1 Thursday, 5 February 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 No preliminaries were announced. Therefore, could the witness be
12 escorted into the courtroom.
13 I meanwhile use the time to address an issue, and it will end
14 with a question mark, and there will be no time at this moment for the
15 parties to respond but perhaps to start thinking about it.
16 It is about the reopening of the Prosecution's case.
17 The Chamber is due to deliver decisions on --
18 MR. LUKIC: I think that there is no translation in B/C/S.
19 JUDGE ORIE: There is no translation. Is there translation now?
20 Still there isn't, apparently.
21 MR. LUKIC: Somehow it's on the fifth channel this morning.
22 JUDGE ORIE: It's on the fifth channel this morning.
23 MR. LUKIC: Usually it's on the sixth.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 THE ACCUSED: Okay.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Which then raises the issue where we find the
2 French, because the French transcript has also to be prepared.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: I say we do this but --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: There is a problem with
5 the French channel. There is no interpretation into French because none
6 of their microphones can be switched on.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then --
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Their microphone is on now.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Could we check whether it has now -- on channel
11 [Previous translation continues] ... nothing.
12 THE INTERPRETER: It works for the French booth now.
13 JUDGE ORIE: On channel 6 there is B/C/S, and 5 is still no
14 French yet. Yes. I was informed that the French channel is now
15 functioning as well. Then we can proceed.
16 Witness, you may be a bit surprised but we had a technical
17 problem with the interpretation which has been resolved but that was the
18 reason -- I do understand that the witness now doesn't receive -- okay.
19 Could the usher assist so that the volume will be ...
20 Witness, can you now hear me in a language that you understand?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do, yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: All the technical problems, having been resolved,
23 there is no --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- time to address the issue which I wished to
1 address. Let's first continue.
2 Witness, I'd like to remind you that you are still bound by the
3 solemn declaration you've given yesterday at the beginning of your
4 testimony, and Mr. MacDonald will now continue his cross-examination.
5 Mr. MacDonald.
6 MR. MacDONALD: Can the Prosecution please have 65 ter number
7 31882, and I'd ask this document not be broadcast, Your Honours. If we
8 can turn to page 3 in the B/C/S and page 5 in the English.
9 WITNESS: VOJIN UBIPARIP [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpretation]
11 Cross-examination by Mr. MacDonald: [Continued]
12 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, this is a statement of a Muslim in Siprage given in
13 the year 2000. I'd like to draw your attention to the B/C/S six lines
14 from the bottom.
15 MR. MacDONALD: And in page 5 in the English, seven lines from
16 the top.
17 Q. A sentence beginning: "After the weapons had been
18 surrendered ..."
19 And the author states:
20 "After the weapons had been surrendered, the SDS and VRS
21 authorities began to arrest the population on a large scale" --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Where exactly are you reading from, Mr. MacDonald?
23 MR. MacDONALD: Actually, in the English, there is some kind of
24 yellow background --
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, yes. I see it. Yes.
1 MR. MacDONALD: And to continue --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot understand the
3 witness at all. He's not speaking into the microphone.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you please speak into the microphone.
5 And could the usher assist in adjusting the microphone.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes. Let me just find
7 the text.
8 JUDGE ORIE: It seems that it's rather to the bottom of the page.
9 Have you found it, Witness?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Found it.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. MacDONALD:
13 Q. The author states:
14 "After the weapons had been surrendered, the SDS and VRS
15 authorities began to arrest the population on a large scale and to take
16 them away to camps. At the beginning, prominent and wealthy Bosniaks
17 were taken to the camp, but later on they went down the line. Thus it
18 was on 7 June 1993 I was arrested and taken to prison in Kotor Varos."
19 Mr. Ubiparip, around the time you became commander of the
20 1st Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade, did you know about these arrests
21 taking place in Siprage?
22 A. No.
23 MR. MacDONALD: If we can turn to the next page in the B/C/S but
24 stay on the same page in the English.
25 Q. I'd like to skip a few lines and take you to the paragraph
1 beginning, "after my arrest ..."
2 MR. MacDONALD: If we can scroll down in the English.
3 Q. The author continues:
4 "After my arrest, another delegation visited Siprage, headed by a
5 VRS general, Momir Talic who, at the time, as far as I can remember, held
6 the post of commander of the Krajina Corps of the VRS."
7 The author is correct that Momir Talic was commander of the
8 1st Krajina Corps in June of 1993; isn't he?
9 A. Yes. Yes.
10 Q. The author continues:
11 "In addition to Talic, other officers and local SDS ..."
12 MR. MacDONALD: And if we can turn the page in the English, thank
14 Q. "... representatives were in the delegation."
15 Mr. Ubiparip, were you part of this delegation that went to
16 Siprage in 1993?
17 A. No, no.
18 Q. But either as commander of the Kotor Varos Light Infantry Brigade
19 or as Chief of Staff of the 22nd Brigade, you must have been aware of
20 General Talic heading this delegation visiting Siprage?
21 A. No. I don't remember at all that General Talic ever came to
22 Siprage while I was brigade commander.
23 Q. Okay. Reading on, the author continues:
24 "Again, the delegation members addressed the residents of Siprage
25 in their already established manner. After the meeting, a large-scale
1 expulsion of Bosniaks from Siprage ensued. The Bosniaks of Siprage were
2 expelled in organised convoys while their property was seized and
3 distributed to Serbian residents."
4 Were you aware of an organised expulsion of Bosniaks from the
5 village of Siprage in June 1993 or shortly thereafter?
6 A. In June 1993, there were no expulsions from the moment when I
7 became commander. Before that, I cannot say anything.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all unnecessary
9 microphones please be switched off while the witness is speaking. Thank
11 MR. MacDONALD:
12 Q. When you moved your command post to Siprage, were you aware that
13 the village was quite empty of its inhabitants?
14 A. When I came to Siprage with my command, for purely military
15 reasons this was a planned relocation. The entire population of Siprage
16 was autochthonous, that's what we called them. And they were all there.
17 MR. MacDONALD: Can the Prosecution please have 65 ter number
19 Q. This is an excerpt from the census in 1991 taken in
21 MR. MacDONALD: I believe we only need the B/C/S of this, Your
22 Honours. If we can turn to the second page in the B/C/S.
23 Q. Now, this excerpt, Mr. Ubiparip, deals with the Kotor Varos
24 municipality. I'm looking for the --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The third name from the bottom.
2 MR. MacDONALD: So if we scroll down --
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Siprage.
4 MR. MacDONALD:
5 Q. -- you see Siprage, yes.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. These numbers deal with earlier decades, but if you look along to
8 your right, you'll see that it's number 40, and that corresponds to
10 MR. MacDONALD: And if we go to the next page, please, and look
11 for number 40.
12 Q. Just at the bottom there next to number 40, we see there are 952
13 people in total.
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. And then thereafter, the numbers are 1 Croat, 745 Muslims, and
16 188 Serbs in 1991. If I can just ask you to recall that number, 745 --
17 MR. MacDONALD: And if the Prosecution can now have 65 ter
18 number --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 MR. MacDONALD: -- 31964.
21 Q. The document you're about to see, Mr. Ubiparip, is an
22 Official Note from the state security centre in Banja Luka on the 2nd of
23 May, 1994. I'd like to take you to the start of the second paragraph,
24 beginning: "Having established ..."
25 Now, the second paragraph records how many Muslims are working in
1 Kotor Varos municipality. We have 25 in the Vrbanja DD, 15 in the
2 Drvo-prevada DD, 5 in the sawmill, 4 in the Siprage ZZ, and about 150 in
3 labour brigades. The note continues that this number includes all
4 able-bodied men and that they are under the control of the VRS.
5 From your experience of being commander of the Kotor Varos Light
6 Infantry Brigade, the only VRS military unit on the territory at this
7 time, it's true that in May 1994 there were up --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. It's true that there were approximately 200 or less able-bodied
10 Muslim men working in Kotor Varos municipality; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And there is only four able-bodied men working in Siprage --
13 Muslim men, my apologies, at this time?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. MacDONALD: At this point, Your Honours, I'd seek to tender
16 65 ter 02559k, that is the census excerpt, and --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Madam -- yes, Madam Registrar, the census excerpt.
18 THE REGISTRAR: 02559k receives Exhibit number P7106, Your
20 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
21 And then this report?
22 MR. MacDONALD: Yes, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document number 31964 receives Exhibit number
25 P7107, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
2 MR. MacDONALD: Can the Prosecution now have 65 ter number 31965.
3 Again, I'd ask this document not be broadcast, Your Honours.
4 Q. And, Mr. Ubiparip, the document you're about to see is another
5 Official Note recorded by the state security department in Banja Luka.
6 It is again dated the 2nd of May, 1994.
7 MR. MacDONALD: I'd look to move to page 2 in both languages to
9 Your Honours, I do plan to deal with the first page but in
10 private session for reasons I hope that will become apparent, but I'll
11 deal with the second page in open session just now.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
13 MR. MacDONALD:
14 Q. Now, Mr. Ubiparip, this document discusses people that the BH
15 government has requested be captured or, if not possible, liquidated, and
16 we'll come to that part in a moment, but if I can take you to the last
17 paragraph, this note states:
18 "These people have not been randomly selected, they participated
19 in the illegal disarming of Muslims in Siprage, the collection of legal
20 weapons, and had been told to explain to the Muslim population that it
21 was necessary to respect and be loyal to the Republika Srpska organs of
22 authority in order to avoid unwanted incidents, in which they have so far
23 been successful."
24 It's true, isn't it, that the Muslims in Siprage --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. It's true, isn't it, that the Muslims in Siprage were illegally
3 A. No. That happened before I came. Mr. Mujko Zuhric explained
4 things to me. He said there was a planned action and it had a positive
5 effect on the security situation in that territory. When I became
6 commander, or once I became commander, there was no illegal disarmament.
7 MR. MacDONALD: I wonder if at this point we can move into
8 private session, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
10 [Private session]
11 Pages 31213-31221 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
5 MR. MacDONALD:
6 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, I'd like to move to a different topic now, the
7 topic of the village of Garici. You're aware of the village of Garici in
8 Kotor Varos municipality; aren't you?
9 A. I know.
10 Q. And it swore loyalty to Republika Srpska and surrendered its
11 weapons at the outbreak of the conflict; is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, the Defence has led evidence that this village remained
14 untouched throughout the war. But that's not accurate, is it,
15 Mr. Ubiparip?
16 A. To the best of my knowledge, as I said yesterday, that Muslim
17 Major Asim Aganbegovic --
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not understand what the
19 witness is saying.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat what you said? The
21 interpreters had difficulties in understanding you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All right. From the said village,
23 I had one of my officers, a Muslim, Asim Aganbegovic. He was loyal to
24 the local authorities, and he informed me that there were no problems and
25 that the people of Garici continued to live normally, and I had occasion
1 to see that for myself. They even had a successful business that
2 continued to work, a chicken farm, rather well known.
3 MR. MacDONALD: I wonder if we can move into private session
4 briefly, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
6 [Private session]
11 Page 31224 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
18 MR. MacDONALD:
19 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, I'd like to move to another topic and that is
20 events in Vecici village in November 1992.
21 Now, I am aware that you were still Chief of Staff of the
22 22nd Brigade at this point, but you knew that Vecici village continued to
23 resist the VRS up until November 1992, didn't you?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you were aware at the time that Muslims had tried to break
1 out of Vecici on 3rd November 1992.
2 A. I didn't know that they intended to do that, but on the 4th or
3 the 5th, I saw that a part of their forces had broken through to
4 Mount Vlasic, and only later did I learn it was an effect of their
5 intention. I mean, those people who wanted to leave.
6 MR. MacDONALD: Can the Prosecution please have 65 ter number
8 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, this is a report signed by you -- or typed-signed,
9 my apologies, by you on the 3rd of November, 1992. It's being sent to
10 the commands of the 1st Krajina Corps and the 30th KRD. Do you see, sir,
11 that it is type-signed by you?
12 A. I see that.
13 Q. Can I take you to point 4, which states the:
14 "Focus is on the protection of manpower power and MTS and
15 accommodation facilities from Muslim OGs, which have left the village of
16 Vecici near Kotor Varos."
17 So it was reported to you on 3rd November 1992 Muslims had left
18 the village of Vecici; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Who reported that to you?
21 A. The security organs.
22 Q. Do you recall the name of the person who reported it to you?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Now, on the 4th of November --
25 MR. MacDONALD: In fact, can the Prosecution -- well, I'd move to
1 tender this document first, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31970 receives Exhibit P7110, Your
5 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
6 MR. MacDONALD: Can the Prosecution please have P00441.
7 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for it, could you tell us how
8 much time you'd still need? Because you're at the hour you estimated.
9 MR. MacDONALD: Only a couple of minutes for this topic, Your
11 JUDGE ORIE: Couple of minutes. That's accepted. Let's then
12 finish soon and then take a break.
13 MR. MacDONALD:
14 Q. And, Mr. Ubiparip, this is a report from the 4th of November,
15 1992 from the 1st Krajina Corps to the VRS Main Staff. It's dated -- ah,
16 I said that already. And they are reporting under the second point in
17 the second paragraph that there has been a massacre -- a brutal massacre
18 of Green Berets.
19 Now, sir, on the 4th of November, 1992, did you get this
20 information and pass it on to the 1st Krajina Corps?
21 A. This information was basically received by Mr. Janko Trivic, and
22 then he made me aware of it. Since I was linked through the chain of
23 command through the command of the 22nd Brigade, of course I was aware of
24 this. That was my duty.
25 Q. My final question, Mr. Ubiparip: Who reported it to
1 Janko Trivic?
2 A. Well, that I don't know. I don't know. I arrived in his command
3 post later, where he informed me about the situation that had to do with
4 that which had happened.
5 MR. MacDONALD: That concludes my cross-examination, Your
7 JUDGE ORIE: I have one question for you before we take the
9 In your statement you say that you had prisoners of war in the
10 operations you took part in. Now, here we see a report which refers to
11 200 men being captured. Do you know whether they were also registered as
12 prisoners of war and that their names and lists would be submitted to the
13 Red Cross, as you describe it, for prisoners of war in any operations you
14 took part in, in paragraph 20 of your statement?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Three combatants from the
16 Muslim army who were captured by my forces during combat. I took these
17 men. And then on the basis of the Geneva Convention, I registered them
18 with the Red Cross, I provided them with first aid until they were taken
19 over, and I don't know about the rest.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you registered three prisoners of war
21 during the whole of your career in -- and never anyone else was taken
22 prisoner, also not civilians which were detained or nothing happened?
23 Thank you.
24 Yes, the witness didn't answer, but I should have put on the
25 record that you, by nodding your head, that you agreed that it was only
1 three, but could you please put that clearly on the record.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes. I personally, yes.
3 In combat operations, my unit took them prisoner. We processed them.
4 And -- how do I put this? On the basis of Geneva Convention that we all
5 had, we sent them further on. The Red Cross then took care of them until
6 their matter was completely resolved.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you had the Geneva Convention, you told
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: You had a text of it?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Each and every one of my
12 soldiers had that text, how to behave in war.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We'll take a break.
14 We would like to see you back in 20 minutes. You may follow the
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
17 [The witness stands down]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could the Defence tell the Chamber how much time
19 they would need after the break, Mr. Stojanovic?
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe it's
21 going to be up to 10 minutes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I would urge the parties to see whether
23 it would be possible to conclude the testimony of the next witness today.
24 We take a break and we resume at five minutes to 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
2 [The witness takes the stand]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, you may proceed.
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ubiparip, at one moment you were asked by
7 the Prosecution about the report concerning what you did in relation to
8 the coming of units from Vecici. This is my question: Can you tell us
9 to the best of your recollection what was the information that you
10 actually received from the superior command?
11 A. From the superior command, I did not receive this information.
12 Rather, it was from Commander Trivic who was commander of the
13 Celinac Brigade. The breakthrough of that unit took place in his area of
14 responsibility. So I just happened to be there. And then through
15 official channels, I informed my brigade command and, naturally, the
16 corps as well about that question.
17 Q. At that moment, Mr. Trivic, was he also commander of the
18 Operations Group Vlasic?
19 A. No, Mr. Peulic was commander then.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please take a look at
22 that time P7710. P7710 [as interpreted]. I shall repeat because I think
23 it hasn't been recorded again -- properly again, it is 7110.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, let's have a look because the previous number,
25 Madam Registrar informed me that --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: He has changed it now. It's now correct.
2 JUDGE ORIE: We have now a new number. It's okay.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please zoom in on
4 paragraph 4 of this regular report.
5 Q. In this report you, Mr. Ubiparip, are informing the command of
6 the 1st Krajina Corps, and in the upper right-hand corner it also says
7 the 30th KRD.
8 A. It's the 30th Division.
9 Q. Can you remember what this is?
10 A. The 30th Infantry Division.
11 Q. In this report in paragraph 4, you say:
12 "Focus is on the protection of manpower and MTS and accommodation
13 facilities from Muslim" DGs, "which have left the S Vecici near Kotor
15 Please tell us what does this mean, Muslim DG?
16 A. These are groups for breakthroughs; that is to say, they broke
17 through, up there, and then for their own protection, we put them up
18 until a final solution was to be found; physically protected them.
19 Q. During those moments you, your unit, did you have any combat
20 clashes with this sabotage group that had left the village of Vecici?
21 A. No, no.
22 Q. Thank you. The next thing I wish to ask you in relation to the
23 answers you provided during cross-examination. During the war --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Stojanovic, I'm a little bit confused by the
25 way you put this -- the last question to the witness.
1 In the document in the English translation, we see "accommodation
2 facilities from Muslim OGs." In -- what you read was "DG." Could you
3 please clarify what you mean by that? Is that a mistake or is it a
4 mistranslation? And especially the witness didn't explain what these
5 letters stand for.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I think that
7 you have before you the B/C/S, so then I'd like to ask the witness about
8 this. Could we zoom in on that part in B/C/S.
9 Q. "The Muslim," is it D or is it O?
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] So paragraph 4. Thank you.
11 Q. Mr. Witness, now after the number 4, in the third or fourth line,
12 I believe, there is this abbreviation. Is it DG or OG?
13 A. DG.
14 Q. My question: What would DG mean?
15 A. Well, we defined it as sabotage groups of Muslim units that had
16 broken out of Vecici in the direction of Vlasic. And over there, they
17 surrendered to us. So we took them over and we protected them -- yes?
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Witness, the question was what the letters DG
19 stand for. No long explanation. Just these two letters.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Diverzantska Grupa," "sabotage
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Thank you, Witness.
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 I will finish with the question that I started with.
1 Q. Mr. Ubiparip, during these years of war, would it have been
2 lawful and legitimate for anyone, irrespective of ethnic background,
3 anyone who is not involved in the military could have military weapons?
4 A. No. That is paramilitary organisation.
5 Q. Thank you. Next question. During wartime and during imminent
6 threat of war, was every military-age man subjected to conscription or
7 work obligation?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] P7107, could we please take a
10 look at that document now.
11 Q. You've had an opportunity to see this document during
12 cross-examination. Sir, on the basis of your experience during those
13 years of war, a military conscript, would he rather join the army and go
14 to the front line or take work obligation?
15 A. Well, they preferred work obligation.
16 Q. What would be the reason why people would prefer work obligation
17 to military obligation at the front line?
18 A. Well, the primary reason is physical and biological protection of
19 their life, number one. Number two, it is easier to get the basic
20 material resources that one needs for themselves personally and for their
22 Q. Thank you. Please take a look at this document now. In the
23 second paragraph, it says -- and you were asked about that, about the
24 involvement of Muslims in work, and there is a reference to the Siprage
25 co-operative, and there were four persons that were involved in that,
1 according to this report. Do you have any knowledge about this
2 co-operative Siprage? On the 2nd of May, 1994, was it working then; and
3 how many people did it employ?
4 A. These four that appear, I see the others here, too. I knew them
5 in a way. From the very beginning, they were permanently employed in
6 that co-operative, you see. So the number of our, should we call them
7 Serb citizens, were involved, first of all, in the Army of
8 Republika Srpska was only natural that - how do I put this? - through
9 work obligation, the needs of these companies were met so that they could
10 achieve their programme objectives and tasks for which they existed in
11 the first place.
12 Let me say straight away that many of these Muslims wanted to go
13 and fight against their own, as it were, but I would not allow that
14 because I wanted to prevent a fratricidal war that had a very negative
15 effect on our people during the Second World War.
16 Q. Thank you. But please, if you can, if you have such knowledge,
17 in 1994 how many people worked in this co-operative, this farming
18 co-operative in Siprage?
19 A. I personally cannot remember the number, but it all depended on
20 the needs involved. It was around this level.
21 But let me tell you one more thing: All workers, all citizens,
22 if I can put it that way, in that area were involved in the same food
23 process that I had organised. We were all eating from the same pot, as
24 it were. So there was no negative effect in that respect.
25 Q. Colonel, sir, thank you for your answers and thank you on behalf
1 of the Defence team was General Mladic.
2 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no further
3 questions for this witness.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
5 Any further questions?
6 MR. MacDONALD: Nothing. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Nothing further.
8 Then, Witness, I'd like to thank you very much for coming a long
9 way to The Hague, and I would also thank you for having answered all the
10 questions that were put to you, Mr. Ubiparip, and put to you by the
11 parties, put to you by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour,
14 Mr. President, thank you.
15 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Is the Defence ready to call its next witness?
18 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. We are calling Mr. Nikolic, Vinko.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
20 MR. MacDONALD: I would ask that I be excused from the Court
21 please, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you are excused, Mr. MacDonald.
23 Is it Mr. Zec who will cross-examine the next witness?
24 MR. ZEC: Correct. Yes, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. ZEC: And, Mr. President?
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
3 MR. ZEC: Your Honours, good morning.
4 I would simply note, as we indicated to Mr. Lukic before the
5 beginning of this court session, that Mr. Nikolic was advised of his
6 rights pursuant to Rule 90(E) at the beginning of his testimony in
7 Karadzic case. So in light of the questions I anticipate to ask him
8 today, it may be more advice -- to advise him of his rights.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then do that right at the beginning.
10 MR. ZEC: Yes.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I have a question for you. All the
12 references to adjudicated facts and to parts of the schedule of the
13 indictment, how do we have to understand those?
14 MR. LUKIC: There is a table of concordance, Your Honour. It's
15 under 1D5324. So we'll probably -- we will offer that document.
16 [The witness takes the stand]
17 JUDGE ORIE: But we are supposed to look at that prior to the
18 witness coming to court, or ... was it announced somewhere that we would
19 be presented a table?
20 MR. LUKIC: I would -- have it on my list that it's one of the
21 documents I should offer as an associated exhibit.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, perhaps we may say a little bit more about it.
23 Good morning, Mr. Nikolic. Before you give evidence, the Rules
24 require that you make a solemn declaration. The text is now handed out
25 to you. May I invite you to make that declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. Please be seated.
4 WITNESS: VINKO NIKOLIC
5 [Witness answered through interpretation]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Nikolic, before the Defence will start its
7 examination, I'd like to inform you about Rule 90(E) of the Rules of
8 Procedure and Evidence, and I'll read it to you. It says:
9 "A witness," and that, in this case, would be you.
10 "A witness may object to making any statement which might tend to
11 incriminate the witness. The Chamber may, however, compel the witness to
12 answer the question, and testimony compelled in this way shall not be
13 used as evidence in a subsequent prosecution against the witness for any
14 offence other than false testimony."
15 So if you have concerns whether answers, truthful answers to
16 questions would possibly incriminate you, please address me.
17 You'll first be examined by Mr. Lukic. Mr. Lukic is counsel for
18 Mr. Mladic.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I just need help from the
20 usher. I have to distribute statement summaries.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. To the booth.
22 Now, Mr. Lukic, I'll make one brief observation. Of course the
23 Judges, having read the 92 ter statement, are supposed to have read the
24 statement of the witness before he comes to court in order to fully
25 understand the testimony. If you do not provide us in advance with such
1 tables, we are lost. How could we possibly understand the evidence not
2 knowing what these adjudicated facts are about? Do we have to find and
3 compare the cases? That's really not what we expect you to do. So
4 please provide next time always well in advance any table, and I must say
5 that even it would have been better to, also for purposes of relevance,
6 to have a statement which is focused on this case rather than on another
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lukic, you said the document -- the list of
9 concordance would be on the list of exhibits or documents to be used with
10 the witness? In my list, I don't find any.
11 MR. LUKIC: I'm just checking, Your Honours, when it was sent. I
12 have to ask my Case Manager.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We would like to hear that from you. But we
14 are taking our task very serious, Mr. Lukic, and it's in your hands
15 whether we can perform that task. And it's in your own interest that we
16 seriously perform our task.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Examination by Mr. Lukic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Nikolic. Can you hear me?
21 A. Yes, I can.
22 Q. For the record, would you tell us slowly your full name.
23 A. My name is Vinko Nikolic.
24 MR. LUKIC: Can we have on our screens 1D2519, please.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Nikolic --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- did you give a statement to the Defence team of Mr. Karadzic?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we see on the screens the last
5 page, please.
6 Q. Do you see the signature on the screen before you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you recognise it?
9 A. Yes, it's my signature.
10 Q. Have you had occasion to review this statement?
11 A. Yes, I have.
12 Q. Has the statement accurately recorded what you said to the
13 Defence team of Mr. Karadzic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. To the best of your knowledge, what is stated in this statement,
16 is it truthful and accurate?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If I were to put to you the same questions today, would you
19 answer the same way as when you gave the statement?
20 A. I would.
21 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, at this moment we would offer the
22 statement of Mr. Nikolic, 1D2519, into evidence.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I hear of no objections.
24 Madam Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document 1D02519 receives Exhibit number D892,
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
3 MR. LUKIC: Your Honours, still I don't have any news regarding
4 this table of concordance, but --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Do you have it --
6 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: -- at this moment?
8 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Let's have a look at it.
10 MR. LUKIC: It's 1D5324.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, we're waiting for a question or ...
12 MR. LUKIC: I'm waiting for your approval to continue.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, yes, yes. Well, usually if I do not stop you,
14 as you know -- it's on the screen now, please proceed.
15 MR. LUKIC: We would offer this table of concordance into the
16 evidence, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Then could we first verify. It is a two-page
18 document. Have you verified that they are, because we couldn't do that,
19 that they are literally the same in Karadzic and in --
20 MR. LUKIC: I know that in other case when they were not the
21 same, we redacted statement of the previous witness. So I suppose
22 that --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but --
24 MR. LUKIC: -- it was --
25 JUDGE ORIE: -- have you verified that?
1 MR. LUKIC: My Case Manager did.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. There are no objections, so therefore,
3 Madam Registrar, the number would be, but we will carefully consider
4 whether or not they are literally the same.
5 Mr. Zec, any observations.
6 MR. ZEC: Only to note that this is first time that we see this
7 list, so we are not in position to offer any comment.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: I was informed several days ago that it was composed,
10 and I suppose that it was sent as well.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 MR. LUKIC: Well ...
13 JUDGE ORIE: It's good tradition that those responsible verify
14 whether what they are reported, whether that is accurate, yes or not.
15 But for the time being, we'll admit it into evidence. But if there is
16 any -- if there is any difference between the language of the Karadzic
17 and the Mladic statements, we'll revisit the issue of admission.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we clarify, is this the only page or is
19 there --
20 JUDGE ORIE: It's two pages.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- a second page? Can we have a look on the
22 second page, please. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ORIE: I see that there is one comment on the second page
24 about adjudicated facts modified by the Chamber and a text which
25 apparently refers to a footnote, a footnote which appears in relation to
1 Mladic adjudicated fact number 1146.
2 Now, which of the two now appears then for 1146, Mr. Lukic? Is
3 it the Mladic adjudicated fact? And if so, does that have any effect on
4 the comment given by the witness on that adjudicated fact?
5 MR. LUKIC: Obviously adjudicated facts in this statement are all
6 from Karadzic trial, because it was --
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but --
8 MR. LUKIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
9 JUDGE ORIE: -- how do I have to understand footnote 1 in
10 relation to 1146 where, on page 2 of this statement, we read:
11 "Adjudicated facts modified by the Chamber ..."
12 And then it says -- no, no. "Added text, houses were looted, and
13 people fleeing were deprived of the valuables that they were carrying
14 with them."
15 Now, which Chamber -- is that a change made by the Mladic
17 MR. LUKIC: As I understand it.
18 JUDGE ORIE: And then -- I take it, then, the witness did not
19 comment on the whole of the text in the Mladic adjudicated fact. Is
20 that --
21 MR. LUKIC: That's correct, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
23 Then, Madam Registrar, the number would be?
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, I have another question.
25 In paragraph 34 of the statement, there is a reference to
1 adjudicated fact 2523 in the Karadzic case. This is not contained in the
3 MR. LUKIC: We are trying to contact our Case Manager. He's not
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then --
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- I have to state that the list of concordance
8 is incomplete.
9 MR. LUKIC: I know that he -- I was just informed that this list
10 was sent on the 27th of January to --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To whom?
12 MR. LUKIC: To the Chamber.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: By e-mail or uploaded into e-court?
14 MR. LUKIC: By e-mail. And it was uploaded into e-court as well.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: You say it was also sent by e-mail?
16 MR. LUKIC: That's the information I just got, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I also am looking at Mladic adjudicated
18 fact number 1146. Am I mistaken that 1146 was not adopted as an
19 adjudicated fact by this Trial Chamber? I'm just trying to check that
20 very quickly. But on the list I am consulting at this moment, 1146 is
21 empty. But that can, perhaps, be verified.
22 The list will be MFI'd.
23 Madam Registrar, the number would be?
24 THE REGISTRAR: 1D05324 receives D893, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: And is marked for identification.
1 You may proceed, Mr. Lukic.
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We will not have any
3 questions for this witness. I will just read short statement summary.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
6 Vinko Nikolic was a member of the Crisis Staff of Sanski Most
7 municipality. He will testify on the role and nature of Sanski Most
8 Crisis Staff. Vinko Nikolic will testify about the causes of the
9 conflict between Serbs and Muslims in Sanski Most.
10 The witness will explain that there was no plan to expel Muslims
11 or Croats from the municipality. He will testify about the presence of
12 paramilitaries in his municipality. He will explain the role of SOS
13 group in Sanski Most and their relationship with the authorities.
14 Mr. Vinko Nikolic will testify that there are lots of examples
15 where Muslims continued to work in the municipality; in the land registry
16 or as school teachers. From 1992 to 1995, more than 8.000 Muslims
17 continued to live in Sanski Most municipality.
18 The Sanski Most Crisis Staff issued an order that all property
19 was to be looked after and temporarily allocated as needed to Serbian
21 And that's the end of the statement summary.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
23 Before I give an opportunity to the Prosecution to cross-examine
24 the witness, could we have the statement of the witness, which is now
25 P892, on our screens -- no, D892 on our screens. And could we go to most
1 likely page 7 in the English, paragraph 25. Yes. And in the -- yes,
2 that's also. We have the right page in B/C/S as well.
3 Witness, there I read. The question was to "list the prisons,
4 prisoner of war camps, and collection centres in your municipality."
5 Your answer was:
6 "I have listed the investigation centres. There were no prisons
7 or camps in Sanski Most."
8 Now, did you list those investigation centres and did you give it
9 to the Defence that interviewed you at the time?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I did list those investigation
12 JUDGE ORIE: You gave it to the Defence?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Was that when the statement was taken?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, when my statement was taken
16 for Radovan Karadzic.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Now, when did you for the first time meet with the
18 Mladic Defence?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think in March or April 2014.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you were interviewed then?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ORIE: And no -- did you say exactly the same as you said
23 when you were interviewed by the Karadzic Defence or were there details
24 which were different?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The same.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Were you interviewed or did you just go
2 through the statement you'd given to the Karadzic Defence?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We had an interview.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then spontaneously you -- were exactly the
5 same questions put to you?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They put questions to me about
7 things they needed answered, and I answered these questions, just as I
8 did when I was making the previous statement for Radovan Karadzic.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But the questions were not exactly the same,
10 were they?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most of the questions were
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, did you also give a list of the
14 investigation centres to the Mladic Defence?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I told them about
16 investigation centres.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Did they ask for a list?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have a written list. I
19 just answered the question which investigation centres existed in
20 Sanski Most. At that time, I was in Sanski Most.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could you then give us that list now, which
22 investigation centres there were?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since I was in Sanski Most in April
24 and May, there were three investigation centres at that time: One was at
25 the public security station; the second was in the company called
1 Betonirka, about 100 metres from the public security station; and the
2 third one was in the Hasan Kikic Primary School, about 200 metres from
3 the public security station.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put something on the record. The Chamber
6 was just informed that the list of concordance -- or the document which
7 is now D893, MFI, was sent to the Prosecution and the Chamber ten minutes
8 ago at 11.30 by the Case Manager of the Defence.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, we'll not, in the presence of the
10 witness, further discuss what happens here. But if you present a
11 question and an answer, that the witness says he lists the investigation
12 centres without naming them, and then to expect this Chamber to be able
13 to evaluate the mere observation of a witness that he has listed them,
14 without knowing else what is on that list. But, happily enough, he now
15 has corrected this.
16 Mr. Zec, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
17 MR. ZEC: Yes, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Nikolic, you'll now be cross-examined by
19 Mr. Zec. Mr. Zec is counsel for the Prosecution.
20 MR. ZEC: And simply to note that we also received the same
21 e-mail as His Honour Judge Fluegge just mentioned on the record. Thank
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'll not qualify -- I'll not speak aloud what
24 is on the my mind at this moment as the appropriateness of this way of
1 Please proceed.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Zec:
3 Q. Good morning, Mr. Nikolic.
4 A. Good morning.
5 Q. In your statement, you say that you were a member of the
6 Sanski Most Crisis Staff, and you also say that you were member of the
7 SOS, the Serbian Defence Forces. So simply to clarify: You were a
8 member of the Crisis Staff from its creation on 14 April 1992; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And you were the SOS representative on that Crisis Staff; yes?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. ZEC: Can we have P3294.
13 Q. And this is the diary of Nedjelko Rasula. He was the president
14 of the Crisis Staff. You have seen this diary before, and I'll simply
15 ask you for one clarification.
16 MR. ZEC: And if we can have page 19 of the English, page 16 of
17 the B/C/S.
18 Q. As it can be seen on the bottom of the English page, and it's in
19 the middle of the page in the B/C/S to the right, these are notes of the
20 14th April 1992 session of the SDS Municipal Board.
21 MR. ZEC: And if we can move to the next page in the English.
22 Next page in English, please.
23 Q. And there is a list of the Crisis Staff members; that's item 4.
24 Last name in the list is Zvonko Nikolic. Now, this is reference to you,
25 Vinko Nikolic; correct?
1 A. Yes. It's a misspelling.
2 Q. Thank you. At a later meeting on 30th May, 1992, you were
3 appointed Crisis Staff member in charge of vehicles; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On 18 June 1992, you were appointed as a commissioner for
6 transport; right?
7 A. I saw that later because I spent a whole month on the front line
8 in the corridor and we returned only in the end of June, so I did not
9 attend these meetings of the Crisis Staff.
10 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 31963.
11 Q. And you will see, it's a decision reached by the Crisis Staff at
12 its meeting on 18 June 1992. It says:
13 "Vinko Nikolic is appointed transport commissioner ..."
14 So this is your appointment decision to the commission for
15 transport; correct?
16 A. Yes, I've seen this document.
17 MR. ZEC: I tender this document, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document 31963 receives Exhibit number P7111.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
21 MR. ZEC:
22 Q. Mr. Nikolic, I would like now to focus to the SOS unit. Is it
23 correct that the SOS carried out many tasks and activities in Sanski Most
24 municipality, some of the tasks were transporting and disseminating
25 weaponry, capture of the municipality building, mopping up operations,
1 participating in the operations at the corridor; right?
2 A. Partly. As for arming, our members could not have armed the Serb
3 people because we did not have any weapons. The other facts are correct.
4 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 31386.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just before we do that, can I just get a
6 clarification from the witness.
7 Sir, you're saying you did not have weapons. How, then, did you
8 participate in the operations in the corridor?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We did not have any weapons before
10 the conflict broke out in Sanski Most. While the conflict was breaking
11 out, we were a Territorial Defence unit of Sanski Most, and it is only
12 then that we received weapons. That was the beginning of April.
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: Once you received weapons, did you distribute
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That was personal weapons of each
16 and every one of our members.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's not an answer to my question. Once you
18 then received weapons, did you distribute them? Or disseminate them, if
19 I may use the word used by Mr. Zec.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We distributed them only to our own
21 members, the members of our own unit.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
23 Yes, Mr. Zec.
24 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Your Honour. And we will discuss arming a
25 little bit later.
1 But can we have now the 65 ter 31386.
2 Q. And this is a report on the activities and the participation in
3 combat of the SOS as per the plan of the 6th Krajina Brigade. Within a
4 few first lines of that text, it explains that the SOS was formed and
5 placed under the command of the 6th Brigade. And then it states:
6 "All actions to date have been carried out with the approval of
7 the Brigade Command. Since the establishment of the 6th Krajina Brigade,
8 the members of the SOS have carried out many important tasks and
9 activities as the members of the Sanski Most SDS."
10 And there is a list of the tasks and activities. So these were,
11 Mr. Nikolic, some of the SOS activities carried out in co-ordination with
12 the 6th Krajina Brigade; right?
13 A. As for arming and the distribution of weapons, that was carried
14 out by people who were in the 6th Sana Brigade and who were at the front
15 line. When they would come to Sanski Most on leave, then they would
16 bring weapons that they had captured in combat, and then they would give
17 these weapons to the members of their own households, to their parents,
18 and so on.
19 Q. And we'll talk about -- later about arming. But for the rest of
20 these tasks, you confirm that's more or less what you were doing; right?
21 A. Well, our soldiers took part in the front line. That was people
22 who joined us later, because the 6th Sana Brigade had come from the
23 Croatian front, and about 20 men who had experience came into our unit,
24 and that is why they were -- or rather, that is because they had been at
25 the Croatian front. The taking of the municipal building is correct as
1 well. We took part in Mahala, Vrhpolje, and Hrustovo. Combat operations
2 in Bihac. Some individuals of ours took part in that day,
3 Vitovlje-Babanovac, our entire unit was attached to the battalion of the
4 6th Sana Brigade. I don't remember exactly which battalion this was.
5 Q. And the SOS activities were reported to the Crisis Staff. That's
6 also correct; right?
7 A. No. This was -- well, because of this propaganda, huge
8 propaganda against the SOS in Sanski Most. While we were at the front
9 line, we decided to send them a letter --
10 Q. [Microphone not activated]
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Zec, please.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please switch on your microphone.
13 MR. ZEC: My apologies.
14 Q. If you leave this document for a moment, my basic question is
15 very simple: The SOS activities --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- they were reported to the Crisis Staff; correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the Crisis Staff provided financial support to the SOS
20 members; right?
21 A. Only in the period of April and May 1992.
22 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 31867, please.
23 Q. And this is a record of the Crisis Staff meeting held on 16 June
24 1992. Focusing on item 4, it says:
25 "Anicic submitted a report on the work of the military police and
1 the activities of Njunja's sabotage platoon."
2 Item 4:
3 "Crisis Staff approved the financial assistance (and rewards for
4 the sabotage platoon and military police) ..."
5 Now, Mr. Nikolic, commander of the SOS was Dusan Saovic, also
6 known as Njunja; correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So Njunja sabotage platoon in this document is the SOS unit.
9 That's clear here?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Anicic, that's Colonel Nedjeljko Anicic, commander of the Serbian
12 TO; right?
13 A. Correct.
14 MR. ZEC: Mr. President, I would tender 65 ter 31386 and 31867
15 into evidence.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
17 THE REGISTRAR: 31386 receives Exhibit number P7112.
18 Document 31867 receives Exhibit number P7113, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P7112 and P7113 are admitted.
20 MR. ZEC: Mr. President, I see that it's time for break. If you
21 want to break now --
22 JUDGE ORIE: It is time for a break.
23 MR. ZEC: Yes.
24 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take the break now.
25 We'll take a break of 20 minutes, Mr. Nikolic, and we'd like to
1 see you back quarter past 12.00. You may now follow the usher.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, before we take the break, we saw the
4 table of concordance that was about adjudicated facts. What about items
5 in the indictment? Is there a similar table? Because references are
6 made to the annexes to the indictment. And I take it that since that
7 statement was taken by the Karadzic Defence, that its reference is to
8 annexes in the Karadzic indictment. But if I'm wrong, please tell me.
9 MR. LUKIC: You are definitely not wrong, Your Honour. I will
10 check during the break what's -- do we have the same chart.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I can tell you already that at least the first one
12 mentioned Appendix A to the indictment that the number referred to
13 doesn't exist in ours, as far as I could see. It took me only one minute
14 to verify.
15 We take a break and we resume at quarter past 12.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 11.55 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.17 p.m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to enter the
19 courtroom, I could briefly deal with a matter I started with this
20 morning, which is the following.
21 The Chamber is due, as I said, to render decisions on four
22 motions related to the proposed expert witnesses and one Rule 92 bis
23 motion, all related to the Prosecution's reopening of its case.
24 Nonetheless, the Chamber wants to have a preliminary discussion with the
25 parties about scheduling.
1 As the Chamber held previously, it prefers that all the evidence
2 for the reopening is presented en bloc. The Chamber suggests that the
3 reopening evidence be heard in May or June of this year, and the Chamber
4 wonders whether that timing would create any problems for the parties.
5 If you could immediately respond by "yes" or "no," of course we
6 would hear that. But if you want to think about it or perhaps even
7 discuss it among the parties, then, of course, the Chamber would hear
8 your response at a later moment.
9 [The witness takes the stand]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, you may proceed.
11 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Mr. Nikolic, we were talking about the activities of the SOS
13 before the break. It is correct, is it, that the SOS worked closely with
14 the Crisis Staff in the implementation of the instructions from the
15 republic level SDS and the ARK level SDS; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. ZEC: Can we have on the screen 65 ter 06364.
18 Q. And this is another of the documents that you saw before. And
19 this is a report on the work and activities of the SOS acting as a
20 intervention platoon with the 6th Krajina Brigade.
21 MR. ZEC: If we can see last page of the document first.
22 Focusing on the signatures.
23 Q. Mr. Nikolic, the signatures --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Well, could we have B/C/S left-hand side and English
25 at the right-hand side. No, it's -- apparently is difficult. We started
1 with B/C/S at both sides, then we had English at both sides, we are now
2 back at B/C/S at both sides.
3 MR. ZEC: I will ask the witness for the signature, so maybe we
4 can --
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's -- only the B/C/S is relevant.
6 Yes, please proceed.
7 MR. ZEC:
8 Q. So, Mr. Nikolic, the signatures that we see in the B/C/S version,
9 these are signatures of Dusan Saovic, that's the first; in the middle,
10 it's your signature; and the last signature, it's Goran Cankovic; right?
11 A. Yes, correct.
12 Q. And so we are clear, so this report was prepared by the SOS
13 members; right?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. ZEC: Can we now have page 3 in both versions. In English,
16 we will be looking at third paragraph, and in the B/C/S, very bottom of
17 the page.
18 Q. It states:
19 "Remember the meeting we had on the premises of the Serbian
20 Orthodox church where we particularly warned about the slow
21 implementation of the conclusions reached by the Bosnia-Herzegovina SDS
22 and the Bosnian Krajina."
23 So this is an example of your support and encouragement in the
24 implementation of the instructions from the higher level; right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. We were talking previously about arming, and you said that the
2 SOS was not armed until April 1992. In fact, the SOS helped arm the
3 Serbian people in Sanski Most before the conflict broke out; right?
4 A. It was not organised.
5 Q. Well, let's turn to page 2 of your report that we have in front
6 of us.
7 MR. ZEC: Page 2 in both languages. In the middle of the page in
8 English, towards the end of the page in B/C/S.
9 Q. And you are here discussing how the SOS kept the peace from May
10 1991, and you say:
11 "These young men, I'm thinking of the seven lads who tirelessly
12 brought weapons from various warehouses and points and armed the Serbian
13 people, risking that the weapons fall into the hands of Ustashas and
14 Green Berets."
15 So, Mr. Nikolic, this is a reflection of your activities related
16 to arming of the Serbian people in Sanski Most before the conflict;
18 A. I've already said that that had not been organised. Individuals
19 that had the possibility of getting weapons armed their neighbours and
20 family members.
21 Q. Among other SOS activities was also blowing up buildings owned by
22 Muslims and Croats and arresting SDA and HDZ leaders; right?
23 A. There were arrests on [Realtime transcript read in error: "And"]
24 orders from the Crisis Staff and the public police station during the
25 months of April and May.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could we just see. The transcript reads "there were
2 arrests and orders." Could we verify whether there were arrests and
3 orders or whether there were arrests that were ordered by the
4 Crisis Staff?
5 Is it that the arrests were ordered by the Crisis Staff?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Can we have page 2 of the English --
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: Before we --
12 MR. ZEC: -- and page --
13 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- we go to page 2, on this question of the SOS --
14 MR. ZEC: Yes.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: -- arresting people.
16 Sir, the penultimate paragraph in English, I don't know where it
17 will be in the B/C/S, reads in the middle:
18 "No one should take credit for the capture of SDA and HDZ leaders
19 other than the SOS and in part the Serbian police for its action."
20 MR. ZEC: And this is page 3 of the B/C/S. Thank you,
21 Mr. President -- Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
23 Do you have any comment on that, Mr. Witness?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we carried out the arrests,
25 the members of the police and the SOS, because the police force was
1 smaller then because the Muslims and Croats had left. So the
2 Territorial Defence Crisis Staff ordered us to help bring in extremists,
3 armed Muslims, and their representatives.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Mr. Zec.
5 MR. ZEC:
6 Q. Mr. Nikolic, the reality is the SOS was involved in blowing up
7 the buildings and capture of non-Serb leaders in order to intimidate
8 non-Serb population in Sanski Most. That was the reality; right?
9 A. Well, the reality was that it was Serbian cafes that were first
10 blown up in Sanski Most. Those were the first ones that were not exactly
11 blown up but damaged.
12 Q. And this Chamber has received some evidence about these incidents
13 that you're just referring to. But my question was: You were involved
14 in these activities to intimidate non-Serb population of Sanski Most;
16 A. No, this was not done in an organised way. It was only
17 individuals who could have done this.
18 Q. This is SOS report. You, SOS, did it; right?
19 A. Individuals from SOS.
20 Q. The SOS tasks and activities also included taking over public
21 institutions; for instance, even before the take-over, on 28th February,
22 1992, the SOS took over the SDK - that is, the public auditing service -
23 by force and removed the Croat director; right?
24 A. Not by force, sorry.
25 MR. ZEC: Can we have page 4 --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When power was shared, the SDK came
2 to the Serbs. And since the director didn't want to leave, a few of us
3 went there to take the keys from her and hand the keys over to
4 Mr. Rasula, and then it was their task to select a new head of the SDK.
5 MR. ZEC: Page 4 of the English, page 5 of the B/C/S of the SOS
6 report that we have on the screen.
7 Towards the end of the page in English and B/C/S.
8 Q. It states:
9 "We also" --
10 "We must also mention how we resolved a previous problem of the
12 And it continues:
13 "Despite Alija's police, they weren't Alija's police but that's
14 how we called them, so you Serbs won't hold it against me. We fellow
15 Serbs carried out a raid on the Sanski Most SDK, took away the keys from
16 the stubborn Croatian woman director who refused any form of co-operation
17 or agreement and continued according to plan."
18 So, Mr. Nikolic, you took over the SDK by force; right?
19 A. No, it doesn't say "attack" here. It says "barging in." That's
20 different from an attack.
21 MR. ZEC: Mr. President, I would tender this 65 ter 06364 into
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document 06364 receives Exhibit number P7114,
25 Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: P7114 is admitted.
2 MR. ZEC:
3 Q. You state in response to question 10 that after the liberation of
4 the municipality building, there was a period of chaos during which
5 the -- during which roads were blocked and telephone lines were down. So
6 now irrespective of any problems with roads or telephone lines, the
7 Sanski Most Crisis Staff continued to be in contact with the ARK and
8 republic level authorities throughout this period; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You say that individuals and groups used this period of chaos for
11 their own benefits. And during this period, Mr. Nikolic, the SOS and the
12 military police confiscated a number of vehicles and goods at
13 check-points; correct?
14 A. This was a confiscation of trucks of Agrokomerc that were moving
15 from Kljuc towards Prijedor.
16 Q. So just that we are clear, you are talking about Agrokomerc
17 trucks. And Agrokomerc, that was a food processing company based in the
18 area of Velika Kladusa. So they were distributing food and you basically
19 confiscated these trucks at the check-points. Is that what you're
21 A. These trucks went further towards Serbia, Hungary, I don't know.
22 They were all stopped, and the goods from the trucks were distributed to
23 the population, all three ethnic communities, and the Crisis Staff was in
24 charge of the trucks.
25 Q. So we are also clear, the Velika Kladusa area, that's what Serb
1 authorities considered as Muslim territory; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. A total of 29 Agrokomerc trucks were confiscated and you were
4 placed in charge of these trucks on behalf of the Crisis Staff; right?
5 A. At later meetings of the Crisis Staff, I was given this task to
6 guard the trucks when necessary.
7 Q. On the orders of the Crisis Staff, you provided these vehicles to
8 various entities and individuals, such as 6th Krajina Brigade, the
9 military police, and the SOS unit; correct?
10 A. Requests were sent to the Crisis Staff, and we decided who needed
11 these vehicles and we gave these vehicles to those organisations.
12 Q. The SOS used a number of these vehicles, including one truck to
13 which they fixed a semiautomatic gun on top; correct?
14 A. Yes, because SOS was an intervention platoon attached to the
15 command of the Territorial Defence. They asked for a vehicle and they
16 adjusted it to become a combat vehicle.
17 Q. The SOS used this truck with the semiautomatic gun on top in
18 mopping up operations in Sanski Most?
19 A. At Vrhpolje and Hrustovo. And when the corridor was being broken
20 through and when we lost it in fighting.
21 Q. Some --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, could I just --
23 MR. ZEC: Yes, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Your whole line of questioning started by referring
25 to what the witness said, at least that's what I take it in paragraph 11,
1 that individuals and groups used this period of chaos for their own ends.
2 And then you suggested that trucks were confiscated. The witness then
3 explained how the Crisis Staff and the SOS was involved in the
4 confiscation of those trucks.
5 But when you refer to individuals and groups in paragraph 11 of
6 your statement saying there was looting and burning of houses, some of
7 the refugees driven from Muslim-controlled towns in BH came to
8 Sanski Most to seek a roof over their heads, what individuals and groups
9 did you have on your mind there, or would that include the SOS when
10 confiscating trucks?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, the confiscation of trucks was
12 carried out on orders from the Crisis Staff.
13 JUDGE ORIE: That was apparently, then, not an example of what
14 you refer to as individuals and groups using this period of chaos for
15 their own ends.
16 Could you -- what group -- could you tell us about one group and
17 what they did?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That night when the municipality
19 was liberated, since the police and the SOS group were in the
20 municipality all night, individuals, various groups of looters, started
21 looting in town, cafes, the supermarket, and so on, and that only stopped
22 when the 6th Sana arrived in town in the morning.
23 JUDGE ORIE: You say various groups. And again, I'll repeat:
24 Could you give us, for one such group, composition? What exactly did
25 they do?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These were groups, ordinary groups
2 of citizens that were looting, that were probably stealing food, because
3 they had fled from Croatia. Perhaps some small groups of locals as well,
4 because nobody was arrested that night so it couldn't be proven who they
5 were, these people in these groups.
6 JUDGE ORIE: You say that they had fled from Croatia. Did you
7 think that these were Serbs who did that or...
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Serbs who had fled from
9 Croatia who had come to Sanski Most.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you can't tell us specific persons forming
11 a group and what exactly that group did? Apart from that, no action --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Stores had been broken
13 into, windows had been broken, and food, cigarettes, and alcohol were
14 taken away.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. ZEC:
18 Q. And in order to control this chaos, as you say, the Crisis Staff
19 was establishing check-points around the town and municipality; correct?
20 That was one of the functions of the Crisis Staff, to order where a
21 check-point can be established or set up; correct?
22 A. The order of the Crisis Staff was to place check-points, but the
23 chief of police and the police decided operationally where they would be.
24 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 28414.
25 Q. And these are conclusions of the Sanski Most Crisis Staff meeting
1 held on 7 May 1992. Towards the end of the page in item 6, it provides
2 that Crisis Staff appointed you in charge of the Agrokomerc trucks. And
3 in item 9 --
4 MR. ZEC: In B/C/S, we need e-court page 3.
5 Q. Item 9 says:
6 "The existing check-point at the gas station of Tomina shall be
7 removed and a new one set up at the Vrhpolje bridge."
8 So this is a reflection of the reality that Crisis Staff made
9 decisions where to set up check-points in order to control the movement;
11 A. The chief of the security station was also a member and it was
12 his proposal.
13 MR. ZEC: I tender this document to evidence, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document 28414 receives Exhibit number P7115,
16 Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ORIE: P7115 is admitted.
18 MR. ZEC:
19 Q. Just to finish up with these Agrokomerc trucks, you said the SOS
20 used them in mopping up operations, but also these trucks were used for
21 transport of Muslims and Croats out of municipality to Manjaca and other
22 places; correct?
23 A. Only for Manjaca. Two trucks were requested from the public
24 security station in order to transport Muslims to Manjaca.
25 Q. Turning now to the issue of dismissals. You say in response to
1 question 12 that all citizens of Sanski Most, regardless of their
2 ethnicity, were allowed to remain in their jobs if they respected the
3 constitution of Republika Srpska. And, in fact, Mr. Nikolic, this is not
4 correct. We have already seen example of the forcible removal of the
5 Croat director of the SDK before the war. After the Serb take-over,
6 other non-Serbs were also removed from their posts in other municipal
7 institutions, such as the health centre and the court. You know that;
9 A. I know about the court and I know about the health centre, yes.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: What do you know about?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that the director of Muslim
12 ethnicity was supposed to be replaced and the directors of Serb ethnicity
13 were supposed to be appointed.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
15 Mr. Zec.
16 MR. ZEC: Can we have P2410, please.
17 JUDGE ORIE: But before we look at that --
18 Could you tell us then why they were to be replaced?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Adil Aganovic was president
20 of the court, and he was a prominent and extremist member of the SDA.
21 And also the head of the health centre too. I can't remember his name.
22 He was also a prominent member of the SDA, and his orientation was an
23 extremist one.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us how you can see that the
25 orientation of a doctor, I take it he was a doctor, was an extremist one?
1 Is it that he disagreed with the Serb power or was it -- what was it that
2 made him such an extreme person?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, according to the report of
4 the organs that carried out the investigation - that was, the police of
5 Sanski Most - they came to learn that he gave vast amounts of money for
6 arming Muslim paramilitary organisations; whereas, the president of the
7 court from the safe, he took all the money and gold and he put it in
8 Mahala, a different facility.
9 JUDGE ORIE: May I take it that this is documented in one way or
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think so, yes. The police
12 informed us about that. As for the police on-site investigation and the
13 conclusions, I didn't see that. However, they just informed us that that
14 is what had been done.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 Mr. Lukic, such documents could perhaps be in favour of the
17 Defence because they would explain that it was not on the basis of
18 ethnicity that people were replaced but because there were serious
19 allegations of abuse. So, therefore, the Chamber, if you could get hold
20 of that material for the evaluation of the evidence, it would certainly
21 assist far more than just sweeping statements. Even in this statement we
22 see that the witness is telling us that a certain order from the
23 Crisis Staff is where a specific category of prisoners are mentioned,
24 that it's misinterpreted. But unfortunately, the statement doesn't say
25 which document that is. And so that it's very difficult for us to find
1 out whether it really is a misinterpretation or whether there is a claim
2 for misinterpretation which is not supported by that document.
3 I mean, the Chamber wants facts, to the extent possible
4 documentary evidence, rather than sweeping statements.
5 Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
6 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 P2410 is on the screen.
8 Q. And these are conclusions of the Sanski Most Crisis Staff,
9 24 April, 1992. Item 8, end of the page, it says:
10 "Mladen Lukic, Vinko, and Boro, tasked with preparing the
11 appointment of the acting director of the Health Centre in Sanski Most."
12 Vinko, this is you, yeah? That's a reference to you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you already indicated that this was -- this position was held
15 by a Muslim; correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And shortly after you filled this position with a Serb whose name
18 was Bosko Grubisa; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. ZEC: Can we have now 65 ter 06569.
21 Q. These are conclusions of the Sanski Most Crisis Staff meeting,
22 29 April 1992. At the first conclusion, it says:
23 "... changes to be made to all officials of the Municipal Court
24 of the Serbian Municipality of Sanski Most be appointed as acting
25 official (Vrkes, Vrucinic and Nikolic are in charge of this)."
1 Again, you are here named as Nikolic; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And the fact is that all non-Serb judges were removed, including
4 Judge Nedzad Muhic, Azra Alabegovic, and Adil Draganovic; correct?
5 A. When their director was dismissed, they quit their positions on
6 their own because our task was only to replace the president of the
8 Q. Mr. Nikolic, these people they were detained in Sanski Most and
9 subsequently transferred to other locations, such as Manjaca; correct?
10 A. They were locked up and transferred in July, I believe. I don't
11 know. I think my unit was away at that time. I don't know the exact
12 date when they were transferred.
13 Q. Judge --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could I ask you the following. The
15 document reads that all officials at the municipal court must be
16 appointed. Was this then after they had quit it? Because you explained
17 this by saying "we were only tasked by the president to be replaced."
18 But had they quit it then already before the 29th of April?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is about all officials, not
20 Muslim officials. We received an order to replace the president of the
21 court and to replace him by a Serb. We gave that job to Radovan Stanic.
22 After the appointment of Radovan Stanic, the other officials in the
23 municipal court just quit.
24 JUDGE ORIE: When was he appointed, if you know, Radovan Stanic?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I don't remember the date.
1 Perhaps two or three days after this decision.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But in the decision it says already that all
3 officials must be appointed in the Serbian Municipality of Sanski Most of
4 the municipal court. It doesn't limit itself to the president. It
5 suggests that it is just a replacement of all officials.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We only replaced the president of
7 the court based on the evidence we had against him. The other officials
8 included Serbs, Croats, and Muslims. They were not only Muslims.
9 JUDGE ORIE: And those Serbs who left the court, they were not
10 then later appointed again or...
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ORIE: They were reappointed?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the president of the court
14 appointed his own judges. Because it's the president that makes
15 appointments of the judges.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And those are, as far as Serbs are concerned, the
17 same as who had left the court before?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. They accepted to work in the
19 court again.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Was any job offered to non-Serb judges or officials?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that. That was the
22 job of the president of the court.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, please proceed.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a follow-up question.
25 You said these three men Mr. Zec named, Mr. Muhic,
1 Mr. Alabegovic, and Mr. Draganovic, they quit their positions on their
2 own. Why were they locked up and transferred to Manjaca? What was the
3 reason for that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I've said already the police
5 was in charge of detaining people, interrogating them, and sending them
6 on to Manjaca for further processing. I mean the civilian police.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You said only the director, the head of the
8 court, was dismissed, but the others left their job on their own will.
9 Why then -- have you any idea why they were detained and
10 transferred to Manjaca?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, as I said, I was on the front
12 line at that time, and I did not look into these documents of the
13 Crisis Staff again. I don't know why each individual was transferred to
14 Manjaca and other investigation camps.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Zec.
16 MR. ZEC: Thank you.
17 Q. And Judge Muhic, he suffocated to death en route to Manjaca camp
18 as one of the people who you assisted in replacing with Serb judge;
20 A. I was talking about the president of the court, not Muhic.
21 JUDGE ORIE: But the question was about Mr. Muhic. Could you
22 please --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said Muhic left or quit his
24 position on his -- of his own will.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But you also said that judges were taken to
1 Manjaca. The question now is whether you know that Judge Muhic was
2 suffocated to death when he was being transported to Manjaca camp,
3 whether that's correct.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I heard about that from others
5 because I was at the front line at the time.
6 MR. ZEC:
7 Q. These people who suffocated to death on their transport to
8 Manjaca, which you refer to in paragraph 23 of your statement, you say
9 they died due to great heat and a lack of oxygen. Now, this happened
10 because they were packed into trucks with no ventilation; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And these were the trucks that you provided; correct?
13 A. Those were the trucks supplied by the Crisis Staff, and I
14 forwarded them on the orders of the Crisis Staff.
15 Q. Turning now to a different topic. In response to question 28,
16 you state that from mid-May all members of the SOS were placed under the
17 command of the VRS. Now, during the mop-up operations in Sanski Most at
18 the end of May/early June 1992, including Mahala, Vrhpolje, Hrustovo,
19 during which the SOS participated, the unit was subordinated to the
20 6th Krajina Brigade; correct?
21 A. Yes. Those were actions in the mopping up of Vrhpolje, Hrustovo,
22 et cetera.
23 Q. You state in response to question 30 that the attack operations
24 in Mahala and elsewhere were not planned in advance. This Chamber has
25 received evidence, including the attack order and testimony of some of
1 the Defence witnesses, explaining that the mop-up operation in Mahala and
2 elsewhere were part of a planned and co-ordinated action.
3 MR. ZEC: This can be found in P2411 and transcript page 30736.
4 Q. So it's not true, Mr. Nikolic, that these were spontaneous
5 attacks. They were well planned and co-ordinated attack operations;
7 A. Well, every attack is preplanned, but it was not planned in
8 advance in this case until Muslims started to return fire from individual
9 parts of Mahala and threatened lives on the opposite side.
10 Q. If --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, can you invite the witness to explain the
12 difference between "preplanned" and "planned in advance"?
13 MR. ZEC:
14 Q. Mr. Nikolic, you heard His Honour, Judge Orie's question. Can
15 you explain to us what is the difference? What do you mean by
16 "preplanned" and "planned in advance"?
17 A. Well, planning much in advance is what I meant, for an operation.
18 Whereas, the action in Vrhpolje and Mahala was planned 6 to 12 hours
19 before the beginning of the operation.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You would say "planned in advance" is a longer
21 period of time, whereas it may be "preplanned" and that could be a
22 shorter period of time.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Immediate planning just before the
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 Could I ask you one additional question when we are at
2 paragraph 30. You commented on the adjudicated fact mainly by saying
3 that it was not planned and it was all in response to provocations, but
4 you did not comment on the attacks themselves; for example, Mahala, was
5 there any shelling involved? Were any mortars fired?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was shelling in Mahala with
7 M60 mortars, which belongs to infantry weapons; hand-held zolja, rocket
8 launchers; and such. That was used in the action in Mahala.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And could you give us a few specific targets
10 that were attacked by the weaponry you'd just mentioned?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That kind of weapon is used against
12 targets from which you see fire by the enemy against troops that are
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you say that kind of weapon is used.
15 Were they used in that way; for example, in Mahala? Were you targeting
16 troops in Mahala?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Now, where were these troops in Mahala? Were they
19 in the streets, on the markets, in the houses? Where could they be
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Most of them were in fortified
23 JUDGE ORIE: Was there a lot of damage to those houses in Mahala
24 when you used rocket launchers, mortars, hand-held zolja - that's rocket
25 launchers, yes? Was there a lot of damage to those houses?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the houses that were hit by
2 such grenades and rockets were damaged, but they were not destroyed. It
3 was not the kind of damage that could not be repaired.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Could you tell us approximately how many of the
5 houses in Mahala, for example, were damaged? Was it one house or was it
6 ten houses or was it every one out of four? Could you give us an
7 impression as to what ...
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can only speak about my unit.
9 The axis of our action was towards the left bank of the Sana River, and I
10 believe we targeted four or five houses. I cannot speak about other
11 units, because I was not present on the other side of the action.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But this was Mahala?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mahala is the centre of town,
14 densely populated, with four or five streets along the whole length of
15 the neighbourhood.
16 JUDGE ORIE: When you say, "I cannot speak about other units,
17 because I was not present at the other side of the action," do you mean
18 other Serb units?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, other units involved in that
20 operation. Alongside us there were members of the 6th Sana Brigade.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And did you gain the impression that their
22 attack was less fierce than yours in terms of the use of weaponry?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To the best of my knowledge, the
24 resistance was less in that part of the neighbourhood than in the part
25 that we covered.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But I was asking about, rather, the use of
2 weaponry by those who attacked Mahala. The other units you spoke about.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's also infantry weapons.
4 Zolja and Osa launchers and hand-held launchers, artillery, could not be
5 used there because there was only the Sana River between Mahala and the
6 other part of town. If artillery had been used, it would have been easy
7 to overshoot and hit the other part of town.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And there was no risk when you used mortars, or do
9 you consider mortars not to be artillery?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A 60-millimetre mortar is an
11 infantry weapon. Infantrymen carry those mortars themselves.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Now, I go back to my question, whether the use of
13 weaponry in the attack was any less or less fierce in the units that were
14 next to you or at the other side of the town, if you know?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
16 JUDGE ORIE: You mean you don't know or was it not?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Larger calibre weapons were not
18 used, otherwise we would have heard the detonations of a large-calibre
20 JUDGE ORIE: But the intensity of the weapons that were used,
21 that's what I'm trying to find out, whether that was similar to your unit
22 or whether it was different in those other units.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I've already said we didn't
24 use that kind of weapon so much there because the resistance in that part
25 of the neighbourhood was less.
1 JUDGE ORIE: But you did fire zoljas and you did fire mortars --
2 mortar shells, didn't you?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Every intervention unit has these
4 as part of their arsenal.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I'm not asking whether it was part of their
6 arsenal but whether you used it or not.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Did I personally use it?
8 JUDGE ORIE: Well, your unit.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said we used it in four or five
10 cases against features from which fire was opened at us.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
12 Mr. Zec.
13 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Now, these operations in Mahala, the goal of the Mahala and the
15 target of these operations in Mahala were civilians. People, the
16 citizens of Mahala, after the operation were detained in the sports hall
17 in Sanski Most; correct?
18 A. 24 hours before the attack, public announcements were made on the
19 radio appealing to Muslims from that area to surrender their weapons.
20 However, women, children, and the elderly left of their own accord and we
21 put them up in the sports hall. Of course, not all of them left. There
22 were certainly civilians who said. So after the combat was over, we
23 moved those civilians to the stadium in Krkojevci.
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure about the place
1 MR. ZEC:
2 Q. Can you just repeat the name of the place that you said in your
3 last sentence for the interpreters.
4 A. Football stadium in Krkojevci. It's a neighbouring village to
6 Q. Now, this Chamber has received evidence that in this attack on
7 Mahala, that this attack resulted in the capture of 2.000 civilians and
8 that no significant amount of weapons were found. So these people were
9 attacked, they were captured, they were prisoners; correct?
10 MR. ZEC: And I refer Your Honours to P2889.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were captured and moved to
12 another location pending the restoration of normal conditions in Mahala.
13 MR. ZEC: Your Honours, did you want to make break now or I can
15 JUDGE ORIE: It depends on how much time you would still need.
16 MR. ZEC: I don't have that much. Maybe ten minutes, I would
18 JUDGE ORIE: Ten minutes' time.
19 Also looking at you, Mr. Lukic, would you then prefer --
20 MR. LUKIC: We will finish this witness today.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And would you then prefer to take the break
22 now, or would you rather use the time for the break after the whole
23 cross-examination has been concluded?
24 MR. LUKIC: Whatever Your Honours deem fit. I don't have any
1 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, the advantage of continuing is that you are
2 going to the time of the break. So unless there's strong opposition
3 against it, then we would like you to finish your cross-examination now
4 and take a break in approximately ten minutes from now.
5 MR. ZEC:
6 Q. In response to question 12, you say that more than 8.000 Muslims
7 continued to live in Sanski Most municipality. In reality, less than
8 half of that number - 3.350 - remained in Sanski Most in 1995; right?
9 A. I am talking about Muslims and Croats. I said about 8.000. A
10 census was not carried out in the villages where the majority population
11 is. Muslims did remain.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In your statement, you say 8.000 Muslims and not
13 Muslims and Croats. There only referring to Muslims, Mr. Nikolic.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I still stand by that statement.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Why then -- how I do have to understand your last
16 answer, "I am talking about Muslims and Croats. I said about 8.000."
17 Why then including Croats?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Because they also lived in the area
19 of Sanski Most.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please continue, Mr. Zec.
21 MR. ZEC:
22 Q. Mr. Nikolic, again, not true, because by 1995 in Sanski Most were
23 1.050 Croats. If I add these Muslims that I mentioned, 3.350, it adds to
24 4.400 people. So, again, not correct that there were 8.000 Muslims and
25 Croats in Sanski Most in 1995. It was half of that; correct?
1 A. I don't know whose estimate that is, since there was no census at
2 the time.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could I then ask you: How do you know that
4 there were 8.000? How did you learn that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Free estimate.
6 JUDGE ORIE: It's your own estimate?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, my very own.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, did you tell the Karadzic Defence that in
9 1995 that it was your estimate that 8.000 Muslims continued to live
10 there, or did you give that as a number as some kind of knowledge?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just told them on the basis of
12 their question how many Muslims there were in Sanski Most during the war,
13 and my answer to them was about 8.000.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. You said on the basis of their question. Was
15 there any suggestion in the question that it would be 8.000, or did you
16 come up spontaneously with that number?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I spontaneously came up with
18 that number.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
20 Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
21 MR. ZEC:
22 Q. So now according to the 1991 census, there were over 30.000
23 Muslims and Croats in Sanski Most municipality. By February 1995, the
24 Banja Luka State Security Service estimated there were a bit over 4.400
25 Muslims and Croats in Sanski Most.
1 MR. ZEC: And this is P3853.
2 Q. So it is not true, Mr. Nikolic, that there were more than 8.000
3 Muslims and Croats in Sanski Most. In fact, only, like, a fraction of
4 it, like 4.000, left in Sanski Most in 1995. That's the reality, right?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, that question has been asked, that question
6 has been --
7 THE WITNESS: [Overlapping speakers] ...
8 JUDGE ORIE: That question has been answered and the witness
9 explained that the 8.000 he mentioned was just a rough estimate on his
10 part. Therefore, there is no need to further explore that matter, unless
11 there are new aspects which you want to address.
12 MR. ZEC: I will move on, Mr. President.
13 Q. Now, in your statement, you repeatedly talk about the voluntary
14 nature of the departure of Muslims and Croats from Sanski Most. In
15 response to question 17, you say they requested and decided to leave, and
16 the authorities had an obligation to help them.
17 In response to question 24, you say the civilian authorities, the
18 police, and the army, did not plan, instigate, or order the permanent
19 removal of Muslims from Sanski Most.
20 The reality is, Mr. Nikolic, the Serbian authorities wanted
21 Sanski Most to be a Serbian town, and they held the view that the most
22 efficient solution was to transfer Muslims and Croats from Sanski Most to
23 Central Bosnia; correct?
24 A. At the meetings of the Crisis Staff that I attended, there was no
25 mention of the mass movement out of the other two ethnic communities.
1 Another matter are the wishes of certain officials, but I'm not going
2 into that.
3 Q. Let me quickly show you two documents.
4 MR. ZEC: 65 ter 06462. These are minutes of the 9th Session of
5 the Sanski Most Executive Committee. At page 3 of the English and page 4
6 of the B/C/S.
7 Q. There is a discussion about -- item 4. There is a discussion
8 about how many Muslims and Croats left the municipality and how many
9 wanted to leave.
10 MR. ZEC: Can we see next page in both languages. Towards the
11 top of the English page. And in the B/C/S, this is in the middle of the
13 Q. Vlado Vrkes, SDS municipal president, said:
14 "We have to persist in this work because this is what the
15 soldiers and the people of Sanski Most require us --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can we see the top of the page in English.
17 MR. ZEC: I'll repeat.
18 Q. "We have to persist in this work because this is what the
19 soldiers and the people of Sanski Most require of us because this has to
20 be a Serbian town. Also said, Manjaca cannot take anymore."
21 MR. ZEC: Can we now see one more document. It's MFI P7015.
22 Q. And this is the SDS bulletin Informator.
23 MR. ZEC: We need page -- English page 30 and B/C/S page 19.
24 Q. And here we see conclusions of the SDS Municipal Board meeting on
25 24 June 1992. Item number 2, it says:
1 "The most efficient and the most peaceful solution on national
2 strife is the transfer of people from one area to another. In that
3 sense, some Muslims and Croats should be relocated from Sanski Most to
4 Central Bosnia ..."
5 So this is a reflection of the reality, Mr. Nikolic. The Serbian
6 authorities wanted Sanski Most to be a Serbian town, which was achieved
7 through various matters, one of which was transfer of Muslims and Croats
8 from Sanski Most to Central Bosnia; right?
9 A. Well, at that time I was not a member of the SDS, and I was not a
10 member of the Executive Board, and I was not a member of any
11 administration in that kind of responsibility. These are conclusions
12 that were reached while I was at the front line. I cannot give my
13 comments on what Vlado Vrkes, Rasula, and the rest of them think.
14 MR. ZEC: Mr. President, I would tender 65 ter 06462, and I don't
15 have any further questions. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
17 Madam Registrar, the number would be?
18 THE REGISTRAR: Document 06462 receives Exhibit number P7116,
19 Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
21 Witness, before we take that break -- you were -- Mr. Zec,
22 anything else?
23 MR. ZEC: My apologies, Mr. President. I just got note that
24 frankly document 062 -- 065 --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could Mr. Zec please speak
1 into the microphone. Thank you.
2 MR. ZEC: That the document under 65 ter 06569 is not admitted
3 and I would ask that it be admitted into evidence, if I failed to do
4 that. Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document 06569 receives Exhibit number P7117,
7 Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
9 Before we take the break, Witness, could I ask you the following.
10 You answered whether a portion of a document was read to you:
11 "At that time I was not a member of the SDS, I was not a member
12 of the Executive Board, and I was not a member of any administration in
13 that kind of responsibility. These are conclusions that were reached
14 when I was at the front line ..."
15 And you cannot give your comments on Vlado Vrkes, Rasula, and the
16 rest of them. However, in your statement, paragraph 24, when you were
17 asked about whether authorities at the local municipal level supported or
18 instigated or -- well, a lot of other versions of what you could do with
19 the permanent removal, you said:
20 "I said earlier on that the political leadership tried to protect
21 all citizens of Sanski Most."
22 Now, which of the two is it? That you say I don't know what they
23 said, or I wasn't there and therefore I cannot tell us [sic]; or is your
24 answer that these people, indeed, were only aiming to protect everyone
25 rather than to support, plan, instigate -- well, the removal of others?
1 Which of the two we should take most seriously?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just spoke about the time during
3 which I was on the Crisis Staff, and at these sessions there was no
4 mention of any permanent removal of the other two peoples. I can testify
5 about those documents.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So what you say -- your answer was given
7 purely on the basis of what you personally experienced when attending the
8 Crisis Staff meetings and not beyond that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One follow-up to exactly that topic.
12 Earlier you said, that can be found on page 79, line 12, you
13 said, during the Crisis Staff meetings there was no mention of mass
14 movement out of town. Then you said:
15 "Another matter are the wishes of certain officials."
16 What kind of "certain officials" are you referring to here?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My answer was to the Prosecutor's
18 question. He mentioned wishes of officials and I said that I could not
19 influence that. And who had what kind of wishes, that I don't know.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, your answer was different. You said:
21 "Another matter are the wishes of certain officials, but I'm not
22 going into that."
23 What do you mean by that?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that I don't know which
25 official wanted what out of these officials in Sanski Most. At the
1 Crisis Staff, they did not express their wishes, and we did not come to
2 that topic, to discuss that.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take a break.
5 We would like to see you back after the break, Witness. The
6 break will take 20 minutes.
7 Mr. Lukic, you are still confident that you will be able to
8 conclude today?
9 MR. LUKIC: I'm sure that I will finish today.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then we take that break.
11 You may follow the usher.
12 And we resume at ten minutes to 2.00.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 --- Recess taken at 1.30 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 1.52 p.m.
16 JUDGE ORIE: While we are waiting for the witness to be escorted
17 into the courtroom, my attention was drawn to a small issue as far as
18 translation is concerned. And I -- if I could guide the parties to
19 page 74 --
20 MR. LUKIC: Line 21. And 72, line 22. I wanted to draw your
21 attention as well.
22 JUDGE ORIE: That's good, Mr. Lukic.
23 Now, I have only one source, but page 74, line 10, reads now:
24 "Well, I've already said we didn't use that kind of weapon so
25 much there because the resistance in that part of the neighbourhood was
2 And I'm informed that the interpreters consider that it should be
3 corrected and that it should now read:
4 "Well, I've already said they didn't use that kind of weapon so
5 much there because the resistance in that part of the neighbourhood was
7 That's hereby put on the record.
8 Mr. Lukic, the other thing, you said line 72 --
9 MR. LUKIC: 74, line 21 --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
11 MR. LUKIC: -- it's correctly recorded four or five houses were
12 hit by those launchers --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Oh, cases.
14 MR. LUKIC: Yes, cases.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I would say it goes almost without saying that --
16 MR. LUKIC: In 72, line 22, it was said "two or three houses
17 only," but actually at that time witness also said "four or five."
18 JUDGE ORIE: That should be verified then by the --
19 MR. LUKIC: Definitely, please, yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: So we could have verified -- because earlier at
21 least we received on the record two to three; whereas, later, indeed, he
22 said four to five, and we'll have to verify that on the basis of the
23 audio. That will be done.
24 Mr. Lukic, are you ready to re-examine the witness?
25 MR. LUKIC: Yes. Yes, I am, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
2 MR. LUKIC: I don't have much.
3 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Once again, good day.
5 A. Good day.
6 Q. You were speaking about opening fire, mortar fire, at Mahala. Do
7 you know today how many shells were fired and where they fell? Do you
8 know that today or not?
9 A. I don't know for sure what the locations were, where they fell.
10 They fell between houses or houses that were under fire.
11 Q. Do you know how many?
12 A. Not more than ten or so shells were fired from a 60-millimetre
13 mortar. It's a small calibre and it doesn't cover a lot of space.
14 Q. Thank you. Now we are going to take a look at two documents only
15 that were shown to you towards the end today.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] First let us look at P7015.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lukic, are you really asking for P7015 or
18 P7115? That was used during cross-examination.
19 MR. LUKIC: I have here 7015. But --
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Well, that was my mistake. Sorry.
21 MR. LUKIC: That's the document I need. And my colleague showed
22 to the witness page 19 in English and page 3-0 in B/C/S, 30.
23 MR. ZEC: It's perhaps the other way around. In B/C/S, it's 19
24 and English it's 30.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. Yes, that's the page in B/C/S, at least
1 for now, I need. Yes.
2 Q. [Interpretation] In paragraph 2, it says:
3 "The most efficient and most peaceful solution to" ethnic "strife
4 is the transfer of peoples from one area to another."
5 You've already told us that in July 1992 you were not in
6 Sanski Most. In relation to this, I would like to show you document 7116
7 in order to be able to put a question to you.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: That's a P number?
9 MR. LUKIC: It's P number, yes, Your Honour. Sorry. P7116.
10 Q. [Interpretation] These are minutes again from a session of the
11 Executive Committee, and you told us that you were not even a member of
12 that body. And the date here is the 27th of July, 1992. My colleague
13 read out a portion to you.
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Page 6 in English, and page 5 in
15 B/C/S. [In English] I have good page in B/C/S, but in e-court I found
16 this on page 6. Can we go back, since we need item 4, and on our screens
17 we have items 7, 8, and 9.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Item 4 is on page 3 in e-court -- no, that's
19 apparently not.
20 MR. ZEC: Page 3 of the English is item 4.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, 3 in e-court in English. That's where I've
22 item 4. Yes, there we are.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. We see here at the bottom of the page --
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The last line in the English version,
1 and line 5 of the second paragraph.
2 Q. -- where Vlado Vrkes is speaking in B/C/S, and it says that:
3 "The most humane thing is to allow them to move away peacefully. Certain
4 results have been achieved, efforts are being made through UNPROFOR
5 to" --
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can we see the next page in English, please.
7 MR. LUKIC: That's the next page in English, sorry. I'll read
9 Q. "... efforts are being made through UNPROFOR to resettle people
10 who are interested in leaving the territory of our municipality."
11 When you attended Crisis Staff sessions, was there any discussion
12 at all about the departure of civilians from the municipality of
13 Sanski Most?
14 A. Well, there were discussions about civilians who had expressed
15 the wish to leave Sanski Most; ethnic Croats and Muslims, that is.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Nikolic. That is all I had for you. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a follow-up question to exactly that
20 portion you discussed with the witness, Mr. Lukic.
21 If you look at the next sentence, which reads as follows, I
23 "We have to persist in this work because this is what the
24 soldiers and the people of Sanski Most require of us because this has to
25 be a Serbian town."
1 In light of all the questions put to you in that respect, what is
2 your comment on that, Mr. Nikolic?
3 A. My personal comment, I mean, was that it was necessary to save
4 human lives, even at the expense of having people moved out from a
5 certain area if it has to do with saving human lives, if that is what
6 Vlado Vrkes is saying.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But he is saying that it has to be a Serbian
8 town. Isn't that the reason for moving out Muslims and Croats?
9 A. Well, he says, and that was probably the reason, and that is his
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I've also one question for you.
13 You explained to us that, although you said it was just
14 individuals, but that at least it was read to you that seven lads were
15 involved in arming their, as you said, their families and their
16 neighbours, et cetera. At the same time, you were involved in disarming
17 the Muslims. Now, what's the -- what's the explanation as to why it was
18 in that document even applauded that Serbs were to be armed, and that is
19 what happened, and that Muslims should be disarmed?
20 What is the distinction between the two as far as having the
21 right to be armed?
22 A. Well, at the time, there were too many armed people on both
23 sides. The more weapons there are, the more probable a larger scale
24 conflict is. So when the Serb authorities took over, then they probably
25 made a decision to disarm the armed population, the Muslim and Croat
1 parts, and in the 6th Sana Brigade, all the soldiers were ethnic Serbs.
2 I mean, it wasn't the Serb people that could be disarmed.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Why could the Serb people not be disarmed? Serb
4 civilians having weapons, and you told us that they were distributed
5 among them.
6 Why would it be only the Muslims and the Croats that should be
8 A. Well, that was the decision, probably, of the SDS and the
9 Crisis Staff.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, I've a question which is a bit in a
11 different area. You told us that those who were loyal to the Serbian
12 republic constitution, they could keep their jobs. Why was it that you
13 only could keep your job if you were in support of that constitution and
14 the new structure of power?
15 A. Well, if a new state was established with a new leadership, and
16 they required the loyalty of these people, it's a demand from the top
17 echelons of those authorities who can remain in their positions and who
19 JUDGE ORIE: It's just a matter of who is in power, and if you
20 don't -- if you are not loyal to them, you lose your job. Is that -- was
21 that the system?
22 A. Well, probably if that was the demand. Loyalty was required in
23 order to assume a senior position.
24 JUDGE ORIE: What justified the Serbs to be in power in
25 Sanski Most? On what basis, apart from force, did they think that they
1 were in power and to require loyalty from non-Serbs?
2 A. Well, it was the same in the other towns and cities in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina. If the Muslims took over power somewhere, their
4 people were in all the senior positions. Whenever the authorities were
5 Croat, the representatives of their ethnic community occupied the
6 majority of senior positions. The Serbs did the same as the other two
7 ethnic communities.
8 JUDGE ORIE: First of all, I'm not talking about senior
9 positions. I'm talking about being allowed to stay in the municipality
10 and to keep your job at whatever level.
11 A. Well, if loyalty is required in the management system, it's
12 probably they who decide who can stay in that area and who can keep their
13 jobs if they are qualified.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's not what you said in your statement.
15 You didn't say the management system would further consider whether
16 someone could stay or not. You said those who were loyal, they could
17 stay and they could keep their jobs. That's what we find in your
19 A. Yes. The loyal people remained in their jobs. Those who were
20 loyal to the administration, to the powers, remained in senior positions.
21 In executive positions.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Again, I'm not talking about executive positions
23 only. And what about being allowed to remain in the municipality? If
24 you were not loyal, was that a valid reason to say that someone should
1 A. I think the thinking was that if somebody was an extremist and
2 had taken part in the arming of their people was not loyal and should not
3 be allowed to stay.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I leave it to this.
5 No further questions triggered by the questions by the Bench.
6 Mr. Nikolic, I'd like to thank you very much for coming a long
7 way to The Hague and for having answered all the questions that were put
8 to you, put to you by the parties or put to you by the Bench, and I wish
9 you a safe return home again.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put on the record the -- that the Chamber
14 has checked what happened on the 27th of January. In the list of
15 exhibits to be used with this witness, the list of concordance is not
16 included. So just for the record.
17 MR. LUKIC: I can agree with Your Honour. That's what I checked
18 and that's what I -- my Case Manager told me that, by mistake, he sent
19 the wrong one. I apologise. And we will make new list of concordance,
20 but maybe we should consult with the staff from your Chamber how that
21 should be done.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Most important is that it is done. That's the first
23 of all. And then further details, of course, it's always -- Chamber
24 staff is always open to engage in whatever practical conversations with
25 either party. So if you have good ideas, Mr. Lukic, or if you would
1 develop them over the weekend --
2 MR. LUKIC: I cannot vouch for that, that they are good.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it should be your ambition. But the Chamber
4 staff is always available to further discuss.
5 I'd certainly not exclude the Prosecution in that respect.
6 Mr. Zec.
7 MR. ZEC: Yes, we can also check. And I just would note that, as
8 Your Honours noted, some of the adjudicated facts in the statement are
9 not adjudicated facts of the Mladic trial. So, in that sense, perhaps
10 the statement should also be redacted with respect to some of the facts.
11 MR. LUKIC: If necessary, we'll do that as well.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 MR. LUKIC: And then we'll try to admit the same statement
14 under A.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's all fine, Mr. Lukic. But, of course, I
16 take it that you're aware that if you are -- I'm not personally
17 addressing you, but if the Defence is so sloppy in this respect, they, of
18 course, they are at risk if they introduce comments on adjudicated facts
19 who do not even appear, and if I'm able and if we are able to find that
20 out, that in one or two or three minutes, because we didn't have the
21 material any earlier, and it's just a matter of use your computers, find
22 out, check, check, and double-check, and it creates a risk for the -- for
23 the evidence which is presented by the Defence. And the Chamber, at all
24 costs, wants to avoid such risks because we want to pay proper attention
25 to the evidence presented by whatever party.
1 I leave it to that. Some thoughts for over the weekend perhaps.
2 We adjourn for the day and will resume Monday, the 9th of
3 February, 2015, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.14 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Monday, the 9th day
6 of February, 2015, at 9.30 a.m.