1 Thursday, 9 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [Accused Tadic not present]
5 [The witness entered court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, good morning, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: You have half an hour to wind up.
13 WITNESS: BOZO NINKOVIC [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic: [Continued]
16 MR. PANTELIC: Well, Your Honour, frankly I think -- well, let's
17 see how it will be. Because I have a -- I'll do my best, Your Honour.
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Ninkovic.
19 A. Good morning.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have, please, Exhibit P125?
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ninkovic, could you please look at page 3 of
22 the copy of that Official Gazette? Could you please put it on the ELMO so
23 that the others can follow this?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Pantelic, please.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Sorry.
1 Q. [Interpretation] So Article 5 of the Statute of the municipality
2 speaks about certain celebrations and the traditions of the people of
3 Posavina. I'm interested in the following: Could you please tell me, in
4 relation to paragraph 2 of this paragraph -- of Article 5, and it says, in
5 the municipality, other traditional celebrations are commemorated. In the
6 period of 1993, in Samac, were the celebrations and other religious
7 traditions of the other two peoples observed as well, that is to say the
8 Muslim and the Croat peoples?
9 A. Yes. The authorities never interfered with that section of
10 religious freedoms so the celebration of religious holidays was absolutely
11 free and according to one's personal choice.
12 Q. Please look at paragraph 2 in the corner and could you please give
13 a comment in this regard, if possible?
14 A. Well, I have nothing special to say here. I have already said
15 that the authorities did not interfere with the religious convictions of
16 their citizens, that is to say that citizens irrespective of their ethnic
17 background could observe and celebrate their religious holidays and
18 according to the Statute of the municipality, it was regulated what the
19 official holidays were, of the municipality. It was only the day of the
20 municipality. That is the only holiday that was observed at local level
21 that was celebrated as the day of the municipality.
22 Q. The civilian authorities in the municipality of Samac, did they in
23 any way prevent the observing of religious --
24 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I object to this line of
25 questioning. First of all, anything that arises out of the Statute speaks
1 for itself. You can read it. But more importantly I didn't raise this
2 issue in cross-examination. The issue that I raised in cross-examination
3 when I referred to these gazettes was disenfranchisement of the non-Serb
4 people. That was the issue. I didn't raise any issue regarding
5 permission to carry on religious observance and so on. That wasn't raised
6 at all in my cross-examination. It was only disenfranchisement and I did
7 it in relation to the Statute and also you recall the local communes that
8 those other two documents -- that was the only issue. Now we are going
9 into something else. If this was important to Mr. Pantelic the proper
10 time for it was in examination in chef, not now.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes, Mr. Pantelic, the objection is observed.
12 You must draw a distinction between examination-in-chief and
13 re-examination. Re-examination, as the Prosecution pointed out, is only
14 to clear matters raised in cross-examination. It's not an opportunity to
15 continue examination-in-chief. Please do observe that.
16 MR. PANTELIC: I am very well aware about that, Your Honour. But
17 if you allow me, the religious rights of the citizens of Samac are also a
18 part of general rights of citizens of Samac, so inevitably when I tried to
19 find from this witness his personal knowledge of these facts are -- these
20 facts are connected.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The point is that was not raised in
22 cross-examination. That's the point which the Prosecution is making and
23 which the Trial Chamber agrees with.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Okay.
25 Q. [Interpretation] So Mr. Ninkovic, in Article 1, it says that the
1 municipality of Samac is the municipality of the Serb people and other
2 citizens living in it. Give me your comment with regard to this
3 particular wording. Is there a certain parallel between certain
4 constitutional solutions provided in Croatia and Slovenia? What about
5 over there? Were the Serbs envisaged in these Statutes and other
7 A. It is well known thing that there are national states and civil
8 states, and where there are civil states it is the state of all citizens,
9 whereas where there is the national state it is the state of that nation
10 and other citizens. This solution is a well known thing in the
11 constitutions of many countries, and it is also directly related, for
12 example, to --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner?
14 MR. WEINER: We are now into the relationship between the
15 non-Croatian citizens in Croatia as well as the non-Slovenian citizens in
16 Slovenia. I think this is well outside any relevance to this case.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic, the objection is sustained.
18 Please remain within the case, remain within the cross-examination.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Okay, Your Honour. I will do my best.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ninkovic, what about other citizens,
21 non-Serbs, in 1992 and 1993? Could they exercise their civil rights in
22 accordance with the law and constitution?
23 A. Yes. I'm just going to repeat something in relation to your
24 previous question. That is to say that Article 1 of this Statute is
25 absolutely in accordance with the constitution of the Serb Republic of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina and citizens could exercise their rights. That is to
2 say irrespective of their ethnic and religious backgrounds, et cetera.
3 Q. My next question is related to the document that the Prosecutor
4 showed you yesterday. That is P106. It has to do with abolishing Crisis
5 Staffs in local communes in the territory of the municipality, if you
6 remember that.
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Please, a few witnesses before you, explained in quite a bit of
9 detail the reason for this decision. If you know, please tell me, during
10 these first few months of 1992, April, May, do you know how many members
11 of the Crisis Staff were there in different local communes? Can you -- I
12 mean in villages, in local communes, can you tell me that?
13 A. One of the motives for the Crisis Staff to pass this kind of
14 decision was rationalisation of the number of these Crisis Staffs in the
15 local communes, in view of the fact that there were five, six, seven,
16 eight and some even ten persons, and many were military conscripts. So
17 this was a considerable number of people altogether which practically did
18 not have all that much to do. So that work could have been carried out by
19 say one or two persons, so the objective was to reduce the number of
20 persons involved. That is to say to carry out this rationalisation in
21 terms of the allocation of different persons.
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Ninkovic, as we heard you say
23 yesterday, you were not a member, as you said, of the Crisis Staff. I
24 wonder whether you could just very briefly say therefore how you know what
25 the motives of the Crisis Staff were to pass, as you say, this kind of
1 decision. How do you know the motives of the Crisis Staff were in your
2 words rationalisation of the number of these small crisis staffs?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I heard about that from people
4 who, after that decision, were no longer members of crisis staffs of local
5 communes, and who were given new war assignments. I assumed that they
6 asked questions of Mr. Blagoje Simic and that is the information that they
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
9 MR. PANTELIC:
10 Q. [Interpretation] One set of the Prosecutor's questions had to do
11 with the relationship between the executive council and the department of
12 the Ministry of Defence and you spoke about that in considerable detail.
13 Now, what I'm interested in is in the clarification of the following
14 circumstances. First of all, we are talking about the frequency of
15 meetings, and the relationship between the number of sessions of the
16 assembly as one body on the one hand and the number of sessions of the
17 executive council. Which one of the two met more often, in order to carry
18 out their functions?
19 A. Absolutely these were sessions of the executive council, because
20 this is the executive branch of the government which has to do with day to
21 day issues, so they practically had meetings on a weekly basis, whereas
22 the assembly meets whenever necessary. That is to say a month or two can
23 go by between two different sessions of the assembly.
24 Q. Could you describe the period from April, 1992, until, say, the
25 end of 1993, in Samac, there were different forms of local government,
1 right? There was the Crisis Staff, the War Presidency, the municipal
2 assembly. I'm interested in this entire period, and who met more often in
3 Samac, was it the executive council, or these authorities that I
4 mentioned, that is to say the Crisis Staff, the War Presidency, and the
5 municipal assembly. Can you draw a parallel in that respect?
6 A. Well, I was not in a position to keep track of all of this,
7 because I was not a member of the Crisis Staff and I don't know exactly
8 how many meetings were held. Also, as for the executive council, I was
9 invited every now and then only when the subject matter discussed had to
10 do with what I had been dealing with. However, to the best of my
11 knowledge, meetings of the executive council were held more frequently
12 than those of the Crisis Staff.
13 Q. My next question has to do with the relationship between the
14 department of the Defence Ministry that you headed and the executive
15 council. You also spoke about that in detail when responding to the
16 Prosecutor's questions. Now, what I'm interested in is the following:
17 Could you describe for us in practice what this looked like, if
18 regulations provide for some general matters? What was practice like in
19 Samac? Did practice follow the regulations involved?
20 A. I know what you're getting at.
21 Q. Or was practice something different? Please tell us what you know
22 about this.
23 A. Well, you see, under these circumstances, organs and institutions
24 of the state usually resolve problems that crop up on the ground. They
25 approach them in a practical way and often these regulations were not
1 exactly accessible. That is to say problems were resolved on the ground
2 so the executive council in that area had an operative role and true
3 executive powers. I spoke about the relationship between the executive
4 and the legislative branches and I said that it was the executive that had
5 actual power. I said that to the Prosecutor when I was saying that the
6 Prosecutor viewed the Crisis Staff as an organ which was practically in
7 charge of all sorts of things. Quite simply that's not the way it was.
8 The executive council also had its role, especially with regard to current
9 day to day problems.
10 Q. Did this pertain to the work obligation as well, what you said
11 just now?
12 A. Yes, because the executive council, by its very position, was in
13 charge of resolving problems related to the economy of the municipality of
14 Samac and it viewed the needs to engage labour. After all, it was the
15 executive council that appointed general managers of companies, the
16 executive council also adopted job descriptions for all companies, and all
17 of this is directly related to work obligation as well.
18 Q. My next question has to do with the following line of questioning
19 of the Prosecutor. Namely the decision on the composition of members of
20 the Crisis Staff. You gave your comment with regard to this Official
21 Gazette, Official Gazette number 1, I believe, where the executive council
22 composition was published. My question is the following: If the Crisis
23 Staff is such an important and significant body, can you give us your
24 comment on the basis of the knowledge that you have, why was a decision on
25 the composition of the Crisis Staff never published in the Official
1 Gazette? Can you help us with that?
2 A. I testified here that as far as I know, there was never any
3 definite composition or a list of that Crisis Staff, according to what I
4 know, the Crisis Staff worked in sessions. People were called from
5 different areas to participate in the work of the Crisis Staff when the
6 work concerned those topics that they worked in. Perhaps there was an
7 inner circle of the inner -- of the Crisis Staff where the people that we
8 discussed here, but the number of people who worked in the Crisis Staff
9 was greater, so these are probably the reasons why the composition was
10 never published in the Official Gazette. I don't know what any other
11 reason would be.
12 Q. Thank you. When the Prosecutor asked you about the position of
13 Samac in Posavina, you mentioned a piece of information, if I'm not
14 mistaken that the territory held by the Croat and Muslim forces west of
15 the River Tinja, near Brcko, all the way to Brod, was of an area of
16 120 by 25 kilometres. Does that mean that this is a territory in square
17 kilometres? I can't figure it out right now but could you please tell us
19 A. The area of Posavina is about 3.000 square kilometres from the
20 River Tinja along the Sava, along the length of 125 kilometres, 120, and
21 the width is 25 kilometres. A part of the municipality of Samac which was
22 not under the control of the Croat armed forces was about 170 square
23 kilometres and that is about 6 per cent of the overall territory of
24 Posavina, so everything else was under the control of the Croatian armed
25 forces and the Muslim forces.
1 Q. You in response to questions from the Prosecution regarding the
2 preamble of the document, when you were commenting on document P126?
3 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit P126?
4 A. Are you thinking of the decision about the Crisis Staff which was
5 signed by the President of the republic?
6 MR. PANTELIC:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Just one moment. That's page 3 of the gazette
8 and you gave your comments about the position of the Prosecution, which
9 have a theory that certain military operation was related to the takeover
10 of power. We won't go back to that because you explained that clearly to
11 the Prosecution. What I'm interested in generally is the question of this
12 preamble and also, if you remember, the introductory remark signed by
13 Mitar Mitrovic from the gazette published in 1994, and which talks about
14 certain historical aspects. I'm interested, since you were in journalism
15 what was the terminology of practically all the three sides during wartime
16 in the 1992-93 period? How can you -- what can you?
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry to interrupt but I'm just confused about
18 what's being put to the witness, P126 doesn't have the Mitar Mitrovic
19 preamble. That's the previous exhibit, P125, I believe.
20 MR. PANTELIC: 124, I believe, 124.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, 124, so it's not 126. And Exhibit 126 was
22 produced to the witness. It's just not clear. It won't read clearly from
23 the transcript in the future if we ever come back to look at it. So we
24 should be clear, the Mitar Mitrovic preamble is in P124. What has been
25 now placed before the witness, as I understand it, is P126 we just have to
1 be clear about what's what.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, please.
3 MR. PANTELIC: In fact in order to avoid unnecessary number of
4 exhibits in front of the witness, my idea is to explore this issue with
5 regard to the terminology and the use of words and I tried to jog the
6 memory of the witness with regard to the exhibit P124, the preamble which
7 speaks about the history of the establishing of Serbian municipality and
8 also with regard to the P126 --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: You can go ahead and put whatever exhibit you are
10 dealing with to the witness.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
12 Q. [Interpretation] So as not to go into too many details, you
13 recalled what I was talking about. So that's the declaration which was
14 signed on Djordjija [phoen]. So this is what I would like you to tell us,
15 since you did have contacts with the media, you were in journalism, how
16 would you estimate in 1992 and 1993, the terminology used in the media of
17 practically all the three warring sides? I'm specifically talking about
18 Samac. We don't have to go broader.
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: If it please Your Honours, a general dissertation
21 on propaganda wasn't raised in cross-examination. And now is not the time
22 for this witness to expound upon that. What was raised in
23 cross-examination was specific passages from specific exhibits. Now if my
24 learned friend wants to clarify anything relating to those passages or
25 indeed giving him more latitude something else that arises in the
1 preamble, fine, but not asking this witness to give his views on florid
2 language that might have been used by warring sides in a war. That's not
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic, the objection is sustained.
5 MR. PANTELIC:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please look at page 4 of this Official
7 Gazette? The signatory of this programme at the bottom is the signatory
8 of the programme which starts on page 3 isn't that so? This is a
9 programme -- I'm talking about the programme about the economic resolution
10 of material resources.
11 A. I didn't find it.
12 Q. This is page 3 of the Official Gazette.
13 A. On that page --
14 Q. Turn -- turn back to the previous page and look at the heading, on
15 the right. When you look at page 3, there is a problem with the copies.
16 The whole number wasn't copied. So could you please turn to the next
17 page? The Prosecutor asked you during cross-examination, he practically
18 asked you the question of whether this was an act by -- a document by
19 Blagoje Simic. If he was the signatory on the 24th of June, 1992 of this
20 document, and many other documents, what is your comment? We already
21 talked about this.
22 A. I explained that the presiding or the president of the assembly in
23 the decision-making system has only one vote so the assembly adopts its
24 documents by a majority out of the number of deputies who comprise that
25 assembly. So this is a document of the municipal assembly which was
1 adopted by a majority vote. I don't know what the vote was of the
2 president of the assembly but as president of the assembly, it was his
3 duty to sign each document which was adopted in the regular procedures of
4 the assembly. So -- and that is the regular procedure in the assembly
5 regardless of whether he voted for or against a particular document. So
6 he was to sign the document according to regular procedure.
7 Q. The next question is page 24, line 50 of yesterday's transcript.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Mr. Usher you can take this exhibit, please.
9 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday on page 24 of the working version of
10 the transcript, line 10, there is just a term which I would like to
11 clarify which could maybe lead to some misunderstandings. The Prosecutor
12 asked you about the forming of the special unit attached to the public
13 security station in Samac and you explained that there never was such a
14 special police unit of the MUP of Republika Srpska in Samac?
15 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, and Mr. Pantelic may have
16 the advantage of me but -- because I don't have the transcript here and I
17 assume he read it but I recall the witness saying he didn't know anything
18 about such unit, not that there was no such unit rather that he didn't
19 know anything about it. Didn't know of its existence that's a different
20 thing from saying oh, no it doesn't exist. Unless I'm wrong that's my
21 recollection of the evidence and it's quite an important distinction of
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I do agree with the Prosecution. That was the
24 response of the witness, that he didn't know about it, but if he's
25 changing his evidence that's okay with him, he can say what to say.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, that's correct, Your Honour, but my idea is to
2 clarify the terminology between the Ministry of Interior of Republika
3 Srpska and the other special unit of Ministry of Interior of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina prior to the break-up of hostilities, so there is some
5 imprecision in the transcript which I would like to clarify now.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, that's fine. I've got no problem with that
7 but I don't want it being put to the witness or suggested to the witness
8 that yesterday he said this special unit -- special purpose unit didn't
9 exist. That's all.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well, Mr. Pantelic, you can go ahead.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ninkovic, do you have any personal knowledge
13 about the presence of a special police unit in the period immediately
14 prior to mid-April, 1992, in Samac? Do you have any personal knowledge
15 about that? Very briefly.
16 A. I know that police came from Sarajevo and they were deployed on
17 the bridge over the River Sava but I don't know what kind of police forces
18 they were, whether they were regular or special police forces.
19 Q. Very well. And after mid-April, 1992, in Samac, did you notice or
20 did you hear or see any -- anything about any special police unit of MUP
21 of Republika Srpska?
22 A. I explained yesterday that in the organisation of MUP, there was a
23 special unit which was directly subordinated to the Minister of Internal
24 Affairs. That unit was never located in the territory of the municipality
25 of Samac and as far as I know they never came there. In Samac, as far as
1 I know, there was no special unit.
2 Q. Very well.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Your time is over, Mr. Pantelic.
4 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, can I just a couple of seconds,
5 reorganise the remaining of my topics? It won't be more than one or two
6 questions. So I have to make a choice. Just -- I need just a couple of
7 seconds, Your Honour, please.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you. Okay.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Regarding the arrest of Lugar, you talked about
11 that with the Prosecutor. What is your personal knowledge about that
12 operation? If you know. How was it conducted and how did the army manage
13 to, in a way, remove -- how did the military bodies manage to remove Lugar
14 and the other members of his unit from Samac? Because you were talking
15 about the 1st Krajina Corps, the military formation which was in its area
16 of responsibility there at that time. Do you have any personal knowledge
17 about that operation? Did they come to Lugar and say, "Listen, you are
18 under arrest and we are taking you away." Or was that conducted in a
19 different way? What was done?
20 A. There was a change in the system of command and control because
21 the 1st Krajina Corps subordinated the units from that area to its
22 command. So that the command of the 2nd Posavina practically came
23 under the command of the 1st Krajina Corps. I don't know any details
24 about how he was arrested but I think that this was done by -- under
25 instructions of the military Prosecutor by the military police of
1 the 1st Krajina Corps from Banja Luka.
2 Q. So you don't know --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: He just said he doesn't know so he should not give
4 us what he thinks. All right. We just want facts from him. The last
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes my question was whether he has some personal
7 knowledge about it. Could we have Exhibit D31/4 and D32/4, please?
8 Q. [Interpretation] We are talking here about two letters which were
9 introduced by my learned friend, Pisarevic, Mr. Zaric's defence attorney.
10 They are letters, I don't know who wrote to whom first, but do you
11 remember that you commented on them before the new year? You commented on
12 the letter by the 2nd Posavina Brigade and your response or their response
13 to your letter. Could you please look at those two documents that are in
14 front of you?
15 A. I will first comment on my document.
16 Q. My question is as follows - and then you will have time to comment
17 later. My question is as follows: Do you have any personal knowledge
18 about certain occurrences and some activities by the military structures
19 of the 2nd Posavina Brigade in relation to some political positions and
20 activities in Samac in the course of 1992 and 1993? Just briefly tell us,
21 please, without any detailed explanation what your personal knowledge is?
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Trying the best I can, if Your Honours please, I
24 can't see how this topic arose in cross-examination yesterday or what
25 evidence that this witness gave yesterday is being clarified by this now.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Well, it was to be precise, Your Honour, it was a
2 topic which was raised in cross-examination of one of the Defence teams so
3 it was not directly related to the cross-examination of the Prosecution,
4 but I have to clarify that because it was introduced through the other
6 JUDGE MUMBA: All right, Mr. Pantelic, you will be allowed to go
8 MR. PANTELIC:
9 Q. [Interpretation] So you heard my question. According to what you
10 know, were there any indications or any activities by certain military
11 structures in the territory of the municipality of Samac to participate in
12 one way or another in the political life, yes or no? Could you please
13 tell me?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you please give me your comments on those two letters?
16 Because one of the letters was authored by you. What is behind that
17 correspondence? Could you please explain?
18 A. I will explain the motive for my letter. At the time this
19 document was written, the situation was very difficult in the war. The
20 Croatian republic had several of its own brigades, there was the Zagreb
21 Varazdin Brigade and some other brigades, I don't remember their names.
22 The Army of Republika Srpska brought its 16th Brigade which was the best.
23 At that time there was some serious battles on the front and there were
24 deaths every day. To mobilise people into the war at that point was very
25 difficult and people that I was a superior to had problems on the ground
1 to mobilise people. If people who were being mobilised found out that
2 there were people who were avoiding the draft or who were hiding their
3 sons, it was very difficult, a very difficult period of work for the
4 Ministry of Defence. The body at which -- where I was the chief, the son
5 of Simo Zaric at that time was not under military obligation, and by his
6 age, he was subject to military service, to military duty. According to
7 the way I understand moral codes, it is not usual for the son of an
8 officer who has a prominent position in the command of the brigade for
9 morale and for patriotism for his son not to be fulfilling his military
10 obligations. And this is the motive why I wrote this letter.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much. That's the end of
13 Thank you very much, Mr. --
14 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour just one last question.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, Mr. Pantelic we will go on. Thank you very
16 much, Mr. Ninkovic, for giving evidence to the Tribunal. We are through
17 with you. You may now go.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Before the next witness is called, I understand that
20 the Prosecution have some matters they wanted to raise.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. The admission into evidence, if Your Honours
22 please, of various documents. I've got some transcripts of the previous
23 interviews. You recall the revamped version of the interviews which
24 contained the B/C/S underneath each question and the B/C/S underneath each
25 answer which will make it -- should the need arise I think it will make it
1 easier to put to the defendants the remaining defendants. So could I
2 introduce those into evidence? And then Mr. Re has some documentation
3 that he wishes to see is tendered. Would Your Honours just bear with me
4 for one moment, please?
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. If Your Honours please, I have an
7 interview of Miroslav Tadic dated the 27th of March, 1998. The current
8 interview stands as Exhibit P139. I wonder do you want this one to be 139
9 ter, or -- yes, very well in that case, may I produce it, please?
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: We have no objection with that and we are grateful
11 to our friends from the Prosecution. This is probably a much better way
12 to operate with these documents.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Can I proceed? May I also introduce -- I hope
15 I'm not going too fast. May I also introduce another exhibit? It being
16 an interview with Mr. Simo Zaric conducted on the 1st of April, 1998. The
17 original interview was P140. This one should therefore become P140 ter.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Let's have the number first just so that we are
19 clear, for which one we have received for Miroslav Tadic for 27 March,
21 MR. DI FAZIO: I see, I'm sorry.
22 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P139 ter. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the next one.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes, thank you as I said I now produce P140 ter.
25 What I expect will be P140 ter.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. The interview of Mr. Simo Zaric 1st of
2 April, 1998 will be Exhibit P140 ter, thank you.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. May I produce into evidence a further
5 interview conducted with Mr. Simo Zaric on the 3rd of June, 1998? This
6 should become, I believe, P142 ter.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Indeed this will be Exhibit P142 ter. Thank you.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the next witness, then?
10 MR. RE: May it please Your Honour there are further exhibits.
11 These were arising out of the cross-examination, the examination-in-chief
12 of the Defence experts, professor Kecmanovic and professor Nikolic. I
13 tender the following documents all of which have been provided to the
14 Defence several months ago in the following order. Firstly, the document
15 is entitled "Conference on Yugoslavia arbitration commission, opinion
16 number 1," that's the Badinter commission. First opinion of the 20th of
17 November, 1991.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, maybe before we --
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: We have noticed one thing here. We have received
21 interview of Mr. Miroslav Tadic P139. Then we received the interview of
22 Mr. Zaric from April 1st, P140. But there is another interview that was
23 with Mr. Zaric held on April 2.
24 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I can assist on that. That was
25 previously introduced when I impeached a witness with those statements. I
1 introduced that one back in December.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. All right.
3 MR. WEINER: Or could be November.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: Then I apologise to the Prosecution.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the number, please, formally?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. This will be Prosecution Exhibit P147.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Any others?
9 MR. RE: Yes, Your Honour, there are actually about 20 of them.
10 Would it be more appropriate for me to read them onto the record and
11 tender them in one bundle and give them one --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I think that's better and then the registry can
13 produce a list of the numbering.
14 MR. RE: The second one is the Badinter commission opinion number
15 2 regarding the rights of Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina to
16 self-determination of the 11th of January, 1992.
17 The next one, the third one is the Badinter commission opinion
18 number 3 regarding internal boundaries between Croatia and Serbia and
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, again the 11th of January, 1992.
20 The next one is Badinter commission number 4 on the international
21 recognition of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina by the
22 European Union and its member states, again of the 11th of January, 1992.
23 Next one is the ruling of the constitutional court of the
24 Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the 11th of November,
25 1999-- sorry, 1991, regarding the agreement to join the association of
1 Bosanska Krajina municipalities, and the B/C/S original of that.
2 The next one is the ruling of the constitutional court of Bosnia
3 and Herzegovina, that's the Republic of, of the 8th of October, 1992,
4 regarding the declaration, the proclamation of the Republika Srpska, and
5 its B/C/S original.
6 The next document, it's number 9 on the list.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, you still have more bundles, isn't it?
8 MR. RE: It may be appropriate to hand up --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: I was just thinking because we are taking time for
10 the next witness, I do suggest that the Prosecution will give the bundles
11 to the registry, and the Defence and then amongst them both, they will
12 agree and they will do the numbering and then the Judges will receive
13 the documents after the numbering is done.
14 MR. RE: Can I just read on to the record so the transcript is
15 completely clear what I've handed up, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, quickly, please.
17 MR. RE: Thank you. The next one is an Official Gazette of the
18 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina of the 18th of September, 1992, number 16,
19 page 450, regarding -- containing a ruling of the constitutional court of
20 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina of the 1st of September, 1992 regarding
21 the decision on the establishment of the Croatian Community of Herceg
22 Bosna and its B/C/S original.
23 The next one is an extract of the minutes of the 8th joint session
24 of the chambers of the assembly of the Socialist Republic of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina held 10, 11, 14 October, 1991 headed "Continuation of
1 session on 11th of October, 1991." That's the extract and its original
3 The next one is extract of minutes of the 9th joint session of the
4 chambers of the assembly of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina, held 24th and 25th of January, 1992, and the B/C/S original.
6 The next one is Official Gazette of the Serb Republic in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, year 1, number 3, 16th of March, 1992, entitled
8 "Decision on proclaiming the constitution of the Serb Republic of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina" on 28th of February, 1992. And the B/C/S original.
10 Next one is the Official Gazette of the Serb people in Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina year 1, number 21, 31st of December, 1992. Extract
12 publication of final draft of the Republika Srpska constitution of 17th
13 of December, 1992 and the B/C/S original.
14 The next one is a ballot paper of the Serb plebiscite of the 9th
15 and 10th of November, 1991, and the B/C/S original.
16 And the final document in this bundle is the -- is entitled,
17 "Instructions for the conduct of the plebiscite of the Serbian population
18 in Bosnia and Herzegovina set for the 10th of November, 1991, Sarajevo,
19 28th of October, 1991." And the B/C/S original. Those are the documents
20 I tender in 22 separate folders awaiting numbers.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: So that's the end of your exhibits?
22 MR. RE: Yes, it is Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: That have been pending. All right. If the -- after
24 the numbering is done, that is off the bench, if there are any objections
25 then the Defence can raise them. Mr. Lukic?
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm speaking in my own
2 name now. I don't know whether the other Defences will join me. As for
3 the Defence of Miroslav Tadic in relation to these specific documents we
4 have no objections. As a matter of fact I think that such documents can
5 be introduced according to Rule 94. Those that are formally taken into
6 consideration. However, what I wish to say in relation to the further
7 proceedings is the following: It is clear to me that according to Rule
8 85, paragraph A.3, that is Prosecution evidence rebutting Defence
9 evidence, it is possible to introduce documents that were not disclosed to
10 the other party previously, but I'm interested in the following: If
11 during further proceedings, documents crop up that the Prosecution will
12 want to introduce other documents that were not disclosed to the Defence,
13 again I'm saying that I do not object to these particular documents, but
14 if such additional evidence will be introduced later, can the Defence
15 treat this as additional evidence and can we state our views with regard
16 to them, whether we accept it or not? I think this would be in the
17 interest of justice. If additional evidence is presented by the
18 Prosecution that they did not disclose to the Defence previously, will it
19 be possible for us to state our views?
20 This has been presented to this Tribunal before, but I'm afraid
21 that if through cross-examination, a document appears, and if it has to
22 do, say, with my client or any other client, such a document had not been
23 introduced or rather disclosed previously, will the Defence be able to
24 state its views on its acceptability? This is my concrete question but I
25 also have some other information for the Trial Chamber related to
1 demography but perhaps I can deal with that later.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It is obviously clear that if a document which
3 has not been disclosed before, prior especially to the trial, and
4 especially prior to the close of the Prosecution case, the Defence will
5 have every right to raise issues with it and then the Trial Chamber can
6 decide whether or not such a document should be admitted and be part of
7 the evidence on record. That is the right of the Defence to do so. I
8 just wanted to find out from the Prosecution whether indeed of the
9 documents that have been presented today, there are any that had not been
10 disclosed to the Defence.
11 MR. RE: No they have all been disclosed to the Defence, Your
12 Honour and in addition to what Mr. Lukic just said, these are all public
13 documents they are documents of which the Trial Chamber could take
14 judicial notice except perhaps the ballot paper and they all arose as a
15 result of questions I would have put to the two witnesses if I'd had more
16 time and documents I would have put to professor Kecmanovic and Nikolic in
17 the ordinary course of cross-examination. They are not in the nature of
18 rebuttal evidence.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Very well. Yes, Mr. Lukic?
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let me just explain. It is correct
21 that this was disclosed to us but it was disclosed after the
22 cross-examination so that is what I can understand as a possible problem.
23 They were not disclosed previously but then I can appreciate that the
24 Prosecutor deals with questions they want to raise during the
25 cross-examination with a particular witness so really I do not object to
1 that. But it may be disputable if things appear later that do not have to
2 do with rule 94, and do we then have the right to state our views on such
3 a document and how can we deal with the situation?
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I think I've already said that the Defence have
5 a right to raise an issue with any document which appears out side after
6 the time limits for such disclosure. Can we call the next witness,
8 MR. PANTELIC: If I may add to this matter a few words? Your
9 Honour --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: What is it you want to say which Mr. Lukic hasn't
11 said. I don't want to you repeat.
12 MR. PANTELIC: I don't want to repeat. I just want to hear the
13 position and the instruction of this honourable Trial Chamber with regard
14 to this very important issue. My position and my opinion is that it's
15 maybe better in order to protect the rights of the accused in this
16 particular situation to take judicial notice of certain public documents,
17 not to speculate what the other party or the Prosecution or Defence,
18 whatever, might ask in cross-examination certain witness, because, Your
19 Honour, --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Pantelic, I'll cut you short because the
21 rules of procedure are quite clear as to how the exhibits should be
22 handled and they are quite clear as to what should be taken judicial
23 notice of. Let's have the next witness, please.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, also, we have some other matters with
25 regard to the witnesses, because our instruction.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we raise them after this witness?
2 MR. PANTELIC: We were instructed by the legal office to raise
3 these issues in between two witnesses.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: What, is the problem, then?
5 MR. PANTELIC: Between after the --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no, no. There is a witness waiting isn't
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes of course but we got very precise instructions
9 from the legal officer to raise certain procedural matters during the
10 break between two witnesses. So that's why I'm raising this matters, Your
11 Honour, nothing more.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: So it's a procedural matter, go ahead.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, we have plenty of --
14 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Registrar told me
15 that you wished to be informed about my correspondence related to the
16 demography expert so I wanted to inform you as to what I found out in the
17 meantime. As I told the Trial Chamber before the recess, the Defence and
18 the Prosecution have been informed by the OSCE that they gave their
19 consent, as far back as the 6th of December, to look at the documentation
20 that they provided to the Prosecution. So that is not being challenged in
21 any way. But finally, on January 6th, we got this other answer which I
22 had expected all the time, and which was controversial and that is the
23 answer of the federal institution for statistics of the Federation of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. This is a short letter. I'll read it to you and I've
25 also given it so that it could be translated in writing but it is a -- I
1 have the version in B/C/S now, so I'm going to read it out so that you can
2 hear it.
3 The letter is dated the 6th of January, 2003. It says,
4 "Reference, the census of Bosnia-Herzegovina of 1981 for the
5 municipalities of Bosanski Samac and Odzak." It is addressed to my
7 "Dear sir, the federal institution for statistics -- the federal
8 institution for statistics, as an administrative organisation of the
9 government of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina provided the Office of
10 the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for crimes committed
11 in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, data from the census of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina of 1991 on the basis of approval given by the
13 government of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, namely the federal
14 institution for statistics according to the law on the organisation and
15 implementation of the census of 1991 does not have the authority to
16 disclose the mentioned data to third parties. In view of the
17 extraordinary circumstances involved in Bosnia-Herzegovina for having the
18 data mentioned disclosed, we need to have approval by the government of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Could you please address the Trial Chamber that would
20 observe the required procedure, address a request to the government of the
21 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina with a view to obtaining approval to look
22 at the required documents? Respectfully yours, director, Dervis
23 Djurdjevic, professor," and then there is a stamp of that institution and
24 a signature.
25 That is the content of the letter that I obtained on the 6th of
1 January in my office. I just wish to mention to you what the technical
2 aspect of what we need requires so that the Trial Chamber would rule on
3 that. Several times during the recess I talked to Mrs. Svetlana
4 Radovanovic, our court expert, who has been working on this matter for a
5 long time now and she is supposed to look at these documents as Mrs. Ewa
6 Tabeau did, and to give her opinion on the basis of the review of these
7 data. According to Svetlana Radovanovic's opinion and according to the
8 expertise provided by Mrs. Tabeau, she said that she needed two additional
9 computer experts because obviously the data were processed by computer.
10 She said that she would need three working days to carry out this analysis
11 for the municipalities of Samac and Odzak. If she works with one computer
12 expert, then perhaps it would require an additional day. What I suggested
13 last time to the Trial Chamber was that irrespective of any decision you
14 may pass, and irrespective of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, namely
15 that our expert takes an oath before this Trial Chamber involving
16 everything that Rule 77 entails, and that therefore our expert could look
17 at the required documents. So could our expert do the same that Mrs. Ewa
18 Tabeau did and I think that in this way we could get information more
20 Also after insight as to this documentation we would have an
21 expert opinion within ten days so within about 15 days the opposing party
22 would get this expertise. Without getting this approval, we will have
23 great difficulty in developing our own expert opinion with regard to this
24 important matter on which the Prosecution already stated its views through
25 its expert witness.
1 So could we please be instructed as to whether the Defence should
2 address the government of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Will it
3 be the Trial Chamber or is there any other course of action that should be
4 taken? Thank you.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. The Trial Chamber will consider the
6 matter. Any other procedural matters?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I have one more procedural problem
8 regarding the Defence of Miroslav Tadic and relates to the decision of the
9 Trial Chamber of the 11th of December, 2002, relating to the depositions
10 and the intention of the Trial Chamber to hear some witnesses viva voce.
11 The Defence of Mr. Tadic in that sense has a problem with the witness
12 which you noted in annex B under number 3. I do not wish to say his name
13 out publicly if I need to say his name, maybe we can switch to private
14 session for a moment, if you need to know the name of that witness. It's
15 a witness which the Trial Chamber wishes to hear viva voce. The Defence
16 originally suggested that this witness appear through deposition and the
17 reason for that is that we don't need more than half an hour to 45 minutes
18 for the examination-in-chief of this witness.
19 Another problem that has appeared regarding this witness under
20 procedure 92(b) is that his wife is bedridden and he's not able to leave
21 Samac right now so if it's possible perhaps to hear this witness via
22 videolink? In that regard we would like to ask the Chamber maybe to
23 review again the question of this witness perhaps he could be joined to
24 this group of witnesses to be heard by deposition, because his testimony
25 would be quite brief, unless the Trial Chamber is very set on hearing this
1 witness viva voce. I can tell you the name of the witness if we could
2 perhaps switch to private session for a moment.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we go into private session so we complete
4 this matter?
5 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the witness?
14 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I do apologise. I have also to inform
15 the Trial Chamber about certain witness list according to the instruction
16 of the legal officer.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Which?
18 MR. PANTELIC: Ms. -- very clearly instructed us to address the
19 Trial Chamber during the period between two witnesses.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, can you go ahead?
21 MR. PANTELIC: I would like to -- because they didn't finish.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Because I saw nobody standing up so I thought we
23 were through.
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence has
25 received a motion from the --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the lawyer please slow down?
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you speak slowly?
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence has received a motion
4 from the Prosecution of the 3rd of January, and it is in regard to the
5 expert work of Leposava Kron. In view of the fact that the motion was
6 received during the holidays, we would ask the Trial Chamber to give us
7 enough time until Monday so that we could respond to the motion that we
8 have received from the Prosecution. And it is regarding the request by
9 the Prosecution not to accept the expert report of Ms. Kron.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: So you're just asking for extension of time?
11 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: It is granted, as the Court has suggested, on
13 Monday. Mr. Pantelic?
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, first of all with regard to the
15 lineup of Defence witnesses, today, we shall have next witness who is
16 waiting his name is Dusan Tanasic. If everything will be fine with the
17 air transportation and weather conditions, we expect this morning two more
18 witnesses to come from our list. These persons are Dr. Ozren Stanimirovic
19 and Mr. Slavko Paleksic. We anticipated that these witnesses will be
20 quite sufficient in terms of time for this afternoon and tomorrow's
21 session, in light of the sitting hours, which is partly in the morning and
22 afternoon. On Monday, we are expecting Mr. Blagojevic.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, you do that in writing you simply put
24 your list of witnesses in the order you have decided and you file that.
25 That's all you have to do.
1 MR. PANTELIC: During yesterday's conversation with our learned
2 friends, I raised the issue of our handwriting expert, professor Aleksic.
3 He should come and Monday and my learned friend, Mr. Weiner, informed me
4 that maybe it won't be necessary from the part of the Prosecution. So I
5 would like now to know in order to instruct the witness unit and also my
6 office whether it's necessary to have this witness here or not.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: I thought there was an application by the
8 Prosecution to cross-examine the witness? The expert?
9 MR. WEINER: Your Honour that was filed in response to receiving
10 the report during the holiday period. Or just after the holiday period.
11 So the notice would be filed on time. We will meet at the break and
12 notify council whether or not it's necessary to bring the expert witness
14 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
15 MR. PANTELIC: No problem. And just for the -- sorry.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic?
18 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, and just for the record, in
19 reorganisation of the list of the witnesses for 92 bis, Rule 71 and viva
20 voce, it arose the fact that one witness was not previously on the list,
21 and according to the instructions of the legal officer of this Trial
22 Chamber, just for the record I would like to mention the name. This is
23 Mrs. Andric Pelka, and she will give her statement in accordance with the
24 Rule 92 bis, in future -- I mean in February.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Just for the record.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes is there any objection from the Prosecution?
3 Because this witness was not on the previous, the first filed list of
4 witnesses of the Defence.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: Just as I stand here, I don't know anything about
6 this particular witness.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe you will check your list later.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Check it and let you know.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
11 MR. PANTELIC: Just to help just for the record and also it might
12 be help of assistance to our learned friends, in fact, Mrs. Pelka Andric
13 will replace Nezirovic, Dusanka. Mrs. Pelka is employee of the bank,
14 of the local bank in Samac, and she will testify with regard to the events
15 of withdrawing of money from the personal accounts of non-Serb population,
16 I mean all citizens in Samac during 1992 and 1993 and certain topics were
17 raised during the Prosecution case. In fact, she -- her testimony would
18 be very much the same as Nezirovic Dusanka and her name you can find on
19 our list. Basically it will be a topic about this financial banking
20 operations. Very, very short statement. Of course, I'm on the
21 disposition of the -- for Prosecution to explain.
22 And the last matter, Your Honour, according to the order of this
23 Trial Chamber, from December 11th, yes, I have to inform this Trial
24 Chamber with regard to the persons for -- let me find, just a moment --
25 yes. This is page 8 of this order, with regard to the list of witnesses
1 to give their testimony viva voce, I am trying to do whatever is necessary
2 to contact the -- Mr. Krajisnik's lawyer. He should be one of these
3 days in The Hague, so I will prepare the necessary arrangements with
4 regard to the Rule 92 bis and the statement of Mr. Krajisnik. With regard
5 to Mr. Savo Popovic, after the verification on the field, my members of my
6 team informed me that Mr. Popovic at the present time is not able to
7 obtain his passport. So for some administrative and, I think, also tax or
8 fiscal problems and reasons, there are some regulations in Republika
9 Srpska with regard to that issue so he's not able at this moment to obtain
10 the new Bosnia-Herzegovina passport. My suggestion with regard to
11 Mr. Popovic might be, because he's free to travel with ID, maybe to
12 arrange, if the request of my colleague, Mr. Lukic for videolink will be
13 granted, for one of his witnesses, maybe we could, in order to save time
14 and resources, maybe we could arrange, let's say, a little bit.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: So you're applying for videolink?
16 MR. PANTELIC: Additional time for Mr. Popovic, he will join the
17 person from the list of Mr. Lukic of Tadic Defence and then at one day or
18 two days.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, if for any reason any other Defence witnesses
20 will be applying for videolink, if that is granted then they should be
21 lined up at the same time.
22 MR. PANTELIC: That's correct.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: So that the officials who have to deal with that can
24 only go for two or three days and complete the list. We are not going to
25 deal with it in sections according to the accused persons. We will group
1 them together.
2 MR. PANTELIC: That is my intention actually, Your Honour, just to
3 find the best solution, because otherwise, the administrative and this
4 procedure with regard to the pass -- it might take months.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Any other witness?
6 MR. PANTELIC: Also, yes, with regard to Mr. Mitar Mitrovic, after
7 all contacts of my Defence team and myself personally, Mr. Mitrovic
8 doesn't want to be a witness for Defence of Mr. Blagoje Simic. So I was
9 not able to convince him to come here and to give testimony. In fact, he
10 declined to be on the list. So just for the record, and also I need
11 further instructions of this Trial Chamber. So that would be basically
12 all of the issues with regard to the witnesses.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well, since we have only a few minutes we will
16 take our break earlier and start at 11.25 hours with the next witness.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.57 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.27 a.m.
19 [The witness entered court].
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning, Witness. Please make the solemn
22 THE WITNESS: [no translation]
23 JUDGE MUMBA: We are just wondering, we didn't get any
24 translation. Yes, Mr. Pantelic?
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour. Is everything okay
1 with the translation now?
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, we are not receiving any English
3 here. Is there any English translator? Maybe there is a technical
5 THE INTERPRETER: Can you hear the English booth from this set?
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes we can start now.
7 WITNESS: DUSAN TANASIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:
10 Q. I hope that we will be receiving the interpretation now, that
11 everything is all right.
12 Mr. Tanasic, can you hear me properly?
13 A. Yes, yes, I can hear you very well.
14 Q. Just a few technical instructions. Since you and I speak the same
15 language, for the sake of the transcript, for the sake of precision, and
16 in order to be able to follow the proceedings properly, please pause after
17 I put my question for a few seconds and then start giving your answer at a
18 slow pace so that this can be interpreted properly. I heard that you're
19 an expert for radio communications. So you are well-versed in technical
20 matters. You will hear the English interpretation in the background all
21 the time so when that voice stops, could you then start answering so you
22 will see, we will work this out as we go along.
23 A. Very well. I have understood what you said.
24 Q. Mr. Tanasic, could you please introduce yourself by your full name
25 and surname?
1 A. I am Dusan Tanasic.
2 Q. You were born on the 8th of September, 1958, right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You were born in the territory of the municipality of Samac in
5 Gornji Zabar?
6 A. I have to correct you. Gornji Zabar is now Pelagicevo and the
7 municipality is Gradacac.
8 Q. Very well. You're a Serb by ethnicity, aren't you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What about your parents? Are they also from the same area where
11 you were born?
12 A. Yes. My parents and my ancestors.
13 Q. So your roots go back a few centuries in that particular area,
15 A. Yes. We've been living there for generations now.
16 Q. You completed elementary school in Pelagicevo, right?
17 A. Yes, yes, in Pelagicevo.
18 Q. What about secondary school? You completed it in Bijeljina,
20 A. I completed two secondary schools, the first one in Gradacac, a
21 general high school, and the second one in Bijeljina, a vocational school
22 for agriculture and technical studies.
23 Q. You also completed a higher school of management in Prijedor,
24 isn't that right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You did your military service in the JNA in 1982 in Slovenia,
2 isn't that right?
3 A. Yes, in Slovenia, in Crnomelj.
4 Q. That was a unit for atomic, chemical, and biological defence; is
5 that right?
6 A. Yes. That is correct.
7 Q. Do you have a military rank?
8 A. Well, a low one, sergeant.
9 Q. Tell me, Mr. Tanasic, are you knowledgeable, as far as radio
10 communication is concerned? When did you first express such interests?
11 What kind of diplomas do you have? Do you have anything specific to tell
12 us in this respect, with regard to this, that you have been dealing with?
13 A. As far back as the beginning of elementary school, secondary
14 school, I have been involved in electronics. I am a ham radio operator.
15 And as of recent, I have been dealing with computers as well.
16 Q. So for almost 20 years now you've had experience in the area,
18 A. Yes, approximately that much, perhaps even a bit more.
19 Q. I assume that as a ham radio operator, and as a person who is
20 well-versed in this area, you have a registered radio station of your own
21 and that is how you communicate with your colleagues?
22 A. No. I haven't got that actually.
23 Q. Is there a club or something else, where you engage in this hobby
24 of yours, if I can put it that way?
25 A. As the former Yugoslavia fell apart, this sort of dwindled away.
1 Q. However, until 1992, I assume that you functioned within a club?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Until the beginning of the war, 1992, you worked as an employee in
4 the Napredak company; isn't that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. That's in Pelagicevo. Where is the seat of that company?
7 A. The seat of that company is in Gradacac. There is only one branch
8 in Pelagicevo.
9 Q. Yes. So that was the situation until 1992?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Tell me now, professionally speaking, what have you been doing
12 professionally since April 1992? You can tell us about the segments
13 involved. You don't have to go into each and every company but for
14 example where did you work? I assume that during the war, in 1992, you
15 were mobilised. And how much time did you spend in the military unit?
16 A. From April, 1992, until the end of April, 1993, I worked as head
17 of communications in a military unit.
18 Q. Just tell me which military unit this was. Was it a detachment?
19 Was it a company? What was its name?
20 A. Its official name was the 3rd Detachment of the 17th Tactical
22 Q. However, when the Army of Republika Srpska was established in May,
23 1992, how was this unit named or perhaps was it a different unit then?
24 A. This unit was called the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
25 Q. Did you say until August, 1993?
1 A. I said April, 1993.
2 Q. I beg your pardon. I misheard you. After April, 1993, what
3 duties did you have professionally speaking?
4 A. After April, 1993, I worked as head of communications at the
5 police station, at the public security station in Pelagicevo.
6 Q. Until when?
7 A. Until the present day.
8 Q. Who was Chief of Police, who was chief of that police station in
9 Pelagicevo during the period of your employment, say from April 1993 until
10 the end of 1993?
11 A. The head of the station was Radul Radulovic.
12 Q. From the point of view of hierarchy, how were you linked up? Did
13 you have within the Ministry of the Interior some kind of setup? I mean
14 what was your superior command so to speak? Who was above the public
15 security station in Pelagicevo?
16 A. Above the station in Pelagicevo was the centre of public security
17 in Doboj.
18 Q. Do you perhaps know about the following? The centre of public
19 security in Doboj, can you tell me what Doboj covered actually? Just give
20 me a few examples. What was the region that was covered by the public
21 security centre in Doboj?
22 A. The Doboj centre covered Pelagicevo, Samac, Modrica, Teslic,
23 Petrovo, Derventa, and Vukosavlje.
24 Q. Do you happen to know who headed the centre of public security in
25 Doboj from April, 1993, onwards, when you came, or rather until the end of
1 1993? Do you happen to know? It's not that relevant but I'm just asking
3 A. As far as I can remember, it was Andrija Bjelosevic.
4 Q. Tell me is there any organisational form that is above the Doboj
5 public security centre? Who were they accountable to? So what is the
6 hierarchy involved?
7 A. Above the public security centre was the Ministry of the Interior
8 of Republika Srpska.
9 Q. Very well. Let us go back to the period from April, 1992, until
10 April, 1993. What was your position in the military unit called the 2nd
11 Posavina Brigade?
12 A. I was head of communications. That is chief of group for
13 communications in the 3rd Detachment.
14 Q. And who was commander of that detachment?
15 A. The commander was Mirko Dragic.
16 Q. Could you please tell me, the 2nd Posavina Brigade, with its
17 detachments, if you know and I'm particularly interested in the 3rd
18 Detachment, where were they from originally, the members of the 3rd
19 Detachment? Where were they born? And also members of the 2nd Posavina
21 A. The members of the 3rd Detachment were from Pelagicevo, Samarevac,
22 Blazevac, Porebrice.
23 Q. So the soldiers were born in the territory of the villages that
24 you mentioned, is that true?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. And where was Mirko Dragic, the commander, from?
2 A. From Pelagicevo.
3 Q. Very well. Could you please tell me a little bit about your
4 political engagement? When did you become a member of the SDS?
5 A. In 1990.
6 Q. Did you have any post in the party?
7 A. Yes. I was the chairman of the municipal board for Gradacac.
8 Q. If I'm not mistaken, Gradacac is to the south of Samac and
9 Pelagicevo. Maybe some 20 kilometres away, if I'm not mistaken.
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Did you go to Gradacac often at the time when you became the
12 chairman of that municipal board? In what year was that?
13 A. In 1990, in August.
14 Q. Did you go to Gradacac often in the period of 1990 and 1991?
15 Could you please describe to us what your work was as the chairman of the
16 municipal board?
17 A. I went to Gradacac very often. And besides regular party duties,
18 there was also a lot of interparty activity. Since at that time, together
19 with the Croat and Muslim parties, we participated in the administration
20 in power, after the first multi-party elections.
21 Q. Did SDS participate in Gradacac in power at the local level after
22 the multi-party elections in 1990 in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Did SDS
23 participate in the local authorities in Gradacac?
24 A. Yes. The SDS had the chairman of the executive board, the chief
25 of the administration for budget, the police commander, and some other
1 lesser posts.
2 Q. How would you describe briefly, based on your personal knowledge,
3 the atmosphere in Gradacac and Pelagicevo in that region in the period
4 since the multi-party elections in 1990, up to the end of 1991?
5 A. The entire time, the Muslim and Croat parties immediately, and
6 this was evident, reached some kind of agreement and immediately initiated
7 joint activities relating to the break away of Bosnia from the then
8 Yugoslavia, and since they had a larger number of deputies, they would
9 over -- use the majority vote.
10 Q. At that time, was there a principle of equality or the principle
11 of the protection of the equality of peoples, even at the local level?
12 A. No. That principle did not exist. Voting was simply conducted
13 and the side that had more votes would have its way.
14 Q. Was there the obligation at the local level to respect the
15 interests of all three peoples?
16 A. Yes, but formally.
17 Q. Can you please tell me, after --
18 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, just for clarification, I wonder
19 whether Mr. Tanasic could explain what his answer means, where, on line 9
20 of page 44, in response to your question concerning the obligation at the
21 local level to respect the interests of all three peoples, his answer is,
22 "Yes, but formally." I'm not too certain what that means. Maybe you
23 could clarify that with the witness.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
25 Q. [Interpretation] You heard Her Honour, Judge Williams,
1 Mr. Tanasic, could you please explain that?
2 A. Yes, I can. According to the constitution that was then in force,
3 we all had exactly the same rights. However, decisions at the local level
4 were adopted by simple outvoting. So there was no possibility for us to
5 protect our interests, which were threatened.
6 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, also I wonder whether Mr. Tanasic you
7 could maybe tell us, did each person at these various meetings have one
8 vote? There was one vote for each member? Was that so? Or not?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. One deputy, one vote.
10 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And also, the persons who were the deputies had
11 been freely elected by the local population? Was that so?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's correct.
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So therefore, was the majority, in terms of the
14 ones who you say voted and together outvoted one other group, they had
15 been freely elected and then were therefore exercising their one vote as
16 they saw fit? Would that have been the case?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understood you properly, yes.
18 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
19 MR. PANTELIC:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Are you familiar with the principle of the
21 equality of the constitutive peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina? And I'm
22 speaking about the period from 1990 until 1992.
23 A. Yes, in general terms.
24 Q. Could you please tell me, Mr. Tanasic, when, if you know, when the
25 deputies of the Serb parties in the fall of 1992 [as translated] left the
1 republican parliament? How did that event reflect at the local level on
2 the political atmosphere? If you know, of course. And there is a
3 correction, just one moment, please.
4 MR. PANTELIC: There is one correction to the transcript. In my
5 question on line 45, line 18, instead of fall of 1992, should be fall of
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
8 MR. PANTELIC:
9 Q. [Interpretation] So we are talking about the fall of 1991, when
10 the Serb deputies left the republican parliament. How did this reflect on
11 the local political level? Could you please tell us your personal
12 knowledge about that?
13 A. After the republican deputies left the parliament of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina, an assembly of the Serbian people of Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 was established, and that assembly issued an instruction that at the local
16 level, municipalities of the Serbian people should be established.
17 Q. Very well. Could you please tell me if you have any personal
18 knowledge about the plebiscite of the Serbian people in November, 1991,
19 and if you are familiar with that, was this conducted in the area where
20 you are from?
21 A. Yes. The plebiscite was conducted in our territory, and in -- and
22 99 per cent or more of the population voted in favour of remaining in
24 Q. Very well. You said that you were in the Napredak company until
25 the break -- the war broke out, but could you also please tell me, in the
1 period at the end of 1991 and up until April, 1992, were you also a
2 military -- subject to military service? Were you in the military
4 A. Yes. From December, 1991, I was mobilised as a member of the
5 reserves into the 17th Tactical Group at that time.
6 Q. Who was the commander of the 17th Tactical Group?
7 A. The commander was Stevan Nikolic. I think he was a Colonel.
8 Q. Was the 17th Tactical Group a military formation within the JNA?
9 A. Yes, it was. It was a part of the then Tuzla Corps.
10 Q. What can you tell us about the response to the call-ups in that
11 period? And I'm talking about the different ethnic groups. Could you
12 please tell us what you saw, what you know personally about that?
13 A. The military units called up all those subject to military
14 service, and that included all the peoples. However, almost exclusively
15 Serbs responded to the call-ups.
16 Q. Were there any cases that Muslims and Croats responded to the
17 call-ups and if they did respond, to which military formations were they
18 called into?
19 A. There were a few cases, so there was an officer in the command who
20 was a Muslim.
21 Q. The 17th Tactical Group had several detachments. Do you know how
23 A. It had four detachments.
24 Q. And could you please tell me where you were in the detachment, in
25 the period from the end of 1991 until April, 1992? And could you please
1 describe what you found out then when you were working at your post? What
2 did you know about the situation at the time in the Samac region?
3 A. I was in charge of the radio stations, which monitored the radio
4 communications in the area of the Serb municipalities, in the Posavina
5 municipalities, and in that period, there was a lot of radio
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: It's on page 47, line 22 I didn't hear the witness
10 mention Serb municipalities and things like that.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have that corrected? Yes, Mr. Re?
12 MR. RE: Your Honour I'm objecting to the evidence my learned
13 friend Mr. Pantelic is leading in relation to radio communications and
14 monitoring of radio communications. The Defence motion in respect of
15 the revised witness list filed on the 12th of November, 2002 in response
16 to the Trial Chamber's order to give notice to the Prosecution of the
17 facts to be adduced gives -- this is on page 7, gives absolutely no notice
18 of anything in relation to this witness's now appears very important role
19 in monitoring radio communications, nor his role in the military.
20 According to the summary provided, Mr. Tanasic was a vice-president of the
21 Serb municipal assembly of Samac and Pelagicevo and acting president for
22 several weeks in 1992. He will testify the following facts. Nothing to
23 do with the military situation and radio communications. We have had no
24 notice of this, of these important facts.
25 MR. PANTELIC: If I may, Your Honour, it's not testimony with
1 regard to the isolated events. It's rather his experience that he was a
2 member of military unit and then just a simple picture of that. I'm not
3 going to explore that in details. Just general -- general and personal
4 knowledge of this witness.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Let me take this opportunity also, because I was
6 observing that when you call a witness, you are calling a witness to
7 testify on the allegations against the accused, not give his own personal
8 history, right? And then in this -- with what Mr. Re raised indeed on
9 your summary there is nothing to do with monitoring radio communications.
10 MR. PANTELIC: As I said, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: So you limit to what you subscribed to in the
12 summaries and you limit the evidence of the witness to the defence on
13 the allegations against the accused because you're taking your time
14 discussing other things and this witness is timed for one hour. And that
15 is your list.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, but --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: You go ahead and stick to the matters in the
18 summaries and also to the defence, not the history and the activities of
19 the witness, they should be related to the defence of the accused. So you
20 have -- you timed this witness for one hour.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, but allow me just to ask for
22 the -- your instructions, of course. Previously, the Defence for Blagoje
23 Simic, Mr. Blagoje Simic, got certain number of hours. Certain number of
24 witnesses I already cut below the designated hours so I kindly ask not to
25 stick so formally to this estimation of time for particular witness, hour
1 and a half maybe.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: No, because you see, Mr. Pantelic, the hours that
3 were given by the Defence counsels will have to be complied with because
4 the other witnesses have their hours varied so we can't go once witness
5 comes on the scene, then the hours are varied. That won't do.
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. In fact, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: It's one hour for this witness.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe the totality of hours we have to follow. I
9 mean in general, after the presentation of the case, we shall be, I think,
10 around or less, the estimated hours. That was my approach.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: That has already been calculated by the Trial
12 Chamber. And each witness is timed and those are the hours given.
13 MR. PANTELIC: And also, if you allow me, forcible takeover is one
14 of the forms of the persecution and then I'm going directly to the issue
15 of the Defence of my client.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you can proceed but this witness was timed for
17 one hour.
18 MR. PANTELIC: And therefore, I'm --
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Just proceed.
20 MR. PANTELIC: I don't believe, Your Honour, that I will be able
21 to finish this witness in one hour. Believe me. I mean I have to discuss
22 some official gazettes with him and please be -- let's see how it will be
23 and then let's consider that maybe --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: No, the point is you are the one who indicated one
25 hour for this witness. The other witnesses, and he has jumped the list.
1 You have revised the list.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: So the other witnesses are five hours, the other
4 witnesses are three hours, who were supposed to be called before him, so
5 it's not like we are cutting down on your time, no. You indicated these
6 hours yourself.
7 MR. PANTELIC: But you can understand my position, Your Honour.
8 In totality I will be more or less around the totality of hours or maybe
9 half an hour more or less, you will see.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Proceed.
11 MR. PANTELIC: You will see what the lines are and --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: You proceed.
13 MR. PANTELIC:
14 Q. [Interpretation] So Mr. Tanasic, in your engagement in this
15 military unit, what did you learn through monitoring these conversations
16 as a radio operator? Can you just tell us briefly?
17 A. We discovered the deployment of the Croatian forces in the
18 villages surrounding Samac and that they had been preparing themselves to
19 capture the town.
20 Q. In mid-April, to be more precise, on the night between the 16th
21 and 17th of April, 1992, where were you?
22 A. I was at the command post at this very same radio station and I
23 monitored the developments.
24 Q. So what was the -- what were the developments?
25 MR. RE: Again I object to this, Your Honour. It's exactly the
1 same issue I raised a few moments ago. The Prosecution has no notice of
2 the monitoring of these alleged radio interceptions, which apparently now
3 are forming an important part of the Defence case. The Defence has had a
4 long time to structure its summaries and what it was going to lead
5 evidence of and this is the first time we've heard of this while we are in
6 court today. This was the matter which I understand Your Honour ruled
7 upon a few moments ago. There was to be no evidence on this.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic please stick to your summaries.
9 MR. PANTELIC:
10 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, Mr. Tanasic, you were -- you were
11 elected as an official of the Serbian Municipality of Samac?
12 A. Yes. That is correct.
13 Q. Tell me, when did that take place?
14 A. On the 29th of February, 1992.
15 Q. Tell me, in that period, so from early 1992 until, let's say,
16 mid-April of 1992, where did you spend most of your time? What was --
17 what were your basic duties? From January, 1992 until April, 1992, you
18 worked in a company but you also told me that you were mobilised for the
19 17th Tactical Group, and you were an official of the Serbian Municipality
20 of Pelagicevo in the making. So tell me, which duty did you devote most
21 of your time to in that period?
22 A. I did not work in the company. Most of my time I spent in the
23 military unit, and my free time I was -- during my free time I was engaged
24 in party activities.
25 Q. At that time, was the municipality of Pelagicevo established? I'm
1 talking about February 1992 onwards.
2 A. The municipality of Pelagicevo was established as late as the 12th
3 of May, 1992.
4 Q. And who was the President of the municipal assembly of Pelagicevo
6 A. The President was Milan Babic.
7 Q. That is -- that was not the Milan Babic from Krajina?
8 A. No. That was Milan Babic from Pelagicevo.
9 Q. Tell me, at this founding session that took place on the 29th of
10 February, if I'm correct, in 1992, who was present, what was discussed,
11 what decisions were taken? Can you tell us anything about that, if you
12 can recall, where the session was held, et cetera?
13 A. The session took place in the memorial centre called Mitar
14 Trifunovic, Uco, and present there were deputies from -- deputies from the
15 Serbian people of the municipality of Samac, Gradacac, and Orasje.
16 Q. Tell me, who was elected president of this newly established
17 Serbian Municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo municipality in the making?
18 A. Dr. Ilija -- I can't remember just now his last name.
19 Q. You mean Dr. Ilija Risic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Were you also elected at that time to some position?
22 A. I was elected vice-president.
23 Q. Was Dr. Blagoje Simic also elected at the time to discharge
24 certain duties?
25 A. As far as I can remember, he wasn't.
1 Q. Before that, let me ask you, what this session, generally known to
2 the public, was that an open session or was that held in secrecy?
3 A. No. It was completely public.
4 Q. Tell me, what was the reaction of the population, of the local
5 population, regarding this session? If you have any personal knowledge
6 about that.
7 A. As far as I know, the reaction was positive.
8 Q. At this session of the 29th of February -- 28th of February, 1992,
9 can you remember which decisions were taken and what kind of documents
10 were adopted?
11 A. Well, I don't know exactly which decisions were taken but I do
12 know that none of that was implemented. It was more or less in the form
13 of a declaration, in declaratory form.
14 Q. All right. Tell me, was there another session held of this newly
15 established Serbian municipal assembly of Samac and Pelagicevo in the
17 A. Precisely because the elected assembly did not do anything, the
18 following session was held on the 28th of March in Obudovac, but
19 similarly, this also failed. This assembly didn't do anything.
20 Q. Can you tell us something about whether at this second session,
21 held on the 28th of March, 1992, was the executive council of the Serbian
22 assembly elected?
23 A. Yes. The executive council was elected, but just so.
24 Q. At this session, was Dr. Ilija Risic still the President?
25 A. No. At this second -- at this session, Dr. Ilija Ristic resigned.
1 Q. Did he offer any rationale for his resignation and can you
2 remember what he said?
3 A. Well, I think that his reasons were due to his health.
4 Q. At the time, you were the vice-president of the municipality. Did
5 you take over chairing of the session? And I'm referring to the one held
6 on the 28th of March, 1992.
7 A. Yes. Since Ilija -- Dr. Ilija Ristic resigned, I took over the
8 chair of the session.
9 Q. All right. Now, we are going to discuss an Official Gazette?
10 MR. PANTELIC: P124, please.
11 Q. [Interpretation] This is the Official Gazette of the Samac
12 municipality number 1, and in it, various decisions were published, the
13 rules of procedure of the municipality, the decision on its founding, et
14 cetera, so I would kindly ask you if we can comment on some of these
15 decisions. On page 1, or in fact, as it is the page 4 of the paper that
16 you have, there is a decision on the founding. Do you remember that on
17 the session of the 29th of February, was this decision adopted to
18 establish the municipality of the Serbian people of Samac and Pelagicevo
19 in the making?
20 A. As far as I can remember, this kind of decision was not adopted at
21 that time.
22 Q. Can you please explain that to me? How come, then, that this
23 decision exists as the one taken in the February? You were after all the
24 vice-president of the assembly. How can you explain that? Why was it
25 published here?
1 A. This Official Gazette was published in the year 1994. And it
2 contains many things that were in fact not adopted at the time. I presume
3 that that was included or inserted at a later stage.
4 Q. Can you please go to page 10 of your exhibit? Have you found it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You can see number 8, that's decision number 8, in the middle of
7 the left column, and refers to the election of the President of the
8 municipal assembly. Is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And it says here that you were elected vice-president of the
11 municipality as of 28th of March, 1992. What's your comment on this?
12 A. This is completely wrong, because I was elected on the 29th of
13 February at the first session, and I was elected vice-president.
14 Q. Please take a look at this document. Look at page 1, please.
15 Could you leaf through it? Could you see what was adopted? And please
16 give me your comments so that we wouldn't move from one item to the
17 other. What was discussed at the sessions of the 29th of February and the
18 28th of March, since you were a direct participant and you held the
19 position that you held, so could you please give us a comment? What was
20 adopted, what was discussed, and in your opinion, what is it that does not
21 correspond to the actual state of affairs, in terms of what was actually
22 going on?
23 A. The first thing that I cannot but see is the following. There are
24 some decisions here on the establishment of crisis staffs.
25 Q. Excuse me, where did you find that?
1 A. On page 1.
2 Q. This page 1 is the preamble that was done in 1994 but I'm
3 interested in the subsequent decisions.
4 A. Not at a single one of these sessions were any Crisis Staffs
6 Q. Specifically, please look at page number 8, and you can see number
7 5, this is decision number 5. It doesn't have a special name. It just
8 says it's a decision. In the capacity of vice-president, you are
9 mentioned here. This is some kind of Crisis Staff that is mentioned here
10 but I'm just asking you about the session of the 28th of March, 1992.
11 That is where you were vice-president of the assembly of the municipality.
12 Was this kind of decision discussed? Was this kind of decision adopted, a
13 decision with this kind of content?
14 A. There was absolutely no discussion about this, or was a decision
15 of this kind adopted.
16 Q. Nevertheless, can you remember? It's been about ten years now.
17 Can you remember what was discussed and what was adopted on the 28th of
18 March, 1992, at the session of the municipal assembly? What was
20 A. Elections were carried out. The executive council was elected.
21 And most of the time was taken up by the allocation of positions among
22 these territories of ours, the municipalities.
23 Q. To the best of your knowledge, this executive board, did it
24 function in the period starting from the 28th of March, 1992, onwards?
25 A. No. Just like before that, this executive council did not
2 Q. Tell me, Mr. Tanasic, when was the municipality of Pelagicevo
3 formed? I think you said it was in May of 1992. Is that right?
4 A. Yes. I think it was the 12th of May, 1992.
5 Q. And until when did it function? What happened there in relation
6 to the work of that assembly?
7 A. Already at the beginning of June, we got a ban in writing related
8 to the work of the assembly, by the then commander of the 2nd Posavina
9 Brigade, Dragan Djordjevic.
10 Q. What was his nickname?
11 A. Crni.
12 Q. How come? How did you interpret that? How could a person who
13 held a military position ban the functioning of a municipality? What did
14 you do about it? Who did you contact in this respect?
15 A. I and the president of the executive council, Mirko Davidovic,
16 went to the command of the corps to complain. However, the commander of
17 the corps, Colonel Dencic stood behind the decision taken by his
19 Q. Do you know who appointed Crni commander of the 2nd Posavina
21 A. Yes. The then commander of the corps, Colonel Dencic.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, we have agreed to give you another
23 half hour.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: So 12.00 or 13.00 hours.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you very much Your Honours. Thank you so
3 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, what was done then at the level of the
4 municipality of Pelagicevo by the officials that you mentioned after this
5 meeting with Dencic? Did the municipality continue to operate or did
6 something else happen?
7 A. No. This municipality ceased to operate. And the then officials
8 were persecuted in a special way by these special units.
9 Q. Can you mention who the -- when you mention these special units,
10 who are you referring to? Who were these people? Can you give us some
12 A. I mean that unit, which was headed by Lugar and these volunteers
13 from Serbia.
14 Q. Tell me, were there any subsequent attempts made for the civilian
15 authorities from Pelagicevo to address superior commands, attempting to
16 resolve the situation, as it was?
17 A. Yes, but I did not directly participate in it.
18 Q. If you know, could you tell us who it was who made these
19 attempts? After all, you were president of the local committee, the
20 municipal committee of the SDS rather, so I imagine you knew who it was
21 who tried to resolve the problem.
22 A. This elected president of ours, Milan Babic, took action in that
23 direction, and in fact this action did yield some results.
24 Q. Tell me, Mr. Tanasic, when the war conflict broke out in
25 mid-April, 1992, in the Samac municipality, what do you know about the
1 work of the municipal Crisis Staff? Do you have any personal knowledge in
2 this respect?
3 A. Very little. My knowledge is insignificant.
4 Q. Was a Crisis Staff established in Pelagicevo as well, one that
5 covered that territory?
6 A. No, in Pelagicevo, one was not established.
7 Q. What can you tell us about how the SDS party practically ceased to
8 operate or rather how it was banned in this war situation? When did this
9 happen and what is your personal knowledge in this regard?
10 A. As soon as the conflict broke out, I think it was the beginning of
11 March, all the political parties were banned by the republic.
12 Q. Was a meeting held in respect of that, a meeting of party
13 structures in the region, a meeting regarding this decision? And if so,
14 what was discussed at the meeting? What happened?
15 A. No. No meeting was held.
16 Q. Tell me, do you remember any contacts or meetings in the building
17 of the municipality of Bosanski Samac sometime in March, April, 1992, in
18 the presence of all the other heads of party from the region? Were you
19 there? And what happened?
20 A. Yes. I remember that meeting, which was held in the municipality
21 building in Samac. It was attended by the representatives of
22 municipalities -- the municipalities of Samac and Gradacac, Orasje and
23 Odzak, and it was held within the efforts made to find a peaceful solution
24 within the Cutilheiro plan. It had to do with some kind of cantonisation
25 of the area of Posavina.
1 Q. Tell me, I assume that you attended that meeting as one of the
2 helmsmen of the SDS from that territory; is that right?
3 A. Yes. The President of the municipality of Gradacac, Sefko
5 Q. What is his ethnicity?
6 A. Muslim.
7 Q. What party was he from?
8 A. The Party of Democratic Action.
9 Q. Who else was there from that territory?
10 A. The President of the Croat Democratic Union and the president --
11 the representatives of the SDS.
12 Q. And what was the atmosphere like at that meeting? Or actually can
13 I ask you before that, were there any representatives of the military?
14 A. Yes, a representative of the military was there, as far as I can
16 Q. How many members of the military were there in total at the
17 meeting in the corridors, in front of the building? Can you remember
19 A. As far as I can remember, at the meeting, there was one officer,
20 and I assume that he came in a military jeep and that makes a total of
21 four to five persons.
22 Q. Were they armed and did they threaten the participants of the
24 A. No. They were in attendance as observers more or less, without
25 any active participation in the meeting.
1 Q. How could you describe the atmosphere at the meeting itself?
2 A. In my opinion, the atmosphere was good. In response to one of the
3 proposals to divide up different spheres of interest, whereby it was
4 proposed that somehow the Serbs obtained the town of Samac, the Muslims
5 obtained Gradacac, and the Croats Orasje and Odzak, my impression was that
6 the representatives of the Muslims were in favour of adopting that
8 Q. Tell me, do you have any knowledge regarding the following? Was
9 another municipality of Bosanski Samac established in the territory of the
10 pre-war municipality of Bosanski Samac? And if you know about this, what
11 is the name of this municipality?
12 A. I don't know the exact name but the Croats did establish some
13 municipality of their own, some municipality of Samac.
14 Q. Tell me, after this meeting ended, what kind of comments did the
15 participants in the meeting make? Could you describe the atmosphere to us
16 a bit, specifically were there any tensions, squabbles? Was there any
17 anger? Were people shouting? Can you describe this to us?
18 A. No. At the meeting, the representatives of the Croats vehemently
19 opposed that proposal, whereas after the meeting, there were normal
20 discussions, and we all went out for a drink together.
21 Q. Was Dr. Blagoje Simic present?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What kind of positions did he take? What did he have to say in
24 the discussion?
25 A. He was in a normal mood.
1 Q. Did he present any ultimatum?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did he threaten anybody?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did he blackmail anybody in any way? Did he blackmail the present
7 MR. RE: I object, Your Honour. This is just.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
9 MR. RE: I object to the leading, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic, you should rephrase your
11 questions. Avoid a leading question, which is suggestive of the answer.
12 MR. PANTELIC:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell me, in the period 1991 or
14 to be precise in the period from the summer of 1990 until April, 1992, did
15 you meet Dr. Blagoje Simic? Did you see him?
16 A. Yes. We did. We met. And we saw each other.
17 Q. On what basis?
18 A. Informally.
19 Q. Were these official contacts also?
20 A. Could you please repeat the period?
21 Q. It was from the summer of 1990, until April of 1992.
22 A. From 1990 until 1992, we had a lot of meetings, official meetings,
23 as presidents of political organisations, and together we participated in
24 the creation of a regional party organisation for Posavina, which included
25 several municipalities, Samac, Gradacac, and Orasje.
1 Q. Do you personally have any knowledge about an instruction or a
3 JUDGE LINDHOLM: [Previous translation continues] ... in the
4 transcript, page 63, line 6 -- let me see now. Your first question
5 concerned the period from 1991 to 1992, and then you said -- you extended
6 it on line 15 back to 1990, or which period do you intend to ask about?
7 From 1990 or from 1991?
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. That was my mistake in phrasing
9 the question. Actually, we are covering period from the mid-of 1990 until
10 the April of 1992.
11 Q. [Interpretation] So in that period, you had contacts. Could you
12 please tell me, do you have any personal knowledge? And now I'm talking
13 about the period from December, 1991, until April, 1992, about an
14 instruction or direction from the higher SDS authorities about -- to the
15 Crisis Staffs, about some kind of Variant A or Variant B? Do you know
16 anything about any such instruction?
17 A. I did not receive that, and I didn't hear anything about --
18 anything like that.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit P3, please?
20 Q. [Interpretation] In the meantime, could you please tell me, in the
21 contacts with Dr. Blagoje Simic, did he voice any discriminatory
22 intentions towards non-Serb citizens generally in the municipality of
23 Samac, in conversations with you, official and private ones?
24 MR. RE: Before the witness answers, again it's a leading
25 question. He's entitled to ask about Dr. Simic but not to put the words
1 in his mouth like that. There is only one answer that is going to come
2 from this.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic, can you rephrase your question?
4 MR. PANTELIC:
5 Q. [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Tanasic, I'm asking you what is
6 your personal knowledge in contacts with Dr. Blagoje Simic, about his
7 position or relationship towards other ethnic communities.
8 A. I personally, and also Dr. Blagoje Simic, were primarily of a
9 pro-Yugoslav stance, which meant total equality of all the peoples and
10 naturally no discrimination, either in our position or anything else. The
11 majority -- most of our activities in the Serbian Democratic Party were
12 oriented towards the preservation of that common state, and one of our
13 main activities was to organise the plebiscite in favour of remaining
14 within Yugoslavia.
15 Q. Could you please look at the document in front of you, look
16 through it, look at the heading, the title -- the date and the signature?
17 Did you ever see this document before?
18 A. No. I've never seen it before.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Take this exhibit, I've finished with it. Thank
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Tanasic, could you please tell me, was there
22 any -- if you know, of course -- any cooperation and coordination, were
23 there any plans, public or secret ones, between the SDS and the JNA in
24 that region, in the period of 1991 and 1992? Do you have any knowledge
25 about that, in view of the fact that you were an official of the SDS? Was
1 there any secret activity or any secret plans in this regard?
2 A. No. I am not aware of anything like that.
3 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge about whether Dr. Blagoje Simic
4 actively participated in the sending of some young men and volunteers from
5 the municipality of Samac for military training outside of the Samac
7 A. No. Dr. Blagoje Simic held the position even which was contrary
8 to the position of the army at that time. He was not in favour of that
10 Q. Were there any cases that people were sent for training outside of
11 the territory of the Samac municipality, and if so, did you know who
12 organised it and so on, and if you don't know, just say so.
13 A. Afterwards, when that one group arrived, then we found out that
14 this had taken place.
15 Q. Could you please tell me what you found out? Who was the main
16 person who organised the sending of these people away for training?
17 A. As far as what I heard, the person in charge was Stevan Todorovic.
18 Q. How would you describe the relations between the civilian
19 structures, the political structures, and the military bodies in the
20 period of April, 1992, until the end of 1993? What I'm interested in, if
21 you know, is for you to tell us who issued orders to whom, and how did all
22 of this function, if you know, could you please give us a description?
23 A. The army was above the civilian authorities and there was no
24 possibility of the civilian authorities issuing orders to the military.
25 Q. Could you please tell me, after the corridor was broken through in
1 the summer of 1992, which military formation had its area of
2 responsibility in the territory of the Samac, Odzak, and Pelagicevo
3 municipalities? So this was after the corridor was broken through.
4 A. As far as I can remember, it was the Krajina Corps.
5 Q. Could you please tell me, if you know, when the municipal assembly
6 of Samac started to function? When did the sessions begin? When did the
7 committees begin to work? And so on?
8 A. I'm not sure.
9 Q. So you don't know when this began, in what year?
10 A. I don't know but I think it was in 1993.
11 Q. Could you please tell us, you were the President of this municipal
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Once the witness says he doesn't know, he should not
14 be allowed to start speculating. Either he knows what happened or he
16 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, I absolutely follow this
17 principle but his answer was I'm not sure so that was the motive for me to
18 clarify that because if he said yes or no, that would be -- I don't know.
19 But I'm not sure. My guess was maybe he's not sure about the year or
20 dates. That's why I proceeded with this line of questioning. But this
21 fact is not in dispute so I think that it's not contentious. Thank you,
22 Your Honour.
23 Q. [Interpretation] What I wanted to ask you is that you at that time
24 were the President of the municipal board of the SDS. How long were you
25 in that post, until when?
1 A. Until the work of the party was banned.
2 Q. And after that, were you elected into any SDS bodies after May,
4 A. When the party work was reactivated, I was again the President of
5 the municipal board.
6 Q. Do you remember when that was?
7 A. I think this was in 1993.
8 Q. And until when were you president of the municipal board?
9 A. Until 1997.
10 Q. Could you please tell me briefly how would you describe, based on
11 your personal knowledge, Dr. Blagoje Simic as a person, based on your
12 contacts with him?
13 A. A moderate politician, a calm person, and probably because of his
14 profession, a humanist.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tanasic?
16 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour it's time for our break, I believe.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, and that's the end of examination-in-chief.
18 Cross-examination this afternoon will start. It will be one hour and then
19 re-examination. We will rise until 1430 hours.
20 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.01 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It's the Prosecution's cross-examination.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
24 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Tanasic, my name is David Re from the
25 Prosecution. I'm going to ask you some questions about the evidence you
1 gave a little earlier. Just before the lunch break, you described -- you
2 were asked to describe Dr. Blagoje Simic's character or his personality
3 and you described him as a moderate politician, a calm person, and
4 probably because of his profession, a humanist. You remember that?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. And also, you described him as a person who wasn't prone to
7 discrimination against other ethnicities. Correct?
8 A. Yes, correct.
9 Q. If the Crisis Staff or War Presidency, of which Dr. Simic had been
10 a part, had issued orders or participated in the detention of Croats and
11 Muslims, based solely upon their ethnicity, the isolation of Croat people,
12 based solely upon their ethnicity, the inhumane treatment of Muslims and
13 Croats in detention, solely upon their ethnicity, deported Croats and
14 Muslims from their homes, based solely upon their ethnicity, ordered or
15 participated in the forced labour at the front line of Muslims and Croats,
16 solely upon their ethnicity, and ordering or participating in the taking
17 of their homes and their property from them, if Dr. Simic and the Crisis
18 Staff of which he was part had ordered or participated in any of those
19 things, would you have to agree that they were discriminatory things and
20 you would have to alter your opinion of him, wouldn't you?
21 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. It's a pure speculation.
22 I mean he's calling for speculation. Maybe he can be more specific what
23 is the personal knowledge of this witness with regard to certain events or
24 certain decisions or orders or behaviour and then we could have a proper
25 examination. Otherwise, he's calling for, if the War Presidency or Crisis
1 Staff et cetera, et cetera. I mean --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, your objection is misconceived. Those
3 are the allegations of the Prosecution against Dr. Blagoje Simic so it's
4 proper to put them to the witness in cross-examination. Mr. Re, please
6 MR. RE:
7 Q. Do you understand my question, Mr. Tanasic?
8 A. No. There were too many words. I actually don't know what you
9 asked me. It was a much too long question.
10 Q. Your evidence was that Dr. Simic was a humanist, a person who
11 doesn't engage in discriminatory behaviour. That's your opinion of him,
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. That is based upon what you say you know about him, correct?
15 A. Yes, correct.
16 Q. Now, if he had participated in discriminatory behaviour during
17 1993 and -- sorry, 1992 and 1993, such as ordering the detention of
18 Muslims and Croats only because they were Muslims and Croats, you would
19 agree that that would be discriminatory, wouldn't you?
20 A. If he did participate, but I don't know what he was doing after
21 the war broke out.
22 Q. If he had done that, you would have to alter your opinion of him
23 as a nondiscriminatory humanist, wouldn't you?
24 A. Probably.
25 Q. In the period leading up to April the 17th, 1992, that is the
1 period, the months just before then, ethnic tensions were running fairly
2 high in Bosnia and in the municipality of Bosanski Samac, weren't they?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And the meeting which was -- I'm sorry, the division of Bosnia
5 Herzegovina on ethnic lines was a fairly emotional issue in early 1992,
6 wasn't it?
7 A. I didn't understand your question. What do you mean, ethnic or
9 Q. National and along the lines of Serb, Croat, or Muslim, the
10 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina into cantons or areas based upon ethnicity
11 was an emotional issue and one that was discussed, correct?
12 A. Before the war broke out, the discussions had been within the
13 efforts in trying to overcome the issue and to avoid the war. That was
14 what was being discussed.
15 Q. It was something that was very close to people's hearts and their
16 interests, wasn't it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Because it affected their lives, where they lived, their
19 prosperity and their right to a peaceful existence, correct?
20 A. Those issues were much more complicated.
21 Q. I'm just reducing them to their simplest here to save sometime.
22 That encapsulates I suggest the sorts of issues that people were concerned
23 about or the concerns people had. Would you agree with that?
24 A. I am not sure.
25 Q. Whether you're not sure or not, those things were all very
1 personal, emotional things to the members of the three communities,
3 A. Well, probably.
4 Q. When people discussed, members of the communities discussed the
5 issues, these sorts of issues, relating to cantonisation or the division
6 of Bosnia or remaining within Yugoslavia, people had fairly firm and
7 strong views on these things, didn't they?
8 A. Yes. It involved the right to self-determination, which should be
9 equally applicable on all peoples. We Serbs believed that if the other
10 people, peoples, were entitled to secession that equally we had the right
11 to remain within a federal state.
12 Q. When the communities or their representatives discussed these
13 issues at meetings, they did so forcefully in presenting their views with
14 some vigour, didn't they?
15 A. I wouldn't agree with vigour but I would say that they were
16 certainly very interested.
17 Q. It would be fair to say that the representatives of each of the
18 communities had their -- three communities, had their own views as to what
19 should happen in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in April, 1992?
20 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, while it's not strictly form of
21 objection but I think it would be fair for this witness if the question
22 was more specific or more specific, when, where, among which ethnic
23 groups, because otherwise it might be on the level of Bosnia on the level
24 of region on the level of municipality. Otherwise it's not so clear this
25 line of questions, what the position of -- and the line of questioning of
1 Prosecution is.
2 MR. RE: Well, my last question, Your Honour, was representatives
3 had their own views as to what should happen in Bosnia in April, 1992,
4 I'm obviously and I've said this before talking about the three
5 constituent nations.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes for the whole Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 MR. RE: That's right. It's a general question. I'm going to
8 make it more specific.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
10 MR. PANTELIC: [Microphone not activated]
11 JUDGE MUMBA: You can go ahead.
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. What I'm suggesting to you is the views of the people or the
14 representatives of the three communities were expressing were views they
15 held quite strongly and expressed quite strongly in discussions with other
16 representatives of other ethnic communities?
17 A. I can only speak of what I directly participated in. However, in
18 these negotiations in which I took part, all of these things were much at
19 a more normal level. I would even say quite polite. We, the Serbs, were
20 not deprived of our rights by the Croats or by the Muslims to have our own
21 views. Instead, there was an attempt to find a solution just to avoid a
22 war, and we did discuss some kind of division within that framework we
23 arrived at this plan on cantonisation.
24 Q. A meeting -- you gave evidence earlier about a meeting in the town
25 of Bosanski Samac in April, 1992 at which the representatives of the
1 political parties and others attended to discuss these issues, correct?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. The meeting was attended by representatives of the SDA, correct?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Sulejman Tihic was there as a representative of the SDA, wasn't
7 A. I think that's correct.
8 Q. As was Izet Izetbegovic?
9 A. I'm not sure. Probably he was.
10 Q. Mr. Pisarevic sitting over there was there as a representative of
11 the SDP?
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: At this moment I have to intervene. There was no
13 such information nor by any witness. Mr. Pisarevic definitely wasn't
15 MR. RE: My reading of the transcripts was that Mr. Tihic said
16 that he was there as a representative of the SDP. I can check that.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you can check.
18 MR. RE: If Your Honour will just give me a moment. The
19 transcript at page 1303 seems to indicate that Mr. Pisarevic was there
20 but --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you just read it out, which witness? Who is the
23 MR. RE: Mr. Tihic in examination by Mr. Di Fazio on the 14th of
24 September, 2001.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, there were a couple of meetings so I
1 believe there might be some confusion. There was another meeting held in
2 the municipality of -- actually it was, I don't know whether it was in
3 Spomen Dom or some other place where Mr. Pisarevic was present but
4 definitely not this. In local community now, Mr. Pisarevic is jogging my
6 MR. RE: It's not particularly important.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: That's what I was about to ask. Why don't you move
9 MR. RE: If I'm in error I withdraw any suggestion that
10 Mr. Pisarevic was there and I stand corrected.
11 Q. Mato Nusoic [phoen] was there as a representative of the HDZ,
12 that's the Croat community, correct?
13 A. I don't remember the name.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: The name of the gentleman is Mato Nuic.
15 MR. RE: I stand corrected I was taking it from the transcript.
16 Q. Colonel Djurdjevic of the JNA was there, correct?
17 A. I don't remember that.
18 Q. And Colonel Nikolic was also there, possibly representing the
20 A. At this meeting that I was referring to, he wasn't present.
21 Q. The meeting you were referring to, is that one that Dr. Simic
22 chaired himself?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. And was that the meeting at which he said, at the end, after the
25 discussion of the possible division into -- the division of the area into
1 Croat, Serb, and Muslim municipalities, you gave evidence of that before,
2 is this the meeting at the end of which Dr. Simic said you have by
3 Wednesday time to state your views whether in favour of this
4 division or not. If you do not accept these proposals the Serbs will know
5 what to undertake? Was that the meeting you attended?
6 A. I don't remember these words uttered by Dr. Blagoje Simic.
7 Q. When you say you don't remember, you have no positive memory of
8 him either saying it or not saying it? Is that the situation?
9 A. He didn't say that at the official meeting.
10 Q. If he said it would have been at a different meeting at which you
11 weren't present; is that correct?
12 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour, calling for speculation.
13 How this witness the suggestion to know on which meeting if any meeting
14 was and what was --
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
16 MR. RE: It's a fair objection.
17 Q. In did -- the period late -- sorry, late 1990 through to mid-1992,
18 you were I think you said the -- was it the local municipal SDS president?
19 A. Yes. That's correct.
20 Q. And you -- I think was your evidence that you weren't working full
21 time in a job but were did I voting a lot of your time to SDS political
23 A. You have encompassed a rather long period of time. Including the
24 time when I worked in the Napredak company and the working hours lasted
25 until 3.00 p.m. and of course over the weekends I also had time for my
1 party work. After the mobilisation, after I had been mobilised to
2 military units, which took place in December, 1991, I also was most often
3 free after 3.00 p.m. and over weekends, because that was sort of a peace
4 time military drill, exercise, sorry.
5 Q. The period you're speaking of was a period of intense political
6 activity in Bosnia-Herzegovina, wasn't it?
7 A. Yes, it was.
8 Q. And you were the -- were you the local may [Realtime transcript
9 read in error "mayor"] -- were you the main contact person for the SDS in
10 the Bosanski Samac or Gradacac area?
11 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, just intervention I do apologise to my
12 learned friend, it's page 77 line 1, it's a little bit not so clear in
13 this transcript, the words "were you the local mayor"? I do believe that
14 I didn't heard that in question of my learned friend.
15 MR. RE: Quite correct. I didn't say "mayor." I'll ask the
16 question again.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
18 MR. RE:
19 Q. Were you the main political contact person for the SDS in the
20 Gradacac area in that period?
21 A. Contacts with whom?
22 Q. Were you the -- were you the main SDS person in Gradacac at that
23 area -- in that period, as the president of the municipal board, branch of
24 the SDS?
25 A. Yes, I was.
1 Q. I just want to ask you about the structure of the SDS. The SDS
2 was organised into local -- on a local and a national level, wasn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And it had local branches with members attending meetings and
5 voting on motions and so on as with a normal political party?
6 A. Yes, basically.
7 Q. And is it true that you convened meetings at the SDS membership
8 and coordinated SDS party activities in the Gradacac area?
9 A. Yes. At the local level, yes.
10 Q. And as the local president, you were of course were in contact
11 with the national party, weren't you?
12 A. Well, the party functioned in a slightly different manner. In
13 addition to a local level, and the leadership at the level of the
14 republic, there existed also the main board at the level of the republic,
15 and this board was a sort of link between the local leadership and the
17 Q. And who were the members of the -- of that board, the republic
18 level board in that period, the end of 1990 to mid-1992?
19 A. At the republic level, Dr. Radovan Karadzic, Momcilo Krajisnik,
20 Biljana, Velibor Ostojic, and many others, I don't know exactly who.
21 Q. Biljana, was that Biljana Plavsic?
22 A. Yes, Biljana Plavsic. I forgot to mention Dr. Nikola Koljevic.
23 He was also in the leadership of the party.
24 Q. And it's correct to say that the two preeminent and controlling
25 figures in the SDS leadership at that time were Dr. Karadzic and
1 Mr. Krajisnik?
2 A. I remember that Dr. Biljana Plavsic was vice-president. So person
3 number 2.
4 Q. So you'd -- to Karadzic and Krajisnik you'd add Plavsic as the
5 preeminent and controlling figures in the SDS at that time, would you?
6 A. It's common knowledge. Dr. Karadzic was president and Mrs.
7 Plavsic was vice-president. I have nothing to add to that. That was how
8 it was.
9 Q. The SDS leadership, that is Karadzic, Krajisnik, and Plavsic,
10 issued orders and directives from above to the local SDS branches and
11 memberships such as yours, didn't they?
12 A. Well, you say issued directives. It seems to me as if that had
13 been a kind of military organisation. However, it was a political party
14 within which we had two-way and democratic communication.
15 Q. The leadership at the top level, that's Karadzic, Krajisnik, and
16 Plavsic were responsible for the setting of policy, the decisions --
17 decisions on deciding upon policy, within the SDS, weren't they?
18 A. I cannot agree with you. All the main political guidelines were
19 adopted by the main board of the Serb Democratic Party. And Dr. Karadzic,
20 as president, carried out these political decisions.
21 Q. And one of the -- I'm sorry, the -- I withdraw that. The
22 leadership was also responsible for setting the strategic objectives of
23 the SDS and the Serbian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina, weren't they?
24 A. Your questions somehow are very general, not to say imprecise.
25 Q. I'm talking about the general structure of the SDS in Bosnia at
1 the time, that is late 1990 to mid-1992, and I'm suggesting to you that
2 the leadership was responsible for making decisions on strategic
3 objectives of the SDS.
4 A. Yes, probably.
5 Q. As the local president of the SDS -- I'm sorry?
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
7 THE ACCUSED SIMIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours I beg your
8 pardon, my lawyer does not wish to react and this was not part of the
9 examination-in-chief. This witness cannot speak about this, nor does he
10 know about this. And I have very poor cooperation with my lawyer and I
11 don't know what to do.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: If you have any problems, those are matters for the
13 Registrar, but the intervention in court during the proceedings will be
14 done by your counsel. And there is nothing objectionable to the questions
15 being put by Mr. Re to the witness. So Mr. Re can continue.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. I was going to ask you as the local president of the SDS, you've
18 already agreed you were the contact point for communication with the board
19 of the party, you were also responsible, were you not, for implementing
20 party decisions within the area which you were the president, I'm sorry,
21 party policy in the area of which you were president, correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And at this time, when the Republika Srpska was being established
24 and new governmental organisations were being put in place, an army was
25 being formed, that's the VRS, it was very important for the local SDS to
1 have good lines of communication with the SDS leadership through the
2 board, correct?
3 A. At which time exactly?
4 Q. Still talking about the same time frame, which is when the
5 Republika Srpska was being formed, that's the end of -- I'm sorry, make
6 that the end of 1990 -- say, October 1991 through to mid-1992.
7 A. As far as I can remember, Republika Srpska was established on the
8 9th of January, 1992.
9 Q. My question to you was: At that period, when the Republika Srpska
10 was being established, new government organisations were being formed,
11 municipalities were being formed, the VRS was establishing itself as an
12 army with a separate name, it was important for the local SDS to have good
13 lines of communication with the national leadership, national board,
14 wasn't it?
15 A. First of all, the army was not established until May, 1992.
16 Before the army was established, the work of all political organisations
17 was banned in Republika Srpska, also in May.
18 Q. The leaders, Krajisnik, Plavsic, and Karadzic remained members of
19 the SDS at that time when you say political activity was banned, didn't
21 A. Well, I don't know about these matters.
22 Q. You remained a member of the SDS at the time when you say
23 political activity was banned, didn't you?
24 A. Yes. I remained a member, but the party was not operating.
25 Q. As far as you know, none of Krajisnik, Plavsic, or Karadzic
1 resigned their membership of the SDS in that period, did they?
2 A. As far as I know, they did not.
3 Q. And the lines of communication remained open between the local
4 SDS, that's the one where you were, and the national SDS, correct?
5 A. You mean while the conflict was breaking out?
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. No. There was no communication between the leadership and
8 politics, because communication, as far as I know, took place between the
9 leadership of Republika Srpska and the official authorities at local
10 level. The party was not the authorities. For example, we in Pelagicevo
11 establish the municipality of Pelagicevo for that reason, and it was in
12 charge of communicating with the state leadership. The official
13 representatives of government.
14 Q. And as far as you know, the official representatives of government
15 of both levels in that period communicated, didn't they?
16 A. Probably.
17 Q. The local level of government, the municipal assemblies, put into
18 place decisions or implemented decisions of the national assembly, didn't
20 A. You know, you are now putting a question to me in relation to
21 something that I did not participate in. At that time, after the conflict
22 broke out, I was a soldier, and I did not meddle in the functioning of
23 civilian authorities.
24 Q. The Crisis Staffs or War Presidencies were established on local
25 levels as a result of SDS party directives, weren't they?
1 A. I am not informed about that. Because this was probably done
2 after the conflict had broken out.
3 Q. So are you saying you're unable to answer any questions about the
4 political structure or situation after the conflict broke out?
5 A. Yes, because after the conflict broke out, I did not take part in
6 any of these contacts or in the work of the civilian authorities. I don't
7 know about that. Any answer I might give would be sheer guess work.
8 Q. The conflict broke out in April, 1992; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You of course were elected vice-president of the municipal
11 assembly in either February or March, 1992?
12 A. I was elected vice-president on the 29th of February, 1992.
13 Q. And you remained in that position until when?
14 A. In fact, I never exercised the powers of that office, because all
15 of this was merely declarative. That office did not carry any weight,
16 absolutely, because I did not even have a proper office. I did not
17 receive a salary. Absolutely. I don't know how to express myself
19 Q. That's not what I asked you. I asked you when you remained in
20 that position until, from the 29th of February 1992 until when were you
21 the vice-president of the municipal assembly, of the Serb assembly?
22 A. I repeat I was elected on the 29th of February and I remained in
23 that position until the war conflict broke out, and this position, this
24 office, just withered away on its own.
25 Q. So you're saying the position didn't exist; is that correct?
1 A. In fact, yes.
2 Q. I take it the same with the president of the Serb assembly, that
3 position didn't exist either?
4 A. On paper, that position did exist, but that was not exercised
6 Q. And what about the executive council? Is that another paper
7 fiction? The executive council of the municipality of -- the Bosnia --
8 sorry, the Serb municipality? Another paper fiction?
9 A. Yes. The one who was elected was only there on paper, and never
11 Q. The president of the executive council, again another fiction was
12 it, paper fiction?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The Crisis Staff, another fiction?
15 A. There was no Crisis Staff even on paper, because it was never
16 elected or established.
17 Q. War Presidency didn't exist either?
18 A. If you mean the working Presidency, the chair of the meeting, that
19 is a different thing. That did exist.
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a correction.
21 There has been a misunderstanding. The Prosecutor asked him about the War
22 Presidency and the witness received interpretation saying working
23 Presidency. And this confuses the witness, which is obvious from his last
24 answer. So could the Prosecutor please clarify this with the witness?
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I think the question can be repeated.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, also in addition maybe my learned
2 friend can be more precise, if he is speaking about Crisis Staff, to be
3 more precise and more specific.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
5 MR. PANTELIC: To which period he's referring because otherwise
6 it's too large, it may be in January of 1992 or December, 1991 or July,
7 1992, that's all.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 MR. RE: With respect to my learned friend the answer was quite
10 specific there was no Crisis Staff even on paper because it was never
11 elected or established. That covers every eventuality which Mr. Pantelic
12 has just raised. Never. You can't be more specific than that in an
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The answer of the witness is as you say,
15 Mr. Re. But the other matter pointed out by Mr. Krgovic.
16 MR. RE: If the Court pleases.
17 Q. Look, the War Presidency in Bosanski Samac, or Pelagicevo was that
18 another fiction, something that didn't exist? Not elected, not appointed?
19 Just on paper?
20 A. My role ended on the 28th of March, 1992, at that last session.
21 Everything that happened afterwards, or that happened in the territory of
22 the municipality of Samac, I don't know about that. I did not participate
23 in it and it is only natural that I can't give answers about this.
24 Whatever I would say would amount to hearsay.
25 Q. So you can't give the Tribunal, sorry, the Trial Chamber, any
1 evidence about anything that happened in Bosanski Samac politically from
2 the 28th of March, 1992, is that your evidence?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Re, I find this a little
5 confusing, simply because in the witness summary, we have been directed
6 that this witness will testify to the following facts, including the
7 creation of Crisis Staff and its activities, and the defendant Dr. Simic's
8 activities in capacity of president of the Crisis Staff. So I'm finding I
9 must say this all a little perplexing.
10 MR. RE: Presumably, Your Honour, the witness didn't prepare the
11 summary so I can't really ask him what's in the summary.
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I understand.
13 [Prosecution counsel confer]
14 MR. RE:
15 Q. You didn't take any notes -- I withdraw that. When -- the meeting
16 you attended of the Serb assembly, the first one, that's the 29th of
17 February, 1992, minutes were taken of that meeting, weren't they?
18 A. Well, probably so.
19 Q. And as far as you know, as the vice-president or perhaps the
20 non-existent vice-president of a non-existent assembly, decisions were
21 numbered when they were taken, weren't they?
22 A. As far as I remember, no.
23 Q. You didn't take notes yourself at any meetings you attended, did
24 you, decisions?
25 A. No. I didn't take any.
1 Q. So you're relying entirely upon your own memory 11 years after the
2 event when you say as far as you can recall, decisions weren't numbered;
3 is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And if decisions -- numbered decisions appeared in the Official
6 Gazette of the Samac municipality, published nine years ago, you'd agree
7 that they would be more accurate than your memory now, wouldn't you?
8 A. No. They could not be more accurate because I know full well what
9 had not been adopted.
10 Q. But of course, having no participation in politics, the assembly
11 or anything after the 28th of March, 1992, you can't give the Trial
12 Chamber any accurate evidence as to the accuracy of the gazette, for
13 anything that happened after that date, can you?
14 A. As for this Official Gazette, I can only testify about matters
15 that pertained to the 29th of February and the 28th of March. As for
16 later, nothing.
17 Q. But in doing so you're relying entirely upon your memory because
18 you had no notes of what happened at those meetings, correct?
19 A. There is no need for me to -- well, to explain this to you, I know
20 that no Crisis Staffs were established because there was no need for that,
21 and at that time, none of us were that smart that we could assume that a
22 war would break out until the very last day, we hoped that that would not
23 happen. So I know for sure that no Crisis Staffs were established.
24 MR. RE: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Re-examination?
1 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, before I start with my re-examination,
2 due to the fact that my client just raised, it's a very serious matter,
3 I'm fully surprised with this so I kindly ask for the adjournment and I
4 have to consult with my client because with this approach, I don't know in
5 which direction I have to -- maybe I can get additional instructions or to
6 clarify this with my client.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: You remember I did say these are matters for the
8 Registrar to deal with if there is any change of mind.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, but my duty, Your Honour, is even for short
10 period of time to see what's going on, maybe it's a matter of kind of
11 anxiety or some other personal problems or something deeper, because
12 that's for the first time at this hearing today I heard this approach.
13 It's fully surprising matter for me, Your Honour. So I really am in an
14 embarrassing situation.
15 MR. RE: Your Honours, the Prosecution would not object to my
16 learned friend having an adjournment for purposes of a conference with
17 his client to clarify any matters before re-examination. It's in fairness
18 for a fair trial.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 MR. PANTELIC: And if I may add, Your Honour, if it's appropriate
21 for this Trial Chamber, maybe we could adjourn, I cannot be limited for
22 minutes or period. I don't know how much time I would need to confer.
23 Maybe it's wise to adjourn for today because it's really serious matter.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Pantelic, you just discuss with your
25 client. The Trial Chamber will give you ten minutes to deal with that
1 because there is no reason at all that the Trial Chamber has to --
2 MR. PANTELIC: I am also aware about the basis so I will try to
3 find out.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: We will rise for ten minutes, we shall continue at
6 --- Break taken at 3.25 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 3.37 p.m.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please, re-examination?
9 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, after the short meeting with my
10 client, he informed me that he doesn't have a confidence in my work that I
11 am not acting in his interest. He mentioned something that he doesn't
12 know for which service or which department within this Tribunal and
13 outside I am working. It was very heavy discussion. He's very upset and
14 he's very nervous, a lot of -- I would say, heavy issues and things he
15 raised and put on my account. So I really don't think that I should
16 proceed today with the remaining of the re-examination. Maybe in the
17 interests of my client and following the standards here within the
18 Tribunal, maybe we could have an additional time for conferring or maybe
19 my client can raise that issue with the Registrar and try to find out what
20 shall we do at this particular stage of proceedings, or maybe if you need
21 some more details, maybe he can address the Trial Chamber or he can
22 proceed on the other way, because otherwise, I really don't see any
23 possibility, speaking for today, to finish and to act in accordance with
24 my duties.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Where is Mr. Vukovic?
2 MR. PANTELIC: He's apparently not in The Hague due to the
3 problems with the -- with visa proceedings. The registry is taking care
4 about that, I believe, sometimes in the beginning of next week, he should
5 be here.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. We will adjourn until tomorrow. In the
7 meantime, the Trial Chamber is requesting the Office of the Registrar to
8 deal with the matter and give the Trial Chamber a report before the end of
9 the sitting hours today.
10 The Trial Chamber would like to tell the accused person that the
11 Registrar has got the rules by which these matters are handled, and unless
12 the Registrar is satisfied that there is a good reason to change counsel
13 or to appoint somebody else to replace Mr. Pantelic, that would depend on
14 what the accused -- what reasons the accused gives the Office of the
15 Registrar so this is a very serious matter and it has to be dealt with
16 promptly. We will adjourn and continue our proceedings tomorrow.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
18 3.42 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
19 the 10th day of January, 2003, at 9:30 a.m.