1 Tuesday, 16 December 2014
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused not present]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 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 The Chamber was informed that both parties had preliminary
12 matters to be raised.
13 Defence first. Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
15 We have one short policemen matter. Yesterday we were informed
16 by my learned friend Mr. Traldi that this witness was warned that he was
17 actually questioned in relation to Mr. Talic. That warning was on page
18 74 and 75, and all questions end at page 75. So we just want the
19 position from the Prosecution whether this warning influenced the
20 testimony, previous testimony, of this witness. Because it was put to
21 him that he was warned and that it influenced his testimony.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
23 MR. TRALDI: I think Mr. Lukic is slightly misstating what
24 happened yesterday. It was put to the witness that he was interviewed in
25 the context of the Talic trial, and the witness discusses at the
1 beginning of the interview, for instance, how everyone in
2 Republika Srpska knows about the summons, that he has spoken to other
3 people he'd worked with and had been interviewed. It was not put to him
4 that the warning itself had caused him to give that particular answer.
5 We did put on the record that he had been informed after he testified
6 that he had not been informed. And so that's our understanding of the
7 actual state of affairs as to what happened yesterday as to what he was
8 told during the interview.
9 As to Mr. Lukic's specific question, of course it's not our
10 position that the warning at the end of the interview influenced answers
11 he'd given before the warning was given. It was put to him that he was
12 aware of the context in which he was interviewed, and it is our position
13 that that may have influenced answers he gave.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, having heard the position of the
15 Prosecution any further --
16 MR. LUKIC: We are satisfied with this answer.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. That was the preliminary matter raised
18 by the Defence.
19 Prosecution. Two matters, I understood.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Yesterday -- first of all, can we move into private session
23 JUDGE ORIE: We turn into private session.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 29847-29848 redacted. Private session.
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
6 Mr. Traldi.
7 MR. TRALDI: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning again.
8 Just to put on the record, on 19 November 2014 the Prosecution
9 informed the parties by e-mail that it had received the complete English
10 translation for P6864 which had been admitted through Witness Kralj on
11 the 29th of October of this year. This was placed on the record on the
12 25th of November. The complete translation replaced the incomplete
13 version. Defence counsel brought an error in the complete translation to
14 our attention, and the errors has been corrected. A corrected complete
15 translation has now been uploaded into e-court under doc ID
16 0676-9828b ET, and we would request that the Court Officer be instructed
17 to replace the current translation with the corrected complete
18 translation uploaded under that doc ID number.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber instructs the Court Officer to replace
20 the translation which is at present in e-court for P6864 by the newly
21 uploaded document in e-court doc ID 0676-9828b ET.
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Good morning, Mr. Kupresanin.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I'd like to remind you that
1 you're still bound by the solemn declaration that you've given at the
2 beginning of your testimony. And Mr. Lukic will now continue his
4 Mr. Lukic.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 WITNESS: VOJO KUPRESANIN [Resumed]
7 [Witness testified through interpreter]
8 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Kupresanin.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. We have a lot of work this morning. I'm relying on your short
12 answers. P7005 is the next document I would like to show you. Yesterday
13 I wanted to show it to you but I was not sure about the pages. I know
14 that the interpreters in the B/C/S booth tried to help me, but I was on
15 the English channel so I couldn't hear them, unfortunately.
16 In this document, which is a stenographic record of the
17 8th Session of the Assembly of the Serbian People which took place on the
18 25th February 1992.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to call up page 60 in
20 English and page 75 in B/C/S. Paragraph 3 in English on this page, and
21 in the B/C/S version, I'm interested in the last paragraph at the bottom
22 of the page.
23 Q. The Prosecutor showed this to you. You said:
24 "I am against any joint institutions together with Muslims and
25 Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina."
1 What was the sentiment on the 25th of February, four days before
2 the referendum on the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina was to be held?
3 What was the sentiment on the political scene.
4 A. The same when the Serbian deputies were overvoted with regard to
5 the sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina. Again, the constitution was breached,
6 that was our sentiment. We realised that we could not find a common
7 language with them as hard as we tried. Both the referendum and
8 declaration on sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina were against the
9 constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is why I said what I did.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could I invite you to slow down when
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I'm rushing you. At the same time, you do have to speak slowly.
14 A. Thank you.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I'd like to call up P7006. I
16 apologise. We're finished with that. We're moving on. P7007, please.
17 Q. This is an excerpt from the minutes of the 10th Session of the
18 Assembly of the Autonomous Region of Krajina. You disputed the contents
19 of this document. You were asked about that on transcript page 29752.
20 You were asked whether Karadzic, Koljevic, Krajisnik, and yourself were
21 legally elected.
22 My question is this: The person that I've just mentioned, were
23 they legal representatives of the Assembly of the Autonomous Region of
25 A. No, I was the only legally elected member of the Assembly of
1 Krajina and the president of that assembly. None of the others were --
2 they were legal representatives of the Serbian people at a higher level,
3 at the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now I'd like to go back to P2720.
5 Q. This is an intercepted conversation. There's no date. It says
6 that the conversation took place in April 1992. Before we start dealing
7 with the content of the document, let me ask you this: Was there a
8 mistrust at the time between Serbian representatives and the JNA?
9 A. I don't think that the Serbian people ever had any doubts about
10 the Yugoslav People's Army, not for a moment. I am saying that based on
11 the platform of my party which was to preserve Yugoslavia at all costs.
12 This failed because of the international community. We did not have any
13 other political projects, unlike other peoples who had their own
14 political programmes and their goal was to break up Yugoslavia as a
15 sovereign state. I'm talking about two different concepts: Muslims and
16 Croats wanted to break up Yugoslavia at all costs, start a war, and
17 sacrifice peace; whereas our concept and our objective was to preserve
18 Yugoslavia. We trusted the Yugoslav People's Army, although the army was
19 slowly withdrewing -- withdrawing from our area and we were left
20 abandoned, and that's why we decided to establish our own military.
21 Q. Thank you. Did the JNA try to export equipment as well?
22 A. I know that some military equipment was supposed to leave Krajina
23 and to be sent to Krajina, and it is true that it did left on aircraft,
24 MiG aircraft were transport to Yugoslavia. We did not allow the rest to
25 be taken because if we had allowed that, the Serbian people would have to
1 leave as well. We stopped the export of weaponry, and we kept the
2 Serbian people there.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now let us look at English page
4 2, and B/C/S 3, please. In the English version, I'm interested in the
5 middle of the page.
6 Q. There you are recorded as saying --
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The same passage is found at the top
8 of the page in B/C/S.
9 Q. You were recorded as saying that Karadzic was supposed to return
10 from Europe. That's what you said to Kukanjac in April 1992. You said
11 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on the one side and the Serb people in
12 the situation they're in on the other.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] And now let's look at English page 3
14 and page 4 in B/C/S.
15 Q. There is a reference to arming and Kukanjac says:
16 "You have a lot over there."
17 And then you respond:
18 "We have nothing here. And in comparison with our enemies, how
19 many enemies we have? And Grahovo has been attacked. Kupres has been
20 attacked, Glamoc has been attacked, Krupa has been attacked, Sanski Most,
21 Derventa, Samac, Modrica."
22 In April 1992, therefore, did you make this up or were those
23 places indeed attacked and who they were attacked by?
24 A. Whatever I said is true. Muslims and Croats had been attacking
25 us for three months from March to May. The first thing that happened, a
1 member of the wedding party was killed in Bascarsija in Sarajevo, and
2 then up -- on the 10th of March, the Croatian army entered Brod and in
3 Sijekovac they killed about 50 Serbs. I'm talking about the village near
4 Brod. They blockaded the road to Modrica, Odzak, Derventa, Doboj, and
5 the road from Derventa to Prnjavor, and they destroyed a very big bridge
7 And then the Muslims attacked Serbs in Kljuc in the month of
8 April. They killed six soldiers. They had been demobilised and were on
9 their way to Serbia from Knin. They wounded a lot of people. They
10 destroyed a relay, and in Kljuc they killed a deputy commander of the
11 police. They blew up the Avnoj motorway from Petrovac to Kljuc. And
12 then on Kupres in the village of Balavan [phoen], a certain number of
13 Serbs were killed, and then the Croatian army moved to Kupres and killed
14 a total of 57 civilians there. The process was ongoing.
15 In Sanski Most in the village of Hrustovo, several reservists
16 were killed. There was also a conflict in Mahala, I don't know what
17 happened there. And then on the 22nd of April, six reservists were
18 killed in Hambarine. And also on the 26th of April a soldier was killed
19 in Kozarac.
20 On the 30th of May, Muslims attacked Prijedor. And then from
21 Brod to Odzak, camps were established in Novi Grad. Rapes and murders
22 started. And also at the end of April and the beginning of May, crimes
23 started in the valleys of Bosna and Lasva. Muslims torched Serbian
24 villages and they killed children and infirm. They attacked villages
25 such as Drjusa, as far as I remember, Zeleca where everybody was killed,
1 Perin Han also. Let me try and remember some other villages. As a
2 matter of fact, all the villages on the left and right banks from Zenica
3 to Zavidovici and Maglaj.
4 The Yugoslav People's Army troops were killed in Sarajevo as well
5 as in Tuzla. The process of killing and attacking was ongoing. And then
6 in Posavina on Vucak mountain the Serbian population, women and children,
7 30.000 of them were expelled. Their delegation came to see me and asked
8 for assistance. I addressed Radovan Karadzic and I sent that delegation
9 by a small helicopter to Pale to see what could be done.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I thought you were seeking a confirmation
11 that indeed those villages were attacked. Now, do you need all these
12 details? A simple yes, I do understand, is that there were attacks. But
13 if you --
14 MR. LUKIC: I don't mind having all the details since --
15 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Well, you do not mind but --
16 MR. LUKIC: -- it was personal knowledge of this witness.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I do not know. He has not told us anything
18 about personal knowledge about what happened in these attacks. But apart
19 from that, Mr. Lukic, if you say you do not mind to have the details,
20 please be aware of the limited time you have.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
23 Q. [Interpretation] You mentioned all these places, Mr. Kupresanin.
24 All the places that were attacked. What is the source of your
25 information regarding what you have just told us?
1 A. What are my sources? My sources are people. The information
2 that I got. Actually, everything I said is true. Perhaps I did not
3 provide the exact detail -- dates. Maybe there are some differences
4 there. But I heard it all from people. At the time the state of
5 Republika Srpska wasn't functioning, so a number of people in certain
6 areas focused on me thinking that I could provide solutions for all
7 problems, even though I didn't have any command responsibility and I
8 couldn't issue orders to the army. It was all about what happened to the
9 population who were in that area; 30.000 women and children. People who
10 came, they were crying.
11 And then after a few days the supreme commander came, Radovan
12 Karadzic, and General Mladic. On that day on the 2nd of June, the
13 decision was made to breakthrough the corridor. People were -- children
14 were constantly dying. Children, babies were dying in the clinical
15 centre in Banja Luka due to a lack of oxygen. We had no way out. We had
16 to breakthrough a passage towards Yugoslavia, and that was when the
17 decision was made to go through the corridor. That is what my story was
18 about. That's what I was talking about.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] On the fifth page in the English
20 version and page 3 in the B/C/S version. In the English version, it's
21 the fourth box from the bottom. [In English] Third page in English,
22 please. We have to go back. And fifth page in B/C/S. Yes. Third page
23 in English. Fourth box from the bottom on the third page.
24 [Interpretation] And the third boxes from the top in -- on the B/C/S
1 Q. Mr. Kupresanin, you tell Kukanjac:
2 "We won't strip you of your rights if you are working for the
3 general well-being of all peoples."
4 At this time, the Serb side -- you say there were constant
5 attacks in March and April and May, so did the Serb side ask the JNA ever
6 to attack the other two peoples?
7 A. No. We did not ask that in any way. What was it that we were
8 preoccupied with? Since Bosnia and Herzegovina had collapsed. We wanted
9 to protect the ethnic territories inhabited by the Serbian people with
10 the forces that we had in order to prevent them from experiencing the
11 same fate as they did in World War II.
12 Q. Thank you. The Serb politicians at the time, and you were one of
13 them yourself, did they consider this behaviour by the other two sides as
15 A. We knew it was anti-constitutional. We knew all of that. We had
16 to do something about it because the Serb people were being vilified at
17 the time. We were proclared [as interpreted] a national -- an ethnic
18 minority and we were constantly being abused. We didn't have any
19 prospects or any future.
20 Muslims and Croats were working on such a project themselves, the
21 international community was party to this project. There was a decision
22 adopted in Rome that Yugoslavia had to die. This was something that was
23 committed by western Europe. Sometimes we blame Serbs and Muslims and
24 Croats, I personally think that none of those three sides wanted to do
25 it. It was just some political leaders who had come to that area to
1 create war and that was the reason for war. Nobody wanted to see their
2 children killed. We were all wise enough to know that war is terrible,
3 but I think that the international community was the one that really
4 interfered in this situation the most.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you allow again and again the witness to
7 go far beyond what your question is.
8 MR. LUKIC: I --
9 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that you do not might -- mightn't to
10 hear details. Apparently you also do not mind to hear matters which you
11 didn't ask for. But please, it's your time, and ...
12 MR. LUKIC: Can I have D827 now, please. I'm trying really to
13 speed up this.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but --
15 MR. LUKIC: [Microphone not activated] without many things.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You should intervene once the witness -- if he says
17 it was anti-constitutional, he has answered your question. And then to
18 hear ten lines later what -- whether children were killed or not. I
19 mean, that is very important but it's not an answer to your question.
20 It's far from related to it.
21 Please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kupresanin, we are looking at an issue of
24 the Official Gazette of the municipality of Prijedor. It's issue number
25 2/1992 dated the 25th of June 1992. I would like to show you something
1 at the end of this document.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need to look at English page 98
3 and B/C/S page 43. Let's look at 116 in the B/C/S. In the English
4 version, we're looking at this number, 116, but the number is on the
5 previous page.
6 Q. A conclusion was adopted on the 23rd of June, 1992. The Prijedor
7 Municipal Crisis Staff concluded that that Crisis Staff does not accept
8 and considers invalid all the decisions of the Crisis Staff of the
9 Autonomous Region of the Krajina which were adopted before the 22nd of
10 June, 1992.
11 I am not going to go into whether this was implemented later or
12 not. What I want to ask you is this: Are you aware if anyone from the
13 Prijedor municipal Crisis Staff was replaced because of this?
14 A. Throughout the whole time, I have been trying to convince this
15 Honourable Court that what the Crisis Staff was doing was unpunished, and
16 all conclusions they attempted to implement could not do it because of
17 the sanctions, and you can see specifically that nobody in Prijedor could
18 implement decisions of the Crisis Staff. However, Prijedor was specific.
19 It was a state within a state. And all the municipalities in their own
20 way were states within states. Who did the Prijedor municipal leadership
21 listen to? They didn't listen to anyone. Not to the political
22 leadership in the Krajina. Prijedor as such, that municipality, was not
23 part of the Krajina region, which means that it's true that the decisions
24 of the Crisis Staff were ultimately not implemented.
25 Q. Just one moment, please. We're not going to go into it, whether
1 they were implemented or not. The question is: Did you try to replace
2 anybody? Did you ever reach a decision to replace the president of the
3 Prijedor municipality Crisis Staff?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let's look at a Prosecution document,
8 Q. Yesterday, you were talking about the makeup of the Crisis Staff
9 of the ARK.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need to look at the top of the
11 B/C/S page. Could we zoom in on that part, please.
12 Q. We see a decision here about the formation of the Crisis Staff of
13 the Autonomous Region of the Krajina. And you are listed under number 3.
14 Out of these 17 people, was anybody a representative of any of the
15 members of the municipality that were part of the ARK?
16 A. No. I just looked. There is none. I looked at it yesterday,
17 and what I said then was accurate.
18 Q. Can we now look at your interview with the Prosecution marked
19 65 ter 31770. Since you know what document we're talking about, we won't
20 look at the first few pages.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I need to look at page 68 in the
22 English version and then page 100 in the B/C/S version. I don't know how
23 it happened, but I have the wrong page again. But it doesn't matter.
24 Q. Do you recall the Prosecutor asking you yesterday about the
25 situation when you were bringing people out of Manjaca? We saw that
1 document about Sejmenovic that you signed. How did this happen? How did
2 it come about that you went to Manjaca and brought out somebody? Who
3 asked you what did you do, who approved it? Could you please tell us
5 A. This was not Manjaca. It was the Omarska camp.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
7 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I think that's about five questions
8 and not -- not accurately describing that portion of cross-examination.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you split it up, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: Sure.
11 Q. [Interpretation] I mentioned Sejmenovic. I'm going to go back to
12 that. Did you bring somebody out of Manjaca?
13 A. Yes, but I brought Sejmenovic out of Omarska.
14 Q. Yes, all right. But let's go back to Manjaca. Did you bring
15 anybody out from Manjaca?
16 A. I received a number of requests to pardon Muslims and Croats who
17 were in the camp at Manjaca or Omarska. Whenever they would come to see
18 me, I would ask them to sit down. I would give them coffee, juice. We
19 would discuss problems, and then I would say write down the names of the
20 people, their first and last name, their profession, they would do that,
21 and I would pass that on to the Supreme Commander of the army.
22 Q. Please don't answer things that I'm not asking you about. So
23 please listen carefully to what I'm asking you. Those people came to
24 you. They gave you the names. What did you do with those names?
25 A. I passed those names onto the president of the republic,
1 Radovan Karadzic.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 A. And he would answer affirmatively in two, three minutes, or five
4 minutes at the most, and then I would pass that on to the command of the
5 Banja Luka Corps, and then the Banja Luka Corps command would pass it on
6 to Manjaca. That was the procedure in all correspondence regarding the
7 pardons, the abolitions.
8 Q. Did it ever happen that any Muslim or Croat asked you to bring
9 out any Croat or Muslim from Manjaca and that you refused such a request?
10 A. No, I complied with all the requests. I would go through the
11 Banja Luka Corps, and I know that many times Stevo Bogojevic helped me.
12 He was the chief of the police, and he was willing to respond to all such
13 cases, so I didn't have any problems either with the army or with the
15 Q. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us the number, approximately? Are we
17 talking about five or 550 or 300? What's the number of people that you
18 helped to leave Manjaca?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As a matter of fact, I didn't help
20 them. Radovan Karadzic helped them. He was the one who approved these
21 requests for pardon. I don't recall the number of the people now.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, it is pretty clear that you asked for
23 people to be released. You don't recall the number? Approximately. I
24 mean, if you say ten, that could be nine or 11. If you say 50, that
25 could be anything between 40, 45, to 55, 60. But what was the
1 approximate number of people that could leave Manjaca due to your
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps 20. I don't know, 30,
4 perhaps -- I -- I don't know. I'm not sure about the number.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Do you -- do you have, apart from the one, the name
6 you had for Omarska, do you have any names of those who could leave
7 Manjaca through your intervention?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did know some names, I'm going to
9 try to remember. I know a young man who was from Sanski Most, but I
10 don't remember his first and last name. I don't remember the first and
11 last name.
12 JUDGE ORIE: If you remember a name, please tell us.
13 Please, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Kupresanin, did it ever happen that
16 President Karadzic approved the request and somebody's release and that
17 the army rejected that and did not release that man?
18 A. No, it never happened. The army always complied with such
20 Q. And now just briefly let's deal with Omarska and the time that
21 you took Sejmenovic out. Who approved his release?
22 A. I found the head of the camp, I don't remember the first and last
23 name of that person, I know that he was wearing a blue uniform, and all I
24 saw around were mainly blue uniforms. Since he was my deputy, I told the
25 head of the camp that is my wish to meet with all the deputies who just
1 happened to be there. He said that there was one and he said that that
2 was Sejmenovic. I remember his first and last name because we were
3 together for a year and a half in the Serbian parliament. I considered
4 them to be my colleagues and that it was my duty for me to help them to
5 live in better conditions than there were prevailing at that time as far
6 as I could see.
7 So he approved that. I came with him to my office. First of
8 all, I offered to take him with me to my village so that he could fatten
9 up a bit. He was skin and bone. And then he said, I would rather go to
10 Vrbanja to my sister's. I filled a car with food and cigarettes and
11 everything that was needed, and I took him to his sister's place. Then I
12 informed the assembly that I had found Sejmenovic, and the assembly asked
13 to see him. They requested to see him. Milorad Dodik, the president of
14 Republika Srpska, sat with me in the car, Kelecevic, and Mijatovic, and
15 we went to his house. We all greeted him cordially, we spoke with him,
16 and actually I insisted that he becomes a deputy in the Assembly of
17 Republika Srpska, which he refused.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you have ten minutes left. Please
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. We have a lot to cover. Just this: So he refused?
22 A. Yes, he refused. We gave him money. All of us gave him money so
23 that he could have money and we left, and then we would see him
24 constantly after that. He refused to be a deputy. Later --
25 Q. All right. Very well. Thank you. Let us move on. That is
1 sufficient. In the document that we see before us, the OTP's interview
2 with you in 2001.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at page 42 in
4 the English version and page 62 in the B/C/S version.
5 Q. The Prosecution put to you that you changed your statement in the
6 Karadzic trial as compared to this interview that you gave in 2001.
7 Could you please look at line 12 in the B/C/S version here.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In the English version, it's line 35.
9 Q. And you begin your answer. You say in 2001:
10 "Radovan Karadzic personally never told me that" -- "...
11 personally told me that he had nothing to do with that," meaning?
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you say line 35, Mr. Lukic?
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes, in English.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: And what we heard from the interpreters is not
15 what's on line 35.
16 MR. LUKIC: It's -- yeah, line 36.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers].
18 MR. LUKIC: I did read the first two lines. It's line -- what I
19 want to say is that Radovan Karadzic told me personally that he had
20 nothing to do with that.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is line 37.
22 MR. LUKIC: Yeah.
23 Q. [Interpretation] And then you say, you said:
24 "But I had a sense, I had a feeling that the order didn't come
25 from Brdjanin but that it came from somewhere, someone at the top, but I
1 don't know who from."
2 So in the B/C/S version here you said twice that it was your
3 feeling that it had come from somebody up at the top. Did you know then
4 and do you know today - do you know - who established Keraterm and
6 A. I think that this was done by the Crisis Staff or the authorities
7 in Prijedor. Now I am convinced that they did that of their own
8 initiative, and the proof of that is when I brought Sejmenovic to my
9 office with me I had a heated discussion --
10 Q. All right. Just let's leave Sejmenovic for the time being.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, let's also try to avoid again that the
12 witness gives us the conclusions of what he found here and there
13 because --
14 MR. LUKIC: That's what I'm --
15 JUDGE ORIE: -- drawing conclusions is rather for the Chamber.
16 MR. LUKIC: Yeah. That's why I interrupted him.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Did you know Simo Drljaca?
20 A. I beg your pardon?
21 Q. Did you know Simo Drljaca? Did you know who he was?
22 A. I knew. I think that he was the chief the police in Prijedor.
23 Q. Do you know what his role was regarding the establishment of
24 Omarska and Keraterm?
25 A. I think that he was a key figure in all of that. Not only him,
1 but a whole team of people.
2 Q. All right. All right. Let's move on. You were asked about
3 Brisevo on transcript page 29803, line 25 on. Transcript for this case.
4 Let's see what you said in 2001 in the same interview.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at English page
6 63 and B/C/S page 92. We need to look at line 13 in the English version
7 on this page, and in the B/C/S that would be line 22.
8 Q. You were asked by Mr. Mazhar Inayat:
9 "Now when they told that you the soldiers from the VRS were
10 involved in the crimes, did it occur to you that you should inform
11 General Talic about it?"
12 A. I think that I --
13 Q. Just one moment, please. And then you replied:
14 "No, I informed ministers, the minister of the army, for example.
15 It was Ninkovic. I don't know if it was Subotic."
16 My question is, was this the regular line of reporting?
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lukic --
18 MR. LUKIC: Sorry.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- you read or you were interpreted as referring
20 to a person Ninkovic. But I read "Nikolic."
21 JUDGE ORIE: But the original -- the original apparently says
23 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers]
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I didn't see that. Yes, okay. That's fine.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And therefore the translation is -- well, I do not
1 know --
2 MR. LUKIC: It is wrong translation.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Because these are the words of Mr. Kupresanin
4 so I take it that they were spoken in B/C/S and then it's a translation
6 Mr. Traldi.
7 MR. TRALDI: We agree that the original says Ninkovic. But
8 regarding the question, I'd object that it's vague. It's not clear whose
9 regular line of reporting is being asked [Overlapping speakers] --
10 MR. LUKIC: Okay. I [Overlapping speakers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: But there are maybe two different matters: First of
12 all, what Mr. Kupresanin said at the time. Second, how it was recorded
13 in B/C/S. And third, how it was translated in English. And finally, who
14 was at such a position at that point in time. And that's four questions
15 to be distinguished. And I expect the parties to --
16 MR. LUKIC: Okay. I can. Yeah.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Just briefly: Was Ninkovic the minister of the
18 army for a while?
19 A. Yes, for a while. But at that time he was not. Subotic was the
20 minister of the army. Then I wasn't sure and I know now that it was
21 Subotic, not Ninkovic.
22 Q. Thank you. Your regular line of reporting, did it go towards the
24 A. It was logical.
25 Q. Thank you. Mr. Kupresanin, this is all I had to ask you.
1 A. Thank you.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, when you said ministry, your line of reporting,
3 which ministry did you have in mind? Ministry of Defence?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: I just want to thank --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kupresanin, for having answered our questions.
10 That was all we had for you.
11 A. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
13 MR. TRALDI: I do have a few questions for the witness. I think
14 it's less than ten minutes. I'm in the Chamber's hands as to whether to
15 take the break now or afterwards.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber would prefer you to put those questions
18 now because the reasons why we usually have short sessions of one hour
19 is, that reason is not at this moment there.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Further cross-examination by Mr. Traldi:
23 Q. Good morning, sir.
24 A. Good morning.
25 Q. Now you testified this morning at temporary transcript page 9
1 that in April of 1992 there were incidents of conflict in Hambarine, in
2 Kozarac, and involving Serb reservists in Kljuc. The Chamber has
3 received evidence, including evidence from Defence witnesses, that all
4 those events took place in the second half of May 1992. That's the
5 truth, isn't it?
6 MR. LUKIC: I have to object here.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no --
8 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, wait one second, please.
9 Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: I think that he said that there were continuous
11 fighting in March, April, May. That's what I heard. If it's not
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, Mr. -- you -- the objection is that Mr. Traldi
14 misstates the evidence, then you ask the witness to take his earphones
15 off, and then you tell him why you consider him to misstate the evidence.
16 You have done now in the presence of the witness which is not what we
17 expect you to do.
18 Mr. Traldi, in view of what Mr. Lukic just said, could you either
19 rephrase or further clarify your question.
20 MR. TRALDI: I'd rather respond if that's all right,
21 Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
23 MR. TRALDI: At transcript page 9, line 15, the witness said:
24 "Muslims" --
25 And I'd ask that he take his headphone off for the remainder of
1 the discussion, actually.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you take off your earphones for a
3 second, Mr. Kupresanin. Yes.
4 MR. TRALDI: At temporary transcript page 9, line 15, the witness
6 "Muslims attacked Serbs in Kljuc in the month of April. They
7 killed six soldiers. They had been," and the transcript reads,
8 "demotorised" but I believe it's "demobilised."
9 He says several lines later, line 24 of the same page:
10 "On the 22nd of April, six reservists were killed Hambarine, and
11 then on the 26th," and there's a tilde there I think to fill in the
12 place, but that's where I recall him mentioning Kozarac.
13 So in the case of instances that I referred to, in fact the
14 witness had testified that they took place in April, the Chamber has
15 recently received evidence from Defence witnesses including, off the top
16 of my head, Witnesses Vracar and Milojica, that these events took place
17 in the latter half of May. My question correctly stated this witness's
18 evidence and the evidence before the Trial Chamber.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
20 MR. LUKIC: Line 8.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Of page?
22 MR. LUKIC: Of the same page, page 9.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
24 MR. LUKIC: This witness started his answer:
25 "Muslims and Croats had been attacking us for three months from
1 March to May..."
2 And then he continues.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, let's -- yes. [Overlapping speakers].
4 MR. TRALDI: That answer is irrelevant.
5 MR. LUKIC: All the -- [Overlapping speakers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Stop. Stop.
7 Mr. Traldi did not misstate the evidence, although you consider a
8 certain context relevance, which you could have explored in -- no, not in
10 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, I could not.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Well, you could have asked for that.
12 But the witness specifically told about certain events to take
13 place on a specific date. Now whether that was in the context of a
14 larger and ongoing armed conflict is a different matter, but to that
15 extent I think that Mr. Traldi has put to the witness what happened on
16 the 22nd of April and I think that when Mr. Traldi was referring to
17 evidence the Chamber received, he was not talking about the Chamber
18 receiving evidence on an ongoing armed conflict but on specific incidents
19 such as the killing of persons in Hambarine which, if I remember well,
20 but I stand corrected, was not the 22nd of April.
21 MR. LUKIC: Yeah. I can vouch it was 22nd of May.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
23 MR. LUKIC: I can find that.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Fine. So therefore -- when then to -- when they
25 make such a -- Mr. Traldi reflected the evidence carefully and now asked
1 the witness to see whether the 22nd of April may be a mistake, and -- I
2 do see that the parties already agree.
3 MR. LUKIC: Yes, only --
4 JUDGE ORIE: So, therefore -- not the objection is denied.
5 Mr. Traldi may proceed. The witness can put his earphones on
7 MR. TRALDI:
8 Q. Sir, just to briefly and concisely restate my question, the
9 Chamber has received evidence, and it appears the parties are in
10 agreement, that some of the events that you referred to as happening in
11 April in fact happened in the second half of May 1992, and to cut to the
12 chase, I'd just put to you your recollection of specific dates at this
13 point is not completely clear; right?
14 A. Not correct. Kupres was in April, Brod was in March, Kljuc was
15 in April. Sanski Most was in April. Hambarine was in May, as well as
16 Kozarac, as well as Prijedor. I said Brod was in March. The end of
17 April, the beginning of May was the valleys of Bosna and Lasva where
18 Serbian villages were torched from Zenica to Maglaj. That was around
19 that time, yes. I -- I gave you a chronological order, month by month,
20 very correctly.
21 Q. Moving now to the questions you were asked about detention
22 facilities. Regarding Manjaca, at temporary transcript page 17 today,
23 you said you co-ordinated with Stevan Bogojevic and that he was the chief
24 of police. In fact, Colonel Bogojevic was the assistant commander for
25 security and intelligence in the 1st Krajina Corps; right?
1 A. I know that he was chief in the military police, but I don't know
2 much about the hierarchy of command. When I wanted to speak about people
3 in the camp, I turned to him. I submitted information to him, if
5 Q. Regarding now Mr. Sejmenovic, you said among the people that sat
6 in your car with him was someone named Kelecevic. What was Kelecevic's
7 first name?
8 A. Zlatko Kelecevic, he was a teacher of Serbian from Banja Luka.
9 And the other was Jovo Mijatovic from Zvornik. I don't know what he was.
10 By profession he was a deputy. And the third one was Milorad Dodik, the
11 current president of Republika Srpska.
12 Q. Sir, I'm trying to be very efficient. I'd just asked you about
13 one person's first name and I'd ask that you limit yourself to the
14 question. Separately, as the day you went to Omarska you were conveying
15 a message from President Karadzic, and I'd put to you that what you were
16 saying was international press was about to come and he was telling the
17 authorities there, get ready, make sure what they see looks acceptable.
18 The next day, the great majority of prisoners were transferred from
19 Omarska to Manjaca; right?
20 A. I don't know when that group was transferred to Omarska. Radovan
21 told me that those people had been in Prijedor. I don't want to use any
23 Q. Sir --
24 A. He said that they had created a problem --
25 Q. Sir --
1 A. -- and he told me, Mr. Kupresanin, you are a man of good
2 standing, maybe you can exert your influence.
3 Q. Then you mentioned an issue in Banja Luka that some babies had
4 died as a result of lack of oxygen. Now this is a terrible tragedy, of
5 course, and I don't meant to diminish it, this occurred - so I'm asking a
6 very specific question - this occurred in a period of just a couple of
7 days in June 1992; right?
8 A. No, no, no. Before June. The operation to break the corridor
9 was launched on the 2nd of June. Before that, in the months of April and
10 May, the babies died without oxygen because there was no communication
11 with Belgrade and nobody else wanted to help us. Not in June therefore
12 but before June. More specifically, in April and March. Certainly in
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. I stand by that.
16 Q. Very quickly, sir.
17 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 19997.
18 Q. Now, this is an issue of Glas dated the 4th of June, 1992. We
19 see an article that says:
20 "Unless new supplies of oxygen are procured, the lives of babies
21 will be in danger."
22 It's the 4th of June.
23 MR. TRALDI: And if we could have 65 ter 19998.
24 Q. And this is Glas just a couple of days later, dated 8th of June.
25 And we see an article, I believe, it's boxed in the top-right corner,
2 "Yesterday, from Belgrade to Banja Luka, the oxygen has arrived."
3 So I'm suggesting to you this was a problem for a couple of days
4 in June. The results were tragic. But as reflected in these articles,
5 it was a problem for a limited amount of time; right?
6 A. Not correct. I know better than you. It was my problem. I was
7 supposed to deal with it. Not just me, but all of us who were leading
8 the Serbian people. That's why I decided that the corridor had to be
9 broken through if we wanted to survive. Because of the 30.000 people on
10 Vucijak, in Brod, Vucijak. That was the reason, the motive. We had to
11 do it. We were being suffocated by the international community. The
12 intention was clear.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I -- you don't have to tell that you know
14 better than Mr. Traldi because Mr. Traldi is asking you questions, he is
15 not doing anything. What he does is to put to you newspaper articles
16 which suggest that the problem became urgent at the first day, I think it
17 was the 4th day of June or the 2nd.
18 MR. TRALDI: I think the publication was dated the 4th and the
19 article was datelined the 3rd, so in early June.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So that then the problem became very urgent,
21 whereas on the 8th of June it was reported that the
22 International Red Cross and UNPROFOR had -- had managed to -- to -- to
23 provide the oxygen bottles. Therefore, he sees that there is some
24 friction between your explanation and what he reads in this newspaper
25 articles, and that's what he's asking you about, whether you have any
1 explanation as to dates.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Banja Luka, 12 babies were never
3 born or died. On average, two or three were born in Banja Luka. The
4 babies who needed oxygen was low. It was a process that lasted over
5 months, not seven days. Glas was probably belated in bringing news. It
6 didn't happen on either the 1st or the 2nd or the 3rd. Perhaps one baby
7 died on the 3rd. All the other babies died in April and March. But Glas
8 was quite slow in publishing the news about that.
9 MR. LUKIC: Only about the months. I think the second month was
10 not translated and written down correctly. If you can clarify because I
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Perhaps Mr. Traldi you do it. Though I have
13 another problem that we're coming close to the time where -- no, not yet
14 where the --
15 No, please proceed.
16 MR. TRALDI:
17 Q. Sir, you were recorded to say all the other babies died in
18 April and March. Were those the two months you meant to refer to?
19 A. I suppose that it was during those two months. I doubt that
20 anybody died in June as a result of lack of oxygen. The article was
21 written in June, but it all obviously referred to something that happened
22 before that.
23 THE INTERPRETER: And the interpreter confirms that the witness
24 did say in the month of "May," not the month of "March."
25 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear now.
1 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I'd tender these two documents.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 19997 receives exhibit number P7012.
4 Document 1998 receives exhibit number P7013, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: P7012 and P7013 are admitted.
6 MR. TRALDI: And just to focus the limited rest of the
7 examination, I'd understood Mr. Lukic's questions about the Prijedor
8 Crisis Staff decision, which is D827, to focus solely on whether the ARK
9 Crisis Staff dismissed anyone in response, not whether the Prijedor
10 Crisis Staff continued to implement decisions after that date. I
11 understand this was addressed with Witness Mandzic and I'm not going to
12 go back into it if there's no dispute.
13 MR. LUKIC: That's well understood.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And I think you made that clear in the
15 beginning of your question, Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. TRALDI:
17 Q. Then finally, sir.
18 MR. TRALDI: If we could have 65 ter 02366, page 77 in the
19 English, page 53 in the B/C/S. This will be the transcript of the 24th
20 Session of the Republika Srpska Assembly.
21 Q. Now, this morning you said the war in Bosnia was caused by
22 members of the international community. Your position in January 1993
23 was that the war had been necessary for the Serb people to make Bosnia
24 and Herzegovina predominantly a Serb republic; right?
25 A. I did not say that Bosnia and Herzegovina should be a Serbian
1 republic. As a matter of fact, we exhausted all of our political means.
2 We didn't have anything else. So when all the political means are
3 exhausted, you resort to conflict and military means.
4 Q. Sir --
5 A. We did not start the conflict on the 1st of March.
6 Q. Sir, I asked you as of January 1993, what you told the assembly
7 was that your position was that the war in Bosnia was necessary for the
8 Serb people to make it a Serb republic. And we see that here. We see
9 you say:
10 "We say that the war in Bosnia -- the war was not necessary in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina. The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was necessary.
12 Right now, if we were to count the population right now, there would be
13 over a million Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnia and Herzegovina
14 would be predominantly a Serb republic. Is war necessary in Serbia?
15 It's a horrible thing to say that the war would be necessary in Serbia.
16 If Serbia does not go into the war now, then in five, six years, the
17 Albanians and Muslims will entirely legally overtake the power in
18 Belgrade, along with the Serb opposition. This war was necessary for the
19 Serb people."
20 Your position as you informed the assembly of it in January 1993
21 was that the war was necessary for the Serb people to make Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina predominantly a Serb republic; right?
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Then one last question. Is that what you said then,
25 in January 1993?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps some of it is relevant,
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, I'm not talking about relevance. I'm asking
4 you whether the words just read to you were the words you spoke in
5 January 1993.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember when I said this.
7 If I had seen this before, maybe that would have jogged my memory. We
8 did not impose the war on anybody in Bosnia-Herzegovina. We were the
9 ones on whom the war was imposed, and it is probably because of that --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, that's not what I'm asking you. You have
11 stated clearly today that what caused the war to happen, that's evidence
12 you gave today, but we're now focusing on what you said in January 1993.
13 Is it that you don't remember the date that you spoke those
14 words, or is it that you don't remember to have spoken those words?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember the contents of
16 this. I've not seen this document before, at all.
17 JUDGE ORIE: So apparently have you no recollection of having
18 said this.
19 MR. TRALDI: Mr. President, that -- and Your Honours, that
20 completes my questions. This is the Assembly session P6921 is reserved
21 for, and so we'll just make sure it's part of the excerpts.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
23 Any further questions?
24 Questioned by the Court:
25 JUDGE ORIE: I've got one question for you. You've told us that
1 Mr. Sejmenovic, when you took him out of Omarska, was skin and bones.
2 Did he tell you why he had -- he was in that shape?
3 A. He told me that he had been walking around the forest for a
4 month. It was raining every day. And then he got bored and decided to
5 surrender. That was his story. It was in the month of June and, indeed,
6 it did rain every day. I remember that. I was wondering how he could
7 spend a whole month in the forest. I found his behaviour very strange.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I didn't ask you to comment on his
9 behaviour. I asked you what he told you. And you said it was because he
10 had been in the forest and it was rainy.
11 Now, about Manjaca, are you aware of the -- whether sufficient
12 food was provided to those who were kept in Manjaca when you were there?
13 Do you know? If you don't know, tell us; if you do know, tell us what
14 you know.
15 A. I went to place where meat was cut for stews. The meat was
16 fresh, fresh beef, and I could tell that it was prepared in a proper way.
17 I don't know how much food there was. I don't know whether there was
18 enough or not.
19 JUDGE ORIE: So you don't know. You don't know whether there was
20 sufficient for those detained in Manjaca? Thank you. I have no --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- further questions. Have my questions triggered
23 any need? Not.
24 Then, Mr. Kupresanin, this concludes your evidence. I'd like to
25 thank very much for coming a long way to The Hague and for having
1 answered the questions that were put to you by the parties and by the
2 Bench, and I wish you a safe return home again.
3 You may follow the usher.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thank you for having given me
5 this opportunity to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
6 truth, as you put it. I believe that I have told you a lot. It was all
7 the truth, and I congratulate you and thank you.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE ORIE: I'd like to briefly deal with one short matter, that
10 is, associated exhibits for Mr. Kupresanin.
11 In an e-mail dated the 8th of December, the Prosecution
12 communicated it's position regarding some of the associated exhibits
13 tendered by the Defence with the statement of Mr. Kupresanin. We are
14 aware of that. It is typically a kind of a submission which should be
15 clearly on the record, and therefore the Chamber suggests that you file
16 that submission.
17 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, may we could -- I'm sorry for
18 interrupting my learned friend. Maybe we could have the same approach as
19 with the documents of Mr. Lukic: So Mr. Traldi and I sit, we formulate
20 all final versions of the documents and the list.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm quite happy if you find a solution
22 together. At the same time, the 8th of December, and that's --
23 [Overlapping speakers].
24 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers] ... not use two more documents
25 this gentlemen couldn't recognise during his --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I'm happy with any solution you find. At
2 the same time, we want to have a transparent record of the proceedings so
3 therefore you're invited to have it filed as -- the position you at that
4 time communicated to the Chamber.
5 MR. TRALDI: We'll do that, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you.
7 Then we'll take a break. We'll take a little bit of a longer
9 May I take it that Mr. Mladic is waiting to enter the courtroom
10 again --
11 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: -- for the next witness.
13 I take it, Mr. Lukic, that it's perfectly clear to him that this
14 Chamber does not accept any open expression of appreciation of or
15 disapproval with -- any intervention with witness testimony is not
16 accepted by this Chamber.
17 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, you know that we do our best.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. No, no, I'm not --
19 MR. LUKIC: But sometimes for Mr. Mladic, it's not possible to --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Well, whether it's possible or not --
21 MR. LUKIC: -- control himself.
22 JUDGE ORIE: -- we leave that apart for the time being.
23 We'll take a break, and we'll resume at 25 minutes past 11.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 10.59 a.m.
25 [The accused entered court]
1 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, is the Defence ready to call its next
4 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, we are. We are calling our next
5 witness, Mr. Lalovic, and my colleague Stojanovic would lead this
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then I put on the record that Mr. Mladic
8 is present in court again.
9 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Lalovic. Before you give
12 evidence, the Rules require that you make a solemn declaration, the text
13 of which is now handed out to you. May I invite you to make that solemn
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning to everybody in the
17 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
18 and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: SNJEZAN LALOVIC
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lalovic. Please be seated.
22 Mr. Lalovic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Stojanovic. You
23 find him to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
24 Mr. Stojanovic, you may proceed.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lalovic, good day to you.
3 A. Good day.
4 Q. According to our customary procedure, I would like you to tell us
5 your precise first and last name in slow words.
6 A. My name is Snjezan Lalovic.
7 Q. Mr. Lalovic, at any point in time did you give a statement to
8 General Mladic's Defence in written form; and did you reply to the
9 questions that were put to you at that time?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please
12 look at document 65 ter 1D01641.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all extra
14 microphones in the courtroom be switched off, please.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Lalovic, I would like you to look at the screen in front of
17 you where you should see a document, and I would like to ask you to look
18 at that document and to tell us whether on this page of that document we
19 see your signature?
20 A. Yes, we do.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please look at the last
22 page of the document.
23 Q. Mr. Lalovic, is it your signature here on this page that we see,
24 and did you also put in the date in your -- by -- in your own hand?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Thank you. Today, after you have given the solemn declaration
2 that you will speak the truth, would you provide the same answers to the
3 questions, the same questions, if they were put to you, according to your
4 best recollection and knowledge?
5 A. Yes, in essence I would. I wouldn't have much to add or to take
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
9 tender the witness's statement, 65 ter 1D01641. That is the statement by
10 Witness Snjezan Lalovic.
11 MS. BIBLES: No objection.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D01641 receives exhibit number D858,
14 Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] By your leave, Your Honours, I
17 would like to read the summary of the statement of the
18 Witness Snjezan Lalovic.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Witness Snjezan Lalovic has a masters in social sciences and is a
22 journalist. When the war broke out he was in his town of birth, the city
23 of Sarajevo, where he worked at Radio Sarajevo. Since he had to flee
24 from Sarajevo he came to Pale, and that is where he got a job at the
25 newly formed radio and TV station. His job was the job of a journalist,
1 and he remained on that job until the rest of the war.
2 The jobs and assignments he had during the war included reporting
3 from the front, covering the political circumstances, and preparing for
4 daily news, radio, and TV broadcasts, processing news received from
5 different news agencies, and he also monitored current political events
6 and meetings throughout the Republika Srpska. He carried out his work in
7 keeping with the editorial policy of the media company where he was
9 In late May 1995, in the sector of Pale where he lived with his
10 family, dramatic information was received that NATO forces would bomb the
11 town and even the civilian targets in the town itself. The bombing
12 started on the 25th of May, 1995, and the witness recalls that the
13 following day he got an assignment to record members of UNPROFOR who were
14 in Pale. He received the assignment from his editor and during those few
15 days he did not have any contact with General Mladic regarding this
16 particular journalist's assignment.
17 On his way to Pale, on the bridge that they had to cross, he
18 noticed two UNPROFOR members who were tied to the bridge railings.
19 Unknown or unidentified uniformed persons were standing next to them, and
20 he asked their permission to record the scene. When he received this
21 permission, he had a short interview with these people, and this was
22 broadcast in the media.
23 After that, those same uniformed persons told him to record
24 members of UNPROFOR at the radio relay facility in Jahorina because there
25 was a danger that that facility might be targeted. So he took the
1 vehicle together with the cameraman and two members of UNPROFOR, where he
2 went to Jahorina. He found another person in uniform with a balaclava on
3 his head. He recorded his news item. And after briefly staying there,
4 they left the facility altogether.
5 On the way back, nobody said anything ugly or did anything bad to
6 the UNPROFOR members. On the way back, also, General Mladic's name was
7 not mentioned, nor were there any comments that all this was being done
8 pursuant to his orders because that would not be an elementary accurate
10 After returning, he made a brief interview with members of
11 UNPROFOR who were accommodated in VRS facilities at Jahorinski Potok, and
12 then he made a news item about it, when he returned to the offices, and
13 this news item was broadcast in the media. During those few days he did
14 not see General Mladic at all anywhere near the prisoners, and he did not
15 notice any abuse, mistreatment, or threats directed at members of
17 Your Honours, this is the summary of the statement of
18 Witness Snjezan Lalovic, and by your leave I would just like to put a few
19 questions to the witness.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please do. And keep in mind for the next time that
21 a summary should be short.
22 Please proceed.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I will, Your Honour.
24 Could we look at D858, please. And could we please focus on
25 paragraph -- item 1.
1 Q. Mr. Lalovic, you will see paragraph 1 of your statement, and I
2 just wanted to ask you for a brief clarification. We'll just wait until
3 we can see the document in e-court.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Next page in both languages.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we look at paragraph 1,
7 Q. Where you say, among other things:
8 "Since I had to flee the city, I arrived in Pale and started
9 working there."
10 The first thing I want to ask you is this: Are you able to
11 remember the date when you left Sarajevo?
12 A. I left on the 2nd of May, 1992.
13 Q. What did you mean when you said, I had to flee the town, the
15 A. The situation in town was becoming more and more tense. There
16 was shooting in town. Barricades were being erected all around the city.
17 The barricades were set up mostly by people who seemed very dangerous to
18 me. Mostly these were people wearing civilian clothing and carrying
19 weapons. They had revolvers or rifles, at least in the area where I
20 lived. One time I was even asked for identification when I was with my
21 son in my area. These people did not wear any official insignia and were
22 unpleasant, and it was clear to me that these were some sort of
23 paramilitary or parapolice formations, and they did not look nice at all.
24 There were also increasing shortages of food in town. At the
25 time my wife was pregnant. She was expecting a baby, and it was the most
1 logical thing to me that we should leave the town because there was
2 nothing there for us anymore.
3 Q. Thank you. Could we now look at paragraph 6 of your statement.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please be asked to approach
5 the microphone.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Would you come a bit please closer to the
7 microphone, please.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. In paragraph 6 of your statement, Mr. Lalovic, you say:
10 "... sometime towards the end of May, where my family lived at
11 the time, we received the dramatic and troubling news that NATO would
12 bomb the town ..."
13 Could you please explain to the Court a little bit how this news
14 reached you, this information about NATO going to bomb the city?
15 A. At the time, we did not have any Internet on the radio and
16 television. All we had was something that people didn't even know how to
17 use properly. But we did receive news from news agency, Beta and Tanjug
18 mostly. The news items were arriving continuously about the possibility
19 of bombing. There was more and more disquiet amongst us, amongst the
20 population also, and I think that also officials at that time were
21 signalling that this was an option. The atmosphere was very unpleasant.
22 Just the idea that we could be exposed to bombing by the largest military
23 alliance in the world was not pleasant.
24 Q. Where did you live at the time together with your family; very
25 specifically, in Pale?
1 A. It was a weekend settlement, a settlement of weekend cottage,
2 some 700 to 800 metres away from the centre of Pale. If you think of the
3 centre where the church was. Or 300 metres as the crow flies. It was a
4 small weekend cottage.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: This was May of -- end of May of which year, sir?
6 Paragraph 6, May, which year are you talking about?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1995. In May 1995.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Paragraph 6.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Lalovic, thank you for the clarifications.
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, at this moment we
12 have no further questions for Witness Lalovic.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
14 Ms. Bibles, are you ready to cross-examine the witness.
15 MS. BIBLES: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lalovic, you'll now be cross-examined by
17 Ms. Bibles. Ms. Bibles is counsel for the Prosecution.
18 Cross-examination by Ms. Bibles:
19 Q. Good morning.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. In paragraph 11 of your statement, you describe setting out on
22 the 26th of May, 1995 to film prisoners who were UNPROFOR members in Pale
23 municipality. You further describe finding two UNPROFOR members
24 handcuffed to a bridge railing, and you say:
25 "As I remember, there were two unidentified uniformed men with
1 their personnel weapons next to them."
2 Is it your testimony that there were just two soldiers with the
3 UNPROFOR men on the bridge?
4 A. I think I need to explain how things looked, more or less. When
5 I received that task from my editor, I didn't know exactly where those
6 people were. We were told that the bridges could be exposed to a NATO
7 strikes as well as the television building, military facilities, of
8 course, and even some civilian targets. Since in Pale there is only one
9 significant --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'm going to stop you there. Could you
11 be -- focus your answer more on the question. The question was whether
12 it's your testimony that there were just the two soldiers, and explaining
13 to us what rumours were there before it all happened is not needed to
14 answer that question.
15 Could you tell us were just the two soldiers with the men on the
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was just coming to that. When we
18 arrived at that bridge, and that bridge is some 700 to 800 metres away
19 from the television building, on that bridge I saw what I thought were
20 two soldiers or armed men. I don't know who they were. They were very
21 far. And I also two UNPROFOR soldiers who were chained or handcuffed to
22 the bridge.
23 MS. BIBLES:
24 Q. In paragraph 11, you also describe asking for permission to film
25 these men and that you gained their approval. Is it your testimony that
1 these men spoke with you freely and of their own will?
2 A. It was only natural that they were frightened. We were also
3 frightened, needless to say. I didn't force them to give me any
4 statement. One of the two people addressed them. My English is very
5 basic. People started gathering. It became noisy. A few minutes later
6 there were more than just those two men, and he told them something along
7 those lines: You need to give a statement. I put a question to an
8 UNPROFOR member. I believe that he was from Ghana, if my memory serves
9 me well. He provided the answer he did.
10 Q. I'd like to play --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, before we put any further question. You
12 said he told them something along those lines. Who is "he" in this
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One of the members or, rather, one
15 of those armed people who were there guarding them.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Thank you. Please proceed.
17 MS. BIBLES:
18 Q. Do you believe that he may have been a VRS soldier from Canada,
19 the man who spoke with these men in English?
20 A. First of all, I don't know whether he was a VRS soldier because
21 they did not have official VRS insignia, as far as I can remember. And I
22 really don't know whether he was from Canada.
23 Q. Sir, the reason I'm asking you these questions --
24 A. He spoke Serbian.
25 Q. Okay. The reason that I'm asking you these questions is that
1 this Chamber has considered the evidence of Griffin Evans in which he
2 describes that on 26th of May, 1995, he and another UNPROFOR colleague
3 experienced many difficult things. At one point he describes that they
4 were handcuffed to a bridge in Pale where they were threatened by many
5 soldiers. Evans specifically described seeing you speak with a VRS
6 soldier that he identifies as being Canadian, and then being told by that
7 same Canadian soldier that he was to make a statement for Pale TV in
8 which he was to accuse NATO of bombing civilian targets. He describes
9 being threatened with harm if he said something different than this, and
10 then he was interviewed by you. Do you stand by at this time knowing
11 those facts the voluntariness of the statement that this witness made to
12 you on tape?
13 A. I only asked which one of them would give the statement, which
14 one of them would speak. And then I was told that a soldier from Ghana
15 would give a statement and -- and answer questions. I don't remember his
16 name. And as for the atmosphere, it was really heated.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, could you assist me in -- you asked the
18 witness about whether the statement was given voluntarily. I think the
19 witness didn't answer that question. He only said that he did not force
20 them to give that statement. He didn't express himself on that. So I'm
21 wondering what you seek confirmation of, where the witness had not
22 answered that question?
23 MS. BIBLES: I believe I was perhaps going further than I need to
24 with respect to his statement in paragraph 11, where he indicated he
25 asked for permission and gained approval suggesting the voluntariness --
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, okay. That is a suggestion the witness --
2 Did you personally ask for permission, Witness?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I first arrived there, I
4 introduced myself as a journalist of Serbian TV, and I asked the armed
5 men approval to record the image of the people who were handcuffed to the
6 bridge. And they said that I could. And later I also sought approval to
7 talk to them, to take a statement from them, because it seemed to be of
8 some significance for television. And then after some discussion, they
9 told me that the gentleman from Ghana would, indeed, give me a statement.
10 MS. BIBLES: I'd like to play about 30 seconds of a video.
11 That's P2556. And after the video --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so, Ms. Bibles, reading paragraph 11 it
13 seems pretty unclear, but perhaps the matter has been verified by now.
14 Who gave that permission? Reading paragraph 11 in full context,
15 it is not the interviewed persons apparently. And in your question you
16 suggested, or at least you drew a conclusion from 11, that it would have
17 been the interviewed persons who would have given their permission, which
18 is -- at least I do not find in paragraph 11. Rather, the contrary. So
19 to that extent it misrepresents a certain sense the evidence as we find
20 it in the statement.
21 But the witness has clarified it that he obtained permission from
22 the two armed men who were with the UNPROFOR soldiers.
23 Please proceed.
24 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
25 And if we could now play, Your Honour, P2556. We'll play from
1 3 minutes, 3 seconds, to 3 minutes, 38 seconds. And we have played this
2 previously. I don't believe there's any need to play it twice.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Let's have a look at it. And the transcripts have
4 been provided to the booth?
5 MS. BIBLES: Yes. There's not much in the way of audio that's of
6 meaningful value; but yes.
7 [Video-clip played]
8 MS. BIBLES:
9 Q. Sir, first, do you recognise yourself in this footage?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Are you the man wearing the brown jacket?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And all of the footage that we've seen here, is this the bridge
14 upon which you conducted the interview?
15 A. It is.
16 Q. And the man who is kneeling down talking to Evans, is this the
17 individual that you've been -- that you were describing, is he the one
18 you obtained permission from?
19 A. I see a few individuals in this still. When we arrived there,
20 there were only two. He talked to those men probably about what they
21 should say. I --
22 Q. Sir --
23 A. I understand your question.
24 Q. [Overlapping speakers]
25 A. And he could have been the one in charge of the exchange between
1 myself, and there's another journalist there, and those men who were
2 handcuffed to the bridge because his command of English was good.
3 Q. And, sir, I'd lake to move on now to paragraph 13 where you
4 describe that you finished this filming, and I believe you've -- it's
5 been mentioned this morning that you were directed. I believe the quote
7 "Later one of the uniformed men told me that we should film a
8 member of UNPROFOR at the radio relay facility on Jahorina because there
9 was a chance that NATO aircraft would fire on this facility."
10 You then describe being given an ATV. So is this the same day,
11 the 26th of May, 1995?
12 A. First of all, it was not an armoured vehicle. It was an all
13 terrain vehicle.
14 Q. I'm sorry.
15 A. And it was on the same day, yes.
16 Q. I'm sorry, ATV, I meant "all terrain vehicle," not "armoured
17 vehicle." I think that was my mistake, sir. But was it the same day? I
18 guess that's the point I'm trying to make. Do you recall actually doing
19 two interviews at this radio relay facility, one on the 26th of May and
20 one on the 27th of May?
21 A. No. The only interview I conducted was on the 26th of May. When
22 that thing happened on the bridge, on that same [as interpreted] we went
23 to the radio relay station or whatever that was.
24 Q. And, sir, you specifically describe that the UNPROFOR men were
25 from Poland and Brazil; correct?
1 A. I remember that.
2 Q. Did you, sir --
3 A. Actually one -- yes, yes. Yes.
4 Q. Sir, the Trial Chamber has heard from UNPROFOR members about
5 being filmed at Jahorina. They have heard from Colonel Kalbarczyk, that
6 he was taken to this location twice. The first time was on the 26th of
7 May with an UNPROFOR member, a Canadian. He then identifies that the
8 next day he was taken to Jahorina and interviewed again with an UNPROFOR
9 member from Brazil. Does that refresh your memory, that perhaps there
10 were actually two times that interviews were conducted at Jahorina?
11 A. I was with them only once, and there were also UNPROFOR members
12 from Brazil and there was a member from Poland. I don't know whether he
13 was Polish. But he told me he was a Pole, yeah.
14 Q. Sir, I'd like to go finally to paragraph 6 of your statement.
15 And paragraph 9. In paragraph 9 of your statement, you say, with respect
16 to filming the UNPROFOR individuals:
17 "In addition, these reports were supposed to serve to fend off
18 further NATO bombings."
19 Now this Trial Chamber has considered testimony and documents
20 relating to this time-period that are fairly extensive; specifically,
21 they have considered the testimony of General Rupert Smith as well as
22 documents that were created during this time-period regarding
23 communications between General Smith and Ratko Mladic on the 26th of May,
25 In two of these communications, one was a message and one was a
1 phone call that General Smith had with Ratko Mladic, Ratko Mladic refers
2 to killing UNPROFOR members on TV. Now you would agree that you would
3 have been one of the TV reporters with the -- with the UNPROFOR
4 individuals that day; correct?
5 A. I apologise, I did not understand you. If I understood you
6 properly, you mentioned killing UNPROFOR members? Is that what you said?
7 Is that --
8 Q. Perhaps I -- perhaps --
9 A. Is that what you meant?
10 Q. Yes. The communications that this Trial Chamber has considered
11 in the testimony is that Ratko Mladic advised General Smith that if NATO
12 continued their bombings, that he could watch TV and watch the killing of
13 UNPROFOR members.
14 Now would you agree that you were with UNPROFOR members at sites
15 that would have been NATO targets on the 26th of May, 1995, then?
16 A. I was with them. And I could have been killed together with
18 Q. So, sir, finally with respect to paragraph 9 of your statement,
19 would you agree when you refer to the fact that the TV reports, your
20 reports, were supposed to serve to fend off further NATO bombings, that
21 this means that the United Nations Military Observers were taken in order
22 to influence the actions of NATO; specifically, to stop them from bombing
23 VRS locations. Correct?
24 A. Well, I suppose that it would have been logical.
25 Q. Well, that's what you mean in your statement in paragraph 9;
2 A. Not just that. We were with them especially on Jahorina for a
3 very short period of time because we saw NATO aircraft flying over, and
4 we were afraid that we could become their target. They left the area
5 very quickly together with us. Actually, it was a trick. It was a ploy
6 to show that they're up there so that people would seek shelter and move
7 to a safer place.
8 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I have no further questions for this
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Bibles.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE ORIE: I would have one or two questions for you.
13 The last question that was put to you by Ms. Bibles is answered
14 in, what is for me, a bit of an ambiguous way. You said it was a trick.
15 It was to show that they are, so that people could seek shelter and move
16 to a safer place.
17 Now in your statement, you give two aims for the reporting: One
18 was to inform the public, the general public, and I understand that it
19 would be for the general public to seek shelter and move to a safer
20 place. But you also said:
21 "In addition these reports were supposed to serve to fend off
22 further NATO bombings."
23 Do you still stand by that second purpose, as you mentioned it in
24 your statement in paragraph 9.
25 A. In the first part of your question, you say that my objective was
1 to inform the people that we removed them. It was not about them being
2 removed from somewhere. The objective was to show them being tied to
3 certain targets.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, I thought I just repeated your words and
5 your statement.
6 But focusing now then on the second part of my question, do you
7 still stand by your statement where you say that these reports were
8 supposed to serve to fend off further NATO bombings; that is, to convince
9 them that they shouldn't bomb those places where UNPROFOR people were
10 kept and tied?
11 A. We were exposed to the bombardment of the biggest military
12 alliance and those --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, Witness, please an answer to my question:
14 Whether you still stand by that the purpose, the other purpose of these
15 reports was to ensure that there would be no further NATO bombings.
16 A. I can't answer by just yes or no. I have to tell you that every
17 piece of informations has a message to convey, and the message of that
18 piece of information was, inter alia, to fend off NATO aircraft and to
19 prevent them from targeting Republika Srpska.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. By showing those UNPROFOR people and
21 suggesting that they might hit their own people. Is that well
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Them and myself equally.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that. Then I have one final question.
25 You said in paragraph 21:
1 "I did not see any abuse, maltreatment, or threats against
2 UNPROFOR members. Tying someone or chaining them to a bridge, is that
3 included in not seeing any abuse, maltreatment, or would you say apart
4 from them being chained to or -- as you didn't see any other
5 maltreatment, or do you consider this not to be maltreatment or abuse, to
6 chain someone to a bridge?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We will all agree that handcuffing
8 anybody to anything was one sort of ill-treatment. When I say that there
9 was no ill-treatment, I meant that nobody beat those people, that nobody
10 physically ill-treated them.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's clear to me now.
12 I have no further questions.
13 Mr. Stojanovic, any questions in re-examination?
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one question, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lalovic, to the best of your recollection
18 how much time did you stay on the radio relay hub on Jahorina together
19 with those UNPROFOR members?
20 A. We didn't stay there long. I can't tell you that it was either
21 five or ten minutes because I can't remember. But we were there for a
22 very short period of time. We wanted to leave as quickly as possible
23 because above us, and you will see it in the recording, NATO aircraft
24 were already flying. And we were afraid. We were really scared. So we
25 thought that it was in the best interests of all of us, of us and the
1 people who were with us, to leave as soon as possible.
2 Q. Thank you. I will finish with the question that was suggested to
3 me in the meantime. That facility where you shot that video-clip, did it
4 end up being destroyed by NATO?
5 A. Yes, I believe that it was later hit and destroyed. I don't know
6 whether it was that same facility or a facility nearby because I believe
7 that there were several towers. I don't know whether that one was hit or
8 some other, but I know that I saw a video-clip depicting that facility
9 being destroyed.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lalovic. On behalf of the Mladic Defence team,
11 thank you very much.
12 JUDGE ORIE: One last question to you.
13 Unless Ms. Bibles would have any further questions.
14 If you said we were afraid to go there to Jahorina at all, why
15 didn't you stay inside somewhere where you were safe? Why did you go
16 there anyhow?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was my assignment. I was to
18 record UNPROFOR members, those who were chained to those facilities, and
19 I was supposed to carry out that assignment to accomplish it.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Any further questions?
21 This then concludes your --
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: I just have a few questions.
23 Further questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Now, I'm not quite clear I understand what you're
25 saying, sir. In paragraph 13 you say that:
1 "Then he brought two UNPROFOR members, gave me an all-terrain
2 vehicle, and told me to go with them to the top of Jahorina and film a
3 conversation with them."
4 Now you're getting instructions here from one of the two soldiers
5 who were on the bridge to take these two people who were tied to the
6 bridge to the top of Jahorina. That was not your original mission. Your
7 original mission was to come and film what was taking place on the
9 Now, it looks to me like now you were doing the job of the
10 soldiers. First they give you a car, and then they ask you to take two
11 people to the top of Jahorina, and at the top of Jahorina you find
12 somebody in a balaclava who is expecting you. So you were running -- at
13 this point you were running an errand for the police; is that correct?
14 You were not filming what you found them doing. You are causing the
15 people to do something so that you can film them.
16 A. That is not correct. First of all, it was not my assignment to
17 record UNPROFOR soldiers on the bridge. I didn't know they were at the
18 bridge. Only once I left the building while I was looking and assuming,
19 because that was the only important bridge in Pale, I went to that
20 bridge. It wasn't my assignment to go to the bridge because I didn't
21 know where they were.
22 Secondly, when those people were, brought the Brazilian and the
23 Pole, and we got there in a small vehicle -- and as far as I know the
24 road to Jahorina is a macadam road and our small vehicle couldn't have
25 covered that road, and I wasn't sure of the road to Jahorina anyway.
1 They gave us a vehicle where two members of UNPROFOR were placed, and
2 there was an UNPROFOR vehicle of those people who were in the vehicle.
3 So I didn't go there because of them. I did go with them but I didn't
4 drive these people around Jahorina.
5 Thirdly, the things that they told me, that I considered to be
6 information and not any kind of order.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, sir. There are two things I would like to
8 show you. In paragraph 8 of your statement you say:
9 "The following day I was given a task by the editorial desk to
10 film prisoners of war who were UNPROFOR members in Pale municipality."
11 As a result of that, you travelled to Pale and got to this
12 bridge. When you got to this bridge, this is what you say in your own
13 statement -- just listen to me.
14 A. I was in Pale already.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Fair enough. But then when you got to this bridge
16 in paragraph 13 you say:
17 "Then he brought two UNPROFOR members, gave me an all-terrain
18 vehicle, and told me to go with them to the top of Jahorina and film a
19 conversation with them."
20 You are being told this by the soldier on the bridge, and he is
21 actually giving you an all-terrain vehicle to do so. And then return
22 them here. You're supposed to return them to him.
23 A. I told you why he gave me an all-terrain vehicle, because we came
24 in a luxury car, sedan, and that car would not be suitable for the
25 macadam road.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's right. And he was sending you.
2 A. We couldn't fit ten or more of us in one vehicle. And he
3 informed me that they would -- they could have been placed in a different
4 vehicle, but they put them in the vehicle where the cameraman and I
5 happened to be in.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me stop --
7 A. I mean, they could have been put in a vehicle that was behind us.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Let me stop you. I'm not concerned about the car.
9 I'm concerned about the errand you are doing. The errand you were
10 undertaking from the bridge to the Jahorina top was an errand that you
11 were given by the soldiers on the bridge, not by your editorial -- not
12 your editorial staff.
13 A. No. That was information that they gave me.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay. I have no further [Microphone not
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was information that I
17 received. And on the basis of that information in the same way that I
18 received information --
19 JUDGE ORIE: No, Witness. Witness, first of all, I think
20 Judge Moloto had thanked you for your answer.
21 May I draw your attention that the language of paragraph 13 is
22 quite different. It is not they informed me that they would go there and
23 there, but the language is told me to go with them to the top and then
24 return them here, which means that you are giving instructions on what to
25 do and to deliver the UNPROFOR members back to where you had taken them
1 from. That language is not fully consistent with the evidence you are
2 giving today. Any comment?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that that is a matter of
4 interpretation. I gave the solemn declaration here that I would speak
5 the truth, and what I have told you is how it was, and, in any event,
6 this is something that the footage confirms as well. I didn't go up
7 there independently, I did have an escort of armed persons, and I did not
8 drive people upon anybody's orders but pursuant to information that they
9 would be up there.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, we'll stop you there.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Indeed is a matter of evaluation of the evidence. I
13 do agree with that. You've answered my question. You have brought to
14 our attention that you have given a solemn declaration and you have told
15 us the truth. I add to that that you have, after having given that
16 solemn declaration, also attested to the truthfulness of what is in your
17 written statement. But that sufficiently clarifies the issue. Any
18 further questions? No further questions.
19 Then this concludes your testimony, Mr. Lalovic. I'd like to
20 thank you very much for coming a long way to The Hague and for having
21 answered all the questions that were put to you, and I wish you a safe
22 return home again.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, and I hope that my
24 testimony has contributed to shedding light on some situations that are
25 of dispute, and I hope it has contributed to the work of the United
1 Nations, and I believe that the United Nations is still the highest
2 placed body in this respect.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'm not -- yes. I'm -- it's appreciated
4 what you said, although we're not used to listen to even short speeches,
5 but I think you tried to use nice words.
6 You may follow the usher.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 JUDGE ORIE: I think it would be best to take the break first and
11 then start the testimony of the next witness after the break.
12 We will resume at ten minutes to 1.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.54 p.m.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Could the next witness be escorted in the courtroom.
16 That next witness would be Mr. Jesic?
17 MR. IVETIC: That's correct, Your Honour. No protective
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll wait for the witness to be escorted into
20 the courtroom.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Jesic. Before you give
23 evidence, the Rules require that you make a solemn declaration. The text
24 is handed out to you. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 WITNESS: MARIJAN JESIC
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated, Mr. Jesic.
5 Mr. Jesic, you'll first be examined by Mr. Ivetic. You find him
6 to your left. Mr. Ivetic is a member of the Defence team of Mr. Mladic.
7 Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
8 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
9 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
10 Q. Good day, sir. Could you please first give us your full name so
11 that it can be entered into the record.
12 A. My name is Marijan Jesic.
13 MR. IVETIC: If I can ask for 65 ter number 1D1699 to be called
14 up in e-court. And I believe we have a hard copy for the witness, if
15 that could be provided to him with the help of the usher.
16 Q. Sir, can you tell us if you recognise the signature that we see
17 on the first page of this document?
18 A. Yes, that is my signature.
19 MR. IVETIC: And if we can please turn to the last page in
20 e-court in both versions.
21 Q. And, sir, we have a signature on this page. Can you tell us
22 whose signature is visible here?
23 A. It's my signature.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, do you recall after -- after signing the
25 statement, did you have an occasion to read and review the same in the
1 Serbian language, check, and see if everything is accurately reflected in
2 the statement?
3 A. Yes. I had the opportunity to read it, and I pointed out certain
4 errors that I found here.
5 Q. We'll go through them one by one.
6 MR. IVETIC: I'd first like to look at page 3 in both languages
7 and paragraph 11. If I can -- actually, I think we have the statement of
8 the last witness up on the screen. If I can have -- I'll check to make
9 sure this is 1D1699.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What we have on the screen now is the previous
11 witness, but ... there we have the statement of the present witness.
12 MR. IVETIC: Okay. If we can to page 3 in both versions of this.
13 Q. And in paragraph 11 of the same, what correction do you wish to
14 make in relation to the location you were first dragged to?
15 A. About the location of the mechanical engineering school, but
16 actually it's the teachers' school of economy -- economics.
17 Q. Okay. And if we can look at paragraph 13 on the next page of
18 both versions of your statement, do you have a correction as to the name
19 of the canal that is referenced in this paragraph?
20 A. I do have a correction, yes. The name of the canal is Berek with
21 a K, not Bereg with a G.
22 Q. Okay. And if we can look at paragraph 18 which can be found on
23 page 5 in both languages. Here, sir, you identify two uncles named
24 Radulovic that perished in Jasenovac. Do you have additional information
25 about either your own relatives or your wife's family that also perished
1 in Jasenovac?
2 A. Yes. I would add to my uncles -- with the Court's leave, I have
3 a list in my pocket, it's a long list, so if I'm allowed to take it out
4 or I can provide it, submit it to the Court, the list that I wrote out.
5 JUDGE ORIE: If you wait for a second.
6 Mr. Ivetic, you were seeking for the witness to present that list
8 MR. IVETIC: That's correct. It's a list of family members by
9 name and date of birth that perished in Jasenovac. We can either have
10 the witness read them into the record or provide the handwritten list to
11 the Court, whichever is Your Honours' preference.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Well, yes. The usual way, of course, is that you
13 would tender that list and then perhaps then ask the witness.
14 Perhaps it's best to put the list on the ELMO, that it will be
15 returned to you, that you upload it into e-court, and that you then
16 tender it. That seems to be the most appropriate way of dealing with it.
17 Could the usher assist in using the ELMO so that we can have a
18 look at the list.
19 If you would give the list, Witness, to the usher, then the usher
20 will put it on the ELMO.
21 Yes. Mr. Usher, could you move it up so that we can see whether
22 we have the whole of the list or whether we have -- I'd say move it a
23 little bit -- yes, zoom out. That's also a solution for the -- zoom out
24 so that we can see the whole of the document. Yes. And would you be now
25 so kind to turn it so that we can also see the other side of the
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] But there is more.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then the back of this document, because
4 there appears to be some text on it as well.
5 What is on the back of this document as we see it now on our
6 screen, Witness?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Cousins that died in Jasenovac:
8 Stana, Stoja, Kosa, Stevanja, Bosicka, they were all Trivics. And then
9 on the right side, Branko, Mikailo, Ostoja, Stojan, Slavko, Djuro.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now what we saw on the other sides, on the
11 yellowish part of the paper, what is found there? And perhaps we can
12 have a look at ...
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps we can look at the first
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. What have you written down there?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It says here my father
17 Milan Mile Jesic, born in 1929, he died in 2012, and these are his
18 relatives, uncles and cousins who died in Jasenovac: Pero Jesic, born in
19 1804, died in Jasenovac in 1942. Then Janjetovic --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jesic, you don't have to read it all. I take it
21 that you made a mistake --
22 THE WITNESS: Okay.
23 JUDGE ORIE: -- when you said 1804. It looks to me as if it's
24 1894. And then you say these are family members. Some of them have
25 died -- your father died in 2012. There some others are -- are -- have
1 died in 1942. And then the last four lines, could you tell us what we
2 find there?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The surname Jesic is from the same
4 line as the surname Janjetovic, but they decided themselves after
5 World War II about who will take up the last name Jesic and who will take
6 up the last name of Janjetovic because the records of the registry of
7 birth were burned.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Could we now have a look at the other
9 yellowish where we looked already at the back.
10 You don't have to read it all out, but I see for under number 1
11 there seems to be reference to a person who may have been born in 1885
12 and died in 1942; is that correct?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And then I similarly see apparently what to seems to
15 be a relatively young child born in 1939, died in 1942. Is that well
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Under number 3, we find another person which seems
19 to have been born in 1928. And could you tell us what was the fate of
20 that person?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Those people were taken out of the
22 column out of the Jasenovac camp, and then they were taken again to
23 forced labour by the Ustashas.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak into the
1 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, first of all could you speak in the
2 microphone. And when you say they were taken out of the column, what --
3 at what -- in what year did that happen?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This happened in 1942.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So the documents together give a short family
6 history with when people were born and when they were died -- when they
7 have died, part of them during the Second World War and part of them only
8 in the 1990s of the last century. Is that correctly understood?
9 Then would you mind that it be given to the Defence so that it
10 can be uploaded in electronic format so as to become part of the record
11 of this trial, if the Defence decides to tender them?
12 You're nodding yes. That means that you give your consent?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I consent, yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Usher, could you please give it to the Defence.
15 I take it that the originals may be returned later on to the
16 witness, Mr. Ivetic.
17 MR. IVETIC: That's correct, Your Honours. I will scan it, have
18 it sent to CLSS to get a translation, and then upload both and return it
19 to Your Honours. Should we reserve a number for that, though, or --
20 JUDGE ORIE: No, let's wait until --
21 MR. IVETIC: Wait. Okay.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, the witness has explained what it is. These
23 are his personal notes.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. IVETIC: Thank you.
1 Q. Mr. Jesic, apart from the modifications and corrections that we
2 have just gone through in court, do you affirm that everything else in
3 your statement is accurate as written?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If I were to ask you today some questions on the same topics as
6 in your statement, would your answers in substance be the same as in the
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Since you have taken a solemn declaration today to tell the
10 truth, can we take it that your answers as written in the statement are
11 truthful in nature?
12 A. Yes, they are truthful. Only truthful.
13 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours the Defence would tender 1D1699 into
14 evidence as a public exhibit. There are no associated exhibits.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Jeremy.
16 MR. JEREMY: Good afternoon, Your Honours. No objection.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D01699 receives exhibit number D859,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: D859 is admitted into evidence.
21 MR. IVETIC: Okay. Your Honours, I have a short summary of the
22 witness's statement to be read.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
24 MR. IVETIC: The witness was mobilised as a member of the TO in
25 the beginning of 1992 and was tasked with distributing food with a truck.
1 On 30 May 1992, the witness was delivering food on his normal
2 route when Muslim units attacked the city of Prijedor. The witness saw a
3 dead military policeman at the reserve officers' club where strangely he
4 saw no one else when on previous days everyone would come to the truck
5 when he arrived.
6 On his way back to the airport, he passed by the Prijedor SJB and
7 saw three or four dead persons. An armed man in uniform with a green
8 ribbon around his head fired at the witness, hitting the witness and
9 causing him to fall out of the truck. Thereafter, the Muslim soldier
10 shooting at him dragged the witness to the vicinity of the schools where
11 another person was lying on his stomach. Another Serb was then brought
12 and their hands tied behind their backs. None of the Muslims provided
13 medical assistance to the witness.
14 As the Muslims took them through a park towards the bridge over
15 Berek canal, they received incoming fire. After crossing the canal, the
16 Muslim soldier fired again on the witness. Thereafter, the wounded
17 witness was rescued by Serb forces.
18 The witness says Serb people in Prijedor feared the same thing
19 would happen to them in this war as happened in Jasenovac when several of
20 the witness's relatives were killed.
21 That completes the summary.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
23 MR. IVETIC:
24 Q. Sir, I'd like to look at paragraph 13 of your statement.
25 MR. IVETIC: That should be found on page 4 of both the
2 Q. Now in this paragraph, where this is all happening, you say it is
3 a part of the city predominantly inhabited by the Muslims. Can you tell
4 us if this part of the city was called by any other names, referred to by
5 locals by any other names?
6 A. Yes, Stari Grad. It is true that it was inhabited by Muslims.
7 99 per cent of the population there were Muslims.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. IVETIC: Now if we could turn to page 5 in both languages,
10 I'd lake to focus on paragraphs 18 and 19 again.
11 Q. Now, you have identified persons that were -- that perished in
12 Jasenovac. Can you clarify for us who it was that killed them during the
13 Second World War?
14 A. Yes, I can. Because as you will see in the list that I have
15 provided to the Trial Chamber, that my mother-in-law survived the ordeal.
16 The people who did that were Ustasha, the military of the independent
17 state of Croatia.
18 Q. And geographically, how far is Jasenovac from Prijedor
20 A. About 40 kilometres.
21 Q. And now you've detailed for us the personal toll that your family
22 and your wife's family experienced in Jasenovac. How did that compare to
23 the experience of others in Prijedor of Serb ethnicity during World War
25 A. If we're talking about the experiences of the people I am
1 surrounded with, all of them either know or knew somebody who was killed
2 in Jasenovac. As I've told you, Prijedor is some 40 kilometres away from
3 Jasenovac. However, my relatives live even closer, at some 25 kilometres
4 from Jasenovac. And my wife and her family live about 12 kilometres away
5 from Jasenovac. So very close.
6 Q. And, sir, why did the Serb people of Prijedor fear the same thing
7 would happen to them in the war that occurred during the 1990s?
8 A. A war was in the offing, and they feared the repetition of the
9 scenario from the Second World War. And I am talking about my friends,
10 the people that I had spoken to.
11 Q. Now I'd like to turn to page 3 of your statement and look at
12 paragraph number 11. At the time that you were fired upon when you were
13 in your vehicle by the Bosnian Muslim soldier, were you armed?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And while you were in the custody of the Bosnian Muslim soldiers
16 going through the various locations in Stari Grad leading up to the
17 canal, did you hear or see evidence of any combat?
18 A. Yes. Close by, very close to the school where we were kept, the
19 three of us had been brought to a classroom and we found two other people
20 already there, there was constant shooting all the time.
21 Q. How long did your ordeal last? That is to say, how long were you
22 in the custody of these Bosnian Muslim soldiers in and around Stari Grad?
23 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly how long. Approximately
24 half an hour, up to an hour. When we were first captured, we were
25 prostrated on the plateau before the teachers high school, and then for
1 about an hour, up to an hour we were tied in the machine engineering
2 school. And then as they were withdrawing towards Berek and Stari Grad,
3 they used us as a human shield. They dragged us along facing the side
4 from which Serb soldiers were shooting, and that may have lasted for up
5 to an hour.
6 And then when we arrived at Berek and when a Muslim soldier
7 ordered me to cross the canal, their soldier crossed before me, and as I
8 was crossing, that soldier turned around and fired a bullet into my head.
9 From then onwards, I don't know what was going on.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Given your earlier corrections, is it still the
11 engineering school or the school of economics? I see you're referring to
12 the machinery school here, engineering school.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When we were first captured, I was
14 taken in front of the school of economics on a plateau there where we
15 were guarded by three soldiers, and then we were transferred to the
16 machine engineering school, to another classroom. And there we found two
17 other men.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
19 MR. IVETIC:
20 Q. Sir, where did you undergo medical treatment for your injuries
21 and how long did the treatment and recuperation from those injuries last?
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, is that not already in the statement? I
23 remember two years, Belgrade. Or in the ...
24 MR. IVETIC: That's correct. I apologise. I see that on the
25 last page, so I do not need to ask that question.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
2 MR. IVETIC:
3 Q. I'll then just end by thanking you, Mr. Jesic, on behalf of
4 General Mladic and the rest of my team, for answering the questions we
5 posed to you today.
6 MR. IVETIC: And now that completes our direct examination,
7 Your Honours.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Where in your head did the bullet strike you, sir?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Here. That's when I was crossing
10 the Berek canal, and before that two bullets I had in the back, one
11 directly in the spine where it shattered, and I have about 50 pieces of
12 shrapnel in the cervical part of the spine. I was also wounded in the
13 left arm, in the left shoulder blade, and I suppose that that was the
14 reason why I fell out of the truck. But I would also like to say that
15 the bullet that hit me here and where about 8 centimetres of my jaw are
16 missing, that was while I was crossing the canal and that's when the
17 Muslim soldier shot me. He [Realtime transcript read in error "I"]
18 simply turned around and fired at me.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thanks.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I have a very short question for you. You
21 describe in your paragraph 15 of your statement how your body was still
22 half in the water and that you were lying on your stomach and that you
23 heard a strong detonation, and then you said:
24 "I saw a Serb tank fire a shell."
25 What should I -- I'm trying to imagine what it looked like. You
1 are lying half in the water, under a bridge, and where did you see that
2 tank? Did you see that -- was that very near to where you were or ...
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That passage to Stari Grad is
4 actually connected to a bridge. On the side of the bridge where the
5 entrance to Stari Grad, there are two buildings as wide as the bring.
6 That tank arrived at the bridge and fired a round. I was in the water
7 below the bridge, some 10 metres from the shore, so I could see it. That
8 bridge is not high because it's over a canal, so that bridge is not very
9 high above the water.
10 JUDGE ORIE: So the Serb tank was very close to where you were,
11 and you were more or less in the midst of combat activity, is that -- was
12 that the situation?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
15 MR. IVETIC: If I may one intervention for the transcript. I'm
16 told at temporary transcript page 72, line 25, the witness said "he
17 turned around and shot me," whereas the transcript reflects "I turned
18 around and shot me."
19 JUDGE ORIE: Is that what you said, Witness?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's correct.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please -- Mr. Jeremy, if you're ready.
22 Witness, you'll now be cross-examined by Mr. Jeremy. Mr. Jeremy
23 is counsel for the Prosecution. You find him to your right.
24 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Jeremy:
1 Q. And good afternoon, Mr. Jesic.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. Now in paragraph 2 of your statement, you refer to your
4 mobilisation at the beginning of 1992, and you say your unit was based at
5 the Urije Sport Aviation airport. Now at this time what was the name of
6 your unit?
7 A. Territorial Defence.
8 Q. And within the Territorial Defence, the unit didn't have any
9 particular name; is that right?
10 A. No.
11 Q. And did you have a commander within the Territorial Defence that
12 you immediately reported to?
13 A. Yes, we had a -- a -- a superior officer who was in charge of us.
14 Q. And what was the name of that superior officer?
15 A. I can't remember his name.
16 Q. Okay. The -- the commander of the entire Prijedor TO,
17 Territorial Defence, at this time was Major Slobodan Kuruzovic; is that
19 A. I don't know. He was not at the airport.
20 Q. Okay. Now, from late May onwards, your Territorial Defence unit
21 formed -- or became part of the 43rd Motorised Brigade; is that correct?
22 Are you aware of that?
23 A. From late May? I was wounded on the 30th of May.
24 Q. All right. So you're not aware of your TO unit becoming part of
25 the 43rd Brigade?
1 A. No.
2 Q. All right. Now, the Urije airport where you were based, that's
3 just to the north-east of Prijedor town; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And while you were based at the airport, there was also a tank
6 brigade based there. Yes?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, in paragraphs 4 and 6 of your statement you refer to
9 collecting food from a barracks. Now the barracks you're referring are
10 the Zarko Zgonjanin; correct?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And while you were performing these duties you were wearing a
13 military uniform; yes?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Now, today you've confirmed that at the time that you were
16 injured you were in a place in Prijedor called Stari Grad. Now, this
17 Chamber has heard evidence that on the 30th of May, 1992, so the date,
18 the same day that you were injured, the VRS attacked Stari Grad, rounded
19 up non-Serbs, and took them to Trnopolje, and then destroyed the mosque
20 in Stari Grad.
21 MR. JEREMY: And that evidence can be found at P3414, paragraph
23 Q. Sir, were you aware of these events that occurred on the same day
24 of your injury?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Okay. Now in your statement, and it's paragraph 17, you say that
2 after you returned from your treatments you were under a work obligation.
3 Now, is it correct that this work obligation was your -- your work with
4 the veterans' organisation?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. And this veterans' organisation was in Prijedor; correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Now, you say in your statement that you received treatment in
9 Belgrade for around two years. So would that therefore mean that you
10 returned to Prijedor in May or June 1994?
11 A. Yes. That would be that, yes.
12 Q. Now, by the time you returned to Prijedor, the overwhelming
13 majority of the non-Serb population were gone. Yes?
14 A. Let me tell you, I really didn't know that. I did not go into
15 other houses. Around my house or, rather, around the houses of my
16 parents, there were Muslims.
17 MR. JEREMY: Could we please take a look at P3853 in connection
18 with the witness's answer.
19 Q. And while it's being brought up, I can tell the Court and the
20 witness that this is an overview of data on the number and ethnic
21 structure of the population according to the municipalities in the area
22 of Banja Luka State Security Department for 1991 and 1995. The document
23 is dated February 1995.
24 MR. JEREMY: And could we please go to page 6 in each language.
25 Q. So, sir, referring your attention to number 9, Prijedor, we see
1 that in 1991, the document lists there being 47.745 Serbs; and for the
2 Muslims, 49.454; and for the Croats, 6.300.
3 And if we look to the numbers for 199 --
4 MR. JEREMY: Could we go to the next page in English, please.
5 Q. If we look to the numbers for 1995, we see that there are
6 approximately 61.000 Serbs; 3.600 Muslims; and 1.000 Croats.
7 So, sir, by 1995, on the basis of these numbers over 50.000
8 Muslims and Croats had left Prijedor. Now is it your evidence that you
9 didn't -- you didn't notice that -- that many people, that many non-Serbs
10 had left Prijedor by 1995? And to be fair to you, I initially asked you
11 when you returned in 1994; therefore, perhaps by 1995 you had noticed
12 that over 50.000 non-Serbs had left?
13 A. If we're talking figures, I don't know that there were that many
14 or that there were that many Serbs. I'm looking at these percentages
15 here, and as far as 1995 concerns, I was not there at the time. I don't
16 know whether they left or whether they left in the first place.
17 Q. So you're saying that you were not in Prijedor in 1995?
18 A. No, no, no, no. As I'm reading this paragraph, under b, 1995,
19 only 3600 Muslims were left.
20 JUDGE ORIE: But, Mr. Jeremy, the witness testified that he
21 didn't go out to other houses, so he only describes the situation in the
22 immediate vicinity of his own house which, of course, is not caught by
23 any percentages or statistics.
24 So the one and only question that really remains then is: You
25 really stayed close to where you were living, and you were, as you told
1 us, not aware of any changes in the population in a wider ranger in
2 Prijedor, Witness? And it's me who is asking.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. Let me tell you, when
4 I arrived in Prijedor there was no electricity, there was no water, there
5 was no heating. And movement around the city was actually next to none.
6 Nobody moved around, either Serbs or Muslims. The civilians really moved
7 around Prijedor very little. There were few and far between.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, the only thing we're interested in is
9 whether you moved, whether you stayed at home and did not observe
10 anything else than what was next to your own -- to your own home. Is
11 that how we have to understand your testimony?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Under those circumstances, Mr. Jeremy, perhaps
14 statistics would not be of great assistance. And for the witness to
15 start interpreting them is certainly not assisting us.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. JEREMY: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. So, Witness, so that I understand your answer to the Presiding
19 Judge's question correctly, it's your evidence that when you returned to
20 Prijedor in 1994 you essentially remained in your home or in the
21 immediate vicinity of your home until the end of the war; is that
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And the -- the duties that you performed as part of your
25 obligations, your work obligation in the veterans' organisation, you
1 performed those from your home; is that correct?
2 A. No. When I was needed and when they called me, I went to the
3 veterans' organisation to prepare those who were wounded and needed to go
4 to Belgrade for checkups. Me having been wounded myself, I would secure
5 their transportation and they would also receive some per diem money for
6 travel. And that was once or twice a month.
7 Q. And where was the veterans' organisation based? Was that in
8 Prijedor town centre?
9 A. Near the market-place. It's still there.
10 Q. So, in fact, on the basis of the answer that you've just given
11 us, you were not exclusively based at your home but you were in Prijedor
12 town centre once or twice a month for approximately 18 months after you
13 returned from Belgrade?
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. But, nevertheless, you were not in a position to observe whether
16 over 50.000 non-Serbs had left Prijedor. Is that your evidence?
17 A. I couldn't notice that. Because nobody moved around Prijedor.
18 Not even the Serbs.
19 Q. Thank you, Witness.
20 MR. JEREMY: Your Honours, I don't have any more questions for
21 this witness.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Did you at any other stage, maybe 1995 or later,
23 become aware of the fact that a lot of non-Serbs had moved out of
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were rumours to that effect
1 that they had left to western countries across Croatia. Yes, people
2 talked about that.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Apart from the rumours, did you become aware that
4 they had left, indeed, at some stage?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: So your knowledge is only based on the rumours you
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Even as you sit there now testifying, you're not
10 aware that they left?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, any further questions for the witness in
15 MR. IVETIC: One or two.
16 Re-examination by Mr. Ivetic:
17 Q. Sir, you were asked at temporary transcript page 75, line 22
18 onwards, if you knew an attack by the VRS upon Stari Grad 30 May 1992.
19 And you gave your answer. And I would like to ask you a related
20 question: When you set out on your route 30 May 1992 to deliver food,
21 had anyone in the Territorial Defence indicated the possibility of any
22 military combat operations anticipated to commence on that day in or near
23 Stari Grad.
24 A. No, nobody told me anything. I took over the food in the
25 barracks, and I started touring the fire brigade's hall where I left the
1 food, and then I went to the officers' mess. Nobody told me anything. I
2 drove around unarmed, like before. I had no escorts. I was on my own.
3 And in front of the hall of reserve officers, I saw a dead
4 policeman. Every morning I had been met by those policemen when I
5 brought food. There was nobody. Just that dead policeman. I saw that
6 something was amiss and I returned to the base at the airport, and when I
7 reached the MUP building near the municipality building I saw three or
8 four dead soldiers whose bodies were scattered around the monument to
9 Dr. Mladen Stojanovic.
10 Again, I realised something was amiss. I -- I decided to go in
11 the direction of the grammar school, which is parallel to the main
12 street. I was headed towards the airport. I was ambushed, shot at, and
13 captured. And then I was transferred to the plateau in front of the
14 teachers' school for economics. I was tied. The three of us were tied,
15 Milo Grabovac were [as interpreted] there, and then we were transferred
16 to the machine engineering school where we found two other men who were
17 already there. There were a total of five of us who had been captured.
18 Q. I think we have that in evidence.
19 Sir --
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I think, as a matter of fact, that after the
21 first line the witness had answered your question, and then you let him
22 go for another 15 lines explaining all kind of things we found already
23 and we heard in the statement.
24 Please proceed.
25 MR. IVETIC: Okay.
1 Q. Sir, I thank you again for answering my questions.
2 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, that completes the redirect
4 JUDGE ORIE: Any further questions, Mr. Jeremy? Apparently not.
5 MR. JEREMY: No, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 No further questions from the Bench. Mr. Jesic, this concludes
8 your evidence. We'd like to thank you very much for coming a long way to
9 The Hague and for having answered all the questions that were put to you
10 by the parties, by the Bench. I wish you a safe return home again.
11 You may follow the usher.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber considers it's not very useful to take a
16 break now but, rather, to continue for another 20 minutes or so, and then
17 to perhaps adjourn early for the day. Unless --
18 MR. LUKIC: We have eight minutes left. I think from -- for the
19 next break.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If we would take a break now. That's the
21 reason why the Chamber suggested we should not to take a break and
22 continue to start examination-in-chief of the next witness and then
23 perhaps to have a bit of an early adjournment.
24 MR. LUKIC: We are ready to call our next witness.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And your next witness would be, Mr. Lukic?
1 MR. LUKIC: Our next witness Rato Runjevac, and my colleague
2 Stojanovic will lead him.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Then could the witness be escorted into the
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And if I may ask, Your Honours,
6 to have the summary of this witness's statement given to the interpreting
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, two ushers are busy at this moment to do
9 their jobs. We'll ask them to do that. If you --
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, could -- could one of the ushers assist the
12 Defence in distributing the summary of the witness statement to the
13 various booths.
14 Good afternoon, Mr. Runjevac. Before you give evidence, the
15 Rules require that you make a solemn declaration, the text of which is
16 now handed out to you. May I invite you to make that solemn declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. I solemnly declare
18 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: RATO RUNJEVAC
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Runjevac. Please be seated.
22 Mr. Runjevac, you'll first be examined by Mr. Stojanovic. You
23 find him standing to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for
24 Mr. Mladic.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Runjevac, good afternoon.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. I would like to ask you to slowly pronounce for the transcript
6 your correct first and last name.
7 A. Rato Runjevac.
8 Q. Thank you. Mr. Runjevac, will you please tell the Trial Chamber
9 if at any point in time you provided a statement to the Defence of
10 General Mladic. Did you provide written answers to questions that were
11 put to you and then, in that sense, draft a written statement as
12 requested from you?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please
15 look at document 65 ter 1D1772 in e-court, please.
16 Q. Mr. Runjevac, you should see your statement on the left side of
17 the screen in front of you. My question to you is: Is the signature on
18 this page of the document your signature?
19 A. Yes, that is my signature.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Now I would like us to look at
22 the last page of this document.
23 Q. Mr. Runjevac, at the end of the text that we see on this page on
24 the monitor, do we also see your signature and the date written in your
25 own hand?
1 A. Yes, that is my signature; and, yes, that is the date written in
2 my hand.
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Runjevac, while preparing to appear in the
4 courtroom over the past few days, did you tell me that you needed to make
5 a few corrections of typographical errors, and did you need to make some
6 additions in order to make your statement more precise?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
9 have 65 ter document 1D1772, and could we look at paragraph 2 in that
10 document, i.e., the witness's statement.
11 Q. Mr. Runjevac, did you tell me that the date when you were
12 appointed senior public prosecutor in Sarajevo instead of the 1st of
13 December, 1990, should be the 16th of November, 1990?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we look at paragraph 16
16 now, please.
17 Q. Mr. Runjevac, did you tell me that for the sake of total
18 precision of your statement, you wanted to make the change --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Stojanovic please tell us where in
20 the paragraph he is making that correction.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please assist the interpreters by pointing
22 at the precise point where you want to make that correction.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thus, in paragraph 16, after the
24 word "criminal report to the municipal prosecutor's office," as the
25 witness said, we need to add the Roman numeral II so that the text would
1 read: "To the municipal prosecutor's office II."
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. To be more precise, it's the
3 Basic Prosecutor's Office II.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Witness, thank you. And did you not tell me that in the same
6 paragraph, namely, paragraph 16, after the word "the case ended up with
7 investigating judge," and then again you asked for the Roman II to be
8 added so that the text would read: "The case is with the investigative
9 judge of the Basic Court II," and then the rest of the text would remain
10 the same?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 18, Mr. Runjevac, did you not feel the
13 need for the sake of precision to indicate that, in your statement, after
14 the word "where I, with my two children," it should read also: "And my
15 wife." So that the text would read more precisely "where I reside with
16 my two children and my wife," and then the rest of the text would remain
17 the same?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 19, line 2, instead of the date "6th of
20 April, 1992," it should correctly state the "29th of February and the 1st
21 of March, 1992."
22 A. Yes. Because this date, the 6th of April, 1992, is the date when
23 Bosnia and Herzegovina received international recognition.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 A. You're welcome.
1 Q. So in the same paragraph, i.e., paragraph 19, did you not point
2 out to me a typographical error in the date where it says: "On Friday,
3 5th of April, 1992," and then it should correctly read: "On Friday, the
4 3rd of April, 1992"?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Mr. Runjevac, did you not ask the Defence for
7 purposes of precision to add to your statement after the word: "In the
8 safe in my office, I think we have eight pistols and for security
9 reasons, upon the initiative of my deputies, I distributed them," but you
10 wanted to add the words: "And this occurred on the 17th of June, 1991."
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you. And, finally, in paragraph 21, did you not ask us to
13 correct a typing error in the place where it says: "On the 4th of May,
14 1992, on Sunday," and instead of that, it should read: "On the 3rd of
15 May, 1992, on a Sunday"?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now that we have made these corrections and additions and,
18 Mr. Runjevac, after you have given the solemn declaration in this
19 courtroom, are you now willing to confirm that if you were asked the same
20 questions today as you were then, you would respond in the same way as
21 you have in the statement, keeping in mind these corrections, and you
22 would stand by what you said regarding the events covered in the
24 A. Yes. If I may just add something, I worked in the justice system
25 for 41 years. I have given six or seven different oaths, more than a
1 decade -- for more than a decade now I have been a lawyer after also
2 having given the oath. So I do apologise to the Trial Chamber because of
3 these errors because I wrote the statement according to my best
4 recollection while I was on holiday, and then after that before I came
5 for this hearing, I found some minor material evidence and facts which
6 had led me to make these corrections. Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Runjevac, thank you.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And, Your Honours, I think that
9 this would be a good moment to admit the witness's statement, the
10 statement of Witness Rato Runjevac, the statement bearing the number
11 65 ter 1D1772.
12 MR. FILE: Good afternoon. No objection, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
14 Madam Registrar, the number would be.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document number 1D01772 receives exhibit number
16 D860, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
18 Mr. Stojanovic, I'm looking at the clock. I said we would have
19 an early adjournment today. I don't know how many time you would need
20 for additional questions.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ORIE: Or to read the summary. Do you have any additional
23 questions at all?
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my summary is a
25 little bit long but I will have just one question, so I think for all of
1 that, I would need maybe about ten minutes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: For the summary and the question?
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That is correct, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then I would suggest -- one second.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, we have taken notice of the fact
7 that you have only one question for the witness. If you would put that
8 question to the witness now, we'll hear his answer, and then if you would
9 tomorrow read not a long summary but a short summary of the witness's
10 statement and do that tomorrow.
11 So your one question to the witness, you can put it to him now.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Sir, first of all, I would like us to look at document D860 in
14 e-court, and then I would like us to focus on paragraph 9 of your
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It should be page 4.
17 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Runjevac, you can see paragraph 9 in front of you where,
19 amongst other things, you say that:
20 "At that time, the Croatian and Bosniak deputies, without the
21 Serbian ones, decided in the BH parliament in an unconstitutional way to
22 hold a referendum about the independence of B and H."
23 Could you please tell us why you told the Court this sentence,
24 that this happened in an unconstitutional way?
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, I think this Chamber has heard quite
1 some evidence about what happened on the 14th and the 15th of October.
2 If that is what you're asking about, then we also know that there's --
3 it's very much in dispute whether this was constitutional or not
4 constitutional. If there's any specific matter this witness could add to
5 what is already in evidence, which highlights both positions, please put
6 a focused question to him and we'll hear his answer. But not in general;
7 it's so repetitious.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I will, Your Honour. I
10 believe that we are talking about a very specific element of his legal
12 Q. In short, Mr. Runjevac, could you please tell us what was the
13 legal framework under which you provided your answer or, rather, under
14 which you voiced your opinion?
15 A. I do not wish to go into the provisions of the constitution of
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina and amendments to the constitution of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina. However, as a witness, I would like to tell the
18 Honourable Chamber that in 1990, as an assistant minister of justice of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I worked on amending the constitution, that I'm the
20 author of Amendment 70, which meant that an old system was transformed
21 into a democratic system. I personally participated in the introduction
22 of some provisions which guaranteed democratic and sovereign rights of
23 all the people and all the peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina. So when I
24 provided this statement, I remembered that the constitution of the
25 Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 did not have a provision allowing for secession. There was just a
2 provision on changing internal borders within the state of SFRY, and I
3 particularly remembered that at that time in order to protect the rights
4 of citizens or, rather, the peoples and national minorities, we
5 incorporated something into Amendment 70 under paragraph 10, and that was
6 the creation of a body whose name was the Council for the Issues of
7 Equality of the Peoples and National Minorities of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina, and that had to do with all the issues that were decided by
9 the parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and those issues were crucial
10 for the national issues of the peoples and national minorities of
12 I remember when things started happening between January and
13 May 1992, I participated in those events, and I know that the issue of
14 cessation was against the constitution because pursuant to Amendment 67,
15 the only thing that the parliament could decide on was a change of
16 borders within the SFRY. I also remember that the issue that was put
17 forth before the rump parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina had not undergone
18 a preliminary procedure at the Council for Protection of
19 Constitutionality of the Peoples and National Minorities of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina. That's why I said that the question that was put at the
21 referendum on the 29th February and the 1st of March, and that was are
22 you in favour of a sovereign and independent state of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
23 did not have a legal foundation in constitution of Bosnia and
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Runjevac.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to inform you that
2 that was all I had with this witness, and tomorrow morning I will start
3 with a short summary of the witness's statement. Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's how we will proceed.
5 Mr. Runjevac, we'll resume tomorrow morning. We'd like to see
6 you back at 9.30 in the morning, and I would instruct you not to speak
7 with anyone or communicate in whatever way with whomever about your
8 testimony, whether that is testimony given today or still to be given
10 You may now follow the usher, and we'd like to see you back
11 tomorrow morning.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, when you said one question, I was a
15 bit more optimistic about the time it would take. Apologies for that.
16 Apologies to Mr. Mladic as well.
17 Then we adjourn for the day and we will resume tomorrow,
18 Wednesday, the 17th of December, 9.30 in the morning, in this same
19 courtroom, I.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.15 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 17th day of
22 December, 2014, at 9.30 a.m.