Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 464

 1                           Monday, 25 August 2008

 2                           [Open session]

 3                           [The accused entered court]

 4                           [The Accused M. Lukic not present]

 5                           --- Upon commencing at 8.08 a.m.

 6             JUDGE ROBINSON:  As you know, we were scheduled to commence at

 7     8.00 a.m.  We are late because we were informed that the accused

 8     Milan Lukic is unwell.  We were waiting to see whether he would arrive.

 9     He has not arrived.  Our understanding is that he will come later.  His

10     illness is not of the kind that would prevent him attending, but we can't

11     deal with any substantive matters in his absence, because I understand he

12     does wish to be present.

13             Mr. Alarid, is that so?

14             MR. ALARID:  That is my understanding, Your Honour.  My case

15     manager spoke with --

16             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

17             MR. ALARID:  I apologise, I forget the microphone.  Your Honour,

18     my case manager spoke with Mr. Lukic about 7.38, and he indicated that he

19     was not well.  He did indicate that he wanted to be present for these

20     witnesses especially in light of some of the identification issues that

21     came into play and especially since, apparently, especially the second

22     witness does identify Mr. Lukic, although in a belated manner in the

23     statements, but I think it is imperative that per his request he be

24     present for these witnesses.

25             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Very well.  We'll -- we'll wait, but in the

Page 465

 1     meantime I have some administrative matters to deal with, and I'll take

 2     the opportunity to deal with them, and I'll also give a decision on

 3     Prosecution motion under Rule 92 ter.

 4             Today, as you know, we'll stop at 12.00.  That is to enable the

 5     Judges to attend a very important meeting of the Plenary.  I have

 6     reorganised the sitting hours, the sitting schedule slightly.  We will

 7     begin in the mornings at 8.50, ten minutes to 9.00.  If my arithmetic is

 8     bad then you must correct me.  It means, then, that we would go from 8.50

 9     to 10.20.  We will take a 20-minute break to 10.40.  The next session

10     will be 10.40 to 12.10.  We would then take a half an hour break, 12.10

11     to 12.40, and we would then sit from 12.40 to 1.45.

12             If this presents any logistical problems for the registry or the

13     detention unit, then I should be advised as quickly as possible.

14             I will take the opportunity to give a decision on the Prosecution

15     motion in respect of those witnesses who are to testify this week.  There

16     are five witnesses which are the subject of Prosecution's motion under

17     Rule 92 ter, filed on the 15th of February, 2008, and a supplemental

18     motion filed on the 8th of August.

19             By the motion of the 8th of August, the Prosecution sought to

20     supplement with seven witness statements, and three of those statements

21     relate to witnesses who are scheduled to testify this week.  It also

22     requested permission to assign 65 ter numbers to certain material, the

23     subject of the motion of the 15th of February, as well as the seven

24     statements.

25             The Defence of Sredoje Lukic responded on the 28th of February,

Page 466

 1     and the Defence of Milan Lukic responded on the 28th March.  Neither

 2     party responded to the motion of the 8th of August.

 3             The Chamber has reviewed the evidence submitted in the two

 4     motions with regard to the five witnesses under consideration, and its

 5     conclusion is that the transcripts, the statements, and the associated

 6     exhibits are admissible under Rule 92 ter provided the requirements of

 7     that Rule are met.

 8             The Chamber will also grant the motion of the 8th of August

 9     insofar as it requests permission to assign Rule 65 ter numbers.  And of

10     course the Chamber will remain seized of the two motions insofar as the

11     remaining witnesses are concerned.

12             And I bring to your attention the fact that the Chamber issued a

13     decision last Friday concerning Mevsud Poljo, who is a Rule 92 bis

14     witness and is to be called for cross-examination this week.

15                           [Trial Chamber confers]

16             JUDGE ROBINSON:  We're going to adjourn for half an hour.

17             Yes, Mr. --

18             MR. CEPIC:  I apologise, Your Honour, just to use this

19     opportunity to raise some -- some issues.

20             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.

21             MR. CEPIC:  With your leave, please.  Thank you.

22             Firstly, we received this morning supplemental information sheet

23     from OTP at 7.20, so I kindly ask my learned friend for OTP if we can

24     receive a little bit earlier those kind of informations to have enough

25     time to be prepared for examination.  That is the first issue.

Page 467

 1             And second issue also related to witness notification.  On first

 2     day we received witness notification at 6.20 p.m.  So I kindly ask my

 3     learned friends if it is possible before 4.00 p.m. on Thursday to receive

 4     the witness notification for the next week.

 5             And third issue is related to my client.  We would like to use

 6     opportunity according to European Convention of Human Rights Article 6.3D

 7     and according to the practice from the Prlic case, my client would like

 8     to ask -- potentially to ask just a very few questions of very few

 9     witnesses.  Of course the questions for those witnesses my learned friend

10     Mr. Dieckmann and I will lead but just to use this opportunity with your

11     leave, if the Trial Chamber grants that.

12             JUDGE ROBINSON:  In my view you need to file a motion for

13     something like that.

14             MR. CEPIC:  Thank you, Your Honour.

15             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I would need to have it properly considered.

16     File a motion setting out your submission and any authority on which you

17     rely.

18             MR. CEPIC:  Thank you very much, Your Honour.

19             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Well, may I ask the Prosecutor why the

20     information that should have been issued by Thursday of last week was

21     only transmitted to the Defence this morning?

22             MS. SARTORIO:  If you're talking about the witness notification

23     that was issued on Thursday at 6.20.  I believe that's what he stated.

24             JUDGE ROBINSON:  6.20.

25             MS. SARTORIO:  Last Thursday.

Page 468

 1             JUDGE ROBINSON:  That's in the evening.  6.20 p.m.

 2             MS. SARTORIO:  Yes, Your Honour.  We'll try to get it in before

 3     the close of business --

 4             JUDGE ROBINSON:  What about the information that was transmitted

 5     this morning?

 6             MS. SARTORIO:  I believe he might be talking about an addendum to

 7     one of the witness's statements.  When I proofed the witness this weekend

 8     he asked to make some changes to his statement and we drafted up an

 9     addendum and had it translated and everything yesterday and we did send

10     it to counsel by e-mail last evening but we did it -- we transmitted it

11     as soon as it was finished.  So we have -- this is -- this is a factor

12     that comes up in proofing.  Rather than submit proofing notes, which is

13     the custom, the witness felt that he wanted to make certain changes, and

14     we felt it better to do an addendum to his statement rather than me

15     drafting proofing notes and submitting the changes myself.

16             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I guess -- so you proofed the witness over the

17     weekend.

18             MS. SARTORIO:  Yes, Your Honour.

19             JUDGE ROBINSON:  The question might then be asked why was the

20     witness only proofed over the weekend?

21             MS. SARTORIO:  Well, that's the standard practice in the

22     Tribunal, Your Honour.  We can't go down to -- to the region to proof all

23     of our witnesses although we'd prefer to do that.  But ...

24                           [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]

25             JUDGE ROBINSON:  In the --

Page 469

 1             MS. SARTORIO:  I'm sorry, Your Honour.  May I make a correction?

 2     Since Defence counsel is not real clear when he said he received -- he

 3     did receive something this morning which was in relation to Mr. Ossogo's

 4     witness, but I don't -- I believe that they were proofing notes as well,

 5     and this witness was also proofed yesterday.  So Defence counsel did

 6     receive the addendum to the statement of my witness last evening, but

 7     received the proofing notes for the other witness this morning.  I just

 8     wanted to clarify that.

 9             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Every effort should be made to have the

10     statements that are to be transmitted on Thursday transmitted by, I would

11     say, 4.00, 4.00 p.m.  6.20 p.m. is a little late.  The order that the

12     Chamber made didn't deal with a specific time, but I would say now that

13     we ought to be working for 4.00 p.m. as a deadline.

14             MS. SARTORIO:  Yes, Your Honour.  We will abide by that.

15             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.  And that of course will also apply to the

16     Defence when their time comes.

17             We are going to adjourn for half an hour and see whether the

18     accused arrives, but I believe now there is some information from the

19     court deputy.

20                           [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

21             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I'm now told by the court deputy that he is

22     scheduled to arrive at 10 minutes to 9.00.  So we will resume at 10

23     minutes to 9.00.

24             We are adjourned.

25                           --- Break taken at 8.19 a.m.

Page 470

 1                           --- On resuming at 8.50 a.m.

 2                           [The accused M. Lukic present in court]

 3             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Lukic, I see you're here.  You are here, and

 4     you're fit?  Not hearing.  I was saying we were sorry to learn that you

 5     were indisposed, but we're happy to see you here now.

 6             THE ACCUSED M. LUKIC:  [No interpretation]

 7             JUDGE ROBINSON:  What was the interpretation for Mr. Lukic's

 8     response?

 9             THE ACCUSED M. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I was given some pills to

10     take, Your Honour, but I do still have a stomach ache.

11             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Very well.  We note that you're here, and we

12     hope that you'll be well enough to -- to follow the proceedings.

13             Mr. Prosecutor, will you call your first --

14             THE ACCUSED M. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Well, I said I wasn't

15     feeling well.  I'm still not feeling well.  I was given some medication,

16     but I'm not still feeling well.

17             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Does that impact in any way on your ability to

18     follow the morning's proceedings?

19             THE ACCUSED M. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, it does impact my

20     ability to do that.

21             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Alarid.

22             MR. ALARID:  Your Honour, in speaking with Mr. Lukic ever so

23     briefly, and actually my case manager doing that, he indicated that

24     although he took pills this morning for his condition he's afraid that,

25     one, that it's bothering him now and that it may necessitate him in sort

Page 471

 1     of an emergency scenario to leave the courtroom at any time and that is

 2     the problem that could both disrupt the proceedings and impact his

 3     ability, I think, to pay attention.

 4             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Are you making a specific submission,

 5     Mr. Alarid?

 6             MR. ALARID:  Your Honour, in light of the situation I think it

 7     would be disruptive if Mr. Lukic was having to leave to use the restroom

 8     or whatnot and I don't know if it would be possible to postpone the

 9     proceedings of this morning.

10                           [Trial Chamber confers]

11             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Alarid and Mr. Lukic, what the Chamber has

12     decided is that we will start the proceedings, but if Mr. Lukic finds it

13     necessary to -- to leave for the bathroom, then he should let us know,

14     and of course we'll adjourn.

15             MR. ALARID:  Thank you, Your Honour.

16             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Please call the first witness.

17             Mr. Ossogo, is it your witness?

18             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.

19                           [The witness entered court]

20                           WITNESS:  WITNESS VG-022

21                           [Witness answered through interpreter]

22             JUDGE ROBINSON:  This will be the third Prosecution witness.

23             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] It is.

24             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Let the witness make the declaration.

25             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will

Page 472

 1     speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

 2             JUDGE ROBINSON:  You may begin, Mr. Ossogo.

 3             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.  Prosecution

 4     is calling Witness VG-022.  I would like to give the court officer the

 5     pseudonym sheet so that it can be given to the witness and so he can

 6     recognise his name, and this sheet should be shown to the Chamber and to

 7     Defence.

 8                           Examination by Mr. Ossogo:

 9        Q.   Witness VG-22, on the sheet that you have in front of you, do you

10     see the letters VG-022 and the name next -- and the name next to this

11     pseudonym, is it your name?

12        A.   I do.

13        Q.   The bottom of the sheet, you will find two other names, names

14     that you may refer to during your testimony.  Do you recognise these two

15     names?

16        A.   Yes, I do.

17        Q.   Thank you.

18             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Could you please show the sheet to

19     the Trial Chamber now.  And once the documents will have been shown to

20     the Trial Chamber and to the Defence, the Prosecution would like to

21     tender this document.

22             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Ossogo, I notice that you have two

23     pseudonyms on that sheet.  In fact -- in fact, three.  I think it would

24     be more convenient to have one pseudonym for each sheet so that there's

25     no confusion, but we admit it.

Page 473

 1             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, this will become Exhibit P13 under

 2     seal.

 3             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you for your comment, and we

 4     will take this into account, Your Honour.  This is why we had written the

 5     witness's pseudonym in very large font, whereas the two other witnesses

 6     that he may refer to were in smaller font.  Thank you.

 7        Q.   Witness VG-22, you have been granted protective measures for your

 8     safety.  The Trial Chamber granted these protective measures.  You will

 9     benefit from face and voice distortion, but please during your testimony

10     could you refrain from giving any indications as to your address or as to

11     the name of your relatives, but in case this happens I will remind you of

12     this.

13             Now, we -- we have information in one of your previous statements

14     on what you were doing at the time.  What are you doing now,

15     Witness VG-22?  What's your occupation?

16        A.   I am the director of a private firm.

17        Q.   Could you tell us where you lived in 1992, in early 1992?  But

18     don't tell us the address.  Just give us the municipality.

19        A.   I lived and resided in Visegrad municipality.

20        Q.   Do give us the month -- the month in 1992 when you lived there,

21     and did you live there throughout 1992 or only for part of that year?

22        A.   In Visegrad I lived until May 1992.

23        Q.   Were you married?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   Did you have children at the time?

Page 474

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   Thank you.  Let's move now to the testimony you made in this

 3     Tribunal in the Vasiljevic case in September 10th, 2001.  Have you read

 4     the -- were you already heard in this Tribunal on September 10, 2001?

 5        A.   I do not think that I gave any statements before the Tribunal.

 6        Q.   I would like to know whether you testified in the Vasiljevic

 7     case, Mitar Vasiljevic.

 8        A.   Yes, I did take the stand in the Vasiljevic case.

 9        Q.   September 10th, 2001?

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   When you arrived in The Hague this weekend, were you able to read

12     your -- the transcript of your testimony in this case, in the

13     Mitar Vasiljevic case?

14        A.   Yes, I was.

15        Q.   To your knowledge, this transcript you listened to, was it

16     faithful to what you actually said when you were in court?

17        A.   Yes, it was.

18        Q.   Thank you.

19             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] The Prosecution would like now to

20     tender the following exhibit:  The transcript of the hearing in this

21     court of Witness VG-022 on September 10, 2001.  This is 65 ter document

22     95.

23             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.  We admit it.

24             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, this will become Exhibit P14, under

25     seal.

Page 475

 1             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] May I proceed?

 2             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Please continue, yes.

 3             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 4        Q.   Witness VG-22, the Defence and the Trial Chamber have the

 5     transcript of your testimony in the Mitar case -- in the Vasiljevic case,

 6     and this document has been tendered as evidence, so we'll not go back to

 7     everything you said at the time, but I just would like to ask you some

 8     additional questions to get some details.  I would like to ask you a few

 9     questions on the White Eagles, the paramilitary formation called the

10     White Eagles.  Do you know this formation?

11        A.   Yes, I know that there existed such a unit.

12        Q.   In which year and where did this formation exist?

13        A.   To the best of my knowledge, already in 1992 that unit was set

14     up, and it operated in part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as far as I

15     know, in particular in its eastern part, namely, Visegrad and the

16     surroundings of the town of Visegrad.

17        Q.   Do you have any information on the strength of this unit in this

18     region where they operated, the strength of the White Eagles in the

19     Visegrad region?

20        A.   I could not say what their number was with precision, but these

21     units were not of the type of conventional army units, a thousand

22     soldiers strong or something like that.  They were smaller units in

23     number.

24             THE INTERPRETER:  Could the witness please speak closer to the

25     microphone.

Page 476

 1             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   You say the White Eagles were operating.  Could you tell us what

 3     it means?

 4             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Just a minute, Mr. Ossogo.  The interpreter

 5     wants the witness to come closer to the microphone.

 6             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 7        Q.   I'll come back to -- so I'll repeat my question.  You said that

 8     they operated in Visegrad, that the White Eagles operated in that area.

 9     What exactly did you mean when you said they operated?

10        A.   Well, one could say that these paramilitary formations had been

11     set up illegally, and they worked and acted in contravention of the

12     regulations and laws that were in force in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and

13     for the most part they did harmful -- they undertook harmful actions or

14     impermissible actions.

15        Q.   Can you be a bit more specific when you say that they undertook

16     harmful actions?

17        A.   Yes, I can.  For the most part in their activity they would

18     intimidate people, expel people, and they would commit murders of the

19     non-Serb population.

20        Q.   Thank you.  When you say non-Serbs, which group are you referring

21     to?

22        A.   For the most part in the municipality of Visegrad, apart from the

23     Serb population the majority consisted of Bosniaks, of Muslims.  So this

24     primarily refers to that population.

25        Q.   The White Eagles were undertaking illegal activities against

Page 477

 1     Muslims, is that what you say?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   Could you tell us whether there was any connection between the

 4     White Eagles and the JNA, which at the time was in Visegrad?

 5        A.   Yes.  There did exist such a connection, and evidence of that is

 6     the fact that the very commander of the Yugoslav People's Army, the

 7     commander of the town said so on a number of occasions.

 8        Q.   Could you give the Trial Chamber the name of this JNA commander

 9     you are referring to?

10        A.   The commander of the town at the time self-styled,

11     self-designated, self-appointed commander of the town was a man by the

12     name of Jovanovic, and he was a lieutenant colonel by rank.

13        Q.   Lieutenant Colonel Jovanovic, did he say anything at one point in

14     time that would be related to the White Eagles, maybe during a meeting?

15        A.   Yes, he did.  He explicitly and clearly, in front of 4.000

16     people, and I myself was present, stated that the White Eagles units were

17     present in Visegrad and that they were under his command.

18        Q.   When he indicated that the White Eagles were under his command,

19     did he mean that the White Eagles were under the integrated command of

20     the JNA?

21             MR. ALARID:  Objection, Your Honour.  Leading.

22             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, counsel, please.

23             MR. ALARID:  Leading, Your Honour.

24             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I agree.  That's leading.  You're telling the

25     witness the answer.

Page 478

 1             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]

 2        Q.   Witness VG-22, could you tell us what Lieutenant Colonel

 3     Jovanovic said when he referred to the White Eagles?

 4        A.   Yes.  At the time he clearly said at the football stadium where

 5     there were, in my estimation, at least 4.000 Muslims present, he said,

 6     "The units of the White Eagles are also under my command, so mind your

 7     behaviour and watch your steps, because," and then the -- "or else, or

 8     else," and everybody was present knew exactly what that "or else" meant.

 9        Q.   You said that -- that people -- there were about 4.000 people in

10     front of Lieutenant Colonel Jovanovic when he addressed them.

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   What was their ethnic background?

13        A.   They were exclusively Muslims, Bosniaks.

14        Q.   Where did they come from?

15        A.   They were all inhabitants of Visegrad municipality.

16        Q.   Why did they get together?

17        A.   The people assembled there because the danger was threatening

18     them of liquidation.  This is what they thought.  And they were in

19     smaller groups, and then escorted and organised by the Yugoslav People's

20     Army they assembled at the football stadium there in Visegrad.

21        Q.   Can you tell us who was -- who was threatening them, if you know?

22        A.   There were no verbal threats of the kind directly uttered then,

23     but it was quite clear to everybody that lieutenant colonel was actually

24     saying that he meant to say that the units were under his command and

25     that if he so wanted they would be active or not be active, and if they

Page 479

 1     were active one knew what that meant.  That meant merciless liquidation

 2     of all Muslims that they came across.

 3             THE INTERPRETER:  Microphone, please.

 4             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation]

 5        Q.   And the people who got together, these 4.000 people, were they

 6     civilians?

 7        A.   Yes.  They were solely civilians, exclusively civilians.

 8        Q.   Did it ever happen that the Yugoslav People's Army leave Visegrad

 9     and the White Eagles, did they stay in Visegrad?

10        A.   Yes.  After the departure of the Yugoslav People's Army, those

11     units remained on in Visegrad.

12        Q.   These units remaining in Visegrad, did they continue operating?

13        A.   Yes, they did.  To my knowledge, they continued to operate

14     intensively.

15        Q.   Witness VG-22, I'm now going to talk about your departure from

16     Visegrad, because at the beginning of your testimony you said that you

17     stayed in Visegrad up to the month of May 1992.  Did you leave Visegrad

18     in the year -- in May 1992?

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   Where did you go?

21        A.   With my entire family I went in the direction of Serbia, directly

22     to the town of Uzice and farther beyond that to Pristina and some other

23     places.

24        Q.   Can you tell us why you left Visegrad?

25        A.   I left Visegrad because I was afraid for my life and the lives of

Page 480

 1     my family members.  That's the reason.

 2        Q.   Can you tell us how you left Visegrad, using what kind of

 3     transportation?

 4        A.   I left Visegrad with my own car.

 5        Q.   Have you been helped by anyone?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   By whom?  By whom?

 8        A.   When I was leaving Visegrad I was given direct help by

 9     Mr. Stanko Pecikoza, who was the vice-president of the

10     Serbian Democratic Party, and he was an influential man in town.

11        Q.   Do you personally know Mr. Stanko Pecikoza apart from the

12     professional connections you had with him?

13        A.   I knew him well, yes.

14        Q.   Do you know what happened to him?

15        A.   Based on what I know, Mr. Stanko Pecikoza was liquidated by the

16     White Eagle units.

17        Q.   When you say "liquidated," what do you mean by that?

18        A.   I mean that they carried out this murder.  They killed him.

19        Q.   As far as you know, do you have any information about the people

20     who murdered him?

21        A.   Based on what I know, Your Honours, they were members of these

22     paramilitary formations.  And there were also stories.  There was talk

23     that it was a certain gentleman by the name of Milan Lukic.

24        Q.   If it is possible, can you tell us whom you heard this

25     information from?

Page 481

 1        A.   I received this information from several sources, and among other

 2     sources also from the family members of Stanko Pecikoza who was killed.

 3        Q.   If it is possible, could you give us more details, details

 4     concerning the family?

 5        A.   Your Honours, I don't know how much of an effect that would have

 6     on the security or safety of the people who gave me this information.  No

 7     problem.  I can tell you more details once this is taken into account.

 8                           [Trial Chamber confers]

 9             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Ossogo, do you have an application to make?

10             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.  We can continue

11     and maybe start a private session.

12             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.  Private session.

13                           [Private session]

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20   (redacted)

21   (redacted)

22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

24   (redacted)

25   (redacted)

Page 482

 1   (redacted)

 2   (redacted)

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

 9                           [Open session]

10             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're back in open session.

11             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you.  Mr. Ossogo, you have completed?

12             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, in the time I had

13     been allocated.

14             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.  Mr. Alarid.

15             MR. ALARID:  Thank you, Your Honour.

16                           Cross-examination by Mr. Alarid:

17        Q.   Mr. VG-22, good morning.

18        A.   Good morning.

19        Q.   Now, at the time that the war broke out -- [French interpretation

20     on English channel].

21        A.   I'm sorry, is this a question?

22        Q.   Yes.  Or it's a statement.  Do you agree with that?

23        A.   Well, you could say that, yes.

24        Q.   You were a head of your party under the new two-party system?

25             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Let me bring it to your attention that the

Page 483

 1     question which you asked did not come out in the English interpretation,

 2     so please ask the question again.

 3             MR. ALARID:

 4        Q.   Isn't it true that you were a leader of your party under the new

 5     two-party system in place in 1992?

 6        A.   I was not a president of the party.  I was one of the

 7     vice-presidents.  And if I can just add, this was not a two-party system.

 8     It was a multi-party system that was in place.

 9        Q.   Well, but isn't it true that basically two parties were in

10     control, the SDA and the SDS?

11        A.   That is correct.  They had the majority in the Assembly.  Those

12     two parties had an absolute majority in the Municipal Assembly.

13        Q.   And the SDA was primarily a Muslim party?

14        A.   The majority of its members were Muslims, Muslim Bosniaks.

15        Q.   And because of the demographics of the area, the majority of the

16     Assembly was SDA as well, correct?

17        A.   Yes.  At these elections the SDA, the Democratic Action Party,

18     did win the majority of the votes.

19        Q.   And how long had you been part of this Assembly before the

20     fighting started?

21        A.   Your Honours, I was not a member of the Municipal Assembly of

22     Visegrad.  At that time, I was in the Assembly of the Republic of Bosnia

23     and Herzegovina.

24        Q.   And I apologise, sir.  I read in your initial statement that you

25     were a Member of Parliament, and so I assumed you were an elected

Page 484

 1     official before that.

 2        A.   The first time I was elected to the parliament of Bosnia and

 3     Herzegovina was in 1990, and I was in that body until the new elections

 4     in 1996.

 5        Q.   And what happened to your position in parliament while the war

 6     was being fought?

 7        A.   Nothing special happened.  When I was able to, I attended the

 8     sessions, and if I was prevented from attending because of the war, then

 9     I didn't attend, and then nothing particular happened.

10        Q.   Would it be fair to say that the parliament was not doing any

11     real business while the fighting was occurring?

12        A.   If you're thinking of the Assembly of the Visegrad municipality,

13     it worked with difficulty.  And also the same thing applies for the

14     Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  It also worked with difficulty.

15        Q.   Well, would it be fair to say that it did not work at all due to

16     the fact that it was actually the Serbians and the army that had taken

17     control of the countryside?

18        A.   This was a short period, from the time the conflict broke out

19     until the time that the Yugoslav People's Army took over power in the

20     town.  But this didn't -- it wasn't a long period of time, perhaps 20

21     days at the most.  And when we're talking about the work of the

22     parliament, this is a relatively short period in that sense, so you

23     cannot really say that it was or wasn't functioning during that time.

24        Q.   Well, then maybe a better question to ask is who had power over

25     Visegrad in April/May of 1992?  Real power.

Page 485

 1        A.   In that period, the army -- or, rather, the Yugoslav People's

 2     Army had the real power.

 3        Q.   Who controlled the Yugoslav People's Army?

 4        A.   The main command of the -- or the Supreme Command of the

 5     Yugoslav People's Army was in Belgrade.

 6        Q.   Now, would you please speculate as to when you believe the plans

 7     of Belgrade were made to take over Bosnia?

 8        A.   This is very hard to say, Your Honours.  I really cannot.  I

 9     mean, I don't know.

10        Q.   Well, let me -- let me kind of give you a couple points of

11     reference.  At what point in time were the Muslim population disarmed?

12        A.   The question is not precise, so it's kind of hard.

13     Muslim Bosniaks were not in some separate organised units where they were

14     armed.  There was the Territorial Defence, which was an organ of the

15     Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all were members of that body,

16     all those who lived in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  If you're thinking about

17     the disarming of the Territorial Defence, then you could describe it in

18     this way.  It happened --

19        Q.   Please do that.  That is what I meant.

20        A.   Yes.  From what I can recall, this happened about three or four

21     months before the intense conflict began.

22        Q.   And the intense conflict being about the 4th or 5th of April,

23     1992?

24        A.   You could take that date as a marker point.

25        Q.   Who disarmed the Territorial Defence?

Page 486

 1        A.   The Territorial Defence was disarmed by the army.  Pursuant to

 2     orders of the JNA, all the weapons in the possession of the

 3     Territorial Defence were withdrawn.  They were taken by them and probably

 4     placed in different barracks.

 5        Q.   And this is the same JNA that was controlled by Belgrade?

 6        A.   Yes.  Yes.

 7        Q.   And so even though the entire JNA army didn't come in until

 8     later, there were troops in the region organising the disarmament?

 9        A.   When you say the Yugoslav People's Army, this is the army that

10     had its barracks throughout Yugoslav army, and this means Bosnia and

11     Herzegovina also, and there were such barracks -- or two such barracks in

12     the territory of the municipality of Visegrad.

13        Q.   And would it be fair to say that just by the demographics and

14     population that the majority of the Territorial Defence was Muslim?

15        A.   As you said it yourself, in view of the demographics probably the

16     composition of the Territorial Defence reflected that.

17        Q.   And so practically speaking, the disarmament had the effect of

18     leaving the Muslims without ordinary weapons?

19        A.   You could say that, although the Territorial Defence, I repeat,

20     was not an ethnic unit.  These were constitutionally and legally

21     regulated reserve units.  And in case of need, they were the ones which

22     could react quickly in a specific territory to protect the law and so on

23     and so forth.  That's why they were called the Territorial Defence.

24        Q.   And with the breakdown of order then, still the ordinary

25     Territorial Defence would be unable to protect the laws of that

Page 487

 1     territory.  Isn't that true?

 2        A.   You could say that, although I would not agree with you when you

 3     say when the order broke down.  Everything functioned, although with

 4     difficulty, until the Yugoslav People's Army came.

 5        Q.   And there's been evidence that the people's -- Yugoslav

 6     People's Army came in under the pretense that Muslims were killing

 7     people, slaughtering Serbians.

 8        A.   You could hear such reports on the radio broadcast by some radio

 9     stations from Serbia, specifically Radio Titovo Uzice broadcast such news

10     items.

11        Q.   How did it make you feel being a local that knew the truth?

12        A.   Well, sir, a person could not feel at ease.  It's a very

13     uncomfortable feeling.  You think they are not well informed over there,

14     and you try through friends, by telephone and so on to explain to the

15     radio station that things are not the way they see them.

16        Q.   And with the disarmament of the Territorial Defence, at best a

17     few people had small arms but no heavy weapons or artillery?

18        A.   Yes.

19        Q.   And when you first heard the heavy artillery and mortars being

20     used because you knew that the Territorial Defence had been disarmed,

21     would it be fair to say that that was the Yugoslav army using the

22     artillery?

23        A.   When they began to act or fire around town using the mortars and

24     shells, it was not possible to know exactly what was happening, but the

25     assumption was that these were paramilitary formations organised or

Page 488

 1     acting with the approval of the Serbian Democratic Party.  I had, for

 2     example, such --

 3        Q.   I apologise for interrupting you at the translation.  Do you want

 4     to continue?

 5        A.   Well, I more or less completed my answer to that question.

 6        Q.   And the Serbian Democratic Party was the minority party in

 7     Visegrad; correct?

 8        A.   Well, it wasn't that insignificant, but the SDA party had more

 9     votes and then right behind that party was the SDS.

10        Q.   But with the Muslim population being under attack, didn't that

11     practically put the Serbian Democratic Party in power?

12        A.   Not just because of that, but later when the JNA came they

13     installed these people from the SDA to positions of power.

14        Q.   Can you explain why the JNA didn't put people of your party in

15     power considering that you were lawfully elected?

16        A.   Your Honours, I think that was because the Yugoslav People's Army

17     was not what it was before.  It was called the Yugoslav People's Army

18     just the same, but actually it was the army of Serbia comprising

19     exclusively Serb personnel, and that was the main reason why they did

20     that.  They expelled legally elected representatives and appointed mostly

21     people from the Serbian Democratic Party in their place.

22        Q.   And so would it be fair to say that this is evidence of a prior

23     plan by those who controlled the JNA to replace the Muslims in power in

24     Bosnia?

25        A.   I cannot assert that that can be considered evidence, but it's

Page 489

 1     not far from the truth.

 2        Q.   And who were these people that were in power after the JNA left?

 3        A.   I wasn't in Visegrad at that time, but later from conversations I

 4     know that they were people of Serb ethnicity exclusively.

 5        Q.   Well, for instance, before the -- the shooting started, the

 6     police force was a joint force of both Muslims and Serbs; correct?

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   And of that, the -- who was the commander of the police before

 9     the break-apart?

10        A.   I really couldn't give you the exact name.  I can't remember

11     right at this time who the police commander was.  As for the chief of

12     police who by hierarchy has the highest rank and is the most senior

13     person was --

14             THE INTERPRETER:  The interpreter did not hear the name.  The

15     witness perhaps could repeat it.

16             MR. ALARID:

17        Q.   Please repeat the name of the chief.

18        A.   Seval Murtic was the chief of the Visegrad police station.

19        Q.   And who replaced him after the war?

20        A.   Immediately upon the arrival of the Yugoslav People's Army, not

21     long after that the chief of the police was Professor Risto, and the

22     police commander was Dragan Tomic.

23        Q.   And so the head was Mr. Perisic?

24        A.   Yes.

25        Q.   And second in command was Tomic?

Page 490

 1        A.   Yes.

 2        Q.   And what was the authority of -- of these two positions?

 3        A.   Their powers were precisely spelled out by law.  They were the

 4     standard powers that such persons, persons in such positions, such

 5     officials, have.

 6        Q.   And these were -- and this was power to command all of the police

 7     and supposed to protect the laws of all citizens?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   In your opinion, did these two commanders protect the citizens of

10     Visegrad, including Muslims?

11        A.   Judging by later developments, they did not discharge their

12     functions the way they should have discharged it.

13        Q.   Were they put in place by the Yugoslav commanders?

14        A.   Yes, I think that they installed them in those posts.

15        Q.   And by hierarchy would that mean that their command would come

16     really from Belgrade?

17        A.   The people who appointed Mr. Tomic and the chief, the head, those

18     people had their superiors and their command in Belgrade, and that's for

19     certain.  That's for sure.

20        Q.   Who was the commander of the Crisis Staff after the Uzice Corps

21     left?

22        A.   The commander of the Crisis Staff or the president of the

23     Assembly upon the departure of the Yugoslav People's Army from Visegrad

24     was Branimir Savovic.

25        Q.   And he was also appointed from Belgrade or took his orders from

Page 491

 1     Belgrade?

 2        A.   I do not think that there was a direct chain of ordering or a

 3     command, because Branimir Savovic was the president of the

 4     Serbian Democratic Party for Visegrad municipality, and it was probably

 5     on that basis that he was the president of the Assembly and ipso facto

 6     the president of the Crisis Staff.

 7        Q.   And do you believe he took orders from Belgrade?

 8        A.   I personally do not think that he received orders from Belgrade.

 9     His orders came from the president of the Serbian Democratic Party,

10     Radovan Karadzic, and the seat of the -- that party was at Pale, a town

11     near Sarajevo.

12        Q.   Now, with regards to -- would it be fair to say that Serbs that

13     did not cooperate with this new power structure were at risk?

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

20        Q.   Would it be fair to say that there was a pattern of forced

21     conscription into the service of the army for Serbians in the area?

22        A.   Well, one could say that it was the way you described it, except

23     that the word "forced" could be more adequately replaced by the

24     expression "regular call-ups," because under the law then everybody had

25     to respond to such call-up.

Page 492

 1        Q.   But under the law of the time, that everybody would have included

 2     Muslims.

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   But Muslims were not being called up.  Isn't that true?

 5        A.   Yes, that is true.

 6        Q.   And during the time that the army was in Visegrad, there was

 7     still lootings and burnings and damage to Muslims' property, correct?

 8        A.   Yes.

 9        Q.   And Muslims were being removed from their homes and some of them

10     were disappearing or liquidated; correct?

11        A.   Yes, that is correct.  Things like that happened, and they

12     happened that way, but perhaps one should emphasise that this was a

13     relatively small number of cases if we take into consideration the

14     situation which actually obtained at the time.

15        Q.   But it was not stopped during this time that the Yugoslav army

16     was in town; correct?

17        A.   Yes, that is correct, but, Your Honours, by your leave if I can

18     add this:  To my knowledge and as far as I could see, the

19     Yugoslav People's Army opposed and countered this, and they eliminated --

20     rather, prevented such cases.  And if such cases were reported to them,

21     they would intervene, so that eventually it became a less frequent

22     practice.

23        Q.   This was just for a few weeks, this appearance of less frequent

24     practice?

25             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Alarid, so far you've used half an hour for

Page 493

 1     your cross-examination, and I'll give you another half an hour.

 2             MR. ALARID:  Thank you, sir.

 3             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I should say nothing obliges you to use that.

 4             MR. ALARID:  Okay.

 5        Q.   Would it be fair to say that these less frequent cases were

 6     during a short period of time of the army's full presence in Visegrad?

 7        A.   Well, one could say that.  In view of the fact that such

 8     incidents, if one could call it an incident if you expel a person from

 9     his own house or torch his house, happened every day or every second day,

10     and then you wouldn't have such cases for three or four days because the

11     Yugoslav People's Army had taken action.

12        Q.   Did they take action, or maybe it was just the appearance of

13     action.

14        A.   I couldn't say with precision.  It could be either.

15        Q.   You attended the 4.000-person meeting at the stadium; correct?

16        A.   Correct.

17        Q.   At that meeting you had found your own family who you had lost

18     contact with for a few days; correct?

19        A.   Yes.

20        Q.   So this was a time of great terror and uncertainty for you to

21     know that your family was not safe or not have any good word of them?

22        A.   Yes, exactly.

23        Q.   And at this football stadium there's this Lieutenant Colonel

24     Jovanovic; correct?

25        A.   Yes.

Page 494

 1        Q.   And he wasn't a friend of the Muslims in that stadium that night,

 2     was he?

 3        A.   You could put it that way, but he acted in his professional

 4     capacity as a professional soldier, as an officer.  I did not gain the

 5     impression that he personally, as a person, had anything against the

 6     Muslims.

 7        Q.   He threatened the crowd with the White Eagles.  He claimed that

 8     they were under his control.

 9        A.   That's right.

10        Q.   Is that the words of a friend of the Muslim people?

11        A.   Well, I think that that was a method whereby he wanted to

12     preserve firm control in town and avoid his men having any problems or

13     him having any problems and such.

14             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Just a minute.

15                           [Trial Chamber confers]

16             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes, Mr. Alarid.  Perhaps you have dealt with

17     that point sufficiently.

18             MR. ALARID:  Thank you, Your Honour.  I just got word from my

19     case manager that Mr. Lukic is not feeling well right now, and --

20             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Well, I'll tell you what.  I think we'll just

21     take the half an hour break now.

22                           --- Recess taken at 10.03 a.m.

23                           --- On resuming at 10.37 a.m.

24             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.  Yes, go ahead.

25             MR. ALARID:  Thank you, Your Honour.

Page 495

 1        Q.   VG-22, after the army left, the SDS took control; correct?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   And Savovic was the leader of the SDS at this time?

 4        A.   Yes.

 5        Q.   Now, early on in this process you dealt with Savovic as a leader;

 6     correct?

 7        A.   Yes.

 8        Q.   And this began following the capture of 12 Serbian -- Bosnian

 9     Serbians?

10        A.   Yes.  By leave, Your Honours, I should just like to -- to say

11     that I knew Savovic not only from that moment, but I had known him before

12     and we had dealings even before that.

13        Q.   But the point I'm trying to make is that you dealt with him as

14     the leader of the situation at the time that you're dealing also with the

15     12 Serbian prisoners?

16        A.   Yes.

17        Q.   Tell the Court about the capture of the 12 Serbians.

18        A.   In brief, police patrols, and in fact the Territorial Defence

19     units that were already functional at that time were tasked with

20     inspecting the territory, touring the territory where problems were

21     cropping up or were expected to crop up.  So in such -- one of such

22     inspection tours they ran into 12 armed men who belonged to neither any

23     police or Territorial Defence unit.  As these men were armed, as such

24     they were arrested and brought into the police station.

25        Q.   From -- do you recall giving a statement in this case long before

Page 496

 1     your testimony?

 2        A.   Yes, I do.

 3        Q.   And this was a statement given back in 1997?

 4        A.   Just -- it is possible that that is the date.

 5        Q.   Now, on -- in that statement you indicated that the captured

 6     Serbs were locals?

 7        A.   Yes, they were all locals.

 8        Q.   And they were in camouflage and police uniforms?

 9        A.   Yes.

10        Q.   Then why were they taken prisoner if -- because they were part of

11     a police unit, were they not?

12        A.   No.  You see, they did have police uniforms on, but they were not

13     part of the hierarchy.  They were not members, not official members of

14     the police force but of some -- I don't know.  They represented a

15     different group, some other group.

16        Q.   Well, you got to meet them; correct?

17        A.   Yes, I did.

18        Q.   And you even got them -- to know them a little bit since you

19     released them; correct?

20        A.   Yes.  I apologise.  Your Honours, can I just say this?  It was

21     not me, myself, personally who set them free.  It was a decision of the

22     organs of municipal authority which I just executed.

23        Q.   But you were dealing personally with Savovic regarding their

24     release; correct?

25        A.   Yes.

Page 497

 1        Q.   And you wanted to exchange them for Muslim women and children;

 2     correct?

 3        A.   No, that is not the way it was.  There had been some proposals.

 4     Savovic's deputies or assistants put forward some proposals, but they

 5     themselves did not believe that to be a viable, a realistic option.

 6        Q.   Because they demanded the unconditional release of these 12

 7     soldiers; correct?

 8        A.   At the negotiations in question, they did insist on an

 9     unconditional surrender of these people.

10        Q.   So they were not disavowed as criminals, but they were embraced

11     as soldiers?

12        A.   They were not considered to be criminals, but it was known that

13     they were a group of armed men who most probably were under the control

14     and command of the SDS.

15        Q.   And that was acknowledged by Savovic; correct?

16        A.   We did not talk about it directly, because that could be sensed

17     in a way.  It was implied that that was the way it was.

18        Q.   But in fact you knew that one of the members of the 12 was the

19     assistant to the commander of the police.

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   Wouldn't the assistant to the commander be considered a person of

22     responsibility in the hierarchy?

23        A.   Yes, he did discharge that function, but he wilfully abandoned

24     that post and transferred himself into an informal armed group.

25        Q.   How do you know he wilfully abandoned that post?

Page 498

 1        A.   I know that because I was in practically daily contact with

 2     representatives of the organs in power, representatives of the police,

 3     and I even personally talked to him directly at that time.

 4        Q.   After the JNA left, were there check-points with policemen

 5     manning them in Visegrad?

 6        A.   After the JNA had left, well, I couldn't say with precision

 7     because I wasn't there in that period, but I suppose that there were such

 8     check-points.

 9        Q.   And isn't it true that Muslims needed proper paperwork to come

10     and go freely from Visegrad?

11        A.   Yes.

12        Q.   Who had the authority to give that paper?

13        A.   Until the arrival of the army no one needed any such documents.

14     Once the army took over command in the municipality and town, initially

15     they were the ones who issued the permits for movement, and later on it

16     was the police station that did so.  And let me add for a period it was

17     also the so-called National Defence or the Territorial Defence.  They

18     were over a period vested with the power of issuing such passes.

19        Q.   And who at the police station issued such passes?

20        A.   To the best of my knowledge, passes were issued by the chief of

21     the police at the time, Risto Perisic, and also the commander of the

22     police, Dragan Tomic.

23        Q.   Isn't it true that vehicles were being taken away by Muslims?

24        A.   Yes, there had been such cases.

25        Q.   And including a vehicle of yours that was owned by the company

Page 499

 1     you worked for?

 2        A.   Yes.  The police confiscated that vehicle with the explanation

 3     that they needed it and gave the explanation that when they had the

 4     number of vehicles that they required they would return that vehicle to

 5     the owner or to the company that they took it from.

 6        Q.   Did they give you paperwork proving that the car was taken away?

 7        A.   I can't remember specifically, but I think as far as I can recall

 8     I didn't get any kind of paper of that kind.

 9        Q.   Do you know if anyone got proper paperwork?

10        A.   I don't know.  Perhaps they did, perhaps they didn't.  I don't

11     know.

12        Q.   Did you hear of many such confiscations?

13        A.   As far as I know, it wasn't really something that happened on a

14     large scale.

15        Q.   How many Muslim villages were left at the Visegrad territory

16     during the Crisis Staff governing period?

17        A.   You mean what was the size of the population, or are you asking

18     me how many villages there were?

19        Q.   I'm asking how many villages were left afterwards or in

20     existence, and if you wanted to talk about the population, that would be

21     fine.

22        A.   From what I understand of the question, the answer would be some

23     villages that were in the immediate vicinity of the town, some kilometre

24     or two away, these houses remained.  All the other houses that were

25     farther away from town were burned or knocked down.

Page 500

 1        Q.   And I may have asked you this already, but who was governing

 2     Visegrad after the JNA left?

 3        A.   After the JNA left.  Well, when they were still there the army

 4     formed the organs of power, the Assembly, which they -- to which they

 5     appointed mostly members of the SDS, and then the executive organs, too,

 6     were the same, the police.  All these organs were also installed by the

 7     Yugoslav People's Army, and this was all 100 per cent personnel of

 8     Serbian ethnicity.

 9        Q.   And so it was based on this trickle down of appointments that the

10     Crisis Staff or the SDS installed the chief of police?

11        A.   Yes, that's probably how it was.

12        Q.   And isn't it true that Muslims were having to pay to get a permit

13     to leave the city?

14        A.   According to what I know, these were rare cases.  That wasn't the

15     rule, pay and then you will be able to leave town.

16        Q.   In those cases, to whom were they paying the money?

17        A.   I don't know of such a large number of these cases, but it was up

18     to each person to do the best they could if they could find a connection

19     or something, but there was no rule.

20        Q.   Wouldn't that connection have to be to the top of the police

21     force?

22        A.   I really couldn't say how these people managed to do this, to get

23     out of town.  And if they had any contacts with the police leadership, I

24     really couldn't say.

25        Q.   Now, of the 12 -- in your statement, you indicated that of the 12

Page 501

 1     people captured or Serbians captured, one of them was of the last name

 2     Lukic?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   And in your statement it indicates that you did not know the

 5     first name.  Do you know the first name?

 6        A.   Probably at that time I couldn't recall it.  Now I think that I

 7     do know the name.

 8        Q.   And what do you think you know?

 9        A.   I think that it was Sredoje Lukic.

10             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I'm not the timekeeper, but I have a sense that

11     you're very near to the end.  Six minutes.

12             MR. ALARID:

13        Q.   What were the names of the members of the Crisis Staff

14     headquarters?

15        A.   I really couldn't tell you all the names.  I can just assume that

16     the Crisis Staff formed by the SDS later comprised the people who later

17     took up these positions, the president of the municipality, the police

18     commander, the chief of police, and so on.

19        Q.   Now, what was the date that these 12 gentlemen were captured?

20        A.   I really cannot remember the exact date, but it could have been

21     perhaps the 15th of April, approximately, 1992.

22        Q.   What was the date of the assembly in the football stadium?

23        A.   The assembly at the football stadium was on the same day that the

24     army, the Yugoslav People's Army, took total control over the town.

25        Q.   And -- in relation to the 15th of April, was that before or

Page 502

 1     afterwards?

 2        A.   These people were captured before the Yugoslav People's Army took

 3     control.

 4        Q.   Now, would it be fair to say that the stories regarding

 5     Milan Lukic are all hearsay, secondhand, or even third-hand?

 6             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour.  It's a very

 7     general question.

 8             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I don't agree with you, Mr. Ossogo.  I think it

 9     is within the -- this witness's competence to say whether on the basis of

10     what he knows what has been said about the accused is based on

11     information gathered from other people or even secondhand hearsay as was

12     put to him by counsel.

13             What is your answer to that?

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as far as Milan --

15     Mr. Milan Lukic is concerned, I did not know him.  I'm seeing him for the

16     first time.  And from what I know about his activities, my

17     personal knowledge -- I don't have any personal experience or any

18     personal contacts.  All I know are things that come from talk of friends,

19     acquaintances.

20             THE INTERPRETER:  Interpreters note:  Could only one microphone

21     be on at a time, please.  Thank you.

22             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes, Mr. Alarid.

23             MR. ALARID:  Thank you, Your Honour.

24        Q.   And of the witnesses or these people that you heard stories from,

25     would it be fair to say that they have -- it may have even been stories

Page 503

 1     from other people that they were relaying to you in a third-hand way?

 2        A.   Well, you know how things go.  If things are happening like the

 3     things that were happening in Visegrad, then these things are told

 4     first-hand, secondhand, third-hand.  There was a lot of talk about these

 5     things.  So you have different information about it.

 6        Q.   Isn't it true that as stories pass through many people, the

 7     details can change or be exaggerated?

 8             JUDGE ROBINSON:  I'm not sure he can help you with that.  He

 9     can't help you with that, Mr. Alarid.  You can address us on that.

10             MR. ALARID:  Fair enough, Judge.

11        Q.   And would it be fair to say that other than those secondhand

12     stories, you have no personal knowledge of Mr. Milan Lukic being a

13     commander of anybody?

14        A.   I personally do not.  Like I said before, I didn't have any

15     direct or indirect contacts with the gentleman, and I don't have any

16     personal or specific contacts or any information that could come from

17     personal contacts.

18        Q.   Are you aware he was a local citizen of Visegrad?

19        A.   Yes.  Everyone knows that.  Actually, excuse me, from what I know

20     he was born in Visegrad and lived there for a certain period of time.

21     After that he lived and worked in Serbia.

22        Q.   And this you've learned from stories; correct?

23        A.   Well, I wouldn't call them stories.  These were conversations

24     with people who knew him well, who went to school with him, for example.

25        Q.   Can you tell me -- and if we have to move to private session, can

Page 504

 1     you tell me who those people are?

 2                           [Private session]

 3   (redacted)

 4   (redacted)

 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7   (redacted)

 8   (redacted)

 9   (redacted)

10   (redacted)

11   (redacted)

12   (redacted)

13   (redacted)

14   (redacted)

15   (redacted)

16   (redacted)

17   (redacted)

18   (redacted)

19   (redacted)

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22   (redacted)

23   (redacted)

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25   (redacted)

Page 505

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 5   (redacted)

 6   (redacted)

 7                           [Open session]

 8                           Cross-examination by Mr. Dieckmann:

 9        Q.   Witness VG-22, a very good morning.

10             THE REGISTRAR:  Your Honours, we're in open session.

11             MR. DIECKMANN:

12        Q.   Good morning, VG-22.  My name is Jens Dieckmann and I am Defence

13     co-counsel for Mr. Sredoje Lukic.  I just have several questions.  If you

14     cannot understand me, please just indicate it immediately so then I can

15     repeat my question.

16        A.   Very well.

17        Q.   VG-22, as we have already learned, you have given, on the one

18     hand, an interview, a statement to the investigators of the Office of the

19     Prosecution in 1997/1998.  It's true?

20        A.   Yes.

21        Q.   This interview, you have had the opportunity to give all

22     information you have been aware and of -- you know correct?

23        A.   Yes.

24        Q.   And as far as you remember, you signed the statement?

25        A.   I think that I did.

Page 506

 1        Q.   And you have been aware that with your signature you declare that

 2     these statements are truth -- the truth?

 3        A.   Yes.

 4        Q.   Very fine.  And on 10 September 2001, you have given testimony in

 5     the Vasiljevic case; correct?

 6        A.   Yes.

 7        Q.   And again -- sorry.  And again, in this testimony you have

 8     already had the opportunity to give all names and all informations you

 9     have been aware of; correct?

10        A.   Yes.

11        Q.   Now, you have given your testimony under oath declaring that this

12     is the truth and nothing but the truth.  You remember?

13        A.   Yes.

14        Q.   Very well.  First of all, before I start with some specific

15     questions, do you agree with me in general that a human being is in

16     general more capable to recall details of events that took place in

17     recent times than events that occurred a long time ago?  Do you agree

18     with me?

19        A.   Yes.  Naturally, yes.

20        Q.   In fact, you -- I want to start with some questions regarding the

21     arrest of the 12 Serbs.  Is it correct to say that you know the 12 Serbs

22     personally?

23        A.   I personally knew most of them, yes.

24        Q.   You know where they worked?

25        A.   I knew where most of them worked.

Page 507

 1        Q.   Thank you.  I want to come back to the first initial statement

 2     you have given to the Prosecutor.  You mentioned, as my learned colleague

 3     Mr. Alarid already mentioned you, you mentioned a Lukic was a member of

 4     this group; correct?

 5        A.   If you're thinking of Sredoje, it's correct that he was in that

 6     group.

 7        Q.   In your initial statement you said this Lukic is the brother of

 8     the notorious Lukic.  Is this your statement in the initial statement

 9     that you have given to the Prosecutor?

10        A.   Your Honours, I am not absolutely sure if that is what it says.

11     It's possible.  If you have the statement in front of you, then I have no

12     reason to doubt that.

13        Q.   But you say it was Sredoje Lukic who was a member of this 12?

14        A.   Yes.

15        Q.   And you know the profession -- and you know the profession of

16     Sredoje Lukic at this time?

17        A.   Yes.

18        Q.   And the profession of Sredoje Lukic at this time was that he was

19     an ordinary policeman.  Is it true?

20        A.   I -- from what I know, yes, that is correct.

21        Q.   He was an ordinary policeman in the time before the war.

22        A.   Yes.

23        Q.   During your testimony you have given in the Vasiljevic case,

24     there comes also a time when you have been asked about the arrest of the

25     12 Serbs, and is it true to your statement that the arrest -- the first

Page 508

 1     arrest of these 12 happened at the 7, 8, or 9th of April, 1992?

 2        A.   I cannot be quite sure about the date right now, but that was in

 3     that period and probably that is the date.

 4        Q.   And the arrest of these 12 was done by police forces; correct?

 5        A.   That's what I was told, that that's what happened.

 6        Q.   Today and during your testimony in the Vasiljevic case, you told

 7     that neither of these 12 belonged to the police force or army or any

 8     Territorial Defence.  This is your statement?

 9        A.   Yes.  At the time that they were arrested, they were not

10     officially members of the police force or the Territorial Defence.

11        Q.   To your recollection and remembrance, Sredoje Lukic was not a

12     member of the police in the beginning of April 1992?

13        A.   Sredoje Lukic was a policeman, I believe.  I would see him on the

14     street and so on, until a certain date when he left the police station

15     of -- on his own and then joined these informal armed groups.

16        Q.   Only sometime later in your statement -- in your testimony in the

17     Vasiljevic procedure, you stated that some of those people who had been

18     taken into custody were members of the regular police force.  It is on

19     page 138, lines 16 and 17 of the transcripts in English version.

20             This was your statement in Vasiljevic, that these people who has

21     been in custody, some of them were members of the regular police force.

22        A.   Yes.  And when I said that, what I meant was that they worked in

23     that capacity before they were arrested, but I don't think that at the

24     moment that they were arrested they were members of the police forces,

25     because if you allow, it wouldn't make sense for the police to arrest one

Page 509

 1     of their own members.

 2        Q.   That's a good point.  May I address you to another point.  You

 3     have been called to take part in negotiations, as you have already

 4     explained.  Is it true?

 5        A.   Yes.

 6        Q.   And that you have been called for negotiations, it was after the

 7     arrest of the 12th by the police.  Is it true?

 8        A.   Yes.  There were some talks earlier, but in relation to this

 9     group, yes, that's how it happened.

10        Q.   Very fine.  And at this time you have been called to take part in

11     negotiations, a person, Murat Sabanovic and his men have already occupied

12     the dam at the Drina River.  True?

13        A.   I think that in that period a little bit before or a little bit

14     after, but anyway, in that area Murat Sabanovic was at the dam.

15        Q.   My question was:  In the moment when you started the

16     negotiations, Murat Sabanovic had occupied the dam, still occupied the

17     dam?

18        A.   I think that he was there at that time.

19        Q.   And there was a situation that water was released from this dam.

20     Is it true?

21        A.   Yes.

22        Q.   Could it be -- I'm sorry.  Could it be the 13th of April of 1992?

23        A.   Yes.  It's possible that that is the date, yes.

24        Q.   And the first negotiations you have participated in had taken

25     place one day after the water was released.  True?

Page 510

 1        A.   I think that we had telephone contacts prior to that as well, but

 2     at that particular point in time we had direct contacts.

 3        Q.   And the water was released by Murat Sabanovic and his men?

 4        A.   Well, you could put it that way, although they were not trained.

 5     They were not capable of actually handling the equipment.  There were

 6     professionals who were working at the dam, and they did so at their

 7     orders.

 8        Q.   And in the moment the 12 Serbs has been released, these 12 Serbs

 9     has been at the dam.  Is that true?

10        A.   Could you please repeat the question?  I'm not sure I quite got

11     it.

12        Q.   Okay.  In the moment the 12 Serbs has been released in the end,

13     in this moment the 12 Serbs has been at the dam?  It means they have been

14     released at the dam, in freedom.

15        A.   Yes.  The decision to set them free was taken in Medjedja where

16     the municipal echelons were working and managing affairs at the time.

17     They were handed over to the Yugoslav army's soldiers who were at the

18     dam.  They were handed over to them at that time.

19        Q.   And the 12 Serbs has been arrested by police and has been

20     transferred to the dam afterwards; correct?

21        A.   Your Honours, I could not say anything about their movement with

22     precision.  I did hear a story to the effect that at a certain point in

23     time they were at the dam also, but they moved around.  They were at a

24     number of locations when they were arrested, as it were, when they were

25     detained.

Page 511

 1        Q.   So you agree with me that first of all they had been arrested in

 2     police detention and in the end they had been at the dam; correct?

 3        A.   Well, as I said, they were at the police station.  After that,

 4     they changed locations, and I heard that for a while they had also been

 5     at the dam feature and ultimately, at the end, they were in the

 6     settlement of Medjedja where the police and the municipal organs of

 7     authority had also transferred themselves.

 8        Q.   In the moment you started your negotiations, you have been aware

 9     that the 12 Serbs has been in the control of Murat Sabanovic, in fact,

10     didn't you?

11        A.   No.  No, that statement is not true.  When we talked I talked

12     with Savovic who had the authority to negotiate on behalf of the SDS or

13     the Crisis Staff, whatever it was that they called themselves.  Those

14     people were near a construction company called Granit in the building of

15     a restaurant there, and that's where I saw them too.

16        Q.   Murat Sabanovic and his men have been armed in this time?  They

17     have control over the dam?

18        A.   Yes, they were armed --

19             THE INTERPRETER:  And the interpreter did not hear the rest of

20     the sentence.

21             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Of whose sentence, the sentence of -- you mean

22     you didn't hear the rest of the answer?

23             THE INTERPRETER:  The rest of the answer, Your Honour, was:  "And

24     they were at the dam."

25             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Very well.  Let's move on.

Page 512

 1             MR. DIECKMANN:

 2        Q.   But Murat Sabanovic and his men were not members of ordinary

 3     police.  True?

 4        A.   No, they were not members of the ordinary police.

 5        Q.   And the moment they capture the dam they were not members of any

 6     ordinary armed forces.

 7        A.   Well, if you will allow me to clarify.  When the need arose, the

 8     authorities of the municipality of Visegrad would mobilise the so-called

 9     reserve police force and the Territorial Defence.  They were officially

10     on lists as reserve police force members or reserve Territorial Defence

11     members, and such units, at the call of municipal authorities, could also

12     be joined by all who thought that they should join.  So such units would

13     thereby be enlarged in number, both the police units and the

14     Territorial Defence units.  And one could say that they were part of the

15     Territorial Defence units.

16        Q.   During your testimony in the Vasiljevic case, you told under oath

17     that Murat Sabanovic came there on his own initiative with his own group

18     of men.  Is it your statement, your testimony in the Vasiljevic case or

19     not?

20        A.   I do not recall this statement exactly, but I can say that that

21     is the way it was.

22        Q.   Thank you.  In your first negotiations you talked about

23     conditions for release of the 12 Serbs.  Is that true?

24        A.   Yes, it would be fair to say that it is.

25        Q.   In the first negotiations you have participated, it was said that

Page 513

 1     the 12 Serbs will be released if there will be a cease-fire.  Is it true?

 2        A.   Yes.

 3        Q.   And in your testimony in the Vasiljevic procedure - this is page

 4     143 on the English transcript - you used the term "we."  Is it true that

 5     you described your activities as negotiator and you described your

 6     position using the term "we"?

 7        A.   Your Honours, I do not understand.  I do not sufficiently

 8     understand the question.

 9        Q.   Sorry.

10             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Reformulate.  Reformulate the question.

11             MR. DIECKMANN:  Yes.  Thank you very much.

12        Q.   Is it fair to say that in the negotiations you -- your function

13     was an envoy or a messenger of the intentions of the group of

14     Murat Sabanovic?  Is it true?

15        A.   No.  Your Honours, if I can amplify on that.  All the activities

16     that were referred to, that we have been talking about actually have

17     nothing whatsoever to do with Murat Sabanovic and his group.  They

18     impacted in no way whatsoever the course of the negotiations or could

19     they actually dictate any conditions as to what was to be the object or

20     the substance of the negotiations or anything of the -- that kind.

21        Q.   I would like to -- to quote from page 143, line 8 up to 11 of the

22     English transcript of your testimony in the Vasiljevic case.  "We

23     discussed the release of the people that had been taken into custody, and

24     our side, if I can use the term, called for a cease-fire, for an end to

25     the mortars shelling Muslim villages and parts of the town, and we said

Page 514

 1     that the two days later we -- they would be released."

 2             So you used the term "we" as if you are part of this group.  You

 3     do not -- you did not transfer a message, you were part of this.  Do you

 4     agree with me that this is your statement in the Vasiljevic case?

 5        A.   Yes, Your Honours, that is identical.  That is completely true.

 6     But when I used this word "we," what was certainly meant was the

 7     structure of the authorities, because I conducted these negotiations in

 8     coordination with the president of the Assembly, the president of the --

 9     of the Executive Board, the chief of the police who all comprised what is

10     referred to as the Crisis Staff of the municipality of Visegrad.  So when

11     I say "we," I mean that group, and I was sort of an envoy of that

12     Crisis Staff to conduct the negotiations that we have been discussing.

13        Q.   VG-22, are you aware of an order for Mr. Savovic to the Serb

14     police before these dates that all Serbs have to left the old police

15     station?  Are you aware of this?

16        A.   Well, I'm not directly aware of that, but I suppose that that was

17     the way it was.

18        Q.   Do you have any knowledge about the decision to exclude

19     Sredoje Lukic being a member of the ordinary police before the beginning

20     of April 1992?

21        A.   No.  I have not any knowledge about any decisions having been

22     taken or supposed to have been taken to chuck out Sredoje Lukic from the

23     regular police force.

24        Q.   When I understood you correctly, your only argument to say that

25     Sredoje Lukic was not a member of the Serbian police any more was that he

Page 515

 1     was not taking part in ordinary service any more.  Did I understood you

 2     correctly?

 3        A.   Well, you could put it that way.  If a policeman fails to show up

 4     for work, does not report to his superiors and what have you and what

 5     have you not, one can assume that he has left the police.

 6        Q.   Do you agree with me that this behaviour of Sredoje Lukic, taking

 7     it as truth, could also be following the order of Mr. Savovic?  Couldn't

 8     it be, just to leave the old police station?

 9        A.   Yes.  In my opinion that was the reason why he and other

10     policemen as well ceased coming to work, to their regular work posts.

11        Q.   So to sum it up, VG-22, would you agree with me to say that in

12     the moment you started your negotiations, 12 Serbs including Serbian

13     policemen has been arrested and kept by irregular armed Muslim forces and

14     that you have used this fact of this arrest as a bargaining chip in your

15     negotiations?  Couldn't you say it in this way?

16        A.   I will agree with you, with the statement for the most part,

17     provided, however, that these men, these arrested men, these armed men

18     were not under the control of some informal groups or something -- some

19     similar structure.  They were always at all times under the control of

20     the regular police or the Territorial Defence.

21             So let me add if the need arose for them to be moved from the

22     police station to another facility or -- because the situation was almost

23     a state of war, that facility was controlled by the Territorial Defence.

24     They would be handed over to them, but always with the knowledge and

25     approval of the police.

Page 516

 1        Q.   A last question from my side, VG-22.  Is it true to say that if a

 2     Serb did act against orders of the White Eagles that the consequences

 3     would be the same as someone who did so as a Muslim?  Do you agree with

 4     this?

 5        A.   Yes, one could say that.  I wouldn't say identical, the same.  I

 6     would say almost the same, practically the same.

 7        Q.   Thank you very much.

 8             MR. DIECKMANN:  Thank you.

 9             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Thank you, Mr. Dieckmann.

10             Mr. Ossogo, any re-examination?

11             MR. OSSOGO: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.

12             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Witness, that concludes your testimony.  We

13     thank you for giving it.  You may now leave.

14             THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

15             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Your next witness.

16             MS. SARTORIO:  Your Honour, the Prosecution calls

17     Mr. Ferid Spahic to the witness stand, and he does not wish to have any

18     protective measures.  He renounced his protective measures in the

19     Vasiljevic case, and he's not requesting them in this case.

20             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Very well.

21             MR. ALARID:  Your Honour, Mr. Lukic has indicated to me that he's

22     not feeling well right now.

23             JUDGE ROBINSON:  All right.  We will adjourn for 10 minutes.

24                           --- Break taken at 11.38 a.m.

25                           --- On resuming at 11.53 a.m.

Page 517

 1                      [The Accused M. Lukic not present]

 2             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Mr. Alarid.

 3             MR. ALARID:  Yes, Your Honour.  Mr. Milan Lukic is too ill to

 4     come back, and I would ask for a recess until tomorrow considering the

 5     short duration we have left for the day.

 6             JUDGE ROBINSON:  Yes.  Very well.  We take that into

 7     consideration.  We trust the accused will be well enough to attend court

 8     tomorrow.  We will adjourn until tomorrow morning at 8.50 a.m.

 9                           --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.55 a.m.,

10                           to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 26th day

11                           of August, 2008, at 8.50 a.m.