1 Friday, 29 November 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Case number
8 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The proceedings will continue under Rule 15
11 bis, paragraph A, as Judge Williams is not with us.
12 Examination-in-chief continues, Mr. Pantelic.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours. Good afternoon.
14 WITNESS: SIMEON SIMIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examined by Mr. Pantelic: [Continued]
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Simic. Yesterday, just
18 before we adjourned, I asked you several questions with respect to the
19 members of the Crisis Staff, and you started giving us some explanations.
20 But having looked at the lists I have here, I'd like to go back to that
21 topic with a few more questions.
22 First of all, tell us this, please: Mr. Miroslav Tadic, do you
23 know when he became a member of the Crisis Staff and on what grounds?
24 A. As far as I remember, Mr. Miroslav Tadic became a member of the
25 Crisis Staff when he became the head of civil defence or civilian
1 protection. That was after the Crisis Staff had been established.
2 Q. Do you know the date perhaps?
3 A. No, I can't tell you the date.
4 Q. But it was probably sometime in April, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes, I think it was sometime in April.
6 Q. Another question with respect to this line of questioning:
7 Mr. Fadil Topcagic, as you yourself said, was also a member of the Crisis
8 Staff in that time frame. Did he have the right to vote? Did he have a
9 vote within the Crisis Staff?
10 A. Mr. Fadil Topcagic was mentioned as being a member of the Crisis
11 Staff, but he hardly ever took part in the work of the Crisis Staff,
12 actually. And I interpret this as the fact that many people who were
13 there actually didn't have any assignments, didn't have any field that was
14 assigned to them. And Fadil Topcagic did not take part in fact work of
15 the Crisis Staff, actually.
16 Q. But formally he did have a vote. He carried a vote, didn't he?
17 A. Yes, he did.
18 Q. And one more question with respect to Mr. Savo Popovic and party
19 membership. You said he was a member of the SDP. However, I should like
20 to ask you whether you would like to add anything to that.
21 A. I said that he was a member of the League of Communists. Now,
22 whether in the meantime he joined the SDP, moved over to the SDP that had
23 just been set up, quite possibly. But what I do know for certain is that
24 he was not at any of the party lists for the elections on the 18th of
25 November, 1990, so that possibly he was not actually a member of the SDP.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Simic. Now tell me, please, in those first few
2 days, what was your actual work? What did your work in the Crisis Staff
3 entail? Could you give us an outline of your activities.
4 A. Well, let me try and recollect what I did during that period of
5 time. I knew that there was general chaos and the situation was highly
6 unsettled and muddled, and so somebody who like myself had a special
7 assignment - mine was in the sector of information - had to do many other
8 things as well. In fact, everybody had to do everything. For example, if
9 there was a power cut anywhere, then we'd have to see to that. If a
10 member of the Crisis Staff was free at that particular time, he would be
11 assigned to see what he could do about that, to put the matter right. Or
12 another example: If there was a shortage of water or a food shortage, one
13 of the Crisis Staff might be called upon to intervene and see what could
14 be done. So during that time frame, the Crisis Staff in fact coordinated
15 activities of these kind in order to try and put a bit of order into the
16 general chaos and to control it in a way.
17 Q. Tell me, please, in those first few days, or rather, in that first
18 week after mid-April 1992 technically speaking what did the -- what were
19 the meetings like? Where was the seat of the Crisis Staff? Where did you
20 have your meetings?
21 A. In the first few days, our headquarters was in the social company
22 that I already mentioned, PIK, the factory farm, the agricultural and
23 industrial combine, and also in another socially-owned enterprise called
24 Uniglas. And those two enterprises were located next to each other. They
25 were buildings side by side, so both those buildings were used as
1 headquarters for the Crisis Staff, depending on where we could get the job
3 Q. I apologise, but could we have a map. Could we have the map,
5 MR. PANTELIC: Exhibit D27/3, please. I do apologise. We're not
6 receiving -- Your Honour, we have a problem.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
8 MR. PANTELIC: We have a problem with the display. Maybe now it
9 will be better.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: With what?
11 MR. PANTELIC: With the ELMO transmission on our displays. We
12 don't have a -- now it's okay. Thank you.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Take up that metal pointer. I think it's right
14 by the microphone. Can you see it, the metal pointer, witness? There it
15 is in front of you. And now show us where the PIK company was. Show us
16 on the map, please, the PIK factory farm.
17 A. Well, I can see it on the piece of paper.
18 Q. Mr. Simic, you look at the paper. Don't look at the screen. Look
19 at the paper in front of you and point with your pointer the location of
20 the PIK company.
21 A. [Indicates]
22 Q. Take it nice and slowly. Let's see the PIK company first.
23 A. [Indicates]
24 Q. Right. Now, how long was the Crisis Staff's headquarters there?
25 A. For one or two days.
1 Q. All right. And where did it move to then?
2 A. It was in the Uniglas building for another day or two.
3 Q. All right. And later on, where was the headquarters of the Crisis
5 A. In the power plant -- heating plant, actually.
6 Q. Could you point that out to us.
7 A. [Indicates]
8 Q. Thank you. Was the heating -- heating plant near the stadium or
9 in that district?
10 A. It was -- here it is.
11 Q. Show us, please. Could you show us once again, point it out once
12 again for us, please.
13 A. [Indicates]
14 Q. I see. All right.
15 A. By the steel and Buducnost company.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Just for the record, the witness identified on the
17 Exhibit D97/3 positions of the three premises of Crisis Staff, PIK, and
18 then Uniglas company, and then heating plant.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: I do apologise. Here it says "on Exhibit D97/3."
22 It was actually D27/3.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes. The correct ID number is --
24 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Exhibit number is D27/3.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you. I would like to thank to my
2 learned friend.
3 Q. [Interpretation] All right. Tell me, please, Mr. Simic: The
4 activities of the Crisis Staff, what did they consist of? Or rather, tell
5 us what the meetings looked like. Was there an agenda? Who drew up the
6 proposals? What topics were discussed by the Crisis Staff in that first
7 period, in the first few weeks of April? Is that kind of thing. Tell us
8 something about that, please.
9 A. Well, in that initial period, and especially in the first couple
10 of days, there was a lot to do in the field on the ground, if I can put it
11 that way, so we didn't actually have time to hold meetings and Crisis
12 Staff sessions. And as the Samac municipality was cut -- or rather, as
13 all forms of communication in Samac were cut, the telephone lines were
14 down, the communications, the goods and services, it was in a closed
15 session, so it was within this area that chaos reigned. It was all one
16 big disorder, like an ant hill, everybody rushing around and everybody
17 doing all sorts of work. And I'm going to try and point out the three
18 dominant areas. We had to focus on food for the people, food supplies for
19 the population, because the companies had stopped working, production had
20 ceased, and we had to take care of the ill and the wounded, the people who
21 had been injured, and there were many problems that had to be solved,
22 problems which you don't think about in peacetime but in extraordinary
23 situations of this kind, they appear to be problems and you have to deal
24 with them.
25 What we also had to do was to organise production, so that little
1 by little we could bring the companies back to operational order. So the
2 Crisis Staff discussed matters of that kind. And from time to time it
3 would take part in these activities, or rather, individual members of the
4 Crisis Staff did.
5 The Crisis Staff also set up a professional service of its own,
6 and this was headed by Mr. Mitar Mitrovic. He was a lawyer by profession.
7 And there was an information service as well. As to the other members, I
8 don't know what each of them -- what each of their assignments were and
9 what they actually did, but I do know that Mr. Popovic, for example, was
10 in charge of coordinating the work of the Crisis Staff with the local
11 communities and some physical geographical aspects had to be looked into,
12 which means that he had to coordinate with some 20 villages. These
13 villages did not have any modern means of communication amongst
14 themselves, so he had to establish something like that. They didn't have
15 any telephone links or anything like that.
16 Q. And you yourself, you personally, what was your assignment? What
17 did you do?
18 A. My job was the following: First of all, I helped get the radio
19 station back into operation, and I did my best to organise information
20 activity, which meant first of all the Samac radio station. At that time
21 Samac didn't have a newspaper of its own, so I stepped in. There was --
22 the newspaper media did not exist. I also had to establish contact with
23 the rest of the media, those who were interested in broadcasting
24 information, and we would give them the information, which was then
25 broadcast and published in Yugoslavia, the Yugoslavia media. I was also
1 in charge of welcoming a television crew and journalists, to help them in
2 those first contacts in Samac, to help them find their way more easily and
3 to be able to do their job as journalists more easily. And let me say
4 that we had a lot of problems with the radio station, because one day
5 after the establishment of the Crisis Staff, I talked to the
6 editor-in-chief of Samac Radio. His name was Mr. Vaso Antic. And he told
7 me that the radio station was unable to function because the building
8 itself in which the transmitter was located - and it is right next door to
9 the secondary school building which had been set fire to -- to the
10 elementary school building - and that the transmitter had also been
11 damaged and couldn't be used. The Samac radio station, let me say, at
12 that time had three frequencies. It was broadcast over three frequencies;
13 that is to say, before the war. One was medium, the medium wave
14 frequency, and two UKT frequencies, short wave. However, it was only able
15 to broadcast on the medium wave frequency, and it had a transmitter to the
16 power of 100 watts, which had been damaged in a fire.
17 Q. You said UKT. Could you describe what you mean by UKT.
18 A. UKT, ultra short waves and medium waves.
19 Q. Please continue.
20 A. So the radio station was not operational. However, the
21 editor-in-chief who had already established his own mini journalistic
22 team, said that he could do something about it to make the station
23 operational, at least to perform work in a modest framework. They had
24 some equipment which had been decommissioned, and within that equipment
25 they found a transmitter, UKT transmitter, which had very low power.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we move fairly fast. We don't need the details.
2 Simply go ahead. Was it repaired? Did it operate?
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Instead of all these details.
5 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. All right, Mr. Simic. Just tell us what happened in the end.
7 Were you able to repair it, fix it, and to have the staff of journalists
8 start working?
9 A. Yes. That small transmitter was repaired. However, it worked
10 only for one day and only one hour at that, and then afterward it broke
11 down again. I was told that there was some kind of problem with it
12 overheating and that as a result of that, something in the equipment had
13 been damaged, so that for the next 10 to 15 --
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. After it broke down after one day for an
15 hour, was it repaired again?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. After 10 to 15 days.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: How long did it operate after that?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] After that, the transmitter worked
19 all the way up until mid-1992, when a new one a different, a more powerful
20 transmitter, was procured.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, can you continue.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Now, as to the electric power, can you tell us
24 how did that electric power supply impact the operation of the radio
1 A. Well, it had a direct impact because we had constant power
2 outages, so that presented an additional problem. So during those first
3 month and a half to two, the radio station wasn't really very useful as a
4 media outlet. As a result of that, we tried to overcome that problem, and
5 a bulletin was established, a written paper, leaflet, that informed about
6 the events on the ground. But since this bulletin had a circulation of
7 some 30 to 50 copies in total, the information of public continued to be a
9 I have to add though that some other newspapers would occasionally
10 print or publish stories from our area. There were even some television
11 programmes that dealt with this as well. I think that in late May, early
12 June we in our information service produced two programmes, or rather, we
13 taped footage to be used in two television programmes that were later to
14 be broadcast by the Radio Television Serbia.
15 I can tell you what topics they dealt with. The first one had to
16 do with the shelling of Samac. The second one dealt with the
17 participation of the Croatian army in operations in that area.
18 Q. I would like you to comment on a document that presents part of
19 this court's records.
20 MR. PANTELIC: -- P89.
21 Q. [Interpretation] You can now take a look at this document on the
22 ELMO. You can see it in its entirety. On the ELMO.
23 Tell me, please, are you familiar with this document?
24 A. Yes, I am. It was passed on the same day when the Crisis Staff
25 was established.
1 Q. Upon reading the preamble of this document, one can see that
2 paramilitary formations are mentioned in it and then terror against
3 innocent population and so on. Can you give me more details about the
4 circumstances under which this document was drafted. What did it refer
6 A. The starting point for the document was that the situation in
7 which we found ourselves was not regular. It was abnormal. Therefore,
8 this decision on introducing state of emergency was passed.
9 Q. Now, let us please go back to my question. Please take a look at
10 the preamble, the introduction part of this document. You can see it on
11 the ELMO. You can read it out for yourself, just to remind yourself.
12 A. This refers to the paramilitary formations which were organised by
13 the Party of Democratic Action and the Croatian Democratic Community.
14 Q. Now, tell me something else, please. This mentions the incursion
15 of the paramilitary formations. From which territory did they come from?
16 A. Well, they had in mind members of the Croatian army and the
17 incursion of them from that area. That area across the Sava River was in
18 the Republic of Croatia. And they supported this incursion.
19 Q. When did you personally learn about this situation, about this
21 A. I learnt about this during those days when they arrived, when
22 these documents reached the Crisis Staff, these documents that we are
23 discussing now.
24 Q. In the Posavina region, what was the situation like, say in Odzak?
25 MR. WEINER: Objection.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
2 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, he keeps on using the word "they." He's
3 talking about these documents. Is he talking about this particular
4 document? He learned about this when he received this particular
5 document? It's not clear what he's talking about.
6 MR. PANTELIC: I will clarify that, yes.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, you mentioned the information about
8 the incursion of these troops, and then you mentioned some documents.
9 What did you have in mind? Let's take it step by step. You as a member
10 of the Crisis Staff on the 19th passed this decision, I mean, the Crisis
11 Staff as an institution did. And this decision was passed based on
12 something. We would like to know now what was the basis for drafting this
13 decision and especially this introductory part of it, the preamble.
14 Please explain to the Trial Chamber what you knew at the time about
15 certain facts, if you knew about them. And if you didn't, let us continue
16 with something else.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Usher, you can sit, because I will discuss this
18 document with some more questions, so thank you.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Well, so you know what we're interested in. This
20 document was passed. It had an introductory part, the preamble. Give us
21 some more details regarding it.
22 A. At the meeting itself, the members of the Crisis Staff learnt the
23 details about what had been prepared.
24 Q. Who did they learn it from?
25 A. They learned it from certain services which monitored this and
1 from the military and the police services.
2 Q. Was there a particular individual involved in this? Did somebody
3 come and report about this, or was there a written report that had
5 A. This was announced in the introductory speech, and there had been
6 people there who had been informed. I can't really remember now in that
7 chaotic situation who was the one who came with those papers, but they
8 were there.
9 Q. And what did they say? What did they say to you?
10 A. We were told that from the Republic of Croatia -- in the Republic
11 of Croatia there had been some forces ready to make an incursion into
12 Samac. Then we were told that in the territory of Odzak municipality
13 there were some forces there ready to attack from the flank and that in
14 Samac itself there had been armed formations called the Green Berets,
15 members of the Croatian Defence Forces, HOS, and members of the HVO. And
16 it wasn't difficult to find confirmation for that because in the PIK
17 itself, on that first day when we came in to have our session there, there
18 were some 30 people that had been found there wearing ZNG uniforms [As
19 interpreted]. This was no surprise, in view of the fact that the director
20 of that company was Mr. Bozanovic, who had used that enterprise as a
21 logistics base.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just a matter of clarification of the transcript.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: Of the transcript. Here on page 13, line 17, it
25 says that there were some 30 people that had been found there wearing ZNG
1 uniforms. Actually, the witness was just talking about finding uniform,
2 not about capturing some 30 men with ZNG uniforms. He said that they
3 found uniforms, not people wearing uniforms.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, I see.
5 MR. PANTELIC: I'll clarify that.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: With the witness, yes.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
8 Q. [Interpretation] You heard what the problem is with the
9 transcript. You told us what was found then, in the PIK premises.
10 A. The uniforms of the ZNG had been found, that is, the uniforms that
11 had been worn by the regular Croatian troops.
12 Q. What were their colours? Can you describe them?
13 A. Those were multicoloured uniforms, green-grey colour.
14 Q. Did they have any insignia on them?
15 A. They had insignia of the Croatian army.
16 Q. And when you mentioned Mr. Bozanovic, who was the director of that
17 enterprise, can you tell us his full name and what was his ethnic
19 A. His name was Marko Bozanovic, and he's an ethnic Croat. He was a
20 commander of the newly created Territorial Defence of Bosnia and
22 Q. Now, please tell me this: As we are analysing this document, we
23 can see in item 6 of this decision something that I would like to ask you
24 about now. How long did the state of emergency exist for?
25 A. I'm unable to give you a theoretical answer to that. I cannot
1 describe what is a state of emergency and what is a regular state. As far
2 as I'm concerned, the state of emergency continues all the way up until
3 the regular life is re-established, and that did not happen in that period
4 of time.
5 Q. When was the first session of the municipal assembly held in 1992?
6 Not counting the founding assembly in February that we had mentioned -- or
7 rather, let me ask you this: Had it been held, was it in 1992 or 1993?
8 A. As far as I remember, the first session of the municipal assembly
9 in Samac was held on the 22nd of January, 1993.
10 Q. Please tell me, how long did the Crisis Staff exist under that
12 A. The Crisis Staff functioned under that name until July of 1992.
13 Q. And then after that what body took over and functioned then, in
14 July of 1992?
15 A. After that there was the War Presidency, which had been
16 established pursuant to some decree which existed and which had been
17 presented to us by the Secretary of the municipal assembly, Mr. Mitar
19 Q. The War Presidency, was it another body, or rather, the second
20 body in line in respect of the Crisis Staff, with respect to the number of
21 members, et cetera, or not?
22 A. It was the number-two body, because the documents prescribed who
23 could become a member of the War Presidency, those who were eligible.
24 Q. The decree on the introduction of a state of emergency and point 7
25 in the contents of this document, was it made public or was it just
1 restricted to the Crisis Staff? And if the population did know about it,
2 how was it made public?
3 A. This decision was never made public. It was never published in
4 any form of information media. And the citizens were able to learn about
5 it because there would be a copy which was paraphrased and sent out by way
6 of a piece of information, and it was disseminated in the form of a
7 leaflet or pamphlet. And one of the leaflets would be sent to the local
8 commune, which informed people about what was going on. But many of the
9 citizens never received this information, so point 7 of this document is a
10 sort of -- more of a formal piece of rather information rather than
12 Q. With respect to the previous document while we're waiting for this
13 next one to be found, what kind of typewriter was used, what kind of
14 letters? What kind of technical equipment did the Crisis Staff have?
15 A. As far as I remember, the Crisis Staff had a typewriter with the
16 Cyrillic script. And the decisions it made were typed out on this
17 typewriter in the Cyrillic script, and it still exists.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Would you mind repeating the number of the
19 exhibit. It's not on the record. Thank you.
20 MR. PANTELIC: It's P79, please.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Take a look at this document, please. It's on
22 your right-hand side. What can you tell us about that document,
23 Mr. Simic.
24 A. This proclamation was primarily intended for the use of the media.
25 And there was a follow-up to it, or rather, the media and agencies studied
1 it and it was disseminated. I'm not sure whether it was actually
2 broadcast over our own radio station, because on the day that the
3 programme was interrupted because there was breakdown in the equipment --
4 actually, what I'm saying is I don't know if that proclamation was ever
5 broadcast. But if it was, then it appeared in that form.
6 Q. Do you remember this document? It's written in the Latin script,
7 typewritten, again. How can you explain that?
8 A. Well, when this proclamation was typed out and compiled, the
9 Crisis Staff and its service was in -- either in the PIK company building
10 or the Uniglas company building, so the person who typed this out probably
11 used one of the typewriters they found in one of the two firms.
12 Q. And explain this to me, please: The header in the top left-hand
13 corner, which is handwritten, why was that written up in hand? Do you
14 happen to know? I'm especially interested in the date, which is the 17th
15 of April. Was this document in fact compiled on the 17th of April, as it
16 says, or do you know something else?
17 A. No. This document was drafted on the 19th of April. It came into
18 being on the 19th of April. I don't know why anybody made this
19 handwritten addition. I can only assume that this was written in
20 subsequently. And in the workers' booklets, for example, that people had,
21 this date, the 17th, would be written in, so that workers would have no
22 interruption in their work, in their work booklets. So I can only assume
23 that that was why this date was written in.
24 Q. And tell me, please, what was the basis of the information
25 contained in paragraph 1 of this document? Take a look at the right-hand
1 side. It's not a very legible copy, I'm afraid.
2 A. Like the previous decision and document we saw. The same thing.
3 Q. All right. Now, tell me this: I can see a stamp here, and there
4 was a stamp on the previous document as well. Why didn't it say "Crisis
5 Staff" on the stamp? How do you explain what it says on the stamp here,
6 the wording on the stamp? And I think it says "The Serbian Municipality
7 of Bosanski Samac," I think -- "Pelagicevo." I think that's what it says.
8 What do you know about that and what can you tell us about that?
9 A. Well, as far as the stamp is concerned, there was a separate
10 department in charge of stamps. I can't really give you any more
11 information about that.
12 Q. All right. Very well. Thank you.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you. Could we have now, please,
14 Exhibit P3.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Take a look at this document. Leaf through it.
16 Take it in your hands, put it in front of you, and have a perusal of it.
17 Look at the title of the document, the date, and all the rest. Have you
18 had a chance to look through it?
19 A. Yes, I have.
20 Q. Have you ever seen this document before?
21 A. No, never.
22 Q. Was this document discussed by anybody before 1992, in 1992, or
23 later on? Did you ever hear anybody mention a document with this heading,
24 with this title?
25 A. No, never. I've never heard of the existence of anything like
1 this, and I don't know that anybody discussed this particular document.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Mr. Usher. We can take this
4 document, please.
5 Now I would like to discuss a document, P73, please.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, do you remember this document by
7 any chance?
8 A. Before we continue and before I answer your question, can I say
9 the following: I would like to establish my position and say that the
10 Crisis Staff never discussed things by being given a written document and
11 then going on to discuss the written document and adopt it or not adopt
12 it. The procedure was different. It made its decisions in the following
13 way: A topic would be placed on the agenda. The Crisis Staff would
14 discuss it. And then its professional service would sit down to write the
15 document required. So I remember that on the agenda of one of the Crisis
16 Staff meetings we did discuss this issue. This topic was on the agenda,
17 but the form that the decision took and how it was written, as we can see
18 it here, was something that was compiled later on. So this isn't
19 something I can comment on in that way. But I do remember that a decision
20 of this kind did exist.
21 Q. Well, we're talking about the actual subject under discussion.
22 Now, could you take a look at the signature. Whose signature is that? Is
23 it Dr. Blagoje Simic's signature, if you happen to recognise it?
24 A. No, I don't recognise it.
25 Q. Would you be able to recognise his signature at all if you saw it?
1 A. No, not really.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have, please, Exhibit P74.
3 And this one may rest for a second just, to make a small
5 Q. [Interpretation] Would you place one document next to the other
6 and tell me whether you recognise the signature on this new document to
7 your left, on your left. I know you're not an expert in handwriting, but
8 perhaps you could tell us.
9 A. I really don't --
10 Q. Well, you were in that body, a member of the body for a time.
11 MR. WEINER: I object.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 MR. WEINER: He indicated he wasn't familiar with the signature,
14 so --
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Okay.
17 Q. [Interpretation] I know you're not an expert, but at first glance,
18 are they the same signatures?
19 MR. WEINER: I'd object.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't say.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: He told you he can't recognise the signatures.
24 MR. PANTELIC: I agree.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: So why are you pressing him?
1 MR. PANTELIC: He was not a handwriting expert.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: You are wasting time.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me this: Do you remember the order of the
5 6th of May?
6 MR. PANTELIC: -- Mr. Usher. Yes.
7 It's P74.
8 Q. [Interpretation] I'm interested in point 1. What comment can you
9 make -- how can you comment point 1 of this order? What was the purpose
10 of it, if you recall?
11 A. I think I can remember what this referred to, the situation. Let
12 me explain it in this way: It was customary -- I have to give you a
13 longer answer in order to explain what I mean. In the former system, the
14 army was considered to be a popular army, an army of the people, and we
15 saw the army being depicted in Partisan films and things of that kind.
16 And customary for the people to organise luncheons for the army, and this
17 was what they did in this war too. The soldiers were also the sons of
18 farmers, people from the grass roots, the salt of the earth. And in order
19 to help the army, the people organised lunches for the soldiers. I'm not
20 sure that I have explained this very well, but I did my best in the short
21 space of time.
22 Q. Now, there's a term used here "special battalion." What can you
23 tell us about this special battalion? Who was it? Who made up the
24 special battalion? Who was the commander? How many members did it have?
25 Things like that. Can you tell us anything about that, and the purpose of
1 the battalion itself.
2 A. As to the battalion and this military issue, I can't really tell
3 you a great deal, but what I do know is the following: The special
4 battalion consisted of young men who at that time did not wish to be mere
5 static soldiers, that is to say, to be deployed up at the front line and
6 just stand there. They wanted to take part in offensives, in offensive
7 operations. And then once they had completed this military action, they
8 wanted to have a longer spell to rest. Otherwise, they were mostly young
9 people from Samac and the surrounding villages.
10 Q. Do you know how many made up the battalion?
11 A. No, I don't.
12 Q. What do you know about the volunteers who had come in from Serbia?
13 When did you hear about volunteers, if you ever heard about them?
14 A. I heard that there were volunteers in the army, but the -- there
15 was very scant information about them, hardly any at all. All I do know
16 is that one of them would sow the seeds of fear, and he was known as Lugar
17 [As interpreted].
18 Q. What other name comes to mind when you mention the volunteers?
19 A. Well, there was a man called Crni.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Meaning "black." Interpreter's note.
21 A. And I can't remember any other names.
22 Q. There's something wrong with the transcript again.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- that I noticed. The witness said, when
24 speaking about Lugar, he was the one who would sow the seed of fear among
25 Serb population. This is what we heard, and I don't see this in the
1 transcript. It's on page 22, line 17 and 18.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic can deal with that with the
4 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. When you spoke about Lugar, what were you trying to say? What did
6 you say?
7 A. I said the following: I didn't hear anything about other
8 volunteers. I have no information about them. However, I did hear things
9 about this one, and that was within the context that I told you about.
10 Q. Could you repeat that context, because it wasn't in the
12 A. He sowed fear among the Serb population.
13 Q. In which way? What did you hear about him?
14 A. I heard that he had physically abused soldiers, residents, and so
15 on that, he got drunk frequently, that he was very aggressive. In one
16 word, that he was a man who terrorised the people around him, terrorised
17 his environment. I even think, now that I recollect this - I don't know
18 if it was in late May or early June, but one of the people in the Crisis
19 Staff security told me that on one occasion Lugar came to the Crisis Staff
20 premises and this man from the Crisis Staff security told me that Lugar
21 had been drunk. The security did not dare stop him. However, this man
22 from the security followed him from one room into another. Lugar was
23 looking to find somebody. And then he turned around and asked him, "What
24 were you doing there?" And then the man from the security said, "Well,
25 I'm just here doing my job." And then Lugar cursed him and told him that
1 it would be better for him to go to the front line, and then he turned one
2 more time and said, "Where is that fat Blagoje?" And by saying "fat," he
3 wanted to insult and humiliate the president of the Crisis Staff, and he
4 also wanted to make it known that he had no respect for anyone in the
6 MR. WEINER: I'd object. I move to strike. It's one thing if he
7 wants to introduce the statement, which again we've never had any
8 discovery of. However, with regard to Lugar's mental thoughts, what if
9 any mental thoughts Lugar had, I move to strike those, because this --
10 this witness cannot answer as to the intentions of Lugar.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. He can only -- he can only tell us what
12 happened or what he heard.
13 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Simic, other than these verbal remarks -- no,
15 rather, tell me, when did you first learn about the presence of the
16 volunteers in Samac?
17 A. I can't tell you exactly, because as the war went on, it became a
18 publicly-known fact. But it was probably a few days after the breakout of
20 Q. Now, tell me, in addition to these details, these verbal insults,
21 do you have any other examples that would illustrate their attitude -- the
22 attitude of Lugar and the others?
23 A. No, I can't give you any other examples because I did not have an
24 opportunity to see them directly.
25 Q. Did you hear anything about their conduct?
1 A. Yes. I heard all kinds of stories regarding some of them. I
2 heard that they had been aggressive and so on, that they harassed the
4 Q. Did you know which unit, which military formation they belonged
5 to? Were they also members of this special battalion? If you know,
7 A. I don't know that. I don't know what their military association
9 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have now Exhibit P75, please.
10 Q. [Interpretation] What can you tell us about this document,
11 Mr. Simic?
12 A. I can say that this was one of the documents that had been sent at
13 the time to various addresses in order to get assistance for the
14 municipality that was in war.
15 A. Dragan Djordjevic is mentioned in this memo. Who is this man?
16 His nickname is Vranjanac. Could you tell us who this man is.
17 A. One of the volunteers.
18 Q. At the time when this memo was drafted, did you have any other
19 details about Dragan Djordjevic? Did you know what his conduct was, what
20 steps he had taken, and so on?
21 A. I just knew that he was one of the volunteers and that he was some
22 kind of a commander and that's all.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
24 Could we have now Exhibit P76.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Can you give us a brief comment on this document,
2 A. I don't know this document. I suppose that this document was
3 prepared by the executive council and that later on it was prepared by the
4 professional staff of the Crisis Staff.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: The witness said he didn't know the document, and
6 then he's saying, I suppose that it was prepared -- so he doesn't know.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I will clarify that. Maybe he doesn't know
8 exactly this document, but maybe he's aware of the events or contents of
9 this document or basis for issuance of this document. So that was my
10 attempt to clarify.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Please tell me, did you hear something about the
12 content of this document? If you don't know, then just tell us so,
14 A. I can't remember.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Please could we have Exhibit P77.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, what do you know about this document?
17 Was this document signed?
18 A. I don't know this document, and I see that there's no signature
19 here, so I suppose that it was drafted in the public security station.
20 MR. WEINER: I'd object. Once again, he doesn't know the
21 document, and now he's trying to assume what happened to it. If he
22 doesn't know, it's not a matter for this witness.
23 MR. PANTELIC: But -- well, his assumption also -- I mean, he's an
24 educated man. He can --
25 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Pantelic. Either a witness knows about
1 something or he doesn't. That's all.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have -- sorry, could we have --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Let me make it clear to you, Mr. Simic. You are a
4 fact witness and you have come to the Tribunal to give evidence on matters
5 which you know [Realtime transcript read in error "you don't know"]. If
6 you don't know anything you say so, if you are shown a document you don't
7 know it, you don't know have to assume anything. We don't want
8 assumptions here.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit P78, please.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Please take a look at this document. But prior
11 to that, let me ask you this: Are you familiar with the term "SAO
12 Northern Bosnia"? Have you ever heard of it?
13 A. Yes, I am familiar with it.
14 Q. What do you know about it?
15 A. That's a territorial administrative unit which was joined by the
16 Samac municipality as well. The Crisis Staff did.
17 Q. Thank you. And are you familiar with the SAO Semberija and
19 A. No, I'm sorry, I am familiar with the SAO Semberija and Majevica,
20 not with the -- the other one. What did you say it was called, the first
21 one? Could you please rephrase your question, because I have an
22 impression that I mixed this up.
23 Q. No problem at all. I'm just waiting for the transcript. I want
24 to make sure that everything is recorded here. I asked you whether you
25 were familiar with the term "SAO Northern Bosnia."
1 A. No. I am not familiar with the SAO Northern Bosnia.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Let me just interrupt you. My interjection -- I
5 notice from the transcript that it said -- that referring to the witness,
6 "You came to the Tribunal to give evidence on matters you don't know." I
7 actually said, "You came to the Tribunal to give evidence on matters you
8 know about."
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Yes. Just for a clarification, yes, Your
10 Honour. Yes, you are right.
11 Q. [Interpretation] All right. So you have heard about the SAO
12 Semberija and Majevica. That's what you told us. Is that right?
13 A. It's not that I have heard about it, but from what I remember, the
14 Crisis Staff adopted a decision for the Samac municipality to join the SAO
15 Semberija and Majevica. That is my response to your question.
16 Q. Very well. Do you know something about the regulations and
17 certain duties of the Crisis Staff, or rather, Samac municipality with
18 respect to the SAO Semberija and Majevica?
19 A. Yes. There was a form of harmonisation of regulations, but that
20 was within the jurisdiction of the executive council. I don't think that
21 we ever adopted any decisions at the Crisis Staff sessions regarding this.
22 Q. Very well. Now, please take a look at this decision in front of
23 you. Tell us whether you have seen it before, whether you know something
24 about it. If you don't, then just please tell us so.
25 A. I have never seen this decision before.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher. You can get this document.
3 Could we have, please, document P -- Exhibit P81, please.
4 Q. [Interpretation] What can you tell us about this document,
5 Mr. Simic?
6 A. I'm not familiar with this document.
7 Q. Do you know whether the Crisis Staff ever issued any orders to
8 Mr. Simo Zaric?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have please now Exhibit P82.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Please take a look at this document. I think it
13 has two pages. Can you tell us something about it. But please take a
14 good look at it first.
15 A. I'm not familiar with this document.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Could we go into private session, please, for a
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes.
19 [Private session]
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: We are now in open session. Yes.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, thank you.
8 Could we have now Exhibit P83, please.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Do you recognise this document, Mr. Simic?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. May we have your comments to it, please.
12 A. This decision is related to the appointment of the commission for
13 the exchange of detained and other persons, or rather, captured persons.
14 And Mr. Maslic, Simo Nikolic, and Mr. Miroslav Tadic were members. And
15 they were in charge of the exchange itself, prisoner exchange and the
16 exchange of others. From what I can remember from talking to the
17 president, they conducted the exchange of persons and for soldiers who had
18 been captured. They would have to receive the okay from the military
19 structures. As for people who had been detained by the police, those
20 detainees -- and other people who were detained, they would have to
21 receive permission from the police. For other citizens, I'm not sure of
22 the details but I can give you an example based on my own personal
24 My wife had parents in Croatia. Her parents were in Croatia. And
25 we asked Mr. Maslic together how we could get them out of Croatia, because
1 information had reached us that they wished to leave Croatia and live with
2 us. And he told us that the procedure was as follows: That he would
3 first of all have to talk to the Croatian side. Then the Croatian side
4 would have to ask the individuals, that is to say, her parents whether
5 they wanted to leave, whether they wanted to go and live elsewhere of
6 their own free will, and if they agreed, if they said yes, then the
7 exchange would take place. That's what I know about it.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think we could
10 clarify. He said, "talking to the president." So could we ask the
11 witness to specify which president. This is on page 30, line 12 onwards.
12 About the commission he said, "From what I can remember from talking to
13 the president," when talking of prisoner exchange. So could he specify
14 which president, what he meant. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pantelic can deal with that.
16 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Yes. Mr. Simic, you said "I can remember from talking to the
18 president." And then you went on to say that they conducted the exchange
19 of persons and soldiers. So which president were you thinking of?
20 A. Mr. Maslic. And in the document he is recorded as being the
22 Q. As we're on this topic, this is a document of the War Presidency
23 dated the 2nd of October, 1992, is it not?
24 A. Yes, it is. That's right.
25 Q. Tell me, please, as a member of the Crisis Staff yourself, did you
1 happen to know in the period between April 1992 -- well, from April 1992
2 onwards, tell us what you know about the procedure for exchanges.
3 A. All I knew was that there was a commission in charge of these
4 exchanges and that the exchanges were conducted in the following manner:
5 For soldiers, permission had to be obtained from the military organs. For
6 civilian detainees, it was the police, the police organs who had to grant
7 permission. And if there were exchanges of citizens, then this would
8 follow the procedure I described a moment ago, which means that the person
9 to be exchanged would have to be asked if a citizen insisted on coming to
10 the territory of Republika Srpska or in leaving that territory, the person
11 would have to be asked.
12 Q. So this was a municipal commission. Do you know of any other
13 commissions at different levels which dealt with exchanges?
14 A. No, I do not.
15 Q. Tell me, please, did the Crisis Staff give its permission for
16 individuals to be exchanged? Was it included in that process directly?
17 Explain the role of the Crisis Staff, if it had a role to play within the
18 subject of exchanges.
19 A. The Crisis Staff didn't deal in exchanges except for nominating
20 and appointing the commission.
21 Q. What was the relationship between the commission and the Crisis
23 A. The commission's president would come to inform the Crisis Staff
24 from time to time how things were going. They would look at some general
25 principles and things of that kind.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Yes. Could we have Exhibit P85,
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, tell us, please, whether you recognise
4 this decision.
5 A. I am familiar with it, yes.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Could it be placed on the ELMO for the benefit of
7 the clients.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have it on the ELMO.
9 Your Honour, maybe we could deal with this exhibit after the
10 break, if that's an appropriate time for our break.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We shall take our break and continue at 16.15
13 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you. Ms. Registrar, could we please
17 have Exhibit P85.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Before the break, Mr. Simic, we were discussing
19 this document, and you said that you have some personal knowledge about
20 the circumstances which led up to the drafting of this document and some
21 other important details.
22 A. What I can say is the following: At the time some civilians from
23 the Odzak municipality, civilians who were Serbs, arrived on the territory
24 of the Samac municipality. And it was necessary to ensure accommodation
25 for them. And this decision shows the manner in which this was done. So
1 those Serb citizens were to report to Kruskovo Polje, where accommodation
2 for them would be organised. This was no easy task because in Samac
3 municipality there were a large number of displaced persons there already,
4 refugees, people who had lost their homes and who had to be put up
5 somewhere, to find a safe haven for them.
6 Q. You said civilians of Serb ethnicity who had come into the Samac
7 municipality territory. So these people, Serbs from Odzak, what status
8 did they have and how did they come?
9 A. They were exchanged. That was the procedure. They were exchanged
10 and they came into the territory.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have now Exhibit P86, please -- no, no.
13 Actually, no, I do apologise. That's just an exhibit regarding the
14 appointment, so it is not directly related to -- I will try to speed up
15 things. P88, please.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Can you tell us anything about this document,
17 Mr. Simic.
18 A. This document doesn't come from the Crisis Staff, and I don't
19 remember it.
20 Q. Can you please explain this for us, if there is the designation
21 "the Crisis Staff of the municipality" and the seal there, how come you
22 have concluded that this document doesn't come from the Crisis Staff.
23 A. Well, I've concluded that based on the fact that this was done on
24 a computer-type printer, so the text was created on computer and then
25 printed on the printer. And from what I know, there were no such printers
1 in the professional staff of the Crisis Staff.
2 Q. Do you remember this topic? Was it discussed at the Crisis Staff?
3 There are some looting cases mentioned here and so on.
4 A. I don't remember these topics because these topics were associated
5 with the executive council.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you. Can we have now Exhibit P90. 90,
8 Q. [Interpretation] Do you recognise this document? What can you
9 tell us about this document?
10 A. I do not remember this document.
11 Q. Did the Crisis Staff ever issue any kind of permits to civilians
12 in Samac municipality in order for them to be able to move freely about
13 and leave the town?
14 A. The Crisis Staff would occasionally issue a permit saying that
15 such and such individual could leave the town and move about with that
16 permit, and there would usually be a seal of the Crisis Staff on that
17 permit. And as those people -- how did these people pass through
18 checkpoints where permits were checked? I really don't know about that.
19 Q. All right. Could you please take a look at Article 2 and tell us
20 whether there were any cases of this nature taking place on the ground.
21 A. I think that permits were issued in the public security stations
22 an in relevant military agencies, rather than in any civilian organs.
23 Q. Can you please clarify something that you've just told us. In
24 which cases did the Crisis Staff issue permits?
25 A. Well, I'll explain this for you. For example, if a member of the
1 Crisis Staff or perhaps somebody who was part of some other service
2 agency, if that person wanted to go elsewhere, therefore leave the
3 territory of the municipality, then that person would be issued such a
4 permit. That would be sealed with the Crisis Staff seal and such
5 individuals could travel with such permits.
6 Q. Were these permits issued for people who needed to move about on
7 official business or for private purposes?
8 A. Those permits were issued by the head of the professional staff of
9 the Crisis Staff.
10 Q. Was that some kind of a travel order or something similar?
11 A. Yes, something of that nature.
12 Q. And did the Crisis Staff issue permits to people who were not of
13 Serb ethnicity?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Who was in charge of the Samac residents who were non-Serbs? I
16 mean, who was in charge of issuing permits to such residents?
17 A. I don't know about that.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Could we have, please, Exhibit P91.
19 Q. [Interpretation] What can you tell us about this document?
20 A. This document looks familiar to me. The Crisis Staff passed this
21 decision, namely to freeze the work of political organisations and
22 political parties in order to prevent political conflicts which were
23 undesirable at the time. However, this Article 2 deals with arrests. I
24 know that this topic was not discussed, and I don't know how this issue
25 got into this decision. I think that this was awkwardly done by the
1 professional staff when they drafted the document. The Crisis Staff did
2 not have any mechanism of the enforcing nature that would be able to do
3 something like this.
4 Q. Now, please tell me this: At that time in the territory of
5 Republika Srpska and the Serbian Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was there
6 any activity of political parties taking place?
7 A. I don't think that there was.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Could we have now Exhibit P92, please.
9 Q. [Interpretation] I will remind you and tell you that the previous
10 document was dated 12th of June, 1992. And now we can see the date 28th
11 of November, 1992. This document was issued by the War Presidency. Can
12 you comment to this decision.
13 A. Yes, I can. When I said that the previous decision practically
14 froze the activities of political parties, that didn't mean that any
15 activity of theirs was banned by that order. That means that the parties
16 could have a certain activity within their party bodies, and that is
17 regulated by this decision that is in front of me now, which says that the
18 parties could develop their own infrastructures and so on. And as far as
19 I can remember, this decision had to do with that type of activity;
20 namely, the Serb Democratic Party had to renovate and repair the old
21 destroyed building of the hotel, and the party was supposed to prevent
22 further decay of that building, and that was the purpose for passing this
24 Q. Did this decision in fact transfer the ownership of the old hotel
25 building to the SDS, or did this decision deal with something else?
1 A. As far as I remember, that was done later on by another decision
2 of the assembly. This decision did not delve into that. It simply
3 awarded temporary use of certain premises. It did not go into ownership
5 Q. So the building of the old hotel was owned by whom at the time?
6 A. It was socially owned. At the time it was socially owned.
7 Q. Socially owned or state owned; is that right?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. Because it is very difficult to translate that term into English.
10 That category does not exist elsewhere. So could you please tell us what
11 would be the closest term to the concept of social property.
12 A. State property.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Could we have, please, now Exhibit P93.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Could you comment on this decision dated 28th of
16 A. Yes. This decision was adopted in order to try and prevent
17 disorder in the town that was caused by various cafes and catering
18 facilities that served liquor. At the time there was a lot of disorder, a
19 lot of shooting, wounding incidents, and it was believed that one of the
20 reasons for that was the fact that alcohol was served.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have, please, now Exhibit P94.
22 Q. [Interpretation] This is not an important document; however, it
23 caused some debate and some questions in the past, so I would like to ask
24 you to comment on this document. Do you perhaps remember this decision?
25 And if so, can you tell us what was its objective, this decision or this
2 A. This kind of a certificate could have been issued by the
3 professional staff of the Crisis Staff.
4 Q. Well, can you just tell us, what is your interpretation of this
6 MR. WEINER: I'd object, Your Honour. It's --
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
8 MR. WEINER: It's a simple cut-and-dry certificate. What's he
9 going to interpret or explain?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe it's just a question of language. Maybe he
11 can say what he knows about it. But not in --
12 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Simple as that. Because we heard certain
13 interpretations in previous proceedings which is completely contrary to
14 the -- I mean, not in Defence case but, rather, in the Prosecution case.
15 So I'm obliged to clarify this issue.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Yes. Please go ahead and explain that for us.
17 A. I suppose that this man wanted to transport his household goods
18 from his parents' house to his own house. And in order to do so, he
19 needed a certificate.
20 Q. What is the ethnicity of the persons mentioned in the certificate?
21 A. Both of these persons mentioned here are Serbs.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have, please, now Exhibit P95, please.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Can you give us any comments regarding this
1 A. I'm not familiar with this decision because the Crisis Staff did
2 not have its own treasury where funds could be kept. I presume this was
3 something that had been done in the executive council. This is a
4 nonsense, or at least the first article is, where it says, "Delivered to
5 the Crisis Staff of the Serb Municipality of Samac."
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have, please, now Exhibit P96.
8 Q. [Interpretation] In this meantime, let me ask you this: Did the
9 Crisis Staff of Samac Municipality on any occasion engage persons to send
10 weapons or people to the municipality? Did it have commissioners in
11 charge of that?
12 A. The Crisis Staff was never involved in those kinds of affairs.
13 Q. Please take a look at this document and tell us what it
14 represents, or rather, tell us whether you are familiar with it.
15 A. This, again, is one of the documents that could have been issued
16 by somebody from the professional staff to those people who were willing
17 to assist with fund-raising, procuring of medications, and so on.
18 However, I do not exclude the possibility that there could have been some
19 abuses of these types of documents and that somebody could have used this
20 document to collect money and funds elsewhere in the world for their own
22 Q. Please take a look at paragraph 2 of this authorisation. It
23 mentions trained people, sending of weapons and so on. Was there any talk
24 of such activities?
25 A. No. The Crisis Staff was never involved in such activities, nor
1 did it have organs and services that dealt with such issues.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Please could we have now Exhibit P98.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic, please go ahead. Do you know
5 this document?
6 A. Based on the heading or the introductory part, one can conclude
7 that this is a letter. Therefore, a written form of communication. At
8 the time the Crisis Staff contacted different entities which it believed
9 would be able to assist the imprisoned Serbs in the territory of Odzak
10 municipality; therefore in Donja Dubica, Crnjak, Struke, Lipik, and Novi
11 Grad. And there were between three and a half thousand and four thousand
12 of them there. One of the letters, this one, to the Federal Secretariat
13 for People's Defence.
14 Q. Regarding these events in Odzak municipality in April and May of
15 1992, what did the Crisis Staff of Samac municipality do regarding this?
16 What activities did you and other members of the Crisis Staff undertake
17 regarding this in addition to writing letters?
18 A. In addition to sending letters, appeals, and other ways of
19 engaging the public, the Crisis Staff tried to engage the public in
20 Yugoslavia as well.
21 Q. No, I really meant the practical steps. What practical steps were
22 taken? What contacts did they establish with the other side, and so on?
23 What can you tell us about that?
24 A. I think that at the time a coordination body was established
25 comprising of people that would be able to establish contact with the?
1 People over there and try and get some assistance.
2 Q. Well, can you give us any details what was done? You were in the
3 field of information, so you should be able to give us more details
4 regarding this. We are interested in that period of time it's very
5 important to us.
6 A. As I've just told you, those people, some 3500 to 4.000 of them
7 were in prison there, and many of them had relatives in Samac municipality
8 and in other places, and these relatives tried to help the imprisoned
9 people. It was difficult to do, and it was a very difficult process.
10 That agony lasted all the way up until the first exchanges started, and
11 they were quite a relief to the population. All of these appeals and
12 letters that were sent, everything that was done by the Crisis Staff and
13 other organs of civilian authorities, the Red Cross and so on, none of it
14 was fruitful for a long period of time, and it was only later that they
15 managed to ensure that people started arriving into Samac municipality,
16 naturally very happy that they were able to leave and unite with their
18 Q. When was that approximately?
19 A. It was in the month of May.
20 Q. Tell me who made up this coordinating body.
21 A. Well, we decided to do it this way, and we thought that was the
22 best way of doing it: For us to ensure contact with the people, that body
23 should be made up, we thought, of people from -- from local people who
24 knew the situation, who knew the families, who knew the individuals, and
25 who would be able to compile a list of persons who found themselves there.
1 And that is why the members were Mr. Miroslav Tadic, Mr. Simo Zaric, and
2 Mr. Bozo Ninkovic, who were from the area. Mr. Tadic was born in Novi
3 Grad. For example, Mr. Simo Zaric was born in Crnjak. And Mr. Bozo
4 Ninkovic was a native of Donja Dubica, that village, the village in the
5 Odzak municipality. And then they continued these activities.
6 Q. Was the Crisis Staff involved in contacts with any internal
7 organisations perhaps at that period of time? What can you tell us about
9 A. Yes. I think that at one of the meetings of the Crisis Staff a
10 report was presented to show that people from the International Red Cross
11 had engaged in that activity, that they cooperated with the people from
12 the coordinating body and that in that sense they had some joint
13 solutions. And they organised, I think, a joint exchange programme and
14 the exchange took place - took place, yes, that's a better word - on the
15 Bosna River. It is a river which separates the municipalities of Odzak
16 and Samac. I think in that first exchange in which the International Red
17 Cross participated, about 100 persons were exchanged, Serb civilians, and
18 people captured on the Odzak municipality territory. And we all remember
19 that because it was something that reverberated and was publicly known. I
20 don't remember anything else.
21 Q. What was done at a municipal level with respect to resolving
22 humanitarian issues, problems of accommodation for those people, in the
23 month of May, if I'm right?
24 A. Well, at that time the civilian protection or civil defence
25 headquarters had been set up and was functioning, and they saw to the
1 accommodation of refugees and displaced persons who had been exchanged in
2 the -- from the Odzak municipality and other areas as well, and this
3 service had a heavy burden to bear. They had a very difficult job to do
4 because there was an influx of people coming into the territory of Samac
5 municipality and they had been left without their houses. They had left
6 their property behind. They had no means of livelihood. They were
7 usually separated from their families. And sometimes these people were
8 just not able to find their way and live a normal life because it was
9 difficult to ensure food supplies and everything that was needed for a
10 normal life. And this was one of the most serious problems and difficult
11 periods that we faced, because there were many, many people coming into
12 the Samac municipality who were left without the basic means of livelihood
13 and survival.
14 Q. Solving these humanitarian problems for the Serb refugees from the
15 Odzak municipality when they arrived in Samac, did this jeopardise and
16 threaten certain rights of the non-Serb inhabitants in Samac in any way?
17 Could you explain to us how this was done. Were the non-Serbs evicted,
18 for example, from their homes for these Serbs to take up accommodation
19 there? Did they take over their flats, or what happened? What did you do
20 in the Crisis Staff?
21 A. I don't have any more detailed information about this because the
22 service for accommodation within the municipality was in charge of this
23 matter. But as far as I know, there were no human rights violations.
24 Human rights were not curtailed and the members of other ethnic groups
25 were not in jeopardy at all.
1 Q. And as we're on the subject, were you a witness -- or rather, did
2 you see that the non-Serb population in Samac in 1992/1993, did you see
3 them wearing white bands on their sleeves when they moved around town
5 A. White bands you say?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. No, I didn't see any white bands or ribbons. Nobody had any white
8 bands. But I can say that this was a sort of propaganda ploy.
9 Q. What do you mean by that?
10 A. Well, a journalist, Mr. Mato Krajinovic was his name, launched a
11 piece of information along those lines over the radio station.
12 Q. When?
13 A. In 1992, sometime in June. And I am deeply convinced that this
14 was imported, this information, and that the source was his propaganda.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I have a criticism to
17 make of the translation. When he mentioned accommodation for the
18 refugees, and it is line 44, page 21, he said, "I don't know anything much
19 about that because the Secretariat for Communal Matters." Where it says
20 "accommodation service" here, perhaps we could clarify that point.
21 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Yes. When you said that the communal services or the secretariat
23 was in charge of this, what were you thinking about?
24 A. The housing and communal department in the municipality. That's
25 what I had in mind. And I assume that it was that department who was in
1 charge of seeing to affairs of this kind.
2 Q. Very well. Let's get back to our white bands or ribbons. Did you
3 or the Crisis Staff or some third party ever issue orders to Radio Samac
4 to broadcast the order for non-Serbs to wear these white bands or ribbons?
5 A. The Crisis Staff never made any such decision, nor did it issue
6 orders to Radio Samac to broadcast anything of that nature.
7 Q. As you were linked to the information department, do you perhaps
8 know whether any third party issued orders to the radio to broadcast this?
9 A. No service or organ of any kind, as far as I know, issued any such
10 orders or gave any such instructions.
11 Q. According to what you know, did Radio Samac broadcast an order by
12 the Public Security Station on banning any rallies of persons -- more than
13 three persons in Samac?
14 A. No, Radio Samac never broadcast anybody's orders, and it never
15 broadcast any information or news of that kind at all.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Could we have, please, Exhibit 100 -- P100.
18 Excuse me, my mistake. P99.
19 Q. [Interpretation] You've already spoken about a series of letters.
20 We're not going to make any more comments because I think you've explained
21 it sufficiently. But tell me, is this -- are you familiar with this
23 A. Yes, I am.
24 Q. Is this a document along the lines of the letters and appeals
25 through which you addressed the public and international agencies?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have P100 [Realtime transcript read in
4 error "P10"], please.
5 Q. [Interpretation] We talked about this subject. What can you tell
6 me about this.
7 MR. PANTELIC: I have to interrupt you. Could we have P100.
8 Because in transcript it's only P10, so just for clarification of the
10 Q. [Interpretation] Please continue, sir.
11 A. The Samac municipality pursuant to this decision, Semberija and
12 Majevica -- or rather, this decision was for practical reasons. Samac was
13 completely surrounded. It was encircled, and there was no way in which it
14 could have been linked into a territorial hole with the municipalities of
15 Odzak, Orasje.
16 Q. What do you mean by "surrounded," "encircled"?
17 A. The Samac municipality is located -- it looks like a wedge and
18 comes out onto the River Sava. And through the River Sava -- across the
19 river is the Republic of Croatia. And on the two flanks are the
20 municipalities of Odzak and Orasje.
21 Q. That's a geographical explanation, but let's be more practical,
22 Mr. Simic. We're talking about May 1992. And I'm interested to know who
23 surrounded the Samac municipality. Give us some names, institutions, or
24 whatever. Not geography. We don't want geography at this point.
25 A. Across the River Sava was the Croatian army, and almost every
1 day - because there was nobody else who could have shelled the area - it
2 was the Croatian army that shelled the town on a daily basis, the town and
3 the surrounding villages.
4 Q. Well, move south and tell us what other forces were -- what was
5 around Samac.
6 A. It was the Odzak municipality, the HVO, the Croatian HVO, the
7 Croatian -- I can't remember what the HVO stood for.
8 Q. Wasn't it the Croatian Defence Council?
9 A. Yes, it was. That's right. That's it, the Croatian Defence
10 Council. Members of the HVO were in Orasje as well, the other side.
11 Q. And where is Orasje in relation to Samac?
12 A. East, to the east.
13 Q. North, south, east, or west?
14 A. East.
15 Q. And what was to the south?
16 A. To the south was the municipality of Gradacac, which is where the
17 allied forces of the HVO and Muslims launched their operations, armed
18 forces. And I have to say --
19 Q. And how long was Samac under siege for?
20 A. Samac was completely under siege, completely encircled --
21 Q. I was just asking for how long. Up until what date?
22 A. Until July.
23 Q. Of what year?
24 A. 1992.
25 Q. And what happened then?
1 A. The units of the 1st Krajina Corps and the 2nd Posavina Infantry
2 Brigade made this military break-through and the municipality of Samac was
3 linked as a result to the Krajina municipalities from the Banja Luka
4 region to the west, and on the east with Semberija and Majevica. And that
5 was the corridor that was mentioned.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have, please, P101, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] As we're going to take a look at this next
8 document, which is linked to SAO Majevica. In May 1992 before the
9 corridor, what was the reason for the municipality to be linked up with
10 this corridor?
11 A. The reasons were practical reasons. They were to link up the
12 administration and the various institutions and to form one whole, one
13 entity. They were not able to exist separately. They had to be linked
15 Q. I understand. But hierarchically speaking, if we look at
16 hierarchy, we know that the Bosanski Samac municipality was at one level.
17 What was the next level up? Could you explain the hierarchy.
18 A. The next step up the ladder was the SAO. This was a kind of
19 canton. And then we come to the state level.
20 Q. For the municipal organs, were the decisions of SAO Semberija and
21 Majevica binding upon them?
22 A. They were not binding upon the municipal orders of the SAO
23 Semberija and Majevica.
24 Q. What about the republican organs?
25 A. They were. They were binding, which means that this was some sort
1 of shaky system.
2 For example, if there was a patient who needed medical attention
3 in Samac and had to be treated in Bijeljina, we had a practical problem if
4 we didn't have an administrative solution to deal with the problem.
5 Q. All right. Now, about this decision: Do you recognise it?
6 A. Yes, I'm familiar with it.
7 Q. I am particularly interested in Article 2. Can you comment on it,
9 A. I think that I didn't really see this article practically
10 implemented either by the Crisis Staff or in the municipality itself. I
11 think it was put in there for some formal reasons.
12 Q. Mr. Simic, the voting procedure of the Crisis Staff, I suppose,
13 was such that everybody had -- every member had one vote. Is that right,
14 or was there different voting procedure?
15 A. I think that I've already explained that. Since the president of
16 the Crisis Staff wanted to include always a large number of people in the
17 debate and in the decision-making, then very often there was no voting
18 taking place at all. Positions were harmonised and then a sort of
19 consensus was reached, although sometimes we did vote on issues.
20 Q. Were there any cases where, for example, a proposal by Blagoje
21 Simic was outvoted in voting procedure, or did he have some kind of an
23 A. No. If his proposal was outvoted, he had to uphold the results of
24 the vote.
25 Q. Do you remember any cases where his proposals were outvoted?
1 A. I can't remember a specific example, but I suppose that there were
2 such cases.
3 Q. Speaking of that, you were an assemblyman in the assembly and you
4 know a lot about parliament and parliamentary issues. What is the role of
5 the president of the assembly? What are his duties, and what is his real
7 A. I have to correct you. I was an assemblyman in the assembly. I
8 was not a deputy in the state parliament. And I will answer your
10 You would like to know what are the authorities of the president
11 of the assembly.
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. To convene sessions of the municipal assembly; to propose agendas;
14 to ensure that items are debated; to ensure that after a decision is
15 passed, the decision is handed over to the professional staff for them to
16 complete their task and so on.
17 Q. Is the president's vote stronger than a vote of any other
19 A. No. And as to the weight of that vote, that's a different issue.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Exhibit P102, please.
21 Q. [Interpretation] My colleagues wanted me to clarify something.
22 When you spoke about the weight of the president's vote, what were you
23 trying to say. If an issue was voted on, then what did your answer relate
25 A. I think that this comment of mine was probably unnecessary under
1 the circumstances. What I was trying to say was that each vote was just a
2 single vote. And even if the president was outvoted, the will of the
3 majority was upheld. And my comment was meant to convey that if somebody
4 had an authority, not necessarily president of the assembly but somebody
5 else, then it might have influenced the outcome of the vote.
6 Q. All right. Let's be more specific. What authority does president
7 of the have?
8 A. The authority of the municipal assembly is quite limited because
9 the municipality deals with the utilities and the infrastructure, with
10 things that have to do with the everyday life of the residents. It does
11 not deal with different issues. And in that respect, its influence is
12 quite limited. I hope that this is what you wanted me to explain.
13 Q. All right. Well, could you make a comparison between the
14 president of the executive council and this president. How can you --
15 what kind of a correlation can you make there? How can you describe this?
16 A. I can describe it in the following terms --
17 Q. My question did not relate to the correlation. I wanted you to
18 make a comparison.
19 A. Where we come from - and I think this applies to other places as
20 well - the executive branch has more authority for a simple reason, that
21 it has at its disposal financial means and other types of power, so that
22 the executive branch was always much more powerful, if I can put it that
24 Q. Please take a look at this document. What can you tell us about
1 A. I can tell you the following: This document was prepared by the
2 executive council. And as such, it was ratified by the Crisis Staff. I
3 really couldn't tell you anything about the items mentioned in this
4 document because this is something that had been done by the executive
5 council, by the people who are professionals in that particular field.
6 Q. All right. But based on what you know, were there any cases of
7 confiscation or seizure of property of some individuals due to tax evasion
8 by those individuals?
9 A. I don't know of any such cases where property was confiscated.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Could we have now Exhibit P105, please.
11 Q. [Interpretation] This is another document. On page 3 we can see
12 that it is dated 15th of December, 1992. Do you know anything about this
14 A. I don't. I've never seen this document.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have, please, now Exhibit P106.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Tell us something about this document, if you
17 know, please.
18 A. This decision is familiar to me. It was passed at the time
19 when --
20 Q. Could you please put it on the ELMO so that our clients can see
21 the document as well. And then if you don't mind, you can also look at it
23 A. This decision abolished Crisis Staffs in local communes and
24 instead of them appointed commissioners; namely, at that time it was
25 believed that a large number of people was in the Crisis Staffs in local
1 communes when there was a large need for personnel in the military and
2 there was a work obligation in existence. And as a result of that, these
3 Crisis Staffs were abolished because they were at the level of local
5 Q. And what was the objective of those Crisis Staffs in local
7 A. The same as in municipalities. They were meant to act in
8 extraordinary circumstances, to help after the shelling and wounding of
9 the population, to ensure that life went on in local communes, to house
10 refugees, to assist people with health problems, and so on. Samac at the
11 time faced a lot of difficult problematic situations. There were about 50
12 patients with a kidney condition who needed to undergo haemodialysis twice
13 a week. And as a result of that, it was difficult to transport them, to
14 secure fuel for that, to find dialysis machines, and so on. I don't want
15 to go into the strictly professional part of this matter, but I know that
16 people who had to undergo dialysis three times a week were only able to do
17 it twice a week because there was an insufficient number of dialysis
19 Q. Can you tell us what was the ethnicity of those patients.
20 A. The majority of them were Serbs, but there was also Muslims and
22 Q. All right. Now, regarding the Crisis Staffs in local communes,
23 can you tell us what other elements constituted a municipality.
24 A. A municipality had an executive council --
25 Q. No, that's not what I meant. Let's take a look at the territory
1 of a municipality. Can you tell us what does a municipality consist of in
2 a territorial sense. What are lower-level units of it?
3 A. There were local communes -- actually, every village was a local
4 commune, and Samac municipality had 20 such local communes with some
5 30.000 residents. The town itself had 5.000 residents.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Exhibit P [Previous interpretation continues] ...
9 MR. WEINER: Excuse me. Could you repeat the number.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. P107.
11 MR. WEINER: It wasn't reflected on the screen, Your Honour.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, my friend.
13 Q. [Interpretation] We're not going to spend too much time on this
14 document, but tell me whether you're familiar with it and what was the
15 purpose of it.
16 A. The purpose was to appoint individuals who would perform this
17 function of commissioner and that they should report back and be
18 responsible to the Crisis Staff and the executive board.
19 Q. I assume that this followed on from when the system was
20 simplified, and you explained the reasons for the abolishment of the other
22 MR. PANTELIC: -- P108, please.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me something about this document.
24 A. Well, I am aware of the decision. It's familiar to me. But I'm
25 not familiar with the preamble. This decision was made so that the town
1 of Bosanski Samac should be referred to and the name of the town be just
2 Samac. And the explanation given was that there is a town called
3 Slavonski Samac and there was the Croatian municipality of Bosanski Samac,
4 so the reason why this decision was taken was to make the distinction
5 between these, to differentiate between this and the others. And they
6 thought why not give the town the name of Samac, just Samac, because it
7 was very difficult to find anybody who actually called it Bosanski Samac.
8 Everybody would just simply say Samac for the name of the town.
9 Q. You mentioned the municipality -- the Croatian municipality, the
10 opstina of Bosanski Samac. Was that a separate municipality or was it
11 something else? Could you explain what you mean.
12 A. Well, Bosanski Samac -- this Bosanski Samac was formed by the
13 Croats in the part of the territory of Samac municipality which was not
14 under the control of the Serb forces but the Croatian forces, and it
15 incorporated several villages, Domaljevac, Grebnice, Prud, Bazik.
16 Q. Did the Serb forces ever occupy that part of the municipality
17 which was inhabited by the Croats?
18 A. No, no. The Croatian authorities were there all the time.
19 Q. All right. Well, population-wise, inhabitant-wise, let's say from
20 March 1992. Not April. I'm saying March specifically. Let's take the
21 month of March 1992 and then right up to the present day. The inhabitants
22 on the territory of Croatian Bosanski Samac, are those people still there?
23 Are they still living there? Or were they on Serb territory at one point?
24 Could you explain that to me.
25 A. Citizens who were of Croatian ethnicity in the municipality or
1 villages of Domaljevac, Grebnice, Bazik, Prud, which means the villages
2 which at one time belonged to the municipality of Bosanski Samac,
3 continued to -- that is to say, the population continued to live there and
4 they had their own administrative units, and it was the Croatian
5 municipality of Bosanski Samac, and the headquarters were in Domaljevac.
6 So that is one of the municipalities within the Orasje canton.
7 Q. And to whom does the Orasje canton belong?
8 A. It belongs to the BH Federation.
9 Q. And what is BH and the BH Federation?
10 A. It is the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Q. And what is that?
12 A. It is one of the entities of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 MR. PANTELIC: -- P109, please.
14 Q. [Interpretation] What can you tell us about this document, please?
15 A. This document speaks of the appointment of the president of the
16 Crisis Staff. He was appointed on the 19th of April, 1992.
17 Q. But the date is the 17th of April on that document.
18 A. I think I've already explained that, that it was for purposes of
19 the work booklets and linking up the work periods.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Could we have document P110 and 111,
22 Q. [Interpretation] Just briefly, please, Mr. Simic. Let's not waste
23 too much time on these less-important documents. Tell me, please, do you
24 know anything about these two documents? Look at both of them, please. I
25 can see that the decision was made by the Crisis Staff.
1 A. I didn't attend this Crisis Staff meeting. I wasn't there on that
2 particular day. But I do know that after the meeting the president of the
3 Crisis Staff, Blagoje Simic, was very unhappy. He didn't like the
4 outcome, the election -- the choice of president or vice-president of the
5 executive council. And as I learnt, his candidate was Mr. Mirko Lukic.
6 I, too, considered that -- I shared his opinion. I thought that that
7 would be a better option because of nepotism.
8 Q. What do you mean by that? Could you explain that to me.
9 A. Well, I think that that is why the president of the Crisis Staff
10 didn't think it was a good idea to have people with the same surnames
11 holding high-level positions.
12 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
14 MR. WEINER: He says "I think." Is he speculating, or is that a
15 comment that he received directly from Blagoje Simic? If it's a comment
16 from discussions with Blagoje Simic, I have no problem with that and I
17 withdraw the objection. But if it's just his speculation, I think it
18 should be stricken.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Simic. Could you explain that.
22 A. I heard it from Blagoje Simic.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Could we have, please, Exhibit P112.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Can you tell us something about this decision?
1 A. The decision was prepared by the executive council and I cannot
3 Q. But do you remember that it was discussed and then adopted at the
4 Crisis Staff meeting?
5 A. I just can't seem to remember.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit P113, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] What can you tell us about this decision?
8 A. This is not a decision.
9 Q. I apologise, a document.
10 A. It is an authorisation signed by Mr. Mitar Mitrovic, who was the
11 secretary, and it relates to the granting of authorisation to Mr. Stevan
12 Todorovic -- or it authorises Stevan Todorovic to represent the Serb
13 Municipality of Bosanski Samac at an assembly of the Serbian Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina which would be held beginning with the 25th of July,
15 1992 until the end of work.
16 Q. I apologise for interrupting you, but we're dealing with the War
17 Presidency here, are we? And you were a member of it, were you?
18 A. Yes, that's right. This is the War Presidency.
19 Q. Tell me one more thing, please: This authorisation in this form,
20 was it discussed at the meeting of the War Presidency?
21 A. That's just what I was about to say. This authorisation was
22 signed by Mr. Mitar Mitrovic, which means that he wrote it too. And the
23 explanation he gives is that Mr. Todorovic insisted and tried to convince
24 him and kept pestering him to let him go there, and he said he was not
25 going to attend the assembly but just going there for a little bit.
1 Mr. Todorovic liked to amuse himself, and so he wanted to take a trip but
2 said he wouldn't actually be taking part in the work of the assembly, and
3 in fact he couldn't have taken part in the work of the assembly. He could
4 have just perhaps been there as an observer, in the capacity of an
5 observer or some other capacity, but not as a participant. That wasn't
6 his status. He couldn't take part as a deputy.
7 Q. When you say "he," do you mean Stevan Todorovic?
8 A. Yes, that's right. I mean Stevan Todorovic.
9 Q. All right. Thank you. And what about Blagoje Simic? Was Blagoje
10 Simic able to represent the municipal assembly at the popular assembly
12 A. He was not able to representative -- it either because Mr. Blagoje
13 Simic likewise was not a deputy of the popular Assembly of Republika
14 Srpska, and there was no grounds for him to participant except as a guest
15 or observer or some such status.
16 Q. And can you remember and tell us -- or do you know whether anybody
17 from the region of the Samac municipality was a member of parliament of
18 the Republika Srpska?
19 A. Yes. Mr. Mirko Jovanovic was a member of the parliament of
20 Republika Srpska, and he became a member of the People's Assembly or
21 parliament after the death of a deputy by the name of Bjelosevic from
22 Derventa. Mr. Jovanovic was next to him on the list, right after him on
23 the list of the SDS party, and it was by that token that he became a
24 deputy in the parliament of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. Could you tell us when that was?
1 A. I can't say exactly. I can't remember. But it was probably as
2 soon as the first assembly was convened, because I do know that one of the
3 deputies, Mr. Bjelosevic, was killed right at the beginning of the war.
4 He was a colleague of mine. He was also a professor, a teacher of the
5 Serbo-Croatian language, and I knew him personally, so that I know when he
6 was killed.
7 Q. Well, could you be a bit more specific. Can you give us a month,
8 a year? Give me the year. You said the beginning of the war, but it's
9 not specific enough.
10 A. April or May 1992.
11 Q. Thank you. Now tell me, please, the reason stated here, the
12 reason given -- or rather, this authorisation makes mention of the fact
13 that Blagoje Simic was undergoing hospital treatment. In the period after
14 July, did he attend the meetings of the War Presidency, and how frequent
15 were the meetings? How often were they held?
16 A. I know that at the time he didn't come. He didn't attend the
17 sessions for a long time of period. At that time, the sessions of the
18 Crisis Staff were infrequent, and if a document needed to be issued or
19 something like that, then that was carried out by the professional staff.
20 So the work of the Crisis Staff was -- how shall I put it? -- not very
22 Q. We have to make a tiny correction. You are speaking of the Crisis
23 Staff, are you? That's a bit confusing to me, because we see the date of
24 the 25th of July and I am asking you about the time from that date
25 onwards. What did you have in mind?
1 A. I had in mind the War Presidency, of course. However, ten years
2 have passed and my memory is not as fresh as it used to be, so sometimes
3 it's difficult for me to distinguish between these two terms.
4 Q. We have another question before the break, but if you're tired,
5 just let us know and we can make a break at any time. When you compare
6 the sessions of the Crisis Staff from April 1992 to July of 1992 with the
7 sessions of the War Presidency from July of 1992 until the end of that
8 year, what kind of a conclusion can you make?
9 A. I can say that the work of the Crisis Staff was much more dynamic
10 and active than that of the War Presidency.
11 Q. Could you elaborate on that. Do you mean in terms of the number
12 of sessions or what?
13 A. The number of sessions, the scope of issues, and so on.
14 Q. And why did you conclude that?
15 A. Because the situation was such. When the War Presidency was
16 established, the situation had become more normal and more reasonable.
17 The life was already better organised.
18 Q. Which organs became more involved?
19 A. Regular organs. New institutions were formed --
20 Q. Now, let's be more specific. Which organs at the level of Samac
21 municipality started taking over work?
22 A. They started preparing the session of the Municipal Assembly of
23 Samac, which was held in January 1993 for the first time. However, the
24 executive council was working in full composition, as were other
25 institutions, and in one word the life became more normal.
1 Q. Can you tell me which segments comprised the executive council?
2 Can you tell us which organs were in it?
3 A. It had several departments that -- in addition to the president of
4 the executive council, we had Secretary for Economy, Secretary for Housing
5 and Utilities, Secretary for Education and Culture, Secretary for General
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I think it's maybe an appropriate time
9 for our break.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break and continue at 18.05
12 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 6.06 p.m.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
16 MR. PANTELIC: We just received -- I mean, this afternoon, prior
17 to the session, the Prosecution response to our motion in respect to Rule
18 71. And if the Trial Chamber is of the opinion that maybe the Defence
19 could in five minutes maybe today give certain clarifications. It's not a
20 classical reply, but maybe it would be helpful for the Trial Chamber in
21 order to rule on this issue of Rule 71. It might be useful. I mean, with
22 your permission to -- if we can address the Trial Chamber on several
24 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. How long do you think you have to go
25 with the witness? When are you finishing?
1 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I have -- I have to comment with him
2 around 20 documents and some other issues and events. I believe that I
3 would finish him next sitting day very shortly. It will be far less
4 than -- provided that -- than the estimated time. I was of the opinion
5 that it was -- it would be 10 hours. But it will be less than 10 hours,
6 so I am -- in terms of the consumption of time, I think it would be -- it
7 would be a certain --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: So maybe you'll go ahead with the witness and then
9 the last 10 minutes?
10 MR. PANTELIC: The last 10 minutes maybe would be fine, Your
11 Honour. Yes.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, before the break, we touched upon
15 several topics. You gave us your answers. Now, tell me, please, did the
16 War Presidency sometime in the fall of 1992 send a letter to the Ministry
17 of the Interior of Serbia regarding the repeated arrival of volunteers
18 from Serbia to the Samac municipality? Was this discussed at the sessions
19 of the War Presidency and what do you know about this?
20 A. The War Presidency was never involved in the issues of military
21 organisations and military issues in general, so nothing of that nature
22 was ever discussed at the War Presidency.
23 Q. What do you know about the activities of the Crisis Staff from May
24 to June 1992 regarding the appointment -- nomination and appointment of
25 the commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
1 A. I am not aware that anybody in the Crisis Staff was involved in
3 Q. Was it discussed at the sessions of the Crisis Staff perhaps?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me, please, what do you know about the
6 incident linked to the closing of the corridor in the autumn of 1992, from
7 October to December of 1992?
8 A. I know very little about that event. The only thing that I do
9 know is that there was some kind of a conflict between military and
10 civilian authorities and that the closing of the corridor was the result
11 of that conflict. Now, as to details, I don't know anything regarding
13 Q. All right. But do you know who closed off the corridor?
14 A. I'm not aware of that, no.
15 Q. What do you know about the conflict between military and civilian
16 authorities that you have mentioned? Do you have any knowledge about
18 A. I know that throughout the war that conflict continuously went on,
19 the conflict between the military and civilian authorities. I know that
20 in September of 1993 that conflict culminated in Banja Luka and resulted
21 in the situation in which the military authorities took over the entire
22 town. Karadzic and Mladic had a conflict between them. One was the
23 representative of the civilian authorities, and the other represented
24 military authorities, and this issue was covered in the media as well.
25 These two components clashed in wartime, and there was some kind of a
1 tension between civilian and military authorities.
2 Q. All right. You mentioned Banja Luka and 1993, and I assume
3 that's --
4 A. September 1993. This is a well-known event.
5 Q. Yes. But that was at a higher level, at the level of the republic
6 and level of high authorities; isn't that right?
7 A. Yes, that was at the highest level.
8 Q. Thank you. Thank you. That was not our topic. I am interested
9 in the municipal level at the end of 1992. You mentioned that there was a
10 conflict there as well. What do you know about that?
11 A. I know that there were certain --
12 Q. Could you be more specific.
13 A. There was a letter mentioned. I did not have occasion to read the
14 letter. It was sent by the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade
15 and in it the army criticised the civilian authorities. However, I
16 couldn't go into details of that letter because I didn't have occasion to
17 see it.
18 Q. Tell me, please, do you know about the arrest of Milan Simic and
19 Stevan Todorovic in that period of time?
20 A. Yes. In that very period they were arrested. I don't know the
21 reasons for their arrest, but it had to do with the conflict between
22 military and civilian authorities.
23 Q. How was that problem finally resolved, and what was the outcome,
24 if you know?
25 A. I don't know what was the outcome or what was the way in which it
1 was resolved. I don't know what was behind it either. I don't know what
2 it was all about. I have no information regarding that. I know that
3 after that there followed arrests of certain volunteers from the 2nd
4 Posavina Infantry Brigade and that they were, I suppose, in the military
5 investigative prison in Banja Luka. Now, as to the results of that
6 investigation, I don't know anything about that.
7 Q. In autumn of 1992, were these volunteers present in the territory
8 of Samac municipality?
9 A. No. No. After their arrest, they did not come back to Samac
10 municipality. I don't know what was their fate afterwards.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, could I have just a second, please, to
13 check documents, please.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Could we have Exhibit D46/1, please.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please comment on this decision.
17 A. I'm not familiar with this document.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have D45/1, please.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Can you tell us something about this document?
20 Are you familiar with it? Have you seen it before?
21 A. I can't remember.
22 Q. Was this discussed at a meeting?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit D55/1, please.
25 Q. [Interpretation] This is a payroll or salary list for 1992, March
1 [As interpreted]. Does it reflect the actual state of affairs as regards
2 the members of the Crisis Staff and their salaries?
3 A. I think I've already explained that.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The month is May.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Just a correction to the transcript. It's a
6 payroll list for May 1992. Because on page 68, line 3, it said "March
7 1992." So just for the record.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Simic.
9 A. This list does reflect the Crisis Staff.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have D63/1, please.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Look at page 2 of the document, please. But
13 before you do, tell me what you can tell us in general about this.
14 A. I can say that this article was published in the Samac Koridor
16 Q. Is that a newspaper? What is it?
17 A. Yes. Well, actually, it's a magazine which was published in Samac
18 from the end of 1992 until 1998. And this is one of the articles
19 published in Koridor, the periodical. The author of the article is Vaso
20 Antic, a journalist, and he wanted to show what the situation was like at
21 that time when dialysis functioned -- or rather, when the patients who
22 needed dialysis as a treatment had problems, encountered problems, because
23 the Samac municipality had a lot of problems with the dialysis machines
24 and everything linked to haemodialysis. And they managed through the
25 International Community and some institutions to ensure the resources they
1 needed and the technical equipment they needed. However, despite all
2 that, the situation was still very difficult. The centre for
3 haemodialysis, which you can see on the photograph here, was targeted
5 Q. Would you look at page 2 of the article, please, and see whether
6 among the patient statements you can tell us which person belonged to
7 which ethnic group, if you're able to say that.
8 A. Yes. Stevo Vukovic, from Crkvina, was a Serb. Todo Babic
9 [phoen], from Donja Slatina, was a Serb lady. Jozo Stevanovic was from
10 Crkvina, a Serb again. Munira Ziamovic, a lady from Samac was a Muslim.
11 Ferida Islamovic [phoen], also from Samac was a Muslim lady. Danica Pacak
12 also from Samac. I can't tell you what she was.
13 Q. Read her statement. Take a look at what she says.
14 A. She says that she's been going to dialysis treatment for a number
15 of years.
16 Q. But I'm interested in her ethnicity.
17 A. She's a Croat lady.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, when was this periodical founded?
19 A. The periodical named Koridor was founded at the end of 1992.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 MR. PANTELIC: -- D58/1, please.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Can you tell us something about this document
24 A. This document is one of the documents which relate to certain
25 appointments for individuals and cadres, coordinators of certain
1 companies, institutions, et cetera. And Mr. Mesud Nogic was appointed to
2 the post of coordinator in the health centre of Bosanski Samac.
3 Q. Tell us, please, whether you know how long he continued in that
5 A. As far as I know, Mr. Nogic performed this duty right up until the
6 time that he decided to leave Samac as his place of residence. And I
7 think he went abroad, but I'm not quite sure. I don't know where he went,
9 Q. Could you give me a date?
10 A. No, I couldn't. I don't know.
11 Q. And what ethnicity was Dr. Nogic?
12 A. Dr. Nogic was a Muslim, or rather, he was a Bosniak, of Bosniak
14 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Could we have, please, Exhibit D64/1.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me what you can say about the document. The
16 period of time is November 1992.
17 A. Yes. That was when the public civil engineering enterprise was
18 set up, and it included the bricklaying factory in Novi Grad and the delta
19 of the Bosna River -- actually, these were two companies which merged.
20 Q. What was the object of this undertaking?
21 A. Well, the town at that time had been largely destroyed, so the
22 object of setting up a company of this kind was to build up the town, to
23 repair the buildings that had been damaged, to do some civil engineering
24 work where it was needed, and to build up the town again, rebuild it.
25 That was the object for this company being set up.
1 Q. Tell me, did you know that in some enterprises in 1992 and 1993 -
2 these are the years that we're interested in in this trial - that workers
3 of all ethnic groups found employ?
4 A. Well, I haven't got any complete information and data about that,
5 but I do know for certain that in many companies there were workers who
6 belonged to all the ethnic groups or the three main ethnic groups, because
7 in Samac we have Croats, Serbs, and Muslims.
8 Q. All right. Thank you.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Usher, you can take this document.
10 Q. [Interpretation] I have a few more documents here which I can show
11 you, but perhaps we could take them all together through my questions.
12 The Crisis Staff, did it make decisions to authorise fodder, feed,
13 animal feed for farmers who produced livestock? Do you remember the
14 Crisis Staff discussing topics like that?
15 A. That part of the -- the Crisis Staff work that I took part in, we
16 did not discuss topics of that kind, but I assume that when members of the
17 executive council were present, they did discuss such issues. So with
18 regard to animal feed and fodder --
19 Q. No, I didn't actually -- tell me in principle. Do you happen to
20 know whether the Crisis Staff or any other organs of the municipality in
21 1992 and 1993 made efforts to ensure that farming on the farms -- tell us
22 a little about that, because you belonged to the information department.
23 So quote a few examples. And it was 1992 and 1993. And what was done in
24 this area?
25 A. It was a priority task to capacitate those resources which were
1 linked to food production and so capacitate these farms and other
2 facilities and resources. So these were priority tasks. That, I do know.
3 Now, how this was done, what methods were used to promote food production,
4 I really can't say. I don't know.
5 Q. Well, yes, I didn't mean you to go into those details.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit D60/3, please.
7 Q. [Interpretation] What can you tell us about this document,
8 Mr. Simic? Take a look at it.
9 A. This decision was taken to solve a practical problem. The members
10 of the army, soldiers that were refugees from the refugee population, the
11 problem was where to bury them. In Samac soldiers were buried who were
12 from the local area, from those local communities and communes, and we had
13 the problem of where to bury people who were originally refugees. And the
14 cemeteries were full. There wasn't enough room to bury these people. So
15 this decision was made to try and resolve the issue, to regulate matters.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you happen to know how many inhabitants were
17 killed -- Samac inhabitants were killed during the war?
18 A. As far as I know, around 90 -- between 80 and 90. You mean the
19 municipality or the town?
20 Q. The municipality.
21 A. Between 80 and 90 persons.
22 Q. Were they soldiers or civilians?
23 A. This figure applies to civilians.
24 Q. Does this figure apply to all three ethnic groups or ...?
25 A. That number does apply to all three ethnic groups, Serbs, Muslims,
1 and Croats.
2 Q. Do you perhaps happen to know -- it's difficult, I know, to go
3 into the details, but generally speaking, how these people lost their
5 A. These people, for the most part, were killed because they were hit
6 by artillery projectiles. On rare occasions did people die from bullets.
7 Usually they were artillery projectiles that they were hit by.
8 Q. And how many wounded civilians were there?
9 A. Probably a far larger number. There were probably many more
10 people who were injured and wounded. The figure must have been several
11 times higher. And I saw some people being killed myself. If this august
12 Tribunal would like to hear my experiences, what I saw.
13 Q. Well, all right. Briefly, then.
14 A. I remember the shelling in May, when several civilians died in a
15 single day. I was on the ground then and I was present at one such
16 situation -- or rather, I came shortly after the shelling. That happened
17 in Crkvina in front of the house of Nikola Maslic.
18 Q. Just briefly, please.
19 A. Mrs. Maslic, a peasant woman, was in front of her shelter wearing
20 her clothes and a shrapnel went through her chest. That was an awful
21 sight that I still have in my mind, one of horrible incidence.
22 Q. Since members of all three ethnic groups, civilians from all three
23 ethnic groups were killed, can you tell us this: Did the non-Serbs have
24 their own burial procedures? Was it all done regularly? Or did it only
25 apply to Serbs?
1 A. There are three cemeteries in Samac. One is an Orthodox one. The
2 other one is a Catholic cemetery. And the third one is a Muslim one.
3 Funerals were performed in cemeteries depending on the ethnic origin.
4 That's how it was before the war, during the war, and today.
5 Q. Were religious ceremonies observed for each ethnic group?
6 A. Yes, they were observed.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Ms. Registrar, could we have Exhibit D58/3, please.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Are you familiar with this decision of the War
10 Presidency, dated November 1992?
11 A. The handwriting is not very legible, but I think that this is a
12 conclusion that has to do with the convening of the municipal assembly
13 session, and I do remember that. So the session was being prepared, the
14 one that was to be held on the 22nd of January, 1993.
15 Q. And when that happened, did the War Presidency terminate its work,
16 once the municipal assembly became operational?
17 A. Yes, that's right. Once the municipal assembly was convened, the
18 War Presidency was abolished and the assembly started functioning together
19 with all of its organs and so on.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, thank you, Mr. Usher.
21 Ms. Registrar, could we have Exhibit D59/3, please.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Can you tell us anything about this document?
23 A. This document was adopted in April of 1992. It was necessary then
24 to ensure that the municipal staff of civilian protection was fully
25 operational; therefore, Mr. Miroslav Tadic was appointed to this post.
1 And upon being appointed to this post, he also became a member of the
2 Crisis Staff, and his term within the Crisis Staff continued until the War
3 Presidency was established.
4 Q. What can you tell us about the scope of activities of the civilian
5 protection staff? What did they generally deal with?
6 A. The civilian protection staff had many tasks because many houses
7 were destroyed, a lot of buildings were ruined, many institutions could
8 not operate on account of that, and a lot of work had to be done in order
9 to make it all operational. This staff worked on these matters around the
10 clock, and the people who worked there were very, very busy.
11 Q. What was the situation with --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please repeat the question.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: The interpreters didn't get your question.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I have that.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simic, please tell me, what do you know about
16 providing food for the civilian population of Samac in that period of
18 A. This is what the situation was like: The supply of food into town
19 from the villages was interrupted. There was also no supply of medication
20 and any other goods. Therefore, the municipality had to rely on its
21 internal reserves and to find some alternative methods of acquiring goods
22 from Yugoslavia.
23 Q. In that initial period, were there any activities undertaken in
24 order to feed the civilian population?
25 A. Due to the fact that there was no supply of food and goods, the
1 civilian protection staff organised the feeding of the population by
2 setting up certain food distribution sites. They distributed bread, cans,
3 baby food, and even cigarettes occasionally, but it was mostly intended
4 for the food.
5 Q. You mentioned the situation in the villages. What you just told
6 us was about the town itself. And what was it like in the villages?
7 A. Well, the situation in villages was better. People in villages
8 had more food because they had their fields and their own production of
9 bread and they had cattle and other types of food, and all of that was
10 lacking in the town.
11 Q. I understand that. And what was the situation like in the village
12 of Zasavica?
13 A. I assume it was the same as in other villages.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, is it an appropriate time maybe to
15 address the Trial Chamber with the issue with regard to the Rule 71?
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The witness can be escorted out of the
18 The proceedings will continue on Tuesday.
19 [The witness stands down]
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour. As I said, the
22 Defence received a Prosecution response to the joint Defence motion made
23 in respect of Rule 71. The Prosecution response was dated the 29th of
24 November, this year.
25 The Defence would like to -- to express its opinion in order to
1 assist the Trial Chamber in the rendering of relevant decision. Just
2 several remarks:
3 In principle, we absolutely do not have any objections with regard
4 to the issue of video testimony, videolink, so we are on the same line --
5 same track with the Prosecution with regard to this proposition. Of
6 course, the final -- the final decision will be, of course, of the Trial
7 Chamber. That's the first thing.
8 The second thing, with the -- regard to the some -- some other
9 things: In paragraph 12 of this response, the Prosecution mentioned
10 several names of the witnesses for the defendant Mr. Blagoje Simic, and
11 the names are Mitar Mitrovic, Savo Popovic, Slobodan Sjencic, Milan
12 Pisarevic, and Momcilo Krajisnik. Just for the record, the Defence states
13 that Mr. Slobodan Sjencic with a member of the executive board, not a
14 member of the Crisis Staff. And Milan Pisarevic was just in pre-time --
15 pre-war period was just a secretary of SDS municipal branch. So neither
16 Mr. Sjencic nor Mr. Pisarevic were members of the Crisis Staff. Just as a
17 matter of clarity
18 With regard to Mr. Momcilo Krajisnik, of course -- the Defence was
19 not of the opinion that Mr. Krajisnik, in case that our request should be
20 granted, should travel to Belgrade to give testimony in accordance with
21 Rule 71. However -- I mean, our -- our understanding was if Mr. Krajisnik
22 will give his testimony, that it will be in the premises of the Tribunal
23 or by way of Rule 92 bis at the premises of UNDU.
24 With regard to Mr. Krajisnik, I would like to reiterate that the
25 Defence raised that issue with regard to Variant A and B during the
1 proceedings in the Prosecution case. We got in mind several names, but in
2 order to respect consumption of time of Defence case, we make our choice
3 that Mr. Krajisnik will simply answer the question of his personal
4 knowledge of Variant A and B. I have consent of his lawyer. I made the
5 necessary contacts. And in terms of time, it will be not more than, let's
6 say, five minutes. Because it's only one question. So there is not
7 any -- any kind of big cross-examination or -- of course cross-examination
8 could be limited only to the issue of that personal knowledge -- potential
9 personal knowledge of Mr. Krajisnik with regard to the existence of
10 so-called Variant A and B. So that is the --
11 Another thing which the Defence could like to reiterate: That we
12 could of course -- we could of course make some variations with regard to
13 the time, but the issue of a public hearing in terms of Rule 71, the
14 Defence is of the opinion that it's a rather strange approach of the
15 Prosecution, because the term of the position is not related to the
16 principle of publicity. It's rather more flexible and more, I would say,
17 practical way how the parties can in a process of searching of truth
18 can -- can do their job in accordance with the common law standards. And
19 then this documents -- I mean the transcripts or videotapes could be
20 tendered in the evidence of the -- in the case by itself, and finally the
21 Trial Chamber will make an evaluation of each of these exhibits. And our
22 understanding of the spirit of Rule 71 is that in the interests of
23 justice, in the interest of judicial economy and in accordance with the
24 certain budgetary problems, the parties should give their personal attempt
25 in order to respect all these three principles, and therefore Rule 71 was
1 introduced. Otherwise, what would be the sense of Rule 71 in our
3 Thank you. That's from the part of Mr. Blagoje Simic's Defence.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'll be very brief, but
7 I would like us to turn into private session due to some details regarding
8 the witness that I have proposed. I would just like to say a few words.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we'll go into private session, please.
10 [Private session]
4 [Open session]
5 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] As regards the second argument
6 advanced by the Prosecution, I don't see why they are objecting to the
7 second witness for Miroslav Tadic, because they didn't say anything
8 regarding that beforehand.
9 I would also like to add that Defence of Miroslav Tadic tried to
10 reduce even more the time envisaged for these depositions so that with
11 respect to the time initially envisaged, we have now reduced it to less
12 than one hour per witness. Thank you.
13 MR. PANTELIC: And in addition, Your Honour, if it may assist the
14 Trial Chamber, if that's a problem, the Defence for Blagoje Simic can
15 limit it -- can limit their witnesses in Rule 71 to the following -- to
16 the following persons: Mr. Sjencic, then Mr. Duekovic, Colonel Vujinovic,
17 and Mr. Krajisnik. So in total, from our list, we could have these four
18 persons instead of seven, so in order to be complete. If they may assist
19 the Trial Chamber.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. What you're saying -- these you have
21 mentioned are the ones -- if the Trial Chamber were to cut down, you'd
22 rather have these on the list.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes. If there is a necessity to cut down the
24 number of Defence witnesses, then we could be satisfied with these four
25 names, because I think that we shall even make certain limitations in
1 terms of time for --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
3 MR. PANTELIC: -- these four. Thank you.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic.
5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, not to repeat what my
6 learned colleagues have already said, but we really, really do feel that
7 it is in the interests of justice that these depositions be performed in
8 any way that is provided for by the rules and regulations. We feel
9 strongly on that score.
10 In preparing this submission, we have given our proposals for nine
11 depositions and we have reduced them to the smallest number possible to be
12 taken. As things now stand - and we were guided by this - was that they
13 were short statements to brief episodes, events, and I don't think that
14 these depositions as far as the witnesses proposed are concerned, proposed
15 by Mr. Zaric's Defence, will not be long ones. They were short meetings,
16 short contacts, and we can also say that each of these depositions which
17 we are proposing will not last longer than 20 minutes -- 25 to 30 minutes
18 at the most.
19 And also, if the Trial Chamber decides to reduce the number of
20 depositions, we should like to ask that we, the Defence counsel, should be
21 allowed to decide which witnesses we're going to select. Thank you.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
23 Yes. The Trial Chamber will make its -- you wanted to reply,
24 Mr. Re?
25 MR. RE: Just very briefly to several matters.
1 Mr. Lukic seems to misunderstand the Prosecution's position. We
2 are not objecting to his calling deposition -- his calling those
3 witnesses. We are objecting only to a category of witnesses which we say
4 is inappropriate to be called as deposition witnesses. And it's set out
5 in our response, so I won't go into that.
6 The other point I wish to make is in relation to Mr. Krajisnik.
7 It's a very important point. My learned friend Mr. Pantelic says it will
8 only take five minutes. Well, he may only be five minutes in his
9 examination-in-chief of Mr. Krajisnik, but the Prosecution will be much,
10 much, much longer, because there are many issues relating to the heart of
11 this matter of this case which we will put to Mr. Krajisnik, as we will
12 have to put our case to him as the president of the National Assembly at
13 the time and the instructions given by the government to the local Crisis
14 Staffs. He would take a long, long time; not five minutes. That's --
15 that's fairy tale stuff in my submission, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. The Trial Chamber will take the decision
17 as soon as possible so that the parties know which witnesses will go under
18 Rule 71. Of course there may be -- there may be variations. And
19 depending on how the Trial Chamber feels, some witnesses may be -- it may
20 be important for the Trial Chamber to observe them so that they may have
21 to come as viva voce witnesses. But the decision will be rendered as soon
22 as possible.
23 We shall adjourn and continue our proceedings on Tuesday. The
24 times are as per the calendar.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.06 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 3rd day of
2 December, 2002, at 9.30 a.m.