1 Wednesday, 19 March 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 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, Mr. Lazarevic.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Thank you, Your Honours. Good morning.
11 WITNESS: KOSTA SIMIC [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Lazarevic: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, Mr. Simic.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Tell me: Do you hear me well?
17 A. Yes, I can hear you well.
18 Q. Mr. Simic, we will briefly go over one subject and then I will
19 complete my examination-in-chief. Yesterday we broke off on this subject,
20 and you said that it was from about September/October 1992 you worked on
21 the work of recruitment and sending to the army. Do you remember that?
22 A. Yes, I do remember that's where we broke off.
23 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like you to explain, if you can explain
24 something, so that we can understand one thing. Can you tell us: What
25 recruitment? Can you tell us: What did you do and what was the procedure
2 A. According to the law on the army, when young men are 17, they
3 enter into the military register. When they reach the age of 18, they
4 then go through a procedure of medical check-ups in order to assess their
5 ability to serve in the army. This is what we call recruitment.
6 Q. Thank you very much. So this is just checking the ability to
7 serve in the army; is that correct, the definition I've just given you,
8 and of course entering into the military register?
9 A. Yes, that's correct. However, after the recruitment is over, when
10 the recruit is 18, and provided that he has completed his secondary
11 school, he then goes to serve a military service.
12 Q. Thank you. So if I've understood you correctly, a person who has
13 reached the age of 18, after they finish the secondary school, that's when
14 they can be sent to serve the military service?
15 A. Yes, that's how it was. That's what the law provided for. Now,
16 the age has been moved to 19, but at that time, the law changed in 1996,
17 but at that time it was the age of 18, provided that the person has
18 completed secondary education.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Sir, before you came here to testify, the
20 Defence of Mr. Zaric asked you to check through the registers of the
21 municipality of Bosanski Samac data regarding the recruitment and sending
22 to the -- serve in the military service of Mirel Zaric, son of Mr. Simo
23 Zaric. Can you tell us: When was he recruited and when was he sent to
24 serve the military service? Did he serve, et cetera? How is this visible
25 in your military register at the Ministry of Defence in Bosanski Samac?
1 A. According to our register at the Ministry of Defence, Mirel Zaric
2 was born in 1974. He was entered into the military register in 1991, in
3 February. He was recruited in 1992, in February, i.e., a medical check-up
4 was carried out and it was established that he was able to serve the
5 military service, and that was in February 1992.
6 In the school year of 1992/1993, Mirel was in the fourth year of
7 the secondary school of economy. Following the completion of that school
8 in 1993, he was sent to do his military service in August 1993. He spent
9 one year in the army, until August 1994.
10 Q. Thank you very much. So there was nothing unusual or any
11 situations that were not in accordance with the then regulations to do
12 with him serving the military service?
13 A. Looking at the provisions of the law, there were no problems at
14 all. Everything was in accordance with the law.
15 Q. And according to your knowledge and register, he served his
16 military service for one year, according to the law; is that correct?
17 A. The law provided for an eight-month military service, but there
18 was a provision saying that everybody had to serve a year, and he served
19 for a year.
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. In December 1992, was it possible to consider, according to the
23 regulations that were valid then, could anyone have thought that Mirel
24 Zaric was a deserter from the army and that he did not respond to the call
25 for recruitment?
1 A. Considering that Zaric sent to this organ of the National Defence,
2 that he sent a certificate that he was a full-time student of the
3 secondary school, he acted in accordance with the law, and it could not
4 have been considered that he was a deserter.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Simic. I have no further questions.
6 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ...
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Any other counsel who wish to ask questions?
8 Mr. Krgovic.
9 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Krgovic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Simic.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. My name is Dragan Krgovic. In the name of the defence of
14 Mr. Miroslav Tadic, I will ask you a few questions.
15 Sir, Mr. Simic, when you are answering questions of my colleague
16 Mr. Lazarevic, you described your duty shifts at the embankment, and also
17 your military engagement, if we can call it that. Could you tell me: In
18 these first few days after the 16th, 17th of April, did you notice that
19 some people around you were wearing white armbands, whether they were
20 either civilians or soldiers?
21 A. Yes, I did notice. In fact, myself, I received a white armband,
22 which I put above the elbow of my left arm, just like all the civilians
23 that were on duty on this defence embankment, and I saw that the soldiers
24 also had an armband on their left shoulder.
25 Q. Can you explain for the record on which arm was that armband?
1 What was its size? And can you show on which part of your arm?
2 A. That was above the left elbow. I don't remember the size. This
3 was just a white armband.
4 Q. For the record, the witness indicated the part of -- above his
5 left elbow as being the place where he wore his white armband.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Now, Mr. Simic, can you tell me: These soldiers that were also on
9 duty with you, how did they wear this white armband? Where was it?
10 A. It was on the shoulder. It was over the part of -- the part of
11 the uniform that is on top of the shoulder. I'm not sure, because I
12 didn't serve in the army.
13 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd like the record to indicate that
14 the witness indicated his left shoulder, as this is where the soldiers
15 that were on duty with him, that's where they wore the white armband.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
17 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Simic, you were asked by Mr. Lazarevic and you answered that
19 sometime after the 12th of May, 1992, you came to work at the
20 communications centre, at the secretariat for National Defence. You also
21 described how you activated the equipment through the ACU batteries.
22 Could you tell us: Before you came to that centre to work, do you have
23 any knowledge that this centre had worked before the electricity was cut
24 off, that is, before you became involved in it and before it started to
1 A. When I was talking to my colleague Milos Micic, who was the first
2 one who came to the secretariat to work, sometime after a couple of days,
3 two or three days after the 17th of April, and he told me, considering
4 that he was frequently on the premises of the centre for reporting and he
5 knew how to handle this equipment, so he told me that he would switch on
6 the radio equipment. His desire was to hear what was happening in the
7 neighbouring municipalities, because he was able to follow the
8 conversation of the colleagues -- from the colleagues from other centres.
9 So he did make some notes in that notebook which was used as of November
10 1991. And he used this radio equipment while there was electricity, for a
11 few days.
12 Q. Mr. Simic, you just opened up a subject. Can you tell me about
13 this notebook, the notebook that you just mentioned? And you described
14 before this Trial Chamber yesterday how you kept it. Was this the
15 communication centre's notebook that had been kept before, or did you just
16 continue to put in your observations?
17 A. Yes, this is the notebook where data was entered, as of November
18 1991, until the 16th of April, and it was done practically on a daily
19 basis. This was kept on the desk. So the colleague, during that period,
20 when he was there by himself, he was also using it, entering his
21 observations. And then I continued to write in this notebook. So there
22 is other data in it, not just about the negotiations between the
23 representatives from Odzak and Samac. This notebook was not just for the
24 negotiations, notes between Samac and Odzak. I really kept entering data
25 for me and for the work that I was doing. I was keeping notes, because
1 later on we had checks by the people -- by the officials from the Ministry
2 of Defence. So this was a notebook was a proof for me that I was working
3 on something.
4 Q. So this was proof that you used the equipment for official
5 purposes, for the needs of the organs that you worked for?
6 A. Yes, precisely that.
7 Q. Can you tell me: What did you all enter? What is it that you
8 entered into that notebook? Was it about the shelling, information
9 requests? Can you just describe that to us in a few lines.
10 A. In that notebook you have data about the shelling of the town, on
11 several occasions, about the casualties caused by the shelling, about the
12 shelling of the town by an agricultural plane from Croatia, then there
13 were those other information that we received from citizens and also their
14 requests for assistance, if we could establish contact with their
15 relatives in other places.
16 Q. Mr. Simic, can you tell me: This radio link, was it on all the
18 A. The radio connection was not on all the time, because there was no
19 source of electricity. As I said, I used ACU batteries, and so I had to
20 save them, because occasionally I had to recharge them. Later on I
21 managed to find a small generator, but then there was a problem with fuel.
22 So the radio equipment was occasionally off; in fact, it was more off than
23 on. It operated according to the needs.
24 Q. Mr. Simic, can you tell me: Was that why you also put in the
25 subjects and the notes to be discussed at certain meetings, apart from
1 negotiations between Odzak and Samac?
2 A. Of course, that was one of the reasons. This was saving the
3 energy, so that I would be able to give the necessary assistance when
4 conversations were held.
5 Q. Mr. Simic, Your Honours, I have no further questions for this
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pantelic, any questions for this witness?
8 MR. PANTELIC: No, Your Honour, I don't have questions for this
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Cross-examination, Mr. Weiner.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Weiner:
12 Q. Good morning, Mr. Simic.
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. My name is Phillip Weiner. I'm with the Office of the Prosecutor
15 and I'm going to ask you some questions this morning.
16 You were just talking about the radio link and how you were one of
17 nine municipalities in that radio link region; isn't that correct? Isn't
18 that correct, sir? You were one of nine municipalities which were part of
19 this radio link: Doboj, Samac, and several of the municipalities. Isn't
20 that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. And you talked about how you activated the radio system. Now,
23 during this time, while you were using the radio system, were you ever
24 able to learn from Doboj or elsewhere what was happening in these other
1 A. I only heard from Doboj that they were in negotiations with
2 Bosanski Brod in relation to some exchanges. But as far as the situation
3 in Doboj was concerned, I was not informed about that.
4 Q. And what about the other municipalities? Did you ever hear them
5 on the radio discussing any of their situations? Because your predecessor
6 put notes about some of the other communities what was happening, as
7 you just testified this morning. Did you overhear conversations about
8 what was happening with other municipalities?
9 A. I heard frequently that a colleague from Bosanski Brod informed
10 the colleague in Tesanj and in Maglaj about an airplane going in their
11 direction. I presume that the colleague in Bosanski Brod was in
12 connection, probably with some centre for observation, so he was
13 forwarding information to the colleagues in Tesanj and Maglaj about the
14 movement of JNA planes. And then on the basis of that, they would then
15 alarm the towns, according to that.
16 Q. Well, sir, the municipality of Teslic was part of that regional
17 radio system, was it not?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And that municipality of Teslic is located right next to Doboj,
20 isn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the president of the Crisis Staff was a Nikola Perisic, who
23 was kind of a well-known figure in Bosnia-Herzegovina; were you aware of
25 A. For the first time I hear that name. I don't know that name.
1 Q. Well, were you also aware, or did you learn through the radio
2 system or through the press that in the late spring and summer, Serbian
3 paramilitaries and the police forces had taken over the town of Teslic?
4 Were you aware of that, sir?
5 A. I was not aware of that, and such pieces of information probably
6 would not have been forwarded through this radio link. That could also be
7 followed not just by the colleagues of Serb ethnicity, but also by persons
8 of other ethnicities. We did not forward such data to each other.
9 Q. Well, did you learn about this: That after this take over, or at
10 some point in late May and June, paramilitaries from the group known as
11 the Red Berets, one of the most violent paramilitary groups, if not the
12 most violent in Bosnia, unlawfully arrested non-Serb civilians, beat and
13 tortured them, robbed them, raped them, murdered them? Were you aware of
14 that, sir? The same things that were happening in Samac. Were you aware
15 of that happening in Teslic?
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: I have no problem with the question, but I believe
17 that there are two questions in one. First, my colleague was referring to
18 Teslic. And frankly, I don't see the relevance of the situation in Teslic
19 in this case. And then the other part of the question, just as it was in
20 Bosanski Samac. So I believe that this one should be divided in two
21 questions and put to the witness.
22 MR. WEINER: I'll rephrase it with the first question.
23 Q. Were you aware that Serbian paramilitaries known as the Red
24 Berets, one of the most violent of all the paramilitary groups in Bosnia,
25 unlawfully arrested non-Serb civilians, beat and tortured them, robbed
1 them, raped them, and murdered them? Were you aware of that, sir?
2 A. No, I did not know that.
3 Q. And sir, were you aware that the Serbian Crisis Staff president
4 was appalled by this conduct and had a strike force come to Teslic and
5 arrested all of the paramilitaries? Were you aware of that? Were you
6 aware of the manner that they resolved this problem in Teslic?
7 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I object. The
8 indictment covers the area of the municipality of Samac and municipality
9 of Odzak. As far as what was happening in Teslic is concerned, that is
10 totally irrelevant to this case and has no bearing regarding the trial in
11 this case.
12 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, I think it's highly relevant. We've
13 heard testimony in this case that -- we've heard different types of
14 testimony. One, that the Crisis Staff was frightened of these
15 paramilitaries, that there was nothing that they could do about the
16 paramilitaries. One of the defendants testified that there was nothing
17 that they could do about the paramilitaries, and one or more of his
18 witnesses testified to the same. However, in a neighbouring municipality,
19 or a municipality a distance away, which was part of this same radio
20 group, which also was a fellow member in the SAO, or Serbian Autonomous
21 region of Bosnia, this president of the Crisis Staff in Teslic was a
22 vice-president of the Serbian Autonomous region, as was Blagoje Simic, a
23 defendant in this case. When they saw what happened, they were appalled,
24 they were scared, but they acted. And you can look at that situation as
25 opposed to what happened in Samac, where they sat on their hands and did
1 nothing. That's why we believe it's relevant.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 MR. PANTELIC: Your Honour, Your Honour --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: I haven't given you leave.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The objection is sustained because we do not
7 know the terms of reference of the Crisis Staff in Teslic. We also do not
8 have evidence as to what type of paramilitaries and what their mission was
9 in Teslic. And in any case, Teslic is not part of the indictment. So the
10 objection is sustained.
11 MR. WEINER:
12 Q. Sir --
13 MR. PANTELIC: And sorry, Your Honour, may I have a word?
14 JUDGE MUMBA: About what?
15 MR. PANTELIC: About -- just for the record, because my learned
16 friend just mentioned that my client was a vice-president of the SAO of
17 northern Bosnia, which is not true.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: In which line?
19 MR. PANTELIC: It's line -- it's page 11, line 20.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
21 MR. PANTELIC: Just for the record, my client was a deputy, was a
22 member of the Assembly of the SAO northern Bosnia. So maybe it's a kind
23 of mistake in the translation. In the indictment, there is a word
24 "deputy," which is assemblyman or a member, not deputy vice-president and
25 not vice-president. Just for the record.
1 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, for the record, there is an exhibit
2 which indicates he is a vice-president. He has denied being a
3 vice-president. However, there is an exhibit before the court that says
4 he was elected a vice-president.
5 MR. PANTELIC: Well, this is an issue at the dispute, and also
6 according to the Rule 92 bis witnesses and some other exhibit, we shall
7 clarify that.
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. This is a matter which will be decided upon
9 after all the evidence is on record.
10 MR. PANTELIC: Yes, Your Honour. Thank you.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner, please continue.
12 MR. WEINER: Thank you.
13 Q. Sir, you testified about what happened on April 17th, how you were
14 woken up by the shooting. Do you recall that, testifying yesterday about
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Were you aware over the next few days that a Serbian municipality
18 of Samac had been established?
19 A. Yes, I heard about that.
20 Q. And did you learn that a Crisis Staff was formed and Blagoje
21 Simic, the defendant -- one of the defendants in this case, had been
22 elected or named its president? Had you learned about that over the next
23 few days?
24 A. I learned that when I started working for the secretary for
25 National Defence, that is, in the intelligence and information centre.
1 Q. And had you learned that on the 17th and 18th, that Serbian
2 forces, including volunteers from Serbia and Serbian police, were in the
3 act of controlling or taking over all the vital buildings and facilities
4 in the town of Samac? Did you learn that?
5 A. I didn't know that.
6 Q. And were you aware, sir, that the elected government was no longer
7 in power, that a Serbian Crisis Staff was in power instead?
8 A. I did not know who was running the municipality, whether there was
9 a government or a different body that had taken over the functions of the
10 government. I was not really involved in politics. I knew nothing about
12 Q. All right. Well, sir, you've testified on the following day, on
13 the 17th -- or later that day on the 17th, you attended a meeting at a
14 neighbour's home, a 4th Detachment meeting.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, I must object. This is really not what the
16 witness said, that it was a meeting of the 4th Detachment. He said that
17 he was called to come to the house of one of his neighbours. And then
18 that later some members of the detachment came. That was not the meeting
19 of the members of the 4th Detachment. I mean, I have a problem just the
20 way the question is put.
21 MR. WEINER: I'd be happy to rephrase the question.
22 Q. You attended a meeting at a neighbour's house where members of the
23 4th Detachment were present; isn't that correct, sir? Isn't that correct?
24 A. That was not in the house, it was outside the house. We gathered
25 and we were told that we were to stand guard next to the defensive
1 embankment, and we were all handed out tasks as to where we would be on
3 Q. And it was someone from the 4th Detachment that was giving out
5 A. Probably from the 4th Detachment. He was wearing a JNA uniform.
6 Q. And you were ordered to guard one of the river banks; isn't that
7 correct, the soldiers who were there were ordered to guard one of the
8 river banks, take up defensive positions?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Which meant that you were there to protect the town from an attack
11 by taking up defensive positions. You were there to prevent an outside
12 attack, or an attack from the outside.
13 A. I was not in a position to prevent anything. I was not armed. I
14 was merely observing from my house, which is part of that neighbourhood,
15 and I believed that it was my duty to place myself at their disposal and
16 to participate in securing the embankment.
17 Q. The soldiers, by securing the embankment, were preventing from an
18 attack -- protecting the town from an attack from the other side of the
19 embankment; isn't that correct?
20 A. I don't know what the army's role was. There must have been a
21 role for the army.
22 Q. Well, if they're in a defensive position, then they're preparing
23 to defend against an assault; isn't that correct, or a potential assault?
24 A. Well, probably they were preparing to defend against a potential
1 Q. And you assisted them by observing, by watching, and you were
2 watching for anyone who would come across and attack, or any troop
3 movements moving towards the embankment that you were protecting, meaning
4 that the soldiers were protecting?
5 A. I was merely observing, to see if there was any movement or if
6 anyone was moving towards the embankment, and that was all.
7 Q. Correct. You were watching to see if any troops or soldiers or
8 paramilitaries or any groups from outside the town moved towards the
9 embankment, where the soldiers from the JNA or the 4th Detachment were in
10 a defensive position; isn't that correct, sir?
11 A. Across the River Bosna, there is the Croatian village of Prud, and
12 the expectation was that army troops of the HVO or of the Croatian regular
13 army would be stationed there and that they might attack the town.
14 Q. So you were watching from your position inside of a house to see
15 if troops -- if there was any troop movements, while the other soldiers
16 that were from the 4th Detachment or the JNA were in the defensive
17 embankments also watching towards the Prud area?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, you didn't receive any orders to retake the town --
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: I have a problem with this question. Is my
21 colleague referring to this witness particularly? Did he get orders or --
22 MR. WEINER: I'll take it.
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: By whom?
24 MR. WEINER:
25 Q. Sir, were you received your orders to establish defensive
1 positions, there was no order given by the JNA soldier that: I want you
2 to go in and retake the town. That order was not given to you, to those
3 JNA troops. You weren't present for any of those types of orders, were
5 A. I personally did not receive any such order. As a civilian, I
6 probably could not have retaken the town. I don't have the military
7 expertise needed for that, so probably I would not have been part of
8 anything like that.
9 Q. No, sir. My question to you is: While you were receiving the
10 orders, listening, as everyone was receiving the orders, no order was
11 given to retake the town. You weren't present for that order; isn't that
12 correct, sir?
13 A. No, I was not present, nor did I know of any such orders being
15 Q. And you never heard any order being given to remove the Serbian
16 volunteers and the Serbian police that have invaded the town of Bosanski
17 Samac. You didn't hear that order either, because it wasn't given. You
18 don't recall ever hearing that order; isn't that correct?
19 A. I don't know who took the Serbian town of Samac. I don't know
20 about any paramilitaries. I was in that district, as simple as that, and
21 I didn't know anything else.
22 Q. Sir, the question is, listen carefully: You weren't present --
23 you did not hear any order, just whether or not you heard any order that
24 you were to remove the Serbian volunteers and the Serbian police that have
25 taken the town. You didn't hear that order given; isn't that correct?
1 A. No, I didn't hear that order being given, nor did I know who had
2 taken the town.
3 Q. Thank you. Sir, you didn't hear an order being given on that date
4 you were to remove the Serbian Crisis Staff, go into -- the troops are to
5 go into town and remove the Serbian Crisis Staff. You didn't hear that
6 order either.
7 A. I only heard about the Crisis Staff, as I said, when I came to
8 work the first day. But prior to that, I hadn't even been aware of the
9 existence of the Crisis Staff, so I never heard of any such order.
10 Q. Finally, sir: You didn't hear any order, while those orders were
11 given by that JNA soldier, that you are to reinstate the elected
12 government of Bosanski Samac, you're to go into town and reinstate the
13 elected government of Bosanski Samac. You didn't hear that order being
14 given either, did you?
15 A. We had our own duty roster, and I came whenever it was my turn to
16 come. But there weren't any meetings, nor did I ever hear anything
17 related to the question you're asking me.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, the office -- the soldiers of the 4th Detachment
19 followed their orders and they did set up defensive positions on the river
20 bank; isn't that correct, sir, as they were told?
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: I object only for one fact. How could this
22 witness possibly know? He wasn't a member of the 4th Detachment. We
23 already heard that. How could he comment on having any knowledge about
24 orders given to the soldiers of the 4th Detachment? My colleague should
25 first establish the basis for this question. Is there any base for this
1 question to be posed to the witness?
2 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, the witness has testified he went to his
3 neighbour's house. There were soldiers from the 4th Detachment there. A
4 JNA officer, a JNA soldier came and gave them orders to set up a defensive
5 position. He was there.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
7 MR. WEINER: He's testified it's a hundred metres from his home,
8 and he's helping them, so he should be able to answer that.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, he will answer that question.
10 MR. WEINER:
11 Q. Sir, the soldiers at your neighbour's home that were given those
12 orders by the JNA officer to set up defensive positions on the river bank,
13 they did it, defensive positions were set up on the river bank facing
14 Prud; isn't that correct?
15 A. The defensive embankment, yes.
16 Q. And you assisted them by sitting in a house each day and observing
17 or doing -- performing surveillance, looking towards the area of Prud,
18 watching for military troops that would be coming?
19 A. Yes, as I've said before.
20 Q. And sir, were you aware that the JNA had sent some vehicles,
21 either armoured vehicles or tanks, to assist the soldiers? Did you see
22 any of those tanks or armoured vehicles?
23 A. I neither knew about those, nor did I see them. My house is just
24 next to the embankment [as interpreted], and across the embankment there
25 is nothing. There are fields, agricultural land.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Just one small correction for the transcript. On
2 page 19, line 22, I think -- yes. "My house is just next to the
3 embankment." He wasn't talking about his house, but the house where he
4 was on his duty. So maybe just this "my house" was not correct. Maybe
5 "the house where I was."
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Weiner can ask the witness to clarify that.
7 MR. WEINER: Yes.
8 Q. Sir, the house that you were doing the observations from, was that
9 next to the embankment?
10 A. Yes. It was the distance between the embankment and the house was
11 perhaps five or six metres.
12 Q. And your personal house -- I'm sorry. That was not your personal
14 A. No, no. That wasn't my house. My house is a hundred metres
15 further off from the embankment.
16 Q. Now, sir, were you aware that soldiers or members of the 4th
17 Detachment were collecting weapons? Were you aware of that, while they
18 were also watching the embankment? Collecting weapons from civilians.
19 A. No, I was not aware of that.
20 Q. So the only thing you were aware of is what you were doing on your
21 street for approximately -- for approximately three weeks?
22 A. Yes, only that. Only what we were doing in relation to the
23 defensive embankment, observing it merely, and nothing else. I was a
24 civilian. I did not attend any military meetings, so I didn't have any
25 information related to that.
1 Q. Thank you. And not only were you not a member of the military,
2 although you were helping them, you weren't politically active, you
3 weren't a member of any political party; isn't that correct?
4 A. Precisely, as I said yesterday.
5 Q. Okay. Now, let's move to May -- to the situation that you
6 described in May at the radio room. You were present on two occasions
7 when Simo Zaric spoke with officials from Odzak; isn't that correct? You
8 testified about portions of those conversations yesterday.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you recall during the first conversation Simo Zaric saying to
11 the people in Odzak that he would consult with members from the Crisis
12 Staff about the Odzak proposals relating to any exchange of civilians? Do
13 you recall that conversation, or something to that extent?
14 A. I don't remember that part of the conversation. I was in and out
15 of the room, as I told you. So all -- I've told you all I can remember,
16 after all this time.
17 Q. Okay, sir. I realise you didn't take any notes in the
18 conversation and you weren't in there for the entire conversation, but
19 Simo Zaric, sir, has given a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor,
20 and on April 2nd he gave one of three statements, and he stated that he
21 told the Odzak officials that he would convey their proposals to the
22 Crisis Staff. Does that -- and he said that at page 79 in 141 ter. Does
23 that refresh your recollection at all? Do you recall that at all, any
24 conversation him telling them whatever proposals you make concerning
25 exchanges, I will relay those, or I will convey these proposals to the
1 members of the Crisis Staff of Bosanski Samac? Does that refresh your
2 recollection, sir?
3 A. No, that does not refresh my recollection. I simply can't confirm
4 that it was the way he had said.
5 Q. Now, sir, do you have any reason to doubt what Simo Zaric told the
6 Prosecutor's office? Do you have any reason to believe that it's not
7 true, that statement that he gave that he would convey their proposals to
8 the Crisis Staff?
9 A. I really don't know what Simo said. I can neither confirm nor
10 deny. I know that I personally didn't hear about this, but I would not
11 like to say anything further about his statement.
12 Q. No. My question to you is: Are you aware of any bias or
13 prejudice which would cause Simo to lie about that specific statement?
14 That's my question to you.
15 A. I really don't know that.
16 Q. Now, Simo Zaric further told the Prosecutor's office during that
17 conversation that he did in fact advise the Crisis Staff president, Stevan
18 Todorovic, and some Crisis Staff members concerning those Odzak proposals
19 for an exchange, which came out of that first radio conversation. Do you
20 recall him saying that to you? Did he ever tell you that after the -- did
21 he ever tell you that at that second radio conversation, that he had
22 advised the Crisis Staff about what was going on with relation to Odzak's
23 proposals for exchange, or were you present when he could have told any of
24 the others in the room that information?
25 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, excuse me. I think it
1 would only be fair to read out what exactly Simo Zaric has said, because
2 the interview that Simo Zaric gave and what my learned friend and
3 colleague Weiner said later, the two are not identical. I think we would
4 probably do well to read the very sentence that Simo Zaric stated, since
5 we're asking for his commentary of the testimony.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Weiner.
7 MR. WEINER: Your Honour, when I read an extensive -- a group of
8 paragraphs or a whole portion of a statement, I usually get a copy, put it
9 before the witness. When I use -- when I discuss a phrase or one
10 sentence. Up to this point I haven't placed -- one sentence before, which
11 is the exact same thing that the other counsel do too, when it's one
12 sentence or just a couple of sentences. I'd be happy to, but --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: It appears to me that the objection of the Defence
14 is that it is not correctly paraphrased.
15 MR. WEINER: Okay. I'll read the two sentences.
16 Q. Sir, I want to read these two sentences to you: "I subsequently
17 informed the president of the Crisis Staff about this, as well as
18 Mr. Todorovic and some other members of the Crisis Staff who were
20 MR. WEINER: That's on page P141 ter, page 80.
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, at this point, I believe it's quite obvious,
22 because the question, the way it was posed, suggested that Mr. Zaric
23 advised. This is what my colleague said. And now when he quotes that he
24 said "I informed," this is a difference, a very significant difference, I
1 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] And he did not set up the Crisis
2 Staff, but rather the president, Stevan Todorovic, and some members, in
3 that month you were talking about, not the institution.
4 MR. WEINER: I didn't say anything about setting up the Crisis
5 Staff. The question is --
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we get on? The sentence has been read out.
7 MR. WEINER:
8 Q. Sir, were you present in the room, sir, at a second radio
9 interview when Simo Zaric -- or did Simo Zaric at that second radio
10 interview tell you and the others in the room that he had informed the
11 president of the Crisis Staff, Stevan Todorovic, and other members of the
12 Crisis Staff about the proposals of the Odzak officials relating to
13 exchanges? Were you present for that, or do you recall that?
14 A. I was an employee of the centre at that time, and I don't think
15 there was any reason for Simo Zaric to tell me what he did and where he
16 was, because I was not an official of the secretariat for National Defence
17 for him to tell me that. So I have no idea where he was or who he talked
18 to. I was not familiar with that information.
19 Q. Sir, during that second conversation, Simo Zaric says that he
20 informed -- I'm sorry, he informs the Odzak officials that he had put the
21 proposals to the Crisis Staff, and they had, in principle, nothing against
22 an all-for-all type of exchange. Do you recall that conversation between
23 Simo Zaric and the Odzak officials during that second radio
24 communication? Do you recall that, sir?
25 A. No, I do not recall. Yesterday I told you what I do recall.
1 Q. Do you have any reason to disbelieve Simo Zaric's statement to the
2 Office of the Prosecutor that the Crisis Staff would not oppose an
3 all-for-all exchange? Are you aware of any bias or prejudice which would
4 prevent him from telling the truth relating to that subject?
5 A. I wouldn't state anything in relation to whether he would say
6 either way.
7 Q. No. My question to you is: Are you aware of any bias or
8 prejudice? I'm not asking you about the particular statement itself, the
9 validity of it; just any bias or prejudice which would prevent him from
10 saying something -- that something -- or which would make him say
11 something that was not true.
12 A. No. I don't know about any prejudice.
13 Q. Finally, the issue of the Crisis Staff has come up in this case.
14 Were you aware who the members of the Crisis Staff were, any of them?
15 A. I heard about Stevan Todorovic and Savo Popovic. I haven't
16 heard -- I haven't read anywhere all the members of the Crisis Staff
17 listed, and I don't know according to which criteria the Crisis Staff was
18 formed, so I didn't know who their members were. I did hear that these
19 two were members.
20 Q. And you really weren't aware of much about the Crisis Staff, since
21 you really weren't interested in politics, so you weren't politically
22 involved in Samac, or anywhere else; it just didn't interest you?
23 A. Yes, that's right. I was never at the Crisis Staff.
24 Q. Thank you very much, sir.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Re-examination, Mr. Lazarevic?
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: No re-examination, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you very much, Mr. Simic, for giving evidence
3 to the Trial Chamber. We are now finished. You may leave the courtroom.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
7 MR. RE: Your Honours, while we're waiting for the next witness,
8 would it be an appropriate time to tender the translation of P170, which
9 was the diagram that Mr. Sarkanovic drew last week? I've provided a copy
10 to my learned friends.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
12 MR. RE: Hopefully they've had a chance to look at the three
13 little boxes on the page. Unless there's any objection.
14 JUDGE MUMBA: I don't see any.
15 MR. RE: I formally tender into evidence a translation of P170
16 into English.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have confirmation?
18 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P170 ter and P170.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we can proceed and bring the witness in.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning, and please make the solemn
23 WITNESS: JOVO SAVIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
1 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please sit down.
3 Yes. The counsel examining the witness. Mr. Pisarevic.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honour.
5 Examined by Mr. Pisarevic:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Savic.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. So that we can have a swift and easy testimony, can you please
9 tell me first: Do you hear me well?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. If you have any problem with communication, that you can't hear
12 me, please let me know so that we can prevent any problems. If I ask you
13 a question that you don't understand, please let me know so that I can
14 repeat that question, et cetera.
15 Considering that you and I are speaking the same language and that
16 we understand each other, I would ask you if you could wait a couple of
17 seconds before you answer my question so that we can allow some time for
18 the interpreters and the Trial Chamber and all the participants in the
19 proceedings can hear what I asked and what you answered, so that
20 everything is properly entered into the transcript. So that your
21 testimony is favourably reproduced as you are testifying.
22 A. Very well.
23 Q. First of all, for the record, can you please tell the Trial
24 Chamber your name and surname.
25 A. My name is Jovo Savic.
1 Q. When were you born, and where?
2 A. I was born on the 21st of May, 1949, in Gornja Slatina,
3 municipality of Bosanski Samac.
4 Q. Is that in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could you please tell us about your schooling.
7 A. I completed a grammar school.
8 Q. Where did you complete the grammar school?
9 A. In Gradacac, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. Tell me: What are you doing now?
11 A. I'm an officer of the army of Republika Srpska. I'm currently
12 assistant commander for logistics at the infantry brigade, which is based
13 in Pelagicevo.
14 Q. Can you tell me your rank?
15 A. I'm a major.
16 Q. Are you married?
17 A. Yes, I'm married. I have two daughters and a granddaughter.
18 Q. Thank you. What is your ethnicity?
19 A. I'm a Serb.
20 Q. Where are you and your family living now?
21 A. I live in Samac.
22 Q. Since when have you been living in the town of Samac?
23 A. From the 1st of May, 1975.
24 Q. Did you serve in the Yugoslav People's Army?
25 A. Yes, I served in the Yugoslav People's Army, at the school for
1 reserve officers in Bileca, in 1974, and in 1975 I was on work practice,
2 which was part of the education, in Tuzla.
3 Q. When you finished your military service, what was the rank when
4 you left the Yugoslav People's Army?
5 A. At that time I was lieutenant, second lieutenant.
6 Q. And when you returned with the reserve second lieutenant of the
7 Yugoslav People's Army, where were you positioned? Rather, where was your
8 military schedule? Where did you go?
9 A. I first worked at the secretariat for National Defence in Samac
10 municipality, but I was in Derventa, at the reserve unit.
11 Q. This unit in Derventa, that is Yugoslav People's Army unit?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you tell me whether that unit was part of the Territorial
15 A. No. I was in a war unit. Of course, members of that unit were
16 reserve troops, and according to the needs, they were engaged.
17 Q. What was your rank immediately before the hostilities broke out in
19 A. At that time I was Captain First Class.
20 Q. Do you know about the meetings that were held with the reserve
21 officers of the Yugoslav People's Army in the memorial home, Mitra
22 Trifunovic, in Samac, and did you go to these meetings? Could you tell us
23 about that?
24 A. Yes. I do not recall the date. I think it was in December 1991.
25 I received an invitation from -- or a call from the secretariat of
1 National Defence, the relevant organ, to go to the memorial home, to the
2 meeting. The following invitation or call was the same. And immediately
3 after new year, in January 1992, was again to go to the meeting.
4 Q. Now, let us come back to that very first meeting that was held at
5 the end of December 1991.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please approach his
8 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Who were the people who were invited to the meeting?
10 A. All reserve officers were called to that meeting, officers and
11 non-commissioned officers, from the town of Samac.
12 Q. Were there present there members of people from -- of Croatian
13 ethnicity, Muslim ethnicity, all other ethnicities?
14 A. Yes. This meeting was attended by Serbs, Croats, and Muslims.
15 There were many of us.
16 Q. Can you recall who spoke at this meeting and who addressed you?
17 A. At this meeting, it was Lieutenant Colonel Stevan Nikolic who
18 addressed the attendees. He introduced himself and the immediate members
19 of his command, and then we introduced ourselves to him. Our names,
20 surnames, and ranks. This was an introductory part. He greeted us and
21 said that -- expressed his satisfaction that he saw so many of us there.
22 Q. At that meeting, what did Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic say to those
23 who attended the meeting, the officers of the Yugoslav People's Army,
24 reserve officers?
25 A. Except for this introductory part that I told you about, he told
1 us about a very complex political and security situation in Yugoslavia,
2 with a particular focus on Bosnia-Herzegovina. I remember well that he
3 told us that the Yugoslav People's Army had to withdraw to
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or its parts, that the commands of units were
5 dispositioned in the entire Bosnia-Herzegovina, that they had a task, that
6 they had a role of -- then JNA that he belonged to had the role to
7 prevent, at any cost, war breaking out in this area and to prevent
8 conflict situations in the territory, and particularly in its area of
9 responsibility, and to enable life of the citizens and their work. That
10 was the general lines. I don't remember everything, but that was what he
12 Q. When you mentioned conflict situations earlier, was this relating
13 to -- was this to do with interethnic conflict or anything else?
14 A. Yes. I will say what it was. He said that the parties that came
15 to power in 1990, these were nationalistic parties, and they were arming
16 their members. They were doing this in an illegal way, and so on. They
17 were doing it in all manner of ways. And that these relations,
18 interethnic relations, were very tense, and that there was a possibility,
19 since this category of people had the weapons, he said - and I remember
20 the words - the weapons will speak out sooner or later.
21 MR. PANTELIC: [Previous interpretation continues] ... my learned
22 friend and to the witness. Your Honour, page 31, line 11, we heard that
23 this witness said: "National parties," not "nationalistic." So just a
24 correction to the transcript. Thank you.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Mr. Pisarevic, maybe you can correct that with
1 the witness. Because we've always had this problem of national parties or
2 nationalistic parties. Can we have that cleared?
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. What did Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic say? Was it national or
5 nationalistic parties?
6 A. Nationalist parties, nationalistic parties.
7 Q. Were there any requests that he expressed towards your officers,
8 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic?
9 A. He wanted us to join the units, of course, according to our
10 possibilities, abilities, specialities, to simply put ourselves at the
11 disposal of JNA units, so that they would have us as their staff.
12 Q. If I understood you correctly, this call was addressed to all the
13 members present there, of all ethnicities, all those who were officers,
14 reserve officers, as reserve non-commissioned officers of the JNA; is that
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Can you tell me: What happened at the next meeting which was
19 A. At the next meeting, immediately after new year, again we were
20 called, but at this time there were far fewer people who attended.
21 Q. Who did not come to this second meeting that was held, also at the
22 memorial home? Can you please slow down.
23 A. Yes. Far fewer members came, that is, far fewer Muslims and
24 Croats, and I think that all the Serbs came.
25 Q. Do you perhaps know the reason why, at this second meeting, fewer
1 Muslims and Croats attended?
2 A. I think - and this is just my opinion - that --
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, we don't want the opinion. If the
4 witness doesn't know the reasons, then he doesn't know. We don't want his
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. You have heard the suggestion of the Presiding Judge. Do you know
8 the reasons or you don't know the reasons?
9 A. I just assume the reasons. I don't know the reasons.
10 Q. Very well. You don't need to answer. Can you tell us: What
11 happened in that next meeting?
12 A. At the next meeting, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, together with his
13 assistant for personnel, said, among other things, that he had taken a
14 decision that in the town of Samac there should be a unit established and
15 that its name would be the 4th Detachment, and would be part of the
16 Tactical Group 17, 17th Tactical Group, that is, it would be made up of
17 JNA members.
18 Q. And was this order issued?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. What did this decision about the establishment of the 4th
21 Detachment of the Yugoslav People's Army as part of the 17th Tactical
22 Group of the JNA, what did it contain?
23 A. Among other things, I recall some parts of this order, and certain
24 officers were appointed to command posts, name, surname, and rank was
25 given; their role, their task of the newly formed unit, and it was, I
1 would say, similar to the role of the JNA. But it was slightly given in a
2 more detailed way. This unit was established. And it said that it would
3 have to prevent the escalation of war or the transfer of war from Republic
4 of Croatia to the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, of Posavina,
5 that is, of the town of Samac. Of course, in this order,
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina wasn't mentioned, but it mentioned Posavina, its area
7 of responsibility, and the town of Samac.
8 Apart from that --
9 Q. Thank you. Yes, you may continue.
10 A. Apart from that, the tasks of the detachment were to provide
11 normal life in the town of Samac, to prevent interethnic conflicts,
12 possible interethnic conflicts, to enable and provide normal work for the
13 companies, et cetera.
14 Q. Thank you. In this order, did Commander Nikolic also determine
15 the territorial area of responsibility of the 4th Detachment?
16 A. Yes, he did.
17 Q. What was the area?
18 A. With this order, it gave the area of responsibility, defined it,
19 and that was - and I'm talking about the border - that would be to the
20 right, that would be the bridge on the Sava River; to the left, the bridge
21 on the Bosna; and straight on, the bridge between the Sava River and Bosna
23 Q. If I understood, that was the local commune of the town of Samac;
24 that was the area of responsibility?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. In this order, who was appointed as the commander of the 4th
2 Detachment of Yugoslav People's Army?
3 A. The commander was Mr. Radovan Antic.
4 Q. And to which command post were you appointed?
5 A. I was appointed as the deputy commander.
6 Q. What about Mr. Simo Zaric? What was he appointed as at that
8 A. Mr. Simo Zaric was appointed as the assistant commander for
9 intelligence and security of the detachment.
10 Q. Do you know what kind of appointment did Mr. Miroslav Tadic get at
11 that time at the command?
12 A. Mr. Miroslav Tadic was appointed as the assistant commander for
14 Q. What about Mr. Mehmed Vukovic, Lieutenant Vukovic?
15 A. Mr. Lieutenant Mehmed Vukovic was appointed as the operations
16 officer at the command.
17 Q. Very well. Now, can you tell the Trial Chamber: How did it
18 proceed, the bringing up manpower levels for this detachment? How did
19 people join in and what did the command do?
20 A. The establishment levels of the 4th Detachment went through the
21 then secretariat for National Defence. They called up military recruits.
22 They informed them about their military schedules and sent them to the
23 unit, that is, they would just give them their schedule and explain where
24 the location was and to whom they should report in case of mobilisation.
25 Q. How did the command work as to receiving new recruits?
1 A. We from the command had the obligation to accept people who would
2 report to the unit, to tell them to which lower-echelon unit they should
3 go, to whom they should report, et cetera, to which commander.
4 Q. This process of bringing up manpower levels of the 4th Detachment,
5 how long did it go on for?
6 A. This is a longer process. I don't know how long this took, but
7 people did respond.
8 Q. Can you tell me now: What was the internal organisation of the
9 4th Detachment, and what did that entail?
10 A. The 4th Detachment had the command, the command of the detachment,
11 it had quartermaster's squad, department, which is more or less logistics,
12 then it had a medical department, and also a reconnaissance squad. Apart
13 from that, that would be the most important part, and then there were also
14 the -- there were four companies. There were four infantry companies.
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I believe that this
16 is time for a break.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll take our break and continue at 1100
19 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
22 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
23 Q. You can hear me, can't you, Mr. Savic? Before the break, you
24 spoke about the organisational structure of the 4th Detachment. Tell me,
25 please: What did a company consist of in the 4th Detachment?
1 A. Each of the infantry companies had a commander, assistant
2 commander, or rather, deputy commander, and then the lower-ranking units
3 of organisation were platoons and departments.
4 Q. These platoons and squads, did they have their own commanders?
5 A. Yes. Even the lowest-ranking unit had a commander. And then the
6 squad had its own commander, the platoon had its own commander, and then
7 the company, which was the highest-ranking among these units had its own
8 commander and a deputy commander.
9 Q. Can you please explain the procedure. How were commanders of
10 squads, platoons, and companies named, or rather, appointed, and who had
11 the authority to appoint them?
12 A. The detachment and company commanders were appointed by a decision
13 of the commander of the 17th Tactical Group. As for lower-ranking units,
14 platoons and squads, those commanders were appointed by the detachment
16 Q. These platoon commanders and squad commanders, did they need to
17 have any military ranks? Was that a military position or an officer's
19 A. As far as the platoon is concerned, it could be a commissioned
20 officer or a non-commissioned officer. At squad level, it could have been
21 a soldier or a soldier with a military rank, a lance corporal or a private
22 first class, and so on and so forth.
23 Q. Was there a communications platoon?
24 A. No, there was a communications squad.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. Tell me, please: How many members of the
1 4th Detachment were there between the 5th of January and the 17th of
2 April, 1992?
3 A. I kept records of that, and we had a person who was in charge of
4 administrative things. We made lists according to name and rank. I
5 remember that there were 452 members.
6 Q. Very well. Thank you. Can you tell us something about the ethnic
7 make-up or, rather, structure of the members of the 4th Detachment.
8 A. Yes. Serbs were the predominant group in the 4th Detachment, and
9 there were a number of Muslims too, a considerable number of Muslims, and
10 fewer Croats. But there were also persons there who referred to
11 themselves as Yugoslavs. Other ethnic groups were represented too, to a
12 minor extent, admittedly, Albanians, Macedonians, but only very few.
13 Q. Thank you. Among the commissioned officers or, rather, commanders
14 of the infantries, we heard that there was a Muslim commander already, but
15 among the commanders of platoons and squads, were Muslims and Croats
16 represented also among those, in addition to Serbs, of course?
17 A. Yes. There were Muslims who were commanders. Even the company
18 commander, the platoon commander, squad commander.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us now, please, where was the command of
20 the 4th Detachment based, located?
21 A. It was in the Sit company building in Edvarda Kardelja Street.
22 I'm not sure about the number. I think it was 20 or thereabouts, but
23 that's not important.
24 Q. What did you have at your disposal in terms of accommodation, in
25 terms of accommodating the command at the Sit factory?
1 A. We had a rather large working room, which housed the admin
2 section, and we had another small room for communications officers and
3 communications equipment, radio sets mostly.
4 Q. Now that you've mentioned communications equipment, which
5 communications equipment did the 4th Detachment have?
6 A. A wireless radio, more specifically, RUP 2B. It's very difficult
7 for me to remember the exact names of the equipment, because I'm not a
8 communications officer myself, but I know it was an RUP set.
9 Q. Can you please describe this RUP radio set, the technical details,
10 its weight, its size, and so on and so forth.
11 A. You can carry it on your back, but usually communications officers
12 carry it on their chest, because the control panel is there. You can
13 establish a link with the Superior Command using that kind of equipment.
14 I think it's about ten kilos in terms of weight.
15 Q. If I understand you correctly, the detachment only had one such
16 radio set.
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. And it was at the command?
19 A. Yes, in that small room.
20 Q. Outside the command, were there any symbols that were prominent
21 and easily visible?
22 A. Yes, when you approach the building from the side of the street,
23 there were two symbols or two flags. One was the flag of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the other was the Yugoslav flag, the flag of
1 Q. The 4th Detachment was set up, and so on and so forth. Tell me:
2 How, and in what way, did members of the detachment sign for their
4 A. On the basis of lists that had already been made, we planned some
5 sort of training, which was eventually carried out in the village of
6 Potocari, near Brcko. We organised the transport of our members there to
7 that site by bus. That's where they signed for weapons or equipment,
8 equipment which came from the command of the 17th Tactical Group. In that
9 same training ground, we had target practice from artillery weapons [as
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I believe that there is some
12 misunderstanding here in the transcript. On page 40, line 7 he said: "We
13 had target practice from artillery weapons." Artillery weapons were not
14 mentioned by the witness.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have that clarified.
16 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. What sort of weapons, what sort of target practice did you have?
18 What weapons were you using for practice?
19 A. Merely automatic rifles, infantry weapons.
20 Q. Not artillery weapons?
21 A. Not artillery weapons, no, by no means.
22 Q. You referred to this training group in the village of Potocari.
23 Was that an official training ground for the training of the JNA?
24 A. Yes, it was.
25 Q. After this training, members of the 4th Detachment, did they
1 eventually sign for these infantry weapons?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The 4th Detachment, what did it have in terms of military weapons?
4 A. The 4th Detachment had infantry weapons, including rifles,
5 automatic rifles, semi-automatic rifles, machine-guns, hand-held
6 launchers. That's what our unit had.
7 Q. Members of the detachment, did they sign for any other kind of
8 equipment, gas masks or uniforms or anything like that?
9 A. Yes. A considerable number of our members had gas masks at home,
10 because we had assignments to war units, so we kept these things at home.
11 At the training ground, those who didn't have any or those who had not yet
12 signed for any of those received them there at the training ground. The
13 uniforms were olive-drab. Up to that point I had not seen camouflage
15 Q. When you say "SMB," or rather, olive-drab, were these uniforms
16 usually and normally worn by the JNA, with all the insignia?
17 A. Yes, precisely. This SMB olive-drab uniform was the official JNA
19 Q. When one signed for weapons, was this procedure -- did this
20 procedure entail certain documents, the giving of certain documents to
21 members of the detachment when they signed for a weapon?
22 A. Yes. Each and every one of us had to put their signature there,
23 in order to certify what they had taken or received. There was a
24 certificate stating the name, the number, the serial number of the rifle,
25 the number of bullets received, and so on and so forth.
1 Q. Please go ahead.
2 A. As far as the quartermaster's equipment was concerned, a different
3 kind of document was drawn up, the reverse -- the receipt.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown
5 Exhibit D48/4 ter.
6 Can you please have a look and then we'll discuss this document.
7 A. Yes. This is the document --
8 Q. Hold on, please.
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Can you please put this on the
10 ELMO so that the accused can see the document too.
11 Q. You have looked at this document now. Can you please tell us:
12 What is it, really?
13 A. This document is a document where a conscript or a member of the
14 detachment signs for a weapon, a weapon given him at that moment. I
15 remember this too. If I may just be allowed. Every rifle, automatic or
16 semi-automatic rifle, and any other kind of weapon, when it was
17 distributed, each time you were given a rifle, you would get a combat set
18 and ammunition.
19 Q. Can you please read what it says in the upper-left corner. Which
20 unit is this? Which unit issued this?
21 A. Military post TG 17, confidential number 943-1/9, date, the 1st of
22 March, 1992.
23 Q. Now, the title, please.
24 A. "Military post."
25 Q. No, no, no. The one just below.
1 A. "Approval for bearers of" -- I'm afraid I can't read this. It's a
2 bit blurry.
3 Q. This thing here.
4 A. "Permit or approval for carrying weapons."
5 Q. Can you tell us who it was signed by and what the stamp is?
6 A. Lieutenant Colonel -- Commander Lieutenant Colonel Stevan Nikolic.
7 Q. The way I understand this, this means that members of the 4th
8 Detachment were armed and could only receive permit from the commander of
9 the 17th Tactical Group, Lieutenant Colonel Stevan Nikolic; is that
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. The 4th Detachment, did they have their own warehouses where they
13 could store weapons and military equipment?
14 A. The 4th Detachment had no storage rooms or warehouses. We only
15 had one rather large room and another very small one which was used by
16 communications officers.
17 Q. From where did you obtain all the weapons and equipment you needed
18 for members of the 4th Detachment?
19 A. All weapons and equipment for the 4th Detachment was obtained from
20 a logistics organ of the command of the 17th Tactical Group in Pelagicevo.
21 Q. Thank you. Did a member of the 4th Detachment receive
22 instructions from the command pertaining to the keeping and the carrying
23 of the weapons they had signed for? If so, please tell us exactly what
24 instructions those were.
25 A. Each member of the 4th Detachment who signed for any kind of rifle
1 was told, was ordered, to take good care of how they were using the
2 weapon. It was out of the question to use the weapon until specifically
3 ordered by someone, or rather, by their direct superior. In addition to
4 that, we ordered or, rather, instructed people that weapons were to be
5 kept at home but separate from the ammo, for safety reasons. That's how
6 it was.
7 Q. Did every member have the obligation to also carry this permit if
8 they were carrying weapons?
9 A. Every time they carried weapons, every member had the obligation
10 to also have on them this specific document.
11 Q. Very well. We shall no longer require this document for the time
12 being. You can take it back. Thank you.
13 The 4th Detachment was set up. Please tell me: How was life
14 organised for the members of the 4th Detachment? Was that some sort of
15 barracks life, life in the barracks, or was it organised in a different
16 way? Can you please tell us about that.
17 A. We, members of the 4th Detachment, went about our daily business
18 and tasks. We did not have a proper barracks. All we had was the room
19 that I told you about.
20 Q. Members of the 4th Detachment, if they had to go away somewhere
21 from where they lived, from Bosanski Samac, did they need to have any sort
22 of permit or certificate in order to be able to travel?
23 A. No. That was not necessary at all.
24 Q. Which means the command never knew exactly the numerical strength
25 of the detachment at any given point in time?
1 A. It was difficult to tell, because people kept travelling. They
2 worked somewhere he would, they would come and go, and they lived in
4 Q. Just another question in relation to that. Members of the
5 detachment, did they receive any compensation or, rather, salary, because
6 they were members of the 4th Detachment, whether they were members of the
7 command or members of the army, or soldiers?
8 A. I am positive, and I can confirm that neither I nor anyone else
9 from the unit ever received any compensation.
10 Q. Were there occurrences where members of the detachment, in
11 contravention of an order, were using infantry weapons that they had
12 signed for? If so, if any occurrences are known to you, please tell us
13 what you know about that.
14 A. I remember two cases, we called it misuse. One of the members, a
15 man I knew quite well, in a drunken state, assumed the right to take his
16 rifle out to the garden and fire a bullet or two. We reported this to the
17 commander of the Tactical Group, Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, and the
18 assistant for security, using his own channels, informed the security
19 organ or, rather, body of the command of the Tactical Group. After that,
20 military police came along. They took the weapon away and proceedings
21 were initiated. We would interview such -- this person and we told him --
22 I think there was another man called Mikerevic, but I'm not sure, and we
23 told both of them that what they had done was not an honourable act and
24 not something a soldier should do, that it was a major infringement and
25 that other such cases should be prevented from happening.
1 Q. We'll move on to a different subject now. We're talking about the
2 period towards the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Pisarevic, don't move away from your
5 microphone. It's difficult for the interpreters to get what you're
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I'll try as hard as I can. I
9 Q. Including the 16th and 17th of April, what was the security
10 situation in Samac municipality, and how did the whole thing look? Was it
11 any different from the way life had gone on before?
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] My colleague is telling me I said:
15 "Until the 16th or the 17th," so we're covering the time period until
16 the 16th and the 17th. I'm talking about the situation in Samac.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. What characterised the situation, the overall situation, and in
20 some way disturbed the peaceful life of citizens in Samac municipality?
21 A. At the beginning of 1992, in the town of Samac, life changed in
22 relation to the previous year, and especially in relation to the period
23 before that, because we started drifting apart and dividing along ethnic
24 lines: Serbs, Muslims, Croats, and the rest. Acts of sabotage started
25 occurring in the depth of the area. I remember an incident at a cafe, at
1 the Valentino Cafe, where two young men were playing, or sort of toying
2 around with a hand grenade. Both were killed. The girl who was there
3 standing close to them was seriously wounded.
4 Q. Do you perhaps recall when this occurred?
5 A. Yes, I do recall when that happened, because the name of
6 valentine's, that was the 14th of February.
7 Q. Do you recall whether after that event there was a rally of the
8 citizens at the cinema in Samac? If you recall anything, can you tell us
9 about it.
10 A. Yes. I do know we had received information. I don't know who was
11 the organiser of the rally, but I know that they asked for someone from
12 the command to come to the cinema hall, and Commander Antic was not around
13 at the time, and myself, as his deputy, ordered Mr. Simo Zaric to go to
14 this rally, to this meeting, because in the meantime, Commander Antic had
15 ordered Mr. Zaric that, apart from his functional duty, he would be also
16 carrying out the duties in relation to morale and information.
17 Q. So if I understood you correctly, when the commander, Commander
18 Antic, was not present in the unit or the town, you were the one issuing
19 orders to the other members of the detachment?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And precisely because of this, because Commander Antic had ordered
22 Mr. Zaric to carry out the tasks of morale and information, you ordered
23 him to go to this rally?
24 A. Yes.
25 [Defence counsel confer]
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Did Zaric report to you about what he said at this rally once he
3 returned? If I understood you correctly, you didn't go to this rally.
4 A. No, I did not go.
5 Q. Did he tell you anything?
6 A. Zaric told me that many people gathered; that, again, in his own
7 element, he called on the people not to raise the tension; that the
8 security, safety, had to be at a high level. And there were other things
9 which I do not recall, but these were the basic things.
10 Q. Thank you. Do you know about the case of setting up barricades at
11 the entrances into Bosanski Samac? Do you know anything about that? And
12 if so, please tell us.
13 A. Yes. One day, I think it was sometime in March, but I'm not
14 sure. It was early spring, I would say, and we received the information
15 that two barricades had been set up by the members of the SDA. One
16 barricade had been set up near the Mebos company, at the entrance to
17 Samac, and the other one on the opposite side, also at the entrance to
18 Samac, and near the Uzarija, not far from Pik company.
19 Q. These persons at the barricades, were they armed?
20 A. Yes, they were. They had Kalashnikovs rifles. Apart from that,
21 they also had set up vehicles as obstacles, and it was not possible to
22 leave the town. For us, this was a shocking situation. How could it be
23 possible for someone not to be able to come from a village into the town?
24 That was impossible.
25 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber: How many entrances into Samac
1 were there?
2 A. There are two main entrances into the Samac, and one not so
4 Q. Which one is the third one?
5 A. That is on the Bosna River, and we would call that -- that was the
6 confluence of two rivers, Bosna and Sava River, and there was a small
7 bridge there, a very narrow bridge.
8 Q. And which village -- or rather, from which village do you come in
9 order to get to Samac across that bridge that you told us about?
10 A. You go to the village of Prud, and then on to other villages.
11 Q. Which ethnic group lived in the village of Prud?
12 A. In the village of Prud, Croats lived.
13 Q. Do you know whether, on that day, anyone called you from the
14 command of the 17th Tactical Group to the 4th Detachment?
15 A. Yes, I think -- in fact, I don't think, I'm sure that Commander
16 Antic told the commander of the Tactical Group, Stevan Nikolic, and told
17 him this about what was happening to do with barricades, and later he told
18 us not to get involved into this, that a conversation was held with some
19 people, from SUP probably, and that this was within their area of
20 authority, as that we should not get mixed up in this and that we should
21 not get involved.
22 Q. If I understood you correctly, the 4th Detachment did not get
23 involved into this, into lifting of the barricades?
24 A. No, no, not at all.
25 Q. Were the barricades removed on that day?
1 A. Yes, they were.
2 Q. So the barricade was not set up on the entrance to Samac from
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Do you know of any other events that significantly marked the
6 security situation in Samac? Do you know perhaps about the appearance of
7 a flyer, a leaflet, that Muslims, members of the 4th Detachment, and they
8 were insulted in that leaflet, they were told they should leave the 4th
10 A. Yes, I do know about it.
11 Q. Did you have that leaflet in your hand?
12 A. I had the opportunity to read it very quickly. I had it in my
13 hand. I read it. I didn't know much about it. But there was -- concern
14 was raised, because there was a large number of Muslims in the detachment,
15 and this leaflet had this some kind of a list, and there were insults,
16 that they should leave the detachment, they should leave the JNA, and that
17 they should leave this, as it was called, the occupying army, they should
18 go to their own units, established by the SDA party. That's how it was --
19 that was the general gist of the leaflet.
20 Q. Very well. Thank you. What happened in the town of Samac after
21 the leaflet appeared? Were there any activities towards the members of
22 the 4th Detachment who were Muslims?
23 A. Yes, I do remember. I'm not sure about the dates. I remember
24 that our three members, they were in civilian clothes, and they were in
25 their own private vehicle, going through the town, as usual. They had no
1 weapons on them. They were passing by a restaurant near the market, one
2 of the restaurants, and they were shot at by two members, two Muslims, who
3 were members of the reserve police force. Of course, they were party
4 members, and the consequence of that incident, of that excess was that
5 there were two Muslims and a Serb.
6 MR. RE: Before we go on, could we just clarify perhaps whether
7 the witness actually saw this, whether he was there or whether it's
8 something he heard of? That's not completely clear in the transcript at
9 the moment.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] The witness said that he had the
12 knowledge, that he knew about it.
13 Q. Were you an eyewitness to this event?
14 A. No.
15 Q. How do you know about what happened?
16 A. This is a very small community. Shooting was heard. I think I
17 was at home. This is not very far from my home. Suddenly the news spread
18 that someone shot at somebody, and later on I found out who these people
19 were. I knew these people. I don't know what their names are. I forgot
20 their names and surnames. But that's how it was. I did not see it
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. Do you know that in April, in the area of
23 the village of Batkusa, JNA helicopters brought some military units and
24 paramilitary units --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
1 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. -- and a group that came from Krajina? Who did you hear this
3 from? How were you informed? Who met them? How is it they dressed,
4 et cetera?
5 A. I heard this -- I had this information from Commander Antic. He
6 was born in this village, village of Batkusa. He went home and he told me
7 that he was stopped by a patrol at the entrance to his village. His
8 vehicle was searched, checked where he was from, who he was. He didn't
9 know who the people were. They were dressed in camouflage uniforms and
10 had some insignia that he then saw for the first time, had some patches,
11 they had caps and hats they were wearing. And he said that he was a
12 little frightened by that.
13 Q. Did you find anything out from any other sources?
14 A. Yes. Yes. There was talk that in the helicopters they landed on
15 the Batkusa field, that these were specials, members of special units,
16 people who were not from -- they're not locals, but also there were some
17 other young men who were local and who were with them.
18 Q. Do you know if this group ever became a part of any formation, of
19 any unit of the Yugoslav People's Army?
20 A. No. I know that for sure.
21 Q. You said no. Can you give a full answer, please.
22 A. Not a single member of this group was a member of the 4th
23 Detachment unit. And I don't know whether they were members of any other
24 units. They were not members of the detachment.
25 Q. Did you have an opportunity to follow their activities in the
1 period after the 16th of April, 1992 as well? What did they do? Under
2 whose command were they, and so on? Do you have any such information?
3 A. Well, during that period of time, there was talk that these people
4 were housed in the village of Obudovac, that they went where they want,
5 when they wanted. They came to Samac, putting themselves at the disposal
6 of the then chief of SUP, Mr. Stevan Todorovic.
7 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now we come to the activities of some
8 other citizens, associations, institutions, and so on. Were there any --
9 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Mr. Pisarevic. I was just waiting to
10 see whether you were going to move on, as in fact you are. I would just
11 like to ask Mr. Savic a question concerning the paramilitaries' arrival in
13 And I'm wondering, Mr. Savic, whether you know who organised for
14 the arrival of these paramilitaries, and albeit that they don't seem to
15 be, as you've said, a member of any military unit, they clearly were on
16 JNA helicopters. So I'm wondering whether you know who organised for
17 their arrival in Batkusa and their transportation using JNA helicopters,
18 if you know.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I may answer only about what I
20 heard, and what I heard was that this was organised by the chief, Stevan
21 Todorovic, that their transport and their arrival.
22 JUDGE WILLIAMS: Thank you.
23 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I will continue where I broke off.
24 Q. Were there any peace rallies of the citizens calling on to
25 interethnic tolerance and peaceful coexistence, considering that there was
1 tension that was being raised in Samac? Were there any other -- were
2 there any such forces that were trying to keep it all together,
3 considering that you were a citizen of Samac, you are a citizen of Samac,
4 and were the people trying to prevent those hostilities that later
6 A. Samac is a small town. We knew each other and saw each other very
7 frequently. Occasionally we had the opportunity to talk to each other
8 about this situation, to exchange our opinions, and anxiety was a daily
9 thing and being raised all the time. A group of citizens from one
10 building - and I knew them all - one day they called me, in the afternoon,
11 if I would come, so that they would show me what kind of barricades they
12 were setting up. Of course, as soon as somebody mentions barricades, then
13 of course the thought is that this is to do something that had already
14 occurred, so I went there and I heard music and song. When I got there, a
15 large number of people and us guests are gathered together with music and
16 song and grill. So they said to me: These were our grill barricades,
17 nothing to do with the SDA barricades.
18 Q. These grill barricades, or barbecue barricades, were they
19 organised in other parts of town?
20 A. Of course, in my immediate neighbourhood on several occasions, in
21 the other part of town as well, and so on.
22 Q. Who participated in these barbecue barricades? What was the
23 ethnic structure?
24 A. Everybody who lived nearby, regardless of whether they were Serbs,
25 Muslims, or Croats, or any other ethnic group.
1 Q. You certainly remember some rallies, calls for peace, and so on,
2 that were held at some times? You do recall that?
3 A. Yes, I do remember that, but I didn't attend them. I was
4 somewhere in the field.
5 Q. But do you remember that there were?
6 A. Yes, yes, there were. There were calls for stopping all
7 divisions, that people should continue to co-exist here, et cetera.
8 Q. Thank you. The concept of the 4th Detachment was precisely as it
9 was expressed by the citizens who called for peace, tolerance, and
10 peaceful coexistence?
11 A. Yes. I can tell you that it was on the basis of that. I was a
12 member of that detachment.
13 Q. Thank you. And so now we come -- I'd like you to testify about
14 the events that occurred on the day between the 16th and the 17th of
15 April, 1992. Can you tell me: This day, 16th of April, 1992, is there
16 something, are there some events that occurred during that day which set
17 it apart from the other days that had previously gone by?
18 A. The 16th of April passed just like the previous day, the 15th of
19 April. It was just an ordinary working day, like any other.
20 Q. The behaviour of the members of the 4th Detachment, was it the
21 same as during the previous days? Did you issue any orders or any warning
23 A. Everything was the same except the fact that we had groups of
24 reconnaissance people whose task was to observe the town --
25 Q. Just a moment. Just a moment. Do you mean patrols? You're
1 calling patrols reconnaissance people? Should we clarify that?
2 A. I apologise. I mean patrols.
3 Q. Please go on.
4 A. These patrols were given daily tasks by the commander, and their
5 obligation was that one of them should report, either to the commander or
6 to the duty officer, that is, a member of the command of the detachment,
7 about the observed situation, if he noticed something that was outside of
8 the ordinary, that he should inform about that. These were the groups I
9 meant. I'm sorry. I apologise. That was a lapse.
10 Q. Who determined the composition of the patrols, how many members of
11 patrols were there in one patrol and what was their ethnic structure?
12 A. The patrols were decided on in the following way: Company
13 commanders, that is, platoon commanders, had the obligation to organise
14 everybody taking three -- from their units and assigning three members of
15 the patrols. Their tasks I've already stated. And these patrol members
16 carried out their tasks with their arms, bearing their arms. The ethnic
17 composition was the same as the detachment composition. There were never
18 three Serbs together or three Croats [Realtime transcript read in error
19 "Serbs"] together or three Muslims. It was always a mixed composition.
20 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] My colleague Mr. Lazarevic says
21 that in line 14, on page 56, should say -- should say Croats, and not
22 Serbs, because Serbs are mentioned twice.
23 Q. So let's clarify this. The patrols were never of the same ethnic
24 structure; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, never.
1 Q. If I've understood you correctly, you in the command, you deputy
2 commander, you never knew which people were members of the patrol during
3 that evening or that night?
4 A. No. That changed. That was probably known by the direct
5 commander. But I wouldn't know.
6 Q. Did this mean that the commander couldn't have known that?
7 A. Perhaps he did know, because they were directly subordinate to
9 Q. When did the patrol start operating?
10 A. Mostly at night.
11 Q. Who was in the command on the 16th of April, in the evening?
12 A. Of course, the duty officer, I mean him, and the duty
13 communications officer. I think - in fact, I'm certain - that at that
14 time, that was Stanko Dujkovic. He was a reserve officer.
15 Q. Do you remember who was the duty communications officer?
16 A. His name was Milenko Ugljesic.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me: Where were you then in the
18 night between the 16th and the 17th of April, 1992?
19 A. On that date, the 16th, I was asleep, at home, with my wife and
21 Q. Did you wake up during that night?
22 A. Yes, I did, and suddenly.
23 Q. What were you woken by?
24 A. Shooting. Shooting. At first I thought someone was again
25 misusing their weapons, and then I opened the window, on the -- from the
1 eastern side of the town, shooting was coming. At the very same moment,
2 because my house was in the immediate vicinity, I got dressed very quickly
3 and I went straight to the command.
4 Q. Please, when you say from the eastern part of the town, is that
5 the part of town known as Donja Mahala?
6 A. Yes, yes, that's it. That's correct.
7 Q. Is it very close to Donja Mahala that the police building, the TO
8 building, the Municipal Assembly building, and the Trifunovic monument
10 A. When I went to the command, because that was near where I lived, I
11 was walking along the street, and my assessment was that the shooting was
12 somewhere in that area.
13 Q. Is this the memorial centre, Mitra Trifunovic? There is no
14 monument; there is the memorial centre.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Once you reached the command, who did you find there? What
17 information did you obtain when you got there?
18 A. A duty officer, the communications officer, and a number of other
19 people, all looking frightened, told me that there was shooting in the SUP
20 area, in the area surrounding the SUP building. They said they didn't
21 have any details, but they also said that they would know shortly
23 Q. How many were you there at that moment at the command?
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak closer to the
1 A. I was among the first to arrive. There were four or five people
2 there when I got there.
3 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. What happened then? Did other members of the command begin to
5 arrive, members of the detachment?
6 A. Yes, very soon, within one hour, I think, Radovan Antic and Simo
7 Zaric turned up, not together. I'm not sure who came first. They were
8 all asking the same question: What's happening? What's going on?
9 Radovan, looking worried, we still didn't know anything for sure, and we
10 talked to the people who were patrolling the town, they said there was
11 shooting in such-and-such area, and so on and so forth. And then Radovan
12 tried to get some other information to sort of piece the whole thing
13 together. He used the wireless to call Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic, and he
14 talked to him over the radio set. And then after that conversation, he
15 told me to remain at the command, to monitor closely the situation, and to
16 wait for further orders. He and Simo Zaric had been ordered by the
17 commander of the Tactical Group to immediately go to Pelagicevo.
18 Q. Was that an order by Commander Nikolic?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So between -- ever since Antic left for Pelagicevo, you were, to
21 all intents and purposes, the commander there?
22 A. Of course, in his absence, I was there as commander.
23 Q. How did people gather? How many people came to the command? For
24 example, by 6.00 in the morning.
25 A. This is a very difficult question to answer. We're talking about
1 figures here. I'd say around 90 --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Correction.
3 A. -- 20. Those who were patrolling the town, and then they woke
4 some other people up to go and check the situation to see what was going
5 on, and so on and so forth.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Do you remember that one of those 20 people who came was also
8 Fadil Topcagic?
9 A. Yes. I saw him at the office, what I refer to as the working
10 room, and then I told Simo and Antic what had happened to him [as
11 interpreted]. He was visibly frightened and agitated.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, Your Honours. I believe that we have some
13 misunderstanding here in the transcript. On page 60, line 6. "And then I
14 told Simo and Antic what had happened to him." No. It was actually Fadil
15 Topcagic who said to the witness that he said to Antic and Zaric what
16 happened to him. This was the meaning of what the witness said.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Can we have it clarified?
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. There is some misunderstanding in the transcript. What did Fadil
20 Topcagic tell you exactly? Who did he tell what?
21 A. He says: Now, on my way in, I met Simo and Radovan, and I told
22 him briefly what had happened to him [as interpreted]. What had happened
23 to me, what had happened to him. And then he told me slowly and gradually
24 the whole story at the office. I'm not sure if I was clear enough this
25 time around.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Again we have the same problem: And I told not
2 him. I told them briefly what happened to me. This is Fadil Topcagic
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Who did he tell this? Who did Fadil Topcagic tell this?
6 A. Hold on a second, please.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Can the witness use names. So-and-so told A or B or
8 C. Can he use names.
9 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I was just about to mention that.
10 Q. Please don't use personal pronouns: We, they, us, them, you.
11 Please use names. Who did Fadil Topcagic talk to? Who did he tell what
12 had happened to them when he met them at the entrance to the command?
13 A. Fadil Topcagic met Mr. Simo Zaric and Mr. Radovan Antic, who were
14 about to leave for Pelagicevo, as they had been ordered. They met at the
15 entrance. And then Fadil told Simo and Radovan very briefly what had
16 happened to Fadil, but very briefly, in passing. And then just after
17 that, they left, Simo and Radovan left for Pelagicevo. And Fadil told me
18 what had happened to Fadil. Does this make it any better now?
19 Q. Yes. Very well. Thank you. When Fadil Topcagic told you about
20 this, to you personally, were there any other people present at the
22 A. Yes. Yes, there were other people there. Some people were just
23 sitting and some others were just listening to see what was happening.
24 Q. Can you please testify before the Trial Chamber --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Can counsel please be asked to speak closer to
1 the microphone.
2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. -- as to what Fadil Topcagic exactly told you about what had
4 happened to him between the 16th and the 17th?
5 A. He told me that during the night a police officer came along, a
6 police officer named Savo Savic, and another man whom he didn't know. The
7 other man was wearing camouflage uniform. They told him that the two
8 Savics and the unknown man, that Fadil was supposed it take them to show
9 where Crkvina was, the village of Crkvina. When Fadil got there,
10 someone - now, whether it was the man who accompanied him who went in the
11 same direction or not - ordered that a group of masked people or, rather,
12 people wearing camouflage uniforms, be taken to Samac, to show where the
13 SUP building was and where the municipal building was. He did this.
14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. Did he say that anyone was wounded during that
17 A. Yes, he did.
18 Q. What did he tell you about that?
19 A. There was a wounded man, and he took him to the medical station,
20 Crkvina or Samac; I'm not sure where.
21 Q. Thank you. At one point, since the departure for Pelagicevo, did
22 the commander of the 4th Detachment, Radovan Antic, get through to you,
23 through -- over the radio? If so, when precisely? And did he give you
24 any specific orders? If so, which orders, from Commander Antic?
25 A. Commander Antic called me on the radio and he said: Simo and I
1 are starting out from Pelagicevo and are on our way back to Samac.
2 Prepare and summon members of the command, and company commanders. I'll
3 be there in a while.
4 Q. And what did you do?
5 A. I used the group of people who were near me, and I sent them to
6 the town of Samac, to inform and call people. We had this organised. It
7 was part of the preparation for our unit. We just call each other. I'd
8 call Marko, Marko would call me, and so on and so forth. So they went to
9 the town to look for commanders mainly, and the command of the detachment.
10 Q. Did you also call members of the detachment, those who you could
12 A. Yes, we did.
13 Q. And when Antic and Zaric arrived, when was that? What time was
15 A. This is a bit of a tall order, asking me about the time of day,
16 but I think it was about 8.00 in the morning perhaps, half past 7.00,
17 8.00, thereabouts. I'm not sure, really.
18 Q. How many members of the 4th Detachment were gathered, were
19 assembled, by that time? How many came to the command of the 4th
20 Detachment, or rather, outside the Sit building?
21 A. By 8.00, I believe there were about 50 people assembled, 50, or
23 Q. This procedure continued, the process of calling people up, didn't
25 A. Yes, indeed.
1 Q. When Mr. Zaric and Mr. Antic came back, what were you told about
2 what Commander Nikolic had told them?
3 A. When Radovan and Simo came back, Radovan assembled those present,
4 members of the command, and another commander who was there, and one of
5 the regular soldiers, and he told us about what had been discussed with
6 Lieutenant Colonel Nikolic. He told us, in addition to other things, that
7 Lieutenant Colonel had already talked to someone from the municipality,
8 asked what was going on, allegedly, and then went on to tell Radovan: Go
9 to Samac. Mobilise your unit. Mobilise your detachment and wait for
10 further instructions and orders. That's what Radovan told me.
11 Q. Commander Antic, did he tell you then whether Commander Nikolic
12 had told him who had taken control of the town or that key facilities and
13 institutions had been taken, the SUP, the municipality, the post office?
14 A. Yes, indeed he told me that a Serbian municipality had been set
15 up, headed by a Crisis Staff, something along these lines, I think.
16 Q. My question was: Did he tell you which armed units -- who the
17 people with the weapons were who had taken the police building, the
18 municipal building, the post office, the memorial centre, the radio
20 A. I forgot about that. I thought that's what you were referring
21 to. Yes, he did inform us that people, members of special units, had
22 taken, in addition to the municipal building and the SUP building, also
23 the memorial centre and the Pik factory building, the post office, some
24 companies, the radio station, all the key facilities and institutions had
25 been taken.
1 Q. The command of the 4th Detachment, during the day, during the
2 17th, did they receive any orders from the command of the 17th Tactical
3 Group concerning any further activities to be undertaken by the 4th
4 Detachment in its area of responsibility?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What exactly?
7 A. The order was that the people who arrived in the unit should be
8 deployed about the -- along the fringes of the town, and this meant the
9 defensive embankments on the right bank of the River Sava and on the right
10 bank of the River Bosna. Radovan Antic told me that he would take care of
11 this personally. He gathered people. We had lists with names belonging
12 to certain units, and he personally took them there and deployed them
13 along those defensive positions. I stayed back at the command. People
14 kept coming in, and I was there to meet them, and this did go on for a
16 Q. At the same time, as people were being deployed along the
17 defensive embankments that you spoke about, people from the 4th
18 Detachment, were there any other activities under way concerning
19 collection of weapons?
20 A. That was a different order. I remember that an order came along
21 for the remaining people, the remaining men who were coming in and
22 reporting, to wait. They would have the task to start collecting
23 illegally owned weapons of military origin in an organised manner. When
24 Commander Antic came back, at some point in the afternoon, after he had
25 completed that part of the task, again he told me: Stay here. I'll take
1 some people along and take care of that. And then he left off.
2 Prior to that, commanders who were coming in and people who were
3 coming in were ordered by him to us at the command and the members with
4 regard to procedures surrounding the activity to be undertaken, he sternly
5 warned everyone against entering people's flats or houses in an arbitrary
6 manner, that nothing was to be seized but, rather, the only thing that was
7 to be collected were weapons of military origin. And from those people
8 who were not in possession of the relevant documents. And that's exactly
9 what was done.
10 Q. Very well. When did the members of the 4th Detachment occupy
11 those lines of defence?
12 A. Radovan took them there about 10.00, I think, and he was back in
13 the afternoon, about 3.00 in the afternoon, I believe.
14 Q. Very well. Can you tell us, roughly: When was it ordered that
15 members of the 4th Detachment along the lines of defence should be given
16 white armbands as instinctive marks, of members of the 4th Detachment?
17 A. I can't tell you the date. What I can tell you is that there was
18 an order for every member of the 4th Detachment to wear a white armband on
19 the left upper arm or the left shoulder strap, which was an insignia of
20 the army.
21 Q. What was the first night that the members of the 4th Detachment
22 spent at their positions?
23 A. The night between the 17th and the 18th.
24 Q. Were they already wearing white armbands during that night?
25 A. I really can't remember. I'm sorry.
1 Q. Very well. Weapons collection, how long did that take?
2 A. It lasted in the afternoon hours of the 17th and the next day.
3 Q. Which next day?
4 A. The 18th.
5 Q. Did Commander Antic determine exactly who would monitor the way
6 his order was being implemented, his order concerning the collection of
7 military infantry weapons that were turned over of people's own free will?
8 A. In addition to giving crystal clear instructions to all those
9 participating in the operation, Radovan Antic also ordered members of the
10 command to closely monitor the implementation, and if there was an
11 incident of some kind, to immediately report either to him or to me. We
12 had prepared everything that was necessary for the implementation, for the
13 safety of those participating, in order to continue that the whole thing
14 goes through smoothly. And on that day - I'm speaking of the 17 - there
15 were no incidents of any kind.
16 Q. Were there any incidents on the 18th?
17 A. No. On the 18th --
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. I believe there is something that is not
19 quite clear here in the transcript, on page 67, line 2. The witness said
20 he also ordered members of the command, and here we have commander and
21 then after that Radovan Antic, so maybe my colleague can clarify that, but
22 it's quite obvious what the witness was talking about.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I think that can be cleared.
24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. To which members of the command did the commander of the 4th
1 Detachment order to monitor closely the implementation of his order
2 related to the voluntary collection of weapons that had been turned over
4 A. Members of the command were --
5 Q. Who did he order this to precisely?
6 A. Simo Zaric. This other man -- the people who were there, those
7 were the people he ordered. There were a few other people there too.
8 Q. Did he appoint a number of monitors or just Mr. Zaric, Mr. Tadic?
9 A. Yes, yes, precisely. I often tend to forget. Tadic, Zaric, and
10 he himself. He was some sort of a nexus, a link, because he was supposed
11 to monitor them and they were supposed to monitor the activities.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you. So this operation, collection of military
13 weapons voluntarily turned over by citizens who had been in possession of
14 that, was it completed on the 18th of April, 1992?
15 A. Yes, it was.
16 Q. Can you please tell me: Why was it necessary to carry out this
17 operation, a collection of weapons, the voluntary collection of infantry
18 weapons of military origin?
19 MR. RE: Before he answers, I object to my learned friend
20 Mr. Pisarevic's continued use of the word "voluntary." That's very much
21 in dispute in the case and he's leading the witness there.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: That is the case for the Defence. We had this
23 evidence even with the previous witness.
24 MR. RE: I'm objecting to my learned friend using the word
25 "voluntary" in his questions, because it's a leading question, suggesting
1 the answer.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, I see. Yes. By counsel.
3 MR. RE: Yes, that's right.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure Mr. Pisarevic will avoid that.
5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I can try to avoid that,
6 but, Your Honours, frankly, the whole line of reasoning of the Defence is
7 that these weapons were seized in such a way that upon the invitation of
8 members of the 4th Detachment, the citizens would bring and turn over
9 these weapons of their own free will, members of the 4th Detachment did
10 not search houses, garages, flats, or cars in order to seize these
11 weapons. That's our submission, and this is something that we are trying
12 to prove.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic, but that is the evidence which
14 must come from the witnesses, not from you, as counsel.
15 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Very well.
16 Q. Tell us, please: What was the procedure used by the members of
17 the 4th Detachment as they went about collecting weapons of military
18 origin in the town of Samac?
19 A. In addition to the order, as I've already explained --
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Re.
21 MR. RE: Can this be clarified whether it was the witness who
22 actually saw this or whether it was something the witness heard, and if
23 so, what was the source of his information? The evidence so far has been
24 it was Mr. Tadic and Zaric and Antic who coordinated this. He can talk
25 about the procedure he knew of or what he saw, but if it's hearsay,
1 please, the source is very necessary.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. I'm sure Mr. Pisarevic will ask the witness
3 about his basis of knowledge.
4 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Did you, did you, did you, as you went about collecting weapons,
6 were you in a position to see how this was done, where it was being done?
7 A. No, personally, I was not in a position to see that.
8 Q. And do you know why the order was issued for these weapons to be
10 A. It was for safety and security reasons.
11 Q. Such as?
12 A. Firstly, weapons illegally owned can be misused. Secondly, people
13 deployed along the lines of defence, members of the detachment, were quite
14 close to those houses. Someone might have a blackout, as they say, and
15 might just start shooting and killing people who were deployed there. And
16 last but not least, no one can be allowed to be in possession of military
17 weapons without the proper and relevant documents.
18 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] I think this is a convenient time
19 for a break, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. We'll resume our proceedings at 12.50.
21 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Pisarevic.
24 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Mr. Savic, could you tell this Trial Chamber: When did firing
1 start in Samac and operations, and who undertook these? Which military
3 A. Yes, I can tell you. On the same day, the 17th, while Radovan was
4 taking people to the lines, one of our members, Cvijetin Savic, was
5 injured in the stomach with a sniper's bullet from the area of Slavonia,
6 that is, it came from the Sljunkara area. This is what we call it.
7 Q. While you're speaking about Slavonia, could you explain where
8 Slavonia is, in which state?
9 A. Slavonia is a part of the Republic of Croatia, and we call that
10 across the Sava River.
11 Q. Please continue.
12 A. After that, a couple of minutes later, artillery shelling started,
13 and shells from Slavonia started arriving, as well as from the village of
14 Prud. This was mortar fire.
15 Q. Very well. These operations continued on the 18th, and from then
17 A. Yes, on a daily basis, and they were becoming more intensive.
18 Q. Was there an armed attack on the lines of the Samac town, or
19 rather, on the lines where the members of the 4th Detachment were?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you tell us what you know about it.
22 A. From the area of the village of Prud, there was in fact an attempt
23 to launch an infantry attack. Of course, our soldiers repelled the
24 attack, and a couple of enemy soldiers remained on the bridge of the Bosna
1 Q. Which army launched this attack, under whose command was it? What
2 was it called?
3 A. This was the army of the Croatian Defence Council from
4 Herceg-Bosna. We call that Croatian Defence Council of Posavina, of
5 Bosnian Posavina.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please. Microphone,
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel, your microphone is not on.
10 JUDGE LINDHOLM: Excuse me. There is something which is confusing
11 me. On page 71, line 23, answer: "This was the army of the Croatian
12 Defence Council from Herceg-Bosna. We call that Croatian Defence Council
13 of Posavina, of Bosnian Posavina." Could that be clarified.
14 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honour.
15 Q. Can you tell us: Members of which army tried to launch the
16 attack, or rather, launched the attack on the defence lines of the Samac
17 town. What was the army called, what was the state called they belonged
18 to, and who was their command?
19 A. Croatian Defence Council belonged to the Croatian people. That's
20 what their army was called. They were from Bosnia-Herzegovina and they
21 called themselves Herceg-Bosna, and this part where Prud was, they called
22 themselves - I heard it from them before - and they said they were members
23 of the Croatian Defence Council of Bosnian Posavina.
24 Q. Very well. That was not the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina; right?
25 A. No. They had at the time their own army.
1 Q. When you say "they," who do you mean by "they"?
2 A. The Croatian Defence Council and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
3 but these were just members of the Croatian Defence Council. These were
5 Q. Do you know whether at that time in Bosnia-Herzegovina there was
6 also the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. This Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, was it the one which had
9 the Supreme Command over the Croatian Defence Council?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Please, can you please testify here to the fact on whether, on the
12 17th, some armoured vehicles appeared in the part near the defence lines
13 of the 4th Detachment, if you know anything about that, could you please
14 tell us.
15 A. I know that in the afternoon hours, two APCs arrived. These
16 vehicles were sent by the command of the 17th Tactical Group in the event
17 that our troops were at risk on the line. They were sent as assistance.
18 Q. These APCs, these were not tanks?
19 A. No. These were APCs. We called this type of vehicle BOV, a BOV
21 Q. Can you give us a characteristic difference between an APC and a
23 A. It's quite a difference.
24 Q. Please do.
25 A. These APCs have wheels, and they are armoured vehicles, while the
1 tanks have a different --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could please slow down.
3 A. -- while the tanks were on caterpillars and armed with different
4 type of weapons.
5 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation].
6 Q. Could you please repeat your answer. You spoke quite quickly and
7 the interpreters didn't catch it. What is the difference between an APC,
8 that is, a BOV vehicle, and a tank? And can you please slow down.
9 A. The main difference, significant difference between a tank and an
10 APC is that the APCs of the BOV type are on wheels, while a tank is on
11 caterpillars, and of course the difference is in the type of weapons. A
12 tank has a cannon, while a BOV has an anti-aircraft gun of a lower
13 calibre, a 20-millimetre calibre, while the tank has a cannon of
14 85-millimetre or a hundred millimetre, again, depending what type of tank
15 it is.
16 Q. Very well. Can you tell us whether tanks appeared as support?
17 Just a moment. Just slow down. Did tanks appear in the town of Samac?
18 How did they appear? Who sent them, and under whose command were they,
19 and where were they located?
20 A. The following day, on the 18th, in the evening hours, again from
21 the command of the 17th Tactical Group, two tanks arrived, and they were
22 deployed on two locations. One tank was located next to the bridge of the
23 Bosna -- on the Bosna River, in the immediate vicinity thereof, and the
24 other tank was located on the crossroads near the Pik Silos, that is, near
25 Uzarija. They were sent on the order of the commander of the 17th
1 Tactical Group, with the purpose of bringing assistance to the troops on
2 the defence lines. In the event of an attack, their task was to fire and
3 to prevent the enemy from attacking.
4 Q. Very well. This tank that you located near Uzarija, was that in
5 the immediate vicinity of the bridge on the Sava River, between the
6 Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 A. This is a bridge perhaps two or three kilometres from where it was
8 located. It was there in the event of the Croatian army using that
9 direction. That was its task.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Counsel.
11 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. You did not answer one part of my question, and that was: What
13 was the day when this attack of the Croatian Defence Council happened on
14 the members of the 4th Detachment on the Bosna River? Could you tell us
15 the date? Do you recall?
16 A. Infantry attack, you mean?
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. I think it was on the 18th.
19 Q. Thank you. These tanks, were they under the command of the 4th
20 Detachment or did they have their own command, and did they have their own
21 crews, and who was -- who commanded these tanks?
22 A. The tanks had their own commander. His name was Radomir Zivanvic.
23 He was a major. The crews had communication lines with him at any time,
24 and the use of tanks was only within his remit of that major.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. We spoke about the military situation and
1 the position of the 4th Detachment, and so on. Did you and the command of
2 the 4th Detachment have any knowledge about the behaviour of the
3 volunteers from the Serb police regarding arrests and some other
4 activities in the town of Samac? That is, what do you know, starting from
5 the 17th, 18th, and so on, and days that followed? What was happening in
6 the town, inside the town? What do you know about that, and how do you
7 know about that?
8 A. I know that people complained to me. They came to me, asking for
9 assistance, saying they were having problems with the multicoloured ones,
10 as we call them, the specials, so to speak, that they were moving around
11 the town, they were arresting people, snatching weapons from people, of
12 any origin, they were taking vehicles. In a nutshell, the impression was
13 that these people, these specials, were outside of anyone's control, that
14 nobody could touch them. They were doing whatever they wanted, et cetera,
15 et cetera.
16 Q. Do you know of any cases when members of the 4th Detachment were
18 A. Yes, I do know.
19 Q. Can you tell us about it.
20 A. I do recall that among those arrested were also members of our
21 unit, the 4th Detachment. There were civilians who were arrested,
22 citizens, et cetera, et cetera.
23 Q. To which ethnic group did these members and these other people
24 belong to?
25 A. There were Muslims, Croats, and even Serbs.
1 [Defence counsel confer]
2 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. How did you find out that members of the 4th Detachment, non-Serb
4 members of the 4th Detachment, were arrested? Where did you get this
5 information from, and what did command undertake, accordingly?
6 A. Simply, the commander of the unit informed us that some of the
7 members did not come to duty, that somebody had been arrested, taken to
8 the SUP, and this is from then on, nobody knew what had happened to him.
9 I said that the majority of people who were arrested were Muslims, Croats,
10 and there was a small number of Serbs.
11 Q. And when you found out on the 17th, on the 18th, that certain
12 members of the 4th Detachment were arrested, did the command undertake any
13 steps? What did they do, if anything? What activities followed? Were
14 these people released? How were they released? Who released them?
15 A. The command tried, and very frequently succeeded, in bringing
16 these people back from the prison and back into the unit. I know that
17 Simo Zaric's son-in-law or brother-in-law, he also had been arrested, just
18 like some others. I know this because I know the man. Then Commander
19 Antic ordered his officer, assistant for security matters, Simo Zaric, to
20 use his chain of command to inform the Superior Command, and then to try
21 and bring people back from prison, those who were members of the unit. I
22 also know that Radovan Antic also reported to the commander of the
23 Tactical Group about these things, and Commander Nikolic said to Commander
24 Antic: I spoke to Stiv. Go where they are detained. Send Simo to bring
25 them and send them to the units. And that's what Simo did.
1 Q. Let us clarify a little. So Mr. Zaric was ordered by Commander
2 Antic to go to the police and take members of the 4th Detachment who were
3 not Serbs but were detained in the police [Realtime transcript read in
5 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, I believe we need some clarification
6 of the transcript, because the question here on page 77, line 20,
7 "Mr. Zaric was ordered by Commander Antic to go to the police station and
8 take members of the 4th Detachment who were in the Serbs who were not
9 Serbs but were detained." Just there is a few more words that do not
10 belong here.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: Counsel can simply repeat his question slowly.
12 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
13 Q. Which ethnicity were members of the 4th Detachment that were
14 arrested for whom Mr. Zaric went to the police station in order to bring
15 them back to the unit?
16 A. They were Muslims.
17 Q. Thank you. Bearing in mind the situation that you described, what
18 else was undertaken by the command of the 4th Detachment in order to
19 somehow help and protect the citizens of Bosanski Samac?
20 A. At the command of the detachment, we had information on a daily
21 basis. We would assess the situation and undertake measures. But we were
22 not strong enough. We didn't have enough strong holds in the organs,
23 specifically in the SUP. And then we tried to use some ways, what we were
24 able to do, to the extent that we were able to do, which was to write a
25 text, as an announcement, to read that, to have this read on the radio, of
1 the local Samac radio, and I know that Simo Zaric, Radovan Antic, and I
2 was involved a little. We wrote a text, thinking that in this way we
3 would soften the situation, we would assist the citizens, in order to have
4 a normal life.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be given
7 D28/4 ter.
8 Q. Mr. Savic, can you please look at the document and then we can
9 discuss this and I can ask a couple of questions in relation to this
10 document. You don't have to read in the entirety.
11 A. I know this text. That's it.
12 Q. Very well. Did you -- have you seen this document before?
13 A. This one I just looked. Yes.
14 Q. Where did you see it? On which occasion? When?
15 A. At the command of the detachment.
16 Q. Is this the text that the command that Mr. Zaric compiled together
17 with you and Mr. Antic?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is this the text that commander of the 4th Detachment approved for
20 it to be read out on the local Samac radio?
21 A. Yes, and he even said to Simo: Have this forwarded as soon as
23 Q. On the local Samac radio, did you hear that this was read out?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. I will now ask you just to read the title, what's typed here in
1 capital letters. To whom is this addressed, the command of the 4th
2 Detachment, who are they addressing?
3 A. Citizens of Bosanski Samac, Muslims, Croats, Serbs, Yugoslavs, and
5 Q. Thank you. Muslims, Croats, and Serbs, we won't discuss. What
6 does this mean, "Yugoslavs"? Who were these citizens of Bosanski Samac
7 that you were addressing as Yugoslavs?
8 A. Yugoslavs were people, citizens of Bosanski Samac, who declared
9 themselves as such. Also in pre-electoral activities, or generally, these
10 people would say: I'm a Yugoslav. And that's all. These were these
12 Q. Are you familiar with the fact that citizens of the former
13 Yugoslavia, when a census was under way, that in addition to ethnically
14 defining themselves as Muslim, Serbs or Croats, they could all define
15 themselves as Yugoslavs? You do know that, don't you?
16 A. Yes I do.
17 Q. What exactly did you mean by "others"?
18 A. There were a number of citizens in Samac, not too many of them
19 though, who were ethnic Albanians, Bulgarians, Macedonians. There were
20 some Roma people too.
21 Q. The ethnic make-up of the town of Samac, was it reflected in the
22 4th Detachment? Did the 4th Detachment too contain Muslims, Serbs,
23 Croats, Yugoslavs, Roma people, Bulgarians, Macedonians and so on and so
25 A. Yes. Yes. And I've spoken about that earlier.
1 Q. Finally, will you please just read out what it says on page 2.
2 Who approved this public announcement, and on whose behalf?
3 A. The detachment command.
4 Q. This is the command of the 4th Detachment.
5 A. Yes. This was written on behalf of the command of the 4th
7 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] We will not be needing this
8 document for the time being. Thank you.
9 Q. While testifying before this Honourable Court, what can you tell
10 us about a gathering of citizens on the 20th of April, 1992, a rally held
11 in the front yard of the Buducnost company in Bosanski Samac? What did
12 you speak about then, and on whose orders were you there? Who ordered you
13 to go to that meeting?
14 A. On the 20th of April, my commander, Radovan Antic, told me: Get
15 ready. Go to the Buducnost company, to the yard. People have been
16 invited there by the secretariat for National Defence, people,
17 military-aged men, mostly men. Speak to them. Address those people and
18 explain the views of our command, of the members of our 4th Detachment, in
19 connection with this new situation.
20 My estimate was that there were over 200 people assembled there,
21 and I was accompanied by the head of the then ministry, or rather,
22 department, or secretariat for National Defence, Milos Bogdanovic.
23 Q. Among those 200 or more people, what were the ethnicities of the
24 people assembled there?
25 A. That's very difficult for me to say, in terms of percentage, in
1 terms of specific figures, but I do know that very few Croats were there,
2 Muslims were the predominant group at that rally, and then Serbs were
3 there too.
4 Q. Continue, please. What did you speak to those people about? What
5 did you tell them?
6 A. That gathering, I conveyed to those people the views of the
7 command of the 4th Detachment and of all the members of the 4th
8 Detachment. I told them that we were making an enormous effort to try to
9 protect people, citizens, property, companies, and so on. I also told
10 them the following: All of you who are men of military age and fit for
11 military service, please feel free to report to our unit. That I said was
12 an opportunity for us to increase our numerical strength and to try to
13 protect the people from torture, from persecution, from robbery, and so
15 At one point I even asked an acquaintance of mine, Fikret, his
16 name was Fikret Seljakovic: Are you sure you don't want to join us? The
17 answer was: I do want to join you.
18 After what you've referred to as a gathering, or rather, a rally,
19 a number of people came along, reported to the unit, a number of people
20 asked to be given work assignments, to work in companies in the town, a
21 number of people asked to go to the Red Cross, to work for civilian
22 protection, those who were not as fit as some others were. And then Milos
23 Bogdanovic told them, he explained to them what the procedure was, that
24 they should report there and so on and so forth.
25 MR. RE: Can it just be clarified, before -- as to whether this
1 was something the witness heard, was it actually at that rally that people
2 were coming forward saying we want work assignments or whether it was
3 something he heard afterwards. It's just not clear from what the witness
4 has just said.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, that can be clarified.
6 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. These facts you've just spoken about, did you have personal direct
8 knowledge of this? Did people come to speak to you about this? Were you
9 the speaker at this meeting? And another question: On that occasion,
10 were you addressing all those who were assembled there, regardless of
11 their religion or nationality to join the 4th Detachment, telling them
12 that this was the only way to prevent hostilities from breaking out?
13 A. I think I've explained this sufficiently, but I'm prepared to
14 answer all your further questions. People came up to me. They spoke to
15 me. They asked me questions. Someone wanted to speak, and they would ask
16 both me and Milos Bogdanovic: How was the procedure? How do I report to
17 the unit? How do I report to the command? What's the procedure for
18 applying for civilian protection? What do I do to apply to get work -- a
19 work assignment in a company? And then we explained this to those who
20 were asking questions, and the consequence was that a number of those
21 people joined us, our unit. They reported to us and they became members
22 of the unit.
23 Q. To sum it up, you know this from direct experience, you personally
24 witnessed this and took part in this?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. Thank you. In your testimony before this court, can you tell us
2 about what happened after the announcement of the 4th Detachment was
3 published, was broadcast on Radio Bosanski Samac? The members of the
4 command of the 4th Detachment, were they subjected to harassment, to acts
5 of terror, to threats? Do you know anything about that?
6 A. I have no special knowledge of that, but I know that in the eyes
7 of those people who held positions of power, our public announcement was
8 not seen in a very favourable light. I know this from conversations I had
9 with people, the people from the SDS, you know, they're not happy, whose
10 radio is that, something along these lines. I can no longer remember the
11 details, but that's what it was about: Who are you, what are you doing?
12 Q. Do you know what happened to Mr. Simo Zaric?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. Tell us, please.
15 A. Simo Zaric came to see me at my office. That's came to see us.
16 He stormed into the office, looking very agitated, looking even
17 frightened. His face was white. And he said that a member of the Special
18 Forces, known as Vuk, had put a gun to his face, his forehead - I'm not
19 sure where - verbally abusing him all the while. Simo, you're just a
20 low-down communist. No reason for you to stay alive, is there? I'll see
21 more of you later. He was threatening him. He was verbally abusing him.
22 Q. Did you report about this to the Superior Command, the 17th
23 Tactical Group in Pelagicevo?
24 A. It was a rule for us to report on all such occurrences to the
25 Superior Command. I'm not sure about this one. I think Simo probably did
2 Q. Do you know what happened to Commander Radovan Antic after that?
3 A. Of course I do.
4 Q. Tell us about it, please.
5 A. Radovan Antic told me about what he had gone through. He had been
6 picked up, or rather, nabbed, arrested, by Lugar. We only knew these
7 members of Special Forces by their nicknames. We didn't know their first
8 or last names. Then he beat Radovan. He put him in a car. He was with
9 some other people, but I'm not sure. And then he took him to Obudovac, to
10 a prison, a prison. This was not a prison for -- in the proper sense of
11 the word. It was just a mountain privy, or rather, a toilet, he said.
12 The next day, I believe he was released. He reported to the
13 command. When he was back, he said that under these circumstances, he was
14 no longer prepared to be the commander. And he said that he would report
15 all of this to Commander Stevan Nikolic. He also said that under these
16 circumstances, he no longer wished to remain the commander.
17 MR. PISAREVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have been informed
18 that I should be concluding my examination-in-chief now, because there
19 seems to be a subject that we have to discuss with the Trial Chamber.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Oh, yes. Yes. I was informed by the registry
21 assistant that there were matters counsel wanted to discuss.
22 Yes, the witness can be led out of the courtroom. We will
23 continue with the testimony tomorrow.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. What matters, Mr. Lazarevic.
1 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Maybe I should start first with matters of
2 concern for Mr. Zaric. We were informed yesterday and on Status
3 Conference we discussed certain possibilities to proceed in the afternoon
4 session on the following days, and about some possibilities, like
5 videolink or some other -- find out some other way to keep on with these
6 proceedings in the afternoon hours. I had the opportunity to inform
7 Mr. Zaric, my client, about this possibility during the break today, and
8 also he informed me about some new developments in respect to his medical
9 condition. Mr. Zaric has his surgery rescheduled, and he was just
10 informed this morning about this, and he will have his surgery on April
11 21st. This is the best term that he could arrange for himself, or rather,
12 doctors could arrange for him. Mr. Zaric still has problems, and they're
13 increasing more and more every day. The only medicine -- the only medical
14 he actually receives are painkillers, that last for a certain period of
15 time, and he cannot take more of these. There is those that he can get
16 during one day and nothing more than that. So Mr. Zaric is very concerned
17 about this possibility that even through videolink, he's not certain that
18 he will be able to follow proceedings. And because of that, he also asked
19 me to address the Trial Chamber and kindly ask for him to address, in just
20 a few words, very briefly, about what is happening with him in these days
21 and what are his capabilities of following the procedure in the next
22 days. And also --
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. On that matter, the Trial Chamber has asked
24 for a medical report.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes. Then I also -- yes. If Your Honours allowed
1 him to address very briefly for just one minute about his positions in
2 respect of this. This was his position towards his Defence counsels, and
3 he just asked us to address the Trial Chamber, to allow him to do that.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Simo Zaric. You need not stand up if you
5 are not feeling well enough to stand up. You can speak from where you're
7 THE ACCUSED ZARIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, it is not my aim
8 to exaggerate, but this is the price I'm paying for five years of
9 injustice, me being here now. But my health has deteriorated
10 considerably. I'm sure you will see that in the doctor's report.
11 Currently I'm using one particular drug which helps me to numb my pain and
12 which gets me through the morning session of the trial, but it is not
13 advisable for me to take this drug in the afternoon, for a number of
14 reasons. This is the reason I suffer a lot of pain in the afternoon, and
15 I'm glad to have been told yesterday that I would have my operation on the
16 21st of April, probably. And I hope that after that, this problem will be
17 resolved. I hope it will not prove a more dangerous problem than I now
18 believe. I have waited for five years for a chance to offer my testimony
19 and for a chance to have my witnesses testifying. So I would just like to
20 ask you for a little extension and to be given the opportunity to defend
21 my own dignity, as well as my own health. It is my health that commands
22 me to speak this way to you now, and I hope that you will be
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Very well. Anything else?
25 MR. LUKIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, concerning the same
1 problem addressed by Mr. Zaric's Defence, and also on account of the
2 instructions we received today for the further course of this trial, just
3 a couple of words. What I said at the Status Conference the other day, I
4 verified about Miroslav Tadic's 92 bis witnesses, viva voce, those who
5 should be invited. Three of those witnesses already have valid travel
6 documents. Two of them are very busy people, businessmen. They're
7 especially busy next week, as things are. As for other two witnesses,
8 we've started the procedure. We've applied for their travel documents and
9 we have personally intervened with some people at the local SUP to
10 expedite the whole procedure. What I can say is that the week beginning
11 on the 31st of March, or the 1st of April, all four of them, and maybe all
12 five of them, rather, could be able to make it. This very much depends on
13 when their visas are issued. They get their visas in Belgrade or
14 Sarajevo. It usually takes about one or two days and then air tickets can
15 be bought.
16 In our experience so far with witnesses, and everything
17 surrounding their arrival, I think we could make sure that those witnesses
18 are present during the week beginning on the 31st of March. I would like
19 to know the court's decision regarding Mr. Tubakovic and Stojan Damjanovic
20 too, so that we can do the whole package, in a manner of speaking. It's
21 really very difficult for us to come to these witnesses and tell them:
22 You have to be here in two or three days or four days. All these people
23 are very busy. They have their own duties and obligations. They need
24 sometime to organise this. This is after all quite a distance to travel.
25 Secondly, as concerns the possibility of videolink, my client was
1 in collision to me when I was questioning him here. Miroslav Tadic told
2 me this morning that he did not wish to have videolink. He insisted on
3 sitting in the courtroom even if it goes on for the whole day. I told him
4 that his doctor would not exactly recommend that, but he insisted on
5 actually being present in the courtroom. He does not wish to be isolated.
6 He thinks that communication might deteriorate due to that. Regardless of
7 how long the sitting goes on for, he wants to be in the courtroom. He
8 wants to be here.
9 Another thing I would like to say about our defence is: When our
10 witnesses are here, I would please ask for the trial to be organised in
11 such a way that we're not separated from Mr. Tadic in the morning or in
12 the afternoon respectively. The Defence believes this is very essential,
13 for a simple reason: When we go on for the whole day, the one and a half
14 hour lunch break can only be used for our contact, for us to talk to our
15 client. If our client is taken away back to detention after the morning
16 session, then we have a situation where we're no longer able to
17 communicate with our client, because no visits are possible after 5.00 in
18 the afternoon. So we're separated for the duration of those days, which
19 means that we cannot prepare testimonies. So as far as our witnesses are
20 concerned, we think it's necessary for the trial to be organised, or if
21 his health is good enough, to be present for the whole time, then it will
22 not be a problem for us to work with him during the one and a half hour
23 break. But if he's taken back to detention and we have no communication
24 with him, then for us this poses a serious professional problem indeed,
25 and my client also appealed to be allowed -- to apply to be allowed to
1 address the Trial Chamber. I think he has sufficiently demonstrated his
2 desire to go on with this trial, even when he was feeling ill, and again,
3 he's adamant about this, and it is in my professional interest to ensure
4 that he gets a proper defence, so these are in collision. So if you would
5 just allow Mr. Tadic to say a couple of words and to express his own views
6 concerning this matter.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Miroslav Tadic.
8 THE ACCUSED TADIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mr. Lukic has
9 made my views seem a bit more mild than it actually is. But I said that I
10 would be here at all costs. I will not enumerate all my ailments. I will
11 try and do my best to endure, but I'm not sure I can make it. Last time
12 when I was testifying, when I said that I put everything in my life in the
13 service of this trial, I wanted to use one last sentence and to say that I
14 want some -- I want a part of me to sort of remain once this trial is
15 over. With sessions going on as up to this point, which means either the
16 morning session or the afternoon session, I think it would be much easier
17 for Mr. Zaric and for myself to endure, and this would give us a chance to
18 preserve some of our health at least once this trial is over. Thank you
19 very much.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. Any other counsel?
21 We'll adjourn and continue our proceedings tomorrow.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 20th day of
24 March 2003, at 9.00 a.m.