1 Tuesday, 2 December 2008
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, can you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning to
8 everyone in and around the courtroom.
9 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Vojislav Seselj.
11 Thank you, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
13 Today is the 2nd of December, 2008. I would like to greet the
14 representatives of the Prosecution, Mr. Mundis, Ms. Biersay, and their
15 associates, as well as Mr. Seselj and all the people assisting us in this
17 Before I give the parties the floor, the Trial Chamber will
18 advise you of the following: I shall read it out slowly. This has to do
19 with the comments made by the Registrar on the follow-up to the decision
20 taken by the Trial Chamber relating to the privileged communication of
21 the accused.
22 Pursuant to the Trial Chamber's decision relating to the
23 privileged communication of the accused recorded confidentially on the
24 27th of November, 2008, the Registrar recorded publicly, on the 1st of
25 December, 2008, comments in which he informs the Trial Chamber that
1 pending the directives that will be given by the President of the
2 Tribunal, who has been seized of this on the 1st of December, 2008:
3 (A), has decided to authorise, on a temporary basis, privileged
4 communication between the accused and Mr. Boris Aleksic, appointed as a
5 member of the Defence team of the accused since the 24th of September,
6 2008, and:
7 (B), contemplates to authorise, on a temporary basis, that the
8 accused be entitled to receive faxes on a confidential basis from its
9 Defence team in Belgrade. The Trial Chamber indicated to the Registrar
10 that it hoped that this measure that it intends to implement be
11 implemented as quickly as possible to enable the accused to prepare, as
12 efficiently as possible, the cross-examination of the Prosecution
14 The Trial Chamber is satisfied with the follow-up to its decision
15 of the 27th of November, 2008, provided by the Registrar, and hopes that
16 the issue of privileged communication will be settled as soon as
17 possible, whilst abiding by the rights of the Defence.
18 This is what the Trial Chamber wished to state.
19 Mr. Seselj, I know that you wanted to take the floor, so I shall
20 give you the floor now.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, there's something new here,
22 if you compare it to the letter that the Registrar sent me. It seems
23 that they have made concessions to you and said that I could receive
24 telefaxes in confidential form from my associates. Now, who I can
25 receive them from, the Registrar doesn't say. How can I receive
1 telefaxes until I send one out or before I give my associate instructions
2 to talk to so-and-so and take a statement, and then in taking that
3 statement, to steer him towards one subject or another? It's as if
4 somebody is sending me telefaxes from the sky, dropping from the sky and
5 statements from the sky.
6 I absolutely do not accept this, and I do not accept that the
7 Registrar of the International Tribunal has the right to interfere with
8 my Defence. That is something I find quite unacceptable. And he cannot
9 lay down conditions either. He says for my legal advisors, they gave
10 public statements linked to the Tribunal in an inappropriate manner and
11 acted in a way that could jeopardise the International Tribunal. Now,
12 who is it who can say that somebody's statements were inappropriate; the
13 Registrar? And then he says that the statements are inappropriate for
14 which he's being criticised, in the moral sense and in other senses, too;
15 next, to act in a way which can jeopardise the reputation of the
16 International Tribunal.
17 Now, only people can have my respect who consider that The Hague
18 Tribunal has absolutely no good reputation at all, professional or moral.
19 I can only believe those people. Anybody who thinks this Tribunal has a
20 professional and moral reputation, I do not trust; and I'm not going to
21 trust him with any assignment of mine. And I told you that at the very
22 beginning of the trial, so you can't re-educate me in that respect, and
23 that's the strategy of my Defence and indeed the style of my Defence; and
24 I have every right to choose the type of Defence case that I wish to
25 raise, first of all, by putting into question and challenging the
1 legality of this Tribunal, and then all the rest of it.
2 Furthermore, the Registrar refused to pay expenses for my
3 associates, their travel expenses and others, and they will never come
4 back again unless they are paid for their coming here more than two
5 months ago. So I do not accept that the Registrar can choose from
6 amongst my advisers and say, "This one is a good one, this one isn't." I
7 am the sole person that can decide matters like that, and nobody will
8 come in to see me until all three advisors plus a case manager can come
9 in to see me altogether. Nobody is going to come in. I'm not going to
10 receive any faxes. I'm not going to have any type of phone conversation.
11 This man, this Aleksic, doesn't have an office at all, and now he
12 has to be at home all the time waiting for me to call him up, if I'm to
13 find him; whereas the Registry insisted, and you supported this Registry,
14 that Slavko Jerkovic, as a professional lawyer, is the most appropriate
15 and suitable; and that I can use his telephone and who knows what else,
16 that finances go through him and all the rest of it.
17 The Prosecutor will wind up his Prosecution case in a couple of
18 months, and then the Defence case will start, but I can tell you that
19 there will not be any Defence case. There won't be a Defence case until
20 somebody brings the Registrar to task and say:
21 "You're a clerk here and you have no right to meddle in matters
22 of the Defence. You're here to deal with matters of discipline, hygiene,
23 any other goods that need to be procured. You are there to pay out
24 salaries and so on and so forth, but you cannot meddle in Defence
1 Now, if the Registrar is going to interfere, then there will be
2 no Defence case.
3 Somebody who is interfering all the time and tripping me up at
4 every step, and I might fall at every step, being tripped up like that,
5 so how long is that going to go on for, I wonder. No other obstacles are
6 put in the path of any other trial, and I'm not going to accept them in
7 this trial too, so you can consider that the problem has not been
8 resolved and why you welcome this conduct on the part of the Registrar is
9 your own affair, but I must say that I'm quite amazed at it.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, first of all the
11 Registrar sent you a letter on the 28th of November, 2008. Therefore,
12 you can respond to his letter and challenge what he states in his letter.
13 Nevertheless, in this letter, the Registrar is asking you to give him the
14 telephone number of Mr. Aleksic. As soon as you have done that, you will
15 then be able to have your privileged communication with Mr. Aleksic.
16 Let me remind you, and it is my colleague who indicated this to
17 me, a moment ago you were the one who appointed Mr. Aleksic, so if you
18 appointed him, you felt that he had at least a telephone number. You are
19 saying that he doesn't have an office, but this is something which can be
20 overcome. The Registrar is just asking you to give him the telephone
21 number of Mr. Boris Aleksic so that you can communicate with him. This
22 is a major step forward, as far as the Trial Chamber is concerned. This
23 means that you can now contact someone whom you trust entirely.
24 Now, as far as the faxes are concerned, of course in the letter
25 that was sent to you by the Registrar, nothing is said about the way in
1 which this will work out, materially speaking. There is a fax in this
2 room, just outside the courtroom, and there is a fax at the UN Detention
3 also, so I'm sure this problem can be overcome. I'm sure you can receive
4 documents in this manner.
5 The Trial Chamber feels that in light of all of this, this
6 situation is definitely a step ahead and this is a step forward, compared
7 with the previous situation. All we want is for you to be able to
8 contact the person of your own choice. Nobody is interfering in your
9 Defence. It's for you to appoint someone, and it's for you to handle,
10 but it is important that the person you have appointed is someone whom
11 you can contact.
12 As you know, and you know better than anyone else, this was not
13 an easy decision to take. Therefore, we have done our utmost and made
14 sure that you are able to defend yourself as best as possible.
15 On a personal note, I would like to say that as the Prosecution
16 has 26 hours left to call its Prosecution witnesses, we hope that in that
17 time that is left, we can focus on the substance in this case. We are
18 spending a lot of time dealing with housekeeping matters and logistical
19 matters, and we waste a lot of time over this. I had rather spend this
20 time reading documents, the transcripts, to be able to, at the end of
21 this trial, assess whether you are guilty or innocent. My time would be
22 much better spent focusing on these matters, rather than having to write
23 up decisions relating to problems that have arisen between you and the
24 Registrar, between the President of the Tribunal and the Registrar. So
25 let's wait and see.
1 The Trial Chamber can only advise you to respond to the Registrar
2 and to give Mr. Aleksic's telephone number as quickly as possible.
3 I know that Mr. Mundis would like to take the floor, so I shall
4 give him the floor, and then we shall bring the witness into the
6 Mr. Mundis.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, last Friday I said I
9 had another question to deal with. I said I could wait for this week, if
10 it's not too late. And it is about the previous witness under 92 ter.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there is another topic you
12 would like to address.
13 I apologise, Mr. Mundis. We shall deal with Mr. Seselj's second
14 issue, and then I shall give the floor to Mr. Mundis.
15 So what is this about, Mr. Seselj?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I challenge the possibility
17 of having double statements at all by witnesses appearing, and in
18 particular the witness appearing last week, and that that could be taken
19 under 92 ter. And I presented my arguments; first of all, because the
20 main statement that was given was given to the Muslim authorities in
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Mostar, in fact, and the additional statement
22 was given to The Hague Tribunal, the OTP.
23 Now I'd like to draw your attention to some things that are in
24 the statement themselves. You see in this main statement given to the
25 Muslim authorities, it says that with the television crew from Novi Sad,
1 six members of the White Eagles from Serbia arrived. And in the
2 statement that was given to The Hague Tribunal, to the OTP, this is added
3 on to in a paragraph, in the last sentence, when he says:
4 "When I say 'White Eagles,' I meant Seselj's men." So there we
5 have the Prosecution transforming the initial statement. And you have an
6 example of that in another place as well, which is to be found on page 7
7 of the first statement. It says:
8 "I said I didn't know about any of that, when an unknown soldier,
9 a member of the White Eagles from Serbia came into the room and started
10 beating me and the others accepted that."
11 Now, in paragraph 28 of the additional statement taken by this
12 Tribunal, it says the following in paragraph 26, I suppose:
13 "I mention that an unknown soldier entered the room, a member of
14 the White Eagles, I said. I think he was Seselj's White Eagle."
15 So you just put that phrase in, "I think it was Seselj's White
16 Eagle." So I just want to do illustrate this for you to see the methods
17 The Hague Tribunal uses.
18 Now, this witness under 92 ter, in his first statement, just
19 tells us the story secondhand that he heard from ten young girls, members
20 of the Seselj's army who were specialised in slaughtering civilians. So
21 somebody told him about that somewhere.
22 Now, the OTP, The Hague Tribunal, since that is not enough, and
23 this is how witnesses are used, a typical example of how witnesses are
24 used and how things are construed; so the first we had the arguments put
25 forward last week that under no conditions can this be adopted under
1 92 ter and admitted into evidence.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I understand you well,
3 Mr. Seselj. If the Trial Chamber were to admit the statement presented
4 by the Prosecution, as well as the statement presented by the Muslim
5 authorities, then we could compare the two.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President. Perhaps you
7 don't remember this from last week.
8 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, with all --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I've understood perfectly well.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] When I objected and said that the
11 statement was in two parts, you said, I assume, that just this part given
12 to The Hague Tribunal should be admitted into evidence. And then the
13 Prosecution put you right and said that they consider both statements to
14 comprise a whole. That was the essence, that both these statements are
15 treated by the OTP as one, as a whole. So if you have this supplementary
16 statements given to the OTP, you cannot understand what it refers to
17 unless you have the first statement that was given that was
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
20 Mr. Mundis.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 This procedure that the accused is now undertaking is completely
23 improper. Every issue that he's raised with respect to these 92 ter
24 statements were and could have been put to the witness during
25 cross-examination of the witness. The accused has waived his
1 cross-examination, and therefore it is inappropriate and improper for him
2 to now be challenging the admissibility of those statements when he had
3 the opportunity to cross-examine the witness, when he had the opportunity
4 to question the witness as to any perceived discrepancies between the
5 statements. He had that opportunity. He waived it. He's lost the
6 chance to now argue with respect to issues that the witness very well
7 might have been in a position to clarify. And so we would strenuously
8 object to this type of procedure. It's not the first time it's happened,
9 whereby the accused, having waived his cross-examination, subsequently
10 attempts to make arguments on issues which could have been put to the
11 witness, but which the accused opted not to do so by waiving
12 cross-examination. It's improper, and we would strongly urge the Trial
13 Chamber to put an end to this type of procedure.
14 The Chamber has repeated inquired as to Mr. Seselj as to why he
15 does not cross-examine 92 ter witnesses. He's indicated that he does
16 that as a matter of principle. Of course, he must live by the
17 consequences of his own decisions, including any decisions with respect
18 to the waiver of cross-examination. These questions could have been put
19 to the witnesses. He chose not to do so, and he must now suffer the
20 consequences of the decision which he took and which forms part of his
21 decision to represent himself in these proceedings and to pursue whatever
22 type of defence he chooses to do.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have something to add.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your position is on the
1 Mr. Seselj.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The thing that Mr. Mundis is
3 putting forward is completely nonsensical. I'm not interested in what
4 the witness said and what it says in his statements. I am standing up
5 here to oppose the illegal behaviour of the International Tribunal. That
6 is the sole purpose of my taking the floor, and I'd like to tell you, as
7 the Trial Chamber, that you cannot accept these two pieces of paper as a
8 92 ter statement. They're not in the form of a 92 ter statement or
9 anything else.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj's position is on the
11 record. Mr. Mundis's position is on the record. And the Trial Chamber
12 will rule on this matter. We need to move on.
13 Mr. Mundis.
14 MR. MUNDIS: I again put on the record the Prosecution's
15 objection, in the most strenuous terms, to the accused continuing to
16 indicate that the Prosecution is undertaking illegal behaviour. That is
17 simply not credible, it is simply ridiculous, and he continues to make a
18 mockery of these proceedings and this Tribunal; and we object to that in
19 the most vigorous terms.
20 Your Honours, on the 25th of November, 2008, the Trial Chamber
21 rendered a decision with respect to the Prosecution's motion to terminate
22 the self-representation of the accused. The Prosecution would
23 respectfully request that we be given an extension of time, until Friday
24 of this week, that is, 5 December, in order to make a determination as to
25 whether we will seek certification to appeal part or all of that
1 decision, pursuant to Rule 73(B). A final decision has yet to be taken.
2 The deadline otherwise would expire today at midnight, and we would ask
3 for an extension of time until Friday, 5 December, in order to make a
4 determination, and if so determined, to file a request for certification
5 of that decision.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You know full well that as far
7 as deadlines are concerned, the Trial Chamber is always very flexible.
8 Therefore, you have until Friday at midnight to file potential or
9 certification to appeal that decision.
10 I shall now ask the usher to bring the witness into the
11 courtroom, and Ms. Biersay will tell me how much time she will need for
12 this witness.
13 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 As the Court is aware, this witness came to the Netherlands only
15 this morning, and I was able to meet with him only this morning very
16 quickly. I actually concluded meeting with him at approximately 1.00.
17 And I think we can start with 90 minutes, but due to the abbreviated
18 nature of my meeting with him, I would ask the Court to consider, if the
19 need arises, to extend that time.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the witness only
22 arrived this morning, because on Sunday there were problems at the
23 airport in Sarajevo due to the snow. Therefore, the plane could not take
24 off on Sunday. That is why this witness could only arrive this morning.
25 Ms. Biersay only had a short time with him this morning.
1 Good afternoon, Witness.
2 Mr. Seselj.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would just like us to clarify one
5 I received information on the 28th of November, according to
6 which there would be two possible ways in which this witness would be
7 examined, as well as Sulejman Tihic. One variant is that if VS-029 comes
8 in and the second option is when -- if the witness does not come in.
9 Now, I still have not been informed whether Witness VS-029 is coming in
10 to testify. I would have to know that today or not. If he is not coming
11 in, then two hours have been allotted to Mr. Banjanovic and two hours for
12 Mr. Tihic. That is my written information. Is that right?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, quite right.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And is VS-029 coming in? That's my
15 main question, actually. Or is that going to be a strategic surprise?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as I know, VS-029 is not
17 coming. Is that right, Mr. Mundis?
18 MR. MUNDIS: As far as we know, that is the case, Mr. President.
19 He, at this stage, is refusing to travel. I will keep the Chamber and
20 Mr. Seselj appraised of any changes in that situation. If he were to
21 travel, it would most likely be today, in which case I will have
22 sufficient information tomorrow to indicate whether or not he will
23 appear. It, at this stage, does not appear likely that VS-29 will be
24 testifying this week.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you have the updated
1 information on this issue. We don't know any more than you do.
2 Witness, can you give us your first name, last name, and date of
3 birth, please.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Fadil Banjanovic. I was
5 born on the 4th of July, 1962, in Kozluk, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your profession at the
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm an MP in the Chamber of Nations
9 in the Parliament of Republika Srpska, Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are a member of Parliament,
11 elected. What is your political affiliation?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The SDP of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
13 Social Democratic Party of Bosnia-Herzegovina, into the Parliament of
14 Republika Srpska then.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. MP.
16 Have you already testified in a court, and if so, could you tell
17 me in what case?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, in the case against
19 Mr. Milosevic, in the case that had to do with the Zvornik group in
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the Milosevic trial, were
22 you a Prosecution witness or a Defence witness?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I spoke about deportation,
24 about expulsions of Bosniaks, so that is to say that I was a Prosecution
25 witness against Milosevic.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in Belgrade, on whose
2 behalf did you testify?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Also, I was a Prosecution witness,
4 testifying for the Office of the Prosecutor there about deportations of
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 Could you please read the declaration.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
9 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: FADIL BANJANOVIC
11 [The witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may sit down.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you've already testified,
15 so you know how things are going to occur. You know that at first you
16 will be asked questions by Ms. Biersay, questions that are going to be
17 put to you by the Prosecution. You have met Ms. Biersay this morning,
18 but only shortly, because of your flight problems, but you did meet her,
19 however. And she will put some questions to you.
20 After this phase, Mr. Seselj, the accused in these proceedings,
21 will put questions to you, and this will be in the framework of his
22 cross-examination. You will have to answer his questions.
23 The three Judges in front of you on the Bench can also intervene
24 at any moment to ask questions in relation to your answers.
25 Try to be as specific as you can in your answers. But given your
1 past activities and your present activities, I'm sure that you will be
2 able to be very concise. If you do not understand the question, don't
3 hesitate to ask for the question to be reformulated.
4 We have 20-minute breaks every hour and a half. If your
5 testimony is not finished tonight, you will have to come back tomorrow,
6 tomorrow at 8.30, because we'll be sitting in the morning tomorrow. We
7 are sitting this afternoon, but this is quite exceptional. We should
8 have been sitting in the morning. So if you are done with your testimony
9 by the late afternoon, you will have so come back tomorrow.
10 But now you are a witness of justice. You are no longer in
11 contact with the Prosecution. You can only answer their questions.
12 I wanted to say all this so that these proceedings could be as
13 smooth as possible.
14 Ms. Biersay, you have the floor.
15 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Examination by Ms. Biersay:
17 Q. You described for the Court that you are currently an MP with the
18 Chamber of Nations; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. For how long have you held that position?
21 A. This is my fifth year now.
22 Q. For the period of 1984 to 1992, where did you live?
23 A. I lived in Kozluk, the municipality of Zvornik.
24 Q. What position did you hold in that village?
25 A. Well, I was one of the top people in that very small town. I was
1 president there. I held a few other posts, like president of the Hunting
2 Association, and I was a person who enjoyed quite a reputation in that
4 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Registrar, if I could now ask for 65 ter
5 number 7425, please, which, for the Judges, would be the last one in your
6 binder, which is arranged in 65 ter number order.
7 Q. Do you recognise that document on the screen in front of you?
8 A. Yes.
9 MS. BIERSAY: And if we could scroll down to the bottom of that
10 document, please.
11 Q. Do you recognise your signature on that document?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When did you place your signature on that document?
14 A. On the 7th of May, 2003.
15 Q. And is 65 ter number 7425, is that a summary of your educational
16 and professional background?
17 A. Yes.
18 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, we'd ask for the admission of 65 ter
19 number 7425.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar.
21 Mr. Seselj.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, perhaps the witness didn't
23 notice that, but I don't think that this can be admitted into evidence
24 before this is cleared up. In bullet point number 7. The statement was
25 probably taken in English and then re-translated into Serbian, and the
1 Serbian makes no sense whatsoever. It says here that Mr. Banjanovic was
2 "nadjalnik [phoen]" of Kozluk until 1992. There was never such a post in
3 Kozluk. He knows that better than I do. So it's the translation that's
4 a problem. He probably said that he was president of the Local Commune,
5 and that is what the wording was supposed to be, "pretsednik mesna"
6 [indiscernible]. So I'm drawing your attention to that.
7 I want to say yet again that it is nonsensical to take statements
8 first in the English language and then to re-translate them into Serbian,
9 and then they make no sense whatsoever in Serbian.
10 MS. BIERSAY: If I may respond, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but it may be best to have
12 the witness answer.
13 MS. BIERSAY: I would respectfully submit to the Court that this
14 is appropriate cross-examination. The witness has said that he can
15 identify the document, that he's reviewed the document and signed the
16 document. If Mr. Seselj has other things he would like to bring up, it
17 would be appropriate for him to use his time in cross-examination.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I was about to give
19 a final number to this document, but we'll only give it an MFI, according
20 to your wishes.
21 So if we could please have an MFI number, Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be given
23 Exhibit number P661, marked for identification. Thank you, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
25 will rule in the end.
1 Continue, Ms. Biersay.
2 MS. BIERSAY:
3 Q. The document that you just saw on the screen, is that a document
4 you had reviewed, in your own language, and signed?
5 A. Yes.
6 MS. BIERSAY: And, Mr. Registrar, if we could now have
7 Exhibit number P302, please.
8 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber where Kozluk is relative
9 to Zvornik?
10 A. Kozluk is a nice little town. It's on the road between Zvornik
11 and Bijeljina, on the banks of the Drina River. It is surrounded by
12 several settlements inhabited by a majority Serb population. But in
13 other places, like Sepac and others, Bosniaks are the predominant
14 population. Kozluk was a multiethnic community where Bosniaks lived,
15 Roma, Serbs, and a few Croat families. Kozluk is a local commune within
16 the municipality of Zvornik.
17 Q. Approximately how far is Kozluk from the town of Zvornik?
18 A. About 12 kilometres.
19 Q. Now, you described Kozluk as being a nice little town. I'd like
20 to direct your attention to the beginning of 1992. Could you --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Biersay, on the map, I
22 don't see Kozluk at all on this map. Is it on the map?
23 Yes, I see it. Thank you. Very well.
24 MS. BIERSAY: If we could perhaps enlarge that area. There are
25 two areas that are highlighted in yellow.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This is much more
2 legible. Thank you.
3 MS. BIERSAY:
4 Q. And looking at this map, does that reflect the areas that you
5 just discussed?
6 A. Yes. Kozluk, Tabanci, Malesic, Skocic, Trsic, Sepac and so on,
7 nice places on the banks of Drina River.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, there's a mystery
9 here on this map. We see Kozluk with a big red dot, and on top of this
10 "Kozluk" in bold, there's a smaller red dot with another "Kozluk." So
11 are there two Kozluks? There's a Kozluk next to the river and another
12 one that's further away from the river, so could you tell us what this is
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There's just one single Kozluk,
15 there's just one Kozluk, and that's this biggish sign over
16 here [indicates].
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You see, on top of the big red
18 dot, there's a smaller red dot, and it's also written "Kozluk" above this
19 small red dot.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's a mistake.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Biersay is showing us a
22 map with a mistake?
23 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, this has been previously admitted as
24 Exhibit P302, and I think it is helpful for the witness to explain that
25 that is an error, the one that we see in shadow, that is, the small one.
1 Q. But the one in bold, is that where it should be for Kozluk?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. MP, you know all this. You
4 know this area very well, so could you tell us what is the real name of
5 the town on the small dot, written "Kozluk" in grey?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There are several places here where
7 there is a Serb population, so you see all these places where there is a
8 Serb population, and Kozluk is just where the little red dot is.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I understood you well,
10 the city of Kozluk is everything that is in yellow, that is the whole
11 area of the city of Kozluk, and in this surface there's this red dot with
12 "Kozluk" written on it, but there's only one town called "Kozluk."
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Ms. Biersay.
15 MS. BIERSAY:
16 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber that period in time when
17 you noticed things had begun to change in the nice little town of Kozluk?
18 And specifically I'm referring to 1992.
19 A. Well, a new things for all the citizens was the entry or passing
20 through of a large number of trucks or vehicles, and there were young men
21 in these vehicles and they were deployed in Tabanci, Malesic, Skocic,
22 these surrounding Serb-populated places. For me, personally, and for
23 many citizens of Serb ethnicity, these were people and vehicles unknown
24 to us.
25 At first, we didn't even know what this was all about. However,
1 what people noticed in public was that more than more people like this
2 were coming in. They called themselves military reconnaissance or
3 scouts. And we talked to other ethnic Serbs who were our neighbours, and
4 we concluded that these people were building roads, digging trenches.
5 All of it looked like some kind of preparations.
6 Q. Did there come a time when there were barricades that were set up
7 in the Kozluk area?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Do you know who set those barricades up?
10 A. Well, they introduced themselves as the Serb Territorial Defence,
11 because the Serb municipality had already been established, also a Serb
12 MUP, Serb Territorial Defence. And even in Kozluk or around Kozluk,
13 barricades were built, made of wood, and there were armed guards there.
14 Q. Could you please describe for the Trial Chamber what these armed
15 guards looked like?
16 A. Well, I had the opportunity to see that everyone and everything
17 Serb was armed. Even mentally-handicapped people, like a man nicknamed
18 "Curica," meaning "little girl." All these people were fully armed.
19 There were quite a few persons whom I did not know, who had simply come
20 from elsewhere. They had different uniforms, they had different
21 insignia, and one could see among the local population that these
22 military scouts, as they called themselves, were the bosses.
23 Q. Did any of these people you just described tell you who had
24 invited them, if anyone?
25 A. Well, in some conversations with some people who were military
1 commanders, like this Pejic, Zuco, Pivarski, Niski, often we would sit
2 and talk, and then I'd ask, "Why are you here?" And they said:
3 "Well, the Serb authorities called us, President Grujic, the top people
4 of the Serb municipality. They called us to protect our Serbian brethren
5 from the Muslims who were armed and those murders would happen and so on."
6 This commander Zuco said this to me several times, and this other
7 commander Pejic, and also some local Serbs were saying that some units
8 and some people would come in to help, people that were well armed, and
9 things like that.
10 Q. You mentioned someone by the name of Grujic, and you call him
11 "President Grujic." What is the full name of Grujic?
12 A. Branko Grujic is a baker. His son went to school with me, so I
13 know the family. Brano Grujic, when this Serb municipality was
14 established, the Serb municipality of Zvornik, he was the first president
15 of that Serb municipality. And in some conversations with some people,
16 they said that they were the leadership of the Serb municipality and
17 there it was Branko Grujic, who had called these people in to help clear
18 up the situation in Zvornik.
19 Q. Around the time that you observed these forces coming in, the
20 ones that you've just described, was there anything being transmitted on
21 the radio to the population of your village in Kozluk?
22 A. Well, the area of Kozluk and this broader area did not have its
23 own television or its own newspaper. There was just this radio station
24 that could be heard from Loznica, Radio Loznica. And then there was
25 Radio Zvornik, too. It was Radio Loznica in particular that called
1 Bosniaks, Muslims, daily to surrender their arms, to surrender their
2 cannons. There was this warmongering going on all the time, in terms of
3 media propaganda, to sew discord among the people. They kept saying that
4 we should hand in our cannons, and they were sending the police in, and
5 these two radio stations played a highly negative role as far as Zvornik
6 is concerned.
7 We, as citizens, were forced to listen to these broadcasts
8 because we didn't have any television, we didn't have any newspapers of
9 our own, so this left a highly negative impression on ordinary citizens,
10 this constant talk about war, about the hand-over of cannons, Zoljas and
11 stuff that we had never heard of until then.
12 Q. The radio stations that you just mentioned, were they
13 broadcasting only to Kozluk or to other places as well?
14 A. Well, the broadcasts came from Loznica, a town in Serbia, and
15 Zvornik in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but these radio waves could be heard up
16 and down the Drina River. The radio frequencies were such that we could
17 hear this well in Kozluk, but also beyond.
18 Q. What concerns did you have, based on what you were seeing as far
19 as forces going through Kozluk and then the transmissions over these
20 radio statements?
21 A. The war in Croatia was already in full swing, and since we were
22 in a transit area, as it were, we kept watching these columns of army and
23 non-army personnel, and we heard the war cries. And there's a
24 multiethnic population there, and we addressed several appeals to the
25 public, calling upon people not to listen to this war-mongering, not to
1 heed these stories, that neighbours should take care of each other, that
2 we should go on living in concord, that all of this would pass. We sent
3 flyers out, and we had rallies that were attended by Serbs, Croats,
4 Bosniaks, everybody. We socialised in different places. We simply tried
5 to have a proper order in our own houses, as it were, so that this would
6 not come to us as well. We printed these flyers and we distributed them
7 in Serb, Roma, Bosniak houses. We were calling for peace and mutual
8 respect among neighbours.
9 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Registrar, if I could now please have 65 ter
10 number 1085, which is also, Mr. Banjanovic, in that binder, that
11 blue-coloured binder that's in front of you; and you will see the
12 number 1085.
13 Q. While we're waiting for that to appear on the screen: Were you a
14 member of a party at that time, March/April 1992?
15 A. I was always a member of the Social Democratic Party of Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina. At that time, I was president of the Local Commune of
17 Kozluk. I had exceptionally good cooperation with Tabanci, Malesic,
18 Skocic, and other neighbouring local communes that were inhabited by Serb
19 citizens, ethnic Serbs.
20 In our flyers, we expressed our views against the conflict,
21 against clashes. It is true that we wrote this proclamation and that we
22 printed it in several thousand copies, and that we were having it
23 distributed. And we wanted this rally to be held in the center of Kozluk
24 at 6.00, and everyone came --
25 Q. Now the flyer that you're referring to, is that 65 ter
1 number 1085, the one that's in front of you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And is that dated April 5th, 1992?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. Do you see your signature anywhere on that document?
6 A. Well, I do. Right over here, I signed it. However, it's
7 illegible. But it's true, this is an original document, because in the
8 evening we organised this rally in the center, things like that.
9 Q. When was the rally held; do you recall?
10 A. Well, we held a few rallies and a few meetings, and we sent a few
11 flyers like this. I think that we had a big rally on the 5th, Kozluk,
12 Tabanci, Skocic and other local communes were represented, and at these
13 rallies and meetings, we said that we should not play into the hands of
14 those who were involved in these provocations, that we should be in
15 touch, all of us from these local communes, that we should have contacts,
16 meetings, rallies, that we should socialise, talk, things like that.
17 These flyers helped us to a considerable extent, all of us, so that we
18 don't do anything foolish.
19 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, the Prosecution moves for the
20 admission of 65 ter number 1085.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's give it a number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be given
23 Exhibit number P662. Thank you, Your Honour.
24 MS. BIERSAY:
25 Q. You describe for the Trial Chamber the role of Branko Grujic. Do
1 you know someone by the name of Jovo Mijatovic?
2 A. Mr. Branko Grujic when I said that he was a citizen of the
3 Zvornik municipality. He was a baker by trade, and he had very good
4 sons. His son went to school with me. And when the Serbian municipality
5 was set up, he was the president of the Serbian municipality. I didn't
6 have much contact with him. We would meet a couple of times.
7 Jovo Mijatovic was an engineer working in the Glinica factory, an
8 aluminium factory. He was a deputy, also a man who I saw several times.
9 I didn't have any great contact with him.
10 Q. What about Marko Pavlovic?
11 A. Marko Pavlovic is one of the commanders of the Serbian
12 Territorial Defence in the Zvornik area. He's a man who came from
13 Serbia, someone who -- well, that wasn't his real name, a man who was
14 accused in Belgrade as one of the Zvornik group. I recognised him. He
15 represented himself as commander of the Serbian Territorial Defence all
16 the time, and he would hold exercises at Kozluk; intimidation, he would
17 take people away, and so on.
18 Q. You describe certain forces and individuals coming from Serbia to
19 the Kozluk area. How far is Serbia from Kozluk?
20 A. First of all, the citizens of Kozluk were always linked to
21 Serbia, because we worked in Loznica, Sabac, and we took our farm
22 produces to Serbia, Banja Koviljaca, et cetera, et cetera. So Kozluk and
23 Serbia or Loznica, it's only -- these places are only separated by the
24 Drina River.
25 At the beginning, we never knew of things like this. For
1 example, Subotic came and introduced himself as being the commander of
2 those Serb forces in Kozluk, and then Vojin Pazin came, later on -- Zoran
3 Pazin, actually. Then the third commander turned up, his name was
4 Marko Pavlovic. All three men were unknown to us, Subotic, Pazin and
5 Marko Pavlovic, especially. Anyway, these three men during a short space
6 of time where there represented themselves as the commanders of the
7 territorial Serb municipality, which included all the armed Serbs
8 deployed and distributed along the local communes and these various
10 Q. Do you recall the date of the takeover of Zvornik?
11 A. I'd just like to add this: In Kozluk, the towns people of
12 Kozluk, Serbs, Croats, Bosniaks, Roma as well, had an opportunity of
13 getting to know a man called Zuco, who said he led Arkan's men, and a
14 certain man called Pejic, who said he was at the head of those Arkan
15 forces. And then we also met the commanders of the Pivarski unit or of
16 the units Pivarski, Niski. The commander, Dragan, would rush through
17 Kozluk with his soldiers. So in Kozluk, we had an opportunity of meeting
18 various commanders, six or seven of them, all heads of these
19 paramilitaries; Arkan's men, Red Berets, Zuco's men and so on and so
20 forth, the Serbian Territorial Defence.
21 Now, I don't know exactly, but I think it was in the month of
22 April that all these forces took control of Zvornik. Well, the Serbs say
23 they liberated Zvornik, but we say they took control and captured
24 Zvornik. They were from Nis, Kragujevac, Loznica, from all those places.
25 Arkan's men, they took control of Zvornik.
1 Q. When you say "Zvornik," do you mean the town or the municipality?
2 A. They took control of the entire municipality. They only entered
3 town. And as far as Kozluk is concerned, we were loyal and handed over
4 all our weapons. We were not able to leave or go anywhere. We would
5 have meetings attended by Mr. Grujic and Dragan Spasojevic and
6 Marko Pavlovic, Mr. Pejic. They would come to these meetings. We also
7 had meetings where religious leaders attended, Mr. Kacevenda, the
8 Orthodox priest, for instance. Muhamed Efendi Lugovic, the Islamic
9 religious leader, so that we in Kozluk lived that kind of life, having
10 surrendered our weapons and so on.
11 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Registrar, if I could now please have 65 ter
12 number 1142, please. And that, too, is in hard copy, with the number
13 "1142." Yes. And if we could please zoom in on the -- in the B/C/S
14 version, the heading, please.
15 Q. Do you recognise this document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Does your signature appear on that document?
18 A. Yes. The first commander of the Territorial Defence, Subotic,
19 who came to Kozluk. After some time, Pazin, Zoran, turned up, and he had
20 bodyguards with him and said that he was now commander of the Territorial
21 Defence there. And the first order he gave us was to hand over all our
22 weapons, hunting weapons, pistols and everything else, and that all the
23 citizens should hand in their weapons, so that on the 16th of April, we
24 set up a commission. I was the head of that commission - it was a
25 four-man commission - who collected all the weapons and handed them over
1 to this man, Zoran Pazin, who was the commander of the Serbian
2 Territorial Defence, and we were given receipts to say that we had handed
3 in the weapons.
4 Q. Just for the record, your signature appears on page 4 in that
5 B/C/S version you're looking at; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, the Prosecution moves for the
8 admission of 65 ter number 1142.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving this document an
10 exhibit number, a small question, Witness.
11 When I look at this document, 87 citizens in Kozluk receive arms
12 and ammunition, and to be more precise, it even mentions the quantity of
13 ammunition. How many Muslims were there in Kozluk?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise, but may I just be
15 allowed to say, Your Honour, that this is a list of citizens, us
16 citizens, those of us who handed in our weapons to the Command of the
17 Serbian Territorial Defence; and he said that the previous commander had
18 been replaced, that he was now the commander, and he brought in a whole
19 truckload of soldiers and ordered us to hand in all our weapons:
20 pistols, rifles and so on. And we did that straight away. I set up a
21 five-man commission and asked the people to hand over all the weapons
22 they had. And you can see here that even the Serbs handed in their
23 weapons. 81, Polic, Nikola, for example, and the number 81.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What I wanted to know is this:
25 In your commune, how many inhabitants were there?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] About 3.000, three and a half
2 thousand inhabitants in Kozluk itself. But these were just the hunters,
3 and it was the hunters that handed over their weapons. Well, they were
4 the only ones who had weapons, sports weapons, and they handed them over,
5 and nobody else had any weapons.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] These 3.000, there were more
7 than 80 people who had weapons. These were hunters. What did you hunt,
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Pheasants, foxes. There's a lot of
10 wildlife over there. For example, we had boars, wild boars. So we had
11 hunting rifles, buckshot rifles, the long-barrelled rifles; but it was
12 all registered in the police station in Zvornik. All the hunting weapons
13 had regular permits and so on.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Number 33 on the list, Nisad
15 Semisovic hunted foxes with a Zastava, a 7,62-millimetre rifle; is that
16 right? So he hunts a fox with a pistol?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nijaz Memisevic, he's a passionate
18 hunter who has the buckshot type of rifle and the carbine as well. And I
19 said that in the Kozluk area, the hunting grounds around Zvornik, you
20 have wild boars, and you need carbines to hunt for them. Them people had
21 licenses to carry pistols. But, anyway, all this was regularly handed
22 in, and you can find records of all the weapons at the police station in
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Number 21, this person, he also
25 hunts a fox with a 7,65 rifle?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] These persons had pistols, they had
2 rifles, but they had the permits, licences to carry them. And they were
3 issued those by the police stations in Zvornik, and when they handed over
4 their weapons, they handed over their permits, ammunition and everything.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So everybody handed over their
6 weapons and their ammunition.
7 Let's give it an exhibit number now, please.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The permits, the licenses.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have a number, please.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, this will be Exhibit number P663.
11 Thank you, Your Honour.
12 MS. BIERSAY:
13 Q. After the surrender of all these weapons that you just described,
14 did the situation in Kozluk intensify further?
15 A. Well, we responded to the call from the Serbian commander,
16 Mr. Pazin, and handed in all our weapons and permits and ammunition. We
17 did that regularly, and there was -- it was all registered -- all the
18 weapons were registered, and there were lists at the police station.
19 Anyway, we were in an encirclement without food, without medicines. We
20 were not able to leave. And now, after this handing in of weapons, there
21 was not a single pistol in the village.
22 So we had several meetings with Mr. Grujic and with those
23 military officers as well to ask if people could leave. Some people
24 needed treatment, if other people could go out and fetch food, because
25 you couldn't leave Kozluk because of the barricade and the soldiers
1 surrounding Kozluk. It was a very difficult situation. Food couldn't be
2 brought in to Kozluk, or medicines, and we weren't able to leave. So I
3 asked that this situation be resolved.
4 We were loyal citizens, did everything lawfully, handed in our
5 weapons on time, when we were asked to do so, so we weren't to blame for
7 Q. Where did you have these meetings to discuss the possibility of
8 getting food and other necessities?
9 A. Well, we held about two meetings in the firefighters' station,
10 the fire brigade, and the other meeting was out in the streets.
11 Everybody rallies 'round. There was Mr. Vasilije Kacevenda, the effendi,
12 the Muslim effendi. Then there was Mr. Brano Grujic, Dragan Spasojevic.
13 Everyone was there, because we wanted them to see that the situation was
14 a very difficult one, that we were closed in, no food or medicines coming
15 in, that kind of thing.
16 Q. Did you go to Zvornik to have any meetings regarding these
18 A. I wasn't able to go anywhere, because I was part of the
19 citizenry. I was there, and I was a bit angry, because every time I
20 asked a question, I saw that they couldn't make any decisions at all, in
21 actual fact. I went to see Mr. Grujic, and I said, "Well, take me to the
22 boss." And he did do that, in fact.
23 And after the meeting, where there were a lot of people, we went
24 to Alhos, which is a factory in Karakaj. And according to them, that's
25 where the number-one man was. In the compound, I saw quite a lot of
1 young people I didn't know who were well armed, their hair neatly cut.
2 And we went into a room where there was a short, thin man. He was
3 sitting there. We introduced each other, and he said his name was Pejic.
4 And he said he was Arkan's main envoy and that he was the chief both of
5 civilian and military authority there.
6 When I talked to these people, I really did see that he was the
7 chief person, because he would shout at Grujic. He didn't talk to him.
8 He'd just shout out at him. He had no respect for Kacevenda or the
9 Muslim effendi, either. So I deduce that he was the number-one man, the
10 boss there.
11 Q. Did he go back to Kozluk with you to see the situation for
13 A. Well, he received me nicely, and I told him that we had handed in
14 all the weapons, that there were quite a number of people who were ill,
15 that we were under siege and weren't allowed to leave Kozluk. And he
16 said that that was impossible, and I said, "Well go and see for
18 Q. And did he do that?
19 A. Yes. He said, "Who's going to guarantee my safety and security?"
20 And I said, "Well, no one. I'll go with you." And when we left Karakaj,
21 there were about ten soldiers who left with him, and at the entrance to
22 Kozluk they stood behind -- stayed behind. And I and this man, Pejic,
23 the commander, and Brano Grujic, went in among the people, and he stopped
24 at a barricade and swore at the soldiers there; why they weren't neater
25 and why they had cocked their weapons at the people. And he even hit
1 someone at the barricade. So I really did see that he was, indeed, the
3 And when we went in among the people, quite a lot of people were
4 ill there, they were sickly. They hadn't received their medicines. So
5 he turned to Grujic and said, "Grujic, you're the mayor here, you're the
6 boss of all these people here, you're the number-one man. I want to see
7 medicines come in straight away, food, doctors, the medical corps. I
8 want to see all that coming in." I thought he was joking. Well, he
9 turned around and left. We stayed on, and the next day, at 8.00, a whole
10 full truckload of food arrives, medicines and the medical corps and
11 doctors turn up, and they behaved to us differently. They didn't dare
12 intimidate us and shoot up into the air. And the APCs arrived and parked
13 in the center, and this was a kind of protection.
14 Q. Was Mr. Pejic, the man you just described, was he later replaced
15 by someone else?
16 A. I had a meeting with this man Pejic three times, once -- rather,
17 twice in Karakaj and one in Kozluk, and he said he was Arkan's envoy,
18 that he was the number-one man there. Then after him, this man Zuco
19 turned up. That's how they called him, Zuco. He would come to Kozluk
20 quite often with a jeep with a machine-gun built into it or onto it. He
21 wore a military uniform. He went from one area of the battle front to
22 another. His clothes were -- he was unkempt. He was always escorted by
23 men wearing gloves. He was quite different from Pejic. Anyway, he came
24 there and he arrived very often with Marko Pavlovic; and Marko Pavlovic
25 said he was the commander of the Serbian Territorial Defence. That's how
1 he introduced himself. And the other said that he was the commander
2 above everybody else.
3 Q. Do you recall approximately when Pejic was replaced by this
4 person you just mentioned?
5 A. I think it was in May, although Pejic stopped by in Kozluk once
6 again. He was in a car. He asked around for me, and then he asked me
7 what the situation was like. I said it was difficult. I think that was
8 in May.
9 Q. I'd like to now turn your attention to the first part of June
10 1992. Could you describe the situation in Kozluk in that time period?
11 A. I said that about ten commanders arrived in Kozluk, and they all
12 had their units. So let me repeat this once again here. Pazina --
13 Pazin, Marko Pavlovic of the Serbian Territorial Defence, right up until
14 the Arkan's men, Pejic and Zuco. Then there was Pivarski and Niski, and
15 then there were those Yellow Wasps and some other yellow whatever, and
16 then this Captain Dragan who came with his soldiers wearing red berets,
17 and they went all over Kozluk intimidating people and instilling fear
18 into them.
19 In June, since the front was quite near Kozluk, it was the
20 Teocak-Sapna-Kalesija area, that general area, we would hear the
21 reverberation of the explosions and fighting, and they had to go through
22 Kozluk. It was a transit route. And we would see these units and
23 soldiers moving -- on the move all the time, and we saw that the
24 situation was, in fact, deteriorating and that on the battle fronts the
25 units would go there -- or go and leave. They would come into Kozluk to
1 loot. They would take food. They took young girls away to work in the
2 kitchens, such as Sepac. And the situation became highly complex, and I
3 had the feeling that everybody was running amok, that nobody held the
4 situation under control at all.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, Witness.
6 To understand properly, you mentioned "combat zone." Could you
7 tell us who the fighters were, who was fighting whom?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Kozluk is on the banks of the Drina
9 River, and in and around Kozluk is where the Serbian Territorial Defence
10 was stationed, and the paramilitaries units too, and Mr. Pejic was in
11 command of them, that is to say Zuco, and the commanders that I mentioned
12 earlier on. They would pass through Kozluk on their way deeper into the
13 territory. They were moving toward Teocak, Sapna, Tuzla, and that's
14 where the fighting took place, where those battles were fought. We just
15 saw them passing through, the people, the units, the weapons passing
16 through. And we noticed that when they came back from the front, there
17 were a large number of APCs and soldiers. We didn't see any of the
18 fights, but --
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Your answer is a
20 very long one, but you didn't answer my question. What I wanted to know
21 is who was fighting against who.
22 I understood that on the one hand there was the Serb Territorial
23 Defence and the paramilitary units. Fine. But who were they were
24 fighting against, these people?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the other hand, on the other
1 side, there was the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So they were fighting against
3 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. All right. Now things are clearer.
4 Ms. Biersay, please proceed. We have five minutes before the
6 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Before we move to the next topic, I just wanted to clarify
8 something you said earlier.
9 You described the first commander of the Territorial Defence as
10 Subotic. Do you know the first name of this Subotic that you talked
11 about earlier?
12 A. Well, it changed all the time.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. The Hague Tribunal took
14 a statement from Zoran Subotic, and I demand that it be produced here and
15 now. I haven't been provided it with the material I received for
16 Mr. Banjanovic.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do we have Zoran Subotic's
18 statement, and if you do, why was it not disclosed to Mr. Seselj?
19 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, I am, one, not sure that we do. I'll
20 check. With respect to whether he -- it was disclosed to Mr. Seselj or
21 not, I don't know that. I'll have to check. That we would disclose it
22 in connection to this witness's testimony, I'm afraid I don't understand
23 why it's relevant to this witness, based on what Mr. Seselj is saying,
24 but we'll certainly look into it and get back to the Chamber.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Prosecutor
1 disclosed this statement to me several years ago, so the statement was
2 taken, that's for sure. Now, Mr. Banjanovic's statement is the only
3 statement which mentions the name of Zoran Subotic, and I think this is a
4 good opportunity for the Prosecutor to disclose it once again, all the
5 material to the Trial Chamber and to me that have to do with
6 Mr. Banjanovic's testimony, because if we look and see what it says
7 there, we see that Zoran Subotic was mobilised as a JNA recruit, and
8 that's what he says there, and that he was commander of the Territorial
9 Defence of Zvornik for about one week to ten days. Mr. Banjanovic knows
10 that better than me, but we'll be able to see all that from
11 Zoran Subotic's statement. And he was of course a member of the Serbian
12 Radical Party and a deputy in the Serbian Assembly; and Mr. Banjanovic is
13 aware of that, too. But if we look at Mr. Subotic's statement, then
14 we'll see all this.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, it might be desirable,
16 Ms. Biersay, to have Subotic's statement, because our witness today is
17 telling us that Subotic was, for a time, commander of the Territorial
18 Defence, and, as such, this can only be relevant.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Do you know why, Mr. President?
20 Subotic was the commander of the Territorial Defence before the fall of
21 Kula Grad, so before the 26th of April, and the events that
22 Mr. Banjanovic is testifying about -- or, rather, he's going to start
23 testifying about them, take place from the 26th of June onwards. So it's
24 a two-month difference.
25 MS. BIERSAY: Can I get some clarification from the Trial
1 Chamber? With respect to the statement, is the Trial Chamber requesting
2 a copy of the statement? As Mr. Seselj has indicated, he already has had
3 the statement.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I shall ask my colleagues
5 whether they want it or not.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber, as things
8 stand, does not feel it needs to have this statement.
9 Please proceed.
10 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour, I'm about to transition to a new
11 topic. I'm not sure if the Court would prefer to break at this point.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, the best would be to have
13 the break now.
14 We shall have a 20-minute break now.
15 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Court is back in session.
18 Ms. Biersay, you've used up 40 minutes already.
19 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. I'd like to now direct your attention to June 26th of 1992. On
21 that day, were you summoned to a meeting?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Who summoned you to that meeting?
24 A. A citizen summoned me, a citizen of Kozluk, who said that I
25 should report straight away to the police station in Kozluk, where some
1 people from the municipality were waiting for me. It was about 40
2 minutes past 7.00 or 8.00, I went to the police station straight away,
3 reported there, and I saw Brano Grujic sitting at the police station. He
4 was the president of the Serbian municipality of Zvornik. And
5 Jovo Mijatovic, too.
6 Q. 7.00 or 8.00 in the morning or in the evening?
7 A. In the morning.
8 Q. When you met these two, Grujic and Pavlovic -- Mijatovic, excuse
9 me, what did they tell you?
10 A. When I went towards the police station, I saw a lot of buses and
11 trucks. I didn't know what this was all about. When I entered the
12 police station, we exchanged greetings, and Brano Grujic told me that I
13 should call people to come in front of the cultural centre straight away,
14 that we would sign something there, and that we would leave Kozluk
15 immediately. And I said, "Why?" And he said, "Don't ask me too many
16 questions. That's the decision, and it has to be carried out."
17 I tried yet again to establish some kind of contact, to talk,
18 because we had already handed over our weapons. We did not take part in
19 any fighting or anything. Quite simply, he said to me that they had no
20 control there any longer, that some units were threatening to come and
21 kill us. Then I asked to give us some time at least so that we could get
22 some of our belongings. He said that we needed to step on it, that we
23 couldn't take anything along, that we should just go to the cultural
24 centre, where we would sign things, get together there and board buses
25 and trucks, and then they would send us off.
1 Jovo Mijatovic said to me that the situation was rather serious
2 and that they could no longer have any control over these paramilitary
3 units, and they were afraid that one day they might enter Kozluk, torch
4 it, and kill all of us.
5 I went to our people in the center of Kozluk, and I said that
6 they should slowly get ready. However, as I was leaving the police
7 station, I already saw about ten buses, a few trucks. I saw a large
8 number of military vehicles, army, police. I felt that these were our
9 last moments and that we had to leave.
10 Q. How did you --
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: Excuse me. I wasn't sure about exactly who was
12 supposed to be reporting to the cultural centre and be taken away. Can
13 you clarify that? Thank you.
14 MS. BIERSAY:
15 Q. At this point in time, who was left in Kozluk?
16 A. Bosniaks were in Kozluk, part of the Roma, and a very small
17 number of local Serbs. They told me that it was only the Muslims who had
18 to pack up, come to that yard, and that they would be driven away in
19 buses and trucks. They didn't tell me where, and I didn't dare ask any
20 other questions because there were so many armed people, and I was quite
21 frightened. Already, the situation had become exceptionally difficult.
22 That is to say that when I returned, I said to all of these people -- and
23 I said that all of us Muslims were supposed to show up in front of the
24 cultural centre within the hour and that we shouldn't take anything
25 along, that those were orders, and that we would leave from there.
1 I came there with my mother and my family, I came to this
2 cultural centre.
3 Q. Did people from Kozluk who had to leave, did they go into town
4 unescorted or were they escorted?
5 A. I don't understand your question.
6 Q. You described seeing armed individuals in and around Kozluk; is
7 that correct? Yes?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. When you went back to relay this ultimatum that had been given to
10 the Bosniaks, how did they gather and how did they get from where they
11 were to the centre?
12 A. I had a loudspeaker at that Staff there, and I asked a young man
13 to go around telling people that we should gather within the hour and
14 that we would be taken away, and that no one should take anything along.
15 There were armed people in different uniforms standing in front of all
16 the houses, and in the center of Kozluk there were a few military
17 vehicles, transporters and tanks. There were large forces of the Serb
18 Territorial Defence, paramilitaries as well, Zuco's Wasps, Arkan's men,
19 and all the others. They were there in Kozluk.
20 Upon arrival in front of the Culture Hall, a man was fired upon. His name
21 was Galib Hadzic. Part of the houses had already been torched. We didn't
22 even get to leave town. What was the most difficult for me was that our
23 mothers and sisters were searched by these very same men, in a very abrasive
24 manner, humiliating, as if they were carrying money in their bosoms.
25 And we found that very hard to take. They were really taking it out on us.
1 As we were signing there, they filled up the buses and trucks
2 with us.
3 Q. If I can just slow you down just a little bit. You mentioned
4 Galib Hadzic. You said that he was shot at. Was he wounded?
5 A. He was seriously wounded in the leg, and we bandaged it and
6 carried him onto the truck. He lives here now with his family, in
7 Vienna, but he has serious consequences due to that shooting. He was
8 shot at only because he was a Muslim. They brought pressure to bear
9 against our mothers, our sisters.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, you are giving us a
11 detail that makes me think of something. We can really understand and
12 picture the scene you've drawn for us, but there is a detail that has
13 called my attention and should call everyone's attention.
14 You said that there were tanks. If there are tanks, it means
15 that there is presence of the army of the JNA, or does it mean that the
16 paramilitary units had tanks as well as the Serbian Territorial Defence?
17 So I'd like to know whether the tanks mean that the JNA was there or
18 whether they mean something else. Could you shed some light on this,
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Up until that morning, only
21 military armoured vehicles, APCs were passing through Kozluk, tanks from
22 the theatre of war, but they didn't spend much time in Kozluk. That
23 morning, there were military APCs and jeeps there and tanks, and the Serb
24 Territorial Defence was there too. The army was there in uniform, the
25 police, paramilitary units, a large concentration of military and
1 paramilitary units that day in Kozluk, because their task was to expel
2 and deport about 2.000 of us Bosniaks. I really don't know what belonged
3 to who, but I know all the units were there; the military, the
4 paramilitary, the police, quite a few of these men who had already
5 started torching houses. They already shot this man who was peacefully
6 walking along in the column, and so on.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say that about 2.000
8 Bosniaks were being deported. This means that it was a large-scale
9 operation, but can we infer from this that the operation was controlled
10 by the JNA?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't know under
12 whose control it was, but we were loyal. We had handed in our weapons.
13 We were peaceful. We were promised help.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, that's not the
15 question. I don't want to know whether you had been loyal or not. All I
16 know is that you were on the scene, you were there. So better than
17 anyone, you are in a position to tell us whether you believe that this
18 operation was controlled. And given the resources that had been deployed
19 there, I'd like to know whether you believe that the JNA was in control
20 of all this or not. You're the only one that can answer this question.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is correct that on that day, I
22 was in Kozluk, and it is correct that the army was there, and army units,
23 and APCs, and the police, and armed forces, and everybody. I'm sure that
24 there was coordination, as far as this operation was concerned. After
25 all, it involved 2.000 men. Tanks were there, and the army, and there
1 must have been coordination and control. Why would they otherwise be in
2 Kozluk? They were at the very center of Kozluk. Guns were pointed at
3 Bosniak houses in the center, and next to every house there were military
4 and paramilitary men. So it is for sure that I claim that there was this
5 coordination between the military and the paramilitaries.
6 And Mr. Grujic told me that he had just been instructed to tell
7 me that, but I don't know who it was from up above that ordered him to do
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for this
11 JUDGE HARHOFF: May I just follow up on the Presiding Judge's
12 question, because you told us just a while ago that Mr. Grujic had told
13 you that all the Muslims had to leave Kozluk and that they had to do so
14 because -- I think you said that no one no longer was in control of the
15 paramilitaries. This does not coincide well with the fact that the JNA
16 was there also, and presumably better armed. So are you implying that
17 Mr. Grujic was trying to put the blame on the volunteers or what is the
18 correct understanding of what you have testified?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I quote what Grujic said to me.
20 The situation is complex, that they could no longer have control over
21 these paramilitary units, and quite simply that someone could enter
22 Kozluk and kill us. And I said, "Well, the police is there, everybody is
23 there. Why would they kill us?" I mean, we handed over our weapons.
24 And then Mr. Mijatovic, an MP, walked up to me and said, "Mr. Banjanovic,
25 the situation is a difficult one. We are just conveying this to you as a
1 decision and an order. It is no longer under our control."
2 I just know that these units kept passing through Kozluk and that
3 at first, in June, the situation was extremely difficult, that they even
4 launched a few attacks against Kozluk itself, these territorial Serbian
5 units, and they were shooting over and above Kozluk. I really had no
6 idea what was going on. Believe me, I was just one of the citizens
8 But that morning, soldiers were there, tanks were there. Then
9 these different men of Arkan's were there, the Serb Territorial Defence,
10 the Serb police. They were all in Kozluk, and they all had this one
11 task; to expel us from Kozluk in a very hard, harsh, brutal way, without
12 taking any of our belongings with us; insulting our mothers and sisters,
13 searching them, wanting to whether they had any jewellery; boarding us
14 onto buses and trucks as if we were sardines. People were being shot at,
15 houses were being torched. The situation was complex and highly
16 difficult for us Bosniaks.
17 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you.
18 MS. BIERSAY:
19 Q. Were the Bosniaks who went towards the cultural centre, were they
20 only from Kozluk or were there Bosniaks from other parts?
21 A. All Bosniaks who happened to be in Kozluk on that morning were
22 supposed to report in front of the cultural centre, to sign there, to be
23 seen there and board the buses. That was an order. We had to carry it
25 Q. Were there any Bosniaks from Skocici [sic], and I apologise for
1 the pronunciation?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you say the name of that town? How do you say it
5 A. Skocic. It is inhabited by Serbs and Roma and Bosniaks, and
6 these Bosniaks came to Kozluk and they had to leave with us. Those were
7 the orders.
8 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, Mr. Registrar, if I could have 65 ter
9 number 1464; and I will also, after that, ask for 1463.
10 Q. So in your binder, you'll have the number 1464 as well. So if
11 you keep on going. There you go.
12 Do you recognise 65 ter number 1464?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what is that document?
15 A. This is a list of persons who had come in front of the cultural
16 centre, who signed statements to the effect that they were voluntarily
17 leaving everything behind to the Serb authorities. And a statement was
18 read out to us as well. That was the list of persons who had set out,
19 households, family members.
20 Q. We'll get to that document that was read out to you. But for
21 now, focusing on this document, do you see your signature on the last
22 page of that document?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And is this document dated 26 June 1992?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The stamp on page 1, whose -- do you recall what authority
2 stamped that document?
3 A. Well, there was the stamp of the Serb municipality of Zvornik,
4 and they put the seal and stamp of the Serb Territorial Defence. And,
5 well, what was read out to us was this letter that they brought in. They
6 opened it, they read it, the letter of this commander of this Serb
7 Territorial Defence. And this list was made, and this is the list of men
8 who boarded the buses.
9 Q. The document that you're looking at, 1464, that is a list of the
10 people who were leaving what village?
11 A. In front of the cultural centre in the center of Kozluk, they all
12 gathered there, signed. They searched us, and then they put us onto
13 buses and trucks.
14 Q. Looking at the first page, the title, can you see that?
15 A. [No interpretation]
16 Q. And what does it say?
17 A. It says that this is the list of persons who are leaving Kozluk
18 in an organised manner.
19 Q. And on this list, do you have the heads of households in one
20 column and then the number of the -- number of family members in the
22 A. Yes, that's right. For example, Vehid Marhosevic, he was the
23 head of the household with nine family members in two houses.
24 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, the Prosecution would move for the
25 admission of 65 ter number 1464.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be given
3 Exhibit number P664. Thank you, Your Honours.
4 MS. BIERSAY: And if we could now look very quickly at 65 ter
5 number 1463.
6 Q. Is that a similar document that was produced on June 26th, 1992,
7 as well?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The people on that list, from what village did they come?
12 A. The village is called Skocic. It's a neighbouring village to
14 Q. And does it also have a similar stamp on the first page?
15 A. Yes, that's right, the Serbian municipality and Serbian
16 Territorial Defence.
17 Q. On page 2, did you sign this document on June 26th, 1992?
18 A. Yes.
19 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, we'd move for the admission of 65 ter
20 number 1463.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it shall be given Exhibit
23 number P665. Thank you, Your Honours.
24 MS. BIERSAY: And if we could now, Mr. Registrar, now be shown
25 65 ter number 4222, which would be towards the back of the Court binder,
2 Q. Now, you describe that something was read out to you. Directing
3 your attention to the document before you, 65 ter number 4222, do you
4 recognise that document?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could you describe for the Trial Chamber how it was read out to
8 A. When they had packed all the people up into the vehicles, the
9 trucks and trailer-trucks, the representatives of the Serbian Territorial
10 Defence opened an envelope, and this was what was written inside, and
11 there was the stamp of the Command of the Serbian Territorial Defence,
12 saying that they were sort of sending us outside.
13 Q. On that document, there's some handwriting. Do you recognise the
15 A. Yes. I had one document, and then I specified how many
16 households from Skocic, how many from Kozluk, a total of households'
17 members and so on; and I said that was in 17 buses, three trucks with
18 trailers and so on. And then I recorded here the number of the Red Cross
19 of Loznica and Dr. Zoran Nikolic's number, who helped us a great deal at
20 the time when we crossed over into Serbia.
21 Q. I'd like to direct your attention to the second sentence from the
22 top. Could you read that out, if you're able to, in the copy that you
24 A. It says these persons who have expressed a desire to avoid
25 mobilisation have been allowed to move out. That's a terrible lie.
1 Nobody mobilised us, nor were there any Muslim units. There are only
2 kind of mobilisation. This is just a lie.
3 Q. Just so the transcript is clear about where your reading stopped,
4 could you read the last word in that sentence so we know where to end the
6 A. "... allowed to move out."
7 Q. Now, was that true?
8 A. Nobody asked us anything. We were ordered to come in front of
9 the dom. We were all searched. We were mistreated, sworn at, shot at,
10 loaded up into trailers and trucks. They didn't discuss anything with us
11 or talk to us. This envelope was handed to me and opened up, and they
12 just said, "You're going there, and see what's going to happen there."
13 There was no question of any mobilisation into Muslim formations or
14 anything like that. That's a sheer lie. Who would have been in Zvornik
15 there to mobilise us?
16 And nobody asked us anything. Even this statement that we were
17 leaving there property of our own free will behind, nobody asked us any
18 of that.
19 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, the Prosecution would ask for the
20 admission of 65 ter number 4222.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before asking Mr. Registrar to
22 give us a number, I would like to have a technical detail.
23 I'm looking at the signature of Major Marko Pavlovic, and I see
24 that in the English, it says, "For the commander of the VTK, expansion
25 unknown." According to you, do you have any idea what this "VTK" stands
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the document that I received
3 wasn't signed by Marko Pavlovic. Somebody signed for him and put "for."
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I had noted this, and I wanted
5 you to tell me about this, because in the English it says, "For the
6 commander," whereas in the B/C/S the "for" is in front of "Major." So it
7 looks like there's a commander of the VTK, then there's a Major Pavlovic,
8 and somebody who signed on behalf of Pavlovic. You're right. But do you
9 have any idea what this "VTK" stands for?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All we knew was the commander of
11 the Serbian Territorial Defence, Marko Pavlovic. We didn't know any of
12 the rest of it.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if you want an
14 explanation, I can give it to you, but only if you wish to hear it.
15 When the JNA withdrew on the 19th of May, what remained was the
16 local reservists mobilised into the JNA, and instead of the then
17 Territorial Defence, which was subordinated to the JNA, the military
18 territorial command was set up, VTK, which was the intermezzo between the
19 JNA and the Zvornik Brigade of Republika Srpska which was established
20 sometime at the end of June. I'm not quite sure what the date was. So
21 this is "vojno teritorijalni komandant," military territorial command,
22 and speaks of the unity of the army and the Territorials, and it's the
23 interim period between the JNA and the Zvornik Brigade of Republika
24 Srpska, army of Republika Srpska.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, do you agree with this
1 explanation given?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time I hear of
3 it. I don't know. All it meant to us was the Serbian Territorial
4 Defence, led by Marko Pavlovic. And these people changed, from Subotic
5 to other people, and this Marko Pavlovic was the last person who expelled
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, we have an explanation on
8 the transcript, and we can always refer to it.
9 Let's have a number for this document, please, Mr. Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be given
11 Exhibit number P666. Thank you.
12 MS. BIERSAY:
13 Q. Did all the Bosniaks from Kozluk leave in this convoy?
14 A. At the time, we all rallied together. We got in and left. Then
15 later on we learned that some 12 or 13 people stayed behind and that they
16 were killed; Bosniaks who did not want to leave with us. They were
17 killed by the soldiers in those units that I mentioned a moment ago.
18 Q. You described the buses and the trucks with the Bosniaks on them.
19 Were there other vehicles that went with the ones containing the
21 A. At the head of the column, there was the Serb police vehicle, and
22 at the end of the column, another Serbian police vehicle, so two police
23 cars escorting the column to Sepac bridge and across the bridge over into
24 Serbia. And we parked there along the banks of the Drina River and
25 waited to see what was going to happen next.
1 Q. Where were you taken? By "you," I mean the convoy of all the
2 buses and the trucks carrying the Bosniaks.
3 A. They opened this letter, read it out, and said we were going to
4 continue our journey on into Serbia. And we continued towards Sepac
5 bridge and the crossing into Serbia.
6 Kozluk was full of soldiers, vehicles. Several houses were set
7 afire. It was very difficult. It was difficult to leave your town and
8 your home just because you belonged to another ethnicity.
9 And when we arrived -- when we arrived in Serbia on the banks of
10 the Drina River by Sepac bridge, lots of paramilitaries collected their
11 people, wear black gloves and different uniforms, and they went from the
12 trucks to the buses, searching for young girls and women to take them off
13 the vehicles. And I told the people that they shouldn't get out of the
14 buses and trucks, and that the doors should be kept closed, that people
15 should stand up against the doors and prevent them from being opened.
16 And I knew Mr. Dragan Nikolic. He was a doctor in Zvornik, he
17 lived in Zvornik, and he was the head of the Red Cross. And I asked
18 the -- or, rather, he lived in Loznica. And I asked the Loznica police
19 to come in, and we were very frightened, that that half hour was a long
20 half hour.
21 Q. So where was your first stop? Was it in Loznica?
22 A. In Loznica, by the Drina River, the embankment there, just when
23 we had crossed the bridge. Loznicka Polje is what the area is called.
24 And then they wanted to pull out the young girls and women from the buses
25 and trucks, and they shouted out all kinds of things to us. But when the
1 Loznica policemen turned up, they turned up with four or five police cars
2 and sent them packing, and then they encircled the area with police cars,
3 and then I went to the police station in a police car. And they we sent
4 a letter from the Red Cross to Belgrade. And while we waited to get an
5 answer, they gave us fruit juices to drink and sandwiches to eat.
6 And there were quite a lot of children and sick people, and they
7 didn't give us any -- hadn't given us any food up until then, or we
8 didn't have money to buy anything. So the situation was really very
10 Q. From the time that you requested the assistance of the Red Cross
11 until the time that you had a response, how much time elapsed?
12 A. The police came straight away, half an hour later, and sent these
13 people packing, the ones who were attacking us and who were beating us
14 and swearing at us.
15 Q. My question was unclear. You described that you asked the
16 International Red Cross for help; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What kind of help were you looking for?
19 A. Well, we asked them to tell us where we were being taken so that
20 we would know, and we asked to be given some water and food. And the
21 people from Loznica helped us. They sent us food straight away, and some
22 fruit juices for the children and so on. And the letter was sent to
23 Belgrade, and several hours later a confirmation arrived stating that we
24 could go further on towards Subotica. We were given permission to move
25 around Serbia or something like that. But the police was with us all the
1 time, and so nobody abused us anymore.
2 MS. BIERSAY: Mr. Registrar, if I could now have 65 ter
3 number 1465, please.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment.
5 Witness, what you are saying is a little bit confused. I shall
6 try to sum up what you have just said.
7 You crossed the bridge, and you find yourself in Loznica. There,
8 there are soldiers and paramilitary units. They are excited, they want
9 women, and you decide, in those trucks, in those buses, not to move, and
10 the women are not to get off the buses. Then the police arrive very
11 quickly, from what I understand. The police come from Loznica. The
12 police protect you and drives these paramilitaries away.
13 Now, from that time onwards, you will be getting aid, since you
14 told us that you got something to drink and something to eat. And it
15 seems, according to what you said, that a courier is then sent to
16 Belgrade, and this is to let you know where you are to go from there.
17 After a short while, a document arrives, and this document specifies that
18 you need to go to Subotica.
19 Is that how things happened?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's how it was, and this --
21 they put me in this one police car, drove me to the Red Cross, and that
22 was all as you've just stated. And when the letter arrived, they said we
23 would be transported by train, that we'd go to Ruma, and then from Ruma,
24 that we would be transported by train. That was the telegram, the
25 dispatch that was sent back to us.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since you were present - I
2 wasn't, but you were - did you have the feeling that the local
3 authorities, amongst others the police, were in full control of the
5 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The policemen you spoke to, did
7 they know that you had arrived or did they discover it?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I say with full responsibility that
9 this was all a staged setting, a scenario, and that they knew where we
10 were going, where we were. And I saw that by -- on the basis of their
11 conduct. But then they just sort of took me to this Red Cross, and we
12 waited there just to make a show of it; but I'm quite convinced that it
13 was all a scenario, that everybody had their role, and that that group of
14 bandits who was there was not there by chance, those who mistreated us.
15 And it wasn't by chance that the police turned up in two or three police
16 cars. If you ask me, it was all well managed and staged.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So as far as you are concerned,
18 all this was staged. But what was the purpose of it, then?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's right. Well, quite simply
20 that in that part of Republika Srpska, the Bosniaks should be expelled,
21 because we did represent a problem in that Drina belt. You know, 2.000
22 Bosniaks in the Drina belt along the transit road, that posed a problem.
23 We were an obstacle.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which means that from top to
25 bottom and bottom to top, everyone agreed to drive you out, but --
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] -- seemingly among the 2.000
3 people that were there, no one was killed, no one was beaten, no one was
4 ill treated; is that right?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the process of expulsion itself,
6 Galib Hadzic was wounded with a bullet, and the greatest insult was that
7 our sisters and mothers were searched, and they touched them on their
8 breasts and elsewhere. That was the greatest insult. And then this
9 group of hooligans attacked us in Loznica, and allow me,
10 Your Honour, to tell me the torture that we were exposed to.
11 We were beaten up in Ruma when we set off from Loznica in and trucks.
12 Allegedly a train was waiting for us in Ruma, but it was a cargo train
13 for cattle, used to carry cattle, and more than 50 people launched
14 stones at us and hit us with chairs. Many people were injured,
15 women and children. It was a terrible journey; no food, no water,
16 beaten up and mistreated, and very well escorted by the Serb police.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You mentioned what happened in
18 Ruma, but perhaps Ms. Biersay was about to mention this. You've
19 anticipated that.
20 I give you the floor back, Ms. Biersay.
21 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 If we could now look at 65 ter number 1465, please.
23 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber whether or not you recognise
24 that document?
25 A. Yes. It was in Loznica that they showed me this material. They
1 said that the government in Belgrade had given permission for us to
2 travel through Serbia and that we were moving towards Subotica. And the
3 police told us that we would go to Ruma in those trucks, and then in
4 Ruma, that we would board trains -- a train going to Subotica, and then
5 we'd see further on towards Hungary and Austria. We just wanted to get
6 as far away as possible, because in Loznica the paramilitaries began
7 gathering, and the policemen, so it was a difficult situation there, too.
8 But, yes, I do recognise this document.
9 Q. And what is the date of this document?
10 A. The 26th of June, the same day we were expelled.
11 Q. Did you stay in Loznica for the night?
12 A. No, not -- no, no. We all went to Ruma together.
13 Q. Now, in this -- you've described what you believed to be the
14 purpose of this document to the Trial Chamber. Did you personally have a
15 copy of this document? Did you keep one with you?
16 A. I can't remember. I don't really know. I was just happy at the
17 time, when I heard that Belgrade had decided that we could travel further
18 and that there would be a train waiting for us in Ruma. I don't
19 remember. But I know that they wouldn't let us go before this arrived.
20 Now, what happened next, I don't know.
21 Q. How much time did you spend in Loznica?
22 A. Several hours, two to three hours.
23 Q. Now, you next go to Ruma, Serbia; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, in buses and trucks, we reached Ruma, which is a town in
25 Serbia, and we were told that we would be getting into a train and that
1 we would go further on on our journey by train.
2 Q. Did the 1.822 of you get onto this train?
3 A. Yes. It was difficult to board the train. It wasn't a proper
4 train, it was the trains that are used to transport cattle, so a group of
5 people -- and a group of people arrived, and they threw stones at us and
6 beat us, and said that we were Alija's army and called us Turks. And ten
7 people were wounded while boarding the train. We were beaten with some
8 pieces of wood, and I was injured myself. And then the police turned up
9 and sort of threatened them. Well, I must say, to be quite frank, that
10 when the police arrived, they didn't beat us anymore. But up until then,
11 they threw stones at us and threw chairs at us; and they broke two or
12 three small windows or slits on the train, all the windows were broken.
13 But otherwise, we were all packed into the cattle cars.
14 And then we went on towards Subotica. We had no food. Quite a
15 lot of people were ill by that time.
16 MS. BIERSAY: Before we move to Subotica, at this time we would
17 move for the admission of 65 ter number 1465, please.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Can we have an exhibit
19 number, please, Registrar.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be given
22 Exhibit number P667. Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Madam Biersay, can I just ask if this letter was
24 the letter they received in response to the witness's call from the Red
25 Cross office to Belgrade?
1 MS. BIERSAY:
2 Q. Could you respond to the Court's question?
3 A. Yes. When I arrived at the Red Cross office, apart from the food
4 and assistance, they said that they had to send a letter to Belgrade, to
5 ask permission from Belgrade whether we could pass through. And I said,
6 "Well, send it to whoever you like." And then they brought in the food
7 and all the rest, and an hour or two letter they said that a letter had
8 arrived from Belgrade, giving us permission to carry on on our journey.
9 So that's what I knew. I didn't have an insight, I didn't
10 actually see all that, but that's what I was officially told; that the
11 commissariat or the government or the authority in charge of the refugees
12 could be given permission and that there be a train waiting for us at
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you, sir.
15 MS. BIERSAY:
16 Q. On the train, in your group, were there any pregnant women?
17 A. Yes, Merima Husic was present. There were quite a lot of sick
18 people as well. Ten or twelve persons had been injured by the stones
19 thrown at their heads or backs. We were badly beaten up then. They were
20 saying that we were Alija's soldiers, Turks, whatever.
21 When the police came to Ruma, then they shooed them off, and then
22 nobody hit us anymore. And then we continued on to Subotica, and then we
23 stopped at Subotica, at some sidetrack. A baby was there by then.
24 Merima Husic had a son. He's here in Vienna now. There were quite a few
25 sick people. We didn't have food, we didn't have anything. It was a
1 very difficult journey. Beaten-up people were travelling in cattle cars.
2 It was just so difficult.
3 And then, as we were there for a day and a half, then some people
4 started bringing us food, water. Then they took care of the baby. It was
5 really hard, it really was hard. 2.000 people in these train cars. And
6 then the Red Cross came, quite a few people came. I asked TV people to come
7 and to film this. Different TV stations came from home and abroad. And
8 then there were these babies, and sick people lying in the train cars and
9 outside. It was a horrible scene. No one deserved to be mistreated in that
10 way, really. Then these people from Subotica came. They said that they'd
11 take us to this place called Palic, as if it were some sort of camp or
12 something. Then they indeed transported us to this camp. There was a
13 barbed wire around it. There were tents there. We slept in meadows.
14 There was a single point for water, where 50 or so people washed their faces
15 and washed up. It wasn't a classical collection centre; it was a camp.
16 The thing that offended us the most and that made us worry the
17 most was that we recognised these same people with beards who had
18 been walking about Zvornik and Kozluk, who stole things from us,
19 killed us, who stood on the bridge at Sepac, Loznica, Zvornik.
20 We were simply so afraid... they kept this camp at Palic --
21 MS. BIERSAY: One minute. If we could now look at 65 ter
22 number 4201, please.
23 Q. Do you recognise that exhibit?
24 A. Well, I just see this map here, and I see Subotica marked on the
25 map, and I see Palic as well. They called it a transit centre, but it
1 looked more like a concentration camp to me, because there was barbed
2 wire, tents, no facilities whatsoever; just a field toilet. The people
3 who are supposed to take care of people there scared them more than
4 anything else. We were transferred to this place called Palic, and some
5 good people came there from the Suboticanka factory.
6 Q. Let me ask you this: How long did you personally spend in Palic?
7 A. About ten days or so.
8 Q. Did there come a time where people were able to obtain passports?
9 A. Well, when we arrived in Palic, then they selected the people who
10 had passports, and then they took them as if they were preparing visas
11 for them, if people had money, although in our case we didn't have any
12 money, they had searched us and we didn't have anything on ourselves; so
13 about 200 people did not have passports.
14 MS. BIERSAY: And if we could now have 65 ter number 4218,
16 Q. How were people able to obtain passports?
17 A. Quite simply, we asked some people from the Red Cross to have the
18 top people of the factory that was in Subotica to come and see us. It
19 was a chocolate and sweets-making factory, because they had a good
20 relationship with the Vetinka factory in Zvornik. So they came to see
21 us, and they brought us some fruit juice and some sweets; and then we
22 asked them to help us obtain passports, because 200 people did not have
23 any passports.
24 The following day -- the following day, people from the police
25 came. Then the management of the Suboticanka factory came, and they gave
1 us a cheque for all of us to have our photographs paid for, passports,
2 everything. They paid the police with that cheque, and then the Red
3 Cross said, "You are fortunate because the Suboticanka factory gave money
4 for you to get photographs and passports for you." And then
5 photographers started coming in, taking pictures, and they started
6 issuing passports.
7 MS. BIERSAY: And it would be 65 ter number 4218.
8 Q. Do you know Esma Hadzic and Saha Hadzic? And that's also -- 428
9 is in your binder as well.
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. Who are they?
12 A. These are inhabitants of our Kozluk who were there together with
14 Q. Now, I just want to use this so that we can show the Trial
15 Chamber just an example of the types of passports that people were able
16 to obtain. So if we could go to the next page of this exhibit in B/C/S.
17 And for the record, this is the passport cover for Esma Hadzic.
18 If you could look at the hard copy in front of you. We'll do it
19 the old-fashioned way. And if you could turn to page 6. At that page,
20 the one you just passed, if you go back one.
21 There's a stamp on that page that you're looking at?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What authority issued that passport?
24 A. The Secretariat of the Interior in Subotica.
25 Q. And is that passport consistent, the one for Esma Hadzic, the
1 type of passports that were issued to people while they were in Palic?
2 A. Yes, yes, yes, yes. All the people who didn't have a passport
3 got this passport. Photographers came, took their pictures. They handed
4 over the pictures, and then we got this kind of passport. Who didn't
5 have this kind of passport couldn't go any further. That is to say that
6 we all got this kind of passport.
7 MS. BIERSAY: At this time, we'd move for the admission of 65 ter
8 number 4218, please.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, when I look at this
10 woman's passport whose name has mentioned, Hadzic, Esma, I realise that
11 on page 17 of her passport, there is the stamp of the Republic of
12 Austria, dated the 17th of December, 1992.
13 MS. BIERSAY: The witness may need assistance, Your Honour. The
14 e-court doesn't seem to be working, so if the usher could help the
15 witness locate the proper page.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, leaf through the
17 passport and turn to page 17 of the passport. It's not very difficult to
18 do. All the passport pages are numbered. On page 17, I don't read
19 German, unfortunately, but I have the feeling that this is a visa to
20 enter the Republic of Austria, which seemingly entitles the holder of the
21 passport to remain there until the 17th of March, unless I'm mistaken.
22 Witness, if a passport has been issued, this means that the
23 Republic of Austria knew that there were a lot of people who were in
24 transit and who were going to enter Austria. What do you have to say to
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wish to say here that a number of
2 people from this transit centre, or Palic, were picked up by relatives.
3 They would come from Austria and take them. Some went to Austria, some
4 went to Germany, others -- well, what mattered was that these 200 people
5 got passports and that then we would leave in different groups, as they
6 organised things for us in Palic. The Austrian and the German
7 authorities had to have this kind of information; that Austria was
8 supposed to be entered by 500 people or 1.000 people.
9 I assume there was this kind of communication. I do not have
10 such documents, I do not have evidence of this, but if 2.000 people are
11 sitting and waiting to be transferred to some other country, somebody
12 must have known; either the police, or the border services, or whoever.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But then, I mean, you had some
14 responsibilities in your municipality, and you're a deputy right now, so
15 did that not imply at the time that there had been agreement between the
16 Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Austria, or an agreement between
17 the Red Cross and the Republic of Austria? What do you think happened?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not have any document, but
19 there certainly is an agreement among these commissioners for refugees,
20 because it's not 10 people, it's 2.000 people here, and then visas had to
21 be obtained, papers, documents. So my personal view is there must have
22 been coordination among commissioners for refugees.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What about in your
24 case; did you obtain a passport?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I also got a passport, and I was in
1 the last group of some 100 persons who were put up in Hungary, Najetad
2 [phoen], this transit centre. There must have been coordination, if some
3 of us were sent to Najetad, some others to Austria, yet others to
4 Germany. We were just pleased to get passports and to move on, quite
5 simply to flee from this environment. The situation was so bad in Palic,
6 from the point of view of health, sanitation, and everything.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I assume there must have been a
8 stamp on your passport, Hungarian stamp, according to which you were
9 allowed to enter into Hungary.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, all of us, I mean, this
11 group who had passports, took care of our transport and visas and
12 everything. I mean, everybody had this type.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: Sir, just to have a sense of time: To issue
14 2.000 new passports and have them included -- and have visas included in
15 them must have taken quite some time, so how long a time did it take from
16 the moment you arrived to Palic and until you had your new passport
17 issued ?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I do apologise. I
19 said that 80 per cent of us had passports and that about 200 were not
20 there, and this factory took care of those people, about 200 of them.
21 And they brought ten photographs or whatever there, and they took care of
22 all of this within a day or two. And as a group would get passports,
23 then they would take them away.
24 I personally did not keep any records. I don't have any evidence
25 of this. People would leave tents. They would be told, "You've got a
1 passport. You can leave now." The camp was being emptied, and we were
2 glad to see that. So it was a bit less than 200 passports.
3 JUDGE HARHOFF: I see. Thank you for this clarification.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 Ms. Biersay, the Registrar just told me that you just have a few
6 minutes left, so please try to conclude.
7 MS. BIERSAY: Yes, Your Honour.
8 Q. Were these passports, the ones that were issued in Palic, were
9 they free?
10 A. No. They were paid by the Suboticanka factory. They paid for
11 the pictures and the passports.
12 Q. How were passports issued? Were they issued individual by
13 individual, or were they issued to groups -- were they issued per family?
14 A. Well, there were group passports, there were individual
15 passports. At any rate, it was the MUP in Subotica that took care of
16 this and this organisation. Believe me, I did not keep abreast of that.
17 I was there, just like others.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. The Prosecutor's
19 question is not appropriate, whether families were being issued
20 passports. Group passports were never being issued, except for children
21 who were minors. Parents could only have their young children in their
22 own passports, and there were no other group passports. Perhaps the
23 witness did not understand what the Prosecutor's intention was, and
24 that's why he gave the kind of response he did.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges have rectified this,
2 Witness, tell us whether these passports were individual. Even
3 if, in a family, there were minor children, the name and age of the minor
4 children are on the passport of either the mother or the father; that's
5 the way it was, wasn't it?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, yes.
7 MS. BIERSAY: Thank you, Your Honour.
8 At this time, we'd move for the admission of 65 ter number 4218.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's give it a number.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be given
11 Exhibit number P668. Thank you, Your Honour.
12 MS. BIERSAY: And that would conclude the Prosecution's direct,
13 Your Honour.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you,
15 Ms. Biersay.
16 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor, and we'll have the break later
17 on, in about 15 to 20 minutes.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Banjanovic, I don't have many objections, in
21 view of your testimony. According to my information, you enjoy a very
22 high reputation among the Serbs and Muslims of Zvornik, and this is
23 attested to by the current office you hold. I'm just going to dwell on
24 some details now.
25 In your statements, you mention Seselj's men at one single point
1 or, rather, one single man of Seselj's, Zoran Subotic, who was commander
2 of the Territorial Defence in Zvornik; right?
3 A. Well, I had the opportunity of seeing this Mr. Subotic only once.
4 I don't know how long he was there, two or three days. To tell you the
5 truth, I really don't know exactly what it was I said in my statement,
6 whether I said he was an MP of the Radical Party or whatever; but I know
7 that once I did meet him, this was only during the course of a few days,
8 and Pazin came immediately, I think.
9 Q. In your statement --
10 MS. BIERSAY: Your Honour.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Go ahead.
12 MS. BIERSAY: For the witness's convenience, I have prepared a
13 binder with his statements, so if Mr. -- if we could please give this to
14 the witness, and if Mr. Seselj could just identify which statement he is
15 discussing, because there are several. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, there's nothing that is to be
17 contested here. I'm not going to deal with the witness's statements
18 anymore. It is 2001 and 2002. That's what it says here. I find that a
19 bit strange, two days in two different years. It must be some kind of a
21 Q. Is this statement from 2001 or 2002; do you remember?
22 A. I cannot remember. But as I have already said, he just
23 introduced himself as an MP.
24 Q. Of the Serbian Radical Party?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You said that he was commander of the Territorial Defence from
2 the 5th until the 13th of April, 1992 only; is that right?
3 A. Well, I don't know exactly. It was just for a few days. He
4 appeared in Kozluk only once, and then I realised that he was there only
5 for a few days.
6 Q. How did he behave towards you? What kind of a man was he; was he
7 fair, was he proper?
8 A. Very fair and proper. I just met him once.
9 Q. Since the OTP took this statement from Zoran Subotic in 2003 and
10 2004, in paragraph 42 of this statement he says --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, we do not have the
13 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
14 Q. -- that he received call-up papers from the JNA and that he was
15 mobilised in Mali Zvornik, and that he was deployed in a tank unit of the
16 Tuzla Corps that was commanded by Captain Dragan Obrenovic. Do you find
17 this convincing, what he says here? Have you heard of this tank unit of
18 Dragan Obrenovic?
19 A. I know Captain Obrenovic. I know that he was the lead of this
20 unit, these tanks, and that they were located in Mali Zvornik.
21 Q. All right. Nowhere else do you mention Seselj's men, because you
22 personally did not have any contact. This is a colloquial term for the
23 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party; right?
24 A. Well, in the territory of Kozluk, I did not come across any, or
25 in the places where I was, and I said clearly that they were Arkan's men,
1 Zuco's Wasps, the Serb Territorial Defence. I did not have occasion to
2 come across members of Seselj's units or commands.
3 Q. All right. Mr. Banjanovic, you could not come across them
4 because on the 26th of April, they all left Zvornik. Do you know that on
5 the 26th of April, Kula Grad fell?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You had this collective attempt, all of you inhabitants of
8 Kozluk, to move in the direction of Tuzla. You mentioned that, but you
9 did not mention the date. Do you think that you could recall the date?
10 A. Well, I could not recall the date. There were several attempts,
11 because Kozluk was considered to be a place where everyone found refuge,
12 and really there weren't any killings, there wasn't any unrest, as
13 opposed to other villages. At one point, there were a lot of people
14 gathered there.
15 Q. A lot of Muslims from the surrounding villages who had fled?
16 A. Exactly.
17 Q. And all of it thanks to your reputation, because you were a man
18 who did not advocate the war option; right?
19 A. To this day, I'm against wars, and I will always be against war
20 because it hurts everyone.
21 Q. What -- your village is one of the few Muslim villages that did
22 not arm itself at all; right?
23 A. I am sorry, but I'm just going to say one thing, that Kozluk is
24 not 100 per cent Muslim. There are a number of Serbs and Croats and Ruma
25 living there, and we were not aware of any option of arming. We had
1 quite a few hunting weapons and pistols. Well, we did have that. The
2 head of every household had that, say, when there was a patron saint's
3 day or whatever.
4 Q. However, it is a majority Muslim village, right, and there were
5 some Serbs and only a few Croat families?
6 A. Yes, 90 per cent are Muslims.
7 Q. Mr. Banjanovic, you said several times that you tried to move
8 out, so you had left en masse; right?
9 A. It's not that we had left or set out, but we were lined up there
10 in the centre and we were bothered by these barricades around there and
11 also the fact that these units were passing there. Quite simply, the
12 situation was such that we were confined.
13 Q. Was this April or May?
14 A. Well, it was April and May, and everything culminated in June.
15 Q. On one occasion, personally, the Serbian bishop from Tuzla came,
16 Vasilije Kacevenda, and the Muslim mufti, Muhamed --
17 A. Lugovic.
18 Q. Yes, and they together tried to persuade you not to move out;
20 A. They said that we should not move out, that everything would be
21 fine. And then we had this meeting with this chief man over there,
22 because they could not offer us any guarantees. We said, "Who is the
23 guarantor," and they said, "In Karakaj," this page. And then with
24 Mr. Kacevenda with the assistance of Muhamed Efendi Lugovic, we came to
25 see this chief man that I spoke of a few moments ago.
1 Q. As an experienced and smart man, you realised it was in the
2 interests of the Serb authorities that you Muslims remain in Kozluk, that
3 it was in their political interest, because you did not take part in the
4 war conflicts and this newly-established Serbian authorities were
5 supposed to express goodwill and to show this as an example of life
6 together; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So it was an obvious Serb interest, however something then went
9 wrong; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What went wrong was after the 19th of May, when the JNA had to
12 withdraw from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Had you heard of this ultimatum of
13 the Western powers that the JNA withdraw from Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You haven't heard of it?
16 A. No.
17 Q. All right. And you said several times that the situation became
18 chaotic in Zvornik, that people did not know who was controlling who;
20 A. Sorry, I said the situation had become exceptionally difficult in
21 Kozluk, and as a citizen of Kozluk, I went to Zvornik only three times
22 because we were in a total state of isolation because of the barricades;
23 and no one could leave Kozluk. It is only three times that, with this
24 special pass, I managed to get to Zvornik, and twice to this Staff of the
25 Territorial Defence in Zvornik with this special permit. So this
1 isolation and these barricades, whatever, and the fact that there was a
2 shortage of food and medicine, it was quite simply very difficult.
3 Q. But you did hear that at the end of May and beginning of June,
4 different paramilitary groups were killing Muslims in some parts of
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You had to hear about that; right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that was already a considerable number of Muslims who had
10 been killed?
11 A. What I knew was that there was a conflict between the
12 paramilitary units and that quite a few Bosniaks were killed by way of
13 retaliation for what happened in the battlefield. So towards the end of
14 June, there was -- there were these disturbances in Zvornik, clashes
15 among the paramilitaries: Zuco, Marko, and those units.
16 Q. And did you hear on some occasions they arrested Brano Grujic,
17 Marko Pavlovic, and they even took them out for some kind of an
18 execution, and then they let them go?
19 A. I cannot talk about that, because I do not have any knowledge of
20 my own. I know that they mistreated everyone and that a number of
21 Muslims were, indeed, killed. And now the bones of these persons are
22 being found and exhumations are taking place.
23 Q. In a few locations?
24 A. Yes, in town, and this has been happening over the past ten days
25 or so.
1 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Witness and Mr. Seselj, please observe pauses
2 between questions and answers. You're moving too fast, and the
3 interpreters cannot follow you.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 Q. Do you agree that the killings occurred at the end of May and
6 beginning of June, that that's when most of the killings of Muslims
7 occurred, civilians and prisoners? Can we pinpoint it to the end of May
8 and beginning the June?
9 A. I know that in my town of Kozluk, that a man was killed at the
10 beginning of June in a meadow just because he was a Bosniak, and I know
11 that in Zvornik the situation deteriorated and there were quite a few
13 Q. Do you know that when you left Kozluk or soon afterwards, a
14 special unit of the Republika Srpska, a police unit, arrived in Zvornik,
15 disarmed the paramilitaries and their leaders were arrested and taken to
16 the prison in Bijeljina? Did you hear about that?
17 A. No. On the road to deportation, I didn't know that, but later
18 on, several years later, I did receive that information; and it's
20 Q. You say who the leaders of those paramilitary units were, the
21 main ones. There was Pejic. He was Arkan's deputy, wasn't he?
22 A. He said he was Arkan's number-one man.
23 Q. And did you see that Brano Grujic had to stand to attention in
24 front of him on one occasion?
25 A. When Effendi Lugovic and Kacevenda and I went there, he didn't
1 allow Brano Grujic and Dragan Spasojevic to enter; but they had to stand
2 outside and stand to attention, and so I really did see and realise that
3 he was the leader.
4 Q. Do you know that he slapped Jovo Mijatovic on one occasion?
5 A. No, I don't.
6 Q. Okay, fine. Now, you mentioned Zuco, Pivarski and Niski, and
7 those are the names that keep cropping up here all the time. Now, you
8 also mentioned Captain Dragan; right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. He appeared in the Zvornik area, to the best of my knowledge,
11 when the JNA left, that is to say, at the end of May and beginning of
13 A. My information tells me that Captain Dragan, in the area of
14 Divic, that he was then stationed or put up at the motel called
15 Vidikovac, and on one occasion lots of young men were running around
16 wearing red berets, and people said that they were his men. So those
17 were my encounters with those men.
18 Q. They were his soldiers who had red berets on their heads; right?
19 A. I heard about that from Mikica and some other paramilitary
20 commanders, and I asked them who they were, and they said they were
21 Dragan's units. Anyway, they had red berets on their heads, those young
23 Q. Do you remember that they had some strange insignia, a cross, and
24 then the four -- something that appeared to be four "S" letters back to
1 A. Well, I didn't notice that, and I didn't like to look at them,
2 because they were running around and I didn't know what they were doing.
3 Q. Well, do you know that he set up a training -- some sort of
4 training centre in Divic?
5 A. Yes, I do know that.
6 Q. And do you know that the army of Republika Srpska expelled him
7 from Zvornik soon afterwards because members of his unit went around
8 Divic looting?
9 A. No, I don't know about that, neither about the looting nor the
10 fact that they had been expelled. I was in total isolation.
11 Q. I was just testing whether you knew that, and the Prosecution has
12 documents about when Captain Dragan was expelled from Divic. But as you
13 say, you know nothing. Then let's move on.
14 Tell me now, please, when you testified in Belgrade, because I
15 had been provided with all the transcripts, towards the end of your
16 testimony there, they confronted you with Brano Grujic; right? Do you
17 remember that?
18 A. I testified in Belgrade for eight hours.
19 Q. Yes. And Brano Grujic claimed that for five days before you left
20 Kozluk, you were in Zvornik, and that you had a meeting there with him
21 and with Pejic. Is that true?
22 A. That is not true. I never had a meeting with Grujic and Pejic,
23 except in Kozluk, when we were there all together among the 10.000 other
24 people. So that was our joint meeting, but never again.
25 Q. All right. If you denied that, I'll move on.
1 Now we come to the 26th of June, and Brano Grujic and
2 Jovo Mijatovic arrive. They come to see you, and they say that they have
3 no control over the events in had Zvornik, and that great danger loomed
4 from some paramilitary gangs; is that right?
5 A. They said, and I quote, "Mr. Banjanovic, in one hour's time all
6 the Muslims around the dom have to leave, and that's an order." And I
7 asked why, and they said that it was an order, that they didn't have any
8 more control, and that the clashes were taking place in Zvornik and that
9 we run the risk of being killed.
10 Q. Did they seem upset and flustered?
11 A. Well, I didn't see any stability in them. Mijatovic came up and
12 he said, "Bratska [phoen]," that's what they call me, "the situation is
13 serious. You have to leave." And I saw, by his appearance, that that's
14 what the situation was.
15 Q. Now, what I'm interested in is this: It's a long time ago and
16 it's difficult to remember all the details, but according to you, did
17 they seem to be truly concerned about your fate or were they people who
18 were just play-acting to make you leave?
19 A. Well, I don't think they were concerned about us at all. They
20 were just forced to come and say that. Quite simply, they were more
21 afraid for their own lives and their own skin. The clashes had broken
22 out. Well, I don't think they were in control of the situation at all.
23 Q. So I understand it, that the person who was in control of the
24 situation forced them to come and tell you that.
25 A. Yes, I would agree with that.
1 Q. All right, fine. I think that you've been frank and sincere in
2 answering my questions; and I think that that is quite true, that they
3 had absolutely no control over the situation, that it had escaped their
4 control, that the paramilitary gangs and bands were running amok and
5 controlling the situation.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, you made a list of these people who were leaving Kozluk and
8 then a list of people leaving Skocic, and you said that you had to sign a
9 statement saying that you were leaving your property to Republika Srpska.
10 However, we can't see that on the basis of these documents. Was that a
11 separate statement?
12 A. This statement -- this list was signed, so the list was compiled
13 and copied in several copies. And then when they searched us, we signed
14 it and said that we relinquished our property. I never saw the list with
15 the signatures, but it's true that we did sign them, and we were very --
16 we were searched in a vulgar manner, especially the women.
17 Q. Yes. Now, what I don't quite understand here is that on the
18 list, it says here that they were persons who were moving out of Kozluk
19 in an organised manner. There's no trace of anybody leaving their
20 property to anybody. So that's a little strange, whereas you're a
21 serious man; and it's quite clear to you that even if you signed over
22 your property under such conditions, that it would not have the force of
24 A. Well, everything was clear to me at the time, Mr. Seselj. The
25 situation was very difficult. People were armed to the teeth. There
1 were four or five military units. Commanders, some were drunk. People
2 began shooting. All around, the situation was extremely difficult, and
3 we thought that we would be killed. We didn't know that we were going
4 towards Loznica until we actually got into the transportation and until
5 that envelope was opened.
6 Q. Now, when you arrived in Loznica, you were given police
7 protection there, and you were taken to the Red Cross of Loznica; right?
8 A. We parked across from the bridge, and then we were attacked by
9 some people who were drunk and were looking for women. And then a police
10 car turned up. I went up to them. Well, we didn't leave until three or
11 four other vehicles had arrived, and then I was driven to the Red Cross
12 with a police escort, and I was received there very nicely.
13 Q. That was the Red Cross of Loznica; right?
14 A. Yes, the Loznica Red Cross.
15 Q. So it wasn't an international Red Cross of any kind, as the
16 Prosecutor said in chief?
17 A. The man's name there was Dr. Nikolic.
18 Q. According to the information I've been provided, you had no
19 contacts with the International Red Cross at all until you left Serbia;
21 A. That's right, nowhere, nowhere.
22 Q. And all the assistance you were given, modest but which came at a
23 good time, was given to you by the local Red Cross?
24 A. The Loznica Red Cross and the Subotica Red Cross, those two
1 Q. All right. Now, you said here that it seemed to you that all
2 this had been stage-managed. First of all, you were attacked by an
3 unruly band, and then the police came to provide protection. Now, do you
4 have a detail that you can tell us about -- to confirm that it was really
5 the police who was behind these gangs and bandits and whatever?
6 A. Well, I can't claim that for sure, but when you have 50, 60, 100
7 people hurling stones at you, a lot of people were injured. I was
8 injured, too. I was hit by that, too. And then a patrol of two or three
9 men arrive, and everything calms down.
10 Q. Was that in Loznica?
11 A. No, I'm talking about Ruma.
12 Q. We haven't got to Ruma yet. I'm asking you about Loznica now.
13 Just as you crossed the bridge, you stopped, and you were in Serbia;
14 right? And there was a group of people there who provoked you, attacked
15 you, tried to seize the women and girls, and so on; that's what you said?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was that group armed?
18 A. Yes, it was, yes.
19 Q. And when the police arrived, the police managed to calm the group
21 A. They called up reinforcements, and four more police cars turned
22 up. And they formed a convoy and encircled the people and made them
24 Q. Do you have any tangible proof to show that the group had come to
25 attack you, having been incited to do so by the police, and then that all
1 this was stage-managed?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Well, you can't actually then say that the police was behind all
4 this, can you?
5 A. In my statement, I said that this coordination did exist between
6 the Secretariat or -- the Red Cross, the Secretariat and the police, and
7 this transport to Ruma, and then the train from Ruma to Subotica. That's
8 what I meant when I talked about cooperation. There was some system,
9 some link in the chain.
10 Now, as to the police and the paramilitaries, I'm sure the police
11 did their job. Why would they look for our mothers and sisters?
12 Q. Well, you know that this is an area where there was a war, and
13 you could -- if you were bearing weapons, you would just be fined. It
14 was only later on that there was a ban on carrying weapons, later on. Do
15 you know that?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Now, this coordination that existed between the Red Cross and the
18 police, well, we can't say, actually, can we, that the crowd, the unruly
19 crowd that attacked you, could be thought to be part of that?
20 A. Well, part of Loznica is -- and the inhabitants of Loznica, part
21 of Subotica and Ruma, because we were beaten up on the territory of
22 Serbia, that's where we were mistreated. We were provided an escort. We
23 had this train in Ruma. It's all mixed up.
24 Q. Mr. Banjanovic, you know that in every town, we have what is
25 known in German as the "Lumpenproletariat," that is to say, an unruly
1 crowd ready to loot at the earliest opportunity; and you know, for
2 example, in the centre of Belgrade I was attacked by an unruly crowd, and
3 I had to take out a pistol and shoot up into the air to stop them. But
4 if you show them that you can stand up to them, then they tend to flee.
5 And here you have the police standing up to them, and they fled. That's
6 what happens; do you agree?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now you were given some food and fruit juices for the children,
9 and you set off for Ruma. Did you have a police escort from Loznica to
11 A. I think that they just escorted us through the town of Loznica.
12 I can't remember.
13 Q. But they didn't escort you further?
14 A. I don't think so.
15 Q. So anybody who wanted to leave the bus, for example, could do so
16 and to go their own way; to relatives in Serbia or whatever, if they
17 wanted to?
18 A. How could we leave? We had nothing. We were told that a train
19 was waiting for us and that we would be put up in the train and then go
20 to these Western countries. So for any normal person, that was the best
21 way out, because we knew what the situation was like in Serbia and
23 Q. Yes. There was an economic crisis, a blockade set up by the
24 Western powers, and life was very difficult, there was a lot of poverty;
25 is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So now you arrive in Ruma and you board this train; right?
3 A. We were promised the train, and we were told that the train would
4 take us to Subotica. And when we arrived, all we saw was the locomotive
5 and the freight trains, freight cars. So we boarded up there, and we
6 were at the train station, and that's it.
7 Q. During your testimony in the Milosevic trial, footage was shown
8 of that train, I believe.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll continue on with Ruma in
10 a minute, but I believe it is time for the break. The tape is almost
12 We will now break for 20 minutes and resume at five after 6.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.47 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 6.08 p.m.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
16 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
17 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Banjanovic, let's take a look at this document that you were
19 shown by the Prosecutor and has already been admitted into evidence once
20 again, and I'm referring to document -- or, rather, the document which
21 arrived while you were still in Loznica from Belgrade, from the
22 Commissariat or commission for refugees. Let me just find it. The
23 document 1465. May we have it put up on the e-court, please? I'll have
24 to take a moment to look for it because they put it together in the wrong
1 While you were in Loznica, and as far as I was able to
2 understand, it went on for a few hours, you were waiting for a reply from
3 Belgrade, from the Commission for Refugees, a decision pursuant to your
4 request; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then that decision did arrive, and it says there:
7 "We considered the written statements of 1.822 persons in 17
8 buses, three trucks and trailers and two passenger vehicles from Kozluk,
9 Zvornik municipality," and they said that without any pressure and of
10 their own free will, they wished to leave the territory of Yugoslavia and
11 go to the countries of Western Europe.
12 Now, I'd like to know where these statements were sent from,
13 saying that you wanted to travel to Western Europe of your own free will,
14 et cetera. Did you send that out from Loznica?
15 A. Yes, from the Red Cross of Loznica. I went there and asked
16 assistance for these people, and then they said we had to send a letter
17 to the Commission for -- well, anyway, to the commission. They sent it
18 several hours later and said that they had received a reply, and that we
19 could pass through Serbia, and that they would line up this train from
20 Ruma to across the border.
21 Q. And did you sign that in the statements in Loznica?
22 A. No. They just wrote it down, typed it out on a typewriter.
23 Perhaps the list that I had -- perhaps they photocopied that and sent it.
24 But we didn't sign anything in Loznica, nor --
25 Q. Well, did it say on the list that you were going of your own free
1 will and without pressure? Did somebody add that to the list, then?
2 A. Well, I can't really say, but I assume that -- well, on the list
3 that already existed, it said that we were going voluntarily, because the
4 list was used when the Territorial Defence in Kozluk wrote those letters
5 and things like that.
6 Q. And they refer to the fact that it was your right to choose where
7 you wished to live, that's what it says in this document, where you wish
8 to reside?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know, Mr. Banjanovic, that throughout the war, in Serbia,
11 70.000 Muslims were officially registered from Bosnia and Herzegovina,
12 who were refugees in Serbia and stayed there, some forever and some for
13 as long as the war was on?
14 A. Well, I know that a part of the Bosniak Muslims were in Serbia.
15 Q. Now, when Srebrenica fell, did you hear that a part of the Muslim
16 soldiers swam across the Drina River into Serbia?
17 A. I can't say anything about that event, because I don't know it
18 myself. I did hear that some people swam across, that they were captured
19 there and returned.
20 Q. You mean that you heard they were returned to Republika Srpska,
21 not a single one was sent back? Let me tell you this: When Zepa fell,
22 more than 900 Muslim soldiers, almost a whole brigade, crossed the Drina
23 River and were accepted in Serbia and they were put up in the collections
24 centre on Mount Tara, accommodation centre, where the International Red
25 Cross came straight away, and none of them were brought back to Republika
1 Srpska, all of them were enabled to go abroad. Do you know about that?
2 A. No, I don't have that information.
3 Q. All right. I won't insist upon that. When you don't know just
4 say you don't, and I'll move on. I won't insist and belabour the point.
5 Now, when you arrived in Ruma, without a police escort, as far as
6 I understood it; right?
7 A. I think they escorted us out of Loznica and pointed us in the
8 right direction, and the train was waiting for us at the railway station.
9 Q. Well, that means that the police didn't expect an incident to
10 happen over there. That's how I understand it.
11 A. I know nothing about that. I can't really say.
12 Q. When the incident took place, you were already in the train;
14 A. When we were getting off the trucks and trailers and buses, we
15 would get into those freight cars where -- which were used for cattle,
16 and then at a distance of 50 metres they would throw stones at us and say
17 that we were Alija's soldiers and so on.
18 Q. How many people were there who did this?
19 A. Maybe 50. They were young people, mostly, youngsters.
20 Q. However, the mob was organised in a spontaneous fashion?
21 A. I don't know whether they were organised or not, but I know that
22 we really were beaten up pretty bad. Stones were thrown at us. And then
23 we carried our sick and wounded. There were quite a few elderly people
24 who were beaten up. I don't know for what reason. The police showed up
25 there, too, and then when the police arrived there, then the stoning
1 stopped. On the train that we took, all the windows were broken.
2 Q. Tell me, do you know that already by then, there were about
3 200.000 refugees in Serbia, most of them from Croatia, but some from
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina too?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And do you know that in Serbia, there was a great deal of
7 bitterness because of the fate of the convoy of JNA soldiers that was
8 leaving Tuzla, and between 150 and 200 of them were killed?
9 A. I don't know about that. I lived in total isolation. I already
10 told you that for four or five months, Kozluk was in total isolation, and
11 I went to Zvornik only about three times.
12 Q. The police intervened and then drove the mob away; right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Then you arrived in Subotica. You spent a day on the sidetrack,
15 and then you were taken to Palic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. How were you taken to Palic?
18 A. Believe me, I can't remember.
19 Q. There is no railroad to Palic, as far as I know Subotica.
20 A. I can't remember any details. I just know that we got to Palic.
21 Q. Probably on buses?
22 A. Yes, probably, and it was very hard for us because we were about
23 a day and a half or two on this sidetrack.
24 Q. And there were tents put up in Palic; right?
25 A. There was barbed wire, gates, then water outside.
1 Q. Do you think the barbed wire was there so you would not run away
2 or was it for the sake of your own safety, so that someone wouldn't
3 attack you again?
4 A. I don't know when the barbed wire was put up there, but I'm sure
5 that --
6 Q. It was summertime, so one could be under a tent?
7 A. Well, yes. We were out there in the fields and the meadows. The
8 situation was very difficult.
9 Q. No one was hungry; right?
10 A. Well, there was food, and we had to wash up outside.
11 Q. However, no one was expecting you outside, waiting for you
13 A. Well, there was food there and tents and improvised water
14 facilities, and there were people there that we recognised who were in --
15 on the bridge at Kozluk, Zvornik, et cetera.
16 Q. Were you not secured by the police there in Palic?
17 A. No.
18 Q. There was no police in uniform?
19 A. I didn't see any. There were some uniformed men there.
20 Q. What kind of uniforms did they wear?
21 A. Well, they were military uniforms, different kinds of uniforms.
22 It looked more like paramilitaries than policemen from Loznica and Ruma
23 and places like that.
24 Q. Well, I don't know if you know, but I am in prison here with a
25 few Serb police generals, and they guarantee that it's only people in
1 blue uniforms that were around you and that it was impossible for anyone
2 else to be there around you. Is that possible that you may have made a
3 mistake, in terms of what you remember, in terms of your memory?
4 A. I remember that we were put up at this camp with barbed wire in
5 Palic, and the most difficult part of it was that we recognised these
6 men, these warriors who were at the Zvornik bridge, et cetera. There are
7 several people who signed statements to that effect, and we know the
8 names of these people.
9 Q. You know, it seems impossible to me that you saw these people in
10 Zvornik and then you saw them on the other side of the Drina River, and
11 then you saw them in Subotica. After all, it's about 200 kilometres
12 away, right, or perhaps even more than that?
13 A. As I said, at Sepacki bridge, what happened happened. A group of
14 armed men, scavengers, they were asking for ours girls. 2.000 people saw
16 Q. I believe you, Mr. Banjanovic, I believe that, and I'm sure it
17 was terrible out there. But what I find unbelievable is that these
18 people showed up in Subotica?
19 A. I wasn't talking about those people, Mr. Seselj. I talked about
20 three or four men that the citizens recognised as having been in Zvornik.
21 I didn't say that it was at Sepacki bridge. In Subotica and Palic, my
22 fellow citizens recognised some people who were in Kozluk and at the
23 bridge, and they know the names of these people.
24 Q. Do you know agree with me that this is rather unreliable, this
1 A. It's possible that a mistake was made, but we organised our own
2 safety, by way of prevention, by not sleeping at the same time, all of
3 us, I mean.
4 Q. However, regardless of whether you were asleep or not, you were
5 not armed, so if someone attacked you, you could not be saved in any way?
6 A. Well, that's your assertion.
7 Q. That's my assumption. I was not there.
8 A. Well, if somebody wanted to attack or rape my sister or mother, I
9 would have slit their throat with my teeth. That would have been a
10 weapon enough.
11 Q. But there was good police safety and security there, at least in
12 my view.
13 We have yet another document here that was shown by the
14 Prosecution, and that was 4222. Could we see it again?
15 This is a document that was signed by someone on behalf of Major
16 Marko Pavlovic, and this request is being sent to the authorities of the
17 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to allow safe conduct for the persons on
18 this list, persons going to Hungary. And you will see that they were
19 going there of their own request, not under duress, and they said that
20 they wanted to avoid mobilisation into Muslim formations.
21 I find this to be ridiculous, too, because you could not have
22 been mobilized into the Muslim formations, right, and had you had wanted
23 to do that, you would have done that before the war started or when the
24 war started, but not when all of Zvornik was practically in Serbian
25 hands. I find this ridiculous, too.
1 A. Well, we would have established detachment, divisions. We would
2 have been armed and we would have fought. We were against war,
3 Mr. Seselj, and --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, both speakers are speaking
5 at the same time, which is impossible to interpret.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. What was taken away from you were hunting guns and pistols for
8 which you had permits.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, please slow down.
10 The interpreters are complaining about the fact that you're both speaking
11 too fast.
12 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
13 Q. It doesn't say here that you left your property to Republika
14 Srpska. It says here that families that opted to move out are aware of
15 the risk to the property that they are leaving in the zone of war
16 operations, and their attention was drawn to the fact that the
17 authorities in Zvornik cannot fully take over responsibility for the
18 property they're leaving behind at their homes and apartments. So it
19 doesn't say anywhere that you signed off your property and that you said
20 that you were leaving it to someone else. They simply said that they
21 could not guarantee the safety of that property and they could not be
22 responsible for its fate. That's what is written here.
23 A. These two documents are different. The document that you're
24 reading out was in an envelope. When we all sat down, then they opened
25 it and they gave it to me. Up until then, I didn't know where we were
1 going, and no one else knew, either. And the other one is the list that
2 people signed. I never received that list, and that list simply wasn't
3 there. Every citizen signed, in front of the cultural centre, a document
4 stating they were leaving their property voluntarily, et cetera,
5 et cetera.
6 Q. I think that this is strange. The OTP from The Hague got all the
7 documentation of the Zvornik municipality from the war period, even the
8 payrolls and everything else, and quite simply there is no document where
9 you are voluntarily giving up on your own property. Even the OTP from
10 The Hague could not find that. That's why I wanted to draw your
11 attention to that. Perhaps that did exist, but it's not there now.
12 Now, look at this one piece of information that I find
13 interesting. You said that almost all of you had passports, 200 of you
14 didn't have any, and then new passports were obtained for them; right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And on this piece of paper, it says that out of -- out of 1.822
17 of you, only some of you had passports. So only 169 had passports, in
18 accordance with this document; am I right?
19 A. Well, I don't know. I can't remember now all this math and sums
20 of mine, but I know that we just got this assistance from the Suboticanka
21 factory in Subotica, because they had good relations with the Vetinka
22 factory in Kozluk. They visited us, and then I asked for this. And then
23 the next day, they brought a cheque. And the police came and they said,
24 "Now get these people passports." How many passports, I really don't
25 know, because at that time, I was not a controller of any kind. I was
1 just an ordinary citizen, like everyone else.
2 Q. Mr. Banjanovic, I don't hold anything against you. Who could
3 remember exact figures after all those years? I don't find that to be
4 strange at all, and I don't think it is strange at all that you do not
5 recall how you were transferred from that train car on the sidetrack from
6 Subotica to Lake Palic. That's not strange at all. This is simply
7 blocked in one's memory, and it is very hard for a person to remember
8 every little thing. I fully understand you, but the only thing I have
9 are these documents. I was not in Palic, and on this piece of paper it
10 says that only 169 people had passports. All the rest had to be issued
11 with new passports.
12 Now, you say it was the factory of Suboticanka that paid for
13 this. However, you should remember that these taxes for issuing new
14 passports were not very high. Right?
15 A. We didn't have any money, and then they wanted to give us a truck
16 of fruit juice, and we said, "No, we don't really need that." They gave
17 a cheque for us, but I don't know how much it was.
18 Q. Let me just tell you one thing, Mr. Banjanovic. I know that for
19 humanitarian reasons, this tax is not levied at all and that people
20 didn't have to pay for it; I mean, refugees in Serbia at the time. Quite
21 simply, they were issued with passports, free of charge, and I really
22 would have been surprised if someone had made you pay in your situation.
23 And we both remember that at the time, the tax for a new passport was a
24 symbolical amount; wasn't it?
25 A. I don't know how big it was, but I know the people from Subotica
1 gave this cheque to the policeman in front of us, and they said, "This is
2 a gift to the citizens of Kozluk from us." I really don't know whether
3 it was one Deutsche mark or a thousand, but they were really fair. They
4 brought the cheque, and photographers came on the same day and --
5 Q. Was the food of good quality?
6 A. Well, there was communal eating.
7 Q. Well, 1.800 people were there. Communal eating, there is no
8 other way of dealing with it.
9 A. Well, yes, we ate it. I mean we didn't ask for hotel
10 accommodation. There was food, there was water, and that's the way it
12 Q. No one was hungry?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Right. Let us look at this document now, 4218. That is the
15 passport of Esma Hadzic that we've already seen. Do you agree that this
16 is a normal SFRY passport, a passport of the Socialist Federal Republic
17 of Yugoslavia, just a regular passport? Do you agree?
18 A. This is an elderly woman, and it's certain that --
19 Q. Look at the first page of the passport. There is a white piece
20 of paper stating "Esma Hadzic"?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is this the cover page of the kind of passport that we all had in
23 the SFRY?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Do you know that Serbia did not issue any different passports in
1 1992, although the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had been proclaimed?
2 A. I was not aware of that.
3 Q. However, this was the only passport that both you and I had at
4 the time; do you agree with that?
5 A. I really don't know who was issuing what. I just know that this
6 was the Yugoslav passport.
7 Q. All right. But there was no other passport. We see basic
8 details here pertaining to Esma Hadzic; that she was born in Bijeljina,
9 that she lived in Kozluk. And on the next page, we see her photograph.
10 On the previous page, we see her identification number. And now we see
11 that her two children, Fadil and Avdo, are also registered or, rather,
12 her husband and son?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now we see their photographs, too.
15 Let's look at the next page. Is there anything unusual here
16 about this passport? A husband and wife who have children who are minors
17 can get a collective passport; right? So what we see here now -- rather,
18 let's look at page 11. It says that the passport was issued by the MUP
19 of the Republic of Serbia, the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic
20 of Serbia. They were authorised to issue passports. Like in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina that issued
22 passports; right? Do you agree with that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, the Secretariat in Subotica, the passport was issued on the
25 29th of June, 1992. You left Kozluk on the 26th of June. You spent
1 several hours in Loznica. You arrived in Ruma. You travelled to
2 Subotica, and then you arrived in Subotica on the 27th; right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. On the 28th, you were transferred to Lake Palic; right?
5 A. Well, I cannot say now.
6 Q. It could not be any different. The periods involved are minimal.
7 Esma Hadzic received a passport already on the 29th. You see what it
8 says on this passport? The passport is valid from the 29th of June,
9 1992, until the 6th of June, 1997; so she got this passport for five
10 years, valid for five years. So within those five years, she could
11 freely travel abroad and return to Serbia any number of times without any
12 restriction. Am I right?
13 A. However, here it says that a tax of 550 dinars was levied.
14 Q. Oh, you are right. So the factory did pay?
15 A. Yes, all of it was paid for. The people took a lot of trouble to
16 help us. The factory really gave money for the photographs to be taken
17 and to have the passports issued to us.
18 Q. You're right, and I didn't even notice this myself. Do you see
19 that the passport was valid for five years?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So during those five years, Esma Hadzic, her husband and son,
22 could enter Serbia without any restrictions an unlimited number of times
23 and could leave again, if they so wanted; right? Is that right?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. We see further on that they could turn to the consulates of the
1 Republic of Yugoslavia, and if they happened to be abroad, they could
2 have their passports extended there. As a matter of fact, they were
3 treated here like any citizen of Serbia; right? Am I not right, at least
4 as far as the passport is concerned?
5 A. Well, we know full well, Mr. Seselj, how we were treated;
6 surrounded by barbed wire, in a tent, sick, unable to walk around very
7 much, transferred in groups, and no one had any idea when we would go.
8 Say a mother and son would be transferred to Germany and then others to
10 Q. Just two brief questions. In Subotica, did they have a better
11 place to put you up?
12 A. Believe me, I don't know.
13 Q. I'm telling you, I know Subotica quite well, but I cannot
14 remember where else you'd have better accommodation for this big group of
15 people. Palic is a tourist resort. There are some bungalows out there,
16 as far as I can remember. Palic is the most beautiful part of Subotica,
17 isn't that right, on the lake?
18 A. I'm not familiar with Subotica or Palic. They put us up on this
19 meadow that was surrounded with barbed wire, in tents; and we were beaten
20 up, and how, in Loznica and in Ruma. Wasn't that nice? And babies were
21 delivered along the way. Beaten up, without food. I tell you,
22 Mr. Seselj.
23 Q. The very fact that you left your home shows how difficult your
24 journey was.
25 A. We did not leave our homes. We were expelled. We did not leave
1 Kozluk of our own free will. We were expelled on the 26th.
2 Q. We agreed that it was paramilitary gangs that expelled you, and
3 they dominated over the political authorities there. And you confirmed
4 that to me.
5 A. Brano Grujic, president of the Serbian municipality, sent us
6 to --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, again the speakers were
8 speaking at the same time, and we could not hear what was being said.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. I'm just following what you said, Mr. Banjanovic, and I have no
11 reason to quarrel with you. In my view, you are a fair and frank
13 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] The problem is that you can
14 follow, but we can't, because the interpreters can't keep up the pace;
15 the court reporter can't either. So you need to wait for the witness to
16 finish, and the witness needs to finish until you have finished.
17 Otherwise, we have to stop there, because we really can't follow.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 Q. Now, I have another paragraph here. Saha Hadzic. Go a little
20 further on. Or, rather, another passport. Her particulars are there.
21 I'm leafing the pages, and I come to page 11, and it says here that the
22 passport was issued on the 29th of June, 1992, and that it's valid until
23 the 6th of June, 1997; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So the dates are the same. The Prosecution could have shown us
1 some more passports. I wouldn't have been able to see them, had I not
2 been provided them by the Prosecution. But, anyway, can we draw the
3 conclusion from this that all the passports were issued regularly, in
4 regular fashion, standard procedure, et cetera; do you agree?
5 You had to provide a personal document of some kind, where the
6 personal ID number was visible, and then photographs were taken on the
7 spot, and you needed more than 1.600 photographs. And they took your
8 fingerprints, too. You don't remember that, do you, but I remembered.
9 So they took everybody's fingerprints, and then all the documents were
10 sent to Belgrade to be checked out in the register for citizens of the
11 SFRY. Do you know that all SFRY citizens were recorded into a register?
12 A. I know that we paid 550 -- we paid a lot for this, 550 at
13 Mrs. Saha's.
14 Q. Well, the factory paid for you with a cheque. You didn't pay,
15 but you were given a passport, and it was valid for five years. And you
16 received the passport under regular procedure. That's what I wanted to
17 tell you. It was normal, regular procedure; isn't that right,
18 Mr. Banjanovic?
19 Now, you said that you were in the last group to leave Palic;
20 right? In the statement here, you said that you were there for eight
21 days, and now you say you were there for about ten days?
22 A. Well, I can't remember how many days exactly. They were terrible
23 days, as far as I was concerned, days of horror, and I know that as the
24 groups were given passports, they went off. We didn't know where they
25 went. Some went towards Hungary, some went to Austria, Germany, as we
1 later learned, so that those families were broken up. A mother would go
2 one way, the others another. It was difficult to control the situation
3 because there were such a lot of people.
4 Q. But do you agree that, for the most part, it wasn't done
5 according to the will of the state organs of Serbia, because first of all
6 you had to receive permission from the Austrian and Hungarian authorities
7 to take you in?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So do you realise that the Hungarians, for instance, didn't want
10 to have 1.800 people descend upon them all at once, but that they would
11 like to take them in two groups?
12 A. Well, as we went towards Austria and Germany and so on, there
13 must have been some coordination, but what it was, I couldn't say.
14 Q. Were they groups of 200 people?
15 A. Yes, roughly.
16 Q. So roughly 200, groups of 200. So that had to be organised, too.
17 You couldn't do that straight away.
18 Now, Mr. Banjanovic, you spent some time in Austria?
19 A. I was in Najetad all the time, Hungary, and then I went to
20 Austria. I, wife, mother and so on, children, some were in Austria.
21 Then I returned to Najetad, and then I went to Austria.
22 Q. And when did you return to Kozluk?
23 A. In 2000, I returned to Kozluk. And in 2001, my family came to
24 Kozluk; my wife, two children, my mother.
25 Q. And the other people, when did they return to Kozluk, your fellow
2 A. We had an organised return in 2000; the first group, 18 of us,
3 and then there were more, because there were Serbs from 28
4 municipalities, 4.850; so we couldn't all go back at the same time. We
5 decided to do this in stages.
6 Q. So your houses were preserved, and Serb refugees were
7 accommodated in them?
8 A. Yes. 4.850 Serbs from 28 municipalities were living in Kozluk at
9 the time.
10 Q. And then the authorities of Republika Srpska relocated them
11 gradually, found other accommodation for them, and you returned to your
12 own homes; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And then the authorities of Republika Srpska started to invest
15 larger sums of money to reconstruct the infrastructure in Kozluk, to
16 build the waterworks, networks, which network and so on?
17 A. Yes, the government of Serbia and the respective ministries
18 provided resources for drinking water, for a clinic, for roads. And
19 Kozluk is part of Republika Srpska, so that we asked for the resources,
20 financial funds, to be provided, because there were Serbs living there,
21 not only Muslims, but Serbs and Croats, and so on.
22 Q. So you and your fellow Muslims who had returned to Kozluk were
23 satisfied with the conduct of Republika Srpska towards you after your
24 return; right?
25 A. As far as the government of Republika Srpska and the respective
1 ministries and their support to us in our return, we are satisfied; and
2 we have prepared a number of projects to open a number of factories. But
3 we consider that to be quite normal, because we're part of Republika
4 Srpska, part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It's our government and so on.
5 Q. I have a piece of internet information here. While I had my
6 legal advisers, they were able to provide me with that. And on the 27th
7 of April, 2007, in Kozluk, you welcomed Milorad Dodik in song. Well,
8 that might be a little exaggerated. You might not have been singing.
9 But you said that you were satisfied with the government's treatment of
10 you and the amount of assistance you were receiving?
11 A. Well, Arkan's commander, Mr. Pejic, was greeted in Kozluk, and
12 when he saw that the people were ill, when they returned weapons, we
13 received medicines. As far as Dodik is concerned, he fulfils all our
14 requests, so we have every respect for him and the government of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where people who returned to Republika Srpska; we
16 respect the laws, the constitution of Republika Srpska, and consider it's
17 our job to fight for getting drinking water, roads, and so on and so
19 Q. As far as I understand it, you didn't complain about Pejic,
20 Arkan's deputy, who was the be all and end all over there. Your main
21 trouble started when he left Zvornik; is that right?
22 A. Well, yes, our main troubles were actually the war. The war
23 caused all the trouble. It caused Pejic and Pavlovic and all the other
25 Q. Now, what's interesting for me here is the following: Do you
1 know where Rastosnica is?
2 A. Rastosnica is one of the largest Serbian settlements in Sapna
3 municipality, and Sapna is located in an entity called the Federation of
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
5 Q. Sapna was part of Zvornik municipality at one time; right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And according to the Dayton Accords, the municipality was divided
8 and Sapna appears now to be a newly-formed municipality over there;
10 A. Yes, Sapna is a new municipality.
11 Q. Right, new municipality. And it's the largest Serbian village
12 which is to be found within the Sapna municipality?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know that in 1992, that village was attacked by the Muslim
15 paramilitaries and that a lot of the inhabitants were killed and all
16 their houses burnt; did you know about that, are you aware of that?
17 A. No, I'm not aware of that, I don't know that, because I was
18 totally isolated. But later on, I did hear that there were war events
19 going on there. How, what, against whom, I don't know. I was in total
21 Q. Well, I happen to have a piece of information from 2007 to
22 compare the situation in Kozluk, and you say you're satisfied by your
23 treatment of the -- by the government of Republika Srpska. And I see
24 here that in Rastosnica, in that same year, only 180 of the burnt 1.050
25 Serb houses have been rebuilt and reconstructed, whereas in Skakavci,
1 which is close by, only 20 out of a total of 350 Serb houses have been
2 reconstructed. They haven't reconstructed their school, or clinic, or
3 anything. And from that I draw the conclusion that at least in the area
4 where you reside, in that border belt, Muslims are much better treated,
5 Muslim returnees in the Republika Srpska, than Serb returnees in the
6 Muslim-Croatian federation, their treatment there. Do you agree with me?
7 Perhaps this isn't -- you don't like hearing this politically, it doesn't
8 suit you.
9 A. Your information, Mr. Seselj, is not correct. In Rastosnica, we
10 have the most modern school, and the clinic is the most modern and has
11 been reconstructed. But Rastosnica is a large settlement where there are
12 a lot of little areas and settlements.
13 Now, I can't be asked to assess who is better off where, whether
14 it's better off in Sarajevo, in The Hague, or wherever. But as far as
15 Kozluk is concerned, we carry projects to the government; and we have
16 invested a lot of time and effort to create a better tomorrow for
17 ourselves, because clinics are not only for Muslims. Serbs are treated
18 there, and the road through Kozluk, Zvornik, Bijeljina, the road there,
19 well, people use it from all over, from Pale, Banja Luka. The waterworks
20 that Mr. Milorad Dodik invested over half a million marks in caters to
21 four or five local communes; so all this is of general interest to all of
22 us and to all our benefit.
23 And what I want to say is that the government did provide us with
24 this, but we fought for it. We went and asked them for it. That does
25 not mean that the citizens of Rastosnica should have the same thing, but
1 they have to be active, invest time and effort, and keep going to the
2 authorities to demand what they want, because unless you do that, you're
3 not going to get anything. So I want to say that discrimination in the
4 area where I live really does not exist, and I'd like to say that very
6 Q. All right. Thank you, Mr. Banjanovic, but I wanted to use this
7 internet information to show you that when it comes to Serb refugees,
8 that the situation is quite different. But I won't insist upon that. I
9 understand that you need not be exposed to any great mistreatment to put
10 you in a difficult situation. But what I respect is that you testified
11 publicly in the Slobodan Milosevic trial, and the trial in Belgrade, and
12 now my trial here. Isn't that right?
13 A. Yes, I appeared everywhere publicly, without any code names or
14 pseudonyms or whatever, and I was -- and I always recounted the things I
15 know firsthand.
16 Q. And I think your testimony was almost identical, as far as any
17 testimony can be identical.
18 When you testified in the Slobodan Milosevic trial, for instance,
19 and then went back to Kozluk, did you have any unpleasantness of any kind
20 when you returned?
21 A. Well, this testimony of mine is not of my own free will. I live
22 in Kozluk. My child goes to school with other Serb children. I am one
23 of the functionaries that returned to Kozluk. I don't live in Sarajevo
24 or Tuzla. I live in Kozluk. So please believe me when I say that in --
25 among my own people, just like among the Serb people, there are still
1 people who want to opt for the war-mongering variant; so I'm always
2 afraid that my child might be seized or various -- I've received threats,
3 and I've reported that so people who these people are who made the
4 threats to kidnap my child and so on. But, anyway, everything I say, I
5 say publicly, and I'm doing so here today, because what happened
6 happened. God forbid that it should repeat itself, because war is always
7 the last option.
8 Q. Mr. Banjanovic, I say that you testified honestly here,
9 sincerely here, and I hope that you won't have any unpleasantness when
10 you go back to where you live, and that is my wish, because you testified
11 honorably. And I'd like people to come in here to tell the truth, how
12 they experienced it. We can, of course, disagree. We can have a
13 different approach, but all I would like to hear is truthful testimony.
14 And I hope that this will continue, and that when you go back, you won't
15 have any unpleasantness.
16 Thank you for testifying.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That completes my
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
21 Ms. Biersay, do you have any redirect?
22 MS. BIERSAY: No, Your Honour. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 Witness, on behalf of my colleagues, I would like to thank you
25 for having come to The Hague to testify in these proceedings. I wish you
1 the best for your safe return home. I hope everything will be fine for
2 you in the future.
3 I will now ask our usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let me now turn to
7 the Prosecution and Mr. Mundis.
8 As far as tomorrow is concerned, we have a witness scheduled. I
9 believe he's already in The Hague.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, Mr. President. The witness who's listed for
11 tomorrow is here in The Hague and will appear in the courtroom tomorrow
12 at 0830. We still have no information with respect to the other witness,
13 and I believe at this point in time it is clear that he is not going to
14 be testifying this week. That leaves us with just the one remaining
15 witness for this week, and I do know that my colleague Mr. Mussemeyer
16 would like more time than the one hour allocated; and I believe
17 Dr. Seselj also wanted more time allocated for the cross-examination of
18 that witness. So I wouldn't anticipate we'd have any problems in
19 [indiscernible] the schedule.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How long had you planned in the
21 first place?
22 MR. MUNDIS: I believe, Your Honours, we had requested, if the
23 92 ter was denied, that we be given two hours for the next witness. So
24 we would respectfully ask that we be given two hours and that Dr. Seselj
25 be given two hours. I believe the Trial Chamber, in denying the 92 ter
1 motion, had given each side one hour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So this will be a
3 viva voce witness. The Prosecution will have two hours, and Mr. Seselj
4 will have two hours. That seems very reasonable and justified.
5 Let me remind you that this witness will be testifying on the
6 deliberate line of conduct. I believe that is what he's here for.
7 Mr. Seselj.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I completely agree, now that you've
9 said "two hours." That's what I was going to ask for.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Two hours for the
11 Prosecution, two hours for the Defence, and we'll probably have some
12 questions from the Judges. I believe that the witness will stay
13 overnight and will be finished on Thursday. But at least we have time,
14 so we can take advantage of this time.
15 This being said, Mr. Mundis, I have my computer in hand -- a
16 calculator in hand. Every time a witness comes, I subtract time from
17 your allocation. At the end of this week, you'll have about 20 hours
19 MR. MUNDIS: That accords with where we expect to be at the time
20 we stop for the winter recess, Mr. President. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
22 Let me wish you all a pleasant evening. We will meet again
23 tomorrow at 8.30 a.m. Have a pleasant evening.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.54 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 3rd day of
1 December, 2008, at 8.30 a.m.