1 Thursday, 4 October 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: The registrar please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic, Miroslav
9 Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Lukac, we called you back in order to
11 complete the testimony for purposes of an issue raised by the Defence
12 regarding a video footage. So I wish to remind you that you're still
13 under oath -- the solemn declaration, rather, which you took at the
14 beginning of your testimony.
15 WITNESS: DRAGAN LUKAC [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE MUMBA: May we hear the Prosecution, please.
18 MS. REIDY: Yes, Your Honour. Yesterday, we viewed the video
19 which was given to us by Defence, and in accordance with your
20 instructions, I discussed it with the witness Mr. Lukac.
21 Our position on the video is that, in essence, it will cover no
22 more ground than Mr. Lukac has already done insofar as it is a TV show
23 where the reporter or the anchorwoman of the TV show is putting the same
24 verdict or allegations to Mr. Lukac as Mr. Lukac in his cross-examination
25 has already done. And we also feel that general principle rules of
1 evidence says that this sort of evidence, certainly in jurisdictions in
2 the United States or Australia or the UK, would not normally be allowed.
3 It is hearsay and also collateral evidence relating to credibility, not a
4 conviction of a witness but other matters.
5 That notwithstanding, if the Defence wish to introduce the video
6 and they feel it's very important to their case, we will not put in a
7 formal objection to the showing of the video if the Chamber wish to permit
8 the Defence to play it on the understanding that, of course, we are
9 entitled to re-direct on matters of credibility, et cetera, which are
10 raised by way of the allegations put in the TV show to Mr. Lukac.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That's okay. You can have -- you have the
12 right to clarify whatever you wish to clarify with the witness while he's
14 Since these are matters, as you both say, relating to credibility
15 of the witness, it is proper that we allow the video into evidence, and it
16 will be allowed in.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Judge Mumba, please slow down a bit. The
18 interpreters are having difficulties.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sorry. Yes. We will go ahead and view the
20 video, and the counsel -- Mr. Lukic? Yes. Mr. Lukic, can go ahead and
22 This is part of your cross-examination, and then the Prosecutor
23 will be given the right to clarify whatever they wish to clarify with the
25 MR. LUKIC [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour; good morning
1 to my learned friends opposite.
2 Further cross-examination by Mr. Lukic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Lukac.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] As far as I have been able to
5 understand the President, may I first question the witness or shall we
6 immediately view the video, after which I may have a few questions for the
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I think we will go ahead and view it. And may
9 we have a number for the video? Do we have transcripts?
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I have prepared a transcript in
11 the B/C/S and in the English language. I have also prepared transcript
12 for Your Honours, and the interpreters have already received copies.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the numbers for the video footage
14 and for the transcripts, please.
15 THE REGISTRAR: The video footage shall be marked for the record
16 as Defence Exhibit D10/3. The transcript shall be marked for the record
17 as Defence Exhibit D10A/3, and the B/C/S version of the transcript shall
18 be marked for the record as D10A/3 ter.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Lukic, please proceed. Oh, no, we
20 can view the video. You can give instructions to the booth.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can I ask the technical booth to begin
22 showing the video clip, please.
23 [Videotape played]
24 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] [As interpreted]
25 Interviewer: It is interesting, Mr. Lukac, that 'Walter' wrote
1 about you in three installments. You are to become federal commissioner.
2 This is a good opportunity to tell us what of those things is true and
3 what is not. So this is an occasion for you to tell the media what you
4 think about various things, such as smuggling coffee across the border.
5 You did this in cooperation with the cantonal minister, the Minister of
6 the Interior, Mr. Jozic, if I'm not wrong. That is what is alleged. I'm
7 only quoting from the newspapers. We are not the source.
8 Also, you took action against Mika Damjanovic for publishing these
9 allegations in the newspapers. He was acquitted and you became director
10 of the police, and then you took 3.000 convertible marks to search for a
11 missing person from the Martinovic family, and during the investigation it
12 was confirmed that you said it was the only way, to actually bribe
13 somebody in order to find out what happened. This is a good opportunity
14 for you to deny or confirm these allegations as the man who is due to
15 become federal commissioner.
16 Mr. Lukac: Within the framework of the question you have
17 addressed to us, we have to distinguish between several matters. First of
18 all, I consciously defined what a police commissioner is and what he
19 personifies. It is quite clear that certain groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
20 or rather, in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole, do not accept
21 the project of professional, non-political police officers, for a number
22 of reasons. I think that this programme is too short for me to elaborate
23 these points but I wish to point out that the forces whose interests are
24 not served by this, and who represent various segments of social political
1 Interviewer: Do you really think, Mr. Lukac, that you were
3 Mr. Lukac: I will tell you one thing. I have been a policeman
4 for 20 years. I have been a driver for 25 years and I have never paid a
5 fine for traffic violation.
6 Does that mean you never committed a traffic violation?
7 It does not necessarily mean that. But no proceedings have ever
8 been instituted against me nor have I ever committed anything against the
9 law. Dragan Lukac was not appointed acting police director out of the
10 blue. I assume that certain checks were done in the presence of the IPTF
11 and other international institutions when I was appointed to other
12 executive posts. Be assured that such wrongdoings as this newspaper
13 alleges would have been observed and identified by the international
14 forces and put away Dragan Lukac or anyone else who may have committed any
15 such thing.
16 Interviewer: So are you denying the transport of coffee in two
17 huge trucks despite the fact that two policemen after that lost their
19 Mr. Lukac: That is not true.
20 Interviewer: I received on the TV fax machine proof of payments
21 from the Ministry of the Interior, payment of contributions from salaries
22 for Djuro Ferincevic so that the MUP paid him first 1.934 convertible
23 marks and the second time 796 convertible marks, and that through an
24 out-of-court settlement, you and Mr. Jozic, with Djuro Ferincevic, settled
1 Let me tell you, you can look at these fax. Believe me, I don't
2 know who sent it.
3 Mr. Lukac: Djuro Ferincevic was a former police officer who
4 worked in the border police.
5 That is the man who brought charges in this case.
6 Mr. Lukac: Allow me to finish. Djuro Ferincevic is a policeman
7 in the border police who used to work in the police of MUP, the Posavska
8 canton. He's mentally disturbed and the municipal court in Orasje in 1999
9 - to be more precise, on the 13th of July 1999 - sentenced him for
10 felonies committed to compulsory treatment and detention in a medical
11 institution. So I think there is no point in commenting on any such
12 things because it is quite clear for what purposes somebody should say
14 Interviewer: But this is 1999 and these were -- this is a
15 considerable sum of money. He received a hefty sum of money from the
16 Ministry of the Interior.
17 Mr. Lukac: He did receive a certain amount of money but the
18 reason is it was assessed in the presence of his attorney that for those
19 reasons, that he is -- for the reason that he's a mentally disturbed
20 person, he was not conscious of what he was doing, that is in being absent
21 from work.
22 Interviewer: What was the purpose of this out-of-court settlement
23 if the man was not able-bodied?
24 Mr. Lukac: Those are the very reasons.
25 Interviewer: Do you enter into an out-of-court settlement with a
1 man who you allege was mentally ill?
2 Mr. Lukac: This out-of-court settlement was with his lawyer, not
3 with him, who was representing him.
4 Interviewer: Tell me, we were talking about the money here on the
6 Mr. Lukac: I do not receive salary in the Posavska canton. I
7 receive a subsidy from the Posavska canton from the moment I came from the
8 Federal Ministry of Interior on the 15th of December, 1999 on the basis of
9 a contract signed with the government or, rather, the Ministry for the
11 Interviewer: Can you receive more than one salary?
12 Mr. Lukac: Yes, it is quite legal.
13 Interviewer: And what about these 3.000 marks? I'm only asking
14 you what qualities should a commissioner have, and therefore, it is a good
15 opportunity to have denied it. You have confirmed you took this money to
16 help the Martinovic family to find the missing member of the family.
17 Mr. Lukac: Maybe it would have been better if you had asked me
18 before this broadcast so that I could have brought certain documents.
19 Interviewer: I have that judgement.
20 Mr. Lukac: Then read it, page 3 and 4.
21 Interviewer: I have the original of this judgement.
22 Mr. Lukac: Read what it says under paragraph (B).
23 Interviewer: Here is an example. You filed criminal action
24 because of this against Mika Damjanovic.
25 Mr. Lukac: Normally.
1 Interviewer: He was acquitted for this.
2 Mr. Lukac: He was not acquitted for this but was acquitted
3 because of some other things.
4 Interviewer: You think this was also fabricated?
5 Mr. Lukac: I said I would not like to go deeper into this and
6 what stands behind it.
7 Interviewer: We will end with the following: I am glad that we
8 had here all the documents so you wouldn't think that the television is
9 included as well in a campaign against you. I say that these have been
10 received on our fax machine today. You can take a look after the
11 broadcast, but I'm not interested in saying that you are receiving - and
12 this was also found out - invalidity benefit of the Republic of Croatia.
13 You are an invalid with 60 per cent.
14 Mr. Lukac: I'm not receiving invalidity benefit from no one, and
15 that is not true.
16 Interviewer: Very good.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukac -- Mr. Lukic. Sorry.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have been informed by my colleagues
19 who have been following in English that the interpreters were not able to
20 follow fully, and does it coincide with the text that the interpreters
22 Q. Mr. Lukac --
23 MS. REIDY: Sorry, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the Prosecution.
25 MS. REIDY: I'm, of course, in the situation where I don't speak
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 B/C/S, but I wonder if Mr. Lukic could clarify whether his problem is what
2 was spoken by the interpreters or the written document which we all have
3 in front of us, because the written document of the English translation,
4 my understanding is that -- it's not court certified. I appreciate that
5 there was very much time pressure under this. We didn't raise it as an
6 objection, although it's technically required by the Rules of the court.
7 I understand that it should be court certified. But if he's got a problem
8 with translation, I'd like him to indicate it's a problem with the
9 translation he gave us or a problem with the translation that the
10 interpreters in the booth are now providing, because I -- I think we would
11 prefer to rely on the translation provided by the interpreters in the
12 booth than one which we have not been able to verify which has been
13 produced, I'm not sure by who, under time constraints.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic. You have heard what the Prosecution
15 have raised.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Is it correct that this English translation is not a
18 certified one?
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] It is correct. It is a translation
20 prepared by the Defence team, but I assume, as the interpreters had the
21 text before them, and we will be able to check the transcript later to see
22 whether the -- it corresponds to the original. I just noted that they
23 were not following the rhythm of the speakers because it was very fast.
24 Parts were left out. But I assume that the transcript will correspond to
25 the tape.
1 THE INTERPRETER: May the interpreters say that it was impossible
2 to follow.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: The substantial part of it was interpreted,
4 especially the long text. So we will follow the interpretation provided
5 by the interpreters.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam President. I just
7 thought it was important for me to say this.
8 Q. Mr. Lukac, I think there is no dispute that you are talking to the
9 journalist in this video clip.
10 A. No. There's no dispute whatsoever.
11 Q. Could you tell us, please, when this programme was recorded and
12 when this was shown? Was it broadcast live or was it broadcast
14 A. No. This was broadcast live, and I think it was a month and a
15 half ago, something like that.
16 Q. Thank you. As far as I have been able to see, the subject was the
17 appointment of the federal commissioner for the police. So it's a new
18 position, as far as I was able to understand, within the structure of the
19 police force of the Federation; is that right?
20 A. No, it is not right. The programme was a discussion on procedures
21 and election of police commissioners in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole, not
22 just in the Federal Ministry of the Interior but also in the cantonal
23 Ministries of the Interior and the Ministry of the Interior of Republika
24 Srpska. And what you said, that it is a new position, is right. It was
25 actually the implementation of a project of appointing non-politicised
2 Q. Were there other guests in the programme in addition to yourself?
3 A. There were.
4 Q. Could you tell us who were the other guests and what positions
5 they held.
6 A. The person sitting next to me that can be seen on the clip is
7 Mr. Ermin Pecanac [phoen]. He is the Minister of the Interior in the
8 Sarajevo canton. The other two persons who cannot be seen on this clip,
9 the part that you have shown, are two appointed acting police
10 commissioners in the Tuzla canton and in the Zenica-Doboj canton.
11 Q. From the questions of the journalist, you are a candidate for that
12 position, are you not?
13 A. No. You didn't understand her correctly. The procedure for the
14 election of a police commissioner in the Federal Ministry of the Interior
15 will be carried out subsequently, and for that to happen, a new law on
16 internal affairs has to be adopted in the Federation.
17 Q. So that means this is just a project that is in the process of
19 A. Yes. Only in this stage, acting police commissioners have been
20 appointed in the cantonal Ministries, whereas in the Federal Ministry of
21 the Interior, that is, the Ministry of the Interior of Republika Srpska,
22 acting directors of police administrations have been appointed. And the
23 director of a police administration is an equivalent for the police
24 commissioner, the only difference being in the name, whereas in substance
25 there is very little difference.
1 Q. I have a question linked to a part of your interview. When the
2 journalist asked you about the suit against the journalist who published
3 an article against you, you said he was acquitted because of some other
4 things. I would like to know what were the reasons for the acquittal of
5 that journalist for the criminal offence of slander -- for libel?
6 A. The reason for the acquittal of the journalist, as I have already
7 said in these proceedings, was a change in the Criminal Code of the
8 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Actually, I sued him for libel on the
9 basis of the provisions of the then-law that was in force at the time,
10 that is, of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the
11 meantime, a new Criminal Code was drafted which liberalised considerably
12 the offence of libel. And that is the basic reason why the court passed
13 such a judgement, which, in my opinion, is not important anyway.
14 Q. If a Criminal Code is being amended and if that is the reason for
15 the court, shouldn't that be indicated in the explanation of the
17 A. I am not a lawyer or a judge, so I am unable to comment the way in
18 which the judge who tried the case wrote the explanation and decision and
19 everything else.
20 Q. But you will agree with me that, in this explanation of the
21 judgement, there is not a word about the change of the law?
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic, if you -- yes. The previous answer the
23 witness gave you I thought would have given you a key instead of you going
24 on. I mean, it's your opinion of the judgement, it's his opinion of the
25 judgement, and if the judgement is important to you, we can't take either
1 of you because we haven't got the judgement in front of us, and it is an
2 extraneous matter as far as we are concerned.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam President. I was
4 asking him about the fact, not about his opinion, whether the judgement
5 made any reference to that, and that was all. If he read the explanation
6 for the judgement. I was asking him whether there was any reference to a
7 change in the law. One doesn't have to be an expert to be able to answer
8 that question.
9 MS. REIDY: Your Honour, if I may object at this stage. We've --
10 as I said, we didn't put in a formal objection to the playing of the
11 video, nor do we obviously object to the line of questioning which goes to
12 the credibility of Mr. Lukac. I'm afraid that at the moment --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel slow down, please.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you slow down? You have the same problem I
16 MS. REIDY: Okay. We have now entered a stage in Mr. Lukic's
17 submissions where he is talking about a libel suit against another third
18 party indeed instigated by Mr. Lukac, but it is not a criminal case or
19 indeed a criminal proceedings to which Mr. Lukac himself was the target or
20 a party in the sense that he was being investigated. We're talking about
21 a verdict that really -- and details about a matter which don't go to the
22 heart of -- the essence of which they're entitled to cross-examine on,
23 which is credibility, and I would object to any more line of questioning
24 on this verdict, and particular in fact -- in light of the fact that we
25 still do not have a copy of the verdict and have not seen it.
1 Notwithstanding, we have now been talking about this judgement for
2 approximately four days.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: The objection is sustained.
4 Mr. Lukic, I'm sure you understand what the Prosecution is
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
7 questions. I just wish to inform Your Honours that immediately after the
8 cross-examination, I did give the translation service a copy of this
9 judgement to translate, and once I receive the translation, I should like
10 to tender it into evidence. Thank you.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Any questions by the Prosecution in re-examination,
12 for this bit only?
13 MS. REIDY: Yes, Your Honour. The matters which were related to
14 the video.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 Further re-examination by Ms. Reidy:
17 Q. Mr. Lukac, you've already explained what the general topic of the
18 TV show was. Can I ask you why or how did you come to be on that TV
20 A. The editor of this programme, a lady who is in charge of the
21 programme and covers current events in Bosnia-Herzegovina, simply invited
22 a certain number of people to the programme, people in executive positions
23 in the police in the Federation, and the conversation should have --
24 should have been exclusively designed to show the citizens and the public
25 what a police commissioner is, what kind of project is involved, what the
1 substance of it is, and so on.
2 Q. When you were invited on the show, were you told that you would be
3 asked to answer questions on either the incident involving payment of
4 money or your libel case?
5 A. No, nothing was said to me prior to the show. I was just told
6 that -- what the subject of the show would be, as I have just described.
7 Q. At any stage during the programme, perhaps in a clip that we
8 didn't see or afterwards, were you ever told who had forwarded those
9 allegations to the journalist?
10 A. No. No one told me that prior to the show or during the show.
11 Nobody mentioned it. And we heard from her explanation how it came
12 about. Apparently she received a fax under a number that is not known.
13 She said that, that the number was not indicated on this fax.
14 Q. The -- she mentions that there was an incident involving money and
15 the family Martinovic was mentioned. Could you just clarify, when did
16 that incident take place?
17 A. The incident occurred, if I remember well, in the second half of
19 Q. In the five years since then, has there ever been any criminal
20 investigation or proceedings as a result of that incident? And I'm not
21 talking now about your libel case which was to do with newspaper reports.
22 A. No. There were no investigations or criminal proceedings, because
23 there's no legal grounds for that because nothing illegal was done, in
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lukac. On the 10th of this month, or on the 1st of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 this month, Mr. Lukic put to you that all of these allegations and the
2 incident in 1996 which gave rise to the newspaper rumour meant that you
3 had in fact committed an inappropriate act, and suggested that your
4 credibility to hold your position was in doubt. Can I ask you who
5 authorises you to act or to exercise police powers?
6 A. The police powers are defined by the Law on Internal Affairs and
7 the appointments of any police officer in Bosnia-Herzegovina are verified
8 by the issuance of police credentials issued by the Commissioner of the
9 International Police in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Without such credentials, no
10 officer or policeman can work in the police.
11 Q. Can those credentials be revoked at any stage if the IPTF
12 commissioner believe that a person is no longer fit to carry out the job
13 of police officer?
14 A. Any violation of authority in the work of a local policeman, or
15 any wrongdoing by a policeman or an executive in the police, or any
16 infringement of the code of ethics and conduct would immediately be
17 sanctioned by the -- by revoking the credentials issued by the IPTF, and
18 that is stated on the credentials issued to each policeman in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That is the provision that the commissioner of the
20 IPTF may revoke issued credentials should any such wrongdoing occur.
21 Q. Have your credentials been so revoked?
22 A. My credentials were never revoked, nor is there any reason to
23 revoke them. On the contrary, they were renewed three times in the period
24 from 1996 to 2001.
25 Q. Mr. Lukac, are you aware of a public statement which
1 Secretary-General Kofi Annan made to the Security Council on the 7th of
2 June of this year?
3 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
4 Q. Are you aware that, in that public document which was made to the
5 Security Council, Kofi Annan talks about the designation of a highly
6 capable Bosnian Croat as the interim director of the federation Ministry
7 of the Interior on the 20th of March 2001, and that that appointment or
8 that designation was made on the strong representations of the United
9 Nations mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina, with the support of the office of
10 the high representative?
11 A. I know that.
12 Q. Is that you he is speaking about?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Does he also refer to the fact that certain political leaders,
15 certain Bosniak political leaders, who reject the possibility of a Croat
16 being director of the police have recently threatened international police
17 task force personnel, including the commissioner himself, and have sought
18 to undermine and remove that director from his post?
19 A. That is correct.
20 MS. REIDY: Thank you, Your Honours. That is the end of my
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Lukac. I think we are now
23 releasing you finally. Thank you for your patience.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, if I may just one second, yesterday we
25 have filed the statement of Mr. Deyan Brashich, as we were instructed by
1 the --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we release the witness? Yes, the witness.
3 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, I don't know, Your Honours. Maybe it would
4 call for a certain --
5 JUDGE MUMBA: No. What's your problem? We are releasing the
7 MR. ZECEVIC: What I'm referring to is in this statement, it
8 appears that it is that this statement is very --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Which statement is it?
10 MR. ZECEVIC: The statement, Your Honours, yesterday you have
11 instructed us that we take the statement of Mr. Deyan Brashich and we have
12 done that and filed -- yesterday, in the afternoon, we have filed this
13 statement as a motion to this Honourable Trial Chamber.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: It's not a motion. The Trial Chamber asked for a
15 statement from the person who informed you. So it's not a motion.
16 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes. And we have filed this statement to the Trial
17 Chamber yesterday through the Registry.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: So?
19 MR. ZECEVIC: So it appears that the allegations in the statement
20 are quite serious.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: So?
22 MR. ZECEVIC: So I was thinking that before you release the
23 witness, maybe you should -- or maybe the Trial Chamber should be informed
24 on the contents of the statement.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. That is a matter which will go to the
1 Victims and Witnesses Unit to deal with.
2 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: It's not for this Trial Chamber to deal with.
4 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you. I'm sorry.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: And please do bring the other witness, who will
8 [The witness entered court]
9 WITNESS: IZET IZEBEGOVIC [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Please proceed. The witness should sit down.
12 He did make the solemn declaration yesterday. So he should sit down.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Examination by Mr. Di Fazio: [Continued]
15 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, yesterday I was asking you some questions about
16 the defendants in this case. I asked you about Mr. Blagoje Simic and
17 Mr. Simo Zaric. I also asked you some questions about Mr. Miroslav
18 Tadic. I want to ask you: Do you have any knowledge as to what sort of
19 business or work Mr. Miroslav Tadic did in Bosanski Samac?
20 A. Miroslav Tadic was a teacher in the machine technical school.
21 Q. Do you know when he did that?
22 A. I think when -- ever since he came to Samac and then further and
23 later on. I think that he even may have received his pension from that
25 Q. Did he ever construct any buildings in Bosanski Samac, Mr. Tadic?
1 A. Yes. He did. He built a house, his own house.
2 Q. And where in Bosanski Samac was that?
3 A. It was in the vicinity of the Orthodox Church and the Catholic
4 church that was demolished subsequently. It was in this Stjepana Radica
6 Q. Did he have any problems in the construction of that place?
7 A. I don't know which problems you're referring to.
8 Q. Okay. Did you assist him in the construction of that place?
9 A. Since at the time my office was across the construction site, I
10 was head of one of the larger plants that manufactured construction
11 carpentry, and we contacted quite frequently and consulted, if that advice
12 can be considered to be assistance, but financially, I did not help him,
13 nor did he ask me to help him. He was well-off at the time and did not
14 have to depend on anyone.
15 Q. Do you know of a place called the Cafe AS?
16 A. This is most probably the Cafe AS in the house. Before the war,
17 it was run by his son, I believe. I'm not sure. But when he was -- when
18 he was building this, I would come around to see. I was interested in how
19 he would -- what the interior decoration would be like, as I was familiar
20 with that. But when he opened -- since he opened the cafe, I only went
21 there once.
22 Q. Was those premises, the Cafe AS, ever repossessed by the state?
23 A. Well, to begin with, it was a shop. It was rented to a company
24 from Zagreb, I believe. Well, it is possible that someone from his family
25 worked there, that was my impression. It was called Inter-Europa, I
1 believe. I'm not -- I can stand corrected, of course, on this. That was
2 for a short period of time. I know that the law on nationalisation of
3 businesses exceeding a certain area would -- were incorporated in that
4 law, but it did not affect me in any way and I didn't have to give the
5 matter a thought. I know that he was an object of that law, that he had
6 problems with that, and I also know that my uncle helped him by giving him
7 advice, my uncle in Sarajevo, who was a judge of a superior court. He
8 liked to help everyone, especially in Samac, especially persons who were
9 unjustly, in fact, affected by the law. He is no longer living, and I
10 believe that Mr. Miroslav once told me that if it hadn't been for that
11 uncle, he would not have been able to complete anything. That is as far
12 as my knowledge goes.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just excuse me for a moment
14 while I confer with my colleagues? Thank you.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please go ahead.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I'm grateful to the Chamber.
18 Q. Okay. I just want to ask you about some other names. Fadil
19 Topcagic, do you know Mr. Fadil Topcagic?
20 A. Yes, I know him very well.
21 Q. And is he related or a friend of any of the defendants in this
23 A. He is the brother of the wife of Mr. Zaric, Mr. Zaric's wife's
25 Q. Did you have an opportunity to observe any relationship between
1 Mr. Simo Zaric and Mr. Fadil Topcagic? In other words, to see if they
2 were friends or acquaintances, enemies, whatever?
3 A. No. I don't -- I didn't -- I don't remember. I know that the
4 families did not accept one another. The son-in-laws were very much
5 respected. There was harmony and life together, and every -- life was
6 good. I did not notice, nor did I ever hear, that there had been any
7 problems or tensions.
8 Q. I'm not asking you if there were problems or tensions. I'm just
9 asking if you noticed or can comment on the relationship, not between
10 families, not between members of the families, but between two people,
11 just two people, and those two people are Mr. Simo Zaric and Mr. Fadil
12 Topcagic. I'm not interested in the family problems or the family
13 background at all, but just the relationship between those two gentlemen.
14 Did you have a chance to observe it? If so, can you comment on it?
15 A. Well, if you are referring to the position that Mr. Zaric held in
16 connection with the 4th Detachment, that is a different matter. Simo
17 Zaric was at the head of the 4th Detachment. Fadil was a member of that
18 detachment, and probably carried out the tasks that his brother-in-law
19 instructed him to. He was also a member of that 4th Detachment.
20 Q. Did they apparently socialise together?
21 A. Well, they did see each other. Whether it was within the
22 framework of the family or whether it was in a business sense, I really do
23 not know. It was quite natural for a brother-in-law to meet and -- but I
24 don't know what they talked about, and I had no intention of eavesdropping
25 on any of their conversations.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 Q. Of course you weren't going to eavesdrop. I'm not suggesting
2 that. But can I take it from your last answer - tell me if I'm right or
3 wrong - that they were, from time to time, in company with each other?
4 I'm not asking you the reasons why they might have been in company but
5 just were they from time to time to be seen in company with each other?
6 A. Well, as I was saying, they could be seen together. Why they were
7 together, what the reason for this was, I do not know. They probably
8 discussed other matters, different matters, too. If you -- when you ask
9 me specifically about Mr. Topcagic, I will be able to give you a fuller
11 Q. May I ask you about another gentleman? Mr. Stevan Todorovic, do
12 you know him?
13 A. I know him very well.
14 Q. I don't want to ask you anything about -- at this stage about the
15 period of time post-April 1992. I'm asking about the period of time about
16 April of 1992. Did you know him then?
17 A. Yes, I knew him then.
18 Q. How long had you known him prior to April of 1992? If you don't
19 know precisely, just give us a proximate idea.
20 A. Well, exactly I do not know. I've known him since he arrived in
21 Samac. Previously he was in Sarajevo. He was studying there. He was, in
22 fact, someone who had a grant from the Buducnost company, and he studied
23 for quite a long time. We don't know when he completed his studies, but
24 after that he came to Samac to try to find work and address the Buducnost
25 company. And during those years, I was in Stil, which was a part of the
1 Buducnost company.
2 In the meantime, when I left the company where he was manager - I
3 was technical manager in that company - he was appointed manager of the
4 wicker factory there. And then I would help him quite often about things
5 that he was not very familiar with and he is not familiar with even
6 today. He was not very familiar with that area, but the post had to be
7 filled. I helped him a lot, although the workers themselves were not very
8 pleased about this. I attended meetings. I tried to help him and did my
9 very best to help him. I don't know whether he was happy with that, to
10 what extent he was satisfied with that assistance, but I can simply say
11 that Mr. Todorovic cannot be considered of the same rank as the other
12 gentlemen sitting here. You couldn't really count on him for anything.
13 Q. Do I take it from that answer that your contact with him was
14 primarily professional?
15 A. Absolutely professional.
16 Q. I want you now to turn your attention to events in Bosanski Samac
17 in the several months leading up to April of 1992. Were there any
18 bombings in the area? If you can answer me with a yes or no, please do.
19 A. I don't know what bombing you're referring to. When we use the
20 term "bombing," we mean by the Air Force, so I don't know exactly what you
21 mean. Your question, what does it exactly refer to? Could you please be
22 kind enough to explain what you mean by "bombing"?
23 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, I'm not referring to bombings by an Air Force.
24 I'm not referring to bombings by cannon. I'm not referring to bombings by
25 armies. I'm not referring to bombings by clearly identified groups. I'm
1 referring to bombings on the ground, the discharge of bombs in and around
2 Bosanski Samac area.
3 A. I see. I understand now what it is you want to know. Here and
4 there, there were various explosions. I don't know whether I need to list
5 them all. I don't know about each and every one.
8 Q. Can I just interrupt you. I want to ask you the questions about
9 the bombings, and all I want to know at this stage is did bombings occur
10 in the area? Yes or no.
11 A. Yes, there were. But I don't know --
12 Q. My next --
13 A. -- exactly who was behind them, who was the perpetrators.
14 Q. I'll ask you about that. My next question is: How many such
15 bombings or explosions are you aware of in the area of Bosanski Samac in
16 the months leading up to April 1992? Bear in mind that I'm not asking for
17 a precise figure. If you can give us approximation, do, and if you don't
18 know, say so.
19 A. I'm afraid I can't say, I don't know, but I think 10 or 15 would
20 be right, maybe more. Don't take it against me if I don't know, because
21 there was a service who had to follow those events. The SUP, the police,
22 carried out on-site inspections, and they probably have a complete record.
23 Q. Yes. I'm not asking you to comment upon it as a professional,
24 Mr. Izetbegovic. I'm merely asking you to comment upon them as a person
25 who was living in the area at that time, but only to that extent.
7 When I went to Zagreb, that night a mine was placed near the
8 business premises of my daughter. [redacted]
10 [redacted]. And a highly destructive mine was placed there that
11 could destroy everything within a radius of 50 metres. And somebody's
12 conscience got the better of them to report it on time, saying that this
13 mine had been planted. And this person called my wife and told her not to
14 go to the shop that day at all because this device had been planted with a
15 mechanism that would go off any minute. After that, the -- the special
16 technical services took over and prevented this explosion from occurring.
17 Q. Can you comment on who were the victims of such explosions or
18 bombings? And just remember that when I say "victims," I don't
19 necessarily mean dead people. I mean people whose property might have
20 been damaged by such explosions, indeed people who might have been injured
21 by such explosions. I use "victim" in the broad sense. Can you comment
22 on who the victims were?
23 A. There were no victims in the strict sense, nor injured people, but
24 the owners of those facilities were victims. I have mentioned the two
25 people, then the destruction of a power pole. This was an act of
1 sabotage. Who wanted to do such a thing, I don't know. I hope that the
2 court will find out who it was. I can't accuse anyone of having done it,
3 because I have no reliable information to rely on. There's just guesswork
4 and rumours, and for me, those are not valid unless I saw something for
5 myself and know that something happened for certain.
6 Q [redacted]
8 A. I was referring to the SDA party.
9 Q. You referred in your evidence to approximately -- I can't remember
10 at this moment, but it was a lowish number of bombings, about ten or so.
11 Ten to fifteen bombings, I think you said.
12 Can you comment on the ethnic background of property -- of the
13 owners of the property that might have been damaged as a result of such
14 bombings or explosions? If you have no idea or can't say anything about
15 that, please let us know, but if you can, let us know.
16 A. It's better for me not to say anything, because I really don't
17 have anything to say. It is very difficult to say what the ethnic
18 background of those people was. I just don't know. I don't know about
19 the other explosions, so why should I emphasise these two examples?
20 Perhaps all the others were owners of a different ethnic group. And if I
21 was to say about these two cases as if the Muslims were the victims, I
22 can't say that.
23 Q. It's beyond dispute in this case, Mr. Izetbegovic, that there
24 appeared at some point in Bosanski Samac a military unit called the
25 4th Detachment. Were you involved -- sorry. Are you aware of that
1 military unit, aware of its existence?
2 A. Well, you see, this was public knowledge. One didn't have to have
3 any particular source to be aware of that. Yes. It was common knowledge.
4 Q. So you were aware of it as a result of common knowledge. Is that
5 what I understand? Do I understand that correctly?
6 A. Yes, you do understand me correctly.
7 Q. When did you first become aware of the existence of the
8 4th Detachment?
9 A. Almost from the very time it was founded, that it came into
11 Q. Can you give us an idea of when it was founded or came into
12 existence? I'm not asking for precise dates, just approximately.
13 A. Well, you see, immediately after the elections, and the new
14 authorities that came into power, various things started changing within
15 all three ethnic groups.
16 Q. The elections were in late 1990, weren't they?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. It's beyond dispute that the -- Bosanski Samac experienced some
19 sort of violence in April of 1992, so we -- according to you, the 4th
20 Detachment, some must have been -- I'll withdraw that question.
21 What sort of presence did the 4th Detachment have in Bosanski
23 A. In the beginning, it was seen as something unnecessary and that
24 did not represent any danger to the environment in which it was
25 operating. People thought everyone is forming some sort of armies, as
1 they do in any war, like Falangists or something. There is nothing else I
2 can say. But later on --
3 Q. Perhaps if I can just interrupt you and ask you this: To the
4 average citizen walking around Bosanski Samac, living in Bosanski Samac,
5 in 1992, how would they have been aware of the presence of the 4th
6 Detachment, if at all?
7 A. First of all, we in the parties were not aware of the presence of
8 the 4th Detachment, at least not that moment in time. But later, I think
9 - that is my personal opinion - no kind of declaration was issued, so
10 that it benefited the SDS most, whereas the other two parties did not
11 recognise it, nor did they cooperate with it. I'm referring to the SDA
12 and the HDZ.
13 Q. Why do you say it benefited the SDS the most?
14 A. I forgot to complete my answer to your question. Because the SDP
15 was not such an innocent party either, though at first glance it appeared
16 to be multi-ethnic, just as the 4th Detachment kept saying that it was
17 multi-ethnic. But it wasn't quite so. And now why I think that it
18 benefited the SDS most, I think that in its structure, more than 80 per
19 cent of the members were of Serb ethnicity. Therefore, I don't believe,
20 according to the old saying, that brother would go against brother. And
21 that is why I think that the SDS benefited most. And the SDS at the time
22 was not against the existence of the 4th Detachment.
23 Q. Did the SDS adopt a public position on the existence and presence
24 of the 4th Detachment?
25 A. I do not remember any such position being taken. They did not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 oppose it, and since they didn't oppose it, since there was no reaction,
2 silence was always a sign of approval.
3 Q. What about the other parties, and in particular the HDZ and the
4 SDA? Did they adopt a public position on the existence and presence of
5 the 4th Detachment in Bosanski Samac?
6 A. [No interpretation]
7 MS. BAEN: Excuse me, Your Honour. Your Honour, we are getting no
8 interpretation in English.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm wondering what's happening.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat, please?
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Could the witness repeat the answer so the
12 interpreters can go ahead.
13 A. From what point do I need to repeat this?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: The whole answer. Perhaps you can repeat the
16 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll do that, if Your Honours please.
17 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, I'll repeat the question. I want you to think
18 about the question and then answer it. My question is this: What about
19 the other parties, and in particular the HDZ and the SDA? Did they adopt
20 a public position on the existence and the presence in Bosanski Samac of
21 the 4th Detachment?
22 A. I said that the HDZ could not, for a moment, stand the fact that
23 the 4th Detachment existed, for reasons known to them, and probably we all
24 also knew the reasons. The SDA also did not support the existence of that
25 detachment, even we -- though we did have a contact here and there and
1 some talks with them in the interest of some -- of the situation, future
2 peace in the area, so that it shouldn't develop into something ugly. We
3 wouldn't be sitting here if that hadn't happened, in fact, these ugly
4 things that came later.
5 Q. Did the 4th Detachment ever make clear its purpose and function?
6 A. The very fact that they were distributing weapons and that they
7 had weapons, all of them were armed, because, you know how it is, there
8 are always people who can't keep quiet. They need not be traitors. So if
9 somebody has a weapon, this was a novelty. It became the fashion, like
10 wearing a tie. So everyone had weapons.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 A. So did the SDA party.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Izetbegovic. I'll ask you about the question of
14 weapons and the 4th Detachment in a while.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I'm sorry, the witness stated that the
16 party, SDA, had weapons as well, and it didn't show in the transcript.
17 Oh, yeah, yeah, I'm sorry. Now it did.
18 MR. PANTELIC: If I may have a second, because the next words on
19 B/C/S language was that, "I was created," and then our learned friend from
20 Prosecution stopped witness. So next sentence was, "I was creating." So
21 let the record show -- [no microphone] -- prior to the stopping of this
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Maybe we can ask the witness to complete his
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Could I please not be
1 interrupted so that I can finish my answer, so if I don't say something
2 properly, let me be corrected after that.
3 I wanted to say that the situation was terrible in the area of
4 Samac. Everyone was armed. Not because they -- one or other or the third
5 party was getting weapons, but there were so many weapons in town that you
6 could buy them as you would buy a kilo of peppers at the market. Everyone
7 could buy them and were buying them. So it was totally out of control.
8 The police no longer had control as to who had weapons. So it was
9 extremely difficult to do anything in the area to preserve peace and some
10 kind of co-existence.
11 JUDGE SINGH: Can I just make a small correction here? It's at
12 line 9, 10:49:58. After the word "weapons," I think that reflects an
13 answer rather than part of the question. The answer begins with, "All of
14 them were armed."
15 MR. DI FAZIO: It's gone off my screen.
16 JUDGE SINGH: Line 9.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could we ask the other microphone of the witness
19 to be switched on, please?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Usher, can you switch on the other microphone?
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I see what Your Honour is pointing out. It's
22 just a question of formatting, I think. The "A" should go -- it's on the
23 extreme right-hand side and it should go to the left.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel speak into the microphone,
1 MR. DI FAZIO: It's a question of formatting, if Your Honour
2 pleases. The answer is indicated on the extreme right hand, the capital
3 "A." It should be shifted over and --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Sometimes that happens on the script, yes.
5 MR. DI FAZIO:
6 Q. Now, Mr. Izetbegovic, I'm going to get to the question of weapons
7 in due course, but I'm not asking you about weapons now. My question --
8 the question I asked you is this - and it's not about weapons: Did the
9 4th Detachment ever publicly make clear its purpose and function, what it
10 was there to do, why it existed? That's the question.
11 A. We thought at the beginning that this was a group of men in the
12 4th Detachment, people who simply did not want to join any one of the
13 parties, as we had quite a number of mixed marriages in Samac. So we
14 could understand something normal, that people didn't want to join
16 However, I was finally able to see for myself, when the director
17 of the SIT company came to visit me and said to me that Simo, Mr. Simo
18 Zaric, had asked him to vacate the first two rooms in the administration
19 buildings. As at the time I was the vice-president of the executive
20 council in the assembly, I had certain responsibilities for that firm,
21 because the situation in it was awful. He came to me and asked him
22 whether he should do that. I asked him, "Who is Simo Zaric in this town
23 of Samac? I only know him as a pensioner, as a retired person. What
24 right and authority does he have to tell you to vacate those rooms?" And
25 his answer was that he himself didn't know that and that he had come to
1 ask me that. And I said to him, "You mustn't do that under any
3 He left, and of course he did not allow it. And from then on, it
4 became clearer to me too. And this was visible later, and everyone saw
5 that these premises were intended to be the headquarters of the
6 4th Detachment. Had they failed in their intentions, they set up the
7 headquarters in the house of Mr. Miro. And when the shooting started,
8 they, nevertheless, moved to these two rooms, because I saw the flag
10 So from that moment on, I realised that this was a body of men
11 that had been created and that was viable. What it exactly intended, I
12 didn't understand. But in a short while, we learnt everything, because
13 they started meeting and explaining their existence so that Mr. Zaric, in
14 the presence of Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic -- and all future contacts were
15 in his presence, until they finally declared their existence. And this
16 was on the very eve of the war. This was in the local community premises
17 when all parties were present, when Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic said what
18 the 4th Detachment in fact was, what its numerical strength was, and that
19 Mr. Zaric was the commander of the 4th Detachment and that he was
20 responsible for whatever it undertook.
21 That's as much as I have to say.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: It's 11.00, if Your Honour pleases.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take a break and resume the proceedings
24 at 1130 hours.
25 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: The proceedings will continue in the absence of
3 Judge Williams, who has some urgent personal reasons, and the provisions
4 of Rule 15 bis. So the Prosecution can go ahead.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
6 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, I've been informed by the Witnesses Unit that you
7 aren't feeling 100 per cent, but that nonetheless, you want to continue on
8 with your evidence, and I thank you for that. However, can you please be
9 aware that if you do feel unwell or you feel you can't concentrate on my
10 questions, you should let either myself know or the Chamber know that it's
11 reached the point where you can't -- you don't really feel able to go on.
12 However, we'll press on at the moment. I just want to reassure you that
13 you can tell the Chamber. If you're not feeling very good, very healthy,
14 you can raise that with the Chamber.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: That's right, Mr. Izetbegovic, what the counsel has
17 MR. DI FAZIO:
18 Q. Now, I was asking -- I was asking you about the 4th Detachment
19 before the morning break, and I understand from the answer that you gave
20 that the purpose and function of the 4th Detachment wasn't really made
21 clear to you until meetings on the eve of the war. Do I take it from that
22 that there was never any public announcement or public information,
23 perhaps in the form of meetings or television, that sort of thing, that
24 set out the purpose of the 4th Detachment, what it was there for and what
25 it was meant to do?
1 A. Well, none of this was publicly stated until the well-known
2 meeting when Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic spoke about the 4th Detachment and
3 Mr. Zaric.
4 Q. You also mentioned an episode involving the use of offices at a
5 factory known as Cafe SIT in Bosanski Samac. I would like to show you a
6 photograph, please. It's Exhibit D2/3. I have a copy here and it can be
7 produced and placed on the ELMO.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: If the Court would prefer me to put the actual
9 exhibit on the ELMO, then I would ask that that be placed on the ELMO.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: I think it should be the Exhibit.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: It's photograph D2/3. It was produced by Mr.
12 Lukic, counsel for the Defence, yesterday, I believe. It's just another
13 angle of the factory and various other items.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honour, may we assist the interpreters? As
15 witness was saying about the SIT factory, it is S-c-h-i-t [sic]. That's
16 the name of the factory, which is a shortened name of the abbreviation of
17 the whole name, and it is apparent that the interpreters are not really
18 familiar with that. Thank you.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
21 Q. Now, Mr. Izetbegovic, can you just tell us, what does that photo
23 A. This photograph shows to the left the SIT factory on the left-hand
25 Q. Using the baton that the usher has given you, can you just point
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 to the factory on the ELMO device. Just put your -- thank you. Good.
2 Thank you.
3 A. The gentleman just spoke about the Samac textile factory. This
4 was the factory, and then there was a separation. There was a
5 clothes-wear and knitwear division, but the name of the factory remained
6 SIT, and I speak of the building bearing the name SIT.
7 Q. Thank you. Is Cafe AS depicted in that photograph?
8 A. Yes, on the right-hand side.
9 Q. Can you just be a little more precise, if you can? This -- there
10 are some buildings that come right up to the footpath with a telegraph
11 pole in front, and then there is another building you can see with some
12 low bushes in front. Is Cafe AS somewhere around there?
13 A. It is this building that was a former shop called the Dascara,
14 because it's made of wood, of planks. It is a prefabricated building.
15 And behind that building is Miroslav Tadic's, up to this point, and
16 further on, it is owned by someone else. And this is the entrance to the
17 AS Cafe.
18 Q. Good. Thank you. Thank you very much for showing us that. You
19 also said in an answer just before the morning break that there has been
20 some discussion about the offices of the 4th Detachment in this factory,
21 the SIT factory, and that you had taken a position that the offices
22 couldn't be used by the 4th Detachment. At that point of time, were they
23 able to use the offices or did they have to find alternative
25 A. Well, they -- probably they finally understood that they were not
1 right, just barging into premises, to accommodate an organisation which
2 had not been registered anywhere. They could have presented themselves
3 and asked of the political structures then to ask to use those premises,
4 if the community there understood that this was necessary, but since they
5 did not present themselves until the moment that I mentioned, they were
6 not able to use it. They could only break into it. But the time was not
7 a time of lawlessness.
8 Q. Yes. What I mean, though, is you made it clear, I gather from
9 your answer before the morning break, that they couldn't use the place.
10 So at that point of time, did they find somewhere else to go, another
11 place to go, some other accommodation, somewhere else for the 4th
13 A. Yes. They found other accommodations. There was no official
14 plaque on that building stating that they were a headquarters of a unit or
15 an institution, on any of the buildings in which they were in Crkvina.
16 They also had a sort of branch division there also. I'm not sure what it
17 was at the time, whether it was something to do with the JNA or the
18 headquarters of the Serb army or of the 4th Detachment. I'm not clear as
19 to that, but I know that there were premises there and that they were
21 Q. Was Cafe AS only ever used as a cafe?
22 A. Well, Mr. Miroslav had held meetings there. He had many friends
23 there, Muslims who used to play cards there, to -- well, it was -- gambled
24 there, actually. It did not -- it was not serious gambling but they would
25 meet there until the small hours and did what they did. In one of the
1 rooms, cards were being played, and in another room young people would sit
2 and entertain themselves in their own way.
3 Q. What about apart from playing cards? I'm not really interested in
4 the playing of cards. Were there any other sorts of meetings there?
5 A. Yes, yes. I had information to that effect, but I didn't see
6 that. People from Serbia used to go there from time to time, a singer,
7 one of the singers.
8 Q. You mentioned earlier this morning arms and weapons in connection
9 with the 4th Detachment. Can you comment on whether or not members of the
10 4th Detachment were armed?
11 A. All of them had weapons at home. Arms were distributed. Late in
12 the evening, trucks would go by and hand out weapons. I think that every
13 person was armed and that they had the best kind of weaponry.
14 Q. Who had the best kind of weaponry?
15 A. The whole of the 4th Detachment.
16 Q. Now, there were other organisations in the town, the SDA, HDZ.
17 Did they participate in arming their members?
18 A. Yes, they did, but not on the same scale as the others. The
19 others did it in an amateurish way. The 4th Detachment did it very
20 professionally. They would purchase weapons, and formerly they may have
21 had hunting rifles.
22 I'm referring to the parties when they -- when both sides were
23 arming. When they realised that they had an opponent, they needed also
24 weaponry to defend themselves [as interpreted]. What we managed to get as
25 weapons was something that we had to do.
1 At the time in Samac, there was a great concentration of people
2 from outside, because the bridge across the Sava River closed down at
3 given hours of the day. In the evenings it was closed at 6.00 p.m.,
4 7.00 p.m., depending on the season, and it was closed until the morning
5 hours. And during the time, there were large columns of people who had to
6 wait for the bridge to be reopened. It was a very heterogeneous
7 composition. Many people would come and spend time in the town. And they
8 broke into shops, burgled them, and things of that kind would happen. And
9 we in the town, we had to organise to safeguard our facilities, our more
10 important facilities.
11 It was quite clear that the people who guarded them were
12 registered with the police so that the police was aware of the fact that
13 our patrols were moving around.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: I see Mr. Pantelic. Yes.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Madam President. Just, as usual,
16 intervention with regard to the transcript.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Page 38, line 22. After full stop, the witness
19 said, "and for other purposes." That was the exact words that he used.
20 And please, Madam President, I am not --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: So it should be "needed also weaponry to defend
22 themselves and for other purposes."
23 MR. PANTELIC: "other purposes." And I -- actually, I don't want
24 to interrupt Mr. Izebegovic with additional sort of questions and line of
25 questions. I just want the record to show that these was his words
1 finally. We have audiotapes, everything. So I mean, simple --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, that's understood. Yes.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Because otherwise, you know, the answers might be
4 slightly different, you know, because obviously Mr. Izebegovic cannot
5 recall all details, of course.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It is important for the interpretation to
7 complete -- the interpreters to complete the interpretation of the full
8 answer. Yes.
9 MR. PANTELIC: That was my point. Thank you very much, Madam
11 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure the Prosecution will clear that with the
13 MR. PANTELIC: It is not, frankly -- excuse me. It is not a
14 matter for Prosecution, because my learned friend, he just posing the
15 questions, and it is directed to the Translation Unit to verify all words
16 and to, in appropriate manner, make this translation correct.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. What I'm saying is since the transcript
18 doesn't show the last part of the answer, the Prosecutor will clear that
19 with the witness.
20 MR. PANTELIC: With all due --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: I quite agree that it's the translators, but then
22 the witness is there. So he should be asked whether --
23 MR. PANTELIC: In fact, it is not my -- no, no. I don't want to
24 complicate issues, Madam President, due to the, you know --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, will you sit down. You've made your
1 point. Will you sit down, please.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecutor. You've understood what is going
4 on. Please clear it.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm just trying to find it, if Your Honour
6 pleases -- if Your Honours please.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You have to go back on your laptop.
8 MR. DI FAZIO:
9 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, as part of your answer, you said that weapons
10 were purchased and that "they needed weaponry to defend themselves and
11 other purposes." So I think what Defence counsel is concerned about is
12 those "other purposes." What other purposes other than defending oneself
13 were weapons purchased? For what other reason? Or was there no other
15 A. Well, I -- I spoke about -- I spoke about the -- is it the SDA
16 that you are referring to? And I said that the SDA was arming itself. Is
17 that what you heard, counsel?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. We will correct it. The Prosecution
19 will correct it.
20 MR. DI FAZIO:
21 Q. I understood you were referring to the SDA at the time, and you
22 were talking about the SDA arming itself.
23 Let me ask you this question: Did the SDA arm itself in order to
24 defend itself? Do you agree with that proposition or not?
25 A. Well, they did not do that in an organised fashion. They did it
1 on an individual, private basis for the base -- for the -- for the purpose
2 of self-defence, to guard our facilities and to be able to defend
3 ourselves in case of any attack.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, whether it was organised or unorganised, was
5 there any other purpose for that SDA arming other than defence? Any other
6 purpose other than defence, apart from defence?
7 A. No. There was no other reason; only to ensure one's own safety.
8 Q. Now, let's get back to the SDA and its arming of itself. You've
9 said it was not done in an organised fashion and it was done on an
10 individual or private basis. Do you mean by that that it was a question
11 of individual decisions taken by the SDA members, or something else?
12 A. There was pressure on the part of some members of the party. They
13 were telling us, "Everyone is arming and you have left us to be without
14 anything, without being able to defend ourselves." We had no weapons, and
15 then we were truly forced to do this partially. We said that we had no
16 money for that and if someone had money, that they should purchase these
17 weapons and keep them -- keep such weapons, and some of this was supplied
18 from some friends. This was -- in fact, gifts were made of this, and they
19 weren't -- some of those weapons weren't in order, in fact.
20 Q. Did the SDA in Bosanski Samac ever adopt a policy, take formal
21 decisions, to arm itself or its members, or indeed the Muslim or Bosniak
22 community? Bear in mind I'm talking about formal decisions or the
23 adoption of such policy.
24 A. Yes. When we had grasped that people had arms in their hands,
25 then we realised that we had to exercise control over people who held
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 weapons, because it wouldn't have been bad for something to happen, and
2 then that we were not unaware of what and who did it, and we had records
3 of people who had these weapons, just in case. And there were people on
4 duty during the night. And it is for that reason that we had to organise
5 these records. We did not want to allow something to happen without any
6 order, without any control, because if someone has weapons, he has to have
7 a serious attitude and has to know when he can carry those weapons and
8 when not, and generally control the people that -- who had weapons in
9 their possession. We had lists of such persons and we did not use them or
10 supply them for any other reason.
11 Q. Were these lists --
12 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. Prosecutor, I think when you note that the
13 witness isn't answering your question, you should possibly stop him and
14 control the witness so that we can get on with the answer to the question,
15 because I do see that that question which you asked isn't really answered
16 at all.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
18 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. Izebegovic -- [no microphone]
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE SINGH: If a question requires a "Yes" or "No" answer,
21 perhaps you could answer "Yes" or "No" and then wait for the next
22 question. If he requires an explanation, then you can give one.
23 MR. DI FAZIO:
24 Q. What I'm concerned about, Mr. Izetbegovic, is the actual adoption
25 of formal decisions or policy by the SDA to arm its members. For example,
1 a meeting at which a resolution is passed, "We will arm ourselves";
2 measures taken to arm yourself; that sort of thing. Did the party ever do
3 that? If it didn't, just say, "No." If it did, tell us about it.
4 A. I don't remember any such meeting.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, you referred to members of the SDA - at least,
6 that's how I understood your answer - who were on lists, lists of people
7 with weapons. Were those lists made available to anyone other than the
8 party, the SDA?
9 A. The public security station had one.
10 Q. How do you know that?
11 A. I didn't understand the question.
12 Q. How do you know that the public security station had such a list?
13 A. I know because, after all, I was one of the responsible people who
14 had to know, and I am not trying to obscure that fact. The public
15 security station needed to know who owned weapons, because a large number
16 of weapons were already being carried without permits or licences or
18 Q. But how did the public security station become aware of the
19 lists? Did you walk down the road and walk in the front door and give
20 them the list? Did you fax them? Did you have a meeting and instruct
21 someone to give them the list? How did they become aware? That's what
22 I'm interested in.
23 A. I cannot remember how this was handed to them, but I know that it
25 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us whose decision it was to inform
1 the public security station of these -- of people who were on this list?
2 A. The decision of the main board of the party.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, earlier in your evidence -- I want to turn now to
4 another topic. Earlier in your evidence, you referred to meetings that
5 occurred before the eve of war. Did you personally attend such meetings?
6 A. I think that I did attend all meetings. I may have been absent
7 from some, but if you ask me specifically about a particular meeting, I
8 will be able to tell you whether I attended or not.
9 Q. Thank you. I will. Do you know a gentleman named Nikolic?
10 A. I know him quite well.
11 Q. Who was he?
12 A. A lieutenant colonel of the Yugoslav People's Army.
13 Q. Where was he based in the months prior to April 1992?
14 A. At first, when I met him, he was based at the Brcko barracks.
15 Prior to the war and everything else that happened, a part of the units -
16 I don't know which units or what kind, but they know best which they were
17 - were moved to Obudovac where they were billeted. I saw that there were
18 some reservists there too from Bosanski Samac who were in uniforms.
19 Anyway, they were all of Serb ethnicity.
20 Q. Thank you. Did you ever attend any meetings with this Nikolic?
21 A. Do you mean in Obudovac or in Brcko?
22 Q. Well, if you attended a meeting in Brcko, can you tell us about
23 that meeting?
24 A. I attended meetings in Brcko twice. Once I went there because
25 there was a conflict between the police or militia, whichever you like to
1 call it, of the HDZ, which had already been formed in Domaljevac, and the
2 Yugoslav People's Army. At the time, they were patrolling the same area.
3 Those patrols of the Yugoslav army even came into town, and with a
4 Pinzgauer and with ten armed men when they wanted to buy something - and I
5 watched them once - they would all get out, surround the shop. They would
6 cock their guns, two entered, collected what they wanted, and left.
7 Afterwards, I went in to ask whether they had paid for what they took and
8 I was told nothing. In the morning, I quickly went to Brcko to see
9 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, to ask what was going on in town. And he told
10 me that this was simply a question of supplies. And then I said, "But not
11 in that way. This can be done in the daytime. It is very well-known how
12 the army is supplied. But it shouldn't be done in that way."
13 And then a moment ago I was mentioning this clash between two
14 patrols, that is, the HDZ patrol and the JNA patrol. There was a
15 conflict, and in fact, the HDZ disarmed the Yugoslav patrol. They took
16 some rifles and pistols from them. The pistols were with stiflers,
17 silencers, which was quite clear why they took it. They were using
18 them -- if they did something, nobody would hear it.
19 So I went to protest, saying, "When will all this come to an
20 end?" Why were all these things happening? And I asked Lieutenant
21 Colonel, since he had already promised once that it would not happen
22 again, that these things should stop, but they didn't.
23 My next meeting with him was once again in Obudovac, when a part
24 of the units had been transferred to Obudovac, to the cooperative building
25 there. Shall I continue?
1 Q. No. No, please. I'd like to deal with Obudovac later, please. I
2 just want to concentrate on the meetings that you had -- or meeting that
3 you had in Brcko.
4 You gave us basically two reasons for meeting in Brcko. One was
5 an episode that disturbed you, when the Yugoslav People's Army surrounded
6 a shop and took away things without paying; and secondly, a clash between
7 the HDZ patrol and a JNA patrol.
8 Did those two events cause you to go and see Nikolic on the one
9 occasion in Brcko or do I understand you to be saying that you went to see
10 Nikolic on two occasions in Brcko to deal with those two separate events?
11 What's the clear picture?
12 A. In both cases, I didn't go alone. A police inspector, a senior
13 police inspector from Sarajevo went with me - Mr. Safet - in a police
14 car. We went there in a place car. So I went there officially.
15 Q. So you went twice, twice to Brcko? That's what I want to know.
16 Twice or once?
17 A. Twice, twice.
18 Q. Okay. Now, let's talk about the first time. On this occasion,
19 did you meet with Mr. Nikolic, on this first occasion that you went?
20 A. I did. I did. I met him both times.
21 Q. And on this first occasion that you went to Brcko, was that to
22 discuss the clash between the HDZ patrol and the JNA patrol or to discuss
23 the soldiers going into the shop and leaving without paying for goods?
24 A. We discussed both incidents.
25 Q. So both incidents were raised at the one meeting?
1 A. I think so. And there was another case that I didn't mention,
2 when there were barricades. But you didn't ask me about that anyway. So
3 I went there three times.
4 Q. What was your reason in approaching Nikolic? Why choose him to go
5 and discuss these problems?
6 A. He always introduced himself as the commander for the whole
8 Q. Did he ever provide you with any reassurances that the sort of
9 behaviour you were concerned with wouldn't occur again or something would
10 be done?
11 A. He would always give me assurances, but they did what they did.
12 Q. All right. Now, you mentioned another meeting, one that occurred
13 in Obudovac. I'd like to ask you some questions about the meeting in
14 Obudovac. First of all, in relation to April of 1992, can you give us any
15 idea when it occurred; a matter of weeks or months before April?
16 A. I think several weeks, because there was the Ramadan Muslim fast
17 that lasts 30 days. So somewhere around midway we went there. Then after
18 that, this is followed by this Bajram, and I think that things flared up
19 on the third day of the Bajram holiday.
20 Q. So a matter of weeks, several weeks, you attended this meeting,
21 and it was in Obudovac. Who were you in company with, if anyone, when you
22 attended the meeting?
23 A. I went with Mr. Tihic.
24 Q. At whose behest was this meeting? Was it yours or Nikolic's?
25 A. We had a meeting of the executive board of the party in the
1 afternoon in the premises of the party, when Mr. Tihic informed us that he
2 had been invited by Mr. Zaric to a talk in Obudovac, which would also be
3 attended by Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic. The party did not accept the fact
4 that he should go alone but designating me to accompany him.
5 When we got there, I saw that they were surprised to see me being
6 there as well.
7 Q. Prior to attending the meeting, did you know the purpose of the
9 A. We didn't know the purpose. We heard some details when we got
11 Q. Where exactly in Obudovac was the meeting?
12 A. In the former cooperative building. They were inside. That is
13 where it was.
14 Q. How far is Obudovac from Bosanski Samac?
15 A. About 20 kilometres-odd. Twenty-three or four, I think.
16 Q. The meeting was in a former cooperative building. Is that a
17 civilian building or is it somehow connected to army facilities?
18 A. It was never a military building. There were never any troops
19 there. It was an exclusively civilian facility. It was a farmers'
21 Q. Now, we know that Nikolic was there, you were there. Was
22 Mr. Zaric there?
23 A. Yes, he was.
24 Q. Anyone else apart from the four men that you've described so far
25 or is that it?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 A. No one else. Let me repeat once again that the Lieutenant
2 Colonel, Mr. Zaric, Mr. Tihic, and myself.
3 Q. Yes. Well, you didn't know what the purpose of the meeting was
4 before you got there. Did you make inquiries upon your arrival or did
5 they explain themselves?
6 A. I didn't ask. We just said, "We've come." What happened? They
7 were surprised to see me. Probably there was another talk intended. To
8 this day, I don't know what the real purpose of the meeting was, but we
9 did have a discussion of sorts after all.
10 Q. Can you now tell the Chamber, doing the best you can, what the
11 content of the conversation was? What was discussed?
12 A. It started in the usual way. Some pleasantries were exchanged,
13 how we had the best opinion of each other, but we see what happened in the
14 end. But there's nothing that can be done about that.
15 The gentleman suggested that perhaps -- I'm afraid again I can't
16 quite claim who it was who said this, whether it was Mr. Zaric or the
17 Lieutenant Colonel. I think that on that day, Mr. Zaric was just a
18 bystander, it was the Lieutenant Colonel who had the main say. And he
19 said, "The Muslims are all armed. We all know that." We said that we
20 were not concealing the fact, that everyone was arming themselves in
21 public. So what?
22 And then the suggestion was made that we join the 4th Detachment.
23 That would roughly be the content of the conversation. My response was
24 that that was out of the question, that we wouldn't join, not the 4th
25 Detachment but no detachment, no party or anything, that we didn't want to
1 side with anyone, to form any kind of coalition with anyone, to establish
2 any kind of links.
3 Q. Can I ask you this? You say that they suggested -- that Nikolic,
4 I think, suggested that you join the 4th Detachment. Now, at the time,
5 you and Tihic were obviously senior members of the SDA. What I want to
6 know is this: Did you understand the invitation to be directed to the
7 SDA, that is a general invitation to the SDA, to join the 4th Detachment,
8 or was it a personal invitation to join the 4th Detachment, an invitation
9 directed to you, Mr. Izetbegovic, and to Mr. Tihic alone? You understand
10 the distinction?
11 A. I do. I didn't understand this invitation to be addressed to me
12 and Mr. Tihic under any circumstances. I thought it applied to the whole
13 party, or rather, to all the Muslim people in Bosanski Samac, and we
14 resolutely rejected that, upon which I asked the Lieutenant Colonel -- or,
15 rather, I said that this would be fatal for the Muslims, that they mustn't
16 side with any party, that they are alone and let God help them. But I did
17 ask him, if they should ever go to Samac with any kind of military
18 pretensions, that they should not hurt the people, that they don't enter
19 houses, and I gave guarantees that nobody would put up any resistance, and
20 that they should do no evil unnecessarily. And Mr. Nikolic promised that
21 everything would be all right if we did not resist.
22 Q. The invitation was offered. Did you accept?
23 A. What invitation are you referring to?
24 Q. The suggestion that you join the 4th Detachment, the invitation to
25 join the 4th Detachment.
1 A. No. I said we rejected that immediately out of hand. We said it
2 was out of the question, that we had no such authorisation from the people
3 or anybody to do that.
4 Q. Did they, that is Mr. Zaric or Mr. Nikolic, react in any way that
5 you can recall to your refusal to join the 4th Detachment?
6 A. They did not react. They were very kind. We even had coffee
7 together. I kindly asked the lieutenant colonel to give me some
8 explosives because it was Ramadan and in the evening the cannon goes off.
9 That is a tradition, and I was short of some explosives, and he gave it to
10 me. He never gave it a second thought. Everything was correct. Each
11 person had his own opinion, and that is how we parted. I just asked what
12 guarantees I had to reach my house, and he said not to worry, nothing
13 would happen.
14 Q. Just returning to the issue of weapons and explosives generally,
15 at the time, in the months leading up to April of 1992, was it possible to
16 purchase weapons or arms in the Bosanski Samac area? Perhaps I should be
17 more precise: Was it possible for an individual to purchase weapons and
18 arms in the area?
19 A. It was very easy. Let me say our -- our members of the party
20 would purchase weapons even from individual members of the 4th
21 Detachment. It's ridiculous but true, but you could buy weapons
22 anywhere. There were foreigners going around offering weapons like any
23 other goods. And people were buying them individually. And many bought
24 weapons that we were not aware had weapons, even without us knowing it.
25 Q. Now, there is a municipality building in Bosanski Samac. Does it
1 have a small conference room?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you ever attend any meetings there shortly before the 17th or
4 16th of April 1992?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you identify or tell us about this meeting, only briefly so I
7 can make sure that I'm clear what -- which particular meeting you're
8 talking about.
9 A. There were many meetings on various issues, such as the formation
10 and the situation in the Territorial Defence, its future, what would
11 happen to it because its commander had handed in his resignation, so it
12 was collapsing, right up to the very unpleasant and fiery meeting when
13 territories were being carved up. That was terrible.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, which is this unpleasant and fiery meeting when
15 territories were being carved up?
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Before the witness answers, yes, Mr. Pantelic?
17 MR. PANTELIC: The witness just said, "Very unpleasant and fiery
18 meeting when territories were being carved up. Meeting was convened by
19 municipalities." That was the right words that he said. And I don't see
20 it in transcript. And please, Madam President, I am not fully in
21 accordance with the directions you gave to the Prosecution with regard to
22 clarification. It's not a matter of clarification. It's a matter of the
23 words we just heard. It's very simple. I don't want to expand this
24 matter and this issue. Let's see what the witness will say about the
25 other issues. But this particular is only about two words. So with the
1 approach that Prosecutor is entitled to additionally ask a witness about
2 the other events, he will give an area of other interpretation.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no, no, no. All you are saying is that the
4 interpretation was not completed.
5 MR. PANTELIC: That's correct.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: At line -- can you give us the line?
7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, I can give you the line. Just a moment.
8 53:7, actually, "A", after the full stop. So Madam President --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Wait. So the full stop, "... were being carved
11 MR. PANTELIC: That's correct.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: "That was terrible."
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yeah, after full stop.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, which full stop?
15 MR. PANTELIC: After "carved up."
16 JUDGE MUMBA: There was something before the words, "That was
18 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: What was it?
20 MR. PANTELIC: "This meeting was convened by municipalities."
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Then, "That was terrible"?
22 MR. PANTELIC: And, "That was terrible."
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay.
24 MR. PANTELIC: So I'm not want to get into an explanation.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no, no. That was enough.
1 The witness, you have understood what -- I wait for the
2 translation, yes -- that the words were left out before you completed your
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Is this question addressed to me?
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thought someone was going to say
7 something more. What I said about a very unpleasant meeting, it was
8 unpleasant for me. I call it unpleasant, because by then it had already
9 become clear what was about to happen.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: So you did say a meeting was convened by the
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think the initiative was by the
13 SDS. It was not an initiative taken by the political bodies of any
14 municipality. It was an SDS initiative, and I think even that it was the
15 SDS of Bosanski Samac. They established contact. They invited people to
16 this meeting. Everyone did not take up the invitation, but most people
18 The gentlemen from the SDS came together with the army. And in
19 front of the municipality, there were two vehicles full of armed men on
20 guard, and Colonel Djurdjevic entered inside. He comes from the area. He
21 was serving in Belgrade. He introduced himself as an army inspector in
22 charge of the area.
23 I saw no reason for him to be at the meeting, nor for the soldiers
24 to be outside in front. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Simic.
25 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution can proceed.
2 MR. DI FAZIO:
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Izetbegovic. We've now identified clearly. I know
4 what meeting you're talking about now, and I'd like to start asking you
5 some questions about it.
6 You're clear that the -- from the answers -- from the answer that
7 you've given that the meeting was instigated by the SDS?
8 A. That is my assumption.
9 Q. Why do you make that assumption?
10 A. Because later, certain presidents of municipalities told me that
11 they had just been informed that they need to come to Samac for some kind
12 of a political agreement and not the municipalities themselves.
13 Q. And how does that make you conclude that it was the SDS that
14 instigated the meeting? Why does that lead you to that conclusion just
15 because the presidents tell you that they have to go to Samac? How do
16 that link the SDS to the meeting? That's what I want to know.
17 MR. ZECEVIC: Your Honours, I'm sorry.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Zecevic.
19 MR. ZECEVIC: We have another clarification in the transcript. In
20 the line 54, row 7, the witness said "the division of municipalities," and
21 the -- "dividing the municipalities," and this has not been translated at
23 JUDGE MUMBA: That was some time back.
24 MR. ZECEVIC: Sorry? No. It was page 54, row 7, number 7, just
25 before the last words, "municipalities themselves." And he said, "And not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 the division of municipalities themselves," and the "division" is
2 missing. That is what the witness said. If my colleague can clarify
4 I'm sorry, 56. My computer is somehow mixed up. I'm so sorry.
5 It's 56 --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Which line?
7 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, my computer is mixed up somehow, because this
8 refers to the meeting which they had in the municipality, in the
9 municipality building, and he said, "The other presidents of the
10 municipalities informed me that this was some kind of political meeting
11 and not the division of municipalities themselves," and the "division of
12 municipalities" is missing.
13 I'm sorry, I really -- the problem is of a technical nature
14 because of the lines in my computer. Sorry.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Could we go over that, Mr. Prosecutor, please?
16 MR. DI FAZIO:
17 Q. What did the presidents of the municipalities tell you was the
18 reason for attending in Samac?
19 A. Some called me up and asked me, "What kind of a meeting is it?"
20 And I said, "I have no idea about the meeting." I was also caught off
22 The next morning when I came to work, apart from what I had heard
23 from certain presidents of municipalities who called me up in the evening,
24 I said I did not know. And I said that, "If you were told that the
25 meeting would be of a political nature, without any clear agenda," which
1 was drafted at the meeting itself, I said, "Well, come and we'll see. I
2 don't know myself." Nobody had informed me.
3 Those were those presidents who had been from the SDA. So it was
4 easy for us to get in touch and consult one another.
5 Q. Now, let's get back to the topic that I was asking you about and
6 that's the question of who instigated this meeting.
7 Now, you've told us certain things. You've told us that it was
8 the SDS that instigated the meetings, and you've told us that it was your
9 assumption that the SDS instigated those meetings. What I want you to do
10 is to tell and explain to the Chamber so that they understand why you say
11 that it was the SDS that instigated this meeting. What's your reasoning?
12 What can you point to that makes you adopt that assumption that it was the
13 SDS? That's what I'm interested in.
14 A. Well, if I hadn't done anything, I asked someone from the HDZ
15 whether they had done something of this sort. They say no. And if the
16 numerical presence of a certain nation is the greatest and if the JNA is
17 there and if the meeting is chaired by Mr. Blagoje Simic, then it is no
18 problem to conclude and to assume who was at the back of that meeting.
19 That is all I can say.
20 Q. That explains it perfectly well. Thank you very much,
21 Mr. Izetbegovic.
22 Now I want to ask you about the people present. You started to
23 mention some of the people present. Were there presidents of the various
24 opstinas or municipalities, surrounding municipalities?
25 A. Yes, there were. There were several of them. From Gradacac, the
1 president who was sitting next to me, then from Orasje there was some
2 people, I believe, and the most present were those from the SDS from
3 Pelagicevo. One entered in such an ugly manner. He was late. He barged
4 in, and he was not able to come to the chairman of the meeting. He even
5 had to jump over chairs. There was no order there.
6 Q. Thank you. Let's go back to the presidents. Let's get back to
7 the presidents. I haven't finished with that, the presidents of the
8 opstinas or municipalities. I'm interested in that.
9 You said there were several, Gradacac, Orasje. Any other
10 presidents from other opstinas or municipalities around Bosanski Samac?
11 A. I believe there were from Modrica.
12 Q. Thank you. Yes.
13 A. There were lots of people there, so I was not able to see
14 everyone. And some of them I didn't know personally.
15 Q. Were there any representatives from the municipality of Derventa?
16 A. Possibly, but I don't think so, because the president of the HDZ
17 was there. I don't believe that he would have come to that meeting.
18 Q. Were there any community leaders from Odzak?
19 A. Although I knew the president in Odzak, I didn't really notice his
20 presence at the meeting. I was very much taken aback, and I could
21 couldn't see what was going on. It is terrible when people are preparing
22 your departure from the place you live forever.
23 Q. Have you ever heard of the term "Posavina"? Just answer me yes or
24 no. Have you heard of it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Tell me - just answer yes or no - is it a geographical term?
2 A. Absolutely a geographical term.
3 Q. Very briefly, explain to me what municipalities are included in
4 the -- according to your understanding, in the area of the Posavina.
5 A. Namely the municipalities that -- this used to be a district, then
6 a region. The name's changed. The former municipality, which is the real
7 municipality -- for Doboj you cannot say it belongs to Posavina. Later on
8 it was -- it became the Doboj region. Brcko, Orasje, Gradacac, Modrica,
9 Samac, Brod, Derventa, and Odzak. Eight municipalities were what used to
10 be the Posavina municipality.
11 Q. Did you see at the meeting any representatives from municipalities
12 other than those that you have mentioned?
13 A. Well, I repeat, there may have been. I'm not sure, because I was
14 not capable of following what was going on and what happened at the end.
15 Q. Okay. We are still talking about people who attended the
16 meeting. We've discussed municipality representatives. What about
17 political party representatives? Were such persons present?
18 A. You mean from Samac itself?
19 Q. Samac and any other area.
20 A. Generally from the other municipalities too. Well, those who
21 wanted to and wished to come, since the presidents of the parties were
22 also presidents of the municipalities frequently, or were in the leading
23 political structures or occupied posts in the municipality, so they could
24 have come in their own name. They did not have to bring anyone along.
25 But some people did.
1 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. Izetbegovic, did you receive, or did the
2 presidents or representatives of any of the municipalities, to your
3 knowledge, receive any paper convening this meeting?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they didn't.
5 JUDGE SINGH: And how did the presidents or some of the presidents
6 of these municipalities then respond? How was the communication made to
7 them for this meeting, and through whom, if you have any knowledge?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, most probably by telephone.
9 This was the quickest way.
10 JUDGE SINGH: Do you know who called on the telephone? Who called
11 you on the telephone, if you received a phone call?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No one told me, because I was at
13 the municipality and I knew on that very morning what was happening, and
14 that is why I attended the meeting. My president, the president of my
15 party, did not attend the meeting.
16 JUDGE SINGH: Just one more question there. When was this
17 meeting, by the way? Was it -- you talked of a reference date 17th
18 earlier. How long before the 17th? Can you fix a date?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, very close to the 17th. I
20 don't remember the exact date, but it was very near that date, because at
21 that meeting, we parted insulted because nothing was given to us in
22 written form, and then we agreed that a platform should be drafted which
23 would be submitted to every party and then that we would reconvene another
24 meeting, which, of course, was not a guarantee that it would be well
25 organised. So we parted more or less angry at each other.
1 MR. DI FAZIO:
2 Q. You mentioned the presence of military types at the meeting,
3 including Nikolic. Were there any soldiers in uniform at the meeting?
4 A. Yes. They were in uniforms, and the Colonel Djurdjevic.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Counsel?
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] The Prosecutor has just said
7 "Nikolic" and this is not what the witness stated. He was talking about
9 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Thank you, the Prosecutor will clear
10 that with the witness.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: I know that Djurdjevic was mentioned --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: I know that Colonel Djurdjevic was mentioned in the
14 previous answer, but I think earlier in his evidence he mentioned
15 Nikolic. I'll clarify it rather than look it up in the evidence. I'll
16 just ask.
17 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, at this meeting that we are discussing, was
18 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic present?
19 A. I believe so, because his units were guarding the building and
20 encircled it, and he never came alone and did not send them on their own.
21 We were interested in knowing of the purpose of meeting, so I was not
22 really interested in who was present. I just glimpsed over the people
24 Q. I just want the Chamber to know -- get an idea what the meeting
25 was like. You've mentioned the presence of Colonel Nikolic and units
1 guarding the building. Do you mean soldiers, JNA types?
2 A. Yes. I'm referring to the JNA soldiers.
3 Q. What about inside, not outside, inside, where the meeting is
4 taking place? Were there soldiers inside?
5 A. Well, on the staircase, apparently, there were some people
6 standing. I didn't see them because I was at the meeting itself.
7 Q. And you also said that Mr. Blagoje Simic was present at the
9 A. Yes. Mr. Blagoje chaired the meeting.
10 Q. Who introduced the topics of conversation at the meeting?
11 A. Mr. Blagojevic.
12 Q. I'm sure it's just a mistake that you've referred to
13 Mr. Blagojevic. Who are you referring to?
14 A. Oh, it's the same mistake. I apologise once again, because there
15 was someone called Blagojevic in those structures, so I apologise once
16 again to Dr. Blagoje Simic. Please understand me. It's not easy for me
17 to make this statement. I have no legal experience and it is -- in court,
18 and it is for the very first time that I have to state something of a
19 crucial importance in a courtroom, and it is very difficult for me, but
20 the truth has to be said. I may make mistakes, so please understand me.
21 You can ask me further questions and we can explain everything.
22 Mr. Simic, Dr. Blagoje Simic, was present.
23 Q. You say that he introduced the topics of conversation or matters
24 to be discussed. How did he do that? How did he start off?
25 A. I believe that Dr. Blagoje had no experience in chairing meetings,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and the English transcripts.
1 as was my case too, but he presented this to us in a certain way and how
2 things should be, and that since we were dividing up anyway, that we
3 should divide up municipalities and to see whom -- which municipality
4 would belong.
5 Q. Let's go through this very carefully, and I know it's a long time
6 ago, but try and give us as much detail as you can. First of all, you say
7 that he said that, "We were dividing up anyway." What precisely did he
8 say about that? Who was dividing up? What was he referring to?
9 A. Well, probably the ethnic division of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Q. Did he say how people were dividing up? Did he explain how people
11 were dividing up?
12 A. No, he didn't explain the way this was done, but first define
13 whose municipality would go to whom and then humanitarian transfers would
14 take place. Well, I asked where we Muslims from Samac would go, and he
15 said, "Gradacac. I've been told Gradacac."
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic?
17 MR. PANTELIC: Exact words of Mr. Izebegovic was that, "Gradacac
18 was yours." I don't see that in transcript again. Thank you.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Well --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Prosecution, can we clarify that?
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Did you in fact say that Mr. Blagoje Simic said that, "Gradacac
23 would be yours," referring to Muslims? In your answer, did you say that?
24 A. Mr. Simic already had before him a scheme of the division which we
25 did not have. He dictated which municipality. For instance: Orasje,
1 Croatian; Gradacac, Muslim; Samac, Serbian, along with Pelagicevo.
2 Pelagicevo was added because - this was personally, especially stressed -
3 because Pelagicevo was -- belonged to Gradacac but would be annexed to
4 Bosanski Samac. I don't know about the other municipalities. I don't
5 remember what it was all -- but anyway, Samac and Pelagicevo was to be the
6 main municipality of the Serb nation in that area.
7 Q. How did you react to this? Did you say anything? Did you say why
8 the Muslims had to go to Gradacac and why the Croats had to go elsewhere?
9 A. Well, the reaction was -- well, I understood that this was a fait
10 accompli, that it was very ugly when it came to a division of
11 municipality, that there was no way out there, that there wouldn't be any
12 way out, that I would be helpless to do anything about it except protest
13 and say a few words, perhaps in an angry manner, which would not be
14 appropriate. It was very difficult for me. There were -- there was
15 someone sitting next to me at the meeting who was from the military
16 section. He was in fact shot down later. He was a Serb. I forget his
17 name. He said ironically, "You Muslims to Gradacac. This is your
18 place." And I responded. I discussed this. I got up. I said that we
19 were not Palestinians or Kurds and why would this be done to us?
20 Q. Thank you. Now, you've told us that Mr. Simic had a scheme for
21 the division. You've told us about the division, who had to go where. I
22 just want to be absolutely certain as to who outlined the scheme, who
23 actually stood up and for the first time explained in that meeting which
24 ethnic group had to go where. Out of whose mouth did such words come?
25 That's what I want to know.
1 A. Well, this scheme was presented by Dr. Simic. I don't know
2 whether he devised it or took part in drafting it. Those who had an
3 interest in having this done were assumably involved in this. I will not
4 say it was only the Serb side that took part in this, but Dr. Simic's task
5 was to present this scheme, and he read out what the proposal was.
6 Q. You also said that --
7 MR. DI FAZIO: If I might just ask this last question, if Your
8 Honour pleases.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
10 MR. DI FAZIO:
11 Q. I will be continuing with this topic tomorrow, but I want to ask
12 one last question before we break. You said this was a fait accompli.
13 What is it that you saw or heard or observed that make you say this scheme
14 or this proposal was a fait accompli?
15 A. It was my personal conviction. I wasn't just an ordinary man,
16 someone who did not play a part in the bodies and the life and events of
17 Bosnia. So it didn't take much for me to come to that conclusion. So I
18 drew that conclusion on the basis of my own convictions and what had been
19 happening, and this was the last stage of something that was going on.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Might I ask one more question, if Your Honour
22 JUDGE MUMBA: I hope the interpreters will stand that. Just one
23 more question.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I'm grateful to the Chamber.
25 Q. Was the scheme presented to you, to the assembled people at the
1 meeting, for discussion or for their information?
2 A. Only for our information. I never saw that scheme before.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: The Court will rise and will continue the
6 proceedings tomorrow at 0930 hours.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.05 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Friday, the 5th day
9 of October, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.