did you succeed in this?
8 A. Yes, I did. I was able to find some petrol
9 and a driver within the space of several hours. His
10 name was Ignjatovic, his surname. We got into this
11 truck, that is, the driver got into this truck and my
12 wife and I took a passenger vehicle which was in
13 Tukovi, at our disposal. In fact, I abused my official
14 position there to avail myself of the vehicle. I went
15 to the village of Alisici in front and the truck
16 followed me behind.
17 Q. When you came to the village of Alisici, what
18 did you find there?
19 A. In the village itself, you could hear various
20 explosions and shooting, and close by you could see
21 some houses smoking. The houses were on fire. They
22 were ablaze. We came across my wife's family and their
23 close relations, all in their house. There were quite
24 a lot of them, not only the relations, and lots of
25 other people as well.
1 Q. Were they neighbours?
2 A. Yes. They were the next-door neighbours
3 mostly. They were very much afraid. They didn't know
4 what to do. They saw that there was danger, and they
5 asked us to help them in any way we could, to save
7 Our close relation's name was Merdzic. He
8 now lives somewhere in Germany.
9 Q. What did you do in that situation?
10 A. We loaded up some of the things that they had
11 already prepared up onto the truck, some clothes and
12 food, and there were all these people there, and all of
13 them got into a small truck, a two-tonne truck, which
14 is what we call it -- it means it can take a lot of two
15 tonnes -- and they sat in the truck underneath the
16 tarpaulin, and we went towards Prijedor. Once again,
17 my wife and I were in the car in front and they
18 followed us behind.
19 Q. Were there any explosions in the direction of
20 the truck? Were you safe on your route?
21 A. No. We were not safe at all. As I said a
22 moment ago, you could hear explosions all over the
23 place. There was shooting nearby and of all this
24 noise. We saw that the canopy -- the bullets had made
25 holes in the canopy, but nobody was injured because I
1 told everybody to lie down and keep down low in the
2 truck. That is my police experience.
3 Q. So you arrived in Prijedor.
4 A. Yes. We arrived in Prijedor, but we had to
5 pass through one or two checkpoints on our way to
7 Q. What kind of checkpoints were they?
8 A. Well, they were police checkpoints, as far as
9 I know. I don't know whether they were mixed army and
10 police checkpoints, but I noticed policemen at the
12 Q. What ethnic group?
13 A. No, just Serbian. There were no Muslim
14 checkpoints at that time.
15 Q. Did you have any unpleasantness at those
17 A. Well, there was always unpleasantness, from
18 simple provocations to the fact that they told me that
19 I was saving Turks or, "You're saving Turks." Again, I
20 apologise for that expression but that is the term they
22 Q. Let us just clarify one point. The term
23 "Turks," was that a derogatory term for the members of
24 the Muslim community?
25 A. Yes. That's right. At that time, when
1 anybody said "Turks," then that was the a derogatory
2 term that was used, because it is, of course, well
3 known that it is not a purely Turkish population for
4 them to actually be Turks, it was just derogatory.
5 Q. So when you overcame all the obstacles and
6 arrived in Prijedor, what did you do then?
7 A. We went to my mother-in-law's. She has a
8 house in the centre of Prijedor, and all these people
9 got out of the truck there and were accommodated
11 Q. Did they remain in your mother-in-law's house
12 for any amount of time?
13 A. Yes, they did. They stayed there for quite a
14 long time. I can't remember exactly how long, but they
15 did stay for some considerable time.
16 Q. Did your wife help these people by bringing
17 food to her mother and food for the refugees as well?
18 A. Yes, she did. She did this practically every
19 day. She very often would prepare lunch for them in
20 our flat and then came to get them and bring them over
21 to lunch or she would take food over to them. But she
22 did this every day, either one or the other.
23 Q. We're going to go back to the question of
24 what you mentioned, namely, that there were a lot of
25 Muslims who were either relations or friends and that
1 they came to your mother-in-law's house.
2 A. Yes. As I said a moment ago, my wife's
3 family is an old Muslim Prijedor family, highly
4 respected, and it was a large family with many
5 relations and, of course, many friends.
6 Q. One of the reasons for which the people went
7 to your mother-in-law's house, was it the fact that you
8 were her son-in-law and were a policeman? Was that one
9 of the reasons?
10 A. At that time, the motive -- they had even a
11 greater motive to come. They expressed their desire to
12 be there in her vicinity and, of course, near me as
13 well by the same token. So this was a reason, yes.
14 Q. Did this mean a certain amount of safety and
15 protection for them?
16 A. Well, that's how they felt. They felt safer,
17 more secure, better protected. That is the feeling
18 that they got.
19 Q. Mr. Kvocka, the other members of your family,
20 for example, your sister Dragojla, who works in the
21 court in Prijedor, in addition to the fact that she was
22 married to a Muslim, did she have a broad circle of
23 Muslim friends?
24 A. Yes, she did.
25 Q. And judging by some of the photographs in
1 your home, your sister with the president of the court
2 of law, with Mr. Nedzad Salkic.
3 A. I know for sure that we still have those
4 photographs and many other photographs where you can
5 see how my sister had many friends, amongst them
6 Mr. Seric and some other Judges from Prijedor who were
8 Q. We'll go back to that question later on when
9 we talk to your wife, because your wife has all the
10 photographs in her possession. But tell me now,
11 Mr. Kvocka, were you a member of the League of
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. Was it customary that all policemen were
15 members of the legal of communists?
16 A. Yes, it was, almost 100 per cent. In the
17 former Yugoslavia, all policemen were members of the
18 League of Communists.
19 Q. In 1988, 1989, and 1990, it was becoming
20 evident that communism was in for a fall. In our
21 regions, new political ideas began to emerge. There
22 was a multi-party system burgeoning.
23 At that period, and we're talking about 1990
24 here, did you have any political affiliations or did
25 you give political support to any of the new political
1 programmes that were emerging?
2 A. Well, at that time, when there were manifest
3 extreme nationalist ideas and parties, at that time, I
4 found myself in a situation where I was not able to opt
5 for any one of them. One particular party appeared and
6 they called it the Reformists party or the Ante
7 Markovic party and similar terms were used, and it was
8 a sort of moderate party with a moderate approach as
9 far as nationalism was concerned, and it propagated
10 economic prosperity and development, managerial,
11 entrepreneurial, and so on.
12 Q. Now that you've mentioned the nationalist
13 parties in the regions of the former Yugoslavia, could
14 you tell us which were the three nationalist options
15 that appeared in the course of 1990?
16 A. Well, the entire region was divided into
17 three basic nationalist parties. They were the SDS,
18 which was founded in Sarajevo; the SDA party, once
19 again, founded in Sarajevo; and the HDZ party, and all
20 the ethnic groups, according to their national
21 structure -- ethnic structure, would join these
22 different parties. I don't know what order they were
23 actually established in.
24 Q. Let us make things a bit clearer. The SDS,
25 whose party was that? What nationality did it belong
1 to, what ethnic group?
2 A. Well, the abbreviation "SDS" stood for the
3 Serbian Democratic Party and was a party which was made
4 up of exclusively Serbs.
5 Q. What about the SDA party? Whose party was
6 that, and what does it mean?
7 A. The SDA party was the party of the Muslim
8 people founded by the Muslim extremist-oriented
9 individuals, and it was composed almost exclusively of
10 Muslims -- exclusively of Muslims, that is to say.
11 Q. Do you recall a legal problem which arose
12 with the foundation of the SDA party, difficulties over
13 the law whether nationalistic parties could be founded
14 and a decision of the law courts?
15 A. Well, it was common knowledge that when the
16 Party of Democratic Action was founded, it obtained
17 this name because it was supposed to be called the
18 Muslim Democratic Party. However, the laws of the
19 former Yugoslavia, which were still in force at the
20 time, did not permit nationalistic names in the title.
21 So that they had to alter the name from the Muslim
22 Party to the Party of Democratic Action, the SDA
24 Q. And later on, did that law undergo any
25 change, any amendments?
1 A. Well, later on, the title remained, but the
2 law was probably changed because the Serbian Democratic
3 Party could be registered under that name.
4 Q. What about the HDZ party?
5 A. The HDZ party is the Croatian Democratic
6 Union, and the founders and members were exclusively
8 Q. All those parties, in their name, include the
9 attribute "democratic."
10 A. Yes, in the name.
11 Q. This democratic attribute, was that the
12 determinant, or was, rather, the nationalist attribute
13 what determined the characteristics of the party?
14 A. In my view, the national attribute was
15 decisive, and this attribute "democratic" was simply a
17 Q. A moment ago, you said that you supported the
18 political concepts of the party headed by Mr. Ante
19 Markovic, at the time, the prime minister. Did you do
20 anything to take a more active part in that party?
21 A. It was an idea that personally appealed to me
22 most. In my town, there were several people who shared
23 my views, and that circle of people mostly consisted of
24 private entrepreneurs, because they viewed the party as
25 offering a future for them. So we inquired, myself and
1 a man called Timarac from Omarska, we went to Banja
2 Luka to inquire about this party, and we spoke to a man
3 called Miro Bjelic, I think his name was, who was the
4 secretary for the Banja Luka branch of that party, or
5 something like that. And so we inquired into the
6 programme, the concept of the party.
7 Q. What is the occupation of the mentioned
9 A. Timarac is a caterer.
10 Q. Does he have his own restaurant today?
11 A. Until my arrest, he worked as a caterer, he
12 had a cafe, and I think he still has it.
13 Q. I know a long time has gone by since these
14 events, but could you tell us the names of some of the
15 leaders of the party headed by Mr. Ante Markovic?
16 A. I shall try to recall the names of some of
17 the better-known figures.
18 For instance, from Banja Luka, a
19 world-renowned handball player, Abaz Arslanagic, was
20 interested in this principle and the concept upheld by
21 that party. Also a well-known football player, Ivica
22 Osim, who was later the team leader, he also opted for
23 this party, and he advocated the ideas upheld by that
24 party. Then Emir Kusturica, a well-known film
25 director, a world-renowned director, wholeheartedly
1 supported that party because he said that that was a
2 party with a broad outlook and that he didn't need
3 narrow-minded parties within which he couldn't live.
4 Q. Did you receive any instructions from
5 Mr. Bjelic?
6 A. Mr. Bjelic told me that in Prijedor, too,
7 there were several people who had an interest in this
8 party and its programme and that we should contact them
9 and talk to them and see what could be done.
10 Q. Did he mention a name?
11 A. He mentioned the name of Marko Pavic, Milan
12 Andzic, Nedzo Delic. Maybe some others, but I can't
13 recall just now.
14 Q. Mr. Marko Pavic, is he the same gentleman who
15 is now the communications minister in the government of
16 Republika Srpska?
17 A. Yes, Mr. Marko Pavic is a minister in the
18 current government of Republika Srpska.
19 A moment ago when we were talking about Banja
20 Luka, in addition to the names I mentioned, it was
21 well-known that the current prime minister of Republika
22 Srpska was one of the initiators for the founding of
23 such a party for the region of Banja Luka, or maybe
24 even further afield. I also remember hearing your name
25 mentioned, though I didn't know you personally at the
2 Q. Thank you for this. At least I can be sure
3 that Mr. Niemann won't prosecute me. I'm just joking.
4 Did Mr. Markovic have a promotion of his
5 party in 1990, and where?
6 A. Yes, in Prijedor. That year, a rally was
7 held at Mount Kozara, a large popular rally as we
8 describe it, which was attended by a very large number
9 of people, and at this rally, he delivered a speech and
10 presented the programme of his party.
11 Q. Can you assess the number of people attending
12 that rally?
13 A. I know that in the media a large figure was
14 mentioned, but this is a -- it is not a plateau, it is
15 a mountain, so it is very difficult to judge how many
16 people attended. But figures mentioned ranged between
17 20.000 and 30.000 to 100.000.
18 Q. Were you there?
19 A. Yes, I was.
20 Q. In your statement, you mentioned two very
21 well-known names in the media. One is the name of
22 Mr. Ivica Osim, a famous football player, a team
23 manager of the Yugoslav National Team just before the
24 war. What ethnicity was his wife, as the media wrote
25 about this extensively?
1 A. I think she was Muslim, and he's a Croat, as
2 we know.
3 Q. What about Mr. Abaz Arslanagic? Do you know
4 what ethnicity his wife was?
5 A. Yes. He was a Muslim, and his wife was a
6 Serb from Banja Luka.
7 Q. Mr. Kvocka, what was the attitude of these
8 three parties that you named towards Mr. Markovic's
10 A. One could hear, read everywhere that they did
11 not recognise that party, that they simply denied it,
12 persecuted it. They called it the party of mixed
13 marriages, which was considered to be something
15 Q. Mr. Ante Markovic, was he frequently
16 described as an Ustasha by representatives of Serb
18 A. Yes. By the Serbs, he was often referred to
19 as an Ustasha.
20 Q. And what does the term "Ustasha" stand for?
21 A. The term "Ustasha" has been in use ever since
22 the Second World War, and at the time, it denoted
23 members of the most extremist units of Croats, of the
24 Croatian army, who served the occupying force. They
25 committed terrible crimes in the course of history, as
1 you know.
2 Q. Did their activities affect the area of
3 Prijedor too?
4 A. The most pronounced form of Ustasha
5 activities was the Jasenovac camp, which existed until
6 the end of 1945. It was there throughout the Second
7 World War, this Jasenovac camp, where Serbs, Jews and,
8 I read from books, a few disobedient Croats too were
9 detained there.
10 Q. How many kilometres is Jasenovac from Banja
11 Luka, in relation to Dubica?
12 A. If it is 35 kilometres from Prijedor, then it
13 is 80 kilometres from Banja Luka. But if you take the
14 Dubica road across Mount Kozara, then it is very
15 close. I don't know exactly kilometre-wise.
16 Q. Did a large number of citizens of Prijedor
17 end up in Jasenovac, about which a film was made?
18 A. An enormous number. Virtually all the men
19 from the villages around Prijedor, and a part of the
20 town of Prijedor, in this offensive, most of them ended
21 up in Jasenovac.
22 Q. The political party of Mr. Markovic, did it
23 succeed in growing roots in Prijedor and the
24 surroundings, in establishing a foothold?
25 A. I think not really, except for the first
1 initial attempts and that rally on Mount Kozara.
2 Q. And why do you think that was so?
3 A. I think that what prevailed were the
4 extremists. But let me say, also other nationalist
5 forces did not support him. The SDA denied the value
6 of such a party, and so did the HDZ, so that they were
7 all against it.
8 Q. After the parliamentary elections in November
9 1990, did that party and its leader, Ante Markovic,
10 disappear from the political stage?
11 A. Yes, they did, in my belief.
12 Q. Mr. Markovic, who is a Croat, did he appear
13 on the political scene of Croatia after those
15 A. He was not heard of again after the first
16 multiparty elections. There was no mention of him.
17 Q. A moment ago, you said that nationalist
18 parties had divided the people along ethnic lines.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. That the Serbs mostly supported the SDS; the
21 Muslims, the SDA, and so on.
22 A. Yes, that is exactly what I said.
23 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the
24 usher for his assistance to place two documents under
25 the ELMO. My number is DP50. Could you place it under
1 the ELMO, and one for the registrar, please.
2 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Exhibit D3/1
3 and D3/1A for the English version.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
5 Mr. Registrar, what was the previous number of the
6 document, the document number 10?
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] It was D2/1,
8 Mr. President.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
10 very much.
11 Ms. Hollis, for the moment, is the system
12 functioning regarding the exhibits?
13 MS. HOLLIS: Yes, Your Honour. It is very
14 helpful when Mr. Simic tells us the number he noted on
15 the exhibit himself, which was 50, that enables us to
16 find it.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Mr. Simic, you may continue.
19 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Kvocka, did you ever join or support the
21 Serb option, that is, the SDS party?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you ever talk to anyone from the party
24 and express your wish to join?
25 A. No. I had no interest in that.
1 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
2 there is evidence to show that Mr. Kvocka was never a
3 member of the SDS party in view of his political
5 Q. I have a question for you, Mr. Kvocka, though
6 it is a very private area that I'm touching upon, so it
7 is up to you not to answer it if you'd rather not. Who
8 did you vote for at the elections in November 1990?
9 A. I think it is not difficult to conclude from
10 what I have said so far whom I voted for. As the
11 elections were secret, I have no fear for voting for my
12 option and according to my own conscience.
13 Q. Yesterday Mr. Niemann spoke about the
14 relationship of the SDS towards people who were not
15 members of that party, so I should now like to ask you
16 to take our Exhibit number 29.
17 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, I
18 know there's a problem and that is the following:
19 These are not original documents, we were unable to
20 obtain them, but the Prosecution has, and the
21 Prosecution gave them to the Defence and the Defence
22 will use them and comment on them as an exhibit,
23 because indeed we could not get hold of those
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] It will be
1 Exhibit 4/1.
2 THE INTERPRETER: The witness said he didn't
3 have the version in Serbian.
4 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Kvocka, you have before you a decision of
6 the crisis staff of the Autonomous Region of Krajina,
7 number 03-531/92, dated 22nd June 1992.
8 In point one of this decision it is
9 explicitly stated that all executive posts can be held
10 exclusively by personnel of Serbian nationality. In
11 paragraph two, it is particularly underlined that this
12 applies to the Ministry of the Interior and the army.
13 What is of the greatest importance for us is
14 paragraph three which says and I quote: "Also, these
15 posts cannot be held by persons of Serb ethnicity who
16 did not confirm this by plebiscite or who have still
17 not ideologically understood that the sole
18 representative of the Serbian people is the Serbian
19 Democratic Party."
20 Were such positions made public in the
22 A. Yes. Yes, they were. In Official Gazettes
23 too of the government at the time and also in the
24 regular media.
25 Q. Did the Kozarski Vjesnik newspaper write
1 about this?
2 A. It did.
3 Q. What did that mean in practice?
4 A. What it meant was that the SDS proclaimed
5 itself as the sole representative of the Serb people
6 and as the sole leader of the Serb people, and those
7 who were not in the SDS did not belong anywhere.
8 Q. And such personnel policy, was it applied in
10 A. Yes. Following these decisions, all the
11 managers were replaced and other officials in other
12 bodies and in the enterprises.
13 Q. Was there any possibility, in 1992, for
14 someone who did not have a membership card of the SDS
15 to have any kind of leading position?
16 A. No, it was not possible.
17 Q. Was there mistrust towards people who were
18 not members?
19 A. Yes, indeed. There was a high degree of
20 mistrust, and they simply refused to think about the
21 possibility of somebody who was not a member of the SDS
22 to hold a managerial post.
23 Q. Mr. Kvocka, was a similar ideology upheld by
24 the other two parties, the SDA and the HDZ, when they
25 were establishing their authority as a result of the
1 election results in November 1990?
2 A. Yes. Judging by what I read in the media in
3 Prijedor, the SDA party had won at the elections, and
4 they sought to appoint to the highest position their
5 members and their cadres.
6 Q. So the principle was roughly the same.
7 A. Yes. Absolutely so.
8 Q. The SDS equals Serbs, the SDA equals Muslims,
9 the HDZ equals Croats.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And those in between?
12 A. Those in between didn't belong anywhere, as
13 if they didn't exist.
14 Q. Was this principle applied in the police
16 A. Yes, it was. After the elections,
17 appointments were made as a function of the election
19 Q. When the new authorities had been established
20 and when you left Omarska -- we will be coming to that
21 later in much greater detail, of course -- were there
22 any deaths recorded among Muslims in Prijedor of
23 natural causes, killings, or whatever?
24 A. Yes, there were, after the establishment of
25 the authorities and also later.
1 Q. After you left Omarska?
2 A. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. Were there problems with funerals?
4 A. Yes. There were many problems, because this
5 was the period when the SDS or, rather, the Serbs took
6 over power themselves. They took over all power in
7 Prijedor by then.
8 Q. Will you tell me who was the Hodza in
9 Prijedor at the time?
10 A. The only Hodza who stayed on, because
11 probably the others had left, was Solo Adil.
12 Q. What is a Hodza?
13 A. A Hodza is a Muslim religious leader or
14 representative. The religious representative of the
16 Q. Can it be compared to a priest among the
17 Serbs and Croats?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What were the problems linked to funerals
21 A. At the time, it was very difficult to
22 organise a funeral, be it a death of natural causes or
23 as a result of killing, because the nationalists would
24 not allow it. They simply wouldn't allow it. The
25 people themselves, the Muslims, very often didn't even
1 dare to try and bury their dead unless they had taken
2 measures to protect themselves in some way.
3 Q. Mr. Solo, did he at the time ask for the
4 assistance of the official authorities to assist him in
5 the burial of the dead?
6 A. I think he did.
7 Q. On a number of occasions, did he request that
8 you be a member of the security when those burials took
10 A. Yes. He did that by asking for this, and on
11 one occasion, with a relative of my wife, he came in
12 person, together with this relative, to ask me, on a
13 private basis, whether I would help them.
14 Q. Would you tell us where that funeral took
16 A. The funeral was carried out in a suburb
17 called Puharska in Prijedor.
18 Q. So you attended that burial in order to
19 provide security for the actual ceremony?
20 A. Yes. I was the only Serb attending a Muslim
22 Q. Before these tragic events, was it customary,
23 either at Muslim or Serb or Croat funerals,
24 representatives of all the peoples to attend depending
25 on their relationship to the deceased, whether they
1 were friends or acquaintances?
2 A. Yes, of course. Before the nationalism
3 became rampant and the nationalist parties appeared, it
4 was customary in Prijedor for all people who knew the
5 deceased or his family to attend the funeral regardless
6 of the ethnic group they belonged to.
7 Q. So this was an expression of communal
9 A. Yes. That was an expression of it before all
10 these events.
11 Q. Did you have any unpleasant experiences
12 during any of these ceremonies for which you provided
14 A. Yes. What happened is in respect of this
15 funeral that I just mentioned in Puharska. The
16 cemetery itself was at the intersection of the roads,
17 and there was an improvised basketball field, and some
18 young men, I say in their 20s, played, I think, pick-up
19 basketball, and they created a lot of noise. It is
20 well known that an Islamic funeral requires a certain
21 amount of quiet and respect so that all the rituals,
22 the prayers, and everything could be said. After
23 several warnings, I managed to disperse that group, but
24 I could easily have gotten into an altercation with
1 Q. Were there any extreme reactions in terms of
2 the burial itself?
3 A. What do you mean, in general?
4 Q. Any kind.
5 A. Yes. Hasan Crnalic was told that he could
6 not do this at all at that time in that place. His
7 father-in-law died in the house and nobody dared to
8 come to the house for two days. So Hasan Crnalic
9 arrived two days later. I accompanied him so that he
10 could make all the necessary preparations for a regular
12 Q. Mr. Kvocka, those of us who have lived
13 through this know that people lived through hardship,
14 financial hardship.
15 A. Yes. There were no salaries, no pensions,
17 Q. Was there any organised aid, assistance
18 through charitable societies, Merhamet and the Circle
19 of Serbian Sisters and things like that?
20 A. Yes. Such societies and such associations
21 existed in Prijedor.
22 Q. The charity association Merhamet was part of
23 what ethnic group?
24 A. The Muslim one.
25 Q. Did they mostly provide assistance to the
1 Muslim families throughout that difficult time?
2 A. Yes, for the most part.
3 Q. Did the Merhamet association also provide
4 assistance to your family?
5 A. For a period of time they did.
6 Q. Is there any record of this assistance?
7 A. Yes. They had a list of the members of the
8 association, and I believe that my wife has a
9 membership card still.
10 Q. Did they enter the amounts and the date the
11 assistance which they provided?
12 A. Yes. I think that they put down dates.
13 Q. Did you receive this assistance from the
14 Merhamet association for two or three years following
15 your engagement in Omarska?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did they ask any questions?
18 A. No. At first there were no problems.
19 Q. Prijedor is a relatively small town. People
20 know each other. Did people in Prijedor know that for
21 a period of time you worked at Omarska?
22 A. Yes. I think that practically all Muslims
23 knew this.
24 Q. This did not present an obstacle for the
25 Merhamet association to continue providing assistance
1 to your family?
2 A. No. I had a feeling that some of the workers
3 there actually were glad to be able to assist me.
4 Q. Awhile ago, you mentioned that a number of
5 Muslims that were housed in your mother-in-law's
6 house. After the dissolution of the Omarska camp, did
7 some of these people find assistance in your house?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you name any names?
10 A. Yes. During the Omarska period and following
11 that, as far as my mother-in-law's house is concerned,
12 we mentioned the names of my relatives. As far as my
13 apartment is concerned, a number of people took shelter
14 there. I cannot recall everybody now, but there was a
15 family, Sehic, a mother, father, son, and a daughter,
16 they came. For a month they would come and spend the
17 night if they felt that the situation in town was
18 uncertain. Sometimes we would just go over to their
19 apartment and bring them over.
20 Q. How about the Zelinkic [phoen] Family?
21 A. Yes. The Zelinkic family stayed at my
22 mother-in-law's a while later. See, I could not
23 remember them right away.
24 Q. Following your arrest, did Enver Zelinkic
25 call from Sweden to provide assistance, to explain what
1 type of person you were?
2 A. Yes, she contacted my wife on several
4 Q. On this occasion, did she say that her
5 brother and her father did not dare speak because of
6 the political situation but that she felt obliged to
7 travel from Sweden to come and testify about what you
8 did for her family?
9 A. Yes. This is what she told my wife. She
10 said that her brother and her brother's son, in fact,
11 who spent the most time at my house were now residing
12 in Kljuce, and the situation was such that they just
13 did not dare report as witnesses because the local
14 authorities there did not allow it and it would be
15 dangerous for them, but since she was in Sweden, she
16 felt that she ran no such risk.
17 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I
18 have concluded an area of questioning, so perhaps this
19 would be a good time for Mr. Kvocka to take a break,
20 and if this is convenient for you, this may be a good
21 time to take a break. We are now going to enter into
22 areas which require a lot of concentration and focus.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Quite so,
24 Mr. Simic. It's quite convenient to have a break now.
25 We had planned to do so around midday. So we're now
1 going to have a 20-minute break.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.23 p.m.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic,
5 are we arriving at the Omarska camp? Will we be there
6 shortly? You may continue.
7 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I'm afraid that
8 we may not arrive there because we still have a number
9 of questions that are of general character in order to
10 get a better understanding of it.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] It is up to
12 you to channel your examination-in-chief, but we are
13 waiting. Please proceed. Thank you.
14 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Q. Mr. Kvocka, are you ready?
16 A. Yes. Go ahead, please.
17 Q. In order for all of us to gain a better
18 understanding of the matter, we will very briefly touch
19 on the town of Omarska itself in relation to Prijedor.
20 Omarska is part of Prijedor; is that correct?
21 A. Yes. Yes, it is part of the Prijedor
23 Q. What is a municipality, administratively
25 A. That is a certain territory which encompasses
1 a certain area. It has its administrative authority,
2 and it consists of the city of Prijedor and the local
3 communes; that is, the administrative division into
4 local communes.
5 Q. Were there municipal authorities in the
6 territory of Prijedor municipality?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did the local commune of Omarska belong
9 within the municipality of Prijedor?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you attempt to locate it
13 A. The local commune of Omarska is about halfway
14 between Banja Luka and Prijedor, several kilometres
15 closer to Prijedor. In other words, it is about 25
16 kilometres from Prijedor.
17 Q. There is a highway, Banja Luka-Prijedor.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is this local commune by the highway or is it
20 removed from it?
21 A. It is about 2 to 3 kilometres away from the
22 main highway.
23 Q. Could you try to tell us what is the square
24 area of this local commune?
25 A. I don't know exactly. But it's a very small
1 area, if you only take into account the local commune
2 of Omarska.
3 Q. What about the hamlets that were made part
4 of -- or the local villages that surrounded Omarska?
5 A. If you take into account these surrounding
6 local communes and villages, then it's a somewhat wider
8 Q. Organisationally speaking, the area of the
9 local commune, do you know anything about the local
10 administration of that local commune?
11 A. Well, you can say that there is an element of
12 local authority, that is, that there is a link between
13 the municipal authority and the local commune.
14 Q. Can you say what are the local institutions
15 of power there?
16 A. Institutionally speaking, there is a
17 secretary for the local commune, and this is a
18 technical position; then there are citizens assemblies;
19 there is the president of the assembly, of this local
20 commune; and a number of subordinate organs, I guess
21 you can call them organs. This is in political terms.
22 As far as other major features of the local
23 communes are concerned, there is a health centre, a
24 cultural centre; then there is a small detached police
25 unit; there is a railroad station, several commercial
1 stores, and one agriculture cooperative. And that's
2 about it.
3 Q. Before the war, was there an agricultural
4 enterprise which had its administrative seat there?
5 A. Actually, no. There was a mining complex
6 which was called Ljubija, that was the overall name,
7 and it had a unit at Omarska.
8 Q. Did the Ljubija company have any business
9 premises or any production facilities there?
10 A. Yes, there were some production facilities.
11 Q. What about any administrative buildings?
12 A. Yes, there was an administration building
13 which was part of the Ljubija Mining Company.
14 Q. How far was this industrial complex from the
15 centre of the town and the police station?
16 A. It was about 1.5 kilometres from the police
17 station, and that was the centre of Omarska.
18 Q. Territorially speaking, was the Ljubija
19 mining complex part of the jurisdiction of the police
20 station in Omarska? Did it have authority there?
21 A. Yes. From the security point of view, yes,
22 it did belong to the jurisdiction of this police
24 Q. In other words, the police station was
25 responsible for the security in that mining complex.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Mr. Kvocka, to get closer to your employment
3 at the police station in Omarska, I would first like to
4 address an issue that I believe you are familiar with.
5 The police force, at the time of your
6 employment there, its official name was "Militia."
7 A. Yes, until 1991 -- 1990/1991, it was called
9 Q. In many documents, you will see the name
10 "Militia," but we will use the term "police" or
11 "police force," because this is the generally accepted
12 name, in order for all of us to be able to better
14 You said that you are familiar with the
15 police organisational structure.
16 A. Yes, I'm familiar with it. I know about --
17 in general terms, I know its overall organisation, and
18 at the local level, I think I know it fairly well.
19 Q. In the pertinent time, there were two levels
20 of police operation; one was before the Serbs took over
21 control of it and the second, after they took control
22 of it. In regard to the first part, we will talk about
23 the police force as it existed in, say, 1991.
24 How was the police force organised?
25 A. Before the war, including 1991, in the
1 territory of the entire Yugoslavia, there was a federal
2 secretariat for internal affairs. This was the
3 so-called federal SUP which was the overall authority
4 for the entire Yugoslavia.
5 Organisationally speaking, below this were
6 the republican SUP organisations. In other words,
7 every republic within the former Yugoslavia had its own
8 secretariat for internal affairs.
9 Q. Let's address the organisation within a
10 single republic. What was the mission of the federal
11 secretariat, and what were the tasks of the republican
13 A. The federal secretariat controlled the police
14 work for the entire country, that is, all of
15 Yugoslavia, and it was superior to the republican
16 secretariats. So the republican secretariat conducted
17 all the police work within the territory of its
19 Q. Did they submit bills regulating police work?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In other words, we had the federal and
22 republican laws governing police work.
23 A. Yes, but they needed to be coordinated. The
24 republican laws were always adopted on the basis of the
25 federal ones.
1 Q. If I understood you correctly, there was
2 coordination, a system of coordination of regulations
3 streaming down from the federal ones to the republican
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Does that mean that the police activities
7 were strictly regulated by both the republican and
8 federal regulations?
9 A. Yes, that is correct. There was a law of
10 internal affairs, and there was a federal one and there
11 were republican ones.
12 Q. On the basis of either the republican or
13 federal laws, did the local ministries adopt their
14 rules regulating their operation and other work?
15 A. Yes. Especially the republican ones adopted
16 their own rules for police operation and conduct.
17 Q. And these laws referred to the territory for
18 which they were adopted.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And the regulations provided very strict
21 rules of operation.
22 A. Yes. All foreseeable incidents or events
23 were covered by them, and the appropriate measures were
24 also defined.
25 Q. Let us now move to the practical
1 implementation of these rules and regulations. As this
2 was addressed previously by the Prosecution, it may be
3 useful if we explain what changes took place on 31
4 December 1989.
5 A. What year did you mention?
6 Q. That was 1989.
7 A. In that year, the police in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina was reorganised. The so-called
9 municipal SUP organisations, that is, secretariats for
10 internal affairs, were dissolved, and they were
11 replaced by public security stations.
12 Q. What was the area of responsibility of a
13 public security station?
14 A. It covered the area of a single
16 Q. Now, we're still talking about 1989. With
17 respect to the municipal secretariats for internal
18 affairs, were there intermunicipal secretariats?
19 A. Yes. Before this change, there was a
20 secretariat for internal affairs which covered several
21 municipalities, so you could call them regional
23 Q. So this was a regional --
24 A. Principles?
25 Q. Yes. You mean these were based on regional
1 principles and these were regional organs.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was this regional principle of organisation
4 of police work kept?
5 A. Yes, it was kept, but now it was replaced by
6 the centre of public security.
7 Q. What is the difference between a centre for
8 public security and the former Intermunicipal
9 Secretariat for Internal Affairs?
10 A. Well, I personally didn't see any great
11 difference in the organisational sense. Both the
12 Centre for Public Security included a number of public
13 security stations as did in previous times the regional
14 secretariat. It also included a number of
15 intermunicipal secretariats.
16 Q. Mr. Kvocka, I see that you're a little
17 tired. I'm asking you about the full name of the
18 regional form of organisation for the police force. Is
19 it a centre for public security or a public security
21 A. Yes. It includes the centre for the security
22 services, the centre for the security services.
23 Q. So can we address it in the official form.
24 A. Well, I spent my whole life time working in
25 the public security centre, so I find it difficult to
1 assimilate this other name.
2 Q. Let us go back to the municipal level for the
3 time being. The service for public security, public
4 security service, did that service exist in Prijedor?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. How was it divided up?
7 A. Well, it was divided into two departments,
8 the service for public and the service for state
10 Q. What did the State Security Service deal
12 A. The State Security Service's job was
13 exclusively related to state security matters and
14 matters which were of interest to the security of the
15 state, in the interests of protecting the state.
16 Q. You never worked in that service, did you?
17 A. No.
18 Q. The public security service. Let's take a
19 look at that and what it was in charge of.
20 A. The public security service had a number of
21 spheres of activity, starting with some general
22 administrative work such as issuing all types of
23 documents, IDs, passports, and so on, right up to the
24 police force as a department and the criminal service
25 department, and their task was to prevent crime from
1 taking place and to control traffic and ensure safety
2 on the roads and so on.
3 Q. You said that within the frameworks of the
4 public security service we had the police service
5 within it.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. How was that organised? In what way?
8 A. In the public security stations there were
9 police stations within them, within the public security
11 Q. One or more police stations?
12 A. Depending.
13 Q. What did it depend on?
14 A. Well, for the most part, it depended on the
15 size of the municipality, the number of inhabitants,
16 the problems that the region had to deal with and so
18 Q. If there were police stations, was there the
19 legal possibility of founding some lower forms of
20 police activity?
21 A. Yes. Within the frameworks of the police
22 stations, it was possible to organise police
23 departments, depending, once again, on the structure of
24 the area, the number of inhabitants, and so on. So
25 that in the larger inhabited areas, larger settlements
1 that came within the frameworks of the municipality,
2 there were police departments of this kind as well.
3 Q. As you spent almost your entire lifetime
4 working in Prijedor, could you please tell us what the
5 organisation was like, whether there were a number of
6 police stations, whether there were police departments
7 within those police stations as well?
8 A. Well, on several occasions at different
9 periods in the course of my work there, there was
10 reorganisation within the police station of that kind,
11 and it did come about that within the frameworks of a
12 public security station, there were three or four
13 police stations, and then these would be reduced to
14 only one police station with three or four police
15 departments within it.
16 Q. What is the difference between a police
17 station and a police department?
18 A. A police station is a basic organisational
19 police unit which has its commander of the police
20 station and his deputy --
21 Q. No, I mean what different work did it do?
22 What different work do they do?
23 A. The police station covers a broader area, and
24 within its composition it has these police
1 Q. But what about the work they did and the
2 competencies? Were there any differences there?
3 A. Well, the difference was that a police
4 station had far broader authorisation and competencies
5 than a police precinct or department.
6 Q. Is there any difference in territorial
7 authority; that is to say, the territory that each was
8 in charge of? Was there any difference there?
9 A. Yes, absolutely so. There was a difference.
10 The police department or precinct had its own
11 territory, but this did not exclude the competence and
12 the authority of the police station over that same
14 Q. If I have understood you correctly, then that
15 means that the police station, if it is one, it is in
16 charge of the whole territory of the municipality. Is
17 that right?
18 A. Yes, quite so.
19 Q. And the departments or precincts were only in
20 charge of a narrower, smaller area of the general
21 municipality area?
22 A. Yes. That's right.
23 Q. You started saying something a moment ago, so
24 let's go back to what you were going to embark upon
25 with regard to the leadership of both these
1 organisations. Who was in charge of the police
3 A. The police station was led by the commander
4 of the station.
5 Q. Did he have a deputy?
6 A. Yes. There is always a deputy.
7 Q. Are there any other superior officials
8 governing the work of the police station?
9 A. Yes. There is one or more assistants.
10 Q. Why one or more?
11 A. Well, that depended, once again, on the
12 problems and size of the area for which the police
13 station was -- of which the police station was in
14 charge. So there would be in some areas several
15 assistants who would, each of them, have their own area
16 of activity, of police activity. For example, public
17 law and order. There would be one assistant in charge
18 of public law and order. Crime would have another
19 assistant, and so on.
20 Q. In that organisational structure, who has the
21 supreme authority?
22 A. The commander of the station issues orders,
23 is the person who issues orders.
24 Q. And the deputy commander and assistants, what
25 do they do?
1 A. They execute and implement the orders issued
2 by the commander, komandir.
3 Q. The police department or precinct, what is
4 its command structure?
5 A. In the department, there is just the
6 commander or the leader of the department, and that is
7 just one individual who is in command of the work of
8 that department.
9 Q. So there are no deputies or assistants?
10 A. No. In the police department, that kind of
11 structure never existed.
12 Q. After the commander, komandir, if you have a
13 certain number of policemen, is there any hierarchy as
14 regards to the issuance of orders?
15 A. If you're talking about the department,
16 police department --
17 Q. Yes, I am.
18 A. No. In a police department there is only the
19 commander, the leader, and the others are just ordinary
20 policemen with no difference in rank.
21 Q. A moment ago, you mentioned the fact that
22 during your work there were transformations. The
23 police stations, police departments, all this was
24 undergoing transformation. Now, did these
25 transformations affect the Omarska station? Which
1 we're going to focus on, of course.
2 A. Yes, it did happen there. When I began
3 working in Omarska in 1981 for the first time, it was
4 called the police department.
5 Q. Can you remember who the commander of the
6 department was?
7 A. The commander of that department at the time
8 was Simo Miskovic.
9 Q. Mr. Miskovic, whom we mentioned as the
10 president of the SDS when this unfortunate conflict
11 came into being, is that the same one?
12 A. Yes. Much later he retired, and after having
13 retired, he became politically active.
14 Q. When did the department grow to become a
15 station, a police station?
16 A. This took place several years after I had
17 started working. So if I start -- in 1981 there was a
18 reorganisation and Omarska became a police station;
19 that is to say, a police station was founded in
20 Omarska. The department grew to become the police
22 Q. Does that mean that the command structure
23 changed as well?
24 A. Yes. Absolutely correct.
25 Q. The police station got a commander and a
1 deputy commander and so on. Can you remember their
3 A. Yes, I can. The commander of the station was
4 Radovan Daljevic. The deputy commander was Dzuro
5 Prpos, and the assistant was Miro Gavrilovic.
6 Q. And how did the situation evolve further?
7 A. Well, sometime in 1990, I think this
8 coincided with the general organisation we were talking
9 about a moment ago, and the police station at Omarska
10 was abolished, and the departments, police department
11 was revived. So it became once again the police
12 department of Omarska.
13 Q. And what happened to Mr. Daljevic?
14 A. I think that he retired when this came
16 Q. And what about Mr. Prpos?
17 A. Mr. Prpos moved to Prijedor, and I think he
18 became the deputy commander in the traffics department
19 of the police.
20 Q. What about Mr. Gavrilovic?
21 A. Mr. Gavrilovic also moved to Prijedor to
22 take up some other work.
23 Q. So now you only have a commander, komandir?
24 A. Yes. It was the only the commander of the
25 department that remained and he was a new man.
1 Q. Can you remember his name and surname?
2 A. His name was Milutin Bujic [realtime
3 transcript read in error "Buhic"].
4 Q. So we no longer had any deputies or
6 A. No. Those functions no longer existed.
7 Q. Up until what time did Mr. Bujic perform the
8 department commander?
9 A. Bujic was the commander of our department up
10 until approximately the middle of April 1992.
11 Q. In view of the fact that you worked in
12 Omarska for a considerable length of time, do you know
13 how many policemen worked in or should have -- was to
14 work in the Omarska police department?
15 A. An act called the "Systemisation of Work
16 Posts," according to that document, this provided for
17 15 policemen, a total of 15 policemen. That is to say,
18 14 policemen and the commander of the department.
19 Q. Was this respected; that is to say, in 1992,
20 did 15 policemen actually work in the department?
21 A. No. To all practical effects, we were always
22 short three or four policemen.
23 Q. In view of the events that were to follow and
24 the names that we're going to mention fairly
25 frequently, could you -- do you recall any policemen
1 working in the department in 1992 prior to Mr. Bujic's
3 A. I'll try to remember as many of the names as
4 I can. In addition to myself in that department, there
5 was Branislav Bojic who worked there; Ljuban Grahovac;
6 Boro Delic, nicknamed Baja; Edin Besic, Hamdija
7 Arifagic; Fikret Harambasic. I can't remember any
8 more. Maybe I'll remember them later on.
9 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your
10 Honours. There seems to have been an error in the
11 transcript. When speaking about the commander of the
12 department, his name is Bujic. B-u-j-i-c is the
13 correct spelling of that name. If that could be
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. We're
16 going to correct it, but perhaps, Mr. Simic, you could
17 be of the greatest assistance to both the court
18 reporters and the interpreters, who are not so
19 familiar, perhaps, with all these names, and that would
20 assist us too, if you could spell the names, to say
21 B-u, et cetera. If you could spell the names, please,
22 if possible. Thank you very much.
23 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] We shall do our
24 very best, Your Honour.
25 A. I forgot to mention two other police then,
1 Zeljko Meakic and Mlajo Radic. They too worked with me
2 at that time.
3 Q. In April 1992 --
4 MR. SIMIC: I apologise once again. We seem
5 to have a problem in the transcript. A very vital name
6 has been left out, Zeljko Meakic, in front of Mlajo
7 Radic. There was Zeljko Meakic.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think
9 that -- I don't see in the transcript what I heard in
10 the translation. I think I heard the name Zeljko
11 Meakic, and it should have come before Mladjo Radic,
12 M-l-a-d-j-o; is that right?
13 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] It has been
16 corrected in the transcript. Thank you very much once
18 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you too,
19 Your Honour.
20 Q. So the middle of April 1992 -- that's what we
21 were talking about -- the post of commander was
22 vacant. Which policeman wanted to become commander,
24 A. At the time, we began -- rumours had it that
25 Bujic would no longer be commander in Omarska, and
1 amongst the policemen themselves, there was
2 considerable polemics, and it was thought that
3 Branislav Bojic, Zeljko Meakic could replace him.
4 Q. Were there any formal conditions to be met,
5 that is to say, which stipulated who could be a
6 commander, who was qualified?
7 A. Well, by law, the commander of a department
8 must have a higher education, which would be comparable
9 to and in line with the police profession.
10 Q. Within the schooling system of the former
11 Yugoslavia, was there a higher school for internal
12 affairs, or for the police force?
13 A. Yes, there was, in a number of republics.
14 Q. Did you attend the higher school for internal
16 A. No.
17 Q. Who became commander of the department in
19 A. The commander became Zeljko Meakic.
20 Q. Did he have a deputy or an assistant?
21 A. No, he did not.
22 Q. In addition to this professional composition
23 of the police force, in the work of the police and, of
24 course, the work of the departments, because that's
25 what we're talking about at the moment, was there any
1 reserve police formation?
2 A. Yes. In the overall system of the work of
3 the police force, there was a reserve police force.
4 Q. Who was a reserve policeman?
5 A. Well, in principle, the reserve policemen
6 could be people with the right positive traits that are
7 required for a policeman; that is to say, that they
8 were not criminals, that they had never been taken to
9 court, that they were respected in the local community
10 where they lived and worked, as the reserve police
11 force was organised on a territorial basis.
12 Q. Perhaps we have misunderstood each other.
13 What I wanted to ask you to explain was in what way
14 could you become a reserve policeman? But I thank you
15 for your explanations of what are the general traits of
16 a policeman.
17 A. One became a reserve policeman in the
18 following manner: The public security station would
19 have workers, clerks, in charge of this aspect, and
20 there are plans for this in the public security
21 stations. And it is according to those plans and in
22 cooperation with the Defence Ministry that certain
23 cadres are requested; that is to say, the Defence
24 Ministry provides them and they then have to do service
25 in the military police. And I think that that is the
1 basic aspect of this matter, as far as I know.
2 Q. That means that they are conscripts then,
3 does it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And within the frameworks of the legal
6 provisions, they go and report to the Ministry of
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And the Ministry of Defence, via the
10 municipal department, bearing in mind the existing
11 plans and programmes, sends the individuals to one of
12 the police stations; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that was the procedure.
14 Q. And they become -- they are given the status
15 of policeman.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. These policemen, when they arrived in the
18 police force, were they trained at all?
19 A. Yes, they were.
20 Q. When was the reserve police force generally
22 A. The reserve police force was generally used
23 when there were certain major events taking place and
24 when the police service, with its active policemen, was
25 not able to do all the work.
1 For example, when President Tito, in former
2 times, used to come visiting, then a larger number of
3 reserve policemen would be used to provide security and
4 help the normal police force. This is also true in
5 case of natural disasters, floods and so on, the
6 reserve police force would be called upon to assist.
7 Things of that kind.
8 Q. What about the Olympics in Sarajevo?
9 A. Yes. When, in 1984, we had the winter
10 Olympics in Sarajevo, practically all the reserve
11 policemen were incorporated.
12 Q. Why?
13 A. Well, for security reasons, quite simply,
14 because we had to cover a large area and physically
15 ensure security and protection for the whole area.
16 Q. Did a reserve policeman receive information
17 at the Ministry of Defence as to which assignment he
18 would be sent on?
19 A. Yes, a reserve policeman would receive an
20 assignment of that kind.
21 Q. As reserve policemen, were they given police
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was there any difference between the uniforms
25 worn by the active policemen and the reserve police
2 A. If we're talking about before the war, then
3 there was a difference in the uniforms. They had a
4 similar uniform but they would be of a slightly
5 different colour, tone.
6 Q. When a reserve policeman would be sent on an
7 assignment, was he equated with the active policemen?
8 Did he receive a salary during his work within the
9 police force?
10 A. If we're talking about before the war, then I
11 think that their position was equal to the positions of
12 the active policemen, yes. But before the war, he did
13 not receive a separate salary, because if he was
14 employed in a company, in an enterprise of whatever
15 kind, he would receive his regular salary during the
16 time that he was assigned to this reserve police work.
17 Q. Did the state remunerate his company for the
18 salary, for his absence in the company and his
19 engagement by the police force?
20 A. Well, I assume that they did, but I didn't
21 really have an insight into it.
22 Q. But theoretically speaking.
23 A. Yes, theoretically speaking, it was that
25 Q. What about in practice? What happened in
1 practice, when somebody was sent on assignment, an
2 active and a reserve policeman? Would an active
3 policeman be assisted by a reserve policeman?
4 A. Yes. What they tried to do was to ensure
5 that the composition of a patrol, for example, would be
6 conceived as you have described it, that there would be
7 one or two reserve policemen attached to every active
9 Q. Was there any reason for this type of
11 A. Well, yes, there was. A reserve policeman,
12 quite naturally, was not as professionally trained for
13 police work as was the active policeman.
14 Q. What about these patrols and assignments?
15 Did they have an educational aspect to them?
16 A. Yes. In addition to the fact that the active
17 policemen were doing their regular duty in the area or
18 on the ground, the active policemen were also there to
19 train and teach the reserve policemen.
20 Q. And what was cooperation like? Was it always
22 A. As far as I was able to note, and according
23 to my experience, I always did have very proper and
24 good cooperation, yes.
25 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to how many
1 reserve policemen the police department in Omarska had
2 in the period we're talking about?
3 A. You mean April 1992?
4 Q. Even before that.
5 A. Roughly, about 30.
6 Q. A moment ago, you spoke about the
7 qualifications required for a policeman. Were any
8 checks made among those people to see whether they had
9 been convicted or not?
10 A. Yes, indeed, such checks were made.
11 Q. So a person who had any convictions could not
12 serve as a reserve policeman.
13 A. Under no circumstances.
14 Q. Let us now go back to this hierarchy of
15 control and command.
16 You said that Mr. Meakic was the komandir or
17 commander of the police station department.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Who was his superior?
20 A. His immediate superior is the commander of
21 the police station in Prijedor.
22 Q. As we are talking of the time when Mr. Meakic
23 had already been appointed, do you know who was at that
24 same time the police station commander in Prijedor?
25 A. It was Dusan Jankovic.
1 Q. So Dusan Jankovic had a deputy and
2 assistants, didn't he? Could you remember some of
4 A. Yes, I can. His deputy was Zilhad Hodzic,
5 one of his assistants was Radovan Kecan, and he had
6 more assistants, but I can't remember their names now.
7 Q. Who was the superior to Mr. Jankovic, if
8 we're going from bottom upwards, along the hierarchy?
9 A. The superior of Mr. Jankovic was the chief of
10 the public security station in Prijedor.
11 Q. In April 1992, before the takeover, who was
13 A. Before the takeover, it was Hasan Talundzic.
14 Q. Between Mr. Talundzic and Mr. Jankovic, was
15 there another person who acted as the assistant for
16 police to the head of the public security service?
17 A. At that time, no.
18 Q. And according to the organisational chart,
19 was such a position envisaged?
20 A. No, not at that time. Earlier on, such a
21 position did exist, but when the transformations
22 occurred that we have described, when municipal bodies
23 were transformed into public security stations, then no
24 such workplace existed.
25 Q. So the SJB was part of the centre of the
1 security services in Banja Luka.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Does that mean that the next step in the
4 hierarchy upwards was the head of the security services
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know whether at that level there was
8 an assistant for police, an assistant chief for police,
9 who had to coordinate the work of several public
10 security stations?
11 A. Yes. In the security centre, there was an
12 entire section for the police which coordinated the
13 work of the entire police force as part of that
14 centre. But I cannot remember the name of the head of
15 that section.
16 Q. Mr. Kvocka, when you say "the police," do you
17 mean that you are referring to the coordination of the
18 police stations and not the police force as such?
19 A. Yes. The police stations.
20 Q. So let us go back again to the Omarska
21 department of the police station, or any other, for
22 that matter.
23 You said that there was a komandir, a
24 commander. How was the work of the other policemen
1 A. The other policemen had several types of
2 duties. There was guard duty, patrol services or
3 patrolling the territory, both terms were used; then
4 there was also a type of duty called security. But in
5 Omarska anyway, we had these three types of duties,
6 three different jobs that policemen performed.
7 Q. Was it clearly indicated which policeman was
8 working on the security, which one was on duty, and
9 which one was on patrol?
10 A. No, this was never defined with any
12 Q. Who made the plans in that respect?
13 A. The daily plans were made by the department
15 Q. If I understand you correctly, any one of the
16 policemen in that department could one day be on duty,
17 another day be on patrol duty, and another day, he
18 could be working on the security of a particular
20 A. Yes, it would happen like that.
21 Q. If you were working on holidays, were you
22 given higher remuneration for those hours of work?
23 A. Yes. There was a regulation which provided
24 for compensation when workers were on duty on holidays,
25 and that compensation was somewhat greater than normal
1 working hours.
2 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
3 again, with the help of the Prosecution, who seems to
4 have done much of our work, we received two documents
5 which we should like to tender, document 17/1 and
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic,
8 may I take this opportunity to ask Mr. Kvocka whether
9 you are tired, whether you can continue. Do you need a
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very
12 much for your concern, Mr. President. I think I will
13 manage to work until the end, as planned.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I haven't
15 yet heard the whole translation. What was the answer
16 of Mr. Kvocka? I didn't hear it.
17 As we are going to conclude, as planned, at
18 2.30, my idea was to have perhaps a short break now,
19 since we have interrupted anyway. We've been working
20 for an hour, and we will have another hour, so perhaps
21 we could have a 15-minute break for Mr. Kvocka to take
22 a little rest.
23 We'll have a 15-minute break now. Thank you
24 very much.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
1 --- Recess taken at 1.25 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Kvocka,
4 do you feel better now, more rested?
5 THE WITNESS: Everything is fine, Your
6 Honour. I was thinking of general fatigue, but as
7 regards breaks, whenever you decide, we can have a
8 break. Thank you for your concern.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] As you
10 know, we're all tired. We're all working hard. It is
11 now up to Mr. Simic to resume work. We have the
12 documents, don't we?
13 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic
16 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment. I
17 have a problem. I can't hear the interpretation. Yes,
18 I can hear now. Okay.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The
20 technical people are always right, we used to say. So
21 can you give us the number, first?
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. We have received two
23 documents. We received them just before the break.
24 The document dated 7 January 1992 will have the number
25 D5/1, and the other document will be D6/1.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I
2 apologise, Mr. Registrar, but I have a document here
3 which bears the number 7 for the Defence. What is the
4 number of that document?
5 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] 17/1.
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation]
7 Mr. President, I now have the original documents. The
8 document at your disposal, numbered 17/1, has been
9 registered by the registrar as D5/1; and the document,
10 the Serb version, 17/2, will now be Exhibit D6/1.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I
12 understand now. But still, if there is a number on the
13 Defence document, it is easier to give us the number
14 for us to identify the document, and that is why I was
15 looking for it.
16 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] I apologise,
17 Mr. President, but I myself didn't have the original,
18 so I didn't know the exact numbers of those documents.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In any
20 event, I think that we wanted to organise ourselves
21 better to avoid wasting time and we're not managing to
22 do that. I think, the registrar must have the same
23 documents that we have here and which the Prosecutor
24 has as well. We must all speak the same language when
25 talking about documents. So for me, it is easier if
1 somebody gives me a number of the document rather than
2 the date of the document. So I'm asking the Defence,
3 if possible, to give to the Prosecutor, to the Judges,
4 and to the registrar, the same document so that we can
5 speak the same language.
6 So let's continue now, Mr. Simic.
7 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
8 Honour. The technical difficulties arose because we
9 marked the Serbian version and not the English one, but
10 we will remove that problem very shortly.
11 Q. Mr. Kvocka, a moment ago we were talking
12 about the way in which policemen were engaged and the
13 duties they had within the framework of the police
14 station, department, or precinct. You have before you
15 a document on the assignments for the New Year
16 holidays. Under number 56 -- could the documents be
17 placed on the ELMO, please -- your name is mentioned.
18 Miroslav Kvocka worked from the 1st of January 1992 to
19 the 2nd, from 1500 until 0300 hours, and it says
20 "touring" or "patrolling."
21 Can you explain to the court what exactly you
22 were doing then, and is that a duty assigned to regular
23 active-duty policemen?
24 A. That is a type of duty, policing duty that I
25 described, and on these particular dates, together with
1 another policeman, I was patrolling a certain area, a
2 certain district which is within the jurisdiction of
3 the Omarska police department.
4 Q. So we're coming to a similar document but one
5 that is very interesting to us. It is a report on work
6 during the Mayday holidays, the 1st of May 1992. Under
7 number 50, again -- number 50, please. Can we see it
8 on the ELMO? We can see it now on the monitor.
9 It says Kvocka Miroslav, 30th of April -
10 1st May, from 2200 to 0600, and it says "security." So
11 this is another aspect of regular policing duties?
12 A. Yes. This is one of those activities that
13 the police engaged in.
14 Q. I said that this document was of interest
15 because of another topic that we're going to embark
16 upon now, and that is the question of the takeover of
17 power in Prijedor municipality.
18 On the 30th of April 1992, power was taken
19 over in Prijedor municipality; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. As a policeman, did you have any knowledge
22 that such an event would occur?
23 A. No, absolutely none. I had absolutely no
24 information about that.
25 Q. When did this takeover occur?
1 A. On the 30th of April, in the early hours of
2 the morning.
3 Q. According to your regular assignments, can
4 you remember what your work assignment was on the 30th
5 of April or, rather, the -- I'm sorry, the eve of the
6 takeover, on the eve of the takeover?
7 A. If you're referring to the day prior to the
8 30th of April --
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. I was working night duty as the policeman on
11 duty in Omarska.
12 Q. So that is the night between the 29th and
13 the 30th?
14 A. Yes. The night between the 29th and the 30th
15 of April, from 1900 on the 29th until 0700 on the 30th
16 of April.
17 Q. So you were on duty in the police station in
19 A. Yes, together with several other policemen.
20 Q. In the course of the morning, by any form of
21 communication, was the police station department of
22 Omarska informed of the events that occurred on the
23 30th of April 1992?
24 A. No. Until 0700, the time I spent in the
25 premises of the police station in Omarska, I had no
1 knowledge or information about it, nor did the two or
2 three policemen who were on duty with me. We didn't
3 discuss it at all.
4 Q. Did you receive news? Did anyone report to
5 you, "Power has been taken over. There are new
6 authorities in Omarska now"?
7 A. No. We had no information about that.
8 Q. Upon the completion of your shift, where did
9 you go?
10 A. I returned to Prijedor, to my family
12 Q. Your family or your wife and two children,
13 did they spend that night in their apartment in
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Like any other night?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When did you learn that power had been taken
19 over in Prijedor municipality?
20 A. As soon as I entered my apartment. My wife
21 had already heard some news reports about it on the
22 radio, and then I too joined her in listening to these
23 announcements broadcast on Radio Prijedor.
24 Q. What was the content of those announcements?
25 A. They said -- this was in the form of a
1 proclamation, announcing that in the early hours of the
2 morning a takeover of power had been carried out by the
3 Serbs or the Serb Democratic Party -- I'm not quite
4 sure about that now -- that this had taken place in
5 order, without a single bullet being fired, that the
6 citizens should stay at home in peace, and that things
7 would function normally.
8 Q. Given your regular schedule, the shift
9 schedules in Omarska police station, when were you
10 supposed to again engage in your regular duties? Were
11 there any changes there?
12 A. Yes. My next schedule was changed somewhat.
13 According to the regular schedule of shifts, I was only
14 supposed to report to duty the following day in the
15 afternoon. However, the very next morning I received a
16 call from commander Zeljko, and he told me that the
17 schedule has been changed, that on that same day I
18 needed to report to Omarska at 2200.
19 Q. Is this the schedule which we have in front
20 of us?
21 A. Yes. That is the date, 30 April through 1
22 May, and the hours are 2200 to 0600.
23 Q. Do you remember who you were in the shift
25 A. I'm not exactly sure, but it is possible that
1 Ljubo Grahovac, who is listed underneath, was also on
2 that shift.
3 Q. In this report, it details that you were
4 assigned to security. What were you assigned to? What
5 specifically did you secure at that time?
6 A. Zeljko Meakic was tasked with providing
7 security for the most significant facilities in
8 Omarska; in other words, that they needed to be covered
9 in terms of security.
10 Q. From here, we can see that almost all police
11 officers were involved in this. Was this increased
12 security a direct consequence of the takeover of power
13 and perhaps with the contingency of some trouble in
15 A. Yes. Usually these facilities were not
16 secured to that extent, so now we were tasked with
17 paying more attention to those.
18 Q. Have I understood you correctly, that you did
19 not have any knowledge about the takeover of power or
20 any other activity which would fall outside of the
21 usual scope of police activity at that time?
22 A. Yes, that is correct. I had no knowledge of
23 any other activities relative to the takeover of power,
24 and I did not know about it until, as I said, I
25 listened to the radio reports on that with my wife.
1 Q. The takeover of power took place on the 30th
2 of April, in the early morning hours. Did this
3 takeover of power lead to any changes in your official
4 duties or obligations, or to any of your colleagues'
5 duties, for instance, like Mladjo Radic?
6 A. No.
7 Q. So you continued to carry out the same
9 A. Yes. I had the exact same duties in the
10 Omarska police station, and it continued that way;
11 except for this change, that we had shorter breaks
12 between the shifts in Omarska.
13 Q. In other words, your time off was reduced.
14 A. That is exactly the fact.
15 Q. In other words, there was a certain pattern
16 of duty time and time off. How long did it go on like
18 A. I believe for a couple of days only. Then we
19 returned to the original scheme.
20 Q. Very well. You talked about the regular or
21 active police force. Now, I'm not going to take you
22 back to that, but in the months that followed, let's
23 say two or three months hence, did the number of
24 reserve police officers increase?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Could you give us an approximate number of
2 how many reserve police officers were assigned to the
3 police station?
4 A. It is not easy to give the exact number
5 because not all of them arrived at the same time.
6 Sometimes several police officers would arrive in
7 several intervals. But overall, 20 to 30 reserve
8 police officers were engaged.
9 Q. Given the extraordinary situation that was in
10 the field at the time, did you have any knowledge
11 whether the old verification system, that is, the
12 verification of the officers who were assigned to the
13 police station, was still implemented?
14 A. I wouldn't know that, but I know that these
15 were very rapidly evolving events.
16 Q. Since you are a police officer and you worked
17 in that area, did you notice whether, among the reserve
18 police officers, there were also individuals who, under
19 normal circumstances, could not have been police
21 A. Yes, there were such cases.
22 Q. In other words, there were persons who had
23 some problems in the past.
24 A. Yes. I think that there were some among them
25 who, under normal circumstances, would never have been
1 employed as police officers.
2 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I
3 would like to tender the document marked 23.
4 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] This exhibit
5 will be D7/1, and D7/1A for the English version.
6 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Kvocka, you have a public announcement
8 before you. It is very short; I'm going to read it
9 out. I think it reflects the situation very well.
10 This announcement was issued by the crisis staff of the
11 Prijedor municipality, and the text runs as follows:
12 "The Crisis Staff of the Prijedor
13 Municipality calls all men between 18 and 45 years of
14 age, who are not serving either in the army or the
15 police forces and have not been given war assignments
16 yet, to report immediately to the Public Security
17 Station in Prijedor regarding their service in the
18 reserve police force on security duties. Failure to
19 respond to this call implies legal sanctions."
20 This call is addressed to the male population
21 in the town of Prijedor. "In Prijedor, 2 June 1992.
22 Secretariat for Information."
23 Have you understood the contents of this
25 A. Yes, I have.
1 Q. Is this in contravention to what you know
2 about the regular police activity?
3 A. Yes. I think you can see that no procedure
4 was followed which was provided for in the regular
5 times for police officers.
6 Q. Was the crisis staff competent to replenish
7 the police force with reserve forces?
8 A. Never before.
9 Q. According to this document, everybody had to
10 report to the police.
11 A. That is what it says.
12 Q. Those who did not have war assignments.
13 A. Everybody was supposed to report to the
14 police station in Prijedor.
15 Q. So does that mean that this was bypassing the
16 criteria set out for the police officers in peacetime?
17 A. You could say that.
18 Q. In practice, following this announcement,
19 were the reserve police forces increased, that is, in
20 Prijedor or in the areas where you had available
22 A. In practice, you could see that when you
23 passed in the town. Let's say, going from home to
24 work, you could see a lot of police.
25 Q. Was this police activity a threat to the
1 citizens, given the number of untrained and untested
2 new officers?
3 A. There was a risk of various incidents.
4 Q. Very well. Can you tell me now, could these
5 people have been properly supplied with uniforms and
6 everything else that would identify them?
7 A. No.
8 Q. So does that mean that the police force was
9 dressed differently, in different attire?
10 A. Yes. You could notice that the police
11 officers were wearing different combinations of
12 uniforms, some parts of military uniforms, police
13 uniforms, even civilian clothing.
14 Q. Mr. Kvocka, there was an increase in
15 personnel more than normal, usual. There was a need
16 for more weapons. Were all people armed?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Let's go back to the previous question. We
19 talked about the regular procedures for replenishment
20 of the reserve police force. You said that a reserve
21 police officer would be issued a uniform. Would he
22 typically be taking that uniform home with him?
23 A. Normally, yes.
24 Q. When he would be issued a weapon, and we're
25 talking about the previous times, the regular times,
1 what happened in that case?
2 A. He would be given a weapon when there was a
3 need for him to be on duty. That is when he would be
4 issued a weapon.
5 Q. So that would mean that -- let's say a
6 reserve police officer would show up at a police
7 station, and the commander would issue him a weapon.
8 A. This is the procedure from before.
9 Q. Very well. When he has finished his duty for
10 the day, what would then happen? Or go to an
12 A. After an exercise, let's say, he would clean
13 the weapon and return it.
14 Q. You mean return it to the police station?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were these weapons stored in the police
17 station? Was it under the control of the police?
18 A. Yes, it was in the police station, and in the
19 precinct there was a room which was assigned for the
20 so-called small arms, because these were only rifles.
21 Q. What type of weapon were reserve police
22 officers typically issued?
23 A. At the time when he would start his duty, if
24 you are referring to the specific case when the weapons
25 were turned over for a specific purpose, yes.
1 Q. I think we did not understand each other.
2 When I asked who -- what weapons the police officer was
3 issued, I meant what kind of weapon.
4 A. All policemen were issued automatic rifles.
5 Q. And not pistols?
6 A. No.
7 Q. When this large number of police officers was
8 engaged, this -- let's say every police station or
9 precinct had a set number of weapons that had been
10 assigned to that particular station?
11 A. Right.
12 Q. Do you have any information from which
13 sources these weapons were given the increased number
14 of police officers? Where did they come from?
15 A. I have no independent information about where
16 they came from. I know that a number of them could not
17 get it from the police precincts because there weren't
18 enough weapons there, but I know that they were allowed
19 to carry personal weapons, pistols, that is, if some
20 members of the reserve police forces already owned or
21 possessed a pistol legally. Then they were allowed to
22 carry that.
23 Q. To try to sum it up, the Omarska police
24 station was only able to arm those police officers who
25 were assigned them, according to the regular rules, as
1 you put it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The new reserve officers, were they trained
4 at all?
5 A. I believe that no special training was
6 conducted, and I think that there was no time for it
7 and no opportunity.
8 Q. I think that I'm almost done with this area,
9 and I believe that we're also running out of time for
10 today. As a police officer, could it happen that in
11 the course of the night of the 30th of April, some
12 conflicts or incidents could take place which would
13 have threatened the safety and security of citizens,
14 including your family which spent that night in your
15 family apartment?
16 A. Well, that is absolutely correct. Given the
17 event, that is, the event that took place in Prijedor
18 that night, this could have provoked a wider conflict.
19 Q. Was it natural that contemplating this
20 possibility, that you would have left your family
21 unprotected in a town where such conflicts could have
22 taken place?
23 A. No, not at all. Had I known anything about
24 what was going to happen that night, I would have made
25 an effort to be as far away as possible from that
2 Q. Do you have any friends who would have
3 informed you?
4 A. Yes. In fact, my wife was angry with me.
5 She said, "You're a police officer. You should have
6 known what was going to happen. You could have taken
7 us to a safer place."
8 MR. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I
9 had another area in mind which I was going to address
10 before the key events at Omarska, and I was going to
11 ask Mr. Kvocka to lay out for us his tasks and duties
12 throughout his career, and this is what would sort of
13 pave the way for the Omarska events. I don't know if
14 you want me to start that now. It is something that
15 will take some time.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No,
17 Mr. Simic. We obviously will not have the time today,
18 but you will have it tomorrow, because I think it would
19 not be right to cut in half pieces of this testimony
20 which constitute a whole.
21 So I think we shall adjourn now, and we will
22 resume tomorrow, tomorrow morning at 9.30.
23 I can see that Mr. Niemann has something to
25 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you, Your Honours.
1 Tomorrow morning I'm in another matter, and I won't be
2 available now for the rest of the two-week period. So
3 may I have Your Honours' leave to be absent for that
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But we'll
6 have other representatives of the Office of the
8 MR. NIEMANN: Of course. My colleague,
9 Ms. Hollis, will certainly take over.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I
12 I think I see Mr. Tosic also, who has
13 something to tell us.
14 MR. TOSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my
15 apologies for addressing you now. I was just trying to
16 find the right moment during the day to request
17 assistance in solving a problem that my client Zoran
18 Zigic has.
19 This morning when he was transported,
20 apparently one security guard was putting handcuffs on
21 his hands, and they leave -- they were placed on him
22 too tightly. So it's very uncomfortable. The entire
23 trip from the detention unit to the court building he
24 suffered discomfort. Even though he asked for the
25 handcuffs to be loosened, his request was ignored by
1 the security personnel, which caused my client some
3 I would like to ask for the Tribunal's
4 assistance in order for this not to be repeated. Thank
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
7 Mr. Registrar, you will take note of this.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes,
9 Mr. President. Immediately after the hearing, I shall
10 contact the competent people to see what actually
11 happened and then to take follow-up measures in
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In that
14 case, we will monitor the situation, and the registrar
15 will report to us, and we will take the necessary
17 I think that is all for today. We'll be
18 meeting again tomorrow at 9.30.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
20 2.30 p.m., to be reconvened on
21 Wednesday, the 1st day of March, 2000
22 at 9.30 a.m.