1 Monday, 9 March 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 There are a few preliminary matters to be dealt with.
12 Mr. Lukic, I think you still owe us a response.
13 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning, Your Honours.
14 In regard of D899, we were instructed by the Chamber to inquire
15 about the date and the place of this video. This video of ours is an
16 excerpt from 65 ter 22615, which is uploaded as 65 ter exhibit by the
17 Prosecution. The excerpt is marked as 1D03160. And it's only from the
18 time of 14 minutes, 35 seconds, up to 16 minutes, 9 seconds from the same
20 I spoke with Mr. Traldi and we concluded that the same video was
21 taped -- actually, this part -- the whole video starts sometime before,
22 but this part was taped on the 5th of August, 1992, since it's obvious
23 that we can see Ms. Marshall in that video. So that's how we concluded
24 that it has to be 5th of August, 1992.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
1 MR. LUKIC: That's all we -- the Defence could discover by now.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that, Mr. Lukic.
3 There were a few preliminary matters to be raised by the
4 Prosecution as well.
5 MR. TIEGER: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Tieger.
7 MR. TIEGER: First, I have owed you for some time a response to
8 your inquiry about the timing of the reopening, specifically with respect
9 to May and June. In the interim, we have checked, and that timing
10 presents no problem for the Prosecution with the tiny exception, and that
11 is if the Court wanted to begin in May and run without interruption to
12 the conclusion of the reopening, there might be a scheduling issue with
13 one witness who was not available, I think, in the first week and third
14 week of May but is available in June.
15 So if that wasn't particularly a concern, we could commence in
16 May. And even if we didn't find ourselves with a sufficient window in
17 May for that witness, we'd pick him up again in June. But in any event,
18 that's the status. So May and June is fine.
19 Secondly, I wanted to respond in connection with the Defence
20 request for an adjournment at Easter. As a general matter, the
21 Prosecution takes no position on that and leaves it to the Chamber. It
22 did occur to us, however, that there was one aspect of scheduling that
23 did not implicate the concerns about disrupting witnesses' Easter and
24 could nevertheless go forward, and that is with respect to two remaining
25 videolinks in the Banja Luka area.
1 It occurred to the Prosecution that if those, for example, were
2 scheduled on the Friday of the week that is proposed for the adjournment,
3 it wouldn't require the witnesses to travel on or about Easter, which
4 seemed to the basis of Mr. Lukic's concern. They could remain in situ
5 and the videolinks could take place on Friday. The only people
6 travelling presumably would be those who would not concerned about -- or
7 at least as much concerned about the timing of the holiday.
8 Now, that's not to take a position one way or another as I say.
9 It seems to me that, one way or the another, that's a useful scheduling
10 issue to bear in mind, but it seemed particularly pertinent to note in
11 light of the matter the Court is currently considering.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that, Mr. Tieger.
13 Mr. Lukic, especially in relation to the last point, any comment?
14 MR. LUKIC: I spoke with Mr. Tieger this morning, and I said that
15 we will try to do whatever is possible to have this arranged.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And the Chamber is still considering your
17 request, so therefore it's --
18 MR. LUKIC: And regarding the first topic, the reopening of the
19 OTP case.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
21 MR. LUKIC: I think its obvious and everybody is aware the
22 Defence did not have time to deal with this new case of the Prosecution
23 or new part of the case by the Prosecution, so we will file our -- now
24 when we have the position of the OTP that May and June is not a problem
25 for them, then we will have to ask for an interruption of trial and we'll
1 ask for some time to be given to the Defence to prepare for this segment
2 so -- since we did not have time to work on that segment at all by now.
3 And it requires -- first of all, technically we have to ask the Registry
4 to allow us to have extra expert witnesses, for example, to respond to
5 the OTP. But first we have to see what there is.
6 JUDGE ORIE: But this matter is pending now for such a long time.
7 If you make any further submissions, the Chamber would also like to know
8 exactly what you've done until now to -- I mean, the experts are known
9 for ages. Some of the experts are well known as far as their expertise
10 is concerned, et cetera. So therefore, the Chamber wonders what
11 anticipatory action you've taken until today, because you could expect
12 that it would be somewhere around this time. Otherwise, to put such a
13 matter at the end of the Defence case, of course, was not what was
14 intended by either the Prosecution or would not be expected by the
15 Defence, I would say.
16 So therefore, make your submissions, Mr. Lukic, but also make
17 clear what you've done until now, because asking for a postponement just
18 on the basis of what still has to be done if all opportunities -- if
19 opportunities have been missed what could have been done, that is still a
20 matter to be considered.
21 I leave it to that for the time being. I don't draw any
22 conclusions. I'm just pointing at what the Chamber would like to know if
23 you make further submissions asking for a postponement.
24 MR. LUKIC: If I may, Your Honour, I just wanted to add that the
25 opportunities have not been missed. We do not have manpower to deal with
1 anything else but with the Defence case we are dealing right now. We
2 don't have means at all to deal with something extra. All our efforts
3 are only in align with providing the Defence witnesses for this trial.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but if you --
5 MR. LUKIC: So all our staff is succumbed. And you could notice
6 that even in January we missed several dead-lines because we were not
7 able to follow the trial itself in the speed it goes, and we did not have
8 time to deal with the reopening of the Prosecution case.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, if we will spend time on hearing the
10 reopening of the Prosecution's case, that means that for that period of
11 time you will not have to prepare for the witnesses you had in mind
12 earlier to present during that period of time. I mean, they will be
13 postponed as well. So part of your burden on your shoulders will be
14 postponed as a consequence of hearing the Prosecution's case.
15 But again, this is not, perhaps, the best moment to discuss it in
16 detail. But I just wanted to draw your attention to what may be
17 considered relevant by the Chamber. We'll hear further submissions.
18 Thank you.
19 If there are no further preliminaries, could the witness be
20 escorted into the courtroom.
21 Perhaps I could already deal with one matter briefly. The
22 Chamber understands that the Defence still needs to file five expert
23 reports: Two drafted by ballistic experts, one by a historian, one by a
24 forensic pathologist, and finally, one drafted by a radio communications
1 Is the Defence in a position to provide the Chamber and the
2 Prosecution with an update on the drafting and the filing?
3 [The witness takes the stand]
4 JUDGE ORIE: We'll hear from you later today.
5 Good morning, Mr. Solaja.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Solaja, I would like to remind you that you are
8 still bound by the solemn declaration you have given at the beginning of
9 your testimony, that you will speak the truth, the whole truth, and
10 nothing but the truth. And Mr. Traldi will now continue his
12 Mr. Traldi.
13 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 WITNESS: MILOS SOLAJA [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi: [Continued]
17 Q. Good morning, sir.
18 A. Good morning, esteemed Prosecutor.
19 MR. TRALDI: Could we have 65 ter 32144.
20 Q. Now, what we see here is an interview with General Talic authored
21 by yourself.
22 MR. TRALDI: And if we can turn to page 2 in the English and the
23 first column of page 1 in the B/C/S, the first bolded question, if we
24 could zoom in there.
25 Q. We see you ask General Talic about Operation Corridor, and I have
1 some very short questions about this exchange.
2 First, in your question you refer to what you describe as a
3 monstrous intention to cut off the majority of Serbs from their
4 motherland. By "their motherland" you mean Serbia; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, in his answer beginning in the fifth line of that answer in
7 the English, General Talic says:
8 "Our people have succeeded in something that eluded numerous
9 generations from the battle of Kosovo to the present day. They secured a
10 unified living space for the Serbian people."
11 And General Talic is speaking of the territory controlled by the
12 VRS as a living space for Serbs; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And he says in the next sentence that this was a decisive
15 operation for the Serbian people in the Krajinas who had been separated
16 from the motherland and threatened with complete annihilation. First,
17 when he refers to the "Krajinas," plural, he's referring to both the
18 Bosnian Krajina and the Knin Krajina; right?
19 A. Yes, there is no other.
20 Q. And second, it's right, isn't it, that Krajiski Vojnik published
21 articles asserting that the Serbian people in the ARK and in the
22 Knin Krajina were threatened with complete annihilation and fighting for
23 their very survival; right?
24 A. Right.
25 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender 65 ter 32144.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 32144 receives number P7191.
3 JUDGE ORIE: And is admitted into evidence.
4 MR. TRALDI:
5 Q. I want to turn now, sir, to events in Banja Luka. First, you
6 discuss the departures of Croats and Muslims from Banja Luka in your
7 statement, and you say those were organised by civilian authorities and
8 the VRS did not participate in that process. In fact, the
9 1st Krajina Corps' view was that the civilian authorities should work
10 harder at the departure of the Croatian and Muslim population from
11 Banja Luka; right?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Well, can P --
14 A. No, we never had such instructions.
15 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P3714. This is a daily combat report by
16 the 1st Krajina Corps dated the 28th of July, 1992. If we could have
17 page 2 in the B/C/S but stay on page 1 in the English. Sorry, if we
18 could have the next page in the B/C/S.
19 Q. Under point 3, we read:
20 "In the city of Banja Luka and other large towns, there is an
21 increased demand for, and organisation of, the departure of Croatian and
22 Muslim population. We consider that the municipal and regional
23 authorities should work much harder at this."
24 Now, that was the 1st Krajina Corps' position, that the regional
25 and municipal authorities should work much harder at organising these
1 departures, wasn't it?
2 A. This document was not accessible to me. It is one of the
3 confidential documents that we never had access to, but no one ever gave
4 us an instruction like this.
5 Q. And the Chamber has received evidence that during the war tens of
6 thousands of Muslims and Croats left Banja Luka municipality. You're
7 aware of that; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. I want to turn now to your discussion --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Before we do so.
11 MR. TRALDI: Sorry.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Solaja, part of the problem may be that you were
13 asked what the view of the 1st Krajina Corps was, and your answer was:
14 "No, we never had such instructions." Now, you were not asked about
15 receiving instructions but you were asked about the views of the
16 Krajina Corps.
17 Now, if you don't know or if you have not complete information,
18 please tell us that you may not have known the views of the 1st Krajina
19 Corps, because there is a -- the question and the answer do not connect
20 very well.
21 Please proceed.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What is in this document is one of
23 the regular daily papers that circulated in the chain of command, and
24 such information was not presented to us, and nothing else was binding
25 upon us except for an official position which was never given to us in
1 that way. We never knew that, we never had instructions like that, that
2 we would write about something like that, and that can be seen from the
3 content of the newspaper.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Which means that you may not have had access
5 to complete information to answer this question with every detail.
6 Mr. Traldi, please proceed.
7 MR. TRALDI:
8 Q. I want to turn now to your evidence about the civilian
9 authorities in the Banja Luka area. The Trial Chamber has received
10 evidence about the rhetoric used by some members of the civilian
11 authorities in the ARK, particularly Mr. Brdjanin. You were aware, for
12 instance, that Brdjanin had said in public that only a thousand elderly
13 Muslims could stay in Banja Luka to sweep the streets; right?
14 A. At that time, I wasn't there at that most critical point in time.
15 I heard something like that, but I cannot say that I heard it myself. I
16 couldn't even follow the media because of lack of physical contact. The
17 28th of July, I wasn't there until then.
18 Q. You remained in Banja Luka. That's where you were based for the
19 rest of the war after that; right?
20 A. Yes, I was born there.
21 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence that in 1994 - and I'm
22 referring to P6976 - at a rally, Mr. Brdjanin announced or stated in
23 pertinent part that non-Serbs were befouling Serb soil. You're aware of
24 statements like that that he continued to make while you were in
25 Banja Luka; right?
1 A. That was a party rally. I remember that. I did not belong to
2 the party. I didn't participate in that. At the same time, people who
3 lived in Republika Srpska -- well, it was almost impossible for them to
4 move somewhere else.
5 Q. Now, you don't mention Mr. Brdjanin or his rhetoric in your
6 statement; right?
7 A. No. I had no contact with him. He represented the civilian
9 Q. Now, you do mention Predrag Radic. And in paragraph 34 of your
10 statement, you assert that Radic wanted to keep Muslims from leaving
11 Banja Luka. I have a few questions in this regard. But first, it's
12 correct, isn't it, that you have mentioned the views of a political
13 leader who, in your understanding, wanted to keep the Muslims from
14 leaving, you have not included in your statement the views of political
15 leaders who were calling for the Muslims to leave; right?
16 A. That's correct. That's because I had very good contacts on a
17 personal level with Mr. Radic, and I knew his positions very well and I
18 referred to them in this statement, not only in terms of the departure of
19 Muslims, Croats too, and also his position that after the war the area of
20 the former Yugoslavia would be linked up once again in the economic field
21 and in other fields, which is indeed what happened. As for other
22 civilian representatives, I didn't have that much contact with them.
23 Q. Now, your view of Mr. Radic based on those contacts was that he
24 was an honourable man; right?
25 A. Yes, absolutely.
1 Q. And your view was that he was an honest man; right?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence from Mr. Radic in the form
4 of his testimony in the Krajisnik case, and he stated, for instance, that
5 President Karadzic and Momcilo Krajisnik had blamed him for not having
6 expelled non-Serbs from Banja Luka, that that left too many non-Serbs
7 remaining there to feed and give medical care. Were you aware of those
8 positions of the Republika Srpska leadership relative to Mr. Radic's
9 attitude towards non-Serbs?
10 A. He was under constant pressure from people who were at the
11 political top and who were more radical, and he tried to soften the
12 situation. I don't know about concrete events and concrete rhetoric, but
13 I know that he had problems.
14 Q. When you say people at the political top, who do you mean?
15 A. Well, I mean many people from the region and from the republic
16 who were not satisfied with his approach.
17 Q. Can you give us an example of the people from the republic level
18 you're referring to?
19 A. Well, I don't know. I didn't really deal with this in depth. I
20 knew that there were these tensions.
21 Q. And Mr. Radic's evidence was that because of these pressures, he
22 couldn't openly assist non-Serbs even if he would have wanted to. Were
23 you aware of that?
24 A. Well, that's what he said. But he did help. He helped in a
25 great many specific cases. That was the way in which he was able to
1 help, because the pressure was pretty big and he didn't dare speak about
2 this openly. This was a time of war and these democratic methods did not
3 always work in favour of people who implemented them.
4 Q. And you referred to the destruction of mosques in your statement.
5 His evidence was that members of the Bosnian Serb leadership and their
6 emissaries had criticised him because the mosques in Banja Luka were
7 still standing. Were you also aware of that?
8 A. Yes, I was aware of that.
9 Q. Now, in this context, sir, you describe --
10 MR. TRALDI: And I have no more questions on that topic, unless
11 the Chamber does.
12 JUDGE ORIE: No, I -- there is one item I'd like to briefly
14 You said you were very close to Mr. Radic. He told that he was
15 blamed by Mr. Krajisnik and Mr. Karadzic. He never told you who they
16 were that criticised him?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. It was better not to
18 publish or announce such issues in public.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But if you were close to him, he may have told
20 you, Well, this is what happens, but don't publish it, which is not
21 uncommon in the journalistic world, isn't it?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, we were not doing it for
23 professional reasons. This was a purely private contact. Because it was
24 impossible to have something like that published at that time.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the Krajina Soldier, we did
2 publish some criticism including that against the very leadership of
3 Republika Srpska. I may mention the interview of the minister for
4 veterans issues, Dragan Djokanovic, who openly criticised
5 Radovan Karadzic about certain issues. However, due to issues of
6 personal security this was quite limited.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, it's exactly for that reason - you said, I was
8 close, it was all private conversations - that I sought verification that
9 Mr. Radic never told you that this blame was expressed by Mr. Karadzic
10 and/or by Mr. Krajisnik.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably he wanted to protect
12 others, not only me, and that was probably the reason that he didn't talk
13 about this openly.
14 JUDGE ORIE: It also means, does it, that you have no reason to
15 have any doubt if Mr. Radic later told us that or told us that he gave
16 statements or testimony that it was at the level of Mr. Karadzic and
17 Mr. Krajisnik? You have no reason to doubt the accuracy of such
18 information, do you?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I don't doubt his statements.
20 He was a very honourable man.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. Sticking with the topic of the civilian authorities in
24 Banja Luka, you described the disbanding of the ARK Crisis Staff in
25 paragraphs 26 through 28 of your statement. Now, after the ARK
1 Crisis Staff was abolished, its members who held high positions in the
2 government and the army all kept their jobs; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you say in paragraph 27 that Miro Mladjenovic, the author of
5 Glas, asked you to help have the Crisis Staff abolished and you published
6 an article in this regard. In fact, immediately after the article you
7 published, Mladjenovic was fired as editor of Glas; right?
8 A. Yes. But that was for some quite different reasons.
9 Q. Well --
10 A. The Crisis Staffs did not have any impact on this.
11 Q. That decision was taken by the ARK War Presidency and confirmed
12 by the Banja Luka Municipal Assembly; right?
13 A. Yes, as the official founder of this paper.
14 Q. And the president of the ARK War Presidency, do you recall who
15 that was?
16 A. I think that the ARK had a government. It had the assembly and
17 the government but not a War Presidency.
18 Q. Well, the president of the assembly was Vojo Kupresanin; right?
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. And the vice-president, who was that?
21 A. I don't remember.
22 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32201.
23 MR. LUKIC: I just want to inquire, is this document on the list?
24 MR. TRALDI: We sent an updated list Friday specifically calling
25 attention in our e-mail to this document.
1 Q. And on the right of the page in the B/C/S, we see an article
2 called: "How to Remove the Traces?" It's headlined: "Banja Luka,
3 10 July." And it starts:
4 "Two high-ranking AR Krajina officials, Vojo Kupresanin, Assembly
5 President, and Radoslav Brdjanin, Vice-President, held a selective press
6 conference yesterday inviting to it only broadcasting media, Banja Luka
7 Radio, and Banja Luka Television."
8 First, does that refresh your recollection as to the
9 vice-president of the assembly?
10 A. Yes, now it does. But still I don't have this perception that it
11 was Brdjanin, because mostly it was Mr. Kupresanin who was at the fore.
12 Q. Well, we see related to Mr. Kupresanin's role, we see
13 Mr. Brdjanin speak about that at what I think is the bottom of the column
14 in the B/C/S, and he says, among other things:
15 "A minister of information in the AR Krajina government will be
16 appointed very soon, and until then his duties will be performed by
17 Vojo Kupresanin who I am sure will make a marvellous job of it."
18 Had Mladjenovic previously served as minister of information in
19 the ARK?
20 A. As far as I remember, he did. But there is something else. The
21 government of the ARK was never completed. It only had four ministries
22 where everyone was appointed. I don't know exactly which ones they were,
23 but I know that it was never really complete.
24 Q. And Mr. Kupresanin and Mr. Brdjanin, they were both members of
25 the ARK Crisis Staff; right?
1 A. I know about Brdjanin, and I'm not sure about Kupresanin.
2 Q. So what I'm putting to you is: The members of the ARK
3 Crisis Staff, as you testified, kept their high positions in the
4 government and the army, Mladjenovic was fired, and these are important
5 parts of understanding the abolition of the Crisis Staff that you have
6 not informed the Chamber of in your statement. You've not provided a
7 full picture of those events. That's the truth, right?
8 A. Well, I was not involved nor did I particularly follow the events
9 that had to do both with the ARK Krajina and also what happened after the
10 Crisis Staff had been abolished. The Crisis Staff came into existence
11 because some people became its members due to their official positions,
12 but there was a great danger that it might become a power outside of the
13 system. That was the reason why I personally participated as a
14 journalist in leaving out something that's not part of the system from
15 the decision-making process. I think that we succeeded in this and that
16 it was very useful for that period.
17 Let me remind you that Republika Srpska itself came into
18 existence after the decision or, rather, the process in which three
19 ethnic groups could not reach an agreement about the future of Bosnia and
21 Q. Sir --
22 A. This was just the beginning of the creation of institutions.
23 Q. Sir, I'm going to interrupt you. You've gone well beyond the
24 question I asked. I just have one question to follow-up on your answer.
25 Is it your evidence that somehow the ARK Crisis Staff, which included the
1 highest leaders of the ARK Assembly, the 1st Krajina Corps commander, and
2 the head of CSB Banja Luka, that this was somehow an institution that
3 wasn't part of the system? Is that your evidence?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this document.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 32201 receives number P7192.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted.
9 MR. TRALDI:
10 Q. Next, sir, you say there were no camps in Banja Luka for Muslims
11 and Croats and then you discuss Manjaca. The people detained in Manjaca
12 were Muslims and Croats obviously; right?
13 A. That's correct. But when I say in Banja Luka, I mean that there
14 were no camps founded by the institutions of Banja Luka town. And
15 Manjaca was a prison for prisoners of war and it was organised by the
16 Army of Republika Srpska. So in the legal sense, it was not important
17 where it was located.
18 Q. I have a few follow-up questions on Manjaca, specifically. Now,
19 you say in your statement the camp was closed in November 1992. It's a
20 small point, but actually December 1992; right?
21 A. I think it was in December or perhaps late November. I remember
22 that it really wasn't so cold, so perhaps.
23 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32032.
24 Q. Now, this is a letter from Radovan Karadzic to Daniel Schiffer,
25 who you mention in your statement. In the first paragraph,
1 President Karadzic refers to the visit by Elie Wiesel that you also
2 mention in your statement. And in pertinent part we read in the middle
3 of the third paragraph:
4 "In honour of Mr. Wiesel and his associates' visit to Yugoslavia
5 and the Republic of Srpska and on the occasion of our Orthodox Christmas,
6 we are willing to release all prisoners from Manjaca if the international
7 community and the ICRC are ready to accept them and convey them to third
9 The Bosnian Serb leadership conditioned closing Manjaca on the
10 conveyance of those detainees who were released to third countries;
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender 65 ter 32032 [Realtime
14 transcript read in error "30232"].
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 32032 receives number P7193.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted.
18 MR. TRALDI:
19 Q. Turning now to Prijedor --
20 MR. TRALDI: I think there may be -- I think the number may be
21 mis-recorded at page 19, line 9. The P number for the last document.
22 THE REGISTRAR: The number should be P7193.
23 MR. TRALDI:
24 Q. Turning now to Prijedor, were you ever deployed to Prijedor
1 A. No.
2 Q. You never --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I clarify if the 65 ter number is correct.
4 We have two versions, if I'm not mistaken.
5 MR. TRALDI: The second time at page 19, line 7, I'm recorded as
6 having said 65 ter 30232 and I intended, at least, to have said 32032, as
7 I did when I called it up. I apologise for any ambiguity I may have
8 created there.
9 JUDGE ORIE: So then we have now 32032 in evidence as P7193.
10 MR. TRALDI:
11 Q. You just said you were never deployed to Prijedor yourself. You
12 never participated in any combat there; right?
13 A. That's right. I never was there.
14 Q. And you never served in the 5th or the 43rd Brigade of the VRS?
15 A. No.
16 Q. So in paragraph 46 when you say: "There was no organised
17 deployment of soldiers in Prijedor," you have no idea whether that's true
18 or not, do you?
19 A. May I see paragraph 46, please?
20 Q. It's the last paragraph of the statement.
21 A. As the commander of the communications platoon, I was in an
22 artillery unit, which was much bigger.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The statement of the witness is D924.
24 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That unit included soldiers from
1 all areas of the Bosnian Krajina including, inter alia, from Prijedor.
2 We were deployed to the south of the Banja Luka when this rebellion broke
3 out in Prijedor and the fighting in Prijedor broke out. Most of the
4 soldiers from Prijedor did not ask for permission. They just took their
5 weapons and of their own initiative set out towards Prijedor with the
6 explanation that their families were there. That was not allowed.
7 However, their motive was so strong that no one was able to stop them.
8 MR. TRALDI:
9 Q. Sir, just to be very specific, what I'm putting to you is when
10 you say there was no organised deployment of soldiers in Prijedor, there
11 was no military order in that respect, what you're aware of is the
12 behaviour of a number of soldiers in the rocket brigade. You have no
13 personal knowledge as to the brigades that were based in Prijedor or as
14 to any of the events -- the military events in Prijedor except for this
15 event at the end of May; right?
16 A. No, I don't have any other information except for this departure
17 of soldiers of their own initiative.
18 Q. Now, we left off Friday with -- sorry, Thursday, with your visit
19 to Prijedor. I will focus on that visit for the rest of your testimony.
20 First, you mention that you went to Omarska. You were aware, because you
21 and the press centre --
22 A. Yes, as a part of a group of journalists.
23 Q. Now, because you and the press centre kept track of international
24 media, as you testified Thursday, you were aware that there had been
25 reporting about terrible conditions in Omarska and other camps before
1 your visit; right?
2 A. Those reports were very superficial, and this was discussed more
3 as rumour and rumours than any sort of evidence. Actually, we heard most
4 of this after Radovan Karadzic had attended the London Conference where
5 there was more talk about this.
6 Q. Sir, I understand your answer to be: Yes, you were aware there
7 had been reporting about terrible conditions in the camps before your
8 visit; right?
9 A. We knew very little and we did not have any real evidence.
10 Q. Now, the Trial Chamber has received evidence that the
11 1st Krajina Corps command knew at the time you went that before your
12 visit, more than a thousand prisoners had been transported from Omarska
13 to Manjaca and some of them had been murdered outside Manjaca camp. Were
14 you, like the 1st Krajina Corps command, aware of those events?
15 A. I didn't know it at the time. I heard something about this
17 Q. And you know as you sit there today, this is in the context of
18 almost all the prisoners at Omarska being transported from Omarska to
19 Manjaca before your visit; right?
20 A. As far as I know, yes, they were.
21 Q. About how many prisoners did you see at Omarska when you were
23 A. I don't have a full picture because we only passed through the
24 restaurant where they were being served their lunch at that moment, and
25 it was impossible to make an estimate.
1 Q. And you were aware that on the previous journalists' visit to
2 Omarska, they'd been stopped from recording certain things; right?
3 A. No, I didn't know that at the time. But this was a short time,
4 only two days.
5 Q. And did you see any elderly prisoners when you were there?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Any that were ill?
8 A. No. But the visit itself was very short, so I didn't have an
9 opportunity to pay much attention to details. We were going to a press
10 conference that was to be held by Mr. Drljaca.
11 Q. Now, you also mention visits to Manjaca. You're aware that there
12 was a journalists' visit to Manjaca on about the same day, and the
13 prisoners who'd been transferred from Omarska the journalists weren't
14 allowed to see; right?
15 A. No, I didn't know this because this was all happening at Manjaca
16 and I wasn't present. So I wasn't aware of this.
17 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence that your immediate
18 superior, Lieutenant-Colonel Milutinovic, was part of that visit. He
19 didn't tell you that the reporters weren't allowed to see the prisoners
20 who had been transferred from Omarska?
21 A. He didn't tell me, personally. But I can't remember whether we
22 discussed that at all, because we were not there at the time. So
23 probably I missed out on that or there may have been other reasons, but I
24 didn't hear that.
25 Q. And you said Thursday you went to Keraterm yourself. Which parts
1 of the camp did you go to?
2 A. As far as I remember, only one front section where Colonel Arsic
3 took us and where there was really nothing at all. Some journalists even
4 moved some boxes and looked around, but they never found anything.
5 Q. Now, the Chamber has received evidence that the 1st Krajina Corps
6 command was aware that about two weeks earlier there had been a massacre
7 of prisoners at Keraterm camp. Were you aware of that yourself?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And the journalists weren't taken to the rooms where the
10 prisoners had previously been detained, were they?
11 A. I don't know in what rooms the prisoners were detained. This was
12 the only occasion when I went to Keraterm and when we were all together
13 in a group.
14 Q. And so they weren't taken into any rooms, for instance, that had
15 bullet holes in the door and in the wall above them?
16 A. We didn't see that.
17 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I am about to turn to a document. I
18 have, I think, about 10 to 15 minutes of questions remaining. Looking at
19 the clock, I think it might be best to break now.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we take a break first.
21 Mr. Solaja, we'll take a break of 20 minutes. We would like to
22 see you back after that break. You may now follow the usher.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE ORIE: We -- Mr. Tieger.
25 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry, Mr. President. It's a Monday morning
1 thing, I'm afraid. If I could offer one quick clarification about the
2 point I earlier made concerning the Banja Luka videolink issue.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
4 MR. TIEGER: And that's simply that those are witnesses for whom
5 the Defence indicated it intended to make a motion for videolink and I
6 may have inadvertently suggested that the videolink issue had already
7 been resolved. So all of that was assuming that, in fact, the motion was
8 made and there was a sufficient basis for granting it.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you're suggesting that scheduling them on,
10 for example, a Friday or at least later on in this week might accommodate
11 some of the concerns the Defence has in calling -- in having witnesses
12 available to testify?
13 MR. TIEGER: That part was still correct. But again, it assumes
14 the underlying initial bases are met.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's hereby on the record. Thank you for
16 that. And we resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, please continue.
21 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Can we have 65 ter 03327.
23 Q. And what we see here is headlined: "Press Release." We see at
24 the top: "Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Government," and
25 the date, the 7th of August, 1992. And we see at the beginning that it
1 responds to a CNN broadcast of the 6th of August about the situation of
2 those imprisoned in Omarska.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Except it's talking about 1882 instead of 1992,
4 the English version.
5 MR. TRALDI: Sorry, the English does say "1882" and the B/C/S
6 "1992." We'll have that checked. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: You're welcome.
8 MR. TRALDI: Turning to page 4 in the English and 3 in the B/C/S.
9 Q. We see that it bears Prime Minister Djeric's name at the bottom.
10 And in the second paragraph in the English, we read:
11 "It is undeniable that rooms in Omarska are not equipped for the
12 stay of large number of persons and that there are not enough sanitary
13 and other equipment."
14 Now, you were aware, weren't you, that on the day of the your
15 visit, the government of the Republika Srpska was conceding that
16 previously there'd been too many prisoners in Omarska for what the space
17 and the sanitary facilities allowed?
18 A. The government stated its views on the matter, but what I see in
19 this document looks like a draft to me rather than a document as such.
20 I've never seen it. But I see that something was crossed out, several
21 paragraphs, so I cannot assert that this is a document.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it is a document, but you may have some doubts
23 as to what it stands for, whether it's a final document, whether it's a
24 draft, but -- Witness, but, I think, the question was whether you were
25 aware that on the day of your visit, the government of Republika Srpska
1 was conceding that previously there'd been too many prisoners in Omarska.
2 Do you have any knowledge about that apart from your comments on this
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: We cannot hear the
5 witness. Could all other microphones please be switched off when the
6 witness is speaking. Thank you.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you repeat your answer, whether you
8 were aware of the government, the Republika Srpska government conceding
9 this previous situation?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, from the media.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
12 MR. TRALDI:
13 Q. We see below that that the press release states that the Ministry
14 of the Interior of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina had
15 issued an order, according to this release, to "immediately release from
16 Omarska persons older than 60 years of age, heavily wounded, and sick
17 persons, except for those against whom urgent criminal procedures were
18 ordered ..."
19 Were you also aware from the media that before your visit,
20 elderly people, heavily wounded people, and sick people, among others,
21 had been kept as prisoners in Omarska camp?
22 A. No, that was not in the media.
23 Q. And the fact that elderly people, heavily wounded people, sick
24 people, were among the people transferred from Omarska to Manjaca before
25 your visit, that was part of the reason that journalists weren't allowed
1 to see the Omarska prisoners on their first Manjaca visit; right?
2 A. That was not in the media, either.
3 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this document.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 03327 receives number P7194.
6 JUDGE ORIE: P7194 is admitted.
7 Witness, your last answer was, and it's not the first time, you
8 said: "That was not in the media, either." The questions always seek
9 any personal knowledge you may have or hearsay evidence, not whether
10 something was in the media. So therefore, could you please answer that
11 question now; that is, that the fact that elderly people, heavily wounded
12 people, sick people were among the people transferred from Omarska to
13 Manjaca before your visit, that that was part of the reason that
14 journalists weren't allowed to see the Omarska prisoners on their first
15 Manjaca visit. Could you please answer that question?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I had no knowledge about that.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
18 Next question, please.
19 MR. TRALDI:
20 Q. I'm going to turn to Trnopolje now, sir, finally, and I'm going
21 to ask Ms. Stewart to play a video with 65 ter 22393c.
22 MR. TRALDI: For the record, I should note we'll play it twice to
23 allow the translation to be confirmed.
24 [Video-clip played]
25 "For Trnopolje has changed. There's now some food getting
1 through, although the queues are long, and there is also shelter and
2 clothes provided by the Serbian authorities. And the barbed wire fence
3 which shocked the world has been torn down from its posts. All this has
4 been done in advance of the simultaneous arrival of the Red Cross and our
5 cameras. For certain, conditions here have improved. These refugees are
6 safer. But the Red Cross have still not been allowed to enter any other
7 camps and our visits are closely supervised."
8 [Video-clip played]
9 "For Trnopolje has changed. There is now some food getting
10 through, although the queues are long, and there is also shelter and
11 clothes provided by the Serbian authorities. And the barbed wire fence
12 which shocked the world has been torn down from its posts. All this has
13 been done in advance of the simultaneous arrival of the Red Cross and our
14 cameras. For certain, conditions here have improved. These refugees are
15 safer. But the Red Cross have still not been allowed to enter any other
16 camps and our visits are closely supervised."
17 MR. TRALDI:
18 Q. Now, you say in your statement there was no barbed wire at
19 Trnopolje. You know from having monitored foreign media about events in
20 the ARK that barbed wire had been taken down in advance of the
21 journalists' visit that you were on; right?
22 A. I did not see a wire and I don't know of its existence. And I
23 haven't seen it in this footage, and I'd like to know when this footage
24 was taken.
25 Q. What I'm putting to you, sir, is you know there was barbed wire
1 on the previous visit. When you say in your statement there was none on
2 the visit that you were on, that you didn't see any barbed wire, what
3 you're describing is preparations to present a more acceptable image of
4 the camp; right?
5 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: First, asked and answered. The gentleman said what
7 he knew. Second, this gentleman asked my colleague when this recording
8 was taken, and I think it is a legitimate question and he should be
9 provided first with that data.
10 JUDGE ORIE: The question was partly asked, but something at
11 least was added to it -- asked, and to some extent answered. To the
12 limited extent it was asked, there was an answer. But Mr. Traldi now
13 adds something to it, that is, what the witness is describing in his
14 statement and puts to him what it is in the view of the Prosecution. So
15 to that extent the question is admissible.
16 MR. LUKIC: But the --
17 JUDGE ORIE: One second, please, Mr. Lukic.
18 And, Mr. Traldi, I think if you are putting to the witness that
19 he is describing preparations to present a more acceptable image, if you
20 would give a time-frame to that it might make it easier for the witness
21 to answer your question.
22 MR. TRALDI: Sure. I'll rephrase.
23 Q. Sir, you're aware from your monitoring of the international press
24 that journalists had filmed barbed wire on their previous visit to
25 Trnopolje. What I'm putting to you is that the fact there was no barbed
1 wire when this footage was filmed, the fact you did not see barbed wire
2 on your visit, reflect the results of preparations after that first visit
3 on the 5th, before your visit on the 7th, to present a more acceptable
4 image of Trnopolje camp to the world. That's true, isn't it?
5 A. I do not know of any wire around Trnopolje before the 5th or on
6 the 5th. I just know that in part there was an old fence that could have
7 been interpreted as such a wire. But as far as I know, there was no
8 fence. Even the foreign media, and we followed their subsequent reports
9 too, there was no mention of a wire. It would be a good thing if we have
10 full footage of this wire, if that is what is being claimed.
11 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber has seen most of that footage, so
12 therefore we'll not necessarily play it again. We are aware of the
13 discussion about some of the wire that was shown on other parts of the
15 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
16 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd tender this clip.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Mladic is now for the second time seeking to
18 consult counsel with a loud voice, so if he could speak at a lower
19 volume, that would be preferred.
20 Madam Registrar, the number?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 22393c receives number P7195.
22 JUDGE ORIE: P7195 is admitted.
23 Please proceed.
24 MR. TRALDI:
25 Q. And, sir, what I'm putting to you is: At Keraterm, these
1 journalists weren't taken to the room that had recently been a massacre
2 site; at Omarska, most of the prisoners had been removed; at Trnopolje,
3 the barbed wire was gone. What I'm putting to you is: This visit was a
4 propaganda exercise designed to undermine or conceal the truth that had
5 been recently reported about the terrible criminal conditions in these
6 camps. That's the truth about this visit; right?
7 A. The visit was agreed by President Karadzic, as far as I know, in
8 London, with foreign representatives. And I don't know why they agreed
9 to it if they considered it to be propaganda. I just know with this
10 group because that's when I did the same work as all other journalists
11 who were there. There were many foreign media that were present.
12 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I have no further questions for this
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
15 Before we -- no, Mr. Lukic, if you have any further questions for
16 the witness?
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes, I do, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Please proceed.
19 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Solaja. Good day once again.
21 A. Good day.
22 Q. I will just briefly go through some of the topics that were
23 raised by my colleague, Mr. Traldi.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] P7191. We're going to start with
1 Q. In this text, General Talic speaks about the corridor, the
2 establishment of the corridor, its importance. This Chamber has heard
3 evidence about those 12 babies that died because of a lack of oxygen. Do
4 you have any personal knowledge about that time and about that occurrence
5 or, rather, these occurrences; namely, the deaths of these babies? Just
6 tell us whether you know and then I'm going to put other questions if you
7 do know about it.
8 A. I do.
9 Q. Was intervention sought to have oxygen provided to Banja Luka?
10 A. What was asked for was having oxygen transported by plane from
11 Belgrade to Banja Luka. However, at that time, what was valid was a UN
12 resolution on a no-fly zone, so the UN did not allow this plane to fly
13 from Belgrade to Banja Luka. Dr. Ilic was the director of the hospital
14 at that time, and he personally asked the president of the Presidency of
15 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Alija Izetbegovic, and he also tried to speak to
16 the president of Croatia, Franjo Tudjman. However, oxygen was not
17 provided to Banja Luka because Banja Luka at that point in time - that is
18 to say, Bosanski Brod, Modrica, Doboj, Knin - this entire area had been
19 cut off from the rest of the world, physically.
20 Q. I don't know whether everything has been recorded. What was the
21 answer of Alija Izetbegovic?
22 A. There was no answer. That's what Dr. Ilic claims in the film
23 that was made dealing with that topic, because the thirteenth baby
24 survived, though seriously damaged.
25 Q. And what was Alija Izetbegovic asked to do?
1 A. To help make this decision, that the plane with the oxygen be
2 brought to Banja Luka. And not only oxygen but also other kinds of
3 medicine. What was the name of that for kidney treatment? Dialysis,
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. LUKIC: Now let us look at P3714, please.
7 JUDGE ORIE: While we're waiting for it, Witness, where does all
8 this knowledge come from?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That part, I mean, of then
10 Bosanska Krajina and the Republic of Serb Krajina was physically
11 separated. And I lived there at the time, I was injured, and they had to
12 transport me by bicycle to a doctor. There was no fuel. There was no
13 food and many other things that were needed.
14 JUDGE ORIE: No. My question was about where do you have your
15 detailed knowledge about who said what in relation to the oxygen problem.
16 Where -- you know that -- who -- yes.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I learned that two years ago from
18 this film, "A Breath of Life," that was made and that dealt with that
19 topic, and this Dr. Ilic is a witness who speaks about that. And the
20 then Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali took part in that, and I
21 gave the final assessment.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, indeed we've heard evidence about the
23 event. And now to invite the witness to summary what he learned two
24 years ago from a television programme or from a film is not what assists
25 the Chamber.
1 Please proceed.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I knew about that
3 earlier, too.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I asked you about when you learned about it. You
5 said two years ago. But you have no direct knowledge yourself --
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, this is reliable evidence.
7 Yes, I had direct information from Dr. Ilic.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then why didn't you tell us before when I said what
9 your -- where does your knowledge come from? When did you meet Dr. Ilic?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, we worked together at the
11 time. In the 1990s, I worked in this health system as an advisor.
12 However, I thought that public information was more reliable.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. It's not for you to make an assessment of the
14 reliability of the evidence. It is for you to tell us what your personal
15 knowledge and experience was. This also sheds some further light --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you for having cautioned me.
17 I really don't have any experience with courts.
18 JUDGE ORIE: That's understood.
19 Mr. Lukic --
20 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: -- please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] At the time, did the media report about that?
24 A. Of course. It made the headlines. However, the media did not
25 get very far. At that time, there was no electricity, so people would
1 listen to the news on small transistor radios and ...
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] P3714, please. Could we have that
5 JUDGE ORIE: According to the transcript you asked for 3794
6 previously but --
7 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry, 3714.
8 JUDGE ORIE: "14." Then it's perhaps not recorded well on
9 page 33, line 23.
10 Please proceed.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
12 Q. [Interpretation] This document was also shown to you.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We need page 2 in the English version
14 and page 3 in B/C/S. So it is a document of the command of the
15 1st Krajina Corps, dated the 28th of July, 1992. [In English] I'm sorry,
16 I will need previous page in English version. We need number 3.
17 Q. [Interpretation] You see, you were asked about number 3 here, and
18 it says:
19 "In the city of Banja Luka and other large towns there is an
20 increased demand for, and organisation of, the departure of the Croatian
21 and Muslim population."
22 Do you know who these requests for departures came from?
23 A. I think from citizens of Croat and Muslim ethnicity. They
24 applied because I think many were afraid. This fear was a fear for basic
1 Q. And do you know anything about this way in which it was
2 organised? Could it be unorganised? How could one leave Krajina?
3 A. In an unorganised manner, it was absolutely impossible because
4 until the corridor was broken through, we were absolutely sealed off on
5 all sides. And the fear of death was the fear that there would be lack
6 of food, because they did not care about Serbs or Croats or Muslims or
7 anyone. There was only the possibility to move through the corridor,
8 along it towards Serbia or via Gradiska and into Croatia. That was the
9 only way.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please have a look at
13 JUDGE ORIE: One follow-up question.
14 Do you have any explanation as to why the document only talks
15 about the Croatian and the Muslim population and its departure? Does
16 that mean that the Serbs had no fear for their lives at that time in
17 Banja Luka?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was fear, too. But Serbs
19 were not allowed to leave. They could only do that illegally or somehow
20 sidestepping what was usual and to get the proper papers, because
21 Republika Srpska had said that it had the competence in this territory.
22 But it did not force Muslims and Croats to serve the army. It was just
23 that some of them were doing that voluntarily.
24 JUDGE ORIE: And Serbs are not allowed to leave on the basis of
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, it was not possible to travel
2 freely, and everyone was obliged in accordance with the laws of
3 Republika Srpska to participate in the work of institutions. One of the
4 institutions was the army, which mobilised the Serbs into the army
5 because it was wartime and conscription was compulsory even though the
6 state of war as such had not yet been officially declared.
7 JUDGE ORIE: But that's perhaps for those who were under a duty
8 to -- under the mobilisation, but this is about Croatians, Muslims, the
9 population, and I asked you about the Serbs, not about those Serbs fit
10 for military service. They could not travel?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That means women, elderly, youngsters, they could
13 not -- they were not allowed to travel?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Only those who had to travel on
15 business or if they needed treatment.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, Croats and Muslims, were they allowed to
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Freely? No. They requested to be
19 allowed to leave and go to third countries. But they were not forced to
20 request this.
21 JUDGE ORIE: It all still doesn't explain why this daily combat
22 report is focusing on Croats and Muslims, whereas you say Serbs couldn't
23 travel either. I mean, I'm seeking explanation why this document is not
24 talking about population that wishes to leave but is talking about Croats
25 and Muslim population.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the Serbs didn't submit their
2 requests to leave so frequently, or they didn't submit them at all.
3 JUDGE ORIE: How did you know that?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was living there at the time. I
5 mean, I've been living there all my life.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I'm trying to continue with the topic without asking any leading
9 questions. What was the manner in which a Serb could leave and go to
10 Serbia? What did he need?
11 A. He had to have a strong reason because Serbia also had an
12 immigration policy that did not allow for people to move there freely.
13 It had to be either treatment or business or some similar reason and some
14 kind of need had to exist that could not be resolved in Republika Srpska.
15 Q. Was it necessary to have some documents?
16 A. Yes, there were special permits which were issued for such
17 occasions because the system with the use of passports did not function.
18 No one could issue passports because Republika Srpska had not been
19 internationally recognised. So that was the limiting factor which
20 prevented Serbs from leaving. Only specific documents could be used that
21 worked in specific situations.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let us now look at P6976, please.
23 Q. Here in this document, Mr. Brdjanin also speaks later. My
24 learned friend showed you this. However, here on page 1, we see that
25 it's Mr. Radic who is the speaker. You have told us that he was an
1 honourable man, a person of integrity. He says here, that's
2 approximately around line 7, from where we can see that he starts to
3 speak, and he says:
4 "The victims of this war are our children. The victims of the
5 last war were our brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers. The victims
6 of the war before that one were our fathers and grandfathers, and of the
7 one still before, our grandfathers and great-grandfathers. They all had
8 one goal: to live in large numbers and graced by God, with their own
9 people and nothing more, recognising that other peoples have the same
11 Having reported and worked for the newspaper for which you did
12 work, did you ever have an opportunity to hear anyone tell you to spread
13 propaganda to the effect that other people should not live together with
14 Serbs in Republika Srpska?
15 A. No, we never received any such instructions. I even think that
16 Republika Srpska declared itself as a civil society, a civil state. I
17 think that the preamble to the constitution reads that the constitution
18 is adopted by the Serbs and other ethnicities living in Republika Srpska.
19 I think that was the original version of the constitution and that this
20 was in its preamble.
21 Q. We see here that the date is 21st August 1994. It's a broadcast
22 of the rally of the Serbian unit in Banja Luka. After two years of war,
23 Mr. Radic says that the same right is recognised to other peoples, the
24 same one that the Serbs have. Do you know that he changed that position
25 by the end of the war?
1 A. No, no. He never did. That was, among other things, the reason
2 that on the 2nd of January, 1996, President Bill Clinton received him as
3 one of the most mild politicians in Republika Srpska, or perhaps the one
4 who was the least hardened.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let's look briefly at 65 ter 11306.
6 I don't know if this has been admitted already. We did talk about
7 abolished Crisis Staffs. We need in English page 3, paragraph 2. And in
8 the B/C/S version, we need the third column, the second paragraph. If we
9 could zoom in, please.
10 Q. This has to do with the press conference of the defence minister
11 of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colonel Bogdan
12 Subotic, published in Glas on the 7th of July, 1992. So that was more or
13 less at the beginning of the war.
14 At the beginning of the second paragraph, in the third column, it
16 [As read] "All citizens who accept the Serbian Republic of Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina as their own state will remain within its borders and
18 will enjoy all civil rights."
19 The author of the report from this press conference is M. Solaja.
20 A. Yes, that's me.
21 Q. To whom was this addressed? Who was reading Glas?
22 A. Glas was a paper that had 50 years of tradition behind itself,
23 and it was normally sold on newsstands. So everyone was reading it.
24 Q. And the "Krajina Soldier"?
25 A. The "Krajina Soldier" was the paper of the 1st Krajina Corps and
1 it was distributed among units, but it could also be bought at
2 newsstands. So it was distributed in the retail network.
3 Q. What was the main population that was reading the "Krajina
5 A. Anyone who got it, but it was intended primarily for the soldiers
6 of the 1st Krajina Corps, but not in the sense of propaganda but as an
7 information bulletin that would convey information about the most
8 important events. That was our concept. Because we believed that there
9 was no need to spread propaganda among our own troops but rather that
10 they should be told the truth. So it was the idea to convey
11 realistically the facts about what was going on. We were not political
12 propagandists, but we just wanted to report about the topical events of
13 the day.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please have a look at
16 P7912 [as interpreted].
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you tendering the last document?
18 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour. We will tender that document. It
19 was on the list.
20 MR. TRALDI: No objections, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, document 11306 receives number
24 JUDGE ORIE: D925 is admitted.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: And, Mr. Lukic, can you just check the number that
1 you have just called? You said 79 ...
2 MR. LUKIC: I asked for 7192.
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, that's better.
4 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. [Interpretation] I am showing you this document just to refresh
6 your memory about the topic. It had to do with the replacement of the
7 editor-in-chief of the Glas paper. On transcript page 17, line 12, you
8 started talking about the fact that Republika Srpska had just been
9 created after the process in which the three ethnic groups could not
10 reach an agreement about the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I heard,
11 but it has not been recorded, that you said that. Do you remember what
12 you said further on about the initial stage of creation of institutions?
13 A. Yes, if I may continue. The federal system of the Yugoslav
14 institutions had broken down, and the internal system of institutions of
15 the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina also broke down. In a
16 part of the territory, there were self-organised local organs, and on the
17 basis of that Republika Srpska came into existence and it defined itself
18 on the basis of constitution from 1992. So ARK and Crisis Staffs were
19 this interim stage until the proper functioning of normal institutions
20 was established.
21 Q. All right. And now the editor-in-chief of Glas was relieved of
22 his duty. What was the reason for his replacement? Did it have anything
23 to do with the abolishment of Crisis Staffs?
24 A. I don't think so, as far as I remember, though I wasn't really
25 involved in that. I think that these were internal political reasons and
1 that they didn't have anything to do with Crisis Staffs or any other
2 events at the time. Because there were quite a few such similar
3 replacements even later.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 Could the witness -- could you tell us then, what was the reason?
6 What was the internal -- what were the internal problems? Could you give
7 us -- tell us what it was?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that these were problems
9 within the then ruling and practically only party, the
10 Serbian Democratic Party, and that it had to do with personal power
11 within the party. I don't think it had anything particular to do with
12 the events, apart from these internal reasons which I think were to a
13 large degree personal. I think that one of the major issues was who were
14 the persons who believed themselves those who were to be honoured because
15 the corridor had been broken through.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, but you say "I think." What specifically in
17 relation to the editor-in-chief? What were the reasons? Do you know?
18 If you don't know, if you say, I just think it was this or that. Did he
19 claim anything? Were there others who said he had done things wrong?
20 What was it?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that he claimed that,
22 together with some other circles, he was to be most credited for having
23 broken the corridor. But as far as I know, it was an operation of the
24 Army of Republika Srpska, and this created political differences within
25 the party. But I did not know the particulars because I never was a
1 member of this party.
2 JUDGE ORIE: But you say, "I think that he claimed that, together
3 with some other circles, he was to be most credited," why do you think
4 that? What's your knowledge about what happened?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the basis of what was published
6 in Glas these days, because they said that some paramilitaries had broken
7 the corridor, and on the other hand -- I think that he was the one who
8 was saying that, that it was the paramilitaries. And on the other hand,
9 it was clear that it was a very widespread, major military operation.
10 But the party circles are closed and therefore it was only the rumours
11 that reached me from there.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And therefore whether the abolishment of the
13 Crisis Staff were entirely foreign to that, you wouldn't know because you
14 only heard rumours and you have no direct knowledge. Is that well
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
18 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Just to clarify something, I will read to you
20 what has been recorded in the transcript and you can then just check if
21 it's correct. On page 44, line 21, it reads:
22 [In English] "... I think he was the one who was saying that,
23 that it was the paramilitaries."
24 A. No, no, he wasn't saying that. Some of the members of the SDS
25 political party had this conviction.
1 Q. Thank you. Now let us please look at P7193. You have seen this
2 document also. It's the letter to Daniel Salvatore Schiffer sent by
3 Dr. Radovan Karadzic. It reads that the Serbian side is willing to
4 release all the prisoners from Manjaca if the international community and
5 the ICRC are ready to accept them and convey them to third countries. Do
6 you know what those who were imprisoned in Manjaca requested?
7 A. They requested to leave for third countries. I think that a
8 large number of them left Banja Luka for London by air. I think that
9 those were mostly wounded people and those who were in poor condition,
10 because Daniel Schiffer came there then and the camp was closed in his
12 Q. What is the source of your information, that this is what the
13 people in Manjaca requested?
14 A. Probably because they did go to London on a plane. It was a big
15 Russian plane.
16 Q. But you did not personally talk about this with people in
17 Manjaca -- or did you?
18 A. No, I didn't. I had no opportunity and I didn't really deal with
19 these issues at the time. This was a very dynamic period when there was
20 quite a lot of other work.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let us now just look at another two
23 documents. I think that we'll finish one of them before the break.
24 P7194, please. In this document, we need page 4 in the English version
25 and page 3 in the B/C/S version.
1 Q. It's a document in which some things have been crossed out. What
2 is discussed here are the poor conditions in Omarska, the fact that
3 sanitary and other equipment was inadequate, and that there were too many
4 people. In the continuation of the same paragraph, we read this
6 "However, we are forced to use them, one of the reasons being
7 that the other side is not interested in the least in an exchange of
9 As you were working in the paper of the 1st Krajina Corps, did
10 you have the information whether the other side was uninterested in an
11 exchange of prisoners?
12 A. No, I didn't. The paper wasn't being published at the time. We
13 were just preparing it. The first issue under number 11 was only
14 published in November.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We'll also need P7195.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Before we move to that, I'm addressing both you,
18 Mr. Lukic, and you, Mr. Traldi. Of course we see that there are quite a
19 lot of handwritings in it. Well, the witness commented on it, where --
20 but the Chamber would like to know, of course, what the status of this
21 document is in the view of the parties.
22 MR. TRALDI: What I can say is we got it from a media source
23 rather than from a Republika Srpska government collection, which
24 indicates to us that it was sent in this form. And the source was
25 affiliated with SRNA.
1 JUDGE ORIE: But do you know who then -- whether they received it
2 with all the handwritten markings on it or did they make their own
3 markings on it, the source that received this press release?
4 MR. TRALDI: That, Your Honour, I don't have an answer to. And
5 we'll look into it and report back as expeditiously as we can.
6 JUDGE ORIE: I noticed that you quoted only from the parts which
7 were not stricken out.
8 Mr. Lukic, do you have any comment on the matter? Because
9 earlier I think you did not object to the admission, but we still may
10 need some --
11 MR. LUKIC: I did not --
12 JUDGE ORIE: -- information in order to assess the exact
13 probative value of the document.
14 MR. LUKIC: I did not because I saw some stamp on the first page
15 that somebody received it.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So you --
17 MR. LUKIC: And there is a signature --
18 JUDGE ORIE: What's then your position in relation to this
19 document, that the text was given to press agencies with the markings on
20 it or without?
21 MR. LUKIC: I really -- we have no knowledge who did those
22 markings, whether it was done after it was sent or before.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you -- because you're now putting
24 questions in relation to this document, you accept this to be a press
25 release with or without the markings which was once issued?
1 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then that situation is clear. Thank you.
3 Please proceed.
4 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I see we are at the break time but I can
5 finish in a couple of minutes so ...
6 JUDGE ORIE: Then please finish in those couple of minutes.
7 MR. LUKIC: So we need P7195, please. [Interpretation] It's a
9 Q. You were told that between the 5th and the 7th the barbed wire
10 had been removed. The journalist Penny Marshall said on the 7th when she
11 was filming this, the 7th of August, 1992, she says that the visit is
12 strictly supervised. Did you see that? Could journalists freely speak
13 to the people who were in Trnopolje or was somebody escorting them, some
14 armed persons? What was your impression? Was it a strictly supervised
16 A. All the journalists freely spoke. At Trnopolje there were about
17 40 journalists. There was a bus full of them. There was an escort, but
18 it wasn't there just for escort purposes. It was there for the security
19 of the journalists. Can I just say a few words?
20 Serbia and Republika Srpska were under UN sanctions and embargo
21 then, and the attitude of the population towards anything that was called
22 "foreign" was very negative, and I said that in my statement. Our main
23 intention was to safe-guard the journalists so that nothing bad would
24 happen to them. And I can say with pride that there was no threat to the
25 physical security of journalists in our area. There were civilian cars
1 that were driving in front of the bus and behind the bus.
2 Q. Just another thing. As far as you know, now these posts where it
3 is claimed that there was a barbed wire around them, what did this area
4 look like when you were there on the 7th?
5 A. I don't remember a barbed wire. I remember this wire mesh. Any
6 peasant puts barbed wire on top of a fence in our parts. It was old and
7 it was rusty. I know that the entire area was not fenced off with barbed
8 wire. There was this fencing there from earlier on. There was a school
9 there or a youth centre, and usually there would be fences around that.
10 Q. How high was the fencing?
11 A. It varied. Mostly it was low and in some parts it was a bit
12 higher, probably the part facing the forest. I mean, I don't know why.
13 It was done a lot earlier. I never really gave this any thought.
14 Q. When you say "lower," how much lower?
15 A. Our fences are usually 1 metre, 1 metre, 20 centimetres. I mean,
16 that's a tradition in our parts, that is what everybody does.
17 Q. Were there parts that were not fenced off at all?
18 A. There were. More than a half, I think.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Solaja. That was all we had for you.
20 A. Thank you, too.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I may have one or two short questions.
22 First of all: Now, finally, when you were there on the 7th of
23 August, if I understand you well, was there any barbed wire anywhere that
24 you did see?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was there only once. And as far
1 as I know, I didn't see it. I mean, a barbed wire fence? I did not see
2 that. We have this tradition, and I also have it on my own property,
3 that on top of a fence you put barbed wire. But I don't know whether
4 your understanding is --
5 JUDGE ORIE: No, Witness, I'm just seeking facts. Did you see,
6 not in your own garden, but did you see any barbed wire when you were in
7 Trnopolje on the 7th of August?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, you comment that the barbed wire was
10 rusty. What is the basis of your knowledge that the barbed wire you
11 didn't see --
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mesh. That is a fence that is --
13 MR. LUKIC: If it's entered "barbed wire," we would ask to be
14 revised [overlapping speakers] --
15 JUDGE ORIE: I do understand that there is a misunderstanding in
16 that respect. Yes. That's clear.
17 I have one other question. I'm seeking clarification of
18 paragraph 31 of your statement.
19 Perhaps it could be -- or 30, 31, of the statement.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which is now D924.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And I already introduced the matter to you. You
22 told us that there were no camps in Banja Luka, which you explained was
23 that wherever they may have been located, they were not organised by
24 Banja Luka authorities. And then in paragraph 30, you further say about
25 there was -- a terrible fact is that there were several cases of murder
1 which were discussed only later. And you then later say that you know
2 about a few murders.
3 And then in paragraph 31, you said:
4 "Even at that time, all of that was resolved and proven to be
5 motivated by greed."
6 Now, I am just trying to understand what murders you are talking
7 about. The two murders you are referring to, I think, are not murders
8 which appear in the indictment. In the indictment we have a number of
9 incidents where sometimes a smaller number, sometimes a larger number of
10 people were killed.
11 Now, if you say -- if you are talking about these murders, are
12 you talking about a limited area or are you including any of the murders
13 which this Chamber finds in the indictment as charges against the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know of these two cases. This
16 murder --
17 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not understand the names
18 that were mentioned.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I knew these persons myself and the
20 crime prevention police said that these murders involved looting as well.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That's for those two and not in general for
22 murders having been committed at that period of time in the larger area
23 in or close to Banja Luka, Prijedor, Sanski Most. You're not explaining
24 any other murders than the two which you specifically mention here. Is
25 that correctly understood?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You understood that correctly.
2 Those are the cases that I know about.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
4 Mr. Traldi, any further questions?
5 MR. TRALDI: Very briefly, Mr. President. Five minutes or less.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, then we'll continue for five minutes.
7 Please proceed.
8 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi:
9 Q. First, sir, you mentioned prisoners at Manjaca who you said went
10 by plane to the United Kingdom. Now, the prisoners, when Manjaca was
11 closed, more than a thousand were sent to Croatia by bus and several
12 hundred were transferred to Batkovic and Kula within the Bosnian Serb
13 system and hidden from the Red Cross; weren't they?
14 A. I know about this convoy to Croatia, but I don't know about --
15 about other camps. And I don't think it's realistic, because the
16 Red Cross had very precise records. Beat Schweizer is a person I knew
17 myself from the Red Cross.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, you are not asked about an opinion, how
19 realistic is anything. We do understand that you do know about the
20 transport to Croatia and that you do not know about the transfer of
21 others. Is that well understood?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You understood that well.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
24 MR. TRALDI: Finally, could we have 65 ter 02362.
25 Q. And I'm calling this up -- this will be the transcript of the
1 22nd Session of the Bosnian Serb Assembly related to your comments on
2 redirect about the civil nature of the Bosnian Serb state and the
3 reference to Serbs as well as other peoples in the constitution.
4 MR. TRALDI: If we could have page 77 at the bottom in English
5 and 75 at the bottom in B/C/S.
6 Q. And we see at the end of what are described as the chairman's
7 remarks that the assembly is moving to item 10 of the agenda, that's a
8 citizenship bill, and that someone named Mr. Milojevic speaks. He
9 describes here in the English the great importance of that bill for the
10 state. And then if we turn to the next page in the English, we read
11 Milojevic say, describing his concerns about the bill, it says:
12 "First, contravention with the Constitution. Article 1 of the
13 Constitution stipulates: 'Republika Srpska is the state of the Serbian
14 people.' Period."
15 Now, first, were you aware of that position, that Republika
16 Srpska was the state of the Serbian people?
17 A. This is one MP speaking and I cannot identify with that. This is
18 his personal position, and it is the assembly that formulates general
20 Q. And is it your position that the constitution of Republika Srpska
21 did not stipulate that it was the state of the Serbian people?
22 A. Could you please clarify that question? I did not understand it.
23 Q. Sure. What I'm putting to you is he's not articulating a
24 personal position. He's saying Article 1 of the constitution stipulates
25 Republika Srpska is the state of the Serbian people. He's purporting to
1 be quoting the constitution. You are aware of that provision as well;
3 A. Given what I've said already, namely, and other citizens, too.
4 Q. And he adds:
5 "Citizens of Republika Srpska shall be granted citizenship of
6 Republika Srpska, which means everybody, and he says, 'I think it should
7 read Serbian.'"
8 MR. TRALDI: If we turn to the next page -- sorry, if we turn
9 back in the English and to the next page in the B/C/S. I was imprecise
10 and I apologise.
11 We see at the end of the third paragraph in the B/C/S or in the
12 third paragraph that he is discussing how Serbs couldn't get citizenship
13 in Slovenia straight away. In Croatia, the parliament, the assembly
14 decides which Muslim will get citizenship. And then he moves that the
15 law be sent back. And if we turn -- below that we see Mr. Krajisnik's
16 remarks and in pertinent part in the middle, he says:
17 "That's why we decided that citizenship should be Serbian since
18 our republic is Serbian."
19 Below that, we see Mr. Milijanovic, he says:
20 "I think we need to make an effort to make this law as short and
21 clear as possible."
22 Turning to the next page in the English.
23 And at the very bottom in the B/C/S, we see the chairman say:
24 "Mr. Milijanovic's objection and proposal are valid."
25 And turning to the next page in the B/C/S, the law is being sent
1 back to the relevant ministry for improvement.
2 Q. So the truth is that the constitution referred to Republika
3 Srpska as the state of Serbian people in Article 1 and that the
4 citizenship policy was designed to promote Serb citizenship, that, as
5 Mr. Krajisnik said, citizenship should be Serbian because the republic is
6 Serbian; right?
7 A. I can now present my own position, if necessary. This is the
8 parliamentary debate that I am unaware of. And it's very early, the
9 23rd, the 24th of April, 1992. From this one can see that this article
10 about Serbs and other citizens did exist and that it was a subject of
11 debate. So I maintain my position that the constitution reflects the
12 position that it is the country of Serbs and other citizens, and after
13 all this is contained in any modern constitution. I think the
14 parliamentary debates cannot lead me to the conclusion of the assembly,
15 and I would kindly ask to be shown that so that I could see what it was.
16 This is just a parliamentary debate and ultimately it leads to certain
18 Q. Well, here we've showed you that it led to the bill being sent
19 back. I'm going to ask you just one final question, which is: Saying
20 Serbs and others, obviously by only mentioning Serbs it gives Serbs
21 primacy, doesn't it?
22 A. Well, I wouldn't agree with that.
23 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I'd ask that this assembly session be
24 marked for identification. We'll seek to agree a selection with the
25 Defence. Similarly, because it's discussed just in this assembly session
1 and also in the witness's answer on redirect, I admit I haven't checked
2 on the status of the constitution but we'll check Article 1 as well to
3 ensure that the official wording is before the Chamber.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. In view of this last comment, I would invite
5 the witness to briefly explain why you do not agree with Mr. Traldi that
6 Serbs are given primacy in the text as it was quoted?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it is the way the
8 preamble to the constitutional provision says; namely that, at least
9 according to the constitution, all citizens enjoy equal rights.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number for this portion of the
11 transcript of the assembly session would be?
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number would be P7196.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Marked for identification.
14 This then concludes your testimony, Mr. Solaja. Mr. Solaja, I
15 would like to thank you very much for having come a long way to The Hague
16 and for having answered all the questions that were put to you by the
17 parties, put to you by the Bench, and I wish you a safe return home
18 again. You may follow the usher.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi.
21 MR. TRALDI: Just to ensure there isn't anything sitting on the
22 record unaddressed, I have done a quick check. The constitution is P3007
23 and so we won't be seeking to do anything further in that regard.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. We take a break. We will resume at 25 minutes
1 to 2.00 -- to 1.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.13 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.36 p.m.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Before we continue, I'd like to briefly address
5 some - I'm not saying all - of the scheduling issues raised recently,
6 that is. But the first one, and I would say the most urgent one, is the
7 one for the week after Orthodox Easter, which is the week, Mr. Lukic, of
8 the -- starting on Monday, the 13th of April.
9 The Chamber has seriously considered to see whether we could use
10 that Thursday and Friday in one way or another, and similar suggestions
11 were made by the -- by the Prosecution. We have decided that we'll grant
12 the whole of that week as a non-sitting week, and I immediately add to
13 that not as a nonworking week, because one of the reasons was that we
14 anticipated on what we still -- what you announced, that is, that you
15 would ask for some extra time for the preparation of the reopening of the
16 Defence case -- of the Prosecution's case.
17 Now in view of that, and not having yet seen your submissions in
18 that respect, but already those two days we were considering -- oh, yes,
19 well, but even the two weeks we had still in the back of our mind as
20 possibly using. We refrain from that. But then again, this time of
21 non-sitting also means that you have additional time to prepare for
22 whatever comes after that week. And whether that will be -- whether that
23 will be extended in any other way, we'll first wait for any submissions
24 to be made in that respect.
25 All the other scheduling issues about the week of the -- starting
1 the 26th of May, I think we have dealt with that one already. That is a
2 non-sitting week as well, although an extra Friday will be used in the
3 first week of June. That remains unchanged.
4 I leave it to that at this moment. Is the Defence ready to call
5 its next witness?
6 MR. IVETIC: We are, Your Honours. The Defence would call
7 Mr. Bojan Subotic at this time, no protective measures.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Subotic. Before you give --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you
13 make the solemn declaration. The text is now handed out to you by the
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I? I solemnly declare that I
16 will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: BOJAN SUBOTIC
18 [Witness answered through interpreter]
19 JUDGE ORIE: Please be seated, Mr. Subotic.
20 Mr. Subotic, it usually stays better if you have it on the top of
21 your head. Mr. Subotic, it will be Mr. Ivetic, and you find him to your
22 left, who will examine you. Mr. Ivetic is a member of the Defence team
23 of Mr. Mladic.
24 Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
25 MR. IVETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Examination by Mr. Ivetic:
2 Q. Good day, sir. Could you please state your full name so that it
3 is properly entered into the record.
4 A. My name is Bojan Subotic.
5 Q. Did you have occasion to give a written statement to members of
6 the Defence team of General Mladic?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. IVETIC: I would like to call up 1D01645 in e-court.
9 Q. Sir, if you could look on the screen at the Serbian original and
10 tell us whose signature that is on the first page of this document.
11 A. My signature.
12 Q. And, sir, I note that the year of birth is different between the
13 Serbian original and the English translation. Can you please verify for
14 us what is your correct date and year of birth?
15 A. The exact date of my birth is the 12th of December, 1972. It's
16 the version in Serbian. And the other one is incorrect.
17 MR. IVETIC: If we could now turn to the last page in both
19 Q. There is a signature here. Can you tell us whose signature
20 appears on this page?
21 A. That is my signature.
22 Q. And, sir, does the date which is recorded here correspond to your
23 recollection of the date when you would have signed this statement?
24 A. Yes, I think so. Yes, yes. It was the month of June. Right,
1 Q. Now, sir, after you signed this statement, did you have an
2 opportunity to review the same and read it in full to ascertain if
3 everything is accurately and correctly recorded therein?
4 A. Well, I had the opportunity to look at it fleetingly. There were
5 some -- whether those were typos or something was moved, some of the
6 events which may have occurred earlier or later in the written statement.
7 But all in all, everything's in there.
8 Q. Okay. Let me go through some of those typos with you. If I'd
9 look at the first -- pardon me, the second page in both languages, and
10 paragraph number 1, I note that the English translation again has the
11 wrong year of birth. Should that be fixed to reflect 1972 as we
12 previously mentioned and as is in the Serbian original?
13 A. Yes, you are correct.
14 JUDGE ORIE: The one uploaded says 1972, isn't it? Well, let me
15 just have a look. Oh, you -- no, no, you're right. I made a mistake.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. IVETIC: And now if we could look at the third page in both
19 Q. In regard to paragraphs 11 and 12, what order should these
20 paragraphs go in to correctly correspond to the chronology of the events
21 contained therein?
22 A. Well, I think that paragraphs 11 and 12 should switch places. So
23 paragraph 11 should be in the place of paragraph 12, and the other way
24 around. According to what I remember and the statement that I gave, this
25 should be the right chronology. Whether this was switched so that it
1 stands as it is now while the document was typed or something else, I'm
2 not sure. Because I talk here about meeting with my commander, so it
3 should be switched. Paragraph 12 should be in place of paragraph 11 and
4 vice versa.
5 Q. Now, sir, apart from these corrections, do you stand by the rest
6 of the statement as written?
7 A. Yes. What I see on the screen, yes.
8 Q. Now, if I were to ask you questions today in court based on the
9 same matters as contained in your written statement, would your answers
10 to those questions today in court be substantially the same as already
11 written in your statement?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And, sir, you have taken a solemn declaration today to tell the
14 truth. Does that mean that what is written in your statement is truthful
15 in nature?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, at this time we would tender 1D01645
18 as the next public Defence exhibit. There are no associated documents
19 with the same.
20 MS. HASAN: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours. No
22 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the number would be D926.
24 JUDGE ORIE: D926 is admitted into evidence.
25 I nevertheless, Mr. Ivetic, would like to briefly deal with
1 the -- you said the chronology as found in paragraphs 11 and 12.
2 Witness, you say we should -- as a matter of fact, 12 comes
3 before 11. Now, in 11, you were given instructions to patrol the area
4 along a stretch, et cetera, et cetera. And then in 12, it starts with:
5 "During the patrol, I was under fire all the time ..." If we change the
6 chronology and start with 12, then the order for a patrol was given after
7 you had patrolled that stretch, which is not entirely clear to me. Do
8 you have any clarification as to how you can talk about a patrol which is
9 only later ordered?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant only with regard to the
11 instructions which my commander issued to me. Paragraph 11 says that he
12 was there then. However, no, a soldier reported to me then that he had
13 called, that he had told me to stay there, to replenish my ammunition,
14 and continue patrolling. So I was on patrol before that and under heavy
15 fire. So before I had reached this soldier and my commander, and that's
16 what is now contained in paragraph 12.
17 JUDGE ORIE: But the soldier which reported to you that he had
18 called -- that he had told you to stay there to replenish your
19 ammunition, does that appear at this moment somewhere in paragraphs 11
20 and 12? If you could just read it again. It's on your screen, I take
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Paragraphs 11 and 12 do not mention
23 the soldier. The soldier I'm talking about is a soldier who was at the
24 reception of the facility to which I withdrew when I managed to get out
25 of the ambush I had been in together with my soldiers. In other words,
1 my intention was to withdraw, to pick up this soldier, and to withdraw
2 towards Milici because I was attacked by a huge force. However, this
3 soldier informed me that my commander, Malinic, had told him that I
4 shouldn't budge and that he would be arriving there, too, very soon.
5 JUDGE ORIE: But in 12, I also read that you took a group of 10
6 to 15 Muslim soldiers and that you went with them to the battalion
7 command. Now, what did you do? Did you withdraw or did you bring
8 imprisoned soldiers or at least soldiers that had surrendered and were
9 disarmed to the battalion command?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, in paragraph 11, when this
11 soldier informed me about that, I replenished my ammunition and I heard
12 down in the area of Nova Kasaba, the stadium, towards Konjevic Polje,
13 there was heavy fire. I then went in an armoured combat vehicle with my
14 five soldiers and I was ambushed down there, so I was hit with -- I don't
15 know with what exactly anymore. But my armoured combat vehicle could no
16 longer be used. And during this ambush, the exchange between me and the
17 Muslim soldiers, those 13 or 14 soldiers surrendered themselves to me. I
18 don't know what the exact number was. I did not take them up to the
19 barracks or the school, but I called a first class sergeant, whose name I
20 cannot remember, to come and get them. I also had a wounded soldier
21 there, so I asked them to call for an ambulance for me.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, it's therefore not just changing the
23 chronology but also quite some additional information. Let me just check
24 whether the ambulance was -- did you state anywhere in 11, 12 that you
25 were injured and that an ambulance was called? I don't see any of that
1 in 11 and 12.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it wasn't me who was wounded
3 but one of my soldiers. And I called this first class sergeant who was
4 up there to come down here to take over the prisoners and at the same
5 time if he could communicate to the medical service in Milici -- it's
6 true I did not mention that in my statement, but I did have a wounded
7 soldier and I asked for medical assistance for him. However, it did not
8 reach me. I transported this wounded soldier and delivered him to this
9 first class sergeant.
10 JUDGE ORIE: And when did you then talk to the soldiers that had
11 surrendered? You didn't accompany them to the battalion command. When
12 did you then talk to them?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I talked to them there on the spot
14 where they had surrendered themselves to me.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, I'm just trying to understand the change
16 in chronology as you testified about.
17 Mr. Ivetic, please proceed.
18 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, I think I need to read the witness
19 summary at this point in time.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please do so.
21 MR. IVETIC: Bojan Subotic became a member of the
22 65th Motorised Protection Regiment of the VRS in December of 1992 and
23 served in various posts including the posts of commander of the
24 anti-terrorist platoon and military police.
25 He recalls in the first half of July 1995, when on regular duty
1 at the command of the Military Police Battalion at Nova Kasaba, a woman
2 came to them to say that her house and the area around the house was full
3 of Muslim soldiers. He went to check with one other soldier, and they
4 came under ambush and fire from the Muslims, and had to call a BOV
5 armoured vehicle to withdraw. In his estimate, there were 1.000 enemy
6 soldiers with dozens of machine-guns.
7 Hearing intense fire from machine-gun and mortars in the
8 direction of Konjevic Polje, he set out in the BOV to that area because
9 there were a lot of civilians there. His vehicle came under fire and he
10 fired tear-gas into the woods. Muslim soldiers surrendered to him and
11 told of how there was infighting on their side between those that had
12 wanted to surrender and the Muslim commanders who did not let them
13 surrender and who were killing those that wanted to give themselves up.
14 He used the vehicle's loudspeaker to call upon the Muslims to surrender
15 and additional Muslims surrendered.
16 Three of the surrendered Muslims were wounded and were bandaged
17 up. Subotic radioed the command and asked for an ambulance and
18 assistance so as not to be wiped out as there were still movements and
19 shooting from the Muslim troops in the woods. At the base, even the
20 UNPROFOR were firing into the woods to repel the attack.
21 The witness eventually went into the woods with the Muslims and
22 saw a horrible sight of over 500 dead people. They removed some wounded
23 that they found. All the surrendered and wounded were at the Nova Kasaba
24 football stadium. He went and brought 100 to 150 loaves of bread to
25 distribute to them and all the food the base had.
1 At one point General Mladic came and spoke to the men, receiving
2 an applause from the Muslims. He told them that everyone would be housed
3 and fed and exchanged for Serb prisoners. He ordered that they be
4 secured and safely transported in buses to Bratunac where the civilian
5 authorities would take them over.
6 The witness escorted a column of buses containing these Muslims
7 to the Vuk Karadzic school in Bratunac where he turned them over to
8 civilian police.
9 And that completes the summary.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Any further questions for the witness, Mr. Ivetic?
11 MR. IVETIC: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
13 MR. IVETIC: If we could turn to page 2 in both versions.
14 Q. And I'd like to look at paragraph 6 with you. And, Mr. Subotic,
15 I'd like to ask you first to tell us about this woman that came to you
16 and said her house was full of Muslims. Was she someone known to you
17 from before?
18 A. Yes, I knew her.
19 Q. What was her ethnicity?
20 A. I think that she was a Serb. Yes, she was a Serb.
21 Q. And where was her house located?
22 A. Well, her house was looking from our command to the west, perhaps
23 2- or 300 metres from the seat of our command; that is to say, this
25 Q. And what did she tell you about how it is that she had noted the
1 presence of Muslims troops in and around her house?
2 A. Well, I was then at the reception of our facility, our command.
3 It was perhaps around 7.00, 7.30 a.m., immediately after breakfast. She
4 came running to us, barefoot and out of her wits. We saw her running
5 towards us and we thought that something had happened to her, to her
6 children, because there had been several incidents with the neighbours.
7 Sometimes we would provide medical assistance to children during the
8 night if they had high fever or something like that, and that's what I
9 had in mind. However, when she came to us, she said, "Look, you are
10 sitting here and having fun and my house is full of Turks," she
11 emphasized, but she meant the Muslims. That was how I understood her.
12 And she also added that her children had remained in the house. She told
13 it not only to me but to all of us who were there at the time.
14 Q. Now in paragraph 7 you describe that you were ambushed while
15 going towards the house. Could you tell us about this ambush and
16 precisely what happened?
17 A. I'm not receiving interpretation.
18 Q. Let's try it again. In paragraph 7, sir, you talk about being
19 ambushed while going towards the house. Can you tell us about this
20 ambush and precisely what happened?
21 A. So when she came and stated that her house was full of Muslims, I
22 was in the reception room. I took one soldier with me to go in
23 reconnaissance to check the truthfulness of her story, and I ordered two
24 other soldiers to be in the armoured combat vehicle and to be at the
25 ready and to turn on the ignition, because that's one of the rules of the
1 manner in which military police is supposed to work.
2 So I when I set out towards her house, it's about 200 metres, and
3 there is a river there called Jadar, and there is a bend in the river.
4 While crossing it, I really saw many soldiers. I didn't know whose
5 soldiers they were, I couldn't see their insignia, but those soldiers
6 fired at me. It was heavy machine-gun fire. Even a mortar,
7 60-millimetre, the small infantry mortar, also fired at me.
8 Q. Now in paragraph 8 you state that you could see about
9 1.000 Muslim soldiers there, and you estimate they had dozens of
10 machine-guns. First of all, explain to us how it was you were able to
11 see and observe all this?
12 A. Well, when they were firing at me, I responded using my own fire
13 and my soldier, who had a machine-gun then, did too, but we didn't have a
14 lot of ammunition. The clearing between the river and the house is about
15 150 metres, and I just happened to have binoculars there, and it was
16 always there. And then in terms of her statement that there were people
17 in the woods, I took the binoculars, and then during this short pause,
18 when I started firing at them, they didn't stop firing. However, they
19 were withdrawing towards the woods. So they weren't moving towards me.
20 They were really getting out of her house, as she had said that they were
21 inside, and they started withdrawing towards the woods.
22 I looked through the binoculars, say, for 15 or 20 seconds, for
23 instance, and I saw that there were almost 1.000 men. I wouldn't know
24 what the exact number would be. I went to football games, I went to
25 stadiums, but I cannot tell exactly. About a thousand. I counted about
1 30, 40 machine-guns, and I can tell the difference between an ordinary
2 automatic rifle and a machine-gun. So some could be heard from the other
3 side. And my opinion to this day is that they did have about
4 50 machine-guns in this group of 1.000 men. Well, that's not really a
5 group. In my mind it's a brigade.
6 Q. And did they have any other armaments apart from these 30 to
7 40 machine-guns that you have identified?
8 A. Well, yes, classical infantry weapons. These rifles, automatic,
9 semi-automatic. They had a hand grenades and some of them had rifle
10 grenades in their pockets, like we used to do as well. So they had it in
11 their pockets of their flak jackets as well. We did that too so that we
12 would be prepared to act. I think that these are rifle grenades. I
13 don't think that it's a heavier weapon.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. IVETIC: Now, I'd like to turn to page 3 in both languages,
16 and paragraphs 10 and 11.
17 Q. And could you now tell us how and when you were able to contact
18 Major Malinic and when he actually arrived at the location?
19 A. Major Malinic, my battalion commander, he was there all the time.
20 However, at that moment, when that woman came to see us and when there
21 was this ambush, when I got caught in that ambush, he wasn't there. I
22 think he was in Milici - it's a town, 7 to 10 kilometres away from
23 Nova Kasaba - along with two other officers who arrived the day before
24 that I think for some training. They went for breakfast. And when I got
25 out, that is to say, when I asked for BOV to come and get me out, that is
1 to say, from this armoured vehicle, there was fire aimed at enemy
2 soldiers so they were acting as my support. I and this soldier who went
3 with me were withdrawing, and I was thinking that day, that moment, that
4 I should take the soldier who was at the gate, the two Dutch soldiers
5 that were down there at the school -- and I don't know exactly -- now,
6 there were a few cooks, I think, and a few soldiers, and then to withdraw
7 towards the town of Milici because I saw that I was being attacked by a
8 force that should be reckoned with.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could you slow down.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When I went to the gate to carry
11 this out, the soldier who was at the gate told me that he had received a
12 telephone call from Major Malinic, and he said that I should get more
13 ammunition and wait for him there, which is what I did. However, while
14 getting the ammunition for the armoured vehicle and for us, because we
15 had two combat kits there, we didn't have more than that for securing the
16 school, I heard strong mortar fire, machine-gun fire, fighting in general
17 in the area of Konjevic Polje and the Nova Kasaba stadium.
18 I was thinking and I realised that civilians were living there,
19 including children and the elderly. I set out with four of my soldiers
20 and this combat vehicle, went down there. I told the soldier at the
21 reception desk where I was going and that he should inform me via radio
22 communication when Major Malinic arrives.
23 MR. IVETIC:
24 Q. And what happened to you and the combat vehicle when you set off
25 for the area of Konjevic Polje and the Nova Kasaba stadium?
1 A. Well, immediately after crossing the bridge in Nova Kasaba, I was
2 hit from the direction of the forest; that is to say, machine-gun fire
3 was opened at me. But I was hit by some kind of anti-armour weapon. I
4 had a wounded soldier there and my vehicle was also attacked, and it
5 wasn't destroyed altogether. It was just the tires that were gone.
6 Q. Okay. And, sir, now in relation to the events in paragraph 12,
7 where you talk about six tear-gas canisters being fired into the woods,
8 when did these events occur that we now talked about when your tires were
9 shot out and your BOV came under fire? When did that occur in relation
10 to the events in paragraph 12?
11 A. Well, it happened just then, when I was hit at that bridge. I
12 ordered the soldiers to get out of the combat vehicle so that it would
13 not be hit again. But again, I gave orders to the driver because he was
14 the one who was supposed to handle that, so he fired these canisters, as
15 these canisters are part of the equipment of such a combat vehicle. It's
16 tear-gas that is used against riots and so on.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could the witness please
18 slow down.
19 Q. Sir, sir, could you speak more slowly so that the interpreters
20 can get every word that you say.
21 Now, you started telling us where you got the tear-gas from, I
22 believe, and you said that these canisters are part of the equipment of
23 such a combat vehicle. Could you please continue your answer from that
24 point on.
25 A. It's not "kanistri" in Serbian. It's 40 millilitres, canisters
1 of 40 millilitres that is part of the equipment for a military vehicle,
2 and it's used for the military police and it's used for preventing riots.
3 So it is not lethal but they can harm a human being.
4 Q. Now, could you tell us precisely about why you made the decision
5 to fire the tear-gas? What was the reasons behind it?
6 A. Well, I made this decision for two reasons. One reason is that I
7 did not have any kind of heavy weapons to defend myself and to get out of
8 there except for this machine-gun that is mounted on the vehicle and our
9 rifles. Secondly, this tear-gas does affect personnel and at the same
10 time there would be a smoke-screen, so I could cover myself in that way
11 because I saw that there was no other way of handling the situation but
12 trying to withdraw, to get out.
13 Q. And now how long did this whole situation last before you were
14 able to get back to the base at the school?
15 A. Well, from the moment when I left the base, the school, and
16 including that wounding of my soldier, and this ambush, and the firing of
17 tear-gas -- well, I don't know. An hour and a half, two hours, that's
18 how long it took from the first ambush. Something like that. I cannot
19 say exactly now. I cannot remember exactly.
20 Q. And now in relation to the events that are described in
21 paragraph 11, where do these events that we've just talked about - the
22 firing of the tear-gas and the hour and a half, two hours that
23 transpired - where do they place chronologically in relation to what is
24 described in paragraph 11, the contact with Major Malinic?
25 A. Well, that woman came to the gate about 7.30, and I first got in
1 touch with Major Malinic after these first 15 Muslim soldiers were taken
2 prisoner; that is to say, it was about two hours, something like that, so
3 about 10.00, 10.30.
4 Q. And if we look now at paragraph -- well, first of all, can you
5 tell us how it came to pass that the first 10 to 15 Muslim soldiers
6 surrendered to you?
7 A. When I fired the tear-gas towards the forest, enemy fire abated,
8 almost stopped, because they were confused by the tear-gas. They
9 probably didn't have gas masks and other protective gear. Since I got
10 out of the shelter to see the extent of the damage done to the vehicle
11 and also I and this soldier of my wanted to help our wounded soldier who
12 was hit by a bullet in the neck. So this group that was not in front of
13 us but from the Jadar River valley underneath the bridge, they came from
14 under the bridge with their hands up. They surrendered to me.
15 Q. Okay. And now if you look at paragraph 13, you talk of speaking
16 to these 10 to 15 soldiers and of using the loudspeaker on the command
17 vehicle to call on other Muslims to surrender. When did this happen,
18 that is to say, in relation to the time-frame when your BOV was struck
19 and you fired the tear-gas canisters? How soon after did you use the
20 loudspeaker the first time to call for Muslims to surrender?
21 A. Well, when they surrendered to me, I ordered them to put down
22 their weapons, which is what they had started doing even before I issued
23 that order. They walked up to me to where the combat vehicle was, and
24 it's only then that I saw that these were Muslim soldiers, because I saw
25 the insignia on their sleeves. In the morning I didn't even know who it
1 was that had fired at me.
2 During that morning fighting -- well, the UNPROFOR forces -- I
3 mean, the two of them, one of them fired into the woods because we really
4 didn't know who was attacking us. When we talked to them after the
5 surrender, all of that took about half an hour, 15 minutes, what they
6 explained to me was that actually we were attacked by the entire
7 28th Division, the Srebrenica Division.
8 Q. And at what point in time did you use the loudspeaker on the
9 combat vehicle? Was it at that time or sometime later; that is to say,
10 before or after you had had contact with Major Malinic, yourself
12 A. Well, immediately then I used the loudspeaker because the Muslim
13 soldiers persuaded me to do that. What they said to me was that there
14 were some other people up there in the hills that wanted to surrender.
15 They even gave me names, names and surnames of these people. And then I
16 remembered that I had that loudspeaker so that I could reach out to them.
17 And the first thing that I said, that they shouldn't fire at us anymore
18 from up there, that I had some of their men there, and then I started
19 using some of these names that they had given me. Now, were they family
20 members? Were they their comrades? I don't know. So it was already
21 then that I started using the loudspeaker.
22 Q. Now if we look at paragraph 16 of the statement - and we need to
23 go to page 4 in the Serbian for that - sir, did these Muslim soldiers
24 telling you about their commanders that were killing people who wanted to
25 surrender, did they give any details as to the identity of the commanders
1 that were doing that on their side?
2 A. Well, that first group, no. But the second group that
3 surrendered to me, they said their komandirs, and they mentioned a name
4 like Tursunovic, he was their boss, their commander, whatever, they kept
5 complaining about him all the time.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, could I seek clarification.
7 A little bit earlier you talked about the UNPROFOR forces, and
8 then you said:
9 "... I mean, the two of them, one of them fired into the woods
10 because we really didn't know who was attacking us."
11 These UNPROFOR soldiers, where were they?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were with us at the battalion
13 command, in that facility where I was staying, too.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And they stayed in the command or did they leave the
15 command at any point in time?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They spent that entire day at the
17 command. They opened fire. When I withdrew, while I was getting more
18 ammunition, while the first attack was still going on, one of them --
19 actually, that morning, we were all having coffee together at the
20 reception desk. And when they started firing at us from the forest, then
21 I went towards the river, I managed to get back, and as I was getting
22 more ammunition and as I alerted the unit, the entire facility was under
24 One of these soldiers asked that I give him a weapon. I gave him
25 my very own rifle. He was in a trench together with my soldier at the
1 gate, and they opened fire together because we didn't know who was firing
2 at us. But at any rate, we were under fire. It was coming from the
4 JUDGE ORIE: But they stayed in the command. They never were in
5 any vehicle together with you or one of your men?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. They stayed at the
8 JUDGE ORIE: Why were they there? It's still -- UNPROFOR
9 suddenly in the middle of your command. I'm just wondering what were
10 they doing there having breakfast with you?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They came to us a day before that
12 and they asked us for help. They had problems with some of our -- well,
13 paramilitary units. That's what they said. They were, I think, taking
14 weapons, vehicles, whatever. I have no idea. So they came to see us.
15 The day before all of this happened they were received there, they asked
16 us for help so that we could protect them and their equipment, their
17 weapons and so on.
18 Two vehicles arrived. However, during the night, one vehicle
19 left with two or three soldiers and yet another vehicle with these two
20 soldiers spent the night there at the base. They were with us, played
21 cards with us, had meals with us, and so on. I really don't know what
22 their intention was, but they were asking the military police for help.
23 JUDGE ORIE: And did they come with their own vehicle, a UN
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 JUDGE ORIE: And they used that or was that vehicle used at any
2 point in time?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That vehicle was parked next
4 to our vehicles, and their weapons were locked in their vehicle. They
5 had the key, and I know - I remember full well - that one of them wanted
6 to go to the vehicle to get weapons. However, the gun-fire was so strong
7 that he certainly would have been killed, and that's why he asked me for
8 a weapon.
9 JUDGE ORIE: When I say "whether the vehicle was used," I mean
10 was it driven anywhere by anyone?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it was parked, the vehicle.
12 JUDGE ORIE: And it stayed there, as far as you're aware of, all
13 the time?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it stayed there after them
15 too, because I personally saw them off, the two of them. They did not
16 feel safe in that vehicle because it was not armoured. They asked for
17 our armoured vehicle, so I personally saw them off to the base in
18 Potocari. They left us their vehicle.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Voluntarily. They gave it as a present to you
20 or ...
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, not as a present. My
22 commander, Major Malinic, issued some kind of receipt to them and that's
23 how they left that vehicle at our base. Was it a receipt or what kind of
24 document it was, I really don't know, but I know it was some kind of
25 document because they didn't want to take that vehicle because that road,
1 Nova Kasaba-Konjevic Polje-Potocari, was under fire. And my
2 understanding was that they did not feel safe in their vehicle and that's
3 why they asked for an armoured vehicle to take them to Potocari. And
4 they asked for our escort, too.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I was just putting these questions because
6 suddenly the UNPROFOR soldiers became part of your testimony, where I
7 didn't know exactly how to understand that.
8 Mr. Ivetic, please -- yes.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One short clarification I would like to ask the
10 witness for.
11 You mentioned the second group of Muslim soldiers who surrendered
12 to you and your unit, and you said they mentioned a name like, something,
13 who was their boss or their commander. Can you repeat the name of that
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My understanding was then that they
16 were mentioning Tursunovic, they called him Tursun, but it was
17 Tursunovic. He was some kind of chief commander of theirs. I don't know
18 the exact name but they did mention the name of Tursunovic.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Ivetic.
21 MR. IVETIC:
22 Q. Now just to finish off with the UNPROFOR, since we have started
23 that topic, on page 7 in both languages of the statement and paragraph 39
24 of the same, you talk of escorting the UNPROFOR members to their base in
25 Potocari. First of all, who asked you to escort and deliver these
1 persons to Potocari?
2 A. Major Malinic, my commander, issued that order to me that
3 morning, that I prepare a patrol, an armoured combat vehicle, BOV, and to
4 carry out this task; that is to say, to escort two members of UNPROFOR
5 back to their base in Potocari. Who gave him this order and who asked
6 him to do that, I really don't know.
7 Q. And to whom did you hand over the UNPROFOR personnel when you
8 arrived at Potocari?
9 A. Well, I didn't hand them over to anyone. We arrived at their
10 base and there was a soldier there, I don't know what he was exactly. He
11 had a uniform on and a big moustache. They said goodbye to us and they
12 said "hvala" in Serbian, they thanked us, and they stayed at their base
13 in Potocari and we went back to our base.
14 Q. Now if we could go back to page 4 in both languages and paragraph
15 22 of your statement. You talk about -- you talk about giving the
16 Muslims who were at the stadium what food you had in the barracks and
17 getting some bread from shops, 100 to 150 loaves of bread. Did you have
18 any consequences from this activity of bringing bread from these shops?
19 A. Yes. Several groups surrendered to me on that day. It was water
20 that was the biggest problem of all, because the heat was unbearable that
21 day. I have never experienced heat like that in my life. And the second
22 problem was food. We had bread and we had rations for about 48 hours, so
23 we shared that with them. And I was given an order by Major Malinic to
24 go to Milici, and on the basis of my official ID of a military policemen,
25 I was authorised to take bread from bakeries. On that day I went to
1 Milici, I came back in about 15 to 20 minutes, it was already 12.00,
2 1.00, there wasn't a lot of bread because usually most of the bread is
3 there in the morning.
4 I got 150 to 200 loaves and I gave it to the POWs, and they
5 shared it amongst themselves. Now, I don't know exactly, but two or
6 three years after that, I was asked by the office of the prosecutor of
7 the town of Vlasenica to come in, and there was a criminal report filed
8 against me. I stood accused of taking bread from the owners of these
9 bakeries because my army had probably not refunded that bread and I could
10 not issue receipts. On that day I didn't have any such thing, but I used
11 my military ID, including the number, so it was my personal ID. I went
12 to the prosecutor's office in Vlasenica, I said all of that, and to this
13 day nobody's called me.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could the usher please assist the witness in
15 adjusting the earphones. They are not sitting at the right place.
16 MR. IVETIC: And if we turn to paragraph 23, which will be on the
17 next page in the Serbian original.
18 Q. Here, sir, you describe that the only problem that you had with
19 relation to the Muslims at Nova Kasaba stadium was some civilians of
20 Serbian ethnicity who came to the stadium and protested. Can you tell us
21 what these Serb civilians were doing precisely?
22 A. Well, they lived there in the area of Kasaba. There were about
23 50 of them there. About 50. As for military-age men, there were about
24 10 or 15 of them, and there were children, old men, women there. So we
25 did have a problem. When we were taking these Muslim soldiers prisoner,
1 we had a problem with them. At first they threw stones at them, bricks,
2 whatever it was that they found on the road. And after that, we had to
3 line up, and I really felt like tear-gassing these people who were
4 casting these objects. Also, they were issuing threats, they were
5 swearing, and so on, but we couldn't stop that. At any rate, they didn't
6 manage to touch them and they stopped throwing stones at them and so on.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, for --
8 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, we're at the break --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, for very practical purposes, we do understand
10 that you would need 50 to 60 minutes. Now, if it would be 60 minutes,
11 then that would be another 20 minutes from now. Then, of course, you
12 could consider to go on until five minutes to 2.00 and then have the
13 20-minute break, but of course that would then bring us to the end of the
14 day. If, however, it would be ten minutes, then we would still have to
15 start the cross-examination.
16 I'm a bit uncertain as well about how much time you would still
18 MR. IVETIC: I have about 18 minutes, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: 18?
20 MR. IVETIC: 18, 1-8.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, I have 38 recorded -- oh, 18 minutes.
22 MR. IVETIC: 18 to 20 minutes. That's -- according to my
23 questions, that's what I should have left.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. 18 to 20 minutes left. Then you could --
25 if -- but please consult with Mr. Mladic, we could continue for another
1 18 minutes and then adjourn for the day, or we could now take the break
2 and then have the last 20 minutes after that. I leave it in your hands
3 what you'd prefer.
4 MR. IVETIC: I've been authorised to keep going, so that's what
5 I'll do.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And then we'll conclude the
7 examination-in-chief today and have an early adjournment.
8 Please proceed.
9 MR. IVETIC:
10 Q. Now, I want to turn to paragraphs 18 and 19 with you.
11 MR. IVETIC: We have to go back one page in the Serbian, I think.
13 Q. And here you talk about when you went into the woods and viewed
14 the horrible sight of 500 dead soldiers. First of all, can you describe
15 the geographic layout of the land where these bodies were located?
16 A. Well, it's an area 3- or 400 metres away from the main road,
17 Nova Kasaba-Konjevic Polje road. I think that today it's called Jela
18 village, but I'm not sure. To the right there are streams. The terrain
19 is awful. It's not level. There are those streams or brooks, there is
20 woods, there is thicket. While going up for about 200 metres, you reach
21 a meadow. When you cross the meadow, to the right in a copse, there is a
22 big brook and that is where I stepped on the first bodies.
23 Q. Now in relation to what you said earlier in your statement about
24 hearing intense fire from various directions, was one of the directions
25 where you previously heard fire exchanges coming from this area?
1 A. Well, yes, that was the direction from which I heard a lot of
2 firing in the morning, and it wasn't clear to me what was going on. I
3 was the leader of the patrol that day and I patrolled along that stretch,
4 and I knew that there was no strong military unit from our side there.
5 So it wasn't clear to me where that fire was coming from. And later on
6 this was confirmed by everything that happened.
7 Q. Could you describe the dispersion of the bodies; that is to say,
8 were they all in one place? Or if not, how wide of an area are we
9 talking about where these approximately 500 bodies were seen by you?
10 A. Well, they were not in one single occasion. They were in a
11 radius of perhaps 3- to 4- or 500 metres. I don't know exactly. I
12 cannot remember. In several spots. Somewhere there were 2 bodies, some
13 were 10, some there were 50. What I saw were irregularly shaped wounds
14 as if they were caused by shells or fragmentation mines, as if they had
15 come on them, or as if someone threw grenades on them. There were few
16 people who had been shot from infantry weapons. So they lay in several
17 locations in this radius of 3- or 400 metres.
18 I was going there with the two Muslim prisoners because I wasn't
19 even aware of this precise spot. It was they who had taken me there.
20 And by doing that, I had violated the code of a military police because I
21 shouldn't have left the armoured vehicle and the patrol. But when
22 someone says 200 people, there is no reason not to believe them.
23 Q. And did you have any indication how long these bodies had been
25 A. Well, it was a hot day and already you could feel the unpleasant
1 smell. It may have been during the night or during the morning. In some
2 places, I saw blood that had already coagulated and in other places it
3 was still flowing. So it may have been 6, 7, 8, or 10 hours. I am not a
4 specialist, I'm not an expert, I'm not a pathologist. But during the
5 night and in the morning it must have been that they had sustained these
7 Q. Now on your back from this location, did anything happen to you?
8 A. We found there five or six survivors, their soldiers who had been
9 wounded but were still alive. We bandaged them. I told the two
10 prisoners who had brought me there to take two of those who were lighter
11 and carry them, and I with my men took another one. We left two behind.
12 Later we sent people for them. My combat armoured vehicle called me by
13 radio to tell me that a group of 200 men had surrendered themselves to
14 them, and I ordered them to escort them to the stadium, and I would take
15 a shortcut to reach the stadium.
16 However, while we were carrying these people, Muslim soldiers
17 took me prisoner. There must have been at least ten addressed me, behind
18 them there were another 200, and they had come from the meadow that I had
19 described. They told me to drop my gun, which I of course did.
20 At that moment, one of the prisoners I had sent to carry the
21 wounded men returned and he told them that I was helping them. I said
22 that there were many people who had surrendered themselves and that if
23 they wanted to do so too, that they should follow me. I asked if I could
24 take my weapon and that they could follow me if they wanted, which they
25 did. To this day, it's not really clear to me how come that it all
1 happened as it did, but the people followed me and reached the stadium in
2 Nova Kasaba. They threw down their weapons right there and then. We did
3 not have sufficient forces to disarm them and to secure them and us, as
4 we were supposed to do by the rules of the military police, but we had
5 good co-operation with them with regard to this.
6 Q. Now I want to ask you about the time-period when General Mladic
7 came to the Nova Kasaba stadium, which starts at page 5 in English,
8 page 6 in Serbian, and starts at paragraph 29 of your statement.
9 First of all, sir, were you present for the entirety of
10 General Mladic's visit and stay at this location on that day?
11 A. Yes. Just at the moment when General Mladic arrived to us at the
12 stadium, I was coming downhill with some prisoners who had surrendered.
13 Throughout his stay, I didn't go back. So all this time I was perhaps
14 3 or 4 metres away from him.
15 Q. And during the time-period that General Mladic was present at
16 Nova Kasaba stadium and when you were 3 to 4 metres from him, did you
17 ever see or hear of anyone being killed at that location at the
18 Nova Kasaba stadium in the presence of General Mladic?
19 A. No, no, not at all. As long as General Mladic was there, but
20 even otherwise, I'm not aware of anyone having been killed. There was
21 one murder but it was a woman who killed a prisoner from a hunting rifle,
22 but that was in the morning. I forgot to say that earlier. When I was
23 ambushed at the bridge, a woman came with a hunting rifle and said that
24 she had killed a Muslim who had entered her house. But I'm not aware of
25 anyone having meddled with our prisoners who were secured by the military
1 police. We did not even allow our civilians to approach our prisoners.
2 We were doing it as professionally as we could.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, just seeking one clarification.
4 You said when you were ambushed, a woman came with a hunting
5 rifle. That was not the same woman as the woman who reported -- who had
6 reported that there were so many Muslims in and around her house?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. Not the same woman. I
8 knew the other woman, too. I think that Pogaca or something like that
9 was her last name. She also lived close by the school but it wasn't the
10 same woman.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
12 MR. IVETIC:
13 Q. Now, in paragraph 30, you talk of General Mladic's order to
14 secure the transfer of prisoners to the civilian authorities via bus.
15 Did General Mladic give any additional orders as to how these prisoners
16 should be treated?
17 A. Well, on General Mladic's arrival, to tell the truth, my
18 commander and I didn't think that this was right because we couldn't
19 provide adequate security for him. He somehow suddenly went in among
20 them. He shook hands with some of them. Whether he had known them or
21 whether he introduced himself, I didn't know. He talked with them about
22 Alija, about the war, and they stood up and applauded. And he told them
23 that they would be exchanged, that they should listen to us, the military
24 policemen, that is to say, and he told us and told us strictly to take
25 care of the prisoners, that some buses would be arriving within an hour,
1 that the men should sign their names and that they would should all board
2 the bus and deliver it to the civilian police in Bratunac. That is what
3 I heard and saw then when General Mladic was present there at the
5 Q. Now, in the course of all the activities that you've discussed,
6 the various attacks and ambushes, during the course of that day, did you
7 at that time have information about the VRS operation against the town of
8 Srebrenica and its results?
9 A. Well, no, I didn't have any information. I don't think that even
10 my commander, Major Malinic, had any, because probably he wouldn't have
11 left me alone with five men down there to secure a school. I was a young
12 officer at the time, a sergeant. I was a tactician, not a strategist.
13 So I really didn't have any information about any of that going on. The
14 first thing I learned, personally, was when I took these five [as
15 interpreted] men prisoner, and then they actually told me that the whole
16 division had come upon me.
17 Q. Sir, the transcript records you as saying "these five men," is
18 that in fact what you said, these five prisoners?
19 A. 15.
20 Q. Sir, I thank you for answering my questions on behalf of myself
21 and my client, General Mladic.
22 MR. IVETIC: Your Honours, that completes the direct examination.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Ivetic.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have one short question with respect to
25 paragraph 31. In paragraph 31 -- and perhaps we could move to the next
1 page in English.
2 At the end you say:
3 "I climbed on the vehicle and through the loudspeaker I told the
4 Muslims in the field that they should come in an orderly fashion to --
5 and enter the buses."
6 And then you say in your statement they should all board them in
7 an orderly fashion and find are a place for themselves and before they
8 get on the buses they should drink some water. Where was the water they
9 could get?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There in Nova Kasaba at the
11 football pitch where we were then. After General Mladic's order to take
12 care of the prisoners, he turned personally to me, and said, "Kid, make
13 sure that each prisoner should arrive to Bratunac," which I made sure
14 later. And they drank the water. There was this river called Jadar,
15 50 to 70 metres next to the stadium. We let them go there to drink water
16 and cool themselves because the day was really extremely hot.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We'll adjourn for the day, Mr. Subotic. We'd like
19 to see you back tomorrow morning at 9.30 in this same courtroom. But
20 before you leave the courtroom, I would like to instruct you that you
21 should not speak --
22 MR. IVETIC: We have videolinks --
23 JUDGE ORIE: Oh, yes, we have videolinks. I was just about to --
24 as a matter of fact, I was just about to address the videolinks.
25 We'll not continue with your testimony tomorrow because
1 videolinks have been scheduled. And I instruct you that whenever we will
2 resume, and you will be kept updated by the Victims and Witness Section
3 on when we expect to resume, but that you should not speak or communicate
4 in whatever way with whomever about your testimony, whether that is
5 testimony you have given today or whether that is testimony still to be
6 given in the near future.
7 If you have understood this, then you may follow the usher.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have understood. Thank you.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, you are right because -- it must be that
11 it's Monday morning, but the next brief item that I would like to address
12 is the following: That you have scheduled or the Defence has scheduled a
13 number of witnesses who will give their testimony via video-conference
14 link this week, and everyone is aware that it takes quite some
15 preparations, significant amount of time, effort, and resources to make
16 these videolinks possible.
17 We would like to hear from both parties whether they believe that
18 the witness schedule for this week will be met. If the current schedule
19 is not feasible, the Chamber would like to hear alternative proposals
20 from the parties to ensure that the testimonies of all video-conference
21 link witnesses are concluded by this week, including possibly to extend
22 on Friday or -- but could you please try to find out how we would proceed
23 in such a way that we do not waste all the efforts that were made to hear
24 the testimony through videolink.
25 Then I'll not insist on an answer. But if there is anything
1 which the parties would consider that we would have to know, and we
2 really want to know everything that would disturb the schedule, then do
3 not hesitate to approach Chamber staff even this afternoon.
4 Then we adjourn for the day and we'll resume tomorrow, the
5 10th of March, still at 9.30 in the morning, still in this same
6 courtroom, I, but we'll hear the next evidence through videolink.
7 We stand adjourned.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 10th day
10 of March, 2015, at 9.30 a.m.