1 Wednesday, 15 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution is still cross-examining.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 WITNESS: VESELIN BLAGOJEVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio: [Continued]
14 Q. Mr. Blagojevic, I'll be mercifully brief this afternoon, so you
15 won't be kept for too much longer. I just need to clarify a matter that
16 arises from yesterday's transcript. An answer that you gave was
17 inaudible, and I'd just like it to be made clear for the purposes of the
18 transcript. You recall yesterday I was asking you about the possibility
19 of Croats or Muslims who were intending to leave simply coming to you, or
20 the department of housing, and informing you or the department of housing
21 that they were going to leave, and so the process of recording their
22 property and furniture could take place or could occur in a fairly calm
23 and unhurried and indeed more thorough way. And you answered that
24 question, and I think it was with the answer yes, but in the transcript
25 it's inaudible. So I put the question to you again. Would that have been
1 sensible and possible? Could Croats and Muslims have come to you and
2 said, "We're going do leave. Let's get the inventory of furniture and so
3 on done now, rather than leaving it to chance"?
4 A. Yes, they would come, but it was quite rarely. Much more
5 frequently they would leave the keys to their property with their
6 relations or with their friends.
7 Q. Do you find that puzzling, given that you have said that the
8 population knew that there was this process of acquiring abandoned houses
9 for the use of refugees? Do you find it strange that people didn't come
10 to you, given that that was widespread knowledge, and endeavour to do it
11 in a more -- in this more calm and unhurried way? It would make sense,
12 after all, wouldn't it, for someone who is going to leave to come to you
13 and say, "Look, I'm going to abandon my property. Please make sure that
14 it's all accorded properly and done according to the systems that you have
15 spoken of"?
16 A. I don't know why people didn't come, but they had occasion to
17 come. They had the opportunity to come.
18 Q. Very well. Yesterday afternoon you also testified that
19 occasionally you held lists of exchanges, people who had been exchanged,
20 in your hands, and you said that you occasionally had these lists. And
21 I was then asking you about the practicality of using the exchange lists
22 to find out who -- to find out where abandoned houses might be located.
23 My question is: How did you get hold of these lists?
24 A. I believe that I got them from the Red Cross.
25 Q. Did Mr. Tadic facilitate the provision of these lists to you?
1 A. I don't think I got the lists from Mr. Tadic.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for one
3 moment, please?
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 MR. DI FAZIO:
7 Q. Mr. Tadic was involved in the Red Cross in Bosanski Samac, he was
8 working with them, was he not?
9 A. I'm not quite sure of that.
10 Q. And did you go to the Red Cross and get a hold of the lists
11 precisely so that you could find out who had been exchanged and whose
12 homes would be empty?
13 A. I would occasionally receive these lists, but these lists were not
14 suitable for our use -- to be used for our purposes, because we did not
15 know exactly whether the complete family had been exchanged or just
16 members of the family in question.
17 Q. Yes, but --
18 JUDGE LINDHOLM: [Microphone not activated] Okay. Okay. It's on
19 page 2, line 23. Answer: "I believe that I got them from the Red Cross."
20 That's a very, so to say, "I believe." Did he get them or did he not get
22 MR. DI FAZIO: I was going to go into that topic right now, if
23 Your Honour pleases. Perhaps if you allow me to deal with that topic and
24 then if anything arises from that, perhaps --
25 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Well, first of all, the way your answer came across, "I believe I
3 got them from the Red Cross" imports a degree of uncertainty. Simple
4 question: Did you or did you not get exchange lists from the Red Cross?
5 That's the first thing I want to know.
6 A. From this time distance, I cannot exactly recall from whom I got
7 these lists.
8 Q. All right. You may not know from whom personally you got the
9 lists, but did you get the lists from someone, whoever it may be, in the
10 Red Cross?
11 A. I suppose yes, this is what I said.
12 Q. And what was your purpose in obtaining these lists? For what
13 reason did you get them?
14 A. We used these lists as auxiliary material for the purpose of
15 allocating our living space to refugees.
16 Q. Thank you. That was one method for ascertaining, finding out
17 about abandoned homes, wasn't it, but there were other methods that you
18 used; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. I'm sorry. Just the way the answer was translated, it's not
21 entirely clear to me. You agree that you used other methods for
22 discovering, finding, abandoned homes?
23 A. Yes, that is so.
24 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me, Mr. Prosecutor. Isn't that question
25 answered already by information from the neighbours and other sources? Is
1 it necessary to ask the same questions once again?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, if I'm repeating myself, it certainly is not
3 necessary, and I apologise if I am repeating myself. But I just wanted to
4 make sure that we knew every single method that abandoned homes were found
5 for refugees. That's all I wanted to clarify. And I can be very brief
6 with it, with this issue, if I can just pursue it briefly, Your Honour.
7 Q. Just wrap this topic up for us, if you can, Witness. The methods
8 of discovering abandoned homes, were they the exchange lists, reports from
9 neighbours, anything else that you can think of?
10 A. Yes. Also our inspection of the situation in situ, which I also
11 referred to yesterday, was another source.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you.
13 During the course of yesterday's evidence, Judge Williams asked
14 you about abandoned property, and you were asked if you had to be shown
15 some type of intention or some sort of intention not to return after 30
16 days, and you said that you had no information about that. Wouldn't the
17 intention to return be absolutely crucial to determining whether or not a
18 house had been abandoned that is, to ascertain whether it's truly been
20 A. The 30-day period was the period that we respected according to
21 the decree.
22 Q. Yes. I know about that. I've seen that in the decree, and I
23 understand that's the definition of abandoned. The problem is, how do you
24 know when 30 days have elapsed? You might go to a house, find it empty.
25 Did you then wait 30 days from that point or did you declare it to be
1 abandoned there and then?
2 A. What we did was taking account or rather bearing in mind the
3 information that we had collected on abandoned property on the basis of
4 reports from the neighbours, on the basis of data collected by our own
5 inspection on the spot, we could conclude what property had indeed been
6 abandoned. But in the case that the owners or the possessors of the
7 property in question returned, after the 30 days had elapsed, we would
8 return such property and such housing and living space to their original
9 owners and accommodate the refugees in question elsewhere.
10 Q. During the time that you were working in Bosanski Samac after
11 September, did you ever see bus loads of Muslims and Croats being driven
12 out of town on their way to exchanges in other parts of the country?
13 A. No, I did not.
14 Q. Were you aware that such a phenomenon was taking place?
15 A. Yes, I was.
16 Q. That would have been an ideal place to go to, wouldn't it, and ask
17 the people on the buses: "What are your plans? Do you intend to return
18 in the next 30 days or in the next two months, next six months," whatever?
19 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, Your Honour. This is a really
20 a very speculative question, so it's -- maybe my learned friend can be
21 more precise with regard to the personal knowledge of this witness and his
22 action, possible actions with regard to the issue.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm not asking --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: No. The question is all right. The witness can
25 answer. There's nothing calling for speculation.
1 MR. DI FAZIO:
2 Q. My question simply is: Going to the people on the buses as
3 they're about to be bussed out on their way to these exchange points, that
4 would have been an ideal method for ascertaining what their intentions
5 were regarding abandonment of their homes?
6 A. It might have been an ideal method, but not one that I applied.
7 Q. Okay. And my last question -- sorry?
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Could we find out why you didn't? Why was that
9 not a method that you applied, being that you said you knew that the
10 exchanges were taking place, and so on and so forth?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The decree on accommodation made no
12 provision whatsoever, nor gave us any instructions to that effect, and
13 simply we did not apply such a method. In view of the fact that the
14 ongoing war operations were such that we had to work around the clock,
15 literally, in order to accommodate the needy people or to repair the
16 facilities for that purpose, and we did not avail ourselves, nor had the
17 time to employ any other methods of data collection. Ours was a very busy
18 service, and we worked very hard, and sometimes we did not even have
19 enough paper and office supplies, nor did we have the necessary
20 photocopiers or electricity in order to properly work, so that we actually
21 operated under very difficult and special, extraordinary circumstances,
22 addressing these very difficult matters. What I do know is that we did
23 our work very professionally and very correctly, and how else can we
24 explain that in our police and the army there were Muslims and Croats,
25 that in the business sector, in the health sector, there were also experts
1 of that ethnicity who remained in the territory of Samac municipality
2 throughout the war.
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Just one small follow-up question. If I
4 understand you, therefore, correctly, you only followed the decree and the
5 instructions in the decree. Is that correct?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you. And last question: Could you remind
8 me -- you may be mentioned this yesterday, but I don't have the transcript
9 in front of me. Did the decree authorise you to go and talk to the
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
13 MR. DI FAZIO:
14 Q. The answer that you gave to Her Honour's first question puzzles
15 me. You say that the decree on accommodation made no provision
16 whatsoever, but the decree specifically and repeatedly talks about
17 abandonment, the idea or notion of abandonment. When you're talking about
18 people's homes, it's really important, isn't it, to make sure that you've
19 got guidelines or rules or regulations, to make absolutely sure they've
20 abandoned their home? Wouldn't you agree with that?
21 A. I did not fully understand your question, but I agree with the
22 last part of your question.
23 Q. And you then gave a lengthy -- the second part of your answer was
24 lengthy and dealt with the difficult wartime conditions. I accept
25 entirely what you say, that there were wartime conditions and things were
1 very difficult for everyone. However, I fail to see the difficulty
2 involved in simply asking people on the bus what their plans were, and
3 indeed if you weren't going to do it at that point, perhaps you could have
4 gone to Mr. Tadic and asked him to get a statement or a little document,
5 or at least an interview, a simple question, anything at all to ascertain
6 what the intentions of these people were regarding abandonment. In other
7 words, given the hard conditions, the hard wartime conditions, something
8 could have been done, couldn't it?
9 A. Yes, perhaps something could have been done.
10 Q. Thank you. Yesterday Judge Lindholm asked you a question
11 regarding why there were abandoned houses and apartments, and you gave an
12 answer, in which you said that many people had a chance to leave the town
13 and the municipality, and you said it wasn't just Croats and Muslims, but
14 it was also Serbs. Do you remember giving that evidence?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Do you recall seeing or hearing of any Serbs leaving the town
17 through the exchange process and put on a bus with their suitcase and
18 taken off to an exchange point somewhere?
19 A. I have no knowledge of Serbs having been exchanged. However,
20 neither did Croats or Muslims go there through such exchanges. Mostly
21 this took place via Yugoslavia, as far as I know.
22 Q. There's been in this case, Mr. Blagojevic, uncontradicted
23 evidence, a large body of uncontradicted evidence, that large numbers of
24 Muslims and Croats left the municipality and the town of Bosanski Samac
25 via the system of exchanges, which manifested itself by being placed on
1 buses and taken off to various exchange points, sometimes in Bosnia and
2 sometimes in Croatia. Are you aware of that phenomenon?
3 A. In Samac municipality, the Muslims lived just in town, and I
4 believe that I've already said that I knew that exchanges were taking
6 Q. Right. Okay. My question is very simple: Did you hear of or
7 ever see Serbs leaving the municipality of Bosanski Samac or the town of
8 Bosanski Samac via this same system of exchanges: Being exchanged and put
9 on a bus and taken off to the exchange point?
10 A. No, Serbs were not exchanged in that way.
11 Q. All right. Let me turn to just one -- to another topic. You gave
12 some evidence yesterday of -- towards the end of your evidence of contact
13 that you had with Dr. Blagoje Simic, and as I read your evidence, you seem
14 to be saying that you had a number of business meetings with Mr. Blagoje
15 Simic. That's correct, is it not?
16 A. Yes, business meetings, to do with the work of the secretariat.
17 Q. Right. And was this not only taking place after the beginning of
18 1993, when the Municipal Assembly was up and running, but also before
19 that, that is, between September and early 1993, when the War Presidency
20 was in existence? Did you have meetings when the War Presidency was
22 A. Yes, I had meetings before the assembly started working.
23 Q. So you had a chance to see who was on the War Presidency?
24 A. I think that the War Presidency did not meet in full composition
25 at all times, and I know that President Blagoje was a member of the War
2 Q. Yes. Yes. Okay. Let me put some other names to you and see if
3 you can tell us if they're on the War Presidency. What about Mr. Bozo
4 Ninkovic? Was he on the War Presidency?
5 A. I don't think he was, no. I think that he attended the meetings
6 of the War Presidency from time to time by virtue of office, because he
7 was in fact the secretary of the department of the Ministry of Defence at
8 republican level, and so by virtue of office, he attended the meetings.
9 That's my opinion, anyway.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for one
12 minute, please?
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
14 [Prosecution counsel confer]
15 MR. DI FAZIO:
16 Q. What about Mr. Simeon Simic and Mr. Mirko Lukic? Were they on War
18 A. I assume that Mr. Simeon Simic was, as for Mirko Lukic, I really
19 don't know, because when I arrived in the municipality, he was the deputy
20 president of the Executive Board, and by virtue of office, I don't think
21 that meant that he was a member of the War Presidency. He didn't
22 automatically belong there.
23 Q. What about Milan Simic and Stevan Todorovic? Were they on the War
25 A. I assume Milan Simic was, yes. As for Mr. Todorovic, following on
1 the same logics as Mr. Bozo Ninkovic, I would assume that -- and he was
2 the chief of the public security station, so it was a republican organ and
3 not a municipal organ. So he was head of a republican organ and not a
4 municipal body.
5 Q. I see. So that's one of the tests for determining whether someone
6 was on the War Presidency, namely, whether their job was in a republican
7 organ or whether it was in a municipal organ; is that what you're saying?
8 A. That's my opinion. That's what I think, anyway.
9 Q. Thank you. You also described briefly yesterday Zasavica, and in
10 your evidence you said that the people in Zasavica were happy. You said
11 that it was a nice, wealthy village, and you said that it was a nice,
12 pleasant place in which to live. Are you talking about after September of
13 1992, when you took up your duties?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And presumably you can speak from first-hand knowledge because you
16 presumably went along to Zasavica and were able to see what the situation
17 was, particularly as Serbs from a village -- I won't venture to pronounce
18 it. I'm sorry. I can't recall it. Something like Gasovici [phoen].
19 Particularly because Serbs being housed there. That's your evidence, is
20 it not?
21 A. In Zasavica there were also Serbs who had been put up there, yes,
22 accommodated in Zasavica, but they came from the village of Gostovic. I
23 think that's what I was talking about.
24 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for clarifying that.
25 A. The environs of Zasavica.
1 Q. Yes. Thank you for clarifying that. But what I'm primarily
2 interested in is this: Your description of Zasavica as a place where the
3 people were happy, a nice, wealthy village and a nice, pleasant place to
4 live, that's based on first-hand experience; you went there and you saw
5 the place, I take it.
6 A. Yes.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Excuse me. Would Your Honours just bear with me
8 again for one moment?
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
11 Q. Do you know Mr. Bozo Ninkovic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. He gave evidence in this case, and he described Zasavica, and he
14 said that it --
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I have no problem with this, but
16 there was a principle here not to put testimony of one witness to another.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: I can approach it differently. I won't put the
18 direct testimony, if you wish, but I want to put the concept, the idea of
19 what the witness said. I'm quite happy to do that.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think we've been going by that rule, don't
21 confront witnesses --
22 MR. DI FAZIO: With direct testimony.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Except for the accused.
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Very well.
25 Q. Well, let me put it to you this way: Did you ever see anything in
1 Zasavica that tended to indicate to you that people had been isolated
2 there, separated from the rest of the population, guards, confinement to
3 the village and by that - I'll be clear - of the non-Serb population?
4 A. In the village of Zasavica, I did visit the village, yes, and at
5 the entrance to the village, there was the police there. The police did
6 not have the task of prohibiting anybody from leaving, either Serbs or
7 Croats. What those people were doing there, what their job was, was to
8 ensure that unauthorised people, somebody who would, for example, take
9 Croatian property, movable property, and take it off, to see that that
10 didn't happen. So this was a sort of safety barrier. And I mentioned one
11 man, a man named Ivica, and I cooperated with him extremely well. I think
12 his surname was Pandurevic.
13 Q. Yes. But you understood the police at the entrance to the village
14 to be protecting the Croats, protecting them, and the Serbs, presumably,
15 and protecting Croat and Serbian property, and that's all that they were
16 doing; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you very much, Mr. Blagojevic. I have no
20 other questions.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination, Mr. Pantelic?
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I should just like to ask the Trial
25 Chamber for an interpretation before I go and cross-examine. I'm
1 interested in hearing your position. When one Defence team did not ask a
2 single question in the examination-in-chief and through the
3 cross-examination, subjects crop up which are essential for that Defence
4 team. May that Defence team go back and ask certain questions in the
5 re-examination that it did not ask? We haven't had a situation of that
6 kind arise so far, so perhaps the Trial Chamber could give me guidance and
7 the Defence team for Mr. Miroslav Tadic might like to ask a few questions
8 about what we've just heard. But I'd like to hear the position of the
9 Trial Chamber in this regard.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber will allow the other parties
12 to ask questions of the witness, but they must do it before the
14 Mr. Pantelic, you first wait, because you are re-examining, so you
15 will do it last.
16 Re-examined by Mr. Krgovic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Blagojevic.
18 A. Good afternoon to you too.
19 Q. My name is Dragan Krgovic. I'm one of the Defence attorneys for
20 Mr. Miroslav Tadic, and I shall be asking you a few questions connected to
21 the questions asked by the Prosecutor, that is to say, they have to do
22 with the actions and conduct of Mr. Miroslav Tadic.
23 The Prosecutor asked you the following: Do you know that -- or
24 did you know that the Croats and Muslims left in buses, left Samac in
25 buses and went to other areas of Bosnia and also to Croatia? And your
1 answer was affirmative. You said you did know about that.
2 A. Yes, I did. That's right.
3 Q. Tell me now, please: Were there any Serbs in this procedure, any
4 Serbs that expressed the desire, if you yourself know about this, to go to
5 enemy territory, that is to say, territory under the control of Muslims
6 and Croats?
7 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, unless my recollection
8 serves me wrongly, I asked that indeed twice, and the answer unequivocal:
9 No. What's there to clarify? He was quite clear about that, and I
10 belaboured the topic a bit.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Krgovic.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] My line of question, Your Honour, is
13 just where the Serbs went, to which territories, and whether there were
14 any instances, any cases of the Serbs being exchanged, or rather the Serbs
15 wishing to be exchanged. My question is, in fact: Did they wish to be
16 exchanged and go to other territories?
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well. I'll withdraw my objection if the
18 question is framed in that manner, if they expressed a wish to be
19 exchanged. We know that none were exchanged, because the witness has made
20 that clear. But now we have to find out if they wanted to be exchanged,
21 and to that I have no objection.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Do you happen to know if any Serbs wished to go to territories
25 under the control of the Muslims and Croats, for example, bearing in mind
1 the fact that there was a war on between the Serbs, on one side, and the
2 Muslims on the other?
3 A. Well, I don't think that there were any Serbs who expressed the
4 wish to be exchanged and go to territory under the control of Croats and
5 Muslims, completely under their control. Quite the contrary; a large
6 number of people came in on exchange basis from the territories that were
7 under the control of the Croats and Serbs. So a large number of Serbs
8 came in from those territories.
9 Q. Do you happen to know whether any evacuations of Serbs in buses
10 was organised from Bosanski Samac, and also other ethnic groups, taking
11 them in the direction of Serbia?
12 A. At the very beginning of the war, there were several buses,
13 several bus loads of people that left in the direction of Bijeljina and
14 further on into Serbia and there were Serbs in the buses, as well as
15 Croats and Muslims.
16 Q. As your -- well, that completes my examination. Thank you, Your
17 Honours. I have no further questions?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: The other team? No. Mr. Pantelic, re-examination?
19 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Blagojevic.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. Yesterday you were asked by the Prosecutor about something,
24 although it is outside the frameworks of the indictment in terms of time,
25 but he asked you something with respect to your membership, your later
1 membership in the SDS party, and you gave him your answer, and that isn't
2 being challenged at all. But in that regard, I should like to say that he
3 also asked you whether or not the SDS party in 1992 or 1993 had any
4 results and that that's why you joined the party later on. Now, do you
5 happen to know whether political parties were banned from working in 1992
6 and 1993?
7 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, none of this arises from my
9 JUDGE MUMBA: The membership --
10 MR. DI FAZIO: The membership it, the membership did, the
11 membership did. That's clear, and I've got no problem with that if he
12 wants to ask questions regarding membership but you also recall the
13 witness said he had an opportunity to see the policies of the SDS at work
14 for the preceding two years and he was content with that and accepted --
15 and that was one of the reasons why he joined the SDS.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: The question of political parties being banned
17 didn't arise.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: That didn't arise, so I don't see how that --
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: How that arises, unless that's got something to do
21 with his joining the SDS. But I can't see what the connection is.
22 MR. PANTELIC: I will clarify that. We should not waste the
23 time. Your Honour, yesterday the question of my learned friend from
24 Prosecution was the following: And by that time you had seen its
25 policies, related to SDS, its policies, at work in Bosanski Samac for a
1 period of almost two years or thereabouts; would that be right? And the
2 answer was "yes." So it's very much related to the question raised by
3 the Prosecution, and I'm going to explore that issue. That was his
4 question. That was the Prosecution's question. It was just at the
5 beginning of yesterday's cross-examination.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Except that it's not clear what the work was. You
7 can go ahead, Mr. Pantelic.
8 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. So what I'm asking you, Mr. Blagojevic, is this, because you gave
10 an affirmative answer to the question posed to you by the Prosecutor, and
11 I quoted the question that was asked yesterday, I'm asking you now: Do
12 you know, can you tell us something about whether the party functioned in
13 1992 and 1993 or not?
14 A. Well, I can't say anything about the ban and how long the ban was
15 in force for, but when I became a member and when -- at that time
16 political activities were allowed, and there were other parties which set
17 up their municipal boards as well, and they dealt with political issues
18 and politics in general.
19 Q. We're talking about 1992 and 1993. Do you know that the work of
20 the SDS party was frozen at the time?
21 A. Well, for a certain period of time their work was frozen, yes, put
22 on ice.
23 Q. Well, the next question that the Prosecutor asked you was -- had
24 to do with form, and it was linked to the so-called paramilitary units.
25 As you are a well-educated man and you were a reserve officer as well,
1 tell us, please, which of these two concepts is more acceptable and
2 corresponds to the situation in the Samac territory better within the
3 frameworks of military structures and formations, which notion, the notion
4 of paramilitary units or volunteer units? Answer me that, please.
5 A. For the conditions that prevailed in our region, I would say that
6 the concept of volunteers, volunteer units, is a more acceptable term and
8 Q. The next question that the Prosecutor asked you had to do with the
9 renaming of the 17th Tactical Group, which came to be known as the 2nd
10 Bosnian Brigade, Posavina Brigade, sorry. Do you happen to know when the
11 members of the JNA, the JNA units, when they left the Samac region, or
12 rather, Bosnia-Herzegovina?
13 A. I think that it was sometime in March -- May 1992. May 1992,
14 according to a decision taken by the army of Yugoslavia and the condition
15 was -- or rather, what led to this decision was a resolution on the part
16 of the United Nations or something similar.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, just a moment. I have --
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, thank you. Everything is correct in the
20 transcript. My friend just made a notification.
21 Q. [Interpretation] My next question has to do with that. Did any of
22 the JNA officers from the 17th Tactical Group stay on, remain, being a
23 native of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Did he remain in the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
24 A. After the JNA left Samac, left the Samac municipality, no
25 officers, no JNA officers who were not originally from Samac, remained.
1 Q. My next question: What were the origins of the soldiers that made
2 up the 2nd Posavina Brigade after that brigade was set up? Where did
3 these soldiers come from? Where did the men come from?
4 A. The men came from Samac and the surrounding villages. They were
5 natives of that area, from Pelagicevo and the surrounding villages.
6 Q. The next question that the Prosecutor asked you was this, probably
7 not intentionally, but it's up to us to clarify the point, and it has to
8 do with the decision of the War Presidency about disposing with abandoned
9 property. And in his questions, he asked you, quite directly, whether the
10 decision was made by Blagoje Simic, and you answered in the affirmative.
11 Now I'm asking you this: Did Blagoje Simic make the decision personally
12 or was the decision made by an institution of some kind, and if so, tell
13 me which.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, unless I've forgotten the
15 evidence, my memory is that I put to the witness that his appointment was
16 made by Blagoje Simic because you've got Blagoje Simic's signature on the
17 document. That's what I was -- that's what I think I put to the witness.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yell.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: And if Mr. Pantelic wants to ask something about
20 that, I've got no objection, but it was his appointment, not disposal
21 of -- sorry, not abandoned property that ...
22 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. Maybe it's my mistake. I will
23 rephrase the question.
24 Q. [Interpretation] It was a question of your appointment. Did he do
25 so personally, on the basis of friendship or anything like that, Blagoje
1 Simic, as a personage, did he appoint you or did your appointment come
2 from some institution? What I'm asking you is: Who actually appointed
4 A. The signature on the appointment document is Blagoje Simic's, but
5 above that it says "The president of the War Presidency," or something to
6 that effect. So therefore, it is an institution, in actual fact.
7 Q. Did -- was Blagoje Simic in person in that institution? Did he
8 constitute the institution was or it an institution with collective
10 A. Well, it was a body, a collective body.
11 Q. Yesterday the Prosecutor went on to ask you this, and the question
12 was -- had several parts to it. Your answer was yes, so this left some
13 things unclear. What he asked you was this: "Is your evidence [In
14 English] that a number of houses used for the accommodating refugees had
15 been emptied as a result of the exchange process and detention process?"
16 [Interpretation] And your answer was: "Yes, it is." So as you
17 have already testified, and as you answered a previous question by the
18 Prosecutor to the effect that you knew about exchanges but then you said
19 that you did not know whether the abandoned property belonged to persons
20 who were detainees, and this question incorporates both parts, I have to
21 clear that point up with you. So what I'm asking you now is this: Were
22 there instances in which you, as the secretariat for housing affairs,
23 disposed of the apartments and homes of people who had been detained while
24 they were in detention? So give us a brief answer to that first, please.
25 A. No, we did not dispose of the property of persons who were in
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Is the word -- I'm not trying to stop my friend
3 from re-examining on this, but is the word "dispose" being used in the
4 sense of making use of abandoned premises? Is that what Mr. Pantelic is
6 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, that's correct.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
8 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You also mentioned yesterday in your answers the town of Zenica,
10 and you mentioned a female colleague of yours with whom you exchanged
11 experiences about the situation of abandoned property over there. I don't
12 think that is challenged, but just tell us for purposes of the record
13 where Zenica is located and who Zenica belongs to.
14 A. Zenica is in the central part of Bosnia and belongs to the Muslim
15 and Croatian Federation.
16 Q. In your responses to questions from the Prosecutor with respect to
17 the lists of people going for the exchanges, I would like to ask you
18 whether you know whether those lists were in the Executive Board. Did you
19 receive information of that kind from the Executive Board as to the
20 persons to be exchanged, the lists of persons to be exchanged?
21 A. I don't think I got them from the Executive Board.
22 Q. A moment ago, asked by my learned colleague, you said that there
23 were Serbs and other ethnic groups who left Samac. I would like to ask
24 you the following: Are you aware of the fact -- do you know about the
25 period from May to June, that Serbs, Muslims, and Croats left Samac and
1 started off towards Yugoslavia, towards Belgrade, in fact, in buses? Do
2 you know of that particular case?
3 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, I object to that question.
4 It's leading in the extreme, and Mr. Pantelic is cross-examining his
5 own -- well, yes, in effect, cross-examining his own witness. The answer
6 has been fairly squarely placed in the witness's mouth. Do you know from
7 May to June that Serbs, Muslims and Croats left Samac? Now, the witness
8 did say at the beginning of the outbreak of hostilities, at the beginning
9 of outbreak of hostilities, Serbs, Muslims and Croats left. Yes, he did
10 say that. And I've got no problem with Mr. Pantelic clarifying what the
11 witness means when he said that. That's the proper scope of
12 re-examination. But Mr. Pantelic isn't doing that. He's giving the
13 answer to the witness. He's telling him, and that is what I object to.
14 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise. It's absolutely founded objection.
15 Because I was relating to the previous answer that his personal knowledge
16 was that at the beginning of the --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Of the hostilities.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Conflict all three ethnicities left Samac. So that
19 was the reason for me to clarify. Anyhow, I will rephrase the question.
20 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Blagojevic, will you tell me, please, in
21 connection with your previous answer, tell me: How did you come to learn
22 that all three ethnic groups were leaving Samac when the war started?
23 What is the source of your knowledge? And also tell us if you know where
24 they were going.
25 A. I know that on the basis of conversations I had with friends whose
1 family members or friends or relatives left to go to Yugoslavia, and those
2 people were in touch with people in Yugoslavia. They stayed with them,
3 they lived with them. So over a certain period of time, it was easy to
4 learn where people were.
5 Q. And through those conversations, did you have occasion to learn
6 what the motives of those people belonging to that ethnic group was to
7 leave the territory of Samac?
8 A. The reason was the difficult situation and the war, which affected
9 everyone equally.
10 Q. And my last question in this re-examination is the following: If
11 you know, please tell us how Serb refugees arrived in Samac, using which
12 means of transport or what kind of procedure, as you had contact with a
13 certain number of refugees? Of course, if you know.
14 A. The Serbs came to Samac in various ways. The vast majority of
15 them came having been expelled, and these were mostly inhabitants of
16 entire villages. I mentioned the village of Cernica, the village of
17 Gostovic, Ljeskovica, Bistrovica, Zavidovici. They also came through the
18 exchange process, and Serbs came whatever way they found to come, through
19 friendly connections, crossing the defence lines which were held by Croats
20 and Muslims, on the one side, and by the Serbs on the other.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Blagojevic, but I think you omitted to answer a
22 part of my question that related to the means of transport. What kind of
23 means of transport did they use to come?
24 A. Towards the end of the war, I know that they came in trains and
25 convoys of buses.
1 Q. The question is in 1992 and 1993.
2 A. I don't know exactly how they came.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Blagojevic.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Blagojevic, for giving evidence. You
5 are now finished and you may leave the courtroom.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
9 [Defence Opening Statement]
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence counsel of
11 Miroslav Tadic is ready to begin its Defence case, and at the beginning I
12 shall avail myself of the right, on behalf of Miroslav Tadic's Defence, to
13 make an opening statement. I have already given a copy of the opening
14 statement to the interpreters, in my own language, and I think it will not
15 take more than one hour. The first witness has already arrived and we've
16 already served the list of witnesses to the registry, which we will abide
17 by, I hope, at least with respect to the first few witnesses.
18 Your Honours, my learned friends from the Prosecution, the first
19 indictment against Miroslav Tadic was issued in July 1995. My client gave
20 his first interview by telephone to the Prosecution on his own initiative
21 in April 1996. He voluntarily surrendered to this Tribunal on the 14th of
22 February, 1998, and of his own free will he agreed to be interviewed by
23 the Prosecution over a period of two days.
24 I'm beginning my opening statement by highlighting these facts in
25 order to draw attention immediately to the fact that Miroslav Tadic has
1 been waiting a long time for this moment, the moment when, by presenting
2 his arguments, facts, and finally the truth, he will be able to disprove
3 all the allegations against him ever since the first indictment to this
4 moment when the Prosecution has rested its case.
5 This Trial Chamber, over a period of almost one year of the
6 presentation of evidence by the Prosecution, has heard the Prosecution's
7 allegations and evidence, and also during the cross-examination has been
8 able to hear the submissions of the Defence with respect to some of the
9 statements of witnesses. This Trial Chamber has surely devoted due
10 attention to the contents of the interviews of Miroslav Tadic with the
11 Prosecution. In view of these circumstances, as well as the fact that
12 prior to this opening statement some evidence has already been presented
13 in the Defence case of Mr. Blagoje Simic, though I cannot say that it has
14 been completed, we are aware of the fact that on the basis of all that has
15 been presented so far, this Trial Chamber is aware to a considerable
16 extent of the Defence case of Miroslav Tadic.
17 The Defence, in its opening statement, will seek to focus your
18 attention on a number of concepts which will be constantly repeated in the
19 course of the presentation of evidence in this case. However, we have no
20 intention, nor can we define and elaborate on those concepts. We will
21 leave that to the Defence case itself. Our wish is to give an overview of
22 some key institutions and concepts and to place them in the context of
23 time and space, and thereby also to identify the role of Miroslav Tadic in
24 all of that.
25 I feel that our professional and even personal experience had very
1 little to do with terms such as exchanges, civil defence or evacuation, to
2 name a few. Therefore, in the course of the preparations for this case,
3 it was rather complicated for us to grasp all this and to determine the
4 place and role of our client in all of that. If I succeed in this opening
5 statement to convey a part of what we ourselves have learnt, I'm quite
6 confident that the Trial Chamber will have a clear and complete
7 understanding of the testimony of witnesses and the written documents
8 presented during the Defence case.
9 According to the instructions of this Trial Chamber, Miroslav
10 Tadic's Defence counsel will have 70 hours in which to examine witnesses
11 and present its evidence. Our concept has been designed in such a way
12 that through viva voce witnesses we wish to explain the most important
13 aspects of work related to exchanges and civil defence, two components
14 which are not linked amongst themselves but to which Miroslav Tadic -- in
15 which Miroslav Tadic was involved throughout the indictment period.
16 Some witnesses that the Defence has proposed should be heard as 92
17 bis statements will also describe from their standpoint certain broader
18 aspects of life in Samac, and more specifically, the procedure of
19 exchange, cooperation with the commission for exchange, with the local Red
20 Cross, work duty, and the way in which these people experienced this work
21 duty, and other concepts which were presented from one angle in the
22 Prosecution case and which we now wish to throw light on from another
24 It is also our intention to describe life in the Samac
25 municipality in the relevant period through the viva voce testimony of
1 non-Serb citizens who stayed in Samac throughout the war. You will hear
2 about the contacts they had with Tadic related to their day to day
3 problems and particularly related to exchanges. Finally, reference will
4 also be made to certain aspects of life in Samac which were not at all
5 covered by the Prosecution in their case but which the Defence of Miroslav
6 Tadic considers to be important for its case.
7 The third group of witnesses proposed by the Defence counsel,
8 through depositions, are again related to individual episodes linked to
9 the incidents we heard about in the Prosecution case, but also there will
10 be short statements regarding what these witnesses knew about certain
11 problems of life in the municipalities of Samac and Odzak in the
12 indictment period.
13 The Defence is prepared to offer the Trial Chamber a large number
14 of written documents about all the events relevant for Tadic's Defence, as
15 well as some video recordings and photographs which we wish to complement
16 all the evidence that will be presented before this Trial Chamber.
17 I should now like to go into some greater detail into the main
18 positions and submissions of the Defence and the manner in which we seek
19 to prove them.
20 Before I move on to specific submissions which we will seek to
21 prove in our case, I wish to observe that the specifics of a joint trial,
22 such as the Samac trial, necessarily leads to certain technical links
23 between individual defences regarding the facts which are important for
24 all the Defence teams. You were probably able to see for yourself that
25 during the Defence case of Dr. Simic that certain elements of our own case
1 were presented through the case of Dr. Simic, and I have in mind both the
2 witness's testimony and the exhibits. That is why I should like to
3 observe that certain segments for the Defence of Miroslav Tadic will also
4 be presented in a part of the Defence case for Simo Zaric, and I will be
5 quite frank that we will be most interested in the place and role of
6 Miroslav Tadic in the 4th Detachment, as we have been able to see from the
7 list of witnesses and exhibits proposed by the Defence counsel for
8 Mr. Zaric.
9 I should now like to go into concrete facts which we intend to
10 prove in our case.
11 With regard to the political involvement and participation of
12 Miroslav Tadic in the institutions of authority prior to the war, it is
13 the submission of the Defence that in the course of the Prosecution case,
14 as well as in the Defence case for Dr. Simic, it has been proven that
15 Miroslav Tadic had no involvement whatsoever in the political life in the
16 municipalities of Samac and Odzak prior to the outbreak of the war.
17 Without wishing to link anybody's political involvement or non-involvement
18 to possible charges, unlike the Prosecution, we wish to underline and to
19 support with evidence why Miroslav Tadic was appointed to the position of
20 commander of the civil defence staff, a member of the Crisis Staff, and
21 why he held a position in the 4th Detachment, and finally, why he was a
22 member of the Exchange Commission.
23 The Defence will seek to prove that Miroslav Tadic, throughout his
24 activities during the indictment period, worked exclusively in the
25 interest of all the citizens of Samac. We shall seek to prove that he was
1 appointed to the 4th Detachment and to the civil defence in view of his
2 professional experience, familiarity with the inhabitants and
3 circumstances in Samac, and that he joined in the exchange processes after
4 Serbs were detained in Odzak municipality for those same reasons, because
5 he knew the people involved and because he was a respected citizen, a
6 responsible and conscientious negotiator that everyone trusted.
7 During his activities in the Crisis Staff, Miroslav Tadic relied
8 in his work exclusively on legal obligations and provisions which
9 determined his function as commander of the civil defence staff, and not
10 by any political positions, instructions, or convictions. In addition to
11 this fact, the Defence submits that his overall work in civil defence and
12 exchange procedures was based on those same principles. His attitude
13 primarily towards people, both those he knew and did not know but whom he
14 encountered in the course of his duties, will be a separate segment of our
15 case. The Defence will seek to prove that during his work and general
16 conduct outside his professional duties, Tadic was never encumbered by any
17 kind of political convictions, least of all by any kind of intolerance
18 towards any individual or any ethnic group.
19 Miroslav Tadic was a member of the 4th Detachment. He was
20 mobilised, as were the other citizens of Samac who responded to the
21 mobilisation of the state which they recognised and which they considered
22 their own, and by the competent officers of the Yugoslav People's Army, he
23 was appointed to the position of assistant commander for logistics.
24 The Defence submits that Tadic's appointment to this post was
25 motivated exclusively by the good reputation he had acquired, both as a
1 teacher and as a successful caterer, and also in view of his age. This
2 lifelong experience, his knowledge of people and his popularity, I would
3 be free to say, as a caterer, were closely related to the position he held
4 in that detachment.
5 We will go on to prove that apart from this formal appointment to
6 the position of assistant commander for logistics, Tadic never really
7 performed those duties, nor did he assume any obligation stemming from
8 that function in any form. Therefore, he neither committed, nor ordered,
9 nor aided and abetted third parties in this.
10 In the course of its defence case, the Defence will prove that the
11 headquarters of the 4th Detachment were never located in the coffee bar
12 AS. It doesn't need a great deal of common sense and logic to come to the
13 conclusion that it is quite natural for people working in a particular
14 institution to gather in a coffee bar nearby. Members of the 4th
15 Detachment did visit the AS cafe while the command was in the SIT
16 premises, and even later, when the SIT building was used as a barracks,
17 and up to this present day, when the barracks moved out, the officers and
18 soldiers would come to the coffee bar, wearing uniform and in civilian
19 clothes. I would see them there too, because I would often go there and
20 visit my client when he was on provisional release. The barracks was in
21 the SIT premises and they were sitting in the AS cafe.
22 The Defence believes that even now, when the workers have gone
23 into SIT premises once again to start doing their normal duties and
24 working there, they will continue to come to the AS cafe. In addition to
25 the evidence already presented through the testimony of witnesses who were
1 daily guests of this coffee bar and members of all ethnic groups, who had
2 nothing to do with the 4th Detachment, nor any other military or political
3 institution, God forbid, or any paramilitary institution, God forbid, will
4 provide evidence on the work of this coffee bar. With respect to this
5 fact, the Defence will present evidence which, unlike the Prosecution, are
6 not hearsay evidence but direct evidence of authentic eyewitnesses who
7 have direct knowledge about all these things.
8 The Defence will provide evidence to prove when Miroslav Tadic
9 became a member of the Crisis Staff and until when he was a member of that
10 institution. We believe that we have already clearly articulated the
11 position of the Defence regarding this in the course of the Prosecution
12 case, as well as during the Defence case of Mr. Simic. This essential
13 fact, in our view, is something we wish to highlight in particular because
14 we feel that the indictment is very vague in that regard. Namely, the
15 Prosecutor herself, in paragraph 2 of the indictment, determines very
16 vaguely the period of membership of Miroslav Tadic in the Crisis Staff.
17 Allow me to remind you what the Prosecutor says in paragraph 2 of
18 the indictment. "After the 17th of April, 1992, Miroslav Tadic became
19 chairman of the Bosanski Samac Exchange Commission and was responsible for
20 organising and carrying out the majority of so-called prisoner "exchanges"
21 through which non-Serb civilians were expelled from their
23 The next witness for me is extremely important, and I think I
24 already referred to it in my motion for acquittal. He remained a member
25 of the Exchange Commission until at least 1995.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. I didn't want to interrupt my
2 colleague. But here it says the next witness for me is extremely
3 important. Next paragraph.
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises. A slip of the
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The next witness certainly is
7 important for me but I said something else. The next sentence is
8 important me. He remained a member of the Exchange Commission until at
9 least 1995, while serving in the capacity of chairman of the Exchange
10 Commission, Miroslav Tadic also was a member of the Crisis Staff. That is
11 what the Prosecutor says.
12 In the motion for acquittal pursuant to Rule 98 of the Rules of
13 Procedure, the Defence felt that an undefined time period linked to the
14 functions performed by my client was an encumbrance for or a disadvantage
15 for the Defence. If the Prosecutor wished to link his function as a
16 member of the Crisis Staff to his position as president of the Exchange
17 Commission, then he at least should have been precise enough to say when
18 Tadic was chairman of the Exchange Commission. If he links this to
19 membership in the Exchange Commission, then it is up to the Tadic Defence
20 to prove that the Crisis Staff did not exist up to 1995, when Tadic was
21 still working, but only as an associate of the republic commission for
23 The Prosecution, and I wish to remind the Trial Chamber of this,
24 tendered Exhibit P83, that Tadic became a member of the Exchange
25 Commission, and I underline the word "member" in October 1992, when the
1 Crisis Staff no longer existed. That is why the Defence will seek to
2 prove membership of Miroslav Tadic in the Crisis Staff through very clear
3 testimony, supported by precise documents, without denying that while he
4 was a member of the Crisis Staff, Tadic took an active part in the process
5 of exchange. The Defence will prove that Tadic became a member of the
6 Crisis Staff on the 23rd of April, 1992, that is, after the day he was
7 appointed commander of the civil defence staff, and that he stayed in that
8 position while the same existed, that is, up to July 1992. The Defence
9 will also prove that Tadic was not a member of the War Presidency, nor did
10 he have any position whatsoever in the assembly bodies as of January 1993,
11 and also - and I think that is not in dispute in this case - that he was
12 not a member of any assembly body after 1993 or before the war; he simply
13 never was a member of any assembly body throughout his lifetime.
14 Maybe it is now time for me to make a break, because I'm moving on
15 to a new issue now.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will take our break and continue our
17 proceedings at 1615 hours.
18 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic. Please continue.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I was discussing the positions of the
22 Defence regarding the place and role of Mr. Tadic in the Crisis Staff, so
23 allow me to say a few more words about the position of the Defence and the
24 way in which we intend to prove certain facts.
25 First of all, I wish to say that in the understanding of the
1 Defence, the Prosecutor believes that the position somebody had in the
2 authorities was de jure and de facto, a clearly important factor in
3 endeavours to prove that the activities of an accused are part of a common
4 enterprise. The Defence does not wish to enter into a polemic with such
5 theses of the Prosecutor at this stage, but is surprised that in the
6 indictment, nor in the course of the Prosecution case, did the Prosecution
7 inquire into the positions Tadic held within the system of authority as of
8 the April events of 1992. The Defence is of the opinion that the
9 Prosecution, ever since the indictment was issued and amended several
10 times, even after my client was interviewed, intentionally neglected this
11 function that he had. Unlike the Prosecution, the Defence submits that
12 the evidence that it will present linked to this position will elucidate
13 to a high degree the overall activities and conduct of Miroslav Tadic.
14 That is why, in the presentation of evidence, the Defence will seek to
15 prove that this function and position as commander of the civil defence
16 staff is directly linked with his membership in the Crisis Staff and the
17 system of authority and that it did not have anything to do or was in no
18 way connected with any particular policies. This is a function that the
19 Prosecution was not interested in in the least in the general allegations
20 contained in the indictment.
21 The appointment of Miroslav Tadic as commander of the civil
22 defence staff, you have seen the exhibit - the date is the 23rd of April,
23 1992 - was the basis on which he joined the Crisis Staff. And in view of
24 the fact that the very notion of the Crisis Staff, in the eyes of the
25 Prosecution, is a reflection of negative policies, the Defence will devote
1 special attention to this aspect of his work in its case, and I should
2 like to make some indications of that in this opening statement.
3 During the Defence case of Dr. Blagoje Simic, this Honourable
4 Trial Chamber was able to familiarise itself with the concept of civil
5 defence. You were tendered exhibits, such as the law on Defence. You
6 probably remember D80/30, and the decree on civil defence, Exhibit D81/3,
7 which we consider provide the legal frameworks, with some precision, of
8 the place and role of the civil defence in the system of defence. It has
9 already become undisputed, I hope, to this Trial Chamber that the shelling
10 of Samac was frequent, shelling of a town full of civilian population, a
11 town without any strategic military facilities.
12 I would like to assert that that shelling occurred on a daily
13 basis. And this was coupled with all kinds of problems, such as the
14 shortage of food, commodities, electricity, water, disease, and refugees.
15 The significance of this defence to remove the consequences and to
16 normalise life became immeasurable.
17 There was hardly one aspect of the tasks of the civil defence
18 provided for by law that was not a real, visible, acute problem in Samac
19 which the civil defence needed to address. The Defence will also seek to
20 prove the conditions under which the work of that staff was organised at
21 the beginning of the war. You will hear testimony that will describe that
22 both Serbs and Muslims and Croats worked together in that staff, together
23 and in harmony and with equal enthusiasm, that these were mostly elderly
24 people, pensioners, without any kind of prejudices but guided by their
25 personal wishes to assist, through their work, all the citizens of the
1 Samac municipality. The Defence will seek to prove that the activity of
2 that staff, this small group of people, made a very significant
3 contribution to the normalisation of life in those difficult times and
4 that all citizens of good intentions of Samac remember and mention the
5 name of Miroslav Tadic in the context of those activities, describing him
6 in the most favourable terms.
7 The work on repairing damage caused by shelling, securing and
8 protecting key civilian facilities, hospitals, health centres, post
9 offices, the glazing of homes, the organisation of funerals, the building
10 of coffins for burying the dead in the whole region, the provision of
11 temporary accommodation for people rendered homeless by the shelling, the
12 organisation of the evacuation of women and children to Serbia, are only
13 one part of those activities, even though Miroslav Tadic himself had no
14 authority over the work of the local Red Cross, through a number of
15 testimonies, the Defence intends to throw light on the work of this
16 institution, which also, without any prejudices, extended great assistance
17 to all the citizens of Samac during the war and within its area
18 contributed significantly to alleviating the suffering of the civilian
19 population caused by the war operations.
20 A number of written documents will be presented, and you will also
21 hear live testimony on the work of this organisation, demonstrating
22 unequivocally that members of all ethnic groups worked together and that
23 they provided aid to all citizens, irrespective of their ethnicity.
24 Humaneness as one of the basic principles of aid to the afflicted
25 population at times of war, was both an instrument and a goal pursued both
1 by the civil defence staff and the local Red Cross.
2 If all these activities of the civil defence staff and its
3 commander are elucidated, at least to some extent, the Defence is quite
4 confident that this Honourable Trial Chamber will find it easy to
5 establish the real truth, both with regard to the personality of Miroslav
6 Tadic himself and with regard to his involvement in the work of the Crisis
7 Staff and in the exchange procedures. Fully appreciative of the highly
8 professional approach of this Trial Chamber to the establishment of all
9 details of significance for establishing the real truth, the Defence
10 emphasises that it is very important for the Chamber to familiarise itself
11 in detail with the position of the civil defence in the system of defence
12 and its competences. That is why even before the beginning of our case we
13 have tendered both these fundamental regulations, the law on defence and
14 the decree on civil defence, so we believe the Trial Chamber is familiar
15 with these documents.
16 We did not wish to analyse in detail with Mr. Ninkovic all the
17 important items of these regulations, but I take advantage of this opening
18 statement to underline that these documents clearly define the role of the
19 civil defence, its relationship with other areas of defence, as well as
20 with the authorities as such, and we believe that this Trial Chamber will
21 note all these things with due attention while reading these documents.
22 The Defence will set out to prove that Miroslav Tadic, neither as
23 an individual nor as part of the duties he performed, had anything to do
24 with what the Prosecutor describes as forced labour, and the Defence as
25 work duty. It was a pure coincidence that the offices of the coordinator
1 of work duty and the place where people rallied who went to perform work
2 duty and the fact that they saw Tadic in that building where the offices
3 of the civil defence and Red Cross staff were located, and this
4 coincidence may have led uninformed people to come to the conclusion that
5 Tadic had something to do with the organisation of activities under work
6 duty. In the absence of other evidence, the Prosecution has tried to
7 construe this as a fact, and we shall further analyse this in our final
9 Without wishing in any way to disassociate ourselves from work
10 duty in saying this, the purpose of our defence is to present the place
11 and role of the accused Mr. Tadic in objective and truthful terms.
12 Miroslav Tadic, from the very first moment he came into contact with
13 investigators of the Prosecution, up to his Initial Appearance in this
14 Tribunal, never intended to belittle his role in the Samac events, but on
15 the contrary, to present them truthfully. Our Defence team considers it
16 to be our professional and moral duty to act along the same lines as our
17 client with this regard. In that light, we will elucidate his positions
18 linked to work duty.
19 Unlike many other institutions which did use work duty services,
20 to all people who came to the civil defence staff as part of their work
21 duty, work in the civil defence was an advantage. They wanted to continue
22 working there and to avoid being transferred by the coordinators to some
23 other activities, even though in the civil defence too there were some
24 very difficult and unpleasant duties, which you will hear about through
25 the testimony of people who carried them out. You will also hear from
1 them that good interpersonal relations, based on confidence, comradeship,
2 aid, regardless of ethnic affiliation, among the workers of that staff
3 were the basis on which that staff acted.
4 Witnesses will confirm that a positive attitude and atmosphere
5 that governed the work of that staff was, to a great deal, the merit of
6 this person, who is now the accused Miroslav Tadic Brko, who was always
7 known as the Mustasio because of his moustache. The Defence will also set
8 out to prove that Miroslav Tadic has nothing to do with other things that
9 he is being charged with under item 14C of the indictment. Cruel and
10 inhumane treatment of Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims and other
11 non-Serb civilians, including beatings, torture, forced labour
12 assignments, and confinement under inhumane conditions.
13 I wish to emphasise in particular that with respect to these
14 charges, the Prosecutor, in his written response to the motion for
15 acquittal relating to Article 98 bis, did not stipulate a single word or
16 mention a single piece of evidence against my client. When the Prosecutor
17 cannot find a single piece of evidence necessary to satisfy the standards
18 required according to Article 98 bis, why then should it be incumbent upon
19 the Defence to interpret the Prosecution's evidence and to offer its own
20 and to emphasise the goal of the defence procedure? However, it is the
21 duty of the Defence team, as the charges and counts in the indictment
22 exist, to provide relevant evidence and proof, and it will do so, and it
23 will prevail upon the Trial Chamber and show that Tadic, without any
24 doubt, had nothing to do with the charges and counts contained in the
25 indictment against him.
1 In relation to the plunder and looting of property from paragraph
2 14 of the indictment, the Defence will provide firm and unequivocal
3 evidence which will serve to acquit our client. The Prosecutor has no
4 serious proof or evidence to prove these charges. The Prosecutor claims
5 in his response to the request following Article 98, in paragraph 44, that
6 this action is incorporated within the notion of forced labour, and then
7 makes no mention of anything else with respect to looting and plunder.
8 We shall deal with this thesis in our closing argument, but I
9 should just like to underline that this thing that has been construed by
10 the Prosecution will be refuted through our arguments, and that is that
11 Miroslav Tadic had nothing to do with issuing forced labour assignments.
12 The next point that I wish to make in my opening statement has to
13 do with exchanges. The word used in the indictment and in the Prosecution
14 case, which is most linked to the name and conduct of my client, the word
15 "exchange" which the Prosecutor, in paragraph 2, uses inverted commas for
16 and refers to so-called prisoner exchanges, explains to the Court that it
17 was through these exchanges that non-Serbs were expelled from their
18 homes. The word and concept for which the members of this Honourable
19 Trial Chamber asked a number of questions, both of the Prosecution and of
20 witnesses, and even of the Defence team itself, seeking clarification and
21 explanation of the concept of exchange, as well as the procedure under
22 which these exchanges took place.
23 I believe, Your Honours, that you have already gained an insight
24 into all these matters, and it is our professional and human task to prove
25 to you what the Prosecutor has not succeeded in doing, and that is the
1 basic question: What the goal of the exchanges was. Your Honours, I
2 should like to mention at this juncture that I needed very many days, even
3 months, to put all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together and give you a
4 picture of the exchanges themselves. I had to understand all the
5 essential factors in this complicated procedure, to which there were
6 always two sides, two parties. There was always the request made by one
7 side, the goodwill of the other side, but this was always limited by
8 certain terms and circumstances of an agreement, the desire expressed by
9 the subjects themselves to be exchanged, the limited possibilities to take
10 in those persons on their own territory, and the Defence will present
11 evidence on all these important matters.
12 But why exchanges at all? In whose interest were they conducted?
13 What were the motives for those working in matters of exchange? When you
14 come to hear the witnesses in these proceedings, when you have read the
15 written evidence, you will arrive at only one possible conclusion. I'm
16 not going to impose that conclusion upon you, but I will say that we shall
17 seek to prove that the exchanges were not at all for curtailing any human
18 rights, but rather that they were a means of realising human rights
20 In light of this standard and position, the Defence will provide a
21 series of evidence and proof. You will first of all hear that the
22 exchanges are no brain child of Miroslav Tadic or the town of Samac itself
23 either. You have already heard that even before April 1992, on the
24 territory of the Samac municipality, exchanges took place between Croatia
25 and Yugoslavia. You will hear that the exchanges took place in a
1 spontaneous way in other places in the Posavina region as well. You will
2 also hear the types of people that were engaged and involved in this
3 process of exchanges. You will also be able to see that these were things
4 that were done by professors. They included teachers, social workers,
5 lawyers, judges, all manner of persons. You will also hear that it was a
6 process that was implemented throughout the territory of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that commissions were set up, also at government
8 level, at the level of the BH government, the Federation, the Muslim one,
9 and the Croatian side, the HVO, as well, and also finally on the Serb side
10 too; that those commissions were organised at the level of the
11 municipalities, regions, and republics; that there were military and
12 civilian segments in those commissions.
13 The Prosecution and the Defence agreed that you should be
14 presented evidence according to which the exchanges took place in a very
15 similar fashion, almost identically in the Posavina region and throughout
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina and even in the territory of the whole of the former
17 Yugoslavia. But quite obviously, we are dealing with different motives,
18 why presentation of evidence has been made in this way to the Trial
19 Chamber. Let me remind you that most of the documents that the
20 Prosecution provided were contained in document P146. The position of the
21 Prosecution that this was an image of widespread and systematic plan of
22 attack on the civilian population is something that the Defence will be
23 analysing in its closing arguments, but all we're going to do now is ask
24 the question of where this kind of logics can lead the Prosecution. Are
25 we going to follow up that thesis here or in some other dock, bring to
1 trial hundreds of members of Serb, Muslim, Croatian military and civilian
2 commission? That is the question. Are we going to be obliged to bring in
3 as witnesses thousands of people from all over the territory of the former
4 Yugoslavia to tell us here before us and you of the kind of gratitude and
5 admiration they have towards these people who wanted to reduce their
6 sufferings and do whatever they could to help them escape from a very
7 difficult way of life?
8 To fulfil their wishes, to allow these people, at least for a
9 moment, to believe in better days, days which they envisage by this
10 imaginary but very real separation line, and crossing it. Do I have to
11 remind you of the words uttered by Prosecution witnesses in explaining the
12 joy they felt when they heard that they would be up for an exchange? And
13 some of them even said that that was the best day of their lives, when
14 they heard the news.
15 That is why without wishing in any way to sound pathetic, I would
16 like to say that through the Defence of Miroslav Tadic and his work in the
17 exchange process, we shall be defending the whole principle of exchange,
18 and all the people who worked honestly and we believe humanely in this
19 very difficult task throughout the war years.
20 You will hear, and we shall present to you, documents which
21 testify to the fact that the exchanges were discussed and decided upon by
22 the negotiators of all three entities at the highest level within the
23 frameworks of frequent peace negotiations. You will also hear that the
24 exchanges of both military and civilian persons, significant decisions
25 were made and declarations, stemming from the Geneva negotiations and
1 negotiations in Budapest between the two wars parties on the territory of
2 the former Yugoslavia, ranging up to declarations of the International Red
3 Cross and the officials of that organisation. And finally, you will also
4 be in a position to hear that the exchanges themselves, both military and
5 civilian, were the subject of a special section of the Dayton Accords
7 We shall present to you a significant number of documents which,
8 along with the authentic testimony of witnesses, will clearly and
9 unequivocally show the entire hierarchy of decision making on the subject
10 of exchanges, without the need for any explanation, you will be able to
11 see who was asked about the exchanges. You will see whether an individual
12 was allowed to go for an exchange or not, both in the civilian and
13 military structures. You will be able to see how the decision-making was
14 made, both on the Serb side, the Croatian side, and the Muslim commissions
15 as well.
16 I should like here and now, precisely because we're talking about
17 the exchanges, to deal with one more subject which the Defence would like
18 to bring before this Tribunal and Court, and comes up against a wall of
19 argument with the tu quoque presentations.
20 Your Honours, the Defence fully respects the position of this
21 Trial Chamber and positive humanitarian law on the -- on prescribing
22 discussions of what others did and justifying one crime by the fact that
23 other crimes were committed. This principle is quite clear to us and
24 unequivocal from the practice so far in the Tribunal. But these rigid
25 legal formalisms which lead to a priori rejection of the probability of
1 listening to testimony about some other events and referring to this
2 principle alone will not, in our humble opinion, lead you to that ultimate
3 goal, the goal of truth, but will leave you in the realm of conjecture and
4 surmise as to some vital facts.
5 It is precisely these exchanges, the concept of the changes, their
6 goals and consequence, that incorporate two subjects at the very least,
7 two parties which are in conflict and they relate to different destinies,
8 and they relate to people on both the two warring sides. It is not our
9 aim, Your Honours, in these proceedings in any way to bring to light the
10 actions, let me be quite blunt, the crimes of the opposite side. We shall
11 respect and abide by every ruling on the part of the Trial Chamber if we
12 overstep our limits and what is relevant for these proceedings. But I
13 have to mention on this occasion that you will not be able to gain
14 complete insight and understanding of any of the conduct of the
15 participants in the exchange, including my client, unless you hear who was
16 exchanged, what the people being exchanged desired, what the relationship
17 was between the people coming up for an exchange towards those people that
18 brought them in for the exchange, regardless of what side they came from.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic. On that topic of whether or not we
20 need to hear the whole scenario of exchanges, the Trial Chamber, as you
21 have rightly pointed, has a stand on evidence that appears to bring in the
22 tu quoque issue. As long as the explanation is only limited to offering
23 the defence for Mr. Miroslav Tadic or the evidence is allowed to that
24 extent, then you will be allowed to bring in that evidence.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I am very happy to hear the position
1 of the Trial Chamber, because I would like to say that mens rea, and
2 motive as well, in all these crimes is a very vital element that ought to
3 be elucidated before this Trial Chamber, and that is why I mentioned the
4 facts I did.
5 In the aim of clarifying the exchange procedure fully, and
6 especially in refuting the thesis of the Prosecution in the indictment
7 that the exchanges were veiled ethnic cleansing, as well as the role of
8 Miroslav Tadic in those exchanges, the Defence has prepared a series of
9 evidence. You will hear testimony from several witnesses who took an
10 active part in the work of different commissions for exchanges, both
11 civilian and military and the commissions of the opposite sides. They
12 will all be testifying viva voce about their work, about their cooperation
13 with my client, about their direct knowledge as eyewitnesses, about the
14 conduct and behaviour of Miroslav Tadic in those very difficult and
15 sensitive affairs, affairs in which, even in the smallest gesture, you
16 will see the subjective relationship of one man towards his fellows and in
17 which humaneness and self-commitment is proved and demonstrated.
18 You will hear individual stories, brief recollections of the
19 events which, according to the understanding of the Defence, reflected the
20 humaneness in the personality of my client, and this needs no explanation
21 but speaks for itself. It speaks about the man Miroslav Tadic, in the
22 same way that he was described by Witness Q in this very courtroom here
23 and when he explained why he said what he did about him.
24 You will hear viva voce from the testimony of persons the
25 Prosecution did not see as being victims, persons of non-Serb ethnicity
1 who were called up in the exchanges but who wished to remain in Samac.
2 These were persons whom nobody forced, either directly or indirectly, to
3 leave their own hometown. These were persons who also woke up on the 17th
4 of April, 1992, in their own homes, just like the Prosecution witnesses in
5 this trial, in their own native town, and on that particular morning they
6 did not wish to leave Samac, and they never did leave it. And you will
7 hear what these people think about the conduct and behaviour of Miroslav
8 Tadic and his involvement in the exchanges.
9 You will have depositions and you will have statements according
10 to Rule 92 bis, and you will -- they will provide you with an opportunity
11 to learn about what people from Batkovici have to say who went for the
12 exchange and used the right of choice, whether they wished to be exchanged
13 or not, whether they wished to stay in their own homes, and what their
14 decisions were, and where they are now. Then you will also hear from
15 people from Samac who were invited by the commissions of the opposite
16 sides to be exchanged but who refused this offer and stated their views.
17 It is these small threads in the broad weave of human destinies
18 that we shall endeavour to elucidate in this trial, the role and place of
19 our client in the exchanges, but not as a mask and veil for ethnic
20 cleansing, of course, but as a humane act in helping these people escape
21 from the war and in reuniting families whose members had been separated.
22 I should just like to add at this point that the Defence, during
23 the Prosecution case, Miroslav Tadic's Defence, took note of the procedure
24 before the military courts that was brought up, and it was in our interest
25 that through the Prosecution witnesses in this area under investigation
1 first of all to arrive at proof and evidence which will support the role
2 of the military courts in Batkovici in view of the positions of Miroslav
3 Tadic in the exchanges and the possibility of his alleged decisions on the
4 exchanges. We have seen that the Trial Chamber has shown a certain amount
5 of interest for these proceedings, although we feel not only that Miroslav
6 Tadic but any of the clients sitting here has anything to do with these
7 military court proceedings. And in view of the interest shown by the
8 Trial Chamber, we have prepared certain evidence, in fact witnesses, who
9 were active participants and defence lawyers in those trials to explain
10 the procedure and what was done in each individual case.
11 With respect to proving the facts concerning the exchanges, the
12 Defence also has two video recordings to show about the negotiations and
13 the exchanges themselves. One of the tapes is the exchange between the
14 Serb and Muslim side which took place in May 1993, and the second video
15 recording is the exchange from Dragalic, and a lot has been said about
16 that in this court, and it dates to June 1993, that particular exchange.
17 And the Defence feels that this Trial Chamber, by having an insight into
18 this material, especially with respect to the negotiations, because in
19 the -- Prosecution only showed the procedure itself. But we are going to
20 focus on the negotiations. And the Trial Chamber will gain a complete
21 picture of how the negotiations were conducted themselves, the
22 participation of my client in those negotiations, and the exchange process
24 For this opening statement, we have prepared two and a half
25 minutes of those tape recordings, with the aim of giving the Trial Chamber
1 visual insight into the area surrounding the petrol pump in Dragalic,
2 which was mentioned a number of times in this courtroom and which will be
3 mentioned many more times again in the Defence case. This will give you
4 an overview of the surroundings preceding the negotiations, the
5 surroundings and conditions in which the negotiations took place, which we
6 feel is a very important aspect of the process of exchange. There is no
7 comment accompanying the videotapes. I think that the images will be
8 sufficient, and I now call upon the technical booth to play the tapes, and
9 we'll be discussing them a great deal during the Defence case itself.
10 Thank you.
11 [Videotape played]
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We shall go back to those video
13 recordings. I think that they are very useful in order to give the Trial
14 Chamber an insight into what took place. You will see one of the
15 Prosecution witnesses himself, who spoke about those exchanges, and the
16 Defence feels that this is interesting material.
17 The Defence will seek to prove just how incorrect and
18 untruthful -- yes, let me be blunt and say sometimes deliberately a false
19 portrayal of the conduct of my client through certain witness testimonies
20 on the part of Prosecution witnesses. The Defence will place the real
21 facts before the Trial Chamber, eyewitnesses to the conduct of Miroslav
22 Tadic in a series of episodes that were presented during the Prosecution
23 case and the presentation of its evidence. In that way, you will hear
24 where he was, what he did, and how he behaved, how Miroslav Tadic behaved
25 in those first days of the war. You will hear witness testimony about his
1 presence and conduct when the weapons were handed over and when certain
2 individuals were detained in the first days of the war.
3 The Prosecution, on several occasions, attempted to present
4 evidence on the alleged extortion of money on the part of Miroslav Tadic.
5 These assertions on the part of the Prosecution, regardless whether
6 directly or indirectly, can be incorporated into the actus rea of the
7 charges, and they had an influence on the presentation of evidence by the
9 It is our wish to throw light on the personality of Miroslav Tadic
10 from all the angles where it was tainted by the Prosecution and that these
11 should not remain within the frameworks of the standard of proof that is
12 necessary for reasonable -- to go beyond reasonable doubt. The Defence
13 will provide proof which unequivocally meet these standards of complete
14 material truth.
15 The Defence will seek to prove that Miroslav Tadic never asked
16 anybody or received any kind of unlawful remuneration for his work and
17 that the stories told by well-intentioned people gave rise to the wrong
18 conclusions and with malicious people they distorted the truth and were
20 The Defence will also seek to prove that what the Prosecution
21 construed was completely groundless, that Tadic, in allegedly taking
22 money, was the person who decided who could and could not be exchanged.
23 The Defence considers that the thesis placed by the Prosecution in
24 its response to the motion for acquittal is even less groundless [sic] and
25 which stems from the thesis that Tadic enforced persecution through
1 unlawful arrest and detention of persons. The Defence will therefore
2 clearly and unequivocally seek to prove that Miroslav Tadic did not have
3 anything to do whatsoever with anybody's arrest and detention, regardless
4 of whether those arrests and detentions were considered to be lawful or
6 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me for interrupting you, but on page 52 -
7 let me see now - some mistake. It's line 22, yes, indeed, where it reads,
8 beginning from line 21: "The Defence considers that the thesis placed by
9 the Prosecution in its response to the motion for acquittal is even --" it
10 should be more groundless instead of less groundless, I guess, because
11 otherwise it doesn't make sense.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter misspoke.
14 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Thank you.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]. Yes, that it is groundless, in fact.
16 I agree. I can repeat, but I think that it is clear now.
17 JUDGE LINDHOLM: No, no. It is clear.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] So the Defence considers that Miroslav
19 Tadic had nothing to do with anybody's arrest or detention.
20 The Defence would like to say a few more words about another
21 aspect and area, and I'm drawing to the close of my opening statement
22 now. I'm talking about the population report, demographic expert report.
23 Although this piece of evidence is a joint piece of evidence for all three
24 Defence teams, I shall use the agreement of my colleagues to present
25 certain introductory remarks to that expert report. It is the aim of our
1 expert population report -- our aim is twofold, in fact. On the one hand,
2 we wish to present to the Trial Chamber the conclusions that can be made
3 from the sole true demographic sources, for it to be both scientific and
4 professionally based, without any constructions or conjecture and surmise.
5 On the other hand, we shall seek to prove during our Defence case
6 that the methodology used by the Prosecution expert on population is
7 completely scientifically unfounded and completely arbitrary. Although
8 the assessment made by the Prosecution is contained in the closing
9 argument, in expert opinions of this kind, it is necessary and
10 indispensable, and these are highly professional areas for which all of us
11 legal men have to invest special effort in order to be able to understand
12 the matter and material in hand -- as I say, it is necessary to give
13 clear-cut, scientific methodological analyses in the approach to the task
14 in hand, the task set, because only in that way shall we be able to
15 understand the method of work, that is to say, the expert opinion itself,
16 and the final results of the work in hand, that is to say, the conclusions
17 of the experts.
18 In that sense, before this Trial Chamber we have the written
19 report, and we'll probably be hearing orally from a leading Yugoslav
20 expert for population matters, and her name is Dr. Svetlana Radovanovic.
21 Her specialty for many years is not the death rate and the birth rate
22 alone, but demographic changes in the structure of the population
23 throughout the territory of the former Yugoslavia, with particular
24 emphasis on collation of personal ID numbers and figures. This is
25 something that the Prosecution expert witness explained to the Trial
1 Chamber. Our own expert has a great deal of experience with the problem
2 of collation of numbers, especially in the territory of the former
3 Yugoslavia, and the problems with the personal identification numbers
4 which this collation is performed in order to be able to draw any
5 scientifically based professional conclusions which would be of assistance
6 to this Trial Chamber.
7 Depending on how far we have insight into the documents and how
8 far the Prosecution had material from the statistical authorities in
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina and the OSCE, our own demographic expert will
10 provide an integral and, might I say, completely argumentative expert
11 opinion, the real kind, and the only kind that can be valid.
12 In coming to the end of our opening statement, I should like to
13 say that we do not know if we have met the goals set before us as a
14 Defence team. This will become evident through the presentation of
15 evidence and the continuation of the trial itself, the Defence case. We
16 will be very happy if you seek clarification on any point from our
18 In this trial, the Defence has set itself a clear-cut goal. Once
19 we have reached the end of these proceedings, by which time Miroslav Tadic
20 will have spent a full four years in the Detention Unit, he will be told
21 by this Honourable Trial Chamber what he has been expecting to hear all
22 along, ever since he first learnt of the indictment against him. He
23 will --
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic, when you say that he has spent a full
25 four years, it doesn't exclude the time when he was on provisional
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Presiding Judge, Your Honour Judge
3 Mumba, I said at the end, or perhaps I don't know how long the trial will
4 last, but Miroslav Tadic surrendered to the Tribunal, as I said, in the
5 beginning, in February 1998, and he was provisionally released for a
6 period of one year and three or four months. In February this year it
7 will be five full years since the time he gave himself up, minus that
8 period of one year and several months. So that -- of course, we don't
9 know when this trial will come to a close, but that's why I say that at
10 the end of the trial this will be almost four years, in my own assessment.
11 And my last sentence, if I may: I want to say that Miroslav Tadic
12 will hear you, this Honourable Trial Chamber, pronounce him not guilty of
13 the charges against him.
14 That concludes my opening statement. May I make some technical
15 remarks in closing? The Defence team of Mr. Miroslav Tadic, as you know,
16 will have seven viva voce witnesses, one of them videolink witness, which
17 will be heard when the Trial Chamber decides to hear him, and then the
18 Trial Chamber asked for two more witnesses that were to have been heard
19 through deposition. They will testify. This was something that the Trial
20 Chamber asked. They asked for viva voce testimony, if you recall. For
21 one of them I asked that he be heard on the basis of a deposition. But I
22 think that in the first segment he will be present here in Court. We just
23 have some technical problems. He hasn't got a passport at the moment, but
24 we hope that we will be able to overcome these difficulties in the next
25 few days. I'm talking about Dario Radic. So I hope that he will be able
1 to come in for testimony. So it is the Defence plan that after we hear
2 all these witnesses, irrespective of the videolinks, we hear Miroslav
3 Tadic testify himself.
4 My first witness is Mr. Velimir Maslic. I will be leading him.
5 Would you like us to start? I have quite a number of documents that I
6 have prepared for this witness. Would you like the witness to be shown in
7 to court? I need five minutes to prepare myself, perhaps, but do you wish
8 me to go ahead with the witness or shall we leave him for tomorrow? I'm
9 at your disposal.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber feels that it's better to
12 start with your witness tomorrow, when we start our proceedings, at 1415
13 in the afternoon. So you'll be -- you'll have enough time to prepare your
14 documents so that the evidence will be flowing, without breaks.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Are there any other matters to be raised before we
18 rise? I see none. We shall adjourn now and continue our proceedings
19 tomorrow at 1415 hours.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.15 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 16th day of
22 January 2003, at 2.15 p.m.