1 Thursday 28 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. This morning we are proceeding the two of us.
11 Judge Williams is away, and we shall proceed under Rule 15 bis A.
12 The Prosecution is still cross-examining.
13 WITNESS: MIRKO LUKIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Re: [Continued]
16 Q. Good morning, Mr. Lukic.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. The democratically elected municipality of Bosanski Samac didn't
19 consent -- I'm sorry -- didn't consent to it being taken over, did it?
20 A. I don't have any information, but certainly not.
21 MR. RE: I'm not getting a translation, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: We have translation.
23 MR. RE: I am now. Thank you.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay.
25 MR. RE:
1 Q. You say certainly not. It did not voluntarily surrender its
2 powers to the Serbian municipality, the Serbian Assembly, did it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You say yes. You mean it did not -- you agree with me it did not
5 voluntarily surrender its powers; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The democratically elected Assembly, which was operating on the
8 16th of April, could no longer meet on the 17th or 18th of April, 1992,
9 could it?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. When you say yes, you're agreeing with me, that it could no longer
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And it could no longer meet because the Serbian Assembly had taken
15 over all of its functions, which were now -- the powers of which were
16 concentrated in the hands of the Crisis Staff; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The takeover -- sorry. This takeover wasn't voluntarily; it was a
19 forcible takeover, wasn't it?
20 A. Of course, if it wasn't voluntary from the other side.
21 Q. The takeover was one ethnicity taking over the municipality
22 from -- one ethnicity meaning the Serbs, taking over the municipality from
23 the democratically elected one, wasn't it?
24 A. Yes. The Crisis Staff was formed.
25 Q. The question was: Was a Serb takeover of the municipality, was
2 A. Yes. They were Serbs.
3 Q. Yesterday you told the Trial Chamber that you didn't agree with
4 discrimination. Do you remember that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you didn't agree with discriminatory practices. Do you
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you wouldn't participate in acts of discrimination against
10 other ethnicities?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. A provision allowing officials, executives, workers with special
13 privileges and workers in the administration, as well as workers in
14 organisations, institutions, and funds of Serbian ethnicity to retain
15 their status of employee and the rights and duties emerging there from to
16 the final distribution of assets and liabilities - I will show it to him -
17 would be discriminatory, wouldn't it?
18 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, is that some portion of the novel or
19 some other source, or it's exhibit? Because otherwise we don't see any
20 link here. It might be an extract from the newspaper article or from one
21 official --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic --
23 MR. PANTELIC: So I don't see reason why to put the witness --
24 he's not showing this document.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: There is nothing wrong with the question. That is
1 the interpretation of the Prosecution and they are entitled to put it to
2 the witness.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. Thank you.
4 MR. RE:
5 Q. You have the question still there on the screen in front of you,
6 Mr. Lukic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The question I asked was: That thing -- that extract I just read
9 to you would be a discriminatory provision, wouldn't it?
10 A. Yes. It gives rights.
11 Q. The only rights that provision gives is to Serbs; correct?
12 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, again I don't see in this part -- it's
13 page 3 line 12 until 18, I don't see any word with regard to the Serbs.
14 Which Serbs, Serb authorities, Serb people, or what? I mean, we are
15 heading into some very uncertain area, and the witness can be confused
16 with this, Your Honour. Why the Prosecution can simply put the decision
17 or document in front of the witness and then he can make a comment on it?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, this is the case of the Prosecution,
19 and they will cross-examine according to the way they understand their
20 case. And the witness is entitled to answer as he understands it, the
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. The only rights that provision gives is to Serbs; correct?
24 A. The rights are given to Serbs, but other ethnicities were also
25 occupying those posts.
1 MR. RE: Can the witness please be shown P124.
2 Q. While it's coming, you know, Mr. Lukic, exactly what provision I'm
3 referring to, don't you?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Well, I'm going to jog your memory by showing you Article 8 of
6 P2124, which is the decision to establish an assembly of the Serbian
7 people of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, adopted at a joint session,
8 29th of February, 1992.
9 You've read it now again, refreshed your memory?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Nowhere in that article does it guarantee the rights -- the
12 employment rights of non-Serb employees, does it?
13 A. Yes. Article 8 here states that officials, executives, keep
14 their -- retain their status and their rights until the final distribution
15 of assets and liabilities.
16 Q. Maybe I'm misreading the document. Are we reading from the same
17 document, Mr. Lukic? It's Article 8 of the same decision of the 28th of
18 February, 1992, Exhibit P124.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Maybe if the Prosecution could guide which page
20 exactly you're referring to of the Official Gazette. Because it's an
21 Official Gazette. It's a whole document. Thank you.
22 MR. RE: Could Your Honour excuse me while I get our copy of the
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
25 Yes. Maybe the Prosecution can point out which paragraph of
1 Article 8, so that the corresponding one in Serbo-Croat can be shown to
2 the witness.
3 MR. RE:
4 Q. It seems that we are, after all, reading from the same document,
5 as I suspected, Mr. Lukic. Page 4, the right-hand column. Article 8.
6 That was the one you were looking at a moment ago? You're nodding. You
7 mean yes?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that was the one I read to you a moment ago, a few minutes
10 before I showed it to you; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And that is the one that says: "Officials, executives, workers
13 with special privileges, and workers in the administration, as well as
14 workers in organisations, institutions, and funds of Serbian ethnicity
15 shall retain their status of employee and the rights and duties emerging
16 there from until the final distribution of assets and liabilities."
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Nowhere in that article does it guarantee the rights and duties or
19 privileges of the status of employment of non-Serb, non-Serbs, does it?
20 A. Yes. It doesn't say that, but it doesn't rule it out.
21 Q. It may not rule it out, but it certainly doesn't refer to Muslims,
22 Croats, or other ethnicities, does it?
23 A. Yes. They are not mentioned directly. But they are not excluded.
24 Q. It specifically guarantees only the rights of people of Serbian
25 ethnicity. Yes or no. Just on what it says.
1 A. It guarantees the rights to the Serbian ethnicity, and that's what
2 it says in Article 8. But it does not rule out the possibility of the
3 rights of other ethnicities.
4 Q. It does not rule -- it does not guarantee the rights of Muslims
5 and Croats in Article 8, does it?
6 A. In a broader sense, yes.
7 Q. So where it says "Serbian ethnicity," we're supposed to read into
8 it "and Muslims and Croats and anyone else," are we?
9 A. No. It's the Serb ethnicity.
10 Q. Only?
11 A. The Serbs are Serbian ethnicity, and they are mentioned here, or
12 pointed out here. But this does not exclude other ethnicities.
13 Q. Where were Crisis Staff meetings held in April, May, June, and
14 July 1992?
15 A. In the heating plant building, in the socially-owned enterprise
16 Toplana, the heating plant in Samac. And I'm not sure now, but probably
17 one in the agricultural industrial cooperative, the PIK plant. But for
18 the most part, the meetings were held in the heating plant building,
19 outside of the Municipal Assembly building. Because that's where the
20 Crisis Staff had its seat.
21 Q. The Crisis Staff, I think we spoke about this yesterday. You gave
22 some evidence about this yesterday, and you agreed that it had very, very
23 broad powers as the controlling body in the municipality in 1992 and 1993.
24 A. Yes. It stood in for the Assembly. It had all the powers of the
1 Q. And it had powers -- I'm sorry -- its powers -- it derived its
2 powers from authorisation from the government of Republika Srpska;
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And I showed you the document yesterday, which was P128, which was
6 the excerpt of the Prime Minister's instruction from the 26th of April,
7 1992. Do you remember that document?
8 A. Yes, I remember. I saw it yesterday.
9 MR. RE: Perhaps the witness could be shown P128 again, please.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That's what I wanted to say.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Just for the record, this is P128, it is a
12 document, not an exhibit. Thank you.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have clarification on that? How come it is
14 P128? It wasn't admitted into evidence?
15 THE REGISTRAR: No, Your Honour. The Defence opposed admission of
16 this document into evidence until the Prosecution clarified on the chain
17 of custody, and the Prosecution at the time requested that this remain ID.
18 Thank you.
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. P128, Mr. Lukic, paragraph 2: "The Crisis Staff consists of
21 members each of whom has his own responsibilities, the president, deputy
22 president, commander of the TO, Territorial Defence, staff, president of
23 the executive committee, head of the MUP, Ministry of Interior, and
24 members responsible for the economy, humanitarian and medical care,
25 information and propaganda, procurement and food supplies, refugees, war
1 crimes and damage, communications, coordination, et cetera."
2 A. Yes, that is what it states here.
3 Q. And that, of course, accords with your own experience of the
4 membership of the Crisis Staff and its function in Bosanski Samac, doesn't
6 A. No. I wasn't a member of the Crisis Staff.
7 Q. I'm sorry. It was a little bit ambiguous when I said your own
8 experience of the membership. Your knowledge, I meant your knowledge of
9 the Crisis Staff and its membership. I'm saying this accords with your
10 knowledge of the Crisis Staff and its membership in Bosanski Samac at that
12 A. This is an excerpt from the instructions. I didn't have the
13 opportunity of seeing this excerpt before until now, because according to
14 this, it seems that the government made an instruction, issued an
15 instruction, and then it issued an interpretation of its instruction.
16 Q. Mr. Lukic, maybe you misunderstand. I'm only asking you: If what
17 you see there accords with your own knowledge of the membership of the
18 Crisis Staff, that is, if what is written here corresponds with your
19 knowledge of the Crisis Staff in Bosanski Samac.
20 A. As far as I know, and according to what I heard, the Crisis Staff
21 was not composed of all of these persons.
22 Q. Paragraph 3, Mr. Lukic: "The Crisis Staff coordinates the
23 functions of authorities in order to ensure the defensive of territories,
24 safety of the population and property, establishment of government and the
25 organisation of all other areas of life and work. In so doing, the Crisis
1 Staff provides the conditions for the municipal executive committee to
2 exercise legal executive authority, run the economy and other areas of
4 A. Yes, that is what it states here.
5 Q. And that's an accurate summary of the role and powers of the
6 Crisis Staff as you knew it in Bosanski Samac in 1992 and 1993, isn't it?
7 A. That is how it should have worked.
8 Q. And it's clear from that that the Crisis Staff had a wide range of
9 powers; correct?
10 A. Yes, just like the Assembly.
11 Q. The Crisis Staff, or its members, or its membership, had the power
12 to look after public safety, didn't it?
13 A. As far as I know, public security was provided by the MUP, the
14 Ministry of Internal Affairs.
15 Q. Article 2 of this document, the Prime Minister's instruction, says
16 the Crisis Staff consists of various people, including the head of MUP?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Based upon that, the Crisis Staff had -- or its members had
19 authority over public safety, didn't they?
20 A. That's what it states in the excerpt.
21 Q. The Crisis Staff or its members had the power to order the arrest
22 of people; correct?
23 A. According to the law on internal affairs, no, they did not.
24 Q. I said other I said or its members. If the members included the
25 head of MUP, it would have had the power to order arrests; correct?
1 A. Yes. The head of MUP did. He could have ordered an arrest, yes.
2 Q. Based on that, a member of the Crisis Staff, or the Crisis Staff,
3 would have had the power to detain, or order detention.
4 A. Well, the head of MUP, yes, or rather, he could detain somebody,
5 take somebody into custody and sign the detention order.
6 Q. And of course, the power to establish detention centres.
7 A. Yes. That was regulated at the level of the centre for public
9 Q. And of course, the power to release detainees.
10 A. Unless somebody files a criminal report.
11 Q. And of course, such a member of the Crisis Staff would also have
12 control over the conditions of those in detention; correct?
13 A. That's his duty.
14 Q. And also the power to order the punishment or apprehension of
15 anyone who ill-treated detainees?
16 A. Yes, because if there is any disturbance of any kind.
17 Q. The Crisis Staff, of course, also had the power to exchange people
18 who were in detention; correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The Crisis Staff also had the power to hold people until they were
21 exchanged; correct?
22 A. The head of the public security station.
23 Q. Because, of course, there was no higher local authority than the
24 Crisis Staff, was there?
25 A. That's right. That was the highest authority.
1 Q. During 1992 and 1993, the military presence in Bosanski Samac was
2 quite strong, wasn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And the military worked with civilian authorities in maintaining
5 order in Bosanski Samac; correct?
6 A. Well, the military performed its military functions, went about
7 its military duties, and if you consider maintaining law and order, then
8 of the recruits.
9 Q. The military and the civilian authorities, that is, the Crisis
10 Staff, worked together in maintaining law and order in Bosanski Samac in
11 1992 and 1993; correct?
12 A. Each in his own field of activity.
13 Q. The Crisis Staff, according to the order of the Prime Minister of
14 the 26th of April, 1992, was required to coordinate, according to
15 paragraph 3, the functions of authorities to ensure the defensive
16 territories, the safety of population and property.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You've already agreed with me that paragraph 3 reflects, as far as
19 you're concerned, what was happening in Bosanski Samac in 1992 and 1993.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I said to you a moment ago, the effective of this, and its
22 reflection upon what was actually happening in Bosanski Samac, was that
23 the military and civilian authorities were working together to maintain
24 law and order in Bosanski Samac; correct?
25 A. Yes. Each in his own field, domain. The civil authorities for
1 the civilian population and the military authorities for the conscripts.
3 Q. And according to Article 3 of that excerpt, under the coordination
4 of the Crisis Staff; correct?
5 A. I don't know that.
6 Q. Yesterday you gave evidence that you knew that there were 300 --
7 some 300 Croats and Muslims detained in the two schools.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you also said that you were aware of prisoners being detained
10 in the SUP and TO building; correct?
11 A. In the building of the Territorial Defence, yes, and in the
12 secondary school building as well.
13 Q. The population of Bosanski Samac was about 6.000; is that correct?
14 A. 5.500, the town itself.
15 Q. Some 300 people would represent maybe 5 per cent of the
16 population, wouldn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. It was obvious that there had been mass arrests in Bosanski Samac
19 in April, May 1992, wasn't it?
20 A. That's what I heard.
21 Q. And mass arrests could only have been ordered by the civilian or
22 military authorities, couldn't they?
23 A. If they were civilians, then the civilian authorities; and if they
24 were conscripts, then the military authorities or military command.
25 Q. The civilian authorities were, of course, under the coordination
1 and control of the Crisis Staff, weren't they?
2 A. Yes, if, through the ministry of the department, it had not been
3 regulated otherwise.
4 Q. So mass arrests of civilians in Bosanski Samac could only have
5 been ordered by the Crisis Staff or its members; correct?
6 A. The head of the public security station could.
7 Q. The head of the public security station was a member of the Crisis
8 Staff, the mass arrests could only have been ordered by the Crisis Staff
9 or its members; correct?
10 A. I don't know whether it was the head of the public security
11 station who was a member, because according to the payroll, the list for
12 salaries, I didn't see his name on it, although I did hear that he boasted
13 around town that he was indeed a member of the Crisis Staff. That's what
14 he said around town. But I wasn't in the Crisis Staff myself, so I can't
15 confirm that.
16 Q. And you're referring, of course, to Stevan Todorovic, aren't you?
17 A. Yes. He was the head of the public security station.
18 Q. The mass arrest of 300 civilians could not have occurred without
19 the Crisis Staff knowing about it, could it?
20 A. If I heard about it, then I'm sure that the Crisis Staff must have
21 heard about it as well, heard about it before me.
22 Q. If you had heard about 300 civilians -- Croat and Muslim civilians
23 being detained in the schools, then the Crisis Staff would also have heard
24 about it. The same applies to other detention centres, doesn't it?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. If civilians were being detained at Crkvina or Zasavica, the
2 Crisis Staff would have had to have known about it, wouldn't they?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. If 16 Croats had been massacred in a warehouse in Crkvina, the
5 Crisis Staff would have had to have been aware of it, wouldn't they?
6 A. I heard about it, so they would have had to have heard about it,
7 or they should have informed themselves along those lines about what was
8 going on.
9 Q. It was common knowledge in Bosanski Samac that large numbers,
10 hundreds of civilians, were being detained, wasn't it?
11 A. Yes. There were rumours going around to that effect.
12 Q. There were articles published in the papers, and there were
13 announcements on the radio when people were arrested; correct?
14 A. You mean the radio in Samac?
15 Q. Yes, the radio in Samac. There were announcements on the radio in
16 Samac periodically when people were arrested, such as so-and-so has been
17 arrested on suspicion of holding weapons in his house.
18 A. I don't have information of that kind, because the radio worked
19 very infrequently, and I rarely listened to the radio anyway. So I can't
20 confirm that, whether it was broadcast over Radio Samac or not.
21 Q. You agreed yesterday that the detention, without trial or charge,
22 was unlawful under the Republika Srpska constitution, didn't you?
23 A. In conformity with the Criminal Code.
24 Q. And anyone who was detained should have been brought before a
25 court and charged and tried with an offence; correct?
1 A. That was the procedure, yes.
2 Q. The 300 people or so who were detained in the elementary
3 schools -- sorry - the three schools in Bosanski Samac - were not brought
4 before any court or charged with any offences, were they?
5 A. From the commander of the public security station, the komandir, I
6 heard about the individuals who were concerned, the number of persons and
7 that an investigation was underway against them. But I do not know how
8 this investigation was concluded.
9 Q. You certainly heard no reports of court proceedings related to 300
10 people who were arrested and detained in the schools in Bosanski Samac,
11 did you?
12 A. No, I didn't receive any information of that kind.
13 Q. And as far as you know, your information at the time was that
14 these people were detained only because they were Croats and Muslims;
16 A. No. Well, yes. There were Croats and Muslims there too, but the
17 report was that they had been detained because of certain activities.
18 Now, whether because this was -- because they had weapons in their
19 possession or because they were preparing an armed uprising. That was the
20 information I received from the commander when I talked to him about the
21 persons who these charges were being brought against.
22 Q. But what was Stevan Todorovic's reputation in 1992 and 1993 in
23 Bosanski Samac?
24 A. Well, I didn't socialise with him at all, had no contacts with
1 Q. He was the chief of police, as far as you're aware?
2 A. Yes, he was.
3 Q. He was going around town saying he was on the Crisis Staff?
4 A. Yes, that's right. I don't know whether to everybody, but he did
5 go around bragging about that and talking about it.
6 Q. I'm asking you what was his reputation. You said yesterday that
7 as far as you knew he and Dr. Simic didn't get on very well. What was his
8 reputation? Why didn't they get on?
9 A. Well, he was more a cafe-going type of man, who liked to live
10 freely, loosely. He didn't have a family. And for many years he was
11 doing his studies at university. He studied a long time. That's what I
12 could say about him character-wise.
13 Q. Well, he had a reputation for violence in the town at the time,
14 didn't he?
15 A. Yes, that's right. I got information along those lines even from
16 members of the military, especially those who communicated with me,
17 connected to the materiel and equipment for the army, the financial side.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. RE: Your Honour, could I have a few minutes' break to get
20 some papers?
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Get papers from where?
22 MR. RE: From my office.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Ten minutes?
24 MR. RE: Yes. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: And you remember yesterday you were supposed to wind
2 MR. RE: I am well on the way to winding up. Thank you, Your
4 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. We'll have a ten minutes' break and
5 resume at 10.30.
6 --- Break taken at 10.20 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.30 a.m.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Prosecution.
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. Before our break, I was asking you about Stevan Todorovic's
11 reputation, and you said you had information about his reputation for
12 violence from members of the military who communicated it to you. His
13 reputation for violence was of someone who was mistreating prisoners in
14 custody; correct?
15 A. Yes, that's what I heard, but from the people who came back after
17 Q. His reputation for violence included killing people in custody,
18 didn't it, the murder of detainees?
19 A. That's what I heard. I heard that from the commander.
20 Q. And that was something that was rumoured in Bosanski Samac in 1992
21 and 1993, wasn't it, that Todorovic was responsible for mistreating and
22 even killing prisoners?
23 A. I don't know. I don't want to claim that it was rumoured that he
24 had killed any prisoners --
25 Q. What about --
1 A. -- as far as I heard.
2 Q. It was rumoured in Bosanski Samac in 1992 and 1993 that Stevan
3 Todorovic had mistreated prisoners, wasn't it?
4 A. I heard something along those lines from Commander Savo
5 Cancarevic, that he went in there, he would go in there, usually during
6 the night, and that the duty officers, policemen on duty, told him.
7 Q. Yesterday I asked you about the Vidovdan award, which you were
8 awarded on the 30th of June, 1993, and you agreed, and it was published in
9 the gazette, that on that day, you shared a Vidovdan, St. Vitus day award
10 with Blagoje Simic, Milan Simic, Stevan Todorovic, for "the selfless
11 contribution to the struggle for freedom and the defence of Republika
12 Srpska." Now, I'm just putting to you that that's what was in the gazette
13 that you looked at yesterday. If you want to have a look at it again, you
15 A. Well, there's no need. I received the Vidovdan award, St. Vitus
16 Day award, for contributing to the economy and social issues.
17 Q. Well, the award --
18 A. But so did the other people, the names of -- you read out. I
19 don't know what field they received the award for.
20 Q. The gazette of your decoration, and it's called a decoration, is
21 for selfless contribution to the struggle for freedom and the defence of
22 Republika Srpska. That's what it says, doesn't it? That's a yes or no
24 A. That's what it says.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: But we did go through this yesterday. This is --
1 MR. RE: Only in one respect, Your Honour. It was right at 7.00,
2 and there were just several other things on this I just wished to ask the
4 JUDGE MUMBA: And you're concluding?
5 MR. RE: Almost, yes.
6 Q. I want you to tell the Trial Chamber what Milan Simic's selfless
7 contribution to struggle for freedom in the defence of Republika Srpska
8 was, that entitled him to this decoration.
9 A. In the decision to award the decoration, the reasons are
10 stipulated for which the award is given, and the decoration is given by
11 the Municipal Assembly. I can't remember -- I can't say for certain what
12 it said on his document, the award that he received.
13 Q. So you can't tell the Trial Chamber what Milan Simic "selfless
14 contribution to the struggle for freedom in the defence of Republika
15 Srpska" is; is that correct?
16 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't think that is a fair question to this
17 witness, because he did explain even yesterday that it was within the
18 purview of those people making the decision. So I don't think this is a
19 fair question.
20 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown photograph Exhibit
21 P14-43 and 14-46 and 14-56.
22 Q. The photograph you're showing, I just want to identify for the
23 Trial Chamber. That is in fact a photograph of the police station, the
24 white building; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the building immediately to its left is the Municipal
2 Assembly; correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And which is of course where your offices were in 1992 and 1993;
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And the building on the right, the police station, is that the one
8 where you heard the prisoners singing the Serbian songs, Serbian national
9 songs, coming from?
10 A. To the left, across the road, yes.
11 Q. The building across the road. Okay.
12 MR. RE: Can the witness please be shown the next photograph,
13 which is P46.
14 Q. Is that another view of the Municipal Assembly building, right
15 next to the police station?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. RE: And can the witness please be shown the other photograph
18 there, which is P -- is it 56?
19 Q. That's a photograph of the back of the police station, isn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Showing the garages?
22 A. That's right.
23 Q. And immediately to the left, on the top left-hand side is a
24 building which is part of the Municipal Assembly building; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. There's one photo which I forgot to mention, P14A-50. Can that
2 also be shown to the witness, please.
3 The photograph on the screen now, that's of the territorial -- or
4 the TO headquarters, isn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And that's the building from where you heard the sounds of Muslim
7 and Croat prisoners singing Serbian national songs; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that was diagonally opposite where you were working, maybe 50
10 metres away?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And if prisoners were being tortured and mistreated such as to
13 cause them to scream out loudly in pain, you would have been able to hear
14 that from the street in that building, wouldn't you?
15 A. Yes. It wasn't that far that you wouldn't be able to hear that.
16 You could hear the singing also.
17 Q. And in the first few months after the takeover, April, May, June
18 1992, you could hear people screaming out loudly from that building in
19 front of you, and the police station across the road, couldn't you?
20 A. I cannot confirm that, because I didn't hear the screams, except
21 for the singing.
22 Q. In May 1996, there was public meeting in -- organised by the SDS
23 in Bosanski Samac, which you attended, to assure the people of Bosanski
24 Samac for their support of "all our so-called war criminals"; correct?
25 A. No.
1 Q. There was a public meeting held, which you attended, in your
2 capacity as mayor of Bosanski Samac, in support of Karadzic and Mladic, in
3 May 1996, wasn't there?
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Prosecutor, what has that got to do with the
6 MR. RE: It goes to --
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Is it correct, 1996?
8 MR. RE: Yes. It goes to the credibility of the witness, Your
9 Honour, and any bias he may have, having been brought as a Defence
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Briefly.
12 A. No. I was among the first to participate in the voluntary
13 surrender of our fellow citizens to The Hague Tribunal. These were the
14 first persons to voluntarily surrender to The Hague Tribunal from
15 Republika Srpska, and I don't know how I could not recognise or negate The
16 Hague Tribunal or be against it, because as a lawyer I understand and I
17 know what a public indictment means. I remember that meeting, and I can
18 tell you what I said, if necessary.
19 MR. RE: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Lukic, please tell us what you said on
24 that occasion.
25 A. I didn't understand your question.
1 Q. Yes. You said that you could, so please could you tell us what
2 you said on that day.
3 A. I remember that day. It wasn't organised by the SDS. It was a
4 spontaneous gathering of citizens throughout Republika Srpska. A few
5 citizens came to my office and told me that a large group of people had
6 gathered in front of the hotel, and they asked me to go and to address
7 that group. I asked them what was the reason that that group of people
8 gathered together. They told me that there were many people there from
9 Odzak and Orasje. And the reason was a piece of information that arrived
10 relating to the issuance of public indictments. I, as president of the
11 Assembly, went there. I don't usually like to speak much, and I did say a
12 few sentences, and I can interpret what I said. I know that you are not
13 satisfied, just like myself, because only Radovan Karadzic and Ratko
14 Mladic are on this public indictment, and that also Alija Izetbegovic and
15 Franjo Tudjman are not there as well, and their generals. But believe me,
16 we will fight through the institutions of the system for their names to be
17 placed there too, so that they can then prove what the real truth was.
18 Then I mentioned the names of our accused as well and told them,
19 "I know why you are angry, because of what happened to you in Odzak and
20 Orasje, but we will endeavour that the names on that other side too are
21 nominated to The Hague Tribunal through the institutions of the system."
22 After that -- that was the end of my speech. After that, at the
23 end of 1996 and in 1997, I directly participated in conversations with the
24 investigators from The Hague Tribunal, and I took part in all the
25 negotiations or conversations relating to the surrender of our fellow
1 citizens to The Hague Tribunal. So it's impossible for anyone to say that
2 I am against that Tribunal.
3 Let me also say that at the level of the government and the group
4 that was tasked with investigating the victims from the other side, I
5 strived for us to show proof for the suffering of the Serbian people from
6 the other two ethnic groups, because that is the only way for us to show
7 what the real truth is. That was my comment.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Lukic. Let's move to another question now. Since
9 you have been in the municipality as an official for many years and you're
10 a lawyer by profession, what are the competencies of the Municipal
12 A. The law on local self-management and administration determines the
13 competencies of the Municipal Assembly, and they are social policy, urban
14 affairs, regulatory plan, communal policy, infrastructure, education, the
15 part that pertains to material expenditures for high schools, setting up
16 of hospitals, medical centres, and preschool facilities. Those are the
17 main duties. And as far as the economy is concerned, it deals with that
18 part of it which deals with state capital or socially owned property.
19 Q. We're talking about the period before 1992, and also the period
20 from 1992 until now, and if there's any difference, please tell us so. My
21 question is as follows. Please listen to my question. Is it -- did
22 anybody of these municipal officials, in accordance with the legal
23 regulations, were they able to command military units?
24 A. That is the exclusive duty of the Supreme Command.
25 Q. But not at the municipal level?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Next question: Did anyone from the municipal government have the
3 right to command police units?
4 A. The use of police units is ordered by the minister, an order for
5 such activities is issued by the minister.
6 Q. Which minister?
7 A. The minister of MUP, the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
8 Q. Can any municipal official issue orders for a person to be
9 detained, under the valid rules and regulations?
10 A. A detention order can only be issued by the criminal investigation
11 service in the public security station and the prosecutor.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
13 MR. RE: I object. Firstly, it doesn't arise from
14 cross-examination; and secondly, the questions I asked of the witness were
15 directed to the powers of the Crisis Staff, not municipal officials, then
16 or now. I can't see how it can arise from anything I asked in
18 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, it's obvious. It arose many times.
19 My learned friend make various parallel approaches between Municipal
20 Assembly and Crisis Staff, municipal administration and Crisis Staff. So
21 my next question is directly related to that, but I have to make this
22 introduction. So we are hearing here for almost two hours this structure
23 between municipal authorities and --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but -- yes, but it was related to the
25 membership of the chief of police in the Crisis Staff.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. And now I'm heading to these areas.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Please avoid what wasn't raised in
3 cross-examination, Mr. Pantelic.
4 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. And now, please, could you tell me the following, even though you
6 talked about this already when I questioned you a few days ago: What does
7 the Crisis Staff represent? What kind of a body is it? Who does it
8 substitute for?
9 A. The Crisis Staff is an institution which, in extraordinary
10 circumstances, or during times of war, stands in for the Municipal
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Any more questions?
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I have certain lines. I just
14 want to reorganise them.
15 Q. [Interpretation] How many citizens did the municipality of
16 Bosanski Samac have, if you know, according to the census from 1991?
17 A. Excuse me. I didn't hear the question.
18 Q. According to the 1991 census, how many inhabitants did the
19 municipality of Bosanski Samac have?
20 A. The municipality of Bosanski Samac, according to the census from
21 1991, had 32.700 inhabitants. Out of that, 45 per cent were Croats, 43
22 per cent Serbs, 5 per cent Muslims, and the others were Yugoslavs,
23 Montenegrins, and those who declared themselves differently.
24 Q. So the town itself had how many inhabitants, approximately?
25 A. About 5.500 inhabitants.
1 Q. When you mentioned the information that there were a couple of
2 hundred of detained persons, does this apply to the entire territory of
3 Bosanski Samac, the entire municipality, or does it apply only to the
5 A. It applies to the entire territory of the municipality.
6 Q. As a lawyer, as a man from that profession, when there is a
7 pre-criminal procedure and when there is a founded suspicion that a
8 criminal act was committed, can the police issue a detention order?
9 A. As far as I know, yes, it can.
10 Q. And if the suspicions prove founded, can the investigative judge
11 issue a detention order?
12 A. Yes, up to 30 days, or up to six months at the most.
13 Q. According to the then laws, that were then in force, how long did
14 the investigation have to continue? When did it have to be completed?
15 A. That depends on the qualification of the criminal act and the
16 severity of the sentence that can be passed, so I cannot respond to that
18 Q. Well, we're talking about armed rebellion, unauthorised possession
19 of weapons, and so on.
20 A. I don't know what prison sentence is planned for that.
21 Q. I'm talking about detention, Mr. Lukic. Is detention provided for
22 in the period of one month, two months, three months? Do you perhaps
23 remember the length of detention?
24 A. No. No, I don't remember. I can't tell you precisely.
25 Q. What is your understanding of the term "coordination"? Does
1 coordination also mean an order?
2 A. There should be a difference between being informed and reporting.
3 The superior officer is -- he is reported to, and a person who was the
4 role of a coordinator is somebody who provides information or informs.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we take our break? 11.00 hours.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll come back at 11.30 hours.
8 --- Recess taken at 11.01 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. Re-examination.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Before the break, Mr. Lukic, I asked you a
13 question. Just let me see what it was. The answer wasn't very clear, so
14 I'll repeat it.
15 Could you please explain to us, if you can, between the verb "to
16 coordinate" and "to order," what your understanding of those two verbs is.
17 A. I said that "to order" implies that you are subordinate, in the
18 sense that the subordinated person submits a report, or reports back to
19 his superior. And "to coordinate" is a looser form, and in that form,
20 somebody informs someone of something.
21 Q. Thank you. As the Prosecutor asked you about the fact that -- on
22 the basis of the knowledge that you had about certain detainees, did you
23 assume that the Crisis Staff could have known about that too? Or let me
24 put it this way: You learnt from Savo Cancarevic -- what did you learn
25 about the foundations for detaining those persons from Savo Cancarevic,
1 the reason for their detention? What did Savo Cancarevic actually tell
3 MR. RE: I object to this. This was covered in examination and
4 cross-examination. The same answer was given both times. Nothing
5 requires clarification, in my submission.
6 MR. PANTELIC: It requires, Your Honour, because I have to find
7 out -- we have to find out here what the alleged knowledge and to what
8 extent, to which extent, might be with regard to certain informations
9 within the Crisis Staff, and that's the line of my questioning, simple as
10 that. Because that was raised in the cross-examination.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I will allow the question. Go ahead.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
13 Q. [Interpretation] I'm asking you this: What did the commander of
14 the police, komandir, said was the basis for having these people detained?
15 What did Savo Cancarevic tell you about that?
16 A. He told me that some persons had been taken into detention because
17 they were found in possession of military weapons, and some persons had
18 been detained because there were indications to show that they were
19 involved in preparing an armed rebellion.
20 Q. Is it possible that the Crisis Staff had this same type of
21 information with respect to the grounds for detaining these people?
22 A. If the chief of police informed them about that.
23 Q. And now a few words about the exchanges. Which body was in charge
24 of the exchange process?
25 A. A commission was set up for exchange.
1 Q. Was there any higher level body above the municipal level in
2 charge of this?
3 A. There was a republican commission. I don't know its exact title.
4 Q. Was there a commission within the framework of the military organs
6 A. Yes, I do know about a military commission that was in existence,
7 and I think that the commission was headed by Mr. Grujo -- I think his
8 first name was Grujo. I can't remember his surname. Or maybe Grujic.
9 Grujo or Grujic.
10 Q. In keeping with the rules and regulations in force at the time,
11 who could have ordered a person to be released from detention?
12 A. The person who detained the individual in the first place.
13 Q. Could you be a little more specific, please.
14 A. If an individual was a civilian and had been detained by the
15 public security station, then that same person could have been released by
16 that same body, that is to say, the public security station, on its own or
17 in cooperation with the prosecutor. If we're dealing with a military
18 person, then it would be the military body and military prosecutor, under
19 whose competence it was to do the same.
20 Q. Yesterday you were asked by the Prosecutor -- actually, he asked
21 you a number of questions relating to Cadre's policy at the municipal
22 level in the period after the multiparty elections had taken place in
23 1990. What I'm asking you now is this: What personal knowledge do you
24 have about the following fact, which three parties had political power and
25 authority, or rather, had the coalition at a republican level, at the
1 level of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
2 A. The National Assembly and the government, to the best of my
3 knowledge, were represented by -- or consisted of the representatives of
4 the Croatian Democratic Union, the Party of Democratic Action, and the
5 Serbian Democratic Party.
6 Q. To the best of your knowledge, this coalition government, was it
7 reflected on a local, municipal level at all?
8 A. Well, yes. There were local elections, and the vote was similar.
9 The outcome of the vote reflected that.
10 Q. I'm not asking you about what the outcome of the vote was, but who
11 de facto had the political coalition in the Samac municipality after the
12 elections in 1990. Just briefly. Don't waste too much time on that,
13 please. Keep it brief.
14 A. The HDZ, the SDA, and the SDS.
15 Q. So on that basis, was there a distribution of posts, functions, in
16 the local municipal administration?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. My next question -- or rather, the Prosecutor's next question
19 related to the concept of representatives or deputies in parliament in the
20 parliament of Republika Srpska, and he touched upon the decision whereby
21 Dr. Blagoje Simic and Mr. Mirko Dragic were appointed as representatives.
22 So a very concrete question: Of the three categories, that is to say, a
23 member of parliament, MP, a representative or observer, which of those
24 concepts can be applied to this situation referring to Dr. Blagoje Simic
25 and Mirko Dragic?
1 A. Observer status.
2 Q. Do you have any knowledge about the following: When the conflict
3 broke out in mid-April 1992, in Bosanski Samac -- Mr. Lukic, shall I --
4 may I assist you? Don't look at the transcript, because it's in English.
5 It will take away your concentration. Just listen to my questions.
6 Listen to me. You'll find it easier, I think.
7 And my question is this: In mid-April 1992, was the primary
8 school in Bosanski Samac damaged in any way?
9 A. Around the 20th of April, I think, it was set fire to, or rather,
10 a shell hit it, and the entire roof burnt down, so that it wasn't used.
11 It wasn't used at all right up until 1998, when, with the assistance of
12 international donors, the European Union, and along with the involvement
13 of 1.500.000 German marks, we were able to repair the damage and put the
14 building right.
15 Q. Do you know when the academic year in Samac ended? Give us a
16 rough estimate.
17 A. On the 15th of April.
18 Q. Do you know why it was interrupted, the academic year was
20 A. Well, I think that's when it would have come to an end anyway. It
21 was the end of the year, school year.
22 Q. Let me ask you the following question: Bearing in mind the
23 circumstances in Samac from April onwards, was it possible to ensure
24 tuition for the children, safely?
25 A. Well, I've already said something about that. Many children
1 didn't go to school at all. They didn't turn up for classes. So that
2 probably that was the reason for the ministry to decide to declare the
3 school year terminated for that year.
4 Q. Was Samac shelled in April, May 1992? Just say yes or no. Give
5 us a yes or no answer.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Under these circumstances, could it have been possible for
8 children to attend school normally? Just yes or no, please.
9 A. No.
10 Q. Another question from the Prosecutor: That you said two schools
11 in Samac, from April to October 1992, were full of Muslims and Croats,
12 detainees. What I'm asking you now is this: You told us what you knew
13 about the detainees in April. Now, can you tell me, in this connection,
14 in connection with the detainees in school, were they there in April, in
15 the month of April? Were there any detainees in the school house?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Were there any in May?
18 A. As far as I recall, yes.
19 Q. For orientational purposes, did you perhaps receive any
20 information from Savo Cancarevic how many of them there might have been in
21 May, how many detainees in May? Were there, say, 50, a hundred, 150, 300,
22 or a thousand?
23 A. I don't know how many exactly, but the number was far smaller.
24 Q. Less than a hundred?
25 A. Less.
1 Q. Do you happen to know of an exchange that took place in the
2 presence of the International Red Cross between the Odzak side and the
3 Samac side?
4 A. I heard about that, yes.
5 Q. In what period did this take place?
6 A. In May.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Is it May 1992?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] 1992, yes.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour, for this assistance.
10 Q. [Interpretation] In October 1991, in the parliament of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was outvoting that took place on the Croatian
12 and Muslim side; rather, they outvoted the Serb side?
13 MR. RE: I object.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 MR. RE: I asked no questions at all about the processes in the
16 socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina parliament before the takeover.
17 That's completely outside the scope of re-examination.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
19 MR. PANTELIC: There are some relations, but okay, I'll withdraw
20 that question.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, the Serbian municipality of Samac and
22 Pelagicevo was being established when exactly?
23 A. At the end of February 1992.
24 Q. In February 1992, were there any representatives of the Serb sides
25 in the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. No.
2 Q. When was the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina formed, or
3 rather, the Republika Srpska? When was that formed?
4 A. I think it was after the plebiscite.
5 Q. And when was the plebiscite?
6 A. In October or November of 1991.
7 Q. What about the National Assembly of Republika Srpska? Was it
8 functioning at that time, and was it making decisions?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Republika Srpska, was it the legal, lawful, and legitimate subject
11 at the time?
12 A. Yes, it was in existence.
13 MR. RE: I object. This witness is here as a fact witness for
14 what happened in Bosanski Samac, not as a constitutional expert as to the
15 legitimacy or otherwise of the declaration of the Republika Srpska or the
16 government organs at the time.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
18 MR. PANTELIC: On the same time, Your Honour, if I may, my learned
19 friend asked this witness about the fact of the internationally
20 recognition and all other issues, so --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. The question was: Was it recognised by
22 this entity or that entity. It wasn't whether was the recognition valid.
23 That wasn't the question. Yes.
24 MR. PANTELIC: But he mentioned EU and --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: And the Americans.
1 MR. PANTELIC: -- USA.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Just the recognition, not whether that recognition
3 was valid.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I take this ...
5 Q. [Interpretation] We were saying -- my next question: Explain to
6 the Court, please, why the Republika Srpska was established in the first
8 MR. RE: Again I object. It's outside the scope of
9 re-examination. I didn't ask any questions relating to the establishment
10 of Republika Srpska or the reasons. This trial is about persecution on a
11 local level in Bosanski Samac.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: What's even more important is that that wasn't
13 raised in cross-examination, Mr. Pantelic.
14 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. What was the reason for the establishment of the Serb municipality
16 of Samac and Pelagicevo?
17 A. A recommendation by the National Assembly of the Serb Republic.
18 Q. And is that municipality a component part of Republika Srpska to
19 this day?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is Republika Srpska recognised as an entity under the Dayton
23 A. The big powers at Dayton, the superpowers at Dayton, drew up the
24 Dayton Agreement, along with the presence of the representatives of the
25 former Yugoslavia.
1 Q. Just tell me yes or no: Was it recognised as an entity or not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was a decision made by which Republika Srpska would remain within
4 Yugoslavia at the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992?
5 A. Yes. The people stated their views at the plebiscite, voted on
7 Q. Who was the legal military formation in the former Yugoslavia?
8 A. The Yugoslav People's Army.
9 Q. When asked by the Prosecutor, you said that on the 18th of April,
10 1992, in Samac, that JNA soldiers patrolled the streets of Samac. Were
11 they soldiers who had been mobilised or were they the local population or
12 were they soldiers who had come in from outside from Yugoslavia itself?
13 A. They were soldiers who had been mobilised from the municipality.
14 Q. Which municipality?
15 A. The Bosanski Samac municipality.
16 Q. On the 18th of April, 1992, was there -- was it legal and normal
17 for members of the JNA to be on the territory of the Samac municipality?
18 MR. RE: I object to this. Again it's outside this witness's --
19 it's outside cross-examination and outside the scope of this witness's
20 expertise. He's a fact witness, not one as to the constitutional division
21 between Yugoslavia and Bosnia at the time.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. The objection is sustained.
23 MR. PANTELIC: May I just read a question of my learned friend?
24 Unfortunately, I don't have pages here. It was 17 hours 25: How do you
25 say that the JNA soldiers had not taken over the town and replaced the
1 democratically elected municipality with its own. So my question, Your
2 Honour, is here in order to clarify that issue. And that issue was raised
3 yesterday with regard to the JNA, legality, how --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. Not the legality. It was a fact question.
5 They were democratic elections.
6 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. According to your personal knowledge, on the 18th of April, 1992,
8 was there a takeover of power in Samac by the army? Did the JNA take
9 control in Samac?
10 A. I said that on that particular day I saw our army out in the
11 streets, or rather, the Yugoslav People's Army.
12 Q. Was there a takeover of power by them in Samac on that day?
13 A. I don't have any information to that effect.
14 Q. Did you personally, or did you happen to hear it rumoured in the
15 time before mid-April 1992, did you have any information about the
16 presence of enemy military forces around Samac?
17 A. I have already testified to that.
18 Q. Please tell me whether you knew this or did not.
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. And what forces were these?
21 A. They were representatives of the Croatian army on our territory,
22 on the territory of our municipality.
23 Q. Were there any other military forces there?
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. Was there talk of any military operations and indeed an attack on
1 Samac by those forces?
2 A. Yes. People were talking about that.
3 Q. What kind of rumours were these? What forces were supposed to
4 attack Samac? Who was supposed to attack Samac?
5 MR. RE: I object to this, Your Honour. The witness testified in
6 examination, examination-in-chief, that he had heard rumours, and it rose
7 to no more than the level of rumours that there were Croats forces nearby.
8 I didn't ask him about Croat forces in the territory except to say there
9 weren't any, and he agreed there were none there. My learned friend is
10 now putting to the witness again the same rumours as if to elevate them to
11 the level of fact. In my submission, the witness can take it no further
12 and it doesn't arise from cross-examination. He has no personal
13 knowledge. He made it quite clear in cross-examination and in
15 MR. PANTELIC: The fact is --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. The fact is there were rumours,
18 hearsay --
19 JUDGE MUMBA: That is, so and that has been said by the witness
20 and that is sufficient.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Okay.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, then: What was your conclusion,
23 although you're not a military expert, but you're an educated man. What
24 did you think the JNA units were doing there composed of the local
25 inhabitants, in that period from around the 18th of April, 1992?
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, the witness is not here to tell us
2 what he thinks they were doing. He's a fact witness. If he knows, that's
3 a different matter.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Do you know what they were doing, what the JNA
6 troops were doing, composed of the local population around April 1992 in
8 A. They were supposed to prevent an armed uprising.
9 Q. By whom?
10 A. By the Croatian forces, the Croatian and Muslim side.
11 Q. How did you come to learn this?
12 A. I heard about it.
13 Q. From whom?
14 A. Well, I heard it in town, that story, or rather, that information,
15 was something that was shared by all other inhabitants.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit P89, please.
17 Q. [Interpretation] In the meantime, just one question: How long did
18 the mandate of the Crisis Staff last, in terms of time? If it was
19 established in April, how long did it go on for?
20 A. At the end of July or beginning of August, the War Presidency was
22 Q. So that means how long did the Crisis Staff last?
23 A. A part of April, May, June, and July.
24 Q. And how long did the War Presidency go on for? How long was that
25 in existence?
1 A. Until the first assembly was held, and the first assembly was held
2 sometime in mid-December 1992.
3 Q. So from December 1992, which body was functioning in the territory
4 of Samac municipality, in the political sense?
5 A. The Municipal Assembly.
6 Q. Take a look at this document now, please. The Prosecutor asked
7 you about the preamble of this document. Could you please interpret it
8 for me, particularly in terms of which paramilitary formations were meant
9 here, the ones that are included in the territory of the municipality.
10 A. The Croat Muslim ones.
11 Q. Do you know any names maybe of those formations?
12 A. Zengas, Green Berets.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, usher.
15 Now I would like to discuss this war tax issue, very briefly,
16 Exhibit P102, please.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Look at Article 3, please. Does Article 3 refer
18 to persons -- does Article 3 refer to persons who have a regular work
19 permit abroad, or does it refer to some other persons?
20 A. I already explained that those who have regular papers abroad,
21 from before.
22 Q. Just concentrate on Article 3, please. I'm asking you
23 specifically: Is there any mention here of people who do not have a work
24 permit in Article 3?
25 A. No.
1 Q. And could you please tell me the following: How do you interpret
2 this "All persons living abroad and have not been issued with valid work
3 or residence permits"? So does this then refer to people who do not have
4 valid foreign work permits? We have two categories. One category are
5 those who have work permits, and the other category, those who do not have
7 A. No, it does not refer to those who do not possess a working visa.
8 Q. If they do not have a valid work permit for some European country,
9 what was their duty, according to some republican regulations? You talked
10 about that yesterday, so could you please explain that a little more.
11 A. Since general mobilisation was called, they were obliged to report
12 to the -- they were obliged to report to the mobilisation call-up.
13 Q. So that meant that they were obliged to come back and place
14 themselves at the disposal of the competent authorised command?
15 A. To return to the country and to make themselves available to the
16 Defence Ministry.
17 Q. And the second category are persons who have a work permit, a
18 foreign work permit. Did they also have the obligation to come back and
19 place themselves at the disposal of the Defence Ministry?
20 A. No.
21 Q. What was their duty, if there was any, that they had, in times of
22 war, in terms of a war duty?
23 A. To pay the wartime tax, or to pay -- i.e., to pay an additional
24 income tax.
25 Q. De facto, in the course of 1992 and 1993, what was the ethnicity
1 of the persons who came back on work or holiday or some other -- for some
2 other reason to the Samac municipality? What was their ethnicity?
3 A. I said it already. Most of them, or in percentages, 99 per cent,
4 were Serbs, and 1 per cent were Muslims and Croats.
5 Q. When Serbs came to their town and visited their relatives, they
6 were obliged to pay that tax because they would then receive a kind of
7 receipt or a certificate based on that?
8 A. They would be given a form stating that they were obliged to pay
9 this tax, and then they would be given a kind of receipt stating that they
10 had paid this tax.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, all this was given yesterday. We are
12 simply repeating. Re-examination does not mean repeating what was already
14 MR. PANTELIC: Okay, Your Honour. I will narrow the issue, yes.
15 Q. [Interpretation] My question is: Did this decision on the wartime
16 tax de facto apply to the Serb ethnic group?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And not to the other two ethnic groups?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. PANTELIC: I've finished with this document. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: I just want an explanation of the last answer, and
22 not to the other two ethnic groups, and the answer is yes. Are you saying
23 it did not apply to the other ethnic groups or that it did?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that about 1 per cent of
25 Croats and Muslims came to town, and this decision did apply to that 1 per
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit P124, please.
4 Q. [Interpretation] On page 3 you have the decision on the formation
5 of the Assembly of the Serbian People. Have you found it?
6 A. It's page 4.
7 Q. Yes. Excuse me. It is page 4, Article 5. The Prosecutor asked
8 you whether this was a discriminatory decision. I am asking you now:
9 Between two options -- I'm asking you about the following two options:
10 Was it perhaps clumsily formulated or discriminatory? Which one would you
12 MR. RE: I object to the question.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Re.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Microphone.
15 MR. RE: I object to the question. The question is leading. The
16 witness answered the question in cross-examination. My learned friend is
17 not attempting to clarify anything about his answer which was clearly yes,
18 it was discriminatory. He is in fact trying to put words into the
19 witness's mouth.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe he was confused.
21 MR. RE: Well, that is too, with respect.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, the objection is sustained. You have
23 to rephrase your question if you want --
24 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. In the period when this decision was adopted, did the Republican
1 Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina function in accordance with the
2 constitutional requirements or provisions of all of the three ethnic
4 A. Yes. No.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I have a problem with my notebook, but
6 I will --
7 Q. Let's repeat this.
8 MR. RE: Objection. I move to strike. The question is a leading
9 one and a meaningless one and it doesn't arise from cross-examination.
10 And the answer is contradictory, yes and no.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It's actually confused, because I was trying
12 to --
13 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, he said no, but the problem was with
14 the translator. But he said no. His answer was no, actually. But there
15 was a mistake. I need the assistance from the interpreters' booth,
16 because they may be --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We can ask the translators. What was the
18 answer of the witness? Because the transcript shows yes and no.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters think that the witness said no.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
21 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did the Serb delegates in the municipality of Samac, in the period
23 of 1992, so February 1992, until April 1992, were they able to carry out
24 their functions as deputies in the Municipal Assembly of Samac?
25 A. Not in the Republican Assembly, no.
1 Q. Did the deputies --
2 MR. RE: I object to this. The question Mr. Pantelic asked a few
3 moments ago that I was objecting to seems to relate to the Republican
4 Assembly of -- or the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which I
5 didn't touch upon in cross-examination at all. He now seems to be moving
6 on to or the witness seems to be moving on to some constitutional opinion
7 as to the evidence that Professor Nikolic and Professor Knezmanovic
8 [phoen] gave as to the constitutional divisions between the three nations,
9 so to speak.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And this wasn't raised in cross-examination.
11 MR. PANTELIC: It's necessary to --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic --
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: You have to stick to the Rules, otherwise there is
15 no re-examination.
16 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Lukic, could you please tell me: Did the Municipal Assembly
18 of Bosanski Samac function in the period from January 1992 to April 1992?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. How many sessions were there?
21 A. One. I think that there was one session.
22 Q. In your assessment, was there a blockade -- were the Serb
23 delegates in the Assembly blockaded or did everything proceed as normal?
24 MR. RE: This is chronically leading, Your Honour. He's entitled
25 to ask about the process. If anything requires clarification from
1 questions or things -- issues I touched upon in cross-examination. This
2 is just blatant leading.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: You can rephrase your question, Mr. Pantelic.
4 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Could you please tell me your personal knowledge and your
6 assessment about the following: Did the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski
7 Samac, from January to April 1992, function? How did it function? Could
8 you please give us an explanation.
9 A. Yes, it did function. The institutions of the Assembly and the
10 Executive Council did function, and they were performing their duties.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Ms. Usher. You can take this document.
12 Sorry, sorry, sorry. No, no. My mistake. Sorry. Because this morning
13 was raised the issue between the Article 6, 7, and 8. My mistake.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please look at Article 6 of this
15 decision. How do you interpret it?
16 A. Article 6?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. Article 6 of this decision states that this Assembly, so the
19 Assembly of the Serbian people of Bosanski Samac, will respect all federal
20 regulations. So these are the regulations of the Federal Republic of
21 Yugoslavia, and will respect all republican regulations of the Republic of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina which do not violate the equality of the Serbian
23 people, or infringe upon the equality of the Serbian people.
24 Q. And in the period January to April 1992, were the regulations of
25 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, did they infringe upon the
1 interests of the Serbian people?
2 MR. RE: I object.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The objection is sustained, Mr. Pantelic.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, it's directly related to Article 8, so
5 we cannot discuss -- so that was my --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: The question is not allowed. That's all.
7 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Please, could you look at Article 8. Could you comment the term
9 "final distribution of assets and liabilities"? Between which sides was
10 this distribution supposed to be conducted, and what does that mean?
11 A. This implies that, on the one hand, on the one side is the side
12 which is in this decision.
13 Q. And which side is that?
14 A. They are the representatives of the Serbian people. And then the
15 other side constitutes the representatives of the Croatian and Muslim
17 Q. We're talking about March and April 1992. Were there any
18 activities in that time period in Bosnia and Herzegovina and at the level
19 of Samac, in relation to territorial divisions based on a proposal by the
20 international community?
21 MR. RE: Again I object. I did not raise anything related to
22 the -- what's it called? The Carrington Commission or anything of that --
23 in my cross-examination. I'm sorry. The cantonisation and the Lisbon
24 plan is what I'm talking about.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Lisbon plan, yes.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: The question and the answer will be struck off.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. It is in relation with the issued which was
4 raised this morning with regard to Article 8 but we have here Article 9.
5 And then I would like to discuss that, because it's -- one act, one legal
6 act should be interpreted in its totality, not with the excerpt.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Lukic, Article 9 of this decision makes
8 mention of the concept of mixed commissions. What were these mixed
9 commissions supposed to do?
10 A. These commissions were supposed to draw up a final plan in the
11 sense of the distribution of assets and liabilities.
12 Q. Of what? The distribution of what? For which territory, which
14 A. We're not talking about territory here; we're talking about
15 material assets of the Municipal Assembly, the books, the archives, the
16 documents of the Municipal Assembly, which means the overall documentation
17 which is kept in an institution like the Municipal Assembly.
18 Q. In your opinion, these articles, from Article 6 to Article 9, do
19 they contain any discriminatory provision at all?
20 MR. RE: Your Honour, I object to that. The witness answered that
21 in cross-examination. This isn't a clarifying question. He's just asking
22 him to repeat what he's already said in cross-examination.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, but he made certain comments under Article 5,
24 Your Honour. But as I said, the act should be viewed in its totality. We
25 cannot say that Article 1 is discriminatory or Article 5 no, or 6 maybe
1 so, and so on. So I want to have a clear picture of the whole document.
2 That was my intention.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but the Prosecution didn't ask about the whole
5 MR. PANTELIC: He asked about the Article 8, which cannot be
6 viewed isolated, without making comments on Article 7, of course 6, and 9.
7 So that's the point that I would like to make.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. He gave the answer on Article 8, which is
9 clear, and there is nothing else to be said about it. So please move on,
10 Mr. Pantelic.
11 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. So this entire decision, Mr. Lukic, does it contain any
13 discriminatory elements at all? Yes or no.
14 A. No.
15 Q. When you mentioned some documents and evidence here, and the
16 Prosecutor asked you about a decision, alleged decision, of the Crisis
17 Staff, dated the 15th of May, with respect to the vital facilities and so
18 on, you said that you saw it at the lawyer's place, that is to say, my
19 office. Could you tell us, for the record, when you saw the decision, to
20 clear that point up. What circumstances?
21 A. During these days of preparation.
22 Q. You mean in preparation for your own testimony?
23 A. Yes, that's right. That means that when I arrived here, and when
24 I was preparing to take the floor to testify, from that day up until the
25 time I testified.
1 Q. Did you see any other documents from the proceedings here that
2 were introduced into evidence or anything?
3 A. Yes. I saw all the documents during those proofing sessions.
4 Q. And one more question that emerged from the line of questioning by
5 the Prosecutor. When the regular session of the Municipal Assembly of
6 Samac was convened at the end of 1992, did that mean that the state of
7 emergency had been abolished?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I believe that I'm almost finished.
10 Let me just -- please bear with me one second to check maybe one or two
11 questions that I have here. Yes.
12 Q. [Interpretation] As a legal man yourself, and linked to the issues
13 that were opened up by the Prosecutor, tell me this: During the state of
14 war, does punishment and policies for crimes, are they stricter or more
15 lenient, sentences for crimes. Do they tend to be stricter or more
16 lenient during a state of war?
17 MR. RE: I asked nothing about the state of sentences in Bosnia
18 or -- anywhere in my cross-examination.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. That question is not allowed.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Many questions were posed, Your Honour, with regard
21 to the human rights, with regard to constitutional rights of citizens, so
22 that's the issue that I would like to explore with this witness. But I
23 will rephrase the question.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but your question wasn't along those lines.
25 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Tell me this: When there was a state of war, when there is a
2 state of war, can one abolish or reduce constitutional categories which
3 relate to the constitutional rights and freedoms of citizens?
4 JUDGE MUMBA: That as a general question does not help the case at
6 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. As to the war tax and some formulations from the document itself,
8 which stipulate the ways in which taxes are incurred, the procedure of
9 levying the taxes and so on, what I'm asking you is this, and you said
10 that there were some provisions at the level of Republika Srpska, and I'm
11 asking you, as a legal man and as a witness who is aware of the facts,
12 whether, during a state of war, certain provisions from your field of
13 activity, which is taxes in this case, can they undergo -- be amended to
14 make them stricter or to make them -- or to curtail certain rights
15 emanating from those fields?
16 A. Yes, and that's what happened.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I've finished with my
18 re-direct. Thank you.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. Lukic, for giving
20 evidence to the Tribunal. You are now finished and you can go.
21 Yes. The witness can be led out of the courtroom.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, Your Honours. Thank
23 you to the Prosecution and thank you to the Defence.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 MR. RE: Your Honour, yesterday I showed to the witness
1 Mr. Lukic -- part of P126, which is the gazette of November 1994, and I
2 produced a translation of Article -- or item 35, an English translation of
3 the B/C/S, which is already in evidence. Would it be appropriate for me
4 to tender the English translation at this point?
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 MR. RE: I formally tender an English translation of Article 35 in
7 existing Exhibit P126.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the number? The Exhibit is 12 -- P126,
9 is it?
10 MR. RE: That's correct, Your Honour.
11 THE REGISTRAR: With the leave of the Court, this will become
12 Exhibit P126A. Thank you.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
14 Yes. The next witness.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Good afternoon, Witness, and please make the solemn
18 WITNESS: SIMEON SIMIC
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Please be seated.
23 Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
24 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning to you, sir. Could you tell us your
2 A. My name is Simeon Simic.
3 Q. Mr. Simic, tell us when you were born, please.
4 A. I was born on the 4th of November, 1956.
5 Q. Where were you born?
6 A. I was born in Kruskovo Polje, a village near Samac.
7 Q. Kruskovo Polje is part of the municipality, is it?
8 A. Kruskovo Polje is a village which is seven or eight kilometres
9 away from Samac and near the village there's an old area with some Roman
10 remains. It is called the Sekuliste [phoen] settlement.
11 Q. May I ask you to make pauses between my question and your answer,
12 because it has to be interpreted and recorded in the transcript.
13 A. Yes, I will.
14 Q. Tell me, please: Are you married? Do you have any children?
15 A. Yes, I am. I'm married, with two daughters. One is 9 years old
16 and the other is 2.
17 Q. And where does your family live, or rather, where do you and your
18 family live?
19 A. My family lives in Samac.
20 Q. Tell me, please: Your father, grandfather, great-grandfather,
21 your ancestors, are they also from the Samac area?
22 A. Yes. All my ancestors are from Kruskovo Polje, and I come from a
23 farming background, a farmer's family. My mother is from the neighbouring
24 village. Her parents were also farmers. And her entire family has lived
25 in the area for generations as well.
1 Q. So how far back do you know of the existence of your family?
2 A. About 200 years back.
3 Q. I'm talking about the area around Samac. Is that right? The
4 Samac region?
5 A. Yes, that's right.
6 Q. Tell us, please: You went to school in Samac, did you?
7 A. No. I finished primary school in Kruskovo Polje, four years of
8 primary school; then elementary school, from 4 to 8, in Crkvina, which is
9 a neighbouring village --
10 Q. Well, but generally speaking, it was in the Samac municipality?
11 A. Yes, that's right.
12 Q. After you graduated from secondary school, did you go on with your
14 A. Yes, I did. I went to Belgrade to continue my education and
15 enrolled at the faculty of philology. I studied literature at the
16 Department for Yugoslav and World Literature. That's what the department
17 was called.
18 Q. And once you graduated from university, did you get a job?
19 A. After I graduated from university, I returned to Samac, where I
20 got a job in the secondary school centre of the day.
21 Q. I assume that you taught Serbian and literature. Is that right?
22 A. Yes. I taught Serbian and literature. It was the Serbian, or
23 Serbo-Croatian, or Croato-Serbian language, as it was called at the time.
24 Q. Yes. Tell me: While you were a student at university, did you
25 have any other occupations, additional, extracurricular activities?
1 A. Well, I wrote articles in the area of culture and literature. I
2 did a bit of writing for newspapers and journals. And when I returned to
3 Samac, alongside my job as a teacher at school, I would also carry on with
4 my writing.
5 Q. Could you give us a few examples, perhaps, of the articles you
6 wrote or how you -- your cooperation with publishing houses or whatever,
7 something of that nature? Just make pauses, please.
8 A. After I got a job as a teacher in the secondary school, I joined
9 in some of the town's cultural activities. At the time, I was not
10 politically involved in any way. I wasn't a member of any party or
11 suchlike, and so culture was an area that I engaged in. And I became
12 involved in the work of the literary youth, as it was called, of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I became president of the literary youth
14 organisation of Samac. I also cooperated and wrote for many magazines and
15 journals, such as, for example, the Samac newspaper, Samacke Novine, the
16 cultural newspaper called Provincija, then there was Odjek from Sarajevo
17 and the paper Knizema Rec from Belgrade, that sort of thing, then another
18 newspaper from Novi Sad, call Polja.
19 Q. Tell me: While you were teaching, while you were a teacher, the
20 classes were multi-ethnic, weren't they?
21 A. Yes. The classes were multi-ethnic, which meant that in my
22 classroom, in one form, sitting at the same desks, we would have children
23 who were Serbs and Croats and Muslims, those three ethnic groups mostly.
24 Q. I assume that your colleagues, the other teachers, also came from
25 all three ethnic backgrounds.
1 A. Yes, that's right. My fellow teachers were from all these three
2 ethnic groups, which means there were Muslims and Croats and Serbs.
3 Q. Tell me, please: During the writing that you did for papers and
4 journals - you've already talked about that - I assume that you had
5 personal and professional contacts as well with your colleagues from the
6 other two ethnic groups in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 A. Yes. And in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well, in Sarajevo, and in
9 Q. I also assume that you had friends amongst them. You were friends
10 and socialised with them as well?
11 A. Yes, I did. For example, at that time in Samac, within the
12 literary youth group, other prominent people were Petar Andric, for
13 example, Fikret Devedzic, and there were some others.
14 Q. Tell me, please: In the course of your work as a teacher,
15 secondary school teacher, you launched a school paper with your pupils, I
16 understand; is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right. This was sometime in 1984 or 1985. We
18 launched a paper for secondary school students, and the name we gave to it
19 was Feniks. And that particular paper, as our editorial concept was based
20 on a critical approach to the then system, or to make a long story short,
21 we wanted the paper to reflect the struggle for student rights, which, in
22 the opinions of the young teachers at the school at the time, were
23 jeopardised. And we came across large-scale support from the students, of
24 course. However, once the paper had started to be printed, after several
25 issues, it became extinct because there was a large campaign with a
1 political dimension as its background to have the paper stopped. And at
2 that time, of course, the socialist, or rather, communist system had a
3 strong hold on this type of activity. So the paper was suspended. They
4 did not allow activities of this type to take place. And as a result of
5 our activities in the paper --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, can we move to the issues in the case,
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes, of course.
9 Q. [Interpretation] So, briefly, there were certain political - how
10 shall I say it? - moves by the authorities then in power, the communist
11 powers, regarding your initiative, your initiatives and the initiative of
12 your pupils?
13 A. Yes, that's right. They didn't tolerate that.
14 Q. How long were you a professor in the secondary school in Samac?
15 A. I was a professor in the Samac secondary school until 1991, when I
16 was appointed as director of the technical and mechanical school, of that
18 Q. In April 1992 what was your post? I'm talking about your career
19 as an educator. Were you a director even then?
20 A. Yes. When the war broke out, I was a director of the mechanical
21 and technical school. The secondary school centre did have two plants,
22 and they became two schools. These were the school for economy and the
23 machine engineering school. And it had three directors: One general
24 director and director of each of those separate units.
25 Q. In the period of 1992, could you tell us a little bit more,
1 specifically in Samac, in your institution, in the secondary school. How
2 would you assess interethnic relations, and what was the atmosphere like
3 in your school at the time?
4 A. The atmosphere from the general society was reflected also in the
5 school. All the political turbulence that was going on at the macro level
6 was also going on within the school. So at the time, when I was appointed
7 director, it was very difficult to be a teacher, and especially to be some
8 kind of official or an official in that post, because of this nationalist
9 energy which was opposed one to another, and it disrupted our relations.
10 Things got even worse when, after the war in Croatia, refugees began to
11 arrive, and the refugees were mostly of Serb or Croat ethnicity, so that
12 the children of those refugees who were arriving to our territory were
13 enrolling their children in our school. I am not going to say that they,
14 as a segment, had any influence on this, but -- or had an effect on this,
15 but there was a problem in terms of this, also within the teaching staff,
16 as a group, these problems cropped up. It would happen that some people
17 would simply quarrel in the staff room, the teachers, about these national
18 topics. Some were for the JNA, some were for this option, some were for
19 another option, and so on.
20 Q. So what were the stands that were crystalised in these relations?
21 What were those options?
22 A. The options were as follows: The Serb part of the teaching staff
23 were generally in favour of the preservation of Yugoslavia, no matter what
24 it was. The colleagues from the other two ethnic communities were
25 generally in favour of either secession of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 depending on whether they were Croats or Muslims. And some of the
2 colleagues participated directly, or joined the nationalist parties. So
3 in that sense, they were politically active in these matters.
4 There were several incidents also. If I may tell you what they
5 are. I don't know. Maybe this is something that's been forgotten now,
6 but sometime in mid-1990 there was to have been a large exchange of
7 prisoners. I think that the Serb army arrested - or the JNA at that time,
8 or whether it was the Krajina army. I can't remember exactly who it
9 was - arrested 400 Croat soldiers in Kostajnica, and the exchange was to
10 have been carried out in Samac, although the school authorities were not
11 asked about it at the time. A solution was found for the captured Croat
12 soldiers to be accommodated in the sports hall of the school centre, and
13 the prisoners of the JNA were probably on the other side of the River
14 Sava, in Croatia. I don't know exactly how this mechanism of exchange was
15 carried out, but what was important to me at the time was that the
16 exchange was carried out, or that the prisoners were accommodated in the
17 school hall, which at that time really was a problem for us in the school,
18 but it wasn't something that we were able to prevent. Allegedly, there
19 was no other better place to put those people up.
20 I will try to bring to you a little bit of the situation. The
21 exchange was to have been carried out in the afternoon hours, for some
22 reasons which I'm not familiar with.
23 Q. I just want to interrupt you. Let us clarify. The exchange was
24 being carried out between which two sides?
25 A. The exchange --
1 Q. The JNA, you said, had a certain number of prisoners?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what was the other side?
4 A. There were Serb prisoners.
5 Q. And who arrested them?
6 A. The Croat army arrested them.
7 Q. So it was an exchange between the members of the JNA and the
8 members of the Croat army?
9 A. Yes, that's right.
10 Q. Can you please continue now.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: May I ask, Mr. Pantelic: What year was that?
12 MR. PANTELIC: I believe the witness said it was 1991, but I will
13 clarify that.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: So it is an incident outside the indictment, isn't
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Yes. I will ask. I will ask.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So why are we continuing?
19 MR. WEINER: Excuse me, Your Honour. The witness said mid-1990,
20 in the transcript.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: He said what? Mid --?
22 MR. WEINER: Mid-1990.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: 1990. Oh, I see.
24 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Can you please tell us: Was this in 1990 or 1991?
1 A. 1991, the first half.
2 MR. PANTELIC: First part of 1991. Yes.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Very briefly: How did this fact affect certain
4 interethnic relations in Samac? I assume that this is what you started to
5 explain to us, for some reason.
6 A. Yes. I tried to explain that because of the following: The
7 exchange was not conducted in the afternoon, but for some reason was
8 postponed for the following day. And then the following day, some 2.000
9 pupils, which was how many students the school had, witnessed a scene
10 which was really -- according to my deepest conviction, should not have
11 been carried out in front of the students, and this is why:
12 The prisoners were accommodated in the gym. The students were in
13 their classrooms. In front of the school there is a large playing field,
14 or a sports field, and this is where all of this was taking place. So the
15 students were observing this with a lot of curiosity. But there were
16 already certain conflicts amongst them, because in the gym there was a
17 considerable number of Croat volunteers from that area who happened to be
18 detained there, and they had, for example, brothers in the school, in the
19 classroom. So can you imagine a situation where a pupil knows that
20 somewhere over there in the gym his brother is detained or that he is a
21 subject of exchange?
22 Q. Let's clarify that. For example, if I understood you properly, a
23 citizen of the municipality of Samac, of Croat nationality or ethnicity,
24 went, I assume as a volunteer, to Croatia to fight in the Croatian army.
25 He was captured there by the JNA, and then, in the process of exchange for
1 Serb prisoners, he happened to find himself in Bosanski Samac. Did I
2 understand that correctly?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And regarding your political engagement, could you please tell us
5 a few words about that. In 1990, multi-ethnic elections were held in
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina. We know that. So in 1990, during the multiparty
7 elections, were you a member of any political party?
8 A. The multiparty elections were held, if I'm not mistaken, on the
9 18th of November, 1990. Until 1990, or from 1986 until 1990, I was a
10 member of the League of Communists.
11 Q. Let me just ask you about 1990 so we can cut this short. In 1990,
12 were you a member of any political party?
13 A. I was a member of the Democratic Alliance, which after a couple
14 of months changed its name to the Liberal Party.
15 Q. Who was the president of the Liberal Party?
16 A. The president of the Liberal Party was, and still is, Rasim Kadic.
17 Q. What is his ethnicity?
18 A. He's a Bosniak, a Muslim. And it stated "Muslim" on the electoral
20 Q. In April 1992, which party were you in?
21 A. In April 1992 I was in the Liberal Party.
22 Q. I assume that your party had a municipal council also.
23 A. Yes, it did.
24 Q. And who was the president of that municipal board?
25 A. I was the president of the municipal board.
1 Q. And who else at the local level was amongst your party colleagues
2 in Samac?
3 A. The Liberal Party had its bodies. Of course, it had a presidency,
4 and the presidency comprised members of all ethnic groups.
5 Q. We're talking about Samac?
6 A. Yes, that's right.
7 Q. Who were they?
8 A. Senad Causevic, Muslim Bozo Ninkovic, Serb Zeljko Petric, a
10 Q. And the municipal elections in 1990, how many deputy mandates did
11 your party secure?
12 A. It secured only one such mandate.
13 Q. Did you personally participate in the work of the municipal
14 parliament, or in that municipal structure, on behalf of the Liberal
15 Party? I'm talking about after 1990, after the multiparty elections.
16 A. I was at the top of the Liberal Party list at the elections in
17 1990. I was the main candidate. And based on that, I was part of the
18 Municipal Assembly, which numbered 50 delegates.
19 Q. So you were a member of the Municipal Assembly, the municipal
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And in the work of the Municipal Assembly, did you have any duties
23 in any municipal commissions or boards, or were you just a member of the
24 municipal parliament?
25 A. I was a member of the municipal parliament, but I also had some
1 duties. Amongst others, I was in a body, or a commission, which was
2 called the Council for National Defence, or People's Defence, which
3 numbered 11 members. They were people there from all political parties.
4 Q. Can you remember a couple of names from that board and their
5 ethnic background?
6 A. Yes, of course. The president of the commission was the president
7 of the Assembly at the same time. His name was Mr. Mato Nujic.
8 Q. What ethnicity was he?
9 A. Croat. Then Milos Bogdanovic was there. He was the secretary.
10 Then Izet Izetbegovic, Sulejman Tihic, Filip Evic, Marko Tubakovic,
11 Marko Filipovic. I cannot remember all of the people.
12 Q. But there were people from all three ethnic groups; is that right?
13 A. From all three ethnic groups and from all political parties. I
14 can also tell you who belonged to which party.
15 Q. At that time, who formed the municipal government at the municipal
16 level? Was it one party, a coalition of parties, or was it all parties?
17 A. The municipal government was formed by three parties: The HDZ, the
18 SDS, and the SDA. The opposition was the Alliance of Reform Forces, the
19 SDP, and the Liberal Party.
20 Q. In the board for National Defence, the committee, you said that
21 there were different ethnic groups and it didn't consist only of the
22 parties which made up the municipal coalition; the number of parties was
23 larger than that.
24 A. Yes. All the parties made up the composition of that body.
25 MR. PANTELIC: It's time for our break.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll have a break now and continue our
2 proceedings at 1430 hours.
3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.31 p.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Examination-in-chief, Mr. Pantelic.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, before the break we were talking about
5 the council for national -- or rather, for National Defence as an organ of
6 the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac, and you were talking about the
7 members of this body, their ethnic and party affiliation. Tell me now,
8 please: In keeping with the statute, and in view of the amount of work
9 you had to do, what was the scope and type of the activities engaged upon
10 by that municipal board?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Now it's okay. Thank you.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Go ahead.
14 A. Well, it is a council rather than a board, so it was the council
15 for National Defence, and that council would meet occasionally to discuss
16 questions which came under the competence of defence and entered the
17 defence realm. In view of the fact that there was quite a lot of tension,
18 that council, which in peacetime was just a formal body, in this time
19 period became a body which met quite frequently, in fact.
20 Q. Tell me, please: As we're on this topic: Did the council have
21 any command functions or any operative role in the sense of issuing orders
22 or anything of that kind, or was that some other organ that did this
23 within the municipality?
24 A. The council for National Defence was a municipal body, and by that
25 same token, it did not have, nor could it have had, any command functions
1 at all. It was merely a municipal body which was there to look into
2 certain documents and material from the realm of National Defence and to
3 table proposals to the Assembly in that regard.
4 Q. Well, all right. But can you give us an example? What sorts of
5 things were discussed by the council? What kind of activities?
6 A. Well, at that time they were usually issues relating to
7 internationality relations, interethnic relations, the question and role
8 of the JNA and things of that sort. I'll try and draw from memory some of
9 what was going on at the time. For example, I remember that after - how
10 shall I put this? - after the military forces of the SDA set up barricades
11 in Samac, and I think that was sometime just before the war broke out, in
12 March, the council met, the council for National Defence, that is, and
13 discussed the issue.
14 Q. If you happen to remember, just for the record, for the
15 transcript, the time this took place. You mentioned the barricades the
16 SDA set up. Can you tell us roughly when that happened? What month was
17 that? What month are we talking about?
18 A. I think it was sometime at the beginning of March, or perhaps even
19 February, late February/March 1992.
20 Q. And what was the debate going on in your council? How did you
21 debate the issue? Do you remember what side took what position, and so
23 A. For the most part, the members of the SDA justified this. They
24 found reasons to support the fact that the Muslim people had to organise
25 themselves, in view of the fact that already at that time they were
1 claiming that the JNA was in fact an army which was more pro-Serb, and the
2 representatives of the HDZ party thought the same way, whereas the members
3 of the non-nationalist parties, the SDP and the Reformists, tried to
4 reconcile the two and looked at the JNA, saw the JNA as a kind of cohesive
5 factor, which means, to all intents and purposes, that it was still an
6 army which in the area was the sole legitimate army.
7 Q. As we're discussing this topic, although you might not have any
8 information along those lines, but if you can tell us anything, we'd
9 welcome it: The problems around mobilisation and the response to the
10 military call-up in 1991 and the first few months -- or rather, up to
11 April 1992, do you have any personal knowledge as to which of the ethnic
12 groups responded to the call-up? How did this proceed? And how they
13 responded and came for their military training and things like that. In
14 Samac, what was the situation like, if you can tell us anything about
16 A. Well, I'm not too well versed in those matters, but I do know that
17 the call for mobilisation was responded to mostly by members of the Serb
18 ethnicity, whereas the other two ethnic groups tried to avoid the call-up.
19 Q. From your personal knowledge, can you give us an explanation as to
20 why that was?
21 A. I think, in answering the previous question, I already explained
22 that. What happened was that the Serbs saw the JNA as their own army,
23 whereas the other two ethnic groups quite obviously did not see it as
24 being that. I don't know whether it would be useful for me now to portray
25 an image taken from daily life. Can I illustrate that by quoting an
1 ordinary example? Well, anyway, one day I was sitting around with some
2 friends in a cafe, or rather, it was a restaurant, cafe/come/restaurant.
3 The name of it was Palma, the palm tree. And there were several tables,
4 and the Serbs would sit at one table, the Croats at another. So this kind
5 of separation had already taken effect. And at the next table, the table
6 next to us, there were three men. One was wearing a camouflage uniform of
7 the Zenga, the Croatian National Guard Corps, and the other two young men
8 were wearing civilian clothes. One young man - Dina was his name. He was
9 a Muslim otherwise - he said, "Well, if the JNA arrives, I'm going to
10 tackle it with a fuel tank in the track vehicles." The second young man
11 was a Croat, by the name of Zdenko. He said that that was okay. He found
12 that acceptable. And then there was this third man wearing the camouflage
13 uniform, who was a little older than the other two guys. He said, "Well,
14 tell me: How would you feel shooting at a JNA soldier?" And this other
15 man said -- he told one of the most monstrous, in fact, that I've ever
16 heard. He said, "That's no problem --" all that was difficult for me
17 was --
18 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I object.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
20 MR. WEINER: We've gone well beyond his question. We're into just
21 stories from barroom, barroom conversation, nothing more than reminisces
22 from barroom conversation, and from unknown people. And now they're
23 getting into what he just described as a monstrous story. Now once again
24 we go back to the issue of discovery. We have no discovery on any of
25 these issues, any of this that we've discussed for the last 12 minutes,
1 plus prior to the break. No discovery. Again, we have a discovery
2 complaint. We're outside of discovery and we're also outside of any
3 relevance. We're into barroom conversation.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, that's the atmosphere in the city.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you wait for Judge Lindholm?
6 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Well -- there was, page 69 -- I can't get it back
7 now, but there is some confusion about the answer who regarded the JNA as
8 their army.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I will clarify that.
10 And Your Honour, if you allow me, with regard to the submission of
11 my learned friend: In fact, we are now entering into the facts, according
12 to the knowledge of this witness, in the Samac municipality, in the Samac
13 town, with the neighbours, with the fellow citizens, and various episodes
14 which are relevant to this particular period, especially before this
15 conflict broke out. So everything might be relevant, in terms of
16 atmosphere, events, and all other details which might be of importance for
17 our case. So when I said in this line of questions that we shall cover
18 period, first of all, from October 1991 until the end of 1993; and
19 secondly, with regard to the atmosphere immediately prior the outbreak of
20 hostilities in the middle of April, that was the intention here. He's
21 just giving his personal knowledge of that.
22 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, if he wants to get into the facts, that
23 is fine. Why don't we get a summary of the facts? This witness just
24 indicated he was going to start and discuss what he described as a
25 monstrous story. I have no knowledge of this monstrous story to object
1 before highly prejudicial information is introduced to this Court. Once
2 again a discovery violation on Mr. Pantelic's part.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. You've heard what the
4 Prosecution are saying. There is no problem dealing with the evidence
5 which shows conflicts between the ethnic groups prior to the armed
6 conflict, but let's not get into details, because actually there's no
7 dispute about that.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely, Your Honour. I will lead this question
9 very precisely, without details, just to have a few facts about the events
10 which took place in Samac.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: And move on. And also clarify Judge Lindholm's
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
14 Q. [Interpretation] So, Witness, you've heard the judge's question.
15 When you mentioned the JNA, according to your knowledge, who was against
16 the JNA and who was for the JNA option as a support? I mean the ethnic
18 A. Against the JNA were the Croats and the Muslims, and the Serbs
19 were in favour, pro the JNA. Of course, there were some exceptions.
20 Q. And now with respect to the detail you mentioned, or rather, the
21 narrative. You don't have to go into the details, but give us the basic
22 points, as you were there. There were some witnesses, people, who spoke
23 about participation in operations against the JNA. So could you tell us
24 what you were going to explain, what you had heard.
25 A. Well, those people were well known. It was Zdenko, the waiter at
1 the Palma cafe, and a young man called Dino, who worked in the electricity
2 plant network of Samac. And a volunteer. The third man was a volunteer
3 from Croatia who appeared -- who was in town all the time. And his tales
4 are common knowledge. It's not only I myself who knows about them. I'm
5 sure you would be able to find other people who would be able to confirm
6 these stories put about by him. He said on that particular occasion that
7 somewhere in Western Slavonia, as a volunteer, thinking that there were
8 soldiers in one particular house down there, he threw in a bomb into the
9 house, and when he saw what had happened, a woman and child were killed.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner.
11 Mr. Pantelic, that's not relevant to our case, is it?
12 MR. PANTELIC: I'm going to another topic, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we move on to facts which are relevant to our
15 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, according to your own personal
17 knowledge: Between October 1991 and April 1992, what did you yourself
18 actually see taking place in Samac and its environs? And I'm thinking
19 about armament, arming, the people arming themselves, or things like that.
20 Some details according to your own knowledge on that period.
21 A. As to weapons and arming, I can't say anything, because those are
22 things that I don't know about. But there was an external manifestation
23 of all these things going on, and that was that in the villages of the
24 Samac municipality, at night, you could see armed groups of people moving
25 around. In the Croatian villages there were either civilians or people
1 wearing Zenga -- the ZNG uniforms, Croatian National Guard Corps uniforms,
2 and in the Serb villages people were also wearing uniforms. They were the
3 olive-green JNA uniforms, as they were referred to. In the town of Samac
4 itself, which was inhabited mostly by the Muslims -- the Muslims didn't
5 live in the villages. They lived in town -- you could see, as it was
6 getting dark, as night was falling, you could see two or three men walking
7 past with arms, carrying weapons.
8 Q. Do you happen to know -- and once again, the period is October
9 1991/April 1992 -- about any incidents on an ethnic basis that took place
10 in Samac?
11 A. There were several incidents. Actually, as time went by, the
12 incidents would culminate. They became more prevalent. So that at
13 certain stages, they had already reached a climax and were on the brink of
14 turning into a full-fledged war. I'm going to tell you about three events
15 that took place, which I think are commonly known, and there was a lot of
16 discussion about those three events at the national council, defence
18 The first incident was sometime in mid-February - I think it was
19 the middle of February, anyway - when a young man, a Muslim by
20 ethnicity --
21 Q. What year was that, please?
22 A. 1992.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. As I was saying, a young man, a Muslim, an ethnic Muslim, Bobic
25 was his surname. That was his surname. I knew him and his parents. Let
1 me say at the outset that they were nice, decent people, and they had a
2 facility in the school. I knew them well. And their son, Bobic was the
3 surname, this young man was handling a hand grenade, and in doing so, he
4 killed himself and I think another young man along with him. I'm not
5 quite sure about this other man, but I know that Bobic died as a result.
6 And after that -- as I say, this explosion took place in a cafe, in a
7 coffee bar. And nobody knew what had actually happened to begin with.
8 They just learnt about it afterwards. And there was a massive reaction to
9 all this, and the citizens, the Muslim inhabitants, took to the streets as
10 a reaction, and I think what was rumoured was that there was some lynching
11 going on as well, although I can't confirm that myself. But what my
12 personal experience was - and I'm going to state that here - is the
13 following: It was precisely that night that I was coming back from my
14 native village, that is, Kruskovo Polje. I was going back to my
15 one-roomed apartment, studio apartment, which I had in a street which is
16 today called Vuka Karadzic Street, by the old people's home. And walking
17 along that street towards my apartment building, I saw a commotion. I saw
18 that something was going on, something was happening in town. There was a
19 great deal of commotion. And one man rushed past me and said -- he put
20 his hands up like this and he said, "They're running after the Serbs." I
21 didn't know what was going on. I saw -- well, and heard, really, that in
22 the street towards the artesian well there was a group of men moving
23 towards that area. The situation was very tense. You could hear voices,
24 screams. A woman was crying out, "We'll kill all the Serbs," she was
25 saying. And I didn't really know what was going on. It was only the next
1 day that I learnt -- or rather, my colleague, Miroslav Likic, who was also
2 a language professor and was also the deputy commander of the reserve
3 police force in Samac.
4 The next day, in the school, he told me what happened, and that
5 was that this young man activated a hand grenade, and by doing so killed
6 himself, and I think his girlfriend was also injured, and that afterwards
7 there was a spontaneous reaction because the ethnic Muslim inhabitants
8 thought that some of the Serbs had thrown a hand grenade into that coffee
9 bar. It was only when they learnt what had actually happened that the
10 situation calmed down. And I heard that there was some proceedings and
11 that there was a rally in front of the police station and that some Serb
12 cars, cars belonging to Serbs, were overturned, that there was some
13 lynching. But I just heard people talk about that. But I have now
14 recounted to you what I myself saw, my own experience while I was on the
15 way to my apartment building.
16 Q. And what was the other event that stuck to your memory?
17 A. The second one was related to the barricades. I don't know all
18 the details about that. There were rumours that somebody disarmed
19 somebody from the command for the defence of the town. Let me clarify.
20 At that time, the Muslim people, or, to be more precise, the SDA, not the
21 Muslim people - I used the wrong term perhaps - the SDA had its own
22 command for the defence of the town.
23 Q. How did you know about that?
24 A. Because this was presented to us at one of the subsequent meetings
25 of the council.
1 Q. Yes, yes. Continue, please.
2 A. And somebody --
3 MR. WEINER: Once again, Your Honour, I'd object again. No
4 discovery on any of this.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner. Let's move on. Mr. Pantelic
6 explained that he's discussing a few of the incidents which illustrated
7 ethnic tensions immediately prior to the armed conflict, so let's move on.
8 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Continue, please.
10 A. So one of those formations from the town defence was disarmed by a
11 military formation, the military formation that was called the 4th
12 Detachment. That's what I heard. And as a spontaneous reaction, the
13 barricades were erected. I think that this was a Wednesday. In any case,
14 it was market day, and that's the day when farmers come from the villages
15 to Samac to sell their products on the Samac market. And then those
16 checkpoints were set up and it wasn't possible to pass through. An armed
17 conflict almost broke out already then. This issue was discussed at the
18 National Defence Council, and this is when I found out more details about
19 that incident.
20 Q. And finally, the third incident you mentioned that sticks to your
21 mind. You mentioned that there were three incidents.
22 A. The third one was -- at least, according to what I think was the
23 worst. There was already shooting. People had already been wounded. And
24 this also was discussed at the National Defence Council later, and I found
25 this out from my colleague, the deputy commander of the police, Miroslav
1 Ikic. And this is what happened:
2 A group of people that allegedly belonged to the 4th Detachment
3 was driving in their own vehicle through town and near the market. A man
4 whose last name is Ramusovic and whose nickname is Tota was in this
5 vehicle. He's a Muslim. And Danilo Vitomir, I think, was also there.
6 It's possible that I'm making a mistake, but I think it was Vitomir
7 Danilo. And another one or two men whose name I've forgotten. So they
8 were driving in this vehicle when they were fired upon. It was not
9 established who fired the shots, but some sources, probably from
10 eyewitnesses who did not wish to expose themselves, had said that Alija
11 Fitozovic and the son of Izet Izetbegovic fired the shots at those people.
12 This is the story that went around Samac, and it still remains the
13 story to this very day.
14 Q. Can you please tell me: In that period - January 1992 to April
15 1992 - did the Municipal Assembly function as a body? Were sessions held?
16 Did the Municipal Assembly delegates carry out their duties? How can
17 you describe that, and what is your assessment?
18 A. Can you please tell me what period was this?
19 Q. From January 1992 to April 1992.
20 A. I am trying to remember whether there was a meeting of the
21 Municipal Assembly in that period, but things were very turbulent already
22 during that period, so that things were at boiling point. War was in the
23 air, if I can -- it was looming, if I can put it in this metaphorical way,
24 or if I can present the situation in this way. Of course, the
25 municipal -- the Assembly bodies were working. We had meetings, the
1 Executive Council, and so on. There was one meeting, but I don't know how
2 I could define it, because it wasn't tied or linked to any Assembly body.
3 It was more of an inter-party agreement. It's a meeting that took place,
4 I think, three or four days before the war.
5 Q. Very well. Let us go back to the topic of the Assembly now. Were
6 you familiar with the fact that in February 1992, in late February 1992,
7 an assembly of the Serbian people of the municipality of Bosanski Samac
8 and Pelagicevo was formed?
9 A. Yes, I found out about it.
10 Q. Tell us who you found out about it and when.
11 A. I found out about it maybe five or six days after this meeting was
13 Q. Were you present at the Assembly?
14 A. No, I wasn't present.
15 Q. And what is your knowledge, as you say, a few days later after
16 this founding session, what do you know about that?
17 A. I know the following: That the Assembly was established then. I'm
18 trying to remember the complete name. The Assembly of the Serbian People
19 of Bosanski Samac and Pelagicevo under formation, I think. And the reason
20 why this Assembly session was -- this Assembly was convened was, as I
21 heard -- it was some kind of protection measure. That's what I heard. So
22 that the Serb people could organise in case of war. But I know that none
23 of those bodies from that Assembly ever functioned later, nor did I hear
24 that this Assembly really functioned in the true sense of that word.
25 Q. Did you hear about any other sessions of that newly formed
1 Assembly of the Serbian People? Because, like you mentioned, this one
2 took place in late February.
3 A. No, I did not hear.
4 Q. Very well. Could you please tell me: Immediately before the
5 outbreak of the conflict, so from mid-April 1992 and then going back about
6 a month or so, what is your personal knowledge about the environment in
7 Samac and the atmosphere that could have had some kind of effect on the
8 actual town of Samac?
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please speak into the
11 A. I don't know if I will be able to completely draw this picture for
12 you, but the situation was nightmarish, very tense. Already at that time,
13 the war in Croatia was already finished, and the situation in Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina was at boiling point. I know that the Serb people in that
15 area were very worried because they were in such an environment, or in
16 such a situation, that in case of interethnic conflict, they assumed that
17 they could experience some bad things, those people. The Croatian army
18 had already entered the area of Bosanski Brod, and bloody fights were
19 already being conducted in that area. The inhabitants of one village,
20 called Sijekovac, had a very hard time, and at the same time, in all
21 practically Croatian villages, armed groups existed. Everybody could
22 easily see them, because whenever night fell, these formations would stop
24 I have a personal experience of this. On the bridge over the
25 River Bosna, over which you cross into the territory of the municipality
1 of Odzak, there were also such guards posted. To be honest, this wasn't
2 so uncomfortable if you saw that you knew these people. Then they would
3 say - well, at least I didn't have such problems - "Oh, it's you. You can
4 pass." However, it would happen that if an accent was spotted of a person
5 who was from some other place, then there would be -- they would be
7 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. And what checkpoints were these? Who organised these checkpoints?
9 A. On the bridge, the checkpoints were manned by Croats from the
10 territory of the Odzak municipality.
11 Q. Were there any indications of a possible attack on Samac, or was
12 this discussed maybe in the first half of April?
13 MR. WEINER: I'd object.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. This is a fact witness, Mr. Pantelic. Just
15 ask him what he saw and what he knows.
16 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Did you personally have any knowledge about a possible attack on
18 Samac in the first half of April 1992? And if you did, could you please
19 tell us where this came from. And if not, just say so.
20 A. Like any normal person, seeing that armed men were moving around
21 all over the place, and having seen that the Croat units had already
22 crossed the bridge and had entered Bosanski Brod, it was quite normal to
23 expect, as far as any man had any kind of self-preservation instinct, a
24 person would think that the same thing would happen in Samac. I'm talking
25 about my personal experience. The whole of April and a good part of March
1 I spent working in Samac, but I spent the nights in my village, in
2 Kruskovo Polje, because I was really convinced that it could easily happen
3 that regular Croatian units could enter Samac, and I am sure that that
4 would not be good for people who were of Serb ethnicity, regardless of
5 their political profiles or anything else.
6 Of course, later, when I was working in the information service of
7 the Crisis Staff, I had the opportunity to find out about this, to find
8 out more about this, but these are my personal experiences.
9 Q. Yes. Please tell me about that. What did you find out then?
10 Since you said that you had covered this field, information-wise, and that
11 means that you had some kind of source of information.
12 A. From the reporting centres of the police and military, we received
13 information, they informed us about what was afoot, and they informed us,
14 and we, via a bulletin, which is the publication that we had, would pass
15 this on to the public. And then we also disseminated this information to
16 media companies, so that this news would get out into a broader area. We
17 found out that in the village of Prud there was some kind of military
18 Crisis Staff tasked to attack Samac, and they also said that the units in
19 Croatia were already prepared to enter Samac. And this is what was
20 actually stated later, or published later in these bulletins of ours.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
22 MR. WEINER: Yes. He keeps on saying "later." Could you give us
23 a time period that he's referring to?
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And also, when you say "we," do you mean you
25 as members of the municipal Crisis Staff?
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Simic, let me just give you a suggestion: Could you please
3 try -- I know exactly what you're trying to say, but, you know, this is a
4 court, and it's important for everything to be precise. Please make an
5 effort that when you mention one of the other or the third side, try not
6 to say "we," "they," and so on. But please say the Serb side, the Croat
7 side, the Muslim side, the HVO, the Zengas. Otherwise, if you don't do
8 that, you'll create confusion.
9 So could you please clarify the following: You heard Her Honour
10 Judge Mumba, who quite rightly said that it is important to establish the
11 time period in which you found this out and in what capacity. Was it in
12 the capacity of a member of the Crisis Staff, or was it a member of the
13 council for National Defence of Bosanski Samac, or as an individual? So I
14 would like to go back now to the time period. As far as I understood, you
15 started to work on information issues, and you were making these
16 publications. Did you find that out then, so in the period after or in
17 the second half of April 1992, or did you find that out later, maybe a
18 couple of -- three or four weeks later or a month later? Could you please
19 explain this to us.
20 A. There was a little bit of a confusion, but when I said "we," what
21 I meant was the information section of the Crisis Staff, so the
22 information section of the Crisis Staff.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Which Crisis Staff? The municipal Crisis Staff
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. The municipal Crisis
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you. And then the period?
3 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And the period?
5 A. This is already the end of April and the beginning of May.
6 Q. 1992?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. And what did you find out then?
9 A. We found out about the following: Immediately before the
10 beginning of the armed conflict, a Crisis Staff in the village of Prud was
11 already formed, which was formed by the Croatian and the Muslim side.
12 Q. All right. Thank you. Now tell me about another event, one which
13 you started to explain, that took place just before the 16th, 17th of
14 April. And you said that a meeting had taken place between the political
15 parties and other officials. So could you tell us where, when, who was
16 present, and what was discussed at that meeting?
17 A. You're probably referring to the inter-party meeting that took
18 place in the building of the Samac Municipal Assembly. I'm not quite sure
19 what the exact date was, but I think it was the 14th or the 15th of April,
20 1992. And I'll take it in chronological order.
21 The day the meeting took place, I was -- I went to see the
22 president of the then Executive Board, Mr. Mirko Jovanovic, and quite by
23 chance -- actually, he was interested in an article that had appeared in
24 the Knjizevna Novina paper, and I brought him a copy of the paper and sat
25 in his office for a while. And he said to me, "Simeon there's some kind
1 of inter-party meeting going on over there in the small hall of the
2 Municipal Assembly. Perhaps you could go and sit in for a while, as
3 you're a member of the Council for National Defence." I asked him -- I
4 said to him, "If that's an inter-party meeting, what's my role there?"
5 And he said, "Well, you're a member of the council." And so I started off
6 and went to that small conference hall. In the corridor I happened to
7 meet somebody else who was going towards the small hall quickly, and that
8 was the president of the Assembly, Mr. Mato Nujic. And I asked him what
9 all this was about, what was going on. And he said, "Well, it's an
10 inter-party meeting. You see, it seems as if there's going to be a war."
11 And I said, "War? What kind of war? Why wasn't the council for National
12 Defence convened? Isn't that something that concerns that body, that
13 concerns the council?" He just waved his hand and said, "What council of
14 National Defence? That doesn't exist any more."
15 And he entered the small hall. I did myself. And we found there
16 the representatives of the HDZ party, the Serbian Democratic Party, and
17 the SDA party. The HDZ was an organisation from Samac. It was the Samac
18 branch of the HDZ; Samac, Odzak, and Orasje. And the SDA party was
19 represented by members from Samac and Gradacac, and they were in the
20 conference room. The Serbian Democratic Party was composed of people from
21 the Samac board, and if I'm right, there was Mirko Jovanovic, who at the
22 time was president of the Executive Board; then there was Blagoje Simic;
23 and Marko Tubakovic, I think was there too. Representing the HDZ there
24 were Mato Nujic. He was also the presiding official. Then there was
25 Filip Evic and another young man. I think his name was Slavko Matic.
1 Slavko Matic was his name, I think.
2 Now, I don't know who the people from Orasje were, or Odzak,
3 Odzaci [phoen], and I don't know who the people from Gradacac were either.
4 All I do know is that the representative of the SDA at the time I saw in
5 Gradacac maybe a year ago.
6 I forgot to say that there was also an army representative there,
7 and he was Colonel Djurdjevic, Colonel Mico Djurdjevic was his name.
8 If I remember correctly, up at the front, at the head of the
9 table, were Mr. Nujic, Mr. Jovanovic, and Colonel Djurdjevic. The
10 introductory address was given by Mr. Nujic. And I have to say that I
11 didn't understand him to begin with. From what he was saying, things were
12 not quite clear. Mr. Nujic was a man who liked to -- he never had any
13 rigid positions. He liked -- he sort of complicated the whole Tale and
14 what he was saying, but we were able to conclude that there was some
15 territorial division, and he also mentioned some international documents.
16 So he rather confused the issue, but that's what it turned out to be. And
17 Mr. Evic, who I think at the time was the HDZ president, he said, "Mato,
18 don't be so unwieldy. Tell us what we want to hear." And he said that a
19 Croatian community had been formed of Bosanski Posavina, and that the
20 municipalities of Orasje, Samac, Gradacac, Modrica, Odzak, and Brod should
21 become part of it. I'm not quite sure about Gradacac, but I think he
22 might have mentioned that municipality as well. And he said that the
23 community had been established, that it would be operating, and that none
24 of us should fear for our freedom, that it would be a democratic rule, and
25 so on.
1 The representatives of the Serbian Democratic Party opposed this.
2 Mr. Jovanovic said that the Serbs, the Serb side, would not agree to that
3 variant. It would not agree to become a part of the Croatian community of
4 Bosanski Posavina. And that this would be a problem, might be a problem.
5 And Mr. Blagoje Simic was of the same opinion. He had the same -- took
6 the same position. At the time, he was president of the SDA, the Serbian
7 Democratic Party.
8 I would also like to say - I forgot to mention this - that at that
9 meeting was also Mr. Marko Bozanovic, and he was the commander of the
10 Territorial Defence. He was the newly appointed commander. I didn't know
11 that at the time. I learnt that later on. And there was a very heated
12 discussion. The Croats, or rather, the Croatian Democratic Union from
13 Samac, the Samac branch, insisted, and in fairly aggressive terms too, on
14 their point of view, but the representative of the Croatian [Realtime
15 transcript read in error "Serbian"] Democratic Party from Orasje, from
16 Odzak, didn't insist upon that. They did not consider that Samac -- or
17 rather, the Samac municipality must become part and parcel of the Croatian
18 community. And the story -- that's how things moved on, and Filip Evic, a
19 very --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe the witness was speaking about -- just
22 one second. He was talking about representatives of the Croatian
23 Democratic Party from Orasje and Odzak, and here in transcript, page 87,
24 line is 12 and 13, it says "Serbian Democratic Party from Orasje and Odzak
25 didn't insist upon that." I believe it's better that if Mr. Pantelic can
1 clarify with the witness.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. Let's have clarification.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, you heard the problem. It's in the
5 transcript. Who did you mention in that part of what you were saying when
6 you mentioned Orasje? What party was it? The representative of what
8 A. The HDZ.
9 Q. And that is an abbreviation for what?
10 A. The Croatian Democratic Union.
11 Q. So the representatives of Orasje and Odzak; that's what you meant?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you. Yes. HDZ and Orasje. You said that the
14 representatives were not in favour of the idea of Samac at all costs come
15 within that scope. And then you went on to talk about Filip Evic.
16 A. He was the most energetic man there.
17 Q. When you say Filip Evic, could you tell us what his ethnicity was,
18 and what political post he held?
19 A. He was president of the Croatian Democratic Union of the Samac
21 Q. Yes. Please continue.
22 A. So he was adamant in pushing this forward, but of course the Serb
23 side did not agree to that. And what happened then was that the question
24 of the army was brought up, and everybody was unanimous. The
25 representatives of the HDZ of Samac and Odzak and Orasje. It was only the
1 representative of the SDA of Gradacac who was a little reticent. And they
2 were calling for the elimination of the army. They wanted to see the army
3 pushed out of the area. That meant that they wanted the JNA to leave the
4 territory, and particularly adamant and persistent along those lines was
5 Marko Bozanovic who at one point got up, got to his feet and said --
6 Q. May I interrupt you? Could you give us the name of the gentleman
7 and the post he held? Could you say it clearly and slowly, please.
8 A. Marko Bozanovic, and he was a member of the Croatian Democratic
9 Union. And at that point in time, he was the commander of the Territorial
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Assistance, please. If you could move my
13 microphones closer to...
14 [Interpretation] Or Mr. Simic, could you approach the microphone,
15 please. Could you draw a little closer to the microphone for us to hear
16 you better, please. Because from time to time we have -- we're
17 experiencing some problems. The interpreters probably don't hear the
18 names you're quoting well enough.
19 Q. So I apologise for interrupting. You were talking about Marko
20 Bozanovic, HDZ member for Samac, and his position was the newly appointed
21 commander of the TO, or whatever you wanted to say.
22 A. Yes. TO commander. The Territorial Defence, which had been
23 established at that time at the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And then
24 Colonel Djurdjevic got up and took the floor. And if I might add, and
25 explained his position. He was a rather elderly officer. He used to be
1 on President Tito's ship, call the Galeb, and he was a fanatical advocate
2 of brotherhood and unity. Would you like me to explain what I mean when I
3 use the term "brotherhood and unity"? Because it was a term that was
4 frequently used in the common state of Yugoslavia and it was related to
5 brotherhood and unity between the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims alike. And
6 Colonel Djurdjevic, when he took the floor, in his address he wanted to
7 reconcile all that. He said, "Let's take it slowly, people. We can
8 settle all this peacefully. Let's not rock the boat. Let's not enter
9 into a conflict. There are ways of solving the situation."
10 And then another man got up, Blagoje Simic. He entered into the
11 discussion and repeated his famous sentence. I've heard it repeated many
12 times in the Assembly, and that was the following: "It is better to
13 negotiate for a hundred days than to go to war for even a single day."
14 And he would also say: "There is no state which is worth shedding a
15 child's tear, let alone a drop of a child's blood." So his participation
16 in the discussion was to ease tensions. However, the representatives of
17 the HDZ, and let me mention that it was Filip Evic who was dominant again,
18 and they insisted upon a different stance. What happened ultimately was
19 that at one point the president of the Executive Board, Mr. Jovanovic,
20 said, "Well, who do you want to withdraw from this territory, from the
21 area? If in the Territorial Defence units which were within the same
22 system as the JNA, and if my neighbour, my relative, is there, then who do
23 you want to leave the area?" And then Colonel Djurdjevic joined in and
24 said, "Well, do you envisage me leaving? My village is just three
25 kilometres away. Do you want me to leave? The name of the village is
1 Tisina." And he said, "Where do you want me to go as a representative of
2 the army? Where can I go?" Then I think it was Matic who joined in the
3 debate, and he said, "Well, Colonel, take your uniform, take it off, set
4 fire to it, and put on civilian clothing and then go home. Go into your
5 own house and everything will be all right." And an incident broke out.
6 There was a lot of --
7 Q. May I interrupt you. Could you tell us who this Mr. Matic was?
8 A. He was a representative of the delegation of the Croatian
9 Democratic Union, the HDZ, for the Samac municipality. And then the
10 meeting culminated. It became heated. And the representatives of the
11 Samac Party of Democratic Action were quite calm, except Mr. Izo
12 Izetbegovic. He was the vice-president of the Municipal Assembly of
13 Samac. So he was Mr. Mato Nujic's deputy. He kept pacing, and then he
14 kept making comments. You could see that he was nervous. He said at the
15 end -- he turned to the Serb side and said, "You have your own army, I
16 have mine, and that is how we will resolve this." And that is how the
17 meeting ended. It didn't end well. No agreement was reached.
18 Q. And on that occasion, did Marko Bozanovic inform the meeting about
19 the forming of the TO and about who was the commander of the TO?
20 A. I don't remember that he informed the meeting along those lines,
21 but I know that he did say that he would not tolerate neither the JNA nor
22 the Territorial Defence that was not under his command.
23 Q. And when we're on the TO: When did you find out about the
24 formation of the municipal TO, since you were in this board or in the
25 Council for National Defence? Did you find out about the formation of any
2 A. I found out from people who worked in the former TO, namely, the
3 TO, the Territorial Defence, was a part of the defence system within the
4 former state. And of course it was of mixed composition. However,
5 immediately before the outbreak of the war they separated to -- it
6 separated into two components. I don't know whether they were driven out
7 or whether they left on their own initiative. All I know is that there
8 were no more Serb representatives there.
9 Q. According to the municipal statute, do you know - and if you know,
10 tell us; if not, say so - was it necessary to obtain the agreement of the
11 Municipal Assembly in order to name the municipal TO commander who was
12 usually appointed by the defence minister?
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
14 MR. WEINER: I'd object. Number one, there's no evidence of this
15 man being a military expert, a constitutional lawyer, a specialist in
16 statutes, and to add to that, we now have the Republic of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina being recognised as a state by various nations, so now if it's
18 an independent state, it's not clear, at least for this witness's
19 decision, or opinion, as to whether or not that existed, the old statutes
20 even existed, and what in fact existed, for this man to offer a legal
21 opinion. It's outside the scope of this man's knowledge and expertise.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Well, Your Honour, if I may add: This witness was
23 a member of local parliament, number one. Number two, he was a member of
24 Council for National Defence, which is closely related to these issues.
25 Number three, he might be, in capacity of these two functions, be aware of
1 the statute of his own parliament on the level of municipality. So let's
2 see -- let's find out whether he's aware or not. Simple as that. We are
3 not going into big topics of international law or constitutional law or
4 military issues. It's simple as that, on the local level, what he knows
5 from his personal knowledge.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. As long as it is limited to the local
7 authorities in which he was --
8 MR. PANTELIC: That was my question, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Where he was practicing.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Absolutely.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, since you were a deputy in the
12 Municipal Assembly, you were a member of the National Defence Council,
13 you're an educated man, a cultured man, do you know whether it was
14 necessary to obtain the agreement or a decision of the Municipal Assembly
15 of Samac to appoint a commander of the TO? Could you please tell us what
16 you know about this.
17 A. I will be very brief and state the following: That question, the
18 question of appointing a commander of the TO, was one of the competencies
19 of the Municipal Assembly of Samac. Previously this item was supposed to
20 be on the agenda of a meeting of the National Defence Council. However,
21 this did not happen. The Council for National Defence was to have
22 prepared a proposal for the Assembly, and the Assembly was to adopt a
23 decision on the appointment of the commander of the TO.
24 Q. Until the 17th of April, 1992, was a decision adopted by the
25 Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac in this matter?
1 A. The Municipal Assembly of Bosanski Samac never had this question
2 on its agenda.
3 Q. Very well. Could you please tell us what you are able to say
4 about the events on the day -- or the events in the night between April
5 16th and 17th in Samac? Where were you at the time? What did you find
6 out about that? Could you please describe to us your activities over
7 those two days.
8 A. I've already said that I spent a period at that time in my family
9 house in my village, for the reasons that I stated. I was afraid that the
10 Croatian army or some political party armed factions would not take --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: The question is straightforward. What do you know,
12 what happened, where were you?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was in Kruskovo Polje, in my
14 family house.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: So you know nothing about what happened between,
16 according to the question, the 16th and the 17th of April in Samac?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found out about it on the 19th,
18 when I came to the forming and the first meeting of the Crisis Staff.
19 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. The 17th of April, 1992, in the night between the 16th and the
21 17th of April, first: Did you hear any fighting, shooting, anything? Can
22 you describe to us what happened? What did you hear on the 17th, in the
23 morning, the 17th, during the day, on the 18th? So could you please
24 provide us some information about those two days. Were you in Kruskovo
25 Polje the entire time? Did you see anyone? Did you hear about anything?
1 A. On the 17th, in the morning, I woke up, and with my brother and
2 his family - I was with him - some other people came. I saw that
3 something terrible had happened, at least judging by their faces. They
4 told me that it seemed as if something was going on in Samac.
5 Occasionally you could hear artillery fire, and we really didn't know what
6 was going on. The whole village was very disturbed.
7 Later I went to the centre of the village and saw that there were
8 many people there. Nobody had any information about what was really going
9 on. People were just sure that there was shooting in Samac and that some
10 kind of armed conflict was going on. Who was attacking whom was not
11 something that was known at that time.
12 Q. Did you notice any movements by military units in your village or
13 in its environs?
14 A. No, I didn't notice.
15 Q. Did you see any units? Did you see any people who were in uniform
16 and bearing weapons?
17 A. The people in Kruskovo Polje -- well, there was a TO unit in
18 Kruskovo Polje that was part of the JNA, and they were ready. But there
19 were no -- I saw that they were on alert, but they didn't carry out --
20 conduct any movements.
21 Q. Were you in the military reserves? Did you have a wartime
22 assignment, or was anything expected of you?
23 A. I didn't have any assignment that had to do with weapons, but
24 according to the laws in force at that time, everybody who worked in some
25 company had their own wartime assignment.
1 MR. WEINER: I'd move to strike that part, the laws in force at
2 that time, because he cannot offer an opinion as to what the laws were in
3 force at that time. He's not an attorney, he's not a legal scholar, he
4 has no legal education that he's testified to. If he wants to say under
5 the old law, prior to the recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were --
6 persons had assignments, that's fine; however, to say the laws in force at
7 that time, it's outside of his expertise.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The objection is sustained. And in any case,
9 the question didn't -- wasn't about that. He was asked: Were you in the
10 military reserves? Did you have a wartime assignment or was anything
11 expected of you? That was the question.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, you served in the army, didn't you?
14 A. Yes. I served my regular military term, but I wasn't in any kind
15 of military unit.
16 Q. So where were you? Where did you serve your military term? I'm
17 talking about the specific period of 1992. Did you have in your military
18 booklet any kind of particular assignment?
19 A. I am a teacher at school.
20 Q. So you were a teacher. You were the director of a school.
21 A. Well, perhaps I will move off a little bit. But when I left the
22 JNA in 1993 [As interpreted], on arrival --
23 Q. I'm sorry. What year did you say? In the transcript --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please make pause between
25 question and answer.
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. In the transcript it said "1993." What year was it?
3 A. It was 1983.
4 Q. Very well. Did you have any kind of civilian duty?
5 A. No, I didn't have anything.
6 Q. No, you didn't have anything.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, there's a problem. You're not pausing
8 between question and answer.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Your microphone is not on.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Oh, yes. Sorry. Sorry, Your Honour.
12 Q. [Interpretation] So you didn't have a wartime assignment at that
14 A. No.
15 Q. Please tell me the following: The whole day of the 17th of April
16 you spent at Kruskovo Polje?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. You were there with your family?
19 A. Yes. I wasn't married at the time, though, but I was in my
20 brother's family, and my brother has a wife and three children.
21 Q. Very well. Did you acquire any information through contacts with
22 your friends, neighbours, relatives, about what was happening on that day,
23 the 17th of April, 1992, in Samac?
24 A. Well, people were coming. Nobody from the village went to work.
25 There were various rumours and stories. So initially it was not possible
1 to determine or to know exactly what was going on. I tried, through the
2 mass media, to find out things. So I kept turning the dial, tuning into
3 different stations, and I was getting different information about what was
4 going on.
5 I know, for example, that Radio Belgrade just briefly, in passing,
6 announced, in a brief news item, that something was happening in Posavina,
7 but there were no details. The Croatian radio announced that battles were
8 being fought in Samac between the JNA and the Serb military formations and
9 paramilitary formations, and that the Croatian --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. Just paramilitary
12 A. And that the paramilitary formations were being pushed outside of
13 town and out towards the surrounding villages. And that's all I was able
14 to hear. Of course, there were no newspapers. All communication was cut.
15 So the atmosphere was such that it was not possible for me to find
16 anything out.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Let me just check the transcript. Something is not
18 so clear here.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please repeat what you heard on
20 Croatian radio? Could you please repeat that again for the transcript.
21 A. I heard on Croatian radio that in Samac there was a conflict
22 between the units of the HVO and the Bosnian Territorial Defence with the
23 units of the JNA and Serb paramilitary forces. It was actually said that
24 the criminal JNA and Serb paramilitary forces, and that those forces were
25 pushing back the Serb paramilitary to their villages and were maintaining
1 control over the inner area of the town.
2 Q. At that time, since you've monitored this, were members of the
3 military formations of the Bosnian Serbs and Serbs called by their
4 official names, or were some other names used?
5 A. They were called -- used other names, the Serbo Chetnik Soldiery,
6 The Criminal JNA, the paramilitary formations, and so on.
7 Q. Very well. So what happened then, on the 17th of April [As
8 interpreted]? Specifically, what did you do?
9 A. Towards evening that day, a young man came - I assume that he was
10 a messenger - and told me that I should come to some meeting the next day,
11 to the PIK facility. PIK, let me clarify, is a company that -- it's an
12 agricultural production company, factory farm.
13 Q. Just one second, please. I asked you the following. The question
14 was incorrectly entered into the transcript. So what happened then, on
15 the 18th of April? That was my question. Because in the transcript it
16 says the 17th of April. Continue, please.
17 A. Like I said, nothing special happened --
18 Q. Yes, yes. Continue. Go on from PIK.
19 A. Yes. The next day I went to PIK and found out there -- or I took
20 part there in the forming of the Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality
21 of Samac.
22 Q. Could you please tell us something briefly about that: Who was
23 present, how did that proceed, what did you notice in town, what was the
24 atmosphere like and what were the activities of those who were present at
25 the meeting at that time.
1 A. Well, the atmosphere was a wartime atmosphere. There was general
2 chaos, complete pandemonium, and it was an emotional shock, for everyone,
3 all the people that I happened to meet seemed to be very disturbed. Panic
4 prevailed, and everybody realised that something dreadful was happening.
5 Q. Tell us who was present there at PIK, and tell us in detail who
6 started doing what. What were the assignments?
7 A. Well, in PIK, all the people whom I already knew were present from
8 political life, social, cultural life of the town.
9 Q. Could you give me a few names, please.
10 A. Mr. Jovanovic was there, the president of the Executive Board;
11 then there was Mr. Milos Bogdanovic, secretary of the Secretariat for
12 National Defence; Mr. Blagoje Simic was there, the president of the
13 Serbian Democratic Party; and a few deputies. I remember that Mr. Marko
14 Tubakovic was there. He was a deputy. Then there was Mr. Lazar Stanisic,
15 again a deputy; Dusko Dragicevic was there; then there was Bozo Ninkovic
16 and -- well, I can't remember all the names now.
17 Q. All right. And tell me what the topic of the meeting was. What
18 was discussed, and what were your activities?
19 A. The topic of the meeting was the formation of the Crisis Staff.
20 The situation called for, just as every extraordinary situation calls for,
21 the establishment of a body, and in this case its name was the Crisis
22 Staff. Crisis -- up until that time, there was no war. There had been no
23 wars. But Crisis Staffs, were, for example, set up when there were
24 elemental disasters, such as floods, earthquakes and the like, and
25 situations of that kind provided for the formation of a Crisis Staff, and
1 war was one such condition, and this was the first experience we gained of
2 a Crisis Staff being formed in a wartime situation.
3 Q. Was Samac shelled on the 17th, 18th, and 19th?
4 A. On that day, and on all the subsequent days, Samac was shelled,
5 yes, and the projectiles would be coming from neighbouring Croatia. Later
6 on I learnt from people who followed these events that the shells came
7 from Sikirevci, Krajevo Selo --
8 Q. Well, what villages are they? Is that east, west?
9 A. They were all places along the Sava River bank.
10 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, that answer calls for someone with
11 ballistics -- some sort of ballistics experience, artillery experience,
12 it's not coming from him. He doesn't have that experience. He's just
13 received the information from others. We don't have the expertise --
14 information as to the expertise of those other persons. As a result, that
15 testimony shouldn't be admissible.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: There is no dispute that Samac was shelled during
17 those days, so can we move on --
18 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, I can.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: -- with the formation of the Crisis Staff.
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. To recapitulate: The Crisis Staff was being formed, and who
22 became its members? What was the procedure there?
23 A. The Crisis Staff was being established as a body with two
24 segments: the fixed segment and the changeable, variable segment. And for
25 me to be able to explain that to you, I would have to explain what Mirko
1 Jovanovic said in his introductory address, and later on this was taken up
2 Mr. Blagoje Simic.
3 Mirko Jovanovic had said that he had an assignment, together with
4 the rest of the people from the Executive Council and the Samac Assembly,
5 and that that assignment was to set up a Crisis Staff, and that people
6 from different walks of life should form the Crisis Staff, so that that
7 body should represent the Assembly and the municipality in miniature.
8 Blagoje Simic was proposed as president -- put forward as president of the
9 Crisis Staff, and he was unanimously elected to that post. But before the
10 voting took place, he said the following: He said that the times were
11 difficult, we were upon hard times; that he was not ready to take over any
12 greater responsibility than belonged to him; and he wanted to have more
13 people take part in decision-making and debates leading up to
14 decision-making. He insisted upon something that -- well, I don't know
15 how the interpreters are going to translate this into English, but there
16 was a term used, and it was introduced into the field of politics from
17 orthodoxy. He insisted upon having an assemblage of people, that is to
18 say that one decision should never be made by a small body, a small group
19 of people, or by an individual, but that there should be a pooling of
20 minds and a number of people take part in the decision-making process. And
21 that is why the Crisis Staff was set up and made up of these two sections:
22 the fixed section and the variable.
23 In the fixed part of the Crisis Staff, that is to say, in addition
24 to the president, we saw the participation of Mr. Mitar Mitrovic. He was
25 the secretary of the Crisis Staff. Then we had a person who was in charge
1 of contacts with the local communities, and that person was Mr. Savo
2 Popovic. He was elected to that post. As head of the information service
3 in the Crisis Staff was myself. I was elected. And we were the people
4 who, after several days, or perhaps it was the very next day, we received
5 documents stipulating our functions within the Crisis Staff.
6 As I said, the Crisis Staff also had a variable section. Let me
7 just say that the fixed section included two other members, but they
8 didn't have a work assignment within the Crisis Staff. They had other
9 assignments. And those two gentlemen were Mr. Mirko Jovanovic and
10 Mr. Milos Bogdanovic.
11 And in the variable section we had all the people --
12 Q. Just a few more questions, please, before you go on. In that
13 period, in April, was Fadil Topcagic a member of the Crisis Staff?
14 A. Yes, he was.
15 Q. And tell me: What was -- were there any other officials within
16 the Crisis Staff? I'm talking about the ones who had the right to vote.
17 A. Of the ones that I mentioned, the right to vote was one that
18 Blagoje Simic, Savo Popovic had, I did too, so did Milos Bogdanovic and
19 Mr. Jovanovic, as well as the other people who would attend meetings when
20 certain issues were discussed: people from the economy, from the Red
21 Cross, for example, and from different branches. Whenever they attended a
22 Crisis Staff meeting, they had the right to vote. They carried one vote.
23 I should also like to clarify --
24 Q. Let me just interrupt you. What was the party affiliation of
25 these members? From which parties did they come from? Were they all from
1 one party? Tell us a little about that.
2 A. Well, we took care that there were -- there was multiparty
3 representation, that is to say, people from different parties. Blagoje
4 Simic was a member of the SDS party. Savo Popovic was a member of the
5 SDP. I myself was a member of the Liberal Party.
6 Q. Could you tell us what the SDP party was?
7 A. It was the Socialist Party, or rather -- no, it wasn't. I can't
8 remember exactly. It was the former Communist Party.
9 Q. And you yourself, what were you?
10 A. I belonged to the Liberal Party.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, is it time for a break now, or no
12 break? I mean, what is our ...
13 JUDGE MUMBA: No. We'll adjourn for the day.
14 MR. PANTELIC: What is our schedule?
15 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll adjourn for the day.
16 MR. PANTELIC: And tomorrow I believe we are --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: We are starting in the afternoon, at 1415.
18 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, one moment, please.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
20 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, today the Prosecution was to file its
21 response to the joint defence motion made pursuant to Rule 71.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, for depositions.
23 MR. WEINER: Yes. We were supposed to file that today. Gramsci
24 Di Fazio, who is out of court today working on that, left this morning ill
25 and has not returned. Co-counsel to my left, Mr. Re, has agreed to do it,
1 and would just like until tomorrow morning. We can get it out if you just
2 give us until tomorrow morning. It was -- Mr. Di Fazio hasn't been in,
3 that's what he's been working on, and he left ill, was ill this morning
4 and has not returned at all, so we're going to have to do it.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: So by what hour would you be able to file it?
6 MR. WEINER: 10.00 tomorrow morning.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Then the time will be extended to 10.00
8 tomorrow morning.
9 MR. WEINER: Thank you very much.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The proceedings will continue tomorrow morning
11 at 1415 hours.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.08 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Friday, the 29th day of
14 November, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.