1 Thursday, 30 January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.25 p.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Our proceedings are delayed because of the fact that
10 the recording system was not ready for 1415 hours. We will start. Yes,
11 Mr. Pantelic.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, good afternoon, Your Honours. I do apologise
13 before we start, I will be very brief, speaking on behalf of all of my
14 colleagues from the Defence teams, in fact the issue is related to the
15 Rule 71, the positions that we have to perform next week. We were
16 informed by our case manager, our colleague, was present and also
17 colleague, Mr. Lazarevic, that certain instructions with regard to the
18 possibility for the other Defence teams related to the examination or
19 cross-examination of the witness of the other Defence team will not be
20 permitted and I respectfully ask for the ratification of that issue
21 because our opinion is that on the basis of Rule 21 of Article 21 of the
22 Statute where the exact and very precise formulations with regard to the
23 rights of the accused, namely with the possibility to pose the questions
24 to examine the witnesses of -- from one proceedings will be to some extent
25 valid, so we think that the other Defence teams should be able to pose
1 certain number of questions with regard to the -- to their case
2 immediately after the examination-in-chief of one or first Defence team in
4 My opinion, my personal opinion regarding to the possible
5 prospects of the case, I'm speaking on behalf of my client, Mr. Blagoje
6 Simic, that I don't think that it will be so many possibilities or that we
7 shall significantly affect the frame of time that was imposed to us so
8 it's rather a matter of principle that we think that should be respected.
9 And also I think my colleague Mr. Lukic has something to add. Thank you,
10 Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
12 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to join
13 with what my learned friend, Mr. Pantelic, has said. I think that one
14 thing that could present a problem for me is that I really think that as
15 you have made it possible throughout the proceedings for the other
16 Defences can question certain witnesses regarding those relevant things
17 that relate to their clients. I think that depositions are also evidence
18 and also it can be within Article 85. So I think we can completely adhere
19 to your instructions regarding the time limits, but then we should also be
20 allowed, within that limit, if any other Defence does wish to pose any
21 questions to the witness, that this should be possible during the
23 On the other hand, in that situation, we could provide summaries
24 to the Prosecution if we did have topics that we wanted to question the
25 witness about so that the Prosecution would not feel compromised
1 otherwise. This way we're in the situation which through
2 cross-examination a new topic could be introduced and it's possible, I
3 think that perhaps I have maybe a topic that I would like to question a
4 witness from another Defence. This could of course be done within the
5 time limit given in agreement with my colleagues. Otherwise, I would have
6 to be in the situation of asking my colleague to ask questions that he was
7 not really very familiar with. So we could use the time that you have
8 determined for the depositions but would also respect our full right to
9 question the witnesses and thereby properly represent our clients.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: What I need clarification on --
11 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] My position, I don't know if my
12 colleagues will support me, is that we do not wish to exceed the limit
13 given for the examination-in-chief. If a team for a witness is given 40
14 minutes and if my colleague finishes in 30 minutes and I do have
15 questions, then I would like to be -- for it to be possible for me to ask
16 my questions within those remaining ten minutes of course the Prosecution
17 would be informed of that in advance.
18 This is a joint case and there are certain things that cross over
19 from witness to witness. We are talking about depositions but we will not
20 lose anything as far as the schedule of the depositions is concerned and
21 which we have agreed to.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: I just want to be clear about what you have said.
23 You are saying that within the time limited for examination-in-chief, if
24 the calling counsel does not exhaust 40 minutes, then any other counsel
25 should exhaust the rest of the time, within the 40 minutes.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right, but this is not to
2 be a rule but just an exception if there are questions for a particular
3 witness, it would not apply to each witness. If a colleague did not
4 exhaust his full allotted time, and if another counsel wishes to ask
5 questions, then they should be allowed to use that remaining time to put
6 their questions just like we did in the proceedings here. But I would
7 just like to remark this would be an exception and as I noted, perhaps
8 this would only be the case with one witness out of the total number of
9 witnesses. At a meeting with the registrar, we were informed that the
10 registry cannot give us any decisions regarding this so this is why we
11 are addressing the Trial Chamber so that we know what our position is in
12 the course of the depositions.
13 So if, within the allotted time for the examination-in-chief, if
14 there is some time left over, that it be possible for another counsel to
15 ask questions of the witness.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
17 MR. RE: Could the Prosecution briefly be heard on this Your
18 Honour taking you to the relevant section of the relevant Article and the
19 relevant Rule.
20 Mr. Pantelic quoted Article 21(D) of the Statute. The correct
21 Article is Article 21(E), which guarantees an accused person the right to
22 examine - I am quoting from it - or have examined the witnesses against
23 him and to obtain the attendance of examination of witnesses on his
25 The witnesses called by the three accused in -- for the
1 depositions, the purposes of taking depositions are not witnesses against
2 him, against any of the other accused, so the article -- so the Statute
3 doesn't enshrine a right to cross-examine witnesses who are called by
4 parties who are presenting basically a joint Defence.
5 If you then move directly to Rule 71 under which depositions
6 authorised and that's the only authority for -- under which the Court may
7 order depositions, Rule 71(C) says, I'll just read it: "If the motion is
8 granted, the party at whose request the deposition is to be taken shall
9 give reasonable notice to the other party who shall have the right to
10 attend the taking of the deposition and cross-examine the person whose
11 deposition is being taken."
12 The rule, in my submission, is clearly capable of only one
13 interpretation, that is the party calling it, either each of the three
14 accused calls the party and the other party which here, is the
15 Prosecution, it's not the other accused, has the right to cross-examine.
16 No right is given under either the rules or the Statute for co-accused
17 to cross-examine a witness called by one of them who is not against them.
18 If the witness was against one of the other accused, of course
19 they would have a right to cross-examine if it was what you call a cut
20 throat Defence between the through defendants or three accused, that's not
21 the case here. So my submission is brief, the Rules and the Article just
22 don't provide for it and only the Prosecution may cross-examine in a
24 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise, Your Honour, just a brief issue.
25 This is a joinder case so practically and theoretically we've seen that on
1 many occasions that even the witness from the other Defence team might be
2 considered as so-called hostile witness to the other Defence team. So in
3 joinder case, it -- there are some differences with regard to the single
4 accused and the single number of witnesses from one or the other side. So
5 we witness it on many occasions here that if the witness of the -- for the
6 one Defence team raised certain issue it should be clarified because it's
7 interferes, there is certain impact to the Defence of the other Defence
8 team. So I think it's clear. Thank you.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber will take time and will give its
10 ruling in due course. We'll start with the witness.
11 Can the witness make the solemn declaration, please, while
12 standing up. Can the witness stand up.
13 WITNESS: SVETOZAR VASOVIC
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
16 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, please sit down. Mr. Lukic or
18 Mr. Krgovic, it's your witness.
19 Examined by Mr. Krgovic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, sir.
21 A. Good afternoon.
22 Q. Sir, since you had some health problems when you came to The Hague
23 in order to testify, I just would like to tell you that if you feel -- if
24 you don't feel well or feel any difficulties in the course of this
25 examination, please let us know and we will make a break in the
1 proceedings. We will try not to disturb you too much so that we would not
2 put any strain on your health.
3 I would like you to answer briefly so that we would cover all the
4 topics that you were called here to testify about as soon as possible.
5 A. Yes, very well.
6 Q. Sir, could you please tell me your name?
7 A. My name is Svetozar Vasovic.
8 Q. Mr. Vasovic, where and when were you born?
9 A. I was born on the 8th of August, 1936
10 near Andrijevica, the republic Montenegro
11 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell us what is your ethnicity?
12 A. I am a Montenegrin by ethnicity.
13 Q. Mr. Vasovic, are you married?
14 A. Yes, I'm married.
15 Q. Do you have children?
16 A. Yes, I do, I have two children.
17 Q. What is the ethnicity of your wife?
18 A. My wife is from Slavonski Brod, she's a Croat.
19 Q. Mr. Vasovic, what school did you complete?
20 A. I completed the high school and after that, I finished the
21 teacher's college and my whole life I have been working as a teacher.
22 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me, did you serve in the army?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. What year was that and where?
25 A. I served in 1961 and 1962 in the town of Stip
2 Q. After leaving the army, did you receive any rank?
3 A. I was -- I was a corporal and then a squad leader.
4 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell us since when have you been
5 living in Bosanski Samac?
6 A. I have been living in Bosanski Samac from August 1958 and actually
7 I started to work in 1959.
8 Q. Could you please tell us where you worked?
9 A. I worked in the whole of the Samac municipality. First, I worked
10 in the village of Kruskovo Polje then I was transferred to the village of
11 Obudovac. From Obudovac I came back to Hrvatska Tisina, from Hrvatska
12 Tisina I went to work in Gornja Slatina, from Gornja Slatina, I came back
13 to Hrvatska Tisina again and after that to Samac where I actually worked
14 until the end of my career.
15 Q. When you came back from the army, did you have a war assignment in
16 Bosanski Samac?
17 A. Yes, of course I did just like everyone else.
18 Q. And could you please tell me where was your war assignment?
19 A. It was in the Territorial Defence.
20 Q. Did you have any particular task or were you just a member of the
22 A. I was just a member of the reserves.
23 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell us if you had a nickname?
24 A. No, I didn't have any nicknames, not as a child, nobody amongst
25 the pupils gave me a nickname or anyone else.
1 Q. Did you have a nickname Obrva?
2 A. No, this is the first time that I'm hearing of it.
3 Q. Do you know Mrs. Hajra Drljacic?
4 A. Yes, just by sight.
5 Q. Did she ever call you by that nickname, did she ever address you?
6 A. No, I don't think that we ever actually talked to one another.
7 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell us, before the outbreak of the
8 war in Bosanski Samac, were you a member of any party?
9 A. Yes, I was.
10 Q. Which one?
11 A. The league of communists of Yugoslavia
12 and then after that the socialist party of Republika Srpska, of which I am
13 a member still today.
14 Q. Could you please tell me when you met -- became a member of the
15 socialist party of Serbia?
16 A. In February 1994.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, the socialist party of
18 Republika Srpska.
19 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Did you take part in the political life?
21 A. No, I didn't.
22 Q. Mr. Vasovic, and where did you live in Bosanski Samac?
23 A. I lived and I am still living in the street of Djuro Djakovic 29
24 and now Jovana Cvijica 29.
25 Q. Mr. Vasovic, I would like to ask you briefly, very briefly in a
1 couple of sentences to describe for us the situation in Bosanski Samac
2 immediately in the few months immediately prior to the 16th and 17th of
3 April, 1992.
4 A. To tell you the truth, the situation was very difficult because in
5 the neighbouring republic of Croatia, war was being waged so this
6 seriously affected the situation in Bosanski Samac as well.
7 Q. Were the relationships between the people of different ethnicity
9 A. Yes. They were beginning to separate or there were divisions
10 along ethnic lines, they were just beginning.
11 Q. And how did this manifest itself?
12 A. In a pretty ugly manner, I have to say, because until then, the
13 heterogeneous composition of Samac lived as one and then suddenly this
14 division came about and that really had an affect on many things.
15 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell us whether you noticed if your
16 co-citizens were beginning to arm themselves, did you notice any patrols
17 which could maybe begin to worry you or other Samac citizens?
18 A. Well, everybody in Samac could notice something like that, all the
19 citizens were arming themselves. There were patrols in town, everybody
20 had their own patrol.
21 Q. Did you notice whether your co-citizens of Muslim ethnicity were
22 arming themselves, did they have patrols?
23 A. Yes, they were -- you could see them around the mosque and then
24 also in the surrounding streets.
25 Q. Did you pass through the surrounding villages with the Croat
2 A. Yes, I did once or twice as I was returning from the village of
3 Donja Slatina towards Samac. At a place called Grebnice where there is
4 this intersection, one road goes to Orasje and the other goes to Samac and
5 a patrol stopped me, they were wearing camouflage uniforms, they asked for
6 ID. I noticed then one of my pupils and two others who were there
7 together and when they noticed me, they said, "Oh, this is all right. He
8 can go ahead." So that's how I managed to pass through unimpeded.
9 MR. RE: I object to the evidence on the basis that it's outside,
10 well outside the matters provided in the summary which, as I can see, is
11 limited to the witness' duties at crossing exchanges in the events
12 before -- during the takeover the Bosanski Samac.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I just meant this by way of a brief
16 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber had given instructions yesterday
17 in view of the health of the witness. The other point is that so many
18 witnesses have discussed this, the rising tensions, the arming of along
19 ethnic lines, there is no dispute about it anymore. Please go directly
20 to the Red Cross, the exchanges as given in the summaries.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Vasovic, I'm just going to ask you whether you know Miroslav
24 A. Yes, of course.
25 Q. How long?
1 A. From the 1970s, I think, perhaps a bit later well somewhere around
2 there, anyway.
3 Q. Did you frequent the cafe of Miroslav Tadic?
4 A. Almost every day.
5 Q. Were you acquaintances or friends, I'm just interested in the kind
6 of relationship you had?
7 A. Well, acquaintances, but I was friends with everybody and there is
8 no need for me to say anything different.
9 Q. Mr. Vasovic, I'm not going to ask you anything about the events
10 that preceded the 16th and 17th of April or about the episodes that
11 followed. My examination is now going to focus on your engagement in the
12 Red Cross.
13 Can you tell us whether, before the war, you were included in the
14 work of the Red Cross organisation in the territory of the municipality of
16 A. You know what, every teacher is involved in Red Cross work. We
17 have Red Cross courses at schools, we teach classes in that area.
18 Q. Were you president of some organisation?
19 A. I was even president of the municipal committee of the Red Cross
20 of the municipality of Samac
21 sake of the Red Cross.
22 Q. Just before the war broke out, what position did you hold in the
23 Red Cross?
24 A. I was a member of the Red Cross.
25 Q. Tell me, sir, during those days, the 18th or the 19th of April,
1 did you get any kind of call or summons to join the work of the Red Cross,
2 can you describe this for me?
3 A. Right after the outbreak or rather the shooting between the 16th
4 and 17th, one knows what the situation was like then, doesn't one? And
5 then I was called from the local commune because people knew that I was an
6 activist of the Red Cross anyway.
7 Q. Mr. Vasovic, can I just ask you to speak a bit slower?
8 A. I was called from the local commune because they knew that I had
9 always been an activist, that I was a teacher, and that my ethics
10 corresponds to that of the Red Cross so they called me on the 18th and
11 then I came to the local commune as you asked me.
12 Q. Sir, did you go to that meeting?
13 A. By all means.
14 Q. What was it that you agreed upon at that meeting, did you give
15 people different assignments or what did you do?
16 A. The Red Cross did exist but we established a proper one, Milorad
17 Mihajlovic, who was president of the municipal Red Cross in view of
18 everything that was going on made us aware of all the activities that the
19 Red Cross should be engaged in.
20 Q. You'll have to clarify this for us. So the Red Cross did exist?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And your meeting was devoted to giving various assignments to
23 people so it wasn't that you were setting up an organisation from scratch?
24 A. No, no, no, it was just giving various assignments to people,
25 continuing the work of the Red Cross.
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to have a document
2 shown to the witness now please it is internally marked PDB 3/3. Your
3 Honours, this is going to be the only document that we are going to
4 introduce during the testimony of this witness.
5 Q. Mr. Vasovic, would you tell me whether you saw this document
7 A. This is a document that was issued to me after the municipal
8 organisation of the Red Cross continued to work. A few days later, I
9 don't know exactly when, I got this decision explaining that in this
10 emergency situation, I was still a member of the Red Cross and that I was
11 supposed to continue working. To tell you the truth, I have a copy of
12 this document here too, see, here it is.
13 Q. There is no need for that, thank you.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if the Prosecution
15 doesn't object, I would like this document to receive a number.
16 MR. RE: There's no objection, Your Honours.
17 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit D141/3 and ter for the B/C/S
19 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Vasovic, during those first days, that is to say, after the
21 appointment of yours, what was the specific assignment that you were
23 A. We met every morning at the Red Cross office. We were given
24 assignments. We were told who was supposed to do what. I got a delivery
25 vehicle and they said that I was supposed to go to various local communes
1 to talk to the commissioners there so that they would collect milk, food,
2 and all other indispensable supplies so that they would be brought into
3 the town of Samac.
4 Q. Who did you contact with when you say "commissioners," are you
5 talking about Red Cross commissioners?
6 A. Red Cross commissioners, only Red Cross. It's only with the Red
7 Cross that we worked. I mean we from the municipal organisation because
8 we had local organisations of the Red Cross there too.
9 Q. Were they organised according to local communes?
10 A. They were, but in this case, it was the president who was in
11 charge of a great many things but they had reached agreement.
12 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, when, from the representatives of the Red
13 Cross of these local communes, when you got food from them, where did you
14 take that food and what was done with it then?
15 A. You know what, the municipal organisation of the Red Cross in
16 Samac established certain points, there were a few of them. I remember
17 the local commune, at the local market, in Donja Mahala, there were
18 commissioners there as well who were in charge of the following: When
19 food would be brought in, then it would be distributed to the needy
20 population, I mean it was milk most of the time, and eggs, and I was the
21 one who brought that food in.
22 Q. During those first days after the 16th and 17th of April, was food
23 distributed without any lists or according to certain lists or how was
24 this dealt with during these first days?
25 A. There was no market, there was no milk and it was distributed to
1 everyone, the entire population, especially to the neediest ones because
2 we knew more or less who the needy ones were.
3 Q. Later on, were some lists made for the distribution of this aid
4 according to various parts of town?
5 A. Yes, but in the following way: The centre for social welfare had
6 its own lists and in the previous period, they assisted the needy
7 population. Those lists were brought to the Red Cross in order to
8 supplement them, in order to see who should be the recipients of this
9 aid. Again, there was no difference involved whatsoever. The entire
10 population was entitled to receive whatever could be obtained from the Red
12 Q. The list you mentioned, was this the list of beneficiaries of
13 social welfare?
14 A. Yes, yes, that's the list. That's the list from the social
15 welfare centre but we also made a list, and our own list had certain
16 additions in relation to the social welfare centre's list so we as a Red
17 Cross used our own list.
18 Q. Mr. Vasovic, when these lists were compiled, did you distinguish
19 between the members of various ethnic groups or did you hand it out to
20 everyone equally?
21 A. Let me tell you, to everyone equally. At these various points, I
22 know personally, because I went to each and every one of them, it is for
23 the most part Muslims who were distributing this aid, everything that was
24 handed out, it was Muslims who were handing it go out in Donja Mahala for
25 example, Dzigera Pistoljevic for instance, he was in charge of all of
1 Donja Mahala, also here at the market, again, there was a Muslim. His
2 nickname is Mrgud. He is deceased but I have to say that he is the one
3 who distributed this aid with the assistance of others. So they were
4 there wherever this aid was being distributed and there were no
5 distinctions made along ethnic lines whatsoever.
6 Q. Mr. Vasovic, in addition to yourself, who was employed at the Red
7 Cross out of the employees there?
8 A. There was the president, Milorad Mihajlovic, then Velimir Maslic,
9 Anka Jovanovic, she is a social worker anyway, and Milka Petkovic. There
10 were people who helped out every now and then, but these were the people
11 who bore the brunt of the job.
12 Q. Mr. Vasovic, tell me, where were the offices of the Red Cross
13 where you worked?
14 A. The Red Cross offices were at the local commune.
15 Q. This building where the local commune is, does it have a name of
16 some kind, what do people call it?
17 A. It's the pensioner's building. It's the pensioner's building.
18 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, where were your offices approximately?
19 A. Upstairs, upstairs, that's where we had an office although we used
20 another one too but that's where it was.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown a
22 photograph, D36/3.
23 Q. Mr. Vasovic, please take a look at that. Could you take that
24 pointer that's there right next to you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you show us on that photograph whether you can see the
3 A. Of the Red Cross?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. No, you can can't see them, they're on the back side on the left.
6 Q. Where is the entrance roughly into the Red Cross premises?
7 A. It's on the other side, the entrance in order to go upstairs, I
9 Q. Oh, to go upstairs. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, in addition to yourself
10 or rather in addition to the Red Cross, were there any other offices there
11 at the pensioner's building?
12 A. There was the civilian protection.
13 Q. What about the social welfare centre?
14 A. They were there too but they worked together with us and that's
15 why I'm saying this.
16 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, in this building, is that where the
17 Secretariat for National Defence had its offices, that dealt with work
19 A. Yes, yes.
20 Q. Where were these offices?
21 A. They were on the ground floor, there are two entrances here
22 actually. The front entrance where these two vehicles are, and behind
23 this blue vehicle, there is an entrance too, I mean I think that there are
24 three rooms there.
25 Q. I'm only interested in this entrance here to the pensioner's
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, these offices that dealt with work
4 obligation, the ones on the ground floor that you mentioned and the
5 offices of the Red Cross and the civilian -- are you trying to say -- is
6 there any physical link between the two?
7 A. None whatsoever except the ceiling.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could the witness now
9 be shown document D85/3 ter.
10 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Krgovic, in terms of the transcript, page 19,
11 we've got a question which isn't finished and then we've got two answers
12 following but the first answer on line 5 is in the form of a question,
13 could you confirm whether the witness was asking himself a question and
14 answering it too?
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Yes, my question was these offices for the work obligation that
17 were in the -- on the ground floor in which you mentioned and these
18 offices of the Red Cross and the civilian defence, were they physically
19 connected? Mr. Vasovic, this is because the transcript, we would just
20 like to repeat the answer?
21 A. No, they were not physically connected.
22 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me, these people that you
23 mentioned who distributed milk and worked as part of the Red Cross, these
24 trustees, these commissioners?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. They were practically registered as Red Cross activists?
2 A. Yes, they were members of the Red Cross and that is precisely why
3 they were engaged in the work and even without that, we were looking for
4 people who wanted to work.
5 Q. Could you please look at this document. Do you recognise these
7 A. Of course, all of them.
8 Q. Did they work together with you at the Red Cross?
9 A. Together, all together.
10 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me, what was the ethnicity of
11 these people?
12 A. Everyone is there, Muslims, Croats, and Serbs and by names, also
13 if it's necessary, I will tell you who is who. I know these people, they
14 are my friends from before the war.
15 Q. I don't think that will be necessary.
16 Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me in the Red Cross and in
17 those offices upstairs that you used together with the members of the
18 civilian protection and the centre for social work, did you have a
19 telephone there?
20 A. No. There was one single telephone but we, as the Red Cross,
21 didn't have our own.
22 Q. Did all of those services use that one telephone?
23 A. Yes, all the services, the Red Cross, the centre for social work
24 that was with us and also these down there for the work obligation. If
25 somebody called us on the telephone, we could always have this
1 conversation with them and that's how it was for everybody. Everybody
2 could use the phone.
3 Q. And could you please tell me did people who were working
4 downstairs in the work obligation also receive telephone calls through
5 that telephone?
6 A. Yes, they did. Some of us always went to get them or a messenger
7 went either to convey the message to them or for them to actually come to
8 the phone so that they could get the information themselves.
9 Q. Who most frequently answered the phone of the employees who were
10 in those offices?
11 A. I think that he was constantly on the phone, Ljubo Vukovic.
12 Q. And while we are still on the telephone topic, Mr. Vasovic, could
13 you please tell me, what was the situation with telephones in general in
14 that period in early May in Samac?
15 A. No, the telephones were not working, they were all switched off.
16 I think that in the town of Samac, only perhaps three or four telephones
17 were operating, where and how, I don't know, but only three or four of
18 them worked.
19 Q. Did you personally have a telephone in your apartment?
20 A. Yes, I did, and I still have one.
21 Q. And was it working in that period?
22 A. No, no.
23 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell us when the telephones started
24 to work again in Bosanski Samac?
25 A. Well, to tell you the truth, I don't know. I simply cannot
1 remember when they started to work.
2 Q. This is what year, 1992 or 1993?
3 A. It would more be 1993 rather than 1992.
4 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me, did you have to submit
5 another request for a telephone or did they have to again --
6 A. Although I had my own number, and -- in spite of that, I still had
7 to go to the post office again and submit a request not only myself, but
8 all the people who had telephones had to resubmit their requests although
9 many of them were not there so --
10 Q. I don't need a really detailed explanation but I just wanted to
11 touch upon this since you mentioned the telephones.
12 Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me, did you hear in those
13 initial days after the war broke out in Bosanski Samac, that some of your
14 fellow citizens were arrested?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Did you hear where they were holding them, where those people
18 A. Yes, I did hear that also.
19 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber what you heard, where were these
20 people detained?
21 A. They were detained in the police station and also on the premises
22 of the Territorial Defence.
23 Q. Mr. Vasovic, did you ever have the opportunity to go to these
24 premises that you just talked about?
25 A. Yes, of course, I did.
1 Q. Could you please tell us when was the first time, approximately,
2 you don't have to give us the exact date, that you went to those premises
3 and how did it come about that you went there?
4 A. To tell you the truth, I think I went there in the month of May.
5 I went there to visit the place because I heard that there was some people
6 that I knew very well there, and as a representative of the Red Cross, I
7 wanted to see the conditions, the way they really were. I was sent by the
8 president of the Red Cross, Milorad Mihajlovic and Velimir Maslic to do
9 that. I went there, I looked around, and I saw what the situation was.
10 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell us what you saw, how did those
11 people look?
12 A. Unfortunately, they looked very bad. They were exhausted,
13 underfed, bad in all aspects.
14 Q. Were there any people among them who were beaten with visible
15 signs of beating?
16 A. Yes, there were, of course, of course. To my astonishment, I saw
17 that and I was, simply put, surprised.
18 Q. Did you know those people?
19 A. Yes, almost all of them. I can't tell you each one by name, but
20 more or less I know every one of them.
21 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me, did you inform anybody of
22 your superiors of how those people looked in the Red Cross?
23 A. Everything that I did, any place that I visited, anywhere that I
24 was sent on be -- by the president of the Red Cross, Velimir Maslic or
25 anyone else, I would always report back about everything that I had seen
1 and everything about the situation and then they would be the ones who
2 would take the appropriate steps and do what was necessary.
3 Q. When you went on that occasion, as far as I understood, you went
4 to the premises of the SUP for the first time?
5 A. Yes, that is the security station or SUP
6 station, but the SUP was actually in the department store.
7 Q. Mr. Vasovic, did you have any instructions during your visits to
8 ask those people or to inform them if they wanted to go to an exchange or
9 that they were being sought for an exchange, did you have the authority to
10 talk about that with them?
11 A. I never went of my own free will, I went there by duty and that
12 was one of my tasks when I go and of course when I was instructed to do
13 so, I would ask who wanted to be exchanged. I would note all of that
14 down. After noting it down, I would go back to the Red Cross and I would
15 give this list to -- and I would hand in this list that I had compiled.
16 Q. Mr. Vasovic, on that occasion when you spoke to those people, on
17 that day, did you also visit the TO or did you go to the TO on another
19 A. I went to the TO on another occasion, the next day.
20 Q. Do you remember the people that you talked with and the persons
21 that you asked if they wanted to go on an exchange or not?
22 A. In the SUP, yes, of course. Franjo from Prude, Franjo Barukcic
23 was there, and also the person who was the chief of the SUP
24 what was his name? I can't remember his name right now?
25 Q. What is his ethnicity?
1 A. A Muslim.
2 Q. The chief of SUP?
3 A. He was before the war.
4 Q. Well if you can't remember it doesn't matter?
5 A. And Hasan Jasarevic was also there.
6 Q. And what did those people tell you that -- did they want to go?
7 A. Yes, they said that they wanted to go to be exchanged.
8 Q. Mr. Vasovic, when was the first time that you went to the premises
9 of the TO?
10 A. After this visit. Again, I was tasked by the president of the Red
11 Cross to ask who wanted to go to be exchanged.
12 Q. Mr. Vasovic, what did the people who were detained at the
13 Territorial Defence look like?
14 A. Well, when I got there, it didn't look very good to me. I went
15 inside with Mrs. Milka Markovic -- Petrovic and since the police knew that
16 I was working in the Red Cross because I was wearing the insignia of the
17 Red Cross, so they called everybody out and all of them came out and they
18 were standing in two lines and I was not breathing easily at that time
19 myself and then I asked gentlemen, friends, this is the way I addressed
20 them in the only way that I knew how, because I wasn't feeling comfortable
21 myself, I asked those who want to go for an exchange can apply for that
22 and my colleague, Milka, will write that down and we will convey that to
23 the Red Cross over there and then that will be taken into procedure and
24 then we will see. And they applied and we noted that down.
25 And what you asked me about what they looked like, I wouldn't like
1 to see anybody in that situation.
2 Q. Mr. Vasovic, did you inform your superiors about that?
3 A. Of course, always. Everything that I saw, I reported.
4 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me whether Mrs. Petkovic went
5 with you to visit all those facilities?
6 A. Let me tell you, after that first meeting with the people in the
7 Territorial Defence, Milka indicated to me and then to the president of
8 the Red Cross that she couldn't work anymore. To be honest, I also wanted
9 to give my notice and say that I didn't want to do that job anymore
10 because I really couldn't go and visit those people who were so beaten,
11 who were black and blue, who were beaten up, but I remained in that post.
12 I simply don't know why, for humanitarian reasons primarily.
13 Q. Mr. Vasovic, and after those first visits to the premises of the
14 TO, did you continue to go to the TO on any other occasion?
15 A. Yes, the next day I had additional questions about whether people
16 wanted to go on an exchange or not and unfortunately, I saw that people
17 were depressed, they were quiet, they were ill at ease and I was
18 surprised. I was wondering why is it that they were keeping quiet.
19 There was an older man there, we called him Ciko, he was a Muslim. I
20 called him because he liked me because I was involved in sports for a long
21 time. He said -- I told him: "Come to me." And they said -- nobody
22 wanted to say a word and I was -- that's what he said, Ciko, "Sveto nobody
23 wants to say a word," and I was thinking, why, when yesterday you asked
24 who wanted to be exchanged after you left the police came and all of those
25 who had applied to go received a beating and that was the reason why I did
1 not get even the answers that I had come to get.
2 Q. You didn't inform anyone about which people had applied?
3 A. No, I only handed that over to the Red Cross, nobody else knew if
4 somebody was eavesdropping, perhaps, whether the police officers perhaps
5 remembered that by computer, let me put it that way. I don't understand,
6 but each single person who applied for the exchange received a beating
7 from the policemen.
8 Q. Mr. Vasovic, I would now like to ask you whether later in the
9 course of your work you learned about the evacuation of women and children
10 to Serbia, sometime in mid-May, 1992. Do you know whether the Red Cross
11 did anything about that?
12 A. Yes, I was compiling the lists there as well. Buses were leaving,
13 and there were lists. They were also leaving in trains because of the
14 state of affairs in early May, it was very dangerous, really dangerous in
15 Samac at the time, Samac was being shelled a lot and that is why people
16 were afraid and this is why they started to leave Samac.
17 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, did you send your family away from Samac?
18 A. Yes, I did, and I'm overjoyed to have done that. I took a car,
19 and I took them to Bijeljina. Since I have relatives in Belgrade
20 went to Belgrade from Bijeljina and that is how my family was in Belgrade
21 during those hard times. And I stayed back to work and I remained in
22 God's hands.
23 Q. Mr. Vasovic, in addition to what you did, did other people do that
24 too, did they take their families out of Bosanski Samac during those first
25 few days after the conflict broke out?
1 A. Well yes, yes, all three ethnic groups, everybody was leaving,
2 everybody because there was free passage at first and everybody wanted to
3 leave the town of Samac as soon as possible.
4 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me whether after this
5 evacuation or rather just a minute, please, I'm going to put a question to
6 you before that. Did the Red Cross take part in this evacuation?
7 A. The Red Cross was present everywhere, but this was done by the
8 local communes, local communes for the most part but the Red Cross was
9 present everywhere.
10 Q. Do you know who was evacuated to Serbia
11 ethnic groups, was it members of one ethnic group only or all?
12 A. I assert that it was members of all ethnic groups, all ethnic
14 Q. Mr. Vasovic, tell me, let's go back to this period now. These
15 people you described a short while ago at the SUP
16 they detained, do you have any direct knowledge as to why they were
17 detained, did anybody tell you something like that?
18 A. On the basis of what I heard, I mean I don't know anything
19 personally, I don't have any firsthand knowledge, all of them were either
20 members of units that belonged to their own people or they had weapons.
21 And most probably that is why they were detained.
22 Q. Mr. Vasovic, tell me now after this evacuation, in the month of
23 May 1992, did people start coming to the Red Cross asking whether they
24 could leave Samac?
25 A. Whether they could leave? Oh, indeed. There were queues,
1 especially of the Muslim population and also there were Croats as well.
2 They came saying that they wanted to go, that's what they asked for now
3 why, because there was fear instilled in everybody's bones and of course
4 they were seeking ways and means of saving their lives.
5 Q. Tell me, what was the situation like concerning ethnic Serbs, did
6 they also come to receive information about the ways in which Samac could
7 be left?
8 A. Of course, everybody wanted to save their own lives, everybody
9 wanted to leave and everybody asked about that.
10 Q. What did the ethnic Serbs say, where did they want to go and where
11 did the Muslims and the Croats want to go?
12 A. The Serbs mostly wanted to go to Serbia
13 to Croatia, for the most part, although there were Muslims who went to
14 Serbia too.
15 Q. Mr. Vasovic, tell us, when did you first hear of exchanges of
16 detained persons between the Serb side and the Croat and Muslim side?
17 A. Well, I don't know. I think it was in the month of May, May or
18 June when agreement was reached.
19 Q. Do you know that at that time, sometime around the end of May 1992
20 in Zasavica an exchange was organised?
21 A. Yes, I know about that. I was not present at that exchange but
22 the International Red Cross carried out an exchange so they -- so people
23 crossed the Bosna.
24 Q. Tell me, since you said that you were not present at that
25 exchange, how come you know?
1 A. Well, people know, everybody knew and I worked at the Red Cross so
2 I knew because Milorad Mihajlovic is president of the Red Cross went to
3 that exchange.
4 Q. Tell me, Velimir Maslic, did he also attend that exchange?
5 A. Yes, Velimir Maslic did, he did.
6 Q. Mr. Vasovic, I'm going to ask you something in very general terms
7 about how people applied for exchanges. Tell me, did people apply there,
8 at the Red Cross, where you were, very briefly, just in a few sentences,
9 what was the procedure involved?
10 A. Milka was involved in these matters, Milka Petkovic and Anka
11 Jovanovic was and I was and if possible, Milorad Mihajlovic if he was
12 there too, they came there in front of the premises of the Red Cross.
13 They entered the office one by one. We wrote down their names and their
14 dates of birth and also their wishes as to where they wanted to go, so
15 then the list would be compiled on that basis and there is not a single
16 person who came or rather single citizen who came and who was interested
17 in leaving whose name was not registered. Everybody's name was
19 Q. Mr. Vasovic, tell us, once this list is compiled, what would
20 happen to the list then?
21 A. All these lists were seen first and foremost by the president of
22 the Red Cross and then from there, I would take these lists to the public
23 security station or rather the SUP.
24 Q. That's not what I'm asking you. When you'd make this list of
25 persons who applied, who did you send it to?
1 A. It was in our office but in the hands of the president of the Red
3 Q. Did this list go any further, was it the subject of negotiations
4 with the opposite side?
5 A. Not only that, we had a list or rather we had requests that had
6 come from the opposite side from the other side who they were looking for,
7 who was supposed to go. And now, it did not only have to do with the
8 possibilities involved it was also our wish to reunite families whose
9 members were here and there so we wanted to reunite these families and
10 that's how these lists were compiled too.
11 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, what about people who were detained? So
12 when according to the instructions of your president of the Red Cross and
13 your superiors, when you would finish making these lists in those places
14 of detention where these people were, then what would happen with those
16 A. Well you know what these lists did not even come to the Red
17 Cross. This list would go to the SUP, especially as far as detentions are
18 concerned, I mean people who were in detention so of course then they
19 would see that list, and then they would discuss it. And they would make
20 a decision, make decisions.
21 Q. Tell me, these lists of civilians and persons who were detained,
22 did you take these lists somewhere?
23 A. Yes, I did, to the head of the SUP
24 I met him twice and I would never like to see him again, never in my life
25 and if you want to I can explain that.
1 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, what's the name of that man?
2 A. His name is Stevan Todorovic, his nickname is Stiv.
3 Q. Mr. Vasovic, tell us, why did you say what you said a minute ago?
4 What is it that happened when you took those lists there?
5 A. When I brought the lists, he saw the list of Muslims, Croats,
6 probably -- and with the Court's indulgence, begging your pardon, in this
7 world, there is not the right kind of vocabulary to describe all the
8 derogatory terms that he used when addressing me and he almost [Realtime
9 transcript read in error "also"] beat me up and this happened yet another
10 time. I thought that perhaps the first time he got all worked up, but no,
11 it happened the second time as well.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I believe that we need to clarify
13 something in the transcript. Here on page 32, line 6, here it says and he
14 also beat me up and this is not what witness said.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter said almost beat up. The
16 LiveNote is simply different interpreter's note.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes that will be taken care of.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Vasovic, why did Stevan Todorovic threaten you, why did he
20 behave to you in this way, did he say why?
21 A. Well the only thing that he said is what have you got to do with
22 this and who is it that you are sending for an exchange. It's as if I
23 were doing it myself as if it weren't the Red Cross. So well let me tell
24 you one more thing: Later on, I went out of my way not to see him again
25 and if you want, I can explain that too. How I went out of my way in
1 order not to see him anymore.
2 Q. Could you explain that?
3 A. Whenever the list was supposed to be taken in, the list for
4 exchanges, I tried to see whether he was in his office at the SUP. When I
5 would hear that he was there, then I would go to Sava Cancarevic,
6 commander of the police who was far more flexible who was a nicer person
7 to talk to who knew all this and who simply wanted to help at least to a
9 Q. Sir, could you just repeat the name of the police commander who
10 was there?
11 A. Sava Cancarevic.
12 Q. I'm just a bit perplexed by this sentence I see in the transcript,
13 I didn't quite understand you either. What is it that Stevan Todorovic
14 said to you, who was in charge of sending people for exchanges, why was he
15 shouting at you?
16 A. He wanted to do everything on his own, everything. How should I
17 put this? He was so self-confident. He thought that he knew everything,
18 that he could do everything and that's why he behaved this way. I beg
19 your pardon for using this expression, but he was really cocky and he
20 bossed around the members of other ethnic groups and see how he behaved to
21 me too, although I'm orthodox by religion.
22 Q. Mr. Vasovic, tell me, these lists that you've been talking about,
23 did you take them anywhere else?
24 A. To the military command, the military command.
25 Q. Who did you hand these lists to?
1 A. A messenger, always waited for me in front of the door I would
2 give the messenger the lists and I would wait in a separate room outside
3 until they would finish that and then when they would finish, then this
4 would be returned and I will tell you how. They would finish and then
5 they'd put a plus there, a plus sign by the name of the person who was
6 supposed to go, and if a person could not go then there would be a minus
7 next to that person's name and then they would only convey to the
8 messenger the following: No way should people by whose name there is a
9 minus allow to go. So that is the way it was and then everybody did what
10 they were supposed to do.
11 Q. When you would take over these lists, Mr. Vasovic, what would you
12 do then with the lists?
13 A. One list would stay with them. I would take another one back to
14 the Red Cross.
15 Q. Who would you hand it over to?
16 A. The president of the Red Cross, the president of the Red Cross. I
17 have nothing to do with that. I would just do whatever I was supposed to
18 do and I would bring this back to the president of the Red Cross.
19 Q. Mr. Vasovic, I'm just going to ask you in addition to these two
20 localities where prisoners were held, did you visit the secondary school
21 and the elementary school in Bosanski Samac?
22 A. Yes, of course I did. I was at the secondary school most often
23 and also I went to the elementary school my very own school where I had
24 taught but I spent most of my time at the secondary school.
25 Q. Tell me, sir, on whose instructions did you go to those premises?
1 A. According to the instructions of the president of the Red Cross it
2 is not on anybody else's instructions that I went anywhere except the
3 president of the Red Cross.
4 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, what was the objective of your visits there?
5 A. Well, the objective was first of all to talk to people about
6 exchanges and everything but my major objective was to visit because I had
7 many friends there, a great many friends. Secondly, they called me the
8 International Red Cross there and now why, if you like, I can explain that
10 Q. We are not going to go into all those details now, but I'm
11 strictly interested in all your assignments within the Red Cross. Did you
12 bring food to these people, can you tell me something about that?
13 A. Food by all means, first of all food from the Red Cross but they
14 got two meals at first from the central kitchen and then one and in order
15 to supplement this because they were doing quite poorly from the point of
16 view of health and any other point of view, we brought food to them from
17 the Red Cross; however, what was most important was the following:
18 Everybody knew this, but nobody opposed this as a matter of fact, people
19 were pleased that it was so. From Zasavica, I mean that's where parents
20 were, brothers or sisters of many of the people who were there, now when I
21 would come with the delivery vehicle they were asking me, Sveto please
22 could you take this to my brother or my husband or whoever, I mean it
23 doesn't really matter.
24 And then I would load up that delivery vehicle almost every day
25 and then I'd bring all these things to the secondary school. The police
1 were there, but there were some policemen who were so rigorous that there
2 were all kinds of dialogue taking place there but nevertheless, they would
3 let me go in or actually, I would get all these bags out with the food,
4 meat, et cetera, and then this would be distributed to everybody
5 individually, to all the persons to whom this was sent.
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, is this the time to
7 adjourn now or rather take the break or are we going to take the break
8 later in view of the fact that we started late?
9 JUDGE MUMBA: No, we will stick to our schedule. We will take the
10 break now and continue at 1615 hours.
11 --- Break taken at 3.45 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Continue, Mr. Krgovic.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: Yes, Your Honours.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Vasovic, before the break, we were talking
16 about your visits to these places where civilians were kept. I think you
17 gave us detailed answers and explained everything about this topic. Did
18 you hear why these people were imprisoned, why were they held? Do you
19 have any information about that?
20 A. Based on what I heard, it was that they were in possession of
21 weapons and that they probably belonged to certain units, this is based on
22 the stories.
23 Q. This is both for people who were in the elementary and the high
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. Mr. Vasovic, when was the first time that you actively began to
2 take part in the exchanges?
3 A. Actively at the end of --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the month.
5 Q. Mr. Vasovic --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: [Previous translation continues] ... the question,
7 I mean the end of the answer, can he repeat the answer?
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please, so that we don't make problems for
10 the interpreters, could you please wait a couple of seconds after my
11 question, we are speaking the same language and we understand one another,
12 could you please just make a pause of two seconds after the question
13 before you start your answer and could you now please repeat what was the
14 month that you said?
15 A. I started to work in the commission at the end of June.
16 Q. And what year was this?
17 A. 1992.
18 Q. Mr. Vasovic, you said that you know Miroslav Tadic. Did Miroslav
19 Tadic also work on these exchanges?
20 A. Yes, he did.
21 Q. Do you know what Miroslav Tadic did, was he negotiating, did he go
22 with you to visit these detention units or did he do something else?
23 A. I don't know whether he ever went to any of the places where the
24 people were detained, but he talked and negotiated with the other side
25 regarding the exchange.
1 Q. Do you know who else negotiated with him, with the other side?
2 A. Veljo Maslic, Velimir Maslic negotiated with the other side.
3 Q. Could you please tell us when Veljo Maslic began to be more active
4 on these activities regarding the exchanges?
5 A. Well, he started doing that a little bit later than I did, but he
6 talked with Brko regarding all of these things that had to do with the
8 Q. When you say Brko, who do you mean?
9 A. Miroslav Tadic.
10 Q. Mr. Vasovic, can you please tell me, at one point in the autumn of
11 1992, did Velimir Maslic receive an appointment?
12 A. I think that in the beginning of October, he took over as
13 president of the exchange commission. I think that that's when it was.
14 Q. Mr. Vasovic, earlier in your testimony, when you talked about the
15 civilians who applied to go on the exchange lists, you said that those
16 people came and applied and said that they wanted to leave Samac and I'm
17 thinking of civilians?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At the same time, you said that they were also sought from the
20 other side?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you also convey that to those people, did you tell them that
23 they were being sought and who was seeking them?
24 A. Yes, they were always informed that they were being sought and who
25 was seeking them.
1 Q. Is that the same case with the detainees, did you also tell them
2 that they -- that the other side was looking for them?
3 A. Yes, of course.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown document
5 D96/3 ter.
6 Q. Mr. Vasovic, do you know any of the people on this list?
7 A. Of course I do.
8 Q. Is this what the list looked like when people applied; is that one
9 of those lists?
10 A. Yes all the lists were almost the same as this one.
11 Q. And it states here who is looking for the person as well as the
12 particulars of the person?
13 A. Yes, that's right.
14 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We won't be needing this
15 document anymore.
16 I've finished with this document. Thank you.
17 Q. Mr. Vasovic, when the whole procedure is finished that you talked
18 about when the lists are completed and agreed with on the -- with the
19 other side, what is then the procedure that follows after that? Who
20 informs these people that they can cross over to the other side, who
21 informs the civilians and who informs the detainees?
22 A. The civilians were most often informed by the local community
23 messenger and I would inform all the people that I knew. I would take it
24 upon myself to inform them, the time of departure and all of that, and the
25 others were informed by the police.
1 Q. You mean the detainees?
2 A. Yes, the detainees.
3 Q. Mr. Vasovic, when you went to the places where the detainees were
4 and when you informed them that the other side was interested in having
5 them cross over, were there any people who said that they did not wish to
6 go over to the other side?
7 A. Of course, of course. And there were people who had expressed
8 this wish before, that they didn't want to go to the exchange still we had
9 to tell them that they had to go there and say so and then they could come
11 Q. Mr. Vasovic, when people were informed that the place of exchange
12 was set and when they were informed that they were to be exchanged - now
13 we're talking about civilians - what was the procedure at the departure
14 point, who called the people out to enter the buses?
15 A. Usually we would gather in front of the elementary or the high
16 school. The buses would come there and all the people who were on the
17 exchange list were there. I was the one who called out the civilians. I
18 would call out each civilian, there was a policeman at the door who would
19 check what things were being taken out and then the person would enter.
20 That's the procedure as far as the civilians are concerned.
21 Q. When you say the policeman checked the things that were being
22 taken out, what did you mean? What did he look at?
23 A. He would look at the things that the person was taking out, the
24 personal -- the hand luggage [as interpreted], that's what I mean.
25 Q. Mr. Vasovic, did you ever check the hand luggage of the people who
1 were entering the buses?
2 A. No, I never did. I wasn't interested in doing that. Why would I
3 look at other people's things?
4 Q. And did Miroslav Tadic ever do that?
5 A. Well, he was never there. He was never there. How could he have
6 looked when he wasn't there.
7 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have a correction on
8 the translation, page 13, line 23, the witness said -- the witness said
9 luggage and it was interpreted as hand luggage. So it should be luggage
10 and it should be specified what this luggage looked like so that we can
11 clarify anything in the translation.
12 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Vasovic, what did these people carry with them when they
14 entered the bus?
15 A. Mostly they carried their clothes and food, mostly clothes and
17 Q. Did they have suitcases, bags, travel bags?
18 A. Yes, they did. They had suitcases and big travelling bags.
19 Q. Mr. Vasovic, these people who were detained, how did they enter
20 the buses, who brought them?
21 A. We were separated, the police was over there and they were
22 carrying out their work. They had nothing to do with the civilian part.
23 Q. Other than the fact that they went in the same buses?
24 A. Yes, the same buses. They would all go together, both buses or
25 three buses, however many there were.
1 Q. Mr. Vasovic, when you were working, did it ever happen to you that
2 a person who was on the list was taken off by the police before entering
3 the bus?
4 A. No, I never had anything like that happen to me while I was
6 Q. Did it ever happen that a person who was not on the list who you
7 did not call out would enter the bus?
8 A. No, this was not possible because I didn't have the right to allow
9 them to enter the bus, nor would I allow them to enter the bus because I
10 would be the one who would be responsible.
11 Q. Mr. Vasovic, did you or anybody else amongst you, during the
12 actual application for the exchange or while entering the bus, did you
13 ever tell any of those people that they did not have to go to the
15 A. Well, it depends on the number of the buses, whether it was one or
16 two, so I was the person in charge of the trip as a representative of the
17 Red Cross so I would enter the bus and I would explain to them, "You are
18 all going for an exchange. Those who wish to return can say so on the
19 spot where the exchange is being carried out that they want to return.
20 And in that case they will be allowed to return." So I would in the same
21 way go on to the other bus and say the same thing.
22 Q. Did you tell that to the detainees as well?
23 A. To everybody.
24 Q. Did you tell the detainees that if they said that they did not
25 want to be exchanged that they would be returned to detention or did you
1 tell them something else?
2 A. No. All of those who were returning would be returning directly
3 to their homes. They would not go back to detention. I can give you an
4 example, Ivica Kikic came back to his house and the next day, he came and
5 he hugged me and he kissed me and he said, "Well, I went back to my house.
6 I returned to my house."
7 Q. So these people, the detainees knew before they arrived at the
8 place of exchange that if they said that they did not want to cross over
9 to the other side, that they would be freed?
10 A. Yes, yes of course.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Krgovic. I wonder, Mr. Vasovic,
12 if you remember, this Mr. Kikic you mention, where had he been detained?
13 A. In the high school. I think that's where he was.
14 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And do you recall how he looked?
15 A. Very bad. He's a lovely man by heart, but he wasn't pleasant to
16 look at, let me put it that way, he was very seriously ill.
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And what age would he have been; do you recall?
18 A. Between 45 and 50. That's -- I think that's about it.
19 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And just one last question, if you recall, you
20 say he was very seriously ill, was this a medical condition he had or was
21 he ill for some other reason?
22 A. It was an illness that he had. It was not -- he wasn't ill right
23 at that moment, it was an illness that he had had from before.
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Just one last question: Do you recall whether he
25 mentioned to you whether he had been beaten while he was in detention in
2 A. He didn't ever say anything like that to me, even though we were
3 very good friends, extremely good friends, the two of us.
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Vasovic, and what happened then? Where did you go for the
7 exchanges, which locations?
8 A. Where we left and where we were going to.
9 Q. What was the final destination?
10 A. Dragalic and Lipovac on the other side.
11 Q. Is there anything specific about those locations, was there some
12 kind of particular regime there?
13 A. For example we would be going towards Dragalic, then at Gradiska
14 we would rest, we would stop there.
15 Q. Excuse me, we didn't understand each other. Those places where
16 the exchanges were being conducted was there a special entry and exit
17 regime there?
18 A. No, no, it was normal, we would just go in with a roll call.
19 Q. I'm asking you about the zones where the exchanges were held, were
20 they the UNPAs under the control of the UN?
21 A. Yes, yes, that's right.
22 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, you rode on those buses, did you stop
23 anywhere before entering the actual place of exchange?
24 A. Of course we did. I mentioned it a while ago, for example we'd be
25 going to Dragalic and then we had's stop in Gradiska for about a half an
1 hour, approximately. All of those who were on the bus were allowed to get
2 off. I would take them to the washroom and then we would go back, some of
3 them said they would like to have a beer or something like that and those
4 wishes of theirs were fulfilled too and also if they wanted to buy a bit
5 of food or something like that, that's the way it was for sure.
6 Q. Mr. Vasovic, did Miroslav Tadic travel with you or did he travel
8 A. He travelled separately and I was on the bus, I was invariably on
9 the bus.
10 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, what happened at the place where the
11 exchange took place? What was the procedure involved, did these people
12 state their views regarding the exchange yet again before someone else?
13 Could you explain this to us?
14 A. We would stop there and the buses would park on both sides. All
15 of those who were supposed to be exchanged were on the buses and then they
16 would get off and they would stand in queues or rather a queue and the
17 others did the same. The civilian population, I mean the International
18 Red Cross was there too, and they observed all of that. Then, I would
19 call out people's names, the names of all of those who were on the list.
20 And then I'd say, "Are you going?" And then he would say that he wanted
21 to go. And then he'd go there straight away and so on and so forth.
22 Q. What do you mean? Where did they go then? Did they state their
23 views to anybody else or only to you?
24 A. He would apply to the International Red Cross and then he would go
25 over straight to them.
1 Q. Just let's do this step by step. You would read out the person's
2 name from the list and you would ask this person does he want to be
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. After that, the person who says --
6 A. That he wants to go.
7 Q. Then he goes where?
8 A. The International Red Cross would listen to all of this but then
9 he would go to the International Red Cross and then he would go back take
10 his things and go over there.
11 Q. So he would return again to you?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. To the bus?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And take his own things.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And go on to the other side?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Krgovic, you are not pausing. It's so much
20 strain on the interpreters.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Vasovic, let's do this slowly. What happened to people who
23 would express their wishes to you, who would say to you that they did not
24 want to cross over to the other side?
25 A. Such persons would also say loud and clear that they did not want
1 to go. They would also go to the International Red Cross, but they would
2 also have there the representatives of the other side and they would
3 address these people too and they would tell them also that they did not
4 want to go. So then the person involved would come back to me and say,
5 "What do I do now." And then I would say, "Take your things, if you have
6 any," because I mean, you know, if he was counting on going back anyway
7 and then I'd say go back to the bus and sit in your seat. That was it.
8 Let me just say one more thing. May I? Oh, all right, never mind.
9 Q. Just take it slowly. Let's try to finish with this part.
10 These people would get on to the same bus on which they came?
11 A. Came, right.
12 Q. Now tell me what you wanted to say?
13 A. I was happy. All of us were happy. All of those who said that
14 they wanted to go back to Samac. We were all happy and pleased.
15 Q. Mr. Vasovic, at these exchanges that you attended, were there
16 several such cases of persons who said that they did not want to go to the
17 other side?
18 A. Oh, yes, of course. I know quite a few of them.
19 Q. Can you give us a few names to the best of your recollection, a
20 few names as many as you can remember?
21 A. Mladen Borbeli then that Slovenian, then Stipe Vukovic, then this
22 Ivica Kikic and so on. I can't remember everybody now but there were
23 quite a few of them.
24 Q. After returning to Samac, what happened to them, where did they
1 A. They went to their homes.
2 Q. Where do they live now?
3 A. They live in Samac.
4 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, was the procedure same on the other side
5 with the Serb detainees and civilians who were coming from the other
6 side? Was the procedure identical to the one that you had here? How did
7 these people state their views? What did you manage to see?
8 A. Well to tell you the truth, I don't really know because I was not
9 in a position to hear that or see that.
10 Q. Mr. Vasovic, on that occasion, did you force anyone to cross over
11 to the other side?
12 A. I wanted people to stay or to come back, not to cross over, no
14 Q. Did you hear or see -- do you know whether Miroslav Tadic forced
15 anybody to go to the other side?
16 A. No way, no way. I don't think that that was in the back of his
17 mind let alone that he actually wanted it.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Now we have a problem with the
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, can we have some assistance from the technical
22 I'm informed that the technical people are working on them so we
23 should just wait.
24 Can we start? Yes. I think you have to go back a bit so that you
25 cover, if you have lost anything.
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask my colleague to
2 read this because we have it on the laptop.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: I will read what we have here on the laptop to
4 recover the transcript. So --
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Why don't -- why don't you just repeat the
6 questions? Because it seems to me there is nothing further.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Vasovic, we have a small problem with the transcript?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The last few questions and answers did not enter the transcript so
11 I'm going to repeat them. Mr. Vasovic, did you force anyone to cross over
12 to the other side?
13 A. No, never. Never. Never, never did it cross my mind.
14 Q. What about Miroslav Tadic, did you know, see or hear that Miroslav
15 Tadic forced someone to cross over to the other side?
16 A. No way. He's not that kind of person to do that kind of thing.
17 Q. Mr. Vasovic, you told us a while ago that you read these lists of
18 civilians who were stating their views?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Was the same thing done with persons who were coming from
21 detention, did they also express their views to the representatives of the
22 International Red Cross et cetera?
23 A. What do you mean, those who came, I mean whoever came came, I
24 didn't go into all of that. I didn't go into whether or not these people
25 expressed their views.
1 Q. That's not what I'm asking you. I'm asking you whether those
2 persons who came with you on the bus and who were supposed to cross over
3 to the other side and who had been detained in Samac, did they also
4 express their views there. Are they also in the category that you
5 referred to just now that everybody together went to the International Red
6 Cross or was there a difference between them?
7 A. Everybody, everybody, I can that everybody went to the Red Cross
8 and expressed their views there.
9 Q. Was the procedure identical when the International Red Cross was
10 not there, did somebody come instead of them?
11 A. The commission on both sides. I think that this was truly correct
12 and that all exchanges were indeed carried out properly, quite properly.
13 Q. Were there any representatives of the Red Cross from Zupanja or
15 A. From Zupanja, there were representatives of the Red Cross.
16 Q. Mr. Vasovic, now I'm going to ask you something else about a
17 different subject and that is Zasavica. Do you know where the village of
18 Zasavica is?
19 A. Of course I do.
20 Q. Where is it?
21 A. It is on the right side of Crkvina towards Modrica, towards the
22 town of Modrica.
23 Q. Before the war, tell me, what was the population of Zasavica in
24 ethnic terms?
25 A. The population was Croat.
1 Q. During the war, did you come to Zasavica?
2 A. Yes, I did. Not exactly every day but perhaps it could even be
3 put that way, even every day.
4 Q. Mr. Vasovic, during those days, I mean I'm interested in a longer
5 period of time, so May, June, July, all the way up to say the end of
6 August, 1992, who were mainly the inhabitants of Zasavica?
7 A. Only Croats.
8 Q. What kind of communication did you have, could they move about
9 unhindered? Did you meet them in town?
10 A. Yes, they went out. They went into town. It was quite normal in
11 relation to the situation as it was.
12 Q. Did something happen towards the end of August 1992? Did some
13 other people come there in addition to these?
14 A. Yes, yes. When that group of Muslims swam across the Sava
15 Bosna I think - now I'm not too sure whether it was the Sava
16 Bosna - and then their families were brought to Zasavica.
17 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, who did that? Who brought them there?
18 A. The police. The police, nobody else.
19 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, at that time, were there any restrictions on
20 movement, was there a checkpoint at the entrance into Zasavica?
21 A. At the small bridge by the entrance into Zasavica there was a
22 small checkpoint where there were guards and they either allowed entry or
23 did not or rather only people who had passes were allowed in.
24 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, on whose instructions did you go to
1 A. According to the instructions given by the Red Cross, everything I
2 did I did according to the instructions given by the Red Cross.
3 Q. Tell me, Mr. Vasovic, specifically what was your assignment given
4 to you by the Red Cross? What did you do in that capacity in Zasavica?
5 A. Let me say that first of all, I would always come to the
6 commissioner whose name was Ivica or Ivo Pandurevic and then he would
7 inform me about everything that was going on in Zasavica. Then, the food
8 shortage, he would say what was missing so that I could go back to the
9 central Red Cross warehouse and bring that food.
10 Q. Mr. Vasovic, beforehand when we were discussing something, I would
11 like to go back to part of your answer. You said that passes were needed
12 in order to get in but also to get out, right?
13 A. Yes, to go in and also to go out, but Croats for the most part
14 were allowed to go out even without a pass.
15 Q. What about the Muslims who were brought there?
16 A. They were put up in houses, in houses that were fabulous, fabulous
17 rich houses, well equipped, well appointed, that's where they lived.
18 Q. Could they leave or was their movement restricted?
19 A. I think their movement was restricted.
20 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me what the living conditions
21 were generally in Zasavica as compared to Samac?
22 A. Well, let me tell you.
23 Q. Just in a couple of sentences, please.
24 A. I would like to live now the way they lived at that time in
25 Zasavica. If that's the proper answer.
1 Q. Could you please explain why?
2 A. They had everything, good food, good accommodation, movement
3 around the village, the only thing is perhaps that their freedom of
4 movement outside was limited but everything else they had.
5 Q. Was Zasavica shelled at the time when those people were there?
6 A. No, Zasavica was never shelled, a shell never fell on Zasavica at
8 Q. Was there water?
9 A. Yes, there was water. They had an artesian well, that was one of
10 the best wells of that kind at the time in the whole of Posavina.
11 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
12 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber has been informed that the laptop
13 system is continuing to record so the proceedings can continue. The
14 monitor in being looked into but if there will be any document on the ELMO
15 it will show on the monitor if you press the right button, computer
17 So Mr. Krgovic, you can continue.
18 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me just a couple of more things
20 about Zasavica. Was there a health centre in Zasavica and did the
21 detainees receive medical assistance?
22 A. Yes, there was a place where the doctors would come. I would
23 bring them to this place. I, myself, brought the doctors to this place
24 that was allocated as the medical centre so if somebody was sick, the
25 doctors would come and provide assistance.
1 Q. Do you know if the International Red Cross ever visited Zasavica?
2 A. Yes, they came to the village church. That's where all the people
3 who wanted to come were to come and this is -- came and this is where they
4 passed on messages to them and spoke to the population of Zasavica.
5 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please tell me whether the citizens of
6 Zasavica or those people, the Muslims who were from the town of Samac
7 applied wanting to go to the other side?
8 A. Yes, they did apply to go to the other side. They applied to me
9 and I would submit that list, that report to the president of the Red
11 Q. Mr. Vasovic, I want to ask you about a few brief episodes, if you
12 can clarify something for us. Do you know [redacted]?
13 A. Yes, of course. I didn't know him before that but I met him
14 during the war. (redacted) .
15 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we please now go
16 into private session and if it's possible, could we erase the name of this
17 person because in my notes now I see that this is a person who has already
18 been mentioned in this case and I would like to explain that to you.
19 MR. RE: Before we do, I can't see anything in the summary
20 provided in relation to this specific person who's just been mentioned.
21 There's a very general description of visits to Zasavica in relation to
22 the exchanges. We certainly had no notice that this witness's evidence
23 would be examined or questions would be asked about it, if that is indeed
24 what my learned friend intends to do.
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may say, I wrote
1 the summary and the summary refers to certain facts that the witnesses
2 will talk about during the entire proceedings. The Defence, of course,
3 must contest the claims by the Prosecution so we did not understand that
4 we need -- we didn't think that we would have to put in the summary facts
5 which were mentioned by witnesses of the Prosecution and the witnesses who
6 talk about individual episodes, the witnesses of the Prosecution, that --
7 there was nothing about that in that -- in the summaries either. We
8 informed the Prosecution a few days ago that he would talk about episodes
9 where he was mentioned as a participant but it's quite clear which witness
10 was the one that talked about this witness but it's not something that we
11 felt was necessary to put in the summary.
12 I just need to mention one more thing about the summaries, Your
13 Honours. My Defence and the other Defences in writing our summaries, we
14 also thought about the pre-trial brief of the Prosecution and we often
15 objected to much longer testimonies than was mentioned in the summary. So
16 I believe that there is really no reason to overrule such questions if
17 they refer to some things that the Prosecutor has claimed and of course
18 they all are related to the actual exchanges and that is something that we
19 have mentioned in the summary.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber will allow the Defence to proceed
22 and discuss the allegation -- the specific allegations made by the -- some
23 of the Prosecution witnesses.
24 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we go into private session,
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the Trial Chamber wishes to seek clarification
2 on this name of, is it (redacted) ? He is not a protected witness.
3 MR. RE: He's witness O, Your Honour. Witness O.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: That's Witness O.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: That's Witness O. All right. Then the name will be
6 redacted and we will use Witness O. Do you still want to go into private
8 MR. KRGOVIC: Yeah.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: We will move into private session.
10 [Private session]
13 Page 14999 – redacted – private session
19 [Open session]
20 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Vasovic, do you know Jelena Kapetanovic?
22 A. I do. Jelena Stanisic better said, but Jelena Kapetanovic now.
23 Q. Was she in Zasavica?
24 A. Yes, she was.
25 Q. Mr. Vasovic, did she tell you that she wanted to be exchanged?
1 Did she apply to the list of persons who wanted to leave Bosanski Samac?
2 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the answer of the
4 Q. Do you know --
5 JUDGE MUMBA: I have announced that we move into open session. I
6 think it wasn't just picked up. In fact, we're already in open session.
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: We need the answer repeated, Mr. Krgovic.
8 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Vasovic, could you please repeat what I just asked you about
10 whether she applied as wanting to leave the area?
11 A. Yes, yes, she did.
12 Q. Mr. Vasovic, do you know the persons from Zasavica [redacted]
13 and Marta that?
15 who lived there.
17 money, curtains and a canister of oil so that Jelena Kapetanovic could
18 cross over to the other side to enable her to cross over and leave Samac?
19 A. That is a pure fabrication for somebody to sell themselves for a
20 canister of gasoline or something like that, that is a pure fabrication,
22 that because [redacted]is a very good person.
23 Q. Mr. Vasovic, tell me, do you know Fadila Drljacic?
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear any answer.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: The interpreters said they didn't hear the answer of
1 the witness.
2 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Tell us, do you know Fadila Drljacic?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. On one occasion, when an exchange was organised, did she leave
6 Bosanski Samac?
7 A. Yes, she did.
8 Q. Mr. Vasovic, Mrs. Fadila Drljacic, was she on the list of persons
9 who could board the bus?
10 A. By all means.
11 Q. Could it have happened or did it happen that she was not on the
12 list and that you, on the spot, although she was not on the list, let her
13 board the bus and cross over to the other side?
14 A. No way, nor would I have allowed myself that kind of embarrassment
15 or the people could say such things about me, no.
16 Q. Mrs. Fadila Drljacic, did she give you a match box or something in
17 which there was some gold, some valuables?
18 A. She gave me a match box but this is the first time I hear that
19 there was gold inside.
20 Q. Why did she give you this?
21 A. To have it crossed over -- to have it taken to the other side.
22 Q. Where?
23 A. To the destination where she would get off.
24 Q. Why did she give you this?
25 A. Out of sheer trust towards me because she knew that she would get
1 it from me. Well that's it, she trusted me.
2 Q. Did you return that match box to her?
3 A. As soon as that border was crossed, immediately, out of my pocket
4 straight into her hands.
5 Q. Was this the first time that somebody gave you valuables to take
6 across or did you do that more often?
7 A. Well let me tell you now, the money I took across and the gold and
8 jewellery I took across is an amount that you would not be able to
9 believe, I mean I couldn't believe it myself, a lot.
10 Q. Could you explain this? Why did people give you money and gold to
11 carry across for them, why did they not carry it themselves?
12 A. First and foremost they trusted me. Secondly, at the border
13 crossing where we would come, there would be searches all kinds of
14 searches with your indulgence may I say that they would look in places
15 where nobody would ever look so they gave all this to me and I did it very
16 gladly well to accommodate them.
17 Q. Who searched them?
18 A. A person, a policeman, the police at the crossings.
19 Q. When you say the crossings, which crossing do you mean?
20 A. I mean Gradiska.
21 Q. Were there ever cases of the police taking away somebody's
22 valuables, money or gold, did that ever happen?
23 A. I think that sometimes some women had 200 or 300 Deutschemark and
24 they would take 200 Deutschemark from them and they would leave them only
25 100 Deutschemark or something like that. But that is what they had said
1 to me, that's what they complained about but whether that's the way it
2 was, I don't really know.
3 Q. Mr. Vasovic, did you ever take any kind of compensation for that,
4 for making it possible for them to leave Samac by bus or through an
6 A. Never. Never. Let alone money, if I didn't give anything, I
7 didn't take anything either.
8 Q. Do you know whether Miroslav Tadic ever took money from someone in
9 order to place that person on the list of people who were going to be
10 exchanged or to make it possible for such persons to leave Samac?
11 A. No way. To the best of my knowledge, no.
12 Q. Did people offer you money?
13 A. Yes, they did, and how, and how and how, but I think that they
14 were always mocked because they offered money and they were expelled from
15 the office because of that.
16 Q. Do you know Vlado Zarka?
17 A. Of course I do.
18 Q. Did he offer money to you?
19 A. Yes he did. Indeed. 1.000 Deutschemark or 1.500 Deutschemark I'm
20 not sure, but 1.000 for sure.
21 Q. What did you do?
22 A. I threw him out, I said, "Give that money to whoever you can give
23 it to and whoever can take you out." Those are my actual words and I
24 said, "Don't ever come within my eyesight again."
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
1 questions for this witness.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Any other counsel?
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honours, just one single brief question
4 to this witness.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Vasovic. I am attorney
7 Lazarevic and on behalf of the Defence of Simo Zaric I'm going to put one
8 single question to you. You said that you worked for the Red Cross and
9 that on behalf of the Red Cross, you took part in the exchanges that were
10 taking place. In this connection, did you have any contact with Simo
12 A. No. No, never. Even when we would meet up, we didn't talk about
13 any such thing, we only talked about private matters.
14 Q. When you attended the exchange itself, did you ever see Simo Zaric
16 A. He was never there at the place where the exchanges were taking
17 place or was he there where we were calling people's names out. I never
18 noticed him.
19 Q. To the best of your knowledge, did he have any official position
20 that had to do with exchanges?
21 A. No, why would he? He was not a member of the Red Cross or
22 anything like that so that he could influence exchanges.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Just a couple of questions.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Mr. Vasovic, I'm attorney Pantelic,
4 Defence counsel for Dr. Blagoje Simic, I have just a few questions for
5 you. You are probably tired. You mentioned that you've been a member of
6 the socialist party for a long time now or actually before that you were a
7 member of the league of communists of Yugoslavia
8 now of the socialist party of Republika Srpska, tell me, in 1992, the SDP
9 at local level, at the municipal parliament, did it take part, I mean
10 was it in government in the echelons of power then?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Tell me --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, there was some maybe need some clarification
15 in the transcript. In fact, I will clarify that with the witness very
17 Q. [Interpretation] So your party was a parliamentary party at the
18 level of the municipality of Samac; is that right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were there any representatives of your party in the municipal
21 government, by that I mean the executive board, the executive authorities?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Tell me, since you are an educated person and you were involved in
24 politics, in the course of 1992 and 1993, the local SDS
25 Samac, did it ever promote a policy of persecuting the non-Serb population
1 and expelling it from thee territory of the municipality of Samac, do you
2 have any such knowledge?
3 A. I have not read their programme although all programmes are
4 similar but I think and I claim that the SDS
5 done any such thing as far as the persecution of the non-Serb population
6 is concerned.
7 Q. We are talking about Samac again. Did you ever hear that by way
8 of some proclamation or by way of some public appearance, the SDS
9 promoted the expulsion of non-Serbs from the municipality of Samac?
10 A. There was no such thing. There really was no such thing.
11 Q. Do you personally have any knowledge as to whether Dr. Blagoje
12 Simic ever expressed any kind of discriminatory intention towards the
13 non-Serbs in the territory of the municipality of Samac?
14 A. I think it was actually the other way around that he was tolerant
15 towards everyone and that he behaved the same way to everybody.
16 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Vasovic.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Cross-examination by the Prosecution.
18 MR. RE: Thank you. If Your Honour will just excuse me for one
19 moment, I want to find something.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
22 Q. Mr. Vasovic, my name is David Re. I represent the Prosecution and
23 I'm going to ask you some questions about your testimony and what happened
24 in Samac in 1992 and 1993. Do you understand that?
25 A. I understand.
1 Q. Mr. Pantelic, you know Mr. Pantelic who is Dr. Simic's lawyer?
2 A. Yes, I met him.
3 Q. He just asked you about your political involvement. Now you stood
4 for parliament, sorry, you stood as a candidate, didn't you, in October
5 1990 for the municipal elections on the SDP
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Were you elected as a member of the municipal assembly on that
9 A. No.
10 Q. Have you held political office since then?
11 A. No.
12 Q. The -- Mr. Krgovic asked you about a nickname and you said that
13 you had never had a nickname before.
14 A. Never, for sure.
15 Q. In 1992 and 1993, were you wearing -- did you wear glasses?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Now the nickname that he asked you about "Obrva," that of course
18 means "eyebrows," doesn't it?
19 A. Yes, yes, that's how it should be. If it's an eyebrow, yeah,
20 that's what it is, then yes.
21 Q. Just take your glasses off for a moment and show the Trial Chamber
22 your eyebrows, please?
23 MR. KRGOVIC: I object, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re.
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I think that this is unjust to the
1 witness and I really don't see the reason for these cheap moves by the
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes that will be struck off the record.
4 MR. RE: The showing of the eyebrows, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
6 MR. RE:
7 Q. Mr. Vasovic, you say that no one has called you that to your face,
8 that's your evidence, isn't it?
9 A. Never, I am sure. I would place my head on the line for that.
10 I'm sure that I never heard that anybody called me by that nickname. I
11 would put my head on the line right away.
12 Q. I'm only asking you about people saying it to you, you wouldn't of
13 course know what people might have said about you behind your back, would
15 A. I would find that out.
16 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Calling for speculation.
17 MR. RE: There's been specific evidence in the case and
18 Mr. Krgovic questioned the witness specifically on this point.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes but he has denied that he ever was known by that
20 nickname and right now it is emphatically denied again there is no point
21 in going on about it.
22 MR. RE: I'm not intending to go on about it, Your Honour, my only
23 point is that he was visiting the -- the evidence about who called him
24 Obrva was not someone who was his friend. It was someone in detention who
25 said he came in. That's all. That's as far as I -- that's as far as I
1 take it.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
3 MR. RE: And he wouldn't know, wouldn't necessarily know that
4 someone else may have called him that, that's all. That's the only basis
5 upon which I put that.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: If you want to be helpful but you can go ahead.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] But this is speculation. The
8 question of the Prosecutor was would you know, would you have been able to
9 know what people called you behind your back. That was actually the gist
10 of my objection. He's asking the witness to speculate whether he could
11 have known whether this is something that they called him behind his
13 MR. RE: No, I just asked him whether he would have known. That's
14 different to speculating.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: If the question was did somebody ever tell you that
16 you were being called by this name behind your back.
17 MR. RE: That's not my question. My question is if someone had
18 called you that behind your back, you wouldn't necessarily know, would
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Yeah. You can put that question to him.
21 MR. RE:
22 Q. All I'm suggesting, Mr. Vasovic, is if someone called you Obrva
23 behind your back, you wouldn't necessarily know, would you?
24 A. Why not? I have so many friends and allow me to tell you I was
25 much loved in the town of Samac as a teacher regardless of my ethnicity so
1 I would find out everything. I have so many friends amongst Muslims and
2 Croats and Serbs, you can't even understand how many friends I have.
3 Q. The Red Cross, of course, had a humanitarian role during the war
4 in Samac and other places, didn't it?
5 A. As far as the Red Cross was concerned, who else would have any
6 humanitarian role, if not the Red Cross, who else would be working on
7 these humanitarian duties if not the Red Cross?
8 Q. The Red Cross structure within the Republika Srpska at the time, I
9 just want to ask you about that. It was organised at a local and a
10 national level, wasn't it?
11 A. Yes, at the local and the national level depending on where it was
12 formed and how it was formed -- no, I wouldn't say it was at the ethnic
13 level, no, it wasn't -- it wasn't founded like that. Not even in Bosnia
14 and Herzegovina was it formed along ethnic lines because there were Serbs
15 and Croats there with whom I cooperated in the Red Cross.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... this maybe a
17 matter of translation, national level to this witness means ethnic level
18 so this is how he understood the question.
19 MR. RE:
20 Q. Mr. Vasovic, when I asked you the question a moment ago I wasn't
21 suggesting it was formed along ethnic lines. I was talking about at a
22 local, regional, and national in the sense of the country level.
23 A. I don't know what you thought. I don't want to think about
24 whether this was maybe ambiguous or not. I'm not sure what you are trying
25 to get me to say.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Perhaps Mr. Re you can rephrase your question and
2 ask one question at a time at a local level, explain what you mean and
3 then at the country's level, you explain what you mean. Let him answer
4 the two questions separately.
5 MR. RE: I'll do that.
6 Q. Mr. Vasovic, I'm -- in order for the Trial Chamber to understand
7 the role of your organisation, the Red Cross in Samac, I want you to tell
8 the Trial Chamber about the organisation of the Red Cross at the local
9 level, the regional level, and at the country level; do you understand
10 that that's what I'm asking you about?
11 A. I understand that at the local level, I explained that already,
12 previously, what was being done at the local level. At the regional
13 level, we cooperated, but I don't know about what was going on at a
14 broader scale so why would I talk about something that I don't know. But
15 I do know that there were Red Cross organisations in Muslim towns where
16 they weren't the only ethnicity.
17 Q. Can you please listen very carefully to the question. The
18 question I asked you was: Do you understand that's what I'm asking you
19 about. I wasn't asking you to go on, so please just listen to the
20 question. What I want to ask you about is the structure from the bottom
21 to the top of the Red Cross in the Republika Srpska at that time; do you
22 understand that, yes or no?
23 A. Yes. Yes. From the base, from the bottom, to the top, from the
24 lowest structures up to the highest structures. Yes, that's how you
25 meant, what you meant.
1 Q. Your evidence earlier was that you were formerly the president of
2 the Bosanski Samac Red Cross?
3 A. Yes, in the municipality, yes.
4 Q. At that time was the Red Cross organised into local groups or
5 branches that reported to a regional one?
6 A. Of course because the Red Cross, the municipal Red Cross existed,
7 there was a Red Cross branch in every village with the local community
8 which reported back about their work to the municipal Red Cross and then
9 the municipal Red Cross reported back to the regional and so on. So what
10 happened further along this line was something for others to deal with.
11 Q. Which group were you president of, was it a village Red Cross or a
12 municipal Red Cross?
13 A. The municipal Red Cross.
14 Q. Did the municipal Red Cross work with the municipal authorities,
15 that is the assembly and the government or the local government?
16 A. Only in providing reports of their work to them and about those
17 things that other bodies were supposed to do to provide subsidies in order
18 for the Red Cross to be able to provide assistance and so on.
19 Q. Did the Red Cross -- sorry I'll start again. You just said the
20 Red Cross reported to the local or the municipal government, did the Red
21 Cross receive money from the municipal government?
22 A. Of course, all the time. According to the annual plan of the
23 municipal assembly, funds were allocated to the municipal Red Cross and
24 the municipal Red Cross had then to decide how and where it would spend
25 these funds.
1 Q. Before the war, were you just referring to before the war; just
2 yes or no?
3 A. And before the war, of course.
4 Q. During the war, did the Red Cross, the Red Cross which you were an
5 activist in and worked very hard in during the war, did it continue to
6 work with the municipal authorities?
7 A. Certainly, because they also, on their own initiative, wanted to
8 help the Red Cross so that they could do its job better because in the
9 beginning, we didn't have enough food or other things so whatever they
10 were able to, they gave to the Red Cross and this is something that you
11 could have asked the president of the Red Cross Mihajlovic and also
12 Velimir Maslic who was also here recently.
13 Q. And the Red Cross continued reporting to the municipal authorities
14 during the war, that's after the 17th of April, 1992
15 A. In the initial period, no, not really. They worked -- on their
16 own programme in their own way in the humanitarian aid area. We worked
17 together with the centre for social work.
18 Q. Your position or the position of the Red Cross allowed its members
19 or activists to visit places such as detention centres that other people
20 couldn't go to, didn't it?
21 A. I was the only one to visit all of those places on behalf of the
22 Red Cross, the only person, all the places of detention.
23 MR. RE: It's quarter to 6.00 Your Honour, is that the time for
24 the break or is it 10 to.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes we shall take our break now and continue at 1805
2 --- Break taken at 5.45 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: We are not able to continue our proceedings up to 19
5 hours, we've just been informed that due to the health concerns of the
6 witness it's advisable that he takes a rest. So we will continue with him
7 tomorrow. So we'll adjourn now.
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
9 at 6.07 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
10 the 31st day of January, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.