1 Wednesday, 11 November 2015
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
8 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case
10 IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
12 I've two small -- two short items I'd like to deal with before we
13 continue to hear the testimony of the witness.
14 The first one deals with Expert Witness Stankovic. In its latest
15 report on the Tomasica experts, the Defence announced that it would
16 increase the scope of proposed Expert Witness Stankovic's evidence to
17 include evidence contained in the report of the late Dusan Dunjic. The
18 Chamber is concerned that this could further postpone Stanisic's
19 testimony and wonders whether the parties have discussed admission of
20 Dunjic's report pursuant to Rule 94 bis (C).
21 Mr. Lukic.
22 Mr. Tieger.
23 MR. TIEGER: Yes, I would -- I don't want to intrude too deeply
24 in the details of that discussion, but I know that Mr. McCloskey spoke
25 with the Defence at length and expressed a great deal of Prosecution
1 flexibility and willingness to accommodate Defence submissions in
2 relation to the report or testimony, so I thought great progress was
3 made. There was a -- the Defence was receptive to that spirit of
4 accommodation, but I don't know that a formal agreement was reached. I
5 can -- I presume Mr. Lukic can explain further, or I can contact
6 Mr. McCloskey and get back to the Court shortly.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, are we talking about an ongoing
8 discussion or are we talking about a matter which is close to be
10 MR. LUKIC: I think that we are more talking about ongoing
12 JUDGE ORIE: And when do you think that discussion would reach
13 the next stage?
14 MR. LUKIC: It has to reach the next stage very soon.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, the Chamber expects to be informed about
18 the results - of course, preferably with a constructive proposition -
19 within a week from now.
20 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Then I take it we'll also hear when we will receive
22 the report of Mr. Stankovic, because it seems that it's, rather, the
23 admission of Mr. Dunjic's report or how to receive his evidence is at the
24 core, but it has consequences for the expert report of Mr. Stankovic as
25 well - and that is certainly as urgent as the other matter.
1 Then for the next matter, I'd like to briefly turn into private
3 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
1 Mr. Zec, I think you are -- our records tell us that you have
2 used 46 minutes until now.
3 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Also maybe I can inform you that we have uploaded the excerpts of
5 Milan Martic interview that I used yesterday. It is now 65 ter 6754a and
6 number reserved for this excerpt is P7638. Now I believe it can be
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: Maybe we should wait until the end of re-direct.
11 We'll be using the same document, so maybe we will be -- we will ask
12 to -- some additional parts to be admitted.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll wait for a moment, but at least the
14 portions selected by the Prosecution is now in e-court.
15 Good morning, Mr. Strbac. Before we continue, I'd like to remind
16 you that you're still bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the
17 beginning of your testimony, that you'll speak the truth, the whole
18 truth, and nothing but the truth. I further would like to remind you
19 very much to focus on the questions when answering them, and Mr. Zec will
20 now continue his cross-examination.
21 Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
22 MR. ZEC: Thank you.
23 WITNESS: SAVO STRBAC [Resumed]
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Zec: [Continued]
1 Q. And good morning, Mr. Strbac. I'm going to talk to you about one
2 more operation conducted by the JNA and Benkovac Territorial Defence.
3 Skabrnja and Nadin are two villages in the area between Benkovac and
4 Zadar; right?
5 A. Yes. Skabrnja belongs to the Zadar municipality and Nadin to the
6 Benkovac municipality.
7 Q. These villages were almost 99 per cent Croat villages; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You were aware that the Benkovac TO participated in the attack on
10 Skabrnja and Nadin on 18 November 1991; right?
11 A. Not on its own.
12 Q. That's fine. And we will -- I'll ask a little bit more.
13 Now this Chamber has received -- before I go on, you confirm that
14 the unit did participant in this attack; that's right?
15 A. Yes, yes, I have said that they did.
16 Q. This Chamber has received General Mladic's notebooks which show
17 that on 17 November 1991, General Mladic and the command of the 9th Corps
18 provided tasks to the units to mop up Skabrnja and Nadin. This is in
19 P349, page 348 through 356. And you were aware that the 9th JNA Corps
20 led this operation; right?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. During the course of this operation on 18 November 1991 and
23 thereafter, the Serb forces killed Croat civilians in these villages;
25 A. Yes. Quite a number of civilians lost their lives, but soldiers
1 as well and on both sides.
2 Q. You turned over to the Croatian side some -- at least 48 bodies
3 of the victims; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. ZEC: [Microphone not activated]
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 33427.
8 Q. And this is an excerpt -- actually this is an excerpt from
9 Croatian Medical Journal from 1992. It is only in English but I will
10 read a bit from the first paragraph. In the middle it says:
11 "44 were killed in Skabrnja and 7 in Nadin. The age of the
12 victims ranged from 23 to 92, almost half of them were females. Most of
13 the victims were executed by close-range gun-shots ... several were
14 tortured before ... one female was shot and run over by a tank."
15 So these were the bodies that you turned over to Croats; right?
16 A. Well, I suppose so. But how they were killed and whether they
17 had been tortured before being killed, this is something I don't know.
18 It says here that they were, but was it really so? I wouldn't know that.
19 MR. ZEC: I would tender this into evidence, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
21 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 33427 receives Exhibit
22 Number P7644.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
24 MR. ZEC:
25 Q. Apart from this example, Mr. Strbac, you knew that young Serb
1 soldiers involved in these operations in 1991 were given instructions by
2 their superiors, based on which they would cross onto the other side and
3 kill everyone -- whoever they found; right?
4 A. No, I have to say that I do not really understand what you meant
5 by this. Onto which other side?
6 Q. I was referring to the other side, Croatian side, to the front
7 line and go to areas held by Croats, and that's where these soldiers,
8 young Serb soldiers, would cross this line and kill whoever they found;
10 A. I can't confirm that. This is the first time I hear that, from
11 you. There was the action that you talked about, Skabrnja and Nadin,
12 where a two-day battle was fought; it was very fierce and there were dead
13 on both sides. But as for the rest, if this is what you had in mind ...
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Zec please be asked to speak up.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, you're invited to speak up.
17 MR. ZEC: I will.
18 Q. You testified in Hadzic case; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And it is your position that you told the truth to the Chamber in
21 that case; right?
22 A. Yes, I -- I should have said it, and I believe I did.
23 Q. And what I just told you about these instructions to soldiers,
24 based on which they would cross and kill whoever they found, is exactly
25 what you told to the Chamber in Hadzic case. If you would like to see
1 it, I can show it you, but this is your evidence; do you stand by that?
2 A. I never said that, man.
3 MR. ZEC: Well, we can call 65 ter 33410 and we would need
4 page 115, and this is transcript from Hadzic case and we will be looking
5 at transcript page 12550.
6 Q. And here you were asked by Defence counsel about a case that you
7 were involved in and your answer was:
8 "If I remember this case correctly, this young soldier was
9 brought to the front line, and his superiors told him, Everything that is
10 on the other side is your enemy. This soldier crossed the front line
11 himself and whoever he found there, this elderly married couple, he
12 killed them."
13 A few lines below you say:
14 "Through my appeal, I defended all these young people who were
15 forced to shoot and kill somewhere. I wanted then, and that is my wish
16 to this day, that those who forced them to wage war on kill be brought
17 before courts ..."
18 So this is your evidence in Hadzic case. Do you stand by that?
19 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, but this is different from the question, that
20 he was told to kill everybody. Here we see that he was told that
21 everybody is enemy on the other side.
22 JUDGE ORIE: But it also includes that they were forced to kill
23 them. It's not literally the same.
24 Mr. Zec has now read you to the literal wording of what was
25 recorded as your testimony. Do you stand by that or do you challenge
1 that these were your words?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was in a case where I defended
3 a man who was accused the killing two elderly people who were on the
4 other side of the front, and he was sentenced; but it cannot be
5 generalised. As his defence attorney, I used this and my appeal, which I
6 wrote against the sentencing judgement against him, was read out to me.
7 So I asked that he be pardoned because he wasn't guilty. Somebody
8 brought him to the front line and told him, This is the front line and
9 the enemies are on the other side.
10 JUDGE ORIE: The simple question is: Do you stand by your
11 testimony you gave in the Hadzic case? That's one.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's no such simple answer to
13 this, because the Prosecutor asked me a question and now this should be a
14 general position. And it's not like that. It cannot be answered that
16 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'm asking you a very simple question: Do
17 you stand about what you said there? Forget about what Mr. Zec asked
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, with the explanation that I
20 was explaining: My appeal in a specific case in which I was the defence
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
23 MR. ZEC: I would offer this page into evidence.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: It receives Exhibit Number P7645, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
2 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, we would probably ask more pages for the
3 context since Mr. Strbac explained.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then later the -- Madam Registrar will be instructed
5 to upload new versions, if there's an extension.
6 Witness, you said it was all about this one case, but it was also
7 read to you:
8 "I defended all of these young people who were forced to shoot
9 and kill somewhere."
10 So that it was just one individual is -- well, not fully
11 inconsistent with your reference to "these young people who were forced
12 to shoot and kill somewhere."
13 Any comment to that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. If they shot and there
15 was shooting all around -- at one point I defended 30 murders, some
16 killed their own fathers, some killed their fellow fighters, and so on.
17 So whoever was accused as a lawyer, I defended them, and that was the
18 sense in which I said that. So I condemned war, as such, at the
20 JUDGE ORIE: And was your case that they were forced to kill
21 their own fathers, that they were forced to kill their fellow fighters?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It could not be said that they were
23 forced. No one put a gun to their forehead and said, Shoot at your
24 father. It was a war situation. So when you have such a situation and
25 there are weapons all around, it's easy to pull the trigger and kill even
1 your closest ones, let alone the enemies; so that was philosophical view
2 on war, which has nothing to do with what the Prosecutor is asking me
3 right now.
4 JUDGE ORIE: If you would have any specific examples of cases
5 where you defended a soldier who was forced - by whatever means - to kill
6 either his father or his fellow fighter, I'd like to hear what the name
7 of that case is.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, absolutely not.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Absolutely, nor did I defend a man
11 who was forced by anyone to shoot anyone. The man I defended I think his
12 name was Nikola Gagic, it was a young man --
13 JUDGE ORIE: You've answered my question and you're telling me
14 that you could not provide me with such a case.
15 Mr. Zec, please proceed.
16 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It simply wasn't there.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Strbac, listen to the next question and answer
19 it, please.
20 Mr. Zec.
21 MR. ZEC: Thank you.
22 Q. Following the events in Skabrnja and Nadin, the remaining women,
23 children, elderly were put on buses, transported to Benkovac; and then
24 within a day or two you returned them to the Croat side as well. Right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Yesterday when you said -- when Mr. Lukic asked you whether Serbs
2 offered Croat civilians in exchanges, you said that both sides held some
3 civilians. This is transcript page 41100. And you also provided an
4 example when your people in Benkovac arrested eight Croats to be
5 exchanged for Serbs. This is in transcript page 41081.
6 Now, through this process of exchanges, these civilians were
7 taken out of the territory of the SAO Krajina to the other side, to the
8 Croat-held territory; right?
9 A. You will have to clarify that to me. Make the question a bit
10 clearer. You asked me about what I did with regard to the civilians in
11 Skabrnja and then you continued with something else. Can you please
12 clarify the question? Does it have to do with the Skabrnja/Nadin
13 incident or something else?
14 Q. Skabrnja/Nadin you confirmed that you -- that these people
15 transferred to the other side, to the Croat side. Now I was asking you
16 about your evidence from yesterday, when you were talking about
17 civilians -- that parties to the conflict had civilians detained, and
18 then you provided an example when your people in Benkovac arrested Croat
19 civilians for exchanges. And my simple question is like: All these
20 civilians were arrested, they were taken out of the territory of
21 SAO Krajina to the other side, to the Croat side; right?
22 A. Which "all civilians"? Do you mean the ones who were arrested in
23 Benkovac, the eight of them, or from Skabrnja or from Nadin? Who is
24 "everyone"? Who are all these civilians, which "all"?
25 Q. Let's take this example of these eight Croats in Benkovac. They
1 were arrested, they were taken out of SAO Krajina, and they were
2 transferred to the Croat-held territory?
3 A. [No interpretation]
4 Q. I think you said "yes," but it didn't make it into the
6 JUDGE ORIE: You confirmed that they were transferred to --
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. I exchanged them. I
8 talked about that yesterday. That was my first exchange. Yes.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Zec.
10 MR. ZEC: Can we have 65 ter 33419, and this is an article from
11 Slobodna Dalmacija from August 1991. It is about an exchange near
12 Skabrnja between Croat and Serb side. In the B/C/S if we can focus to
13 the last column, to the right; and English, it's in the first page of
14 this partial translation.
15 Q. So just below the title, the last paragraph, it says:
16 "At that moment, the Benkovac lawyer Savo Strbac arrived and
17 signed the exchange documents on behalf of the Benkovac side."
18 A few lines below there is a reference to eight Croats who were
19 exchanged. So this is the exchange that you were talking about, about
20 the eight Croats, your first exchange; right?
21 A. Yes, yes. That was the exchange. As to whether this is correct
22 as we see it written, that's a different discussion.
23 Q. Well, in that same paragraph, a little bit further it says --
24 there is a question:
25 "Why were all these men detained for three days? One said:
1 "'I deliver newspapers to Vjesnik newsstands in Benkovac, and
2 there in front of one newsstand they just picked me up ... it seemed to
3 me that Martic's men could have picked up anyone else in the same way,'
4 says Brato Vulelija, 'indeed they picked up the barber from his shop and
5 most of the others from a bus ..."
6 So this is how these people were arrested; right?
7 A. That's right. That's right. And I said that before and I
8 repeat: Five Serbs were arrested on the Croatian side; and then in
9 Benkovac, eight men were arrested, and that was the exchange. And I
10 wrote a story about it during the war; it was published, printed.
11 JUDGE ORIE: I think yesterday you didn't explain for what
12 reasons they were arrested. You said they were arrested, they were
13 exchanged. Were they arrested in order to be exchanged, or were there
14 other reasons to arrest them?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This group was arrested only for
16 the exchange. Those people who went to have a swim in the sea were
17 arrested just for the purpose of being exchanged. At that time, it was
18 like you return your people -- our people to us and we'll return yours.
19 That's how it happened in those times.
20 JUDGE ORIE: However wrong that may be to arrest people while
21 swimming in the sea, what's the legal justification for then arresting
22 eight Croats if it is only for the purposes of an exchange?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whatever the police wrote down, I
24 couldn't see it. I was just told about this because I was going to Zadar
25 to attend a hearing for those five. They told me, Just tell them if they
1 release our people, we'll release theirs. I don't know if they had any
2 legal basis or those men were just brought to the police station and
3 awaited the result.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I was asking about the arrest of the eight Croats,
5 not the Serbs that were arrested but the Croats, what the legal basis for
6 their arrest was.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was talking about them. I could
8 see the list, the paper for Serbs but not for the Croats. Whether there
9 was any legal basis or not, I don't know. What I was saying a moment
10 ago, I was talking about them. They were just brought to the police
11 station and they told me they had stayed there for two or three days,
12 awaiting the outcome, awaiting the exchange.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I understood your testimony of yesterday - but
14 please correct me when I'm wrong - that five Serbs were arrested for no
15 good reasons and that then eight Croats were arrested in order to arrange
16 an exchange. And what I'm asking you is the reasons why those eight
17 Croats were arrested.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You've just said what I was telling
19 yesterday. I understood they were arrested only for the purpose of being
20 exchanged for those five. There is no big philosophy there.
21 JUDGE ORIE: So there we are talking about the same.
22 Now, what is the legal basis for arresting eight Croats -- is
23 there any basis in law to be find to arrest eight Croats in order to
24 exchange them against five Serbs?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We are going in circles. I'm
1 telling, I didn't see anything in writing. I only know what the police
2 told me; namely, that they were available for an exchange. I can go on
3 repeating this until tomorrow. If you ask me personally, my opinion was
4 that there was no legal basis. They were just brought there. They were
5 normal people. They were going about their business. Their only fault
6 was that they were Croats, just like the fault of the others was only
7 that they were Serbs, nothing more.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. That clarifies the matter.
9 Mr. Zec.
10 MR. ZEC: Thank you, Mr. President, and I would tender this
11 article into evidence.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 33419 receives Exhibit
14 Number P7646, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
16 Please proceed.
17 Mr. Lukic, I take it that if the context, the remainder of the
18 article, is relevant, that you'll add portions to the small portion that
19 was translated for us.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. ZEC: Can we see now 65 ter 33428.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 Q. This is an article from Agence Press France and we have it only
24 in English, but I will read what it says at the second page.
25 MR. ZEC: If we can turn to second page. Around the middle it
2 "'We have no choice,' insisted Savo Strbac, government secretary
3 in the Republic of Serbian Krajina. 'It is out of the question for us to
4 return to Croatia. Our final goal is union with other Serbs (in Bosnia
5 and the Republic of Serbia).'"
6 So, Mr. Strbac, this was the position of your government; right?
7 A. I was elected secretary of the government towards the end of
8 April 1993 - it's no secret - and I remained in that position as long as
9 the RSK lasted; that is to say, until 4 August 1995. But in addition to
10 that, I was also president of the commission for prisoner exchanges.
11 Q. And my question was: This quote of yours that I just read to
12 you, that -- and if you want I can read again. For example, it says:
13 "It's out of question for us to return to Croatia. Our final
14 goal is union with other Serbs (in Bosnia and the Republic of Serbia)."
15 This was the position of your government where you served; right?
16 A. Well, you are taking out of the context of a whole text one
17 sentence which I'm supposed to confirm. It's very different than it
18 sounds when you take one sentence out of its context.
19 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... this is your statement, do
20 you dispute that?
21 A. Maybe I said something similar, but I was never given these texts
22 to revise them or authorise them before publishing. It's very difficult
23 to control what was published in the foreign press. I could tell you
24 what my real positions were, if you wish.
25 MR. ZEC: I would tender this article into evidence.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 33428 receives Exhibit
3 Number P7647, Your Honours.
4 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, we don't have time. I don't know what
5 kind of exercise is -- what's this? Can we cross-examine the journalist?
6 I don't know. We don't know what's this.
7 JUDGE ORIE: No, you can't --
8 MR. LUKIC: Mr. Strbac could not even see the text, it's in
9 English, so we -- this cannot be presented to the witness in this way.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Well, it has been presented to him as something that
11 was published and whether he stands by -- whether he said -- spoke those
13 MR. LUKIC: He said: No, I don't remember, maybe --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's his evidence. So then we know that
15 what is written here, that the witness says that he may have said
16 something similar but that he has not had an opportunity -- that's the
17 evidence so that we are able to evaluate and not just look at this but
18 understand it in the context of what the witness told us about it. And
19 that makes it --
20 MR. LUKIC: Still, I don't like the Chamber to be poisoned by
21 this kind of evidence and this kind of exhibits.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Well, whether we are poisoned or not or whether it
23 gives us an opportunity to, for example, to say we cannot rely -- I'm not
24 saying that we do, but that we have a possibility to say this was
25 published, it was put to the witness, this was his evidence about it.
1 And then if there's any poison, then at least it's a detox exercise which
2 is, to some extent, done by the Prosecution.
3 But the number P7647 you rightly, by the way, Mr. Lukic, you
4 intervened before I gave the decision on admission. P7647 is admitted.
5 Then -- but that's another matter.
6 Mr. Zec, we admitted into evidence and left it open whether it
7 should perhaps -- whether other pages should be extended, but P7645,
8 which is 65 ter 33410, I think you used one page and you said you'd like
9 to have that page in evidence but the document contains 119 pages as
10 uploaded into e-court. So if you would take care that we get the final
11 excerpt which we need and which you apparently were seeking to tender.
12 Meanwhile --
13 MR. ZEC: We can look into it.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you certainly should do that. Meanwhile, you
15 can continue.
16 MR. ZEC: Can we have now 65 ter 33249.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Strbac, this is a press report of Slobodan Milosevic's
18 speech from 1992. If you look in the third paragraph, which starts with:
19 "The Republic of Serbia helped the Serbian people ..."
20 And if you look over, it refers - among other things - to arming
21 and sending volunteers to Croatia. And now we talk -- you talked
22 yesterday about Croats arming themselves, but you also knew that Serbs in
23 Croatia were also arming in co-operation with the authorities of the
24 Republic of Serbia, just like Mr. President says here; right?
25 A. Will you tell me, what is the question? Am I supposed to confirm
1 what is written in this text or to tell you what I know about it?
2 Q. When you read the paragraph and it refers to help from Serbia
3 includes arming and sending volunteers to Croatia, you were also aware of
4 this sort of co-operation between the authorities in SAO Krajina with the
5 authorities of the Republic of Serbia; right?
6 A. Well, there was co-operation. I can't even see it written here
7 as you interpreted it. All you took out of all this is assistance in
8 arms. I see arms primarily through a firm commitment of Serbia towards
9 the people and the army.
10 Where did you find what you are putting to me? There is mention
11 of assistance in funds, clothing, food, et cetera. Where did you see
12 that weapons were being sent?
13 JUDGE ORIE: If you read that whole paragraph, to start with,
14 Mr. Strbac. Then if you find it, then we can proceed; if you still do
15 not find it, Mr. Zec will read it to you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I found it. There is one word
17 where it says "in weapons too."
18 MR. ZEC:
19 Q. At the end of the paragraph -- at the end of the paragraph also
20 it refers to volunteers to Croatia. Now you know about this sort of
21 co-operation; right?
22 A. What do you want me to tell you now, whether there were
23 volunteers from Serbia in Croatia? Yes, there were. Throughout the war,
24 people were coming.
25 Q. And with weapons as well; right?
1 A. Well, I supposes so. It says "in arms too." What that mean, I
2 don't know. Maybe you know what is meant.
3 MR. ZEC: Can we see 65 ter 7456.
4 JUDGE ORIE: I don't know where you're heading, Mr. Zec, but at a
5 certain moment, I think the details may not be of such importance that we
6 should look at every interview given. Apart from that, of course,
7 interviews in the way they are presented in newspapers is always a bit
8 problematic anyhow.
9 [Prosecution counsel confer]
10 MR. ZEC: I'll -- perhaps just one more document just to show
11 that -- this witness was in position also to know about these activities.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then if you say just this document, then
13 let's look at that time. Let's move on.
14 MR. ZEC: Can we see 65 ter 07468.
15 JUDGE ORIE: We will not look at this one? The one on our
16 screen - which is it? - 7456?
17 MR. ZEC: That's fine. We can go -- yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. We go to the next one. We now look at 65 ter
20 MR. ZEC:
21 Q. Now, Mr. Strbac, this is a mobilisation order by Milan Babic for
22 the SAO Krajina TO and requests from Serbia to get support from MUP
24 So we see that published -- request is directed to MUP of Serbia.
25 This is a reflection that the SAO Krajina authorities knew that they
1 could get assistance from Serbia; right?
2 A. Probably. I don't know what to tell you. Everything is written
4 Q. Mr. Strbac, you were man who was collecting information about the
5 events in the former Yugoslavia. You -- you -- you were chief of
6 intelligence of the Benkovac TO at the time, and this is mobilisation
7 order for the TOs. You must have known that this is what was taking
8 place at the time; right?
9 A. No, that's not right. Why would I have to know about this
10 option? I became secretary of the government in April two years later.
11 Why would I have to know about each order?
12 Q. This is the time when you were chief of intelligence in the
13 TO Benkovac, and this is order to the -- to form TO -- mobilised TO units
14 in Krajina. Are you saying that somehow this -- this -- this information
15 didn't get to you somehow?
16 A. To be quite honest, I've never seen this order before now, but
17 even without the document, you know that mobilisation was going on. I
18 told you how I myself was mobilised in October 1991 in the command of the
19 Knin Corps, and from 1977 I was member of the Territorial Defence of the
20 Benkovac municipality staff.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, Mr. Zec suggested to you - because there's
22 both mobilisation of the TO and a request for assistance by the Republic
23 of Serbia - he suggested to you that you should have known about it.
24 You've said -- told us that you have never seen this. Let's move on.
25 MR. ZEC: I would tender these two documents, and I complete my
2 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
3 JUDGE ORIE: You said you'd tendered two documents. I think we
4 had --
5 MR. ZEC: I can read the 65 ter's. First is 65 ter 33249.
6 JUDGE ORIE: And that was what exactly?
7 MR. ZEC: This is the speech of Slobodan Milosevic from 1992.
8 MR. LUKIC: It wasn't used in the courtroom.
9 JUDGE ORIE: No, there was an interview -- yes, I'm just
10 wondering. Let me see.
11 Isn't that the one where we -- where I asked you whether you want
12 to further deal with it and you said: No, I'll move on.
13 MR. ZEC: The one that I skipped is 65 ter 7456.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 Then, Madam Registrar, for the remaining two documents.
16 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 33249 receives Exhibit
17 Number P7648. 65 ter number 07468 receives Exhibit Number P7649,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: P7648 and P7469 are admitted into -- sorry, I
20 misspoke. P7648 and P --
21 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, I really have -- where -- can we be
22 directed in the transcript where 7456 was used, please.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Let me see.
24 MR. LUKIC: Then I'm really confused.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: 7546 [sic] is not being tendered Mr. Lukic.
1 MR. LUKIC: Oh. I apologise. I'm a bit lost in these numbers,
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and I was misquoting. Now I'll try to once and
4 forever put an end to this confusion.
5 P7648 and P7649 are admitted into evidence.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Judge Moloto would have a question for you,
8 Mr. Strbac.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Unfortunately, the exhibit has been removed from
10 the screen.
11 Mr. Strbac, you said you -- you hadn't seen this exhibit that was
12 shown to you; therefore, you are not aware of this request. However, the
13 question that had been put to you - and I'm going to read it to you - was
14 slightly different from the answer you are giving. Mr. Zec said to you:
15 "This kind of request is a reflection that the SAO Krajina
16 authorities knew that they could get assistance from Serbia."
17 Therefore, the question is not whether you saw this document but
18 whether -- are you aware of the reflection or of the fact that the
19 SAO Krajina expected to get assistance from the Serb authorities? Were
20 you -- independently of this exhibit.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Such questions are really difficult
22 to answer. I can tell you whatever I want, that I did and that I didn't;
23 it's the same. This request was obviously sent out. Now whether this
24 request was granted, I don't know.
25 JUDGE MOLOTO: My question is not about this request. That's
1 what I have been trying to explain.
2 Were you aware at the time that the SAO Krajina authorities
3 expected assistance from the Serb authorities in Serbia? Just forget
4 about this exhibit.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What would it mean to you if I said
6 either "yes" or "no"?
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: Unfortunately --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can say both.
9 JUDGE MOLOTO: Unfortunately, you don't have do ask me any
10 questions. You are here to answer questions not to ask them.
11 I'm just asking you to answer my question: Were you aware that
12 the SAO Krajina authorities expected to receive assistance from Serbia?
13 You can say I don't -- I wasn't aware; you can say, yes I was aware; or
14 no, I wasn't aware.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I'll choose a fourth option.
16 If they were asking in the first place, it means that they were expecting
17 it. Now how much they got, I don't know; and I don't like being taught
18 what kind of answers I'm allowed to give.
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: Then I also don't want to be taught what kind of
20 questions I must ask. I have not asked whether they did request it.
21 They did request it, that's the evidence. All I'm asking you: Were you
22 aware of this practice of assistance by the Serb authorities to the
23 SAO Krajina authorities? Yes, I was aware; no, I was not aware. It's a
24 very simple question, sir.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] One of my professors used to say:
1 One doesn't fail by giving wrong answers but by asking wrong questions --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. --
3 JUDGE MOLOTO: [Overlapping speakers] -- we're not going to talk
4 about professors right now, and I'm happy to accept that you don't want
5 to answer my question.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And at the same time telling us what your
7 professors told you is an implicit criticism on my colleague
8 Judge Moloto, which is inappropriate for a witness to make in this
10 Mr. Lukic, do you have -- Mr. Zec.
11 MR. ZEC: Your Honours, you asked me one question about
12 65 ter 33410. I can provide you answer now or later.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Let's wait for a second. Let's first see, because
14 Mr. Lukic announced that -- at least I left it open that other portions
15 would be selected as well. I know a portion had been selected at all.
16 Mr. Lukic, any further questions in re-examination?
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, we do have further questions for
19 JUDGE ORIE: Now, it is 10.30. Perhaps it's better to start your
20 re-examination after the break.
21 MR. LUKIC: I agree, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Strbac, you may follow the usher. We'll take a
23 break of 20 minutes.
24 [The witness stands down]
25 JUDGE ORIE: We'll resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 10.50 a.m.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We'll wait for the witness to be escorted in the
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Strbac, you'll now be re- examined by Mr. Lukic.
7 Mr. Lukic, please proceed.
8 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We can keep this document on
9 our screens. I can start with it.
10 Re-examination by Mr. Lukic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Strbac.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. You have seen this document dated 1st April 1991. Was there
14 still a joint state of Yugoslavia which included both Croatia and Serbia
15 at the time?
16 A. Yes. Well, yes, it was the time when everything still existed up
17 until January 1992, when Croatia was recognised by the international
18 community; so there was still a joint state at the time.
19 Q. I think that you still have not answered or something remains
20 unanswered. Let me just read it out to you. You did not answer
21 Judge Moloto on page 25.
22 Just a second, please.
23 Page 25, line 4. I will read it in English so that you would
24 hear again what His Honour Judge Moloto asked you and then I will ask you
25 my question.
1 [In English] I quote:
2 "I have not asked whether they did request it. They did request
3 it, that's the evidence. All I'm asking is: Were you aware of this
4 practice of assistance by the Serb authorities to the SAO Krajina
5 authorities? Yes, I was aware; no, I was not aware. It's a very simple
6 question, sir."
7 [Interpretation] So, Mr. Strbac, in April 1991, did you know that
8 the Krajina SUP asked the Serbian SUP for assistance, did anyone inform
10 A. No one informed me about this. Whether I had heard anything or
11 guessed, that's a different story. No one informed me about that. As I
12 said, we still had our joint state, the SFRY, we had the JNA. It was in
13 May 1991 only that the JNA began playing the role of the buffer zone that
14 we discussed yesterday, and so on. So why I would have to know this? So
15 I've already provided an answer.
16 Q. All right. These are actually two decisions, one is an order and
17 the other one is the conclusion. In the order no assistance is
18 requested, so no assistance for the TO. It is only in the conclusion
19 that assistance from the SUP of the Republic of Serbia is requested.
20 This conclusion adopted by the president of the Executive Board,
21 Dr. Milan Babic, was it compulsory for the MUP at the time and for the
22 SUP of the Republic of Serbia?
23 A. No. To the best of my knowledge and recollection, I don't think
24 that this obliged anyone to do anything because, let me repeat, the joint
25 state - the SFRY - was still in existence and it had its own armed
1 forces. And one of the competences of the armed forces in addition to
2 the JNA and its active-duty personnel was also the Territorial Defence,
3 and it was well-known who could carry out mobilisation. There were laws,
4 there were federal laws, republican laws that regulated this. There were
5 still no new laws in existence, so this is to the best of my knowledge
6 and recollection.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, are you half on your feet, half not. I
8 don't hear anything, but you switch on your microphone. What's --
9 MR. ZEC: I apologise. The question went from specific and then
10 became general. The thing is that he was asked specifically about this
11 order, and the witness is repeatedly saying: I don't know, I don't know,
12 never seen. So I let it go, so we have the answer. So that's fine.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. That's how it is.
14 MR. LUKIC: My question was general whether this kind of
15 conclusion was binding for SUP or police in Serbia.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec left it as it is in the --
17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you one thing, however. In the
19 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was the position of the
20 SAO Krajina, was that regulated in the constitution? Was that a
21 constitutional body which was enacted in the -- in the federal
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, neither SAO Krajina nor the
24 Republic of Serbian Krajina, they were not states or entities that were
25 recognised even by the Republic of Serbia.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, thank you for that answer.
2 Please proceed.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Q. However, these were turbulent times. You told us yesterday that
5 arming of the Croatian people, contrary to the constitution, was also
6 going on at the time. But let me ask you, if you know, whether this
7 decision on mobilisation was in accordance with the law or was it
8 Dr. Babic's body that adopted it, contrary to the laws and against the
9 bodies that were invested with the power of carrying out mobilisation?
10 A. I just answered that the Territorial Defence in SFRY and in what
11 was still the Republic of Croatia was the component of the armed forces.
12 There were two such components, and it was actually known who could carry
13 out mobilisation. This was the SAO Krajina. The Serbs, after a
14 referendum which they organised themselves, formed the SAO Krajina.
15 There were other two Serbian Autonomous Districts later on, the Western
16 and Eastern Slavonias; and it was only on the 19th of December - that is
17 to say in late 1991 - that they joined to form the Republic of Serbian
18 Krajina. And when they united, they were not recognised by anyone; and
19 let me repeat, even Serbia never recognised it. I was the secretary of a
20 country that was internationally unrecognised, but it was a legal subject
21 because it was a topic of discussion at the United Nations and in many
22 other places and I sometimes participated in these negotiations.
23 Q. Thank you. I would now return to the beginning of the
24 cross-examination and remind you, you were asked about the moment when
25 the JNA moved from the force that acted as a buffer zone between the
1 Croatian and the Serbian sides, which were both armed, and it was
2 suggested to that you it happened when General Mladic arrived in Knin.
3 You were shown a document, showing that he got there in June, and you
4 said that the change in the way the JNA acted occurred on the 15th of
5 September. What was it that started on 15th of September in 1991 with
6 regard to the JNA?
7 A. By order of the Croatian authorities, a general blockade of all
8 JNA facilities began in the worst possible manner, and it was only
9 logical, I guess, that -- or only natural that the JNA defended itself;
10 and it was then a natural ally of the Serbs because the Serbs were also
11 threatened by the very same authorities which had previously thrown them
12 out of the constitution as a constituent people, as I explained
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now please look at P7638.
15 Q. It is an interview with Milan Martic from the 14th of October,
16 1994. We shall see it on our screens in a second.
17 You were shown page 10 in both versions, so that's the page we
18 need once again.
19 And it was suggested to you that the JNA changed its role on the
20 basis of this because Milan Martic said that:
21 "General Mladic came in June or July 1991, managed to create
22 self-confidence to Serbs and openly stated that the Serbs were right?"
23 On the following page in both languages - we need the last
24 paragraph in both languages - Mr. Babic talks about Kijevo -- excuse me,
25 Mr. Martic is talking about Kijevo. It is said that decision was made to
1 attack Kijevo. We talked about how the road leading there was blocked.
2 We talked about it yesterday. And the last sentence here reads:
3 "We conquered Kijevo and even managed to liberate Milan Babic's
4 village of Vrlika, Cetina, and Civljane in that area. There were no
5 victims apart from the civilians killed by the Croatian police in
7 So would you agree that there were no casualties on the Croatian
8 side on this occasion? What do you know about this event?
9 A. I couldn't agree because I think that there were several
10 casualties - I don't know how many - and these interviews had another
11 role, not just to say the truth.
12 Q. Did you know about the Serbian civilians who were killed by the
13 Croatian police during its withdrawal?
14 A. If it happened, there may have been one casualty, but I don't
15 remember now.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, I tried to put a question to the witness.
17 That question which I had on my mind was: Do you know whether
18 the victims reported here as being killed by the Croatian police in
19 withdrawal, whether they were Serb or Croat?
20 In your question, you said - and that's leading - "Serb
21 civilians." I wished I would have put that question to the witness, but
22 the answer now is --
23 MR. LUKIC: My mistake --
24 JUDGE ORIE: -- makes everything clear.
25 MR. LUKIC: You are right.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
2 MR. LUKIC: I stand corrected. I misread -- actually, I
3 misunderstood. You are right.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
5 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Can I consult with Mr. Mladic just for a second?
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you can.
8 [Defence counsel and accused confer]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Your voice becomes louder and louder, Mr. Mladic.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Here on page 7 of the same document, the
14 penultimate paragraph. The interview is strange - one cannot see the
15 questions here but only the answers - and we can see in the middle of the
16 page in the English version and the penultimate paragraph in the B/C/S
17 version reads:
18 "There were two waves by land as well; one coming from the
19 direction of Sibenik and Drnis, and the other one from Sinj. The police
20 in those places got orders to take arms and liberate Knin by force, from
21 what they called [the] 'rebel police'."?
22 Do you have any information about plans that were made, as we see
23 here, and that there were two waves coming from Sibenik and Drnis and
24 Sinj towards Knin?
25 A. It's possible that this is about the 17th of August, 1990, when
1 the Croatian police started in armoured vehicles, at first, to disarm the
2 police forces in the Serbian municipalities; and when they were stopped
3 by the barricades, then the Croatian side sent the police in two
4 helicopters. And then the JNA sent two MiGs and sent back these two
5 helicopters. But it all has to do with the 17th of August, 1990, when
6 officially the so-called Log Revolution started -- certainly on the
7 Serbian side.
8 Q. Let's see the paragraph that's above that one. It mentions the
9 helicopters from Zagreb.
10 A. Yes, that's the question -- in Serbian that's the question. It
12 "Regarding the stopping of the helicopters from Zagreb."
13 I'm not sure if that's present in the English version, but it's
14 there in the Serbian text.
15 Q. Yes, yes, but these are all answers, the text. It just says
16 "question" and then an answer follows, but never mind.
17 A. And apart from that, as far as I remember, there were attempts,
18 several other attempts, to disarm the Serbs and to take over these
19 territories. And there were some names, I remember an operation that was
20 called Raseljke where some members of the Croatian army infiltrated.
21 They were mostly disguised as civilians, but all these operations fell
22 through because if they had succeeded, then Krajina would have fallen
23 much earlier, it wouldn't have waited until 1995.
24 Q. Thank you. Now we shall look at P04909. It is a document from
25 the command of the 9th Corps dated the 16th of September, 1991, so a day
1 after the general attack on the barracks in Croatia.
2 You were shown paragraph 2 from this document, from which we can
3 see that in his decision General Mladic decided that in a co-ordinated
4 action with the Knin, Benkovac, and Obrovac Territorial Defence forces,
5 he would launch a general attack towards the sea; however, further down
6 in the paragraph we see that he says:
7 "Unblock the surrounded -- the encircled and cut-off JNA forces
8 in Sinj and the -- Drnis."
9 And in paragraph 1 --
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, if you look at the transcript -- oh,
11 okay it has been corrected. Thank you so much.
12 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. [Interpretation] So in paragraph 1, we read:
14 "Crush the forces of the ZNG and the MUP on their marching axes
15 and protect and break the blockade of the units, installations,
16 warehouses, and institutions of the JNA."
17 What does "ZNG" mean?
18 A. That's the name of the Croatian Home Guards. That is the name
19 the Croats gave to their army, the National Guards Corps. I believe in
20 September 1991, it was not officially the HVO; it will become HVO later
21 in November of that year when the official Croatian army was proclaimed.
22 Until then, it was the National Home Guards.
23 That was the tactics the Croats used to make official the party
24 troops. They legalised all those to whom they distributed weapons, and
25 they converted them into members of the MUP. That was a big force.
1 Q. At that time, who was the president of the Presidency, do you
3 A. Mesic.
4 Q. You mean Stipe Mesic?
5 A. Yes, Stipe Mesic, the Croat delegated by Croatia.
6 Q. As president of the Presidency, was he the superior of
7 Colonel Mladic? He was a colonel at that time.
8 A. The president of the Presidency of the SFRY is also the
9 Supreme Commander of all the armed forces, according to all the
10 legislation governing armed forces.
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we now look at P04166, please.
12 [In English] Can we see page 42, please.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 MR. LUKIC: If it was in closed session, then we should go to the
15 private session.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, we move into private session.
17 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
19 MR. LUKIC: We should remove this document from the screen
21 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. And ...
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's removed.
24 JUDGE ORIE: It's removed.
25 Please proceed.
1 MR. LUKIC: Next document we need on our screens is P04913,
3 Q. [Interpretation] This document was shown to you yesterday,
4 Mr. Strbac. We'll see it in a minute. It is from the Zagreb newspaper
5 Vjesnik. It's one story from that newspaper.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] In B/C/S, we need page 2.
7 Q. In the middle of the page, look for the word "Mladic." And the
8 title is: "Drnis will be called Ratkovo." These words are ascribed to
9 General Mladic. The first sentence reads:
10 "General Ratko Mladic, the commander-in-chief of the notorious
11 9th Knin Corps ..."
12 First of all, I would like to ask you: Did you know at the time
13 whether the Zagreb newspaper Vjesnik was reporting objectively about the
14 Serbian side?
15 A. From what I had occasion to see, and I tried to follow all the
16 press, it did not; it was not among the more objective media.
17 Q. Further below, it says - sixth line approximately - fifth line in
19 "Of course, journalists were once again not allowed to follow the
20 negotiations ..."
21 And a few lines further on, we read:
22 "Mladic, according to the participants in the negotiations ..."
23 Obviously this reporter signed underneath, did not hear what
24 Mladic had said.
25 A. Evidently.
1 Q. Have you ever heard that Mladic had stated Drnis would be called
3 A. I've never seen this article before, and the last sentence
4 strikes me; namely, that he allegedly said Drnis would be called Ratkovo,
5 or perhaps Mladenovo, both names derived from his name.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Would you please answer the question, whether you
7 ever heard that Mladic had stated such a thing? Because you now
8 commented on what you read. Did you ever hear about that or not?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I did say that. I repeat,
10 no, this is the first time I'm reading it, in this article.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and the question was whether you ever heard it.
12 Did you or did you not?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, for the third time, no, until
14 I saw this article now. And if you want one word only, then it's no.
15 JUDGE ORIE: I want an answer to the question.
16 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
17 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Did Drnis ever change its name to Mladenovo or
20 A. No.
21 Q. You were also shown a video that I won't show again - it's
22 P7639 - and it says that general said at the end of that clip that they
23 could only wait for him in a destroyed city or town, meaning Drnis.
24 Was Drnis destroyed?
25 A. I had occasion to pass through Drnis several times when I was
1 travelling for various exchanges towards Zitnic village, and I didn't see
2 that it was destroyed.
3 Q. Was Kijevo destroyed?
4 A. I never passed through Kijevo village. Anything I would say
5 would be speculation.
6 Q. Do you know of what ethnicity the population of Kijevo is?
7 A. Mostly Croats, whether 95 per cent or 100 per cent, I don't know,
8 but the overwhelming majority were Croats.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you again about Kijevo. I fully
10 understand that the question: Was Kijevo destroyed? And you said you
11 never saw that. Did you ever hear or read anything about the destruction
12 of Kijevo?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said I didn't pass through it.
14 JUDGE ORIE: That's -- that's what I -- Mr. -- Mr. Strbac --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Sorry.
16 JUDGE ORIE: This Court is ruled by this Chamber, not by you.
17 You know the profession. You were asked whether Kijevo was destroyed.
18 Your answer was: I never passed through, therefore everything would be
20 Then I put another question to you which was: Did you ever hear
21 or read about destruction of Kijevo? There's no need to repeat your
22 previous answer because it's a different question. I again now put that
23 question to you: Did you ever read or hear about the destruction of
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not in the sense in which you're
1 asking. When you say "destruction," then you could think that it was
2 destroyed 100 per cent but it could be 5 per cent. There was fighting,
3 there were battles, and there was a certain amount of destruction.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Then could you specify? Was 25 per cent of the
5 buildings and structures destroyed? Was it less? Was it more? Could
6 you give us any further detail about what you read or what you heard?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I repeat: Whether
8 it was 5 per cent, 20 per cent, or 50 per cent, I don't know. I didn't
9 pass through, and I don't remember reading that anywhere. All I know was
10 that there had been battles and there was some destruction by artillery,
11 I suppose.
12 JUDGE ORIE: That's what you suppose.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
15 We talked yesterday about the context in which the conversation
16 in P7639 was led, and that one was marked as 65 ter 33408d. And I would
17 kindly ask help from Ms. Stewart to play the previous 65 ter, which is
18 33408c, so 33408c. And we -- there are transcripts under the same number
19 in the e-court, so if it could be seen on the screens, at least the
20 translators could have it, I think, on their screens.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But, first of all, we should wait to see
22 whether the interpreters' booths can find those transcripts. And then,
23 second, we would have to find out whether the accuracy of that transcript
24 was already verified; if it was, then we can play it.
25 Interpreters' booths are ready? Yes, I see it's confirmed.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. And I see that Ms. Stewart nodded when
3 you asked whether it was verified, so --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, I saw everyone was nodding in the affirmative,
5 so I'm fully convinced.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 So it's from the main video from 47 minutes 0 seconds up to
9 48 minutes, 15 seconds. Can we play it now, please.
10 [Video-clip played]
11 "THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Next we will pull out all our units
12 out of Sinj, from the Sinj garrison, and we will do that in the following
13 order: First the equipment; the weaponry - this means all the weaponry
14 including those from the depots except for the weapons used by the troops
15 in the Knin garrison which you're using to defend yourself; then the
16 equipment; the hardware; then family members of the military personnel
17 and civilians employed in the army, and together with them, the
18 population that does not want to stay in that area, with all their
19 possessions. For this to be normal, we are subordinating everything to
20 the evacuation of the families. So first, the families, then the
21 equipment, then the weaponry, then the hardware ..."
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Do you know, first, that the units in the Knin garrison were
24 surrounded in the autumn of 1991?
25 A. I did not see that, but I know - and I've spoken about it - that
1 on the 15th of September an order had been issued for all the barracks to
2 be blocked. Croatia issued that order and that order was implemented.
3 Q. Did you hear at the time that there were attacks on family
4 members of the JNA officers who lived in the area?
5 A. Certainly. I heard that and I talked to many of them after they
6 had crossed over to the Serbian side. I knew some of them personally
7 because I used to work in Zadar, where there were many such officers and
8 their families. The families were mistreated in many various ways. One
9 of the ways was that they would be brought in front of the barracks and
10 then forced to call out to their husbands who were inside the blocked
11 barracks, they would call on them to surrender. They did that with
12 children too and similar things. And this happened day-in and day-out
13 until everything was unblocked. And, of course, some officers could not
14 resist the temptation so they walked out or they surrendered the barracks
15 and they joined their families. Some of them were even prosecuted later
16 before courts in Serbia for treason.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Previous translation continues] ... this video into
19 evidence, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE ORIE: This should then be added, and this specific excerpt
21 has separately been uploaded.
22 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
24 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 33408c receives
25 Exhibit Number D1349, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
2 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
3 Can we see on our screens P07641, please.
4 Q. [Interpretation] This document was shown to you yesterday,
5 Mr. Strbac. We will soon see it on our screens. It's also a document
6 originating from the 9th Corps dated the 4th of October, 1991.
7 You were shown page 2, so if we could please see the same page
8 again so your memory would be refreshed. Under item 3, the document
9 reads that the Chief of Staff, Colonel Ratko Mladic, said the following:
10 "I have decided:
11 "Continue with offensive operations towards Zadar ..."
12 And now if we return to page 1, we see the penultimate paragraph,
13 under item 2, it is the last paragraph in the English version. It reads:
14 "The units took up a circular defence at favourable positions,
15 from where they will continue the attack on Zadar in the morning in order
16 to lift the blockade of the forces surrounded in the town."
17 As far as you know, was this blockade continued in October 1991?
18 A. Yes, yes, in Zadar, it was. Zadar was closest. I knew many
19 officers from Zadar, and they withdrew from Zadar via Benkovac. So of
20 all the incidents from the early 1990s that happened during the war, this
21 is something that was closest to me.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, could you please have a look at the
23 transcript, page 43, line -- no, I'm -- wrong line. 43, line 2, where
24 you are recorded as having said:
25 "The document reads that the Chief of Staff, Colonel
1 Ratko Mladic, said the following ..." and then "I have decided ..."
2 First of all, I wonder, I had difficulties in finding it, apart
3 from whether it --
4 MR. LUKIC: Sorry, let's see the last page, please. And --
5 JUDGE ORIE: It was page 2 I think you referred to.
6 MR. LUKIC: Page 2 and then we have the signature. It's wrong.
7 I now see what you mean. In English it says "commander." In B/C/S in
8 original it says "head of staff, Chief of Staff."
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, and apart from that --
10 MR. LUKIC: And it -- then it said Major General --
11 JUDGE ORIE: Vukovic.
12 MR. LUKIC: -- Vukovic. Yeah, it's up -- maybe Mladic is on the
13 next page in English.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Could be, but I looked of course at paragraph 2
15 since you have drawn our attention to that --
16 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, yeah, yeah, now it says, yeah --
17 JUDGE ORIE: Now I see it on page 3.
18 MR. LUKIC: Yes, 3.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: Sorry.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And what he said, I don't think he said anything,
22 but he wrote something.
23 MR. LUKIC: Yes, he wrote something.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
25 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Q. [Interpretation] It was said that the diaries of Mr. Mladic,
2 P349, on relevant pages --
3 THE INTERPRETER: If the counsel could please repeat the number
4 of the pages in the diary.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Previous translation continues] ... number 349 and
6 pages are from 348 up to 356.
7 Q. [Interpretation] So that this is mentioned in General Mladic's
8 diary, the operation in Skabrnja, and then 65 ter 33427 was shown, and it
9 discusses the same events, and I will ask something with regard to
10 Skabrnja now.
11 Do you know when this incident in Skabrnja occurred?
12 A. On the 18th and the 19th of November, 1991.
13 Q. What happened then? The military convoy, did it leave?
14 A. Well, Skabrnja was behind the Zadar airport called Zemunik, and
15 the airport was both a military and a civilian one, and at the time it
16 was controlled by the JNA. And very often they were threatened an
17 occasionally Skabrnja and another village Galovac also launched attacks
18 on it. I did not take part in this action. Later I prepared the defence
19 for some Serbs who were accused and sentenced before Croatian courts
20 before this operation and I learned a lot from the case files. A convoy
21 headed by the JNA and including some TO members and some volunteers set
22 out from Zemunik Gornji towards Skabrnja, and they were moving in a
23 convoy down the road. It was not combat disposition.
24 Q. Just a second. Who was at the head of the column?
25 A. I think that it was a captain by rank and that his name was
1 Stevanovic. He was at the head, and he held a megaphone in his hand and
2 he called on those responsible to come out for talks and negotiations,
3 saying that there was no need for shooting from either side.
4 Q. All right. And how did he end up, this man with the megaphone?
5 A. He got a sniper shot in his forehead. The convoy stopped.
6 Everyone found shelter behind the APCs. There were several tanks at the
7 rear, and the convoy stood still like that for a minute or two. And then
8 a soldier, who was serving compulsory military service and who was an
9 ethnic Macedonian, summoned enough courage to go and see what happened
10 with his superior because he was his ADC, inter alia, and so he got a
11 shot in the forehead as well and he was killed on the spot.
12 Q. In this convoy what ethnicities were represented? It was a
13 convoy pulling out from the Zemunik airport?
14 A. You mean the convoy that was going towards Skabrnja?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. There were all ethnicities there. Still, I have mentioned that
17 one of the casualties was a Macedonian, and I had an opportunity to read
18 in the case file the evidence of a Croat from Makarska - I forget his
19 last name - but he was also serving his compulsory military service at
20 the time; and he said in one of the documents in the case file that he
21 participated in this operation.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Could you calm down, please.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I will try. You mean I should slow
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's what I intended to say. Yes.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mm-hmm. There were people of other
2 ethnicities too. They reflected the ethnic composition of the then-SFRY,
3 so there were still only a few members of the JNA who had left it during
4 their regular service.
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. All right. And did then a battle ensue?
7 A. Well, the convoy came to their senses, if I may put it so.
8 Someone took over the command, and they set out, and the battle lasted
9 two days.
10 Q. Thank you. Where was fire opened at the convoy?
11 A. Each house was armed. There were both civilians and others in
12 the houses. The civilians were also armed and, as I was told, they had
13 to take control of one house after another.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, you now put many, many questions, and we
15 heard a lot of answers about events where, if I understand the witness
16 well, he was not present. It's just a reconstruction of what he may have
17 read somewhere --
18 MR. LUKIC: Yes --
19 JUDGE ORIE: -- or heard somewhere. I didn't stop you earlier,
20 but you know that this is not really what we are seeking.
21 MR. LUKIC: He -- this is not only hearsay, which is also allowed
22 in front of this Tribunal; this is his knowledge he gained through
23 examining the documentation in preparation for the defence of some
24 accused persons.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. First of all, that is a kind of hearsay;
1 that's not forbidden in itself. That's really why I didn't stop you, but
2 then at least the sources should be well-known --
3 MR. LUKIC: Okay --
4 JUDGE ORIE: -- what exactly he relied upon. I'm not -- and
5 another matter is -- no. I leave it to that. But knowledge gained
6 through examining the documentation is, of course, primarily what this
7 Chamber has to do, because that implies assessments of credibility and
8 reliability, which are not primarily for the witness to make but for this
10 That's what I wanted to tell you.
11 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll just have a couple of
12 more questions and I'll finish with this subject.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you. I'll finish the topic soon --
15 JUDGE ORIE: It's break time. If you finish the topic soon, then
16 perhaps we'll finish this one.
17 MR. LUKIC: Yes.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
19 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Could you just briefly tell us what were some of
21 the sources on which you relied when you received this information?
22 A. I already mentioned one source. I read the case files from the
23 court because a group of around 16 or 17 members of the
24 Territorial Defence from the Benkovac area stood trial before the
25 Croatian court in Zadar.
1 Q. Do you remember the name of the first of the accused on the list?
2 A. I think it was Zoran Lakic, who was the commander of the Benkovac
3 TO; I think that it was him and he was certainly among them. And now the
4 whole case file was transferred from Croatia to Serbia on the basis of
5 the agreement between the war crimes prosecutors of Croatia and Serbia,
6 so I had another occasion to review the case files, and I did so.
7 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... that was the
8 case file. Any other source you consulted?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I talked with participants who took
10 part in the event, maybe around ten of them, with regard to the fighting
11 itself. And as for the casualties, we already talked about it, and also
12 the exchange connected with this; the Prosecutor asked me about that too,
13 and I may clarify that too, if there are any questions with regard to
14 that topic.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Did you speak with participants from both sides?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Which side were those persons you spoke with?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the JNA side.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
20 Please proceed, Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
22 Q. [Interpretation] And in the case file, are there also statements
23 of the Croatian participants?
24 A. Yes, the case file includes the statements of participants from
25 both sides. That was where I read the statements of the young man who
1 was a Croat from Makarska.
2 Q. And just tell us this: Do you know anything about the status of
3 the persons who participated in this battle on the Croatian side?
4 A. When my commission, headed by myself, presented the mortal
5 remains to the Croats, they did not want to take them on the first day;
6 and then on the second day, we did hand them over. Then they were
7 examined, and we have been shown the autopsy here ...
8 I'm sorry, what was the question? I've lost the thread.
9 Q. The question about -- was about the status of the people.
10 A. Right. In the beginning, the Croatian side represented that they
11 were all civilians; however, already at the first anniversary it turned
12 out that at least 28 were members of the ZNG, the then-Croatian army,
13 because we saw that in the notices of death in the newspapers - and the
14 Croats later recognised it because these men were accorded the status of
15 fighters and their families received appropriate benefits. And we also
16 found out later that a unit was stationed there called the Independent
17 Skabrnja Battalion; they did not have uniforms, but they did have
19 Q. Where were they put up in Benkovac when people from Skabrnja were
21 A. Those people were escorted, saved from their houses. Some
22 elderly people, women and children, and they brought them to Benkovac and
23 placed them in the building of a kindergarten, where there were no
24 children but there were Serbian families that had been brought a couple
25 of days before from some peripheral Serbian villages where there had been
1 a lot of combat activity.
2 Q. From which area were these Serbs that were in the same
4 A. The greatest number was from a village called Lisane Tinjske
5 which was close to Skabrnja and Galovac.
6 Q. Thank you. That will be all on this topic.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have passed the time for the
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
10 Witness, we'd like to see you back in 20 minutes. You may follow
11 the usher.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, could you give us an indication as to how
14 much time you'd still need.
15 MR. LUKIC: I should finish in 15 minutes 10, 15 minutes.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Ten, 15 minutes, yes. When I earlier -- when I gave
17 some comments on hearsay, et cetera, of course, this is more or less even
18 expert testimony, evaluating whatever the sources tell you. If
19 Mr. Riedlmayer does the same, then he is an expert and this witness tells
20 us exactly what happens. The sources are generally known but not in any
21 detail -- they're certainly not available to the Chamber. I would like
22 you to keep that in mind for after the break.
23 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We can provide the Chamber
24 probably with that file.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, we'll see what you do and what the
1 Prosecution's response that will be.
2 We take a break, and we resume at 20 minutes past 12.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 12.19 p.m.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 MR. LUKIC: Before the witness -- oh, I'm sorry to interrupt.
7 Before the witness is with us, I can say that in regard of
8 65 ter 33410, we would like to add two previous pages. So only page 115
9 was offered. We would ask kindly to have 114 and 113, and it would
10 correspond to the transcript numbers 12548 and 12549.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And that was already admitted as P7645?
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And now the request is understood.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I think it was -- I think I more or less even
16 invited you to tell us whether you wanted more. May I take that a new
17 version which will then replace the present P7645 will be prepared and
18 uploaded so that we can instruct Madam Registrar to replace the current
19 version by the new version.
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Strbac, I will have to torment you for
24 another 10, 15 minutes. We saw that example when you participated in the
25 first exchange as a lawyer, when there were five arrested Serbs and eight
1 arrested Croats. Apart from that example, do you know whether the
2 Serbian side rounded up civilians in the street in order to send them for
3 an exchange?
4 A. No, I've explained that; I explained it on the first day.
5 Q. All right. But at one moment you said both sides held civilians.
6 From where did these civilians come?
7 A. On the Serbian side, they were arrested for some criminal
8 offences, and at some point they would be sent for an exchange because
9 the other side was seeking them.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Could I seek clarification.
12 You said "on the Serbian side." Are we -- I asked you questions
13 about the five Serbs and the eight Croats. If you say "on the Serbian
14 side, they were arrested," do you refer to the Croats, Croats being
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. For the most part, Croats.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, earlier I asked you why there were
18 arrested. You now say they were arrested for some criminal offences.
19 Earlier you said, as far as you knew, they were arrested just for the
20 purpose of being exchanged, and you had no idea about -- for what
21 reasons, that would be speculation. And now you are telling us that they
22 were arrested for offences, some criminal offences --
23 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
25 MR. LUKIC: -- the first question was for those eight. And my
1 question now was in general, not for those eight.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. But --
3 MR. LUKIC: And I said specifically beside these eight.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then why would you not know about the eight
5 and why would you know about the others, for the reasons of their arrest?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not say explicitly that I
7 didn't know. All the time I've been answering that I did not see the
8 papers, the file. I saw -- I mean, that was one special case. Now a
9 general question was asked about something else.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Let's ...
11 Yes. Mr. Lukic, I was -- when you said -- you said both sides
12 held civilians, from where did these civilians come. This was not as
13 clearly separated as in your previous question, where you indeed made a
14 distinction and where the witness said that he had explained it already
15 and -- and that was perhaps not that clearly explained --
16 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry --
17 JUDGE ORIE: And it is still unclear whether it was the eight and
18 the five or whether it's a more general question.
19 But let's move on.
20 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 Can we have on our screens P7647, please.
24 Q. [Interpretation] It was shown to you, Mr. Strbac - and we'll see
25 it on our screens soon - a text from domestic newspapers translated into
1 English, but we can't see who the authors of the text are, so I can't ask
2 you specifically -- because you can't see the author of that text, I
3 can't ask you if you really gave that interview.
4 A. It should be France Presse.
5 Q. There's no signature at the end, but we see at the top that
6 Viktorija Stegic is referenced. Did you give an interview to this lady?
7 A. I don't remember such a lady, but if I see correctly it should be
8 the Agence France Presse.
9 Q. Yes, the agency published this story, but --
10 A. No, I can't remember that lady, but I don't rule out the
11 possibility. I gave interviews to hundreds of newspapers.
12 Q. Thank you. Next I would like to see briefly P7648. It is said
13 that this is an interview given by President Milosevic; in fact, his
14 speech at an Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of Serbia. The date
15 is 9 August 1991. It's the penultimate paragraph in the B/C/S and third
16 from the bottom in English.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Lukic, I see the date of 29th of February,
19 JUDGE MOLOTO: English. But on the other side it's 9 August, so
20 it's probably different document.
21 MR. LUKIC: There is one and the same if you see in B/C/S up that
22 says the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, 29th of February, 1992.
23 And then there is a date in B/C/S underneath, Friday, August the 9th,
24 1991, what we do not see in English version.
25 JUDGE ORIE: No, it may be a transcription or a translation
1 error. It's not that much of a translation.
2 MR. LUKIC: Yeah.
3 JUDGE ORIE: The English is the original?
4 MR. LUKIC: I don't know.
5 MR. ZEC: That's my understanding, yes.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then the B/C/S version should be reviewed.
7 You take proper action for that, Mr. Zec.
8 MR. ZEC: [Microphone not activated]
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Let us focus on this paragraph. We'll see later what is the
11 source is, whether the English version or the B/C/S.
12 You remarked correctly when my colleague Mr. Zec was examining
13 you. It says here, I quote:
14 "The Republic of Serbia helped the Serbian people in this area
15 first materially in money, food, clothing, medicines; then
16 politically ..."
17 And it goes on to say:
18 "... and when all this was not enough, with arms too ... first of
19 all, through firm support and commitment by Serbia towards the Yugoslav
20 People's Army ..."
21 Now I'm not sure how to ask you this, because I'm not sure
22 whether the text is from August 1991 or February 1992. You've told us
23 that there were volunteers present. Did you -- in fact, in the area of
24 the Serbian Autonomous Republic Krajina, were there any military depots
25 on the ground already when the conflict broke out?
1 A. From the time when we had a common state, there were depots.
2 Every larger military unit had its own depot. There were depots
3 belonging to corps and smaller units. I know that close to Benkovac,
4 where I lived, was one depot; such places were very well secured,
5 defended, dug into the ground. Then during the war, nobody left these
6 depots completely empty of weapons. I mentioned yesterday that Tepic
7 nearby Bjelovar blew up one such depot with 100 tonnes of explosive, and
8 he said it was just a small quantity of all the explosives that were in
9 that depot.
10 But regardless of the date of this, even if it's February 1992,
11 it speaks of something that happened in the past. I have to tell you
12 that the JNA officially withdrew from the territory of Croatia, including
13 the territory of the Republic of Serbian Krajina where it had the most
14 units, on 19 May 1991. That's when it pulled out, both out of Croatia
15 and Bosnia.
16 Q. And just one more question to conclude. Did you know in which
17 way the units of the Army of the Republic of Serbian Krajina were being
19 A. Some things I knew; others I didn't know. As for the part that I
20 was aware of - since I was a member of the Territorial Defence like most
21 people, regardless of ethnicity - it was that concept of the Socialist
22 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Tito's Yugoslavia, that nothing must
23 surprise us. Most people were armed. Some had weapons at home, that was
24 the reserve police, the Territorial Defence. Sometimes they left their
25 weapons in depots; sometimes they took weapons home. That's how both
1 sides got armed.
2 Now what other sources of arming existed, we can discuss that.
3 Croats purchased abroad. We've already discussed how many weapons they
4 imported from Hungary. Weapons were brought by air-lift. One such
5 air-lift was seized at the Zagreb airport. And the Serbs also had their
6 own channels for arming. There was the JNA which sided with the Serbs
7 and was present there until 19 May 1991. Following the logic of things -
8 and the Territorial Defence was part of the armed forces - they were a
9 side, a party to the conflict. So some of the weapons came from the JNA,
10 from the depots that already existed on the grouped.
11 Q. Mr. Strbac, thank you. That is all we had for you.
12 A. Welcome.
13 JUDGE ORIE: I've one question for you in relation to your last
14 answer. You give a picture where weaponry that was there in depots, that
15 that remained there, and that was more or less the explanation for what
16 Mr. Milosevic had said.
17 You also said something about volunteers, but I take it
18 volunteers were not ready available in depots and were just sent from
19 Serbia, as the document reads, to Croatia. That seems to be a bit -- a
20 different picture from the weaponry picture.
21 Do you have any comment on this observation?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You mean volunteers? If somebody
23 is a volunteer, that means he is not sent by the state. In the theatres
24 of war, in Croatia, in Bosnia, there were Dutch people, Ukrainians,
25 Russians, there were Serbs from Serbia. As well, people organised
1 themselves and went there. I don't know what Milosevic meant when he
2 said "volunteers."
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Well, you're saying volunteers are not sent by
4 governments. At the same time this document says large number of
5 volunteers that Serbia sent to the front in Croatia, which suggests
7 Any comment on that?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I told you, I don't know what
9 Milosevic meant by that. I told you what I knew. If a person is a
10 volunteer, that means he is coming voluntarily.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Zec, any questions in --
12 MR. ZEC: One short issue.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
14 Further cross-examination by Mr. Zec:
15 Q. Mr. Strbac, today you were asked about various places in Krajina,
16 about military operations around these places, and you have provided a
17 lot of details about combat, about shootings. Now the fact is that
18 crimes against Croats were taking place across the area. These crimes
19 were known and you know that these crimes against Croats were committed;
21 A. What am I supposed to answer to a question like this? If I told
22 you that I turned over 40-plus bodies from Skabrnja and that all these
23 people got killed in a fierce battle, how can I now say whether it's a
24 war crime? I don't know. It was a battle. There was fighting, fierce
25 fighting, in Kijevo and everywhere.
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... provide example, Skabrnja,
2 Kijevo, but this was taking place across the area, that was known that
3 these crimes were taking place; right?
4 MR. LUKIC: Asked and answered.
5 JUDGE ORIE: One -- one second.
6 I think it was asked, not answered.
7 Please proceed. Complete your answer, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All these events, incidents, that
9 we are discussing, it's not that somebody came and killed people while
10 they were sleeping. There were battles that lasted day or two. People
11 got killed. There was fighting, door-to-door fighting in populated
12 areas. When something like that crosses the line and becomes a war
13 crime, that's something that courts eventually decide and courts have
14 been engaged with this for 20-plus years, including your court. In the
15 case of Skabrnja, ten or more people went on trial. I mentioned one
16 judgement including 16 accused. I cannot answer a question like this,
17 whether there were crimes. There was fighting, there were casualties,
18 but what is a crime? I don't know. All these courts would not be
19 necessary if I were able to answer these questions.
20 JUDGE ORIE: If I understand you well, you're not saying that all
21 these civilian casualties were just -- just combat casualties, that you
22 allow for the possibility that some of them or -- were the result of
23 criminal activity?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. Yes, and it was so
25 on both sides, unfortunately. There were all kinds of units or
1 individuals who killed, looted. There was fighting against them too. It
2 was more successful or less successful, and it happened on the Croatian
3 side as well as the Serbian.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
5 Mr. Zec.
6 MR. ZEC: Nothing further. Thank you.
7 [Prosecution counsel confer]
8 MR. ZEC: If I -- if I may, just to --
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Briefly.
10 MR. ZEC:
11 Q. Again, Mr. Strbac, I refer what you said during your testimony in
12 the Hadzic case. You were specifically asked about an article that you
13 provided in your interview and you said -- the question was:
14 "Crimes against Croats were no secret in the first place. The
15 cases of suffering of Croats across the area of Knin were being followed
16 by international teams ..."
17 And you said:
18 "I stated something like this many, many times, so I suppose I
19 said it to them as well."
20 So this is your testimony in Hadzic and you stand by this
21 testimony; right?
22 A. Well, when it's taken out of context like this, it really sounds
23 somehow too stark. Whatever I say, it seems to me that something will
24 still remain unsaid and I'm not a man who likes to give answers that are
25 incomplete. I like all of that to have and make some sense, so let me
1 repeat. Everything that happened to the Croats, each single murder or
2 any other crime that happened in the war, was it investigated? I would
3 say yes, up to 99 per cent. 1755 members of the JNA and other Serbs
4 were -- have been sentenced in front of Croatian courts, and those who
5 were accused were more than 3 and a half thousand in numbers. But, on
6 the other hand, the crimes against the Serbs remain uninvestigated. That
7 was my main thought, which -- my main thesis which I presented then and
8 which I still stand by.
9 JUDGE ORIE: That's not an answer to the question, but I think we
10 leave it to that, Mr. Zec. Would you agree?
11 MR. ZEC: Yes. I would only suggest that this one page that I
12 read in the transcript page from the Hadzic case to be attached to that
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if it is -- if it is a literal quote, then
15 there's no need. If it's contested that this is a quote from the Hadzic
16 case --
17 MR. LUKIC: No, we probably have to have more because of the
19 JUDGE ORIE: Okay. Then I suggest the following: That you
20 discuss with Mr. Lukic what portion you'd like to have in evidence and I
21 don't think then that we need the witness to remain for that purpose.
22 So we'll hear from the parties together what excerpts are
24 Mr. Strbac, this concludes your evidence in this court. I'd like
25 to thank you very much for coming a long way to The Hague. You've
1 answered questions put to you by the parties, by the Bench. I wish you a
2 safe return home again. And you may follow the usher.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. It was my
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Is your next witness, who is --
7 MR. LUKIC: We don't know if he is ready. We don't have any kind
8 of contact with him.
9 [Trial Chamber confers]
10 JUDGE ORIE: No, I see that, but -- I shouldn't have addressed
11 you, Mr. Lukic.
12 Is the next witness ready to enter the courtroom?
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Because we're at a point where the next witness,
15 that the cross-examination will continue, Mr. Traldi, isn't it? And that
16 would be Mr. Kijac.
17 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Mr. President. We'll just take a moment to
18 organise ourselves.
19 JUDGE ORIE: The Chamber never opposes a party organising itself,
20 Mr. Traldi.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 [The witness takes the stand]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Good afternoon, Mr. Kijac. Mr. Kijac, we'll now
24 continue. You have returned home and are now back. And you'll remember
25 that you were about -- you were being cross-examined by Mr. Traldi when
1 the session was interrupted. I'd like to remind you that you are still
2 bound by the solemn declaration you've given at the beginning of your
3 testimony, that you'll speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
4 the truth, although that's a couple of weeks ago.
5 Mr. Traldi will now continue.
6 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 WITNESS: DRAGAN KIJAC [Resumed]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Cross-examination by Mr. Traldi: [Continued]
10 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 MR. TRALDI: Could we please have Exhibit D1300 for the witness.
13 Q. Now in paragraph 46 of your statement, you refer to orders you
14 and President Karadzic issued which you characterise as directing that
15 crimes in Republika Srpska be investigated, especially in Prijedor. This
16 is the Karadzic order you mention. We see it's dated 3 April 1994;
18 A. Yes, as far as I can see. Yes.
19 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 32749.
20 Q. As it comes up, you and President Karadzic, of course, both knew
21 that serious crimes had been committed against Bosnian Muslims and Croats
22 in Prijedor municipality; right?
23 A. Can you please just return the president's order to the screen so
24 I might read it?
25 Q. Sir, I'd directed your attention to the point that I'd been
1 interested in. I'd ask you to answer my question. You and
2 President Karadzic both knew that serious crimes had been committed
3 against Bosnian Muslims and Croats in Prijedor municipality; right?
4 A. Well, you have found me in a state where I'm not really ready. I
5 would like to see the president's orders again.
6 And as for the crimes in Prijedor, I would like to make it clear
7 that we as a service did not have such information. As the State
8 Security Service, we did not investigate war crimes --
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
10 A. -- and there is --
11 Q. I'm asking you as a human being, did you know, yes or no, that
12 serious crimes had been committed against Bosnian Muslims and Croats in
13 Prijedor? Yes or no.
14 A. There were such stories; however, the state security department
15 was not informed along its line of information about the events in
17 Q. Now, this is a summary of a conversation intercepted by the
18 Croatian authorities in late May of 1992. We read that people they
19 referred to as "the enemy are killing prisoners who had weapons east of
20 Prijedor around Kozarac."
21 Now first, at this point we agree, I take it, that the Croatian
22 forces' enemy was the VRS; right?
23 MR. LUKIC: Objection. To what says in the document, this is
24 intercept of -- the intercept should say what's said. If the intercept
25 says that enemy, then enemy should be somebody who is Serb's enemy. If
1 it's somebody on the Serbian side who is speaking, so giving the
2 interpretation --
3 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] -- Mr. Lukic, this is not an
4 objection. Yes, first of all, if Mr. Traldi puts a leading question, he
5 is allowed to do so in cross-examination.
6 Mr. Traldi explained to the witness what this was, and this
7 apparently is a non-verbal -- transcribed telephone intercept -- or
8 communications interception. That's how it is --
9 MR. LUKIC: Then I want to see where in the document it is said
10 what Mr. Traldi is claiming.
11 JUDGE ORIE: No, There's no need. You can re-visit the matter in
12 re-examination, if there's any need.
13 MR. LUKIC: No, I want reference, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ORIE: -- yes --
15 MR. LUKIC: -- I want reference from the document where this
16 claim is.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you --
18 MR. LUKIC: So that's all I ask for.
19 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear that you want that, and I gave an
20 answer to that.
21 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Lukic, I think Mr. Traldi read this intercept
22 and then asked a question separate from the intercept to say: Can you
23 and I agree that "enemy" here means a Serb? He is not claiming that
24 that's what's contained here. He's asking the witness if he would agree
25 that the "enemy" refers to a -- to the Serb.
1 MR. LUKIC: On which base? That's what I'm asking.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: This is just a question. Does it have to have a
3 basis? He is just asking.
4 MR. LUKIC: Your Honour, this is intercept.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Okay.
6 MR. LUKIC: Thinking on the basis of intercept --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: I have tried to explain what I thought the
8 question was.
9 MR. LUKIC: Thank you.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, I take it that you started from the
11 assumption that it was a Serb who is recorded here as speaking and that,
12 in that context, you are asking about who would be an enemy.
13 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, the basis that I'd put and in future it
14 would be better to have a detailed discussion of the basis like this
15 outside the presence of the witness, but since we've done most of it, the
16 basis for my question was the summary is prepared by the Croatian
17 authorities, is descriptive, comes from a collection of intercepts,
18 including other summaries prepared by the Croatian authorities and refers
19 to the enemy. What I'd asked the witness was: Can we agree late
20 May 1992 the Croatian forces' enemy in Prijedor was the VRS? And I think
21 it's a completely fair question.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes -- well, Mr. Lukic, I --
23 MR. LUKIC: I would just follow on your question, Your Honour.
24 It's not answered --
25 JUDGE ORIE: I leave it to that, Mr. Lukic. You have to accept
1 that. If there are any further questions to be asked about this, you can
2 do that in re-examination.
3 MR. LUKIC: Who --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic, this is my ruling at this moment and all
5 questions you still may have you can raise them in re-examination.
6 MR. LUKIC: I have an objection, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE ORIE: And that objection is overruled and --
8 MR. LUKIC: Next one.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Another one. What's your objection?
10 MR. LUKIC: Where is base for the claim --
11 JUDGE ORIE: That's not an objection; that's a question.
12 MR. LUKIC: -- that Serbs are intercepted.
13 JUDGE ORIE: That's a question, Mr. Lukic. Where is your
15 MR. LUKIC: My objection is that this is misrepresentation of the
16 evidence. There is no basis for claim --
17 JUDGE ORIE: That objection is also denied.
18 Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
19 MR. TRALDI:
20 Q. Sir --
21 JUDGE ORIE: And the witness should answer the question.
22 MR. TRALDI:
23 Q. I'll try one more time, sir, can we agree that the Croatian
24 forces' enemy and the Bosnian Croat forces' enemy in Prijedor
25 municipality in late May 1992 was the VRS?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And we read here the enemy is killing prisoners. You knew that
3 prisoners held by the VRS and other Bosnian Serb forces were held in
4 criminal conditions in Prijedor municipality; right?
5 A. I cannot confirm this. In May 1992, I was the centre chief in
6 Sarajevo together with other regional centres I did not have any
7 connection with them. And I had no information about Prijedor
8 whatsoever. So this had to do with the then-head of service. I don't
9 know whether he knew that. Those of us in Sarajevo had nothing to do
10 with Prijedor because I was not in charge of Prijedor at the time but,
11 rather, in charge of Sarajevo.
12 MR. TRALDI: Can we have P6659.
13 Q. And 6659, as it comes up, sir, I'd ask you to focus on my
14 question rather than re-explaining the structure of the RS MUP.
15 Now this is a summary of a meeting of a MUP senior officials on
16 the 11th of July 1992. Turning to page 2 in both languages, we see in
17 the second paragraph a list of attendees. And just a couple of lines up
18 from the bottom of the second paragraph, we see references to
19 Zoran Cvijetic, chief of the centre, and Dragan Kijac, chief of the SNB
21 Now Dragan Kijac refers to you; right?
22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak into the
23 microphone because we can't hear him.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, could you come closer to the microphone and
25 speak into it and repeat your answer.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, probably yes.
2 MR. TRALDI:
3 Q. Turning to page 7 in both languages, we'll see a part of
4 Stojan Zupljanin's remarks. Now he was the head of CSB Banja Luka and
5 had responsibility for the region of the Bosnian Krajina, including
6 Prijedor, and the RS MUP side; right.
7 A. Let me not read all this, but I can confirm that Mr. Zupljanin
8 was responsible for the area of Prijedor.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could the microphone of the witness be
10 adjusted more or less to his -- because if you are leaning in that
11 direction, then the microphone should be in that direction as well.
12 Yes, please proceed.
13 MR. TRALDI:
14 Q. Now he says at the first bullet point:
15 "The army and Crisis Staffs, or War Presidencies, are requesting
16 that as many Muslims as possible are gathered, and they are leaving these
17 undefined camps up to the internal affairs organs. Conditions in these
18 camps are bad - there is no food, some individuals do not observe
19 international norms because, among other things, such collection centres
20 are not adequate or there are other reasons ..."
21 So first, at this meeting where we saw you on the list of
22 attendees --
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Traldi, are you sure that we are on the right
24 page in B/C/S?
25 MR. TRALDI: I'll double-check, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I can't see it anymore --
2 MR. TRALDI: We should turn to the next page in B/C/S and it will
3 at the top.
4 Q. We can now see the first hyphen starts with [B/C/S spoken].
5 Sir, I'll ask the question again.
6 MR. TRALDI: And thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. At this meeting where we saw you on the list of attendees, you
8 would have learned no later than the 11th of July, 1992, that Muslims
9 were being gathered and left in camps with no food and in places where
10 international norms weren't being observed; right?
11 A. Well, I don't know whether these were camps or collection centres
12 because I didn't go there. It was a regular meeting at which the State
13 Security Service probably did not -- usually did not take part in
14 discussion. We had nothing to do with these issues. We were not in
15 charge of camps. We were not --
16 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... sir, I understand you're
17 trying to focus on your own relationship with these camps. What I'm
18 asking you is: Setting aside your professional responsibility, as a
19 human being on 11 July 1992, when Zupljanin said this, you knew Muslims
20 were being gathered and left in camps with no food, where international
21 norms weren't being observed; you knew that then, right?
22 A. Generally speaking, yes, that there were collection centres and
23 everything else simply did not reach me and I wasn't interested in it
24 because I was not responsible for it and it was not the domain for which
25 I was in charge.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Do I then understand that you heard half of the
2 sentence and not the remainder?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. I don't even remember this,
4 Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ...
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember this. It was a
7 long time ago, but I accept that it was so. I cannot say that it wasn't
8 so. If these are the minutes and this is the report, I accept it as
9 such. I'm just telling from my own point of view and from the point of
10 view of the remit of the work of my service. The service had nothing to
11 do with such persons. There was simply so much information that some of
12 it slipped by unnoticed by me.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, you may have missed that information.
14 Please proceed, Mr. Traldi.
15 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 02653.
16 Q. Now, this is a document sent by and signed for the chief of the
17 SNB sector in Banja Luka, Nedjelko Kesic, dated 12th of June, 1992,
18 requesting that three persons, Anto Mandic, Nedeljko Maric, and
19 Miro Petrusic, be released to undergo further investigation at the
20 Banja Luka CSB. Now, this is a reflection that the national security
21 sector had a role in processing prisoners; right?
22 A. Well, you see, this has nothing to do with Prijedor. This is the
23 Banja Luka district prison. So even the last time I --
24 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... simply answer the question I
25 asked you. This reflects that the national security sector had a role in
1 processing prisoners; right?
2 A. State security, once again, you are pointing to something when I
3 wasn't in charge of the service, but I will answer you in general terms.
4 The state security did show interest in certain prisoners and
5 worked with them. It's not in dispute. I said that last time. When it
6 was in the interests of the service to work with someone or to process
7 certain individuals - as we professionally would put it - then there's no
8 dispute that the centre, the Security Services Centre from Banja Luka,
9 probably requested these three persons in order to interview them and
10 then probably sent them back to the Banja Luka district prison upon
11 completing the operative processing of these persons. We did that. I'm
12 not aware of this particular incident, but generally did that with
13 prisoners of war who were of interest for our service. And if you like,
14 I may clarify to you what the interests of the service may stand for.
15 Q. One of the places that there were National Security Service
16 officials doing that was Omarska camp, right, in Prijedor?
17 A. Yes, I saw that after the war.
18 Q. And you certainly knew from -- sir --
19 JUDGE ORIE: Witness --
20 MR. TRALDI:
21 Q. Sir --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, don't interrupt. You've answered the
23 question. Mr. Traldi was about to phrase a new question for you. Don't
24 interrupt him, please.
25 Mr. Traldi.
1 MR. TRALDI:
2 Q. And you certainly knew, like everyone else who could read a
3 newspaper and see a television, you knew long before April 2004 that that
4 would -- or sorry, April 1994 that Omarska camp was one of the places
5 where serious crimes had been committed against non-Serbs in Prijedor;
7 A. No. We don't have a single paper that came from the security
8 service Banja Luka informing us of that situation. Find me one single
9 paper where the centre Banja Luka informs the --
10 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I'm stopping you there again because you
11 have not carefully listened to the question - because it was not whether
12 you received any official documents about that - but you were asked
13 whether you knew and it was referred to "like everyone else who could
14 read a newspaper and see a television," so apparently not the formal
15 sources were hinted at by Mr. Traldi but, rather, sources available to
16 everyone. Knowledge is the question, not whether you received it
18 Could you please answer the question, whether you knew before
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I knew what the television
21 reported when foreign reporters came to the area of Prijedor, to those
22 collection centres. I don't remember which month it was, but I remember
23 there were a couple of movies on TV about access given to foreign
24 reporters to these centres in Prijedor.
25 MR. TRALDI:
1 Q. But those crimes weren't the subject of the orders you and
2 Mr. Karadzic issued; right?
3 A. I don't know which crimes you mean.
4 Q. Would it refresh your recollection if I put to you that there'd
5 been a small number of murders in Prijedor municipality in late
6 March 1994, just before your order and President Karadzic's order were
7 issued, and that the Red Cross had threatened to evacuate every remaining
8 Muslim and Croat from Prijedor as a result?
9 A. First of all, let's get one thing clear. Mr. Karadzic and I
10 could not give orders. The president could give an order, and I could
11 only convey it. I could not give orders to them, structures which do not
12 belong to the state security.
13 Q. Sir, answer the question.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, your question contains several elements.
15 I think you would be more successful in getting answers if you split them
17 MR. TRALDI: I'll try and take it step by step.
18 Q. You say in your statement that President Karadzic issued an
19 order - April 3rd, 1994 - that you conveyed to your subordinates. We saw
20 that order a moment ago. Would it refresh your recollection that what
21 that was ordering an investigation of was a small number of murders in
22 late March 1994, not any of the crimes in the camps or the cleansing in
24 A. Could I get my written statement, please, because I don't have it
25 before me. I want to see how I formulated it in the statements.
1 And second, you know that the State Security Service does not
2 investigate war crimes. That was defined in 1992 within the Ministry of
3 the Interior when, according to the distribution of certain --
4 Q. Sir --
5 A. -- of certain powers and jurisdictions --
6 Q. Again, you've moved on to repeating evidence about the structure
7 of the MUP that you've given a number of times. I'd encourage you,
8 please, to focus on the questions you're asked.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: When that order was shown to this gentleman, he asked
11 to see it again so he didn't see it properly. Now he is asking for his
12 statement, and nothing has been shown. And it -- still my learned friend
13 is insisting on his answer. So I don't think that -- this is proper way.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Well, whether it is proper or not, I just -- Mr. --
15 would have you any problem with providing the witness with his statement,
16 Mr. Traldi?
17 MR. TRALDI: Of course not.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Whether it would be inappropriate to ask a question
19 about a statement without giving the witness that statement is a matter
20 different from what we do now, that is, that the witness will be given
21 his statement.
22 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour, but the order D130 -- what was the
23 number? D1300. He asked kindly to see that order, because obviously he
24 didn't see it properly.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Well, if he --
1 MR. LUKIC: And now he is asked about the same order again.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If he gave a statement about an order, then
3 not under all circumstances it's inappropriate to put a question without
4 showing that document again.
5 At the same time, Mr. Traldi, if that is not part of your
6 strategy, then I think it would be better to meet such a request from our
8 MR. TRALDI: I certainly don't have any reason not call it up.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Okay.
10 MR. TRALDI: If we could have D1300, and I have a clean copy of
11 the B/C/S -- or what I'm told is a clean copy of the B/C/S, for the
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
15 MR. TRALDI:
16 Q. What I'm putting to you is: This order referred to crimes
17 committed in late March 1994. That's what it was about; right?
18 A. This does not say when the crimes were committed. It says:
19 "Take all the steps to investigate crimes committed in
20 Republika Srpska, in particularly Prijedor."
21 I don't see which period it relates to, but let us accept that it
22 was in 1994. You are probably looking at the date of the order. It's
24 Q. Sir --
25 A. And I --
1 Q. Thank you for your answer.
2 MR. TRALDI: Could we go into private session, please.
3 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
4 [Private session]
11 Pages 41216-41218 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
16 We'll take a break and we will resume at five minutes to 2.00,
17 but first the witness may follow the usher.
18 [The witness stands down]
19 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for 20 minutes.
20 --- Recess taken at 1.33 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 1.55 p.m.
22 JUDGE ORIE: We're waiting for the witness to be escorted in the
24 Meanwhile, Mr. Traldi, I started interpreting your question on
25 page 66, line 11; I think I didn't do that well and I'd better refrain of
1 doing it. It may have confused rather than contribute anything.
2 MR. TRALDI: Your Honour, I admit I had forgotten it entirely.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, well, I had not.
4 MR. TRALDI: I appreciate that. Before I forget anything else,
5 three of the documents that you used last session I'd seek to tender.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, you certainly will have the 65 ter
7 numbers ready.
8 MR. TRALDI: And the first one I'd tender is 02653. That's the
9 SNB Banja Luka request about the three detained persons.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Receives Exhibit Number P7650.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
12 MR. TRALDI: And then under seal the last two documents I used,
13 23768 and 23770.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And those would receive, Madam Registrar, numbers?
15 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 23768 receives
16 Exhibit Number P7651. 65 ter number 23770 receives Exhibit Number P7652,
17 Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: P7651 and P7652 are admitted into evidence under
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And could we please have P7650 on the screen
22 because I would like to put a question to the witness.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Judge Fluegge has a question for you, Mr. Kijac.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Kijac, you have seen this document before the
25 break. I refer you to one of your previous answers on page 72, lines 7
1 to 11. You said, among other things:
2 "... there's no dispute that the centre, the Security Services
3 Centre from Banja Luka, probably requested these three persons in order
4 to interview them and then probably sent them back to the Banja Luka
5 district prison upon completing the operative processing of these
7 If you now look at the last sentence of this document before you,
8 it reads:
9 "You are holding the above-named in accordance with our
10 decisions," and then three numbers are following, "... of 11 June 1992."
11 What does -- can you comment on that? Can you explain what that
12 means "in accordance with our decisions"?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, you see, Your Honour, I
14 noticed this. I would just like to say that we are talking about
15 assumptions only, considering that in this period I was not the chief of
16 this service. But I suppose that complaints had been filed against these
17 persons and that they were detained because of that, and they were in
18 remand. So when it says "our decisions," I suppose that these were
19 decisions of the state security, according to which they were placed in
20 remand. And I suppose the corresponding criminal complaints had been
21 filed with the appropriate court or the prosecutor's office. They must
22 have had certain information on which they based these decisions to place
23 them in remand. I don't know about this specific case, but according to
24 the logic of our service, if somebody had been placed in an investigative
25 prison, that there must be some suspicion that the person had done
1 something; or perhaps the prosecutor's office was not happy with such a
2 decision and wanted to interview them additionally. This is the regular
3 procedure. We're talking about standard procedure.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I understand that you were talking -- or
5 conveying your assumptions to me. But what does it mean? Can I take it
6 from this document that these people were detained by the SNB sector?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You see, he says CSB Security
8 Service Centre Banja Luka. I supposed that it could be the State
9 Security Sector, and it's signed by the state sector chief, Mr. Kesic,
10 saying above "our decisions." Therefore, I suppose that the decision to
11 place them in remand was taken by the sector of the state security
12 Banja Luka.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I understood. Thank you.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Perhaps just a short follow-up question.
17 From your previous answer I gained the impression - right or
18 wrong - that the service was just borrowing them. You are detaining
19 them, we'd like to interview them, whereas, on the basis of the question
20 Judge Fluegge did put to you, it seems that it was under the
21 responsibility of the Security Services Centre Banja Luka that they were
22 detained, not that they would borrow them but they were the ones who had
23 ordered the detention. Is that now well understood?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understood you correctly --
25 again, I'm guessing only. Maybe some other people through surveillance
1 found out that they were involved in hostile activity and they were
2 therefore detained and criminal complaints were filed against them, but
3 I'm supposing only.
4 JUDGE ORIE: That's different from my question. But I think
5 having re-read your previous answer, I think my question may have been
7 Mr. Traldi, you may proceed. At the same time, I'm drawing your
8 attention to the following, that -- could you consider and check whether
9 P7651 and 7652 really should be under seal as I said. Could you please
10 verify that?
11 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ORIE: Well, my colleagues have informed me that there are
14 good reasons for that. So therefore I should perhaps have a bit more
15 trust in your assessment.
16 Please proceed.
17 MR. TRALDI: I'll try to deserve that, Your Honour.
18 Could we have 65 ter 09406.
19 Q. This is a United Nations telegram dated the 1st of April, 1994.
20 We see in the second paragraph. And in the first paragraph we see a
21 reference to "first nine dead" and then "now 22."
22 The second paragraph we see the Red Cross will therefore advise
23 Karadzic that they will evacuate all of 6.000 Muslim population Prijedor
24 who may wish to leave and also 3.000 Croats.
25 Now when you were here three weeks ago, we agreed that
1 Mr. Zupljanin had been proposing to offer contracts to some non-Serbs in
2 the RS MUP for PR reason, for public relations reasons. The impact of
3 evacuating the few remaining non-Serbs from Prijedor on the
4 Republika Srpska's international image would have been very negative;
6 A. I'm sorry, Mr. Traldi, but I don't have a translation of this
7 document. I can only see an English version, so if you could please
8 provide me with a translation so I could see for myself what it is about.
9 Q. I apologise, sir, we don't have one yet. Does a translation or
10 does the lack of a translation make you unable to answer my question as
11 to whether the evacuation of the few remaining Muslims and Croats from
12 Prijedor would have had a negative effect on the Republika Srpska's
13 international image?
14 MR. LUKIC: I would object to this point. I don't know if 9.000
15 could be called few.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, would you please read the second
17 paragraph to the witness and then ask your question again, because the
18 question was put in relation to a document the witness is unable to read.
19 So if would you read that and slowly.
20 MR. TRALDI: Paragraph begins:
21 "ICRC will therefore advise Karadzic that they will evacuate all
22 of 6.000 Muslim population Prijedor who may wish to leave, also 3.000
23 Croats. Assumption is that it is safer now to evacuate" -- it says
24 "there persons than for them to stay."
25 Q. Do you agree that this evacuation would have had a very negative
1 effect on the Republika Srpska's international image if it had been
2 carried out?
3 A. I can hardly answer that question for the simple reason that I
4 have not been following this case. That's one.
5 And another thing is that you have to have in mind that some of
6 the non-Serb population from certain areas requested to leave the
7 territory of Republika Srpska.
8 As far as I know, in Prijedor, there were some non-Serbs who were
9 serving in the Army of Republika Srpska. I don't know the figures, but I
10 suppose you have those.
11 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... how is it that you are
12 unable to comment on discussions of camps in Prijedor that occurred at
13 meetings you attended but you are able to offer information about the
14 ethnic composition of VRS units in Prijedor?
15 A. Well, because by watching these testimonies, I saw some witnesses
16 who offered some information --
17 Q. Sir --
18 A. -- and secondly, I can hardly --
19 Q. By "these testimonies," you mean testimonies in this trial?
20 A. Yes, at trials. I don't know if this was this one or some other
21 trials --
22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... for the remainder of your
23 testimony if the information are you providing is based on something you
24 heard from a different witness at this Court years after years after the
25 war, can we agree that it would be best if you made that clear during the
1 course of your answer?
2 A. Well, I indicated that in connection with this last question of
3 yours, on the one hand; and on the other hand, Mr. Traldi, I am not the
4 one who is to say what could damage Republika Srpska. I was a
5 high-ranking official who was in charge of intelligence rather than
6 someone who assessed politics and what politicians wanted to achieve at
7 any given moment. You have to admit that however high a position I held
8 in the intelligence circles, I was not involved in politics. I was not a
9 member of the government or of the parliament or even a member of the
10 party, so I did not really engage in politics but I was doing
11 professional work.
12 MR. TRALDI: Can we have 65 ter 31513.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could I put one question awaiting that document to
14 appear on our screens.
15 You said: "I am not the one who is to say what could damage
16 Republika Srpska ..."
17 What did you mean by that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Traldi asked me how the
19 international public would react to such a move. That was how I
20 understood him, that this was the essential issue, how the international
21 public would react to the evacuation of such a number of non-Serbs from
22 the area of Prijedor. And as an official, as someone who was an
23 employee, was not someone who could decide that. It was up to the
24 politics to decide that. My service did not deal with such issues. We
25 did not follow convoys.
1 JUDGE ORIE: So the proper answer would have been: I never
2 developed any thoughts on that; or, if you have developed any thoughts on
3 that, then to say what those thoughts were.
4 Mr. Traldi, at the same time, you are asking for opinion rather
5 than for facts.
6 Please proceed.
7 MR. TRALDI:
8 Q. This is a decree signed by President Karadzic dated
9 17 November 1995 decorating many of the members of the RS MUP. Turning
10 to page 4 in both languages, under Petar Mrkonjic Medal, we see at
11 number 6 the public security centre in Prijedor. Now this is an
12 endorsement of that centre's work; right?
13 A. Yes, under number 6, it's the public security centre, Prijedor.
14 Q. Page 8 in the English, 7 in the B/C/S, number 90, and we'll be in
15 a category called Merit for the People Medal, we see Ranko Mijic from CJB
16 [sic] Prijedor. He headed the SJB Prijedor interrogators at Omarska.
17 This is also an endorsement of his work, right, giving him this award?
18 A. You see, when we talk about awards, each centre proposed that
19 some of its employees be awarded. This is collected by the minister of
20 the interior, who then forwards such information to the president of the
21 republic. So not everyone who was proposed from the regional centre
22 really received the award. The proposal comes from the base, so to
23 speak; it is received by the administrations of the MUP who are in
24 charge; they then give their final opinion; and then the proposal is
25 submitted to the president of the republic.
1 Q. And, sir, just two more examples.
2 MR. TRALDI: If we can have page 14 in English, 13 in B/C/S,
3 number 21.
4 Q. As we turn to that I can tell that you is the decree from the
5 president; it's not one of the proposals. Now under Military Credit
6 Medal, 21, we see Miroslav Kvocka from CJB Prijedor. You mentioned you
7 followed some trials here. Did you happen to notice that he was
8 convicted of crime against humanity at this Tribunal?
9 A. Yes, I have heard about Kvocka. But I tell you once again that
10 the proposal was sent from the base, and I who dealt with the Ministry of
11 the Interior, if you presented this list to me, I would tell you that I
12 am not familiar with 90 per cent of these people. And can you imagine
13 what happened when the president of the republic received this.
14 Q. I'm going ask you about one more name that you might be familiar
16 MR. TRALDI: If we can turn back to page 1 in both languages.
17 JUDGE ORIE: And that should be your last question from today.
18 MR. TRALDI: It will.
19 Q. We see under Star of Karadjordje Battle 2nd Class
20 Ljubomir Borovcanin from Special Police Brigade, he has also been
21 convicted at the Tribunal in his case for crimes committed at Srebrenica;
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. TRALDI: Your Honours, I tender 65 ter 09406 -- sorry, that
25 one I asked to have MFI'd pending a translation. And I tender this
1 document, 65 ter 31513.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the first one without translation?
3 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 09406 receives
4 Exhibit Number P7653.
5 JUDGE ORIE: And is marked for identification.
6 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter number 31513 receives
7 Exhibit Number P7654.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
9 We'll adjourn for the day, Mr. Kijac. We'd like to see you back
10 tomorrow morning at 9.30. I would -- I instruct you that you shouldn't
11 speak or communicate in whatever way with whomever about your testimony,
12 whether already given or still to be given. If that's clear to you, you
13 may follow the usher.
14 [The witness stands down]
15 JUDGE ORIE: We adjourn for the day and we resume tomorrow,
16 Thursday, the 12th of November, 9.30 in the morning, in this same
17 courtroom, I.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.21 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 12th day of
20 November, 2015, at 9.30 a.m.