1 Monday, 22
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.07 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated. Good
7 morning. Good morning to the technical booth, the interpreters, the
8 Registry, the Office of the Prosecutor. I see the same counsel attending,
9 and for Defence counsel also, more or less the same counsel who are fully
11 We are here today to begin the Defence case in this trial. But
12 before that, as we promised, we have a few matters to clear up after our
13 discussions last week; we have certain matters to address. Some we will
14 be able to decide upon; others will be pending until certain information
15 is obtained.
16 So the first issue we have to address is the calling of Witness
17 AK. The Chamber believes that witnesses do not belong to anyone. The
18 witness has already testified; nevertheless, if he is willing to appear
19 again, the Defence may try to call Witness AK to testify again.
20 The second issue to address: the request of the Radic Defence for
21 the disclosure of medical documents for Witnesses A and F. The Chamber
22 will not order the Prosecutor to carry out any inquiries on behalf of the
23 Defence. The Prosecutor has presented its evidence. If the Defence
24 wishes to go further, it is free to do so. As the Defence knows the
25 identity of the witness and may conduct its own inquiries, in that sense,
1 the request has been rejected.
2 The third issue: the admission of the transcript of the testimony
3 of Witness R in the Tadic case. For a decision to be made on the
4 admission of a transcript from a hearing, the Chamber needs to know
5 whether the witness will be present in the courtroom or not. The first
6 thing to be done, therefore, is for the Defence to contact the witness to
7 ask him whether he is willing to appear on behalf of the Defence.
8 Following the reply, the Defence may submit to us the request together
9 with the necessary information. Therefore, our decision is that the
10 Defence will ask Witness R from the Tadic case to testify in this case.
11 The fourth issue has to do with Rule 94 ter or 92 bis. The new
12 Rule may reduce the possibility for the Defence to tender written
13 evidence. The Defence has expressed the wish to continue under the
14 provisions of Rule 94 ter in this stage. Rule 6 of the Rules envisages
15 that the coming into force of new amendments will be without prejudice to
16 the rights of the accused. Therefore, in order to maintain the principle
17 of the equality of arms, the Chamber decides that the affidavits mentioned
18 by the Defence in their submission will be regulated by the old Rule 94
20 There are other pending issues; however, the Chamber is not in a
21 position to rule on them at this stage. That applies to the motion on the
22 confidentiality of schedules to the indictment raised by the accused,
23 Mr. Zigic. The Chamber is awaiting the written response of the
25 Another question has to do with expert witnesses, a motion on
1 behalf of the accused Mr. Radic. It is the opinion that the Prosecutor
2 will consider the suggestion of the Chamber, to respond in writing to the
3 expert findings, and once the Prosecutor takes a position on this, the
4 Chamber will make its ruling.
5 The motion submitted by the Kvocka Defence counsel, the Chamber
6 still needs to see whether the Prosecutor is satisfied by the explanations
7 given by the Defence or whether they maintain their objections. In any
8 event, the Chamber is not familiar with those documents and, therefore,
9 either the documents will be presented in their entirety so that we can
10 have a response from the Prosecutor and their familiarisation with the
11 exhibits, or the Chamber will make a ruling each time a document is
12 tendered. But the Chamber wishes to tell you that we prefer the former
13 solution, that is, the totality of the exhibits to be submitted and a
14 decision to be taken on all of them. That would be the more efficient
16 Protection measures, a motion submitted by Mr. Kvocka's Defence
17 counsel. The Chamber understands that Mr. Simic has withdrawn his request
18 regarding safe passage. We are waiting for the Kvocka Defence to give
19 additional explanations regarding the identity of the witnesses and the
20 protective measures they require for each of those witnesses. Perhaps it
21 would be easy to do so in writing, and, after that, we will make a
23 So those are the decisions and clarifications regarding a number
24 of issues which we addressed in the course of our discussions.
25 For the moment, I think that is all. I am going to give the floor
1 to Mr. Krstan Simic to make his opening statement for the Defence of
2 Mr. Kvocka.
3 So, Mr. Krstan Simic, you have the floor.
4 [Kvocka Defence Opening Statement]
5 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours, and
6 thank you.
7 Your Honours, this trial is a trial of an individual, an
8 individual who, doing his job, a job which he chose as his profession,
9 which he loved, he found himself in the midst of the horrors of a terrible
10 war which swept the former territory of SFRY, especially
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where many things occurred which are contrary to
12 international customary law and contrary to human and even divine laws, as
13 we are prone to say.
14 Having mentioned the armed conflict, I wish to underline that in
15 our case, we will not go into any details regarding that conflict, because
16 Kvocka, together with the other co-accused, showed that there was, without
17 any doubt, an armed conflict according to the criteria adopted by the
18 Appeals Chamber ruling concerning the interlocutory motion in the Tadic
20 The Appeals Chamber, at the time, came to the following
21 conclusion, and I quote: "An armed conflict exists whenever armed force
22 is resorted to between states or continued armed violence between the
23 authorities and organised armed groups or between such groups within the
24 boundaries of a single state."
25 Your Honours, in view of the fact that the existence of an armed
1 conflict is a requirement for the implementation of international
2 humanitarian law, we consider this fact to be undisputed, so we will not
3 go into it so as not to waste any time. However, I have to underline that
4 the work of this Tribunal is indeed in the focus of public attention. The
5 general public, legal experts, professionals, historians, sociologists,
6 and other public officers are focusing their interest on it. I think with
7 a certain time distance, the interest in this Tribunal will become even
8 more significant, and its solutions will represent sources of law and an
9 example of the response of the International Community to certain events.
10 The causes of any civil war, no matter how we may describe it, are
11 always deep, complex, permeated with historical elements, affected by the
12 present, and probably affecting certainly the future.
13 Several experts have appeared in this Tribunal, expert witnesses
14 who have discussed these causes. They've presented various assessments in
15 public, and their positions were frequently controversial, contradictory,
16 and I'm quite confident that with a certain time distance, these events
17 will be described also from a slightly different angle, taking into
18 account the extremely complex and complicated causes that brought about
19 the disintegration of a state in which relations, as testified by
20 witnesses, were almost idyllic. People entered into mixed marriages,
21 lived together in harmony, and then suddenly they seemed to have forgotten
22 all that and embarked upon a bloody war which had such dire consequences
23 for all, which, regrettably, is now the object of work of this Tribunal.
24 When I say "regrettably," it is not because I do not think that justice
25 should be served, but regrettably that such events should have occurred at
2 As for the causes of the armed conflict, the Defence would like to
3 highlight only two aspects of this highly-complicated issue and no more
4 than that.
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina was a federal unit as a component part of
6 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This federal unit, which
7 had a high level of statehood, according to the constitution, there were
8 three constituent state-forming nations throughout the territory of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This was promulgated by the constitution. This was
10 asserted by social relationships and provided for by the appropriate
11 legislation. However, it was prior to the outbreak of this horrific war
12 that certain people started fearing that such a war could break out, and
13 an amendment was adopted to the constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina which
14 envisaged that, at the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a federal unit
15 within the SFRY, a commission be set up for national equality of all three
16 nations or ethnic groups.
17 The constitutional principle on which the work of this commission
18 was based was that the commission should be composed of 15 representatives
19 of each of the state-forming nations, that is, the Muslims, Serbs, and
20 Croats; and that within the framework of this commission, certain issues
21 be discussed and, in view of the level of development already attained,
22 these had to be a very limited number of questions that this commission
23 was intending to address with a view to ensuring equality among all three
24 state-forming nations. It was similarly envisaged that the Assembly of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as the legislative body, should pass a law which would
1 regulate the work of this commission and the terms of reference of that
3 The decisions that this commission was to take had to be taken
4 unanimously. The possibility of one nation outvoting another was
5 excluded. This constitutional provision was designed to ensure equality,
6 to prevent what unfortunately did happen from ever happening.
7 Unfortunately, I have to point out that after the elections in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina which were called by politicians and the public in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina -- even the International Community described them as
10 democratic only because they were multiparty elections for the first
11 time. This was the first time that several parties participated in the
12 elections as opposed to the previous period when there was only one party,
13 which, in fact, ruled the country, the whole of the SFRY.
14 The peoples of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not respond adequately to
15 this challenge and the chance they were offered, with the introduction of
16 a multiparty system, the adoption of a free-market economy, and democratic
17 principles which had already been well-established and which governed the
18 Western world.
19 The nationalist leaders opted for the concept of nationalist
20 political parties. In the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, three such
21 parties were formed: First, the HDZ, the Party of the Croatian Democratic
22 Union, composed almost 100 per cent of Croats; the Party of Democratic
23 Action, known as the SDA, whose members were 99.9 per cent Muslims; and
24 the third to be formed was the Serbian Democratic Party, the SDS, of which
25 99.9 per cent members were Serbs.
1 These three nationalist parties - national and nationalistic, as I
2 would describe them because subsequent events proved them to be such - in
3 the first stage, formed a coalition amongst themselves. They constituted
4 the authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, removing from the scene all those
5 political forces which advocated a multiethnic principle, which advocated
6 economic and democratic programmes rather than nationalist ones.
7 The absolute power after the elections was taken over by the SDA,
8 SDS, and HDZ. There was no place for members of any other party except
9 for those deputies who were elected by the will of the people and who came
10 to parliament but were subjected to insults, outvoting, and the like.
11 Quite naturally, in view of such circumstances, the three concepts
12 of nationalist parties necessarily had to lead to a conflict within the
13 parliament or assembly. The work of the assembly was blocked, and the
14 commission for national equality never, in fact, came into being. It
15 never had a chance of starting to function, to try and establish the
16 principle of equality of the three nations and thus avoid the war.
17 Similarly, the law to regulate the functioning of this commission was
18 never adopted. In view of these divisions, when the media also played
19 their part in spreading hatred, intolerance, and ethnic animosity, this
20 inevitably led Bosnia-Herzegovina into war.
21 The third question that we must highlight for its importance,
22 words said before this Tribunal, was the question of the referendum.
23 Those two issues as well were the generators of war, in the viewpoint of
24 the Defence team of Kvocka. When I say the two, there was the plebiscite
25 of the Serbian people and the referendum of the Croats and Muslims.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 The plebiscite of the Serbian people, which was organised under
2 the leadership of the SDS party, had one overriding issue: the question
3 was whether -- the electorate was asked, do they wish to remain within the
4 composition of the former SFRY? That was the sole question that was
6 Most of the Serbian population, following up this question and
7 intimately opting for Yugoslavia as its own state on the one hand and
8 exposed to the impact of the media, and the media was very much present,
9 supported this plebiscite which was organised by the Serbian Democratic
10 Party. There were very few members of other nationalities who went out to
11 vote in the plebiscite. Bosnia opted according to the national criteria.
12 The Serbs became the enemies of the Muslims, the Muslims became the
13 enemies of the Serbs, and so on and so forth, and the structure was
14 splitting at the seams.
15 After that, the power and authority in Sarajevo was -- supported
16 the referendum on the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say,
17 the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 I must say that the first plebiscite itself, which was organised
19 by the Serbs, was led by the SDS but it was unlawful. It was
20 unconstitutional. It was contrary to the constitutional provisions
21 because the constitution decisively regulated the rules for a referendum
22 to be held.
23 At the same time, the second referendum, the other referendum
24 which was organised by the authorities in Sarajevo, in its initial stage,
25 we could say that it was not contrary to the constitution. Voting places
1 were organised, people were able to go out to vote and state their views
2 with respect to the issues posed by the referendum. However, the result
3 of this referendum was the following: Between 63 and 64 per cent of the
4 voters went out to vote on the referendum, of the electorate of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Those are official figures. Affirmatively, that is
6 to say, in support of the decision of a sovereign and independent
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that 95 per cent of the voters were in favour of
8 this. For the most part, they were Muslims and Croats. If the truth be
9 told, there were some Serbs amongst them as well.
10 However, the constitution resolutely provided for a provision that
11 the referendum decision would be passed if two-thirds of the electorate
12 vote in favour. Two-thirds -- a two-third majority of the electorate is
13 66.6 per cent of the voters. It is indisputable that only 63 per cent,
14 63.4 per cent, that is to say, between 63 and 64 per cent of the
15 electorate went out to vote. Therefore, bearing this fact in mind, that
16 is to say that the necessary majority did not go out to vote and give an
17 affirmative answer, this referendum too was deemed unconstitutional.
18 These two decisions, with the existence of the commission for
19 national equality, in the view of the Defence, were practically the basic
20 generators of what was to happen in Bosnia and Herzegovina later on.
21 In order to bear out what I have just said, I must indicate an
22 assessment of the expert commission led by the well-known French Professor
23 of constitutional law, Monsieur Badinter, and in the Yugoslav drama, it
24 was known as the Badinter Commission, which also reviewed the question of
25 this referendum and formulated it. It said that the referendum was
1 probably valid because it represented the will of the majority of the
2 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 On the eve of a bloody war which, unfortunately, marked the end of
4 a millennium, an expert commission was truly not able to -- in the
5 application of a constitutional provision and constitutional right, as the
6 Crown of all legal systems could have given qualifications and say, "Well,
7 I'm a little pregnant and a little not pregnant," as we say.
8 We consider that it was our duty to present these facts so that we
9 can view the case within the context of all these events and assess the
10 roles and positions of the individuals who found themselves in the
11 situation. They didn't know what to do. They didn't understand what was
12 happening, what was going on.
13 Today, Your Honours, we're talking about plans, about goals and
14 objectives. But it was a time of great confusion, a time when nobody knew
15 what was happening, where you were, what was going to happen, who was
16 pulling what strings. Quite simply, it was the eve of a chaotic situation
17 and, in fact, a civil war. That is why we are very often taken aback by
18 the qualifications of what is going on. It's like chess, a game of chess
19 where everybody seems to have his role. Every policeman, every police
20 station suddenly takes on this type of role, as if we're playing a game of
22 Finally, with respect to the relationships that reigned, I should
23 like to present one more view and observation. Unfortunately, in the
24 situation in which they found themselves, the people of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, who quite certainly did not deserve the fate that they
1 were to have, had as their leaders people who were not up to the task.
2 They were not up to the challenges of the situation they were facing.
3 They sought refuge in their own nation and thereby denying other nations,
4 and this brought us into a situation in which we find ourselves today,
5 that the Prosecution has issued indictments against Mr. Milosevic, for
6 example, against Mr. Karadzic, against the leaders, topical leaders of
7 their day of the Serbs in these critical times. And having an insight
8 into the events and into the work of this Tribunal, we are certain that
9 only death prevented Mr. Tudjman, the leader of the Croatian people in
10 these somber times, from finding himself the object, and a vital one at
11 that, of the interests of this Tribunal and its work which is here to mete
12 out justice and give a chance to the peoples of those regions for
14 Similarly, I should like to mention another leader in these dark
15 times, and that man is a Mr. Izetbegovic. Before this Tribunal, we have
16 had the Celebici case, and the public has become informed with Tarcin,
17 Glavice, and Kazani and the reconciliation of these nations, and it expect
18 it. It expects that within the context of all these nationalistic leaders
19 that we view and assess the role that Mr. Izetbegovic played as well.
20 However, that is under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal and its Office of
21 the Prosecution. But we, coming from those parts, wished to see all those
22 responsible for the fate that has befallen us be treated on a footing of
23 equality so that we can receive complete answers, because the chance for
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Your Honours, to move ahead is found in a sentence
25 uttered by the late Willy Brandt on one occasion, the leader of the Social
1 Democrats in Germany, when he said: "Truth, repentance, and
2 reconciliation." We would like to believe that this Tribunal is
3 functioning and working towards the implementation of those principles.
4 Your Honours, you have before you a man, an ordinary policeman,
5 the policeman of a local village police station. The Prosecution says
6 that he forms part of a joint plan with full knowledge of the goals and
7 objectives and who supports them and who, in embracing those plans and
8 objectives, finds himself along the road of persecuting his colleagues,
9 people he went to school with, people he worked with, until a little while
10 ago, his closest relations, relatives of his wife, his wife being a
11 Muslim, the closest relations of his sisters, both of whom are married to
12 Muslims. And only for that reason, only because he is a policeman, the
13 leader of a patrol. As we say -- there's a word we use in jargon called
14 "prasinar" or the man on the beat, the dust raiser, who happened to find
15 himself in the police station on whose territory somebody happened to
16 decide to form an investigation centre or camp. That is a matter for
17 rhetorics; it doesn't matter which word we use - for the purposes of
18 forming part of the security detail, internal security.
19 Starting out from the principles of individual criminal
20 responsibility, which are proclaimed in the documents that we apply in
21 this court, the Defence believes that we are trying Miroslav Kvocka here
22 and not a policeman as part of the police force, legislation, the army,
23 justice, which were in the process of -- that is to say, Serbs who, in the
24 disintegration of the SFRY, sought for themselves political as well as
25 state solutions.
1 This observation, unfortunately, was presented in his opening
2 address by Mr. Niemann, that this was done by the police, that this was
3 done by the army, so on and so forth. What we want to say is that we
4 believe that it is Miroslav Kvocka who is being tried here.
5 Now, if we accept the concept that we are, in fact, trying the
6 police force, that we are trying the army, that we are trying the justice
7 system, that we are trying the attorneys who, in those somber times, went
8 about their business and many of them signed agreements - people who left
9 exchanged their property for the property of other individuals - then
10 those attorneys would be part of the persecution because they, in going
11 about their business, could have found themselves in the position where
12 somebody would accuse them of signing 200 agreements, for example, or
13 contracts. The agreements/contracts were not the expression of the free
14 will of the people, of those people, in the broader sense of the word,
15 because the reason for their departure was what happened, and what did
16 happen was nothing good.
17 That is why on several occasions we pointed out, with all due
18 respect for our colleagues, our learned colleagues of the Prosecution,
19 that their version of events frequently took on the concept of collective
21 Your Honours, between collective responsibility and fascism, we
22 have a very slight difference, a thin line. There's a thin line between
23 the two. The Defence will endeavour to prove that Mr. Kvocka, and
24 Mr. Kvocka alone, should be tried here; that he defends his own
25 innocence. He was not interested in the interests of the Serbian
1 Republic. What he wanted was to -- and when he wants is to defend
2 his honour. That is why we are afraid of delving, in theory, in moving
3 into the realm of a joint plan, which would lead us to the fact that this
4 joint plan was war, and that all of us who were there are part of the
6 That is why I have taken it upon myself to make a joke and tell
7 Mr. Niemann the following: When Mr. Kvocka said that I belonged, from the
8 very beginning, to a political option that was called the Reformists, that
9 I thank him for that and that I hope that Mr. Niemann will not accuse me.
10 It was a joke but a joke which is rather a bitter one.
11 That is why the Defence, in its defence case, will try and focus
12 on all these issues which will provide an answer to what Kvocka did, what
13 the system was like, what kind of system existed in Omarska, and to
14 highlight the issues that we consider to be important for our defence
16 Your Honours, within the context of this case and its
17 investigation, we consider to be extremely important how the camp was set
18 up, the structure of the camp, its organisation, the organisation of the
19 camp itself. Because we feel that when we present these questions, we
20 will be able to provide the answer that we are interested in, and that
21 is: What was the leadership structure in the camp itself?
22 I am going to use the methodology of my learned colleague,
23 Mr. Niemann, to show the Trial Chamber some of the documents that we're
24 going to use. I would like to tender the following documents. Your
25 Honours, I would follow the same scenario as applied by Mr. Niemann. I do
1 not have to present these documents to you now because they will be
2 presented in the course of the case, or have already been presented; I
3 should just like to say that I have highlighted the portions of those
4 documents. They will all be exhibits, or are already exhibits.
5 So I would like to ask the usher to present the relevant -- to
6 highlight the relevant sections of those documents on the ELMO, please, so
7 that we have them on our screens. Would you place this document on the
8 ELMO, and I will indicate the portions I would like to highlight.
9 Your Honours, it is a coincidence that the first document which,
10 in his opening address, was used by my learned colleague, Mr. Niemann, is
11 the exact same document that I wish to present. Your Honours, it is an
12 order from Mr. Simo Drljaca, and it has been classed strictly
13 confidential. The number is 11-12-20; the date is the 31st of May, 1992.
14 Your Honours, in this order, Mr. Drljaca, as the Chief of the
15 Public Security Station and, by virtue of his function, a member of the
16 Crisis Staff of the municipality of Prijedor, orders -- and I underline,
17 he orders, and he is in a position to order, as Chief of the Public
18 Security Station and by virtue of his membership in the Crisis Staff,
19 which emphasises his authority. This Tribunal, in many of the Trial
20 Chambers of this Tribunal, has been delving into the question of the real
21 power and position of the Crisis Staff --
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Krstan Simic, for
23 interrupting you. When using these documents that have already been
24 admitted into evidence, could you please mention the number under which
25 they have been admitted, please.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] D17/1, that's the number of the
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see. You said that it was a
4 document tendered by Mr. Niemann?
5 Ms. Susan Somers.
6 MS. SOMERS: My apologies both to the Bench and to counsel for the
7 interruption. But if I can assist, I have it as 2/4.11, if that would be
8 of help.
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] D17/1. Your Honours, there seems
10 to be some confusion. Mr. Niemann did not tender it as an exhibit, he
11 only presented it in support of his argument; whereas the Defence of
12 Mr. Kvocka, when asking questions of Mr. Kvocka, tendered this as an
13 exhibit. That is where the confusion lies.
14 MS. SOMERS: May I respond, Your Honour?
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Susan Somers.
16 MS. SOMERS: Please excuse the interruption. However, the
17 Registry did renumber these exhibits, and these exhibits were submitted in
18 complete binders in 1999 and are, in fact, admitted into evidence. So the
19 number which I have given is the renumbered version, if I'm correct,
20 Mr. Saxon, given by the Registry, 2/4.11.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, can you help
22 us, please, regarding this document?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, I'm trying to locate it now. If you give me
24 one second, I will locate it.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are not going to give you a
1 minute now. You can do it during the break. We can continue and clarify
2 the matter later; is that all right?
3 Ms. Krstan Simic, please continue.
4 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 The document I'm referring to and which you will probably analyse
6 carefully during your review contains all the elements. First, who is
7 issuing the order to whom; what is being ordered to anyone in particular.
8 This document contains, Your Honours, even to whom reports are
9 being issued by anyone who is receiving any particular order. And not
10 only that. This order in its last paragraph, also provides, in fact
11 envisages, who is going to supervise what is to be done. This document,
12 as any other document, also indicates at the end the addressees. Page 3,
13 the last page. Delivered to the Crisis Staff, the one which was set up --
14 the one which set up the Omarska camp; Coordinators of the Security
15 Services, those who under this order were instructed and in charge of
16 investigations, assessing responsibility, and placing people on premises,
17 locations defined by this order. It was strictly defined which locations
18 would be used for accommodation of prisoners. The Security Services
19 Centre Banja Luka, of Prijedor; the Police Chief, the official in charge
20 of police affairs inside the Public Security Station; Security Chiefs; the
21 general manager of the Ljubija iron ore mines; and Files.
22 That means, Your Honours, we will prove through this document that
23 the order makes it clear who was who in the Omarska camp and who was
24 responsible for certain acts, who was able to do what, and who was able to
25 undertake what.
1 At this point, I must point out that paragraph 6 specifically
2 envisages the tasks of the Omarska police station. That means providing
3 security. We will prove that Kvocka - I will take the liberty of saying
4 this on behalf of others - that Kvocka was just a part, just a segment of
5 this Security Service.
6 We must also not forget that according to the rules which
7 prevailed in the police, it is a regular responsibility of the police.
8 Specifically in situations like this, it is the police which provides
9 security because this involves lists. These are regulations envisaged by
10 the rules which apply to the police in such circumstances when a policeman
11 is given a task envisaged by the rules of his service and when he is
12 informed that it is a temporary job, that this investigation centre will
13 be in place for 10 or 15 days, until certain checks are made. And this
14 was testified to by some of the prisoners who had been told in their own
15 words that this would take only a few days, and that is indeed what
16 happened in those first days. People were questioned, released up to the
17 10th or thereabouts, they went to their homes, and that was the state of
18 affairs and that is what we will prove. Then at some point the situation
19 turned around, but I will speak of that later.
20 Your Honours, about the releases, I have a document which has not
21 been tendered, and if it would be easier for you to follow, I have a copy
22 of this which I can easily make available to the Trial Chamber, and with
23 the help of the usher, I will do so. This is for the Trial Chamber and
24 the ELMO.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What will be the number,
1 Madam Registrar?
2 THE REGISTRAR: It will be D37/1.
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you have before you
4 another report, again a report written on the 1st of July, 1992, that is,
5 in the -- well into the existence of the Omarska camp. It is a report to
6 the municipal staff of the Prijedor municipality. It is submitted -- it
7 was submitted by the Chief of the Public Security Station, Mr. Simo
9 In the first line of this report, we read, quote: "Conclusion
10 number 02-111-108/92, by which the release of prisoners is prohibited, is
11 being fully observed."
12 Your Honours, it is obvious that from the establishment of the
13 Omarska camp and the beginning of its operation, certain changes occurred,
14 and those who were in the positions of simple policemen, ordinary
15 policemen, were not informed of these changes.
16 It is obvious from here, from this document, that this release of
17 prisoners was prohibited by the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor municipality
18 and that this decision was to be implemented by the signatory of this
19 document. I must also say that this is the same person to whom under
20 provisions -- under paragraphs 11 and 12 of this order of the 31st of May,
21 1992, which I had mentioned a minute ago, everyone in the Omarska camp was
22 obliged to report to every 24 hours. So every 24 hours, each segment of
23 the organisation of the Omarska camp was duty-bound to submit a report to
24 Mr. Simo Drljaca. And as you can see from the previous document, he
25 forwarded those reports to the Crisis Staff of the Prijedor municipality.
1 Thus we are trying, and I think we will succeed in our Defence
2 case to prove who was the commander of the Omarska camp. It was not
3 Zeljko Meakic and it was not Miroslav Kvocka, because as you can see,
4 Mr. Meakic, as commander of the police station unit, was duty-bound, as
5 part of his Security Service, to send a report every 24 hours. If the
6 claim of the Prosecution were true, then the reports would be -- would
7 have gone to Mr. Meakic. From what we can see from the documentation we
8 have and which we received from the OTP, and we have to say here, for the
9 benefit of the public and the Trial Chamber, the Defence was not in a
10 position, this team or any other team, I believe, was not in a position to
11 get hold of any document which would help the Defence prove what it had
12 set out to prove. We received the documents which enabled us to create
13 and organise our defence and give adequate answers, responses.
14 To illustrate the situation in the camp and address the issue of
15 who was who there, we must also point out other paragraphs of this
16 document which indicate that the organisation of the camp was strict and
17 tasks and responsibilities were made very clear. It is quite a different
18 issue, Your Honours, whether people really fulfilled those tasks, whether
19 they had the ability to do so in view of all the circumstances which
20 prevailed in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the witnesses will testify to that.
21 Your Honours, there is a whole series of documents which we could
22 show and present wherein the man, as we said, and we will try to show that
23 in our Defence case, could decide various things. Within the framework of
24 the Omarska camp, even a cook or a cleaning woman could not have been
25 changed, and even a man doing manual work as part of his work obligation
1 could not have been changed or replaced without the knowledge and consent
2 of Mr. Drljaca. Even such trivialities were within his purview. Even the
3 cook could not be replaced without the name of her replacement being
4 presented to Mr. Drljaca, for him to establish whether she could indeed
5 fulfil this position.
6 We will also prove that the situation was such that Mr. Meakic had
7 to ask for permission to issue permits to various individuals who had
8 business taking them to the camp. Again we are talking about persons who
9 fulfilled their work obligation and did their work, simply.
10 I ask you, Your Honours, is there anywhere in the world a camp
11 commander who had to answer to all and everyone within the camp without
12 having the power to issue a pass to a cleaning woman who was supposed,
13 again on other people's instructions, to come in and clean? I would say
15 There have been documents and documents passing through the Office
16 of the Prosecutor, letters, and I would like my colleagues from the
17 Prosecution to corroborate this: Did they find a single document showing
18 that anyone was submitting reports to Mr. Meakic or Mr. Gruban, for
19 instance -- Mr. Kvocka? Have they found a single document - as I said,
20 all the documents we have, we received from them - have they ever found a
21 report by Mr. Kvocka or Mr. Meakic, signed by them in any way, in any
23 True enough, I have mentioned a document which we'll present in
24 our case where Mr. Meakic requests special passes to be issued so that he
25 can know who is coming in and out, and he signed this document, Police
1 Station Commander, Zeljko Meakic. On the same page, it says: "Passes
2 collected by Zeljko Meakic." The date was 29 June 1992.
3 My learned colleague, in his opening statement, mentioned also the
4 principle allegedly prevailing in the police, according to which it is an
5 organisation where it is strictly regulated who is who, who acts in which
6 way, and who does what. He presented a document in support of this claim,
7 and I will just refer to the same provisions that my learned colleague,
8 Mr. Niemann, referred to.
9 This document has not been marked for identification before.
10 Those are conclusions from a meeting of the police force of the 6th of
11 May, 1992, number 11-12. This letter is dated the 11th of May, 1992 for
12 the simple reason that Mr. Drljaca is acquainting his subordinates with
13 what they are expected to do, and how.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, can we have the
15 number of this document, please.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. It is D38/1.
17 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will point out the
18 relevant provisions of this decision, and those are paragraphs 7 and 8:
19 "To tighten to the limit the relationship senior
21 Point 8: "All orders are to be acted upon without question. Any
22 refusal to do so will result in the termination of employment or removal
23 from the reserve forces."
24 Mr. Niemann referred specifically to these items, and so do I, but
25 only in the context of that order and all the other documents, which means
1 that the order from the 31st of May, 1992 and all other orders which were
2 issued along the lines superior/subordinate had to be complied with
3 without being questioned. Failure to do so entailed termination of
4 employment or removal.
5 A policeman who was left without his job was left without his
6 salary, without his wartime assignment. He would go back to the Ministry
7 which gave him a new assignment, and that new assignment would mean a
8 front line somewhere, the front where people got killed every day.
9 When a state is disintegrating anywhere in the world, corruption
10 reigns. People gave bribes on a massive scale. People gave bribes in the
11 police in order to be given an assignment in the reserve police force.
12 Such an assignment gave one safety. It was a lot safer than being on the
13 front in Gradacac or anywhere else, because when Omarska was created, at
14 that time people were going to the front line in Gradacac and never
15 returned. After somebody got killed on the front, as you heard from the
16 witnesses, people came into the camp to take revenge.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, perhaps I can
18 take advantage of this interruption to suggest a break, a half-hour
20 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, thank you. Quite, Your
21 Honour. Thank you.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. We shall adjourn for
23 half an hour.
24 --- Recess taken at 11.20 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.54 a.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
2 Mr. Krstan Simic, we are going to work until ten past one so that
3 you should know in advance. Roughly until ten past one. You have the
5 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Just one more sentence regarding the order dated the 31st of May,
7 1992. On the document that was disclosed to us, we will see and prove
8 that this order, on behalf of the security, was received by Mr. Zeljko
9 Meakic, the Chief of the Omarska Police Station, which was responsible for
10 the security in the camp. Mr. Kvocka saw that order for the first time
11 here in the Detention Unit when this document was disclosed to us.
12 Your Honours, I must refer once again to the words of
13 Mr. Zupljanin, head of the centre of the Security Services, when in the
14 previous document he says, "My word is law. It has to be respected and
15 followed through without question."
16 My learned friend Mr. Niemann referred to this statement in his
17 opening address, and I am referring to it once again myself.
18 This same head of department, within the framework of his
19 authority in the newly-established police force in the territory that had
20 seceded and was under the control of the Bosnian Serbs, issued a decision
21 on the 17th of June, 1992, which we have already tendered as an exhibit in
22 this Trial Chamber, D9/1.
23 Allow me to quote from this decision:
24 "According to the provisions of the decision, on the 1st of April,
25 1992, until regulations are passed on the internal organisation of the MUP
1 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the head of the patrol
2 region of the Centre of Security Services Banja Luka, the Public Security
3 Station Prijedor, Police Station Prijedor," and the last department, the
4 police station department Omarska where Mr. Kvocka is employed.
5 So the head of the Security Centre, who says that his decisions
6 have to be respected and carried out issues a decision saying that
7 Mr. Miroslav Kvocka shall continue to execute the assignments which he had
8 executed on an identical decision from 1990, which has also been admitted
9 into evidence, and later on, as this decision was of a temporary nature,
10 and again in 1993 we have another exhibit that has been tendered, and
11 according to that decision, he's appointed to head of the patrol sector,
12 but in 1993 only for the Prijedor police station. And, Your Honours, you
13 know that Mr. Kvocka was in a humiliating manner suspended, dismissed from
14 Omarska and then brought back again [as interpreted] on the 23rd of June,
16 Your Honours, we shall show -- I am informed by my co-counsel that
17 in the transcript it says that Mr. Kvocka returned on the 23rd of June.
18 No, he was dismissed, suspended, fired on the 23rd of June, 1992, and we
19 will come back to that later on in this opening statement.
20 Your Honours, we will present evidence to prove, as has already
21 been discussed in these hearings, that within the Omarska camp system
22 there were four segments for security. One was the internal Security
23 Service, and this was a segment of the Omarska police station and within
24 the framework of which he too performed certain duties in a room next to
25 the communications centre that existed there.
1 A second segment of the Security Service was of a temporary
2 nature, and this is the special police from Banja Luka, who were there in
3 the first half of June and which caused many problems. This segment of
4 the Security Service was removed from Omarska in mid-June.
5 I should like to ask Your Honours to look at Exhibit D18/1 which
6 has been admitted into evidence and which is linked to the work of this
7 particular segment of the Security Service. English version is "/A".
8 Your Honours, you have before you a report on events in the
9 Omarska camp. I wish to draw your attention to the author of this report
10 on the situation and problems linked to the activities of this particular
11 Security Services unit. In the right-hand corner it says, at the bottom
12 of the page, it says, "Simo Drljaca." It does not say that this report is
13 submitted by the commander, the warden, or his deputy. A report on the
14 situation, on the problems within the camp is being submitted by that same
15 man to whom everyone is submitting daily reports.
16 We have no doubt that you will study this document carefully, so I
17 wish to highlight only a few sentences which we consider to be important,
18 and I quote: "This is a unit whose members were commanded by Strazivuk,
19 though he was not able to exert any control over the conduct of this
20 unit," which means, Your Honours, that this segment of the Security
21 Service was under the command of Strazivuk and not the commander of the
22 police station department Omarska, that is, Mr. Zeljko Meakic, not to
23 mention any one of those here present, any one of the accused.
24 In order to corroborate our submission, allow me to quote the last
25 sentence of this document: "That the allegations in this report are true
1 can be confirmed by all the operatives and the team of experts headed by
2 Mirko Jesic and Lieutenant Colonel Majstorovic."
3 Your Honours, the indictment says that Mr. Kvocka and Mr. Meakic
4 were the commanders, then deputies, then we don't know what, we won't know
5 when, and from where and until when. On the 13th of June, however, when
6 Omarska was operational, when things started to happen once release was
7 prohibited, this report is not being submitted by any one of them; far
8 from it. They are so insignificant. The commander of the police station
9 department is so insignificant that Mr. Drljaca doesn't even find it
10 necessary to mention him as a person whom may provide information such as
11 is contained in this letter. His significance is such that Mr. Meakic is
12 not even mentioned as one of the people who can confirm this.
13 This was a department of the Omarska police station, a department
14 that is at the lowest level in the hierarchy, which has such authority, as
15 we will describe in the presentation of evidence, that a Chief of the
16 Security Centre, knowing that it has no significance, that is, that
17 Mr. Meakic has no significance, doesn't even mention him as a person whose
18 authority could confirm to the superior that members of another unit are
19 causing problems within the security service, and this is causing certain
20 conflicts with members of the security as a whole.
21 Your Honours, we will set out to prove that the bishop of Banja
22 Luka, a person who proved to be, in this war, a highly humane person -
23 Dr. Franjo Komarica was his name - wrote a letter and made a plea and
24 sought assistance for the release of the detained priest, Stipo Sosic.
25 Your Honours, that letter was not addressed to Mr. Meakic, the Commander
1 of the Omarska Police Station Department, but again it was addressed to
2 that same person who is the author of all reports and who is the recipient
3 of all the reports relative to the Omarska camp.
4 Finally, Your Honours, when the media showed interest in the
5 events in the Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje camps, when public interest
6 was aroused and when certain reports on the real state of affairs reached
7 the leadership of the Security Services Centre, I wish to indicate that
8 the head of that centre, on the 14th of August, 1992, set up a commission
9 consisting of Vojin Bera, as the president of the commission; Vaso
10 Skondric, as member; Ranko Mijic, member; and Jugoslav Rodic, member, and
11 instructed them, within a time period of three days, to go on the spot to
12 investigate and establish the facts linked not only to events in the
13 Omarska camp, as well as Keraterm and Trnopolje, but also in the territory
14 of the Public Security Stations of Sanski Most, Novi Grad or Bosanski
15 Novi, which were also under the jurisdiction of the Public Security
17 With the help of the usher, I should like to distribute copies of
18 this report because we believe that, with the help of that report, we will
19 be able to draw attention to certain relevant facts. This is a document,
20 too, that we received from the Office of the Prosecutor in the process of
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Krstan Simic.
23 What is the number of this document, Madam Registrar?
24 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit D37 -- D38/1.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No. I think we already have a
1 document with that number. Maybe it should be 39, then.
2 THE REGISTRAR: No. There was an error. It was already
3 submitted, and we can sort it out after, but the new number now is D38/1.
4 JUDGE RIAD: I thought the number was the same.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In any event, I have a document
6 here with me bearing the number D38/1. It is the document dated the 11th
7 of May, 1992. What are we going to do with that, Madam Registrar?
8 THE REGISTRAR: That was already previously submitted. If you'd
9 like me to go through the numbers of all the exhibits thus far, I can. We
10 have four exhibits and some of them were tendered already, which I've
11 identified the numbers.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please take care of this because
13 there is a risk that we may have different numbers for the same document.
14 We have to be very careful about this.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. I've met with both the Defence and the
16 Prosecution during the break and we've sorted out the numbers, and we can
17 do this perhaps after the opening statement.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Shall we call it D38/1 bis now for the sake of
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No. You see, Madam Registrar,
21 the confusion we are in. We have to clarify this once and for all. So
22 this document, dated the 11th of May, 1992, you're telling us that the
23 document has already been tendered. What is the number of that document,
24 or what was the number of that document?
25 THE REGISTRAR: The number of the document was D38/1, but we
1 realised that there was an error and it is now D37/1. This document that
2 they've just tendered is now D38/1.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. So my question is: The
4 document distributed today with the number D37/1, dated the 1st of June,
5 1992, what is its number now, which had the number D38/1.
6 THE REGISTRAR: The 1st of July, you mean?
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: That has already been submitted and that is
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So the document we have before
11 us now, the report, it is D38/1; is that right?
12 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But I really think that either
14 the counsel or the Registry must take care to avoid such situations in the
15 future; otherwise, we will be wasting a lot of time. What is worse, when
16 we start our review, we won't know what we're talking about, we will not
17 be able to understand one another. We have to be very clear with the
18 markings, please.
19 So, Mr. Krstan Simic, you may continue. The number of this
20 document now is D38/1. Thank you very much, and please continue.
21 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Bearing in mind the extent and content of this report, I have no
23 doubt that Your Honours will review this report in its entirety, because
24 it really will be of assistance in gaining a global idea of the situation
25 in the region around Prijedor. However, for the purpose of this opening
1 statement, I just wish to draw your attention to certain parts as an
2 illustration of what I'm talking about in this part of my statement.
3 On page 3 of both the Serbian and the English version, you'll find
4 the following words, and I quote:
5 "On the 27th of May, 1992, further to a decision --" I'm sorry,
6 it is the fourth page of the English version. I will start from the
7 beginning. It is the last paragraph on page 4:
8 "On the 27th of May, 1992, pursuant to the decision of the Crisis
9 Staff of the municipality of Prijedor, all the prisoners from the Keraterm
10 facility in Prijedor were transferred to the facility in Omarska.
11 "Pursuant to the same decision, the Omarska facility was placed
12 under the direct supervision of the police and the army. The police, that
13 is, the Omarska Police Station, was charged with the immediate security of
14 the facility, of the administration building itself, the workshops, and
15 the garages for the work machinery, while the army took over in-depth
16 security in the form of sentry posts and the mining of certain areas as
17 they saw fit."
18 Your Honours, this report also confirms that the Police Station
19 Department of Omarska had a classical police role envisaged by the rules
20 of service of the police, that is, to provide security, the so-called
21 internal security, of the buildings and facilities listed here.
22 Your Honours, on page 8 or, rather, page 11 of the English
23 version, where this report analyses the situation of collection centres
24 within the territory of the municipality of Sanski Most, which borders on
25 Prijedor municipality, in the first paragraph which addresses events
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 within the territory of Sanski Most, it says, and I quote the last
2 sentence of the first paragraph, I quote:
3 "As a result of a special decision of the Crisis Staff, a prison
4 was set up in the Betonirka facility. A warden and assistant warden were
5 appointed and police employees were engaged in security matters together
6 with members of the army."
7 Your Honours, this is a comprehensive report, and if indeed there
8 had been a warden of the camp or the prison or the collection centre in
9 Omarska, then this report would reveal it in the same way that it revealed
10 that such a warden existed in the mentioned prison in Sanski Most.
11 With the help of all these documents, we wished to show that
12 Mr. Kvocka, head of the regional patrol sector, in accordance with the
13 decision of the 17th of June, could not have been the warden because there
14 is not a single document of any relevance for this period that would
15 indicate that.
16 Your Honours, to round off this question of the organisation and
17 structure of the Omarska camp, allow me to refer to another document. It
18 is the decision dated the 22nd of June -- no. I'm sorry. I apologise. I
19 beg your pardon. I do apologise. There seems to be a misunderstanding.
20 Anyway, it's a decision on the release of persons from detention,
21 dated the 2nd of June, 1992, which we will tender into evidence, where it
22 explicitly says, and I quote: "Personally responsible is the chief of the
23 security station who alone, by his signature, can release a detained
25 So the chief of the security centre can alone, by his signature,
1 release any person detained in Omarska or Keraterm.
2 Your Honour, there's no need for me to remind you that that is
3 that same person to whom all reports are addressed, that all have to
4 account to with respect to Omarska camp. You will see that in the report
5 that we have just been reviewing.
6 After the camp was disbanded, it was precisely Mr. Simo Drljaca
7 who submitted his part of the report where, following orders of the head
8 of the Security Services Centre, submits a report. Why? The answer is a
9 simple one; because he's the only person who had the authority to decide
10 about everything happening in Omarska. He was the only person who had the
11 authority to have the necessary information, the only one who could
12 release detainees, the only one who dared submit reports about this to
14 Thereby, Your Honours, this completes this part of my statement
15 relevant to the organisational structure, which will be a very important
16 element of the presentation of evidence during the Kvocka case in an
17 effort to show that Kvocka did not have any authority beyond the official
18 authority stemming from his job, and as a consequence of his activities,
19 he was expelled from Omarska.
20 Your Honours, the -- following your request for the Defence of the
21 15th of December, 2000, for motion for acquittal, the Defence will deal
22 with the time period which Mr. Kvocka spent in Omarska.
23 We consider that he can only be responsible, if it were to be
24 established that he was responsible, for that time that he spent in
25 Omarska. The Defence will prove that Kvocka was in Omarska from the 29th
1 of May to the 23rd of June, 1992.
2 True, Mr. Kvocka, after being suspended or released, and he's not
3 quite clear on what it meant on the 23rd, until he returned to the reserve
4 police station, to which he returned on the 1st of July, 1992, it meant
5 that he visited his relations two or three times in Omarska, his brother's
6 relations, in-laws, brothers-in-law, but he did not work there. He went
7 there to visit his brothers-in-law, to take them parcels as he used to do
8 every day. As Witness F said, he would bring parcels in every day. So it
9 is not strange that he came in two or three times after he was released
10 from the camp. But the last time that he was in Omarska was on the 2nd of
11 July, and we are going to prove that because he remembers that particular
12 day. And after that, because of the relationships and tension that were
13 linked to his name, his conduct, his marriage, he did not go to visit
14 there anymore. Quite simply, he was no longer able to take his
15 brothers-in-law any change of clothing or food because he was afraid for
16 his own security and safety, and many witnesses will testify to that.
17 So in that period from the 29th of May to the 23rd of June,
18 Mr. Kvocka, on two occasions, was absent. The first time, for two or
19 three days after the shooting that we're going to talk about on the 30th
20 the of May, because it is quite understandable, in view of the situation
21 he was in, he was under stress, and so Mr. Meakic, his leader, let him
22 leave for a few days, have a few days off. And as Mr. Radic said in his
23 interview to the Prosecution, "What could I have done? Mr. Kvocka could
24 have been killed." And for that he could give two days leave as
1 Kvocka, on another occasion, was absent from the camp for health
2 reasons towards the end of his stay there, and also for professional
3 reasons, because at the time, sometime around the 12th or 13th [as
4 interpreted], Strahilo Popovic was killed, who was a member of the reserve
5 police force. And Mr. Kvocka, in the course of May, while he was going
6 about his regular duties, took away some money from the wife of the said
7 Popovic because it was thought that she had engaged -- it was alleged that
8 she had engaged in the trafficking of foreign exchange.
9 Your Honours, by confiscating that foreign currency -- when he
10 confiscated the foreign currency, he issued an official certificate
11 because it was within the scope of his regular official duties, and we
12 shall tender evidence to that effect.
13 After the killing of this individual, Mr. Meakic told Mr. Kvocka
14 that bearing in mind the times they were living in and bearing in mind the
15 expenses incurred for the funeral, that the confiscated money should be
16 returned to the widow of the late Popovic.
17 My assistant has indicated that in the transcript, when we spoke
18 of the killing of Strahilo Popovic, only the days were entered. It was
19 the 12th -- around the 12th and 13th of June, 1992. That is the date, to
20 avoid any misunderstanding. So it was not the relevant time when
21 Mr. Kvocka was in Omarska. It was in the relevant time when Mr. Kvocka
22 was in Omarska. I apologise.
23 Your Honour, the indictment charging Mr. Kvocka charges him with
24 serious crimes, crimes for which you must prove intent.
25 In this opening statement, we are not going to deal with legal
1 issues because legal issues will come later on, once we have presented all
2 the relevant evidence and once we hear all the evidence put forward, but
3 we would like to say a few words about intent, the issue of intent.
4 Stemming from -- starting out from Mr. Kvocka, Mr. Kvocka comes
5 from a poor family with five children. There was -- his father was a
6 physical labourer in the firm of Zitoprodukt Prijedor, where he worked as
7 a porter and loader. The family frequently had to contend with the
8 problem of hunger.
9 Once he completed his primary school, Mr. Kvocka selected the
10 school for internal affairs for two reasons. One reason was that he liked
11 being a policeman; and second, perhaps the more important reason, was that
12 that education was free. It afforded accommodation, free accommodation in
13 a dormitory, uniforms were issued, and the most important thing, once he
14 had graduated from that school which was in Sarajevo at Vrace, he was
15 assured of getting a job and a salary with it, and that meant one less
16 mouth to feed in the Kvocka family.
17 He attended school, and the first group of witnesses will testify
18 to that, that testifies an ambitious man. His ambition was to become a
19 good policeman, and his childhood friend will bear that out. He graduated
20 as one of the best in his class. That means to say he was amongst the
21 first ten, the best ten, which meant that he received an award and the
22 privilege of choosing his place of employment. He chose and he went to
23 work in Prijedor.
24 The school for internal affairs in Sarajevo is a multi-ethnic
25 school. In the police force, there was a rule, that is to say that each
1 nation and nationality should be equally represented. And when I spoke
2 about the commission, I don't want you to gain the impression that there
3 was inequality. It was a school which nurtured a spirit of brotherhood
4 and equality, a spirit of partnership, because we all know that being a
5 policeman means -- is a dangerous profession, and you have to work with
6 your partner. You have to have a partner and a colleague you can rely on
7 at all times, and it doesn't matter whether your partner is a Croat, a
8 Muslim, or some other nationality or ethnic group. What is important is
9 that you can rely on him. And that is why that subject was nurtured in
10 the school and special attention was given to this equal representation.
11 Brought up in the spirit of equality of that kind, he went to Prijedor, he
12 formed a family, he married, and his wife was a woman from an old Muslim
14 The Omarska region, ethnically speaking, is a Serbian region with
15 a very marked tradition, but that did not stop Mr. Kvocka or his family
16 from embracing their daughter-in-law who was a Muslim.
17 During Mr. Kvocka's assignment - on one occasion he was sent to
18 France where he provided security detail for the SFRY embassy - she lived
19 in Omarska. His wife lived in her in-law's house and she travelled by
20 train every day to Prijedor, going to work and coming back from work.
21 Mr. Kvocka's spirit and relationship towards his marriage and his
22 family was echoed by other family members. His sisters also married
23 Muslim men. Unfortunately, the war brought with it tragedies, and a
24 particular tragedy for his two sisters. One lived with her Muslim husband
25 in Stolac, in Capljina. With the persecution that existed throughout
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, she was expelled and today lives in the United States
2 of America. Her mother and father have not seen her for ten years. It
3 was difficult when his parents were not able to see their daughter. As
4 for his other sister, she was divorced.
5 But since Mr. Kvocka's trial, to the present day, I can inform the
6 Trial Chamber of another tragic occurrence. It concerns Kvocka's other
7 brother-in-law who worked on construction machinery and whose body was
8 excavated from a mass grave in Bosnia. So the child of Kvocka's sister is
9 an orphan, without a father. Once again, did Kvocka really want to leave
10 his little nephew without a father?
11 Your Honours, we are going to prove that Mr. Kvocka, and I quoted
12 Witness F a moment ago, Mr. Kvocka brought parcels to Omarska every day,
13 helping people, helping them to survive, to soften the fate that they
14 experienced in Omarska.
15 Your Honours, we are going to show that Mr. Kvocka, on the 30th of
16 May, in front of a drunken man who had allegedly lost a brother, stood in
17 front of the barrel of a rifle to protect the Muslims. Unfortunately, two
18 or three of them were killed on the occasion. Some were wounded and have
19 survived, and we expect to see them before this Tribunal, we expect to see
20 them come to court. The man was so beside himself on the occasion that
21 when he shot out, he hit a member of the reserve police department,
22 Miroslav Nisic, whose affidavit we have. We also have eyewitnesses of
23 that tragic event.
24 We ask again, and we shall show, a man who has intent to
25 persecute, kill, torture, and rape someone, if he puts his life at risk to
1 protect those who would have been killed, then he cannot be guilty of
2 intent. Your Honours, that would be an absurdity.
3 The days off that he was given - Mr. Radic said they came as a
4 reward to Mr. Kvocka - Mr. Kvocka used those days to see what happened to
5 other members of his family, to his friends, the Muslims.
6 In his apartment at Pecani, he found several elderly Muslim women
7 and he gave them food during the days that he was off duty. Your Honours,
8 amongst those women was the mother of Emir Beganovic, who was the first
9 witness to testify before this Tribunal. Mr. Kvocka took out food from
10 Omarska because Emir Beganovic's mother was a friend of Mr. Kvocka's
11 mother-in-law. There were five or six other women in his flat at the time
12 and they took advantage of the fact that Mr. Kvocka was a policeman. They
13 found safety and security in residing in his apartment. Many witnesses
14 will testify to that, and brothers-in-law as well, as well as the wife of
15 Mr. Kvocka, who has lived through all those difficult times and has
17 Your Honours, could a man have taken part in persecution who was
18 expelled from Omarska? And the guards laughed when this happened. I
19 apologise to the ladies because I'm going to use bad language. The man
20 who sent him off said, "Kvocka, take down your pants to see if the Muslims
21 circumcised you when they sucked out your brain."
22 Because of relationships of this kind, Kvocka was the target of
23 extremists, he was the target of threats. Mr. Radovan Daljevic, a teacher
24 by profession whose professional options took him to the police force, and
25 whose affidavit we have, says in one section, "It is really astonishing
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that Mr. Kvocka survived those times at all." But he survived and he is
2 here today.
3 We are going to prove that Mr. Kvocka was not a member of a
4 political option of any kind, the political option which focused on
5 nationalistic issues. Mr. Kvocka was the member of an idea which was
6 called the Reformist Alliance. It was Yugoslavia's last chance. He tried
7 to do some work within that alliance but, unfortunately, that idea was
8 overthrown. He was never a member of the SDS. His conduct, his actions,
9 and the questions he dealt with, what he strove to achieve, his
10 relationship towards multiethnicity, were demonstrated later on.
11 Mr. Kvocka, in 1994, and that was a war year - contrary to the
12 paragraphs which we adopted as indisputable fact, 343 and 345, which
13 testify to mixed marriages and where words were uttered which are
14 difficult to utter before this Tribunal - he was a kum to mixed marriages,
15 best man to mixed marriages. In fact, he married a Muslim. So he
16 followed his ideals, the ideals of equality and not persecution -
17 equality. He was kum, and in the area that I come from, by being kum, you
18 become a family member, and customary law prohibits kums from entering
19 into marriage.
20 Your Honours, it was no formal undertaking, the undertaking of a
21 kumship. It was an affair that was celebrated in Mr. Kvocka's apartment.
22 He found jobs for his fellow kums. He would beg people to find his own
23 kum a job, who was an electrician. He was a Muslim electrician and nobody
24 wanted to employ him. Nobody wanted to employ Serb electricians either,
25 but especially not Muslim electricians. But he managed to find a job for
1 his kum in order to help the man survive. People who knew Kvocka were
2 ready to give jobs to his friends, despite the fact that they were afraid
3 for their families in doing so. As I say, they were, indeed, troubled
4 times, and we will show how far he went to find jobs for Muslims in that
5 terrible year of 1994.
6 This story about multiethnicity and Kvocka's attitude towards
7 other ethnic groups, towards other nations, let me say that while Kvocka
8 was in the Detention Centre here, his daughter married and he has gained a
9 grandchild. She married a Croat. So that now, today, the fan of this --
10 the circle has come full circle. The Kvocka family has members belonging
11 to all three ethnic groups.
12 Now, I ask you, a man whose wife is a Muslim, whose sisters are
13 married to Muslims and whose daughter has married a Croat, who has been
14 kum to Muslim families, is that man ready to persecute, to annihilate?
15 No, Your Honours, he is not.
16 If we analyse the documents with all due care and attention, then
17 we could have had a different indictment and taken a different position.
18 His life convictions, his professional options did not fit in with the
19 official policies very well, even at that time.
20 I would now like to point out to you a document which has not been
21 tendered. So I kindly ask the usher ...
22 I would like you to take this document into account, that is,
23 decision 03-531/92, of the 22nd of June, 1992.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D39/1.
25 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this decision speaks
1 of suitability. It deals with what kind of people are suitable for
2 certain positions. In paragraph 2 of this decision, we read:
3 "Also, in these positions, we cannot have members of the Serbian
4 ethnic group which have not confirmed their convictions in the
5 plebiscite. The only real official representative of the Serbian people
6 is the Serbian Democratic Party."
7 Obviously, Mr. Kvocka, fortunately for him and his conscience, did
8 not satisfy this criterion. That this is true is confirmed by the
9 following: In August 1992 - I will not burden you with any documents -
10 companies, squads, platoons, police organisations of Prijedor were
11 established. There were about 56 commanders appointed in the process or
12 thereabouts. Among those 56 people, Miroslav Kvocka was nowhere. And
13 about 180 policemen were in engaged, employed in the police station in
14 1992. That means that every third man was commander of a platoon, a
15 company, a squad. We will show this through evidence. And Miroslav
16 Kvocka is nowhere among them.
17 Your Honours, this is a case about tragic events, events involving
18 people, some of whom who have survived. Talking to one witness who spent
19 in Omarska almost the entire time since its establishment to its
20 dissolution, I heard him saying at one point, "Omarska was an evil in
21 itself." However, the people who come before this Tribunal, the people
22 who come before the public, when they speak about Omarska, they tend to
23 mix reality with stories they heard from other people and help create and
24 add to the confusion that exists about Omarska already, which is certainly
25 unnecessary because Omarska was an evil in itself.
1 I draw your attention to the words of this man because that is a
2 man who carries great pain in his heart because of his experience there,
3 but he has no hatred, and his words echo the words of one witness who
4 appeared here.
5 I am not now looking at the transcript, I am trying to quote her
6 from my memory. Judge Riad asked her when she went to a third country,
7 did she hear from anyone who had been at Omarska stories or the real truth
8 about the fate of her husband who, unfortunately, was one of its victims.
9 She answered that when she arrived in the third country in question, she
10 met at least 50 people who introduced themselves as eyewitnesses of the
11 event, the death of her husband, and that everyone described it in a
12 different way. All the eyewitnesses described the event differently, and
13 she did not want to draw any conclusions from their stories about how her
14 husband died, and she wanted to leave it to the Trial Chamber to establish
15 how it really happened.
16 What I quoted from the words of these witnesses show in the best
17 way how many contradictory statements we hear about events which have been
18 witnessed by many, memories and realities and statements get mixed up.
19 One of the witnesses who testified in public said he saw little. People
20 who testified to only what they have seen really testify to only a
21 little. Somebody who is in a closed room and left the room only for about
22 40 minutes at a time for lunch, for instance, could not have seen very
23 much. Without avoiding the legal truths, we should strive to establish
24 the real truth, and if we succeed in this, I hope we will be able to prove
25 that Mr. Kvocka did not do anything, that he was not part of any plan, he
1 did not support any plan. He simply was a victim of the events which fell
2 upon many towns and places in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which took many lives.
3 Our job here is to tell the truth. Thank you.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Simic.
5 We had envisaged a break for ten past one, but I think this is a
6 good moment to stop. So that means that we shall adjourn now for
7 50 minutes.
8 --- Recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 1.48 p.m.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
11 Mr. Krstan Simic.
12 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. The
13 Defence calls its first witness, Zdravko Samardzija.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Witness, the Judge is addressing
16 you, the Presiding Judge. You are now going to read the solemn
17 declaration that the usher is going to give to you.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
19 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
20 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO SAMARDZIJA
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
23 I understand that your name is Zdravko Samardzija; I'm sure I'm
24 not pronouncing it right. You are now going to answer questions which
25 will be put to you by Defence counsel, Mr. Krstan Simic, after which there
1 will be questions from the Prosecutor and possibly by the Judges. Thank
2 you for coming.
3 Mr. Krstan Simic, your witness.
4 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Examined by Mr. K. Simic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good day to you, Mr. Samardzija.
7 A. Good afternoon.
8 Q. We know each other well. We have discussed these questions at
9 length, and also with my investigators you have had contacts, so we'll be
10 talking about those things here.
11 As the proceedings are being simultaneously interpreted, I have
12 been warned by them repeatedly to slow down so it was my turn to remind
13 you to make a pause between the questions and answers so that they don't
15 A. I'll do that.
16 Q. Are you ready?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. For the record, will you tell Their Honours your name.
19 A. My name is Zdravko Samardzija.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me for interrupting you.
21 I see that Ms. Susan Somers has something to tell us.
22 MS. SOMERS: I would like to just ask the Chamber if it is aware
23 that there appear to be notes of some kind in front of the witness. I do
24 not know what they are, but there are some notes that are being referred
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, [In English]
2 do you know if the witness has some notes or something like this?
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, during the
4 conversations that Mr. Samardzija and I myself had, he took a few notes on
5 a piece of paper, just an outline, which he can show to everyone, which
6 will speed up this discussion regarding the organisation of the Security
7 Service. If the Prosecutor objects, there is no need for us to use it.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, [In English]
9 would you like to see the notes, to have a look? If it's to speed, it's a
10 very good idea, but I can understand.
11 MS. SOMERS: If it is to speed, perhaps. If it is to substitute
12 for independent recollection, which would be a concern, then I would ask
13 the Court, perhaps, to have a look itself before. Thank you.
14 JUDGE WALD: We've had experiences with some witnesses who did
15 have some notes here, and I think it's been held to be sufficient that if
16 you want to see the notes, you have a right to see them, but if it's not a
17 text that he's reading from, which it obviously isn't, other witnesses
18 have been allowed to refer to them.
19 MS. SOMERS: If that's the practice in this Chamber, then I'll
20 certainly defer to it. I would ask then either to see them now or to have
21 a copy perhaps made available for me. Thank you.
22 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Please have a look immediately.
23 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, we would have no objection. If we may
24 have a copy of this after the witness finishes testifying, we would be
25 very grateful for it.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic.
2 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] You will receive a copy immediately
3 after this testimony.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you very much. You
5 may continue, Mr. Krstan Simic.
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Q. Let us continue, Mr. Samardzija. Would you tell us your name?
8 A. Zdravko Samardzija.
9 Q. Mr. Samardzija, when and where were you born?
10 A. I was born on the 8th of February, 1954, in Sanski Most.
11 Q. Where are you residing?
12 A. I'm living in Banja Luka.
13 Q. Since when?
14 A. Since 1961.
15 Q. Are you married?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you have any children?
18 A. I have two children.
19 Q. What schools did you attend and graduate from, if any?
20 A. I graduated from secondary administrative school and the Faculty
21 of Law in Banja Luka.
22 Q. Have you done your military service?
23 A. Yes, I have.
24 Q. Where?
25 A. In Bileca, the reserve officer school.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. When you finished your military service, did you acquire any
3 A. Yes, I did, the rank of lieutenant.
4 Q. When you completed your education, where did you find employment?
5 A. Upon the completion of my education, I was employed by the
6 Security Services Centre in Banja Luka.
7 Q. What is your status now?
8 A. I am a pensioner just now. I am retired.
9 Q. So you spent your whole working life working within the police of
10 the SFRY and later of Republika Srpska; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, correct.
12 Q. Where were you employed, in which town?
13 A. I worked throughout in Banja Luka.
14 Q. In your previous answer, you mentioned that you were working in
15 the Security Services Centre in Banja Luka. Could you tell us what that
16 Security Service Centre represents?
17 A. The Security Services Centre, in organisational terms, comes
18 second to the Ministry of the Interior, and it consists of two
19 departments; one is the Public Security Department and the other is the
20 State Security Department.
21 Q. So you worked in the State Security Department. All the time?
22 A. Yes, all the time.
23 Q. Mr. Samardzija, let us try and define the chain of command in the
24 centre. The head of the State Security Service in the centre, who was he
25 subordinate to?
1 A. He was subordinate to the head of the centre, but he was also
2 linked to the under-secretary for state security who was based in
4 Q. Does that mean that some reports from the State Security
5 Department could be addressed higher up to the MUP, bypassing the head of
6 the centre of the Security Services?
7 A. Yes. The State Security Department had its own chain of command
8 so that it could, independently of the Security Services Centre,
9 communicate, though this was rarely resorted to.
10 In principle, all documents went through the regular system of
11 communication. This means that the head of the Security Services Centre
12 could have insight into all the activities of the State Security
14 Q. Mr. Samardzija, what was the duty of the State Security Department
15 within the police system of Republika Srpska?
16 A. It was twofold. We had one set of assignments strictly specified
17 by our rules of service, and we also had the obligation to provide
18 professional assistance to the Public Security Service.
19 Q. You mentioned the other department within the framework of the
20 Security Services Centre, that is, the Department for Public Security.
21 What were its duties and responsibilities?
22 A. The Public Security Department had obligations specified by law,
23 which again consisted of several sections.
24 Q. What sections were they?
25 A. They were sections for the general police, the traffic police, the
1 crime sector which was again subdivided. Then there was the personnel
2 sector, the financial sector, the sector for passports and aliens, and I
3 can't remember whether there were any others, though I think I have
4 covered them all. And also, I'm sorry, the sector for defensive
6 Q. Who headed the centre, Mr. Samardzija?
7 A. The head of the centre who was in charge of both departments.
9 Q. Mr. Samardzija, as our aim is not to analyse in detail the
10 organisation for Their Honours, but you said that this was second in the
11 hierarchy in Bosnia-Herzegovina. What was the third level?
12 A. The third level were the public security stations, and the fourth
13 level were the public security station departments. That was the lowest
15 Q. Within the framework of the Security Services Centre in Banja
16 Luka, were there departments?
17 A. Yes, there were. There were police station departments.
18 Q. No, no, I'm talking about the CSB, the centre. Were there public
19 security stations? That was my mistake.
20 A. Yes. The answer is yes.
21 Q. Can you remember how many security stations were part of the
22 system that came under the Security Services Centre?
23 A. There were three public security stations and there was a
24 department for covering trains. And, I'm sorry, there were also village
25 departments. So, you see, that is the fourth level that I was referring
2 Q. Did Banja Luka have its own public security station?
3 A. Yes, Banja Luka had.
4 Q. Did Prijedor have its own public security station?
5 A. Yes, it did.
6 Q. Who headed the public security station?
7 A. The head and assistant head were in charge of the public security
9 Q. How was the public security station subdivided, if you know? Did
10 it have any subsections?
11 A. Yes. The public security station had its own subdivisions, so
12 that there was the general police and the traffic police within the
13 framework of the public security station; and then also there were
14 patrolled regions in town.
15 Q. Was there a crime police sector?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was there a sector for economic crime?
18 A. Yes, the same as in the centre, the difference being that there
19 were fewer officers.
20 Q. So there was the public security centre, and the public security
21 station was similar in organisation.
22 A. The names were the same, only the number of staff differed.
23 Q. Within the framework of the public security station, were there
24 police officers in uniform, and how were they called?
25 A. Yes, there were men in uniform. They were called militiamen in
1 those days or policemen. And also their superiors in uniform, it was
2 clearly designated where the superiors wore uniforms and where they wore
3 civilian clothes.
4 Q. Within the framework of the public security station, was there a
5 police station?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Within the police station or militia, as they were called, were
8 people in uniform employed?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Who headed the police station?
11 A. Heading the police station was the commander, his deputy, and his
13 Q. Who represented the police station?
14 A. The police station commander.
15 Q. Was there any possibility within the framework of police stations,
16 in view of the territory they covered, could police station departments be
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In what cases did this occur?
20 A. Such police station departments or outposts were formed in more
21 remote areas, in localities that were no longer towns but were considered
22 villages or rural areas.
23 Q. These police station departments, did they have their headquarters
24 or buildings?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Do you know, these police station departments, how they were
2 staffed, who headed them?
3 A. Heading the police station department was the commander of the
5 Q. Did those police station departments have deputy commanders or
6 assistants, as was the case in police stations?
7 A. No, they only had a commander.
8 Q. How many policemen would there be in such police station
10 A. These were small police stations and the number of staff was
11 adjusted to the area covered, which were usually remote villages, and
12 these were known as patrol sectors, as opposed to municipal police
13 stations where they were, again, subdivided into precincts.
14 Q. Mr. Samardzija, let us now focus on the reason we brought you
15 here, and that is the year 1992.
16 In those days, you were working in the State Security Sector of
17 the Public Security Centre in Banja Luka.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What was your position?
20 A. I was working in the fifth sector as an instructor for
21 communications and encryption. That wasn't the name it was given --
22 Q. We'll come back to that. Did you later become the head of that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In 1992, when ethnic tensions were running high, when incidents
1 were frequent, were you given a different assignment?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What was it?
4 A. I was given the assignment to be a liaison officer with the United
5 Nations and international organisations in view of the fact that I spoke
6 English. I received those instructions from the head of the centre of the
7 Security Service, who designated me as one of those liaison officers.
8 There were several of us.
9 Q. Mr. Samardzija, as part of your duties, did you go to the
10 territory of Prijedor?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In that capacity as liaison officer with representatives of
13 international humanitarian organisations, in 1992, after the disbanding of
14 camps, did you take these men to Trnopolje and Manjaca?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. Mr. Samardzija, through your contacts, did you come to know a
17 person called Simo Drljaca?
18 A. I did.
19 Q. Who was he?
20 A. Simo Drljaca was appointed head of the Prijedor police after the
21 events that occurred in Prijedor.
22 Q. Was that after the takeover of authority by the Serbs?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you have occasion to meet Simo Drljaca on a number of
25 occasions actually?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. As a person with a lot of experience in police work, how would you
3 briefly describe him?
4 A. Very briefly, he was not a professional. He lacked police
5 knowledge and this showed in his conduct.
6 Q. How did he behave, in fact?
7 A. He engaged in official interviews outside official premises, which
8 is quite unusual under normal circumstances.
9 Q. How did he dress in public?
10 A. I noticed that he would wear white Adidas sports shoes, which was
11 quite unusual for a man of his position. Actually, that is how he seemed
12 to me.
13 Q. What was his attitude towards people? Was he tolerant? Could you
14 describe him in that sense?
15 A. In my assessment, he was a man who was rather crude in his
16 behaviour and this was a reflection of his character.
17 Q. You mentioned these interviews or contacts with him outside
18 official premises, the police, or others. On one such occasion, since you
19 were working in 05 sector, did Mr. Drljaca make certain requests of you?
20 A. Yes. He requested from me that I operatively covered. That is
21 how it was called officially, but it really meant that I -- that I listen
22 in on certain people.
23 Q. What is the official designation?
24 A. Operative technical cover.
25 Q. Operative technical cover. What does that mean?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. It means the use of all measures at the disposal of state security
2 services to establish certain facts relating to a particular individual.
3 Q. Did that imply tapping somebody's conversations?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Where did you have this conversation?
6 A. In the Sokolski centre or sports centre.
7 Q. In what town is that centre situated?
8 A. It is situated in Banja Luka.
9 Q. Can you tell us what it is, the Sokolski centre?
10 A. The Sokolski centre consists of a gymnasium, that is, a sports
11 hall; several auxiliary halls; and a kind of cafe.
12 Q. How was Mr. Drljaca dressed on that particular occasion?
13 A. I think he was wearing sports clothes, casual clothes. I can't
14 remember exactly what it was he was wearing.
15 Q. You said that he asked you to eavesdrop on certain people; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did he tell you what the purpose of that tapping was?
19 A. He said that within the territory of the municipality there were a
20 large number of unreliable Serbs, and his explanation for this request was
21 that he wanted to get evidence about their unreliability. That was the
22 gist of his explanation.
23 Q. Mr. Samardzija, can you remember any of the names of the people
24 that Mr. Drljaca wanted you to listen in on?
25 A. I can't remember the exact names, but I remember the surnames. He
1 mentioned Kvocka and Simo Miskic. I know his full name because I knew him
2 as a policeman and I was surprised. Mr. Kvocka also, and three other men
3 whose names I cannot recollect now, but I think his request referred to
4 three or four people.
5 Q. Did he mention the name of Srdjo Srdic?
6 A. I don't think he mentioned both those names, so I can't actually
7 say, but I can say with certainty that Mr. Simo Miskic, about Simo Miskic
8 and Mr. Kvocka, because I remember hearing that because of the specific
9 surnames and their meaning. Kvocka, of course, means a hen, so I
10 remembered that name. Otherwise, I didn't pay too much attention to the
11 names. And I informed my superiors about it.
12 Q. Mr. Samardzija, on that occasion, did Mr. Drljaca explain why for
13 all the names that he mentioned? Did he mention the reason that you had
14 to intercept their conversations or was the reason a general one?
15 A. Well, yes, he gave me a general reason and said that they were
16 people whom he -- whom he thought were unreliable and had reason to doubt,
18 Q. Did you answer Mr. Drljaca back, in view of his rank?
19 A. I told him that it wasn't in my competence to deal with matters of
20 this kind and that it was the heads of departments whose job it is to make
21 decisions of that kind and that he should contact those individuals.
22 Q. You said a moment ago that you informed your superior about the
24 A. Yes. The rules of service make it incumbent upon me to do so, to
25 convey things of this kind to my superior.
1 Q. I know that a lot of time has gone by, but do you perhaps recall
2 when approximately you had this conversation in the Sokolski centre
3 between you and Mr. Drljaca?
4 A. It was sometime in 1992. I would say mid-1992, which would make
5 it mid-June, perhaps, or the beginning of July. But it was probably in
6 the first few days of June.
7 Q. In view of the fact that you worked in that department, as you
8 said, for monitoring or eavesdropping on citizens, did you get any
9 subsequent information about similar requests made by Mr. Drljaca?
10 A. When this occurred, I wasn't actually working on jobs of that
11 kind, but quite naturally, while having a cup of coffee perhaps with my
12 colleagues, I did hear that there was a rather lengthy request made, which
13 I'm not sure was complied with because I don't think the technical
14 possibilities existed, and I think the explanation was that he didn't bear
15 the technical feasibility of this in mind when he made his requests.
16 Q. You don't know Mr. Kvocka personally, do you?
17 A. No.
18 Q. You have never communicated with him, never seen him?
19 A. No. I have never seen him. I don't know him at all.
20 Q. Mr. Samardzija --
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Somers. I see that
22 Mr. Simic is posing a leading question.
23 MS. SOMERS: I would ask that at this point we get away from the
24 leading nature of the initial inquiry and that the witness recall from his
25 own memory, not that he have the testimony of Mr. Simic. Thank you.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sure you agree, Mr. Krstan
2 Simic, don't you? There we have it.
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't think these
4 were leading questions, and you know the method of preparation. We
5 discussed these questions at length last night and generally, but I will
6 try to abide by what Ms. Somers has just said.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, perhaps we should meet
8 these standards. Please go to the core of the matter, the heart of the
9 matter, because I think that we will agree that if we're not -- when we're
10 not going to the heart of the matter, we can guide the witness a little
11 bit. But I would like to ask you, Mr. Krstan Simic, to proceed in a
12 somewhat different way at present.
13 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, thank you. I, of
14 course, accept your proposal.
15 Q. Mr. Samardzija, I would now like to move on to another area. Did
16 you hear when the Keraterm and Omarska camps were disbanded?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Do you have any information with regard to the fact that after the
19 events that occurred in the camps became known, a certain commission was
20 set up in the CSB, the Security Services Centre of Banja Luka?
21 A. Yes, I do know about that.
22 Q. Who founded the commission?
23 A. After the irregularities that were found to have existed, the head
24 of the Security Service set up the commission. Mr. Stojan Zupljanin was
25 his name.
1 Q. The State Security Sector, was it supposed to provide a member of
2 the commission?
3 A. Yes. In principle, the composition of the commission was to be a
4 mixed one.
5 Q. Do you happen to know who represented the State Security Sector in
6 the commission?
7 A. I think that it was the head at the time, Mr. Vojin Bera. And
8 there was someone from the Prijedor detachment, I think, but I'm not quite
9 sure who that was. I also know some of the members of the commission from
10 the Public Security Sector.
11 Q. Who were they?
12 A. I know that they were Vaso Skondric, and I also know that Mr. Vaso
13 Skondric was there when -- he was also a member of the commission together
14 with Mr. Torbica.
15 Q. What was the assignment of Mr. Torbica and Mr. Skondric? What
16 were they supposed to do? You said that they came on behalf of the BiH
17 MUP, from the Banja Luka area.
18 A. In view of the fact that there was a disturbance of relations
19 already and that the situation was complex, speaking ethnically, mixed
20 checkpoints were to be set up on the territory covered by the Banja Luka
21 centre, as well as the other centres.
22 Q. Could we please slow down. You mentioned mixed checkpoints. How
23 do you mean, "mixed"?
24 A. It implies a mixed ethnic composition for the police force.
25 Q. Whose tasks were Mr. Skondric and Mr. Torbica carrying out?
1 A. They came on orders from the then Minister of the Internal Affairs
2 of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time who was Mr. Delimustafic, I think.
3 Q. Mr. Vojin Bera, was he your superior?
4 A. At one time he was, yes.
5 Q. As a long-term policeman, how did he carry out the assignments
6 given him?
7 A. He was a very systematic man, very precise, carried out his
8 assignments with precision, and always asked to have all the available
9 information. He liked to check everything out mathematically, so that
10 sometimes, at least when I was working there, if we made even any slight
11 mathematical errors, he would make us repeat the task several times.
12 Q. Do you happen to know whether the commission implemented its
13 assignment from the head of the Security Services Centre?
14 A. I know that the commission went in the field, that it executed its
15 tasks, and that a report was drawn up which was sent to the superiors,
16 containing suggestions and proposals. The head of the State Security
17 Service Centre, it was sent to the head of that centre.
18 Q. Mr. Samardzija, this report, after it was reviewed by the State
19 Security Service Centre, did the report result in anything? Did anything
20 come of the report?
21 A. Well, after the report was compiled, steps were taken to overcome
22 the crisis situation and a decision was made to disband and disarm all
23 paramilitary formations, that they should all come under legal
24 institutions, that is to say, the regular army and its units and the
25 regular police force.
1 Q. Who made the decision to disband all the paramilitary formations,
2 and who said that it was only military units and regular police units who
3 should be allowed to remain on the terrain?
4 A. This decision was taken by the parliament, and the assembly
5 decided that as of the 31st of August, up until that date, that all
6 paramilitary units were to be disbanded and that anybody illegally in
7 possession of arms was to relinquish those arms. That referred, in
8 particular, to specific types of weapons, such as APCs, vehicles that
9 people constructed themselves with special welding and armoured equipment
10 and blocks.
11 Q. What about the regular police institutions? During this period of
12 time, that is to say, up until the 31st of August, 1992, did they
13 encounter serious problems with these paramilitary formations and what
14 they did on the ground, their actions on the ground? Did they encounter
15 serious problems?
16 A. Yes, there were big problems, major problems, because in the
17 conditions that prevailed at the time, everything was unplanned and
18 certain groups of individuals began to form with people of different
19 profiles as members of these groups.
20 Some joined the groups in order to ensure themselves a livelihood
21 because -- and it was risky business. There was tension on all sides.
22 Others were criminals, ordinary criminals with criminal records who wanted
23 to use these units to further their own ends. So there were different
24 motives. Some people were psychologically disturbed and did not have the
25 mental capacity.
1 So there were different types of people, and as the police, at
2 that time, did not have enough trained men to deal with these people,
3 because, as I say, some of the people in these groups had come in from
4 other areas where combat was already under way and so they were better
5 trained in the use of weapons, better trained than the police, and so very
6 often the policemen didn't dare oppose such groups. So that was one of
7 the reasons why it was proposed that this question be resolved on a state
8 level, with the use of a coordinated action on the part of the army and
9 the regular police force, that they should tackle the problem jointly.
10 Q. Mr. Samardzija, does that mean that the police force had no
11 control over these paramilitary formations?
12 A. Yes, it did.
13 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I should now like to
14 ask the witness to be shown document D38/1 that I brought up during my
15 opening statement.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. The question is: "Does that mean that
17 the police force had no control over these paramilitary formations?" The
18 answer says, "Yes, it did." It did have or it did not have? Can you say
19 in a full sentence?
20 A. The police did not have any control, did not have full control
21 over persons organised in a paramilitary fashion.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
23 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your assistance, Your
25 Q. Mr. Samardzija, would you please take a look at this decision of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the 14th of August, 1992. Is it the decision that you mentioned?
2 A. Yes. I recognise the signature of the head of the centre.
3 Q. I should now like to ask you to turn to page 16.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. We have on that page the signatures of four individuals.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Krstan Simic, what about the
7 English pagination? What page is it in the English text so that we can
8 follow you?
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please, Your
10 Honour. I apologise.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm asking for the page number
12 so that it can be placed on the ELMO.
13 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] It is page 21 of the English text.
14 Page 21 and 22.
15 Q. Do we have Vojin Bera listed as chairman under number 1?
16 A. I can say that Vojin Bera is the chairman. This is his signature
17 as well as the signature of Jugoslav Rodic. As to the other two
18 signatures, I know that Mr. Skondric was in the commission, but I can't
19 identify and recognise his signature as I have never had occasion to see
20 any official documents that he signed.
21 Q. Do you know Mr. Jugoslav Rodic?
22 A. Yes, I do, and he has a very characteristic signature.
23 Q. Was he a member of the CSB of Banja Luka?
24 A. Yes. He was a member of the CSB of Banja Luka, the Prijedor
1 Q. You told me that you had occasion to see this report. You said
2 that you knew the methods and characteristics of Mr. Bera. Do you
3 consider that it is an analytical report of great precision with respect
4 to the events that he was asked to investigate?
5 A. Yes, I do. Because he's that kind of man is why he received the
6 assignment, and probably the report -- had somebody else compiled the
7 report, it might have been done in a fashion that was not as systematic as
9 Q. Mr. Samardzija, you also see that there were attachments to this
10 document whereby all the heads of the public security stations made
11 reports for their own public security stations. Was that too one of the
12 ways in which Mr. Bera worked, his method?
13 A. Yes. It was always his method to have his subordinates do a part
14 of the work and then to include their documents in the final document.
15 And I'm talking about the time when he was my superior. That was his
16 method of work. He would collect all the necessary data and information,
17 compile it, and then sign it by way of authorisation.
18 Q. In practice, did he check the data and information that the
19 reports of his subordinates contained which he authorised and verified by
20 placing his own signature to it.
21 A. Yes. That was his regular method of work. He loved finding any
22 slips or errors made, and he ask for corrections if he found any mistakes,
23 and he was very proud if he was able to find that somebody had slipped up
24 on some point. He would make them revise their work.
25 Q. This report contains facts about the number of persons who were --
1 who went through the investigation centre. Was this report adopted?
2 A. As far as I know, the report was adopted and accepted as correct
3 by the professional men of the centre, and on the basis of that document,
4 the disbanding of the paramilitary formations was requested.
5 Q. In the report, he also states that in Omarska, 49 persons
6 disappeared in ways that could not be explained. Now, when you hear the
7 news that a bus carrying 49 people ran off the road, that would be the
8 news of the day. Did this lead to an investigation of any kind? Do you
9 know anything of that kind?
10 A. I think that one of the reasons for which these inspections were
11 carried out was precisely to see what the actual state of affairs was
12 because information had been received as to the misconduct of the
13 military -- the paramilitary units and that the police was just not able
14 to control these paramilitary units, and in that sense an investigation
15 was conducted.
16 Q. If the Omarska camp -- or let me rephrase this. Knowing Mr. Bera
17 as you did, who would you say he would be inclined to talk to about the
18 investigations relative to Omarska?
19 A. He would talk to the competent people, the head of the public
20 security station, but he would also make broader checks, and I suppose
21 that he would involve also other people from the competent structures.
22 That means he might have involved the deputy commander of the public
23 security station. It was his method of work to consult the competent
24 people, and I also believe he ran his own checks because he was that kind
25 of man.
1 Q. After the work of this commission and the activities it undertook,
2 after this knowledge was obtained, was any action taken by Mr. Drljaca?
3 A. I believe there were -- there occurred situations which did not
4 quite conform to the rules, and I believe that an interview was conducted
5 with him, although I cannot discuss what was said there, but I don't
6 believe there had been any serious discussions at the level of the centre,
7 the security services centre.
8 Q. Was this report forwarded to the Ministry of the Interior of the
9 Republika Srpska?
10 A. Yes. I believe two copies of the report were forwarded, one to
11 the state security sector, that means at the Ministry to the
12 under-secretary for state security, and one to the under-secretary for
13 public security who, naturally, presented it to the Minister.
14 Q. Within your purview as liaison officer, did you at any time take
15 any delegation to visit Omarska or Keraterm camps?
16 A. No.
17 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to thank
18 this witness. I have no further questions for him.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We thank him very much too.
20 Mr. Krstan Simic, you said that you would work until 4.00 and you really
21 did it. It's five to four. There is no point in us starting the
22 cross-examination because we have only five minutes left, and in order not
23 to interrupt the cross, we had better leave it until tomorrow.
24 Mr. Samardzija, we will continue with you tomorrow at 9.20.
25 Yes, Ms. Somers.
1 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, because I am new to this Chamber, I
2 would like to know, is it the Chamber's manner to inform the witness that
3 there should be no discussion with anyone about the testimony?
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No. We have made a decision on
5 this. This decision stands and both parties are very well aware that
6 after the witness has taken his oath, he cannot discuss his testimony with
7 either party except in situations which must be notified to the Trial
9 Another exception we made were the accused and the expert
10 witnesses. That is a different situation. But the witnesses we call
11 normal, regular witnesses are not excepted from this rule.
12 Since we have another two minutes left, I would like to say this:
13 Each time when we are using documents -- we should resolve this matter.
14 Mr. Simic, I believe I used your own documents, D38, I believe it
15 was, and D39, which you will request be admitted into evidence.
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, according to the method we
17 used before for the cross-examination, and I suggest we do this
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but these documents were
20 used in your opening statement.
21 Ms. Somers, do you object to these documents 38 and 39? We are
22 referring to the excerpts used by Mr. Simic in his opening statement.
23 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, I believe a good number of these
24 documents are already admitted, perhaps under a different number. To the
25 extent that that is the case, we would try to work with the registrar to
1 get that straightened out because we also might want to make reference to
2 some previously admitted documents, and as to anything that has just
3 arisen, there is no objection.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] [No translation]
5 It seems the court reporters can't hear me. I'm sorry. [In English] I
6 shall speak English if necessary.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Can the French interpreters and English
8 interpreters check your buttons, please?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, we have done that. Can you hear us now?
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So I believe that Ms. Somers
11 already said that if, with regard to new documents, there are no
12 objections --
13 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I?
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
15 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Since I cannot communicate with
16 Mr. Samardzija, I will have to ask the usher to take the document he has
17 and have it copied for the benefit of the Prosecutor's Office.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, all right, but at the end
19 of the testimony, nevertheless. So documents 38/1 and 39/1 are admitted
20 into evidence.
21 We'll continue tomorrow at 9.20. Thank you, everyone.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.00 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd day of
24 January, 2001, at 9.20 a.m.