1 Wednesday, 12 November 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
9 IT-09-92-T, The Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 While we're waiting for the witness to be escorted into the
12 courtroom, I'd like to deal briefly with two matters.
13 First - and I'm addressing the Defence - the Chamber notes that
14 on the 5th of September, the Defence filed a motion tendering 15 exhibits
15 associated with the rule 92 ter statement of witness Sveto Veselinovic.
16 The Chamber notes that the document listed as Exhibit 1D03099 is not on
17 the Defence 65 ter exhibit list. Do you want to add that to your 65 ter
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: What's the position of the Prosecution in relation
21 to adding this document to the 65 ter list.
22 MR. TRALDI: We have no objection, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Leave is granted. And with regard to the remaining
24 exhibits associated with the statement of the witnesses, the Chamber
25 invites the Defence to consider reducing the number of associated
1 exhibits by for example tendering some of these documents with the
2 witness during examination-in-chief.
3 Would you consider that, Mr. Stojanovic?
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. And I've
6 already said to my colleague from the Prosecution that we would reduce
7 that number, so we will have a lot less documents that we're going to
9 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
10 Good morning to you, Mr. Sipovac.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, and my respects to
13 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to remind you that you're still bound by
14 the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your testimony,
15 and Mr. Lukic will now briefly re- examine you.
16 Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: Emphasis on briefly.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's your emphasis, not mine.
19 MR. LUKIC: Can we have on our screen, P3753, please.
20 WITNESS: CEDO SIPOVAC [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpreter]
22 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sipovac, while we're waiting for the
24 document to appear on the screen, you will see on the document, once it
25 appears, that this has to do with the subregion. And it says
1 Sanski Most.
2 To the best of your knowledge, in Sanski Most, was there a
3 subregion of any kind?
4 A. Not that I know of. I don't know what this is all about. I can
5 read it out, but the abbreviation itself doesn't mean a thing to me.
6 Q. All right.
7 Can we have page 2 in B/C/S now.
8 At the bottom of the page, we see that there is no signature.
9 There is a stamp of the SDS. Now I'd be interested in paragraph 4. In
10 line 4, it says -- they're asking for the 1st Krajina Corps to be
11 cleansed of Muslims and Croats.
12 A. Yes, I see that.
13 Q. It says: "We believe that they cannot fight against their own
14 people ..."
15 During those first days of the war, after the conflict broke out,
16 were there any demands made for people to be dismissed from units? Was
17 there some wondering of this kind, say, in your unit?
18 A. Not in my unit. Let me repeat what I said yesterday; all
19 military conscripts, all able-bodied men aged 18 to 60, all of those who
20 had war assignments, irrespective of ethnic background, in accordance
21 with their VS, they had military obligation. They were conscripts. I've
22 already said this yesterday. There was this permanent pressure of the
23 policy of the SDA and the HDZ. There was this obstruction of
24 mobilisation. Some people accepted this as such, whereas others did
25 respond to the call-up. In principle, more people ignored mobilisation
1 than responding to it.
2 Q. Very well. Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: Can we have P3892, please.
4 Q. [Interpretation] This is a document of the command of the
5 1st Krajina Corps. Yesterday, this first part was read out to you where
6 it says that the Crisis Staff of the Autonomous Region of Bosnian Krajina
7 that a request is being made to remove officers who are ethnic Croats or
9 What about Prijedor? Were attempts made by the civilian
10 authorities to establish their own TO units?
11 A. Units of the TO belonged to local communes. So how do I put
12 this? They were really under the civilian authorities as opposed to
13 war-time units, so that's the way it was. So, yes, through TO units.
14 But directly war-time units, no, absolutely not. If that's what you
16 Q. Yes, yes.
17 A. I'm trying to explain this to you. TO units were under the
18 authority of the civilian authorities and they had greater powers over
19 them. They reported to them and so on and so forth. Whereas, JNA units,
20 war-time units, absolutely there were no units established on ethnic
21 grounds, and it is not that the authorities could exercise any influence
22 that level, local. However, it was different at political levels,
23 republican level, federal level, and so on. That is higher political
25 Q. Please let us try to be as brief as possible. We have a lot of
1 material to cover.
2 A. Sorry, but you did ask me about all of this.
3 MR. LUKIC: Can we have P3893 on our screens, please.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, the answer given by the witness is still
5 somewhat unclear to me. He said that there were no units established on
6 ethnic grounds.
7 Were these the local units? Were you referring to the local
8 units at that moment? Witness?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I said on ethnic grounds,
10 that's what I was saying, I mean, the authority. I mean, the question
11 was the authorities, whether the authorities could establish a unit and
12 whether they could exercise influence. I think that was the question.
13 So this was my answer. On the basis of the very concept and structure
14 and the way in which commands were --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, a long story. I asked you, you used the
16 words "there were no units established on ethnic grounds."
17 Were you referring to local units at this moment, or were you
18 referring to units of a regional or a higher level?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about Prijedor, at that
20 moment. When I say on ethnic ground, I mean, I'm saying that the
21 structures of authority now regardless of whether these are Serbs,
22 Muslims, Croat, it didn't matter --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Now you made clearly a distinction on where
24 it was not possible and that, as you said, the higher political level
25 that was different.
1 Do I there understand that creating units or staffing or manning
2 units at the higher level that you would not exclude that to be done on
3 ethnic -- on an ethnic basis?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can exclude that. I mean, I'm
5 talking only about the plans, the staffing plans, that I had. Not a
6 single staffing plan envisaged the establishment of units on a ethnic
7 basis rather it was on the basis of VES, that is to say, military
8 specialty; somebody who had been trained for something, irrespective of
9 training background.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you made a distinction between the local level
11 and the higher up level -- [Overlapping speakers] ...
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Do I have to understand that as far as ethnic
14 composition of units, there was no difference?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was no differences. Let me
16 say that. There was no difference in terms of this approach I told
17 you [Overlapping speakers] ...
18 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... a few lines ago, you made
19 a distinction between the two levels but I now do understand that --
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please --
21 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... I'm -- I'm inviting you
22 not to interrupt me. I now do understand that where you said a few
23 lining that is there was a distinction that there was, in fact, no
25 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Sipovac, did you speak about the manning of your units, what
3 you worked on or the TO units? Did you man the TO units?
4 A. No. I only dealt with war-time units. The TO units, as I said a
5 moment ago, were -- actually we were supposed to do this as the military
6 department. But we did not man these units because this was under the
7 authority of the municipal authorities. That's what I said to His Honour
8 the Judge a moment ago. So this was done by the municipal structures of
9 government, irrespective of who was in power, the SDA, the SDS, the Serb,
10 a Croat, or a Muslim. This was really under their authority. Or rather,
11 it wasn't under their authority. They didn't hand over the files to us
12 and we were supposed to do this. It was part of our job description.
13 Q. Thank you. We have a document here and we see General Mladic's
14 signature typed out here, so it's type-signed. And it says that officers
15 of Muslim and Croat ethnicity must be sent on leave immediately and that
16 action should be taken to refer them to the Army of the Federal Republic
17 of Yugoslavia at once, in order to resolve their status in the service.
18 First of all, when this document was shown to you, you mentioned
19 an officer who was an ethnic Croat who asked for something and then you
20 were interrupted at that point.
21 A. Yes, I remember.
22 Q. Could you briefly just tell us what it was that you wanted to
24 A. I see that this document --
25 JUDGE ORIE: One second.
1 Mr. Lukic, could you give us a page and line reference? I take
2 it it was yesterday's transcript?
3 If you have the words, that would allow me to search the ...
4 [Defence counsel confer]
5 MR. LUKIC: I'll move on and we'll come back to that. My
6 colleague Ivetic will try to find in yesterday's transcript.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. Please proceed.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
9 Q. [Interpretation] At that time, officers who were Serbs, where did
10 they resolve their status-related issues?
11 A. I don't understand your question. I guess the interpretation was
12 not good. And I didn't even hear all of it. I just heard Serbs,
14 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you're supposed not to criticize our
15 interpreter services which are of excellent quality and the claim that
16 you are able to say that they are wrong, if you have any questions in
17 relation to that, you may raise the matter. But you're supposed not to
18 tell us that the interpreters are not doing their job properly.
19 Is that clear to you?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't wish to criticize and I'm
21 not criticizing the way they do their work.
22 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... [Previous translation
23 continues] ...
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please allow me to say this.
25 JUDGE ORIE: No, witness. I read to you. You said I guess the
1 interpretation was not good. That is criticizing the work of our
2 interpreters, and I'm not, at this moment, allowing you to say anything
3 more. Carefully listen to the question. If there's any translation
4 issue, you may appropriately draw our attention to it and if there's any
5 problem, Mr. Lukic also will --
6 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I'm on English channel and probably I
7 started to speak earlier so I -- I guess he was still receiving
8 translation and I started to speak. That's why he didn't hear me
9 correctly. It's my assumption.
10 JUDGE ORIE: It is appreciated that you take the blame for it but
11 it doesn't change anything what I told the witness.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Sipovac, at the time, officers who were
16 ethnic Serbs, that is to say, on the 9th of June, 1992, when this
17 document was written up, professional officers, where did they resolve
18 their status-related issues?
19 A. They resolved them in Yugoslavia, these professionals, because
20 they were all together in the Federal Secretariat for National Defence
21 that had a personnel department for all professional officers in the JNA,
22 and then there was this transformation of the JNA, and how do I put this?
23 When these national armies came into being, Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia,
24 Slovenia, that is, when the JNA broke up along ethnic lines, and then
25 in -- Serbs resolved it in Belgrade and Banja Luka but, basically, the
1 centre was the Federal Secretariat for National Defence in Belgrade, for
3 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, transcript page 28191, line 22 to 28192,
4 line 16, you started to talk about an officer, a Croat ethnic officer.
5 What was it that you wanted to say, sir?
6 A. I wanted to say that the senior officers submitted requests
7 seeking a resolution of their status question in view of the JNA -- of
8 the fact that it was reorganising, they were joining their national corps
9 but they couldn't do it without the permission of their senior officer
10 because then it would be something else. Although some of those did do
11 that. I think this officer, Ante Fiamenko he was in the 43rd with us.
12 He asked for an order to go to Belgrade to the SSNO where you wanted his
13 status to be resolved. There was also a case where Ademi already in 1991
14 joined the Green Berets. Namely he left the JNA without anybody's
15 permission at all.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 Can we have P217 on our screens, please.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you repeat the number, please.
19 MR. LUKIC: P217. Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. [Interpretation] This is a document of the 1st Krajina Corps
21 dated the 13th of June 1992.
22 Item 6 was presented to you yesterday. This is on page 2 of the
23 English and on page 5 in the B/C/S version in e-court.
24 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, we have an issue with the translation
25 on this matter. In English version, it says the "purging", and in B/C/S,
1 it says "diferencijacija", differentiation. So there was English word
2 for this, too. There was no need to change it.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. Lukic, if there's any translation issue
4 then, of course, it should be sent to CLSS for verification. That's ...
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Sir, do you see in item 6, line 5 where it says "diferencijacija"
7 [B/C/S spoken] differentiation of officers on an ethnic basis?
8 A. Yes, I can see that.
9 Q. Regarding this document and the previous document as well as
10 others that were shown to you, was anybody ran out of the service in
11 Prijedor in your area because of their ethnicity, any officers?
12 A. No. They could have asked for -- to leave. Nobody would have
13 created any problems for them if they did that.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 Could we have 1D5277, please, and we do not have translation of
16 these documents, since Mr. Sipovac brought them with him.
17 [Interpretation] This is the first page, Mr. Sipovac --
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could Mr. Sipovac also tell us, to start with, where
19 it comes from, and why it was in his possession rather than in any
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Sipovac, since there's no translation, could you please tell
23 us the information that Judge Orie is seeking.
24 A. During the preparation for this trial, as much as time permitted,
25 I tried to prepare information that would contradict what Mr. Mesanovic
1 was saying, that I was issuing orders to call up exclusively Serbs. As
2 proof of the fact that there were members of other ethnic groups there, I
3 asked the authorised municipal organ that has everybody's particulars,
4 meaning the conscripts, to give me information and to note who were
5 non-Serbs because that was the only organ that kept such a record, and on
6 the basis of birth records, could determine a person's ethnicity, and
7 that's the reason why I asked for that, Your Honours, and why I brought
8 it with me.
9 As for why this is such a brief period, I am very grateful that
10 I'm able to testify earlier because I had some private commitments that I
11 had to see to. I'm talking about this time-period, the 6th of November.
12 Q. Who gave the document to you?
13 A. Well, can you see in the heading it was the city of Prijedor, the
14 city administration, the section for veterans' and invalids' benefits of
15 Prijedor at my personal request. The reference is certified copies of
16 Vob-2, Vob-8, and this is signed by the person who is assigned to these
17 kinds of jobs.
18 MR. LUKIC: Can we have the second page in this document.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell us whose card this is.
20 A. This is the personal card of a reserve officer in this case. It
21 says Marko Tomic.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, according to the second page, without
23 being told what the first page is about, I'm not able to follow what is
24 happening on the first -- on the second page? I --
25 MR. LUKIC: First page is just a cover page. It's not part of
1 the document. It just proves [Overlapping speakers] ...
2 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ...
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers] ... explains what is going
4 to happen with the things that are attached.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Or does it not.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Or does it not.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could you --
8 MR. LUKIC: I can read.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Please. That might be helpful.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. The reference certified copies, Vob-2, Vob-8 and PERS-7 to be
12 delivered to in reference to your request we are sending you certified
13 copies of units personnel files and exerts from Vob-8 for certain
14 individuals upon request who were members of the armed forces of the
15 SFRY-Republika Srpska. Enclosed 1 PERS-7 x 3, 2 Vob-2 x 11 and 3 excerpt
16 from Vob-8 x 35 pages.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Previous translation continues] ... before we can
18 understand what the acronyms mean --
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Sir, could you please tell us -- Mr. Sipovac, could you please
21 tell us what PERS means, what Vob means, Vob-2 and Vob-8?
22 A. PERS-7 means this is a personnel file of a reserve senior officer
23 in the military records and there are three copies. Then Vob-2 x 11,
24 this is the file of personnel they're all identical. They contain the
25 particulars of persons who are either veterans or invalids. Identical
1 cards or files were kept in the military units so the Vob means the
2 military records of military conscripts and there are 11 of them, excerpt
3 from Vob-8 is also a form a record of military conscripts. It's in the
4 form of a book with some 11 or 12 sections. I'm not sure where the
5 surname, father's name, Christian name, personal ID number, municipality,
6 place of birth, war-time assignment, unit rank, military occupational
7 specialty of the conscript that -- during the time he served his term of
8 duty, date of joining the unit, date of leaving the unit, reason why he
9 left the unit. And as far as I can remember, I don't have the forms, but
10 I think that's more or less all the information that's contained in that
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, could I ask the witness whether he has
13 made a written request to receive this?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have a copy of that written request?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, I don't, and I
17 realise that that was an error, and I even thought of asking them to fax
18 it to me. I did it in handwriting but I -- I don't have it with me.
19 JUDGE ORIE: I take that it is still kept somewhere because it
20 might be important know on what basis the selection was made.
21 Does the documentation which you now present, does that in any
22 way is to be linked to the first half of 1992?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1991, 1992, and 1993 and all the
24 other years, yes.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you apparently you have looked at it.
1 Could you perhaps then take the witness through the relevant portions
2 where it specifically deals with the time-frame we are, at this moment,
3 of course, primarily interested in. So as to better understand what it
4 all is that the witness brings us.
5 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Can we have second page in this
6 document, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sipovac, could you please tell us briefly
8 something about Stipo Tomic, father's name Marko.
9 A. He was a captain first class by rank. On page 2 of the file you
10 could see the duty he was assigned to --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, the first thing I'd like to hear from the
12 witness where it refers to the relevant time-period. And if he has
13 indicated that, then we'll hear what happened early 1992 or late 1991,
14 rather than to start with the whole story about Mr. Tomic.
15 First, focus on the time-frame.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. As we look at the document, was Mr. Tomic a member of the armed
18 forces in 1991 and 1992 and until when was he a member, if you know?
19 A. When you open the file you can see the date.
20 Q. Yes. But there is no translation, so you need to explain that to
22 A. I don't know, just like that, until when, he was there. But it's
23 there in the file. He was a member of the 43rd Motorised Brigade. On
24 this page, you cannot see that information, but when you open it or look
25 at the next page or something, then you will see the date.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic, first of all, it would have
2 been advisable that the witness does not engage in such inquiries himself
3 but rather leave that to professionals. If there's no reference to the
4 time-frame you're invited to get the relevant material because just to
5 look at document and have a name, and if there's no link to the
6 time-frame we're talking, then it doesn't assist the Chamber. And the
7 answer, if you open the file, which we cannot do, because it is not
8 there, it's just a seven-page document then please better prepare for
10 Witness, when did you give this material to the Defence; could
11 you tell us?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before, a couple of days ago, when
13 I came here. But if you permit me, Your Honour, a question, and a
15 JUDGE ORIE: No. I -- I addressed Mr. Lukic on the matter, and
16 I've now received an answer.
17 MR. LUKIC: Can we see the next page then.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Would it assist you to look at this page?
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I take it you have looked at it as well,
22 not only the witness.
23 MR. LUKIC: I did.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And where do we find a reference to the time-frame
25 we are primarily interested in. Because I see on the right page I see an
1 entry at the bottom, 1978, further up, I see as the latest one, 1989. If
2 there's anything else to be found on this page, I'd like to -- that you
3 draw my attention to it.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And can I take it that in December 1989 there was
5 this person be promoted to major? Is that correctly understood?
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Do you see that?
8 A. Yes, I see that, the date. Are you asking me actually?
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, I'm asking you. Is that -- is that about
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Promotion, yes, he was captain
12 first class and then major.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And what is does the date on the right-hand side
14 in the last column mean, 2/90?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's the Official Gazette.
16 JUDGE ORIE: We ask the witness where we find a reference to
17 either late 1991 or 1992 on this document.
18 Witness, could you tell us where we find a reference to that
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think the last page that cannot
21 be seen here.
22 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Then military exercises can be seen
24 here and ...
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic will take us to whatever page where we
1 find a relevant link to the time-frame we are primarily focussing on.
2 Mr. Lukic.
3 MR. LUKIC: Those are pages I have for this Mr. Tomic. Four
4 pages. And that's the document I have that was uploaded.
5 Q. [Interpretation] How many pages are there? I just received four.
6 A. This is a form. It's two pages that are joined, so it's 1, 2, 3,
7 4 and then there should be participation in the war. It's not legible
8 what I see here. Then on the last page -- well, it depends on when the
9 personal file was typed up. There has to be another page.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you have had an opportunity to look at
11 this document for a couple of days. You know what you wanted to
12 establish with this. And then the least I would expect you to do is to
13 at least bring a link to the time-frame rather than to send us some
14 documents of people who have served in the army somewhere in the past.
15 MR. LUKIC: Can we go one page up. So the -- actually, it's the
16 second page in this document. Because I showed that one to the witness
17 and he said he cannot see it on that page.
18 JUDGE ORIE: If can you see it -- I mean, it's not only -- you
19 are asking questions about the document which you want to be in evidence,
20 I take it. Then at least you should be aware of what you want to
21 establish in the document.
22 MR. LUKIC: I think it's clear for everyone --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Not for me. Explain to me what you want to
24 establish and I'm happy to follow you in understanding what you wish to
25 do. Let me then ask you: What are you about to establish with this
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Mr. Sipovac, do you see here on the left-hand side --
4 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you see this stamp here: Military obligation stopped --
7 A. It's not a very legible copy. I think it says military
8 obligation stopped according to Article 234. It's hardly legible. And
9 then it says: Erased from military records, but then the date cannot be
10 seen ...
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Which stamp are we talking about?
12 MR. LUKIC: There was a stamp on the -- in the middle of the page
13 in the left page, actually, there are two pages, left and right.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Could we zoom onto it, please.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lukic, do you have a hard copy of this? Is
16 that better legible?
17 MR. LUKIC: I have hard copy, but it's same like this. Only I --
18 I -- I can read 96. I don't know ...
19 JUDGE ORIE: You can read 96.
20 MR. LUKIC: But he was -- it says in B/C/S --
21 JUDGE ORIE: 6 is that the last -- the letter the most to the
23 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. [Interpretation] "Erased from
24 military records. Official Gazette ..."
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: And that is not in the stamp. Is that the words
1 that are typed here. Not in the stamp.
2 MR. LUKIC: It's written. Handwritten.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Could you again read what the stamp exactly says.
4 And, again, this is not how we should do it nevertheless that may create
5 some clarity.
6 Where it says -- starts with the word "vojna".
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] "Military obligation stopped
8 according to Article 234 of the Law on the Army, erased from military
9 records, Official Gazette of the RS ..." I cannot see the number:
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now what -- and I'm seeking now legal information.
12 What does Article 234 tell us? I'm not asking you to testify but to give
13 me information about a relevant legal provision.
14 MR. LUKIC: You expect me to know laws by heart, Your Honour?
15 JUDGE ORIE: No, I expect you to --
16 MR. LUKIC: I don't have that law in front of me. We can ask
17 this witness. Maybe he will know.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We can do so, but on legal -- if you present this
19 document and if you want to rely on this stamp, I would have expected you
20 to at least check what Article 234 says.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... This gentleman has personal
22 knowledge. I wanted to ask him if he knows that that gentleman was in
23 the VRS during the war. So it is personal knowledge. It's better than
24 the document and the document it says he is -- he was not -- he was not
25 in the document after '96.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you are telling us that you don't know
2 what Article 234 [Overlapping speakers] ...
3 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... I do not know.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us, Mr. Sipovac, what Article 234 is
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This has to do with a person's
7 military service ceasing due to his age. He no longer had military
8 obligation. All of that doesn't really matter. What matters is how long
9 he participated in the war and then I see down here --
10 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... witness, what
11 matters and what doesn't matter is for the parties to decide. Please,
12 answer the questions.
13 Do you have any personal knowledge about this person, because
14 that's what Mr. Lukic is hinting at.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Then Mr. Lukic will ask you about that.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before you do, Mr. Lukic, when the witness
18 originally directed us to this corner of the stamp, the idea was to come
19 and look for a date that connects this document to the period in issue
20 here, 1991, 1992. I still am not finding that connection here. I'd like
21 to be guided as to what we are doing.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Sipovac, how should we understand this document? What do you
24 see on it? What is written here? Can you help us with this?
25 A. This is what I'd like to say. The Presiding Judge asked me
1 whether I knew anything about this man, and this is the answer I can
2 provide. The man was assistant for morale and religious affairs and
3 later on in the brigade command. And I don't think that he stayed
4 throughout the war. I saw that in his documentation. It must be here
5 and I cannot see this very clearly here. Maybe it was handwritten down
6 here and that hardly be read. The date is not legible. But he was
7 certainly in the war, and he was the assistant for morale guidance and
8 religious affairs, and I don't think that he stayed in the brigade
9 throughout. I think that sometime in 1994, since he had a special
10 profession, I think that he was transferred to work obligation. However,
11 it would have to be in the column where it says military exercises or
12 something. There are dates for everyone. So he'd have to be included.
13 So this information is handwritten. Perhaps it's more legible in
14 another one of the files that we will be looking at, so then we will see.
15 And the file shows that he is of Croat ethnicity.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I'm looking at the clock. I didn't
17 emphasise the brief when we started. I, however, do now. This is a
18 chaotic presentation of evidence. Could you please try to conclude as
19 soon as possible. And let's not forget: You have had a couple of days
20 to look at this documentation so as to come to a focussed presentation of
21 evidence of this witness. The Chamber looks at it only since the last 45
23 MR. LUKIC: I can tell you that we worked all the time.
24 JUDGE ORIE: I'm not blaming you for not working, but I'm
25 expecting you to present this evidence in such a way that it reflects the
1 opportunity you had for a couple of days to look at this material.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. LUKIC: Can we have 1D5276, please. It's the same cover page
4 as before, since we divided the documents that we received from
5 Mr. Sipovac into three documents, so the same cover page and attached is
6 the document on the second page, so if we can have the second page,
8 Q. [Interpretation] What kind of book is this?
9 A. This is a list of military personnel for all persons who were
10 spent in a unit during war and the reasons why they left the unit.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear the last
13 JUDGE ORIE: The interpreters did not hear the last sentence.
14 Could you repeat those, Witness.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the front page of a book,
16 Vob-8, where a list is kept of military conscripts, or, rather, military
17 personnel, for the time that they spent in war-time units and that has to
18 do with participation in the war and it includes information that I
19 referred to when I was asked about what the abbreviation Vob-8 meant.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you. So what is written here is: "List of military
22 personnel; unit, 43rd Prijedor Motorised Brigade." The date from which
23 it has been kept, the 16th of September, 1991, and the time when the --
24 the date when the list is concluded, the 30th of March, 1996.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have page 4 now. Actually,
1 page 5, please.
2 Q. Say the fifth name from the bottom up. It says, "Begic, Franjo".
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. "Son of Dragan".
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can ethnicity be seen on this list?
7 A. No. But in his file, it can.
8 Q. All right. My colleague the Prosecutor, he made an observation,
9 when we looked at the first and second books, we noticed that the last
10 names stop with the letter S. Do you know why? Is this the complete
11 documentation that you have? My colleague said Z, Zeljaja, that should
12 be --
13 A. Well, really. When we speak about records, I looked at random
14 samples. That's what I asked for. Say, 14, 15.000 persons that are
15 registered in the records --
16 Q. So the records are not complete?
17 A. No. No, it's not that I made this selection.
18 Q. Thank you. So let us remember this name: Franjo Begic, son of
19 Dragan. And now let us look at the next document, 1D5278.
20 So it's the same first page. And we need page 8 of this
22 What is this? What is this document? What is it that we see?
23 A. This is a file of a military conscript that is kept by the
24 Secretariat for National Defence and there is an identical document
25 except that it says: Unit card or file. And that is kept in the unit
1 where his war-time assignment was.
2 The units or, rather, the documents that are kept in the unit and
3 in this file have to be identical, so everything is there: Address,
4 promotions, decorations. There are two types of information that are
5 provided. Those that cannot be changed and those that can be changed.
6 For example, address, residence. That can be changed. Whereas, the date
7 of birth, et cetera, cannot be changed. So I'm reading out here Begic,
8 Dragan, Franjo. I see ethnicity, date of birth and then further down
9 here there is other information.
10 Q. 25 says participation in the war.
11 A. I don't see that.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Previous translation continues] ... of the page, very
14 Q. [Interpretation] Look at line 25. It says participation in the
16 A. Yes, 25. It says military post code 7362. This person came on
17 the 30th of September, 1992, and this person left on the 7th of November,
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We did not hear
20 Mr. Lukic's question or the answer.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. So the date when this person joined was the 30th of September,
24 A. Yes. And when this person left, that date is the 7th of
25 November, 1995.
1 Q. And line 6, line 6. What is entered there?
2 A. I really don't see that. Ethnicity, it says, Croat. If you're
3 thinking of item 6. Ethnicity: Croat.
4 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, I'm looking at the clock. We would
5 just ask for all those three documents to be MFI'd. We would have
6 another witness who will be able to talk in more details about these
7 documents. I only wanted to introduce them through Mr. Sipovac since he
8 brought them.
9 MR. MacDONALD: No objection to them being MFI'd, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar. Do we have all the three numbers,
11 Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour we do. It's -- first, it's 1D5276.
13 1D5277. And 1D5278.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, could you assign numbers for them
15 to be MFI'd.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D5276 receives number D767.
17 Document 1D5277 receives number D768.
18 And document 1D5278 receives number D769, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: All three are marked for identification.
20 Could I -- were these your last questions.
21 MR. LUKIC: I had a couple of more, but minding the time --
22 Q. I would just like to thank Mr. Sipovac for answering our
24 JUDGE ORIE: Would you have any further questions?
25 MR. MacDONALD: No, thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Then this concludes your testimony, Mr. Sipovac.
2 I'd like to thank you very much for coming to The Hague and for having
3 answered all the questions that were put to you, questions put to you by
4 the party, or questions put to you by the Bench, and I wish you a safe
5 return home again.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you permit me, Your Honours, I
7 have a request. I would like to shake the hand of General Mladic, if the
8 protocols permit that.
9 JUDGE ORIE: The protocol does not permit that. And neither does
10 the protocol permit Mr. Mladic to speak aloud.
11 You may follow the usher. But it is clear to Mr. Mladic that you
12 expressed that wish and that may mean something to him. Please proceed.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, before we take the break, I must confess
16 that I'm a bit confused. Because I thought that what we heard from this
17 witness that it all started with documentation which said non-Serbs
18 should not be active in the army and the matter being settled in
19 Belgrade, and now we end up with a conscript which apparently joined in
20 late September 1992 and stayed until 1995, not being an officer. So I'm
21 wondering what exactly we have been listening at.
22 MR. LUKIC: The witness, through his statement and testimony,
23 actually told us that there are more than 100 non-Serbs only in his
24 brigade who joined the Army of Republika Srpska. So there was some
25 officers in the command. Those three gentlemen were separated in one
1 document as officers, and we can see on this list, but I wanted to go
2 with him through the list. It would be much faster but he is very
3 cautious about expressing himself on anybody's nationality. So he said
4 no, you have to go through personal -- those -- well, personal lists, so
5 only there you can check if somebody is Croat, Muslim, or Serb. So we'll
6 have probably to -- we started to go the other way, so to show that in
7 this 43rd Brigade, Prijedor Brigade there were more than 100 non-Serbs
8 out of 700, I think.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, now I understood the position of the
10 Prosecution to be that there was documentation which hinted at, let's get
11 rid of them. But at the same time hesitation that it would result in
12 shortage of staffing, and that for that reason that the intention was not
13 immediately well, could not be complied with immediately although the --
14 underlying thought would still be there. Therefore, I'm asking myself to
15 what extent does the one contradict the other? You say they were still
16 there. Prosecution, as far as I understand, says they intended to do A,
17 but there were hesitations which may have resulted in them still being
19 That's how I understood the exchange of evidence and I'm
20 wondering where exactly where the one position contradicts the other.
21 What is really in dispute?
22 MR. LUKIC: The dispute is actually that our position is whoever
23 wanted to stay, stayed. Nobody was forced to leave. We are actually in
24 the process of acquiring and translating more documents where we would
25 see there were many more members of VRS of non-Serb ethnicity.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But I didn't understand that it's the position
2 of the Prosecution that there were no non-Serbs anymore but there was a
3 clear intention to have them out as soon as circumstances would allow for
4 that. That's my understanding of the position of the Prosecution.
5 Yes, Mr. Traldi. You are hiding behind the column, but.
6 MR. TRALDI: I apologise, Mr. President.
7 It's our position that there was a clear intention and that many
8 were removed. It's not the Prosecution's position that there were
9 literally zero non-Serbs in the VRS. But it is our position, certainly,
10 that a number were removed.
11 JUDGE ORIE: So the real issue is were people removed and -- on
12 ethnic grounds not leaving voluntarily. That's one and the second is
13 what proportions are we talking about. That seems to be the matter in
15 MR. TRALDI: That seem like an accurate summary to me, if
16 Mr. Lukic agrees.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, if that's the dispute, then, of course,
18 we'd like to receive focussed evidence which directly relates to that
19 issue in dispute.
20 MR. LUKIC: I think we received the evidence from Mr. Malcic as
21 well and he testified on this issue and -- so that's actually our
23 JUDGE ORIE: At least we have now identified what seems to be in
25 And let's take a break of 22 minutes and resume at five minutes
1 past 11.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.44 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Is the Defence ready to call its next witness?
5 Mr. Stojanovic and --
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Sveto Veselinovic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could the witness be escorted into the
11 May I remind the Defence that there are still a few notices to be
12 filed about changing the status from confidential -- from public to
13 confidential in relation to witnesses on certain matters, there was some
14 witness protection.
15 So I think for -- including for Mr. Veselinovic but I think for
16 another six, the Chamber is still waiting for those notices to be filed.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles.
19 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, the Chamber may have noticed that
20 Ms. Stewart is not present. She is called to other duties in another
21 courtroom, so I'd like to introduce Sebastiaan van Hooydonk who is here
22 in her place and I would also introduce Amir Zec, who is counsel that you
23 will be seeing in the future.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, those who are new in the courtroom - not
25 everyone is new - welcome.
1 Mr. Veselinovic, before you give evidence, the Rules require that
2 you make a solemn declaration. The text is now handed out to you.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: SVETO VESELINOVIC
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Veselinovic.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Veselinovic, you will first be examined by
10 Mr. Stojanovic. You'll find him to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel
11 for Mr. Mladic.
12 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
13 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Can we begin?
17 A. Yes, we can.
18 Q. According to the procedure here, I would like you to, with slow
19 words, speak your first and last name.
20 A. Sveto Veselinovic.
21 Q. Mr. Veselinovic, did you provide a statement to the Defence of
22 Radovan Karadzic? And did you answer in writing questions that they put
23 to you?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at document
1 65 ter 1D04290 in e-court, please. Could we also look at the last page
2 of this document.
3 Q. Sir, is this your signature on the document and is the date
4 written in pencil written in your hand?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at item 1 of
8 the document.
9 Q. Could you please tell us, did you tell me while preparing for
10 your testimony today, that the last two sentences would need to be
11 reformulated in order to clarify further your statement in such a way
12 that they read: "After the first multi-party elections, I was elected a
13 member of the Executive Committee of the municipality with the specific
14 assignment of being the chief of the municipal administration for
16 Would the last two sentences, the way I have read them, be
17 correct rather than the way it is written in your statement right now?
18 A. Yes, precisely.
19 Q. Now that we have made this correction, I would like to ask you if
20 you were asked the same questions today after giving your solemn
21 declaration as you were asked then, would you give the same answers, and
22 would those answers be complete, truthful, and accurate?
23 A. Yes, precisely.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to
1 tender the witness's statement with the 65 ter number 1D04290. This is
2 the statement of Witness Veselinovic.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D4290 receives number D770,
5 Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would now like
8 us to move into private session for a moment.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
10 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] With your leave, Your Honours, I
25 would like to read the summary of Witness Veselinovic 's statement.
1 JUDGE ORIE: [Microphone not activated] Please do so.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Witness Sveto Veselinovic is a Ph.D. degree-holder in economic
4 sciences and he is one of the founders of the SDS in Rogatica. After the
5 founding assembly for the SDS party for the municipality of Rogatica, he
6 was elected as president of the party in Rogatica.
7 Following the first multi-party elections, he was elected member
8 of the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly of Rogatica and his
9 specific assignment was the chief of the municipal administration for
10 public revenue. He will speak about attempts to set up organs of power
11 in Rogatica, about problems and lack of understanding between the ethnic
12 groups, about the different approach to mobilisation, as well as about
13 the forming of the Crisis Staff of the SDS in Rogatica, with the task of
14 monitoring the situation in the field. This Crisis Staff had different
15 tasks than the Crisis Staff of the Rogatica municipality, which also had
16 a different composition in terms of personnel.
17 In March 1992, the witness resigned from all of his posts because
18 he believed that problems could be resolved with negotiations as opposed
19 to the position of the TO, and they did not have the mandate to lead the
20 Serbian people to war. After that, a new Crisis Staff was elected, at
21 the head of which was Mile Sokolovic. The witness became a member of
22 this Crisis Staff too. His task was -- actually, their task was to
23 conduct negotiations regarding the separation of the territory of the
24 municipality of Rogatica and the division of power.
25 With the killing of Drazenko Mihajlovic in May 1992, these
1 efforts were suspended and major clashes broke out and refugees began to
2 arrive. In order to resolve their status, the Crisis Staff formed a
3 commission to receive and take care of the refugees, and the witness was
4 appointed at the head -- as the head of this body.
5 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Due to increasing insecurity in
7 the town and street fighting, both Serbs and Muslims began to leave the
8 town and move out. At the same time, more and more Serb refugees were
9 arriving in Rogatica, and it was necessary to provide accommodation for
10 them. The witness was the first to enter Rogatica following the
11 withdrawal of the Muslim forces from the town, and after he saw many
12 destroyed buildings, the hotel, the synagogue, the transformer station,
13 the mosque, his father-in-law's house and his brother's house, he
14 documented all of this in a video recording where one can see, amongst
15 other things, the fortifications that the Muslim side used in these
17 The witness will also give his comments on the statements of
18 certain people who had mentioned him and who had referred to certain
19 information about Rogatica which the witness believes are simply not
21 This was the summary of this witness statement, Your Honour, and
22 with your leave, I would like to put a few questions to the witness.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so, Mr. Stojanovic.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Veselinovic, in paragraph 18 of your statement, you say that
1 after heavy fighting and the death of 13 Serbs, you entered town for the
2 first time. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber from which direction
3 you entered the town of Rogatica?
4 A. I entered town from the northern part of Rogatica. That is to
5 say, from the malt factory, Sladara, where the Crisis Staff of the Serb
6 Municipality of Rogatica was.
7 Q. In your assessment and to the best of your recollection, what was
8 the time when this occurred?
9 A. I think it was five or six days after the liberation of Rogatica
10 or, rather, after the Muslims left Rogatica. If we're speaking in terms
11 of dates, it was the very end of July; the 29th, the 30th of July.
12 Q. Who actually recorded on video the clips that you referred to in
13 your statement?
14 A. I personally recorded that with my own camera.
15 Q. Was there anyone else there with you then?
16 A. Yes. I had a colleague there who drove my car while we were
17 driving through town.
18 Q. What --
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Stojanovic, when you were reading the summary
20 of the witness statement, you said, at page 35, line 18 that the witness
21 was the first to enter Rogatica following the withdrawal of the Muslim
22 forces from the town.
23 I see from the statement that he says when he first entered the
24 town, not that he was the first to enter the town. I guess what is in
25 the statement is the correct version.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That is what I suppose too, but
2 with your leave, perhaps we should ask the witness which one is correct.
3 Q. So is it correct - this is my question - were you the first
4 person who entered town, or, as your witness says [as interpreted]:
5 "After I entered town for the first time, after the Muslims had left,"
6 and so on?
7 A. I cannot claim that I was the first one who entered up to that is
8 to say when the Muslims left, first of all, it was military formations
9 that were in town and the police of Republika Srpska. As the army
10 withdrew into the barracks, the police stayed on and was in control of
11 town. For a certain period of time, perhaps 15 or 20 days even, the
12 police did not allow civilians to enter town, not even the Crisis Staff,
13 without their approval. So as far as civilians are concerned and members
14 of the Crisis Staff, I am one of the first persons who had the approval
15 to enter town because in the Crisis Staff, I was the person who was in
16 charge of refugees and abandoned property.
17 Q. Thank you for this clarification. Thank you for your
18 assistance --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
20 MR. TRALDI: Sorry. I apologise for interrupting.
21 I notice the witness appears to have a couple of papers with him,
22 including some handwritten notes, and I'm curious what they might be.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you tell us what documents you have
24 in front of you?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I have before me is the
1 statement that I provided and in order for it to be easier for me to find
2 my way through these paragraphs, I have something handwritten, what each
3 paragraph is about briefly. And, of course, I have my original documents
4 that I submitted along with this statement.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you please put all that away. If you
6 need to consult your statement, a clean copy will be given to you. But
7 without my approval, without the Chamber's approval, you're not allowed
8 to consult any documents. And if you need to consult, please address me
10 So would you please put them away.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. Now, could we please take a look at an excerpt from a document,
13 65 ter 1D5280.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there's no
15 soundtrack, and it would run from 1:20 until 1:37. It's a video. It's a
17 Q. Witness, I'd like to ask you to answer a few questions once we've
18 seen this video.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your assistance.
21 Q. Could you please tell the Court what town this is and what was
22 recorded here specifically?
23 A. This is the centre of the town of Rogatica. I entered town in a
24 car, and the first video recordings were made from a car. I was filming
25 the very centre of town. You could see the destruction in town here.
1 You could see destroyed shop windows, looted shops. Quite simply,
2 everything was destroyed after the Serbs entered town.
3 Q. Thank you. Now the same video recording, the same document, let
4 us take a look at 12:29 to 12:34. So it's 5 seconds.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Witness, please, could you tell us what we have before us in this
9 A. This is my wife's family home. We see that it had been torched
10 but this huge grass in front of the house shows that the burning did not
11 take place recently, when Rogatica was being liberated. Rather, it was
12 done considerably earlier when the Muslims were in control.
13 Next to my wife's house, practically all other houses were
14 torched. Those that were in the centre of town. Also quite a few
16 Q. Thank you. Let us now take a look at the following clip. From
17 the same document, that is. From 16:32 up until 17:00.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Witness, I'd just like to ask you to tell us where this is.
21 What is the location of this area that is documented in this video-clip?
22 A. This is a residential building in the centre of town, and we call
23 it Trg, and we see their machine-gun nest on top of this building that is
24 facing the houses around it, and you can see damaged and destroyed roofs.
25 So it's not that war was waged against an unknown enemy, someone who had
1 come from elsewhere. This was a war between people who had lived
2 together up until then in the same town.
3 Q. Thank you. Could we now take a look at the same video-clip but
4 just --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please, I would like to have the last still back.
6 The witness said we can see the machine-gun nest. It's not there
7 yet. Here.
8 Could you please describe in more detail where we have to find
9 the machine-gun nest you were referring to?
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if we were to start this,
12 we'd see some type of machine-gun there - I don't know what kind of when
13 it is - that was on the top of this residential building. I don't know
14 whether the weapon worked, whether they left it there, and why they left
15 it, and --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You made this comment when looking on this still
17 in front of you now. Can you indicate where, on which roof of which
18 house the machine-gun nest was located? Or is it -- was it on another
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was right next to me or behind
21 me. Because this was taken from the place where the barrel of that
22 weapon was facing.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps in order to clarify this. Can we go just a
25 few seconds back so that we see -- this -- is this what you're referring
1 to, or is that the same roof?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Q. So now, please, from the same video-clip, same document number,
7 could we take a look at 19:26 up until 20:15.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Sir, could you please tell the Court what it is that you recorded
11 here and what this is? This part of the footage.
12 A. This is the very centre of town. First you saw the building that
13 had been torched where there were three Serb apartments; inter alia, my
14 brother's apartment. Then you saw the hotel that had also been torched.
15 And then could you see --
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: You were being asked what we see on the screen,
17 not what we have seen before. Please tell us what we see on the screen.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the screen, we saw a torched
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. The question is what can be seen right now.
22 A. These are mannequins in the window of a shop in that first
23 building that we saw where the word "Promet" was written.
24 Q. Thank you. Let us just try to clarify this. Also in the same
25 video-clip, can we see 21:34 to 22:10, very briefly. 21:34 to 22:10.
1 [Video-clip played]
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. In the first part of this video-clip, we saw a building. Could
4 you please give us your comments on what kind of building this is?
5 A. That is the city mosque that was destroyed in the town of
6 Rogatica. There were two otherwise. This is one of the two. I think
7 that this was the older one.
8 Q. And then we see again a piece of weaponry, and I want to ask you
9 whether that's the same machine-gun that we saw during the previous
11 A. I don't know whether the machine-gun is the same make, if that's
12 what you're referring to, but this is a different machine-gun nest, and
13 you saw that this was within the same footage, and it's only 30 metres
14 from the mosque as the crow flies. So you could see how the mosque had
15 been hit.
16 Q. Thank you. Thank you for your assistance.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And, Your Honours, could we now
18 briefly move into private session again.
19 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
20 [Private session]
11 Pages 28238-28241 redacted. Private session.
12 [Open session]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
15 I repeat that we take a break now for 20 minutes. Could the
16 witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 JUDGE ORIE: We will resume at 20 minutes past midday.
19 --- Recess taken at 11.58 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.21 p.m.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave, I
24 would like us to move into private session again.
25 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
1 [Private session]
11 Pages 28244-28246 redacted. Private session.
6 [Open session]
7 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
9 Just for the record, I repeat in open session that the video we
10 looked at earlier, it was admitted into evidence.
11 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, could we have
13 another five documents admitted as associated exhibits, 65 ter numbers
14 1D03099; 1D04294, supporting paragraph 10 of the statement; 1D04296,
15 supporting paragraph 16 of the statement; 1D04298, supporting paragraph 9
16 of the statement; and 1D05279, supporting paragraph 16 of the statement.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
18 MR. TRALDI: No objections.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D3099 receives number D774.
21 Document 1D4294 receives number D775.
22 Document 1D4296 receives number D776.
23 Document 1D4298 receives number D777.
24 And document 1D5279 receives number D778, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: D774 up to and including D778 are admitted into
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours, for
3 your understanding.
4 Q. We'd like to thank the witness as well.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And this concludes our
7 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
8 Mr. Traldi, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
9 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Veselinovic, you'll now be cross-examined by
11 Mr. Traldi. You find him to your right. Mr. Traldi is counsel for the
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi:
14 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. Now, you were the first president of the SDS in Rogatica. You
17 held that position until the 25th of March, 1992; right?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 1D04293.
20 Q. And this is an article published in Politika in 1991. You
21 discuss it in your statement.
22 At the bottom of the first page in the English and in the first
23 column of the primary article in the centre of the page in B/C/S, the
24 third paragraph, you're quoted by name. Now, you're referred to as
25 president of the Rogatica SDS and chairman of the SDS Regional Board for
2 My first question is simply: You were also the chairman of the
3 SDS Regional Board for the Romanija area; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, at the end of the paragraph you state: "However, we have a
6 message for all those who are preparing dirty war plans that the Serbs in
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina are ready and that 1941 will never be repeated."
8 When you spoke of 1941, you were referring to the mass murders of
9 Serbs, Jews, and gypsies, among others, in Yugoslavia during the
10 Second World War; correct?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Was it common that when speaking in your official capacity, you
13 would give public statements suggesting that the Serb people in Bosnia
14 might imminently be subjected to mass murder?
15 A. I don't see that there's anything in dispute there. If you wish
16 to hear a more detailed explanation, after 1945, the Serb people lived
17 together with other peoples in a common state and --
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... I'm going to stop you and
19 ask you to focus on my question. All I'd asked you was: Was it common
20 for you when speaking in your official capacity, and by that I mean as a
21 representative of the SDS, to make public statements suggesting that the
22 Serb people in Bosnia might imminently be subjected to mass murder.
23 A. Events made it incumbent upon me to state something like that
24 because in Communism the Serb people quite simply lived together with the
25 Muslims. Yet again there was brotherhood and the same thing could have
1 happened yet again.
2 Q. Do I understand correctly that your answer is, yes, this is the
3 sort of public statement that you often made at that time?
4 A. Public statements I did not make very often. I mean, I did not
5 appear in public very often. But whenever there would be a situation in
6 which one could clearly see the direction in which things were moving, I
7 did warn against something like that.
8 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I tender 65 ter 1D04293.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Before we decide on that --
10 Witness, do I understand that you do not deny that you expressed
11 yourself in the way as published in this article?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was not my practice, but --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I wasn't asking whether it was your
14 practice. It was -- you're quoted here. Does it reflect what you said
15 at the time? At this instance.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, this is a reflection of the
17 situation that was developing at the time.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And it reflects your words, if I understand
19 you well.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D4293 receives number P6906,
23 Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. Sir, next, I'm going to play for you a conversation you had with
2 President Karadzic in September 1991. It's a several-minute long
3 intercepted conversation.
4 MR. TRALDI: And, for the record, I'm going to ask that
5 Mr. van Hooydonk play 65 ter 20280.
6 [Audiotape played]
7 JUDGE ORIE: We'll now play it for a second time, and it may take
8 quite some additional time for the interpreters to -- to tell us what is
9 heard in the original.
10 Witness, we'll play it for a second time. The interpreters were
11 available to verify whether the transcript - I take it you've provided
12 the transcript, Mr. Traldi - accurately reflects the words spoken so you
13 will hear it for a second time.
14 [Audiotape played]
15 "THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
16 "Unidentified Female: Hello, yes, can I help you.
17 "Sveto: Tell me, may I talk to Dr. Karadzic.
18 "A Female NN: What you did say, your name was? Sveto, right?
19 "Sveto: Yes.
20 "A Female NN: Just a moment.
21 "Sveto: Hello.
22 "A Male NN: Hello, Sveto.
23 "Sveto: Tell me.
24 "A Male NN: Could you wait for just a moment? The doctor is on
25 the other line.
1 "Sveto: Okay.
2 "A Male NN: How is it over there towards Visegrad?
3 "Sveto: Well, so-so.
4 "A Male NN: Is that so?
5 "He's about to finish this. He'll be with you in just a moment.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear
7 Dr. Karadzic in the background what he is saying.
8 [Audiotape played]
9 "Radovan KARADZIC: Hello?
10 "Sveto: Good afternoon.
11 "Radovan KARADZIC: Good afternoon, Sveto.
12 "Sveto: Doctor, Risto told me to call you.
13 "Radovan KARADZIC: We should be in touch all the time. What's
14 the situation up there?
15 "Sveto: Well, so-so. Nothing much. Those from Han Pijesak, our
16 reservists, have taken up positions from Rogatica to Mesici.
17 "Radovan KARADZIC: Uh-huh.
18 "Sveto: In Rogatica, reserve police forces are getting
20 "Radovan KARADZIC: Good.
21 "Sveto: We have sent our men to joined the reserve force as
23 "Radovan KARADZIC: By all means.
24 "Sveto: So they don't do something stupid to surprise us.
25 "Radovan KARADZIC: Absolutely, definitely.
1 "Sveto: We're ready. We're waiting to see what happens next
2 "Radovan KARADZIC: Good. Can you help Visegrad?
3 "Sveto: We can.
4 "Radovan KARADZIC: Do that, get in touch and let them take up
5 positions at Sjemec up there, let them help prepare -- let them prepare
6 to help Visegrad because if they start the war they'll start it against
7 the people and against the army.
8 "Sveto: Yes. I've already agreed to meet with Brano at Sjemec
10 "Radovan KARADZIC: Uh-huh. Good. It should ... and the column
11 is waiting there, Sixty vehicles. Tomorrow the column is going to be
12 enormous. Several kilometres to pass through Visegrad. Because the army
13 won't yield. Are you in touch? Look, Zoran Vujovic can't get through to
14 you at all.
15 "Sveto: Well, I've been calling him. He is neither at home nor
16 at work.
17 "Radovan KARADZIC: Please call him. He said that some man at
18 the number you had given him would not speak to him.
19 "Sveto: I know nothing about it.
20 "Radovan KARADZIC: Who is that?
21 "Sveto: I don't know at all.
22 "Radovan KARADZIC: I beg your pardon?
23 "Sveto: Well, I don't know anything either. Me, neither ...
24 "Radovan KARADZIC: Wait. The phone number you gave out.
25 "Sveto: Well, I had given him my number.
1 "Radovan KARADZIC: So how come he ...
2 "Sveto: He must have taken down the wrong number.
3 "Radovan KARADZIC: Uh-huh. You see, he may have taken the wrong
4 number but he cannot get in touch with you in any way. Tell me what is
5 your situation. If it is difficult, should we sen from somewhere else to
6 help you?
7 "Sveto: No need for now, no need for right now. At Sjemec,
8 we'll prepare it all for helping them if necessary. This evening, Brano
9 and I will meet up there.
10 "Radovan KARADZIC: Uh-huh. Yes, yes.
11 "Sveto: No problem, whatsoever.
12 "Radovan KARADZIC: Good. And the police should help too;
13 they'll co-operate with the police for as long as they are treating the
14 military properly. You must not do anything against the military. No
15 discussion. The army must pass through Visegrad.
16 "Sveto: Shall we ...
17 "Radovan KARADZIC: The army is not going to clean up ... they'll
18 destroy Visegrad, they will not give in. So they should know that.
19 "Sveto: Will the military now turn across Sjemec? It is
20 critical down there through the tunnels.
21 "Radovan KARADZIC: It is critical through the tunnels, is it?
22 "Sveto: Eight tunnel. They can place a rocket launcher anywhere
23 in the tunnel, destroy the first transporter, and block it.
24 "Radovan KARADZIC: Uh-huh, good. Call Zoran, call the garrison
25 in Uzice and suggest that they should go across Sjemec. However, they
1 still have to go through Visegrad, right?
2 "Sveto: They don't have to.
3 "Radovan KARADZIC: They don't have to, instead ...
4 "Sveto: Via Rogatica, to Ustipraca and Gorazde.
5 "Radovan KARADZIC: How come they can't go to Visegrad? Where
6 will they cross the river?
7 "Sveto: Well, in Ustipraca. They're bypassing Visegrad ...
8 "Radovan KARADZIC: Good.
9 "Sveto: They're bypassing through Medjedja.
10 "Radovan KARADZIC: Uh-huh.
11 "Sveto: The Drina canyon.
12 "Radovan KARADZIC: Good, and where are they going to cross the
13 Drina river?
14 "Sveto: Across Drina they'll cross Drina in Ustipraca. It's 12
15 kilometres between Ustipraca and Gorazde. No tunnels, no attacks.
16 "Radovan KARADZIC: So it was him who was shooting from that side
17 of the river, is it?
18 "Sveto: Yes.
19 "Radovan KARADZIC: In Rudo, is it? Not Rudo, but ...
20 "Sveto: No, no. From Visegrad go across Sjemec, across Borika
21 to Rogatica and from Rogatica to Gorazde.
22 "Radovan KARADZIC: Well, okay, but you have to go through
24 "Sveto: You don't.
25 "Radovan KARADZIC: You don't?
1 "Sveto: In fact you do. Yes, yes.
2 "Radovan KARADZIC: Well, you have to go through Visegrad.
3 That's ...
4 "Sveto: You have to go through Visegrad.
5 "Radovan KARADZIC: You secure Visegrad because that is the
6 narrow point and then the rest. Let them decide to go across Sjemec.
7 "Sveto: Yes.
8 "Radovan KARADZIC: Get in touch with -- you have to get in touch
9 with the garrison and with this -- and they're looking for you. They
10 cannot get through to in any way. Is Kusic there somewhere?
11 "Sveto: Doctor, Kusic is down-town somewhere.
12 "Radovan KARADZIC: Uh-huh, okay. And where are you?
13 "Sveto: I'm at home at the moment.
14 "Radovan KARADZIC: Uh-huh. Come on, please, do that and make
15 sure they provide you duty service over there.
16 "Sveto: Everything has been provided as far as it concerns our
18 "Radovan KARADZIC: And a full, full, full, mobility of the
19 party. Full mobility of everything. All the forces that you have.
20 Everything you have. If necessity, add the Romanija forces too.
21 "Sveto: Okay, boss.
22 "Radovan KARADZIC: All right.
23 "Sveto: All right, agreed."
24 MR. TRALDI:
25 Q. Sir, that was a long conversation but I have some very specific
1 questions for you?
2 First, the voices we just heard were your voice and
3 President Karadzic's voice; right.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. This conversation was about mobilising Serbs in Rogatica in
6 September 1991; correct?
7 A. I think the answer is yes.
8 Q. The Kusic that's mentioned during the intercept, that's
9 Rajko Kusic; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You refer --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Please switch all the unnecessary mics off,
13 thank you.
14 MR. TRALDI:
15 Q. You refer to President Karadzic at the end as "boss." He was in
16 fact your superior in the party; correct?
17 A. Yes, the president of the Serbian Democratic Party.
18 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender 65 ter 20280.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 20280 receives number P6907,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
23 I do not know where the sound comes from which is not there if
24 the witness speaks, but and I'll switch off my microphone.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It may have to do with the audio recording we had
1 previously. Perhaps that can be removed and the sound, the background
2 sound would perhaps disappear.
3 MR. TRALDI: That appears to be quite correct. Thank you,
4 Your Honour.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
6 MR. TRALDI:
7 Q. Now, sir, I'm going ask you some general questions now about your
8 political positions.
9 As Mr. Stojanovic set out earlier, you were a member of both the
10 SDS Crisis Staff in Rogatica in December -- established in December 1991
11 and the Crisis Staff established in April 1992; right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. You also served as a member of the Rogatica Municipality
14 War Commission; correct?
15 A. I don't understand the term "War Commission." Crisis Staff is
16 one thing, Crisis Staff of the SDS, and then the Crisis Staff of the
17 Rogatica municipality. And then after that, the Executive Board of the
18 Rogatica municipality, where I was the chief of the public revenue
20 Q. That's the Executive Board of the Rogatica Assembly; correct?
21 A. Yes, correct.
22 Q. Now I want to turn to your resignation in late March and could
23 the Prosecution have P6823.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Could the counsel please repeat the number.
25 MR. TRALDI: Yes, I apologise. P6823.
1 Q. Now, we read here in the first paragraph that: "The Crisis Staff
2 of the SDS Municipal Board Rogatica is not able to carry out its
3 decisions due to a group of armed Serbs, headed by a member of the
4 Main Board SDS BiH Rajko Kusic, who was ruthlessly rushing with threats
5 to attack into the town, in case that municipality and the public
6 security station are not unconditionally divided into Serbian and Muslim
7 parts within two hours' time."
8 When you say in paragraph 14 of your statement that you resigned,
9 in part, because of pressure from the Territorial Defence, it was these
10 threats you were referring to; correct?
11 A. Yes, that is correct.
12 Q. Now, the next paragraph reads: "The Crisis Staff, in compliance
13 with your instructions, believes that the factual division on the ground
14 should be and is already there ..."
15 And I'm going to stop there. When you say "your instructions,"
16 you mean instructions from the SDS Main Board; correct?
17 A. Yes, instructions from the Main Board to monitor the situation
18 and to report on the situation.
19 Q. I'm going to test your evidence on a that a little bit because
20 that's not what you're describing here. You're saying: In compliance
21 with your instructions, we believe that the factual division on the
22 ground should be and is already there.
23 So you had also received instructions regarding establishing a
24 factual division on the ground, hadn't you?
25 A. The division had always been there. There were always purely
1 Serbian and purely Muslim villages. It was only the towns that in time
2 became mixed-population towns. In order to avoid combat, in order to
3 avoid conflicts, we agreed with the Muslims about the division, and we
4 worked towards that division. We were negotiating at that time.
5 Q. I'll get to that division in a moment, sir, but I'd put to you
6 that what you're saying here is that the factual division on the ground
7 is in compliance with the SDS's instructions. That's true, isn't it?
8 That's what you're saying in this letter.
9 A. Well, you could conclude that on the basis of the letter, but as
10 I said, even without the instructions, we worked on the division of the
11 terrain only in order to prevent conflicts.
12 Q. Now the final paragraph you mention that you'll be putting
13 yourself at the disposal of the Yugoslavia national army. In Rogatica at
14 that time, that the meant the 216th Mountain Brigade of the JNA; right?
15 A. There was a Han Pijesak corps Brigade. It's possible, the 216th.
16 I'm not sure which one.
17 Q. There was a battalion of that brigade in Rogatica; correct?
18 A. That is correct, yes. It was some 10 to 15 kilometres away from
19 Rogatica in the Sjemec mountain.
20 Q. So that's 10 to 15 kilometres away from Rogatica town but within
21 Rogatica municipality; right?
22 A. Yes, yes, municipality of Rogatica.
23 Q. And shortly after sending this letter, you joined that battalion;
25 A. Correct, yes.
1 Q. It was commanded by a Major Radomir Furtula?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now the battalion went to Sarajevo in early May 1992; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you left your unit before it went to Sarajevo; correct?
6 A. I was called by the newly formed Crisis Staff and told that I was
7 appointed a member of that staff, and I received a new mobilisation post
8 as member of the Crisis Staff, and I stayed in Rogatica in the Crisis
9 Staff. I did not leave for Sarajevo with the unit.
10 MR. TRALDI: Could the Prosecution please have 65 ter 1D04299.
11 Q. Now, this is the mobilisation order you received; right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And we see in the preamble that you're mobilised pursuant to a
14 decision by the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina; right?
16 A. The Serb Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbian municipality
17 of Rogatica Crisis Staff.
18 Q. Well, the part that I was focussing on just to be clear, it says
19 you're being mobilised pursuant to the provisions of a decision, and then
20 it gives the name, taken by the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 20th of May, 1992. That's correct; right?
22 A. The Crisis Staff made this decision. The decision was adopted on
23 the basis of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina --
24 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter did not catch the date.
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. You were already -- you'd already been appointed a member of the
2 Crisis Staff at the beginning of April; correct? Specifically the 8th of
4 A. No. On the 8th of April, a meeting was held of the Municipal
5 Board of the Serbian Democratic Party. I didn't attend this meeting
6 because I had submitted my resignation. Then the posts were verified for
7 new members of the Crisis Staff to join it, meaning prominent Serb
8 citizens from Rogatica who, up until that time, were not very involved.
9 Mile Sokolovic was appointed as the number one man, and then he later
10 worked --
11 Q. Sir --
12 A. -- in certain activities and then he informed me.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, the interpreters told us that they did
14 not catch the date. I'm not quite certain whether your follow-up
15 questions have repaired that or not. Could you please have a look at
16 page 66, line 2.
17 MR. TRALDI: Yeah, I was simply reading the date in the document
18 which is why I hadn't followed up on it, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then -- so apparently you repaired that
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, before moving on, I would tender this
23 document currently on our screens.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D4299 receives number P6908,
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: P6908 is admitted.
3 MR. TRALDI:
4 Q. Now, sir, you hadn't quite -- I wasn't sure of your answer - let
5 me say it that way - to my last question. You were a member of the
6 Crisis Staff that was established on the 8th of April, 1992; right?
7 A. I did not attend that meeting. By that time, I had already
8 reported to the unit. I received the information later and learned that
9 I had been appointed a member of the Crisis Staff. Then in late April, I
10 reported to my job. It wasn't right away on the 8th of April because I
11 didn't even know then that I had been nominated.
12 Q. But you were, in fact, appointed on the 8th of April, as you
13 learned later; right?
14 A. It is possible.
15 Q. Now, in your statement -- I'm turning to a different topic now
16 and I'm done with this document.
17 In your statement, you discuss the Rogatica Serb TO formed by
18 Rajko Kusic. It was quickly placed under the control of the JNA;
20 A. I think so, yes.
21 Q. And, again, that would have meant the 216th Brigade; right?
22 A. I don't know. I don't know how that was in the organisational
23 terms, whether it was the 216th or the Rogatica Brigade. In any event,
24 later, going through these documents, I saw that sometime in late May,
25 the unit was accepted as a part of the JNA, but I didn't know that at
1 that point in time. I don't know the exact date, but I know it was
2 sometime by the end of September, roughly.
3 Q. Now when you said late May, of course, the unit was accepted as
4 part of the VRS, not the JNA at that time; right?
5 A. We would need to look at the exact dates as to when the JNA
6 withdrew officially from the B and H. I think that that was in June;
7 whereas, this was in May, which means that it was accepted before the
8 withdrawal of the JNA.
9 Q. Sir, I'd put to you the Chamber's received a great deal of
10 evidence on this. But if I suggest to you that the JNA withdraw on the
11 19th of May, would that refresh your recollection?
12 A. The 19th of May... I don't know. I don't know. We would need to
13 look at the dates.
14 Q. Then I'll --
15 A. I accept --
16 Q. I'll leave the point there then, sir.
17 MR. TRALDI: Could the Prosecution please have 65 ter 08778.
18 Q. Now, this is a bulletin issued by the Socialist Republic of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina Ministry of Interior dated 24th of March, 1992.
20 If we could turn to page 2 in both languages, the third paragraph, we see
21 a report from Rogatica involving a man named Ismani Sasire, and I
22 apologise for my pronunciation. That's a Muslim name; correct?
23 A. It's an Albanian name, a Siptar.
24 Q. Now, we see that four armed persons in camouflage uniform led by
25 Rajko Kusic had, according to this report, stopped and maltreated this
1 person and took away his vehicle.
2 My question for you is: Is this the type of reckless behaviour
3 that you were describing in your letter to President Karadzic when you
4 spoke about Mr. Kusic?
5 A. I didn't know about this information at that time, the 23rd of
6 March, we submitted the report before we resigned on the 25th of March.
7 I didn't know about this at that time. And that was not a crucial
8 factor. It was more his manner of asking that we stop with the
9 negotiations because he had information in view of the fact that Alija
10 rejected Cutileiro's plan in Lisbon on the 23rd of March, and so
11 according to his information, they were speedily preparing for war, that
12 they were just dragging things out through the negotiations that they
13 were planning the liquidation of prominent Serbs in the course of one
14 night --
15 Q. Sir --
16 A. -- and so they were heading for war but we did not have the
17 mandate to do something like that.
18 Q. I think you've gone beyond the question that I asked slightly.
19 MR. TRALDI: I don't have any further questions on this topic and
20 I'd tender this document.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document 8778 receives number P6909,
23 Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: P6909 is admitted.
25 I'm looking at the clock. Mr. Traldi, before we start with
1 anything new, would this be a suitable time to take a break so that we
2 would have left 35 minutes after the break.
3 MR. TRALDI: It would be suitable for me, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll take a break. Could the witness follow
5 the usher. We'd like to see you back in 20 minutes.
6 [The witness stands down]
7 JUDGE ORIE: We resume at 20 minutes to 2.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 1.20 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 1.45 p.m.
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
12 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Q. Sir, returning briefly to one of your last answers before the
14 break. At temporary transcript page 69, line 1, I'd asked you about the
15 name of a person named Ismani Sasire. And you said it's an ethnic
16 Albanian name which you described using the term Siptar. Was that a term
17 you commonly use?
18 A. That's what we call themselves. Albanians in Kosovo call
19 themselves Siptar. If somebody thinks that this a derogatory term it's
20 not. That's what we call themselves and when they communicate between
21 and amongst themselves, they use that name. Albanians from Kosovo, that
23 Q. I think you have answered, perhaps, two or three other questions
24 that I had in mind but not the one I actually asked. Which was simply,
25 is that a term you commonly use yourself?
1 A. For Albanians in Kosovo, that is what everybody in my area calls
3 JUDGE ORIE: Including you, Witness? Because that was the
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Why not directly answer the question.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. TRALDI:
9 Q. Sir, I'm going to move away from that topic now. You mentioned
10 earlier today that when you were at the Crisis Staff you worked in the
11 Sladara building. How often were you at the Sladara building, about how
12 many times a week, in the months of May and June 1992?
13 A. That was my workplace. I was there every day.
14 MR. TRALDI: Now can the Prosecution please have 65 ter 31593.
15 Q. Now, sir, this is Official Note of an interview you had with the
16 Rogatica police in 2004. Did you tell the truth during that interview?
17 A. They spoke to me. While we were talking and having coffee, they
18 did not take any notes. I did tell them the truth, of course. These are
19 people who knew the truth even apart from that talk that we had. Now how
20 they perceived this, what I said to them, how they came to say that up
21 until September I was in the army, I don't know. I did not see this
22 after they had written this up. When they actually wrote this up, I
23 don't know, how much later. They did not give this to me to sign. Had
24 they asked me to sign this, I wouldn't have want to sign this. But this
25 was done without my knowledge. It was an informal conversation. And
1 it's not that I said this, that I stayed until September. The truth is a
2 series of documents that we've shown. Namely, that I was in Sladara and
3 that I functioned in Sladara first as the commissioner for refugees and
4 then member of the Executive Board directly in charge of the Department
5 for Internal Revenue, as it says.
6 Q. Sir, I'd ask you to focus directly on my questions, where the
7 notes say that you remained with your military unit until September we
8 agree that's not true; right?
9 A. No. No, I mean it's not true.
10 Q. And where the note records in the fourth paragraph that you had
11 told them you were not aware of the events surrounding the creation of
12 the Crisis Staff or its later actions, that wouldn't be the truth either,
13 would it?
14 A. The Crisis Staff of the Serb Democratic Party is a staff that I
15 created and as you said a moment ago, it was on the 8th of April that the
16 Crisis Staff of Rogatica was formed and I was informed towards the end of
17 April that I was a member and that's where I went. And everything that
18 is written and that is different to that, is not true.
19 Q. And the note reflects that you told the police were appointed
20 head of income administration in September. Instead, you were appointed
21 in June; right?
22 A. No. The Crisis Staff, while it functioned, I was the
23 commissioner for refugees. When the Executive Board was established, the
24 Executive Board was joined by the member who is directly in charge of the
25 revenue service, and I think that the Executive Board was established in
1 September, and it was then that I was directly appointed to that line of
2 work. Or was it October maybe? I wouldn't know exactly.
3 Q. Now, the note states that you weren't present in Rogatica town
4 between March and September 1992. That, again, isn't the truth; right?
5 A. It's not true. I don't know what they mean by Rogatica. Do they
6 mean just the centre of town or the territory of the municipality? I was
7 not in the centre of Rogatica because Muslims held Rogatica in that
8 sense, and my house is 2 kilometres away from Sladara further to the
9 north so --
10 Q. Sir -- sir, I'm going to stop you there. In fact, your evidence
11 is that you entered Rogatica town and took the video that you testified
12 about on direct examination in late July or early August 1992; right?
13 A. Yes. Came in, went out. I did not spend time there. My house
14 is in a village that is further to the north from Sladara, so I did not
15 stay in town.
16 Q. Sir, I'd put to you that however the note was compiled, in fact,
17 almost nothing in it is true; right?
18 A. That's the way it seems. I told you: Had they given this to me,
19 had they asked me to sign it, I wouldn't have signed it. I had no
20 influence whatsoever over the writing up of this note.
21 Q. Now, the note was taken in the context of an investigation into
22 what happened in Rogatica in 1992; correct?
23 A. Well, I think -- I don't know. Whether they said specifically
24 why they were involved in an investigation. Probably, probably the
25 investigation was in the context of developments from 1992. That is to
1 say, what was characteristic of Rogatica, the secondary school of
2 Veljko Vlahovic, the Rasadnik greenhouse, and so on.
3 Q. Sir, I'd put to you that all of the errors in the note tend to
4 distance you from what happened in Rogatica in 1992, and I'd put to you
5 that that is because you didn't tell them the truth to avoid any
6 responsibility yourself.
7 Do you have any comment on that?
8 A. Well, I do have objections. I am not evading personal
9 responsibility. I am aware of the times in which I lived. I am aware of
10 the steps I took then. My resignation was precisely along those lines.
11 Namely, that I was not in favour of the war option. I was not a person
12 who wanted to take part in war operations as someone who was in a
13 decision-making position who had a say in all of this. So what have you
14 stated is not correct.
15 What is perhaps true, in part, is that after my resignation,
16 relations with Rajko Kusic were not the way they were before. I didn't
17 want to know anything and I didn't want to go into the activities of the
18 military at all. That is why I was given this line of work which was
19 totally independent of the military and I only worked on that. That's
20 why I said in my statement I was never at the secondary, I was never in
21 Rasadnik, I was never at a single place where the army was.
22 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, before I move on, I'd tender this
23 document. Clearly we don't intend to rely on the substance of the
25 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31593 receives number P6910,
2 Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
4 MR. TRALDI:
5 Q. Now, sir, you just mentioned that you were never at Rasadnik.
6 Rasadnik was just a couple of hundred metres away from the Sladara
7 factory; right?
8 A. Rasadnik is, I think, half a kilometre away from Sladara. I go
9 in that direction as I go to my home in the village, but, again, 300, 400
10 metres along the road that is close to Rasadnik, I never entered that
11 facility while the police and the military were there, and I don't know
12 who else.
13 Q. You knew during the war that there was what you describe in your
14 statement as an army detention facility there; right?
15 A. Yes, I did know. When Radomir Furtula's unit returned from
16 Sarajevo my brother returned with that unit. Before the war, he was a
17 misdemeanours judge, and I knew that through him.
18 Q. And, sir, that's -- that information is already in your statement
19 which is why I tried to stop you.
20 You knew the detention facility was there. It was on your way
21 home every day, as you've just testified. Now, the Chamber has received
22 evidence that people detained there were subjected to serious violent
23 crimes, including crimes of sexual violence, that detainees were taken
24 out and murdered by an officer in the Rogatica Brigade. So I'd put to
25 you that you knew people there were being abused, and that's why you
1 didn't want to see it, that's why you didn't want to go there. That's
2 true; right?
3 A. That's not true. I've already told you what the reason is. I am
4 not contradicting your assertion, but I'm telling you that I don't know
5 what happened. I just know through my brother that that is where Serb
6 soldiers were detained too. Those who were late in arriving at the front
7 line, and those who fled from the front line. And also Muslim prisoners,
8 and let me not repeat all that, what I've already said, Cakic who spoke
9 about the crimes against the Obradovics.
10 Q. Now the Trial Chamber has heard that at some points Muslims were
11 also detained at the Sladara facility. Were you also unaware of that?
12 A. We, in Sladara, had a Crisis Staff, and we had the
13 Executive Board, and that was in the administration buildings of Sladara.
14 As for the gate that we went through, it is certain that the army didn't
15 go that way or the police, so I don't know.
16 Q. Do you recall on one occasion, in the middle of June 1992,
17 several busloads of Muslims from outside the Rogatica municipality being
18 taken to the Sladara facility and transferring buses there?
19 A. I don't know about that.
20 Q. Now, it's the position of the Prosecution that the Muslims on
21 those buses were then taken to the area near the Sokolac-Rogatica
22 municipality border and murdered. Can I take it you're also not aware of
24 A. Later I heard about that happening, but then I did not know, and
25 I didn't see those buses.
1 Q. Is it correct -- I just want to perfectly understand your answer.
2 Is it correct that you heard that Muslims who had been transferred and
3 had stopped at one point at the Sladara facility that was Crisis Staff
4 headquarters had then been taken near the Sokolac-Rogatica border and
5 murdered. You heard all of those things?
6 A. No, I hadn't heard of all of that. I heard of this happening.
7 Who the Muslims were, from which area, when specifically, that I don't
8 know. I just heard that this happened, and I heard about that
9 considerably later. And I think that somebody was prosecuted for that,
10 some of the Serbs who did that.
11 Q. Let me ask you a very specific question. Had you heard that they
12 were transferred through the Sladara facility before they were killed?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Now, because you didn't visit any of the detention facilities in
15 the Rogatica municipality, you aren't aware that many of the people
16 detained there were civilians, are you?
17 A. I heard -- I heard -- actually, the information was that
18 civilians were being asked to come to the secondary school to be shielded
19 from the war operations. All loyal citizens were called upon to seek
20 shelter at the school. That is what I heard.
21 Q. One of the people who called them was Rajko Kusic; right?
22 A. That's what I heard too.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, could I take the witness back a few
25 You earlier said that when Mr. Traldi asked you whether you heard
1 about the Muslims being transferred by buses and stopped at the Sladara.
2 You said when Mr. Traldi asked you whether you heard all of those things
3 he mentioned, you said: No, I hadn't heard of all of that. I heard of
4 this happening.
5 Now, what is "this" then? What you did hear happened.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Specifically I heard that some
7 Muslims were killed in that area, between Sokolac and Rogatica or
8 Han Pijesak. Now whether there is some pit where this was done -- or
9 that's what I heard. And then Muslims were brought there, but I don't
10 know when and from where I really don't know about that because I heard
11 about this later. And as I've already said, I think that somebody was
12 prosecuted for these crimes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, your answer, you gave that answer in
14 response to a question about Muslims passing through the Sladara
15 facility. So the Muslims being killed, you link that to what was put to
16 you in the question, if I understand you well? That is, Muslims going to
17 the Sladara facility.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That killing did occur, and I'm not
19 aware -- and I am aware of that. And that is the only killing in the
20 area -- in this area, Sokolac-Han Pijesak-Rogatica, and that's why I
21 linked all of that up. Not because I perhaps know that they went through
22 Sladara. I already told you I don't know and I did not see the buses or
23 the people.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. You said you believed that it happened at a pit. That's called
2 the Paklenik pit; right? P-a-k-l-e-n-i-k.
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Now, sir, by the end of the war after Zepa fell, there were
5 almost no Muslims left in Rogatica municipality at all?
6 A. That's right.
7 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, that completes my cross-examination.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
9 Mr. Stojanovic, do you have any further questions for the
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: I have a few questions for you, but we need to turn
14 into private session.
15 [Private session]
11 Pages 28276-28277 redacted. Private session.
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
2 Mr. Veselinovic, this concludes your testimony in this court.
3 I'd like to thank you very much for coming a long way to The Hague and
4 for answering all the questions that were put to you, put to you by the
5 party, put to you by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home again.
6 You may follow the usher.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day, and we'll resume tomorrow,
10 Thursday, the 13th of November, 9.30 in the morning, I see, again, in
11 Courtroom III, although -- yes, apparently this has changed. We thought
12 that we would sit in Courtroom I but apparently it's Courtroom III, 9.30.
13 We stand adjourned.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.20 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 13th day of
16 November, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.