1 Monday, 17 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning. Case number IT-95-9-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Blagoje Simic, Miroslav Tadic, and Simo Zaric.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It was Mr. Pantelic.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
11 WITNESS: RADOVAN ANTIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Pantelic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Antic. On Friday, the last
15 series of questions was related to certain members of the 4th Detachment.
16 In the same context, I would like to ask you whether Stanko Dujkovic was
17 also a member of the 4th Detachment?
18 A. Yes, Stanko Dujkovic was indeed a member of the 4th Detachment.
19 Q. Can you perhaps remember in the night between the 16th and the
20 17th of April, what was his duty? What was his task as member of the 4th
21 Detachment? Where was he exactly?
22 A. Stanko Dujkovic did not have any specific duty in the 4th
23 Detachment. He must have been in his flat, at his home.
24 Q. Tell me, please, Mr. Antic: Darko Misic, was he also a member of
25 the 4th Detachment?
1 A. Yes, he was.
2 Q. What about Vlado Sisic?
3 A. Yes, yes. He was also a member of the 4th Detachment.
4 Q. A man named Dusanovic, nicknamed Dzaltara, who was a well-known
5 football player in Samac, was he too a member of the 4th Detachment?
6 A. Yes. He was quite a well-known football player in the area of
7 Samac municipality, and yes, he was a member of the 4th Detachment.
8 Q. How many snipers did the 4th Detachment have deployed along the
9 roofs of buildings on the 16th, in the evening?
10 A. The 4th Detachment had no snipers.
11 Q. Did you issue an order to Dzaltara to cut the phone lines at 3.00
12 in the morning?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Did Mr. Sisic receive from you the order to take the memorial
15 centre and the radio station?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Did Darko Misic receive from you the order to take the Silos?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did he receive orders from anyone else?
20 A. No. No. He couldn't have received orders from anyone.
21 Q. Ivanovski Sarinic and Topcagic, were they actually the ones who
22 brought the volunteers to Samac on the 16th and the 17th, the volunteers
23 and the Serbian police?
24 A. I know about Fadil Topcagic's case. He spoke to me in passing at
25 the command of the 4th Detachment, when Mr. Zaric and I started out
1 towards Pelagicevo. In passing, that is, later actually, he told me what
2 had happened in Samac. He made a passing comment on that. And he told me
3 that he had been taken forcibly to perform such a mission by the police.
4 Q. Did the SDS make any plans with the 4th Detachment prior to the
5 16th of April concerning the takeover in Samac?
6 A. The 4th Detachment never had anything to do with the SDS
7 concerning any such events.
8 Q. The 4th Detachment and you, as its commander, did you have any
9 contacts with Blagoje Simic concerning plans of a takeover?
10 A. No, never.
11 Q. You explained that after your removal, or however you choose to
12 refer to it, you were performing the duties of a commander who had the
13 obligation to build bunkers. You told us that you looked after people
14 there. You remember that?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Excuse me. Mr. Antic, you, as an educated man, a man with an
17 amount of military education, you will not dispute the fact that each
18 commander, within his zone of responsibility, has a certain
20 A. Every soldier is given his own individual task while on duty and
21 performing a certain mission.
22 Q. I don't think you've understood me right. I'm talking about
23 commanders of military units. Within the zone, the area of responsibility
24 of his unit, he has all the responsibility; isn't that correct, according
25 to the military doctrine?
1 A. I believe I must elaborate on this. When a military unit occupies
2 a certain area or, more specifically, when the 4th Detachment reached the
3 line of its responsibility, that were the embankments, then the commander
4 and the unit, if on duty, are in charge of that particular period of time
5 while they are on duty, or else you appoint a commander of the line, and
6 then this commander is in charge of the whole stretch, of the whole length
7 of the line.
8 Q. While you were commander of the 4th Detachment, according to
9 military doctrine, you were responsible for everything in the area of
10 responsibility of the 4th Detachment, weren't you?
11 A. The commander is responsible for the specific task which he
12 received from the Superior Command. He is in charge of carrying out this
13 specific task.
14 Q. More specifically, the 17th Tactical Group gives you a task to
15 secure the river banks of the Bosna and the Sava Rivers and you said Samac
16 was your area of responsibility. That was the area of responsibility of
17 the 4th Detachment and you as commander, wasn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Likewise, the area of responsibility of the commander of the 17th
20 Tactical Group covers the broad area in which the 17th Tactical Group was
21 active. Nikolic was responsible for that, wasn't he?
22 A. As the Superior Command, the command of the 17th Tactical Group
23 would have been responsible for the area of responsibility of the 4th
24 Detachment too, that is, the command of the 4th Detachment would be in
25 charge of carrying out the tasks given by the command of the 17th Tactical
1 Group and would be responsible for the area in which the command of the
2 4th Detachment is in charge.
3 Q. You were responsible for the people who were working with you
4 building the bunkers. You looked after them and you protected them from
5 any military operations.
6 A. Yes. I was in charge of their personal safety. I was responsible
7 for their personal safety. I was there with them the whole time, exposed
8 to enemy fire, just like they were, possible enemy fire. I made sure that
9 nothing happened to them which might put their lives in danger.
10 Q. Likewise, any other people who went to Grebnice or to another line
11 of the front would have been within the responsibility of whoever was the
12 commander there?
13 A. The line of responsibility later occupied by the 5th Battalion,
14 when the JNA had been reorganised, that is, the 4th Detachment; but while
15 I was the commander, the line of responsibility for Grebnice was not
16 within the area of responsibility of the 4th Detachment.
17 Q. That's not what I'm saying. It was someone else's responsibility,
18 wasn't it?
19 A. No. The area of responsibility of the 4th Detachment, after the
20 JNA had reorganised and after the army of Republika Srpska had been set
21 up, the area of responsibility of the 4th Detachment was extended to
22 include the area of Grebnice. But this happened at a later stage, after
23 the army had been reorganised and after the army of Republika Srpska had
24 been set up.
25 Q. At any rate, you will agree, as far as the people who were
1 assigned their work obligation to work for the army are concerned, whether
2 it was bunkers or some other activity, the commander of the military unit
3 would have been responsible for them? I'm asking you in general about
4 such cases, like you were responsible at the embankment.
5 A. The area of responsibility was the responsibility of the army, and
6 the army secured conditions for the safety of their unit's members, as far
7 as any possible involvement is concerned, there were certain people in
8 charge of that, people from -- who were working in other bodies too.
9 Q. Specifically, someone with a work assignment is digging a trench
10 in another position, not necessarily on the Sava River bank. Who would be
11 responsible for that man digging the trench?
12 A. Whoever got him involved in that particular task, whoever gave him
13 that particular work assignment would have been responsible for that man.
14 Q. Just to draw a parallel. For example, you were responsible for
15 people who were working on the bunkers, and then would another military
16 commander have been responsible for the people digging the trenches? Just
17 tell me yes or no, please.
18 A. Access to responsibilities must not absolutely be according to the
19 same criteria. I am a person who feels responsible. I consider myself a
20 responsible person. I looked after those people. I looked after those
21 people. What happened in other places, I'm really not familiar with that.
22 Q. But based on the general military doctrine, everything that you
23 were taught as a military officer, is there any responsibility involved
24 under the military regulations, under the Geneva Conventions? You must
25 have been taught that at some point.
1 A. Yes, I did study all the international regulations governing such
2 cases. Engagement of persons in such tasks was not the responsibility of
3 military units or military officers, military commanders. It was down to
4 personal responsibility. I considered myself responsible as a human being
5 to look after those people.
6 Q. But you didn't consider yourself responsible in your capacity as a
7 military officer responsible for those people?
8 A. No. I considered myself as a human being responsible for
9 protecting those people.
10 Q. But you were not duty-bound or bound by law, in terms of
11 responsibility for the people working there?
12 A. I must point out again that the responsible person is whoever gets
13 those people involved.
14 Q. Mr. Antic, you talked about violations of the law by the
15 volunteers and by the Serbian police, immediately following the armed
16 clashes in the night between the 16th and the 17th. You remember, don't
17 you? As commander of the 4th Detachment, why did you not simply arrest
18 those people, if you knew that they were committing a crime?
19 A. As commander of the 4th Detachment, I could not make arrests. I
20 did not have the authority to do so, because the 4th Detachment does not
21 contain a unit of military police. The military police can do it and they
22 can arrest their own members. So certainly the civilian authorities would
23 have been in charge of such -- any such action.
24 Q. Mr. Antic, tell me, please: If you had this information, why
25 didn't you -- did you forward this to the commander of the Tactical Group,
1 Colonel -- Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic? Did you ask him to send over
2 military police and arrest those people who had committed crimes?
3 A. I informed the command of the 17th Tactical Group about everything
4 that was going on in Samac. I was not in a position as a lower-ranking
5 commander to give any orders to the commander of the 17th Tactical Group,
6 who is above the command of the 4th Detachment. It is up to him to assess
7 the situation and take any steps or get his own MP unit involved. This is
8 a strictly defined procedure in the army.
9 Q. Be that as it may, despite your reports, the command of the 17th
10 Tactical Group never arrested those volunteers, did they?
11 A. The command of the 17th Tactical Group would assess the situation
12 probably. I was never present when they did.
13 Q. Please no hearsay. Tell us what you know from your own personal
14 experience. Don't speculate. You either know or you don't.
15 A. During the five or six days while I was commander, I don't know
16 that any of those people had committed those crimes were actually
18 Q. Did you issue the order for the tanks to enter the town in the
19 night between the 16th and 17th of April, 1992?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Was this issued by the Superior Command? Who issued the command?
22 A. No. No.
23 Q. Can you tell me: At 3.00 in the morning on the 17th of April,
24 1992, you woke up. I can see that a lot of people were sleeping at that
25 time. Please tell me: Until 5.30, as you said, when you went to the
1 command at Pelagicevo, what did you do from 3.00 a.m. to 5.00 a.m.
2 A. I heard shooting. When I looked at the clock, it was 3.00 a.m.,
3 and I needed at least 15 or 20 minutes to get ready. Of course, when I
4 arrived at the command, since I issued an order to the duty officer at the
5 command to call in the command, the majority of the command members had
6 already arrived, because they were all close to the command, as far as the
7 place of their residence is concerned. I arrived among the last, because
8 my apartment is the farthest away. At that point, it wasn't easy to move
9 around or to reach the command post.
10 Q. So you spent about two hours at the 4th Detachment command; is
11 that right?
12 A. If I got there at about 3.30, to the command, and I left at 4.30,
13 it means that I spent about one hour at the command. During that hour, we
14 informed ourselves about all the information that had reached the command
15 regarding the situation in Samac, and I've already told you who was the
16 one who actually provided this information.
17 Q. So my conclusion that you just sat at the command and did nothing
18 is right?
19 A. That is your opinion.
20 Q. And what did actually happen? Did you take part in any military
22 A. No. There were no military actions, because, as I said, I already
23 said how the events evolved. It was, of course, an unpredictable
24 situation for the command, and in a certain way it was a large shock for
25 the command.
1 Q. Could you please tell me: The proclamation by the 4th Command [as
2 interpreted], when was that issued?
3 A. The command proclamation was issued on the 19th, over the radio
5 Q. And you told my colleague Pisarevic that this proclamation was the
6 pride of the 4th Detachment.
7 A. Yes, that's right. It was the pride of the 4th Detachment because
8 it called on all of the Samac citizens to join the 4th Detachment in
9 protecting the people and their property, and in order to prevent any ill
10 deeds that had been committed over those two days.
11 Q. Of course, since you actually compiled this proclamation as the
12 command of the 4th Detachment, I don't mean just you, everything that is
13 in that, absolutely every word in the proclamation is true; is that right?
14 A. Of course. The command actively participated in putting together
15 this proclamation, and as I said, this was stylistically processed or done
16 by Mr. Zaric because he was the security organ. Of course, in that part,
17 there were certain views which were a little bit of an illusion, i.e. we
18 were of the view at the command and we stood by that view throughout the
19 whole period, and that is the view that the 4th Detachment should be of
20 mixed composition, that all citizens should take part in it to protect the
21 lives of people, because of course a person is only born once.
22 Q. In other words, there are no lies; everything in the proclamation
23 is true?
24 A. Yes, that is our view.
25 MR. PANTELIC: Ms. Registrar, could we have Exhibit D28/4 ter for
1 Mr. Antic. I would like to discuss this exhibit with him.
2 Q. [Interpretation] I have something that I would like to read to
3 you, and could you please tell me whether you agree with that or not. "The
4 mainstay of this defensive view and the desire of it was the legendary
5 4th Detachment, which, as part of the reserve forces of the JNA, along
6 with other detachments from this region, was part of the 17th Tactical
7 Group. The detachment was mixed, representing members of all of the three
8 ethnic groups which lived in the town and its task was in this
9 micro-territory to prevent any occurrences or conflicts which could bring
10 into question the survival of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the
11 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina as a part of that, to prevent interethnic
12 conflicts in town and also the spreading of the conflict to this area."
13 Do you agree with what I have just read to you?
14 A. A part of this were specific tasks of the 4th Detachment. That is
15 the transfer of combat activities from the Republic of Croatia to Bosnia
16 and Herzegovina [as interpreted], and in that aspect, we believe that the
17 4th Detachment partially carried out its task, because in that area of the
18 Samac municipality --
19 Q. Mr. Antic, let me just interrupt you.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I believe that this needs a bit of
21 clarification. Maybe it was misinterpretation. On page 11, when the
22 witness answered: "A part of this were specific tasks of the 4th
23 Detachment. That is the transfer of combat activities from the Republic
24 of Croatia to Bosnia and Herzegovina." I believe that this is something
25 missing here.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I will clarify that with the witness.
2 Obviously, this is not what the witness said.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
4 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Antic, I'm asking you specifically what I have just read to
6 you, do you agree with that or do you not agree with that? Could you
7 please just answer that. Yes or no, please.
8 A. I am talking about things that relate to the 4th Detachment, yes.
9 Q. Could you please take this document --
10 MR. PANTELIC: Ms. Usher, please, you can just leave the document
11 in front of the witness, because I have to discuss a little bit with him,
12 and you can take your seat. Thank you very much.
13 Q. [Interpretation] I will read a part of that, and could you please
14 tell me whether you agree with that or not.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note. We do not have a copy of
16 this document, D28/4.
17 MR. PANTELIC: Maybe the interpreters' booth can get one copy so
18 that we can facilitate proceedings, please.
19 Q. [Interpretation] "By carrying out their combat operations and
20 tasks, the 4th Samac Detachment, as an armed force of all the nations [as
21 interpreted] and ethnic groups which live in Bosanski Samac, has taken
22 upon itself the honourable responsibility for freedom, order, work, a
23 normal life, and the dignity of each man, regardless of his faith, ethnic
24 group, social origin, or political convictions."
25 You agree with that, and this is something that the 4th Detachment
1 implemented; isn't that so?
2 A. Yes, but I would like to clarify.
3 Q. Go ahead.
4 A. The 4th Detachment considers the carrying out of its tasks going
5 to the line of the area of responsibility during the 17th. Before that,
6 the 4th Detachment did not have any military tasks. So this exclusively
7 refers to carrying out the tasks which we received from the higher
8 command, the command of the 17th Tactical Group, i.e. for the 4th
9 Detachment to go to the line of its area of responsibility and to secure
10 it so that no other military force from the other side can enter Samac.
11 So that was our first combat task, and I would like to emphasise that in
12 carrying out this task, we also suffered some casualties.
13 Q. So we can agree, Mr. Antic: From the 17th onward, you agree that
14 this was the role of the 4th Detachment; is that right?
15 A. We believed --
16 Q. No, please. Could you just answer yes or no.
17 A. I must clarify. You cannot look at it in just a one-sided
18 manner. We considered that by carrying out this combat task, we created
19 conditions for the citizens to be safe, for their lives not to be
20 threatened, that nobody would abuse them, nobody would rob their property
21 or loot. This is what we believed to be the essence of our task.
22 Q. And to secure peace and order and normal work?
23 A. Yes. This is a general principle. If the army carries out its
24 tasks, then the civilian authorities, the people who are in charge of
25 that, can carry out their tasks. But I would like to stress that events
1 went in quite another direction, contrary to all of our expectations.
2 Q. And these possible incidents, the 450 members under your command
3 were not able to resolve them; is that so?
4 A. That was not part of our task.
5 Q. Very well. Could you please tell me: In paragraph 3 of this
6 order, it states that "The detachment, headed by its command, stood on the
7 defence of humanity, togetherness, and neighbourly solidarity as
8 indestructible indication or characteristic of Bosanski Samac, determined
9 at any price to defend those values to the last, defend them and succeed
10 in that." Do you agree with that?
11 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I do apologise, Your Honour. My co-counsel
12 just informed me that there's something missing from the transcript, but
13 it's okay.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Very well. Could you please tell me: The last
15 paragraph on page 1, divisions and separation which pushed the peoples and
16 the ethnic groups into fear, hopelessness, and impotence, have given birth
17 to armed all peoples detachment as an all peoples power, which by hard and
18 honourable battle has managed to establish control over all the vital
19 points and facilities in town. These are probably the post office, the
20 radio, the waterworks. Are those the vital facilities that we're talking
22 A. On the 17th, in the evening, the command secured some of these key
23 facilities, and those are the waterworks, so that people can have good,
24 clean water; that is the bakery, which was to provide food for the
25 members, i.e. bread; this also includes the health centre, as the facility
1 which is there to provide assistance and aid to people, to the elderly,
2 the sick, the wounded. Of course, there were other key facilities also.
3 But in any case, the 4th Detachment did not provide its members for the
4 securing and protection of facilities, the ones who were performing duties
5 in the civilian sphere.
6 Q. You secured Radio Samac as well, didn't you? That's also a key
7 facility, isn't it?
8 A. Yes, and the radio is one of those facilities which we also
9 believed should be placed in the service of the citizens.
10 Q. And of course you secured it so that there would be no surprises.
11 A. We carried out this task, but I don't know whether it was on the
12 17th or the 18th that each of these key facilities was secured. I cannot
13 claim something like that happened that very night on the 17th, in the
15 Q. In view of the fact that you started the process of weapons
16 collection, as you told Mr. Pisarevic, and the securing of these key
17 facilities, I must admit, you did that quite professionally. The 4th
18 Detachment did this in quite a professional way. The 4th Detachment took
19 upon itself the responsibility for law and order in Samac.
20 A. No. We took upon ourselves those activities which needed to be
21 carried out in order to secure our unit.
22 Q. But the 4th Detachment, together with the volunteers and the Serb
23 police, took over control of the key facilities; is that right?
24 A. The police and the volunteers did not secure these key facilities
25 together with members of the 4th Detachment. This was a task given to
1 members only for those key facilities which were essential for the
2 functioning of the 4th Detachment.
3 Q. No, no. That's not what I'm saying. You received an order from
4 the 17th Tactical Group together with the volunteers and the police to
5 take over the key facilities during the night between the 16th and the
6 17th; isn't that correct?
7 A. No, no, no, no. The 17th Tactical Group never gave any orders to
8 the 4th Detachment for any kind of activity during the night between the
9 16th and the 17th. Please, please. Don't make it seem like there was
10 something that never actually took place.
11 Q. I'm merely asking. I'm merely asking. I'm sorry.
12 A. Yes, you definitely have the right to ask.
13 Q. On page 2 of this announcement, paragraph 1 reads: "That's why
14 the detachment calls upon all honourable people to join in and to comply
15 with the instructions of its command concerning the organisation of life
16 and work and the preservation of peace and order in Bosanski Samac." You
17 agree with that; right?
18 A. Yes, of course. We called upon all citizens, all the people who
19 shared the convictions of the command of the 4th Detachment, to join in,
20 and they did. I must say, many people did join in. They joined the 4th
21 Detachment, precisely with the intention of preserving the town, of
22 preserving its people, of preserving the property. We believed that there
23 was safety in numbers and that numbers would help us the better to carry
24 out our task.
25 Q. I have no doubts about that, Mr. Antic. But tell me: The command
1 of the 4th Detachment passed certain, or rather, adopted certain orders on
2 the way life and work were organised; isn't that correct?
3 A. When we set decisions or instructions, we meant something quite
4 different. Those were not laws governing life in Samac. These were
5 simply our views and convictions which the command of the 4th Detachment
6 then articulated.
7 Q. The decision on the introduction of the state of emergency was one
8 such document, wasn't it?
9 A. No, no, no, no. The 4th Detachment had nothing to do with the
10 introduction of the state of emergency. It had no part in that. None of
11 our members took part in that, not at any point in time. This was a
12 document passed exclusively by the civilian bodies of authority.
13 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Antic, if you could be precise. When you say
16 that the state of emergency was a document passed exclusively by the
17 civilian bodies of authority, can you say which body specifically you're
18 talking about, if you know.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm talking about the Crisis Staff
20 of the Municipal Assembly of Samac.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
22 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Therefore, Mr. Antic, whatever concern the preservation of law and
24 order, you try to do your job the best way possible, the collection of
25 weapons, to keep the risk down, to collect the weapons that were
1 unlawfully owned, and so on and so forth.
2 A. Yes, that's true, in as far as the activities of the 4th
3 Detachment are concerned, in terms of the safety of its own members. We
4 cared about preserving every single life, of our own members and of the
5 citizens of Samac. When there was something we couldn't do, this
6 invariably did not depend on us, on the command of the 4th Detachment; it
7 was beyond our sphere of competence.
8 Q. The last paragraph of this announcement reads: "According to
9 the provocators spawned by the ugly policies of nationalist parties --
10 national parties, the policies of national parties, and fascist
11 separatism, aided by international fascism, those who still incite to
12 hatred and fratricide, the detachment will show no -- will have no mercy
13 for them." As the detachment put its name under this announcement, tell
14 me, what exactly did you mean by international fascism?
15 A. During those three days, the 17th, the 18th, and the 19th, the 4th
16 Detachment believed that what was going on in Samac was the reflection of
17 policies pursued by national parties. At that moment, we believed, as we
18 were convinced that we should preserve Yugoslavia the way it was, or in a
19 different form, that we should aid the JNA in its efforts to carry out its
20 own aims. We were convinced that international relations affected the
22 Q. You mean international fascism?
23 A. Well, globally. You couldn't say international fascism, but some
24 forms were present in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, and they
25 contained some of those elements.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Just for the record, Your Honour, on page 18, line
2 15 and 16, it should be a part of my question which started on line 9, and
3 then the answer of this witness is starting on the line 17. Just for the
4 record. Thank you.
5 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Antic, the last sentence there, we'll have no
6 mercy to spare for such people. Did you mean arrests? Did you mean
7 actually killing those people? What did you mean by no mercy? Because
8 you were an armed unit, after all, the detachment.
9 A. Yes, indeed. The detachment believed that should any armed
10 clashes break out, and if the detachment were in a position to carry out
11 anything like that, they would not have had mercy. But not in the sense
12 of expulsion and humiliation of other people, but only if the detachment
13 came into a position to engage in armed combat, then we would have had no
14 mercy, because we considered ourselves capable of carrying out certain
15 military tasks given us by our Superior Command.
16 Q. On the 17th of April, you practically got involved in armed
17 combat. You started shooting. There was fighting in Samac. You were
18 fighting with Croats. That was on the 17th of April, wasn't it?
19 A. The combat task of the 4th Detachment began on the 17th, around
20 9.00. We came out to the line, to our line of responsibility, to secure
22 Q. And then you joined with the volunteers and the Serbian police
23 from Samac in defending the town, didn't you?
24 A. No. The 4th Detachment did not cooperate in any such manner with
25 the police or the volunteers. Rather, we had our own specific tasks which
1 we simply carried out. This statement is simply out of the question.
2 Q. I would like to read to you now another statement based on some of
3 my research and tell me whether you agree or not.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic --
5 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Before you read, is it from the same document?
7 MR. PANTELIC: No. No. This is just, I would say, conclusion,
8 thesis of what we heard here during the proceedings and I would like just
9 to hear the position of this witness with regard to the suggestion that
10 I have.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Okay.
12 MR. PANTELIC: Yes.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: All right.
14 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Therefore, Mr. Antic, by way of conclusion, right, do you agree
16 with what I'm about to read to you: In view of the fact that several
17 other units took part in liberating the town from the 17th Tactical Group,
18 units from the 17th Tactical Group, the role of the 4th Detachment in
19 liberating the town in less than 24 hours is beyond dispute, its role in
20 preventing major bloodshed, because only three people were killed in the
21 liberation of the town. Do you agree with that?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Very well. If I told you, for example, that your assistant for
24 security, Simo Zaric, in an interview for the Novi Sad TV, said that there
25 was intelligence information that an attack on Samac had been prepared by
1 Croats and Muslims between the 16th and the 17th or the 17th and the 18th
2 of April, would you agree with me that he must have been right, since he
3 was, after all, an intelligence officer, and he released this information
4 in an interview to Novi Sad TV?
5 A. I don't know what intelligence exactly Mr. Zaric had. It is on
6 account of that that I cannot comment on his assessment.
7 Q. Finally, Mr. Antic: As my client, Dr. Blagoje Simic, gave me
8 precise instructions regarding the questions I'm about to ask you:
9 Blagoje Simic claims that on the 17th of April he did not call Stevan
10 Nikolic on the phone, nor through any other communications equipment, and
11 he believes that you were not telling the truth when you said that you had
12 received information that he had called Nikolic. Do you agree with that?
13 A. I can't talk about information that my commander may have had. I
14 can only talk about what he informed us on. I was not the only person
15 present. There were other people there too, and Mr. Zaric was among them.
16 Q. Furthermore, my client believes and claims that the Crisis Staff
17 did not even exist during the night between the 16th and the 17th of
18 April, and he believes that what you said was simply not true, the
19 information you provided in your testimony before this Tribunal. Are you
20 prepared now to set your testimony right?
21 A. I stand by what I said.
22 Q. Furthermore, my client claims that the Crisis Staff did not issue
23 the order regarding the defensive operation between the 16th and 17th of
24 April, but rather, that this was issued by the command of the 17th
25 Tactical Group and the 4th Detachment. Are you ready to review your
1 testimony as regards that?
2 A. As I said, I gave you the sequence of events exactly as it was. I
3 told you everything I did on the 17th, in the morning, and then later, in
4 the course of the 17th and the 18th and as late as the 23rd, while I was
5 commander. I did everything that I did pursuant to orders by the
6 commander of the 17th Tactical Group.
7 Q. By way of conclusion, I will suggest the following: It is my
8 belief that the 17th Tactical Group and the 4th Detachment, together with
9 the Serb volunteers and the Serb police, took complete control over life
10 and work in Samac, beginning with the 17th of April and onwards. Do you
11 agree with that suggestion?
12 A. The 17th Tactical Group took control of what it was responsible
13 for. The command of the 4th Detachment took control of what it was
14 supposed to take control of in terms of its task, its task as given in the
15 order by the commander of the 17th Tactical Group. So from the 17th on,
16 the detachment was carrying out orders of the commander of the 17th
17 Tactical Group, from the 17th -- from the morning of the 17th on, from the
18 moment that the commander called me and issued the orders, and then on --
19 while we were carrying out our combat task, and then until 9.00, when I
20 was given the order on the engagement of the 4th Detachment.
21 Q. From 9.00 on the 17th of April on everything within the area of
22 responsibility of the 4th Detachment was controlled by the 4th Detachment,
23 wasn't it?
24 A. The command of the 4th Detachment was in control of the line of
25 its own responsibility, but it had no influence on life in the town of
1 Samac. That was completely the responsibility of civilian authorities.
2 The 4th Detachment had nothing whatsoever to do with that.
3 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Antic.
4 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Now the Prosecution.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Just for the record, this document D28/4 is not
7 admitted into evidence yet, so it's a document ID. Thank you.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: No objection to its admission, on the Prosecution's
10 MR. PANTELIC: In that -- well, I don't know who is entitled, Your
11 Honour. Maybe if it's ID, maybe my learned friends should be entitled to
12 tender it into evidence, because --
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: If this is a proper moment, I have to admit that I
14 didn't pay much attention to this. But could we have now, since the
15 witness identified the document, read it, and if there is not any
16 objection from the Prosecution side, we might admit it into evidence.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We just have confirmation that it will retain
18 the same number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This will be treated as Exhibit D28/4 and D28/4
20 ter. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, if Your Honours please.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio:
24 Q. Mr. Antic, I have some questions for you on behalf of the
25 Prosecution. My name is Di Fazio. It's in both our interests if you
1 could keep your answers as brief as possible. If you do that, the whole
2 exercise could be finished in a fairly short period of time, I hope.
3 I just want you to restate again the objectives of the JNA, the
4 17th Tactical Group, and the 4th Detachment. You agree that one of the
5 purposes of the JNA was the protection of the population and the people?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You would agree that one of the purposes of the 17th Tactical
8 Group, or rather, the purposes of the 17th Tactical Group were to prevent
9 war from spilling over from Croatia into Bosanski Samac?
10 A. Yes. One of the basic, fundamental tasks of the 17th Tactical
11 Group and the 4th Detachment was to transfer war [as interpreted] into
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina through the area of responsibility of the 17th
13 Tactical Group and the 4th Detachment.
14 Q. The way your answer comes out was translated in English is not
15 entirely clear. You agree that one of the fundamental tasks of the 4th
16 Detachment was to prevent any incursions from Croatia or war spilling over
17 from Croatia into the territory of Bosanski Samac?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And you agree that another purpose of the 4th Detachment was the
20 prevention of interethnic strife?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have a correction of the answer in line 12 of
23 the witness, where he says: "Yes, one of the basic fundamental tasks of
24 the 17th Tactical Group and 4th Detachment was to transfer war." That's
25 what the transcript has.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Antic, the way your answer -- one of your earlier answers was
3 translated was this: I was asking you about the basic purposes of the
4 17th Tactical Group, and you said, at least the way it's been translated:
5 "One of the basic, fundamental tasks of the 17th Tactical Group and 4th
6 Detachment was to transfer war into Bosnia and Herzegovina." Now, I don't
7 think that's correct and I don't think that's what you meant to say. Can
8 you just tell us what you did say, for the purposes of the transcript.
9 A. The transfer of war operations.
10 Q. Yes. And the purpose of the 4th Detachment was to prevent the
11 transfer of war operations from Croatia into the territory of Bosanski
13 A. The operations, according to military terminology, are a wider
14 concept. Since the 4th Detachment had a small area of responsibility, you
15 could not talk about an operation. We talked about the transfer of
16 activities, because activities is a much narrower concept in military
18 Q. Certainly. I understand. But as far as the area of
19 responsibility of the 4th Detachment was concerned, one of its tasks was
20 to prevent war breaking out in Bosanski Samac, war being transferred from
21 Croatia into Bosanski Samac?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Another object of the 4th Detachment was to secure property and
24 protect property in Bosanski Samac, property of the people?
25 A. Yes, to protect the citizens and to protect their property.
1 Q. And in addition, it was the role of the 4th Detachment to prepare
2 for defence action in the event of a Croatian attack?
3 A. Yes. The detachment's task was to begin to act in the case of any
4 military attack on the town of Bosanski Samac.
5 Q. And can you tell the Chamber: If these principle objectives were
6 also shared by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Detachments operating in areas
8 A. We received our tasks from the command of the 17th Tactical Group,
9 and since all the detachments were part of the 17th Tactical Group, the
10 tasks were the same or specific to a particular area. The specific thing
11 for the 4th Detachment was the fact that Bosanski Samac has a mixed
12 population, where the majority of the population were Muslims, then Serbs,
13 then Croats. In other areas where the detachments were formed, there were
14 pure communities. So therefore, the tasks were not exactly the same.
15 Q. The tasks -- are you saying that the tasks of part of these
16 formations of the JNA were based on ethnicity?
17 A. The 4th Detachment was, in fact, of mixed composition, which was a
18 reflection of the structure of the population in Bosanski Samac. So it
19 was specific in terms of its organisation and its tasks, precisely because
20 it was -- because the population was mixed.
21 Q. Let me ask you the question in this way, Mr. Antic: These other
22 detachments that I've mentioned - the 1st, 2nd, and so on - their tasks
23 was to protect personal property, protect the people, prevent incursion of
24 war or fighting operations from the territory of Bosanski Samac, and they
25 had responsibilities for those tasks irrespective of the ethnicity of the
1 people who resided in their territories or theatre of responsibility?
2 A. Each detachment received the tasks to protect the population and
3 their property in their area of responsibility. But I emphasise: The 4th
4 Detachment had exceptionally complex tasks, precisely because of the
5 population structure in Bosanski Samac.
6 Q. Thank you. In preparing to carry out these tasks or these
7 challenges that might face the 4th Detachment, the 4th Detachment
8 organised training, do you agree, the target practice, in early 1992?
9 A. Yes. It did have training, and it did have target practice.
10 Q. It ensured that its members were armed, weapons were distributed
11 from Pelagicevo to all its members?
12 A. The 17th Tactical Group provided weapons and uniforms that were
13 necessary for the 4th Detachment.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. But I would like to stress that there wasn't enough of either.
16 Q. Fine. Thank you. In addition, the 4th Detachment established a
17 system of patrols in the area of Bosanski Samac, and the purpose of those
18 patrols was to provide intelligence to the command of the 4th Detachment?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And when were they first established, these patrols?
21 A. The patrols were established in early February.
22 Q. And was a system put in place whereby, if anything untoward
23 happened, if anything out of the ordinary happened, these patrols would
24 report to you, to the command of the 4th Detachment?
25 A. The patrols were obliged to inform the 4th Detachment command
1 about all important events.
2 Q. And this system of patrols was set up precisely to enable the 4th
3 Detachment to cope with a sudden attack?
4 A. The patrols were given tasks to inform the command about all
5 significant events related to the existence of the 4th Detachment and its
6 activities which it would undertake in certain circumstances. However,
7 the detachment could not make the decision by itself. I mean the
8 detachment command. But they informed the command of the 17th Tactical
9 Group of all significant events, which in turn would set the tasks that
10 the 4th Detachment needed to carry out.
11 Q. The territory of Croatia begins across the Sava River, doesn't it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. A matter of some hundred metres?
14 A. Yes. It's about four to five hundred metres across the Sava.
15 Q. And there was a bridge at Bosanski Samac linking it with the
16 territory of Croatia on the night of the 16th and 17th?
17 A. Yes. There is a bridge. It's a railway and vehicle traffic
18 bridge between Samac and the Republic of Croatia.
19 Q. And although it may seem perfectly obvious, I wish to ask you
20 this: Any attack would not be signalled to you; it would be a surprise
21 attack? That goes without saying, doesn't it?
22 A. Of course, in accordance with military strategy, any side which
23 has offensive intentions tries to carry out the activities against the
24 other side with as much of a surprise element as possible, and this is
25 what the history of war to date has shown.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber, then, the
2 contingency plans that the 4th Detachment had to cope with an unexpected
3 and surprise attack in the middle of the night, from Croatia.
4 A. The 4th Detachment, under my command, did not have any contingency
5 plans. It had a strictly determined or a strictly set task.
6 Q. Yes. I know what the tasks are. We've just discussed them and
7 you've told the Trial Chamber what the tasks of the 4th Detachment were.
8 One of them was to protect against attack. You agree that attack can be
9 surprise attack. Please tell the Chamber what plans the 4th Detachment
10 had to cope with a surprise attack, since that was one of its tasks, to
11 cope with a surprise attack.
12 A. In the conditions today, in contemporary conditions, it's very
13 difficult to carry out a surprise attack. That is the objective, but very
14 often, in view of intelligence data which each side takes steps to obtain,
15 this is so. So the detachment would have the possibility to engage in
16 case of a surprise attack.
17 Q. Is it the case that you were confident that there was going to be
18 no surprise attack?
19 A. At the command, we were convinced that there would be no surprise
20 attack against Samac.
21 Q. I see. Thank you. I may return to this topic later. I now want
22 to move on to another topic, that is, the arrival of the paramilitaries or
23 volunteers, as you have called them. They arrived at Batkusa, I think, on
24 the 11th of April, 1992.
25 A. Yes. They arrived at Batkusa.
1 Q. But I think that's the date as well, isn't it, the 11th of April?
2 A. Yes, I think that it is.
3 Q. Soon, very soon thereafter, you became aware, did you not, that
4 they had arrived in a military helicopter?
5 A. Yes. I found out that they arrived in two helicopters.
6 Q. Yes. Military, JNA helicopters?
7 A. Yes, they were military helicopters.
8 Q. And I take it that that immediately established in your mind a
9 connection between the volunteers and the military, the JNA, otherwise
10 they wouldn't be on JNA helicopters.
11 A. I don't know what channels they were and what kind of engagement,
12 but we were convinced that they were not representatives, i.e. soldiers
13 who arrived in those helicopters. In a military sense, that would not be
14 a significant number for our area.
15 Q. Thank you. Let me approach the issue in this way: These men who
16 arrived on the JNA or military helicopters were camouflaged, they were
17 known as the Sareni, and they were heavily armed, and that was well known?
18 A. They were -- yes. They were in camouflage uniforms, wearing --
19 with firearms. This is what I saw.
20 Q. Right. So you knew that these were features of their arrival:
21 They came on military helicopters, they were heavily armed, wearing
22 camouflage, combat uniforms. That indicates that they're soldiers,
23 doesn't it, and that they are soldiers associated in some way with the
25 A. Since there were about 25 of them, and because of the fact that
1 they were in camouflage uniforms, this is what was evident in that sense.
2 But I claim that in a military sense, this small group did not represent
3 any military unit.
4 Q. Who told you that?
5 A. That was my conclusion, since I'm familiar with military issues
6 and also the military strategy.
7 Q. Mr. Antic, I've led you to the -- what I say to you are the
8 indications that these were military men associated with the JNA, the fact
9 of their being armed, the fact of their being uniformed, the fact that
10 they are arriving in military JNA helicopters. What do you point to to
11 lead you -- that leads you to something other than that conclusion?
12 A. I am aware of the fact that they came in military helicopters,
13 that they were wearing camouflage uniforms, and in view of their numbers.
14 As far as the army is concerned, this was not a number which would
15 constitute any kind of reinforcement that could come to this area. So my
16 information indicated that even in spite of the fact that they came on
17 military helicopters, these were not soldiers.
18 Q. I see. So it's only the question of numbers that makes you draw
19 that conclusion?
20 A. Yes, based on the number. At that first moment of my realisation,
21 I felt that they were not soldiers and that there were completely
22 different objectives in question there.
23 Q. Did you air those views with anyone else?
24 A. No, I did not air those views. This was something that I, as an
25 officer and commander of the 4th Detachment, was led to believe.
1 Q. Thank you. Even before the night and the events of the 16th and
2 17th, these paramilitaries or volunteers were already creating havoc.
3 They were drinking heavily, stopping buses, and robbing people. Do you
4 agree with that?
5 A. I did hear of such occurrences.
6 Q. And you -- sorry. Just remind the Chamber: How far is Batkusa
7 from Bosanski Samac?
8 A. Batkusa is 13 kilometres away from Bosanski Samac.
9 Q. All right. So it's reasonably close. The 4th Detachment was,
10 therefore, faced with a group of men who were already exhibiting extremely
11 dangerous behaviour and who were heavily armed, who had already attacked
12 property by robbing people. What plans did the 4th Detachment make to
13 cope with and deal with this game?
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Before you answer, I object to this question.
15 First of all, as far as we have evidence in this trial, there was another
16 detachment in Batkusa, and it wasn't in the zone of responsibility of the
17 4th Detachment. So maybe this --
18 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll rephrase my question.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
20 MR. DI FAZIO:
21 Q. I know, Mr. Antic, that Batkusa may not have been in the zone of
22 responsibility of the 4th Detachment. However, as you've said, it was
23 only 13 kilometres away and people can move; they can walk and they've got
24 cars and so on. So you knew that in the area, in the area of Bosanski
25 Samac, there was a group of heavily armed men who were already attacking
1 property, robbing people. What plans did the 4th Detachment make to deal
2 with these men in the event that they came to Bosanski Samac and did the
3 same thing there?
4 A. This group of armed men with firearms, not heavy weapons, was
5 stationed in the village of Obudovac and not in Bosanski Samac, and if
6 they did go in from the 11th to the 17th, so before this, these were
7 probably individual events. But the group as such did not enter Samac.
8 Perhaps they did individually.
9 Q. I'm not asking you if they actually came to Samac or entered Samac
10 individually or as a group. I'm asking what plans you made, the 4th
11 Detachment made, to deal with any trouble that these -- that this group of
12 heavily armed men might cause in your zone or -- your zone of
14 A. The 4th Detachment, by forming patrols, gathered information about
15 events which could be of interest or of significance for the activation of
16 the 4th Detachment.
17 Q. Which particular detachment was responsible for the areas of
18 Batkusa and Obudovac?
19 A. I think that the 1st Detachment was responsible for Batkusa, and
20 as far as I remember, I think the 5th [Realtime transcript read in error
21 "4th"] Detachment was responsible for Obudovac.
22 Q. Well, as commander of the 4th Detachment, did you contact the
23 command --
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: One second. One second. One second. We have
25 something here in the transcript. The witness said the 5th Detachment,
1 not the 4th Detachment. So it makes significant difference. On line 22.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: That's what I heard as well. That's what I heard
3 over the earphones, at least. I think it's just the transcript.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have it corrected.
5 MR. DI FAZIO: We all agreed it's the 5th.
6 Q. I think you said the 5th was responsible for Obudovac; correct?
7 Can you just say yes or no so that the transcript picks up your voice
8 rather than just nodding, Mr. Antic.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Yes. Can you tell the Chamber if you made any efforts to contact
11 the commanders of those detachments and make inquiries as to the purpose
12 of these volunteers being present in the area.
13 A. I didn't have any contact with the commanders in these areas of
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, it's 10.30.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break and continue at 1100
19 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution is continuing.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. If Your Honours please, just before I do,
23 could I -- there's a degree of uncertainty on the part of the Prosecution
24 as to precisely what hours we're sitting today, and it would assist us to
25 plan for the remainder of the day if we could know exactly what the hours
2 JUDGE MUMBA: The schedule shows -- we are sitting up to 1330 and
3 then we continue in the afternoon from 1500 hours to 1630.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lukic.
6 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, maybe this is
7 not a good time, but before we begin --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I was about to say that. Can we complete the
9 cross-examination first.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] By all means, Your Honour.
11 MR. DI FAZIO:
12 Q. Just before the break, Mr. Antic, I was asking you about contact
13 with the -- or rather detachments, so to speak, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd
14 detachments, and you told us that you made no effort to contact them, with
15 a view to finding out about the purpose of the volunteers or the
16 paramilitaries, what their purpose was in the area. Why didn't you
17 contact them and ascertain what their purpose was, given that they had all
18 those features that we've described: Being armed, carrying out robberies,
19 and so on?
20 A. I said that I had no contacts with the detachments in whose area
21 of responsibility of responsibility they had landed, nor with the
22 commander for that particular area where they were staying. I had no
23 contacts because I believed that the command of the 17th Tactical Group
24 was familiar with all that. And had there been any need for steps to be
25 taken, the command of the 17th Tactical Group would certainly have
1 informed me. They would have organised certain meetings in connection
2 with that occurrence for these reasons that I've spoken about.
3 Q. You say that you believed that the command of the 17th Tactical
4 Group was familiar with all of that. First of all, what were your reasons
5 for believing that the 17th Tactical Group was familiar with all of that;
6 and secondly, what do you mean precisely when you say "they were familiar
7 with all that"?
8 A. I mean that the command of the 17th Tactical Group knew about the
9 occurrence, because they had their own bodies who were responsible for
10 that, for gathering information, for forwarding the information to the
11 command. I also informed the command about what I knew, and as I said, I
12 found out from certain persons from my town. In the first two or three
13 days, I can't locate the date exactly, I did have personal contact with
14 them, or rather, they stopped me near my house, the house where I was
15 born, and they checked or, rather, searched me and members of my family,
16 as well as the boot of our car. They opened the boot of the car that I
17 was driving.
18 Q. What information did you forward to the command of the 17th
19 Tactical Group regarding these paramilitaries, and how did you forward it
20 to it? Was it by way of official communique, letter, informal chat? How
21 did you do it?
22 A. Our information concerning the group concerned mainly the fact
23 that they landed in the area. Likewise, we had our own line, or rather,
24 my assistant commander for intelligence and information, Mr. Zaric also
25 had this information and the reasons or information about these reasons or
1 information we would inform the command of the 17th Tactical Group. We
2 informed them about the fact that they had arrived, that they were there,
3 that citizens were being maltreated, stopped and searched, and so on and
4 so forth, whatever we were able to find out.
5 Q. Thank you. And this was done in some official manner, through
6 your assistant commander for intelligence and security, Mr. Zaric, and
7 from him on to the command of the 17th Tactical Group?
8 A. Yes. And Mr. Zaric informed, in his own capacity, about these
9 data, as the command of the 17th Tactical Group had its own chief of
10 intelligence and security.
11 Q. Thank you. So you made this -- provided this information in an
12 official manner, so to speak. What was the reaction of the 17th Tactical
13 Group when you informed them that there was this bunch of heavily armed
14 paramilitaries operating in the area and already robbing and threatening
15 people? What did they tell you to do about them, or how did they respond?
16 A. When we informed the command of the 17th Tactical Group about
17 these occurrences, the command informed us that they had already had that
18 particular piece of information. They told us this was not the first they
19 heard of it, the information they received from the 4th Detachment. They
20 had already known about it. As this group was not within the zone of
21 responsibility of the 4th Detachment, the 4th Detachment did not need to
22 take any steps.
23 Q. Right. So you were told by the command of the 17th Tactical Group
24 that the 4th Detachment was not to do anything about the paramilitaries,
25 and you were told this before the 16th?
1 A. Yes. In that respect, the command ordered us explicitly that this
2 was not our responsibility.
3 Q. Thank you. Yes. Who precisely in the command issued those
5 A. The commander, Colonel Lieutenant Nikolic.
6 Q. And did he communicate those orders to you personally or did he do
7 so through Mr. Zaric?
8 A. The order came through Mr. Zaric.
9 Q. And he, in turn, informed you, and that's how you knew that
10 inaction was the order of the day as far as the paramilitaries were
12 A. Mr. Zaric informed me about everything he learnt, as I was the
14 Q. Right. And --
15 A. As far as inaction is concerned, inaction was the result of that
16 particular group simply not being within the area of responsibility of the
17 4th Detachment.
18 Q. And the specific order that you have just testified about, namely,
19 that the 4th Detachment do nothing?
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Maybe my colleague could ask this question again.
21 I believe that the witness didn't understand that it was a question,
23 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sorry. I'll clarify that.
24 Q. I wasn't commenting, Mr. Antic. I was actually asking you a
25 question. You said that inaction was the result of this group of
1 paramilitaries not being within your area of responsibility, and I put to
2 you that in addition, inaction was required because that was the specific
3 order that you received from the command, from Nikolic.
4 A. The order would have been there if there had been any measures to
5 be taken related to occurrences that might ensue.
6 Q. I see. So then you tell the Trial Chamber of your knowledge of
7 any orders that the other detachments had to deal with these
8 paramilitaries in the days before the 16th and 17th. Did you see the 1st,
9 2nd, 3rd, or 5th Detachment arresting them, locking them up, taking them
10 on in any way?
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object. I believe that the witness already said
12 that he had no contacts with other detachments. That was during
13 cross-examination of my learned colleague. So how could he possibly know
14 what were -- I mean, it's pure speculation.
15 MR. DI FAZIO: No, no. It's not -- my question is, as Mr. Re
16 kindly pointed out to me: Did you see them? And my question is directed
17 towards any direct knowledge that this witness has of any activities that
18 those other detachments undertook in respect of these paramilitaries
19 before the 16th. That's the question.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. And the witness can answer.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Or indeed if he heard of anything.
22 Q. So may I rephrase the question, if Your Honours please.
23 Mr. Antic, did you see or hear of anything that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd,
24 or 5th Detachment did to deal with the activities of these paramilitaries
25 in the days before the 16th of April?
1 A. I have no information that any of the detachments took any
2 measures, nor did I know whether they had received any order along these
3 lines from the command.
4 Q. And the undertaking of military operations by the 1st, 2nd, 3rd,
5 and 5th Detachment is something that you should have been kept aware of;
6 it's something that was -- it's necessary for you to know what activity
7 they're conducting for you to simply carry out your duties as commander of
8 the 4th Detachment?
9 A. The duty to undertake certain military activity on the part of
10 another detachment does not automatically mean that certain activities or
11 combat operations should be undertaken by the 4th Detachment. Therefore,
12 the order for the 4th Detachment could only have been issued by the
13 commander of the 17th Tactical Group and not by any parallel units that
14 were active, that were operating in our area, and that were part of the
15 17th Tactical Group.
16 Q. No. All I meant, Mr. Antic, was this: If the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or
17 5th Detachments were undertaking any significant military operation, such
18 as engaging in conflict with a band of 30 or so armed men, as a matter of
19 necessity it would be important to notify all the other detachments that
20 this military operation was being conducted, so that you know what's going
21 on, you know how to react and deal with what's going on in neighbouring
22 zones of responsibility.
23 A. What I'm saying is the reflection of the system of command in the
24 JNA. Therefore, the 4th Detachment is only responsible to the command of
25 the 17th Tactical Group for any activity that is undertaken. So this has
1 nothing to do with activities by another detachment. And certainly, the
2 command of the 17th Tactical Group would not have missed the opportunity
3 to issue certain orders, if orders were called for.
4 Q. Mr. Antic, I fully understand the principle of subordination, and
5 I fully understand that your command was in the 17th Tactical Group. I
6 understand all that. All I'm simply asking you is this: It would have
7 been necessary if any of the neighbouring detachments, that is, the 1st,
8 2nd, 3rd, or 5th Detachments, undertook a major military operation, it
9 would have been necessary to notify you, wouldn't it?
10 A. This is a matter of assessment, and I can't go into that. I can't
11 tell you what's necessary and what's not. But in a specific situation, it
12 is the Superior Command that issues orders to me, and they tell me
13 according to their own assessment how important the events about to take
14 place are or the events that had already happened.
15 Q. All right. Thank you very much. Let's move to another topic now.
16 You know, don't you, that on the 29th of February, 1992, a
17 decision was taken on the formation of the Municipal Assembly of Bosanski
18 Samac of the Serbian people?
19 A. Yes. I learned this from the media, the fact that the Serbian
20 municipality of Bosanski Samac had been established.
21 Q. And you know that the SDS was the driving force behind the
22 creation of that particular institution or body?
23 A. Yes, I do know that.
24 Q. And you know that on the 28th of March, a session was held at
25 Obudovac, where various Serbs were appointed to various positions in this
1 new municipality, this new Serb municipality?
2 A. Yes, I heard about the assembly, or rather, the meeting. But as
3 for its specific conclusions or the views expressed there, I did not
4 really have any opportunity to read about them anywhere.
5 Q. And the formation of this Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac and
6 its work in creating -- in making appointments to various positions in
7 March of 1992 were well known throughout the community; it was a matter of
8 common knowledge in Bosanski Samac?
9 A. Yes. Most citizens knew about it.
10 Q. And again, most citizens knew that the driving force behind the
11 creation of this entity was the SDS?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. One of the appointments was the police chief, Stevan Todorovic.
14 He was made police chief on the 28th of March, I think.
15 A. Yes. I'm familiar with the fact that Stevan Todorovic was police
16 chief in Bosanski Samac.
17 Q. This was, in effect, a second or shadow government that was being
18 created on the territory of Bosanski Samac, the municipality?
19 A. Whether it was a shadow government, I don't have any such
21 Q. You knew that it had declared a Serbian municipality of Bosanski
22 Samac, you knew that appointments had been made to various positions in
23 this institution, and you knew that at the time that this was going on,
24 there was already in existence a democratically elected municipality of
25 Bosanski Samac, so therefore, what was being created was a shadow
1 government; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you. And its clear that that institution, the Serbian
4 municipality of Bosanski Samac, was a body that represented Serbs; it did
5 not represent Croats and Muslims?
6 A. Yes, it represented Serbs.
7 Q. And that was contrary to the Yugoslav idea of representation in
8 governing bodies for members of all ethnic groups?
9 A. That was contrary to the expectations of the majority of Bosanski
10 Samac population.
11 Q. It was contrary to the Yugoslav ideal of participation in
12 government and administration by members of all three ethnic groups,
13 because it represented Serbs only; correct?
14 A. Yes, those of Yugoslav orientation, the citizens who were
15 committed to that, who wanted a life together, of all citizens in the
16 former Yugoslavia.
17 Q. Thank you. And you know that this body, the Serbian municipality
18 of Bosanski Samac, appointed a Crisis Staff just before the 16th and 17th
19 of April, 1992, the Crisis Staff that was headed throughout its life by
20 one of the defendants in this case, Blagoje Simic?
21 A. Yes, I know about that.
22 Q. And in particular, you know that it was created before the 16th
23 and 17th?
24 A. Specifically, I heard when the Crisis Staff was first heard of
25 through its proclamation, and I think this was on the 18th.
1 Q. All right. If I said to you that the Crisis Staff was formed in
2 the St. Sava Hall of the church of the holy mother in Obudovac on the 15th
3 [Realtime transcript read in error "18th"] of April, 1992, does that spark
4 your memory, refresh your memory?
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. -- before the witness answers, your question --
6 the transcript shows 18th of April. Is that the date you mentioned?
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Well, if I did mention the 18th, I was wrong, and I
8 certainly meant the 15th of April. Let me -- perhaps if I just rephrase
9 the question.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
11 MR. DI FAZIO:
12 Q. Mr. Antic, if I say to you that the Crisis Staff was formed in the
13 St. Sava Hall of the Church of the Holy Mother in Obudovac on the 15th of
14 April, 1992, does that refresh your memory as to the date of its creation?
15 A. I'm a citizen of Samac, and I cannot decisively speak about that
16 date, because I didn't have any specific knowledge in terms of that date.
17 I would like to underline that the first time that I became aware of the
18 existence of the Crisis Staff was in terms of the announcement that the
19 Crisis Staff issued. I heard clearly, with my own ears, the announcement,
20 i.e., that there was a Crisis Staff.
21 Q. Okay. But you admit of the possibility that it was created before
22 the 15th -- before the 16th; it's just that --
23 MR. PANTELIC: Objection. Maybe my learned friend can rephrase
24 the question. What does it mean, this formation? Admitted the
25 possibility --
1 MR. DI FAZIO: I withdraw the question, if Your Honours please.
2 MR. PANTELIC: It's calling for speculation.
3 MR. DI FAZIO: I withdraw it.
4 Q. After the 16th and 17th of April, you agree, don't you, that the
5 existing institutions of the municipality of Bosanski Samac, the
6 democratically elected assembly, was extinguished?
7 A. Yes. This act meant that the democratic institutions had ceased
8 to operate.
9 Q. And this democratic institution had represented up until that
10 point Serbs, Croats, and Muslims?
11 A. Yes. In an earlier period, there were institutions which had as
12 its members people from all of the three ethnic groups.
13 Q. Thank you. The new civilian administration that replaced it was a
14 Serb-only administration, that is, it consisted of Serbs and represented
15 the interests of the Serbian people?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. All right.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for a moment.
19 [Prosecution counsel confer]
20 MR. DI FAZIO:
21 Q. And the general population picture at the time, in April of 1992,
22 was that Serbs consisted of less than 50 per cent of the population?
23 A. According to the census of 1991, I know that there were 2.200
24 Muslims living in the town of Samac.
25 Q. Mr. Antic, if I might briefly interrupt you. I don't need the
1 full demographic details. That's okay. All I'm asking you is a very
2 simple thing, a very simple matter: Serbs consisted of less than 50 per
3 cent, didn't they?
4 A. Yes, a little bit under 50 per cent.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you. Following the 16th and 17th, within the first
6 month and a half, arrests started of the non-Serb population?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. Prisons were created in the SUP, the TO building, the high school
9 gym, and in the primary school. That's all starting fairly quickly after
10 the 16th of April.
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. Within a month, a paramilitary, Lugar, had slaughtered 14 or 15
13 people in a warehouse at Crkvina, and that was well known in the town, 15
14 or so non-Serbs, I should say.
15 A. Yes. I am familiar with that fact. I personally felt that that
16 was a major stain on the reputation of the Serbian people.
17 Q. Yes. In addition, within that period of a month and a half after
18 the 16th of April, Croats were isolated and taken to Crkvina?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. It was apparent to you, wasn't it, within a very short period of
21 time, what the nature of this new civilian administration in Bosanski
22 Samac truly was?
23 A. As a man and at that point the commander -- a former commander of
24 the 4th Detachment, we strongly condemned that occurrence. We were
25 against that policy, against the arrest of members of any ethnic group.
1 As far as we were able to, as members and as people, we did as much as we
2 could, but some circumstances exceeded our abilities, and my own case
3 shows that the command of the 4th Detachment was also under considerable
4 pressure. It was terrorised.
5 Q. Yes. But within the first month and a half, it was plain to you
6 that the nature of this new civilian administration was such that it was
7 going to be -- that it was conducting an attack on the non-Serb
8 population: Arrests, isolation, murders by the paramilitaries, not to
9 mention the extinguishment of the existing democratically elected
11 A. Those events were reality in the life and the fate of our
13 Q. And so -- I withdraw that. The reality is that those matters that
14 I've raised with you, Mr. Antic, the reality is that those matters that
15 I've raised with you indicate a campaign of persecution directed towards
16 the non-Serb population?
17 A. Yes, that is a fact.
18 Q. Thank you.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P127, please, the B/C/S
20 version, of course.
21 Q. Just before we look at the document, Mr. Antic -- Mr. Antic, just
22 before we look at the document, just one other question that I need to
23 raise with you following from your last answer, is that the campaign of
24 persecution that you have agreed was taken place was conducted, effected,
25 carried out, by the Crisis Staff, the Serbian police, and the Serbian
2 A. Since I'm familiar with the structure of the jurisdiction, orders
3 relating to these events, according to what I know, are adopted by the
4 Crisis Staff and the internal affairs body is the body that carries out
5 those tasks.
6 Q. Yes, but you agree, don't you, that the campaign of persecution
7 that you have agreed was being conducted was being carried out by those --
8 that group of three that I've mentioned: The Crisis Staff,
9 paramilitaries, and the Serbian police? I don't need a detailed
10 administrative explanation. Just you agree, don't you, that those three
11 groups were carrying out the persecution?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Ms. Usher. You may leave. I'll be a
15 little while on the document, if you want to return to your seat.
16 Q. First of all, this document, are you already acquainted with it?
17 Have you had a chance to look at it before you started your testimony
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can we have it on the ELMO?
20 A. I'm familiar with this document.
21 MR. DI FAZIO:
22 Q. Thank you.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: And perhaps I do need the assistance of the usher
24 after all. Can it be placed on the ELMO.
25 Q. Mr. Antic, the document is relatively easy to read because it's
1 divided into paragraphs, and if you just skim through the text of it,
2 you'll come to the fifth paragraph. If you could just find the fifth
3 paragraph. Mr. Antic, you're looking at the screen rather than the
4 document. The document is there on that machine called the ELMO. Have a
5 look at the document, pick it up. You can touch it. And just find the
6 fifth paragraph. It's on page 2 of the English, so I suppose thereabouts
7 in the B/C/S. All right? Do you have it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. Now, you see there that -- oh, and sorry, before I
10 proceed. You know that Mr. Zaric is one of the authors of this document,
11 don't you?
12 A. This is a document of the 2nd Posavina Brigade, which was formed
13 in the reorganisation of the army of Republika Srpska.
14 Q. Right.
15 A. And Mr. Zaric is one of the people who worked to compile this
16 document, in accordance with the function that he was carrying out at the
17 time in the 2nd Posavina Brigade.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic. Now look at the fifth paragraph, and you
19 see there that the document claims that with the blessing of those who
20 brought them in, that is, the paramilitaries, the commandos, they engaged
21 in unheard of looting of private and socially owned property, which was
22 then transferred back to Yugoslavia. Do you see that portion? Do you see
23 that? Just tell me --
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. And you agree, don't you, that those who brought them in was
1 the -- included the Crisis Staff?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And just at the beginning of the paragraph, there's reference to
4 the liberation of Samac. It's in fact in the first sentence. Do you know
5 what that means?
6 A. In this context, the liberation of Samac refers to the activities
7 of the police and the paramilitary formations. That's the essence.
8 Q. But it was hardly a liberation, was it, Mr. Antic, given what you
9 have said took place after the 16th. It wasn't liberation at all, was it,
10 for the people of Bosanski Samac?
11 A. Yes. Yes, according to our information, the knowledge of the
12 command of the 4th Detachment, it's not liberation. Samac cannot be
13 liberated of its own citizens.
14 Q. That's right. And just while -- last question on that paragraph:
15 There's an allegation here of looting. You have no reason to disagree
16 with that allegation. That's in fact what was occurring in the period of
17 time immediately following the 16th and 17th of April?
18 A. According to all the legal regulations, such activities are all
19 treated as plunder.
20 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry. Would Your Honours just bear with me?
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
22 [Prosecution counsel confer]
23 MR. DI FAZIO:
24 Q. The plunder that you referred to was in fact looting.
25 A. Yes. We treated it as looting.
1 Q. And -- sorry. Yes. You don't disagree, do you, that this
2 activity of plunder and looting was taking place in the period of time
3 immediately following the 16th, as it says in the document?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Madam Usher, I've finished with the document for
7 the time being.
8 Q. I'm sorry, Mr. Antic. Just the way the question was phrased,
9 it's -- and the answer, it's not entirely clear. Let me put it to you as
10 briefly as I can. You agree that plunder and looting was occurring after
11 the 16th, in the territory of Bosanski Samac?
12 A. Yes, I agree with that.
13 Q. All right. Thank you. I'll return to these issues later, but I
14 want you to direct your attention now to the actual takeover of the town
15 itself on the night of the 16th and 17th. At 3.00 a.m., when you woke up,
16 you had no idea who was carrying out the attack, did you? All you could
17 hear was shooting?
18 A. Yes. At that point, until I heard the shooting, I didn't have any
19 information. After I woke up, got up and went to the command, then I
20 found out about the events.
21 Q. And it was apparent that shooting was coming from within the town,
22 within the area of the town itself?
23 A. Yes. The shooting was coming from within the town.
24 Q. And so therefore, this had all the hallmarks of an attack.
25 A. The shooting were a hallmark of the attack.
1 Q. So the only possible conclusion for you at that time was that the
2 town was under attack?
3 A. Yes. My first thought was that an attack against Samac was taking
5 Q. What did the 4th Detachment do to cope with this attack?
6 A. The first move that I, as a commander, was able to make was to
7 order the officer on duty at the command to urgently call together the
8 command, to the command post.
9 Q. On Friday, you testified that even before you went to see
10 Mr. Nikolic, that is, while you were still in Bosanski Samac, you knew of
11 sporadic fire fights within the town and that the focus of activity was on
12 facilities and buildings within the town. Do you recall saying that?
13 A. Yes. I said that I heard shooting from within the town.
14 Q. The situation was such, was it not, that the only choice that the
15 4th Detachment had, if it was to protect the people of Bosanski Samac, and
16 if it was to protect the property within Bosanski Samac and the
17 institutions within Bosanski Samac, to immediately go into action and
18 defend the town? That was the only choice it had; correct?
19 A. The 4th Detachment was not -- didn't have all its members in one
20 place. This wasn't a barracks, so that I could take immediate steps.
21 Therefore, my first task, in accordance with the order of the commander,
22 was to mobilise the detachment and within that framework also to receive
23 the appropriate order.
24 Q. The 4th Detachment was the only body that was capable of defending
25 the town; do you agree?
1 A. We were convinced that the 4th Detachment was a force capable of
2 defending the town of Samac from any kind of attack.
3 Q. It was the only body on that night, on the 16th and 17th of April,
4 that was capable of defending the town from any kind of attack?
5 A. As I said, the 4th Detachment did not have all its members in one
6 place. They slept at their homes on that particular night. Many of them
7 were even outside Samac, and so on and so forth. Therefore, we were not
8 organised in such a way as to be able to gather all our members in such a
9 short time.
10 Q. We'll get on to that topic later, but would you please just answer
11 my question that I asked, and that's simply this: On that night, the only
12 body capable of defending Bosanski Samac was the 4th Detachment; there was
13 no one else who could do the job?
14 A. That was the task of the 4th Detachment, yes.
15 Q. And only the 4th Detachment could do it; there was no one else?
16 A. I must point out: It was the task of the 4th Detachment.
17 Therefore, we believed it was a military duty to do what was our task.
18 Q. All right. You received your first concrete orders at 9.00 that
19 morning, and that was in Pelagicevo, from Colonel Nikolic?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. The fighting had started at 3.00 in the morning, so that's some
22 six hours after the commencement of hostilities?
23 A. Yes. The first shots were heard at 3.00 in the morning on the
25 Q. Mr. Antic, was there anything to prevent you mobilising the 4th
1 Detachment in anticipation of action to defend the town? And I ask you
2 that because knowing that you could have communicated by wireless with the
3 command at the same time.
4 MR. LAZAREVIC: I would just like the clarification of this
5 question, because even it is not quite clear to me.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Okay. I'll rephrase it. It wasn't -- I'll put
7 it --
8 Q. At 3.00 in the morning, Mr. Antic, your wireless set was working
9 and functioning perfectly well, wasn't it?
10 A. Yes. Yes, it was working perfectly well the moment I entered the
12 Q. That's right. And you had your patrols out carrying out their
13 reconnaissance and intelligence duties?
14 A. The first information we obtained related to the ongoing
15 activities in the town itself came from our patrols.
16 Q. So there was nothing to prevent you mobilising the 4th Detachment,
17 getting them ready for action as quickly as possible, and, at the same
18 time, getting concrete instructions from Nikolic and the command of the
19 17th Tactical Group?
20 A. No. This was not my private army for me to mobilise at will. As
21 I said, there is a very strong principle of subordination that is applied
22 in the army.
23 Q. I realise that, and that's why I asked you about the wireless, you
24 see. You could get ready to cope with this attack that was clearly,
25 clearly under way by mobilising the 4th Detachment, and you could adhere
1 to the principle of subordination at the same time, by getting on to the
2 wireless, speaking to Nikolic, and saying: The town is under attack. I'm
3 ready to deal with it. What do I do?
4 A. I couldn't issue any kind of order related to the engagement of
5 the 4th Detachment without prior orders from a Superior Command.
6 Q. I understand -- there was nothing, then, to prevent you from
7 getting on to the wireless and seeking orders for immediate mobilisation
8 from Nikolic?
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: I have to object. I mean, I don't have any
10 problem, particular problem with this question, but isn't that what the
11 witness already stated, that he called Superior Command?
12 JUDGE MUMBA: No. It's different, because the question is asking
13 the witness whether it was possible for him to seek, yes, orders for
14 immediate mobilisation from his own superior.
15 MR. DI FAZIO:
16 Q. What time did you contact Nikolic by radio?
17 A. When I found out about the first shots being fired, I arrived at
18 the command about half past 3.00. I did what my duty was, what my duty
19 bade me do, once I found out about the things happening in Samac, I
20 informed Commander Nikolic and I requested instructions from him as to
21 what I should do in relation to the 4th Detachment.
22 Q. And about what time was that?
23 A. That was about a quarter to 4.00, I believe, because we had
24 obtained information at half past 3.00 at the command, and immediately
25 after I had been informed, I in my turn informed Commander Nikolic.
1 Q. What information did you have?
2 A. I had been informed by our patrols. They told me about their
3 observations. And they had observed police members in their uniforms and
4 volunteers in their camouflage uniforms.
5 Q. So you knew that the town was under attack by a combination of men
6 in camouflage uniforms and police?
7 A. Yes, that was the information.
8 Q. And you told Nikolic that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And his reaction was do nothing, or his orders were do nothing?
11 A. No. His order was for me, as the commander, and Mr. Zaric as the
12 assistant commander, to appear immediately, to come to him at the command
14 Q. All right. Okay. But apart from telling you to get in the car
15 and get on down to Pelagicevo, you got no orders from Nikolic in the 17th
16 Tactical Group to do anything concrete about the attack that was under
18 A. No other order, no.
19 Q. And -- yes. Thank you. What time did you actually leave to get
20 to Pelagicevo?
21 A. To the best of my recollection, about quarter past 4.00 or half
22 past 4.00.
23 Q. So possibly up to three quarters of an hour after you spoke to
25 A. Yes, thereabouts.
1 Q. And in the meantime, the attack was continuing -- you could hear
2 fighting and shooting of weapons?
3 A. While I was still in the town, I did hear shooting, yes.
4 Q. It was plain to you, therefore, that the inaction of the 4th
5 Detachment at this stage was going to facilitate the activities of whoever
6 it was that was attacking the town?
7 A. I took the steps that I was in charge of, according to the chain
8 of command. Now, whether this made anything easy for someone, that's a
9 totally different issue.
10 Q. Yes. Thank you for that. But my question is simply this: It was
11 plain to you that the longer the 4th Detachment did nothing, the greater
12 the possibility of the attackers achieving their purpose?
13 A. Yes, there is an assumption like this.
14 Q. And that was your assumption, as commander of the 4th Detachment?
15 Was that a worry that you had in your own mind?
16 A. As soon as I heard sounds of shooting, I, as commander, got
17 worried, because I had no idea what was going on, until I was given
18 certain information, and then I understood what was going on.
19 Q. What information were you given that stopped your worries?
20 A. I never stopped worrying, worrying about the fate of the town
21 itself. All members of the 4th Detachment sacrificed their own fate for
22 the sake of the town.
23 Q. Yes. Thank you for that, Mr. Antic. All I'm asking you, though,
24 is this: You just said that you were given -- you were worried, as
25 commander, until you were given some certain information. What
1 information were you given?
2 A. I, as commander, was worried throughout the war, especially during
3 the period that -- where the fate of the town of Samac was being decided.
4 Therefore, those events were contrary to the way the 4th Detachment
5 envisaged the town of Samac.
6 Q. Okay. That might be so. But just tell us: What information were
7 you given that caused you to understand what was going on? What
8 information was that? Who gave it to you? When did they give it to you,
9 and what was it?
10 A. The information was crystal clear to the command of the 4th
11 Detachment, once we have gathered. The information concerning the taking
12 of Samac was also clear to all the members of the 4th Detachment, because
13 that was not what the 4th Detachment had guaranteed to its citizens.
14 Q. Perhaps I misunderstood you. Are you referring to the information
15 that Nikolic gave you when you saw him at 9.00 at Pelagicevo?
16 A. I saw him at the command earlier, 9.00. That was his order for
17 the 4th Detachment [as interpreted]. What confirmed this was information
18 provided by a patrol to the 4th Detachment when the 4th Detachment
19 gathered at half past 3.00.
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I don't want to interrupt my
21 colleague, but there seems to be some misunderstanding here in the
22 transcript. On page 58, line 19, "I saw him at the command earlier."
23 Then it goes 9.00. "That was his order for the 4th Detachment." It
24 doesn't make much sense. Actually, he said that he saw him before 9.00.
25 I believe that this can be clarified easily.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: All right.
2 Q. You saw Nikolic before 9.00 at Pelagicevo?
3 A. Yes. Yes, at the command in Pelagicevo. Mr. Zaric and I arrived
4 in the early morning hours.
5 Q. All right. Let me ask you this: You know a man named Fadil
6 Topcagic, don't you?
7 A. Yes, yes, I know the name.
8 Q. Well, he's Mr. Zaric's brother-in-law, I believe. You know the
9 man I'm talking about?
10 A. No. Zaric is the brother-in-law of Fadil Topcagic.
11 Q. I'm sorry. Thank you. Did you see him on the morning of the
12 17th, before you went to Pelagicevo?
13 A. Yes, I saw him at the command.
14 Q. Did he recount to you his experiences of that night?
15 A. The moment when Mr. Zaric and I set out for Pelagicevo, at the
16 entrance, Fadil Topcagic came in. He was very agitated and he told us
17 something along these lines: We said that we had already heard something
18 about that, and then Mr. Zaric and I went to Pelagicevo.
19 Q. Did he tell you that he had seen Mr. Todorovic and Serbian police
20 and paramilitaries arming themselves and getting ready in the village of
22 A. Fadil Topcagic, a little later on the same day, told me about his
23 own fate. In order to console him, I told him that the police might as
24 well have broken into my flat and taken me to some place.
25 Q. Thank you. But I'm not talking about later in the day. But I'm
1 talking about your contact with him -- your contact with him just before
2 you set off to Pelagicevo to speak to Nikolic. At that time, did he
3 provide you with any detailed information regarding Todorovic, the Serbian
4 police, paramilitaries and what their objectives in the town were?
5 A. When we were leaving for Pelagicevo, he just told me in passing
6 what was happening in Samac.
7 Q. Yes. That's the expression you used yesterday. He mentioned this
8 to you in passing. Of course, you subsequently found out that he had been
9 present in Crkvina --
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me?
11 [Prosecution counsel confer]
12 MR. DI FAZIO:
13 Q. He had, in fact, been in Crkvina and had seen Todorovic and the
14 police and the paramilitaries getting ready to come in and take over in
15 Bosanski Samac, and he knew, what's more, what their objectives were, what
16 particular buildings they were going to take and so on; correct?
17 A. Yes. After I returned from Pelagicevo, he told not only me, but
18 rather he said this at the command, that he had been taken to Crkvina by
19 force and that there he was given a specific task.
20 Q. Yes, but when you were leaving to go, even before this, when you
21 were leaving to go, before you received orders in Pelagicevo, you had an
22 opportunity to speak to him. Did he not tell you then, report to you, in
23 full detail, his experiences in going off to Crkvina and seeing all these
24 preparations being made by the Serbian police and paramilitaries?
25 A. No. At that moment, he only let us know what had happened. I
1 said in passing that we already knew about that, and upon our return, he
2 told us in more detail what he had been made to do.
3 Q. It must have been immediately clear to you, even if he had told
4 you only in passing, that here was a man who could provide detailed
5 intelligence and information about the attack on the town. Now, surely
6 that required you to debrief him, find out what he had seen and observed;
7 if necessary, take him to Pelagicevo, so that you could have fresh,
8 up-to-date, accurate, detailed information about this attack.
9 A. On that occasion, I simply didn't have time to debrief him
10 thoroughly. The hints he gave me of what he wanted to tell me were
11 sufficient in themselves. I understood that I had to go to Pelagicevo
12 immediately. This was an explicit order by Commander Nikolic.
13 Q. Yes, but Mr. Zaric was there with you. Now, he's a man who knows
14 the value of intelligence, isn't he? He's an experienced security man.
15 He's worked in the security services and chief of police. Did he express
16 any interest in this wealth of information as to what was going on, this
17 wealth of information that Topcagic had?
18 A. The information that Topcagic was in possession of at that moment
19 and that he wanted to share with us, we had already found out about that,
20 because members of our patrols had arrived at the command and told us in
21 detail exactly what was going on in Samac.
22 Q. Oh, I see. I'm sorry. I didn't realise that. So you knew that
23 it was an attack on the town by Serbian police, you knew that it was an
24 attack on the town by these paramilitaries who had arrived at Batkusa, and
25 you knew which particular buildings and vital facilities they were going
1 to target, the police station, the Silos, and so on, and you knew this
2 even before you went to Pelagicevo?
3 A. No. No. I did not know about that before I went to Pelagicevo,
4 which particular buildings, which members of the police, or which
5 paramilitaries, or rather, volunteers, and which would have been the
6 buildings that they would go for first.
7 Q. All right.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Would this be an appropriate moment, if Your
9 Honours please?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break and continue at 12.50.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.54 p.m.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
14 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you.
15 Q. Mr. Antic, between the 17th of April, 1992, and the day that you
16 resigned, some days later, you received three orders, basically. One was
17 to mobilise the 1st [sic] Detachment; two was to take up defensive
18 positions around the Bosna and the Sava River; and three was the
19 collection of weapons?
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. My learned colleague referred to 1st
21 Detachment here on page 62, line 21.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: I'm sorry if I did. I didn't mean to. I'm of
23 course talking of the 4th Detachment.
24 Q. So they were the three orders that you got; right?
25 A. Yes. These were the three orders that the 4th Detachment should
1 carry out.
2 Q. Okay. Now, as far as the adoption of defensive positions was
3 concerned, the purpose of that was to prevent any forces entering the
5 A. Yes. That was the task, to take the line of defence.
6 Q. And the 4th Detachment carried out that order, set up defensive
7 positions, and continued to maintain those defensive positions in the days
8 following the 17th of April?
9 A. The positions, once the members of the 4th Detachment were
10 deployed in that way, these positions were held and maintained until the
11 end of the war.
12 Q. And while that particular order was being followed and activities
13 were being conducted, in the town itself, the police and the volunteers
14 and the Crisis Staff were going about their business of establishing the
15 new Serbian municipality, establishing themselves?
16 A. The 4th Detachment was carrying out this order. Neither I nor
17 anyone else went into the town. I personally was with the soldiers, at
18 the defensive positions, and I was the one who personally deployed each
20 Q. I understand that. I understand that. But as far as you're
21 aware, while you were engaged on the defensive perimeter of the town,
22 creating these defensive positions, the trenches, and so on, getting
23 ready, in town, the Crisis Staff is busy at work consolidating its power,
24 issuing orders, carrying on its business?
25 A. Yes. The 4th Detachment was carrying out its order, its task, but
1 by doing that, it did not make it possible for anyone else to be doing
2 these other jobs, insider ones that were connected to the civilian
4 Q. The result of the actions of the -- let me withdraw that. By
5 adopting these defensive positions, any other forces were prevented from
6 coming in and interfering with the activities of this Crisis Staff;
8 A. By taking up these defensive positions, the 4th Detachment, by
9 taking up the defence line, it was entrusted with the task of preventing
10 any military formations from entering the town.
11 Q. And as a result, any other military forces doing anything about
12 the creation of this new Serbian municipality?
13 A. By carrying out this task, the 4th Detachment was specifically to
14 prevent the entry of any military formations into town.
15 Q. And upsetting any of the activity of the Crisis Staff creating
16 this new Serbian municipality? I'm not suggesting that's what you wanted
17 to do, but that's the effect of what happened.
18 A. By looking at it from one aspect solely, this might seem that
19 way. However, this was not the objective of any single member of the 4th
20 Detachment. I've already told you what our commitment was and what our
21 tasks were.
22 Q. And I've heard you. I understand your evidence. I understand
23 your evidence. But I'm not asking you about the objectives of the 4th
24 Detachment. Was the 4th command -- were you, as commander of the 4th
25 Detachment, and other members in the command of the 4th Detachment,
1 concerned that the 4th Detachment's activities in setting up defensive
2 perimeters around the town might be seen as assistance, perceived as
3 assistance to the activities of the Crisis Staff in establishing the
4 Serbian municipality?
5 A. My objective and the objective of the command, as well as of the
6 large number of the members of the 4th Detachment, was in terms of concern
7 about what was happening in the town.
8 Q. Right. You were concerned about the creation and the
9 establishment of the Serbian municipality.
10 A. Yes. We were not in favour of that. We wanted to stay within
11 Yugoslavia and not to be separated along ethnic, religious lines, or any
12 other lines.
13 Q. And you would agree, wouldn't you, that this order that you
14 received from Nikolic to set up defensive perimeters meant that the Crisis
15 Staff was able to carry out its activity of establishing the Serbian
17 A. If you viewed it in that way, you could reach such a conclusion.
18 However, that was not the commitment either of the JNA or of the 4th
20 Q. I understand that. I've got no quarrel with what you say. I've
21 heard your evidence. I've heard you and I understand what you say. But
22 regardless of what your objectives were, regardless of what the 4th
23 Detachment objectives were, the fact of the matter is that by establishing
24 defensive perimeters around the town, it facilitated the creation of this
25 Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac. They were left free to carry on
1 their work, and you couldn't do anything about it, because that was the
2 order you received; right?
3 A. We had a strict order, and in that sense we carried it out.
4 However, certain things started to develop in a different direction, so
5 that the 4th Detachment and its members were not able to influence that.
6 Q. Yes. I'm sure that became apparent very quickly too, and it's
7 something that you didn't agree with, did you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. However, let's just get back to this issue of defensive
10 perimeters. Now, I'm not asking you -- we've heard your evidence about
11 the objectives and your objectives of the 4th Detachment, but you have to
12 agree, don't you, that the result of the order that was given to you by
13 Nikolic to set up defensive perimeters permitted this Crisis Staff to
14 carry on its business of establishing itself. I'm not saying that's what
15 you wanted, but that's the effect of it. That was the result, wasn't it?
16 A. Of course, if you look at it from the side, at a certain angle,
17 you can come to such a conclusion. However, by deploying on this line of
18 defence, as I said, we wanted to prevent the incursion of any other
20 Q. You, as a Yugoslav, did not agree with the creation of this
21 Serbian municipality of Bosanski Samac, or anything that permitted it to
22 be created?
23 A. I'm sure that that was not the commitment or the view of any
24 single member of the command of the 4th Detachment.
25 Q. [Microphone not activated] The second order that you got --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry.
3 Q. The second order that you received on the 17th was disarmament,
4 and you've told us about how you carried that out.
5 A. Yes. That was the order, and we believe that we successfully
6 carried it out. It wasn't from the back, and there was no question of
7 endangering the lives of the members of the 4th Detachment.
8 Q. And after the exercise had been completed, it effectively meant
9 that the population of the town, the citizens of the town, had been
11 A. Only those weapons which the citizens of Samac were not allowed to
12 possess in accordance with the laws.
13 Q. The result was that it effectively meant, didn't it, that any
14 resistance to the Serb -- the new Serb municipality of Bosanski Samac was
15 going to be that much more difficult, any resistance by people in the
17 A. No. We were concerned exclusively with the security of our
19 Q. Again, I understand what you say, and I've heard all your
20 evidence, Mr. Antic, and I'm not taking issue with what you say about
21 that, about your intentions. I understand that. But notwithstanding your
22 intentions, regardless of your intentions, an effect of disarmament meant
23 that the population was weakened in the sense that it would be unable to
24 resist the continuing process of the creation of this Serbian
1 A. The possession of illegal, meaning illegal weapons, was a
2 reflection of the fact that the parties were arming the citizens, so it
3 was not legal arming, but it was arming along the lines of party
5 Q. By taking away weapons from the people, whether they were legally
6 or illegally possessed, you're in effect helping the Crisis Staff
7 consolidate its power in the town. I'm not saying that was your
8 intention, but that was the effect of what you were doing.
9 A. The 4th Detachment had no intention whatsoever by the fact of its
10 existence or by the fact of its activities, of enabling the authorities to
11 consolidate themselves, meaning the civilian authorities of the Serbian
13 Q. Thank you for telling us about the intention of the 4th
14 Detachment, but that's not what I'm asking you. The effect, whether you
15 wanted it or not, of disarming the population was to permit the Crisis
16 Staff to consolidate its power. That was the effect of it. I'm not
17 saying it's what you wanted.
18 A. This is another question of what the consequences were.
19 Q. That's right, and that's all I'm saying, Mr. Antic. That's all
20 I'm saying. I understand your position as --
21 A. Yes, that's also what I'm saying.
22 Q. And you agree, regardless of what your intentions were, and I've
23 heard --
24 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for a
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MR. DI FAZIO:
3 Q. Mr. Antic, we agree with you that you did not want to facilitate
4 the consolidation of power by the Crisis Staff, but you agree that the
5 result of disarming the population meant that the Crisis Staff could go
6 ahead and consolidate its position?
7 A. I said that this in no way was the intention of the 4th
8 Detachment. There was no intention of anything like that at any point.
9 Q. All right. The effect of the 4th Detachment disarming people
10 meant that the population didn't have any arms, was disarmed, whereas the
11 Serbian police and the volunteers were heavily armed, and that remained
12 the situation?
13 A. As I said, we looked after the safety of our own members, and the
14 amount of weapons that had been collected, illegally owned weapons, shows
15 that the national parties had been very active in that respect.
16 Q. On the 17th, the 4th Detachment was not the only organ that was
17 going around collecting weapons. You agree that on that day,
18 paramilitaries were also seizing weapons? I know they were doing it in a
19 completely different way, but they were doing the same thing, weren't
21 A. Yes. Members of the police, some of them, and the volunteers
22 expropriated property, seized vehicles, and seized weapons too, of their
23 own initiative, wherever they found weapons on the people that property
24 was being taken away from.
25 Q. Was there any discussion in the command regarding the perception
1 by the population of these two orders that you were carrying out:
2 Disarmament and the setting up of defensive positions?
3 A. According to the information that I had throughout the two days
4 that this went on for, members of the 4th Detachment did not have a single
5 incident in the course of their activity, which means that the order was
6 being strictly complied with, the order of the 17th Tactical Group, and
7 the command of the 4th Detachment governing the behaviour of the members.
8 But this also means that those who monitored the implementation of these
9 activities never had any hint or any indication that the order had been
11 Q. Thank you. Yesterday His Honour Judge Lindholm asked you --
12 sorry, Friday. My apologies. Friday. Judge Lindholm asked you if you
13 were surprised that you received no order to defend the town, and in the
14 course of answering that question, you said that you were hard hit by
15 everything that was going on, the entire command of the 4th Detachment
16 felt that way, and in a way, this was not in keeping with the objectives
17 of the 4th Detachment. Now, what were you talking about when you --
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Would Your Honours just bear with me for a moment,
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. DI FAZIO:
23 Q. When you say that things were not in keeping with the objectives
24 of the 4th Detachment, you were talking about the orders that you were
25 given to carry out; is that correct?
1 A. In essence, we did not agree with this entire activity related to
2 the occurrences unfolding in Samac, starting with the activities between
3 the 16th and the 17th, and continuing with the activities going on for
4 over several days, and going in a totally negative direction.
5 Q. Yes. Because -- thank you.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry. Would Your Honours just bear with me while
7 I locate some notes. Thank you.
8 Q. Now, Mr. Antic, if your answer was yes or no, we may finish
9 fairly quickly. You agree that, and I think you've already mentioned it
10 this morning, that before the 17th of April, Serbs were less than 50 per
11 cent of the municipality of Bosanski Samac; correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You agree that on the night of the 16th and 17th of April, there
14 was a takeover by Serb forces in Bosanski Samac? Do you agree with that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You agree that a democratically elected municipal government that
17 had existed was extinguished that night?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You agree that the new Serbian administration that was established
20 excluded non-Serbs?
21 A. Yes. It's a fact.
22 Q. You agree that the takeover was conducted by Serbian police and
23 Serbian paramilitaries?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you've agreed that the Serb Crisis Staff took power and that
1 the Serb paramilitaries and the police helped it to consolidate its power?
2 A. Yes. It's a fact.
3 Q. And you agree, then, that the result of all of that is the
4 takeover by one ethnicity, forcible takeover by one ethnicity?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thereafter, what followed was that non-Serbs lost their right to
7 participate in government?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You've already mentioned, and you agree, that arrests and
10 detentions by Serb paramilitaries and the Serb government, the Serb
11 municipal government, took place of non-Serbs?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You agree that the forcible takeover that you've just described,
14 the arrests, detentions, and mistreatment that took place in Bosanski
15 Samac by members of one ethnicity directed towards other ethnicity would
16 cause interethnic strife?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you agree that the purpose of -- one of the purposes of the
19 JNA was to prevent interethnic strife?
20 A. Yes. That was the objective.
21 Q. And you agree, from what you saw, that in Bosanski Samac the JNA
22 was ordered not to interfere with this series of arrests, detention, and
23 ethnic takeover?
24 A. The 4th Detachment did not have any such orders, but it was
25 certainly shaken by those events.
1 Q. Yes. Okay. Well, it received no orders to prevent the ethnic
2 takeover that was taking place?
3 A. We, the 4th Detachment, did not receive any orders concerning the
4 engagement of the 4th Detachment except as it related to the very tasks
5 that the 4th Detachment was supposed to perform.
6 Q. Yes. Thank you.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown Exhibit P164, the B/C/S
9 Q. Again, if you could just look at paragraph -- this is the factual
10 basis for the plea agreement entered into by Biljana Plavsic. You know
11 her, don't you?
12 A. Yes, I heard about that.
13 Q. Could I ask you, please, to go to paragraph 11.
14 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, objection, on the basis that this is
15 irrelevant for our case. That's number one; number two, that in
16 indictment against Mrs. Biljana Plavsic, there is not any word about the
17 municipality of Samac and events in Samac; and number three, this witness
18 is not an expert that he can give any kind of opinion with regard to this
19 plea bargain agreement; and number 4, this is absolutely without any
20 relevance. It's an invalid document, because it's just a personal
21 position of Mrs. Plavsic in connection with the agreement with the other
22 party, with the Prosecution. None of these facts were challenged into the
23 court of law during the cross-examination and with regard to the other
24 corroborative evidence. I put these objections for the record and move to
25 strike all questions with regard to this plea bargain agreement, today and
1 during all previous testimonies of previous witnesses. Just for the
2 record. Thank you.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Trial Chamber is of the view that it's
5 proper for the Prosecution to question the witness on the plea agreement
6 as put before the witness. So the witness can go ahead and answer.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you. If Your Honours please, it's 1.30.
8 This shouldn't take me too much longer to wrap it up. Can I do that later
9 this afternoon? I assume we're breaking now, aren't we, or is it 1.45.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We are breaking off now and continuing in the
11 afternoon at 1500 hours.
12 MR. DI FAZIO: I'll wrap it up later this afternoon, if it's okay.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, may I address the Trial Chamber at
14 this moment? Because I'm afraid it is a relatively urgent matter.
15 Because during the previous break I spoke with my client. He just came
16 from the medical examination. And he was again examined by Dr. Falke and
17 his medical condition is not going better, and I was just informed by him
18 that he won't be able to attend any afternoon sessions at all.
19 Furthermore, Dr. Falke has said that he needs to rest and he's not
20 allowed to have any physical activities, and it seems that his surgery
21 that is scheduled for May will be necessary most probably in April. And
22 some steps were undertaken in that respect. So Mr. Zaric is suffering
23 more and more pain every single day, and I was informed by him that he
24 really cannot attend afternoon meetings, particularly having in mind that
25 there is one and a half hours of recess between the -- well, from 1.30
1 until 2.30, or whatever it is. But after that, and all this period, he
2 cannot remain here, because he's really not in condition that is good
3 enough for him to follow the whole day of trial.
4 So I would kindly ask the Trial Chamber, on behalf of Mr. Zaric,
5 that we remain on the schedule that was, up until last Friday, and this is
6 maximum of time that he can spend here in the Trial Chamber.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: So that means that we can't proceed with the witness
8 this afternoon?
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: I don't think so, according to my instructions
10 from Mr. Zaric.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: However, we'll go ahead and hold a Status Conference
12 at 1500 hours. The accused need not be here. To reorganise the defence.
13 It may be necessary to bring witnesses for the other accused and proceed
14 and complete them, so that they don't have to wait unnecessarily for too
15 long, when we have a courtroom available. So we'll adjourn. The
16 proceedings will continue tomorrow morning. But we are having a Status
17 Conference at 1500 hours with all the parties, without the accused being
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.34 p.m.,
20 to be followed by a Status Conference. The hearing
21 will reconvene on Tuesday, the 18th day of March
22 2003, at 9.00 a.m.