1 Tuesday, 4 December 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
7 number IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Good afternoon to all of you as well. The
9 Chamber was informed that there was one preliminary matter to be raised.
10 Mr. Groome.
11 MR. GROOME: Three brief matters, Your Honour, in fact.
12 Your Honour, yesterday the Chamber asked or reminded the Prosecution of
13 P6. I wish to report on that today. The Prosecution sent yesterday to
14 the Defence and to Chambers' staff another copy of this UN
15 Security Council Resolution downloaded from the UN official web site
16 yesterday. I note that it, too, does not look like the typical
17 UN Security Council Resolution in that it does not have the same graphic
18 image at the top that I think all of us are used to seeing. But it is
19 there and we have included the web address so that it can be verified. I
20 don't know if Mr. Lukic has had an opportunity to view it. Then I'll
21 leave -- I see that Mr. Lukic is indicating that he hasn't. If at some
22 point at his convenience he can do that. The Prosecution, if there is no
23 objection, will then move to replace the current version of P6 with the
24 one that was sent around yesterday.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, when will we hear from you?
1 MR. LUKIC: Probably today, Your Honour, when I finish with this
2 witness I'll see the document.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, with respect to P502, this was admitted
5 through Witness RM511 on 13 November 2012. There were some discrepancies
6 with the unofficial draft English translation which the Prosecution
7 undertook to investigate. We have done so and we are prepared to --
8 to -- or we ask that permission be granted for us to replace the existing
9 translation with the official translation that's now available and it has
10 been uploaded by -- no, it hasn't been but Ms. Stewart can do that once
11 the Chamber gives authority for this to be done.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. This is now an official translation, so
13 therefore then the translation of P502 may be replaced by the new one to
14 be uploaded by the Prosecution.
15 MR. GROOME: And, Your Honour, the final matter I'd ask that we
16 go into private session for.
17 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 5653-5654 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
23 Which gives me an opportunity to ask about P403 MFI'd. This document,
24 which is an intercept, was MFI'd due to mistakes in the transcript of
25 that intercept, and the Chamber wonders whether it can expect the revised
2 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I will investigate that report before
3 the end of the day.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. As far as D59 is concerned, a new
5 translation has been made available, I do understand, but perhaps we
6 first pay attention to the presence of the witness. Could the Defence
7 already look at D59. I do understand that the revised translation has
8 been uploaded. If that's confirmed, we'll further deal with the matter.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Sokolar. Before --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good day.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Before we resume, I would like to remind you that
13 you're still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the
14 beginning of your testimony, and Mr. Lukic will now continue his
16 WITNESS: REFIK SOKOLAR [Resumed]
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
19 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Sokolar.
20 A. Good day.
21 Q. Did you ever have the opportunity of seeing that the artillery
22 fired from the centre of town or mortars or the tanks of the ABiH?
23 A. I never witnessed that because I was in Dobrinja, and I don't
24 know what was happening in the centre of the town, in other parts of
1 Q. Can we agree that you never considered the possibility of fire
2 being opened from weapons that were in the possession of the ABiH?
3 A. Do you mean heavy weapons, mortars, tanks, sniper fire? There
4 were such weapons used in Dobrinja otherwise how would one have defended
5 themselves but we didn't have tanks in Dobrinja or any heavy artillery.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is kindly asked to approach the
7 microphone as it is hard to hear him.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Sokolar, could you come a bit closer to the
9 microphone. The interpreters have difficulties hearing you. Perhaps
10 move it up. Yes.
11 Mr. Lukic, may I take it that the context in which you did put
12 this question is about the investigations the witness performed?
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Or is it -- yes. That was not clear in your
16 MR. LUKIC: I will clarify. Thank you.
17 Q. [Interpretation] When you performed your duties, did you ever
18 take into consideration the possibility that Dobrinja was fired on from
19 weapons or artillery from the positions under the control of the ABiH
20 from the centre of the town or from outside the town?
21 A. I apologise. I haven't fully understood your question.
22 Q. When you carried out your investigations, did you ever verify
23 whether it was possible that a shell that had wounded someone or a bullet
24 that had wounded someone had been fired from positions outside of
25 Dobrinja, positions that were under the control of the ABiH?
1 A. In the course of my work, I never had the opportunity to work on
2 such cases to determine whether fire had been opened from the territory
3 of the ABiH. I would like to add something else. I'm not a forensic
4 expert, a criminal expert. I only go to carry out an on-site
5 investigation as a member of a team. So my work doesn't involve
6 determining where a shell was fired from.
7 Q. Thank you. In 1992, policemen, both reserve duty and active-duty
8 policemen, from April to September 1992, at least until that time, in
9 fact went to the combat lines; isn't that correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. In the course of your duties, did you ever -- or, although you
12 said that you never got involved in blood crimes, did you ever find out
13 that Serbian civilians would be killed and detained in Dobrinja in the
14 course of the war?
15 A. In the course of the war people were reported as missing, but I
16 never investigated any cases of murder or cases in which citizens of
17 Serbian ethnicity were eliminated.
18 Q. Apart from the unit headed by Juka Prazina, did you notice the
19 presence in Dobrinja of a group headed by Caco?
20 A. Caco was the commander of a brigade in the other part of town, in
21 the area of the Stari Grad or the Old Town, and there were individuals or
22 groups that -- as to whether there were individuals or group who came to
23 Dobrinja who -- who were members of Caco's group, well, I don't know
24 about that.
25 Q. I'd like to ask you about two other groups. One is
1 Dr. Loncarevic's group and the other group is a group that was under the
2 command of Dado. Were you aware of their presence in Dobrinja?
3 A. I haven't heard of Dado but I have heard of Loncarevic. He was
4 commander of military police detachment, I think, or, rather, military
5 police squad.
6 Q. You didn't have the opportunity to investigate what sort of
7 duties the military police performed?
8 A. Yesterday I said I had no responsibility, no authority over the
9 military police, the members of the military, and for a certain period of
10 time we even have problems when it came to co-operation.
11 Q. As a policeman, you are a member of the armed forces.
12 A. In terms of establishment, yes.
13 Q. However you considered yourself to be a civilian; isn't that
15 A. Even before the war I was a civilian, and in the course of the
16 war I worked as a civilian, as an inspector for crime prevention, but for
17 a certain period of time in 1994 and 1995, I don't know when exactly,
18 when everyone was given a camouflage uniform, we, too, were provided with
19 camouflage uniforms.
20 Q. Did you also consider that soldiers in Dobrinja who were not at
21 the front line were civilians?
22 A. No, we didn't consider such persons to be civilians. They were
23 members of the military, and when they were on leave, when they were
24 moving around Dobrinja, they were citizens like everyone else, and the
25 fact that they were members of the ABiH, well --
1 Q. Well, that's what I'm asking you about, when such a person wasn't
2 at the positions but was moving around Dobrinja, but when such a person
3 was a member of the ABiH, in such cases would you consider such a person
4 to be a civilian?
5 A. If the person was wounded when queueing up for water, for
6 example, or in some other place where there were other citizens, well, I
7 think in the list of all those who were wounded or killed you would have
8 the name of that member of the army who was in the area on leave at the
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could you slow down a bit so that the interpreters
11 are better able to follow.
12 Mr. Lukic, you are asking questions which are -- of which the
13 context is not very clear and which asks for a judgement, isn't it? I
14 mean, the issue of who is a civilian, who is considered to be a civilian,
15 depends on what standards you apply.
16 MR. LUKIC: I want to connect these questions with the next one,
17 and I think only --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, I'll wait.
19 MR. LUKIC: Only this witness can answer that one, the last one.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. We'll wait and see what your next question
21 is. Please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Sokolar, you have just mentioned something yourself, but I'll
24 ask you this question again. In your reports the reports that you
25 drafted, you say with regard to the soldiers who were wounded when they
1 were on leave, you say with regard to policemen -- well, in fact did you
2 consider them all to be civilians? Is that how you portrayed them in
3 your reports?
4 A. I don't think we distinguished between civilians and ABiH
5 members. For example, if I was wounded, I'd be listed amongst all the
6 civilians who were wounded, but I was a member of the police.
7 Q. With regard to your official notes, you don't have the official
8 notes -- the official notes that you drafted in your possession; is that
10 A. No, I don't.
11 Q. You have partially answered this question today, but I will ask
12 you about it briefly now. In the course of the criminal investigation,
13 you only collected information about the wounded. You determined the
14 position of the building, and you tried to determine the position of the
15 victim; is that correct? Or is there anything else you did? If so,
16 please tell us what -- but first of all, did you do these duties?
17 A. As far as shelling is concerned, as a member of the team I would
18 be present at the on-site investigation. I would help them to gather
19 information on those who had been wounded. And since I know Dobrinja
20 well, I provided them with other instructions, but with regard to sniper
21 activity, with regard to persons who were wounded, then I followed the
22 procedure I mentioned. I'd go to the hospital, to the site. I'd go as
23 far as it was possible to go, and on the basis of those parameters, I
24 would draft my own note and draw the conclusions I could draw on the
1 Q. Is it correct that you determine the position of the victim on
2 the basis of what the victim would say?
3 A. Yes. The victim would say that he or she was moving in such and
4 such a direction and was hit from the left or right, and it was on that
5 basis that I determine the direction from which the victim was hit.
6 Q. You didn't draw any sketches, you didn't take any photographs of
7 the site when you went to perform your duties there; is that correct?
8 A. I don't want to go into all the details. The working conditions
9 were difficult. I didn't always have the possibilities to send my
10 reports, my dispatches. There was no electricity. The communication
11 lines were down. I would just write things down on paper. I didn't have
12 a camera to take photographs with. I didn't even draw sketches. A
13 forensic expert does that at the site.
14 Q. I understand the conditions under which you worked, but I still
15 have to ask you about certain issues that may seem illogical to people
16 outside of your profession. Thank you anyway.
17 When you drafted official notes, you didn't make any
18 measurements; is that right?
19 A. No, I didn't.
20 Q. Similarly, you were never an eyewitness to any of the incidents
21 that you drafted official notes about; is that right?
22 A. No. I was never an eyewitness.
23 Q. Now a more general question. Is it correct that the
24 neighbourhoods -- the town neighbourhoods on both sides of the separation
25 line were destroyed?
1 A. Can you please repeat your question?
2 Q. Is it correct that on both sides of the line of engagement town
3 areas were destroyed?
4 A. Yes. In fact, I was able to see that for myself after the war
5 when I could cross to the other line. I could see the Dobrinja area, and
6 I could also tell that the area that was under the control of the ABiH
7 was more destroyed than was the area under the control of the
8 Serbian Army, though admittedly there was destruction everywhere.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Is there dispute about considerable damage to
10 buildings up to the level of destruction on both sides of the
11 confrontation line?
12 MR. LUKIC: Not on our side. I don't know whether Prosecution.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well -- Mr. Weber.
14 MR. WEBER: The existence of destruction, no. There's no
16 JUDGE ORIE: No. That was typically a matter which seems not
17 necessary to ask questions about. Please proceed.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. In your part of town, Dobrinja, clashes between the warring
20 parties were frequent, were they not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. The line didn't shift, perhaps by a metre here or there, but it
23 mostly remained the same throughout the war, did it not?
24 A. The lines facing Dobrinja 1 and Dobrinja 4 didn't shift at all
25 because there were housing blocks there. Perhaps in the area of
1 Nedzarici facing Dobrinja 5 there may have been some changes in the
2 position of the line, but negligible.
3 Q. Now that you mention Nedzarici, is it true that before the Serbs
4 took control of that part of town there was fierce fighting for control
6 A. The neighbourhood of Nedzarici lies between Vojnicko Polje and
7 Dobrinja 5. It stretches all the way to the barracks, and the student
8 dorms. The neighbourhood of Nedzarici isn't well defined, and I can say
9 that both the side of Vojnicko Polje and the side of Dobrinja 5 saw a
10 great deal of fighting, and you could tell by the level of destruction on
11 the houses that were close to the separation line.
12 Q. Going back to Dobrinja again, is it true that there were platoons
13 and companies in each of these Dobrinja neighbourhoods, 1 through 5? So
14 they had companies and platoons of the army.
15 A. On the side of the Bosnian Army, I did explain yesterday that
16 there was a unit per every neighbourhood. Now, what the strength was,
17 whether it was a company or a platoon, is another matter. But on the
18 edge, skirting every single neighbourhood there would always be a unit.
19 Q. I will now read out a portion of your statement. A moment,
21 MR. LUKIC: Can we call up in e-court 1D448. This is the
22 transcript from the Galic case.
23 Q. I'll read out a portion of it and see if you agree what it says.
24 It's in English, so you'll wait for it to be interpreted to you.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need page 62 in e-court. It's
1 3629, the page of the transcript.
2 Q. From line 13 to 18, I will read it in English so that the witness
3 can get a proper interpretation:
4 "[In English] Q. Thank you. That's very well. Now, in that
5 hospital, in the infirmary was there any kind of sign to denote that this
6 was a hospital?
7 "A. I believe that there was a sign -- there was no -- anything
8 written, but I cannot remember whether there was a Red Cross or any other
9 sign like that. I knew it was a hospital. I went past there every day,
10 but I never really noticed it. Not that it would be visible."
11 [Interpretation] Yesterday, you said that the infirmary was
12 housed on the ground floor of a building; right?
13 A. Yes. The infirmary became the war hospital of Dobrinja. It
14 covered the ground floor and the basement. The building is on
15 Omladinskih Radnih Brigada Street. The building is four or five stories
16 high, I believe. Let me just add that I cannot claim with any certainty
17 that there was a flag hoisted on the building because I never -- I don't
18 recall seeing it and especially not now 20 years later.
19 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you something about paragraph 5 of your
20 statement, the one from 1995. That's P567.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we call it up so the witness can
22 have it in front of him. Can we have it in B/C/S for the witness. Yes,
23 I see it now. Thank you.
24 Q. Here you speak of Ms. Vahida Saric, and you say that she was
25 wounded in her kitchen by a bullet in the shoulder:
1 "I attended the site, and I could see the place where the victim
2 was standing and the position of the window. On the basis of this and
3 the hole in the window, I could conclude what the angle of the bullet
4 was. The bullet came from Miroslava Krleza Street --" I'm sorry,
5 "Miroslava Krnda Street, from the Dobrinja neighbourhood." Sorry, yes.
6 It is Krleza. "... in Dobrinja 1, which is held by the
7 Bosnian Serb Army, was held. There is no doubt at all that the bullet
8 came from that place. I think she was hit by fragmentations of the
9 bullet, because she was wounded in different places."
10 It was the neighbours who told you what the position of the
11 victim was, right, because you didn't speak to her?
12 A. I can't at this time -- it must have been the neighbours who told
13 me where she was, that she was by the dining table in the kitchen.
14 Q. And you yourself ascertained the trajectory of the bullet, did
15 you not?
16 A. Since the kitchen faced the south-east, the window -- the
17 position of the window and the kitchen itself, and of course it was this
18 window that the bullet came through, allowed me to establish that the
19 direction of fire was south-east and that it came from Dobrinja.
20 Q. You established this fact yourself, did you not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Regardless of the fact that she was, as you yourself put it, hit
23 by bullet fragments?
24 A. That was the note that I made in my record that there -- that she
25 was hit by bullet fragments of that same bullet that had first gone
1 through the windowpane and then had hit her.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We now need paragraph 11 of the same
4 Q. Here you speak of another case which happened on the
5 16th of June, 1994, when an elderly man was shot in the right arm. You
6 say that he was crossing the street.
7 Here, too, it was you who determined the direction of fire and
8 the origin of fire; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Since you provide a summary conclusion here saying many people in
11 the area had been hit from Mojmilo and that because fire was opened from
12 that direction, there were a great many victims there. In the other
13 cases that you mention here, was it also the case that you yourself
14 determined the direction and origin of fire?
15 A. The spot where this elderly man was injured is close to the war
16 hospital in Dobrinja, in a green area that could have been hit from
17 Mojmilo. At a later date it could only have been hit from the direction
18 of the Aerodrom neighbourhood.
19 Q. The mount of Mojmilo didn't shift, did it? In other words, fire
20 could be opened from Mojmilo at all times.
21 A. Yes, but I don't know how the positions shifted and which army
22 was present where.
23 Q. Later on Mount Mojmilo was under the control of the
24 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina; right?
25 A. That's exactly why I said that for a while it was exposed to fire
1 from that end, but at a later stage it was sheltered by buildings or
2 obstructed by buildings. And as for this man who was wounded, that would
3 have come from the other end of the Nedzarici neighbourhood.
4 Q. But let me go back to Mojmilo. You say later on it wasn't
5 possible to -- to fire from Mojmilo. What you actually mean is that at a
6 later date the Serbs were unable to open fire from Mojmilo, whereas
7 Mojmilo was still there and anyone could open fire from it.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness please repeat his answer.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat your answer, and could you
10 make a small pause between question and answer. So the last part of the
11 question was, "... whereas Mojmilo Hill was still there and anyone could
12 hope fire from it." Could you please answer. Whether you agree with
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Initially one could open fire from
15 Mount Mojmilo and hit the area where this man was wounded. Later on,
16 probably because the lines between the warring parties shifted, there
17 weren't any injured people at -- at that -- who actually were injured
18 from that direction, but there were people who were injured from a
19 different direction.
20 JUDGE ORIE: I think Mr. Mladic seeks the attention of counsel.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we make a short break?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Would you like to make a short break, or should we
23 take the break? We are ten minutes away from where we usually take the
25 MR. LUKIC: Let's take a break.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Okay, then could the witness first be escorted out
2 of the courtroom. We take a break of 20 minutes, Mr. Sokolar.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE ORIE: We take a break, and we'll resume at 25 minutes past
6 --- Recess taken at 3.06 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 3.26 p.m.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness please be escorted into the
10 Then I'll now finalise D59. As I said, it was MFI'd because
11 there were irregularities in the translation, and the Registry has now
12 received a revised translation, is hereby instructed to make the
13 necessary replacements in e-court, and D59 is admitted into evidence.
14 Mr. Lukic, when we left yesterday the statements of Mr. Sokolar
15 MFI'd because we didn't want to decide without having known your position
16 on the matter. I don't know what it is --
17 MR. LUKIC: We don't have objections, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Which means P567, P568, and P569 are admitted into
20 MR. WEBER: Yes, Your Honour. And the Prosecution has resolved
21 the matter with P570 if you'd like to take care of that now.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
23 MR. WEBER: This photograph originated from 65 ter 26177. The
24 Prosecution has now uploaded the individual photograph under 26177A, and
25 we tender that as an exhibit. I believe it's already been marked for --
1 or reserved a number, P570.
2 JUDGE ORIE: A number was reserved for it because it was to be
3 taken out of a series, but no decision had been taken yet on the
4 admission. You tender it now?
5 MR. WEBER: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Any observations?
7 MR. LUKIC: No objections, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then P570 - the number was already assigned to the
9 photograph - is admitted into evidence.
10 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
11 [The witness takes the stand]
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sokolar, in the course of the break I spoke
14 to my colleague from the Prosecution, and I was told that I had perhaps
15 confused you, because I asked you specifically about this elderly man, a
16 certain elderly man, and then I moved on to general issues in relation to
17 Mojmilo. So I do apologise if this gave rise to some confusion, but I
18 would now like to return to that issue.
19 Part of Dobrinja under your forces, on the one side there was the
20 part of Dobrinja under the VRS, and then we have Mojmilo, Nedzarici, and
21 the third side and the fourth side it's the Aerodromsko settlement, the
22 Aerodrom neighbourhood or the airport neighbourhood; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, the airport or Aerodrom or airport neighbourhood.
24 Q. The Aerodrom settlement, is it correct that part of that
25 neighbourhood was under the control of the forces of the ABiH?
1 A. Yes. Two or three or four of the peripheral buildings were in
2 the hands of the ABiH.
3 Q. How far were the positions held by the ABiH from the Mojmilo Hill
4 if one goes down the route towards the Novi Grad?
5 A. I didn't understand your question.
6 Q. If we're talking about the Mojmilo Hill, on that side there is a
7 road that connects Dobrinja and Novi Grad; isn't that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that road goes over Mojmilo or under Mojmilo?
10 A. The road passes by the foot of the Mojmilo Hill, in the direction
11 of Lukavica, Novi Grad.
12 Q. So obviously that part of Mojmilo was under the control of the
13 forces of the ABiH; isn't that correct? And I'm asking you, how far were
14 the positions from the Mojmilo Hill that were under the control of the
16 A. I can't remember where the lines were above the houses, the
17 Trapara houses in the direction of Mojmilo Hill. I don't know where the
18 demarcation line was because it is an open space. There were no
19 residential buildings there. It was a hill dominating the settlement.
20 As to where the trenches were, which routes they took, where the bridge,
21 I don't know.
22 Q. If you don't know, just say so. That's fine. Thank you.
23 Nedzarici under the control of the Serbian forces. Was Nedzarici
24 surrounded in a certain sense, and in Sarajevo and around Sarajevo was
25 everyone in a certain sense surrounded, encircled?
1 A. Nedzarici wasn't surrounded as the Aerodrom neighbourhood which
2 was under the control of the VRS. In -- Nedzarici was more open in the
3 direction of the territory under the control of the VRS.
4 Q. Now I'd like to deal with your statement from 2000, P568. What
5 I'm interested in is the first page. Could we just have a look at the
6 first page. At the bottom of the English version can you see your
8 A. Yes, that's my signature.
9 Q. I would like to have a look at paragraph 15 now. Page 3, I
10 believe. You say in this paragraph:
11 "Our duties included patrolling the area, responding to requests
12 from citizens and examining reports of hidden weapons."
13 Who report the fact that someone had hidden weapons to you?
14 A. This has to do with flats that had been abandoned by citizens of
15 Serbian ethnicity, and their neighbours then had small groups that were
16 at the entrances, and they would say that such and such a person had
17 lived in such and such a flat and had weapons. Sometimes even before we
18 arrived someone had broken into the flat. So in any event, they would
19 make these reports and say that there might be weapons in these flats.
20 Q. In the course of your work as a policeman -- well, as you
21 yourself said, some flats had been broken into. So in the course of your
22 work did you come across any information according to which
23 Juka Prazina's men went into flats and searched flats inhabited by Serbs
24 under the pretext that they were searching for weapons?
25 A. Yes, that's correct. When I arrived two months after the events
1 in Dobrinja, most of the flats had been broken into by various groups,
2 neighbours, and citizens.
3 Q. When these flats were searched, did you draft any reports?
4 A. It's because they needed a professional to search flats and to
5 compile reports and issue certificates on the elements found. It's for
6 those reasons that I went Dobrinja. It was so that I could send in
7 policemen to those locations and to perform those police duties.
8 Q. So the policemen, for the most part the reserve policemen, under
9 your control in Dobrinja carried out those searches of apartments or
10 flats in order to find weapons?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And now I'd like to move on to a different subject. Is it true
13 that at the time that you arrived in Dobrinja, most of the Serb civilians
14 had left that part of the town under the control of the ABiH or did this
15 process go on while you were there?
16 A. Most of the citizens of Serbian ethnicity at the very beginning
17 of the war, at the beginning of April, left Dobrinja. And when Dobrinja
18 was under blockade, as I said yesterday, many Serbs remained in the
19 neighbourhood. They couldn't leave, just as the other citizens couldn't
21 Q. As a policeman in Dobrinja, did you find out -- or what did you
22 find out about Serb civilians being taken to the front line in order to
23 dig trenches there?
24 A. As far as civilians, Serbian civilians, being taken to dig
25 trenches is concerned, I think that military security and the civilian
1 protection were involved in that, and it's true that most of those in the
2 civilian protection were Serbs, citizens of Serbian ethnicity, and they
3 performed those duties, did that work.
4 Q. Thank you. As a policeman in Sarajevo, did you find out -- or,
5 rather, first of all, do you know who Avdo Hebib is?
6 A. Avdo Hebib was a psychiatrist in the MUP clinic before the war,
7 and just before the war I think he was the assistant minister. He had
8 some sort of position. There were a lot of changes just before the war,
9 but he did have a position within the Ministry of the Interior.
10 Q. Did you find out that Juka Prazina killed his son? Did you have
11 that information?
12 A. I heard about that. Not about that. I heard about the fact that
13 his son was killed, but not by Juka Prazina. It was done by a group when
14 the accounts were settled with Caco's group. This was in the centre of
15 town when a lot of policemen and members of the military security came to
16 harm because they didn't want to be placed under the control of the army.
17 Q. That conflict was in fact a conflict between various factions
18 within the armed Muslim people. Is that how we could put it?
19 A. Yes, we could put it that way.
20 Q. You know and I know the following, but for the benefit of the
21 Chamber, we should perhaps say what Avdo Hebib's nationality or ethnicity
22 is. What is his ethnicity?
23 A. A Muslim.
24 Q. There was a tunnel under the airport tarmac in the vicinity of
25 Dobrinja. Did you have the opportunity of observing what would be taken
1 into town via that tunnel?
2 A. The tunnel was in the neighbourhood that I lived in, and the exit
3 is on the other side in Butmir. During the day civilians could cross
4 over from one side to the other, and on several occasions the ABiH army
5 had to go to the battle-field. As to what they brought in and took out,
6 I don't know. It was blocked on such occasions and you couldn't see what
7 they were taking into the tunnel and taking out of the tunnel. There was
8 no access to the tunnel on such occasions.
9 Q. Today you said, or perhaps it was yesterday, that you handed over
10 troops to the military security, troops that had committed crimes. When
11 did you start handing over such soldiers to the military security?
12 A. I think in the summer 1992 the military security had several
13 responsibilities. So when I arrived there in July, the system was
14 already in place.
15 Q. But you never handed anyone over to the JNA. Prior to the
16 conflict did you hand anyone over to the JNA military security?
17 A. No.
18 Q. You only co-operated with the ABiH military security?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. We need paragraph 28 of your statement. In this paragraph you
21 say that most of the shells that landed on Dobrinja arrived from the
22 Serb-controlled territory. You say most of the shells. And what about
23 the rest? Where did they come from?
24 A. I've just realised now how ridiculous this may seem. It may
25 appear as if shells were coming just from that part of town, whereas they
1 came from all over.
2 Q. You say that the calibre used was one of 60 and 80 millimetres.
3 Do you know which calibre was used to fire upon the Serb-controlled area
4 from Dobrinja?
5 A. No. I don't know what the situation was later in the war. I
6 know that we had very little weaponry there.
7 Q. In paragraph 29, you speak about the sniper fire which came from
8 four or five locations. You say:
9 "This I established based on the investigations I carried out on
10 those civilian persons that had been shot by snipers."
11 So the findings you speak about here were established by you;
13 A. Well, after spending a year, two or three in Dobrinja, every
14 citizen was fully aware of where the fire could come from. You had
15 various screens, barricades protecting you from fire and enabling you to
16 move from building to building. In this instance I identified four cases
17 or four directions from which these individuals were injured.
18 Q. A brief question: You mentioned missing persons today when I
19 asked you about those killed. You said that you had people reported as
20 missing. Is it true that to this day a number of Serbs from Sarajevo is
21 listed as missing? Do you know anything about it?
22 A. Can you clarify your question?
23 Q. To this day the remains of a number of Serbs who went missing
24 from Sarajevo remain unestablished. Are you aware of that?
25 A. Well, I don't know about the numbers. I do know that there are
1 people who are still listed as missing and who went missing during the
3 Q. Since you didn't deal with violent crimes, were you aware of the
4 fact that allegations were being investigated about Juka Prazina
5 having -- having, in fact, ground the dead Serbs through the meat
6 producing machinery of a factory?
7 A. I don't know about these allegations. I know that for a while we
8 weren't able to enter Alipasino Polje.
9 MR. WEBER: The Prosecution objects to the initial
10 characterisation. Since you didn't deal with violent crimes, it
11 misstates the witness's evidence. He said he dealt with a number of
12 different types of crimes before and after the commencement of the war.
13 I have no problem with the rest of the question as it stands.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Then the gist of the question is not objected to, so
15 let's proceed.
16 Could you please finish your answer. You said that you didn't
17 know about these allegations, but that you did know that for a while you
18 were not able to enter Alipasino Polje. Could you please finish your
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says "Konjevic Polje" here.
21 That's a mistake. I said on a number of occasions now that this
22 translation leads to confusion only.
23 Now, it is true that for a period of time the police forces
24 weren't able to reach the area of Alipasino Polje at all where
25 Juka Prazina was present together with his group. Let me give you an
1 example. They would steal a car off a citizen and then take the vehicle
2 to that part of town. We were unable to retrieve the vehicle and return
3 it to the citizen.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Sokolar, thank you for answering
5 my questions. I have no questions left.
6 Thank you, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
8 Mr. Weber, any need to re-examine the witness?
9 MR. WEBER: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could you give us an estimate of the time you think
11 you would need?
12 MR. WEBER: It could be five to ten minutes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
14 MR. WEBER: Maybe shorter depending on the knowledge of the
16 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
17 Re-examination by Mr. Weber:
18 Q. Mr. Sokolar, yesterday at transcript page 5639, you were asked
19 the following question:
20 "You've heard about the Special Police Unit that was part of the
21 MUP, the Ministry of Interior; isn't that correct?"
22 You answered:
23 "If you have in mind the Special Police Unit, the special MUP
24 unit under Vikic's command, when the MUP was divided, it remained as a
25 special under in the MUP of the federation in Bosnia-Herzegovina."
1 My question, sir, is: When did this divide in the MUP occur?
2 A. I think that the MUP was divided on the 4th or the 5th of April
3 when what had up to that point been a special MUP unit in Krtelji was
4 divided. I think that it was on the 4th or the 5th of April that the
5 special unit was divided so that the Serb Specials went their way and the
6 Muslim Specials and members of other ethnicity stayed in town.
7 Q. Am I correct that this is in April of 1992?
8 A. Yes. I apologise. April 1992.
9 Q. Prior to this division of the special unit, did you know of
10 Dragan Vikic's deputy commander, Milenko Karisik, or another member of
11 this unit by the name of Miodrag Repija?
12 A. I heard of Milenko Karisik. I think I may have met him before
13 the war. As for the other one, I don't know his surname. I don't -- I
14 don't -- it's not familiar to me.
15 Q. When this divide of the special MUP unit occurred do you know
16 what happened to Milenko Karisik? Do you know where he went?
17 A. Well, if he wasn't in town with Dragan Vikic and the others, then
18 he must have gone on to the area under the control of the
19 Army of Republika Srpska.
20 MR. WEBER: Could the Prosecution please have 65 ter 16648 for
21 the witness.
22 Q. Sir, before you on the right side of the screen is an article
23 from "Oslobodjenje," dated 8 April 1992, entitled "People were defending
24 the city." I was wondering if you could please --
25 MR. WEBER: If you could scroll slightly in the B/C/S version to
1 the left. If you -- if we could go back to the right now, please.
2 Q. If you could please read the first three paragraphs of this
4 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: I don't see this emerging from my cross-examination.
7 I didn't use this document.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber.
9 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, the subject matter directly arises from
10 the cross-examination. The witness was asked about Dragan Vikic's unit,
11 a special MUP unit. He commented that there was a divide in this unit.
12 This article relates directly to that divide.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Can you ask these questions without the
14 newspaper? Would you have that -- the usual way of putting questions is
15 to first ask the witness what he can tell us, and if there's any problem
16 with that, then to see whether a newspaper would refresh his memory or --
17 so before we -- you start the witness to ask read documents -- of course
18 I do not know what questions you'll have, so I cannot at this moment
19 already say whether it will be the best way of receiving the evidence or
20 not, but I see the witness is reading meanwhile, which I would encourage
21 him to stop doing.
22 Mr. Weber, could you please --
23 Witness, could you carefully listen to Mr. Weber's questions.
24 MR. WEBER:
25 Q. Mr. Sokolar, you've already commented about the divide that
1 occurred within this special MUP unit. On or about the
2 8th of April, 1992, were you aware of whether or not 30 members of the
3 special unit left and joined -- or tried to form a Serbian MUP forces in
4 the area of Sarajevo?
5 A. The division of what was up to that point the BH MUP saw most of
6 the Serb policemen leave and form the Republika Srpska MUP Special
7 Police. Those among them who stayed in town formed a special MUP -- a
8 special unit of the MUP which belonged to the
9 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. Do you recall any information or knowledge that you might have
11 had around the 8th of April, 1992, as to whether or not Dragan Vikic
12 tried to keep this special unit together, both the forces that continued
13 to be a part of the Bosnian federation and also the Serbs who were
14 previously part of that special unit?
15 A. The way the division came about, was it the result of
16 discussions? Were there discussions in favour of keeping the unit
17 together? I don't know. I only know that on the 4th and 5th there was
18 fighting. There was fire in Krtelji. This is a location -- this is the
19 location where weaponry was stored and where members of the special unit
20 were trained.
21 MR. WEBER: Your Honours, based on the knowledge of the witness,
22 I'm not going to proceed with this matter any further. There will be --
23 the Prosecution does intend to present further evidence related to those
24 individuals I've mentioned.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And we'll hear that evidence at a later stage.
1 Please proceed. You have no further questions at all?
2 MR. WEBER: That's correct, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Weber, now I thought perhaps just in
4 relation to this document.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I have a few questions for you. When I
7 read and it was a matter raised by Mr. Lukic as well, that you say the
8 majority of the shells that landed in Dobrinja came from the direction of
9 which was Serb-controlled territory, it was not on the basis of thorough
10 investigations that you established that or -- because you earlier said,
11 "I did not determine what the source of fire was." So my question is:
12 Do I have to understand it that it was rather an appreciation from where
13 approximately the shells came from to the extent you were aware?
14 A. There was a slight confusion with regard to the words "majority"
15 or "most of." There were a number of shells that could have arrived from
16 the area under the control of the BH Army. I do apologise for the fact
17 that I didn't perhaps always react to the way some of the things were
18 translated and some of the words slipped my attention, and they are open
19 to various interpretations.
20 JUDGE ORIE: You say for some of the shells you were aware of you
21 could not exclude for the possibility that they came from other sources
22 than Serb-controlled territory. Is that how I have to understand your
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And as far as sniper fire is concerned, the four or
1 five locations you mentioned, is that a kind of an overall assessment
2 where they had come from, or was it on the basis of what your colleagues,
3 forensic experts had established, or was it common knowledge? What was
4 the basis for giving those four or five locations?
5 A. The basis was the fact that in a certain location there would be
6 a higher number of casualties based on the position of the various
7 buildings that were four or five, six storeys high, the position of the
8 body of the injured, and the openings in between the various buildings.
9 They afforded to me the various possibilities of the direction of fire.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It was an approximate estimate on the basis of
11 what you'd seen, from which direction, not necessarily which location,
12 the fire came. Is that well understood?
13 A. Precisely so. One could never establish this with precision.
14 You could establish the general direction depending on the position of
15 the buildings but not the exact spot. We didn't do the proper forensic
16 examination which would lead to proper findings as one would normally do
17 in peacetime.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. I have no further questions. Have the
19 questions by the Bench triggered any further need for questions? If not,
20 Mr. Sokolar, this concludes your testimony today. I'd like to thank you
21 very much for coming to The Hague, and for having answered all the
22 questions that were put to you by the parties and by the Bench, and I
23 wish that you return safely home.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will be pleased if I
25 have contributed to the establishment of truth in all these problems of
2 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher, Mr. Sokolar.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to return into private session.
5 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Then we take a break of 20 minutes, and upon return
21 we'll move into closed session.
22 --- Recess taken at 4.10 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 4.32 p.m.
24 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into closed session.
25 [Closed session]
11 Pages 5685-5733 redacted. Closed session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
18 We will adjourn for the day, and we will resume tomorrow at 11.00
19 in this same Courtroom II.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 5th day
22 of December, 2012, at 11.00 a.m.