1 Monday, 20 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
10 MR. LUKIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
11 WITNESS: VELIMIR MASLIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Lukic: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Maslic. I've reorganised my questions a bit and
15 I will not be introducing a number of documents, in order to expedite the
17 We talked on Friday about this exchange in Dragalici about the
18 reporting and the beating. I will be asking you about a number of details
19 about this particular instance of exchange. But one particular question
20 right now: If a person - I'm talking about a civilian person - is put on
21 the exchange list and told to come in front of the bus from where they
22 will depart for the exchange, can that person be prohibited from going to
23 that exchange if that person is on the list?
24 A. Any person which is on the final exchange list could go to be
25 exchanged, and no one could take that person off the list or prevent that
1 person from boarding the bus.
2 Q. Did the police -- could the police exercise any powers within its
3 general competence to prohibit any person from boarding the bus?
4 A. As far as I know, the police never prevented anyone on the final
5 list from boarding the bus.
6 Q. Did the police have powers to prohibit any person who was not on
7 the list but wanted to get on the bus from boarding the bus?
8 A. Yes, it could. No one who was not on the list could board the
10 Q. Could anyone except the police, apart from the police, also
11 prevent the people from boarding buses, someone from among the members of
12 the commission?
13 A. No. No.
14 Q. This particular instance of exchange which was held in Lipovac
15 towards the end of January 1993, do you recall that particular instance of
16 exchange, and what was characteristic about it?
17 A. As far as I can remember, this exchange and its specific
18 characteristics, its specific characteristics, were in the fact that this
19 was members of the United Nations forces who undertook it upon them to
20 carry out this entire exchange. It was the Russian battalion, as far as I
21 could remember.
22 Q. What did they actually do on that occasion?
23 A. Members of the United Nations forces -- rather, a soldier from
24 among these troops took the lists from us, and they actually carried out
25 the exchange. That was it.
1 Q. Was anyone of you present when the people stated their desired
2 options in front of the United Nations, or rather, Russian battalion
3 troops? When you say "you," I mean your commission members and the other
5 A. As far as I know, no, no one was there.
6 Q. Until which time were the premises of your social work centre and
7 the local Red Cross chapter in the premises of the local community or the
8 pensioners' centre, rather?
9 A. No, I cannot remember the exact date, but it was sometime in 1993
10 that the -- we evacuated the premises of the Red Cross. And the centre
11 was moved.
12 Q. Where was it moved to? Tell us the specific location, if you
14 A. The centre was moved to the premises of what then was the public
15 fund of pensioners or retired people and disability insurance of Samac
17 Q. But it is not in the building of Samac municipality?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Were ever the offices of the Red Cross or of your centre in the
20 actual building of Samac municipality, I'm talking about 1992 and 1993?
21 A. No, they never were in the building of Samac municipality.
22 Q. Was any door in -- did any door ever in the building of Samac
23 municipality bear the inscription of Red Cross organisation?
24 A. No. No room whatsoever ever bore the mark or the inscription of
25 Red Cross in the municipality assembly building.
1 Q. Tell us, please: What was actual characteristic of the work of
2 your centre and of the Red Cross during 1992 and 1993?
3 A. I did not understand the question.
4 Q. You described the work of the local Red Cross and your centre at
5 the beginning of the conflict, and you told us in general what it was
6 about. But can you tell us whether there was anything specific in the
7 work of the institutions in 1993, did they continue to work on the same
8 subject-matter as in 1992?
9 A. Yes. It was child welfare and protection issues, and the Red
10 Cross -- the work done by this social work centre for child care and the
11 Red Cross certainly in 1993 acquired a different dimension, as it were,
12 namely, in the sense of the extent of their duties, the workload, so that
13 their lines of work actually were brought into accord, evolved within the
14 framework of what was prescribed under the law. What was specific was
15 that day in and day out, the number of people in need of assistance kept
16 growing, primarily because of the influx of a large number of refugees
17 from the areas of -- the area of the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina and
18 also Croatia.
19 Q. Tell me: Did the funds available to the centre increase also
20 during that time or was it hard to get monies by that time? I mean the
21 centre and the Red Cross.
22 A. The social work centre, as an institution, still did not have the
23 financial means required, and we addressed the problems that we had to
24 deal with exclusively on the basis of humanitarian assistance.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Will the witness please be shown
1 document internally marked PDB 144/3.
2 Q. Mr. Maslic, are you familiar with this document?
3 A. Yes, I am familiar with this document.
4 Q. Can you tell us who the author of this document is?
5 A. As far as I remember, I wrote this document.
6 Q. Because there is no signature, so I wanted to clear this up.
7 A. It is about what we did within the social work centre.
8 Q. We shall not go into detail into the document. It is
9 self-explanatory to the fullest, and the Trial Chamber will certainly be
10 able to see that. Will you tell me: Who was it for? Who was it intended
11 for? Who was it written for?
12 A. It was our standard practice -- it was the standard practice for
13 the Executive Board of the Municipal Assembly to be informed about the
14 work of the service. So it was intended for the Executive Board of the
15 Municipal Assembly.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] If there are no objections - and I
18 believe that this has already been said at the beginning - can we be
19 assigned an exhibit number for this document, please.
20 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit D100/3 and ter for the B/C/S.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. We shall go back to the subject of exchanges. Tell me: From the
23 moment when, in the fall of 1992, the commission was actually set up, and
24 before that, and after that, when you started having direct contacts with
25 the other sides, with their commissions, with the Croatian and Muslim
1 sides, how often did you meet with them and how often did your
2 commission -- all these commissions hold their meetings, and how often did
3 you have to go outside Samac territory for that purpose?
4 A. It is hard to give you an answer in terms of a single figure, but
5 I believe it was once a week that we held such meetings, went for such
6 meetings with representatives of the commissions of the HVO, i.e., the
8 Q. Please tell me: Do you know, from the beginning of 1993 and in
9 the course, throughout that year, whether Miroslav Tadic did anything else
10 apart from working on these exchanges?
11 A. I don't know which specific period, in 1993, from which period,
12 from which time in 1993, but I believe that Tadic had no other
13 assignments, no other duties, apart from this work.
14 Q. You said at the beginning of your testimony that he worked for the
15 civil defence. Can you actually define this period in 1993 when he no
16 longer worked for them, or you noticed that he no longer worked for the
17 civil defence? If you can just tell us the time more precisely, if you
19 A. I believe that it was already in the first half of 1993 that he
20 stopped doing work for the civil defence.
21 Q. Now let us discuss a bit your work with the Muslim commission, or
22 rather, the commission of the B and H Federation. So far we have more or
23 less been talking about exchanges involving Lipovac and Dragalic, which is
24 where the opposite side was the HVO or the Croats; right? How different
25 was the form of negotiations with the Muslims and with the Croats? In
1 what did the difference lie?
2 A. First of all, the security arrangements during meetings with these
3 commissions differed; namely, there was less security when we had talks
4 with the Muslim side, or rather, the security arrangements were more
5 relaxed. And these meetings with the Muslim side were also less
6 frequent. Both sides had their demands, their requests, for people to
7 cross over to the other side, but there were much fewer people interested
8 in actually crossing to the other side.
9 Q. You explained this yesterday. You told us that the Muslims also
10 wanted to go towards Croatia because that was the way to the west. Do you
11 know what would have happened to able-bodied Muslims, what happened,
12 actually, to able-bodied Muslims who went in the direction of the
13 Federation during the exchange?
14 A. As far as I heard from talking to these people, they actually
15 avoided going to the Muslim side because, first of all, that would not
16 enable them to go to a third country; and secondly, because they would be
17 mobilised into units into which they didn't want to go.
18 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Will the witness be shown document
19 internally marked PDB 107/3. [In English] Put it on the ELMO, please.
20 Put it on the ELMO.
21 Q. [Interpretation] I've just received information from the accused
22 that they cannot see the ELMO on the monitors?
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps we need assistance from the communications
25 MR. LUKIC: Mr. Usher, you can put it in front.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: I think all of us can see it. Anyway, we can
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Fine. Now it can be seen.
4 Q. Mr. Maslic, would you please take a look at this document. Is it
5 familiar to you? My question is the following: Where did these persons
6 report, and then what? When you'd compile a list like this, what would
7 you do then?
8 A. These persons reported to the local Red Cross, and this list was
9 used as a basis for showing to the Muslim side that these persons wish to
10 cross over to their side, specifically, here to the municipality of
11 Gradacac. All these persons had parts of their families in Gradacac, and
12 that is why they had expressed their wish to go there.
13 Q. These persons are from the municipality of Samac, aren't they?
14 A. Yes, but they expressed their wish to cross over to the other side
15 for family reunification, because somebody had stayed behind in Gradacac:
16 Wife, children, close family members.
17 Q. Let's just spell this out precisely. Gradacac was a town that at
18 that time was under the control of the army of the Muslim Federation,
19 under the control of the Muslims; is that right?
20 A. Yes, that's right.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like this document to receive
22 a number, please.
23 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit D101/3 and ter for the B/C/S.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic, this document -- how many pages does it
25 have? The English translation which you have, how many pages does it
1 have? Because it seems to be attached to another document which has --
2 can you please just lead us through so that we have the correct document?
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just a minute, please. I need to
4 check this. No, no, no. It's only these persons on page 2. These five
5 persons are also on the list. I mean, that is simply the order of the
6 pages. I mean, from number 26 up to number 30 are the same persons, I
7 mean those from 26 to 30.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Only it's typed out a bit differently,
10 but obviously the translation is right.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: No. This one that I have has up to 47 people. It
12 has three sheets. The English translation, if you check. And it was
13 signed by -- it shows as having been signed by the witness, actually. It
14 continues from 31 to about 47. If your case is that it's only up to 30,
15 fine. Just explain to us.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No, no, no. My case manager just told
17 me that one page was not attached properly, so it's simply this one page
18 that is not attached properly in the copies that you have. But I have the
19 right kind of document, so perhaps I can compare notes during the break
20 with the registrar and then we'll see whether it's all right. I see that
21 the registrar now has the right translation, the right kind of copy.
22 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
23 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Lukic, I think part of the problem with what
24 we have is that we have PDB 107/3, but then we have attached to it PDB
25 108/3 ter and 3, which is list of prisoners requested by the HVO Croatian
1 Defence Council. So it seems as though we have attached to our English a
2 separate document as well, in both languages.
3 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Obviously this is a mistake. We'll
4 take care of it during the break. But perhaps now we can just have an ID
5 number, if there's a problem, or perhaps we don't have to assign it a
6 number one way or another and we can do it after the break. However,
7 since we have provided a proper kind of copy to the registrar, perhaps we
8 can go on. We don't have to deal with it straight away, perhaps.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: No. We can go ahead with the number now that it has
10 been explained. So the list is from 1 up to 47. Yes.
11 MR. LUKIC: That's right.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: So we shall have the number given by the registrar
14 MR. LUKIC: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we just have the number repeated from the
16 registry, please.
17 THE REGISTRAR: I reconfirm that the number of the Exhibit is
18 D101/3 [Realtime transcript read in error "D103/3"] and ter for the B/C/S
19 version. Thank you.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Let me just check with the registrar.
22 I think that the number, the one that I established here, was D101.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It's D101/3.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Because the transcript says D103. But
25 I think we've clarified it now. Let us proceed.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like another document to be
3 shown to the witness. It is PDB 114/3.
4 Q. Mr. Maslic, this document is a bit illegible, but let me repeat
5 what another witness in these proceedings said. It is extremely
6 transparent. Would you give me your comment with regard to what you see
7 over here? I am particularly interested in the second part of this
8 document. Could you please explain that.
9 A. I am familiar with this document. This is a list of persons who
10 went for an exchange and who had expressed their wish to do so.
11 Q. Why were these persons brought to -- brought for an exchange to
12 express their wish?
13 A. Because the representatives of the Muslim commission insisted on
14 having these persons come because they did not believe that these persons
15 did not want to cross over to the other side. And this was the usual
16 practice, that the Red Cross and the commission would make it possible for
17 each and every person to state their wishes and to see their family
19 Q. Did they state their views before members of the commission from
20 both sides?
21 A. I said already that usual practice was that they state their views
22 before the Muslim commission and that they themselves agree with them, or
23 rather, that they state their views before their commission.
24 Q. One more question in relation to this subject: Were there
25 situations when you asked for a Serb, a person who was on their territory,
1 to come and to tell you personally that he didn't want to come to your
3 A. Yes. The same kind of practice prevailed, and this list shows
4 that there were persons who in the territory of the municipality of
5 Gradacac and who did not want to come to our territory.
6 Q. Were such lists made often?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we please assign a number to
10 this document as well? I'd like to tender it into evidence.
11 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit D102/3 and ter for the B/C/S.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] One more document, the last one that I
13 want to discuss with this witness, is the document that was internally
14 marked PDB -- no. Sorry. I beg your pardon. This is a Prosecution
15 document that was introduced by the Prosecution when they dealt with it at
16 the end. It is P146/41. If you remember, it was Ms. Aisling who
17 introduced this large number of documents, exchange lists, and they all
18 got a joint number, that is to say, P146, and the particular list that I'm
19 interested in is 41 [In English] It's a list from -- it's the last
20 list, 29 of September, 1993. ERN -- excuse me. Let's see. No, not that
21 one. The last one. This one.
22 JUDGE LINDHOLM: What's the number? What's the number of the
24 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, it is P146/42.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Tell me one thing: Lukavac, the municipality of Lukavac, was
2 under whose control at that time?
3 A. The municipality of Lukavac was under the control of the army of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is to say, the Federation.
5 Q. So what does this document show? Who are they addressing, and
6 what is done with this document later, once it is handed over to someone?
7 A. This is a list where the representatives of the commission from
8 the municipality of Lukavac address their requests to commissions of the
9 municipality of Samac, the municipality of Modrica, and the municipality
10 of Doboj, I think. But I think that most of the persons on this list are
11 from Samac. So the requests pertain to those persons.
12 Q. And then what do you do specifically when you get a list like
14 A. On the basis of this kind of list, Red Cross employees would
15 inform these families that somebody was looking for them and that they
16 should state their wishes as to whether they want to cross over or whether
17 they want to meet up at the separation line itself.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to move on to another
20 matter related to the same subject. I have now prepared two brief video
21 clips, about two minutes respectively, with this witness. I'm also -- I
22 also have prepared the transcripts of these video clips. Now, why is this
23 so important? These are two different exchanges, one with the Muslim side
24 and the other with the HVO side. Each is actually half an hour. And the
25 content of these video clips is the way it is, and I would like the Trial
1 Chamber to be able to analyse these video cassettes later. I would now
2 like to have this witness identify a few of the key persons involved. So
3 we are going to be dealing with video footage of two minutes respectively
4 from each tape, so it won't be any longer than that.
5 Could the video director please play the first video clip? There
6 is very little dialogue. This is the very beginning. This is the second
7 paragraph on the first page. You can follow the dialogue. The dialogue
8 that you will hear.
9 [Videotape played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] I can hear you. Hello. Welcome.
11 Can you hear us? We're already moving. Now you can do the same.
12 Agreed. We are leaving now and see you at the same place. We are
14 Mind those mines there. Bypass them. I have the feeling that
15 this was done on purpose. Well, bon voyage. Did you see their police
16 with white belts? Look at that.
17 We haven't shaken hands. We don't know the exact results
18 established by the International Red Cross commission, but we have
19 representatives of the Red Cross here, and they will be in a better
20 position to tell you. I'm not aware of that.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that the original is barely
22 discernible, if at all.
23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] You should have called us. You
24 should have told us that you would not be coming or that you would be
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Maslic, tell us: Where was this taken?
3 A. This was taken at the separation line between the municipalities
4 of Modrica and Gradacac. This is typical. This is how we met with the
5 representatives of the other side. We see here the representatives of the
6 local Red Cross of Modrica, Samac, Doboj, Brcko, and on the other side
7 there are representatives -- members of the military commission from Banja
8 Luka and from Bijeljina. And on the other hand, there are representatives
9 of the military commissions from Gradacac, Tuzla, Gracanica, Lukavac, and
10 activists of the Red Cross from those municipalities.
11 Q. Tell me: Were there some mines on the road as you were going
12 there? Did this happen often?
13 A. Yes. I said a while ago that this way of contact was a high-risk
14 one. But we did manage to reach agreements, or rather, the military
15 commissions managed to reach agreements with unit commands. That is to
16 say, during this period, while we were at the separation line, there
17 should be a ceasefire.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Could we play the video footage again
20 from where we stopped it? Could we have it played on the monitor? Only
21 from that point where we stopped, please. Could we see -- could we see
22 that video footage again so that the witness could identify the persons
23 there. Thank you.
24 Q. Tell me now: --
25 [Videotape played]
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. Who is the man with grey hair, in uniform, on the left-hand side?
3 A. That is the president of the military commission of the Tuzla
4 district, Mr. Marko Duspara, representative of the army of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, of the Federation.
6 Q. What was he before the war, professionally speaking?
7 A. I don't know. But as I spoke to him, I realised that he worked
8 for the retirement insurance company in Tuzla.
9 Q. Who is the man next to him in uniform, a big man with black hair?
10 A. Yes. This is Mr. Milutin Grujicic, representative of the
11 commission for exchanges of the 1st Krajina Corps from Banja Luka.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have it played some more,
14 [Videotape played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] These people did not report to me.
16 Can we schedule this for Tuesday? I transmitted this, and Djoko was
17 present there. Look, we are exposed to the danger of shelling. I
18 apologise, Marko, but --
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Faster, please.
20 [Videotape played]
21 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] So we agreed that we would meet on
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Who is this man, the man who is speaking?
25 A. This is Slobodan Despotovic from the municipality of Modrica. I
1 believe he was a member of the military commission.
2 Q. Thank you. Can we continue showing the video?
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Who is this man, the man with the glasses, the man who is sitting?
6 A. This is Matija Bodirogic, the man to the left.
7 Q. No. The man with the glass, wearing glasses, to the right, on the
8 left side, this man in uniform, this -- no, no. I'm sorry. In the left
9 bottom corner, sitting with the glasses.
10 A. As I said, this is Matija Bodirogic, president of the military
11 Exchange Commission from Bijeljina, as far as I can recall.
12 Q. Take a good look. I'm not going to suggest anything to you, but
13 is not this man from the Muslim commission?
14 A. No, no. I apologise. This is Mr. Safet Kikic from Gradacac,
15 from the military commission.
16 Q. Do you know what he did before the war?
17 A. Yes. He is a jurist by profession, a lawyer. He worked as a
19 Q. Thank you.
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the technicians to
21 play the second part of the video clip.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic, before they play that, I just want to be
23 clear: The second part, it will be on the same video footage? Because
24 I'm thinking about the numbering.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay. All right.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The first footage running time is
3 about 30 minutes and the second clip about 35. I just want while this is
4 being rewound to draw the attention of the Trial Chamber to the fact that
5 it was very hard for us to compile these transcripts because there are
6 many people speaking at the same time. So that we really tried to do our
7 best for every word to figure in the BH transcript. Perhaps there
8 might be some unclarity in the translation into English, but I believe the
9 transcript rather reflects the entire conversation rather well.
10 [Videotape played]
11 Q. So here we saw military personnel in uniform.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Yes. We can have this still here. It doesn't have to move. Do
14 you know what this is, what this place is?
15 A. This is a meeting between representatives of the Croatian and
16 Serbian sides. On the left, Croatian representatives Mr. Mijo Matanovic,
17 Ante Kujic, and I do not know who the man in the centre is. And on the
18 left side are representatives of the Serbian side, Mr. Grujicic,
19 Mr. Simeunovic.
20 Q. You said to the left. You mean to the right?
21 A. Yes. I apologise.
22 Q. So the representatives of the Serbian are on the right side.
23 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we continue? Can the video
24 director please play the tape.
25 [Videotape played]
1 MR. LUKIC: A little bit back, please. Stop here.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Who is this man in a white shirt, on the left?
3 A. Yes, on the left. This is Mr. Milutin Grujicic.
4 Q. Why is he in mufti?
5 A. Because this meeting was held in UNPA zone, the zone under the
6 United Nations control, so one could not enter the zone in uniform, in
7 military clothes, clothing.
8 Q. Thank you. Can we be assigned a number for this exhibit?
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please. And the translation.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] To clarify my last question. It was
11 page 19, line 4. I asked: Why was he wearing civilian clothes?
12 THE REGISTRAR: The video on the exchange of the civilians of
13 Gradacac, 14th of May, 1993, will be assigned Exhibit D103/3. The English
14 transcript of the video will be D103/3A and the B/C/S version will be
15 D103/3 ter. Thank you.
16 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Let us now deal with the exchange which took place in December
18 1993, the end of December 1993. You mentioned that Hajra Drljacic was a
19 neighbour of yours, a first-door neighbour of yours. Do you have any
20 knowledge regarding her exchange? Did she address you? And I will simply
21 ask you: Did you force her to be exchanged?
22 A. I said that Mrs. Hajra Drljacic, a neighbour of mine -- this was
23 an isolated person. She lived a rather lonely existence. She was not
24 married. She did not -- she was not very -- on very good terms with the
25 neighbours. She did not socialise much. She did have contact with me,
1 and we were on good neighbourly terms, however. So she came to the Red
2 Cross chapter often. She took the written messages from the International
3 Red Cross there. And as far as I can remember, these messages were
4 written to her by her daughter, who lived in Osijek. She often came to
5 report, state her wish to be exchanged, and then she would change her mind
6 and give up the idea. And I know that she asked me what she was to do,
7 and I told her: This is your decision. You have to decide what it is
8 that you want to do, and you have to tell your daughter so, so that she
9 would know, and that she should not seek you if you don't want to go.
10 So to her question what she was supposed to do, I told her that
11 she should go to the line and state her views, state her preferred option
12 there, and that she should also see her daughter. I don't know what she
13 did, what she actually did, but I believe that she was later exchanged and
14 went to live with her daughter in Osijek. I don't think that anybody else
15 in the Red Cross told her anything else, because she was quite a sick
16 woman, in quite poor health condition, and I'm sure that everyone would
17 have helped her, given her condition.
18 Q. Tell me whether, towards the end of 1993, any problems cropped up
19 in the relationship between the Muslims and Croats in respect of the
20 departures of Muslims into Croatian territory. Do you have any
21 information to that effect?
22 A. Yes. The representatives of the commission from Croatia, the
23 Croats, told us that there were clashes between Muslims and Croats in the
24 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that such persons, such Muslim
25 persons, would not be accepted, would not be admitted into Croatia. I
1 didn't ask why. This is actually what I heard as having been stated in a
2 statement by the president, the president of their commission.
3 Q. But how did this exchange actually proceed? Who went there? How
4 was it carried out?
5 A. You're talking about the exchange of the 24th?
6 Q. Yes. I mean the 24th of December, 1993, which is the last
8 A. Negotiations were quite lengthy prior to that exchange, and so we
9 said in the end, at this date, so that the exchange would take place
10 before Christmas. So we agreed that it would take place on that date, at
11 1.00, in Dragalici. And as far as I can recall, there were Croats and
12 Muslims in that exchange. And Serbs were also supposed to come from
13 Orasje and Bukva Greda, the village of Bukva Greda in Orasje municipality,
14 as well as Serbs from Orasje.
15 However, we normally entered the UNPA zone. Members of the United
16 Nations forces were there seeing that the standard procedure was being
17 applied, as usual. So we entered the UNPA zone and we waited for the
18 exchange to take place. It was standard practice for the troops always to
19 be present on the spot. The representatives of the Croatian side failed
20 to show up, so that a soldier of the United Nations went to inquire why,
21 and we had no contact with them at that place. We couldn't have any
22 contact with them there. The soldier was not given a reply and he just
23 told us that there was no one on the other side. It was only towards
24 evening that we were told that the representatives of the Croatian
25 commission would come to deal with the problem. It was quite cold.
1 People were unhappy, dissatisfied. But we could not return, go out of the
2 UNPA zones because of the rules that we had to abide by, which were the
3 rules applied by the senior -- by the battalion and the senior officer in
4 charge, the commander of the Nepalese battalion told us that we couldn't
5 leave the zone. So we waited.
6 And in the evening, Mr. Marko Milos arrived in the area. He is a
7 member, I believe, of the HVO military commission. And that was the first
8 time when I saw him in uniform. He came and he apologised to the people
9 in the bus, because it was indeed very hard to sit in the bus, where it
10 was very cold.
11 Q. So my correction of the transcript, page 22, line 2, the witness
12 said that he could not return, go back from the UNPA zone.
13 A. Yes. On that occasion we asked Marko Milos why had all this been
14 done in this way, and he said that he would have to apologise to the
15 people, and he indeed apologised to the people. And he said that they
16 were facing problems within their own leadership. I know that he then
17 called his, as he said, boss, and that after a couple of hours that they
18 came and that they promised that they would make it possible for the
19 people to cross over where they wanted. To our question what about the
20 Serbs from Orasje, that we had also agreed would be coming, he said that
21 he was unable to bring them then because it was already late. It was
22 already night. But that it was his desire for those citizens, for those
23 persons, which included Muslims and Croats as well, to celebrate
24 Christmas, but not in this way. So we accepted this proposal, and these
25 people were then brought subsequently.
1 Q. Please tell me just briefly whether before this exchange, Ivica
2 Pandurevic came to see you, asking you for this exchange to be organised,
3 without going into detail.
4 A. Ivica Pandurevic, as I've already said, was the commissioner of
5 the Zasavica local community. He came to the Red Cross very often to deal
6 with various humanitarian issues. But then, before that exchange, he came
7 and told us that there were very many refugees in the village and that
8 they were encountering problems with these people who had settled there
9 from Zavidovici, Kakanj, Vares, and that they were having trouble with
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] We have finished with all the
13 exchanges. I will now proceed with the last set of my questions, within
14 which I'm interested in a specific topic.
15 Q. Was there any talk about money, any offers of money being made in
16 connection with the exchanges, or any similar -- were any -- did you ever
17 hear of anyone asking for money, demanding money? Was there any talk
18 about such things?
19 A. I heard in town that there were such rumours, but I myself had no
20 occasion to personally either witness or hear that somebody had taken
22 Q. Did you try to clear this matter up, to see -- to get to the
23 bottom of such stories?
24 A. Well, once I got in touch with an officer in a brigade. I talked
25 to him about this, and I told him that such practices needed to be
1 punished very severely, if indeed there existed such practices.
2 Q. Thank you. Tell me whether you personally ever heard that
3 Miroslav Tadic ever asked anyone for money or any kind of service.
4 A. I never heard that Mr. Tadic asked anyone for money or any other
6 Q. Did you see anyone give him money, even though he didn't ask for
7 it, or anything else?
8 A. No, I never saw anything of the kind.
9 Q. Tell me now: You said at first that you knew Miroslav Tadic very
10 casually before the war, but we had the opportunity of hearing that you
11 met up often during the war. So we would like to hear your opinion about
12 Miroslav Tadic as a person. What did you conclude about him after all
13 those years that you worked together with him?
14 A. I said that I knew Mr. Tadic only by sight from before the war. I
15 met him during the war. I can say that he is a man who reacted very
16 emotionally when it came to people and helping people. He made an effort
17 to help them. He did not spare his own time, regardless of who this was
18 about. He wanted to help, and I think that he did help whoever he really
19 could have helped.
20 Q. Were there any differences involved in terms of ethnic background,
21 as relates to the persons he would help?
22 A. There was no difference, none whatsoever, regardless of ethnic
24 Q. Mr. Maslic, when you took part in the process of exchanges, what
25 was your objective and what was your wish? What did you want to achieve
1 through that kind of work?
2 A. Since I'm a social worker by profession, so I am a humanist. As I
3 worked in the Red Cross, as a Red Cross activist, I had the opportunity
4 and obligation to help people. And in contact with the representatives of
5 the International Committee of the Red Cross and at their suggestions, and
6 in view of their intention and wish to help people who were in trouble, in
7 a war situation, they indeed did need help, within the local Red Cross,
8 within the service for searching for persons, missing persons, it became
9 necessary to make it possible for persons, that is to say, civilians,
10 citizens, to express their wish to leave the territory of the municipality
11 of Samac and reunite with their family members elsewhere. And within this
12 effort and with that intention in mind, we had great support and
13 assistance from the International Red Cross. We took part in this. And I
14 think that we did carry out our mission, that is to say, helping people.
15 Q. That was supposed to be my next question. Now, ten years later,
16 after all of this happened, do you think that you accomplished your task?
17 Did you achieve your objective, your wish, when you originally started
18 doing this kind of work?
19 A. Now that we are looking at this with ten years' hindsight, and
20 when we look at all the trouble that the citizens of the Samac
21 municipality went through, I see that practically all these citizens have
22 returned, and they live in their own houses in Samac. We live together as
23 good neighbours. A very large number of these persons address both me and
24 our activists with words of gratitude. They say that at the time they
25 were in a situation that truly required help, and indeed they did get that
1 help. Not a single citizen who is an ethnic Muslim or an ethnic Croat and
2 who now lives here said anything bad to me. They said that they were
3 not -- they never said that they were not satisfied with something. Of
4 course, there wasn't enough food or medicine, but this kind of help that
5 we did receive was equally distributed.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have
8 concluded the examination-in-chief.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Any other counsel?
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: No, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Very well.
12 Cross-examination --
13 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, I have some questions, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, I see.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Maslic. You just mentioned now
18 a few examples of citizens of Samac who returned to Samac and who live
19 there now. Do you know whether in mid-May, in 1992, in Budapest, in the
20 presence of the International Red Cross, an agreement was signed among the
21 warring parties in Bosnia? Because, after all, you did work for the Red
23 A. I heard of such an agreement, but I'm not aware of any details.
24 Q. Did you find out perhaps later that one of the important
25 principles of that agreement was the return of civilians to their place of
1 residence once the war is over?
2 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, the witness has made his
3 position clear.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: He heard of it, doesn't know any details. Details
6 are now being sought. That can't be possible, as a mattered of logic. If
7 he doesn't know any details, he doesn't know any details, and that's the
8 end of the matter.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I would just like to clarify whether
10 after or maybe a later stage of the war he has a personal knowledge about
11 the principles of that quite important agreement, because he was chief of
12 the local Red Cross. So let's find out whether he's aware or not.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: His answer is so categorical, that I'm not aware of
14 any details, and that's it. So you can't start suggesting to him the
15 details of the agreement.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Okay, Your Honour. Thank you.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, Mr. Maslic: The presence of the
18 International Red Cross, or rather, the representatives in Samac in 1992,
19 you referred to these contacts, I mean, how would you describe this? Did
20 they come every day, once every month, once every six months? How often
21 were they present in Samac?
22 A. It is hard to say now whether they were there every two or three
23 days, whatever, but on average they came to Samac once a week.
24 Q. Tell me: Were there any restrictions upon their movement in
25 Samac? Was it possible for them to visit all the facilities they wished
1 to see in Samac?
2 A. As far as I know, every time they would come they would announce
3 this to the police and they would say what they wanted to visit and where
4 they wanted to go. As for contacts with the local Red Cross, they were
5 geared exclusively towards humanitarian matters. That is what they were
6 interested in and that is where we could render assistance.
7 Q. Tell me, Mr. Maslic: Were there any protests by the
8 representatives of the International Red Cross in 1992 and 1993 vis-a-vis
9 the local organisation or some civilian authorities? Did they protest in
10 any way?
11 A. As for protests, there weren't any. I know that at that time Mr.
12 Matteas, during a particular contact with us, said that he was satisfied
13 with our efforts and that they should be kept up and grow from day to day
14 so that we could attain our common objective: Helping people.
15 Q. Do you know that actually the ministry of the judiciary of
16 Republika Srpska was in charge of exchanges, or rather, coordinating all
17 of that?
18 A. I'm not aware of that.
19 Q. Do you know whether Blagoje Simic, in any way, affected the
20 exchange process? Did he say who could be exchanged and who could not be
21 exchanged? Did he behave in any discriminatory fashion towards the
22 non-Serb population of Samac in 1992 and 1993? What is your personal
23 knowledge about that?
24 A. As for the work I did, and the commission afterwards, I had no
25 contacts whatsoever with Blagoje Simic in this regard. As far as I know,
1 he did not participate in any way or did he show in any way that he wished
2 to affect that part of our work.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Maslic. [In English] [Previous translation
4 continues] ... my cross-examination.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Prosecution?
6 MR. RE: Your Honours, the Prosecution has an application in
7 relation to the -- before the cross-examination of this witness proceeds
8 and I'd like to make the application in private session and in the absence
9 of the witness.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. The witness will be led out of the
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
14 [Private session]
13 Pages 14310-14318 – redacted – private session
12 [Open session]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown D146/ -- sorry. My
15 apologies. P146/42.
16 Q. You commented on this document earlier this morning. Who created
17 this document?
18 A. This document was created by the Exchange Commission from Lukavac
20 Q. Which was in the control of the government of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina, forces of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
22 A. That is right.
23 Q. And it's essentially a request on their part to you, and provides
24 you with a list of people that they're interested in?
25 A. Yes, it is, but not only to me, but also to representatives of
1 other municipalities: Modrica, for instance, and Doboj also, I believe.
2 Q. And was Dzemal Memic president of this commission also handling
3 the exchange of prisoners of war, to and fro?
4 A. As far as I know, he was on the civilian commission, as far as I
5 can remember.
6 Q. They've obviously taken pains, then, to distinguish between
7 commissions that deal with the exchange and movement of civilians and
8 POWs, haven't they? You look at the top of the document, it says it's a
9 commission for the exchange and movement of civilians. Do you see that?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Look under number 2. It refers to Latifa Jasarevic, daughter of
12 Hamid, and claims that she is in Zasavica, in Bosanski Samac. Does that
13 just mean that she was living there?
14 A. As far as I know, she was not living there, but she was part of a
15 group of citizens who had been taken to Zasavica from Samac.
16 Q. Right. The document is a little more explicit when it comes to
17 dealing with number 9, Sabra Halilbasic, refers to Zasavica, Bosanski
18 Samac, as a camp. Do you see that?
19 A. Yes, I see that it is written this way.
20 Q. Plainly, then, the Muslim side was under the -- had the impression
21 or took the view that Zasavica was a camp. Would you agree with that
23 A. On the basis of what is written, this was their opinion, but that
24 was not the way it was.
25 Q. All right. Look under number 11, Meho Hurtic. It says that he's
1 in Bosanski Samac in detention as a civilian. But that couldn't be, so
2 could it, because you only held prisoners of war; no civilians were held
3 in detention in Bosanski Samac, were they?
4 A. No, they could not be detained as civilians. But this is their
5 information, on the basis of which this whole list was compiled.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic?
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] The witness said, as far as I
8 remember, that the detainees in Samac were detainees and not POWs. They
9 were detainees because of some proceedings which were going on against
10 them at that time. And when he did refer to POWs, it was in Batkovic, I
12 MR. DI FAZIO: I believe the thrust of his evidence was that they
13 were detained and then taken to Batkovic. I'll provide the witness with
14 an opportunity to clarify.
15 Q. Why were people kept in detention in Bosanski Samac?
16 A. I said that these people had been detained, they were detainees.
17 Why that was so, I don't know.
18 Q. Well, if you don't know why they were being detained in Bosanski
19 Samac, that must have been one of the most compelling possible reasons for
20 you to go into those places and to find out why they were being detained.
21 Is that not so? You, who are concerned with humanitarian issues.
22 A. We certainly did deal with humanitarian issues, but we were unable
23 to go into the reasons why that situation was the way it was. It wasn't
24 allowed for us to do so as Red Cross activists.
25 Q. Do I take it, then, from your answer that you made efforts to gain
1 access to the detention centres in Bosanski Samac?
2 A. Red Cross activists of the local Red Cross chapter visited the
3 detainees and rendered basic assistance to them.
4 Q. As president of the commission, wasn't it incumbent on you to go
5 along and have a first-hand view of the situation in the camps of the
6 city, town, that you were responsible for?
7 A. I never went to these places myself, but the -- but other Red
8 Cross activists did. As I mentioned, Mr. Vasovic, Mrs. Petkovic, and
9 Mrs. Jovanovic, Anka.
10 Q. Well, did you take pains from them to find out why these people
11 were being detained, what class of prisoner they might be? Because
12 that was, after all, an extremely important thing for you to do, given
13 your humanitarian brief.
14 A. I certainly did take pains to find out in what kind of a situation
15 these people were, what it was that they needed of relief, of assistance,
16 whether they needed medical care, whether they needed food, and similar --
17 everything which is within the domain of the Red Cross's activities.
18 Q. So therefore, you had a good, clear picture of what was going on
19 in the detention centres, in the TO building, in the SUP, in the high
20 school gym, in the primary school gym?
21 A. Only in respect of the Red Cross and the needs of these people
22 that could be met by the Red Cross.
23 Q. No, that's not my question. My question is very, very simple. As
24 a result of your workers going into the detention centres, you formed a
25 clear, good, solid view of conditions in those places I mentioned: In the
1 TO, in the SUP, in the high school gym and the primary school gym?
2 MR. LUKIC: Objection, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I believe that as this is on the basis
5 of hearsay, this question would have to be based on what kind of
6 information he got, whether this was sound information, and this is
7 something that the witness has no way of knowing, because it is hearsay.
8 So the wish and solid view is indeed not applicable in this particular
9 case. It should be reformulated for the witness.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio, especially when the witness has
11 said that the other activists are the ones who actually went there
12 physically. So maybe he got the information, but if you're asking for
13 what conditions, be specific.
14 MR. DI FAZIO:
15 Q. Did the activists who went into the detention centres in the TO
16 building, in the SUP building, in the gyms in the primary school and the
17 high school, did they provide you with the living conditions that the
18 inmates were undergoing at the time?
19 A. The activists who went to these places told me that the conditions
20 were poor, that there were people there in need of medical care, that
21 there were people there in need of food, and that there were people there
22 who wished to get in touch with their family members.
23 Q. Did they tell you that there were people there who were being
24 beaten, tortured, on a daily basis?
25 A. I heard them say that they had seen people with traces of beating,
1 and this was conveyed -- this information was conveyed to the medical team
2 who went there in order to extend protection to those people.
3 Q. Was Dr. Brdar Ruza Masic one of the doctors who went to the
4 detention centres?
5 A. I believe that she was, but she did not go there alone. She was
6 not the only one who went there.
7 Q. Did you, given that you had been informed of these humanitarian
8 crises in this establishments, did you tell the Crisis Staff or report to
9 the civilian authorities, the Executive Board, for instance, of what was
10 going on in these detention centres?
11 A. I did not get in touch with the Crisis Staff, and as for the
12 civilian authorities, that is, the Executive Board, I told them, and also
13 to the police which was guarding these people, I told them about the
14 situation which obtained there.
15 Q. What was the response of the police?
16 A. They said that this was no concern of the Red Cross, that these
17 were people against whom there existed criminal charges, had been filed
18 against them, and that we were to do our own work, which was the work of
19 the Red Cross, and not the police's work.
20 Q. Well, did you take care to establish what sort of criminal charges
21 had been laid against them? Did you find out?
22 A. There was no way I could find that out, nor had it been made
23 possible for me, nor is that part of my work.
24 Q. So therefore, you were faced with a situation where you had
25 reported to you, from your own workers, evidence of beatings, evidence of
1 poor living conditions in these places, and essentially, when confronted
2 by police telling you it was none of your business, you accepted it. Is
3 that the situation?
4 A. We did not accept it. I could not accept that. But as far as I
5 remember, the representative of the Red Cross had a talk, a direct talk
6 with the police about the situation and asked for certain measures to be
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Excuse me. Just one small correction for the
9 transcript. The witness was referring to ICRC, not the Red Cross, because
10 so far when he said "Red Cross," he referred to the local Red Cross, and
11 now he was referring to ICRC.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That will be corrected.
13 MR. DI FAZIO:
14 Q. Well, did you consider writing a report --
15 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise, Your Honour, and my learned
16 friend. Also another correction. It's page 44, line 21. Instead of
17 "representative," I believe that we heard that it was president of Red
18 Cross, local Red Cross, or something like that.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Now that causes confusion. Maybe the question can
20 be asked so that the witness can clear the identity of the persons.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Who was the person from the Red Cross, and which Red Cross are you
23 referring to, who had the direct talk with the police about the situation?
24 A. The representatives of the International Committee of the Red
25 Cross. And in the first part, I said that we too, the local Red Cross,
1 had informed the police about the situation in those places.
2 Q. Did the local Red Cross speak to the International Committee of
3 the Red Cross regarding the conditions in the camps?
4 A. I mentioned Mr. Matteas Kind, the representative of the
5 International Committee of the Red Cross, and I talked with him -- may I
7 Q. Yes, please do.
8 A. I talked with him about questions associated with these people who
9 were detained. He told me that he himself would personally talk to and
10 request from representatives of the police for these people to be
11 protected, and also that the local Red Cross chapter would get adequately
12 involved and help these people as much as possible within their terms of
13 reference. I know that we were not informed by him about the results of
14 these talks of his with the police.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that we are missing something here in
16 the transcript.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that the -- what we heard what witness
19 said is that the representative, that gentleman with the name of Matteas,
20 actually spoke with the detainees in the police station or TO.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Can you clarify that, Witness? What did you actually say?
23 A. Mr. Matteas talked with both the representatives of the police,
24 every visit was announced, and he talked to them, but he also talked with
25 the detainees, because, as he put it, he had been working on their
1 records, on their registration, and every time he saw them he would take
2 to them and from them written messages which were being communicated
3 via the Red Cross. He would leave the empty forms with us.
4 Q. Okay. But your position is that this man, Matteas, as a result of
5 speaking to you, went to the police and confronted them about the
6 conditions in the prisons?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. This morning you were giving evidence --
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Di Fazio. Just in case you're
10 moving on. I had one question following on from yours, for the witness.
11 Mr. Maslic, under the terms of the United Nations Geneva
12 Convention on the treatment of civilians in time of war of 1949, there are
13 provisions which apply to delegations of the International Committee of
14 the Red Cross, and one of the articles in particular, Article 143, does
15 provide that the ICRC shall have access to all premises occupied by
16 protected persons and shall be able to interview such persons without
17 witnesses, personally, or through an interpreter.
18 And I'm just wondering, given your conversations with the
19 gentleman Mr. Matteas: Did he indicate to you how the detainees, the
20 protected persons, in other words, that he spoke to, how they were
21 selected? Did he pick the people he wanted to talk to or was he presented
22 with certain people by the police?
23 And the second part of my question is: Did he have the capability
24 to interview such persons basically in private, without any members of the
25 police being present? Thank you.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I know, Mr. Matteas
2 conducted all the interviews with the detainees. He was alone with an
3 interpreter. He would not allow any other person to be present at such
4 interviews, and the representatives of the local Red Cross never
5 accompanied him there, because he would not let them. And he did invoke
6 the convention. As for cooperation with the police and the presence of
7 the police and the picking of the detainees with whom the interviews were
8 to be conducted, I don't know about that. I don't know what kind of a
9 relationship they had in that particular regard. But I do know that he
10 always established such contacts after having announced his intention to
11 the police, and he requested permission from them to go and visit these
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
14 MR. DI FAZIO:
15 Q. How do you know he was always alone with an interpreter and would
16 not allow any other person to be present at these interviews? Were you
18 A. I wasn't there. I was not with him. But during the talks, we
19 always had -- and we always had talks in the local Red Cross after
20 such visits, he always accentuated that he wanted and requested the
21 authorities to enable him to do that, to conduct those interviews alone,
22 himself. So I never was personally present there, and this is what he
23 would say after these visits, coming to visit us in the Red Cross local
25 Q. So he gave you to understand that, as a representative of the
1 International Committee of the Red Cross, he had no problems obtaining
2 access to prisoners and speaking to them, and speaking to them in
3 private? That's your position, that's what was reported to you?
4 A. I'm not claiming that he did not have any problems, but when
5 visiting the local Red Cross chapter, he always emphasised the method and
6 the procedure that he wished in terms of his gaining access to and having
7 contact with the detainees.
8 Q. Okay. I'm not suggesting that he was living an entirely
9 problem-free life either. But essentially, he gave you to understand
10 that, as the representative of the International Committee of the Red
11 Cross, he was gaining access to all the prisoners he wanted to see, was
12 being entitled to -- allowed to speak to them privately, and generally
13 fulfil his role as a member of the International Committee of the Red
15 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
17 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] This is absolutely the same question
18 to which the witness has replied. This is a repetition of the same
19 question. The Prosecution wishes an answer to it again.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: No. He said that the witness had -- wasn't
21 claiming that the witness didn't have problems and that the witness
22 emphasised the method and procedure that he wished to use in order to gain
23 access. My question is a different thing, a different issue.
24 Q. Is your position that this man, this had Mr. Matteas, essentially
25 had no problem in gaining access to prisoners and being able to speak to
1 them privately? Now, it's a question that can be answered with a simple
2 yes or no?
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but Mr. Lukic's objection is that it's
4 essentially the same question. Perhaps the part which doesn't appear to
5 be similar with the previous question is that whether Mr. Matteas did
6 fulfil his role as a representative of the International Committee of the
7 Red Cross, which is different from not having problems gaining access to
8 the detainees and having interviewed, according to his own instructions.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: That's, with respect, not exactly what I wanted. I
10 just wanted this witness to make absolutely clear whether or not his
11 position is Matteas could get access to the prisoners in an unhindered way
12 and be allowed to speak to them privately. Now, that can surely be --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but the witness did say -- he said that he --
14 he cannot say that Mr. Matteas did not have problems, but reported to him
15 during their discussions that he asked the police for permission, he
16 interviewed some detainees.
17 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well. Very well.
18 Q. Now, earlier in your evidence you said that Matteas was able to
19 confront the police regarding conditions in the detention centres. I take
20 it that he would have wanted to do that in order to protest to them about
21 the conditions that were in the -- that existed in the detention centres.
22 A. I have already said that he announced to the police that he would
23 be coming and that he wished to discuss these persons and the conditions
24 under which they lived. Now, whether he did intervene, and to what
25 extent, is something that I don't know. I didn't have any information
1 about that.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for one
3 minute, please?
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 MR. DI FAZIO:
7 Q. You agreed -- you agreed just moments ago that when he went to
8 speak to the police, he confronted them about conditions in the prison.
9 Your answer was yes. Now, that could only have been to protest about what
10 the conditions were, couldn't it?
11 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour. This is just calling for
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic. Oh, I see what you're talking about.
14 Mr. Di Fazio.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, this is the man who was there on the spot at
16 the time, if Your Honours please, and who was observing Mr. Matteas --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps it's the way you've put your question. If
18 you can be specific.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
20 Q. The confrontation was a protest, was it not?
21 A. I don't know what form this took, this addressing the police,
22 whether it was a protest.
23 Q. Well, one thing's for sure: He wasn't going to go to the police
24 and compliment them or congratulate them on conditions in those detention
25 centres, was he?
1 A. I didn't understand this question.
2 Q. It is inconceivable that Matteas was going to the police to
3 compliment them or congratulate them on conditions in the detention
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic. The witness can answer.
6 A. I don't think that he went to the police station to congratulate
7 them, but I do know that Matteas, through part of his work, that is to
8 say, that which entailed contact with the local Red Cross, did express his
9 interest in persons who were detained. As to what he talked about with
10 the police, I don't know about that, but I know that he was interested in
11 the conditions under which these people lived.
12 Q. Earlier this morning Mr. Lukic was asking you questions, and he
13 asked you: "Tell me, Mr. Maslic: Were there any protests by the
14 representatives of the International Red Cross in 1992 and 1993 vis-a-vis
15 the local organisation, or some civilian authorities? Did they protest in
16 any way?" And you answered: "As for protests, there weren't any. I know
17 that at the time, Mr. Matteas, during a particular contact with us, said
18 that he was satisfied with our efforts and that they should be kept up and
19 grow from day to day so that we could obtain our common objectives:
20 Helping people."
21 Do you remember saying that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. At the time that you gave that evidence this morning, had it
24 escaped your mind that Matteas had to go and speak to the police regarding
25 the conditions in the TO building and the primary school gym and the high
1 school gym?
2 A. He spoke about the conditions in general, and he asked for the Red
3 Cross, the local Red Cross, to be included and to give help. The local
4 Red Cross did what he asked for, that is to say, sent a medical team, sent
5 a team of activists who went there and helped these people, helped them to
6 the extent to which they could help them.
7 Q. Yes. I've heard your evidence on that, but that's not my
8 question. My question is simple. This morning Mr. Lukic took you to this
9 very topic and asked you about protests, and you said: "As for protests,
10 there weren't any," that he was satisfied with your efforts. Now, you
11 have agreed that Matteas was compelled to go and speak to the police
12 regarding conditions in the prisons. Why didn't you mention that this
13 morning when Mr. Lukic was asking you questions?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Just before the answer, lest the
16 witness be confused: These were questions that were put by Mr. Pantelic,
17 so in order to avoid any confusion on that score.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Certainly. I won't ascribe them to Mr. Lukic
19 then. I'm quite happy for them to be ascribed to Mr. Pantelic.
20 Q. So the question is: When Mr. Pantelic was asking you about
21 protests, why didn't you mention this visit of Matteas to the police to
22 complain about the detention centres?
23 A. I did not think that those were protests, that what Matteas said,
24 because that's not what he addressed to the Red Cross. I said that he had
25 been satisfied with his cooperation with us, and every time he insisted
1 that it was necessary to make as many efforts as possible by the activists
2 of the International Red Cross, and also we should go there more often and
3 help these people. Now, whether he protested with the authorities is
4 something that I don't know about. Generally speaking, when he spoke
5 about the conditions in which the citizens of the municipality of Samac
6 lived, he mentioned the persons who had been detained, and he spoke about
7 their conditions too, and he asked for assistance to be given to them. He
8 was satisfied with that assistance, and he did not lodge any protests as
9 to the work of the local Red Cross.
10 Q. On Friday --
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: In fact, I just have one question while you were
12 pausing there, Mr. Di Fazio.
13 Mr. Maslic, I wonder again whether Mr. Matteas ever spoke with you
14 concerning, number one, whether he was able to pick the detention centre
15 or camp that he wished to visit, again, according to that same Article 143
16 of the Geneva Convention, there is an obligation on the state concerned to
17 allow the ICRC representatives to go to any camp or detention centre they
18 wish. So I'd like to know whether Mr. Matteas ever told you that he had
19 the freedom to pick the high school, the TO, wherever. And then secondly,
20 number two, whether he had access to go wherever he liked in that
21 particular building. Could he go to where the detainees slept? Could he
22 visit the toilets and the wash areas, and so on? So could he choose the
23 detention centre or camp? And secondly, did he have freedom of access to
24 visit all of the rooms that he wished? Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that the persons who were
1 detained were under police jurisdiction, and Mr. Matteas cooperated with
2 the police in terms of announcing his visits, the visits themselves, the
3 places he wished to visit. Now, whether he could visit each and every
4 place, and whether each and every place was made accessible to him is
5 something that I cannot speak about, because this was not under the Red
6 Cross. Matteas knew that, and that is why he always addressed the police
7 and cooperated with the police regarding visits to these persons.
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: So if I understand you correctly, he never said
9 anything to you about wanting to visit such-and-such a detention centre
10 and being told: No, you can't. Is that -- my understanding correct?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Not with the local Red Cross. The
12 only visit we carried out together was to the village of Zasavica, which
13 is what I referred to during my testimony. We went there together,
14 because he did not know where that village was. He asked us at the local
15 Red Cross where this was and whether we could go there, and I said: Why
16 not? Let's. And we went there.
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And the second part of my question was: Did he
18 ever say anything to you concerning his ability to go and visit the places
19 where the detainees slept, where they went to the toilet, where they ate,
20 and so on and so forth? So separate and apart from the actual interview,
21 was he able to have free access to the actual facilities within the
22 building that the police had given him the go-ahead to visit?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know whether he had access
24 to all the premises there. He did not speak about that to me, or he did
25 not speak to the activists of the Red Cross about that. Each and every
1 conversation had to do with living conditions, hygienic conditions, not
2 whether this was possible altogether or not. Those questions he reserved
3 for the police, because we had no powers whatsoever. We could not approve
4 his visits to these places. We could not give him the go-ahead.
5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I understand that, Mr. Maslic. What I was asking
6 was: In his conversations with you, did he tell you what I've asked,
7 access and so on? Thank you.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, he never said that to me.
9 MR. DI FAZIO:
10 Q. Just following on from what you've just answered: You keep
11 telling us that you had no power over the detainees, but there was nothing
12 to prevent you from assisting the International Red Cross from carrying
13 out its brief, regardless of whether or not you had power to organise
14 visits. For example, you could provide them with information, the reports
15 of your workers, your activists who were going into these detention
16 centres, help him, point out to him that people were living in pretty
17 awful conditions and that there was evidence of beating. Did you do
19 A. Yes, we discussed that, and he was informed about it.
20 Q. Did you --
21 A. The living conditions, that is.
22 Q. This was, of course, a fairly serious matter and a matter that
23 should have been recorded; would you agree? After all, if prisoners are
24 being mistreated in conditions of war and you're a representative of the
25 local Red Cross, the fact of it occurring should have been recorded, and
1 the fact of your communications with the International Committee of the
2 Red Cross regarding that topic should have been recorded as well,
3 shouldn't they, regardless of whether you had the police -- regardless of
4 whether it was the police who held control over access to the prisons?
5 I'm sorry. Was my question translated to you or not?
6 A. I didn't understand. I'm sorry.
7 Q. Okay. The fact that people were being beaten and that the
8 conditions in the prisons were very poor was a matter that should have
9 been recorded, given the wartime conditions, by your local Red Cross;
10 would you agree?
11 A. I agree, and that was recorded. So all activists, after this
12 conversation with him, with Matteas, that is, on the basis of his proposal
13 and his requests, did their own part of the job. They went to prisons and
14 they did what he had asked for. They took messages for these people and
15 looked into their living conditions in terms of requests for food,
17 Q. No. Perhaps you misunderstand my question. The deteriorating and
18 bad living conditions and the beatings of the prisoners in the prisons was
19 a fact that should have been recorded by the local Red Cross, given your
20 humanitarian brief; do you agree or not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And those reports should have been provided to the government of
23 the Republic of Srpska; would you agree?
24 A. At that time, we had no obligations vis-a-vis the government of
25 Republika Srpska. We actually didn't even know it existed. Because we
1 were under siege. Well, not completely, but for the most part.
2 Q. Would you agree that those reports that you say had been prepared
3 should have been provided to the International Committee of the Red Cross?
4 A. Reports were submitted to the International Red Cross through
5 Mr. Matteas. This was done verbally, not in writing. And it had to do
6 with all these questions.
7 Q. Are you saying your reports, the reports that you had prepared,
8 were submitted to Mr. Matteas and that he, in turn, gave them to the
9 International Committee of the Red Cross?
10 A. We reported to Mr. Matteas as to what we had done, what the
11 situation was in those places, and he went there himself. I think that he
12 submitted these reports together, through International Red Cross
14 Q. I take it, then, that these were written reports and that the
15 local Red Cross in Bosanski Samac was the originator, the creator, the
16 maker of these reports.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I believe that the previous
18 answer -- previous answer that the witness gave was that those were oral
19 reports, not written reports. I mean --
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, I'd like to know for sure. I'm not entirely
21 certain from what the witness is saying. Now is his opportunity to
22 clarify that matter. And that's why I asked that very question.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Why don't you ask him in a straightforward
24 manner? Perhaps it would be easier. The question is: Did you give
25 written reports to Mr. Matteas about the conditions of the detainees?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not written ones. Oral ones.
2 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And in fact, Mr. Di Fazio, Mr. Lazarevic mentions
3 it had already been answered, and in fact it had, line 23, page 57, where
4 the witness says: "This was done verbally, not in writing."
5 MR. DI FAZIO: I apologise. Very well.
6 Mr. Re correctly points out that that's verbal reports to the
7 ICRC. Now, I'm asking about the situation relating to reports in Bosanski
8 Samac prepared by the local committee of the Red Cross, the organisation
9 with which this witness was involved, and it's a very simple question:
10 Were there any written reports created by the local Red Cross on
11 conditions in the detention centres?
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think it's the use of the word "reports"
13 maybe that is confusing. Do you want to find out whether they actually
14 prepared written records?
15 MR. DI FAZIO: I want to know if there are any records, reports,
16 writings --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: In writing.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Documents, call it what you will, anything on paper
19 or on a typewriter regarding conditions in the TO, the SUP, and the other
20 detention centres.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: That's the topic that I want to know.
23 Q. Are you aware of there being any reports or records or written
24 documents created in Bosanski Samac by the local Red Cross concerning the
25 conditions in the prisons?
1 A. I've already said that reports, or rather, information given to
2 Mr. Matteas was done verbally. There were no written reports.
3 Q. Thank you. Why didn't you make any written reports regarding the
4 conditions in the prisons and the conditions of the prisoners?
5 A. Because Mr. Matteas came very often. Everything he talked about
6 with our activists he recorded himself, he wrote down himself, and he did
7 not require any written reports. So he didn't ask us for written reports
8 and we didn't submit them. Because he said that he himself was writing
9 these reports and that he would submit them, through his own channels.
10 Q. Quite apart from what Matteas wanted and what the ICRC wanted,
11 wasn't it important for you, as a humanitarian and involved in the local
12 Red Cross, to keep the Crisis Staff or the War Presidency or the Samac
13 municipality informed of these bad conditions in the prisons?
14 A. We informed the Executive Council of the Municipal Assembly
15 verbally about those issues that were important with regard to many issues
16 pertaining to Red Cross work. One of these issues was certainly living
17 conditions. But I've already said that Mr. Matteas, with regard to all
18 these questions, contacted the representatives of the police, he
19 intervened there, so I think that that is the most that could have been
21 Q. Just one other question on this topic. Did you consider telling
22 the Executive Board about the beatings that your workers -- well, the
23 evidence of beatings that your workers had observed?
24 A. I think that also with regard to these issues, the Executive Board
25 had been informed.
1 Q. In writing?
2 A. Verbally.
3 Q. Have you got any idea why it is that if you find it necessary to
4 inform the Executive Board that prisoners are being beaten in the
5 detention centres in the municipality of Bosanski Samac, you did that in
6 writing, or rather -- sorry, you did that orally rather than in writing?
7 MR. LUKIC: Excuse me, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I do not object to this question, but
10 I think that this is a kind of hide and seek. First the witness should be
11 asked whether he provided information or the president of the Red Cross
12 did, because that is the first question that should be put, actually, and
13 then this could only follow.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: I agree and I'll ask the witness that.
15 Q. Who provided the Executive Board with this oral information
16 concerning beatings in the prisons?
17 A. Mr. Mihajlovic was then president of the Red Cross and all reports
18 were submitted very briefly, not in writing, as far as I know, as a Red
19 Cross activist, as a person who was there at the Red Cross. Why he did
20 not write this report, that is something that I cannot speak about.
21 Q. I take it from your answer, or can I take it from your answer that
22 Mihajlovic was the person who was presenting the reports, these oral
23 reports that you've mentioned?
24 A. Yes, that is right.
25 Q. Did the fact that these reports of mistreatment in the detention
1 centres were not being recorded in writing cause you any concern?
2 A. In what sense, concern?
3 Q. Were you concerned that the phenomenon, the fact that people were
4 being mistreated in the prisons wasn't being reported upon and written
5 upon by people who were involved in humanitarian concerns in Bosanski
6 Samac? In other words, it wasn't a written record of this mistreatment?
7 A. The fact is that there should have been recorded, written traces
8 of that. But in my capacity of activist, I consider Mr. Matteas as the
9 representative of the International Red Cross, that he was quite well
10 familiar, fully familiar with the situation.
11 Q. When did Matteas first appear in Bosanski Samac?
12 A. I said that he arrived very shortly after Mrs. Katherine, and I
13 believe that it was sometime in May.
14 Q. Right. So presumably, your activists had had access to the
15 prisons before that. Had they reported before his arrival any episodes of
16 mistreatment of the prisoners?
17 A. As far as I know, the activists had informed the police about such
18 beatings -- about such maltreatment, and we asked to be given permission
19 to go there and assist those people prior to the arrival of Mr. Matteas.
20 Q. Well, at that stage did you consider making any written report of
21 what your activists had seen, that is, before the arrival of Matteas?
22 A. As I said, at that time Mr. Mihajlovic was the president of the
23 Red Cross and I myself dealt more with questions of humanitarian relief
24 and the issues related to the work of the social work centre.
25 Q. Earlier this morning, when I was initially asking you questions, I
1 asked you some questions regarding Matteas confronting the police on the
2 issue of beatings of prisoners, and you said that he had done so. Do you
3 recall that?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. On Friday, last Friday, Mr. Lukic was asking you questions, and he
6 put these questions and you gave these answers on this topic. I'll just
7 refresh your memory. Question --
8 MR. LUKIC: May I have the page, please.
9 MR. DI FAZIO: Page 12 of the -- of the LiveNote transcript, page
11 Q. Do you know about any beatings taking place in these
12 units? Did anyone tell you about any beatings going on in
13 those units?
14 A. I heard from these activists that people had been
15 beaten and that there were traces of beating on the
16 persons there.
17 Q. Did you talk about this with Mr. Matteas? Did he
18 tell you -- did he convey to you any of his observations
19 in that particular respect?
20 A. Mr. Matteas did not wish to talk about this. He
21 told me that he was aware of what the extent of the
22 powers of the local Red Cross chapter were, but that
23 within his own mandate and the International Red Cross,
24 he would undertake everything in his power for these
25 people to be protected and for these people not to be
1 tormented. What he actually did do is something that I
2 don't know.
3 Q. Now, this morning you said that he confronted the police, whereas
4 on Friday you said that you didn't know what he did. Which is the correct
6 A. When I said that I didn't know what he had done, that is generally
7 speaking in respect of any activities that he might have undertaken in
8 connection with these people, whereas while talking to him about the
9 question of the beating of people, I used information which I had received
10 from our activists, and he asked for a medical crew to be sent to the
11 detention units, which was necessary in order to protect the people, and
12 he also said that he had reported to the police about these things.
13 Q. Perhaps I could make my question a little clearer, a little
14 starker. This morning you said in evidence, in response to questions by
15 Mr. Pantelic: Question -- I apologise. It was me. I asked you: "If
16 your position was that this man Matteas, as a result of speaking to you,
17 went to the police and confronted them about conditions in the prisons,
18 you said yes. But on Friday, Mr. Lukic asked you about what Matteas did.
19 You said: "What he actually did do is something that I don't know."
20 So you've told us that he -- today, that he went along and
21 confronted them specifically about conditions in the prisons, but on
22 Friday you didn't know what he did. So how do you reconcile those two
24 A. I understood Mr. Lukic to ask me what was it generally that Mr.
25 Matteas was doing as part of his mandate. But to your question, I
1 concretely replied that Mr. Matteas requested the local Red Cross chapter
2 to prepare a medical team, to be ready to offer medical help to these
3 people, and that he had informed there of the police, whereas our sole
4 obligation was to provide a doctor and medical staff to go to the prison
5 or the detention unit and to extend medical assistance to the people
7 Q. Another matter that I want to ask you about arising from that
8 answer that I quoted to you from Friday: Your position in that answer is
9 that Mr. Matteas did not want to speak to you about the beatings. You
10 said: "Mr. Matteas did not wish to talk about this." Were you surprised
11 when he indicated to you, as a member of the International Red Cross, that
12 he didn't want to speak to you about beatings in the detention centres?
13 A. He never talked with us about the beatings in the detention units,
14 and I consider that he held this particular position, or replied to us in
15 this way, because he knew full well that we had no competences whatsoever
16 nor were unable to make any decisions in that respect. When I said a
17 while ago that he had informed the police about the specific instance in
18 respect of these detained people, I believe that he said it rather in
19 order for us to be aware of the fact that he had undertaken all the
20 measures as part of his mandate that he could have taken.
21 Q. Well, did you say to Mr. Matteas: Look, Mr. Matteas, my activists
22 are in the prisons. They have access to these detention centres and they
23 can tell you all about the conditions? Did you try to provide him with
24 the information that was at your fingertips?
25 A. We gave him all the information that the local Red Cross chapter
1 have and its activists had, but he always thought that there could be --
2 that he could extend more help and that he needed more data in order to be
3 able to do so.
4 Q. Okay. And again, all the information that the local Red Cross
5 chapter had that you gave to him, was that in writing or was that again
7 A. This was oral information.
8 Q. Thank you. I want to turn to the first exchange that you've
9 discussed, the exchange where the woman Kathy from the ICRC was present.
10 You said that she, in the one sentence in evidence on Friday, that she
11 brokered the exchange, that she exclusively organised the exchange, and
12 that in order to do so, she sought the assistance of the Samac Red Cross.
13 Do you recall saying that?
14 A. Yes, I said that she had organised that exchange and that she
15 asked the local chapter for assistance in the technical sense in order for
16 that exchange to be carried out.
17 Q. With respect, you went a lot further than that, didn't you? You
18 said -- in fact, I'll quote it to you so there's no doubt about what you
20 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Can we have the page, please?
21 MR. DI FAZIO: 14.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Di Fazio, can we have a break for 20 minutes?
23 MR. DI FAZIO: Certainly.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll have a break for 20 minutes and continue our
25 proceedings at 1250 hours.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.53 p.m.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution continues cross-examination.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 Q. Yes. Now, I just want to remind you briefly of what you said on
6 Thursday. You said, in talking about Kathy and the first exchange, that
7 she had brokered the first exchange, she actually personally attended to
8 that exchange. You were asked to merely help her, and it was she that
9 exclusively, I quote here, exclusively organised that particular exchange.
10 Can you tell the Chamber how she exclusively organised that particular
12 A. What I meant was that she held those lists personally. She had
13 brought them from Odzak, and she took also similar lists to Odzak. That's
14 what I meant when I said exclusively, because it was she who had organised
15 this entire activity.
16 Q. Did she convey messages from one side to the other and assist with
17 the negotiations?
18 A. I think that she mediated in the negotiations, acted as a
20 Q. Did she provide you with a list of the requirements, the
21 logistical support that would be required to carry out the exchange, to
22 make it easier?
23 A. She did not ask for anything specific, nor did she give us any
24 lists to that effect. And she only asked the local Red Cross to help.
25 Q. All right.
1 A. In the sense of determining the location itself, the site
2 itself, the boats needed to transport people. And as I already indicated,
3 some were injured. So that the Red Cross will help organise that exchange
4 to be carried out on the river Bosna.
5 Q. The result is that the International Committee of the Red Cross
6 played a leading role, according to you, in the organisation, carrying
7 out, and completion of this exchange of people?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. One other matter that Judge Williams raised with you last week was
10 the use of a translator. When Kathy was carrying out her work, you said
11 that she didn't have a translator or an interpreter.
12 A. Yes. She was alone. She spoke some Serbian. She wasn't fluent,
13 but we could understand each other.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me?
15 [Prosecution counsel confer]
16 MR. DI FAZIO:
17 Q. Just returning - sorry - briefly to the previous topic, the
18 involvement of Kathy and the exchange. You would agree with me, then,
19 that the ICRC actively assisted in the movement of non-Serb population
20 from Bosanski Samac into Croatia and other places? That's your position;
21 you agree with that, don't you?
22 A. This is not what I claim. I claim that the ICRC helped us for
23 people to cross from one side to the other and to be reunited with their
25 Q. Right. And on this occasion, at least, the exchange in May, the
1 people who were crossing from one side to the other were non-Serb
2 civilians from Bosanski Samac, and Serbs were coming into Bosanski Samac?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. Thank you. Now getting back to the translator. She was obviously
5 playing an important role by travelling between both sides, dealing with
6 you and presumably dealing with the Croatian authorities as well.
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. You described her Serbian, her ability to speak Serbian, as
9 "nothing to write home about." That's your words. Do I take it from
10 that that it wasn't very good?
11 A. You're speaking -- you're referring about her linguistic ability?
12 Q. Yes, that's right. About her ability to speak B/C/S.
13 A. Well, she could speak Serbian sufficiently well for me to be able
14 to communicate with her. She was not fluent, but it was quite sufficient
15 in order to enable us to communicate.
16 Q. You agree that she was in a delicate position, acting as a
17 go-between between both sides, wouldn't you?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. And you agree that in this sort of situation, it would have been
20 imperative for to be able to understand clearly and precisely what all the
21 parties were saying?
22 A. Yes, I do.
23 Q. And you agree, don't you, that members of the International
24 Committee of the Red Cross routinely had access to interpreters and
25 translators in 1992?
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object to that. The witness already spoke that
2 that particular lady didn't have a witness, so what kind of question would
3 that be.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: That wasn't my question. My question was whether
5 employees of the International Red Cross routinely had access to
6 interpreters in 1992. It's a different thing. I know what the witness
7 has said. He said there wasn't a translator. It's a different question.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. Because you're asking him whether it was
9 routinely --
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Workers in the International Red Cross had
12 interpreters. You're asking him that question.
13 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll drop "routinely," then.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Because that's very general, in 1992.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Yes, it is general, but I fully intended it
16 to be general, if Your Honours please.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
18 MR. DI FAZIO:
19 Q. In your experience, then, did employees of the ICRC have access to
20 interpreters and translators in carrying out their duties?
21 A. Afterwards, they always had an interpreter, but at that time
22 Mrs. Katherine did not have an interpreter. Later on, all of them, all
23 the delegates, always had an interpreter present.
24 Q. Okay. Do you remember experiencing any problems with her less
25 than perfect Serbian?
1 A. No, I had no problems with it.
2 Q. Okay. And if I suggested to you that she was in fact accompanied
3 by an interpreter or translator, would you agree with me?
4 A. I did not see an interpreter.
5 Q. The role that Kathy had and played in that first exchange in May,
6 was it subsequently adopted in other exchanges by ICRC employees, in other
7 words, going between both sides, acting as a go-between, seeking
8 assistance to facilitate the process?
9 A. After that, she did not play such a role, nor did she need to,
10 because communication had been established. There were meetings, there
11 were negotiations which were held. But there were delegates,
12 representatives of the International Red Cross, present at such
14 Q. And what were they doing when they were present? Were they there
15 merely to observe or did they do anything active, that you saw?
16 A. They were present there, and they wanted to, and this is something
17 which they were indeed enabled to do, to hear what the person wishing to
18 cross over to either side actually wanted, whether that person wanted
19 indeed to cross to the other side. So they had occasion to hear that from
20 such persons.
21 Q. I see. And when that was taking place, they clearly identified
22 themselves as a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross to
23 the person who was about to cross over, explained who they were?
24 A. Yes. They clearly identified themselves as delegates of the
25 International Red Cross, and they asked every person wishing to cross over
1 to identify himself, or any person wishing to get in touch with them, the
2 representatives of the Red Cross, to identify themselves.
3 Q. Do you know if they asked the people about to cross over to the
4 other side if they wished to cross, if that was their desire?
5 A. Yes, they did.
6 Q. And it was at that point that some people decided: No, they
7 didn't want to cross, and came back. And you've seen some of those
8 episodes reflected in the records and the documents that were shown to you
9 by Mr. Lukic.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did these people ever explain why it was that they had made the
12 decision at that last moment and in the presence of the ICRC not to
13 cross? Did you ever find out?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I object to this part where the
16 Prosecutor said that at the last moment because the witness said that they
17 had to go to the separation line to state their preferred options. The
18 witness had already explained this. So this "last moment" is actually
19 imputed through this question, and this is not what the witness had said.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio. Mr. Lukic is right. But there
21 is no harm in asking him whether he found out.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes.
23 Q. Did these people ever explain why it was that they made the
24 decision at that moment and in the presence of the ICRC, not to cross?
25 A. They had never wanted to cross, but they had to come there to
1 state their option, and then they would return home and continue living
2 normally. And the reason why they didn't want to go was that they simply
3 wanted to stay in Samac.
4 Q. I'm not quite certain what you mean. You said they had never
5 wanted to cross, but they had to come there to state their option. What
6 do you mean by "they had never wanted to cross"?
7 A. Because they decided that they didn't want to leave Samac, but the
8 other side sought them. They were sought after by the other side. So
9 because of the other side, because of the request from the other side,
10 they had to come to the line of separation and to say right there that
11 they didn't want to go in order for the other side not to seek them any
13 Q. Why on earth was that required? Why couldn't they just stay in
14 their house or flat in Bosanski Samac and say: No, I'm not interested.
15 I just want to live here in the Serbian republic of the Republika Srpska.
16 Why did they have to travel all the way to this exchange, taking up
17 valuable space in a bus or whatever, and there inform the Croatian
18 authorities or whoever?
19 A. The representatives of the Croat authorities were seeking them,
20 and they did not believe that they didn't want to go. And the
21 International Red Cross didn't believe that they didn't want to go
22 either. The International Red Cross suggested that it would be best if
23 they would come to the very spot and say what their preference was, so
24 that then the Croatian side would be aware of what was happening.
25 Q. Why couldn't you just organise a bunch of these people who had
1 been called by the Croatian authorities and take them along to Mr. Matteas
2 and say: Look, these are the people the Croatians want to cross, but they
3 don't want to go, so we'll give you access to them in a room and you can
4 speak to them privately and you can be satisfied that they don't want to
5 go. Why couldn't it be done in that way?
6 A. But the representatives of the Croats kept asking for this
7 persistently, and that was the obstacle: Why could they not hear from
8 these people themselves, because they would not believe it otherwise, if
9 that person would not tell them that they didn't want to go.
10 Q. Well, now, you said that the reason they had to be taken down to
11 the point of crossing was twofold: Number one, the Croats didn't believe
12 that they didn't want to cross; and number two, the International Red
13 Cross didn't believe that they didn't want to cross. Now, you could keep
14 the International Committee of the Red Cross quite happy by simply
15 showing -- by simply allowing them access to these people who had been
16 requested by the Croats but didn't want to cross. That's so, isn't it?
17 A. The International Red Cross did have access to these people. They
18 could communicate with the International Red Cross.
19 Q. Right. And so the International Red Cross could go and speak to
20 them, and the International Red Cross could find out from them: Do you
21 want to cross or not? And the person would say: Yes, I want to cross, or
22 no, I don't want to cross. And then the International Committee of the
23 Red Cross could then go to the Croatian and say to them: We have spoken
24 to these people and they don't want to cross. So everybody could be kept
25 happy; isn't that so?
1 A. That would have been far simpler if the Croat side had believed in
2 this, but they didn't.
3 Q. Well, was it ever tried?
4 A. Yes, it was tried. But there were requests vis-a-vis our side
5 coming from the other side too.
6 Q. That might be so, but I'm not asking you about that; I'm asking
7 you about inhabitants of Bosanski Samac who expressed this reluctance to
8 cross when taken to the exchange point. Now, you said that the method of
9 the ICRC speaking to Bosanski Samac inhabitants to ascertain whether they
10 wanted to cross or not, speaking to them in Bosanski Samac before they're
11 taken to the exchange point, was tried. When was this method tried?
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think that this is a
14 question that leads to confusion, because the witness had said that the
15 representative of the International Red Cross had been at the first
16 exchange and that afterwards from time to time they were present. But
17 through putting this kind of question, the Prosecutor is trying to put
18 words into the witness's mouth that he had said that representatives of
19 the International Red Cross were there all the time, and that's not what
20 he said. He told me about the International Red Cross and about
21 Mr. Matteas coming in relation to some very specific matters, but he did
22 say that they attended exchanges from time to time only.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: My question was -- the issue that I'm interested in
24 is this: I put it to the witness that it would be easier for the ICRC to
25 speak to people who didn't want to cross but who had been requested by the
1 Croats, to speak to them in Bosanski Samac and find out from them if they
2 wanted to cross, rather than taking them on a bus to the exchange point.
3 Right? And the witness agreed that that would be simpler.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Uh-huh.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: And then I asked: Has this been tried? He said
6 yes. Now, I want to know when it was tried, how it was tried, and why it
7 failed, if indeed it did fail.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. On those occasions where the International Red
9 Cross participated.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Right.
11 Q. So I think you probably heard my exchange with the Judges. My
12 question is clear. You said that the International Committee of the Red
13 Cross tried -- in fact, at one stage was speaking to people who had been
14 called for exchange by the Croatian side but who did not want to cross,
15 and that this took place in Bosanski Samac, or not at the exchange point.
16 Can you tell us when that happened, how it happened, who was involved?
17 A. The delegate of the International Red Cross, Mr. Matteas, at the
18 very outset, when he first came, he talked to all who said that they
19 wanted to be exchanged. He also talked to the persons who had been
20 requested from the other side and who had not applied themselves to
21 leave. I think it is far simpler for that to be done in Samac rather than
22 having these people go elsewhere. However, the other side was not
23 satisfied with that, and Mr. Matteas said on that occasion: All right.
24 There's no problem involved. We can do it that way too. It is more
25 complicated, but it's no problem. That's what he said.
1 Q. Do you know if Matteas had spoken to the Croat side, informed them
2 that he had spoken to some of the people who the Croats were requesting,
3 but that they had said they didn't want to cross over? Do you know if he
4 actually went and told them that?
5 A. I don't know about him actually going there in person, to Croatia,
6 that is. I assume that through his colleague, the delegate who was in
7 Croatia, he discussed that matter and then presented such a proposal on
8 the basis of such contact.
9 Q. Just very briefly --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The witness doesn't know, so that's just an
12 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Yes, it is. Yes.
13 Q. So just following on from Her Honour's question: You -- when you
14 said that you assumed that the delegate was in Croatia and discussed that
15 matter, you're not talking about anything concrete that you saw or heard
16 that leads you to that conclusion?
17 A. I don't know why.
18 Q. You see, these exchanges were tense situations, weren't they, and
19 there was always the risk of people being caught in crossfire and exposed
20 to danger, wasn't there, or often?
21 A. I said that we had found the safest place there, and this was done
22 at the proposal of the Croat side, that it should be done where there is
23 no gunfire, because the UN forces were already there, so that was the
24 safest place.
25 Q. If the Croats are concerned that the people they've requested
1 aren't crossing over because of pressure being applied to them by Serb
2 authorities, and that's the reason why they get to the point of exchange
3 and don't want to cross over, it would have been necessary for them to
4 speak privately to these people to ascertain that, wouldn't it? It would
5 have been necessary for the Croats to have a chance to have a chat to
6 these people who got to that point, ready to cross over, and satisfy
7 themselves that so-and-so, well, we're happy. He really doesn't want to
8 cross over. He's happy to stay in Bosanski Samac.
9 A. That is why they were brought to the separation line, so that they
10 would state their views before the Croatian commission, so that they could
11 tell them that they didn't want to cross over, and that's what was done.
12 Q. But I thought you said earlier that they stated their views to the
13 ICRC representative at the exchange. So now you're saying that they
14 stated their views to the Croatians as well, on the issue of cross or not
16 A. Yes. They spoke before the delegate of the International Red
17 Cross, but also before the commission from Croatia.
18 Q. And the only record made of this decision, as far as the Serb
19 records were concerned, were the notations on the exchange lists that
20 we've seen in evidence; is that right?
21 A. Yes, on the basis of documentation, but these people do exist, and
22 there are people who can confirm this.
23 Q. No. Perhaps you misunderstood me. The only record of the
24 decision not to cross over made by an individual coming from Bosanski
25 Samac is the notation, the brief notation on the exchange lists?
1 A. Yes, that was our notation. But the International Red Cross, when
2 they were present, they also noted down their own information concerning
3 such persons. After these persons returned home, I know that they wanted
4 to talk to these people to see how they lived, et cetera. So there were
5 records of these persons who had returned. And there was interest in
6 their lives in Samac.
7 Q. Tell me: Were these people who had already made up their minds
8 not to cross over upset at being placed on buses and taken to these
9 exchange points, given the fact that they didn't want to cross?
10 A. I did not notice that they were anxious in any way. Quite simply,
11 they felt this to be their duty, to return home.
12 Q. Sorry. Do you mean they felt this to be their duty to get on the
13 bus and drive to the exchange point and tell the Croatian authorities:
14 Look, it's really true. I really don't want to cross over?
15 A. Well, because some of them had stated that that was what they
16 wanted to do. That meant that it was a duty.
17 Q. I'm sorry. I still don't understand you. Do you mean that some
18 of these people who had already decided they did not want to cross
19 considered it their duty to go along to the lines and tell -- and tell the
20 Croatians: No, I don't want to cross?
21 A. Yes, that is what they were asked to do.
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Di Fazio.
23 Mr. Maslic, these people who felt it was their duty, they went to
24 the line and they said: No, I don't want to cross. Can you recollect
25 whether they carried any personal possessions with them? Did they have a
1 little bag each with some clothes in, so on and so forth?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, they
3 weren't carrying anything.
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
5 MR. DI FAZIO:
6 Q. Did you, as a representative of the local Red Cross, get them
7 prepared for this trip to the exchange point, knowing that they were going
8 to come back, of course, by telling them to prepare, perhaps arrange food
9 for themselves, accommodation if the buses were kept there for two or
10 three days, that sort of thing?
11 A. They were informed that they were supposed to leave on that day
12 and that they would return on the same day.
13 Q. So they got no prior notice of when the -- when they would be
14 required to get on this bus in order to go along and tell the Croats that
15 they didn't want to cross?
16 A. Yes, they knew in advance on which day the bus would go, when that
17 exchange was scheduled, or rather, when they would be in a position to
18 express their views.
19 Q. What did you do, I mean you personally, the Red Cross, to
20 ascertain their wishes? The scenario was you would have been made aware
21 of the names that the Croats wanted. How did you know which of those
22 people wanted to cross and which didn't?
23 A. Every citizen whose name was on that list came to the Red Cross
24 and talked to the Red Cross activists. On that occasion, this person
25 would tell the Red Cross activists why he or she wanted to go or did not
1 want to go, or rather, this person expressed his or her wishes. They
2 expressed their interest in what the procedure involved was regarding the
3 exchange itself, and this is the information that was received by the Red
5 Q. You say that the driving force, or one of the two driving forces
6 between -- that caused people who didn't want to cross over to be taken to
7 the point of exchange was the insistence of the Croats. Did the Croats
8 ever say what they would do if you didn't bus these people to the exchange
9 point, that is, the people who had already made it clear they didn't want
10 to cross? Did the Croats say: Right. That's the end of all exchanges.
11 We won't go on any more. Anything like that?
12 A. The Croats insisted that they do come, and they asked for them to
13 state their views.
14 Q. Okay. And finally on this topic: Did any of these people -- I
15 withdraw that question.
16 Thank you. Do I understand all of your evidence so far to be that
17 civilians had unimpeded ability to cross over if they wanted to; it was
18 not based on a one-for-one exchange?
19 A. The only way that the civilians could cross over to the other side
20 was in this way: They could not move unhindered where they wanted. This
21 was the only way. It was not a one-for-one exchange. There never was an
22 exchange on this basis. It wasn't an exchange. They were simply being
23 enabled to reach the other side, to cross over to the other side.
24 Q. So first of all, they had to, if they wanted to go, wait to be
25 placed on a list by the Croats themselves; the Croats then had to provide
1 you, or the authorities in Bosanski Samac, with that list; and then once
2 the list had been made public and they had indicated whether or not they
3 wanted to cross, they could cross at the next exchange? Is that the
5 A. Citizens came to the Red Cross, both those who sought their people
6 who were in Croatia, who were on the other side, who wanted them, those
7 people of theirs on the other side to be exchanged; also those who wished
8 to leave themselves came and reported to the Red Cross, stating that they
9 wished to leave. So such a list of people, Serbs who were on the Croatian
10 side and who were sought, we would submit to the Croats. And the Croats,
11 on their part, would submit a list of people that they were seeking,
12 people from Samac that they were seeking.
13 Q. Right. I'm only asking you now about the situation as far as
14 civilians in Bosanski Samac were concerned. If you were a civilian in
15 Bosanski Samac in 1992 and you wanted to leave the area and to cross over
16 into Croatia, it was simply a matter of going to the Red Cross, stating
17 your desire to leave, and then getting on to the next exchange; is that a
18 fair assessment of the situation?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And as civilians were not being exchanged on a one-for-one basis,
21 you could have afforded to -- or you could have allowed any number of
22 civilians to cross at any one of these exchanges?
23 A. The only problem was the means of transportation, to convey the
24 people to the other side.
25 Q. But if you had had enough buses, you would have been able to do it
1 fairly easily; is that right?
2 A. Yes, we would have been, but also there were limitations on the
3 other side in terms of the number of people that the Croatians could
4 receive. So they also wanted to accommodate all the requests that their
5 people had placed before them, and the reception capacity also had
7 Q. The requirements of Croats for people entering into Croatia was
8 not a matter that concerned you, was it, the Red Cross? You didn't care
9 about any visa requirements or guarantee letters or anything like that,
10 did you? It wasn't your concern.
11 A. No, it wasn't, but the people who came to the Red Cross in Samac
12 actually had already obtained their visas, which were then given to the
13 people in Croatia, to the representatives of Croatia, which visas they
14 probably used to depart for third countries.
15 Q. Where did they get these visas from? Did they go to the
16 Croatian --
17 A. Delegates of the International Red Cross brought these visas, and
18 they insisted on these visas and for it to be made possible for people who
19 had obtained such visas to indeed exit.
20 Q. Did they --
21 MR. DI FAZIO: I couldn't hear my voice through the microphones,
22 if Your Honours please. I had a brief hiccup there I'm sorry.
23 Q. Did they set up in Bosanski Samac some sort of facilities to
24 enable people to apply for visas to go into Croatia?
25 A. In view of the fact that there was a constant stream of written
1 messages from abroad, it was through such messages that the visas also
2 arrived. As I've already said, family members who were both in Croatia
3 and in other countries saw that these visas would be brought to the Red
4 Cross, and these visas would reach the families involved. And the people
5 from the International Red Cross also went to the houses of these people
6 and talked to them.
7 Q. So the ICRC played an active role in the organisation of Croatian
8 visas for Bosanski Samac residents?
9 A. I did not say that they had an active role in the actual issuance
10 of the visas. It did not issue the visas. It brought the visas of other
11 states there.
12 Q. I see. What about passports? These people who were entering into
13 Croatia, did they need passports?
14 A. No, they didn't.
15 Q. All right. Now, the role of the ICRC in the organisation of
16 Croatian visas, you say they didn't issue the visas. I wasn't putting
17 that to you. But you say that they actually brought in the visas into
18 Bosanski Samac and gave them to people who were to cross over. Is that a
19 correct understanding of your evidence?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Without wishing to introduce any
22 confusion, I meant to reserve this for the re-examination. A problem is
23 being made because in the examination-in-chief the witness spoke about
24 guarantees, and now the subject-matter are visas. But I will be
25 clarifying this matter in the re-examination. The story was about
1 guarantees from Croatia. Of course, if the witness has any knowledge of
2 visas, he can also tell us about that. But I think that this is a bit
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I meant the letters of guarantee.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: I know precisely what Mr. Lukic meant, in
6 examination-in-chief I heard the evidence about letters of guarantees and
7 I'm asking about visas and passports. I understand.
8 If the witness -- I think I may now understand what Mr. Lukic is
9 driving at.
10 Q. Are you saying that these letters of guarantee with the visas?
11 A. I thought that these letters of guarantee were visas at the same
12 time. I don't know the actual distinction. I know that what was written
13 on these documents was that they were to be received by certain members of
14 their families and that they would then proceed to Austria or some other
15 country. So these were the documents involved, the letters of guarantee.
16 I don't know the actual distinction between a letter of guarantee and a
17 visa. Of course, a visa is entered in your passport and not on a separate
18 piece of paper.
19 Q. Okay. Anyway, you're saying that the ICRC is the body that
20 brought these letters of guarantee and obtained them in Croatia, in other
21 words, obtained them first in Croatia from relatives and then brought them
22 over into Serb-held territory and distributed them to the people who
23 wished to cross over?
24 A. As far as I could understand, these letters of guarantee were
25 brought from the International Red Cross to the office -- from the office
1 of the ICRC in Bijeljina and the delegate of the ICRC only brought them
2 into Samac.
3 Q. And once again, the ICRC was facilitating the movement of large
4 numbers of people from the Bosanski Samac municipality into Croatia, was
5 it not? It was helping, assisting in that process?
6 A. Yes, it was helping.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, it's a quarter to 2.00, and
8 I understand this is the point at which we should adjourn.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. How much more time, Mr. Di Fazio? Because
10 you've had two hours, five minutes.
11 MR. DI FAZIO: I need some more time, if Your Honours please.
12 It's --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Not more than one hour.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Your Honours, may I seek somewhat longer than
15 that? There are quite a number of topics that I need to canvass with this
16 witness. I don't want to be lengthy as well, but there's issues of the
17 Crkvina, Zasavica to cover, the issue of the status of the prisoners in --
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yes. Yes. The Trial Chamber is very much
19 aware. But do avoid staying on one topic for too long. That consumes a
20 lot of time.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: I will. I will. And I'll try to -- I'll go
22 through my notes again and try to be -- try to cut it down for tomorrow.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll adjourn now and continue our proceedings
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 21st day of
3 January 2002, at 9:00 a.m.