1 Monday, 25 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll continue with the examination-in-chief.
11 Mr. Pantelic, your witness.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Good afternoon, Your Honours. I'm just
13 checking whether I am receiving B/C/S translation on channel 6. No.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: We also need assistance with the laptop for
15 Judge Williams.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Can I check whether I can receive on channel 6.
17 No. No, I don't hear anything. Oh, it's okay. Now it's okay. Thank
19 Sorry, Your Honour, for this small inconvenience.
20 Your Honour, the Defence was informed about certain adjustments of
21 time with regard to the limits. I would like to reiterate my position at
22 the beginning of the Defence case. That was the first day when I said
23 that the Defence is very mindful about the time-consuming issue, and
24 personally the Defence for Mr. Blagoje Simic will take all necessary steps
25 in order to limit or to restrict wherever it's possible. So in totality,
1 I would like to say that we are going on a -- on a good track, I would
2 say, and then with your permission, Your Honour, if for some witnesses
3 there would be a small adjustment near the limited hours or little bit
4 more, I would like to have your opinion whether we could proceed on that
5 way, because as I said, in totality, for example, if we -- we have a plan
6 for one witness to have a stand here for three hours or four hours and
7 maybe he will be here for two hours, then in totality everything would be
8 okay. It's very hard to predict, Your Honour, for each particular witness
9 how -- how the things will go. So I hope that this flexible approach
10 would be appropriate.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. The Trial Chamber will be as
12 flexible as possible to allow the Defence to put their case forward.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you.
14 WITNESS: MIRKO LUKIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examined by Mr. Pantelic: [Continued]
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Lukic. We are continuing now
18 after the break. And before the break, the last topic we touched upon was
19 the time period around mid-April in Samac and the events that you spoke
20 about. I am now interested in hearing whether you know about a certain
21 meeting which was held in the municipal premises sometime in mid-April,
22 perhaps a few days after the breakout of the conflict. There were
23 representatives of the neighbouring municipalities present,
24 representatives from political parties, and so on. Were you present at
25 that meeting, and if not, please tell us what you heard about it and just
1 tell us in general what you know about it.
2 A. Good afternoon to everybody. I would like to say that I remember
3 that on the 15th of April, sometime in the morning hours, there was a
4 meeting held in the premises of the municipal assembly -- or rather, the
5 conference room, which was right across the office where I worked. I
6 noticed that a large number of people were entering the conference room.
7 I knew some of them. I didn't know all of them. And in the meantime, my
8 inspectors and I were completing some tasks regarding tax declarations and
9 so on. And when the meeting started -- I have to tell right away that I
10 wasn't present at the meeting, but as I walked up and down the corridor, I
11 stopped by the secretary's office, the Secretary of the President of the
12 Assembly, and I asked her what was the agenda, what was that meeting about
13 in the municipal building. And she told me that the president of the
14 municipal assembly, Mr. Mito Banovic, convened a meeting at which, if I
15 remember well, representatives of Orasje, Gradacac, Samac, Modrica and
16 Odzak municipalities were supposed to be present, together with the
17 representatives of the army.
18 I saw several officers entering the conference room. I saw them
19 passing through the corridor. So that means that there were some people
20 there representing the army as well.
21 Q. If you could just go slower because of the interpreters.
22 A. All right.
23 Q. Please tell me, Mr. Lukic, were there -- was there an increased
24 number of soldiers around the municipal building? Were they armed? Could
25 one notice a large military presence there?
1 A. I have to tell you that after about an hour or hour and a half I
2 left my office and went into town and I didn't notice anybody in the
3 corridor, nor in front of the municipal building.
4 Q. We need to make a correction. Transcript page 3, line 13, there's
5 a name here, Mito Banovic, but you in fact mentioned the president of
6 the municipality.
7 A. Yes. The name was Mato Nuic.
8 Q. And that is --
9 A. That is the president of the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski
11 Q. And he's a Croat, a member of the HDZ, isn't he?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, please tell me, did you perhaps notice an argument or some
14 kind of a noise, or was there an increased tension there during the
15 meeting? I'm asking you this because your office was right across the
16 hall from the conference room.
17 A. No. I didn't hear any noise, although I passed through the
18 corridor, but I didn't hear any noise raised in the conference room. I
19 didn't hear it.
20 Q. Later on, after that meeting, in various talks that you had, did
21 you perhaps learn more details about what transpired there at the meeting
22 and what was discussed there?
23 A. No. I went home, and I didn't talk to anybody about that
25 Q. Please tell me, on the 16th of April you went to work, didn't
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you please describe that day for us. What happened then?
4 A. As far as I know, on the 16th -- or rather, that entire month of
5 April my inspectors and I were completing tax returns from the taxpayers
6 and I remember that we worked on that day and that the inspector Dusan
7 Mijanic and I were completing some tax returns, and we were in my office
8 sometime until 12.30, until the afternoon hours. Then we went out into
9 town to have a break and we went into a coffee-shop to have coffee. We
10 went to a coffee-shop where we, municipal employees, went frequently. The
11 coffee-shop was called Tri Jagode. We had coffee there and it was
12 already almost 2.30, and I left the cafe. I intended to go home, but I
13 had to go back to the municipal building because my car had been there.
14 And as I came into the street that led to the municipal building,
15 I met my colleague Ilija Tomic, and he asked me how I was doing, and I
16 told him that I was tired and I went to the coffee-shop to have coffee and
17 then I was heading home for lunch. And then he asked me where my wife and
18 children were, and I was surprised. Why would he inquire about them? So
19 I asked him about that, and he said, "Well, I have some information that
20 there could be some commotion tomorrow." And I asked him, "What kind of
21 commotion?" And he said, "I'm not quite sure but I heard something and it
22 might be a good idea to take your wife and children out of town." Since I
23 have two young children, I was quite taken aback by this. And when I came
24 into the municipal building, saw that there was no Mercedes there and
25 later I learned that the president of the municipality had driven it off
1 and there was a Lada missing as well, and later I heard that it was driven
2 away by Mato Madzarevic and another vehicle was missing and it became all
3 quite strange to me -- it seemed strange to me. It was almost 4.00
4 at the time. I came home and I told my wife that things looked suspicious
5 to me, and I suggested to my wife that perhaps she -- I could take her and
6 the children out of town for some 10 days, just so -- to see what was
7 going to happen and to see whether there was going to be any trouble or
9 Q. I have to interrupt you. Let us just clarify this, your
10 colleague, Ilija Tomic, I assume was your colleague from the Internal
11 Revenue Agency, wasn't he?
12 A. No. He was employed by the Secretariat for Economy. But he's my
13 colleague because he's a fellow lawyer. He worked on expropriations in
14 the Secretariat for Economy.
15 Q. And this Ilija Tomic is what by ethnicity? And if you can, please
16 go a bit slower.
17 A. He is a Croat by ethnicity, and he hails from Prud.
18 Q. And president of the municipality, Mr. Mato Nuic, a Croat, had
19 his own official vehicle, a Mercedes, didn't he?
20 A. Yes. He had a black Mercedes.
21 Q. And the Municipal secretary for economy, Mr. Mato Madzarevic, is a
22 Croat, isn't he?
23 A. Yes. He was secretary for economy.
24 Q. Therefore, both Mr. Nuic and Mr. Madzarevic had at their disposal
25 municipal vehicles, didn't they?
1 A. Yes. Secretary for economy had a Lada vehicle. I don't remember
2 the license plate. Whereas, the president of the municipality had a
3 Mercedes at his disposal.
4 Q. When you had that conversation, did your colleague Ilija Tomic
5 mention what kind of commotion could break out in the following days?
6 A. No. He didn't specify that. He took me by surprise with that
7 kind of news because prior to that we already had some trouble in our
8 town, so I didn't ask him anything else in addition to that.
9 Q. When you say that prior to that there had been some trouble, what
10 do you have in mind?
11 A. Sijekovac and everything else that took place there.
12 Q. All right. You can continue, and tell us what happened
13 afterwards, after that conversation you went home and what happened then?
14 But please, if you can, relate that slower so that we can assist the
15 interpreters. Please tell us how it was after that. You went home to see
16 your family, and that was sometime in the evening hours, wasn't it? Tell
17 us what time it was approximately.
18 A. It was around 3.00 p.m. I came home and told my wife that I had
19 received this news from Mr. Tomic, whom she knew as well, and then I said
20 that it would perhaps be a good idea to take them to Serbian Negotin,
21 because this was the only place where I had my family living, so I
22 suggested that I should take her to Negotin. However, I've only visited
23 that place some two or three times before. This is where my wife's sister
24 lived, and I wasn't quite familiar with the road to Negotin. And then I
25 called my brother-in-law --
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you lead the witness such that he gives
2 essential facts.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Sure, Your Honour. Yes.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: We don't need all these details; they are taking
5 your time.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Just essential facts about what happened, what he
8 did, not all these details.
9 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. So you called your brother-in-law, that is, your sister's
11 husband -- your sister-in-law's husband. What was he by profession?
12 A. He was a police officer in the Public Security Station in Bosanski
13 Samac. He was an active policeman.
14 Q. And briefly, when you told him what your intention was, what did
15 he tell you in reply?
16 A. He said, "What kind of commotion? I don't have any information
17 about any kind of commotion, and I don't have any intention of taking the
19 Q. So after that, you consulted again with your family, didn't you?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 Q. So what did you decide?
22 A. I told my wife that my brother-in-law doesn't want to go, so
23 perhaps we shouldn't go either. Then she called her brother, and because
24 he also has small children, and asked him whether he would be prepared to
25 go to Negotin. And he responded, "Yes, and perhaps it wouldn't be bad for
1 the women to go with the children for about ten days, and then we would
2 bring them back."
3 Q. So when did you leave for Negotin? What time was that?
4 A. We got some clothes ready for my wife and for the children, and
5 then sometime around 7.00 p.m. -- 6.30 or 7.00 p.m. we left for Negotin.
6 Q. When did you arrive at Negotin?
7 A. Around 2.00 a.m.
8 Q. What day was that?
9 A. It was the morning of the 17th.
10 Q. When did you return to Samac?
11 A. We returned -- we spent the night there, and on the 17th at about
12 8.30 in the morning I woke up, I called the municipality to let them know
13 that I will not be going to work that day. However, nobody picked up the
14 phone in the municipal building, not even the executive board's president
15 or the secretary seemed to be there. Then I called my house, and my
16 father told me, "The Croats have knocked down the bridge at Hasici, you
17 cannot pass through, and there is shooting in the direction of Samac." So
18 at about 9.30 we left Negotin to go back home, the two of us, and we
19 returned at about 6.30 or 7.00 in the early evening, that's when we
20 returned home to Samac. I returned to my village, to Gornja Slatina, and
21 he returned to Brnik.
22 Q. And this bridge that was destroyed at Hasici, how far is that
23 bridge from -- how far is the place, Hasici, away from Samac?
24 A. About 7 and a half kilometres in the direction of Gradacac.
25 Q. And when you came to your house that evening, did you find out any
1 more about what went on that morning in Samac and in that region? Who did
2 you meet there at your house, and what did you find out about the events
3 of that night? And please slow down.
4 A. When I returned to my house, not far from the house were my
5 neighbours, who were all gathered there in one place. I asked them what
6 was going on, and they said that they were called from the unit to be on
7 the alert and not to go anywhere, and that's where they were. It was some
8 kind of duty. They were on call and they were told that they would
9 receive additional instructions later.
10 Q. So your neighbours were in uniforms and they belonged to some
11 military unit.
12 A. Yes. They belonged to the detachment. I think that that was the
13 6th Detachment.
14 Q. Very well. So did you go to Samac that evening, in the evening of
15 the 17th?
16 A. No, because -- since I did have a wartime assignment from before,
17 I decided that in case of an emergency situation, my place was to be in
18 the municipality building in the post of the director of the Internal
19 Revenue Agency. So with all of that in mind, I decided to go back to my
20 place of work.
21 Q. And when you went to your workplace, what time was it
23 A. On the morning of the 18th, at around 7.00, I went to Crkvina and
24 there I reported to the command of the 2nd Detachment. That was the
25 headquarters of the 2nd Detachment. I went there to ask what the
1 situation was in the town and where I could find the president of the
2 executive board.
3 Q. Who did you talk to in that command of the 2nd Detachment, as you
4 call it?
5 A. I think that that's where Marko Tubakovic was, also Juso Micic,
6 Mirko Vasiljevic, and there were some other people. There were a large
7 number of persons there, Rade Gunjevic.
8 Q. Well, it's okay. You don't need to go into so many details.
9 And where did you go after Crkvina?
10 A. They told me that it wasn't safe to move around town and that I
11 should report to Pik because that is where the executive board president
12 was is that it wasn't possible to get to the municipal building because
13 there was shooting from the Croat side and it wasn't safe and there was
14 nobody in the municipal building. Their messenger took me to Pik, and we
15 asked where Mirko Jovanovic was sitting. There were soldiers around, and
16 they indicated a room upstairs where Mirko was. I found Mirko there in
17 the office upstairs of the administrative building of the agricultural
18 industrial combine Samac.
19 Q. So what was Mr. Jovanovic's function?
20 A. Mirko Jovanovic was the president of the executive board of the
21 Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac.
22 Q. Who was with Samac, if you remember, that day at Pik?
23 A. In the meantime, Dako Misic came. He was one of the directors
24 in the agricultural industrial plant. He stopped by, because I was
25 sitting in his office. And then after a couple of hours, Milan Simic
1 came, and he also sat down with us.
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. Could we have a clarification, line
3 21 of page 11. It reads, and I also heard the same thing over the headset
4 as well: "Who was with Samac, if you remember," which clearly doesn't
5 make sense.
6 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. We need to make a slight correction here in the transcript. I
8 asked you who was with Mirko Jovanovic at Pik that day, and then you said
9 that --
10 A. Dako Misic.
11 Q. Dako or Darko?
12 A. Dako.
13 Q. Very well. After that you said Milan Simic came.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was anyone else present there together with Mirko Jovanovic?
16 A. That day, no, there wasn't anybody else there.
17 Q. And what did you talk about?
18 A. We discussed the situation a little bit. I wanted him to tell me
19 what the situation was and that we needed to urgently work on a plan to
20 normalise the situation in the town, because people were afraid and a lot
21 of people were in their basements because you could hear shooting. There
22 were women and children in the basements and we needed to see how to
23 organise life. We needed to see what to do with the civilian protection
24 and to bring the situation as much as we could back to some kind of normal
1 Then Mirko came and said, "We need to make some quick decisions
3 Q. When you say "civilian protection," for the transcript, you're
4 thinking of the civil protection service; is that right?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. And which measures did you personally and others undertake in
7 order to resolve the issues relating to the civilian population?
8 A. Well, we set out first to find out what the major problem was,
9 what the biggest problem was, and we determined that the biggest problem
10 was the lack of bread. And since there were also children around, there
11 was no milk, so we made some kind of plan, a very brief plan with only a
12 few points on it. And since I knew that milk was being collected in the
13 territory of the municipality to collection centres and from those centres
14 it was being taken to the milk production plant, I organised that they
15 deliver the milk directly from there and also to start the bakery working
16 so that the civilian protection could distribute milk and bread to the
17 population, because they did probably have some other essential foodstuffs
18 at home. They had some kind of reserve supply.
19 Q. And tell me, did you yourself go around the town that day?
20 A. No.
21 Q. How long did you stay in Samac?
22 A. That day, the 18th, in the afternoon around 6.00 p.m., perhaps I
23 went home and then again I came to work the next day at 7.00 a.m. And
24 using a loudspeaker -- and I know this because I remember seeing a vehicle
25 that was calling people to come out through the loudspeaker to take the
1 milk. They were asking them to come out of their apartments or to come
2 out from the basements.
3 Q. Was there any shelling of Samac? Did any shells fall on Samac
4 that day?
5 A. Are you asking me about the 18th?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. Yes, but the shelling was not intense.
8 Q. If you know, which direction did the shells come from?
9 A. They came from quite close by, from the Croat side, I think from
10 perhaps the area of Slavonski Samac, across the Sava River.
11 Q. Were there any problems initially with water and electricity
13 A. During the first few days, no. But then later the electricity was
14 cut, because we were supplied with electricity from the Tuzla
15 hydroelectric powerplant and they cut off the lines. So automatically
16 then there was a problem with water because the pumps were not able to
17 work without electricity, so we didn't only have a problem with water but
18 also with the sewage system.
19 Q. You mentioned "they." You said "they." Who are they?
20 A. They -- the Muslims from Gradacac.
21 Q. Where is Gradacac? Which direction is it in relation to Prud and
23 A. If I orient myself properly, it's in the south, and it is about 24
24 or 25 kilometres away.
25 Q. Can you please tell me whether there were any other activities
1 that day aimed at resolving these, let me say, urgent problems with the
2 civilian population? Did you make any kind of plan and agree on what you
3 were going to do in the forthcoming period? What did this plan contain?
4 A. The main task was to try to restore peace amongst the population,
5 if that was possible, to secure food, and when the electricity was cut
6 off, to work on obtaining a power generator or generators. So the utility
7 company, the electricity company did provide these power generators and
8 they were used for the most vital institutions like the hospital, the
9 sewage system, and the water supply. And the other facilities were left
10 without electricity.
11 We also tried to get some grocery stores to work. We tried to get
12 them open so that the population could buy the necessary vital goods from
13 there. Also, we had problems with shattered glass in windows and also
14 damaged roofs, so that the civil defence system was already working on the
15 repair of all of these things. The weather was bad. I remember that it
16 was raining and snowing, so the civil protection service was already
17 working on these roofs so that the people could have some kind of shelter
18 and so that they would be able to live a bit more normally.
19 Q. Could you please tell me according to earlier regulations, was it
20 required of civilian officials to gather at certain places in case of
21 emergency situations? Did you find out perhaps where your colleague --
22 Croats and Muslims were that day?
23 A. I have to say that the law on defence regulated that matter.
24 Every municipal official had his or her own wartime assignment, which
25 mostly was located or had to do with his or her previous line of work.
1 Therefore, I asked Mirko what the situation was and where were other
2 officials who had their wartime assignments. However, he told me that
3 some of them were not available, that there was an investigative procedure
4 launched against some of them, and that that's why they were gone, and
5 that those of us who were present had the duty to carry out both their
6 tasks and tasks of those that were not there in order to keep the
7 situation as normal as possible.
8 Q. Please tell me, within the next following days, where was then the
9 seat of the executive organs of the municipality?
10 A. In the first couple of days - I can't tell you exactly whether it
11 was two or three days - the seat was in the Pik company. And then after
12 that, after the shelling of Pik started and the shelling of silos, where
13 the wheat and corn were kept - and these were visible features in town and
14 it was very easy for the other side, the Croatian side, to target these
15 facilities - so they started shelling intensely that area and we had to
16 move into another building. However, we still did not dare move to the
17 municipal assembly building, and therefore we moved to the facilities of
18 the state-owned company Uniglas. The reason for that was that the
19 building was quite sturdy and it was more protected than other buildings
20 in town.
21 Q. What steps were taken later on in order to organise civilian and
22 municipal services in Uniglas? What services started functioning then and
23 how did they cooperate among themselves?
24 A. As far as the executive council is concerned, in Uniglas there was
25 president of the executive council, Mirko; assistant secretary for
1 economy, Milan Simic; I, being the chief of the Internal Revenue Agency;
2 and then Pero Bosic joined us, who was the director of the land surveyor
3 agency. Since Mirko came and gave us tasks -- or rather, he gave to the
4 Secretary for Economy the task of creating the plan for economy in wartime
5 conditions, and therefore I joined Milan in creating the draft proposal
6 for the decision on how to start the economy in wartime. Since Milan
7 Simic was Assistant Secretary for Economy, and Lazar Mirkic was the
8 secretary for economy, who did not come to work during those first few
9 days because he worked on organising the economy and life in Pelagicevo
10 and Donji Zabari.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Pantelic, please.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Microphone, Mr. Pantelic.
13 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. Sorry.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Let us go back to the structure of the executive
15 council. You are now referring to the executive council of the Serbian
16 Municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo under formation, aren't
18 A. Yes. At that time there was no other executive council in that
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Ms. Registrar, could we have Exhibit D27/3.
21 I believe it's a map of Samac. So we could swiftly check the positions of
22 this premises.
23 And also, Mr. Usher, could you arrange the transcript will be on
24 the -- on the display in front of the witness, because then he can better
25 follow the translation and then he can adjust his speed of speech.
1 Q. [Interpretation] On the ELMO, if you turn you'll be able to see
2 what's placed on the ELMO. You have the pointer, and I would like to ask
3 you to point out Pik company that you mentioned. Is it there?
4 A. [Indicates]
5 Q. It is. And then after that please show us where the Uniglas
6 building was.
7 A. [Indicates]
8 Q. Wait a minute. I am a bit confused now.
9 A. Oh, I apologise. Uniglas is here. Right here. Work organisation
10 Uniglas, it's here.
11 Q. Yes. Very well. Just one more question: Did the executive
12 branch move to another building after Uniglas?
13 A. After a few days of working in Uniglas, since there were no
14 conditions for the executive council to work properly in that building due
15 to other services such as archives and other services of the municipal
16 assembly, Mirko Jovanovic and several other workers who worked in the
17 administrative organs -- so all of us moved to the municipal building, the
18 municipal assembly building.
19 Q. Very well. Since on the map we can see two buildings, please tell
20 us which one was the municipal building and what was in the other
22 A. The building marked with "SO" letters is the building of the
23 municipal assembly, and the other one, marked with letters "SUP" is the
24 police station, the Public Security Station.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
1 In the meantime, could we have Exhibit P124. I believe that's the
2 Official Gazette of Samac Municipality.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Sometime in late February, were you present when
4 the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo was created?
5 A. Yes. That was sometime in late February of 1992.
6 Q. Where was that meeting held?
7 A. It was held in the memorial hall, the memorial hall called Mitar
8 Trifunovic Uco.
9 Q. Please tell me, do you know what was the basis for founding that
10 Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo? Was that topic
12 A. There was a recommendation coming from the presidency of the
13 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Since there was major outvoting
14 going on, carried out by Muslim and Croat MPs, the recommendation was to
15 establish Serbian municipalities, and I think that on the 29th of
16 February, the Serbian Municipality of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo under
17 formation was founded.
18 Q. Just a tiny correction. Only if you know: Was that
19 recommendation issued by the Presidency or the People's Assembly of the
20 Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
21 A. As far as I remember, it was issued by the People's Assembly.
22 Q. Could you please now turn to the second page of the Official
23 Gazette. I assume that in the preamble it is stated why was that
24 municipality founded.
25 A. Yes. It says here, "Based on the recommendation on the formation
1 of the Municipal Assemblies of the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina,"
2 and this is the Official Gazette number 1/92.
3 Q. What did you say again? Could you repeat.
4 A. "Pursuant to the recommendation on the formation of Municipal
5 Assemblies of the Serbian People in Bosnia-Herzegovina."
6 Q. Very well. Now, please tell me, was there any discussion on
7 establishing some organs as well, or were these organs elected later on?
8 How did that first meeting held on the 29th of February, 1992 conclude?
9 A. The draft text of this decision was proposed, and as far as I
10 remember, the president of the Serbian assembly was elected, together with
11 the vice-president.
12 Q. Very well. Who was the first president of the Serbian assembly,
13 if you remember, please?
14 A. Ilija Ristic. And the vice-president was Dusan Tanasic.
15 Q. And the delegates at the assembly, were they members of only one
16 or several political parties?
17 A. As far as I remember, they were from several parties, not just
19 Q. Do you remember what parties were those delegates members of?
20 A. They were members of the Serb Democratic Party, SDP, and the
21 Liberal Party.
22 Q. Very well. Were you present at the second session of the Serb
23 Assembly of Samac and Pelagicevo under assembly? We've already
24 discussed the first. Now, were you present at the second session?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Do you remember whether at the second session an executive council
2 was elected? Please turn to page 13, if I remember well.
3 A. Seven.
4 Q. Seven.
5 First, please take a look at the decision on appointing the
6 executive council, and then tell us when did you learn of it.
7 A. I learned of it several days after this session of the assembly
8 was held.
9 Q. Were you present at any of the meetings held by that executive
10 council from its founding until the 17th of April? Did you attend any of
11 those meetings?
12 A. I don't remember that there were any meetings at all. I can see
13 names here that I've never seen before on the executive council. I don't
14 know these people today at all.
15 Q. All right. From that list of names, please tell us who was in the
16 executive council and who did you work with from the 1st of April until
17 July or August, or whenever it was.
18 A. Mirko Jovanovic, Lazar Mirkic, I, Mirko Lukic. There were no
19 other people.
20 Q. During 1992, was the executive council expanded together with the
21 secretariat? Can you tell us, please, what fields were covered by what
22 secretariat and who else was included in this executive branch of
23 government, if I may call it that.
24 A. I remember that sometime in July or August Lazar Mirkic became
25 president of the executive council in Brcko municipality, and his post was
1 taken by Slobodan Sjencic, who became Secretary for Economy.
2 In September, after the government of -- after the decree of the
3 government of Republika Srpska, Secretariat for Housing and Utilities and
4 Urban Affairs was established, and Veselin Blagojevic was appointed
6 In September, again after a decree issued by the government of
7 Republika Srpska, Secretariat for Social Affairs was established and Ilija
8 Pavlovic was appointed secretary.
9 Occasionally director of land surveying agency was included in the
10 work as well. Pero Bosic, because he frequently had to go and perform
11 his work obligation in the military, and then after that was completed, he
12 would come back.
13 Q. You said that Pero Bosic had work obligation with the military.
14 Do you know what exactly he did there? What was his occupation and what
15 did he do in the military?
16 A. He's a qualified land surveyor, which means that he completed the
17 relevant school at the university and he served as director of the
18 municipal land surveying agency.
19 Q. But he was engaged by the army through a certain work duty. What
20 did he do at that time, since you were colleagues? Do you know?
21 A. Occasionally he was attached to some military unit.
22 Q. Very well. Did Milan Simic take up any post in the executive
23 council? And if so, when? Just approximately. You don't need to know
24 the exact date.
25 A. I know precisely. In the beginning, Milan Simic was the Assistant
1 Secretary for the Economy. And then on the 13th of May, 1992 he was
2 elected as president of the executive council, because before that he --
3 actually, Mirko Jovanovic, who was the president of the executive council
4 before him did -- was not performing that duty any more.
5 Q. And because of the transcript, what was that date that he was
7 A. The 30th of May, 1992. The 30th.
8 Q. And what was your function at the time?
9 A. At the time I was appointed as vice-president of the executive
10 council, as well as the director of the municipal Internal Revenue
12 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher. I am done for the moment
13 with this exhibit. Thank you.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell me: We understood that the
15 bodies of the executive council grew as needed, as the pace of their
16 duties grew. So could you please tell me, from April 1992 until the end
17 of 1992, how many people approximately began working in those executive
18 bodies? We're talking about April and May. And when I say that, I mean
19 different expert services, different kind of jobs. I don't only mean the
20 top officials. And could you please tell me how many people there were in
21 these executive bodies at the end of 1992, approximately.
22 A. In those very first days in April, there were about 10 people, and
23 this number by the end of the year grew. I cannot tell you exactly, but
24 as far as I can recall, this number amounted to almost 30 -- between 20
25 and 30.
1 Q. Very well. Could you please tell me: In the domain of organising
2 the economy in wartime, what did the executive council undertake in this
3 respect? And what kind of decisions did it make? So we just want a
4 general idea, and we will go through individual decisions later. We just
5 want the Trial Chamber to find something out from you about the general
6 outlines and the things that were being done to develop the economy. What
7 were the main tasks?
8 A. After the decision of the Crisis Staff to declare a state of
9 emergency, the economy was centralised and the Crisis Staff asked us, or
10 asked the president of the executive council, and through the president
11 down to us -- asked us to make a proposal for a decision about the work of
12 the economy in wartime, which the Crisis Staff would adopt and verify. I
13 remember that we, or the Secretariat for the Economy was directly charged
14 with this task, but altogether we agreed at the executive council and
15 proposed to the executive council what we saw, which economic subjects
16 should continue to work in view of the situation that we had found
17 ourselves in.
18 The first task was to name coordinators in certain enterprises
19 with the aim of forming the smallest possible work teams in their
20 enterprises in order to preserve and protect the property and then to
21 begin to work in those enterprises which were given permission to work.
22 Q. Thank you. We will come back to that.
23 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Exhibit P89,
25 Mr. Usher, please, can I check it just to be sure. Okay. Thank
2 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell me, who made this decision
3 that we are looking at right now?
4 A. The Crisis Staff.
5 Q. On what date?
6 A. The 19th of April, 1992.
7 Q. When did you personally find out about this decision?
8 A. I think that it was in the early evening hours of that same day.
9 Q. Could you please tell me whether, based on this decision, did any
10 activities begin by the municipal assembly's executive bodies, and could
11 you please go back now to what you were saying about the further
12 organisation of the economy, when we interrupted you to look at this
14 A. Yes. After this decision, the state of emergency was imposed. I
15 think this was the first meeting of the Crisis Staff, and this was the
16 first decision that was adopted. So since the state of emergency was
17 imposed, the Crisis Staff made the decision that all institutional bodies
18 in their present composition should stop their work, and it asked that its
19 bodies or certain institutions that received permission from the staff can
20 perform specific duties that they are qualified to carry out and that are
21 in the interests or suit the needs of the Crisis Staff.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... cannot follow
23 what the witness was talking about if they don't receive B/C/S version on
24 the ELMO. So could it be please placed on the ELMO, the B/C/S version,
25 instead of English.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We've been through this before. But always
2 when we are showing on the ELMO, the B/C/S version should be on the ELMO
3 for the accused to follow.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Since you are a lawyer and you have been in state
6 administrative bodies for a long time, could you please tell us what this
7 term "Crisis Staff" stands for. What does it mean?
8 A. This question is regulated in accordance with principles from the
9 constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is regulated by subordinate
10 regulations depending on the institution that they apply to. When we're
11 talking about the municipal assembly, then in the statute of the municipal
12 assembly it's regulated there. The term "crisis" means that it's some
13 kind of emergency state or emergency situation that is not normal or is
14 not the way that it was before, and that because of that, certain measures
15 have to be taken in order to overcome such a situation and bring affairs
16 back to normal. And this definition -- this term "Crisis Staff" is
17 contained in the statute of the municipal assembly in case of emergency
18 situations, such as floods, earthquakes, and ultimately war.
19 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge that in that period in 1992
20 there was a Croat Crisis Staff?
21 A. Yes. I heard that a Crisis Staff was formed in Prud, but I don't
22 think that it was purely Croatian. I think that there were also
23 representatives of the Muslims or Bosniaks there too.
24 MR. RE: The question was: Do you have any personal knowledge in
25 the period, and the witness basically speculated as to whether there was
1 one, a Croat Crisis Staff.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Because it's -- yes. He doesn't appear to
3 have personal knowledge.
4 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Do you personally know, perhaps, whether there was a Crisis Staff
6 in Slavonski Samac, Domaljevac, in Odzak, in Gradacac?
7 A. The Crisis Staff in Prud was something that I discussed with
8 Mr. Sulejman Tihic. I don't know about Crisis Staffs. I don't have any
9 personal knowledge regarding Slavonski Samac or some other places.
10 Q. For example, in the month of May, did you hear that there was a
11 Crisis Staff in Odzak? I'm thinking now of a Croatian Crisis Staff.
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. So more or less each side had its own form of this body; isn't
14 that right?
15 MR. RE: I objected to that. That's --
16 MR. PANTELIC: I withdraw. I withdraw.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell me, what -- who did the
18 Crisis Staff represent?
19 A. If we're talking about the assembly -- the municipality, it stood
20 in for the municipal assembly, for the deputies of the municipal
22 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues] ... I do
24 Q. [Interpretation] And could you please tell me, how long did this
25 body, the Crisis Staff, operate for? How long was it active?
1 A. There is no specific time period. It lasts or operates for as
2 long as the situation is brought back to normal or until some higher law
3 resolves that question.
4 Q. Specifically, in Samac do you know whether at some point during
5 1992 did another body come about? Was another body introduced as a
6 replacement for the Crisis Staff, if you know?
7 A. I remember that sometime in the summer - I don't know whether it
8 was July or August - the term "Crisis Staff" was substituted by the term
9 "War Presidency" at the proposal of the National Assembly of Republika
10 Srpska in accordance with a decision of that assembly.
11 Q. Very well. And when did the parliament or the Municipal Assembly
12 of Bosanski Samac begin to function?
13 A. As far as I remember, according to the decision of the National
14 Assembly, War Presidencies were supposed to work instead of the municipal
15 assembly for as long as they felt that conditions were not created in
16 order to be able to establish normal life in the territory of that
17 municipality, which means that depending on the situation, the War
18 Presidency was the one to decide whether it was possible again to have
19 civilian institutions work normally in the territory of the assembly.
20 Q. And when if a situation like that ever happened, when did the
21 Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac begin to function?
22 A. I think that in mid-December 1992 the first meeting was convened
23 of that body after the Crisis Staff and the War Presidency. This meeting
24 was convened by the -- or called for by the War Presidency.
25 Q. Did the executive council as a body have any kind of obligation
1 before this assembly was convened, in terms of informing or preparing
2 this? Could you give me some details about that. What did you in
3 accordance with the statute have to do as a body in order to -- or before
4 this meeting of the municipal assembly was convened?
5 A. As far as the executive council is concerned, all the things that
6 were done by the executive council had to be verified by this assembly,
7 and the president of the executive council was tasked with preparing a
8 report on the work of the executive council and this report contained the
9 reports on the work of each secretariat or administrative sector of the
10 executive council.
11 Q. When we are on this topic, could you please tell me, during the
12 state of war - and I'm talking about the period of 1992 and 1993 - what
13 was the relationship of certain municipal secretariats and higher bodies
14 and the appropriate ministries? Could you please give us an explanation
15 of how this functioned during the war.
16 A. This is how it was organised: The government of Republika Srpska
17 had its ministries. The Minister for Industry, then the Secretary for
18 Economy was subordinated to the minister at the municipal level. The
19 Minister of Finance had as a subordinate at the municipal level the
20 Director of the Internal Revenue Agency. The Minister for education and
21 health had at the municipal level subordinated to him the secretary for
22 social affairs. The director of the republican land surveying and
23 property affairs at the municipal level had below him the director of the
24 land surveying agency and property affairs. So the structure of the
25 executive council reflected the structure of the government, and the
1 powers of each one were commensurate. The municipal bodies were
2 responsible to the higher minister bodies.
3 Q. What regulations are passed by the relevant ministry in Republika
4 Srpska and do they have a mandatory character for the relevant bodies at
5 the municipal level?
6 A. In peacetime, they pass laws; and in wartime, they pass decrees.
7 Therefore, the government -- or rather, the ministries pass decrees with
8 the force of law, and they also pass decisions and instructions which are
9 regulations meant to implement these decrees. And they are mandatory for
10 relevant municipal organs.
11 Q. In practice, when these decrees are implemented, is there a
12 previous consent of the municipal assembly needed in order to implement
13 these decrees? Please tell us, how does this system work?
14 A. It depends on the enactment or the decree passed by the government
15 regulating certain matters. There are such decrees which are mandatory,
16 and then there are decrees which specify that the municipal organ needs to
17 pass further regulations and therefore -- and then give a recommendation
18 regarding that to the municipal assembly, which then adopts a relevant
19 regulation. I can give you an example from my field. For example, the
20 Ministry of Finance can say that an income tax can be, let's say, between
21 1 and 3 per cent, and then the Internal Revenue Agency prepares draft
22 decision and says in Samac the income tax will be 2 per cent and then the
23 municipal assembly -- or rather, its assemblymen vote on this. They can
24 either adopt the proposal of 2 per cent or they can change the figure, but
25 the figure cannot be higher than 3 per cent or lower than 1 per cent,
1 which was regulated by the Ministry of Finance.
2 Q. And when there is no municipal assembly -- for example, in wartime
3 in 1992 -- which organ acts instead of the municipal assembly in these
5 A. The War Presidency.
6 Q. All right. Now, tell me this, please: If the government passes a
7 decision on work obligation, is this decision applied directly? If so, by
8 whom? Or does this decision need to be ratified or verified at the local
9 level? By this, I mean the municipal assembly. If you know, how did this
10 work in reality?
11 A. As far as I can remember, the decree on the work obligation, it
12 did not give any authorities to anyone else. It clearly specified that
13 the Secretariat for National Defence regulated these matters and that it
14 implemented decisions or acts passed by the relevant ministry of the
15 government. Therefore, the municipal assembly, the Crisis Staffs, and the
16 War Presidencies had no powers regarding adding or changing something in
17 these regulations.
18 Q. What about the war economy? What about the economy in wartime?
19 What happened when the relevant Ministry of Republika Srpska passed an
20 enactment in this field? Would the same rules that you told us apply in
21 this case as well?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What about the abandoned property, apartments, houses, abandoned
24 in wartime?
25 A. The ministries passed decrees which specified the manner,
1 conditions, and criteria under which the municipal organ had to further
2 implement these decrees.
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me. Mr. Lukic, would you be able to
4 recall how "abandoned property" was defined in those rules, if you can, if
5 you have knowledge of that.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The decree specified clearly what
7 constituted abandoned property, whether it was publicly-owned
8 apartments -- or rather, state-owned apartments or privately-owned houses,
9 or agricultural land and facilities on that agricultural land which then
10 had the status of abandoned property.
11 MR. PANTELIC: In order to better assist the Trial Chamber, could
12 we have Exhibit D18/2, please. Because in fact, that's a decree and we
13 can have interpretation.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Please take a look at this decree and tell us who
15 passed it. It's to your right. Please take a look at it.
16 A. The government of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
17 adopted the decree --
18 Q. Please turn to the last page of this decree and tell us the date.
19 It's on the last page. And I believe there are three pages.
20 A. 30th of July, 1992. Signed by the prime minister, Dr. Branko
21 Djeric. This decree deals -- or regulates the temporary usage of
22 facilities -- housing facilities and commercial premises.
23 Q. Can you tell us what falls under this decree, what kind of
25 A. Well, it's specified here under Article 2. Every decree had to
1 specify what was regulated by it, and here in Article 2 it says that these
2 were -- the following facilities could be given for temporary use. These
3 were housing facilities, state-owned, catering and tourist facilities,
4 residential houses, apartments, vacation homes, and then commercial
5 premises in state, private, or mixed ownership, provided they were empty
6 and abandoned.
7 Q. All right. Now, could you please give us your interpretation of
8 paragraph 2 under Article 2, because this one regulates apartments that
9 had not been abandoned. What cases were those?
10 A. Apartments which had not been abandoned can be used or, rather,
11 given into temporary use in order to accommodate people, providing that
12 the owner or the tenant had extra housing premises mentioned in Article 6
13 of this decree. Let me tell you how this was applied in practice.
14 MR. PANTELIC: I believe it's time for a break, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break and continue at 16.15
17 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic, you're continuing.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Could we have Exhibit D18/2, that we have discussed prior to the
22 break. Thank you.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Briefly, Article 6 of this decree discusses the
24 kinds of apartments and number of household members. Is that what the
25 Article 6 speaks about?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Since that's a little bit unusual, please tell us, how
3 is it if somebody is already living in an apartment or in a house that has
4 several hundred square metres, how was it possible to regulate through a
5 decree and to have somebody else move into the same premises where other
6 persons are already living? Could you please explain that to us. We knew
7 that that was wartime and there were certain problems, but can you tell us
8 what reasons were behind this decree.
9 A. It is difficult for me to say what the real reasons the government
10 had when it passed this decision, but I can tell you what general reasons
11 could have been. There was a terrible problem on the ground because a lot
12 of houses had been destroyed through shelling and a lot of people were
13 homeless. We also had a lot of refugees that poured in all municipalities
14 and they also had no shelter in the municipalities where they found
15 themselves in; therefore, the motive of the government and the competent
16 ministry was to through a decree specify how these matters should be
17 resolved at the municipal level, because on one hand, there were a number
18 of housing facilities that were vacant, and there were such families that
19 had extra housing space, and on the other hand, there were such families
20 that didn't have a roof above their heads. Therefore, a decree was passed
21 and criteria were established to regulate this and then it was set forth
22 that relevant municipal organs had to take certain steps in order to
23 implement this.
24 Q. Do you know whether in some other entities of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina these matters were regulated in a similar way? Do you know
1 about that?
2 A. Yes. After the war, I had an occasion to contact my colleagues
3 from those areas, and then I realised that this issue was regulated in a
4 similar or identical way.
5 Q. I'm just giving you an example. If somebody had two houses on one
6 piece of land, would that person have to take in, into one of those two
7 houses, people who were homeless?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In Samac municipality, were there any discriminatory procedures?
10 Namely, was this principle applied to each resident regardless of his or
11 her ethnicity or were there some modalities in the way that this was
13 A. I don't know of any discriminatory cases. I know that people of
14 all ethnicities asked for housing space on one hand, and then on the other
15 hand there were Muslim, Croats, and Serbs who had extra housing space.
16 And houses were -- or housing was provided to people of all three
17 ethnicities. If a shell destroyed a house of a Muslim or a Serb or a
18 Croat, we couldn't just leave that person in the street. Those who were
19 in charge of housing policies had to provide housing for that person on a
20 temporary basis. This was not a long-term solution, and this didn't touch
21 into ownership matters. This was just a temporary measure that had to
22 provide temporary housing for homeless people. We would issue a decision
23 allotting somebody housing space for one year with a proviso that in case
24 this person failed to find a long-term solution, then the validity of this
25 decision could be extended until such time.
1 Q. And for example, if there was a refugee who was given temporary
2 use of an apartment or a part of a house - now I'm referring to Serb
3 refugees specifically - would these refugees be able to acquire property
4 rights to somebody else's apartment or house via this mechanism?
5 A. No. There was no legal basis to allow something of that nature.
6 Therefore, none of these people could have acquired property rights to the
7 property which was given to them for temporary use. Now we have the
8 process of restitution of houses all set up and real estate is currently
9 being returned to their original owners.
10 Q. I assume that this process is taking place on the entire territory
11 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in both entities.
12 A. If it means anything to you, the average of restitution of a
13 property in Bosnia and Herzegovina is 65 per cent, and in Samac that
14 percentage is around 90 per cent, so property is being returned to its
15 rightful owners. So in Samac the percentage is over 90 per cent, while in
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina in both entities this figure is around 65 per
18 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I just have one other question on this point.
19 Mr. Lukic, if a person had been taken into detention in the TO or the SUP,
20 for example, and that person had locked the door of their apartment, been
21 taken into detention, and then did not return to that apartment because
22 that person was exchanged, would that have been classified as abandoned
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The apartment did have the status of
25 an abandoned property under this regulation, and then the municipal body
1 would form a commission which would go out in the field and it would bring
2 in another family to that house or apartment. It would make a report
3 about the property and things that were in the apartment or house at the
4 time and would archive this report. The property where another family was
5 brought in did not belong to that family; neither did the things that were
6 inside that property, did they belong to this other family.
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you. And just one supplementary question:
8 From what you've just said, Mr. Lukic, there was a procedure for taking an
9 inventory of the movable property inside of the apartment and presumably
10 that was held by the requisite municipal office.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The Department for Housing and
12 Communal Affairs. They were the ones who would implement and oversee the
13 implementation of that regulation.
14 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
15 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Lukic, while we're on this topic and in terms of the question
17 asked by Judge Williams, could you please read Article 12. Could you
18 please read Article 12 aloud.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not have a copy of the
21 A. "Abandoned property will be considered as that property if the
22 user or owner of that space does not return within 30 days from the day
23 after which circumstances and due to which the owner originally had to
24 leave the property."
25 Yes. This is just what I spoke about.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher. I'm finished with that.
2 Yes. Could we have Exhibit P3, please.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please look at this document,
4 Mr. Lukic. Look through it. Could you please read the title.
5 A. "Instructions for the organisation and activity of the organs of
6 the Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina in extraordinary
7 circumstances. Sarajevo, December 19th, 1991."
8 Q. Did you personally ever see this document before or a copy of that
10 A. No. I am seeing this material for the first time.
11 Q. Did you ever hear in Samac that a document with this title was
12 discussed or that any measures were taken in accordance with this
14 A. No.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
16 Could we have Exhibit P37, please.
17 Q. [Interpretation] What is this document, please?
18 A. This is the list of employees who were on work obligation. Their
19 names are stated here, the number of days that they spent on working
20 obligation, and the amount of the salary that they received for that
21 number of days in accordance with established coefficients.
22 Q. What was the role of the executive council in the implementation
23 in regard to these salaries. Could you please explain the mechanism to
24 us, please, briefly.
25 A. The executive council or the person who was in charge of the
1 budget had the task of paying out salaries to all of those who were on the
2 list or all of those who were on the budget. They were members of the
3 Crisis Staff. They were members of the executive council, the civil
4 defence, and the work obligation.
5 Q. Just one question: When the executive council approves in
6 accordance with the budget constrains a certain amount, what happens
7 next? Does the executive council pay that out from its own treasury, or
8 is there some other financial arrangement whereby this transaction is
9 carried out?
10 A. One of the first tasks that I had as the director of the Internal
11 Revenue Agency was to establish a payment system, to make such a system
12 function, because at that time we had problems because our service for
13 payments was carrying its work through the branch in Modrica and because
14 we were not able to do our usual things because the communications were
15 disrupted between Samac and Modrica, we had to establish payments through
16 the branch office in Bijeljina, and this is how that system worked. What
17 does that mean? The funds on the budget account were in the service for
18 payment agency, and then these funds -- I can't see whether it's 84 or 34
19 thousand -- would then be transferred to the Privredna bank and these
20 names and all other names that would be on the payroll lists from the
21 budget would then go to the bank and they would withdraw or cash the
22 amount that was stated on the payroll list, which was passed down from the
23 payment agency for payment.
24 Q. And where was this bank located? Where was the headquarters of
25 that bank?
1 A. It was in the town, in Samac.
2 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Mr. Usher,
3 thank you. I've finished with that document.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. Pantelic, could you repeat the number of the
5 document. It's not on the transcript. Thank you.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. This is P76.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell me whether you have any
8 personal knowledge about the special purposes battalion of the Army of
9 Republika Srpska of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Do you have any information
10 about who was their commander and other details?
11 A. As far as I know, since I was not in the army, the battalion
12 comprised some 4 to 5 hundred soldiers. These were boys from the
13 territory of our municipality who occasionally were given assignments.
14 These were usually younger men who did not want to go out to the line, the
15 separation line between the two sides. But in case this line was broken
16 through at some points, they would then join the unit that would go and
17 return the part of the line that was broken to its original state. So all
18 the battalions were manned by men from the territory of our municipality.
19 And as far as who the commander was, I know it was Milan Josic.
20 Q. Where is Milan Josic from?
21 A. From Obudovac.
22 Q. So Obudovac is in that area?
23 A. Yes. It's a local community in our municipality.
24 Q. Were there any other soldiers in that battalion who were not from
25 the territory of the Samac municipality?
1 A. I don't know that.
2 Q. Excuse me. Go ahead. I thought that you wanted to say something,
3 so I didn't want to interrupt you.
4 A. I wanted to say I'm not sure, but I think that there were
5 volunteers there, about 10 or 15 of them, who were part of the 2nd
6 Posavina Infantry Brigade.
7 Q. And do you happen to know what was the objective of this decision
8 to obtain uniforms? What was the motivation for the decision? Upon whose
9 request were the uniforms procured? And then could you please tell us why
10 this was done, if you know.
11 A. Yes, I do. The request was issued by the Crisis Staff. It
12 approved the procurement of 500 uniforms. And the motive was because all
13 these men were in different uniforms and in such operations, they could
14 not recognise or distinguish one another. Some were wearing multicoloured
15 uniforms. Some were wearing different kinds of uniforms. So the idea was
16 for them to look like real soldiers, to be uniformed and to all have the
17 same uniform. Some didn't even have uniforms.
18 Q. Do you know whether this was a decision at the initiative of the
19 Crisis Staff, or did they receive a request from someone else in this
20 matter, if you know?
21 A. When we're talking about logistics of the army, the request was
22 issued by the brigade command, so I think that this request was probably
23 along the same lines as the others.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher. Can we have now Exhibit P88,
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, could you please tell me -- this is an
2 order by the Crisis Staff, is it not?
3 A. This is an order issued on the 24th of April, 1992 by the Crisis
4 Staff. I remember this order. The president of the executive council
5 came; that was Mirko Jovanovic then. And he asked the Secretariat for
6 Economy to prepare this order for the Crisis Staff because there were some
7 cases where some individuals had started appropriating some things, things
8 that they had found, and taking them to their houses. Military police or
9 civilian police at the checkpoints would stop them, and since proceedings
10 were initiated afterwards, they had to find a location to store these
11 items until the completion of the proceedings. Therefore, the Secretariat
12 for Economy prepared this decision for the Crisis Staff -- there is a
13 mistake in this decision. The warehouse was not located in Bosanac
14 company in Obudovac, but rather it was differently called and it wasn't
15 the premises of Uniglas, as mentioned here, but rather the premises of
16 Utva in Bosanski Samac. These were two warehouses where these goods were
17 stored until the completion of the proceedings.
18 As is stated here, the motive was to stop war profiteering and
19 personal gain of certain individuals.
20 Q. So instead of the company called DD Bosanac, it should be
21 something else.
22 A. Yes. It should be ZZ Obudovac, standing for agricultural
23 cooperative in Obudovac. And then it should be a DP Utva which stands
24 for "state-owned enterprise" in Bosanski Samac.
25 Q. If you look at the signature, does this look like the signature of
1 Dr. Blagoje Simic? I assume that you are familiar with his signature.
2 A. No. No, I cannot recognise whose signature this is.
3 Q. But as far as known to you, the executive council made this draft
4 decision through the Secretariat for Economy; isn't that right?
5 A. Yes. Yes. I read this decision when it was prepared, and it was
6 prepared by the Secretariat for Economy, to be presented at the Crisis
7 Staff and the Secretary for Economy was supposed to present this order and
8 then the Crisis Staff was supposed to adopt it.
9 Q. And based on what you know, can you tell us the basis for this
10 order or decision. Was it to legalise plundering or prevent plundering?
11 A. The objective was to prevent individuals from plundering and
12 acquiring illegal personal gain.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
14 Could we have now, please, Exhibit P100.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Please take a look at this decision, Mr. Lukic.
16 It is rather self-explanatory. I would like you to comment on Article 2
17 of this decision. I would like to know what a person with your background
18 and knowledge can tell us about the aim, the purpose of this Article 2 of
19 this decision.
20 A. Yes. I know this decision. The purpose of the decision, as I've
21 just told you, was that we had to link certain activities with Bijeljina.
22 One of such activities was the agency for payment systems. That further
23 means that all of those who couldn't execute their tasks in a normal way
24 had to find an alternative solution. Within SAO Semberija and Majevica,
25 these matters were regulated, and therefore we had to base our activities
1 on theirs, depending on whether they had some direct or indirect links
2 with us.
3 Q. The decisions of SAO Semberija and Majevica from the sphere of
4 their competences naturally, were these decisions mandatory for your
5 municipality and your municipal organs?
6 A. As far as I know, there was no decisions whatsoever, because this
7 matter was very soon thereafter regulated at the level of the Serbian
8 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore, this institution did not
9 pass any enactments, nor did it make it compulsory for us to implement
10 them. The army was already connected to the troops in Bijeljina. The
11 payment services were regulated as well through the branch office in
12 Modrica. Once the corridor with Modrica was established again, then
13 things went back to normal, so that after the month of June we had no
14 further contacts with Semberija.
15 Q. And whom did you have contacts with then?
16 A. Since the entire territory was functioning properly, that means we
17 had a relationship with the government and government organs on the
18 ground, and naturally with the People's Assembly. That's who we had
19 contacts with.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have now Exhibit P102. 102, please.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Please tell me briefly what you can about this
23 decision. First of all, tell us which organ drafted this decision to be
24 adopted by the Crisis Staff on the 13th of June.
25 A. The draft of this decision was prepared by the executive council
1 and delivered to the Crisis Staff to be adopted. The basis for passing
2 this decision was the law on taxation and contributions which regulated
3 the taxation matters, and it further stated that the income tax was levied
4 by the municipal organs and that the municipal assembly decided on the
5 income tax. Based on the law on taxation, the draft of this decision was
6 prepared and the Crisis Staff adopted this decision.
7 Q. The duty to pay these taxes, did it apply to the people who lived
8 in the municipality -- on the territory of the municipality or those who
9 lived abroad? Please take a look at this decision and answer my
11 A. The duty to pay taxes specified in this decision applied to
12 persons who lived abroad in view of the fact that the National Assembly of
13 Republika Srpska decided that general call for mobilisation need not be
14 answered by all citizens, that means that those who lived abroad did not
15 have to respond to the mobilisation call-up. Therefore, this created
16 legal grounds for having these people who lived abroad contribute to the
17 effort in a certain way, since the expenses were very high, these people
18 were asked to help in some way and this is how they participated in the
19 entire effort. This decision -- or rather, this source of revenue was
20 used by the municipality for a very brief period of time, because very
21 soon thereafter the government passed its own decree specifying that this
22 type of income was not in the competencies of municipality any more but
23 rather in the competencies of the republic because the government had
24 taken over the entire obligation to fund the army, police, education, and
25 those institutions that were funded by the government. These funds were
1 now provided by the government budget.
2 MR. RE: [Microphone not activated]
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
5 MR. RE: I'm sorry. Before the witness goes on, perhaps he could
6 clarify what he means by "abroad" here. Does he mean outside the
7 Republika Srpska as in abroad or some other -- or something else? It
8 could be important.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Or when he was talking about people working abroad.
10 MR. RE: Abroad. What does abroad mean?
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
12 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Lukic, you heard the question. Can you please clarify. What
14 did that mean?
15 A. That meant people residing in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, any
16 other country outside of the territory of the former Yugoslavia.
17 Q. And now let's see what the factual situation was. What was ethnic
18 background of taxpayers that are mentioned here? So in other words, who
19 directed these funds?
20 A. In Samac municipality it was the Serbs. There were a few Muslims,
21 those that remained in Samac but had moved abroad were few. There were
22 few such Muslims. And the Serbs constituted the majority, so therefore
23 they were those who paid this tax.
24 And now let me tell you how was this tax paid. It was paid when
25 these people came back home. Then they would report to authorities and
1 pay the tax.
2 Q. So you didn't have accounts in foreign banks where these taxes
3 could be paid into, but rather, when these people came back home, then the
4 tax could be collected; is that right?
5 A. Yes. Because these accounts in foreign banks would be useless to
6 us. We had no payment system with other countries. Therefore, this tax
7 was collected only once these people returned back to Samac. This is when
8 the decision on collection of these taxes would be handed in to them, and
9 then once they paid it, they would be issued a receipt. When these people
10 left the country and crossed the border, they had to show the receipt to
11 financial inspectors or customs officers at the border crossing, who would
12 then allow them to leave the country without hinderance.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
14 Could we have now Exhibit P110 and P111, please.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Just a brief comment, please. This is a decision
16 that you've already explained. Please tell me, you've seen this decision
17 before, haven't you?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Were you a candidate for president of the executive council as
20 well in that period of time?
21 A. I don't know that. However, I heard that I had been. I heard it
22 from Milan, that I had been a candidate.
23 Q. Did you hear how the procedure on appointment went? Was there any
24 discussion, deliberation, or was the person simply appointed without any
25 discussion taking place prior to that?
1 A. I heard from Milan Simic that there had been a deliberation, that
2 the members of the Crisis Staff discussed his and my candidacy. I don't
3 know whether there were any other candidates. And according to him,
4 Blagoje Simic favoured my candidacy; however, after the voting procedure,
5 he was appointed. And after he told me that, I said that that was
6 probably the reason I was appointed vice-president.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Mr. Usher, could you put the exhibit on the
8 ELMO, P111.
9 Q. [Interpretation] On that same day this decision was passed
10 appointing you vice-president of the executive council; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have now P112, please.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Since this is the third document dated 30th of
14 May, 1992, please tell me whether you have seen this document before.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know perhaps what professionals or professional service
17 prepared this document to be adopted?
18 A. It was prepared by us, or rather, it was prepared by our
19 professional staff at the executive council, because we knew this subject
20 matter very well. We knew what "executive council" meant and what
21 "administrative organ" meant. And this was all pursuant to the law on
22 state administration.
23 Q. So based on this decision, various secretariats were formed of the
24 executive council.
25 A. Yes. This created a legal basis for the executive bodies to be
1 filled in accordance with this decision. And this implied the forming of
2 the executive council.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
4 Could we have now, please, Exhibit D43/1.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell me whether you've seen this
6 document before, and if you did, do you know anything specific about this
7 document, based on your experience?
8 A. I haven't seen this document before. This is the first time that
9 I see it. But it reminds me of the things that we did before the war,
10 because there was a plan in the municipality for defence or a plan for
11 extraordinary circumstances. And each secretariat of the executive
12 council or the executive body had its own plan. This reminds me of
13 someone who used to work in the Defence Ministry, or in the Territorial
14 Defence headquarters, because it seems to be a person who is an expert who
15 knew quite well to set down the basic postulates and then based on them,
16 plans were supposed to be made at the level of the secretariats or the
17 executive organs. It seems to me that this is a plan made by the Croat
18 side, by the HDZ, because I can see Mato Madzarevic here, who is the
19 Secretary for the Economy and that was the most important plan in the
21 MR. RE: [Previous translation continues] ... I object to further
22 evidence on this. This is pure speculation on a document that he has
23 never seen before.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, could you please tell me, what do you
2 base your conclusion on? And you say you haven't seen this document
3 before. Could you use the pointer and tell us where you see these names
4 and why is it that you interpret this document in this way. Where did you
5 get this conclusion from?
6 A. First of all, I said I never saw this document before, but it's
7 clear -- it states here clearly that the balance of the required funds use
8 existing documents of the municipal assembly in the possession of Mato
9 Madzarevic. Mato Madzarevic was the economy secretary at the municipal
10 assembly, carrying out of regular programmed tasks from -- of the HDZ,
11 that's the Croatian Democratic Council. I also saw the term here
12 "Stozar," headquarters, which is a purely Croatian term.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Usher.
14 Could we have now Exhibit D49/1, please.
15 Excuse me, Mr. Usher. What is the number of that document?
16 JUDGE MUMBA: What exhibit document?
17 MR. PANTELIC: What is the exhibit, the number? Because there is
18 some -- some --
19 THE USHER: D49.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Sorry, my mistake in my -- sorry, 44. My mistake.
21 I do apologise. It's a problem in writing.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, who prepared this decision, first of
23 all, if you know, and what was the purpose of it?
24 A. The Secretariat for Economic Affairs apprised the situation out in
25 the field, and they reviewed the situation with petrol and they proposed
1 to the executive council to suggest to the Crisis Staff to restrict petrol
2 consumption, since there was a shortage of it. It was to be reduced, the
3 use, to the lowest possible level, and that is how this decision came
4 about, restricting petrol use to 10 litres a week.
5 Q. Did this decision affect all the citizens of Samac, regardless of
6 their ethnicity?
7 A. Of course, yes, whoever had a car.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
9 Could we have now Exhibit P -- sorry, D45/1.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell us the point of this
12 A. It was logical, since it was war, for catering businesses and
13 restaurants not to work. So the Secretariat for Economy, or the executive
14 council, proposed to the Crisis Staff to close down all such facilities.
15 An additional motive was to prevent armed people from using such
16 facilities because it might lead to all sorts of things.
17 Q. So the aim was to prevent incidents from taking place, since it
18 was a state of war.
19 A. Yes. Yes, that's clear.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
21 Could we have now Exhibit D61/1, please.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Who wrote this information?
23 A. This memo was written by the coordinator or the director of the
24 Pik Samac enterprise. This is already 1993, so he's informing us that he
25 has problems with members of the army who without control and without
1 permission are entering their premises, their property, and are cutting
2 down -- these are units from Krajina who were located near this area, and
3 they are cutting down timber and taking it to Banja Luka.
4 Q. Who is this memo addressed to?
5 A. For our information, so to the president of the executive council,
6 to the president of the municipal assembly, to the chief for economic
7 affairs, to the chief for defence, and also to the chief of the Public
8 Security Station and to the military police.
9 Q. Regarding these kinds of incidents, was anything done either by
10 the executive council, the municipal assembly, or any of the executive
11 bodies? Do you know anything about that?
12 A. Yes. Certain steps were taken in the appropriate domains. This
13 question was something that was dealt with.
14 Q. Was any kind of protest lodged with the military authorities
15 regarding these events?
16 A. I remember that a meeting of the executive council was devoted to
17 this memo, and I think a protest was written to the 2nd Posavina Infantry
18 Brigade, i.e., to the 5th Tactical Group which was billeted in this area
19 of responsibility, on the territory of our municipality. The protest was
20 sent to Colonel Djurkic, as far as I can recall.
21 Q. And what is this 5th Tactical Group? What was its area of
23 A. I don't have that kind of military information, but this was a
24 formation of the 1st Krajina Corps, commanded by General Talic.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
1 Could we have now Exhibit D64/1, please.
2 Q. [Microphone not activated]
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Microphone.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Excuse me, Your Honour. I do apologise.
6 Q. [Interpretation] If you know and in view of item 2 of this
7 conclusion, or paragraph 2, and the entire conclusion as such, could you
8 please give us a very brief commentary, what was the purpose of this
9 decision, what was it all about?
10 A. The War Presidency discussed the infrastructure in the town and
11 its condition, and their assessment was, since we didn't have a
12 construction company of our own, that it was necessary as soon as possible
13 to set up such a company, which could then set about the reconstruction
14 and rebuilding and repair of the infrastructure. So the executive council
15 in accordance with relevant laws about the registering of enterprises, it
16 was asked to provide the documents and secure the investment funds in
17 order -- investment capital in order to establish such a company, which
18 would then operate in the territory of our municipality.
19 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge about whether this process of
20 repair of the infrastructure was something that would apply only to the
21 damaged property of Serbs, or did it apply to damaged property of all
23 A. A shell hit a building that was inhabited not only by Serbs but
24 Muslims and Croats, still had to be repaired. So this reconstruction
25 and repair was something that applied to the property of all, Serbs,
1 Muslims, and Croats.
2 Q. So there was no ethnic discrimination in this regard?
3 A. No.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have now Exhibit D71/1, 72, and 73/1,
6 Q. [Interpretation] Very briefly, Mr. Lukic, and then we will have
7 completed with this set of questions. Please take a look at all three
8 documents so that we can cover them as quickly as possible. So take a
9 look at all three of them and tell us very briefly what you can about this
10 because all of these decisions were passed in the month of May. What do
11 you know about this?
12 A. In the territory of our municipality, there were very many farms,
13 raising cattle, poultry, pigs, and so on. And this deals with farms that
14 had been inhabited and that did not have food. Therefore, the Crisis
15 Staff decided to take the food or the feed from the agricultural concern
16 and to deliver it to these farmers so that they can complete the cycle
17 that they had started.
18 Q. Just take a brief look at these names. Do you know any of these
19 people? Do you know what their ethnicity is?
20 A. Yes, I do. Djosic [phoen] Pero is a Croat from Zasavica; Senjic
21 Juro, also a Croat; Zasavica as well; Dunjic Mato is a Croat from Donji
22 Hasici. All of them are Croats. But there had been decisions of this
23 nature pertaining to Serbs as well, because everybody had problems, those
24 who possessed farms, to procure cattle feed.
25 Q. So there was no discrimination based on ethnic origin, was there?
1 A. No, there wasn't. This confirms that.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Now we would like to have, Madam Registrar, D11/2,
4 Q. [Interpretation] Since we have a rare occasion to have a lawyer
5 for a witness and especially somebody with such extensive experience,
6 although we did have Mr. Tihic testify here, who's a lawyer, but I don't
7 think we could have asked him this question -- therefore, in view of that,
8 I will ask you a few questions and will require you to give us a legal
9 commentary regarding these decrees passed by Republika Srpska. Some of
10 these decrees pertain to your area of expertise, and then I will ask you
11 some additional questions.
12 If I'm not mistaken, this first decree -- well, just please read
13 it out.
14 A. "Decree on --"
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the answer. And
16 interpreters would like to stress that we do not have copies of these
17 documents in English.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, the interpreters don't have those
19 copies. So when the witness is asked to read, he should read very
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Okay. In fact, we could put the -- the
22 English version maybe on the ELMO just for a moment.
23 MR. RE: Before Mr. Pantelic starts, Your Honour.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
25 MR. RE: He introduced the witness a moment ago as someone as a
1 lawyer apparently with the expertise to comment on these particular
2 provisions. My memory of the witness's curriculum vitae was he
3 graduated -- sorry, he graduated some 20 years ago but has only been a
4 lawyer since this year, I think it was, recently admitted to the bar.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 MR. RE: I'm just querying the expertise to comment on these
7 particular provisions, whether it's a constitutional expertise or some
8 sort of working one or -- on what basis is he providing this running
9 commentary of the laws of Republika Srpska, which on their face, I would
10 submit, speak for themselves?
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber is aware that this witness
12 is not an expert.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: He is a fact witness who happens to be a lawyer.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely. In fact, just to clarify, a word
16 "lawyer" in our language means, well, a person who graduated from law
17 school but without bar exams. So he's not practicing lawyer in terms of
18 western standards. And the question for this witness is very simple. He
19 will not go into the interpretation -- legal interpretation of certain
20 documents. He will speak only from his professional position as an
21 official in the municipal authorities, executive board, and specifically
22 limited to the part of legislation which was implemented within the
23 municipality but which was initially adopted by the government of
24 Republika Srpska. So it's on a daily basis his area of interest and
25 professional work. So I would be limited -- I will be limiting only to
1 that, to that level, of course.
2 MR. RE: The Prosecution doesn't object to the witness as a fact
3 witness commenting on the practical implementation of the law in Bosanski
4 Samac, but we do object to his interpreting the law as he goes, because
5 that's not what he's here for.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes. I think --
7 JUDGE MUMBA: I think --
8 MR. PANTELIC: I clarified that.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You have. Mr. Pantelic clarified that.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, this is a decree on organising and
12 implementing the work obligation for defence requirements; isn't that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. During your career and on your job, did you have any contact with
16 this decree?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In very basic terms, since we will have other witnesses testifying
19 about this, please tell us, what was the role of executive organs in a
20 municipality when it came to links with the Ministry of Defence and the
21 government of Republika Srpska in matters that are regulated by this
22 decree? Just very briefly. We don't need to go into details. Just tell
23 us how that mechanism operated.
24 A. The government wanted to regulate the work obligation in a uniform
25 manner, or rather, they wanted to regulate the relationship between the
1 civilian organs and the Ministry of Defence. What does this practically
2 mean? In my service, Internal Revenue Agency, I needed somebody to work
3 as a bookkeeper. I, as the supervisor of that agency, would send a
4 request to the office of the Ministry of Defence to issue a work
5 obligation for that person. If that person already had a military
6 obligation or was serving in the army, then I would ask the Ministry of
7 Defence to dismiss him and appoint him to work in my agency. And if that
8 person did not have a military obligation, then the Ministry of Defence
9 would assign that person to work in my Internal Revenue Agency and that
10 would be his work obligation.
11 Or let me give you another example: If the company for water
12 supply and sewage needed professionals, then the director of that company
13 would, through the executive council, send a request to the Secretariat
14 for National Defence to place those individuals in the water supply
15 company as part of their work obligation.
16 Another example would be that that person once appointed in a
17 certain company, enterprise, or agency would then be issued a decision
18 specifying that that was part of that person's work obligation.
19 Q. And now let's see what remuneration for that kind of work was.
20 How did this process look like? I assume that people were compensated for
21 their work. They received a salary.
22 A. I said in the beginning that funds were allocated from the budget
23 for work obligation. Coordinator of an enterprise would deliver a list of
24 his or her employees, and then the executive council would approve and
25 then transfer the funds needed through the payment agency into the bank,
1 and then these employees would be able to collect their salary at the
3 Q. Now, could you please give us a comment of Article 8 of this
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Well, just give us your comment. How was this implemented in the
7 territory of Samac municipality? I mean, Article 8.
8 A. The military in its logistics had certain requirements which
9 needed to be carried out with the participation of a large number of
10 people. They had their combat tasks, and then they would send to the
11 Ministry of Defence a request asking that a certain number of individuals
12 be placed at the disposal of a certain brigade in order to carry out
13 certain tasks and duties.
14 Q. And these work platoons, were they in fact created pursuant to the
15 work obligation and to the matters mentioned in Article 8?
16 A. Yes. Those were special units that carried out work obligation.
17 Q. And finally, please comment on Article 2. Were you personally
18 also covered by this article?
19 A. This decree copied the text from the law on defence of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the pre-war Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I told
21 you that my war assignment was to serve as director of Internal Revenue
22 Agency in the municipal assembly. That means that ...
23 Q. I assume that pertained to other officials in the municipal
24 administration as well, didn't it?
25 A. Yes, it pertained to everybody.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Lukic. Now I would like to turn
3 to a different area that also has to do with the war situation.
4 MR. PANTELIC: You may, Mr. Usher, please, put B/C/S version in
5 front of the witness and English translation on the ELMO in order to help
6 our friends from the Translation Unit.
7 A. I apologise, but the beginning of this decision is missing. I
8 only have the ending of it.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... It would be
10 good to have it in transcript.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The reason there are no numbers is because
12 speakers are overlapping.
13 MR. PANTELIC: That was, just for the record, D12/2.
14 Yes. Thank you.
15 Q. [Interpretation] In your work, have you come across this
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I am particularly interested in your comment based on your
19 practical, personal experience in application of this decision and Article
20 1 of this decision.
21 A. Yes. Article 1 says that "This decision shall establish uniform
22 tasks and activity that is shall be conducted by the executive committees
23 of municipal assemblies of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 through the Secretariat for National Defence and the Secretariat for the
25 Economy, and directors of enterprises, managerial and other organs and
1 organisations, for the purposes of the functioning and protection of
2 economic and other capacities and material goods."
3 Q. And how did this look on the ground in Samac when it came to the
4 executive organs of the municipality?
5 A. Our Secretariat for Economy cooperated with the Secretariat for
6 Defence. Through the Crisis Staff they appointed coordinators, and then
7 coordinators requested that certain number of people be given to them for
8 work obligation in order to preserve the property of those enterprises in
9 which they served as coordinators and in order to make sure that those
10 companies that needed to work in wartime started working.
11 Q. Article 2, item 1 of this decision says what? Please tell us,
12 what did this pertain to? I mean, Article 2, item 1.
13 A. "The complete physical security of production capacities and
14 facilities --"
15 Q. Mr. Lukic, you don't need to read this out to us. Just give us a
16 brief commentary on how this looked on the ground. What did you have to
17 do pursuant to this provision?
18 A. I've already told you that the Crisis Staff had passed a decision
19 on prevention of plundering. The Crisis Staff appointed coordinators in
20 enterprises. The Secretariat for Economy in cooperation with the Ministry
21 of Defence called up a certain number of persons who worked in these
22 enterprises as part of their work obligation. So these are the steps that
23 had been taken in that period of time.
24 Q. All right. Item 2 of this article, please tell us what was the
25 objective of item 2 in relation to the property that needed to be
1 protected. Very briefly, please.
2 A. The purpose was to protect property. Now, what did this actually
3 mean? Since Samac was shelled daily --
4 Q. I have to interrupt you, Mr. Lukic. It's time for our break. I
5 think we will continue in 20 minutes.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Is it time for a break, Your Honour? And I don't
7 know. Do we have 20 minutes' break, or what is the schedule for today?
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll have a break until 18.05.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
10 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 6.06 p.m.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic, continue.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, before the break, we were --
15 MR. PANTELIC: Can we have Exhibit D12/2, please.
16 Q. [Interpretation] We were talking about Article 2.2, talking about
17 the relocation of production facilities. What happened in Samac? How did
18 it function then? What measures were undertaken there in that respect?
19 A. The Crisis Staff passed a decision and imposed it on the executive
20 Secretariat for the Economy, which coordinated the companies which were in
21 charge of supplying the population in the area of our municipality to
22 draft a plan of activities and measures to dislocate certain production
23 facilities of particular significance. Primarily this concerned the
24 ready-made product, the semi-finished goods, and our company, that is, the
25 coordinator for our company, drafted a plan along the following lines: In
1 Serbia, that is, in Stara Pazova, it registered our company, that is,
2 Samcanka Stara Pazova company, in which there was a warehouse and to
3 which this facility was dislocated. And this was done for the following
4 reason: At that time every day several times every day there was shelling
5 of the town and especially of the industrial area, the health centre, the
6 hospital, and shells fell from the direction of Croatia, Domaljevac,
7 Orasje. A lot of property was destroyed as a result of that.
8 Let me just give you an example: The livestock on the farms all
9 died as a result of stress due to detonations, and that is why the
10 livestock had to be taken out - we're talking about cattle - and when the
11 cattle was transported to Serbia and taken to the slaughterhouse, a
12 problem arose, with the acceptance of that cattle. I don't -- I'm not an
13 expert, but that cattle had stains all over their carcasses as a result of
14 the shock that it had sustained. So the coordinator in charge of the
15 supply of the population made a list, together with the coordinators for
16 other companies, the list consisting of the most vital capacities. And
17 together with them, they made an estimate as to what needed to be
18 preserved and prevented from shelling by way of dislocating those
20 Q. And what about the products in the furniture factory? What
21 happened to those?
22 A. Their destiny was the same as the destiny of the products in the
23 glass factory, in the boiler factory, in other factories. So all of these
24 products were inflammable, and it took very little for them to catch fire,
25 so all of these had to be dislocated.
1 In the furniture factory, a machine which was worth about a
2 million German marks burnt down as a result of shelling. The computer
3 system of the machine burnt down, so the machine was destroyed. We had
4 not been able to dislocate that machine before that happened.
5 Q. Who was the owner of all these factories and all of these
6 production facilities? Were these private factories? Who was their
8 A. These were socially-owned or state-owned factories. In Samac at
9 the time there were no private factories of this type and of such a grand
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Just for the sake of clarity, in terms of your
14 questions concerning the factory and then the other computer system of a
15 machine burning down. The translation says of the answer with respect to
16 those properties that they had to be dislocated. It doesn't make much
17 sense to me. Does the witness mean that they had to be relocated, rather
18 than dislocated? That's line 25 on page 61 and page 62, line 4.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Relocated.
20 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you.
21 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Just one more question: Was Samac municipality in charge of
23 appointing managerial staff in these factories, given the fact that it was
24 its owner? So was it also in charge of managing these factories in that
1 A. Yes, the municipality was in charge of that.
2 Q. With regard to Article 3 of this decision, what was the role of
3 the non-mobilised people in terms of their work obligations? So what does
4 that article mean?
5 A. This means that the government didn't want the factories to come
6 to a standstill, that they had to continue producing in order to produce
7 new, added value, and that is why the Secretariat for National Defence and
8 the responsible command showed more understanding for the work obligation
9 and assigning people for work obligation.
10 Q. Was there an automatic procedure for those who were not mobilised
11 to give them work obligation in certain factories or in certain
13 A. If they worked in a particular company or in a particular factory,
14 the answer is yes.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have -- thank you, Mr. Usher.
16 Could we have Exhibit D13/2, please.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Very briefly with regard to this order issued by
18 the government. Under item 2, did work obligation apply to the refugees
19 in the territory of Samac? Were they also obliged to carry out some
21 A. All the able-bodied men who were not mobilised had work
22 obligation, so there were no exceptions and both the domestic local
23 population and all the others had the same obligation if they at the time
24 resided in the territory of a municipality.
25 Q. In accordance with this order, item 5, who were the ones who held
1 the highest responsibilities in the companies, or the acting directors in
2 the companies? For example, in Samac, who were the acting directors in
3 the companies in Samac?
4 A. The most responsible ones were the president of the Crisis Staff,
5 obviously, the president of the executive council, the Secretary for
6 Economy, and directors of the companies or the coordinators for those
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, thank you, Mr. Usher.
9 Could we have now Exhibit D14/2. It is not translated -- no, no,
10 no. D15. Sorry, my mistake. This part was not translated, so I will not
11 go into this issue. I do apologise.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Can I have your very brief comment of this
13 decision. Did this decision also apply to the municipal organs in Samac?
14 A. Yes, but the amounts were not the same. I mean, the salaries.
15 There was a different system of pay.
16 Q. What was the reason for that?
17 A. The budgetary resources.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
19 Could we have now Exhibit D22/2. And I believe there are a
20 certain number of these documents here, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and H.
21 MR. RE: I understand these are under seal, Your Honour. We
22 certainly have a note -- we have a note to that effect.
23 MR. PANTELIC: If this is under seal, then I kindly ask to go into
24 private session, please.
25 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated]
1 [Private session]
13 Page 12725 – redacted – private session
13 Page 12726 – redacted – private session
13 Page 12727 – redacted – private session
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, could you please tell me whether you
19 ever saw this document in the course of your work or your agency.
20 A. Yes, of course. What is given here, we had to provide the funds.
21 We had to pay that. This wasn't free. These persons received this for
22 free, these goods that are stated here. But the centre for social work
23 and the Red Cross only devised the criteria so that not everybody could
24 receive this. Those who had a better standard of living or who were in
25 the army or who were under work obligation and were receiving a salary
1 could not receive this. And if persons were receiving a salary which was
2 above the limit set here, they were not allowed to use this option. Only
3 persons whose salaries fell below the standards or the criteria set here,
4 they could receive milk and bread for free. So here it is stated who
5 those persons are.
6 Q. And did this apply to all citizens of Samac, regardless of their
8 A. Yes, it applied to all the citizens in our municipality.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
10 Exhibit D46/3, please.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, can you please tell me -- you don't
12 have to give me the exact figure, but could you please tell us
13 approximately about the range in the number of refugees in Samac from
14 1992 -- from April 1992 and up to today or 1995, whatever is easier for
16 A. We have a report here from the 3rd of November, 1992, where the
17 total number of refugees is 5.806. At the beginning of 1996 until March
18 1996, in the territory of our municipality there were about 10.500
20 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell me, in view of the number
22 of refugees that is mentioned, how did the municipal authorities - and I'm
23 thinking of all the secretariats, the broad authorities - resolve the
24 question of accommodation for all of these people? Please just give us a
25 couple of examples. We don't have to spend a lot of time on this.
1 A. Sometime in May 1992 a whole village from Gradacac, which is a
2 Muslim municipality, arrived to our municipality. Those were the citizens
3 of the village of Srnice. It was about 400 families in all, so that we
4 had to open a reception centre so that we could register them all in one
5 place and then get them all settled. At one point, because there weren't
6 enough empty abandoned houses, we had to locate them at the Kruskovo
7 Polje, which is a Serb village near Gornja Slatina, so that we used the
8 decision about surplus accommodation in order to settle all of those
9 families, households. We did the same thing when persons came from Novi
10 Grad and Donja Dubica. This is from Odzak. It's a Croat municipality.
11 Those people were also received. And then a plan was made. The
12 households were registered, and according to the number of persons in each
13 household, those persons were placed in abandoned living quarters if there
14 were such quarters. And if not, they were placed with local Serb families
15 who had a surplus of living space, in accordance with the decision of the
16 government of Republika Srpska. This happened with Drvar, Glamoc,
17 Zavidovici, i.e., the citizens, the population from those places, Orasje,
18 Sarajevo, Zenica, Kakanj, and so on and so forth.
19 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge whether there were Serb
20 refugees temporarily accommodated in the village of Zasavica?
21 A. Yes. There were refugees there from the territory of the
22 municipality of Zavidovici. This is a Muslim municipality that is a part
23 of the Federation.
24 Q. If you happen to know, could you please tell us in which period
25 did these refugees start arriving.
1 A. This was maybe in 1992 or 1993.
2 Q. Could you please tell me something about the legal system or the
3 court system which was operating in the municipality of Samac. What can
4 you tell us about the competencies of the courts? We know that there was
5 a court in Samac before 1992. How did the courts divide their territorial
6 jurisdiction in the municipality of Samac?
7 A. Samac as a municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina had a basic
8 court, a first-instance court, and this court operated until the 17th of
9 April, 1992. The judges of that court or some of them were transferred to
10 the military court or the military prosecutor's office, so that in 1992 we
11 were unable to organise the judiciary and its functioning, because we did
12 not have a sufficient number of judges.
13 Then the Ministry of Justice of the government of Republika Srpska
14 expanded the territorial jurisdiction of the court in Modrica so that it
15 started covering the territory of Samac municipality, Pelagicevo, and
16 Srpsko Orasje. And this remains so until today.
17 Q. So the court in Orasje was in charge of all civil and criminal
18 cases, wasn't it?
19 A. In civil proceedings, yes.
20 Q. What about criminal cases?
21 A. Both civil and criminal within the civil section.
22 Q. And, I'm sorry, but what is the other section?
23 A. The military one, which dealt with members of the army. They were
24 under the jurisdiction of the military court.
25 MR. RE: There seems to be an error on the transcript.
1 Mr. Pantelic asked --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
3 MR. RE: -- about the court in Modrica. And then a question about
4 the court in Orasje. Is it the same --
5 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, my friend. It's just a correction in
6 the transcript. Instead of word "Orasje" on page 73, line 11, it should
7 be "Modrica." Yes. Thank you.
8 Yes, Mr. Usher, please.
9 For the benefit of our friends from the Prosecution -- now we are
10 going to discuss some documents from our exhibit list. And the first
11 document is RP3.
12 Yes. Ms. Registrar, these are the three copies for the Trial
13 Chamber. So I don't know what would be appropriate. Maybe you can just
14 follow the bundle of documents or can deliver them immediately. I don't
15 know. What would be appropriate?
16 JUDGE MUMBA: The three bundles are -- contain all the exhibits
17 you are going to discuss.
18 MR. PANTELIC: That's correct, yes.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Maybe the Judges can be given a bundle each.
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Microphone not activated]
21 JUDGE MUMBA: These have be filed, I take it?
22 MR. PANTELIC: Well, they are filed, yes.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
24 MR. PANTELIC: I have a list of these potential exhibits in my
25 pre-trial brief.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
2 MR. PANTELIC: But now we are waiting for the -- for the exhibit
3 number. I mean, after the discussion, and also if there is no objections
4 from the Prosecution. So I would -- at this stage we could say that these
5 are potential Defence exhibits.
6 So you can take this first document, which is --
7 JUDGE MUMBA: I wanted to ask the Prosecution, since they
8 already -- I take it they were given these copies. Has the exercise been
9 completed where you have indicated to the Defence which ones you are
10 objecting to, which ones you are not objecting to, or hasn't that been
12 MR. RE: The furthest we've got is that Mr. Pantelic has provided
13 a list of documents which he wished to cross-examine on. Assuming that
14 those are the ones that he wishes to tender, I can certainly indicate
15 tomorrow whether we have any objections. I don't have any objections, of
16 course, to Your Honours seeing them at the moment.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
18 MR. RE: There's no indication as to whether Mr. Pantelic wishes
19 to tender them at the moment.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. You can go ahead.
21 MR. PANTELIC: And also, Your Honour, if I may -- maybe we can go
22 from -- on a case-by-case -- a document-by-document basis so we could
23 immediately resolve the things.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. You can discuss with your witness.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Good. So the first document is, as I said, RP3.
1 Thank you, Mr. Usher. Maybe we could have the B/C/S version for
2 the benefit of our clients on the ELMO.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, you have already spoke about various
4 secretariats within the executive council. Now please give us a brief
5 comment and tell us what this document deals with.
6 A. One of these secretariats within the administration, within the
7 executive council is the Secretariat for Social Services and
8 Administration. And Article 1 specifies the responsibilities of this
9 secretariat. It mostly deals with education and other social services
10 that are not related to economy.
11 Q. So this is an integral part of the executive council of Samac
12 municipality, isn't it?
13 A. Yes. It's one of its organs. This is a secretariat which exists
14 within the administration and within the executive council.
15 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous translation continues] ... If there is no
16 objection, I would like to tender this document into evidence, please.
17 MR. RE: There's no objection, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the number, please.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This will be D74/1 and D74/1 ter, Your Honours.
20 MR. PANTELIC: So the next document that I would like to discuss
21 with this witness is RB4. Yes.
22 THE REGISTRAR: I need to know exactly what is the title, because
23 all I have is "RB" and then I have a pile of two different documents. One
24 is called "conclusions," and the other "decisions."
25 MR. PANTELIC: This is a document dated 9th of June, 1992. It's a
1 decision of executive board.
2 A. Yes. This is a decision on the business hours of the
3 administrative organs, economic enterprises, and other institutions who
4 had an approval to work in wartime. This was needed in order to have it
5 regulated what were the business hours of various institutions,
6 enterprises, and so on. This decision was passed by the executive
8 Q. [Interpretation] This pertains to the administrative organs.
9 Article 1 specifies the business hours. Can you tell me what it says.
10 A. It says here that the business hours are from 8.00 in the morning
11 till 6.00 p.m., which in case of members of the executive council was not
12 true. They worked more than that, and the business hours that are
13 specified here pertain to employees.
14 Q. Did it pertain to all employees regardless of their ethnicity?
15 A. Naturally, yes.
16 Q. Do you know what were the business hours in some other
17 enterprises, factory, and so on?
18 A. Business hours in factories were determined by their coordinator;
19 however, it wasn't longer than the hours specified here in this decision.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. If there is no objection, I would like to
22 tender this document, please.
23 MR. RE: There's no objection.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
25 THE REGISTRAR: It will be D75/1 and D75/1 ter. Thank you.
1 MR. PANTELIC: The next document is RB11.
2 Q. [Interpretation] This is a very poor copy that we have in Serbian;
3 however, just to give me your comment of this conclusion. But rather,
4 first tell me when was this passed.
5 A. It was passed in 1993. It's difficult to discern the date. I
6 don't know if it was the 10th of February, 1993 or not. In Pelagicevo
7 they did not have personnel in order to set up their electric power
8 company; therefore, we tasked the director of our power company to
9 establish contacts with their municipality, so that his employees, or
10 rather, employees of our power electric -- electric power company also
11 covered the jurisdiction of Pelagicevo municipality.
12 Q. Please tell me, in 1992 and 1993, what was the situation like with
13 electric power supply in Samac municipality?
14 A. During the first days of war, we had a disruption in the electric
15 power supply. And thereafter for a long time we had no electricity
16 whatsoever. Afterwards, when the power grid Bijeljina-Samac was
17 established - and if I remember well, that was in late 1992, early 1993 -
18 the power supply became more normal. However, we had certain restrictions
19 in the number of hours during which we had electrical power.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have a number, please, for this exhibit if
21 there is no objection from the Prosecution.
22 MR. RE: Again, no objection.
23 THE REGISTRAR: It will be D76/1 and D76/1 ter. Thank you.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I think it's about time for the
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will adjourn and continue tomorrow at 14.15
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
4 at 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
5 the 26th day of November, 2002, at 2:00 p.m.