1 Tuesday, 18 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. The Prosecution winding up cross-examination.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Thank you, if Your Honours please.
11 WITNESS: RADOVAN ANTIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Di Fazio: [Continued]
14 Q. You remember yesterday Mr. Antic I took you through a few basic
15 propositions towards the end of the examination yesterday. You recall
16 that evidence that you gave?
17 A. Yes, I remember.
18 Q. And I produced to you -- sought to produce to you Exhibit P164.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: And I wonder if that might be produced to the
20 witness again, please, the B/C/S version, with ter, I suppose.
21 I wonder, if Ms. Usher, if we could open the document, place it on
22 the ELMO at paragraph 11. Now, I just remind you that, again, that I
23 asked you about certain events towards the end of my cross-examination
24 concerning what transpired in Bosanski Samac, the events that you saw
25 unfolding there around April of 1992. Now, please have a look at
1 paragraph 11. You can see it there on the ELMO. Just read it.
2 A. Yes, I see it.
3 Q. You see that it says, "In October of 1991 and the months following
4 the SDS intensified efforts to ensure that the objective of ethnic
5 separation by force would be achieved in the event that a negotiated
6 solution did not occur." Do you see that? "These steps included arming
7 large segments of the Bosnian population in collaboration with among
8 others the JNA, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the MUP of Serbia and
9 Serbian paramilitaries, establishing Serbian military and police
10 formations and coordinating with the JNA and paramilitary units from
11 within and outside Bosnia and Herzegovina."
12 Now, do you see that paragraph?
13 A. Yes, I see that.
14 Q. [Previous interpretation continues] ... Biljana Plavsic pleaded
15 guilty to, accepted as being the factual basis of her plea of guilty.
16 That's in fact what was occurring in Bosanski Samac, isn't it?
17 A. These things in Bosanski Samac did not enjoy support in the
18 attempts by the Yugoslav People's Army to prevent interethnic conflicts in
19 Bosanski Samac. So I personally believe that this is a personal act,
20 personal admission on the part of Mrs. Plavsic, but as a commander, I
21 state that these efforts, as it is stated here, did not have any
22 connection, because the command of the Tactical Group, of the 17th
23 Tactical Group, did not order or convey anything to this effect to the
24 command of the 4th Detachment.
25 Q. You see the reference in paragraph 11 of this document that I've
1 directed your attention to, the reference to "the arming of large segments
2 of the Bosnian Serb population in collaboration with, among others, the
3 JNA, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the MUP of Serbia and Serbian
4 paramilitaries and the establishment of Serbian military and police
5 formations, and coordinating with the JNA and paramilitary units from
6 within and outside Bosnia and Herzegovina." Specifically, those matters
7 were occurring in Bosanski Samac, were they not?
8 A. Yes. Some of these things did happen.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. DI FAZIO: Can the witness be shown P127. And please, if we
11 just retain the P164 there as well. Thanks, Ms. Usher.
12 Q. Mr. Antic, again, if we put it on the ELMO so everyone can see.
13 The paragraph that I'm interested in is the -- I suppose it's in effect
14 the second paragraph, and you should be able to read it. And it says --
15 do you see the paragraph beginning with the words "First it is a fact that
16 TG 17, Tactical Group 17 command played a significant role in the pre-war
17 period." Do you see that paragraph?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. All right. I'll just read it out very briefly: "First it is a
20 fact that the Tactical Group 17 command played a significant role in the
21 pre-war, pre-war period, and even in the first days of the war in the
22 military and territorial organisation of several detachments in Samac
23 municipality. The organised arming of the Serbian people in particular,
24 and the provision of proper combat tactics and equipment for the armed
25 struggle in this region."
1 Did you see that phenomenon taking place in Bosanski Samac, the
2 JNA and Tactical Group 17 involving itself in the organised arming of the
3 Serbian people?
4 A. The 17th Tactical Group informing these detachments and through
5 the appropriate regulations of the JNA and informing these units, armed
6 its members, and in the specific case of the 4th Detachment, armed members
7 of the 4th Detachment who were actually members of all three ethnic
9 Q. All right. Okay. So you can't -- is it your position that you
10 don't know what the document is talking about when it says that Tactical
11 Group 17 played a significant role in the arming of the Serbian people
13 A. Yes. I understood this process through the forming of
14 specifically the 4th Detachment and the setting out of its functions.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you. Have a look at paragraph 12 of P164.
16 MR. DI FAZIO: Thank you, Ms. Usher. I've finished with P127.
17 Q. Paragraph 12. I'll just briefly read it out, and perhaps if you
18 follow it in the B/C/S: "In addition, the SDS prepared and distributed
19 written instructions to SDS municipal leaders to form crisis staffs,
20 proclaim Serbian Municipal Assemblies and carry out preparations for the
21 formation of municipal governmental bodies and to mobilise Bosnian Serb
22 police, Territorial Defence forces, and subordinate them to JNA command.
23 The municipal crisis staffs implemented these objectives and directives in
24 the field, including ultimately the objective of ethnic separation by
1 Now, that is what Biljana Plavsic pleaded guilty to as part of the
2 factual basis of her plea of guilty. Those same events took place on the
3 ground in Bosanski Samac, didn't they?
4 A. Some of these facts from this paragraph, as they are defined
5 there, did take place in the municipality of Bosanski Samac, but I also
6 state that such instructions or written instructions, as it is stated
7 here, was something that the 4th Detachment did not receive from anybody.
8 So in that sense did not receive any specific tasks, neither from the
9 political parties nor from the command of the 17th Tactical Group.
10 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Di Fazio, maybe you're going to do this, but
11 just in case you're not: Mr. Antic said some of the facts as defined
12 there did take place. I wonder whether, Mr. Antic, we could find out from
13 you which of those facts did take place.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The facts are that crisis staffs
15 were formed, that organs of authority were established, that police forces
16 were mobilised, and so on. But all of this didn't have any effect on the
17 command of the JNA, nor did the commands of the JNA or my superiors able
18 to have any influence in these matters.
19 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
20 MR. DI FAZIO:
21 Q. Thank you. The factual basis indicates that the SDS and Serb
22 leaders and the JNA coordinated efforts. You weren't present, were you,
23 at any high-level meetings between the JNA and SDS and Serb leaders, with
24 Karadzic and Plavsic, those people?
25 A. Of course, I never attended any kinds of accords at the highest
1 levels or at the lowest levels.
2 Q. So you don't know anything about any agreements they made?
3 A. No. I don't have any knowledge about that.
4 Q. However, it is a fact, isn't it, that the 4th Detachment was not
5 ordered to retake the town, reinstall the elected government, or remove
6 the Serb Crisis Staff?
7 A. Yes. No such orders were given to the 4th Detachment. Only those
8 orders were issued which I talked about and which the 4th Detachment
9 carried out.
10 Q. [Microphone not activated] And that fact is consistent with --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. DI FAZIO:
13 Q. That fact is consistent with an agreement between the JNA and the
14 Serb leaders in Bosanski Samac, isn't it?
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object. The witness already said that he was
16 not aware of this agreement, if ever existed such an agreement.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
18 MR. DI FAZIO: Yes. Very well. Thank you, Your Honours. I have
19 no further questions.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Re-examination of the witness. Yes, Mr. Krgovic.
21 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I have a couple of questions
22 regarding Crisis Staff questions, since my client was for a brief period a
23 member of the Crisis Staff, so I would like to clarify that, some
25 Re-examined by Mr. Krgovic:
1 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Antic, the Prosecutor, during the
2 cross-examination, asked you about the role of the Crisis Staff in the
3 arrest and the expulsion or persecution campaign, and I would like to
4 focus on some answers that you gave him. I would like some clarifications
5 in relation to that.
6 First, the Prosecutor asked you whether you agree that immediately
7 after the 16th and the 17th of April, a large number of non-Serbs were
8 arrested. Do you remember that the Prosecutor asked you that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you please tell me: Who arrested those people in Bosanski
12 A. The police and the volunteers.
13 Q. The Prosecutor also asked you whether you were familiar with the
14 fact that a number of detentions were formed in Bosanski Samac in the SUP,
15 in the TO building, in the gym of the high school. Could you please tell
16 us: Who secured those detentions? Who were the guards?
17 A. I said that I knew that there were four of such prisons in
18 Bosanski Samac. I also know that those prisons were secured by the
20 Q. The Prosecutor also asked you about a number of Croat citizens who
21 were taken to Crkvina. Do you know who took those people to Crkvina and
22 who guarded them?
23 A. I know the following, and I've said that: A number of Croatians,
24 Croat citizens, were arrested in Crkvina, and this was carried out by the
1 Q. The Prosecutor also suggested that in the activities of arrest and
2 these other things, the Crisis Staff also took part, so I would like to
3 ask you: Did you ever attend any meetings of the Crisis Staff?
4 A. I told the Prosecutor only what my opinion was. I never attended
5 a meeting of the Crisis Staff. I never personally spoke with any member
6 of the Crisis Staff either. And I also state that I never had in my hands
7 any document by the Crisis Staff.
8 Q. Mr. Antic, and finally, does that mean that you don't have any
9 immediate knowledge about the role of the Crisis Staff in the arrests and
10 the persecution campaign?
11 A. I personally do not have any direct knowledge or proof of that. I
12 just stated my assumptions.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic. I don't have any more questions.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pantelic.
15 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. Good morning, Your Honours.
16 Re-examined by Mr. Pantelic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Antic. As far as I understood
18 from your answers to my learned friend Mr. Krgovic, what you said to the
19 Prosecutor yesterday in response to the question that there were less than
20 50 per cent of Serbs in the territory of the Samac municipality, and
21 regarding the arrest of non-Serbs their interrogations, mistreatment, and
22 so on, and also about the alleged role of the Crisis Staff. So this whole
23 series of questions which the Prosecutor asked. And so as not to repeat
24 each of these questions. We're talking about your assumptions; is that
1 A. Particularly the last question which I interpreted just now, that
2 is my assumption. Everything else are just well-known facts.
3 Q. Could you please tell me, Mr. Antic, and explain to the Trial
4 Chamber, in relation to the territory of the Samac municipality before the
5 war, before 1992, which included Prud, Domaljevac, and so on, that was the
6 territory of the municipality prior to the war. Now, please tell me:
7 From the 16th or the 17th of April, 1992, until today, how was the
8 municipality of Samac formed? Did it remain in the same borders as before
9 the 17th of April or --
10 MR. DI FAZIO: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
11 municipality from April of 1992 didn't arise in my cross-examination at
12 all, plus that its continued life up to the present day is not a matter of
14 MR. PANTELIC: It is, Your Honour, because the first question of
15 my learned friend was whether the population -- Serb population in the
16 municipality of Samac was less than 50 per cent. So I would like to
17 establish now and to see with this witness in fact on which part this
18 answer was related. Because we know that the -- I don't want to suggest
19 any --
20 MR. DI FAZIO: We know that --
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
23 MR. DI FAZIO: I just wanted to say that if I recall correctly, my
24 question in cross-examination was reasonably precise. I asked about the
25 population as at April of 1992. That was the aspect of demographics that
1 I touched upon and that's what arose in cross-examination.
2 MR. PANTELIC: And now I have to clarify that, on which exact
3 territory this witness meant.
4 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well.
5 MR. PANTELIC: What is the situation with the territory of the
6 municipality, et cetera.
7 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well. Perhaps I misunderstood. If that's the
8 only issue that Mr. Pantelic is going to, then I'll withdraw my objection.
9 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me. If I understood the questions by the
10 Prosecution correctly, he asked about the portions of different
11 ethnicities in the town of Bosanski Samac, not the municipality of
12 Bosanski Samac.
13 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, in fact, I was related to the basis of
14 the question of my learned friend from the Prosecution. It's page 71 of
15 the LiveNote version of yesterday's transcript. And his question was:
16 "Before the 17th of April, Serbs were less than 50 per cent of the
17 municipality of Bosanski Samac; correct?" That was the question. So it
18 was related to the municipality, in fact, not town. Town is a part of the
20 MR. DI FAZIO: I think, if Your Honours please, Mr. Pantelic is
21 correct on that, but that's the only issue that I raised as far as
22 demographics is concerned. Now, if it's to clarify that, no objection, of
24 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Antic, let me repeat: From the 17th of April onwards, did the
1 municipality of Samac remain in the same integral borders as before?
2 Could you please explain this to the Trial Chamber.
3 A. Compared to the pre-war structure, the territory of the
4 municipality of Bosanski Samac, I can say that before the war, the
5 territory of Bosanski Samac included the village of Prud, included the
6 Croatian village of Bazik, the Croatian village of Domaljevac, the
7 Croatian village of Grebnice. The ethnic structure of the population at
8 the time in the Samac municipality was 43.3 per cent Serbs, 43.7 Croats, 6
9 per cent Muslims, 7 per cent Yugoslavs, and as far as I can remember,
10 under 3 per cent of others, which means that in the pre-war period, none
11 of the ethnic groups had more than 50 per cent in the structure. All of
12 them were represented under 50 per cent in terms of population. After the
13 events of the 17th of April, the Bosanski Samac municipality no longer
14 included the Croat village of Prud, the Croat village of Bazik, the Croat
15 village of Domaljevac, and a large part of the Croat village of Grebnice.
16 Only a small part of the Croat village of Grebnice --
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: I'm sorry.
18 A. -- was part of the Samac municipality.
19 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Antic, can you tell me now, since the Prosecutor asked you
21 about the local municipal government that were elected in the multiparty
22 1990 elections, there were questions in relation to this: Do you have any
23 personal knowledge and can you tell the Trial Chamber, from the 17th
24 of April, 1992, in this territory that you've just mentioned, that is,
25 Domaljevac, et cetera, was there a municipality, some organ that was
1 formed there? Do you have any personal knowledge, some authority? Do you
2 know anything about this?
3 A. As far as I know, the Croatian village of Prud was included in the
4 municipality of Odzak, and in the territory of these villages that I've
5 mentioned, what was in operation was the municipality of Domaljevac.
6 Q. Is that Samac Domaljevac or is it just Domaljevac? What's the
7 difference? Do you know, by any chance? If you don't, it doesn't matter.
8 A. I don't have the accurate information about that, what it is
9 called today.
10 Q. And can you tell me: From the 17th of April, 1992, do you know,
11 do you have any personal knowledge, in this territory around Domaljevac,
12 who was the one who established authority? Who was in charge in that
13 territory as from 17th of April, 1992?
14 A. HDZ.
15 Q. Was there an organ, a body, that was established there, and if it
16 was, were there any Serbs that were members of it?
17 A. I was never or I have never been there until now, in that
18 territory. As far as I know, what was established there was Croatian
19 authority, and the Serbs did not participate in that organ of authority.
20 Q. Very well. Can you tell me: Yesterday, on a couple of occasions,
21 you explained something, and I want to clarify this. The Prosecutor asked
22 you on a couple of occasions some questions, where there was a suggestion
23 that these volunteers were heavily armed. However, in one of your
24 answers, you said they only had light weapons. In order to avoid any
25 misunderstanding, when we're analysing this part of the transcript, could
1 you please tell the Trial Chamber: How were these volunteers armed? Were
2 they heavily armed or lightly armed? Could you please expand.
3 A. Yes. In the questions asked by the Prosecutor on several
4 occasions, what was mentioned is that Serb volunteers, volunteers from
5 Serbia were heavily armed. In each of my answers -- I couldn't correct
6 the Prosecutor, but in each of my answers, there is in fact included that
7 they had light infantry weapons, light firearms.
8 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic. I was just wanting to
9 have maybe just a little brief elaboration of what you actually mean by
10 "light firearms." Would you be specific? Was it Kalashnikovs? Was it
11 semi-automatics, what have you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In terms of light firearms, what I
13 mean, the personal weapons were all kinds of handguns, then automatic
14 rifles, then light machine-gun. Also, when I say "a light firearms,"
15 light infantry weapons, it's also a hand-held rocket launcher which is
16 used for anti-tank combat.
17 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. That's fine. Thank you very much, Mr.
19 MR. PANTELIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Further on, on page 49 on yesterday's transcript,
21 the Prosecutor asked you whether you agreed that those who brought those
22 volunteers from Serbia, that that included the Crisis Staff as well, and
23 you said yes. Is that -- is your answer based on a specific fact or is
24 this your opinion and your assumption that Crisis Staff as a body was also
25 included in the arrival of the volunteers? Could you please expand on
1 that and clarify.
2 A. I had a piece of information at my disposal that these volunteers
3 were brought by Stevan Todorovic, but if there is a connection between
4 Stevan Todorovic and the Crisis Staff, then that is an entirely different
5 matter that I know nothing about.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Antic. Further on, on page --
7 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic.
8 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Please.
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Mr. Antic, I'm not sure that I understand your
10 answer, that if there's a connection between Stevan Todorovic and the
11 Crisis Staff, that's an entirely different matter. I wonder whether you
12 could maybe just elaborate a little bit, just to make clear what you mean
13 about the Crisis Staff, based on what you said yesterday. Because this
14 now seems a little bit uncertain.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can clarify. Since I know
16 for certain that Stevan Todorovic was a member of the Crisis Staff, but
17 whether the arrival of the volunteers he had been given instructions by
18 the Crisis Staff. I do know that there was a connection, because he was a
19 member of the Crisis Staff. However, whether he had been issued an order,
20 I have nothing to base this upon.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
22 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. In relation to this, Mr. Antic, now that you have mentioned this,
24 how do you know that Stevan Todorovic was a member of the Crisis Staff?
25 Can you please explain the basis for your knowledge.
1 A. This was a well-known fact, and also --
2 Q. Excuse me. You personally -- I'm sorry to interrupt you, but was
3 there any kind of official announcement, information? Did you hear this
4 from him? What was the basis for your personal knowledge that he was a
5 member of the Crisis Staff?
6 A. I based this upon that he was a member of the Crisis Staff was his
7 post, his function, that he was at the municipality of Bosanski Samac.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, it may be that the witness
9 has covered what I'm about to express some concern about. Mr. Pantelic
10 asked him the basis of the knowledge. He said this is a well-known fact
11 and also -- he started to give an answer. Now, it may be that he was just
12 going to go on to explain the fact that membership led him to that
13 conclusion. If so, there's no problem. But if he had something else in
14 mind, then he should be permitted to finish his answer.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think the witness should be -- should
16 complete the answer.
17 A. Yes. I've already said: Based upon my knowledge of the structure
18 of the authorities, he was a member of the Crisis Staff, on the basis of
19 the function that he had in the municipality, which was that he was the
20 police chief.
21 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. So what you mean is that on the basis of your pre-war knowledge,
23 you draw this conclusion; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, I draw this conclusion, yes.
25 Q. But you cannot state with 100 per cent certainty that since 17th
1 of April, 1992 it was the same as before the war. What is the level --
2 the degree of your certainty? That's what I meant.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, I think the witness has answered
5 MR. PANTELIC: Okay.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Can you tell me: On page 47, when you answered
7 the Prosecutor, in relation to the orders regarding certain events, there
8 were certain things that remained unexplained. You were asked what were
9 these decisions based upon the Crisis Staff decisions, and you said that
10 knowing the structure of the authority, the orders in relation to certain
11 events were issued by the Crisis Staff, and organs of the interior, and
12 these organs would be implementing the Crisis Staff orders, specifically.
13 Considering that you've explained the MUP structure, how it was organised
14 according to the hierarchy, in relation to this answer I'd like you to
15 clarify whether the Crisis Staff in any way was able to issue orders to
16 the organs of the interior, that is, to the police in Samac,
17 organisationally speaking, to the Ministry of the Interior. That's what
18 I'd like to know, since you had been a chief of police before.
19 A. This structure of authority in peacetime I am very familiar with
20 it, because I have been in Samac as head of the police, and this police
21 was organised according to the vertical chain of command. But I also know
22 that the organ of internal affairs was answerable to the Assembly and
23 would report about its work to the Assembly, about each year that passed.
24 So the only thing that I can do is assume that the organ of internal
25 affairs, in a similar -- through a similar hierarchy, was answerable, that
1 is, it was able to, according to that chain, carry out certain tasks that
2 they were given through the vertical chain of command. But my assumption
3 is that it was the organ, that is, the police, at least in some way was
4 connected to the organ of authority.
5 Q. Mr. Antic, on page 43 of yesterday's transcript, you were asked by
6 the Prosecutor about Crisis Staff being established before the 16th or the
7 17th of April and that throughout that time it was Dr. Blagoje Simic who
8 headed the Crisis Staff. Because this was a two-part question, and now
9 what remains unclear: Your answer was, "Yes, I know about that." It
10 remains unclear whether you know that Dr. Blagoje Simic was headed by that
11 or whether you know that this body was formed before the 16th or the
12 17th. Because there was something else that you said that you knew about
13 the Crisis Staff only about the declaration of the 18th of April. So in
14 order to clarify this, I'd like to ask you something very specific. Do
15 you know for sure that it was before the 17th of April, 1992, that the
16 Crisis Staff was established?
17 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, that's not strictly
18 correct. My question was, and the wording is important: "You know this
19 body, the Serbian municipalities of Bosanski Samac appointed a Crisis
20 Staff just before the 16th and 17th of April, 1992. The Crisis Staff that
21 was headed throughout its life by one of the defendants in this case,
22 Blagoje Simic." So my question -- it's always been agreed in this case
23 that it was headed by the -- the president was Blagoje Simic. It's an
24 admitted fact in this case. There's no problem about that. So my
25 question was simply whether the Serbian municipality appointed a Crisis
1 Staff before the 16th and 17th. Answer: "Yes, I know about that." So
2 just for the sake -- the question was precise. I wasn't asking him: Was
3 it a Crisis Staff appointed before the 16th? And secondly, was the head
4 of it Blagoje Simic? The question was simply to identify the Crisis Staff
5 that I was talking about, the one headed by --
6 MR. PANTELIC: That was my point, Your Honour. This was a
7 two-barreled question. So I want to clarify with this witness: What was
8 his answer related to the notion that Mr. Blagoje Simic was -- because he
9 is --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, the Prosecution has explained, and the
11 question was quite clear. And as he says that there has never been any
12 dispute as to who was the president of the Crisis Staff. That is also
14 MR. PANTELIC: Okay. Since there is some ambiguity between the
15 other question, I would like to clarify that with the witness, with the
16 other answer that he said that first he knew about the existence of the
17 Crisis Staff on the 18th of April, after the proclamation that he heard on
18 the radio, so on.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: Then it's --
20 MR. PANTELIC: There is a -- you know --
21 MR. DI FAZIO: Sorry. I do apologise. Then it's unnecessary,
22 because the witness then went on to say: "Specifically I heard when the
23 Crisis Staff was first heard of through its proclamation, and I think this
24 was on the 18th." That's what he said about it. There's no uncertainty.
25 That's what he thinks.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Anyhow, to clarify that finally, I will try to do
2 that through this witness.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, in your asking -- when you're asking
4 questions, do not ask the witness to repeat what has already been stated
5 by the witness.
6 MR. PANTELIC: No, no. Not my intention. Just his personal
7 knowledge about the existence of certain body, simple as that, regarding
8 to particular period of time.
9 Q. [Interpretation] So, Mr. Antic, let's clarify this. When was it
10 that you personally found out about the existence of the Crisis Staff of
11 the Samac municipality?
12 A. In an official context, my first -- the first time I found out
13 about the existence of the Crisis Staff was at the moment when, at the
14 command of the 17th Tactical Group, the Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic told me
15 about the contents of what Dr. Blagoje Simic informed him about.
16 Q. So you had no official announcement, decision; this was just from
17 your talk. That was the basis for your knowledge. That's how I
19 A. That was my first official information that I had, because I
20 assume that my commander had this fact, that is, that he knew about this
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pantelic.
23 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE WILLIAMS: And just for the sake of clarity: That meeting
25 with Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic told you about this, that was on April
1 17th, 1992, at your early morning meeting?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes. At the command, at the
3 17th Tactical Group.
4 MR. PANTELIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. The following subject on page 41 of yesterday's transcript. When
6 the Prosecutor suggested that the SDS was the moving force in relation to
7 the establishment of certain institutions or organs, and you said that you
8 knew about that. Further on, you said that on the session of the 28th of
9 March of the Municipal Assembly in Obudovac, you don't know about any
10 decisions that were taken there, you never read them, and so on. Now I'm
11 asking you: In relation to the SDS, what other parties were involved in
12 the establishment of the Serbian municipality of Samac and Pelagicevo that
13 was being formed? Do you know anything about it, if you can tell us?
14 A. I was never a member of the SDS, so I never looked into this.
15 What was the structure of the political position of this party. My
16 political conviction --
17 Q. No, no. I have to interrupt you. I think you didn't understand.
18 You said that the SDS was this moving force which created the Municipal
19 Assembly, the Serb Municipal Assembly. I'm asking you very simply whether
20 at this Assembly there were deputies that belonged to some other parties.
21 That's all I'm asking you. If you know.
22 A. I cannot answer this, because I did not participate in the
23 structure of this authority.
24 Q. Following question: Do you know whether the Crisis Staff, apart
25 from the SDS, they were members of the other parties? If you know, please
2 A. I don't know that.
3 Q. Do you know if there were any other -- members of any other ethnic
4 groups in the Crisis Staff?
5 A. No, I don't know that.
6 Q. On page 30 of yesterday's transcript, the Prosecutor asked you
7 about the volunteers and another topic which is very important to clarify
8 here. You said in the military sense, they did not represent or
9 constitute a significant number, in a military sense, for this territory
10 which was in the area of responsibility of the 17th Tactical Group. Could
11 you please tell me, since you've already mentioned the weapons and now you
12 say that in the military sense they didn't have any significant role: Mr.
13 Antic, could you please tell me the following: Why do you, as commander
14 of the 4th Detachment, why did you not, as commander of the 4th
15 Detachment, arrest that insignificant group in the military sense, since
16 you were a commander of a group of 450 armed soldiers? Why did you not
17 arrest this small group that was looting and doing other things? Could
18 you please tell me what your motive was.
19 A. I answered that question. The 4th Detachment did not have the
20 order to arrest anyone, because the 4th Detachment did not have any police
21 forces as part of it which would be able to carry out such a task, nor did
22 we receive any orders to that effect. I already said which orders the 4th
23 Detachment received. If you're thinking of the period before the events,
24 that is not in the area of responsibility of the 4th Detachment. So the
25 4th Detachment was not able to do a thing in that sense.
1 Q. Very well. Could you please explain to the Court the role of the
2 commander and his responsibilities, of a commander of a military unit.
3 You are a reserve officer and a former chief of police, and you do have a
4 certain amount of experience. Could you please tell me: Is it the role
5 of the military commander to act in accordance with the situation or to
6 wait for orders of the Superior Command and to take on all the risks in
7 the terrain at the time? So could you please tell me that, you as an
8 experienced soldier.
9 A. As a commander, I was obliged to carry out orders, and that is
10 what I did, in the sense of how that order was issued. I said I was not
11 able to, under my responsibilities, undertake to arrest anyone, not even
12 those who would shoot a member, for example, of the 4th Detachment in the
13 back on the line of defence. This was a police matter.
14 Q. One of the tasks of the 4th Detachment, as you said yourself, was
15 to protect the people and the property in their area of responsibility.
16 Mr. Antic, there is an experienced officer of the Finnish army here, and a
17 judge of much experience, sitting in this courtroom, and this Trial
18 Chamber has already had many such cases. You, as a former military
19 commander, are now telling me that you didn't have any possibility of
20 preventing this group of volunteers who were robbing and mistreating
21 volunteers. You had no way of doing anything about that?
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, this question was pursued yesterday.
24 He has explained how he was acting with the people under whose command --
25 who were under his command. I don't think we need to repeat this.
1 MR. PANTELIC: Yes. I have just a couple more questions and I'm
2 finished, Your Honours.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Could you please tell me: Did you submit a
4 criminal report or any criminal charges against these people when you
5 discovered that they were robbing and mistreating the citizens?
6 A. That is a question that you should put to the person who was
7 responsible and who should have carried out the arrests of those people.
8 This is not a question for the commander of the 4th Detachment.
9 Q. Just tell me, Mr. Antic: Did you file criminal charges or not?
10 A. The commander, I personally, during the time that I was performing
11 the function of commander, nor the command itself, submitted or filed
12 criminal charges against anybody.
13 Q. And lastly, could you please tell us, Mr. Antic: Why did you ask
14 for safe conduct and guarantees that you would not be arrested when you
15 were coming here to The Hague? What were you afraid of? What did you
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, that is not a question for the witness
18 to answer.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
20 MR. PANTELIC: I've finished. I have no further questions. Thank
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lazarevic.
23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
24 Re-examined by Mr. Pisarevic:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Antic. I would like to ask
1 several questions in order to clarify some of the answers you gave during
2 the cross-examination by the Prosecution and also during cross-examination
3 by the other colleagues.
4 One of the questions put to you by the Prosecutor was the arrival
5 of volunteers to the village of Batkusa on the --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the date.
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Since you had --
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, the interpreters said they didn't
10 catch the date.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. It was the 11th of April,
13 Q. Since you were in their immediate presence, could you please
14 describe to us what the members of that volunteer group were wearing, what
15 insignia did they wear, and so on. Could you provide some more details.
16 Because there were questions here regarding the way they looked.
17 A. Yes. Since I did see them, I think this was on the second day
18 after they landed, I can say that they wore multicoloured uniforms, that
19 they had knitted black caps on their heads, that a number of them carried
20 hats, wore hats, of various shapes; that they had different colours
21 painted on their faces; that they had some insignia on their clothing
22 which were not the insignia of the Yugoslav People's Army. They had some
23 emblems on their sleeves, patches with some symbols embroidered on them
24 bearing some names that they had given to themselves, for example, the
25 Eagles, Grey Wolves, and I don't know what other names they called
1 themselves by.
2 Q. Do you know whether this group ever was under the command of any
3 unit of the Yugoslav People's Army before the 17th or the 16th and the
4 17th of April, 1992?
5 A. The group was not under the command of the Yugoslav People's Army.
6 Q. Was it ever -- was that group ever placed under the command of any
7 unit of the JNA after the 17th of April, 1992?
8 A. After the events of the 17th of April, 1992, I was familiar with
9 the fact that with the reorganisation of the army of Republika Srpska --
10 Q. We haven't gotten to the army of Republika Srpska yet. I'm only
11 asking you now about the period when the Yugoslav People's Army existed in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 A. No, they were never under the command of the Yugoslav People's
15 Q. Were they ever under the command of the 4th Detachment or under
16 your command?
17 A. No, none of them were ever under my jurisdiction.
18 Q. Do you know who commanded that volunteer group that had arrived?
19 A. They were under the command of the police.
20 Q. And one more question: How far is the village of Obudovac from
21 Bosanski Samac?
22 A. I said that the village of Batkusa is 13 kilometres from Samac,
23 and the next village after that is Obudovac, and that is something over 20
25 Q. Thank you. Now I will ask you a couple of questions about the
1 organisation of the 4th Detachment, since my colleague Pantelic asked
2 about -- some questions about the reconnaissance unit and so on. You said
3 that there were four companies, there were platoons, there were squads.
4 So could you tell me: Which squads existed in the 4th Detachment?
5 A. There were several squads as part of the 4th Detachment. For
6 example, the communication squad, which had three members; the logistics
7 squad, or the quartermaster's squad; the medical squad; and if there was
8 any need, we would form also a reconnaissance squad.
9 Q. And when did this squad become functional?
10 A. The first time we went to carry out our combat tasks, meaning when
11 the 4th Detachment went to the defence -- line of defence, then the need
12 arose to form a reconnaissance squad.
13 Q. And was it formed then?
14 A. Yes, it was.
15 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber: Who was the commander of that
16 reconnaissance squad?
17 A. The commander of the reconnaissance squad was Fadil Topcagic.
18 Q. Can you tell us, if you remember, any other members of that
19 reconnaissance squad?
20 A. Since the reconnaissance squad is a squad with quite specific
21 tasks and is directly responsible to the command, I can remember some of
22 its members. For example, Stanko Bojic, Jasmin Ibralic, Damir Ibralic,
23 Aleksandar Bogdanovic, and I can remember a few others.
24 Q. Thank you. What were the tasks of that reconnaissance squad?
25 What were they supposed to do?
1 A. The tasks of the reconnaissance squad begins to be implemented
2 from the moment -- at a certain position is taken up, i.e. from the moment
3 that the 4th Detachment is activated. The task of the reconnaissance
4 squad is to reconnoitre and to monitor enemy positions, movements of its
5 troops, the disposition of their war materiel, observe which positions is
6 artillery fire coming from, so basically to collect all information of
7 significance for the combat activity of the unit.
8 Q. Who does the commander of the reconnaissance squad submit his
9 report to about all the things that he has observed regarding enemy
11 A. The commander of the reconnaissance squad directly reports to the
12 commander about all the significant data they have gathered.
13 Q. Just one more thing. The commander of the reconnaissance squad,
14 what kind of a function is that? Is that an officer post? What would be
15 the ranks that can be in that post?
16 A. To be a commander in a squad is not a function; it's a soldier's
17 duty, which can be given to any soldier that is believed to be capable of
18 carrying out that task.
19 Q. The Prosecutor asked you about some patrols of the 4th Detachment.
20 I would like to clarify that situation?
21 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, just before Mr. Pisarevic
22 moves to this new topic of patrols, there's just been a body of evidence
23 about something called reconnaissance squads. I understood from the
24 witness that these were formed when they first went to combat duties, and
25 my assumption is that he's talking about the formation of reconnaissance
1 squads after the 17th of April, 1992, but that's not absolutely clear.
2 And with respect, I think you should be clear about that, were these
3 reconnaissance squads formed after the 17th, and were they something
4 different from the patrols that were operating in the town beforehand;
5 otherwise, you may end up being confused as to whether he's talking about
6 patrols or something quite distinct, namely, these reconnaissance squads
7 that he's spoken of.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure the witness can explain that.
9 Mr. Pisarevic.
10 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
11 Q. You did understand?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you tell us: How many reconnaissance squads there were?
14 A. In the 4th Detachment, there was only one reconnaissance squad,
15 which would be activated, as I said, according to need, and it had ten
16 members. This reconnaissance squad has nothing to do with the patrols
17 that the 4th Detachment would task with patrolling the town after certain
18 events were reported.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: I think the other aspect was when it was first
20 formed, the reconnaissance squad.
21 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think that the
22 witness did answer that, but I will ask him.
23 Q. Could you tell us: When was the first time that this
24 reconnaissance squad was formed?
25 A. The reconnaissance squad was established after the 4th Detachment
1 became activated, which was after the 17th of April.
2 Q. We'll come back to the question of the patrols now. These
3 patrols, do they have anything in connection to the reconnaissance squad?
4 A. No, nothing at all. They didn't even operate at the same time.
5 Q. Now, can you tell us: At what time were these patrols of the 4th
6 Detachment operational, and until when?
7 A. The patrols were operational only until the 17th of April. Their
8 very last activity was on the 17th of April, and they were established in
9 the month of February. And I have said how the procedure went as to the
10 establishment of the patrols of the 4th Detachment.
11 Q. Can we conclude, then, that after the 17th of April, 1992, there
12 were no more patrols of the 4th Detachment?
13 A. Yes.
14 [Defence counsel confer]
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. After the 17th of April, was it activated, the medical squad?
17 A. Yes. Yes. All of the squads then became active.
18 Q. Can you tell us: Who was the commander of the medical squad in
19 the 4th Detachment?
20 A. The commander of the medical squad in the 4th Detachment was
21 Dr. Mirko Sisic.
22 Q. Thank you. You explained what the patrols did, what their tasks
23 were, but now I'd like to ask you if you can explain: How were these
24 patrols decided on? Who decided on them, their composition, and how was
25 this done in the 4th Detachment?
1 A. In the command of the detachment, we agreed on the principles, on
2 the basis of which patrols should be established. We decided that this
3 would be five to six patrols in all, that the patrols should be mixed, of
4 mixed composition, as I've already stated.
5 Q. But who decided on the composition, on the schedule of the
7 A. The composition of the patrols was decided on by the commanders of
8 the platoons, in agreement with the commanders of the squads.
9 Q. Did you in the command have any knowledge, could you have had any
10 knowledge, which people would be members of certain patrols at any given
12 A. The command did not decide on the composition of the patrols.
13 This was decided on by the commanding officers of lower-echelon units. So
14 we were just informed what the patrols observed during the night, what
15 they uncovered, et cetera.
16 Q. Do you know which members of the 4th Detachment were in the
17 patrols in the night between the 16th and the 17th of April, 1992?
18 A. I said that our first pieces of information regarding the events
19 that occurred in Samac was the information that we received from the
20 patrols. These patrols would come; that is, they came after they acquired
21 the knowledge, they came to the command. The moment when I entered the
22 command, that is, that would be about half past 3.00 on the 17th of April,
23 some of the members of the patrols were already in the command.
24 Q. Can you recall one of or some of these members of the patrols that
25 were already in the command, who were submitting the reports on what was
1 happening in the town of Samac?
2 A. I could remember some of them, and that was, for instance, Darko
3 Misic, Vlado Sisic, Djordje Devrenic - I believe that is his name - and
4 there were others, of course.
5 Q. Let me remind you: Is it possible, could you recall that Stanko
6 Dujkovic was also one of them?
7 A. I think he was.
8 Q. Do you recall that Ilija Serjanovic was one of them?
9 A. Yes, he was there too.
10 Q. Considering the patrols that went to the command, was it with the
11 help of your RUP 2 radio station? Was it possible to keep in contact with
12 the patrols while they were patrolling the town? And what was the
13 technical equipment of the patrols, if they had any technical equipment?
14 A. Since in the command we had this equipment at our disposal, it is
15 with this equipment that we kept in contact with the command of the 17th
16 Tactical Group. The members of the patrols did not have any communication
17 means, because I presume the Yugoslav People's Army did not have these
18 equipment at their disposal that they could have issued to the detachment.
19 Q. So let us conclude. The command did not have any communication or
20 possibility to contact the patrols that were in the town?
21 A. No, no communication equipment. We had none to contact the
22 patrols, to be in communication with them.
23 Q. We'll go on to another subject now. This is to do with the
24 questions that you were asked by my colleague Mr. Pantelic. He asked you
25 about the arrival of the tanks to Bosanski Samac. Can you tell us: You
1 said there were none, but can you tell us: What was the first time that
2 the tanks arrived in the town of Bosanski Samac, and how many were there?
3 A. I remember very well that it was in the afternoon hours in Samac,
4 two tanks arrived. That was about, I believe, 2.00 or 3.00 in the
6 Q. Which date? When was that?
7 A. The 17th.
8 Q. Do you perhaps mean two APCs on the 17th? I was asking you about
9 the tanks.
10 A. I know also about the APCs.
11 Q. When did they come, the APCs?
12 A. I think they arrived on the 18th. That was the following day.
13 Q. Of course, you do make a distinction between the APCs and the
15 A. Yes, I know the difference.
16 Q. What arrived first: The APCs or the tanks?
17 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, Mr. Pisarevic is now
18 venturing into cross-examination. He's trying to get an answer. This is
19 re-examination. The witness is clear. The tanks arrived on the --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: On the 17th.
21 MR. DI FAZIO: The 17th, the APCs on the 18th. That's the end of
22 the matter.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: And the witness has explained that he knows the
25 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may, I'd like to --
2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. I believe you may. I don't know what you're going to say, but the
4 Trial Chamber may allow you. I don't know what you will say.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the witness can go ahead.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'd like to say that I may have well
7 made a mix-up.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. What mix-up?
10 A. Well, the events occurred in such a way that these APCs were
11 not -- these vehicles were not placed under my command. I didn't ask for
12 these vehicles, but this was probably, probably, that is, I assume that
13 this was the command of the 17th Tactical Group had established and
14 assessed that the 4th Detachment should be assisted, considering that the
15 4th Detachment only had firearms, and it was already from the 17th that we
16 were under fire.
17 Q. What was the mix-up?
18 A. Well, I've mixed up the order of the arrival of these vehicles.
19 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, the witness has just said
20 that these military vehicles, he assumes, were under the command of the
21 17th Tactical Group and that they were there to assist the 4th Detachment.
22 You may care to know in what capacity armoured vehicles were assisting the
23 4th Detachment, because the witness has testified over the last two few
24 days of two orders, securing lines and disarming the population, and you
25 may care to know whether armoured vehicles were of use to the 4th
1 Detachment in the peaceful collection of weapons or the securing of the
2 lines. And so I invite you to seek clarification of that.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The witness has understood what the Prosecutor
4 has said, and the witness can explain.
5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, of course the witness
6 will explain. But I'd like to say that the witness has already said that
7 the 4th Detachment, that is, on the 17th, in the evening, it was already
8 under fire.
9 Q. However, could you explain: How was it that two APCs came on the
10 17th and the tanks arrived on the 18th? Could you please expand on that.
11 What was the situation? Were there any attacks, et cetera?
12 A. During the takeover --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
14 A. -- taking the defence line on the embankments of the Sava River, I
15 understood in my own mind that what most probably happened was that the
16 expected attacks would be -- that is, I allowed myself to believe that the
17 17th Tactical Group command had better intelligence than I did at the
18 time. I also said that when we took up the positions, one of our members
19 was seriously injured. I had already had my baptism of fire, as the
20 soldiers call it. I had already had casualties. So I understood how
21 serious the entire situation was.
22 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Was there an attack on the town of Bosanski Samac, that is, on the
24 lines that you took the members of the 4th Detachment to?
25 A. It was already on the 17th of April, in the morning of that day,
1 that the town and the detachment was subjected to mortar attack from the
2 Republic of Croatia, and it was on the 18th, in the morning of that day,
3 that followed the attack from the direction of the village of Prud, across
4 the bridge of the Bosna River.
5 Q. What units launched this attack?
6 A. This attack was launched by the HVO units that had their positions
7 in the village of Prud.
8 Q. When you say "HVO," you mean the Croatian Defence Council?
9 A. Yes. That is the HVO unit. HVO is the abbreviation that we use
10 for the Croatian Defence Council.
11 Q. Whose army is this? Whose unit is this?
12 A. This is the army, that is, the troops of the Croatian community of
13 Bosnian Posavina [Realtime transcript read in error "Bosnia and"].
14 Q. If I understood you correctly, that is not the army of
16 A. This is the army of the Croatian defence council, that is, of the
17 Croatian community in the area of Bosnia and Posavina.
18 Q. And how did this attack end?
19 A. This attack ended in such a way that it was from the defence line
20 that the 4th Detachment opened fire, from light infantry weapons, and I
21 saw with my binoculars that several people remained dead on the bridge.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
23 transcript. On page 35, line 12. Of Bosnian Posavina, not Bosnia and
24 Posavina. This is the correct word for this.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: What, you said Bosnian?
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Bosnian Posavina. That's what we use to -- these
2 are the words that we used during proceedings for Bosnian Posavina.
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. That will be corrected.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, is this a good time
5 for a break now?
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break and continue at 1100
8 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
12 Q. When those tanks that we talked about came to Bosanski Samac, came
13 into the town, where were they located?
14 A. One of the tanks was located on the line of defence towards the
15 bridge over the Bosna River. The other tank was positioned at the
16 crossroads near the so-called Uzarija.
17 Q. Were these tanks under your command?
18 A. The tanks had their own crew, and they were under the command of
19 the 17th Tactical Group.
20 Q. You talked a lot here about your responsibilities as a commander,
21 about the system of subordination, unity of command, singleness of
22 command, and so on. I wanted to ask you one question about that. Had
23 Commander Nikolic, the commander of the 17th Tactical Group, ordered you,
24 as the commander of the 4th Detachment of the Yugoslav People's Army, to
25 take the town of Samac, would you have carried out that order or not?
1 A. As an officer of the Yugoslav People's Army, and as a responsible
2 man, I would carry out that order.
3 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. Just for the sake of
4 clarity, at least in the English translation, it says: "If you had been
5 ordered to take the town of Samac." That sounds as though he would be
6 ordered to be the aggressor. Do you mean to protect, to take back, rather
7 than take, in the initial instance? So in terms of your question, there's
8 the lack of clarity, not the answer. Obviously, Mr. Antic understood what
9 you meant, but for the record, I think if you could just be a bit more
10 precise there or whatever.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Had you been ordered to place under control the town of Samac, by
13 using the 4th Detachment, in order to secure and carry out the task of
14 preventing the spillover of the war from Croatia into Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, would you have carried out that order?
16 A. I said that I would carry out that order, as a responsible
18 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me. As a follow-up question: When you
19 met, in the early morning of the 17th of April, 1992, with Stevan Nikolic,
20 if he had ordered you to take back or recover the town of Bosanski Samac,
21 would you have followed that order?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Any order that the commander would
23 issue, I would carry out, but not an order which could be treated in a
24 different way i.e. would be contrary to some other laws.
25 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. I think we need a
1 built of clarity on what that answer meant.
2 MR. DI FAZIO: I was going to seek clarity to His Honour's
4 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. Because I -- Mr. Antic, you say: "Any
5 order that the commander would issue, I would carry out, but not an order
6 which could be treated in a different way, would be contrary to some other
7 laws." Do you mean international humanitarian law, Geneva Conventions, or
8 do you mean municipal laws or laws of Republika Srpska? I mean, could you
9 tell us what exactly you mean.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think -- I'm thinking of those
11 laws which would relate to the jeopardy for the lives of people, i.e. the
12 carrying out of certain criminal acts.
13 MR. WEINER: I'm sorry to interrupt, Your Honour, but he still
14 hasn't answered Judge Lindholm's question. Would he obey the order to
15 retake the town apparently from the paramilitaries, the Serb Crisis Staff
16 and the Serbian police that have taken over the town if he was ordered to
17 do so from the JNA command?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Now that is specific. The question is now
19 specific and the witness can answer that.
20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Could you please answer Judge Lindholm's question. Could you tell
22 us briefly whether you would carry out that order or not.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. A little earlier you responded to a question that I was actually
25 going to put to you, and that was the question: In which situation can a
1 soldier refuse, or an officer, an order by his superior? Could you please
2 tell us a little bit about that so we can round off that topic.
3 A. According to our regulations, a soldier can refuse to carry out an
4 order from his superior only on condition if that order would constitute
5 an act which would be sanctioned under some law or which would constitute
6 a criminal act.
7 Q. You've already answered the Prosecutor about which orders the
8 commander of the 17th Tactical Group issued, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic.
9 The first order was to mobilise the detachment. Do you hold that this was
10 a criminal act?
11 A. No.
12 Q. The second order that you received was to set up defensive lines
13 in the outlying areas, on the outskirts of the town. Is that a criminal
14 act, as far as you're concerned?
15 A. No.
16 Q. The third order was issued to you about the collection of illegal
17 military weapons from the citizens of Bosanski Samac. Is that, in your
18 opinion and in your criteria, a criminal act?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you receive any order from the commander of the 17th Tactical
21 Group, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, which would, according to what you know
22 and understand, constitute a criminal act under the laws that were in
23 force at the time?
24 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Di Fazio.
1 MR. DI FAZIO: He's no legal expert, for a start, and he shouldn't
2 be called upon to answer these questions. He's given clear evidence of
3 the orders that he was given.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, actually, and it doesn't even help the defence
5 of Mr. Zaric.
6 MR. DI FAZIO: It's just irrelevant.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Asking along this line.
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have just
9 completed this line of questioning with this question, but ...
10 Q. When the Prosecutor showed you or discussed with you the document
11 of Biljana Plavsic, you answered a number of questions on that topic. I'm
12 not quite sure, but I would like to ask you one question which is as
13 follows: Did the Yugoslav People's Army or the 17th Tactical Group arm
14 all the members of the 4th Detachment, regardless of their ethnic,
15 religious, or political orientation?
16 A. Yes, it did. It armed everybody, regardless of their ethnicity.
17 It armed Serbs, Croats, and Muslims who were members of the 4th
19 Q. You testified here in response to a question by my colleague
20 Mr. Pantelic about filing criminal charges, and you said that that was not
21 your responsibility. I wanted to ask you one question: Did you file
22 criminal charges when you were physically mistreated by Lugar and other
23 members of the paramilitary formation, i.e. those volunteers who had
24 arrived, and what did you undertake at that moment?
25 A. I did not file any criminal charges against Lugar, who beat me,
1 mistreated me, arrested me, insulted me, maybe because I did not wish to
2 enter into any deeper conflicts, but I did do what any man would do who
3 values his dignity.
4 Q. What did you do?
5 A. I submitted a report to my superior commander, asked to be
6 discharged of my duties, and I went to the trenches and continued as a
7 regular soldier.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: I just have one question for you, Mr. Antic. I
13 think it would be most helpful to the Trial Chamber if you, as the
14 commander of the 4th Detachment, 17th, 18th, and so on of April, until you
15 handed in your resignation, if you could tell us: What was the role, if
16 any, of Mr. Miroslav Tadic and Mr. Simo Zaric with respect to the
17 collection of weapons in the town of Bosanski Samac; and secondly, whether
18 there was a Praga or a tank involved in the collection of those weapons,
19 if you know, as commander of the 4th Detachment.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once I received the order from
21 Commander Nikolic to implement this activity, I conveyed this order to my
22 command, informed all of its members, and issued specific tasks, and that
23 is also the monitoring of the implementation of that order. And I also,
24 besides Miroslav Tadic and Simo Zaric, I participated in the
25 implementation myself. The action, as I said before, was carried out
1 without any incidents. There were no complaints from the citizens. They
2 voluntarily brought out the weapons and handed them over. Mr. Tadic had
3 the task of registering all the weapons and of handing over the weapons to
4 the warehouse. Mr. Zaric, together with me, also had the task of
5 monitoring the implementation of the order, in accordance with his
6 responsibility, i.e., to come and intervene in the event of an incident
7 which could occur while this was being carried out. I stress: These
8 weapons, military weapons, were illegally possessed by Samac citizens.
9 Whether any vehicle, an APC, took part in that, that is the question. I
10 said that on the 17th, in the afternoon, two such vehicles turned up as a
11 form of support in the implementation of the task of the 4th Detachment.
12 I didn't understand that these vehicles were sent by the command of the
13 17th Tactical Group in order for this order to be carried out. However,
14 at any point there was a danger that, from the direction of the village of
15 Prud or from the direction of Croatia, some combat activities could be
16 directed against the 4th Detachment and the town of Samac, and this really
17 did happen, because firing broke out immediately. Over a period of four
18 days, the town went through such horror. Everything was demolished. Not
19 a single pane of glass was left whole on the buildings, on the shops. All
20 the streets were filled with rubble, and so on.
21 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Yes. I think if we can go back to my question,
22 though, Mr. Antic. I think well all understand that there was a lot of
23 destruction from the shelling. But what I think would assist us to know,
24 if you have any knowledge as to whether, in terms of collection of
25 weapons, there was -- and whether we call it an APC, a Praga, a tank, was
1 there a military vehicle of some nature that accompanied the persons from
2 the 4th Detachment who were collecting the weapons and went from street to
3 street? So if you could answer that first, and then I'll come back with a
4 supplementary question.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The function of these vehicles was
6 not to collect weapons from the citizens, but, as I said, its role, its
7 function, was completely different, which was to give support to the 4th
8 Detachment because of the artillery fire which was happening at the time,
9 and the 4th Detachment could not respond to this artillery fire. It was
10 impossible to fight a combat against a tank, against a mortar, just with a
11 rifle. And these --
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Antic. I think we're going off
13 the point a little bit again. Could you just give me a direct answer. To
14 your knowledge, as commander of the 4th Detachment and your subordinates
15 were going out there, pursuant to orders, collecting weapons. Was there
16 or was there not some type of armoured vehicle? I say whether it was an
17 APC, a Praga, a tank. We won't worry about the distinctions of that. But
18 was there or was there not such a type of vehicle going up and down the
19 streets, stopping in front of people's houses or apartments, 4th
20 Detachment people going in, collecting the weapons with this vehicle
21 sitting on the street outside? If you know, please tell us; if you don't
22 know, please tell us also.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since I was the one who personally
24 checked, and Mr. Zaric and Mr. Tadic, I can say that there was no such
25 vehicle in my immediate vicinity.
1 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you for that answer. And just the one
2 follow-up question which is my only other question is, in terms of the
3 role of Mr. Zaric and Mr. Tadic, did you, as the commander of the 4th
4 Detachment, give them orders to go personally with the members of the 4th
5 Detachment from apartment to apartment or house to house to see and to ask
6 for weapons?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As I said, that I did issue them
8 with such tasks, and I participated as well. But I'd like to make a
9 correction. We did not enter apartments or even yards or houses, but we
10 went down the street and called on citizens to take the weapons out. That
11 was the strict order, and it was respected as such.
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Antic, for giving evidence to the
14 Trial Chamber. We are finished now. You may leave the room.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, before we bring our next witness,
19 can I just very briefly address to the Trial Chamber, because I have some
20 concerns. If I could have only two minutes in private session.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Let's go into private session.
22 [Private session]
12 Page 16927 – redacted – private session
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Please make the solemn declaration.
7 WITNESS: KOSTA SIMIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
10 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Please sit down.
12 Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Examined by Mr. Lazarevic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Simic.
16 A. Good morning.
17 Q. We'll start with your examination-in-chief now, but first I'd just
18 like to remind you of the instructions that I gave you in relation to the
19 speed of talking. If you can please wait a second when I finish my
20 question and then answer, so that we don't have the overlap. That is for
21 the sake of the record.
22 A. Yes. Fine.
23 Q. Now, for the record, can you please tell us your full name and
25 A. Kosta Simic.
1 Q. Can you tell us your date of birth?
2 A. I was born on the 13th of November, 1949.
3 Q. Can you tell us: Where were you born?
4 A. I was born in the village of Kruskovo Polje, in the municipality
5 of Bosanski Samac.
6 Q. Where do you live now?
7 A. Now I live in Bosanski Samac, in the settlement of Brace Jugovica
9 Q. Can you tell us something about your educational background?
10 Where did you complete your primary school, secondary school, and all the
11 other schools that you may have completed?
12 A. Some of the years of the primary school I completed at the village
13 of Kruskovo Polje, and the other part I completed in Bosanski Samac. The
14 secondary school, I also completed in Bosanski Samac. And further
15 education I followed in Novi Sad.
16 Q. Can you tell us: What's your occupation, and what is that further
17 education, this tertiary education that you then followed?
18 A. That is the higher technical school, and I'm a mechanical engineer
19 by occupation.
20 Q. Are you employed?
21 A. Yes, I am.
22 Q. Can you tell us where?
23 A. Currently I'm working at the Ministry of Defence, Samac
25 Q. Sir, did you serve in the Yugoslav People's Army?
1 A. No, I did not serve in the Yugoslav People's Army. The thing is,
2 is that I was following the medical check-up regarding my ability to serve
3 in the Yugoslav People's Army in 1966. I was declared unfit to serve, for
4 medical reasons.
5 Q. I would just ask you a few more questions in relation to your
6 political membership. Were you a member of the League of Communists of
8 A. For the first time, I was employed in 1973, at the secretariat of
9 the interior, and it was impossible to work for this institution without
10 being a member of the League of Communists. So after I was employed at
11 that institution, I became a member of the League of Communists, and I was
12 a member of the League of Communists until its break-up.
13 Q. After that, were you a member of any other political party, and
14 are you now a member of a political party?
15 A. From then I was not a member of any political party, and I am not
16 a member of any political party now.
17 Q. Just a couple of more questions in relation to your personal
18 information. Are you married?
19 A. Yes, I am.
20 Q. Do you have children?
21 A. Yes. I have a son and a daughter.
22 Q. Can you tell us: What's your ethnic background?
23 A. I'm a Serb.
24 Q. You already said that from 1973 you have been employed at the
25 public security station in Bosanski Samac. Now a few questions in
1 relation to this.
2 Can we clarify something: First of all, what was your job at the
3 police station in Bosanski Samac?
4 A. I was an inspector for fire prevention.
5 Q. At that time, from 1973 onwards, was Mr. Zaric at any time chief
6 of the public security station?
7 A. At that time, it was called the secretariat of the interior, and
8 Mr. Zaric was, for a time, the secretary of the secretariat of the
10 Q. This work that you did, that is, the preventing fires, what is the
11 department of the police station, of the public security station? To
12 which department did it belong?
13 A. As part of the secretariat of the interior, there were several
14 organisational units, and one of them was the crime department, which had
15 its own branch office in Doboj. As part of that crime department, there
16 were also the tasks of the inspector for fire prevention.
17 Q. If I understood you correctly, your job and your work that you
18 carried out, that was part of the crime department. Is that correct? Did
19 I understand you correctly?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. And you said already - I just wanted to clarify - you were
22 subordinated to the centre in Doboj; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And Mr. Zaric, as the secretary at the time, was he your superior?
25 A. He was not my superior, because the work that I did was
1 independent, and all the decisions that I took were in relation to fire
2 prevention, and I was the one who signed these decisions and documents.
3 So I had independence in my work, but I belonged to that organisational
4 unit, that is, the crime department, according to the internal
5 organisation of the employment posts.
6 Q. What were your relations with Mr. Zaric?
7 A. Correct, and we kept a certain distance.
8 Q. So you were not friends with Mr. Zaric, you did not go to each
9 other's houses, you did not socialise? That was not the case, then?
10 A. No. He was a functionary. I was an employee. And we did not go
11 to each other's houses. We did not socialise.
12 Q. Thank you. Until when did you work at the public security station
13 in Bosanski Samac?
14 A. I worked there until the 31st of December, 1987.
15 Q. And where did you get a job after that?
16 A. After that, I moved to the secretariat for National Defence,
17 actually, to the reporting centre.
18 Q. We will go back to the reporting centre and explain a little bit
19 the functions of that centre. But before that, I would like to ask you a
20 few more questions about certain things that could be of interest.
21 Did you ever carry a weapon?
22 A. No, I did not. I didn't -- I never possessed a weapon. I never
23 possessed a weapon privately.
24 Q. I would like to briefly now go to another topic. Sir, were you a
25 member of the 4th Detachment?
1 A. No, I was not, because I wasn't a military conscript, so I wasn't
2 a member of the 4th Detachment.
3 Q. Do you know anything about the 4th Detachment, about the fact that
4 it existed in Bosanski Samac?
5 A. Yes. I heard that the 4th Detachment was formed, in the media,
6 over the radio station.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Lazarevic, we have a summary of what this
8 witness is going to discuss. Can we go to it please.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honour. I'm aware of that. During
10 proofing with this witness, I made some proofing notes and I informed
11 the Prosecution about some few additional things that the witness might
12 have knowledge about. I will go through this very briefly.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, please. Very briefly.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. The instructions from the Chamber are such, and you are not a
16 witness who could provide any significant information to us about the 4th
17 Detachment and other things. I'm only asking you now: Do you know
18 perhaps who was the commander of the detachment? Do you know whether
19 Tadic and Zaric were members of it and what were their posts? So if you
20 can just tell us that.
21 A. I knew who the commander was. I knew that Zaric and Tadic were
22 members of the 4th Detachment, but I didn't know what functions they were
23 performing in the detachment.
24 Q. I would like to move to a different topic now. I am now talking
25 about the end of 1991 and beginning of 1992, we are in the territory of
1 the town and the municipality of Samac. Could you please tell us if you
2 noticed whether there were any changes in the behaviour of the people in
3 the security situation? Do you remember that period perhaps
4 A. Following the multiparty elections, the national parties won and
5 formed the government. Provocators started cropping up in those parties
6 who were abusing national symbols, thereby irritating members of other
7 ethnic groups. Some songs began to appear of nationalistic content, which
8 also irritated members of other ethnic groups. Rallies were being
9 organised with inflammatory speeches, talking about how one ethnic group
10 was being threatened by the other ethnic groups. This made the situation
11 more complex and disrupted the interethnic relations.
12 Q. Thank you. This was your assessment. There was a lot already
13 said before the Trial Chamber about certain incidents which happened in
14 the territory of the town and municipality of Bosanski Samac, and I do not
15 wish to dwell on them with you too much, because a lot has already been
16 said about them here. There was arson, explosions, and things of such
17 nature. I'm interested in one such incident that you drew my attention to
18 and about which you have some more detailed information, and this is the
19 event relating to a certain gentleman called Simo Krunic. Could you
20 please tell us what you know about that incident, what you heard about it,
21 from whom?
22 A. Simo Krunic is my neighbour. His house is about ten metres away
23 from mine. I found out from him that on the 13th of April, in the
24 afternoon, while he was at work - he was a member of the police force - he
25 and his colleagues, Svetozar Mitrovic, were carrying out traffic checks
1 not far from the bridge over the Sava River and were disarmed by, as he
2 said, members of the Green Berets. On that occasion, their official
3 pistols were confiscated, as well as their official radio station,
4 Motorola. The confiscated items took the items and the attackers, let me
5 call them that, went to Croatia [as interpreted]. The next day --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction. The attackers, let
7 me call them that, took away the confiscated items and took them to
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, on line [sic] 53, line 1, the
10 confiscated items took the items and the attackers. It doesn't make much
11 sense. Maybe --
12 JUDGE WILLIAMS: It's already been corrected, Mr. Lazarevic, by
13 the interpreter.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: -- immediately.
15 Q. [Interpretation] Yes. Please continue. We had a mistake in the
16 transcript. So what happened then?
17 A. The next day, Dragan Lukac, as I said, who I think was the chief
18 of the crime department in the public security station in Samac, went to
19 Slavonski Brod and returned the confiscated items.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Just to clarify one thing: This Simo Krunic
21 and this Mr. Mitrovic whom you mentioned, they were active police
22 officers; is that right?
23 A. Yes. They were active police officers out on their official duty.
24 Q. And where did this happen? Did it happen in Bosanski Samac, in
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
1 A. Yes. This happened on our side before the bridge, so it happened
2 on the Bosnia-Herzegovina side.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to dwell on another topic.
4 In the days before the 17th of April, 1992, where was your family? Where
5 were your wife and your children?
6 A. Three days before the outbreak of the conflict, on Monday, the
7 children went to school. My son went to the seventh class and my daughter
8 went to the first class. Me and my wife were at work. Sometime around
9 9.00, my son called me from home and said that they were all allowed to go
10 home, they were all dismissed, and that there were no children at the
11 school. I called my wife and told her what my child had told me. Both of
12 us went home, and in view of the situation in the area, and the fact that
13 Bosanski Brod was taken a while ago, that war was being waged in Croatia,
14 and that weekend it was also noticed that many families belonging to all
15 ethnic groups were taking their children out of Samac, to safer places.
16 Q. And what did you do?
17 A. Our relatives from Novi Sad suggested that we bring our children
18 there as well, because following what was going on over the media, they
19 were expecting that what happened in Bosanski Brod could also happen in
20 Bosanski Samac. We decided to put our children into the car immediately.
21 We told them to come to the border between Serbia and Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina, to a place called Raca, and that is where I handed them over
23 to them, together with my wife, and I returned home alone.
24 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to go back briefly to what
25 you were doing at that time. You said that practically from January 1st,
1 1988 you worked in the centre for reporting. Could you please first tell
2 us: What is this reporting centre? What body is this? What are its
3 duties? What are its tasks? Could you please explain to the Trial
4 Chamber what this is so that they can have a more complete picture.
5 A. The centre, the reporting centre, is an organisational unit that
6 is part of the secretariat for National Defence. In the former
7 Yugoslavia, each secretariat for National Defence had such reporting
8 centres. The purpose of the centre is to collect certain data in the
9 territory of the municipality where they were located, such as fires that
10 break out, accidents, acts of sabotage, larger traffic accidents, floods,
11 then to process this data and pass it on to the appropriate bodies. For
12 that purpose, in the formation of the reporting centre, the citizens were
13 informed, through different lectures and through the media, about the
14 function of the reporting centre, in order to have access or to collect
15 data more easily, the centre was connected with the local communities by
16 telephone, and it also had radio connections with larger local
17 communities. We called it the municipal radio link.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Some more clarifications regarding the
19 centre itself. This was not a military reporting centre, was it?
20 A. No, it wasn't a military centre, but it was a centre that was
21 exclusively serving civilian needs.
22 Q. Did this centre have anything to do with the police or the state
23 security or with any organs of that nature?
24 A. No, it didn't have any connections with any of the bodies that you
25 mentioned. As far as its range of activities --
1 Q. Yes, that is what I wanted to know.
2 A. -- there was a telephone connection between the police station and
4 Q. My question primarily refers to your range of activities. The
5 police reporting centre was also talked about here before the Trial
6 Chamber, so I wanted to just differentiate between the two of them.
7 Could you please tell me now: You were explaining that there was
8 a radio link between the municipal centre, where you worked in Samac, and
9 other centres. Can you explain to me now: What were these other centres
10 that there was a radio connection with?
11 A. Well, no. I said that first it was in the municipality, together
12 with all the larger-scale local communes. There was a radio
13 communication. We called it municipal radio link. The municipality of
14 Samac belonged to the Doboj region, and it was on the level of the Doboj
15 region that the regional centre for reporting was established. Its seat
16 was in Doboj. Together with the regional centre, there were also
17 municipal centres for reporting. Nine municipalities that made up the
18 Doboj region, and these were Maglaj, Tesanj, Teslic, [Realtime transcript
19 read in error "Maglag, Teslic"] Gracanica, Derventa, Bosanski Brod, Odzak,
20 Samac, and Modrica. I think that I have listed them all.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: Excuse me. Just one correction for the
22 transcript. Actually, he may -- the witness also mentioned Tesanj. I
23 will clarify with this, because there is one missing here. We have just
24 seven municipalities and he was talking about eight municipalities.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Was Tesanj also one of them?
1 A. Yes, Tesanj was also one of them. Yes, Tesanj was also part of
2 it. There were nine in total.
3 Q. Yes. I apologise. My mistake. Can you tell us now: How many
4 employees were there at the centre while you worked there?
5 A. If I may just clarify something in relation to these centres. We
6 were all connected through radio link, and we called it the regional radio
7 link. And above the regional centre, the reporting centre, was also the
8 republican centre. Its seat was at the republic secretariat for National
9 Defence, and that was located in Sarajevo.
10 Q. So if I understood you correctly, all of these nine municipalities
11 that you listed, including Samac, they all had connection to each other,
12 they were all mutually linked?
13 A. Yes, precisely.
14 Q. Can you now tell me: I asked you about the number of employees at
15 the centre.
16 A. When I came to the centre, which is in 1988, there were five of us
17 in all. After the multiparty elections, the new authorities downsized the
18 number of employees in the municipal administration, so in March 1992
19 there were three of us left.
20 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to ask one other thing in relation to the
21 centre. Can you tell us: Who was the duty officer in the centre for
22 reporting in the night between the 16th and the 17th of April, 1992?
23 A. On that night, the duty officer was my colleague Ilija Lukic.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, in the night between the 17th and the 18th of
25 April, 1992, where were you [as interpreted]?
1 A. That night I was at home.
2 MR. LAZAREVIC: I apologise. There is some -- it's all right
3 now. There is one mistake. My question was: The night between 16th and
4 the 17th of April, where were you? Because that was my question,
5 actually. Just that correction. This is what I asked the witness.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it will be corrected.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. So you said that you were at home. Can you tell me: What
9 happened in that night between the 16th and 17th of April? What did you
10 see? What did you hear during that night?
11 A. During that night, about 2.00 in the morning, I heard machine-gun
12 bursts in the town. My house is about 800 metres, as the crow flies, from
13 the centre of the town, and so it was possible to hear that machine-gun
14 bursts very well. Sometime before dawn, I heard even more intense fire,
15 so because I was supposed to go for my shift at 7.00 in the morning, at my
16 place of work, about 6.00 I called him on the phone.
17 Q. Just a moment. So the colleague who worked at the centre, you
18 called him about 6.00 in the morning; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Can you pleas continue.
21 A. When he answered the phone, he seemed quite scared, so I asked him
22 what was happening in the town. He told me that there was shooting in the
23 town but that he didn't know who was shooting, nor who were they shooting
24 at. I told him that I would not be coming to work at 7.00 for my shift to
25 replace him, for security reasons, until the situation calms down a
1 little. I suggested to him that he should remain at the centre until the
2 situation calms down. However, he told me that he had already been called
3 several times by his wife, who is a mental patient, and that he should go
4 home, because his wife was very scared to be at home with their daughter.
5 I couldn't prevent him from doing that, so I told him to decide for
6 himself what he should do further.
7 Q. Did you go to work that day?
8 A. No, I did not go to work that day.
9 Q. Can you tell us: What happened to that colleague of yours?
10 A. My colleague Lukic, after we finished speaking, he went home, and
11 on the way home was killed, which I found out two days later.
12 Q. Can you tell us: Did you hear how that happened? How was he
14 A. Well, I did not hear how he was killed, but I know that he had a
15 hearing problem, so I presume he didn't even hear anything as he was
16 rushing to get home.
17 Q. Just one other thing. Your colleague Ilija, what is his
19 A. He was a Serb.
20 Q. Can you tell me now: What happened further, on the 17th? What
21 did you see? What happened to you?
22 A. When the day broke, sometime after 7.00 in the morning, I went out
23 into the yard to see what the situation was. In the street, I saw some of
24 my neighbours, and I joined them. So we commented on the events that
25 occurred in the night, but none of us had the right information regarding
1 what was really happening.
2 Q. On that 17th of April, did anything else happen?
3 A. After a short while, I went back into the house, and about 11.00
4 my neighbour, Milanko Misic, came and called me to come to Niko Ignjac's
5 house. His house was located about a hundred metres away from my house,
6 right next to the defence embankment of the right bank of the Bosna River.
7 Q. Did you go to Niko Ignjac's house?
8 A. Yes, I did go there.
9 Q. Can you tell us what was happening there?
10 A. There I found several others of my neighbours, and a group of
11 soldiers in uniforms, uniforms of the Yugoslav People's Army. There we
12 were told that we should observe the right bank of the Bosna River, and we
13 were given some tasks. For instance, together with my neighbour, Rada
14 Radic, I was in his house, on the first floor, from where we observed the
15 area across from the defence embankment, in the direction of the Bosna
17 Q. So you were told to observe, to watch the embankment, and that's
18 what you did; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. Can you tell me: How long did you stay there?
21 A. In the evening, there was a roster of duties that was compiled, so
22 there were duties in shifts, and I stayed there right until the 12th of
23 May. Of course, during my time off I went home, because my home was
24 nearby, and I would rest.
25 Q. So you had a shift, during which you observed the bank, the river
1 bank, after that, you had time off and then you went home. Is that what
2 it was?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. Now, can you tell me: During these first days after the 17th of
5 April, 1992, did you go to the centre of the town?
6 A. For the first ten days or so, I did not go into the town centre.
7 I didn't go into the town. To start with, for security reasons, because
8 there were rumours about snipers in town. After ten days or so, in the
9 morning one day when I was free, when I had time off, that is, when I was
10 not on my duty shift, I went into town, to the building of the secretariat
11 for National Defence, to see who was there and to find out whether I was
12 supposed to go to work.
13 Q. Can you tell me: On that occasion, who did you see? Who did you
15 A. At the building of the secretariat, I met only one colleague. His
16 name is Milos Micic. We greeted each other. We talked a while, asked
17 questions. I looked at the premises of the centre, where there was a lot
18 of disorder. There were some sleeping bags there, and so I asked my
19 colleague what had happened. His answer was that the premises of the
20 centre, and some other premises of the secretariat, had been used by the
21 members of the police for sleeping.
22 After a while, I told him, since the secretary, Milos Bogdanovic,
23 was not there, that he should tell him that I had come and that if I was
24 supposed to work, they could find me in my locality, at the defence
25 embankment, where I was on duty.
1 Q. Now, can you tell me: Were you called? And if you were called,
2 did you go to work again in the secretariat, at the reporting centre?
3 A. On the 12th of May, I was informed by a messenger that I should
4 come to the secretariat to work.
5 Q. Did you go to the secretariat on the 12th of May?
6 A. Yes, I did, and there I was given a task by the secretary, Milos
7 Bogdanovic, to activate the work of the inter-municipality, i.e., the
8 regional radio link. Since the telephone lines were cut, and, as he told
9 me, there were many parents whose children were in the JNA, so they wanted
10 to get information through the centre about their fate.
11 Q. Can you tell me now: What did you find at the centre, and what
12 did you do in order to implement the task given to you by Milos
14 A. As I said before, the situation was disorderly, so first of all I
15 implemented the physical cleaning of the premises, and then I obtained
16 from the Master enterprise two batteries, since there was no electricity,
17 because there was no electricity, so we needed them in order to operate
18 the radio equipment.
19 Q. And did you manage to get the radio equipment to work?
20 A. Yes. In two to three days, this was done.
21 Q. Could you please tell me whether you started to maintain radio
22 links with anybody, and if so, with whom, and how did that proceed?
23 A. In order to test the radio links, I called my colleague at the
24 Doboj regional centre and conducted an informal conversation with him in
25 order to see whether the links were functioning, to test the reception,
1 and generally to make it known that the Samac centre was operational,
2 because at that point the other colleagues from neighbouring
3 municipalities, which I mentioned earlier and which all were part of the
4 Doboj region, were able to hear over their radios this conversation of
5 ours and to find out that the reporting centre in Samac was operational.
6 Q. Could you please wait for one moment now so that we could clarify
7 one thing. So if you called Doboj from Samac and a link is established,
8 do all of the other eight municipalities which have the same centres, with
9 the same radio equipment, hear your conversation?
10 A. Yes. The radio equipment is set up in such a way that we can all
11 hear one another. But if I want to speak separately with a colleague,
12 without disturbing the others, then I can agree with him to switch to a
13 different channel where we can conduct our conversation. But all of this
14 is heard by the other colleagues, so that if anyone was interested in our
15 conversation, they can switch to that same channel and hear us again.
16 Q. Can we summarise that in the following way: All nine
17 municipalities were able to hear the conversations being held over the
18 radio link?
19 A. Yes, precisely.
20 Q. Thank you very much. I have just a couple more questions about
21 the radio link and maintenance of connections. Did the radio centre have
22 a communication with the military centres?
23 A. No, it didn't have a radio link with the military units.
24 Q. And with the police?
25 A. No, not with the police either, because these radio links were
1 such that they were not compatible with their equipment and could not be
2 used for communication in this sense.
3 Q. Could you please tell me: In this period when you came, and in
4 accordance with the order of Milos Bogdanovic, got the equipment to work
5 on ACU [phoen] batteries, who else was working with you at the reporting
7 A. About a month, I was the only one working in the centre all day.
8 Very often I stayed over during the night on duty. After about a month,
9 upon my insistence, Secretary Milos engaged two retired police officers,
10 Boro Savic and Milan Tutnjevic, and two other pensioners, Milan Jovanovic
11 and Mico Antic, who took turns on duty during the night.
12 Q. Thank you very much. I would now like to move to the topic of
13 your contacts with the municipality of Odzak, with the people from Odzak.
14 When did this take place for the first time, and how did it come about,
15 this contact between the municipalities of Odzak and Samac?
16 A. Sometime in late May - I don't remember the exact date - their
17 secretary of the secretariat, Slavo Bago, requested, via the radio link,
18 to talk to our secretary, Milos Bogdanovic.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... for our
20 break, usual break?
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
22 MR. DI FAZIO: If Your Honours please, this is one very, very
23 brief matter I want to raise with you, not related to this witness's
24 evidence. If I could do that now. Given that it's almost 12.30. I
25 simply wanted to ask you this: I understand that there's to be -- you
1 request a response from the Prosecution on some further 92 bis statements
2 and that you wish it to be -- the response to come tomorrow. All I ask is
3 this: May I be permitted to reply orally or do you wish it to be a
4 written motion?
5 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber was informed that the Prosecution
6 has decided that they will put in a written reply by tomorrow on all the
7 rest of the Rule 92 bis statements.
8 MR. DI FAZIO: Very well. I'm sorry to have troubled you with
9 it. The issue is settled. Thank you.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: We'll take our break for 20 minutes, resume at
12 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.50 p.m.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, before the break, we stopped at the point
17 when a certain Slavko Bago wanted to speak with the secretary, Milos
18 Bogdanovic. I assume, just to clarify one thing, that this Mr. Bago is
19 from Odzak, is that right, he called from Odzak?
20 A. Yes. He's the secretary of the secretariat for National Defence
21 of Odzak, and he called from Odzak, from the reporting centre there.
22 Q. Very well. Could you please tell me: Did he talk to Mr.
23 Bogdanovic on that occasion or not?
24 A. Since Milos was not in the building, I told him that Milos wasn't
25 there, so that this conversation did not take place.
1 Q. Was there a conversation with Odzak at some point, during which
2 Mr. Zaric was mentioned? Could you please tell us how this came about.
3 A. A man was at the other side of the link. He said that he was a
4 member of the Odzak Crisis Staff. Perhaps he introduced himself, told me
5 his name, but I don't remember that now. He asked me if I knew Simo
6 Zaric. I said that I did. He asked me if I could inform him to come
7 tomorrow at 10.00, to be available at the radio link, and if he could,
8 could he also bring a priest, a man called Puskaric.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, maybe just for the sake of safety,
10 we should proceed in closed session for some -- sorry, not closed session;
11 private session.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 [Private session]
12 Pages 16949 to 16954 – redacted – private session
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Excuse me. I interrupted you so that we could cut short this part
21 of the proceedings which was closed to the public. But now I would like
22 to come back to the conversation of Simo Zaric and this man who called
23 from Odzak and said that he had the authority of the Crisis Staff. So
24 could you please tell us how that conversation continued, what you heard
25 of it.
1 A. When he said that he had the authority or the permission of the
2 Crisis Staff to put Simo's family on the list, he told Simo that he had a
3 pen and paper in front of him and that Simo could dictate to him the names
4 of the family members that they would send to Samac. Simo then said that
5 he didn't have enough paper to write down the names of all the relatives,
6 family, and friends who were in Odzak. These words of Simo's made his
7 collocutor from Odzak, the member of the Crisis Staff, angry, and he began
8 to shout at Simo that he was not serious enough, that he was rude, and he
9 also used some other insulting terms, and at the end said that in five or
10 six days he would come to Samac, he would find Simo, and hang him.
11 Q. Thank you very much. So the person from Samac -- from Odzak, from
12 Odzak, was not satisfied with Simo's answer, and there was a verbal
13 exchange between him and Mr. Zaric. Could you please tell us now what was
14 the reaction of Mr. Zaric to that.
15 A. Mr. Zaric broke off the connection at that point. He didn't wish
16 to speak to him any longer, and he turned to those present and said: I do
17 not wish to talk with this man any more and in this way. And he told me
18 never to call him again, regardless of who asked for him to come over the
19 radio link.
20 After a short period, Simo left the centre. He went away.
21 Q. Let me ask you this now. It's a detail relating to Mr. Zaric.
22 Those two occasions when he came to the reporting centre, did he carry any
23 lists with him other than what you heard and to the extent that you heard,
24 was there any other discussions about people who would be placed on the
25 list or removed from the list, anything in this context?
1 A. When Simo came, he didn't have any lists, or he didn't have any
2 notebooks to make notes in. While I was on the premises of the centre, I
3 didn't hear anything relating to any exchange, nor was the term "exchange"
5 Q. Allow me to ask you one thing: When you were present at the
6 centre premises, was there ever any talk about some captured pilots?
7 A. No, there was never any talk about captured pilots.
8 Q. Thank you very much. You've told us now that there was this row,
9 that Zaric disconnected the line and told you not to call him, regardless
10 of who asked for him and for what reason. Could you please tell me:
11 After this happened, and after Zaric left, did he ever come to the
12 communication centre again? The reporting centre. I apologise.
13 A. They never asked for Mr. Zaric again, nor did he ever come to the
14 reporting centre.
15 Q. Sir, in the course of your work at the reporting centre at that
16 time, did you keep any records or a log of calls and messages that you
17 received, anything like that?
18 A. Yes. After a certain amount of time, to be more precise, from the
19 22nd of June, due to more and more frequent conversations conducted
20 between Odzak and Samac representatives, I began to keep notes of my own
21 so that I would know at what time the conversations would be conducted,
22 because the radio equipment ran on electricity which came from chargeable
23 batteries, so it was necessary to conserve energy. That is why I kept a
24 log, in order to know what would happen tomorrow and at what time the
25 conversations were scheduled. And I would also then note down very
1 briefly what happened in the course of a particular day.
2 Q. Before we move to the document itself, I would like to ask you one
3 thing that we talked about during the preparation for this case. What do
4 you know about the following: That at one point, in Bosanski Samac, a
5 number of women of Croat ethnicity were gathered up and taken to a
6 facility in Crkvina? Could you please tell us what you know about this
7 event, and how did you find out about it?
8 A. A friend of mine came to me - I don't remember the day that this
9 happened - and asked me - he's actually married to a Croat woman - asked
10 me if I could set up a connection or a line with Loznica, where she was
11 staying, and inform her not to come home until he told her to do so
12 because he had heard that women of Croat ethnicity were being collected,
13 gathered together, and taken away somewhere. I wasn't able to help him,
14 because the telephone lines weren't functioning.
15 Q. So that is how you found out about that event. Do you know any
16 other details about that event?
17 A. I don't know any other details about that, and I wasn't interested
18 in finding out more.
19 MR. LAZAREVIC: Can the witness be shown document D1543/ter.
20 Yes for the record maybe it wasn't recorded that it was my question
21 starting from "Can the witness be shown document." The way it is now in
22 the transcript it looks like it is witness answer.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. It will be corrected.
24 MR. LAZAREVIC: And I believe that we have actually two documents,
25 D104/3. One is in script, and the other was retyped. So I would like the
1 witness to see the original, actually, the script in handwriting.
2 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, you've looked at this document. Could you
3 please tell us what this is. Could you please put the document on the
4 ELMO, next to you.
5 A. This is a work book that was used, as it says here, on the 26th of
6 November. This was in 1991. And we, the employees of the centre, noted
7 down all the information that was passed on to the regional centre in the
8 book. Later, when the conflicts began, there is a section in the notebook
9 that I wrote, and there was some other handwritings, and these are by
10 people who were at the centre when I wasn't there. Everything that I did
11 from the 22nd of June is in this book.
12 Q. Could you please turn to the part of the notebook where it begins:
13 "From the 22nd of June," the period that you were recording the events.
14 Could you please tell me: Is this your handwriting?
15 A. Yes, this is my handwriting, as of the 22nd. The handwriting
16 above that is not my handwriting. This was written by somebody who
17 happened to be in the centre, and they wrote down this information, and I
18 think that this does not refer to the 22nd. This is a different date. As
19 of the 22nd of June, 1992, this is my handwriting, and everything that is
20 written down on the next page too is in my handwriting.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... for my
22 colleague. Yes, and may the record reflect that part of the text starting
23 with 22nd of June, that the witness recognised his handwriting in this
25 JUDGE MUMBA: In the exhibit.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, in this exhibit, yes.
2 THE REGISTRAR: This is not an exhibit; this is a document. Thank
4 JUDGE MUMBA: It's ID or ...
5 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: I believe that my colleague would like to give
7 some explanation in respect to this document.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Lukic.
9 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I would just like to say that we
10 wanted to tender this document into evidence, and this document has an ID
11 number, only because there were two different translations which the
12 Prosecution brought up, and they wanted to compare that. But we did want
13 to tender this document into evidence. This is a document that I named
14 "The work book of the communications centre." There were two
15 translations. There is a prior translation and then there was a later
16 one, and the Prosecution wanted to have these two translations compared,
17 and this is why the document was not tendered into evidence.
18 I would just like to clarify one more thing. There is this
19 notebook that the witness is looking at now. There is a transcript of the
20 notebook, which was typed, which we did just in order to make the work of
21 the interpreters easier, so they could read it more easily from the typing
22 rather than to read the handwriting. So there is a transcript and there
23 is the original notebook, the handwritten notebook.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The Prosecution, have you compared the
1 MR. WEINER: Apparently there's some sort of typing that they had
2 done and then a different translation was done by the Translation Unit,
3 and they were supposed to compare it and tell us which one to use, and
4 according to the case manager, we've never received any word from them.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can you follow it up.
6 MR. WEINER: Which is valid. We've never received the typed one
7 from Defence either, according to the case manager, that they've prepared.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: The typed one in Serbo-Croat?
9 MR. WEINER: No, we don't have that, no.
10 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] I am stating that we provided that to
11 the Prosecution during the process of disclosure, and of course it was
12 also given to them when we wished to tender it into evidence. I remember
13 well providing the original document, the transcript in B/C/S, and the
14 translation, and I will check back. I think the only problem is, allow me
15 to remind you, when we wanted to reduce the amount of material from the
16 notebook that needed to be translated, we decided, instead of translating
17 only the part from the 22nd of June, we then decided to have the whole
18 notebook translated, and this is this other part of the translation that
19 came later. So first it was partially translated, and then the entire
20 notebook was translated. Perhaps we could resolve this issue out of the
21 courtroom, because I believe that this is a technical matter and that
22 there won't be any other problems regarding the notebook.
23 MR. WEINER: Yes, Your Honour, rather than wasting the Court's
24 time, we have a witness on the stand, I'll meet with counsel today and
25 we'll get it all resolved.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I recall that the Defence were saying at one
2 time that they only translated that which was relevant to their case.
3 Yes. All right. The matter will be resolved by the parties afterwards.
4 We can proceed with the witness.
5 Mr. Lazarevic.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, this took up a little bit of our time.
8 Could you please now look at this notebook. We're talking about the
9 entries after the 22nd of June. Is the name of Mr. Zaric mentioned in any
10 other place? Go ahead. Look at the notebook and tell us.
11 A. I know for certain that Mr. Zaric's name is not mentioned anywhere
13 Q. Thank you very much. I would like to clarify a few more things
14 about your work at the reporting centre. Could you please tell me: How
15 long were you working at the reporting centre?
16 A. From the 1st of September, 1992, those of us who worked at the
17 secretariat for National Defence received new decisions on the schedule
18 already in the defence ministry department of Samac, which means that the
19 name of the body had changed, but the jobs remained the same. Under the
20 new job descriptions and organisation, I was placed to carry out the
21 duties of recruiting and mobilisation. After that, the work that I did at
22 the reporting centre was something that I did as a secondary job, and I
23 continued to carry out that work until the end of 1992.
24 Q. The work that you did with the radio communications, was that much
25 less than before?
1 A. The amount of the work was reduced following the entry of the army
2 of Republika Srpska to Bosanski Brod, because there were no more
3 negotiations that were being conducted from the centre, because there was
4 no radio communication from the other side with which negotiations could
5 be established and could proceed.
6 Q. Now you were transferred to tasks relating to call-ups and
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the correction of
9 the witness.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Sir, before --
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Before you proceed, the interpreters said they
13 didn't catch the last words of the witness.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. It was actually overlapping. The witness
15 actually corrected me because I said that he was working on mobilisation,
16 and he said not mobilisation but recruitment and sending in to the army.
17 Q. [Interpretation] If you can just repeat: What were the tasks that
18 you were carrying out at the time?
19 A. As I said, with the new decision, I moved to a different job on
20 recruiting and the sending of recruits to the army.
21 Q. Thank you very much.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... 1345 is
23 our usual time.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We will rise and continue our proceedings
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 19th day of
3 March 2003, at 9.00 a.m.