1 Thursday, 6 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 PRESIDING OFFICER: Good morning, Mr. Tubakovic. Could you please
6 stand and read the solemn declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: MARKO TUBAKOVIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 PRESIDING OFFICER: Defence for Simo Zaric, Mr. Pisarevic.
12 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Madam Presiding Officer. Good
14 morning to all in this courtroom.
15 Mr. Tubakovic, before I put a couple of questions to you, let me
16 just give you some instructions as to the best way to proceed so that
17 whatever you tell us today is correctly recorded in the transcript. So
18 when I put my question to you, wait for a couple of seconds before
19 answering, and don't hurry so that the interpreters can accurately
20 interpret everything you say, which is very important for the record.
21 Will you please give us your full name.
22 A. My name is Marko Tubakovic.
23 Q. Tell me when you were born.
24 A. On the 28th of January, 1938.
25 Q. Where are you residing?
1 A. I am living in Bosanski Samac.
2 Q. Where did you complete your elementary education?
3 A. In my native village, Gornja Slatina, near Samac.
4 Q. Where did you complete your secondary education and which kind of
6 A. I went to the teachers college in Derventa and the university for
7 teachers training in Belgrade.
8 Q. Tell me, what is your status today?
9 A. I am currently retired.
10 Q. Have you served in the Yugoslav People's Army? When and where?
11 A. A long time ago, yes, I did serve in the Yugoslav People's Army,
12 from October 1958 until September 1959. Half of that service was in Zadar
13 in Croatia, and the other half in Cacak in Serbia.
14 Q. When you completed your military service in the JNA, did you have
15 any rank?
16 A. I served in the School of Officers in Reserve for the artillery,
17 and upon completion I acquired the rank of second lieutenant.
18 Q. Tell me, are you married?
19 A. Yes, I am.
20 Q. How many children do you have?
21 A. I have two sons and two grandchildren.
22 Q. What is your ethnicity?
23 A. I am a Serb.
24 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us for how many years you have
25 been living in Bosanski Samac.
1 A. I have been living in Bosanski Samac ever since 1972, which makes
2 it about 27 years?
3 Q. Could you tell us now what rank in the Yugoslav People's Army as a
4 reserve officer you had in 1992.
5 A. In 1992 I had been a major for some ten years already.
6 Q. And what rank do you have now?
7 A. I have the same rank; I am a major. So since the war, I was not
8 promoted in the military hierarchy.
9 Q. So your current rank is the rank of major?
10 A. The same rank I had in 1992.
11 Q. And that was a rank you acquired as an officer in reserve. Of
12 which army?
13 A. Well, now it is the Army of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. Do you know Mr. Sulejman Tihic?
15 A. Yes, I do. I know Mr. Tihic, as we lived in the same town, so I
16 know him well, personally.
17 Q. Very well. And do you know Mr. Simo Zaric?
18 A. Yes, I know Mr. Zaric as well.
19 Q. Did you ever meet a person nicknamed Bokan?
20 A. Bokan? No, I never met any such person.
21 Q. In the period from the 18th of April, 1992 up until the 26th of
22 April, 1992 did you go to the police station in Bosanski Samac?
23 A. In that period I wasn't in Samac at all, so I couldn't have been
24 in the police station either, so I was not in the police station in that
25 period. In fact, I don't remember that I ever entered the police station
1 throughout the war. As for the beginning, I certainly didn't because I
2 just wasn't there.
3 Q. Were you transferred to the command of the 2nd Bosnian Infantry
5 A. The 2nd Bosnian Infantry Brigade came into existence on the 20th
6 of May, 1992, and I was one of the first officers to join that command
7 when it was formed, because up until then it was a tactical group of the
8 Yugoslav People's Army, the so-called 17th Tactical Group. And in view of
9 the fact that from that date on the Yugoslav People's Army ceased to
10 operate in that territory, the Army of Republika Srpska of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina was formed and the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, which
12 had the same zone of responsibility as the tactical group. So I remember
13 that date very well; it was on the 20th of May when I went to that
15 Q. Do you remember who was the commander of that 2nd Bosnian Infantry
16 Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska at the time?
17 A. That was the day when the commanders changed. The outgoing
18 commander of the tactical group, Lieutenant Colonel Stevan Nikolic left
19 the territory and went to Serbia, and his place as commander of the 2nd
20 Bosnian Brigade was taken by Colonel Mihajlo Djurdjevic, who originally
21 came from the municipality of Samac and he came to serve there.
22 Q. Who was the commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade of the Army of
23 Republika Srpska after Colonel Djurdjevic?
24 A. After that, it was Dragan Djordjevic, nicknamed Crni, who was
25 appointed. And after him, I think it was Radovanovic. And after that, it
1 was Mile Beronja, who took over in August 1992. There were several
2 changes in the period between May and August.
3 Q. So throughout that period of 1992 you were a member of the command
4 of the 2nd Infantry Brigade. Can you tell us, please, what was the
5 function that you held in the command of the 2nd Posavina Infantry
7 A. I was assigned to the position of Assistant Chief of Staff for
8 Recruitment and Personnel Affairs. That was my duty according to
10 Q. Do you recollect - and please tell us in you do - when the command
11 of the 2nd Posavina Brigade was joined by Mr. Simo Zaric?
12 A. Simo Zaric joined -- I'm not sure of the date, but I think it was
13 in September 1992. In the course of September 1992 he came as a member of
14 the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
15 Q. And what post and function did Mr. Simo Zaric perform when he
16 joined the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
17 A. He was assigned to the post of Assistant Commander for Morale,
18 Religious and Legal Affairs. That was the name of the position according
19 to establishment, for Morale, Legal and Religious Affairs.
20 Q. Very well. And can you tell us how many members the command of
21 the 2nd Posavina Brigade of the Army of Republika Srpska had?
22 A. The top command staff consisted of about 15 members, I think. By
23 establishment there should have been up to 15 posts, but I'm not quite
24 sure now.
25 Q. Did the command come to the conclusion that it was necessary to
1 draw up a report on negative effects on the morale of the army of the 2nd
2 Infantry Brigade?
3 A. Yes. The command felt it necessary to examine the state of morale
4 in the units and on the basis of that examination within the brigade and
5 in the zone of responsibility of the brigade to analyse that information
6 and any causes undermining morale with a view to improving it because we
7 felt that there were some problems.
8 Q. Do you remember, who was assigned by the command to prepare that
10 A. According to establishment, that was the main duty of the
11 Assistant Commander for Morale, Legal and Religious Affairs, which means
12 of Simo Zaric, and he was one of the key persons who worked on the
13 analysis of the situation and the drafting of the report. Of course, he
14 was assisted by other members of the command in doing this; among them, I
15 was one, as one of the links in the chain.
16 Q. And was this report studied, reviewed by the command, and was
17 there a discussion on it among the command members?
18 A. The report was thoroughly prepared, and once the text had been
19 drafted, the command reviewed it on a number of occasions and finally -
20 and I think this was towards the end of November 1992 - that the command
21 officially at a meeting of the command adopted the text unanimously. The
22 members of the command adopted this report unanimously.
23 Q. When this report or information memo was adopted, were members of
24 the East Bosnian Corps present?
25 A. Yes. When the report was being finally adopted, the command
1 meeting was attended by two officers of the command of the East Bosnian
2 Corps, the Assistant Commander for Morale, and the head of the security of
3 the corps. I think their names were Jakovljevic and Dosev, and those
4 officers were present. And as far as I can remember, they spoke with
5 praise of the maturity of the command and commended it for having had the
6 strength to analyse the situation and frankly state certain tendencies
7 which were undermining the morale in the unit and generally affecting the
8 political situation in the zone of responsibility of the 2nd Posavina
10 Q. After this report was adopted, what did the command members do?
11 Did they sign it, or what happened? Could you describe the procedure for
12 us, please.
13 A. Once the report was adopted, all command members, including the
14 commander, headed by the commander, signed the report themselves, which in
15 fact confirms our unanimous adoption of it. And the main conclusion of
16 the command staff at the time was that all the matters covered by this
17 report, especially these various negative tendencies that were emerging,
18 that within the activities of the subordinate units of the 2nd Posavina
19 Brigade efforts be made to overcome shortcomings but without sort of
20 mentioning that any such report existed, as the members of the command
21 were familiar what the problems were, that efforts with done to overcome
22 them. And all the present command members adopted this report and signed
24 Q. Did you personally sign it as well?
25 A. Yes, I did. I adopted it and signed it.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
2 on the screen the first and last page of this report, please. It is P127,
3 Exhibit P127.
4 Q. Could you please look at the first page.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And the last page now, please, with the signatures.
7 Mr. Tubakovic, please have a look at the last page.
8 A. My name appears under number 12.
9 Q. Is that your signature?
10 A. Yes, it is. That is the same signature I affixed today.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] We don't need this exhibit on the
12 screen any longer.
13 Q. Do you recollect what happened after that? Were there any
14 meetings, with whom, and so on?
15 A. Since the report dealt in addition to the state of morale in the
16 units but also with the overall situation and conditions in the area of
17 responsibility of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, as far as I can now recollect,
18 certain negative tendencies were identified, both with respect to the
19 civilian authorities. And after a couple of days, maybe two or three, but
20 very shortly after this -- now, how this report reached the civilian
21 authorities, I don't know, but I do know that there was dissatisfaction
22 among certain elements in the authorities and they requested to have a
23 meeting with the command and that meeting was indeed held, and there were
24 very fervent debates as to certain tendencies that had been mentioned in
25 the report and representatives of the civilian authorities were not at all
1 pleased that we had described the overall situation in that way and
2 expressed our dissatisfaction with those negative tendencies. So there
3 was a meeting attended by the most responsible figures from the civilian
4 authorities and members of the command.
5 Q. Can you remember who attended that meeting on behalf of the
6 civilian authorities?
7 A. There was the President of the Municipality, the President of the
8 Executive Council, the Chief of the Public Security Station, the people
9 with the highest positions, also members of the executive council. Among
10 others, there was someone who was not from our area. I think he came from
11 a republic level, SUP or MUP, somebody called Ninic, as far as I can
12 remember the surname. And the others I knew personally, except for him,
13 who I met for the first time on that occasion.
14 Q. And how did the meeting end?
15 A. Well, the meeting ended by them having expressed very sharp
16 dissatisfaction of what the report contained, and it was stated that the
17 contents of that report should not be publicised. Conditionally speaking,
18 I don't know how to put it, they were dissatisfied and angry that we had
19 highlighted these phenomena because they were within their spheres of
20 responsibility, within the civilian sphere of responsibility.
21 Q. So did that meeting end in some sort of an agreement, a common
22 agreement, or did everything remain open, outstanding?
23 A. The loudest criticism and the most serious consequences were felt
24 by certain members of the command later on because representatives of the
25 civilian authorities were voicing an opinion that individuals had imposed
1 their will through this report, and Simo Zaric was particularly targeted,
2 as he was a commander -- Assistant Commander for Morale, who was, one
3 could say, was the author of this report, the main author. And from then
4 on certain pressures were brought to bear on the command for Simo Zaric to
5 be sidelined, and me as well, as well as other members of the command who
6 had expressed their satisfaction. But all of us had in fact expressed our
7 dissatisfaction with this state of affairs.
8 Q. Was Simo Zaric allowed to speak at that meeting, to take the
9 floor, when the report was being discussed?
10 A. No, he was not. At that meeting virtually no command members
11 spoke, except the commander himself, who said a few words. But the very
12 active participants were members of the civilian authorities who were
13 criticising us for what we had done and reproaching us for this. So Simo
14 himself didn't take the floor. He didn't speak.
15 Q. Can you tell us what happened after that to Simo Zaric?
16 A. Eventually, after a certain period of time, Simo Zaric was removed
17 from his position of Assistant Commander for Morale, Religious and Legal
18 Affairs, and he went back to the unit as a soldier.
19 Q. And what about you? What happened to you?
20 A. After a certain period of time -- and as we're talking about me,
21 already in July 1993, up until then I was in the command, but in July 1993
22 upon the insistence of corps command members I asked to be transferred,
23 and I joined the engineers regiment as Assistant Commander for Logistics
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Tubakovic. I have no further questions.
1 PRESIDING OFFICER: Cross-examination.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
3 Q. Mr. Tubakovic, my name is David Re. I'm going to ask you some
4 questions on behalf of the Prosecution. Do you understand that?
5 A. Yes, I do. Thank you.
6 Q. The evidence you've just given, you told us about a meeting. It
7 was after the civilian authorities came to learn of the report. Was the
8 meeting called to discuss the contents of the report?
9 A. Yes. Yes, it was, to discuss the content of the report.
10 Exactly. That was exactly the topic of the meeting. The meeting -- at
11 the meeting, the command and the civilian authorities discussed about what
12 we had put in the report.
13 Q. Who called the meeting? Was it the military authorities -- I'm
14 sorry, the Posavina Brigade command, or was it the civilian authorities
15 who called the meeting?
16 A. The meeting -- the only ones who can call a meeting of the
17 command -- the meeting was called by the command and of the brigade
18 probably -- not probably but certainly at the insistence of
19 representatives of the civilian authorities because they insisted that
20 this subject should be discussed. We in the command had been discussing
21 this at several meetings before that and thoroughly prior to the adoption
22 of that report and we adopted it as our report. However, it reached them,
23 and after that we had that meeting held with representatives of the
24 civilian authorities.
25 Q. All right. Can I just ask you in answering the question to answer
1 it as briefly as you can, and just -- just the short question I'm asking.
2 It will be much quicker for all of us if we do it that way. Where was the
3 meeting held?
4 A. All right. The meeting was held at Pelagicevo in the village
5 where the brigade command was.
6 Q. Who from the civilian authority -- sorry, which civilian officials
7 were at this meeting?
8 A. Blagoje Simic, the President of the Municipality; Milan Simic, the
9 President of the Executive Board; Stevan Todorovic, the head of the Public
10 Security Station; a certain person by the surname of Ninic, whose first
11 name I do not know; and at this point I cannot recall the others but these
12 three were there certainly.
13 Q. Can you remember whether Miroslav Tadic was there?
14 A. No. I think that he wasn't. I don't think that he was present.
15 No, no, he certainly was not there.
16 Q. Bozo Ninkovic and Mirko Lukic, Simeon Simic?
17 A. Yes. Yes, Bozo, Mirko, Simeon Simic were there certainly. Now
18 you've jogged my memory. Simeon Simic was there certainly, and Bozo
19 Ninkovic as well, and Mirko Lukic also. They were there. Yes, in
20 addition to the people whom I have already enumerated, these were persons
21 were also there certainly but Miroslav Tadic was not there to the best of
22 my recollection. I don't think that he was there.
23 Q. You said a number of civilian officials spoke at the meeting. Did
24 Blagoje Simic speak at the meeting? Just yes or no.
25 A. Yes, he did.
1 Q. The civilian authorities I think you said had all read the report
2 and were all very familiar with what you'd written; is that right?
3 A. Yes, they were familiar with the content of the report. I don't
4 know how they had arrived at it and how they had gotten hold of it. I
5 suppose that the commander had given it to them. Because the position of
6 the command was that the report should be filed and should be for the sole
7 use of the command in seeking to overcome these problems and that it
8 should not reach the civilian authorities because it did deal with the
9 problems affecting civilians.
10 Q. It's dated the 1st of December, 1992. When was the meeting in
11 relation to the publication of the report? How soon afterwards?
12 A. After a couple of days. It was towards the end of November. I
13 believe it was the 28th or the 29th of November that the report was
14 adopted, and this meeting was held right away, at the beginning of
15 December, quite quickly afterwards.
16 Q. In your evidence I think you said that the document was discussed
17 in some detail. What did Blagoje Simic say to the meeting about the --
18 about the report?
19 A. It wasn't only Blagoje. All of them sought -- tried to negate
20 what we had highlighted as negative practices, negative trends within the
21 zone of responsibility of the brigade, i.e. the civilian organs. They
22 tried to do that. They were even reproaching us because they said if we
23 were to write about the situation in this territory it was a matter for
24 the civilian authorities and not for the military authorities to draw up
25 such reports and that it was the essence of all their statements at that
1 meeting. Of course, I cannot recall all the details, but I do remember
2 that some said, "You don't know what you're doing. You are doing
3 something which -- you are way out of line. This is beyond your
5 Q. I just want you to concentrate for a moment on Blagoje Simic.
6 What do you remember him saying at this meeting?
7 A. Well, probably something along the lines of what the other people
8 were saying, that he didn't agree to us having done that. I cannot
9 remember details. I know that they were displeased at what we had
10 written. Him in particular, and also Stevan Todorovic, they were --
11 because they held key positions in civilian authorities, the most
12 responsible posts at that time. At this moment I cannot remember the
13 details really.
14 Q. Was their concern the fact that the military had written this
15 report about what the civilians were doing rather than it was what the
16 civilians were doing? I'm saying was their concern the fact that you, the
17 military, had written this? Do you follow what I'm saying?
18 A. Yes. Yes, exactly. That was it precisely. We gained the
19 impression that they resented the fact that it was us analysing the
20 situation in this area, the situation among the population. They said,
21 "It is up to you. Yours is to take care of the army, of the military
22 issues, and it is up to us to see to what is happening amongst the
23 civilian population." That's it.
24 Q. What I'm asking you is were they disputing the contents of it or
25 disputing the fact that you had written the report? Was there anger with
1 the fact that you wrote it or that you were saying these things?
2 A. They were angry, rather, because we had drawn up the report,
3 because of that fact. The negative tendencies which were in evidence were
4 something that was not to be actually referred to, and we had put that on
5 paper, and that was what had irritated them. Do you understand me? They
6 resented the fact -- they were angry because we had highlighted these
7 facts, that there had been looting, that there had been crimes which had
8 been committed by people who were not within the army and which was not
9 within the competence of the army but was within the territory of the zone
10 of the responsibility of our brigade. And this is what they resented and
11 that is what upset them.
12 Q. That these crimes were being committed by people who were under
13 the control of the civilian authorities, that is, the Crisis Staff, War
14 Presidency; is that what you're saying?
15 A. Yes, that's -- precisely that. It was out of the competencies of
16 the terms of reference of the activities of the command of the brigade,
17 and this is what they resented. They were angry because of that.
18 Q. But the Crisis Staff or the civilian officials there didn't in
19 that meeting deny any of the allegations which you had made in the report;
20 is that right?
21 A. They did not negate it. They did not deny it. They couldn't.
22 These were certain facts which could not be denied, but they were simply
23 angry because it had been the brigade command that had undertaken that
24 analysis, and that was the basis reason.
25 Q. You said in your evidence earlier that Simo Zaric was particularly
1 targeted in that meeting. Who do you remember particularly targeting him
2 in the meeting? Who was the -- who was the person or people who were
3 saying the things against Simo Zaric?
4 A. I think that it was Stevan Todorovic primarily, as the head of the
5 Public Security Station. He spoke against Simo Zaric. And also the
6 others did. They didn't have anything personally against Simo. That's
7 not what I said. But they immediately expressed their position to the
8 effect that it had been Simo's doing, that the author was Simo, because in
9 the final analysis he did actually draw up or shape the final report. It
10 could not have been written by all the members of the command. They had
11 all their individual inputs into the making of that report, but he was the
12 one who finally shaped it and that is why he -- they targeted him more.
13 They said that it was a tendentious report, that there were some unsettled
14 pre-war accounts that were also in play there and there was some similar
15 stories, but mainly they criticised him on account of his drawing up the
17 Q. You also said that Simo Zaric was removed from his position. Was
18 that because of the influence of these civilian authorities, that is, the
19 Crisis Staff, War Presidency?
20 A. Yes, it certainly was because of that. I'm now going to recount
21 for you a detail, something which has given me some food for thought. For
22 instance, Simo Zaric was a member of the command and he was in a mixed
23 marriage. And after he had been replaced from that position, with the
24 basic reason -- the formal reason being, you know, his wife is of another
25 ethnicity, so if that was indeed the reason -- he could not be an
1 assistant commander having such mixed marriage. But we also had other
2 people holding such important positions who were in mixed marriages. So
3 what I am trying to say is that that was precisely the reason, the actual
4 reason being for him to be replaced from the brigade, and that was the
5 pressures exerted by the civilian authorities. There were pressures to
6 that effect on the commander. And formally they invoked this other being,
7 of his being in a mixed marriage, but the actual reason was this one. The
8 true reason was that Simo -- Simo actually was replaced from the command
9 because he was the one who contributed the most to the drawing up of this
11 Q. What role did the civilian authorities, that is, the Crisis Staff,
12 War Presidency, have in your own transfer to a different position?
13 A. They actually wanted me to leave. It was their desire. I could
14 feel it. And that is why of my own initiative through the corps command I
15 requested to be replaced and to leave, because I actually could feel that
16 this is something that they wanted. So feeling the situation, I asked
17 them in the corps -- I told them it makes no difference to me whether I
18 will be working here or there. So I asked them to let me leave.
19 Q. The military and the civilian authorities, that is, Crisis Staff,
20 War Presidency, had to coordinate certain activities in the zone of
21 responsibility of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. What sort of activities did
22 the military and civilian authorities have to coordinate together?
23 A. When it came to the securing of the material resources for the
24 brigade, we relied on the command of the corps but also on the civilian
25 authorities, for the food and the accommodation, lodgings, and other
1 material, resources required for the army. Whereas, the control and
2 command system in the army was wholly separated. It didn't have any
3 formal and legal connections with the civilian authorities. The control
4 and command system was, of course, from the command of the brigade up to
5 the command of the corps and the main staff, but the civilian authorities
6 could exert an influence on the army via the commander because he
7 succumbed to such ... [End of Recording] because formally they were not
8 entitled to interfere in what were the terms of reference of the brigade
9 command. So in the material sense, in the provisioning sense, we did rely
10 on them to make provisions for the army but not in this other respect.
11 Q. And was one of the reasons why the brigade command prepared and
12 signed this document because of excessive civilian involvement in military
14 A. Well, yes. From May, the end of May, the 20th of May, until
15 sometime in the end of August - that's two and a half or three months -
16 three commanders were -- of the brigade were changed. It was precisely
17 the civilian authorities, again thanks to their influence on the corps
18 command, that brought about these changes. It was not the command of the
19 corps that asked for its commander to be replaced every month. It was
20 probably on account of their influence, the influence of the civilian
21 authorities and of individuals within the civilian authorities.
22 Q. Was Blagoje Simic one of these individuals who was responsible for
23 influencing the replacement of the three commanders?
24 A. Well, probably. He probably was, because he held the most
25 responsible position in the municipality in terms of civilian
1 authorities. As the President of this War Presidency, i.e. of the
2 municipal assembly, together with the President of the Executive Board and
3 together with the head of the Public Security Station, these were the
4 three most responsible posts as far as civilian structures of the
5 authority were concerned. They were not your regular operations officers
6 or anything of the kind, but they were people holding responsible posts.
7 Q. The document you signed makes it clear that the brigade command
8 had very, very serious concerns about what the civilian authorities were
9 doing, such as in relation to prisoners, isolation of people, arbitrary
10 arrests, and looting and so on. That's correct, isn't it; yes or no?
11 A. Yes. Yes. Yes.
12 Q. It appears from the document that it was apparent to the military
13 command of the Posavina Brigade that the civilian authorities were
14 discriminating against people on ethnic grounds. Was that something that
15 concerned the military command of the Posavina Brigade?
16 A. Yes, that is precisely why we had stressed these tendencies as
17 practices which should not happen, and that is why we expressed our
18 dissatisfaction at such -- with such practices.
19 Q. That's because the Posavina 2nd Brigade command was concerned that
20 the civilian authorities - that's the Crisis Staff, War Presidency - were
21 ordering the detention of Muslims and Croats for ethnic reasons only.
22 A. Well, yes. We could not justify anyone being detained without any
23 reason, without grounds, being detained or being mistreated, and we
24 criticised such practices as something which shouldn't happen; the command
25 of the brigade did, that is. That is why we wrote this report.
1 Q. But similarly the brigade command had become aware that the Crisis
2 Staff or War Presidency had ordered the isolation or separation of Croats,
3 and that was something that concerned you as professional military people,
4 wasn't it?
5 A. Yes. Yes.
6 Q. As indeed the organised looting of non-Serb -- sorry, of non-Serb
7 properties ordered by the Crisis Staff and War Presidency. That was
8 something that really concerned the brigade command, wasn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The brigade command was also aware that the people who had been
11 detained were being beaten and in some cases tortured by guards controlled
12 by the civilian authorities, that is, the War Presidency, Crisis Staff,
13 and the police.
14 A. Yes. We had heard stories about this and people knew that this
15 was being done and we were against it. Yes.
16 Q. You were also aware that people had been murdered in the custody
17 of those under the control of the Crisis Staff, War Presidency police and
18 that was something that also seriously concerned you as professional
19 military officers, wasn't it?
20 A. Yes, it did.
21 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Re, your time is up.
22 MR. RE: Okay.
23 Thank you, Mr. Tubakovic.
24 PRESIDING OFFICER: Re-examination?
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] No re-examination. Thank you.
1 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you, Mr. Tubakovic. You can go now.
2 [The witness withdrew]
3 PRESIDING OFFICER: We'll have a ten-minute break.
4 --- Break taken at 9.56 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.11 a.m.
6 [The witness entered]
7 PRESIDING OFFICER: Good morning Mr. Culapovic. Could you please
8 stand, thank you, and read the text in front of you, take the solemn
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: MILOS CULAPOVIC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you. You may sit.
15 Mr. Lazarevic.
16 Examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Culapovic.
18 A. Good morning.
19 Q. On behalf of the Defence of Mr. Simo Zaric, I will be conducting
20 the examination-in-chief. I will try to go over our topics as quickly as
22 I would just like to ask you to wait for a few seconds before
23 giving your answer after hearing my question so that we do not overlap.
24 Let us first go through your personal details. I'll try to cover
25 this as quickly as possible. Give us, please, first your full first name
1 and last name for the record.
2 A. Milos Culapovic.
3 Q. I will ask you now something concerning your personal data. You
4 were born on the 6th of May, 1948 in the village of Crkvina in Samac
5 municipality; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. This is where you have your house, in the village of Crkvina.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Your ancestors have been living there for generations; is that
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. You're married, you have two children of age, a son and a
14 A. Yes, correct. My son is married, and I have a grandson; and my
15 daughter is married as well, and I have a granddaughter.
16 Q. Thank you very much. You completed your elementary school in the
17 village of Crkvina and then following that you went to school in Bosanski
18 Samac. You are a qualified electrician by profession. Is that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Now, can you tell me, please, when did you leave your town and go
21 to live abroad?
22 A. In the second half of 1989 I went to live in Switzerland.
23 Q. And this is where you resided permanently, worked?
24 A. Yes, that's correct. I lived there on my own without my family.
25 My family remained in Crkvina upon my departure for Switzerland.
1 Q. I will ask you now something about the night between the 16th and
2 the 17th of April, 1992. Where were you then?
3 A. In Switzerland.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Now, please tell me, when did you come to
5 Bosanski Samac municipality?
6 A. I came, I believe, on the 19th of April, 1992, immediately
7 following the breakout of hostilities in Samac because my entire family
8 was in Samac or, rather, in Crkvina.
9 Q. So sometime around the 19th.
10 A. Yes, around the 19th. We would normally come for the weekend. I
11 think it was probably Friday or Saturday.
12 Q. Tell me, what was the main reason of your arrival?
13 A. Well, my entire family was at home, my wife, my son, daughter, my
14 mother, my brothers, and I was on my own in Switzerland, and it was
15 naturally that upon the breakout of war I felt that I should be with my
17 Q. Yes, that's understandable. So you arrived in Crkvina. And tell
18 me, what happened afterwards? Where did you go?
19 A. Well, let me tell you. It took me longer to get home, longer than
20 on previous occasions because on that occasion I came via Hungary because
21 we couldn't travel through Croatia. I came through Hungary, through Novi
22 Sad, to Bosanski Samac. When I got home I saw that my son had already
23 been in the army, mobilised, and I went straight home to see my family.
24 Q. You said that your son had already been mobilised, was in the
25 army. When did your son serve his military service?
1 A. Two months prior to the breakout of hostilities my son had
2 completed his military service in Pristina, in Kosovo, and while he was
3 doing his military service there, the situation was very, very difficult.
4 And mostly as a result of that I came home right away because the
5 situation once again was very difficult.
6 Q. What unit was your son in?
7 A. He was in Crkvina, but I don't know the details.
8 Q. All right. So he was in Crkvina. Now, tell me, please, where did
9 you go following that?
10 A. Well, I took a rest, and then I went to the army command which was
11 in the old school building where I attended my elementary school, where I
12 started first grade. It is not far from the house of my mother.
13 Q. Tell me please, who did you meet there, what transpired there?
14 A. When I got there and entered the building, I saw that there was
15 Marko Tubakovic there. He was commander. I remember very well that there
16 were bunk-beds there and he was on the upper bed as I entered the school
17 building. I greeted him. And when I came there, I brought some small
18 gifts with me, cigarettes, lighters, and so on.
19 Q. Did you perhaps join the army? Were you yourself mobilised?
20 A. No, I was never mobilised, but at that moment when I entered we
21 had a drink, we had a juice, and then since I had some gifts and my son
22 was already there, they found in a wooden trunk a uniform -- or rather, it
23 was just the jacket, the shirt of a uniform and pants. They were blue.
24 It was a military uniform but it was very similar to the police uniform.
25 It didn't have a cap.
1 Q. If we could just slow down a little bit. So you were given a
2 uniform. Did they tell you why you needed one?
3 A. Since I had promised that I would come again and bring some gifts
4 with me when I come next time, they told me that I should put on the
5 uniform as it was not advisable for a civilian to come and go into the
6 building. It was not advisable for a civilian to move about the troops
7 wearing civilian clothes.
8 Q. Now, can you tell me please, the other soldiers that you saw
9 there, what kind of uniforms did they have?
10 A. All of them had military uniforms, the old ones, the kind I wore
11 when I did my military service.
12 Q. Thank you very much. I would like to turn now to the following
13 day. Did you go to the town of Samac on the following day? If so, why,
14 what was the reason, and what was going on there?
15 A. Yes, I remember that. I went on the following day into town
16 because I had come from abroad and I had an obligation to acquire a permit
17 from the Public Security Station in order to go outside of the territory
18 of the town.
19 Q. All right. Now, as to the rules governing these permits, what
20 were the rules that pertained to civilians and the rules that pertained to
22 A. I suppose that no person could leave the town without the permit
23 issued by the Public Security Station. As I was a civilian, I had to
24 obtain a permit before leaving town.
25 Q. All right. So you came to Samac, you went to the Public Security
1 Station. Can you tell us what went on there. Did you come across
2 somebody there while trying to obtain a permit?
3 A. I was standing in front of the station on the road, in front of
4 it, and I was waiting for my turn to go in because I needed to wait for my
5 turn, and there was a Zastava vehicle parked near the entrance door. It
6 was a police vehicle. And I had put on the uniform I was given at the
7 school from Marko Tubakovic, from our command, so I had that uniform on
8 me. And at one point in time Savo Cancarevic, police commander, came out
9 together with a dark-haired man that I didn't know at the time. So they
10 came out through the entrance door and they stood in front of it and they
11 were talking.
12 Q. Did they address you? Did you know Savo Cancarevic from before?
13 A. Savo Cancarevic is a relative of mine. I was across the road,
14 standing by a shop selling spare parts for cars. So I was standing by
15 that window across the road and he saw me and greeted me. And after a
16 brief period of time, he asked me to join them. I greeted him. He asked
17 me when I had arrived. And then he introduced me to this other man and
18 said, "This is Crni." And this Crni, this dark-haired man, wore a
19 camouflage uniform.
20 Q. Did anything else transpire there?
21 A. Then Savo Cancarevic said that I should go to Simo Zaric to inform
22 him and say that he needed to come to the station. I went to school with
23 Simo Zaric, and Savo knew that I was very well acquainted with Simo Zaric
24 and he asked me to go and inform Simo that he needed to come to the
25 station. I asked him, "Where should I go?" And he told me, "You should
1 go to the plum orchard, which is where the command of the 4th Detachment
2 is located." That was the first time I had heard of the 4th Detachment.
3 And he told me, "Here is the car. It's parked right there. Here's the
4 key to the car and go there." So I went there and I informed Simo --
5 Q. Could you please slow down. So you came to the plum orchard to
6 the 4th Detachment command, you saw Simo Zaric, and what did you tell
8 A. I didn't see Simo. I saw a soldier and I told him I was looking
9 for Simo. I asked the soldier where Simo was and I told him to tell him
10 that he was sought at the police station. He called Simo and told him
11 that Savo and Crni wanted him at the police station, and I returned with
12 the car and left it in front of the police station.
13 Q. All right. We should make a pause and we should slow down for the
14 interpreters to complete interpretation.
15 So you returned to the police station, you returned the car keys.
16 Did you obtain your permit? How long did you stay there? And whom did
17 you see there?
18 A. I stayed on there for another 20 minutes or 30 minutes. In the
19 meantime, Simo arrived with another car -- or rather, he was driven there
20 by his -- by the driver. And I saw him as he entered the Public Security
22 Q. Did you see what was going on inside, what was going on with
24 A. Simo went upstairs. I don't know to which office exactly. I just
25 was able to see through the large glass entrance door of the police
1 station. I could see through a similar door into the back yard and I
2 could see that there were police members wearing camouflage uniforms
4 Q. But you don't know what Simo did there, upon getting there? You
5 didn't see what was going on with him?
6 A. No, no, no. I think that Simo went upstairs to see somebody,
7 perhaps Savo or somebody else upstairs.
8 Q. Thank you very much. Now, tell me please, did you obtain your
9 permit to leave town?
10 A. Yes, because I requested that permit. I needed to go to Belgrade
11 as my mother was in Belgrade staying with my sister. I have a sister in
12 Belgrade or, rather, in Batajnica, and I needed the permit in order to
13 leave town.
14 Q. I'm now interested in this trip of yours to Belgrade. When did
15 you go? Where did you stay? Did you meet somebody there?
16 A. This is how it was: The following day or perhaps that same day -
17 I can't remember - but once I got there, one of the first persons I met
18 there was my longtime friend Nikola Luic. Everybody who was not active in
19 the military, who was not serving in the military, who had left earlier -
20 and there were many of them - were in Belgrade, in downtown Belgrade, so
21 that I saw quite a few of people from Samac in Belgrade.
22 Q. So you met Nikola Luic. Did you talk with him?
23 A. Yes, I met Nikola Luic. We met right away, at Moskva Cafe
24 [phoen]. We had a drink there. I told him that I had come from home, and
25 I -- he asked me what the situation was, and I told him that there was
1 shooting going on, that there were all kinds of things going on. I
2 described what was happening there. And then he told me he had this
3 idea - I don't know how it developed in his mind - but he said that he
4 knew a journalist from Novi Sad whose name was Minja and that he could
5 send this journalist to Samac in order to make a programme or write
6 something for the papers and so on.
7 Q. And what did you respond to this proposal of his?
8 A. I told him that it would be best -- well, prior to that he told me
9 that he knew Blagoje, that he knew Steve Todorovic. I personally did not
10 know Steve Todorovic, although I did know Blagoje because he was from a
11 neighbouring village. But I told him that he should speak to them on the
12 phone and tell them about this, tell them that he knew this journalist who
13 could write a story or perhaps record a TV programme, but I just simply
14 couldn't decide on this on my own.
15 Q. And following that, did you return to Samac?
16 A. Yes, I returned to Samac and I forgot about this conversation. I
17 spent some time with Nikola in Belgrade. We talked about other things.
18 But as far as this interview -- potential interview is concerned, we
19 didn't elaborate that any further.
20 Q. So after that you returned to Samac, and did something else happen
21 regarding that conversation you had with him?
22 A. Well, I almost forgot about that conversation. But the following
23 day they called me on the phone - I was at home - and Savo Cancarevic was
24 on the phone telling me that Steve needed me to come to the station.
25 Q. And did you go to the station?
1 A. Yes, I did. I didn't know what was it all about, but it was a bit
2 of an uncomfortable situation for me. And as I got to the station, he
3 told me that he had talked to Nikola Luic --
4 Q. Who said so?
5 A. Steve. Steve asked me to come to his office upstairs and told me
6 that he had spoken to Nikola on the phone and that Nikola had said that he
7 would ensure that the journalist would come and that I would need to go
8 and fetch the journalist as the journalist was from Novi Sad. Nikola
9 would ensure that he would come to Belgrade, and then I was supposed to go
10 to Belgrade and get him there. And this is when I learned why is it that
11 he had called me to come to the station and I was a bit more at ease after
13 Q. Did they provide transportation for you? Did they give you all of
14 the documents you needed in order to leave town? Did they give you any
15 documents for the vehicle?
16 A. Yes, they gave me travel orders and they gave me a Golf vehicle.
17 And either that same day or the following day I went to Belgrade, I got in
18 touch with Nikola, and in the meantime Nikola had brought the journalist
19 to Belgrade. I don't know whether the journalist came to Belgrade on his
20 own or whether Nikola went there to fetch him. I don't know. I didn't
21 ask about that.
22 Q. When you say Minja, you mean this journalist?
23 A. Yes. I heard later on that his name was Milan or Milovan, so it
24 was Minja for short. I think his surname is Pavlovic, if I'm not
25 mistaken. I think that was his surname.
1 Q. Very well. So you saw your friend Luic, and there you found the
2 journalist Minja. Was anyone else with him there?
3 A. Yes, a cameraman with a camera. And again, we met at Terazija
4 Street [phoen].
5 Q. Thank you. Did you take them to Bosanski Samac?
6 A. Yes. We headed off towards Samac along the route
8 Q. During your trip, were there any conversations amongst you as to
9 what they were interested in, what they wanted to film over there?
10 A. Well, you see, I didn't enquire much. They asked me where I came
11 from. I said I was from Samac or, rather, from Crkvina. En route we came
12 across several military checkpoints who -- and they checked our papers.
13 And as we saw soldiers en route - and this was new for me too - he asked
14 me where the main command of that army was. I didn't know exactly whether
15 it was in Brcko or Pelagicevo. I hadn't spent enough time to learn all
16 these things, though I was interested of course too, because my brothers
17 and son were in the army and this is a small town. So the discussion was
18 whether it was in Brcko or Pelagicevo. And as we got to a checkpoint
19 outside Brcko, I asked one of the soldiers at the checkpoint where the
20 command was and he told me that it was in Pelagicevo. Since Minja, after
21 that -- I didn't know why he was asking me that. Then he asked me where
22 Pelagicevo was. I told him it was on the road to Samac, it is at the
23 crossroads at Loncari. You take a turning, and then it's 2 or 3
24 kilometres away. And as I was from the area, I knew this. And then he
25 said could we drop in at the command headquarters? And I said, "Why
2 Q. So you arrived at Pelagicevo. What happened there?
3 A. There were two soldiers at the gate. It's a private house, it's a
4 small village. I didn't really know where it was. And they told us,
5 "Turn left. It's 50 metres on the right-hand side." And you could see
6 some military vehicles there, so we recognised it. And then this
7 journalist got off. He had this card of his as a journalist. He had it
8 on his pocket, and he said that he was a journalist from Novi Sad, could
9 he speak to the commander-in-chief. And then one of the soldiers went
10 inside. I was sitting in the car in the immediate vicinity and I was able
11 to watch. After a very short time the soldier returned and invited the
12 journalist to go inside. After that, the cameraman was called in as well
13 and he, too, left, so I assumed that they would be preparing a programme,
14 an interview or something like that.
15 Q. So you didn't go inside.
16 A. No, I didn't. Because when I went to Belgrade, I was in civilian
17 clothes and it wasn't suitable. But I didn't even try. They probably
18 would not have allowed me in anyway.
19 Q. Could you tell me roughly how much time they spent inside?
20 A. It's rather hard to tell after such a long time, but roughly I
21 would say about half an hour.
22 Q. Thank you very much. And after they came out, tell me, where did
23 you go there and what happened after that?
24 A. We went on towards Samac, and shortly we arrived in front of the
25 Public Security Station.
1 Q. Very well. So when you got to the station, did you go inside, did
2 they go inside? What happened?
3 A. When we arrived, I stopped in front of the Public Security Station
4 on the left-hand side of the road. They got off. I remember very well
5 Steve came out because the policeman on duty was outside and I told him to
6 tell somebody upstairs that the journalist had arrived. So Steve came
7 out, he welcomed him, and they went inside.
8 Q. What happened to you?
9 A. I left the car and went home, though Steve said he would take care
10 of everything and he would call me when they needed to go back to
11 Belgrade, for me to take them back.
12 Q. Very well. Tell me what happened that day, the next day. When
13 did you meet the journalists again?
14 A. They spent that day in Samac. How their stay was organised, I
15 don't know, because I wasn't there. However, the next day in the morning
16 I was called again that I needed to drive them back.
17 Q. And did you agree to do that?
18 A. Yes, of course. Because talking to this Pavlovic, en route we go
19 to know each other better as we travelled together and I felt it was my
20 duty to drive him back to Belgrade, to Lulic [phoen]. And after that,
21 whether he would take him back or he would go back on his own to Novi Sad,
22 I didn't know.
23 Q. I see. So you got to Samac. And where did you find the
24 journalists again?
25 A. Again in front of the Public Security Station. They were outside,
1 both the journalist and the cameraman holding the camera. They got into
2 the car, and we were ready to go. Actually, as I was coming to the
3 station, across the road from it they were coming out of the yard, across
4 the way from the Public Security Station, where there are two private
5 houses when you go inside this passageway, and they were coming out of
6 that passage.
7 Q. So you all met there in front of the Public Security Station, and
8 what happened then?
9 A. Well, they got into the car, and we set off towards town because
10 as we were leaving, Minja asked me could we pass through the main road for
11 him to film the town a little because it was his first visit to Samac.
12 Q. Did you agree?
13 A. Well, of course. Why not? So I went along the main street, the
14 high street, and then we made a turn to go to Belgrade, and the cameraman
15 filmed a couple of buildings, the streets, and so on. That was all that I
16 was able to see.
17 Q. And then after that I assume you set off for Belgrade.
18 A. Yes. On the way back we didn't stop much except, I think,
19 somewhere to have a drink or something. And in Belgrade Nikola met us.
20 They exchanged greetings. He asked them whether they had finished their
21 job, and we said goodbye. After that I didn't see them again.
22 Q. Tell me, after those events, how much longer did you stay in the
23 territory of Samac municipality?
24 A. From the time I arrived until I went back, I stayed in all 10 to
25 12 days. So it was sometime at the beginning of May that I went back,
1 because the 1st of May was a holiday, I remember that. In Switzerland too
2 it is celebrated, so that I think I set off that day to be able to start
3 way the next day.
4 Q. While you were in Samac, did you perhaps have occasion to see this
5 programme that was filmed on that occasion?
6 A. I think that it was to be aired in a day or two, and I did watch
7 it, but unfortunately only the beginning because the electricity went off
8 that evening. But the next time when I came - and I came again at the end
9 of May with a truckload of humanitarian aid that we had collected in
10 Switzerland - I watched this programme. I took a videotape from someone
11 who had taped it for me to see.
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC [Interpretation] I have no further questions for
14 this witness. Thank you, Madam Presiding Officer.
15 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you.
16 The Prosecution?
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
18 Q. Mr. Culapovic, my name is Di Fazio. I am a prosecutor. I've just
19 got a few questions for you.
20 A. Please, I'm at your service.
21 Q. Are you the gentleman who is also known as Culap? Is that your
23 A. I do have the Culap nickname, but that is not my nickname only as
24 an individual. My surname is Culapovic, so all persons, all my family
25 members -- there are five or six men in the family, and they're all
1 nicknamed Culap. So it's not specific to me alone, but it is the
2 abbreviated surname and they call all of us by that abbreviated name, my
3 brothers, my son, my brother's son, my father, and everyone. We're all
4 known as Culap.
5 Q. Were all your brothers lives in Bosanski Samac during the war?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. And your first name is, of course, Milos, or Milo.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. Were you a member of the 4th Detachment?
10 A. No.
11 Q. How long did you remain in Bosanski Samac? I know you arrived in
12 April and you left again for the month of May. But for the rest of the
13 year, did you stay in Bosanski Samac?
14 A. At the beginning of May, I went back to Switzerland, and then I
15 came again from Switzerland between the 27th and the 29th of May with a
16 couple of friends from Samac and with a truck loaded with humanitarian
17 aid, hospital beds and medicines. I'm sorry, I didn't know you would be
18 asking me this, because I have the documents which I could have brought
19 with me.
20 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... all I want to know is did
21 you remain in Bosanski Samac throughout the remainder of that year, 1992?
22 A. No. No.
23 Q. Did you ever perform any guard duties at the TO?
24 A. No. I haven't been issued weapons or anything. There were no --
25 my name was not in the records, either in the police nor in the army.
1 Q. Were you ever present during interviews of any prisoners in the
2 SUP building?
3 A. No. I don't even know that there were any prisoners in the SUP
5 Q. As far as the organisation of this interview that you have given
6 us, that you've told us about is concerned, the only thing that you know
7 is that Todorovic approached you and asked you to go and collect these
8 journalists in preparation for the interview. You don't know whose
9 decision it was to hold these interviews. You don't know who was the
10 prime mover behind the interviews.
11 A. I don't know that, but I assume that the contact between Luic and
12 Todorovic, when they spoke they decided about the journalist because
13 Nikola told me that he knew Todorovic.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Madam Presiding Officer, would you just give me a
15 moment to confer with my colleagues, please.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. DI FAZIO:
18 Q. Do you know of any other Milos Culapovic living in Bosanski
20 A. My father's name is Milan Culapovic, but I don't think there's
21 anyone called Milos Culapovic.
22 Q. All right. And he was, I assume, a fairly elderly man in 1992?
23 A. Yes, 68 years of age.
24 Q. All right ... [End of Recording] So you weren't present at any
25 time in the SUP building when a woman was stripped and beaten by
1 paramilitaries. You don't recall any such episode? You were present at
2 no such episode?
3 A. Never. I never saw any such thing, nor was I present at any such
4 a situation.
5 Q. Do you know a gentleman named Osman Josarevic?
6 A. There are a number of Josarevics, but Osman I don't know. I know
7 another Josarevic, but I don't know whether his name was Osman because he
8 was a hunter, as I was. I think his name is Hasan.
9 Q. So, therefore, you weren't present on any occasion when a man
10 named Osman Josarevic was beaten in the SUP building.
11 A. No. No.
12 Q. Do you know a gentleman named Grga Zubak?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did you ever guard him in the TO building?
15 A. No, never. We know each other from before the war, and we were
16 good friends.
17 Q. And do you know a place in Bosanski Samac known as the Utva
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you ever transport prisoners there so that they could have
21 dinner -- their lunch, rather?
22 A. No. No, never. I was working abroad. I would just come once a
23 month, sometimes twice a month on a weekend, in no military or police
24 capacity. I had no involvement whatsoever. And may I add, regarding
25 those of us who were abroad, there was some scepticism towards us. I
1 noticed this later. There was a degree of mistrust because we were abroad
2 and at the very outset people thought now, who knows who they're connected
3 to over there and things like that. So we didn't have much access really
4 to these military and police organs.
5 Q. Do you know a gentleman named Omer Nalic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know him well?
8 A. We were friends before the war. He's an electrical technician and
9 I'm a highly skilled electrician, so we would work together before. But
10 he was employed in a state-owned institution.
11 Q. Do you know a gentlemen named Pasaga Tihic?
12 A. Yes. We're also great friends to this day.
13 Q. Do you know a gentleman named Namik Suljic?
14 A. Yes, known as "the professor." He was my son's teacher, and I see
15 him now too. I saw him two or three months ago. He is living in Orasje.
16 Q. He was a policeman, I think, before the war. Am I correct?
17 A. Who do you mean?
18 Q. Sorry, Suljic, Namik Suljic.
19 A. Namik Suljic was a teacher in school. My son was his pupil.
20 There must be a mistake there.
21 Q. On the day that you took these journalists and finally got them
22 into Bosanski Samac, did you see a gentleman named Fadil Topcagic in the
23 vicinity, in the vicinity of the SUP building?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Thanks. I've got no further questions.
1 PRESIDING OFFICER: Any re-examination?
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: No re-examination.
3 PRESIDING OFFICER: No re-examination. Okay.
4 Thank you, Mr. Culapovic for coming here today. You can go now.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 PRESIDING OFFICER: We'll have a ten-minute break. Thanks.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 --- Break taken at 10.51 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.07 a.m.
10 [The witness entered]
11 PRESIDING OFFICER: Good morning, Mr. Sjencic. Could you please
12 stand and read the solemn declaration, reading the pink sheet of paper in
13 front of you.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. I solemnly declare
15 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: SLOBODAN SJENCIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you.
19 Defence for Mr. Blagoje Simic.
20 Examined by Mr. Vukovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Sjencic.
22 A. Good morning.
23 Q. Will you be so kind as to give us your full name.
24 A. My name is Slobodan Sjencic.
25 Q. When were you born?
1 A. I was born on the 9th of March, 1958.
2 Q. Where were you born, Mr. Sjencic?
3 A. I was born in Samac.
4 Q. Can you tell us, are you married?
5 A. I am divorced.
6 Q. Do you have any children?
7 A. I have a son.
8 Q. Tell us, of what ethnicity are you?
9 A. I am a Serb.
10 Q. Tell me, how long have your ancestors been living in Samac
12 A. I do not have a precise answer to that question, but for at least
13 200 to 300 years.
14 Q. Mr. Sjencic, you completed primary school in Crkvina, the
15 secondary economic school in Samac, and the Faculty of ... [End of
16 Recording] Economics in Banja Luka in 1951. Sorry, I --
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you served your military service near Zagreb in 1982 and
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. From 1975 you were a member of the League of Communists of
23 A. That of the -- of reformist forces of Ante Markovic.
24 Q. And as of the beginning of 1993, you have been a member of the SDS
25 and you are still a member of the municipal board of that party.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Mr. Sjencic, prior to the outbreak of the armed conflict in Samac
3 municipality, you were working with the Stil factory of furniture in
4 Samac. In fact, you were the director of that factory from 1988 to 1992.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Sjencic, there is no dispute about the fact that before the
7 hostilities in Samac municipality break out, ethnic tensions mounted.
8 Tell us, how did you notice this phenomenon? How did you experience it?
9 A. Well, going about my regular duties, work in my regular -- at my
10 regular workplace and living in Samac, I -- and given the political
11 situation generally in the former Yugoslavia, the secession of the
12 republics through war in the neighbourhoods, for instance, Croatia, and
13 this very tense and charged inter-ethnic atmosphere was something which
14 could also be [indiscernible] to Samac itself. There that already existed
15 these inter-ethnic tensions. There were certain provocations also, et
16 cetera. Simply speaking, living and working there one could feel the
17 presence of this inter-ethnic chemically charged atmosphere, as it were.
18 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge of any roadblocks, any
19 barricades being erected, of any guards being posted or any similar
21 A. Yes, I have some knowledge about such things. Moving around town
22 itself, at the beginning of this year, which is to say we did it prior to
23 the outbreak of the war hostilities, there existed barricades and I
24 noticed two in two points in the city, the entrance to Modrica and the
25 entrance to Orasje. And I passed by these roadblocks twice. They were
1 manned by Muslims.
2 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sjencic, after the 17th of April, you became a
3 regular member of the Posavina Infantry Brigade -- the 2nd Posavina
4 Infantry Brigade.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you held this position until August 1992.
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Would you be so kind as to tell us whether in the period from
9 April to August you discharged any other duties as part of your work
10 obligation, or were you just a member of the army?
11 A. In view of my education and my working experience before the war,
12 the Ministry of -- said to me -- put me in charge of another work duty
13 towards the end of April, I believe it was the 30th of April, 1992, and
14 they assigned me to the post of director or coordinator of the branch
15 office of the Doboj commercial bank. The branch office was in Samac. But
16 this work duty did not relieve me of my military obligation, so when I
17 was -- in those days when I was not engaged working for the army, I worked
18 in this branch office of the Doboj commercial bank.
19 Q. Please explain to us, how did the bank function in this wartime
20 period? Did it function normally? Did it offer the normal, regular
21 services to its clients, to the citizens, to workers? Just explain the
22 situation in respect of that.
23 A. This branch office, I had had also before the war -- it worked
24 with households, which is to say dinar saving, foreign currency saving,
25 and current accounts and other businesses connected with enterprises, the
1 enterprise sector and the company that was done in the Doboj bank. From
2 the time I arrived at the bank, we did work related to households and to
3 citizens in general, which meant paying out of salaries, deposits of --
4 savings deposits, withdrawal of money from savings deposits and the like.
5 For, this was -- these were the common financial transactions that this
6 particular branch was confined to.
7 Q. Mr. Sjencic, was the bank rendering services to all citizens of
8 all ethnicities at that time?
9 A. Yes, of course, to all ethnicities, all citizens.
10 Q. You said that in August you became Secretary of the Secretariat
11 for the Economy of Samac Municipality?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Will you explain how you were assigned to that post.
14 A. It was perhaps on the 1st of August. A talk was -- the executive
15 board members talked to me, the executive board, of course, of Samac
16 Municipality. They invited me for a discussion, their intention being to
17 fill the vacant post of the Secretary of the Secretariat for the Economy.
18 And after a brief discussion with them of about half an hour, I accepted
19 the position because it meant also relieving me of my duty as part of my
20 military obligation. They had in mind my pre-war working experience, so
21 they offered me this post and I accepted it.
22 Q. Okay. Then we can assume that it's a fact, you became a member of
23 the executive board.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Tell us, do you know who held the post of Secretary for the
1 Economy in Samac Municipality before you?
2 A. I know I attended several -- I attended several meetings. It was
3 Mr. Lazar Mirkic who after several months went to -- was assigned to
4 another post in Samac -- in Brcko, I believe.
5 Q. Will you please explain to us what are the tasks in wartime, under
6 war conditions, of the Secretariat for the Economy. What were the
7 specific fields of work covered by the secretariat during the war?
8 A. Yes. Well, you see, the economic and -- which the economic agents
9 were operating also prior to the outbreak of the war in Samac had been
10 quite unfavourable and extremely complex, due to prophesies that had
11 already been unfolding also outside Samac. And in view of the fact that
12 at the time I was a director, even before the war one had to be of
13 exceptional ability and resourcefulness in order to carry out one's work
14 as well as properly. In view of this situation, the situation was also --
15 it was in such a situation that war also broke out with all the
16 consequences which this entailed, it was very hard to manage the economic
17 sector and to be in charge of economic exercises. What war brought by
18 definition, which meant devastation and destruction of economic
19 facilities, it also entailed a shortage of manpower because mostly all the
20 able-bodied conscripts had already been recruited into the army. These
21 were all major factors which adversely affected the operation of the
22 economic. The market links had been severed. The roads were impassable,
23 apart from the fact that they were unsafe. The PTT communication network
24 was done or was severed in places. There was a severe shortage of all
25 forms of energy, starting with electric power. There was, of course, a
1 shortage of all sorts of fuel, primarily of oil and oil derivatives. The
2 payment operation system did not function in the true sense of word, and
3 all these were aggravating factors which were adversely reflected --
4 actually reflected the economic environment in which one was supposed to
5 work. So the basic task of the Secretariat for the Economy and of the
6 executive board, one can say, also was to secure, to ensure, the best
7 possible provisions -- provisioning of the population, supplies to the
8 population and to the army of all sorts of -- with all sorts of consumer
9 goods, namely in addition to the discharge of certain public functions,
10 certain public enterprises which namely supplied the citizens with water,
11 electricity, saw to city sanitation and maintenance and cleaning. These
12 also had to be involved, to provide such advice, and it was also our task
13 to set in motion certain industrial and economic capacities and facilities
14 in the city's area which was possible to set in motion.
15 The working hours which were prescribed were up to 2.00, for these
16 were really exceptional conditions and one needed to exert really more
17 than average efforts in order to achieve all these tasks. This was more
18 or less the situation.
19 Q. Thank you. You've explained the tasks of the secretariat. Would
20 you please explain to us how did you go about organising the work of the
21 secretariat in order to indeed implement those tasks?
22 A. Well, as for the organisation, we already have a sort of an
23 organisational pattern which had been set in place prior to my assumption
24 of that post. I had associates within the secretariat who were in charge
25 of specific fields, and we had people who we called coordinators in charge
1 of the public enterprises in the area. We called them "war
2 coordinators." And we also had commissioners in the local communes in the
3 area. So this was the general infrastructure which was to enable the
4 functioning of the economy in the place.
5 Q. Please tell us, what was the attitude of the executive board of
6 the municipality and the departmental ministries.
7 A. You mean the departmental ministries in the government?
8 Q. Yes.
9 A. Well, in such a situation where government sought to pass such
10 regulations and subsidiary legislation to regulate the field of the
11 economy, and it was our task to abide by such regulations which were then
12 published in the Official Gazette, and we had to execute and respect the
13 regulations they adopted. The communication, physically speaking,
14 telephone lines, well -- was difficult, but ministers came to visit - for
15 instance, the agriculture minister came to visit - and there were other
16 relevant people who came to visit us in order to further our work.
17 Q. So we can know that you had to respect those decisions but also to
18 implement them to the extent which was possible given the circumstances.
19 A. Yes, that can be noted. And it was on the basis of these decrees,
20 also that and other regulations passed by the government, that we brought
21 in our own conclusions, our own decisions to give them effect.
22 Q. We should be regarding to that subject in a while. You explained
23 that the situation was difficult, that there was no power, that there was
24 no water, that the city came under constant shelling. You told us -- was
25 there a certain number of refugees from other territories of Bosnia or
1 from Croatia? Had any refugees come to Samac and were they also in your
2 charge? Were you also in charge of resolving their problems?
3 A. Yes. The executive board had also the task of addressing their
4 problems because a huge number of refugees had flocked into Samac and that
5 was something which was not -- something one could not plan. The tasks in
6 respect of them could not be planned. There were several thousand
7 refugees accommodated in Samac. This was a very difficult problem. It
8 was an aggravating factor in the sense that it was a very hard problem
9 because we needed to provide accommodation, food, and medical care, and
10 normal living conditions -- as normal as possible living conditions with
11 such a huge number of them. And that was one of our priorities.
12 Q. Yes. Mr. Sjencic, further, a while ago that the majority of the
13 population of the citizens from the territory of Samac were in the army.
14 How did you manage to resolve all these formidable and numerous questions
15 that fell within your field of competence and your area of work?
16 A. To carry out our tasks we -- given this shortage of manpower and
17 professionally qualified personnel, we mainly had -- liaised with the
18 Department of Defence in Samac, which had a thankless role at the time
19 because we wanted to have as many people as possible assigned to work
20 duty, and of course it was the aim of the army to have as many soldiers as
21 possible, so that the Ministry of Defence was between hammer and endless
22 work. But we managed to resolve these problems together on the basis of
23 consultations and agreement and as far as possible in the given
24 situation. Otherwise, economic agents, which is to say enterprises,
25 actually got their own war duty assignments of working posts, and these
1 were approved by the executive board. The executive board was a filter
2 which actually concerned whether this scheme of work posts was indeed
3 acceptable or not. Then the coordinators would ask the Ministry of
4 Defence for a certain number of people to be assigned to work as part of
5 the work obligation or work duty in order to fill these posts according to
6 that particular scheme.
7 Q. Mr. Sjencic, can we then agree that those people who were not on
8 the front or were not in the military, all of them had a work obligation?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell us whether records were kept of those people who had
11 work obligation?
12 A. I believe that the Department of the Ministry of Defence had full
13 records about people with work obligations.
14 Q. During wartime conditions in Samac municipality and while these
15 people were engaged in their work obligation, do you know whether they
16 received any compensation for their work, any remuneration?
17 A. Yes, they received it. I believe that in the first few months it
18 was difficult to organise it, but if I remember well either in August or
19 September the remuneration or compensation for four months was paid out
20 for people who had work obligation. Those were not high sums, but the
21 compensation was paid out sometimes in cash and later on and much more
22 frequently in kind. It was given to them -- it was paid out in certain
24 Q. Tell me please, why was it paid out in kind rather than in cash,
25 compensation for their work?
1 A. I've already said that one of the negative factors that influenced
2 the operation of the economy was the insufficient amounts of cash. We had
3 rampant inflation at the time, and if you were late in picking up your
4 salary for just one day, the following day it was devalued by some 20 to
5 30 per cent. So due to insufficient amounts of cash and due to inflation,
6 we frequently opted for paying out compensation in kind because there is a
7 shortage of foodstuffs, hygiene items and so on, so that the workers and
8 people with work obligation accepted it and preferred that, rather than
9 payment in cash.
10 Q. Can we then conclude that what people received in kind was in fact
11 more valuable than payment in cash?
12 A. Yes, I believe that's correct.
13 Q. Mr. Sjencic, you explained to us what were the duties and tasks of
14 the Secretariat for Economy. Could you please tell us, since you were
15 also a member of the executive board, what were the tasks of the executive
16 board in wartime in 1992, 1993, and 1994?
17 A. I attended sessions of the executive board. In addition to
18 organising the economy itself, which was a priority, they also had to
19 enable to operation of the hospital. We had a haemodialysis centre, and
20 we had to provide everything that was needed, in terms of medication and
21 everything else for people using haemodialysis. Therefore, non-economic
22 activities such as education, sport, culture, taking care of refugees and
23 so on, those were the primary tasks of the executive board.
24 Q. Tell me please whether the executive board while trying to carry
25 out all of these tasks and duties, did it also pass some conclusions,
1 orders, decisions and so on? Can you explain to us the way it operated.
2 A. Yes. The technicalities of its work. We met almost daily in view
3 of the situation that was subject to changes, frequent changes. So we
4 tried to adapt to that and we passed our regulations based on government
5 decrees. We adapted to the situation in Samac, and we passed various
6 decisions, decrees, instructions, and so on. We always attempted to
7 formulate them and put them into writing, and that was the easier part of
8 the job. It was much easier to do that than to implement these
10 Q. Can you tell us, please, were these documents mandatory?
11 A. Yes. Some of them were and some of them were not. If our
12 regulations were of general nature, then they applied to everyone, to the
13 entire population, to the economy of the entire municipality of Samac.
14 Some regulations were of a selective nature, which meant that they were
15 mandatory only for the entities to which the regulation itself pertained.
16 Q. Can you please tell me whether any regulation, decision,
17 instruction passed by the executive board contained any discriminatory
18 aspect with respect to the non-Serb population.
19 A. No, I'm not aware of any such decision or conclusion. And I
20 believe that this is not how we viewed the matters. This is not how we
21 looked at this. We tried to enable everything that was needed for normal
22 life to go on, but we never passed such conclusions or decisions.
23 Q. In view of the fact that the Secretariat for Economy and the
24 executive board both had quite a number of tasks, tell us please, how did
25 people move about on the ground within the municipality and outside of
1 Samac municipality? Were they able to move about freely, or did they need
2 to have a permit? And if so, from whom?
3 A. In view of wartime conditions, the movement of people and goods
4 was difficult and risky as well. The people who were fixed for military
5 service and those who were in the army, their movement outside of the
6 municipality was subject to certain permits and passes issued by the army
7 command. As far as the rest of the population is concerned and their
8 movement within the municipality, they were able to move about the
9 municipality freely. And if they needed to leave the territory of the
10 municipality, I believe that they needed a permit issued by the police.
11 This pertains to those who were not set for military service and who were
12 not considered military conscripts.
13 Q. All right. You, as part of your work obligation, served as
14 Secretary for Economy.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. In the Secretariat for Economy.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you need to have a permit if you wanted to leave Samac
20 A. Yes, I needed it. First I would receive my travel order from the
21 executive board. Since my work obligation was also considered my wartime
22 assignment and I was a military conscript, then pursuant to my travel
23 orders I had to go to the army command and obtain a permit to leave the
24 territory of the municipality.
25 Q. Just a minute ago you told us that you had to comply with the
1 decrees of the government of Republika Srpska. Are you aware of the
2 decree passed by the government of Republika Srpska concerning the
3 gathering and distribution of war spoils?
4 A. Yes, I'm aware of that decree. I believe that it was passed in
5 June and it was a decision on collecting and distributing war spoils, and
6 a few days later an instruction on implementation of that decree was
7 passed as well.
8 Q. And I assume that that decree was adopted by the executive board.
9 A. The decree itself had a mandatory nature, as far as the executive
10 board is concerned.
11 Q. What about the instruction on implementing the decree?
12 A. Yes. The Crisis Staff analysed this matter and passed a
13 conclusion mandating the Secretariat for Economy to draft an instruction
14 on recording and creating an inventory of the spoils of war, and we did
15 pass an instruction of that nature.
16 Q. Can you tell us, please, how were the spoils of war gathered, in
17 what manner? Where was it warehoused? What kind of goods were there and
18 so on?
19 A. Certain enterprises were tasked with collecting spoils of war, and
20 we were particularly interested in rounding up cattle as well as
21 perishable foodstuffs. And when it came to this type of spoils of war, we
22 had designated two locations. When it came to cattle, that was taken to
23 the farms of the agricultural enterprise. And when it came to pigs, they
24 were taken to farms in Zasavica, and there this was placed under the
25 jurisdiction of the agricultural cooperative from Samac. As far as other
1 goods are concerned, there were several other warehouses designated for
2 those goods, state-owned company Utva, state-owned company Korpara, both
3 in Samac, and also company Sirovinaprodukt, which had its headquarters in
4 Doboj and branch offices in Samac. As far as the grains are concerned,
5 those were stored in silos of the agricultural enterprise.
6 Q. Please tell me, then, what was the role of the republic agency for
8 A. When it came to these reserves, I told you that there was a decree
9 of the government and the spoils of war, in fact, represented reserves,
10 reserve commodities, and they had their headquarters -- this agency had
11 their branch office in Samac as well.
12 Q. Were the spoils of war collected in Odzak municipality and do you
13 know anything about that?
14 A. As far as I remember, in Odzak municipality there was a problem
15 with rounding up cattle, and agricultural cooperative Agropromet was in
16 charge of that. This is what I know mostly concerning that. So
17 Agropromet was in charge of that and cattle was brought to these two sites
18 that I'd already mentioned.
19 Q. You haven't told us this: Pursuant to whose orders was this
20 carried out? There was a military administration there, wasn't there?
21 A. Yes, there was a military administration in Odzak, and all of the
22 contents went to the military administration regarding all of the
23 activities that were carried out. And I believe that in order to do that
24 a consent had to be obtained from the military administration because it
25 would have been impossible to do it without that.
1 Q. Could you please tell us what you know about the authorities,
2 scope of authorities, and the relations between military authorities on
3 one hand and civilian authorities on the other hand.
4 A. The relations were clearly set out by regulations. Civilian
5 authorities had their own realm, and the army had its own. The contacts
6 between civilian and military authorities mostly went through the
7 Department of Ministry of Defence. I've already told you about this, when
8 it came to work force and so on. According to what I know, it was
9 impossible for civilian authorities to interfere in the scope of
10 authorities of the military. There might have been some insignificant,
11 minor conflict because the military perhaps exerted quite -- a great deal
12 of pressure on civilian authorities when it came to foodstuffs, fuel, and
13 other goods that were needed by the military. And in that respect, the
14 military insisted on things done either quicker or in greater quantities,
15 and we were not always able to accommodate them. So that was in general
16 the description of the relations between the military and civilian
18 Q. So we can say that civilian authorities managed or did the best it
19 could under wartime conditions to help the army to the best of its
21 A. Yes, we could say so.
22 PRESIDING OFFICER: Five minutes.
23 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Q. Now, please tell us, what were the relations like between the
25 executive board and the Crisis Staff? How did this function?
1 A. I did not attend sessions of the Crisis Staff. Based on my
2 knowledge, the president of the executive board contacts said Crisis Staff
3 when needed, and he was invited to attend Crisis Staff sessions as needed
4 when -- he had the discretion to inform us of this when he found it
5 necessary. If certain conclusions were passed by the Crisis Staff and
6 they were mandatory for the executive board, we had to implement them and
7 the reports went between the Crisis Staff and the executive board every
8 fortnight or once a month according to the arrangement.
9 Q. Mr. Sjencic, please tell us whether Mr. Blagoje Simic
10 personally -- personally issued orders to the Secretariat for Economy or
11 you yourself.
12 A. In his contacts with me, he occasionally wanted to know my
13 opinion, my professional opinion. He was a politician who wanted to
14 acquire information from a number of sources. Now, as to direct orders
15 issued by Mr. Blagoje Simic to the Secretariat for Economy, there were
16 none. I mentioned the conclusion that mandated for the Secretariat for
17 Economy to collect war booty, but I don't remember any other examples. We
18 had contacts between the Crisis Staff and the Secretariat for Economy, but
19 they were mostly of the informal nature.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Sjencic. I have no further questions.
21 A. Thank you.
22 PRESIDING OFFICER: Cross-examination for the Prosecution.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
24 Q. Mr. Sjencic, David Re is my name. I'm working with the
25 Prosecution. I'm just going to ask you a few questions about the evidence
1 you've just given us. Do you understand that?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And I'd just ask you to be -- to assist everyone, to be as brief
4 as possible in the answers you give and listen very carefully to the
5 questions I ask. Would you be able to assist with that?
6 A. Yes, fine. I'll do my best.
7 Q. Thank you. You are -- you stood for the municipal assembly in
8 October 1990 as a political candidate, didn't you?
9 A. I can't remember that. If you mean the elections in October 1990,
10 yes. If you're referring to the elections when I was in the Party of
11 Reformist Forces, I was on the ticket, yes.
12 Q. You were member 33, I think, on the ticket, according to the
14 A. I can't remember exactly which number I was on the list, if we are
15 talking about the list of the Party of Reformist Forces.
16 Q. The election on the 29th of October, 1990, that was the first
17 elections -- free elections in Bosnia.
18 A. Yes. But I don't remember the ordinal number under which my name
20 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... really important. You
21 weren't elected, were you?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Your evidence was that you were in the 2nd Posavina Brigade after
24 the 17th of April, 1992. Which military detachment were you attached to
25 before the 17th of April, 1992?
1 A. That military detachment was called the 4th Detachment. That's
2 how we called it in Samac.
3 Q. You were a member of the 4th Detachment on the 17th of April,
4 1992; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What were your duties as a member of the 4th Detachment on the
7 16th and 17th of April, 1992?
8 A. I was an ordinary soldier in the 4th Detachment. I wasn't aware
9 that the war had started. I was in my apartment on the 17th of April and
10 early in the morning I heard shooting in town. I didn't have any specific
12 Q. Did you -- when were you called up to go and fight?
13 A. On the 17th of April in the morning, with some effort I left Samac
14 and went to Crkvina because a friend of mine had asked me to take his
15 parents and wife to stay with my parents, believing that it would be safer
16 for them there. I stayed in Crkvina, I can't remember exactly, two or
17 three days, endeavouring together with the military commanders to cross
18 into the battalion of Crkvina, the Crkvina Battalion, because that is
19 where my family was and my friends and so on. As the army did not allow
20 it, I was not successful. I returned to Samac into the SIT state-owned
21 company, and I was assigned to I don't remember which company.
22 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... all I was asking was
23 when. Do you remember a moment ago I was asking if you could be as brief
24 as possible. The question was: When? Could you just give us a date,
1 A. It could have been the 19th of April, shall we say.
2 Q. Thank you for that. Now, you were appointed Secretary of the
3 Secretariat of Economic Affairs. Were you a member of the SDS at the time
4 you were appointed?
5 A. No.
6 Q. The structure you gave us a moment ago I think was as the
7 Secretary of the Secretariat of Economic Affairs you reported to the
8 president of the executive board. Is that right; yes or no?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Was that Mirko Lukic at the time?
11 A. No. It was Mr. Milan Simic.
12 Q. Sorry, followed by Mirko Lukic. I'm sorry, it was my mistake.
13 Milan Simic reported, of course, to the Crisis Staff or War Presidency
14 from where he obtained his directions; correct?
15 A. Yes. Yes. He received directions from them, and we also had
16 decrees of the government of Republika Srpska. But he was the person that
17 contacted the Crisis Staff.
18 Q. Because the Crisis Staff and War Presidency at that time were
19 performing all the duties normally undertaken by the municipal assembly.
20 That was the time ... [End of Recording].
21 A. The Crisis Staff and the War Presidency was a body that replaced
22 the assembly up to the moment when the assembly itself was formed.
23 Q. The Crisis Staff and War Presidency in turn reported back, taking
24 its orders from the government of Republika Srpska, that is, the prime
25 minister, presidency, and the Serbian assembly, the National Serbian
2 A. Yes. Whatever was binding for the civilian authorities, that was
3 covered by regulations and that is how this functioned.
4 Q. And each of the bodies, that is, Crisis Staff, War Presidency,
5 executive board, and your own position as the Secretary of the Secretariat
6 of Economic Affairs, you -- each of these had to implement government
7 decrees, policies, and laws, including those of the national assembly.
8 A. All the regulations and laws that were officially published in
9 Official Gazettes were for me and the executive board binding to the
10 extent that we were able to implement them under those conditions.
11 Q. Your evidence earlier was of the terrible economic conditions in
12 Samac at the time. You talked about inflation. You talked about
13 basically the collapse of the local economy.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you told us that -- in effect that money was worthless and you
16 were paying people -- or people were being paid in kind because they
17 couldn't buy anything with the worthless currency because of the high
18 inflation or could buy very little with the money.
19 A. Yes. And money lost value very rapidly.
20 Q. And in those times a barter economy developed, didn't it? People
21 were trading in whatever valuable goods they could get their hands on
22 because the money was not worth anything.
23 A. There were certain compensatory arrangements between state-owned
24 companies. There was some degree of normal payments where this was
25 accepted by agreement. So there were some normal relations. The market
1 in those days was the market of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The
2 payment system was not functioning between these two states so that we
3 mostly had these barter deals between the two. And within Republika
4 Srpska there were some payments through giro accounts.
5 Q. At a more personal level, a local level, the citizens of Samac
6 were bartering between themselves because of the worthlessness of the
7 currency, weren't they?
8 A. We tried to supply the population with all types of consumer
9 goods, foodstuffs and so on. And they were able to purchase those goods
10 with currency. But individual barter exchanges between inhabitants, I
11 can't remember. I don't know about that. I don't know whether someone
12 may have given someone a packet of cigarettes for a bottle of oil, if
13 that's what you had in mind.
14 Q. But certainly hard currency was more valuable than the local
15 currency, the Deutschmark, the US dollar; yes or no?
16 A. Yes. Yes.
17 Q. And quite natural for people to want to get their hands on hard
18 currency if they possibly could in those wartime circumstances.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. People who were fortunate enough to have hard currency,
21 Deutschmark, US dollars, wouldn't put it in the bank, would they? They'd
22 keep it in their house or keep it somewhere else. They wouldn't put it in
23 the bank, would they?
24 A. They would prefer to keep it at home because of the general
1 Q. During the time of war, you had a very important position, would
2 it be fair to say, running the economy and responsible for the running of
3 the economy in the Samac region?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. It was wartime and it was very important to coordinate your
6 economic activities with all levels, all functions of government, wasn't
8 A. Yes, it was important for as many entities in the economy to
9 function as possible.
10 Q. And of course you coordinated your local economic activities and
11 planning with the defence because a war -- with the Department of Defence
12 because you were in a war situation, didn't you?
13 A. With the Department of the Defence Ministry in Samac, yes,
14 regarding the manpower itself, because through them we could obtain
15 personnel who were engaged in the army.
16 Q. There were a lot of tasks that needed doing during the war on a
17 local level when the men were -- men were off at the front line fighting,
18 weren't there, because there was a severe manpower shortage in Samac
19 during the war?
20 A. Yes, there was a shortage of manpower.
21 Q. The people who had gone to war -- or the people who had been
22 drafted into the VRS were Serbs, weren't they?
23 A. Mostly Serbs, but there were Croats and Muslims as well but of
24 lesser numbers.
25 Q. The war in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time was in the area in
1 which you were living with -- between Serbs and Croats; correct?
2 A. Mostly, yes, between Serbs and Croats.
3 Q. But in other areas of Bosnia and the Republika Srpska the war was
4 between Serb against combined Croat and Muslim forces, wasn't it?
5 A. I am not sufficiently familiar with that. There were conflicts of
6 all kinds, but I don't know where what kind of conflicts broke out in
7 various areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, so I can't give you a precise
8 answer to that question.
9 Q. We'll just concentrate on the local area, then. The Muslims and
10 Croats, as you know, didn't want to be drafted into the VRS to fight
11 against their own forces, or forces of their own ethnicity, did they?
12 A. Most of them adopted such a position, yes. There were some who
13 were members of the Army of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. That was a very, very small minority in your experience, wasn't
16 A. One could say that, yes.
17 Q. Which left you with really only Muslims and Croats who were
18 available to do most of the work obligation in Samac when the Serb men
19 were off in the army fighting the war.
20 A. There was a number of male Serbs, like myself, who were under the
21 work obligation. A large number of Serbs were also under work obligation
22 who were not fit for military service, so that in all local communes both
23 men who were not fit for military service and women were engaged to carry
24 out certain tasks in all the local communes of the municipality of Samac.
25 Q. The great bulk of people who were available to you for work
1 obligation for labour were Muslim and Croat men, weren't they?
2 A. There were quite a number under work obligation, and we took into
3 consideration what their qualifications were, and we ensigned them to
4 companies, depending on those qualifications.
5 Q. Can I ask you again please to listen to the question I'm asking
6 you and concentrate on what I'm asking you. I was asking you about the
7 great bulk of men for labour work. The great number of men available for
8 labour work for work obligation were Muslims and Croats, weren't they?
9 Because the Serb men who were able-bodied were off fighting.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the Secretariat of Economic Affairs coordinated with the
12 Ministry of Defence the work obligation for these men who weren't at the
13 front line.
14 A. Only in certain situations. The managers of companies or
15 enterprises would request from the ministry department a certain number of
16 workers. And if a situation arose that that number did not correspond to
17 the needs of the managers, then the Secretariat of the Economy would judge
18 which had priority, would it be the bakery manufacturing bread, to secure
19 the water supply system, or the loading of goods for instance. So that is
20 when we had to join in and set the priorities.
21 Q. I'll just go back to the question I was asking you. The Ministry
22 of Defence had work it needed done that it couldn't use soldiers to do,
23 and your secretariat had work which you needed to have performed which you
24 had men to do; correct?
25 A. Could you please repeat once again the first part of your
2 Q. I'll rephrase it. I'll rephrase it for you. There were some
3 tasks that the Ministry of Defence required people doing their work
4 obligation to perform, weren't there?
5 A. You mean the army, the military?
6 Q. That's right, yes.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And as the Secretary of the Secretariat of Economic Affairs there
9 were things which you needed done in the municipality which you organised
10 people to do.
11 A. It wasn't up to me as the Secretary of the Economy to do this, but
12 they were needed by the economy, by certain companies in the company. And
13 the managers of those companies would submit their requests regarding a
14 certain number of people that they needed to the Department of the Defence
15 Ministry for manpower.
16 Q. But it was coordinated so that the Ministry of Defence could use
17 some and the civil authorities, the companies, could use other men, wasn't
19 A. What was left over, those that were available, they could be used
20 by the managers of all the companies that were still functioning in
22 MR. PANTELIC: Objection, for the record, because my learned
23 friend mentioned civilian authorities and companies, which is ambiguous
24 term and this witness just gave the answer -- a positive answer. But I
25 believe that he's -- he was misled by this question since there are two
1 terms in question, "civilian authorities" and "companies." So maybe that
2 should be clarified now; otherwise, I'll leave it for the record.
3 MR. RE: Could I have time out for the length of that objection,
4 Madam Presiding Officer? It could have been done in three words.
5 PRESIDING OFFICER: Are you going to clarify?
6 MR. RE: I can clarify it.
7 PRESIDING OFFICER: One minute more then.
8 MR. RE: Thank you.
9 Q. The civilian authorities needed people to clean the streets,
10 didn't they? Just yes or no.
11 A. For the cleaning of streets, there was a state-owned company
12 called Komunalac, and this company needed those men, and the coordinate --
13 or rather, the director of that company would request a certain number of
14 workers for their daily activities.
15 Q. But who would they request that from?
16 A. From the defence ministry department.
17 Q. If windows needed repairing in the town or the municipality, how
18 would that be organised?
19 A. Somebody who was responsible for that particular activity and
20 whose task it was to repair the windows would address himself to the
21 department. If it was in the local commune, then the commissioner for
22 that commune could make the request for a certain number of workers. Or
23 if it was a company, then the manager of that company would request so
24 many workers, and then that request would be met or not.
25 Q. Who organised the civilian workers to perform trench digging at
1 the front lines?
2 A. We have spoken about that. The defence ministry department would
3 assign a certain number of workers to do their work obligation in the
4 army, and then taking care of them, driving them where necessary, feeding
5 them, accommodating them, all that was within the terms of reference I
6 assume of the army.
7 Q. You were aware at the time when you were doing your job that the
8 army was using civilians to dig trenches at the front line, weren't you?
9 A. The army wasn't just digging trenches. I know that they were
10 using civilians for various needs they had, and they were several in
12 Q. Remember right at the beginning I asked you if you'd help by
13 answering the question I asked, and you said you would? Do you remember
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. The question was: You were aware at the time, weren't you, that
17 the army was using civilians to dig trenches at the front line?
18 A. No.
19 Q. When did you find this out?
20 A. I know that the army was using civilians for certain tasks in the
22 Q. A moment ago you gave evidence that you were aware the army was
23 using civilians to dig trenches at the front line. You then said you
24 didn't know at the time. My question was: When did you find out? That's
25 all. When did you find out?
1 A. I can't tell you exactly when I found out, but the digging of
2 trenches was probably one of the tasks that those men were assigned. I'm
3 telling you that they were doing other things as well and that this was
4 within the competence of the army.
5 Q. Please confine yourself to the question which I'm asking you,
6 please, not long explanations about other things.
7 PRESIDING OFFICER: That should be your last question.
8 MR. RE: I understand I have 14 minutes left over from this
9 morning, Madam Presiding Officer.
10 PRESIDING OFFICER: Fourteen minutes from this morning?
11 MR. RE: Yes. Mr. Weiner was keeping very strict time.
12 MR. WEINER: Yes. On -- the second witness cross-examination
13 began at 10.42 and finished at 10.53, for a total of 11 minutes, which
14 gives us 14 minutes. We could argue over a minute and say it's 13
15 minutes -- approximately 13 to 14 minutes.
16 PRESIDING OFFICER: That's right.
17 MR. RE:
18 Q. Non-Serbs were being used to loot Serb property -- sorry,
19 non-Serbs were being used to loot non-Serb property, that of the property
20 of Muslims and Croats. People who were performing their work obligation
21 were being used to loot the homes and property of non-Serbs.
22 A. I don't know that.
23 Q. Who organised that? Was it the Ministry of Defence or your
25 MR. PANTELIC: Objection for the record. The previous answer of
1 this witness was that he doesn't have his personal knowledge at all about
2 that, so this next -- this question is useless. Thank you.
3 MR. RE:
4 Q. Are you saying that you were unaware of any reports of looting of
5 non-Serb property during the war by those doing their work obligation? Is
6 that your evidence?
7 A. There was looting in the territory of the municipality, committed
8 both by members of the army. There was looting of state-owned companies
9 and private property, and we thought to prevent it as far as that was
10 possible. I said in my testimony that war is a state of anarchy and that
11 we tried to put some order into it.
12 Q. The spoils of war of which you gave evidence earlier, cattle,
13 foodstuff, pigs, and so on, was that from -- were those spoils of war
14 taken from the territory, taken over by the Serb forces on the 17th of
15 April, 1992?
16 A. Not just from those territories but from those territories as
17 well. So I said livestock came from the area of Odzak. It was
18 requisitioned in Samac. Mostly from all over the area.
19 Q. And the people performing their work obligation were used to
20 assist the army in removing these spoils of war from that zone -- from
21 that area, weren't they?
22 A. I don't know that. To assist the army?
23 Q. You said earlier -- you said earlier that the army used the
24 civilians to do a lot of different thing, including trench digging. That
25 was one of the other things the army was using the civilians to do, wasn't
1 it, to remove the spoils of war?
2 A. I don't know that.
3 Q. The refugees -- many of the refugees who arrived in Samac were
4 housed in the houses of non-Serbs, weren't they?
5 A. They were housed in all abandoned areas, all abandoned property.
6 Q. After the Serb takeover on the 17th of April, 1992, hundreds of
7 Croats and Muslims were rounded up, arrested, and detained in various
8 locations in Samac, weren't they?
9 A. I have some knowledge about it, what I had heard from others, that
10 a certain number of people were arrested and held in detention, those that
11 were in possession of weapons unlawfully. So I do have some knowledge
12 about it. This happened at the time when I was in the army, so ...
13 Q. The houses or flats of the people who were in detention were used
14 to accommodate Serb refugees, weren't they?
15 A. I don't know exactly, but it's quite possible. I don't know the
16 answer to that question.
17 Q. Who was on the Crisis Staff in 1992?
18 A. I don't know exactly the composition of the Crisis Staff. I know
19 that the president of the executive board attended meetings when it was
20 necessary. I know that Dr. Blagoje Simic was the president, and I know of
21 a few other people, but I never read out the official composition of the
22 Crisis Staff.
23 Q. Was Bozo Ninkovic on the Crisis Staff; yes, no, or don't know?
24 A. I don't know. I don't know whether he was.
25 Q. Miroslav Tadic?
1 A. I think he was.
2 Q. Simo Zaric?
3 A. I think he was too.
4 Q. Simeon Simic?
5 A. I assume he was.
6 Q. Stevan Todorovic?
7 A. I'm not sure about him.
8 Q. Milos Bogdanovic?
9 A. I'm not sure about him either.
10 MR. RE: Excuse me for one second.
11 [Prosecution counsel confer]
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. Of course, one of the decrees or policies that you followed or you
14 had to implement was the decision on the strategic objectives of the
15 Serbian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina of the national assembly of May
16 1992, wasn't it?
17 A. I'm unable to answer that question. I don't know.
18 MR. RE: Nothing further.
19 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you.
21 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Vukovic:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sjencic, would you be kind enough and tell us
24 of what ethnicity were the soldiers in the 4th Detachment and later of the
25 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade.
1 A. In the 4th Detachment there were Serbs, Croats, and Muslims.
2 Q. And later on in the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
3 A. In the 2nd Posavina Brigade, there were also members of Muslim and
4 Croat and Serbian ethnicity.
5 Q. Now, please listen carefully. In the territory of the entire
6 Samac municipality how many people were under work obligation? Were more
7 Serbs or more non-Serbs covered by work obligation, meaning both men and
9 A. I think there were far more Serbs in the territory of the whole
11 Q. A brief question now. The Prosecutor asked you about looting and
12 whether you knew anything about it. My question to you: Was there any
13 organised looting by the civilian authorities?
14 A. No, there was organised struggle against looting by the civilian
16 MR. RE: I place on record my objection to the last question on
17 the basis of leading.
18 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. What are you aware of? Did the civilian authorities order any
20 kind of looting?
21 A. I have no knowledge whatsoever of any such thing.
22 Q. During the examination-in-chief and the cross-examination you were
23 asked about refugees. So tell us, were there Serb refugees who came to
24 Samac, were they accommodated in Serb villages as well?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And just one more question and my last one: The citizens of Samac
2 or any other places in Samac territory whose houses were damaged by
3 shelling, were they provided other accommodation?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And of what ethnicity were the non-Serbs?
6 A. Of both Croat and Muslim ethnicity.
7 Q. Thank you very much.
8 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] No further questions.
9 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you, Mr. Sjencic. Thank you for coming
10 and giving your deposition today. You can go now.
11 We'll have a one hour 15 lunch break, so we'll start again at
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.24 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 1.46 p.m.
17 [The witness entered]
18 PRESIDING OFFICER: Good afternoon, Mr. Dujkovic. Could you
19 please stand and read the text on the pink sheet of paper in front of
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: STANKO DUJKOVIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 PRESIDING OFFICER: The Defence for Mr. Simic, Mr. Vukovic.
1 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Examined by Mr. Vukovic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Dujkovic.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. Please give us your full name -- your full name.
6 A. Stanko Dujkovic.
7 Q. Where were you born?
8 A. I was born in the village of Crkvina near Bosanski Samac.
9 Q. Which year?
10 A. The 15th of November, 1942.
11 Q. Where are you living now?
12 A. I am living in Bosanski Samac and I've been living there since
13 1977 as a permanent resident.
14 Q. What is your marital status?
15 A. I'm married. I have one child.
16 Q. What is your ethnicity?
17 A. I am of Serb ethnicity.
18 Q. And what about your ancestors? How long have they lived in the
19 territory of Samac municipality?
20 A. I believe about 200 years.
21 Q. Mr. Dujkovic, you completed high school in Samac and secondary
22 agricultural school in Derventa.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you served your service in the JNA in Bjeleca?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. From 1965 to 1966.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you have the rank of a reserve officer?
4 A. Yes. Yes, the rank of a reserve major.
5 Q. Tell me, were you a member of any political party?
6 A. I was a member of the League of Communists until 1990, when
7 national parties won, and since that time I no longer was a member of the
8 League of Communists. And currently I'm not a member of any party.
9 Q. From 1963 you were employed with the Obudovac agricultural
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. After that, with Posavina Enterprises in Samac.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And from 1988 to 1989 in Agropromet enterprise.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And after that in the work community of the broiler cooperative?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. This last post that you held in the cooperative broiler, that's
19 where you were when the April 1992 war started?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In view of the fact that you told me that the war had started in
22 April 1992, tell us, what do you know about the situation which obtained
23 then the inter-ethnic tensions? What knowledge of the situation and of
24 such phenomena do you have?
25 A. Well, my knowledge about the period is still fairly fresh. There
1 are some incidents, some phenomena which are enscribed in my memory, and I
2 should like to describe what it was that I went through at that time. In
3 view of the fact that at the time was set up a coalition between the SDA
4 and the HDZ parties, tensions mounted on a daily basis increasingly in
5 Samac municipality and there were some things which were happening which
6 only served to flare up these tensions. There was practically every night
7 an explosion in different places outside Samac, in the periphery of the
8 town, and this of course worried the population and I myself as a citizen
9 of Samac was very upset. Needless to say, people were also fearful of
10 these things. But what happened in Samac proper sometime in early autumn
11 in 1991, namely an explosion which took place in the very centre of town
12 in a cafe downtown which was also frequented by my son occasionally, we
13 were all very upset, we all went out in the street. I went looking for
14 him, and fortunately he was in another place at another cafe and not the
15 one in which the explosion had taken place. I learned that two lads had
16 been killed by the explosion and that a young girl of Serb ethnicity had
17 been wounded and that two Muslim youths had been killed by the explosion.
18 One of these lads is the son --
19 Q. I apologise. Mr. Dujkovic, this has been testified to on a number
20 of occasions by other witnesses before this court. Do you have any more
21 specific examples of the situation which obtained or other events which
22 transpired in other places or in Samac itself?
23 A. There are some concrete examples. For instance, I talked to this
24 lady. She was a Serb. That was in 1991. Also, sometime towards the end
25 of summer. We just happened to meet and we had a casual conversation on
1 which occasion she told me that she'd heard that the -- that the priest in
2 the village of Hrvatska Tisina after the mass addressed the present
3 congregation and told them that Posavina should become a Croatian province
4 and that they should move -- the Serbs should move out of Posavina. The
5 woman who told me this story was a Croat woman. She had been in the
6 church during the service. She was very surprised at these words. By the
7 way, her name was Janja. And so she -- I asked her, "Where do you think
8 we should move out, Janja?" And she said -- she said, "The priest told us
9 that this is supposed to be a Croatian province and that you Serbs should
10 leave, so I wonder why aren't you leaving."
11 Q. Do you perhaps remember any examples of arming?
12 A. I remember very well. My flat -- namely, my bedroom looks onto a
13 cafe which was owned by a neighbour of mine who is a Muslim by the name of
14 Osman Nesic. During this time of tense inter-ethnic relations, in
15 contrast to the time before that, it was only Muslims dropped in his
16 place. And one evening my wife noticed that something was being unloaded
17 there, and quite nearby is also the building of the Serbian religious
18 community -- sorry, of the Islamic religious community and we thought that
19 they were unloading weapons there in front of the building.
20 Q. Mr. Dujkovic, have you any knowledge about the movement of the
21 troops, of the armies, the HVO and other members of other Croatian units?
22 A. Yes. I learned about that from a friend of mine whose wife had
23 gone to Slavonia in March -- at the end of March 1992, concretely to the
24 village of Kopljanica because one could already feel the imminent conflict
25 was in the air, so he moved his family to live with a friend of his who is
1 a veterinarian just like he was. And once when he got in touch with his
2 wife, he told me that at the football stadium in Kopljanica there were
3 significant troops of the National Guard, the Croatian National Guard, the
4 HVO as well, which according to his story were ready to enter Samac. I
5 was not surprised at this; I can tell you that right away.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: I'd like an objection to be noted on the part of
7 the Prosecution. This evidence is, A, beyond the scope of the summary
8 that the Prosecution has received. And secondly, it's in the
9 Prosecution's submission quite irrelevant. So I'd like the last answer to
10 be struck from the record and not taken into account on the basis that
11 it's, A, outside the summary, and, B, irrelevant to the issues at trial.
12 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Vukovic, could you just respond very, very
14 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course. This whole question
15 was whether the entire context of the witness's statement, and I do not
16 believe that it is -- goes beyond the scope of what is supposed to be the
17 answer of the witness. But I shall leave that for the Trial Chamber.
18 Q. Mr. Dujkovic, we shall now deal with another subject. In the
19 beginning of May 1992 you were appointed coordinator, leader, manager of
20 the Agropromet agricultural cooperative.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. That was your work obligation.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Will you explain to us how you were appointed, by whom you were
25 appointed, and how did this whole thing happen.
1 A. I was appointed as coordinator in the Agropromet agricultural
2 cooperative by the Bosanski Samac Department of the Ministry of
3 Agriculture. That was my military obligation and it was treated as such,
4 my task being to organise production there which was ongoing. This was
5 mostly livestock breeding, livestock production, reproduction of eggs, of
6 broilers, and the feeding of cattle. Also, it was my obligation to
7 provide the necessary inputs for the needs of the peasants there, of the
8 farmers there, for them to be able to carry out the spring and autumn
9 sowing of crops, all with a view to the provision of food to satisfy the
10 requirements of the army and the local population ... [End of Recording]
11 There had already been filled prior to the war and we had organised
12 production also with subcontractors in Zasavica, with Marko Zecevic; in
13 Hasici. I can also recall the names. Give me a minute. Bear with me for
14 a second.
15 Q. If you cannot remember, you can perhaps remember somebody else.
16 A. His name was Pavo. The fattening of cattle was on the farms of
17 Dosic Pero, Ante and Jozo Stanic, and this was mainly organised
19 Q. So these are private farms that you're referring to.
20 A. Yes, these are private farms and this is mainly the line of
21 production that the cooperative engaged in.
22 Q. Please explain. How was this subject contracting, this
23 corporation organised?
24 A. The organisation was such that the cooperative was under the
25 obligation to provide the subcontracting farmer who owned the facility
1 with all the inputs, the required materials, the required feed for the
2 production, also to see to the medical care of the livestock. After the
3 end of a shift, the facility would be emptied, the livestock would be
4 shipped for slaughter and further processing, and the farmer in question
5 would be paid out according to contract which was signed with him before
6 the whole project.
7 Q. Please tell us about these private subcontracting farmers from
8 Zasavica, from Hasici whom you mentioned. Of what ethnicity were they?
9 A. They were Croats.
10 Q. Tell me, during this first period, how much heads of big and large
11 cattle did you manage to collect?
12 A. In addition to this basic task of the cooperative and of myself
13 who worked in it, in addition to organising production, that is, we also
14 had to round up all the big and large cattle, "large cattle" also meaning
15 pigs or various categories -- small cattle being pigs and the large cattle
16 being cows, heifers, and calfs who roamed about the area without any
17 control. So the small heads of cattle were put in Zasavica because
18 Zasavica had facilities for the rounding up and accommodation of such
19 cattle, and large cattle were placed in one of the plants of the
20 agricultural industrial combine in Samac. Our task was to provide the
21 necessary feed for that cattle, for all those animals, and also to see to
22 their medical protest, medical care. All the cattle that had been rounded
23 up, mainly on the large cattle which is breeding reproductive cows, with
24 the engagement of the veterinary administration in Samac were checked and
25 they were then handed over to the peasants to keep them and tend to them
1 and all the others which were not capable of breeding were used for the
2 kitchens, which were then being operational for the feeding of the
4 Also the pigs in Zasavica were used for the needs of the
5 population, that is, to feed the population and the army. All the dead
6 cattle which was collected in the area, when we collected dead cattle and
7 animals, we had also to disinfect the grounds and to see to it in other
9 Q. This means that you cooperate also with the veterinary station
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In this period, 1992-1993, who was the chief veterinary surgeon in
13 the veterinary station?
14 A. In addition to the Serb veterinarian, there was also Hasan
15 Izetbegovic, a Bosniak. He was a Muslim veterinarian.
16 Q. So explain to me. So you collect these large and big and small
17 animals and you round them up. Who was the one who made the decision
18 whether any of the cattle could be slaughtered, shipped elsewhere for
19 different purposes, et cetera?
20 A. Such decisions were made in principle by the executive board, and
21 they were used by the army for their needs, while the kitchens which were
22 organised in Samac were used by the SIT organisation, enterprise, for
23 everybody, to provide food for everybody, whatever their ethnicity. And
24 also in the church there was a kitchen that had been set up in the village
25 of Batkusa, Obudovac, Loncari, and Pelagicevo. There had been issued an
1 order by the executive board as to who could take any of that cattle and
2 use it for the needs of different kitchens.
3 Q. Does that mean that no one could take over the animals without a
4 written permit?
5 A. Yes, no one could. No one could actually pass through the point
6 and take any of the meat from the slaughtered cattle because there the
7 checkpoints at the gate to the place where the cattle were situated was
8 manned by police. And of course they controlled whatever was taken out,
9 exported from that particular facility.
10 Q. When you say "checkpoint," you also mean Zasavica?
11 A. Yes, Zasavica is what I had in mind because two policemen were
12 posted there who took turns to control people coming and going, to see
13 whether they had the permission to take meat from there.
14 Q. Mr. Dujkovic, did you go to Zasavica often?
15 A. Yes, I did, on the basis of the assignment I had, to check the
16 condition of the livestock, whether there was a shortage of food for it,
17 et cetera.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Presiding Officer, may I suggest to my colleague
19 that we be absolutely clear about a point of the evidence raised by the
20 witness, namely whether the two policemen who were posted at Zasavica were
21 there solely and only to prevent people coming in and stealing meat or
22 animals, because it's unclear from the evidence and that's a matter that
23 should be clarified.
24 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] I think the witness can answer that
1 A. Yes, I can. They were posted there for that particular reason
2 because there had been attempts on theft. And I must say even from my
3 native village there were attempts by people to go inside, to take
4 livestock from there during the night. And that is why the policemen were
5 posted there, to check on people coming in and going out.
6 Q. I asked you a moment ago whether you went to Zasavica frequently.
7 You said you did. To the best of your recollection, what kind of
8 population was living there, of what ethnicity?
9 A. Croats lived there, because Zasavica was inhabited by Croats,
10 people of Croatian ethnicity. And there were also Muslims, a certain
11 number of Muslims from Samac itself who were stationed or moved there.
12 They lived in a joint household with the local inhabitants or they had
13 separate houses, as some of the inhabitants of Zasavica had already left.
14 Q. And was there a certain number of refugees there as well?
15 A. Yes. Very soon Serb refugees arrived, and they were accommodated
16 in the Zasavica local community, yes.
17 Q. You mentioned that you were producing and breeding livestock and
18 chicken at various locations. Do you know any other locations where this
19 was done?
20 A. There was another location in the territory of Odzak
21 municipality. This is a work unit for pheasant production which was in
22 the Merok [phoen] company of Odzak, and they manufactured pheasant chicks
23 and they provided catering services as well. This facility, as it was
24 under military administration in Odzak, had -- they had information that
25 there was looting, and I was told to address a request to the command of
1 the military administration in Odzak for that location to be freed of
2 military administration and to be placed under the control of the
3 cooperative Agropromet, which was able to take over this production, so
4 that the catering establishment be repaired sufficiently to be able to
5 provide services in accordance with its normal operations. And I received
6 such a permission. I think it was from Colonel Pero Pasovic. That is, he
7 signed it in response to a request addressed by me. And this pheasant
8 farm was extracted from under the military administration. I organised
9 repairs to the extent that it was possible and organised the production
10 facility. About 19 people were employed there, mostly refugees.
11 Q. Tell me, Mr. Dujkovic, how much was invested roughly in that
12 pheasant farm?
13 A. I have the figures, the specific figures. 70.000 marks were
14 invested in that facility, which once Odzak was formed again as a
15 municipality Agropromet was never compensated for this sum by Odzak. So
16 the food that was being manufactured there was also used to feed the army
17 and civilians. Everything was in the service of feeding the army and the
19 Q. You mentioned that there were 19 people employed at the pheasant
20 farm in Odzak. Tell us, please, how about the permission for movement, as
21 it was under military administration, movement from one municipality to
23 A. As this farm was extracted from under military administration
24 only, still it was not possible to move around without permission from the
25 military administration, so I had to provide them with a list of people
1 who were permanently stationed at the pheasant farm, who were guarding it
2 and working there, and of course people who would come occasionally to
3 tour the farm I also had to ask for permission, and this applied to myself
4 as well. If I went there, I needed to have permission.
5 Q. Mr. Dujkovic, you mentioned that large and small livestock was
6 used to feed the population and the army and you mentioned some local
7 communities where there were public canteens. And was there such a public
8 canteen in Samac itself?
9 A. Yes. I've said that, and I'll repeat that from the very beginning
10 of the war there was a public canteen in the SIT work organisation in
11 Samac where in addition to the army being supplied with food the
12 inhabitants of the town of Samac came to have their meals, those who had
13 nothing to eat at the time, because Samac was surrounded for almost four
14 months. It was under encirclement. And supplies for Samac could hardly
15 reach it, so there were hardly any sources except these that I have
16 referred to just now. This was the only source and the only method of
17 providing for the population with food.
18 Q. Among the population, who was allowed to use that canteen? People
19 of all ethnicities, or was there any discrimination?
20 A. As I myself went there often when I came back from touring the
21 field, I would meet people of all ethnicities. Everyone could come and
22 eat in that canteen. No one asked anyone what ethnicity he was or make
23 any difficulties for people when they came, of course until the end of
24 1992, for as long as that source of provision of meat existed. Later on
25 other sources were used to supply the population and the army.
1 Q. Mr. Dujkovic, let me go back very briefly to the relationship
2 between your cooperative and private farmers. Did they get cattle-feed or
3 other goods that they needed to be able to farm?
4 A. Yes, of course because they would not be able to produce livestock
5 if they were not provided regularly with cattle-feed and medicines. And
6 the veterinary administration in Samac was in charge of the medical
7 protection of the livestock. This went through the cooperative and the
8 cooperative financed this supply of feed for the livestock.
9 Q. And once the livestock was bred, then the private farmer would
10 take that livestock or the chicken or whatever, what material benefit did
11 he have from that? Because this was a system of cooperation?
12 A. Before the war, it was clearly defined by contract how much money
13 he would receive. However, due to the shortage of funds, it was
14 impossible to pay out compensation for his efforts, so the agreement was
15 that he would be compensated in kind. So we would calculate how many
16 chickens he would need in relation to the effort he and his household had
17 invested, and then he did as best he could with what he received.
18 Q. Are you saying that this was the system applied during the wartime
20 A. Yes. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Dujkovic, do you perhaps know what the relationship was
22 between the military authorities and the civilian authorities? After all,
23 there was a war going on and there were many troops around.
24 A. As I said at the beginning, I am not a member of any party. Of
25 course I was not elected -- in a position to be elected to the assembly or
1 to the executive council, where the decisions were made, but I do know
2 that the competency was strictly divided and defined. It was known what
3 the army did, whereas the civilian authorities regarding logistics
4 support, that is, supplies of food and fuel and detergents and all the
5 other essentials, were provided by the civilian administration. Also, the
6 army required -- that is, between the civilian authorities and the army
7 there was a standing arrangement as to how many able-bodied men could be
8 engaged on the basis of work obligation so that the economy should
9 continue functioning at least to some extent under abnormal conditions
10 while at the same time that the front should not be impaired, the front
11 line should not be short of troops.
12 Q. Mr. Dujkovic, regarding the achievement of tasks given to your
13 cooperative, such as breeding of livestock, et cetera, who did this?
14 Because some people were in the army fighting, others were under work
16 A. Would you repeat the question. I didn't quite understand it.
17 Q. I'm asking you who was employed in implementing the tasks assigned
18 to your cooperative? Who were the workers there?
19 A. The workers who were permanently employed and who received as
20 their wartime assignment to work there and also temporary workers who were
21 engaged when needed for temporary work on the basis of a decision of the
22 Samac National Defence Department, they had to report to Agropromet or to
23 any other organisation -- any other organisation that needed a certain
24 number of manpower to perform its tasks. And these people who were
25 working were compensated, as were all the -- were remunerated, as were all
1 the other workers in Agropromet.
2 Q. This means that you as the director of Agropromet, the farming
3 cooperative, had insight into the people who were working there as part of
4 their work obligation and who were remunerated for their work.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Let me ask you just something else in connection with Zasavica.
7 The gates that were manned by those two policemen that you mentioned, was
8 there any other such police checkpoint in Zasavica?
9 A. No, not in Zasavica, except for this checkpoint that you enter
10 across the bridge and to the right-hand side there was a house where there
11 were two policemen who took turns and there were no other checkpoints.
12 Q. Was there a wire fence around the village?
13 A. No, of course not. There was no such thing.
14 Q. And could the inhabitants of Zasavica move around freely?
15 A. The domicile population could move around the village freely. A
16 certain number of them could leave Zasavica with permission. But
17 large-scale freedom of movement outside Zasavica was not allowed.
18 Q. Since you went to Zasavica often, explain please how those people
19 were accommodated, what were the conditions of life, how they were fed,
20 and so on.
21 A. In view of the times, that is, wartime conditions, I must say that
22 the conditions were quite exceptional, without any exaggeration, because
23 Zasavica is a wealthy village. They had room -- enough room to be
24 accommodated in. They had all necessary conditions. And they were fed
25 with food provided to all the other population of Zasavica. And as small
1 livestock was kept there, pigs and so on, so nobody would prevent them
2 from slaughtering a pig and preparing for themselves a really good lunch,
3 and so they were able to have normal meals, and there were no prohibitions
4 of any kind set up by anyone there.
5 Q. Mr. Dujkovic, and what was the situation with water? Was there a
6 well there?
7 A. Long ago, before the war, a well had been dug which was used to
8 supply the whole village with water. These are Artesian wells that had
9 been dug not just in Zasavica, in Crkvenica, Pisarevo [phoen], and a
10 couple of villages around Zasavica. So these Artesian wells were dug long
11 before the war in places there, including Zasavica.
12 Q. Tell me, and what was the situation with water in Samac itself?
13 A. In Samac supplies were more difficult because Samac, as opposed to
14 Zasavica where it was safer to leave because Zasavica was never shelled,
15 Samac was frequently shelled because it was surrounded. And because of
16 those combat operations, the town was frequently without water and of
17 course without electricity because the electricity installations and water
18 supply system were damaged.
19 Q. Just a couple of more questions. Regarding the other kind of
20 livestock, cows, chicken, were they available in Zasavica as well?
21 A. Yes. I told you that in the Zecevic farm the capacity had 17.000
22 chicken in one go, in one set could be bred, so that -- in one tour. So
23 they had this production of chicken as well.
24 Q. And were the chicken at the disposal of the inhabitants of
1 A. Everyone could take a chicken or two and prepare their meals, but
2 most of it was taken from there and sent to the slaughterhouse when it was
3 possible to reach Brcko, to slaughter the animals, and use the meat to
4 feed the population again and the troops.
5 Q. Tell me, and what was the situation regarding vegetables and
6 fruit? I mean in Zasavica.
7 A. I didn't quite understand.
8 Q. What was the situation with respect to vegetables and fruit in
10 A. In Zasavica? Well, this was an area where vegetable-growing was
11 developed, and they had the necessary mechanical equipment for farming.
12 As I said, Zasavica itself was never shelled, so they could easily till
13 their land, plant it and sow grain as well as vegetables. As for fruit,
14 it's an expensive method of farming. There was no organised fruit-growing
15 in this area.
16 Q. And when the time came for sowing or for harvesting or for
17 collecting the livestock, did inhabitants of Serb ethnicity go there to
18 work on the basis of work obligation? Were privately owned machinery
19 engaged, tractors and combine harvesters? Were they all engaged there?
20 A. Yes, of course. During the wheat harvest, all able-bodied men on
21 the front and who had their own combine harvesters by decision of the
22 Defence Ministry were given the work obligation lasting two months to
23 harvest the wheat. And in collecting and transport Croats also took part,
24 those who owned tractors, as did Serbs, to transport the grain to silos at
25 the Samac combine farm -- combined farm. This supplied also in the autumn
1 when maize and other crops were harvested. Again, they would receive from
2 the Defence Ministry a decision on work obligation and the use of their
3 own mechanical equipment. They even had to provide the fuel themselves
4 because in view of a general shortage of funds the peasants themselves had
5 to provide the fuel for the tractors and for the transport to be able to
6 harvest the crops and store it in silos.
7 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Dujkovic. I have no further questions.
8 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Di Fazio.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio.
10 Q. Mr. Dujkovic, I have a few questions for you. You're currently
11 not in any party, but in 1990 you were on the list of candidates for the
12 Alliance of Reformist Forces for Bosnia and Herzegovina, weren't you?
13 A. Yes. Aset Izetbegovic [phoen] was the president, and he put me on
14 the list --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Esa Zainbegovic. I'm sorry.
16 MR. DI FAZIO:
17 Q. And did you later transfer to the SDS?
18 A. No. I said that I am not a member of any party.
19 Q. I know that's the situation now, but did you later, after running
20 for appointment with the Alliance of Reformist Forces, join the SDS for a
21 period of time?
22 A. No, not for a single day.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. Were you a member of the 4th Detachment?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What rank did you hold in the 4th Detachment?
1 A. I joined as captain first class.
2 Q. How long had you been in the 4th Detachment prior to the 16th and
3 17th of April?
4 A. I joined the 4th Detachment at the beginning of autumn 1991.
5 Q. And did you attend training, take part in the administration in
6 any way of the 4th Detachment?
7 A. No.
8 Q. What role did you have in the 4th Detachment?
9 A. My role in the 4th Detachment was when the war started I was
10 deputy company commander.
11 Q. Who was the commander of your company?
12 A. Jovo Ristic.
13 Q. And on the 16th and 17th of April, where were you living?
14 A. I was in Samac.
15 Q. Now, on the night of the 16th and 17th of April, did the 4th
16 Detachment undertake any operations?
17 A. In the night of the 16th and 17th of April, the 4th Detachment was
18 deployed from Pisari towards the confluence of the Bosna River to the
19 bridge of the Sava River.
20 Q. That's during the night.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you take part in that operation?
23 A. Yes, I said I was deputy company commander and I was on the front
25 Q. Okay. So you're carrying out active operations on the night of
1 the 16th and 17th at the -- sorry, the confluence of the Sava and what
3 A. The estuary, where the Bosna River flows into the Sava River.
4 Q. And that's quite close -- in fact, it's very close to Bosanski
5 Samac, unless I'm wrong.
6 A. It's in Samac itself. Samac lies on the banks of two rivers.
7 Q. Thank you. And you took up positions, entrenched yourselves?
8 A. No, there were no trenches dug. They were improvised, actually.
9 We were there on the bare fields.
10 Q. And were other elements of the 4th Detachment also undertaking
11 operations at night in addition to yours?
12 A. I don't understand the question.
13 Q. Your company was just part of the 4th Detachment. Were other
14 segments, other portions, other companies of the 4th Detachment also
15 conducting operations that night?
16 A. Yes, of course. They were on the front line.
17 Q. All right. And this -- I'm sorry to be pedantic, but this is the
18 night of the 16th and 17th of April, 1992?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. And what activities were the volunteers from Serbia
21 undertaking that night?
22 A. As I was front line, I don't know what they were doing in the town
24 Q. Fine. But you came to know subsequently, didn't you, that they
25 undertook operations in the town itself that night?
1 A. I can't even assume what they were doing because I was on the
2 front. I cannot know what they did in town.
3 Q. I understand that. I know that you were somewhere else. I
4 understand. I heard what you said. That's not a problem. But what I'm
5 asking you is did you subsequently come to know, later, from talking to
6 other people, perhaps from your commanders within the 4th Detachment, what
7 operations the Serbian paramilitaries had conducted that night?
8 A. No, I didn't talk to anyone.
9 Q. You certainly know, don't you, that the Serbian paramilitaries
10 also conducted operations that night in Bosanski Samac?
11 A. You're trying to get me to say something that I really was not
12 informed about.
13 Q. I'm up front with my questions. I'm talking about the Serbian
14 paramilitaries, the people who came from Serbia. Certainly Lugar, Talija
15 [phoen], men like that. You know who I'm talking about, don't you?
16 A. I had heard of Lugar and some of those people, but Lugar, for
17 instance, has stuck in any mind. But I really don't know what they did.
18 I really don't know what they did in Samac that night.
19 Q. Let me explain it to you this way: There's been evidence in this
20 case from numerous witnesses of the activities of the Sareni, the
21 camouflaged ones, the Serbian paramilitaries who came in from Serbia and
22 conducted operations on the night of the 16th and 17th of April. And
23 Defence counsel would spring to their feet and contradict me if that was
24 wrong. Okay? So we all know that they were conducting operations on the
25 night of the 16th and 17th of April. There's nothing to be concerned
1 about. Now, my question is: Did you subsequently find out what
2 operations they were doing, performing?
3 A. I must repeat once again: I learnt that there were some people
4 known as Sareni in town. But what operation they did, I am telling you
5 sincerely and frankly that I really don't know what they did in the night
6 between the 16th and 17th. Please believe me when I say this. I really
7 don't know.
8 Q. In the period of time after the night of the 16th and the days
9 following, did you also engage in activity, military activity, on behalf
10 of the 4th Detachment?
11 A. I was on the front line for a brief period of time from the night
12 of the 16th to the 17th until the 5th of May, when I was appointed
13 coordinator by a decision.
14 Q. Right. Right. Okay. And I take it --
15 A. This would be roughly some ten days that I was actively involved
17 Q. Carrying out your duties as deputy commander -- deputy company
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, in that period of time, did the Serbian paramilitaries also
21 conduct operations?
22 A. You keep insisting on something that I can only tell you from what
23 I heard, that they did commit certain operations. But what and where, I
24 really don't know.
25 Q. That's fine. Your hearsay is fine. I'd like to know what you
1 heard that they -- what operations you heard they were conducting.
2 A. Specifically, I don't know what they were doing. They were doing
3 something, but it -- I would be insincere if I were to say that I knew. I
4 really don't know what they were doing between the 16th and 17th.
5 Q. But I understand what you're saying, and your position is that you
6 don't know the details of anything that they were -- they were doing. But
7 you do know, don't you, that they were actually carrying out military
8 operations? You may not know what military operations, but you do know
9 that they were conducting military operations.
10 A. I can just guess at it, but I cannot explicitly say that I know
11 that they were engaged in certain operations. I don't know. But the very
12 fact that they were there meant that they were doing something. Now, if
13 you're asking me what they were doing, I don't know.
14 Q. Now, you were engaged with an enemy, namely Croatian and Muslim
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And so were they, the Serbian paramilitaries, weren't they?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You were both fighting a common enemy.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And, therefore, common sense dictates that you had to coordinate
22 your activities -- the 4th Detachment had to coordinate its activities
23 with the Serbian paramilitaries. That must be so as a matter of common
24 sense; don't you agree?
25 A. No. As I was in the 4th Detachment for a very brief period of
1 time, there was no coordination. At least as far as the company of which
2 I was the deputy commander is concerned there was no coordination.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Objection. Calling for speculation. This witness
4 on numerous occasions during this testimony said that he's absolutely not
5 aware about the details of the military arrangement of the volunteer unit
6 and 4th Detachment, and I think my learned friend should cover another
7 topic or another area.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. I accept that the witness has testified that
9 he doesn't know the details of any operations on the part of the
10 paramilitaries but he knows that they were engaged in military
11 activities. He's also a military man. He held high -- or reasonable rank
12 in the 4th Detachment, and therefore he is in the best position to comment
13 on any such cooperation. Now -- and so I'll proceed with my questioning.
14 Q. You had received training to reach the rank, I think, of major or
15 was it captain in the reserves?
16 A. There was regular training before the war.
17 Q. Okay. And you're well acquainted, aren't you, with the standard
18 practices of any effective army, namely that there'd be hierarchy within
19 the -- within the forces of the army?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And that its operations be coordinated by commanders?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that is standard military doctrine; wouldn't you agree?
24 A. Yes, I agree.
25 Q. And therefore, if you agree with that, and you have two military
1 forces conducting operations in the one area against a common enemy, there
2 must be a central command, must there not, or at least a command
3 coordinating the operations of both forces?
4 A. ... [End of Recording] about their specific activities. Who they
5 coordinated activities with, if they did, please rest assured that I don't
6 know, regardless of my rank. This is a rank as a reserve officer that one
7 acquires undergoing certain training at a certain period of time in a
8 certain place.
9 Q. I understand that you say you have no knowledge of the activities
10 of the paramilitaries. I understand that. I've heard you loud and
11 clear. I'm not asking you about their activities. I'm just asking you
12 about basic -- the most common basic notions of military activity.
13 Now, if you have army forces or armed forces operating against a
14 common enemy, military doctrine requires that they be coordinated. For
15 coordination to occur, there must be a single command. That is so, isn't
17 A. I agree with you. There must be a joint command.
18 Q. Thank you. In the months that followed throughout 1992, did you
19 have an opportunity to see the paramilitaries conducting further military
21 A. I only met some of them individually, but I had no occasion of
22 seeing their operations. I repeat, I was on the front line in the 4th
23 Detachment for a very short period and I had a different task altogether.
24 Q. I understand that. You went off to Agropromet to carry out your
25 duties. No problem. I understand that perfectly clearly. But what I'm
1 asking is notwithstanding that, did you speak to or hear of -- speak to
2 the paramilitaries or hear from the paramilitaries regarding their
3 operations in the months that following April of 1992?
4 A. I met Djordjevic, nicknamed Crni, who commanded the -- a special
5 battalion. But these are not paramilitary units. These were troops
6 engaged from among the ranks of the domicile population, and he was their
7 commander. Therefore, he did not command any paramilitary units but a
8 special battalion had been set up for, I presume, special tasks -- who
9 would be engaged for some special tasks, for instance, breaking through
10 the line, and he was their commander, but the composition of that
11 battalion was the local population, so the troops were from the area of
13 Q. That's right. They were local young men specially trained and
14 part of the special battalion and part of the Army of Republika Srpska,
15 weren't they?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And absorbed into the ranks of this special battalion were also
18 the Serbian paramilitaries who had arrived from Serbia itself, men such as
19 Crni, Lugar, and so on.
20 A. To my knowledge, in the special battalion none of the volunteers
21 or, as you call them, paramilitaries participated in the special
22 battalion. And as for Lugar, he act autonomously, on his own.
23 Q. Yes. No one was able to control him; is that your position?
24 A. I'm unable to respond to that question. I don't know.
25 Q. What do you mean he acted autonomously.
1 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I know that I cannot object, but I
2 think that perhaps it's a translation mistake. They are saying "they" in
3 the translation booth, and the prosecutor is saying "he," and you probably
4 referred to Lugar when you said "he," and the translation we received, the
5 B/C/S translation, says "they," or "them as a group." So perhaps we can
6 have this translated again to see whether the prosecutor is referring to a
7 group or to an individual.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I'll clarify it in any way. I'll just
9 ask the witness again.
10 Q. Are you saying that the man Lugar acted in the Bosanski Samac area
11 autonomously, by himself as an individual? Is that what you're saying, or
12 have I misunderstood you?
13 A. That is what I said, that he acted on his own, as an individual.
14 Q. Okay. Are you saying that he was not part of this special
16 A. No.
17 Q. Do you agree that he was a member of the special battalion?
18 A. I told you what the concept of the special battalion was and what
19 the -- it had been composed of. I saw but once the lads who had been
20 recruited into the special battalion, and I never saw Lugar there. I
21 never saw Lugar in the special battalion. But he was in Samac; that is
23 Q. Is it your position that you don't know if he was a member of the
24 special battalion or not?
25 A. I don't know that he was. I don't know whether he was a member of
1 the special battalion.
2 Q. All right. Let's move on to another topic, please. Zasavica, you
3 say that there were two policemen posted there and that their job was to
4 stop people coming in and stealing the meat and I assume also the
5 livestock, and that was their only job.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. Just -- I'm just trying to be clear. That was the
8 sole reason that they were there, only to do that, prevent theft of
9 livestock and meat?
10 A. I explained the basic -- their basic task was that and also apart
11 from individual cases people could not leave the village of Zasavica in
12 certain individual cases.
13 Q. Presumably then the placing of two policemen at that point, at the
14 little house near the bridge leading into Zasavica, was sufficient to
15 control movement in and out of Zasavica because it would have to be,
16 wouldn't it, in order to prevent theft?
17 A. Zasavica is not a small individual so that everything could be
18 controlled, but this was the main road which led outside Zasavica towards
19 Crkvina and towards Samac, and they controlled only that particular
20 section of the road. They did not control the other directions and other
21 exits, but then the people were not leaving. Of course, they were also
22 concerned for their lives because men like Lugar, about whom you asked me
23 a while ago, roamed the area of Samac uncontrolled and he could -- some
24 people could have come to some harm or get killed. So it was just this
25 main entrance that was placed under such control.
1 Q. I understand that. But my point is very simple: It was a
2 reasonably effective method of controlling movement in and out of the
4 A. Yes, it was. I agree.
5 Q. Now, who were the people who weren't permitted to leave Zasavica?
6 A. The inhabitants of Zasavica, the natives, the domicile population,
7 as well as those who had moved into Zasavica, who had come from Samac,
8 Muslims who had taken refuge there. That is the population that I was
9 referring to.
10 Q. Right. So it was Croats, wasn't it, and Muslims who were in
11 Zasavica who couldn't move freely in and out?
12 A. Yes, but also Serbs who had moved in subsequently.
13 Q. So --
14 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Di Fazio, your 25 minutes are up. Do you
15 intend to use some minutes from your account?
16 MR. DI FAZIO: My banker, Mr. Weiner, assures me I have four
17 minutes left.
18 PRESIDING OFFICER: Okay.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. I'll just end up on one last topic, if
20 I may.
21 Q. You described public canteens that were used to feed the army and
22 people, and that was located in the SIT factory. And you said that the
23 army went to feed there, to have -- to eat and also people of all
24 ethnicities. That included, I take it, Croats -- local Croats and local
1 A. Of course it did.
2 Q. So the soldiers were engaged in fighting Croat and Muslim forces,
3 would come back from the front line for whatever reason, they would be
4 armed and they'd go and have their lunch there.
5 A. Yes, they would have their lunch there. They would not have lunch
6 together. When the army was there, the other people, the other population
7 that had no other source of food, of meals, would come and eat there. And
8 there was no one standing in the way. And that is true.
9 Q. And the Croats and Muslims would happily eat side by side with the
10 Serbian soldiers fighting Croat and Muslim forces?
11 A. Well, in our units there were also members of Croat and Muslim
12 peoples, or rather, members of the Croat and Muslim ethnicities but also
13 members of our units, apart from Serbs.
14 Q. Thank you very much.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: I think that should leave us with a few minutes
16 still in the bank, Madam Presiding Officer.
17 PRESIDING OFFICER: That leaves you with two minutes on your
19 Any re-examination?
20 MR. VUKOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions.
21 PRESIDING OFFICER: Mr. Dujkovic, thank you for coming today. You
22 may leave.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 PRESIDING OFFICER: We'll have a ten-minute break.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 --- Break taken at 2.54 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 3.07 p.m.
4 [The witness entered]
5 PRESIDING OFFICER: Good afternoon, Mr. Stefanovic. Could you
6 please stand and take the solemn declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
8 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 WITNESS: DRAGOLJUB STEFANOVIC
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 PRESIDING OFFICER: Thank you. You may sit.
12 The Defence for Blagoje Simic.
13 Examined by Mr. Pantelic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning -- good afternoon. Will you please
15 give me your full name for the record.
16 A. Dragoljub Stefanovic.
17 Q. When were you born, Mr. Stefanovic?
18 A. On the 10th of October, 1979 in Samac --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, 1970. I'm very sorry. 1959.
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Let us please repeat this. When were you born? What is the
23 A. I was born on the 10th of October in 1959 in Bosanski Samac.
24 Q. Please tell me, Mr. Stefanovic, what are you by position? What is
25 your current occupation?
1 A. I am a construction technician, but currently I am engaged in
2 trading and catering activities.
3 Q. And what is your marital status and do you have any children?
4 A. I am married. I have two children. I have two sons.
5 Q. I'm going to ask you, Mr. Stefanovic, about -- as to one episode,
6 so that your testifying today, as far as the Defence is concerned, will
7 indeed be brief. Tell me, what can you tell us about the period around
8 the 17th of April, 1992? Did you at the time meet Dragan Lukac?
9 A. I cannot recall the exact date, whether it took place on the 17th
10 or the day after, but it is true that I met with him and our encounter was
11 a brief one. Before I met him, I was informed by the police at the
12 checkpoint that they had detained Mr. Lukac, and after that I had a short
13 encounter with him because I knew him personally from before. I worked at
14 the Municipal Assembly of Samac, which is a building right next to the
15 Secretariat of Internal Affairs, which is where he worked. So as I say,
16 this meeting of ours was a short one, and I noticed when we met that he
17 was very scared. He asked me what was going on, and at that particular
18 moment I myself didn't know what to tell him. The police detained him,
19 and at that moment I was in no position to influence their decisions
20 because the work which I did had nothing to do with that particular
21 segment of their work. So that was more or less the extent of the
22 communication that I could have with him at that particular moment.
23 Q. Tell me, Mr. Stefanovic, where was this encounter? Where did it
24 take place?
25 A. Well, it was at a cafe, at a cafe in the centre of the village
1 which is near the checkpoint which had been erected there.
2 Q. Was anyone else there in the company of Dragan Lukac?
3 A. No one was with him at that moment. And if I recall correctly, at
4 the time when I met him he was going out of a lavatory and I happened to
5 pass by and that's the moment at which we met, because the place where he
6 was temporarily detained was a building right next to that cafe and this
7 is the trajectory, so to speak, where we met.
8 Q. If you can recall, what did Dragan Lukac physically look like on
9 that occasion? Did you notice anything about him? Did he look normal, in
10 other words?
11 A. Well, if you mean -- well, as I've already said, he looked
12 frightened. I did not notice any traces of violence on his face, if that
13 is what you meant. What I did notice is that the man was frightened.
14 Q. Did you tell him on that occasion that according to your
15 information he had been arrested at the orders of Blagoje Simic?
16 A. No, I did not tell him that. The police had detained him. And as
17 I've said a while ago, I could not influence the decisions of the police
18 at that time. I certainly did not tell him that he had been arrested on
19 orders from Blagoje Simic.
20 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
22 PRESIDING OFFICER: Cross-examination?
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner:
24 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Stefanovic. My name is Phillip Weiner, and I
25 am a prosecutor for the Office of the Prosecutor in the ICTY. I'm going
1 to ask you a few questions and we'll all get home today. All right?
2 A. All right.
3 Q. Now, sir, in 1990 weren't you a member of the SDS political
5 A. Yes, I was.
6 Q. And your name was on the ballot in the October election for the
7 municipal assembly, was it not?
8 A. Yes, it was.
9 Q. You were part of the 50 named candidates of the SDS, which
10 included Blagoje Simic, one of the defendants in the case; isn't that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you were elected to the municipal assembly, one of the 17 SDS
14 members -- I'm sorry, 15 SDS members elected?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And not only were you elected in those 15, it was you and the
17 defendant Blagoje Simic; isn't that correct?
18 A. Yes, I was elected by the will of the people.
19 Q. And you knew Blagoje Simic at that time and you've known him for
20 some time; isn't that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And have you remained a member of the SDS party?
23 A. Yes, I have, and I am still a member today of the SDS party.
24 Q. Now, sir, you've continued to be an SDS member to this -- you've
25 indicated you've continued to be an SDS member to this day; isn't that
1 correct? That was your last answer.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you've continued to be an SDS member even after the three
4 leaders of the SDS party, the three national leaders, Krajisnik, Karadzic,
5 and Plavsic have been indicted for war crimes. You've continued to be an
6 SDS member after those indictments; isn't that true?
7 A. Well, these are things which cannot associate me with that
8 indictment. I have been a member of the League of Communists, and after
9 the dissolution of that party, I joined the SDS.
10 Q. My question is: You have remained a member of the SDS even though
11 its three major leaders have been charged with war crimes to which
12 persecution of the non-Serb population in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Even after
13 that's occurred, you've continued to be a member; isn't that true? Yes or
15 MR. PANTELIC: Objection. For the record, it is very clear from
16 the answer of this witness that it's not in dispute that he is a member of
17 SDS during all times up to now. So if the Prosecution would like to
18 establish some other grounds --
19 MR. WEINER: What's the basis of objection, council? Is it
21 MR. PANTELIC: Irrelevant.
22 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
23 MR. PANTELIC: The question is irrelevant.
24 MR. WEINER: Thank you. We feel it's relevant, and I ask that
25 that not be docked from my time.
1 MR. PANTELIC: And then -- I mean the grounds for my objection is
2 the following: Maybe my learned friend can ask about the personal
3 attitude of this witness towards the membership in SDS and other political
4 issues during that period, but he already gave the answer. It's not in
5 dispute that even during the period of indictment of these persons that
6 you just mentioned, that he's still member. So it's absolutely
8 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
9 Q. Now, sir, would you agree with me that even after those three SDS
10 national leaders were indicted that you have -- and they're indicted for
11 persecution of the non-Serb community in Bosnia-Herzegovina -- you have
12 remained a member of the SDS party? Yes or no, sir?
13 A. Yes, I consider this to be their personal responsibility. If they
14 are to blame, if they are guilty, they will be held accountable for their
15 personal deeds.
16 Q. Thank you. Now, sir, you've also remained an SDS member even
17 after the massacre of the Muslim population -- the male Muslim population
18 in Srebrenica in 1995 and you're still a member of the SDS party even
19 after that, sir; isn't that correct?
20 A. I know about these massacres only from the press, from the papers,
21 so I don't know what to tell you.
22 Q. My question is: Even after that, you've remained an SDS member;
23 yes or no?
24 A. I said that I'm still today a member of the SDS.
25 Q. Fine. And you're still today a member of the SDS even though one
1 of the three SDS leaders, Biljana Plavsic, has admitted that she and
2 fellow SDS members orchestrated a programme of persecution against the
3 non-Serb population of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And she did that recently.
4 And you've still maintained membership in the SDS even though she's
5 admitted that she and the other leaders of the SDS party committed those
6 crimes and it was their plans to commit those crimes.
7 A. Well, I heard that on television and in the press about this
8 confession of hers. And as I already said, I believe that this is her
9 personal accountability and I cannot really go into the work of the
10 Tribunal in The Hague.
11 Q. Well, it's not just the work of the Tribunal. Those are the
12 leaders of your party and the people who are making the policies.
13 Let us move on to April 17th. Could you tell us where you -- can
14 you tell us what you were doing on the 17th. Were you a member of any
15 military organisation?
16 A. I was not a member of a military organisation.
17 Q. Were you a member of any police unit?
18 A. No, I wasn't.
19 Q. Now, when you saw Dragan Lukac on that night of about the 17th, on
20 that evening of about the 17th, did you keep -- at that time were you
21 keeping a daily diary of all of your activities with -- you know some
22 people keep a diary each day of what they see. Were you keeping a diary
23 at the time?
24 A. I wasn't keeping a diary, but at that time I was the commissioner
25 because before the war started I was the president of the local commune in
1 Crkvina, so that during these conflicts I was the commissioner. So from
2 the post of president of the local commune in Crkvina, I became
3 commissioner of the local commune in Crkvina, and my task was to serve as
4 a link between the civilian authorities in Samac and the local commune or
5 those inhabitants of the local commune who lived there but were not
6 engaged militarily and who needed various forms of assistance.
7 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... keep a diary, you've
8 indicated. As part of your -- part of your position in the commune, did
9 you file a report about this arrest that occurred of the police chief from
10 Samac? Did you file any sort of report, written report?
11 A. I did not consider that to be in my duty. That was within the
12 competence of the police and it was a task for the police, and I didn't
13 think that I ought to intervene in any way.
14 Q. I'm not asking you if you felt it was your duty, if you felt you
15 should have intervened, just whether or not you wrote anything down. Was
16 there any writing that you made, a diary, a notebook, a report, anything
17 that you listed what you had observed on that evening?
18 A. No, I did not write anything. I did not.
19 Q. Now, when this was occurring and you were the head of the commune,
20 you know it was a -- a very difficult time period. There was battling
21 going on. There was shelling. There was shooting. Arrests were
22 happening. It was a stressful period. Would you agree?
23 A. Yes, it was by definition extremely stressful.
24 Q. And you could -- you'd have to say it was a chaotic period.
25 Arrests were being made. JNA troops were moving in and out of the area.
1 There were volunteers from Serbia. A lot of things were happening at the
2 time during that week from the 17th, let's say, to the 24th. A lot of
3 things were happening, a chaotic stressful time.
4 A. Of course I can say that it was a chaotic time, but there were
5 things that I had no influence on at all, things that you're referring to
6 now, and I had other obligations.
7 Q. No, no, I'm not saying that you were responsible or had any -- any
8 responsibility for any of those things that happened. But if it was a
9 chaotic time, and you agree this chaotic period that we're talking about
10 was almost 11 years ago now that you're testifying about.
11 A. I do not quite understand the question.
12 Q. This period that we're talking about, the 17th or so of -- of 1992
13 is almost 11 years ago; isn't that correct?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. And you have no writings in relation to the activities of the
16 evening of the 17th. Basically you're testifying strictly on the basis of
17 your memory.
18 A. Yes. I did not put down anything on paper. I am testifying on
19 the basis of what I remember.
20 Q. And would you agree with me, like people in general, all of us,
21 you've made mistakes in your life or you've made mistakes in the past,
22 whether it's adding numbers or saying something. You've made mistakes,
23 like all of us?
24 A. I don't know what mistakes you mean.
25 Q. Any mistakes in general, any mistake in your lifetime. Like all
1 of us. You've added numbers incorrectly, you've made some mistake in your
2 life --
3 MR. PANTELIC: Objection on the basis that this question is
4 absolutely confusing for this witness. My learned friend should be more
5 specific if he is speaking about certain mistakes, in which terms, when,
6 how, et cetera. I mean, otherwise it is absolutely useless and confusing
7 for this witness.
8 MR. WEINER: Can 30 seconds be added to my time for that? Thank
10 Q. Sir, like everybody in this world, you've made at some point a
11 mistake in the past. You're not perfect, like all of us; isn't that
13 A. Of course. I don't think that a perfect person exists.
14 Q. And like all of us, you're not infallible.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Objection. This is a criminal proceedings. It is
16 not some kind of, I would say, religious or confessional matters. We have
17 to clarify --
18 MR. WEINER: Madam Presiding Officer, we --
19 MR. PANTELIC: -- more specific. It is absolutely irrelevant and
20 absolutely unfounded this line of questioning.
21 MR. WEINER: Madam Presiding Officer, we have rules. Objection.
22 One word. Objection, leading; objection, irrelevant. Counsel knows the
23 rules. Let us move on and finish the day.
24 Q. Sir, like all of us, you're not infallible; isn't that correct?
25 Or do you claim to be infallible?
1 A. I don't know what to tell you.
2 Q. Sir, are you claiming to be infallible?
3 A. I don't know. You're insisting on this one question, infallible.
4 As I have already said, there does not exist an ideal person.
5 Q. Thank you. So like everyone else, you can make a mistake, just
6 like everyone else; correct?
7 A. Well, mistakes are always possible.
8 Q. And you can make them, like everyone else? That's the question,
9 sir. If you answer the question, we're all finished.
10 A. I guess so. Probably I can make a mistake. What can I say?
11 Q. Thank you. Have a good day, sir.
12 PRESIDING OFFICER: Any re-examination?
13 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
14 Q. [Interpretation] The topic that I asked you today, Mr. Stefanovic,
15 a question about your membership in the SDS, and basically the reasons
16 which underlay in this period when Serbs and officials of the SDS were
17 indicted, your continued membership of it and so on and so forth. I am
18 now asking you: At the local level in Samac, did you get information that
19 the SDS was advocating in any way the ethnic discrimination of the local
20 population from 1992 and on?
21 A. No, in no way whatsoever.
22 MR. PANTELIC: I have to rephrase that, just in case. Yes, I will
23 rephrase that.
24 Q. [Interpretation] Do you have any personal knowledge or on the
25 basis of any other sources have you learned that the SDS was the principal
1 factor which conduced to the eviction -- or the moving out of the
2 population from Bosanski Samac?
3 A. No.
4 MR. WEINER: [Previous interpretation continues] ... to strike.
5 These questions are admissible if they're asked properly. These aren't
6 proper questions. This isn't cross-examination.
7 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. The prosecutor asked you a question in connection with your
9 attitude towards the SDS, et cetera. I'm now asking you: What can you
10 tell us regarding the SDS policy to the best of your knowledge in Samac in
11 the period in 1992 -- how would you -- 1992 and 1993?
12 A. What period did you say, 1992-1993? The party was not operating
13 at that time at all.
14 Q. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Stefanovic.
15 --- Whereupon the Depositions Hearing adjourned
16 at 3.31 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday, the 7th
17 day of February, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.