1 Tuesday, 20
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.29 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, and you may be
6 seated. Good morning to the technicians, to the interpreters; good
7 morning, representatives of the Registry; good morning, counsel.
8 Let me apologise for this delay. But as soon as I learnt that it
9 was not possible to start at 9.20, I tried to inform you about that. I
10 don't know whether you have received the notification on time. As far as
11 I can see, everybody is here and we are ready to continue.
12 Mr. Nikolic, you have the floor.
13 MR. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Thank
15 The Defence counsel for the accused Milojica Kos calls its last
16 witness, Mr. Zelimir Skrbic. Indirectly, this means that the last, the
17 fifth witness that we had intended to call is not going to be testifying.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Skrbic. Can
20 you hear me well?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You will read the solemn
23 declaration that is being given to you.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
25 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 WITNESS: ZELIMIR SKRBIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated. Please make
4 yourself as comfortable as possible. Approach the microphone, please.
5 Thank you very much for having come. Now you will be answering questions
6 being asked of you by counsel Jelena Nikolic.
7 Ms. Nikolic, the floor is yours.
8 Examined by Ms. Nikolic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Skrbic.
10 A. Good morning to everyone.
11 Q. Will you please give us your full name.
12 A. Zelimir Skrbic.
13 Q. Will you please state your full date of birth.
14 A. 20 May 1966.
15 Q. Where were you born?
16 A. In Jajce.
17 Q. Do you have any education?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Where did you complete your elementary and secondary school?
20 A. I completed elementary school in Jajce and the secondary in
21 Sarajevo. That was a police academy.
22 Q. Did you then continue to get education?
23 A. Yes. Several top graduates from the police secondary school went
24 to the police academy in Belgrade, which I then graduated from
1 Q. When did you graduate?
2 A. In 1989.
3 Q. Did you also attend some other seminars?
4 A. Yes. After the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, we had assistance
5 of the International Community and we worked with the IPTF. I became a
6 graduate of several courses organised by the Swedish and the US
8 Q. Were you given some certificates?
9 A. Yes. I successfully graduated from these courses and I got
10 certificates which further enabled me to continue with my police work.
11 Q. Are you married?
12 A. Yes, I am.
13 Q. Do you have children?
14 A. I have two sweetest little girls.
15 Q. After graduating, where did you live and work?
16 A. I worked in Sarajevo as an educator in the secondary police
17 school, and after having had further education, I became the deputy
18 commander of the police station in Vogosca. This is where I stayed, that
19 is, in this job, until the war broke out.
20 Q. Where did you go next?
21 A. I was waiting for a new assignment in the Ministry of Internal
22 Affairs. I went to and stayed with my parents in Jajce, waiting for this
23 new job to start. This did not happen, however.
24 Q. How long did you stay in Jajce?
25 A. I think that it was May 1991, until May.
1 Q. Did you then leave Jajce, and where did you go?
2 A. Yes. I left Jajce because there was threat of war, and I reported
3 to the public security centre, and that was in Banja Luka.
4 Q. When was this?
5 A. That was in 1992. When I received this telegram to report to the
6 nearest security centre, that is where I was sent.
7 Q. Where do you live today?
8 A. In Banja Luka.
9 Q. Where do you work today?
10 A. In the school centre.
11 Q. What is your job?
12 A. I'm a professor at the police academy.
13 Q. Do you cooperate with any international organisations?
14 A. Yes. As I said, it is with IPTF and ICITAP. Also, the SFOR
15 troops also give us assistance in police training.
16 Q. Mr. Skrbic, let me take you back to 1992, 1993. When you came to
17 Banja Luka, where did you work in 1992, 1993?
18 A. In the Security Services Centre.
19 Q. What was your assignment?
20 A. I was an examiner for logistics.
21 Q. Did you have any other assignments?
22 A. When the courses first started, I was a coordinator of these
23 courses or seminars, whatever you call them.
24 Q. Where were these courses held?
25 A. These courses were held outside of the school centre, because we
1 did not have enough room, but it was all organised by the school centre.
2 Q. This was in the city?
3 A. Yes. This was in Banja Luka.
4 Q. When did the courses start, if you know? What year?
5 A. As early as the end of 1992, the courses were already under way.
6 Q. And did they continue, and until when, if you remember?
7 A. They continue to date.
8 Q. You said that you were a coordinator?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Will you explain for the Judges what this involved, to be a
11 coordinator in a police academy, police school.
12 A. That means that I supervise and guide their work. I first have to
13 ensure that everybody attends, and I would also be present there in one
14 class, or sometimes in several classes, and follow their work, supervise
15 their activities outside of the class as well.
16 Q. Will you please tell us: Who attended these courses? Who were
17 the personnel who came there?
18 A. These were all individuals, male or female, who had applied for
19 these courses. This would be mostly through -- sometimes it was internal,
20 but I've heard from my colleagues that this was also advertised publicly.
21 Q. Do you know what requirements were needed at that time for
22 somebody to be admitted to such a course?
23 A. Of course. I know the general requirements and I know special
24 requirements. The general requirements are completed secondary school of
25 the third or fourth degree, completed military service, no criminal record
1 and no -- they had to be citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a special
2 requirement was that they are not of the age over 30, and they had to have
3 certain physical and mental capacities.
4 Q. Do you know what the programme, the curriculum was like?
5 A. Yes. It is the same curriculum that we've had and it continues,
6 with some little changes.
7 Q. Can you describe this curriculum for the Judges a little bit?
8 A. More recently, we deal with the Geneva Conventions and the
9 international law more than before, and we put more stress on the human
10 rights and freedoms.
11 Q. Do you recall approximately what subjects -- about these subjects
12 in 1993, to what extent were they offered?
13 A. This was all shorter because now the theory part and the practical
14 part each take six months, whereas it used to be three months each. The
15 subjects that are covered were all kinds of laws, and that included the
16 Geneva Conventions, international law, then the Rules of Service, the
17 things that any police officer has to know in order to be able to
18 discharge his work; traffic control, and everything else that is more
19 specialised knowledge.
20 Q. Will you tell us, in 1993, based on your experience and knowledge,
21 what kind of knowledge would this programme provide in 1993?
22 A. Sufficient for them to be able to carry out their duties as police
23 officers, sufficient, that is.
24 Q. The level of knowledge, would you describe it as a high level,
25 medium level, low level?
1 A. They could work in these duties.
2 Q. How long did the course take at that time?
3 A. Three months of theory and then three months of practical
5 Q. Will you tell us what this practical part consisted of? Because I
6 think the Judges have heard a little bit about the theory part.
7 A. The practical part consisted in the students going to the various
8 units. They could go to the traffic control unit, to the general -- to
9 the station where they would be put in patrol duties, and the patrols
10 could be also traffic; and then they could be assigned to administrative
11 units or administrative law.
12 Q. After the completion of the course, did the graduates receive any
13 kind of certificates?
14 A. Yes, they would be issued certificates on the completed course.
15 Q. What were they after that?
16 A. They were the junior policemen.
17 Q. Were they interns? Does that mean that there was a period of
19 A. Yes. The rules asked that you had to have six months, up to a
20 year of this residence or internship.
21 Q. Did the people who attend your courses have any experience in
22 police work?
23 A. No, as far as I know, because it was the only institution
24 certified to provide this type of training.
25 Q. Did you also socialise with or interact with these students?
1 A. Of course, throughout their attendance there.
2 Q. Was this usual?
3 A. Yes, of course.
4 Q. Please explain.
5 A. Can I? In order to be able to supervise them, to see how they
6 have absorbed knowledge, and also what their behaviour was - in other
7 words, whether they followed the rules, the house rules - if a person
8 would -- if some such behaviour would be identified, we would take steps
9 to correct that, and if it would be repeated, then they would be asked to
10 leave the course. So my role was to observe and see whether some of the
11 individuals had the ability to engage in more complex types of work and
12 then recommend such individuals for further training.
13 Q. Did you know a person named Milojica Kos?
14 A. When?
15 Q. In the period 1992/1993, when he was attending the course.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. When was this?
18 A. When he applied for the course to become a police officer.
19 Q. Do you know what his profession was before 1992/1993?
20 A. I did not know initially, but I learned from a conversation with
21 him that he was in the restaurant business. You could see that later,
22 obviously, by checking his personal file.
23 Q. Did he apply for the course as a citizen, a regular citizen, or
24 was it because he was a member of the reserve force?
25 A. I was not aware of that either, but in a conversation with me, he
1 told me that he had come from that reserve police background. Of course,
2 that could also have been checked in the personal file.
3 Q. Did you know him in 1993 when he was a student at the course?
4 A. Yes, in 1993, I did.
5 Q. Do you know where he attended the course?
6 A. This is, as I said, this was in the student centre, because, as I
7 said before, we did not have enough room. But this student centre had --
8 was a good enough facility because they could get accommodation there and
9 they could also have class -- they could use classrooms there.
10 Q. In your role as a coordinator, did you have contact with him?
11 A. Yes. As I said, I supervised them during the classes and I also
12 mingled with them after the classes in order to identify certain qualities
13 in them, and then later on, even later in restaurants and coffee bars, and
14 places like that.
15 Q. In your observation of Milojica Kos, in your conversations with
16 him, did he stand out in his behaviour in any way; in classes, outside of
18 A. No, he did not stand out. He was one of the crowd. When I say
19 "the crowd," I don't mean this -- it was a group. The comments that he
20 was making were about regular things. He did not show a tendency to go on
21 with the training, but he did complete the training that he had started.
22 Q. Will you please be so kind and describe the character of Milojica
23 Kos, so far as you remember.
24 A. Outside of classes, he was a regular person, didn't stand out in
25 any way, had a very developed sense of humour, quite developed sense of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 humour. He was a good soccer player. He was good on the -- he was a good
2 attacker, if you will.
3 Q. Could you have identified in him any leadership qualities?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
6 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is all I have.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic.
8 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I'm also
9 going to ask several questions.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. K. Simic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Skrbic.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. I'm Krstan Simic, attorney from Banja Luka. Along with Mr. Lukic,
14 we represent Mr. Kvocka's Defence. I'm going to use the opportunity of
15 your presence here as a Defence witness for Mr. Milojica Kos to ask you
16 some questions.
17 Based on your personal knowledge and experience, and you told us
18 that you also worked as a deputy commander of a police station --
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. -- will you give us a classification of jobs within, let's say, a
21 general purpose police station.
22 A. First is the safety of human lives and protecting the
23 constitutional system, providing security for facilities in your zone of
24 operation; provide crime expertise; control of traffic on roads; control
25 of transportation of hazardous materials and everything else listed in the
1 rules and regulations.
2 Q. Within your daily tasks in the police station, do you also have
3 duty service?
4 A. Yes, that is part and parcel of our job.
5 Q. While we're discussing work of a police station, could you tell
6 us, very briefly, what is its leadership structure?
7 A. From the top down, first there's a commander of the police
8 station, his deputy. Depending on the size of the police station, there
9 may be several assistants. At least one is necessary. And then the
10 organisational part, which consists of police officers, you have uniformed
11 officers, you have the crime service and the traffic department or
12 division, and then also the administrative unit.
13 Q. Mr. Skrbic, I would just like to focus on the uniformed part.
14 A. We have a commander, deputy, one or more assistants, and then
15 uniformed police officers.
16 Q. Can there be departments or detached departments within a police
18 A. Depending on the configuration of terrain, depending on the
19 density of population in an area, of course, you can organise detached
21 Q. How many?
22 A. That would depend, as I said, completely on the density of
23 population in an area. There can be one or several detached departments.
24 Q. Based on your personal knowledge and experience during your time
25 spent in the police force, what would be the personnel structure of a
1 detached department of the police station?
2 A. It would have a commander.
3 Q. Is that all that it would have?
4 A. Yes. It would only have a commander.
5 Q. Mr. Skrbic, within the framework of a general police station, are
6 there also duties that are called a chief, a head of a shift or chief of
7 shift --
8 A. Yes. It depends.
9 Q. -- in the basic police station structure?
10 A. Yes, of course. There is the head of shift or the chief of shift
11 or duty officer.
12 Q. Now, what about providing security? What does it involve?
13 A. It could be regular security and it could be extraordinary
14 security duties.
15 Q. What is the difference between the regular and extraordinary?
16 A. The regular security involves 24-hour round-the-clock security,
17 and that means the presence of the police officers in the police station.
18 Now, this also involves providing security for certain facilities or
19 persons in the area covered by the police station. Extraordinary
20 circumstances means something that is not regular, which would mean large
21 public gatherings, sports events, and other types of events that would be
22 covered until the end of such event is over, and it would also involve a
23 group of persons.
24 Q. Who is in charge of providing security for extraordinary events?
25 A. The superior in charge of the area where the public gathering is
1 to take place.
2 Q. If a gathering is supposed to take place in Banja Luka, who would
3 be in charge of providing security?
4 A. The superior officer of the Centre of the Public Security Services
5 or the chief of station where the public gathering is taking place. May I
7 Q. Yes, of course.
8 A. It is the commander of the police station in whose area the
9 gathering is taking place who is in charge of the plan, and it is the
10 chief of the Centre of Public Security Station who is in charge of
11 implementing the overall security plan for the area.
12 Q. Let us clarify something. My colleague has drawn my attention to
13 a sentence which is missing, that is, a word that is missing from the
14 record, so I will repeat my question so that we can have your answer once
15 again. Who is responsible, who is in charge of functioning extraordinary
16 Security Service in an area?
17 A. As I said, the plan is carried out by the superior officer of a
18 police station, that is, the commander of a police station in whose area
19 the gathering is taking place; and responsible for the overall
20 implementation of the plan is the chief of the centre.
21 Q. Mr. Skrbic, on the basis of your experience, what do the duties of
22 the duty officer involve? I'm talking about general police station where
23 you were a commander.
24 A. No, a deputy commander.
25 Q. Yes, a deputy commander. What is the work of a duty officer?
1 What is his assignment?
2 A. His assignments are the following: He is in charge of receiving
3 all kinds of reports from citizens, both direct reports or anonymous
4 reports. He coordinates work of police officers and dispatches them to
5 their work assignments, depending on the area which is under the control
6 of the police station and depending on where the event took place.
7 He is assigning them to various shifts in the following way: Once
8 a shift begins, there must be a review of police officers. He is the one
9 who has to check on their conditions, both visually and by various
10 questions. He checks on their uniforms and he asks them if there is
11 anyone who does not feel ready to perform their duties, and he also is in
12 charge of checking on their equipment, including police batons, pistols,
13 and all other equipment that they're using. So he is the one who
14 dispatches the shift to their assignment and he is also in charge of
15 coordinating the work of police officers in various shifts.
16 Q. The duty officer, does he have a superior position in respect of
18 A. No, he doesn't. He only implements decisions of his superiors.
19 Q. Mr. Skrbic, on the basis of your experience, once again, can you
20 tell us if it is necessary, as part of extraordinary security, to organise
21 duty service?
22 A. Again, it depends what kind of extraordinary circumstances we're
23 talking about that would require security.
24 Q. If that service should be organised, would the work of the duty
25 officer be identical to the work which is performed by the duty officer
1 within a police station?
2 A. Yes. Those tasks are identical.
3 Q. As regards individuals who are not familiar with the system of the
4 work of the police, can the work of a duty officer create a different
5 picture in respect of the officer who is in charge of providing direct
6 security in a given area?
7 A. Yes, of course. It can create a different impression. When
8 you're very young or uninformed, if you come across any person in uniform,
9 be it a uniform of a postman or some other officer, you can be under a
10 completely different impression of what their work is. You may think that
11 they are a person of authority.
12 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
13 further questions for the witness.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Mr. Simic.
15 Any other counsel who wish to cross-examine the witness? No.
16 Ms. Somers for the cross-examination, please. I think that you
17 have approximately 35 minutes for cross-examination.
18 Mr. Skrbic, you are now going to answer questions that will be put
19 to you by the counsel for the Prosecution
20 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:
21 Q. Mr. Skrbic, in which canton does Vogosca find itself, please?
22 A. I'm not familiar with the organisation for cantons. I assume that
23 it is in the Sarajevo canton.
24 Q. Now, you were deputy commander of Vogosca, and you are not sure of
25 its organisational structure today. Do I understand that correctly?
1 A. Yes, you understand me correctly. I live in Republika Srpska.
2 Q. You mentioned two organisations with whom you do some -- or with
3 whom you have contact or with which you have contact in the International
4 Community; one, of course, is IPTF and the other one was ICITAP; is that
5 correct? That's the International Criminal Investigative Training
6 Assistance Program; is that correct?
7 A. I don't know exactly what you mean when you say "investigative
9 Q. You indicated that you had professional deals as a police officer
10 with two international organisations. You gave initials and one of them
11 was ICITAP; is that correct?
12 A. ICITAP.
13 Q. Now, when did you first have an association with ICITAP, please?
14 A. Two years ago.
15 Q. With which individual in ICITAP have you been dealing, please?
16 Name and location.
17 A. I had contact with him only during the training. His name is
18 William Anderson; he lives in the United States, but I don't know where he
19 is at the moment.
20 Q. Where did that training take place, please?
21 A. It took place in the school centre, in my office.
22 Q. Which is where?
23 A. The Banja Luka School Centre.
24 Q. Did you receive any type of certificate from ICITAP as a result of
25 this training?
1 A. Of course. I have quite a few of them, and Mrs. Nikolic has them
3 Q. What was the date of the receipt of the certificate and the date
4 of the training, please?
5 A. I think that the exact answer can be found in the documents so I
6 think you should ask Mrs. Nikolic to give it to you, to show it to you.
7 Q. I'm asking you, please. You completed the course work. Would you
8 give us the date? Month and year would be fine.
9 A. March.
10 Q. Year, please?
11 A. 1998.
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] The documents are all here. With
15 your permission, Your Honour, and if my learned colleague agrees, we can
16 have a look at the document without all these questions and without
17 forcing the witness to remember the exact dates. They're all here in the
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Nikolic, but I think
20 that Ms. Susan Somers is doing her job. The witness can always say, "I
21 cannot remember." Ms. Somers is just doing her work as counsel for the
22 Prosecution, and I cannot intervene in that respect. The witness has
23 already said that the documents are in your possession and that the facts,
24 the relevant facts, can be checked out.
25 Ms. Somers, please continue.
1 MS. SOMERS:
2 Q. The description of police structure, which you just gave in
3 response to Mrs. Nikolic's questions, was based on your experience in
4 Vogosca, was it not?
5 A. No, Ms. Nikolic didn't ask me that question. I think it was
6 Mr. Simic.
7 Q. I beg your pardon. You're absolutely right. Mr. Simic's
8 question, the answers - and I'm sorry I confused that, my fault - the
9 answers you gave were based, were they not, on your experience in Vogosca
10 as a deputy commander; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Vogosca, the experience there was prewar, was it not?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You have a relative who was with the Ministry of Internal Affairs
15 from the former Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Who is that
16 person, please?
17 A. There are several of us Skrbics in the police. I don't know who
18 exactly you have in mind.
19 Q. A member of the Ministry, a high official. Who would that be,
21 A. What exactly do you mean by "a high official"? I don't quite
22 understand your question. Are you referring to the former
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, prewar Bosnia-Herzegovina?
24 Q. I am.
25 A. Yes. I have an uncle, my father's brother.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 Q. His name, please?
2 A. Dragan Skrbic.
3 Q. What was his position in the Ministry of the former Socialist
4 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. He was a commander of a traffic police station, station number 2,
6 for awhile. I think that later on he was the Chief of the Traffic Safety
7 Department for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. Where was he situated? Where was he based, please?
9 A. In Sarajevo.
10 Q. Is this the same uncle whose assistance you invoked after
11 assaulting a teacher named Bilic in Jajce in 1991? Do you remember that
13 A. No. Bilic in Jajce?
14 Q. You were 26 years old, were you not, in 1992?
15 A. If that's what you're saying, then it must be correct. Yes, I was
16 born in 1966.
17 Q. When you were working in Vogosca, which years were those, please?
18 A. 1991, 1992.
19 Q. So you were 25-ish years old, approximately 25 years old, and you
20 achieved rank of deputy commander. Did you get that with your uncle's
22 A. No, only thanks to my work. I do not rely on the assistance of
23 relatives. I personally hate all kinds of nepotism.
24 Q. Did you have difficulties when you were at the secondary police
25 school in Sarajevo because of your temper?
1 A. I was not at the police academy in Sarajevo. I attended the
2 Secondary School for Internal Affairs in Sarajevo. I do not have a bad
3 temper; I'm just a vivacious person, if I can say so.
4 Q. The summary which Mrs. Nikolic and her team provided us indicated
5 that you had a diploma from a military academy in Belgrade. Earlier
6 today, I believe your testimony was that you had a diploma from a police
7 academy in Belgrade, or a secondary school. Can you tell us, please, what
8 diploma do you hold from Belgrade, and what type of academy, police or
10 A. After each successful completion of any training or school, you
11 always get a certificate or a diploma. After I completed the Secondary
12 School of the Internal Affairs, I received an appropriate diploma, after
13 which, as a student who graduated cum laude, with the help of a state
14 grant, I was sent to a camp, a military academy in Belgrade, which I also
15 completed successfully, and I also have a diploma to that effect.
16 The former Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina educated this
17 type of personnel strictly for police work in order for them to have
18 leadership and commanding capabilities, so that the whole service would be
20 Q. Do you know an individual by the name of Milenko Sovilj?
21 A. Milenko Sovilj?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And does he have a nickname?
25 A. Miki.
1 Q. Do you know an individual named Dusko Tisman?
2 A. Dusko Tisman? Yes, yes, I know him from Jajce.
3 Q. Do you know him from a time when the three of you and others
4 formed the reconnaissance and diversion unit in Jajce municipality at the
5 beginning of 1992? Is that where you know him from -- them from?
6 A. Yes. But you have misrepresented this unit.
7 Q. Help me represent it correctly. Describe it accurately, its
8 mission, its composition.
9 A. You want me to describe its mission and its composition; is that
10 what you want me to do?
11 Q. If you can.
12 A. As regards the mission, we didn't have anything special. We were
13 posted in a mountain hut and we were just staying there for awhile.
14 Q. Your relationship with Stojan Zupljanin was close and trusted, was
15 it not?
16 A. No.
17 Q. The 27th of October, 1992, roughly, the 26th perhaps, you were
18 involved in the takeover of Jajce municipality, were you not?
19 A. What kind of takeover of municipality are you talking about?
20 Q. The Serb victory, as it were - I use the term cautiously - in
21 Jajce. There was a resistance, was there not, by Muslims and Croats which
22 did not prevail. In October, Jajce fell to the Serbs, did it not?
23 A. Yes, but I didn't feel any resistance whatsoever. There was no
24 resistance at all. I entered Jajce normally.
25 Q. You were in Jajce, though, in October of 1992, when Jajce fell to
1 the Serbs; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. I went there because I wanted to see my family. My
3 mother-in-law and my wife's grandmother and her brother were still there,
4 so I wanted to see if they were still alive, and help them, if necessary.
5 MS. SOMERS: Would the usher be kind enough to distribute 3/213,
6 please. I must apologise for the quality of the copy and to inform the
7 Court, pursuant to its directive, we will try to get the originals
8 presented on short notice. It's a bit difficult.
9 Q. What you have in front of you, Mr. Skrbic, is a photocopy of a
10 document that was sent by, it appears, packet radio, under the name of
11 Stojan Zupljanin, the head of the CSB in Banja Luka. This document, dated
12 26 October 1992, discusses, among other things, substitution of various
13 police personnel in Jajce, in assistance to the 2nd Krajina Corps, which
14 was engaged in the takeover of Jajce. Your name appears on the second
15 page as being appointed by --
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, I think that the
17 witness has only one page and you have two pages, so when you say "on the
18 second page," you must bear in mind that the witness has only one page.
19 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry. The Serbo-Croat edition is one page. The
20 English translation, Your Honour -- and I apologise that there has not
21 been yet a French translation. The English translation has two pages.
22 Q. Mr. Skrbic, on your page, of course, roughly an inch above the
23 area where Zupljanin's name appears, it reads: "I appoint Brane Pecanac
24 as CSB Security Services inspector, the commander of the company; and
25 Zelimir Skrbic the deputy commander; and someone name Marjanovic the
1 assistant commander."
2 The purpose of this manoeuvre unit which is described on page 1 in
3 the English was what? Can you tell us what manoeuvres police were going
4 to do for the 2nd Krajina Corps and what your role was to be?
5 A. Just a moment, please. Could you please repeat the question?
6 MS. SOMERS: Yes, of course. The purpose of this manoeuvre unit,
7 which is described on our first page and your first page as well, in
8 assistance to the -- I'm sorry. Can you tell us what manoeuvres the
9 police were going to do for or with the 2nd Krajina Corps and what your
10 role was going to be?
11 A. Protection of civilians.
12 Q. Which civilians?
13 A. I'm referring to ordinary citizens.
14 Q. Of which nationality, which ethnicity?
15 A. Regardless of their ethnicity. A civilian is always a civilian.
16 Q. You were a sniper, were you not, during that operation?
17 A. No. I cannot handle sniper at all well enough, the way it should
18 be handled by a professional sniper shooter. I mean, through my training
19 I became familiar with this type of weapon, but no, the information you
20 have is not correct.
21 Q. Explain, please: Why is a manoeuvre unit necessary, a manoeuvre
22 unit in aid of the 2nd Krajina Corps, necessary to protect civilians?
23 Help us understand that, please.
24 A. So as to prevent the military to act in a brutal manner towards
25 civilians. You know how things are in war: When people lose a member of
1 their family, they act irrationally. They may attempt to murder someone.
2 So we were there to protect the civilians from that type of behaviour.
3 Q. You were there to expel Bosniak civilians, were you not?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you know the Hotel Turist in Jajce? Are you familiar with it?
6 A. As a young man I went there very often, because it's near the
8 Q. As a 25-year-old or 26-year-old man, you sniped at Bosniak
9 refugees who were in that hotel, did you not, in October of 1992?
10 A. No.
11 Q. When you first spoke with Milojica Kos and you found out that he
12 was a reserve policeman, did he tell you that he had worked at the Omarska
13 detention camp or investigation centre?
14 A. No, he didn't.
15 Q. Did you ask?
16 A. I didn't even know that there was such a camp.
17 Q. You were in Banja Luka at the time?
18 A. Yes. Yes. Yes, I was in Banja Luka.
19 Q. Now, think hard. This Chamber has heard a lot of evidence about
20 the role of CSB in the camps. Are you suggesting that as a member of the
21 CSB, you did not know the Omarska camp existed?
22 A. No, I really didn't know. It was only later that I heard this,
23 from others.
24 Q. When did you hear it, and from whom, please?
25 A. I can't remember exactly who it was that told me, his name and
1 surname, but there were stories going round among people in groups that
2 there were certain camps there, and I know nothing more than that.
3 Q. Just what did you hear about the camp?
4 A. Just the fact that it existed, nothing more, and I wasn't
5 interested anyway.
6 Q. When did you hear about that? Please give us a date, a month and
7 a year, at least.
8 A. Perhaps at the end of 1993, beginning of 1994. No, 1993.
9 Q. Did you learn about other camps? Manjaca, for example?
10 A. Yes. Also through stories, I knew, I heard, that there was a camp
11 at Manjaca.
12 Q. When did you hear the story about Manjaca, which is in Banja Luka,
13 near Banja Luka?
14 A. It's near Banja Luka; it's not in Banja Luka. It's a mountain
15 near Banja Luka, some 20 kilometres away. And I heard -- there was a
16 story going round in town that there was a camp there for interrogations.
17 Q. So you didn't know about it. Mr. Kos didn't tell you about it.
18 When you learned about the existence of Omarska, did it occur to you to
19 find out if anyone you were training may have worked there? After all,
20 you had this Geneva Conventions background.
21 A. Yes, I knew about the Geneva Conventions, but because of my own
22 responsibilities, I really didn't have time to inquire about others. I
23 had my own problems to deal with.
24 Q. Are you telling us that you would give out a certificate of
25 training to someone whose background you knew absolutely nothing about?
1 What, pray tell, is the value of the certificate, if that's the case?
2 Help us understand.
3 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
5 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] The witness never said that he gave
6 anyone certificates. That is drawing conclusions.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Susan Somers. Rephrase
8 your question, please.
9 MS. SOMERS:
10 Q. Did Mr. Kos complete his training under you?
11 A. He did, as did many others.
12 Q. And if you allowed him to successfully complete his training, did
13 you feel a sense of responsibility toward the lives that you say policemen
14 are obligated to protect to know the background of those you were turning
15 loose as policemen?
16 A. It is not I who make it possible for them to become policemen.
17 There's a whole team of teachers, and by checking what they know, they
18 give them passing marks or not. And vetting when all these students apply
19 for a job is done by somebody else; it is not part of my responsibility.
20 Q. Now, you said you supervised Kos in class, did you not, or were
21 you wrong about that?
22 A. I didn't observe Kos in the class. Kos is just a dot in the
23 ocean, and I watch them all, and if anyone stands out, either in a
24 positive or a negative sense, I take steps; I reward them or tell them
25 what they need to do to improve.
1 Q. Well, then, please explain what supervision means to you in a
2 classroom setting. What does it mean to supervise someone like Kos if you
3 know nothing about him?
4 A. I don't know anything about any of the students. This is another
5 team of people who check out the physical and mental abilities of the
6 applicants, and it is up to me to supervise their work during instruction,
7 whether they're interested in acquiring the theoretical knowledge that is
8 being given to them at the courses.
9 Q. Are you suggesting that had you made an inquiry and learned about
10 the things that went on in Omarska camp, you might have reconsidered
11 allowing people --
12 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Nikolic.
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Every person is assumed innocent
15 until proven otherwise, and the witness said that the candidates were
16 received according to information available. This was in 1992, 1993. The
17 indictment is dated 1995, as Your Honours are well aware.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers.
19 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, this issue discusses behaviour that was
20 prior to 1993, and we are asking about attitudes of a professional, as
21 we've been told, police person, as to whether or not had certain
22 information been given to him, would he perhaps have taken a different
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ask for the information.
25 MS. SOMERS:
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 Q. If you had learned -- if you had decided to make an inquiry about
2 what took place at Omarska camp and had learned that certain types of
3 injury and violation to civilians occurred on a regular, systematic basis,
4 would that have changed your opinion about any persons under your
5 supervision being fit for police service who may have been in that camp?
6 A. I cannot answer that question when I don't know what was being
7 done in the camp, whether it in fact existed, nor did I have any interest
8 in that.
9 MS. SOMERS: Would the usher be kind enough to distribute
10 Prosecution's exhibit that was tendered -- that was admitted under the
11 1999 binder, 2/316. I'm told that they have been provided for the
12 Chamber. I don't know whether we have sufficient copies for my learned
13 friends opposite, but I can -- I think I might have just enough.
14 Q. In front of you, Mr. Skrbic, is a document which bears the name
15 Simo Drljaca at the bottom. Are you familiar with Simo Drljaca?
16 A. I would see him in passing, but not personally.
17 Q. The essence of this document, dated 13 June 1992, is Drljaca's
18 comment about the ultimate departure of a special unit Banja Luka Security
19 Services. The report is addressed -- it's on -- I'm sorry. It is
20 addressed to the chief of CSB in Banja Luka. Now, that is the place where
21 you worked, was it not?
22 A. Yes, and so what?
23 Q. And the point Mr. Drljaca is making is that after all the
24 difficulties, or alleged difficulties, which were made by members of the
25 special unit from CSB, the Omarska police took control and rid themselves
1 of these problem people. You were at the CSB during this time period,
2 were you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. But I told you what my duties were, inspector in the centre, and
6 this letter is addressed to the chief of the Security Services Centre.
7 I'm not the chief and I have no idea about this document.
8 MS. SOMERS: If the usher would kindly distribute 3/212 [Realtime
9 transcript read in error "3/202".]
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, this is
11 Exhibit 3/212, is it not?
12 MS. SOMERS: Yes, 212, Your Honour. It was just distributed to
13 the Chamber.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We need to correct the
15 transcript accordingly.
16 MS. SOMERS: Yes. It is 3/212. It does say "202," to my friends
17 in the court reporters section.
18 Q. I'm showing you, Mr. Skrbic, a blank registration form for the
19 International Police Task Force which was created, as you know, under the
20 Dayton Accords. If you will look, please, at page 6 of 14. Page 6 --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- under "B," as in boy, 7, the question asks of the applicant:
23 "Have you ever been arrested, indicted, or summoned into court as
24 a defendant in a criminal proceeding or convicted, fined, or imprisoned
25 for the violation of any law, excluding minor traffic violations?"
1 It does not ask, does it, whether or not you may have participated
2 in conduct which is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, international
3 humanitarian law, or anything like that; is that correct? It does not
4 specifically ask that question.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. So, in principle, would you agree that a person who may have
7 worked in a camp such as Omarska, Manjaca, Keraterm, Gradiska, any number
8 of centres where there are allegations of violations of international
9 humanitarian law, serious violations, would not have to indicate on this
10 form such activity?
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] What is your objection,
12 Ms. Nikolic?
13 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] My objection is that this is a
14 hypothetical question leading the witness to give a certain answer. There
15 are three hypothetical questions put in one.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The objection is overruled. I'm
17 going to allow Ms. Susan Somers to pose her question. As you know, this
18 witness spoke at length about training, about regulations, so we are in
19 the hypothetical area.
20 Put your question to the witness, Ms. Susan Somers.
21 MS. SOMERS:
22 Q. I shall repeat my question for your benefit, Mr. Skrbic. In
23 principle, would you agree that a person who may have worked in a camp
24 such as Omarska, Manjaca, Keraterm, Gradiska, or any number of centres
25 where there are or were allegations of serious violations of international
1 humanitarian law, would not have to indicate on this IPTF application form
2 for vetting his participation in such a place, would he? Would he?
3 A. If that person is working in the police and receives a
4 questionnaire of this kind and knows that he has been indicted by any
5 court, then he would necessarily have to say yes in answer to this
7 Q. We weren't speaking about indicted. If someone simply worked
8 there and managed to continue walking free afterward, that person is not
9 obligated to indicate his activities or work at such a camp, is he?
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, I think the
11 witness has already answered your question. Please go on to your next
12 question and watch the time, please.
13 MS. SOMERS:
14 Q. Did you indicate to IPTF -- I'm sorry, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE WALD: I'm sorry. I'm looking at my screen and I can't find
16 the answer.
17 MS. SOMERS: I would have to agree that I don't think he answered
18 my question, but if His Honour Judge Rodrigues wants --
19 JUDGE WALD: But I want to know the answer. So put the
20 question, "I shall repeat my question ..." where you repeated it, et
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I don't know if we have it on
23 the transcript, but I heard the answer. If you don't have the answer,
24 then put the question, please.
25 JUDGE WALD: Very briefly, if you would.
1 MS. SOMERS: May I repeat it again, Your Honour? I'm terribly
2 sorry to take the time of the Chamber.
3 Q. If that person is working -- I'm sorry. We weren't speaking about
4 being indicted. If someone simply worked there and managed to continue
5 walking free afterward, that person is not obligated --
6 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Krstan Simic, what is
8 your objection?
9 MR. K. SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my learned friend is
10 basing her questions on presumption, that the very fact that somebody was
11 working in one of the camps is --
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But, Mr. Simic, you are here,
13 you heard my response to the objection, and also I could add that you will
14 have a chance to re-examine. We just decided that Ms. Susan Somers should
15 put the question to the witness to obtain an answer, which, in my opinion,
16 was already given on page 29, line 21. But, in any event, we have allowed
17 Ms. Susan Somers to put the question, so why are you objecting now?
18 Please go on with your question, Ms. Somers.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
20 MS. SOMERS:
21 Q. That person would not be obligated to indicate his activities or
22 work at such a camp, would he? It only asks about indictment or arrest,
23 doesn't it?
24 A. The question is clear. No mention of any camp is made. I don't
25 really know what you're asking me about. The question is quite clear.
1 "Were you ever arrested, indicted, or summoned to a court of law as a
2 defendant in a criminal proceeding or convicted, fined, or imprisoned for
3 the violation of any law, excluding minor traffic violations?"
4 Q. But if you happened to have worked --
5 A. So the answer is no.
6 Q. Okay. The answer is no, you would not have to indicate any such
7 participation in possible violations because you were not arrested or
8 indicted; correct? Correct?
9 A. Yes, yes. That's what I had in mind all the time.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MS. SOMERS: Thank you for the indulgence. I have no further
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think perhaps we should have a
16 How much time, more or less, do you need, Mrs. Nikolic?
17 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] About ten minutes, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And you, Mr. Simic, do you have
19 any additional questions? No.
20 Perhaps it's better to have a break; otherwise, we'll be under
21 pressure. The interpreters have certain limits; so do we. So we'll have
22 a break, and after that -- or, rather, I will first ask the usher to
23 accompany the witness out before we break.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 [The witness stands down]
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So we are now going to have a
2 half-hour break.
3 --- Recess taken at 11.50 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.25 p.m.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
6 Mr. Usher, can you have the witness brought in, please.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let us continue.
9 Mrs. Nikolic, you have the floor.
10 Re-examined by Ms. Nikolic:
11 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Could I ask the usher for his assistance, please. Would you be
13 kind enough to place the original on the ELMO, and these are copies for
14 Their Honours/for the Bench, for the Prosecution, and for the Registry.
15 Your Honours, before I ask for these documents to be marked for
16 identification, these are the originals of diplomas of Mr. Skrbic on the
17 basis of which he is working today and carrying out his duties and which
18 he needs to take back with him. So could the copies later be filed,
19 because without the original documents he cannot continue working. He has
20 to take the originals with him.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, quite. You can show the
22 originals to the Prosecutor.
23 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Could the registrar tell me the
24 number of this document?
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] This document will be marked
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. Mr. Skrbic, you have in front of you this document on the ELMO,
4 dated the 22nd to the 26th of February, 1999, which says,
5 [In English] "United States Department of Justice International
6 Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program. Zelimir Skrbic is
7 hereby awarded this certificate for successful completion of training in
8 Instructor Development Seminar."
9 [Interpretation] Is that this document?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Were you given this document?
12 A. Yes, upon the completion of the seminar.
13 Q. Could you please explain to the Judges what kind of a seminar it
15 A. There are several such documents; they should all be together.
16 Q. Yes. But please tell us, with regard to this first one, what does
17 this diploma mean?
18 A. After this seminar, I was considered fully qualified, on the basis
19 of teachers from the United States, to work at the police academy.
20 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Could we remove this document from
21 the ELMO now, and can I have the number for the next document, please.
22 Could you please show the original to my learned friends from the
23 Prosecution, and here are the copies for Their Honours.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Usher, could you give us the document, please.
25 No, no, the copies.
1 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Let me just check once again. Has
2 this document been marked D9/2? D9/2?
3 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] That is correct.
4 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Q. Mr. Skrbic, you have in front of you a second document, a second
6 diploma, which was also issued by the:
7 [In English] "United States Department of Justice International
8 Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program. Zelimir Skrbic is
9 hereby awarded this certificate for successful completion of training in
10 Instructor Development Course," dated the 5th to 16th of July, 1999.
11 [Interpretation] Could you please tell us whether you were given
12 this diploma?
13 A. Yes, I was given it personally upon the completion of a seminar.
14 We were asked certain questions by the organisers of the seminar and then
15 issued this diploma, qualifying us for work at the police academy.
16 Q. Were you given a title?
17 A. Yes. The title was Instructor, meaning that I was qualified to
18 teach in this area.
19 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher to remove this
20 document and replace it with the third document, please. Also, we have
21 copies for Their Honours.
22 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I'd like to interpose an objection on
23 the grounds of relevance, and I will continue at the time of moving to
24 admit, but I see that these are irrelevant to the nature of the
25 cross-examination that was led. Thank you.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Susan Somers, you opened
2 this door, so it needs to be closed.
3 So you may continue, Ms. Nikolic.
4 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. May I just
5 check: The number for this document would be D10/2; am I right?
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. This
7 document has been marked D10/2.
8 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Skrbic - I do apologise for mispronouncing your name - you
10 have another certificate in front of you, issued by the United States
11 Department of Justice:
12 [In English] "Training Assistance Program. Zelimir Skrbic is
13 hereby awarded this certificate for successful completion of training in
14 Democratic Policies and Procedures course."
15 [Interpretation] The date is April 10th through the 14th, 2000.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you receive this diploma?
18 A. Yes. Upon the completion of the seminar or course, whatever you
19 like to call it, we were all given handbooks, which are applicable to the
20 entire territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, about democratic policies and
22 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Could I ask the usher to assist me
23 once again, please.
24 Is it correct --
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me for interrupting,
1 Ms. Nikolic. How many diplomas do you still have?
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] This is the last one, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] All right, then.
4 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] If I'm not mistaken, this would be
5 marked D11/2. Am I right?
6 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct. This is
7 document D11/2.
8 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Mr. Skrbic, we have here another certificate in the English
10 language. [In English] "Zelimir Skrbic has accomplished the course
11 Handling of Conflicts. Content: Public appearance technique, mental
12 readiness, influence of stress," et cetera, et cetera.
13 That's issued -- [Interpretation] It was issued by the Swedish
14 National Police Academy, International Affairs. Mr. Skrbic, did you
15 receive this certificate?
16 A. Yes. At the end of the seminar, organised by instructors,
17 teachers, professors, as they are called in Sweden, and after completing
18 that course, I think there were 12 or 13 of us participants who received
19 such a certificate.
20 Q. Can you remember when that was, as the certificate doesn't bear a
22 A. It was last year, or rather between 1999 and 2000. And in
23 agreement with the same institution, another seminar will be held. They
24 propose that we should go to Sweden to acquaint ourselves with their
25 system of work.
1 Q. What kind of work was the seminar on?
2 A. The handling of conflicts by peaceful means, control of stress
3 situations, how to handle people under stress so that no force should be
5 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further questions.
7 Could the usher just collect the originals and return them to
8 their owner, please.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
10 Ms. Nikolic.
11 Judge Fouad Riad, do you have any questions?
12 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Yes.
13 Questioned by the Court:
14 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Skrbic, good morning. Can you hear me? Can you
15 see me?
16 A. Good afternoon. Yes, I can hear you well. Thank you.
17 JUDGE RIAD: I have one main question to ask you. In an answer
18 which you gave to the Defence counsel, Mr. Simic, you said that the duty
19 officer, and I quote you, "has no superior over others" -- "is no superior
20 over others; he only implements orders of his superiors." Now, I take it
21 you are a professor, you know what you are saying, and I want you to give
22 us more -- the benefit of your knowledge. How does he -- how is he
23 supposed, as you said, to implement these orders? I'll explain myself.
24 Suppose first someone obstructs these orders or violates the orders. What
25 is he supposed to do?
1 A. First a little correction. It is not a duty officer. I think you
2 mentioned duty officers, and in the context, it is not the duty officer;
3 it was just a policeman who is on duty. If I can correct you on that.
4 JUDGE RIAD: [Previous translation continues] ... make it, because
5 I mean officer not in the same -- not in the police word. It's the
6 duty -- the duty man.
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 JUDGE RIAD: He is supposed to implement the orders, and somebody
9 obstructs his mission or violates this implementation, what is he supposed
10 to do?
11 A. At that moment, when a police officer refuses to carry out an
12 order by, let's say, not going to the crime scene or something, he needs
13 to report this to his superior on this incident.
14 JUDGE RIAD: He cannot go beyond that; only to report? He cannot
15 punish, he cannot force, he cannot take any initiative?
16 A. No, he cannot punish. He just transmits to his own superior
17 whether this order was carried out or not. And in our rules of internal
18 rules, any official can report any other fellow official, his own
19 colleague, if he has observed some infraction or violation of the rules.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Good. Now, if the orders themselves are in violation
21 of the law, is he supposed to implement them?
22 A. A policeman who has received from his superior an order, if he
23 identifies any elements of a criminal act in what he has been told to
24 do - and we are talking about a trained officer - if he, in other words,
25 identifies elements of crime, he is duty-bound to point it out to the
1 superior and then asks to be given such an order in writing, and he should
2 then refuse to carry it out. Of course, he should ask it in writing so
3 that in disciplinary proceedings that were to be instigated, launched
4 afterwards, that he would have a document that he could support his claim
6 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, but -- I mean, in the end, he could refuse to do
7 it, whether in writing or oral.
8 A. Yes. May I say that he shall refuse if there are any elements of
9 criminal acts in this order. Of course, I am talking about a trained
10 policeman who is familiar with the law and who knows about the criminal
11 act as set out in the law.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Now, apart from refusing to do it, can he take any
13 measure to report it to higher authorities?
14 A. Of course. By the very fact that he asks that the order be
15 repeated in writing, he is pointing out that he has identified some
16 elements of an offence.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Because you said he needs it in writing just to
18 defend himself if he is being disciplined. But can he take the initiative
19 to raise it with the higher authorities, to say, "My direct superior
20 ordered me to do that," and then the chain of action becomes? What do you
21 think or what do you know?
22 A. Of course he can do that. He can also do that orally. But in
23 order to follow the procedure, in order for a police officer to protect
24 himself, it is preferable for him to ask for this order to be issued in
25 writing too.
1 JUDGE RIAD: I gather that you are telling me about your system,
2 not what is in this certificate.
3 A. Yes, I am talking about the system that I am familiar with.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Judge
8 Madam Judge Wald has the floor.
9 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Skrbic, in one of your answers, when you were
10 talking to Mr. Simic about police practices - I assume your answer is
11 based upon your experience when you were a deputy commander - you used
12 both the phrase "duty officer" and the phrase "chief" or "commander of the
14 Now, my question to you is: Based on your police department or
15 police station experience, is a duty officer different from a shift
16 commander; and if so, how?
17 A. A duty officer in a station, as I pointed out before, is the one
18 who handles all the citizens' reports and everything else. We have that
19 in the record. But the shift commander or the chief of a shift is a
20 person who directs police officers to certain duties, gives them certain
22 JUDGE WALD: Fine. If I understand you - and if not, correct me -
23 a shift commander, in your view, as opposed to, as different from a duty
24 officer, may give orders directly to the people underneath him in carrying
25 out the shift's functions; is that right?
1 A. No. He only directs them. Each police officer knows what his
2 duties are, so he could be perceived as a sort of coordinator. He just
3 oversees them, supervises whether the orders which had been issued by the
4 superiors are being carried out.
5 JUDGE WALD: But, as an experienced officer, Mr. Skrbic, I'm sure
6 you're aware that many times situations arise out in the field or they
7 arise out on the street that cannot be anticipated in every detail by the
8 commander ahead of time, so certain action has to be taken. Are you
9 saying that if a new situation that nobody could have anticipated arises
10 and the shift commander is there or is accessible to the men on his shift,
11 that he can't order them or direct them what to do?
12 A. He cannot order them. He can only report to his superior.
13 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Skrbic, excuse me, I mean, I too have a little
14 experience with police work. If you are out in a fire or a violence, a
15 situation on the street, and you have several policemen and you also have
16 the shift commander there, are you suggesting if the shift commander says,
17 "Policeman A, you go over and do this; policeman B, you come around the
18 back and do this; policeman C, you go get this," in order to take command
19 of the situation, that he can't give any of those orders? He has to call
20 back and see if he can reach the commander in an emergency situation? I
21 mean, there has to be some discipline or command in situations that could
22 not have been anticipated ahead of time. Or at least any police work I've
23 ever been acquainted with, and I'm sure it's in these courses too, there
24 has to be somebody who takes over a situation that was not anticipated.
25 Is that completely different in your system?
1 A. You see, you are pointing out -- you're talking about a shift
2 commander being in the field with the patrol, whereas the shift commander
3 is not usually out in the field. There is a patrol leader who is out in
4 the field, and he is the one who gives instructions to his partners in the
5 patrol how best to intervene so that the best results can be achieved,
6 both for the police officers and the person who may be involved in an act
7 of violence.
8 JUDGE WALD: So the patrol leader can give -- whether you call
9 them directions or orders, the patrol leader who is out in the field with
10 the men can give some orders in an emergency situation; is that right?
11 A. Yes. In theory, yes, he can.
12 JUDGE WALD: Okay. My last part of the question is: Now, suppose
13 a few patrolmen, not a patrol leader, but suppose a few policemen are out
14 in the field and a situation arises and they don't know what to do, it is
15 not covered by a specific order, and they call back to the police station,
16 okay? Now, who at the police station, apart from the commander, is
17 authorised to give them advice or tell them what to do in the situation?
18 Let's assume the commander is unreachable for the moment. Who back at the
19 station can tell them what to do in a situation when they call back for
20 advice or direction?
21 A. The policemen should be sufficiently trained to assess the
22 situation and act without any consultations. If they are calling back,
23 that means that they are asking for reinforcements, that they do not have
24 enough manpower or something to handle the situation that they are in, so
25 they are calling in only for reinforcements.
1 JUDGE WALD: Well, that may be true in your system, but in our
2 system, even the FBI calls back in to headquarters to get advice or
3 direction in an unanticipated situation. You're saying that none of these
4 people out in the field can ever call back to the station and say, "Well,
5 here is option A or option B. Which do you think I should do?" They
6 never do that?
7 A. I did not say that they never did, I only said that they should be
8 sufficiently trained to deal with the situations that they encounter. Of
9 course, in extraordinary situations, it may be different. Now, this is
10 all pure theory that I'm discussing here.
11 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Skrbic, I, too, have a few
14 questions for you.
15 You would perhaps agree with me that a carpenter uses his tools in
16 order to carry out a certain task within the framework of his job, his
17 profession; do you agree with that?
18 A. You mean -- can you be more specific?
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I was actually talking about a
20 carpenter. In order for him to be able to do his job, he has appropriate
21 tools for that; do you agree with that?
22 A. Of course I do.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You are a professional police
24 officer. What is the tool of a police officer, in your opinion? What is
25 a typical tool that a professional police officer uses?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.
1 A. All tools provided for in the law.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I see that you are very able as
3 a speaker. I thought that you would probably answer that his tool is
4 either a weapon or a truncheon. But can it be considered that he has also
5 his person as a tool of his work which enables him to accomplish his job
6 and his profession?
7 A. I'm afraid I did not get any translation. I only heard your voice
8 and that was it.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Can you hear me now?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Would you agree with me that the
12 professional tool of work of a policeman is his very person?
13 A. Yes, of course, it involves his physical fitness, and then there
14 are also his tools of coercion. But then I would also include, I don't
15 know, his whistle, his belt, down to his underwear, if you will.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. The ability to
17 persuade someone, the ability to communicate with others, does that play a
18 certain role in his work?
19 A. Of course it does. Our law strictly provides that one of the
20 means of coercion is verbal skills. For instance, a policeman can
21 verbally try to stop somebody from proceeding with certain acts where that
22 may result in some criminal act.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay, I think we've come,
24 finally, to my question. What is the place, within the framework of
25 training and supervision of police trainees, what is the place which is
1 afforded to the personality development, that is, to the qualities which
2 are necessary to communicate with others? That is to say, is it necessary
3 for you to know that person, to have known that person for awhile, even
4 before, in order to know whether that person will make a good police
6 A. As I said, another team was involved in that. My duty was to
7 monitor their performance in the course itself.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. I think that we
9 already discussed the issue, to a certain extent, when we talked about the
11 Was there a meeting which would be organised for you to discuss
12 whether such and such person would be a good police officer? Did all of
13 you provide your opinion on the candidate individually? How was it
15 A. No. This would be done in the teachers council. Each one of them
16 would cover a certain subject and then would provide their opinion of a
17 student. This would be the participants of the academy or one of the
18 courses. And that --
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Let us try and be more direct.
20 As regards Mr. Kos, the person who was in charge of knowing his
21 personality from before, did you share his opinion with -- did you share
22 his opinion?
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. In response to a
25 question which was put to you by Ms. Somers, you said that you had come to
1 Jajce at one point in time as a police officer [In English] to prevent
2 soldiers to act in a brutal manner towards civilians. [Interpretation]
3 What do you think? What is your opinion? Can police prevent soldiers
4 from behaving in that manner?
5 A. To be honest with you, this depends on the situation. The role of
6 the military is to be at the front line, and in an urban environment it is
7 the police force that has the primary role of protecting lives of
8 civilians. That means that only smaller groups of soldiers would be in an
9 urban environment and the majority would be at the front line. In this
10 environment, the police force would be able to carry out the task of
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you. You told us that you
13 had heard about the Omarska camp sometime in 1993. Did I hear you
15 A. Yes, in 1993, during 1993.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Where were you at the time?
17 A. At the school centre. I was a teacher in the rules --
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] As regards the training of the
19 police, as regards the educational system of the police, did you have to
20 familiarise yourself with the situation elsewhere? Did you have to know
21 what was going on in another centre?
22 A. That was not in my job description. For me, it was to continually
23 educate myself and to transmit this knowledge to the participants of
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So you're telling me that at the
1 time you were teaching, you were actually limited; you were focused only
2 on your personal experience as a police officer?
3 A. Yes. I was involved strictly in my own work, and then outside of
4 that it was my family, to be with my family as much as I could. I
5 continuously educated myself, though, by reading.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] That's not what I'm talking
7 about. I think I understood you as saying that you were teaching only on
8 the basis of your professional experience. Did I understand you correctly
9 or not?
10 A. On the basis of my experience, what I learned during my own
11 training and later on.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay. So would it have been
13 interesting to acquire knowledge as to the functioning of camps, since the
14 police force was responsible for providing security to such camps; it was
15 one of the police tasks? I think, of course, that it's a rather
16 exceptional situation, but I would like to know whether knowledge about
17 such camps would be helpful for the purposes of training of future police
19 A. Well, this is what is also mentioned in the Geneva Conventions,
20 that nobody has the right to set up camps.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You're not answering my
22 questions. Maybe I'm not making myself clear. Let us take an example.
23 You have to teach on the basis of your personal experience. You also
24 mentioned that your approach was a scientific one. We have seen a number
25 of your diplomas. I would like to know whether the knowledge of the
1 history of camps and the knowledge about the function of the police within
2 such systems would be interesting, would be helpful for the formation and
3 training of future police officers. Do you now understand my question?
4 A. Yes. Yes, I understand you completely. In the training courses,
5 there is no mention anywhere about setting up of any camps.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. I am not
7 going to pursue with this question.
8 You are a professional officer by training. How do you establish
9 a link between the task that you have to accomplish and what do you think
10 that a policeman has to know in order to be able to carry out his tasks?
11 And you have told my colleague, Judge Wald, that police officers have to
12 be successfully trained to react in certain conditions, and, on the other
13 hand, you have your own professional and personal experience. If you were
14 a lecturer, if you teach only on the basis of your personal knowledge, it
15 would be an ideal situation, but if you teach only on the basis of your
16 personal knowledge and personal experience, then you're running a risk of
17 not providing them with sufficient insight in the profession. So I would
18 like to know whether the knowledge, your knowledge of what happened in
19 concentration camps, in particular in Omarska, would that knowledge of
20 yours be useful for your training purposes?
21 A. Of course it would have been interesting.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, but that is not a kind of
23 conclusion that you're obliged, that you have to draw; this is something
24 that you know one way or another.
25 A. What did you mean by that, that I was not duty-bound? I feel that
1 you have sort of put the answer in my mouth.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I just wanted to make sure, if
3 you had answered yes, I wanted to know whether it was because I had led
4 you to provide me that answer or because you indeed understood what I
5 meant by my question.
6 A. I did, I really did understand your question, and I very clearly
7 answered it. There can be no mention of any camp in the courses because
8 it is not in the rules; it is against the Geneva Conventions. Now, and
9 your question to me was whether it would be interesting to discuss the
10 existence of camps with the participants of a course.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I don't wish to open a debate
12 about this issue. I just wanted to know whether -- by knowing what
13 happened in a camp, and in view of the type of security tasks that the
14 police officers were involved in that respect, I think that we can learn,
15 that future police officers can learn something very valuable from that
16 experience, that such conduct is not permissible or acceptable, and
17 similar. Do you see the meaning of my question?
18 A. I think that I have already agreed with all of that, that that
19 was -- that did not exist in the police establishment and maintenance of
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. Thank
22 you very much, Mr. Skrbic, for having answered all of our questions. You
23 have come to the end of your testimony here. Let me ask the usher to
24 accompany you out of the courtroom. Thank you very much.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, and if I'm
1 needed, we'll see each other again.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Ms. Nikolic. You have
4 documents to tender?
5 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I would like to
6 ask that these documents be tendered in the record, that is, exhibits that
7 have been marked D8/2 through D11/2.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you.
9 Any objections? Ms. Somers, you too have documents to tender, if
10 I'm not mistaken.
11 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour. We would -- well, shall I address
12 our documents or the objections to theirs first? If I may, on the
13 Defence's documents, the questioning on ICITAP was not because we wanted
14 to see any type of diplomas; it went to issues of credibility. The
15 diplomas date to a time well after the issues of Mr. Kos's involvement at
16 Omarska camp and as such are irrelevant to any training that may have been
17 given to Mr. Kos. They are post-Dayton training in a whole different type
18 of policing, democratic policing, which may or may not have taken root.
19 The relevance, I think, has not been established.
20 On D11/2, there is no date. That is the Swedish document. I
21 wanted to bring that to the Chamber's attention. So we have no idea when
22 that particular certificate came through. But again, our objection is
23 grounded in relevance as to what was supposedly imparted to Mr. Kos as a
24 trainer to a trainee.
25 On our two - I'm sorry - the documents which the Prosecution
1 wanted to move into evidence, the 3/212 was the IPTF application, which I
2 think is relevant to whether or not an individual can have continued in
3 policing, even in the absence of a conviction, because the prior testimony
4 has suggested that IPTF certification is indicative of, as it were, a
5 clean bill of health.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, the documents,
8 MS. SOMERS: 3/212 and 3/213. Those are the two documents. The
9 third one was in the previously admitted group. I think it was 2/316 that
10 was the one that was previously admitted, and we simply had it recalled
11 for the Chamber's observation. So today only two are sought as new
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Ms. Nikolic, any objections?
14 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Just one point, Your Honours. The
15 diploma certificates that have been shown to the Trial Chamber and to the
16 witness, as you yourself pointed out, it was the Prosecution who opened
17 the door by questioning the education.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Ms. Nikolic, I just
19 wanted to know whether you had any objections as regards the documents of
20 the Prosecutor. We have already dealt with this other issue. So 3/212
21 and 3/213.
22 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honours. I think
23 I misunderstood you. As far as those exhibits are concerned, no, we have
24 no objections.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The Chamber will admit the
2 documents into the evidence, that is, Defence Exhibits D8/2 through D11/2
3 and Prosecution Exhibit 3/212 and 3/213.
4 I think that's it for the moment. Let me consult with my
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We will have our Status
8 Conference, and I think that we should be able to finish by 3.00, which
9 means that I will be more strict than usual in my treatment of questions
10 and issues. I have been working since 9.00 and the Chamber has other
11 commitments today.
12 We will come back at 2.00. So we will have our regular lunch
13 break and come back at 2.00 for the Status Conference.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.18 p.m.,
15 to be followed by a Status Conference
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts.