1 Wednesday, 4 February 2009
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.22 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Registrar, could
6 you please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours.
8 This is case number IT-03-67-T, the Prosecutor versus
9 Vojislav Seselj.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Registrar.
11 This is Wednesday, February 4th, 2009, and I welcome the
12 representatives of the OTP. I welcome Mr. Seselj and everyone helping
14 We will soon move into closed session, because we have a witness
15 with protective measures. However, two words first.
16 Mr. Seselj, last time you told us during the hearing that you had
17 some difficulties contacting Mr. Karadzic [Realtime transcript read in
18 error "Krasic"]. The Trial Chamber has just found out about this --
19 Karadzic, not Krasic, Karadzic. I would like the interpreters to be very
20 careful when I talk, and I would like my words to be conveyed exactly. I
21 don't like to have to see the screen all time and check the screen all
22 the time to make sure that my words are correctly translated.
23 I believe I understood, Mr. Seselj, that last time you were
24 banned from talking to Mr. Karadzic. Well, I can tell you that this
25 Trial Chamber did not intervene at all, and we just discovered this
1 problem. But I believe I've just understood that the measure has been
2 lifted and that now you can talk with this -- with Mr. Karadzic, if you
3 wish to. This is what I wanted to say.
4 Now, this being said, I would like the usher to please drop the
5 blinds because we will bring in the witness, this witness who has
6 protective measures, and I would like the Registrar to move to private
7 session, please.
8 [Closed session]
11 Pages 13927-13978 redacted. Closed session.
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN: We can just arrange for the blinds up so the
23 interpreters don't get too much noise in their headphones.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 MR. MARCUSSEN:
1 Q. VS-2000, have you held any positions of a political nature in
2 your village?
3 A. Yes. From early childhood, I was active, first of all, as an
4 athlete, and I also took part in some cultural activities. After I grew
5 up and matured, (redacted)
6 (redacted) At the age of 17, I was -- I joined the League of
7 Communists of the former Yugoslavia
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Stop. Witness, avoid giving
9 place names, which could identify you.
10 Registrar, please prepare an order so that the name of the
11 village, page 55, line 14, is redacted.
12 It's not your fault, but we shall keep an eye on this.
13 Please proceed.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After that, I was elected secretary
15 of the party organisation in the place I lived in, and that lasted for
16 two years. After that, I was the secretary of the local commune, with a
17 mandate of several years. And all that went on up until the outbreak of
18 the war and conflict in the municipality.
19 MR. MARCUSSEN:
20 Q. Were you elected a councillor for a particular party at some
21 point, and if so, when?
22 A. Yes, that is true. At the beginning of the multiparty system in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was elected president of the Party of Democratic
24 Action in my town, and by virtue of that office, a member of the
25 Municipal Board of the Party of Democratic Action as well. After that, I
1 was elected secretary of the municipal organisation of the Party of the
2 Democratic Action.
3 Q. Could you describe to the Judges how the relationship was between
4 the different ethnic groups in your village before the conflict in
6 A. Before the outbreak of the conflict, there were no national
7 tensions in my village. We lived -- we were on friendly terms, good
8 neighbourly terms, without any ethnic divisions. However, with the
9 advent of the multiparty system, there was a certain separation with
10 different views of things, and there was additional pressure by the
11 leaders, if I can put it that way, the leaders of the nationalist
12 parties, and the tensions grew.
13 Q. What parties are you referring to when you talk about nationalist
15 A. Yes. I meant the SDS
16 Democratic Party, and the SDA party, the Party of Democratic Action, and
17 the party that was in the territory which was Mr. Seselj's party, the
18 Serbian Radical Party.
19 Q. And these leaders that you refer to, could you give us the name
20 of those, please.
21 A. I will state the names of people, of Serbs, but I'm not quite
22 sure whether I could state the names of the people who were strictly the
23 leaders of the SDS
24 region, where I lived, and there were two villages that were linked
25 together with a purely Muslim population, and one with a mixed population
1 where the Serbs and Muslims lived together, now in that area, in that
2 mixed area, there was (redacted) as being the most prominent. I'm
3 sorry that I haven't got the file now, because I haven't remembered the
4 names of the other people, but if the occasion arises, I'd like to read
5 the names of the other activists who were Serbs.
6 Now, when it comes to the activists in the SDA party, in my area,
7 apart from me, there was some other people --
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
9 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a question just
10 to shed some light on. There's something that might be unclear because
11 of the translation.
12 Before giving the list of these parties, you called them -- did
13 you call them national parties or nationalistic parties?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Nationalist.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's what I wanted to note,
16 because on the transcript it says "nationalist," whereas the witness has
17 spoken about national parties.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, in your language, what
19 word do you use for "national"?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's very easy to clear this up.
21 "National parties" means people belonging to a nation. There were no
22 ethnic Serbs in the Party of Democratic Action, and vice versa, at least
23 not in my town. Later, they became nationalistic. When tensions grew,
24 they became nationalistic, and after that the war broke out. But at this
25 point in time I said that they were, to begin with, national parties, and
1 people joined the different national parties.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, understood. Thank
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I wonder whether, to be on the safe
5 side, it would be prudent to redact the name at page 57, line 10. I
6 understand we're here talking about a local political leader.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let's redact.
8 Mr. Registrar, line 10, page 57, please.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN:
10 Q. VS-2000, who were -- if you know, who were the political
11 leadership at the top level of these parties, if I can put it that way,
12 at a national level?
13 A. With the Party of Democratic Action, it was Asim Juzbasic who was
14 president of the party at the local level, and the president of the SDS
15 at the municipal level was Branko Grujic. The president of the Serbian
16 Radical Party, I'm not quite sure just now, I'm not sure of his name,
17 because, after all, it's 17 years since that time, and I've forgotten it.
18 Q. Do I understand correctly the answer you have given relate to the
19 municipality of Zvornik?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did there come a time when -- and I think you've answered that,
22 but just to come back, did there come a time when the situation and
23 relationship between the different ethnic groups in your area changed,
24 and if you could describe how it changed, if it did.
25 A. As time passed since the formation of the multi-parties or
1 multi-party system in my municipality, tensions grew. There were
2 different opinions of life in general and life together, and so the
3 national leaders used this. They used this opportunity, especially those
4 who had planned to effect certain plans through war, and this led to
5 changes, tension.
6 Q. In Zvornik municipality before the conflict, were members of all
7 ethnic groups -- men of all ethnic groups of military age, would they be
8 subject to call-ups in case of mobilisation?
9 A. That is correct. Before -- or, rather, four days ago [as
10 interpreted], on the 4th of April, 1992, the president of the Serbian
11 Radical Party, Branko Grujic, through the information media, and this was
12 conveyed by the -- by Belgrade Radio, he proclaimed general mobilisation
13 for Serbs living in Zvornik municipality. Now, before -- a long time
14 before that, mobilisation had been carried out in the field, and the Serb
15 population was mobilised. They were armed, units were established,
16 trenches dug, and preparations generally went through for a war.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It says "Branko Grujic, president
18 of the Serbian Radical Party." I had to intervene, sorry.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I might have made a mistake.
20 Branko Grujic was president of the SDS
21 apologise for that mistake.
22 MR. MARCUSSEN:
23 Q. VS-2000, did you have a military booklet?
24 A. I did have a military booklet, just like all the other recruits
25 and conscripts that were over the age of 18, those who had done their
1 military service and who, before the beginning of the war -- or which
2 were taken away, confiscated, before the beginning of the war. And all
3 conscripts were called up, those who had military booklets. They were
4 told to report to the Secretariat of National Defence or the work
5 organisation where they were employed and to bring their military
6 booklets with them and all the military equipment that they had been
7 issued previously. And when it came to my own identity, I can say that I
8 was working in a company, and I had my military booklet and my equipment,
9 and I was registered. And the people sitting there tore out a page from
10 my military booklet where my war assignment was listed, and this was done
11 for all Muslims who were conscripts.
12 Q. To your knowledge, was it done for the Serbs?
13 A. That certainly was not done to the Serbs, and here's why: I
14 worked in a company where the ratio of employees was 50:50 and there was
15 mutual friendship, we socialised, we had family ties, mixed marriages,
16 and so forth, and people would receive information from their true
17 friends, regardless of ethnicity, and I know that that was not done to
18 the Serbs.
19 Q. Was any registration made of the men who were called up in this
21 A. That is true. Everybody who was called up and whose page was
22 torn out of their military booklet about their ranks and war assignments.
23 Parallel to that, information was recorded about them, their personal
24 information with their place of residence, addresses, telephone numbers
25 and so forth, and I had to do the same. I had to give my address and
1 telephone number so that they had all this evidence and all the
2 information they needed.
3 Q. And when did that happen?
4 A. That happened in February. I'm not 100 percent sure, but at
5 least before the war broke out. That means February 1992. And for some,
6 that happened earlier, depending on the areas and places.
7 Q. You mentioned that the Serb dug trenches. How do you know that?
8 A. When I said a moment ago that the area I lived in was bordering
9 on an area that was predominantly inhabited by Serbs, there was a road
10 that linked up the two that led to the town of Zvornik, and people would
11 pass by along that road, and they would notice that trenches were being
12 dug and that there were patrols, that people, Serbs, were patrolling the
13 area in groups of twos or threes, sometimes quite informally. But,
14 anyway, they let it be known that they were standing guard, patrolling
15 the area, and so forth. And you could feel this also when the
16 communication -- the buses couldn't pass by that way, or they were
17 stopped going from a Serb area to a Muslim area. Some reason was given,
18 but, anyway, transport was stopped. And the Muslims noted this, so they
19 had to choose a roundabout road if they wished to go that way. Traffic
20 was stopped on the other one.
21 Q. And just so it's clear, who stopped the traffic?
22 A. The leadership, the political leadership on the Serb side,
23 regardless of the parties, their political leadership, Serb political
24 leadership. And I said that (redacted) was the main responsible
25 person, the alpha and omega, the be all and end all in that area, of
1 course with permission from Branko Grujic, and his acquiescence.
2 Q. And, once again, when was this?
3 A. Before the war operations broke out. And in Zvornik, war broke
4 out on the 8th of April, so this means it was sometime in February.
5 Q. To your knowledge, were there any meetings held by the Serbian
6 leadership in your area?
7 A. The meetings were held in all the areas of Zvornik municipality,
8 in all parts, and also in the place where I lived. So meetings were held
9 all over, and we received information -- or, rather, I personally learnt
10 this from my friends and acquaintances who were Serbs and who were my
11 friends and from others, too, who had friends among the Serbs, among the
12 Serb population. And as I said at the beginning, where I lived, there
13 were a lot of mixed marriages and friendships between the two
14 ethnicities, so they -- the Muslims would always have information from
15 their friends, and they told them that the situation in the area was very
16 bad and their friends, the Serbs, warned them that there would be an
17 escalation, and war operations might break out, and that they should
18 leave the area or at least get their children -- women and children and
19 elderly away from the area. So we were warned by them. We did receive
20 that information.
21 Q. Do you know a person named Jovo Mijatovic?
23 (redacted), in actual fact, and I do know him, yes.
24 I came to work one morning, and Jovo, on the table in front of him,
25 had --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, we need to redact
2 this name.
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honour, I think this name will come up.
4 I think if we redact maybe that the witness shared an office with this
5 person, we would have taken care of the matter. Many people knew this
6 particular person. We'll come back to who he is.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, let's redact. Just tell
8 him the person that you were sharing your office with, and that way the
9 witness will know who you're talking about.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN:
12 Q. VS-2000, you were explaining something about some maps. What is
14 A. I apologise. Now, do you want me to mention the name of this man
15 or not to mention it?
16 Q. What we should avoid is that you -- you explain the details of
17 how you know him. We're protecting your identity, but I think this
18 person is very well known and he knows so, many people that it's not a
19 problem that you mention the name.
20 A. I see. Very well, yes.
21 The person in question is someone I know, and I know him because
22 he drew maps of a Greater Serbia. And when I had contacts with him,
23 since we were friends, I asked him why he was doing that, and I warned
24 him that that was not a good idea, and that it didn't lead anywhere and
25 that the media would publish those maps. And we joked about it and had a
1 slight disagreement, but jokingly, about some of the details, because
2 some of the lines on that map went over into another area belonging to
3 another ethnic group. And his answer was -- he said to me that there
4 would be compensation on the other side and that everybody would be
5 satisfied and well served.
6 Now, several days later at the next meeting, this map, the map
7 drawn by this person, did indeed appear in all the newspapers, both in
9 Q. When he said that there would be compensation, did he say
10 anything about what would happen to the people -- say the Muslims who
11 were living in the Serb areas, for example, what would happen to them?
12 A. That's -- well, he said that if the Muslims did not wish to live
13 in a republic like that, with those borders and with a predominantly Serb
14 population, then exchanges would take place, exchanges of property,
15 houses, and that the people would move out. That was his idea, and it's
16 particularly interesting to note that he was a key politician in Zvornik
17 municipality. He was even a national deputy in the Assembly at the time
18 in the BH Parliament, in actual fact.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, I didn't want to cut you
20 off, but I have a question for you.
21 This person who we do not mention who was drawing the map, and
22 the map was published, then he would explain that some arrangement could
23 be found amongst the population. But when he was saying this, was he
24 saying this on his own volition, or was he just repeating what others had
25 said previously, or was it really something that came from him?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's a good question. Thank you
2 for asking that.
3 I can only assume, although I wasn't in his head to know exactly,
4 that these were ideas from a joint global place or decision, leaders,
5 political leaders, and things -- people like that in the Zvornik
6 municipality, since he was a key personage for politics in Zvornik on the
7 side of the Serbs.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN:
10 Q. When did you receive these maps and have this discussion?
11 A. I don't remember the exact date, once again, but it was at the
12 beginning of March 1992.
13 Q. Moving to another topic: Did you ever attend any meetings where
14 the accused participated as well?
15 A. Yes, I did. And if I can be frank, I'm very pleased that I see
16 the accused, Vojislav Seselj, seven years on minus one month, to see him
17 again, because I had the opportunity of seeing him at a meeting or
18 promotion of the Serbian Radical Party, this time in Mali Zvornik, a
19 small town opposite Veliki Zvornik or Bosanski Zvornik, as it's called.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: 17 years on.
21 A. I wanted to say that I admired Vojislav Seselj. It was a long
22 time ago, and he might remember the date of this. And when he became the
23 youngest PhD holder in Yugoslavia
24 thought how wonderful it was to have such a young man, the youngest man
25 with a PhD in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It sort of was somebody with a
1 university training, who'd been to university, and saw that people should
2 be respected and that people should be loved, should love one another,
3 and who learnt that you cannot destroy a people through war. So I was
4 very interested, it was sort of inspiring, and I wondered how it came
5 into Dr. Seselj's head to change overnight and to think that he could
6 destroy a whole nation in a criminal way, with genocide and so on.
7 It was two weeks before the aggression against Zvornik. That
8 means it might have been on the 17th or 18th of March, roughly, 1992, in
10 informing us of the arrival as Vojislav Seselj, the president of the
11 Serbian Radical Party, saying that he was coming to Mali Zvornik. Now,
12 why he decided to do this in Mali Zvornik, in Serbia, probably because
13 Bosanski Zvornik had a kind of structure -- or, rather, the ratio was 64
14 to 36 in favour of the Muslim population. That was the percentage.
15 I went with a few of my acquaintances to Mali Zvornik, to the
16 place where the rally was being held. It was by the hydroelectric
17 power-plant, downstream, half a kilometre downstream, and I saw a large
18 group of people, I would say maybe even a thousand people, standing in
19 front of the cultural centre, youth cultural centre, and I learnt from
20 people 'round about that the rally would be held outside in the open air.
21 And I assume Mr. Seselj thought or his associates thought that it
22 wouldn't be a good idea to hold the rally there because there were more
23 Muslims than Serbs there, so they decided to hold the rally in the
24 cultural centre itself. And with a few of my friends and acquaintances,
25 I went straight to the cultural centre. I was curious to see the man,
1 who that man was, the man that I had heard such wonderful things about.
2 What did he have to say? How was he going to --
3 Q. Let me just interrupt you for one minute, and just so we get some
4 of these things -- important details out.
5 Now, you said that there were, in your estimate, around a
6 thousand people outside the cultural dom, and I understand that there was
7 some Muslims and some Serbs. What was the relationship, in your
8 estimate, between the size of the two groups?
9 A. It was hard to estimate because I didn't know all the people, but
10 I know a lot of people from Zvornik, from Mali Zvornik. I lived there,
11 went out there. It was difficult to tell what the ratio was in that
12 large group of people. But it was the assessment of Mr. Seselj, his
13 associates, or the organisers of the meeting, that it would not be warm
14 enough to have the meeting outside, because in that part of Mali Zvornik
15 there are two large neighbourhoods populated mostly by Muslims, and a
16 large number of Muslims came out of curiosity from Veliki Zvornik, and
17 also as a protest, expressing their disagreement with this manner of
18 calling people to nationalism, to war, and so on and so forth.
19 Q. And so I understand that you went inside the cultural centre or
20 the cultural dom. Could you describe how the room looked when you came
22 A. When I entered the room, it was in the basement, the room was
23 dark. There were candles burning, and it was, let me put it that way,
24 traditional orange lights. Let me explain that.
25 I watched a lot of films from World War II where the Chetniks,
1 precisely in this way, had their meetings in darkened rooms, with
2 candles, and with their traditional insignia. You could see the same
3 thing in the cultural hall in Mali Zvornik, the Chetnik flags at
4 prominent places, the table where Mr. Seselj and his associates were
5 supposed to sit. There were hats with the traditional cockades,
6 indicating Chetnik-hood.
7 They entered -- as I entered the hall, and looking around, I
8 could see that in the last row of the hall next to me, there were about
9 15 to 20 people whom I personally knew. They were Muslims. In the front
10 row, right in front of the table, where Mr. Seselj was supposed to sit, I
11 saw a lot of familiar faces, including Branko Grujic. I said at the
12 beginning that he was president of the Serbian Radical Party -- I
13 apologise again, the Serbian Democratic Party in Zvornik. And at the
14 meeting, he was there, where Mr. Seselj was the president of the Serbian
15 Radical Party. There were a lot of other people who I saw there whom I
16 knew, and I was very surprised at what they were doing there. I was
17 wondering how come that all these people whom I knew, who were in the
18 reserve forces of the JNA and with whom I worked, were suddenly in the
19 front row of this meeting.
20 Suddenly, Mr. Seselj came in with his bodyguards, and from the
21 door he literally said, "God help you, brother Chetniks," and everybody
22 traditionally replied the return greeting, "God help you, hero." They
23 said that altogether. I can still hear Mr. Seselj saying that. He took
24 his place where he was meant to sit, and then after briefly consulting
25 with his associates, he stood up and he began to speak. He said that he
1 was sorry that the meeting -- the rally could not be held outside, for
2 objective reasons, probably meaning for security reasons, and that he
3 hoped that people who were present inside would literally convey to their
4 home organisations what his message was. He underscored again, "I hope
5 that you are true representatives of the groups that were formed in your
6 home units, entities." I can still hear his words in my years that I
7 will never forget, "Brothers, Chetniks, Chetnik brothers," he literally
8 says -- had said, "The time has come for us to give the balijas tit for
9 tat." I will explain. "Balijas" is a derogatory word for Muslims.
10 You've probably had the opportunity to hear this word before in prior
11 testimonies. "The Drina
13 of land inhabited by Serbs is Serbian land. Let's rise up, Chetnik
14 brothers, especially you from across the Drina. You are the bravest."
15 These are literally his words. I will never forget them, "let us show
16 the balijas, the Turks and the Muslims," he said all of those words in
17 one context, "the green transversal, the direction to the east. That's
18 where their place is."
19 I couldn't stand it anymore. I personally stood up, and I
20 addressed him, "Mr. Seselj --"
21 Q. Just before we go into that, just so the record is clear, you
22 said that -- it says in the transcript: "The Drina -- the Drina River
23 not the boundary between Serbia
24 Serbian state." Is that what you remember Mr. Seselj, the accused,
1 A. I remember this 100 percent. I can never forget those words.
2 That's why I stood up and reacted the way that I reacted. And I would
3 like to state what my reaction was.
4 Q. It was not in quotation marks in the transcript, so it was not
5 entirely clear who that was attributed to, but that's clear now.
6 And so you stood up. What did you say?
7 A. I said, "Mr. Seselj, you can't do this." I knew I wouldn't have
8 enough time to say what I thought and what I wanted to, that I would be
9 interrupted, so that is why I spoke quickly, and I said the following:
10 "Mr. Seselj, this can't be done like this. I came here out of
11 curiosity to see Seselj, the youngest doctor of law and the person who
12 completed the Faculty of Law in Sarajevo
13 person who throughout his life had learned all those things I mentioned
14 at the beginning, and that is that no nation can destroy another nation,
15 "You are inciting people to war. It cannot be like this, Mr. Seselj.
16 This can't be, so I was hoping that you would make a meeting. I, as a
17 member of the youth movement, a Tito's pioneer --" everyone knows that
18 Tito was the president of Yugoslavia
19 nobody paid any attention to the ethnic origin of anyone else, so I said,
20 "I, as Tito's youth member, expected you to give a different speech
21 against war, against nationalism," and I did manage to complete what I
22 was saying after -- everybody got disturbed. Two of his bodyguards took
23 me under -- by the arms, and without violence or anything. They just
24 carried me outside, threw me out. When I was out, I could hear
25 objections, whistling by a large group of people who were asking that the
1 meeting be held outside, that Seselj should go out and explain this to
2 the people outside. There was a large number of policemen from Serbia
3 of course, because according to the regulations the Bosnian police could
4 not be on the territory of another republic.
5 Five or six minutes after that, Seselj, with his associates, left
6 the hall, and then there was a general fight that broke out. I was in
7 the parking-lot just there next to a group of people, and I happened to
8 know some of these people, and one of the people opened the back of his
9 trunk of his car, and he said, "Chetnik brothers, take this." And I
10 could see that the trunk was piled full of pieces of wood, of timber
11 about an inch or two thick. They were like wooden poles about 70 or 80
12 metres long. And the group of young people who were there took those
13 pieces of wood, those planks, and then a general fight broke out. You
14 really couldn't tell who was hitting who. You couldn't tell who was a
15 Serb, who was a Muslim. Objects began flying through the air, and at one
16 point I could see a large -- very large group of people who were lying on
17 the ground. I assume that they probably knocked him down -- that
18 Seselj's bodyguards knocked him down to protect him from the blows.
19 The next day, I saw in a newspaper Mr. Seselj with a band-aid on
20 his face and with a bandaged hand. He's not close to me right now, but I
21 really wanted to ask him where he got this scar that he has. I wanted to
22 ask him before I began telling about all of this.
23 But, anyway, after a while the people went off, and the area was
24 cleared, and that's how the whole thing ended.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 Again, I'd like to move on to another topic, and it's -- the
2 general area - and this is what I'd like to focus on - is the Municipal
3 Assembly of Zvornik. And, just very quickly, I'd like to ask you about
4 some of -- some people and whether you can tell us who they are and what
5 position they held.
6 Just in this context, you've already said it, but maybe
7 Branko Grujic, who is he, and what position did he have?
8 A. Branko Grujic was the president of the Serbian Democratic Party.
9 He was a key figure or, rather, a person who everyone else had to listen
10 to, listen to the proposals he made.
11 Q. What position, if any, did he have in the Municipal Assembly?
12 A. He didn't have any particular position in the Municipal Assembly,
13 because he was involved in private business, but probably the scenario
14 was prepared in advance of what would shortly turn out to be that he
15 would become the president of the War Presidency of Zvornik.
16 Q. And Jovo Mijatovic?
17 A. Jovo Mijatovic, I already spoke about him, was a deputy
18 representing the Serbian people in the Republican Parliament of Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina
20 Q. Jovo Ivanovic?
21 A. Jovo Ivanovic was the president of the Executive Board of the
22 Municipal Assembly of Zvornik.
23 Q. Stevo Radic?
24 A. Stevo Radic was the secretary of the Municipality of Zvornik
25 you can see, I am mentioning names of people -- names of Serbs. All the
1 key political posts, regardless of the fact that -- the fact that the
2 ethnic structure in Zvornik was 64 percent to 36 percent in favour of the
3 Muslims, all the key political posts were held by Serbs.
4 Q. Could you describe --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment. Please, Witness,
6 there's something I don't understand.
7 You've just said that 64 percent of this municipality was
8 Muslims, 30 percent were Serb, but these people had been elected, hadn't
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 36 percent.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but the Muslims that
12 accounted for 64 percent of the population, these people voted, didn't
13 they? How is it, then, that those elected officials were Serbs who were
14 holding the key positions? There's something I don't understand.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand what you are asking,
16 and I'm going to try to explain.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All my questions are excellent
18 questions. Please clarify this.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's true that they were all
20 deputies and that everyone voted, and that after the first multiparty
21 voting in the Zvornik municipality, this was the ratio, 64 to 36 percent.
22 In fact, the ratio was a little bit narrower, because there was a number
23 of people who did not -- who were actually in the SDP, the League of
24 Communists, so they did not declare themselves as Muslims, but they
25 picked an option that was more universal, that was in between the two.
1 So when the key places in the municipality were being staffed, there was
2 a sense that war was clear, it had already -- war was nearing. It had
3 already began in the Republic of Croatia
4 to them in that area, and this is why they made certain concessions in
5 order to keep the peace. They made concessions to the Serbs so that the
6 Serbs occupied more of the key political posts.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now we understand
8 better, thanks to you. Thank you.
9 MR. MARCUSSEN:
10 Q. If it's possible for you to describe, very briefly: In the
11 spring of 1992, what did the Serbs in Zvornik -- what was their political
12 aim, what was their political vision for Zvornik?
13 A. In the spring of 1992, the political vision or the goal of the
14 Serbs in Zvornik, which they tried to implement through the Parliament
15 also, in the Assembly, was the division of Zvornik into a Serb and Muslim
16 municipality; also the division of the Karakaj Industrial Zone, which was
17 one of the most powerful in Bosnia and Herzegovina, into a Muslim and a
18 Serb part. It was not possible to do this, in view of the percentages
19 that I referred to earlier, especially if you take into account that
20 these two ethnic groups were intermingled, and there was no populated
21 place in that area that had a clear majority among the Serbs or the
22 Muslims. Still, it was the Serbs' option or goal to go for total
23 division, and this is why many meetings took place later, agreements, and
24 we were unable to get anywhere.
25 Q. Just very briefly, what was the counter-position to this wish to
1 divide the municipality?
2 A. We tried to set up rallies, mass rallies, in the town of Zvornik
3 and I provided a tape that I had from one of those meetings where you can
4 clearly see that the rally was attended by tens of thousands of people,
5 and these people were addressed by the most prominent figures of the
6 Zvornik municipality, both Serbs and Muslims. Both Muslims and Serbs
7 spoke, those who were against the war, those who were aware that this was
8 not leading anywhere and that it was not a way to reach any solution, it
9 was only the way for one or the other ethnic group to suffer. They were
10 against the war.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. Gentlemen, Judges, I
12 believe that the Prosecution would need to make a transcript of this
13 footage tonight and that tomorrow this should be distributed before the
14 start of the cross-examination. If the witness provided this to the
15 Prosecution in time, there is no excuse for this not being done already.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is this video?
17 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, the exhibit is not on the
18 Prosecution's exhibit list, and we do not intend to tender this
19 particular video into evidence. If the accused wants to tender it into
20 evidence, he's, of course, free to seek its admission, and we would not
21 oppose that. The witness will give evidence about the particular
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When did you get this video?
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: The Prosecution got this in 1996, when the
25 witness gave his statement.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And Mr. Seselj has had a copy
2 of this, has he?
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: Indeed, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Seselj, you
5 have the video. You can look at it.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And what am I supposed to do with
7 it, Mr. President? Where am I going to look at it? The fact that the
8 Prosecutor a few days ago sent some DVD to me, that means nothing to me.
9 There is nobody to look at that for me or to make a transcript for me,
10 and I have no communication with anyone regarding these exhibits.
11 This footage, if the Prosecution did not --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, I will tell you
13 what I think of this.
14 From my own personal experience, we have received the DVDs and
15 videos sent by the Prosecution, and I came here at 5.00 in the morning to
16 watch these videos on my computer, and I watched all of them. Do like
17 me; just get up early, put your videos or your DVDs into your DVD reader,
18 and just watch the videos.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, but on several
20 occasions, as Pre-Trial Judge, you expressly instructed the Prosecution
21 to furnish all documents under 68(1) to me in hard copy, exclusively in
22 hard copy. This video footage is of footage of a rally which the Muslim
23 parties or their leading party organised in Zvornik the day before the
24 armed conflict. If this footage is not a favourable piece of evidence
25 for the Prosecution, it must be a document under Rule 68.1. I am
1 convinced of that. They didn't do that.
2 I don't have a computer in my cell, I don't know how to use one,
3 and I'm not in the position to look at any DVDs or materials on my video
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, if you feel that
6 this video is important, I don't know, during your cross-examination you
7 can ask to see it. That will not be a problem.
8 Witness, this video, I'm sure I've seen it, but I've seen so many
9 that I couldn't tell you what's on this video. I assume that the video
10 shows a crowd of people. That's what it's about, I assume.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Correct. But it's not true, what
12 Mr. Seselj said, that it was held on the day before the aggression on
13 Zvornik. This footage is of a rally that was held several days before.
14 There is another meeting that I can talk about was held on the
15 day before the actual aggression, and I can talk about that after I see
16 the video. I can talk about that later, if I am asked to.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On what date was this video
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that before the aggression
20 in Zvornik, it was three or four days before that, so it could have been
21 either on the 4th or 5th of April, 1992.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in the statement of
23 this witness, it says that this was on the 6th and 7th of April. This is
24 on page 5 of the statement. So I'm now reframing from any kind of
25 comments, but I really must say this: These are two rallies on the eve
1 of the outbreak of the conflict, and the witness himself said "6th and
2 7th of April." You can see that on page 3, paragraph 2. But if you
3 believe that the Prosecution was not obliged to disclose that to me in an
4 appropriate manner, what can I do? I have to submit to that.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, there were two
6 rallies, seemingly, one on the 4th and 5th and the other one on the 6th
7 or 7th. The video refers to the first rally or the second one? It's
8 difficult, I know, 17 years later, to answer that question. I understand
9 fully. If you don't know, say so, just say you can't answer the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I state with 100 percent certainty,
12 and I did state a solemn declaration that I would be speaking the truth,
13 so this is the footage of the first rally, before the second one that was
14 held a day before the conflict. If I said that it was on the 5th or 6th,
15 I mean this was 17 years ago, so I don't know. If this is so important
16 to Mr. Seselj whether it was on the 5th or the 6th, I mean, it's 24-hours
17 difference. The point is that it was the first rally and not the second
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if you really insist
20 that the Prosecution does not have to submit this document to me, I'm not
21 going to make any more objections. But I would like to remind you that
22 after this rally, all the Serbs left Zvornik.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, Mr. Seselj, the Prosecutor
24 has given you this video. You have it. You've had it for a long time.
25 That's all there is to it. The Prosecutor doesn't want to show it. He
1 does what he likes. If you wish to show it, you can bring it along or
2 you can say to the Registrar tomorrow that you wish to display it.
3 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] You could have asked your
4 associates to show it and ask them whether it's in any way important for
5 your Defence.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's precisely what I
7 mentioned when you discussed this. I said to you, since you have all
8 these DVDs, just give these to Mr. Krasic or somebody else, ask these
9 people to look at all this footage, get up early in the morning, and then
10 they can get back to you and tell you whether there's anything
11 interesting in these videos. I understand that you don't have time to
12 watch these images, since you have tens of thousands of documents to
13 read, so I don't hold this against you, but I did say that you could ask
14 your associates to watch these images, and I remember telling you this.
15 Whatever the case may be, this video shows a gathering. I don't
16 think this is a very determining factor. Maybe it is. It will be for
17 you to say so.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, as far as I know,
19 the Prosecution gave me that footage a few days ago. I don't know the
20 exact date. But this is not the same footage that was provided to me a
21 few years ago.
22 And, finally, as of October 1st, I have no associates,
23 practically no associates. Since we have a protected witness again, I
24 cannot speak about him or his testimony with Mr. Krasic. You have
25 forbidden me to do that in a written decision, which you have decided to
1 make public yesterday.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I agree, but when I told you to
3 give the DVD
4 this several months ago already, and at the time there wasn't a problem.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can the Prosecutor just tell us
6 what date it was that he gave me this DVD?
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, do you have the
8 acknowledgment of receipt when you disclosed this video?
9 MR. MARCUSSEN: I don't, but I did wish to state that in fairness
10 to the accused, we had not been able to determine an early disclosure, so
11 we disclosed the -- we disclosed the video sometime, I think, late last
12 week. So the accused is correct, he has not had the DVD that we're
13 currently talking about for a very long time. Obviously, if --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, you said the
15 opposite a while ago. You said that this video had been disclosed. I
16 can't remember in what year. A long time ago. So you disclosed this
17 video last week; is that right?
18 MR. MARCUSSEN: On the 2nd of February, Your Honours. And the --
19 of course, the video itself is mentioned in the witness statement of --
20 from 2002, I believe, if it's not even in the statement from 1996, so if
21 this particular video was so important to the accused, it's certainly
22 something that could have been raised earlier than today.
23 I have not -- I don't understand what's said on the video, but
24 I've had it reviewed for the purpose of this case, and I can inform
25 Your Honours of the contents of it. It is, as Your Honour has pointed
1 out, a recording of a rally. From what I understand, it's very difficult
2 in many parts to hear what is being said, but the general theme is --
3 expressed by the speakers is that there should be no ethnic division.
4 The speakers are opposed to this. They want a multiethnic Zvornik.
5 There's absolutely nothing exculpatory in that material, and as I
6 said, we're not tendering this exhibit into evidence. We have disclosed
7 it to the accused so that he have it, because we thought that he should
8 have the material that was provided by this witness and is described in
9 his statement, but there's absolutely nothing exculpatory in it, as far
10 as I can see from the description that I've been given of this video.
11 I think we might be wasting our time here, and we should maybe
12 simply get on with it.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I believe so.
14 Mr. Seselj, you were disclosed this video on the 2nd of February.
15 This is what Mr. Marcussen has just said.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank Mr. Marcussen for
17 that very correct way in which he has behaved. I haven't been accustomed
18 to that by a representative of the OTP. I thought it was given to me
19 last week, at the end of last week. He said the 2nd, which is Monday,
20 which is the day before yesterday. What are we today, the 7th? What --
21 what's the date? Anyway, it was the day before yesterday that I received
22 it, and that's the rally after which all the Serbs fled Zvornik, and it's
23 the rally that was held on the day Bosnia and Herzegovina's independence
24 was proclaimed. And you know the terrible bitterness that the Serbs felt
25 when they heard about Bosnia
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Proceed.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN:
3 Q. VS-2000, do you remember the Assembly met on the 3rd of April,
5 A. I do remember the meeting held on the 3rd of April, 1992
6 Q. What happened at that meeting?
7 A. A meeting was held. All citizens of goodwill were invited to
8 attend and to profess their views and opposition to all national
9 divisions, the divisions of towns, the infrastructure, to speak up
10 against war, and for a time this had positive echoes.
11 After that, there were a series of political meetings held by the
12 leadership, both Muslim and Serb. And after all that, there was a
13 meeting with the army, the Yugoslav People's Army, led by a man called
14 Jankovic. And, quite literally, assistance was asked. The Yugoslav Army
15 was asked to assist or to give guarantees that Zvornik would be peaceful
16 and that there wouldn't be a war, and that nothing would happen there
17 that had happened in the neighbouring town, where killings had already
18 taken place.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if you want to make
20 a break, I have one more objection.
21 Now, suddenly, the Prosecutor has introduced an Assembly, a
22 meeting that I have never heard of, of the 3rd of April. I know about
23 the 6th and 7th of April meetings and rallies. That makes it two, plus
24 this 3rd of April meeting, or is the Prosecutor referring to the meetings
25 of the 6th and 7th of April? This is something that is completely
1 unknown in all the material we've seen so far.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Marcussen, I thought I
3 understand that a meeting had been held the day that Bosnia-Herzegovina
4 proclaimed independence. We know that. Apparently it seems that there
5 was another one either before or after. We're sort of lost. Which one
6 are you referring to, Mr. Marcussen?
7 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I'm not referring to any meetings,
8 the witness is. And I will try to clarify some of these things. But
9 there's nothing for the accused to object to. He's on full notice of the
10 evidence of this witness, and actually, he has been provided a chronology
11 that the witness has drafted up himself. So there's no basis for the
13 If Your Honours want to take a break, we can do it now, and I
14 will get back and clarify all these dates and meetings.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, try and shed some light on
16 this during the break so that we will know later on how many rallies were
17 held, you know, so the witness will tell us exactly when these meetings
18 were held, because obviously there were rallies held by Mr. Seselj, and
19 then there were other meetings that were organised on the Muslim side,
20 and it's not very clear. So please try to shed some light on this over
21 the break.
22 I believe you have about an hour left. You've used up an hour
23 already. The best would be if you could finish your examination-in-chief
25 Let's break for 20 minutes.
1 --- Recess taken at 5.37 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 6.00 p.m.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The court is back in session.
4 Mr. Marcussen.
5 MR. MARCUSSEN:
6 Q. VS-2000, we talked about a meeting that was held on the 3rd of
7 April. Where was that meeting held?
8 A. First of all, I'd like to say I'm sorry that there was a
9 misunderstanding earlier on over the number of meetings and their dates.
10 We were talking about two mass rallies, antiwar rallies of citizens, and
11 we set the date there. One was held on the 5th or 6th, and the last on
12 the 7th.
13 Now, the meeting that we're talking about now, the 3rd of April
14 meeting, that was a meeting between the political parties of the Muslims
15 and Serbs, and it was held in the Municipal Assembly building and
16 headquarters in Zvornik, where they tried to reach an agreement about the
17 possibilities of avoiding war or, rather, to find a way out of the
18 situation by meeting the military leaders and ask the armies guarantees
19 for a peaceful life and a life together in the municipality of Zvornik
20 Q. Was a proposal made from the Muslim side as to what could be done
21 to ensure peace, any concrete measures?
22 A. It is true that the Muslim side put forward a proposal, the one I
23 talked about a moment ago; that is to say, that the army should guarantee
24 peace and that all the barricades should be abolished that the Serbs had
25 set up along the outskirts of the town or towards the industrial zone
1 towards Tuzla
2 possibility of continuing a normal life together in communality, and if
3 the municipality needed to be divided, the infrastructure of the
4 municipality, that that could go ahead just to avoid a war. That was the
5 main thing.
6 Q. On -- if you remember, on what date was the meeting with Jankovic
8 A. The meeting with General Jankovic, the commander of the
9 Tuzla Corps, was held on the 7th, in the afternoon or at around noon, in
10 the premises of the Municipal Assembly building of Zvornik, where a
11 document was supposed to be signed officially about life together, and
12 togetherness and communality, and doing away with the barricades, just
13 like the meeting that had started on the 3rd and was postponed until the
14 5th. And Jovo Ivanovic came to one of those meetings, the president of
15 the Municipal Assembly, who said, quite literally, that he had come to
16 the meeting but that the Serb side wished no -- to have no negotiations
17 but an -- exclusively a division. He came to say that he did not want
18 negotiations, but a division. But on pressure from General Jankovic, it
19 was nonetheless agreed that coexistence must be maintained, and all
20 tension must be surpassed.
21 And on the 7th, that's when that second meeting or rally took
22 place, the one that Mr. Seselj mentioned, in the afternoon, that is to
23 say, after 12.00 noon
24 people, came to in front of the municipal building. There were
25 loud-speakers and microphones, and the people went on discussing and
1 sayings things that they said at the first rally against the war and
2 against things like that.
3 Q. Now I'd like to go back to the 6th of April. Was there a
4 Municipal Assembly meeting on that day?
5 A. Yes, a Municipal Assembly meeting was held on that precise day.
6 I attended. However, let me repeat again. The firm resolve of the
7 political leadership and deputies on the Serb side was that there should
8 be no negotiations and no solutions about continuing coexistence in town.
9 And this could be felt, of course, because the citizens -- the Serb
10 citizens had already left the town, and they'd gone towards Serbia
11 across the Drina River
12 conclusion was made; that is to say, on the 6th, they decided to hold
13 another urgent meeting with the army and the army should provide
14 guarantees. And after that meeting, the key figures should address the
15 public on radio -- over Radio Zvornik, key figures on both sides, and one
16 member of the army, that they should speak over the radio and tell the
17 citizens to remove the barricades and to quell tension so that
18 coexistence could continue.
19 Q. Do you -- do you remember whether Branko Grujic made any
20 particular statements at that meeting at the Assembly?
21 A. Yes, that is correct. He said especially that there should be no
22 negotiations, no further discussions. He said, "We are setting apart the
23 police, the Serb police. We're going to separate the Serb police," and
24 that's what he did. And the Serb policemen separated themselves into the
25 industrial zone of Karakaj or, more exactly, the textile factory that was
1 called Alhos. That was it.
2 Q. Did it at some point become clear to you that the situation would
3 develop into an armed struggle?
4 A. Could you repeat the question, please. I do apologise.
5 Q. Did you at some point think that there would be an armed struggle
6 in Zvornik?
7 A. Yes, I did. It was quite clear to me, personally, as it was to
8 everybody else, that war was imminent, especially because of the presence
9 of a large number of soldiers and organised units stationed in the
10 neighbouring republic, in Serbia
11 and along the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this information -- I
12 was given this information from a friend and from my acquaintances, and
13 they lived in Loznica, Koviljaca, and those border areas in Serbia
14 when they came to work, they would talk about this and say that war was
15 imminent; that there was a large number of soldiers, regular and
16 irregular troops, which means that there were those who were not
17 exclusively the JNA but volunteers; and that a large number of technical
18 equipment and materiel had been stationed along the border and was
19 directed towards Zvornik.
20 Q. And is it possible for you to tell us at what time you received
21 this information? When are you talking about?
22 A. That was before. The information about the stationing and
23 positioning of the army in the localities I've just mentioned is
24 information that I received perhaps eight or nine or ten days before from
25 people who had either seen the units or heard about them.
1 Q. And would I be correctly summing up what you have said is that
2 the Serb position was that there should be a division of Zvornik, and if
3 that could not be agreed upon, then there would be a conflict, and it
4 would be settled -- this issue would be settled with arms; is that a
5 correct summary of how you understood the situation?
6 A. Yes, that is a correct summary of all the negotiations, meetings,
7 rallies. All of them led to the conclusion that there was absolutely no
8 chance for negotiation anymore.
9 There was one more chance, in actual fact, for negotiation, when
10 the head of the municipality, Abdulah Pasic, at the invitation of
11 someone, probably the army, had to go to a meeting in Mali Zvornik.
12 Q. Let me just interrupt you. We will get to that in just one
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] I would like to have an
15 additional detail from the witness.
16 You said that the information on the imminent threat of war was
17 something that you received eight, nine days before, but before what? I
18 didn't understand before what.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Before the aggression itself on the
20 8th of April. That's when the aggression started.
21 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You're welcome.
23 MR. MARCUSSEN:
24 Q. To your recollection today, were there ever anyone who explicitly
25 said that if the Muslim side did not accept a division, then there would
1 be a war?
2 A. Yes, that sentence came from Brano Grujic. He said, "If you
3 gentlemen Muslims don't want us to divide up the town and the industrial
4 zone so that we can be completely separate, then there will be war."
5 Q. When did he say that? Sorry, when did he say that?
6 A. He said that at the last meeting on the 6th, the last meeting
7 held on the 6th of April.
8 Q. What day did the -- did the majority of the Serbs leave Zvornik?
9 A. The Serbs started leaving Zvornik slowly, and this was
10 noticeable, about seven or eight days before, and then they intensified
11 their departure three to four days before the aggression was unleashed,
12 because according to some plan and project, they were supposed to -- the
13 aggression on Zvornik was supposed to start on the 4th of April, but with
14 the negotiations that took place, that dead-line was prolonged for the
15 beginning of the war against Zvornik.
16 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Witness, does this mean that the
17 Serbs knew that the aggression was going to happen a few days later?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I claim quite definitely that the
19 Serbs knew there would be an aggression, because their political leaders
20 had conducted preparations much before, preparing the units, creating
21 crisis staffs, patrolling the area; unnecessary, in my opinion. These
22 Serbs patrolled the areas along the border belt and where the Serbs were
23 the majority. And the very fact that the Serbs moved out of the Zvornik
24 area and the town of Zvornik
25 You could smell it.
1 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] You could smell it, and the
2 Muslims could smell it or feel it. That's one thing. But how is it that
3 this information on an imminent threat of war would be only confined to
4 the Serbian population?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, that information was
6 accessible to everyone, to all the ethnicities and population of Zvornik.
7 But since the Muslims did not want -- well, there were Serbs who didn't
8 want it, either, but the Muslims didn't especially, and that's why I said
9 that at the rally that was held, the Serbs demonstrated that they were
10 against the war and for coexistence, but the Muslims hoped that people
11 wouldn't leave their homes. It's difficult to leave your homes and send
12 your family away or go into a war unprepared. Why? Because the Muslims
13 didn't have any weapons.
14 JUDGE LATTANZI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. MARCUSSEN:
16 Q. VS-2000, you talked about a last chance for peace and a meeting
17 attended by Pasic. You should know that we have heard other evidence
18 about that particular meeting, but if very briefly you could just tell
19 us, when did that meeting take place?
20 A. The meeting took place after the rally of the 7th of April, in
21 front of the Municipal Assembly building. The army, led by Jankovic,
22 turned up, or rather they received orders from somewhere or instructions
23 that in Mali Zvornik a meeting should be held of politicians, Muslim
24 politicians and Serb politicians, together with the army. I was never
25 quite clear on why. I never discussed this with anyone. But later on I
1 learnt that this meeting took place at the Jezero Hotel, which is half a
2 kilometre downstream from the hydroelectric power-plant on the
3 Drina River
4 Later on, I learnt that Arkan threatened the Serbs and said that
5 if they put their signature to an agreement for coexistence and peace,
6 there would -- that he personally, with his soldiers, would intervene,
7 step in and kill the Serbs. I heard this from others. I didn't hear it
9 Q. So I guess it would be a fair assessment that the meeting was
10 unsuccessful. Would you agree with that?
11 A. Yes, of course, that meeting was unsuccessful. The Muslim
12 politicians returned home, and later on I learnt, and they were ashamed
13 to say this, that they had even been physically mistreated; that is to
14 say that Arkan slapped them because they wanted to confirm what had been
15 agreed with the army earlier on in the municipality building on the 7th
16 of April.
17 Q. On the Muslim side, once the delegation came back from the
18 Jezero Hotel, were there an effort made to organise some sort of crisis
19 committee or something like that on the Muslim side?
20 A. Yes, it's true that we waited for the Muslim politicians to
21 return from the meeting from Mali Zvornik, where we were quite literally
22 told that there were no more chances for negotiation and that Zvornik
23 would be attacked, and that there was no other way out but to set up a
24 crisis staff which would attempt to organise and pull out the population,
25 the civilians, women, children, and use the roads that were still
1 passable in the direction of Tuzla
2 mass exodus towards (redacted), and the Snagovo
3 area, and also the area of Kula Grad.
4 MR. MARCUSSEN: Let me interrupt you for a brief second.
5 We would, I think, Your Honour, ask if we could redact page 92,
6 line 1.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Registrar, please.
8 MR. MARCUSSEN:
9 Q. VS-2000, were efforts made also to organise some sort of defence
10 of Zvornik at this point in time?
11 A. Since the Muslim people didn't have weapons because the Serb
12 police seized all the weapons that were placed in the police garages and
13 moved it to Karakaj, to the newly-formed police administration or station
14 there, so the Muslims did not have a chance to organise themselves in the
15 town itself, maybe some people did have their own personal weapons. I
16 don't know about that. Perhaps hunting weapons, since there were many
17 hunters in that area. It was something that was very popular in the
18 Zvornik area. In some re-border areas, perhaps there were some guards to
19 stop incursions from Serbs at least until the civilians pulled out.
20 Later, when the Crisis Staff was trying to get out, and I was a
21 member of it, when we were trying to get out to Kula Grad -- it's a
22 settled area at an elevation from where you could see the entire town of
23 Zvornik below.
24 Q. VS-2000, in the interests of time I'm going to jump somewhat in
25 time, I think, and I'd like to ask you: Are you familiar with a place
1 sometimes referred to as Djuza's house?
2 A. Djuza's house, yes. It's the house of a woman whose name is
3 Djuza, Djuza Salihovic. It's a well-known house because there was a
4 prisoner camp in that house, and it was opened on the 25th or the 26th of
5 May. The Serbs -- well, I'll go in order.
6 On the 23rd and 24th of May, Serbs, or the army -- it wasn't the
7 regular army, it was the paramilitary force, came to the area of Liplje,
8 to the school there, and was seizing the weapons. The Muslims hurriedly
9 handed over the weapons that they had, hunting weapons perhaps, whatever
10 else they had managed to obtain through other channels. They handed over
11 the weapons and they called for life together. If they handed over their
12 weapons, they were told that they would get some passes to be able to go
13 to town to get some food and things like that. Anyway, when this was
14 done, on the 25th or 26th, I think that's when it started, the assembling
15 of all the population, assembling them all together in a very big house,
16 a three-floor house, Djuza's house, and the people were placed there and
17 in surrounding areas, and there were 483 prisoners located in that camp.
18 Very soon after that, they were tortured, beaten, raped, asked to
19 provide specific information. Their money and valuables, gold,
20 jewellery, were taken from them.
21 All of this was taking place not far from where I was, where I
22 had a very good view of the Serbs' movements as they were bringing in the
23 prisoners. It occurred to me that we had to organise ourselves and to
24 free those people.
25 Q. Let me interrupt you. How far were you from Djuza's house?
1 A. From my vantage point, it was perhaps a kilometre as the crow
2 flies, or maybe even less. I cannot really tell you exactly. But you
3 could plainly see, and especially if you had binoculars, then you could
4 clearly see people, their faces. So some women -- some people -- some
5 women that I saw, I could actually tell who they were if I looked through
6 the binoculars. They had to walk around without their clothing, in front
7 of a group of soldiers who were sitting on some crates from which they
8 were drinking alcohol, actually beer. That's what I was able to see.
9 Q. Were you ever having conversations with anyone who had been at
10 Djuza's house about what happened? And don't mention any names, but did
11 you ever speak to anyone?
12 A. Four days after the camp was formed at Djuza's house, one girl, a
13 little girl, escaped from the camp. She managed to escape a rape, and
14 I'll explain how it happened. Since she knew me and since she found out
15 from someone or was asking who would be able to help her, then I spoke
16 with her privately, and she said that she had escaped from being raped by
17 using a kind of trick, saying she wasn't ready. She was bruised and her
18 clothing was torn, and she explained to me where this took place, which
19 house she was, and in which houses around Djuza's house women and girls
20 were taken to be raped and so on.
21 Q. Were efforts made to -- no, sorry. No, we can go on with this.
22 Were efforts made -- efforts made to free the people who were detained at
23 Djuza's house?
24 A. There were two attempts, one right after this young girl fled the
25 camp. (redacted), if people
1 had any weapons left, to find some people who still hadn't handed over
2 their weapons, to try to free those people. And it's true that there
3 were many of those who wanted to go into this action to liberate the
4 camp, who had their relatives, close relatives, and I don't mention their
5 names, in the camp. But this never actually materialised because there
6 were no weapons and people were not -- there wasn't enough courage to go
7 with their bare hands up against 60 armed Serbian soldiers, which is the
8 information I had, 60 Chetniks in that area, and they were divided into
9 two areas. One was in school and the other one perhaps some 200 or 250
10 metres further in Djuza's house and the neighbouring houses.
11 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, because of the nature of the
12 information, the specificity of the information, I think we would have to
13 redact page 94, line 22: (redacted)
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. To be on the safe side,
15 it would be better. So, Registrar, could you please redact line 22 and
16 after on page 94.
18 MR. MARCUSSEN:
19 Q. VS-2000, was there -- did you participate later on in an attack
20 to free the detainees?
21 A. Correct, I did take part in such an organised action on the 2nd
22 of June, 1992, when the camp was actually liberated.
23 Q. Will you please explain to the Judges what you saw when you came
24 to the camp? What was the situation of the detainees? What did you see
25 as you went to the camp?
1 A. I'm not going to talk about the actual method and how we
2 approached the camp because of the time available, but as we were
3 approaching the camp and were trying to liberate it house by house, while
4 we were approaching the camp, just 15 metres away from me a woman came
5 out of a cellar, leading a boy by the hand. From that same house some
6 six metres away, she was shot at and hit with two bullets. This all took
7 place very close to me, some five or six metres away, because I was
8 behind a house that was nearby. The most horrible scene was when her
9 son, who was five years old, tried to pick her up. He tried to lift her,
10 and his hand was -- his hands were bloody. And he was calling his mother
11 to stand up, to get up, but it was too late. I could see blood flowing
12 from the wounds, the two wounds in her body. I tried to save the child,
13 and in the second attempt my friend managed to grab the child and save
15 And as we were closer to the camp, some ten metres away, some --
16 sheltering behind some sort of low wall, a Serbian soldier was ordering,
17 "Pick up all your things, destroy what you cannot carry, and let's escape
18 in this direction." I was looking at him, but I couldn't do anything
19 because there was firing coming from all sides, also in the direction
20 where I was with my friends. When he opened the door -- he kicked the
21 door open. I could hear his voice, "Take the scarves, the shawls -- the
22 sheets so that this can be seen, some scum is killing us." These are the
23 words that I heard this man say.
24 Anyway, later I found out that the nickname of that man is Brzi.
25 I cannot remember his first and last name, but I have it written down
1 somewhere. He's a man who was working in a construction company as a
2 crane operator in Belgrade
3 event was taking place.
4 The prisoners started running out, and I managed to raise my
5 hand. And because some were already beginning to run after this soldier,
6 and they didn't know what was happening, I shouted at them to start
7 moving towards me. And then he moved away from a post and fired a burst
8 of fire at all of those people. After the people left the house, there
9 were many of those who had gone in different directions. Eight persons
10 were left at that place, and they had been actually killed and died on
11 the spot. I don't know their names, but later I was there -- in there
12 when they were being buried. It was horrible to see a 12-year-old girl
13 whose brains had fallen out of her head, and later I had to put them
15 Anyway, I could see the direction in which this man who fired at
16 all of those people escaped, but I couldn't get to him, so I couldn't
17 reach him.
18 Q. You -- you mentioned that you had been told that women were being
19 raped. Once you were in the camp, did you see anything which led you
20 to -- did you see any more evidence that this had taken place?
21 A. It's true that after the action, when the houses were being
22 searched, I found a woman that I actually knew. Her head -- actually,
23 her neck had been twisted. She had been strangled. She was sitting on a
24 couch, and the lower -- the clothing on the lower part of her body was
25 removed. She was sitting on this couch. Later, her body was taken by
1 her family, and we buried her together with those others who had been
3 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I'd ask that we go into private
4 session for some additional information, please.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please.
6 [Private session]
11 Page 14024 redacted. Private session.
25 [Open session]
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
2 MR. MARCUSSEN:
3 Q. VS-2000, the President has asked that we try to finish your
4 evidence today, and just so you know, we have 15 minutes left. There's
5 one more topic that I'd like to try to cover in those 15 minutes.
6 After the events we have talked about, did you receive
7 information about the detention of Muslims at Karakaj?
8 A. Correct, I did have information about Muslims detained in
9 Karakaj. In my area where I lived, there were many refugees from the
10 town itself, because that is that area that I was talking about at the
11 beginning where people had left certain areas and were trying to get to
12 the largest stretch of free territory towards Tuzla. So when the camp
13 was freed, there were three bodies there of soldiers, Serbs who had been
14 keeping or guarding the camp, three bodies. Then I was called personally
15 from a check-point, a line of separation between the Serb and Muslim
16 forces. They called me and said that there was a man from Belgrade who
17 wanted to speak to me. I went up, covering a distance of about 100 or
18 150 metres as the crow flies, and I tried to speak with him. He asked me
19 to explain what the man looked like who was found in that area. He was
20 looking for a certain man, trying to see if he had been killed. I
21 described the man, the Serb soldiers that I saw, and he took his head
22 with both of his hands and said that that was his brother. And he was
23 showing me this truck, and he showed me that he was offering a whole
24 truck of flour, sugar, oil, a lot of food, to have his brother's body
25 returned. I said we didn't need any of those food items, even though we
1 didn't have them; that there would be a list of all those people who had
2 been captured in the industrial zone of Karakaj. And at the school in
3 Karakaj, at the Alhos factory, these different places were used as camps.
4 And then I went back, and then together with my associates I made
5 a list of about 250 names. We passed this list on by messenger, and
6 there was a brief cease-fire while he took that. And after that, I got a
7 letter from Branko Grujic and Major Marko Pavlovic. He was --
8 Marko Pavlovic, the commander of the defence of Zvornik. His real name
9 was actually Branko Popovic. He was an officer of the JNA from Novi Sad
10 Actually, he was in charge of the defence of Zvornik. And literally they
11 had written that they have no information about captured Muslims in these
12 camps and that they cannot carry out this transaction.
13 Again, there was another letter that I wrote in which I asked
14 them firmly to furnish this information. They replied that they were
15 unable to do that. And then after that, I made a priority list based on
16 this other list, a priority list of 40 people of whom we knew were in the
17 camps. Somebody had seen them, somebody who had escaped, that they were
18 in the camp. So I sent this list of 40 people, and they said that they
19 agreed, they would send those people for exchange, but we would then have
20 to give some people back. The process of exchange was organised.
21 Serbian soldiers were properly placed in body-bags and brought to the
22 line of separation in simple transport -- by simple transport means, and
23 then when the exchange was supposed to take place, there was actually a
24 trick, and an attack took place from that other side. There were three
25 and a half thousand civilians there. The exchange failed.
1 In the second attempt, the exchange was successful. The truck
2 arrived, and then people started to come out from under the tarpaulin
3 from the truck, and then we counted 12 people with plastic bags on their
4 heads. It was late to discuss only why there were only 12 people and so
5 on and so forth. It was important that we got some people back. They
6 crossed the line of separation, nobody was firing, and this exchange was
7 carried out properly.
8 Later, it was established that none of the people on the list,
9 this additional list of 40 people, were on this list. These people who
10 did come were from other municipalities.
11 Q. When did this take place, if you can just give us a date?
12 A. The action was on the 12th of June. I can't be precise, but it
13 was five or six days after the 12th of June, so it could have been the
14 7th or the 8th of June. I can't say exactly, but five or six days later,
16 Q. So if I understand correctly, initially it was denied that there
17 were any detainees, but eventually, actually, there were people from
18 Karakaj that were taken out and exchanged against the three bodies; is
19 that right?
20 A. That's right. Later on, when we talked to the people, those 12
21 people, of whom one was from Divic, Zvornik municipality, we later
22 learnt -- well, they told us the names of the people whom they had been
23 in contact with, or they tried to remember their surnames. So we learnt
24 it was a ruse, a trick, and that there were many, many people who were
25 executed in the technical school centre or in some of the other camps
1 that I've mentioned.
2 Q. Did you maintain a copy, or did you also have a copy of the list
3 of about 250 people, yourself?
4 A. Yes, I did. I kept a copy.
5 Q. And could you very briefly tell us, what did you do with that
7 A. That photocopy and some other documents about the civilian
8 organisation, or organising the civilian population for defence when they
9 were leaving the territory, the territory that I was living in, on the
10 1st of February, 1993, I buried that. I buried it in a house or, rather,
11 in a space where there was supposed to be a toilet built. I put them in
12 a nylon bag and a leather -- a bigger leather bag. And after I gave my
13 statement in 1996, in the month of August, in Tuzla, I told the
14 investigators about these documents. And after that, they organised a
15 visit for me to the Orao base of UNPROFOR in Tuzla on the 11th of
16 October, 1996, and I went to the house where I had buried those
17 documents. I dug them up, handed them over to the investigators, whether
18 it was The Hague Tribunal or whatever at the time, anyway, to the
19 investigators, I handed over all those documents, and they took them
20 away, dried them. And when we next met -- well, some of them had been
21 destroyed, but others not.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection. I don't remember,
23 Judges, that I ever received any of those documents. Perhaps I did, but
24 could the Prosecutor then tell me when, and where, and if I did .
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: The accused did not receive a copy of those, and
1 efforts are being made also at this very moment to identify the
3 But I'd like to show a document to the accused, and I have copies
4 for the -- sorry, a copy of a document to the witness and also provide
5 copies to everyone else in the courtroom.
6 Q. Is -- what is this list?
7 A. This list was -- this list was compiled by the leadership, the
8 people in charge of dealing with the civilian population in my area, of
9 taking care of them. It was personally written by one of my assistants
10 or associates. We compiled this on the basis of information that we
11 received from people who were there, who were present, who lived through
12 those war days in that area.
13 Q. Let me interrupt you, because we only have five minutes left.
14 This particular copy, I can see there's something written in English on
15 it. Who -- do you know who have written on it?
16 A. As far as I remember, this was written by a woman called Marija.
17 She from Slovenia
18 the best of my recollections. Whether I got it right, I'm not quite
20 Q. This particular copy, did you provide that to the Office of the
21 Prosecutor yesterday?
22 A. This specific copy, well, I had it in my documents and I provided
23 it yesterday. I had a list of 250 people who had been taken prisoner.
24 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, we can make further submissions on
25 this, but in very brief, my understanding of what has happened is that
1 the Prosecution's copy that was originally provided by the accused has
2 been destroyed as part of a clean-up of evidence which it was unsafe to
3 keep, so the Prosecution has not been able to locate a copy of the
4 documents that the witness originally gave to us. The witness was, in
5 2002, given a copy of what he had given us, and he brought this document
6 with him when he came to The Hague
7 We would request leave to amend our exhibit list to add this
8 document to our exhibit list, and I would seek the admission of this
9 particular document. What I would propose in practice, if Your Honours
10 agree to admit --
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection.
12 MR. MARCUSSEN: If Your Honours agree to admit the exhibit, I
13 would suggest that we ask the witness for his copy, and we have a proper
14 scan made that we can put into evidence.
15 The relevance of this exhibit is, of course, it's a
16 contemporaneous record of what the witness was told about who were
17 detained at Karakaj, and I would draw Your Honours' attention, for
18 example, to numbers 27 and 28 on the list. And as we're not showing the
19 list, I think I can safely say that one of these people has been a
20 witness in this case and another one is his father.
21 So, Your Honours, this is a bit unusual, but I do think it's
22 significant, and I can provide further records of what had happened to
23 the OTP's copy of this material. But the bottom line is that today this
24 is the best version of the list that we have, and I think it's
25 significant, and we seek its admission.
1 Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Seselj, what do you have to
3 say to this?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, you can see, Judges, what the
5 Prosecutor has just told us, if I understood him correctly. The
6 Prosecution received this document several years ago, and then they
7 destroyed it. And then yesterday the witness brought another copy of
8 that document to them, and now they want to tender it into evidence by
9 the back door. I think that that is absolutely impermissible. First of
10 all, it's illegible. Somebody wrote some comments on it in English. We
11 don't know who did that. There's no date, there's no reference as to
12 location. All it says here is that it is a list of captured persons, and
13 asking for the exchange. That's what it says in the title. So the
14 Muslim side is exchanging their own people for others. Who, on the part
15 of the Muslims? How? We know nothing.
16 The witness brought this in yesterday, and he doesn't know who
17 wrote these comments on the document in English, either.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, please give us the
19 copy you have, your copy. Hand it over to the usher, please.
20 MR. MARCUSSEN: I think --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your own copy. I want your
22 copy, the one you have in your file. I would like to look at the quality
23 of the document.
24 As regards the photocopy, the first page is legible, but the
25 other pages are difficult to read.
1 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, my understanding from our record is
2 that the documents were very damaged when they were received. Efforts
3 were made to dry them, and basically what you see is the poor state of
4 the documents.
5 If I may make a response to the objection. The witness is here
6 to give details about the compilation of this and establish the
7 reliability of what is typed on the document, so if there are any
8 questions about how the list came about, those questions can be put to
9 the witness. We only seek the admission of this for the purpose of the
10 list of names, Your Honours.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber, after having
13 deliberated, decides to admit this document.
14 Can we have an exhibit number, please.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this is Exhibit P831, under seal.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please take this
17 document, and a copy will be given to the witness. The Registry will
18 keep this copy, and you have another copy of your document. Fine.
19 So we have an exhibit number for it, and the Trial Chamber feels
20 that we have enough information that this document may have probative
21 value and that this document may show reliable indicia, and this document
22 is relevant.
23 Mr. Marcussen, your time is just about up. Did you have any
24 other questions?
25 MR. MARCUSSEN: Your Honours, I will waive my remainder of time
1 for direct examination and -- in order to facilitate this process, so I
2 will not put any further questions. I may have some in redirect, of
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
5 Mr. Seselj, tomorrow you will have two hours for your
6 cross-examination. You have the entire evening to prepare yourself,
7 since you have the document in question. You may put questions about
8 this document; I don't know.
9 Tomorrow, we --
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't understand you at all,
11 Mr. President. You mean on the basis of this document, that I should
12 prepare on the basis of this document? That's absolutely impossible. If
13 you mean on the basis of the DVD
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Whatever the case may be, you
15 have two hours for your cross-examination tomorrow. You told us that
16 this witness was important. I assume you have already prepared your
17 cross-examination of this witness.
18 We shall meet again. Witness, you must contact no one. You are
19 a protected witness. You must not contact anyone. We shall meet again
20 tomorrow at a quarter past 2.00.
21 I wish you a pleasant evening.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.05 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 5th day of
24 February, 2009, at 2.15 p.m.