1 Wednesday, 12 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-95-9-T, the Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. Just, I don't see the witness
11 here. I'm ready to proceed, but ...
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have the witness brought in, please.
13 [The witness entered court]
14 WITNESS: VLADIMIR SARKANOVIC [Resumed]
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 Examined by Mr. Lazarevic: [Continued]
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
18 Good morning, Mr. Sarkanovic.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. Today we'll resume our examination-in-chief and watching the video
21 footage that we began yesterday. However, before we start with that, I
22 forgot to ask you a question yesterday. I remembered when I looked
23 through the transcript, and I saw that Judge Williams asked you something
24 in connection with phone calls.
25 On the 17th of April, in the morning, apart from the telephone
1 conversation with the duty officer at the command of the 4th Detachment
2 that you referred to, did you talk to anyone else on the phone on the 17th
3 of April.
4 THE INTERPRETER: May the counsel's other microphone be turned on,
5 please, for the benefit of the interpreters.
6 A. I agreed with the duty officer at the detachment that I should not
7 go anywhere that day. I had three telephone conversations with my uncle,
8 Borislav Maslic, and with Cvijan Marinkovic, my friend, and the third one
9 was with Kemal Bobic. The conversation was about the situation on that
10 day, and the information they had about the situation.
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. What I want to know more specifically is your conversation with
13 Kemal Bobic. Did you call him? What did you talk about? Did you talk to
14 his wife or only to him?
15 A. I only spoke to Kemal. I asked him whether he knew what was going
16 on in Samac. And when he told me that he didn't, I told him, roughly,
17 that the main facilities and institutions in Samac had been taken over by
18 specials from Serbia and the Serb police. I told him it would perhaps be
19 a good idea for him not to leave home, because I had seen armed people in
20 the open area outside my house, my building.
21 Q. You were friends with Kemal Bobic?
22 A. I still am.
23 Q. Very well. Thank you. Just one little detail that I wanted to
25 A. I would like to add something, if I may. Yesterday, when you
1 asked me, I provided an answer that was incorrect, and another answer that
2 was only partly correct. If I may be allowed to set this right. I did
3 analyse what I said yesterday, and I realised that one answer was
4 inaccurate and that another answer was only partly accurate.
5 Q. Please go ahead.
6 A. The question was about the name of the Hunters' Association. I
7 said the name was Samac. It's actually the handball club's name, which
8 I'm president of, and the Hunters' Association is called pheasant. So
9 that was completely inaccurate.
10 And the other question was what I did during the night between the
11 16th and the 17th of April. The part where I talked about clamour in the
12 corridor outside my flat and seeing two of my neighbours, Milos Savic and
13 Savo Savic. The inaccuracy consisted in the fact that it wasn't Savo
14 Savic, but rather Dimitrija Djordjic, who lives in the flat just above
15 mine. So the accurate answer would be Dimitrija Djordjic and Savo Savic.
16 Q. Thank you very much for this clarification.
17 Can we please proceed where we stopped yesterday, namely, watching
18 the video. We interrupted our watching of the video here yesterday. What
19 we can see in this image, and what we need to identify this for the sake
20 of the transcript: You said this was used as the detention room.
21 A. Yes, detention room.
22 Q. We can state for the transcript that -- can you see anything on
23 the screen?
24 A. No, it's gone. Okay. I have it.
25 Q. There are bars on the window, and to the left of the room there
1 are two cells on which there is a door with bars. Does that -- is it
2 consistent with what you know about this room?
3 A. Just like you said it.
4 Q. During the time that you worked with the police, and during the
5 time during the war that you worked there, has anything changed since in
6 relation to what we're looking at now?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Very well. Thank you.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Go on with the tape.
10 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Lazarevic. Just before we move:
11 Mr. Sarkanovic, the room that we have in front of us here, are the
12 doors with bars? That's what it appears to be, the cells on the left, are
13 they with bars?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, bars.
15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And what I was wondering was: Yesterday you were
16 saying, when we saw one of the offices, the room with the door open, the
17 door that swung from left to right, you were saying that that room was
18 used to detain quite a number of persons. Yes? I believe that's what you
19 said yesterday.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I'm just wondering: Have you any knowledge as to
22 how it was decided which persons would be detained in a large group, in an
23 office, versus those who were put into these cells with the bars? If you
24 know, at the time, in April 1992.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said yesterday, I came into the
1 office and they told me that Kemal Bobic, without really -- was there,
2 without really knowing that there were other prisoners there. I don't
3 know who ordered him to be kept there, and I'm not sure who decided who
4 would be kept where, but I know that there were also a number of detained
5 persons in the TO building across the way from the SUP building. There
6 was a detention room, and I entered by accident. Well, perhaps not by
7 accident, but I did stumble upon a group of perhaps about ten prisoners
8 who were there together with Kemal Bobic.
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. So if I understand you correctly, you
10 don't know who decided which persons in the pictures that we're seeing on
11 the video were put into an office room versus these cells we can see now
12 with the bars.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, precisely. Precisely.
14 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay. Thank you.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: An additional question on this same room. Does it
16 mean that if a person is sitting on this stool we see on the right, he can
17 see the prisoners inside the cell?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't see any stool or bench.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me. If I may just clarify
20 [In English] He didn't have a picture on the monitor, so that was the
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. Yes, the person could
23 see anyone inside these detention rooms. I think this is some sort of a
24 desk, actually, used for work. It's not a bench. It's some sort of a
25 small desk. I'm not sure how it got here, because usually it wasn't here
1 in this room.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you. We can now move on with the tape.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we stop now?
6 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, the left-hand side of the image, you can see
7 through the grid, through the bars on the window. What is that, exactly?
8 A. Those are garages that we used to store passenger vehicles.
9 Q. Were there any people detained inside those garages at any point
10 in time?
11 A. Yes. Dragan Lukac spent some of the time in these garages too.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Now we can move on with the tape.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Can we just stop here, please.
15 [In English] Can we stop now, please?
16 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, what you can see now on the screen, can you
17 identify this room?
18 A. This is the duty room reception desk, through which citizens speak
19 to the duty officer, if they need to do something at the SUP.
20 Q. Can we, therefore, agree for the transcript that this is the duty
21 room or, rather, the duty officer's room?
22 A. Yes, indeed.
23 Q. And just next to the staircase --
24 A. It's to the right of the staircase, leading up to the first floor.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. You may remember - we talked about it
1 yesterday, and today we've referred to it again - the room where persons
2 detained at the SUP building were being kept and we looked at which way
3 the door swung. This room that we have now referred to where detained
4 persons were kept, if the door were opened between 10 and 15 centimetres,
5 would you be able in any way to see the duty room from inside the room
6 where people were being kept or the staircase?
7 A. There isn't half a chance, because the door of the office is
8 perhaps between two and three and a half metres to the left of the
9 staircase. As the door swings from left to right -- this is outside the
10 field of vision of those looking from inside the office. The question is:
11 Even if the door was wide open, would they be able to see anything unless
12 they actually exited the room and came out into the corridor?
13 Q. Thank you very much for this explanation. That's all I wanted to
14 know in connection with this.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ...
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe we can go a bit faster, because this part of
18 the tape is not particularly interesting. We'll have to go back. Sorry.
19 Stop now.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, we're still on the ground floor. These are
21 the three offices. Further down the hall from the duty officer's room.
22 Can you just tell me: Which three offices are these, really, and what
23 were they used for?
24 A. The offices are on the right-hand side of the corridor, as you
25 enter the SUP building. To the right there are two offices. Both were
1 used for general and administrative affairs. To the left there is another
2 office, which, before the war, was used for general and administrative
3 affairs. During the war, it was used as an office of the commander of the
4 police station, but you entered his office through another office, in
5 which a police officer was sitting. So you had two offices there, and you
6 went from one into the other.
7 Q. Thank you very much. The precise spacial disposition is not that
8 relevant at this point. We just wanted a general impression.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we stop now and go a little bit back? Back,
11 back. Okay.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sarkanovic, obviously, we have gone up the
13 stairs to the first floor. This seems to be the first office, with a
14 padded door. We should perhaps state this for the transcript. And this
15 is the first door you see once you climb the staircase to the first floor.
16 Is that an adequate description of what we've seen?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you tell me what this office is and who it was used by?
19 A. Before the war, this office was used by a police officer who was
20 in charge of keeping records of the equipment that was used by the police
21 station and the police officers would go to him to sign for their weapons
22 or equipment. I don't think it was actually used during the war, at least
23 during the time that I was there it wasn't used.
24 Q. Can you see anything that's been changed as compared to the
25 situation during the war? I'm referring to the padded door.
1 A. No, nothing's changed. But let me explain why it wasn't used.
2 It's opposite a glass window which is on the landing of the staircase,
3 with a view of Croatia. And as fire was being opened from Croatia, it was
4 for fear of anyone getting hurt that the office wasn't used.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you very much.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we move on?
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we stop now?
9 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, this is the corridor to the right of the
10 first-floor landing. Can you please just enumerate the offices here in
11 this part of the corridor?
12 A. The first door to the right, the toilet. Straight and then to the
13 right, communications room. Last door to the right is a door to the
14 chief's secretary's room, through which you enter the chief's room, where,
15 during the war, Todorovic was based. And prior to the war, the secretary
16 who was in office at the time. They were changing.
17 Q. Very well. Thank you. When you said "communications room," is
18 that where the man we referred to yesterday worked?
19 A. Yes. All communications officers worked there. They would make
20 calls there, receive telexes, do their decoding, that sort of thing. The
21 room has special insulation. It's soundproofed.
22 Q. The door where you can see the shoulder of a police officer
23 sticking out, it's the lower left corner of the screen, what's that door?
24 A. That's the door to the office, which was used by the commander of
25 the police station before the outbreak of hostilities.
1 Q. Very well. Thank you.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we stop now.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, we're on the left-hand side of the corridor
5 now. We've reached the landing of the first floor. Now, to the right of
6 us, and then from right to left, can you tell me about all the doors, 1,
7 2, 3, 4, 5 doors, from right to left? Which offices are these and who
8 were they used by?
9 A. The first and second door to the right were doors to offices
10 which, before the war -- which, before the war, were used by the crime
11 department. The second door is the door to my office. And straight on,
12 there's the door to an office also used by the crime department. And all
13 three offices were interconnected, with internal doors inside the rooms.
14 The first door to the left was an office used by the deputy commander of
15 the police station, and the second door to the left is a conference hall,
16 a conference room. The name speaks for itself.
17 Q. Thank you very much. Looking from right to left, the first,
18 second, and third doors in the middle were actually offices used by you,
19 as a criminal inspector; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct. The first office to the right, that's where our
21 typist was. The middle office, I used the office in the middle; and then
22 the third door, the office behind the third door, was used by Milos Savic.
23 However, for conducting interviews, I was often using conference room too.
24 Q. As we continue watching the tape, we'll see the inside of these
25 offices, but this may be a good moment to ask you the following question:
1 Simo Zaric, during that time, whenever he came to the police station, at
2 the beginning of the war, did he actually have his own office?
3 A. No, he didn't.
4 Q. When he conducted his interview with Tihic or other inspections,
5 did he use any of these offices?
6 A. Specifically, when he was talking to Tihic, he was using my
7 office. I conducted my interviews in the conference room at that time.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we continue the tape.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we stop now.
12 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, what we're looking at now, this is obviously
13 the second office on the left-hand side of the corridor, which you defined
14 as the conference room.
15 A. Yes, the conference hall, yes.
16 Q. This is the room you had in mind when you spoke about conducting
17 interviews there occasionally, interviews with prisoners?
18 A. Yes, precisely.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: We can now move on with the tape.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we go back a bit? Just a second. Just a
22 little bit more, more. Stop.
23 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, through the window, what can you see in this
24 conference hall?
25 A. The right bank of the Sava River. Actually, both the right and
1 the left banks of the Sava River. This is the northern part of the
2 building. Across the Sava River is Croatia.
3 Q. So this is a view onto the border between Bosnia and Croatia on
4 the Sava River?
5 A. That's correct.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Now we can move a little bit faster.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: A little bit faster. Stop. Can we go back a
9 little bit, just a little bit, to see ... Okay. Stop now.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, can you identify this room which is now on
11 the screen? What is the entrance? To which room?
12 A. This is a room -- room first on the right looking from the
13 staircase, and from this office, you go into my office, and the very same
14 door exists, to lead you to this other office, into which you can go in
15 directly through the door straight on.
16 Q. Is that the office where you said the typist was, the first office
17 of the crime department out of three?
18 A. That's correct. That's the office.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we stop now.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, this is obviously a view from the window of
23 that office. Can you tell us: What can we see through this window of the
25 A. Through the window you can see a building and the yard of the TO.
1 To the right, this building was used for offices. The yard and the other
2 buildings probably for warehouses. I don't know. I never went in there.
3 Q. Can we agree that the yard of the TO and the TO building can be
4 seen very well through the window of this office?
5 A. Absolutely.
6 Q. Is it -- was it in this way that you saw the events that you spoke
7 about? You said that people were beaten, that they were forced to beat
8 each other.
9 A. Through my -- through the window of my office, you can have the
10 same view, from my office, not from this one. It is the same view, but I
11 saw it's the same position, it's the same view.
12 Q. Thank you very much.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: That's okay. I think that we've finished with the
15 tape. I don't believe there is anything more that is of interest for
16 Mr. Zaric's defence.
17 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you, sir, for identifying these rooms and
18 premises. I hope that now everyone will have a good picture of what this
19 all looked like and what it does look like.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... from the
21 Prosecution for this tape as evidence.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Any objection?
23 MR. RE: There's no objection, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have a number?
25 THE REGISTRAR: The videotape is marked D44/4.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, let us go back to your work. We're still in
3 April of 1992. You explained how it came about that you were working in
4 the police, and you told us about a number of other things. Now, can you
5 try and recall, as much as you can: Did you take statements from any
6 other persons that you can remember, at this time, in April of 1992?
7 Specifically, I'm interested in Izet Izetbegovic, Fadil Sabanovic.
8 A. It is possible that I took this statement from Izet Izetbegovic,
9 but I'm not certain. I certainly took the statement from Fadil Sabanovic,
10 because he told me about the way and the location where they brought, two
11 days beforehand, so that would be Wednesday, the 14th of April, 50
12 automatic rifles and some other weapons. So I took the statement from
13 him, and then from Hasan Izetbegovic.
14 Q. Does the name of Jusufovic tell you anything?
15 A. Yes. Jusufovic I think it was Ferid's son. I think -- he was a
16 sweet shop owner. I can't remember his name. I know he was Ferid's son.
17 Perhaps his name was Dzevad. I think it was Dzevad, son of Ferid. And
18 many others. But that was 10, 12 years ago. If you showed me the
19 statement, then I would certainly be able to recall.
20 Q. I'm not insisting now. Just to the extent that you can recall.
21 We only find interesting what you can recall.
22 A. There was Hadzialijagic, also known as Pop. I know that I spoke
23 to him. Then there was a certain name called Arapovic. I know that he
24 also gave a good, usable, useful data. So there were quite many of them,
25 but I can't remember all of them.
1 Q. Thank you very much. Of course, we won't insist now on all of
3 Sir, before this Chamber, a lot has been said, so it's not
4 contested that at one point in the month of April there was a murder that
5 was committed in the TO building, that this was committed by Lugar, and
6 the person who was murdered, his nickname was Dikan. His nickname was
7 Dikan. His name was Ante Brandic. What do you know about this? What can
8 you tell us about this?
9 A. On that day, I was not in the SUP. I think that happened in the
10 afternoon hours. I know that one of the specials from Serbia killed a
11 prisoner, a detainee, called Dikan. And on the same day, because of the
12 safety of other prisoners, the other prisoners were then transferred by
13 military lorries to Brcko, most probably. That's how I was informed by
14 Milos Savic, the next day, in the morning, when I came to work.
15 Q. So on that day you were on present. You don't know the
16 circumstances of how that happened and what was happening?
17 A. No, I did not. I just heard that he had taken him out and just
18 without any reason killed him.
19 Q. So the next day when you came to the station, you heard this?
20 A. From Milos Savic.
21 Q. Thank you very much. Let us now go a few days forward. At one
22 point, a certain number of these people who were transferred to Brcko,
23 they were brought to the police station in Bosanski Samac, in order to be
24 interviewed by the Novi Sad television. Were you there at the police
25 station? If you were, can you tell the Trial Chamber what you recall and
1 what you then saw.
2 A. On that day, I was at the police station. I think that Sulejman
3 Tihic, Omer Nalic, perhaps Izet Izetbegovic, were brought. I was in my
4 office when somebody, I think one of the policemen, brought him to the
6 Q. Just a moment. When you say "him," who do you mean?
7 A. I mean Sulejman Tihic. Probably because upon his request, because
8 my office was opposite the office where this interview was recorded. When
9 Sulejman came and we exchanged greetings and had a chat, he then asked me
10 to try and protect him. If that's possible, that Simo Zaric should, not
11 in so many words, but be as close as possible to him.
12 Q. What was your impression? What was Tihic's condition? Was he
13 afraid? Was he anxious?
14 A. He was scared. He was very worried about his children, about
15 himself, the children, the family.
16 Q. Can you tell me the actual recording: You said that was in the
17 office opposite yours. Were you present when this recording was done?
18 A. This recording was done not opposite my office but in the other
19 part of the building, in the office that was used by the chief of the
20 station, Stevan Todorovic. So it was to the left.
21 Q. I'm sorry. Perhaps I misunderstood you, but perhaps your answer
22 does explain everything. Were you present when this recording was done?
23 A. No, no, I was not. I was not even -- when Sulejman Tihic went to
24 that office, I stayed in my own office.
25 Q. So you don't know the details about what went on there when the
1 filming was done, when the recording was done?
2 A. No, I don't.
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Lazarevic. I wonder whether we
4 could get some clarification of the witness's answer which is on page 16,
5 lines 7 to 12. I don't find that it makes a great deal of sense. I think
6 maybe it's translation or maybe some words have been left out. Do you
7 see -- it says: "I mean Sulejman Tihic (office) probably because upon his
8 request because my office was opposite the office where this interview was
9 recorded. When Sulejman came and we exchanged greetings and had a chat,
10 he then asked me to try and protect him. If that's possible, that Simo
11 Zaric should not, in so many words, but be as close as possible to him."
12 It doesn't really make too much sense, at least the first part and the
13 last part.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, obviously, because I also had the impression
15 this it needs a little bit clarification.
16 Q. [Interpretation] So can you please tell us again. If you listen
17 carefully to what Judge Williams said. First of all, he was brought to
18 your office, Sulejman Tihic was brought to your office, is that correct,
19 and you were sitting for a while in your office with him?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And after that, he was taken to the office where this interview
22 was filmed?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. Now, can you tell us: This office where the interview was filmed,
25 was this opposite your office or not?
1 A. It's not opposite my office. It's on the other side of the
2 building completely, that is, looking from the stairwell when you go
3 upstairs on the right-hand side of the corridor, while my office is to the
5 Q. So when you said "opposite," you meant the opposite side of the
6 corridor, not opposite exactly?
7 A. Yes, that's correct. It's on the western side of the building,
8 while my office is on the eastern side of the building.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Is it --
10 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I think that's clear. What's obscure, though,
11 still is the last sentence which mentioned Mr. Zaric, where he says,
12 that's lines 10 and 11: "If that's possible that Simo Zaric should not,
13 in so many words, but be as close as possible to him." It doesn't make
14 any sense.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Well, maybe the translation was not quite
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Do you think we could just clarify this?
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. I will try to clarify this with the witness.
19 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, can you tell me: What did Sulejman Tihic
20 tell you in relation to Simo Zaric in the interview?
21 A. Sulejman Tihic, when he said that, what he meant, because he
22 trusted Simo Zaric and he felt safe if Simo was there. That's what he
24 Q. So he asked if Simo could be with him to be safe; is that -- I
25 don't want to lead you, but is that what he meant? Is that what you meant
1 to say?
2 A. Yes, that's what I meant to say.
3 Q. Sir, because we're nearing the end of April, let us go into May
4 1992 and talk about some events that are of relevance for this case. We
5 all know that in May, in early May, a crime in Crkvina was committed when
6 Lugar killed 16 people who were in prison there. Can you tell us: What
7 do you know about this event? What did you find out personally? Was
8 there something that was -- any steps that were taken, any measures? What
9 do you know in relation to this event?
10 A. On that morning when I came to the police station, myself and
11 Milos Savic were told by the commander of the police station that the
12 previous night Lugar had killed 16 detained prisoners in Crkvina. When we
13 learnt about that, we more or less wanted to go and conduct an on-site
14 investigation, after which Milos Savic went to Stevan Todorovic, and after
15 a while he returned. He said that we will not be conducting an on-site
16 investigation, that that's what Stevan Todorovic had ordered. Of course,
17 we didn't go there.
18 Q. Can you tell me: When you said "we," who did you mean?
19 A. I meant the investigation team, myself and Milos and the criminal
20 technician. I meant the team. I meant the team for the on-site
21 investigation that is made up of the inspector and the forensic or the
22 criminal technician, and of course the investigating judge if he's free,
23 but at that time he was not from.
24 Q. Can you tell me: How did you feel when the order came from
25 Todorovic not to go to the on-site investigation?
1 A. What could we do? We had to obey, don't go, so we wouldn't go.
2 Even when Dikan was killed, there was no on-site investigation.
3 Q. Now, just to be precise for the transcript. You mentioned that
4 you heard that from the commander of the police station for that crime.
5 Can you please give his name here so that we have that for the record.
6 A. The commander of the police station was Mr. Savo Cancarevic, and
7 he knew that because this prison in Crkvina, or perhaps the premises where
8 the detainees were held, this was secured by the policemen. So he is the
9 person who is the first one to find out about it.
10 Q. Among the people who were killed in Crkvina - now their names are
11 known - were there persons whom you knew personally?
12 A. There were. Among them was the former chief of the Secretariat
13 for Internal Affairs and the policeman and employee of the Secretariat for
14 the Defence, Josip Orsolic, then Luka -- not Hrskanovic. I will
15 probably recall. I know that these two were certainly among them.
16 Q. You knew them well?
17 A. Not only had I known them; I had worked with them.
18 Q. I will ask you about some other things that occurred in the month
19 of May. Can you tell me, if you know anything about the taking away of a
20 certain number of women from Samac to Crkvina and for their detention for
21 a while?
22 A. I don't know anything in particular. I know that from Samac,
23 women were simply rounded up. There were Croatian and Muslim women that
24 were taken for Crkvina, and they were held there for two, three, four
25 days, and after that they were released.
1 Q. Do you know why this occurred? Who had decided this?
2 A. I don't know why. I don't know whose decision this was.
3 Q. Now I'd like to tell you something else in relation to this. Who
4 rounded these women up in Samac and took them to Crkvina and detained them
5 there? Which service did this?
6 A. The police.
7 Q. There is one other thing I want to ask you about, and that is
8 about a certain number of people who were detained in the school centre in
9 Bosanski Samac, that is, in gymnastics hall in the school. Did you have
10 any information about that? What kind of information? Where did you get
11 it? Who did you get it from? Who were the people who were detained
13 A. I had information. In fact, I had conducted interviews also with
14 the people who had been detained there. So when a policeman would bring
15 such a person, then, among other things, the first thing asked would be:
16 Where were you? What was your accommodation? And so on. So that's when
17 I realised that at the secondary school centre there were also premises
18 that were used for detainees. Most of them were Croats from the villages
19 around Samac, so Hrvatska Tisina, Hasic 1, Hasic 2, then Novo Selo,
20 Zasavica. These were the only Croatian villages in the municipality of
22 Q. You said that you had conducted interviews with these people,
23 these Croats who had been detained in the secondary school centre. What
24 were the circumstances when you conducted the interviews? Is this the
25 same -- was it the same things that you asked in other interviews or were
1 there any specific things?
2 A. It was the same, except what was known is that in those villages
3 there had been a unit that had been established by the HDZ on the level of
4 the battalion, and they had been made up of three infantry companies, one
5 in Gornji Hasic, the second one in Donji Hasic, and one made by the locals
6 of Tisina and Novo Selo. One part of the weaponry was handed over by
7 these people, but the major part of these people took the weapons and they
8 went through Novo Selo, Bazik, to Domaljevac.
9 Q. So, obviously these were not the people who had gone via Bazik to
10 Domaljevac. These were the people who remained, who had been arrested,
11 that you had interviews with?
12 A. Yes. I think - I can't tell you exactly - I think it was about
13 mid-May that there was an ambush that was set up for the bus that was
14 taking members of the JNA to the front line in Grebnice, on which occasion
15 the wounding occurred of a large number of these members. Because of
16 that, there followed this operation and detention of these people in order
17 to shed some light on the events and also to gather some weaponry that had
18 remained in the villages.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can the witness be shown Exhibit P18.
20 And for the benefit of our clients, if it could be placed on the
21 ELMO, please.
22 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, can you please look at this document. There
23 are three pages all together, this being the first. Can you look through
24 the remaining two pages, please.
25 A. I already have.
1 Q. This document, have you ever seen it before?
2 A. Yes. I saw it at the SUP building. From this document, you can
3 see which persons were abroad, which persons abroad or domestically, at
4 home, gave contributions, that is money, that was later to be used for
5 purchasing weapons.
6 Q. Can you now, please, look at page number 3 of this document.
7 A. I think I only have two pages.
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: According to my records, this actually has three
9 pages, and I checked this with the Prosecution as well. Because according
10 to their records also, it has three pages.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: This is P18?
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Yes. The last page is ERN number 00457856.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, this document very much speaks for itself.
14 It's about money that had been collected.
15 A. And the way it was spent. You can see that a number of rifles
16 were purchased, ammunition, that sort of thing. Yeah, I've seen the
17 document before.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Just one small detail on this balance sheet.
19 The lower left corner, it says: "In Donji Hasic," isn't that correct?
20 A. Donji Hasic, March 1992.
21 Q. Can you also tell me, please: Donji Hasic is a village, isn't it?
22 A. Yes, in the south of the Bosanski Samac municipality.
23 Q. What was the predominant population of the village?
24 A. Croatian only. The village of Donji Hasic, Donji Hasic, Hrvatska
25 Tisina, Zasavica, those were exclusively Croatian villages. In Novo Selo
1 there are some Serbs, in Grebnice also there are some Serbs, but very few,
2 and all the other villages in that area were Croat only.
3 Q. When you conducted interviews with Croats who had been detained at
4 the secondary school centre in May, did you show them this document? If,
5 for example, they were in Donji Hasic?
6 A. Yes, if they were from Donji Hasic. But the statements I took
7 from those people contained data that are not in this document. But, for
8 example, they -- I remember an old man who was there and who said that he
9 had contributed a bull. I can't really remember, but if the statements
10 are still there, copies of it, I think it should be there included in the
11 statement. He said he had donated a bull as his own contribution.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Mr. Usher. I don't need this document
13 any more.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, just another couple of issues I'd like to
15 ask you in connection with this that are pertinent to our case. Can you
16 please tell us, roughly, and if you know: How many people exactly had
17 been arrested and were kept detained at the secondary school centre?
18 A. I don't think I can tell you. As I said before, I never went
19 there. But probably there were about a hundred people, more or less, in
20 view of the size of those villages. But I don't know the exact number.
21 Q. There is no need to insist on this, if you don't.
22 Obviously, you conducted interviews with a large number of people
23 who had been detained, Muslims and Croats. There were, as you say,
24 certain people whose names were on certain lists, whom you interviewed
25 with regard to weapons. In your professional opinion, were there any
1 people there, any persons who had been detained for no reason at all?
2 A. No reason at all for me means that a person has been detained
3 without the person's name being on any of the lists or mobilisation
4 charts. I'm talking about the units set up by the SDA. And there were a
5 number of such persons whose names were not on any of the lists and yet
6 they were detained, which leads me to conclude that there were certain
7 arrests which were made for no reason at all.
8 Q. In your opinion, and in view of the fact that you knew quite a
9 number of those people, who were the persons that had been detained for no
10 reason at all? Give us specific names, if you can, please.
11 A. Hasan Izetbegovic, Esref -- Dragan Delic, I believe. There are
12 probably some other people too; it's just that I can't remember them now.
13 Q. Yes, certainly. I will not pursue this. This name, Esref, I
14 think it's referred to very often. Is this Zaimbegovic?
15 A. Yes, yes, Esref Zaimbegovic.
16 Q. Another question in relation to a number of issues and then we
17 shall conclude our examination-in-chief. Do you know anything about women
18 and elderly people being held in Zasavica during the war and that those
19 people were mostly Croat and Muslim -- of Croat and Muslim ethnicity? Do
20 you know anything about that?
21 A. Yes, I do know that they were there. I'm not sure for how long,
22 because I left very soon. I left Samac very soon. I know for certain
23 that the father of the typist who used to work for the crime department
24 before the war was also there, Fetis Mustafic and his wife, among others,
25 but I know about those two for sure.
1 Q. Did you ever go to Zasavica during the war?
2 A. No, never.
3 Q. Do you know why those people had been taken to Zasavica?
4 A. No, I don't. I don't know why they were taken there or on whose
6 Q. Sir, how long did you stay at the police station in Bosanski Samac
7 as an inspector?
8 A. I stayed until the 13th of June, 1962, when, on that morning,
9 Mr. Stevan Todorovic --
10 Q. Excuse me. Just an obvious mistake in the transcript. You said
11 13 June 1962?
12 A. Yes, yes. I meant 1992. It was a slip of the tongue. 1992.
13 Q. Can you tell us, please: What happened exactly on the 13th of
14 June, 1992?
15 A. That morning when I came to work, outside in the corridor, the
16 chief of the police station, Stevan Todorovic, told me that I was no good
17 for that job, that I should no longer come to work, which I greeted with
18 quite some joy. This gave me an opportunity to go back to the military
19 unit, in which I spent the remaining time, the remaining period of the
21 Q. How did you take this when Todorovic told you that you were no
22 good for the job? I mean, you had been a police inspector for 20 years.
23 A. On several occasions, Stevan Todorovic suggested or hinted how I
24 should go about my work with prisoners, how I should interview them. I
25 disagreed and I did not follow his suggestions or instructions, and that
1 was probably why he made that move.
2 Q. You said process, actually, and in the transcript it says
3 "interviews." What did Todorovic mean by "process"?
4 A. He meant that prisoners were actually to be beaten and that force
5 was to be used.
6 Q. You said you went to a military unit, in which you stayed until
7 the end of the war.
8 A. Yes, precisely.
9 Q. Just another question: During your stay at the police station
10 between the 19th of April and the 13th of June, how often did you meet
11 Simo Zaric? Was that every day or only in certain periods? Can you
12 please try to give us a general impression of how often you saw Simo Zaric
13 throughout that period.
14 A. This is very difficult to quantify. In the first days, Simo used
15 to come more often to the police station, and then less and less,
16 increasingly. And towards the end of my time at the police station, I
17 think I no longer even saw him. Not so often. At the beginning, it was a
18 bit more often, perhaps every two or three days, sometimes even two days
19 in a row, and then at a later stage he only came very rarely.
20 Q. When you did see him, would he spend the whole day at this police
22 A. No, no, not the whole day. I think the only time he stayed the
23 whole day is when he took Sulejman Tihic's statement. He didn't come at
24 the same time, and so on. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: I have no further questions for this witness.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic?
2 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour, I have a couple of questions --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. PANTELIC: -- for this witness
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Sarkanovic. I'm counsel
7 Pantelic. I defend Mr. Blagoje Simic before this Tribunal. I have a
8 couple of questions to ask you which relate to Blagoje Simic's defence.
9 Mr. Sarkanovic, please tell me: I can't seem to remember. How
10 long were you an active police officer? When did you retired?
11 A. On the 30th [phoen] of June, 1987
12 Q. It's a small town, so I heard that you were quite a successful
13 officer and held in high esteem. Tell me: Did you know Dr. Blagoje Simic
14 throughout that period prior to your retirement?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Very briefly, please: What was his past at that time? Had he
17 ever been arrested? Did he have any record in terms of offences against
18 public order?
19 A. No, no. He was never arrested. He was a well-respected citizen
20 of Samac and Bosanski Samac.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic. I think we've got an
22 error as to the date of retirement once again. The answer on line 13,
23 page 28 this time is 30th of June, 1987.
24 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. That's what I heard, 1987, yes.
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Okay.
1 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Tell me, sir: In connection with the question by my learned
3 friend and colleague, Mr. Lazarevic, you worked between mid-April and the
4 13th of June, 1992. Can you tell me, please: You've described the
5 circumstances, the lists containing names of members of the SDA and the
6 HDZ. The activists from the Croatian villages. Can you try to think
7 back, please, because it's been a long time, but we could really use this
8 information. In that period, roughly, how many statements did you take on
9 the basis of these interviews? Five, ten, fifteen, thirty?
10 A. Between 50 and a hundred, I'd say. Certainly between 50 and 100.
11 I can't even give you an approximation, unfortunately.
12 Q. I fully understand. I wasn't -- I didn't mean to insist. Tell
13 me: How many inspectors, full-fledged inspectors, were there at the
14 police station at that time when you worked, authorised inspectors,
15 between April and June 1992? How many other authorised inspectors were
16 there taking statements from persons?
17 A. In addition to myself, there was only Milos Savic, but later, when
18 I left, I was replaced by Simo Bozic, who I can't say with any degree of
19 precision, but I think he probably did the same kind of job that I had.
20 Q. I interrupted you. I'm sorry.
21 A. Simo Bozic sometimes came even while I was there, but as far as I
22 know, he did not take any statements.
23 Q. Can you try and recall this, please, because you did work on a
24 daily basis with Milos Savic, who was your superior: How many statements
25 did he take throughout that period, roughly?
1 A. I'm sorry. I really can't. I'd be guessing. But throughout that
2 period, Milos had other duties too. He was in touch with the head, with
3 the commander, which was not part of my job, which means that at the time,
4 I had more time to devote myself to my work, to the interviews. Milos
5 Savic, I'm not sure how long he stayed eventually, but I suppose he stayed
6 for a much longer time than I did. So probably the number of his
7 interviews is eventually much higher than those that I had conducted.
8 Q. In order to assist the Trial Chamber, because they may not be
9 familiar with our legal system prior to 1992, Mr. Sarkanovic, tell us,
10 please: Was this according to law? Was this in line with law, for a
11 police body to take statements as part of the pre-trial proceedings? Was
12 this based on law?
13 A. Yes. That was perfectly lawful, and this is the way it had been
14 done before the war, the same way.
15 Q. In view of your experience, tell us: Was it legal for the lawyer
16 representing the person being interviewed to be present at the police
17 station while you were taking the statement?
18 A. No. Criminal law rules out this possibility. It doesn't exist.
19 And that's exactly the way it had been done before the war.
20 Q. Would it sound fair if I suggested the following: You've tried to
21 explain this, of course, but now I'll give you an opportunity. I'm
22 talking about the following: In mid-April 1992, there is an atmosphere of
23 insecurity in the town. There are shoot-outs and hostilities, are
24 beginning to break out. Civilians don white armbands on their own
25 initiative in order to protect themselves because they've seen members of
1 military units do the same thing. Is this a fair suggestion what I'm
2 putting to you now?
3 A. I think I said the same thing.
4 Q. Can you explain, please.
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. Mr. Sarkanovic, did you ever hear through the media -- did you
7 ever see any posters or billboards about the town to the effect that from
8 mid-April 1992 onwards, the non-Serb population should wear white armbands
9 in Samac?
10 A. No.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, you had said that you had two
12 questions. You are over. And I can see that you are moving into the
13 general areas, nothing specific to your client's defence. So please sit
15 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, I have just two more issues, and I
16 will finish.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: No. Please sit down. You did say you had only two
19 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, yes, yes, I understand. But Your
20 Honour --
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you sit down.
22 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Just for the record, can I submit -- can I
23 give my submissions, I mean for the record, Your Honour?
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Well, since my client is charged on count 1 for the
1 persecution, including the alleged violation of human rights of non-Serb
2 population in Samac, I deeply believe and I firmly believe that all these
3 events, especially when we heard the theory of Prosecution case that
4 Crisis Staff and other municipal institutions where my client was the, I
5 would say, president, imposed certain regulations with regard to the
6 violation of the human rights of non-Serb population, including white
7 armbands, allegedly, and some other things. That's why I think that all
8 my questions were strictly and closely related to the charges against my
9 client. So I'm not challenging Prosecution case with regard to the
10 certain specific actions of my client. It's rather his alleged position
11 in the terms of aiding and abetting, because that's why -- that's what the
12 Prosecution up to now are claiming. So I think that --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
14 MR. PANTELIC: --
15 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber is of the view that you have had
16 sufficient opportunity to cross-examine on those issues, and you did call
17 your witnesses.
18 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, but, Your Honour, since --
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you sit down.
20 MR. PANTELIC: Because he's a policeman, Your Honour, and this is
21 the first policeman that I have opportunity to cross-examine with regard
22 to the subcharge --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber is aware that he's a
24 policeman. Can you sit down.
25 Yes, Mr. Re.
1 MR. RE: The Prosecution does not object to Mr. Pantelic
2 completing a reasonable cross-examination if he feels there are areas
3 necessary for his defence to put to this witness, and we place on the
4 record that, as a matter of fairness, we don't object if there are matters
5 which reasonably need to be explored. And he has said there are two more
6 matters that he wishes to explore, and we certainly don't object to him
7 doing that.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic. The Trial Chamber, after
10 consultation, and in view of what the Prosecution has said, we will allow
11 you two more questions. Two more questions.
12 MR. PANTELIC: I'm deeply grateful to my learned friend from the
13 Prosecution side in helping me to perform my duty as a counsel and to
14 defend my client, and also I'm grateful to the Trial Chamber for the
15 reconsideration of the previous ruling. Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Sarkanovic, do you have any personal
17 knowledge as to Dr. Blagoje Simic ordering interviews of persons at the
18 police station, or their arrest, or these persons to be brought in? Do
19 you have any personal information on that?
20 A. No, I don't. I don't think I even saw Mr. Blagoje Simic, even
21 outside, about town, let alone the SUP building.
22 Q. You've explained that you attached your personal notes concerning
23 your observations to statements speaking about people arming themselves on
24 the 17th of April. Can you tell me, please: Was there any official
25 investigation inside the MUP - and I'm referring to the MUP as the
1 Ministry of the Interior - into omissions or mistakes committed by
2 officers at the expense of prisoners? And I mean beatings. Were there
3 any criminal proceedings against those who had abused police authority?
4 Do you know anything about that? Did you learn anything about that while
5 you were there at the police station?
6 A. Not as far as I know, but charges were brought against assistant
7 commander -- by assistant commander Milan Jekic because a police officer
8 had abused someone and slapped someone. That's the only thing I knew
10 MR. PANTELIC: I've finished with my cross-examination. I'm very
11 grateful to the Trial Chamber for allowing me this opportunity.
12 [Interpretation] Mr. Sarkanovic, thank you very much again for
13 your testimony.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic, any questions?
15 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] No further questions for this witness,
16 no. Thank you, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: The Prosecution?
18 MR. RE: It's 10.28, Your Honour. Would it be appropriate to take
19 the break and for me to start at 10.58.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: All right. We'll take our break and continue our
21 proceedings at 1100 hours.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Judge Lindholm is unable to sit with us, and
25 we'll continue our proceedings understood Rule 15 bis, paragraph A.
1 So the Prosecution can go ahead.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Re:
3 Q. Sir, my name is David Re. I'm going to ask you some questions for
4 the Prosecution. You understand that, don't you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can I just check with you the pronunciation of your name so I get
7 it correct. Can you just say it slowly for me, please.
8 A. Vladimir Sarkanovic.
9 Q. Sarkanovic. Thank you, sir. Now, in 1991 and 1992, Mr. Zaric,
10 whom you had known for many years, was in a position to know what was
11 happening in Samac in relation to the arming of people, wasn't he?
12 A. It was public -- an open secret. People were armed in a way that
13 the Secretariat for the Defence mobilised a reserve force and armed them.
14 Q. Mr. Zaric, in his capacity, was in a position to know about the
15 arming activities of all ethnic groups and all parties, wasn't he?
16 A. Possible. I can't say for sure whether he knew or not.
17 Q. I said he was in a position to know because of his role, the work
18 he did in 1991 and 1992.
19 A. I know about the position, but it still could have happened that
20 he didn't know. You understand? Because I was a police inspector, and
21 there are many things that I didn't know. And I perhaps should have
23 Q. You know that Mr. Zaric gave three statements to the Prosecution,
24 don't you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you've seen -- or you've had a chance to look at each of those
2 three statements he gave to the Prosecution in April and June 1998,
3 haven't you?
4 A. I didn't see them.
5 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. Your Honours, just a
6 small intervention. The question of the Prosecutor whether the witness
7 knew that Mr. Zaric had given three statements to the Prosecution, the
8 witness stated: No. And the answer of the witness is in the transcript
9 entered as being yes, which is then demonstrated further, but the further
10 of the answer of the witness to say he had not seen these statements. I'd
11 like this to be clarified.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Maybe we go back to the question, Mr. Re.
13 MR. RE: I will certainly clarify that.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Perhaps the witness's microphones can be
15 adjusted please.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the microphones --
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: To assist my colleague, maybe the witness could
18 come closer to the microphones, because this would probably avoid any
19 misunderstanding of his answers.
20 MR. RE:
21 Q. Mr. Zaric, of course, in 1992, was in a position to know who was
22 responsible for the takeover of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, wasn't
24 A. I don't know whether he did know or whether he didn't know. He
25 didn't tell me anything about it.
1 Q. I'm asking you about his position --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re.
3 MR. RE: Your Honour.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we just go back to this question where
5 Mr. Lazarevic said the answer was actually no, not yes, about whether or
6 not the witness knew about the statements which Mr. Zaric gave to the
8 MR. RE: I will. I only ask the question because of information I
9 had been given by -- we had been given by counsel from the other side. If
10 it's incorrect, I'll clarify it.
11 Q. Is it correct -- I withdraw that. Are you aware that Mr. Zaric
12 gave three statements to the Office of the Prosecutor in 1998?
13 A. No.
14 MR. RE: Could the witness please be shown P142 ter.
15 Can you please just show the witness, Mr. Sarkanovic, the first
16 page, just the heading. You can see that that's an interview, a record of
17 interview by Mr. Simo Zaric on the 3rd of June, 1998, to the Office of the
19 A. Yes, I can.
20 Q. Can you please turn to page 22 of the record of interview. Can
21 you just please read about halfway down, the English says "John." "So who
22 was responsible for the takeover of Samac?" And the response, several
23 lines down, is: "The Crisis Staff and the SDS, the authorities were
24 responsible." You can see that?
25 A. I can see the text in English, which I don't understand.
1 MR. RE: I'm sorry. Has the witness got P142 ter, which has got
2 both English and --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: There's one that has both Serbo-Croat and English.
4 MR. RE: It's on page 22.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can see it now. Yes, it's
7 MR. RE:
8 Q. I just want to direct your attention to where it says "John."
9 "Who is responsible for the takeover of Samac?" The answer, with a bit
10 of interpretation in between: "The Crisis Staff and the SDS, the
11 authorities were responsible." Question: "The Crisis Staff were
12 responsible?" Please read. And the answer, over the page: "That is
13 my --." Just -- one. The answer: "That is my deep conviction, and I
14 think the part of the responsibility can also be taken by the command of
15 the 17th Tactical Group." Can you see that there, those questions and
17 A. Yes, I can see the questions and the answers. But I have already
18 said at previously asked question, that in the night between the 16th and
19 the 17th, the key facilities were taken by the specials from Serbia and
20 the Serbian police. I don't know. Perhaps maybe Zaric was in a position
21 to know what he stated, but I don't know about that. I was not in his
22 position to know this, what he is talking about here.
23 Q. Please, sir. Can you please listen carefully to the question and
24 answer only that question and not another one. The question I asked you
25 was: Can you read those questions and answers? You can. Please don't go
1 on to other explanations. If there's anything that needs clarifying,
2 Mr. Lazarevic will ask you afterwards. All I'm saying to you is that I
3 want you to be aware that that is what Mr. Simo Zaric told the Prosecutors
4 was his view as to what happened in 1992. That's all. Do you understand
6 A. I understood that. I can see that here, from the statement, after
7 I read it, but before I didn't know this.
8 MR. RE: Can the witness now, please, be shown P140 ter, again the
9 English and B/C/S record of interview with Mr. Zaric of the 1st of April,
11 Q. Again, can you see on the front page, just so you know what you're
12 looking it, it says: "Simo Zaric interview on 1st of April, 1998,
13 Wednesday." That's the heading of the document, so we're sure we're
14 looking at the same document.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Please turn to page 28, the top of page 28. This is what
17 Mr. Zaric said to the Office of the Prosecutor on the 1st of April, 1998,
18 in relation to the arming of the three sides at that time, in April -- in
19 1992: "Not only them, but also other nationalist parties, wherever there
20 were signs that they could provoke a terrible war. Now that you ask the
21 question of defence preparation, yes, according to our information, our
22 service had information that there were special armies and police
23 instructors who did come to these nationalist parties in order to instruct
24 them in the context of preparing for defence, and all three parties
25 equally SDS, HDZ, and SDA, equally dirtied their hands in this."
1 Do you see that question and answer there? That's at the top of
2 the page.
3 A. Yes, I can see it. I read it.
4 Q. Just read the remainder of the page in B/C/S to yourself, please.
5 You've read it?
6 A. I've read it.
7 Q. Please turn the page to page 29. The word "absolute would know"
8 is at the top, then a question from the Prosecutor, Ms. Paterson: "Why
9 don't you tell us a little bit more of what you did to learn about the
10 collection of weapons and actual preparations for war that were being made
11 by all three parties that you have mentioned: The SDS, the HDZ, and the
12 SDA?" Which the answer is in part, the first part: "Now, the first signs
13 were noticed in the field by the service and both by the public security
14 service and the state security service since they were working together
15 and this is when the links were established."
16 You've read that?
17 A. I've read it.
18 Q. Please just read the balance of the page to yourself.
19 A. I've read it.
20 Q. Thank you. Please turn to page 30. About two-thirds of the way
21 down, you'll see a question next to the word "Nancy." That's the
22 Prosecutor: "And what about the SDS? What weapons were they collecting
23 and how were they preparing for the war?" To which Mr. Zaric's answer
24 was: "Now, of course that the legal gathering, collecting, acquiring of
25 weapons was intensified when the war started in the territory of Croatia,
1 and it was not only Croats who went to Croatia; it was also Serbs who went
2 to fight in Croatia, to the area of Vukovar and Kninska Krajina, or
3 another link existed here, that was a link, the SDS members, if nothing,
4 were more -- in nothing, even more obvious this their actions as to what
5 they were doing and taking weapons than some others. In a way, also I
6 could see that the way they went into the field was the most obvious of
7 all, but the scenario for going into the field, coming back with weapons
8 was very similar for SDS and HDZ. A great number of them managed to
9 acquire weapons, armed themselves through the reserve police force,
10 because all three parties wanted to have as many reserve police as
12 You agree that what I've just read to you is the question and the
13 answer by Mr. Zaric that he gave in that interview?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. RE: May the exhibit be returned.
17 Thank you, Mr. Usher.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would just like to say something.
19 MR. RE: Not at the moment, please.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I did not know to such an extent
21 like Mr. Zaric, considering that he was a member of the service, that in
22 any case was dealing with this while he was working there. They were
23 dealing with this. But as far as my knowledge goes, I don't know that
25 MR. RE:
1 Q. Fair enough. So you would agree that Mr. Zaric was not only in a
2 position to know, but from what you've just read, did in fact know, with a
3 fair degree of detail, what was happening in Bosanski Samac prior to April
5 A. Very possible. I allowed for the possibility that he may have
6 known about this, but I don't know what he knew about this.
7 Q. Your evidence was yesterday that you had received a law degree I
8 think in 1966 in Zagreb. That was your first degree. And you worked in
9 law enforcement in 1969 until -- was it 1986 or 1987, when you retired?
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters didn't hear the witness.
11 A. That's correct.
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. You were politically active during that time as a member of the
14 League of Communists; is that right?
15 A. I worked as a police inspector, but I was a member of the
16 Communist Party.
17 Q. Your evidence over the last day or so has been of your awareness
18 of many, many people being detained in Bosanski Samac after the 16th or
19 17th of April, and many of those people being mistreated while in
20 detention. You agree with that, that that was your evidence?
21 A. I agree with that, but I cannot tell you for sure how many people
22 there were, because, as I said, I never went into these premises. I
23 presume that there were many. I don't know what you mean by "many" or "a
24 large number." I also said that most of these detained were physically
1 Q. Your evidence has been that Serb paramilitaries took control of
2 the municipality or town of Bosanski Samac on the night of the 16th and
3 17th of April, 1992. That was your evidence, wasn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. From the 17th of April, 1992, the Serbs, or Serb forces,
6 controlled the municipality of Bosanski Samac, didn't they?
7 A. One part of the Bosanski Samac municipality.
8 Q. They controlled the town of Bosanski Samac and Crkvina and
9 Zasavica, didn't they?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. These Serb forces that controlled that part of the municipality
12 controlled the police, didn't they?
13 A. I don't know whether they controlled the police. My superior was
14 Stevan Todorovic, and as far as I was concerned, he was the one who
15 controlled me and my work. He and Milos Savic. Milos Savic being my
16 direct superior.
17 Q. All right. I'll go back a step. The Serb forces that took
18 control of the municipality on the 16th and 17th of April, 1992, after
19 that date controlled the military forces in that area, didn't they?
20 A. No. The army was separate, and these forces that had taken
21 control of the town and certain facilities in the town, I said these were
22 specials from Serbia and the Serb police.
23 Q. If I could put it this way: It's correct to say that Serb forces,
24 forces in the control of Serbs, controlled Bosanski Samac, the part you've
25 discussed, after the 17th of April, 1992?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And those Serb forces in control included police, army,
4 A. Not the army. I presume, considering the position of Stevan
5 Todorovic as part of the structure of the authorities, they probably
6 controlled the police but not the army. The army was under the command of
7 the commander of the 17th Tactical Group. He was the only one who could
8 have had the authority to give orders to the army.
9 Q. Serbian -- sorry - Serb police and the specials, as you've called
10 them, took control of the town on the 17th of April and took control of
11 all organs of government, didn't they?
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. They controlled the radio station, didn't they?
14 A. I presume. That's also a very important facility, so they
15 probably also controlled the radio station, yes.
16 Q. They controlled the two schools, that's the primary school and the
17 secondary school, didn't they?
18 A. The schools were empty. There were no teaching, no pupils, no
19 teachers. They could have controlled those as well.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
21 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in the last three
22 answers of the witness, I saw that on page 44, line 2, the army said --
23 the witness said: "I presume." And again in line 12, he also said: "I
24 presume." And again he said: "I presume." In three answers now we can
25 see that this is just guesswork by the witness, and I suggest that this
1 should be struck from the record.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, you can see that.
3 MR. RE: I can certainly attempt to clarify it, if it's important.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
5 MR. RE:
6 Q. These -- the Serb forces that -- or Serb police and specials that
7 took control of the town, after they took control of the town, a Serbian
8 or Serb Crisis Staff was in control of the organs of government, wasn't
10 A. Yes, I should imagine.
11 Q. Mr. Lukic, a moment ago, drew attention to the fact that you had
12 said "I presume" and "I should imagine." When you just said "I should
13 imagine," can we take it that you're actually saying: Yes, a Serb Crisis
14 Staff was established and was in control of - just hang on - the organs of
15 government in Bosanski Samac after the 17th of April, 1992?
16 A. I believe that this was possible, but I'm not sure if this was
17 indeed the case. I assume so.
18 Q. Well, in your own words, Mr. Sarkanovic, who was responsible for
19 garbage collection in Samac after the 17th of April, 1992?
20 A. The council.
21 Q. Who was responsible for running the hospitals?
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Your Honours. A
24 correction. The witness's answer was: "Communal services," not
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, can we just ask the witness what was his
3 MR. RE:
4 Q. Your answer to who was responsible for garbage collection, was
5 that "communal services"?
6 A. Yes. It's an organisation of labour, which is in charge of
7 tidying up the town.
8 Q. Who was responsible for hospitals and health?
9 A. The director of that institution, of the health centre, or of the
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, yes.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Just one correction, and I would say a suggestion
14 and an intervention. It is page 46, line 4. The witness said "radna
15 organizacija" [phoen]. In order to clarify that, radna organizacija means
16 company, simply as that. But according to the terms in previous legal
17 system, he used that. So it cannot be said "organisation of labour."
18 It's very vague. It's very imprecise. So maybe it should be clarified in
19 that sense. Because company is one thing and organisation of labour is, I
20 believe, nothing. So maybe it could be clarified or corrected. Maybe
21 it's just my friend's suggestion to my learned friend from the
22 interpreters when these terms are used, that's the old terms from
23 socialist regime. It's simply company. It's company, nothing more.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, you can go over that, if you think it's
25 important to your case.
1 MR. RE: No, I don't disagree with Mr. Pantelic. I accept what he
3 Q. Mr. --
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: In fact, Mr. Re, if I can just make one little
5 intervention. Maybe it would be better if we moved away from things such
6 as garbage collection and talked about things which we know the Crisis
7 Staff was involved in, civilian protection and so on and so forth, rather
8 than that maybe dealing with something such as that.
9 MR. RE: I will do that. If Your Honour could just excuse me for
10 one second.
11 [Prosecution counsel confer]
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. Mr. Sarkanovic, on the 30th of October, 1990, there were
14 democratic elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and in the municipality of
15 Bosanski Samac, a multi-ethnic parties were elected to the Municipal
16 Assembly, weren't they?
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. And after the 17th of April 1992, the democratically elected
19 municipality of Bosanski Samac was no longer in power in the municipality,
20 was it?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Its place had been taken by the Serbian Assembly of Bosanski
23 Samac, hadn't it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the Serbian Assembly didn't meet at first because it had a
1 Crisis Staff which was performing all functions of the Serbian
2 municipality in conjunction with an Executive Board?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And this Crisis Staff, that's in April, May 1992, was performing
5 the role of the Serbian -- sorry, of the former Municipal Assembly in
6 taking over all of its functions, wasn't it?
7 A. I assume so.
8 Q. And the Crisis Staff was responsible for things such as the
9 economy, the running of the economy in Bosanski Samac?
10 A. Yes, that's what follows from that.
11 Q. Humanitarian and medical care?
12 A. Yes, yes, the Crisis Staff.
13 Q. Information and propaganda?
14 A. Crisis Staff, probably.
15 Q. Procurement and food supplies?
16 A. Well, the Crisis Staff had taken over all the obligations and
17 duties of the Assembly and the Executive Board, and that would have been
18 that. They were responsible for everything. If so, again, because I'm
19 not sure about the exact areas of competence of the Crisis Staff or the
20 Executive Board. I can only assume what they would have been.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
22 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this answer, this whole
23 series of answers, the witness is asked to speculate. I think we should
24 decidedly demand that the witness speak about facts, and we have a whole
25 line of answers here where the witness is speculating, as he himself has
1 said. I think we're getting nowhere. The witness must be faced with
2 facts, and then the witness will tell us whether he's familiar with these
3 facts or not. This way, we are merely speculating, and I think that's the
4 only place this line of questions by the Prosecution is leading to. I
5 have nothing against specific questions, but for the second time in a row,
6 the Prosecutor goes back to the same line of questions, receiving the same
8 MR. RE: I've asked very, very specific questions. The witness
9 has answered some of them positively and others I assume that it must
10 follow from that. The witness is fully aware of what the functions of
11 government was in Bosanski Samac. He worked for the government a long
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And he knows that if he doesn't know, he can
14 say so. And in fact in examination-in-chief he would answer like that, if
15 he didn't know anything when questioned. So the Prosecution can continue.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. The Municipal Assembly, the previous one, the democratically
18 elected one, had also been responsible for refugees?
19 A. I don't know which body it was that was in charge of refugees. I
20 suppose the bodies of the executive government would have appointed
21 someone or that there had been a decision by the Assembly governing such
23 Q. Communication, another responsibility of the Municipal Assembly,
24 taken over by the Serbian Assembly and the Crisis Staff?
25 A. As I've said, if the Crisis Staff had taken over the duties of the
1 Assembly as defined in the period before the war, that means they would
2 have taken over all of these tasks. I'm saying if that was the case. I
3 was not in a situation to find out from first-hand experience, because I
4 was not close to where these things were actually happening.
5 Q. The municipality had also been responsible for the safety of the
6 population and property, hadn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that was another function which the Serbian municipality took
9 over from the elected municipality, and when it wasn't meeting, the Crisis
10 Staff took over that function?
11 A. I assume, yes.
12 Q. When you say you assume, you mean you assume because it logically
13 follows that it being something the elected Assembly did before, if the
14 Serbian one took over, it had to have taken over that particular function
15 and the Crisis Staff in its place?
16 A. Yes, yes, precisely. Precisely. I don't know, however, if this
17 really was the case.
18 Q. After April 1992, a new system of government had been instituted
19 in Bosanski Samac municipality, hadn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The authorities, the Serbian authorities in Bosanski Samac, had
22 somehow had arrested many, many non-Serbs immediately after the takeover,
23 hadn't they?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And they had done so as part of the new system of government that
1 had been instituted, the new regime?
2 A. I don't know in which context that was, but, yes, it did happen.
3 Q. And this new regime or new system allowed the mass arrest and
4 detention of many, many non-Serbs immediately after the takeover, didn't
5 it? I think you just said yes in English; is that right?
6 A. Yes. No, no. I said yes. Yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 A. Which means yes.
9 Q. I just didn't hear what you said. I heard two things. Thank you,
10 Mr. Sarkanovic.
11 And this new regime or new system, which had ordered or allowed
12 these mass arrests, also tolerated or permitted or allowed the people who
13 had been arrested to be detained in horrific conditions in a number of
14 detention centres, didn't it?
15 A. The conditions were like that. However, whether the Crisis Staff
16 knew about that or not, I really can't say. I don't know. The conditions
17 were indeed such as you have described.
18 Q. Someone must have ordered these arrests and prepared the
19 facilities for detention; you agree with that? Just yes or no. Please
20 confine yourself. Someone must have done so, mustn't they?
21 A. I don't think I can answer like that. The facilities had been
22 prepared. The secondary school was empty. The TO building was empty.
23 And someone had to. That's right. But if you ask me, it was Todorovic,
24 because he was the one who was most frequently ordering arrests. The
25 commandos, members of special units, did it on their own initiative, or
1 they had agreed with him to do that. I don't think any facilities had
2 been specially prepared for that. They were as they were, and at the time
3 they happened to be empty.
4 Q. Sir, you're aware, in your many, many years of experience as a
5 police inspector, that if people are to be detained, there have to be
6 facilities available for them at the time of their detention?
7 A. I know from the video footage, because you could see that there
8 were such facilities at the SUP for persons being detained. I think I
9 understood your question. Yes, conditions needed to be met.
10 Q. You were aware of four detention facilities in Bosanski Samac:
11 The secondary school, the primary school, the TO, and the SUP?
12 A. No. The elementary school was set fire to on the first day of the
13 conflict. It was set fire to. It burnt down to the ground, literally.
14 So the facilities where detainees were being kept were the secondary
15 school building, the TO building, and the SUP building. The elementary
16 school building had burnt down. That's for sure.
17 Q. What about the gym of the primary school, Mr. Sarkanovic?
18 A. No. I think I was talking about the secondary school gym. That's
19 what I knew. I know it for a fact that the elementary school building
20 burnt down to the ground, literally, on the first night of the conflict.
21 Q. Sir, what I'm suggesting to you is that these detention centres
22 didn't spontaneously appear. To detain people, you have to have
23 facilities available and ready for the detention. You have to agree with
24 that, don't you? Just as a simple proposition, you have to agree with
1 A. Facilities were there.
2 Q. But, sir, it requires --
3 A. I agree with you, but the facilities were there already, and they
4 were merely used for the purpose. Nothing special had been prepared, or
5 at least not that I was aware of, but I know that the TO building and the
6 secondary school building were simply empty. There were no pupils,
7 students, or teachers there at that time, and these buildings were merely
8 used for the purpose because they were convenient. I don't think there
9 had been any special preparations for that, because there would have been
10 no need for any such special preparations.
11 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes, Mr. Sarkanovic. With respect to the primary
12 school, which was burnt down: Is it true that the gymnasium building was
13 a separate structure, not connected to the classroom areas that were
14 burned down, to your knowledge, as a person who has lived in Bosanski
15 Samac for a long time?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My wife worked as a teacher at that
17 school. The gym hall is in a wing of the school, in the western wing of
18 the school, and this gym may not have burnt down. I'll allow for that.
19 But believe me, I don't know. The main body of the building, or rather,
20 the southern side of the building, there is the east and the west - the
21 building is in that shape. So the central part was certainly set fire to
22 and it certainly burnt down. The gym may have remained intact. I may not
23 know, but I'm not familiar with this.
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may just be allowed to add:
1 When I spoke to the prisoners, none of them ever told me that they had
2 been detained at the elementary school building. They all said the TO
3 building, the secondary school building, or the SUP building.
4 MR. RE: There are some photographs in evidence, Exhibit 14A. The
5 Prosecution doesn't have a copy in court of those. Perhaps if I could
6 have access to the Registry copies of the photographs, I might be able to
7 resolve that issue a bit later. Mr. Weiner will look at it. 14A -- P.
8 Q. Mr. Sarkanovic, if you don't quite understand what I'm saying,
9 please ask me to clarify. When talking about facilities, I'm talking
10 about the overall treatment and detention of the prisoners, not just the
11 facility itself. Do you understand that? Do you understand what I'm
13 A. Yes, yes, I do.
14 Q. I'm going to ask you a simple question. I just want a simple
15 answer, please. Did Bosanski Samac have detention facilities apart from
16 those in the SUP before the 17th of April, 1992? Just yes or no.
17 A. No. No.
18 Q. So you see, to house the hundreds and the evidence in this case is
19 uncontested that hundreds of people were arrested after the 17th of April,
20 1992, something had to be done to feed, clothe, and look after these
21 prisoners; you agree with that simple proposition?
22 A. Yes, I do. I do.
23 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
24 MR. RE:
25 Q. And the Serb authorities that took control of the town after the
1 17th of April were the only ones who could have put into place the system
2 for looking after the detainees, that is, feeding them, providing them
3 with bedding, if they got bedding, clothing, and sanitary facilities; you
4 agree with that, don't you?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. There were only about 30 -- between 30 and 50 special Serbian
7 paramilitaries or commandos in the town, weren't there?
8 A. No.
9 Q. How many do you say were there?
10 A. No. Between 15 and 30, I would say. I don't know the exact
11 number, but certainly not as many as you said.
12 Q. Fifteen and thirty special Serbian paramilitaries or commandos
13 would not have been able to staff, as you say, three, but there's evidence
14 here of four, detention centres, guard hundreds of prisoners, feed them,
15 clothe them, provide them with sanitation. That wouldn't have been
16 physically possible, would it, for 15 to 30 people to do that, in four
17 separation locations in the town?
18 A. It wasn't the commandos who stood guard around those facilities.
19 Q. No, no. A moment ago, a few moments ago, you said you thought
20 they were the ones who set up the facilities. All I'm saying to you: 15
21 for 30 people would not physically have been able to look after three or
22 four detention centres -- can I finish the question? Can I finish the
23 question, please?
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object. I mean --
25 MR. RE: Can I finish the question.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Right at this moment, that is absolutely not what
2 the witness said, that they were establishing that those 15 men -- those
3 15 members of Serbian forces have established the prisons. This is not
4 what the witness said.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The question was the Serb
6 government, not the members of the special units.
7 MR. RE: Your Honour, if I can just check the exact question on
8 LiveNote. I have to go to the case manager on the other side.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
10 JUDGE WILLIAMS: If I can be of assistance, Mr. Re, I think I've
11 found your question on page 54, line 16.
12 MR. RE:
13 Q. The question I asked you, Mr. Sarkanovic, I said, in relation to
14 setting up the facilities for detention, I said someone must have done so,
15 mustn't they. You said: "I don't think I can answer like that. The
16 facilities had been prepared, the secondary school was empty, the TO
17 building was empty and someone had to. That's right. But if you ask me,
18 it was Stevan Todorovic because he was the one who was most frequently
19 ordering arrest. The commandos, members of the special units did it on
20 their own initiative or they had agreed with him to do that. I don't
21 think any facilities had been specially prepared for that. They were as
22 they were, and at the time they happened to be empty."
23 That was the question and answer you had given. If I've -- just
24 hang on. If I've -- I apologise if I slightly misphrased it. What I'm
25 suggesting to you is the 15 to 30 commandos could not have set up these
1 facilities by themselves. It must have been the Serb authorities --
2 please let me finish -- in control of Bosanski Samac municipality after
3 the takeover, because it would have been physically impossible for 15 to
4 30 people to do so.
5 A. Your question, whether it was the Serb authorities, I said yes.
6 But at the same time, I said that arrests were being carried out on orders
7 by Stevan Todorovic and by members of the special units on their own
8 initiative. That was my answer, and I think that was originally your
10 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
11 MR. RE:
12 Q. Can we agree, then, that these three, on your account, or four, on
13 the evidence in the case, detention facilities could only have been
14 established and maintained and the prisoners looked after by the Serb
15 authorities in control of Bosanski Samac in coordination with Stevan
17 A. Precisely.
18 Q. Now, these detention centres which you agree could only have been
19 established by the Serb authorities, in conjunction with Stevan Todorovic,
20 allowed beatings, torture, and brutal treatment of detainees, didn't they?
21 A. Such treatment was indeed meted out. Now, whether the authorities
22 knew about it or not, I really can't say.
23 Q. This system which allowed the establishment of these detention
24 centres which housed hundreds of non-Serbs also allowed Muslim women,
25 children, and Croats women and children to be rounded up and detained at
1 different times, didn't it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Everyone working in the police station, that's the SUP, in
4 Bosanski Samac, in April and May and June 1992 was aware of this system of
5 arrest, detention, and mistreatment of the non-Serb prisoners, weren't
7 A. More or less, everyone. Some of them had even been involved in
9 Q. Only Serbs worked in the police station?
10 A. No. There were people who belonged to other ethnicities.
11 Q. After April the 17th, 1992, only Serbs were entrusted with the
12 interrogation of Muslim and Croat prisoners?
13 A. The two of us interviewed, and we are Serb, so that's what it
14 seems to be.
15 Q. Well, there weren't any other -- there weren't any Muslim or Croat
16 interrogators working from the Bosanski Samac police station interrogating
17 the non-Serb prisoners while you were working there in April, May, and
18 June 1992, were there?
19 A. No, there weren't any inspectors of different ethnicity.
20 Q. The statements that you were taking were taken to assist the Serb
21 authorities in Bosanski Samac, weren't they?
22 A. First of all, by the army, because we talked about the
23 circumstances about gathering the information in relation to army
24 security, that is, arming, establishing of military units, et cetera.
25 Q. That is in relation -- I withdraw that. Your war assignment was
1 to assist with work at the Bosanski Samac police station from about the
2 20th of April onwards, wasn't it?
3 A. Well, to work. Whether that was some kind of assistance or not, I
4 don't know. My obligation was to work, and I did work. I did my job. My
5 job was, most of the time, to conduct interviews with detainees.
6 Q. The Serb authorities or forces had control of the Bosanski Samac
7 police station at the time you worked there, didn't they?
8 A. Well, if we take into consideration that Stevan Todorovic, at the
9 time, was a member of the Crisis Staff, then of course that is so. They
10 did have.
11 Q. You were, of course, aware at the time that Stevan Todorovic was a
12 member of that Crisis Staff. That's when you were working there. Weren't
14 A. Yes, I did know.
15 Q. Milos Savic was also aware that Stevan Todorovic was a member of
16 the Crisis Staff at that time, wasn't he?
17 A. I presume.
18 Q. And Mr. Cancarevic as well?
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Now I object, because this is calling --
20 A. I can only guess.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: I didn't object the first time, but Mr. Milos
22 Savic and Savo Cancarevic could have known whether Mr. Todorovic was a
23 member, I mean, this is not the witness. He had to speculate what they
24 could possibly know.
25 MR. RE: Your Honour, there's a long way and a short way of
1 getting the answer. The witness either knows or he doesn't know. If he
2 says I presume, well, that's the answer I'm stuck with. I could take him
3 through every answer, but I'm not going to. I'm not pushing it any
4 further than that.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re. When you get the answers, whether or
6 not you are satisfied with them, it's up to you to deal with the witness
7 the best way. Because you know what you want to get out of the witness.
8 MR. RE: May it please the Court.
9 Q. Now, Mr. Zaric, with whom you worked closely, he of course was
10 aware that Mr. Todorovic was a member of the Crisis Staff, and of course
11 it's in his statements to the -- hang on. Hang on -- it's in his
12 statements to the Prosecutor which are in evidence that he was aware at
13 the time that Todorovic was a member of the Crisis Staff.
14 A. A moment ago I said I knew, and as I knew, in the same way, Simo
15 Zaric, Cancarevic, and Savic, they could have known, just like myself, and
16 I did know.
17 Q. Stevan Todorovic was a much feared person in the police station
18 and in Bosanski Samac at the time, wasn't he?
19 A. That's how he behaved. It's perhaps more the commandos, because
20 he was practically always socialising with them.
21 Q. He was closely associated, as far as you could see, with the
22 people who had taken control of the town and were torturing detainees in
23 detention centres, and that made you and other people fear him, didn't it?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. You also feared him in your work at the police station, not only
1 because you had heard that he wanted you dead but because of his
2 connection with the Crisis Staff, which was the highest organ of
3 government in Bosanski Samac?
4 A. No. If I may answer slightly more elaborate way. I stayed out of
5 the way of Stevan Todorovic because of some things that predate this
6 period, and it has nothing to do with him being a member of the Crisis
7 Staff and so on. But in all the ways imaginable, I avoided being anywhere
8 near him.
9 Q. I just want to take you back to the statements I was asking you
10 about a few moments ago before we moved on to that. When you received
11 your war assignment and turned up at the police station and were told that
12 you had to assist in the taking of statements, it soon became apparent to
13 you that the statements you were taking were directed only at one side,
14 that is, the non-Serbs, didn't it?
15 A. Certainly, because I saw that the detained persons were Muslims
16 and Croats. I think that there was one Serb, but he was released very
17 quickly. I don't know who intervened. It was a certain man called Dragan
18 Mesar. I don't know how he was released, but he was released.
19 Q. And the statements that you were taking could be used to assist
20 the Serb authorities and Serb forces in control of Bosanski Samac,
21 couldn't they?
22 A. They could have.
23 Q. And that is, in fact, the purpose of you being directed to take
24 these statements, because there's no other reason why you would have been
25 asked to take statements from the non-Serbs in custody?
1 A. Yesterday I said that this was so, that the purpose of the
2 interview was to gather information about the establishment of
3 paramilitary units, that is, units established by the SDA and HDZ, and
4 their arming.
5 Q. And that was to assist the Serb authorities and Serb forces in
6 control of Bosanski Samac, wasn't it?
7 A. Well, you can draw the conclusion.
8 Q. Could you give the Trial Chamber any other conclusion as to what
9 these statements could have been used for in those circumstances? Because
10 I suggest there's no other.
11 A. No, I can't.
12 Q. So we can agree that is the only logical conclusion from the work
13 you were directed to do in the Bosanski Samac police station?
14 A. You can say that.
15 Q. And when I said "you," that of course also applies to the other
16 people who were taking statements from the Serb -- non-Serb detainees,
17 such as Mr. Savic, and Mr. Zaric, or Mr. Zaric. Do you not understand the
19 A. Zaric didn't take interviews. I said yesterday he only took one
20 statement, but he read the statements that we took in order to process all
21 this information together with Milos. So it was only Milos Savic and I
22 who took statements.
23 Q. I've just asked you a number of questions about the system which
24 was in place in Bosanski Samac after the 17th of April, 1992, and you have
25 agreed that the system, in the hands of the Serb forces, in control of
1 Bosanski Samac, allowed mass arrest, detention, torture, of non-Serbs.
2 A. I said that this was happening, but I wasn't aware whether this
3 was known by the Crisis Staff and whether they allowed this. I presume
4 that they knew this because Stevan Todorovic was a member of the Crisis
6 Q. I'm asking you about the system in place. You agreed - I'm just
7 trying to summarise what you said to move on - you've agreed that there
8 was a system in place in Bosanski Samac after April 1992 that allowed mass
9 arrest, torture, detention and mistreatment of non-Serbs? Do you agree
10 with that? I can move on to the next question.
11 A. I've already said that.
12 Q. You didn't agree with that system, did you?
13 A. No.
14 Q. But you found yourself unwittingly caught up in that system at the
15 Bosanski Samac police station, didn't you?
16 A. I can say that in this way: It was through Milos Savic, in fact,
17 through Milos Bogdanovic, who at the time, Secretary for National Defence,
18 tried to somehow get another assignment, but it probably was not possible
19 or perhaps somebody didn't want to do it so. That's how I stayed there
20 until the 13th of June.
21 Q. You've already agreed you didn't agree with the system. I'm just
22 saying to you that it was a system you didn't agree with, but you found
23 yourself unfortunately and unwittingly caught up in for several months,
24 between April about 20th and mid-June 1992. I'm just suggesting you found
25 yourself caught in this system which was occurring in Bosanski Samac.
1 A. I didn't agree with what was being done in SUP and the surrounding
2 area, and I certainly found myself in this spot.
3 Q. When you say "in this spot," you found yourself unwittingly,
4 against your will, because it wasn't your idea to work there, working in
5 that system which was then occurring in Bosanski Samac?
6 A. Not even near that. I explained how I got there. 19th of April,
7 in the morning, a soldier came for me, told me that I had to report to
8 SUP. When I arrived, they told me --
9 Q. That's not what I'm asking you, sir. We understand how you got
10 there. When you got there, you found, to your horror, there was this
11 terrible system in place, and you had found yourself working in that
12 terrible system and you wanted to get out of it?
13 A. That's right. Yes, yes, you can say that, yes.
14 Q. Because everyone who was working in that police station was part
15 of that terrible system, whether they wanted to be there or not, weren't
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. It was obvious to you, as a man -- an educated man with a law
19 degree and many years in the police and awareness of laws, that there was
20 a system of persecution being developed against the non-Serbs in Bosanski
21 Samac, wasn't it?
22 A. Yes, you can say that.
23 Q. And you didn't want to be part of this system of persecution, did
25 A. No.
1 Q. And that, sir, is why you did your utmost to get out of that
2 police station and being part of that system of persecution, wasn't it,
3 because you didn't want to have anything to do with it?
4 A. First of all, I wanted to help these people, even if it was just
5 speaking to them nicely when I did speak to them. But at the same time, I
6 was trying to find out about the possibility of leaving, of getting out of
8 Q. And that's because you disagreed with this system of persecution
9 and you wanted to have no part in it, wasn't it?
10 A. I said that ten times already.
11 Q. Sir, you said earlier in your examination, when Mr. Lazarevic
12 asked you some questions, about one of the reasons that you left was
13 because of what Todorovic was doing and that Todorovic had told you or
14 hinted, or told you that prisoners had to be beaten and force used. That
15 was the evidence you gave before the break.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, you said --
18 A. That's right, yes.
19 Q. Now, you said that Mr. Todorovic said that to you. Did he say
20 it -- I'm sorry? I think you just said yes.
21 A. I said yes. I said yes.
22 Q. Did he say that, as far as you can recall, to Mr. Zaric in your
23 presence? Was Mr. Zaric there when Mr. Todorovic said that to you?
24 A. Well, I don't know. I can't really say. Mr. Todorovic told me
25 that on two or three occasions. Well, I don't think he needed to say that
1 to Mr. Zaric, because Mr. Zaric was not doing these jobs that I was, and
2 Mr. Todorovic was not in a position to give orders to Mr. Zaric.
3 Q. A little bit earlier, Her Honour Judge Williams asked you some
4 questions in relation to the primary school. I just want the usher to
5 show you --
6 [Prosecution counsel confer]
7 MR. RE: -- Exhibit P14A, 49 -- photographs number 49 and 59. If
8 Mr. Usher could just put them on the ELMO in front of you for a moment.
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was the building of the primary
10 school. On the right-hand side is the gym.
11 MR. RE:
12 Q. Mr. Sarkanovic, just so we all know what you're looking at, can
13 you please look at photograph P14A 49.
14 MR. RE: Do Your Honours have the photos there in front of you?
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
16 MR. RE:
17 Q. That's the primary school, isn't it? The photo on the ELMO there,
18 that's the primary school? You have to answer.
19 A. That's right.
20 Q. On the left-hand side of the photo, is that the primary school?
21 There's a burnt-out building on the left.
22 A. That's also the primary school.
23 Q. And on the right?
24 A. In front, and left. On the right-hand side is also primary
25 school, but the gym of the primary school.
1 Q. The photo has a date on it of the 6th of October, 1996. You can
2 see from that that it's not burnt out, can't you?
3 A. I can see it now. But I think it is. Believe me, it is.
4 Q. If you --
5 A. For the most part, it had burned, and I thought that had burned
7 Q. Could you please turn to number 59, ten photos on, which is an
8 interior shot of the same building.
9 A. It doesn't say anything to me.
10 Q. If I say to you that this is an agreed photo amongst all the
11 parties here of the interior of the primary school gym, taken in October
12 1996, if you look at that, it's clearly not a burnt-out building, is it?
13 A. Well, there's no reason for me not to believe you, but I've
14 already said: I thought this was a burnt-out building, and now I can see
15 that one part of it has not burnt. Because I know that the primary
16 school, after the initial events, the teaching went on in private houses,
17 from which I drew my conclusions, but I didn't go there.
18 Q. I wasn't trying to trick you. I was just trying to clarify that.
19 So when you said earlier the primary school was burnt out, it was just a
20 failure of your memory in relation to which part of the school was burnt
21 out; is that a fair summary of it, being ten years ago?
22 A. Not that my memory failed, but I thought the entire school had
23 burnt down, and now I can see that it hadn't. So I don't doubt your words
24 at all and now I see this is so.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, can we move on. We've spent too much time
1 on this.
2 MR. RE: I'm sorry. I thought I was clarifying something from the
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Actually, it was more that I had a recollection
5 of those photographs in my mind already.
6 MR. RE: May it please the Court.
7 Q. Mr. Sarkanovic, you were, in 1992, a very experienced -- although
8 retired, very experienced police inspector, and you were very experienced
9 in interrogation techniques, weren't you?
10 A. Well, of course. That would be normal.
11 Q. And your evidence was that you obtained -- or your police station
12 had a record for obtaining "enviously good results" in the years that you
13 were working there. That was your evidence yesterday.
14 A. That's certain. That's certain.
15 Q. And for a confession to be --
16 A. I just want to add: I don't mean my own, but the results for the
17 crime department on the level of the Republic, when I said that, I didn't
18 mean my personal contribution, although undeniably, it was there.
19 Q. Well, of course you had been working with Dragan Lukac for some
20 time, so you're including him in one of the people who helped you or
21 collectively to obtain those "enviously good results," weren't you?
22 A. Certainly. Lukac was a good policeman.
23 Q. And your experience with your law degree and your work as a police
24 inspector, over many years, has taught you that for a confession or
25 statement taken from a suspect or another person to be of any use to the
1 legal system, it must be voluntary?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. And in your time as a police inspector, you didn't obtain your
4 "enviously good results" by obtaining confessions or statements after
5 people being tortured, did you?
6 A. No, certainly not.
7 Q. Because the proper procedures, according to law, must be followed
8 in interviewing, interrogating, and taking statements from people, mustn't
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. And when a person is in police custody, they are in a vulnerable
12 position vis-a-vis the people who are detaining him or her, aren't they?
13 A. Certainly.
14 Q. And a confession or a statement taken after a person has been
15 beaten or tortured or sexually assaulted in custody or subjected to
16 inhumane conditions won't be a voluntary or a reliable one, will it?
17 A. I don't know. Certainly has an influence on the giving of the
18 statement, but even if such circumstances, even then the statement can be
19 given in good faith, so to speak.
20 Q. Sir, if a person has been held without charge in police custody
21 and subjected to daily beatings, underfed, not given proper -- not given
22 bedding to sleep on, toilets to go to, crowded into small conditions and
23 then taken out for an interrogation, you would agree that the statement --
24 you would agree that that's not done in ideal circumstances, wouldn't you?
25 A. I agree with that, that it was not taken in ideal circumstances.
1 It was taken as it was taken, and I can say that each person that was
2 interviewed by Milos Savic and by myself --
3 Q. Sir, I'm asking you: Based upon your experience, as an
4 experienced police inspector and with a law degree and the admission into
5 evidence of statements and confessions taken in police custody - I'm
6 asking you based upon your experience - if someone has been beaten in
7 police custody and is then taken to be interviewed and gives a statement,
8 there will be real questions about its voluntariness or its reliability,
9 if the person has been beaten immediately before giving a statement, won't
10 there? Just as a general proposition.
11 A. Well, you can say that.
12 Q. And if someone -- if people have been arrested and detained, and
13 you've already given evidence that people were detained only because they
14 were non-Serbs, and beaten daily, then taken up for interrogation, the
15 mere fact that they were being interrogated by a -- I withdraw that.
16 Those people in custody were frightened and intimidated, weren't they?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. They were frightened and intimidated because they had been
19 arrested and beaten in detention and kept there, arrested only because
20 they were non-Serbs; correct?
21 A. Well, you couldn't say that. First of all, most of them were
22 detained in order to sort out their weapons and the fact that they
23 belonged to units that were established. Only a part of the non-Serbs had
24 been detained without being armed and without belonging to those units.
25 MR. RE: It's 12.30, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: No. We may proceed, because we're stopping at 1.00.
2 MR. RE: We're stopping -- I'm sorry.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: We can proceed a little more.
4 MR. RE: If the Court pleases. We're stopping at 1.00?
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We've supposed to stop at 1.00, subject to the
6 tape being changed.
7 MR. RE:
8 Q. I'll take you away for the moment for the reasons for the
9 detention and just go to the circumstances of the detention of these
10 people in the Bosanski Samac police station in April, May, and June 1992.
11 Your evidence has been of these people being arrested, detained, and
12 severely beaten in police custody.
13 A. Not all of them, but yes, there were such cases of severe
15 Q. You, of course, and you've already told us, you interviewed maybe
16 50 to a hundred of the prisoners who were in detention in the police
17 station, and from the other detention centres; right?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Many of those people who you interviewed had been beaten in police
20 custody, hadn't they?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And they had been beaten by Serb police and Serb paramilitaries or
23 specials, hadn't they, and Stevan Todorovic, as far as you are aware?
24 A. I can only assume that. I didn't exactly watch as they were
25 beating people, or only very few. But they were the only ones who had
1 unlimited access to prisoners, so only they could have beaten those
3 Q. That's the only conclusion you could have drawn in those
4 circumstances, isn't it, that they were the ones doing the beating?
5 A. Yes, that's the only conclusion. Which other conclusion would you
6 like me to draw?
7 Q. These people who were beaten by Serbs, these non-Serbs being
8 beaten by Serbs were then interrogated or asked questions by you and other
9 people who were Serb interviewers? You've already agreed to that.
10 A. I said that police inspectors, Milos Savic and myself, those were
11 the police inspectors, and only the two of us conducted interviews. And
12 certainly we conducted interviews with prisoners who had been beaten too.
13 Q. The interrogation of a person of non-Serb ethnicity who had
14 beaten -- been beaten by Serbs, interrogation of that person by a Serb
15 would be intimidating to them in those circumstances, wouldn't it:
16 Arrest, beating, detention, torture by Serbs, taken up for interrogation
17 by a Serb, that would be intimidating to a person in those circumstances,
18 wouldn't it?
19 A. I wouldn't agree with that.
20 Q. If a witness has given evidence here of being beaten immediately
21 before you interrogated them, you wouldn't know whether they had been
22 beaten immediately before, because you weren't there, would you?
23 A. I noticed marks of beating on people we interviewed. I didn't
24 know whether they had been beaten immediately before they were brought to
25 me, or maybe two or three days earlier. But one thing is certain: These
1 persons, when they left my office, they were certainly a lot calmer than
2 when they first came to my office.
3 Q. Sir, I'm not suggesting they weren't. What I'm asking you is:
4 The person has testified that they were beaten immediately before you
5 interrogated them, you would agree, wouldn't you, that the fact of
6 interrogation by a Serb, after beatings by Serbs, would be intimidating
7 for that person, no matter how gentle you wanted to be with them?
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, but I object. In a general way of asking it,
9 implying beaten by Serbs and brought by Serbs. It's a general question
10 that my colleague could ask, or --
11 JUDGE MUMBA: So what's wrong with it? There's nothing wrong with
12 the question.
13 MR. RE:
14 Q. Sir, there is testimony in this case of people you have
15 interrogated saying they were beaten immediately before. I'm asking you,
16 based on your experience of many years as a police officer and your law
17 degree and so on, that a person who has been beaten immediately before an
18 interrogation and has been beaten by Serbs, after being subjected to
19 horrific conditions you've described, would be intimidated by the mere
20 fact of interrogation by a Serb, no matter how gentle you, as the Serb,
21 were trying to be with them. You would have to agree with that, wouldn't
23 A. Well, that's only natural. In other words, I agree with you.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, we'll move on. So in those circumstances I've
25 just described to you, the Serbian interrogator would not need to use
1 force to obtain a statement or a confession from such a person, would
3 A. Let me tell you: Even in addition to things being as you said
4 they were, not all of those who gave statements --
5 Q. Just concentrate on the question I'm asking you, please. I'm
6 confining it to that. Now, a person in those circumstances I've just
7 described, and you've agreed with, that they would naturally be
8 intimidated, the Serbian interrogator would not need to use force to
9 obtain a statement or a confession, would they?
10 A. No.
11 Q. A person in those circumstances may sign anything if they thought
12 it would get them out of there; correct?
13 A. I can only theorise about this, but that's not how it really
14 worked. There were prisoners who didn't state that they had taken part in
15 paramilitary units, although their names were on the lists, the list that
16 had been found. So the statement was drawn up exactly the way the person
17 said things. Sometimes it was not the way it had looked at first. Just
18 because a person's name had been on a list of self-organised citizens of
19 Samac for the defence, specifically.
20 Q. Sir, a person brought up from police custody, overcrowded, brutal
21 police custody, for an interrogation, would be frightened, even if they
22 had not been beaten before, wouldn't they?
23 A. Yes. Yes, frightened.
24 Q. Because they wouldn't know what's going to happen when they're
25 taken from the cells below or the rooms below, where they've been kept in
1 overcrowded, horrific conditions, they wouldn't know what's going to
2 happen when they're taken out for an interrogation, would they?
3 A. I didn't know myself.
4 Q. And every person in those circumstances taken from the rooms or
5 the cells upstairs, or wherever, to be interviewed or interrogated was in
6 a vulnerable and frightened state, weren't they, everyone?
7 A. In theory, yes.
8 Q. I'm not saying -- not in theory, but you know they were, weren't
9 they, no matter how polite or gentle or nice -- let me finish -- or nice
10 to them you were, you know that the people in detention in that police
11 station, when they were taken for the interview with you, were frightened
12 and vulnerable because of what had happened to them or they had seen
13 happen to other people?
14 A. Well, I've said that, didn't I?
15 Q. No. You said: "In theory."
16 A. Yes. I said that. I said this earlier, ten times at least. They
17 were frightened. They had been beaten.
18 Q. Whether or not they had been beaten, this is what I'm asking you,
19 and I'm concentrating on this point. The mere fact of their detention in
20 those circumstances would mean that they were vulnerable when they came
21 for their interview, wouldn't it, and in fact it did, didn't it?
22 A. Probably. I can't really say what some of them may have thought
23 or felt, but I assume that they were frightened, yes.
24 Q. And I think you've already agreed the people in those
25 circumstances are more likely to sign things that may not be reliable or
1 may not be voluntary than those who are questioned under ideal conditions
2 according to the rule of law. You agree with that, don't you?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And of course, the rule of law is very important in the work that
5 you did, both as a police inspector and in the three or the two months
6 that you worked in the Bosanski Samac police station, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Because you are in a special position of authority in relation to
9 those in detention whom you are interviewing, aren't you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you, as the -- you, plural, being the authorities responsible
12 for detention, custody, interrogation, interviewing, and so on, of people
13 generally - sorry - of people, can only act according to law?
14 A. We, and I mean Milos Savic and myself, were in charge of
15 interviewing people, but not in charge of detaining people. Otherwise I
16 fully agree with you in what you said.
17 Q. Because the laws of any civilised system regulate detention,
18 custody, police powers of questioning, charging, arrest on bail, and so
19 on, don't they?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And the laws cannot be applied arbitrarily or capriciously to
22 people, otherwise it would violate the principle -- which you would have
23 learned in law school and applied in practice -- of the rule of law?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And crimes must also be clearly defined for someone such as
1 yourself, a police inspector, to have the power to investigate them?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. In April 1992, May and June of 1992, you were taking statements
4 from detainees in relation to, you say, arming activities. That's what
5 you generally, broadly say. I want to move on to something. You agree
6 with that?
7 A. Yes, I do. I do.
8 Q. As of the 7th of April, 1992, the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina had been recognised internationally by the European Community,
10 the United States, and the next day, the 8th, it changed its name to the
11 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, didn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The legitimate and internationally recognised government of the
14 entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as of the 17th of April, 1992,
15 was the Republic -- was the government of the state of the Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, wasn't it?
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, that's not a question for this witness. I
18 know that he has said that he's a lawyer, but this is beyond what this
19 witness can answer to.
20 MR. RE: I'll ask it another way.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: He hasn't come here as an expert.
22 MR. RE: I'll take it in another direction. Thank you, Your
24 Q. Mr. Sarkanovic, I've already asked you about the laws and the
25 facts --
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, I understand the tape is being rewound.
2 Maybe we can wait for two minutes.
3 MR. RE: I'll certainly do that.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: You can proceed, Mr. Re. You can proceed.
5 MR. RE:
6 Q. When I started, I showed you Mr. Zaric's record of interview, in
7 which he said or told the Prosecutors that all three parties or ethnic
8 groups were arming themselves in Bosanski Samac area in April 1992. Now,
9 you commenced your work on the 20th of April, 1992, working in the
10 Serb-controlled police station --
11 A. The 19th.
12 Q. I'm sorry. The 19th. I correct myself. The 19th of April, 1992,
13 working in the Serb-controlled police station. You've told us that you
14 were interviewing non-Serbs in relation to arming by the HDZ and the SDA.
15 You've already agreed that, as a police inspector or someone working in a
16 police station in relation to people in police custody, that you must act
17 according to the rule of law. My question is: You must know, to do that,
18 what the laws are that you are applying, as a police inspector, mustn't
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You must be -- to do your job properly, you must be intimately
22 familiar with the precise sections of the Penal Code, the breaches of
23 which you are investigating, mustn't you?
24 A. The Penal Code, yes. The Law on Criminal Procedure.
25 Q. Between the 19th of April, 1992 and the day in June that just
1 slips my mind for a moment, I think it was the 12th of June, 1992, when
2 you left the Bosanski police?
3 A. The 13th.
4 Q. Thank you. The 13th of June, 1992, under what law were you
5 interviewing these people in police custody?
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, again, this is not a question for this
7 witness. These are the matters we are saying that they're not for fact
8 witnesses. These are matters four your submissions, as to what law was in
10 MR. RE: I'm not asking the witness what law was in force. The
11 witness has given evidence of being a police inspector.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 MR. RE: Of respecting the rule of law, of only being able to ask
14 questions of people in police custody according to the rule of law and the
15 laws in force. All I'm asking him is: Under what law was he acting when
16 he interviewed these witnesses? He may be able to tell us. I'm not
17 asking him what law was in force. I'm asking him what law did he
18 personally apply. That's as far as I'm taking it.
19 Q. Do you understand the question? What law were you acting under --
20 A. The Law on Criminal Procedure.
21 Q. Which one was that? Of what entity?
22 A. The former Yugoslavia.
23 Q. After the former Yugoslavia ceased to exist on the 27th of April,
24 1992, when Serbia and Montenegro declared themselves to be the Federal
25 Republic of Yugoslavia and renounced any territorial claims to the
1 territory of Bosnia, what law were you acting under after the 27th of
2 April, between the 27th of April and the 12th of June --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Re, yes, again, this is a problem here. This is
4 not for this witness to answer.
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, if I may. We have very solid
6 evidence in this case, and there were many of witnesses who controlled
7 this and being asked what was the laws that were applied. And we do have
8 evidence that the same laws that were in force in Yugoslavia, Socialist
9 Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, were adopted during war, in both entities
10 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There was not any differences between law that
11 were applied in the Federation, in the Muslim-controlled territories,
12 Croatian-controlled territories and Serb-controlled territories within
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina during whole war. So there is absolutely no base for
14 this question. There are two basic laws: Criminal law and criminal
15 proceedings. The laws that were applied on the whole territory of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina during the whole war.
17 MR. RE: Can I deal with it this way? I'll just ask this witness
18 of fact, which law he was acting under at all times, as a witness of fact,
19 which is the law he thought he was --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Dealing with, applying himself.
21 MR. RE: Yes.
22 Q. You said the laws of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Can you
23 just tell us which --
24 A. Yes. Yes. The criminal --
25 Q. Which code, and if you can remember which section, just as best as
1 you can do.
2 A. The law on criminal proceed and the Penal Code.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: I think he had answered that question before, if you
4 check line 20, I think 79, line 20.
5 MR. RE: I was just trying to clarify it was at all times, even
6 after the 20th of April. But I'm satisfied with the clarification.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The answer as to which law he himself was
8 personally complying with.
9 MR. RE: Sorry, Your Honour. It goes off the screen. That's the
10 trouble. And I lose the question and forget what it was.
11 Q. Mr. Sarkanovic, the -- as far as you were aware, in your knowledge
12 of criminal procedure and the codes you had been applying or working
13 under, the Federal Republic Criminal Code didn't authorise the mass arrest
14 of people on ethnic grounds, did it?
15 A. I said before: I did not arrest people. I merely interviewed
16 them. There were other people in charge of arresting people, and on other
17 people's orders.
18 Q. Sir, I was asking you based upon your work, your familiarity with
19 the Criminal Code, having worked under it for many years, as far as you
20 can recall, it didn't authorise the mass arrest of people on ethnic
21 grounds, did it? Just the code.
22 A. Certainly. Although the law doesn't specify the number of people
23 who are or are not to be arrested.
24 Q. The code, as it was then applied, didn't authorise the arrest of
25 people on political grounds either, did it?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Nor the detention of people only on political grounds?
3 A. No. Under the condition that no criminal act was committed.
4 Q. Sulejman Tihic, your evidence yesterday, was you interviewed him
5 and your position was he had committed no crime and should be free to
6 leave, wasn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Because you certainly had no evidence that he had committed any
9 offence against the Criminal Code, and you're investigating offences
10 against the Criminal Code; correct?
11 A. I didn't read Sulejman Tihic's statement specifically, but I
12 believe not. All those statements were later to be sent for assessment as
13 to whether a criminal act had been committed or not, in order to then be
14 further processed.
15 Q. You recommended the release of Sulejman Tihic because, from
16 everything you had seen, there was no evidence that he had committed any
17 offence against the Criminal Code; correct?
18 A. Simo Zaric proposed to Stevan Todorovic that he be released, and
19 my suggestion was, once the proposal was not adopted and when Stevan
20 Todorovic refused to release Sulejman Tihic, I told him that he should
21 hide from members of the Special Forces so that they would no longer
22 mistreat him.
23 Q. Sulejman Tihic was a prominent local member of the SDA, wasn't he?
24 A. The president, yes.
25 Q. After you had formed your view that he had committed no criminal
1 offence -- no offence against the Criminal Code, it was apparent that he
2 was only being detained on political grounds, wasn't it?
3 A. Well, I'm telling you: I didn't read Mr. Tihic's statement, and
4 as a matter of fact, I don't know what he said in that statement and
5 whether there were indeed any elements of criminal acts. I didn't talk to
6 him, to Sulejman Tihic. I would occasionally enter the room. And all the
7 time that I was inside, we didn't talk about the reason why he had been
8 brought in. It was more, you know, a sort of personal conversation.
9 Q. Sir, you had known Mr. Tihic for many years and had worked with
10 him as he was a prosecutor in Bosanski Samac. You must have been
11 interested in the reason for his arrest; yes?
12 A. I've already told you: I was interested, but the statement had
13 been taken by Mr. Zaric, or rather, Mr. Zaric was taking the statement. I
14 went to the conference room and conducted other interviews from other
15 persons. I didn't think it was necessary for me to be there during his
17 Q. Mr. Zaric -- sorry - Mr. Tihic was a prominent SDA -- sorry -
18 prominent SDA politician, political leader, and a prominent lawyer in
19 Bosanski Samac, whom you knew. After you spoke to Mr. Zaric, you formed
20 the view that there was no reason for his continued detention, because he
21 had committed no offence, didn't you?
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I mean, I believe this is -- could
23 you just wait a bit.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: This is the third time that same question has been
1 posed to the witness, and he said he's not familiar with what Sulejman
2 Tihic said to Mr. Zaric. He wasn't present at the moment. He hasn't read
3 his statement. So whether there were any reasons for Sulejman Tihic to
4 remain in detention or not cannot be familiar to this witness. He can
5 speculate. He may be -- most probably had his own opinion on whether
6 Mr. Tihic was supposed to stay or be released.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The point is that the question --
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: I don't believe it's for us --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The question has been repeated, Mr. Re.
10 MR. RE: I apologise. I'm just looking for something in the
11 transcript in relation to something the witness said about Mr. Tihic this
12 morning which led me to ask that question. I'm just looking for the exact
14 I'm sorry, Your Honour. I can't find it. I can't immediately
15 locate it. It may have been yesterday. It's 1.00.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: It's 1.00, Mr. Re. We shall adjourn now, because
17 there's a Status Conference to be held in this same courtroom. We shall
18 continue our proceedings tomorrow.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.00 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 13th day of
21 March 2003, at 9.00 a.m.