1 Thursday, 18 October 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.40 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: The registrar please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We've been a little delayed because of
10 administrative problems at the Detention Unit, but we are ready to start
12 Yes, counsel.
13 MS. BAEN: Good morning, Your Honour. Just very briefly. This
14 affects the cross-examination of this witness. Prior to this week, all
15 Defence counsel had been receiving the daily transcript the following day
16 and this week, up until about five minutes ago, we have yet to receive any
17 of the transcripts so, just on behalf of all of Defence counsel, we wanted
18 the record to reflect that we haven't received that as needed and just
19 Your Honours' assistance in the matter from now on. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm sure the registry assistant will deal with
21 that as we are sitting. Thank you for bringing it to the notice of the
23 Cross-examination is continuing. Mr. Pisarevic.
24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 WITNESS: IZET IZETBEGOVIC: [Resumed]
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Pisarevic: [Continued]
3 Q. [Interpretation] First of all, I wish to say good morning to Your
4 Honours, my learned friends opposite, and the witness, Mr. Izetbegovic.
5 Good morning. At the end of the day yesterday, I intimated the
6 topic that I would address today and that is the issue of the 4th
8 As you are aware, yesterday I notified Their Honours that my
9 cross-examination will take another 30 minutes or so, so I should like to
10 appeal to you to assist me in keeping my promise, and you can do so by
11 answering my questions with a "Yes" or "No" or "I don't know."
12 Would you agree with me in saying that the armed forces of the
13 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia consisted of the Yugoslav
14 People's Army and the Territorial Defence?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Can you confirm that the socialist Republic of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina on the 6th of April, 1992, was recognised as an independent
18 state by the members of the European Community?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you confirm that Bosnia and Herzegovina was admitted to United
21 Nations membership on the 25th of May, 1992 as the 178th member of the
22 United Nations organisation?
23 A. I am not familiar with the exact date.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: I want to ask counsel and the Prosecution, I thought
25 that there were some dates which were agreed on these issues.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: You have. You've taken judicial notice of two
2 dates and I think that's one of the dates. I think it's the 22nd, but I
3 know that you've taken judicial notice of membership of the UN.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So counsel can't put those to the witness.
5 They're already on record. The ones taken judicial notice of, if you can
6 check the record, please don't put those issues to the witness.
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Can you confirm that the 4th Detachment was set up by the order of
9 the commander of the 17th Tactical Group of the Yugoslav People's Army on
10 the 5th of January, 1992?
11 A. I have already said when I learnt about the 4th Detachment.
12 Everything else was guesswork, so I don't know exactly.
13 Q. Can you confirm that the 4th Detachment of the JNA was a unit
14 belonging to the JNA?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it correct to say that every person in the Socialist Federal
17 Republic of Yugoslavia had military duties?
18 A. As far as I knew, that should have been so, but I don't know
19 whether it applied to everyone.
20 Q. Do you know that every able-bodied person was to do his military
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Isn't it correct to say that, after completing their military
24 service, all men were transferred to the reserves of the Yugoslav People's
1 A. That is how it should have been, but the overall military
2 situation was something I was not familiar with.
3 Q. Did every person, every man, in his military booklet have an entry
4 indicating the unit he would be assigned to in case of war and
6 A. I had one; I don't know about others.
7 Q. Is it correct to say that the sending of recruits and care of the
8 reserve forces was carried out by the municipal Secretariat for National
10 A. For as long as it existed. It simply stopped operating because
11 the archives were taken away. The army came and took the archives away.
12 Q. Is it true to say that the Secretariat for National Defence
13 proclaimed mobilisation for the municipality of Bosanski Samac in January
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. Do you know that members of the detachment belonged to the
17 following ethnic groups: Serbs, that members of the 4th Detachment were
19 A. Most of them.
20 Q. There were Muslims?
21 A. Partially.
22 Q. That among 4th Detachment members, there were members of the
23 Croatian ethnic group?
24 A. I am not aware of any single case.
25 Q. Were there members of the 4th Detachment who were of Yugoslav
2 A. Possibly. I don't know.
3 Q. Do you know that, among members of the 4th Detachment, there were
4 members of the Macedonian, Albanian, and other ethnicities?
5 A. I never saw any such people nor heard of them.
6 Q. Can you confirm and is it true that a large number of Croats and
7 Muslims did not respond to the call-up for mobilisation?
8 A. That is true.
9 Q. Isn't it true to say that the reason for failure to respond was
10 the position of the SDA, that members of the Muslim people should not
11 respond to the call-up by the Yugoslav People's Army?
12 A. That is not true.
13 Q. Is it true that the Croatian Democratic Community instructed
14 members of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina not to respond to the
16 A. I cannot talk about the Croatian Democratic Community, as I am not
17 familiar with it.
18 Q. Would you agree that failure to respond to mobilisation and to
19 military service in those days was a criminal offence?
20 A. Yes, in the rule of law, a state based on the rule of law, which
21 this one no longer was.
22 Q. Was the existence of the 4th Detachment publicly announced through
23 the mass media?
24 A. Never.
25 Q. And do you know that the Secretariat for National Defence had the
1 legal authority to requisition material goods for the needs of the
2 Yugoslav People's Army?
3 A. Yes, possibly, but again with the approval of the executive
4 council of the municipal assembly.
5 Q. And do you know that the Secretariat for National Defence of Samac
6 municipality, for the needs of the command of the 4th Detachment,
7 requisitioned two premises in the administration building of SIT in
8 Bosanski Samac?
9 A. I spoke about that, but up until it took over these premises, the
10 4th Detachment was neither public or legal. It was the personal army of a
11 group of people or one person.
12 Q. Would you please answer my questions. Could you please just tell
13 me whether you know this or not. Do you know that the command of the 4th
14 Detachment was in the SIT building in Bosanski Samac?
15 A. Maybe later, after my arrest. I don't know, but I know they asked
16 for that. They wanted it.
17 Q. Is it true that in front of the SIT building, where the command of
18 the 4th Detachment was headquartered, flags were hoisted of the socialist
19 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the socialist Republic of Bosnia and
21 A. As I was saying, I was arrested and later I had no occasion to see
23 Q. Can you confirm that the commander of the 4th Detachment was
24 Radovan Antic, captain first class in reserve?
25 A. De facto, but de jure it was Simo Zaric.
1 Q. Do you know that the deputy commander was Jovo Savic, reserve
2 captain first class?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. And do you know that Simo Zaric was reserve sergeant -- reserve
5 corporal, and he was in charge of information and morale?
6 A. I don't know that either.
7 Q. Do you know that Mehmed Vukovic was operations officer in the
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Do you know that Miroslav Tadic was assistant commander of the 4th
11 Detachment for logistics?
12 A. I don't know that either.
13 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your indulgence,
14 can I have a couple of minutes to consult with my assistants because there
15 is some problems with the transcript.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
17 [Defence counsel confer]
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, we have a problem with translation.
19 The question that Mr. Pisarevic asked is not correctly translated. That's
20 line 5, 6, 7. It says, "And do you know that Simo Zaric was the reserve
21 sergeant?" and the question -- maybe it would be better that Mr. Pisarevic
22 repeats his question.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Usually it's better. Then we can have it
24 clarified and the interpreters will try to catch him as he speaks.
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Do you know that Simo Zaric was staff sergeant in reserve and that
2 he was assistant detachment commander for security, information, morale,
3 and notification?
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, do you know that on the 1st of April, 1992, a
6 leaflet was published and distributed in town under the heading "List of
7 Domestic Traitors Among the Muslim People in Bosanski Samac"?
8 A. I heard about that but I don't know who was behind it.
9 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, did you have occasion to see that leaflet?
10 A. I did not.
11 Q. And do you know that on the 2nd of April, 1992, shots were fired
12 at a car when Nizam Ramusovic, Mersad Mesic, and Vitomir Danilo were
13 seriously wounded close to the Mola Cafe owned by Atif Ratic?
14 A. I do know that. I was in the cafe just then at the time.
15 Q. Do you know that Nizam Ramusovic, Mersad Mesic, and Vitomir Danilo
16 were members of the 4th Detachment?
17 A. I do know that.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Now, may I have clarification? Witness, when you
19 answer that you do know that, do you know that now or did you know that at
20 the time when the incident took place?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was inside, and I was shot at as
22 was the police inspector from MUP Sarajevo. It was an assassination
24 JUDGE MUMBA: No. What I meant -- did you know that Nizam
25 Ramusovic and the other name, Danilo, were members of the 4th Detachment
1 at that time, at the time of the incident?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was being said earlier on already
3 that they were over there in the 4th Detachment.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, do you know that the shooting at a passenger
7 vehicle in which Nizam Ramusovic, Mersad Mesic, and Vitomir Danilo were
8 inside ...
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters apologise. I'm afraid they are
10 not making pauses between questions and answers. Could the question and
11 answer be repeated, please.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The interpreters are complaining about the
13 overlap between the witness and counsel. Can counsel repeat the question,
14 please, and do remember to pause, Mr. Izetbegovic, before you answer so
15 that the interpreters can complete the question, and then you can answer.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise.
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, can you confirm that when fire was opened at the
19 passenger car, inside there were Nizam Ramusovic, Mersad Mesic, and
20 Vitomir Danilo, who were members of the 4th Detachment, and that this was
21 done by a reserve police patrol of the police station in Bosanski Samac?
22 Will you please answer yes or no.
23 A. They just responded to the fire that had been opened previously.
24 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, do you know who were the members of this reserve
25 police patrol that opened fire at the passenger car in which were Nizam
1 Ramusovic, Mersad Mesic, and Danilo Vitomir?
2 A. You can verify that through the documents to see who was on duty
3 that night. I don't know who it was, all of those who were among them.
4 Q. Will you now answer a few questions for me regarding the formation
5 of the staff of Territorial Defence for Bosanski Samac municipality, which
6 is the next topic I wish to address.
7 Will you tell me, please, how many deputies were there in the
8 municipal assembly of Bosanski Samac?
9 A. Do you mean from each ethnic group or the total number?
10 Q. My question was: How many deputies did the municipal assembly
12 A. Fifty.
13 Q. How many deputies in the municipal assembly represented the HDZ
15 A. I think 26. It's a long time ago, sir, but I think it was 26.
16 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. Pisarevic, if you have the numbers, just put it
17 to him.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Is it correct that the HDZ, the Croatian Democratic Union, in the
20 parliament which was called the assembly, had 21 deputies?
21 A. I know that it had more deputies than the Serb ethnic group, but I
22 don't know the exact number, because there was your party there too.
23 Q. Did the SDA, the Party of Democratic Action, have two deputy seats
24 in parliament?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did the Serbian Democratic Party have 18 deputies in the municipal
3 A. A moment ago I told you I don't know the figures. I've forgotten
5 Q. Well, say you don't know.
6 A. But it's a bit embarrassing to say I don't know since I was a
7 member of that parliament. It was a long time ago, so please help me with
8 the numbers.
9 Q. That's what I'm trying to do.
10 A. Thank you.
11 Q. Is it true to say that the Social Democratic Party had six
12 deputies in the municipal assembly?
13 A. I think that's right.
14 Q. Is it true to say that the reformist forces, the former Communist
15 Party, had three deputies in the municipal assembly?
16 A. The reformists and that other party, the Liberals, they were
17 smallest. They were no longer parliamentary parties then.
18 Q. Would you agree with me that the Liberals had only one deputy?
19 A. Yes, I agree. It was Simic, I think.
20 Q. Do you know that the procedure was prescribed for the nomination
21 of the commander and chief of staff of the municipal command of the
22 Territorial Defence?
23 A. By whom was it prescribed?
24 Q. By the law. By the law.
25 A. Oh, I see, that's what you mean. Well, most probably yes. That's
1 how it should be.
2 Q. Do you agree that the proposal for candidates for the post of
3 commander and chief of staff of the municipal staff of Territorial Defence
4 had to be confirmed exclusively by the municipal assembly?
5 A. I'm afraid I'm not too well-versed in that procedure, so I
6 couldn't tell you.
7 Q. Would you agree that the commander and chief of staff of the TO
8 staff, after nominations had been approved by the municipal assembly, are
9 appointed by the republican command of the Territorial Defence of
11 A. That is how it should be, but by then, everything had been
12 disrupted and these institutions no longer existed.
13 Q. Is it true to say that the municipal assembly of Bosanski Samac
14 never confirmed Mr. Marko Bozanovic, a reserve captain of the Yugoslav
15 People's Army, as a candidate for the position of TO commander for
16 Bosanski Samac?
17 A. How could he be confirmed when the war had started and it never
18 met again?
19 Q. Can you confirm that the municipal assembly of Bosanski Samac
20 never confirmed the candidacy of Mr. Alija Fitozovic, a reserve major of
21 the JNA, for the position of chief of staff of the Territorial Defence
23 A. Both were nominated together and the nominations sent to the
24 Defence Ministry of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the war started. This should
25 have gone to the legal authorities, but they no longer existed.
1 JUDGE SINGH: Mr. Pisarevic, can you please let us know when were
2 the nominations put up, a date.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm coming to those
4 nominations now. These were just preliminary questions regarding
5 preliminary procedures.
6 JUDGE SINGH: You see, he's answered your question. He says that,
7 well, there was disruption. So the date is important. He said the war
8 had broken out. So when were the nominations put up?
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I understand your question, Your
10 Honour. I will put the question to the witness.
11 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, is it correct to say that Mr. Marko Bozanovic,
12 reserve captain of the JNA, was nominated commander of the Territorial
13 Defence staff of Bosanski Samac municipality on the 14th of April, 1992?
14 A. I think that is correct.
15 Q. I think you'll agree with me that on that same day, the 14th of
16 April, 1992, Mr. Alija Fitozovic, reserve major of the Yugoslav People's
17 Army, was nominated as chief of staff of the Territorial Defence.
18 A. Yes. Both of them in this package of solutions by the Ministry
19 for Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 Q. Would you agree that the proposals for the nominations of the
21 staff of Territorial Defence of the Bosanski Samac municipality bypassed
22 legal procedure to the republican staff of Territorial Defence of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, sent representatives -- sent by representatives of the
24 Party of Democratic Action and the Croatian Democratic Community of the
25 municipality of Bosanski Samac?
1 A. I do not agree.
2 Q. Can you tell me at whose proposal did the republican staff or,
3 rather, the commander of the republican staff of Territorial Defence
4 nominate and appoint as commander of the Territorial Defence staff Mr.
5 Marko Bozanovic and as the chief of staff of Territorial Defence Mr. Alija
6 Fitozovic? How did this come about?
7 A. Because of the obstructions and everything that was taking place -
8 there had been obstructions for quite some time - I cannot recollect how
9 the proposal was in fact formulated and how it was sent to the ministry.
10 Q. Thank you. We're now moving to a different area regarding the
11 local community. Can you tell me, please, whether the fact is correct
12 that the power and authority in the Bosanski Samac local community was in
13 the hands of the representatives of the Party of Democratic Action, the
14 Serbian Democratic Party, and the Croatian Democratic Community?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Are you familiar with the fact that at the beginning of April
17 1992, a coordinating body was set up, the members of which were the
18 representatives of political parties from the Samac municipality who did
19 not take part in governing?
20 A. You mean the local community? Yes. Are you thinking about the
21 local community? Is that what you mean?
22 Q. Yes, that's what I mean, the local community.
23 A. Well, that's what they wanted, to have members in there who were
24 not members of any party, because the local community as a body --
25 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Izetbegovic. You probably didn't understand my
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It was a difficult question. I didn't
3 understand it either.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Would you agree with me that at the beginning of April 1992, in
6 the local community of Samac, a coordinating body was set up consisting of
7 the representatives of political parties which did not take part in the
8 government of the local community of Samac?
9 A. As there was inter-party tolerance in town and inter-party
10 cultural intolerance, we wanted to have members from all structures, from
11 non-members from communists, non-communists, and all types of townsfolk to
12 become members of this body because we thought it would function best in
13 that way.
14 Q. Was it established or not?
15 A. Yes, it was established. Every party, every side had a
16 coordinating body of some kind.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel and witness, you are not arguing against
18 each other; you are in court. Please wait for the completion of the
19 answers, especially counsel as you seem to be overlapping the answers.
20 Can we have the question and the answer again, please? We have to
21 follow the process of your cross-examination to see whether or not it is
22 dealing with the issues in the indictment. That is why it is important to
23 have a clear answer, completed translation, and a clear question,
24 completed translation.
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I'll do my best. Thank you for
1 giving me that guidance, Your Honour.
2 Q. Is it true that on behalf of the Party of Democratic Action, the
3 member of that coordinating body in the local community was Mr. Sulejman
4 Tihic? Is that true?
5 A. I don't remember who it was.
6 Q. Are you acquainted with the fact that you yourself were not a
7 member of that coordinating body in the local community of Samac?
8 A. Well, I don't remember that either. Perhaps I was, perhaps I
9 wasn't, because I was a member of various ...
10 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, in your statement, you say that you attended a
11 meeting of the coordinating body of the local community of Samac which was
12 held on the 16th of April, 1992. Were you at the meeting or not?
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. Is it correct that on that occasion, at that particular meeting
15 which was held on the 16th of April in the local community of the town of
16 Samac, Simo Zaric stated that he was not authorised to transfer the
17 4th Detachment into the staff of the Territorial Defence of Samac because
18 the 4th Detachment is a unit of the Yugoslav People's Army?
19 A. I can't remember a statement to that effect.
20 Q. Thank you. My next question relates to the 17th of April, 1992,
21 and the events on that date. According to your own testimony,
22 Mr. Izetbegovic, you went into town that morning. You went to the bridge
23 on the River Bosna. Is it true that you went to the park in Bosanski
24 Samac? Is that correct or not?
25 A. No, it isn't.
1 Q. Is it true that you drove round town in a red car with the mark
2 Yugo of the Kedi type, a Yugo Kedi?
3 A. I just took the car from Ibol [phoen] and took it -- drove it home
4 because the car belonged to my son-in-law.
5 Q. Is it not true, Mr. Izetbegovic, that on that particular day, you
6 were carrying a Kalashnikov and a flak jacket?
7 A. No, it is not true.
8 Q. Did you, on that particular day, see in town members of the 4th
9 Detachment of the Yugoslav People's Army?
10 A. I didn't see them on that day yet, up until noon when I ...
11 Q. Thank you. Mr. Izetbegovic, you were arrested on the 19th of
12 April, 1992 by members of, as you call them, the masked or coloured ones,
13 multicoloured ones but not domestic ones. On that occasion, did they tell
14 you why they were arresting you and on whose orders?
15 A. They only said -- that is to say, Laki took a list out of his
16 pocket and looked at it and said, "Ah, you're the golden goose and we're
17 looking for you."
18 MR. ZECEVIC: There is a problem with the transcript. The answer
19 was not included of Mr. Izetbegovic. On the question: "You were arrested
20 on the 19th of April, 1992, by members, as you call them, the masked or
21 coloured ones." There isn't an answer but actually it exists. "The
22 multicoloured ones but not the domestic ones." That is the answer of the
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but it isn't indicated as the answer. Yes. I
25 noticed that. I think they'll correct it.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, the witness said "Sareni,"
2 meaning multicoloured.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it's because the answer is not separated from
4 the question. So I know that they will correct it now that we've pointed
5 it out, yes.
6 Yes. Counsel can proceed.
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, is it true that those Sareni were in the police
9 station in Bosanski Samac?
10 A. At what time?
11 Q. From the 17th of April 1992.
12 A. They personally took me to the police station, Laki and the
13 others, some five or six of them, or ten, in fact. There were ten of
14 them, in fact.
15 Q. Would you agree that those Sareni acted like policemen?
16 A. Not at all. They acted like henchmen.
17 Q. Did they use police competencies and authority?
18 A. Everyone, as he saw fit; boots, legs, feet, hands.
19 Q. Very well. Do you agree that you were guarded in prison by the
20 police, people wearing police uniforms in fact?
21 A. Yes. But I recognised only two of them.
22 Q. Would you agree that the police provided security when they took
23 you out to lunch or whenever you left the building, the SUP building for
24 any purpose?
25 A. The policemen were more afraid of those Sareni than we were
2 Q. Would you agree that the chief of police in Bosanski Samac was
3 Stevan Todorovic?
4 A. During my arrest, I saw him in that capacity for the same -- for
5 the first time, for the first time.
6 Q. Would you agree that Stevan Todorovic commanded the police and the
7 Sareni in the police station of Bosanski Samac?
8 A. The police, yes. Whether he was in command of the Sareni, I
9 don't know. They know that best themselves how they were assigned.
10 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, are you aware of the fact that Mr. Simo Zaric
11 worked for seven years in the Bosanka company in Bosanski Samac in the
12 capacity of financial director?
13 A. No, I don't know that.
14 Q. Are you aware of the fact that Simo Zaric was the chief of police
15 in Bosanski Samac from 1975 to 1979?
16 A. I do know that, yes.
17 Q. Are you aware of the fact that he was director of a company called
18 Buducnost within the composition of the Sipad Sarajevo factory from 1979
19 to 1982?
20 A. I can't vouch for the dates, but I do know he was there, yes.
21 Q. Are you acquainted with the fact that from 1982 to 1985 he was the
22 director of the representative offices of the Sipad corporation from
23 Sarajevo in Belgrade?
24 A. I know that he was in Belgrade for a time, but in what capacity
25 and holding what post, I don't know.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Are you aware of the fact that at the end of 1985, he got a job in
2 the state security of Doboj?
3 A. Well, I know that he was there, but I don't remember the year. I
4 can't give you dates.
5 Q. Very well. Yes. Would you agree that he was the chief of the
6 department of state security with its headquarters in Modrica for the
7 Modrica municipality and the Odzak municipality and Samac municipality?
8 A. I know that that was the person, but when and where, I don't know.
9 Q. Do you also know that he retired on the 1st of September, 1991,
10 after the SDA, HDZ, and SDS came into power?
11 A. Yes, I do know that he retired.
12 Q. Would you agree that Simo Zaric was a well-known cultural and
13 sports figure in the Bosanski Samac municipality?
14 A. Which sports?
15 Q. Just say whether you do know or you don't.
16 A. I know that the two of us worked in sports most, but I don't know
17 about Simo.
18 Q. Is it true that Simo Zaric was a respected citizen of the town and
19 Bosanski Samac?
20 A. Well, respected or not respected, I can't say. Third parties, a
21 larger audience, will be able to say that about me and him. They must be
22 the ones to give an opinion.
23 Q. Is it true that Simo Zaric was prominent as a fighter for the idea
24 of Yugoslav-hood?
25 A. I think he was. Otherwise, he wouldn't do what he did.
1 Q. May we agree that, as a public figure, he very often made public
2 statements and attended citizens' meetings and was in the media a lot?
3 A. I wasn't able to notice that, no.
4 Q. Would you agree that Simo Zaric spoke at a rally on the 15th of
5 February, 1992, in the cinema hall of Bosanski Samac?
6 A. No, I don't know. I wasn't there.
7 Q. Would you agree that that citizens' rally, on the 15th of
8 February, 1992, was actually held in the cinema of Bosanski Samac?
9 A. I don't remember.
10 Q. Do you happen to remember the fact that on the 14th of February,
11 1992, in the Valentino cafe, two young men lost their lives, of Muslim
12 ethnicity, while they were throwing a bomb around?
13 A. Yes, I remember that. That was later established. The manner of
14 death was established later.
15 Q. Do you remember --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel, I just want to remind you that you've had
17 close to an hour. You've gone beyond the promised time.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I just have one more minute, Your
19 Honour. I've almost finished. It was little difficult to stick to the
20 exact time.
21 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, do you remember that with respect to that, that
22 the rally was held because of that incident that had taken place, that the
23 rally took place in the cinema of Bosanski Samac?
24 A. I said that I don't remember a rally of that kind being held.
25 That's all I can say.
1 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, I have concluded, but I just have one final
2 question for you. Would you answer it, if you will.
3 Is it true that Fadil Topcagic illegally took your daughter from
4 Bosanski Samac to Belgrade, to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia? Is
5 that true?
6 A. I'm not aware of that.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] And thank you, Your Honours. I
9 have concluded my cross-examination.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. The next counsel, please.
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Krgovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Izetbegovic.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. I'm one of the Defence counsel for Mr. Miroslav Tadic, and I have
16 a few questions for you. It won't take as long as Mr. Pisarevic.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Hopefully.
18 A. Please take your time. I feel much more comfortable today than I
19 was yesterday.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, during your testimony yesterday, in answer to
22 questions by the Prosecution when you were speaking about your sojourn in
23 Batajnica, you mentioned some statements linked to events in Bosanski
24 Samac in November 1991 linked to the large exchange between the JNA and
25 the Republic of Croatia. You mentioned that you were involved, that you
1 were part of that exchange. Could you tell me, what was your role in that
2 exchange? Did you represent the official authorities of Bosanski Samac
3 and take part in that procedure?
4 A. As I was the commander of Civil Defence, nominated by the
5 executive council of the municipal assembly, I was proposed by that same
6 executive council to mediate in the exchange. Therefore, I acted as part
7 of my duties. It was mostly an exchange of people from Vukovar and the
8 Croats. And this happened in the harbour of Bosanski Samac. As a
9 citizen, it was my duty to carry out the task assigned to me.
10 Q. Can we agree that the exchange took place on the 9th of November,
12 A. I think I took part in three such exchanges. I think it was
13 three. So I cannot recollect the dates.
14 Q. Those exchanges took place, if I understand you correctly, within
15 the territory of Bosanski Samac municipality.
16 A. Yes, in the territory of Bosanski Samac.
17 Q. Did other citizens from Bosanski Samac institutions take part in
18 that exchange in one way or another?
19 A. Those were mostly state bodies, and we were attached to them.
20 There was the Red Cross and some other institutions, but some citizens
21 were not prevented from assisting. Some people brought some food or
22 something like that. We didn't make any selection as to whom we would
23 give it to. Whoever put up his hand, we gave it to them.
24 Q. Can we agree, then, that the citizens of Bosanski Samac were
25 actively involved in the actual process of exchange and that they were
1 familiar with the method and procedures involved?
2 A. The actual method and procedure of exchange was not clear to
3 ordinary citizens. It wasn't even clear to me perhaps. But these things
4 were done spontaneously. People who felt compassion would come. Nothing
5 happened at those exchanges. There were no incidents or anything like
6 that. Both parties looked so awful. These were not soldiers, they were
7 civilians. I remember one wearing pajamas with a plaster cast on. Both
8 sides had members who left one with a very bad impression as you look at
10 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, in your testimony yesterday and today too, you
11 said that you had been appointed as commander of Civil Defence of Bosanski
12 Samac municipality; is that right?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 Q. Can we agree that Civil Defence takes care of first aid to
15 citizens and protects the property of victims and the affected in case of
16 war and natural disasters? That is precisely what you did, is it not?
17 A. That is how it should be.
18 Q. Can we agree that this also implied taking care of the affected
19 and the victims? Can we agree that this implied also extending first aid,
20 medical first aid?
21 A. Yes, that too.
22 Q. Can we also agree that this implied protection from destruction
23 and devastation?
24 A. Yes, that too.
25 Q. When you mentioned the word "exchange," yesterday in answer to a
1 question from the Prosecution, who also used this term "exchange," and you
2 also said, "I was exchanged in the PTT engineering building in Sarajevo."
3 Can you tell me with whom you were exchanged?
4 A. I don't know that to this day.
5 Q. That is precisely why I'm asking you, because you used the word
6 "exchanged" and so did the Prosecution. So would it be right to say
7 that, in fact, you were released?
8 A. The only term used in those days was "exchange." Of course I was
9 released as soon as I arrived in the area where the other party no longer
10 existed. They had already been separated.
11 Q. Can we agree, then, that you don't know that you were exchanged
12 for somebody specifically?
13 A. No, I don't.
14 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, in the course of your examination-in-chief and
15 also in the cross-examination by my colleague Mr. Pisarevic, you mentioned
16 your meetings with Colonel Nikolic and representatives of the 4th
17 Detachment. You said that you met with them several times, once in
18 Brcko, the second time, I think it was in the building of Bosanski Samac
19 municipality, and once in Obudovac. Is that right?
20 A. I can't tell you the exact number of meetings we had, but we did
22 Q. Did you ever, with representatives of the JNA, specifically with
23 Colonel Nikolic and representatives of the 4th Detachment, did you ever
24 meet with them in the AS Cafe as well?
25 A. No, never.
1 Q. Do you know that any one of your party colleagues or someone else
2 who had contact with the 4th Detachment and the JNA had such a meeting in
3 the AS Cafe?
4 A. I haven't heard of it, but it's possible.
5 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, in your statement of the 5th of October, you were
6 describing the atmosphere in town immediately prior to the outbreak of
7 conflict. You mentioned that there was unrest in town, that people were
8 taking their children out of town. Does that mean that the town of
9 Bosanski Samac, in that period of time, was being abandoned by entire
10 families or parts of families?
11 A. Both whole families and parts of families.
12 Q. Does this apply to members of all ethnic groups?
13 A. The Orthodox and Catholics were the most numerous to leave, but so
14 did the Muslims. Those who were afraid left, but no one was prevented
15 from leaving.
16 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, at the beginning of your testimony, you mentioned
17 that your family was one of the oldest in Bosanski Samac, almost from the
18 very moment the town was founded. In addition to you and your family,
19 were there other respectable families living in Samac?
20 A. Yes, there were.
21 Q. Your relative, Hasan Izetbegovic, who was the former president of
22 Bosanski Samac municipality and director of the veterinary station in
23 Bosanski Samac.
24 A. Yes, he used to be.
25 Q. Do you know that throughout the duration of the conflict in the
1 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, until the signing of the Dayton
2 Agreement, he lived in Bosanski Samac and was director of the veterinary
3 station there?
4 A. I think Ristic was. Maybe later he was. I see Hasan very
5 frequently. We talk about it. I know he experienced a lot of
6 unpleasantness and that he was chased out of his house, as was his
7 brother. We are the children of two brothers and Alija is of the third.
8 Q. After 1995 --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel repeat that, please.
10 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. After 1995?
12 A. I don't know exactly. I know when they had to leave their own
13 house, that is when they left.
14 Q. Can we agree that this was after Dayton or roughly about that
16 A. I don't know how important that is for you, but believe me, I
17 don't know. I don't know exactly. I know that he left.
18 Q. Would you agree that it was after 1994?
19 A. No. Please don't insist. I was in Ljubljana then, as I am now,
20 and I haven't seen him since.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel, the witness did answer that he didn't know
22 the time of departure.
23 Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
24 MR. PANTELIC: In fact, Madam President, you cannot follow his
25 answers obviously because you don't know B/C/S language.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: No. We can follow the answers.
2 MR. PANTELIC: No. He said yes, Madam President, that is what I
3 want to say. First he said yes and then that was a problem with the
4 translation and then you didn't get the answer. This gentleman
5 said -- I have at least ten witnesses here. He said exactly yes.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: At which stage?
7 MR. PANTELIC: At first stage. After the first -- first -- this
8 is 27. This is page 27, line 10. "After 1995?" And he said, "Yes," and
9 then due to these problems with interpretations, he, little bit exchange,
10 changed his position. We hear here, 15 of us, that he said yes. So
11 that's fact. That's a fact, Madam President, and I want the record shows
12 that this witness said, yes, after 1995.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: We will get that looked at by the audio section.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Sorry. That is good approach, audiotape.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: By the registry.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you so much, Madam President.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: We can get that afterwards.
18 Counsel can continue.
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, you had a brother, Safet Izetbegovic, didn't
22 A. Yes. Unfortunately, he's no longer alive.
23 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, was he a very serious patient during these events
24 and he had to have dialysis treatment?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, do you know that your brother was exchanged in
2 November 1992 and that he left Bosanski Samac?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you know that during his stay in Bosanski Samac he was never
5 imprisoned or arrested?
6 A. If such serious patients need to be incarcerated, then I don't
7 know what to say. No, he was not incarcerated.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. But I must add, if I may, his wife of is Orthodox faith, and this
10 contributed to his not being arrested.
11 Q. You think that had something to do with it?
12 A. Absolutely so. One could feel that.
13 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, in your earlier testimony, you said that you had
14 heard of Hasan Cengic. Is that true?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know what positions he held in the Party of Democratic
17 Action in the course of 1991?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Do you know that for a time he was Secretary-General of the SDA?
20 A. I don't know. I know that Mirsad Ceman was Secretary-General.
21 Q. In 1991?
22 A. Since its foundation until the congress we had the other day.
23 Q. As a prominent member and official of the SDA in a certain period
24 of time, you frequently attended meetings in the head office, as you
25 mentioned, and Mr. Cengic had proposed and a party decision was adopted on
1 the 15th of February 1991 for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina to be placed under the control of the Party of
3 Democratic Action.
4 A. I never knew of anything like that, but if it were so, I wouldn't
5 be at ease with myself.
6 Q. Will you -- can you agree with me that, in your view, bearing in
7 mind what you just said, on the 15th of February, 1991, Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
9 which was an internationally recognised state?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Your executive board in Bosanski Samac, did it receive
12 instructions or information from the head office in Sarajevo?
13 A. Well, of course. There had to be some continuity. Someone had to
14 be at the top. And how many of those instructions reached us, how many
15 did not, that's the question.
16 Q. We'll come back to that later.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's 11.00, so I
18 suggest we take a break now.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall take a break and resume at 1130
21 --- Recess taken at 11.04 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Cross-examination by counsel for Mr. Tadic is
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence would now
1 like to introduce a document because we would like to ask the witness some
2 questions pertaining to the document. The document was not disclosed to
3 the Prosecutor previously. It was sent to him for review, but not during
4 the disclosure stage, although it was sent to the Prosecution. The
5 original is in B/C/S, which we have, and there is also an English
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the Prosecution confirm that they have seen the
8 document? Or maybe they should look at it first to be sure.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I'd like to look at it first. I have no idea
10 what it is. And whether I'll then be able to confirm that it's been
11 disclosed to us and given to us is something I'm not sure of until I've
12 seen the document. I may not even be able to confirm it then.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the marshal get the document from counsel and
14 show it to Mr. di Fazio so that he can look at it.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: It looks very familiar. Would Your Honours just
16 bear with me? I believe it has been shown to us.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You can look around.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I just can't confirm at this stage whether it has
19 or has not been disclosed to us, but it looks very familiar. Perhaps the
20 counsel for the Defence could just continue with his cross-examination in
21 the meantime. I doubt that I'll be objecting to it.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: You won't object?
23 MR. DI FAZIO: No. In fact, I won't object.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because if there's anything, it will have to
25 wait perhaps.
1 All right. Can we have the number?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit number 11/3 and 11/3 ter.
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] The document is titled "Information
4 to All Executive Boards of the SDA."
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we be correct in this, the registry, please? Is
6 it D11/3? Yes. And D11/3 ter.
7 THE REGISTRAR: That's correct.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Counsel can proceed.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please, Your Honour.
10 May I confer with my colleague, please?
11 [Defence counsel confer]
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, would you read through the document, please.
14 Is the document familiar to you?
15 A. I am looking at it for the first time.
16 Q. Could you tell us, please, what it says in the heading, in the
17 left-hand corner of the document.
18 A. It says what it says: "To all executive boards of the SDA,
20 Q. The upper part, above that, please.
21 A. "The Party of Democratic Action," is that what you mean?
22 "Municipal board Odzak."
23 Q. And the date?
24 A. The 10th of August, 1991.
25 Q. Can you read the stamp to be found in the lower right-hand corner
1 of this document?
2 A. "Party of Democratic Action, SDA, Sarajevo." But these are all
3 copies. Why don't you sometimes show an original?
4 Q. There will be time for that too. But tell me, do you recognise
5 the signature underneath the stamp?
6 A. No, I do not.
7 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, do you remember that in the course of 1991 you
8 received information to put forward candidates as a party, as a party, for
9 a competition for policemen for the MUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
10 A. I don't recall that document, but if the SDA party received this
11 document, then the same document must have been sent to the SDS party and
12 HDZ party to fill them in -- to fill the vacancies in, according to
13 electoral procedure.
14 Q. From the SDA headquarters?
15 A. No. The MUP would send out documents of this kind to the parties
16 that had been in the parliamentary elections. That means a legal
18 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, you will agree with me when I say that the police
19 force in countries all over the world protects the state and not party
20 interests and that it is not up to -- and that party affiliation must not
21 be criteria for admission into the Ministry of Internal Affairs. You
22 would agree with me there, would you not? Yes or no, please.
23 A. How come that in Samac, then, most of the policemen were
24 representatives of the SDS?
25 Q. Please just try and answer my question. Yes or no. Do you agree
1 with my assertion or not?
2 A. No, I do not agree.
3 Q. Thank you. Mr. Izetbegovic, you mentioned in your previous
4 testimony that you heard about the -- had heard about the Patriotic
5 League; is that correct?
6 A. Just that I had heard of it, yes. But don't ask me who I heard
7 this from because that will lead to a general mix-up again.
8 Q. No, I won't. I won't be asking you that. Have you heard of Sefer
10 A. Yes, I have. He's a guest here now.
11 Q. Did you read his book "Sly Strategy"?
12 A. No, I have not read his book.
13 Q. Were you ever at a meeting of any kind, a party meeting or some
14 other meeting in Sarajevo with Mr. Sefer Halilovic at which military
15 matters were discussed, armament for the Democratic Action Party and
16 similar topics?
17 A. No, I never was.
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Izetbegovic, just a few more questions to go back
19 to the exchange, to your exchange, as you refer to it. When you were
20 exchanged, at the time in Sarajevo, were the representatives of the
21 International Community or the Red Cross present? The International Red
22 Cross, I mean.
23 A. I did not notice the Red Cross, but the International Community
24 did do the job.
25 Q. When you were exchanged in Bosanski -- during the exchange in
1 Bosanski Samac where you took part between the Yugoslav People's Army and
2 the Republic of Croatia, were the representatives of the International Red
3 Cross and the International Community present on that occasion?
4 A. Yes, they were, both parts, the International Red Cross, Krst and
5 Kriz, and the International Community as well.
6 Q. And just a slight clarification, Mr. Izetbegovic, not linked to
7 any of these topics, the ones that we've just discussed.
8 During your testimony on the 5th of October, 2001, when you
9 described your arrest and the torture that you had to endure by the, as
10 you term them, Sareni, you said the following:
11 "When we reached the SUP building, Laki came up to me and
12 said ..."
13 A. I shall continue you and tell you what he told me.
14 Q. Just a moment, please, for procedure.
15 A. Yes, but I want to say it for truth, because of the truth.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: You wait for counsel to complete his question, and
17 if he's quoting what he says he said, he must be quoting from the
18 transcript. So you don't have to correct him. You wait for the answer.
19 If the quotation is not correct according to you, then you say so.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I apologise. Thank you.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Let me repeat.
23 "When we reached the SUP building, Laki came up to me and said,
24 If you let one sound out of your mouth, a single word, `If you say a
25 single word about what we did to you, I'll kill you with my own hands.'"
1 Is that correct?
2 A. Yes, that's what he told me.
3 Q. What did you think? Whom weren't you allowed to say anything to?
4 You mean the people taking you off? What was your understanding of that?
5 A. I didn't think he meant the people taking me but if anybody ever
6 were to ask me how it was, that I wasn't allowed to say.
7 Q. You mean the authorities?
8 A. Probably.
9 Q. Thank you. Mr. Izetbegovic, I have no further questions for you.
10 Thank you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: The next counsel to cross-examine. Yes,
13 Mr. Zecevic.
14 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Zecevic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Izetbegovic.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. My name is Slobodan Zecevic, an attorney, and I will be asking you
19 a few questions.
20 Mr. Izetbegovic, after the elections, the multiparty elections
21 that were held in November 1990, you were in them; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. At the time, you were elected or nominated the vice-president of
24 the executive council of the Bosanski Samac municipality?
25 A. Executive board, yes.
1 Q. Right. Executive board. You took over your duties sometime in
2 January 1991, did you not?
3 A. I think it was January. January or February, yes.
4 Q. And you remained in that post until April 1992; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, on page 2141, line 10 -- lines 10 and 11 of the
7 transcript of the 3rd of October, in answer to a question put by the
8 Prosecutor relating to your involvement in the SDA party, you stated:
9 "After that, I joined the municipal structures and handed over my
10 duties to another person, Mr. Sulejman Tihic, that was in the party. I
11 remained the vice-president of the party, and he was the president of the
12 party. I was very busy in the municipal assembly, and I was not able to
13 perform both functions."
14 Is it true that that is the statement you made?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, Mr. Izetbegovic, the duties that
17 prevented you from performing both functions, that is to say, in the party
18 and in the municipality, related to the duties that you had as
19 vice-president of the executive board of the municipality; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The executive board of the municipality dealt with the daily
22 affairs of the municipality, the needs -- daily needs and requirements of
23 the municipality; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And it dealt with the utilities, the electricity, the sewage
1 system, things like that?
2 A. Yes. And the complete infrastructure.
3 Q. You mean the electricity board, power supply?
4 A. Samac was a big building site, and the overall infrastructure was
5 being reconstructed, in fact, and this was nearing its close, but it was
6 my duty to contact the different firms and to enable financial resources
7 for the realisation and implementation of that reconstruction plan.
8 Q. What construction site? What type of construction?
9 A. We changed the whole infrastructure and laid down a new
10 infrastructure and asphalted the roads and sorted the town planning in
12 Q. When you say "the infrastructure," do you mean electric
13 cables -- just let me finish, please, if you will. Do you mean telephone
14 cables, electrical cables, remote heating systems, that kind of thing?
15 A. Yes, precisely.
16 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, Mr. Izetbegovic: Within the
17 frameworks of your competencies and duties, that is to say, of the
18 executive board, health comes under those competencies too, does it not?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Primary health protection?
21 A. Primary health protection too.
22 Q. And secondary health protection?
23 A. Yes, secondary health protection too, but primary first of all,
24 and certain individuals were in charge of primary health care within the
25 field -- within the health department, as is customary.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Let us just clarify one point. Health protection is within the
2 framework of the competencies of the executive board of the municipality;
3 is that correct?
4 A. Yes. Well, the whole of life, the life of the people, is under
5 the assembly and the executive board, because the executive board just had
6 executive powers, nothing else.
7 Q. When you say "primary health care" or "health protection," you
8 mean the health centres; is that right?
9 A. Yes, of course.
10 Q. And when you talk about secondary, you are referring to hospitals
11 and similar institutions?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please: Within the frameworks of your
14 duties, you also had the heating or remote heating from the power plant,
15 heating power plant, under you?
16 A. Yes, but nobody paid anybody, actually, for these services.
17 Q. Do I understand you to mean that this was one of your duties and
18 that you had a great deal of problems?
19 A. Yes, there were enormous problems, because it was always difficult
20 to balance the accounts and come by the necessary resources needed and the
21 fuel needed for the heating system.
22 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Izetbegovic: Within the frameworks of the
23 competencies of the executive board of the municipality were social
24 welfare matters as well?
25 A. Yes. They are always present, at all times.
1 Q. Was that a serious part of your duties? What I mean is, did it
2 take up -- did social welfare and the social services take up a great deal
3 of your time?
4 A. Well, it wasn't my main line of action, but I did contact
5 individuals and groups for social assistance and so on, and then we would
6 react, but there wasn't actually a programme for social welfare.
7 Q. There was a centre for social welfare, was there not?
8 A. Yes, there was a centre for social welfare. Now, how far it was
9 able to act or what it was able to do, I can't say.
10 Q. The centre informed the executive board of the municipality; is
11 that right?
12 A. Well, that is what it should have done. I don't know how
13 frequently the reports were sent in to us, but usually the representative
14 of the social welfare centre would be present, would attend meetings when
15 we would discuss the materials sent in to us and the problems.
16 Q. The centre for social work and welfare also dealt with the
17 question of unemployment, social dues and grants and things like that?
18 A. Well, the social expenditures and benefits were given generally to
19 people who had really reached the dregs, alcoholics, and who had nobody to
20 look after them. As for employment, there wasn't that much unemployment
21 in Samac. Everybody did something. And then the private businesses
22 started to emerge. So this was not a burning question, unemployment, I
24 Q. Within the frameworks of your competencies, did you have housing
25 under you? Was housing a part of your area?
1 A. No. There was a separate department to deal with housing.
2 Q. When I say "your competencies and authorisations," I'm always
3 referring to you as the executive organ of the executive board. Did it
4 deal with housing and housing problems?
5 A. Well, sometimes, if somebody would come to the executive board for
6 assistance, for a flat, if they wanted to get an apartment or something
7 like that, then it would, but not officially, and it was not the only
9 Q. Thank you. What about town planning, urban development and
10 construction in the town? Did that come under the executive board?
11 A. Well, the executive board was the coordinator for all
12 institutions, and you said a moment ago we had what we call the SIZ, the
13 interest communities, so they did that. And there was a SIZ, an S-I-Z,
14 for housing policy. The executive board was just an overall body to
15 supervise it. Now, how far it did supervise and coordinate, I can't
16 really say.
17 Q. Thank you. The interest communities, the SIZ organisations that
18 you mentioned, they were responsible for their work to the executive
19 board, were they not?
20 A. They should have been, yes, but they all gained quite a bit of
21 independence and autonomy and nobody listened to anybody.
22 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, Mr. Izetbegovic, in answer to a question
23 put to you, you said that on the 23rd of March, 1992, you were in Sarajevo
24 to discuss budgetary matters.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The budget of the municipality also came under the competencies of
2 the executive board, a draft budget, a proposal for the budget that is
3 then handed up to the assembly for a final ruling?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You also said yesterday during your testimony -- that is to say,
6 you mentioned that the closing of the bridge was another matter under your
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. Does that mean that traffic was another area which came under the
10 auspices, so to speak, of the executive board of the municipality?
11 A. Well, all this is linked together. The executive board had to
12 react from time to time, without having to wait for the assembly to make a
13 decision, because it was -- everything was in a critical state. There
14 were burning issues, masses of them at the same time, and there was an
15 enormous bottleneck that had been created on the bridge, and the Croats
16 would let traffic pass by when they felt like it. So I wanted to see that
17 this enormous amount of transport and this bottleneck in Samac could be
18 relieved in some way and passage to be ensured.
19 Q. Thank you. The executive board was responsible to the assembly,
20 of course, for its work; is that right?
21 A. Yes, and that is the body that nominated it too.
22 Q. Thank you. And now I want to ask you something else,
23 Mr. Izetbegovic, another area. You are testifying before this -- you've
24 been testifying before this Tribunal since the beginning of October; is
25 that right?
1 A. Probably, yes.
2 Q. Are you staying at the Bel Air Hotel, Mr. Izetbegovic?
3 A. I don't know whether I should answer questions of that nature.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. Don't answer.
5 Where are we going?
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Well, actually, Your Honours, we have raised this
7 matter a couple of days ago, I mean before the recess, if you remember.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 MR. ZECEVIC: And in our opinion, this goes directly in the issue
10 of the credibility of the witness.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Which one?
12 MR. ZECEVIC: And according to the questions which I am about to
13 pose, which --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: No.
15 MR. ZECEVIC: The Trial Chamber is very well aware of the other
16 direction of my questioning, which is going to -- which questions are
17 going to be posed, of course. And the --
18 JUDGE MUMBA: The matter which was raised, as far as the Trial
19 Chamber is concerned, was sent to the Victims and Witnesses Unit and it is
20 being looked at by the Trial Chamber. So that is not a matter you can use
21 in these proceedings for credibility. No.
22 MR. ZECEVIC: With all due respect, Your Honours, we believe that
23 it goes directly with the Rule 90(H)(1), which says that we are entitled
24 to pose the question concerning the credibility of the witness.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Not the matters -- yes. Not the matters which are
1 under the investigation of another unit of the Tribunal and are being
2 considered by the Trial Chamber. Those are not to be used dealing -- you
3 know, to test the credibility of the witness, because those are matters
4 that happened here, when the witness is under the authority through the
5 Prosecutor's office.
6 MR. ZECEVIC: Yes, but with all due respect, Your Honours, aren't
7 we entitled, as a Defence, to have a witness giving us answers on these
8 questions whether it is done -- whether the investigation by the Victims
9 and Witnesses Unit has been -- is ongoing or not?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: No, you are not entitled.
11 MR. ZECEVIC: We are not entitled.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: No.
13 MR. ZECEVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. Then I don't have any
14 further questions.
15 [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Izetbegovic.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Please. The next counsel, please.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Izetbegovic. I am Pantelic, an attorney
21 representing Mr. Blagoje Simic. I see that my colleagues have asked you a
22 lot of questions already, so probably this won't last long.
23 Could you tell me, please, Mr. Izetbegovic, in view of all the
24 difficulties and the tragic events that you have experienced and indeed
25 the despicable behaviour of certain people from the Samac community and
1 others, outsiders, I think that perhaps we might say that a certain number
2 of your co-citizens who were acting as reserve policemen and policemen in
3 Samac, and these Sareni, as you've described them, who came from
4 elsewhere, that they were, in a sense, coordinating their activities with
5 the then-chief of police, Mr. Stevan Todorovic. Would it be correct to
6 say that or not?
7 A. You mean the people who came from outside? You mean those who
8 came from outside?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Yes, indeed. They closely collaborated.
11 Q. Thank you. Mr. Izetbegovic, you probably know, and I must say
12 that that also is my opinion, that this Stevan Todorovic is a criminal, a
13 very serious criminal. Would you agree with me?
14 A. I share your opinion, but I'm sorry that other people didn't share
16 Q. And this Stevan Todorovic has been charged here, and he confessed
17 his evil deeds from Samac, and he has been sentenced to a prison term, as
18 you probably know.
19 A. I do know that.
20 Q. You probably know what he personally did to you, what misdeeds he
21 committed against you, and you also know what he did to others who were
22 incarcerated with you.
23 A. I do.
24 Q. And he got what he deserved, I think.
25 A. All I know -- but I don't know whether I know everything as to
1 whether he got what he deserved. It's not up to me to judge whether it is
2 too little or too much. Their Honours know that best.
3 Q. Absolutely so. And this Lugar who pulled our teeth out, this
4 other criminal, and this Laki and this Cera who is from Samac, in fact,
5 and there are others probably, you mentioned them in your evidence.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Those are, according to the impression I gained from your
8 testimony and the brief of this case as a whole, we could use the
9 vernacular and call them a gang who came to terrorise the peaceful
10 citizens of Samac. That would be my assessment.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I object to that question.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: A, it has the vice of imprecision. What exactly is
14 the brief in this case, and how does the witness know what is the brief of
15 the case?
16 And secondly, there has been, as far as I can gather, no evidence
17 of any gang other than, of course, the evidence of paramilitaries from
18 elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia. Now, if that's the question, then of
19 course I have no objection. But --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You're concerned with --
21 MR. DI FAZIO: -- that hasn't been made clear to the witness.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: You're concerned with the precision of terms used by
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I don't know if Mr. Todorovic is included in
25 the gang, whether the Crisis Staff's included in the gang, the
1 paramilitaries, the JNA, who-- it's just too imprecise.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure Mr. Pantelic has got what the Prosecution
3 is concerned with.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Yes, Your Honours.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Izetbegovic, you already said that during
6 your testimony today, that is that there was a certain hierarchy between
7 the guards and these outsiders in relation to the chief of police. That
8 is only natural.
9 A. Yes. But I cannot call anyone a gang or a band, regardless of
10 what they do, until judgement is made by Their Honours because, after all,
11 we are all innocent until proven guilty.
12 Q. Yes, indeed. You probably know, Mr. Izetbegovic, that the
13 Republika Srpska actually organised its police ministry at the beginning
14 of April 1992.
15 A. Yes, but in those days it wasn't Republika Srpska. I don't know
16 which entity or which people or ethnic group could have done that. There
17 was no Herceg-Bosna, and there was no Republika Srpska at that time.
18 Q. Yes, but at the time, it was the republic of the Serb people in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's the real term.
20 A. I apologise for correcting you, but -- and I do not wish to
21 underestimate for a moment either you personally or your efforts, but it
22 could not be called a republic. It might perhaps be given a different
23 name, but it can't be given the name of a republic. The only republic was
24 that of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 Q. Yes, but today Bosnia and Herzegovina consists two of entities.
1 Is that correct?
2 A. Yes. On the basis of Dayton, the Dayton agreements, yes.
3 Q. Which of those entities, please?
4 A. The Federation and Republika Srpska.
5 Q. You mean the Muslim-Croat Federation?
6 A. No, no Muslim-Croatian. That's not written anywhere, nor does it
7 exist. There is a Federation which is inhabited by both Serbs and Croats
8 and Muslims. And also in Republika Srpska there are three ethnic groups.
9 No one can claim that it is a Serbian or a Croatian or a Muslim. I would
10 never vote for any such thing, nor would I ever accept any such thing.
11 Q. But Republika Srpska does exist as an official entity?
12 A. It does exist on the basis of Dayton, and I'm not denying it.
13 Q. Thank you. And I'm sure that you will agree with me in saying
14 that the three constituent peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina today enjoy
15 international protection and their vital interests are protected by the
16 Constitution and the Dayton agreements.
17 A. Yes. That is how it should be. We have three constituent
18 nations. But it's not quite so.
19 Q. That's interesting. Tell me a little. Why is it not so, briefly?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, we are not discussing current
21 affairs. We are dealing with an indictment.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: And you are supposed to discuss issues raised by the
24 indictment, not current affairs.
25 MR. PANTELIC: There is a parallel, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: No, you are not going to ask those questions.
2 Simply go back to the issues relating to the indictment.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. I agree.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Izetbegovic. Tell me, please, so
5 you handed over your duties as president of the SDA party for Samac to
6 Mr. Tihic at the beginning of 1991, around then; isn't that right? I
7 think that's what you told us. So we can move on.
8 A. Yes. Everyone should have done that. All decent people from all
9 three ethnic groups should have frozen their activities in the parties,
10 because once they were elected to the assembly and became the government,
11 they were the government of all three ethnic groups, not of one, and they
12 were supposed to reflect the wishes of all three ethnicities. All people
13 should have done that. Why they didn't, I don't know. I did.
14 Q. But you were certainly following political events in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992. You're an educated person. You're a
17 A. I followed, and I am following to this day. If I don't get
18 involved in politics, politics will draw me into it.
19 Q. And I think we can agree that, at the level of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina, there was a division of power between the Muslim SDA party,
21 the Serbian SDS party, and the Croatian HDZ party; is that correct?
22 A. And another two or three parties who had the necessary number of
23 votes to be voted into parliament. I don't know exactly what the minimum
24 was required to get a seat in the assembly.
25 Q. Yes, but my question wasn't quite that. You're quite right. That
1 is the assembly. I am talking about the government now. In the
2 Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there were these three parties, were
3 there not?
4 A. I could not answer questions that you are putting to me regarding
5 the government and the State of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I'm here only to
6 answer questions about events within the territory of the municipality of
7 Bosanski Samac. So please ask me those questions, and I will answer all
8 of them to the best of my ability.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, actually, if I may interrupt. I'm
10 talking about the government now, and yet we have gone through -- over
11 that, that we are not discussing current affairs, please.
12 MR. PANTELIC: No, no, Your Honour. I'm speaking about the Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina in 1991.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. Then maybe there was a mistake.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
16 Q. [Interpretation] So you're reading my thoughts now, because my
17 very next question was: At the level of Bosanski Samac, in the
18 government, the local government, there was the Serbian SDS, the Croatian
19 HDZ and the Muslim SDA participating at the local level?
20 A. Yes, plus these other parties - the SDP, the Reformists, and the
21 Liberals - they were also in the government.
22 Q. You were the vice-president of that local government, weren't you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And who else was in the government, apart from these three main
1 A. In the government, there were only representatives of these three
3 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] That is what I'm asking you,
4 Mr. Izetbegovic.
5 [In English] Your Honours, we are -- I've finished with this
6 question. I mean, I think it's not proper for the witness to elaborate
7 these things.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
9 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues] ... local level,
10 district parties. That's the end of story.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Move on.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Please instruct the witness.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Please go ahead, Counsel.
14 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. As you were saying, the SDA at the local level had two seats in
16 parliament. I think those were -- one was yours and the other one
17 Mr. Sulejman Tihic; is that right?
18 A. I was a member of the government. As a member of the government,
19 I couldn't be a deputy, so that a new member was co-opted, Hakija Labicic,
20 from the list, and Sulejman Tihic.
21 Q. So the SDA of Bosanski Samac won two seats after the parliamentary
22 elections. We have heard that a certain number of votes was won by the
23 HDZ, a larger number of votes by the Croatian HDZ and the Serbian SDS.
24 Then we have also heard that only the SDS, the SDA, and the HDZ formed the
25 local government; and the former Communists, who had six votes, did not
1 participate in the local government. Is that right? Yes or no, please,
3 A. Correct; they didn't participate.
4 Q. So the SDA, which had fewer votes than the SDP, did participate in
5 the local government, thanks to some kind of inter-party agreement between
6 the SDS, SDA, and the HDZ; is that correct?
7 A. That is how it was. They made this offer, it was a correct one,
8 we were satisfied, and we accepted.
9 Q. And you were actually coalition partners?
10 A. In a sense, all three, yes.
11 Q. Thank you. Let us go back, Mr. Izetbegovic, to October 1991. You
12 are probably familiar with the events in the parliament of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the end of October 1991.
14 A. I wasn't a member of parliament, so I don't know what I can say to
16 Q. But as an ordinary citizen?
17 A. As an ordinary citizen, of course I followed events.
18 Q. Were you aware that, at the time, the deputies of the Muslim and
19 Croatian parties adopted a declaration on the sovereignty of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina? This was on the 24th of October, 1991.
21 A. I can't answer such questions.
22 Q. Why not?
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Witness, you can -- it's either you know or you
24 don't know, but you should answer the question.
25 A. I don't know. I don't know.
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Thank you. As political figure of some rank - because, after all,
3 you were the president of the party in Bosanski Samac - were you familiar
4 with the efforts of the International Community in February and March 1992
5 with a view to resolving the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
6 A. I welcomed them twice, because neither of the other two parties
7 wanted to welcome them. I welcomed them and received them twice, and
8 those are the contacts we had, and I appealed to them to speak the truth
9 and nothing but the truth.
10 Q. So as party official and as an educated man, you probably knew
11 that there was a whole series of agreements in Lisbon, Brussels, Sarajevo
12 in that period of time.
13 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
14 Q. You're probably also aware of the principles used by the European
15 Union to try and address the problems of Bosnia, by cantons, various
16 separations, by a good constitution, and so on. You probably know of
18 A. Yes. There were a series of options proposed, and not one passed,
19 except the one that eventually was adopted. I don't know to what degree
20 it was satisfactory to all three parties.
21 Q. I assume that you were informed about those activities by your
22 head office in Sarajevo, and also at your meetings of the local branch of
23 the party in Bosanski Samac you discussed those international efforts to
24 overcome the crisis.
25 A. Do you mean after I left the camp?
1 Q. No. I'm talking about February and March 1992.
2 A. There were no attempts that I saw being made except for ordinary
4 Q. Yes, but let me try and refresh your memory, as my learned friend
5 opposite did for you. You see, you said that you were aware of the
6 efforts of the International Community to find a solution for the Bosnian
7 crisis in February and March 1992. You're a high-ranking official of your
8 party at the local level, you were also a functionary in the municipal
9 government. So I'm asking you: At your party meetings with Mr. Tihic and
10 the other members, did you discuss how the crisis in Bosnia was being
11 addressed, what is the position of the International Community? That is
12 what I'm asking you about. Just yes or no, or maybe you don't remember.
13 A. No, it was not up to us to engage in politics at that very high
15 Q. That is true, but what I am interested in is whether you, as
16 educated people, discussed these things, you and Mr. Tihic, as
17 functionaries of the Muslim party. Yes or no.
18 A. If we were ever to discuss these matters, it was not at meetings.
19 This was our private affair. If we meet each other, we would mention
20 these things, as is only normal.
21 Q. In a cafe or restaurant or at home, I assume.
22 A. Certainly not in the library.
23 Q. So you probably talked to your coalition partners at the local
24 level, with the Serbian party and the Croatian party as well?
25 A. Yes, and I wish we were still there in the place as it used to be,
1 for us to pick up where we left off, but in a different way.
2 Q. Yes, Mr. Izetbegovic, I quite agree with you there. Do you know
3 another point we agree on; that it would have been better if everybody had
4 declared themselves as Yugoslavs. Then none of this would have happened.
5 Like the Americans, for instance. All Americans are Americans, and I
6 remember you saying that here. And that brings me to my next topic. The
7 atmosphere in Bosanski Samac --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: You don't ask the witness to speculate. Just ask
9 him so that he can give factual answers.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Madam President. He already gave the answer
11 in the previous days about that issue, so I just want to sort of refresh
12 his memory.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Samac, on the banks of the river Sava. Fifty
14 metres away is Croatia. There's a war on; bombing, refugees. Everything
15 bad that comes with war affects the relatively peaceful life in Samac. Is
16 that a correct description?
17 A. Yes, correct.
18 Q. Among the three parties in Samac - the Serbs, Croats, and
19 Muslims - slowly but surely, tension is growing and an atmosphere of
20 mistrust. Is it correct to say that?
21 A. That's quite normal, not just in Samac; everywhere. As soon as
22 disturbances occur, nobody knows what's happening, that is the result.
23 Q. Yes, quite so. That is what you said today. There was no
24 vertical hierarchy functioning properly. Everything in Bosnia was
25 chaotic, and this also applied to the local level, didn't it?
1 A. If I may use an expression: When elephants go to war, the grass
2 suffers most.
3 Q. That was a good saying. And you mentioned Crisis Staffs in
4 Samac. Who was the first to set up a Crisis Staff?
5 A. I'm afraid I can't answer that in that way, but as the parties
6 were formed, so they formed Crisis Staffs, so I can't tell you exactly the
7 order in which that went. We all had them.
8 Q. We heard that yesterday, but could you please, because of certain
9 details in this case, give us the order in which -- who was the first, who
10 was the second, and who was the third? Because we know that the SDA was
11 the first to be founded, so was theirs the first Crisis Staff as well?
12 A. In Bosanski Samac, the SDA was the last to be founded, because at
13 the time it was founded, representatives of the SDS and the HDZ were
14 present, so that means that we were the last.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm not objecting, but I'm just not understanding,
16 A, the question, and, as a consequence, the answer. What is the last to
17 be founded: a Crisis Staff or a party? Let's be clear about this.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes. I'm sure counsel can clarify that with
19 the witness.
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. What we wish to know now, therefore, is what was the order of the
22 formation of parties in Bosanski Samac? Which was the first party, second
23 party, and third party? Let's take the parties first.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: In Bosanski Samac.
25 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Yes, in Bosanski Samac.
2 A. I think that the HDZ came first, then the SDA, and then SDA.
3 Others just changed their names. The Communist Party became the SDP, and
4 they were the newly established. The Liberals and the reformists, that
5 was another new party that was set up. I don't know at what date.
6 Q. But you know what I'm not quite clear on here, Mr. Izetbegovic,
7 it's this, and you said it yourself and that is not a disputed fact: We
8 see -- we're seeing the formation of a municipality, Samac and Pelagicevo,
9 the Serbian municipalities of Samac and Pelagicevo. That's correct, isn't
11 A. That was a proposal at the meeting, that that was what it should
12 be, that that municipality should be set up, but how it was established, I
13 don't really know because I was already arrested at that time.
14 Q. We'll come to that later in due course. I'm not quite clear on
15 this. Why would the Serbs have a Crisis Staff in the period before the
16 17th of April, 1992 when they had already proclaimed their republic in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, adopted their constitution, organised all the
18 autonomous areas, the SAOs that you mentioned, and the local community?
19 What use would a Crisis Staff be then? Are you sure they had a Crisis
20 Staff in Samac? Because it doesn't seem to me to be very logical.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I object to the question.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: It's not the topic that I'm trying to prevent
24 Mr. Pantelic from examining if he wishes to, but it's the way -- the
25 manner which the question is framed will lead to problems. The question
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 is: Why would the Serbs have organised a Crisis Staff in those
2 circumstances? That will lead, I think inevitably, to speculation and
3 political discussion by this witness.
4 If the question were to be framed in this way: Do you know -- do
5 you happen to have any information or evidence as to the reasons why they
6 set up a Crisis Staff in that manner? then we won't lead into -- it won't
7 be -- lead into political speculation. If the question is framed in such
8 a way as to make it absolutely clear to the witness that he's being asked
9 of personal knowledge of those events rather than a general question that
10 will inevitably lead to speculation and further problems.
11 And secondly, there are quite a number of questions within the
12 question itself.
13 So I -- I'm not trying to stop cross-examination on the topic, but
14 it should be made clear to the witness that he's not being asked to
15 speculate on the motives of the SDS, but he's being asked to give
16 firsthand information, if possible, on those issues.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think -- yes. I think the way forward is to
18 ask short questions rather than loaded questions like we were dealing
19 with, Mr. Pantelic. It does create problems for the witness, especially
20 when you know that the witness was personally involved in the politics of
21 the area at the material time. So I think it's better to ask short
22 precise questions so that the witness is not led into speculation or is
23 not confused.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Well, Madam President, I'm just making a summary of
25 what this witness said on a previous occasion before this Trial Chamber.
1 It is not a question. It is not two or three or five or ten questions.
2 It's just a short background of his words.
3 And finally, the question was very simple. "For you, as an
4 ordinary citizen, is it logic that the Serbian side has Crisis Staff in
5 light of this Serbian municipality?" So that was my aim.
6 On the other hand, I think my learned friend from the Prosecution
7 bench try to some extent to give instructions to the witness by
8 intervening, because it was not -- I didn't ask him whether the SAO
9 regions were formed or, I don't know, republic. I said -- I made a
10 summary of his words before this particular Trial Chamber. But let's go
11 on. In other case, if I shall go with all these short questions, we shall
12 be here until next week.
13 So that is my approach, to make a summary of his words and then to
14 say, "Well, is it logic or not?" It's not speculation; it's just a
15 simple approach. But I will go to the other topic if you --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Let me correct you. If that is your approach,
17 you make a summary of what you allege the witness said, then you ask him
18 whether he agrees with that summary first before you pose the question.
19 And also, it's not fair to say what you said against the Prosecution. I
20 think it's their own way of understanding the issues you are raising, and
21 that's when they stand up to object or seek clarification. So that is
23 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Madam President. I concur with you
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Izetbegovic, the previous witness who was
1 here, Mr. Dragan Lukac, the chief of police in Samac prior to the 17th of
2 April, said that everything was quite all right in Samac, that government
3 functioned, that the police functioned, that everything functioned, that
4 there was law and order, that everybody was organised, and now you're
5 telling me something else.
6 Do you agree with Lukac in what he said?
7 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. You can't put what the other witness said
8 to this witness. You yourself may disagree, but you can ask in other
9 ways, but not put the evidence of another witness to another witness.
10 That you can't do, because the other witness observed it in his own way,
11 in his own status.
12 Yes. You know what goes on generally when things are -- some
13 people are saying things are not in order, some people say things are in
14 order. So you can only cross-examine him on what he himself has said, not
15 what you're trying to do.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Yes, Madam President, but it's a part of
17 atmosphere, and we are touching this point now about the atmosphere in
18 Samac, and we have some, you know, various angles of view. So I would
19 say -- I will rephrase my question.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I think rephrasing is better. "Would you say
21 things are in order?" Things like that.
22 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Mr. Izetbegovic, as you yourself know, different people have
24 different opinions and views of the same thing and that's where the
25 problem lies. You say, for instance, that at the local level, because of
1 the effects the war had, the war in Croatia, and the suspicious
2 individuals and illegalities that were going on and the great crowd that
3 was jamming up the bridge, that actually what it was was chaos. Or was it
4 law and order? What would you say?
5 A. Well, there had to be some kind of order, whatever kind it was.
6 But actually, it was chaos, and it was very difficult to introduce some
7 order, although we did attempt to do so. How far we were successful, I
8 don't know, but it was very lucky that something much worse didn't happen,
9 the worst, in fact, didn't happen.
10 Q. Let us now, Mr. Izetbegovic, turn to an analysis. Let us analyse
11 some of the things you said in your testimony over the past few days. You
12 and I will agree that there are three categories in life; the truth,
13 unintentional falsehood or lies, and lies, pure and simple. Is that
14 right? Yes or no. Let's not complicate issues here.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: He may have a different philosophy.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yeah, I want to hear -- I want to hear that.
17 A. Yes, a philosophical question which I find hard to answer because
18 I'm nowhere near Defence counsel by virtue of intellect, but let me make
19 an attempt to answer. You have forgotten one more thing in -- the
20 important thing in life and that is justice.
21 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. But otherwise, you agree with the three categories, plus justice.
23 A. I agree with you, let me say.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: You agree? No, no, no. The answer. We didn't get
25 the answer.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I said I agreed. Yes, I did.
2 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You, Mr. Izetbegovic, were transferred from the prison in Samac to
4 Pelagicevo, and that's where they took you to a helicopter. They took you
5 into a helicopter; is that right?
6 A. Yes. It was a transit transfer by helicopter.
7 Q. Not to lose time, just say yes or no, please, so that we can move
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In that helicopter, you see a chest, a coffin with a killed
11 soldier. Yes or no.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. On that coffin, you recognise the names Zurovac Zarko and say,
14 "That is the friend of my son, good friend of my son, and I know that he
15 was killed," or words to that effect; is that right? "The son of my good
16 friend." I apologise.
17 A. Yes, I saw that, and I saw that he had been killed.
18 Q. So the answer is yes?
19 A. Zurovac, yes.
20 Q. The helicopter lands in Bijeljina. Yes or no. Do we agree?
21 A. We agree, yes.
22 Q. In Bijeljina, among the people, Dragan Lukac, Sulejman Tihic,
23 Dr. Kedarcic, because he was with you, got on.
24 A. Kedarcic was with me.
25 Q. And the others, nine of them, in fact.
1 A. Right, clear.
2 Q. From Bijeljina, you fly on to Batajnica. Is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Wonderful. And you're 100 per cent certain that on that coffin it
5 said the name "Zurovac" because it was the son of your friend. So he's
6 not an ordinary man. You have a particular memory of the person. You're
7 100 per cent certain of that?
8 A. Yes, 100 per cent.
9 Q. Now we have a problem then, because in the transcript, Lukac, page
10 1713, on page 1713 of the transcript, 16th line, it says that on the
11 coffin it said "Aleksandar Vukovic." But that's not the end of it.
12 Sulejman Tihic --
13 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honour please.
14 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] -- on page --
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Prosecutor.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: I know exactly what Mr. Pantelic is -- aims to do,
17 and I have no objection to his -- what I gather is his objective here in
18 respect of this piece of evidence. It's the manner in which we go about
19 it. If he wants to put to the witness that the witness is completely
20 mistaken about the identity of the person in the coffin, then he should do
21 so, and I have no problem with that at all. But putting it to the witness
22 and putting to the witness what others have said is of no use. I mean,
23 how can he comment on that?
24 JUDGE SINGH: But he's acquainting him with the evidence. Two
25 other persons saw something else.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Yes.
2 JUDGE SINGH: So why can't he put that to him? Let him answer
3 that question and then he'll put the next question after that that you
5 MR. DI FAZIO: The witness can't -- well, problem with that is
6 that the witness can't comment on whether or not the other witnesses have
7 said whatever they may have said.
8 JUDGE SINGH: Let him answer it.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: As Your Honour pleases.
10 JUDGE SINGH: You must remember that these are your Prosecution
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Oh, I do. I do.
13 JUDGE SINGH: Yes.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: I am very alive to that.
15 JUDGE SINGH: It's your evidence.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, I am, if Your Honour pleases.
17 JUDGE SINGH: So let him put that question.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honour pleases.
19 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Right. Mr. Izetbegovic, Sulejman Tihic, on page 1482, lines 7 and
21 8, says that on the coffin, the name written was Vukmirovic, and now I'm
22 asking you one more time, bearing in mind the passage of time - it was,
23 after all, ten years ago - can you tell us now what it was that was
24 written on that coffin?
25 A. It said "Zurovac," and the helicopter was told to fly to
1 Montenegro because the Zurovac family are Montenegrins. And I know full
2 well that it says "Zurovac." What the gentleman said, I don't know.
3 Everybody has his own vision and can stand by their own vision. They're
4 free to do so.
5 Q. Thank you very much. So one of you three, somebody is telling the
6 truth, somebody is lying, and somebody is telling part of the truth. But
7 let's proceed.
8 When you were at Batajnica, you spoke about one particular detail,
9 that is to say, when the Prosecutor asked you what stage of the procedure
10 of overthrowing the Constitution and order and so on and so forth you were
11 at, and at the end you had received an information that you had in fact
12 received the death sentence, that you had been sentenced to death. Is
13 that true?
14 A. That is what they read out to me.
15 Q. That is to say, Mr. Sulejman Tihic read out that sentence, the
16 judgement; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But it wasn't the sentencing of your party in Sarajevo against you
19 for being traitors; it was just a sentencing of some kind of Yugoslav
20 organs against you. Is it your party from Sarajevo or the Yugoslav
21 organs? Which one?
22 A. Well, I didn't have the sentence in my hands to see who issued it,
23 who signed it. The text was just read out to me and I later learnt that
24 the party had absolutely nothing to do with it when I got out. Now,
25 whether it was an effort to intimidate me and to frighten me -- why this
1 was read out to me, I don't know, but the fact is that it was read out to
3 Q. We have to clear this point up, Mr. Izetbegovic. You see, the
4 Prosecutor asked you, and that was yesterday, [In English] [as read]
5 Question: "Thanks. Now --" The question from Prosecutor:
6 "Thanks. Now let's go back to Batajnica. You mentioned a death
7 sentence when you were lined up and told. Firstly, were you the only
8 person on that occasion to be informed of that sentence? In other words,
9 were you the only person lined up?"
10 Your answer: "Nine of us from Bosanski Samac were all lined up,
11 and Mr. Tihic was told, 'You are the lawyer. You are the public
12 Prosecutor. You are well-versed in reading out things of this kind.' So
13 he read it out to me, to all nine of us, actually. For us too, there was
14 this sentence, and he brought Belgrade newspapers where they had been
15 published anyway."
16 Next question, Prosecutor question: "On this occasion when you
17 were lined up and told that a death sentence had been passed upon you,
18 were you informed what it was for? In other words, was there some
19 connection between the imposition of this death sentence and overthrowing
20 the system of whatever that you had been informed about in Bosanski
22 Your answer: "It was mostly based on everything from Bosanski
23 Samac, and they kept talking about the undermining and overthrowing of the
24 system and the failure to report for the mobilisation of the army, that I
25 hadn't responded to the call-up, that I was seen as a deserter. And I
1 said, 'Well, it is no longer my army. It was once, but it is no longer my
2 army. It is a different country altogether, a different state
3 altogether. That was my defend [sic]. I defended myself in that way.'"
4 [Interpretation] I understand your answer to mean that you were
5 sentenced to death by the Yugoslav authorities because of your crime --
6 because of the crime of failure to respond to the military authorities,
7 undermining the system, and so on and so forth. Am I understanding your
8 answer correctly? Is that what you wanted to say?
9 A. That's what they told me and that's what I told you.
10 Q. Thank you. But this brings us to a problem once again. In the
11 statement you gave to the Prosecutor on the 30th of September, the 6th of
12 October, the 11th of December, 1994, in these various statements, and on
13 the 27th of February, 1995, on page 15, linked to these events, you state
14 the following, and perhaps this time your memory will be jogged, just like
15 the Prosecutor refreshed your memory. But listen to the text first: [In
16 English] [as read] [Previous translation continues] ...
17 "-- how we were sentenced to death, and that" it's a problem with
18 the copy "and that when we sentenced to death by our own party as
19 traitors. One of the guards asked why I didn't - I don't know - I
20 answered that I had never heard of a political party sentencing people to
21 death. We found a newspaper in Sarajevo that said that I had been
23 [Interpretation] You say that, to all practical intents and
24 purposes, your party, the SDA, had condemned you to death as a traitor,
25 but that was in 1994/1995. When was your recollection fresher: today, in
1 the year 2001, or then, when you gave the statement to the Prosecutor?
2 A. I never said that my party had sentenced me. I just conveyed what
3 they had told me. The guard didn't tell me that, but the people from
4 television who took us there three times for filming, for the filming of
5 films, and we became media personalities, after which we were beaten every
6 time. They told me that, and I said that then. I never heard or saw in
7 the world that a political party can issue sentences of any kind,
8 especially death sentences. If that is the case, then I really don't
10 Q. Let's solve the problem. What you're in fact saying is that what
11 you said yesterday was not correct, that that sentence was read out and
12 that you were sentenced to death for overthrowing the system. That's not
13 right. That's not correct. Perhaps you misspoke.
14 A. No. That doesn't mix me up. They interviewed me before they read
15 me the sentence and they told me that that was the reason. Perhaps I did,
16 a little bit, omit something at one time and add something on another
17 occasion, but at both those times I did not invent anything; I said how
18 things stood, how things were.
19 Q. Therefore, we can agree that you were not sentenced to death by
20 the Yugoslav authorities because of your undermining the system, and that
21 what you said to us here yesterday in fact did not happen in that way at
22 Batajnica. Is that what it means?
23 A. Later on, analysing everything, I came to realise that it was not
24 a real sentencing, and quite simply, it was just a means of intimidation,
25 of instilling fear into me for some reason, for mental cruelty. And
1 actually, they took me off to execute me twice at Batajnica, around a hole
2 where they did actually kill a man, and I saw that taking place.
3 Q. But we said, Mr. Izetbegovic, that we're going to save time.
4 You're talking too much. That's not what I asked you. I'm asking you,
5 loud and clear, Mr. Izetbegovic: You were not sentenced to death by the
6 Yugoslav authorities at the material time when the sentence was read out
7 to you at Batajnica? Yes or no answer, please. Don't beat about the
9 A. The Yugoslav authorities interrogated me, gave me the sentence --
10 Q. Just one moment. But they did not sentence you?
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, it is clear that this particular
12 sentencing issue was brought to these people when they were in custody, in
13 the process of whatever they went through, and it was given to one of them
14 to read. Nobody -- we have no evidence as to where it came from.
15 MR. PANTELIC: We have, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe you have.
17 MR. PANTELIC: We have.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: But from the evidence of this witness and the
19 others, that was something that was given to them. And then he has
20 explained. But maybe it was one of the ways of intimidating him.
21 MR. PANTELIC: All of us here in this courtroom have the evidence,
22 Your Honour, including you. May I make reference to page 1501, line --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm talking about the evidence of who actually --
24 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: -- authored the document.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Me too. I'm also talking about that. So
2 this is page 1501, line 14, 15. Mr. Tihic, appearing here before this
3 Trial Chamber, said -- actually, I have the extract on the B/C/S
4 language. Mr. Tihic said:
5 "[Interpretation] They told me that, allegedly, the Muslim side
6 condemned him to death, sentenced him to death, but I did not see that.
7 That's what they told me."
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 MR. PANTELIC: That's what Mr. Tihic said.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Whom did he mean having told him? When he
11 said "they told me," whom did he mean?
12 MR. PANTELIC: I don't know. Maybe --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That's the point I'm making. That's the point
14 I'm making.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes. We have --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: But you don't build it up, because we haven't got
17 any evidence as to who authored that particular document.
18 MR. PANTELIC: We have here --
19 JUDGE MUMBA: It was an allegation.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. But the problem is that Mr. Tihic said that
21 that was a false sort of sentence from Sarajevo, from party. And
22 actually, the same thing Mr. Izetbegovic said in his statement in 1994 and
23 1995 to the Office of the Prosecutor, and then yesterday he expanded this
24 version, which, from my point of view, is absolutely false. He said
25 yesterday that there was certain procedure, with a final wording of death
1 sentence, which is not true. The actual issue -- because on the basis of
2 his own statement to the Prosecutor and on the basis of the statement of
3 Mr. Tihic, actually, that was some kind of a false information of the
4 death sentence imposed by the Muslim party in Sarajevo against them, as
5 members, in capacity of traitors. That was the bottom line, and that
6 was -- I'm trying to establish this fact with this witness because, I
7 don't know for which reason, he expanded this story yesterday, simply as
8 that. That was my bottom line. So I ask him -- I will ask him, for the
9 last time for today, just a very simple question, please.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: It doesn't seem to be clear, because we are trying
11 to find out which -- I'm trying to find out as to whether or not there is
12 any evidence as to who was the author of that particular document which
13 Mr. Tihic was asked to read out.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Probably we shall hear that by Mr. Tihic by
15 himself, but obviously I'm referring now to the witness statement, to the
16 witness statement to the Prosecution from 1994 and 1995, which is in
17 contradiction with what he said yesterday. So I'm just focusing to his
18 witness -- to his statement, sorry.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Maybe it's not --
20 MR. PANTELIC: What is true, Your Honours? Is it true
21 that -- what is true: his statement from 1994/1995 or from yesterday?
23 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Maybe it wasn't put to him clearly, because it
24 hasn't really been put to him clearly. We shall adjourn, and you will
25 pick up from there tomorrow morning at 0930 hours, and please, make it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 much more clear.
2 The Court will rise.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.03 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Friday, the 19th day of October,
5 2001, at 9.30 a.m.