1 Wednesday, 14
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.27 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be seated. Good
7 Good morning to the technical booth. Good morning to the
8 interpreters, representatives of the registry. Good morning, counsel for
9 the Prosecution, for the Defence. Let us continue with our work today,
10 that is, with the cross-examination of Mr. Kvocka.
11 Ms. Susan Somers, you have the floor.
12 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honours.
13 WITNESS: MIROSLAV KVOCKA [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers: [Continued]
16 Q. Mr. Kvocka, tell us, please, when you first met Simo Drljaca.
17 A. When he would come to the Omarska camp. That was the first time I
18 saw him live.
19 Q. Had you heard of him prior to seeing him live?
20 A. Yes, yes. I heard that after the takeover he became the chief of
21 the Public Security Station, that is, the chief of police for the
22 municipality of Prijedor.
23 Q. Whom did he replace when he became -- or when he came to that
25 A. Hasan Talundzic.
1 Q. Whose ethnicity was he?
2 A. Talundzic, if you mean him, was a Muslim, and Drljaca was a Serb.
3 Q. What was your understanding of Mr. Drljaca's relationship to
4 Omarska camp?
5 A. I heard therefore that he had become the chief of the Public
6 Security Station, and when he came to Omarska, I saw him on two occasions,
7 if my memory serves me right. A driver would also come, Radovan Vokic who
8 was chief's driver and a long-time policeman whom I knew, and I probably
9 talked to Vokic on those occasions, so it became clear to me that that was
10 the chief of police.
11 Q. On several occasions during proceedings here, we have discussed
12 and have seen a document that was dated 31st of May, 1992, signed by Simo
13 Drljaca, which effectively sets up Omarska camp. Do you remember our
14 discussing that document?
15 A. Yes, I remember. I also said that I saw this document here for
16 the first time.
17 Q. Although you may not have seen the document before coming before
18 this Tribunal, were you made aware of its contents, the various provisions
19 in the document before you went to work at Omarska camp?
20 MS. SOMERS: And while we're doing this, if I might ask the usher
21 kindly to put 2/4.11 on the ELMO. We can use our copy if you'd like. I
22 won't distribute it again, but I think it would be helpful to have it in
23 front of the witness. That is the document to which we were referring.
24 Q. I'm sorry, my question to you was, although you may not have seen
25 this document before coming here, were you made aware of its contents, the
1 various provisions in the document, before you went to work at Omarska
3 A. No. No, I never learned anything about its contents, and when the
4 document was shown here during the proceedings, it became clear to me that
5 one of the paragraphs which was conveyed to us by Zeljko Meakic is
6 actually contained in this document. The paragraph concerns the work that
7 was to be done by the police, so that is actually the only connection that
8 I could make, could establish with the document.
9 Q. Which paragraph would that be in this document? Could you point
10 it out and perhaps take a second to read it to us?
11 A. I have to have a look at the document in its entirety.
12 Q. Please do.
13 A. I think it's paragraph 6, because Zeljko told us that the duty of
14 us policemen from Omarska would be to provide security to the collection
15 centre, as it is stated here.
16 Q. So it was your understanding -- well, did you find out about this
17 before you actually physically went to work there, or when did you find
18 out about the information that's contained in paragraph 6? When did
19 Zeljko tell you this?
20 A. One to two days after we started working, that is, after the
21 investigations centre opened. Two days went by and then Zeljko told us
22 that we had certain duties which were regulated in some kind of order,
23 from which I can conclude that Zeljko must have seen such a document or
24 must have been told about it by someone. I cannot say exactly.
25 Q. Did Zeljko also tell you that part of the duties would then be to
1 prevent escape? Escape.
2 A. Yes. Every policeman who was involved in regular police work knew
3 about it, and Zeljko emphasised it as well, that one of the duties of the
4 police was to prevent escape, which implied also preventing, if possible
5 and necessary, any attack on the prisoners.
6 Q. I want to just clarify. When you said Zeljko emphasised it, do
7 you mean in connection with the work at Omarska camp he emphasised that
8 that would be one of the tasks? Preventing escape in connection with
9 Omarska camp, he emphasised that; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you pass this on to the guards who worked at Omarska camp with
12 you, or did he pass it on?
13 A. This is what Zeljko told to all of us together. I cannot recall
14 that he gathered us together or that he talked to groups of people, or
15 maybe he told this to an oncoming shift, when they would come on duty. He
16 said that the shift which gathered in the village of Omarska before going
17 to work had been told about such orders by him. So he emphasised it once
18 again and drew our attention to cases of intensified activity, that is,
19 the need to intensify security and prevent escape.
20 The mere prevention of escape is self-implied and understood. It
21 is possible that the reserve policemen didn't know, were not aware of it.
22 But I didn't have to be told specifically about it because, from my
23 previous experience, I knew that that would be one of our duties.
24 Q. Does that suggest, though, if this was two days after you arrived
25 for your work at Omarska, that there were two days when you did not know
1 what you were doing?
2 A. More or less. However, I have to say once again what I said
3 yesterday. When people from Banja Luka were leaving, then their superior
4 officer told them and every one of us that there were detainees there and
5 that one of our basic duties was to prevent escape; and that for any
6 further or other types of duties or work, that we would be given
7 appropriate instructions from our superiors. They were trying to get away
8 as soon as possible, the unit that was from Banja Luka. That is what we
9 heard afterwards. The fact that they were from Banja Luka, that is what
10 we learnt later on. Those whom I had seen were all dressed in camouflage
11 uniforms, which I saw on that occasion for the first time. Those uniforms
12 were not normally used.
13 Q. Would you remind us, please --
14 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. Blue camouflage uniforms.
15 MS. SOMERS:
16 Q. Would you remind us, please, the name of the superior officer to
17 whom you were referring from Banja Luka?
18 A. No, I cannot do that, really. We didn't see each other for longer
19 than five minutes.
20 Q. When you talk about preventing escape or preventing anyone from
21 coming in, is it your understanding that that also contemplates preventing
22 an attack on the detainees, on the prisoners? Is that your understanding?
23 A. Yes, yes. If you're asking me personally, yes, that was the kind
24 of understanding that I had.
25 Q. Now, was there any distinction made in your instructions as to by
1 whom that attack might be made, whether it was a force from the outside or
2 a force from the inside, an attack on prisoners? What was your
3 understanding of that instruction?
4 A. The way I understood was that it referred from someone from -- to
5 someone from the outside because there was no possibility of any such
6 attack on prisoners from the inside.
7 Q. Well, what if a guard attacked a prisoner on the inside? Would
8 that be any less of an attack on a prisoner in your mind as a professional
10 A. A guard or a policeman -- that is to say, the situation was such
11 that it was understood that a guard could not attack or assault a
12 prisoner, that he couldn't nor wouldn't do it. So no specific mention was
13 made of that possibility.
14 I don't quite understand what you mean. Do you mean that those
15 who were guarding the prisoners were supposed to have someone else
16 guarding them in order to prevent guards from assaulting the prisoners? I
17 don't know exactly how you mean that. It was implied that,
18 self-understood that a guard would never attack a prisoner. Prisoners
19 were to be protected by the guards from others.
20 Q. You say it was understood that a guard -- I want to make sure I
21 get your words correct. "The situation was such that it was understood
22 that a guard could not attack or assault a prisoner." Help us
23 understand - we were not there - help us understand how it was
25 A. That was a common understanding as regards the work of the police.
1 The police are supposed to protect citizens from other citizens. Now, we
2 should perhaps ask ourselves, who is supposed to protect the citizens if
3 they come under an attack of the police? That is why I'm saying that it
4 was understood and implied.
5 In view of my experience as a policeman, it was always my duty as
6 a policeman to protect citizens from the attack of other citizens, so I,
7 of course, understood that that would be the behaviour of my colleagues as
8 well, that they would be protecting citizens from attack of other
10 Q. And other citizens could include police officers or -- whether
11 reserve or active duty or somebody acting as a guard, those are citizens
12 also, aren't they, in your mind?
13 A. We are all citizens, only some of us are policemen and some are
14 detainees, but both detainees and policeman are citizens. I don't
15 understand what you mean. At that moment the policemen were policemen.
16 In addition to that, they were also citizens, but when they're on duty as
17 police officers, then they cannot be considered as ordinary citizens.
18 Q. You yourself just raised a question and said, "Now, we should
19 perhaps ask ourselves, who is supposed to protect the citizens if they
20 come under an attack of the police? That is why I'm saying that it was
21 understood and implied." Well, how -- you tell us how you view that. How
22 do you protect a citizen, how do you protect a citizen who at that moment
23 comes under the attack by a policeperson? Reserve, active duty,
24 immaterial. What would you do as a long-standing, experienced,
25 professional policeman?
1 A. How shall I explain this to you? There was no provision in any of
2 the regulations which would explicitly govern and prescribe a special
3 service which would be in charge of protecting citizens from an assault of
4 the police. That is one thing.
5 In the system in which we lived, it was believed that the police
6 simply could not attack citizens. Now, if this should happen, then in
7 that case there are several possibilities. I spoke about that yesterday
8 to a certain extent. If we interpret the rules literally, if such an
9 incident should happen before my own eyes, if a policeman should attack a
10 citizen, then I would intervene, of course.
11 However, certain qualifications need to be made here. If a
12 policeman should slap a citizen, in that case I should perhaps ask myself
13 about the authority that I have to intervene or not. In that case, I
14 think that I would have an obligation to report about that to my
16 Second, if the violation of human rights in question is a drastic
17 one, if it's an attempt of murder or some other kind of ill-treatment,
18 then speaking for myself, I'm sure I would try to prevent it if, of
19 course, it is happening before my eyes, in my physical presence. In that
20 case, of course I would try to prevent it. In that case, I think I can
21 intervene, that is, I think I will -- would intervene, although later on I
22 run the risk of having problems with the policeman in question. Then you
23 would probably have a conflict of interest. He would probably think that
24 he has the right to do that and authority to do that, and I will probably
25 think that he does not have such an authority, and then we would probably
1 have a conflict between the two of us.
2 But personally, I think I would always intervene in cases of
3 murder attempt, ill-treatment, and similar incidents.
4 Q. When you were working back in the former Yugoslav, let's say when
5 you were working in Prijedor during peacetime, did you work on the streets
6 as a street cop, as we say? Did you work on the streets, patrol?
7 A. Yes, for three years.
8 Q. Did you carry a weapon? Did you carry a sidearm?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What was the purpose in your carrying that weapon?
11 A. The main purpose was to protect life of citizens, on condition,
12 and those are very strict regulations, that such an attack cannot be
13 prevented in any other way. That is, if an attack on a citizen cannot be
14 prevented in any other way, an attack which is likely to endanger the
15 citizen' life, then in that case the policeman is entitled to use his
16 weapon according to very strict regulations governing its use.
17 There is a caveat, of course, with this rule, which says that if
18 the attack cannot be prevented in any other way, so that was a kind of
19 last resort in such cases.
20 Q. Given your experience on the street, I'd like to give you a
21 scenario and you can tell me how you feel the appropriate response should
22 be described. You're in Prijedor, bright sunny day, peacetime, and across
23 the street you notice a man with a gun coming up behind an old lady
24 carrying her groceries, and he sticks the gun in her face and says, "Give
25 me your purse or I'll kill you." And it looks like he's going to kill
1 her. What do you do in that instance?
2 A. You yourself said that it was a scenario. I have to say that I
3 never had that kind of scenario during my work, but I can perhaps use my
4 imagination and think about it a little bit.
5 First of all, I think that the person in question should -- would
6 have to be an exceptional marksman, and I would have to think that this
7 potential perpetrator would effectively use the weapon. This may be only
8 a threat, of course, but I have to be 100 per cent sure also that the
9 weapon in question is a real one, because you can always have a fake gun,
10 a plastic pistol, which is used only for purposes of intimidation of the
11 person who is supposed to be intimidated. So all that knowledge would
12 have to be necessary for me in that particular moment.
13 I would also have to be very sure about the distance. If I'm not
14 a very good marksman, I can end up killing the woman and not the
15 assaulter. I also have to know whether there are any other citizens in
16 the vicinity because the use of firearms by the policeman is strictly
17 prohibited in a crowd, regardless of what is going on, except for shooting
18 in the air for purposes of intimidation.
19 Q. The same scenario, the guy with the gun fires off three rounds to
20 let the old lady know he's not joking. You're satisfied it's a real gun
21 and he's probably going to do some damage to her. What do you do?
22 A. It is possible that I would use the firearm as well. But I can
23 only say that it is possible. I cannot give you any more specific
24 answer. We would have to have the appropriate scenario, of course.
25 Because, again, as I said, I never had -- I was never faced with such a
1 scenario before the war. Or difficulties that I had, I was able to
2 resolve in a better way.
3 I only had two classical police interventions during my career.
4 Everything else was dealt with through conversation. One such occasion
5 was when I was attacked with a broken glass, when I was a very young
6 policeman, by someone, and there was another incident later on. I no
7 longer remember what it was. It was only in 1994 that I handcuffed a
8 person. So after 20 years of experience, that was the first time that I
9 actually had to handcuff someone.
10 Q. Did the fellow with the glass who, I think you said -- let me make
11 sure I have that correct. The fellow who attacked you with a broken
12 glass, did he have a weapon, a handgun also, or was the only weapon his
14 A. He did not have a firearm. He just had this piece of bottle which
15 is broken in -- you know, like they do it in a bar, and then he ends up
16 holding the upper part of the broken bottle in his hand as a weapon.
17 There is a regulation which says that the attack need not be an
18 attack with a firearm. It can be with some other type of -- similar type
19 of object. You can be attacked with an axe, a knife, or some other
20 appropriate object for inflicting physical injuries which are of a more
21 serious or fatal nature.
22 Q. Now, if I understand you correctly, you talked this down. You
23 essentially negotiated yourself out of a potentially dangerous situation;
24 is that what you're telling us? Your negotiation skills were what brought
25 you through that safe and sound.
1 A. Yes. As I told you, there were no complicated interventions on my
2 part except for this one. But I have to go back to the Rules of Service
3 which explicitly state that those things can be done if nothing else can
4 be done to prevent the attack. The weapon is always the last resort.
5 Q. Your own relationship, going back for a moment to Simo Drljaca --
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Just a second, please.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] For the record, the use of
9 truncheon or a club is not entered in the transcript. The witness said
10 that before the use of a weapon, one classical object that can be used is
11 a police bat.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, could you please
13 clarify this with the witness?
14 MS. SOMERS: I would be happy to.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that Mr. Simic is
16 referring to page number 11, line 12 or 13, more or less -- or 16 and 17.
17 I think at least that that was the interpretation that I received which
18 corresponds to what I can see in the transcript.
19 MS. SOMERS:
20 Q. Can I just ask you, because there seems to be a question, would
21 you describe -- going in escalation of use of force, would you describe
22 what you'd have to use in the way of weaponry before you would be allowed
23 to use a firearm? What type of weaponry?
24 A. Before any such intervention, there is a kind of sequence that is
25 followed. If the talks have fallen through, then you can always use
1 physical force or a rubber baton; then you can use various means of
2 restraint; and finally, if everything fails, then you can use a weapon,
3 you can use a firearm, providing that all other conditions for the use of
4 a firearm have been fulfilled.
5 You have to know in advance what the person in question has done,
6 if we talk about the criminal types of behaviour in general, if we are
7 dealing with usual suspects, people who have already been suspected of
8 various criminal offences. However, if you have a minor person who has
9 robbed a kiosk and has in his possession a box of cigarettes and is trying
10 to escape, then of course you're not going to use a firearm against him.
11 That would only do more damage to the service than it would benefit the
13 Q. Do we agree that however you make this analysis which you have
14 just given to us as a professional officer, it has to be made very, very
15 quickly or else there could be a disastrous result for the intended
16 victim; do you agree about that?
17 A. I agree that such a decision has to be made quickly.
18 Q. During the course of your time in Omarska camp, how often did you
19 find yourself having to make those quick decisions?
20 A. Only once.
21 Q. And that was?
22 A. That was the incident that we heard about at length during the
23 proceedings when a person opened fire.
24 Q. Okay. I do recall that, I'm sure. Did you have to make the same
25 analysis when you went into the room from which you heard the screams and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 the cries? I think your testimony was something like, and I have to
2 paraphrase because I don't have it in front of me, but you were pretty
3 nervous about going in that room, you were nervous for yourself. Did you
4 do the analysis about what you would do?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You did. And what you -- and you concluded that that intervention
7 was or was not warranted?
8 A. I told you yesterday, I couldn't analyse things in advance before
9 seeing what was happening. Once I entered, there was no beating going on
10 inside the room, so it was over, it had ended. So these are seconds that
11 are in question. The offence had terminated so I had no reason to use
12 force or a baton, to simplify things.
13 Especially yesterday, we spent half a day talking about it, that
14 it was inspectors I was dealing with, which was an additional
15 consideration. So nothing was actually happening before my very eyes. If
16 I had actually found the inspector or maybe a guard who was with him
17 actually beating the person, the simplest thing for me to do would be to
18 grab them by their arms and push them into the corner. That would be a
19 more effective way of intervening than any other.
20 Q. Okay. Do you remember in your interview with Mr. Bennett --
21 MS. SOMERS: If we could ask to have that perhaps put back on the
22 ELMO, or if you have your copy, it's 3/201. I'm looking at the English
23 translation, page 8, and I don't know how it's broken down in the B/C/S,
24 but I'll --
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, I think it is
1 3/203. No?
2 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I have 3/201 --
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No, you're right. I'm sorry.
4 My mistake. Please proceed.
5 MS. SOMERS:
6 Q. Do you have the article in front of you in your own language? It
7 might be easier. Otherwise, if you're willing to accept the translation
8 as we have it read out. But it's the actual interview from Slobodna
9 Bosna. You were asked --
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic.
11 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I would kindly ask the witness to
12 be given the original text from Slobodna Bosna, because we had some
13 problems yesterday with the interpretation of the interview with
14 Mr. Reid.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No, Mr. Simic, it is not the
16 interview with Mr. Reid. We are talking about the newspaper article.
17 They are two different things.
18 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes. But all we are asking is that
19 Mr. Kvocka be given the original text so he can follow it, of the
20 interview. He doesn't have it.
21 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, we have -- is there an extra copy,
22 Ms. Gustin, that we may be able to turn over? Otherwise, if we may put it
23 on the ELMO and have it read out that would probably be ...
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That's fine, now. So please
1 Mr. Simic, it was my mistake. I mixed the two up. When you
2 mentioned Reid, it was the interview, but we're talking about the
3 newspaper article. So I got it mixed up, I'm sorry.
4 MS. SOMERS:
5 Q. You were asked on page 8, let me give you the language,
6 Mr. Kvocka, maybe it will be helpful. Just before it there is a paragraph
7 that mentions the "white house" and the "red house," if you can find it in
8 Serbo-Croatian; otherwise, it's on the ELMO. I am looking at a passage
9 where you were asked -- they were talking about the "white house" and the
10 "red house," "Were people killed in those buildings?" Your answer was,
11 "Not before my eyes."
12 A. I'm sorry, I still haven't found it. How does the question begin
13 in the original, because that's why I can't find it?
14 Q. Well, I can't tell you how it's phrased there, but if you could
15 listen for the translation; it's a very short sentence. "Were people
16 killed in those buildings," referring to the "white house" and the "red
17 house." And your answer, very short sentence, was, "Not before my eyes."
18 I think you're being informed it's on 5, page 5. Do you remember
19 that answer?
20 A. I've found it.
21 Q. Okay. So --
22 A. Quite possibly.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. If I may, regarding this interview, we were discussing it
25 yesterday, I never gave an interview to Mr. Chris Bennett. I gave an
1 interview to the British television station ITN, as far as I can remember,
2 Channel 4, with a gentleman called Roy Bob, Bob Roy. A gentleman from the
3 International Crisis Staff was present. Whether he recorded that without
4 my knowing, I don't know.
5 These answers are quite possible. I'm not questioning them, but
6 I'm never sure whether Mr. Chris Bennett conveyed everything accurately
7 the way I said it. I'm simply not sure of that. I'm not saying that he
8 didn't, and I don't think there's any problem. I'd be glad to answer any
9 questions about it. But I want to tell you that I saw this interview for
10 the first time when Mr. Dusko Tadic gave me a copy of this newspaper in
11 the detention unit once I came here. It was never shown to me.
12 Mr. Chris Bennett didn't put questions to me. He was not in
13 charge of the interview. The questions were put by a reporter of this
14 English television station.
15 Q. The article, nonetheless, that was relied upon by your own lawyer
16 at your motion for provisional release, does ask that question. If you
17 had been present during the time of some murders, if you were on the
18 premises or if it were on your work hours, wherever you were supposed to
19 be, is it really your position that if you're informed of, directly or
20 indirectly, meaning you could even suspect it, that a murder has taken
21 place on your watch, that if you didn't see it, there's nothing you can do
22 about it? I mean, we know you can't bring the person back from the dead.
23 What would you do about the fact that there was a murder?
24 A. As a policeman, all information I gain, it is my duty to pass on
25 to my immediate superior, and then also the further procedure is
1 prescribed. My immediate superior also has no authority regarding the
2 actual commission of a criminal offence. He does not have the authority
3 to interfere.
4 Murder is a very grave criminal offence, and it is only the crime
5 department that can conduct an investigation. However, members of the
6 police, of course, are not prohibited from passing on useful information
7 in that connection. So this comes under the area of the investigation of
8 criminal acts.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry for interfering.
10 We've heard this already. I think Ms. Susan Somers' question was whether
11 you would make a report on it or not.
12 We know already the position of Mr. Kvocka, so please move on a
13 little, if you can.
14 MS. SOMERS:
15 Q. I'd like to point out, Judge Rodrigues is absolutely correct. I'm
16 trying to find out, what would you do -- what did you do when all the
17 murders that we have heard testimony about in this proceeding took place?
18 What did you do about them? To whom did you pass on the reports? Where
19 are the reports?
20 A. First of all, there's no allegation that I heard a report about
21 that. The information that I did hear, I did pass on. During my work
22 there, which was for I don't know how many shifts - it would be easy to
23 calculate that - we had information that there was mistreatment of
24 persons; that is, I could have heard such information from some guards and
25 from some detainees.
1 Each time I would pass on such information to Zeljko Meakic, and
2 each time his response was that he was aware of it, that he had heard
3 about it, but that he was unable to get closer to the sources of
4 information. And what he did next, I don't know.
5 Q. Well, now, didn't you worry that if nothing was done about it, and
6 you claim you passed the information on, that somebody higher up when they
7 found out about it would say, "Why didn't that Kvocka pass the information
8 on?" Wouldn't that have made you concerned that you might be blamed for
9 failing to act according to your regulations?
10 A. You see, no one is obligated to give me feedback information.
11 There is no obligation to inform the policeman as to what a crime
12 inspector has done. That is one point. Another is, if no one reproached
13 me for anything, then it means that he never established that I had
14 concealed anything.
15 So if I had glossed over something in silence, then there would be
16 disciplinary proceedings against me, if there were such a situation. This
17 is all hypothetical, because there were no such reproaches against me why
18 I had covered up something. Nobody said to me, "Kvocka, we have
19 established that you knew about something and you didn't tell us about
21 Q. Mr. Kvocka --
22 A. That was never established.
23 Q. -- how many times were you interviewed as a witness in an
24 investigation by the investigating authorities in connection with all the
25 murders and crimes that took place while you were at Omarska. Tell us
1 that, please.
2 A. As a witness? Never.
3 Q. Well, does that strike you as strange if you are reporting it,
4 because either you found a body or you saw someone hurt? If you're in the
5 chain of information, are you telling us, all of us as professional
6 persons, that you would not be interviewed by an investigating officer?
7 A. You're asking me as if I had thousands of reports about thousands
8 of dead. I had no information about a single dead. Information, no
9 information. I may have had some observations, and I don't want to mix
10 the two together, personal observations. But if we're talking about
11 information, the only information I had was that there were people who had
12 been beaten up and people with injuries. I never received any information
13 about dead people, except for seeing three or four bodies. I don't wish
14 to conceal that; I hope I'm not giving you that impression. I did see
15 four or five dead people.
16 Q. I would like to ask you about your comment, "You're asking me as
17 if I had thousands of reports about thousands of dead." I am indeed
18 asking you exactly that question, and I want to ask you if this was the
19 same question that was asked at your interview. On page 5 of the Bennett
20 interview, page 5 of the interview, where the interviewer asks you, "Do
21 you think that what has been written in books and various articles, namely
22 that between 2.000 and 3.000 people were killed in those camps, is true?"
23 Your answer, "I think it is not. I think that such a figure is out of the
24 question. That it would have been impossible to carry out something like
25 that because I really spent quite a lot of time there. And I do not
1 believe that such things could have happened while I was away."
2 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
4 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, a few moments ago
5 Mr. Kvocka denied that he ever gave an interview to Mr. Chris Bennett.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but in the response,
7 Mr. Kvocka can say, "I didn't say that." It is a question that will be
8 put to him.
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that was not the point
10 of my objection. I just wanted to object to the wording of Ms. Somers who
11 said, "You told Chris Bennett," and Kvocka has said that he didn't say
12 anything to Chris Bennett. That is all I'm objecting to.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but Mr. Simic, Mr. Kvocka
14 will easily reply, "I didn't say that."
15 So Ms. Susan Somers, put your question to the witness, "Did you
16 say that," and then read it.
17 MS. SOMERS: Shall I reread the question?
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Unfortunately, yes.
19 MS. SOMERS: Okay, no problem.
20 Q. The interview to which we are referring has a passage in which
21 there is a question, "Do you think that what has been written in books and
22 various articles, namely that between 2.000 and 3.000 people were killed
23 in those camps, is true?" Your answer, "I think it is not. I think that
24 such a figure is out of the question. That it would have been impossible
25 to carry out something like that because I really spent quite a lot of
1 time there. And I do not believe that such things could have happened
2 while I was away."
3 Are you suggesting that things did not happen at night? Are you
4 suggesting that things did not happen while you were not physically
5 present, albeit on shift? What are you suggesting?
6 A. Actually, this confirms everything I have said, only depends on
7 the context you look at it in. I was telling you what could have happened
8 in my presence, but not present in the camp, present at my workplace and
9 what could have happened if I was present among the people. And that is
10 what I told him. Something may have happened when I left 20 days after
11 the camp.
12 According to the books, everyone was killed in those camps. So
13 this is a hypothetical conversation. He says that he's reading in books
14 that so many people were killed. My response is, maybe they were all
15 killed. I'm telling you about what I saw, what I heard, and what I
16 actually did.
17 Q. Reading on, you were asked, "Do you have any idea of the possible
18 number of people that were killed?" Your words, "No. I never gave that
19 any thought. I know that I personally did not witness any killings."
20 Is this where you cut off your responsibility in your mind,
21 Mr. Kvocka, that you did not witness any killings? Is this what you're
22 telling this Chamber?
23 A. No, no. I didn't discuss the question of responsibility with a
24 journalist because he has no idea about the responsibilities of a
25 policeman. The journalist was asking me about my opinions, and I told him
1 I had no idea about any killings because I had not witnessed any. In
2 those days in Prijedor, I could not tell him about what had happened.
3 I do have my own idea about it. I saw four or five dead bodies,
4 and maybe those two persons that were killed during that incident, and I'm
5 not at all trying to avoid that. I also heard about two deaths from
6 natural causes. I didn't see it; I heard about it. Those are my
7 impressions and I can talk about those.
8 Q. I see no evidence in this article that the journalist was asking
9 for your opinions. It seems that the journalist came to your home, I
10 presume, because you had been indicted, and he appears to want to talk
11 about the facts that are alleged in that indictment. Was that your
13 A. Chris Bennett, if you want to know the whole truth, he wanted to
14 see whether I would resist arrest, and as that was my understanding of his
15 position, I received him nicely and we had a principled discussion. I
16 realise that his task was to prepare me for the arrest, and I wanted to
17 let him know that I would not resist but that I would not voluntarily
18 surrender. I suggested it would be better for me to receive a summons and
19 then I would go to Vienna, The Hague, Belgrade, Banja Luka, no matter
20 where, to be tried. But because of my family situation and the
21 environment I was living in, I could not surrender voluntarily.
22 That was the whole purpose of this interview. He wasn't really
23 interested in what I thought or felt at all.
24 Q. Mr. Kvocka, in terms of the issue of responsibility, on page 2 of
25 the interview, you are asked: "According to the indictments from The
1 Hague, you are responsible for what took place at Omarska. What do you
2 think about that?" Your answer: "Well, I think that I am not
3 responsible, because I never ordered anyone to do anything --"
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, I am sorry,
5 but in order to avoid objections, I think once we heard from the
6 witness -- once we heard from the witness what he said that this was not
7 an interview, that there were no questions and answers between the
8 journalist and the witness, perhaps admit that as a working hypothesis and
9 say, "This document contains such and such information." Then you can put
10 your questions. Otherwise, we are going to have objections all the time.
11 You said, "The journalist asked you this and you answered that." This was
12 all the subject of an objection. If you continue in this manner, you are
13 risking further objections. Do you understand?
14 So let us adopt the hypothesis that this is a document containing
15 some information, and use that information in your questions.
16 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I'm happy to recategorise that. I just
17 wanted to point out to the Chamber that in the very first paragraph, it
18 does specifically state that "Only three days ago, before he was arrested
19 in Prijedor," that would be on page 1, "Miroslav Kvocka, former warden of
20 the camp in Omarska, gave an interview to our reporter."
21 It is from this language, Your Honour, that I'm taking it. I was
22 not trying to impose any type of categorisation that was not there. Also,
23 it was a taped conversation as well. If the Chamber would like - I just
24 wanted to straighten that point out - I'm happy to say, "In the discussion
25 with ..." That's fine.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
2 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] I do not wish to complicate matters
3 further. But Ms. Somers and myself know that Mr. Chris Bennett is deputy
4 manager for crisis situations and not a reporter of Slobodna Bosna.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, please
7 MS. SOMERS:
8 Q. The question that I posed to you, if I can remember that far back,
9 is about responsibility and that, in fact, was what the question was. I
10 started to read to you your answer to the question: "According to the
11 indictments from The Hague, you are responsible for what took place at
12 Omarska. What do you think about that?" And you said, "Well, I think
13 that I am not responsible, because I never ordered anyone to do anything
14 that would be contrary to international conventions and if someone did try
15 something like that in my presence I would prevent it. Such actions
16 sometimes brought even my life into danger, but I nevertheless prevented
17 such things, given the fact that I am a professional policeman and that
18 that is the only thing I know how to do." And then you were asked about
19 some of the examples of how you prevented things.
20 Are you telling us, by virtue of what we've just read, that if you
21 had ordered someone to do something contrary to international conventions,
22 that you would feel yourself to be responsible?
23 A. This means all kinds of things. First of all, Chris Bennett said,
24 "You are indicted as a commander," or you said, "You were the commander,"
25 so it is something that he said.
1 Furthermore, somewhere earlier on, I think, he spoke about -- to
2 the effect, "You have no problems. You are not responsible." He was
3 trying to persuade me to surrender. That's what I wish to underline. He
4 said, "You have some command responsibility. I took down the indictment
5 from the Internet," so on and so forth. But that doesn't matter. I told
6 him that I was not guilty because I hadn't done anything contrary to the
7 Geneva Conventions, considering that the rules which governed my
8 activities were not in violation of the Geneva Conventions. I spoke about
9 that yesterday so I don't wish to take any more time.
10 So as an ordinary policeman, an ordinary policeman may issue some
11 orders but to citizens. When you say "orders," it's a very broad
12 concept. One could prepare a whole study about it. A policeman does
13 issue orders to citizens. "Stop," "Come here," "Switch off your engine,"
14 "Get out of your vehicle," these are all orders. There are thousands of
15 orders. But a policeman does not issue an order to another policeman.
16 Q. You went on to discuss areas or examples of how you prevented
17 certain bad things from happening. The instances you gave, you said,
18 "... mainly concerned the attempts of some people from outside to enter
19 the Investigations Centre unauthorised and possibly do something. I
20 prevented some people from entering the Centre."
21 Whom did you prevent from entering the centre? Tell us, please.
22 A. I prevented -- now, the question is where is the borderline which
23 implies entering or not entering the centre. But I did prevent entry into
24 the centre by a person, though that was questionable too because he was
25 wearing a military uniform, he had a military booklet, and he had the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 authority to enter. I happen to know that person. He was nicknamed
2 Djordjin. He is a well-known petty criminal from the surroundings of
3 Omarska. He came in a drunken state, armed with a rifle.
4 When I saw him from the window of the office making a noise, I
5 realised that he was not coming in any official capacity. So I went out.
6 I heard the words that he was looking for the hodza, cursing his mother,
7 that he would judge him, and so on. I prevented that person from
8 entering. He did enter the camp, he got close to the administration
9 building, so one could say that he had entered. But I removed him from
10 there anyway.
11 I told Zeljko about this and Zeljko told me that the military
12 police had already taken him over and was investigating things. He had a
13 cocked rifle, and all I had was a pistol on me. But in view of the fact
14 that I knew him as a criminal, I didn't hesitate to intervene.
15 Q. What you're saying is that he recognised your authority, didn't
17 A. That was not an issue. I was a policeman and he was a petty
18 criminal. I would come across him frequently. I caught him breaking into
19 a kiosk and stealing three boxes of cigarettes, or breaking into a cafe to
20 steal of bottle of cognac. For him, I'm the Lord Almighty at that
21 moment. He is an ordinary village criminal, you know.
22 Q. Were there other guards on duty who could have handled this? Why
23 did you take this on?
24 A. I don't know about others. I'm talking about myself.
25 Q. We're talking about Omarska camp. There were other guards; they
1 were on duty, were they not? Were they not?
2 A. Yes, correct.
3 Q. Why did you intervene?
4 A. I felt capable of doing it and duty-bound of doing it. Maybe
5 others supported him even. The times were very hard. It was not an
6 ideal, regulated society of law and order. If a chief wants something and
7 you are supposed to prevent it, that is a very, very serious situation and
8 it is very difficult to discuss it in this way, as if everything was
9 ideal, automated, regulated.
10 There were guards there who came from who knows where and they
11 were just told that they would be guards and they wanted bad things to
12 happen rather than preventing bad things. Those were the circumstances I
13 was working in.
14 Q. You were more capable or possibly more powerful than the other
15 guards, were you not, than the guards there?
16 A. You would have to gather all of them and submit us to a test so
17 that we can see what power each one -- each of us had. I did what I
18 thought I was capable of. Maybe there may have been other more capable
19 policemen there than myself. We would really have to be tested and --
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, would you please
21 move on to another question. The witness has already answered.
22 MS. SOMERS: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. I would like to ask you about what you did in the course of a day
24 on shift. Describe your average day at Omarska, please, how much time you
25 spent in various locations, your office. Give us from morning till
2 A. That happened only on several days, maybe ten days, that I worked
3 from morning till evening. I didn't make any calculations. Half of my
4 working hours were spent in the office of the duty service. We all know
5 where that office was located and how the duty was organised. So from
6 time to time I would leave that office because I felt, I felt superfluous,
7 so to speak, and also because it was -- I felt better outside.
8 Sometimes Zeljko would give me a specific task to carry out. Once
9 I remembered that he brought some cigarettes and he said, "Kvocka, would
10 you please go and distribute these." When I say "please," I'm only
11 paraphrasing. It was actually an order. He told me to distribute these
12 cigarettes to the guards. And on that occasion I actually stole some
13 cigarettes from that package and gave them to Nusreta Sivac who was
14 begging me for cigarettes every day, and --
15 Q. Isn't --
16 A. -- this is actually for the guards, but the guards heard that.
17 They knew I had taken away some cigarettes that were supposed to go to
19 And also, I would be standing outside in front of the building
20 from time to time that other portion of my working hours that I spent
21 there. I would be near the water taps which are located below the duty
22 service office, looking from the window of that office, near the entrance.
23 There were guards who wanted to have contact with the people over there,
24 who were interested in their duties and wanted to know what was going on.
25 And according to Zeljko's instructions or orders, I would from
1 time to time go to the duty station in Omarska. On three occasions I went
2 to my village in my sector to do some job there. There was a fight in
3 front of a cafe there. There was a robbery of a shop in the village of
4 Jelicka on one occasion, and all those places are within my area of
5 responsibility, so from time to time I would go there to see what was
6 going on. I cannot remember all of the details.
7 Q. Are you telling us that while you were on shift, while you were
8 officially assigned to work at Omarska camp, you were out running around
9 to other areas that belonged to the jurisdiction, the pre-wartime
10 jurisdiction, of the Omarska Police Department? Is that what you're
11 telling me, that you left?
12 A. Yes. Of the police station department, that is, of my patrol
13 beat, the villages of Krivicka, Jelicka, Maricka, and Gradina. They are
14 still within that area, which is my patrol sector. That is where I am
15 Chief of Patrol.
16 Q. Page 4 of the discussion that we were looking at in 3/201, page 4,
17 you were asked, "What actually happened when you tried to calm things
18 down? What did you have in mind?" That relates to another question, but
19 your answer was, "Well, nothing happened. People mainly listened to me
20 while I was there, while I was present. I must tell you that I was
21 present there between 12 and 15 hours every day."
22 Isn't the reality that you spent maybe one or two hours in the
23 office, and ten hours outside the office on the premises of Omarska?
24 Isn't that the reality?
25 A. No, no. This is not what I can conclude from the text that you
1 have just read. We are speaking of the situation in general here.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I must say that if I
4 read the text that is in front of me, I have to say that there's no
5 mention of "every" day but "during" the day. Not "every" day.
6 MS. SOMERS: The English translation, Your Honours, that I have, I
7 believe that you have, indicates "every" day.
8 Q. And if it's "during" the day, that's a long workday, isn't it?
9 Did you not alternate 12-hour shifts with Zeljko Meakic? When he was
10 working his shift, you were not working. One of you was present and the
11 other was not. Was that not your agreement?
12 A. No, no. That's what he was trying to achieve when he was absent,
13 that is, in his absence, that there should be one of us on duty on the
14 shift who would have some kind of police experience and knowledge which he
15 would use to prevent such things.
16 And you heard from your own witnesses that Zeljko was there all
17 the time, that he was, that he was -- he would sleep there as well;
18 however, that from time to time, he would absent himself from the camp.
19 During those periods of time, he wanted me to be there and to establish a
20 shift like that there, because he trusted me. He believed that I would
21 inform him of everything, that I would also intervene in cases of trouble,
22 if I see that. So for those reasons, the situation was as it was.
23 And I think that there was a case or two when I spent 15 days --
24 15 hours there; however, it was not every day. And this is the way you
25 should read this text. There was a day or two when I spent there 15 days
1 [as interpreted], for example. On the first day I spent there 20 days [as
2 interpreted] because Zeljko went to Prijedor to get instructions and
3 orders and to be briefed there.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, on the first day you spent 20 hours not 20
5 days, on the transcript. You never spent 20 days.
6 A. Yes, yes, about 20 hours.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry to interrupt, but I
8 think we have a problem here. Mr. Kvocka, you have to speak slowly.
9 Everything that we say in respect of other witnesses applies to you as
10 well, because what we can read here in the English transcript is the
11 following [In English]: "There was a day or two when I spent there 15
12 days." It is not possible to spend 15 days in one day, so we know that's
13 hours. But it's logical, we know immediately that it's hours. So if we
14 are going to interrupt constantly, we don't receive the order.
15 [Interpretation] So Mr. Kvocka, I have to ask you once again to
16 speak slowly so that your words can be adequately entered into the record,
17 and in that way we can avoid problems, unless it's intentional. In that
18 case, there's nothing I can do about it.
19 Mr. Simic, do you have any other objections? I see that you're
20 still on your feet.
21 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, you're quite right as
22 regards the speed with which Mr. Kvocka is speaking. However, we have to
23 correct what Judge Riad has brought up. What we read in the transcript is
24 the following, that on the first day he spent there 20 days. However, he
25 wanted to say that on that first occasion, he worked two days in a row.
1 That is what I wanted to be entered into the record.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, could you please
3 clarify the issue; and also, the same applies to you, would you also slow
4 down, please.
5 MS. SOMERS: I apologise for my speed, Your Honours.
6 Q. The question was about the number of hours per day you spent, and
7 I had somewhere back on the transcript asked you if the reality wasn't
8 that you spent one or two hours in the office and the rest of a 12-hour
9 day going around the premises of Omarska camp. And then you gave an
11 A. I answered that approximately half of that time of my shift would
12 be spent in the office, and the other half somewhere outside. So that
13 would be more than one hour or two. Usually during my day shift, and when
14 I say "usually," I say I would usually spend eight, ten, maybe 12 hours
15 there, if I was working full time, which was not very often, from morning
16 till evening. That happened maybe on two or three occasions. During that
17 time, I would probably spend five or six hours in the office and then five
18 or six hours outside the office.
19 Q. You and Mr. Meakic did not have an agreement whereby one of you
20 would be there for a 12-hour shift and the other would be there for the
21 other 12-hour shift? Is that your evidence?
22 A. No. First of all, I could not have an agreement with Meakic. I
23 could only be ordered to do something by Meakic. I guess you can say that
24 we can't -- we had an agreement, for example, when Meakic told me,
25 "Kvocka, we had an agreement yesterday and you didn't do it," but
1 actually, it was not an agreement. It was an order. It was just the way
2 we spoke. It was a kind of jargon that we used. We used the word
4 Second, I told you that my impression was that it was his desire
5 to organise things in his absence; that is, when he was absent for a
6 couple of hours, that I should be there. So the schedule would be sort of
7 disrupted. There was a schedule which was in place in principle, but then
8 it would also change according to the situation. Sometimes my shift would
9 be until 10.00, and then he would come and tell me, "Now you are free, you
10 can go, and come back tomorrow around noon."
11 But, you know, the way we speak about these shifts, one would get
12 an impression that I worked there for ten years. I only worked ten or 15
13 shifts, maybe 20. It's not important.
14 Q. If you would please look at --
15 A. Altogether.
16 Q. If you would kindly look at the record of interview between
17 yourself and Investigator Reid which is 3/203.
18 MS. SOMERS: The English page, Your Honours, is 52, and the
19 Serbo-Croat page would be 57. Again, in English 52, and Serbo-Croat 57.
20 Q. At the bottom of page 52, you're discussing with Investigator Reid
21 rotation of shifts, and you gave the hours, and then Investigator Reid
22 asks you, or says, "Okay, that's fine. But it was 12 hours in length.
23 And did you work the opposite shift to Mr. Meakic?" Your words, "Yes, one
24 could say that with respect to his order that he would not be there when I
25 was not there, and I would be there when he was not."
1 Again, turning to page 59, which is in Serbo-Croat 64. On page 59
2 English, looking a little bit below the middle of the page, if it's on the
3 ELMO, where Reid asks you about a concern for yourself and Meakic, et
4 cetera, and you said, "I had no concern there. I just felt it wasn't my
5 business." Then Reid asks you about shifts.
6 "Okay. So now, you've arrived for work or whatever shift it is,
7 the 12-hour shift, can I just try and get some idea of what the structure
8 was as far as the police was concerned? Either yourself, or Mr. Meakic is
9 there, is there or was there somebody below you or Mr. Meakic and above
10 the other police guards, for instance, a shift leader?"
11 This is the second reference to shifts. Which is it, what you're
12 telling us today or what you told Investigator Reid? Which shifts did you
13 work? How many hours a day did you put in? Please tell us. Or is it
14 what you told the person who was involved in the discussion at your home?
15 A. It's all the same, as far as I can see. I always said the same
16 thing. I told you that Zeljko, whenever he was absent for a couple of
17 hours, that he always wanted -- I mean we worked together. We did not
18 have very strict shifts of 12, 24, 48 hours. I don't know what the system
19 would have been. I was there on my shift. If, for example, today the
20 plan was that I would be working for 12 hours, then I would also be off
21 duty for 24 hours after that.
22 However, sometimes what happened would be the following: Zeljko
23 and I were there for 12 hours. Then he would tell me I'm going to
24 continue for several hours more because he had some job to do, or
25 sometimes he would say, "I'm going to leave now and you continue your
1 shift for several hours more, and then you will compensate for that time
3 There is a schedule that is a preset schedule, but there are
4 also -- it was also possible to deviate from the schedule. It is one and
5 the same thing that I told the investigator here, the journalist Chris
6 Bennett, and you. It's all the same.
7 Q. Excuse me. You were asked on page 59 as well about whether or not
8 there were people between -- let me repeat it. The question that Reid
9 asked you was: "... either yourself, or Mr. Meakic is there, is there or
10 was there somebody below you or Mr. Meakic and above the other police
11 guards, for instance, a shift leader?" Your answer: "I know the term. I
12 think that Meakic appointed three people to be shift leaders." Question:
13 "Do you know who those three people were?"
14 A. No.
15 Q. Your answer --
16 A. No, it's not correct. Do not go on because that's not what it
17 states here. I said I think that he appointed three people to act on
18 behalf of the shift and not to be shift leaders. That is at least what I
19 can read here in my text.
20 Q. The question:
21 REID: Do you know who those three people were?
22 KVOCKA: Yes.
23 REID: Who were they?
24 KVOCKA: Milojica Kos, Momcilo Gruban, and Mladjo Radic.
25 REID: Did they have nicknames, those three people?
1 KVOCKA: Milojica Kos was called Krle, Momcilo Gruban was
2 called Ckalja, and Mladjo Radic was called Krkan.
3 Did you have any part in the selection of these people?
4 A. No, I was not involved in the selection of these people. However,
5 two or three days later, Zeljko told me that certain changes had taken
6 place in the meantime, that the larger number of detainees was expected
7 and that he had to reorganise our work. So far we had been working in
8 12-hour shifts.
9 Those three first days were actually terrible when it comes to
10 shifts. There were no shifts, properly speaking. He said at that point
11 that he had to organise three shifts at least in order to provide security
12 to such a large number of people, that that was what he had to do. He
13 said that he needed to set up a duty service and that he needed people for
14 this duty service who can use the telephone and radio communications, and
15 that he needed people whom he could trust and people who would inform him
16 about everything that was going on, who would not hide anything from him.
17 He said, "Mladjo Radic is an experienced policeman. He's okay."
18 Then he went on and he said, "Momcilo Gruban is an old reserve policeman,
19 highly respected by his colleagues, so he will be okay too." And then he
20 said, "I don't know about this Milojica guy. He's a new one but he seems
21 to be very nice, very calm and reliable." That is what Zeljko told me.
22 Then I said, "Well, then, why not take him as well? You're free
23 to take him on if that is the kind of impression and conviction you have
24 about him."
25 He mentioned several other names as well. Bob Reid continues with
1 his questions in the interview. Rajko Marmat, Mico Hrvacanin, Stole
2 Vuleta were also considered. Those were all men from the reserve --
3 special duty service members. There was a need for a larger number of
4 duty officers within this overall security service.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, I think we have to
6 make a break at this point. I wanted to finish this area but it doesn't
7 seem to be possible at this point.
8 A half-hour break.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.56 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.28 a.m.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
12 So, Ms. Susan Somers, let us continue, please.
13 MS. SOMERS:
14 Q. Finally, having settled on some shifts, can you please describe
15 the hours of the first shift, or generally give the hours of the shifts,
16 if you would do that.
17 A. Generally speaking, 12 hours you were on duty and 24 hours you
18 were off.
19 Q. And when would the 12-hour shifts start, please?
20 A. In the morning, 7.00 or 8.00.
21 Q. Looking at your page -- our page 52 in English, and I think that
22 the B/C/S edition was -- let me see, it was page 58 in B/C/S. At the
23 bottom of page 52, the discussion between you and Investigator Reid was:
24 REID: What was the duration of those shifts?
25 KVOCKA: Twelve hours.
1 REID: Did you rotate shifts like you'd work say, from 7.00
2 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. one day, and then on another
3 occasion, 7.00 p.m. to 7.00 a.m.?
4 KVOCKA: Yes. First shift, from 7.00 in the morning till
5 7.00 in the evening and then from 7.00 in the
6 evening till 7.00 in the morning. But I don't know
7 whether the shifts started at 6.00 or 7.00.
8 REID: Okay, that's fine. But it was 12 hours in length.
9 And did you work at the opposite shift to
10 Mr. Meakic?
11 We've discussed that. How often would a person have an evening
12 shift? Would a person have it two days in a row? Are you able to tell us
14 A. You mean entire shifts?
15 Q. Yes. How many times would you work, for example, an evening shift
16 in a row, 12-hour evening shift or a day shift? What was the normal
17 pattern of shifts?
18 A. In principle, it was impossible to work two nights in a row, so if
19 we're doing the day shift today, then the next day we would work the night
20 shift, in the evening. And then the day after that, we would do the day
22 Q. Now, that did not apply to you, did it? You did not work night
23 shifts generally, or did you?
24 A. I did. I worked four or five night shifts while I was in the
25 investigation centre, something like that.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 Q. But in general, you had the day shift; is that correct?
2 A. Maybe twice as many day shifts, and that's all. Maybe even
3 fewer. Maybe an equal number. I don't know exactly. I can't add it up
4 now in a hurry.
5 Q. You were discussing the shift commander selection process. Why
6 was it that Meakic asked you for your input on these commanders?
7 A. First of all, it was not a selection of shift leaders. It was a
8 selection of workers to the duty service. No one said that they were
9 shift leaders, nor can Zeljko appoint shift leaders. It is quite a
10 different thing that people called it, loosely speaking, using various
11 terms. I was referred to as a director. When I removed that person from
12 the camp, then people who were nearby applauded and said "Bravo,
13 director." So in some people's minds, I may have been a director.
14 But Zeljko could not appoint shift leaders, nor did anybody say
15 that. I said in this interview with Mr. Reid that that term was also
16 used, not only referring to these three men, but to some others as well.
17 And my input, to come back to your question, was that he thought that as I
18 was older and more experienced as a policeman than Zeljko Meakic, I know
19 people better. I know citizens better.
20 I had spent more time on guard duty with some people. I was on
21 guard duty for three shifts to the side of the administration building,
22 between the entrance and the administration building. These were
23 eight-hour shifts. I don't know why they were shorter shifts.
24 Q. How much older are you than Meakic?
25 A. I already had some ten years of service when he joined the
2 Q. Did you --
3 A. But we became sector leaders, I think, simultaneously. He may
4 have become that before me, a year before or a year after me. It's hard
5 to remember. But it could be said that we both became sector leaders
6 roughly at the same time.
7 Q. And from the position of sector leader, did his career take off
8 faster than your career? What was your perception?
9 A. I had no promotion from the position of sector leader, and if we
10 look at him, one could say that he did move up because in March or April,
11 he became commander of the department, if that can be considered a
12 promotion. Actually, it is, yes. After all, it is a step up.
13 Q. And that's March and April of 1992, Mr. Kvocka? 1992?
14 A. Yes, yes, yes.
15 Q. Getting back to the shift leaders, the term of which you did agree
16 with Mr. Reid was a correct term, please tell us exactly when you first
17 met Milojica Kos.
18 A. I saw Milojica a long time before the war for the first time, and
19 then I wouldn't see him for a period of time, and then I would see him
20 again. The last few years prior to the war he was a waiter in a catering
21 establishment near the police station where we often went to have coffee.
22 Q. So how often would you say you saw Mr. Kos before his taking up
23 his duties at Omarska camp?
24 A. From time to time. I can't be more precise than that. I would
25 see him three days in a row every day, and then for a month I wouldn't see
1 him at all, and that's how it went.
2 Q. Did you socialise with him?
3 A. No. Outside that catering establishment we were never in the same
4 company, outside this facility where he was working as a waiter.
5 Q. Did you frequent the restaurant where he was working as a waiter
6 personally, or did your colleagues in the police department frequent it?
7 A. Several colleagues frequented it. It is a restaurant nearby. You
8 just cross over a meadow - and one could call it a park now - 50 metres
9 across a meadow and you reach the establishment. The owner of this
10 restaurant was a lady, a rather good-looking lady. Maybe that was an
11 added attraction. The policemen like to have a cup of coffee in her
12 presence, in her company.
13 Q. Now, what was it, if he shared this with you, that Mr. Meakic
14 thought about Mr. Kos that made him, I believe your words were, reliable?
15 A. When he said that he couldn't make up his mind who should -- he
16 should put in the duty service, then he said, "I don't know this young man
17 very well, but he seems to be a highly reliable and quiet and controlled
18 young man. Perhaps I could put him in the duty service, because I believe
19 he will pass on any information to me and tell me frankly if somebody
20 didn't come to work," because that is an obligation of the duty officer,
21 to record people coming to work. If he gets information about an
22 incident, that he will not cover it up, that he would find Zeljko and
23 inform him about it so that steps could be taken; that if Zeljko was not
24 present, that he would call the duty service in Prijedor which would take
25 over. And it was in that sense that a person had to be reliable, who
1 would not keep quiet about something and who would not delay action.
2 Q. Did Mr. Meakic indicate how well he personally knew Kos, bearing
3 in mind the character reference you've just given us about Mr. Kos?
4 A. My impression was that he knew him almost as well as I did during
5 the years that we would meet there for a cup of coffee or in passing in
6 Omarska. I know Kos superficially from his childhood days, that's the
7 only difference perhaps.
8 So he was just hesitating. He knew more or less as much about Kos
9 as I did. He hesitated probably because he was new. That was my
10 impression; I may not be right.
11 Q. Turning to page 71 of the record of interview with Investigator
12 Reid, which would be, let me see, pages 76 and 77 in the Serbo-Croat
13 edition, version, looking in the upper half of the page going toward the
14 middle, Investigator Reid is asking some questions about, "Can you
15 indicate the rooms that the women slept in?" And your response is, "In
16 these two." You were obviously pointing to some diagram or perhaps a
17 model. "I'm indicating B11 and B10."
18 Reid says, "Thank you. And you stated yesterday that the shift
19 leaders, Mr. Kos, Mr. Gruban, and Mr. Radic used this area on the first
20 floor as well. Can you indicate what room they used?" Your answer is,
21 was, "They used B5, the same room as ...." And Reid says, "That's the
22 same room that yourself and Mr. Meakic used?" Your words, "Yes, it's the
23 same one."
24 Were you frequently or infrequently in the same room with
25 Mr. Radic, Mr. Kos, and Mr. Gruban, or any combination of them, while they
1 were on shift?
2 A. I would frequently be with some of them. And Bob Reid says here
3 that I said they were shift leaders. I never said that they were shift
4 leaders. I tried to clear that up a moment ago. I said that this term
5 was used for some people, and they were among them, but more in the sense
6 chief, boss, or director. As I was saying a moment ago, if you do a good
7 deed, a detainee would say, "Thank you, director."
8 So that was a manner of speaking, the use of these terms. I never
9 told Mr. Bob Reid that they were shift leaders. I think that was quite
10 clear a moment ago.
11 Q. Your relationship with Mr. Kos, which you have described as
12 superficial, did you feel that that superficial relationship was
13 significant enough or had enough trust for you to ask Mr. Kos to look
14 after your brothers-in-law in the "glass house" after you left the Omarska
16 A. I would always ask Mr. Kos to do that, but also many others, but
17 not all of them. I am speaking in general terms referring to policemen in
18 general. I would ask Radic or Gruban, and they knew, in view of our
19 relationships as colleagues. But Gruban, as far as I remember, happened
20 to be there when I brought them back, so I addressed him. As for the
21 others, that was implied.
22 Q. On pages 88 and 89 of your interview with Investigator Reid, that
23 would be in Serbo-Croat -- excuse me, 88 and 89 would be 94 and 95.
24 That's 94 and 95.
25 Looking in the bottom half in the English of page 88, there's a
1 discussion that is about a glassed-in area known as the "glass house," and
2 Reid asks you, "How did you know that your brothers-in-law were placed
3 into the glass house after you left the camp?" Your words, "I, I was there
4 when they put them there." Reid, "Okay. And who arranged for them to go
5 into the glass house?" Your words, "One of the guards but I drove them to
6 the building." Reid, "And did you ask, did you ask for them to be put
7 into the glass house?" Your words, "I, I don't know but I told, I don't
8 know what I said exactly but I told Momcilo Gruban, nicknamed Ckalja, to
9 look after them and also to Milojica Kos. Or I might have told Gruban to
10 ask Kos to look after them. Anyway, I knew already that I was leaving the
11 centre so I just asked them to look after them. And we'd know what that
12 means." Reid, "Why the glass house?" Your words --
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me. Yes, Mr. Nikolic.
14 No? No objection? I'm sorry for the interruption. Please continue,
15 Ms. Susan Somers.
16 MS. SOMERS:
17 Q. Reid, "Why the glass house?" Your words, "I had the impression
18 that this was the safest room and the one where, with the best
20 Did Kos and Gruban look after your brothers-in-law to your
21 satisfaction so that they were not harmed? What was your assessment of
22 the care they gave them?
23 A. I'm confident that they did as much as they could. However, you
24 heard the testimony of my brother-in-law and the problems with Zeljko
25 Savic, who took advantage of every occasion to provoke them and mistreat
1 them. I don't know all the things that he did to them. Apparently, my
2 brother-in-law doesn't want to tell me everything either.
3 So Kos, Ckalja, Dzigi, maybe Radic, whatever they could do to help
4 was to give them some food, to pass on to them what I was sending them.
5 And if they were brave (redacted)
11 Q. (redacted)
14 A. (redacted)
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] (redacted)
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, may we enter private session for just
21 one second?
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that is better.
23 Otherwise, we risk repeating the name. Let's go into private session.
24 [Private session]
13 Page 8167 redacted – private session
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may continue. We're in open
10 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Looking at the discussion between you and a journalist, which is
12 3/201 which we've referred to today, the English version, page 5, or
13 perhaps bottom of page 4 and then going on to page 5 -- I'm sorry, I don't
14 know the B/C/S page. It's a discussion about your wife's three brothers.
15 So if that would help you find it, Mr. Kvocka, it's talking about your
17 At the very bottom of English page 4, you and the interviewer are
18 discussing your brothers-in-law and questions about their stay or lack of
19 stay in Omarska. You do go into mentioning:
20 Q. Did you try to have members of your family or your wife's
21 family who were in Omarska released?
22 A. I don't know how to explain that to you. I did not try
23 to have them released. For they also had been brought to
24 the Investigations Centre and I thought that if they were
25 guilty of anything in connection with the organising of
1 the attack on the Serbian authorities in Prijedor, they
2 should undergo the procedure, but for the sake of
3 providing for their security when I was absent I put them
4 up with my parents near the camp, the Investigations
6 Q. Whom did you have accommodated in their house?
7 A. My wife's three brothers.
8 Q. So they were being processed?
9 A. They had been brought in with the others but I took them
10 away from there.
11 Q. What happened to them later?
12 A. They were with my parents for about a month and when I
13 left the Investigations Centre I returned them to the
14 Centre again and asked some of my friends to keep an eye
15 on them and that nothing stupid should happen to them.
16 These same friends would be Kos, Gruban, and the other names you
17 mentioned? These are your friends that you're talking about?
18 A. Maybe some others. I didn't have any particular ones in mind. I
19 considered all of those who respected me as a policeman to be my friends.
20 I'm not talking about any kind of special friendship. Of course some were
21 closer than others. Some had greater trust in my ability as a policeman;
22 others ignored me. So, of course, those who ignored me and swore at me
23 behind my back, I certainly wouldn't address them for any such
25 Q. But, in fact, you didn't use the term "colleagues," "associates,"
1 you used the term "friends." Is that what you meant, "friends"?
2 A. Yes, normally. If you're talking about the name which we won't
3 mention now, he was a friend before he became a policeman.
4 Q. I'm talking about Kos. He was a friend, from what you have just
5 written -- I'm sorry, what I've read to you.
6 A. Yes. In the police service, when you have six employees in a
7 remote village, all the policemen automatically are friends. That is the
8 meaning behind it all. I never had any conflict or any incidents among
9 those policemen. They are men who rely on one another, who have to watch
10 each other's back in the case of any intervention. That already becomes
12 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Can you just specify, when you said,
13 speaking of confining them to your friends, "so that nothing stupid would
14 happen to them," the word stupid doesn't seem very clear to me. Can you
15 just tell us what you mean by that?
16 A. In view of the overall situation in the investigations centre, and
17 around it on a broader scale, it was possible to imagine something stupid
18 happening to anyone. He could be beaten; he may even perhaps get killed.
19 Especially in their case, in view of the fact that I was already despised
20 even among some of the guards and a section of the population, something
21 could have intentionally happened to them. They could have been
22 mistreated, humiliated, to put it mildly. He could perhaps -- they could
23 perhaps even get killed. But, anyway, we've heard testimony here that
24 they were threatened, or one of them.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
1 MS. SOMERS:
2 Q. Looking at English page 53 of your interview with Investigator
3 Reid, and that would be page 58 of the Serbo-Croat edition, there is a
4 discussion or question and answer section between you and Reid about what
5 would happen when Zeljko Meakic was not there. I wanted to ask you about
6 how things actually happened when he was not there.
7 Reid asks you -- well, at the top of the page, Reid says to you,
8 "So it would be a case that Mr. Meakic, for instance, as an example,
9 would work from 6.00 a.m. or 7.00 a.m. in the morning, to 6.00 p.m. or
10 7.00 p.m. in the night, and then you would come on at 6.00 p.m. or 7.00
11 p.m. and then work through till the next morning?" You respond, "Yes,
12 although it does not necessarily mean that this was always the case."
13 Reid, "No, but generally that was the way it was to work?" You answered,
14 "Yes." Reid, "Now, I've discussed this with you before but I'm just not
15 clear. When Mr. Meakic was not in the camp, who was in control of the
16 police security?" Your answer, "It's difficult for me to explain. In a
17 certain sense, and that was the general impression, that I was. I would
18 say that part of the policemen, the newly recruited reserve policemen
19 thought that way. That's it." Reid asks you, "But in your mind, when you
20 were there without Mr. Meakic, say working from 6.00 p.m. or 7.00 p.m. at
21 night to 6.00 a.m. or 7.00 a.m. the next morning, who in your mind was in
22 charge of the interrogation centre as far as the police and the security
23 were concerned?" Your words, "It was considered that that was me. And
24 Zeljko told me, Zeljko ordered me to look after the things that I
25 mentioned before."
1 Reid asks you, "And did you see as your role when you were, as you
2 say, the person in charge when he was away, as running the interrogation
3 centre the same way as he would run it, with the same authority that he
4 had?" Your answer, "I'm not sure how to answer this question, it's not
5 quite clear. In a certain sense, I would look as if I were in charge. I
6 did not have a place like all the other guards. I had Zeljko's order and
7 the request to help him, help the people who did not know their job."
8 Reid, "Would you agree with me, though, that there must be somebody in
9 charge when the commander is not there?" Your words, "Generally, yes."
10 Reid, "Would you see that person as being you?" You answer, "I personally
11 don't. I was never a commander in my life."
12 Reid, "Then who, then see the problem is, if that's what you were
13 thinking, then what occurred was that there was nobody responsible for the
14 running of the interrogation centre?" Your words, "That's possible."
15 Reid, "Okay. You said earlier that the guards, or the police officers
16 would have seen you as the person in charge when Mr. Meakic wasn't there?"
17 Your word, "Yes." Reid, "Do you believe that the prisoners would also
18 have seen you in that light as well?" Your answer, "Yes, they could get
19 that impression."
20 You have heard months of testimony from various people who have
21 said just that. Do you recall, and I will be very specific, the testimony
22 of Witness J, Witness J, whom you knew for a long time?
23 I am looking, for reference for the record, I'm looking at the
24 transcript of Witness J, open session, page 4742.
25 Q. Now, Miroslav Kvocka, what role did he play in the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
2 A. Miroslav Kvocka was Zeljko Meakic's deputy, that is to
3 say, the Deputy Commander of the Omarska camp.
4 Moving down a little bit, "Q What do you mean that the guards talked
5 about it?" I'm sorry let me move up a little bit more.
6 Q. And how did you come to know about this?
7 A. Well, it was no secret. People talked about it. The
8 guards talked about it, and you could tell by his conduct.
9 Q. First, what do you mean that the guards talked about it?
10 What would you hear the guards say?
11 A. Well, they would say, "I have to ask the deputy. I'm
12 going to see the deputy. I'm going to see Kvocka," that kind
13 of thing.
14 And then they move down a little bit, and Witness J is asked by the
16 Q. Did you ever see or hear Kvocka issuing instructions to
17 the guards?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And what was the nature of those instructions?
20 A. He acted like a superior and would tell the guards where
21 to go. He would say, "Go to that section." He would give
22 them their schedule. They liked him, always listened to the
23 orders or instructions he gave them. I never heard anybody
24 refuse to act upon his word.
25 The witness was asked, "Did you have occasion to observe how the guards
1 treated Miroslav Kvocka?"
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, I really do
3 not wish to interfere with your line of questioning, but I have to
4 intervene at this point. Do you really need to read and repeat everything
5 that is already in the record in order to ask your question? You can see
6 the transcript, that we have a number of questions and answers, and we
7 will no longer know who they can be attributed to, whether it was before
8 or after. It's really up to you.
9 We decided that you can do, of course, as you please with the time
10 that is allotted to you, but I must draw your attention to the fact that
11 you repeat many things. Maybe it would have been enough to mention the
12 page of the transcript that you wish to quote; otherwise, we will be
13 making too many repetitions and too many re-readings of the transcript,
14 but, of course, you can do as you please.
15 At least, I think that it would be good if you have to quote the
16 transcript, then you -- it would be good if you can just tell us for the
17 record that it's a quote, and then unquote.
18 Yes, Mr. Simic.
19 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] With your permission, Your Honours,
20 I really do not understand the purpose of the quoting of the testimony of
21 a witness and then for this witness to be asked to comment upon them. I
22 don't understand that.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We have to take into account
24 that our memory is a bit restricted and limited, and perhaps it is better
25 to provide us with the relevant piece of information, and then to ask your
1 question, that is to say, that you can perhaps give us small portions of
2 the text that you want to quote so that we can remember it.
3 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please continue.
5 MS. SOMERS: I appreciate very much your comments. And the
6 purpose was because it was really quite a long -- it was September 5th of
7 2000, it was a while back. And the issue was to tie in these particular
8 comments to what was just read from the record of interview, and because
9 of the several months that have gone by and the number of witnesses this
10 Chamber has listened to, it was effectively to make sure that what was
11 said by the witness himself was borne out very much by the witness whose
12 testimony I just quoted. So, yes.
13 And I do appreciate -- I'm sensitive to the time issue as well. I
14 want to make sure that the Chamber has the page numbers and that certainly
15 my learned counsel opposite also are aware of where to look.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic.
17 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my learned colleague
18 has just confirmed something that I have recognised as a pattern. The
19 purpose was not laying foundation for a question but to analyse the words
20 of a witness which was part of the evidence. This is simply a
21 cross-examination of a witness who is supposed to talk about the facts
22 that he's familiar with.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, we can understand
24 that. We can conclude that. It was perhaps not necessary for you to say
25 that. I think that Ms. Somers is perfectly aware of that.
1 Ms. Somers, will you please continue.
2 MS. SOMERS: Yes.
3 Q. Looking back at page -- let me see, now. I may have lost my
4 train. Oh, yes, we were at the top of page --
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with all due respect,
7 I simply have to intervene. Is Ms. Somers, once she has quoted the
8 testimony of Mr. Kvocka and the testimony of Witness J, is she going to
9 ask Mr. Kvocka to explain this to her? Is that the purpose, Mr. Kvocka's
10 explanation? Is he going to explain that?
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, do you not have a
13 MS. SOMERS: Yes, yes.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Will you please ask your
15 question. Mr. Kvocka has been waiting for your question, and he is
16 getting impatient because he's simply not getting the opportunity to give
17 you an answer. Would you please move on.
18 MS. SOMERS:
19 Q. I apologise to the witness for making him wait so long.
20 Mr. Kvocka, what you have just heard Witness J say about you is -
21 very, very much as we've just read - consistent with what you had said
22 about yourself. Did you get the impression that most of the people whom
23 you met were getting the impression that you were in charge? I'm only
24 asking you, do you think they were getting the impression that you were in
25 charge when Meakic wasn't there.
1 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection again. I apologise, I'm
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, I have to tell you
4 that you are acting in a paternalistic manner. You're trying to protect
5 your witness. He has a very special status here at this point. He
6 doesn't need your protection. Please, let Mr. Kvocka testify; otherwise,
7 Mr. Simic, your frequent objections will be beside the point, and I will
8 have to proceed in a different manner.
9 I really do not wish to threaten you in any way. I am not here to
10 do that, but there are provisions - I'm not going to quote them - in our
11 rules and regulations which concern the conduct of the proceedings, in
12 order for the proceedings to be conducted in a smooth way, in order for
13 witnesses to be able to testify in an adequate manner. So, please,
14 Mr. Simic, try to restrain yourself.
15 Ms. Somers, please continue.
16 MS. SOMERS:
17 Q. Mr. Kvocka, in fairness to you, I'll repeat the question. It was
18 a bit of a gap. I asked you -- or do you remember?
19 A. No need for that.
20 Q. Would you explain to us, what was the impression you got?
21 A. You skipped approximately 20 pages from the interview with Bob
22 Reid where I talked to him about the impressions and what kind of job I
23 was doing and what kind of instructions I was getting from Zeljko Meakic,
24 when he came in the morning and when he told me that I would go to see the
25 policemen till 3.00 in the afternoon and tell them about their duties and
1 tasks. So I would be doing that on that day. If he told me to distribute
2 cigarettes to the policemen on that, I did, then I would distribute
3 cigarettes on that day.
4 I cannot remember all of the instructions that he gave me, but
5 most of the things concerned the newcomers, the newly-arriving policemen
6 and what kind of things needed to be explained to them. Because I already
7 told you, we were not, properly speaking, alternating with each other.
8 Sometimes we would be together, and sometimes he would stay later or I
9 would stay later.
10 He would simply tell me to go to see the policemen, to tell them
11 this or that, to tell them that they should not have contact with the
12 detainees. Or, for example, he told me that he had been on that day with
13 Simo Drljaca, and that he told me that policemen should not be talking
14 with the detainees. So those were the kinds of things that I did, plus
15 some other things that I did. And I know it is very hard for me to talk
16 about all the things that I did in order to help the people there. This
17 is already common knowledge, and it has been stated by your witnesses as
19 So that's what I can say as regards the impressions. So those
20 were the impressions that people had. But they can only comment on these
21 impressions themselves. Witness J spoke about her impressions, and she
22 never said at any occasion that I had ordered anything. She only said
23 that it seemed that I was ordering things. I said that -- she said that I
24 would be talking to policemen, but she didn't say that I had ordered
25 something to that effect. She has the perfect right to make her own
1 conclusions from her own impressions.
2 I could go on about this as much as you want me to, but I am also
3 mindful of your time. I don't wish to be speaking all the time.
4 Q. Well, what I'd like you to try to help us understand is, was it
5 from the distribution of cigarettes at the request or on the order of
6 Meakic that gave so many people the impression that you were in charge,
7 or -- it's been repeated that prisoners got the impression, guards got the
8 impression. What do you think it was in your conduct that would have
9 given that impression? Not cigarettes.
10 A. In my opinion, that was that, my overall conduct, my overall
11 behaviour which gave rise to various kinds of impressions. One gentleman
12 stated here that I was like a God Almighty to him at this moment, though
13 at this point I can say that he invented the fact that I had written a
14 note because there were no notes whatsoever.
15 I am not excluding the possibility for a guard who wore a police
16 uniform for the first time to see me whom he knew as a policeman from his
17 village, and then asking me, "This particular detainee would like to go
18 somewhere, can I let him go?" So in that case, I could tell him, "Yes,
19 you can do that," but there was no talk whatsoever about any notes.
20 If you give a piece of bread to someone, then the person whom you
21 gave this bread would say, "Thank you, chief, thank you, boss." And I
22 think that that particular person said at that moment that I was the God
23 Almighty for him at that moment. So these are the kinds of impressions
24 that I'm talking about.
25 Impressions were based on certain acts which we can discuss here,
1 whether they're negative or positive. I cannot find any negative act that
2 I may have done, at least I haven't been able to see it so far. And I
3 think that my mistake was that I was a bit, perhaps, too prominent in
4 respect of others in that sense. You're maybe trying to misinterpret it,
5 but it is up to Their Honours to decide upon that.
6 I wasn't trying to hide myself and to perform my duties in secret,
7 in absence of everyone. I would bring a car full of parcels, and I would
8 divide -- distribute those parcels in the centre of the compound. If
9 anyone was looking at that from the side, then perhaps he could conclude
10 that I was the most powerful person over there.
11 Q. Did you ever have to get physically rough with your guards? Did
12 you ever have to get bullyish?
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
14 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour, concerning
15 the record. We do not have a sentence, "While others were bringing
16 parcels and hiding their parcels under their arm, and I was doing that
17 publicly and I think that it was a honourable thing to do."
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to slow down.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, I think that
20 something was said.
21 I would like to ask the interpreters whether they are really
22 interpreting what the witness is saying or not?
23 Mr. Simic, I think I already discussed the issue with you. What
24 was the sentence that you heard and that the interpreters failed to
25 interpret? I think that you said the witness has said something which has
1 not been entered in the record. Is that what you're saying?
2 THE INTERPRETERS: Microphone, please.
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, upon a question asked
4 by Ms. Somers speaking about the impression, Mr. Kvocka said, and I
5 paraphrased, something to the effect that he publicly brought a car full
6 of parcels and publicly distributed them; whereas others were doing that,
7 hiding a sandwich, for example, under their arm and giving it to the
8 prisoners in secret. So in such a situation, I could have seemed to
9 appear different from others to a person who was observing that.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Kvocka, did you say that?
11 A. Yes, I did. Yes, they would add the sentence, something to the
12 effect, "This is the most powerful man that we have known so far." I know
13 some people from the compound, from the pista, who said that.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But were there any other
15 people who were doing the same thing as you did but in secret?
16 A. Yes. Many of the guards, as one witness said the other day, had a
17 Muslim they knew, or every Muslim had a Serb that he knew, so one could
18 notice that. But somehow they were trying to hide this from each other,
19 in view of the overall atmosphere. I do not wish to describe it in detail
20 because we all know what kind of atmosphere it was.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Kvocka, can I ask you to
22 speak slowly, to slow down, because the interpreters cannot interpret
23 everything that you say. Counsel can understand what you are saying.
24 Because if you continue to speak fast, we will be faced with the question,
25 "Is that really what Mr. Kvocka said or not? Did he say something
2 Mr. Kvocka, speak more slowly, please, because we've already given
3 you the sign to that effect several times. So maybe it is up to you
4 yourself to think of the work we have to do. I will not allow further
5 objections by Mr. Simic to say, "He said this and it's not in the
6 transcript." So it's up to you. Speak slowly and then the interpreters
7 will be able to interpret everything that you say. If not, it is not
8 fair, in my opinion. It is not up to your counsel to testify instead of
10 I know you're a brave man and that you're saying what you're
11 saying, I know that. But so as to have no doubt about it, we must avoid
12 such a situation.
13 Please continue.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Ms. Somers, excuse me, just to understand something
15 which was said.
16 You said that you could come with a carful of sandwiches, whereas
17 others would hide them because the others were afraid. You were not
19 A. It meant that I didn't act in secret. But I was afraid. I didn't
20 act secretly because I felt I was doing the right thing. Others would
21 bring a sandwich under their arm, a small sandwich. I'm sure you've heard
22 testimony about it and I feel embarrassed to keep repeating these things,
23 but you have heard that I would bring a carful of parcels. This is
24 something quite conspicuous. And everyone, maybe not quite everyone, but
25 people did give things to others in secret, hiding a sandwich or a small
1 bag of something. So that is the difference.
2 JUDGE RIAD: And you thought you would get away with it?
3 A. I didn't think about consequences. True to my own life and my
4 police career, I continued to act in that way. I was aware somewhere in
5 the back of my mind that this was dangerous, that there was an imaginary
6 danger or a danger which could be discerned, in view of the
7 circumstances. That nationalist tensions were running high, I was aware
8 of that. But in my own mind, when I juxtapose that to what I was doing,
9 that is, what I was doing and what could happen, then my decision to act
10 in that way gained sway because I wasn't violating any written rules. The
11 fact that I was acting against somebody's ideas was not a good enough
12 reason for me not to act in that way.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Kvocka. I must
15 say that you have made an effort to speak more slowly, and so when you
16 hurry up again, I will let you know by waving my hand.
17 Please continue, Ms. Susan Somers.
18 MS. SOMERS:
19 Q. We're a long way from my question, but just as part of this
20 question, you've indicated you never did have any disciplinary action
21 brought against you for any of the generous distributions of the parcels
22 that you engaged in, did you?
23 A. Officially, no. Officially, according to how I understand things,
24 that was not possible, because it was not in violation of any rules that
25 were in force in those days. It was not prohibited to socialise with a
1 Muslim or to assist a Muslim, according to the law.
2 But if in somebody's heads that was prohibited, they couldn't
3 institute any official disciplinary proceedings, because where would that
4 lead? What would they refer to? What law would they refer to? You see,
5 in somebody's heads, people could condemn me and reject me and ignore me
6 and sidestep me for various reasons. Not just the parcels. The parcels
7 are a minor thing.
8 Q. Going back a little bit. I had asked you if you were perceived by
9 your guards as a bully, a person who was physically aggressive with them.
10 Was there ever an incident that you can recall where you had to get
11 aggressive with them?
12 A. No, I think there wasn't any incident with a guard in which I was
13 aggressive. There was no need. These were all guards from the
14 surrounding villages who knew me and knew my reputation as a policeman.
15 If - if, and again I'm speaking hypothetically - if somebody had in his
16 mind the intention of beating up somebody and if he knew that I would see
17 that, he would give that up, his intention, because he would know that I
18 would intervene. I worked for 20 years in the villages from which the
19 guards came and they knew how I acted in the village when they had a fight
20 in front of a cafe, when they gathered together in the evenings. They
21 knew how I prevented such incidents and brawls. They knew that in a bar,
22 if somebody was mistreating a guest or a waiter, I would always
24 As a policeman, if I witnessed something and ignored it, pretended
25 that it wasn't happening, I can't remember any such case of my turning my
1 back on such an incident. During my years of service prior to the
2 detention centre, in the detention centre and after that detention centre,
3 and especially in Prijedor -- in fact, I enjoyed taking steps in 1994 in
4 Prijedor. That was the first time I handcuffed somebody, as I mentioned,
5 and this one happened to be a Serb, a Serb extremist, in fact.
6 Q. You drew, from what you're telling us, heavily on your skills with
7 commanding respect. You interacted well with people. Would you assess
8 your interaction ability with people as good?
9 A. It is difficult to give you a yes or no answer to that question.
10 There were some people who, in my impression, fully agreed with my opinion
11 about these things, that people should not be mistreated, that people
12 should not be contacted. Because according to Zeljko's orders, we had
13 been given such instructions, and also information that such contacts were
14 being used for other purposes. So a certain number of people agreed with
15 me in that, but others were against that. That was my impression; that
16 was the feeling I had. The only thing is, either they didn't dare in my
17 presence because they knew I would intervene or for some other reason I
18 don't know.
19 Q. Some of the witnesses who have come here on your behalf, one of
20 them I can think of, spoke of your indignation at the rough handling of a
21 detainee and that you intervened in order to demonstrate the correct
22 handling. I think it was Mr. Brane Bolta who had very high words of
23 praise for your intervention, if you recall.
24 Did you find yourself intervening with the guards who were working
25 at Omarska to show them, generally, the right way to do things, given your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 concern about their undertraining and your pride in police work?
2 A. I intervened whenever I noticed any rough handling. In this
3 particular case, it was my observation, because this was a special group
4 of people who were doing the search. They were the special police, and
5 when you use that term in our system, and I see in other systems and in
6 movies too, when the special police appear, everyone else falls quiet,
7 they no longer exist.
8 So under those circumstances, I had the courage to say that it
9 wasn't a good way to act, and I suffered consequences because of that
10 observation. A man from the special police caught me by the throat and
11 shook me up and said, "What do you mean by grumbling all the time? Tito's
12 time and the time of Tito's police is over," he said to me.
13 But I was such a person that I couldn't keep quiet about it
14 because this happened. I saw it happening, that the search was going on,
15 and there shouldn't have been a search anyway because they were being
16 brought from Prijedor, in a police van, and they had already been searched
17 over there, because they had spent some time in custody. So that search
18 was over. These special policemen just felt like searching them for no
19 real reason and acted roughly.
20 Those were the reasons why I made that observation. The person, I
21 think it was Lukic or maybe Strazivuk, I can't remember exactly which one
22 of the two, one of them was very calm and composed, a very nice man, he
23 was present there on the other side of the police van where I was too, and
24 his comment too was, "What can we do with these wild ones?"
25 Q. But your sense of professionalism and training gave you the
1 confidence to intervene and at least indicate what the correct procedure
2 was, the procedure in which you were trained. Is that a fair assessment
3 of the basis for your confidence or one of the bases for your confidence?
4 A. It could be put that way. One could say that I am a
5 self-confident policeman. I am confident of what I studied and what I
6 know how to do, and that working for so many years, I had no problems as a
7 result of the way I worked. So I do have a certain degree of
8 self-confidence. But to use that self-confidence against a new special
9 police, a Serb police, when he said that our times and the times of Tito
10 were over, that is something you would have to think twice about.
11 Q. But you did it because you knew it was right, didn't you?
12 A. I was convinced that the least I could do was just to make that
13 observation. It wasn't particularly rough. Nusret Sivac wasn't really
14 hurt at all. It wasn't a drastic incident, but it was humiliating under
15 normal conditions. Let me put it that way.
16 Q. Did you mention your concern about this type of handling to Zeljko
17 Meakic? Did you try to address how to prevent this in the future?
18 A. There were conversations to that effect. There were guards, some
19 guards, I must say - I don't know what each and every one of them had in
20 their mind - but there were some guards who wanted to throw down their
21 rifles and abandon their posts because they couldn't work because of those
22 special policemen. This was true especially at the beginning. Zeljko
23 himself would say, "I don't know what to do." We saw here from the
24 documents what actually happened. He had to -- Simo Drljaca had to
25 intervene to collect information from the staff of the camp; to ask the
1 chief from Banja Luka to contact the staff; that people were out of
2 control; that their own commander could not keep them under control.
3 Q. Did Drljaca support you in what you did?
4 A. You mentioned Drljaca. He couldn't stand the sight of me. There
5 was no support that I could expect from him. I saw here the document that
6 he sent to Banja Luka. As for the relationship between the two of us,
7 that is quite a different story.
8 Q. I wasn't really asking from a personal perspective but as a
9 professional policeman. Your position was supported. You were not
10 reprimanded; you didn't suffer any official consequence. This is what I
11 meant by "support."
12 Having explained that to you, did Drljaca support you in your
13 position and bring about some control there?
14 A. I don't know what kind of information he had. I was not
15 reprimanded, nor should I have been. I acted correctly. All I know is
16 that the special policemen left. If that fits into your question, maybe
17 that is the answer. The special police left. We saw here from the
18 documents that there was correspondence between Drljaca and staff
19 coordinators, as this lady said the other day.
20 Q. When they left, in your opinion, did you see that there was more
21 control at least among the ranks? There was not that type of wildness
22 that so made you upset and reactive with the special police.
23 A. The answer is obvious. After they left, there wasn't wildness, at
24 least I'm saying what I saw. I didn't see any instances of wildness. I
25 told someone, I don't remember whom and when, that once during the night,
1 from a relative of mine on my wife's side, they seized money, a watch, and
2 rings from Dedo Crnalic. And the commander of the special unit then was
3 somebody called Kokic. I may be wrong with the surname. Lukic,
5 Q. Are you able to pinpoint a date when the special police left the
7 A. Two weeks from the beginning, because they came on the 29th in the
8 evening or the 30th in the evening. I'm really not able to say.
9 Q. Of May? Of May?
10 A. Yes, yes. So on the 14th or the 15th of June they left. The
11 impression they gave was a drastic one. They used armoured vehicles and
12 so on.
13 Q. Were your own guards upset about their presence there?
14 A. I have heard that there were a number of guards who were ready to
15 throw away their rifles, but now when I look back from this time distance,
16 I know that some people would just abandon their work posts. They would
17 come to take up their shifts, and when the duty officers puts a cross
18 indicating that he had come to work - and this is the duty of the duty
19 officer to make a record of that - so what some would do would go out as
20 soon as they got that cross. So that may have been one of the reasons,
21 too. And some people managed to evade things in this way, but I'm saying
23 Q. Let's see if I can find the reference and ask you a quick question
24 about it. Do you remember discussing some concerns in the camp with Kos
25 and perhaps Gruban? Did you, did you discuss your worries about
1 conditions in the camp?
2 A. Nothing officially. There were no official conversations between
3 us. But as individuals who would relatively frequently find ourselves in
4 the same shift, we could raise such subjects saying that the conditions
5 were not good and that sort of thing.
6 My understanding of your question leads me to say that I
7 personally was not worried about myself. I was not concerned. There was
8 a witness who said in his statement - he didn't come to testify - that I
9 had lost a lot of weight as compared to what I looked like before the war.
10 I read such statement of one of your witnesses, but he wasn't called to
11 testify. I don't know why. He would have cleared up many other things as
12 well. We wouldn't have to spend so much time about them.
13 Q. Let us just take a quick look at your interview with Mr. Reid, on
14 page 60 in the English, and it would be 65 in the Serbo-Croat edition. At
15 the very -- tell me if you have your page. Okay.
16 At the very bottom of the page, Reid is asking you about the
17 conditions in which the prisoners were accommodated in the camp, in the
18 centre, and you said, "I can't remember." But then Reid asked you:
19 Q. Did you ever talk about the lack of facilities like the
20 toilet facilities that you said had broken down and become
22 A. Yes, it's possible. It's possible that we mentioned these
23 topics. But we couldn't change anything.
24 Q. Why was that? Why couldn't you change anything? You say
25 you can't change it, you wouldn't change anything, but
1 Mr. Meakic has expressed concern about the conditions, you've
2 expressed concerns about the conditions, Mr. Radic, Mr. Kos
3 and Mr. Gruban have expressed concern about the conditions,
4 that is, if I could say, the five most senior police officers
5 working at the centre, have expressed concern, and nothing's
6 been done.
7 Turning to the top of 61:
8 A. I see no possibilities. What could we do? I could bring
9 food from home and that was it. I had no other obligations
10 but humanly I could do nothing more. We couldn't build a
11 building. There was nothing we could do.
12 Can I ask you, you had some equipment there, maintenance
13 equipment, hammers, shovels, hoes, basic equipment that you would have in
14 an industrial compound, did you not; or, at least, the mine company there
15 would have had in its store room some equipment?
16 A. I am a policeman in a police station department. We don't have
17 hammers; we don't have equipment. There may have been all kinds of
18 things, even helicopters in the mine, but I really don't know.
19 There was a manager, so-called manager, who controlled that
20 equipment that you are mentioning, and I do believe that it did exist. I
21 personally didn't see it, but it is to be assumed that in an organisation
22 of that kind, there must be hammers.
23 Q. Did you or any one of the people whose names we just mentioned try
24 to find some equipment, for example, build latrines. Let's go out and dig
25 some trenches so they could be used as extra toilets. Did anybody do
1 that, or try to do that?
2 A. I never saw any special material anywhere. There was no such
3 material that was easily accessible. There was heavy machinery there.
4 There were no wooden boards, maybe not even shovels. These are large
5 shovels that can move 20 cubic metres at one go. These are big, enormous
6 machines, excavators. So I didn't see anything like that at hand. But
7 I'm telling you, it really wouldn't have been appropriate to interfere in
8 somebody else's responsibilities because there was a manager of the mine.
9 Q. Well, now, we've looked at that order from the 31st of May, 1992,
10 and the last provision, of course, puts the implementation of all the
11 paragraphs in there on Mr. Jankovic who is in your chain of command as a
12 police officer.
13 So the question really is, did anyone try to take any available
14 equipment that would logically, as you suggested, be found in an
15 industrial complex and dig some holes in the ground to use as toilets, to
16 dig holes? Did anybody do that?
17 A. I didn't notice anything in that area. This is all speculation.
18 Whether somebody discussed something with Jankovic, the manager Babic or
19 somebody else in another shift, I really don't know. I didn't notice
20 anything being done. I know that there were a certain number of
21 bathrooms. Whether they were sufficient or not, I don't know. They're
22 not sufficient. Most probably in relation to the number of people
23 present, they were certainly inadequate.
24 Q. You saw that people were not able to bathe. You talked about
25 going near -- I think you used the term water fountains or water
1 something, taps. Did anybody bother to allow some extra time with water
2 running for people to bathe, to wash, to get the lice out of their hair?
3 Was that so difficult to do?
4 A. It is not difficult, and I saw that there was a tap with a
5 concrete basin, with actually five or six taps, and the water was running
6 all the time. And whenever I passed by or looked through the window of
7 the duty room, I never noticed it being vacant or free. There was always
8 someone there washing from the waist up or something like that, which
9 doesn't mean to say that I'm saying it was good or sufficient, and it
10 probably wasn't appropriate, because people should be able to bathe
11 normally in a bathroom.
12 Q. Did you see any women --
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, perhaps it's a
14 good time to break for the lunch break.
15 But before we do that, to make things quite clear, I would like to
16 go back to this question of objections by Mr. Simic. I have said that
17 objections should be made when there is a reason for them, a firm reason,
18 which cannot be overcome in any other way. But I always said that there
19 was the possibility for a re-examination to clear up a certain point. The
20 content of your objection regarding other people who were hiding
21 sandwiches is an excellent example of what I'm saying, because in your
22 re-examination you could have later asked Mr. Kvocka, "You said that you
23 brought sandwiches in a car, that everybody could see. Were there other
24 people who brought sandwiches." He would say yes. Question, "How did
25 they bring those sandwiches?" He would say, "Under the arm." There you
1 are. It's quite possible.
2 The rules we have here, as you know, is that one party calls its
3 witnesses. That party examines in chief, the other party cross-examines,
4 and then first party re-examines. We are now in the Defence case. The
5 Defence examines, the Prosecutor cross-examines, and the Defence
6 re-examines. So if every time you need to make an observation to correct
7 something, to draw the attention of the Chamber to something, that mixes
8 up everything, and it is not possible to work in that way.
9 Order, discipline, and we have the rules. So I want to make that
10 quite clear, to use this as an example of what I said. Many of your
11 objections could be dealt with through the re-examination. Let the other
12 party do their work. You all know that you have to do your work, and when
13 you're interrupted, something is upset. If you enjoy being interrupted,
14 then you could say at the beginning, "Interrupt me as much as you like
15 because I enjoyed it," and the other party will find many reasons to do
16 that. But if you don't like that, then respect the other party when it is
17 doing its work.
18 So let me repeat once again; I'm saying this only to make things
19 quite clear. I would not like the hearing time to be transformed into
20 training classes. Mr. Simic, I know that you're a very good lawyer, but
21 you could improve a lot.
22 So now we're going to have lunch for 50 minutes.
23 JUDGE WALD: Can I add something? I'm constrained to say
24 something on Mr. Simic's behalf here. I understood that he was not --
25 that his objection was that Mr. Kvocka had answered the question, had
1 answered the question, but that the translation into English, at least,
2 did not carry his full answer. I think that's very different from a
3 question of whether or not he didn't complete and he wants to finish it
4 someplace else.
5 I think if a witness answers a question, I think -- I agree with
6 you. Everyone should speak slower because it is very hard for the
7 translators, and the translators have a terrible job. I understand that
8 and I sympathise with them fully. But if it happens, that the translation
9 doesn't pick up part of the witness's answer, then I don't think you can
10 ask the lawyer to wait until rebuttal time comes to try to pick -- that's
11 a technical difference. It's not anything about his strategy of
13 I just want to say that because that's -- it seems to me that's
14 different from the question of whether or not he's objecting to the form
15 of the question or something else.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, I quite agree. Maybe now
17 is not the time to continue the discussion. I quite agree with what Judge
18 Wald just said. Those are two different things.
19 But in any event, we also have to trust the interpreters because
20 otherwise, Mr. Simic will not only be the attorney, but also the
21 interpreter. And what I'm saying is, there's no prejudice for the Defence
22 if the Defence says, "I think I heard something like that," and now we can
23 clarify that point. Because otherwise, we have to have a meeting with
24 interpreters to ask them, "Did you hear that? Why didn't you not
25 interpret what the witness said?" And so on.
1 So my question -- my point is, if we trust the interpreters, and I
2 do, I do accept that there may be things that are left out, but that is
3 also the job of the attorney here, to keep note of what was left out. And
4 in the interests of the smooth conduct of the proceedings - this may be a
5 matter of methodology - the smooth conduct of proceedings, it may be
6 preferable to pick it up in the re-examination than to interrupt to say
7 "The witness said this. It was not registered in the transcript."
8 But I'm telling you that my concern is always to maintain what I
9 keep saying to the parties. There are two things which, in my opinion,
10 need to be respected and which are always, but always, nonnegotiable for
11 the rendering of justice: That is the fair treatment of the parties, and
12 the absolute respect for the adversarial principle. So, if there is
13 equality of arms and the other party is always given a chance to respond,
14 then I think that no one, no single person of good faith can say that we
15 have not rendered justice.
16 I'm not saying to Mr. Simic that you cannot make that objection.
17 What we're talking about is the opportuneness of making those objections
18 in the best interests of the smooth running of the proceedings. But I
19 quite agree with what Judge Wald has just said, it is not a question of
20 form, and that is why I think that you can just make a note or Mr. Lukic
21 can do that. You are working in a team. Take note of it, and when the
22 time for re-examination comes, you can pick it up.
23 I am saying this just to maintain a certain degree of order and
24 discipline in our work; otherwise, there will be general confusion which
25 it is very difficult to overcome.
1 So I come back to my 50 minutes for the break. Perhaps our
2 stomachs need comforting, and we will refresh ourselves and come back in
3 50 minutes.
4 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.07 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 1.58 p.m.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
7 So, having had a very useful and fruitful discussion and hopefully
8 a very good lunch, I think that we are now ready to proceed.
9 Ms. Somers, would you please continue.
10 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Mr. Kvocka, in support of one of your witnesses who appeared, you
12 have submitted an affidavit of an individual -- can you hear me okay --
13 A. Yes, I can hear you.
14 Q. -- named Rade Knezevic. Did you know him personally?
15 A. Yes, very good.
16 Q. One of the comments that is made in the affidavit of
17 Mr. Knezevic - I shall just read it unless the Chamber would like, I can
18 put on the ELMO and have it read from - one of the comments that was made
19 by Mr. Knezevic concerned the use of force as a law enforcement practice
20 in the former Yugoslavia. I wondered if you could assist me in
21 understanding what he may have meant by this. I shall read it, if I may.
22 "While I was working in Omarska, shouting, raised voices, and
23 even moans could sometimes be heard from certain offices while questioning
24 was being conducted. This was because there was a large number of new
25 investigators and reservists who were inexperienced and who lost their
1 tempers easily. I was never inside another investigator's office,
2 however, nor did I see force being used. I have to mention, however, that
3 on the territory of the former Yugoslavia, force was often used in police
4 work during investigations in order to extract confessions and such
6 Can you first tell us what position, if any, Rade Knezevic had in
7 Omarska camp while you were there?
8 A. He was an investigator. He was a police inspector and he was an
9 investigator there. I don't know whether that can be considered as a
10 position. That was the kind of job that he was tasked with.
11 Q. Would that mean that he was a person who carried on the
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you agree with his comments that are in the affidavit that I
15 have just read about an acceptable use of force in former Yugoslavia
16 police practices? Is that your opinion as well?
17 A. The use of force, according to the regulations, is not acceptable,
18 I mean the force itself was not acceptable. However, practice was
19 different. If you're talking about practice, I think that he was, indeed,
20 referring to that aspect of the use of force and I think I can agree with
22 During certain investigations, force would be used. I was never,
23 generally speaking, present at any investigation. But it would happen
24 from time to time for a police officer, that is, for all members of the
25 police, to use force. I'm also referring to simple policemen who were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 involved on certain minor petty offences, disturbances of law and order
2 and suchlike. It would happen from time to time during such interventions
3 that they overstepped what was appropriate, if, again, we are talking
4 about interventions when it was possible to use force.
5 In their attempts to re-establish law and order, it would happen
6 from time to time that the participants would receive more beatings than
7 usual, if that was the kind of practice that Mr. Knezevic was talking
9 Q. Did you work with him before you saw him at Omarska camp?
10 A. We worked in the same building, that is, at the Prijedor Police
11 Station, and I was working in a Prijedor Police Station department. That
12 is, we worked within the same kind of organisation. But he retired
13 several years prior to the war. I don't know exactly when.
14 Q. Then he came back --
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry to interrupt,
16 Ms. Somers.
17 Mr. Kvocka, as regards this practice that we're discussing right
18 now, was there any difference between persons who had undergone
19 appropriate training in police academies, and other policemen who had not
20 undergone this type of specific formation or training? Was there any
21 difference in your opinion between these two types of officers?
22 A. I believe that there was a difference between them. There was a
23 very small number of educated policemen, if I can call them that way, at
24 that time; and they knew exactly when to stop, that is, when the reasons
25 for the use of force would cease. So they probably respected those
1 regulations better than some others.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Kvocka.
3 Please continue, Ms. Somers.
4 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Was Mr. Knezevic prior to his retirement an active-duty police
7 A. He was an active-duty inspector in the homicide department. That
8 is where he worked for a while, I think. Some changes occurred within
9 that department at that time. I think he worked there. People knew him
10 as an inspector. He was a well-known inspector at that time. I don't
11 think he had any unresolved cases. He was well respected as an inspector
12 within that department, that is, the homicide squad.
13 Q. Did you know him to employ tactics in extracting confessions that
14 would be considered use of force or excessive use of force during his
16 A. No. We never heard of such a thing happening.
17 Q. Are you able to recall any time in your career in any department
18 where you may have worked where excessive force or force was used against
19 an unarmed individual or suspect and resulted in disciplinary action?
20 A. Against him, you mean?
21 Q. Any officer, anyplace that you have worked, are you aware of any
22 disciplinary action being taken against any officer, any investigator, in
23 any of the institutions in which you may have worked?
24 A. There were many disciplinary actions during my time of service.
25 As regards specific examples against whom and on what grounds, that would
1 be very hard for me to tell you. There was a number of disciplinary
2 actions that were taken against the people who were members of our police
3 station that I can remember.
4 Q. But as far as you can remember, you cannot recall right away
5 anyone who was disciplined for using excessive force against a suspect in
7 A. I cannot remember anything specific; that is, I cannot remember
8 against whom such proceedings would have been used.
9 You know, it's a very complex and difficult matter. If a police
10 officer overstepped his duties, that could be considered almost as a
11 criminal offence which then -- which would then mean that that would be
12 within the competence of the investigation section, and that would fall
13 within the responsibilities of the public prosecutor, and no disciplinary
14 action would be taken if excessive force was used.
15 Such things would usually happen during various kinds of
16 intervention, and they were more frequent in -- within the police, the use
17 of excessive force. For example, if you have a fight that's broken out in
18 a cafe, everything would calm down, for example, and then after that,
19 after the situation has calmed down, if a police officer should use --
20 should continue to react, then that would constitute the use of excessive
21 force. That is, once the situation has calmed down.
22 Q. Were you ever in any of the other camps in the area, Manjaca or
23 Keraterm or Trnopolje, while they were functioning, operational camps?
24 A. I was never in Trnopolje. I was never in Manjaca. I did pass by
25 Trnopolje on several occasions along the road. I'm sorry, by Keraterm. I
1 apologise. I passed by Keraterm along the road on several times.
2 I never went to Manjaca; it's far away. I never had to go there.
3 As regards Trnopolje, I went there only once when I went there to get my
4 brothers-in-law, to get them out of there.
5 Q. The police stations in Prijedor town, how far are they, the police
6 station or stations, located from Keraterm?
7 A. Three or four kilometres.
8 Q. Help us, please, I'm not sure of what you would pass first, but
9 would you have to use the same road of access to Keraterm -- would the
10 road for both be the same?
11 A. It's like this: If you're coming from the direction of Banja
12 Luka, the Keraterm factory, and that was the name of the factory, is
13 located at the entrance to the town of Prijedor on the right-hand side of
14 the road. If you continue along the same road, you have to take a turn to
15 go into Prijedor town, and the road goes on towards Bosanski Novi. After
16 you've turned towards the centre of the town, you would be on the road
17 leading up to the police station which is located at the very heart of the
18 town, in the centre.
19 Q. How far is the Tukovi reserve or wartime police station from the
20 main police station in Prijedor?
21 A. About 3 kilometres, maybe even 4. I don't know. It's difficult
22 for me to be specific.
23 Q. We were discussing yesterday, and I wanted to just get a little
24 clarification, when you indicated that there was a structural change in
25 Omarska's Police Station status at the time of -- well, basically, May of
1 1992 or at least by May of 1992, whereby it once again became a police
2 station, where Omarska became a police station, we had discussed --
3 A. In May 1992, no, never. I never said that.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
5 A. There were no changes whatsoever and I never said that.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that we have discussed
7 this issue. We discussed it yesterday, Mr. Simic. Mr. Kvocka doesn't
8 skip anything.
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I know he doesn't.
10 However, with all due respect --
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think that we were overlapping
12 each other so not everything we said is on the record. Please continue,
13 Mr. Simic.
14 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] With all due respect, Your Honour,
15 I have to say that the purpose of my objection was not the protection of
16 Mr. Kvocka. He is talking about the facts that he is familiar with. It
17 was the matter of protection of myself as his lawyer. If I should accept
18 the pattern that has been adopted by my learned colleague, then I will
19 have to spend three days here and read, I don't know, page 15, line 24 of
20 this or that text. That is what I wanted to avoid.
21 My intention was not to offer any kind of protection of my
22 client. He is here to speak the truth, to talk about the facts he's
23 familiar with. However, I have to draw attention to these kinds of
24 leading questions or, rather, assertions or conclusions which should not
25 be made part of the record. I apologise for my intervention.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Somers, this concerns
2 what we still see on the screen, but it is about to disappear:
3 [In English] "... when you indicated that there was a structural
4 change in Omarska Police Station ... whereby it once again became a police
5 station." We discussed this.
6 MS. SOMERS: Yes, and I asked the question very simply --
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes. Put the question but don't state this.
8 It's because --
9 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I don't --
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] It is not a claim, an
11 allegation. I think that we discussed the issue yesterday. You cannot
12 allege that what was now the police station department in Omarska at one
13 point in time became the police station. That is contested. You cannot
14 claim that; you cannot make such assertions. We are not making closing
15 arguments here. You are still cross-examining the witness.
16 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. I was basing my -- the form
17 of my question on what was read from the record of interview between
18 Mr. Reid and Mr. Kvocka from yesterday. But I will gladly rephrase that.
19 I will --
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You really have to be aware of
21 that. I've always said you have to ask clear, concrete, and concise
22 questions. If you do that, you will avoid any objections. Please
24 MS. SOMERS:
25 Q. Mr. Kvocka, the term "wartime police station," particularly
1 referring to Omarska, is that a term with which you were familiar?
2 A. Theoretically speaking, from theory.
3 MS. SOMERS: I would ask the usher to please distribute 3/208.
4 Q. Mr. Kvocka, what you have in front of you is a list, dated the
5 21st of June, 1992, and it is from an organisational unit which has been
6 called the Wartime Police Station Omarska. Do you recognise some of the
7 names which are on this list? If so, could you just read out one name or
8 two names which you recognise so we can identify it as the same
10 A. I know quite a few of them, as far as I can see, but I will have
11 to search my memory. Members of the army unit helping out, I don't know
12 almost anyone here.
13 Then the employees in the RzR. Branko Kecima, I believe he was a
14 driver. Milorad Stakic, as well, he was a driver too with the mine
15 company. Who else? Cedo Vuleta, I know him. He was here the other day.
16 Dragoje Latincic.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Kvocka, can you tell us the
18 number next to the name so we can follow you more quickly. It would be
19 easier for us because we are not very familiar with these names. Please
21 A. Let me see. From the list where it says "Members of the Army Unit
22 Helping Out," I think I only know number 10, Uros Vuceta, if that is the
23 same person, because it is always possible that two people may have the
24 same name and surname.
25 MS. SOMERS:
1 Q. Could you look on the -- yes, I'm sorry.
2 A. Then also under Roman II, the second heading, "Employees in the
3 Iron Ore Mine," I said I know number 10, Branko Kicema; number 11, Milorad
4 Stakic; number 18, Cedo Vuleta; Branko Rosic, number 21; Dragomir Mamuza,
5 number 26, I know him too. Maybe some others but it's hard to remember
7 Q. Do you recognise any of the people who are listed as caterers
8 cooks, butchers, and food drivers?
9 A. Zoran Delic, I know him, number 1; I know Novak Ratkovic, known as
10 Novo, number 2; number 5, Krstan Zavasic, I know him; and number 7, Pero
11 Rendic, I know him; I also know number 8, Ranko Radanovic; number 9, Milan
12 Andic; number 10, Vinka Andzic, handwritten, I know her too.
13 Q. So the numbers that you don't off the top of your head recognise,
14 the names Dervida or Seva, you just may not have come across them or you
15 didn't know their names? Is that, perhaps, a possibility, that you just
16 didn't know their names? Maybe a face but not a name?
17 A. It's quite possible, yes.
18 Q. Tell us, please, the people whose names appear here are associated
19 with the same Omarska Police Station which was your station and which had
20 its functions transferred to Omarska camp for that period of time. It's
21 the same police station we're talking about, is it not, your station?
22 A. No.
23 Q. How is it different? It says "Wartime Police Station Omarska" and
24 then it describes these people. What is your understanding of the use of
25 the term "Wartime Police Station"? It's at the top, above the date of
1 21st June.
2 A. The term "station of the wartime police" or "of the reserve
3 police" was a term frequently used, and it is a separate entity. And on
4 this list there is not a single person from the Omarska Police Station
5 department. This is some kind of preparation for a wartime police, a list
6 of workers engaged to secure the collection centre.
7 Q. Would it appear to be that they were, as it were, support staff
8 for the work of your police station, the Omarska Police Station, in their
9 work at the collection centre?
10 A. It's possible that some of them -- no, actually, it is not
11 possible because none of these people were employed in the Omarska Police
12 Station because it says under headings, "Member of the army, employees in
13 the mines, employees for the food department." So the purpose of this
14 document is quite clear. None of these people were working in the Omarska
15 Police Station department.
16 Q. Not physically, that would be understandable, but working in
17 support of the work of the Omarska Department in the camp? Would that be
18 your understanding based on the types of names and the descriptions of the
19 functions here? Vuleta for example, came in here. I think you were going
20 to have Pero Rendic at one point, Milan Andzic.
21 A. They were not helping out the police station department in
22 Omarska. They were not helping them out in any way or supporting them.
23 Some of these people that I know were employed in the camp in various
24 areas. Therefore, their link with the police station department does not
25 exist. There is a link between them and the camp because Zoran Delic was
1 the cook in the camp, and some of these, like Branko Kicema, Milorad
2 Stakic, were drivers in the iron ore mine, and I don't exclude them being
3 linked to the work of the camp.
4 What I am excluding is them being linked to the work of the
5 Omarska Police Station department. Because you see Ranko Radanovic,
6 commander of the regional war staff, Omarska, I don't know what he's doing
7 on that list. The purpose of this list is to issue passes, as far as I
8 can see. So to be the commander of the regional staff, Omarska; Andzic,
9 assistant commander for logistics, somebody is asking that these people be
10 issued passes. So these people have nothing to do with the police station
11 department. But regarding work in the investigation centre or the camp,
12 that is possible because I know some of them.
13 Q. Okay. Having helped us link up their relationship to the work of
14 the camp, where would the passes come from? Would they come from your
15 police station as the station in charge of security at the camp?
16 A. It doesn't say that they have passes.
17 Q. What it says, Mr. Kvocka, if you look at the top, it says list,
18 the very heading underneath the date, "List of persons" -- I'm sorry, "of
19 workers providing security for the Omarska Collection Centre who need to
20 be issued special passes." Do you see that, Mr. Kvocka? Do you see that?
21 A. Yes, I do. I was just going to say that it is clear from this
22 that somebody is asking for passes for some people, but I don't see to
23 whom they are addressing this request. That person has just drawn up a
25 Q. Okay. Would the police station be the normal issuing agency for
1 passes in your experience?
2 A. No.
3 Q. What would be?
4 A. Possibly the Public Security Station in Prijedor, which would mean
5 the entity superior to the police station in Prijedor, because the police
6 station in Prijedor itself could not issue such passes, as far as I know.
7 It could also have been the Crisis Staff. You are asking me something
8 beyond my field of knowledge. It could have been the Crisis Staff, even.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, allow me to
10 interrupt you.
11 Mr. Kvocka, looking at this document, the last paragraph, could
12 you tell me - I have the English version, not the French version - what
13 does it mean, [In English] "Police employees organised in three shifts and
14 for whom regular records are kept"? What are these police employees?
15 A. As far as I can understand this, it refers to the security
16 employees and others because it says all others entering the collection
17 centre compound will be police employees, organised into three shifts, and
18 for whom regular records are kept. So this refers to members of the
19 police who do not need passes. They have official IDs. That is what this
20 refers to, I think.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
22 Continue, Ms. Susan Somers, please.
23 Q. Would that include you, Mr. Kvocka, as a person who would fit into
24 this paragraph that Judge Rodrigues just asked you about?
25 A. Yes. I didn't have any special pass; I had my official ID as a
2 Q. The signature on this document is indicated as -- it's a
3 translation, of course, but the signature on the Serbo-Croat document
4 purports to be that of Zeljko Meakic, and if he is writing it and --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. -- if he is using a term "wartime police station, Omarska," did he
7 discuss the use of that term with you, he as the commander of that
9 A. No. In those days, I wasn't even around. Well, the list was
10 drafted on the 21st of June by him, but when he signed it on the 29th of
11 June, it was not possible for us to discuss it because I was no longer
12 there. And he had no reason to talk about it with me. I don't understand
13 the implication.
14 Q. We were discussing other --
15 A. Sorry, may I just add? In my opinion, someone gave him -- ordered
16 him to make a list of persons for whom some type of passes were required
17 to be able to enter, and then he drew up this list. That is my
18 explanation for this list. And then he passed on this list to whoever had
19 asked him to compile it, and then when they prepared those passes, it says
20 here that he collected them on the 29th of June, 1992.
21 Q. Thank you for that helpful explanation. The thing that I was
22 actually trying to understand was this term "wartime police station," and
23 perhaps you do not know of its use.
24 I wanted to ask you, we were discussing various camps.
25 MS. SOMERS: If the usher could distribute, please, 3/204.
1 A. I am familiar with the term "wartime reserve police station," but
2 in theory. So both terms were used, either where wartime police or
3 reserve police in free speech.
4 Q. Wartime police station would also be the same as reserve police
5 station in this war-like time; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. It could happen that people had the same thing in mind.
7 Some would describe it as wartime and someone else as reserve, but
8 according to the regulations, as far as I know, it can become a wartime
9 situation only once a declaration of war has been issued. I'm not sure
10 about that, but that's what I think.
11 Q. Thank you. Looking at a document dated 28th of July, 1992. This
12 document is entitled -- and it says "Omarska SC" which is -- is a
13 bracketed collection centre. This document is a list of first category
15 Have you in the course of your time in Omarska -- I realise we're
16 looking at a July document, but in the course of your time there, have you
17 seen lists like this categorising persons, a physical list like this?
18 A. No. I saw it some time ago. I don't know whether it was the
19 same, the same list, but a list of persons sent to Manjaca by category
20 among the documents that you yourself disclosed to us.
21 Q. Looking at this list, Mr. Kvocka, if we run down to number six,
22 the name, the name Edna Dautovic, this --
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. -- person was in Omarska camp. Do you remember this person?
25 A. Not specifically, but from all the testimony that I heard here,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 I'm almost certain that she was there. I do not know her personally. I
2 didn't notice her under that name.
3 Q. Do you recall, perhaps, in the course of the testimony in this
4 trial that Edna Dautovic's body was found in a cave in the summer of 2000?
5 A. Yes, yes. Your investigator, I think, testified to that effect.
6 Q. And going down the list, looking at number 43, the name (redacted)
7 (redacted), this person also was in Omarska, and do you know
8 anything about his condition while he was there, anything about his dates
9 of departure, whether or not he was a person who allegedly suffered
10 difficult handling at Omarska?
11 A. I heard while I was there that (redacted), was among the
12 detainees. Probably because of his father and certain characteristics of
13 his, his name was mentioned. So I heard it, though I did not personally
14 ever see him.
15 Q. Number 46, (redacted), do you recall
16 testimony that her body was found in a cave in the summer of 2000?
17 A. Yes, yes, I remember when the gentleman was speaking here.
18 Q. Moving on to number 95, Emir Beganovic.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you recall testimony that this individual was severely beaten
21 while in Omarska?
22 A. Yes, I remember.
23 Q. Moving on to number 98 -- oh, by the way, the Beganovic
24 individual, this is the person whose mother was in your apartment?
25 A. Yes. I found her there on two or three occasions, and according
1 to what my wife told me and my mother-in-law, they were almost inseparable
2 for a month, either in my apartment or in the house of my wife's family,
3 because of the events in Prijedor.
4 Q. Hajra Hadzic, number 98, do you recall testimony that she was the
5 only woman to have been in the "white house," and she has disappeared,
6 never to have been heard from or seen again?
7 A. I remember this part of the testimony, that she was in the "white
8 house." I never saw her there; that is, I never saw anyone in the "white
9 house." I never entered the place. I cannot remember what the exact
10 testimony about her disappearance was.
11 Q. Your witness, Mrs. Markovski, Markovska, who was here last week
12 spoke about first category witnesses. Do you remember that?
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Did you have any input in determining who would end up in a first
15 category witness list?
16 A. I'll try to answer your question. I don't think that there are --
17 that there is any information which would link me to that. I never saw
18 any kind of list during my stay there. No, not a single list. No list
19 whatsoever did I see.
20 From time to time I would see a list of two or three persons who
21 were taken into custody in Prijedor and brought over there. This falls
22 within the scope of work of the staff, that is, of the three members of
23 the staff, and the inspectors, that is, who determined the categories and
24 according to what criteria. I really don't know anything about that. I
25 know that there were stories about the existence of some categories
1 amongst the people.
2 MS. SOMERS: Just to inform the Chamber, there is an error that
3 has great significance. It looks like page 90, line 25, it said: "Did
4 you have input in determining who would end up in a first category
5 prisoner list," and it came down -- I'm sorry. It may have been my
6 error. It should have been "prisoner list" and I think I may have spoken
7 "witness list" and it's not -- it was my error. I don't know how the
8 term "witness" crawled into my vocabulary there. I apologise.
9 Q. Do you happen to know why Hajra Hodzic was in the "white house,"
10 even though you indicated --
11 JUDGE WALD: Ms. Somers, may I just ask you a question?
12 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE WALD: I understand --
14 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
16 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] May I be allowed to explain my
18 Once again, I have to apologise for intervening. Ms. Markovska
19 made an explicit statement here, she said that any one member of the
20 personnel staff never took part in that work. Mr. Kvocka said a moment
21 ago that he didn't know Hajra Hodzic, that he never actually entered the
22 "white house," and now we have the question, "Do you know why Hajra
23 Hodzic was in the 'white house'?"
24 I really have to intervene, Your Honours. I am perfectly aware of
25 everything you said and I fully support your position.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I will give the floor to Madam
2 Judge Wald in a moment.
3 Mr. Simic, your logic doesn't seem to be complete. Mr. Kvocka, it
4 is possible that he has never actually entered the "white house"; however,
5 it is possible that he knows about things that took place there because
6 somebody may have told him about that.
7 You cannot say that the counsel cannot ask Mr. Kvocka whether he
8 knew what was happening just because he at one point said that he never
9 entered the premises of the "white house." I really don't see the reason
10 for your objection, Mr. Simic. I think that it is a perfectly reasonable
11 question, that is, the question, do you know what was happening in the
12 "white house," although he said that he had never entered the "white
14 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you allow me to
15 respond, I fully agree with what you said. However, there was a question
16 here which is really out of place. The question read, "Do you know who
17 put Hajra Hodzic in the 'white house,'" and Mr. Kvocka said that he didn't
18 know the person, that he had never seen the person. So I'm talking about
19 a very specific question here, not a general matter. Otherwise, I fully
20 agree with what you stated in this respect, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Simic.
22 Madam Judge Wald.
23 JUDGE WALD: I just needed some edification. I understand that
24 you are not, at the present moment, seeking to admit this list. But in
25 terms of a fact-finder, since you did go down the list and question
1 Mr. Kvocka about it, for my edification, and since it has no signature by
2 anybody or anything that I know about, could you just tell me a little bit
3 about where it came from?
4 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour, gladly. This was in the list of
5 what is known as Prijedor documents. There were search warrants executed
6 in various institutions in Prijedor municipality in, I believe, late 1997
7 or -- there were several so I want to be sure --
8 JUDGE WALD: I don't even need to know the date. I just want to
9 know where. It doesn't have any kind of markings on it that I could see.
10 MS. SOMERS: This is not uncommon, Your Honour. Documents are
11 sometimes found just as lists. But the source was from the institutions
12 of Prijedor themselves.
13 JUDGE WALD: You don't know which institution this one came out
15 MS. SOMERS: I can get what's called the identification form and
16 try to give you as -- identify which one from that. It would not be on
17 the body of this document. It would be separate. I'd be happy to do
19 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you.
20 MS. SOMERS: I wanted to let Judge Rodrigues know on this, the
21 question was, do you know why Hajra Hodzic was in the "white house," and
22 that was what the record reflected. I wonder if I might proceed with that
23 question, if the Chamber would permit.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, you can ask the question,
25 we will get the answer, and I will have some clarification to ask
1 afterwards. But would you please start with your question.
2 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much, Judge Rodrigues.
3 Q. Do you know why Hajra Hodzic, a woman, was in the "white house"?
4 A. I wanted to respond a moment ago but then this discussion
5 started. I already stated that I didn't know at all whether she was in
6 the "white house" or not. I never noticed any woman in the "white
7 house." I never noticed any people in the "white house." I know that
8 there were detainees there, in the "white house," but I don't know whether
9 there was any woman there, and I never saw that.
10 So she may have been there but maybe she was not there. So I
11 cannot tell you anything about why she was there if I don't know whether
12 she was there or not. It's very difficult for me to answer your
13 question. She was there probably because someone had sent her there.
14 Then we can go on and speculate as to why someone had sent her there, and
15 then maybe because the person in question thought that she was guilty of
16 something, and then we can go on and on like this forever. I apologise,
17 but I really cannot answer your question.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I should like to ask you
19 something, Mr. Kvocka, at this point. You told us that you had never seen
20 this list. I thought that the question was if you had ever heard anyone
21 speak about this list. I didn't have an opportunity to quote your exact
22 words because a discussion followed, as you have stated. However, I
23 observed something. You said the following:
24 [In English] "... said persons were being put in different
1 A. Yes, that is what I heard.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Could you please give us some
3 more explanation?
4 A. I heard stories, Your Honour, circulating amongst the guards. But
5 I believe that it was a day or two days before I left that people started
6 speaking about some categories of those who were being interrogated, that
7 is, that some kind of categories existed. Whether it was A, B, and C or
8 number 1, 2, or 3, I think that they used both terms, and nothing else,
9 nothing specific, as to why some individuals were in this category and
10 others in some other category.
11 Momcilo Gruban, named Ckalja, once called me in Prijedor and
12 informed me about his concerns about one of my brothers-in-law. He didn't
13 want to say directly to me what it was all about, but he thought that he
14 might be in one of the categories of the people who were supposed to go to
15 Manjaca. So if I analyse all that and if I have in mind what I heard in
16 the camp, that would be all the knowledge that I have about such
17 categories or groups.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Do you remember, more or less,
19 when you heard about those lists for the first time? Despite the fact
20 that they were very vague and not very specific, but do you remember when
21 was the first time that you heard about such lists?
22 A. After four or five days after the opening of the centre, a number
23 of people were released. At that time one of the inspectors, maybe Rajko
24 Mijic, said, "This category can go home." So that was the kind of context
25 in which the word "category" was used. So that was the first time that I
1 knew about it, that I learned about it.
2 But then there was a period of time when no mention was made of
3 any such categories. And then the next time - it was during that period
4 of time which preceded my departure, that is, before I left - I heard
5 people speak about some categories, categories of people who were to go to
6 Manjaca, those who were to go to Trnopolje, and those who were to be
7 released and sent home.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So that first time that you
9 heard about it would have been four days after the opening of the camp,
10 more or less?
11 A. Yes. Maybe even six or seven. I cannot be more specific than
12 that. On that occasion, two buses of people were taken to Puharska. I
13 know that from some people who were there, that is, that those people were
14 from that area. They were all taken to Prijedor and then taken back to
15 their neighbourhood, which is called Gornja Puharska.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In your opinion, is there a
17 connection between the results of the work of the investigators and the
18 production of such lists?
19 A. Yes, yes. I think all of those people were interrogated, and such
20 were the options in discussions, that people would be released in groups
21 once interrogations were completed. I no longer remember the date, but at
22 one point in time, that practice stopped. Inspectors would, from time to
23 time, take away people individually in their buses. But I don't know when
24 it was exactly, around the 10th, the 12th, or the 13th, when that practice
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see that Mr. Simic wanted to
2 say something, wanted to react?
3 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. Just for the
4 record, I think we have a problem here. Once again, something is missing
5 as regards when Kvocka learned about the existence of such groups. He was
6 referring to the period of time when he left.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, I heard that. Maybe not in
8 English, but I heard that part. I think that we have a lot of problems
9 here. It is very difficult for us to say that this or that was explicitly
10 said during the hearing. I think that the previous session was finished
11 at two minutes past one and the record said nine minutes past one so I
12 know that it was not correct. If I read the record and I know enough
13 English, sometimes I can also spot some mistakes. But of course, I can
14 follow everything in French. We are coming back to this problem of
16 As you know, there is an adage, a Latin proverb, for those who
17 still remember Latin from school, which says "tradutore traditore." A
18 translator is a traitor, that is the saying. So when we are translating,
19 there's always something that is omitted, that is dropped out, and those
20 are the conditions we are working in. We can't be absolutely perfect.
21 Let me say something else. All of you know what hearsay testimony
22 is, that is, a passing on of information from one person to another in a
23 chain and then the information is lost or, rather, is transformed and
24 modified. But we must recognise that we are working under such conditions
25 of human beings. I am no god, and I don't think that we're all angels, so
1 we are working under normal human conditions.
2 I myself heard it, but I can ask Mr. Kvocka once again. What did
3 you say, Mr. Kvocka, that you heard about this, above all, after you had
4 left the camp? What did you hear that was being said for the first time
6 A. At the very end of my stay there, there were some stories about
7 the categorisation of detainees. Anything more than that is something
8 that I heard once I had left, especially from this gentleman, Mr. Gruban,
9 who told me that there were three categories and so on.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see. Now we can link it up to
11 what we heard. Do we find it in the English transcript now? Yes, fine.
12 You may continue for another five minutes, Ms. Susan Somers, only.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Ms. Susan Somers, please.
14 MS. SOMERS: I just have a couple of questions for -- I'm sorry.
15 I'm aware of the time, and I shall just ask two more questions now.
16 Q. When Momcilo Gruban called you about your brother-in-law, what did
17 you do?
18 A. Nothing, really. I was a bit worried. He said that he had heard
19 stories that he may, perhaps, be sent to Manjaca. That was all. After
20 that I was worried. But, of course, I wasn't pleased or indifferent. I
21 don't know how to explain it. I felt there was nothing else I could do.
22 However, afterwards he informed me that that was not the case, that this
23 was information that he had heard and that he was in Trnopolje. Actually,
24 he informed me that they were in Trnopolje, and then I took certain steps
25 to get them out of the Trnopolje.
1 Q. Which brother-in-law was he speaking about? What's the name,
3 A. Nedzad. Actually, the one that was said to have participated in
4 certain guard duty prior to these events. So that I can think about it
5 and make my own conclusions, he probably said that to the inspectors and
6 then this followed.
7 Q. If these categories dealt with the end of the time of Omarska
8 camp, would you know what happened to the prisoners who were neither sent
9 to Manjaca nor to Trnopolje nor home? What happened to those prisoners?
10 A. I really don't know that. Whether there were any such people who
11 were not sent anywhere at the very end, I really don't know.
12 MS. SOMERS: Would this be a convenient time to break for the
13 day? I can ask more questions, but they will take us to another area.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, do you have an
16 estimate of the time you still need to complete your cross-examination of
17 Mr. Kvocka?
18 MS. SOMERS: This had come up earlier today and I had made a
19 guesstimate. I would hope to finish by the end of the morning session. I
20 have tried to -- in light of a concern that was raised about time, I'd
21 like to try to finish by the morning session's end, by the lunch break.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Do not forget,
23 Ms. Susan Somers - maybe now is not the time to say that - but don't
24 forget that you have documents to tender in connection with, I think, the
25 last witness prior to Mr. Kvocka. We can deal with that at the end of the
1 cross-examination of Mr. Kvocka, with all the documents. Do you
2 understand? Is that all right?
3 MS. SOMERS: This is fine. Thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So tomorrow we will meet again
5 at twenty past nine here in the same courtroom.
6 Yes, Mr. Fila.
7 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I do apologise for
8 raising this matter at the very end, but I think it is a good moment for
9 us to follow on from what Her Honour Judge Wald said.
10 At the very beginning when we mentioned the first documents, I
11 asked where they came from. They are given to us in copies. Many of them
12 are untranslated. Please look at the one you have in front of you. You
13 have a black blot in the Serbian language version and something written
14 here. In your language, you don't see that at all.
15 I'm also listening to the French interpretation as you. The
16 differences are considerable. We keep hearing "poste de station de
17 police" in French, or department of the "poste de police," and in English
18 it is always post [as interpreted] the police, so I do apologise to the
19 Chamber for taking up time.
20 Ms. Somers should give us with the document every time an
21 indication of where it came from so that we can at least here in the
22 courtroom look at the original, because I have written a letter to
23 Ms. Somers requesting this and this was refused. And we can raise that
24 matter at the Status Conference, but I don't want to keep you any longer.
25 This is a piece of paper without any signature, that somebody
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 wrote someplace, maybe yesterday, but I have every respect for my learned
2 friend. I know that that is not so, and that it was found where
3 Ms. Somers tells us it was found. But we cannot behave in a proper manner
4 as professionals unless we have evidence that that is so.
5 Thank you very much, and I apologise once again.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Fila. I myself have
7 tried to look to see what is written in the original, and it says,
8 "Omarska, Category 1." We don't need to translate that, but Ms. Susan
9 Somers, could you respond to this concern of Mr. Fila's?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone is not on, Mr. Fila.
11 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] God knows what is written here.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We are talking about 3/204.
13 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I am referring to the
14 document that was just shown to the witness. There's something scribbled
15 by hand.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, and what I see here it
17 says, "Omarska, Category 1."
18 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Not like that.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Maybe I have a different
20 document than you.
21 So Ms. Susan Somers, you have heard the concerns. Are you
22 prepared to respond to them, or do you wish to respond on another
24 MS. SOMERS: I can briefly indicate that in terms of the request
25 that Mr. Fila addressed to me, that I spoke of Mr. Jovanovic about, and I
1 think perhaps Mr. Fila has his information incorrect, but that's handled
2 right now inter partes, as the Court wishes us to do, before any motions
3 are filed. We are in the process of trying to, we are in the process of
4 trying to get the information sufficient to honour his request.
5 On any possibly extraneous markings, unless it was done -- and I
6 cannot give you -- I'm giving you an off-the-cuff, sort of prosecutorial
7 observation, perhaps in the course of indexing the document, it looks like
8 someone may have written "Omarska, Category 1" in English. We can see if
9 that may have come in with that indication as it -- I am sure it was
10 erroneously done, but it could have happened. It clearly is an English
11 spelling of "category," so it looks like that is it.
12 But in answer to Her Honour Judge Wald's inquiry, I can check the
13 informational document that gives the location of seizure, and if that
14 would be of some help, I will do that for both documents that we discussed
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. But the question is,
17 Ms. Susan Somers, I think, that you must give that information to the
18 Defence so that the Defence should have an idea about the authenticity
19 because as far as I know, you're showing the document for the first time
20 now to the Defence, and the Defence needs to have that information.
21 Otherwise, as Mr. Fila said, one could imagine that this document was
22 drawn up yesterday somewhere.
23 So this is a question of authenticity that we are raising here.
24 MS. SOMERS: What I can do so as to avoid my own getting involved
25 in testifying, to -- if the Chamber would accept this as a kind of an ad
1 hoc explanation practice, is when I ask about a document, if it's not
2 objectionable, I can say a document located in such and such a location
3 from the Prijedor collection, if that would be helpful.
4 It's a bit awkward because I'm not testifying, but I could put
5 that in; otherwise, there can -- if authenticity is an issue, then -- I'm
6 sorry. I'm just reminded that some documents from the Prijedor collection
7 were also tendered by the Defence, D40/1, so it may come up running two
8 ways. But I can at least indicate to the Chamber so it has enough of an
9 idea, and I think it would be helpful to Defence counsel, if the Chamber
10 will permit me that way. Otherwise, I would have to have an investigator
11 come in with a list of documents and indicate the source from the warrant.
12 JUDGE WALD: Let me just say what would be satisfactory to me,
13 because a document like this, and many of them, a birth certificate, a
14 death certificate, you're not going to get too excited about if they've
15 got some evidence of authenticity in it. But this is a fairly important
16 document, and I think even though you -- to give it credence, at least, I
17 would need to know where it was taken from, when it was taken
18 approximately, you know, and a signature.
19 It could be, I suppose, by affidavit. I mean, it could be by
20 affidavit or something, that this was in the group of things seized in the
21 Prijedor, I'm using just a -- police station, you know, pursuant to a
22 search warrant on March 1st, 1999, signed by a real name. I mean, if --
23 it's just too much to sort of have a document there --
24 MS. SOMERS: Understandable.
25 JUDGE WALD: -- that doesn't have any ...
1 MS. SOMERS: May I ask you, Judge Wald, and Your Honours, would
2 the Chamber prefer that we take note of these documents, that I simply
3 tender them, and then at the end have an affidavit so that we don't have a
4 repeat presentation or --
5 JUDGE WALD: Sure, whatever.
6 MS. SOMERS: Would that be acceptable?
7 JUDGE WALD: For me, whatever -- so long as at some point, the
8 thing is identified in some way so that I know that it wasn't, in fact,
9 something somebody decided on the last day --
10 MS. SOMERS: If that's okay with Mr. --
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And this is a question of
12 interest to the Defence as well because we are in a system when documents
13 are exchanged between the parties, and the Judges have nothing to do with
14 the game. But that is not true, I think.
15 Each one of us often places himself in the perspective of the
16 legal system he comes from. I think this is a matter you have to regulate
17 with the Defence. I personally am satisfied, but I don't know whether
18 Defence is satisfied. And that is why I suggested from the beginning -- I
19 know very often that one party doesn't like the other party to know in
20 advance. It's strategy; that is a game. But that is why I said show your
21 documents, discuss questions of authenticity, and afterwards we'll see.
22 I don't want to enlarge the debate, but I think there was an
23 orientation that we took the other day during the Status Conference to see
24 whether admissibility comes before authenticity or not. In my view, I
25 think that was the intervention of Mr. O'Sullivan, along those lines, if
1 I'm not wrong. But in my opinion, we have to address the question of
2 authenticity first, and then see its relevance and admit it. And after it
3 is admitted, it can be distributed.
4 How can we admit a document if we doubt its authenticity? If you
5 look at Rule 65 ter when there is reference to the exhibits, either from
6 the Prosecution, that is paragraph (E), or from the Defence, paragraph (G)
7 I think, whenever exhibits are mentioned, it has to -- we have to be sure
8 that there is no objection as to authenticity of the other party. The
9 Defence has to produce a list of exhibits with the opinion of the
10 Prosecution regarding authenticity. I mean, authenticity is the first
11 thing that we have to address.
12 So now, Ms. Susan Somers, why are we talking about this document
13 if we're still doubting its authenticity? First authenticity has to be
14 resolved, and then only afterwards can the document be used. Or, if that
15 was not possible in advance, I submit the document in the courtroom saying
16 this document comes from such and such a source, it was obtained in such
17 and such a way, and we have it here. And after that, we see if we believe
18 what you are saying. But when you say in that way, "I will be
19 testifying," we also know that a document speaks for itself. The question
20 is, is it authentic or not, because afterwards the document speaks for
22 So I think you realise what the issue is. We can have that
23 discussion next week, perhaps, but at this stage when presenting a
24 document at the hearing, you have to authenticate it, telling us what the
25 source is, where it comes from, and so on. But we can't go on much
1 longer; otherwise, we'll go on forever.
2 MR. FILA: [Interpretation] Just briefly, just one sentence. If
3 something is written on that document in English, you will believe me that
4 they can't even speak B/C/S over there, never mind English, so it's no
5 longer an authentic document.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That is a possible
7 interpretation. That is also one I share. It is certainly not the person
8 who typed out this document who thought about it and said "category 1" in
9 English. No, somebody was working with this document, an English-speaking
10 person, and who wrote down this category 1.
11 So, Ms. Susan Somers, there is, to say the least, confusion. Use
12 the document, yes, but once we have -- we all share the authenticity of
13 that document. What the document says is something else.
14 If I go on, the interpreters are really going to call me a
15 traitor, so I think we'll end there and we will meet again tomorrow at
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3:18 p.m., to
18 be reconvened on Thursday the 15th day of
19 February, 2001, at 9.20 a.m.