1 Thursday, 29 January 2009
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.31 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
10 Vojislav Seselj.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
12 This is Thursday, January 29, 2009. Now, 2000, as we see here on
13 the transcript, up on the screen. We're only in 2000.
14 So I welcome all people in the courtroom, representatives of the
15 OTP, Mr. Seselj, our witness, as well as everyone helping us.
16 Let's continue with the examination-in-chief. You still have 30
17 minutes, Mr. Mussemeyer.
18 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you, Your Honour, and good morning to
19 everybody in the courtroom.
20 WITNESS: WITNESS VS-1035 [Resumed]
21 [Witness answered through interpretation]
22 Examination by Mr. Mussemeyer: [Continued]
23 Q. Mr. Witness, I wanted to come back to the collecting of bodies
24 where you participated. Can you tell us how long you needed to collect
25 all the bodies in Bijeljina?
1 A. About two days.
2 Q. Had you been under certain pressure or in a rush to collect as
3 soon as possible?
4 A. Well, it had to be done over those two days because this was
5 followed by a visit by some people from the government of the Republic of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The area had to be cleared before their arrival.
7 Q. While collecting these bodies, did you see or contact Arkan on
8 these days?
9 A. Not directly, that I didn't see him -- rather -- oh, but I saw
10 him, and I contacted the person who was with him in the car.
11 Q. Can you please describe us this situation?
12 A. I think it was the second day, while we were collecting the
13 bodies. I had received a call from the duty officer to go to the
14 courtyard of the Secretariat for All People's Defence. He said there
15 were some dead bodies there. So we were there in the immediate vicinity,
16 waiting for someone to point out to us the location of those dead bodies,
17 since we were unable to find them ourselves.
18 At this point, I realised there was a car approaching from behind
19 me. I suddenly heard someone greet me from the car. I turned around and
20 saw Mr. Zecevic in the vehicle. Mr. Arkan was in the driver's seat.
21 Q. Do you remember the first name of Mr. Zecevic?
22 A. Ferid Zecevic.
23 Q. What did he do before the conflict? What was his profession?
24 A. He was a secondary school teacher. At the time, he was running a
25 catering establishment in Bijeljina on Racanska Street, which is in the
1 general direction of Belgrade
2 Q. Did you know where they went or where Arkan brought him?
3 A. As far as I know, during those days he was often with Arkan since
4 Arkan had captured him, if you like, or was simply driving him around
5 Bijeljina and Janja as some sort of a shield to protect him from the
7 Q. Do you know if he is still alive?
8 A. No. He was killed, I think in June or possibly July of 1992.
9 Q. Do you know who killed him?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Do you know if Arkan had any influence or contacts to the local
12 Serb authorities?
13 A. Yes. Yes, he probably had contacts with the Municipal
14 Presidency. While he was at the Crisis Staff, they were together.
15 Q. Was he, for example, in a position to give orders?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Where do you know this from?
18 A. Well, while his people were still able to go there, to our area,
19 do whatever they pleased, seize vehicles, and be there deployed with all
20 the other colleagues, all of us, the patrols and so on and so forth, that
21 meant it wasn't his orders and certainly not because we wanted it to be
22 that way or because our boss had ordered that.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you, Mr. Witness.
24 Mr. Registrar, I would like to see the document with the 65 ter
25 number 1525 on the monitor. For your information, this is a report dated
1 the 29th of July, 1992, by the Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding
2 Bijeljina sent by Dragan Adnan. This document has already been tendered
3 in the Milosevic case under the Exhibit 411, tab 7.
4 Could I please see the second page.
5 Q. And, Mr. Witness, could you please read the first paragraph from
6 the second page and, also, the five enumerations which follow? Could you
7 please read this?
8 A. Sure.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the English please be displayed for the
10 benefit of the interpreters, thank you, and ask the witness to read
11 slowly. Thank you.
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
13 Q. Mr. Witness, can I interrupt you? The interpreters cannot
14 follow. They will have to see the English text. Just wait a moment.
15 Mr. Witness, could you please restart reading again, and please
16 read slowly that the interpreters can follow.
17 A. "Information from the Ministry of the Interior Security Services
18 Centre, Bijeljina, about the involvement and activities of the Ministry
19 of the Interior for the Serbian Republic
20 establishing authority and the rule of law in the area covered by the
21 Bijeljina Security Services Centre.
22 "It is generally known that attacks by Muslim armed groups in the
23 territory covered by the Bijeljina CSB started on the 1st of April, 1992.
24 After the Bijeljina Territorial Defence, partly assisted by the so-called
25 Serbian Volunteer Guard, had routed their armed forces, attempts were
1 made to ensure the functioning of the legal organs and institutions of
2 the Serbian Republic
3 paramilitary groups in attendance, in the first place the Serbian
4 Volunteer Guard, taking advantage of the situation and the slowness with
5 which new organs of government were being constituted, established a
6 parallel authority of their own in Bijeljina. Members of the Serbian
7 Volunteer Guard even entered the Public Security Station, pretending to
8 be instructors, using this as a pretext to engage on a massive scale in
9 various kinds of abuse in flagrant violation of the law. Some workers of
10 the Public Security Station even helped them and only for the purposes of
11 financial and other kinds of gain.
12 "Among other things, during the period until the 27th of June,
13 1992, frequent cases of the following occurred: terrorising of the
14 population, both Muslim and Serbian; numerous rapes; theft of property
15 and foreign currency; unauthorised invasion of houses and removal of
16 appliances, gold, artworks, et cetera; appropriation of flats and houses,
17 including the physical expulsion and even liquidation of some of the
19 "Over than 10 people of various ethnic origins were killed an
20 without apparent motive. All these cases remain unsolved. Not a single
21 criminal report was submitted regarding these murders."
22 That's as much as I can see on the screen.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Registrar, the next page.
24 Q. And I want -- Mr. Witness, I want you to read the next two
25 paragraphs, short paragraphs. Is it possible to start now?
1 A. The next two paragraphs?
2 Q. The next paragraph, on the English translation, starts with the
3 words: "The departure from Bijeljina ..." If you could continue from
5 A. Is that the third paragraph:
6 "Since the arrival on the 27th of June, 1992 ..."
7 Q. No, we stopped where you were reading:
8 "... not a single criminal report was submitted regarding these
10 And the next paragraph starts with:
11 "The departure from the Bijeljina area ..."
12 Is it on the page before? Probably.
13 A. Yes, I see it now.
14 Q. Could you please read this paragraph and the following one.
15 A. "The departure from the Bijeljina area of both Muslim and Serbian
16 citizens as a result of pressure and terror by paramilitary groups."
17 The next paragraph, please.
18 Q. And, please, this last paragraph.
19 A. "The introduction of a curfew during the commission of said
20 crimes, although there were also cases of theft, rape, robbery and murder
21 in broad daylight, as well, by camouflaged and masked members of these
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness. And can you please let us know if this
24 reflects your observations at that time? Did you share the assessment of
25 this -- do you share the assessment of this report?
1 A. I can talk about the time I spent there. This was going on, so
2 it's true. Everything described here is true and reflects faithfully the
3 situation in Bijeljina.
4 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you, Mr. Witness.
5 Your Honours, I would like --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, just a small detail.
7 It's only a detail, but it might be important in order to really
8 understand what happened.
9 It says that the paramilitary groups were terrorising the
10 population, but I draw the attention of my colleagues on this paragraph
11 because the people who leave Bijeljina are both Muslims and Serbian
12 citizens. Witness, you had a specific duty in this municipality; you
13 observed what happened, and in this report it seems to say that following
14 the action of these paramilitary troops, the entire population of
15 Bijeljina, Serbians as well as Muslims, were extremely afraid and left
16 the town. Both communities left the town. So did you tell us that the
17 Serbians did leave the city because they were afraid of these groups, of
18 these paramilitary groups?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The fear was so great, people
20 were so scared of these individuals, that one never knew who would be
21 next up, Serb, Croat, or Muslim. Mostly, they went for people who were
22 well off and who owned some property, so they were temporarily moved to
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's now move to the essential
25 question, which is the following: These groups, if these groups were
1 attacking Bijeljina with a view to carry out ethnic cleansing, thinking,
2 We're going to terrorise the Muslims so they leave, but then how can you
3 reconcile this with the fact that the Serbs were afraid and also left the
4 city? Do you think there's an explanation, as far as you're concerned,
5 or not? And I just want your opinion.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the only explanation I have
7 is that all the ethnicities were scared and living in a state of fear.
8 There were groups that were under no one's direct command. They were
9 self-motivated, if I can call them that. If, for example, a Serb, a
10 Muslim or a Croat drove by in a nice car, they would just seize the car
11 and drive off, and you would be left standing there. That's why
12 everyone, and not just the Muslims, were scared of those people. There
13 was no way to track them down afterwards, nor, indeed, did you know who
14 they were. There were many people who came in from other areas, and they
15 were linked to local criminals. I could, to all practical intents, call
16 them criminals. I don't think they were members of any unit.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that they were
18 criminals, and they came from outside, and they linked up with local
19 criminals. So we are listening to what you're saying very carefully, but
20 if I read again what you just said, you know, and thinking about the
21 first example that is in the text, terrorising the population and Muslims
22 and Serbs all leave, and then the author of the report mentions
23 everything that happened: rapes, destruction of property, theft, and so
24 forth and so on. As far as you're concerned, do you know if Serbian
25 women were raped?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I have to say that I
2 don't have any information on rape in the area, not for as long as I was
3 there. I'm not aware of a single incident. I know about the
4 misappropriation of property, and I can say that the soldiers and the
5 paramilitaries were receiving assistance from someone in Bijeljina, which
6 means they would go straight to some specific persons who they knew were
7 well off or in possession of something of value, which means that they
8 had been receiving instructions from Bijeljina because if you just come
9 into Sarajevo
10 who isn't. You need someone local on the ground to tell you, This or
11 that man is well off or wealthy, so that you can then go to that person,
12 seize their goods, and expel them.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If I understood you
14 well, some Serbian houses were looted. There were also Serbs whose cars
15 were stolen, whose money was stolen. Of course, Muslims, too, but you
16 are telling us that Serbs did fall victim to them.
17 Very well.
18 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honours, I would like to move this document
19 into evidence.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's give it a
21 number, Mr. Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit number P741.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
1 Q. Mr. Witness, you already told us when you met Arkan the first
2 time in Bijeljina. Was there also a second time that you saw him, and
3 can you let us know if it was like this?
4 A. The next time it happened was one or two days later, when
5 representatives of the then BH Government were visiting,
6 Ms. Biljana Plavsic and Mr. Fikret Abdic.
7 Q. Was their arrival the reason that you had to hurry up with
8 cleaning the bodies?
9 A. Most probably.
10 Q. Do you remember what Arkan was doing when greeting Ms. Plavsic?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Mussemeyer.
12 Sometimes the English translation is a bit sketchy. I believe that when
13 the witness -- when the witness is talking in Bosnian, I get the
14 translation directly from French -- into French, and when I look at the
15 English transcript, it's a bit different from what I heard in French.
16 You asked -- okay. Obviously, Ms. Plavsic and Fikret Abdic
17 arrived, and you're asking what the reason was for them to come. And
18 then you're asking whether he didn't have to hurry collecting the bodies
19 because they were arriving. In English, it says:
20 "Probably, yes."
21 That's the answer we obtained. But in the French translation, we
22 heard something else. He said that these people had come for that very
23 reason. So maybe they arrived because there had been casualties, so we
24 would like the witness to expound on this and to explain.
25 Is he collecting the bodies because there is some imminent
1 personalities coming and they don't want to be bothered by bodies, seeing
2 bodies littering the streets, or is it that you have to rush and collect
3 the bodies just because Mrs. Plavsic and Mr. Abdic are coming to check
4 what happened? So could you ask the witness exactly why Mrs. Plavsic and
5 Mr. Abdic came and if he could explain why he had to rush into collecting
6 these bodies.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
8 Q. Mr. Witness, you heard the question of the Presiding Judge. Do
9 you know what was the reason why Mrs. Plavsic and Mr. Abdic came to
11 A. The arrival of that delegation was not the reason for them to see
12 or not to see. The reason was a different one. They had, I think, been
13 invited by the SDA and the SDS
14 problems occurring between the bodies in Bijeljina, or shall we call them
15 clashes, would be prevented and that the situation be normalised. I know
16 that this delegation coming from Bijeljina was stopped at one point and
17 were not allowed into Bijeljina until all of the victims were cleared
18 from the streets.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Mr. President, I have
20 an objection. This might be labelled a guerrilla attack by me on the
21 Prosecution, but I do have to say a while ago, when the witness first
22 mentioned Plavsic and Fikret Abdic, he called her "Milena Plavsic." It's
23 an error. The error might be made by anyone, but it was up to the
24 Prosecutor to warn the witness and set the record straight. However,
25 there was something else that happened.
1 On the transcript, instead of "Milena Plavsic," I read the
2 correct version, Biljana Plavsic. Is an interpreter allowed to set the
3 witness straight? For example, an interpreter notices that the witness
4 misspoke and then he corrects this? I think not. Maybe the Prosecution
5 can do that, maybe the Trial Chamber, and maybe the accused himself can
6 raise an objection. I'm not attacking the witness for saying "Milena,"
7 but how can someone assume for themselves the right to correct the
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Sir, can you tell
10 us the name and Christian name of the lady accompanying Mr. Fikret?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise for the error, for
12 saying "Milena." I just said "Milena Plavsic," but the person involved
13 is Biljana Plavsic.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.
15 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I quickly checked on the English transcript, and
16 I didn't see "Milena Plavsic" mentioned by the witness, and I did not
17 hear this. Should I have heard this, I would have asked him to correct
18 this. Thank you, Your Honours.
19 Your Honours, I would like to show two stills now, which we have
20 in the Sanction system.
21 For your information, this is a still from a video showing the
22 arrival of Biljana Plavsic and greeting Mr. Arkan. This is a still from
23 a video which is not on the exhibit list. I only found it last week
24 while checking videos for another case, and this is the reason why we
25 don't have it on the exhibit list. It's from a video which has the ERN
1 number V000-0293.
2 Could you show the next one.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we see the video rather
4 than seeing the photograph or the still?
5 MR. MUSSEMEYER: This video I did not prepare. Maybe that it is
6 in Sanction, but we have to search it. For reasons of time, I decided
7 for a still because the video itself is not that interesting. It shows
8 only the arrival by these persons in a car and then this scene which is
9 shown on the still.
10 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Mussemeyer, the picture I have on my screen
11 is blurred. I see a woman kissing a gentleman, I think.
12 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Yes.
13 JUDGE HARHOFF: And two other gentlemen turning their back to the
14 photographer. I have no idea who is depicted or where it is or when it
15 was taken.
16 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I would like the witness to tell us if he
17 recognises -- if he was present at this scene and if he can tell us who
18 it is.
19 Q. Mr. Witness, could you please do this?
20 A. This is the moment the delegation arrived, the delegation I've
21 already mentioned, Madam Plavsic and Mr. Fikret, and this picture was
22 taken in front of the municipal building of Bijeljina, and this is the
23 moment when Madam Plavsic is greeting Mr. Arkan, that is, kissing him.
24 Q. Do you remember the date when this happened?
25 A. I can't tell you the exact date, but it may have been the fifth
1 or sixth day after the outbreak of the conflict in Bijeljina.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The gentlemen that we see from
3 behind, is Fikret Abdic among them or not?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which one of the two is he?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't tell you by looking at the
8 JUDGE HARHOFF: So how do you know it's Mr. Fikret Abdic?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know that he arrived. I saw them
10 coming, Mrs. Plavsic and Fikret Abdic. But if I don't see their faces, I
11 can't say which one of the two he is because we -- they have their back
12 turned. The other two persons I can see on face. I can recognise
13 Mrs. Plavsic and Mr. Arkan.
14 JUDGE HARHOFF: But I suppose they could be bodyguards or members
15 of the Municipal Council or somebody else, couldn't they?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There was the President of the
17 Municipal Assembly and Fikret Abdic. They were in that company, in that
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, Fikret Abdic was a
20 Muslim, wasn't he?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When he came, did he know that
23 Muslims had been killed?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whether he knew, probably he did,
25 because there must have been news on the various TV channels. He may
1 have learnt that there were dead. There were photographs by the TV
2 stations reporting there. But he must have known; only they didn't come
3 for that reason, to see whether there were any dead or not. They came
4 mainly to calm the situation down. They were called and invited to come
5 but not to investigate what had actually happened.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Go ahead,
8 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honours, if you would let me to shed some
9 light on this, I wanted to prove only that Mr. Arkan and Mrs. Plavsic met
10 that day. We also have two additional stills and a video showing Arkan
11 and Ms. Plavsic in a room of the community. I didn't foresee to show
12 this for time reasons, but I can show this now. I'm not sure of
13 everything is on there because I decided for stills. If you want to see
14 this, we are prepared for this.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You would like to have the
16 photograph on the file. Registrar, could you attribute a number to this
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
19 anything, I think the Prosecutor should show the video. I'm curious why
20 he's avoiding to do that, and the Prosecution has this video in its
21 possession for more than ten years. Maybe something is shown that the
22 Prosecutor doesn't want us to see.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] During the break, the
24 Prosecutor will try and get hold of this video, and if he finds it, then
25 we'll take a look at it afterwards.
1 In the meantime, let's have a number for this still.
2 THE REGISTRAR: The still will be Exhibit P742.
3 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Do you want me to show the video we have
4 prepared? I can do this.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
6 MR. MUSSEMEYER: These additional two stills from the video
7 I think we can show you. I saw it in the folder. This is at the
8 municipality, and I think we have a video, also, in Sanction, the
9 video-clip of this scene.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER: This is a video-clip from the Exhibit 65 ter
12 number 6051 on the exhibit list. Now that we have played it, I also ask
13 to have moved it into evidence.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Before giving a
15 number to this exhibit, I would like the transcript to record that the
16 Judges were able to see the video where Mrs. Plavsic gives her -- the
17 reasons for her coming there and says that she visited the Crisis
18 Committee. She is the one to talk about this Crisis Staff. And next to
19 her, we see Mr. Arkan and apparently also Mr. Fikret Abdic, and she is
20 being interviewed, and someone is asking her questions.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think that we
22 didn't see Fikret Abdic. She said that Goran Hadzic was present. On
23 this video, we didn't see Fikret Abdic, at least as far as I am able to
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, you saw this video. Did
1 you recognise Fikret Abdic or not? He must be well known, after all.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know those persons, but I
3 cannot say with certainty who the person to the left of Mrs. Plavsic was,
4 but I don't think he was present at this point in time at this meeting.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. That has been
6 recorded on the transcript with what Mr. Seselj specified.
7 Let's now give this exhibit a number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the video will be Exhibit P743.
9 MR. MUSSEMEYER:
10 Q. Mr. Witness, after these events, did you still work for the
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you tell us, what were your tasks while working for the
15 A. For the first few days or a week after that, we started working
16 normally, but every patrol that went from our station had to be
17 accompanied by a man from Arkan's unit, so that I did not join those
18 patrols with those men, but I stayed in the station and engaged in my
19 normal duties, the duties I had as a traffic policeman.
20 Q. Did you also have to provide escort to military units?
21 A. This happened a couple of days later, maybe a week. A military
22 column of armoured vehicles was passing from Sremska Raca towards
23 Bijeljina, and we had to ensure their crossing the bridge. We had to
24 stop the traffic until that column crossed from Sremska Raca to Bosanska
1 Q. Were you spending all the time in Bijeljina, or were you sent,
2 also, to other locations?
3 A. In those days, I stayed in Bijeljina.
4 Q. Were you later on sent to another municipality?
5 A. This happened on the 2nd of May, 1992. I was, you could say,
6 mobilised rather than sent to Brcko.
7 Q. What was the situation in Brcko? Can you shortly describe this?
8 A. When I received the call from my colleague who told me to tell
9 me -- who told me that I had to report to the station, I couldn't notice
10 much, but when I reached the station, we were told that under full
11 war-time gear we had to prepare to go to Brcko. We were transferred to
12 Brcko, and as we entered Brcko one could see that a conflict of a larger
13 scale had occurred than the one in Bijeljina.
14 Q. What was the city looking like? Can you describe this?
15 A. The situation in Brcko was identical to the one in Bijeljina.
16 There were various armies, various units, paramilitary units, and all
17 I can say, that there was more damage to buildings than in Bijeljina, and
18 the scope of the fighting, the shooting, was far greater in Brcko than in
19 Bijeljina, so that one can say with certainty that there was a war on
20 already there.
21 Q. Did you realise signs of looting?
22 A. When we were called from Bijeljina, we were told that we just had
23 to go to Brcko in order to secure the buildings of importance. However,
24 once we reached Brcko, everything had already been looted, at least for
25 the part of the town I was in, the department store in the center of
1 town. We came to secure that department store, but there was nothing
2 left to guard, so we stayed in the center of town, and we were not
3 involved in the fighting.
4 Q. Which paramilitary groups were in Brcko? Did you see and
5 recognise them?
6 A. I can say it was the same as in Bijeljina. There were Arkan's
7 men. There were reservists, military reservists. They were members by
8 the clothing they wore. They were units of Mr. Blagojevic, and there
9 were others who were wearing mixed clothing. They were volunteers.
10 Q. When did you finish your service in Brcko, and where did you went
12 A. I finished - I can't say exactly - five or six days later, and I
13 returned to Bijeljina. And after that, with the assistance of the head
14 of the department, I got a passport, and I left Bosnia-Herzegovina via
16 Q. When you returned to your duty station in Bijeljina, did you
17 become aware of a certain list?
18 A. As I stayed in Bijeljina for some time more, I worked at various
19 check-points, primarily at Bosanska Raca. I noticed that some colleagues
20 who had been working with me, when checking buses or private vehicles,
21 persons driving by, then he would take those persons to the container.
22 He would take something out of his pocket, read that, and then release
23 those people or keep them at Raca. Later on, I found out from another
24 check-point that was behind us, at the approach to the bridge of Bosanska
25 Raca, a colleague from the reserves of our station, I saw this list.
1 They didn't hide it from me, and an active-duty policeman did, and I saw
2 that this was a list of persons of Muslim ethnicity from Bijeljina who
3 were being looked for.
4 Q. What was the ethnicity of your colleagues who were using this
6 A. They were of Serb ethnicity.
7 Q. Did you have the feeling that they were trying to hide this list
8 from you?
9 A. Yes. A couple of times, I asked him why he was taking these
10 people to the container, what was he checking, is there a list, and he
11 said, No, there's no list; you don't have to know about it. So he never
12 allowed me to see this list. But then these colleagues from the
13 reserves, they didn't hide some things from me, and it is thanks to them
14 that I could see what was going on, and he told me, Look at this list;
15 they are your Muslims that we're looking for.
16 Q. Do you know if the Muslim villages which surround Bijeljina, did
17 the inhabitants have to declare something to the authorities in power at
18 that time?
19 A. As far as I know, the villages within the municipality of
20 Ugljevik were, in those days, I can't say forced, but they were given a
21 dead-line to choose whether they would declare loyalty to the Serb
22 authorities or sign something. I don't know whether that document
23 exists, but I learned later from the locals that they did sign this
24 loyalty and they were promised that they would not be attacked and that
25 nothing would happen to them.
1 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Sorry. Mr. Registrar, could we please see the
2 document 65 ter number 1138 on the monitor.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You must ask him the question,
4 and then you have to stop because you no longer have any time left.
5 MR. MUSSEMEYER: This is my last question, Your Honour.
6 Q. It's very hard to read, but, Mr. Witness, do you know this
7 document, and can you tell us what it is about?
8 A. I think it is this signing or expression of loyalty in agreement
9 with the Serb side regarding the loyalty of these villages. As far as I
11 Teocak. And this is signed by Mr. Vinko from Ugljevik. I think he was
12 the President; I'm not quite sure.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecutor, the text that we
14 see here, which is a report by Vinko Lazic to the minister, apparently
15 Stanisic, is in fact an answer to a telegram that Stanisic sent on the
16 18th of April, 1992. So the OTP, which is made up of competent people,
17 well, have you taken care to make sure that you have that telegram in
18 your possession?
19 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I cannot tell you. I have to search.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you understand, you offer
21 into evidence a document that reports what is going on in the villages,
22 but of course it would be very interesting to know what the request
23 expressed to Lazic was in respect of the populations in those
24 surroundings. Was it -- was the purpose to ask for a report on the
25 political situation or the health situation or the social situation? I
1 don't know. I don't know. This is basic groundwork. When you're a
2 Prosecutor, you have evidence. You verify where the evidence comes from.
3 If it's an answer to a telegram, well, we look for the telegram.
4 Anyway, well, you don't know. Okay. Ask your question.
5 MR. MUSSEMEYER: This was my last question. The question I asked
6 to Your Honours is to move this document into evidence, and I can give
7 you additional information. This document was -- got the Exhibit 420,
8 tab 6, in Milosevic.
9 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Mussemeyer, just to follow up on what the
10 Presiding Judge just proposed to you, I would like you to explain to the
11 Court, if you really wish to have this document entered into evidence, to
12 explain to the Court what it is supposed to document. What are we to
13 conclude from the facts that the Serbian authorities have received
14 loyalty declarations from the civilian population in some of these
15 villages and cities? What's the impact of that? What is it that you
16 want to show?
17 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I want to show that they did not do this
18 voluntarily, wanted to stay, either had the choice to leave the area --
19 the persons who were asked to do this either had to choice to leave the
20 area or to sign this document, and this describes how the situation was
21 at that time.
22 JUDGE HARHOFF: But the document doesn't say so.
23 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The document says that there existed solidarity
24 declarations from certain municipalities surrounding Bijeljina.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: Yes, but there is no suggestion made in the
1 document to show that these people would be forced or intimidated if they
2 didn't sign the loyalty declarations.
3 MR. MUSSEMEYER: This is what I wanted to have the witness
4 explain to us because the document alone doesn't show all to us, and I
5 wanted to have the witness comment on this, and I think he did this.
6 JUDGE HARHOFF: Very well. Thanks.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Judges, what you could
8 read in English cannot be made out in the Serbian original by a single
9 living soul. What about the first portion of the English? Is the
10 reconstruction of the Serbian original accurate? It is really not
11 something that I can say. But what you have in part 2 underneath the
12 alleged signature of Vinko Lazic, concerning the belfry, this is
13 something that I cannot see in the Serbian original. It is simply not
14 there. It does not exist. The methodology employed by the Prosecutor
15 may be allowed and fair game in other trials, but I hope that you will
16 put a stop to this practice.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, Mr. Mussemeyer, you're
18 referring to exhibits that were tendered in the Milosevic case. The
19 Milosevic case ended -- as in the circumstances, we all know there was no
20 judgement, so by definition, everything tendered in that such case
21 according to us is of no value. This must absolutely be said.
22 Now, regarding this document, I saw the English translation, of
23 course. It's a full translation, whereas the B/C/S document is hardly
24 legible. So I wondered whether a translation was made from the original
25 copy, and then they scrutinised and tried to reconstruct it somehow. I'm
1 quite surprised because there's mention of Zvornik, where it says that
2 the chief -- SJB Chief Mijic reported there was no shooting, that the
3 city is under the control of Serbian police and members of the reserve
4 forces of the TO. I really don't see where that is on the B/C/S version.
5 What does this mean? What kind of work is this?
6 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honour, this document is addressed to
7 Mr. Stanisic. Mr. Stanisic had a certain position in Serbia, and we
8 think that this is a part of proof that there existed a JCE, a JCE from
9 other members who --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's not the point. That's
11 not my question. My question is the following: How did you manage to
12 have an English translation out of a document that is hardly legible?
13 And, secondly, we can't even read "Zvornik" on this document in B/C/S, so
14 where does this come from? Where does all this come from? It's not
15 because some people were very easy when it came to documents that I'll be
16 easy too, you know. I want to be very strict about the exhibits and the
17 evidence. Evidence is essential, so all documents presented must be
18 carefully scrutinised. We have to take a look at whether it's reliable,
19 look at all the indicia of reliability, its authenticity and so forth.
20 No person, you know, with any common sense can say that Zvornik is
21 mentioned on this document.
22 Mr. Mundis.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 I have requested that we get the best copy available of this
25 document from the Evidence Unit, and perhaps before we spend any more
1 valuable time discussing that, we can return to this perhaps after the
2 next break if we're able to get the document that quickly, and we'll then
3 be in a better position to perhaps review the actual either original or,
4 if that's not in our possession, the best copy that we have in the
5 evidence vault. So --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So no number will
7 be given to this exhibit at the moment. No, let's give it an MFI number.
8 Mr. Registrar, could we have an MFI number?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. What Mr. Mussemeyer
10 just said a while ago is monstrous. He said the document was addressed
11 to Mr. Stanisic, who had an important position in Serbia. Mr. Mussemeyer
12 is here alluding to Jovica Stanisic, who was head of the State Security
13 Service in Serbia
14 enterprise. But what follows from all of that is that the document was
15 sent to the minister of the interior of Republika Srpska, Mico Stanisic,
16 who happens to share Jovica Stanisic's surname by pure accident, although
17 they are not related at all. This is an insinuation that begs belief.
18 Of course, it says "Minister," but Mr. Mussemeyer does not repeat
19 "Minister." He says Mr. Stanisic, who in Serbia, as opposed to Republika
20 Srpska, happens to be holding an important position. I think this has
21 grown out of all proportion.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, which Stanisic
23 are we talking about? Is it the Stanisic of the Serbian Republic
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina or the Stanisic in the security services of the
25 Republic of Serbia
1 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. President, I'm sorry. I cannot give you an
2 exact answer. I see the name "Stanisic" here, and I combined with
3 Stanisic, the chief of the secret service in Serbia. If this is an
4 error, I apologise, but this was my understanding of this document. It
5 might be that Mr. Seselj's remark is true or is correct. I cannot give
6 you a clear answer to this.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mussemeyer, I believe that
8 if the OTP was doing perfect investigations, it would have checked about
9 the telegram. You know, this is 01-50/2. That way we would know it
10 comes -- from which Stanisic it comes, there would be no problem because
11 if it's a telegram that comes from the Stanisic who is the Minister of
12 Interior for the Serbian Republic
13 different than if it was from the other Stanisic in Serbia. But you
14 should have done this groundwork earlier. So it's not because it was
15 tendered in the Milosevic case, where they maybe have other things to do
16 and other things to worry, that we're going to, you know, follow exactly
17 what you're saying and give you numbers when you're asking for numbers.
18 I believe Mr. Mundis is going to check on this document.
19 Theoretically, you have it in the evidence vault, and you might have a
20 copy that is more legible. The whole mystery is around Zvornik because
21 we really can't see "Zvornik." Maybe it's on the reverse side of this
22 document, but we need to have the original.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I say something else? May I
24 please add something?
25 When I look at the English translation, Mr. Mussemeyer should see
1 that it reads loud and clear. The document is being sent to the
2 Ministry, the Ministry of the Interior of the Serbian Republic
3 and Herzegovina
4 "To Minister Mr. Stanisic."
5 There is no room there for any ambivalence. There is no room for
6 Mr. Mussemeyer to hypothesise that this might indeed be the Mr. Stanisic
7 who happens to be head of the State Security Service in Serbia. This is
8 a insinuation, pure and proper, and the Prosecutor should well be
9 punished for contempt of court because of this. I'm the only one being
10 hauled over the coals for contempt of court here, it seems, and I assure
11 you that over the last one and a half years, the Prosecutors have been
12 far guiltier of that particular crime than I have.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj, it's
14 not because the OTP didn't do perfect work on this document that you have
15 to blame it for everything and anything. Let's wait and see. Let's wait
16 and see the original document. Right now, we're totally in the dark,
17 can't see anything.
18 But we'll give it an MFI
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document will be MFI P744.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The
21 examination-in-chief is finished.
22 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor for your cross-examination.
23 Just a minute. My fellow Judge has a question.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Just before the floor is given to Mr. Seselj, I'd
25 like the witness to clarify one piece of information you gave during the
1 examination-in-chief; namely, in respect of the people who took part in
2 the fighting and in the looting afterwards of some of the villages in
3 your area.
4 If I recall correctly, you said that there were, of course, JNA
5 forces involved; there were the reservists; sometimes there would be
6 members of the local TOs; then there would be Arkan's men and perhaps
7 other volunteers; and then - and this is what interests me - then you
8 seem to suggest that there was, on top of all of that or, rather, in the
9 tail of all of that, a hoard of criminals who simply were not controlled
10 by anyone and who were just fortune-hunters who sometimes were around,
11 but they were acting completely independently and under no control of
12 anyone. Is that correctly understood? Was there such a tail of
13 criminals following the events who sort of committed crimes on top of
14 everything else?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right. All I can say
16 is about Brcko, there were units that were involved in combat along the
17 front-line, so to speak. They fought the Muslims and the Serbs, and then
18 there was everything that was going on in the background - what shall I
19 call them - the unattached individuals. I'm not sure if they were
20 organised or not, but they were just walking about town, carrying a
21 rifle. No one knows which unit they belonged to. You're free to take
22 anything you like from wherever, and nobody's standing in your way. I
23 can't say that they were organised. For the most part, I think they were
24 loose cannons, unattached. They would simply blend with the army, and
25 then the soldiers would go to the front-line; these people would remain
1 behind to pick up whatever they needed.
2 JUDGE HARHOFF: This is interesting. And my question to you is,
3 then: Do you know if anything was done to try and control this, to
4 prevent people from looting or to seek to control these gangs of
5 criminals, or were they just accepted and left alone?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, I'm talking about Brcko.
7 There was more looting there than in Bijeljina. There were situations
8 where there was a trail of people following the soldiers, and they would,
9 for example, pick up a vehicle from someone's private garage. They would
10 switch on the ignition and drive off to Bijeljina or to Serbia. They
11 would go there, sell the vehicle there, and then go back for more, and
12 they functioned like that throughout. When you had situations such as
13 these, the police working in the Bijeljina area tried to put things back
14 under control to some degree, but it was very difficult. When you see
15 something from someone, this same item is then returned to that person
16 the following day. The police were facing difficult conditions in the
17 area because all of those people were invariably armed. It was easy to
18 get hurt if you clashed with them directly, so people just tended to let
19 them go on like that because it was pointless. You take it back from
20 them, and the item is then returned to them the following day anyway. It
21 became a matter of person safety as well. It was far better to let go
22 and let them get on with it, lest you, too, should get hurt.
23 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thank you very much.
24 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, following this question
25 put to you by Judge Harhoff and your answer, I need clarification.
1 Could you tell us, what was Arkan's position in relation to these
2 criminal gangs? Was he the chief, controlling them, and therefore he
3 would also have been responsible for the looting, or was he just unable
4 to control these gangs?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think he, too, was unable to
6 control them. They were not under his control.
7 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This topic is really at the
9 heart of our matter. So this notorious Arkan, could you tell us as far
10 as you know whether he also looted and stole? Could you tell us whether
11 he was fighting a military type of war, or was he very opportunistic,
12 also, taking advantage of the situation to plunder what was there to
13 take, for him as well as for his soldiers? What opinion do you have on
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for Arkan, as far as I know, as
16 far as I could find out in my professional capacity, I know that Arkan
17 always came on someone's orders, and there was always a monetary reward
18 at stake. As far as I could tell, at the outset he personally was not
19 interested whether he would take someone's money or someone's jewellery
20 or someone's car. What I can say, though, is that his men, those who
21 stayed behind following Arkan's withdrawal or the withdrawal of his
22 command, were the ones who were seizing other people's goods and
23 property. Quite simply, these were scattered individuals remaining in
24 the area who pretended to be instructors or organisers. They would go
25 into people's homes. They would seize people's houses, vehicles, even
1 official police vehicles. They would just come by, take our car, smash
2 up the car, cause an accident, leave the scene, go take a different car,
3 and just go on like that.
4 I can't say specifically in relation to Mr. Arkan. I didn't see
5 that, but at the time his men who were in the area, I didn't see them
6 take or seize anything, specifically, but later on it was also the case
7 that his men, too, those who stayed behind in the area, did engage in
8 these activities.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Just a few minutes
10 away from the break, so I will take this opportunity to read an oral
11 decision, and then we'll have the break, and Mr. Seselj will start his
12 cross-examination after the break.
13 It is an oral decision on the admission of exhibits after the
14 testimony of expert Strinovic.
15 During the hearing of November 11, 2008, when the Prosecution
16 asked for documents to be tendered, two documents obtained an MFI number
17 until the end of the cross-examination of this expert: Document MFI P609
18 first, corresponding to the expert report written by Davor Strinovic,
19 prepared for this case and sent to the Prosecution on May 26, 2008;
20 secondly, document MFI
21 by Davor Strinovic on January 17, 2003
22 Milosevic case and the Mrksic case.
23 The Trial Chamber notes that the accused raised no objection when
24 these two documents were tendered. Given the testimony of Expert
25 Strinovic, the Trial Chamber believes that his report prepared for this
1 case can be admitted into evidence under P 609. The Trial Chamber
2 notably rejects for lack of relevance, according to Rule 89(C), the
3 admission of document MFI
4 In a nutshell, through this decision we admit Strinovic's report,
5 formerly P 609 MFI
6 had been admitted into evidence in the other cases.
7 This is now on the record.
8 Let's break for 20 minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 9.52 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 10.14 a.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, have you found this
13 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, apparently the document was, in fact,
14 tendered into evidence in the Milosevic case, and as a result of that the
15 best copy or the original - whether it's the original or a scanned
16 print-out - is with the Registry. We are providing them the Milosevic
17 exhibit number to the Registry officer, who will apparently be making
18 attempts to obtain the original. It's no longer in the OTP's possession
19 in the Evidence Unit but, rather, is with the Registry as an admitted
20 exhibit in that case. So steps are being taken to retrieve that
21 document, and perhaps Mr. Registrar would be in a better position than
22 myself to inform the Chamber as to how much time would be required in
23 order to get the document.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 Now, regarding the video-clip, Mr. Mussemeyer.
1 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honour, could you repeat the question?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Mussemeyer, this
3 video-clip where we see Mrs. Plavsic's arrival, and she's kissing
4 Mr. Arkan on the cheek, have you found this video?
5 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I didn't find it. I sent an e-mail to the
6 person who normally is helping me preparing these clips, but I didn't get
7 an answer. I said she should answer urgently.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor for your cross-examination.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Seselj:
11 Q. Sir, VS-1035, you have so far provided three statements to the
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The first subject was 19 -- the first was taken in 1997, the next
15 one in 2001, and the last one in 2008?
16 A. Yes, something like that.
17 Q. Each of these three times, you clearly informed the Prosecutor
18 that you were speaking the Bosnian language; right?
19 A. Yes, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian.
20 Q. Please, you said "Bosnian" here. Please, let's not mix things
22 A. All right, then.
23 Q. That's in all three of your statements. I'm not attacking you.
24 I'm just stating facts. Please, don't get defensive on me right away
25 because there is no need for that, or at least not for the time being.
1 In 1997, you said you were a Bosnian by ethnicity, a Muslim by
2 religion, and your languages were Bosnian and German. You repeat the
3 same thing in 2001: the language used and spoken, Bosnian and German.
4 Fast-forward to 2008: languages spoken, Bosnian and German; right?
5 A. Right.
6 Q. The last time the Prosecutor spoke to you was in the 2nd of
7 September, 2008
8 The 28th of October, the Prosecution submitted a motion to this Trial
9 Chamber for your statement to be admitted as a 92 bis/ter statement.
10 That is what they told you as well; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. There's a document attached. On page 2 of this document,
13 paragraph 6, the Prosecutor says:
14 "As provided for by Rule 92 ter, the witness will confirm that
15 his statement is authentic and true and that he signed the statement in
16 the Croatian language."
17 Does that strike you as slightly strange?
18 A. Indeed, it does.
19 Q. You say Bosnian. You call it whatever you like. You are
20 perfectly entitled to. I'm not challenging that. But how did this come
21 about, the Prosecutor setting the record straight on your behalf, saying
22 you read the statement and signed the statement in the Croatian language?
23 Do you have an explanation for that?
24 A. I'm not sure how the confusion came about, Croatian. Mr. Seselj,
25 I can tell you Croatian-Bosnian-Serbian for me is the official language
1 of the former Yugoslavia
2 The language I use is a mixture of all.
3 Q. Sir, sir, that's not what I'm asking you. I'm not trying to get
4 into a linguistic debate with you now. You are a police officer, an
5 experienced one. I suppose you're more than qualified for your work.
6 There is no need for you to be qualified in full linguistic matters.
7 It's not a linguistic debate that I'm engaging in with you. What I'm
8 putting to you is that you told the Prosecution three times that you
9 spoke the Bosnian language, yet the Prosecution decided to correct you by
10 stating that you read and signed the statement in the Croatian language.
11 Was that something that they did unbeknownst to you?
12 A. I don't believe that it was unbeknownst to me. Maybe I wasn't
13 keeping track, myself.
14 Q. You didn't see the document, yourself, did you? It was something
15 that the Prosecutor drew up and submitted to the Court?
16 A. I don't know that.
17 Q. You don't know. Okay.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Judges, I invite you to view that
19 document, 20th of October, 2008, page 2, paragraph 6. This is not the
20 first time, and this is not an accident. This is not a simple error that
21 slipped through the cracks, as it were. This is an inclination displayed
22 by the Court and the Tribunal as a whole. Everything is translated into
23 Croatian. Ever since the Tribunal first came into existence, look at how
24 many jobs they gave to Croats; the Registry, the OTP, and so on and so
25 forth, and what the breakdown would be for all the other ethnicities,
1 Serbs, Muslims, Macedonians. This is something that blows the cover on
2 the true nature of The Hague Tribunal, and that is why this is my
3 introductory question.
4 Q. And now, there is something that I find surprising in your
5 statement, and this is something that you repeated in chief.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, Mr. Mussemeyer.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. Seselj, I don't want to interrupt your
8 cross-examination, but I may shed some light on this. The reason that
9 there is written Croatian language is that the language assistant we had
10 us is of Croatian origin, and she said, I can only certify Croatian
11 language. This is the reason for the confusion which might appear.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Mr. Seselj, I
14 can't find trace of what you're saying. You're saying on page 2,
15 paragraph 6?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, 28th of October,
17 2008. You should have that in e-court. The OTP submitted a motion to
18 you for admitting this witness's written statement pursuant to
19 Rule 92 ter.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I found it.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If you look at that OTP document,
22 page 2, paragraph 6 specifically, it reads:
23 "The Croatian language."
24 Now, what rights do the translators of this Tribunal have,
25 including the OTP because the OTP is part of the Tribunal. If there is a
1 witness who claims he speaks Bosnian, he's then corrected by saying that
2 the language is actually Croatian. What sort of a right are we looking
3 at? Is that because the translator is a Croat, a Croatian lady? Why
4 don't you fire that translator, let alone the fact that you've been
5 harassing me for a year and a half by having to listen to interpreters
6 who speak a very distorted version of the Serbian language, and they now
7 call it Croatian. But if there is a witness who claims he speaks
8 Bosnian, then his will must be respected.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you signed this
10 document with Ms. Dahl. This must have escaped you. But on paragraph 6,
11 obviously the person who drafted the document said that this is signed in
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, I don't think the
14 interpreters should be laughing while interpreting into the Serbian
15 language for me. Let them assume a normal tone of voice and not giggle.
16 I don't think it's a good idea for interpreter to be laughing along as
17 they are interpreting.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let me remind the interpreters
19 because it's not the first time we have a problem of the kind. The
20 interpreter at all times must be extremely neutral and because of this
21 must express nothing through his voice, neither laughter or anything.
22 Now, this being said, Mr. Mundis, you signed this document. This
23 must have escaped you. The person who drafted the document says that it
24 was signed in the Croatian language, whereas in the statement what is
25 written is that it was in Bosnian, in the Bosnian language. It may --
1 probably an error. What happened exactly? Could you tell us?
2 MR. MUNDIS: I'm not in a position at this moment to do so, Your
3 Honours, but I will take a look at this and see what I can determine with
4 respect to what's written in the motion.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. In the statement, which
6 was at first a 92 ter statement dated September 2nd, 2008, at the very
7 end of this statement, in the certification paragraphs, the person
8 involved does say that he speaks and understands Bosnian, the Bosnian
9 language, and this is what should have been written in the certification,
10 "Bosnian language," and not "Croatian language."
11 MR. MUNDIS: That would be a minor typographical error in the
12 motion, Mr. President. I'm not going to get into the semantics or a
13 discussion on the differences between the Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian
14 languages. If the Chamber would find it helpful, we can certainly get
15 someone from CLSS who can make more authoritative comments on that.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 Mr. Seselj, continue.
18 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
19 Q. At the beginning of your statement and also at the beginning of
20 the examination-in-chief, paragraph 4 of your statement, you say that in
21 1991 you were on vacation at the Plitnice Lakes
22 noticed that the Serbian people were holding nationalist rallies, that
23 the barracks had started, and so on. Is that so?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. But what I'm surprised by here is the one-sided approach. I
1 assume you're a person who wants to convey the truth and to be objective.
2 There's no mention here that a year prior to this, Franjo Tudjman came
3 into power, and for decades he was known as the main protagonist of
4 Croatian nationalism and the Ustasha movement. He was even imprisoned on
5 these charges. You must be aware of that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you must have seen on television, in the press, that as soon
8 as Tudjman came to power, Croatia
9 Ustasha --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Hold on, Mr. Seselj. You will
11 continue, but let's put the original document on the ELMO so that we will
12 fully understand the problem. There are two pages to this document.
13 Could we please have them on the ELMO.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope that this will not be at the
15 expense of my time.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Don't worry. This is not taken
17 out of your time.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is the first page, and it
20 is more legible than what we had earlier on the screen.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you can see that the
22 addition is not there. The document can be read now.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The rest is still to come.
24 Here it is, second page. This is the second page.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the second page is
1 not the same as the addition on the first page.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Page 2 seems to be an
3 attachment to page 1.
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: Hold on a minute. Mr. Usher, if you put the
5 first page back and move the view down towards the bottom of the page,
6 I think I saw a handwritten annotation. There we go. Move it up,
7 further up. That is the addition I think Mr. Seselj was making reference
8 to. What does it say there?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, this just an indication: "Our
10 telephone in the duty room ..." is such and such, and the number of the
11 telephone is given. This is not the addition. This second page cannot
12 be an annex to the first document. The first document was signed by
13 Vinko Lazic, and the second document is signed by Miodrag Jesuric, and
14 those two documents are not linked together. Even the stamps differ, as
15 you can see. This is the chief of the Security Service Centre, Jesuric,
16 and this is the chief of the municipal police - I can't see the stamp
17 properly - Lazic, Vinko. These two documents are not related at all, and
18 let me add that the addition that we saw before is not here.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Usher, could you
20 bring back these documents and show them to the Judges, please.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Chamber
23 ascertains the following thing: There's a different stamp on page 2, and
24 the signature on the first -- on the second document is not the same as
25 on the first document. So it would seem that the English translation has
1 taken the second document, summarising what happened in Zvornik, and put
2 it on the first page. If you look at the English translation on the
3 e-court system -- Registrar --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President, that is not
5 right. No, Mr. President. You see this second document, you see what a
6 lengthy text there is on Zvornik, and in the translation of the first
7 document, there's very brief reference to Zvornik of only one sentence.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Exactly. That's why I said
9 they summarised matters.
10 So we'll give the Zvornik text to the witness and ask the witness
11 to read it out so that we can find out what was said about Zvornik.
12 Could you give the second page to the witness, please, and the witness
13 will read out what is said about Zvornik.
14 Witness, you can see the title "Zvornik." Could you please read
15 this out in your own language?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] "Zvornik, by telephone with the
17 chief of the SMB Zvornik, Milenko Mijic: I received the following
18 security information. There is no shooting. The town is covered and
19 under the control of the Serb police and members of the reserve of the
20 TO. The town is being cleared up, and efforts are being made to bring
21 life back to normal in the town, but the assessment is that it is not
22 totally safe that would enable full normalisation of life. Among the
23 public institutions, the hospital is working; the judiciary is
24 operational, except for the magistrates courts; and economic and public
25 life is under the control of the government of the Serbian Municipality
1 of Zvornik."
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you, Witness.
3 So quite clearly, the English translation took up the beginning of the
4 paragraph on Zvornik concerning the fact that there is no shooting, that
5 the town is under the control of the Serb police and the reservists of
6 the TO.
7 On the other hand, the document that has just been read was not
8 written by Lazic, Vinko, which means, Mr. Mundis, that in professional
9 terms, there are some reservations to be made about using this document,
10 a document that appears to come from two different authors, and the first
11 document has an English translation. It in fact takes up what is in the
12 second document. That's all we can say about this at this stage.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There's something else,
14 Mr. President. We don't have the date of the second document at all
15 because if the situation is calm in Zvornik, this could have been only
16 after July, when the Special Police of Republika Srpska arrested and
17 disarmed members of paramilitary units. So it cannot be said that the
18 situation was calm until the beginning of August 1992 when these gangs
19 were disarmed. So the dates of the two documents are not the same for
20 one to be able to link them together. It is not possible for the date to
21 be the same. We have no indication of the date.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Yes, what you are
23 saying has been put on record. Let's give these documents back to the
24 Registrar. Mr. Usher, go and get the second page from the witness
25 because, after all, you're the guardian of these documents.
1 Thank you very much, Witness, for contributing to this by reading
2 out the second page.
3 Mr. Seselj, you can go on.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. As I was saying, you surely remembered that as soon as he came
6 into power, Tudjman started introducing Ustasha symbols, promoted Ustasha
7 ideology, and formed the illegal national guards?
8 A. That he did form certain guards is something I am aware of, but
9 as for symbols, I cannot confirm. I can't say that the police started
10 wearing the chequer-board insignia, but I can say that this was an
11 Ustasha symbol.
12 Q. Very well. We won't go into the details. Let me ask you one
13 thing that you must remember.
14 Do you remember a deputy in the Croatian Assembly who took the
15 floor, and at the end of his speech, a very firey, nationalist speech, he
16 made the Ustasha greeting or the Nazi greeting to all those present in
17 the Assembly; do you remember that?
18 A. No, I don't.
19 Q. Very well, if you don't. Then you also speak here of the
20 situation which deteriorated after the incident of the Muslim-Serb
21 village not far from Datunac [phoen]. Are you referring to Datunac on
22 the Drina
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. But that's quite away from Bijeljina, isn't it?
25 A. Well, not that far away, some 50 kilometres.
1 Q. But it's more than an hour's drive from Bijeljina?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. When you heard that two Serb policemen were talking on the radio
4 link and apparently saying that the Muslims and Croats in Bosnia would
5 have the same fate, why didn't you write a written report on what you
6 heard? Surely, it was your duty to report to your superior, and did you
7 do that? It is too big an issue for you to inform orally.
8 A. I didn't report this to anyone, nor did I say that. This
9 conversation must have been heard by the duty officer in the station, the
10 people at the exchange, and all the colleagues who were working on that
11 canal. It was not my duty to report this.
12 Q. How come, as a policeman, that it was not your duty? Surely,
13 this is something affecting state security, and your priority, as a
14 traffic policeman, if you come across something affecting state security,
15 to immediately inform the competent institution. This should be done by
16 every citizen, not to mention by state employees, a policeman; am I
18 A. Yes, one should have reported these things, but at the time this
19 conversation was heard, there was no point reporting it to anyone because
20 the person you would report it to had already heard it and he wouldn't
21 have done anything about it.
22 Q. You have no evidence that anyone else heard it except you; you're
23 just assuming that someone else must have heard it as well?
24 A. Yes, he must have heard it because all the patrols in the Tuzla
25 region, for instance, who were on the same canal with us, so that someone
1 in that region must have heard it, too, and many colleagues did hear it.
2 They had to hear it because the radio station in the car is always
3 switched on.
4 Q. I agree they should have heard it, but there's no evidence that
5 they really did hear it?
6 A. Yes. Just like me, nobody reported anything.
7 Q. Very well. Let's move on. You said here that you were sent to
8 assist, together with some other policemen, to Bosanski Samac, and I was
9 surprised by one thing. You say that you Muslims took off your caps with
10 the five-cornered stars and you wore some other caps, whereas the Serbs
11 insisted on wearing the caps with the five-cornered star simply to
12 provoke the Croats. This is in your last statement; is that true?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. But surely, the five-cornered star was still an official symbol.
15 Is that true too?
16 A. Yes, it is true, but all I can tell you, that in that situation
17 and in that place where we were at the time, it was highly risky to wear
18 a five-cornered star because life was not normal, as it was in Bijeljina
19 or in Brcko in those days. Over there, the tension was high. There was
20 intolerance on the Croatian side. I must tell you I was exposed to
21 danger by the Croatian Army.
22 Q. Let us assume that we are two policemen, I'm a Serb and you're a
23 Muslim, and both of us are officially obliged to wear the red star on our
24 caps; this hadn't been changed yet.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I must stop you,
1 I'm afraid. I need to broach another question.
2 The OTP has just informed me that the next witness, and I won't
3 give his name because this is a protected witness -- well, let me go into
4 private session, please, Registrar.
5 [Private session]
11 Page 13753 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
19 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Sir, Mr. VS-1035, I gave you an example. Imagine the two of us
21 are two police officers. I'm a Serb; you're a Muslim. We work at the
22 same police station. We wear the same official uniform. All right.
23 We're off on a mission to a different municipality where the situation is
24 rather difficult. You remove the five-pointed star from your cap. I
25 continue to wear the five-pointed star, it being an official symbol. And
1 then you talk about me and you say that I'm wearing this five-pointed
2 star in order to taunt someone, and you remove yours in order to not
3 taunt the local Croats. Does this strike you as logical? I'm wearing an
4 official symbol. How would I be taunting anyone in my line of duty in
5 Bosnia and Herzegovina? I'm protecting public law and order, and as long
6 as the rules don't change, I have no right at all to change that myself
7 and remove the symbol, yet you do this yourself on your own urging and
8 accuse me, on top of that, of taunting someone because I fail to remove
9 this official symbol. Does that strike you as logical?
10 A. As far as the symbols are concerned, it's true that all over
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, police officers wore the same symbols. In the case
12 of Bosanski Samac, we had been advised directly by the command of the
13 police station for people who went to do their job at the bridge, and I'm
14 talking about the bridge area specifically, to not wear these Tito caps,
15 the standard-issue police caps worn in emergency situations, in order to
16 avoid taunting the Croatian side, since the Croatian side demanded that
17 we keep the flow of civilians and vehicles across the bridge unhindered.
18 So we had to do this for them to know that we were there to secure the
19 bridge and that we were not looking at anything. Were we Serbs, were we
20 Muslims, were we wearing this cap or not, this was up to you. You were
21 not banned from wearing it. You were not banned from removing it. If
22 you're a shift leader at that bridge, your duty was to inform the
23 colleagues who were wearing those caps about the reasons why they had to
24 remove their caps.
25 Q. I don't understand anything you are telling me. How can a
1 commander give you an order to the effect that you should remove an
2 official symbol from your cap? I understand nothing at all, but let's
3 just leave it at that.
4 And now I may be saying this with my tongue firmly in my cheek
5 when I say I understand nothing. We all know that, but can we please now
6 have a look at a document that was submitted to me by the OTP. This is a
7 public document.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There is no need to keep it secret
9 because it will in no way disclose the identity of this witness.
10 Can it please be placed on our screens? It's the document that
11 I -- that I requested from the OTP. I wanted a translation into English,
12 as well, but they don't seem to have it yet or whatever. I think it
13 should be made public, though.
14 Q. This document is not about you personally. It has nothing to do
15 with you, but it pertains to the situation in Bijeljina, and that's why
16 we would like to comment on it.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We don't have it yet, do we?
18 Can the Registrar please provide copies for the Chamber. There
19 it is. I have it now. I see it on my screen. Let's go through this
20 together. Can we just please get the image to be a bit clearer? This is
21 somewhat blurry.
22 Q. You see the header of this document?
23 May the Registrar please provide a copy for you so that you can
24 look at a hard copy in front of you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If a hard copy can be made
1 available for the witness, the Chamber and the OTP. Thank you.
2 Q. You see here, if you look at the header, it reads:
3 "SFRY, Yugoslavia
4 the federal coat of arms of Yugoslavia
5 languages: Serbian, in both Cyrillic and Latin script; and then
6 Macedonian and Slovenian; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If you look at the signature line:
9 "Chief of the JNA General Staff, Colonel-General Blagoje Adzic."
10 Is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. If you go to the bottom, you see the official Registry number of
13 The Hague
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you see who this document is addressed to, Colonel
16 Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan, in person. It doesn't say Zeljko. It just
17 says Z. Raznatovic personally; right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Pursuant to the law on the armed forces of the SFRY and
20 instructions on service in the armed forces of the SFRY, I hereby order,
21 1, 2, 3. Can you please be so kind as to read what exactly Blagoje Adzic
22 is ordering Zeljko Raznatovic, Arkan?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read it out slowly.
24 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Number 1, start with number 1, and then we'll proceed.
1 A. "I hereby order:
2 "1. Make a breakthrough along the Bijeljina-Loznica-Visegrad
3 line or axis by driving out the Muslim population, regardless of any
5 "2. Regardless of any casualties, take hold of all the strategic
6 features. If necessary, involve the units of Jovic, Vucarevic, Nikola
7 Luic, as well as the Herzegovina
8 "3. Before the action is launched, link up with Milisav Gagovic
9 and Major-General Ratko Mladic. Continue to operate in concert. The
10 corps and garrison commanders in the areas affected by war operations and
11 mopping-up operations shall be under the command of Colonel Raznatovic
12 and shall be under the obligation of obeying his orders alone and no one
13 else's. If necessary, General Mladic will see to any support that the
14 Tigers, the Wolves from Vucjak, and the White Eagles might need, as well
15 as any support for the air forces. About this, get in touch directly
16 with General Ninkovic or Stevanovic and Bajic."
17 Q. Can you please read what the stamp says? It reads:
18 "Federal Secretariat for All People's Defence, Political
19 Administration." Right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. All right, sir. You're an experienced police officer. Doesn't
22 it appear to you at first sight that this document is a clumsy example of
24 A. I can only tell you about this document and specifically the
25 orders in it. Not a single one bears a stamp in the upper left corner.
1 Not a single institution is named there in the former Yugoslavia because
2 this is a stamp. This stamp reads: "Political Administration," and
3 frankly, if that's what it says, it should instead read "Federal
4 Secretariat for All People's Defence of the SFRY" or, for example, "All
5 People's Defence Ministry Political Administration," I'm unfamiliar with
6 that. I think this is a case of forgery.
7 Q. Well, there you go. Thank you. Let's try and go through this
8 document together. You provided all of my answers already, but if you
9 look at the header up there, it reads:
10 "Federal Secretary for All People's Defence."
11 You're a police officer. You completed your secondary schooling.
12 You're educated enough to know that the federal secretary was also the
13 defence minister; right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. A member of the federal government. That's the Defence Ministry?
16 A. Right.
17 Q. And yet you know that there's the JNA General Staff, right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the General Staff of the JNA is subordinated to the
20 Presidency of the SFRY; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Back in 1987, the JNA General Staff was now made into the General
23 Staff of the armed forces; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And it remained under the command of the Presidency of the SFRY?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. As an experienced police officer, do you realise that there is no
3 date here?
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. There is no protocol marking here, right, and the rule had to be
6 there, right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. So this is a document produced by the general secretary,
9 allegedly. In that case, it should be signed by the federal secretary,
10 Veljko Kadijevic, or the federal minister, right, not Blagoje Adzic;
11 right? Right?
12 A. Yes, right.
13 Q. If this is a document produced by the General Staff of the armed
14 forces, in that case the header should read: "General Staff," and there
15 should be a stamp there, the General Staff stamp, and not the Political
16 Administration of the Federal Secretary or Federal Secretariat; right?
17 If this had been signed by the Federal Secretariat, there would have been
18 a stamp there of the Federal Secretariat for All People's Defence, the
19 secretary's cabinet; right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This political administration is one of the several
22 administrations comprised by the Federal Secretariat; there was Political
23 Administration, Personnel Administration, Security Administration a
24 Quarter-Master's Administration, and so on and so forth; am I right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. So is this such a stupid case of forgery that we're all
2 simply stunned by it?
3 A. I can only repeat this: The header in the upper left corner is
4 certainly no original. Any order from the General Staff,
5 Colonel-General Adzic, or the federal secretary can -- no order can read
6 "Federal Secretary." It has to be "Federal Secretariat for All People's
7 Defence," and then if it's in reference to the federal secretary, then it
8 would be "Federal Secretary for All People's Defence." And then lower
9 down it would be "Pursuant to the law on the armed forces of the SFRY,"
10 and then the appropriate paragraph, a reference to the appropriate law,
11 what paragraph of that law.
12 Q. And the instructions and service, right, the appropriate
14 A. Yes, and the protocol number under which the order was filed
15 because each order is filed into the protocol book of orders, right?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right. Judges, here is
17 evidence for you of the kind of forgery produced and resorted to by the
18 OTP. This document was served on me several years ago, and it is
19 something that is supposed to be in support of the consolidated
20 indictment against me. Is this sufficient for you to charge the
21 Prosecutor with contempt of court? I don't know. That is up to you to
22 judge. But here is a plain example of the sort of forgery that the OTP
23 are resorting to.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, I'm seeing this
25 document for the first time of my life, the first time we see this
1 document. It must have been disclosed under the different rules in the
2 regulation that ruled disclosure. Now, if this is a forgery, how is it
3 that the OTP had this document and didn't check into it? Maybe you don't
4 know anything about this document and you're discovering it for the first
5 time, just like me.
6 MR. MUNDIS: We will determine where we obtained the document
7 from and inform the Trial Chamber accordingly.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Fine. Let us move on to the specifics of your written statement
12 and your examination-in-chief.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, despite the fact
14 that this document might be a forgery, I still note that it would have
15 been the JNA that would have conducted the action against Bijeljina, that
16 Colonel Arkan, whose rank was colonel, obviously, and he was in charge of
17 heading this operation.
18 Furthermore, General Mladic could, if need be, provide support to
19 the Tigers, the White Eagles, the Grey Wolves, and I note that the
20 volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party are also mentioned as well as
21 other volunteers. This is what the document is all about.
22 Now, it's up to the Prosecution to find how it came up with this
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
25 this, Mr. President. Where have you found volunteers of the Serbian
1 Radical Party? They're not mentioned anywhere.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I never said this. There must
3 have been a problem in the translation.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is the translation I received.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I beg the interpreters, once
6 again, be very careful with your interpretation.
7 I said that in this document there is mention of the possible
8 role played by General Mladic in case of providing, if need be, support
9 to the following units: The Wolves, the Tigers and the White Eagles.
10 And I added that I noted that in this paragraph, there is no mention of
11 the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party. This is what I said.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is absolutely a
13 forgery, an ill-intentioned and definite forgery, and this forgery has
14 been produced by The Hague OTP. Such a document is quite impossible in
15 the practice of the activities of the Federal Secretariat for National
16 Defence and the Chief of Staff of the armed forces. This is a
17 nonexistent document. This is something manufactured by The Hague
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Don't say that
20 it's the OTP which fabricated this document. This is a very serious
21 accusation. The Prosecution must have received this document from
22 someone, from a witness, from the Serbian authorities. I have no idea
23 who sent this document in the first place, and when he received the
24 document, it was disclosed to you. Otherwise, you know, you are -- this
25 would be very serious. This is a very serious allegation, you know, that
1 an international tribunal would be fabricating documents. This is a very
2 serious accusation.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As if that would be the first time,
4 Mr. President, as if there aren't many other cases when they produce
5 false documents, even false indictments.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honours, as with much of what the accused
7 alleges, this really doesn't merit much of a response.
8 I will indicate, however, that this document was provided to the
9 Office of the Prosecutor --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, I don't agree with you. I
11 don't agree with you. I don't think that you can say this merits no
12 answer. There is a document. It was disclosed to him officially through
13 the official channel, and he's saying this is -- he's saying that this is
14 a forgery. We can't just, like, set it aside. I believe that the OTP
15 must absolutely look into the origin of this document, see who provided
16 this document to you, whether you were instrumented -- you were
17 manipulated by the person who actually gave you this document. This must
18 be dealt with with the utmost seriousness.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Your Honour, the allegations that the accused
20 continues to make about fabricating documents, fabricating evidence,
21 false indictments, is not something that we are prepared to deal with
22 each and every time he raises it because, quite frankly, he's doing it
23 for political reasons outside of this courtroom, and it is not, in our
24 respectful view, a proper use of the limited time we have available to
1 This document was provided to the Prosecution by a Defence
2 counsel in another case. It was simply disclosed to the accused. We
3 have not tendered this document. We have not sought to rely on this
4 document. The accused has simply presented a document that was disclosed
5 to him, flagged it up as some kind of Prosecution-fabricated document.
6 It is a complete waste of everyone's time for us to continue talking
7 about this.
8 When we identify documents that may contain Rule 68 material,
9 it's disclosed to the accused. That does not mean in any way, shape, or
10 form that the OTP adopts the document. We disclose material that we
11 believe, on its face, contains information that the accused might think
12 is exculpatory. If he chooses to use it and it helps his case, fine. If
13 he brings in documents and simply makes allegations that OTP -- unfounded
14 allegations that OTP has created a document, that is improper.
15 The document was provided to us, as I've indicated, by Defence
16 counsel in another case, and it was disclosed to the accused because our
17 searches indicated that it might contain material that was exculpatory
18 due to the search terms used that presumably included the name of
19 Mr. Arkan. But we're not going to go into the merits of whether this is
20 a fabricated document or not. This is simply a waste of our time, in our
21 respectful submission.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. This document was
23 handed to the OTP by counsel of Defence, but we don't know which counsel
24 of Defence, we don't know who it is, and then the OTP disclosed it to the
25 accused under Rule 68. Very well. So as long as you're handed a
1 document, you disclose it. That's the conclusion I draw from this.
2 Proceed, Mr. Seselj.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it seems to be that
4 I am again to blame because of this forgery. It is the duty of the
5 Prosecutor to tell us from which Defence counsel and in which case he
6 received this. The Defence counsel cannot be relieved of responsibility.
7 We must know the name of that person and the case. What kind of a person
8 would I be if I had even tried to use this document as exculpatory
9 material? As the Prosecutor said, this was disclosed to me under
10 Rule 68(1). Is this kind -- is this intended to mislead, to compromise
11 my entire defence? Imagine if I was stupid enough or as stupid as the
12 Prosecution thought I was to in haste use this document as exculpatory in
13 my defence, and then my whole defence would break into pieces on that
15 This is not such a minor issue, and I insist, Mr. President, that
16 the Prosecutor tells us from whom -- from which lawyer he deceived
17 [as interpreted] this document as an exculpatory one, and that lawyer
18 must be suspended and prohibited from appearing before an international
19 court, even before a national court. Do we need to conceal the identity
20 of that attorney now?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Trial Chamber
22 has been seized by this oral submission of yours and will deliberate on
24 Proceed now.
25 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. VS-1035, in paragraph 8, and you also said in the
2 examination-in-chief, that at the beginning of 1992, you had problems in
3 executing your duties. You're a traffic policeman. And then you say:
4 "If I was to approach a Serb or a reserve officer of the JNA with
5 the intention of fining him for a traffic offence, they would make it
6 clear to me that I could do nothing to them because I was a Muslim and
7 they were a Serb. Does that mean that all the Serbs in Bijeljina knew
8 you and that they knew you were a Muslim, but when stopping anyone in
9 traffic and trying to fine them, you don't tell anyone your name?
10 "A. No, I have been stopped hundreds of times by traffic
11 policemen, and no one ever introduced himself, nor did I ask them to
12 introduce themselves."
13 And then you say that you had problems with the reserve officers
14 of the JNA.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You should know that as a policeman, you are not competent for
17 JNA officers in uniform, whether they're active duty or reservists. The
18 moment he puts on a uniform, then it is only the military police that has
19 competencies over him?
20 A. Only if he's moving in a military vehicle.
21 Q. But you have no right to detain a JNA officer if he shows you his
22 official ID, whether he's a reserve or active duty?
23 A. If he commits an offence, I can detain him or I can inform the
24 military police. We're talking about a traffic offence. In that case,
25 not a single officer is exempted from paying a fine for an offence he may
1 have made, and he's not exempt from my control if he's moving in a
2 private civilian vehicle.
3 Q. But not a single officer is relieved of responsibility for a
4 traffic offence, yes, but the procedure is different. You stop a reserve
5 officer and you tell him, You have been speeding, driving at such and
6 such a speed, the fine is such and such; and wearing a uniform, he shows
7 you his official ID confirming that he's a JNA officer, and your only
8 possible measure is to report to the military police, for them to take
9 over the case.
10 A. No.
11 Q. Well, surely you didn't have the right to arrest him. You had no
12 right to detain and arrest him. You never had that right.
13 A. Let us clear this up. One thing is to ask for his ID, and to
14 detain him is another. If he refuses to pay the fine for the offence he
15 has made, then I file a report, and that report is not filed with the
16 military police, the military organ, but to the magistrates courts.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Well, if he refuses to pay a
18 fine, that's not a problem.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There might be a mistake on
20 page 60, line 24. My fellow Judge has signaled this to me. Mr. Seselj
21 is putting a question to you. You're a police officer, you're in charge
22 of traffic, and therefore, you are competent when it comes to traffic
23 offences, and then he looks into this, and in English on line 24, you
24 answer, saying: "No." In French, it was a "Yes." So it seems that we
25 have a problem here.
1 Let me put the question again to the witness.
2 When a JNA officer is in a military vehicle, are you entitled to
3 control this person?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] A JNA officer driving a military
5 vehicle, then I have -- the civilian police has no right to control him.
6 But if he's driving in a civilian vehicle --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. I'll go step by
8 step. The second question now.
9 Let's imagine we have a JNA officer in full uniform in a private
10 car, let's say in a Golf, for example, registered in Germany, for
11 example. Are you entitled to check this person?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An officer driving a car with
13 foreign registration plates, for instance, for Germany, something he was
14 not allowed to do; but if he's driving a vehicle with civilian
15 registration plates or German or French registration plates, you can stop
16 him and control him if there is an offence made. You ask him to pay the
17 fine on the spot, or you can write a report to the magistrates court.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let me make this a
19 bit more complex. Let's say it's a JNA officer in a private car, but
20 let's say that he tells you that this vehicle has been requisitioned by
21 the army. Are you entitled, then, to check and control him?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have to see his documents. For
23 the requisitioning of that vehicle, he must have a written certificate
24 showing that that vehicle has been requisitioned by the JNA. This
25 document does not relate to him but to the vehicle.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Proceed.
2 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation].
3 Q. Let me now refer to something that surprised me most. You made a
4 statement in 1997 and in 2001. In neither of those statements do you
5 mention my name or the Serbian Radical Party or Mirko Blagojevic, and now
6 suddenly, just before your appearance in court, on the 8th -- no, on the
7 2nd of September, 2008, you now speak of Mirko Blagojevic. In
8 paragraph 26, you say all the police personnel in Bijeljina knew
9 Mirko Blagojevic and his brother as criminals long before the conflict;
10 Mirko Blagojevic was a member of the SDS, of the Serbian Democratic Party
11 in Bijeljina, and one of Seselj's men.
12 Please, was Mirko Blagojevic ever had -- did he ever have a
13 criminal record? As a policeman in Bijeljina, you should know that.
14 A. In the territory of Yugoslavia
15 Q. I see. He was never punished on the territory of Yugoslavia
16 A. That is what I believe, what I think.
17 Q. How could you say, then, that he was a criminal?
18 A. According to the information of the Crime Service.
19 Q. What did the Crime Service know about him?
20 A. Much more than I did.
21 Q. What, specifically? Tell me so that I should know. I hear of
22 that for the first time. I'd like to know.
23 A. According to my information, he engaged in criminal activities
25 Q. Where?
1 A. Abroad. I don't know where.
2 Q. Was it in Zambia
3 A. No, in Europe
4 Q. In Europe
5 A. I can't say with precision. I don't know.
6 Q. What kind of criminal activity?
7 A. Stealing.
8 Q. What, stealing what?
9 A. I don't know exactly. I can't say.
10 Q. You're a serious person. You're a professional policeman with
11 some experience. If you say of a living man who until recently was a
12 deputy in the Joint Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who is to this
13 day a deputy in the Municipal Assembly of Bijeljina, who is President of
14 the Party of Serb Radicals, which contains my name in its name in the
15 Republika Srpska, when you say of him that he's a criminal in such an
16 important official document, and I think you repeated that in the
17 courtroom, surely you have to have some evidence of that. Just imagine
18 if I were to say of you that you were a criminal. I have no evidence. I
19 never heard of any particular crime that you may have committed. I have
20 no evidence that you committed a war crime. Just imagine if I were to
21 say of you that you were a criminal. Wouldn't that be terrible?
22 A. I would have to defend myself.
23 Q. Why would you have to defend yourself if I have no evidence? Why
24 should Mirko Blagojevic defend himself, or why should I defend him, if
25 you don't have a single piece of specific evidence to prove that he was
1 ever a criminal?
2 A. I personally don't have any evidence. All I can say, that the
3 Crime Service, even before this party was founded, that is, before all
4 the parties were founded, that there was some analysis of persons such as
5 Mirko Blagojevic and others. And I can say, among other things, that I
6 learnt from my colleagues who worked in that service about meetings that
7 were held at those parties and what he did before, but I personally don't
9 Q. But what was he? He was simply registered as a Serb nationalist,
10 that's all, and nothing more than that. He was never charged with
11 anything before any court. He was never charged with a single crime.
12 And what is this like? You pin crimes on to someone. You label him as a
13 criminal with no reason at all. He is the chief Radical in Republika
14 Srpska. If he's a criminal, then I'm a criminal too. He enjoys my
15 complete trust. He's a long-time friend. We go way back, before the
16 Serb Radical Party was ever established.
17 You know that I used to go to Bijeljina before?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Do you know when I visited?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you perhaps hear that I was there some months before the
22 armed clashes broke out?
23 A. All I can say is I did not personally see you there, Mr. Seselj.
24 But each time you visited, this is something that would be known.
25 Q. The police would know about it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And they would provide -- they would monitor my movements around
3 Bijeljina whenever I was there, discreetly, but every step I made; right?
4 A. Yes. Well, let me be straight and open about this. Those were
5 other services that were involved in that type of work, and I can't say I
6 monitored you myself. I simply don't know. But every time you visited,
7 the police knew about it. The police knew you were in Cafe Srbija with
8 Mirko Blagojevic, that sort of thing.
9 Q. That could hardly have been keep secret; right?
10 A. No. That was being monitored.
11 Q. Everybody knew that I was a major Serb nationalist, the biggest
12 Serb nationalist, perhaps, the most fervent. Do you know of anyone who
13 is a more fervent Serb nationalist than I am?
14 A. No, I don't, frankly.
15 Q. There you go. That's one thing that we agree on entirely. For
16 example, six months before the conflict, were you aware of my visits to
17 Bijeljina? Did I make any visits to Bijeljina as far as you could tell?
18 Let's assume the clashes broke out on the last day of March 1992. Did I
19 visit Bijeljina at any point during the latter half of 1992 or the first
20 three months?
21 A. Not as far as I know.
22 Q. Do you know any differently?
23 A. I can't say. I don't know that, either.
24 Q. I'm asking you because we had a witness here whose evidence I
25 challenged, who said that just before the clashes broke out, I had
1 visited Bijeljina. If I'd been there, you would have known about it;
2 right? The word would have gone 'round, wouldn't it?
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Would you please slow down.
4 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Fine. Let's move on to a different issue now.
6 In the previous paragraph --
7 JUDGE HARHOFF: Mr. Seselj, before we leave paragraph 26, I would
8 like to put a question to the witness in respect of the next sentence of
9 that paragraph because, Mr. Witness, you seem to have told the
10 investigator from the Prosecution that Mr. Mirko Blagojevic was a member
11 of the SDS
12 himself introduced him as the leader of the SRS volunteers. So my
13 question to you is: Where does this membership of the SDS come from?
14 Did you tell the investigator that he was a member of the SDS, and where
15 did you know this from?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It may have been a
17 misinterpretation. He was not a member of the SDS, not as far as I knew.
18 I know that he was with the Radicals. That's all I know. But the SDS,
19 that was probably a typo, an error. The Serb Radical Party, SRS.
20 JUDGE HARHOFF: So you are entering a correction to the statement
21 in paragraph 26; is that correctly understood, that you meant to say that
22 Mr. Blagojevic was a member of the SRS
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE HARHOFF: Thanks.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm trying to find
1 some things about your credibility. You have made a statement in 1997.
2 I have this statement, and nowhere in this statement is there any mention
3 of Mr. Seselj or of the volunteers of the Serbian Radical Party.
4 However, in this statement, you really stress the role played by Arkan.
5 When you testified in 1997, did the OTP tell you which case you
6 were going to testify in?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I gave a statement, this main
8 statement that I gave the first time around. Its scope is far broader
9 than the one that I think you have, and my statement in its entirety, if
10 you look at it, shows you the overall goings-on in 1991 and 1992. It was
11 about several different procedures that were in progress.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could all the other
13 microphones in the courtroom please be switched off. We cannot hear the
14 witness at all on account of the enormous background noise. Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] For example, no mention was made of
16 Mr. Seselj or anyone else in the --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. You say
18 that you made an initial statement that was a lengthy one. In what year
19 did you make that statement? Because we have three statements, the one
20 dating back to 1997, the one dating to 2001, and the 2008 statement. So
21 the lengthy statement that you just referred to, when did that take
22 place? Was it done here with the OTP, or was it done before other
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First, I gave a statement to
1 can't say really, but that was the --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: The interpretation will
3 proceed as soon as all of the sources of background noise have been
4 eliminated and we can hear the witness. Thank you.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In Germany, to what
6 investigators did you make a statement? Were they German investigators?
7 Who were they?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The German investigators.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They were all German, were
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, they were Germans. They were
12 working for Germany
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And so they asked you questions
14 in the German language because you speak German? They asked you
15 questions in German, did they?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, in Bosnian, Serbo-Croatian.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In your own language. Well,
18 when you met with the investigators from OTP, they said to you that you
19 were going to be testifying in the Milosevic or the Seselj case or in
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was told that it depended on what
22 was necessary as the proceedings progressed. I would be called as a
23 witness. If there is something in my statement about the Milosevic
24 trial, it would be the Milosevic trial. If there was something about the
25 Seselj trial, I would be called to testify in that trial. But it wasn't
1 specified at the time.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you were not told in which
3 case they would be using your statements? They didn't say, You'll come
4 to the Milosevic trial, or to Seselj's trial, or anybody else's trial;
5 nobody said to you at any time in which case you would be testifying?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, but very soon there was another
7 visit by The Hague
8 on at the time. For example, they wanted another statement that was in
9 relation to one of the ongoing procedures at the time, that sort of
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you testified in the
12 Milosevic trial, at any time were you asked questions about the
13 volunteers from the Serb Radical Party; do you remember that?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't remember.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Perhaps now you
16 will remember the last statement that you made, which is a recent one.
17 It dates back to the 2nd of September, 2008, just a few months ago. Now,
18 that statement has been taken down. How did that happen? Were you told
19 to tell the whole story, or did they ask you very specific questions and
20 you answered those questions? You were a policeman, and of course you
21 understand what I'm driving at. Were they the ones who said to you to
22 narrate all the events and then they summarised them in the document, or
23 else did they ask you questions about specific topics?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After my first statement, something
25 was said about the preparations for the Seselj case, what was relevant --
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters couldn't hear the witness.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're not answering my
3 question. On the 2nd of September, 2008, you met with two investigators,
4 one of whom is here - I won't give you his name - one interpreter, as
5 well, and they heard you for the purpose of having your statement under
6 Article 92 ter, and they said to you, Sir, could you tell us from the
7 start the whole story, what you saw, heard, et cetera; or else, did they
8 say, We shall deal with separate topics; the first topic, yourself and
9 your professional background, and they then asked you to talk about
10 yourself; and then as to your background and personality, they drafted
11 three paragraphs? I just want to know how this was done. There's no
12 trap in my question.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All I can say is to repeat
14 something that I said already. The statement that I provided --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: There is background noise.
16 We can't hear the witness. Thank you.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] -- and then I was asked questions
18 about my previous statement and as far as it was relevant to this trial.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well.
20 Now, as of paragraph 16, they call this mopping up in Bijeljina,
21 picking up of corpses in Bijeljina. So as of paragraph 16, you start
22 talking about the 48 bodies, et cetera, and then all of a sudden we see
23 paragraph 22 --
24 THE INTERPRETER: 26, interpreter's correction.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] First of all, we talk about
1 bodies being collected, and then we talk about Mirko Blagojevic, and here
2 what you say is the whole police station in Bijeljina knew
3 Mirko Blagojevic and his brother as being criminals. Mirko Blagojevic
4 was a member of the SDS
5 the one who spontaneously came forward with this information or did the
6 investigators say, Do you know Blagojevic?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Again, based on my previous
8 statement, and I think I -- [No interpretation]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And you are the one
10 who said that Blagojevic was a member or was one of Seselj's men, rather?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. A member of Seselj's party.
12 We can put it that way.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He was a member of Seselj's
14 party. He was a member at that time or became a member later on?
15 There's a difference. Was he a member in 1992, in the month of May 1992,
16 or was -- did he become a member later on, or don't you know?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know. I can't answer that
18 one. I don't know.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Last question,
20 because earlier on Mr. Seselj asked you a series of questions and you
21 answered, but it wasn't very clear. It seemed to me that at some time
22 you were deputy, so I understood that you were elected at the
23 Municipality of Bijeljina
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mirko Blagojevic, Mr. President.
25 There might have been the misinterpretation. Mirko Blagojevic was a
1 deputy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a federal one.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very good. Very good. And
3 when Mirko Blagojevic, who was an MP in Bosnia-Herzegovina, when -- he
4 was elected on a list of the Serbian Radical Party; is that right?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think the Serb Radical Party,
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] These were the elections following
9 the Dayton
10 to the Joint Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before that, he was a
11 deputy to the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, two terms of office
12 consecutive, I think. But that's hardly of any consequence now.
13 Shall I continue?
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, go on.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. VS-1035, in your first statement, dated the 3rd of June,
18 1997, in your second statement dated the 22nd of October, 2001, and in
19 the entire transcript of your evidence in the Milosevic trial, and your
20 appearance - there was quite a lengthy one, right - there is not a single
21 reference to my name, to the name of Mirko Blagojevic, or the Serb
22 Radical Party, not a single one. Yet now you appear in September before
23 Mr. Mussemeyer, and he tells you you're supposed to testify in the Seselj
24 case. Was that the first time you heard that you would be appearing in
25 this case, in September last year?
1 A. No.
2 Q. When was the first time?
3 A. A long, long time ago, I was told by The Hague investigators
4 that, should the need arise and if they believed there was anything in my
5 statement that might be relevant to the case or to any other case, the
6 Krajisnik case, the Plavsic, the Milosevic case, your case, that my
7 evidence would be used and that if necessary I would be called.
8 Q. What year was that?
9 A. 2001, when I gave my second statement.
10 Q. Sir, Mr. VS-1035, in 2001 no one had any idea that there would be
11 an indictment against me to begin with, least of all the OTP. Don't
12 protect the OTP. There's no need for that. You certainly weren't told
13 that at the time, not by them; is that a fact?
14 A. Again, I don't know the exact date.
15 Q. Quite right.
16 A. But I can confirm that I was told this in relation to all of the
17 accused who were here, if needed, for the purposes of the Defence, the
19 Q. But my name was not mentioned, was it?
20 A. Probably not.
21 Q. Very well. You're saying what The Hague Prosecution is saying.
22 You're defending it, and they're not defending it themselves. They say,
23 addressing the Trial Chamber, since the Trial Chamber allowed them to
24 request again that your statement be taken as 92 ter - there's no need
25 for me to elaborate on that - and it says in accordance with that, the
1 OTP has reviewed the body of evidence linked to this witness - therefore,
2 that is the evidence used by Mr. Mussemeyer in the examination-in-chief
3 and probably the Prosecutor in the Milosevic case - and prepared a
4 revised version of the witness statement relating specifically to this
6 "Having reviewed the statement in his own language, the witness
7 signed it on the 2nd of September, 2008."
8 So the Prosecution admits that it prepared this statement of
9 yours, this third statement, and then you reviewed that statement and
10 signed it; is that how it went?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Well, how did it go, then?
13 A. The Prosecution came, and one day we worked on my first
14 statement, and then this statement was prepared that was signed in
15 September. It wasn't prepared beforehand. Each of my statements was
16 reviewed again with respect to the topics relevant to this particular
18 Q. Very well. You're now defending the Prosecution, but the
19 Prosecution says that they prepared the revised version, which means that
20 the Prosecution had in mind everything else you had signed earlier on in
21 your previous statements, your testimony in the Milosevic case, and on
22 that basis they prepared a lengthier statement. But this OTP would not
23 be true to itself had it not thought of adding something that you had no
24 idea about earlier on, to add the statement that Mirko Blagojevic was
25 known as a criminal, that he was a member of the Serbian Democratic
1 Party. You didn't even notice this when you signed it. Surely, you
2 would have corrected it. He never was a member of the Serbian Democratic
4 But what's the most important thing: In your first statement,
5 you say that a father and his two sons, Muslims, were killed on the
6 pavement in front of their house, 300 metres from the hospital, and you
7 also said that one of the sons was killed -- shot in the forehead at
8 close range. And now, in this latest statement, paragraph 25, following
9 instructions from the OTP, you add:
10 "My relatives told me ..." so there's an intermediary, "... that
11 the wife of the man and the mother of two sons had said that the murder
12 had been done by Damo [as interpreted], known as Sumar, a member of the
13 Blagojevic's men."
14 So this is hearsay. You're making accusations against
15 Branislav Filipovic, called Sumar, who is dead now, that he killed these
17 You know how the fighting went on in Bijeljina. You showed us on
18 the map where this Srbija Cafe is, didn't you? The hospital is quite a
19 long way away. It's quite a long way away, and it is not in the part of
20 the centre of Bijeljina where Blagojevic's men were fighting. They were
21 fighting in the surroundings of the Srbija Cafe, the municipality
22 building, and the bus station; is that right?
23 A. Mr. Seselj, I cannot confirm this. I don't know. I didn't see
24 this. You know much more.
25 Q. How come that now, after so many years, surely it would have been
1 quite logical if you knew that Branislav Filipovic, known as Sumar, had
2 killed these three men - that's a terrible crime - that you should have
3 said that immediately in 1997 when it was still fresh in your mind, and
4 to say this in the Milosevic case and not now in the case against me?
5 And let me add to this question. The OTP knows that I refused to
6 examine witnesses under 92 ter, and the Prosecution knows if they add
7 this to your statement and the Trial Chamber admits it, that the
8 statement goes into the file, it goes without any response on my part.
9 Are you claiming today that Branislav Filipovic, known as Sumar, killed
10 these three people, the father and two sons?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Answer the question, and then
12 I'll give you the floor. Mr. Seselj is asking you a very clear question,
13 Witness. Can you answer this, and then I will give the floor to
14 Mr. Mussemeyer.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is not true that I said this
16 subsequently. My first statement about the murder of these three people,
17 who were in the JNA street, figured from in my very first statement, and
18 it was linked to Mr. Branislav, Sumar, because I received that same
19 information from the wife of the killed person, that is, the father and
20 the mother of those two men, and I had to explain that to the
22 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
23 Q. But where is that in your statement? On page 5 in your first
24 statement, in the middle of the paragraph, you say that you remember a
25 father and two sons who were shot on the pavement in front of their
1 house, which was 300 metres behind the hospital in the JNA street. One
2 son was shot in the forehead at close range.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, the Prosecutor is
4 on his feet.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] [Previous translation continues]...
6 interrupting me when it's most interesting.
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I didn't interrupt you while you were speaking
8 [indiscernible] to you. But what I want -- it may be that I'm not in the
9 position to clarify this in the position as a Prosecutor. I was a
10 witness when this statement was taken. I only want to clarify that
11 every -- we drafted the statement from the first statement and the second
12 statement the witness has given and from his testimony, and every time,
13 we put the source of it at the end of the paragraph. You can see this.
14 This draft was translated into B/C/S. We brought it to the
15 witness. The witness read it, and he made his annotations and
16 corrections all the time, and where you can see no quote, this is what
17 the witness told us at the end, and it was added according to the
18 witness. He remembered certain things and added this, and we had no
19 quote from former statements, just to clarify this.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I believe that the Prosecutor had
22 no right to provide this clarification. Who can take the Prosecutor at
23 his word? No court can without question take the word of the Prosecutor.
24 If there are proceedings against Mr. Mussemeyer, then he can go into
25 explanations. It is up to me to state what is happening here on the
1 basis of the facts.
2 Q. And I repeat, you never said earlier on that Branislav Filipovic,
3 known as Sumar, killed these three men. You didn't say that in the
4 Milosevic case. I have the complete transcripts from that case, nor did
5 you say this in your first two statements. It was only when the
6 Prosecutor was preparing you for testimony in this trial this has been
7 added to the text. Who suggested that you make this addition, if you
8 made that addition yourself?
9 A. I must repeat. My first statement was linked to the killing of
10 these three men. I said that then. Now, whether you have it before you
11 or not, I don't know. Whether I had that during the Milosevic case, I
12 can't remember whether there was a specific question by the Prosecution
13 or the Judges about this, who killed those three men, but I know that my
14 first statement referred to information that I had that this related to
15 Mr. Branislav, Sumar.
16 Q. But it's not there. The Trial Chamber has your first statement.
17 The Prosecutor has your first statement. It is page 5, central
18 paragraph. It is not to be found in the entire transcript of the
19 Milosevic case. It's not there. Very well. It's not there. What can
20 we do about it? Let us move on.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, that first statement,
22 well, it would seem that that was the one you made with the German
23 police, and we don't have that statement. In the first statement dating
24 back to 1997 that everybody does have here, well, the question of
25 Branislav Filipovic is not mentioned. So the first statement is the one
1 that was made before the German police, isn't it?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And where is that statement,
3 Mr. President?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Nobody has this. Indeed,
5 nobody has that. The OTP, have you ever had this statement made to the
6 German police, or are you learning about it today?
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I am not sure, but I think it's the first time I
8 hear about it. I'm not aware and I never saw this statement. I'm only
9 aware of the OTP statement.
10 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, did you inform the OTP
11 or the Tribunal's investigator of the fact that you had previously made a
12 statement -- previous to 1997 made a statement to investigators from
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At our first meeting, it was on the
15 basis of that meeting that I had my first encounter with the
16 investigators of this Tribunal, and they were familiar -- they knew that
17 I had given that statement already. Now, whether they received it or
18 not, or whether it was prompted by this that they took another statement
19 from me, I don't know. This relates to the police in Germany.
20 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Mr. President, I was checking the transcript
21 from the witness testimony in Milosevic, and in fact he is mentioning
22 Sumar. It's on page 18644, where he was shown a picture, a photo, and he
24 "As far as I'm able to recognise him, I think it is Sumar.
25 "Q. And this person by the name Sumar, what information are you
1 able to provide about Sumar with respect to his involvement in Bijeljina?
2 "A. As far as I know, he was a member of the White Eagles, and
3 most of the people killed, as far as I was able to learn, were killed by
4 his group, especially the person killed in the JNA street.
5 "Q. Did you speak to the wife of one of the victims whose body
6 you recovered in Bijeljina?
7 "A. Yes, the mother of the three persons I found in the JNA
8 street next to the library told me that Brano, Sumar, himself had come,
9 taken the three people out of the house and killed them in the street in
10 front of the house."
11 So far the quote from the Milosevic transcript. So he mentioned
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is a reference
14 to the White Eagles. You see that the witness is talking second-hand or
15 third-hand. He's identifying the White Eagles group, and he refers to
16 them in other places, and about whose existence there are official
17 documents, that the White Eagles did this, and he attaches Sumar to the
18 White Eagles, and now he's attaching Sumar to Mirko Blagojevic. Surely,
19 this is something you should have cleared up with him. Why did he say
20 "White Eagles" earlier on? Branislav Filipovic, Sumar, could not have
21 physically been in that spot.
22 If you look at the improvised map, you will see where the
23 hospital is and where the Srbija Cafe is.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What you've just
25 said is on the transcript.
1 We'll now break for 20 minutes, and, Mr. Seselj, you will have 40
2 minutes left. We'll finish this hearing with this witness. This means
3 that we will not be able to hear the other witness. It seems obvious
5 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.22 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
8 Mr. Seselj, you have the floor.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. According to my information, the conflict in Bijeljina started on
11 the 31st of March, and it continued on the 1st and 2nd of April, and on
12 the 3rd of April it was over by the defeat of the Muslim forces. What do
13 you have to say to that?
14 A. Yes, I agree with you.
15 Q. Do you know how the conflict started?
16 A. According to my information, it started when a bomb was thrown
17 into the Istanbul
18 Q. Who threw that bomb?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. So the person was never identified?
21 A. I think not.
22 Q. So a bomb was thrown, the police carried out an inquiry, some
23 minor material damage was done, and the perpetrator was never found?
24 A. As far as I know, he was not identified.
25 Q. And this was before the conflict?
1 A. I think that the building of barricades started that evening.
2 Q. I think you're confusing things. Let me remind you. Do you know
3 who Alija Gusalic is? He's well known in Bijeljina.
4 A. I think I do know him.
5 Q. Do you agree that he is a person of very poor moral qualities,
6 without any job?
7 A. I didn't know him personally, but I know that he took part in
8 these events.
9 Q. You're not aware of his criminal past?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Do you know that he went to a special school for retarded
12 children, elementary school?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. Do you know that on the 31st of March, in the afternoon/early
15 evening, he got on a horse, and in front of the Istanbul Cafe, with a
16 bomb in his hand, galloped past towards the Srbija Cafe, intending to
17 throw the bomb at the Srbija Cafe? The whole of Bijeljina knows this.
18 A. Yes, I do. I'm aware of that.
19 Q. And in front of the Srbija Cafe, there were Serbs standing. It
20 was spring-time, quite warm. There were people standing in front of the
22 A. Probably.
23 Q. And when Mirko Blagojevic saw him galloping on his horse with a
24 bomb in his hand, he fired his pistol and hit him in the leg; is that
1 A. Possibly, but I can't confirm this. I wasn't in Bijeljina just
2 then. It's possible that that is how it happened.
3 Q. So Alija Gusalic didn't manage to throw that hand-grenade?
4 A. That is what I heard. He was hit before he opened the fuse.
5 Q. I wasn't there, either. I heard this from other people.
6 A. I also heard about it.
7 Q. And that is when the shooting started. According to my
8 information, the Muslims put up 24 barricades in the centre of Bijeljina;
9 is that true?
10 A. According to my information, it is not.
11 Q. I was told this by eye-witnesses and the participants, and they
12 had control over the whole centre of Bijeljina; is that true?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. In the centre of Bijeljina, only people under Mirko Blagojevic's
15 control were there, and they were the first to respond and to take part
16 in the conflict. Do you know that Mirko Blagojevic and his men were
17 members of the TO, were part of the TO at the time?
18 A. I'm not aware of that.
19 Q. Was he outside the regular TO forces?
20 A. I think he was outside the regular TO forces because before that,
21 his men, armed men, provided security of the cafe.
22 Q. That is one thing, but to take part in armed conflicts is
23 another. This was not the reason; it was the trigger. If that had not
24 triggered it, something else would have because passions and tensions
25 were running high; am I right?
1 A. I'm just saying that I can't remember whether the grenade was
2 thrown into the Istanbul Cafe first or was this Alija Gusalic who was
3 galloping towards the other cafe first, which of the two events took
4 place first.
5 Q. I know the grenade was thrown at the Istanbul Cafe, that came
6 first, but there was no shooting after that. Is that so?
7 A. I think -- actually, I am not sure about the date, but I think
8 what triggered the events was the grenade in the Istanbul Cafe.
9 Q. When the grenade was thrown into the Istanbul Cafe, no one was
10 hurt; isn't that so? The police came to carry out an investigation, so
11 the police were still operational in the whole town; are you aware of
13 A. A colleague who was a member of the SUP was injured by that
15 Q. He happened to be there?
16 A. Yes. He had the good fortune that this was a grenade with small
17 balls in it.
18 Q. That's an offensive or a defensive weapon?
19 A. No, the offensive one.
20 Q. Let us say it's the black one. This is an offensive grenade
21 because you throw this grenade. If you throw the defensive type, then it
22 can hurt you, too, but the offensive one cannot, and what was that
23 policeman by ethnicity?
24 A. He's a Muslim. He was not a policeman.
25 Q. Well, why did you say he was a colleague?
1 A. No, he worked in the Secretariat of the Interior.
2 Q. Was he involved in the throwing of that grenade?
3 A. I don't believe it. He was a guest. I must say he is an
4 employee of the SUP
5 Q. Fine. In your previous statement, you talked about the existence
6 of the JNA reservists - that was a JNA unit, right - the TO, the Serb
7 National Guard, and the Serb Volunteers Guard. You never mentioned
8 Blagojevic's men as an independent unit, never, ever, so the Serb
9 Volunteer's Guard at the people who came with Arkan's men; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know how many men in total Arkan brought to the area?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Well, I'll tell you. A total of 30?
14 A. Probably.
15 Q. Probably. Not many, right? Okay. The Serb National Guard was
16 established by Mauzer; right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Do you know that Mauzer was close with Arkan?
19 A. Probably. They were together from the outbreak of these clashes.
20 Q. From the very outset. Okay. Do you know that they remained
21 close over the following years?
22 A. I don't know. I wasn't there.
23 Q. All right. Is it true when on the 3rd of April when the Muslims
24 were defeated, most of those involved in the clashes managed to leave
25 Bijeljina, right, and left for Brcko, as far as I know, or someplace
1 else? I don't know exactly.
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. Is it true that the Muslims who remained in Bijeljina surrendered
4 to the Serb forces? I'm saying the Serb forces. The Muslims forces,
5 although in the Serb forces there were a great many Muslims, actually,
6 quite a considerable number of them; right?
7 A. I don't believe that.
8 Q. Okay. I'll convince you later on. Is it true that the Muslims,
9 once the clashes had ended, surrendered to the Serb forces about 500 long
10 barrels? When I say "long barrels," I mean rifles, semi-automatic
11 rifles, automatic rifles, carbine rifles, that sort of thing. Is this
12 something that you're aware of?
13 A. I don't know the exact number of pieces that were handed over.
14 Most of the weapons were small arms or pistols, some hunting rifles,
15 maybe a handful of automatic rifles, but I wasn't aware of a huge amount
16 of automatic weapons.
17 Q. I didn't say a huge amount of automatic weapons. I said about
18 500 long barrels. Did you see the actual heap when the weapons were
19 surrendered and piled up?
20 A. Some of the weapons were surrendered at the SUP station, and the
21 figures don't seem to tally.
22 Q. Maybe somebody simply stole part of it before it ever got to the
24 certain rifle and then they just nick it; right?
25 A. Possible.
1 Q. So you say that a total of 48 people were killed during the
2 clashes in Bijeljina. Based on what I know, the clashes went on for
3 those four days, and a total of 38 people were killed, 22 of them
4 Muslims, 15 Serbs, and a Croat lady. Ten people were killed over the
5 following month in the aftermath when various groups were marauding the
6 Bijeljina area; that's what the MUP chief is telling us about; you read
7 that document, didn't you?
8 A. All I say was about the bodies that I collected, and that's in
9 the sketch that we looked at. Those are bodies that I personally took to
10 the morgue at the hospital.
11 Q. And your count was 48?
12 A. At the hospital, the body count was 48. It's not the number of
13 bodies that I brought there. The number I'm telling you about is the
14 number of people that I brought there.
15 Q. Is it true that the Muslim forces at the beginning of the clashes
16 already had a machine-gun that was mounted at the so-called water-tower?
17 You know the water-tower. You probably know about that more than I do.
18 A. Yes, yes, I'm familiar with that. I don't believe that. A
19 machine-gun would be impossible to mount there because it would be very
20 difficult to target anything from that position.
21 Q. Why would it be difficult?
22 A. In order to operate a machine-gun like that, you must have a
23 surface on which you can mount it. As far as I know, by looking at the
24 water-tower, there's a window, and opening it up there, it would have
25 been very difficult to handle a machine-gun there.
1 Q. Why would one not be able to mount a machine-gun on a window?
2 A. A small one like that.
3 Q. A machine-gun, as an infantry weapon, is standard issue; right?
4 A. That's an automatic rifle, but a machine-gun is different.
5 Q. It's an automatic rifle. We refer to it often as a machine-gun,
6 but it wasn't a heavy machine-gun; right?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Very well. Do you know that the Muslims had a number of
9 sharp-shooters or snipers deployed around the centre of town?
10 A. I can't really say. I don't know that there were any sniper
11 nests at all. Don't get me wrong. I can't say because I didn't see, nor
12 did I hear of anyone being there and sniping from those positions. What
13 I can tell you is that there were pockets of resistance by the Muslim
14 population. There certainly were.
15 Q. Fair enough. Do you know that the Muslims had a bunker in the
16 park which is in the town centre, a makeshift bunker?
17 A. No.
18 Q. You don't. All right.
19 A. I didn't see that.
20 Q. All right. You told us about the executions of Muslim civilians.
21 I'm not challenging that.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, let's be clear about
23 this. This could be quite surprising and incredible. Mr. Seselj is
24 asking you whether the Muslims had a bunker in the city centre. I mean,
25 a bunker is quite obvious. You say, "No." I don't know where he got his
1 information. Are you absolutely sure that there was no bunker in the
2 city centre?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The park in Bijeljina's town centre
4 is not that large, really. You would see a bunker. I don't think you
5 could build a bunker in a couple of hours.
6 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
7 Q. All right. Let's move on. You spoke about several Muslim
8 civilians who were killed. They were shot on the spot where they were
9 found. Nevertheless, I have to tell you that this happened to a number
10 of Serb civilians too. Is that something you're aware of?
11 A. It's true.
12 Q. All right. It's true. Some bits of information for you. Do you
13 know about Galac Street; where is that?
14 A. Galac? Yes.
15 Q. According to my information, the Muslim forces shot the
16 19-year-old Zvonko Lazarevic there. Have you heard of that?
17 A. No, I haven't.
18 Q. You haven't. All right. Do you know that Zvonko Lazarevic was
20 A. No.
21 Q. Fair enough. Do you know that Antonija Ostojic was killed? She
22 was born in 1926.
23 A. As I said, I don't know. I'm not privy to these names, but I can
24 tell you about that sketch and my evidence about that sketch. There is a
25 rough location given for Serb victims --
1 Q. Let's just try to move things along a little bit and hurry things
2 along a little. I will give some information to you, and you confirm or
3 deny whether you know anything about that. Do you know that a Serb named
4 Risto Stevanovic was killed in much the same way, and this person was not
5 at all involved in the fighting? If you don't know, I just move on; that
7 A. I can't remember any names.
8 Q. And what about a Serb who was killed while riding a bicycle by a
10 A. I don't know who killed him, but I know that he was killed.
11 Q. Do you know about a Serb who was mentally retarded who was
13 A. Yes, I heard about that.
14 Q. You did. Okay. We won't mention his name. There would be no
15 point to it. Do you know that the Muslim forces killed a Croatian lady
16 named Marija Ilic at her door-step? Her son Tomislav witnessed the
17 killing of Marija Ilic by the Muslim forces?
18 A. I know that the lady was probably killed, the Croat lady, because
19 there is information to that effect in my statement about a Croat lady
20 being among the casualties. I can't say who killed her because I don't
21 know. I have no information indicating who it was who killed her. You
22 probably know better than me.
23 Q. Very well. Then what about the mosque in the town centre, one of
24 the mosques in the town centre, that there was a machine-gun nest on top
25 of the mosque; right?
1 A. As far as I know, based on the information we received when we
2 came to the station, there was something in the town centre, yes.
3 Q. On top of the mosque; right?
4 A. Yes, probably.
5 Q. All right. Do you know that Coso Nargalic was the commander of
6 the Muslim barricades; have you ever heard that name?
7 A. Yes, I'm familiar with the name, but I don't know about him being
8 in command of the barricades. I can't confirm that, but I don't believe
9 that that was, in fact, the case.
10 Q. And what about Hasan Dusic? Does that ring a bell? Apparently,
11 he led the attack on the Serbs. He was the founder of a unit that after
12 he was killed was named the Black Swans. Does that ring a bell?
13 A. Yes, it does. The unit rings a bell.
14 Q. At first it was a paramilitary unit, and then later it became
15 part of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Fair enough. Now, let's see the other side of this coin. Do you
18 know about Gvozdevici? It's a village; right?
19 A. Yes, I know.
20 Q. Do you know there were clashes that broke out among the Muslims
22 A. I'm not familiar with that, and I have family there.
23 Q. Yet you don't know about this?
24 A. No, I never learned about this.
25 Q. All right. Do you know that a substantial number of Muslims were
1 involved in the fighting on the side of the Serb forces?
2 A. It was after June and July 1992.
3 Q. No, no, no, during the clashes in April.
4 A. No, not that I knew of.
5 Q. You didn't. All right. And what about Sergeant Admir Smajic, a
6 Muslim, a person who was killed while fighting the Muslims in those first
8 A. That's not true.
9 Q. When was he killed?
10 A. I think he was killed in Vukovar.
11 Q. In Vukovar?
12 A. Yes, as a member of the JNA. He was a member of the JNA.
13 I think he was killed in Croatia
14 Q. Aren't you confusing him with somebody else? According to my
15 information, he was killed while fighting the Muslim forces.
16 A. No. I think he was a regular officer of the army, and he was
17 killed somewhere in Croatia
18 Q. Please, please, I verified some of this information. Maybe this
19 is not all impeccable or perfectly accurate, but that's why I'm asking
20 you. Tell me what you know. That's how it works.
21 Do you know that by a decision of the Serb authorities, a street
22 in Bijeljina was named after him, Admir Smajic Street, which used to be
23 called the Jaksic Brothers Street?
24 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
25 Q. Fine. Fine. What about Ibrahim Belgic [phoen] and Asim Vidahic
1 [phoen]? They, too, were killed in the fighting around the Bijeljina
2 city park; right?
3 A. I'm not familiar with the names. I don't know.
4 Q. You told us about the fact that later on, more Muslims were
5 fighting with the Serb forces, had joined the Serb forces. I looked at
6 the BH media and press a little bit, and last year I came across a very
7 interesting feature entitled: "Muslims with cockades." We don't have
8 that much time, so I won't be showing it to you, but do you see how
9 beautiful it is to see a Serb cockade on a Muslim fez cap. Doesn't it
10 look nice? I find it looks lovely. I think the Muslims are actually our
11 brethren. They're just Serbs who happen to be Muslim too. You see how
12 nice it looks, this cockade on the Muslim fez cap. The 3rd Semberija
13 Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska was established, 95 per cent of
14 its composition were Muslims; is that right?
15 A. As far as I know, there was a unit like that, and as far as I
16 know, the same unit or part of its command were captured by --
17 Q. The Croats; right?
18 A. -- the Croats or the BH Army somewhere around Brcko.
19 Q. Was this not perhaps close to the Orasje front-line?
20 A. Probably.
21 Q. So this BH Army of yours, what did that have to do with Orasje?
22 There were the Croat forces there, the local Croats, organised to form
23 Ustasha units. They did not recognise any BH officer as their own
24 commanding officer; right?
25 A. Let's try to explain this. Orasje is close to the Sava River
1 The BH Army and the Croatian Defence Council, the 108, they were on the
2 other side looking from the direction of Tuzla.
3 Q. Yes, but my information suggests that it was along the Orasje
4 front that Smail Camdzic as arrested, as well as Amir Durakovic, Jusuf
5 Verise [phoen], and Major Seifudin Guric [phoen], who was the Chief of
6 Staff of the 3rd Semberija Brigade, so there were these four Muslims who
7 were with the Serb army. They were captured and later exchanged and
9 A. Yes, that's true, but I'll try to point this out again. They
10 were captured by the BH Army or the HVO, the 108, not Orasje. What are
11 you suggesting?
12 Q. According to my information, this was along the Orasje
13 front-line, and the front-line ranged along this axis: Orasje, Krepcici,
14 Markovici, Vasovic Polje, Vuksic. Is that right? Was that the line, the
16 A. It probably was, but what I'm telling you, there was something
17 going on on the other side of that line.
18 Q. The commander of the 3rd Semberija Brigade was a well respected
19 Muslim called Pasaga Halilovic. He was the manager of the Duvan company,
20 and I believe he still is.
21 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm really sorry to interrupt you, but I'm simply
22 losing track of the direction here. Where are we going with all of this?
23 Can you clarify?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Harhoff, I'll only be too happy
25 to clarify. In Bijeljina, there were clashes between the Serb forces and
1 the Muslim forces as a matter of principle. However, the actual clashes
2 erupted between the forces who wanted to preserve Yugoslavia on the one
3 hand and the ones who were in favour of an independent Bosnia and
5 favour of preserving Yugoslavia
6 side of the Serb Army, and this wasn't just Bijeljina. It was in other
7 towns, too, there. My information suggests something about Bosanska
8 Posavina as well. There was a Muslim unit within the Serb Army, and its
9 name was - a detachment - Mesa Selimovic Detachment. For example, there
10 were a number of other situations like that. The objective was not to
11 wipe out the Muslims. The objective was to keep Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 within Yugoslavia
13 have harboured for the Muslims. That's not what it was about. The
14 crimes against the Muslims, the looting and expulsions occurred later on,
15 sometime later once Mauzer had taken control of Bijeljina. Why? The
16 Serb authorities were renaming streets across town after well-known
17 Muslims, Camil Sijaric, for example. Vati Salamumba [phoen], there was a
18 street that was called that. He was a politician from Congo
19 national fighter during the non-aligned movement, and then it occurred to
20 someone to name a street in Bijeljina after him. So the Serb authorities
21 thought it was appropriate that that street should be renamed after the
22 great fighter who was a Muslim -- a Serb writer who was a Muslim, Camil
23 Sijaric. I think that's highly relevant.
24 Let me draw your attention to everything that is there in the
25 platform of the Serb Radical Party and the Serb Chetnik Movement. Before
1 that, we were in favour of the brotherhood and unity of Serb -- Orthodox
2 Serbs, Muslim Serbs, Catholic Serbs, Protestant Serbs, all united.
3 Therefore --
4 JUDGE HARHOFF: But the difficulty I have is that as noble as the
5 motives behind all of this may ever be, what this trial is concerned with
6 are the crimes that were committed in the wake of the attempts to keep
7 the Greater Yugoslavia or Yugoslavia
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed, Mr. Harhoff, but one
9 must also establish who was really responsible for those crimes, who was
10 out to commit those crimes, what were their motives, and what actions
11 exactly led to those crimes or contributed to the commission of those
12 crimes. It's not simply about the desire to preserve Yugoslavia at the
13 cost of armed combat. That in itself is not a crime. Nevertheless,
14 there were many shady dealings that became part of all the fighting that
15 erupted later on. So what shady dealings are we talking about exactly?
16 What I'm telling you is that those who were in favour of preserving
17 Yugoslav what were not by their nature criminals. Well, now --
18 JUDGE HARHOFF: I think we've been through this many times
19 before. The issue of the armed conflict, as such, is not at stake in
20 this trial. It's only the crimes that were committed during the armed
21 conflict, and this is what you're up against.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't know whether you have
23 already found evidence that a crime can be attached to me or linked to
24 me. I haven't seen it anywhere. Maybe you have. I don't know.
25 JUDGE HARHOFF: I'm completely neutral in this. I'm just telling
1 you that you're accused -- you're up against the indictment that charges
2 you for responsibility for some of these crimes.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Very well.
4 Let us now look at document 1525, if we may have it on the ELMO.
5 Q. You read out a part of that document which the Prosecutor asked
6 you to read. You have seen that the Serbian Volunteer Guards are
7 mentioned here explicitly as a paramilitary formation linked to various
8 criminal activities; isn't that so?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Nowhere in that document is there mention of the Serbian Radical
11 Party. However, in para 8 on page 4 of that document -- do we have it
12 now before us? Page 4, please, paragraph 8. It says:
13 "By effective preventive measures, attempts at armed conflict
14 were prevented by large groups of people belonging to various
15 paramilitary formations."
16 And then there is mention of the Red Berets, Captain Dragan's
17 groups and so on, of course, local groups which essentially were prompted
18 by motives of plunder and not ideological aims as they tried to portray
19 themselves. Are they right in saying this?
20 A. As far as I know, the Red Berets belonged to Captain Dragan, and
21 they were formed already in Croatia
22 Q. Well, now you see on page 5 of this document, we see on the first
23 page that this document is addressed to Dr. Radovan Karadzic, President
24 of the Presidency of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the
25 last page, page 5, it now says in Radovan Karadzic's handwriting:
1 "Continue with the enforcing of law and order. August the 2nd,
2 1992, Radovan Karadzic."
3 Can you see this handwritten note?
4 A. Yes, yes, I do.
5 Q. You see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So it follows from this - this is an authentic document - that
8 Radovan Karadzic advised law and order to be re-established in the area
9 of Bijeljina. Do you know that for months after the liberation of
10 Bijeljina - I'm calling it the liberation, you can call it capture,
11 whatever you like - there were individual and group expulsions of the
12 Muslim population from Bijeljina; their property was looted, they were
13 expelled, et cetera?
14 A. As far as I know, already at the beginning of July some persons
15 were expelled from their homes. If you had two houses, you had to empty
16 one of them, and other persons of other ethnicity would move in.
17 Q. Very well. Do you know who did this?
18 A. I was not there at the time.
19 Q. Have you heard of someone who called himself Major Vojkan
21 A. I think so.
22 Q. The press wrote about him too.
23 A. As far as I know, he participated in these evictions.
24 Q. Do you believe that he was a major of the Army of Republika
1 A. As far as I know, that rank came from before the war, but he was
2 never a military man, and it's not easy to get such a rank, even if he
3 had been in the army.
4 Q. Do you know that he was a self-proclaimed major belonging to
5 Arkan's unit?
6 A. Possibly, because as I was saying, he was not a member of the
7 regular army before that, and later on if he attributed this rank to
8 himself, that's it.
9 Q. However, if you left Bijeljina in 1992, had you ever heard that
10 Mirko Blagojevic, heading the Serbian Radical Party, and our party in
11 Bijeljina were constantly opposing Mauzer's arbitrariness and the
12 persecution and eviction of any Muslims from Bijeljina? The Hague
13 Prosecution has written declarations signed by Mirko Blagojevic opposing
14 the eviction of Muslims. Did you hear of this, as a Muslim?
15 A. I did not hear about it, but I do know that there were major
16 conflicts between not individuals but groups in Bijeljina. There were
17 disagreements, and the situation was aggravated by these persons, by
18 Blagojevic's group, Mauzer's group, and very frequently there were
19 clashes between them, even armed clashes. Why, I don't know.
20 Q. Do you know that the Serbian authorities in Pale, the authority
21 of Radovan Karadzic and the Serbian Democratic Party, never managed to
22 neutral Mauzer, though they wanted to do that and they tried to do it?
23 A. I don't know about that.
24 Q. And do you know that Mauzer became a member of Zoran Djindjic's
25 Democratic Party and the vice-President of that party?
1 A. That must have been later, but I don't know.
2 Q. Do you know that after the Dayton Agreement, Ljubisa Savic,
3 Mauzer, as President of Djindjic's Party for Republika Srpska
4 participated in the elections?
5 A. I'm very sorry, but in those days I had no contacts. I was not
6 aware of any parties, who belonged to who and what they were doing, so I
7 can't say anything about that.
8 Q. Very well. We'll leave the parties aside. Do you know that when
9 Biljana Plavsic carried out a coup in Republika Srpska and formed a
10 government, that under the influence of foreigners, Ljubisa Savic,
11 Mauzer, was appointed deputy minister of the interior and the head of the
12 police for Republika Srpska? Did you hear of that? You should have
13 heard that Mauzer had that position.
14 A. I did hear that, but I can't be specific. For the whole period
15 after Dayton
16 what he was, where he was, where they were, I can't say. I wasn't au
18 Q. All right. We won't go into who killed him, though there are
19 certain clues there too. But is it clear to you now as a Muslim who
20 lived in Bijeljina who lived with the Serbs and who had good and bad
21 experiences with the Serbs, depending on the kind of persons they were,
22 but as a Muslim who had relations with their policemen, that someone like
23 Mauzer through expulsions of Muslims was intentionally doing a service to
24 Serb -- to these opponents of Serbs if the authority in Pale was never
25 able to settle accounts with Mauzer?
1 A. I can't say that because I really don't know whether Mauzer was
2 under the control of Mr. Karadzic or someone else. I don't know.
3 Q. Very well. I assume that during the war or after the war, you
4 must have been in Tuzla
5 there. Did you hear from Serbs who had fled Bijeljina all the things
6 that Mauzer did to the Muslim population?
7 A. I didn't hear so much about Mr. Mauzer, but regarding the
8 expulsions, I did hear who did this.
9 Q. You heard of Djurkovic?
10 A. Yes, Vojkan.
11 Q. Did you ever hear that Blagojevic or someone from the Radical
12 Party took part in the persecution and eviction of Muslims from
14 A. No.
15 Q. And did you hear of them publicly standing in the defence of the
16 Muslims? Recently, a book was published in Tuzla who expressed gratitude
17 for this defence of Muslims.
18 A. Could we slow down a little bit because --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm in a hurry because I have
20 little time left.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have five minutes left.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I hope I'll manage to cover the
23 most important points.
24 Q. There was reference to the destruction of a mosque. You yourself
25 said that mosques were destroyed a certain time after the conflict; isn't
1 that so?
2 A. Yes, a couple of months later; not all at once, but in a period
3 between the autumn of 1992 and the spring of 1993.
4 Q. So the main mosques were killed about a year after the conflict?
5 A. Not a whole year, but five or six months later.
6 Q. Do you have any information as to who exactly stands behind the
7 destruction of the mosques in Bijeljina and the surrounding villages?
8 A. No.
9 Q. No knowledge?
10 A. None.
11 Q. And do you know that Mirko Blagojevic and the Serbian Radical
12 Party in Bijeljina opposed this fiercely and publicly condemned all such
14 A. I'm very sorry, but I don't know.
15 Q. I see. You don't know that either. You said here - and I must
16 say this surprised me a little bit, I must admit - you spoke about a man,
17 saying of him that he had given instructions to collect the bodies after
18 the conflict; is that so? And that man, according to your statement
19 here, was called Seval Begic. You said about him that he had headed the
20 utilities company in Bijeljina?
21 A. No, I didn't say that. I said that he organised the car for the
22 transport of the dead.
23 Q. Here is what you say in your last statement, and it coincides
24 with other statements. It's in paragraph 16:
25 "The mortuary van was the property of the service headed by
1 Seval Begic. He came to the police station and took us to two employees
2 who were instructed to collect the bodies in town, and though I cannot
3 remember their names, I know that they were full-time employees of the
4 utilities company."
5 That is what you say in your statement. Now, what I am confused
6 by is in another place in the same statement, you say that the Serbian
7 police wanted to arrest Seval Begic as a member of the Presidency of the
8 SDA, that is, the Muslim Party of Democratic Action, but he had already
9 left the area because he knew that he was being searched for by the
10 Serbs. How can you explain this contradiction? Is it a contradiction
11 because there was manipulation by the Prosecution with the text of your
12 statement, or did you make such a statement?
13 A. I must say that the police did not arrest anyone at that time,
14 and I -- this may be a mistake in the statement, but he was looked for by
15 the people from the Crisis Staff and not by the police.
16 Q. Who was looking for him?
17 A. The Crisis Staff of Bijeljina Municipality
18 Q. Yes, but on the one hand he's almost giving instructions to the
19 police, he's coming to fetch you, he's giving orders. You said, We were
20 under the control of Seval Begic, and he gave us orders. You said that
21 in your first statement; isn't that so?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Well, we'll find it in your statement.
24 A. I was never under the control of Seval Begic. Well, let's see.
25 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Sir, in the statement, Witness,
1 it is stated that upon arriving at the police station, two employees --
2 he took two employees and instructed them to go and collect bodies in the
3 city, so these were police employees, were they? These were police
4 employees, were they?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were employees of the public
6 utilities enterprise.
7 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Yes. I had a doubt. Thank you
8 for elucidating that.
9 MR. SESELJ: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Was Seval Begic the manager of that company at all? Was he the
11 director of this communal enterprise?
12 A. Now, whether he was a director of that company or a branch of
13 that company, but as far as I know, he worked there. Now, whether he was
14 a supervisor or something, but the organisation went through him, the
15 organisation of providing the vehicle and the personnel.
16 Q. According to my knowledge, a Serb, Milan Peric, was the manager
17 of the communal enterprise.
18 A. Yes, of the communal enterprise, but then the public utilities
19 included water, heating, and everything else.
20 Q. Very well. But Seval Begic, according to my information, was a
21 teacher and he worked as an engineer in the Mladost pipe factory which
22 was called Teleflex. That is where he was employed. He was no manager
23 in the public utilities company, nor did he work there. I find this a
24 little strange.
25 A. I know Mr. Seval Begic personally. But after those events,
1 actually, that is when I met him. I may have made a mistake. I may have
2 thought that he was a manager. But I repeat once again, this person was
3 the contact person between the police and the organisation of the vehicle
4 for the transportation of bodies and the personnel engaged to do this.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, your time is up.
6 Prosecutor, in a little time, do you have any redirect?
7 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I have only one issue I want to discuss with the
8 witness, and I can inform you that we are now able to play you the video
9 where Mr. -- Ms. Biljana Plavsic arrived.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How long does it last?
11 MR. MUSSEMEYER: I did not have a chance to see it, but it will
12 not last -- less than a minute, I guess.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Let's take a look
14 at it.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MR. MUSSEMEYER: The stills I showed before are from this video.
17 Can I move it into evidence?
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We shall give the video a
19 number now. Since we already had the stills, let's now give the video a
20 number as well.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the video will be Exhibit P745.
22 Re-examination by Mr. Mussemeyer:
23 Q. Mr. Witness, I want to ask or to know from you if you remember
24 that Mirko Blagojevic was searched by the police in the time-period of
1 A. I don't know exactly what you mean. You mean were the police
2 looking for him?
3 Q. I mean if the police was looking for him for crimes committed not
4 in the former Yugoslavia
5 A. I don't know that.
6 Q. Do you know if Mr. Blagojevic has been convicted for crimes in
7 other European countries?
8 A. I don't know that.
9 MR. MUSSEMEYER: Your Honours, this would finish my redirect. I
10 did not discuss it with the witness before.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, thank you very much
12 for having come at the request of the OTP to testify on the events that
13 took place at Bijeljina and in the surrounding area. Thank you for
14 having answered all the questions raised by the Judges, Mr. Seselj, as
15 well as the OTP. My best wishes to you for your return journey to your
17 Before the hearing ends, as I already said, the next witness will
18 be heard as long as his health permits it at the hearing that begins at
19 quarter past 2.00 on Tuesday.
20 Is that there anything new, Mr. Mundis?
21 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 The witness that was scheduled to appear today, VS-1010, has now
23 been rescheduled until the 11th of February. The witness that was listed
24 for next week, Witness VS-1066, will appear Tuesday and Wednesday of next
25 week as scheduled. So today's witness will move down the road a week.
1 I will indicate so that there is no problems next week, Witness
2 1066, who's scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, is scheduled to appear
3 in another country in legal proceedings on Friday, so it would be
4 absolutely important for us to get him done by the close of the court
5 session on Wednesday so that he can travel to another country to testify.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No problem. I don't have the
7 file right here, but how much had you asked for 1066?
8 MR. MUNDIS: I believe two hours.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [In English] Two hours, yes.
10 [Interpretation] So Mr. Seselj will have two hours. We will
11 indeed need two days. That's no problem.
12 Very well. Thank you. Thank you to everyone.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] What shall we do on day 3 next
14 week? We have a total of three days.
15 MR. MUNDIS: The witness scheduled for next Thursday remains on
16 the schedule, VS-1104. So the order will be -- next week we will have
17 1066 on Tuesday and Wednesday, 1104 on Thursday. The following week, we
18 only sit Wednesday and Thursday because of the other trial. We will have
19 Witness 1010 on 11 February and, if possible, Witness 1029 on the 12th of
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So everybody is
22 fully informed of how things will proceed.
23 Thank you very much.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can't say that I've been
25 sufficiently informed. I want this in writing today, if possible,
1 because I don't think I've been able to memorise the whole thing.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall send you an e-mail to
3 confirm this, but in any case, next week -- generally, you have very
4 quick thought processes, but perhaps I'm mistaken. Next week, 1066 will
5 testify over two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then he has to leave
6 because he has other obligations, and on Thursday we will hear 1104.
7 Is that all right now? Fine. Good.
8 Have a nice afternoon.
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.16 p.m.
11 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of
12 February, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.