1 Friday, 28 February 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic. You're continuing with your
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
12 WITNESS: MAKSIM SIMEUNOVIC [Resumed]
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic: [Continued]
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Simeunovic.
16 A. Good afternoon.
17 Q. Before we adjourned on Wednesday, you spoke about the arrival and
18 reception of detainees in the Brcko garrison. Can you please continue
19 with that subject? What was the reception like? What did you see there?
20 What did you do? What steps did you take to ensure that everything went
22 A. I already explained that I was very surprised by our arrival in
23 Brcko and by the way the military police received the detainees. The
24 commander of the military police from the Brcko garrison his name was
25 Tegeltija. I spoke to the commander and I insisted that they change the
1 way they started treating the people I had brought along from Samac. I
2 pleaded with him for a more humane treatment, for people to simply be
3 received and accommodated in their premises. He tried to explain: "Well,
4 Makso, you know what the procedure is like. We must search these people."
5 And I told him: "If you must search these people, search them, but
6 they're coming from detention. That's one thing you must bear in mind.
7 However, do whatever you see fit and follow your usual procedure."
8 However, as we talked about this, I remember one policeman hit one of the
9 men who had already been searched, in the head, and the man banged against
10 a wall. His nose started bleeding. My reaction was to tell Tegeltija --
11 I stepped back from him as I was carrying a Heckler, an automatic weapon.
12 I pointed my Heckler at him and I said: "Tegeltija, you should cut this
13 out right now, what you're doing to these people." He tried to calm me
14 down. He said: "Take it easy, Makso. Take it easy, Maksim. You aren't
15 going to use that gun, are you?" But the only thing I wanted him to do is
16 to treat the detainees who I brought along in a more humane way. So the
17 treatment changed after my request. People were still being searched, but
18 they -- their hands were no longer being tied behind their backs. They
19 would merely search them and take them to the room that had been prepared
20 for that purpose.
21 Once this reception was over, I went looking for Captain Petrovic
22 at the garrison command in Brcko. I found him and I told him the whole
23 story. I told him about my reaction. I told Captain Petrovic to make
24 sure those people received food and water. This was already in the
25 evening. I told him to make sure they got food and water. And he said:
1 "Okay. Simo Zaric already called me, asking if you have already
2 arrived." And he asked me the same thing, for food and water to be given
3 these people. And he also asked for medical assistance for these people,
4 as all those people had been beaten black and blue when they came from
5 Samac. He knew, because he had seen them.
6 Q. This space inside which they were accommodated, what sort of
7 building was that?
8 A. Those were rooms that were actually used as warehouses, storages
9 for the companies. The companies would leave their equipment and
10 ammunition in those rooms. At that point, the rooms were empty.
11 Q. What did you see on the windows of that building?
12 A. There were bars on the windows. That was the storage rooms.
13 Q. Can you please explain what sort of bars they were.
14 A. The bars on the warehouse windows, they were not put there once
15 they found out about the detainees coming in. The bars had been there
16 before, when the rooms were still being used as warehouses. They were on
17 the inside of the window, not on the outside, to make sure no one was able
18 to remove the bars and enter the warehouse.
19 Q. Do you know whether Captain Petrovic complied with everything that
20 he had promised? Were people given food, water, and medical assistance
22 A. The next day I found out that they had received food and water and
23 that a doctor had arrived from the garrison medical station, that he gave
24 the detainees a medical check and that he had treated some of their
1 Q. Thank you. Did you report to Commander Nikolic about the
2 completion of this task?
3 A. Yes. After my conversation with Captain Petrovic, at the garrison
4 command in Brcko, I returned to the command post of the 17th Tactical
5 Group in Pelagicevo and I reported to Commander Nikolic, Lieutenant
6 Colonel Nikolic. I told him that my task had been completed and that all
7 the people had been transferred. I told him there hadn't been any
8 trouble, and what I meant was that we had not had any trouble with the
9 volunteers in Samac. I also told him briefly about the reception in
11 Q. After the detainees had been accommodated in the Brcko garrison,
12 did you have any further contact with those detainees?
13 A. No, I had no further contact with them, because now they were
14 under the authority of the security organs of the 395th Motorised Brigade.
15 Q. Does that mean that they were no longer within the area of
16 responsibility of the 17th Tactical Group?
17 A. No, they were no longer within the area of responsibility of the
18 17th Tactical Group. Now they were in the area of responsibility of the
19 395th Motorised Brigade.
20 Q. Do you know what happened later to those people?
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Before you go on to
22 that point: For those of us who are not that familiar with the motorised
23 brigades of the JNA and so on, perhaps the witness could just elaborate
24 very briefly. The 395th Motorised Brigade, the commander of which, who
25 was he or she responsible to? Just so that we have a sense what this
1 motorised brigade was responsible to and, you know, where it fits in the
2 bigger scheme of things that we're talking about.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, you have heard the question by the Honourable
5 Judge Williams. You have heard what she wants to know. Can you please
6 tell us about the motorised Brigade? Where was its area of
7 responsibility? Where was its headquarters? Who was the commander, and
8 which was their Superior Command at the time?
9 A. The command headquarters of the 395th Motorised Brigade was in the
10 town of Brcko. Its area of responsibility was to the east of the border
11 of the Brcko municipality, that's the right-hand boundary of Bijeljina
12 municipality, the village of Bukovice, more specifically. The border to
13 the west -- to the west, they bordered with the 317th Tactical Group [As
14 interpreted]. That is the village lying between the village of Gorice and
15 the village of Krepsici. Along the depth, the border was the village of
16 Pukis, which was about 13 kilometres from Brcko, and in front there was
17 the River Sava, the boundary with the Republic of Croatia.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Just one correction for the transcript. On
19 page 5, line 13, it's 17th Tactical Group, not 317th.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Thank you. It will be corrected.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And also in response to my question, I asked:
22 Who did they report to? Who was sort of superior to the head of this
23 395th Motorised Brigade?
24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. The question
25 has already been posed, but I may have misheard, but I think not. I think
1 the witness said to the west there was the village of Bukovice.
2 A. No. The to the east the village of Bukovice.
3 Q. Very well. Can you please continue now? Who was the commander,
4 and who were they subordinated to?
5 A. The commander of the 395th Motorised Brigade was Lieutenant
6 Colonel Pavle Milinkovic. The Superior Command was the 17th Corps,
7 based in Tuzla, with headquarters in Tuzla.
8 Q. Does that mean that the command of the 395th Motorised Brigade
9 reported to the command of the 17th Corps in Tuzla?
10 A. Precisely. That was their Superior Command, the Superior Command
11 of the 395th Motorised Brigade, the command of the 17th Corps based in
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And who was the person in charge of the 17th
14 Corps in Tuzla, if you remember?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The corps commander, that was
16 General Sava Jankovic.
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. The next question I want to ask -- in fact, I've already asked
20 you: Do you know what later happened to those detainees?
21 A. Later, when hostilities broke out in the town of Brcko, on the 1st
22 of May, 1992, the detainees who had arrived from Samac, for safety
23 reasons, for security reasons, they were transferred to the Bijeljina
25 Q. We'll switch now to an event which took place in Crkvina, which is
1 a village in Samac municipality. When murders were committed, do you know
2 anything about that event, and how did you find out about it?
3 A. Yes, I know about that. I know what happened in the village of
4 Crkvina, Bosanski Samac municipality. The person who informed me about
5 that was the assistant commander for intelligence and security in the 4th
6 Detachment of the JNA, Simo Zaric. That occurred on the 8th -- actually,
7 on the morning of the 9th. Simo Zaric phoned me at the command and he
8 told me: Look, Makso - perhaps not in as many words, but he said. A
9 crime had been committed in Crkvina, that people had been killed. He told
10 me that and he kept on speaking, and I tried to tell him: "Take it easy,
11 Simo. Here, the commander is here. He's awake. So I think you should
12 tell him what you just told me."
13 I didn't ask any further questions. I just put him through to the
14 commander directly so that he could talk to Simo Zaric about what
15 happened. That means I already knew that a crime had taken place, because
16 Simo had told me. Then he went on to speak to the commander, and I
17 noticed that the commander was trying to soothe him, to calm him down,
18 because Simo sounded quite agitated. You couldn't interrupt him. He
19 spoke on and on. He was probably saying that there were lives to be saved
20 and that the whole thing was to be prevented, that people had to be
21 protected, and asked how long this was going to last. I was judging on
22 the basis of the answers that the commander was giving him. He said:
23 "Take it easy, Simo. We'll just look into what happened and then we'll
24 do something to keep this sort of thing from recurring." And then he told
25 him to come to the command of the 17th Tactical Group, and the next
1 morning, Simo arrived.
2 Q. What did Commander Nikolic and Simo Zaric talk about then, and
3 were you there during their conversation?
4 A. Yes, I was there in the office at the command, alongside with some
5 other members of the 17th Tactical Group. The commander and Simo Zaric
6 talked about the incident. Simo Zaric filled him in again on the details
7 of the incident. He told him how he had found out about it and what
8 exactly had happened. He was not quite calm yet. He was still rather
9 agitated. But he was able to provide more detail on what had happened and
10 how he had found out about it. He told the commander that, on his way
11 back from a mission, he reached the checkpoint in Crkvina - the checkpoint
12 was still there - and he was stopped by a police officer, who told him
13 that Lugar, the forest keeper, was at a centre there where people were
14 being kept in detention. He told him that he had killed 16 people, Lugar.
15 And Simo then told him that he couldn't believe it, and whether he knew
16 who had done that. And then he told him that the murders had been
17 committed by a volunteer who arrived there, and that the name of that
18 volunteer was Lugar. Simo asked him if anyone else knew about this, and
19 then he told him that he didn't know whether anyone else knew about this,
20 about the crime. He was probably referring to the authorities in Samac or
21 to the command of the 17th Tactical Group, or perhaps the 4th Detachment.
22 Then he told him: Blagoje Simic just passed by on his way to
23 another detachment. Simo Zaric set out because the detachment was not far
24 from there and he said that he found Blagoje Simic at the command of the
25 detachment and that he told him about what had occurred. Blagoje seemed
1 surprised by what he heard from Simo, and he said: "Well, what are they
2 doing to us? How long is this going to last?" Something along those
4 After that, I mean, that is what Simo told the commander, he asked
5 the commander to go to Belgrade. He asked for permission - let's put it
6 that way - and he said: "Commander, I would like to go to Belgrade. I
7 would like to convey to the highest authorities in the army of Yugoslavia,
8 the highest security organs in the army of Yugoslavia, what happened, what
9 crime was committed, and I want to seek protection."
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, it's just a matter of accuracy of
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: When the witness was referring to that detachment
14 in Crkvina, he said "Drugi Odred" meaning 2nd Detachment, not another
15 detachment, because this was a village where actually 2nd Detachment was
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you for the correction.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Please proceed. What happened after that?
20 A. Simo asked the commander for permission so that he could go to
21 Belgrade to provide this information. He said: "I know Colonel Jugoslav
22 Maksimovic, who works at the General Staff of the Yugoslav People's Army
23 at Belgrade. He works on security matters. I'm going to go and see him
24 and convey to him what has been going on." Jugoslav was from the
25 territory of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, so he knew him
2 Q. Did Zaric go to Belgrade? Do you know about that?
3 A. Yes. Zaric went, given the permission of the commander. He went
4 to Belgrade to talk about what had happened in Crkvina. I did not mention
5 one thing, though, that after Simo Zaric called, Commander Nikolic
6 immediately informed his Superior Command about this crime. I omitted to
7 mention that in the sequence of my recount. So Simo was given permission
8 by the commander, and indeed he went on the 9th to Belgrade, to the
9 General Staff, to the security department of the General Staff of the
10 Yugoslav People's Army. He went to find this Colonel Jugoslav.
11 Q. When Zaric returned from Belgrade, did he report to you and to the
12 commander about what he had done in Belgrade?
13 A. Yes. Immediately after returning from Belgrade, Simo stopped at
14 the command. He first came to the command of the 17th Tactical Group, and
15 he said to the commander what he had done and what he had conveyed to the
16 people there, that is to say, the generals of the General Staff of the
17 Yugoslav People's Army. He said that he first went to see Colonel
18 Jugoslav Maksimovic because he knew him personally. He told him about
19 this event, and Colonel Jugoslav took him to General Vasiljevic, who was
20 deputy head of security in the General Staff of the Yugoslav People's
21 Army. They conveyed to him as well what had happened in Crkvina. Whether
22 he had heard about it or something. But anyway, General Vasiljevic came
23 too, head of security of the General Staff of the Yugoslav People's Army.
24 He also came to this office. And they acquainted him with this case as
1 Simo said to the commander that an official note had been compiled
2 about that, about what he had conveyed to them there in that office.
3 Q. I beg your pardon. You mentioned two generals, and you said that
4 Vasiljevic was both of their last names. Were both generals Vasiljevic or
5 was one of them only Vasiljevic, and what was the last name of the other
7 A. Colonel Jugoslav took him to General Gligorevic, Gligorevic, who
8 was assistant.
9 Q. Tell me now: Did you, that is, the security organ of the 17th
10 Tactical Brigade, did you carry out any investigation in relation to the
11 crime in Crkvina?
12 A. No, we did not carry out any investigation with regard to that.
13 Q. Can you tell me why you didn't carry out any investigation?
14 A. We did not carry out an investigation because when
15 Commander Nikolic informed his Superior Command, and when he said to them
16 that a crime had been committed by a member of the volunteers, who was not
17 a member of the Yugoslav People's Army, who is under the police in Samac,
18 it was said that we could not carry out any investigation if the crime was
19 not committed by a member of the Yugoslav People's Army.
20 Q. Do you know about an event when members of these volunteers
21 physically abused the commander of the 4th Detachment, Radovan Antic,
22 Captain Radovan Antic?
23 A. I know about that too. I mean, I'm aware of that event. I know
24 about what happened and how it happened. This was conveyed to me by Simo
25 Zaric as well and I heard about it from other people too who were there,
1 that Lugar and some other specials walked into the command of the 4th
2 Detachment, that they simply lined up the command - how should I put
3 this? - that they knocked out the commander of the 4th Detachment, Radovan
4 Antic. After that, they took him to Obudovac, the village of Obudovac,
5 and he was detained there in an outhouse, and he was kept there, locked
6 up, for a while.
7 Q. Thank you. I was just interested in whether you knew something
8 about that. Can we please go back now to some matters that we've already
9 gone through. I would like to show a document to you?
10 MR. WEINER: Your Honour --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
12 MR. WEINER: Before we move on: On page 12, line 3, is it they
13 locked out the commander, they knocked him out physically, punching him
14 and he became unconscious? They locked him out of the headquarters?
15 Could we have some clarification on this, please? It's not clear
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You were not present there. You are just conveying what you were
20 told. Do you know whether Commander Antic was unconscious? Where was he
21 locked up? And then, when was he released from the place where he had
22 been locked up?
23 A. I was not present when this actually happened. I am talking about
24 what I heard from others. He was hit, punched, knocked out. And now,
25 whether he was unconscious at that moment or not, I don't know, but I do
1 know that after that knockout, after he was hit in the face with a fist,
2 he was taken to the village of Obudovac and then he was locked up in an
4 Q. How long was he detained in that outhouse?
5 A. For a while, about two or three hours, to the best of my
6 knowledge. That's what I found out.
7 Q. Thank you. When we're talking about the involvement of the Party
8 of Democratic Action in training and armament, I would actually in this
9 connection like to introduce a document. This is document PDB 1/3 ter. I
10 think that all parties in the proceedings have this document. So could a
11 copy please be placed before the witness so that we could discuss it a
13 Mr. Simeunovic, please take a look at this document. Please look
14 at its contents and then we'll discuss it. Tell us, please: What does it
15 say in the upper left-hand corner of this document?
16 A. In the upper left-hand corner it says: The SDA, Party of
17 Democratic Action.
18 Q. All right. And what does it say underneath, addressed to, et
19 cetera, et cetera?
20 A. Addressed to -- this is probably the addressee -- the Executive
21 Board of the SDA, that is to say, the Party of Democratic Action, to the
22 president, personally.
23 Q. Could you please read the subject here.
24 A. Yes. It says here: "Instructions for sending candidates to the
25 training centre of the MUP, the Ministry of the Interior, of the Republic
1 of Croatia."
2 Q. There is a date on the right-hand side. Could you please read the
4 A. The date is the 11th of July, 1991.
5 Q. What's the stamp down here? What does it say on the stamp, if you
6 can read it?
7 A. In the middle it says "the SDA Sarajevo," and around it it says:
8 "Party of Democratic Action."
9 Q. And in the right-hand corner there is a signature?
10 A. It says here: "On behalf of, acting secretary of the SDA, Hasan
11 Cengic," and then there is the signature.
12 Q. You have familiarised yourself with the contents of this document;
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you have occasion during your work to find other such
16 documents or similar documents? And please tell us: What is sought
17 through this document, and who is sending candidates for training to the
18 training centre of the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of
20 A. When I spoke on Wednesday about armament -- illegal armament and
21 about sending people for training -- these people later returned as -- I
22 mean, these were candidates who were trained for commanding lower-ranking
23 units. Then I said that it was political parties who were sending these
24 people. We see here in this document that it says that it is the duty of
25 every candidate to take along the referral of the political party that is
1 sending him, that is making this proposal for him to be sent for training
2 at the training centre of the MUP of the Republic of Croatia.
3 Q. Does this pertain to candidates that are sent by the Party of
4 Democratic Action? They have to be members of the party of democratic
6 A. Yes. In this case, it is requested that the candidate who is
7 being sent is sent by the Party of Democratic Action.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We won't be needing
9 the document any longer. I would just like to be asked for a number to be
10 given to it. I would like to tender it into evidence.
11 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D41/4, and ter for the B/C/S.
12 Thank you.
13 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, do you know about the activities surrounding the
15 withdrawal of the JNA from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. Yes, I'm familiar with the activities surrounding the withdrawal
17 of the JNA from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Even before the
18 official order came in, we had already heard about the JNA being withdrawn
19 from Bosnia and Herzegovina. That was towards the end of April, and we
20 did have some information on that, but no accurate information. We did
21 know that it would happen, but we did not know at that point when exactly
22 it would happen. At the beginning of May --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, ask your client to deal with facts
24 what happened. He should just narrow it to what happened instead of going
25 into these details they didn't know what would happen and that sort of
2 MR. PANTELIC: If I may, Your Honour. Just correction to the
3 transcript. Not his client, his witness, just to be precise, maybe, to
4 avoid misunderstanding. Sorry.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. Mr. Pisarevic.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. You needn't go into any details. Just tell us what you know about
8 the withdrawal, how it went. Were there any problems when manpower was
9 being evacuated, and equipment too? What do you know about that?
10 A. There was an order from the General Staff of the JNA. It arrived
11 at the beginning of May 1992. Pursuant to this order, all commissioned
12 officers who were not from the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who
13 were not born in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, were to withdraw
14 by the 19th of May, 1992, and that they were to report to the 31st
15 Personnel Centre in Belgrade. To report to the 31st Personnel Centre
16 would have meant that they had left the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. Did soldiers of the JNA have the same obligation?
18 A. Yes. This applied to soldiers too. However, in our area of
19 responsibility, there were no soldiers; there were only commissioned
21 Q. Do you know about any activities undertaken to prevent the JNA
22 leaving the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina with its manpower and all
23 its equipment?
24 A. Yes. We learned that an order had been issued for all roads to be
25 blocked when the JNA started leaving. This was an attempt to prevent the
1 weapons and equipment they had from being taken out of Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina. Exits from the barracks were to be blocked too. This
3 applied to the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this order.
4 Q. Did you know of any specific action being taken in that regard?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Please tell us about it.
7 A. When, on the 15th of May, a convoy of soldiers and commissioned
8 officers of the JNA tried to leave the Tuzla garrison, and following the
9 orders received from the General Staff, tried to return to Serbia, to the
10 Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, the convoy was attacked by the SDA, by
11 the Party of Democratic Action, and other paramilitary units in Tuzla. On
12 that occasion --
13 MR. WEINER: Objection.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
15 MR. WEINER: I would move to strike his statement: "Attacked by
16 SDA or paramilitary units." At this point you have a legitimate
17 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina that has been recognised by the United
18 States, by the European Union, and because they're not JNA units, it
19 doesn't make them paramilitary units. So I'd move to strike that. And
20 admitted to the United Nations too at that time.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
22 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] It is our point of view that the
23 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina recognised and accepted by the United
24 Nations on the 11th of May, 1992, only became a sovereign state at that
25 point in time, and it was only then that it could have its own army and
1 other bodies. This is a fact. No, the 22nd. Bosnia and Herzegovina
2 became a member of the United Nations on the 22nd of May, 1992, and all
3 the actions taken against the JNA and civilian persons, we believe that
4 individuals and organisations who were not constitutional were to blame
5 for all those actions.
6 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. I just want to make
7 sure I understand you correctly. Are you saying, as a matter of public
8 international law, based on state practice and opinio juris, that it is
9 only when an entity becomes a member of the United Nations that it is a
10 sovereign state? Is that your position?
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] My position is that if a sovereign
12 state falls apart, such as the Socialist Federal --
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. I'm not asking you
14 that. I'm not asking about disintegration of states. I'm going back to
15 exactly the point that you made on page 17, your answer, lines 21 to 25.
16 You're saying that -- excuse me. I have a bit of a cold, so I apologise
17 for my voice here. You're saying that the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 only became a sovereign state at the point in time when it was recognised
19 and accepted by the United Nations. And then there was some confusion on
20 the dates, but then you point to the 22nd of May. So I'm asking you: Are
21 you saying statehood is predicated on acceptance to the United Nations --
22 by the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council? Is that your
23 position? A simple question. I'd just like to know for the sake of
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Let me put it this way: In
1 addition to all the other conditions indicating the existence of
2 international statehood, I think admission into the United Nations is also
3 one such condition whereby a state fully completes its international
4 sovereignty and international statehood.
5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: But on the other hand, Mr. Pisarevic, if an
6 entity, for maybe political reasons, is not voted in by the Security
7 Council and the General Assembly but is de facto in control of territory
8 with a population, a government willing and able to enter into relations
9 with other countries, and is also recognised by neighbouring states and
10 other parts of the world community, even without United Nations
11 membership, presumably it's in existence. So I leave that with you for
12 maybe your arguments later on, but I don't think, to be quite clear, that
13 acceptance and membership in the United Nations is the be all and the end
14 all. For example, we've had Switzerland. Switzerland has only just
15 become a member of the United Nations, but nobody would ever decry the
16 issue that Switzerland is a sovereign state. Anyway, I'll let you get on
17 with your arguments, Mr. Pisarevic.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour. It is not
19 my intention to dispute what you've just said, but I think this is an
20 issue for a wider discussion, and we are dealing with a specific situation
21 here with this witness. However, these issues may come up again during
22 our defence.
23 Q. Can you please tell us briefly what happened, disregarding for the
24 moment whether those were paramilitary forces or other kinds of forces?
25 What did you know about this incident when the JNA was attacked during its
1 withdrawal from Bosnia-Herzegovina and as it was complying with its duty
2 to return to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
3 A. We are talking about a convoy being attacked in Tuzla as it was
4 leaving the JNA barracks in Tuzla. The convoy was attacked by -- I'm just
5 using the term "paramilitary units" because those units were not under the
6 command of the JNA. As I myself was an officer, for me, they were
7 paramilitary units. The civilian police of the Republic of Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina was taking part in this too, preventing soldiers from exiting
9 the barracks. On that occasion, many soldiers were killed. I know that
10 56 soldiers were missing from the convoy.
11 Q. Very well.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I would now like to show the
13 witness document PDB 6/3 ter. Can the witness please be shown this
15 Q. Will you please take a minute to familiarise yourself with this
16 document. Can we proceed now please?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you tell us what it says in the upper left-hand corner of the
20 A. In the upper left-hand corner, it reads: "MUP of the Republic of
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Bosnia
22 and Herzegovina." The number is 10-70 and the date is 29th of April,
24 Q. Can you please read who the addressees are of this document.
25 A. The addressees are CSB, Security Services Centre, to all, and to
1 the chief, public security stations, to all and to the chief; and to the
2 Sarajevo SUP, the secretary.
3 Q. After the first passage, the first word of the following one is
5 A. "Order on the implementation of the decision of the Presidency of
6 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, number 02-11-327/92."
7 Q. Can you please tell me what you can read in the middle of the
9 A. In the middle of the page it reads: "I hereby order ..."
10 Q. What follows from this order? What exactly is being ordered here?
11 A. Under number 1, we can read: "Carry out complete and massive
12 blocking on all roads in the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina being used by units of the former JNA to evacuate their
14 technical and materiel equipment. Carry out this order in direct
15 coordination with the Ministry of the Interior."
16 Q. Can you please tell us what it says in the lower right-hand
18 A. It says: "Minister of Internal Affairs, Alija Delimustafic."
19 Q. Do you know whether this order was applied against members of the
20 JNA on their way out?
21 A. Yes, I do know that it was carried out. I know about what
22 happened in Tuzla. I know about another incident in Dobrovoljacka Street
23 in Sarajevo, where there were a lot of casualties among the JNA members.
24 Q. But locally?
25 A. Yes. Even in Brcko itself, there were a number of incidents where
1 rallies were organised outside the JNA barracks. The parties organised
2 them. They said that their sons and brothers were being sent to the front
3 lines in the Republic of Croatia. Those were mass rallies. And I
4 remember when it was approved that whoever had a brother, son, or grandson
5 could enter the JNA barracks, displaying his ID on the way in and to check
6 where their respective son or grandson or brother was. So only two or
7 three people among the 800 or thousand who were standing outside the
8 barracks actually came in to check. Everyone else had merely been
10 Q. Do you know anything about the warehouse being attacked, or
11 anything like that?
12 A. I know that the warehouse in Krepsic was attacked. This warehouse
13 was in the area of responsibility of the 395th Motorised Brigade.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] We'll no longer be needing this
16 document. I'd just like to have a number given to it.
17 THE REGISTRAR: This will be --
18 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, we have no objection to this document,
19 which indicates that it's from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 MR. WEINER: However, it should be, for clarification, there
22 should be some clarification made as part of this document that this
23 occurs two days after the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is proclaimed on
24 27 April 1992. So it should be placed in context, that these things are
25 happening right after the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is proclaimed,
1 which is Serbia and Montenegro, and a new constitution has been adopted.
2 There's much more context to this.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the number, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D42/4 and D42/4 ter for the
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Can you tell us now, please, specifically: When did the 17th
10 Tactical Group of the JNA leave Pelagicevo? When did it cease to exist?
11 A. Those officers who were not originally from the Republic of Bosnia
12 and Herzegovina and who were members of the 17th Tactical Group left on
13 the 19th of May, 1992. They went to the Republic of Serbia.
14 Q. Among those officers, was the commander of the 17th Tactical Group
15 Lieutenant Colonel Stevan Nikolic also among them?
16 A. Yes. The commander, Commander Stevan Nikolic, was among the
17 officers who left. Major Brajkovic was among them too. And all the
18 officers who originally hailed from Serbia, or any of the other republics,
19 all those who were not originally from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
20 left the 17th Tactical Group following the orders they had received.
21 Q. If I understand you correctly, on that day when they left, the
22 17th Tactical Group of the Yugoslav People's Army ceased to exist. Is
23 that right?
24 A. It can be put that way, that it then ceased. As for the command
25 of the Tactical Group, the 17th Tactical Group, the chief of artillery
1 remained, and I did, as head of the security and intelligence organ. There
2 weren't any other officers there.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I believe that the witness mentioned
4 the name of the chief of artillery, and I don't see this in the
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic can ask the witness whether that was
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. What was the name of the head of the 17th Tactical Group?
10 Major --?
11 A. The head of the 17th Tactical Group was Captain Sabrija.
12 Q. Who was head --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Excuse me. Was this the chief of artillery?
14 Because that was what Mr. Pisarevic was talking about. And the witness
15 had said the chief of artillery remained. So is this the correct name?
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. What was the name of the chief of artillery of the 17th Tactical
19 A. The chief of the artillery of the 17th Tactical Group was Sabrija,
20 and he remained after this group of officers left.
21 Q. What was the ethnicity of Chief Sabrija?
22 A. He was an ethnic Muslim.
23 Q. You said that you remained as chief for intelligence and security
24 affairs. Is that right?
25 A. Yes. And it was only Sabrija, chief of artillery, and I, as chief
1 for security and intelligence affairs, we were the only officers who
2 remained in the command of the 17th Tactical Group.
3 Q. Why was it that only you and Sabrija remained?
4 A. We remained because we had been born in the Republic of
6 Q. Just a few more questions in this regard. There was this armoured
7 battalion. People who were in this armoured battalion, the tank crews, et
8 cetera, where did these people come from?
9 A. The crews in the armoured battalion were from the area of the
10 municipalities of Brcko, Samac, Gradacac, Orasje, those municipalities.
11 Except for some officers who had been born in Serbia.
12 Q. These officers of the Yugoslav People's Army who had been born in
13 Serbia, did they have any possibility to transport this equipment, this
14 armour, to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia?
15 A. No, they had no such possibility. I've already said that in the
16 17th Tactical Group, there had been no conscripts. There were only
17 officers and non-commissioned officers there. There weren't there many of
18 them either. They were not in a position to take anything, because a tank
19 could only be driven by a tank driver. It was impossible for them to
20 drive away this kind of equipment, technical equipment, and weapons.
21 Q. Thank you. The 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade, where was that
22 established, of the army of Republika Srpska?
23 A. The 2nd Infantry Brigade was established instead of the former
24 17th Tactical Group of the former Yugoslav People's Army, so it was the
25 2nd Posavina Brigade of the army of Republika Srpska that was established.
1 It was established after the 19th of May, 1992.
2 Q. When was the new command established in this 2nd Posavina Infantry
3 Brigade of the army of Republika Srpska? How did that take place?
4 A. After the officers who had not been born in Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 left, I already said that it was the chief of artillery and I that stayed
6 behind at the command as officers. Immediately after that, perhaps the
7 following day or two days later, Major Jovica Savic came to the command
8 post in the village of Pelagicevo. He said that he had orders from the
9 command, at that time, the East Bosnian Corps had been established already
10 instead of the 17th Corps. The 17th Corps went to the territory of the
11 municipality of Ugljevik. Well, that he had orders stating that he was
12 appointed commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
13 After some 30 or 40 minutes, just after he had settled in and
14 after I showed him where he would be staying, Major Jovica Savic came to
15 the command post -- then it was that Srecko Radovanovic, Debeli, came to
16 the command post. That's what happened then. And he said that he also
17 had orders appointing him commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. So at
18 one moment, I had - let's put it this way - two commanders, two brigade
19 commanders. When Srecko Radovanovic came to the command post,
20 Major Jovica was standing in front of the command building. He passed by
21 the major and then he turned around, looked at him - he knew me; he did
22 not know him - and he asked: "What are you doing here?" Major Savic
23 answered: "I have been appointed commander of the brigade."
24 Then the other one gave a vulgar response. He cursed him and
25 said: "What do you mean? What kind of a commander are you? I was
1 appointed commander." Srecko Radovanovic stayed at the command post for a
2 very short while and then he left. He said goodbye to me because he knew
3 me, because we had met before. Major Jovica Savic stayed for a while.
4 Nobody even knew him at the command. And quite simply, he just asked:
5 "Where could I make a phone call from? I should like to phone my
7 I took him to the office and he phoned some superior officer at
8 the command. I don't know who exactly. I was not present while the
9 conversation took place. I just brought him into the room and then I went
11 After the conversation took place, Major Jovica Savic said to me:
12 "I will no longer be commander. That is what the superior officer said.
13 A vehicle is going to come and fetch me and then I'm going."
14 After perhaps an hour and a half, a vehicle came and he left.
15 Q. Did you see these orders pertaining to these appointments? Did
16 they take some piece of paper out and show it to you when they were
17 introducing themselves?
18 A. Yes, they did take out a sheet of paper, but I didn't look at it,
19 and I did not see who appointed Major Jovica Savic, whose stamp was there,
20 and on whose orders he was appointed. I also did not look at the orders
21 of Srecko Radovanovic. They just said that they had this, and it was not
22 my duty to check on the orders appointing commanders.
23 Q. So did Srecko Radovanovic really come as commander, after Major
24 Jovica Savic left?
25 A. No. Srecko Radovanovic did not come, and he did not become
1 commander. He did not become commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
2 Q. Who came as commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade after all of
3 this happened?
4 A. After this case, if I can put it that way, when I had two
5 commanders in one day, Mico -- just a moment, please. I know the man. I
6 just can't remember.
7 Q. Was it perhaps Colonel Mico Djurdjevic?
8 A. Yes. Yes. Colonel Mico Djurdjevic came with orders appointing
9 him commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. Afterwards I found out that
10 Mico Djurdjevic was from the area, that he was born in the village of
11 Tisina, in the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
12 Q. What were the first actions taken by the new commander, Colonel
13 Mico Djurdjevic?
14 A. When Colonel Djurdjevic came to the command post - I was head of
15 the security and intelligence department, and he invited me, and I briefly
16 presented to him the intelligence situation, but primarily the security
17 situation in this area of responsibility. While I was making this
18 presentation, I saw that he was very familiar with everything that had
19 been taking place within the zone of responsibility, the area of
20 responsibility. He immediately embarked upon the establishment of the
21 brigade, that is to say, the remaining officer personnel in the 2nd
22 Posavina Brigade. He also immediately asked for a meeting to be held.
23 Q. At the command of the brigade, did you continue to be head of
24 security and intelligence affairs?
25 A. Yes. After Mico Djurdjevic came, I remained head of security and
1 intelligence, but Sabrija also stayed on as head of artillery.
2 Q. Very well. And was a meeting organised, and with whom? Did the
3 commander organise a meeting?
4 A. Yes. The commander, soon after his arrival at the command post, a
5 day or two later, he held a meeting at the premises of the local office in
6 Pelagicevo. It was like the premises of the local community where the
7 local people used to gather. Everybody was invited to that meeting, that
8 is to say, all the commanders of the detachments. Detachments were now
9 re-established as battalions. All assistants for intelligence and
10 security affairs were invited. Also the civilian authorities were invited
11 of the Serb municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo, under formation.
12 Q. Who was present at that meeting on behalf of the civilian
14 A. On behalf of the civilian authorities of the Serb municipality of
15 Samac and Pelagicevo under formation, I know that the following persons
16 were present: Blagoje Simic, Stevan Todorovic. I think that Milan
17 Blagojevic was present too, some other people from Samac were present, who
18 I did not know. From Pelagicevo there was Dusan Tanasic. He was there. I
19 did not know many people from Samac, anyway.
20 Q. What did the commander say at that meeting?
21 A. At that meeting, the commander familiarised all persons present
22 with the order pertaining to his appointment as commander of the 2nd
23 Posavina Brigade. He briefly presented what he knew about the security
24 situation. He particularly referred to the group of volunteers who had
25 come in the month of April and who were in Samac. He asked that these
1 volunteers be placed under the command of the army of Republika Srpska,
2 that they be placed under his command. Or, if they did not wish to be
3 placed under the command of the army of Republika Srpska, that they should
4 leave, that they would have to leave the territory of that area of
5 responsibility, or that they strictly be placed under the control of the
6 civilian police and that they should wear their uniforms too.
7 Q. Thank you. At that meeting, did the commander receive support
8 from all persons present?
9 A. Yes. That is what he asked for, that everybody state their views
10 as to whether they were in favour of what he had said, the way he had put
11 it, the way he wanted things to evolve and the future. He wanted to have
12 the situation under his control within his area of responsibility. He
13 said that he would prevent lootings that did take place, and he asked for
14 support and he received that support from the persons who were present at
15 that meeting.
16 Q. Very well. Thank you. Do you know what happened after the fall?
17 [As interpreted]
18 A. After the meeting that was held in Pelagicevo, life somehow
19 changed in all the units of the army of Republika Srpska and in the
20 territory involved. However, after six or seven days, after Commander
21 Djurdjevic came to command the 2nd Posavina Brigade, he said to me: "I
22 have been invited to the Crisis Staff, to the premises of the Crisis Staff
23 of the municipality of Samac, to go to a meeting there." And then:
24 "Could you please come with me."
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] It's time for our break now, so
1 we'll continue after the break.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, if I may: Page 30, line 14: Instead
3 of word "fall" at the end of the sentence, it should be: After a couple
4 of days. Because that's exactly what my learned friend asked.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. That will be corrected. We'll take our
6 break and continue at 1615.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. Before the break, you spoke about Djurdjevic asking whether you
12 could come with him. Can you please tell us what happened after that.
13 A. The commander was on his way, and he asked me to come along to the
14 meeting at the Crisis Staff building, the Crisis Staff of Samac
15 municipality. In the same vehicle, we were accompanied by two military
16 police officers. They were escorting the commander. We set out, and I
17 asked the commander, and he told me that he had no idea what the meeting
18 would be about, but he invited me to come along.
19 We reached the Crisis Staff premises in Samac. That's where the
20 Crisis Staff building was in Samac. I noticed a large group of people
21 wearing camouflage uniforms. Those were volunteers who had arrived on the
22 11th of April. There were some other people there who were still being
23 trained. They had arrived with them, but they were from the area of Samac
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Just one small intervention in the
1 transcript. The premises that were mentioned by the witness were heating
2 plants in Bosanski Samac.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Can you please continue.
6 A. After arriving at the Crisis Staff premises, at the heating plant
7 in Samac, we left our vehicle, and together with Commander Djurdjevic, I
8 tried to go into the building, to enter the heating plant building. The
9 security who were there, they were probably providing security for the
10 Crisis Staff, would not allow me into the building. They said that only
11 the commander could go to the meeting, and you, they told me, will stay
12 outside and wait.
13 I protested. I thought there was no reason for me to stay
14 outside. And Djurdjevic, in order to calm the situation down, told me to
15 just wait outside near the vehicle, and that's what I did. I returned to
16 where we had left our vehicle. It was the month of May, sunny weather,
17 but the driver had moved the vehicle into the shade. We were not parked
18 directly outside the building. It was a little bit to the side.
19 Q. How long did you wait for Commander Djurdjevic?
20 A. I reckon it must have been between one and a half and two hours.
21 That's my estimate. During that time, the military policeman -- one of
22 the military police officers would come out to see whether maybe the
23 meeting was finished, and I was waiting by the vehicle.
24 Q. When the commander -- when did the commander turn up?
25 A. After about one and a half or two hours, the commander came out,
1 and the driver headed towards him immediately. I didn't enter the
2 vehicle. I was still standing outside. And I saw that the commander was
3 agitated. I could tell by the way he acted that something had happened.
4 By looking at his face, I could tell that something had happened at the
6 He entered the vehicle and he told the driver to go back to the
7 command post. I entered the vehicle too, along with the military police
8 officers who were escorting us. Once we were on our way, I asked the
9 commander whether anything had happened at the meeting. He only told me:
10 "Makso, we'll discuss this later."
11 Probably he did not wish to discuss the meeting, because the
12 driver was there too, as well as the military police officers. So the
13 stretch of the road between Samac and the command post, we kept silent.
14 He didn't talk, and I reckoned he didn't want to talk about anything. I
15 didn't try to strike up conversation, so I kept silent too.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic --
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. What happened when you reached the command post in Pelagicevo?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: If we are going to have all these details as to what
20 didn't happen and all that, we won't finish the witness. Please do lead
21 him to the salient features of his evidence, what is relevant and what
22 happened. We don't want all these details. They're taking too much time.
23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] We shall be finishing this section
24 of evidence in about ten minutes, but I believe what happened at the
25 command was very important, so I believe the witness should be able to
1 tell us.
2 Q. Very well. So you arrived at the command, and what happened?
3 A. After we arrived there, Commander Djurdjevic asked me to come and
4 see him in his office on the first floor. He told me that he was no
5 longer the commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. He said he had been
6 dismissed by the Crisis Staff. It was only then I understood why he had
7 been that agitated. I was surprised myself by these developments and by
8 learning about this. I told him: "Well, you know very well, Commander:
9 The Crisis Staff does not have the authority to remove you. Only whoever
10 appointed you by order has the authority to remove you."
11 The only thing he answered was: "Well, Makso, you know all sorts
12 of things can happen around here."
13 Q. When did Commander Djurdjevic leave the command post as commander
14 of the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
15 A. Commander Djurdjevic left the post of commander of the 2nd
16 Posavina Brigade very soon. I think the next day he left. He reported to
17 his Superior Command and he didn't linger; he just left.
18 Q. Who was then appointed commander of the 2nd Posavina Infantry
20 A. While he was telling me back at the command that he had been
21 removed, he also told me that Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, was appointed
22 commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. After Commander Djurdjevic left,
23 Colonel Dencic arrived as the commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade at the
24 command post in Pelagicevo. [As interpreted] He came from the command of
25 the Eastern Bosnian Corps. He had been the commander of the Eastern
1 Bosnia Corps. And he brought with him an order appointing Dragan
2 Djordjevic, Crni, the commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. This order
3 also promoted Djordjevic to the rank of lieutenant colonel.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... because here
5 on page 33, line 19, here in the transcript it says: "After Commander
6 Djurdjevic left, Colonel Dencic arrived as the commander of the 2nd
7 Posavina Brigade," which is not true. This is not what the witness said.
8 "At the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade." Just this small
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. That will be corrected.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. What happened?
13 A. When Colonel Dencic arrived at the command post, he brought the
14 order on appointment and promotion of Dragan Djurdjevic, Crni, as
15 commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. He greeted Dragan Djordjevic,
16 Crni, in a very friendly way, and the way they addressed each other was
18 Q. If you know, please tell me: Can a Corps Commander promote
19 persons in the JNA in terms of ranks? And secondly, was that possible in
20 the Republika Srpska army?
21 A. The Corps Commander could promote, but he could actually only
22 demote. As soon as an officer had met all the requirements for promotion,
23 yes, but the rank of lieutenant colonel, that would have been down to the
24 General Staff of the army of Republika Srpska.
25 Q. Who was then appointed chief of the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade?
1 A. Srecko Radovanovic was appointed chief of the 2nd Posavina Brigade
2 of the army of Republika Srpska. His nickname was Debeli.
3 Q. Who was appointed commander of the military police company in the
4 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade?
5 A. There was an order. Actually, at that point no longer an order.
6 It was a decision by the new commander, Dragan Djordjevic, Crni, commander
7 of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. The volunteer who had arrived with him - his
8 name was Zvjezdan - he was appointed commander of the military police. To
9 this very day, I don't know his whole name or his real name. I only know
10 that he's called Zvjezdan.
11 Q. Did you remain in your position as chief for intelligence and
13 A. Yes, I remained in my position. I received no orders on my own
14 dismissal. I remained in my position. However, I was there just for the
15 sake of being there. No one ever called me to another meeting. I was no
16 longer important. I would report to my Superior Command about security
17 and intelligence. I reported to them what had happened, and they told me
18 to just stay put, monitor what was going on, and keep on reporting, and
19 that's exactly what I did.
20 Q. Did you still receive reports from Simo Zaric, as the officer for
21 intelligence and security of the 5th Battalion?
22 A. Yes, I still received those reports, but those were no longer
23 reports in the sense in which they had been reports up to that point. We
24 had to organise matters in a different way. I told you that my position
25 was no longer important, so I held on to my appointment. I stayed in my
1 position, but no one paid me any attention. I kept receiving reports, but
2 no one called me. No one asked for my opinion. So I never offered any of
3 my proposals to Dragan Djordjevic. He never asked for my ideas. So I
4 just forwarded my reports to the Superior Command.
5 Q. In which way did you communicate with Simo Zaric?
6 A. We communicated orally. I would go to see him, and see others
7 too. I'd never stay for very long. I did not wish to linger at the
8 command, the way the command had become. You will understand that I
9 reckoned that perhaps even my life was in danger. I no longer slept in
10 the same room as before. I slept in private houses in the village of
11 Pelagicevo. That's where I was born, so I knew people there. I'd leave
12 my car outside one house and I'd spend the night in a different house
13 altogether, for reasons of personal safety.
14 Q. How long did you stay with the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
15 A. Until July, the beginning of July, or mid-July. Major Mile
16 Beronja was appointed commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade. He was from
17 the 1st Krajina Corps.
18 Q. Very well. Thank you. And what happened to you afterwards?
19 A. After Commander Beronja arrived, he bypassed all the rules and
20 separated the security from the intelligence in the army, because at the
21 brigade level, that was a joint thing, but at superior levels, they were
22 separated. So he separated this at the brigade level, and he told me:
23 "You're no longer chief of security and intelligence -- chief of
24 security. You will from now on only be in charge of intelligence," and
25 Captain Jez, he said, was to become chief of security. Captain Jez had
1 arrived with him. I reported this too to my Superior Command. I was
2 given instructions again, like I had been given instructions when Dragan
3 Djordjevic, Crni, arrived. They told me: "Just stay put and keep a watch
4 over what's going on."
5 Q. When did you leave the 2nd Posavina Infantry Brigade?
6 A. That was towards the end of August and beginning of September in
7 1992. I took up other duties in the army of Republika Srpska.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this concludes my
9 examination-in-chief. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Any other counsel wishes to ask questions?
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I have a couple of issues to
12 discuss with this witness.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: How many questions?
14 MR. PANTELIC: Well, I have a number of topics here related to my
15 client. Of course, I believe that --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. How many minutes do you need?
17 MR. PANTELIC: We are working today until 6.30, I believe. Is
18 that correct?
19 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. Until 1900 hours.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Because we were informed --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. That was just for -- in order to hold a
22 Status Conference.
23 MR. PANTELIC: I understand. Okay, Your Honour. In that case, I
24 don't think that I will finish today, but let's see in the first couple --
25 let's say, half an hour or an hour how we shall go, and then I could be
1 able to provide you with better, more precise information
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Simeunovic.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. Now that we're on this subject: You mentioned your permanent
6 contact several times with the Superior Command. I believe that you are
7 referring to the intelligence line. So what was your Superior Command
8 along this intelligence line? Within which unit, please? Could you tell
9 us that?
10 A. Yes. Yes. In the beginning, or rather, in March, April, and the
11 beginning of May, the Superior Command was the 17 Corps. After that, it
12 was the Eastern Bosnian Corps.
13 Q. Specifically, the chief of security in the East Bosnian Corps; is
14 that right? Is that a colonel? Does your superior officer have a name
15 and surname and a rank?
16 A. Yes. Yes, a name, surname, and a rank. It was Colonel -- now,
17 there is a separation in terms of intelligence work and security work.
18 Q. Perhaps just the name.
19 A. Just a moment, please. Right this minute, I can't remember.
20 Perhaps I'll remember later.
21 Q. You will agree with me, as an experienced soldier and intelligence
22 man, that the principle of subordination in the military is a key
23 principle, which means that an order has to be carried out; is that right?
24 Do you agree with me?
25 A. Yes, orders have to be carried out.
1 Q. Since time is very brief, could you just give me yes or no answer?
2 And Mr. Simeunovic, if I ask you for an explanation, then give me an
3 explanation, please, because our time is running very short?
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic. I don't mean to cut
5 into your time unduly, but with respect to the answer that Mr. Simeunovic
6 just gave on line 21, you had asked as to orders having to be carried out,
7 do you agree with me? And the witness said: "Yes, orders have to be
8 carried out." I would like to ask the witness: As a military man, does
9 that response mean all orders, all orders which are legal, and not
10 patently in violation of international criminal and humanitarian law? When
11 you say: "Yes, all orders have to be carried out." Legal orders? Yes or
12 no, if you wouldn't mind.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. When I say that orders have to
14 be carried out, I meant orders that are in accordance with valid laws and
15 regulations. Orders that jeopardise others, that, for example, endanger
16 people's lives, or that would incur material damage, such orders do not
17 have to be carried out. I remembered. The name was Colonel Jakovljevic.
18 He was my superior along the security line.
19 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Thank you. And above the East Bosnian Corps, was the Main Staff
21 of the army of Republika Srpska. Who was there in charge of security?
22 A. In the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska, General Tolimir
23 was in charge of security.
24 Q. So that is your chain of command in the army of Republika Srpska;
25 is that right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. When you answered the question of honourable Judge Williams, my
3 understanding was - and now you tell me whether I'm right - all other
4 orders of a superior, and of a Superior Command, have to be carried out;
5 is that right?
6 A. Yes, orders that are in accordance with valid regulations and laws
7 have to be carried out.
8 Q. Are you familiar with the order of the Presidency of the SFRY
9 dated December 1991, on the engagement of volunteers in the armed forces
10 of the SFRY in imminent danger of war? Just say yes or no.
11 A. No.
12 Q. You're a professional. My impression is, after your presentation
13 now, after you answered the last questions that my colleague Mr. Pisarevic
14 had to put to you, it was my feeling that you were personally hurt and
15 dissatisfied with the way you were treated after Dragan Djordjevic, Crni,
16 was appointed commander. Isn't that right?
17 A. No. First of all, I'm not a professional. I explained that at
18 the very outset, that I was a civilian serving in the Yugoslav People's
19 Army. As for these duties, I carried them out in a wartime unit. As for
20 feeling hurt, I did not point out that I felt hurt, because I was not at
21 these meetings and because I was not invited to these meetings. As a
22 matter of fact, I can say that I can be grateful for the fact that I was
23 not invited. I informed my Superior Command about what had happened, and
24 I followed orders that were in accordance with regulations and laws.
25 Q. So my conclusion is that you were satisfied with your position
1 after Crni came as commander.
2 A. No. I don't see how you can conclude that I was satisfied. If I
3 said that I no longer attended meetings, if I said that I could not carry
4 out my duties --
5 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, please, I know what you said, but the question is
6 simple. Were you satisfied or were you unsatisfied? Please be brief and
7 let us proceed.
8 A. What do you mean? What was I satisfied or dissatisfied with?
9 Q. By your very own treatment in the Brigade when Crni came as
10 commander. It's a very simple question.
11 A. I was not satisfied.
12 Q. Thank you. Mr. Simeunovic --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Please remember to pause.
14 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: The interpreters are having a difficult time to keep
17 MR. PANTELIC: I do apologise to the Trial Chamber and to the
18 interpreters especially.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simeunovic, maybe I missed this, but what is
20 the rank that you held in the 17th Tactical Group?
21 A. When I came to the position of chief in the Tactical Group, my
22 rank was Captain First Class.
23 Q. Were you promoted after that when you left the army of Republika
24 Srpska? What was the rank that you held then?
25 A. Yes. After I left -- I mean, I left bearing the rank of major.
1 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, tell me: When you were appointed chief of the
2 security service in the 17th Tactical Group, did you have any orders? Did
3 you have any written orders from the commander or from the command? How
4 did your appointment take place?
5 A. The appointment was in accordance with laws and regulations of the
6 Yugoslav People's Army. I got orders from the commander of the 17th
7 Corps, General Sava Jankovic. That is how I was appointed chief for
8 intelligence and security matters in the 17th Tactical Group.
9 Q. In writing or verbally?
10 A. There was a written order, like all orders that are issued in the
11 Yugoslav People's Army.
12 Q. Do you still have that order? Do you still have it in your
14 A. I think I do.
15 Q. Tell me, Mr. Simeunovic: In view of the special line of work that
16 you had, did you complete any special courses for that particular line of
17 work, in the period before you came to the 17th Tactical Group?
18 A. Yes. But this is not --
19 Q. Just say where.
20 A. Yes. I attended courses in Pancevo.
21 Q. There are different courses there: Beginners courses, advanced
22 courses. Did you attend different courses there? Because we were laymen.
23 Could you explain this to us.
24 A. Courses are organised according to the position that one holds
25 within the establishment. I was then assistant commander for security and
1 intelligence in a battalion, and that is where I carried out my duties,
2 and I trained, I took a course for those duties.
3 Q. When was this?
4 A. There were several courses. The last one was in 1974.
5 Q. Did I understand you right: 1974? Isn't that a long time between
6 1974 and 1992?
7 A. I don't see why that would be necessary. I was in the battalion
8 all the time. It is not necessary to repeat a course.
9 Q. You didn't understand me. Just focus, please. You said 1974. I'm
10 asking you: Perhaps you got the figure wrong. 1974? Mr. Simeunovic, is
11 that what you meant, 1974?
12 A. I put it right. I had the last course in 1974.
13 Q. And until 1992, you did not take any other courses?
14 A. No, I did not, because I completed this course at the level of
15 assistant commander for security and intelligence in a battalion.
16 Q. Before coming to the 17th Tactical Group, were you in another JNA
18 A. Yes, I was. I was in the 2nd Armoured Battalion of the 395th
19 Motorised Brigade, with its command post being in Brcko.
20 Q. That was 1991; right?
21 A. Yes, October 1991 was when we came to the command post in the
22 village of Donji Zabar, the municipality of Orasje.
23 Q. And before Brcko, where were you then?
24 A. I was doing my work as a civilian in charge of weaponry in the
25 395th Motorised Brigade.
1 Q. You will agree with me if I say that when the SFRY fell apart, and
2 thereby the JNA fell apart as well, that former officers of the JNA went
3 and joined their respective ethnic groups. Croats went to the Croat army,
4 Muslims went to the Muslim army, Serbs went to the army of Republika
5 Srpska. Is this correct what I've been saying?
6 A. I don't think that this is a general truth. I think that there
7 were people with different ethnic backgrounds who stayed in the army of
8 Republika Srpska, and I also know that on the side of the Federation in
9 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were some Serbs who stayed there.
10 Q. I agree with you, but can we concede that the majority of
11 officers, say over 60 or 70 per cent, let's try to agree on a figure in
12 that neighbourhood.
13 A. Yes. Most people acted that way, yes.
14 Q. I assume that you had intelligence information about the plans of
15 the Republic of Croatia for certain military actions in Posavina in the
16 period before April 1992. Just say yes or no.
17 A. Yes, we did have information, and we got that from Superior
19 Q. Please just give me yes or no answers.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, please don't misunderstand me. Every minute is
22 invaluable for us. These are simple questions, and it will be quite
23 proper in these proceedings if you'd just give yes or no answers. Believe
24 me, there is nothing else behind this. I assume that you got this
25 information from a network of your informers, your informers in the field
1 who collected information. You had your own channels, didn't you?
2 A. Yes. We obtained this information. As for Croatia, we got that
3 from higher commands. We did not have our own people in Croatia with whom
4 we could communicate.
5 Q. Another possible source would have been tapping communication
6 lines. That's also something you do in your line of work, isn't it, and
7 that's perfectly legitimate, I believe. I'm talking about a war
8 situation. I'm talking about wartime. I'm not trying to confuse you.
9 There is a war being prepared. There are two opposing sides. So you
10 would have been perfectly entitled to tap communication lines.
11 A. I would just like to say something before I answer this question.
12 I'm following the interpretation and I'm waiting for them to finish, and
13 then I will say. Okay. Yes. That was one of the ways we gathered
14 intelligence. I'm following the interpreters. I'm waiting for them to
15 finish interpreting, and then I answer the question.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have Exhibit D122/1, please.
17 Q. [Interpretation] That's all very well. In the meantime, while we're
18 waiting for this document to be shown, you will agree with me when I say
19 that prior to April, there were a number of series armed incidents, the
20 massacre of Serbs in Sijekovac, in Slavonia, and then in a number of towns
21 in Posavina as a whole. Would you agree with that?
22 A. Yes, I do agree. I know about what happened in Sijekovac, a
23 village near Bosanski Brod. Also, in Brcko there had been an attempt at
24 sabotaging a military convoy, there were a number of such things
25 happening, yes.
1 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, can you please have a look at this document and
2 tell me if you've seen it before. While you were gathering intelligence.
3 A. Perhaps not this specific document, but I have seen documents of
4 this kind, with this sort of content and with this heading. I have seen
5 similar documents. Perhaps not this specific one.
6 Q. Can you please look at the signature block.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Be so kind to move a little bit the document so we
8 can see a seal and signature. Just up, up to the -- okay. Thank you.
9 Q. [Interpretation] My question to you, Mr. Simeunovic, is: What is
10 this position exactly, coordinator for Bosanski Brod and Derventa? I see
11 this is the Croatian army, and we know that both Bosanski Brod and
12 Derventa are in Bosnia. So what were your conclusions beyond the basis of
13 intelligence gathered concerning such documents?
14 A. Yes. Well, it says here, coordinator for Bosanski Brod and
15 Derventa, this indicates a direct link between the Republic of Croatia and
16 the Croatian army and forces that had been set up in the Republic of
18 Q. Which side are you referring to?
19 A. I'm referring to the forces set up -- such forces as the HVO, the
20 Croatian Defence Council, the army of the Croat people in Bosnia.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. PANTELIC: I've finished with this document. Thank you,
23 Ms. Usher.
24 Q. [Interpretation] What I want to know, Mr. Simeunovic: All this
25 lively intelligence activity that I'm sure is quite easy to explain in
1 times like those, full of tension. Until the 16th of April, 1992, did you
2 have any intelligence indicating a possible attack, a joint attack by the
3 Croat and Muslim forces on Samac and on the general area of responsibility
4 of the 17th Tactical Group?
5 A. Yes, we did. We did have information like that, and it was
6 precisely due to that information that Commander Nikolic ordered that part
7 of the 4th Detachment be used to take the right-hand river bank of the
8 River Sava and the River Bosna in Samac.
9 Q. Did other detachments of the 17th Tactical Group also have --
10 raised a state of alert in the first half of April 1992, based on the
11 information that you had?
12 A. Yes. All the detachments after the 16th of April had information
13 that combat readiness was to be raised. Only the 4th Detachment came out
14 on the 16th of April, because what was happening was in their area of
15 responsibility, towards the border with the Republic of Croatia.
16 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, I asked you about the period between the 1st and
17 16th of April, did you go home during that period? Were you relaxed? Did
18 you have fun? What was the atmosphere like? Or quite the contrary; was
19 there raised combat readiness among the ranks of the 17th Tactical Group,
20 on the basis of your information? Please, tell this to the Trial Chamber.
21 A. Not before the 16th of April, there was no raised combat readiness
22 in any of the detachments. All detachment members were at their homes,
23 going after their usual business. There was no raised combat readiness,
24 and no one was told so.
25 Q. I would like to read out a section of document P16 ter. It's a
1 Prosecution document. This is a transcript from video footage. Stevan
2 Nikolic and Simo Zaric were being interviewed by TV Novi Sad. First of
3 all, let me ask you: Do you remember this programme where the two of them
4 were interviewed in it was in April 1992.
5 A. I know that there was a programme like that, but that's all I
7 Q. All right. Now I'm going to read a section of this tape to you,
8 and these words are spoken by your colleague Simo Zaric. Now, tell me
9 whether you agree with him, because, after all, you had said that you had
10 very good cooperation and that you worked very well together as
11 intelligence officers?
12 MR. PANTELIC: Number [Previous translation continues] ... Page 3.
13 Q. [Interpretation] "All operational information during the last
14 couple of days indicate that in this town there is a lot of evil things in
15 store for these people. In that sense, the 4th Detachment of the
16 Territorial Defence was preparing for something like that to happen, and
17 all I can say, on the basis of documents that we have, is that after war
18 operations in this town, only three or four hours were missing for the HOS
19 members and the Green Berets to take the city, to turn it into a city of
20 war and to kill all the Serbs and Muslims who had formed this defence
21 territorial component on a joint basis."
22 Do you agree with his description of the situation? Please just
23 give me a yes or no answer.
24 A. To ask me now, after what you've just read, to say yes or no, I
25 think that's simply impossible.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Could we please have -- I believe that I
2 distributed certain documents to Trial Chamber and also to my learned
3 friends from the Prosecution. Our internal number is RB 19. So I'd like
4 to discuss this document with this witness. A couple of days ago I think
5 it was submitted. RB 19. Maybe it was your colleague.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe I can speed up proceedings. Maybe we can
8 discuss this document, and later on, during break, we can find where these
9 copies are. Because I know that it was delivered.
10 Could you place this document on the ELMO, please.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simeunovic --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, before we start, you say that you
13 handed them over to the registry.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: When? Last week?
16 MR. PANTELIC: Last week, or --
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Today is Friday, so it was last week?
18 MR. PANTELIC: One copy for the Court officer and one for the
19 Prosecution and one for the Registry, and three copies for the Trial
20 Chamber as well. Your Honour, maybe during the break, if there is some
21 problems, I can make additional copy during the break. It's only two
22 documents that we have to discuss.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. We don't seem to have received them at
25 MR. PANTELIC: It's a lot of documents. Everything is possible.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, you can go ahead. You can give us copies.
2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simeunovic, have you ever seen this -- well,
4 can you describe this for us, please? I assume these are photocopies of
5 individual IDs issued for members of the reserve police forces of the
6 Croatian MUP, Ministry of the Interior. Isn't that right?
7 A. Yes. These are photocopies of the front page of an official ID
8 issued for members of the reserve police forces of the Republic of
9 Croatia. This is noteworthy for the simple reason that these names, these
10 members that I see here, they are citizens of the Republic of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are not citizens of the Republic of Croatia.
12 Q. In your work, have you ever had occasion of stumbling on any of
13 these, or have you ever seized this kind of ID off anyone in your area of
15 A. Yes, this did happen. This is also related to the document that
16 we've discussed today, where parties sent their own members for training
17 with the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Croatia.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, can I have your instructions whether
19 we could tender it as an exhibit? Because I have also official
20 translation. Or --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: No. We have received the copies now.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Oh, you have now. Can we tender it into evidence,
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Any objection, Mr. Prosecutor? It is just identity
1 MR. WEINER: No objection.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have the number?
3 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D165/1 and D165/1 ter for the
5 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Ms. Usher.
6 The next document that I would like to discuss with this witness
7 is our internal enumeration document RB 20, consisting of two pages. It's
8 survey of paramilitary organisations in the area of responsibility of the
9 17th Corps. It's a two-pages document.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simeunovic, can you please look at this
11 document. We can see this is from your Superior Command, the 17th Corps.
12 Have you ever seen this specific document before during your work?
13 A. Yes. Yes. Perhaps not this one, but I've seen another document
14 that was identical to this one in my position of chief in the area of
15 responsibility of the 17th Tactical Group.
16 Q. Can you tell us what exactly is this document, and how often would
17 you receive this survey from your Superior Command? Once a week? Once a
18 month? How frequently?
19 A. This document represents information gathered across
20 municipalities within the area of responsibility of the 17th Corps,
21 information on paramilitary units set up by the SDA, HDZ, and SDS
22 political parties. We didn't receive these surveys on a regular basis,
23 but such surveys would come in perhaps once a month. There was no fixed
24 deadline by which these surveys were to be delivered. Also, there would
25 be daily additions and amendments to the surveys. We contributed our own
1 information, our own intelligence, on which we reported to our Superior
2 Command. They would insert the additions and then copies would be sent
3 out to all the units.
4 Q. Can you remember: These reports, were there any such reports the
5 17th of April, 1992, or only after the 17th of April, 1992?
6 A. Before the 17th of April.
7 Q. The relationship between the JNA and the SDS was not very
8 friendly, was it? You were not exactly allies with the SDS. What's your
9 take on it?
10 A. No, I don't think we were on the same frequency, the SDS and the
11 JNA, I mean.
12 Q. I see that in addition to the SDS, not you personally, but the
13 army and the army's bodies, there's a remark saying that the SDS contained
14 Chetnik units. Even this qualification shows that there wasn't much
15 cooperation between the JNA and the SDS, was there?
16 A. As I have said before, there certainly was no cooperation. And as
17 for the remark, "Chetnik units," that's because certain units set up in
18 certain municipalities called themselves Chetnik units. It's as simple as
20 Q. Under number 4, we see Bosanski Samac municipality. The numbers,
21 the figures speaks for themselves. There are no armed units belonging to
22 the SDS there. Is this compatible with your personal knowledge as
23 intelligence officer in the area of responsibility of the 17th Tactical
24 Group and Samac municipality?
25 A. Yes, this is consistent with the information that I had. When I
1 spoke about this, I said that there were individual cases, but established
2 military units belonging to the SDS, there were no such units in Samac
3 municipality, or in a number of other municipalities, as you can see from
4 this survey.
5 Q. Mr. Simeunovic, can you please provide a number of explanations of
6 the reverse side of this document. What I want to know is about the last
7 column to the right, where it says "armed." Under number 1, for example,
8 30 RRB, what does that mean? What does that stand for?
9 A. The abbreviation "30 RRB" means they had 30 pieces of hand-held
10 rocket launchers. RRB is an abbreviation. It stands for hand-held rocket
11 launcher, better known as a Zolja.
12 Q. For example, under number 4, 10 MB, what does that mean?
13 A. That means they had 10 mortars.
14 Q. And what does this mean, number 7, Bosanski Samac, the village of
15 Hasici, PAT 20/3? What would that mean?
16 A. PAT means anti-aircraft gun. Number 20 is the calibre of the
17 barrel, the calibre of the weapon. /3 means the weapon had three barrels.
18 Q. Number 11, 40 PTR Ambrust what does that mean?
19 A. That means they had -- they had 40 anti-tank rockets, also
20 referred to as Ambrust.
21 Q. I would like to put the following question to you: Can we agree
22 that in the area of responsibility of the 17th Tactical Group, and in the
23 area of responsibility where you were active as an intelligence man, there
24 was no cooperation between the SDS and the JNA in military plans and in
25 preparations for any kind of offensive action? Yes or no.
1 A. There was no cooperation.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. PANTELIC: Could we have a number for this document, please.
4 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I object to the document.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
6 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, there's no date on this document. If it
7 is a document after Bosnia-Herzegovina is a valid republic, the
8 indications that these are paramilitary units are ridiculous. Actually,
9 he has testified previously he considers paramilitary units any unit other
10 than those tied to the JNA. In fact, after Bosnia and Herzegovina was a
11 valid nation, had its own army, in May of 1992, he considered those armies
12 to be paramilitary units, when in fact the JNA army, which was an army of
13 another country on the land of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was probably the
14 only -- was one of the paramilitary units that was probably in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time. Unless you can get a date for this, this
16 doesn't make any sense. If this is three days prior to the war beginning,
17 then his -- these statements of paramilitary units are just not true. If
18 it's months before, that's one thing. Is there any way we can get some
19 sort of date for this from counsel? Because this witness didn't produce
20 this document, and he has never seen it before, other than today.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, maybe the main part of the submission
22 of my learned friend is for the closing arguments. This witness clearly
23 said that he saw this kind of reports prior to 16 of April, 1992. That
24 was my question. He confirmed that.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, similar to these, not this one.
1 MR. PANTELIC: I can clarify that immediately with him, whether
2 it's a regular report that he was dealing with or not.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: And the other point the Prosecution is raising is
4 that there's no date.
5 MR. PANTELIC: And in addition, Your Honour, since he was covering
6 the area of Bosanski Samac, I can simply, through these questions that we
7 already heard, establish the basis of relevance for this document.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: And the date?
9 MR. PANTELIC: And also the date. Because I asked him whether
10 it's after 16th of April or prior to 16th, and he said it's prior to 16th
11 of April, so it's in the period, obviously, let's say ...
12 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me, please, Mr. Simeunovic: This document,
13 and documents just like this one, did you see them in the course of your
14 work? Did you get them from your Superior Command?
15 A. Yes. This same report, I got one from my Superior Command.
16 Perhaps there's no date here. It can be seen that it's a photocopy, yes,
17 but we heads of security used that, and then, on the basis of our
18 knowledge, we could add things to this and we could send reports to the
19 Superior Command. But this report came towards the end of April,
20 mid-April. And before that, when I came to the command of the TG, that's
21 when I got this, though this was the end of March 1992. That's when I got
22 this same kind of document.
23 Q. When you look at this information, that it has to do with Bosanski
24 Samac, the village of Domaljevac, Hasici, on page 2, you commented on that
25 a short while ago, this information and information from item 4 of this
1 document, or rather -- yes, it is item 4 -- does this correspond to your
2 own intelligence information when you came to the 17th Tactical Group
3 until the conflict broke out in Samac?
4 A. Yes. Yes. This information corresponds. When I came to the 17th
5 Tactical Group, I got this information, that they had this information,
6 and I also had knowledge about that.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. Yes. The Trial Chamber is of
9 the view that it will be admitted into evidence. What matters really is
10 how much weight we shall put to it.
11 MR. PANTELIC: But we all know, Your Honours, that we have --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the number?
13 MR. PANTELIC: -- Prosecution witnesses everything was actually
14 corroborated with this document.
15 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D166/1 and ter for the B/C/S.
16 MR. WEINER: Objection, Your Honour. Could you move to -- I'd
17 like to move to strike the editorial comment of the closing argument by
18 Mr. Pantelic. On 57, lines 10 and 11, please.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, because it doesn't make sense.
20 MR. WEINER: Correct.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: So it will be struck off the record.
22 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Tell me, Mr. Simeunovic: Can we agree with the assertion that
24 civilian authorities cannot command military units?
25 A. We can. They cannot command them.
1 Q. Tell me: Did you have any knowledge during your intelligence work
2 about the following, namely, that the SDS was issuing military orders in
3 Samac that were being carried out and that had to do with certain military
4 operations? Specifically, did the SDS give orders to the 4th Detachment
5 or the 17th Tactical Group?
6 A. No. I don't have any such knowledge that they could have given
7 such orders.
8 Q. Tell me: On the basis of your own intelligence data in the period
9 that you referred to while you were in that area, did Blagoje Simic ever
10 promote ethnic discrimination? Did your intelligence sources, or other
11 sources, point to any such thing that Blagoje Simic publicly or in some
12 other situations behaved that way, that is to say, along the lines of
13 ethnic discrimination, discrimination against other ethnic groups?
14 A. I did not have any such knowledge in my work.
15 Q. Tell me: During your work, did you have any operative information
16 about the SDS in Samac promoting a policy of ethnic hatred, ethnic
17 discrimination, et cetera, in the sense of political gatherings where this
18 was talked about and so on?
19 A. Now we're talking about the period until the 16th of April, are
21 Q. We're talking about the period until the 16th of April and about
22 the period until you held your position, that is to say, until you went to
23 the East Bosnian Corps. So we're talking about your personal knowledge.
24 A. Until the 16th of April, until what happened, happened in Bosanski
25 Samac, we did not have any such knowledge.
1 Q. And after the 16th of April, did you have any knowledge to that
2 effect, that the SDS in Samac was promoting ethnic discrimination and
3 holding some kind of rallies? Tell us what you know about that.
4 A. There weren't any rallies. Such things were not promoted. Ethnic
5 cleansing was not promoted at all. We did not have any knowledge about
6 the SDS ordering ethnic cleansing or persecution. We did not have any
7 such knowledge in the 17th Tactical Group.
8 Q. Tell me -- now we're moving on to a new subject. You will agree
9 with me that the armed forces of the SFRY consisted of two components: The
10 JNA and the TO; isn't that right?
11 A. Yes. Yes. That is what they consisted of.
12 Q. You were telling my colleague Mr. Pisarevic about the number of
13 battalions and the armour used by the 17th Tactical Group, et cetera. But
14 since we are laymen, what was the total number of soldiers under the
15 command of Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, commander of the 17th Tactical
16 Group while the 17th Tactical Group existed in the area? Could you give
17 me a tentative number?
18 A. This number was about 4.000 people, perhaps, who were involved in
19 the 17th Tactical Group.
20 Q. How many tanks did the armoured battalion have?
21 A. The armoured battalion, according to its very establishment, has
22 30 tanks.
23 Q. And how many did it actually have in the period while the 17th
24 Tactical Group was there?
25 A. It had 30 tanks.
1 Q. I'm not sure. Perhaps I'm making a mistake. Correct me if I'm
2 wrong, but it's not bad to go through this once again. You were saying to
3 Mr. Pisarevic, in terms of the area of responsibility of the 17th Tactical
4 Group, tell me: On the north, it went up to the River Sava; right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. To the east, it went to a village near Brcko; isn't that right?
7 Tell me: What is the name of that village?
8 A. Yes. It was between Gorica and Krepsici the village of Tinja [As
10 Q. So the south of Gradacac?
11 A. No, no, no.
12 Q. Tell us.
13 A. On the south it was the village of --
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, just one small correction on page
15 60. It was a river of Tinja, not village of Tinja.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: And the witness did give this evidence already in
17 examination-in-chief, and I don't understand why it is being repeated.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Because I didn't -- I wasn't so sure, Your Honour,
19 that that was the case.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: You are supposed to follow when the evidence is
21 being given.
22 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. On the west, what did you say? The municipality of Modrica to?
24 A. The municipality of Gradacac to the eastern border of the
25 municipality of Modrica.
1 Q. Very well. During your education and during your courses in
2 intelligence, and while you held these high positions in the army, you
3 were acquainted with the rules of service, weren't you?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You were also acquainted with the rules of service of the security
6 organs of the armed forces of the SFRY; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You were also acquainted with the rules of service of the military
9 police of the armed forces of the SFRY; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You, as a person who -- or rather, a military person involved in
12 the area of security, have special chains of command; right? You are not
13 directly linked to the commander of that unit, are you?
14 A. In the unit in which the security organ is, the security organ
15 concerned is linked to the commander of the unit in terms of discipline,
16 if we can put it that way. But in terms of security, there is a chain of
17 command that goes to the higher security organ.
18 Q. And the 17th Tactical Group, when you were there, did this chain
19 of yours go up to which administration in the Federal Secretariat for
20 National Defence? Was it the counter-intelligence or was it the third
21 administration? Which one was yours, so to speak?
22 A. Our chain went up to the 17th Corps, not further than that. The
23 17th Corps, the 1st Army, the army then to the Federal Secretariat of
24 National Defence and the General Staff. But we went up to the 17th Corps.
25 That is our Superior Command.
1 Q. Where was General Kukanjac? What did he command?
2 A. General Kukanjac was in Sarajevo. He commanded the 1st Army.
3 Q. I'm not sure whether it's the 1st or the 2nd Army, but never mind.
4 Tell me: As the security organ, since you said that you were
5 familiar with the rules of service of the security organs, you will agree
6 with me that the rules of service say that you are professionally in
7 charge of the military police organs; isn't that right?
8 A. Yes. We do not have the right to issue orders. Orders come from
9 the commander. Professionally, we are engaged in professional work and we
10 work on their improvement as well.
11 Q. You said that the 2nd Posavina Brigade was established within the
12 army of Republika Srpska and the Eastern Bosnian Corps. Are you aware of
13 the order of President Karadzic dated the 13th of May, 1992, about the
14 application of international law of war and humanitarian law? Are you
15 aware of that order?
16 MR. WEINER: Do we have a copy of the order to show the witness or
17 to show --
18 MR. PANTELIC: Just a colloquial discussion. It's -- you know,
19 because it's --
20 MR. WEINER: Are we talking about the same President Karadzic who
21 is alleged to have violated -- who is an alleged war criminal?
22 MR. PANTELIC: It was introduced in various proceedings within
23 this Tribunal, so it's practically a well-known document.
24 Q. [Interpretation] So we're talking about Radovan Karadzic, the
25 President of the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who, on the 13th of
1 May, passed that order. Are you aware of that order?
2 A. Yes. After the 12th of May, when the assembly was held, and when
3 a decision was made to establish the army of Republika Srpska, this order
4 came too.
5 Q. In relation to the events that took place between the 16th and
6 17th of April, we will agree that perhaps a week or ten days before the
7 16th of April, at any rate, at the beginning of April 1992, some kind of
8 military action took place in Modrica under the command of the commander
9 of the 17th Tactical Group. Do you remember that? There was some
10 skirmishes with Muslim and Croatian formations.
11 A. Yes. I remember that. This was before you said it was, I think,
12 a little earlier. In Modrica, we received information that there was an
13 international -- interethnic conflict in Modrica, and the JNA, which was
14 then under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, went to Modrica.
15 But there were no operations on the JNA's part. Not a single bullet
16 fired. The JNA was simply there in order to show everyone who could try
17 to provoke a conflict, that it wouldn't be possible, and the army withdrew
18 the next day. They didn't stay in Modrica.
19 Q. At any rate, Mr. Simeunovic, tensions were mounting, and the
20 Croats were near, they were about to attack Posavina with their forces.
21 You explained that as well already, as well as the incident at Modrica.
22 I'll read out a section of an interview to you now.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Number 00 -- [Previous translation continues] ...
24 2617, it's at page 2 of this transcript.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic told TV Novi Sad in
1 that interview --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: [Previous translation continues] ... It isn't
3 recorded because you overlapped with the previous translation. Can you
4 just repeat.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. I'll do that. So I'm speaking
6 about document P16, the ERN number is 00892617. It's page 2. It's
7 transcript of the videotape.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Therefore, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic in his
9 interview says the following: "Over the last three or four days we've
10 been engaged in fighting with members of the 1st Brigade of the ZNG,
11 following their attempt to penetrate into Bosanski Samac and shatter the
12 Serbian TO, Territorial Defence."
13 So you did have information that the 1st Brigade of the ZNG was --
14 spearheaded the attack on Samac?
15 A. Yes, we did have information, after the 16th of April, that an
16 attack on Samac was in the offing, that it was being prepared. In Odzak
17 municipality, we had several casualties on our side, and they had even
18 more casualties than we did. There was the incident at the bridge in
20 Q. Which means you had no information prior to the 16th of April that
21 any attack on Samac had been planned?
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Excuse me. Maybe I need to correct what the
23 witness said here. He actually said that they had one soldier dead and
24 there were several soldiers dead on the other side. It makes a
25 difference. It's here on page 64, lines 11 to 14, 15.
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. My question, Mr. Simeunovic, was: Did you have intelligence or
3 information that an attack was being prepared by the Muslim and Croat
4 forces on Samac prior to the 16th of April, 1992, or were they friendly
5 with the JNA and the 17th Tactical Group?
6 A. I wouldn't say anything about friendly, but we did have
7 information that -- and we had assessments that it had been possible to
8 put up defences for Samac along the River Sava. All the bridges had been
9 burnt down at Orasje, and all the other bridges, so the only possibility
10 that there was, was to transport people from Samac, and that's why we had
11 information that the only defence they could have put up was to transfer
12 the war operations into the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, near
14 Q. Do you know about the establishment of the SDA and HDZ Crisis
15 Staff in Samac prior to the 16th of April, 1992?
16 A. Yes, we did have information that those were being established.
17 Units of the HDZ and the SDA in Samac.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, after listening to some of your
19 questions, I'm wondering how helpful this evidence you are trying to
20 elicit from this witness, how helpful it is to your client, for the
21 defence of your client.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, yes. First of all -- I was just waiting for
23 the translation to be finished. First of all, Your Honour, the count --
24 subcount 1 of count 1 against my client is forcible takeover. The
25 position of the Defence is that the operation of 17th Tactical Group and
1 JNA was in fact fully in accordance with the military doctrine, in defence
2 of the Croatian forces, which should be operated with Croatian forces and
3 Crisis Staff of HDZ and SDA in Samac. So that's the position of the
4 Defence. And I want to elicit certain evidences from this witness.
5 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic. What you just said
6 there, frankly, I just don't understand what you've said, where you
7 mentioned, on lines 22, 23 of page 65 that the 17th Tactical Group, JNA,
8 was in fact fully in accordance with the military doctrine in defence of
9 the Croatian forces.
10 MR. PANTELIC: In defence against the Croatian forces.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: No, but you actually did say "of." I heard you
12 say that and it's recorded there in the transcript. It doesn't make any
14 MR. PANTELIC: Slip of the tongue. How can I say.
15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Well, good job we caught it, Mr. Pantelic.
16 MR. PANTELIC: Sorry, Your Honour.
17 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Simeunovic, we are talking about the
18 transfer of detainees from the TO, from the SUP in Samac, to Brcko. You
19 said that some of the detainees stayed behind, that you didn't transfer
20 all the detainees.
21 A. No. I said some had been brought over from the SUP building in
23 Q. My question to you is: People were collected at the TO building
24 and at the SUP building in Samac. Were they all transferred to Brcko or
25 did some of them stay in Samac? That's all I'm asking you. You were
1 there, weren't you?
2 A. Yes, I was there, and I said that I didn't count those people, how
3 many exactly were being transferred, but I think they were all transferred
4 to Brcko and that no one stayed behind in Samac. The names that Topolovac
5 read out, they all came out.
6 Q. Will you agree with me that the reasons for the transfer of those
7 people to Brcko, that the reason was gathering the intelligence that those
8 people were in possession of, concerning weapons and armament? Would you
9 agree with me on that? Please just say yes or no.
10 A. If it's a yes or no, then I'd say no.
11 Q. Despite your colleague Simo Zaric claiming in his book that that
12 indeed had been the main reason, you know that he stated that in his book.
13 Would you now change your previous answer?
14 A. No, I wouldn't change it, because I know exactly about my talks
15 with Captain Petrovic. I know what I had been ordered by Commander
16 Nikolic, why we were transferring those people to Samac. And as I've said
17 before, Simo Zaric had received orders from Commander Nikolic previously
18 to go there to look at the statements that had been taken.
19 Q. Just one last question before the break. Do you know the reason
20 why some of the more prominent detainees - I mean the president of the SDA
21 and certain people who were in high positions - why were they transferred
22 to Batajnica, to the military airport of the JNA? Why was that? Did you
23 receive any information as to why they were transferred to Batajnica and
24 why they didn't stay in Bijeljina? Just tell us yes or no, please. Do
25 you know the reason?
1 A. I told you that at that point I had no more communication with
2 those people. I just knew that they had been transferred to Bijeljina,
3 but that's where my information stopped.
4 MR. PANTELIC: It's time for our break, Your Honour, I believe.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: We shall break and continue our proceedings at 1805.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.46 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
9 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Simeunovic, can you please tell me: Who
11 initiated the transfer of prisoners from Brcko to Samac, because of the TV
12 programme that was being planned? And hereby I mean the Muslims among
13 them who held certain positions, Izetbegovic and the rest of them?
14 A. I know nothing about that.
15 Q. Did you bring charges against those responsible for the beating of
16 detainees from Samac who were transferred to Brcko?
17 A. Do you mean if I personally brought charges?
18 Q. That's exactly what I mean.
19 A. No. I was in no position to bring charges, because none of the
20 members of the JNA were involved in the beatings of those detainees.
21 Q. According to your information, who was involved in the beatings?
22 A. The beatings were done by volunteers who had arrived from Serbia.
23 Q. You can look at me, not at my colleague Mr. Pisarevic, because I'm
24 the one asking questions.
25 A. I'm not looking at Mr. Pisarevic.
1 Q. Yes. Just for the sake of our communication. If those volunteers
2 had been part of the 17th Tactical Group, would it have been possible for
3 you to prosecute them or for the military organs to prosecute them?
4 A. Yes, they would have been liable to prosecution by military
6 Q. When volunteers received orders for combat operations by Commander
7 Nikolic, in that case, would they have been part of the 17th Tactical
9 A. If they were taking part. Well, someone who is not a member of
10 the 17th Tactical Group taking part in combat operations of the 17th
11 Tactical Group, naturally, for that operation, this person would have
12 received orders.
13 Q. And then this person would have been considered a member of the
14 17th Tactical Group; isn't that right?
15 A. Yes. Perhaps not considered a member of the 17th Tactical Group,
16 but this person would have been under the command of the 17th Tactical
17 Group for the duration of the combat operation. But once the operation is
18 over, once the combat operation is completed, then this person is no
19 longer under the command of the 17th Tactical Group.
20 Q. You said today that Simo Zaric told you, after the murder in
21 Crkvina, that he had met Blagoje Simic and that Dr. Simic had been
22 surprised. Tell us, please: How did he describe this to you? Was
23 Blagoje pleasantly surprised, unpleasantly surprised, or shocked? Can you
24 please elaborate? Because the way that it's reflected in the transcript,
25 I think it's insufficiently described.
1 A. Yes, I do remember that. As Simo Zaric said he was unpleasantly
2 surprised. He was surprised by the incident in Crkvina and he deplored
3 the incident at Crkvina.
4 Q. Why does Simo Zaric go to Belgrade to see Colonel Maksimovic at
5 the security services? Why wasn't it you who was going there? Because
6 you were his superior. What was the reason for that?
7 A. The reason was that Simo Zaric was a personal acquaintance of
8 Colonel Jugoslav Maksimovic, who had been born in that area. I could not
9 have gone to the General Staff myself without an order telling me
10 explicitly to do so. I couldn't have gone from my Superior Command, as I
11 member of the JNA. Simo Zaric went for the simple reason that he was a
12 personal acquaintance of Jugoslav and he wanted to tell him about what was
13 going on.
14 Q. But you went to the 17th Corps and you told them about the
15 incident, the crime that had occurred in Crkvina; isn't that correct?
16 A. No, I didn't go. Commander Nikolic reported to the Superior
17 Command by telephone.
18 Q. The phone lines in Samac were down on the morning of the 17th of
19 April, 1992; isn't that correct?
20 A. I didn't know about that. I know that phone lines were
21 disconnected at a later stage, but I'm not sure which period of the
22 morning you are referring to, which time period. The phones were
23 disconnected in the morning the next day, but as far as I knew, we did
24 have phone connections.
25 Q. The 17th of April, since when exactly did you know that phones
1 weren't working?
2 A. Throughout the course of the day, the 17th, we didn't have any
3 phone connections.
4 Q. Can you specify, please, the exact hour? Was it around noon? Was
5 it in the afternoon?
6 A. I know that when Commander Antic and Simo Zaric were there, the
7 phone lines were still working, because they used the phone at the command
8 to phone the detachment command. And Commander Nikolic told them to
9 mobilise the members of the 4th Detachment.
10 Q. At what time did that happen? Do you know, perhaps?
11 A. That was a quarter past 6.00 or half past 6.00 in the morning.
12 Q. Did you not tell Simo Zaric at the switchboard in Samac to switch
13 off the phones on the 17th, in the morning?
14 A. No, I didn't.
15 Q. What is the distance between Pelagicevo and Samac in terms of
17 A. The distance is between 25 and 30 kilometres.
18 Q. At that time, how long did you take to travel from Samac to
19 Pelagicevo by car?
20 A. That's a relative thing, but you would have taken between 25 and
21 30 minutes. Some people may have taken 20 minutes. But you could make
22 Pelagicevo in 30 minutes, normal driving.
23 Q. There is an armed conflict breaking out around 2.00 or 3.00 in the
24 morning in Samac. The commander of the 4th Detachment and Simo Zaric are
25 only arriving at your command three hours after the conflict broke out.
1 Is that what you told Mr. Pisarevic? Do you still agree with that?
2 A. I never said that an armed conflict had broken out. I said that
3 when I woke up, I and other members of the command --
4 Q. What time -- at what time was that?
5 A. That must have been about 3.00, give or take a minute or two, but
6 it was about 3.00.
7 Q. What was the reason for your subordinate, Simo Zaric, to take two
8 hours to get from Samac to Pelagicevo? Isn't that a bit unusual? It was
9 wartime, after all.
10 A. Commander Nikolic, when he called the command of the 4th
11 Detachment on the phone, he didn't tell them to be there in 30 minutes.
12 He told them to be there the next morning. So they didn't take two hours
13 to get there. They arrived at --
14 Q. My client, Dr. Simic, claims that we have said about the phone
15 calls, that he called Nikolic, that's simply not true. What do you say
16 about that?
17 A. I know, and I repeat what Commander Nikolic said to me, to me and
18 to the other members of the command.
19 Q. You spoke about the meeting at the heating plant. Do we agree
20 that Colonel Djurdjevic received orders after that to take over the Brcko
21 brigade, which is bigger, according to its establishment, than the
22 Posavina Brigade. Are you aware of that?
23 A. After these events that took place at the heating plant in Samac,
24 Colonel Djurdjevic was appointed commander of the 1st Posavina Brigade in
25 Brcko. He was appointed by the command of the Eastern Bosnian Corps.
1 Q. So it is quite logical, in military service - you will agree with
2 me - a higher command appoint its commanders to positions where they think
3 it should be; isn't that right?
4 A. Yes. That is why he did come as commander of the 1st Posavina
5 Brigade. But I talked about what happened then. I don't know about the
6 details of the conversation between Colonel Djurdjevic and the Superior
7 Command, what they ordered him to do.
8 Q. So summarise, Mr. Simeunovic: There is not much debate, not much
9 democracy in the military. Will we agree that he, Colonel Djurdjevic, was
10 appointed commander of the 1st Posavina Brigade in Brcko? Yes or no? Do
11 we agree on that?
12 A. Yes, he was appointed.
13 Q. And on the basis of the order of the superior commander, or
14 rather, Colonel Dencic. Yes or no.
15 A. Yes, we agree. But while he was --
16 Q. We don't have to go further on.
17 A. While he was in the Posavina Brigade, he did not receive orders on
18 his dismissal or replacement.
19 Q. Do you know that after the corridor was broken through, Crni and
20 the others were arrested and sent to Serbia?
21 A. I know, after this corridor was broken through, that they were
22 arrested and that they were taken to the military prison in Banja Luka.
23 Q. According to your knowledge, from April onwards, were they in the
24 territory of Samac all the time or did they come and go? What is your
25 intelligence information about that?
1 A. From April, when they came, especially after the conflict broke
2 out on the 16th, they went every now and then to Serbia.
3 Q. Tell me: Do you have any knowledge about the existence of some
4 order, some written order, coming from the Superior Command, that is to
5 say, of the East Bosnian Corps, that Colonel Djurdjevic was no longer
6 commander of the 2nd Posavina Brigade?
7 A. I'm not aware of any such order. Perhaps it did arrive to Colonel
8 Djurdjevic personally, but I am not aware of any such order.
9 Q. Are you aware of the information that was written on the 1st of
10 December, 1992 and that was signed by a command consisting of 13 members,
11 and that it had to do with some things that were taking place in Samac?
12 A. By then I had already left from the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
13 Q. I'm just asking you whether you know about this.
14 A. I am aware of this information.
15 Q. All right.
16 A. That it was written. I did not read it, but I know it had been
18 Q. On page 3 of this particular information, it says: "As for the
19 crime that was committed by Lugar in Crkvina, the Yugoslav and world press
20 wrote about this, noting that this was being ascribed to Serbian fighters
21 from our municipality, which meant that this weighed upon all,
22 collectively, and people would be held accountable only after the war. In
23 addition to that, other murders and crimes were committed. The people
24 knew about, but remained silent, due to fear of retaliation and also
25 because the rules of `war games.' This has to do with responsible people
1 from our municipality, especially members of the Special Forces of
2 Commander Crni."
3 Did you file criminal charges against Crni and the others, and
4 Lugar too, those who, according to some information, took part in the
5 murders in Crkvina?
6 A. I've already answered that the military -- or rather, Yugoslav
7 People's Army --
8 Q. Just say yes or no.
9 A. The Yugoslav People's Army did not file any criminal charges.
10 Q. Were criminal charges filed within the army of Republika Srpska?
11 A. No, because they were not members of the army of Republika Srpska
12 either, or of the Yugoslav People's Army, when the crime was committed.
13 Q. And do you know that they were held accountable before the
14 military court in Banja Luka, that is to say, the army of Republika
15 Srpska, because of the killing of a scout? Are you aware of that? Just
16 say yes or no.
17 A. Yes. I said that after the corridor was closed, they were
19 Q. Just say yes or no. So say: Yes, I am aware of it --
20 A. I am aware that they were in military prison.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, before you continue, I just wanted to
22 put the exhibit number of the document from which you --
23 MR. PANTELIC: 127, I believe, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Hmm?
25 MR. PANTELIC: P127, Your Honour.
1 Q. [Interpretation] Isn't it logical, Mr. Simeunovic, that you're
2 saying that you know that the army of Republika Srpska, in its court,
3 conducted proceedings against volunteers from Serbia because of the
4 killing of a scout and proceedings were not carried out because of the
5 crime that was committed in Crkvina? How come there is this duality?
6 Sometimes they are under the authority of army of Republika Srpska and
7 sometimes they are not. Can you explain this?
8 A. I did not say that I was aware of proceedings being instituted. I
9 just said that I know that they were taken to the military prison in Banja
10 Luka. But whether proceedings were instituted against them is something
11 that I don't know.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Simeunovic. As a security officer and as a man who
13 is a professional, you are aware of the provisions of the Geneva
14 Conventions; is that right? You were exchanged -- you were involved in
15 exchanges later in the army, weren't you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You are familiar with the Geneva Conventions?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. If I read out to you from the decision regarding General Blaskic,
20 paragraph --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters kindly ask Mr. Pantelic to slow
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And which document is that? Just for the
25 MR. PANTELIC: This is a judgement of General Blaskic. It's not a
1 document. It's in judgement. It's a part of the judgement of General
2 Blaskic. I want to put to this witness.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: I see.
4 MR. PANTELIC: In fact, this is Article 86, Your Honour, of
5 Additional Protocol, nothing more. It's well-know fact. And he's
6 familiar with Geneva Conventions.
7 Q. [Interpretation] I'm going to read this out to you slowly, or
8 rather, you will receive interpretation of this. So this is paragraph 325
9 from General Blaskic's judgement. It is Article 86, paragraph 2 of
10 Additional Protocol I. [In English] "The fact that a breach of the
11 Conventions or of this Protocol was committed by a subordinate does not
12 absolve his superiors from penal or disciplinary responsibility, as the
13 case may be. If they knew or had information which should have enabled
14 them to conclude in the circumstances at the time that he was committing
15 or was going to commit such a breach and if they did not take all feasible
16 measures within their power to prevent or repress the breach."
17 [Interpretation] Do you agree with this? This is Additional
18 Protocol I; right?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In paragraph 329 of the Blaskic judgement - this is Article --
21 this relates to Article 87, paragraph 1 of the Additional Protocol to the
22 Geneva Conventions, and this article should be viewed in the spirit of the
23 previous one. It reads as follows ...
24 "The high contracting parties and the parties to the conflict
25 shall require military commanders with respect to members of the armed
1 forces under their command, and other persons under their control, to
2 prevent and, where necessary, to suppress and to report to competent
3 authorities breaches of the conventions and of this protocol."
4 [Interpretation] You agree with this, don't you? I'm asking you
5 whether you agree with this, what I've just read out.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In paragraph 319 of the Blaskic judgement, the hostage case is
8 quoted, and it reads as follows:
9 [In English], "Commanding general of occupied territory is charged
10 with the duty of maintaining peace and order, punishing crime, and
11 protecting lives and property within the area of his command. His
12 responsibility is coextensive with his area of command. He is charged
13 with notice of occurrences taking place within that territory. He may
14 require adequate reports of all occurrences that come within the scope of
15 his power, and if such reports are incomplete or otherwise inadequate, he
16 is obliged to require supplementary reports to apprise him of all the
17 pertinent facts. If he fails to require and obtain complete information,
18 the dereliction of duty rests upon him and he is in no position to plead
19 his own dereliction as a defence. Absence from headquarters cannot and
20 does not relieve one from responsibility for acts committed in accordance
21 with the policy he instituted or in which he is acquainted."
22 [Interpretation] Do you agree with this, Mr. Simeunovic?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska and the military
25 prosecutor's office, on the 1st of October, 1992, adopted guidelines for
1 setting criteria for criminal prosecution. On page 14 of these guidelines
2 of the military prosecutor's office, it says, page 14 --
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... because I'm
4 not aware of this one.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Well, that's -- well --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Is it an exhibit?
7 MR. PANTELIC: No, it's not an exhibit. It's just a document
8 which is within the, you know, knowledge of each professional who is
9 dealing with the International Criminal Tribunal. I mean, it's in the
10 library, so it can be found.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I must say that I personally am not familiar with
14 this document. It might be useful for us to --
15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
16 JUDGE WILLIAMS: -- have the possibility of seeing it before --
17 for us to be informed with respect to you questioning the witness.
18 MR. PANTELIC: It's just his personal knowledge or maybe I will
19 put to him certain portions of this document and simply to say whether
20 he's agree or not. It's not the matter of the document by itself.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but what we are saying is that we haven't got
22 sight of this document.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Well, Your Honour, it's a document from Krstic
24 case, and it is -- it can be found in the library. I can just say that at
25 this moment I just want to -- not to discuss this particular document, but
1 rather, the events or principles of the penal and criminal proceedings
2 within the army of VRS and his personal position towards that. Nothing
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, we will stop eliciting evidence at
6 this stage, because the Trial Chamber has some rulings to make.
7 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
9 MR. PANTELIC: I'm fully aware about the instructions, but can I
10 just briefly inform you about the problems that I am suffering? I would
11 like to have just five minutes to finish with this witness, with my
12 cross-examination, because I have commitments with regard to the
13 organisation of videolink and certain problems on the field and stuff.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Well, as long as you don't refer to the document
15 which seems to be unknown. So you'll wind up your cross-examination,
17 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Thank you very much.
18 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Simeunovic, you are aware of the fact
19 that the Main Staff of the army of Republika Srpska cautioned all
20 commanders in the field that they should collect appropriate information
21 about war crimes and that they should prosecute persons who committed such
22 acts; is that right?
23 A. Yes. The commander was duty-bound to collect information on
24 crimes that were committed by members of the military who were under his
1 Q. Absolutely. You also know about certain efforts that were made
2 and certain instructions that were given by the Main Staff to prevent
3 looting and other crimes in the areas of responsibility of Republika
4 Srpska; isn't that right?
5 A. Yes, that pertained to the members of the army of Republika
7 Q. Can you please tell me: In your work, while you worked for the
8 army of Republika Srpska and within the 17th Tactical Group, did you ever
9 file criminal charges against any perpetrators on account of looting,
10 murder, or any other criminal act?
11 A. Not for murder. Not a single criminal report. Criminal reports
12 were filed for looting. What later happened, how the military courts
13 treated the report, I don't know, but there were no murders committed by
14 members of the army of Republika Srpska in our area of responsibility.
15 Q. Did you file any criminal reports for war crimes or violations of
16 international humanitarian law?
17 A. No. No such thing happened while I was there.
18 Q. So in the area of responsibility of the 17th Tactical Group and
19 the 2nd Posavina Brigade, there were no war crimes, according to you.
20 A. Those members who were under the command of the army of Republika
21 Srpska, or the command of the 2nd Posavina Brigade and the TG at the
23 MR. PANTELIC: I've finished my cross-examination. Thank you very
24 much, Your Honour.
25 [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Simeunovic.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Krgovic, did you have questions?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
3 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd have about one,
4 one and a half hours.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: We will continue the proceedings on Monday with this
7 Can the witness be led out of the courtroom, please.
8 Mr. Simeunovic, you'll continue your evidence on Monday. The
9 proceedings will be in the morning.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well, Your Honour.
11 [The witness stands down]
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The videolink proceedings will start on
13 Tuesday, because they have to use Monday to put up the equipment.
14 The Trial Chamber has a ruling on the Rule 92 bis statements
15 regarding the defence of Mr. Blagoje Simic.
16 The Trial Chamber has examined the witness statements submitted
17 under the provisions of Rule 92 bis on behalf of the accused Dr. Blagoje
18 Simic. In most cases, the statements have complied with the provisions of
19 the Rule. However, where the acts and conducts of the accused, as alleged
20 in the indictment, have been included, the Trial Chamber has considered
21 whether, in fact, such acts and conduct, as still contentious as the rest
22 of the evidence so far on record has shed light on what elements of the
23 crimes charged. The Trial Chamber has to decide, when considering
25 The Trial Chamber has also considered the opportunities the
1 Prosecution has had for cross-examination for those statements where the
2 evidence is mostly cumulative. The Trial Chamber has observed that viva
3 voce witnesses so far heard, and those to be heard, judging by their
4 summaries, mostly overlap, so that it is only necessary, in the view of
5 the Trial Chamber, to allow cross-examination where the evidence is mainly
6 peculiar to each individual accused, besides being contentious generally.
7 The Trial Chamber has, at the same time, taken care that each
8 accused person's right to call evidence or witnesses in his own defence is
9 not undermined.
10 After the said considerations, the Trial Chamber has decided that,
11 of the statements submitted on behalf of Dr. Blagoje Simic so far, only
12 one witness will be called to give evidence viva voce regarding matters
13 touching on the conduct and activities of the accused, as alleged in the
14 indictment. This is Witness Cedomir Simic, whose statement is D163/1, and
15 the viva voce evidence will be restricted to matters stated in paragraph
16 20, since that part of the statement is not admitted into evidence. The
17 rest of the statement is admitted into evidence. The Prosecution will be
18 allowed to cross-examine this witness, and the time limit allowed for the
19 cross-examination will be one and a half hours, whereas the time allowed
20 to elicit the evidence concerning the events described in paragraph 20
21 will be one hour.
22 The statements made by -- the statement made by Witness Amir
23 Lukic, that is D159/1, will be admitted into evidence, except that
24 paragraph 2 will be struck out, as pointed out by the Prosecution and as
25 decided by the Trial Chamber. Only the first and the last sentence of
1 that paragraph will remain on record.
2 If I may add, the Trial Chamber is able to distinguish fact from
3 opinion. This witness will not be cross-examined.
4 The statement by witness Mitar Ibralic, that is D160/1, will be
5 admitted into evidence without cross-examination.
6 The statement by Nerzija Ordic, D161/1, will be entered into
7 evidence without cross-examination.
8 The statement of Perica Krstanovic, D162/1, will be admitted into
9 evidence without cross-examination. However, part of paragraph 7 will be
10 struck out, that is, the words in parenthesis, beginning with " for
11 example" and ending with "Serbian children." That part will be struck off
12 the statement. The rest of the paragraph remains.
13 In the same statement, paragraph 14 is struck out in its entirety.
14 This witness, that is, Perica Krstanovic, will not be cross-examined.
15 Father Jovo Lakic is a character witness, and his statement,
16 164/1, will be admitted into evidence without cross-examination.
17 Mijo Babic is also a character witness, and the statement
18 D158/1 -- paragraphs 11, 12, 13, and the last sentence of paragraph 14 are
19 struck out of the statement. The rest of the statement is admitted into
20 evidence and he will not be cross-examined.
21 The remaining statements for the other two accused, Mr. Simo Zaric
22 and Mr. Miroslav Tadic, will be decided upon in the course of next week or
23 soon after the videolink witnesses.
24 The Trial Chamber would like to discuss the witnesses for the
25 videolink, which is starting on Tuesday. The Trial Chamber has
1 information that Mirko Pavic, it's no longer possible for him to speak or
2 that he has suffered a stroke since. Or what is the position?
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, we, during our last stay, in fact,
4 Mr. Pisarevic's stay in Belgrade -- sorry -- in Bosanski Samac, he took a
5 statement from Mr. Mirko Pavic and a certification of this statement is
6 already made. So when Mr. Pisarevic came back here in The Hague - it was
7 on Monday - he gave this statement for translation. We are not aware of,
8 at this point, what his medical condition of Mr. Mirko Pavic. We can
9 check that and inform the Trial Chamber. What I can tell the Trial
10 Chamber is that we do have 92 bis statements, 35, according to 92 bis
11 Rules of Procedure and Evidence. The representative of the Registry was
12 present when Mr. Pavic signed this statement. He can --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: That's not the problem. What the Trial Chamber was
14 concerned with is whether or not he will be able to appear for
15 cross-examination, if the Trial Chamber rules that he has to --
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, at this point, we don't have a
17 hundred per cent certain information. Mr. Pisarevic will be in Bosanski
18 Samac as for tomorrow.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: I see.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: And he will --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Be able to find out the situation.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- whether he is able to give his tape.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: And I want to confirm with the Prosecution that this
24 statement by Mirko Pavic was given to the Prosecution.
25 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I think there was a more recent 92 bis
1 certification. I don't think it's been translated yet. We're still
2 waiting for a number of them, including some which were certified, I
3 believe, on our last day in Belgrade, deposition. I don't believe it's
4 one of them that we received.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber had instructed the legal officer
6 to discuss this particular one with the Prosecution and ask them to have
7 it translated for their own use in case they need to cross-examine.
8 MR. WEINER: I'm not aware of it. Maybe it was done with
9 Mr. Di Fazio.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, most likely. Then you'll be able to find out
11 in due course over the weekend.
12 That leaves us with Savo Popovic and Mustafa Pistolevic and
13 Milutin Grujicic as the rest of the witnesses.
14 Most of the evidence that has been admitted through the 92 bis
15 statements for Dr. Blagoje Simic will make it necessary for you,
16 Mr. Pantelic, to reduce the area of examination for the witnesses that you
17 have lined up, because you will see that most of the evidence is already
19 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, if I may ask for -- maybe I didn't
20 understand well. You mean for the next witnesses in this case --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. For the one on videolink.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Oh, you mean Savo Popovic. Yes, yes.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
24 MR. PANTELIC: I will be -- I can tell you, I already provided
25 just for the record a brief summary of facts to the Prosecution of the
1 facts on which the -- Mr. Savo Popovic will testify.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
3 MR. PANTELIC: And also the focus of my examination will be events
4 in Odzak, military administration, and certain events within Crisis Staff
5 in Samac. So --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. What I'm saying is if you look at the
7 statements that have been admitted under Rule 92 bis, you will find that a
8 lot of the evidence is overlapping, so you should be able to make it as
9 brief as possible.
10 MR. PANTELIC: People, they have same story, you know, that I
11 cannot control. I mean, try -- I understand the position, but sometimes
12 it was very hard to limit it, these people, from the evidence. Thank you,
13 Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Is there any other matter to be raised by the
15 parties? I see none. We shall rise and continue our proceedings on
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.51 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 3rd day of
19 March 2003, at 9.00 a.m.