1 Friday, 31st January 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 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: Yes, the Prosecution is cross-examining the
10 witness. Mr. Re.
11 WITNESS: SVETOZAR VASOVIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Re: [Continued]
14 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Vasovic?
15 A. Good afternoon.
16 Q. I will be continuing to ask you questions from where we left off
17 yesterday; do you understand that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You told us yesterday that you were doing the work for the Red
20 Cross for humanitarian reasons and your evidence is that the work you were
21 doing was voluntary; is that right?
22 A. Always voluntary, voluntary, yes.
23 Q. When you were working for the Red Cross during the war, it was a
24 time when the local and national, I mean the country-wide economy had
25 collapsed, wasn't it?
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I don't really have an
2 objection but I would like to ask the Prosecutor to say which period he
3 was referring to, the witness said that he worked in the Red Cross before
4 the war and during the war. And when he says you worked on a voluntary
5 basis for the Red Cross, could he please say what period he is exactly
6 referring to?
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I'm sure counsel can clarify that with the
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. You told us yesterday, didn't you, that when you worked during the
11 war for the Red Cross, what you were doing was voluntary; that was your
12 evidence, wasn't it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The question I was about to ask you was about the economy, the
15 economy in both Bosanski Samac and throughout the Republika Srpska had
16 collapsed at that period during the war, hadn't it?
17 A. Well, I don't know about that. I wasn't really involved in that
18 kind of thing. How could I know? How could I know that the economy had
19 collapsed? I was involved in Red Cross work.
20 Q. Okay. I'll take it step by step, if you like. You weren't being
21 paid; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The national currency, that's the -- the national currency was in
24 effect useless because of rampant inflation?
25 A. Well, it was useless.
1 Q. And people were being paid in -- this useless national currency
2 and in other goods, weren't they?
3 A. I don't know what you mean. How do you think they were paid?
4 Q. If you don't know, that's okay. I'm just asking you as far as you
5 know were people being paid in things other than the useless national
7 A. I don't know about that because I hadn't been paid either. I mean
8 I worked with humanitarian aid.
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Re, I think the term that's being
10 used by counsel with respect to where the witness is, is the term payment
11 in kind, I don't know whether in terms of translation that might make a
12 difference for the understanding of the witness.
13 MR. RE:
14 Q. You heard what Her Honour Judge Williams just said, does the term
15 payment in kind mean something to you?
16 A. I really don't know about that. I really don't know about payment
17 in kind. I only worked for the Red Cross. As for everything else apart
18 from the Red Cross, I didn't interfere in that, I don't know about that.
19 Q. You've agreed with me that the currency was useless, I want to
20 suggest to you there were other things which were very useful for trading
21 in the wartime economy. Now, gold was a useful commodity for trading
22 during the wartime economy, wasn't it?
23 A. I don't know about that. I don't know. Who paid who in gold, I
24 mean how can people pay in gold and who is this who is paying in gold?
25 Q. During the war, you were not paid, you told us that.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You had no source of income, did you?
3 A. No, none.
4 Q. You had to buy things like food, didn't you?
5 A. I had food.
6 Q. You had to buy things like clothes, didn't you?
7 A. I had clothes.
8 Q. Do you have a car?
9 A. No. Now I do. Before I didn't.
10 Q. You had bills to pay?
11 A. Nobody paid them.
12 Q. Do you smoke?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Do you drink beer?
15 A. Sometimes.
16 Q. You would have had to buy your beer, wouldn't you?
17 A. Since I'm a heart patient, I drink fruit juice most of the time
18 and even that I drink very seldom. Most often I simply take water.
19 Q. I'm asking you about the period during the war, Mr. Vasovic.
20 During the period of the war, there were things you had to buy, weren't
21 there, in the normal course of living?
22 A. Well, I had to, I had friends in the country, in the village who
23 brought food and that's how I survived where I worked.
24 Q. In a time of war, during a wartime economy, things such as gold
25 and jewellery were very useful trading commodities, weren't they?
1 A. I don't know. Somebody probably did that kind of thing but I
2 don't know about it.
3 Q. Well certainly hard currency was, such as the Deutschmark or the
4 US dollar, wasn't it? It was a valuable trading commodity, wasn't it?
5 A. I did not encounter any. I did not encounter that currency.
6 Q. Because the local currency was useless, the people in Bosanski
7 Samac wanted to get their hands on hard currency such as Deutschmarks,
8 didn't they?
9 A. Probably, but I don't know about that because I was not
11 Q. Fuel for central heating was also hard to come by during the war,
12 wasn't it?
13 A. I don't even know that anybody did come by it or that there was
14 any to be found or that anybody managed to get it. I mean that was not my
15 line of work. How would I know about that? Why would I meddle in things
16 that were not something I was supposed to do?
17 Q. Do you have central heating in your home at that time,
18 Mr. Vasovic?
19 A. During the war or before the war? I did but it was extremely
20 expensive so we simply switched it off and we didn't use it.
21 Q. It was -- was it expensive because you didn't have money to buy
22 the fuel to use in the heater?
23 A. No, not during the war, it was before the war. It was expensive
24 for us even then and that's why we switched off this heating before the
1 Q. Was it a central heater which ran on fuel, that is oil?
2 A. Fuel, oil, but only for one building.
3 Q. So you're saying you couldn't buy oil during the war because you
4 didn't have the money -- sorry one because you didn't have the money to
5 buy oil and two because you thought it was in -- it was very hard to come
7 A. We didn't even think about it because we chucked it out before the
8 war, before the war started, a year or two before that, for sure.
9 Q. Sorry is your evidence now that you actually threw out the central
10 heating, discarded it from your house before the war; is that your
11 evidence now?
12 A. Exactly.
13 MR. PANTELIC: I apologise to my learned friend, maybe for the
14 sake of the proceedings, we could find whether our learned friend is
15 referring to a family home of this witness or it is an apartment within
16 one common building because otherwise he might be confused with this word
17 your home, your place. Let's, I think, clarify that because otherwise he
18 might be in confusing situation that he will not give proper evidence to
19 the proceedings, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: But the witness through the questions of counsel
21 would have been able to say how he was living, wherever he was living at
22 his house, if he had an apartment in town for, say, weekdays, he would
23 have explained how he was living, whether the apartment had central
24 heating. So the witness should explain that, I'm sure he has understood
25 the conversation.
1 MR. RE:
2 Q. Mr. Vasovic, do you understand the first answer you gave me was
3 that it was expensive for us even then and that's why we switched it off,
4 switched off this heating before the war. Two questions later, you said
5 we didn't even think about it because we "checked it out before the war
6 started -- a year or two before that for sure." You see you've given me
7 two answers, one was we switched it off, and the other one was we checked
8 it out. Which one's the correct one?
9 A. I never used that word "otkazati" to cancel, we did not use it
10 anymore. The building with 28 apartments had central heating but we did
11 not use it because it was too expensive for us and that's why it was not
12 operating. That is why we obtained oil for heating [as interpreted].
13 Q. I'm sorry, I don't quite understand, that is why we obtained oil
14 for heating, can you just elaborate on what you mean by that is why we
15 obtained oil for heating? If it was too expensive, how could you obtain
16 oil for heating?
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just an intervention in
18 the transcript, the last sentence, the witness said that is why we did not
19 obtain oil for heating rather than we obtained oil for heating so that's a
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. That should be corrected.
22 MR. RE:
23 Q. Did you say that is why we did not obtain oil for heating, was
24 that what you said or did you say something else?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Would the witness please be asked to speak into
1 the microphone, says the interpreter.
2 MR. RE:
3 Q. Would you just say that again, the translators didn't get what you
4 said, could you just repeat what you said, please?
5 A. About what?
6 Q. The question I asked you about what you said a few minutes ago
7 was: Did you say that is why we did not obtain oil for heating or did you
8 say something else?
9 A. Well, we did not obtain it because we could not afford it.
10 Q. Your evidence yesterday to Mr. Krgovic was that you had many
11 friends of all ethnicities in Samac and you maintained friendships with
12 them throughout the war.
13 A. Well, partly I said so but partly.
14 Q. You mean partly throughout the war; what do you mean by partly?
15 A. Because I understood and saw that many of my friends possessed
16 weapons, belonged to certain units, formations and I was greatly surprised
17 when I saw many of my friends doing that. That is the main reason why I
18 started doubting these friendships.
19 Q. There must have been some friendships you didn't doubt and people
20 you continued to communicate with and talk with and have friendships
21 throughout the war.
22 A. But of course, yes.
23 Q. And that numbered in the dozens or tens of dozens, hundreds?
24 A. Not really, not many, but there were some.
25 Q. These people were all in the same position economically as you,
1 weren't they, that is, they weren't -- if they were being paid, they were
2 being paid in the useless local currency?
3 A. I don't know about that. I don't know about everybody's financial
4 status and things like that and whether they received money or not. How
5 could I know that?
6 Q. During the war, that's 1992, 1993, 1994, Samac was being shelled,
7 wasn't it?
8 A. Shelled, but don't link me to 1993 and 1994. I was there but I
9 worked at the Red Cross until December, the month of December 1992. So a
10 very short period of time. And you can ask me anything about that
12 Q. Mr. Vasovic, I didn't -- I asked you about the shelling, whether
13 it was shelled. You could have answered that yes or no. I'm not asking
14 you about your involvement with shelling, I'm just asking you -- just hang
15 on. Hang on, please. I'm just asking you about general conditions in the
16 war which is in the summary of things you were to testify about. All I'm
17 asking you to do is listen to the question and answer precisely as you can
18 the question I'm asking you. The question I'll ask is: During the war,
19 Samac was being shelled, wasn't it?
20 A. Shelled.
21 Q. A lot of buildings were unoccupied, weren't they, as a result of
22 war damage?
23 A. Not only that, but there was the population that had left Samac.
24 Q. A lot of people were out of work, weren't they?
25 A. Well, they didn't.
1 Q. Well they didn't, they weren't working, were they, a lot of people
2 weren't working because their jobs didn't exist anymore?
3 A. Well, somewhere there was work, I don't know exactly, so some work
4 was being done but I haven't got any accurate records nor do I know who
5 did what and whether individual companies worked.
6 Q. Some of your friends were out of work, weren't they?
7 A. I was not employed. I was involved in humanitarian work and
8 others too, most probably.
9 Q. I'll ask you the question again. The question was some of your
10 friends were out of work, weren't they?
11 A. Well, probably they were out of work but I don't know about that
12 whether they worked or did not work. We weren't making confessions to one
14 Q. You're telling the Trial Chamber you don't know whether your
15 friends were in work during the war; is that your evidence?
16 A. I don't know. How could I know?
17 Q. They're your friends, Mr. Vasovic, didn't you talk about such
18 things such as whether you were working, whether you were being paid,
19 those sorts of things?
20 A. Well, why would I think about my friends now, I'm thinking about
21 myself now, whether I worked or whether I didn't work, if I stated I
22 didn't work then that means that I didn't work. I don't know about my
23 friends whether they worked.
24 Q. There was a food crisis in Samac during the war, wasn't there?
25 A. Yes, there was a crisis.
1 Q. One of your jobs was to deliver food to people who needed it,
2 wasn't it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in doing so you went to their apartments, didn't you?
5 A. Never. Never. I never went to a single apartment.
6 Q. You delivered the food to central points for people to come and
7 collect; was that right? Or you helped in the delivery of food to central
8 points for people to collect?
9 A. I stated yesterday that food was procured in Samac, distributed
10 at points in town, the food that there was there. And this was in
11 accordance with the lists of the social welfare centre and the Red Cross
13 Q. I'm only asking you whether you helped in the delivery of food,
14 did you help in the delivery of food or not?
15 A. I delivered milk and eggs that I drove in from the local communes,
16 from the field.
17 Q. You must have talked to your friends during the war about the food
18 shortage, I suggest.
19 A. Well, there were conversations.
20 Q. People were complaining about the lack of food, weren't they, and
21 the general economic situation in Samac, weren't they?
22 A. Well, the economic situation was rather bad, but that was the case
23 all round.
24 Q. People were complaining about shortages of everything, weren't
1 A. Well, I don't know really. I mean not everybody complained to
2 me. I don't know what were all the things that people complained about.
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have an objection to
4 this entire line of questioning of the Prosecutor. We dwelled on
5 important subjects during the examination-in-chief, his Red Cross work,
6 and his involvement in exchanges. This line of questioning not only that
7 it wasn't raised in the examination-in-chief but also it doesn't lead us
8 anywhere. This witness's health is rather precarious so I think that it
9 would be a good thing if the Prosecutor would move on to relevant issues
10 because we are wasting time over general living conditions in Samac and I
11 believe that this has been dealt with amply until now.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. You are moving on, are you?
13 MR. RE: I was just thinking of my next question, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
15 MR. RE:
16 Q. In light of what you've just told the Trial Chamber about the
17 wartime -- the poor wartime conditions in Samac, I just want to ask you
18 again about the hard currency. Hard currency was something that people
19 wanted to get their hands on in Samac because they didn't have much else,
20 that's right isn't it?
21 A. I don't know. I don't know who had what intentions.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, I think that topic has been sufficiently
23 dealt with. I don't think you will get anywhere with it.
24 MR. RE:
25 Q. You told us yesterday that you were -- I don't think you used the
1 word shocked but the effect of your evidence was that you were shocked by
2 what you saw in the detention centres, that is the condition of the
3 prisoners there. I think the word you used was "astonished."
4 A. Yes. In the beginning, in the first days.
5 Q. You were also shocked or astonished, weren't you, by the murder at
6 Crkvina in May 1992 of 16 Croats in detention?
7 A. Believe it or not, but I didn't know at all about that murder. I
8 learned about that much later but I kept quiet because it wasn't my
9 business to talk about that but I didn't know about it at all.
10 Q. When do you say you learnt of it?
11 A. Some five or six days later.
12 Q. You learnt of it because it was something that people were talking
13 about in the town, including your friends?
14 A. I heard this from the commander of the police, Savo Cancarevic.
15 He asked me, have you heard about this, I said no. Then he said this and
16 this has happened and I said well, I don't know anything about that and
17 this is where our discussion ended.
18 Q. It was something that shocked the people of Samac, wasn't it, this
19 murder of 16 people in Crkvina, Croats, in May of 1992?
20 A. You know what, everybody was concerned about themselves; Serbs,
21 Croats, and Muslims alike.
22 Q. It's a lot of people in a small place to be murdered in one day,
23 isn't it?
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, I think it might be important,
1 page 13, line 19, we heard something different on B/C/S language than it
2 was translated here in fact in speaking about the word "concerned," I
3 think the witness used the word "feared" but maybe my learned friend can
4 clarify that with the witness.
5 MR. RE:
6 Q. I'll clarify that, Mr. Vasovic. I asked you about -- what I
7 suggested to you was that the murder of 16 people in one day in detention
8 only Croats in May 1992 was something that shocked the people of Samac.
9 Your response -- what is your response to that, I'm saying it was
10 something that shocked the people of Samac, so many people murdered in a
11 small place in the one day.
12 A. I was surprised. Totally surprised.
13 Q. The other people, other people in Samac who you spoke to were also
14 surprised or shocked by what had happened, weren't they?
15 A. I truly didn't talk about this at all because I couldn't talk
16 about something that I had heard of. People usually add their own
17 comments which are usually inappropriate.
18 Q. Look, by any sort of standards, 16 people in a day is a fairly
19 large massacre, isn't it?
20 A. Massacre is one -- just one person is killed let alone when more
21 people are killed.
22 Q. I'll use another word, if it assists. 16 people in one day is a
23 horrific event in one place, isn't it?
24 A. Certainly.
25 Q. And that's what people -- that's what was people's reaction in
1 Samac to it wasn't it, people were horrified by what had happened in
2 Crkvina in May 1992, weren't they?
3 A. Well, it was talked about, yes, but I didn't dwell on opinions of
4 certain individuals. I didn't engage in such discussions.
5 Q. I was asking you yesterday, Mr. Vasovic, about the Red Cross in
6 the Republika Srpska and just before the break, we were talking -- you
7 were telling us about the organisation of it. There was a national level,
8 that's not ethnic, a national level Red Cross responsible for the whole of
9 Republika Srpska, wasn't there?
10 A. No, not at all. We worked at a local level only. We had no links
11 to the regional Red Cross, let alone with the one at the republic level
12 everything was done at the local level.
13 Q. That's not what I asked you. I asked you about the existence of a
14 national level Red Cross in the Republika Srpska and there was one, wasn't
16 A. I don't know. I don't know at all whether it existed.
17 Q. The local Red Cross or the municipal Red Cross of which you were a
18 very active and prominent member worked with the municipal authorities,
19 didn't it?
20 A. No, no.
21 Q. You told us yesterday that the municipal assembly or the municipal
22 government provided funding for the local Red Cross, didn't you?
23 A. I said something about that but listen, you didn't understand me
24 well. Samac municipality is a very poor municipality and it almost never
25 could assist the local Red Cross with any funds or resources and president
1 of the Red Cross joined by Velimir Maslic complained about that. They had
2 asked for donations.
3 Q. The local Red Cross worked with the municipal authorities in
4 providing food to people, didn't it?
5 A. No way, no way. Municipal authorities, no. Perhaps we sometimes
6 went to the executive council, Milorad Mihajlovic, Velimir Maslic and so
7 on. I don't know what they managed to get there but we never had any
8 special cooperation with them.
9 Q. Are you telling the Trial Chamber the Red Cross worked in
10 isolation from the municipal authorities in supplying food to people in
11 Samac during the war?
12 A. They knew about our work. We were not working in isolation. How
13 could we isolate ourselves from the rest of the town?
14 Q. No I'm asking you about your relationship, the Red Cross's
15 relationship with municipal authorities. I'm suggesting that the Red
16 Cross and the municipal authority worked together in relation to providing
17 food to people.
18 A. Municipal authorities did not do that. That was done exclusively
19 by the Red Cross.
20 Q. On the 19th of April in 1992 -- I'll withdraw that. I'll start
21 the question again.
22 The Red Cross was what's called an authorised person to the
23 Bosanski Samac Crisis Staff in April 1992 and on the 19th of April, 1992,
24 you were appointed pursuant to a Crisis Staff decision in relation to the
25 Red Cross as a worker, weren't you? It's in the document you brought to
1 Court yesterday.
2 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Your Honour, I think that
3 this question is confusing. The Prosecutor should put the document before
4 the witness because otherwise witness can be confused. There is reference
5 here made to two completely different institutions and I think the best
6 way to proceed is to put the document directly before the witness and then
7 put the question.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
9 MR. RE: Of course. Of course. Could the witness please be shown
11 Q. We're showing you the document you produced yesterday that you had
12 in your pocket, Mr. Vasovic.
13 A. I have it now even.
14 Q. Just have a look at the first paragraph where it says, "Pursuant
15 to the decision of the Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality of
16 Bosanski Samac on 19th of April -- of 19th of April 1992, the president of
17 the Crisis Staff of the Red Cross of the Serbian municipality of Bosanski
18 Samac hereby adopts the following decision to appoint the following worker
19 to duties and tasks in the Crisis Staff of the Red Cross to the Serbian
20 municipality of Bosanski Samac." And that's you, Svetozar Vasovic.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now that document indicates, doesn't it, that you are appointed by
23 the Crisis Staff of the Red Cross to that position pursuant to a decision
24 of the Crisis Staff of the Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac. That's
25 what it says.
1 A. What is written here is one thing and the reality is quite another
2 thing. Milorad Mihajlovic, president, who used to be a pre-war president
3 of the Red Cross invited all of us at his own initiative and I explained
4 about this yesterday, and then established a new Red Cross in order to
5 continue the work. The heading itself doesn't constitute anything, at
6 least I believe so because the president might have abused this in order
7 to write this text here because the Crisis Staff had nothing to do with
8 creating the local Red Cross. I received this with the signature of
9 Mr. Milorad Mihajlovic as did other members of the Red Cross. The
10 Crisis Staff had nothing to do -- had no influence over this and the
11 heading is here, it is.
12 Q. And you are able to tell us are you because of your knowledge of
13 the workings of the Crisis Staff in Bosanski Samac in April 1992; is that
15 A. I didn't understand your question. Could you please repeat it?
16 Q. You just told us a moment ago the Crisis Staff had nothing to do
17 with creating the Red Cross. I received the signature of Mr. Mihajlovic
18 as did other members of the Red Cross. Are you able to say that because
19 of your knowledge of the workings of the Crisis Staff in Bosanski Samac in
20 April 1992?
21 A. I don't know anything about the workings. I never interfered in
22 that. I wasn't familiar with their work. I didn't have their programme
23 of work, that of the Crisis Staff in Bosanski Samac. I never even entered
24 their premises, never. I don't even know their line of work.
25 Q. If you go down the document, where it says, "Explanation," it
1 says, "Due to extraordinary circumstances and on the basis of demonstrated
2 need for the operation of the service of the Crisis Staff at the Serbian
3 municipality of Bosanski Samac, in extraordinary circumstances, this
4 organ, that is the authorised person decided to employ the above worker."
5 And you can also -- just hang on. You can also see the document has been
6 sent to three particular categories of people or organisation, firstly the
7 Bosanski Samac Crisis Staff, secondly, the above-named, that's you, you
8 had it in your pocket yesterday and still do, and thirdly, the files, that
9 is the Red Cross files.
10 A. You haven't read the explanation as it stands here. Please read
11 it out again as it's written here.
12 Q. Why don't you read it out in the -- why don't you read it out in
13 the original B/C/S and we'll see whether the translation I have is
14 different to yours.
15 A. I don't want to read it. I came here to answer questions and to
16 listen to your questions.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: You have to do what counsel asks you to do. He has
18 asked you to read the passage in Serbo-Croat, please go ahead and read it.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I didn't bring my glasses. I forgot
20 my glasses here yesterday and these glasses that I have I can't use for
22 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in order not to
23 confuse the witness, I think there's a problem with translation. The
24 explanation in the last sentence says, "Passed a decision on engaging the
25 above-named worker," whereas the translation says, "Passed a decision on
1 hiring the above-named worker," and this is what is confusing this
2 witness. This is why he is saying that the counsel have not read it out
4 May I read it out since the witness --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't have my reading glasses on
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re.
8 MR. RE: I'm quite happy for counsel to do that but can I come to
9 that in a moment, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
11 MR. RE:
12 Q. Mr. Vasovic, when I was reading it to you, you had it in front of
13 you, you picked it up, you looked at it, and you appeared to be reading
14 it. Are you now telling the Trial Chamber that you weren't in fact
15 reading it, when you had it in your hand and were looking at it as I read
16 it to you?
17 A. I waited for you to read it out before I made my comment. You did
18 not read it out correctly as it is written here.
19 Q. You told me a moment ago I didn't read it out as it's written
20 down, how do you know if you don't have your glasses on that I didn't read
21 it out?
22 A. Because I know it almost by heart. I have it in my pocket. I
23 always have it on me.
24 Q. If you know it by heart, tell us what it says.
25 A. I wouldn't like to do it now.
1 Q. I'm asking you about your relationship between the Crisis Staff,
2 just wait, and the Red Cross and you say you know it by heart. Please
3 tell us what it is.
4 A. The word "engaging" is what I'm objecting to. This is why I
6 Q. I don't see the word "engaging" there. I just want you to tell
7 the Trial Chamber what it says, the explanation you know in your heart --
8 you know by heart, what is it? Just tell us.
9 A. As you said it, the decision had been passed on hiring and that
10 wasn't the case. The decision had been passed on engaging a worker.
11 Q. So is your only dispute with the way I read it out was between the
12 word "employ" and "engage," is that what it's limited to?
13 A. No, not only that. It also has to do with the Crisis Staff which
14 had nothing to do with the creation of the Red Cross and issuance of this
16 Q. I'm only asking you about what it says on the piece of paper and
17 what you say you know about it, which you know by heart?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re. This is an exhibit produced by the Defence
19 themselves, all right.
20 MR. RE: Yes.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: The only part on the explanation perhaps is for us
22 to get correct translation. It's useless for the witness to go on
23 disputing what the document says when the Defence themselves produced it
24 and he never disputed any part of the document. I think we are wasting
1 MR. RE: Perhaps Mr. Krgovic could read it out to the -- for it to
2 be translated.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Then we move on. Slowly.
4 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] "Explanation, in view of the
5 emergency circumstances and the needs of the service of the Crisis Staff
6 of the Red Cross of the Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac, in
7 extraordinary circumstances, the same organ, the above-named organ or
8 rather the authorised person has passed a decision on engaging the
9 above-named worker."
10 MR. RE: There's a clear difference between what my friend
11 Mr. Krgovic read out and the official translation we have here. That's
12 something we'll obviously have to clarify at some point.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
14 MR. RE: Particularly as the Defence tendered it into evidence
15 yesterday in the translated form.
16 Q. You told us yesterday, Mr. Vasovic, before the break, that the Red
17 Cross provided reports of its work to the assembly and local government
19 A. The report was submitted orally and everybody was interested in
20 the work of the Red Cross, everybody.
21 Q. The work of the Red Cross --
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, before you move on, can we then agree that
23 the translation in the LiveNote is a correct version?
24 MR. RE: No. The Defence submitted a translated document which
25 they had -- one would expect have read before putting it before the Trial
2 JUDGE MUMBA: No, Mr. Re, it's better for us to seek the truth.
3 It's better for us to have it properly translated.
4 MR. RE: That's why, at this point, I'm not properly conceding
5 that translation, it should go back to the translation unit. We can quite
6 easily resolve it.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, so you may proceed with your other questions.
8 MR. RE:
9 Q. Mr. Vasovic, are you feeling okay? I just saw you --
10 A. I can carry on for a little bit longer.
11 MR. RE: The witness was just touching his heart and not looking
12 very well, Your Honour, I think just Williams saw it.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Let me ask you, do you feel like having a break,
14 Mr. Vasovic?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] To tell you the truth, my breathing
16 frequently stops and this is why I took out my nitroglycerin.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber will take a 20-minute break to
18 allow the witness to rest a bit. We shall resume at 1535.
19 --- Break taken at 3.12 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 3.39 p.m.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Your Honour if I can
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
24 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, during this break, we
25 have officially been notified by the victim's and witnesses unit that the
1 witness can take another 15 or 20 minutes here in the courtroom, that much
2 he can manage. What we do know is that when he came to The Hague he
3 really wanted to get it over with. We acted on the instructions of the
4 Trial Chamber and we considerably shortened our examination-in-chief,
5 adjusted it to the summary.
6 You know that the examination-in-chief was about two hours. The
7 re-examination has gone on for an hour and a half now, it's not for me to
8 make any comments with regard to what the Prosecution has been asking, but
9 quite a bit of time has been used up and we believe that we would like
10 this witness to finish his testimony. May we say straight away to the
11 Trial Chamber that the re-examination will be very brief if any.
12 Could the Trial Chamber kindly instruct the Prosecution to
13 restrict themselves to questions that are most relevant and I believe that
14 they have already dealt with other matters to a sufficient extent because
15 we would really like to finish the testimony of this witness here today.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
18 MR. RE: I will certainly -- I don't want to distress the witness
19 in any way and we fully understand the medical constraints.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you have already gone for one and a half hours.
21 MR. RE: Could I say this in my own defence there have been a
22 number of interruptions, far more than I made to Mr. Krgovic's
23 examination-in-chief, which I think were three little objections.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re, the instructions of the Chamber are
25 that you have to restrict your cross-examination to what is the core
1 issues of this witness and that is the procedure of exchanges.
2 MR. RE: That, of course, includes the detention centres, people
3 being taken from there.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: He has already explained that in
5 examination-in-chief so you simply ask the questions where you think that
6 the Prosecution case has been weakened. If the procedure of exchanges,
7 how were people put on the lists, how were they taken, that's all.
8 MR. RE: Those are indeed the matters I intend to cover, Your
10 JUDGE MUMBA: As briefly as possible and not arguing with the
11 witness anymore. Once you get the answer even if you don't like it,
12 that's it. Let's finish with this witness today.
13 MR. RE:
14 Q. Mr. Vasovic, before the break, I was asking you about reports from
15 the Red Cross to the municipal assembly or the municipal bodies. Now the
16 work of the Red Cross -- and you said you reported orally and the
17 authorities were very interested. The work of the Red Cross was involved
18 in humanitarian food aid and in assisting with the exchange of people,
19 wasn't it?
20 A. Right.
21 Q. And also in visiting people in detention centres and observing the
22 conditions of prisoners there?
23 A. That's right too.
24 Q. These were all things that were of concern to the Red Cross and
25 which the Red Cross reported to municipal authorities on during the war?
1 A. The municipal authorities knew but there weren't any special
2 reports because the Red Cross was an independent organisation that worked
3 on its own. Everything it did remained in the archives well founded.
4 MR. RE: Your Honour all I can say is, if I get an answer of that
5 length to a question which could be answered yes, it eats into the
6 questions I'm trying to ask.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes you had an opportunity to cross-examine with the
8 other witness who was also talking about whether they reported to anybody
9 other than the Red Cross.
10 MR. RE:
11 Q. Mr. Vasovic, municipal authorities which you just referred to,
12 that was of course the executive council of the Crisis Staff and the
13 Crisis Staff, the executive -- and the executive board of the -- if I said
14 council, I meant executive board of the War Presidency -- interruptions
15 will take --
16 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise for interrupting proceedings for the
17 sake of precision and clarity, if my learned friend is using a term
18 "executive board," it should be used in proper way, otherwise it might be
19 confusing and misleading to this witness. The proper term is executive
20 board of Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac. And not the executive
21 board of Crisis Staff. So therefore, I think we should stick to the
22 evidence and to the fact that we have in our exhibits. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, I think we have received enough evidence to be
24 able to distinguish which body had the executive board and the less
25 interruption we have, the better for us in view of the health of the
2 MR. RE:
3 Q. Mr. Vasovic, where I referred a moment -- where you referred a
4 moment ago to municipal authorities, you were referring, weren't you, to
5 the Crisis Staff, War Presidency, and/or the executive boards of the
6 Crisis Staff and the War Presidency, weren't you?
7 A. Sir, Mr. Prosecutor, we never cooperated with the Crisis Staff.
8 The executive board is not the executive board of the Crisis Staff, it is
9 the executive board of the Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac. If the
10 representatives of the Red Cross cooperated, I mean the president Velimir
11 Maslic, then they cooperated with it but we never had cooperation with the
12 Crisis Staff.
13 Q. That wasn't the question I asked you. A moment ago you referred
14 to, and I hope I'm not arguing with you by saying this, a moment ago you
15 said you referred to municipal authorities. I just want to know what you
16 were referring to when you say "municipal authorities"?
17 A. The executive board, if that is the authorities.
18 Q. That's the executive board of the Crisis Staff of the Serb
19 municipality of Bosanski Samac; correct?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: You are making the same mistake, Mr. Re.
21 A. No.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: It's not the executive board of the Crisis Staff,
23 that has been corrected by Mr. Pantelic.
24 MR. RE: I'm sorry. Of the Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac
25 which in the absence of the municipal authorities was reporting to the
1 Crisis Staff.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we move on?
3 MR. RE:
4 Q. When you visited the people who were being held in the detention
5 centres, you did so as a member of the Red Cross, and you had access to
6 those detention centres that other citizens of Bosanski Samac wouldn't
7 have had, didn't you?
8 A. As representative of the Red Cross, I did have access and at any
9 point in time, I could enter the premises of the secondary school and the
10 premises of the elementary school. From time to time, I could also enter
11 the premises, the detention premises of the Territorial Defence and of the
12 public security station.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, the Trial Chamber is of the view that that
14 was covered yesterday.
15 MR. RE: I was just trying to get to a point, Your Honour, and --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Let's be serious here.
17 MR. RE: It's an introduction. It's an introduction to the
19 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Can you deal with the procedure of
20 exchanges with this witness? I don't think you are being serious, I mean
21 we don't want this witness coming back you've already had one and a half
23 MR. RE: Your Honour that last question could have been answered
25 JUDGE MUMBA: There is no need for repeating the
1 examination-in-chief. There is no need in repeating what was said
3 MR. RE:
4 Q. The procedure for putting people's names on -- I withdraw that.
5 You could put people's names on the list, couldn't you, for
7 A. All members of the Red Cross could just put names on the list, all
8 of those who wish to go for an exchange. They were put on the list and
9 they queued up before the Red Cross premises.
10 Q. So the answer to my question was yes, was it, that you could do
12 A. Not me by myself.
13 Q. You went into the detention centres and you asked people if they
14 wanted to be exchanged and you put their names on the list, didn't you?
15 A. Yes, on the list, and then I would bring that list to the
16 president of the Red Cross and hand it over to him.
17 Q. Other people, such as members of the SUP could put people's names
18 on the list too, couldn't they?
19 A. I don't know about that. How could they? They're not members of
20 the Red Cross. They didn't ask them whether they could or they couldn't.
21 They did those other bad things.
22 Q. Yesterday you said you gave the list to the head of the SUP, the
23 head of the SUP looked at the list and he could put names on it if he
24 wanted to, couldn't he? In other words, he had some authority in terms of
25 whose names went on the list, didn't he?
1 A. Rigorously dangerous for me, I being the one who brought the list
2 to Mr. Stevan Todorovic who was the head of the SUP, and I experienced
3 some most unpleasant things.
4 Q. Because if he didn't want the name on the list, the person
5 wouldn't be exchanged, they wouldn't be released and exchanged, would
7 A. Never. He was God almighty there. He did not respect anyone.
8 He, with his special units, did everything that was negative in those
9 times, in my opinion.
10 Q. The members of the exchange commission could also put people's
11 names on the list or take them off, couldn't they?
12 A. No. They never interfered in that, putting names. People know
13 who did that, Stevan Todorovic, the police and the military command. No
14 one ever, no other members could ever put somebody's name on the list
15 without asking them first. Everybody knew that. It was impossible to do
16 it otherwise.
17 Q. If Miroslav Tadic wanted to put someone's name on the list or take
18 their name off the list he would have had to have obtained Stevan
19 Todorovic's permission first; is that what you're saying?
20 A. Heaven forbid if he would put somebody's name. I know what would
21 happen to Miroslav Tadic or anybody else if they wanted to do something
22 different as opposed to the plus they would put by people's names.
23 Q. I was just asking you whether if Miroslav Tadic wanted to put
24 his -- someone's name on the list or take it off -- I'm sorry, Your
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MR. RE:
3 Q. If Miroslav Tadic wanted to put someone's name on the list or take
4 it off the list, he would go to the military authorities, couldn't he, who
5 would have cooperated with him?
6 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Objection, Your Honour. This leads
7 the witness to guess work. Can the question be reformulated? The
8 Prosecutor is asking the witness to engage in guess work.
9 MR. RE: Well he either does know or does not know whether the
10 military authorities were cooperating with Miroslav Tadic or whether they
11 could have or whether he could have done so. It's entirely within the
12 witness's ambit of knowledge in my submission.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: No. You asked them whether they did. Whether
14 Miroslav Tadic did go to the military and whether the military cooperated
15 with him.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. In terms of the procedure could Miroslav Tadic have gone to the
18 military authorities in your experience with the exchange procedure and
19 put a name on the list or taken a name off the list?
20 A. No one ever took the list to the military command and the police
21 station except for me. Miroslav Tadic did not have access nor could he
22 put anyone's name on the list. If he would put somebody's name on the
23 list, the police would certainly double-check this and it was known
24 exactly who was going and who was not going.
25 Q. The Croat police chief of Bosanski Samac Dragan Lukic [sic], you
1 knew who he was, didn't you?
2 A. I did.
3 Q. And you say him in the cells of the police station at Bosanski
4 Samac shortly before he was exchanged, didn't you? It's a yes or no
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you went in and you asked him if he wished to be exchanged,
8 didn't you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And shortly thereafter, he was taken to the primary school gym
11 overnight and put on a bus the next morning to be exchanged with some
12 other people who were in the police station cells, wasn't he?
13 A. I don't know whether everybody left from the police station, but
14 as far as he is concerned, I know that he did go.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: You have to wind up, Mr. Re.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. The -- in that particular exchange, he was on a bus and you were
18 in a police -- sorry, he was in a bus and you were in a vehicle which
19 contained Mr. Teslic -- I'm sorry, Mr. Tadic and Mr. Maslic in front of
20 the bus, weren't you?
21 A. Who was the third one? Mr. Tadic, Mr. Maslic and --
22 Q. And yourself, the three of you were in a civilian vehicle which
23 was following a police vehicle which was in front of the bus on which
24 Mr. Dragan Lukic [sic] was travelling; is that right?
25 A. Sir, I left and then I got out. At every exchange that I went to,
1 I was with all of those people who were on the bus. I was with all of
2 them. I am going to put this in my own way. I was sort of in charge with
3 the people on the bus and their journey.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: For clarity of the transcript, it is Dragan Lukac
5 not Dragan Lukic and I noticed two times that it was written as Lukic.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it will be corrected. The evidence of the
7 witness is that he always travelled in the bus with the people who went
8 for exchange.
9 MR. RE:
10 Q. Mr. Vasovic, your evidence was that people knew that they were
11 likely to be robbed by the police or guards on these exchanges as they
12 were exchanged, yesterday, and your evidence was also that people gave you
13 money, gold, jewellery, and other things for safekeeping.
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. It was of course nowhere where these people could have gone to
16 complain if you had kept the money, gold, or jewellery or some of it
17 following being exchanged, was there?
18 A. Why would they complain when everything was returned to them on
19 time before they reached their destination? It was always given back to
21 MR. RE: I'll finish there, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence has no
24 additional questions for this witness.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Vasovic, for giving
1 evidence to the Tribunal. You are now finished, you can leave the
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you for
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber will make the oral ruling on the
7 71 positions on the joint oral motion by the Defence on the procedure for
8 the position taking.
9 In the oral motion by the Defence, the Trial Chamber has found
10 that there is nothing to persuade the Trial Chamber to vary the
11 instructions already given on the procedure for deposition taking and on
12 the time limits already granted. So the motion is denied.
13 MR. RE: Before Your Honours adjourn, can I raise something in
14 relation to the witness' testimony yesterday which I wish to place on the
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
17 MR. RE: Yesterday, I asked a question in which I asked the
18 witness to remove his glasses for the Trial Chamber to have a view of his
19 eyebrows. The Defence objected saying that the Prosecution was "taking a
20 cheap shot" or making cheap moves, or one or the other, at the witness. I
21 wish to make it quite clear it was based on questions which was asked of
22 Ms. Hajra Drljacic at the transcript page 8094 to 8096 in which she gave
23 evidence about the eyebrows of the witness and calling him that and what I
24 was doing was asking the Tribunal to use the witness as an in-court
25 exhibit for its own purpose for the corroboration of Ms. Hajra Drljacic's
1 evidence. That was the only purpose. It was not in any way to embarrass,
2 denigrate, or have a go in any way at the witness. It was directed
3 specifically at the transcript and the question my learned friend Mr.
4 Krgovic asked as to nicknames that was the only use to which the
5 Prosecution was trying to make of that evidence and it's a discretionary
6 matter for the Trial Chamber but it would otherwise be admissible had you
7 decided otherwise.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, maybe it's convenient moment to tender into
10 the evidence we obtained the translations of 92 bis statements of our
11 witnesses so if it's appropriate time maybe I can tender it.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you can go ahead.
13 MR. PANTELIC: I already gave all number of witness statements to
14 our learned friends from the Prosecution so it's now copies for the
15 members of the Trial Chamber as well as for the court registry.
16 So if I may be of assistance to Ms. Registrar, the first statement
17 is statement of Mr. Babic Mijo.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: We will have the number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D100 -- well, I apologise
20 this will be document D158/1 ID and D158/1 ter ID.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: All the statements are going to be numbered for
22 identification only and then the Prosecution will be given time to
23 indicate and thereafter, they will be admitted for those to have to wait
24 for the witnesses we will deal with them then.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour, for the instructions.
1 Next --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: I was just telling the registry assistant that maybe
3 she can distribute them all and then you will be calling the names and
4 then we can all get the numbers.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe. Yes, that's a good suggestion. Thank you,
6 Your Honour. Maybe we can do like this. Thank you.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
8 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I know that the
9 Prosecution had a deadline up until today to give their position
10 concerning 92 bis statements that were delivered by the Defence of
11 Miroslav Tadic to see whether the same witnesses would be called for
12 cross-examination and you didn't specify whether the Prosecution had to
13 give their written answer before today or whether perhaps they could give
14 us an oral answer right now. Perhaps they are in a position to do so.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: They have already filed their response in writing.
16 It's already been filed, it's being distributed, actually, I'm sure it
17 should be in your pigeon holes.
18 Yes, can we have the numbers, please.
19 Mr. Pantelic, we just want to clear that all these witnesses are
20 open session witnesses, there's no protected witnesses so that she can
21 read out the names for purposes of numbering.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes, Your Honour. That's correct, yes.
23 THE REGISTRAR: The statement of Mr. Nukic, Amir will be
24 D159/1 ID [Realtime transcript read in error "D 151/1"] and ter for the
1 Statement of Mr. Ibralic, Mithat will be marked as D160/1 ID and
2 ter for the B/C/S.
3 The statement of Mr. Avdic Nedzvija will be marked as D161/1 ID
4 and ter for the B/C/S. Avdic Nedzvija.
5 MR. PANTELIC: And just one correction, this is a lady, Mrs.
6 Avdic, Mrs. Avdic Nedzvija.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The statement of Perica Krstanovic will be marked
8 as D162/1 ID and ter for the B/C/S.
9 And finally, the statement of Cedomir Simic will be marked as
10 D163/1 ID and ter for the B/C/S.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me I'd just like to ask the registry
12 assistant, maybe I've missed this out but what about the Father Jovo
13 Lakic, it was the second one in my pile.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it seems that I missed out one statement.
15 Statement of Father Jovo Lakic will be marked as D164/1 ID and ter for the
17 MR. PANTELIC: And if I may, Your Honour, just for the purposes of
18 record it's on the page 36 line 13, number for Mr. Nukic, Amir stated it's
19 151/1 in fact it should be 159/1 ID. Just for the record. Everything is
20 clear. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That will be corrected.
22 Any other matters anybody wishes to raise? We shall adjourn and
23 continue our proceedings on the 13th of February. That is after the
24 deposition taking next week.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
1 at 4.15 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
2 the 13th day of February, 2003, at 2.15 p.m.